The Blue StonesIt’s been close to seven years since The Blue Stones have played a full show in their hometown of Windsor Ontario. For their album release party on November 3, they turned the lights on at the Olde Walkerville Theatre as they premiered their first show of the “Pretty Monster” Tour.

With family and friends surrounding the stage, this was gonna be a big night. Starting off the evening was local beat maker aficionado “Datsunn”. His beats have been dropping hard around the city and beyond for a while. The perfect artist to warm up the crowed as they pour into this sold-out show. Datsunn’s stage show was very minimal, but his sonic sound was the perfect appetizer for tonight’s festivities.


As the drinks were being poured and the crowd started to swell, The Brandy Alexanders hit the stage. These local juggernauts have been really making a name for themselves as of late. Playing all over Ontario, as well as festivals in Europe, it’s great to see them supporting The Blue Stones for their premier tonight. These five lads fancy themselves as psych rock and man did these tunes, and their stylings really bring you back to a groovier time.

Pushed up close to the front of the stage, these guys gave you a up close personal look at who they were. Their tunes have a Beatles meets Tame Impala vibe to them – very spacey, but at the same time super tight and eclectic. These guys are incredible musicians, and it shows. Mixing these funky disco riffs with pop choruses and dreamy intros they had us all locked in. The singing with these guys was spot on as well. I believe four out of the five were singing. It was a very cool experience to watch. Very stripped down and personal.

Before I get into the Blue Stones and this masterpiece which is “Pretty Monster”. I’d like to give a shout out to the owners and organizers of this event and the theatre itself. The check in process was smooth, all the staff onsite were a delight to be around and extremely helpful. The drinks were being poured at a proper pace and everyone in attendance was in great spirits. The sound in this hall was perfection. From the front of house to the back it all was mixed so well.

All the artist sounded on point and crystal clear with a warm full body sound. Hats off to the sound techs, lighting engineers and all the people in the background that make this all click.

They even had a guy working a photo booth for the release of Pretty Monster, with a grass background, neon words that read Pretty Monster in yellow. There were small line ups throughout the show with people getting their photos taken and keeping the printed photos when the experience was over.

Now it’s time to get into the main event, the celebration of Windsor’s own The Blue Stones and the record release of their album “Pretty Monster”. This 10-track masterpiece was born out of blood sweat and tears. Years of hitting the road, building on their brand, and getting a chance to play on some of largest stages in North America. Now with a bit more freedom, they let loose on their third studio album. This two-piece started out as a Rock/Blues style outfit but over the last couple albums have grown and expanded their sound with more pop hooks and a few Hip/Hop licks.

I love the growth of this band and the direction they are always running in. Taping into their live shows, they have encapsulated this in the new album “Pretty Monster”. Their raw energy and cosmic sound franticly pulses through your veins like a shot of adrenaline. With the album only running at the 35-minute mark, every second is a smooth slap in the face and a giant left hook to the chin. It hits on all levels with an infectious groove.

All that culminated into tonight’s experience. As the lights go dark in the crowd and the stage lights come up, Tarek and Justin drop into their spots. A short intro starts us off before breaking into the title track “Healing” off the new album. Everyone was so pumped to have them back that the crowd started roaring right out the gate. After warming us their title track, they reached back into that album for what I think will be a new instant classic “Let Me Out”. As the room was completely packed by this point, the temperature was definitely getting hotter. Large groups of people were really starting to loosen up and have some fun and this song was perfect for getting that started.

Windsor, I find, is a hard place to get a crowd going, but tonight it seemed like Tarek and Justin had them eating out of their hands. Like a seamless transition, they flew right into 2018’s “Be My Fire” and in between doing all this, they thanked their hometown crowd for coming out and supporting them. They are some of the most down to Earth, nicest guys you could ever meet. Kicking it up after that, they got us with 2021’s Hidden Gem hit’s “One by One”. I loved hearing the fans singing the lyrics back at them, always a cool feel.  The lights, the energy and the mood totally worked hand in hand with the music as “Grim” levelled the room.

Moving it back to their new album, we heard “Dreams on Me”, which has a sweet opening drum beat and some keys that layer on top, catchy song, as they ask to put your dreams on them. With a 19-song set, they hammered through 2021’s Hidden Gems “LA Afterlife”, and “Oceans”, then teased us a little more with another new track “Stay with Me” – heavy, gritty, with another great hook and a bad ass beat.

After such a high, they cooled us off a bit with a little “Magic”. This smooth chill atmosphere they have created in the room blends perfectly with the lights, crowd movement and the music. I do believe in magic as I’m witnessing it here this evening. I don’t know if they were giving us a little extra love tonight, but you could feel it. This was a rollercoaster for sure as now we broke into what I think will be their next hit “Don’t Miss”. This track has it all, you could rock this down a dirt road in a muscle car, but at the same time you could rock it in a club and have everyone just bouncing.

Tonight, we were bouncing.

Now, it was time to start “Rolling with the Punches” and from there they turned the” Lights On”. Coming back to their new album “Pretty Monster” they showcased “Good Ideas”. It still amazes me how Tarek holds down this sweet little bass line as well as all these little licks on top of it all, and Justin is so tight up there on his raised kit.

Most shows would be over after playing this many killer songs all in a row, but we still haven’t heard their huge radio hits and a few more jams.

Another killer track off the new album is “No Angels”, it also has a sweet music video that goes along with it. It’s a great tune to play live.

As we get closer to the end of the night, they take time to say thanks again to everyone in attendance and tell us this is their last song. They end it with “What’s it take to be Happy? I love this tune but it ain’t no closer. With a soft feel and a mellow jam, this sing along is a feel-good tune, but we are still missing a few things. As the crowed loses it for this amazing set, we all start chanting “Blue Stones!!! Blue Stones!!! Blue Stones!

As a few minutes pass, they come roaring back out with three more jams for us. Breaking into “Careless”, this slow whisper of a song is a build-up to what’s to come. With its finish, Justin notes that a couple songs are missing and then all hell breaks loose as they lock the whole place up with the intro to Black Holes. As the crowed starts erupting, you could see the pure joy on both Tarek and Justin’s faces as some of the closest people in their lives were all in this same room. I’m sure it was an incredible feeling for them both.

Lot of hard work by so many people to put out and then tour a dynamite record/tour like this. It’s very cool to be a part of their opening night.

To blow the top off this place, they finished with their mega hit “Shaking Off the Rust”.  Shoulder to shoulder we all jumped, raged, and shook off our own rust.

Tonight, was a celebration of so much. Two boys from Windsor making a name for themselves, a beautiful new album, and some hometown love. To the city of Windsor, the Olde Walkerville Theatre, and the Walkerville community, congratulations for showcasing how we can host large events and have them be successful. Let’s do it more often.

This was clearly one of the best album release parties I’ve been to in this city. Much love to The Blue Stones and the City of Roses. If you get a chance, please go see this show on tour in your town. The current tour has 16 dates across Canada, with Special Guests Brkn Love and Low Hum.

The Bluestones – Pretty Monster Tour

Olde Walkerville Theatre
Windsor, ON
November 3, 2022
All photos by Maximus Reid

The Blue Stones:

The Brandy Alexanders:


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