Thursday, August 30, 2012

Developement: Sabres win Webster Block

QCLA was happy to learn that the Sabres/Pegula proposal for the Webster block in the prime Canalside district was the winning proposal.

The two main bids, between Carl Paladino's hotel/apartments/retail/ gigantic parking garage and the Terry Pegula 2 ice rinks/retail/restaurant/slightly less obtrusive parking garage was something that QCLA was watching very closely.

Although Paladino has many nice properties around the area, I couldn't help but coming back to the long stalled court street project, and the coffee rich building (which thankfully a judge just ordered to be cleaned up and new windows installed.) I just felt we couldn't have someone with such a spotty track record as the key developer on the most sought after parcel of land in Canalside. This had nothing to do ith Carl on a personal level, just a professional level.

Plus, having someone from outside the area willing to invest over $100 million in dowtown is the type of opportunity you don't let slip away. It will be a draw for junior, college and other tournements which run year round, and also supply more hotel rooms (along with the 1 canalside donovan restoration) for out of towners to stay by the arena. This will positively impact not only the retail businesses that go into the building, but the walkable coblestone district, pearl street, and hopefully, the newer areas of main street being redeveloped (with the metro line running up main and back down to the 1 canalside address.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Brian P: Rockstar Mayhem: More Rockstar Than Mayhem

It would really be hard to refer to what we got at Darien Lake last night as the Rockstar Mayhem festival. This bastardized version featured only four bands – Anthrax, Motorhead, Slayer and Slipknot, and while that’s not exactly a lineup to sneeze at, it didn’t feature even half of the billed bands currently touring the country with the Rockstar Mayhem festival, most notably for this reporter, the mighty As I Lay Dying. 

To be honest, there was definitely some novelty in seeing those first bands in action, and having never seen the trio of Anthrax, Motorhead and Slayer live; I guess it was a noteworthy show. But for me, and those with me, Slipknot was definitely the drawing point. Even though images of [Anthrax guitarist] Scott Ian’s beard (thankfully perfectly visible from our vantage point) and sounds of [Motorhead frontman] Lemmy’s legendary raspy howl probably were the things I’ll take away the most from this show, but as I said, Slipknot was the main drawing point for me.

 Slipknot truly is a band you’ll never get tired of seeing. I first saw them in Toronto on Ozzfest 2001 (anyone remember Ozzfest?), and have seen them a couple more times since then, and they never get old. The masks, the jumpsuits, and more importantly, the music – it just never tires. With the band having just released their greatest hits canon Antennas From Hell, I knew I was in a veritable who’s who of Slipknot cuts. And that’s what I got. “Wait and Bleed,” “Before I Forget,” “Eyeless,” “Surfacing” and “Psychosocial,” and the list goes on and on, almost literally, though the true highlight was “People=Shit,” which I was thinking they weren’t going to play. I don’t say this about many bands, but if ever there needed to be one band on your must-see live list, then Slipknot is it.