“I was lost in your world of fantasy,” did this just happen? I am still stunned!! What a thrill ride, never to be forgotten, honored to have been included.
Banger Films is where GREAT MUSIC STORIES are MASTERFULLY TOLD and these global leaders are known for their outstanding productions ZZ TOP: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas; Tragically Hip: Long Time Running; Super Duper Alice Cooper; RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage; Iron Maiden’s Flight 666; Metal Evolution and so much more. In the creative hands of Grammy and Gemini nominated, Juno, Canadian Screen, Peabody, Tribeca Film Festival Fans choice and International Emmy Awarded filmmaker Sam Dunn and director/producer Scot McFadyen, Banger Films has now grown to be one of the most recognizable names in music documentary operations across this planet, and it is so nice to see that the creativity started growing right here in our own Toronto back yard. Mind-blowing is an understatement. Lay It On The Line is currently underway giving the boys of Triumph their due, honoring their dramatic career and recognizing their talents with their 1st ever Triumph documentary that is in association with Revolver Films and Bell Media’s streaming service Crave. November 16th, 2019 marked a pivotal moment in musical history with the TRIUMPH SUPERFAN FANTASY fan appreciation day that was filmed as part of their Banger’s documentary that was exclusive to 150 invited fans and soon the world, by 2020. Fans were spoiled rotten from start to finish with great food, fabulous never-ending rare display of one-of-a-kind artifacts, props, outfits, and memorabilia like a rock n roll museum, that was spread throughout the enormous Metal Works warehouse.
This space brought fans together from as far away as Brazil, Texas, and across North America. Banger’s staff professional photographers captured everyone on stage, one at a time, with Gil, Mike and Rik’s instruments on display and that was just the tip of the iceberg!
We grabbed our seats as the MC and radio personality Joey Vendetta, began our once in a lifetime adventure with a sneak-peek into the documentary. Just as they were handling the famed Triumph banner lights in the film, the real-life curtain dropped in front of us, exposing the same famed TRIUMPH banner lights which hung high and shon bright once again as the original Triumph were rockin in front of us with a surprise showcase!!! Fans went nuts, literally leaping in shock from their seats fueled with emotional energy! To quote Triumph: “Spotlights. Houselights ready to cue. Backstage smoke is risin’ Steamin’, like a witch’s brew. I want to play some rock ‘n roll, want to sing the blues. Yes I know, I feel it comin’, Let the party roll” and that they did, as they ripped into When The Lights Go Down. As mesmerized as we all were we became hypnotized as Canada’s iconic rock n roll trailblaizers gave us what we’ve always wanted, another round!! Bassist/keys Mike LeVine, drummer Gil Moore and Guitarist Rik Emmett assembled as they set the stage a blaze for the 1st time in 11 years and the 1st time in 31 years as the originally founded legendary power trio and they never missed a beat, like the pause button was stuck on, sounding like they always did, full of oomph. They sure did Lay It On The Line with just the right amount of pyrotechnics flaring, totally fueling the revved up audience as they rushed the stage (Kevin being one of them). I stayed back and mounted 2 chairs for stability and watched the magic forming on stage clearly atop the crazed fans. Kevin joined me holding my hand high upon those collapsible chairs, tears flooding his heart exiting his eyes, truly a rare sentimental moment in time to see his dream come true as Triumph ended their epic set by sharing their Magic Power. The audience resumed their seats as fans got up close and personal with Triumph, where they got to pose their questions. This incredible documentary is fitting, it’s time over due to celebrate these splendid superstars, their musical legacy as 1 of Canada’s rock n roll innovators and their career which has been nothing sort of triumphant. With 17 masterpiece studio/live/greatest hits albums/DVDs under their belt, with 18 gold & 9 platinum awards, these Mississauga Legends Row, Juno/Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame inductees even have their own street named after them called Triumph Lane. Fast forward to 2019 where we find Triumph holding keys to the City of Mississauga, being awarded for their journey as Legends of Live for the 2019 Live Music Industry at Canadian Music Week, and being inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. Gil, Rik and Mike were interviewed on the red carpet by ET Canada discussing getting the band back together to film their documentary and how their fans reacted to seeing them play as a group again. ET Canada asked the boys, “You also just reunited for a 3 piece onset for the documentary and what was it like to come back again and do that together?” Mike Levine replied, “It was so much fun, it was a lot of hard work because we hadn’t played together as a 3 piece in forever almost. We worked hard at it and when the fans saw us they just went crazy and we played pretty good, we had a great time doing it.” “How does it feel and why did you decide to do this documentary and why was it important for you?” Gil replied, “It kinda came together over time over stages, but, we really developed the narrative with the director Sam Dunn, which was to kind of find a way to embrace the fans who embraced us for all those years and that became the theme of every nuance they went down, it was a phenomenal experience and very emotional to meet them. There was a lot of tears, there really wasn’t a dry eye in the house to be honest so we had to make sure…then Rik mentioned, “including his” and Gill added, “ya including mine I hate to admit, but ya, it was very touching.” Triumph was further celebrated at Canada’s Walk of Fame by friend & fellow 80s icon Gowan and The Rock Army (consisting of Arkells drummer Tim Oxford and their Arkettes-Shezelle, Tash and Ammoye; Gowan’s brother Terry on bass; guitarist Bob McAlpine and on keys/guitar was Ryan Bovaird) all the while Gowan sported a Triumph Shirt during his epic tribute to Triumph. Stay tuned as this CWoF show will air next week, early December, on CTV.
We will never forget this moment!! I looked over at Kevin and asked, “hun are you crying, did this just happen?” With watery eyes he replied, “omg, yes, this was incredible!”
Next, everyone got to physically meet and greet Triumph for a personal photo capture. Then we were further surprised with an extensive swag bag filled with one of a kind memorabilia including a poster, signed photograph, coffee mug, Triumph’s biography book, a free Rik Emmett Res9 download, and Rik’s autographed guitar pic, 2 tapes-Stages and Allied Forces, a rare collectible 45, our very own specialized event T-shirt and 1985’s Thunder 7 stickers all inside our Triumph gift bag. Just when you thought that was the end of the day, wrong!!
We split into 2 groups and were taken on a FREE extensive tour of both the iconic Metal Works recording studios (omg, the history inside, if only the walls and gear could TALK!) and a tour of their private college campus as well. I am still numb just thinking about it! I am personally not aware of any act that has reached out to their fans in this way, thanking us all for being there with them for over 30 years. what a memory!!
Special thanks to the entire Banger Films staff, Triumph, Mike, Gil and Rik’s wives and family, Metal Works staff and to a special die-hard Triumph fan Nancy Inch who worked alongside these teams to make this day a reality! We were Spellbound at this Super Fan Fantasy event where Triumph empowered our hearts and encouraged us all to continue to Fight The Good Fight.
Also, hurry don’t delay, order by Dec. 13th, your copy of Triumph’s 30th Anniversary release of CLASSICS, which celebrates the legendary journey of Canadian power trio’s greatest hits. The 13 track collection has all of the expected gems included – Lay It On The Line, Magic Power, A World of Fantasy, Fight The Good Fight, and Hold On, also featured are 2 special live recordings – Never Surrender (live at the US Festival) and Blinding Light Show/Moon Child (live at Sweden Rock). This will once again hit the racks via Round Hill /Triumph Catalog, and it makes a great Christmas gift! https://www.facebook.com/TriumphTheBand/videos/2411162549145700
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