Let me see here, Iggy Pop, Tool, Failure, Ice T, Body Count, Sloan, Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Voivod, Burton Cummings, Rough Trade, Soundgarden, Ministry, Billy Bragg, Skinny Puppy, Nick Lowe, Dayglo Abortions, SNFU, Alice Donut, 7 Seconds, Grave Concern, Harsh Reality,Circle Jerks; these are a few of the bands I’ve seen at Porter Hall at Carleton University, back in my home town of Ottawa, Canada.
Every college town in North America, be it Canada or the U.S., has a few venues on campus that host concerts by acts that you may not see on a regular basis in clubs or larger arenas or stadiums. In the town I grew up, one of those venues was called Porter Hall at Carleton University. The room itself was nothing special. It was a simple hall that had a capacity no larger than 500 people. It had no tables or chairs. It had no bar for serving drinks or anything like that. It was just a room with a stage and sound system that housed some of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The thing that made Porter Hall such a great venue was the backing and booking of the mighty 93.1 CKCU radio. I have to say, I’ve lived in many different cities in a few different countries, and nothing even comes close to CKCU radio. The dedication of this university radio station puts mainstream radio to shame.
Like most college radio stations, they were always 10 steps ahead of the pack when it came to finding great bands on tour. Currently, as well as in the past, through their amazing programming of radio shows like No Future Now (RIP), Melt Down, Friday Morning Cartunes with John Westhaver, Reggae in the Fields, Night Watch, and Joe Reilly, there was no missing out on a great show. Plus, through my own experiences working with bands I’ve played with, I have done at least 15 band related on-air radio interviews myself. The support for up-and-coming bands in unprecedented.
If you live in a college town, I strongly suggest you check out school websites and find out what great shows are coming through your town. Better yet, get off your lazy ass and go check out the campus. You never know what you might find. p.s. try not to look like a creepy old punk while you’re at it. – DAN