Stone Sour Concert

I'm actually kind of glad my boyfriend had to work late on Valentine's Day. That meant I could go see Stone Sour and In This Moment who was here in Toronto at Rebel. I'm so glad I went because Stone Sour put on such a lively, energetic show!

Maria Brink, singer of In This Moment, and Corey Taylor, singer of Stone Sour/Slipknot, are two of my rockstar role models, so to see both of them the same night left me feeling inspired. They both have so much control over the crowd. Both bands played for the same amount of time (75 minutes-ish) so it's safe to say everyone got a good dose of both.


In This Moment


I got to the show just in time for In This Moment and I hate to say it but they were awfully boring - I think more boring than the time I saw them last April. In This Moment is all about putting on a theatrical-like show. Maria had about four or five wardrobe changes so in between songs, the energy and interest of the crowd died down in between each song it seemed. It took a long time for the band to move from one song to the next.

But during each song, ITM rocked it. They played all of their well-known songs and songs from their new album, Ritual, including their cover of "In The Air Tonight" originally by Phil Collins. I love that cover. It's so dark and eerie.

What amazed me the most was how much control Maria had over the crowd, especially as a woman in a male-dominated crowd. Actually, I think the crowd was a good half-and-half of men and women. With it being Valentine's Day, I saw many couples at the show. But anyways, it was so good to see a woman control a crowd like that which is why Maria is one of my favorite rockstars that I look up to. She has so much confidence in herself and is a strong woman. Every time she would wave her hands in the air, the crowd would just scream and continue to scream until she stopped waving her hands. And the crowd would respond well to every question she asked.

I feel bad for the rest of the band though. All eyes seem to be on Maria most of the time when the four guys are the ones who actually make the music what it is, so you can't forget about them. They played crystal clear.


Stone Sour


This was my first time seeing Stone Sour in Toronto. I've seen them play at Rock On The Range a few times but never at one of their headlining shows. I actually don't know a lot of Stone Sour songs, except for their popular (and amazing) songs. But I like them enough to go see them. Honestly, every single of theirs is so good.


As soon as Corey Taylor got on the stage, the crowd went ballistic, chanting his name. I think even Corey was surprised. I know I was surprised. It amazed me how many people like me look up to and respect Corey Taylor. I think it's because he makes everyone feel invited and okay to be who they are. And he's also just such an amazing, versatile singer. How can you go from screaming in Slipknot to singing so beautifully and melodically in Stone Sour? He's a legend in today's world of rock music. The crowd chanted his name two or three times throughout their set. It was quite funny when he decided to be a d*ck and throw water up at some girl on the balcony level who was on her phone. It was hilarious.

Okay, I'll stop rambling about Corey now. Musically, the night was so much fun. The band sounded so good. There was a confetti gun. People were crowd surfing and singing their hearts out. It was just a very energetic, fast-paced night. Both the crowd and the guys in the band were feeding off of each others' energies. Even Stone Sour's slow songs were full of energy and emotion.

They played the song that I was so anxious to hear - "Song #3". Words can't explain how you feel when you hear one of your favorite songs live. It just makes you feel so good inside and helps you forget about everything outside the concert walls. That's the beauty of live music.

I do wish they played "Bother" since that's another one of my favorites. It's a sad song but so powerful. They ended the night playing "Fabuless" which was the perfect song to end with. It left everyone on a good note. And the band even had the blow-up figures seen in the video for the song. It was great!

You can see my videos of the show on my Instagram There are clips of In This Moment and Stone Sour.

Unfortunately, the band's Hydrograd Tour is over now, but I highly encourage you to see them some time in your life. They're playing some festivals starting in April, including Rock On The Range. I have to say, the American festivals aren't complete without Stone Sour. They're your ideal rock band for a festival that just always provides a good time.




Lauren is a Pickering-based blogger and aspiring model who loves to talk about rock and metal music, vegan/cruelty-free beauty and hygiene products, and anything to do with an alternative lifestyle (skull décor, gothic fashion). She’s passionate about music, animal rights, and mental health. She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors Bachelor of Science in psychology, and also majored in Media Studies. Aside from blogging and modelling, Lauren loves to travel, work out, and spend time with her two yorkies.

‘Try to be open to radical possibilities as failure of all shades is often inevitable’

Manitoba Book Award winner S.M. Beiko, who was in the city recently, talks how pivotal it is to develop a thick skin to survive in this industry



Author of the fantasy fiction Scion of the Fox, Samantha Mary Beiko was at the Type Bookstore for the launch of her latest novel. The Winnipeg-native interacted with the fans at the Trinity-Bellwoods’ bookstore, signed copies and even distributed free prints of artwork featured in the Scion of the Fox. Her first novel The Lake and the Library was nominated for the Manitoba Book Award for Best First Book and Aurora Award. Her next series, The Realms of Ancient, has been signed for a three-book deal with Toronto-based ECW Press. The first book, Scion of the Fox, was released in 2017; the sequels to follow are Children of the Bloodlands and The Brilliant Dark.

Working in the Canadian publishing industry as a freelance editor, graphic designer, and consultant in the trade book and comic industries, Samantha lives with her husband and rescue dog, Lucy. In a candid interview, the 28-year-old author spoke about her love for writing, the incredible world of the Scion of the Fox, and her loving and supportive family.


Q1. What were some of the key events from your life that shaped up the fictitious world of Scion of the Fox?


I was an outgoing kid in high school, but I was also extremely introverted. I spent the majority of my time dreaming and devouring any and all fantasy media in order to build a sturdier inner life to combat severe social anxiety as well as stress at home.

I became very obsessed with folklore and fantasy tales, but I also really wanted to see more of that represented in the things I saw around me—particularly the wildlife in my neighborhood which borders a forest and extensive farmland. I spent a lot of time on my own wandering the Assiniboine Forest and rural Manitoba, and building realms and people who would be as affected by the landscape as I have been.

The actual kernel of inspiration that started Scion of the Fox and its sequels came from a benign encounter in the middle of the bleak Winnipeg winter. I was walking home at night along the Assiniboine River and a red fox jumped into my path. I asked myself a wild hypothetical (which is where a lot of my story ideas come from): What if that fox followed me home and gave me a wicked mission? It really doesn’t take much, but 120,000 words later a novel was born.


Q2. Was there ever a time when you came very close to giving up on writing?

I think all writers, or artists of any stripe, experience occasional crippling self-doubt as the rejections pile up. I wouldn’t say I had ‘given up’ as much as I ‘took a break’ from my extensive visions of grandeur of being a bestseller like J.K. Rowling. I was 19, had only really submitted one or two books around to publishers and agents, and had a few rejections already when I was like ‘Oh, maybe it’s just not going to happen for me…’ and I tried to just focus on finishing my post-secondary degrees. Then, very randomly, an editor from ECW Press (who is still my editor to this day) contacted me saying ‘Hey, sorry I was on maternity leave, but I plucked your MS (The Lake and the Library) out of the slush pile and I think there’s something there! Let’s chat!’ I had completely forgotten I’d submitted to them at all, and a publishing contract from the slush pile is pretty rare.

That was a pretty great feeling, but being an author continues to take work and time and effort in addition to cultivating a fairly thick skin since it is an exhausting as well as a vulnerable pursuit. Eight years later, my career is going along at a nice pace, and I’m currently trying to land a literary agent. This year alone I’ve received about eight rejections out of the gate, with many no-responses. Which I celebrate by submitting to another agent!

I’ve found that it doesn’t necessarily get easier, but one does get better at saying ‘Okay, that didn’t work out. Let’s move on to the next thing and see what happens.’ I’ve also finished drafts of six new projects this year. Being a writer is sometimes much more than just putting one word in front of the next, or absorbing the blow of a rejection. If it’s something you really want to happen, you will make it happen. You just have to try to be better than you were yesterday and open to radical possibility as failure of all shades is often inevitable.


Q3. Has there been anything you have written/drawn you have never shown anyone?

I’ve been getting back into drawing more lately because I was a visual artist before I was a writer (I started out in art school before switching to my book publishing post-grad.) I still really enjoy making art, though, and I’d like to have it figure more into my mainstream career life, so I’ve been consciously making more time for it.

That said, I’ve been drawing a lot of nudes and erotica lately because, well, it’s something I haven’t done and experimenting is also fun! But it’s tough when you literally just launched a book for teens and you don’t want it to conflict with your public brand. I will probably share that work one of these days because I also firmly believe that demonizing erotic work just perpetuates a rigid social response to something that is beautiful and absolutely natural. But for the moment, it’s just for me. And there’s nothing wrong with that, either. Not everything has to be for public consumption, which is always a tough line to tow in this day and age.

Q4. How did you find your rescue dog, Sophie?


Very serendipitously! I follow probably 10-12 local pet rescues in Winnipeg/Manitoba, and sometimes I would just troll them for the dogs that were currently up for adoption. I actually only found Sophie (then named Gizmo) through Petfinder, but when I looked her up on the rescue’s Facebook, her story was quite dire (though a familiar one.)

She’d come from Norway House, which is a Northern community about 500 km from Winnipeg. A lot of reserve communities have issues with dog overpopulation and a lot of semi-wild, ranging animals that are often targets of ‘dog culls’ (where locals will round up the dogs and shoot them.) It’s a multi-faceted issue for sure because these communities can barely afford safe housing or have decades-long boil water advisories, let alone providing care for animals or spaying/neutering. And many of these dogs operate with a pack mentality. Community members and children especially suffer from dog attacks quite frequently. So, a lot of city-based rescues will team up and go into the communities and get as many dogs as they can and find them homes.

Sophie was just another puppy who lived outside, roamed in the dumps with the other dog gangs, slept under people’s porches in the dead of winter, and never had enough to eat. When she was finally caught, and flown into Winnipeg through Earthdog Terrier Rescue, she went into foster but was immediately rejected from that home. She went to another foster, but they “went on vacation” three days later and never picked Sophie up from the kennel she was being boarded at; so there she remained for two months, with Earthdog’s funds running low just to keep her in a place which was definitely not the best situation. They were getting desperate. Without asking my husband (oops) and only after being in our new house for two months (oops again) I contacted them and said, “Yes, sure, we will foster her, send her over!”

Obviously, that failed within two weeks and she’s been ours for keeps ever since. It’s been a wild ride, but I’m glad I impulsively yanked her into my life. She is a quirky, sweet girl with a big personality, and despite the trouble she always seems to get into—destroying the garbage, eating more than one pair of my shoes, running away after the deer in our area, digging holes in the yard, stealing entire loaves of bread off the counter—I can’t imagine a life of mine that she isn’t a part of. Rescue is extremely rewarding. Adopt don’t shop!


Q5. What were some of the ways your husband and your family helped and supported you through the challenging process of writing a book?

They stayed out of my way! Seriously though, my husband has always been supportive of my writing (even before we were married) and never once felt it wasn’t a legitimate pursuit. He’s a doctor, but he’s also a concert-level cellist, so he appreciates the struggles and passions involved with going after an expressive dream. He gives me the space to do my writing, as well as watering the plants and feeding the fish and washing the kitchen after I’ve pulled all-nighters chasing my daily word count goals.

My parents, too, have always been encouraging. My mother always bought me any book I ever asked for and pushed me to fiercely go after my dreams no matter how ridiculous or pie-in-the-sky. My dad is not a reader in any sense of the word, and he finds the writing component extremely baffling (he’s an industrial millwright and can fix literally any machine, so the bafflement at our chosen fields is mutual), but he always thoroughly enjoys everything that has come with publishing stuff. Never once has anyone, family or friend, said to me, “Wow writing sounds like a lame occupation.” It’s a very isolated activity, but I’ve found I’m unable to get anything done unless I know someone’s got my back. Even if they never intend to read said book I’m writing. And that’s a huge thing.




Anisha Dhiman: Born and raised in India, Anisha Dhiman  moved to Toronto to study Publishing and then Lifestyle Media at Centennial College. Writer, social media strategist and content creator, Anisha is the founder of Five Question Series, where she profiles people… you guessed it, by asking five questions. In her free time, she enjoys reading and trolling people with puppy GIFs and memes. Her only phobia? Losing her sight, but staring at the screen all day long doesn’t help much. You also visit her website to check out her fun interviews.