Review: Iconic Canadian Bands Moist and Big Sugar Rocked Caesars Windsor

(Juno award-winning Canadian rock band Moist performing in The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Photo above by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.)

Veteran Canadian bands Moist and Big Sugar played to a less than packed Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday September 5, but it didn’t seem to dampen things, at least not for opening act Moist.

Moist vocalist David Usher

Canadian rock band Moist front man David Usher performing in The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

Moist opened the show and had the crowd engaged from the opening song. Frontman David Usher ventured into the audience several times, hugging and singing to fans. He even put his arm around one of the Colosseum staff members who was leading him between the sections of seats on the main floor.

Paul Wilcox drums Moist Band

Canadian rock band Moist drummer Paul Wilcox performing in The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

Jonathan Gallivan

Canadian rock band Moist guitarist Jonathan Gallivan performing in The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

Moist guitarist Mark Makoway

Moist guitarist Mark Makoway performing in The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

Moist band performing in Windsor

Juno award-winning Canadian rock band Moist performing in The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

The band played a big selection of songs from their 4 studio albums and had a large group of fans in the center standing throughout the show. This was a tight group of musicians who put on an entertaining show despite playing a very limited number of tour dates since reforming in 2013. Moist is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their breakthrough debut album Silver.

For more about Moist visit https://moistonline.com

Headlining the evening was Big Sugar, a sort of homecoming for founder Gordie Johnson who was born in Winnipeg but grew up in Windsor. He started his professional music career in the Windsor/Detroit area while still in high school.

Big Sugar Gordie Johnson

Big Sugar band member Gordie Johnson playing his doubleneck guitar on The Colosseum Stage at Caesars Windsor on September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

Gordie Johnson Big Sugar

Big Sugar band member Gordie Johnson (right) playing his doubleneck guitar as percussionist Alex Johnson watches in the background on The Colosseum Stage at Caesars Windsor on September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

The band opened with one of their bigger and more energetic hits, The Scene, but they seemed to lose a lot of the crowd after that. There wasn’t the same energy on stage as with Moist and the band almost seemed stagnant by comparison. The massive lighting rig used for moist seemed to be in sleep mode as did much of the audience.

Big Sugar

Big Sugar performing on The Colosseum Stage at Caesars Windsor on September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

Big Sugar's Rey Arteaga on congas

Rey Arteaga on congas performing with his band Big Sugar on The Colosseum Stage at Caesars Windsor on September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

Alex Johnson of Big Sugar

Percussionist Alex Johnson of Big Sugar performing on The Colosseum Stage at Caesars Windsor on September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

Big Sugar Drummer Chris Colepaugh

Drummer Chris Colepaugh of Big Sugar performing in The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

Big Sugar Band Member Big Ben Richardson

Big Ben Richardson of Big Sugar performing in The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday, September 5, 2019. Photo by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.

The other local member of Big Sugar, Kelly Hoppe, left the band a little more than 2 years ago and his absence was felt, especially during their 4th song of the night Digging a Hole. Without Hoppe’s harp and tenor sax, the music is missing that old school blues sound and just sounds a little flat. The loss of bassist Garry Lowe to cancer last year and the departure of DJ Friendlyness haven’t helped matters. It’s unfortunate, but this was an awkward match up with Big Sugar looking and sounding pale by comparison. I’m sure it was out of respect to the hometown boy that they headlined, but following Moist was a no win situation.

For more about Big Sugar visit https://bigsugar.com

Upcoming shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor include Canadian rock bands Moist and Big Sugar (Sept. 5), comedian Iliza Shlesinger (Sept. 12), veteran comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short (Sept. 27), and Canadian Country Music icons Dean Brody and Dallas Smith (Oct. 4). For a complete listing of upcoming shows visit https://www.caesars.com/caesars-windsor/shows

Article by Dan Boshart

Dan Boshart is a talented photographer from Windsor, Ontario, who is looking forward to spending more time on concert photography when he retires from his full time job in the automotive industry. In addition to shooting bands, he has an interest in travel, architectural and street photography. Some of Dan’s photos can be viewed on Instagram and he can be followed on Twitter or his 27th Floor Photography Facebook Page.