PUDDLE OF MUDD & THE VIGIL Rock The Stage In Bristol, UK [Review & Photo Gallery]

This may make you feel old but, Puddle of Mudd has been around almost 30 years now. Though they have been around for nearly three decades, the band still has fans gathering to see them. Over the past year or so, they’ve put the drama behind them to really move forward into what looks like a sober era for the band. Tonight they were being supported by The Vigil, and fans at the O2 Academy Bristol were more than ready to get a dose of rock n’ roll.

With riffs and tunes having elements of early Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana (and I would say heavily influenced by Nirvana), all in all The Vigil churned out a no-nonsense set of grunge rock tunes. I’m not sure if they are used to venues of this size, as their stage presence wasn’t looking too relaxed. But even so, they played tune after tune, with hardly any talking in between, while getting a good cheer from the audience. Vocalist, Olly Smith did jokingly say thanks to the “three people” that turned up to watch them, but – hey, come on, there was a lot more than that.

To round things up: they have all the skills to be good, but just need a slight polish up in certain areas, and they will be set. It’s also hard for vocalists who play guitar to give it a lot of energy as they are stuck to the microphone, but when they had time to move away, they could have been a bit more energetic is all.

The downstairs of the venue finally filled up to near capacity when Puddle of Mudd were ready to grace the stage. With over five million sales of their 2001 debut album ‘Come Clean,’ and with a string of hits like “Control,” “She Hates Me,” and “Blurry,” it was time for vocalist, Wes Scantlin, and band to hit the stage. Lights dimmed and the band walked out to a very loud welcome from this UK crowd.

The band went straight in with the first track “Control” – a superb opener. As soon as the vocals come in, if you were around in the year 2000, you will know it straight away. It’s one hell of a catchy song and had the crowd punching the air along to it and joining in with the lyrics, especially when singing “I love the way you look at me / I love the way you smack my ass / I love the dirty things you do.”

Wes briefly mentioned how jet lagged they all were, as this was the first date in the UK. But to be honest, you would not have known as they played a blinding set full of all the old favourites. I read a review back along saying they were totally off their game and not sounding that good. Well I’m sure they read it because tonight – based on my ears and the crowd’s reaction – they played amazing, with perfectly mixed sound and with the drums punching you through the chest with every beat. I also want to mention how good Wes looked, as he didn’t look at all different from the old videos from over 10 years ago.

They also played a cover of “TNT” by AC/DC, which they recorded for their 2011 cover album ‘Re:(disc)covered.’ It went down like a storm with the audience who was punching the air and shouting, “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!” along to the beat of the bass drum. They finally played “Blurry,” and yeah, they got a loud cheer for this beast of a song. I would like to add that I’ve been humming and whistling it since this night – damn you, Puddle of Mudd!

They played “She Hates Me” straight after, which is another great song that got them a lot of airplay. They had one more tune up their sleeve, which is off the new album, due for release this September, 13th. I would say I’m not sure on this, but maybe its a grower. Either way, I’m sure the album will have the odd, decent hit on it due to their writing ability.

Next up should be Skunk Anansie for me, so stay tuned. It’s a sold-out show for Skin, Ace and crew. Until then, Metal Nexus readers…

TAX THE HEAT Rocks Frome As THE CORAL’s Opener [Review & Photo Gallery]

Tax the Heat (TTH) supporting The Coral for Frome Festival 2019 at Cheese & Grain? Hell yeah I’m going to that! But just to assure you, we are only covering TTH, as The Coral are a bit mellow for Metal Nexus. Continue reading

+LIVE+ Performs To Sold Out Crowd In London [Review & Photos]

+Live+

Tonight I was set to attend a sold-out performance by the band Live at the iconic O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. Arriving late but ready to rock on arrival, the venue was crammed full and the buzz in the venue for Live to hit the stage was unreal. The feeling from the fans was a decent, friendly vibe and you felt like you were among friends. Everyone was looking after each other and being polite as we all had one thing in common: we’re here to witness a classic performance by a band that was essentially the soundtrack of the 90’s; Live. Continue reading

THE HU Hypnotizes Bristol, UK [Review & Photo Gallery]

The Hu

Here at Metal Nexus we love nothing more than grabbing hold of new talent and the next biggest act on the planet. From the moment we watched the debut video for The HU called “Yuve Yuve Yu,” we just had to cover a live show to witness what these guys were about. Continue reading

HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD & LOATHE Bring The Mayhem In Bristol, UK [Review & Photo Gallery]

Hollywood Undead

Well, after a really hot three days over the Easter break here in the UK, the dull weather has returned. This did not stop eager fans of LA rap-rockers Hollywood Undead and Liverpool-based UK band Loathe, who queued up early to get as close as possible to the barricade in front of the stage to witness these two quality acts perform. Continue reading

PAPA ROACH & NOTHING MORE In Bristol, United Kingdom [Review & Photo Gallery]

Papa Roach

April 15th arrived and it was time to see the rock and metal legends Papa Roach who have been slaying stages around the world for over 25 years now. At one of Bristol’s finest venues I must add as well; the O2 Academy. To kick the night off was supporting band Nothing More. It’s not often you get a supporting act that could easily book a headlining tour of their own. Both bands are incredible and the show was exactly what we all had been waiting for.

Nothing More

The first memory that comes to mind about Nothing More’s set was they had the biggest and loudest sub-drop I have ever heard. It made the audience jump, then vocalist Jonny Hawkins emerged and climbed up on a metal structure high above the stage and cranked the handle on an air raid siren before jumping down and getting back to the set. With half his torso painted black and in bare feet (as always) storming around the stage with so much passion and even having a laugh by kicking towards me at one point with a cheeky grin. Besides having a fun time all around they delivered a high caliber,  charismatic set with intense energy to match. With the way they have dominated radio air play, festival stages and supporting gigs these guys better be on your radar or you’ve been hiding under a rock. Its always nice to see a drummer who slays the kit which Ben Anderson absolutely does with no troubles. The vocalist interacts with the crowd. From time to time on the vocal high notes you hear a slight resemblance of Perry Farrell from Janes Addiction and Porno For Pyros. Being part of a sold out night and seeing the band members enjoying it as much as you do is the most wonderful thing ever. And it was just getting started.

Papa Roach

Papa Roach was the headliner of the show and damn did they prove themselves worthy! The crowd was already hyped up after the stellar performance by Nothing More. However, the fans still had lots of sweat and energy to give on this rock n roll filled night. Chanting ”Papa Roach” started ringing out before they even took the stage. After realizing that they were going to open the night with a legendary track from their sophomore release back in 2000; ”Last Resort.” The crowd literally couldn’t keep the excitement in much longer. We were treated yet again with another iconic track ”Between Angels And Insects” which was without a doubt another reason for fans to get motivated. Later that night Papa Roach showed us just how heavy some of their songs can be, especially live. With the walls of death opening up and the people choosing their side the game was on and I was yet again just a little closer to finishing my own bucket list as well.

To be this far along in their career and still selling out tours in venues of this size really shows the staying power that Papa Roach has, while many bands fade away with genres popularity this band continues to thrive!

Papa Roach

To make it even more remarkable, they went off stage only to return for an encore. Something special was brewing and the band covered “Firestarter” by The Prodigy saying ”We miss you and love you Keith, rest in piece.” Just as the song ended the entire crowd chanted Keith’s name. Afterwards Coby even shared some  personal thoughts about Keith. Saying he is missed and that it had been truly amazing seeing him all these years ago. He will be missed.

So for all those people who haven’t decided on seeing either Nothing More or Papa Roach live I highly recommend both. They share such a unique energy and are a must to cross of your bucketlist!

IN FLAMES, NORMA JEAN & LIGHT THE TORCH At SWX Bristol [Review & Photo Gallery]

In Flames

On arrival to the SWX Bristol, UK, the queue was already around the block an hour before doors opened – wow! I’ve not seen this at the SWX for some time. Fans were keen to get in and watch this awesome lineup Continue reading

BLUE OYSTER CULT & THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT In Bristol, UK [Review & Photo Gallery]

Blue Oyster Cult

Turning up early to the Anson Rooms in the city of Bristol, UK, and after finally finding a space to park with a few laps of the area, I find the queue for the venue all the way down the street and around the corner.  I went up to the front and luckily walked in, got my pass, and eagerly waited for the tour’s support band The Temperance Movement to grace the stage of this massive hall. Continue reading

An Evening With FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS In Bristol, UK [Review & Photo Gallery]

Fun Lovin’ Criminals

So Fun Lovin Criminals just graced our shores here in the UK. They provided an evening which consisted of their DJ doing a set of some hip-hop and dance classics to warm the crowd up, then Huey Morgan and crew hit the stage to entertain with a super chilled-out evening from the get-go. Continue reading

PARKWAY DRIVE, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, THY ART IS MURDER Dominate The UK [Review & Photo Gallery]

Parkway Drive may have only scheduled 4 dates for their UK tour but with the jaw dropping lineup of support acts they have bestowed upon us pure metal happiness. Kicking things off is Parkway Drive’s fellow Australian’s Thy Art Is Murder using their deathcore sound to get the crowd pumped right from the start, they are followed by metalcore royalty with Killswitch Engage who have been on a roll since original singer Jesse Leach re-joined the band. Then the proverbial cherry on top of course is Parkway Drive touring in support of their tremendous new record ‘Reverence.’ This tour February 1st stop in Cardiff at Motorpoint Arena was bound to be explosive.

Thy Art Is Murder

 

From the get go the lads in Thy Art Is Murder were not messing around whilst smashing straight in with “Dear Desolution” with its ultra fast double bass drum and fast runs and riffs on the guitars. Then CJ kicks in with his unique powerful screams, growls and shouts, the crowd went nuts. This is the first time I’ve witnessed them live and to see them grace a stage like this arena was amazing, they looked right at home. I can only imagine what a smaller show would be like (carnage) but then they played the fourth song on the setlist “Reign Of Darkness” and CJ asked the crowd to split for a wall of death. It was at least a 20 foot gap from the front of the arena to the back. Then bang the charge from the crowd and for the next two songs the crowd was going insane. Ending on “Puppet Master” was a great choice with that pounding snare hitting intro got the crowd banging their heads. As the momentum picked up they knew it was their last chance to dance so they went crazy for CJ and crew. I can’t wait to witness this again soon.

Killswitch Engage

Not gonna lie I’m a huge Killswitch Engage fan and have been since day one. Recently I witnessed them supporting Iron Maiden last year at the London o2 which was a phenomenal performance and to be fair it always is. Tonight people who had a ticket were in for a treat. They played 11 songs in total and a great mixture of old and new. You could tell they had a lot of fans in the audience due to the amount of singing going on and especially to “My Curse” and “My Last Serenade” the crowd were nearly drowning out the band they singing along so loud. I was hoping Guitarist Adam D was going to pop to the bar and order a couple shots mid song like he did at a recent show whilst still playing his guitar (We’ve all seen that video right?). I was waiting but sadly this didn’t happen (search for the video its awesome). Watching Adam’s quirky personality on stage is always amazing, the faces he pulls are great along with his jogging around the stage, he is in my eyes one of the best guitarists out there. Jesse Leach is just one of those flawless live vocalists, he sounded perfect in every way. I normally don’t say this but it was great vocal deliveries all night long. He delivers just as good as the album version live. He deserves a lot of respect, hats off to you sir! The pit was crazy from start to finish. I stood just out of the area and saw a random shoe on the ground and then another shoe made it to the stage. As Jesse asked who’s it was, well there was either one person with no shoes or two people with one shoe…ha ha ha. One more thing to look out for is a new album from Killswitch Engage this year and 2019 marks the 20 year anniversary of the band so I’m sure its going to be a banger of an album.

Parkway Drive

 

So the time has come for the Australian lads in Parkway Drive to hit the stage. The lights dimmed and the band appeared at the back of the venue with four of their crew surrounding them with flame torches. They walked through the crowd to the stage with the intro to “Wishing Wells” before gracing the stage and continuing to deliver the rest of this tune from ‘Reverence’. Lights dimmed to an almighty roar, Parkway Drive officially warmed the crowd up together with the amount of pyros, explosions and flame throwers from all sides of stage.

The stand out tunes for me were “Carrion,” “Vice Grip” and “Wild Eyes.” To hear everyone in the crowd chanting to the riff like on the album version was incredible and vocalist Winston McCall looked like that gets him amped every night. Drummer Ben Gordon is a beast on the kit, he’s a drummer I’ve liked for a while now. If you wanna be a hard hitting drummer just watch this guy. He didn’t let up all night and had 17 tunes to play, just wish he had his drum cradle tonight but unfortunately some venues can’t accommodate everything in a bands production. To be fair, it did not matter as Parkway Drive let the music and performance do the talking. Winston McCall did say it felt like last week they were playing Merthyr Tydfil to 10 people and he couldn’t sing ha ha.

Well I was there in the early days and not so long ago when people used to turn up with inflatable boats and crowd surf in them, amazing times. However, to see this band progress into what they are now and to be doing arena tours is well deserved. I hope the momentum for them keeps growing. If you manage to get to a show you can expect explosions, flames, fire balls from all directions, a string section joining them and Winston McCall going to a little stage at the sound desk to join a cello player to perform with elevating platforms which Luke Kilpatrick and Jeff Ling were lifted high up above the stage. I read an article saying there are no bands coming up to replace the legendary bands we are losing, well think again, they are here and they are called Parkway Drive. They have always been here and right now they are getting the recognition for their hard work over the last 16 years. So stadiums might be next on the agenda? I certainly hope so. I would like to wish every member of the band all the best for the future. We can only hope they help influence a new generation of bands that are even half as talented as they are.