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About Low Gain

I'm just a teenager, living in Southern Illinois, that loves music in general. I love attending festivals as it feels like everyone comes together as a giant family. I also look forward to hearing new music and passing it onto the masses. In my free time I play guitar, basketball, and attend high school.

SHINEDOWN & BADFLOWER Bring Their “Attention, Attention” To Chicago [Review & Photo Gallery]

On Sunday, July 14th, hard rockers ShinedownBadflowerDinosaur Pile-Up, and Broken Hands came together for an electric evening of rock music at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Chicago. Each band brought something unique to the bill while meshing together extremely well. Check out our review and photo gallery below.

The evening began with the first of two English rock bands on the bill with Broken Hands. The quintet from across the pond brought their heavy, riffing sound to the Tinley Park stage to get the crowd warmed up for the rest of the evening. Vocalist Dale Norton waltzed from each side of the stage to the other as they whipped through a six song set consisting of material from their first major label debut album, ‘Split In Two’. The album doesn’t drop until August 9th, but the singer was cool enough to throw out a copy of the album to a lucky member in the audience. The band closed the set with their freshly debuted track “Wrong Track” as the crowd began to fill in for the evening.

After Broken Hands, one of our favorite bands here at Metal Nexus, Dinosaur Pile-Up, took the stage to round out the British bands for the night. Dinosaur Pile-Up has been on our radar since playing Louder Than Life in 2016 when they showed off their dynamic garage/alternative rock sound that was blistered with energy during their life performance. “11:11” was a huge hit to kickstart their career in the states and they have grown quickly since then. Vocalist and guitarist Matt Bigland and bassist Jim Cratchley entered the stage each with a beer in their hand before ripping into “Arizona Waiting”, from their 2013 album ‘Nature Nature’.  Aside from that and “11:11”, the set was primarily material from the trio’s new album, ‘Celebrity Mansions’. Through a set filled with headbanging and slamming English riffs, Dinosaur Pile-Up delivered exactly what was expected from us, a great, energetic set that continued to raise the bar for the night.

Rising quickly in the ranks of mainstream rock radio, Badflower has already made their way to the direct support slot for Shinedown. This is extremely impressive when you really put it into perspective. They’ve only just put out their debut album and they’re already almost at the top of the genre. They also just announced their first large headlining tour in the United States. Badflower has always been known for putting everything they have into their live performances, and their show at Chicago was no exception. Firing on all cylinders, the California quartet decimated the crowd with “x ANA x”, one of their heaviest songs to date. It’s a great crowd pleaser and really set the tone for the rest of their set. Vocalist/Guitarist Josh Katz glided across the stage on his back while strumming through the end of the song. The drive and emotion that pours out of these guys during their shows is amazing to witness. The band made sure to play all of their more popular songs throughout the set like the recent single “Promise Me”, “The Jester”, and “Heroin”. They saved their biggest songs for last as Josh hopped into the crowd and surfed across everyone in the pit during “Animal”. While he was out in the crowd, guitarist of Shinedown, Zach Myers, was kind enough to step in for guitar duties while Josh explored the crowd. After that, he made his way back to the stage to close out the evening with their most popular song to date, “Ghost”. The band puts on an electrifying, memorable set that will build a fan base for a lifetime. I highly recommend getting out to see these guys on their fall tour with Weathers and Dead Poet Society.

Over the last few years, Shinedown has grown to be one of the biggest bands in rock music today. Headlining several music festivals in the US, the band has solidified themselves as strong performers and crowd-pleasers. Their stage production has grown immensely since the last time I saw them in 2016. With fireworks, pyrotechnics, and large screens, the band delivers a live spectacle that is now bigger than just their music. The band kicked off their set with a curtain drop and sent the crowd into a frenzy with “Devil”, one of three singles from their 2018 album ‘ATTENTION ATTENTION’. Fitting the theme of their new album, the band also had screens in the shape of exclamation marks on the stage behind them. Along with the pyro and curtain drop, this made for quite the introduction. As expected, the band fully delivered the “boom” for “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)”. After finishing that song, vocalist Brent Smith encouraged all of us in the crowd to shake hands with one another to get to know our seat neighbors. He followed suit with this as well by shaking hands with all of the photographers in the pit. At a Shinedown show, the band makes it a priority to make the crowd feel like a big family. Once we all got familiar with each other, the band gave us a throwback track to ‘Amaryllis’ with “Enemies”. The band then played their current hit on the radio right now, “Monsters”. The crowd roared with applause as they executed it to perfection. Whether you like their music or not, you can’t deny how close Shinedown sounds to their records when performing live.

After playing a few more songs on the main stage, the band made their way out to the crowd, each playing in different quadrants under the pavilion. They played four songs out in the crowd, including “Amaryllis”, “Second Chance”, and even “Save Me” for the old school Shinedown fans that are still supporting the band to this day. Once they made their way back to the stage, they began to bring the night to a close with their world famous cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s “Simple Man”. They brought the dynamic energy (along with some sick laser lights) back into the venue with “Cut The Cord”. Everyone in the venue made sure to hold up their lighters for “Get Up”. The atmosphere was nothing short of incredible, almost breath-taking with the calm piano and Brent‘s powerful voice. To close off the evening, Shinedown sent everyone home happy by giving them the “Sound of Madness” followed by “Brilliant” from their new album. “Brilliant” was kind of strange for a closer but they made it work in a way that only Shinedown could.

Everyone should’ve went home happy with an incredible performance from an artist they know and love while also discovering some new rock music as well. With three newcomers in the rock scene and an established headlining act, this was a tour that couldn’t be missed. Check out these bands the next time they’re out on the road near you. Be sure to check out our photo gallery below. Follow us on Facebook for more coverage of all things rock and metal.

MISS MAY I & THE WORD ALIVE Deliver Monumental Show In Chicago [Review & Photo Gallery]

On Thursday, July 11th, Miss May I, The Word Alive, Afterlife, and Thousand Below kicked off their tour in Chicago at the Bottom Lounge. The eclectic bill brought forth a solid mix of early metalcore and hard rock to the stage. Continue reading

COHEED & CAMBRIA, MASTODON Crack The Unheavenly Skye in Chicago [Review & Photo Gallery]

Coheed & Cambria

In February, one of the many amazing summer tours was announced. In an odd, but somehow fitting bill, Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, and Every Time I Die team up for an epic summer run from the end of May to the beginning of July. To add to the already epic show, it was revealed that Mastodon would be performing their groundbreaking album ‘Crack The Skye’ in its entirety. Getting to see one of the most monumental albums of the 21st century performed in full made the ticket more than worth the price. On top of that, we got treated to a career spanning set by Coheed and Cambria and were witnesses to the insanity that is Every Time I Die. We were fortunate enough to cover the Chicago date on the tour at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Please check out our review of the shows along with our photos of Coheed and Cambria and Mastodon. Continue reading

Chicago Open Air Day Sunday: Tool, Gojira, Fever 333, & More [Review and Photo Gallery]

Fever333

One of the benefits about less bands at Chicago Open Air this year was being able to sleep in before leaving on the second day. Since there were less bands this year, the event didn’t kick off until 2:30, instead of noon like past years. At the same time, it was strange heading in there for day two knowing that we had already arrived to the last day of the fest when it would’ve normally not even been the halfway mark of the festival yet. With that said though, we couldn’t wait to get out and catch seven fantastic sets from Alien Weaponry, The Black Dahlia Murder, Fever 333, In This Moment, Gojira, The Cult, and the legendary Tool. Continue reading

Chicago Open Air Saturday: SYSTEM OF A DOWN & More [Review and Photo Gallery]

System Of A Down

Last year in mid July I saw down at my house without much to do. It was sad knowing that the same weekend over the previous two years was spent catching several fantastic acts like Rammstein, Gojira, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and more at the Chicago Open Air festival. When the news came that the festival wouldn’t be happening in 2018, I was devastated. I had made several friends and memories both years at the festival and was really looking forward to it again. It was promised to return in 2019 but many people were unsure that it would actually happen. In September, it was announced that Chicago Open Air would be returning, but it was weirdly worded. It was said that it would now be titled “A Day In The Park” and would take place the same weekend as the new Danny Wimmer Presents festival, Sonic Temple. Many of us were unsure what this meant exactly, but we knew that the festival definitely was not going to be the same. Eventually the lineup was rolled out in January, and the “A Day In The Park” vision never really happened. Instead, the event was two days with only one stage. This was different compared to the previous years as it was three days with two stages. Despite being a small lineup, there were several killer acts on it to keep me happy like System of a DownToolThe ProdigyGojira, and ten more acts. Continue reading

BRING ME THE HORIZON & SCARLXRD Take Milwaukee To “Second Base” [Review & Photo Gallery]

Bring Me The Horizon

Last week, hard rock titans Bring Me The Horizon kicked off their “Second Base” North American tour at the Welcome to Rockville festival in Jacksonville, Florida. The tour is rather short as the band only plays headline shows between each festival they are playing Welcome To Rockville, Epicenter, and Sonic Temple). The Jacksonville performance showcased a new stage production that they did not have here for their previous US tour with Fever 333 and Thrice (titled the “First Love” tour). Popular metal rapper Scarlxrd provided support on this tour. This may seem off the wall but he brought something unique to the table and absolutely killed it. On the previous tour, keyboardist and backup vocalist Jordan Fish had to leave due to having a child. However, he was present on Wednesday night. We were fortunate enough to attend the third show of the tour at Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Wednesday, May 8th. Check out our review and photo gallery from Kayla Gray below and make sure you catch Bring Me The Horizon when they come near you!

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BRING ME THE HORIZON Plays “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” In Full (First Time Since 2014) [Fan Footage]

On Wednesday, metalcore/rock giants Bring Me the Horizon performed the full “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” from ‘Suicide Season’  for the first since December 2014. The surprise took place at Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and replaced “Avalanche” in their setlist. The band has been playing it recently as a part of their “deathcore medley” along with other older songs for their longtime fans. That medley only included the beginning of the song and the first verse though. This time, the band is seen playing the entire song, and we have footage that you can check out below. Continue reading

DANCE GAVIN DANCE, PERIPHERY And More Light Up Chicago [Review & Photo Gallery]

Dance Gavin Dance

Last Friday, post-hardcore titans Dance Gavin Dance took the House of Blues stage by storm for a second consecutive night in Chicago. The night provided a wide array of metal and rock across many subgenres with support from Periphery, Don Broco, Hail the Sun, and Covet. Anyone that knows these artists can understand why they were able to sell out two consecutive nights at the venue within less than a week of their respective on sale dates. Check out our photo gallery from Kayla Gray along with our show review below!
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Chicago Open Air Spotlight: Knocked Loose

Today’s artist is Knocked Loose.

On Saturday, May 18th, Kentucky hard hitters are bringing down their gritty, beatdown sound to the Chicago Open Air stage at SeatGeek Stadium. Similar to Vein, the heavy sounds of Knocked Loose typically just make their way into the small and dark venues to fit the type of music that they bring to the table. They have grown immensely in popularity though and are making their way up to larger venues. Before making their way to Chicago Open Air, the band will be on the road for roughly a month with The Acacia Strain, Harm’s Way, Sanction, and Higher Power. Their huge, heavy sound filled with slow-tempo breakdowns are sure to impress and devastate all the metalheads in the stadium that day to prep them for the bands following them like Code Orange and Meshuggah.

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Chicago Open Air Spotlight: Code Orange [Official Videos]

 

*Every week from now until Chicago Open Air gets here we will be releasing an article about a band playing the festival to get you familiar with them.*

Today’s artist is Code Orange.

To close out the epic trio of hardcore acts on Saturday, May 18th, Code Orange brings their off the wall sound to the Chicago Open Air stage at SeatGeek Stadium. This group has been on my radar for quite a while. ‘I Am King’ dropped in 2014 and absolutely scared the hell out of me when it was released. The ferocity, fury, and anger that the record brought changed the way that I listened to extreme music. This was the last album that they released as Code Orange Kids before eventually dropping the “Kids” from their band name. I got to see the band once at this stage at Rock on the Range and was left thoroughly impressed. The ability that Jami Morgan had of controlling a crowd while killing it behind the kit was awing to watch. They have came a long way from then though in terms of live performances and with their music.

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