TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Make Christmas Rock In Baltimore! [Photo Gallery]

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Trans Siberian Orchestra

Christmas came to Baltimore a little early this year. The rock extravaganza slash opera Trans Siberian Orchestra played to a nearly full house at the Royal Farms arena and displayed a dazzling performance. I have never concert lighting like Trans Siberian Orchestra’s, this is quite possibly the best display in the rock world. This was the first time I have had an opportunity to see Trans Siberian Orchestra. And we were offered some fabulous seats very close to the front. Trans Siberian Orchestra have had a sorrowful year, with the deaths of founder Paul O’Neill and the bassist David Z., Russell Allen was seriously injured in the accident that took the life of David Z., and it was great to see him back on stage. Many were skeptical if and how they were going to do without their visionary founder. The packed venues on this tour has been a sign that the band will carry on as strong as ever. Russell Allen mentioned during the show that on multiple dates on this tour they are playing two shows, a sign of the popularity of the band.

Trans Siberian Orchestra

 

The music of Trans Siberian Orchestra is loud, I could hear it pounding all around the arena even with my giant ear plugs in. The show lasting over two and a half hours, Trans Siberian Orchestra delivered what they are known for, pounding rock amalgamated with orchestra amidst breathtaking lighting and moving pieces of stages. The first half of the show was dubbed The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, with the second being a potpourri of the best songs by Trans Siberian Orchestra. The intermittent narration of the Ghosts of Christmas Eve added to the overall mood of the show. The musicianship blends seamlessly with the narration and the clips on those massive projection screens. The over the top projection beats that of even Iron Maiden! The exemplary guitar & violin play with over a dozen (honestly I lost count) vocalists is perfect. The well timed keyboard strokes set the tone for everything else. I love bands where the bass is loud and clear without and it was delivered in plenty. Russel Allen’s dance moves were, to be fair, a comedic addition to the show. Trans Siberian Orchestra closed the show with Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24), which they played earlier as well, and left to a wide applause from the crowd. This is a show I would love to cover next year when they will be on tour again. There was some very entertaining pyrotechnics, however they didn’t occur during the first three songs that we were able to capture. If you are a Christmas and rock lover in the Washington D.C. Metro area head out to the Capital One Arena on Dec 16th, Trans Siberian Orchestra will be there putting on yet another spectacle you need to witness. You owe yourself a ticket to this show if you have never seen them before. The show is family friendly as well, a sight to see for all ages. They have about 90 dates left on this current tour, so you will in all likelihood get a chance to see them. Let us know what you think after you see them grace the stage. Signing off now, until my next review.

Set List

1. Time and Distance (The Dash)
2. Winter Palace
3. The Lost Christmas Eve

The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
4. O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night
5. Good King Joy
6. Christmas Dreams
7. Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Savatage cover)
8. Christmas Canon Rock
9. What Child Is This?                                                                                                                                                                        10. Music Box Blues
11. First Snow
12. Promises to Keep
13. This Christmas Day

The Best of TSO
14. Siberian Sleigh Ride
15. An Angel’s Share
16. Christmas Nights in Blue
17. A Mad Russian’s Christmas
18. For the Sake of Our Brother
19. Wizards in Winter
20. Madness of Men
21. Beethoven
22. Carmina Burana
23. The Safest Way Into Tomorrow
24. The Night Conceives
25. The Mountain
26. Find Our Way Home
27. Requiem (The Fifth)
28. Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Reprise)

 

 

CD Release Party for Stayne Thee Angel’s “Time and the Hourglass”

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I cannot think of a better way to spend Veterans Day than attending a show of rabidly patriotic bands brought together for the release of Stayne Thee Angel’s new CD Time and the Hourglass. At the last minute, I decided to review the show since I have been unable to attend many shows as of late. Held at one of my favorite local haunts here in Jacksonville, FL, Jack Rabbits, I got there a couple of hours early to hang out with my friends in Inner Demons, listen in on their sound check and meet the other bands, both of which I have seen a number of times and highly enjoy listening to; not to mention I was anxious to hear what Stayne Thee Angel had to offer with their new CD. Let’s just say this was one helluva good night!

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A PERFECT CIRCLE In Tennessee On Halloween? Metal Nexus Was There!

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Since 1999, A Perfect Circle have become giants in the music industry thanks to three very successful studio releases – ‘Mer De Noms’ (2000), ‘Thirteenth Step’ (2003), ‘Emotive’ (2004).  They’ve acquired one of the most loyal fan bases, as well as selling out countless arenas and headlining some of the biggest music festivals in the world.  The band’s current lineup consists of vocalist Maynard James Keenan (Tool, Puscifer), guitarist Billy Howerdel (Ashes Divide), rhythm guitarist/keyboardist James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), drummer Jeff Friedl (The Beta Machine, Puscifer), and bassist Matt McJunkin (The Beta Machine, Puscifer), all of which bring exactly what A Perfect Circle’s sound calls for musically.  A Perfect Circle has recently announced signing with a new label, BMG Rights Management, and began touring with supporting act The Beta Machine in mid-2017, playing new material from their newly-announced upcoming fourth studio album.  In the midst of their ongoing tour, the band made a stop in Knoxville, TN on October 30th, 2017 at the Thompson-Boling Arena and I was there. Continue reading

Louder Than Life 2017 – Louisville, KY DAY 2 REVIEW

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With Day 1 in the books, the morning of Day 2 greeted everyone with clear blue skies, terrible hangovers, and the excitement the see just how it could be any better than Day 1.  My wife and I had a few friends over at our campsite for some pre-show breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, and hot coffee (not bad, right?).  Afterwards, we all ventured to the camp showers where I was extremely impressed with how well maintained the facilities were and how easy and quick it was to get in and out.  With a hot shower and our bellies full, we all headed to the entrance where Black Map was already tearing it up with a loud wakeup to open Day 2 taking the place of Biters, who were unable to make it, as the day’s opener.  The band hit the crowd with early-morning performances of “Octavia”, “No Color”, and “Run Rabbit Run”, among others.  Our very own Metal Nexus founder, Fist, got a chance to sit down with Ben Flanagan of Black Map for an insightful interview at the festival, which you can watch HERE. Continue reading

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN & SUNLORD Amp Up In Hazard, Kentucky! [Photo Gallery]

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Yngwie Malmsteen’s World On Fire Tour 2017 made a stop in Hazard, Kentucky. Yes, you read that right Yngwie Malmsteen the guitar god that all guitarist aspire to be like was in Hazard, KY! It was a momentous event for the small mountain town. The Swedish guitar virtuoso is known around the world and simply his presence makes your want to headband uncontrollably. Continue reading

MAMMOTHFEST 2017 – Brighton, UK [Picture Gallery]

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What the f**k just happened? Picture the scene: you’re walking along Brighton’s not-so sunny seafront, gulls are flying overhead looking for slim-pickings from unsuspecting tourists, and the usual retirees and students are basking along the pebbled beach without a single care in the world. Walking down the promenade, you are confronted by a sea of black t-shirts, all grinning and hyped up with an eager anticipation that feels infectious. All of a sudden you hear a colossal roar of distortion and demonic growls gurgling from deep within. Everyone in close vicinity turns and pauses in panic, children look to their parents, passers by freeze with bewilderment… “What is that?” they shriek… we reply, “The Mammoth has been unleashed!”

And what a beast it was! The team at Mammothfest produced an unbelievable feat across the weekend of Oct 6th-8th. Securing not just one, but four UK exclusives to delight metal-heads from across the country which included controversial Greek metallers Rotting Christ, avante-guard extreme titans Fleshgod Apocalypse, the uncompromising Noweigian true black metallers Tsjuder and post-metal doom act Amenra. Based in the UKs own traditional seaside town of Brighton at The Arch, over 50 bands glorified metal heads from around the country and a far, across 2 dedicated live stages. Founded in 2009, Mammothfest has fast become a household name and has played host to some formidable acts including Venom Inc, Textures, Onslaught, Entombed, Psycroptic, Breed 77 and Sylosis with the ambition of becoming “the largest rock and metal open air festival in the south”. Continue reading

Louder Than Life 2017 – Louisville, KY DAY 1 REVIEW

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It’s been about two weeks now since one of the biggest music festivals stormed through Louisville, KY and forever stamped the Louder Than Life name on the Bluegrass State, offering one of the best lineups the festival has ever hosted.  2 days, 37 bands, and 60,000+ ‘Loudmouths’ fueled by what seemed like an endless supply of alcohol and a desire to rock.  For many, (myself included) it was the first time attending the festivities, and I can assure you that I will be returning if the chance ever comes around again.  There were people from all walks of life, adults and children, goths, punks, rockers, any type of person you could think of – they were there. Continue reading

BITERS With THE SAINTS OF HEARTBREAK Rock The City Of Whitesburg, Kentucky [Photo Gallery]

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Where is Appalshop Theater you ask? Whitesburg Kentucky is the answer to that question and you are missing out! Most all of the bands or singers that have performed here have had the same thing to say. It may be one of the best rooms in the region if not the state! At around 175 seats its perfect spot to get up close and personal with whoever might be preforming. Last night it was the Biters and The Saints of Heartbreak’s (Ive mentioned before how much I love that name!) turn to fill the Appalshop Theater with sound. Great music is what both bands brought to Whitesburg last night!
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EPICA, LACUNA COIL, INSOMNIUM & ELANTRIS In Baltimore! [Photo Gallery]

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Epica & Cristina Scabbia

The Ultimate Principle tour featuring Epica, Lacuna Coil, Insomnium and Elantris reached Baltimore last Wednesday. This was one of the last dates of the tour and hence I wanted to thoroughly mull over the performance before I put pen to paper. This is hands down the most melodic tour of the year in North America. Rarely do we see a tour with two powerhouse mezzo soprano vocalists in heavy metal. The excitement in the Facebook groups devoted to symphonic and gothic metal has been palpable for months. As I grow older I have slowly gravitated towards the symphonic aspect of heavy metal, and not attending a lineup of genre defining bands was never a question! Continue reading

EXODUS, OBITUARY Slay The Stage In Baltimore! [Photo Gallery]

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Exodus

Here is a scenario, Baltimore city lay amidst ruins engulfed by flames and black smoke. As a raven flies over the city towards the inner harbor, it watches the fires and flames gradually intensify. The exact epicenter being 124 Market Place, the street address of Baltimore Soundstage. Surely this must have happened in one of the infinite alternate universes that exist. The cause behind this mayhem are two bands, Exodus and Obituary. On a balmy Saturday night, the two bands blew the lid off Baltimore Soundstage with the heaviest performance I have seen in a very long time. The tour titled “Battle of The Bays” is possibly the heaviest tour of the Fall, and I was not going to miss it. Continue reading