ZAKK SABBATH Keeps The War Machine Turning In Minnesota [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

With Ozzy Osbourne’s unfortunate cancellations of shows for 2019, guitarist Zakk Wylde has had some time to hit the road on his own. He ripped across the country with the Generation Axe Tour and played with his doom stomping metal outfit Black Label Society. His other passion is his supercharged cover band, Zakk Sabbath, and they bring forward the legendary Black Sabbath material in a blazing fashion that only the flamboyant Zakk Wylde can deliver. The Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota witnessed a riveting show by the three piece. Comedian Don Jamieson provided support for the evening. Continue reading

SCOTT STAPP Fuels A Frenzy In Kentucky With MESSER & WEAPONS OF ANEW [Review & Photo Gallery]

Wednesday night ROCKED in Lexington, Kentucky! Scott Stapp (you know, the voice of multi-platinum selling, Grammy Award-winning Creed, Scott Stapp? Yeah, that one) brought his incredibly talented band along with a couple of equally talented and hard-hitting metal bands, Messer and Weapons of Anew, to Manchester Music Hall. All three bands tried their best to blow the windows out of the building with some loud, aggressive, in-your-face rock n’ roll! It was a good night to be a rock fan in Lexington. Continue reading

KNOTFEST ROADSHOW Plows Through Nebraska [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

Slipknot’s “Knotfest Roadshow” made huge news throughout the metal community when it was announced back in March. That twenty-nine cities run is now in full swing and Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska had the opportunity to host a brilliant night of music. The line-up is certainly a global affair as it featured the extreme metalists from Poland, Behemoth, the technical powerhouse Gojira from France, and the hard rocking outfit Volbeat from Denmark. Slipknot would close to the show in a fashion of chaotic perfection that only they can deliver. Continue reading

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.

NEW YEARS DAY Prove Unbreakable in Minnesota [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

 

New Years Day has been extremely busy this past year. They have supported bands like Halestorm and Godsmack and will be making a run with In This Moment later this year. They found time to record their fourth full-length album, ‘Unbreakable,’ which was released earlier this year. The album kept true to the bands sound that blends metal and goth, but there was a definite push to become more accessible and plant themselves into the modern rock arena. The new record seems to have invigorated the California based outfit and armed with a fresh outlook the live shows have never been better. The Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota was treated to a New Years Day headline set that took fans back to where New Years Day began but more importantly where they are trying to go. Before New Years Day took the stage, two Minnesota bands, Plague Of Stars and Time Keeper, were given the challenge to entertain a crowd that was clearly waiting for the headliner. Continue reading

KORN & ALICE IN CHAINS Twist Them Bones in Nashville [Review & Photo Gallery]

Korn

The freak was unleashed and the man was let out of his box when genre defining heavyweights Korn and Alice In Chains brought their co-headlining tour to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN Friday night, with openers Underoath and Ho99o9 setting the tone early. The sixth stop of a 30 date US tour spanning mid-July to early September, Nashville once again proved a worthy host to all things metal as throngs of black t-shirt clad revelers funneled through the arena doors in fervent anticipation of coming undone. Continue reading

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…

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

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

TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION Brings Party To Tennessee W/ BELOW 7, DIRTY SOUL REVIVAL, & More [Review & Photo Gallery]

Texas Hippie Coalition

Big Dad Ritch and the guys of Texas Hippie Coalition (THC) made Johnson City, TN the last stop on the Haulin Moonshine Tour. THC had Below 7, The Dirty Soul Revival and Belfast 6 Pack help them make this Sunday night in Tennessee one night not to be forgotten! On a personal note, this was my third time covering THC in Johnson City, and second time in this venue, although it was under a different name the last time they played here. Doesn’t matter what the venue name or location is, one thing is certain, Johnson City loves some THC! Continue reading