Gary Spivack has one of the toughest jobs in American when it comes to the music industry. He is the Senior Vice President of Festival Talent At Danny Wimmer Presents. He is responsible for finding and booking all of the bands that play the DWP Festivals all across the country that we so passionately look forward to year after year. Those festivals include: Fort Rock, Welcome To Rockville, Carolina Rebellion, Rock On The Range, Northern Invasion, Chicago Open Air, Aftershock, Louder Than Life, Bourbon & Beyond and Rock Allegiance. It is nearly impossible to please every fan that attends these festivals. There are always going to be bands there that they don’t like, or possibly even hate, and in return there are also going to be bands there that they absolutely love. Regardless how amazing the lineup is there will always be complaints along with the praise. However, year after year Gary Spivack is able to book not only some of the most iconic or nostalgic acts in the country but also book those up and coming bands that we instantly become new fans of. New bands are given the opportunity of a lifetime when they get booked on these festivals. They take the stage and have the chance to instantly gain thousands of new fans if their performance impresses the crowd. Gary is not only the person in charge of festival talent he is also a fan, and immensely passionate about music. Gary Spivack and the entire Danny Wimmer Presents team continue to impress us year after year with the wide variety of acts they bring to the stage to entertain us.
This 5 piece metal band formed in 2012 in Michigan and has been making a name for themselves ever since. Last year the For We Are Many won an opening spot on the Chicago Open Air Festival through a contest on Reverb Nation. 1000’s of bands and they came away as the winner which lets you know immediately this band doesn’t mind competition and they certainly showed they are winners. If that wasn’t enough, prior to this the band in a similar contest or audition process also won a slot on the Vans Warped Tour as well a year or so ago. Though the band has had to fight for spots on theses festivals I believe they have now established themselves as an act that stands their ground and can entertain and please a huge crowd of fans. Because of their jaw dropping performance at Chicago Open Air the band was also invited to play the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky which like Chicago Open Air was also organized by Danny Wimmer Presents. For We Are Many has a true melodic metalcore sound that you have to witness in person just to believe.
2017 was a big year for Through Fire. The band released their deluxe edition of ‘Breathe’ which included some new acoustic tracks and an amazing cover of “Jar Of Hearts” by Christina Perri. Their original song “Where You Lie” really hit home with fans both musically and emotionally. ‘Breathe’ dropped last year and charted very well in the US for a debut rock artist’s release. Their song “Stronger” played a large part in this. It stayed atop Sirius XM Octane’s “Big Uns” list for many weeks. 2017’s Louder Than Life was the band’s second Danny Wimmer Presents festival. They opened up the inaugural Chicago Open Air festival last year right as their record was released in 2016. Continue reading
Louder Than Life although new has built a reputation in the scene pretty fast and in very short amount of time. It is now among the very coveted and prized open air festivals in the United States, which the American fans have yearned for long. 2017 saw the festival conclude its fourth edition on an extremely high note. And now, gearing up for the 5th annual Louder Than Life, an Early Bird ticket sale is now underway. It is to be held Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30, 2018 at Champions Park in Louisville, KY.
A gritty howl opens Joyous Wolf’s upcoming debut LP, ‘Enigma’, and it’s the perfect introduction since the band plays rock & roll at its most primal and passionate. Formed in 2014 guitarist Blake Allard’s bluesy riffs harken back to the classic hard rock of AC/DC, Cream and Deep Purple while still packing a thoroughly modern wallop, while front man Nick Reese’s voice seems to come from deep in his gut as he sings about everything from warring kingdoms to a tribute to a fallen friend. Together, with bassist Greg Braccio and drummer Robert Sodaro, Joyous Wolf’s members work together to create some of the most exciting, promising and unwieldy back-to-basics rock to come out of Southern California in recent years. If you have been searching furiously for a band that has a throwback sound that truly shows old school influence while also adding modern elements to their sound to remain fresh, vibrant and unique then look no further. Joyous Wolf played a major role on several fall rock festivals this year, being one of the only unsigned bands to grace the stages from Kentucky to California. I have no worries that this band will soon find a label with their huge booming sound, it’s impossible to hear their music and not fall in love. Continue reading
Photo Credit: Coda Photography
On January 1st, 2013 a transmission from a star in the Ophiuchus Constellation in the year 2047 was received containing a warning of the fate of the human race. It is said that Dr. Aston Wise of the Starset Society recruited Dustin Bates, Ron DeChant, Brock Richards, and Adam Gilbert, collectively known as Starset, to spread awareness through music and media. The Columbus, OH quartet quickly gained notoriety on YouTube with the release of their first single “My Demons”, which has well over 280 million views, as well as two albums under their belt – ‘Transmissions’ (2014) and ‘Vessels’ (2017). According to their (fictional) background, they aim to spread the contents of “The Message” to the general public through demonstrations (‘shows’ to you and me). They have been summoned by The Starset Society in an attempt to save the human race from its imminent demise, foretold in a transmission that was received in Northern California on New Year’s Day 2013, along with required knowledge of how to avoid such a travesty. The band’s founder/vocalist/keyboardist, Dustin Bates, acquired his Master’s degree at Ohio University, fueling his interest in astronomy and hopes to spread knowledge of science and engineering as well as “The Message”. He says:
“Kids are coming to Starset shows and getting scientific thinking, but they’re just looking for rock,” He states. “The science is sci-fi and hyperbolic at times, but I think it can inspire kids into real science and engineering – and I hope to.”
Starset have crafted a unique way of blending the self-proclaimed “cinematic rock” and ambiance with a bit of djent-style metal. The onstage imagery of the space-like suits donned by the band and the futuristic technology used by Bates during these ‘demonstrations’ really strengthen the band’s backstory, while offering fans a different way of enjoying a show – learning.
*In this series we pose the age old questions to a wide array of music lovers. As fans of music most of us keep a mental list of active bands we want to see live that we haven’t yet seen. The Bucketlist brings to you those lists of your favorite artists and why those bands mean so much to them*
Missouri rock trio, Radkey, has been making waves in the music scene since their start in 2010. Besides opening for national acts such as Fishbone, The Offspring, and Black Joe Lewis, they’ve played some of the biggest festivals the country has to offer and if you’ve had the opportunity to see them live, you know exactly what kind of raw, authentic party these guys deliver. Continue reading
Black Map has been making the rounds this year on the festival circuit. This years Carolina Rebellion was actually one of the bands first festival appearances of the year. We were there to see their dominating performance and the fans there loved them just as much as we did. Again we were able to see them at Chicago Open Air in July and once again they were one of the most dominating bands of the day. The alt metal trio unleashed their first songs in 2014. First, their 4-song EP titled ‘Driver’ was released in February and all 4 songs were included later on that year on their first full length album ‘…And We Explode’. They put off a heavy 90’s rock vibe with huge, blasting riffs and raw emotion all packed into one punch. Last year the band made a large breakthrough with the premiere of a new song “Run Rabbit Run”. This song took the airwaves by storm and told us to get ready for 2017 because Black Map is quickly on their way to the top. ‘In Droves’ dropped across the US on March 10th via eOne Music. The album was produced by Aaron Hellam at Hellman Sound. Consisting of members from the bands Far, The Trophy Fire, and dredg, the band does a solid job combining all of the project’s sounds into one. Continue reading
Photo Credit: Sean Murphy Photography
By now Greta Van Fleet should be a household name to anyone that even remotely listens to rock and metal. If the band has somehow not made it on your radar let us catch you up. Greta Van Fleet– which took its name from one of the close-knit community’s town elders – is a hard rocking quartet whose creative ambitions and achievements reach far beyond the ages of the four band members, not all of them old enough to have voted in last November’s election. The band includes brothers Josh (vocals), Jake (guitar) and Sam Kiszka (bass, keyboards) and best friend drummer Danny Wagner (Who I also must add is an accomplished golfer) – are dedicated to bringing real rock’n’roll back to the mainstream. The band delivers high-energy, sweaty, rock’n’roll loaded with attitude and bravado that exemplifies each band member’s killer musical chops and Josh’s simply jaw-dropping voice. Greta Van Fleet bring back a throwback kind of sound that most old school metal heads thought was gone forever. The band has been kicking down doors of venues all over the country and gracing stages at dives and renowned venues. Their four-song debut EP ‘Black Smoke Rising’ was released on April 21, and the group deftly straddles the line between timeless and future, sounding at once like many things you’ve heard before and also something you’ve never heard before. Some have even referred to the band as America’s next greatest rock band. The band doesn’t have an intense history or discography to tell you about as of right now. Greta Van Fleet is currently making their own history and you can be a part of the crowd when they take the stage in your area. Pick up their record because it’s an instant classic…mark my words. Continue reading
Lacuna Coil is currently on their 20th year together as a band. They have been a dominant force in the gothic metal and the godfathers of Italian metal. The band released ‘Delirium’ in 2016 their 8th studio album, which was a concept album of sorts. Lacuna Coil just wrapped up a co-headlining tour with Epica and we happened to see them on that tour (see review here) and then we also had the opportunity to witness the band again at this years Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, Kentucky. Continue reading