“It’s been a long f**king time!” shouted front man Alex Erian. In fact, it’s been 11 years since Despised Icon have graced our shores with a headline set – long since 2007’s phenomenal co-headline UK/European tour with Misery Index, Annotations For An Autopsy and Beneath The Massacre. Whilst they have played the UK as recently as 2016, tonight marked a monumental occasion, firmly solidifying the Montreal metallers legacy and dominance over the Deathcore scene. For fans, this headline set may have been a long time coming but ‘The Beast’ is back and fully reawakened!
Following immediately on from their sold-out show in Antwerp, tonight’s performance at The Dome in central London marked the first leg of the UK section of this momentous comeback tour. With only a handful of tickets left on the door of this 500 capacity venue, and subsequent shows at Birmingham and Manchester expected to sell out, it was clear that everyone here was about to witness something very special. With support combining the best tech, hardcore and slam, whoever put this line-up together must be some kind of god-tier genius – for joining alongside Despised Icon were Vulvodynia, Archspire and the UK’s very own Malevolence. Missing this show was not an option!
What can be said about John5 that has not been said a thousand times by ten thousand different people since his meteoric rise in the music business started way back when he moved to Los Angeles from Michigan at the ripe old age of 17? Hell, his resume reads like a veritable who’s who in a wide variety of genres, playing and writing with the likes of RudySarzo, DavidLeeRoth, PaulStanley, MarilynManson, RobHalford, RobZombie all the way to JohnWetton (Asia), Salt–N–Pepa, RickyMartin, k.d. lang, MeatLoaf, LynyrdSkynyrd and many, many others. One hot commodity, to say the least! Now, guitarist friends and I might say that it is his guitar playing that makes him stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Big surprise with influences like Malmsteen, Satch, Vai, Hendrix, Page, AlbertLee, LesPaul, ChetAtkins, PaulGilbert, Bumblefoot, JimRoot, Buckethead and EricJohnson. Others may think that it is the company that he keeps and the bands that he has played and written for that makes him great. Still others may hold the opinion that he is just plain fun to watch live. Well, I am here to tell you that all three apply to this wizard of six-string sorcery, especially having just recently been initiated into John5andTheCreatures live show at 1904MusicHall here in Jacksonville, FL.
The Witching Hour Tour featuring In This Moment with support from P.O.D., New Years Day and Ded was the reason to be in North Carolina on this last day of January. The sold out show at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina was my destination. Super venue, if you ever have a chance to catch a show there do not pass it up! You can always count on a crowd in Asheville to be diverse but this crowd was even more so. Each of these bands has their own fans, bring all those fans together and you’ve got a great assembly of metalheads that sang, danced, head banged their way through a tremendous night of music! Continue reading →
Avatar has long been one of those bands that dominate in their live shows and leave fans jaws on the floor not only by their sound but their amazingly entertaining stage presence. On this particular night Avatar headlined the Buckhead Theatre with opening acts Hellzapoppin Side Show and The Brains from Montreal Canada. You could say that Hellzapoppin easily fit in with Avatar’s whole theme, they aren’t a musical act but it brought something different to the show that you don’t see very often. Continue reading →
This was one of those shows that I could not wait to get to; kind of like Christmas a few weeks late. Not only was I waiting to see a now legendary band, but also to see some friends I have not seen in quite a while, see a couple of bands I have not seen before and able to see a couple of favorite local bands that I have become friends with over time. Great being part of the local Metal scene here in Jacksonville! Some of the best people playing some of the best music available anywhere! Gotta love it! Thanks to GoBig Entertainment for making this show happen!
On this December evening I find myself heading north to Lexington, Kentucky to see what Jesse James Dupree and Jackyl have in store for the Manchester Music Hall. Along the way north I picked up a friend who was looking forward to seeing Roman Glick (Jackyl’s Bass player) he’s been a fan since Roman’s days in Brother Cane several years ago. The plan was to listen to some very loud music during the two hour drive to Lexington but this being basketball season in Kentucky it was a basketball game instead. The rocking and rolling had to wait for the trip home. Continue reading →
Support local music. We keep saying that because bands of the future almost always start with a local fan base; the exceptions being, so called, super-groups or bands that are put together by someone already on a label. There is no shortage of bands busting their collective butts to get a name for themselves so that they can make what they love their career or simply as an outlet to share their musical perspective with a wider audience. The constantly evolving music business is tough, ultra-competitive and many times frustrating for “undiscovered” talent throughout the world. They work so hard and, many times, get so little in return outside of the pride of producing something from their souls that they can call their own. Support local, no matter where local is. Today I would like to share some local talent from all over Florida through our annual, A Not So Silent Night 2017 concert held at MavericksLive in downtown Jacksonville, FL, showcasing some of our best Rock and Metal bands. Special thanks going out to BrianWoodward of BleedingInStereo for not only hosting, but putting us on their guest list. Always a good time brother!
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.
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
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)
I cannot think of a better way to spend VeteransDay than attending a show of rabidly patriotic bands brought together for the release of StayneTheeAngel’s new CD TimeandtheHourglass. 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, JackRabbits, I got there a couple of hours early to hang out with my friends in InnerDemons, 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 StayneTheeAngel had to offer with their new CD. Let’s just say this was one helluva good night!
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 →