Chicago Open Air was by far the most exciting lineup of bands I had seen in a long time. Danny Wimmer Presents always has a great list of bands at all their festivals like Rock On The Range, Carolina Rebellion, Rocklahoma, Louder Than Life and more. However, this lineup put all the others to shame. All it really took to get me excited was Rammstein. At first that was the only band announced, and it would be their only U.S. date in 2016. They had long been at the top of my must see bucket list. Once the remainder of bands was added I was more than excited. Continue reading →
Pop culture. Clean vocals. Movies. HeavyMetal. Television programming. Reggae. Humor. Screaming. Honesty. Weed. HardRock. Integrity. A list of seemingly unrelated subjects, right? Nah. With a name based on a Beetlejuice character, one can only expect that LydiaCan’tBreathe embodies everything in the list and so much more.
2016’s Summer Slam in Johnson City, Tennessee got started off with a bang. Promoter Sean Carden and sponsor Roberson’s Tennessee Mellomoon Moonshine put together an amazing line-up of bands from start to finish. If you wasn’t there to witness the onslaught of metal you should be ashamed of yourself.It was a perfect Friday night to throw some horns in the air. The night didn’t get off to a slow start by any means. Scent of Remains took the stage and began their set with speed and authority. The band had recently obtained a new singer, but after practicing with the band for a period of time he left the band leaving them without a singer for this show. However, original singer Michael Yates comes to the rescue and steps up and takes the mic . It shows how much chemistry and brotherhood the band has that he was able to come back play the show with them so they wouldn’t have to cancel. That is something that fans appreciate. The only reason he exited the band is because he relocated a couple hours away. Every note they struck was with complete perfection. The guitarist Jeremy Powers has an amazing playing style. He doesn’t play guitar he caresses it. His hands move in a way that just glues your eyes to him. Their aggressive in your face music style makes them one of Knoxville’s premier metal bands. If you haven’t heard the music look them up and get yourself a big whiff of Scent of Remains. Continue reading →
Sunday was the last and final day of Carolina Rebellion. I was able to get a full dose of Unlocking the Truth for breakfast. The band is comprised of 3 teenagers from Brooklyn, New York that was one of the youngest groups to ever play both Coachella and Van’s Warped Tour in 2014. They have been on most tv talk shows like The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon, The View, The Colbert Report and more. The band has been talked about and talked about. Let me go ahead though and tell you now that the hype is real. The band is everything you’ve heard and probably more. Guitarist/Singer Malcolm Brickhouse can shred on his axe like nobody’s business. He requested that the crowd start a mosh pit, and moments later there dust kicking up everywhere from a vicious pit. Unlocking the Truth shared with us their hit song “Monster”, by the time the song ended we were all singing along. The guys in this band are some great musicians, not just for their age but they are better than most musicians twice their age. Continue reading →
Day 2 (Saturday) was the day I was anticipating the most. The lineup for Saturday was chock full of heavier bands that I had been wanting to see or already seen and love very much. The first band I got to see was Red Sun Rising. The band had this amazing intro that started up and then came to a screeching halt before kicking back in, the crowd lovingly applauded. It was just barely noon and these guys had more energy than half the bands the day before. It was nonstop movement on the stage as they played their hit songs “The Otherside” and “Emotionless.” Vocalist Mike Protich took this stance or pose on stage while singing that reminded me of the late great Scott Weiland. Not only was Mike mesmerizing on stage but his vocals sounded just as good live as on the record. Continue reading →
Carolina Rebellion has become one of the biggest festivals in the country and is 2nd only to Rock on the Range. This year the North Carolina based festival was bumped up to 3 days instead of the normal 2. In doing that this year became the most attended Carolina Rebellion ever. So if you were there as well you were part of the 90,000 people that helped set the record. The festival takes place in Concord, North Carolina at Rock City Campgrounds which is part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway area. The lineup was very thought out to draw fans of all ages who like music from various metal and rock genres. The festival shows its ability to have a wide range of acts that’s music is very different. Day 1 included some acts that would welcome some old school rock and metal heads. Headliners were Lynyrd Skynyrd and Scorpions for the first day. Originally Texas rock n rollers ZZ Top were also supposed to be there, but had to bow out do to an injury to bass player Dusty Hill. Festivals like these are the only place you will ever find Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cypress Hill, Anthrax, Baby Metal and August Burns Red all playing the same event. The only bad thing about their being 20+ bands per day at an event is having to miss a few bands here and there due to overlapping or the distance in the stages. The greatest things about overlapping though is the ability to choose who you want to see. Sometimes it works out in your favor and you can skip a band you don’t want to see and other times you have to pick between two amazing bands like I had to do a couple times. You can’t always see every band there. Continue reading →
After doing my first Colorado State of the Art article on Source for the month of April, singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Gleason and band manager Brent Boutte contacted me, inviting me to a show on their tour with Trapt and Super Bob. After some back and forth, a move of venue and a three and half hour drive (seven hours of driving was well worth the trip), I was finally able to see the band that has grabbed so much of my attention this past month. The more I have listened to Source’s music, the more I am sucked into their musical poetry. They are not even close to getting old (probably begin to fade just in time for a new album).
It’s not everyday you get to witness NOLA royalty. New Orleans sludge masters EyeHateGod recently unleashed their greatness on a crowd of fans at The Hideaway in Johnson City, Tennessee. The band is touring in support of their 2014 self titled release. The tour entitled ‘The Road to Psychotic Disorder is Not Elsewhere Classified’ also includes direct support from Philly based band Fight Amp. Also on this particular date is East Tennessee’s premiere doomsters Navajo Witch. Continue reading →
After a horrible day, I was definitely looking forward to hit my weekly show at 1904 here in Jacksonville, FL and blow off some steam. Hell, even the weather sucked. Cool, pouring down rain. Sucks. Nothing like some good music for a few hours to escape the frustration, angst and exhaustion of days (weeks) like that. I find Metal a good outlet for these “bad” emotions that all too often are left to fester and become destructive in so many ways. I find music to be productive release for all of it. Head bang, fists in the air, screaming my head off. Leave it all with the music and depart in a better mood, pleasantly tired and relaxed, maybe even with a couple more friends. Ask me why I love music. This night was sure to be the catharsis of my day, my week.
I was fortunate enough to cover a huge number of guitar heavy hitters in one fall swoop this week: Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi; all currently on the Generation Axe Tour. Five very different guitarists that cover Heavy Rock and Blues, to Neo-Classical Metal and Experiment Progressive. One thing is for damned sure: each man is at the top of their game and love playing the highest quantity of notes in the shortest period of time possible. As Bettencourt put it so succinctly: The promoters could not figure out how to pay all of these slingers and decided to pay each per note. No doubt, these gentlemen would come out on the winning end of that deal!
I think it is safe to say that everyone came to the show to see one or two of their favorite artists. That certainly holds true for me. I have seen Steve Vai quite a few times over the years and loved every show, Zakk Wylde with Black Label Society a couple of times which, of course, is always ear-splitting and fun, Nuno Bettencourt years and years ago with Extreme, Yngwie Malmsteen once in the mid-80’s (he was one of my primary motivators), but I have never seen Tosin Abasi or Animals As Leaders live, so I was especially excited to see this 8 string wonder shred the wood off of his fretboard. When it was all said and done, favorites mean nothing because the bar for this show was off the scale. It would become nit-picking or simply a matter of a subjective style and taste. Personally, I sat in the third row, center stage (Thank you so much, Scott!) and was moved, highly entertained and awed for three and a half hours. I love it all…