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…
I have been listening to Lord Almighty out of Boston at the advice of others on our staff for a couple of weeks now and was excited to find out that they were playing here in Jax. It is always nice to put a face to a name so I jumped at the chance to see these guys live. I was not to be disappointed!
Random and spur of the moment concerts are always amazing. While out in Las Vegas earlier in the month I just happened to make it to a Dead Kennedys show that was totally unplanned. The concert took place at the Las Vegas Country Saloon on Fremont Street (yes, DK played a country saloon). One of the best things that can happen at a concert happened that night. Other than the Dead Kennedys I knew none of the bands on the bill. I was absolutely blown away by the 3rd band of the night. The band Sheiks Of Neptune was not only the best band I saw that night but one of the most active and best stage shows I have seen in years. (And I have seen a shit ton of shows, trust me) These guys take the stage and every eye in the room is on the stage. The whole theme of the band helps build their stage presence, but when the vocalist known as “Sheikenstein” comes running out its non-stop energy until the set is over. A ride-able toy spaceship, a beheaded Barbie doll and a Marvin The Martian style ray gun are just some of the props used to help their show come to life. Continue reading →
Slayer playing shows by themselves is more than enough to get metal heads out to a show. When you add Testament and Carcass to the bill that makes the tour a must see. Any of these 3 bands could headline a show or festival and draw a massive crowd. I knew we were in store for a massive turnout at Express Live in Columbus, Ohio. The first band of the night to take the stage was the Liverpool band Carcass. They quickly came out and got the crowd’s attention opening the show with their song “Unfit for Human Consumption”. When you are in the crowd it’s always great to catch a guitar pick, drum stick or really anything the band throws out at you. Bassist and singer Jeff Walker threw out more picks that night than I have ever seen anyone throw. The crowd kept growing and growing with each song Carcass played. By the time they were playing “Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System” there wasn’t even enough room to scratch your own ass. Carcass sounded flawless on stage. Note after note everything was perfection. It’s always amazing when the opening band is on stage and they blow you away. Carcass then played one of my favorite songs which is “Heartwork” the title track of their 1993 release. The song just has this fast paced shredding guitar riffs that flow into some slowed down groove section of the song makes you want to move around the mosh pit and tackle people. I am not the only person that feels this way, because during this song the pit was going absolutely insane. Continue reading →
It has been many, many years since last seeing Mr. Satriani (I believe it was the “Surfing With the Alien” tour in Louisville, KY; back when he had hair for you younger folks), so this was a particular thrill for me. Being self-identified as a guitar nerd, I have however kept up with all of his music and love everything he has produced. I was about ready to come out of my skin waiting for him to take the stage…