Tour Reviews



Carolina Rebellion 2018: Saturday [Review & Photo Gallery]

Toothgrinder

 

 

We have one day behind us with some amazing acts that we will remember their performances for years to come. The Saturday lineup is certainly competitive in regards to both Friday and Sunday and is full of varying genes and new and veterans acts to keep our attention for the entire day. Palaye Royale and Bad Wolves are two of the biggest up and coming bands currently in rock, especially Bad Wolves with their cover of the iconic Cranberries song “Zombie” which has become the number 1 rock song in the world. Unfortunate for us they both play at the same time. Yet another band that performed early in the day that is truly making a name for themselves is Toothgrinder; If you missed their set you truly missed an amazing experience. Then we get into the more veteran acts of the day like Asking Alexandria who have reunited with vocalist Danny Worsnop, as well as Trivium the band that was labeled as “the band that would save metal” when they formed. Then we get the nostalgic performance by The Used, led by eccentric front man Bert McCracken. As the day comes to a close we are left with the headliners Five Finger Death Punch, and the fierce and fiery performance by Godsmack to end our Saturday evening. The dream would be to not miss a single band, but with interviews and overlaps we weren’t able to see every band, but the ones we were able to see impressed us and left some big shoes to fill on Sunday.  Continue reading

CD Release Party for SuckerPunch’s “Underground Anthem”

First show in a while, and ohhhh, what a doozy! Gotta love supporting such a huge variety of incredible bands ranging from Rap to some of the heaviest Metal has to offer and everything in between! Some of the best music available today remains in the underground and, invariably, right around the corner, no matter where you live. Well, June 1st at 1904 Music Hall served as the launch point for SuckerPunch’s release of Underground Anthem reviewed here. Not only was I stoked to hear some bands that I have heard and loved again, but also for the bands I have not heard of. Not only are they beyond talented, but I made some new friends and hope that you will give them a shot once you read my review of the CD release party. Enough chatter. Let’s get down to it!

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CRAZYTOWN & BLACK MAP Perform In Somerset, United Kingdom! [Review & Photo Gallery]

Crazytown

The Cobblestones venue is located in Bridgwater in the heart of Somerset, UK. It is owned and ran by Graham Hodgson who has his finger on the pulse and is a music fan himself as I regularly bump into him at other venues. His place has some class acts going through, recently DOYLE from Misfits, Hed p.e. and Black Orchid Empire have all rocked the stage. Later in the year Our Hollow Our Home and Holding Absence and many others are due to play, so check it out. I’ve started this review like this to hopefully encourage fans to get out to shows and make people aware that even a few big venues in Bristol are under threat of closing due to corporate ideas and renovations. We need to stand up and show our support so just get out there and enjoy yourselves.

Black Map

My timing tonight could not have been more perfect getting there just before Black Map hit the stage, I’ve been aware of their name as they have recently taken Black Orchid Empire on tour in Europe. This California based band kicked straight in with “Let Me Out” and damn immediately I noticed the drummer Chris Robyn formerly of the band Far, he doesn’t mess around behind the kit. This guy has stamina and power for days and he maintained it through the whole set. Vocalist and bassist Ben Flanagan was on point, I can’t stress enough how perfect of a vocal delivery he unleashed. Mark Engles supplied the driving riffs with a guitar tone which pulled you in. If you are a fan of A Perfect Circle then these guys have a similar feel but are in no way a copycat. Thanks to drummer Chris he could tell I wanted to go and shoot some close ups and waved me up between songs so I nestled in a corner of the stage and shot. They played many other bombshells such as “Gold”, “Ruin” and finishing with one of their more popular singles “Run Rabit Run”. Black Map are one of my favorite bands to watch live after experiencing this full performance so lets get behind these fellas and help them make history.

Crazytown

Ahh the nostalgia that Crazytown brings. I got a promo copy of ‘The Gift of Game’ album back in 1999. This was when nu-metal was huge and it was well received by droves of fans, including me personally. All the people talked about was “Butterfly” but I have especially enjoyed songs like “Toxic” and “Only When I’m Drunk”.

As soon as these guys got on stage the energy was phenomenal. Bass player Hasma Angeleno was going off with loads of style, holding the bass upside down and bending backwards in limbo poses and yoga style moves. This rock hard non-stop touring band gave 100% and showed no signs of slowing down through the whole set. Shifty on vocals was on form tonight and you could tell he was enjoying every second, grinning from ear to ear whilst fans in the audience were showing their appreciation from the get go. Punching straight in with “Battlecry” from the album ‘Dark Horse’, then throwing in classics like “Toxic” and “Only when I’m drunk”. “Darkside” from debut album ‘The Gift of Game’. The guitarist was a breath of fresh air and musicians that move around like this guy did make a great night greater. Half way through the drummer and bass player did their own little collaboration whilst Shifty and the guitarist retreated to the back of the stage. This was not the cringe type of a solo thing, they played a solid drum and bass piece for a couple minutes to the highest caliber and the crowd appreciated the talented rhythm duo, which holds this great band together. Shifty and the guitarist joined back in to play 6 more tracks and yes, as if there was any question they closed their set with “Butterfly” and why wouldn’t they as this track is what really stamped their authority on the nu-metal scene back in the day.

Well anyone in the UK or visiting the UK have another chance to catch Crazy Town. They are playing the iconic Fat Lip Festival in the city of Bristol on July 28th 2018. Make sure you catch them live because in my opinion that is where Crazy Town come “alive” you don’t get the full energy on by hearing the music digitally or on disc, it’s best heard and seen live and in the flesh.

 

 

Rock On The Range 2018: DAY 1 [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

Body Count

 

Alas, Rock on the Range has come and gone but for those who were lucky enough to attend, the memories are very much alive!  I recently heard it said that 2018’s Rock on the Range was the biggest yet – and I can definitely see that to be true!  With the monstrous lineup that this year’s festivities held, the festival once again proved it really is “Where Rock Lives”!  Festival-goers were treated to incredible performances from huge acts including Stone Temple Pilots, A Perfect Circle, Tool, Alice In Chains, Godsmack, Trivium, too many great bands to name them all.  If you ask me, the fine folks at AEG and Danny Wimmer Presents knocked it out of the park with the lineup selection this year and really gave the fans what they want – a rock festival that actually rocks from start to finish!  Three days of nonstop music flooded the Columbus, OH air and minus a period of potential storms and a few light drizzles, the weather cooperated, for the most part, providing (sometimes intense) sunshine all weekend. For me, Day One was an early one.  We got to MAPRFRE Stadium pretty early to beat some of the traffic that was sure to build with every passing minute and were greeted by a cold, steady rain that still didn’t deter the several eager fans already waiting in line.  A side-note to anyone planning on going to Rock on the Range in the future, it is highly advisable to buy the parking pass before the show.  One of the downfalls of the festival was the $25/day parking fee, but that’s a small price to pay for the good times that were inside! Continue reading

GHOST Live At Andrew Jackson Hall In Nashville [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

Ghost

Less than five blocks away from the Mother Church of Country Music, there was a sermon being delivered from the stage of the Andrew Jackson Hall that was polar opposite of what most people would expect from Nashville, TN. Just up the street from country twang filled honky-tonks on Broadway, throngs of fans descended upon the Tennessee Performing Arts Center to spend an evening with Ghost who brought their Rats! On the Road tour to Music City USA on May 23rd.

Ghost

In advance of their fourth studio album, titled Prequelle, set to be released on June 1st, Cardinal Copia and the Nameless Ghouls of the Grammy Award winning band Ghost are currently in the middle of a month long US tour bringing their message to the masses during an “evening with” format that features no opening bands but nearly two hours of one the best theatrical and musical performances you may ever witness.
As most Ghost fans know, the identity of the Nameless Ghouls that make up the band remained a mystery up until a 2017 lawsuit resulted in the unmasking of former Ghouls and even Papa Emeritus himself. As a result, and arguably for the better, Ghost frontman Tobias Forge is bringing a much larger production with this tour which now includes more performers, backing vocalists, and even a surprise appearance by a saxophone playing Papa Nihil.

Ghost

With the curtain down and the angelic, yet ominous sounds of Gregorio Allegri’s “Miserere Mei, Deus” resonating through the house speakers, members of the flock, beverages in hand, scurry down the aisles to their seats when suddenly a low drone followed by the sounds of children’s voices singing “Ashes” brings a loud roar and a sense of urgency from the congregation. With the bang of a drum and a long open D chord, the curtain rises and soon thereafter we’re treated to “Rats”, the first single off their upcoming album. A dapper, dressed in all black, Cardinal Copia appears and again the crowd erupts. Fist in the air and asking “Are you with us Nashville?” the Cardinal conducts the first of many sing-alongs. Following “Rats”, the band transitions into “Absolution” off their third and most current studio album, Meliora. After a quick “Good Evening Nashville!,” the service continues with back to back songs off their first album, ‘Opus Eponymous’. In between “Ritual” and “Con Clavi Con Dio” the congregation was witness to the first of four outfit changes as the Cardinal was now donning his black robes.

Ghost

After powering through “Per Aspera ad Inferi” and “Devil Church,” we see Cardinal Copia return to his black suit for fan favorite “Cirice.” Midway through the song, a young lady catches the eye of the Cardinal and he drops to a knee, takes her by the hands and serenades her, ending with a kiss on the hand as the chorus ends and the crowd cheers in approval. Then, following another song from deep in their catalog, “Stand by Him,” the congregation is treated to another new song from the forthcoming album, an instrumental called “Miasma.” With dueling guitar harmonies, 80’s classic rock synth, a finger tapping guitar solo, and a light and fog show to match, this song did not disappoint. The cherry on top, literally at the top of the stage, would have to be the moment when two nuns wheeled out a decrepit Papa Nihil, clothed in his traditional white robe and matching embroidered mitre, for a ripping sax solo!

It’s at this point in the performance where we see the charisma of frontman Tobias Forge, excuse me, Cardinal Copia, really shine through. Upon reentering the stage dressed in an all white suit, black hat and cane (think a resurrected Michel Jackson a la Smooth Criminal, just more evil), unimpressed by the reaction of the crowd, the Cardinal asks, “Nashville . . . I do an entrance that rips the fucking carpet apart, and this is what I get? A ripping entrance like that, a bitchin’ entrance, deserves a big cheer! So, uh, let’s do this again, but you need to be quiet. I’ll go hide, and then we’ll do a big cheer. Are you ready (crowd screams)? Then shut the fuck up (laughter erupts)! Ok, here I come!” As you can imagine, a standing ovation all through the theater. A much more pleased Cardinal thanks the crowd and asks them to give themselves a round applause followed by a big round for the Ghouls. Then, the Cardinal along with the bass and guitar players sit down for an acoustic rendition of “Jigolo Har Megiddo,” and the congregation claps along to keep the beat. All that was missing was the campfire. Up next is yet another new track, “Pro Memoria,” a song tailor-made for the musical theater production that Ghost is showcasing on this tour. Wrapping up Act I, yes folks, that was just the first Act of two, was “Deus in Absentia.”

 

Ghost

Following a brief intermission, the curtain rises accompanied by the sounds of a creepy, winding organ straight out of an episode of Scooby-Doo and Act II begins with “Spirit” as Cardinal Copia descends the stage in his red robes. The band barrels straight through and into the chunky bass intro of yet another long time fan favorite, “From the Pinnacle to the Pit,” after which the Cardinal took to the pulpit to address the congregation. “How you doing? I hope you took the opportunity to go and, eh, you went to the toilet, right? You’re not standing there like (mimicking a kid with their knees squeezed, needing to pee!). That’s the point, ‘cause we’re gonna rock your asses off for like over two hours! So are you ready to rock now?” He goes on to mention the new record, ‘Prequelle’, coming out on June 1st. “It’s very good . . . very, very good!” Rock our asses off they did, as the band moved right into another new song, “Faith” before continuing on with some older tunes in “Year Zero,” “He Is,” “Prime Mover,” and “Mummy Dust,” the latter of which was supposed to “tickle our taints” and saw a blizzard of confetti shoot from the stage, covering the crowd with what Cardinal Copia jokingly said was “really money and worth shit loads!” Before concluding Act II, the band performs a cover of Roky Erickson’s tune “If You Have Ghosts,” introduces to their sixth new song of the evening with “Dance Macabre” and closes with their first Billboard Mainstream Rock #1 song “Square Hammer.”

After three minutes of applause and chants of “One more song! One more song!” the Cardinal emerges from backstage and encourages the flock to “Go home already.” To which the crowd yells “Nooo!” The Cardinal retorts, “It’s over. We’re done. We’re done rocking! Imagine that I’m already in the shower.” The Cardinal reluctantly acquiesces to the crowd, telling them “You better make this fucking count!” as he then goes into the meaning of the encore song, “Monstrance Clock.” Let’s just say that congregation, from young to old, received a crash course in female “satisfaction.” And with the final notes and chorus of “Monstrance Clock” repeating in the background, an evening with Ghost comes to a rousing climax.

Ghost

Heading into this show I was vaguely familiar with Ghost at best, knowing only the songs that are in rotation on satellite radio. Leaving this show I have to say that Ghost has a new fan. The performances, the music, the mood, the elaborate gothic church backdrop, the theatrics . . . Rats! On the Road really delivered the closest thing to a Broadway musical that a metal head can appreciate! Assuming they will extend their tour upon the release of their new album, ‘Prequelle’, on June 1st, I hope for the sake of those who didn’t attend this run of dates, that Ghost sticks with the “evening with” format as I feel this is the way their music should be consumed.

 

HELMET & PRONG Enchant Hometown Fans In New York City [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

There is nothing better than watching the two iconic bands Helmet and Prong play to their hometown fans in New York City. I was fortunate enough to be in The Big Apple when these two powerhouse bands were playing at the Highline Ballroom. I arrived early, as I always do, and managed to catch Prong during sound check playing “Beg to Differ” which was just a tease for what they had in store for the rest of the night. There were only a few people queuing outside so I thought it was going to be a pretty quiet night, I was completely wrong! When the doors opened people started arriving so I got straight up the front to guarantee a spot to capture photos of the band and within 15 minutes the venue filled up. Continue reading

Carolina Rebellion 2018: Friday [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

Underoath

 

After a whole year of waiting Carolina Rebellion 2018 has finally arrived. As the gates opened fans sprinted to stages all across the festival grounds in hopes to hang on to the rail at the stage their favorite band would be performing on. As we eagerly awaited tickets to go on sale, then for the lineup, and finally for the set times and keeping our fingers crossed our favorites bands don’t play at the same time. Another big thing most of us wait for is our first carton of Island Noodles of the festival season. We certainly wish we could cover every band that played this year but it just isn’t logistically possible with interviews, and other media related happenings. Friday was a day filled with great bands and if you wasn’t there you certainly missed an epic Carolina Rebellion. The day 1 lineup was pretty stacked with up and comers like Counterfeit and Dubé, then also those veteran acts like Sevendust and Stone Temple Pilots. Then you had some acts that are amazing we aren’t use to seeing in the festival circuit like Andrew W.K., and Power Trip. Then closing out the night you have Shinedown followed by the legends Alice In Chains. Friday wasn’t my favorite lineup of the festival but it certainly had a lot of talent hit the stages and some very impressive performances.

 

 

Dubé

 

Dubé was added at the last minute and it may have been a band you found yourself unfamiliar with. The group comprised of three brothers from Canada have changed their style and sound drastically over the past few years going from a clean cut alternative image to the gritty push it to the limits punk band you saw on stage. They once opened for The Beach Boys, but with their current style of music and marijuana advocacy they may not fit so perfectly as a supporting act for The Beach Boys anymore. However, Dubé has an amazing sound that needs to be heard and the band also does great charity work. Guitarist Liam also brought a little something special to Carolina as well, performing one song on his homemade hockey stick guitar. Which consisted of strings and a single pickup on the old school hockey stick, does it get any more Canadian than that? To be completely honest it sounded pretty damn good too. Their song “Alien” which they performed will put you in the mind of Helmet, and if you are a fan of them and missed their set I certainly suggest you check them out, like now.

 

 

 

Avatar

 

Avatar is a band that really needs no introduction to festival goers. For the past several years they have came upon U.S. shores and dominated the festival scene with their amazing imagery on stage and incredible performances. They have one of the best introductions to the stage you will ever see and it is always evolving. Kicking things off with their king upon his throne with guitar in hand and then quickly delving into the track “A Statue Of The King” from their new album ‘Avatar County’. They then picked up the pace substantially with the fan favorite heavy hitter “Let It Burn”. For this track of course the king himself guitarist Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby exited his throne to riff out a little more and head bang in sync with his bandmates. You will not see a show where the crowd doesn’t 100% get into Avatar’s performance. They have a way of getting the crowd into their performance without even asking, their stage presence is just that amazing.

 

 

Counterfeit

I hope you were able to catch the British punk rockers Counterfeit, their set had loads of energy and aggression. This was actually the bands first ever American Festival appearance and they are also currently on their first North American tour with their tour mates Dubé. The band opened their set with “Family Suicide” and vocalist/guitarist Jamie Bower got the crowd amped up immediately with the bands intro and instant energy on stage. To be added to the festival a little late the band had a good sized crowd at the black stage and even had some fans quickly singing along to some of their catchy songs. The track “Come Get Some” inspired a pretty rowdy circle pit, and also inspired Jamie Bower to exit the stage and get down into the crowd and sing the song along with fans and even handing over the mic to some fans momentarily to have their time on the mic. The band wrapped up their performance with “Enough” and Bower jumping high off the bass drum and bidding the crowd farewell.

 

 

 

Sevendust

 

Sevendust are one of those veteran acts that never fails to impress on stage. The band opened their set with “Dirty” from their brand new record ‘All I See Is War’ that released on May 11th. This album is so impressive I expect the band to get another Grammy nomination and possibly win this time around. “Dirty” was the only new track we got from the new album which hadn’t released yet at the time of their performance. However, the band mixed it up throwing in songs from all throughout their discography like “Denial”, “Enemy” and “Shine” and then closing out their set with “Face To Face” from their 2003 album ‘Seasons’. I expect this to be a huge year for Sevendust as old fans and new fans get turned onto the new album, don’t be late to the party.

 

Parkway Drive

What is better than seeing a band perform on the day their album is released? That was the case for Parkway Drive as they performed Friday May 4th the day ‘Reverence’ was released. They even opened their set with “Wishing Wells”, a pure octane heavy as hell song that is bound to get your blood pumping. It was the first single released from the album and it really got their performance off to a killer start. It also wasn’t the only song they played from ‘Reverence’ either as the band also played “The Void” a few songs into their set. Winston’s vocals were on point and as fierce as ever. The band has move slightly away from their metalcore sound but the new material is brutal as hell and Winston’s vocals and all the instrumentation is just on point. Jeff Ling’s guitar work both on stage and on the album are phenomenal and it’s impressive just to witness him shred in person. We had a chance to catch up with Winston for a special interview after their performance so keep your eyes peeled for that coming soon. Parkway Drive has announced a lot of tour dates going through the fall so make sure to get out and experience everything they have to offer on stage.

 

 

Stone Temple Pilots

 

This was my 2nd time seeing Stone Temple Pilots, after seeing them previous in 2014 at the first year of the Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, Kentucky with Chester Bennington fronting the band. It’s incredibly hard for a band to move on with a different singer be it that they just split or because of a death. I feel that Jeff Gutt is likely the best candidate that could have ever filled the vocalist role with Stone Temple Pilots. No one will ever be Scott Weiland or Chester, but I believe Gutt once given the chance will please any STP fan out there. You will see he has certainly been influenced by Weiland by his vocal approach and movements on stage,  but in their newer songs you can also see he has his own style as well. The band played two of the new tracks “Meadow” and “Roll Me Under” from their self-titled 2018 album. Of course they have to throw the classics in there to appease the fans as well. “Dead & Bloated”, “Vasoline”,  “Sex Type Thing”, “Wicked Garden”, “Bang Bang Baby” , “Plush” and “Interstate Love Song” also made the setlist. Prior to “Plush” Dean DeLeo came over to the mic and said “So, we’re gonna need your help, and if you don’t know the words to this, that’s a darn shame, you’ve been living under a rock, help us sing this one.” Evidently no one in the crowd had been living under a rock because the entire crowd was quickly singing along. Gutt wasn’t afraid to get front and center with the crowd either as he jumped from the stage and got up close and personal with the fans. It’s one hell of a way to meet the new vocalist. Next year will make 30 years ago that the band was formed, and I don’t think any music fan has ever taken them for granted. Stone Temple Pilots are here to stay.

 

 

 

Stone Sour

Stone Sour as always puts on an attention getting show. For this specific performance Corey Taylor gave us a little scare as he stumbled and hurt his leg during the 2nd song of their performance “Absolute Zero”. After the song he stated “Want me to let you’all in on a little secret, I feel like I tore something in my leg, but I didn’t tear anything in my throat, so i’m going to give you everything I got.” He went on to perform the set like nothing ever happened. I’m sure being in Slipknot he has dealt with numerous injuries over the years and just played through it. “30/30-150” is always one of my favorite songs to hear Stone Sour play live and they didn’t disappoint giving us some of their heavier stuff. During the track “Song #3” we also got to see a fan crowd surf to the front in a wheelchair which is always something inspiring to see. What I find amazing is how ‘Come What(ever) May’ was release 12 years ago and Corey can still belt out the songs from that album like “Through The Glass” and his voice hasn’t aged at all, and his voice remains timeless. During the bands final song “Fabuless” which is from their most recent album ‘Hydrograd’ the band brought some guests on stage. Those guests are what I often refer to as “wacky waving inflatable arm flaling tube man” and there were several of them. Leave it to Stone Sour to bring the most obscure thing ever on stage as they bid farewell to Carolina Rebellion.

 

 

 

Underoath

 

By far Underoath stole the show on Friday at Carolina Rebellion. They had everything within their set that you would ever want to see in a bands performance, and they did all of this on one of the smaller stages at the festival. These guys are all veterans but they just released their first album in 8 years and it’s a masterpiece. The band opened their performance with “On My Teeth” which is from the bands new album ‘Erase Me’. The band quickly went back to some of their older material playing “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door” from their 2004 album ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’. As if the crowd wasn’t already pumped enough the crowd was singing along, jumping up and down non stop, crowd surfing and a herd of metal horns in the air from the moment the band took the stage until the very last note. It was getting latter in the day and as if most of the crowd had saved every ounce of their energy for Underoath’s performance. It was one of the most active crowds of the day.

 

 

Alice In Chains

 

Alice In Chains is one of the pioneering bands of the grunge movement. Layne been gone now for 16 years but there isn’t a day that goes by that we as fans don’t wish that he was still hear harmonizing with Jerry Cantrell. William DuVall is the closest thing we will ever have to Layne and the material the band has put out with him at the helm has been simply amazing. ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ (2009), and ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’ (2013) are amazing albums in their own right. Alice In Chains started their set off with one of the faster paced songs “Check My Brain” to really get the crowd motivated and on their feet. They cranked out a few more tunes pretty quickly with “Again”, “Them Bones” and “Dam That River” before giving the crowd the live debut of their new track “The One You Know”. The band had released a video for the song the day prior to the festival so everyone was hoping we would get the chance to hear it. Anytime you go to a show it’s always good to be able to hear something before anyone else in the world has, and the Carolina Rebellion got that extra special treat of being the first to witness “The One You Know” live on stage. The song showcases Jerry Cantrell leading the vocal arrangement a little more than usual. Each one of the older songs that Alice In Chains played it just takes you back to a different time in your life. I believe most everyone can attach a sentimental moment in their life to each song. “Hollow” was the only song they played from ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’, I was really hoping they would play the title track as it is one of my favorite DuVall era Alice In Chains songs. Of course the night wouldn’t end without the must hear songs like “Nutshell”, “Would?” and “Man In The Box”. There was moments during some of the songs where the crowd just fell silent in awe of the bands performance. If you guessed that they would end the night with “Rooster” you would be correct. What a send off! The headliners for the next couple days would have a hard time living up to the expectations Alice In Chains placed on being closing headliner.

Overall Friday was an amazing day for music, friends, food and booze. Crowd surfers and moshers alike got their fill of activity and the headbanging didn’t stop til until they forced us out. The stand out performance of the entire day in my opinion would have to be Underoath. The bands new material is some of the best music they have written as a band since they formed. Their sound has changed slightly and the direction they have gone is even more appealing to a wide range of fans. Dropping the whole “Christian band” label has also allowed them to be more honest in their lyrical content. They brought a ton of energy to the stage and they sounded flawless on stage. I know it’s difficult to ever choose anyone over Alice In Chains, but I have to give it to Underoath on this night, they not only blew me away but everyone who witnessed their domination of the stage. The biggest surprise of the day would probably be a tie between Counterfeit and Dubé. Counterfeit just has a ton of energy and Jamie Bower getting down into the crowd is a testament to how punk rock is suppose to be. Dubé just has a different style of music that we don’t get to hear very often. They are passionate about what they do and at such a young age these Canadians are already the most selfless band I have ever met. Up and coming bands like them make very little money and they are more concerned with raising money for disaster releif than putting it into their pockets and that wins them immense respect from me. If you are unaware the band raised $150,000 to help Haitian orphans after the 2010 earthquake. The 3 brothers lost their mother to cancer and found themselves connecting with orphans that had also lost a parent. It’s bands like this that deserve fan support. What was your favorite moments about Day 1 of Carolina Rebellion? Let us know! Saturday review, coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

CLUTCH, THE BRONX, RED FANG & FIREBALL MINISTRY Rock The Bluegrass State [Review & Gallery]

Clutch

I can’t think of a better place to be on a rainy Saturday night in May than at Sold Out Manchester Music Hall! It’s dry inside the drinks are cold and the music is LOUD! It’s also the first Saturday in May so there’s a little horse race going on up the road a piece, but tonight that was the farthest thing from this crowds mind! Tonight was all about Clutch, The Bronx, Red Fang and Fireball Ministry shaking the roof off of Manchester Music Hall!

Fireball Ministry

Fireball Ministry had first swing at this huge crown and they didn’t waste it! This group of experienced musicians (formed in 1999) knew exactly what to do with this crowd and that was to work them into frenzy for the bands to come. That’s exactly what they did with songs like “Flatline” “Two Tears” and “King”. You know it’s going to be a great show when the first band puts out a performance like this!

Red Fang

Next to take a shot at keeping this crowd going was Red Fang. Red Fang is another band that has been around the block. Formed in 2005 in Portland Oregon, this “stoner metal” outfit has 4 studio albums, several EP’s and a host of video’s to pull material from. It was evident from the beginning of their set that Aaron Beam vocalist and bassist was having a good time with this big responsive crowd, he had a smile on his face from start to finish! Playing songs like “Blood Like Cream” “Hank is Dead” and their first single “Prehistoric Dog” Red Fang had the folks in Manchester Music Hall right where they wanted them!

The Bronx

Trying to keep the momentum up that Fireball Ministry and Red Fang had started was The Bronx. To say they not only kept it up put pushed that momentum forward would be an understatement. The Bronx has been around since 2002, formed in Los Angeles California. I’ve seen them listed as a punk/ hard rock band, whatever category you want to put them they are talented musicians and onstage front man Matt Caughthran is nonstop! I was wore out after watching him, jumping running, dancing, moving back and forth across the stage and at one point in the crowd, were he sang three songs while dancing and moshing with some very surprised fans! Their fifth album titled ‘V’ was just recently released; all the albums are self-titled with roman numerals differentiating each one. If you like loud, energetic, well played music get out and see The Bronx!

Clutch

The reason Manchester Music Hall was Sold Out, the reason this crowd was in Lexington KY and not Louisville at Churchill Downs, the reason people were standing in line in the pouring rain was tonight’s headliner Clutch! “Holy Shit!” , that comes real close to summing up this night! This was my first Clutch show and hopefully not my last! A friend and lifelong Clutch fan gave me some advice before the show he said “Watch Neil Fallon, as you’re photographing the show, he delivers his lyrics like a southern church pastor” and he was right. Not only does he deliver those lyrics like a preacher but he controls the crowd like one as well. Back and forth across the stage everyone in the building was watching him and reacting to everything he did. It was beautiful to watch. Neil along with guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines and legendary drummer Jean-Paul (JP) put on a show that Manchester Music Hall will not soon forget. They opened the night with “Pure Rock Fury” what followed was an epic set list of 16 more songs that included “Firebirds” “Crucial Velocity” along with two songs off their yet to be released album Book of Bad Decisions (Sept. 2018) “Gimme the Keys” and “Spirit of ‘76” then closing out the set with “D.C. Sound Attack” before coming back for a two song encore “Electric Worry” and “The Mob Goes Wild”. With that an amazing night of music in Lexington, KY came to an end. Those that had the privilege of being here will not soon forget it. There will be various other opportunites coming up to see Clutch as they are one of the headliners of the inaugural Inkcarceration Fest in Mansfield, Ohio in July at the prison where Shawshank Redemption was filmed as well as their own festival in West Virginia the Earth Rocker Festival on Saturday August 4th get more info for that festival here. 

As always get out and see the show! Support local and touring musician, buy tickets, merch and most importantly buy their music!

 

 

COMBICHRIST, WEDNESDAY 13, NIGHT CLUB Dominate Pomona, CA [Review & Photo Gallery]

Combichrist

On Friday night, May 18, 2018, Combichrist kicked off the start of the Everybody Still Hates You Tour at the Glass House in Pomona, CA. They did an exceptional job of picking their tour mates, as this time around, they are out on the road with Death Valley High, Prison, Night Club, and Wednesday 13. This star-studded show features something for everyone, from hard rock, to goth-rock, to industrial, and even industrial pop.

Night Club

Night Club is a band that has been making waves, and making a name for themselves. The duo, comprised of Mark Brooks and Emily Kavanaugh, have a poppy sound, with an industrial flair. Having toured with bands like Aesthetic Perfection, and recently opening two shows for A Perfect Circle, it is obvious why the band is in such high demand. They have such an intense energy on stage, and Emily made it a point to interact with fans, who were singing the lyrics with her on Friday night. Night Club played a couple of new songs, including “Candy Coated Suicide,” from their new, highly anticipated album, ‘Scary World’, now available for pre-order. The crowd loved the new material, and it’s safe to say the new album will be just as well-received!

Wednesday 13

Wednesday 13 is a man who knows how to put on a show! He and his band of ghouls entranced the Glass House with their own brand of mesmerizing gothic rock! Wednesday switched between a few costumes, including an Edward Mordrake-style mask, acting as his second demonic face. The costumes complimented their set perfectly, adding a unique, artistic (and some might even say creepy) element. Many Wednesday 13 fans were in attendance, dragging themselves up from their graves for a spook show of an evening. The band always puts on a fang-tastic show, and Friday night was no exception! The audience sang along to hits including, “Blood Sick,” “I Walked with a Zombie,” and crowd favorite, “I Like to Say F*ck.” They ended their set with a teaser of “Bad Things,” and left the audience blood-thirsty for more!

Combichrist hit the stage with an unrivaled energy, in a flurry of pulsing lights bright enough to blind person! It was recently revealed that this will be their last tour before they go into the studio to work on a new album. The mastermind behind the act is Andy DeLaPlegua, a man that most certainly does not know the meaning of the words “slow” or “calm” when it comes to performing. Joe Letz is a character all his own behind one set of drums, taking on the persona of Neutered Nancy for live shows. All members of the band performed wonderfully, despite some technical difficulties, which plagued all of the bands on the bill, as can be expected on the first stop of the tour. The Glass House got to her Combichrist favorites including “Exit Eternity,” “Get Your Body Beat,” and “F*ck that Sh*t.” Combichrist’s live show is something one needs to experience to truly appreciate!

Combichrist, Wednesday 13, Night Club, Prison, and Death Valley High just started the North American leg of the Everybody Still Hates You Tour! There is ample time to purchase tickets and witness this awesome lineup for yourself! The Glass House in Pomona, CA was host to the tremendous start to the tour, and those who were not in attendance missed out!

 

PRIMUS, MASTODON, ALL THEM WITCHES In Nashville, TN [Review & Photo Gallery]

Primus

The city of Nashville, Tennessee has always been a household name for famous music cities around the globe; as a matter of fact it may just be the music CAPITOL of the world. Legendary venues such as the Grand Ole Opry have hosted some of the most famous names in music like Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins, but there’s no shortage of Metal in the country music capitol of the world. On May 15th, 2018, the Primus rolled into town on their summer tour with support from Mastodon and All Them Witches at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The tour started on May 6th in Denver, Colorado and ends on July 7th in Phoenix, Arizona.

All Them Witches

Getting the night started off the RIGHT way, All Them Witches didn’t hesitate to make their presence felt early. As an opening band, you don’t have a lot of room on stage to perform, but for these three gentlemen, space was not an issue. Sludgy, muddy guitar tones and thunderous drums roaring throughout the venue set the tone for the rest of what was an incredible bill to be a part of. Their set was incredibly well received for an opening band, and if you weren’t a fan going into the show, you definitely were when you left.

Mastodon

Rolling into the second performance, the mighty Mastodon showed Nashville why they are some of the masters of their craft. Intelligent songwriting, cut throat guitar and bass tones, and the bouncing vocals of all the members roar through the speakers and bring Nashville off their feet. Their set was diverse, containing songs from multiple records released through their storied career. From the ominous chimes on the intro of the opening song, “Sultan’s Curse,” to the heavy outro to the final song, “Steambreather,” both off their new record, ‘Emperor of Sand,’ Mastodon proved why hardships in their personal lives served as fuel for them to continue on to make music that pleases them and all their fans, and they proved it with a murky stage presence. Mastodon are veterans of the road and made sure Nashville left this concert with a new favorite artist.

Primus

The headliner of the evening, Primus, brought that of what you expect from a band of this stature. Opening their set with, “Too Many Puppies,” every voice in the auditorium was singing along with Les Claypool and moshing along to the complex rhythmic patterns of Primus’ music. At this point, it’s hard to not love this band, or at least heard of them. Technical difficulties on Ler’s end at one point couldn’t even stop them from performing. An impromptu bass solo from Claypool along with comedic stories kept Nashville enthused the entire night. The stage presence of Tim Alexander is astounding even behind his mountain of drums, along with in your face rhythms that are the core part of Primus’ music. All the fans were engaged throughout every song, and even at lower points of the evening, the cheery Nashville crowd were involved with every set, singing along, moshing and pushing, proving why their city is THE music capitol of the world even for this genre.