On an extremely hot and humid summer Tuesday, The Reaching Into Infinity World Tour by DragonForce, arrived at Washington DC. This show certainly delivered with one of the most intense & intimate shows I had ever witnessed! We had recently reviewed ‘Reaching Into Infinity’, the latest album of DragonForce that hit the shelves during mid May (read review here). This was the first time I had attended a show at Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington DC, and I did not really know what to expect of the venue. Well, I have been to a lot of concerts of big bands, and let me tell you, for the crowd in the front rows, a concert cannot get any more intimate. The tiny stage at the venue means that you can nearly touch the band members with your nose. I had to literally lean backwards with my camera glued to my eye to make sure that my camera does not end up touching the guitars, or worse I get hit by the guitars. Just take a look at the photographs and you will see that even with my wide angle lens, I could barely get the musicians in the frame. These are the kind of shows in which I depend upon the kindness of metalheads attending the concerts to give me 5 minutes in a good spot to get the photographs, and then I move out of the way. It would have been damn near impossible to photograph this event, without the kindness and help of front row crowd. If you were one of the guys who helped me get the photographs, a big shout out to you, thank you for all the help, Metal Nexus & I really appreciate it!
After an electric first day, it was time to get back up early Saturday morning to head in for day two of Chicago Open Air. Several great performances from bands like Rob Zombie, Megadeth, Anthrax, Crobot, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Code Orange, and more had all of us very interested to see if the second day could top it. With Korn, Godsmack, Avatar, Body Count, Clutch, and several others, we knew it would be very close. It only took a few performances and we already knew that Saturday would be on an even higher level. Continue reading →
It has been a few days, but we are still recovering from an absolutely legendary weekend at Toyota Park. We witnessed several remarkable performances across the rock and metal genres from bands like Code Orange, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Clutch, Body Count, Godsmack, Amon Amarth, Avatar, and more. There were the classic artists like Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, and Metal Church while new comers like Aversed, Whores., Code Orange, Crobot, and more lit it up early in the day. Without these younger bands, there won’t be any of these festivals in the future, so make sure you get out early and support these young talents. The wide variety of bands playing the festival made for an eventful weekend as there was something for everyone attending. Today’s article will be about the performances on Friday. Before I dive into that, I’d like to talk about the other experiences at Chicago Open Air. Continue reading →
Last Thursday night the latest incarnation of the Dystopia tour with Megadeth hit Silver Spring, MD. When the tour was announced, I just could not believe how good the lineup was. A powerhouse supporting lineup of bands like the doom metal band Lillake (who we have interviewed recently), prog metal/djent giants Tesseract & Meshuggah is not something that you generally see in a short summer tour. With our upcoming coverage of Megadeth and Meshuggah at this months Chicago Open Air festival, we decided to focus our attention on TesseracT.
The show started early, with TesseracT, the second band of the night, taking the stage sharp at 7-10 PM. An early weeknight show meant that the venue was not packed yet. The setlist of TesseracT was short, with only six songs, and I was little disappointed with that. I really like the last couple of albums the band has released. This short set was started off with the single “Smile”, which was released late last month and will be a part of their upcoming album. This is the first single the band has released since the last album ‘Polaris’, which was released aeon ago, back in 2015. If this single is a sign of things to come, which probably is since the band says the new album will be a concept album, then things are looking great for the fans of the band. The opening track ‘Polaris’, Dystopia was the second song of the night. This was my first time seeing TesseracT live, and the guitar work and the drumming was precise from get go. The vocals by Daniel Tompkins did not hit the album like precision until the end of the first song, however from that point on it was razor sharp. I love bands that can deliver album quality sound while playing live, and TesseracT deserve full points for that. If you have followed the work of TesseracT, you are familiar with the band you know how they blend an atmospheric sound with melodic clean passages and synchronizing guitar work with short riffs. The last song of the set, “Nocturne”, which by the way is my favorite TesseracT song ever, is one of the perfect examples of this method. Many people in the crowd were not super familiar with TesseracT before this show. By the end of the set the band had made their presence felt with the blistering final track “Nocturne” and deservedly got rousing applause from the crowd.
So what is my take from this live performance ? Well, I hope they release their album soon and head out as the headliner on another US tour. By the time this review is published, only five more dates remain on this tour, and most of you will probably not have a chance to see them live. TesseracT have headlined at Baltimore Soundstage, the other regular venue from which I bring you reviews, in the last tour and I don’t see why they can’t do it again. Heck, I do want to see them play a long set. A headlining tour exploring the length and breadth of the country will probably be the best way to appease all the fans who are missing out now. And I am really keeping my fingers crossed here. We will be bringing more reviews to you in future, so stay tuned!
The final day of Carolina Rebellion was upon us. Some people were completely wore down from the previous two days of non-stop metal, crowd surfing and moshing and others were sad that the weekend was coming to a close. Sunday’s lineup was headlined by Avenged Sevenfold, The Offspring, Volbeat, and Papa Roach. If this wasn’t already enough metal packed into one day we were also lucky enough to get a great group of undercard bands as well like Seether, Three Days Grace, Skillet, Coheed & Cambria, and Taking Back Sunday. Most of these second tier bands could headline a show on their own any night of the week. Fozzy of course was on Sunday’s lineup as well featuring WWE’s Chris Jericho. Then you have the amazing up and coming bands like Kyng who have already put their name on the map with their true trio power rock blend, Sylar who is one of the bands leading the nu-metal charge, Goodbye June, Fire From The Gods who is another nu-metal/hardcore kind of band that is picking up fans by the 100’s, Citizen Zero, Beartooth and Dutch metallars The Charm The Fury who have recently been compared to a female fronted version of Pantera. Sunday was truly one of the best lineups of the entire weekend. We didn’t get a chance to see everyone due to completing interviews and overlapping schedules. There was a few bands we missed that we really wanted to see, but we are hoping to catch most of these bands again in the near future. Continue reading →
This Friday night I found myself in slightly unfamiliar territory, covering a live performance by The Birthday Massacre, Army of the Universe and Sumo Cyco. I had not seen live performances of any of the genres that these bands are a part of, let alone the bands. My musical preference is usually harder, heavier, darker, abrasive and loaded with blistering guitar work. I have wanted to explore reviewing works of other genres for a while now. This Friday night after the end of a frenetic work week was a good one to buck this trend. Largely due to my lack of supreme expertise with these styles of music, this review is an assessment of the bands’ overall feel of the music, the live performance and the interaction with the crowd. Continue reading →
Ready for day 2 of Carolina Rebellion. After an amazing first day everyone was pumped and ready to enter the show for day 2. The day was full of diverse bands from different generations and wide ranging genres. You can go from Tesla to Machine Gun Kelly, or Sum 41 to DED. Today’s lineup really had a little something for everyone. The Saturday lineup was filled with a tremendous amount of new names in metal like DED, Cover Your Tracks, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and many more. Of course those are then followed up by bands who have been around the block a few times now like In This Moment, Nothing More, All That Remains and Alter Bridge. Then you have bands that have been around for decades like Sum 41, In Flames, Tesla, Korn and Def Leppard. Saturday we spent a lot of time interviewing bands and didn’t get a chance to make it out to see every band, but the ones we did see blew our minds. The must see bands on our list for this day cane in the form of a veteran act Sum 41 and a brand new band DED. Being around for the glory years of Sum 41’s career made me want to experience them live for the first time. DED is an amazing up and coming band that is about to release their debut album and their single “Anti-Everything” has become an anthem to the troublesome times we live in today. Continue reading →
The NYC prog metal band, Infinite Spectrum, recently kicked off their Theories of Flight north American tour opening for Fates Warning. They’re hitting cities throughout the east coast and midwest, with one show in Ontario, Canada.
Concert attendees are known for holding a lighter up in the air and raising the flame in honor of the bands on stage. Don’t let your fire be extinguished and use a Zippo and it may just get you backstage for more great music…It’s always great when your favorite band has an encore right? Well imagine they had an acoustic encore set and you were one of only a couple dozen people allowed to attend. It doesn’t get any better than that. Zippo Sessions has been providing just that experience to concert goers for the last few years at some of the nation’s largest music festivals. The best thing about it also is you have no idea who exactly you will be seeing until they walk onto the stage. For the price of a Zippo, which is already great enough on its own, you get a special pass to see a performance. Continue reading →
The Last Tour by Swedish power metal band Sabaton finally came to the Washington DC/Baltimore area last Monday night on the last show of their North American tour. This is a tour I have been waiting to cover for a while primary due to my obsession with military history, and history in general. And on top of that one of the supporting bands was Battle Beast and Leaves’ Eyes, possibly my favorite symphonic metal band. The last album released by Sabaton, ‘The Last Stand’, after which this tour was named, was very well received by fans and critics alike. Additionally, I had seen some phenomenal concert photographs of Sabaton clicked by some of my mentors and was raring to photograph this show. Let me dive in to the review now, you can check out the photographs at the bottom of the page. Continue reading →