Author: concertchk (page 2 of 3)

Stars in Stereo Acoustic – Deluxe, Indianapolis, IN 07-10-13

This is the second time I’ve seen Stars in Stereo live, the first was in Chicago they were opening for Bullet for my Valentine, on the Hard Drive tour, of course that tour included Halestorm as well, another female rocker that can blast the boys out of the water with her vocals.  Rebecca, or (Becca), the lead singer for Stars in Stereo is no exception, she to, has a vocal range that ranks right up their with the greats.

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Stars in Stereo was an opening act for Anberlin on their acoustic tour, but we didn’t stay for Anberlin, we were there solely for Stars in Stereo, and they did not disappoint.

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Stars in Stereo was the second opening band, Campfire OK being the fist, and with an acoustic set it’s hard to keep it acoustic, but Stars in Stereo was straight up acoustic, having made an EP just for this tour, which contained three songs that they sang from there debut album entitled “Stars in Stereo”.  They sang an awesome cover of “Closer” by “Nine Inch Nails” in acoustic form, it was pretty good, never have I heard a version of that in acoustic, but overall Becca belted out the lyrics just as good as Trent.

The acoustic set list is below:

  1. The Broken
  2. All Together
  3. Closer (Nine Inch Nails cover)
  4. Violence
  5. Half Life
  6. Dealing Secrets
  7. Queen of Catastrophe
  8. Every Last Thing

They could have played all there songs in acoustic I thought, overall a great performance. I can’t wait to see them live again, as they do sound just like there record.

Video credits go to Cheri Hargis, she was able to capture a couple acoustic videos:

Stars in Stereo Dealing Secrets

 

Stars in Stereo All Together

We did get to hang with them afterward for a bit, bought there CD and got the acoustic one for free, got some autographs and a group photo. Thanked them for the show, and hoped to see them again live soon.

 

 

She & Him – Aragon Ballroom – 06-29-2013 – Chicago, IL

Going into this concert I really wasn’t sure who Zooey Deschanel was, nor had I seen her on TV or any of the movies that she starred in, but I will say that Zooey does have an appeal to her, and a voice that ranks up there with the best.

She & Him made their way to Chicago, Saturday night to play the Aragon, which was a lovely setting for Zooey’s voice, which has a harmoniousness soothing tone to it when she sings.

We managed to get the venue around 2pm, and there wasn’t anyone in line, so we were the first in line. At certain concerts you can sometimes tell who the fans are there to see, for She & Him, you could really tell who the fans where there to see. I have never seen so many girls in sun dresses, and flats in my life. I sort of felt under-dressed, as everyone looked “retro” in there printed patterned sun dresses and fifties style apparel, it was cool to see that the fans decked out for their favorite artist. Zooey herself had on a colorful sun dress, with sparkling appliqués and finger tips to match.
With the array of colorful sundresses as the attire at the concert, along with the strict no photos rule. Security had posted this sign out front roughly around 5pm concerning the photo taking rules, and gave us one to pass it down, so everyone in line could read it.

No photos

This notice left everyone bummed, but I figured if they don’t see you actually taking a photo, what are they going to do. Needless to say, I did manage to get ten photos, all be it just of Zooey, the stage was high, so positioning my cell camera to look up, wasn’t that hard. She & Him consists of She (Zooey Deschanel) and Him (M. Ward), they do have several others that play on stage with them, I didn’t get their names, but a variety of instruments were played, from the electronic violin, to a little ukulele which Zooey plays, it was overall a great mixture of music on stage.
She & Him opened up with “I was made for you” which was off of their first album “Volume 1″. They just released a new album titled “Volume 3″, here in May. They did play quite a variety of songs, and cover songs from various artists, I wasn’t able to get the set list, but will post what I do know.

  • I was made for you
  • Baby
  • I’ve Got Your Number Son
  • Take it Back
  • Change is Hard
  • Hold me, Thrill me, Kiss me. (Mel Carter cover)
  • Thieves
  • Turn to White
  • I thought I saw your face today
  • You Really got a hold on me (The Miracles cover)
  • Stars Fell on Alabama (Frank Sinatra cover)
  • Ridin’ in My Car (NRBQ cover)
  • Don’t look back
  • Magic Trick (M. Ward song)
  • Why do you let me stay here
  • In the Sun
  • Never Wanted your Love
  • Together

Encore:

  • I Could’ve been your girl
  • Sweet Darlin
  • Roll over Beethoven

Second Encore

  • I put a spell on you

Overall they sang for a good two hours, and I was impressed considering I had never seen them live before, they didn’t disappoint. They did have an opening band called “Camera Obscure” they were from Scotland and like She & Him had a lot of instruments on stage as well; they played for roughly 45 minutes, and sounded really good. There was one song that I liked called “Hey Lord”, it was really good, the girl standing next to me, knew it word for word, and yelled at the lead singer who was a girl, saying “you rock Tracey Ann”. I’m thinking her name was Tracey Ann; they were a good little band.

I love the Aragon Ballroom, it was the perfect setting for She & Him, although the stage was slightly higher than normal, it’s always a great venue for any band personally I think, and I love going to it through the summer.

Overall She & Him was a good little show, Zooey’s voice echoed through the Aragon and sounded amazing, they thanked their sound board girl, a girl named Kelly I believe, that was from Chicago, and they had “stole her” as M. Ward said for their tour, she too did an awesome job, keeping them sounding crisp, and clean throughout the whole concert, best overall sounding show I’ve been to in a while

Candlebox – The Castle Theatre – Bloomington, IL 6-18-2013

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I will admit this was my first time seeing Candlebox live in concert, but I have known and listened to them for the amount of time they have been out, over 20 years according to Kevin Martin, as he did say “this will be the last time you hear me scream this, I’m taking a break” during one of there songs. They do put on a great performance, but I was also there to see The Miggs.

We got to the venue around 5:30pm as we had been roaming around Bloomington all afternoon, knowing that 6:30pm we were going to do a meet and greet with Miggs, we hung out by the door. Candlebox was doing a meet and greet with the local radio station inside the doors, my friend Beth nearly died. She did attempt to go into the venue and present Kevin with her ticket to sign, but was kicked out by the lady that was running the meet and greet. Luckily, Kevin had to come out the front door to head to the bus, so she was able to get her meet and greet after all.

After doing a meet and greet with the Miggs, we went to stand in line, granted we were in the front of the line, but being in the middle wasn’t so bad it was worth it. We were able to get down front right to the left side of the stage, so no worries.

Open Air Stereo was the first band on stage and they started at 8:00pm, a small band from LA, they were pretty good, had an upbeat sound and got the crowd into it before the Miggs came on. I couldn’t tell you what they played as it was my first time seeing them, but they did do an excellent job.

The Miggs took the stage around 8:45pm, my friend and I had seen them open up for Scott Weiland here while back,  they announced on there Facebook page that they would be doing a small meet and greet for each of the shows they were opening for Candlebox, I took the opportunity to sign up for one of those meet and greets and Beth and I were the only two that showed up for Bloomington, which was alright by us. We had an awesome time hanging on Miggs tour bus, and listening to an acoustic performance of two songs, the guys are really sweet and I appreciate the time they took to allow us fans the chance to step inside there world.

Bus Shot

The Miggs are amazing live, they put on a great show with intense energy and wicked guitar riffs, John Luzzi is awesome on the guitar, along with Walker Adams (drums), Michael Lombardo (bass) and Don Miggs as the lead singer, they rock, literally. They played songs off of there recent album “15th and Hope”.

There set list is as follows:

MIGGS Set List

Candlebox took the stage around 10:15pm. Kevin made the comment that they were going to go back to 1993 and bring it into the future with there current CD. We ended up having Sean Hennesy, and Adam Kury right in front of us, peddle boards and all. One girl to the left of me kept on touching Sean’s leg, like she couldn’t actually believe he was right in front of her, although alcohol could have been her motivation. Candlebox’s set list consisted of 20 songs, even a few new ones. The set list:

Candlebox Set List

By the time “Far Behind” came around, the crowd was pretty wasted in a sense, and Kevin was pretty tired, it was a great show. Since it was my first time seeing them live, and Beth had seen them several times, they did a pretty good job. Overall a great night of music and memories, as when you hear one of there songs, it takes you back to the first time you heard it, way back some 20 years ago. After all it was there 20th Anniversary Tour. Kevin thanked the crowd for the 20 plus years of listening to them, and someone shouted out, “another 20 years”, he said “no, you will be lucky to get 10 more years from this group, he said, I’m tired”.

It was a great evening, and practice for the amount of concerts I have coming up, even though we didn’t have a rail, I did manage to make it through. It was definitely a night I’ll never forgot.

 

Shinedown, Bush & Airborne – Prairie Capital Convention Center – Springfield, IL – 05-07-2013

In the thirteen years that I have been a fan of Shinedown, I don’t think I have ever had one of the best performances that I had last night in Springfield, Illinois. Brent and crew sounded amazing, clear, crisp, on point. It was by far one of there best performances I’ve seen in all my thirteen years as a fan. I’m not saying it’s the only one, way back when they first started there was some. I love being able to “hear” Brent’s voice, and last night it was heard loud and clear.

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My friend and I got to the venue around 2:30pm, and there wasn’t very many folks there, there was a couple guys that arrived around 9am, they were from Iowa, but overall there wasn’t a whole lot of folks. Both bands did have meet and greet and VIP access, so as usual those folks got in early, and took up most of the rail in front of the stage. But no worries, we were able to get to the side of the rail, and get a good view of what would be an awesome show.

The opening band wasn’t much, but I’ll say that Airborne sounded along the lines of AC/DC mixed with screams and mullets. I wasn’t a fan, they were from Australia and they rocked out, just not to the excitement of the crowd.

Bush was the second band, and they promptly took the stage at 8pm, to an hour set, roughly a little more. Gavin looked awesome and sounded great. I don’t know whether it’s the acoustics in the Prairie Capital Convention Center or what, but both bands sounded clear and crisp, even though I had about ten huge speakers in front of me, I could hear there voices over them. Gavin and crew started out with “Testosterone” to get the crowd moving, they also sang two brand new songs, which I’m assuming will be on an up coming album, they were titled: “Loneliness is a killer” and “This House is on Fire” the set list was as follows:

  1. Testosterone
  2. Machinehead
  3. The Chemicals Between Us
  4. Loneliness is a killer
  5. The Sound of Winter
  6. Everything Zen
  7. This House is on Fire
  8. Greedy Fly
  9. Come Together (Beatles Cover)
  10. Little Things
  11. Glycerine
  12. Comedown

During “Come Together” Gavin left the stage and made his way around the entire venue, singing the song. It was pretty cool, as I knew eventually at some point he would leave the stage, he had done it once earlier in a song, and I did manage to snap this photo:

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Bush put on a great show and with this being my third time seeing Gavin, they never disappoint. Excellent performance indeed.

Shinedown was up next and they took the stage around 9:30pm, and earlier in the day listening to there sound check I thought oh great, it’s going to be one of those shows where the music drowns out Brent’s voice, but that wasn’t the case, Brent sounded loud and clear, it was awesome. You could hear every word, and even hear Eric Bass singing who’s mic stand was almost right in front of us.

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Shinedown opened up with “Enemies” with an astounding vocal performance from Brent, they quickly moved into “Devour” which is always a favorite. I’ve seen Shinedown live many times, and through many stages of Brent’s life, there has been ups and downs, but here lately there is nothing but ups. He has really grown into an amazing musician you can tell he’s changed for the better on stage. The guys were all decked out in suits and ties, and granted they were sweating, that didn’t stop them from rocking out in a suit.

The set list is below:

  1. Enemies
  2. Devour
  3. Unity
  4. The Crow & the Butterfly
  5. Save Me
  6. I’ll Follow you
  7. Diamond Eyes
  8. If you Only Knew
  9. Amaryllis
  10. 45
  11. Sound of Madness
  12. Second Chance
  13. Simple Man
  14. Bully

Overall it was one of the most memorable performances I’ve seen of Shinedown, hearing Brent’s voice over the music just made it extra special.. I’m so glad that it wasn’t a music blast out, excellent job guys.

How to Destroy Angels – The Vic Theater – Chicago, IL – 04-23-2013

It has been roughly ten years or more since I seen Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails, it was one of the most memorable concert experiences I had. I nearly died in that pit and it felt like I was fighting for my life every second, overall it was one of the worst pits I’ve ever been in, would I do it again, you bet I would.

Trent Reznor hasn’t changed much physically in those ten years, but musically he has. His side project “How to Destroy Angels” with his wife Mariqueen Maandig as the singer, Atticus Rose, and Rob Sheriden along with another guitar player have transformed music in a techno, melodic way. The lights, white curtains, and graphics that I seen ten years ago with Nine Inch Nails, the whole set is a melodic, colorful, transforming set you are mesmerized as you watch it.

How to Destroy Angels had done a pre-sale on there website for tickets to there upcoming tour, I was lucky enough to get one ticket, and it’s a special ticket it has your name printed on it to avoid scalpers, and to only allow you and your party into the venue immediately after handing you the ticket, this is what my ticket looked liked below:

HTDA

I got to the venue around 2:30pm after driving through the rain almost all the way up to Chicago, once I got there, there was a line of about 30 people going in the opposite direction that my instructions said. Each of the pre-sale tickets got instructions on what to do and where to line up, which was nice, after chatting with those in line, I walked over to the box office and asked, luckily I was the fourth person there for pre-sale, so long story short, I was the first in the door to get my ticket. I like shows that way, I can actually walk to the rail and pick out a spot where I want to be, works for me.

How to Destroy Angels was suppose to have an opening band, but according to reports the opening band “DIIV” got snowed in up north, so they couldn’t make it to Chicago. A “DJ” was filling in, I’m not even sure what the dj’s name was, he played for roughly thirty minutes and “How to Destroy Angels” took the stage promptly at 8:30pm.

HTDA

As you can see they have these rotating columns of white strings that float in front of them, there is roughly eight or nine sets of strings, it looks extremely cool up close. They rotate in and out and reflect some of the lights that are  are shown, they also reflect patterns of light, it makes for a visually entertaining show. They opened up with “The Wake Up” which is off of there current CD “Welcome to Oblivion” they also played a few selections from there 2010 EP titled “How to Destroy Angels” the set list is listed below.

  1. The wake-up
  2. Keep it together
  3. Parasite
  4. And the sky began to scream
  5. Ice age
  6. The Believers
  7. How long?
  8. Welcome oblivion
  9. BBB
  10. The Space in Between (sonoio remix)
  11. Fur-Lined
  12. The loop closes
  13. A Drowning

Encore

  1. One the wing
  2. Strings and attractors
  3. We fade away

 

HTDA

Overall it was an amazing set, the lights, music, and Mariqueen has a beautiful voice, she is soft spoken and introduced the guys around her, with Trent then introducing her. It was an epic performance, worthy of standing out in the rain, and waiting for four hours I’m glad I was able to make it and be a part of this sold out show.

The Vic theater in Chicago is located off of Lake Shore drive, at the Belmont exit, you travel down Belmont until you get to Sheffield and turn left, and it’s right there, a public parking garage is across the street. Ten years ago when I was there for the first time there was nothing across the street, so it’s built up a whole lot in that time span. It’s a great venue, great acoustics, old theater type style, really a great venue for bands to play, and I would recommend anyone hit up a show there in the future.

Garbage – The Pageant, St. Louis, MO – 04-09-2013

What can I say, I could probably end my concert going career after seeing one of the greats Shirley Manson, she is the core of every girl fronted rock band that has came along today. For me she was one of the first female fronted bands that I started listening to years ago.

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Garbage was formed in Wisconsin in 1994, and honestly I can’t remember what I was doing in 1994, but I do know when Shirley started singing “I’m only happy when it rains” you listened, as her voice was something completely different then what was on the radio at the time. In all the years that I’ve been going to concerts, Garbage was the one band that I really wanted to see, or at least try to see before the hobby ended in a sense, so finding out they were coming to St. Louis there was no way I was going to miss it.

As usual, I got to the Pageant after noon, and to my surprise was the second person there. There was one other guy first in line, and that was it, it was sort of shocking as usually there is more people in line around 2pm, but clearly with school in session and people working, there wasn’t. So, walking up to the door, I said “I’m glad there is another person besides myself, makes me feel better”….Other than that, was glad to meet him, and all the other folks I meet in line.

The Halo bar opened at 5pm, but the actually venue doors opened around 6:45pm, and I made my way down front and center on the rail, there is never any doubt when you show up at 2:30pm and there is only one other person in line, so, being within arms length of Shirley Manson, was good enough for me. The Pageant had a set list time of what would be happening, Garbage would play from 9-11pm, a whole two hour set, which was fine,  I could listen to Shirley sing every song they recorded and be happy.

Garbage promptly took the stage at 9pm, bursting into “Automatic Systematic Habit” and Shirley looked epic, wearing black high heel boots, with a cut out of a heel, and black leggings, with what looked like a skort type thing, with a scarf draping over here, it was just awesome. She looked amazing, bright red hair up in a bun on top of her head, I was mesmerized as I started taking photos immediately.  Shirley isn’t one to stand still, she moved, dances, and comes to life when singing, you can see it on her face, when she is singing songs, she is living the song she is singing. The set list consisted of 21 songs total the set list is below:

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No, I did not get it, someone else did and I asked if I could take a photo of it. I wish I would have did some video taping, as there was several points in the show, that where worth a listen.  Shirley discussed being given a letter by someone that was there, which talked about bullying, and how they were dealing with it. Shirley related her own story of when she was in school, and how she was bullied, and said “that if you think this person is treating you like shit, then you are probably right”.  Then she dedicated the song “Battle in Me” to the girl that had wrote the letter, that was pretty dang epic, to relate your own bullying story to your audience, as I was bullied in school, but learned how to stand up for myself with the help of my parents, you can’t let others beat you down, you fight back.

Another point in the show, had someone in the back holding up a huge water color painting of Shirley’s face, she kept on pointing at it and saying “that is mental” and asked if the person created it, and they did, and they wanted Shirley to sign it, she gladly brought it up on stage, and took the time to sign the painting, here is a photo of it, and I should have took a photo of her signing it, but you get the picture.

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It was an amazing night, and I wish I could have stayed to met her, but wasn’t able to for I had to be somewhere the next morning, bright and early. But overall epic performance, I could have listened to them perform for another hour, they sang pretty much every one of there hits, and several ones from there latest album “Not your kind of People”. Shirley Manson is one of the legends in the music world, she has a distinctive voice that you just know is going to out standing when she sings anything, it was an awesome performance and I’m so thankful I was able to go.

The opening act for Garbage was IO Echo, a band from Los Angeles, they had been walking around for the majority of the day. Reason why I noticed them was because I had seen photos of them online. Another girl fronted band, who wore a smiley face sweatshirt and cut off shorts as her attire on stage, overall, they did good had a lot of dark beats, and electronic based music, with a couple guitars and drums, great performance as well.

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The Pageant in St. Louis is one of my favorite venues, I always feel like home there, they are located in the Loop in St. Louis, free parking, no hassle, you get in the bar if you are over 21, and just wait by a door. The majority of the day is spent waiting, and it’s a great place to wait, love the venue.. first time there this year, and probably won’t be the last.

I, however took way to many photos, I think I got around 200 on my cell just from Garbage alone. I’ll compose an album here, of the ones that turned out the best. I do wish I had taken some video, being that close, but the memories of the photos are enough to remind me of what an epic performance it was. Thank you Garbage and Shirley Manson!!

 

In This Moment – Boondocks – Springfield, IL – 03-28-2013

What a show, when you start a review with ‘what a show’ for me it means I’m hurting beyond belief. I’ve been to some rough shows in my concert going career, but when a venue doesn’t use a “proper” rail in front of the stage, you pay the price, and I paid the price last night.

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This was my second time seeing In This Moment, and they never disappoint they always put on a good rock show, and this was no exception. Maria and company didn’t have much stage to work with, but she made it work, props and all. I had gotten to the venue, Boondocks as they called it way early, there wasn’t anyone there, I was waiting for a couple friends who were roughly three hours away to get there before going in, around 4pm they made it and we went into the building which was just a bar, all be it a nice bar, it’s fairly brand new and we waited by these two sliding wood doors to go into the concert area, which by the way,  had the maximum capacity of 800 people.

The doors opened a little after 6pm, and we made our way to the front of the stage where this black bike rake looking rail was, granted it was sturdy, but you get 700 people behind you pushing the sturdiness goes away, but that’s beside the point. There was only two bands, as the second band didn’t make it, and honestly I thought the lead singer of the first band looked familiar, he was roaming around earlier and I’m like I’ve seen this guy somewhere. Well low and behold it was Brian “head” Welch from KORN, yes, he was the opening act. Love & Death, his band, or rather “his baby” as he called it, was the opening act for In this Moment. Mind you I’m a huge Korn fan, love Korn seen Brian with Korn, so it was cool to get to see him sing and play with his band, and he did announce he was getting back with Korn, and played a “korn medley” of sorts, along with “Blindt” as his closing number, I can’t quite remember all that he sang, but he did an excellent job, it was his first time headlining and he had never seen In This Moment before, he said “he was rather excited to get to see them play”. Overall Love & Death put on a great little performance, props given to Brian.

The local Radio station WQLZ made a statement before he took the stage, that they did a video of him going around and seeing all the “Lincoln” sites, since Springfield, IL is the home of Abraham Lincoln, the video is located below, follow the link:

WQLZ Video of Brian Head Welch

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In This Moment took the stage shortly after 9pm, opening with “Rise with Me” and it was epic, from what I could gather. The pushing started and several folks started body surfing, but In This Moment’s security quickly had them pushed back down as they tried to come over the crowd. The rail wasn’t holding up, it wasn’t a rail that could hold up to the rush of a crowd, right after the first song, security guards came down and pushed there backs against the rail, with feet on the stage, to prevent it from making it’s way onto the stage. Maria has a huge set up right in front, as seen here in this photo:

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So, you can imagine I was almost touching that, in fact I could touch it, but didn’t want to if I didn’t have to. There was a box between the rail and the stage, but it wasn’t holding off the rush. First off if you are a concert venue and you know you are going to have a rock show, get a RAIL that is stable enough to hold the force of 800 people, I felt like I had been ran over by a herd of bulls, I’m positive I’ve bruised a rib as it hurts when I breathe, so that’s the price I pay, but I’m not complaining, I’d do it again in heart beat mind you.

In this Moment, sang songs from there album that was released in 2011, titled “Blood”, they have released two albums prior to Blood, but it seems Blood has put them on the band map. The set list consisted of:

  • Rise with Me
  • Adrenalize
  • Blazin
  • Whore
  • Beat Within
  • Burn
  • The Gun Show
  • Maria’s Dance
  • Blood Legion
  • Blood

Overall a great performance by In This Moment, I would have loved to have enjoyed it more, but being slammed up against sort of takes the enjoyment out of it, singing was pretty much all I could do, but regardless of that, a great concert was had.

The venue was called “Boondocks” and is located in Springfield, IL, which is roughly a couple hours away from my house. I would recommend going there as it’s a small bar type club, only holds 800 people, and is a good place for a rock concert, but they do need to install some sort of support rail, a rail that doesn’t sway, and is either heavy metal, or bolted to the floor. You can’t have a venue and put on rock shows without a major piece of equipment, so I suggest they get one after last night. You can’t guarantee that people won’t push, they always push, more so when liquor is involved, but it is what it is.  I never really know how bad I’m hurt at the time, once the adrenaline wares off, then I realize “oh, yeah that rail sucked”…….good rock show indeed.

Scott Weiland – Old National Center – Indianapolis, IN – 03-23-2013

The last time I had the chance to see Scott Weiland perform was roughly ten years ago and he was the front man for a band called Velvet Revolver, a lot of things have changed within that ten years and overall Scott isn’t the same performer he was with Velvet Revolver, he doesn’t have Slash, or Duff to lean on, and he doesn’t have the persona that he once had.

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The persona that commanded the stage, got the crowd into the performance, and basically blew your mind once he opened his mouth. Things have changed for Scott, but he did do what he was suppose to do, sing songs from Core and Purple, and a few cover songs to make the show seem more interesting for the audience, and less about Stone Temple Pilots.

As usual my friend and I got to the venue early, and after eating lunch across the street from the place and sitting in the car until four pm, we decided to go stand in line, we were the line. I felt bad as we were the only two people there, until a few fellows came up to get in line, granted there was six or seven of us when the door opened. Sad, perhaps, but at least the show wasn’t cancelled for lack of ticket sales, they did say they expected 600-800 people for the show, they just decided to show up later I guess. Either way, we managed to get dead center in front of the stage, wasn’t a problem nor would it be difficult to do so.

The opening band was called the Miggs, and I must say they were excellent, they promptly took the stage at 8pm and were suppose to play for thirty minutes, but somehow ended up playing for roughly an hour or so, give or take. They were awesome, good little band, said they enjoyed being on the Scott Weiland tour, and got the crowd going with a mixture of music, a couple ballads, and some heavy guitar stuff. They even did a couple cover songs. They announced they would be returning to Indianapolis in a couple weeks, and I’m thinking of going, because overall, they did a great job.

Set List for MIGGS:

  • Suddenly Wonderful
  • Stars
  • Pretty
  • Full of Doubt
  • Hole
  • Home
  • Words got in the Way
  • Let the games begin
  • I can’t get no satisfaction (stones cover)
  • Summer takes the Fall

The MIGGS left the stage around 9pm, and got there equipment out fairly quickly as Scott was suppose to go on around 9:30pm, and his stage set up was ready to roll shortly after 9:15pm so it wasn’t like they needed to test guitars,  microphones, or any of that technical stuff.

 

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9:30pm comes around and the crowd was starting to get restless, and I know Scott is a Diva, so OK.. fifteen minutes isn’t that bad. 9:45pm hit, at this time the crowd was starting to boo a little and yell as a crowd normally does. Someone mentioned Pantera, and shortly after they mentioned it, the music that was playing burst out into Pantera Respect, ha. So that got the crowd singing, and booing even more, around 10:15pm after a minute or so of booing, the Wildabouts, Scott’s band appeared on stage to cheers and roars, as we knew that it was going to actually start now. Photo above is what the stage looked like the entire time we waited.

Scott Weiland finally took the stage after being roughly an hour late, give or take a few minutes. The boos stopped, and people stood in awe in a sense, as he started out singing an opening jam, not sure what the song was to be honest, but it got the crowds attention, after the song finished. Scott mumbled into the microphone that, “that song wasn’t a good starter song, this one should be an opening song” (from what I could make out), and they started “Crackerman” that of course got the crowd singing along.

I think Scott is a person that isn’t very social in a sense, his band The Wildabouts did an excellent job playing the songs that Stone Temple Pilots is known for, but you could tell that they were a hired band, there wasn’t that stage presence between band and lead singer that you see with other bands, although Scott didn’t sing Plush, he still sang the songs that he wrote, and sounded just like he did ten years ago voice wise. I honestly think it’s more of a I’m Scott Weiland, I can be late, I can be do whatever I want, regardless of the crowd booing, or bad mouthing me, once I hit the stage.. you will listen, sing along, and enjoy it. Diva is an understatement, more like I don’t care, I’m here.

I do have to give him props though, he did good once he got on stage. He performed an awesome cover of Janes Addiction “Mountain Song”, that was awesome, did the Libertines “Can’t stand me now”, and encored with “Roadhouse Blues” from the Doors, so overall a variety of music, not just STP, but various other bands as well. There were eleven songs of Stone Temple Pilots, and I do believe he through in one of his own recordings “Paralysis” which made for a variety of music, it wasn’t all about STP, it was about Scott doing what he does love to do, all be it late, confusing, and sketchy, a performer he is.

Set List:

  • Opening Jam
  • Cracker Man
  • Wicked Garden
  • Paralysis
  • Naked Sunday
  • Creep
  • The Jean Genie (David Bowie)
  • Kitchen ware & Candy Bars
  • Where the River Goes
  • Mountain Song (Janes Addiction)
  • Big Empty
  • Can’t Stand me Now (Libertines)
  • Still Remains
  • Interstate Love Song
  • Vaseline

Encore:

  • Road house Blues (Doors)
  • Unglued

At the end of the performance, Scott did say Thank you, it was a heart felt Thank you, and I do believe he meant it, even though we booed, and yes I did threaten him on twitter with my review, he still came out on stage,  and put on a great performance, really that’s all you can ask as a fan. There is no point in dissing him, or even telling him your thoughts, he doesn’t read those, he just does what he knows to do take the stage and perform.

 

Natalie Stovall – Six Strings Club, Bloomington, IL – 02-16-2013

Some of you may not even know who I’m talking about when I say Natalie Stovall, but let me say this, once you see her live you will know.

Natalie is from Nashville Tennessee and started playing the violin at a young age. I don’t know much about her childhood nor do I know how she got to where she is today, but I do know she can play a fiddle like no one else, she will be Charlie Daniels predecessor after he’s gone, and rightfully so, the way she plays the fiddle makes anyone believe that.

This was my first time seeing Natalie in concert, my friend had seen her once before, so we ventured off to Bloomington, Illinois to the Six String Club to enjoy the show. Natalie wasn’t scheduled to go on until 10:15pm, and that was fine we would set in the bar and wait patiently. My friend Cheri Hargis is a diehard fan, so we knew when she arrived in Bloomington, but the doors of the club didn’t open until 7pm, so we would be the first in the door.

There weren’t many that got to the club early, Bloomington Illinois is attached to Normal Illinois which is a college town, home of Illinois State University, and so you can imagine the crowd. Quite a few 21-25 year olds drinking more alcohol then there bodies should consume, and displaying the “college town” persona.

Anyway, Natalie started off the night with a variety of music, she played “Bones” by Gary Allen, “Fancy” by Reba McIntyre, several Black Crowes songs, along with her fiddle take on Adele’s “Someone like Me” she even did “Living on the Edge” by Aerosmith, and “Hell on Heels”, by Pistol Annie, as well as “Fiddlepalooza” which consisted of a fiddle version of “Beat it” by MJ, which was epic. Natalie just doesn’t remake songs, she does have a few CD’s out of her own material, she sang her current single “Standing my Ground” off of her EP entitled “Natalie Stovall”, she was named Entertainer of the Year in 2012 by the CAM 2012 Awards, which represent College Campuses, she also travels and play on Military Bases overall a well rounded performer in her own right.

 

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You can’t be a fiddle player without playing at least one of Charlie Daniels songs, and “Devil went down to Georgia” came out in the end; it was a fast pace fiddle extravaganza that was AWESOME. Overall a fun evening, she and her band played one set, and then took a break to meet fans, and chat with friends, and basically rest for a bit, before ending the night with another set, it was a great concert and I hope to see her again here this year.

Overall it was a great time, and the little venue was quite good as well, the Six String club is located in downtown Bloomington, a block away from a free parking garage, and other various spots, it’s a small little club, that has a dance floor, disco ball and even go-go dancer cages on the side of the stage, so they do have live music quite often, it was a great club, and I would go back for sure.

If the chance comes up, go see Natalie Stovall, you won’t be disappointed, she puts on a great show, full of great music, and awesome fiddling, she is the female fiddler of the future.

Concertchk’s Top 10 Shows of 2012

The 2012 concert season has been an interesting one for sure. This year I managed to win more tickets to concerts then I have had in my life, I seen tons of great bands over and over again, followed a tour, seen the band I love, and meet legends from Germany, overall a great 2012.

1. The number one show for me this year was getting to meet Rammstein it was by far the most amazing concert I have ever been to, I could have stopped going to shows after seeing them, my concert career was complete, I totally thank my friend and her boy friend for allowing me to go with her. It was by far one of the best evenings ever, even though I wasn’t in the pit, still meeting them, and seeing them live was worth it, I will never forget it.

Rammstein

2. My second show of 2012 it the love of my life, Powerman 5000, it had been a year since I had seen them last, but I was so excited to see them again, it had been such a long time, and of course they never disappoint. Spider and company always put on a great show, it was one of the highlights of my year.

Powerman 5000

3. The guys from Chevelle, every year I see them at least once or twice, I think this year I managed to see them six or seven times.. the best performance by far was in Bloomington, Il, they put on an amazing set, played old favorites, and a variety of songs from there multiple albums, overall one of the best Chevelle shows this year.

Chevelle

4. The Hoobastank performance, I was on a mission when I seen these guys for the first time ever. My friend overseas loves them, and I had planned to get Doug and Dan’s signature’s, low and behold meeting them and having them tell me they knew my friend, and all was pretty awesome. They were great guys, and put on a great performance as well.

Hoobastank

5. Bush, it had been 10 years or more since I seen Gavin and Bush live, so getting to see him again was an honor, and more so meeting him afterward. That was a bucket list thing, and it’s been accomplished, they also didn’t disappoint in the performance department either.

Gavin Rossdale - Bush

6. Halestorm, the best performance to date is on the Carnival of Madness tour in Chicago. It got rained out, but not before Halestorm caused a storm, they tore it up. By far the best show of them I’ve been too, they always put on a great show, but that one was special. Even though we were soaking wet, Lzzy and crew rocked, it was a memorable tour for sure after attending that one.

Halestorm in Chicago

7. Eye Empire, a little band with huge heart. They consist of other band members coming together to make some epic music. I managed to see them twice this year, and both times were awesome. I plan on seeing them more in 2013, great bunch of guys.

Eye Empire

8. New Medicine, a band from the Midwest that put on a great performance in Tremont Illinois, opening up for Halestorm. I’ve seen them a good ten times this year, but overall that performance in the small hot box of a club rocked, they do bring it to the stage every time. And updating this, the bassist is leaving the band, it was announced here over the holiday break that he will be moving to Africa, so in tribute of him leaving, here is a close up photo of his bass, you will be missed Matt Brady.. :(

New Medicine

 

9. Deftones, Chicago show, was by far the best Deftones show to date. It makes the third time for me seeing these guys, and probably one of my top ten Pits overall. It was nuts, great performance, epic pit, worth every moment there.

Deftones

10. Shinedown Acoustic, one of the shows I won tickets to this year, a little intimate performance with just Brent and Zach, it was awesome. They sang songs, talked, and took photos. I’ve seen Shinedown many, many times, but always love the small acoustic sets the best, and got to meet them afterward.

Shinedown and me

Chevelle – Pop’s Nightclub – Sauget, IL 12-7-12

I’m really not sure how many times I’ve actually seen Chevelle, I know I’ve seen them many, as I was seeing them when they first came out and Joe there other brother was the bassists, so regardless of how many times.. they never disappoint. I love standing there and singing every word. I tend to think of the time when I actually heard the song on the Cd, or why Pete wrote the lyrics for that certain song, it’s memories in your head that come up while your singing along, it’s priceless.

Chevelle really is about the music for me, I love there music, love Pete’s lyrics and the guys are great, regardless of what others say, they bring it every night.

Overall Chevelle never puts on a bad show, at least not none that I have been too. They had two opening bands, the first one Lye, isn’t worth mentioning they were a local band from St. Louis. 10 years was the second opening band and they rocked, it was my first time seeing them, and they were amazing. They got the crowd going, came out into the crowd, it was a major group effort and I know they have toured with Chevelle in the past, so overall great performance by 10 years.

Since this is one of my favorite bands, being in the front is a must, so you can imagine that my friend and I were the first two, too arrive at Pops at 10am in the morning by dang it, we had a plan, we were on a mission we were going to be in the front row. After picking up another friend from the airport we planted ourselves with chairs in tow, outside the doors, and that worked.  We were front row and that’s all that matters.

Chevelle took the stage around 9:30pm and started off with a bang, the bass in Pops was massive that it vibrated through your soul, it was awesome. They opened with “Sleep Apnea” from there 2009 album “Sci-Fi Crimes” of course they could play all of there albums and I would be happy. Pete had just gotten the ‘ok’ from his doctor to use his knee again, a couple months ago, he fell off a stage at a show and tore a muscle in his left knee so he was glad to be back to normal and ready to rock. He’s such a trooper though, even after he fell he still got back on stage, and finished the set all while sitting down.

There set list is as follows:

The majority of the photos are of 10 years, as the lighting for Chevelle was in my face and hard to actually take photos, I did manage to get a few, which was fine. It’s not like I don’t have photos of the band, just enjoying the music and singing was the highlight of my night. It’s all about there music for me, and Pete’s lyrics. I heard they are going to try to get another album out next year so that will be a plus all the way around.

Again Pop’s came through venue wise, can’t wait to see what 2013 brings to the area, and finishing off the 2012 concert season with two great bands was well worth the travel. Thanks again St. Louis.

Bush 12/06/12: Pop’s – Sauget, IL

It had been ten years or more since I first seen Gavin Rossdale and Bush live, I still remember the event, as he left the stage that night and came up close to where I was sitting, an unknown band at the time called Muse opened up for them, and that’s all I remember really, couldn’t tell you anymore, just remembered the event in my head.

So I was slightly excited to see Bush again, since it had been so long and I just wanted to make sure I was down in front of Gavin, but so did the fifteen or so fan club members that were there before us. My friend from Michigan flew down to St. Louis and we made a evening of it, as we were attending another concert the next day. Being about 15th, or 20th, in line wasn’t to shabby so the chances were good to get a rail when walking into the venue.  Getting to the venue early always allows you to make friends, visit and talk about other concerts that you have went to, and this was no different, Bush fans are really nice and they do love Gavin that’s for sure, but when security came out to tell the ones that had waited in line since noon or more, that only a few of them could go in, the bush army quickly became the blood army, but in the end all that were there before noon got to go in before us, still a rail was had.

Bush took the stage around 9pm I believe, and started out the night with “Machinehead” and Gavin looked mighty fine I will say. He sounded just like the album, voice and all didn’t miss a beat. They continued on with “All My Life”, “Chemicals” and the lead single off of there current CD “The Sea of Memories”. During “Afterlife” Gavin decided to leave the stage and make his way completely around the venue he started with the balcony and worked his way all the way back to where he started, of course a sweat trail was made. The man sweats a lot, so much so that he has plastic over his sound board, that’s how bad he sweats, but he’s getting a work out none the less. I’ve heard that the cold air affects his throat, so I understand why it’s warm in there and why he sweats, he doesn’t need to work out after a show that’s for sure.

Bush

The set list consisted of:

  • Machinehead
  • All My life
  • Chemicals
  • Sound of Winter
  • Zen
  • Heart of the Matter
  • Greedy Fly
  • I Believe in You
  • Afterlife (where he left the stage)
  • Break on Through
  • Little Things
  • Glycerine
  • Comedown

Overall it was a great show, I found myself taking more photos then normal, as Gavin is just so man pretty, the dude is flawless and he’s just sweet as he can be. I was able to met him afterward as there was a line, and he made his way down the line and hugged everyone, talking to them for a bit, posing for photos, and just overall gentlemanly. I told him one day I will meet your wife, he said he hoped to met her one day too.

Bush – Glycerine

Bush had two opening bands, Brookroyal a local St. Louis band whom I’ve seen a couple times on tour, they are a great rock band. They got the crowd moving and ready for Bush, along with Hollow Point Heros who from what I remember where pretty good. Both put out excellent performances while the crowd waited for Bush to take the stage.

Pops is a great venue in East St. Louis, I’ve been to it so many times the security guards hug me, that’s how much I’ve frequented that venue this year, it’s great for concerts and I’ll always feel safe there regardless of if others think it’s in a bad part of town, yes it’s between two strip clubs, but hey, it’s a rocking venue that’s all that matters. Pops does Rock!!

Check Out Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale sing Glycerine at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas together by clicking here.

Jagermeister Tour 2012: Pops – Sauget, IL 12-01-12

The Jagermeister Tour rolled into Pops Saturday night in Sauget, IL, and it was pretty good for a sold out show.

 

As usual I get to the venue way to early, and I knew that Halestorm had VIP that they offered for sale on there fan club website, but I also knew in the past that venues made the VIP’s come back out, but this wasn’t the case at Pops, so therefore my waiting in line for ten hours was in vain, but overall I wasn’t bitter I did enjoy the show none the less.

The doors opened around 7pm and I did manage to get myself a little corner of the rail on the left side of the stage, while everyone else that had been in line for the past ten hours made there way up to the balcony, and got seats.. I did have one saved for me if I decided to head to it, but standing on the corner of the rail, would be sufficient enough for the time being.

 

The opening band Eve to Adam took the stage promptly at 8pm, they where awesome, they are from New York, and the lead singer and drummer are brothers. Taki Sassaris and Alex Sassaris, along with Gaurav Bali as the lead guitarist, also a member of Dope was on hand, and a bassist’s who’s name I didn’t catch, this band has some major musical talent. They rocked, they sang songs off of there current album “Banquet for a Starving Dog” which consisted of;

  • 2 Pills
  • No Regrets
  • Run your Mouth

They even did an amazing performance of Billy Idols “Rebel Yell” it was awesome, the lead singer has a voice like Scott Stapp from Creed, so it’s raspy enough to pull off the hard sounding song, as they opened up for Creed on there major tour. They closed out there set with there lead single “Reach” and a brand new one that Taki said was co written by Eric Bass from Shinedown called “Straightjacket Supermodel”, overall great performance by these guys.

Next up was In this Moment, which I’ve seen once before, but was so preparing for this show…. they are epic..and I knew they would put on a great show, as they started setting up there stage you could tell it was going to be a show stopper. Maria has tons of props, and there was white skulls in place, skeleton’s, plastic foam heads, and all sort of cool things gracing the small stage at Pops. Of course Maria Brinks the lead singer was  dressed in all white from her shoes to the mask that she wore for the opening song. They opened with “Rise with Me” and then burst into “Adrenalize” from there current album “Blood” it was awesome, the whole front row’s faces were enough to make me laugh, as they were there to see Halestorm and had no idea who In this Moment was, but In this Moment stole the show. I’m glad I was able to be up front for them, as Maria wowed the crowd with costume add on’s, and major guitar riffs from the band members that are decked out with war paint on there faces, and give off a creepy vibe, but are overall extremely friendly. There set list consisted of:

  • Rise with me
  • Adrenalize
  • Blazin
  • Whore
  • Beast within
  • Burn
  • The Gun Show, (which included Maria’s dance)
  • The Blood Legion
  • Blood

In this Moment had prop changes, and overall stage presence. Maria Brinks, is truly the heavy metal version of Lady Gaga, she commands the stage, and puts out great music while doing it, overall they stole the show for me.

After standing through Eve to Adam and In This Moment, I let someone have my corner rail and I made my way up to the balcony for Halestorm as my friends headed that way to begin with, this was my ninth or tenth time seeing Halestorm and they never disappoint, granted the stage wasn’t big enough for both of there riser platform’s, but Lzzy and company put on a great show. There set list is as follows:

  • Mz Hyde
  • Love Bites (So do I)
  • Freak Like Me
  • Dirty Work
  • American Boys
  • Daughters of Darkness
  • Rock Show
  • Break In
  • Gold Dust Women (Fleetwood Mac cover)
  • Familiar Taste of Poison
  • Drum Solo
  • You call me a bitch like it’s a bad thing
  • It’s not you
  • I Get off

Encore: Here’s to Us, and I Miss the Misery..

They put on a great show for the crowd, I was able to get a couple videos, and some awesome photos..

Overall another great tour, and with Pops being the venue of choice I always go there, one of the security guards said “oh hadn’t seen you for a while” I said, I’ll be back next week to Bush and Chevelle, so it’s nice to know that I have friends, and folks remember you makes you feel secure in a not so great part of East St. Louis.  Thanks again Pops, see you soon.

 

Deftones 10/23/12: Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL

Deftones w/ Scars on Broadway 10/23/12

Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL

Words/Photos by concertchk


I managed to get a Personal Day off from work so I knew there would be nothing getting in my way as I traveled north to Chicago to catch Deftones. A friend of mine was traveling from Michigan and had stayed the night up in Chicago, so she was already there, just not at the venue yet, I managed to get to Chicago around 11:30am or so, roughly that time, and low and behold there were two folks in line, a nice couple that had gotten there around 10:30 am, Of course friends were made with another couple that came along with Alexis my friend from Michigan and the line was formed.

The Aragon in Chicago is an old theater that has a sky for a ceiling, and a Spanish looking balcony, it’s very ornate inside. It’s a good venue, the acoustics are good, the air flow isn’t, but I’ve seen several shows there, and would recommend anyone going to a general admission show, there is a flight of stairs, but overall, it’s one of my go to venues in Chicago. Love it, and it’s located a block away from the Riveria. So two great venues all on the same street.

Of course there was construction happening at the train station that the Aragon sits next to and we were told to start lining up down the alley. That’s where we sat throughout the day. We did get rained on, got food, but overall having good company and someone to talk to helps you pass the time. The doors weren’t opening until 6:30pm, and we were allowed into the venue around 6:45pm. Got right up in the middle on the rail, they had the rail going in a ‘u’ shaped format, so standing right in that left area of the ‘u’ worked well as all of us who showed up early got great spots.

The opening band was “Scars on Broadway”, which consisted of Daron and John from System of the Down, honestly I have never heard of them, so they were new to me, but overall they didn’t do that bad. There was several folks there just to see them only to leave when they were done. One guy in the pit down by me actually said he had never heard of the Deftones, can you believe that? Scars on Broadway played some really catchy rock songs, and at one point there was this giant penis, that was lifted up out in the crowd, and it said and I quote “I’ll piss on your face while you suck on my cock” Lyrics from one of Scar’s songs, and they played that song, and acknowledged the huge blow up dick. I swear, between the pot and blow up, it was a rather interesting concert.

This makes the third time I’ve seen the Deftones, and roughly the most brutal of all three shows. I’m really surprised I didn’t break a rib that’s how bad the pit was. I even have the battle scars to prove it. The Deftones took the stage around 8:45pm to a massive push on my side. The other side of the pit didn’t move, but the left side did.  I’m really surprised a rib did not break. It was just a rush of people coming at the rail, and that continued pretty much through the whole entire set. Chino looked fabulous, he was flawless in belting out “Diamond Eyes” as their opening number.. The stage was really high at the Aragon, so he was able to actually look out over the entire crowd, everyone was singing along, and as usual the pit had many shifts. After “Diamond Eyes”, they went right into “Rocket Skates”, overall I believe they sang twenty songs, with Chino coming out into the pit during one, I can’t remember which one it is, as soon as he jumped off the stage, the surge of people was intense, he did manage to come on my side, right in front of another friend and her boyfriend. He started to go over to the other side, and then decided to hit up the middle of the pit, which was epic; his shirt did get ripped off almost.

Overall excellent performance by the Deftones, out of all three shows I’ve been to, this one was the best, the worst for pit, but the best for performance. There wasn’t an encore, although Chino did go change his shirt (to a Ghost shirt, click here to read all about how amazing that band is) so that could have been the small break, and they roughly played for an hour and half.

I did walk away bruised and battered, and slightly high in a sense, along with a parking ticket, and making it home, to catch three hours of sleep before being at work at 7. Great concert, typical day in this concert chick’s life.

Setlist:

Diamond Eyes

Rocket Skates

You’Ve Seen The Butcher

Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)

My Own Summer (Shove It)

Poltergeiest

Rosemary

Felticeria

Digital Bath

Knife Party

Tempest

Fireal

Engine No. 9

Riviere

Change (In The House of Flies)

Passenger

Bloody Cape

Bored

Root

7 Words

 

 

Eye Empire & Kyng 10/18/12: Old National Center – Indianapolis, IN

Free tickets fueled this stop on the Triple Threat Tour. I entered a contest with Live Nation and guess who won? I couldn’t pass up a chance to see two bands that I really love and Seether.

Prior dates had Sick Puppies on the bill, but the past week events resulted in them leaving the tour. Click here to see what Shaun Morgan of Seether posted on Twitter.

Sick Puppies of course said “due to unforeseen circumstances” while the lead singer of Kyng told me last night “they have no balls” I would am lead to believe that the kids didn’t get along well on the playground That being said, last night Eye Empire and Kyng stole the show for me.

Eye Empire (who performed earlier this month in Arizona) is a band that consists of four great guys that are so musically talented they could have bands on the side (oh that’s right they do). Donald Carpenter the lead singer belts out lyrics like no other. I first met Donald a good ten years ago, when he was the lead singer of Submersed. Mark Tremonti along with Alter Bridge introduced them to the world as their opening act and after that they managed to get with other bands that I was into at the time. Following them around was perfect. To be honest I’ve even been on their tour bus years ago where I was invited to listen to some new Submersed music. Donald is a great guy, down to earth and full of heart and just puts it out there every time he performs. The other guys in the band do the same, Ryan Bennett on drums, B.C. Kochmit on guitar, along with Corey Lowery on bass (who I’ve seen many times with his prior band Dark New Day) just bring it to the stage every time I see them. Last night was no exception as they rocked and performed songs from their first album entitled “Eye Empire” which included:

  • I pray
  • The Great Deciever
  • Angels & Demons
  • Feel like I’m Falling
  • Victim of the System
  • Obvious

Overall it was awesome as they got the crowd into it. Afterward, Donald always seems to go through the front row asking everyone to enjoy the show, it’s very personable and shows that he loves the fans. Hugs all around, I am glad I won tickets and had the chance to see them again.

 

Kyng was next. Before the show I commented on lead singer’s Eddie Veliz Instagram account that I was standing right in front of him, well to the side anyway and was awaiting a night of rock. He walked by right before Eye Empire took the stage and pointed at me and shook my hand Well of course I had to met the man who I say reminds me of Rob Zombie. He claimed he didn’t see it but he does see the Zack Wylde resemblance go figure.

 

Kyng has a heavy metal guitar riff driver sound as I shared in my review from the last time I saw the Triple Threat Tour. if I had long hair I would be head banging. They of course sounded great and Eddie’s guitar playing let’s just say wow, dudes got skills. They did have a hard time getting the crowd into it, but the crowd in Indianapolis was a tough one. They were expecting Sick Puppies I believe but life goes on, and enjoy the bands that are in front of you trying to get you to move. Kyng played songs off of their album “Trampled Sun” which included:

  •  Pushing and Pulling
  • Trampled Sun
  • Falling Down
  • Takes it Toll

There were a few others, but I just got the CD last night, and can’t remember off the top of my head what other songs they sang, they did sing six or seven overall.

Being that the crowd wasn’t into them, they did mange to get there attention by throwing out stuff, Eddie said “is that how it works we give you free stuff?” I don’t ask for free stuff, if they throw it my way, they throw it my way, if not.. life goes on, but I will say after the show Eddie did walk down and hand me a guitar pick. That was rad, thanks Eddie. Once he did say he would be at the merchandise booth I decided I would not be hanging front row for Seether.

Eddie was super sweet and quite entertaining. I love his sense of humor, it was a treat to get to met him and get a photo. Hopefully they will tour again after they are done opening for Megadeath in the coming months.

 

Seether had already started while I was meeting Eddie so nothing missed. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Seether, it’s just the Seether from years ago, isn’t the same as it is today. My friend that went with me wanted to hear “Brokin” and we did but after that we decided to leave, as I really only came for the two opening acts.  Seether’s stage set up is dark and not highly visible to the eye, so the photos I got aren’t to shabby, but overall the songs they performed, sounded good in the Old National Center, as Shaun’s voice echoed through the venue.

I love the Old National Center that houses these concerts over in Indianapolis, but I always seem to forget the three flights of stairs we have to walk up to get to the actual venue, they have great acoustics and are always nice and friendly, it’s a great venue and has been home to some great rock shows this year alone. It’s centrally located, and easy access from I-70, love the venue for the Indianapolis area.

Overall for a free concert, it was a good concert, glad I entered, Thank you Live Nation, and glad I got to met the guys that I wanted to met, good night indeed.

 

Seether’s Triple Threat Tour 09/28/12: Pop’s – Sauget, IL

Back in June Seether announced they would headline the Triple Threat tour with Kyng and Sick Puppies. As it turns out, one of those bands stole the show in my opinion.

Seether has played Pops before, and I have heard stories of chaos and other interesting things. In fact one of the security guards there told me an interesting story about how he spent a few days on their tour bus last time they were at Pops, so clearly Seether is a partying band. Unfortunately , I was not lucky enough to actually party with them on this particular evening.

As the norm goes, my friends and I managed to get to Pops well before anyone else. It’s always a great feeling when you walk into a venue and see that empty rail knowing you have accomplished the mission of getting up front. That moment makes up for all the pains of skipping meals and waiting outside since 1pm.

The opening band for the show at Pop’s go by the name Young Guns. They were from England, and they were pretty good, in a sense they could easily play the Warped Tour and gather a ton of young girls screaming after them. They did a great job of getting the crowd moving and the lead singer did have beautiful blue eyes, so that was a plus. Honestly I’m not sure what their songs were, as this is the first time I have actually heard of the band, but I can tell you they played songs from their most recent album Bones. 

The next band I wasn’t familiar with either, they were a three piece band called Kyng. (pronounced “king”) If I would have had long hair, I would have head banged through their entire set. Seriously this band rocked. They had heavy guitar riffs, and blazing bass, along with a lead singer that sort of looked like Rob Zombie, with a hint of Zack Wylde. He knows how to play the guitar that’s for sure. They played straight up head banging music, and they were good at it.

Although I had a hard time understanding exactly what he was saying, they did play songs from their album Trampled Sun and the lead singer was rather flirty. If you’re going to make wide eyes at me, expect the same back. Yes, several times he decided to do that with me and near the end of the set he pointed at me and sung. I love moments where you can connect like that with musicians.

Next up was Sick Puppies. Personally they stole the show. It’s been a year or so since I last saw the band that formed in Australia back in 1997., My first time seeing them, was two or three years ago, when they opened up for Chevelle in Chicago. They rocked the house then, and they rocked the house Friday night. Shim, the lead singer wasn’t feeling too well, you could tell his throat was scratchy but him and Emma, the bass player, and Mark the drummer, rocked it out. They got the crowd bouncing, moving and just plain singing every word to every song. I think they had more fans than Seether it was awesome. Bassist Emma Azari well let’s just say she kicks ass and can play a mean bass that’s for sure. They opened with “Odd One” off of their third album Tri-Polar. From that point on it was all rock. Check out the setlist below.

Sick Puppies set list consisted of:

  1. Odd One
  2. Cancer
  3. My World
  4. All the Same
  5. Maybe
  6. Mad World
  7. Riptide
  8. New Song, not sure on name
  9. Nothing Really Matters
  10. War
  11. You’re going down
Shim also climbed out onto the crowd which did get bumped in the head by his shoe. Sadly I was unable to get photos of this but it’s okay. They performed an epic set and I will no doubt go see them live again.
Seether was next and their stage set up was pretty cool. They had moving parts on the amps, a clock that went around, pumps that moved up and down, and various other things, lots of glowing lights, and special things on the microphones, many different touches to there stage set up.
It had been a good six or seven years since I last saw Seether. They were a band that I followed and seen many times, even one time when they opened for Marilyn Manson way back when. So I was anticipating the sound that they play, but I wasn’t anticipating the mellow vibe I was getting. Honestly I could have feel asleep if it wasn’t for the little kid next to me that had made his way up to the front row and was rocking out. I would have dozed, perhaps it was Shaun’s mellowness that didn’t get the crowd going or just didn’t seem to have a stage presence at all. I’m not really sure.
Seether did perform well for what it was and played their hits along with old favorites such as “Broken.” They had an amazing drum solo by drummer John Humphrey. They did have a set up where Dale the bassist was sitting in a chair playing the bass during “Broken”, and there was some sort of glass object with liquid in it. Here is a photo of it below, the lighting was just dark enough that you couldn’t really get good shots, because it was so smokey in a sense.
Seether did finish up strong, and did get the crowd into with “Country Song” so things were looking up during the performance. As I said Seether has been through a lot as a band, Shaun has had issues and various other things seem to come there way, but overall, they did have a solid performance, the set list is pictured below:

It was a good night for a concert, and being dead center in the front wasn’t to shabby. I would have liked to have the lighting a little different for Seether, but it is what it is. Pops is a great venue, you can’t go wrong with going there to see a show, they have two stages and a balcony enough to accommodate a sold out performance. I love getting there early enough to be able to go in and out of pops to use the facilities, and get a drink if need be, it is a great little venue, nestled between two strip clubs.. makes for the perfect show, and they have a great atmosphere I think, overall I love pops. And this show turned me on to two new bands, that I hadn’t heard of until then, I will see Kyng again for sure, and you never know Young Guns might turn up on another tour, but overall another great concert.

Powerman 5000 09/15/12: Austin’s Fuel Room – Libertyville, IL

Words can’t describe how excited I was for this concert as it had been a year since I had last seen Powerman 5000. I Usually when you mention Powerman 5000, you get a response as “They still exist” well yes they still exist and if you are a diehard fan you would know they have a new album out. Yes folks it’s true you need to get the with program because Powerman 5000 is as good as ever.

I’ve been a fan of Powerman 5000 since roughly 1999 even though I have there earlier albums, “True Force” “The Blood Splat Rating System” and “Mega Kung Foo Radio.” They hooked me in with “When Worlds Collide”, which was a mixture of sci fi rock and some pretty good head banging music all around. But things change and sometimes world events depict the decisions made, but the band still continued to make music.

Powerman 5000 played the Austin’s Fuel Room in Libertyville Illinois Saturday night. This was my first time at Austin’s Fuel room and I believe it was Spiders first time as well. Spider One is the lead singer and founding member of Powerman 5000. I as usual left my house at 9am, because I wanted to be down front. Hello, it’s Powerman 5000 that’s a requirement. We managed to get to the venue around 1pm but after finding a food joint and taking our time, we came back around at 4pm, only to be told, “you left four hours to early”. Okay. The owner was like “oh you won’t have a problem, there won’t be a line” Okay clearly this wasn’t an issue, but still I’m the type of person that feels bad for the band if they don’t have a huge crowd. Sure it is more fun that way if there isn’t a huge crowd, you feel like you’re getting a private show with 100 of your closest friends whom you don’t know.

While we were waiting for the doors to the concert area to open, the band decided to come out in the bar area and eat dinner. I did get to chat with Spider for just a bit, telling him I’m glad they are back to touring, and we mentioned the venue and I said that they sounded pretty good. He’s like were you listening and then we were interpreted by people wanting photos. I’m not the type to go up to someone sitting at the table and ask them for photos, but many did, I waited patiently until the band finished dinner and was getting up to pay, to ask for a photo before he got too busy, it is the common courtesy to do so.

Powerman 5000 took the stage around 10:30pm with a spoken word entrance before they burst into “Show Me What You Got” one of the amazing songs off of their latest album “Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere.” The jam was awesome and personally I felt they could have played every song off of their new album and I would have been happy. There is just something about their music that makes you want to move, and Spiders lyrics are just plain kick ass. Spider moves around so much on stage, it is quite hard to get a good photo, but that keeps the energy up during the concert and you do find yourself head banging, which your neck pays for later.
They sang quite a mixture of songs, even a brand new one; “How to be Human.” I will be all over that album when it comes out. They also sang a song from “Destroy What You Enjoy” called “The City of the Dead”. Overall it was quite a mixture from several of their albums, I was impressed with the set list, they even did my favorite off of the new album, “V is for Vampire” and the famous “Bombshell” that was released on “Anyone for Doomsday” the album that almost never was, but did make its release several years later, I have one of the advance copies, that is safely tucked away and never played, but there is several rare copies out there that are going for well over 100 dollars on eBay.


Powerman 5000 has gone through several band members over the years, I’ve seen the original ones, to the members that Spider has now. Adrian or AD7 the drummer that was on the “Transform” album, made his way back to go out on tour with the guys, and I’m glad he’s back. He was an amazing part of Transform that album was different and not at all your typical Sci Fi music, but they did play “Free” and “Action” from the CD which was a nice surprise.

Set list is below:

The current members are Spider One, Velkro (Dave Pino), X51 (Gustavo Aued), AD7 (Adrian Ost) and sci55ors (Nick Quijano), which is an awesome lineup all together, the guys work well together and blast out a ton of epic music.
Powerman 5000 had an opening band called “Pipe” they were a local band I believe, they put on a good hour performance, they were somewhat heavy, but not too much had a good beat to it, and the guitarist was really good, the drummer was a cancer survivor and they sang a song they had wrote for him, but overall they were a good little band.
Austin’s Fuel Room is located in Libertyville Illinois which is on the other side of Chicago, off of route 41, it’s not a huge place by all means, but was just big enough for a small concert, I heard they have exceptional food, and regardless if they chuckled when I said I left at 9am, I would go back, they were very friendly and I had a great time.


Overall can’t wait for October 5th, I’m seeing Powerman 5000 again in St. Louis, and yes I will get there way before the crowd does and sit outside waiting to be in the front. It’s what I do for the bands I love, granted they may not draw a huge crowd, and I’m okay with that, it allows me to enjoy the show, and rock out to some amazing music, as every Powerman 5000 show is epic in my book.

Default and Saving Abel 09/01/12: DuQuoin State Fair – DeQuoin, IL

The DuQuoin State Fair always seems to have better entertainment then the Illinois State Fair, don’t ask me why. Perhaps the fact that it is down south closer to Tennessee and Kentucky and bands can easily travel Interstate 57 to get to it? It’s roughly a three hour drive for me, two and half depending on if I stop or not, but worth the drive in the rain no doubt.

Hurricane Issac had decided to make it’s way up to Illinois Saturday and we did travel through some heavy downpours to get to the fair, but once we made it we found the Exhibition Hall where the concert was being held and sat there as it was easier then roaming around in the rain. The concert itself was going to be delayed by a good hour anyway, so we had plenty of time.

Listening to the sound check, and anticipating the concert was enough to get me excited to see the band below.

Default is a band I’ve been a fan of for years, but never had the chance to see them live. They are from Canada and they have several number one songs from their first album “The Fallout” It was the album that put them on the map so of speak, and Dallas Smith (the lead singer) mentioned that Saturday night. They have a total of four albums, and mixed up there set list with hits from each album.

From “The Fallout” they sang: “Sick and Tired”, “Deny”, “Wasting my Time” and “Live a Lie.” Their next album was released in 2003 titled “Elocation” and from that album they sang: “Taking My Life Away”, and “Throw is all Away”. Next they released “One Thing Remains” in 2005 and from that album they sang: “All is Forgiven”, “Count on Me” and “The Way We Were” I believe. The last album they released is titled “Comes and Goes” and from that the band rocked “Comes and Goes” but to be honest I can’t remember if they sang another song off of this album. Dallas made the comment that they were only doing two tour dates this year as family and other obligations were priority. Dallas Smith just released his solo Country album as well, entitled “Jump Right In.” I do know he will be touring on that album, so perhaps Dallas and Default will do a tour again? I would love to see them live again since his voice is unique. The band sounded amazing at the fair, vocals, guitar.. it all worked well together for only having two tour dates.. please Default, TOUR AGAIN!!..

Saving Abel is a band that’s been around since 2004.Jared Weeks the lead singer calls them “rednecks.” As he said Saturday night, Saving Abeldraw an interesting crowd, basically country folk that love to drink a lot which would explain the abundance of State Police guarding the stage. Jared did ask everyone to “Thank the State Police” for protecting them.

I’ve seen Saving Abel a few times and they always put on a great show. They just came out with a new album called “Bringing Down the Giant” and they sang new songs from that album along with their hits from the past three. Unlike Default, they only have three albums out, but have had major hits off of the two prior. There big hit is “Addicted” which comes off of the 2008 release “Saving Abel” it’s the hit that put them on the map as well.

Saving Abel’s set list consisted of:

  1.  Bringing down the Giant
  2. Hell of a ride
  3. Stupid Girl (Only in Hollywood)
  4. New Tattoo
  5. New Loser
  6. I’d do it again
  7. Drowning Face down
  8. Pictures of Elvis
  9. Michael Jackson’s Jacket
  10. 18 Days
  11. Addicted

Overall they sounded great.The acoustics are good in the Grandstand at the DuQuoin State Fair but the seats not so much. The Grandstand doesn’t have a PIT section, you are basically right in front of the stage, and the sections that are listed in front of the stage are deceiving, we were in Section 4 which was down from the stage, yet still in front of it, just not center of it, if that makes sense. Sections 5, and 6 are the two that are dead center to the stage, so in the future we will remember to get seats in that area.

We did however move up in the seats during Saving Abels set and I was able to get better photos, which worked out really well.

Overall great performances by both bands, they did have a little local band opening, called Against the Tide, they sounded along the lines of Saving Abel, and fit in with the other two bands, they played for roughly thirty minutes, before Default took the stage. I have only been to the DuQuoin State Fair once before, so for a second trip it was worth the drive and if the entertainment is good, I’ll probably go back in the future.

Carnival of Madness – The Rave, Milwaukee WI – 8-21-2012

Stop number two for me on the Carnival of Madness 2012 Tour, and so far each show has been different in every aspect.
Milwaukee is quite a drive for me, a five hour drive to be exact. The Carnival of Madness Tour rolled into Milwaukee on my Birthday August 21st. What a better way to spend your birthday then with a concert? We rolled into Milwaukee around 1pm, as we left our home at 8am. Thankfully it was not that bad of a drive. My friend Cheri Hargis went with me, and we managed to get about 50 people back in line.

All the bands were there, and since this is an early show that started around 5pm and they usually let people in the door roughly around 4pm. Here at The Rave they let everyone in at 3:45pm where we were mashed up next to a small door in a bar area until 4:30pm. Then we all pushed and made our way up three flights of stairs to the main ball room, Cheri and I managed to get a side rail, close to the stage, and in a good position before the place started filling up. I’m not a stair climber by all means, I got worried when there was a ton of people in front of us, but we did manage to get on the rail. The Rave is located at the edge of downtown Milwaukee, and it a huge five story brick building, it has many rooms to have several bands playing at once. In fact there were several bands playing that night, along with several bars. The main area/main stage is a huge ballroom type place, with steps, and a balcony that has opera style seating. It looks rundown from the outside, but inside, it’s a great venue with excellent acoustics, it’s worth the five hour drive to get there, as many bands make a stop at The Rave.

New Medicine was first up as they have been first up this entire tour. Honestly these guys never disappoint and they rock it each time. They have had so many issues this tour, Jake the lead singer got appendicitis after the first show and had to sit out two shows. They added a new song, “American Wasted” from their debut album Race you to the Bottom along with the “The Takeover” “Little Sister” (which by the way is about Jake losing his little sister when she was young) and they closed with “Race You To The Bottom” which is a song about drinking. During “Race You To The Bottom” they had Arejay from Halestorm come up on stage and help them out. It made for a fun overall band performance.

Next up was Cavo and still after the second time I can’t really get into them, I’m not sure why. I love their songs and they even played a new song off of the current album Thick as Thieves called “Circles” along with “Celebrity” and “Ready to Go.” They also did there hit “Champagne” off of their last album. Overall Cavo does put on a great performance, I just can’t seem to get into their music, and possibly if I got the CD it would help, but they aren’t a bad band by no means, that’s just my opinion and it could change.

Halestorm takes the stage next and as always Lzzy belts out another great performance, I’m not sure what people were saying about The Rave not having great sound, I seriously could hear everything Lzzy was singing, her voice sounded awesome, I tell you folks if you get a chance to see Halestorm live you will not be disappointed. Lzzy belts out songs from the new current CD, Strange Case of Halestorm along with others from the first CD Halestorm. Songs included, “I Get Off” “Love Bites, So Do I” “Rock Show” “MzHyde” “Freak Like Me” and “I Miss the Misery” all of these are major rock songs, and are epic when they are sung live. She also sang song on the piano called “Break In” which has been accompanied by Amy Lee, they have been doing a duet of the song here on the last dates, here is a photo of Amy Lee behind the piano, and more will follow in the review of the Chicago show

We were behind the piano in Milwaukee and wasn’t able to see the whole performance, but you can see Amy’s face just above the piano that Lzzy is playing, it’s a beautiful song, and a great duet by both of them.

Chevelle was next and at this point and time being in the PIT is getting tough, and this concert in Milwaukee was there fourth time seeing them, well they did more jumping up and down then I have ever seen, it was comical yet hardcore at the same time. Of course Chevelle can never put on a bad show, I’ve been a fan for 12 years, just love these guys they are a great bunch of guys, they run their own stuff, and just put on an amazing performance each time I see them. They sang hits off of their new CD Hats off to the Bull along with favorites “The Clincher”, “Red”, and “Envy” even though Sheldon the Bull wasn’t present, Chevelle sounded awesome, like I said the acoustics in The Rave were amazing.

By the end of Chevelle’s set, hunger and dehydration had set in for Cheri and I. It was obvious we weren’t going to make it through Evanescence set, so we managed to make our way out of the Pit and back to where we could sit down and at least hear Amy Lee and see their set. As you can see we were rather far away, but you can still see them starting off their set with “What You Want.”

Evanescence sang songs off of the current CD entitled Evanescence along with old favorites such as “Going Under”, “My Immortal” and “Call Me When You’re Sober”. Amy like Lzzy plays piano solos as well, granted this was the second stop for me on this tour, and honestly we left after the first couple songs, being that far away you can make that decision, but I know Amy Lee and company put on a great performance for the Milwaukee crowd.

Overall it was worth the trip, I would do it again in a heartbeat, and for the second time on the Carnival of Madness tour, it’s always rewarding to say you actually made it through the show, regardless of if you had to leave because of dehydration or hunger. Concert pit people are hardcore, and we do with stand the elements from time to time, but we don’t regret it, and have the stories to tell from it.

Carnival of Madness – Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL – 8-26-2012

Having seen gigs in Springfield Illinois and Milwaukee Wisconsin already this summer, Toyota Park in the suburbs of Chicago was my third stop on the Carnival of Madness Tour 2012. There is a difference in this review then all the others, as this review will be cut short, the weather had a factor with the show Sunday night, and was a major issue with the bands as well.

Having never been to this venue, it is a stadium for a MLS soccer team so you can guess how massive it is. My friends and I decided to get to the venue at 9:30am and we were ninth in line, as some friends of mine Cortney Meyer and Troy Jordan had a long haul and wanted to make sure we got great spots inside. This is what you do, friends help friends and we all managed to get on the rail in the front row, so it was worth the seven hour wait I must say.

It had rained on and off all day. Luckily we were under the entrance door area, so we weren’t too wet from the rain waiting to get inside all day. Yet the stadium itself didn’t have a roof, so praying the rain would end by 5pm was a given. Once the doors finally opened, we weren’t searched instead we just had our ticket scanned and off we went. Several of us managed to get in after our tickets were scanned, but some were held back because others were pushing so I managed to get in along with Troy and we headed down front to keep spots for the others. Everyone made it, barely, but thankfully the venue had a floor on the field. Had it not been for that floor, it would have been a major mud pit.

It started to rain on and off during New Medicine’s set and as always regardless of strep throat, Jake put on a great show, singing his heart out..

There was no disappointment, granted yes they have had their share of issues on this tour, but again New Medicine rocked the house. They played songs off of their current album”Race You To The Bottom” which is about drinking, and I did manage to get the drinking race on film.

It’s a highlight of the show, to see who can race to the bottom of the glass, either Jake or Matt usually wins, as you see Arejay from Halestorm was cheering them on as well. New Medicine is a great band, and for as many times as I’ve seen them in the last year or two I would go see them again in a heartbeat, great bunch of guys.

Cavo was next and with the rain stopping they put on an excellent performance. As I said in the past review, I need to get their CD and listen to it more to get the feel for them. They did play their hits, as well as “Circles” a new song off of their album “Thick as Thieves”.

By the time Cavo had finished it had started to rain again. Halestorm was taking the stage regardless of the conditions By the time Halestorm finished, they were as soaked along with the rest of us.

Lzzy Hale started of singing “Love Bites, So do I” and the rain started coming down real hard. It seems like the more they rocked the more rain came down, but despite them getting through their entire before the venue stopped the last song, which was “Here’s To Us.” As awlays they rocked the house.

During Halestorms set, Lzzy was able to do “Break In” on the piano and Amy Lee umbrella in tow to begin with, sang right along with her, Amy got rid of the umbrella, because there was no stopping getting wet at this show:

Halestorm did manage to finish with exception of the last song and by that time everyone was wet. Justin Wilk who is Halestorm’s equipment tech couldn’t keep the sound boards dry despite trying everything from plastic bags to wiping them off, It was madness and thus the show was cancelled.

Granted Chevelle and Evanescence didn’t make it on, but the venue is thinking about rescheduling it and they are negotiating when the best time will be. I know my ticket is soggy and so was my friends, but they are drying out as I’m typing hopefully it will be on a sunny weekend.

The show must go on they say but unfortunately on this night it didn’t. I wouldn’t change one thing, waiting in line for nine hours, getting soaked and having the time of my life. Granted the seats inside my truck are still soaked, it was an epic night and an epic way to end my trek of the Carnival of Madness Tour.

Journey and Pat Benatar – Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, IN – 8-08-12

For some, the 80’s  were the best times in their lives. Others only retain bad memories- but for music some good bands came out of the 80’s and are still producing music today. Two of those bands are still touring and bringing in the crowds, they are Journey and Pat Benatar.

I will be honest, I can’t remember the 80’s to much as I don’t think I really got into music until the 90’s, but I do remember the songs of the era, and as Pat Benatar said last night one of her songs was the first video played on that “music channel called MTV”, I do remember seeing that and thinking wow, what an accomplishment to be the first rock video played. Now I don’t think MTV has videos, let alone music for that matter all you see on there is teenage pregnancy, and awkward moments, along with stupid stuff that makes you want to change the channel. They have certainly gotten away from what’s important, the music, but I digress and should get off my soap box now and continue on with the review.

Traveling from Illinois to Indiana can be a chore sometimes, as things always seem to happen on I-70 from time to time, I was able to leave work an hour early, and the place that I won the tickets from, (yes this was another free concert) called to say they would have the tickets at Will Call for me, and I need not to worry about getting there early. Good deal right? Wrong! I-70 decided to have a major traffic jam a good 50 miles out of Indianapolis, there was no way we were going to make it on time, after taking matters into my own hands, we went through the ditch and headed to Indianapolis on 40, which took us a bit longer, but we made it thirty minutes after start time, and only missing LoverBoy who was the opening act, granted they only played for thirty minutes, but still no worries. My friend Cheri Hargis went with me, as I won two tickets, and she is a huge Pat Benatar fan, only seemed fitting.

We took our seats, which for free seats, weren’t to shabby:

We had full view of the stage as well as one huge screen on the left side, so over all seats were pretty good. No more did we get set down, the lights went out, and Pat Benatar came on stage.

I must say, she looked fabulous. Sporting red hair color, and long leather jacket, she started out singing “All Fired Up” and it was awesome, she sounded just like she did years ago, nothing changed. Yes, she might have gotten older, and at one point during the show said “this is the part where we sit down because we are old” true, but by dang it she can belt out the hits, and her husband Neil Giraldo can rock that guitar. Benatar’s set list consisted of hit after hit:

  1. All Fired UP
  2. Invisible
  3. Promises in the Dark
  4. We Belong
  5. You Better Run
  6. Hit me with your Best Shot
  7. Love is a Battlefield

Encore:

  1. Let’s stay together
  2. Heartbreaker/Ring of Fire

The crowd loved it, she sounded so good and I have never had the opportunity to see her live, and I’m glad I did, and being free made it even better.  Pat played for roughly an hour or so, possibly a little more which was just enough time to showcase all the hits, and Neil Giraldo on the guitar, Pat and him are the perfect match, they did take the time to sit down and talk a bit about when they started and why they haven’t stopped.

Which was special as they are just normal folks, who have been singing and making music for well over twenty years, it was something I’m glad I was able to be a part of.

Journey was up next and they didn’t disappoint either they did set up the stage with their  emblem:

Which was pretty cool looking no doubt, they do have a new singer, and honestly if I didn’t know he was a new singer, I would have thought he was the lead singer all along, his name is “Arnel Pineda” and he sounds just like he’s been there lead singer since day one, sounds exactly like Steve Perry’s voice. He has a great stage presence and knows how to interact with the crowd, even at one point accepting a beer from a lady in the front row, and even though he didn’t drink it, kindly set it down by the speakers at the edge of the stage. Overall he belted out the hits, old favorites, and new songs with ease.

Journey sang roughly eighteen songs, in the order listed below:

  1. Anyway you want it
  2. Never walk away
  3. Ask the lonely
  4. Only the Young
  5. Chain Reaction
  6. Send her my Love
  7. Faithfully
  8. The Star Spangled Banner (guitar solo jam)
  9. Stone in Love
  10. Lights
  11. City of Hope (new song from new album)
  12. Wheel in the sky
  13. Escape
  14. Be good to yourself
  15. Open Arms
  16. Don’t stop believing
  17. Separate Ways (worlds apart)
  18. Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin

The highlight of the show for me was the guitar solo by “Neal Schon”, oh my gosh it was beyond epic, he played the Star Spangled Banner and it was amazing, everyone was on their feet, it was moving to say the least, and I think the photo below says it all.

So amazed by this solo, and the whole show actually, it was a great 80’s night had by all.

The Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is a great venue for concerts, sports, and other events. It’s huge, the seats were comfortable, and it’s spaced out just enough were you don’t feel like you are being crowded when you go to get a drink, or hit the restroom, there is enough room for everyone, it’s centrally located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, with parking all around and plenty of places to choose to eat, or walk too. Overall a great venue to visit.

The concert was awesome, there aren’t any other words to use to describe it. It was a fun 80’s flashback of hits, memories, and good times. I do remember seeing Pat Benatar for the first time years ago on MTV, but as things change, those that once ruled the 80’s are still ruling in the future with great hits, and awesome performances. God Bless the 80’s!!

Lollapalooza 08/04/12: Grant Park – Chicago, IL

Lollapalooza 08/04/12: Grant Park – Chicago, IL

Lollapalooza needs no introduction. The once great touring festival now goes down once a year at Grant Park in Chicago. One year I will manage to make it to all three days of the fest but for 2012 free tickets to Saturday is nothing to complain about.

This will be a short review as I didn’t get to do all I wanted to do at Lollapalooza this year, first off I don’t think my friend that I met there wanted to be there. She got nausea from the smells of various plants inhaled into the lungs of our fellow concert goers. I get that it’s a music festival and that is to be expected. However she didn’t get the message. Perhaps next year I’ll either go alone (as I seem to have more fun that way) or ask a friend that has never been and wants to partake in the festivities with me.

I decided to park at Soldier Field this year and leaving at 7am did help the cause I wasn’t caught in traffic nor was it hard to access the parking garage. The bad part about parking at Soldier Field is the over the river and through the woods trek you take to actually get to Grant Park. A few times I thought I might pass out, but I kept on going and managed to get myself to the front gate of Lollapalooza.  Just in case you’re wondering I’m older and muscles aren’t as limber as they use to be.

 

Going into the festival I knew I had wanted to try to catch Fun. on the Sony Google Play stage, so we headed that way to check it out. Then we roamed around the festival checking out Perry’s stage which was larger in comparison to years past, that seems to be the happening stage of the festival. You can see in this photo that it’s a huge set up, with LED screens on two stand along towers which will showcase any dance performance music to its fullest.


Lollapalooza had something new this year, Boxed Water, yes you read it, boxed water. It came in a little milk carton looking box, and said “Boxed Water is better” yes it is, for the environment indeed. This was handed out for free or purchased for $2 which wasn’t bad. It’s re-usable and a great little water jug for sure.

 

Moving back to the Sony Google Play stage and sitting in the picnic area while eating some Chow Town grub, a band started playing. Fidlar, I suggest you check them out, they were awesome. They had the crowd going and even got a circle pit started and just had a great vibe. I managed to finish eating and head up near the stage to get some photos. They rocked in my opinion and the lead singer even made his way out into the crowd to join the fun, overall a great little band and great performance, not sure if anyone caught them on the You Tube stream, they were awesome as was the Givers they were next on the Sony Google Play stage and I made my way up front for them, they put on a great little set as well.

After watching the Givers my friend decides she is going home early, so I decide it’s best if I roam around and then head off to the Jane’s Addiction after show at the Aragon. I was trying to find my way out and walking as it was announced over the PA that Lollapalooza was evacuating due to a major storm that was headed our way. By the time I had finally got out and made it to my vehicle, the storm hit Chicago hard. I decided then it was best if I head home. I had to sit and wait for the rain to pass. As everyone was being cautious due to the weather and getting to the Aragon would have been a challenge.

So sadly my Lollapalooza 2012 experience was a bit of downer. Next year I will attend as I’m going to try again to get the three day passes that go on sale early, if not I’ll wait and see who is going to be there and decide that way. This was only my second time at the festival. I went back in 2010 when Lady Gaga was there, and was in the massive crowd that she decided to body surf upon. Overall a good Saturday, I’m burnt, and sore but I all that means is you are living life to the fullest.

Kaskade 08/03/12: Egyptian Room at the Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN

Kaskade 08/03/12: Egyptian Room at the Old National Centre – Indianapolis, IN 

I am often called a concert junkie and the fact is that I am. I will go see any live music except for country, but who are we kidding if I won tickets to a country show I would probably check it out. So you know I was not going to miss a chance to see Kaskade perform live when tickets ended up in my hands.  I’m not much into the EDM scene myself, but loved Deadmau5 when I saw him several years ago. Having heard lots of good things about Kaskade I figured why not head out to Indianapolis and check his show out?

With a food truck festival going down in the Murat parking lot it was a bit of a struggle to get to will call. The tickets I won from Twitter were waiting for me there and the slight hassle caused me to miss most of the opening act Alvin Risk. I believe Risk is what would be categorized as dubstep. Whatever the proper genre, what we caught was exciting down to his lovely black and white checkered sweater vest. You can check him out on Twitter by clicking here.


Kaskade started around 10pm and put on an amazing set. He started out with “Eyes” and the crowd was moving and grooving. Off the bat it seemed to be a full out rave as the glow sticks and huge LED screens make you feel like you are in a swirling room. The massive strobe lights also help that sensation.  It is quite magical I will say and the music makes you move. Kaskade did a great job, the lights, music, atmosphere and overall presence that he had from the stage showed. Kaskade was controlling the crowd with his music and the crowd didn’t seem to mind.

His full set of songs is listed below, I’m not familiar with the majority of them, but did recognize a few.

 

Set list:

  1. Eyes
  2. Be Still
  3. Room for Happiness
  4. Stars Troll
  5.  All you Paris
  6. Fire in your Antidote
  7. Empty Streets Cascade
  8. Angel on my Shoulder
  9. No one knows who we are (brand new song)
  10. 4am Quasar
  11. Lick It
  12. Don’t stop Hells Bells
  13. Llove
  14. Lessons in Love
  15. Call out Epic
  16. It’s you it’s hertz
  17. Move for the legend
  18. Turn it down
  19. Invisible 5am
  20. Dynasty
  21. Raining
  22. How Long Alien
  23. I’ll never dream I’m in love
  24. Sending my Love (encore song)

It was a great show put on by Kaskade as you can see in the photos. I loved everything he did and it was just an amazing night. Big thanks to the fine folks at the Old National Centre who allowed me to win the tickets via Twitter. A truly great venue for a great night of music I can’t wait to cross paths with both Kaskade and the Murat in the not so distant future.

 

Carnival of Madness Tour 07/31/2012: Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield, IL

Carnival of Madness Tour 2012

Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield, IL

Words/Photos by Concertchk

The Carnival of Madness Tour rolled into Springfield Illinois last night (07/31/12) and what a show is was. It was five bands, new songs and a ton of nerves all adding up for a truly memorable evening. The trek featured Evanescence, Chevelle, Halestorm, New Medicine and Cavo. As you probably know by reading my past confessions, I have seen all of these bands with the exception of Cavo numerous times. Yet since this was only 90 minutes away from home I figured why not check them out again?  As usual I got there early but thankfully the wait was not too bad with doors set to open at 5:30.  There are two sets of doors to the Prairie Capital Convention Center, and I was first in line at one of the doors which gave me time to make friends as I waited for two of my friends to show up. The venue was recently remodeled and was the perfect place for a show like this. Plenty of seats for shoes who want them and a big open floor for those who love to get down and dirty in the pit.   Once doors did open I ran past things like the official Chevelle gray Chevelle automobile in order to get to the rail (and yes I made it right in front of the stage) I was ready for the Carnival of Madness to begin.

New Medicine went on first, and as usual they put on a great performance. They seemed rushed probably as a result of the RV issues they tweeted about earlier in the day. They didn’t play all of the songs one would want to hear, but the songs they did play  included “War”, “Little Sister”, “Laid”, “Race you to the Bottom”, and “Rich Kids.” Granted I feel that their set could have been a bit longer, they did a good job for the amount of time they had and I look forward to seeing them again down the road.

Cavo was next and I didn’t know what to expect as I am not very familiar with their music. Personally I feel that they should have played first, but perhaps since New Medicine had transportation issues the lineup was altered?  Cavo is a small band from St. Louis Missouri, and they are very popular down there in the clubs.  From where I was, I was unable to make out a word the lead singer was singing. I did recognize their one semi-hit “Champagne” but I wasn’t very impressed.  If it would have been in a different setting perhaps I would have enjoyed it more, but on this particular night it simply wasn’t happening.

Halestorm was up next and of course Lzzy and crew kicked a hole in the roof. Lzzy Hale worked the vocal pipes for a good performance as she led the group through songs from their latest album “Strange Case of Halestorm.” Highlights included “Love Bites, So Do I”, “Freak Like Me”, “Rock Show” “I Miss the Misery”, “American Boys”, and “Here’s to Us.” One of the highlights came from the group’s first album as they played an incredible version of “Familiar Taste of Poison”. Perhaps most impressive is that Lzzy does all this decked out in four inch heels. As always, Halestorm came and destroyed.


Up next was Chevelle. One of my favorites, I was delighted as the boys made their set feel like a carnival. The stage featured a back drop that looked like the old time red and gold circus colors, with their name on it.  Then above that was a screen of a bunch of dare I say creepy carnie types looking in. They also they managed to put a huge bull statue on stage which was rather awesome. Compared to how they normally stand on stage, they switched the places of Pete and Dean, and also put Sam to the side. This was a GREAT set up, as they were the only band out of all five that made you feel like you were actually at the Carnival. As always, Chevelle rocked musically and you could tell they were nervous for some reason unknown to me. Pete’s foot was shaking trying to hit the guitar pedals and there was just a weird almost indescribable feeling in the air.  As a huge fan, the performance was epic as always. The three piece performed songs off of their current album “Hats Off To The Bull” such as “Face To The Floor”, “The Meddler” and of course the title track. They also made sure to bust out the big guns from yesteryear including “The Red,” “Sleep Apnea” and “Jars.” Always a great time with these guys and I can’t wait to be front row for them again in the not so distant future.

Evanescence performed last, being the co-headliner on this tour. I would have thought Amy Lee and crew could have at least did some sort of Carnival theme but apparently not., The outfit she wore was close to the same thing as what she wore when I saw the band a few months ago. I wanted circus garb but instead we got the same outfit with different colored tights. As far as performance goes Evanescence did well, Amy’s voice sounded really good echoing through the Prairie Capital Convention Center, and the band behind her sounded solid. With a lack of stage banter, the group mainly stuck to songs from their latest self-titled release.  Songs such as “What You Want,” “My Heart Is Broken,” “The Other Side.” and “The Change” made it into the set. Have no fear, there were classic Evanescence hits including “Call Me When You’re Sober,” “My Immortal,” Bring Me To Life” and “Going Under.” The band even performed a new song which I believe is called “Disappear.” In a rare moment of talking to the ground, Amy Lee informed us that we would be a guinea pig which was fine with the crowd. Even with an assistant bringing throat spray and water to Lee (I can understand the need to keep the vocals well  taken care of with all this dry August heat) the group sounded much better than the last time I saw them and were a perfect way to close out the evening.

Overall the Carnival of Madness opening night wasn’t bad. While I feel there could have been more done to make it feel like a Carnival there is always room for improvement. At least Chevelle came through on that theme.  Perhaps there will be more theatrics later down the road when I catch this tour in both Milwaukee and Bridgeview Illinois.

Sebastian Bach – 7-21-12 – Pop’s – Sauget, IL

Sebastian Bach we all know the name from the days when Skid Row ruled the world (and perhaps girls of a certain age remember him from the hit TV show Gilmore Girls). I have never seen Sebastian Bach or Skid Row  perform live but I remember the hits like “ I Remember You” like it was yesterday . This show was another free concert as my friend and I got free tickets when we were at Pops two weeks ago. One of the manager’s for an opener asked if we wanted to go, how could we turn him down? As usual we got down to Pop’s early enough that we were the only ones in the parking lot. Seriously I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to Pops when there is someone else there, I’m usually always the first one as I want to be in the first row. So we started to stand in line around 4:30pm when Security came out and moved us back away from the door. Needless to say before the doors opened at 7pm the line was strung through the parking lot and around vehicles so there was a solid turn out for the Sebastian Bach show.

While standing in line my friend Cheri and I, discussed where we wanted to be as the presence of drunk people behind us in line, had us second guessing our spots. Knowing Pop’s has a nice balcony it was decided that we would head up there and get front balcony for the show. Once the doors opened we managed to get two seats almost center to the stage, where Cheri could video tape and I could test out my other angle of photos, and see if that would make a difference. We got our spot which was located underneath an air conditioner vent, you can imagine we nearly froze the whole time (unexpected for the Midwest in July), but enjoyed the show none the less.

Sebastian Bach took the stage at 10pm, and opened up with the head banging “Slave to the Grind.” It was outstanding as Bach was microphone swinging and head banging through the entire song. He sounded great, had the slight echo going through the mic when he finished a song, but that’s to be expected, it is Sebastian Bach for crying out loud. “Slave to the Grind” was awesome, although I kept on singing “Halstorms” version of it in my head, as they did remake the song on an EP earlier in the year, still Bach owned it.

He automatically continued into the next song, “Kicking and Screaming” without slowing down. I did notice his adorable little guitar player, Nick Sterling a young guy in his early 20’s yes I’m attracted to younger guys, he was adorable. In fact I almost thought it could be Bach’s son, but as the show progressed I realized it wasn’t but he could play that guitar beautifully and I thought was the highlight of the show, but that’s just me.

Set list below:

  1. Slave to the Grind
  2. Kicking and Screaming
  3. Dirty Power
  4. Here I am
  5. Big Guns
  6. (Love is) a Bitchslap
  7. Stuck Inside
  8. Piece of Me
  9. 18 and Life
  10. American Metalhead
  11. As Long as I got the Music
  12. Monkey Business
  13. My own Worst Enemy
  14. I’m alive
  15. I Remember you
  16. Tunnel Vision
  17. Youth gone wild

As you can see the set list had major Skid Row songs on it, and “Tunnel Vision” which he stated was wrote with John 5 from Rob Zombie. The highlight of the show was during “Youth Gone Wild” as Sebastian started the song and got into the first chorus a kid came running up on stage from the side and started head banging and dancing around. You could see Nick’s face like what the heck, he quickly got tackled and taken out by the security guards, he was in the crowd earlier and was head banging to the opening bands, he did really make it be “Youth gone Wild”, it was a great ending to a awesome concert.

Sebastian Bach had two opening bands, Conquest, and Divine Sorrow. I could have done without Conquest they weren’t very good. Your basic  hair band where the lead singer resembled Bret Micheal’s. Divine Sorrow on the other hand is a good little band, sort of a cross between Metallica and Creed, they had tons of family and friends there, and put on a great set.

Sebastian did mention “Sauget” a lot, as that is the town were Pop’s is located, but did also say that Pops sold out, and that was awesome considering everything going on in St. Louis over the weekend Pop’s managed to sell out for Bach, and as usual put on a great show, I love Pop’s so I can’t say anything bad about a venue that I frequent at least three or four times a year, a great night had by all.

 

 

The Offspring–7-20-2012 St. Louis Fair-Downtown

Free concert? Why yes I shall travel the miles to see “The Offspring” for free as they were one of the bands on the concert series at the St. Louis Fair at Soldiers Memorial Park this past weekend. Getting there was easy, considering there was tons of events going on in St. Louis and surrounding areas, but thankfully my friend has an uncle who works at the hotel that is adjacent to the House of Blues and he hooked us up with free valet parking which was only four blocks away from the fair. That was a nice surprise and Thank you to Beth’s uncle for doing that for us.

After dropping the truck off we made our way to the entrance of the fair as the second band of the night was already on stage. A huge crowd had started gathering, but that didn’t matter to us as the Offspring didn’t go on until 9pm giving us plenty of time to get a spot on the rail.

The Offspring had two openers, Fivefold and Building Rome, again we just caught the last part of Building Rome and they were a good little band, played some cover songs to get the crowd going and got everyone worked up for the Offspring.

We walked right up to the right side of the stage and stood behind some girls that I knew were short enough for me to see over, and low and behold they left after the second band finished. I’m thankful I did bring tissues with me as we were right in front of the speaker and they worked out great for ear plugs. Oh and hey, the Offspring rocked!

The Offspring promptly took the stage at 9pm and started right away into “You’re Gonna go Far Kid”, and also continued with “All I want”. They have just released a brand new album called “Days Go By” and they did sing several new songs off of that album, the set list is listed below:

  1. Your Gonna go Far Kid
  2. All I want
  3. Come out and Play
  4. Days go By
  5. Have you ever
  6. Staring at the Sun
  7. Hammerhead
  8. Gone Away (dedicated to the victims in Aurora Colorado)
  9. Bad Habit
  10. The Future is now
  11. Walla Walla
  12. Hit that
  13. Kristy, are you doing okay
  14. Why don’t you get a job
  15. Americana
  16. Want you bad
  17. Pretty Fly (for a white guy)
  18. The Kids aren’t alright
  19. (Can’t get my) Head around you
  20. Self Esteem

As you can see they played an array of songs from older albums, and the brand new one, this was my first time seeing them in concert and they did not disappoint, I would love to go see them again. They sounded just like they do on the album, Dexter’s voice was good, and Noodles guitar playing was right on point, he stated that this was the best crowd they had in St. Louis.

Even though there was “no moshing” signs posted all over the venue, those got torn down once The Offspring hit the stage. You can’t really stop a crowd from moshing to a punk band I don’t think, it’s what is suppose to happen and the Offspring made it happen. It was a great concert in a great location (you can see the Arch behind the stage) and just a great day. Thank you St. Louis Fair for a great experience.

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