Category: Reviews (page 2 of 63)

The Black Dahlia Murder: House of Blues – Anaheim, Ca – 7/6/18

 

Fleshgod Apocalypse is a death metal band from Italy. In 2016, they released their fourth album King. On October 2017, their fan base was shocked when the band’s longtime singer/guitarist Tommaso Ricardi exited the band. As a replacement, the band’s drummer Francesco Paoli will return to being the guitarist/vocalist for the band as he was for the band’s early days and first album. Taking over drums for this tour will be David Folchitto from the extrem metal band Stormlord. This would be the band’s first US tour with the current lineup. The lights went out and the violin outro to The Deceit filled the sold out venue. Fleshgod Apocalypse came out and started the show with The Violation and immediately sent the crowd-filled floor into a frenzy with moshing and crowd surfing. Fleshgod Apocalypse seems to only get better with time and their music will make any person headbang and throw their metal horns in the air. Their music was backed up by the haunting operatic voice of Veronica Bordacchini. Paoli’s voice is a force to be reckoned with as he unleashed hell on the sold out crowd. Their setlist consisted of some of their best songs including Healing Through War, The Fool, and The Egoism. The whole band was very energetic with not a single dull moment in their performance. Being one of the opening bands, they had a short set and the final song of the night was their most popular song, The Forsaking. Upon finishing their set, they got a huge standing ovation from the Orange County crowd with fans praising their performance and commenting how amazing they were as it was most likely their first time seeing and hearing the band.

 

The headlining band for the tour was The Black Dahlia Murder. In 2017, they released their eighth album Nightbringers. The album became the best-selling direct-to-consumer in Metal Blade Records’ history. To celebrate the occasion, The Black Dahlia Murder would perform the album in its entirety on their current tour. The sold out House of Blues was packed to capacity on this hot day and the crowd was more than ready to continue to show their support for one of America’s most popular bands. The lights went out and the fans screamed at the top of their lungs as the members came out and started the show with the first track from the Nightbringers album, Widowmaker. Vocalist Trevor Strnad was the last to come out and once he started the singing, the mosh pits went wild once again with even crowd servers being plentiful during the whole show. The second song was Of God and Serpent, Of Spectre and Snake and it drove the audience just as wild. The Black Dahlia Murder is known to have wild shows and this show was no exception. Strnad’s wicked vocals always drives the audience wild and goes perfectly with the fast guitar work. The album continued with Jars and Kings of the Underworld. The Black Dahlia Murder took a quick break from the album to surprise the audience by playing their most popular hit, What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse. The song got its name from a quote from the 1988 video game Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. The Nightbringers album continued with Catacomb Hecatomb and eventually finished with The Lonely Deceased. Strnad announced that that was the whole Nightbringers album, but they weren’t finished with the show. The show continued with Everything Went Black and the fans continued to make the band proud by giving it their all in the mosh pit despite how hot and sweaty they were. The grand finale of the show was Deathmask Divine and the crowd went totally berserk. The show came to an end and nothing but smiles were seen among the audience as going to a metal show was the perfect way to spend a Friday night.

 

Fleshgod Apocalypse

 

 

The Black Dahlia Murder

 

Third Eye Blind @ The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Atlantic City) 7/5/2018

Third Eye Blind – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Atlantic City, NJ – July 5th 2018

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks

There’s a new(ly branded) hotel in Atlantic City that was literally made for nights like these. It’s the brand new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the slotty slums of Dirty Jerz! We’re here for Third Eye Blind. They’re about to fly overseas to record a new record, but in the meantime they’re playing this pop up show in AC while they plug their new covers album “Thanks For Everything”, which features deep cuts from bands you’ve never heard of. I kid. There is a Queens of The Stone Age cover on there. Did I mention we’re in the 2nd row tonight? Yeah, it’s about to be a lituation up in here.

A camera man working the venue said the band was due on stage at 8:20. What kind of rock band hits the stage on time? So around 8:25 Third Eye Blind graces the stage to a resounding roar from the crowd. In all of the videos in this post it is highly suggested that you check out these dudes in the first row. First few minutes I was almost annoyed that they were being typical dude-bro-lads, drunkenly screaming and almost fist pumping.

As the show progressed, the first row got more and more rowdy. They’re not “dude-bro-lads”, they’re misfits who are ALL IN at this show. Every word, every strum of every bar was LIFE to these dudes. By the end of the night they had turned me. They made the night more fun. And the irony of me getting upset at someone for having their camera block the sight line of my camera was not lost upon this “concert archiver.”

Then, in a shocking turn of events, I abandoned my hard camera for my iPhone 7’s camera. I did this because I wasn’t in need of a serious zoom from our awesome seats, so the phone is lighter so I can kinda jive to the tunes and stuff and not have to hold my arm completely still and I can use that to bob and weave the flying fists in that rowdy roddy row.

Always a good time with the 3EB boys. The last couple times I’ve seen them at casinos with no opener and those shows have been such a blast. Also as an old person for a set to end at like 9:30 and be that rocking is exactly the happy medium I need right now in my life. Thanks to my lovely girlfriend for another awesome night of getting me to a show and getting you to read this. Full set list is below the encore.

Set List: Graduate, Faster, Wounded, Never Let You Go, Losing A Whole Year, 10 (Happy Diving cover), Motorcycle Drive By, Company Of Strangers, Jumper, Deep Inside Of You, Crystal Baller, Fuck Forever (Babyshambles cover), Dopamine, Semi-Charmed Life

Encore: How’s It Going To Be

Body Count (Ice-T) at the Marquee Theater (5/25/2018) Tempe, AZ

 

 

 

Fresh off the set of Law & Order: SVU, Ice-T made a fast getaway from the filming of next season’s popular crime drama, on which he has played Detective Sgt Fin Tutuola since 1999, and traded in his NY badge for his iconic black LA baseball cap and black work gloves. From PD to OG, Ice-T is many things…Predictable is not one of them, but being a grand showman certainly is.

Ice-T lit up the Marquee stage with long-time collaborator Ernie C. Together, in 1990, the two formed the controversial LA thrash metal band Body Count. While the band is most famous…or rather INfamous…for their controversial 1992 self-titled album release, Body Count has successfully produced five additional studio albums:  Born Dead (1994), Violent Demise: The Last Days (1997), Murder 4 Hire (2006), Manslaughter (2014), and Bloodlust (2017). Even though most of the band’s set list was comprised of their more popular hits from the 90’s, their subsequent releases such as their 2017 Bloodlust cover performance of Slayer’s “Raining in Blood” is consistent with the Body Count feel and sound that made them famous and fit right in among the BC classics all the way back to 1992’s “There Goes The Neighborhood”.

 

The show opens with sirens and the Body Count title track, including the 9-1-1 “Smoked Pork” dispatch conversation voice-over introduction and the call to order that is the “Body Count Anthem” and “Body Count’s In The House”, both found on the same album. But while in the past the band has focused more on certain people groups, today the message is a bit more refined, pointing fingers at humanity in general. It’s everybody’s fault: #NoLivesMatter. Ice-T picks on every subject from racism to economics. Nothing is sacred. No one is safe. He says what he wants. He makes no apology. He’s not wrong, but at least he sings it to you in a way that makes you want to smash along with him. Body Count is a thrash metal band, and as such may seemingly lack some of the pleasantries and fine-tuning of modern metal music. This is no-frills, straight-up, old-skool. The sound may be raw and the message reality, but there is no shortage of talent in the band’s ranks. Straight outta Compton, Ernie C is still the band’s lead guitar, and he’s anything but typical. Growing up in LA, he was never impressed with the lack of showmanship found in the average R&B artist. He was influenced by bands like The Isley Brothers, but he wanted to live the adrenaline that only rock ‘n’ roll can provide. Now nearly 30 years later, through the iconoclastic anti-establishmentarianism that is BC, Ernie-C’s slick fingers still deftly noodle through Ice-T’s profanity-riddled “Talk Sh*t Get Shot” pimp lyrics like a knife through hot, face-melting butter. It’s melodic, but at the same time it’s mayhem….kinda like his hair. And even though the guitar players are usually the famous guys in the band (next to the lead singer) Body Count wouldn’t be Body Count with the same amount of impeccable rhythm and groove driving the low end. For many years now, Vincent Price has been the Tiffany lamp shade hanging in the fight club barroom that is Body Count…He really ties the room together. First he’s on one side of the stage, then he’s on the other. He’s looking at you, then he’s pointing at me. Encouraging a sing-a-long and shmooving along to the music in love songs such as “KKK B*tch”, nobody goes to a rock show to stand still and be bored, and Vincent Price makes sure you are neither. Over the years, the Body Count line-up has changed slightly. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a BC show, you’ll notice their new guitar player, Evildead’s Juan Garcia, who joined the band in 2013, and Ill Will on drums since 2009. But somebody’s gotta hold down the fort, as they say, and that is the same Sean E. Sean…the man behind the curtain (even though he’s right there on stage), working magic and running the samples for every song as he’s done since the very beginning. Every show ends with a bang, and Ice-T makes sure to finish everyone off with the heart-wrenching ballad “Momma’s Gotta Die Tonight” followed by the one track that scattered all the record execs back in the day and put the band on the map….”Cop Killer”.

 

Despite his hardcore presence, Ice-T has always invited others to share his stage and his spotlight.  In the video single for “All Love Is Lost” off the Bloodlust album, Ice-T features SVU co-star Kelli Giddish, who also plays Det. Rollins on the show. Co-starring in tonight’s performance was Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta with his side project “Jasta”, with a surprise performance by former Killswitch Engage front man Howard Jones. Ice-T and Body Count appeared at The Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ before shipping off on their European tour to support their latest album.

All photos Copyright ©2018 JAM Vaughan (LivingDedGrrl™). All Rights Reserved. Do Not Use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

Insomnium: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca – 6/6/18

  

 

Insomnium is a melodic death metal band from Finland. In 2016, they released their seventh studio album titled Winter’s Gate. The album is an interesting concept because it consists of a single 40-minute epic track, but is broken up into seven parts on the album. The album’s story is said to be about “a group of vikings who set out to find a fabled island west of Ireland, despite the treacherous winter drawing near.” Insomnium announced a North American tour and on this tour, they would perform the entire Winter’s Gate album as well as other greatest hits. The venue for the event would take place at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California.
The Whisky A Go Go was nicely packed by the time Insomnium came out to the stage at around 11:40pm. They started with Winter’s Gate pt.1 since it is the album’s opening track. The music sounds sounds just as beautiful live as it does on the album itself. Insomnium was primarily doused in dark blue lights, possibly to match the winter theme of the album and at times made it hard to see the band. Fans cheered as the band played as well as raised their horns and head banged to the music. The fans seemed to stay relatively calm which isn’t a surprise given that Insomnium‘s music is meant to be soaked in and enjoyed rather than form mosh pits. It wasn’t until roughly part 4 of Winter’s Gate where the crowd finally seemed to come to life and started a mosh pit and kept it up for most of the show. The album’s finale Winter’s Gate pt. 7 was played and Insomnium left the stage much to the fan’s disappointment. After a few minutes, it was time for the second half of the show. Insomnium made their way back to the stage and started to play some songs from their previous album, Shadows of the Dying Sun. The first song played from that album was The Primeval Dark. Once again, fans started rocking out to the music which went perfectly together. The next song played was the next song on the album, While We Sleep. Insomnium truly makes some beautiful melodic death metal to rock out to and to just enjoy. Insomnium would go on to play more hits which included Revelations, Killjoy, and the beautiful and emotional track, The Promethean Song.  Sadly, it was time for the show to come to an end. for the show’s finale, Insomnium played Ephemeral. The perfect tune to end the night with and continue moshing away. Insomnium wrapped up their show, thanked the fans for coming out, then left the stage.

 

Slayer: FivePoint Amphitheatre – Irvine, CA – 5/11/18

  

Thrash metal legends Slayer recently announced that after over 35 years of making music, the band would embark on their farewell tour. To make sure that they went out with a bang, Slayer brought with them on tour some of the biggest bands in metal. It included Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament. The second stop on the tour was the newly built FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California. SoCal was so ready for this show that it sold out just  days after tickets went on sale. Even on this rainy day, fans still packed the venue early on. I missed Testament due to the usual nightmare that is Southern California traffic, but luckily I made it in time for the mighty Behemoth.

  

Behemoth are a blackened death metal band from Poland. They are currently riding on the success from their 2014 release The Satanist which earned the #1 spot on Loudwire’s 2014 metal albums of the year. Behemoth is now cooking up new music which we will hear very soon. Behemoth came out to the sold out audience and started the show with Ov fire and the Void. Right away, you can feel the evil in the band’s music and it gave you a feeling of discomfort, yet made you headbang and raise your horns to the music. Frontman Nergal always has a way with words when interacting with the audience and announcing the next song. To introduce the second song, Nergal said to the audience, “Let us rejoice, my brethren, for God is no more. This is Demigod!” and so the second song was Demigod from Behemoth‘s famed album, Demigod. One of the highlights of the show was when Behemoth announced their upcoming album which has yet to have any info on it, but Behemoth still gave the audience a taste of new music and played a brand new track, Wolves ov Siberia. Behemoth‘s set came to an end when they played O Father O Satan O Sun!, the final track from their album, The Satanist. The song seems to be over when all the band members leave, then they come back out for the ending of the song wearing the horned masks as seen on their music for Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel. A powerful set by this fine metal band and the show was still getting warmed up.

  

If you’re a Slayer fan, chances are you are also a fan of thrash metal veterans, Anthrax. Alongside Slayer, Anthrax are part of the “Big 4” of thrash metal (Megadeth and Metallica being the other two). Anthrax released their newest album For All Kings in 2016. With lots of fans in the audience, Anthrax was ready to tear it up. Anthrax started the show with the always satisfying Caught in a Mosh as guitarist Scott Ian started the familiar guitar intro to the song. The song was written specifically for people in the mosh pit so naturally, a mosh pit formed right away and even crowd surfers started to make their way to the front. Thrash metal is some of the best music to see live as it always makes for crazy crowds. Anthrax proved this as they continued their thrash assault with their most popular hit, Madhouse. A song that’s super fun to sing along to, yet always makes for some insane mosh pits. Anthrax went on to play some classics like I Am the Law, Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.), and Antisocial. Anthrax never had a dull moment in their show so when it came to the end, singer Joey Belladonna asked for a huge mosh pit as they played Indians. A great way to end their set and make way for the next band.

  

Lamb of God are a metal band from Richmond, Virginia. On May 18, 2018, Lamb of God released a new album under their previous band name, Burn the Priest. The album’s name is Legion: XX and is an album with punk covers. The lights went out and the audience cheered as the intro vocal track for Omerta started. The band made their way to the stage and started Omerta. By this time, rain had started to descend upon the sold out audience and with the venue being outdoor, it made it difficult to withstand the rain as fans tried to shield themselves from the rain. Frontman Randy Blythe always makes sure to interact with the fans as he would talk to them and make sure everyone is having a good time. Lamb of God next played one of their popular hits Ruin followed by a song from their previous album, 512. Blythe offered the audience to take a walk with him in hell, so Lamb of God next played Walk With Me in Hell, one of their most popular songs and always drives the mosh pits wild. It was during halfway through the song when Blythe brought the song to a halt when he noticed that a fan was injured in the mosh pit. He had people move out of the way so EMT’s could get to the injured fan. What a guy. After about ten minutes, Lamb of God continued the song. Nearing the end of the show, Lamb of God played their most popular song Laid to Rest which drove the fans even crazier and has fans singing along. To end their set, Lamb of God played their Grammy-nominated song, Redneck. Blythe asked for the biggest mosh of the night and so the audience gave him just that. A wild ending for Lamb of God and still the main band of the night has yet to come on.

  

Kings of thrash metal Slayer are undoubtedly one of the most important metal bands of all time. The majority of bands that have come out within the last 25 years or so can say that they have been influenced by Slayer. The rain was still in effect, but that wasn’t stopping fans from having a good time. Even before Slayer came on stage, the fans were eagerly chanting, “Slayer! Slayer! Slayer!” as any Slayer audience should. The intro track Delusions of Saviour started and the stage came to life as fire started to engulf the stage, including Slayer‘s eagle logo. The band made their way to the stage and started with Repentless, the first track from their newest 2015 album, Repentless. Right away, you could feel 35+ years of thrash metal come to life as Slayer unleashed hell on the fully-packed venue. Mosh pits formed and crowd surfers kept coming. Their song Disciple is a live staple as fans love singing along to “God Hates Us All! God Hates Us All!”. All four bands members were on fire that night. Literally. As the band played, the pyro behind the stage would go off to match the rhythm of the song. Pyro makes everything better. Slayer blasted through many classic from throughout their career which included Mandatory Suicide, Black Magic, Postmortem, and Blood Red. Frontman Tom Araya took a quick break to talk to audience. He asked, “you guys wanna say WAR with me!?” the audience cheered in agreement. He asked, “are you ready!?” and the crowd cheered some more. Araya let out a powerful “WAAAAARRRRRR” along with audience as Slayer played one of their best songs, War Ensemble. Oh, how the pits went wild. Slayer dug deep into their catalog and played more old school classics like Hell Awaits, Seasons in the Abyss, and Dead Skin Mask. Slayer played South of Heaven signaling that the show was near its end. As the song ended, the band members huddled around drummer Paul Bostaph as he drummed the familiar drum pattern to their most famous song and one of the greatest songs in metal, Raining Blood. Whether you like Slayer or not, you have heard Raining Blood. Slayer played Raining Blood and everyone was seen headbanging, raising their horns, and even multiple mosh pit had broken out on the floor. Metal truly brings people together. Chemical Warfare was next and kept up the energy that Slayer had going all night. The show had come to an end and so Slayer played one of their most popular hits, Angel of Death. Araya let out one of the most infamous screams in metal which is how the song is played and is satisfying to have the scream piercing your ears. Slayer wrapped up their show and came out front and center stage to thank the audience for coming out. Araya held an intimate speech with the audience thanking them for all the years of support, “if it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be here. Thank you and goodnight”. Slayer walked off stage as a sense of gloom covered the venue with many fans knowing that they had seen the thrash metal legends most likely for the final time.

 

Behemoth

 

 

Anthrax

 

Lamb of God

 

Slayer

Municipal Waste: The Regent – Los Angeles, Ca – 4/27/18

The weekend hails upon So-Cal and with only a month’s notice, we are graced with the presence of Richmond’s beloved Municipal Waste. Recently I was able to catch this spectacle with the Mr. Pickles tour opening for the Bay area’s, Exodus which was nothing but a fantastic show. This evening in particular was just as epic. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve witnessed a room go completely ballistic and its a sight to behold every time. My take on this show is best described as complete madness and in the best way possible. Alongside MW were 3 opening bands: The Trappist, Savage Master, and Despise You.
Savage Master: Though as usual being in the LA area I always have the hardest time catching the opening band which was ‘Despise you’ I was lucky enough to walk in as ‘Savage Master’ took the stage. Ive seen this band on a smaller stage a few months back and since then have been in touch with catching them on future gigs. Like most Women fronted bands you adhere to a certain type of vibe, however, SM is able to deliver in a crowding venue as the seconds go by. With bangers such as “With whips and chains, “Burning Leather” and “Ready to Sin” they’re able to keep the crowd growing and chanting. These hellions are best fitted into the traditional heavy metal scene with pounding fists, leather and chains being the way they represent themselves and their music. Truly heavy and worth catching on any future shows.
Setlist:
Black Hooves
Vengeance Is Steel
With Whips and Chains
Satan’s Crown
Looking for a Sacrifice
Burning Leather
Dark Light of the Moon
Ready to Sin
The Ripper in Black
Death Rides the Highway
The Trappist:
Now, I’m one for being open minded through and through because I feel that its the best way to enjoy anything and everything. This band surprisingly made me consider that statement just a tad bit. Definitely won’t say anything negative on their behalf since they of course have their own unique style of doing things. The best way I can describe ‘ The Trappist’ would be speedy gutter grindcore. Don’t quote me on that exact label, but to me it’s what fit best. With a few tunes that were literally only about 5 seconds long and what appeared to be off tempo rhythm. I am definitely sure I heard one song played about 3 times. This band can bring a crowd together as well as make’em move. I can see that half of the people were into it while the other were just as confused as I was. This does not mean they aren’t any good, it just goes to show that there are times when these kinds of bands aren’t worth bringing to this sort of lineup. Nonetheless; If I do happen to catch them live again I’m sure it would be with their extreme types of bands playing alongside.
Setlist:
No Soldier Left Behind
This Means Wort
Victims Of A Bomber Raid
Patron Saints
Swignorant
Giving The Boot 
Municipal Waste:
Now, the main reason why this house was entirely full, with fans out at the front door asking anyone and everyone who had a spare ticket at a fully sold out show. After announcing that 100 tickets were left and in a few short hours being completely gone, there’s only one thing you’d have to expect at a show like this. The only predicament I fell into when taking photos during the Wastes set was that there was little to no room you could consider “safe” especially for a camera lens. With fists flying and legs kicking high up in the air and what looked like 20 people up on the center stage simultaneously, the venue was engulfed entirely with angst and rage. Heavy hitting jammers such as “Unleash the Bastards”, “Beer Pressure” and “Slime and Punishment”, the room echoes with chants and screams from all the die hards shouting alongside Tony Foresta’s lyrics. Crunchy rhythms and ripping bass tones are what give MW that signature speed metal punk sound you just love to get active to. The band currently has one show itself in the states before heading over to Canada and then to partake in a number of festivals overseas. Besides MW, the band members are also playing a few shows in their other bands ‘Bat’ and ‘Iron Reagan’. Make sure you check them out as well, as far as performance goes. This band always delivers a party wherever they land!
Setlist:

Breathe Grease

Mind Eraser

You’re Cut Off

I Want to Kill the President

Substitute Creature 

Slime & Punishment

Parole Violators
Headbanger Face Rip 
Terror Shark 

Born To Party

The Inebriator
Pre-Game
The Art of Partying
Photos and review by Hugo Juarez

Municipal Waste

 

The Trappist

 

Savage Master

Nightwish: Ventura Theater – Ventura, Ca 4/12/18

  

 

Nightwish are a symphonic metal band from Finland. They are the most successful Finnish band worldwide, selling more than 9 million records and receiving more than 60 gold and platinum awards, having released five number 1 albums and thirteen number 1 singles. On March 9, 2018 Nightwish released their newest 2CD compilation album Decades which contains remastered versions of the original material. With the release of the compilation album, Nightwish set out on a world tour with a very special setlist. This setlist would include almost all songs from the band’s early career with their original singer, Tarja Turunen. These songs are featured in the band’s first four albums and some haven’t been played in ten years or more. To make the show extra intimate, Nightwish would have no support for the tour and would make each show each night two hours. One of the stops on the tour was the Majestic Ventura Theater in Ventura, California which made for a nice beach setting. As Nightwish was preparing to start, the venue was packed to almost sold out.
Fifteen minutes to the band starting, an intro video would be seen on the screen. With the last minute of the intro, a one minute countdown clock started which got the fans excited. The fans counted down the last ten seconds, then the lights went out. Nightwish member Troy Donockley, who plays the Ullieann pipes, was first to come on stage. He would play the first minute of the song Swanheart which works perfectly for his pipes. The rest of the band would come out and start the show with End of All Hope. This is a song that the band has not played since 2004 so for many fans, it was surely the first time hearing the song live. The second song played was one of Nightwish‘s best songs, Wish I Had An Angel. It is their biggest US hit to date and fans were happily singing along to the song. The third song played was 10th Man Down. This song has also not been played since 2003 making it for a nice treat for fans that will most likely never hear this song live ever again. Singer Floor Jansen looked amazing rocking out with the band as she head banged to the music and gracefully danced. Nightwish continued to bring the old songs into play as they played old favorites from ten years ago or more which included Gethsemane, Sacrament of Wilderness, Dead Boy’s Poem, and Elvenpath. Hearing these old tracks being played for possibly the last time was an amazing feeling of nostalgia for long time fans. Jansen gave these song justice that would make Turunen proud. Up next was one of the band’s newer songs and live staple, I Want My Tears Back. This is perhaps the band’s most fun song to jump and dance to. During the middle of the song is when Donockley plays his pipes and makes everyone dance to the segment as Jansen has everyone jumping, clapping, and she herself is dancing on stage. Moments like this bring fans together showing there is no hate amongst them. Bassist Marco Hietala went on to talk to the audience and joke with them a bit before introducing another old song The Carpenter from their 1997 debut album Angels Fall First which hasn’t been played since 1998, most likely since their first tour ever way before they toured the USA for the first time.  The Kinslayer was up next and this song hasn’t been played since 2005, most likely on the last tour featuring Turunen before being dismissed from the band that same year. This song was written about the victims of the Columbine High School massacre. Devil & the Deep Dark Ocean was next and is another old track that was last played in 1999. The familiar keyboards started and fans cheered as Nightwish played what is perhaps their most famous song, Nemo. Fans everywhere were seen singing along to the song and is always one of the best songs played live by the band. Slaying the Dreamer hasn’t been played since 2008 and is one of the heavier songs by the band and has Jansen rocking out on stage as well as the fans rocking out. Nearing the end of their two-hour set, Nightwish played the longest song in their catalog at 24 minutes, The Greatest Show on Earth from their newest album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful. The song is separated into five parts, but only parts 1-3 were played. The song has a beautiful piano intro then Jansen jumps in with her beautiful soprano voice and sings part one of the song. The rest of the song is played flawlessly for the seventeen minutes of parts 1-3. Sadly, it was time for the show to come to an end. Nightwish would perform their ten-minute symphonic metal masterpiece, Ghost Love Score. A beautifully performed song that made for a perfect ending. Nightwish finished their show and got a standing ovation from the packed venue. It was truly one of Nightwish‘s best tours.

 

John 5: Discovery Ventura – Ventura, Ca 4/11/18

Guitar extraordinaire John 5 released his first live album It’s Alive on January 25th, 2018.  He is currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie and was also a longtime guitarist for Marilyn Manson. When he’s not touring with Rob Zombie, John 5 focuses on his solo albums. He has released eight solo albums with the most recent one being Season of the Witch. All of John 5‘s albums are instrumental and have no vocals so he lets his guitar work do all the talking. With the release of his live album, John 5 was once again ready to set out on the road in support of his most recent releases. On this day, John 5 made a stop in Ventura, California at the Discovery bowling alley. Ventura County made him proud as the venue was packed even on a Wednesday night.
John 5 had the stage setup with a screen showing classic horror/monster movie segments playing backwards and blow up carnival entrances. John 5‘s bandmates made their way to the stage with John 5 being the last one to come out and immediately started the show with Flight of the Vulcan Kelly from his 2014 album, Careful With That Axe. John 5 would immediately show his musicianship by swiftly and flawlessly playing his guitar exactly to the album. The first stage prop you notice is how he has a mouth piece that blinks and changes colors. After the second song, he would toss the mouth piece into the audience for a lucky fan to have. The second song played was Here’s to the Crazy Ones from his most recent album, Season of the Witch. Watching John 5 play his guitar is a thing of beauty that can best be described as something you have to go and see for yourself. The third song played was one of his more popular songs, This Is My Rifle. Every song John 5 plays sounds different so you never know what he will bring out next and is always a pleasant surprise. At one point, John 5 wore one of his own masks of his face paint while performing. A man dressed as an evil clown came up behind him and ripped the mask off John 5‘s face only to reveal a second mask in the form of flesh looking as if John 5‘s face had been ripped off. Another one of his props was when a man dressed as a little girl came up to John 5 and handed him a doll. John 5 used this to his advantage and ended up using the doll as a guitar pick to play his guitar. John 5 would go on to entertain his audience by playing songs from his recent album releases which included a cover of Enter Sandman by Metallica, Hell Haw I.G.R., Season of the Witch, and Portrait of Sydney Sloan. One of the more fun songs played live was The Black Grass Plague. In this song, for the solos, John 5 brings out a miniature Fender guitar which brought great laughs and entertainment to the audience. The second instrument for the solo was a banjo and it drove the fans wild as they cheered. John 5 made note that there would be special guests for this show as some of the stops on his tour had different guests. The first guest to come out was Sebastian Bach most famously known for being the singer for 80’s glam metal band, Skid Row. They performed covers of Parasite (KISS) and Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue). John 5 would reveal another special unannounced guest and it turned out to be Stephen Pearcy most famously known for being the singer for 80’s glam metal band, Ratt. John 5 showed how excited he was to have two influential musicians share the stage with him as he smiled throughout their cover of Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (Van Halen). John 5 would close out the show by performing a medley of covers of classic rock and heavy metal songs. To go with the medley, John 5 brought out a guitar that shot out lasers and even asked for the lights to be turned off to show the full effect. John 5 finished the show and the crowd cheered for him as he left the stage.

 

Nightwish at the Marquee Theater, Tempe, AZ

Listening to Nightwish is a lot like biting into a York Peppermint Pattie…you get the sensation of flying into their ethereal images and the feeling of fantastical transportation, weaving through a complex, otherworldly sonic tapestry. Their symphonic metal overtures transmute sound to adventure through a delicate alchemy of crunch and vigor gilded with elegance and intellect. Close your eyes and you’re the hero in your own Skyrim or Finnish version of Final Fantasy. And that’s just the album by itself….

Nightwish live is the most decadent of guilty pleasures. They sound lux and exquisite, yet their stage presence is warm and welcoming. The hauntingly iconic Nightwish sound of Troy Donockley playing the Uilleann Pipes and tin whistle set the tone for the evening as a sort-of call to gather at the feet of a famous storyteller awaiting the tales of  Man’s daily trials and tribulations told with bardic flair and contemplative depth. Quoting such celebratory sources as Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Charles Darwin, keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, the mastermind behind the music, is an exquisite wordsmith who transforms the doldrums and challenges of average life into thoughtful sonnets of celestial intensity. The music has motion and groove driven by a seraphic mix of electronics, beat, and signature metallic grunge, while the lyrics portray the excitement of one eloquent escapade after another. Every song is a miniature opus. The curtain opens with End Of All Hope from the 2002 album “Century Child”, an appropriate phoenician tragedy in the lyrical spirit of Hamlet which inquisitionally chronicles the struggle and previous death of the band and its resurrection into the magnificence that currently graces the stage. As one chapter closes, another one opens and transitions down the setlist to the raucous Wish I Had An Angel, a brutally romantic reflection of the emotions of a Mercution friend in love with his Romeon rival’s Juliette.  As the band meets its fans all across the globe in this their 2018 Greatest Hits tour entitled “Decades”, Nightwish has carefully added these and others of their most riveting and emotional selections to their set list from their past accolades from all across the calendar, including Come Cover Me from one of the band’s earliest releases, year 2000 album “Wishmaster” which back then featured former lead singer and three-octave soprano Tarja Turunen, and Elan, the release from the most recent 2015 album “Endless Forms Most Beautiful”, which was the subject of a scandalous pre-release sabotage which leaked the album’s debut single. As a special gift for their guests, we were given copies of their compilation album “Decades” with which to remember this night.

Floor Jansen is my spirit animal. Your hostess for the evening, Nightwish’s lead singer is one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the musical stage. She is the epitome of strength and grace. Her voice is rich and full of passion as she captivates the audience with her hypnotic transitions from operatic goddess to Death’s Roar incarnate. She floats across the stage in heels and a fluttering asymmetrical hemline dress. She is an elegant siren. Her luring and fan-lulling is fashionably disrupted periodically, juxtaposed by a blast of icy, earthy reality in the raspy vocals of bassist, Marco Hietala. Founding member and lead guitar player Emppu Vuorinen lights up the stage with his smiling eyes and his variety of technique, rhythms, and lofty melodic solos, occasionally ripping and shredding behind the tinkling, contrapuntal piano sprinklings of Tuomas Holopainen in such songs as Gethsemane. To enhance the marriage of emotion and music in this most grandest of evening illusions, the stage was brilliantly lit with ginormous LED screens that flickered complementary breathtaking imagery from beautiful animated snowscapes to the grandeur of Monument Valley.

Photos ©Copyright 2018 LivingDedGrrl™. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

 

Bonded By Blood/Novareign: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca 3/29/18

 

Novareign are a progressive power/speed metal band from Los Angeles, Ca. On February 16, 2018; they released their debut album, Legends. For a few years, Novareign has been slowly, but surely reaching the top of the mountain as they’ve been conquering show after show and opening for big names such as Michael Schenker just recently at the Grove in Anaheim, California. On this day, they would perform at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go for the first time to a nicely packed audience. Novareign started the show with Call on the Storm, the first track on the new album. Right away, yours ears will be shredded by the dual guitar speed from guitarists Danny Nobel and Balmore Lemus. In jumps in singer David “Icarus” Marquez with his high-pitch singing that would make heavy metal singers proud. As with most traditional power metal bands, their music includes some long songs. Even the opening song stands right at seven minutes and made for a great opening song. The next song played was Heavy Heart, another great track from the album. The audience responded really well to their music as they moshed and banged their heads to the music. With a short set to use, Novareign ended their show with Black as the Dead of Night, an almost nine minute finale. Novareign‘s career is just barely getting started and for sure will have many more opportunities to share the stage with other rock and metal legends.
Bonded By Blood are an American thrash metal band from Pomona, California. They named themselves after the debut album from San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal legends, Exodus. The group formed in 2005 and released their debut album Feed the Beast in 2008. To celebrate the occasion, they played this special show to celebrate the album’s tenth anniversary and would play the album in its entirety. Plenty of fans were in attendance and were more than ready to get thrashed out of their minds. Bonded By Blood came out and started the show with the first track from the album, Immortal Life. Right away, fans started moshing once again as the thrash metal music hit. Their fast and heavy music hit you hard and will easily make you throw your horns in the air as well as head bang. Bonded By Blood continued the thrash metal assault as they played through tracks like Necropsy, The Evil Within, Vengeance, and Self-Immolation. Singer Mauro noted how the venue was packed, even for a Thursday. He asked for the crowd to get louder if they wanted more fast music. After a few attempts, the band was convinced. The highlight of their performance came when they finally played the title of the album, Feed the Beast. The crowd got even more insane as they had clearly been waiting for that song. Up next was the final song on the album and Mauro once again noted how the fans had been requesting a certain song since they started performing. He asked, “what do you wanna eat?” and the audience responded with, “Pizza!”. Bonded By Blood played Theme from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and was a great thrash metal twist to the classic TV show intro. To end the show, Bonded By Blood played The Aftermath from their third album of the same name. It was the last chance that Hollywood had to really get crazy. Bonded By Blood finished up their set, thanked the audience for coming out, then left the stage. Shows like this prove that no matter what day of the week, dedicated metal heads will come out and rage.

 

Novareign

 

 

 

Bonded By Blood

 

Ministry: Ventura Theater – Ventura, Ca 3/23/18

 

Industrial metal legends Ministry released their highly anticipated fourteenth studio album AmeriKKKant on March 9th, 2018. The first single Antifa was first performed at the 2017 Blackest of the Black festival. Since the album’s release, Ministry has been touring and are currently on their USA headlining tour featuring The God Bombs and Chelsea Wolfe. The second stop on the tour was the Majestic Ventura Theater in Ventura, California. Not too many metal bands come through to Ventura County so it’s nice when one doesn’t need to make the 1-2 hour drives to Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Pomona, etc. A Ministry show on a Friday after a long work week was the perfect way to relieve stress.
As the opening acts finished their sets, the stage was being setup for Ministry which included fake TV sets, lights, and giant inflatable chickens with a crossed out Swastika on their chest. Judging by their hair, the chickens were obviously made to poke fun at Donald Trump which Ministry mastermind Al Jourgensen has openly said he despises him. By the time Ministry came on stage, the venue had a healthy turn out of fans. The lights went out and the band members came out one by one as DJ Swamp played the intro to the new album titled I Know Words, a phrase used by Trump at one of his speeches. The intro track features a mock remix of Trump’s infamous speech where he says, “we will make America great again”. The track went perfect with the screen in the background that was going to the slow speed of the remix. The intro track ended and all the band members except for Jourgensen were on stage as they started the show with the next track from the new album, Twilight Zone. Jourgensen finally came out with a harmonica and would alternate between singing the song and playing the harmonica segments of the song. The next song played was the next song from the new album, Victims of a Clown. As the song started, Jourgensen introduced the guest vocalist for the tour which was Burton C. Bell who is also the singer for the metal band, Fear Factory. Punch in the Face was the next song played and after that, Ministry focused on one of their Bush-era albums titled Rio Grande Blood as they played their three live staple hits Señor Peligro (Mr. Danger), LiesLiesLies, and the album’s title track, Rio Grande Blood. The screen in the background showed lots of depictions revolving around the band’s music which involved war, politics, religion, and violence in the world. Some of the best ones shown were caricatures of Trump and Hillary Clinton fighting each other as if it was a giant monster brawl. Another showed a cartoon of Trump which an eagle’s nest for hair and showed a bald eagle laying an egg in it. Ministry went back to perform three more new songs which were Wargasm, We’re Tired of It, and Antifa. Jourgensen took a quick break to let the fans know that for this upcoming quarter, that they should go out and vote. Ministry had partnered up with HeadCount to empower young people with their right to vote. Now that Ministry had gotten all of their newer material out of the way, it was time to bring out the classics  that fans had been craving. The first was the band’s juggernaut hit, Just One Fix. The fans in the mosh had been moshing all night, but went extra crazy when those notes hit and they knew what song it was. The chorus line involving the song’s title had fans singing along and raising their horns and fists in the air. N.W.O was another one of the band’s biggest hits and also drove the mosh pit wild. Both of those songs were from the band’s certified platinum and gold album,  Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs. When fans heard the intro riff to Thieves, they once again lost their minds to another one of Ministry‘s best songs. It was perhaps the best and most energetic song of the night as a few crowd surfers showed up, people were jumping, and of course the mosh pit stayed active. To end their set, Ministry played their 8-minute song So What and it also had fans shouting along to the chorus of, “So What!”. Ministry left the stage and all seemed quiet. The fans cheered and chanted the band’s name for them to come back out. After a couple of minutes, the band members made their way back to the stage. Jourgensen once again urged the fans to get out there and vote. For the encore, Ministry played another old favorite, Bad Blood from their 1999 album, Dark Side of the Spoon. The fans cheered as Ministry waved goodbye and left the stage for the final time.

 

Doyle: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca – 3/11/18

Legendary Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolgang von Frankenstein released his second album As We Die in 2017. When he’s not touring with Misfits, Doyle is off on his solo tour with his bandmates unleashing hell on the road. To promote the album, Doyle embarked on a USA tour. One of the stops was at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. This show was extra special as punks and metal heads came together and sold out the show.

After enduring six local opening bands, it was time for Doyle to come on stage at 11pm sharp. His bandmates came on stage first and Doyle himself stomped his way to the stage as the final member as they started the show with Abominator, the opening track from Doyle’s debut album of the same name. The floor came alive as a mosh pit formed as well as people shoving trying to get as close as possible to the front of the stage. Doyle’s music offers a range of heavy metal and horror punk which moshers loved as they kept doing what they love best. From here on out, singer Alex Story would introduce each song by saying, “this next song is a love song. You can dance to it if you want”. It made for some great humor in between songs. The next track played was Beast Like Me from the new album and is one of the more popular tracks from it. Seeing as how Doyle has two albums out, it means he has plenty of material to pick from for his show. On his previous tours, Doyle would throw in some classic Misfits tunes for fans, but sadly this was not the case for this tour. Still, fans had a good time as Doyle stomped on stage and Story used the whole stage as his playground as the band crushed through songs like Cemeterysexxx, HeadHunter, Valley of Shadows, and DreamingDeadGirls. Even the band’s previous drummer Brandon Pertzborn came out to jam for a couple of songs. Doyle is a fun and wild band to see live, especially if you’re a fan of the Misfits. Story ended the show by saying, “and with that, I Hope Hell Is Warm” as the band played the final song of the night then said goodnight to the audience and left the stage.

 

Enslaved: The Observatory – Santa Ana, Ca – 3/10/18

Norwegian black/extreme metal band Enslaved released their fourteenth album E in 2017. The title of the album represents the initial letter of the band’s name. To promote the album as well as return to North American soil, Enslaved announced their tour as the headlining act of the 2018 Decibel Magazine tour. The tour also featured Khemmis, Myrkur, and Wolves in the Throne Room. The Observatory in Santa Ana, California would serve as the final stop on the tour on this rainy Saturday night.

The venue had a nice turnout of metal heads that braved the rain and plenty of Enslaved fans were seen in the audience wearing their merch. The lights went out and the crowd went crazy as Enslaved made their way to the stage and started the show with the first track from the new album, Storm Son. A rather lengthy opening song at eleven minutes. Due to most of Enslaved‘s songs being long, they are usually limited to short sets which is why it is often better to see Enslaved on their own headlining tour. The next song played was Roots of the Mountain from their 2012 album, RIITIIR. Another lengthy song at just over nine minutes. Singer/bassist Grutle Kjellson would unleash his growls at the audience with precise to the albums. Kjellson thanked the fans for being at the show and spoke to them about how the band started out in 1991 with guitarist Ivar Bjørnson and himself. To celebrate the occasion, Enslaved played a track from their 1994 debut album, Vikingligr Veldi (Icelandic meaning roughly Glorious Viking Square). That song was Vetrarnótt (“Winternight“). Kjellson also made note on how they had released their previous album In Times and decided to play one of the best songs on the album, One Thousand Years of Rain which was also fitting seeing as how it had been raining all day. Enslaved went back to the new album and played one of the album’s best songs, Sacred Horse. For the majority of the show, the band was plagued by the venue’s red and orange lights often make it hard to see them. As to why the venue thinks it’s a good look for the band for most of the night is a mystery and should be avoided by all venues. With a short set, Enslaved played their most popular track Isa as a finale and even brought out the band Khemmis on stage with them to sing along. Enslaved finished the song, thanked the audience once again for coming out, then left the stage. Enslaved are very talented musicians and lyricists and should be adored by metal heads, especially if you’re a fan of Scandinavian metal bands.

 

Exodus & Municipal Waste: House of Blues – Anaheim, Ca – 2/26/18

 Exodus and Municipal Waste – Adult Swim’s Thrashtacular Evening
 House of Blues – Anaheim, CA (02/26/2018)
Photos & Review by Hugo Juarez
While most weekend warriors are trying to recover from their weekend’s raging, the real spectacle was taking place in Anaheim. On this particular evening, we are granted with only the finest doses of speed, metal, adrenaline and great performances. Thrashtacular, an event hosted by Adult Swim promoting season 3 of the hit animated show ‘Mr. Pickles’ with the presence of Municipal Waste and headlining Bay Area thrashers Exodus. With such a small line up and huge promotion this show was an amazing success despite the fact that it takes place on a Monday evening. Those in attendance definitely came out to have nothing but a great time at the House of Blues, and that they did. Unfortunately due to traffic I was not able to catch the first band who had played but was right on time to see the Waste annihilate their set.

 

Municipal Waste
The boys from Richmond Virginia were about to set the stage and by the looks of how the House of Blues was already tremendously packed, you already knew that we were all in for one hell of a time. Before appearing on stage, a short clip for Adult Swims ‘Mr Pickles’ came on and really hyped up the crowd. Barely kicking off the set and already you’re witnessing crowd surfers and stage divers in all directions. With their fast aggressive angst attitudes portrayed throughout their performance it’s no wonder why they have a massive following. A cross over thrash band such as the Waste brings in different sorts of crowds from metal heads, punks and thrashers who rage to their tunes as one and chant their songs such as ‘You’re Cut Off’, ‘Sadistic Magician’, and my all time favorite, ‘Headbanger Face Rip’. It’s no doubt that Municipal Waste definitely over delivers, I even give singer Tony Foresta credit for screaming the way he does even with a tired voice that this tour has taken a toll on him for. It’s always a privilege to see these heavy titans up on stage live and I know we’ll get many chances again in due time. Currently the band will be touring up until the 8th of March, with 4 shows remaining I know each show is not worth missing out!

Seltlist:
Breathe Grease
Mind Eraser
You’re cut off
Unleash the bastards
Sadistic magician
Bourbon Discipline
Thrashing is my business
I want to kill the President
Black ice 
Poison the preacher
Amateur Sketch
Slime and Punishment
Thrashing of the Christ 
Substitute Creature
Parole Violators
Headbanger FaceRip 
Art of Partying
Born to Party

 

Exodus
Finally the time had come. The night was still fresh and everyone still energetic to keep the floor active. Exodus, one of the pioneering Thrash Titans who have a high reputation in promoting old fashioned friendly violent fun. While both the crowd and the band are in full swing with adrenaline, the band doesn’t spare a single second and they do so by starting off with one of their all time hits ‘Bonded by Blood’.
Perhaps the best part attending a thrash show is the fact that you know you’re in for a good body slamming, fist flinging, hair flying time.
Madness and chaos engulfs the venue as Exodus plays many old school favorites as ‘Fabulous Disaster’, ‘Metal Command’, and ‘Lesson in Violence’. New songs from their Latest Album ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ are definitely a must for this tour. The best part about Exodus, besides the fact that their music is wound excellent, the band carry themselves as very professional and humble individuals who make it aware that while we’re at a show letting out our angry passions on each other, it’s still a brotherhood. Singer Zetro Zausa makes that very clear. If you’re able to pack a venue top to bottom, and have an engaging interaction with everyone in the room you have done only the finest job in doing so. After wrapping up the Adult Swim tour, Exodus is set to do a few shows across Europe in June. If you haven’t already, go ahead and check these guys out before you regret it!

 

Setlist:
Bonded by Blood
Blood In Blood Out
And then there were none
Fabulous Disaster
Body Harvest 
Metal Command
Lesson in Violence
Black List
War is my sheopard
Toxic Waltz
Strike of the Beast

 

 

Exodus

 

Municipal Waste

 

Third Eye Blind 02/11/2018 @ Xcite Center (Parx Casino) Bensalem, PA

Third Eye Blind – February 11th 2018

Xcite Center @ Parx Casino – Bensalem, PA

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks + Mrs. Porks

Every day there are more states legalizing gambling in some form or another. With new casinos opening up, that leaves many an opportunity for glorious concert venues to open inside said casinos. This weekend, an early Valentines Day celebration brought my girlfriend and I to the Xcite Center inside Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA for Third Eye Blind.

I’d never write in a post that I was allowed into a casino with an expired ID, but I will say that the staff at Parx Casino were some of the first authority figures I ran into in life that were actually human. Big screens, awesome lighting-the Xcite Center is open for business and recommended by the fine people at Concert Confessions.

 

Cool thing about Third Eye Blind is that recently they’ve been playing without openers. The times they did recently was Silversun Pickups(!). So the band hit the stage at 8:15, with frontman Stephen Jenkins sporting a shirt that said in all caps WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. Damn right (#Resist)! They broke out with Losing A Whole Year, followed by Blinded and Faster. For the first time in over 100 concerts attended over the last 8 years or so of this Doctor of Journalism covering shows, I was in the building without a camera not included with my phone. Technology is a cool thing. So I decided it’d be a good idea to livestream Wounded straight to Youtube. The grainy video proof above is the result of that.

A song early on the record button, we went into high energy versions of Semi Charmed Life, Company Of Strangers, Graduate and Back To Zero. More on Back To Zero a little later. 3EB already rolls with some awesome lighting but the Xcite Center did nothing but make those lights look extra cool. I looked in the back after the show to see if Chris Kuroda was there, but I didn’t see him.

Dao Of St. Paul was a late audible, as the setlist originally had Slow Motion in that slot, but was crossed off in favor of Stephen Jenkins doing a solo acoustic version of this beauty.

Underneath the set list below, you’ll see a video of Back To Zero. Remember that this was an early Valentines Day night and there couldn’t have been a better gift I could have received than my girlfriend Amanda grabbing all sorts of content with a better mobile device than I. Incredible.

Set List: Losing A Whole Year, Blinded, Narcolepsy, Faster, Wounded, Semi Charmed Life, Company Of Strangers, Graduate, Back To Zero, Dao Of St. Paul, Deep Inside Of You, Motorcycle Drive By, Crystal Baller, Jumper // Encore: Never Let You Go, God of Wine

I decide to go on Facebook Live for the encore. I mean, are they going to throw me out on the last song? That’s when something different happened. After the first song of the encore, Stephen Jenkins starts saying how they’re a band about work ethic and that they don’t cancel shows. Then, visibly choked up and unable to fight back tears, he mentions his mom. About how in all his songs, she’s a common thread.  He could barely talk as people just screamed out their support and well wishes. It really hit us all hard. We’ve all been there or are headed there. In that moment, Stephen wasn’t the lead singer of a big band, he was our friend that we all wanted to hug. He said he wasn’t sure if he could even sing the final number, we cheered him on as he dedicated God Of Wine to his mother.

Sabaton, Kreator, Exmortus: The Wiltern – Los Angeles, Ca – 2/9/18

Swedish power metal band Sabaton released their newest album The Last Stand in 2016. Their name is a reference to a knight’s foot armor. Since the release of the new album, Sabaton has been actively on tour in support of it. They treated their US fans by announcing a tour and their return since they last came in 2017. They didn’t come alone, tho. They brought with them German thrash metal legends Kreator and Los Angeles-based thrash metal band, Exmortus. A bill stacked like this was sure to please metal fans of all ages and guaranteed to be a good time.


Exmortus started their show at 7pm sharp to an already filled venue. Plenty of fans wearing the band’s merch was seen so you know there were fans in attendance. Exmortus released their newest album Ride Forth in 2016 and have been touring almost non stop in support of it. Exmortus came out and started the show with Immortality Made Flesh from their previous album, Slave to the Sword. A shred-tastic song to kick things off. Foe Hammer was the next song of choice followed by a song from the newest album, Death to Tyrants. Exmortus has been rising to the top with their thrash metal music with their tasty and catchy riffs. They are also heavily influenced by classical music and it is shown as they played a cover of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (Act 3). Regardless of whether you’re a fan of classical music or not, it is a musical piece to listen to. Next, they played a cover of the instrumental intro of Foreplay/Longtime from classic rock band, Boston. Another beautifully executed instrumental cover. Exmortus bid farewell to the audience and finished their show with Metal Is King. The only disappointing part was that their performance was plagued by the Wiltern’s terrible and dark lighting making it difficult to see them. Exmortus always puts up a great performance so if they ever come to your city, be sure to check them out.

Kreator were up next with lots of fans waiting and hungry for some old school thrash metal. Kreator released their newest album Gods of Violence in 2017. The lights went out and the crowd went wild as the intro track Mars Mantra started and the members of Kreator came out and started the show with Phantom Antichrist. The crowd wasted no time in starting a mosh pit to one of Kreator‘s best songs. Hail to the Hordes is a song from the new album and was received really well with the fans. For the third song, Kreator played another one of their best songs, Enemy of God. Before that, singer/guitarist Miland “Mille” Petrozza made the mosh pit on the floor split in two and on his count of four, to crash together into a wall of death. The Los Angeles crowd did not disappoint with it. Satan Is Real is another song from the newest album and has quickly become one of the band’s most cherished songs and a staple song live. Kreator never slowed down their performance and kept up the energy and chaos as they performed songs like: People of the Lie, Phobia, Gods of Violence, and Hordes of Chaos. Petrozza went backstage for a bit and came back out with a flag with the band’s name on it. Fans of the band knew what was coming next as Petrozza waived the flag and announced it was time to wave the Flag of Hate. Kreator finished the show with Totalitarian Terror then left the stage. The crowd chanted their name and after a few minutes, Kreator came back out to deliver some more thrash metal. The first encore was Violent Revolution. The show came to an end as Petrozza asked the audience if they were ready to kill each other. With that, Kreator played what is perhaps their most famous song, Pleasure to Kill. The audience delivered a brutal mosh pit and gave Kreator a proper farewell.

The lights went out once again and the audience went wild once again as Sabaton came out and started the show with Ghost Division. Right away you’ll notice how the band’s mic stand are covered by old war helmets as well as rifles to show how they embrace their lyrics that deal with war, battles, and history. Ghost Division always makes for a great opening song as it is catchy and always the fans singing along. The next song performed was Uprising followed by Blood of Bannockburn. Sabaton always make sure that the fans are having a good time. The band is always seen smiling and interacting with fans in the crowd  whether it’s fist-bumping, waving, or giving high-fives. Sabaton also tend to joke around on stage with one another which is always comedic to see. One of the highlights of the show was when singer Joakim Brodén announced to the audience that they will not be playing the crowd-favorite, Swedish Pagans. The crowd sounded disappointed, but then proceeded to chant the intro chant of the song. Guitarist Tommy Johansson played his guitar to the chanting of the audience to further fuel how badly the audience wanted the song. Brodén proceeded to call out Johannson by calling him a “motherfucker” and pointed out that the song was not on the setlist which was taped to the floor. Regardless, Brodén asked the audience if they wanted Swedish Pagans. The audience screamed as loud as they could. With Brodén convinced, the rest of the band chimed in and the band started playing Swedish Pagans. Brodén also announced that the next song would be another crowd-favorite, Gott Mit Uns (German for “God With Us”). He asked the audience if they wanted the English version or the Swedish version. In true European metal fan style, the fans obviously chose the Swedish version. Brodén made a joke on how suddenly the fans got to decide what songs Sabaton plays and how they play them. Sabaton would continue to teach the audience about war and battles as they played classics like: Night Witches, Sparta, Primo Victoria, and Winged Hussars. Now that Sabaton had come to the end of the show, it always ends with Brodén calling out a child on stage. This time, a young boy named Kyle was chosen to be up on stage while Sabaton played the final song of the night, To Hell and Back. The show came to an end and the audience stood up and gave them a standing ovation as Sabaton bowed to the fans and left the stage. If any of these three bands come to your area, be sure to check out as they are an amazing experience and you will not be dissapointed.

 

Exmortus

 

Kreator

 

Sabaton

 

Meshuggah: The Wiltern – Los Angeles, Ca – 1/29/18

 

Swedish extreme metal band Meshuggah released their eight studio album The Violent Sleep of Reason in 2016. Since then, they have been actively touring in support of the album. Their band name comes from the Yiddish word meaning, “crazy”. To start the year, they announced a small west coast tour which concluded at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, California. Even before doors opened, loyal metal fans were already in line waiting to get in. Support came from Toothgrinder and Code Orange which served as energetic opening bands as the venue had already filled with metal maniacs even on a Monday night.
The lights went out and fans cheered as an intro track started and the band members made their way to the stage and started the show with the first track from the newest album, Clocks. Right away, you can tell how Meshuggah separate themselves from other bands in that their music is far more complex with crazy 8-string guitars, polyrhythms, and double bass drumming from Tomas Haake that is godlike. Another way to describe their music is called djent, a metal subgenre which utilizes the use of distorted, palm-muting, and low-pitch guitars. You can also hear the distinct bass playing from Dick Lövgren in that you can hear his bass playing that sounds like a rubber band as he plays in unison with the guitarists and is Meshuggah‘s signature sound. Meshuggah‘s music is made to hit you with blunt force so you can really feel the music hitting you and going through you. It’s metal that’s super easy to head bang too and of course, mosh your soul away too. The next track played was the second track from the newest album, Born in Dissonance. Another thing you’ll notice is how Meshuggah has set up their stage. Aside from banners, the band uses some of the most beautiful light shows you will see from any band. From the flashing lights, strobe lights, to the back lights. You never saw the same light show twice. The lights themselves gave you a psychedelic feeling and blended really well with the band’s music. Meshuggah kept up their energetic performance and performed each song to perfection as they played songs such as Rational Gaze, Lethargica, Nostrum, and Violent Sleep of Reason. Frontman Jens Kidman spoke to the audience and thanked them for coming out. for the next song, he said that they should all know this one. As soon as the song started, fans went crazy as they recognized the song Bleed, which is perhaps the band’s most famous song. It is known for Haake’s insane double bass drumming involving triplets that would change throughout the song as well as more insane guitar playing. Meshuggah ended the show with Straws Pulled at Random, then left the stage. Fans weren’t ready to go home just yet and chanted the band’s name for them to come back out. Surely enough, Meshuggah came back out and played the first encore, Future Breed Machine which is another one of their most famous songs and is also a very catchy song. Kidman once again thanked the fans for coming out and left them with the final song of the night, Demiurge. Fans went wild as crowd surfers even appeared aside from all the horns in the air and head banging going. Meshuggah left the stage for the final time and some fans were seen covering their ears as they had just witnessed an amazing and loud band.

 

Avatar, The Brains & More Visit The Regent Theater


Swedish melodic death metal band Avatar released their seventh studio album Avatar Country on January 12, 2018. Avatar wasted no time in announcing a North American tour in support of the album. Along with them, they brought psychobilly band The Brains and a freakshow act known as Hellzapoppin. This show at the Regent Theater in Los Angeles would be extra special because this was the first time that Avatar would be performing a headlining set in Los Angeles. The show started the Hellzapoppin performing magic tricks that had the audience gasping and wowing.
After them, psychobilly band The Brains took the stage which lots of obvious fans in the crowd sporting their merch and dressed in psychobilly fashion. The Brains got a strong reaction from the crowd as they played music to dance to and to rock out too as fans sang along to their music. After a short set, The Brains finished and a curtain fell on the stage to prepare the audience for the headlining act of the night.
   

The lights went out and the fans cheered as the curtain came down and revealed a banner for the King representing Avatar Country. The banner came down as the intro track Glory to Our King from the new album started and the band members came out one by one and the last member to appear was guitarist Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby who was atop of the stage sitting on a throne and wearing a crown and cape as a proper king does. Avatar started the show with the first track from the new album, Legend of the King. Right away, the band got great reception from the audience as they started head banging and moshing to the music. The first thing you’ll notice from the band is how all the band members are dressed in attire as if they’re circus ringmasters. The second song performed was a fan favorite titled, Let It Burn and it had fans singing along. The third song played was another fan favorite titled Paint Me Red and proved to be one of the band’s catchiest songs as fans continued to sing along with smiles on their faces. To go with the band’s amazing stage presence, they also had an amazing light show that was different to each song played so you never got the same light show twice. It’s always nice seeing band’s have their own lighting rather than the venue’s dull and dark lights. Bloody Angel is one of the band’s most beautiful songs and is even more beautiful performed live as fans sang the song from start to finish as it changed from a heavy metal song to a more ballad-like tone. One of the more interesting moments was just before the song Puppet Show was performed. Singer Johannes Eckerström went to the top of the stage just above drummer John Alfredsson and motioned his hands like a puppet master and Alfredsson would move his arms and hit his drums in accordance to Eckerström’s hand motions. Avatar never had a dull moment in their performance as they played songs such as The King Wants YouTowerThe Eagle Has Landed, and Smells Like a Freakshow. Close to ending the show, Eckerström let the fans know that it was nice to head out on a headlining show instead of being an opening act; even more so because this was the first time that the band performed a headlining set in Los Angeles. Avatar performed The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country and made it an extra fun song as they turned on bubble machines and let out lots of bubbles into the audience and covered the fans in them. To bid the fans farewell, Avatar finished the show with perhaps their most popular song, Hail the ApocalypseAvatar put all their remaining energy into the song and the audience happily moshed to the song. Avatar wrapped up their show as all the band members came forward to bow to the audience as Jarlsby was once again put into his King outfit and walked off stage. It was truly a memorable show whether people in the audience were fans of Avatar or not.

 

From Ashes To New hits Marquee Theater (Tempe, AZ)

Following on the heels of their viral success, upstart rap ‘n’ rock artists From Ashes To New joined alt metal veterans 10 Years on their 2018 How To Live As Ghosts tour, appearing at the famous Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ. This young power pop group brings to the stage not only a “hometown American boy” story, but a big set full of empowerment and positive vibe to match their uplifting presence and affirmative energy.

When you think of Lancaster, PA, rock ‘n’ roll music isn’t exactly what immediately comes to mind. In fact, most people think the opposite…horses, buggies, furniture, and cheese…but while it’s true that Lancaster is the country’s oldest Amish settlement, it’s also a place where dreams came true for a couple of kids who are now living the American Dream:  Six guys trying to salvage the efforts of various different failing musical projects, putting their heads together to have one more go at this “music thing”, which has turned out to be a rapidly growing success. But while the band has been its own brand of persistence, they cannot take all of the credit for their Cinderella story.

As humanity submerges more and more into the digital world, we are learning to harness the power of unity through electronics. From Ashes To New owes much of their success to their social media followers, particularly on Instagram and Facebook. This is the latest version of Peer-To-Peer networking, where arts and ideas can be shared exponentially with others across devices and platforms at the click of a button. That’s not to say that there isn’t still a lot of work that goes into the creation of such a beast. For something to go viral enough people have to not only approve of the selection, but be moved enough to share it. From Ashes To New began with a humble internet offering of their first song, “Through It All”…just something for friends and local fans to enjoy. The posting made its way to the Octane facebook page, where it was seen by the station’s programming director, who subsequently added it to the rotation. In just a few short years, From Ashes To New found themselves successfully sharing a label with bands like Papa Roach and touring with 10 Years.

The idea that some Unknown can still make a song and hear it on the radio is often overshadowed by the notions of contracts and huge record conglomerates, but From Ashes To New is a modern-day throwback to guys like Johnny Cash and Ritchie Valens, who just did what they did and played what they played, and eventually somebody heard it, grabbed the nearest person by the shirt sleeve, and said, “Hey! You gotta hear this!” Although their success has been like riding on a rocket ship, From Ashes To New maintains their humble beginnings throughout their music and tour appearances. They are still very much connected to their fan base, which is evident in the intimacy of the environment they create, regardless of stage size. They know where they came from, they know who put them there, and their audience is just as much a part of their performance as any guitar or microphone.

While many musicians use the medium to vent their angst and troubles, exploring their darker sides, From Ashes To New puts on an upbeat show on a well-lighted stage. Vocalist Matt Brandyberry also writes the band’s music, and while it may still express negative feelings and emotions, his music encourages its listeners to go one step further than their misery and view their situations from an alternative, more positive angle. The band has also made inclusion a focal point of its music, reminding listeners and fans that whatever their struggles are, they are not alone and they don’t have to feel alone. FATN has created somewhat of a revolving door in its existence…the people like the songs, so they write more music about the people. The band not only has a passion for their craft, but a heart for who they play for. This was felt throughout the theater from the first note to the last song. You won’t find anything in their repertoire about hookers and blow, but what you will find is a band who hates the idea of another kid cutting himself or committing suicide, a band that hates bullying, and a band that really wants to create a life raft for someone who’s hurting.

All photos Copyright ©2018 LivingDedGrrl™. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

 

test

test

Show Your Scars Festival: The Regent – Los Angeles, Ca – 1/6/18

The annual Show Your Scars Festival has proven to always book some of the heaviest metal bands whether they’re well known or still underground. This year was no exception and what better way kickoff the new year than one of the biggest metal shows for the year. This show was extra special because thrash metal veterans Nuclear Assault would be playing their final west coast show and quite possibly, their final show ever. As expected, this show sold out ahead of time so it was guaranteed to be a wild night. The Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles was about to be shaken up by the metal community.

Thrown Into Exile are a relatively new metal band from Los Angeles. At 6pm, they came out to nicely packed venue to ensure that they got plenty of metalheads to witness their shredding techniques. They had a very energetic stage presence that would for sure get heads banging and mosh pits starting. For many people in the audience, it was their first time seeing the band. With an amazing performance that the band delivered, hopefully they reach new heights and prove that rock nor metal aren’t dead.

Expulsion is a super group metal band consisting of members from Repulsion, Exhumed, Phobia, Gruesome, and more. They are a newly formed band and had made this concert their second performance ever. They only have one album out titled Nightmare Future and it’s pure grindcore goodness. Expulsion kept the mosh pits going as they played fast, quick, and heavy tracks such as Altar of Slaughter, Mask of Fear, and Funeral Bells. Their performance came to an end when they played a cover of Corpse Grinder by death metal legends/pioneers, Death. The song was originally played together by guitarist/event organizer Matt Olivo and Death frontman Chuck Schuldiner back in the 80’s when Schuldiner was still alive. It was a great way to keep his memory alive.

Evildead are an 80’s thrash metal band that in 2016, reunited for the first time in years. They are set as being an active band once again and are even writing new material for a third album. Even once the band came out, metalheads started moshing and shoving in anticipation for the band. It was around this time when crowd surfers and stage divers were constant for the rest of the festival. Evildead brought the old school thrash with them as they played classic like F.C.I/The Awakening, Napoleon Complex, and even a new song, Word of God. A short set, but they did not disappoint and kept it up all the way to the end when they finished with Annihilation of Civilization.

Toxic Holocaust are a thrash metal band from Oregon. Plenty of fans were in attendance sporting the band’s merch. The trio came out and started the show with War Is Hell and right away, fans kept up the moshing and stage diving. Toxic Holocaust delivers fast and aggressive metal that drove the audience wild. They never slowed down as they delivered thrash-tastic tracks like Reaper’s Grave, In the Name of Science, and Nuke the Cross. Frontman Joel Grind thanked the audience for coming out and finished the set with Bitch ensuring that the fans had one last chance to rock out with them.

Hirax are a veteran metal band that started out in the 80’s, but later broke up. Years later, Hirax reformed and have been active since then with only singer Katon W. De Pena as the band’s only original member. The venue had already been packed to capacity so by the time Hirax came out and started the show with Baptized by Fire, a full blown mosh pit could be seen with little space to move around, yet moshers made their own space to continue the insanity. The band has a very energetic stage presence as De Pena would actively run around on stage screaming his vocals into the mic. He’s a very down to earth and overall friendly guy as he would stop to take pictures with stage divers and even let them sing parts of a song before the fans would dive off stage. Hirax kept the intensity of the show going as they performed blistering tracks like El Diablo Negro (The Black Devil), Hate, Fear, and Power, and wrapped up the show with Bombs of Death. All that craziness, and the headlining band was still to come.

Nuclear Assault was set to play what could possibly be their final show ever. For many people in attendance, it would be the only time they get to see the band. Nuclear Assault came out and started the show with Rise From the Ashes from their famed 1988 album titled, Survive. Right away, fans moshed violently to this classic thrash metal band. Brainwashed was the second song played and is also from the Survive album and is the band’s most popular track. The audience went all out for Nuclear Assault as they moshed during the whole set and stage divers were everywhere. Nuclear Assault thrashed through their set as they played classic like Radiation Sickness, Game Over, and Hang the Pope. Never was there a dull moment in their performance. The show came to an end as Nuclear Assault performed Trail of Tears and gave the audience one last chance to give it their all as Nuclear Assault closed out the Show Your Scars Festival. This show proved to be the start of a great year for the metal world and who knows what the 2019 edition will bring.

 

Thrown Into Exile

 

Expulsion

 

Evildead

 

Toxic Holocaust

 

Hirax

 

Nuclear Assault

 

Davey Suicide Headlines MADE FROM FIRE Tour 2018

While Davey Suicide is no stranger to the stage, their latest manifestation is the culmination of their hard work and determination to make it in an ever-fickle industry. Clawing their way from the pit of Hollyweird, Killafornia, Davey Suicide has done their fair share of time in the trenches from surviving the seedy underbelly of the music world to supporting other up and coming bands. But 2017 marked a significant change in the band’s status in the industry. Always the bridesmaid never the bride, the wait is over. The Made From Fire tour, which spans 2017 and 2018, brings Davey Suicide front and center to finally headline the main stage. You’ve seen them once, you’ve seen them twice….but you’ve never seen them like this.

 

While Suicide fans will already be familiar with the setlist, they should be prepared to experience Davey’s songs and sonnets on and entirely new level. Along with their latest honor as headliner comes a brand-spankin’-new stage plot and set up. No more house RGBLEDs. No more “Time’s up! Get off the stage!”. Nope. Not this time. Now we get to experience Davey Suicide in the way they were meant to be seen…and heard. With full-on light displays, fog, and costumery, Davey Suicide really comes to life in a stunning sonic and visual experience fans won’t be disappointed with. From appearing as the ringleader for the power hit “Too Many Freaks (Not Enough Circuses)” to a heartfelt interpretation of a battle-weary soldier, Davey Suicide invites audience members to take a deeper look into the monster machine by sharing his personal stories, his inspirations, and his aspirations.

 

For me personally, even though I’ve met the band loads of times and shot their shows on several different occasions, all I could think was….WOW! I was entranced by the lighting and effects. I found it both hypnotizing enough to distract me from my camera work and inspiring as a concert photographer. I wanted to stand there and take it all in, yet at the same time I was so in love with the colors and stark imagery and had to restrain myself from just holding down the shutter button and taking a million more pictures than I usually do. The show was well thought out, and the stage plot very well conceived and choreographed to match the tunage. I really enjoyed the warmth that Davey expressed as he spoke between songs, and I really appreciated his openness and candor in sharing this particular part of his life with his fan family.

No matter how many times you’ve seen them in the past, go again and witness the band in this rare form…the result of their many years’ toils and tribulations. The ride has been rough, and there were many times it would have just been easier to give up, but where many artists would have just gone home, this band has persevered and fought hard to rise above their circumstances. They have earned the right to title their headline debut tour Made From Fire because that’s exactly what they are and where they’ve come from on their musical journey. You may already know the songs, but given their change in status the show is fresh and new, and you’ll experience their music as if you’re hearing them for the first time…and in a way, you are. As the band reaches a new level in their career, both old fans and new are embraced with the same love, unfailing energy, and humility as always. If you are a new fan, come see the band in all their glory. If you are an old fan, come and celebrate the band’s musical victories with them.

All photos Copyright ©2018 LivingDedGrrl™. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

Ozzfest Meets Knotfest: San Manuel Amphitheater – San Bernardino, Ca 11/4/17-11/5/17

The 2017 edition of the metal festival Ozzfest Meets Knotfest proved to be one for the books. Two days of pure in-your-face metal. The San Manuel Amphitheater was packed both days with metal fanatics and people looking to have a good time now that the year was coming close to an end. Both days were stacked with metal bands ready to thrust their way into your ears and fans were more than ready to mosh and drink lots of beer.

Day one was Ozzfest and featured a stellar lineup of bands. Starting early on the day on the side stages were Rings of Saturn, Fallujah, and SoCal natives, Night Demon. Even this early, dedicated metalheads filled the side of the venue where the side stages were being held. Tents with merch were plentiful as well as lots of food vendors. In the afternoon, bands like Suffocation ruled the Nuclear Blast stage and was extra special because vocalist Frank Mullen joined the band which he’s usually not able to do due to his regular job. Havok thrashed it up on one of the side stages. 1349 is a Norwegian black metal band which doesn’t come to the USA too often to it was a great opportunity for the band to reach out to new fans and play a large outdoor venue. Iron Reagan is a hardcore punk band which features members of Municipal Waste. Fans went wild for them as the mosh pits were fierce and crowd surfers were plentiful. Death metal legends and pioneers Possessed are one of Nuclear Blast’s newly signed bands so it was no surprise to see them on the bill. Plenty of Possessed fans were seen in the crowd and they got rowdy as Possessed delivered death metal classics like Pentagram and The Exorcist. High on Fire and Baroness are sludge metal bands that are sometimes referred to as “stoner metal” and they were so much fun to see live as fans raged on. Finishing up the side stage were the German thrash metal legends, Kreator. Earlier this year, they released their newest album Gods of Violence and fans were eager to get wild to some classic thrash metal. Kreator drove the fans wild with mosh pits and crowd surfers as they performed thunderous tracks such as Phobia, Satan is Real, Phantom Antichrist, Enemy of God, and finished up their show as they asked fans if they’re ready to kill each other as they played the grand finale, Pleasure to Kill. Now that the side stages were done, it was time to move out to the main stage where fans had completely skipped the side stages in order to secure a spot up front for the main stage bands. Orange Goblin started the main stage and warmed up the audience. Children of Bodom are a melodic death metal band from Finland and they were ready to bring that crazy metal from Europe that Americans love. They delivered blistering tracks like Needled 24/7, Hate Me!, and Downfall. Deftones are no strangers to the metal community and they are one of those bands that as a metalhead, you either love them or hate them. Fans in the mosh pit seemed to enjoy them as they played classics like My Own summer (Shove It), Shut Up and Drive (Far Away), Digital Bath, and Change (In the House of Flies).

Prophets of Rage are a rap/metal supergroup consisting of members from Rage Against the Machine, B-Real of Cypress Hill, and Chuck D from Public Enemy. Their music consists of covers from all three music acts which is something you have to see to believe. Fans cheered and went wild as the band played RATM classics like Testify, Bulls on Parade, and Bullet in the Head. Other covers were Insane in the Brain by Cypress Hill and Bring the Noise by Public Enemy. Prophets of Rage brought sadness and tears to fans as they performed an instrumental version of Audioslave‘s Like A Stone in Memory of Chris Cornell who sadly committed suicide in May. In Audioslave, Cornell was the singer/guitarist and the other three members were also members of RATM who were also in Prophets of Rage. The show wrapped up when they performed one of the greatest songs in the metal community and surely everyone in the venue knew what it was, Killing in the Name. It drove the mosh pits wild. Ending Ozzfest was none other than the prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy came back with Zakk Wylde after he was gone from the band for 10 years. The entire venue erupted into a roar as Ozzy came out and started the show with the classic, Bark at the Moon. This was a very cold night for this festival and lots of plenty were seen shivering from the cold. Ozzy suffered the most as he complained about it and his voice suffered from it too as you could hear he wasn’t at his best. Regardless, Ozzy played plenty of favorites which included Mr. Crowley, I Don’t Know, No More Tears, and Crazy Train. Ozzy is famously known for being the frontman for heavy metal gods Black Sabbath, so it only makes sense that the band also played songs like Iron Man, Fairies Wear Boots, and War Pigs. Wylde is known for his solos in his work and he showed that during an extended guitar solo ending of War Pigs which seemed to go on forever with what sounded like the same guitar notes for what felt like ten minutes straight. Ozzy and the rest of the band partied hard as they finished Ozzfest with what is easily one of the greatest songs in metal, Black Sabbath‘s Paranoid. Everyone cheered and sang along as Ozzfest came to an end.
Day two was Knotfest and also featured some of today’s top metal acts.

Starting the day early were band like Warbringer, Repulsion, Exhumed, and Stitched Up Heart. Just many metalheads showed up for day two of this festival. In the afternoon, bands like Oni, Death Angel, Goatwhore, and The Black Dahlia Murder made fans wreck each other in the pit. The side stage for that day was headlined by the San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal legends, Testament. The crowd was especially wild for them as Testament brought classic thrash metal to the festival with ripping tracks like Rise Up, Practice What You Preach, Over the Wall, and Into the Pit which the band wrote specifically for people in the mosh pit. Daylight Savings really took its toll on the festival as near the beginning of their performance, the sun went down and made it difficult to see the band. Road crew brought out lamps as an attempt to light the stage which singer Chuck Billy made a joke on how the band spared no expenses on their lights. Regardless, it was a great performance by one of metal’s finest bands. Even in almost total darkness, the huge swarm of metalheads made their way out of the side stage area like a horde of zombies and making their way to the main stage. Starting the main stage was Prayers which warmed up the audience. Eighteen Visions is a metalcore band that reformed earlier this year after having broken up ten years ago. A lot of fans were complaining on how the festival was called Knotfest, yet it didn’t feature Slipknot which is who always headlines the festival and are the creators of it. Instead, Slipknot singer Corey Taylor got his other band Stone Sour to perform at the festival so it was close enough. Stone Sour recently released their newest album Hydrograd and have been actively touring for it since. Stone Sour performed many of their classic hits like Made of Scars, Say You’ll Haunt Me, Get Inside, and the band’s biggest single to date and ballad, Through Glass. Shock rock superstar Marilyn Manson was up next. This was his first performance coming back from an accident a couple of months prior where his gun props fell on him which resulted in a broken ankle. In the middle of the show, he made a joke on how he, himself, was a victim of gun violence. Manson mainly stayed strapped to a throne as to not cause more injury to his ankle. He still performed plenty of his hits which included Disposable Teens, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), The Dope Show, and of course one of the most popular songs in the metal community, The Beautiful People. Ending Knotfest was horror mastermind, Rob Zombie. Zombie released his newest album in 2016 titled The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser. The stage was set as a giant boombox was at the center of the stage with monster and clown heads surrounding the stage. Rob Zombie came out with his band and started the show with Dead City Radio and the Gods of Supertown. Zombie himself stood on the top of the boombox while guitarist John 5 and bassist Piggy D stayed on the ground in full makeup and masks. A stunning light show combined with lots of pyro made for an amazing stage presence from the band. The second song performed was one of Zombie’s oldest and best songs, Superbeast. The energy to that song still holds even after all these years and always drives the fans wild. Zombie and his band always put on an energetic performance. They prove this as they performed lots of Rob Zombie classics and newer tunes which included Living Dead Girl, More Human Than Human (White Zombie song), House of 1000 Corpses, Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a UFO, and Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy). The band took a quick break except for John 5 who performed a nice guitar solo with backdrops specifically for him to showcase his underrated guitar skills. Rob Zombie and the rest of the band came back out with Zombie saying a few words to the audience that for this next song, for people to put away their phones and enjoy concerts like people used to back in the days.

Rob Zombie performed one of metal’s most popular songs, Thunder Kiss ’65 (White Zombie song) and what a wild ride it was and a sigh of relief to not see any phones up in the air. Rob Zombie would entertain the crowd with something different and performed two covers. The first being Blitzkrieg Bop by punk rock legends The Ramones and School’s Out by legendary rockstar, Alice Cooper. To end the show with a bang, Rob Zombie played his most famous song, Dragula. What a show it was with giant tv screens and pyro everywhere. Ozzfest Meets Knotfest 2017 was a very successful metal festival and hopefully the next edition of the festival is also held at the same location.

 

Ozzfest:

1349

 

 

Iron Reagan

 

 

Possessed

 

 

High On Fire

 

 

Baroness

 

 

Kreator

 

Jose Mangin of SiriusXM Liquid Metal

 

Children of Bodom

 

 

Deftones

 

 

Prophets of Rage

 

 

Ozzy Osbourne (Photos courtesy of Stephanie Cabral)

 

 

Knotfest:

 

Goatwhore

 

 

The Black Dahlia Murder

 

 

Testament

 

 

Stone Sour

 

 

Rob Zombie

 

The Arkells Get Their Thrill At Blueberry Hill – 11/04/2017

 

To be honest here I really don’t know a lot about the Arkells and it’s too early and I’m too lazy to google stuff to add here. What I do know is this, they played Lollapalooza last year, they are getting some radio air time, and they were playing a 300 person capacity room. When you can find a band who is playing major festivals, getting air time, and playing a small venue do yourself a favor and GO! As I told someone else mid-set last night enjoy these shows, because more than likely it is the last time you will see the band this cheap and this close.

The day of the show I still hadn’t made up my mind to go. I checked around and found some reasonably priced tickets on the secondary market and bought them. There was a low ticket alert for the show so I didn’t want to chance it at the door with such a small venue.

I hadn’t sleep much the night before so I wisely took a brief power nap, woke up and had a late dinner before heading to the show. We got there at 9:50 just in time for the Arkells to take the stage. Then my lady needed to use the restroom and before making our way down to the basement for the show I stopped and waited for her. Lining the walls to the restrooms is 1000’s, yes, 1000’s of photo’s of the owner of Blueberry Hill with every single music act you could ever think of. From Red Hot Chili Peppers to Marylin Manson to a very young Kanye West and everyone in between. If you visit St. Louis it is worth a stop at Blueberry Hill and you must check out these photos of some of your favorite artist.

We got our wrist bands just as the Arkells we’re taking the stage. They opened with ” Making Due ” off of the album “Morning Report” that was released last August. You could hear/feel the bass through the floor as we came down the stairs and made our way into the crowd.

It was a fun time from the start as the Arkells frontman Max engaged both the crowd and his band mates between each song. One of my favorite moments mid-set was when they talked some shit on Jerry Lee Lewis and said their keyboardist was better than The Killer and launched into a cover of “Great Balls Of Fire”.

Another fun surprise was the story about the Uber driver who talked music with them on the way to the show and that they put on the guest list for the night. It was not on the set list, but they including a 6 minute jam of ” Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder before bringing back the opening act Irontom for a cover of Tom Petty’s “Running Down A Dream” before leaving the stage.

They came back out to the fired up crowd for a two song encore playing the song “My Hearts Always Yours” while remembering a time when they came to St. Louis and nobody showed up. They ended the hour and forty minute set with “Knocking At The Door” before sending us all headed for the door.

 

Overall this was an incredible evening of music. Wish I had shown up a bit sooner to catch some of Irontom‘s set, but I was starving/tired. Catch you guys next time. I really enjoyed the whole set of the Arkells, but the last minute Stevie cover sealed the deal on a very solid performance and evening out at a show. 10/10, do yourself a favor and go see these guys before they start playing much larger venues.

 

Lords Of Acid, Club Red Mesa

For nearly 30 years, Belgian post-industrial techno group Lords of Acid have been bringing sex and sexy to urban nightlife. Lead by original founding member Praga Khan still on lead keyboard, the Lords came to Mesa, AZ as part of their Sextreme Fest Tour 2017. In true Lords form, complete with rocking live instrumentals and blow up dolls, the Lords rocked the Club Red house to a not only a venue packed with EDM fans, but also a stage line-up of ear candy making the band’s current manifestation a powerhouse of awesomesauce. Featuring bassist DieTrich Thrall from Doyle von Frankenstein’s solo project DOYLE on bottom and Pig/Primitive Race guitarist and programmer Joe Haze, a Lords of Acid show promises not only a night of sensual bedlam for the casual fan, but also an evening of InTellectual IT (see what I did there?) bliss for nerds of all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re there to be sexed up or just to bring your geek squad to a fun night of technological frivolity, no one will be disappointed by the Lords’ electric energy.

 

Lords of Acid may be one of the oldest techno bands to ever run in the mainstream, but their presence and sound continue to be fresh and relevant for new and young fans while older constituents will find the band has not sacrificed its top shelf sound that we grew up with, even in their newer music and line-up. Lords is currently fronted by Kansas City native DJ Mea (Fisher), whose pink hair, cat ears, and BDSM wardrobe only elevates the concert experience by adding visual context to her soaring banshee vocals. Being the innovative technology group that they are, DJ Mea is the perfect front woman for the Lords, having changed the face of EDM herself during her beginning solo career. In the early 2000s, DJ Mea made a name for herself on the Chicago house scene by singing live over top of her DJ sets. The resulting sound was an instant success and is the perfect match for a band like Lords of Acid, whose live appearances are often more industrial and musically power-packed than what you would experience on the album. As if her vocals weren’t enough, DJ Mea truly enjoys her center mic position. Backed by En Esch (KMFDM) bombshell Erica Dilanjian, Mea’s passion is electric in its own rite, bringing a surge of energy to a crowded room that rivals any traditional concert.

Synonymous with sex, Lords fans are encouraged to dress for the occasion. Fishnets and stilettos, short skirts and skimpy shirts are the order of the day…er…night, and the more “of the night” you dress, the more fun you’ll have. Regardless of body type and size, all people are sexy when Lords of Acid take the stage. In fact, NOT dressing for the show might even earn you more stares than a pair of lime green fishnets would. However, no matter how sexy no outfit is complete without the signature devil horns that appear on many of the bands album covers. Don’t have any? Walgreen’s says it’s not Halloween? It’s OK. They sell them at the door. Turn your horns on as Praga Khan turns you on with one of the band’s original early 90’s releases, “Rough Sex” from the 1991 release Lust. Lords of Acid take control with a set-list that spans their entire career from the early Lust days all the way up to their 2016 album release Smoking Hot, including the tongue-in-cheek version of the 1928 Hollywood Golden Age hit “Loved By You”, which we now know and love as “Scrooed Bi U” from the 2000 Farstucker album. And if you’re lucky, you can find your way to the stage to dance with the Lords to everyone’s favorite super sexy song….. =^.^=

Lords of Acid headline the Sextreme Fest 2017 tour supported by Erie Loch and the WICCID duo from Sacramento, California along side Christian Death, Combichrist, and KMFDM’s own En Esch.

All photos Copyright ©2017 LivingDedGrrl™. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

In This Moment: Riverside Municipal Auditorium – Riverside, Ca 10/25/17

In This Moment is a metal band from Los Angeles, California. On July 21, 2017, the band released their sixth album, Ritual. Just the day before, In This Moment was part of the Loudwire 2017 Music Awards where they received an award from the Century Media record label for their fourth record Blood which was now certified gold after reaching more than 500,000 in record sales. In This Moment is currently out in support for the new album and announced a tour which saw support from Of Mice and Men and Swedish melodic death metal band, Avatar. One of the stops was the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, California and their legion of fans were ecstatic to see In This Moment.

The lights went out and the fans went into a frenzy as the curtains opened to reveal all the band members in place ready to get the show started as they opened with one of their most popular tracks, Blood. Singer Maria Brink was at the center of the stage standing on a platform with two of her dancers known as the Blood Girls who wore masks the whole time. The band has a very energetic stage presence filled with head banging, dancing, and lots of smoke. The next track played was a song from the new album titled, River of Fire. Next was Adrenalize and it had the fans singing along while Brink gracefully head banged too and danced along with her Blood Girls. In This Moment is known for their use of costumes and theatrics on stage. you could think of Brink as a cross between Lady Gaga and Rob Zombie with the amount of costume changes she has during the band’s performance. The song Burn was perhaps was one of the best songs of the night as Brink was center stage and when it came to singing the chorus, she would raised the cloths above her head almost looking like she had wings and was covered and red lighting to add effect of being on fire. The lights went out once again and when they came on, all the members were absent from the stage except for Brink who was now on the platform center stage with a keyboard while smoke covered the stage and was being blown in Brink’s direction by fans and gave the song a beautiful sight to be seen as she started to play the last song from the new album, Lay Your Gun Down. A very touching moment when Brink asked the fans to light her up by using their cellphone’s flashlights. Next, Brink to the opportunity to introduce her band mates one by one including guitarist Chris Howorth who is the co-founder of the band including with Brink. She let them loose as the band instrumentally performed two medley covers from Metallica which were For Whom the Bell Tolls and Creeping Death. The band members also exited the stage and left drummer Kent Diimmel, the band’s newest member, to entertain the fans with a blistering drum solo. The band came back out to perform another new song, Black Wedding. On the album, the song is a duet which features Rob Halford from British heavy metal legends, Judas Priest. The stage went dark again as Brink once again came out with her mermaid outfit to do a melancholy cover of Phil CollinsIn The Air Tonight. Nearing the end of the show, In This Moment played Sick Like Me, the first single from their previous Black Widow album. Brink would come out in a black dress and black hat with long yellow nails on her hand resembling the legs of a black widow spider.

To end the show, In This Moment played the first single from their new album, Oh Lord, which is the band’s highest charting single to date, peaking at #6 on the Top Mainstream Rock Charts. The band finished the song, then left the stage. After a little while, A big podium appeared on stage as the band members started to make their way back on stage with Brink taking her place at the top of the podium with a ruler in hand and wearing a dunce cap with the word “WHORE” written on it. Brink talked to the audience how when she was just a girl, she was always made fun of, mistreated, and made feel worthless. The finale of the show was Whore and it was specifically written to those that are suffering and finding our power and taking a stand. Red and white balloons came down from the ceiling and filled he floor. The song ended and the fans kept on cheering. all the people involved for the show came out and bowed to the audience then left the stage for the final time.

 

 

Older posts Newer posts

© 2018 Concert Confessions

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑