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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concert goer, Network Engineer, Midwest dweller.
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