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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






Toxic Holocaust




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.






Iron Reagan






High On Fire








Jose Mangin of SiriusXM Liquid Metal


Children of Bodom






Prophets of Rage



Ozzy Osbourne (Photos courtesy of Stephanie Cabral)








The Black Dahlia Murder






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.



Interview with Erie Loch from Dark Synth Futurepop duo WICCID

Veteran Sacramento songwriter and performer Erie Loch discusses his creative processes, the evolution of IT in the music industry, and his new futurepop project WICCID along with many of his collaborations over the years with such artists as Prong, Ministry, Pop Will Eat Itself, Lords Of Acid, and many more. You can hear the By Design album on Spotify and download the album from Bandcamp. WICCID appears on the Sextreme Fest 2017 tour with Lords of Acid, En Esch, and Combichrist.


Check out the WICCID “Torn” single below:

All photos and audio are Copyright ©2017 LivingDedGrrl™. All rights reserved. Do not use without written permission. Do not remove watermarks.

Overkill at Club Red Mesa (9/22/2017)

When you “put your nose to the grind stone”, you are making a statement about the efforts and ethics of your endeavors. When you’re “back to the grind”, it means you’re working hard. And when you release more albums than any other metal band in your class and consistently toured for nearly 40 years, and you’ve earned the right to call your 18th studio album The Grinding Wheel. In support of this, their 2017 album release, Overkill appears as the top act on the Metal Alliance Tour 2017.

What does it take to stay relevant in a world where image is everything? Wornstar Clothing, costumes, Kabuki make-up, multimedia LED displays…whatever you can do to capture the audience’s attention. So,when a 36 year old thrash metal band from New Jersey takes the stage in jeans and t-shirts, they better have something up their sleeves to compete with cell phones, hot chicks, booze, and boobs that often distract concert-goers from a simple stage. If you’re Overkill, that trick is music:   no tricks, no tracks…just good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll…the kind of music that music cut its teeth on back when you had to be good or go home. While the pomp and circumstance of a well-manicured full-sensory production has its own place in pop culture, it’s refreshing to know that bands like Overkill are still out there, with their noses to the grind stone, making records and selling out shows with nothing but a few light stacks, a bitchin’ frontman, and some thread-shredding guitar solos. For nearly 40 years, Overkill has produced good, solid, pure music.

The lights go down, the crowd chants “O-VER-KILL!”…”O-VER-KILL!”…”O-VER-KILL!”, and the band takes the stage in a fog of flashing lights and Jason Bittner, who joined the band in April 2017, reaches into your chest and your heartbeat stomps along to the beat of the opening drum riff for “Lean, Green Killing Machine”, the first track off the Grinding Wheel album. The unmistakable grit of Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s vocals rip through the air like a piece of fine vintage shrapnel. It’s hard to believe that this song is less than a year old because without missing a step, it fits right in with their second opener “Rotten To The Core” off the 1985 album Feel The Fire. And that’s exactly the type of honesty you can expect from a band who forged their sound before computers did it for you.

On stage, Overkill spans nearly four decades of top shelf thrash metal, and although the names and faces of the lineup may have changed, original vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and original bassist D.D. Verni remain the core of one of the best metal bands to ever grace our blistering eardrums. They are joined by Dave Linsk on lead guitar, who’s quiet charismatic smile and squealing guitar are a perfect compliment to his sardonic stage right counterpart, rhythm guitarist Derek “The Skull” Tailer. Special guest Eric Knudsen from fellow thrash metal group Flotsam and Jetsam brought an already enthusiastic crowd to their feet in a sort of boss level bonus round of songs, sharing the center mic with Bobby. The sound bounces off the walls and there’s not a dry t-shirt in the house…it’s impossible to stand still while they’re playing. Whether you’re 16 or 60, the band still brings the raw energy they did back when we were all wearing worn out acid wash jeans (the first time it was cool).

But for as much shock and raw as the music is, Overkill uses music to focus on a spirit of community in these troubled times. As he leans waaaaaayyyy back on his mic stand, the message Ellsworth brought to the desert this night was that we’re all members of the human race. None of us gets out alive, so we just need to work together and live together…and listen to really good music that brings us together. The band closed out the night with the song “Horrorscope”, the title track off the band’s fifth studio album, which lyrics exemplify the consequences of human conflict resulting in the End Times.


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


Scorpions and Megadeth: The Forum – Inglewood, Ca 10/7/17

German heavy metal legends Scorpions and thrash metal legends Megadeth teamed up for the Crazy World tour. Both bands have different styles of music, they still attract almost the same fan base. The Forum in Inglewood, California was on fire as the venue filled up quickly even before Megadeth was set to take the stage. Whether it was the first time fans were seeing Megadeth or not, they were about to see one of the best metal bands of all time.


Megadeth released their fifteenth studio album, Dystopia, in 2016. Megadeth came out and started the show with one of their most popular songs, Hangar 18 off their Rust In Piece album which is also one of the greatest metal albums of all time.  The song serves as a great opening song with great guitar work from Megadeth mastermind Dave Mustaine and fellow guitarist, Kiko Loureiro. The second song played was The Threat Is Real, the opening track from the new album. The third song was Take No Prisoners, another classic from the Rust In Piece album. Megadeth has an amazing energetic stage presence. Aside from the band’s amazing musicianship, the stage was also covered with strobe lights giving the band an even bigger stage presence and would often flash following the guitar solos as well as fog cannons letting out fog whenever the moment arose. Megadeth continued the thrash assault with Sweating Bullets, Trust, and Dystopia in which that song earned the band their first Grammy for best metal performance at the 59th Grammy Awards. Mechanix was the next song played off the band’s debut album Killing Is My Business…and Business Is Good which they don’t play songs from that album often these days so this was definitely a treat for old school fans of the band.

Nearing the end of the show, Megadeth brought out the best in their catalog. The familiar sound of a choir started as Megadeth started one of the most popular songs in metal, Symphony of Destruction. Fans love singing along to the guitar riff as they sing, “Me-ga-deth! Me-ga-deth!”.  The song ended and stage went dark. Not too long later, bassist and co-founding member David Ellefson came out and had the audience clap along with him. He used the timing of the clapping and started playing one of the most famous bass lines in all of metal as the rest of the band followed and started playing one of the most widely known songs in metal, Peace Sells. Everyone metalhead in the world knows this song and had fans singing along, air guitaring, and head banging. As a special surprise, the band’s mascot Vic Rattlehead came out to meddle with the band and intimidate the audience. Megadeth and fans became one as they sang in unison, “Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying? Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying!?”. The song ended and the band left the stage. The stage remained dark and after a while, Mustaine came back out to thank the audience for coming as he prepared to play the final song, Holy Wars…the Punishment Due. In the middle of the shred-tastic solo, Mustaine paused to introduce the band members and then finished up the song then left the stage for the last time.

Scorpions are a legendary heavy metal band from Germany and have been releasing music since the 1970’s and have earned themselves a spot as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. A curtain with Scorpions‘ logo covered the stage so fans couldn’t see what was being setup. The lights went out and the fans cheered as the curtain came down and the members of Scorpions came out and started the show with Going Out with a Bang. A nice rock and roll start to the show. The second song played was Make It Real, a classic from Scorpions’ catalog. The third song played was another classic, The Zoo. The song is a fan-favorite because of how guitarist Matthias Jabs uses a talk box for the song instead of a traditional guitar solo. Scorpions have an energetic stage presence of their own as guitarist and founding member Rudolf Schenker would run around using every bit of the stage and often coming out to get a better view of the audience. Up next is the instrumental track Coast to Coast and is another one of the band’s popular songs. Scorpions setup a small acoustic set in front of the stage and played a medley of songs which included Always Somewhere, Eye of the Storm, and Send Me An Angel which is one of the band’s most beautiful songs.

To go back to the regular show, Scorpions played their their biggest hit, Wind of Change. With 14 million singles sold worldwide, it is one of the best-selling singles of all time and holds the record for best-selling single by a German artist. Frontman Klaus Meine took a quick break to talk to the audience about losing his friend Lemmy Kilmister formerly of Motörhead. To help keep his memory alive, Scorpions recruited former Motörhead drummer Mikkey as a permanent member of the band. Scorpions surprised fans as they played a cover of Overkill by Motörhead which was surely appreciated by fans of Motörhead. Dee was given his chance to shine as the newest member of the band as he was given time to do a drum solo which wowed everyone in the audience. The stage went dark and the background was lit up with blue sirens as Schenker came out with a new guitar with smoke coming out of it and the rest of the band continued the show with another one of the band’s biggest hits, Blackout. The show was nearing the end and so Scorpions played Big City Nights where Meine let fans sing along to the chorus of, “Big City…Big City Nights! You keep me burning! Big City…Big City Nights!”.  Scorpions left the stage and it seemed to be the end. The fans stayed and demanded more music. Surely enough, Scorpions came back out for some encores. Scorpions started their encore set with one of their biggest hits, No One Like You. Scorpions showed their love for the fans as the next encore is one of the greatest ballads of all time, Still Loving You. Fans love singing along to this and will for sure remain a classic for all time.

To bring an end to the show, Scorpions played one of the greatest metal songs of all time and the song that helped them rise to fame, Rock You Like a Hurricane. This song is the epitome of rock and metal and anyone who listens to either genre knows this song. Everyone was on their feet dancing, clapping, singing along, and even head banging. A great ending to a great show. Scorpions rocked the house that night and hopefully don’t slow down for years to come. Scorpions was met with misfortune after the show as Meine was diagnosed with severe laringitis and was forced to rest his vocals or risk permanent damage. Due to that, Scorpions and Megadeth cancelled the remaining dates on the tour which is unfortunate for everyone still waiting. However, Meine’s health comes first and Scorpions will for sure reschedule the dates at a later time.





An Evening w/ Third Eye Blind @ Sands Bethlehem Event Center 10/8/17

An Evening w/ Third Eye Blind – 10/8/2017

Sands Bethlehem Event Center – Bethlehem, PA

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks

This summer, we covered Third Eye Blind as they trekked through America on the ‘Summer Gods’ tour. That tour was in support of a record that is actually still being worked on. Fast forward to the Eve of Indigenous Peoples Day and the boys are back in my area. Well sort of my area. The Sands Bethlehem Event Center is tonight’s swanky venue where my girlfriend and I will take in some more Third Eye Blind action. Still supporting the yet to be released record, this tour with no opening acts is billed cleverly as The Fall of The Summer Gods tour.

Set List: Back To Zero, Narcolepsy, Faster, Wounded, Semi-Charmed Life, Company of Strangers, Dopamine, Graduate, London, Red Star, Don’t Give In, *Slow Motion, *Deep Inside Of You, Motorcycle Drive By, Crystal Baller, Jumper

Encore: Losing A Whole Year, Never Let You Go, How’s It Gonna Be

*Stephan Jenkins solo acoustic

Shortly after 8PM, Third Eye Blind came out to a packed room of high rollers, road trippers and misfits. In almost two hours, the band busted out something for everyone in their career spanning set. Different people here for their own different favorite songs, breaking out in screams when they came.

As an old person these days, I enjoy going to a show where I can hear hits for a majority of the evening. While that was the case tonight, a few surprises were in tow. Before playing ‘Crystal Baller’,  Stephan Jenkins had mentioned that they hadn’t played that song much over the years.

Earlier on an solo acoustic ‘Deep Inside of You’ was a shock to my girlfriend who says after seeing the band five times that that’s the first time she’s experienced that live.

Either my camera is going or the fog machines tonight we’re smoking out like it was Eric Foreman’s basement. Never Let You Go and Red Star were personal highlights of mine. As for everyone else, they were jumping the entire time. Set sent everyone home smiling around 10. Good times had by all.

Shout outs to the crack staff of Sands Bethlehem Event Center for enforcing that “Strict No Video” policy.

Invidia (ex Skinlab, 5FDP) at Club Red, Mesa (9/22/2017)

From Las Vegas, NV comes nu-metal’s latest collaboration of artists, Invidia. Originally fronted by current In This Moment bass player Travis Johnson, Invidia brings to the stage ex-Skinlab guitars Brian Jackson and Marcos Medina, and ex-Five Finger Death Punch bassist Matt Snell. Although the  band enjoyed some brief initial success, Travis Johnson’s decision to leave abruptly to honor his commitment with In This Moment caught Invidia off guard just before their tour began, leaving them searching frantically for a new singer. While it may be Travis Johnson that appears on the band’s As the Sun Sleeps album, it is newly acquired lead singer Evan Seidlitz who now brings his own presence and energy to each performance. As the Sun Sleeps may have been met with mixed reviews when it debuted earlier in 2017, but new people and changing staff always bring new life and fresh perspective to music, and the addition of a new lead singer gives this band a potential leg up to earn a second look from modern metal lovers.

Invidia appeared on this Fall’s Metal Alliance Tour with Overkill, Crowbar, and Havoc, bringing their own sound and talents to the Club Red theater stage. Supporting a lineup of heavy-hitters who have been roaring their way through the business for 40 years, Invidia was welcomed warmly by the Southwest, who was ready to rock, and their set was vibrant and energetic. Evan Seidlitz has a real flair for getting people to participate. For me, personally, I liked the way he was dressed…or maybe it’s because he looked an awful lot like the guy who does all my piercings. Whatever it was, he sang with a lot of expression and had a really personable, engaging presence. Despite being on a highly old-skool metal tour, there were quite a few people who turned out for the set for as early in the evening as it was, and the energy that Invidia brought to the stage made them entertaining to watch. No one stood around with their hands in their pockets like they did for a few other acts.  As the band’s only album was released just six months ago, the set list was limited to the tracks appearing on As The Sun Sleeps, and some of them like “Feed The Fire” and “Marching Dead” were punchy and driving and actually sounded better live than they did on the album, possibly due to a new and different personality on the center mic. Sometimes all a story needs is to be told with a different voice.

Invidia is nu-metal, not old school, so if you are planning to attend the Metal Alliance Tour, you may find that they are somewhat different from the crunchy monotone growling of the co-touring thrash and doom metal bands. Nu metal has a different sound and scream than the darker metals:  You will find Invidia to have a more modern, melodic song structure with a bit more pop mixed in with the intensity. Look for song lyrics to be more romantic and brooding. If we were to describe the tour using alcohol, one might say that the other bands might be just a straight shot of whiskey, neat, but that Invidia is more like a Moscow Mule. Sure, it’s got a little bit of pop in it, and they might be a little trendy, but it still has a bit of a kick…and it’s fun. I would perhaps like to see them a year from now when their new lead singer has had time to infuse the band with his own creative influences and put out an album with his band mates rather than merely singing someone else’s music.

On another note, I do feel that 5pm was incredibly early for a Friday night rock show in the East Valley. In the Phoenix area, rush hour begins at 3:00pm and ends at 7pm, and the freeway system wasn’t designed to convey as many vehicles that use it. It literally takes 2 hours to drive 20 minutes on some days, and Friday happens to be one of them, as everyone wants to get home for the weekend. I live only 9 miles from the venue, but it took me an hour to get there. In order to attend such an early show, concert goers must either request the day off or fall on the good graces of their superiors and request an early release. I do feel that this band was somewhat short-changed with an early start time, as they did put plenty of butts in the seats, but not nearly as many as they could have with a later slot.


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



Sublime w/ Rome & The Offspring @ PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel 9/12/2017

Sublime w/ Rome & The Offspring – 09/12/2017

PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ

Photos/Videos/Words – Jay Porks


School has begun, the leaves are changing and as we wind down to the first days of Autumn we take a step back to enjoy the remaining hours of the Summer. You know what spells Summertime? PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. Sublime w/ Rome and The Offspring. The lawn is where the party is at tonight and thanks to that crazy Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster class action lawsuit, tonight cost the magical price of zero dollars.

Set List: You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid ,All I Want, Come Out and Play ,(Can’t Get My) Head Around You ,Hammerhead ,Have You Ever, Staring at the Sun, Want You Bad ,Bad Habit ,Gotta Get Away ,Gone Away (Piano),Why Don’t You Get a Job?,Americana, Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),  The Kids Aren’t Alright, Self Esteem

The Offspring kept it pretty concise, hitting all of their big numbers in a span of exactly one hour. The set list is posted above and I’ve got some pretty shaky videos (because, as you know, I’m not very good at anything) for everyone to enjoy.

Let’s talk about what we all came here for and that’s for Dex Holland to sit in front of a piano for “Gone Away”. In all seriousness,  a pretty cool twist on an old classic.  Five years ago, Offspring played with Dead Sara and Dex along with Emily Armstrong sang it as a duet. Click over the sentence to check that out. The Offspring played from 8:24 to 9:23.

Set List: Date Rape, Smoke Two Joints, Wrong Way, Murdera, You Better Listen, April 29th 1992, Panic, The Ballard of Johnny Butt, Badfish, Let’s Go Get Stoned, Doin’ Time, Scarlett Begonias, What I Got, Santeria.

Much like The Offspring, Sublime w/ Rome comes out and plays an hour of songs that I know. I’ve included the set list in this post. The lawn was cloudy. There was plenty of dancing. Beach balls aplenty as we’re really milking this final week of summer for all it’s worth.

Second to last song was What I Got and they brought a little dog named Cheeseball out to Rome (see what I did there?) the stage. I thought that was like the cutest thing and I’m a cat person. It’s funny, I had two extra tickets to this that I was looking to dump off for free and I had a friend laugh at me. That’s cool, but tonight was hours of fun for me at the cost of zero dollars. They were also giving out free, like, tote bag things, which I can use instead of plastic because the planet. I profited on this night.

A Kihnterview With Greg Kihn

Greg will be fondly remembered as an 80’s music icon for his two catchy, chart-topping hits, “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em) in 1981 and the 1983 smash single, “Jeopardy,” which charted #2 on the Billboard Top 100. Kihn recently released his newest album, Rekihndled, his first new album in 21 years. As you can tell, Greg Kihn made a habit of releasing album titles using puns with his own name and some of those albums include: Kihnspiracy, Next of Kihn, RocKihnRoll, and Kihntagious. We spoke with Greg Kihn about his music career as well as his recent events in life and his music career that is to be…Kihntinued. Check out out interview below!



– Concert Confessions: You have your new album Rekihndled that just came out. Can you tell me a little about it?
Greg Kihn: You know, I was on the radio for the last 18 years doing the morning show at the KFOX radio show in San Jose. Then we moved up to San Francisco. So, really, for the last 18 years I’ve been getting up at 4 a.m. and doing the morning show and about four years ago they fired me and I just went back to what I was doing before which was to find lots of time to do projects that I really wanted to do. The first project that I really wanted to do was to make this album, Rekihndled. It was very fortuitous because my son is now the lead guitar player in the band and he’s a former student of Joe Satriani and he went to Berkeley school, music in Boston, and he graduated from CalArts in Valencia [California] a jazz guitar major. So this kid can really play, he’s very good and we got a new bass player by the name of Robert Berry. Robert owns the studio that we’ve been recording in, Soundtek Studios down in Campbell, California. It’s been wonderful because we go down there and we kick around song ideas that we rehearsed, but if something happens or we come up with something great, all we have to do is push the record button and we can record it. So, you know, it’s a wonderful situation because if we do something really cool, you know, anything could happen. It’s been a lot of fun working on the album and  a lot of fun working with these musicians. I really love them a lot. But, you know, there were some other things I needed to do also. I’m a novel writer and I wrote two novels during the same period that I really wanted to get done. When you write a novel, it takes about a year. Anything could happen. So, we were just going along on our own pace and, you know, as things developed, it was really easy. I felt like it was something that I wanted to do and I’ve been holding it in for the last 18 years and now, finally, I can get it off my chest and it’s really been great. And then, of course, the touring goes with the album. We did a lot of touring this summer; we just wrapped up a big three-city tour there and I think we’re gonna take a little break and I think we’re probably going to be going back in the fall. There’s a lot of things going on. Oh, and here’s another thing. I’m proud of this one. We’re already working on the next album, believe it or not! We’ve got three songs recorded for the next album. So, I’m very happy about that.
CC: Wow, I can’t wait to hear it already.
GK: Yeah, man. I’m telling you, these albums are so much fun to make. When I was a full time musician, 20 years ago, I used to sweat and really worry about the albums. Then, as time went by, I just started to relax and I started writing things that made sense, that came to me, and really, it was the labor of love to work on that album. I can’t wait, obviously, for the next one. That’s even gonna be  better.

– CC: How does it feel to be coming out with a new album after 21 years?
GK: It feels great. You know, I didn’t do anything for 21 years because I was getting up at 4 a.m. and you don’t really have much of a life. As soon as they cut me loose, I had nothing but time on my hands. The first thing I did was work on the album, then I started working on a couple of novels. It just felt like it was all planned in my head. It wasn’t, but it seemed like I had planned it all in my head. In all, really, it was very easy. I thought that it would be, you know, much more difficult to write the songs for the album. We wrote the songs very quickly; mostly in like 15-20. The first song that we recorded on the album was Big Pink Flamingos. I remember because my son came in, his name is Ry, he came in and said, “hey, check this out, dad!” and he started playing this riff that was gonna become, Big Pink Flamingos. Out of the clear blue sky, I don’t know where it came from, it just popped into my mind and I just started singing, Big Pink Flamingos. I don’t know where it came from and it was like I was channeling it from the air. It worked great, we wrote the song in like maybe half an hour and then we just started recording it right away. It was easy. I know it doesn’t seem posible, but it was easy.

– CC: How has the music world changed from what you remember, say 20-25 years ago, compared to now?
GK: Oh man, there’s nothing that’s the same. Let me put it that way. When I first started, a long, long time ago when my first album came out [1975] and I just remember back in those days, the standard array was two track tape recorders and then you could balance the four tracks down to however many you wanted. That’s how we did the first album. Then, by the second or third album, 16 tracks had come into vogue. I remember the very machine that they got at Fantasy Studios. It was a 16-track, multi-track machine and it used these big two-inch tapes. You remember those two-inch tapes? They were huge.
CC: Uh, that was before my time [laughs]
GK: Ah, it probably was. Anyway, I remember when we started working with 16 tracks, I started saying to the guys, “You know, there’s no way we’re gonna use all these 16 tracks. There’s no way”. We were using four tracks up to this point. Little did I know, you could use 16 tracks on the drums alone, but, you know, as soon as you went to 32-track and 64-track, it was exponential and you could continue. To this day, now that digital has replaced analog and what used to be vacuum tubes that were attached to the tubes became solid-state circuitry. So, nowadays when you put something down on tape, you don’t even put it on tape. You record it to the computer and then you have complete control over it when it’s on the computer. I’m telling you, it’s amazing what they can do now, my god. They can make you sound like [Luciano] Pavarotti.

– CC: This change, has it affected you in a positive way, negative way, or nothing at all?
GK: You know, I think it’s a positive way because I’ve always loved to write songs and it was always a trial and error just to come up with the next song, but, I thought it was much easier because you could just turn on your computer and record your tracks. It was so much easier than, obviously, than tape passing over tape heads. Back in the old days, we used to do edits and the way we would do edits was we could cut the master tape. You would take the actual two-inch master and you’d cut it. Then you’d splice it back together again and it was amazing. Now to do that, you just have to press one button to edit anything and it’s amazing what they can do now because, wow, it wasn’t like that in my time. It would have made it easier for me to go in and do my songs because we didn’t have a lot of things that we had to worry about. We just recorded it and it felt right. To me, you have to always to keep looking ahead. Keep looking ahead for that next break-through. For that next really amazing thing that’s gonna happen with the recording industry because it’s only getting started. Imagine in ten years, my god, what will they be doing? It will be unbelievable.

– CC: With your new album out, can we expect a US tour soon?
GK: Well, we just finished a tour a few weeks ago and we were going all over the country. We went to Montana, we went to Denver, then we went back East, then we played a bunch of stuff in the Midwest. So we pretty much had a whole tour and then when it got done, we came back and took a little rest and we started working on the next album. I hear from the guys that they wanna get back on the road again. They just wanna go back asap. To them, it’s like summer camp. You’re gonna have fun, you’re gonna get on a bus and drive all over the country and it’s just a lot of fun.

– CC: What do you miss about the touring life?
GK: Ohhh, that’s a good question. Well, touring life is partying life, let’s face it. Back when I was a young fellow, I was a partying animal. That was back in the days of cocaine, marijuana, Jack Daniel’s. You name it, we were taking it and we were taking it everyday. We’d always go out and I don’t know what the hell we were thinking, but we had a lot of good times. We would go to these gigs, check out the crowd, and just have a great time. There wasn’t anything    really bad about it, it was all very positive things.

– CC: What was your inspiration or reason for releasing an album after 21 years?
GK: Oh, good question. Well, you know, I had felt very guilty that I didn’t make an album for 20 years. I thought to myself, jeez, that’s kind of pushing it. My son, who was anxious to record and the others in the band, they wanted to get in there and record new material and I didn’t think it was gonna be so easy until we started working again. It turned out that everything we tried, worked. It’s amazing when you try something and it works. Over 20 years without an album and I started feeling very guilty about it. I thought, you know, this is my chosen profession, a musician. So, I gotta go out there and make another couple of albums. Not just one of two, but several. It’s the same thing with writing novels. You wanna get into it. You wanna sink your teeth into it. To me, the finest thing about being a songwriter is you got something new to record and it’s like, oh man, this is wonderful. These things happen; a lot of times they happen spontaneously, but they happen.

– CC: What bands would you want to tour with if you were given the chance to pick?
GK: Ohhh, that’s a really good question. Well, there’s a lot of my old friends like Cheap Trick, The Romantics, Steve Miller, The Doobie Brothers, and a lot of bands like that, that I’ve known for many years. What would I choose? The [Rolling] Stones because they’ve been around for so long? I’m sure they could teach me a thing or two. I like a lot of the new bands. Jack White and guys like that that are doing some exciting new music. Rock and roll has spread across the entire globe now. There’s rock and roll in every country regardless of what they speak and things like that. So it really is always evolving and it’s always being proven true again and again and that’s kind of where I’m at. I was lucky and I was also blessed.

– CC: Do you have any tips or advice for local bands and up and coming bands?
GK: I certainly do. First of all, when your’re writing songs, you should let the song write itself. Don’t get in the way of the song and don’t try to put a lot of things in there. Just let the song write itself. I always say be very truthful and don’t do anything that would spoil the song. I feel like the songs are our children, we have to treat them really well. Let me put it this way: It’s never been easy, but it’s been easier. I can go into studio any week, like this week, for instance, tomorrow I’ll go down to the studio and I’ll just kick a few song ideas and I’ll show the other guys and they’ll say, “Hey! I like that! Let’s try this!” and before you know it, we have a new song. It’s wonderful.
CC: I have a lot of friends that play locally in small clubs and whatnot so they love hearing advice from musicians that have been around for a long time.
GK: Yeah, you let the songs take care of themselves. Just enjoy yourselves and have a good time.

A link to Greg’s Facebook page:

A link to the classic Jeopardy video:
A link to Big Pink Flamingos:

Foreigner: Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, Ca – 8/30/17

Rock legends Foreigner are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary tour. For this special occasion, they played nothing but the biggest hits from their 40-year career. Since the band’s creation, only founding member, guitarist, and songwriter Mick Jones remains the only original member on the lineup. Handling vocals since 2005 has been ex-Hurricane singer, Kelly Hansen. Foreigner is known to have a huge fan base in Southern California and to further prove that, the Greek Theatre show had sold out ahead of time. Legendary rock band Cheap Trick started the show and rocked the already packed venue. Foreigner headlined the night and the audience was already on their feet by the time the lights went out.

Foreigner came out and started the show with one of their biggest hits and usual opener, Double Vision. The crowd was on their feet singing along and had their hands in the air. The classic rock hits continued as Foreigner next played Head Games followed by another one of the band’s biggest hits, Cold as Ice. Foreigner had a great stage setup with beautiful lights and effects that always had something new to offer for every song. Foreigner is also known for writing beautiful ballads and it was shown when they played the next song, Waiting for a Girl Like You. Blue Morning, Blue Day was quite the song performed as it started to rain during the song and gave the song an extra boost in the meaning of the title. In true California rain style, it only lasted roughly five minutes and soon the band was back to playing normal without rain. Hansen made note on how it’s incredible that the band is celebrating their 40th anniversary and will now take the fans back to the very first Foreigner song that the fans heard back in 1977 from Foreigner‘s self-titled debut album which was Feels Like the First Time. Urgent is one of the band’s most popular songs and it shouldn’t be surprising since the songs is perfection in every way. From the catchy chorus, to the funky bass during the verses, and of course, no one can deny that perfect saxophone solo played by Thom Gimbel who has been a member of Foreigner for over 25 years. The stage went dark, fog covered the stage floor and set the mood for one of Foreigner‘s oldest songs. That song was Starrider. Back in 2010, Foreigner would dedicate this song to the late and legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio who had passed away that same year due to stomach cancer. The song had a beautiful finish as Hansen sang the final line of “Starriderrrr!” and was backed by a stream of fireworks going from the ground up. The stage went dark once again as drummer Chris Frazier and keyboardist Michael Bluestein performed solos to wow the audience. Little did the audience know they were being distracted from what was really going on. The solos finished and the familiar keyboard started to Jukebox Hero. Hansen was nowhere to be found until the audience realized he was in the middle of the venue standing high up on a pedestal so he could overlook the entire venue. After a while, Hansen came back down and joined the rest of the band to perform the rest of the song. The show came to an end and the band left the stage. Plenty of fans were leaving the venue, but a lot of them still stayed. Surely enough, Foreigner came back out for a couple of more hits. Hansen asked the audience to take their arms and wrap them around the person closest to them whether they knew them or not. All he wanted to do was to spread the love which is what the first encore song was about. The first encore performed was the power ballad, I Want to Know What Love Is and is one of the most beautiful songs you’ll ever hear. It peaked at number one on the Billboard charts in both the USA and UK and is the group’s biggest hit to date. Love was truly in the air. In the middle of the song, the group was joined by the Echo Choir from Los Angeles and sang the choir parts to the song. To end the night, Foreigner played what is the band’s most popular song, Hot Blooded. Everyone was dancing and singing along to the song and everyone was having such a good time even on a Wednesday night. Foreigner finished the song, bowed to the fans, and left the stage once again making sure that everyone had a night to never forget.



Dying Fetus and The Black Dahlia Murder: The Novo – Los Angeles, Ca – 8/12/17


The 2017 edition of the Summer Slaughter tour had a variety of metal for everyone’s taste. For the most part, this year primarily had metalcore bands with a few death metal bands higher up on the bill. This year saw the tour being headlined by melodic death metal band The Black Dahlia Murder and just before them were the death metal legends, Dying Fetus. A show like this was perfect for a Saturday and plenty of metalheads showed up to let off some steam as well as catch up with friends and maybe make new ones.
Dying Fetus released their newest album Wrong One to Fuck With on June 23, 2017. Plenty of fans were seen sporting the band’s merch so you know they were ready to mosh and get crazy. Dying Fetus came out and started the show with Justifiable Homicide. Right away you can hear the heaviness from the band’s music combined with singer/guitarist John Gallagher’s deep guttural death metal vocals engulfing the audience and venue and of course the fans were already moshing to go with the band’s music. Intentional Manslaughter was next on the setlist and it proved to be just as brutal as the opening track. Subjected to a Beating is one of the band’s more popular’s songs from their previous Reign Supreme album and had the mosh pit going just as wild. The trio has a very energetic stage presence as Gallagher and bassist Sean Beasley exchanged death metal vocals showing their musicianship as they worked together to bring metal to the masses. Dying Fetus continued to unleash death metal as they played brutal tracks such as Fixation on Devastation, Invert the Idols, and the title track from the new album, Wrong One to Fuck With. Being that they were a non-headlining band, Dying Fetus had a short set and closed out their show with Killing On Adrenaline. They thanked the audience for coming out and left the stage for the headlining band.

The Black Dahlia Murder was the headlining band for the tour and this was an extra special tour for them because on this tour, they would be performing their third album Nocturnal in its entirety for its tenth anniversary. The lights went out and a background track of crickets chirping filled the venue to match the Nocturnal album. Not too long later, the band members came out and started with the first track from the album, Everything Went Black. The crowd went wild once again with a mosh pit starting and the fast-paced music from TBDM was a great way for fans to enjoy themselves. Up next was the band’s most popular track What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse which got it’s name from a quote from the 1988 video game, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. Frontman Trevor Strnad had the fans shake their fists in the air as the band played one of their most popular hits and plenty of crowd surfers made an appearance. Since the band was playing Nocturnal in its entirety, all the other songs performed were from the album which included Virally Yours, Nocturnal, and Deathmask Divine. The band played the final track from the album titled Warborn, then left the stage. All seemed quiet and dark and the fans chanted the band’s name. Surely enough, TBDM came out for a couple of more songs. The band made note that they were coming out with a new album titled Nightbringers later this year on October 6th. To give the fans a taste of the new album, TBDM played the title track of the new album, Nightbringers. Fans seemed to enjoy the song so they will definitely be looking forward to the new album. TBDM finished with I Will Return, thanked the audience for coming out, then left the stage once again while the fans themselves were left with looks of satisfaction, being tired, and of course, plenty of drunk people.


Dying Fetus



The Black Dahlia Murder


Behemoth and Lamb of God: The Forum – Los Angeles, Ca – 8/5/17

Behemoth is a blackened death metal band from Poland. Prior to the beginning of the tour, the band’s drummer Zbigniew Robert “Inferno” Promiński stayed home as he was about to become a father to his second child. As a fill in, Behemoth called upon ex-Job For A Cowboy drummer Jon Rice to take over drum duties for this tour.  The lights went out and the already packed Forum erupted into a roar as Behemoth was about to make their way to the stage. All the band members made their way to the stage with frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski being the last one to come out with metal rods in both hands with the ends of them being on fire as to prepare the audience for some truly evil metal. Behemoth started the show with Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer from their newest 2014 album The Satanist which earned the number one spot on Loudwire’s best metal albums of 2014. The band was off to a great start with a fast and brutal song as Nergal unleashed his hellish vocals onto the audience that immediately went wild for the band. The second song was the band’s most popular song, Conquer All. It has a heavy intro that always gets the fans to pump their fists in the air and of course with the heaviness of the song itself, mosh pits quickly formed as Behemoth played one of the best songs of the night.  Behemoth was an opening act for the tour so they didn’t get much set time, but they made sure to their set a heavy one and leave their mark on the audience. Behemoth would play songs such as: Decade of Therion, Messe Noir, and Ov Fire and the Void. To finish their set, Behemoth played Chant For Eschaton 2000 which is their usual closing song. Towards the end of the song, Nergal thanks the audience for coming out and does his speech of, “It was a great honor playing for you tonight! Stay Strong! Hail Satan!”. With that, Behemoth finished up the song, waved goodbye to the audience, then left for the next amazing band to come on stage.

Lamb of God released their seventh studio album Sturm Und Drang in 2015 and the band has been actively touring for it. Lamb of God came out and started the show with their most popular song, Laid to Rest. You could feel the energy that Lamb of God gives off during their live performance and fans reacted to this by jumping and moshing. The show was off to a great start. Lamb of God wasn’t about to slow things down for the next song was another one of their other popular hits and is always dedicated to the men and women in the Armed Forces, Now You’ve Got Something to Die For. This song gets the crowd going just as wild and is always a great addition to the setlist. Lamb of God‘s stage setup was amazing with different light setups and a screen displaying scenes of war. All that plus fog cannons letting out streams of fog whenever it called for it during a song. Frontman Randy Blythe proves to be one of metal’s greatest frontmen as he is very energetic and charismatic on stage never slowing down and always giving it 110% on stage. Lamb of God played hit after hit and who could keep still and not headbang when they play songs such as: 512, Blacken the Cursed Sun, and Still Echoes from the newest album. Nearing the end of the show, Blythe made a quick speech to the fans about everything that’s going on in the world right now and then told them that they could all…Walk With Me in Hell. And so, Lamb of God played the song and once again got the crowd jumping with it’s catchy rhythm. Now that the show had come to and end, Blythe demanded to see the biggest mosh pit of the night as the band finished with Redneck. The two mosh pits that had been going on throughout the night had merged into one giant mosh pit giving Blythe the satisfaction that he was looking for. Lamb of God finished up the song and left the stage as it was being covered by a white curtain making way for the kings of thrash metal, Slayer!




Lamb of God

Gojira and Oni: Ventura Theater – Ventura, Ca 8/2/17

French progressive metal band Gojira released their newest album Magma in 2016. Since then, they have been actively touring for the album. On this tour, they made a surprise stop in Ventura County in Southern California.  On this tour, they brought with them Oni and Pallbearer. Even when Oni came on stage, the venue was just under halfway full since it was a Wednesday.

Oni came out and started delivering their signature progressive metal sound that made them who they are. With guitarists Brandon White and Martin Andres doing twin lead guitar solos and finger-tapping giving their music a very interesting sound. Another very distinct sound they had to their music was the use of a xylophone/xylosynth from John DeAngelis. The way their music blends, it’s something you have to hear to believe. The music a long with the energetic performance made Oni for a great opening band. Since they were the opening band, they had a rather short set and it seemes to be over just as soon as they had started. Regardless, the audience enjoyed Oni which is what matters in the end.

 Gojira was the highlight of the night with the venue’s bottom floor packed. The stage was already set up with an amazing display of lights and fog cannons. The lights went out and drummer Mario Duplantier went on stage to his drum kit and started the intro to Only Pain from the new album and the rest of the band members came out to play the song. The crowd went wild as fog cannons shot out fog towards the crowd and Gojira played the opening song with precision to the album including the band’s signature pick-squeal sound which sounds like a “chewww” every time guitarist and frontman Joe Duplantier did his pick slide on his guitar. The band immediately got a huge response from a loud audience as well as a mosh pit forming right away right on front of the band. The Heaviest Matter of the Universe was next from their famed From Mars to Sirius album and it proved to be a fast and heavy track with Duplantier’s powerful screaming vocals. Gojira brought out some more new tunes from the newest Magma album and so they played new tracks like Stranded, The Cell, and Silvera which was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. Gojira couldn’t possible forget about their classic catalog of songs so of course they had to play something for the old school fans. The fans went nuts when Duplantier played the familiar intro to the band’s most famous song, Flying Whales. The pits went crazy and fans sang along to the song. Gojira played another hit Toxic Garbage Island further showcasing their lyrics about the environment, life, death, and nature. After the song, brothers Joe and Mario Duplantier displayed their musicianship by switching instruments for a quick jam. Gojira played Oroborus and left the stage. All the lights were off, but the crowd didn’t seem to budge and chanted the band’s name. Surely enough, Gojira came back out and performed the first encore, Vacuity. Gojira talked a little bit about being a support act for Metallica on their current tour and even played snippets of Metallica songs. Now that it was time for the show to come to an end, Gojira performed a special song. They played a cover of Territory originally by Brazilian thrash metal band, Sepultura. The audience went wild with a huge mosh pit forming on the floor. Gojira wrapped up the show and thanked the audience for coming out before leaving the stage for the final time.






Rise Against at Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ (7/9/2017)

Arizona? Oh, yeah….we go wayyyyy back. For several years, Chicago-based punk band Rise Against refused to play shows in Arizona in protest of Senate Bill 1070, which was a piece of controversial legislation passed in 2010 that segregated citizens’ rights according to ethnicity. In 2012, the prejudicial law which required law enforcement to arbitrarily violate Mexican-Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights and demand on-the-spot citizenship documentation was challenged, and Rise Against appeared at Mesa Amphitheater shortly after. Many artists were part of this state boycott, refusing to entertain fans here in hopes to incite more displeasure at the immigration law in a state whose population is largely Latino. While the band loves their fans, they have their qualms about the legislature and remained reserved in their returns. Rise Against did play UFEST 2015, and in 2016 the State Of Arizona entered into several legal agreements with a coalition of civil rights organizations and imposed limits the over-sweeping carte blanche law had previously bestowed on law enforcement. Whittling away at the overwhelmingly unpopular “show-me-your-papers-or-else” law and undermining several copycat laws in neighboring states was the defeat of long-time racist and minority bully Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was gloriously removed from office in the 2016 General Election. Rise Against once again graced the stage in Phoenix, AZ at Ak-Chin Pavilion, co-headling the show with So Cal’s own Deftones whose own front man Chino Moreno; Chino’s father is Mexican, and his mother is Chinese. True to their genrical form, nothing at a Rise Against concert is ever “just because”. During their portion of the show, Rise Against’s visionary and conceptioneer, Tim McIlrath, said that they weren’t going to pass over Arizona like a “satellite” anymore, which segued into the song selection of the same name, which was the fourth track on the Endgame album. Endgame‘s release in 2011 was the first time the band had officially drawn a line in the sand outlining their stand on human rights issues, particularly pertaining to the LGBT community. Animal and human rights are a largely prominent theme in all of the band’s lyrics.

While RA has been touring to support their new album, Wolves, which was released in June 2017, much of their song selection centered around The Sufferer And The Witness and Endgame…albums from the band’s more outspoken past that carry a much more gritty ear’s-eye-view of the band’s notable social and political stances and more aggressive musical styling than the more mainstream showings of Black Market and Wolves. The show opens with a general wake-up-and-pay-attention anthem “Ready To Fall“, which is off the 2006 Sufferer album, and followed up with the brilliantly worded “The Good Left Undone” from the same album. The band followed along with “Re-Education (Through Labor)“, which is about the sad immortality of Chinese sweat shops. Rise Against has had a long-running partnership with Vans Shoes, all of which are Vegan-safe, which not only means that the shoes do not use any animal products or animal product processes in their manufacturing process, but that the shoes are manufactured according to Fair Trade standards, which prohibits the use of children and exploited labor forces in developing countries where the product may be outsourced. The band continued their all-too-short powerhouse set with “Help Is On The Way“, which is about the debacle that resulted in Hurricane Katrina becoming as much of a man-made disaster as a natural one. Included in the set was a special selection of “Bricks“, who’s lyrics juxtapose the phenomenon of tolerance double speak regarding LGBT community issues. The song ended with the band’s ginormous LED screens displaying a rainbow flag. Half way through the set, front man Tim McIlrath was the lone player on the stage, offering a sad and mournful plea for unity in a solo, spotlight performance of Black Market’sPeople Live Here“, where he talks about how much music has helped Man work through His problems, individually and as a whole, and how music can unify us and help us work together because we all have to share the space. Just as the song says…”people live here”. McIlrath has always had a gift for eloquently turning the problems of society into a poem, and his monologue ends in the band’s exciting call to arms, “Survive“, from The Sufferer and the Witness, whose lyrics reiterate the band’s over all message for the evening:  “How we survive is what makes us who we are.”

Even though Rise Against is somewhat aggressive and immutable in their beliefs and in their message, the concert was warm and inviting. Tim McIlrath is a gracious host, even if you don’t subscribe to all of his tenets. The music is real, it’s live, and even if it does make the occasional disparaging remark, it is not sad or depressing. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The band is exciting to watch and the music is upbeat and engaging. Rise Against is fun with a purpose. They do not use tracks or tricks to produce their set, and over all the atmosphere felt close and intimate despite the vastness of the venue. Rise Against appeared with The Deftones as part of a colossal summer tour supported by Frank Iero and The Patience and Thrice.

All photos Copyright ©2017 JAM Vaughan (LivingDedGrrl™). All rights reserved. Do not use without written permission. Do not remove watermark.

Iron Maiden in Phoenix, AZ (6/28/2017)

As the Golden Age of music draws to a close, we are constantly saddened by the frequent passing of not only our favorite musicians, but the musicians who made the music what it is. They were the dreamers and the game changers. As the twilight falls around us, the magic ages. After decades of touring, many of those bands we coveted as kids are slowly winking out, losing their exuberance to age, health, and change. But there is one band who defies the laws of God and nature, gives the finger to cancer, and refuses to go away…refuses to give up…and refuses to give an inch of ground to the fade of mediocrity. While everyone else is winding down, they’re winding up.

The only fade you’ll ever get from Iron Maiden is when the lights go down just before a ginormous blast of a pyrotechnic display, which is exactly how the show opens. Shrouded in fog, a dark figure hunches over a cauldron atop a giant Mayan stone wall. The mains rumble with the dark, eerie lows of orchestral strings. The crowd is silent. The mournful wail of a synth flute wafts down from the rafters as a hooded figure stirs the pot rolls the fog down over the stage. A lone voice cries out, “Here is the soul of a man. Here in this place for the taking…”. As the voice finishes its soliloquy, the stage suddenly erupts in fire; there is a burst of music. The hood is thrown off and the figure of Bruce Dickinson, in his usual cargo pants and boots, runs down the wall, and catches some superbig air, landing just in time to spin his microphone stand and sing the chorus of If Eternity Should Fail, the band’s opening number. You can barely hear it over the roar of a sold-out crowd of 18,000, and I thought to myself that, in all my years of concerts and photography, this may very well have been the first and last time I wished I had my earplugs, but not because the band was too loud….but because a crowd loved a band enough to drown them out.

Much of the setlist was in support of the band’s Book of Souls album. From If Eternity, the band ran right into the head bobbing, more cowbell, 80’s metal-esque Speed Of Light off the same album. It’s really hard to hold the camera still. I can’t decide if I want to rock out or take pictures. There’s just so much energy, and it isn’t until later that I realize that my 4k video of this song’s performance has me howling along with Bruce in my own metal-opera voice in a rousing chorus of “Shadows in the stars…We will not return…Humanity won’t save us…at the speed of liiiiiiiiight…”. I think there’s even a hair flip in front of the camera. Oh, well. The lights are just going crazy. Spotlights float over the GA floor crowd. People are starting to crowd surf. Security isn’t happy, but it’s Maiden. The devil doesn’t make them do it, Eddie does.

Talk, talk, talk…..shhhhhhh….Steve Harris time. Steve Harris is the brain-child behind much of Maiden’s music. One of the most brilliant bass players to every walk across a stage, the opening bass riff from Wrathchild thumps over the mains, and I’m a happy girl. I might have let out a little squee….just a little. Wrathchild is track two in the wayback machine, from their first major studio album (when Adrian Smith joined them on guitar) released back in 1981 when Paul D’Anno was the singer. The cover is a gnarly yellow Eddie with a slimy hatchet in his hand getting his lapels pulled by the begging hands of his unfortunate victim. It’s my favorite incarnation of Eddie. I’m even wearing a dress that’s made out of the album cover art. I like all Maiden, but the early cuts are my jam. The kids in the audience get a little quiet. This one is before their time, but that just opens up the dance floor in front of our seats for us old folks to cut a little rug. But that’s OK! Because as the song comes to a close, Bruce wants to have a word with the “youngers”, and by youngers he means everyone born after 1982. Surprisingly (or not), literally half of this crowd is Generation Y and Millennials, and they’re VERY loud. 1982 was the year that launched Iron Maiden into the spotlight to make them one of the biggest powerhouse bands that music history has ever known. 1982 was the release year for the band’s first big studio album The Number of the Beast. Not only did Number reach No. 1 on the UK Albums chart, but it was the band’s big introduction of their new lead singer…the man who would become a legend in rock ‘n’ roll, noted for his tireless, unwavering energy, his NBA-worthy jumps, his never-ending voice, and his knack for transforming his personal passion for history and literature into song…Mr Bruce Dickinson. Ironically, after addressing the vastness of the younger crowd, Bruce ends the segment Dickinson suggested that 1982 was, of course, the year everyone began having sex to Iron Maiden songs (wink wink), though citing that it’s very difficult to have sex to an Iron Maiden song because “even though they’re long, they just sorts of stop and start and stop and start.” In keeping with his tongue-in-cheek monologue, and the band performed Children of the Damned, which was a track from that year’s album.

The show went on. Bruce went on and on and on, and little Nicholas the drumset teddybear held on and on. Sprinkling the past with the present, the band took the audience all the way back to the beginning and brought us forward. In between classic selections were no less theatrical highlights from the Book of Souls album, including one Bruce Dickinson bouncing about on stage in a monkey mask dangling bananas in the face of Dave Murray during his Death Or Glory guitar  solo. Steve Harris slayed The Trooper from 1983’s Piece of Mind album. Bruce donned his Red Coat and waved a tattered Union Jack from his post top the big stone wall, draping Janick Gers with it during the guitar solo that everyone who listens to rock music can sing note for note. The lights went green, the backdrop changed to a new Eddie, and the crunchy guitar chug-chug-a-lug chugga-lugga of Powerslave (1984) began with Bruce leaping around the stage in the essence of the Luchadore mask he wore for that specific occasion. A towering Eddie appeared on stage to challenge a dueling Dickinson for his heart during the title track performance from Book of Souls, and later, a touching moment came when the lights went down and the audience came together to sing “Ohhhh” and sway along to the hollow, haunting guitar verse of Fear of the Dark (1992), which, of course ended abruptly with Nicko-coordinated flame bursts. The band ended the official set with a line drive all the way back to their very first release Iron Maiden, the title track off the self-titled album Iron Maiden from 1980.

The band’s appearance at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Downtown Phoenix was part of the band’s Book Of Souls world tour. The stop was an installment in the Part 2 of the band’s longest  tour since their Somewhere On Tour run in 1986. The Book Of Souls tour, which began in February 2016 and is still running strong into the summer of 2017. In 2017, this particular tour found the most iconic metal band in all of music history debuting their performance in Beijing and Shanghai China and also in El Salvador. The concert in El Salvador went on record as being the country’s largest event in its history, and the band received a special Thank You from the Ministry of Tourism there. At the end of the show, Bruce triumphantly announced that when this tour is over, “We’re not going to stop!”

All photos Copyright© 2017 JAM Vaughan (LivingDedGrrl™). All rights reserved. Do not use without written permission. Do not remove watermark.

Ghost at Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ

Swedish heavy metal band, Ghost, opened for Iron Maiden at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Downtown Phoenix AZ on Wednesday, June 28.  Referring to themselves as “the clergy”, their 2016 single, “Cirice”, landed them a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. In January 2017, Ghost became the first Swedish heavy metal band to ever peak the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart with their Popestar single release “Square Hammer”, which opened the show with its iconic Munster-esque organ anthem reverberating through the rafters. Taking the stage as five Nameless Ghouls and an archtypal anti-Pope, Ghost delivered a set of heavy visuals and if-ABBA-married-Anton-Lavey melodies, including fan favorite “He Is“.

The show opens with what would be, in keeping with the band’s theme, a call to worship. The slow chant and mystic music of Jocelyn Pook’s “Masked Ball“, from the Stanley Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut, plays over the mains, announcing the arrival of the band to the stage. From there, parishioners of music are treated to a church/horror themed rock show in which lead singer, stage named Papa Emeritas III, occupies the stage in his papal vestments creating a striking visual to accompany the catchy and toe-tapping rhythms of the music. The five Ghouls, who have no names, represent the 5 Elements: Water, Earth, Fire, Wind, and Either. While the Ghouls wear identical masks and costumes, their elemental designation is represented on their instruments. Fire (Alchemy fire symbol.svg) plays lead guitar. Water (Alchemy water symbol.svg) plays bass. Wind (Alchemy air symbol.svg) plays keyboards. Earth (Alchemy earth symbol.svg) plays drums. And Ether (Aether symbol.jpg) plays rhythm guitar. The band prefers the anonymity of the musicians, including Papa Emeritus III to allow fans to more easily enter the dark church fantasy that Ghost creates on stage, which is brilliantly executed and results in the treating of fans to an altogether immersive experience.

All photos Copyright© 2017 JAM Vaughan (LivingDedGrrl™). All Rights Reserved. Do not use without written permission. Do not remove watermark.

Third Eye Blind w/ Silversun Pickups 6/25/2017 Festival Pier @ Penns Landing, Philly

Third Eye Blind w/ Silversun Pickups – 06/25/2017

Festival Pier @ Penns Landing – Philadelphia, PA

Words/Photos/Video – Jay Porks

The Summer Gods Tour rolls on into Philly in what was an almost perfect Sunday for the beach. This tour came through the PNC Bank Arts Center on Friday and for a video heavy recap you can just hover over this sentence and click to check it out. That venue that’s been featured in several concert confessions. Tonight it’s Festival Pier @ Penns Landing in Philly. Penns Landing is a waterfront venue along the same lines as Williamsburg Waterfront or the Stone Pony Summerstage.  Simple venue concept: slab of flat ground in front of a stage. The stage set up did have that 2PM side stage at a festival type feel. Making up for it is a sweet breeze and sand on the ground as we’re literally on the beach. So we ended up here after all. On time too, so we made it for Ocean Park Standoff and the entirety of Silversun Pickups set as well tonight.

Ocean Park Standoff opened up the night at 6:45. They have a female guitar player doing the heavy lifting, so I googled and it’s Samantha Ronson, sister of Mark. It’s a big world. After a couple songs I made a note: this slot they’re in is where I usually unfairly give a band the cold shoulder just because I’m really douchey. But no! All of their songs had sweet melodies and someone in this group can write catchy songs. The band released their debut EP in March and are already opening up on a major tour. Guess I’m not the only one that doesn’t hate them. They went off at 7:10.

The Silversun Pickups! Wow, you want to talk about making it count, that’s what this band does. Unlike Friday, we’re on time today and can watch the full scale of SSPU set in action. Songs we know, songs we don’t, songs we didn’t know we knew. In that hour, Silversun Pickups slayed the dragon that was an ugly “festival” stage, flat non elevating stand room and the high school basketball team situated right in front of you. They made me forget. The Royal We, Substitution both early in the set headbangers. Shocked some life into the crowd of bros who all shared an outfit. Really hope the world is in a place where the Silversun Pickups are back out there touring regularly again. How hasn’t anyone told me how good this is?! Panic Switch, Dots and Dashes and Lazy Eye ended their night at 8:30.

Third Eye Blind came on at sharply 9 and by this time the jam packed crowd has tightened up towards the stage. They opened with the same sheet gimmick as Friday (and is assume on this whole tour). They play Summer Gods behind a curtain and then drop it, but tonight the sheet malfunctioned a bit and didn’t all come down on queue. Nothing tops the live concert experience.

Pictures and video were tough on this night as the standing room doesn’t elevate or anything towards the back. I planned ahead for that and got all the hits on Friday. So for the first time in a while, I also brought words and sentences to the table. #Journalism. Stephen mentioned how this is the first night of the tour without seats. “I hate seats” he says. I get it. It’s a rock show. But tonight, my sciatica is acting up so I personally miss the comfort of seats. At least for this one night.

Such an extensive list of awesome songs. Some may call this band a one hit wonder. They are not that. And they’re not even a band with two hits that sound exactly the same. Even after the other night I still popped for Never Let You Go to lead the encore. By that point it feels like there’s no way they got another banger. As the set progressed, I noticed a benefit of not having seats. A sea of heads rockin on a beach was a scene to be had. I may judge the process, but you can’t argue with the results. For example, Jumper tonight had like a little singalong portion that was absent from the show up in PNC. Maybe the beach vibes. The set was the same exact set songs wise as Friday with playing the entire self titled debut record and all, but I couldn’t have underestimated more how awesome of a time Third Eye Blind could be live.

The handful of decent photos can be chopped up to Amanda Porks, who you can follow on twitter here. Set list lays below. If the Summer Gods tour is coming your way, it’s a fun night out that’s highly recommended.

Summer Gods intro

Company Of Strangers

Horror Show


Queen Of Daydreams

Shipboard Cook


Losing A Whole Year


Semi Charmed Life



How’s It Gonna Be

Thanks A Lot

Burning Man

Good For You


I Want You

The Background

Motorcycle Drive By


Never Let You Go

Alright Caroline

God of Wine (yes that’s on the first record. They save it for the encore)

Third Eye Blind w/ Silversun Pickups 06/23/2017 @ PNC Bank Arts Center

Third Eye Blind w/ Silversun Pickups – 06/23/2017

PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks

Third Eye Blind have kicked off a tour in celebration of 20 years since the release of their self titled debut record. Billed as The Summer Gods Tour, Stephan Jenkins and Co. have enlisted very special guests the Silversun Pickups. Roughly two weeks into the trek, the tour makes a stop off in Dirty Jersey at the PNC Bank Arts Center.

Silversun Pickups went on early. We barely were in our seats when Panic Switch hit.

Audible roars of the crowd on the lawn were heard during the duration of their set, especially during Lazy Eye. People were still filing in, but the entire lawn was jammed pack. Wish we would have known Silversun Pickups were going to be playing that early. Their set ended at 8 freaking 30.

It’s been 20 years since Third Eye Blind debuted with their self titled debut record. Let’s all allow that to sink in for a minute and realize that we’re old.

The night opened with Summer Gods. Opening up with a handful of hits before we jump into this record. Company of Strangers, Horror Show (aka “Heroin”) and Wounded followed. Crowd was getting loose at this point where dancing in aisles began to occur. The seats were pretty much pack out at this point, with the exception of the top sections.

Queen of Daydreams and Shipboard Cook finished off the non album cuts as the band ducked off for a second for a tiny break before coming out to play the record.  That’s where we went into video mode:

London, Thanks A Lot and Burning Man garnered the most noise from the PNC crowd other than the big hits.

After a 2nd tiny break they came back to kicking off this encore with Never Let You Go

which by this point I had forgotten about in the sea of awesome songs tonight. Alright Caroline and God of Wine closed out their fairly epic set crisply before 11.

Davey Suicide Returns To Mesa 6/16/2017

For three days, now, there has been a song stuck in my head. All day long I hear, “She’s got the eyyyyyyyyes of an angellllll….”. It happens every time I come home from a Davey Suicide show. The more I get to know them, the more I like them, and it’s not just THAT song that sticks in my head. After the show, I had the chance to pick up their latest album Made From Fire, and there are quite a few catchy tunes on it. I run to keep fit, and I’ve already added the entire album as the soundtrack for my street beats. It has a nice, overall uptempo feel with a good, driving beat to keep you moving forward, which goes along perfectly with the name “Suicide”. The name “Suicide” came from the notion that unless you stop yourself, there’s no reason you can’t achieve whatever you want in this life.

Davey Suicide came back to Mesa on Friday, June 16, and they sounded just as good live as they do in my headphones. They have a warm and engaging stage presence and plenty of energy…so much energy that despite their support position in the tour, it was their music that followed me home in my head and stayed there for the next few days. As a concert photographer, it is fairly easy for me to separate myself from the music and objectively cover the event for publication, but damn if Davey Suicide doesn’t make it hard to not get caught up in the moment! Getting a great, solid, sharp photo means standing still, taking a deep breath, slowly exhaling, and squeezing the shutter button. These are things I have done routinely for many years, yet when it comes to a Davey Suicide set, I have to literally tell myself to stop bouncing…stop nodding your head…stop singing. It’s infectious, and they are as sincere as they are theatrical. The sound invades your whole body. Their energy makes YOU have energy. Whether you want to or not, you can’t help but get caught up in their moments.

Davey Suicide appears as part of the Doyle “Abominate The World/As We Die” tour 2017.

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

Interview with Doyle & Misfits Guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein

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Blackest of the Black: Oak Canyon Park – Silverado, Ca 5/26/17-5/27/17

The 2017 edition of the Blackest of the Black Festival was held in the mountain area of Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, California. The festival is the brain child of Misfits’ legendary frontman Danzig and always proves to have a variety of metal bands to suit everyone’s needs.  This festival was two days of pure madness from every corner and was a great way to start Memorial Day weekend.

Day one featured some of the more popular metal bands today and was started by industrial metal band 3Teeth that got the audience started on this Friday night. Los Angeles natives Butcher Babies were the second band to perform and by now, the venue had started to fill up to a nice amount to where it didn’t feel so empty. With female vocalist’s Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd taking control of the show, it was nice to see the festival getting started with a bang and more was still to come. Deathcore giants Suicide Silence have recently released their newest self-titled album so it was no surprise to see them as part of the lineup. Vocalist Eddie Hermida would alternate between clean vocals and the band’s signature high-pitch screams depending on the song. Hermida would also come out to the audience to sing to them so the fans got a more personal experience. Austrian blackened death metal band Belphegor were set to play this festival as well, but were forced to cancel their appearance due to flight issues coming to the USA. Instead, post-rock/black metal band Deafheaven took their place. Deafheaven has a very atmospheric feel to their music as if even without vocals, the music alone would be music to anyone’s ears. Frontman George Clarke had a very energetic stage presence as he would head bang and move his hands around almost in a dance-like motion. Discharge is perhaps one of the first bands to play hardcore punk since their formation in 1977. With fast and thrashy guitars and shouting vocals, it was hard to just stand around and so of course the crowd was moshing throughout the show to keep the energy of the show going. Corrosion of Conformity is a hardocre punk/sludge metal/heavy metal band that have been around since the 1980’s. Their music offers a wide variety of sound from slow-paced bluesy music, to a more faster and aggressive heavy metal and hardcore punk sound. Fans enjoyed their set and were happily headbanging the night away and moshing when it came to it.


Headlining day 1 of the festival was the legendary hardcore punk/crossover thrash metal band, Suicidal Tendencies. Plenty of fans were seen wearing merch so they were obviously one of the main attractions of the night. Suicidal Tendencies came out and started the show with their usual opener, You Can’t Bring Me Down. Legendary frontman Mike Muir was very energetic throughout the night as he ran around and in between songs he would give quick motivational speeches saying that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down in life as long as you get back up and to believe in your dreams. Suicidal Tendencies played many classics in their setlist which included: I Shot Reagan, War Inside My Head, Subliminal, and Trip at the Brain. The band’s performance was only made better with the addition of legendary metal drummer Dave Lombardo formerly of thrash metal legends, Slayer. During Possessed to Skate, Suicidal Tendencies invited female fans on stage and quickly turned into and all-female mosh pit and even a young boy joined in on all the fun. Suicidal Tendencies finished their set with Pledge Your Allegiance and so day of the Blackest of the Black festival came to and end. The music was over, but the night was still young. Those not ready to leave yet were treated to Danzig‘s new Black Laden Crown being premiered for the first time. Other fans were hanging around the movie screen and were watching classic movie monster movies. Many fans left the venue simply to rest up for the next day.

For fans not interested in certain bands, other entertainment at the festival included Castle Danzig which was filled with freakshow performers. Fire-breathers, fire dancers, half-naked women bathing in fake blood, sword-eaters, a man putting hooks in his eyes and wires into his nose and out of his mouth, a large man putting mouse traps on his nipples, and jugglers. A variety of carnival rides were also available for some fun. Plenty of clothing vendors and food trucks were also available.

Day two of the festival featured more more metal bands that fans were more familiar with and had the superior lineup. It was set to be a long day of festivities. The first band that played was the black metal band, Ritual. Most fans still hadn’t arrived or were being let in so if they choose to, they had to listen to the band while in line. Still, a small amount of people showed up in time to enjoy the band.

The next band up was the metal macabre band only known to mankind as Ghoul. They brought disgusting and putrid thrash metal with them and plenty of fans showed up early for them and were prepared to be bathed in the blood and juices that Ghoul squirts out. A man in a costume came out to insult the fans, but his speech was cut short when another man came out and cut off his arm and started spraying fake blood onto the audience. Ghoul started their show with Ghoulunatics from their newest Dungeon Bastards album. Nothing but pure thrash metal with deep growls to get the festival and mosh pit going. Ghoul had a variety of cast members come out which included a witch doctor biting the head off a fake chicken and dumping blood on fans, a future soldier with a water gun shooting water at fans, and even two mecha robots battling it out on stage. They are truly a spectacle to witness. Other songs played included: Shred the Dead, Off With their Heads , and Wall of Death. Combichrist was next and was another industrial metal band. They started with What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? and showed their industrial metal fans how it’s done. Fans loved hearing songs such as Throat Full of Glass and the ever-satisfying Shut Up and Swallow. American groove metal band DevilDriver also had plenty of fans in attendance and were very energetic on stage as fans headbanged and moshed the whole time. Swedish black metal legion Marduk made this festival a special appearance for the band. They were one of the main attractions of the night as they played black metal goodness like The Blond Beast, Of Hells Fire, and Panzer Division Marduk. The band was often cloaked with fog machines which gave the band a proper black metal appearance. Venom Inc also made a special appearance for this festival and had a surprise in store for fans. Venom Inc is a reincarnation of legendary British thrash metal legends, Venom. It involves original Venom members Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn and Anthony “Abaddon” Bray. On vocals was Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan who replaced original Venom singer Conrad “Cronos” Lant when he left the band at one point. Venom Inc brought old school thrash metal and played lots of Venom classics like: Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil), Don’t Burn the Witch, and Leave Me in Hell. Venom Inc made a special announcement about signing to the Nuclear Blast record label and were working on their first album Avé due out on August 11, 2017. As a special treat, the band played a new song from the album titled, Avé Satanas. Mantas made a small speech on his on how thirty years ago, he wrote a song that apparently started its own genre of music. Fans of the band knew what song it was and so Venom Inc started playing one of the most popular songs in the metal scene, Black Metal.


Atreyu is an American metalcore band and were most definitely the oddball of the lineup. Regardless, the band put lots of energy into their performance. To no surprise, vocalist Alex Varkatzas had to often tell the audience to jump, get crazy, etc because they seemed uninterested in a band like this. Oddly enough, the band seemed to get the biggest response when they played a cover of Bon Jovi‘s You Give Love a Bad Name. Vamps are a rock band from Tokyo, Japan that have reached stardom in Japan and were looking to gain stardom in the USA as well. Their most noticeable fans were the female Japanese fans up front who were going wild for the fans and even made flags and banners for the band to see. To no surprise, a lot of the band’s song titles and themes involve blood. One of the final bands of the night were the industrial metal pioneers and legends, Ministry. The band was led by Al Jourgensen and is one of metal’s most recognized faces. Ministry came out and started with one of their most popular songs, Psalm 69. The band was often covered with fog from fog machines and along with the flashing lights gave the band a proper industrial metal feeling. Jourgensen had a mic stand with skulls and a pentagram and would often jerk it around while he sang. Jourgensen made note that the band was getting ready to release a new album titled AmeriKKKant out in the fall of 2017 and treated the audience to the live debut of a new song titled, Antifa. Nighttime was approaching and all the fog and lights during Ministry‘s performing gave the band a great look. The energy was off the hook with fast-paced industrial metal being played.

Other songs performed were: LiesLiesLies, N.W.O, and Just One Fix. Jourgensen thanked the audience for coming out and to end the show, played one of the band’s most popular songs, Thieves. The main highlight of the night was obviously the man himself, Danzig. Everyone had gathered around to see the legendary Misfits frontman. Danzig came out and started the show with SkinCarver. Danzig had the best stage setup with lots of lights, fog, gargoyles, and different backdrops. Danzig fans were seen moshing and singing along to the music. It was the 25th anniversary of Danzig‘s third solo album titled Danzig III: How the Gods Kill so Danzig made sure to play several tracks from the album including How the Gods Kill, Godless, Left Hand Black, and Dirty Black Summer. The fans went wild for Danzig. Since Danzig had released his new album Black Laden Crown, it was mandatory for him to play new songs. the only two new songs performed were Devil on Hwy 9 and Last Ride. The show seemed to come to an end when he played his most famous song, Mother. Danzig left the stage and fans started to exit the venue. Danzig came out after a few minutes to perform two encores for those that chose to stay. Those encores were She Rides and Am I Demon. Danzig once again left the stage. Fans were clearly tired after hours of being at the festival, but wore nothing but smiles and walked out with new friends memories that would surely last a lifetime.


Day 1:



Suicide Silence









Corrosion of Conformity



Suicidal Tendencies



Day 2:

















Venom Inc












Festival Grounds


MMRBQ 2017: Godsmack, Live, Bush, The Pretty Reckless @ BB&T Pavilion – Camden, NJ

WMMR 93.3 FM is Philly is a rarity in this time: A terrestrial radio station with a rock format. Every year they put on the MMRBQ, a summer show in Camden, NJ. This year’s lineup features Godsmack, LĪVE, Bush, The Pretty Reckless, The Struts, Zakk Sabbath, Rival Sons and Dinosaur Pileup. It’s an all day event, with doors opening at 12 I believe. Excuse my tardiness tonight as there isn’t a bus that goes the full three hours from Staten Island to Camden directly. Still found ourselves on the Lawn (The Lundy Lawn!) by the time the Pretty Reckless was about to hit the stage.

The first I heard of The Pretty Reckless was on Concert Confessions and judging by their set I’m glad I did. Taylor Momsen is from Gossip Girl, but we’re not going to hold that against her because her band rocks. They can range from twangyish to shreddyness (yes, both of those words are made up) on the turn of a dime. You’ll notice there’s not a picture of the band above this. That’s because I believe I was actively sabotaged by some dude living the #VapeLife and blowing thick clouds of smoke in front of my camera. Jersey. At the end of their set, they covered “Like A Stone” for Chris Cornell. You could see Momsen wiping tears from her face throughout the rendition.

You ever see a band you like and leave saying “Wow, that was way more fulfilling than I thought it would be?” Well that’s Bush. Man do I miss Bush. In so many more ways than one. Came out with a blistering ‘Machinehead’. I caught that on the rail as I made my way around the massive (Lundy) Lawn trying to find good angles (which apparently never happened) for pictures and stuff. I moved back to the side to record ‘The Sound of Winter’ before I headed back mid-lawn to my peeps. While there, Bush continued to kick ass. I managed to find my way back to the far side to tape an amazing ‘Comedown’. I hadn’t been checking the set lists but Bush covering REM was pretty neat. Mixed in a Black Hole Sun tease. Was really good. I must have slipped into some sort of alternative universe when they played ‘Glycerine’ because I can’t quite remember when they played it.

Live and Ed Kowalczyk have kissed and made up. They’re back together. Slotted between Bush and Godsmack here in the one of the homicide capitals of America, Live managed to come out and kill it in their allotted time on a long day with tons of bands and moving parts involved. Opened things up with ‘All Over You’, Live was out here with tons of energy on a quickly cooling Camden evening. All the big ones tonight: ‘Selling The Drama’, ‘I Alone’ had the entire (Lundy) Lawn jumping. They explained how they’re kind of local, being from a “little town in Pennsylvania known for the Peppermint Patty among other things”.

Highlight of the evening was Live covering Audioslave’s  ‘I Am The Highway’ in honor of the late great Chris Cornell. This has been a tough week for all of us. It’s cool that bands pay tribute to their peers and allow us fans to partake in those moments. When Live did this, when the Pretty Reckless did ‘Like A Stone’ earlier in the night, those were precious moments that we as fans needed to help us see some hope in this strange thing called life and who is taken from us and who gets to stay on this earth. Seeing that was well worth the price of admission alone. They closed with ‘Lightning Crashes’.

If you would have said to me a year ago “Hey Jay, you’re gonna be at the Godsmack concert next year” I would have told you that you’re crazy. Then again, there’s a lot of things you could have told me a year ago that would be happening now that I wouldn’t have believed, the world is a crazy place.
If you were starting a band specifically to fit the tastes of Beavis & Butthead, that band would be Godsmack. They  opened their set up with a monstrous “I’m Awake” that included some cool pyro. It only took about two songs for me to turn to the people to the left and right of me and think “Yo, Godsmack freaking rocks!” The thing about Godsmack is that they have enough hits to keep a simple mind like mine entertained for the duration of their 75 minutes (or so) while simultaneously keep the Jersey fist pumpers pumping and doing that bald-headed head bang you see all the time. Fortunately, we didn’t see any mosh pits break out on the lawn. The Lundy Lawn.
You’ll notice I keep saying the Lundy Lawn. There’s a law firm that sponsors the venue called Lindy Law. So they call it the ‘Lundy Lawn’ as a play on words. Personally, if I was a lawyer, I don’t think I’d want to take on the liability that weekly rock concerts contained drunk and high people listening to heavy music would bring. I’ve seen too many episodes of Law and Order.
  Checking in as songs I actually knew before tonight is ‘Voodoo’. They mixed in a medley of covers. Had a big spot with two drummers going towards the end where they flips sticks and beat the heck out of stuff. It was rad. Covered the Beatles “Come Together”. Godsmack. Covered the Beatles. That was a thing that happened. Ended the night with lots of crowd participation for ‘I Stand Alone’ in which my camera died during filming.  A very enjoyable day of music. MMRBQ does it again.
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