Tag: Iron Maiden

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.

Misael’s Top Ten Shows of 2012

2012 has got to be one of the best year’s for me to go to concerts. There’s bands I had never seen before but have wanted to, bands I hadn’t seen in 2-3 years, and even bands I thought wouldn’t come around again for a long time.

Me with Lamb of God singer, Randy Blythe

10. Metalachi 5/5/12 – The Roxy Theater – Hollywood, CA

The world’s first and only metal mariachi band. This was a special Cinco De Mayo concert at the world-famous Roxy Theater. Even though these guys aren’t really known and don’t put on a crazy show with fancy lighting or huge stage setups, I still gave these guys a spot on my list for creativity in what they do. They take popular/well-known (mainly)rock/metal songs and cover them using mariachi instruments. When I first heard about them last year, I couldn’t believe it and had to see it for myself. This was actually the second time I saw them. Here they are doing a Dio cover.


9.  Lamb of God 10/31/12 – Hollywood Palladium – Hollywood, CA

I had been aching for a while to see Lamb of God live and then they finally announced US tour dates. The first set of US tour dates had to be cancelled due to singer Randy Blythe’s imprisonment in the Czech Republic. Once released, new tour dates were announced and I jumped on them. They were everything I expected them to be live. Crazy, energetic, and most of all, brutal.  After the show I met up with all the members of Lamb of God at different times as they exited the building and got to talk with them for a bit. What a way to spend my Halloween. Will definitely check them out again.


8. Van Halen 6/1/12 – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA

One might wonder why a band like Van Halen might be so low on my list. Well I have good reasons for it. When Van Halen last came it was 2007. By the time I heard about it, I had just missed it by a few days and since then I’ve vowed to make it next time they come around. This year they released their newest album, “A Different Kind of Truth”, which featured original singer, David Lee Roth, for the first time in 27 years. My dad has been a Van Halen fan since the 80’s so when they announced this tour, I got tickets for the both of us. The openers for them was the 70’s funk band, Kool and the Gang. That was a real treat for me since I never thought someone from my generation would ever see them. The reason that they’re so low on my list is that, in a way, they were just simply…boring. I’ve seen videos of them from back in the day and I thought for sure I’d see one of the greatest shows I’ll ever see. I paid hard-earned money to see a great show. I also have to put into factor that 3 out of the 4 members are at that age where they probably don’t have the energy like they used to, but then again I’ve seen bands their age put on spectacular shows. David Lee Roth still danced to most songs but he didn’t jump around as I’ve seen in older videos. Eddie Van Halen didn’t do much other than play guitar. He usually stayed in one place and walked around and didn’t run or jump around as I thought he would. Personally, I think they’re at that point in their career where they don’t really care anymore since they reached stardom a long time ago.



7. Megadeth 12/7/12 – Fox Theater – Pomona, CA

I had the chance to see Megadeth twice this year and I picked this day from the second time as my favored show. This tour was celebrating the 20th anniversary of their double-platinum selling album, “Countdown To Extinction”. This being one of my favorite metal albums and my second favorite Megadeth album, I just had to go to this. The titans of thrash metal, Megadeth, as always put on an awesome metal show for us metal heads. The show carried out really well and frontman Dave Mustaine showed no sign of slowing down anytime soon. He even announced that my particular show would be released on DVD!  After the show I caught up with all the band members except for Mustaine. In this video, before they play Holy Wars, a friend of mine who happens to be the biggest Megadeth fan I know, throws her hand-made Megadeth flag at Dave and he holds it up for everyone to see. I got it on video just for her.


6. Linkin Park and Incubus 9/8/12 – The Home Depot Center – Carson, CA

This was this year’s Honda Civic tour. It featured alternative rockers, Linkin Park and Incubus. I haven’t seen Linkin Park since February of 2011 so I was due to see them again. I did see them again in December at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas, but I chose this night in particular. This was also my first time seeing Incubus. Both bands put on a great show. Incubus went up first and played greatest hits from their past albums as well as songs from their newest album, “If Not Now, When?”. When they finished, Linkin Park came on. They were the highlight of the night for me. They’re one of the few bands I can see and no matter how hard I try to resist, I end up singing along to every song. They were out supporting their newest album released this year, “Living Things”. The only problem I had during the show was the venue. It was a soccer stadium. I could tell that no matter where you sat, It’d be a terrible view and would be too far to see anything clearly. The only way you’d have a good view is if you were on the floor and had a close-up view. As always, I cannot wait for them to come back.



5. KISS and Motley Crue 8/14/12 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Irvine, CA

KISS and Motley Crue had to be one of the hottest tours of the summer. This was the first time in 30 years that they had toured together since 1982. I hadn’t seen KISS in 2009 and was anxiously waiting for them to come around again. Motley Crue I’ve been seeing every year since 2008 and this made the 6th time(the most out of any band) I had seen them. My only complaint is the venue. The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater has got to be the worst venue in the world. Everything about that place is terrible. Driving there, trying to get into the venue, finding parking, food/merchandise pricing, and it’s a long walk to the seating area. As for the band themselves, they were awesome as always. First up were the kings of glam metal, Motley Crue. I’ve been a huge Motley Crue fan and I’ve yet to get tired from seeing them. Due to the terrible layout of the venue, I missed most of their set. I took a half day from work and I still got there late! I only got around to fully hear their last 2 songs but they put up an awesome display of pyros, fireworks, buckets of blood, and women on stilts. When KISS came on, the crowd went crazy. It had been too long since they last came around. Thanks to my dad, they were one of the first bands I remember listening to When I was just a kid. They still rock even at their age. They played greatest hits along with some newer stuff. I know it won’t be soon but I hope KISS comes back without having me wait another 3 years.



4. Scorpions 6/22/12 – Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA

Scorpions live is the true definition of a rock show. This was their Final Sting/farewell tour and probably the one and only time I’ll ever see them, sadly. The opening was the rock band, Tesla. I was only familiar with a few Tesla songs since they never really caught my attention but from what I hear, they’re one of the most underrated rock bands. My dad has been a Scorpions fan since the 80’s but has never seen them before so when I heard they were coming around, I jumped at the opportunity to take him and I wanted to see them for myself. They put on an all-around rock show and I was really enjoying myself. Even at their age, they still rocked and ran around. They played all greatest hits that I was familiar with. There was hardly a dull moment in that show. I just wish I could see them again. singer Klaus Meine still sounded great and all the other member still had it in them. My dad and I both agreed that they were much better than Van Halen which is why Scorpions is much higher on my list.



3. Iron Maiden 8/9/12 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Irvine, CA

There’s no questioning it, Iron Maiden is one of the greatest bands of all time and one of my all-time favorite bands. I last saw them in 2010 for the time and I was dying to see them again. I got my wish this year. This show was definitely better than the last time since they played their older stuff compared to last time where they played mainly songs from their more recent albums. With this tour they recreated their 1989 Maiden England tour and played several songs from their “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” album which is what the tour was based off of. Iron Maiden is everything you could want at a metal concert. They had multiple stage setups, fireworks, pyros, giant Eddie robots, and of course awesome metal music. The whole time the crowd was insane and reacting to whatever song they played. Singer Bruce Dickinson sounded great for his age and all the other members were at their best. Throughout the night, you never knew what was gonna happen next with each song. Their mascot, Eddie, came out as a giant robot multiple times, devils spitting fire, and fireworks. They are a band for anyone that’s into metal to go see. Will definitely see them again without thinking twice about it.


2. Rammstein 5/17/12 – Honda Center – Anaheim, CA

Rammstein has to be one of the best bands you’ll ever see live. they’re simply spectacular. Almost every song they play, they have something special planned. During “Feuer Frei!”(Open Fire), they come out with fire-breathing masks. During “Mein Teil”(My Part), they played out the cannibalistic story of Armin Meiwes when singer Till roasted keyboardist Flake inside a huge pot using a big flamethrower. During “Engel”(Angel), singer Till comes out wearing giant angel wings that spit out fire from the tips of the wings and are already covered with flashing fireworks. During “Pussy”, singer Till gets on top of a huge penis-shaped cannon and shoots foam at the crowd. Rammstein is one of the most fun bands you could ever see. i can tell I’ll never get tired of them. I saw them for the first time last year when they did their first US tour in 10 years and I didn’t think they’d come around again until later that year they announced they’d be coming back and I jumped for joy. I won’t hesitate to see them again.



1. Rockstar Mayhem Festival: Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax, and more! 6/30/12 – San Manuel Amphitheater – San Bernardino, CA

This year, without a doubt, the best show for me this year was the 5th annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival. This was the 2nd biggest tour of the summer which packed over 28,000 headbanging metal heads and I was there for the opening night!! The main bands that I went to see were Anthrax, Motorhead, Slayer, and Slipknot. I’ll focus this on Slayer and Slipknot since they were the headliners. Slayer and Slipknot are 2 of my favorite bands and both have different fan bases. There were fans that were there for Slayer and hated Slipknot, there were fans that loved Slipknot but didn’t like Slayer, then there were fans like me who loved both bands to the fullest. I never thought I’d see Slayer and Slipknot share the same stage together in one night so this was a dream come true for me. Slayer was incredible and totally blew us away. They played mostly greatest hits including some of my personal favorites that I’ve never seen them play before from the 2 previous times I’ve seen them. With drummer Dave Lombardo being my idol as a drummer, I’m always happy to see his skills live. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman was still out to due his arm injury and was temporarily replaced by Exodus guitarist, Gary Holt. After they finished, Slipknot came on. I hadn’t seen them since 2009 and waiting for them to come back was a very painful wait. This was their first US show since the passing of bassist, Paul Gray. Guitarist Jim Root was out due to his appendix bursting so one of the guitarists from As I Lay Dying(who was also one of the bands on the tour) filled in for him temporarily in the back. Slipknot made their return to the US with sheer force and the crowd reacted really well to it. My eyes got a little watery from joy and excitement once the curtain fell and Slipknot was on stage opening with “Sic”. The whole night they played greatest hits and I was enjoying each and every song and even singing along. Slipknot is just one of those bands where you have to see them live to feel the intensity and electricity for yourself. They’re definitely on my list to see again.



Meredith’s Top 10 Concerts of 2012

It’s nearing the end of the year, or if you’re into it, the end of the world as we know it.  Since I’ve attended many shows this year(30+) and taken photographs, I thought I’d share with you a re-cap of my most favorite shows from 2012. I am going to list them in the order in which I saw them, because picking a favorite is not easy out of what I’ve chosen. Here we go!



1. 311 Day 03/10-03/11 MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas NV

What can I say?? I’m a 311 die-hard. This event was one of the most awesome concerts I’ve had the opportunity to witness. Yes it cost a lot for tickets, and yes, I was bummed I didn’t get floor tickets. But, traveling to Vegas knowing I’m not only going to see my favorite band play TWO nights in a row AND I get to see my friends from around the country made it worth it. Two days before leaving for Vegas, I caught 311 in Wendover NV as well. Met some fans who we actually followed and kept running into at gas stations along the way from Utah to Vegas. That’s one of the things that makes 311 unique. Their fans can easily become your family(literally, people have met through the 311 website and are now married with kids). When I got word that I got to photograph the band on 311 Day, that only amped up the show for me. With setlists that exceeded 30 songs per night, and a stage to rival the likes of Rob Zombie, 311 put on a show that went down in history. Thousands of people singing their hearts out, a band that loves its fans(truly….they honor fans by using fan art, our photos, etc, and always give credit) and a venue to fit us all. What an incredible two days.

311 Las Vegas 2012


2. GWAR 04/10/12 Saltair,  Magna UT

When the opportunity dropped into my lap to go to GWAR, two things happened: I got nervous, and I got a raincoat for my camera. I’d never seen this band, nor listened to anything of theirs past what I heard over the years randomly. I also heard that they were less than polite to photographers. So naturally, shooting this  show seemed like a good idea to me. What I saw and experienced made this show one that I will tell stories about forever. I had a poncho for myself, but used it to wrap my camera bag and hid it out-of-the-way. I was glad, because I got targeted immediately by a torso that had just had the head cut off on stage. The fake blood spurting out of the neck stump went directly into my mouth, eye and into my lens(yay for camera ponchos!)as the torso bent over and drained into my face. Yep, that’s normal. It didn’t phase me and honestly I got right over the fear of it. GWAR continued to dismantle people, creatures and Snooki on stage that night. Guts, blood, parts…..a mess. But the thing that amazed me was their ability to play instruments and sound good while all that was going on. A spectacle but very, very well produced. I will definitely take the time to bask in the live horror that is GWAR if they come back to Utah. Which they should, seeing as how there were plenty of flesh-hungry weirdos that were there(and a guy who literally threw his 7-year old into a mosh pit).





3. Primus 06/19/12 Rail Event Center, SLC UT

Legend. How could I not go to Primus? Playing their new album, “Green Naugahyde” in its entirety AND a set of our favorites as well? Sign me up. While the crowd warmed up with the “Primus Sucks” chant, I readied my lens. I stood in front of a stage with red lights, two giant astronauts with moving, living faces(awesome stage production), and my hands were shaking. In a moment, I was standing less than a foot from Les Claypool. Legend. Innovator.  As I stated, they played two sets. The first was a mix of hits, “Frizzle Fry”, “Pudding Time” etc. The second, was what I would call a trippy date with Pink Floyd, but on more acid, with more spinning things. “Green Naugahyde” is very different, but still very Primus. I think it was best it was played as a whole, and it fits as a piece that I feel is meant to be listened to from start to finish. But as a gift at the end, Primus encored with “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver”. Dream come true. Capped off the night with meeting the band, and getting my Miscellaneous Debris EP signed, as well as my Green Naugahyde vinyl.

Primus SLC 2012me and les

4. Band of Horses 07/26/12 SLC UT Twilight Concert Series

We here in Utah have an outstanding summer concert series for the last 15+ years. It has nothing to do with those stupid vampire movies/books, and it’s called Twilight Concert Series. This year, they spoiled the hell out of us. We got a visit from Indie(yeah I said it) rockers Band of Horses. With songs you know from popular shows (The Funeral) and gentle hits like “No One’s Gonna Love You”, this band’s live performance wins over both the casual listener and the uber fan. I had the pleasure of being in the photo pit for this, and I was like a giddy school girl. I have listened to this band now for a few years, and it delighted me to hear them live. This was one of the larger crowds that turned out for the series that also featured artists including Nas, and Tinnie Tempah. The energy was amazing, and the crowd was singing along word for word. One of the summer shows not to be missed.


Band of Horses


5. Iron Maiden 08/01/12 USANA, SLC UT

You read that correctly. I went to Iron Maiden, and GWAR this year. I would not consider myself a hard/metal rocker. But I know better than to miss Iron Maiden on a tour to my piddly state. When Iron Maiden adds you to their tour stops, you go. And the crowd did. This was a very interesting mix of folks. I think I saw at least three pregnant women(two with broken legs) and a pregnant stage tech(also with a cast, hoisting her belly up a speaker stand no less). Mullets, 80’s leggings, and lots of black clothes. But, the thing that caught my attention was the many children that were out and about. This was a family affair. Many parents were seen passing on the musical tradition of a good ol’ rock show, and this made me have a little more hope in humanity. Instead of running to a Bieber show, little metalheads were having a great time watching the flames shoot out of the stage, and Bruce Dickinson leap about like a spring chicken(to quote the tour manager haha). The guys are in prime condition and threw down the gauntlet of rock music. The show was amazing, well-played, and for guys pushing 60+, doing the splits was pretty awesome. I am not allowed to share the photos, as there was a waiver, but the best way to see a show is to GO.


6. Rob Zombie/Marilyn Manson 10/01/12 USANA, SLC UT

I went to this show as a fan of Marilyn Manson. I like Rob, but I like Marilyn more. I missed out the last time he was here and I was not going to miss him this time. Marilyn Manson opened for Rob Zombie, and now that I look back, that is just fine. I had excellent seats for this show, and no photo pass(boo) for Manson. He had a crazy stage with several changing sets, costumes, effects, etc. He also blew some “coke” onto the audience during “The Dope Show”, which was backlit with a large sign that read “DRUGS”. From pope costumes to glittery gloves and sword-shaped mic holders, Manson, for me, delivered.

The star of this tour though, was Rob Zombie. Meeting him before the show was an added bonus. Skinny, polite, sweet I’d even say. He hugged me tightly and won me over for sure. Nothing like the man who came out of a robot’s chest that was shooting flames. Yes, I’d say it was about 12 feet of robot, and Rob Zombie emerged and took his place behind his mic of bones. The man is a talented showman. I was blown away at his pace, his talent, his band, and his stage. Rob interacted with the crowd, large inflated bouncing balls fell into the crowd during a song, pulp comics of vintage women  played on screens that were part of the stage’s platforms, and Rob dominated the show. He walked off stage and came into the crowd and sang with people during a song. The theatrics do not mask a lack of anything for this group. They compliment the musical talent and experience that Rob’s band has, and this was a total delight. I did get photo access for this set and took some decent photos. GO SEE ROB ZOMBIE.

rob zombierob



7. Deftones 10/17/12 In The Venue, SLC UT

Ch-ch-ch Chino. Again, one of those “do not miss” nights. Deftones came into Salt Lake City and owned it. I was talking to a stage hand who told me that they’d brought at least 3 semi trailers of sound gear, and so much of it that it wouldn’t fit the stage. I was more than amped for this show, and the crowd of sweaty people packed in on a mild October night, was pushing the capacity of what the place could hold. I was one of three people in the state lucky enough to get a photo pass for this. I was pretty damn blown away when Chino leaned into me and screamed into my face during a song. Nothing like that. The man is amazing. He also sweat on me, cause you know, we were close enough for that haha. The performance was killer, the sound amazing, the energy immense. My first Deftones show, and no way will it be the last.



8. Blue October 10/31/12 The Depot , SLC UT

Ok, this band took me by complete surprise. Yes, I knew who they were and their songs. But I have a rule. Never judge a band until you see them live(that even goes for country artists which I don’t usually like and yes, I’ve suffered through many country acts and some redeemed themselves). Blue October came into my town on Halloween and played a private “winner’s only” show for the local radio station. About 25 people were invited to see an acoustic performance by three members of Blue October, in a room that was part of The Living Planet Aquarium. This room is like a sunken ship, and that added to the beauty of what happened next. Singing four songs, Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld got into my head. I wasn’t the only one; several people were silently crying and listening to him sing. The acoustic versions of The Ocean, Hate Me, Dirt Room, and a new song, are haunting. That’s the best way to put it. No matter what your life is like, these lyrics echo in you. It was something I haven’t had before, a deep connection to a total stranger. It felt like no one else was in the room. I don’t know how they did that, but all the people in the room got a personal show that day. A handshake, photo and autograph….sure. But what stuck with me is way more valuable than those tangible things that will burn or fade away. Blue October played a whole set later that night at The Depot that was also incredible, but nothing like a bare-bones set with just a guitar and some other strings. I was honored to have been there.

Blue October


9. Cursive and Minus The Bear 11/06/12 The Depot, SLC UT

I’ll admit it, I’m not well-versed in Cursive’s catalog. But I knew a few songs and a friend of mine has been following them for years, so he encouraged me to go. When I realized that Minus The Bear was headlining, I was sold. Cursive commanded the stage with such force. I was truly analyzing what I was hearing and really enjoying watching the show. To me, they sounded like a fusion of B52’s, punk, and some swing rock. But each song was so different, and the time changes alone were enough to make any musician want to know “how’d they do that AND make it work?” .  A great set indeed.


Now, Minus The Bear….just, DAMN. I couldn’t have been more excited to see these guys. The last time they came, they played an album in its entirety, and I was ready to hear some other tracks performed live. I was lucky enough to shoot the show as well. The lighting was amazing, the sound-even better. Soft yellows and greens and smoke, along with that signature MTB sound and a crowd that was unusually young I thought. That made me happy though, seeing that there are some young folks left that appreciate real music. I got to hear “Pachuca Sunrise”, which they actually did in an extended version and I did get some tears in my eyes. I love this band, and they are doing amazing things with their music. Capped off the night with meeting the band, and pulling some gang signs at their request in our photo. Good times, good show, and awesome live performance.

Minus The Bearmgmtb


10. NOFX 12/08/12 The Complex, SLC UT

Ok. This was probably my first “real” punk rock show. This was a highly anticipated tour stop for this band, as they have not been to Utah since 2008. Luckily, I was sent into the surprisingly large photo pit to capture the first few songs. Also awesome, was the fact that we were in the “big” room at this venue, which held about 2500 people I’d guess. Either way, the place was packed and punk getup was everywhere you looked. People were extremely excited for this show. I’d been seeing people post about it for weeks on various social media networks, and heard people talking about it in passing. When Fat Mike and the boys took the stage, a guy immediately hopped the rail. Security was less than polite, slamming his head into my back and taking him to the ground. When Fat Mike called them out for being rough, the guy stood up and yelled “FAT MIIIIIIIKE” and then was escorted out. Fat Mike told Security to be nice and let him stay, and alluded to some butt raping joke…..but hey, it’s a punk show. Some highlights of the night were the insane jumping by Eric Melvin, drummer Erik Sandin sticking his tongue out at me, a dumbass fan putting his hat over a bright light and nearly setting it on fire(personally witnessed this and slapped his arm to get his attention when the hat was smoking), a plethora of beer cans being tossed, a series of racist jokes between Fat Mike and El Hefe(who was spotted “face timing” with his kiddo prior to the show) and the polite and rowdy fans screaming the words to every song in our faces.  This show was SO fun to be a part of. I’d see them 10 more times. Even if they sucked. But they don’t. So put on your spikey jacket, spray up that mohawk, tie up your Docs and head out to this spectacle. Because you’ll have a damn good time.


All in all, this was a great year for shows in my state. I was blessed with a great job that allows me access to take photos, and it has given me so many experiences that I will never, ever forget. I am honored and happy to share those with you, and please enjoy the photos I managed to snap at these shows. Have a happy, apocalypse-free 2013. Be good to each other. Looking forward to sharing the shows with you!

The Top Five Covers Phish Needs To Bust Out This Summer

The Top Five Covers Phish Needs To Bust Out This Summer

In a few hours, Phish will return to the stage for the first time since the early hours of January 1st 2012. Keyboardist Page McConnell has already shared with Rolling Stone that the band has approximately 200 songs that they could bust out at any time. Never being one to shy away from a cover jam, we have come up with five songs that the boys from Vermont absolutely need to bust out somewhere between Worchester and Commerce City. Because we are so swell, we have even narrowed it down to where Phish needs to play these songs.

Ween – The Fucked Jam (06/16/12: Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ)

According to legend, Ween never played Roses Are Free live until Phish started playing it. With Ween calling it quits, it’s time for the Phish to bust out another song that (according to my Google research) the pride of New Hope Pennsylvania never rocked out on stage. An instrumental that lives up to its name, this quirky song could fit nicely in a fat second set Mike’s Groove.

Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (08/22/12: Starlight Theatre – Kansas City, MO)

Phish has always done some funky things when playing in the Kansas City area. From Fishman taking the mic for a breathtaking rendition of Suspicious Minds to obscure Beatles covers the boys love tinkering with the minds of phans in this Midwest metropolis. Everyone from Coheed and Cambria to little kids have cover Gotye over the past 9 months, why not have Fish return to the mic for his take on the song. Bonus points if it goes down in the middle of a raging Harpua with narration about Poster Nutbag getting killed at the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game after New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez fouls a ball into the stands.

The White Stripes – Hotel Yorba (06/10/12: Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival – Manchester, TN)

We all know that Mr. Jack White now calls Tennessee home. What you may not know is that I recently told Johnny Firecloud that Hotel Yorba was Jack White’s Phish song. So what better place to perform this jams then at the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival? Hell with White having no scheduling conflicts, why not have him stops by and lend a hand?

Iron Maiden – Rime of the Ancient Mariner (08/15/12: Long Beach Arena – Long Beach, CA)

SCREAM FOR ME LONG BEACH!!! The fact is my 25th Phish show (and only show of 2012) will be at the shit stain known as the Long Beach Arena. While I would not be opposed to a late fall/winter gig at this historic arena it is a massive bummer coming off outdoor Southern California stops at breath taking venues in Indio and Hollywood. So if Phish must play this toilet, they may as well bust out one of the highlights from Maiden’s Live After Death album which was recorded at the same venue on March 17th, 1985. In the event the boys can’t pull off this massive thirteen minute metal masterpiece, I will settle for a guest appearance from Long Beach native Snoop Dogg.


Beastie Boys – In 3’s (07/04/12: Jones Beach Amphitheatre – Wantagh, NY)

Outskirts of NYC on America’s birthday, the fearless foursome kicks into Moma Dance. Before Fish takes the mic there is a pause and oomph the band ditches the dance and goes straight into this beloved Beastie Boys instrumental. What better way to pay tribute to an American classic and the late great Adam Yauch?

What jams would you like to hear Phish bust out this summer? Let us know via the comment section below.


2012 Ottawa RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Announces Lineup

2012 Ottawa RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Announces Lineup

We get a ton of email daily from Canadian citizens crying over the lack of festivals in their nation. Okay that is a giant lie I don’t think anyone from Canada has ever seen the site. That is also a lie. Regardless, another hour has passed and we have another festival to share with you. This one is in Ottawa which is in Canada and it lasts twelve days. It used to be called the Ottawa Bluesfest, but they decided to change the name to RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest. Now I will shut up and tell you who the hell is playing but only after I link you to the official site here so you can buy tickets and stuff. Oh and shockingly enough, Girl Talk is nowhere to be found on this lineup.

July 4th

Tangerine Dream, Tiesto, Alan Doyle, Riot Police, Fishbone, AWOLNATION, Fet.Nat, The Melvins, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Loon Choir, Akron Family, Billy Brag

July 5th

Charles Bradley, LMFAO, Fevers, The Strain, Plants and Animals, Mister Parker, Cole, Paul Oakenfold, Dry River Caravan, Johnny Sansone and Monkeyjunk

July 6th

Conor Oberst, City and Colour, Freelance Whales, David Gray, Kalle Mattson, Arkells, Kid SL, !!!, Tommy Lee and DJ Aero, Charles Bradley, Lake Street Dive, Winchester Warm

July 7th

Monster Truck, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Rory Gardiner, Hellbros, Sparrows, The Bright Light Social Hour, Marcia Ball, Lynn Drury, Toronzo Cannon, The Flats, Autumn’s Canon, Matt Dorgan Project, Philly Moves, DJ Illo, Mustard Pimp, MSTRKRFT, Downhere, Newworldson, Building 429, City Harmonic, She’s The One

July 8th

The Peptides, Jeff Rogers, The Bright Light Social Hour, Norah Jones, Seal, The Wooden Sky, Walk Off The Earth, Shred Kelly, Ashley Crnic, Amanda Bon, Keek, Orgone, Sierra Leone’s Refugee Allstars, Down With Webster, Chromeo, A Tribe Called Red, Drastik, Lukas Nelson, Flight Distance, Toronzo Cannon, Lynn Drury, TJ Wheeler, Deep Dark Woods, James Vincent McMorrow, The Royal Southern Brotherhood, Downchild Blues Band, Brea Lawrenson, Josef Pollock, Lucas Haneman, Tyler Kealy

July 9th

I Mother Earth, My Darkest Days, Nickleback

July 10th

Snoop Dogg, Zoo Legacy, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Jesse Greene Band, Carolyn Wonderland, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Deltron 3000, Chali 2na, Zeus, Damon Fowler, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Oliver Mtukudzi

July 11th

Thievery Corporation, Grimes, Big Wreck, Youth Lagoon, Good Old War, The Claytones, Blitzen Trapper, Rich Aucoin, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Alter Boys, Cody Allen Band, Carolyn Wonderland, Cassie Taylor

July 12th

The Pack A.D., John Mellencamp, The Love Machine, Sam Roberts Band, The White Wires, The Hold Steady, The Sheepdogs, Ariyan, Adam K, Arty, Terry Gillespie, Karen Lovely, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones

July 13th

Jordan Cook AKA Reignwolf, Our Lady Peace, Blue Rodeo, Become The Sun, Rudeboy, Dirty Heads, Young The Giant, Grandtheft, Drop The Lime, A-Trak, Mother’s Children, Bettye Lavette, Hey Rosetta!

July 14th

Skrillex, Beirut, Mastodon, Monophonics, Handsome Furs, Dirty Projectors, Fire and Neon, Tyga, The Souljazz Orchestra, 10CC, Shemekia Copeland, Amalgamation, Kelly Richey, Pat “Hatrack” Gallagher, Sound of Lion, Spencer Scharf

July 15th

The Ethics, Monophonics, K’naan, Metric, The Weeknd, Young Empires, The Bush Pilots, Birthday Girls, Victor Nesrallah, July Talk, The Balconies, Chains of Love, Detroit Cobra, The Trews, Wolfgang Gartner, Felix Cartal, Bzrk, Lazybones, Monkeyjunk, Current Swell

Coheed and Cambria North American Tour Dates 2012

Coheed and Cambria North American Tour Dates 2012

We have already told you about Coheed and Cambria rocking Beale Street, The Hangout Festival and supporting the mighty men known as Iron Maiden. We have seen them everywhere from Kansas City to Korea Town. Now we share with you all of their tour dates through August 18th, 2012 as the band has just announced a Pre-Maiden club tour that will hit various markets in the south and Midwest. Support will come from Moving Mountains and Pianos Become The Teeth with tickets going on sale later this week. Check below for all the dates and on sale info.



With Moving Mountains, Pianos Become The Teeth
General on sale March 2nd* and March 3rd** 10AM local time.

Apr 29 Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater*
Apr 30 Charleston, SC – Music Farm*
May 3 Gainesville, FL – Florida Theater*
May 5 Athens, GA – 40 Watt**
May 6 Memphis, TN – Beale Street Music Festival
May 7 Chattanooga, TN – Track 29*
May 8 Bloomington, IN – Bluebird** (21+)
May 10 Lexington, KY – Kentucky Theater*
May 11 Urbana, IL – Canopy Club**
May 12 Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theater*
May 13 Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theater*
May 15 Tallahassee, FL – Coliseum*
May 16 Birmingham, AL – Workplay Soundstage*
May 17 Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theater**
May 18 Gulf Shore, AL – Hangout Festival


With Iron Maiden
Jul 24 Winnipeg, MB – MTS Center*
Jul 26 Calgary, AB – Scotiabank Saddledome*
Jul 27 Edmonton, AB – Rexall Place*
Jul 29 Vancouver, BC – Pacific Coliseum**
Jul 30 Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre**
Aug 1 Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre**
Aug 3 San Francisco, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre*
Aug 4 Sacramento, CA – Sleepy Train Amphitheater*
Aug 6 Phoenix, AZ – Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion**
Aug 9 Irvine, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre**
Aug 10 Irvine, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre**
Aug 12 Albuquerque. NM – Hard Rock Pavilion**
Aug 13 Denver, CO – Comfort Dental Amphitheatre**
Aug 15 San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center**
Aug 17 Dallas, TX – Gexa Energy Pavilion**
Aug 18 Houston, TX – The Woodlands**


Iron Maiden Bring “Maiden England” Tour To North America

Iron Maiden Bring “Maiden England” Tour To North America

Finally some tour news we are excited about. Iron Maiden has just announced details for their North American Summer Tour. Dubbed the “Maiden England” tour, the band plans to recreate their 1988 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son concert film.

When asked about the trek (which kicks off June 21st in Charlotte, NC) Iron Maiden front man (and commercial pilot) Bruce Dickinson had the following to say:

“Our intention is to play about two thirds of the original track list of ‘Maiden England’, including some songs we have not played live in a very,very long time, plus other favourites we just know the fans are going to want to hear! We always try to give our fans a great show musically, but we have always tried to make it as entertaining and memorable an experience as we can visually. And we all feel this show is going to do that splendidly!”

Tickets for the tour go on sale in early March. Alice Cooper will be opening for all dates until July 19. Coheed and Cambria will be opening for dates after July 19.

Iron Maiden “Maiden England” tour dates:
6/21 – Charlotte, NC, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
6/23 – Atlanta, GA, Aarons Amphitheatre
6/26 – Boston, MA, Comcast Center
6/27 – Wantagh, NY, Jones Beach
6/29 – Camden, NJ, Susquehanna Bank Center
6/30 – Washington, D.C., Jiffy Lube Live
7/2 – Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
7/5 – Chicago, IL, First Midwest Bank
7/8 – Quebec, QC, Colisee Pepsi Arena
7/11 – Montreal, QC, Bell Center
7/13 – Toronto, ON, Molson Amphitheatre
7/14 – Sarnia, ON, Bayfest
7/16 – Buffalo, NY, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
7/18 – Detroit, MI, DTE Music Theatre
7/19 – Indianapolis, IN, Klipsch Music Centre
7/24 – Winnipeg, MB, MTS Center
7/26 – Calgary, AB, Scotiabank Saddledome
7/27 – Edmonton, AB, Rexall Place
7/29 – Vancouver, BC, Pacific Coliseum
7/30 – Auburn, WA, White River Amphitheatre
8/1 – Salt Lake City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre
8/3 – San Francisco, CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre
8/6 – Phoenix, AZ, Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
8/9 – Irvine, CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/12 – Albuquerque, NM, Hard Rock Pavilion
8/13 – Denver, CO, Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
8/15 – San Antonio, TX, AT&T Center
8/17 – Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion
8/18 – Houston, TX, The Woodlands


Ryan Adams Set To Release “Ashes and Fire” in October; Acoustic Versions and Iron Maiden Covers to Hold You Over

By Bradley Darby

Ryan Adams - from Facebook page

When Ryan Adams announced in the spring of 2009 that the current tour would be the last for Ryan Adams and The Cardinals,  due mostly to years of abuse to his ears causing a partial loss of hearing and life just catching up to him, it left many RA fans upset, yet not without reservation.

After taking a brief hiatus, Adams released his take on an 80s Space Rock album on his newly founded Pax Am label and called it Orion. Adams continued to release videos of himself in the studio at all hours of the night crafting songs and just dicking around with some ideas in his head. He released a double album of songs that were left off of  2008’s Cardinology titled III/IV.  He married Mandy Moore, which makes me incredibly jealous……  he was the hardest working retired man in the business.

Then it finally happened….boredom caught up with Ryan. He had to get back out and play some acoustic solo shows across the pond in Europe and the UK. Now Adams fans across the world knew it was only a matter of time before we would have new material…. and it was announced just a few months ago that David Ryan Adams would be releasing a new solo album titled Ashes & Fire on October 11. He released a handful of dates up and down the West coast and promised the rest of the country he would see them in early 2012. Today he released a special intimate acoustic version of the title track via his Facebook page. 


For his 14th album, Adams has set himself up with a great supporting cast. Ashes & Fire will feature appearances by Norah Jones on piano and backing vocals, as well as Benmont Tench, who is best known for his work as keyboardist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It was produced by Glyn Johns who has produced albums for The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. He has released a few teaser tunes, such as what is said to be the debut single “Lucky Now”, which can be heard below via Soundcloud.

[soundcloud width=”100%” height=”81″ params=”” url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/21742179″]

Ryan Adams has been a promo whore the past few weeks, releasing videos and teases of the new album via Facebook and Twitter. One of my personal favorites, an acoustic cover of the 1986 Iron Maiden classic “Wasted Years”, was posted just a few days ago.


Adams also recently shocked a crowd at the El Ray in April when he was the surprise opener for Emmylou Harris. He performed a few new tunes, including “Dirty Rain” which is the lead song on the new album, and “I Love You But I Dont Know What To Say”


Catch Adams this fall or winter, you will not regret it. You can pre-order the album now on LP or CD or in those fancy digital formats, but what fun is that?

10/11 San Diego, CA – Balboa Theatre
10/13 Big Sur, CA – Henry Miller Library
10/14 San Francisco, CA – Herbst Theatre
10/15 Napa, CA – Uptown Theatre
10/17 Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
10/18 Sacramento, CA – Crest Theatre
10/20 Eugene, OR – The Shedd Institute

12/2 Philadelphia, PA – Academy of Music
12/4 Baltimore, MD – Lyric Opera House
12/6 New York, NY – Carnegie Hall
12/8 Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
12/10 Toronto, ON – Winter Garden Theatre
12/11 Chicago, IL – Cadillac Place
12/13 Minneapolis, MN – State Theatre

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