Concert Review: “Mockstrosity Tour” Syracuse, NY

“Mockstrosity Tour”
Mac Sabbath, Metalachi, Okilly Dokilly
Friday, March 24, 2017
The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Mac Sabbath frontman, Ronald Osbourne, summed up the Mockstrosity Tour best, shouting “Good luck describing this show to your friends!” A night of heavy music and big laughs was served up by perhaps three of the more unique parody bands in the business today. The classic Westcott Theater in Syracuse, NY was rocked by the likes of Phoenix Arizona’s Ned Flanders themed metalcore act Okilly Dokilly, Metalachi the self proclaimed world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band and rounding out the night’s lineup Los Angeles Mac Sabbath, picture Black Sabbath dosed in radioactive ketchup and mustard from the world’s favorite fast food chain.

Okilly Dokilly ripped through their “Nedal” (Ned-metal) crowd pleasers like “White Wine Spritzer” and “Nothing At All” which paved the way for the bands call to arms of all left-handed neighborinos for the song “All That Is Left”. Each member donned Mr. Flanders signature garb which added to the bands show allowing those in attendance to envision good ol’ Ned bellowing out vicious metal growls like no other in the Springfield zip code. Metalachi garnered a lot of attention with their mariachi flared renditions of classic hard rock and heavy metal jams, donning what can only be described as mariachi meets hair metal attire. The band crushed through classics like “Holy Diver” and “Raining Blood,” but really showed their talents with surprises like “Santeria” and the infamous “More Than Words,” during which the band invited a fan up on the stage to aid in the more romantic, bump and grind, portion of their set while violinista, Queen Kyla Vera stole the show shredding through solo after solo with every bit of intensity as a well-seasoned axe man.

The Mockstrosity would come to an end only after Mac Sabbath had their turn at the crowd of eager fans. The band’s sound was tight and their stage presence hilarious. The lighting and pyrotechnics further accentuated the group’s costumes and props, which were not limited by any means. The members of Sabbath had a good time with their stage banter between songs like “Frying Pan” and “Sweet Beef,” and at one point Ronald Osbourne himself was funneling PBR through a gigantic red, yellow, and white straw. Sabbath played on their strengths well, and did not seem to be too gimmicky, really backing up their act with musical talent and their performance. Overall, the night was a blast, and anyone looking for a great time needs to check out this tour when it rolls into town.

Concert Review: Kings of Chaos, Verona, NY

“Kings of Chaos”
Kings of Chaos, Franky Perez
Thursday, December 22th 2016
Turning Stone, Verona, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Rock’s Ultimate Super group Kings of Chaos made a rare appearance in the Upstate New York area on December 22 where they performed for an intimate crowd within the Turning Stone Casino. The group consisting of Matt Sorum, Chester Bennington, Robin Zander, Billy Duffy, Robert DeLeo, Steve Stevens and Billy Gibbons performed a variety of hits from each of the member’s careers making for a unique concert experience.

Opening up the night was Apocalyptica front man Franky Perez who along with his solo band performed a blend of rock infused blues that helped set the tone for the night. Though the crowd was a bit slow to respond Perez and company forged on and by the end of their forty minute set had the crowd primed and ready for the night’s headliner. After a minimal set change the night’s headliner hit the stage running as they launched into Stone Temple Pilots “Vasoline”. With Linkin Park/STP vocalist Chester Bennington at the helm the band also performed Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and The Cult’s “Fire Woman”. Bennington would then make way for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robin Zander to perform a handful of Cheap Trick songs which were then followed by a few ZZ Top songs song by none other than the one and only Billy Gibbons who’s gravelly voice permeated every nook and cranny of the venue. Zander, Bennington and Gibbons would alternate in the lead vocalist spot throughout the night as they performed hit after hit from each of the members groups culminating with all of the members performing at the end of the night on “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”, “Going Down” and the Led Zeppelin classic “Whole Lotta love”.

Though the nights set was absent of any Linkin Park or Guns N’ Roses numbers there certainly was still a solid mixture of songs pulled from the members impressive back catalogs. Each player looked to be performing at their best making it very hard to pick out one performance over another. Everyone definitely brought their A game and appeared to be working very well together despite minimal interactions with one another. Getting to see just one of the members in this group let alone seven is sure to bring a nights worth of entertainment but when the Kings of Chaos are all together in one spot it truly is a special occasion and one you won’t want to miss.

Kings of Chaos Set list:
1.) Vasoline
2.) White Wedding
3.) Fire Woman
4.) Hello There
5.) Surrender
6.) I Want You to Want Me
7.) Waitin’ For the Bus
8.) Sharp Dressed Man
9.) Tush
10.) The Flame
11.) Edie (Ciao Baby)
12.) Interstate Love Song
13.) Jesus Just Left Chicago
14.) Ace of Spades
15.) Sex Type Thing
16.) Love Removal Machine
17.) Rebel Yell
18.) Dream Police
19.) La Grange
20.) Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
21.) Going Down
22.) Whole Lotta love

 

New Jersey Kiss Expo takes over Somerset, NY on Sunday, October 9th 2016

New Jersey Kiss Expo takes over Somerset, NY on Sunday, October 9th 2016
Tickets on sale now.

One of the longest running and largest Kiss fan expo’s in the world returns this year to the Somerset/Bridgewater Hotel (formerly the Crowne Plaza) in Somerset, NJ. On Sunday October 9th 2016 the rooms and halls of the hotel will be ALIVE with all things KISS! From endless tables of collectibles and rarities to a star studded list of celebrities including current Kiss drummer Eric Singer and former Kiss/current Grand Funk guitarist Bruce Kulick. There will plenty of other events also happing through out the day making this year’s expo the must see event for Kiss fans of all ages.

For tickets and complete event info visit: www.njkissexpo.com

Tagslyvania in Big Flats, NY returns for its 7th season

Tagsylvania in Big Flats, NY returns for its 7th season

The ghoulish residents who reside in the mysterious fog covering the sprawling grounds of Tag’s in Big Flats, NY came alive for their 7th fright filled season on Friday September 23rd.
Included in Haunted Attraction Magazines top 31 must see haunts Tagsylvania is bigger and better than ever for the 2016 scaring season. Along with the haunts staple attractions “Jerkus Circus” an over the top nightmare inducing 3-D journey through a circus gone terribly wrong, “Lecter’s Lair” a multi floor adventure which put you face to face with some of your deepest and darkest fears and “Psycho Swamp” a twisting and turning maze which holds you captive by your creepy surroundings.

Along with several upgrades to the haunts existing attractions is the newest member of the family “Escape the Precinct”. You and the members of your group are wrongfully accused of multiple murders and are being detained for questioning. In the Precinct are the items you will need to collect to prove your innocence and possibly reveal the actual person who committed the murders. You have 60 minutes to uncover the clues, solve the puzzles and collect enough evidence to gain your freedom. If one of these terrifying adventures isn’t for you haunt manager Jesse Reib says Tagsylvania has plenty of other things to offer including carnival games, concessions, psychic and tarot card readings along with a few other surprises that will keep you on your toes during your visit to Tagsylvania.

Tagsylvania is open at 7pm on Friday’s and Saturdays starting September 23rd and runs through October 29th.

For more info visit http://tagsylvania.com/

Concert Review: Vans Warped Tour 2016, Syracuse, NY

Vans Warped Tour 2016

Date: July 7, 2016
Venue: New York State Fair Grounds, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The Vans Warped tour made a stop in Syracuse, NY on July 7th for what proved to be a great day of music and fun. Despite foreboding clouds which hovered over the event site earlier in the day the power of punk rock could not be stopped as once the music kicked off the negative weather took a quick turn towards the positive allowing everyone to stay dry and soak up some rays while listening to this year’s assembled line up.

For over 20 summers now the Vans Warped tour has been the go to for traveling one day festivals featuring alternative and punk rock music. This year despite sporting a thinned down roster, less stages and fewer activities the festival still proved to be just as good if not better than years past. The Syracuse venue featured a great lay out with side by staging for the 6 main stages and a 7th smaller stage was only a short distance from all the bigger action. Each stage offered plenty of viewing space, merch areas and facilities, there was even a massive shaded pavilion area which gave fans a place to escape the sun in between acts. Aside from waiting to get into the venue there were really no other lines to speak of throughout the day which again only added to the events over all appeal. Even the free water filling station which always seems to be a hot bed of action was easy and quick to access. This year’s lineup was a great mixture of up and coming bands infused with some of Warped tours biggest veterans. As the day started out bands like Teenage Bottle Rocket, Masked Intruder and Vanna would put on stellar performances which fit in perfectly between bombastic sets from Warped tour regulars Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and New Found Glory. Other notable performances from the day included those by State Champs complete with inflatable waving men and bubbles, Old Wounds who in my opinion dominated the Full Sail Stage, The Interrupters who despite playing later in the day were able to keep the energy going as temperatures pushed towards the 90’s. To cap off an already impressive day the closing set of the festival belonged to Sum 41 who bashed out hit after hit to the massive crowd.

Despite a scaled down lineup and production this year I felt that Warped Tour 2016 was better than ever. Sure having a bunch of stuff to do in between acts is fun and all but, when you go to a rock show you are going essentially for the music. That was clearly the focus for this year’s tour as you couldn’t have asked for a more stellar line up. Aside from the extremely long lines to get into the venue the day was a lot of fun and we heard a lot of really great music. The tour runs through August 13th so be sure to grab tickets for one of the shows closest to you. You won’t be disappointed.

Line Up:
Against the Current, Assuming We Survive, Avion Roe, Bad Seed Rising, Ballyhoo!, Broadside, Cane Hill, Chelsea Grin, Chunk! No, Captian Chunk!, Coldrain, Crown the Empire, Cruel Hand, Dash|Ten, Emarosa, Every Time I Die, Falling In Reverse, Four Year Strong, From Ashes To New, Ghost Town, Gideon, Hail the Sun, I See Stars, Ice Nine Kills, In Hearts Wake, Issues, Knuckle Puck, Less Than Jake, Like Pacific, Masked Intruder, Mayday Parade, Mother Feather, Motionless In White, New Found Glory, Oceans Ate Alaska, Old Wounds, Palaye Royale, Pepper, Real Friends, Reckless Serenade, Reel Big Fish, Roam, Safe To Say, Secrets, Set It Off, Silent Planet, Sleeping With Sirens, State Champs, Sum 41, Sykes, Teenage BottleRocket, The Color Morale, The Heirs, The Interrupters, The Maine, The Story So Far, The Word Alive, Tonight Alive, Too Close to Touch, Vanna, Veil of Maya, Volumes, Wage War, Waterparks, We the Kings, Whitechapel, With Confidence, Yellowcard, Young Guns

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Concert Review: “Rock N’ Derby” Schaghticoke, NY

Rock N’ Derby
May 20th-May 22nd 2016
Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Shaghticoke, NY

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Upstate New York came alive on May 20th- 22nd as it hosted the inaugural “Rock N’ Derby” festival in the humble town of Shaghticoke, NY. Despite only being in its infancy the three day event offered a sprawling layout and variety of activities from professional wrestling and demolition derby’s to performances by some of today’s biggest artists including Five Finger Death Punch, Lamb of God, Halestorm, Shinedown and Megadeth.

With more and more multi-day festival popping up around the country it’s hard to figure out which ones are the real deal and which ones are merely just jumping on the band wagon. I am here to tell you that “Rock N’ Derby” is in fact the real deal. Despite being in a rather remote location which require traveling a variety of back roads the 3 day festival was easily one of the most enjoyable concert going experiences I have had. The festival offered plenty of room to move around, ample vendors and facilities including three well placed stages that didn’t require a lot of walking back and forth. To top it off the sound at all three stages was top notch the entire weekend. Though we weren’t able to be on hand for the events first day we talked with plenty of people in attendance who stated that the day’s events were highlighted by some killer performances including those by Lamb of God, Clutch and Five Finger Death Punch. Knowing all of those bands bring incredible live shows I’m sure they set the bar for the rest of the weekend. The main stages for day two of the event kicked off around 2pm with an intense set by the Ohio metal-core band Miss May I. Vocalist Levy Benton and company did an impressive job early in the day setting the standard for those who followed. As we bounced back and forth between the two main stages (the Derby Stage and the Rock Stage) we caught some really great performances by acts such as All That Remains, Chevy Metal featuring Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters and as the day shifted to night Halestorm who put on an impressive set which included a full scale demolition derby taking place in the near fore ground. Closing out the night on the Derby Stage was the always energetic A Day to Remember. The band hit the stage with bursts of giant multi colored confetti and dozens of beach balls which bounced between the stage and crowd. The band sounded great and was very fun to watch as they played to one of the larger crowds of the day. Closing out things on the Rock Stage were thrash legends Anthrax. The NY natives also played before a very large crowd as they shredded through some of their classic back catalog which included songs like “Antisocial”, “Got the Time” before ending the night with “Caught in a Mosh”.

The main stages on the third and final day of the festival started up around 3pm with the hard hitting Trivium commandeering the Derby stage for an hour long set which helped re-energize the crowd from the previous day’s undertakings. Shortly after the opening of the Derby Stage the Rock Stage would be opened by none other than Dokken. Though only Don Dokken and Mick Brown remain from the bands classic eighties line up newer members guitarist Jon Levin and bassist Chris McCarvill handled their duties with ease as the band performed their hour long set. Aside from the days headliners the biggest talk around the grounds on Sunday was the performance of Ghost. The masked Swedish occult themed metal band played an incredible set that not only excited the festival crowd but also conjured up a wind and rain squall that added a different element to the bands theatrical performance. With the weather subsiding shortly after Ghost left the Derby Stage Nikki Sixx and Sixx A.M. got things going on the Rock Stage performing to a slightly dampened crowd. For me the performance matched the poor weather as they were one of the only acts over the three days that didn’t sound good. Sixx’s bass dominated the mix making the rest of the band barely audible and sent us back to the Derby Stage quicker than expected. Coheed and Cambria would take the Derby stage around 7pm putting on a stellar performance. The band was extremely tight making their intricate songs sound as good if not better than the studio recordings. It was great to finally here songs like “The Hardsell” and “A Favor House Atlantic” live as I had up until this day been unable to catch the band live. Needless to say they did not let me down. As the festival slowly started to come to a close Megadeth would be the last artist to take the Rock Stage where despite finding out about the passing of long time band member Nick Menza only a few hours before the group performed like true professionals. Mustain and his crew played a mixture of new and older material including “Hangar 18” and “The Threat is Real” prior to pausing and taking a few somber moments to recognize Nick’s passing. After a heartfelt moment of silence the band closed out the night and the stage with three of their more popular songs “Symphony of Destruction”, “Peace Sells” and “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”.

While Shinedown was still holding court on the Derby Stage we made our way through the various camping locations and parking lots. Despite the large number of people at the festival things still remained uncluttered and in control. Festival goers moved freely out of the gates as did cars out of the lots. This was something I could greatly appreciate as anyone who has been to a concert of this size knows getting in and out can be one of the worst experiences ever. From our stand point “Rock N’ Derby” was a really fun and well organized event. Great acts, great vendors and a sizeable venue with ample facilities made the entire experience enjoyable and something we hope becomes an annual event.

Festival Line Up:

Friday, May 20th, 2016
Five Finger Death Punch, Lamb of God, Clutch, Parkway Drive, Wolfmother, Pop Evil, Scott Stapp, Corrosion of Conformity,        Red Sun Rising, Wild Throne, Schism

Saturday, May 21st, 2016
A Day To Remember, Halestorm, Anthrax, Chevy Metal, Hollywood Undead, Extreme, State Champs
Sebastian Bach, Bear Tooth, Memphis May Fire, We Came As Romans, All That Remains, Avatar,
Thy Art Is Murder, Stray From The Path, For Today, Cliver, Rings of Saturn

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016
Shinedown, Coheed and Cambria, Megadeth, Sixx A.M., Ghost, Collective Soul, Sevendust, Dokken, Trivium, Enter Shikari,         Born of Osiris, Like A Storm, Currents, Bad Case of Big Mouth

(All photos are Copyrighted and cannot be used without permission)

Concert Review: Wizards of Winter “The Magic of Winter” – Syracuse, NY

“The Magic of Winter”
Wizards of Winter
Date: Sunday, December 27th 2015
Venue: The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater
Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The Tri-State area based Wizard of Winter brought their own unique brand of holiday cheer to the Syracuse, NY area on December 27th as part of the group’s 2015 “Magic of Winter” tour. The night proved to be a great extension of the Christmas holiday as the night’s performance took you on a magical music adventure which made for a very enjoyable concert experience.

With this being the groups first time in Syracuse anticipation was certainly high as concert goers filled in the seats at the multi tiered Crouse Hinds Theater. The show began promptly at 8pm as the band kicked off their impressive 26 song performance with a song from their debut album “The Magic of Winter” titled “Flight of the Snow Angels”, a fitting opening number which set the stage perfectly for the rest of the night’s performance. Former Trans-Siberian Orchestra narrator Tony Gaynor would take the stage several times painting a vivid picture of the upcoming number which helped those in attendance sink deeper into the spirit of the night’s performance though, I personally found these moments (which also included a 15 minute intermission) to sort of halt the night’s momentum as it seemed like the band would no sooner start to get in a groove only to have it broken up by brief pieces of commentary. All of the members of the group put on stellar performances including several standout moments by former Trans-Siberian Orchestra vocalist Guy LeMonnier, Violin/Vocalist Natalia Niarezka and lead guitarist Fred Gorhau who blazed his way through intricate solo after solo without missing a beat. Songs such as “Ebeneezer” Savatage’s “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)”, “Season’s Lament” and the upbeat “Gales of December” sounded really great as they made their way into every nook and cranny of the theater prolonging the Christmas holiday just a touch longer.

As the night’s performance came to a close the Syracuse crowd seemed pleased with the show they had just witnessed. As the band left the stage the crowd thanked the performers with a heavy blanket of applause which the performers seemed very appreciative of. With such a good response from the groups Syracuse debut my hope is they continue to make stops in Orangeman country for many more holiday season to come.

Set List:
1.) Flight of the Snow Angels
2.) Magic of Winter
3.) Arctic Flyer
4.) Special Feeling
5.) First Snow (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
6.) A Night of Reflection
7.) Sing Alleluia/ 3 Ships
8.) Once Long Ago
9.) 3 Kings
10.) Nutrocker (Electric Light Orchestra cover)
11.) Ebeneezer
12.) Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Savatage cover)
13.) March of the Metal Soldiers
14.) Season’s Lament
15.) Just Believe
16.) Gales of December
17.) Whoville
18.) Waken to the Sound
19.) Toys will be Toys
20.) The Journey
21.) Queen of the Winter Night (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
22.) Electric Blue (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
23.) Little Help (Joe Cocker cover)
24.) Spirit of Christmas
25.) Requiem (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
26.) With One Voice

Concert Review: GWAR “30 Years of Tourment” Rochester, NY

“30 Years of Tourment”
GWAR, Butcher Babies, Battlecross
Date: Friday, September 18, 2015
Venue: Water Street Music Hall, Rochester, NY

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Antarctic natives GWAR slaughtered their way to the Water Street Music in Rochester, NY on Sept. 18th as part of their current “30 Years of Tourment” tour. Along for the ride this time around were the always lovely Butcher Babies and Detroit darlings Battlecross. The night proved to be a mixture of sweat, energy and several unknown liquids which were expelled on to the crowd by the night’s headliners providing the perfect recipe for Friday night.

Kicking off the night was the band Battlecross who blasted through a 30 minute set which set the bar relatively high for the following acts. Vocalist Kyle Gunther seemed to give everything he had from start to finish which complimented the rest of the bands in your face performance which seemed to ignite the incoming crowd. Up next would be the lovely Butcher Babies who despite this being the bands last night on the tour certainly did an amazing job of taking things to the next level as not only did the band command the crowd’s attention from the stage but took things further as both Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey took turns working the security barrier which at times was over flowing with energetic crowd surfing fans. GWAR would be next where they proceeded to close out the night in typical blood soaked fashion. This was the first time the band has performed in Rochester since the addition of both Pustulus Maximus on guitar and Blothar on vocals and the crowd seemed to enjoy the new characters and what they brought to the live performance. Though the performances seemed to lack the energy and spur of the moment banter once provided by the late great Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie) the set did feature some songs fans hadn’t heard live in awhile such as “I Bonesnapper”, “Babyraper” and the always entertaining ”Meat Sandwich”.

It was great to finally see the latest incantation of GWAR however there was something missing. Undoubtedly the absence of founding member Dave Brockie cast a big shadow for this reviewer and even though the bands current lineup put on a great show it was very apparent that Mr. Brockie left some extremely large latex and goo covered shoes to fill.

GWAR Set List:
(Partial list)
1.) Sick of You (Dubstep Version
2.) Vlad the Impaler
3.) Saddam a Go-Go
4.) Jack the World
5.) I Bonesnapper
6.) Babyraper
7.) Meat Sandwich
8.) Let us Slay
9.) Sick of You

Concert Review: Slipknot “This Summer’s Last Stand Tour” Darien Center, NY

“This Summer’s Last Stand Tour”
Slipknot, Lamb of God, Bullet for My Valentine, Motionless in White
Date: Wednesday, July 29th 2015
Venue: Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Slipknot’s “Summers Last Stand Tour” made a stop at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien Center on July 29th. Along with the masked 9 piece band from Iowa was Lamb of God, Bullet for My Valentine and Motionless in White. With a line up this impressive the energy outside was running high and as the night progressed each act did a great job building on that energy.

Opening up the night was Scranton, Pennsylvania’s very own Motionless in White. The band performed a brief set which included songs off of each of the bands 3 albums. Though fans were still making their way into the venue those who were able to get through the slow moving security lines were treated to a solid performance by the up and coming metal band. Bullet for My Valentine would take the stage next performing a handful of songs off their upcoming album titled “Venom” in between the new tracks were fans favorites such as “Raising Hell” and “Waking the Demon” which both were definite highlights of the bands set.

Virginia metalers Lamb of God were up next and instantly took the night to the next level. Flanked by large video screens and an impressive lighting rig the visual elements of the show seemed much higher than previous shows by the band. Vocalist Randy Blythe stalked the stage like a deranged psycho path stalking his next victim while spewing out thought provoking lyrics. Drummer Chris Adler laid an impressive rhythmic path which guitarists Mark Morton, Will Adler and bassist John Campbell followed beautifully. The band performed a few songs from their recently released “VII: Sturm Und Drang” along with such LOG classics as “Ghostwalking” and “Laid to Rest” with the always prevalent “Redneck” closing out the set. The band sounded and looked better than ever which made for a great show experience. Shortly after the members of Lamb of God left the stage two giant red curtains emblazoned with large black S logos would close of view of the stage. As the anticipation built so did the crowd which seemed to almost double from when the house lights first came on.

Once the lights came back down and Slipknots “XIX” began playing through the PA it was on. Front man Cory Taylor dominated the stage as the band performed a variety of songs ranging from their break out hit “Wait and Bleed” to newer songs such as “The Devil and I” and “Before I Forget”. DJ Sid Wilson provided a bevy of entertainment as he jigged and shook his way around the impressive stage which included a giant devil head. Guitarist Mick Thompson and Jim Root handled the 6 string duties perfectly while new members drum Jay Weinberg and bassist Alessandro Venturella handled a fair share of the rhythmic duties which were highlighted at times by the addition of Shawn “Clown” Crahan and Chris Fehn. The band as a whole sounded better than ever and performed this night at the top of their game.

With a number of dates left on the “Summers Last Stand Tour” you would be doing yourself a tremendous disservice if you don’t catch one of the remaining dates. Each of the four bands leave nothing on the table making the night worthy of the price of admission and then some.

Motionless in White Set List:

1.) Break the Cycle
2.) Devil’s Night
3.) America
4.) Abigail
5.) If It’s Dead, We’ll Kill It
6.) Unstoppable
7.) Reincarnate

Bullet For My Valentine Set List:

1.) Now Way Out
2.) Your Betrayal
3.) Raising Hell
4.) Scream Aim Fire
5.) Army of Noise
6.) Tears Don’t Fall
7.) Waking the Demon
Lamb of God Set List:
1.) Walk With Me in Hell
2.) Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
3.) Still Echoes
4.) 512
5.) Ghost Walking
6.) Ruin
7.) Hourglass
8.) Vigil
9.) Laid to Rest
10.) Redneck

Slipknot Set List:

1.) Sarcastrophe
2.) The Heretic Anthem
3.) Psychosocial
4.) The Devil in I
5.) AOV
6.) Vermillion
7.) Wait and Bleed
8.) Killpop
9.) Before I Forget
10.) Sulfur
11.) Duality
12.) Disasterpiece
13.) Spit It Out
14.) Custer
15.) (sic)
16.) People=Shit
17.) Surfacing

Concert Review “Alternative Buffalo 107.7 Kerfuffle 2015” Buffalo, NY

“Alternative Buffalo 107.7 Kerfuffle 2015”
CAKE, The Gaslight Anthem, The Airborne Toxic Event New Politics, Cold War Kids, Saint Motel, The Mowglis, Civil Twilight, The Valley Below, Uncle Bens Remedy
Date: Saturday, July 25th 2015
Venue: Canal Side, Buffalo, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Alternative Buffalo 107.7 held their second annual Kerfuffle music festival on July 25th at the unique multifaceted venue known as Canal Side located in Buffalo, NY. The venue which as the names suggests is located on the canal and is nestled snugly underneath the nearby highway overpass and features its very own battleship. The unique surroundings proved to be the perfect setting for the annual music festival which featured 10 bands and a variety of local vendors.

Kicking off the nine and a half hour day was Art Voice Boom contest winners Uncle Bens Remedy. The group proved they were the perfect choice for this spot as they brought just the right amount of energy to help kick of the day’s festivities. The Valley Below would take the stage next followed by Civil Twilight and The Mowglis who despite being one member down still put on a solid performance for the growing crowd. Saint Motel would follow with their first ever performance in Buffalo and the crowd greeted them with open arms and praise especially during the playing of the groups hit song “My Type”. Cold War Kids, a group I was really interested in seeing were up next and despite what seemed to be a pretty solid performance by the band received only a luke warm reception from the audience which seemed to kill a bit of the day’s excitement.

New Politics would follow and almost instantly reinvigorating the crowd with their high energy stage performance. Lead singer David Boyd seemed to hold the crowd in his hand the entire length of the bands 30 minute which quickly put the day back on track for the near 12,000 people in attendance. The Airborne Toxic Event would be the first of 3 acts charged with closing out the day’s festivities. Sadly the band seemed less than interested in performing as the members sort of milled about the stage aimlessly going through the motions of a 40 minute set. After a brief set change New Jersey natives The Gaslight Anthem would follow by blasting through a 10 song set which featured crowd favorites “45” “American Slang” and “The 59 Sound”. Front man Brian Fallon and company took part in a playful game of kick the beach ball throughout the set which had the band cracking up making the performance fun for everyone involved.

Closing out the night were veteran performers CAKE who performed a variety of songs which spanned their 6 album catalog. With 24 years in the music business under their belt the band showed no signs of slowing down and treated the immense, sun baked crowd to songs such as “Frank Sinatra” Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and the bands hit song “The Distance” which closed out the night.

Alternative Buffalo proved once again that they certainly know how to throw a party. With this being the stations second event of this magnitude it seemed to go off without a hitch and those in attendance seemed to really enjoy themselves. Great venue, music and weather made for an enjoyable concert experience and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for next year.

The Gaslight Anthem Set List:
1.) Handwritten
2.) Film Noir
3.) Biloxi Parish
4.) 1,000 Years
5.) Halloween
6.) 45
7.) Howl
8.) Mulholland Drive
9.) American Slang
10.) The ’59 Sound

CAKE Set List:
1.) Sheep Go to Heaven
2.) Frank Sinatra
3.) Love You Madly
4.) Italian Leather Sofa
5.) Wheels
6.) Mustache Man (Wasted)
7.) Long Time
8.) Sick of You
9.) I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor Cover)
10.) Never There
11.) Short Skirt/Long Jacket
12.) The Distance

Concert Review: Breaking Benjamin “Dark Before Dawn Tour” Big Flats, NY

“Dark Before Dawn Tour”
Breaking Benjamin, Starset
Date: Tuesday, July 14th 2015
Venue: Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Breaking Benjamin kicked off their summer tour run in support of their most recent album “Dark Before Dawn” at Tag’s Summer Stage in Big Flats, NY on July 14th. Despite torrential down pours which prompted flash flood warnings mixed with heavy periods of thunder and lightning the show seemed to go off without a hitch.

Razor & Tie recording artist Starset would open the night hitting the stage performing their unique blend of techno infused rock. Clad in spacey lighted costume the members of the band laid a solid foundation for vocalist Dustin Bates who split his time behind the microphone and a giant touch screen control panel that seemed to be straight out of an “Iron Man” film. The group performed a variety of songs of their debut album “Transmission” including the hit single “My Demons” prior to the conclusion of the set. After a rather lengthy set change and still under foreboding skies the members of Breaking Benjamin would hit the stage to instant applause as they performed the song “So Cold”.

Throughout the bands 22 song set the band took time to show their appreciation for the crowds support throughout the numerous bouts of bad weather leading up to the bands performance. The nights set list was a combination of both new and old material with a handful of covers including Queen’s “Who Wants to Live Forever” and Tool’s “Aenima” to name just a few. The addition of the covers made me questions the bands decision as with 5 albums worth of material to choose from why not give the fans a little more of your own material as opposed to someone else’s. Either way all the hits were still there including the group’s 2002 break out hit “Polyamorous” which certainly was one of the songs garnering the night’s biggest applause.

With this being the bands first night of the tour I was a bit skeptical as you never know what to expect as things are generally still being worked out 2 to 3 shows into a tour however the band sounded great and right out of the gate seemed to be firing on all cylinders. Breaking Benjamin did not let bad weather hinder their performance and the sizeable crowd was very gracious. The tour runs through August so if you haven’t gotten tickets yet for the show closest to your area what are you waiting for?

Breaking Benjamin Set List:
1.) So Cold
2.) Angels Fall
3.) Follow
4.) Break My Fall
5.) Who Wants to Live Forever (Queen Cover)
6.) Unknown Soldier
7.) Sooner or Later
8.) Blow Me Away
9.) Failure
10.) Breath
11.) AEnema (Tool Cover)
12.) Phase
13.) Away
14.) Give Me a Sign
15.) Shallow Bay
16.) Imperial March/ Schism/ Smells Like Teen Spirit/ Walk
17.) Polyamorous
18.) Evil Angel
19.) Until the End
20.) I Will Not Bow
21.) Lights Out
22.) Dance with the Devil
23.) Intro
24.) The Diary of Jane

Concert Review: “Transgender Dysphoria Tour 2015” Buffalo, NY

“Transgender Dysphoria Tour 2015”
Against Me!, Frank Iero & the Cellebration, Annie Girl & the Flight
Date: Wednesday, June 24th 2015
Venue: Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Against Me! made their way back to the quaint Town Ballroom located in Buffalo, NY as part of their ongoing Transgender Dysphoria tour. Along for the ride this time around were San Francisco, Bay Area native Annie Girl & the Flight and former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero and his band the Cellebration. Despite the show being mid-week the venue was near capacity with a crowd set to give their all.

Taking the stage first would be Annie Girl & the Flight. The bands sounds were a mix/match of styles ranging from experimental garage rock to modern folk. The group performed songs off their self titled debut as well as songs from their latest EP “Bodies. It was hard at times to figure out which direction the band would go in next however the uncertainty made for an interesting listening experience as the band showed off an impressive range that kept listeners on their toes.

Former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero would be up next with his group “Frank Iero & the Cellebration”. As the band took the stage they were greeted with tremendous applause and instantly launched in to their 30+ minute set which was made up of songs from the groups “Stomachaches” album was high energy from the word go. The band took little time in between songs packing as much music as they could into their brief set which acted as the catalyst that upped the night’s energy.

Against Me! would close out the night with an impressive set of 20+ songs that band blasted through in rapid fire succession. Front woman Laura Jane Grace commanded the microphone like a true professional and really shined on songs such as “Black Me Out”, “Thrash Unreal” and “FuckMyLife666”. Another stand out of the nights set was the bands rendition of The Replacements song “Androgynous” which Laura and drummer Atom Willard performed a few months ago with Miley Cyrus and Joan Jett for Cyrus’s Happy Hippie Foundation. Despite front woman Grace appearing a bit tired (no doubt from her relentless tour cycle) the band sounded killer as always which made for a really great night of music.

If you for some reason or another have yet to catch an Against Me! show over the past year or so then what are you waiting for? There are still plenty of opportunities as the band will continue to tour the States through July before heading to Europe where they will be through August only to come back for another round of shows in the U.S. which run through September.

Against Me! Set List:
1.) I Was a Teenage Anarchist
2.) Walking Is Still Honest
3.) Cliché Guevara
4.) You Look Like You Need A Drink
5.) White Crosses
6.) Dead Friend
7.) Pints of Guinness Make You Strong
8.) Unconditional Love
9.) FuckMyLife666
10.) The Ocean
11.) T.S.R. (This Shit Rules)
12.) Drinking With the Jocks
13.) Bamboo Bones
14.) Transgender Dysphoria Blues
15.) Because of the Shame/Thrash Unreal
16.) Black Me Out
17.) True Trans Soul Rebel
18.) Tonight We’re Gonna Give It 35%
19.) Androgynous
20.) Don’t Lose Touch
21.) Sink Florida Sink

Concert Review “Abominator Tour 2015” Syracuse, NY

“Abominator Tour 2015”
Doyle, Heavy Grinder, Murder In Rue Morgue, One Last Shot, Secrets Kept
Date: Friday, May 1st 2015
Venue: The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Former Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein brought his band of ghouls to the legendary Lost Horizon in Syracuse, NY on May 1st as part of his Abominator 2015 Tour. Along with special guest Heavy Grinder and several local acts the night proved to be a unique and up close experience that the Syracuse crowd seemed to really enjoy.

With this date being one of the last dates on the Abominator 2015 run I was a little skeptical as you never know what condition the band will be in the longer a tour goes on. The night kicked off with several local acts performing brief sets to a small number of fans who filled the venue early on in the night. The most notable of the three bands was the Auburn, NY based Murder In Rue Morgue whose sounds was a solid blend of melodic fueled metal that held my attention throughout the bands entire set. Next up was Heavy Grinder or known to some as DJ Heavygrinder. I have to start off by saying that a DJ was not something I was expecting at this type of show however from the moment the samples of Metallica, Slayer and other notable metal heavy weights starting blasting out the speakers I was quite impressed. I did feel though that the act was a little tiring after some time and may have been better suited as in between music during set changes. The cross faded samples, and beat drops did however provide a unique and fun listening experience and one that I probably wouldn’t have found on my own.

Closing out the night was the man himself Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. In August of last year we were present for the opening night of Doyle’s first ever solo tour so this night’s performance was going to be heavily compared to that within my own mind. Right off the bat a couple things were different. Along with Doyle and vocalist Alex Story was two new additions to the group. Die Trich Thrall was filling in for Left Hand Graham on bass and Black Flag drummer Brandon Pertzborn replaced Anthony “Tiny” Biuso on the drums. The recent lineup changes only seemed to strengthen the already impressive stage performance of the band as singer Alex Story commanded the crowd’s attention while Doyle’s massive guitar sound pulverized the ear drums of everyone within the venue. The set was a great mixture of Misfits classics and songs from Doyle’s debut solo release “Abominator”. For me the highlights of the set were definitely “Skulls”, “Valley of Shadows” and “Last Caress” though all of the songs were worth mentioning.

As compared to the bands first show together back in August that I previously mentioned, this night’s show was miles ahead. The addition of Pertzborn on drums seems to be the final piece the band needed to take things to the next level both from a performance and musical stand point. Time on the road has also proved to have benefited the group as all the members appeared to key off one another which made the performance seem very cohesive and natural. Even though this leg of the Abominator tour has now come to an end I am sure it won’t be the last we see or hear from Doyle and company.

Doyle Set List:
Abominator
Learn to Bleed
Hybrid Moments
Where Eagles Dare
Land of the Dead
Skulls
Valley of Shadows
Headhunter
Mark of the Beast
Love Like Murder
Last Caress
Die Die My Darling
Hope Hell is Warm

Concert Review: John 5 and the Creatures, Montage Music Hall, Rochester, NY

John 5 and the Creatures
Date: Saturday, March 7th 2015
Venue: Montage Music Hall, Rochester, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Guitarist extraordinaire John 5 slid into the frozen tundra of Rochester, NY on March 7th to perform at the intimate Montage Music Hall. John is currently out on his first ever solo tour which coincides with his latest solo release titled “Careful with That Axe”. Though the crowd wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the guitarist who has worked with everyone from Kd Lang and David Lee Roth to Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie all were quickly wiped away.

The trio who along with John 5 includes bassist Ian Ross and drummer Roger Carter hit the stage basked in rays of red and green light before instantly launching in to the song “Flight of the Vulcan Kelly”. As the set progressed through songs like “Sin”, Jiffy Jam” and “Six Hundred and Sixty Six” 5 and company seemingly became more comfortable with the Rochester crowd and paused briefly to thank them for their support before closing out the night with John’s instrumental rendition of the Michael Jackson classic “Beat It” for closing out the night with a medley of songs ranging from AC/DC’s “Back in Black” to Iron Maidens “The Trooper” to White Zombie classic “Thunder Kiss 65”. This little medley alone made the night worth the price of admission and then some.

Though this may be John’s first tour as a solo artist he’s certainly no stranger to the stage as his 20 plus years of experience in music certainly showed as he worked the audience like a true veteran of the stage. He often signaled for crowd response or sending his guitar into the audience for them to play. Later on in the set he even brought up a fan play his guitar while he passed out high fives to those in the front row. If John 5 and the Creatures are making their way to your time in the coming month or two definitely make it a priority to get to the show as you won’t be disappointed. For those looking for something a little extra out of the night John is offering special VIP packages through www.John-5.com where you can attend sound check, meet the band along with getting some other really cool limited edition swag.

John5 Set List
1.) Flight of the Vulcan Kelly
2.) Villisca
3.) This Is My Rifle
4.) Sin
5.) El Cucuy
6.) Jiffy Jam
7.) Portrait of Sidney Sloan
8.) Guitar Solo
9.) Six Hundred and Sixty Six
10.) Mad Monster Party
11.) Young Thing
12.) First Victim
13.) Feisty Cadavers
14.) Beat It
15.) Medley

Concert Review “Juggernaut Tour 2015” Rochester, NY

“Juggernaut Tour 2015”
Periphery, Nothing More, Wovenwar, Thank You Scientist
Date: Monday, February 9th 2015
Venue: Water Street Music Hall, Rochester, NY

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The progressive metal band Periphery slid into the Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, NY on February 9th to play one of the last shows of the groups 2015 winter “Juggernaut Tour”. The 6 piece group from Bethesda, MA is out in support of their latest albums “Juggernaut: Alpha” and “Juggernaut: Omega”. Also on the bill for the snow filled evening was Texas natives Nothing More, Wovenwar and Thank You Scientists. Even though mother nature reaped havoc on Upstate, NY the near 12 inches of snow did not stop 3 of the 4 bands on the bill from giving their all to those who braved the treacherous travel conditions.

Horrible weather didn’t stop 3 of the 4 bands on Periphery’s Juggernaut Tour from bringing each of their unique and progressive sounds to those who slipped and slid through the venue doors. Though Thank You Scientist were unable to perform due to a break down the 3 remaining acts on the bill put their best snow covered feet forward. The former members of As I Lay Dying would take the stage first with their new band Wovenwar. The melodic metal band which features Oh, Sleeper vocalist Shane Blay shredded through a brief 6 song set which showcased songs from the groups self titled debut album. The always spot on guitar duo of Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso were in top form as were the other member’s performances. Though the band took little time to interact with the intimate sized crowd they let their music do all the talking which resulted in tremendous praise from the audience. Nothing More would take the stage next flanked by an array of drums held up by ornate stands which factored heavily into the bands visual presentation. Despite the band showcasing a variety of talents including a 3 person bass solo and tandem drumming I found these occurrences to be the only real highlight of the bands 10 song set. After a brief set change the members of Periphery would hit the stage running with the song “Icarus Live!” which gave way to fan favorites like ”Make Total Destroy” and “Ragnarok” while also giving fans a taste of some of the songs off both new albums. At times the bands down tuned dinge seemed to over shadow Spencer Sotelo’s vocal performance but that aside the bands performance otherwise flawless.

Despite weather putting a huge damper on the evening’s attendance the 3 bands that performed demonstrated nothing but sheer professionalism. There is no doubt in my mind fans who came out this evening enjoyed the show. Bands with less professionalism would have simply thrown in the towel and bowed down to the weather gods but Periphery, Nothing More and Wovenwar showed their dedication to their fans and each put on noteworthy performances that will stick in the minds of each person who made it out to Water Street this night.

Periphery Set List
1.) Icarus Lives!
2.) Make Total Destroy
3.) The Scourge
4.) Psychosphere
5.) 22 Faces
6.) Ji
7.) The Bad Thing
8.) Alpha
9.) Graveless
10.) Scarlet
11.) Ragnarok
12.) Masamune

Nothing More Set List
1.) Christ Copy
2.) Sex & Lies
3.) Mr. MTV
4.) Bass Solo
5.) Jenny
6.) The Mathews Effect
7.) Dirge
8.) Fell in Love with a Ghost
9.) Salem (Burn the Witch)
10.) This is the Time (Ballast)

Wovenwar Set List
1.) All Rise
2.) Death to Rights
3.) The Mason
4.) Profane
5.) Tempest
6.) Prophets