Book Review: “From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars” by Virginia Hanlon Grohl

“From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars”
Author: Virginia Hanlon Grohl
Da Capo Press
Hardcover 204 pages

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When Virginia Hanlon Grohl first saw her son perform in front of thousands of screaming fans she knew that rock stardom was meant to be for her son. And as Virginia watched her son’s star rise, she often wondered about the other mothers who raised sons and daughters who became rock stars. Were they as surprised as she was about their children’s fame? Did they worry about their children’s livelihood and wellbeing in an industry fraught with drugs and other dangers? Did they encourage their children’s passions despite the odds against success, or attempt to dissuade them from their grandiose dreams? Do they remind their kids to pack a warm coat when they go on tour?

All those answers and more are contained in “From Cradle to Stage: Stories From the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars”. Over the course of the books 204 pages you get a unique behind the scenes look like never before. However not from the stars themselves but from their mothers! Yes that’s right their mothers. Along with author Hanlon Grohl own story of motherhood we hear from other moms including Verna Griffin (Dr. Dre), Janis Winehouse (Amy Winehouse), Hester Diamond (Mike D of the Beastie Boys) and Bettye Moses and Harriette Brown (mother & step mother of Zac Brown) as they recount the years before, during and after their sons and daughters became house hold names. I don’t recall a book like this ever being released which adds to the appeal because who is better to ask about those earlier childhood years than one’s own mom.

The candid firsthand accounts are what really kept me turning page after page. “From Cradle to Stage” is a fun, fast read unlike any biography I have come across before. While the book does a great job showcasing several mothers’ journeys its underlying story about the bond between parents and children is its greatest attribute. Not only is this a great read for parents but also for anyone looking for a different look at some of music’s biggest artists and the moms who impacted their lives.

“Grease” Director Randal Kleiser talks about his stage debut

What do you do when, in a span of two years, you direct some of the best episodic television as well as one of the most popular television movies of all time? If you’re Randal Kleiser, you graduate to features, where you’re first film, “Grease,” remains, almost four decades later, the highest grossing movie musical of all time. Not a bad start!

Born in Philadelphia, Kleiser headed west to study his chosen craft at the University of Southern California. It was there he met a fellow student named George Lucas. He graduated USC in 1968 and, on the basis of his impressive Master’s thesis film, “Peege,” began his career. After directing episodes of such popular television shows as “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “The Rookies” and “Family,” he graduated to made-for-television films. His first, “Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway,” starred former “Brady Bunch” star Eve Plumb as a girl who, feeling her home life is tough, runs away to the big city where she’s soon selling her body. While this is almost happenstance on today’s television it was quite a shocker in 1976. His second film-for-television starred up and coming “Welcome Back, Kotter” star John Travolta as “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.” Based on a true story, the film earned three Emmy nominations, winning one. It also became a favorite of fans, thanks to Travolta’s performance and Paul Williams’ song, “What Would They Say,” which Travolta sang. Travolta and Kleiser would reunite the next year when the young star appeared opposite Olivia Newton-John in the musical smash “Grease.”

Kleiser, a director with an eye for young talent, followed up with “The Blue Lagoon,” starring Brooke Shields. He then featured Peter Gallagher and Daryl Hannah in “Summer Lovers” (which Kleiser also wrote) and then teamed up Jamie Lee Curtis and Patrick Swayze in “Grandview U.S.A.” Other films include “Big Top Pee Wee,” “Flight of the Navigator” and “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.” In 1996 Kleiser wrote and directed “It’s My Party,” one of the first major films to address the issue of AIDS (though, in “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” Travolta’s character, Tod, was born with a deficient immune system, which is not unlike being born with AIDS). “It’s My Party” tells the story of Nick (Eric Roberts), whose most recent blood test reveals that he is HIV positive. Nick decides to go out on his own terms and throws himself a “going away” party.

This year, Kleiser turned to the stage, where his first production, “The Penis Chronicles,” currently plays four times weekly at the Coastal Playhouse, in West Hollywood, California through January 11, 2015. Mr. Kleiser took time out from his schedule to speak with me about working on the stage, the continued magic of “Grease” and a project near and dear to his heart: “The Nina Foch Project.”

Mike Smith: You’re about to finish your first foray onto the stage. How did you get involved with “The Penis Chronicles?”
Randal Kleiser: Tom Yewell was my assistant on “White Fang” and “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid”. He then became my director of development at Disney Studios. After that he moved back East for several years. Last year his friend Greg O’Connor sent me his play, “The Penis Chronicles” and I read it expecting to just give him my comments. I was extremely impressed and immediately wanted to help launch it.

MS: As someone who had worked primarily in television and film, does the role of the director change when it’s live theatre?
RK: The biggest difference is that the control is in the hands of the actors, rather than the director. I’m used to being able to fine tune movie performances, doing multiple takes until we achieve each moment perfectly. There is an excitement about live theater that I haven’t experienced in my movie career. You never know what’s going to happen. Last week we had a power outage during the play and used iPhone flashlight apps to light the actor.

MS: You were able to fund the initial 8-week run of the show through Indigogo. Any thoughts of extending the run?
RK: We are pleased to announce that we are extending until at least January 11th. After that, we aren’t sure. It depends on the public continuing to show up.

MS: What can you tell us about your upcoming film, “B.F.F.?”
RK: That is a project written and directed by young filmmaker Greg Carter. I’m overseeing it in an executive producer capacity.

MS: You went from directing one of the most popular television films of all time (“The Boy in the Plastic Bubble”) to helming the most popular movie musical as a first time feature film director. Why do you think “Grease” continues to find fans after all these years?
RK: I get asked that a lot. It must have been the perfect storm of cast chemistry, a hit Broadway play, the new music, and characters that everyone could identify with.

MS: It’s been almost 20 years since “It’s My Party” was released. These days in Hollywood it’s almost common-place to have major studios producing projects like “Angels in America” and “The Normal Heart.” How hard was it to get “It’s My Party” made?
RK: I wrote it while under a deal at Disney. They were not jumping at making it. Duh. Luckily, John Calley had just taken over United Artists and I went over to see him. I showed him pictures from the actual party that the script was based on and he greenlit the project that day.
I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

MS: Tell us a little about the “Nina Foch Project” and her influence on your career?
RK: Nina Foch was a vital presence in the entertainment industry, at home onstage, on screen, and in the classroom. Her acting career spanned seven decades, including starring roles on the Broadway stage and numerous television appearances from the golden era of live television drama through the most popular series and sitcoms of recent years. She was best known for her performances in classic films, such as “An American in Paris,” “Spartacus,” and “The Ten Commandments.” Her role as Erica Martin in “Executive Suite,” directed by Robert Wise, garnered her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1955. Nina joined the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she taught for many years, offering the Advanced Seminar in Directing Actors for Film. She worked with – and inspired – many of today’s most successful actors, singers, directors, screenwriters, and producers. After studying with her, I hired her on several occasions to guide me in breaking down scripts I was about to shoot. She would drill me on each moment, each line, each piece of punctuation so that I was ready to shoot only what was necessary to forward the story and ready for any possible question from the actors. My classmate George Lucas put up some funds to shoot a whole semester of her class before her death in 2008. She instilled in me the same thing that motivated her: a desire to transfer the fascination. The Nina Foch Course for Filmmakers and Actors is available in DVD and online form at www.ninafochproject.com.

MS: What, if anything, do you have planned next?
RK: I have four films ready to go and am looking to complete funding on them. All my director friends are in the same boat. We have to become entrepreneurs and do our own projects, rather than wait for the studios to change from only doing sequels, comics and remakes.

Concert Review: Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Plain White T’s – Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Plain White T’s
Saturday, August 16th 2014
Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Our score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The quiet town of Big Flats, NY sprung to life on Saturday, August 16th as New York natives the Goo Goo Dolls made a stop at Tag’s Summer Stage as part of their summer tour which also featured season 5 American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry along with the Plain White T’s. Though the weather was touch and go throughout the night it didn’t stop those in attendance from enjoying the night of music.

Opening up the nights show was Plain White T’s who burst on the music scene a few years back with their hit song “Hey There Delilah”. The group performed an intimate acoustic tinged set that sounded great however with the exception of one or two more well know songs the bands time on stage did little to ignite the crowd’s attention. Daughtry would take the stage next opening up his set with the title track off his newest album “Baptized” and instantly had the crowd in his hand. As the set progressed Daughtry and company treated the crowd to a variety of songs from his current and previous albums including hits like “Feels like Tonight”, “It’s Not Over” and “September” before closing out his set with “Long Live Rock & Roll”. Though the crowd seemed appreciative of the bands performance there were several points during the set where Daughtry seemed to push his voice a little too far past his range making those parts a bit harsh on the ears. Personally I also would have enjoyed hearing a few more of his edgier rock tunes this time around however that did not happen.

As darkness fell on the semi-remote venue the Goo Goo Dolls would take the stage to close out the night with an impressive 21 song set which ran the gambit of the bands 20+ year career. The group opened the set with the song “Dizzy” which gave way to other classic tracks like “Big Machine” and “Slide” before the night was closed out by songs like “Broadway” and “Iris”. I found the band’s sound to be tight and well rehearsed however with the exception of bassist Robby Takac whose energy kept the show interesting the other members seemed to be just going through the motions. It was also a little disheartening to see the absence of vintage Goo songs like “Long Way Down” and “Naked”.  Despite my own feelings toward the nights set those in attendance seemed very appreciative of the bands performance and showed that by large periods of applause after each and every song. If you have never seen any of the bands or you are a seasoned show going fan make your way out to one of the remaining shows for a solid night of music and fun as the tours lineup has a little something for everyone.

Plain White T’s Set List:
1.) American Nights
2.) Helium
3.) The Giving Tree
4.) 1,2,3,4
5.) Should’ve Gone to Bed
6.) Hey There Delilah
7.) Rhythm of Love

Daughtry Set List:
1.) Baptized
2.) Feels like Tonight
3.) Over You
4.) Renegade
5.) Traitor
6.) It’s Not Over
7.) What About Now
8.) Wild Heart
9.) Battleships
10.) Home
11.) September
12.) Waiting for Superman
13.) Long Live Rock & Roll

Goo Goo Dolls Set List:
1.) Dizzy
2.) Big Machine
3.) Slide
4.) Rebel Beat
5.) When the World Breaks Your Heart
6.) Already There
7.) Another Second Time Around
8.) Come to Me
9.) Black Balloon
10.) Stay With you
11.) Here is Gone
12.) Caught in the Storm
13.) Name
14.) January Friend
15.) Bringing on the Light
16.) Better Days
17.) Slow It Down
18.) Broadway
19.) Let Love In
20.) Iris
21.) Give a Little Bit (Supertramp cover)

 

Enter to Win Horror Musical “Stage Fright” on Blu-ray [ENDED]

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “Stage Fright”, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the Blu-ray to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite musical. This giveaway will remain open until July 18th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

The Stage Is Set For A Bloodbath In The Terrifying Thriller Featuring Minnie Driver And Meat Loaf, Arriving July 8 On Blu-ray™ and DVD From Magnolia Home Entertainment Under The Magnet Label

Starry-eyed teenager Camilla Swanson wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a Broadway diva, but she’s stuck working in the kitchen of a snobby performing arts camp. Determined to change her destiny, she sneaks in to audition for the summer showcase and lands a lead role in the play, but just as rehearsals begin, blood starts to spill, and Camilla soon finds herself terrified by the horror of musical theatre.

Book Review “No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes”

“No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes”
Author: Amy Yates Wuelfing, Steven DiLodovico
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: DiWulf Publishing

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes” is an oral history of ’80s-era alternative, metal and punk rock music told through the portal of one club – Trenton, New Jersey’s legendary City Gardens. From Punk to Metal, from Ska and Reggae, New Wave and Alternative, if there was a band you dug through the 80′s and 90′s that never made the commercial airwaves, there’s a good chance they played at City Gardens.

Written by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico “No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes” is a gritty multi perspective book that tells the tales of the fabled City Garden’s music venue which throughout the 80’s and 90’s was the only reason to travel to Trenton, NJ. As you delve through the books countless pages you will be able to better understand my previous statement as its wonder anyone went there at all. The book is jammed full of pictures and stories from the people who not only worked at the venue, but performed there and/or were just one of the many regulars who attended shows ranging from The Ramones and Butthole Surfers to Nine Inch Nails and the clubs famous 95 cent Thursday dance night. The book does a great job depicting an era when music was still raw and people went to shows to actually hear music not because it was the cool or trendy thing to do. Not only does it detail a good number of the shows held at the venue but it goes a step further by giving you when possible both artist and audience perspectives of the same event and if there were colorful things going on behind the scenes staff stories are added to serve as the proverbial icing on the cake.

Even if you never attended the venue or knew of its existence “No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes” is a must read! The book grabs your attention and transports you back to a time when the underground music scene was raw and untainted and when people went to shows to actually check out new bands and not just because it was the “cool” thing to be doing.

Film Review “Stage Fright”

Starring: Allie MacDonald, Meat Loaf and Minnie Driver
Directed By: Jerome Sable
Rated: R
Running Time: 89 minutes
Magnet Releasing

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

If there’s one musical slasher to see this year, it’s “Stage Fright”. Or maybe it’s this summer’s gory ode to musicals. Or maybe it’s 2014’s catchiest, disillusioned fantasy about someone who wanted to see all the theater kids at their school slaughtered. Regardless of the movie’s intentions and lack of settling on a genre, “Stage Fright” is one of those guilty pleasures that combines two unlikely affections, Broadway and horror.

I must admit these are both guilty pleasures of mine. I have “Wicked” on my iPod and “Cannibal Holocaust” in my DVD collection. While “Stage Fright” doesn’t quite meet the satisfying highs that both of these make within the context of their own category, it manages to stitch together a working piece of parody that provides some hearty laughs and a string of snickers during songs. At times it’s surprising how much more fulfilling the corny songs are than the eventual killings.

The movie presents us with two siblings, Camilla (MacDonald) and Buddy (Douglas Smith), the children of a murdered opera diva, Kylie (Driver). She’s stabbed to death by a freak wearing the mask of the villain in the musical she’s performing in, The Haunting of the Opera. The murder goes unsolved and the young ones are taken in under the care of one of Kylie’s former lovers, Roger (Meat Loaf). Fast forward to 10 years after these events, the two children are all grown up and toiling in the kitchen of Roger’s dilapidated summer camp for theater kids. The deeply in debt camp allows it’s summer time students to put on their own plays and this summer, they’re putting on a Japanese version of The Haunting of the Opera. Once again another psycho, this time donning a Kabuki mask, stalks the sets and bides his time before he can kill the young campers.

The cheesiness seeps into nearly every line of dialogue and shows that director Sable has a deep appreciation of horror and the musical styling of theater. For every reference to “Hellraiser” and “Friday the 13th”, there’s an obvious nod to “Phantom of the Opera” and unforeseen wink at “Glee”. While the blueprints are obvious, Sable’s final product is a bit shrouded. The straight face acting would lead you to believe this is a parody, but to the astute viewer, the potpourri blend of humor, theatrics and midnight frights are an homage to Sable’s influences. I can understand why this can be off-putting to viewers hoping for one or the other.

Despite having to play the shy girl that eases out of her cocoon throughout the running time, MacDonald really blossoms when panic sets in. And if that’s her actually singing in this movie, I can’t believe this incredibly attractive 26-year-old actress only has 20 acting credits to her name. While Minnie Driver gets her name near the top, her short screen time and quick murder appears to be a bow to “Psycho”. Meat Loaf really steals the scenes he’s in and in my humble opinion, needed more opportunities to really belt one out and stretch those monster vocal cords of his. Not that I’m complaining that Sable was able to nab Meat Loaf for another rare on-screen singing role.

“Stage Fright” is far from perfect and definitely needs to be refined, but the nucleus of this movie is fun enough to turn a blind eye to its predictability. I wouldn’t actually mind seeing a stage performance of this movie with a lengthier amount of time given for silly songs and a splatter zone for audience members. It worked for “Evil Dead: The Musical”. Sable’s next project will be featured in “The ABC’s Death 2”, which might show us which one of his talents is stronger, music or violence. Until then, relish in the absurd tongue-in-cheek goodness that “Stage Fright” gives in every octave.

Matthew Patrick Davis talks about his stage version of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Photo Credit: Joanna Brooks

You may not know the name Matthew Patrick Davis yet but he is making a name for himself very quickly. He recently made headlines when his stage version of “Jack’s Lament” for “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” showed up on online. He has also been behind some very funny stage productions with the UCB Theatre including “The Shining! The Musical!” and “Jurasic Park: The Musical!”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Matthew about his work and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s talk about your stage version of “Jack’s Lament” for Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”? Have you been contacted at all or do you have plans to expand it?
Matthew Patrick Davis: As a 6’8” physical actor who grew up loving Tim Burton, Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo, playing Jack in a live adaptation of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has always been a dream of mine. A couple years ago, I put up a few scenes from “Nightmare” in my acting class. The class freaked out and got super excited about it, so that’s when we decided to shoot some of it, and that’s where the video comes from. If this video could accomplish anything, I guess it would be for it to be a viral thingy and get the attention of the people that own the rights and actually have the power to make it a legitimate piece of theatre: Tim Burton and Thomas Schumacher, the President of Disney Theatrical Group. It would obviously have such mass appeal, and I think could be something insanely great.

MG: Tell us how did you come up with the ideas for “The Shining! The Musical!” and “Jurassic Park: The Musical?”
MPD: I write the movie musicals with my friends Joe Chandler and Zach Paez; friends from high school who are now television writers in Los Angeles. We just pick movies that we love, and musicalize them into part parody, part tribute. “Jurassic Park” was a movie that was very formative in our youth; as 14 year olds, we would often be found doing impressions of the Raptors or the Spitter in a Denny’s parking lot somewhere. “The Shining” is another one of our favorite films — we just enjoyed the juxtaposition between the darkness of man slowly going insane and trying to murder his family, with the light-heartedness of a musical.

MG: Any plans to ever perform these again or record and release them?
MPD: We perform the movie musicals semi-regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles, so there will definitely be another performance sometime in the future.

MG: What do you have planned next to turn into a musical?
MPD: We’ve done four movie adaptations, (JP, The Shining, The NeverEnding Story, and The King of Kong) so next, we would love to do an original. So we’ll do that, and/or do one of the movies we’ve always talked about doing, i.e. T2, Top Gun, Glengarry Glen Ross, Braveheart, The Sixth Sense, etc.

MG: How did you end up as the Sprint Zombie for their commercials?
MPD: It was a pretty standard commercial audition process, just like any other. I got lucky with this one, in that they ran it so much, and it was actually a funny spot that I was really pleased with. The director said that one the reasons they hired me was because they like the way I added the “cool, cool cool cool…” in the audition, so I guess that’s something.

MG: What else do you have planned for 2014?
MPD: I’m going to be releasing an album of some of my songs that can be found on my YouTube page. I’ll be writing more songs and musicals. I’m hoping to take my one man show to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC — it’s called, “Matt Davis Gets A Girlfriend:” A One Man Musical about One Man’s quest to not DIE ALONE. Also, I’ll be doing the revival/reboot of the musical Side Show at the Kennedy Center in DC in June and July, having just done it at the La Jolla Playhouse.

New York Comic Con: Main Stage Highlights

Photography by Elizabeth Phillips

            Media Mikes had an awesome time at the Main Stage of the Javit’s Center throughout this year’s New York Comic, here’s some of the highlights of the panels we enjoyed. Click on any of the banners to take a look at additional photos from each.

            Same as last year, the Adult Swim panels on NYCC’s Friday evening, Venture Brothers followed immediately by Robot Chicken, were hilarious. Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick brought no clips but assured the crowd of a great premiere of the next season of the show–chiefly because it was originally intended for the fifth season’s finale!

            The Q&A session featured much discussion of David Bowie and was capped off by a fan in an amazing Venture-covered dress being too nervous to ask Doc a question, “ARE YOU TOO NERVOUS TO DANCE WITH ME?” he replied before launching off the stage and sharing a short dance to, oddly enough “Greased Lightning” from Grease.

            Robot Chicken’s panel, or the meeting of the silly hats club,  was moderated by Adult Swim VP Keith Crofford and included co-creators Matt Senreich and Seth Green and actors Clare Grant, Breckin Meyer and, in his “annual public appearance”, Macauley Culkin. Later, Doc Hammer emerged from back stage for a bit of light streaking and group hugging that ended with Seth Green licking Doc’s nipple (“He tastes like Dr. Girlfriend!”)

            The Q&A with fans produced their now-traditional sexy pose request and a sudden rivalry between Meyer and a ten-year old audience member named Emmett, who came to the mic with a beef against Green’s new sitcom “Dads.”

            On Saturday, The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel was light on cast and crew—moderator/executive producer Jeph Loeb spoke with the duo of Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge who play techies Fitz & Simmons on the show. A short Q&A was followed by a screening of the “Eye Spy” episode of the show. In the pre-screening talk, De Caestecker discussed his desire for his character to gain a pet monkey while Henstridge offered supervillain Loki as her favorite Avengers character.

            Also making showings on NYCC’s Saturday were three tween hit shows with MTV’s Teen Wolf and the CW’s Beauty and the Beast and Reign. The latter two screening full episodes which, admittedly had some of the audience impatiently shifting in their seats anxiously for the Walking Dead that evening–fans seated in the Main Stage are not cleared between panels–making waiting it out a popular option. Meanwhile, the Teen Wolf panel of Dylan O’brien, Linden Ashby, and Jeff Davis was one of the loudest of the day with a hugely enthusiastic crowd.

        Finally the people behind The Walking Dead took the stage to a huge reception from the crowd. An awesome surprise was Dead fan and Community star Yvette Nicole Brown moderating the panel. For a show about a zombie apocalypse, there was quite a bit of arguing over coupling on the show. On relationships in the show, Brown yelled at the crew, “You don’t have to put love in the show, we’ll put love in…we’ll add it in our minds!” From the fan Q&A, a young boy decked out as Daryl Dixon threw down a challenge to actors [Lauren Cohan and Steven Yuen], “Since Maggie is such a bad ass, do you really think she needs Glen to protect her?” 

Concert Review: “Carnival of Madness 2013” Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

“Carnival of Madness 2013”
Shinedown, Skillet, Papa Roach, In This Moment, We As Human
Date: Wednesday, August28th 2013
Venue: Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

The Tag’s Summer Stage was alive and kicking on August 28th as the 2013 Carnival of Madness tour made a stop in the normally quiet upstate NY town of Big Flats. Complete with stilt walkers, jugglers and of course tour headliners Shinedown there really shouldn’t have been anywhere else to be.

The show kicked off with We As Human taking the stage for a brief 20 minute set which primed the crowd for what was to come later in the evening. Though the crowds appreciation was lacking somewhat in the way of applause the 5 piece rock band from Nashville, TN forged ahead giving their all. In This Moment would take the stage next and the always entertaining Maria Brink and company took the show to a completely different level. The set consisted of air/smoke cannons, scantily clad backup dancers and of course some great heavy music.

The next slot on the bill changes from night to night with Papa Roach and Skillet alternating line up slots. On this night it would be veterans Papa Roach who would take the stage first blasting their way through a high energy set that mixed both classic and new songs from the bands expansive catalog. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix who is back and better than ever (Shaddix had a polyp removed from his vocal cord recently) whipped the crowd in to a frenzy that resulted in people and lawn chairs sailing through the air from the start of the bands set until the last notes of the bands hit song “Last Resort” rang out.

Skillet would follow and though I wasn’t sure how anyone could follow the amazing set that Papa Roach had just completed Skillet delivered. The band pulled out all the stops including masked string players, air cannons and levitating platforms. Not only did the band deliver visually they sounded great as well. As always fan favorites such as “Hero” and “Monster” garnered the biggest responses however each number the band performed in their 11 song set was spot on.

Last to take the stage where tour headliners Shinedown. Though the bands set was packed with hit after hit for me the performance fell kind of flat. At times the production of the show which featured a vast lighting rig over powered the bands performance making it hard at certain points to look directly at the stage. I did however enjoy the bands cover of the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic “Simple Man” as singer Brent Smith always does the song justice. All in all a great night of music and fun was had by those in attendance.

Papa Roach Set List:
1.) Still Swingin’
2.) Blood Brothers
3.) Give Me Back My Life
4.) Between Angels and Insects
5.) Where Did the Angels Go?
6.) Burn
7.) Forever
8.) Leader of the Broken Hearts
9.) Scars
10.) …To Be Loved
11.) Getting Away with Murder
12.) Last Resort

Skillet Set List:
1.) Whispers in the Dark
2.) Hero
3.) Sick of It
4.) Comatose
5.) Rise
6.) Awake and Alive
7.) The Last Night
8.) Not Gonna Die
9.) Circus for a Psycho
10.) Monster
11.) Rebirthing

Shinedown Set List:
1.) I’m Not Alright
2.) Enemies
3.) Devour
4.) Unity
5.) The Crow & The Butterfly
6.) Adrenaline
7.) I’ll Follow You
8.) Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom -Lay Boom)
9.) If You Only Knew
10.) Amaryllis
11.) Sound of Madness
12.) Second Chance
13.) Simple Man
14.) Bully

Blu-ray Review “Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright”

Actors: Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Matthew Lillard, Wayne Brady, Peter Macnicol
Directors: Victor Cook
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Running Time: 78 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to Scooby-Doo!, Warner Bros. Animation has been behind this series for the last few years and keeping it alive and fresh. “Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright” is the latest direct-to-video original animated movie and one heck of a fun time. It features the great voice talents of Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Matthew Lillard, Wayne Brady, Peter Macnicol and Ariel Winter. There is something about Scooby-Doo! that really still entertains time after time. This film is filled with great laughs, thrills and hijinks, all the great things that make up a great Scooby-Doo! movie. Keep them up Warner Bros!! Next up in the world of Scooby-Doo!, this September brings “Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Run For Your ‘Rife!”, which is a collection of 13 action-packed adventures.

Synopsis: Join Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the Mystery Inc. crew as they head to Chicago for a talent show, a few museum tours and a whole lot of pizza. The windy city is home to the hit TV show, Talent Star, in which songwriting duo Fred and Daphne are finalists with high hopes. Not to be left out, Scooby and Shaggy have a secret act in the works, which they’re betting will take the contest by storm. Unlucky for all involved, the competition becomes frightful as the show is being broadcast from an opera house with a history of horrors and a particularly vengeful phantom that has cursed the show’s production.

Warner Home Entertainment is releasing this latest film, like the past ones, in a Blu-ray combo pack including the Blu-ray, standard DVD and UltraViolet™ editions of the film. The 1080p transfer of the film looks great. The animation really is sharp and the colors are crisp. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works with the laughs and hijinks from the film. In terms of bonus features there is not much concerning the production itself but there are two bonus Scooby-Doo! episodes. Included episodes are “Never Ape an Ape Man”, which is the seventh episode of the first season of “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” and “Don’t Fool with a Phantom”, which is the eighth and last episode of the second season of “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!”.