Concert Review: Santana with the Doobie Brothers

  • Santana /the Doobie Brothers
  • Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
  • July 11, 2019

50 years ago next month, over 400,000 people attended a little 3-day music festival known as Woodstock. One of the bands playing that weekend was led by a young man whose last name the band had adopted as theirs…Carlos Santana.

Tonight at Kansas City’s Sprint Center, the master guitarist entertained a packed house playing as powerfully as he did five decades ago, his skill and energy amazing for a man who turns 72 next week. After the show began with a video tribute to Woodstock, Mr. Santana and his highly talented group of musicians chose for their opening number “Soul Sacrifice.” The next two hours was a collection of hits (“Oye Como Va,” “Black Magic Woman”) and album cuts. As the show progressed, opening band the Doobie Brothers joined Santana on stage for a rousing medley of “She’s Not There,” “Spill the Wine” and “Shotgun.” A highlight of the medley was the Doobie’s Tom Johnson and Mr. Santana trading wicked guitar riffs.

As the show progressed, the band continued to jam, extending some songs several minutes, which the crowd, their eyes fixed on Mr. Santana’s flying fingers, ate up. Another highlight occurred when the band took a brief break, allowing drummer Cindy Blackman Santana to bring the house down with a prolonged and entertaining drum solo.

Of course, the biggest song of the night was the multiple Grammy-award winning “Smooth,” which the audience sang along to with gusto. The show ended with Mr. Santana encouraging the audience to strive for peace and harmony. After the performance he gave, how could we refuse him.

SET LIST: Soul Sacrifice, Jin-go-lo-ba, Evil Ways / A Love Supreme, (Da Le) Yaleo, Put Your Lights On, She’s Not There / Spill the Wine / Shotgun, Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen, Oye Como Va, Hope You’re Feeling Better, Love of My Life, Breaking Down the Door, In Search of Mona Lisa, Maria Maria, Foo Foo, Corazon Espinado, Toussaint L’Ouverture. ENCORE: Are You Ready, Smooth, September / Love, Peace and Happiness.

Concert Review: Rockstar Disrupt Festival, Syracuse, NY

Rockstar Disrupt Festival 2019

Thrice, The Used, Circa Survive, The Story So Far, Atreyu

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview, Syracuse, NY

Our score 3 out of 5 stars

The Rockstar Disrupt Festival made a stop in Syracuse, NY on July 2nd as part of the tours inaugural run featuring a variety of musical acts including Hyro the Hero, Andy Black, The Used and Thrice. Despite the event starting off under questionable skies it didn’t stop the bands or fans from giving their all over the course of the 7 plus hour event.  

Kicking of the day on the Festival Stage was the Texas based Hyro the Hero who performed a handful of songs of their latest album “Flagged Channel”. Though fans were still filling in the sprawling lake side venue the bands high energy and unique style of rap infused metal quickly grabbed people’s attention and set the stage perfectly for the day’s festivities. After checking out the various merchandise booths which were placed around the venue grounds we made another stop at the Festival stage where we took in performances by Memphis May Fire, Four Year Strong and Andy Black. All of which put on solid sets despite the muggy afternoon conditions. Sleeping with Sirens closed out the Festival stage lineup however it was hard to focus given the lineup which was about to be performing on the Main Stage. Veteran metal act Atreyu opened up the stage performing songs from their various albums including “Ex’s and Oh’s”, “Bleeding Mascara” and their cover of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name”. The band sounded great and really got the crowd going again after a brief lull during stage changes caused the energy to dip. The Story So Far and Circa Survive would follow both turning in note worthy performances that had large portions of the audience dancing and singing along from beginning to end. The Used were up next performing a spattering of songs from their career including “Take It Away” “The Taste of Ink” and “Buried Myself Alive. Front-man Bert McCracken and company even included a cover of the Oasis song “Wonderwall” which made us question if a majority of the crowd were even alive when that song first debuted? Thrice would close out the night with an eleven song set including songs “The Artist in the Ambulance”, “In Exile” and “Black Honey” before closing out the evening with “The Earth Will Shake” from the bands 2005 album “Vheissu”.  Though the band members were all fairly stationary throughout the performance the crowd did not seem to mind as they loudly sang along to front-man Dustin Kensrues lyrics.

For those looking to fill the void left by the Warped Tour whose last full summer run was in 2018, Rockstar Disrupt Festival could be just! Yes the festival is much smaller and not hitting as many cities as its predecessor however the artist lineup is on par as are the various vendors and pop-ups. Probably the biggest selling point for us was the fact that you could actually see all the acts on the bill if you chose to. Having only two stages made for a much less stressful day and ensured you could everything. This feature alone makes the tour stand out above others with a similar design. Sure the tour has to contend with some growing pains and the various first year hiccups however with those things aside if you are looking for a full day of diverse music where you can actually see everything then we highly recommend the Rockstar Disrupt Festival.

Festival Stage:

Sleeping With Sirens

Andy Black

Four Year Strong

Memphis May Fire

Trophy Eyes

Juliet Simms

Hyro The Hero

Main Stage:

Thrice

The Used

Circa Survive

The Story So Far

Atreyu

GWAR Announces Unveiling of Memorial Marker for Dave Brockie

At 2:00 PM on Friday, August 30th, 2019GWAR will unveil a monument to the band’s co-founder and longtime leader Dave Brockie, which will be set in Richmond, Virginia’s famed Hollywood Cemetery (412 S Cherry St, Richmond, VA). All are invited to the unveiling, and to a free party the next day, August 31st, at the GWARbar (217 W Clay St, Richmond, VA). 

The party will feature a performance by RAWG, the greatest GWAR tribute band of all time. Friday, August 30th marks what would have been Dave Brockie‘s 56th birthday. The erection of this monument has been a long time coming, and we are grateful and happy we can finally do this for Dave. 

We thank the many people who donated time and money to make this a reality. We hope the marker will provide a long-needed place for Brockie’s friends, family, and fans to pay their respects to this wonderful and deeply talented human being, and of course, to Dave’s famous creation; Oderus Urungus, who will always be remembered as one of the greatest frontmen in rock and roll history. 

Album Review: Soundgarden “Down On The Upside” Anniversary LP

“Down On The Upside” 35th Anniversary Vinyl

Soundgarden

AM Records

Producer: Soundgarden

Co-Producer: Adam Kasper

2 LP’s

Tracks: 16

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Soundgarden’s Platinum selling 1996 release “Down On The Upside” is the latest album from the bands catalog to be included in the Seattle natives 35 year Anniversary Collection. The third in a series of vinyl releases commemorating the bands career the 16 track, 2 LP set is being pressed on limited edition 180 gram colored vinyl and comes packaged in a full color, dual gatefold sleeve complete with album liner notes.

Though this is not the first time “Down On The Upside” has appeared on vinyl it is certainly the brightest. Right away listeners will notice the heavy weight, 180 gram, limited edition Orange and Purple marble pressings which play host to some of Sound Garden’s biggest hits of the mid 90’s. Listeners will obviously want to check out “Pretty Noose”, “Blow Up The Outside World” and “Burden In My Hand” but I also would recommend “Rhinosaur” and “Dusty” as well. Visually the release pulls out all the stops as the orange and purple vinyl feature subtle marble swirls which look really cool when spinning on your turntable. The gatefold packaging is also nicely done and is printed on heavy weight card stock fitting of a special release.

Though the album is nice to look at I found it to be pretty lax in the listening dept. The sound quality was ok but it was certainly dated and could have benefited from a remix and re-master. In 1997 the band released a greatest hits compilation including the songs “Karaoke” and “Bleed Together” which we outtakes from the “Down On The Upside” sessions however, neither of those songs were included here making for a big miss in my book. The last disappointment was the fact that no digital download codes were included thus making it slightly difficult to listen on the go. If you purchased a copy of this record upon its initial release then I say stick with that and skip over this re-release but, if this is an album that has been on your list to pick up now is a great time while it is available in a limited edition release.       

Track Listing:

1.) Pretty Noose

2.) Rhinosaur

3.) Zero Chance

4.) Dusty

5.) Ty Cobb

6.) Blow Up The Outside World

7.) Burden In My Hand

8.) Never Named

9.) Applebite

10.) Never The Machine Forever

11.) Tighter and Tighter

12.) No Attention

13.) Switch Opens

14.) Overfloater

15.) An Unkind

16.) Boot Camp

GWAR Announces Killer “Use Your Collusion” Fall Tour!

Featuring Support Acts Sacred Reich, Toxic Holocuast and Against The Grain

Human Scum!  Prepare your sacrificial offerings! The time has come for your Lords and Masters GWAR to announce their fall headline tour!  The “Use Your Collusion” tour kicks off September 12th in Norfolk, VA and will run through November 5th in Indianapolis, IN. A complete list of dates can be found below. Supporting GWAR will be  thrash metal stalwarts Sacred Reich, and Toxic Holocaust, along with Detroit rockers Against The Grain

Tickets and VIP Packages go on sale this Friday June 28th!

Watch a message from guitarist Pustulus MaximusHERE.

GWAR “Use Your Collusion” Tour W/ Sacred Reich, Toxic Holocaust and Against the Grain:

9/12: Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa*

9/13: Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre*

9/14: Chicago, IL @ “Riot Fest#

9/15: Sauget, IL @ Pop’s*

9/16: Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection

9/18: Detroit, MI @ The Majestic

9/19: Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall

9/20: Knoxville, TN @ The Mill & Mine

9/21: Jacksonville, NC @ The Tarheel

9/22: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade

9/23: Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall

9/24: Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor

9/25: Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live

9/27: Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life#

9/28: Greensboro, NC @ The Cone Denim Entertainment Center

9/29: Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live!

9/30: Toronto, ON @ Opera House

10/1: Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom

10/2: Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom

10/4: Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall

10/5: Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall

10/6: Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

10/8: Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave

10/9: Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s

10/10: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown

10/11: Minneapolis. MN @ Skyway Theatre

10/12: Kansas City, MO @ CrossroadsKC

10/13: Denver, CO @ Summit

10/15: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot

10/16: Reno, NV @ Virginia Street Brewhouse

10/17: San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom

10/18: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

10/19: Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory

10/20: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory

10/21: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO

10/23: Fresno, CA @ Tioga-Sequoia Brewery

10/24: Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco Theater

10/25: Garden Grove, CA @ Garden Amp

10/26: Las Vegas, NV @ Fremont Country Club

10/27: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee

10/28: Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater

10/30: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom

10/31: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live

11/1: Austin, TX @ Empire Garage

11/2: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live

11/4: Nashville, TN @ Exit/In11/5: Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue 

*No Toxic Holocaust

#Festival Performance 

For More Info Visit:http://www.gwar.net

Megadeth Forced To Cancel Tour

Fans of classic heavy metal got some bad news this week, as legendary Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine revealed that he’s battling cancer. The news couldn’t have come at a worse time for the band, who had big plans for a 35th-anniversary tour later this year, along with a special cruise, and a series of gigs that were dedicated to the 25th anniversary of their album ‘Youthanasia.’

Mustaine, 57 years old, took to the band’s official website and his personal social media accounts to share news of his diagnosis with devastated fans. Although the news has meant that almost all of the special events the band had lined up for later in the year have now been canceled, the iconic guitarist and vocalist is in an upbeat mood about his prognosis. He’s suffering from throat cancer – which has obvious implications for his ability to sing in future – but he assured fans that he’s already commenced treatment, and has a plan worked out with his doctors that offers a 90% survival rate. He closed his message by promising that Megadeth will be back playing live dates’ ASAP.’

Slowing down or taking breaks isn’t something that Megadeth or Mustaine do regularly. Although the band had a period of inactivity before reuniting in 2004, they’ve largely been on the road ever since their reformation, releasing new music on an almost annual basis at the same time as re-issuing special anniversary editions of their classic hits. Mustaine has been a big name in the thrash and metal world for even longer than his band has – he was in the original lineup of Metallica before being fired from the band after clashing with Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. Chief among Mustaine’s sins in Ulrich’s eyes was the charge of ‘trying to make Metallica sexy,’ although he’s never elaborated on what he meant by that comment. Mustaine has never forgiven Ulrich, who saw to it that Mustaine was essentially abandoned in an airport with all his gear at the end of a tour, although in the end, it was his ejection from Metallica which allowed him to forge his own musical legacy. Had he not been fired, the world of heavy metal may never have seen Megadeth at all – and a world without Megadeth doesn’t bear thinking about. Years later, Mustaine would go on to join Metallica on stage at Metallica’s own 30th-anniversary shows, although it’s generally believed that he and Ulrich still didn’t speak.

Prior to the announcement, Megadeth’s calendar for the year was full-on. A 35th-anniversary tour coincided with a special Halloween event, at which they planned to play their album ‘Youthanasia’ in full. All have now been canceled, although there are still two dates on the calendar. It would appear that – at least in some form – the band are still planning to play the ‘Rock in Rio’ event, and are also forging ahead with their ‘Megacruise,’ which is a heavy metal festival on board a luxury cruise liner.

While the idea of a band booking a cruise for their fans may seem strange, it’s been done before. Chris Jericho of the rock band ‘Fozzy’ successfully booked out a ‘rock and wrestling’ tour last year, which was so successful that it’s being repeated in 2019. Megadeth are no strangers to unconventional marketing ideas either – they’re one of only a handful of bands who have their own official Mobile Slots. The fictional band Spinal Tap were the first musical act to join the online casino world, although they’ve since been joined by Guns n Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and many more. Whether it’s inside a casino game or out on the high seas, Mustaine and his gang have always been keen to find new ways to reach their audience.

It remains to be seen what part the band will be able to play at ‘Rock in Rio,’ but their participation in the cruise wasn’t expected to be extensive. Megadeth was scheduled to play a headline set, but there were numerous other acts booked for the cruise including a Megadeth tribute act. They’d also promised that auditions would be held for a fan to play with the band, so it’s even possible that the rest of the band will be able to play, accompanied by a fan standing in for Mustaine on vocals. Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, Dragonforce, Overkill, Testament, and Queensryche have all been confirmed as performing, so fans who’ve already purchased tickets are unlikely to feel they’ve been short-changed. Many of the bands who feature on the cruise have already taken to social media to send Mustaine their best wishes.

To date, Megadeth has released fifteen studio albums, along with various special editions and live compilations. There had been rumors of the band returning to the studio later this year to put together their sixteenth album, with some of the work already being done. The new album didn’t have an official launch date, and it would now make sense to assume that it may be some time before they’re able to resume work on the project. Given Mustaine’s optimism regarding his condition, it’s to be hoped that his doctors caught the cancer at an early stage, and that it can be treated relatively easily, with as short a recovery time as possible.

Megadeth might be best known for ‘Countdown to Extinction,’ but despite the diagnosis, it seems Mustaine doesn’t feel like a clock has started ticking for him just yet. In his Instagram post, he mentioned that while he’s recovering, he’ll continue working on the new album in the studio with the rest of the band – he’ll be able to play guitar even if he temporarily isn’t able to lend his voice to the proceedings. We’re sure all music fans around the world will join us in wishing nothing but the very best for Mustaine, and we hope to see him tearing up a stage again in the very near future. Get well soon, Dave – we’re all looking forward to that new album!

Harry and the Potters Paul and Joe DeGeorge Talk About Their New Album “Lumos”

Wizard Rock originators Harry and the Potters have been performing their signature brand of magic infused rock since 2002. Consisting of brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge the duo have performed over 800 shows at various libraries, rock clubs, art spaces, bookstores, basements, and all ages’ venues all over the world. The band’s latest offering “Lumos” is the first studio album in 13 years to be released by the group and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with the brothers recently about its creation, the staying power of Harry Potter and the bands current tour.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us a little bit about the new album?

Paul DeGeorge: Despite not having released a new studio album in the last 13 years we have still been pretty active touring. We felt that if we were going to be able to continue to exist in this current political climate that it would be nice to have some songs in the set that reflect the current reality. Having never actually written substantially about the seventh Harry Potter book we felt this was a good opportunity to revisit that. In book seven things really come to the fore with Harry and his friends fighting against fascism and exclusion in the wizard world. It felt really relevant to us on that level and we wanted to bring that to our live shows.

Joe DeGeorge: We have a unique position to take a perspective on this as two Harry Potters commenting on our world which has direct parallels to the world we are living in now.

AL: I assume you wrote a lot of this new music more recently?

JD: We set aside some time specifically to write and record this record. Paul doesn’t live close by so it’s been harder the last few years to casually work together as a lot of our time when we are together is touring or visiting with family.

PD: We had set aside a few weeks to put things together for this as we did have some ideas going in but, it wasn’t until last year actually that we carved things out.

AL: Can you tell us about your tour which kicks off June 20th?

JD: We mostly will be hitting libraries much like we have in the past. I am really looking forward to getting out there as playing libraries is a big part of why we started this band. We could play for kids and have it be their first rock show. On this tour we are going to be hitting a bunch of new places both here in the states and in Canada so that should be fun.

PD: Accessibility has always been important to us. We didn’t just want to play for young people and their parents but we also wanted to reach those kids who felt excluded by an age restricted music scene that was 18 or 21+. Some cities are more inclusive however, by touring libraries we are performing in places which are meant for everybody.

AL: With your music being solely based around Harry Potter do you ever feel the need to step outside of that?

PD: Not for this band. We do have other musical projects that we are involved in so if we want to do something else we just start a different band. We have one band that all we sing about are clams. Specifically hard shell clams regional to the North-Eastern seaboard.

AL: With the last film being released in 2011 what do you feel contributes to the staying power/appeal of Harry Potter?  

JD: I think what is so impressive about these stories is that they have such a far reach. It has become a cultural touch stone for the generation of people who grew up reading the books. They are sharing these stories that affected them and how they were markers of their own coming of age with the next generation.

PD: The continued popularity doesn’t surprise me in the least. Look at Star Wars for instance. If you look at music there are lots of bands who continue to play in 2019 that first started 50 years ago and who are just as popular today as they were then. Despite the absence of actual new material I have seen an uptick in the corporate side Harry Potter such as the merchandise and the creation of the parks (which I think are great). These types of things have certainly helped keeps things going. A lot of our fans aren’t really interested in that side of things as we have our own unique crowd.

AL: You both have other projects that you work on. Can you tell us what you currently have going on with those?

JD: I play in a band called Down Town Boys which is sort of this leftist type punk band. Our last record come out in 2017 called “Cost of Living”. Paul owns and run a shop in Kansas with my wife called Wonder Fair that deals with art, art supplies and stationary.

AL: What do you feel is the most rewarding part of taking you music out on the road for people to experience?

PD: It’s a big opportunity to connect with people. It’s great to be able to be a meaning part in people lives. Playing to young kids is such an honor as for a lot of kids we will be their first concert so that’s really great and something we take very seriously.

For more info on the band visit www.Harryandthepotters.com  

CD Review: Baroness “Gold & Grey”

“Gold & Grey”

Baroness

Abraxan Hymns

Producer: David Fridmann

Tracks: 17

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Heavy Metal band Baroness returns with their fifth studio album titled “Gold & Grey”. The album which was released on June 14th is the follow to the bands popular 2015 release “Purple”. Featuring 17 brand new tracks from the Georgia based group and produced by David Fridmann “Gold & Grey” is the first release via the bands own Abraxan Hymns label. The release is also the first to feature guitarist Gina Gleason who joined the group in 2017 after the departure of Peter Adams.

Right from the start “Gold & Grey” showcases why Baroness is at the fore front of progressive heavy metal. With tracks like “Front Toward Enemy” and “I’m Already Gone” laying the foundation in the albums opening minutes with thick over driven guitars and singer John Baizley’s signature soaring vocals listeners are quickly immersed in a bevy of sonic goodness. As the album progresses so does the diverseness of texture and tones. Tracks like “Tourniquet” and “Blankets of Ash” feature spacey vocals and layered acoustic guitars while the songs “I’d Do Anything” and “Emmett-Radiating Light” feature piano rich sound scapes which seep deep in to your inner core making for a nice mixture of dark and light.   

The latest offering from Baroness takes listeners on a musical vacation that some may never want to come back from. Brimming over with emotional subject matter and robust instrumentation “Gold & Grey” is another notch in Baroness’s musical belt. The addition of guitarist Gina Gleason I feel has really taken the band to the next level. Not only does Gleason’s playing compliment the band nicely but so do her backing vocals which compliment Baizley’s leads. Despite “Gold & Grey” having a few too many slow moments for my liking the songs that weren’t balls to the wall rockers were still enjoyable making this an album I would certainly recommend checking out.

Track Listing:

1.) Front Toward Enemy

2.) I’m Already Gone

3.) Seasons

4.) Sevens

5.) Tourniquet

6.) Anchors Lament

7.) Throw Me an Anchor

8.) I’d Do Anything

9.) Blanket of Ash

10.) Emmett- Radiating Light

11.) Cold-Blooded Angels

12.) Crooked Mile

13.) Broken Halo

14.) Can Oscura

15.) Borderlines

16.) Assault on East falls

17.) Pale Sun

CD Review: Bad Religion “Age of Unreason”

“Age of Unreason”

Bad Religion

Epitaph

Producer: Carlos de la Garza

Tracks: 14

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Punk Rock God Fathers Bad Religion have just released their seventeenth studio album titled “Age of Unreason” The album is being released vie Epitaph Records and features 14 brand new tracks which were produced by Carlos de la Garza. This is the bands first release since 2013’s “True North” marking the longest gap between albums in the bands history.  “Age of Reason” is also the first album to feature guitarist Mike Dimkich and drummer Jamie Miller.

Bad Religion is a band that holds a special place in my musical heart as they were one of the first punk bands me and my friends really got into. 1994’s “Stranger Than Fiction” was often the soundtrack to our skateboard adventures as were many of the bands subsequent releases. Needless to say the bands activity has been on my radar for quite some time so when it was finally announced that “Age of Reason” was going to be released after a seven year recording hiatus the album quickly moved to the top of my listening queue. Tracks such as “My Sanity”, “The Age of Reason” and “The Old Regime” are classic BR through in through as all three feature the bands signature fast paced drumming, intermittent guitar soloing  topped off by vocalist Greg Graffin’s thought provoking lyrics. Songs such as “Lose Your Head”, “Candidate” and “Downfall” show the band stretching their legs a little bit as they experiment with a variety of beats and tones giving the album a nice balance of familiarity and freshness.
 
From beginning to end I found Bad Religion’s “Age of Reason” to be a fun and energetic listen. Even after a couple of consecutive listens  I still found myself going back and listening to some of the previously noted tracks as I just couldn’t get enough. Does the release have the rawness of albums like “Suffer” or “No Control”?  Not so much. However, the band, its fans and the world as a whole are in a completely different place than they were in the late eighties and early nineties. “Age of Reason” is classic Bad Religion with a modern twist which listeners new both new and old will enjoy time and time again.

TRACK LISTING

1.) Chaos From Within

2.) My Sanity

3.) Do The Paranoid Style

4.) The Approach

5.) Lose Your Head

6.) End of History

7.) The Age of Unreason

8.) Candidate

9.) Faces of Grief

10.) Old Regime

11.) Big Black Dog

12.) Downfall

13.) Since Now

14.) What Tomorrow Brings

Live Nation and SGE Present Rockstar Energy Drink DISRUPT FESTIVAL

Featuring The Used, Thrice, Circa Survive, Sum 41, The Story So Far, Atreyu, Sleeping With Sirens, Meg & Dia and more, in select cities

Tickets On Sale Now at https://rockstardisrupt.com/

Featuring some of the biggest bands in rockas well as the genre’s rising stars,The Rockstar Energy Drink DISRUPT Festival is a brand-new music experience making its debut across North America this summer.The touring festival will feature unique line-ups in each city, with performances varying from artists including The Used, Thrice, Circa Survive, Sum 41, The Story So Far, Atreyu, Sleeping With Sirens, Andy Black, Four Year Strong,Memphis May Fire, Trophy Eyes,Meg & Dia, Juliet Simms and Hyro The Hero.

Please visit rockstardisrupt.com for full line-up details by city. The 25-city rock roadshow of the summer will kick off June 21st in Dallas, TX at the Dos Equis Pavilion and make stops in Austin, Atlanta, Toronto, Denver and more,before wrapping July 28th in Albuquerque, NM at the Isleta Amphitheater.

Fans will be immersed into a full-day interactive experience where they will not only be able to see some of their favorite bands live, but will also be exposed to the latest in lifestyle brands and pop-up activations. Unlike most other festivals, there will only be one band performing at a time,avoiding conflicting set times and allowing fans to experience the full lineup in one rock-filled day.

The event will start on an outdoor stage on festival grounds with surrounding activations before shifting into an amphitheater setting around sundown allowing for larger stage productions as well as comfortable seating options for fans. Concert-goers will get the best of both worlds with a festival environment during the day as well as a high-production amphitheater concert at night from some of the most exciting live performers in the rock scene today.

Fans who bring any empty 16 ounce can of Rockstar Energy Drink to recycle at the main gate will have the opportunity to skip the line and be entered to win a signed festival guitar and exclusive meet & greet with festival headliners.

Energy Drink DISRUPT Festival Dates

June 21–Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion

June 22–Austin, TX @ Austin 360 Amphitheater

June 23–The Woodlands, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman

June 25–West Palm Beach, FL @ Coral Sky Amphitheatreat S. Florida Fairground

June 26–Tampa, FL @ MID FLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds

June 28–Atlanta, GA @ Cellairis Amphitheare at Lakewood

June 29–Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion

July 2–Syracuse, NY @ St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview

July 3–Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage

July 5–Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center

July 6–Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

July 7–Hartford, CT @ XFINITY Theatre

July 9–Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live

July 10–Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre

July 12–Tinley Park, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

July13–Thornville, OH @ Legend Valley

July 14–Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center

July 15–Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

July 17–Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre*

July 20–Irvine, CA @ Five Point Amphitheater presented by Mercury Insurance

July 23–Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheatre

July 24–Boise, ID @ Idaho Center Amphitheatre

July 26–Chula Vista, CA @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre

July 27–Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion

July 28–Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater

*not a Live Nation date DISRUPT is presented by Live Nation and Synergy Global Entertainment, Inc. (SGE).

Album Review: Rammstein “Untitled”

“Untitled”

Rammstein

Caroline

Producer: Olsen Involtini w/ Rammstein

2 LP’s

Tracks: 11

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Rammstein’s long awaited seventh album is finally here! The untitled release hit the shelves in the United States on May 17 via Caroline and consists of 11 new tracks produced by Olsen Involtini and the Rammstein. The album which features the singles “Radio” and “Deutschland” is the German based bands first studio album since 2009’s “LIEBE IST FÜR ALLE DA” which peaked at number 13 on the U.S Billboard 200.

After a 10 year recording hiatus German industrialist’s Rammstein are back with a hard hitting package of 11 new songs which certainly make up for the bands extended absence. It doesn’t matter you go for the CD, Digital Download or the 2 LP version (like us) you will not be disappointed. Prior to this release I had always gotten my Rammstein fix in CD or Digital forms. Given the nature of the music I had always felt it would sound best on these formats. With untitled though I decided to give the 2 LP version of the release a try. Needless to say I was not disappointed as the vinyl delivered! The heavy weight vinyl set at 45rpm’s gives the guitars and drums a tight, robust sound that mixed nicely with the electronic and vocal elements of the record. Tracks like “Radio”, “Sex” and, “Weit Weg” are all heavy hitters that will get you moving while more subdued tracks “Was Ich Liebe” and “Hallomann” paint eerie landscapes that could easily be the soundtrack to your favorite thriller or horror film.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and that is definitely my sentiment as it pertains to the latest offering from Rammstein. The band along with producer Olsen Involtini has put together a great sounding release that is diverse enough to allow for consecutive listens time and time again. The double LP version of the release offers a little something extra for fans as it included 6 beautiful prints of the band (one for each member) printed on high quality paper stock suitable for framing. The only negative I found was that the LP version did also contain a digital version thus making it impossible (without a second purchase) to obtain a mobile version of the album. If this is something you can do without I highly recommend the vinyl however, if you are on the go and don’t have a lot of time to sit down and listen to an album then the digital or CD version of the release will still provide you an equally enjoyable listen.  

Track Listing:

Side A

1.) Deutschland

2.) Radio

3.) Zeig Dich

Side B

1.) Auslander

2.) Sex

3.) Puppe

Side C

1.) Was Ich Liebe

2.) Diamant

3.) Weit Weg

Side D

1.) Tattoo

2.) Hallomann

BARONESS UNVEIL GOLD & GREY VIA NPR

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/10/729219388/first-listen-baroness-gold-grey

17-TRACK ALBUM ARRIVES THIS FRIDAY

IN-STORE TOUR UNDERWAY

Baroness’ highly-anticipated album, Gold & Grey, is streaming now via NPR (https://www.npr.org/2019/06/10/729219388/first-listen-baroness-gold-grey).

The 17-track release which arrives this Friday is described by NPR as “…Baroness has redigested every sound of the band’s career thus far and synthesized it into something greater. Gold & Grey is the sound of a band becoming a universe unto itself.” Mojodubbed the album “an epic beast,” Stereogum referred to it as “anthemic” and MetalSuckssaid the collection “perfectly encapsulates how Baroness excel at reaching shining peaks and descending into gloomy valleys.” Baroness have recently been featured on the covers of Decibel MagazineKerrang! and Loud!, while Revolver will debut a series of collectible covers later this month.

“This is the most clear representation of the artistic vision I have for the band that we’ve ever done,” explains singer/guitar player John Baizley. “Where Purple was me lyrically trying to work out how to adjust to a new normal, I think Gold & Grey is a more grown-up and more subtle collection of words that reflect how I am trying to deal with the longer term effects of having experienced so many terrible things. I choose to use the band as a place where I can take all of this stress, pain, anxiety, all these realities, and make them something good.”

Baroness is in the midst of a tour of Northeastern U.S. independent record stores, performing acoustically this evening at Philadelphia’s Creep Records, with a full band performance slated for Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on release date. A South American tour is slated for later this month, followed by both North American and European treks.

Tour dates:

June 10 Philadelphia, PA Creep Records

June 11 Fords, NJ Vintage Vinyl

June 12 Babylon, NY Looney Tunes

June 14 Brooklyn, NY Rough Trade

June 15 Poughkeepsie, NY Darkside Records

June 16 Boston, MA ONCE/Newbury Comics

June 19 Mexico City, Mexico MX at Lunario

June 21 Santiago, Chile Blondie

June 22 Buenos Aires, Argentina Uniclub

June 23 São Paulo, Brazil Fabrique Club

July 11 Lancaster, PA The Chameleon

July 12 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance

July 13 Huntington, NY The Paramount

July 14 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre

July 16 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom

July 17 Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls Theatre

July 19 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall

July 20 Detroit, MI The Majestic

July 21 Indianapolis, IN Deluxe at Old National Centre

July 23 Palatine, IL Durty Nellie’s

July 24 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s

July 26 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room

July 27 Lawrence, KS The Granada

July 28 St. Louis MO The Ready Room

July 30 Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom

July 31 Birmingham, AL Saturn

August 4 Baton Rouge, LA The Varsity Theatre

August 5 Atlanta, GA Buckhead Theatre

August 6 Tampa, FL The Orpheum

August 7 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room

August 9 Orlando, FL Plaza Live

August 10 Jacksonville, FL 1904 Music Hall

August 11 Charleston, SC The Music Farm

August 13 Charlotte, NC The Underground

August 14 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel

August 16 Richmond, VA The National

August 17 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Sound Stage

September 23 Newcastle, UK O2 Academy

September 24 Glasgow, UK O2 Academy

September 26 London, UK O2 Academy Brixton

September 28 Bristol, UK O2 Academy

September 30 Birmingham, UK O2 Academy

October 1 Manchester, UK O2 Apollo

October 3 Belfast, UK Ulster Hall

October 4 Dublin, IE Olympia Theatre

October 6 Paris, FR L’Olympia

October 7 Luxembourg, LU Rockhal

October 9 Madrid, ES La Riviera

October 10 Lisbon, PT Coliseum

October 12 Barcelona, ES Razzmatazz

October 14 Milan, IT Fabrique

October 29 Warsaw, PL Torwar Arena

October 31 Prague, CZ O2 Universum

November 1 Berlin, DE Mercedes-Benz Arena

November 3 Stuttgart, DE Schleyerhalle

November 5 Zurich, CH Hallenstadion

November 7 Frankfurt, DE Festhalle

November 8 Munich, DE Olympiahalle

November 10 Leipzig, DE Arena Leipzig

November 11 Hamburg, DE Barclaycard Arena

November 14 Cologne, DE Lanxess Arena

November 17 Vienna, AT Stadhalle

November 19 Amsterdam, NL Ziggo Dome

November 21 Antwerp, BE Lotto Arena

November 27 Helsinki, FI Hartwall Arena

November 29 Stockholm, SE Tele2 Arena

Photo courtesy of Baroness

Baroness is John Baizley (vocals/guitar), Gina Gleason (guitar), Nick Jost (bass) and Sebastian Thomson (drums). Baroness received a GRAMMY® Award nomination for the song “Shock Me” (from the 2015 album, Purple) in the “Best Metal Performance” category. Purple saw worldwide praise with Pitchfork saying it features “some of the biggest, strongest songs Baroness has ever written” and Mojo proclaiming “Baroness have delivered their masterpiece.” The album received numerous year end accolades including “Shock Me” at #10 on Entertainment Weekly’s Top 40 Songs of 2015, #6 on Pitchfork’sBest Metal Albums of 2015 and #7 on Rolling Stone’s 20 Best Metal Albums of 2015. The band’s catalog of studio recordings is: Gold & Grey (2019), Purple (2015), Yellow & Green(2012), Blue Record (2009), Red Album (2007), A Grey Sigh in a Flower Husk (Split LP, 2007), Second (EP, 2004) and First (EP, 2004).

NEW YEARS DAY ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES WITH GODSMACK

NEW ALBUM UNBREAKABLE OUT NOW

New Years Day has just announced a handful of tour dates with legendary rock band Godsmack. The female fronted rock band will join the tour as direct support starting on July 12th in Rochester and wrapping on July 26th in Uncasville. Before the Godsmack tour New Years Day will hit the road for their Unbreakable Headline Tour. For more information on the band’s upcoming tour dates and to purchase ticket, visit New Years Day’s website HERE

The band recently released the music video for their lead single, “Shut Up”, which was directed by Galileo Mondol (Raging Nation Films), and stars Sirius XM’s Jose Mangin. Watch the American Psycho inspired music video HERE

“Shut Up” is off of the band’s newest full-length album, Unbreakable, and is currently #15 on the Active Rock Mediabase chart, #17 on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart, and #19 on the Mainstream Rock Airplay chart. The track just surpassed 2.9 million total worldwide streamsand has been featured on “Rock Hard“, “Heavy Queens“, “New Metal Tracks“, “New Noise“, and “Fierce Femmes” playlists, along with Apple Music’s Breaking Hard Rock” playlist and Amazon Music’s “Rock Scene“, “Brand New Music“, and “Fresh Hard Rock” playlists. 

Unbreakable, the band’s most recent full-length album, was produced by Mitchell Marlow (All That Remains, In This Moment) and Scott Stevens (Halestorm, Shinedown & American Authors), is available for purchase and on all streaming platforms HERE

Formed in Orange County, Calif. by Ashley CostelloNew Years Day shook the scene with theirCentury Media debut, Victim to Villain, in 2013 featuring their breakout single “Angel Eyes.”The five-piece later cemented their place in the heavy music landscape with their Epidemic EP and critically-acclaimed Malevolence full-length in 2015, clocking more than 20 million views on YouTube. The band has since become the most visually-captivating group in modern rock, playing for millions of fans around the world, sharing the stage with Ozzy Osbourne, Halestorm,Nine Inch Nails, Escape The Fate, Hellyeah and Five Finger Death Punch while also headlining the longest-running touring festival, Vans Warped Tour, in 2017. As new challenges and new worlds beckon, the band released their most recent EP, Diary of a Creep, in January to pay tribute to the artists who shaped them thus far. The EP featured renditions of Garbage’s “Only Happy When It Rains,” New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle,” No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” and their original track “Disgust Me”. 

Unbreakable is a punch to the throat and the band’s best offering to date. This record is utterly flawless and will be noted as New Years Day’s official entry into the upper echelons of rock royalty.” – Outburn “The album is filled with well-written, memorable lyrics that put Costello’s newfound confidence prominently on display. Paired with some of the band’s heaviest riffs, Unbreakable finds the band making some of their most powerful and necessary music to date.” – Metal Insider 

“Sonically, Unbreakable is by far New Years Day’s best sounding album to date. Aside from the rattling of Alternative Metal that will have listeners banging their heads and thrashing all around, Unbreakable is a powerful album from top to bottom.” – Cryptic Rock“the best album from the band to date.” – Tattoo.com 

NEW YEARS DAY TOUR DATES

Headline Dates w/Diamante and Savage After Midnight

June 11 – Bakersfield, CA – 1933

June 13 – Fresno, CA – Strummers

June 14 – Anaheim, CA – Chain Reaction

June 16 – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick 

Headline Dates w/Rivals and Savage After Midnight

June 17 – Tucson, AZ – Club XS

June 20 – Austin, TX – Empire Garage

June 21 – Dallas, TX – Trees

June 23 – New Orleans, LA – Parish at House of Blues

June 25 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In

June 26 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel

June 28 – Syracuse, NY – Wescott Theater

June 29 – Cleveland, OH – The Agora

June 30 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest*

July 2 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club

July 4 – Montreal, QC – Café Campus^

July 5 – Toronto, ON – The Mod Club^

July 6 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom

July 7 – Scranton, PA – Stage West

July 9 – Columbus, OH – A&R Music Bar

July 10 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Stache

July 29 – Minneapolis, MN – Amsterdam**

August 3 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre**

August 5 – Sacramento, CA – Holy Diver** 

w/Godsmack

July 12 – Rochester, NY – Main Street Armory

July 13 – Detroit, MI – WRIFF Fest*

July 14 – Baltimore, MD – MECU Pavilion

July 16 – Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Union Amphitheatre

July 17 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheatre

July 19 – Portsmouth, VA – Union Bank & Transfer Pavilion

July 20 – Glens Falls, NY – Cool Insuring Arena

July 23 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre

July 24 – Oxon Hill, MD – MGM Nataional Harbor

July 26 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Casino

August 2 – Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheater*

September 27 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life*

October 12 – Manchester, TN – Exit 111 Festival* w/Halestorm

November 13 – Paris, France – Pleyel

November 14 – Cologne, Germany – Palladium

November 16 – Munich, Germany – Tonhalle

November 18 – Offenbach, Germany – Capitol

November 19 – Hamburg, Germany – Grobe Freiheit

November 20 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – AFAS Live

November 24 – Glasgow, United Kingdom – The SSE Hydro

November 25 – Nottingham, United Kingdom – Motorpoint arena

November 27 – Cardiff, United Kingdom -Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

November 28 – London, United Kingdom – Alexandra Palace

*festival dates

**no support

^Savage After Midnight only

SEBASTIAN BACH TO PLAY 1ST SKID ROW ALBUM IN ENTIRETY IN CELEBRATION OF 30TH ANNIVERSARY ON UPCOMING TOUR

CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF SKID ROW’S LANDMARK, SELF-TITLED DEBUT WITH U.S. TOUR TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY!

Revered vocal powerhouse SEBASTIAN BACH will celebrate the 30th anniversary of SKID ROW’s acclaimed, self-titled breakout debut album with a U.S. Tour where he’ll be performing the record in its entirety plus other songs from his celebrated catalog. The tour will kick off in Nashville, TN on August 30th and will end in Pinellas Park, FL on November 2nd. Tickets and VIP Meet N’ Greet upgrades go on sale Friday, June 7th at http://www.sebastianbach.com/

In a statement from Bach“In 1989 we put out the first record ‘Skid Row’. 30 years later, people still dig the music we created in a garage all those years ago. In commemoration of this 30th Anniversary digital deluxe release, my band is going to perform the first Skid Row record, in its entirety, on the road, LIVE this fall! It’s going to be fun to do something that has never been done live before! We are looking forward to seeing you all for this one time event! Note: This concert is 100% live in every way! All real! All the time! No tapes! No fakes! Come and see a real rock band while they still exist! We give it to you straight from the heart ‘cuz that’s the only way we know how! See you on the road!” 

Released in the winter of 1989, SKID ROW’s self-titled record is one of heavy rock’s most successful debut albums, landing in Billboard’s Top 10 and going on to sell millions of copies around the world.  The record transformed the band from local New Jersey quintet into a global phenomenon whose rebellious attitude and jaw-dropping talent set the bar and tone for rock music in the late 80’s and early 90’s. SKID ROW’s singles, “18 and Life,” “Youth Gone Wild” and “I Remember You,” are among the decade’s most recognizable rock anthems that still receive heavy airplay on radio stations across the country. The group again achieved commercial success with its second record Slave to the Grind (1991) certified multi-platinum, reaching number one on the Billboard 200.  

SEBASTIAN BACH is recognized globally as a vocalist, television star, actor and beyond! Bach hit the spotlight in the late 1980’s as the iconic frontman for mainstream heavy metal / hard rock act SKID ROW. Since his departure from Skid Row in the mid 90’s, SEBASTIAN BACH still remains one of the most relevant rock figures in pop culture today, with over 20 million records sold, three solo records, network television appearances on AXS.tv, MTV, VH1 and CMT, guest appearances on “Gilmore Girls,” “Trailer Park Boys,” “Californication” and other popular television shows, and several acting stints on and off Broadway. BACH’s last album, Give ‘Em Hell, impressively, landed on the U.S. Top Hard Rock and Top 200 Billboard charts, proving his prowess decades after his initial debut. BACH’s critically acclaimed Harper Collins memoir “18 And LIFE on Skid Row” was released December 6, 2016. 

SEBASTIAN BACH’s band is : 

Drums: Bobby Jarzombek (HALFORDFATES WARNING) 2005-2019

Bass: Rob DeLuca (UFOSPREAD EAGLE) 2005-2019

Guitar / Backing Vocals: Brent Woods (VINCE NEILCHEVY METAL) 2012-2019 

SEBASTIAN BACH Tour Dates:
Aug 29 – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
Aug 30 –  Anderson, SC – William A Floyd Amphitheater
Aug 31 –  Charlotte, NC – Amos Southend
Sep 2 – Huntsville, AL – Side Tracks Music Hall
Sep 3 – Columbus, OH – Skully’s
Sep 4 – Cleveland, OH – Phantasy
Sep 6 – Stafford Springs, CT – Palace Theater
Sep 7 – Block Island, RI – Ballard’s (afternoon show)
Sep 9 – Laconia, NH – Granite State Music Hall
Sep 10 – Hampton Beach, NH – Wally’s
Sep 11 – Portland, ME – Aura
Sep 13 – Harrison, OH – The Blue Note
Sep 14 – Flint, MI – The Machine Shop
Sep 15 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
Sep 18 – Kansasville, WI – 1175
Sep 19 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
Sep 20 – Lombard, IL – Brauer House
Sep 21 – Dubuque, IA – Q Casino
Sep 22 – Lexington, KY – Manchester Music Hall
Sep 25 – New York, NY – Sony Hall
Sep 26 – Harrisburg, PA – XL Live
Sep 27 – Lynchburg, VA – Phase 2
Sep 28 – Waterloo, NY – The Vine at Del Lago
Sep 29 – Warrendale, PA – Jergel’s
Oct 1 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
Oct 3 – Wichita, KS – WAVE
Oct 5 – Golden, CO – Dirty Dogs Roadhouse (Outdoor)
Oct 6 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
Oct 10 – Ramona, CA – Ramona Mainstage
Oct 11 – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go (Night 1)
Oct 12 – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go (Night 2)
Oct 17 – Roswell, NM – Liberty Theater
Oct 18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
Oct 19 – Waco, TX – The Backyard
Oct 20 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill
Oct 22 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Oct 23 – San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theater
Oct 24 – Corpus Christi, TX – House of Rock
Oct 25 – Lafayette, LA – The District
Oct 26 – Miramar Beach, FL – Village Door Music Hall
Oct 28 – Miami, FL – KISS Kruise Pre Party @ Double Tree
Oct 30 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock
Oct 31 – Savannah, GA – Victory North
Nov 1 – Ft. Myers, FL – The Ranch
Nov 2 – Pinellas Park, FL – England Brothers Park 

For More Information:http://www.sebastianbach.com/

Looking Ahead To Glastonbury Festival

It’s June, which can only mean one thing; after taking last year off, the largest and best-known music festival in the world is upon us. On Wednesday, June 26th, the doors of the famous festival will open, and they won’t close until the morning of Monday, July 1st. By that point, almost a thousand bands and performers will have played, an ocean of alcohol will have been drunk, memories will have been made and lost, and with a bit of luck, some music history will have been made.

Glastonbury is almost fifty years old now, having evolved from the Glastonbury Free Festival of 1971, and it’s had to change with the times over the course of those decades. Not everybody who used to attend the festival feels like all those changes have been good ones. You’ll hear plenty of old-timers say that the festival isn’t what it used to be, and even those who went as recently as ten years ago might be inclined to agree. After 2006, the festival stopped including the ‘Lost Vagueness’ field in its offering. The area was a crude and muddy Las Vegas-esque area with vaudeville shows, unofficial ‘weddings,’ small casinos for revelers to win and lose money and a boxing ring for when they couldn’t get on. It was popular with the more hedonistic of the festival’s visitors, and had entertained them for well over a decade.

Now, ‘Lost Vagueness’ is gone. Festival organizer Michael Eavis felt like it had outlived its purpose. He said that tastes were changing; people weren’t interested in faux-weddings, the boxing rings were sending out the wrong message, and the people visiting the casino or sister site were more likely to be playing online casino games these days anyway (along with the problematic issue of people bringing finite amounts of money to the site, and then losing them at the casino table). Those who enjoyed ‘Lost Vagueness’ disagreed, feeling that the closure was a sign that the festival was becoming ‘too corporate.

Keen to shake off that image, Emily Eavis (Michael’s daughter) and her fellow organizers have pushed the boat out with both the lineup and the new entertainment offerings this year to show that it still has just as much ‘edge’ as it’s always had. Here’s what to look out for if you’re attending.

The Headline Acts

Once upon a time, Glastonbury was all about bands and singers who played guitar. That’s not the case anymore. The star attraction on Friday night is British grime artist Stormzy, whose selection didn’t come without its fair share of controversy. Known for his infectiously catchy bars and his socially conscious lyrics, Stormzy may yet to prove more ‘in tune’ with the feeling and message of the festival than his doubters are willing to admit. This will be the largest stage and audience he’s ever likely to play in his life.

On Saturday, the festival has gone for a ‘safer’ bet by handing the headline slot to the Killers; an American indie rock band who have always sounded far more British than they do American anyway. It’s probably been a decade or more since they were at the peak of their powers or popularity, but they have enough hits in their locker to please an audience of 150,000. Look out for the inevitable enormous singalong to ‘Mr. Brightside.’

If the Killers are a few years past their peak, then we don’t even know where to begin with 80s goth rock act the Cure, who take the headline spot on the final night. There’s no doubting their iconic status, and everybody loves ‘Boys Don’t Cry,’ but what they have to offer a festival crowd of this size in 2019 remains to be seen. They’ll give it their best shot, and they’ve obviously been working up to their return to the spotlight; they’re about to release their first new album in ten years.

If the acts on the main stage aren’t for you, then you’ll find ‘the Other stage’ headlined by Tame Impala on Friday, The Chemical Brothers on Saturday, and Christine and the Queens on Sunday. Lauryn Hill, Liam Gallagher, Janet Jackson, Miley Cyrus, Kylie Minogue, Snow Patrol, and Billie Eilish all have prominent slots elsewhere on the bill.

The Heavy Metal Stage

Glastonbury has been accused of ignoring heavy metal music for years. It doesn’t anymore. During 2017, the festival’s first-ever hard rock stage was introduced in the Shangri-La area, and it was a sight to behold. The ‘stage’ was a small affair, made out of an old London tube train carriage, and was called ‘the Earache Express.’

This year, the same team who brought the Earache Express to you are back with a much larger stage which will be known simply as ‘Scum,’ and will be where the metal heads spend their entire weekend. If you’d like to go headbanging, you’ll find The Damned, Black Futures, Jamie Lenman and many more acts on the bill.

New Hidden Gem Stages

The entire dance music area of the festival is being revamped, with a new extended layout for the Sonic Stage, and a selection of smaller ‘hidden gem’ stages dotted around the area. The Sonic Stage is the largest of all the dance and electronic music stages at the festival, and features a lineup packed full of big hitting DJs from across the UK and the world at large.

The highlight of the hidden gem stages is the ‘No Average Groove’ stage, which presents us with a confusing description. On the one hand, it’s supposed to be playing the best in underground dance music, but on the other, it’s claimed that there will be no defined genre or style of music for the stage, and so anyone might turn up. Go, stay there for a while, tell your friends you saw Justin Timberlake play to 400 people there at 4 am, and dare them to prove you wrong.

A Full Sized Victorian Pier

For reasons that will only make sense if you’ve been drinking at a festival for four consecutive days, this year a full-sized wooden mock Victorian Pier is being built at the site. It’s going to weigh over 160 tonnes, will be sixty meters long, and spraypainted gold. You’ll be able to find it – as if it were even possible to miss such a thing – close to the Park Stage.

Nicknamed ‘Glastonbury on Sea,’ it’s claimed that you’ll be able to find everything here that you’d be able to find on a pier at a traditional British seaside resort. That includes a Ferris wheel, a fortune teller, an amusement arcade, and carnival shows.

What’s a pier doing in an area where there’s no sea? Who knows, but it wouldn’t be Glastonbury if it weren’t a little weird. Is it losing its edge? We don’t think so.

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