Concert Review: “From the Screen to Your Stereo” Tour

“From the Screen to Your Stereo Tour 2019”

New Found Glory, Hawthorne Heights, Free Throw, Jetty Bones

Friday, November 15th, 2019

Anthology, Rochester, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Long time pop-punk mainstays New Found Glory made a stop in the flour city on November 15th for a sold out show at the intimate Anthology music venue. Now in its second leg the “From the Screen to Your Stereo” tour billing also included Hawthorne Heights, Free Throw and Jetty Bones. The night was an energetic mix of early 2000’s nostalgia and a slew of entertaining covers from some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.

As the snaking line of concert goers quickly made their way out of the brisk Upstate New York weather and into the quaint concert venue known as Anthology, Ohio natives Jetty Bones took the stage to help warm everyone up. Lead vocalist Kelc Galluzzo and her band laid down a brief but effective 25 minute set packed with emotion and energy that set the bar high right out of the gate. Next to the stage were post-punk rockers Free Throw. The band led by vocalist/guitarist Cory Castro wasted little time as they performed a handful of tracks off their most recent studio “What’s Past Is Prologue” including “The Coroner’s Dilemma” and the melodic “Tail Whip, Struggle” which had the capacity crowd swaying back and fourth in unison. Hawthorne Heights would follow laying down an impressively tight set made up of songs from their newest studio album “Bad Frequencies” along with song from their impressive back catalog including  “Niki FM” and “Pens and Needles” before closing out their 30 minute set with the always formidable “Ohio Is For Lovers”.

Tour headliners New Found Glory would take the stage as if they were fired out of cannon opening their 22 song with their rendition of “This Is Me” from the third installment of their “From The Screen to Your Stereo” trilogy. Front-man Jordan Pundik despite sporting a large cast on his arms was in constant motion along with the rest of the band as they performed songs from their 20+ year career. Songs like “All Down Hill From Here” and “Dressed to Kill” brought back great memories and fit perfectly between covers of “Accidentally in Love” and “Let It Go” which was sung by Elsa herself. Ok maybe it wasn’t the real Elsa but Jordan still did an ok job. The band closed out the core of their set with the song “Hit or Miss” a track they have been performing live since as early as 1998. After a brief pause the band returned to the stage for a three set encore which consisted of the Huey Lewis hit “The Power of Love” along with NFG hits “Head On Collision” and “My Friends Over You”.

New Found Glory have been coming to Rochester since the late nineties heyday of the Water Street Music Hall and the cavernous Harro East Ballroom. The band has always put on solid performances leaving the audiences exhausted and this evening’s show was no exception. Even injuries and frigid weather couldn’t keep the band down as they played to the sold out crowd like the season pro’s they are. The addition of former Yellowcard front-man Ryan Key on guitars and keyboards has been a great addition to the band giving them an extra sonic edge that had been missing for a brief period. With just a few shows left remaining on this tour run you will definitely want to catch the show if it is coming to your area.  

Free Throw Set List:

1.) The Coroner’s Dilemma

2.) Good Job Champ

3.) Randy, I Am the Liquor

4.) Tail Whip, Struggle

5.) Tongue Tied

6.) Better Have Burn Heal

7.) Two Beers In  

Hawthorne Heights Set List:

1.) Niki FM

2.) Where Can I Stab Myself in the Ears?

3.) Crimson Sand

4.) Pens and Needles

5.) The Transition

6.) Saying Sorry

7.) Just Another Ghost

8.) Ohio Is For Lovers

New Found Glory Set List:

1.) This Is Me

2.) Understatement

3.) Truth of My Youth

4.) Accidentally in Love

5.) All Downhill From Here

6.) Better off Dead

7.) Forget My Name

8.) Listen to Your Friends

9.) Let it Go

10.) Something I Call Personality

11.) King of Wishful Thinking

12.) At Least I’m Known for Something

13.) Kiss Me

14.) A Thousand Years

15.) Failure’s Not Flattering

16.) Dressed to Kill

17.) Vicious Love

18.) Iris

19.) Hit or Miss

Encore:

20.) The Power of Love

21.) Head On Collision

22.) My Friends Over You  

Concert Review: Hugh Jackman – The Man. The Music. The Show.

 

  • HUGH JACKMAN – THE MAN, THE MUSIC.  THE SHOW.
  • The United Center – Chicago, Illinois
  • October 11, 2019

Most people know Hugh Jackman as the claw sprouting X-man known as Wolverine.  And if that’s all they know him as, shame on them.  True fans know him as the Oscar-nominated, Tony Award winning actor whose been singing and dancing for years.  And it was those fans that were in attendance at the United Center in Chicago as Jackman continues his very successful tour.

The show kicked off with a rousing performance of “The Greatest Show,” followed by “Come Alive,” both from the very popular film “The Greatest Showman.”  While performing, Jackman noticed a fan holding up a sign stating it was her birthday.  He very graciously bent down to give her a hug as well as take a selfie with her.  He then noted that it was technically his birthday already in Australia (he turned 51 on October 12).  While addressing the audience he noticed a young boy down below in the floor audience who was dressed up like Jackman in “The Greatest Showman.”  He climbed off the stage to say hello to the boy and received a huge hug from the boy.  Returning to the stage, he explained how his first stage musical was “Beauty and the Beast,” then proceeded to perform the song “Gaston.”

He shared some information about his wife of 23 years and then sat down at the piano to play (and sing) “All the Way.”  After a medley saluting New York City he told a story about how he had worked on “The Greatest Showman” for eight years before it was made.  He also noted how there had been multiple workshops for the film and that Keala Settle had participated in all of them.  He then introduced Ms. Settle, who pretty much brought the house down with a rousing rendition of “This is Me.”  After performing a song from her upcoming album, Jackman returned to the stage and closed the first act with a few numbers from “Les Miserables,” accompanied by an enthusiastic group of singers and dancers.

The second act opened with a clip of Jackman receiving the Tony Award for his portrayal of songwriter and performer Peter Allen in “The Boy from Oz.”  Jackman took to the stage AS Peter Allen and sang a few of the songs Allen had written/co-written in his career.    The amazing dancing continued as he performed a song – “A Million Dreams” – which included sign language which was part of the choreography.  Between numbers, Jackman continually told great stories and would occasionally wander into the audience to greet concert goers.  At one point, he addressed the audience as honestly as I’ve ever head a performer, thanking all in attendance for not only supporting him but for taking the tine and spending the money to do so.  This is a man who not only appreciates his fans but goes out of his way to let him know so.

A couple of Aboriginal songs, complete with Didgeradoos helped close the show, along with Jackman doing a moving version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  All in all, it was an amazing night with an amazing talent!

Mr. Jackman’s tour is continuing throughout North America.  To see if he’s coming to your town, click HERE!

SET LIST

The Greatest Show, Come Alive, Gaston, All the Way, New York, New York/On Broadway/Empire State of Mind, This is Me, Harder, Valjean’s Soliloquy/I Dreamed a Dream/One Day More, Not the Boy Next Door, Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)/Don’t Cry Out Loud/ I Honestly Love You/ Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on Stage/ I Go to Rio, Tenterfield Saddler, A Million Dreams, Luck Be a Lady/ Singin’ in he Rain/ I Got Rhythm/Steppin’ Out With My Baby/ Sing Sing Sing, 42nd Street/Thunderstruck, Art Song, Inhibition, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, From Now On, Once Before I Go

 

 

 

 

 

Concert Review: “The Beatles – White Album 50th Anniversary Tribute

  • A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES WHITE ALBUM
  • Kauffman Center For the Performing Arts – Kansas City, Missouri
  • October 3, 2019

 

It’s often said of a great actor “I’d pay to watch him read the phone book.”  Well, this evening in Kansas City, I saw musicians who’d I pay to SING the phonebook.

Imagine having the opportunity to see these people in concert:  Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Mickey Dolenz, Joey Molland from Badfinger and Jason Scheff from Chicago.  Now imagine seeing all of the on stage at once, which is exactly what I did this evening at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City.

They hit the stage, along with a talented group of musicians, to help pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary of an album simply titled THE BEATLES but known to fans all over the world as “the White Album.”  Great musicians performing great songs.  How can you lose?

There are 30 songs on the White Album, and, while not all of them are represented, the ones that are sound amazing.  Like the album, the show opened with Dolenz singing “Back in the U.S.S.R.”  Even at age 74, Dolenz filled the auditorium with one of the most recognizable voices in music history.  I caught the Monkees when they toured in 1986 and Mickey was the indisputable ring leader.  Nothing has changed.  It’s obvious he’s here to have fun and you can’t help but indulge him.  Rundgren, who I’ve been a fan of since he was in the band Utopia – AND WHO IS CRIMINALLY NOT IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME – spelled Dolenz on lead vocals with “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey,” pointing at the former Monkee while he sang.

After a few more songs, Dolenz announced that the audience was in for a special treat, as each of the main band members would also be performing a couple of their own hits.  He kicked this portion of the show off with “I’m a Believer,” followed by “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”  Then it was Molland’s turn and he entertained with a couple of Badfinger hits – “Baby Blue” and “No Matter What.”  Scheff, who very capably replaced Peter Cetera when the latter left the band Chicago, took center stage next with a mellowing version of “After All That We’ve Been Through” before switching gears into a rousing “25 or 6 to 4.”  It was then Rundgren’s turn.  Did I mention that, despite four decades in the music business and dozens of hit albums produced Todd Rundgren is NOT in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  He began his mini-set with “I Saw the Light” and added “Hello, It’s Me.”  That song is almost 50 years old but I sing it at the top of my voice every time I hear it, and tonight was no exception.  Thankfully the rest of the audience joined me.  Cross finished the mini solo concert with his hits “Sailing” and “Ride Like the Wind.”  A few more Beatles tunes and it was intermission time.

Rundgren, Cross and Dolenz

The show resumed with Cross alone on stage and he began the second act with a beautiful version of “Blackbird.”  The rest of the show was a constant barrage of Beatles song after song, each musically impeccable and perfectly sung.  In the second act, Rundgren began having fun.  He donned a couple of different outfits for a couple of songs, handing out flowers to the audience during “Sexy Sadie” and taking aim at the audience with an over-sized squirt gun while dressed as  hunter during “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill.”  Dolenz also had some fun with the audience, informing us that we were so great the band decided to also perform the entire “Abbey Road” album.  As the band played the opening riffs to “Come Together” I thought he might be serious.  Sadly, he wasn’t, though he joked that if they did play it he’d definitely need to be put into intensive care  The highlight of the show, to me, was Rundgren’s  kick-ass rendition of “Helter Skelter,” which earned him a much deserved standing ovation.  I did mention that Todd Rundgren is NOT in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, didn’t I?

To sum it up, it was an amazing night of music played by an amazing group of musicians.  If you’re a fan of the Beatles, or any of the musicians on the bill, I urge you to see this show when it’s in your town!

SET LIST:  Back in the U.S.S.R., Dear Prudence, Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey, Martha My Dear, Yer Blues, I’m a Believer, Pleasant Valley Sunday, Baby Blue, No Matter What, After All That We’ve Been Through, 25 or 6 to 4, I Saw the Light, Hello, It’s Me, Sailing, Ride Like the Wind, Honey Pie, Why Don’t We Do It In the Road?, While My Guitar Gently Sleeps, Blackbird, I Will, Julia, Mother Nature’s Son, Rocky Raccoon, Revolution 1, Sexy Sadie, I’m So Tired, Happiness is a Warm Gun, The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, Piggies, Glass Onion, Helter Skelter, Come Together (opening), Birthday.  ENCORE:  Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Upcoming Concert Dates

Oct 5 – Beverly, MA – Cabot Theater

Oct 6 – Concord, NH – Capitol Center For The Arts

Oct 7 – Orono, ME – Collins Center For The Arts

Oct 8 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse

Oct 10 – Staten Island, NY – St. George Theater

Oct 11 – Boston, MA – Berklee PAC

Oct 12 – Westbury, NY – Theatre @ Westbury

Oct 13 – Morristown, NJ – Mayo PAC

Oct 15 – Glenside, PA – Keswick Theatre

Oct 17 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theater

Oct 18 – New London, CT – Garde Arts Center

Oct 20 – Washington, DC – Warner Theatre

 

Concert Review: The Aquabats! “Holy Guacamole Tour”, Buffalo, NY

“Holy Guacamole Tour”

The Aquabats!, Koo Koo Kangaroo, MC Lars

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY

Our score 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Aquabats! Along with special guests Koo Koo Kangaroo and MC Lars made a stop at the quant Town Ballroom in Buffalo, NY on September 14th as part of their current “Holy Guacamole Tour”.  The family friendly evening was over flowing with energy and laughs as all three groups incorporated crowd participation into their sets making for a truly unique and unforgettable evening.

The cartoon drawing, YouTube creating rapper know as MC Lars would kick off the evening’s festivities with a set of hip-hop infused punk rock featuring songs from all five of the rappers releases. Songs like “Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock” and “Mr.Raven” incorporated crowd participation call and answer sections with the latter featuring an accompaniment from one lucky young concert attendee who rapped alongside the artist. Easily the most impressive part of the set was when the rapper asked for audience members to hold up random items which were then incorporated into a hysterical off the cuff free style rap.  Dance-pop duo Koo Koo Kangaroo would take the stage next for an energetic set of laughable, dance inducing songs that had the entire venue smiling and gyrating. The Minnesota natives joked with the crowd in between songs like “Dinosaur Stomp”, “Fanny Pack” and “Unibrow” and at several points during the set the duo left the stage to dance and further involve the audience in their laughable performance.

The Aquabats! Would hit the stage next kicking off their set with the song “The Shark Fighter” from the group’s 2011 album “Hi-Fi Soup”. Giant inflatable sharks were tossed back and forth between the stage and crowd as everyone within reach took turns helping their costume clad heroes take out the amphibious baddies. As the night progressed the band who had been absent from Buffalo for quite some time made it up to the crowd with songs like “Red Sweater!”, “Hey Homies!” and the theme from the groups popular television/YouTube series “The Aquabats! Super Show! Theme Song”. Probably my favorite part of the set was during the song “Pizza Day!” when the MC Bat Commander instructed concert goers to return two of the large inflatable pizza’s which had been floating around the crowd to the front of the stage. While this was taking place the Commander brought up two very excited youngsters and once the pizza was in place the youth were thrown on to said pizzas and then passed around overhead as the band played the remainder of the song. You don’t see that every day! After several more songs the band would leave the stage at the close of “Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates!” only to return after a brief pause to perform their break out hit “Super Rad!”, Also included in the encore was a cover of The Outfields “Your Love” and another Aquabats! fan favorite “Pool Party”.

Needless to say the whole night was a blast. It was great seeing kids and adults of all ages have fun while singing and dancing. Equally enjoyable was the level of interaction that each artist brought to their sets which really made the audience feel like they too were part of the show. The “Holy Guacamole Tour” runs through November so there is still plenty of time to catch one of these shows. Take the whole family you won’t be disappointed!

Aqua Bats Set List:

1.) The Shark Fighter!

2.) Cat With 2 Heads!

3.) Red Sweater!

4.) Martian Girl!

5.) Pizza Day!

6.) The Aquabats! Super Show! Theme Song

7.) Hey Homies!

8.) In My Dreams!

9.) Hot Summer Nights (Won’t Last Forever)!

10.) Fashion Zombies!

11.) Burger Rain!

12.) Look At Me, I’m a Winner!

13.) Caption Hampton and the Midget Pirates!

Encore:

14.) Super Rad!

15.) Your Love

16.) Pool Party!

 

 

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Concert Review: Kiss “End of The Road” Syracuse, NY

End of the Road Tour 2019

Kiss

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

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

Our score 4 out of 5 stars

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Kiss brought their bombastic “End of the Road” tour to the lake side St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater in Syracuse, NY on August 27th to perform to a near capacity crowd for what very well could have been the last time due to the band announcing earlier in the year that this would be their final tour. With the annual NYS Fair taking place in the background there was already plenty of excitement in the air which the band surely was set to capitalize on.

As the scenic amphitheater quickly began to fill up renowned performance painter David Garibaldi would take the stage to showcase his unique style of splash painting back by remixed version of notable rock tracks which coincided with his subject. Garibaldi painted 3 works including one of Jimi Hendrix and of course one of Kiss complete with the shows location. A painter certainly is not the most traditional of opening acts (a fact which had a lot of concert goers scratching their heads) but given Paul Stanley’s foray into painting over the last few years there was I guess some logic to it. With the giant black and silver Kiss curtain already in place it was only a matter of minutes before it would be dropped making way for the hottest band in the land. As the opening notes of “Detroit Rock City” blasted through the PA the band descended from the roof on brightly lit platforms flanked by numerous backing displays which adorned the entire stage. The veteran rockers wasted no time launching into their catalog as they ripped through classics such as “Shout It Out Loud” and “Deuce” before breaking things up with a newer track “Say Yeah” from the groups 2009 release “Sonic Boom”.

As the evening progressed fans were treated to everything they have come to love about make-up clad band including plenty of fire, explosions, and over the top stage theatrics which included a trip in to the audience via an elaborate flying rig by Paul Stanley for the songs “Love Gun” and “I Was Made For Loving You”. After a brief exit from the stage following the closing notes of “Black Diamond” drummer Eric Singer would reappear for his version of “Beth” which he performed sitting behind a sparkle/mirror encrusted piano. Following the closing of the ballad the full band would return for two more songs including “Rock ‘N’ Roll All Nite” which featured plenty of red and white confetti that in a matter of seconds had nearly the entire crowd covered while they sang along to probably Kiss’s most well know song.  

If this truly is the last time we will see Kiss then the show the band put on for Syracuse, NY was a fitting send off as the band hardly missed a beat. Of course it would have been great to see the band perform with original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss as well as non-makeup era guitarist Bruce Kulick but sadly that just wasn’t in the cards for this tour. With these three former members not being present for this tour could that possibly leave the door open for future Kiss works? Maybe,  and as we have learned from the bands past you just never know however, if the band does stay true to their word then you owe it to yourself to make it to one of these shows as no other band is out there putting on a show of this magnitude especially one with 40 plus years of history.

Set List:

1.) Detroit Rock City

2.) Shout It Out Loud

3.) Deuce

4.) Say Yeah

5.) I Love It Loud

6.) Heaven’s On Fire

7.) War Machine

8.) Lick it Up

9.) Calling Dr. Love

10.) 100,000 Year

11.) Cold Gin

12.) God of Thunder

13.) Psycho Circus

14.) Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll

15.) Love Gun

16.) I Was Made For Lovin’ You

17.) Black Diamond

Encore:

18.) Beth

19.) Crazy Crazy Nights

20.) Rock and Roll All Nite

 

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Kansas City Concert Review: “Weird Al” Yankovic – STRINGS ATTACHED

  • “Weird Al” Yankovic – Strings Attached Tour
  • August 31, 2019
  • Starlight Theater, Kansas City, Missouri

PHOTOS BY DAN LYBARGER

FINALLY!!

Like many other people, I have a musical bucket list. This is a list of people or groups I MUST see before I die. Over the past few years I’ve been able to cross a few of them off my list. Van Morrison? Check. Tom Petty? Check – and rest in peace. Santana? Check. But tonight I finally crossed of one that has been on my list for almost 40 years when I took in the amazing “Weird Al” Yankovic!

It was September 14, 1980. Two days before my 20th birthday. That night, while listening to Dr. Demento’s radio show, he had a guest in studio that wanted to play a song of his. The guest was “Weird Al” and the song was Another One Rides the Bus, a clever parody of Queen’s current hit Another One Bites the Dust. Something about Al – his personality oozed through my radio – instantly endeared him to me, and I listened regularly, hoping to catch one of Al’s new ditties.

On November 24, 1991 I had planned on seeing him when he came to Baltimore. He had made an appearance at a local record store – wow, I just dated myself – and very graciously signed two of my album. For some reason, if memory serves me, the show was cancelled or moved to another date. The only thing I can remember from that date is that this was the day Freddie Mercury and KISS drummer Eric Carr died. Almost three decades later, I finally fulfilled my plan.

The name of the tour – “Strings Attached” – is to inform you that not only is Al traveling with his band, but he’s bringing a 41-piece orchestra with him. Led by conductor Eric Roth, the orchestra began the night with some classic movie themes, beginning with John Williams’ “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” As I listened in rapt attention, I couldn’t help but notice one of the violinists having the time of his life playing the music. While many of the orchestra members sat still and stiff, he would move his head to the music and it was obvious that he was that rare person who really loves his job! After a few more themes, finishing with The Throne Room and End Title music from “Star Wars,” there was a 20 minute break before Al and his band joined the orchestra on stage.

I love this guy!!

Dressed in his customary loud Hawaiian shirt, the show began with a quick medley of I Lost on Jeopardy, I Love Rocky Road and Like a Surgeon. He then went into a photo-filled version of The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota. As the show progressed, Al would often play along with the band and the audience. During one break, as the band played a chair was brought out for him to sit in. His brow was then mopped and a glass of wine brought to him. A touching version of You Don’t Love Me Anymore was prefaced by him thanking the Martin Guitar Company for replacing the guitar that was inadvertently broken during their last gig. When the song was over the guitar, which Al never played, was shattered in anger ala Pete Townsend.

As the night progressed, the band also got into the act, sporting everything from Viking Helmets to an impressive collection of “Star Wars” outfits. In between the audience was treated to several videos. One was a compilation of many of the television programs and films Yankovic has appeared in or been mentioned on, including “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons,” 30 Rock” and “The Naked Gun.” Their was also a faux trailer for a film called “WEIRD,” which featured Aaron Paul as “Weird Al.” He also did a nice walk through the audience and had a member of the audience electrify the show with a rousing Oboe solo!

Bass player Steve Jay kept the beat all night.

One thing that I really noticed is that Al Yankovic, weird or not, has an amazing voice. There were a couple of times when he held prolonged notes that made me think if the funny song thing didn’t work out he’d be fronting a metal band somewhere.

The show ended in an amazing “Star Wars” style, with Al and the band dressed as everyone from Darth Vader to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Unfortunately we were only allowed to take photos during the first three songs of the evening so we can’t share the images with you. Just use your imagination.

When the show was over I headed to my car, humming Another One Rides the Bus, smiling and thinking to myself one thing. FINALLY!!

SET LIST: The Orchestra – Main titles from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Superman: the Movie.” The Throne Room/End Title from “Star Wars.”

“Weird Al” with Orchestra – I Lost on Jeopardy/I Love Rocky Road/Like a Surgeon (Medley), The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota, Word Crimes, Jurassic Park, Don’t Download this Song, Weasel Stomping Day, You Don’t Love Me Anymore, Harvey the Wonder Hamster, Jackson Park Express, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Dare to Be Stupid, White and Nerdy, Amish Paradise. ENCORE: The Saga Continues, Yoda.

Concert Review: Bad Religion, Rochester, NY

“Age of Unreason Tour 2019”

Bad Religion, The Lawrence Arms
Tuesday, August 6h, 2019
Anthology, Rochester, NY

Our score: 5 out of 5 stars

Bad Religion made a stop at Anthology in Rochester, NY on August 6th as part of the bands current “Age of Unreason” tour.  Along with the elder statesmen of punk were special guest The Lawrence Arms. Despite a thirty year lapse since the bands last performance in the Flour City both groups brought their A game to the sold out crowd who packed the gills of the intimate venue on a warm Tuesday night.

Epitaph label mates The Lawrence Arms opened the evening’s festivities promptly at 8pm and as the venue quickly filled to capacity the three piece group from Chicago, IL held court treating fans to their windy city brand of grit infused punk rock. Bassist/vocalist Brendan Kelly jokingly traded barbs with the audience between songs and at one point noted that this was the bands first time performing in Rochester. The band sounded great as it played songs from it six album catalog including a handful from their most recent release 2014’s “Metropole” before leaving the stage to a chant of one more song from the ever growing crowd.

After a somewhat timely change over Bad Religion would take to the stage basked in powerful, dark blue lighting. The band opened their set with the edgy “Them and Us” from the 1996 album “The Grey Race”. Vocalist Greg Graffin and the rest of the band consisting of Jay Bentley, Brian Baker, Mike Dimkich and drummer Jamie Miller blasted through a 27 song set full of classic BR songs like “Stranger Than Fiction”, “Atomic Garden”, Suffer” and “21st Century (Digital Boy)” and newer songs like “Chaos From Within”, “My Sanity” and “Do The Paranoid Style” all of which are from the bands recently released studio album “Age of Unreason”.

Bad Religion certainly made up for their long absence in Rochester as the bands high energy 27 song set fed the need of both long time fans and fellow new comers (some of whom were as young as 12 years old). Anthology’s medium sized venue played a near perfect host for the humble punk veterans who seemed to really appreciate the vibe and energy they received in return for their stellar performance. Bad Religion will be on tour in the States through October so if the band is coming to your area you owe it to yourself to be there!

Bad Religion Set List:

1.) Them and us

2.) End of History

3.) Fuck You

4.) Stranger Than Fiction

5.) The Dichotomy

6.) Recipe for Hate

7.) Chaos From Within

8.) Los Angeles Is Burning

9.) The Handshake

10.) My Sanity

11.) Atomic Garden

12.) Lose Your Head

13.) Suffer

14.) No Control

15.) Against the Grain

16.) Skyscraper

17.) Anesthesia

18.) I Want to Conquer the World

19.) 21st Century (Digital Boy)

20.) Generator

21.) The New Dark Ages

22.) You

23.) Do The Paranoid Style

24.) Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell

25.) Sorrow

Encore

26.) Infected

27.) American Jesus

Concert Review: “Summer Slaughter” Syracuse, NY

“2019 Summer Slaughter”

Cattle Decapitation, Carnifex, The Faceless, Rivers of Nihil, Nekrogoblikon, Lorna Shore, Brand of Sacrifice
Friday, July 26th, 2018
The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY

Our score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The 13th annual Summer Slaughter tour made a stop at the Westcott Theater in Syracuse, NY on July 26th as part of the tours 23 stop run. Being billed as “the most extreme tour of the year” we were anxious to see if this year’s package which is headlined by Cattle Decapitation, Carnifex, The Faceless and Rivers of Nihil could deliver an experience worthy of the aforementioned moniker.

As the vintage doors of the Westcott Theater came squeaking open on fairly normal Upstate, NY summer afternoon something stuck out amidst the horde of black t-shirt wearing metal heads. No it was not the over the top graphics or the hard to read fonts which adorned said shirts instead it was a unique sense of camaraderie that seemed to occur between both bands and fans as they mixed and mingled cohesively through out the day long event which made for a nice friendly gathering of metal lovers.

Opening up the tour billing was Brand of Sacrifice who performed a spattering of tracks from their most recent album “God Hand” to the incoming crowd. New Jersey’s Lorna Shore would follow promptly not allowing the energy dip too low with a high impact thirty minute set. Goblin-Metal forefathers Nekrogoblikon would hit the stage next complete with the bands loveable mascot John Goblikon who leaped and bounded across the stage as the band shredded through songs like “We Need a Gimmick”, “Dressed As Goblins”  and  “Powercore”.  The saxophone laden River of Nihil was up next performing songs from their latest offering “Where Owls Know My Name” which filled the dank theater with jazz infused metal. The Faceless would be up next banging out a somewhat lack luster set which featured very little movement from the band themselves. Carnifex took the stage next and singlehandedly brought the energy back and to a whole new level. Makeup clad front man Scott Ian Lewis worked the stage like a maniacal mad man while the rest of the band did their duty of laying down a thunderous, circle pit ensuing dirge that commanded attendees attention. Closing out the 8 plus hour day was tour headliner Cattle Decapitation who despite the dwindling crowd size hit the stage running blasting through songs like “The Prophets of Lost”, “Times Cruel Curtain” and “Pacific Grim” before leaving the stage at a prompt 11 pm.

With our ears ringing and our brains rattled we made our way out of the venue while trying to process just what our senses were put through over the course of the day. What we were able to piece together is this. Summer Slaughter is not for the faint of heart or for the casual death/extreme metal listener and, this tour could very well be as the banner boast’s the most “Extreme” musical offering this summer. With the tour running through mid August you still have time to catch a show and experience this for yourself, If you dare.

Concert Review: Goo Goo Dolls & Train – Tampa, FL

First of all, a little about me.  I love theater, animals and my friends and family.  I’m 12 years old and this is the first major concert I ever went to.  On top of that, it was three acts! So for a first concert, this one was AMAZING!!! Allen Stone opened with a short set and then Goo Goo Dolls came on.  I got to hear all my favorites from Sirius XM. “Black Balloons” had dozens of black balloons bouncing around the audience, which was a lot of fun. I got to hit a few.  “Slide” was really good and the first encore was “Iris” which was epic!

After a short intermission, Train hit the stage. The sound of a train filled the room and they started right into “Calling all Angels”.  I loved this opening and it was my favorite non-song part. “50 ways to Say Goodbye” kicked off next with clips from the music video backing them up. It was awesome. In the middle of the set, Bruises was performed with Allen Stone taking on the female part, which Patrick Monahan said “wasn’t awkward at all”!  THEN, the lead guitarist, who was a Tampa native, performed “Under Pressure” with Patrick and his bass player.  It was my Dad’s favorite moment of the night and I loved it too. “Play that song” was my absolute favorite and I sang it all the way home. 

I loved the lights, the constant video and effects above the band. This was a daddy daughter date with my Dad and he totally surprised me.  The only song I missed was “Mermaid” which it doesn’t seem like they play much anymore. Train ended the night with “Drops of Jupiter” which was a great song for a great night.

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/train/2019/midflorida-credit-union-amphitheatre-tampa-fl-339ea80d.html

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/goo-goo-dolls/2019/midflorida-credit-union-amphitheatre-tampa-fl-239ea803.html

Concert Review: New‎ Kids‎ on‎ The‎ Block‎ Mixtape‎ Tour – Amway Center, Orlando FL

When‎ we‎ heard‎ New‎ Kids‎ were‎ touring‎ with‎ the‎ likes‎ of‎ Salt-N-Pepa,‎ Debbie‎ Gibson,‎ Tiffany‎ and‎ Naughty‎ By‎ Nature,‎ we‎ just‎ new‎ we‎ had‎ to‎ be‎ there!‎ This‎ was‎ the‎ show‎ that‎ all‎ girls,‎ and‎ boys,‎ who‎ grew‎ up‎ in‎ the‎ 80s,‎ only‎ dreamed‎ about!‎ The Amway Center in Orlando, FL was hopping and all of the performers were on fire and the energy was just unbelievable. This‎ show‎ did‎ not‎ disappoint!

Illtown‎ Sluggaz‎ made‎ sure‎ the‎ crowd‎ was‎ pumped‎ as‎ they‎ played‎ a‎ set‎ of‎ songs‎ every‎ person‎ at‎ Amway‎ could‎ sing‎ and‎ dance‎ along‎ to!‎ When‎ New‎ Kids‎ came‎ out,‎ they‎ kept‎ that‎ energy‎ going‎ until‎ their‎ final‎ bow! New‎ Kids‎ set‎ included‎ hits‎ like:‎ “Dirty‎ Dancing,”‎ “Hangin’‎ Tough,”‎ “Remix,”‎ and‎ “Block‎ Party.”‎ Throughout their‎ sets,‎ Debbie‎ Gibson‎ and‎ Tiffany‎ took‎ to‎ stages‎ A‎ and‎ B‎ and‎ each‎ took‎ turns‎ singing‎ their‎ hits.‎ Salt-N-Pepa‎ came‎ out‎ and‎ absolutely‎ brought‎ the‎ house‎ down‎ with‎ their‎ hits‎ :‎ “Push‎ It,”‎ “Whatta‎ Man,”‎ “Let’s‎ Talk‎ About‎ Sex,”‎ and‎ “Shoop.”‎ Naughty‎ By‎ Nature‎ got‎ the‎ crowd‎ hyped‎ with‎ “O.P.P,”‎ “Jump‎ Around,”‎ and‎ “Hip‎ Hop‎ Hooray.”‎ 

The‎ entire‎ tour‎ came‎ out‎ at‎ the‎ end‎ to‎ sing‎ along‎ to‎ “80s‎ Baby”‎ and‎ man‎ it‎ was‎ fun‎ watching‎ this‎ group‎ enjoy‎ being‎ on‎ stage‎ together!‎ The‎ concert‎ was‎ great‎ as‎ every‎ act‎ sang‎ throughout‎ the‎ entire‎ show.‎ The‎ energy‎ levels‎ never‎ dropped‎ and‎ the‎ fun‎ never‎ stopped!‎ This‎ concert‎ was‎ incredible!‎ Here’s‎ to‎ many‎ more‎ mixtape‎ tours!!

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

GAME OF THRONES® LIVE CONCERT EXPERIENCE TO RETURN FOR FALL 2019 NORTH AMERICAN AMPHITHEATER TOUR

Experience the Excitement, Terror, Heartbreak, and History of Emmy® Award-Winning Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi’s Music In A Stunning Outdoor Concert Experience

The 20-City Tour Will Travel Throughout North America, Including Dates In Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Los Angeles and many more

Tickets On Sale Monday, May 13, 2019 At 10AM Local Time

The critically acclaimed Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience will return this fall for a 20-city amphitheater tour, bringing the music of Emmy® Award-winning Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi to stunning new life at outdoor theatres across North America. As we say goodbye to one of the biggest shows and scores in television history, relive the greatest musical pieces and footage from all eight seasons in an immersive outdoor concert experience. Tickets for the tour will be available HERE starting Monday, May 13, 2019, at 10:00am local time and a full list of dates can be found below.

Featuring special appearances by Ramin himself at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in New York City, FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA and Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA, the tour will stop at notable outdoor venues across North America. Having first conceptualized the tour several years ago, Ramin will be reworking and redeveloping the musical and visual elements of the concert to create a brand new live experience that encompasses fan-favorite pieces from the entirety of Game of Thrones. The tour will include new musical arrangements from the series’ 8th and final season such as the “The Night King” theme, Ramin’s epic 9-minute composition that went viral immediately after debuting on the show. Within days, the track garnered millions of streams across the internet, reached the top 4 most downloaded songs on iTunes and the top 18 most watched videos on YouTube, and dropped the jaws of audiences and critics alike:

“When Game of Thrones Plays Sad Piano Music, It’s Time to Freak Out.” – Vulture

“In a series known for truly cinematic music, this was still a series highlight…Djawadi’s finest on the show.” – Nerdist

“[Ramin] really outdid himself here with the soaring, searching score that gave the episode its own unique flavor while also selling its most emotional beats. It’s a true symphony at times.” – Indiewire

The inaugural run of the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi kicked off in North America in February of 2017 and was praised by audiences and critics alike as a must-see spectacle for fans of the television series. Following the success of the tour, Ramin embarked on a European run during the spring of 2018 before returning back for a second North American tour in the fall of 2018. To date, the show has amassed a total of 75 arena concerts across the globe. The Guardian described the show as “Westeros brought to dazzling life.” Mashable called it “an epic musical journey,” while the New York Times praised it as “a symphonic spectacular.”

The tour, produced and promoted exclusively by Live Nation in partnership with HBO Licensing & Retail, will continue to use innovative music tour production and video technology that will recreate the various realms found throughout Westeros and Essos as well as showcase footage from the series in addition to new imagery created exclusively for the concert.

Ramin has won one Emmy Award® and been nominated for six Emmy® Awards and two GRAMMY® Awards. Versatility has defined his career, from celebrated television scores for Game of ThronesWestworldJack Ryan, and Prison Break to feature films such as A Wrinkle in TimeMountain Between UsSlender ManThe Great WallPacific RimIron Man and Clash of the Titans. Ramin has even composed scores for blockbuster video games including Medal of HonorGears of War 4 and the upcoming Gears of War 5.

GAME OF THRONES® LIVE CONCERT EXPERIENCE 2019 NORTH AMERICAN DATES

9/5 – Syracuse, NY – St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview

9/6 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage

9/8 – Chicago, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

9/10 – Boston, MA – Xfinity Center

9/11 – Hartford, CT – XFINITY Theatre

9/12 – Philadelphia, PA – The Mann

9/14 – New York, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater

9/15 – Washington, DC – Jiffy Lube Live

9/17 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater

9/18 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park

9/20 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place

9/21 – West Palm Beach, FL – Coral Sky Amphitheatre

9/22 – Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre

9/25 – Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP

9/26 – Dallas, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory

9/27 – Houston, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

10/1 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre

10/3 – San Francisco, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre

10/4 – Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheatre

10/5 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl

 

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Kansas City Concert Review: Little River Band

 
LITTLE RIVER BAND
Ameristar Casino - Kansas City, MO
May 3, 2019

Maybe it’s my age but to me the best music ever created was done so in the 20th Century.  Great music.  Great lyrics.  Amazing voices.  Today the majority of what I hear I can’t understand, even when it’s Autotuned!  Which made my first time listening to the Little River Band live so amazing.

If you grew up in the 1970s/80s (I graduated high school in 1978), then LRB was surely part of the soundtrack of your life.  Their musical gifts, and incredible harmonies, made songs like “Reminiscing,” “Lonesome Loser,” “Cool Change” and “The Night Owl” so memorable.

Now led by bassist/singer (and Kansas City native) Wayne Nelson, who joined the Australian band in 1979, the show was an amazing retrospective of both their greatest hits and some newer material.  Their song “The Lost and the Lonely,” from the band’s 2014 album “Cuts Like a Diamond,” a tribute to the troops, was well received, as was an extensive piano intro by keyboard maestro Chris Marion before the band played “Cool Change.”

An enjoyable evening was capped off by the band coming out front and greeting the fans, which I found to be a pretty incredible thing, especially after playing a 90 minute gig!  If you’re a fan of “classic” rock and pop, then LRB is a band you’ll want to catch.

For more information on their current tour, click HERE.

Metallica and San Francisco Symphony Announce S&M 2 Anniversary Concert

METALLICA & SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY
Present 
S&M2: 20th ANNIVERSARY CONCERT 
SEPTEMBER 6TH GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION AT THE CHASE CENTER

In celebration of the historic grand opening of the Chase Center—the new 18,064-seat arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood—two preeminent musical forces of the Bay Area will join together for the first time in 20 years: On Friday, September 6, Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony will commemorate this most anticipated addition to San Francisco’s cultural landscape by christening the new Chase Center stage with a one-night-only show. The S&M2 concert will also mark the 20th anniversary of Metallica and the SF Symphony’s groundbreaking 1999  S&M (“Symphony & Metallica”) concerts—and its subsequent film and album releases.

Legendary conductor Michael Tilson Thomas completes the first week of his final season as San Francisco Symphony Music Director with a special appearance, conducting a portion of the show.  

The announcement was made earlier today at Chase Center with a press conference with Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, who joined Michael Tilson Thomas from San Francisco Symphony. Warriors Owner and CEO Joe Lacob and Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts joined San Francisco Mayor London Breed for today’s press conference event as well. For a video of today’s press conference, CLICK HERE.

“Bringing together Metallica and San Francisco Symphony 20 years later for our first event at Chase Center is going to be an incredible and unique performance for the Bay Area,” said Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts. “This announcement is one of many of the must-see acts we’ll have as we continue to add a variety and diversity of shows to Chase Center’s calendar.”

“This is beyond exciting on so many fronts,” said Metallica’s Lars Ulrich. “The fact that San Francisco is finally getting a much needed world-class arena, the fact that Metallica get to be part of the opening celebration, the fact that we get to revisit S&M 20 years later, and the fact that we get to share the stage not only with the San Francisco Symphony once again, but with the legend himself, MTT, as he kicks off his final year as music director here in San Francisco. This is mind-blowingly awesome… bring it on ASAP!!!”

“The San Francisco Symphony is delighted to be a part of the Chase Center’s opening week, and to perform once again with Metallica to recreate the magic of the historic S&M concerts,” said San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. “I’m happy to join with my friends in Metallica to make this an extraordinary only-in-San Francisco music event.”

The original S&M concerts were performed by Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony conducted by the late Michael Kamen In spring of 1999 at the Berkeley Community Theatre. The S&M album, was released later that year, winning a Best Rock Instrumental Performance GRAMMY for its version of “The Call of Ktulu.” The S&M2 concert will feature the first live performances of these arrangements in 20 years, plus the first ever Metallica/San Francisco Symphony renditions of songs written and released since the original S&M, with new orchestral charts by Bruce Coughlin.

The first presale event begins on Tuesday, March 19 at 9:00 a.m. exclusively for Metallica Fan Club members, with an additional presale event at 12:00 p.m. for Chase cardholders. Additional presale events will be held for Chase Center Membership members on Wednesday, March 20 at 12:00 p.m. and for Warriors Season Ticket Priority Wait List members on Thursday, March 21 at 9:00 a.m. Tickets will be made available to the general public on Friday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. Fans will be able to purchase tickets by visiting chasecenter.com.