Concert Review: “New York United 2022” Agnostic Front, Sick of It All, Crown of Thornz. Syracuse, NY

“New York United 2022”

Agnostic Front, Sick of It All, Crown of Thornz
Friday, May 6th, 2022
The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Veteran NY hardcore bands Agnostic Front, Sick of It All and Crown of Thornz made a stop at the intimate Lost Horizon in Syracuse, NY on May 6th as part of the co-headlining “New York United” tour. Originally slated for Spring 2021 but cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic the tour brings together three of the biggest names in hardcore music.

Taking the stage first were Queens NY natives Crown of Thornz. The Danny Diablo (Skarhead) fronted group wasted no time letting the audience know that they were taking no prisoners as the band ripped through songs like “Head Check”, “Icepick”, “Mental Masquerade” and “Juggernaut”. Diablo and company worked the crowd to a steaming simmer often taking time to share the mic with fans (many of whom didn’t miss a beat filling in the correct lyrics) energizing the room further before bringing their set to a close. Sick of It All would be tasked next with keeping the nights energy going and they quickly got to it by launching into the tracks “Injustice System” and “Clobberin’ Time” both from the band’s debut 1989 release “Blood, Sweat and No Tears” before taking a brief pause which allowed vocalist Lou Koller to catch his breath and to address the Syracuse crowd. As the set stretched on through songs like “Good Lookin’ Out”, “World Full of Hate” and “Pushed Too Far” Bassist Craig Setari, guitarist Pete Koller and drummer Armand Majidi pummeled the audience song after song with impressive cohesiveness and a percussive attack which obliterated your senses.

Hardcore legends Agnostic Front would close out the evening in signature NYHC style kicking off their twenty plus song set with the title track from their 1984 debut “Victim in Pain”. Vocalist Roger Miret fresh off a bout with cancer in late 2021 commanded the audience’s attention over the course of the night pausing only briefly to share his thanks for the support during recent health troubles and to announce the start of tracks like “New Jack”, “For My Family” and “Crucified”. Guitarist and founding member Vinnie Stigma sneered, snarled, and smiled at the crowd as he made his way around the cramped stage pausing from time to time to address the crowd in his thick NY accent which garnered loud applause and cheers of “STIGMA, STIGMA”. The band closed out the evening with a spot-on rendition of the classic Ramones song “Blitzkrieg Bop”. The punk staple had those in the crowd expelling any energy they may have had left before being basked in the grow on the house lights which signaled the end of the evening.

Despite reschedules, cancelations and a very serious medical scare the power of hardcore persevered as fans are now able to see some of the biggest names in the genre back up where they belong. All three bands give their all to make sure no one goes away unhappy. With East Coast dates running through May and a West Coast leg of the tour kicking off in September do yourself a favor and grab a ticket to one of these shows and get in the pit!

Sick of It All Set List:
1.) Injustice System
2.) Clobberin’ Time
3.) Take the Night Off
4.) Rat Pack
5.) Us vs. Them
6.) Inner Vision
7.) Good Lookin’ Out
8.) World Full of Hate
9.) Pushed Too Far
10.) Friends Like You
11.) Sanctuary
12.) Uprising Nation
13.) My Life
14.) Road Less Traveled
15.) Machete
16.) Bull’s Anthem
17.) Busted
18.) Scratch the Surface
19.) Step Down

Agnostic Front Setlist:
1.) Victim in Pain
2.) Your Mistake
3.) Blind Justice
4.) Last Warning
5.) With Time
6.) The Eliminator
7.) New Jack
8.) Strength
9.) For My Family
10.) Friend or Foe
11.) Discriminate Me
12.) Crucified
13.) United Blood
14.) Fascist Attitudes
15.) Peace
16.) United & Strong
17.) Power
18.) Gotta Go
19.) Police State
20.) Hiding Inside
21.) Society Sucker
22.) Blitzkrieg Bop

The Crown Remnant Guitarist Will Ash Discusses “The Wicked King: Part II”

Will Ash is the lead guitarist for the Los Angeles based metal band The Crown Remnant. The five piece band which also includes vocalist Geordy Shallan, guitarist Jorge Lopez, bass guitarist Josue Lara and drummer Art Ramirez is set to release a brand new album on January 18th titled “The Wicked King: Part II”. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Will recently about the albums concept, its creation and what the band has planned for the New Year.

Adam Lawton: Give us a little background on the band if you could?

Will Ash: Los Angeles is kind of a funny place. Everyone has their own things going on so you tend to explore a lot of different avenues when you are trying to be creative out here. I think we are lucky in this band as we have a bunch of guys who are all adventurous enough to want to try a number of different things such as theater, comedy, stunt work and pod-casting. Being that we all come from these different areas of entertainment we are able to use those different experiences to help us create this music. The band sort of started when our singer Geordy came into where I teach guitar lessons. We started talking and had some of the same ideas. He and I coming together kind of solidified the start of The Crown Remnant. The name was already in place and everything so from there we started to audition people. We reached out via Facebook and a bunch of other avenues to get the lineup that we have now.

AL: The new album is titled “The Wicked King: Part II”. Can you tell us about that and how you built on the concept established from the first record?

WA: This was a good creative experience. I like music that is thematic and records that keep a theme throughout the individual tracks. We actually wrote part 1 and part 2 in tandem with one another. We started with a very wide perspective. We knew we wanted an album that was cohesive from the first track all the way to the last track. From there we chose to do a split release. Part 2 is the answer to the call sounded by part 1. The first record has a brighter more idealistic approach and this new album is the antithesis of that. It’s a little crazier, a bit darker and somewhat bigger.

AL: With both records being written at the same time how did you decide what songs went where?

WA: That was a question that went through all of our brains for quite some time. Initially we were very starry eyed and wanted a full 13 track release. The more we thought about it the more saw the benefits two releases could bring. We wanted to keep things consumable so the decision to do two releases was really the first decision we made. From there it was just a question of what songs were going to make it into the records. We looked at the concepts and ideas of each song to see where they would best fit. Geordy and I do a lot of writing together and each of our writings comes out in a certain way. I think that was a big help also when it came time to split things up.

AL: You also score music for video games. How did the writing of this record compare or contrast to that of your game work?

WA: I love video games! It does end up being a little different. I get very excited when I have the chance to mix in more orchestral pieces with the type of music we play in this band. I am very much in to symphonic music so to be able combine these styles is very enjoyable. When I sit down and work on game pieces I am looking a whole different set up instrumentation. Fundamentally things are the same when it comes to writing however beyond the basics there tends to be much more going on within the game pieces. It becomes a different task in that the playing style is more emotive. With the band I have to balance things to be able to include a vocalist and different percussive elements so you have to look at how you approach things to ensure you achieve the feel you are looking for.

AL: What are the bands plans to tour going into 2019?

WA: We are certainly going to be out there! We are very excited to get out there on our first tour. We have not been around very long as a band so it’s a nice feet to be able to string together a multi-state tour. The tour kicks off January 23rd and I believe runs through Mid-February. The record releases on January 18th so it’s going to be a great time to be out there supporting the record. I am looking forward to being out there on the road with my buddies playing music and eating junk food. Hopefully we will be able to get the band’s name out there more help generate some excitement around this new record.

AL: Do you have any other projects outside of the band we can also be watching for?

WA: I try to stay busy as much as I can. Being a young guy I try to juggle quite a few things at one time. I am at the point now where I am very driven so there is not just one project that I am working on right now that I can announce. I do have one project I am heading which falls more on the composing side coming out soon. More details on that should be coming out after we get done with this first run of shows.

For more info on The Crown Remnant you can check out their official website at www.crownremnant.com

CD Review: Alan Cumming “The Head that Wears a Crown”

Alan Cumming
“The Head that Wears a Crown”
Publisher: GPR Records
Spoken Word
Release Date: April 30, 2013

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have been a huge fan of Alan Cumming for as long as I can remember. I can still recall the day I saw him (and met him) on Broadway for the first time dating back to “Design for Living” in 2001. He has such a wonderful presence about himself. When he speaks his lines, they come with such delivery and purpose. It does help that he also has a bitchin’ Scottish accent. So what is better than having the internationally acclaimed actor and Tony Award Winner to do a spoken word CD of the “best of” works of Shakespeare. These monologues include 22 of Shakespeare’s most well-known and loved moments. Alan is no stranger to Shakespeare having starred in Julie Taymor’s film version of “Titus Andronicus” and also his one-man show of “Macbeth”, which he currently stars on Broadway. He delivers Shakespeare’s words so flawlessly and with such force that he knocks it out of the park track after track.

“The Head that Wears a Crown” is subtitled as “Speeches For Royal Men By William Shakespeare”. Some of the classic Royal speeches included are, “To be or not to be” from “Hamlet”; “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” from “Macbeth” and “Now is the winter of our discontent ” from “Richard III” and many more. The speech were specifically chosen by Alan Cumming himself. The only main issue I had with the album is that there is no announcement between tracks. I mean that unless you are watching the track list very carefully or have every single one of these speeches memorized, they kind of spill all together. I think this would have been a perfect release if there was a title card before each track began so you can get a better grasp. Obviously this is not the kind of album that you will blast going down the highway, if you are looking for that check out Cumming’s last album “I Bought A Blue Car Today”, but it would be a must listen for any lover of Shakespeare, the fine arts or ”Glee” fan. “Shine, I’ll stand by you”…Mr. Cumming.

Track Listing:
1. “O for a Muse of fire” (HENRY V)
2. “Now is the winter of our discontent” (RICHARD III)
3. “You common cry of curs!” (CORIOLANUS)
4. “I have been studying how I may compare This prison” (RICHARD II)
5. “Look here, upon this picture” (HAMLET)
6. “Mad world! mad kings! mad composition!” (KING JOHN)
7. “If it were done when ’tis done” (MACBETH)
8. “Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick;” (HENRY IV Part 2)
9. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;” (HENRY V)
10. “To be, or not to be: that is the question;” (HAMLET)
11. “What must the king do now?” (RICHARD II)
12. “Methinks I am a prophet new inspired” (RICHARD II)
13. “Why, lords, what wrongs are these!” (TITUS ANDRONICUS)
14. “O that this too too sullied flesh would melt,” (HAMLET)
15. “Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,” (AS YOU LIKE IT)
16. “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,” (MACBETH)
17. “What’s he that wishes so?” (HENRY V)
18. “Hear, Nature, hear!” (KING LEAR)
19. “How all occasions do inform against me,” (HAMLET)
20. “Let me speak, sir,” (HENRY VIII)
21. “If music be the food of love, play on;” (TWELFTH NIGHT)
22. “Now my charms are all o’erthrown,” (THE TEMPEST)