Concert Review: “Redeemer of Souls Tour” with Judas Priest & Steel Panther @ Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY

“Redeemer of Souls Tour”
Judas Priest, Steel Panther
Wednesday, October 1st 2014
Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

After a 2 year hiatus from the music scene the metal gods themselves Judas Priest are back on the road supporting their latest album release titled “Redeemer of Souls”. The tour kicked off on October 1st in Rochester, NY before a near capacity crowd and though opening night didn’t go as smoothly everyone was hoping for both Priest and opening act Steel Panther were at the top of their games.

As the doors to the vast Main Street Armory opened fans quickly flooded the venue in anticipation of the evening’s events. As the evenings advertised 7:30 start time rolled around and quickly turned in to 7:45, 8:00, 8:15 etc. It wouldn’t be till almost 8:40 that opening act Steel Panther would take the stage. The band which has been taking a lot of heat since it was announced they would be part of the tour initially didn’t win over the Rochester crowd as they took the stage to a sea of boo’s. It was unclear if the late start was the fault of the bands or of the promoter however despite the unpleasant welcome the band shrugged it off and blasted through an 11 song set which touched on each of the bands 4 releases. Vocalist Michael Starr handled his vocal duties like a true veteran and in between songs attempted to regain the crowds trust through the bands normal joking and goofing on one another.  This seemed to work as the band left the stage to cheers and applause the total opposite of how the night began.

After a few minutes a large Judas Priest banner dropped from the rafters signaling that the wait was almost over. After a brief intro the arena was filled with smoke and lights as Rob Halford and company ripped into the song “Dragonaut” which is also the first track off the band newest album. Halford seemed a little unsteady at first and was using a cane however by the end of the first number it appeared as though it was just a prop as he lurked back and forth with ease the rest of the night. The band played a variety of songs from their vast catalog such as “Victim of Changes”, ‘Turbo Lover” and “Love Bites” which hasn’t been in the set since 1986. The band’s sound was tight and well rehearsed with Rob’s signature scream being in top form. The newest member of the band guitarist Richie Faulkner seemed even more comfortable and certainly did his part to elevate the night’s excitement. Before calling it a night the band treated the audience to two encores which were both greeted with deafening roars and devil horns thrown high into the air.

When the night was finally over and the venue was silent it was easy to say that despite a few small setbacks the tours opening night was a success.  Both Priest fans new and old were given everything both bands had and then some as it was a great night of music. If the tour is coming to your area make sure to get your tickets as soon as you can as there are very few bands out there right now who can rival the power and fury of the one and only Judas Priest.

Steel Panther  Set List:
1.) Pussy Whipped
2.) Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
3.) Asian Hooker
4.) Just Like Tiger Woods
5.) Gold Digging Whore
6.) Girl From Oklahoma
7.) Community Property
8.) Eyes of the Panther
9.) 17 Girls in a Row
10.) Death to All but Metal
11.) Party All Day (Fuck All Night)

Judas Priest Set List:
1.) Battle Cry Intro
2.) Dragonaut
3.) Metal Gods
4.) Devil’s Child
5.) Victim of Changes
6.) Halls of Valhalla
7.) Loves Bites
8.) March of the Damned
9.) Turbo Lover
10.) Redeemer of Souls
11.) Beyond the Realms of Death
12.) Jawbreaker
13.) Breaking the Law
14.) Hell Bent for Leather

15.) You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
Encore 2
16.) Living After Midnight
17.) Defenders of the Faith

CD Review: Judas Priest “Redeemer of Souls”

“Redeemer of Souls”
Judas Priest
Epic Records
Producer: Mike Exeter/ Glenn Tipton
Tracks: 13

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The Metal God and company are back with 17th studio titled “Redeemer of Souls. The album is the follow up release to the bands 2008 release titled “Nostradamus”. 13 all new tracks make up recorded and is the first studio release to feature Richie Faulkner on guitar. Though the band initially stated it would be retiring after their 2011 Epitaph world tour the band sounds better than ever and “Redeemer of Souls” is a testament to that.

When I saw Judas Priest in 2011 as part of their Epitaph farewell tour I was a bit skeptical that it would in fact really be the last time. With the release of “Redeemer of Souls” and the announcement of the groups subsequent tour this fall my prior suspicions were confirmed. From start to finish the album is a perfect blend of modern and classic Priest elements. The albums opening track “Dragonaught” is a rocking number that spews heavy metal goodness out your speakers while tracks likes “Redeemer of Souls” and “March of the Damned” take a more groove oriented approach perfect for head banging and fist pumping. The album wraps up with the track “Battle Cry” which features Halfords signature soaring vocal prowess before giving away to the song “Beginning of the End” a haunting outro showcasing the bands versatility.

All the material written on “Redeemer of Souls” was done by Halford, Glen Tipton and new comer Faulkner. You can certainly sense a freshness to the material which was certainly missing on the last couple Priest albums. My only hope is that this new found inspiration will continue as it would be a shame to stop now. Priest fans both new and old will definitely want to add this to their collections. For those not so familiar with the band get this album and then go back and experience the group’s massive back catalog. You definitely won’t be disappointed!

Track Listing:
1.) Dragonaught
2.) Redeemer of Souls
3.) Halls of Valhalla
4.) Swords of Damocles
5.) March of the Damned
6.) Down in Flames
7.) Hell & Back
8.) Cold Blooded
9.) Metalizer
10.) Crossfire
11.) Secrets of the Dead
12.) Battle Cry
13.) Beginning of the End


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Choo Choo Soul’s Genevieve Goings talks about first solo children’s album “Do You Know”

Genevieve Goings is best known for her work with Disney Junior’s Choo Choo Soul. You might also know her as Miss Hugs from Fisher-Price’s Little People product line. She just released her first solo children’s album called “Do You Know” with amazing and fun new music for kids (and parents) to enjoy and learn from. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Genevieve (again) to discuss the album as well as her new role at Disney Junior.

Mike Gencarelli: This is your first solo children’s album; tell us about the evolution of “Do You Know”?
Genevieve Goings: Yes it is, I am just so happy that it is finally out! It started when I was working with Fisher Price. It sparked something inside me. When we came to the end of that project, I felt like I had more creativity left in me. It is more important with programming and corporations not to stuff the education aspect down kid’s throat, so to speak. There is more of a storyline with magic and the discovery. So none of my clients are looking for those straight educational songs but I have had so many ideas for these songs. I thought how about if I put out the educational album and I can stick with the magical storytelling songs for them. I think when I completed the song “How Many Fives Around The Clock?”, that was when I knew I had something special. That song is so cool, catchy and fun. So it all started with that.

MG: How does these songs differ from Choo Choo Soul?
GG: When I was working on the songs, I had a white board up jotting down ideas and putting different pictures up on a cork board. I was looking at photos for Choo Choo Soul and I was thinking who that person would be if is she wasn’t in that costume. I was making a list of my favorite parts of Choo Choo Soul, like the fact that I have a costume and not showing any skins. I wanted to find the places where I can push the boundaries. Some of those are just being really super silly and not following any of the rules for songwriting, especially in the song “Aeiou”, which is just completely ridiculous and I love it [laughs]. I think a lot more humor came out in this album as well. It still really pulls from my roots in R&B and soul music though. I discovered myself also while making this album. I have been and still am the train conductor, but I got to find out who is Genevieve by herself.

MG: “My Telephone Number is…” is one heck of catchy song and honestly can’t get it out of my head; tell us about how the song came to be?
GG: I thought it encompassed the idea of what “Do You Know” is. I couldn’t find any other songs like this out there. I did that with the whole album. I wanted to see what was needed out there. I also went out and asked parents what song topics they wanted. I feel like that melody is so catchy and fun. I even got responses already from parents that their kids were learning their own number due to it. So that is so amazing to hear.

MG: The video for “My Telephone Number is…” was very fun; what future videos do you have planned for this album?
GG: “Inside Voice” was just released, which I just love. It is such a fun video to shoot. I also have a video “How Many Fives Around The Clock?” and “Rainbow Colors” coming up but they were shot on a green screen and are just waiting to be animated. So that is very exciting.

MG: Congrats on being named the new host on the “Radio Disney Junior” hour on Radio Disney! Tell us about this new gig?
GG: Thanks! They are really pushing the new Watch Disney Junior app. They added a radio function to the app. I am hosting that whole radio station for that app. It is a loop that plays throughout the day. There is a “Pirate and Princess Hour”. There is a “Storybook Hour”. There is a “Magic of Disney Hour”. So it started with me working with the app and then I guess they thought, “Why we don’t bring her over to the real radio station”. So I have been recording for that as well now. I have been doing voice over so long that I expected a script but it is a free formed thing and I am able to talk with just the kids and it has been so amazing.

MG: Tell us about the PSA you recorded for Disney Junior as well?
GG: I love this PSA! When you purchase Disney Junior branded products that say “Give a book, Get a book” on it, you get a code and go online to enter it. You select a region you want to give a book to and they really are delivering actual book. Then you also get a digital copy of a book yourself. I have always been into literacy and teaching, so this is really great.

MG: With these two new Disney Junior projects; any plans for new videos or songs in the works for Choo Choo Soul?
GG: We don’t have any planned right now but I have been doing some other new songs with Disney Junior’s “The Power of Doing Good”, which is their new initiative now. I have been doing some commercial voice work for them. It is definitely promising that they are keeping me around and using my voice. It is such a production to put on for Choo Choo Soul with the cast of kids, the costumes and the animation. We are also trying to share Disney Junior with so countries around the world. So you take a show like “Sofia the First”, it is easy to translate into 36 different languages but not so much for myself and my voice. But I wouldn’t say the door is completely closed for Choo Choo Soul. Like the way that the PSA was, there could be more opportunities that way. I guess as long as I can fit into the costume [laughs].

Click here to purchase “Do You Know” on CD

Click here to download “Do You Know” on iTunes

Choo Choo Soul’s Genevieve Goings releases new song “My Telephone Number Is”

Hey parents!! Right off the press…Choo Choo Soul’s Genevieve Goings just released her first song from her upcoming independent Children’s Album “Do You Know?”, called “My Telephone Number Is”. The song helps teach kids their phone number with the help of the grownups in their life.

Click here to purchase the song on iTunes. Support learning for kids through music AND, your kids will learn their phone numbers in the process! Plus it is pretty darn catchy and I have found myself humming it constantly, so it is great for parents as well.

Choo Choo Soul’s Genevieve Goings talks about her work with Fisher-Price’s Little People

Genevieve Goings is known best for her role in the children’s music group Choo Choo Soul. They can be seen daily on Disney Junior with their catchy and fun yet educational kids songs. Choo Choo Soul released a CD of classic “Disney Favorites” earlier this year as well. She also started working with Fisher-Price and creating new music for their Little People brand. Genevieve took out some time to chat with Media Mikes again about her new gig at Fisher Price and her love for creating music.

FL Resident? Click here to enter to win tickets to an upcoming show for Choo Choo Soul in Miami, FL!

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us some background on how you got involved with Fisher-Price to write and produce brand new music for their Little People brand?
Genevieve Goings:  I was actually brought in by the incredibly smart and talented guy, Kevin Mowrer, who was consulting with Fisher Price on the re-branding of the iconic Fisher Price “Little People”. The Little People Brand has been around for 50 years, and is very well known, so they wanted to build on that by creating new characters with distinct personality traits. They put in a ton of work and are excited to introduce – Eddie, Tessa, Mia, Sofia and Koby! These wonderful characters are celebrated in their own ways, and all of us are sure to find a bit of ourselves in one, if not all of them! Fisher-Price really wanted music to be a big part of the re-branding, and that is where I came in. My first order of business was a to write a theme song for the overall brand. So we started from there and it sort of expanded into more work as we kept brainstorming and having a blast..

MG: Tell us a little bit about the characters?
GG: We decided to give each character their own song that explained their personality. Eddie want to run and jump and zoom everywhere. Tessa is the twirling ballerina, the girlie girl. Sofie loves art. Koby is super silly. Mia is shy and quite and likes to collect things. All these characters are really cool and have their own distinct personalities. I think that kids playing with them will find one that they relate to as well. They are on YouTube right now for everyone to enjoy and you can also visit Fisher Price’s website to learn more.

MG: What do you have planned next with Fisher Price?
GG: I am so excited to announce that The Fisher-Price “Little People” have their very own animated web-series on YouTube! I scored the episode as well as writing the original songs within the show. I am also the voice of the teacher, Miss Hugg! Miss Hugg is sweet and very fun. She is a super cool teacher and is in charge, but is so nice and has a little bit of magic to her. While the children go out on their discovery adventures, she is there to keep an eye on them. She is musical and definitely sings while creating some magic around their discoveries. I am working on other interactive media for them as well, more coming soon!

MG: You wrote, recorded and produced these new songs, what was your most challenging aspect?
GG:  We say if it is not broken, don’t fix it right? So with Little People they are already so iconic and Fisher Price is the epitome of children’s toys. So I just wanted to make sure that it was really something great. So I tried to think outside of the box but also remain true to the brand and the company’s values. There was a little pressure in finding that perfect blend. They have been so awesome to work with since they do want to push the envelope a little bit outside of what is “traditional” music. But as you know, that is kind of what I do, which is create contemporary kids music that is kid cool and parent approved [laughs].

MG: Do you tap into your inner child to create these songs?
GG: Oh yeah! Absolutely. My song writing process is hysterical. I have my two dogs with me that total about 30 pounds together. So I will start like I am just singing to them. Then I am dancing around and I have to think about if this would be fun to perform. I think if it is fun to listen to and also sing along to. When I write a song, I try and think about a child singing it. That is my goal to have that resonate with them and have them wanting to sing them after hearing it.

MG: I know you are touring with some shows this Fall, do you get to play your new Disney Favorite as well as your classic tracks from Choo Choo Soul?
GG: Yes, we do a mix of both. We do our Choo Choo tracks and also the Disney classics, since we don’t want to move too far from our train theme. We just did this great gig in Boston and we had backup dancers and we had these amazing big dance numbers to “Be Our Guest” and Under the Sea” and it was really fun! So keep an eye out on our “Events” tab on Facebook as we may be coming to a town by you.

MG: Tell us something cool about yourself that your fans may not know?
GG: Cool question! I actually write for Disney English, which is a school in China that teaches English as a second language. I have been writing for them for over four years and have done over 100 songs for them. This is like a whole other realm that I have been working on. It is so much easier to learn to speak another language if you can sing it. So that is something that has been a really amazing growing opportunity for me. It is such an interesting way to right songs. I am given a vocabulary and the words that I need to incorporate into the songs. I am also told that I am only able to use those words since its the only ones they know in English…and to make it song like a song from “Aladdin” [laughs]. So I get amazing assignments like that. I also wrote an entire phonics program for them to learn through sounds. I know they started airing these on Disney Junior France. So I am happy for others to get a chance to see these finally.

MG: Any more music projects in the works?
GG: I have thinking about doing my own project for a while. I have been doing this for other company, which has been absolutely amazing. I have covered tons of great topics ranging from vegetables to jumping to counting with Choo Choo Soul. We have the emotional expression songs about twirling, loving art and not being afraid to be shy with Little People. So there are a few other topics available [laughs]. I am going to be working on some songs and releasing them individually. I reached out a while ago on various social media sites and asked parents what were some of song topics that they wished we available and some great responses. That is the beauty of today’s media is that you can do stuff like this now without a big record label. So that will be coming up soon and I will definitely keep you posted Mike to share with your readers.

MG: I just wanted to close with saying “Thank You” because my daughter loves your music so much!
GG: Oh thank you, that’s so sweet. It’s amazing to just think how long it has gone. I do not think that Disney had in mind that it was going to last this long. Somehow though, with that combination of trains, the awesome animation and the music is really working out. We have such a blast performing and hope to continue for many more years to come.


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Interview with Smile Empty Soul’s Sean Danielsen

Sean Danielsen is the lead vocalist/guitarist for the band Smile Empty Soul. The band has recently signed with eOne Records to release a new studio album titled “3’s”. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Sean about the band and their new album.

Adam Lawton: What can we expect from the band’s new album?
Sean Danielsen: The album is called “3’s” and we are releasing it via eOne. The album will be available May 22nd and it is definitely mine and the bands favorite record thus far. The album is more mature and a little more developed. The album is also a little heavier but still has a melody. It’s very musical and fun to play.

AL: Did the band take any different approaches to the writing/recording process?
SD: We pretty much took the same approach that we always do. The songs are different in a lot of ways as they are very guitar riff orientated and progressive. This wasn’t really on purpose or anything but it was more so about what was coming out right now. We recorded very similar to how we did our last album “Consciousness”. We worked with producer Eddie Wohl again as we feel he really gets the band and we have a great process with him.

AL: Will there be a video to go along with the albums single?
SD: We are gearing up to do a video for the first single possibly next month. The first single is called “Afterlife” and we have a really cool treatment that we want to get made. I think it’s going to be great if we can get it all done.

AL: How do you think the band has evolved since its start?
SD: We have all changed so much as both people and as a band. I would have to say that everything is different about us now. We are completely different from when we first started putting out albums back in 2003.

AL: What have you noticed as the biggest change in the industry since the band has been together?
SD: The industry has changed just as much as we have if not more. When we released our first record it was still the tail end of what I guess could be called the glory days. Napster had come out and killed some album sales but the economy was still ok and records were still selling at about half of what they had sold previously. Now everything has been turned completely on its head. It’s a lot more bare bones and low budget. There is a lot of do it yourself type things and social media going on. It’s a strange and always changing industry.

AL: What will be the tour plans for the album?
SD: We have a spring tour booked that stars in May and will go to about mid June. We have 38 dates booked into about 40 or so days. We will be doing a nationwide swoop basically. The Veer Union and a band called Iownya will be heading out with us. The tour is being presented by Jagermeister and it should be a lot of fun. There also have been talks of doing a late summer tour with Fuel. I think the summer is going to be really great.