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

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

End of the Road Tour 2019


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


18.) Beth

19.) Crazy Crazy Nights

20.) Rock and Roll All Nite


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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: 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:


The Used

Circa Survive

The Story So Far


Concert Review: Weezer/Pixies, Syracuse, NY

Weezer, Pixies, The Wombats
Sunday, July 15th, 2018
St. Josephs Health Amphitheater at Lakeview, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Nerd rockers Weezer made a stop at the sprawling St. Josephs Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse, NY on July 15 as part of the bands current North American tour with alt favorites Pixies. Also performing on the bill this evening were UK natives The Wombats. All three acts brought the near capacity crowd to their feet time and time again making for an energetically charged night by the lake.

The Wombats would take to the stage first performing a handful of songs of their recently released album “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life”. Though the band took little time to introduce themselves the 3 piece band from Liverpool, UK allowed the music to speak for them providing for a great start to the evening’s festivities. After a quick set change the Black Francis led Pixies would rumble to the stage where over the next 60 plus minutes they took the growing Syracuse crowd to musical school. The full length set was made up of a variety of tracks from the bands 6 albums and included such favorites as “Um Chagga Lagga”, “Wave of Mutilation” and “Gouge Away” before closing out the night with one of their more commercial tracks “Where Is My Mind?” and the shred-tastic “Vamos”. The band showcased a unique cohesiveness that only comes from having performed together for over thirty years making the set just a little more special. After an extensive set change and to the tune of the “Happy Days” intro the evening’s Co-headliner, Weezer was finally posed to take the stage. The bands set was a bombastic mix of hit after hit which was combined with corresponding stage set ups which paid homage to the bands history. Highlights of the night included songs like “Buddy Holly”, “Undone (the Sweater Song)” and acoustic versions of “Island in the Sun” and the A-Ha classic “Take On Me” all of which were performed solo by front-man River Cuomo atop a small moving boat that circled the rear of the amphitheater.

From open to close all the band on the bill brought their A games as each provided both a great listing and visual experience. With the Pixies and Weezer both performing full length sets you get practically two full scale rock shows for the price of one! What could be better than that? With the tour running through late August there are still plenty of chances to catch the band so, do not miss it!

Pixies Set List:
1.) Planet of Sound
2.) Magdalena 318
3.) Something Against You
4.) Isla de Encanta
5.) Um Chagga Lagga
6.) Wave of Mutilation
7.) Gouge Away
8.) Caribou
9.) Hey
10.) Mr. Grieves
11.) Bel Esprit
12.) Monkey Gone to Heaven
13.) Gigantic
14.) Cactus
15.) Classic Masher
16.) Crickity Jones
17.) River Euphrates
18.) Head Carrier
19.) No. 13 Baby
20.) All the Saints
21.) Here Comes Your Man
22.) Where Is My Mind?
23.) Vamos

Weezer Set List:
1.) Buddy Holly
2.) Beverly Hills
3.) Pork and Beans
4.) Undone- The Sweater Song
5.) Hash Pipe
6.) Perfect Situation
7.) My Name Is Jonas
8.) El Scorcho
9.) In the Garage
10.) Susanne
11.) Happy Together (Longview snippet)
12.) Keep Fishin’
13.) Island in the Sun
14.) Take On Me
15.) Burndt Jamb
16.) (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
17.) Feels Like Summer
18.) Africa
19.) The Good Life
20.) Say It Ain’t So w/ Paranoid outro

Concert Review: Styx, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Tesla. Syracuse, NY

Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Tesla
Thursday, June 28th, 2018
St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Legends of Rock Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and special guests Tesla made their stop in Syracuse, NY on June 28th at the beautiful (newly renamed) St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview. The venue was packed with fans from all walks of life, eager to hear their favorite hit songs. The beautiful summer night was the perfect background for a concert such as this.

Tesla opened with outstanding energy starting things off with the more recent track “I Wanna Live” however, It wasn’t long before vocalist Jeff Keith led sing-alongs to hits like “What You Give” and “Signs” Guitarists Frank Hannon and Dave Rude expertly wowed the audience later on in the set with the always pleasing “Love Song.” The band which is celebrating 30 years together are performing at the top of their game adding a nice shine to their already legendary status. Joan Jett and her band The Blackhearts would take the stage next where they performed a fairly stock set of Jett standards including “Bad Reputation”, “Cherry Bomb” and of course “I Love Rock n Roll”. Though the founding Runaways members set mostly consisted of older more well known tracks it was nice to see her the band include the song “Soulmates to Strangers” from Jett’s most recent album “Unvarnished”

The true dominating force on the night was hands down Styx as their set was nothing short of captivating. All eyes were glued to the veteran performers as they played hit after hit including the return of “Mr. Roboto” a song which had been missing from the Styx live show for sometime. As the band performed song after song each member brought their own signature flair to the nights performance. From scene-stealer, Lawrence Gowan’s spinning and dancing to James Young’s soaring guitars solos not to mention the always captivating Tommy Shaw and thunderous bass sound of Ricky Phillips. All this performance power combined in one band made for a very memorable evening.

All three bands gave top-notch performances on this beautiful night by the lake with plenty of singing and swaying making for great concert experience. This is definitely a show I will be talking about for some time and I highly recommend checking out these veterans when they come to your town.

Tesla Set List:
1.) I Wanna Live
2.) Hang Tough
3.) Heavens Trail (No Way Out)
4.) What You Give
5.) Signs
6.) Love Song
7.) Little Suzi
8.) Modern Day Cowboy

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Set List:
1.) Bad Reputation
2.) Cherry Bomb
3.) Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)
4.) Victim of Circumstance
5.) Soulmates To Strangers
6.) You Drive Me Wild
7.) Light of Day
8.) Fake Friends
9.) Love Is Pain
10.) A Hundred Feet Away
11.) Fresh Start
12.) Love Is All Around
13.) I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll
14.) Crimson and Clover
15.) I Hate Myself For Loving You
16.) Everyday People

Styx Set List:
1.) Overture
2.) Gone Gone Gone
3.) Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
4.) The Grand Illusion
5.) Lady
6.) Ms. America
7.) Radio Silence
8.) Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
9.) Too Much Time On My Hands
10.) Khedive
11.) Bohemian Rhapsody
12.) Come Sail Away
13.) Mr. Roboto
14.) Renegade

Concert Review: “Mockstrosity Tour” Syracuse, NY

“Mockstrosity Tour”
Mac Sabbath, Metalachi, Okilly Dokilly
Friday, March 24, 2017
The Westcott Theater, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Mac Sabbath frontman, Ronald Osbourne, summed up the Mockstrosity Tour best, shouting “Good luck describing this show to your friends!” A night of heavy music and big laughs was served up by perhaps three of the more unique parody bands in the business today. The classic Westcott Theater in Syracuse, NY was rocked by the likes of Phoenix Arizona’s Ned Flanders themed metalcore act Okilly Dokilly, Metalachi the self proclaimed world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band and rounding out the night’s lineup Los Angeles Mac Sabbath, picture Black Sabbath dosed in radioactive ketchup and mustard from the world’s favorite fast food chain.

Okilly Dokilly ripped through their “Nedal” (Ned-metal) crowd pleasers like “White Wine Spritzer” and “Nothing At All” which paved the way for the bands call to arms of all left-handed neighborinos for the song “All That Is Left”. Each member donned Mr. Flanders signature garb which added to the bands show allowing those in attendance to envision good ol’ Ned bellowing out vicious metal growls like no other in the Springfield zip code. Metalachi garnered a lot of attention with their mariachi flared renditions of classic hard rock and heavy metal jams, donning what can only be described as mariachi meets hair metal attire. The band crushed through classics like “Holy Diver” and “Raining Blood,” but really showed their talents with surprises like “Santeria” and the infamous “More Than Words,” during which the band invited a fan up on the stage to aid in the more romantic, bump and grind, portion of their set while violinista, Queen Kyla Vera stole the show shredding through solo after solo with every bit of intensity as a well-seasoned axe man.

The Mockstrosity would come to an end only after Mac Sabbath had their turn at the crowd of eager fans. The band’s sound was tight and their stage presence hilarious. The lighting and pyrotechnics further accentuated the group’s costumes and props, which were not limited by any means. The members of Sabbath had a good time with their stage banter between songs like “Frying Pan” and “Sweet Beef,” and at one point Ronald Osbourne himself was funneling PBR through a gigantic red, yellow, and white straw. Sabbath played on their strengths well, and did not seem to be too gimmicky, really backing up their act with musical talent and their performance. Overall, the night was a blast, and anyone looking for a great time needs to check out this tour when it rolls into town.

Concert Review: Vans Warped Tour 2016, Syracuse, NY

Vans Warped Tour 2016

Date: July 7, 2016
Venue: New York State Fair Grounds, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The Vans Warped tour made a stop in Syracuse, NY on July 7th for what proved to be a great day of music and fun. Despite foreboding clouds which hovered over the event site earlier in the day the power of punk rock could not be stopped as once the music kicked off the negative weather took a quick turn towards the positive allowing everyone to stay dry and soak up some rays while listening to this year’s assembled line up.

For over 20 summers now the Vans Warped tour has been the go to for traveling one day festivals featuring alternative and punk rock music. This year despite sporting a thinned down roster, less stages and fewer activities the festival still proved to be just as good if not better than years past. The Syracuse venue featured a great lay out with side by staging for the 6 main stages and a 7th smaller stage was only a short distance from all the bigger action. Each stage offered plenty of viewing space, merch areas and facilities, there was even a massive shaded pavilion area which gave fans a place to escape the sun in between acts. Aside from waiting to get into the venue there were really no other lines to speak of throughout the day which again only added to the events over all appeal. Even the free water filling station which always seems to be a hot bed of action was easy and quick to access. This year’s lineup was a great mixture of up and coming bands infused with some of Warped tours biggest veterans. As the day started out bands like Teenage Bottle Rocket, Masked Intruder and Vanna would put on stellar performances which fit in perfectly between bombastic sets from Warped tour regulars Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and New Found Glory. Other notable performances from the day included those by State Champs complete with inflatable waving men and bubbles, Old Wounds who in my opinion dominated the Full Sail Stage, The Interrupters who despite playing later in the day were able to keep the energy going as temperatures pushed towards the 90’s. To cap off an already impressive day the closing set of the festival belonged to Sum 41 who bashed out hit after hit to the massive crowd.

Despite a scaled down lineup and production this year I felt that Warped Tour 2016 was better than ever. Sure having a bunch of stuff to do in between acts is fun and all but, when you go to a rock show you are going essentially for the music. That was clearly the focus for this year’s tour as you couldn’t have asked for a more stellar line up. Aside from the extremely long lines to get into the venue the day was a lot of fun and we heard a lot of really great music. The tour runs through August 13th so be sure to grab tickets for one of the shows closest to you. You won’t be disappointed.

Line Up:
Against the Current, Assuming We Survive, Avion Roe, Bad Seed Rising, Ballyhoo!, Broadside, Cane Hill, Chelsea Grin, Chunk! No, Captian Chunk!, Coldrain, Crown the Empire, Cruel Hand, Dash|Ten, Emarosa, Every Time I Die, Falling In Reverse, Four Year Strong, From Ashes To New, Ghost Town, Gideon, Hail the Sun, I See Stars, Ice Nine Kills, In Hearts Wake, Issues, Knuckle Puck, Less Than Jake, Like Pacific, Masked Intruder, Mayday Parade, Mother Feather, Motionless In White, New Found Glory, Oceans Ate Alaska, Old Wounds, Palaye Royale, Pepper, Real Friends, Reckless Serenade, Reel Big Fish, Roam, Safe To Say, Secrets, Set It Off, Silent Planet, Sleeping With Sirens, State Champs, Sum 41, Sykes, Teenage BottleRocket, The Color Morale, The Heirs, The Interrupters, The Maine, The Story So Far, The Word Alive, Tonight Alive, Too Close to Touch, Vanna, Veil of Maya, Volumes, Wage War, Waterparks, We the Kings, Whitechapel, With Confidence, Yellowcard, Young Guns

All photos are copy written and cannot be used without permission


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Concert Review: Wizards of Winter “The Magic of Winter” – Syracuse, NY

“The Magic of Winter”
Wizards of Winter
Date: Sunday, December 27th 2015
Venue: The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater
Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The Tri-State area based Wizard of Winter brought their own unique brand of holiday cheer to the Syracuse, NY area on December 27th as part of the group’s 2015 “Magic of Winter” tour. The night proved to be a great extension of the Christmas holiday as the night’s performance took you on a magical music adventure which made for a very enjoyable concert experience.

With this being the groups first time in Syracuse anticipation was certainly high as concert goers filled in the seats at the multi tiered Crouse Hinds Theater. The show began promptly at 8pm as the band kicked off their impressive 26 song performance with a song from their debut album “The Magic of Winter” titled “Flight of the Snow Angels”, a fitting opening number which set the stage perfectly for the rest of the night’s performance. Former Trans-Siberian Orchestra narrator Tony Gaynor would take the stage several times painting a vivid picture of the upcoming number which helped those in attendance sink deeper into the spirit of the night’s performance though, I personally found these moments (which also included a 15 minute intermission) to sort of halt the night’s momentum as it seemed like the band would no sooner start to get in a groove only to have it broken up by brief pieces of commentary. All of the members of the group put on stellar performances including several standout moments by former Trans-Siberian Orchestra vocalist Guy LeMonnier, Violin/Vocalist Natalia Niarezka and lead guitarist Fred Gorhau who blazed his way through intricate solo after solo without missing a beat. Songs such as “Ebeneezer” Savatage’s “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)”, “Season’s Lament” and the upbeat “Gales of December” sounded really great as they made their way into every nook and cranny of the theater prolonging the Christmas holiday just a touch longer.

As the night’s performance came to a close the Syracuse crowd seemed pleased with the show they had just witnessed. As the band left the stage the crowd thanked the performers with a heavy blanket of applause which the performers seemed very appreciative of. With such a good response from the groups Syracuse debut my hope is they continue to make stops in Orangeman country for many more holiday season to come.

Set List:
1.) Flight of the Snow Angels
2.) Magic of Winter
3.) Arctic Flyer
4.) Special Feeling
5.) First Snow (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
6.) A Night of Reflection
7.) Sing Alleluia/ 3 Ships
8.) Once Long Ago
9.) 3 Kings
10.) Nutrocker (Electric Light Orchestra cover)
11.) Ebeneezer
12.) Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Savatage cover)
13.) March of the Metal Soldiers
14.) Season’s Lament
15.) Just Believe
16.) Gales of December
17.) Whoville
18.) Waken to the Sound
19.) Toys will be Toys
20.) The Journey
21.) Queen of the Winter Night (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
22.) Electric Blue (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
23.) Little Help (Joe Cocker cover)
24.) Spirit of Christmas
25.) Requiem (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
26.) With One Voice

Concert Review “Abominator Tour 2015” Syracuse, NY

“Abominator Tour 2015”
Doyle, Heavy Grinder, Murder In Rue Morgue, One Last Shot, Secrets Kept
Date: Friday, May 1st 2015
Venue: The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Former Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein brought his band of ghouls to the legendary Lost Horizon in Syracuse, NY on May 1st as part of his Abominator 2015 Tour. Along with special guest Heavy Grinder and several local acts the night proved to be a unique and up close experience that the Syracuse crowd seemed to really enjoy.

With this date being one of the last dates on the Abominator 2015 run I was a little skeptical as you never know what condition the band will be in the longer a tour goes on. The night kicked off with several local acts performing brief sets to a small number of fans who filled the venue early on in the night. The most notable of the three bands was the Auburn, NY based Murder In Rue Morgue whose sounds was a solid blend of melodic fueled metal that held my attention throughout the bands entire set. Next up was Heavy Grinder or known to some as DJ Heavygrinder. I have to start off by saying that a DJ was not something I was expecting at this type of show however from the moment the samples of Metallica, Slayer and other notable metal heavy weights starting blasting out the speakers I was quite impressed. I did feel though that the act was a little tiring after some time and may have been better suited as in between music during set changes. The cross faded samples, and beat drops did however provide a unique and fun listening experience and one that I probably wouldn’t have found on my own.

Closing out the night was the man himself Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. In August of last year we were present for the opening night of Doyle’s first ever solo tour so this night’s performance was going to be heavily compared to that within my own mind. Right off the bat a couple things were different. Along with Doyle and vocalist Alex Story was two new additions to the group. Die Trich Thrall was filling in for Left Hand Graham on bass and Black Flag drummer Brandon Pertzborn replaced Anthony “Tiny” Biuso on the drums. The recent lineup changes only seemed to strengthen the already impressive stage performance of the band as singer Alex Story commanded the crowd’s attention while Doyle’s massive guitar sound pulverized the ear drums of everyone within the venue. The set was a great mixture of Misfits classics and songs from Doyle’s debut solo release “Abominator”. For me the highlights of the set were definitely “Skulls”, “Valley of Shadows” and “Last Caress” though all of the songs were worth mentioning.

As compared to the bands first show together back in August that I previously mentioned, this night’s show was miles ahead. The addition of Pertzborn on drums seems to be the final piece the band needed to take things to the next level both from a performance and musical stand point. Time on the road has also proved to have benefited the group as all the members appeared to key off one another which made the performance seem very cohesive and natural. Even though this leg of the Abominator tour has now come to an end I am sure it won’t be the last we see or hear from Doyle and company.

Doyle Set List:
Learn to Bleed
Hybrid Moments
Where Eagles Dare
Land of the Dead
Valley of Shadows
Mark of the Beast
Love Like Murder
Last Caress
Die Die My Darling
Hope Hell is Warm

Concert Review: Five Finger Death Punch and Volbeat – Syracuse, NY

Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, Hellyeah, Nothing More
Tuesday, September 23rd 2014
War Memorial at Oncenter, Syracuse, NY

Our score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The haloed halls of the Syracuse War Memorial were rocked by the sonic landscape of not one but 4 great music acts. Headliners Five Finger Death Punch and Volbeat along with special guests Hellyeah and Nothing More made a stop in the home of the Orangemen as part of their fall arena tour which runs through October. Those in attendance were treated to a spectacular night of music as each band gave the crowd everything they had and more.

Starting off the night was up and coming progressive/rock band Nothing More. Though the 4 piece group hailing from San Antonio, TX set was brief the band used their time wisely delivering the best they had to offer to the fans who were still filing through the arena doors. The Chad Gray fronted Hellyeah would blast on to the stage next bathed in bombastic thunder thanks to the drumming styles of Mr. Vinnie Paul. The band has gone through a lineup change since the last time I saw adding bassist Kyle Sanders and guitarist Christian Brady but the two meshed well with the other members resulting in a quality set.

Danish import Volbeat would follow hitting the stage accompanied by a sea praise to which they returned the thanks will a 14 song set that mixed newer songs such as “Doc Holliday” and “The Hangman’s Body Count” with fan favorites like “Hallelujah Goat”, “The Garden’s Tale” and the Dusty Springfield penned “I Only Wanna Be With You” before closing out the set with the always rousing “Still Counting”. The band took time to thank and recognize the crowd several times throughout the night and at one point even welcomed several children to the stage to dance and sing among the members. As the house light went out prior to Fiver Finger Death Punch taking the stage the crowd erupted one more only this time they were even louder as the excitement in the Oncenter was reaching critical mass.

As the band made their way on to the stage several flashes of light went off and it was on. For the next 80 minutes everyone in attendance belonged to the 5 members of Five Finger Death Punch. Singer Ivan Moody captivated the crowd with his lyrics and stage presence while the dual guitar attack of Jason Hook and Zoltan Bathory chugged their way through songs such as “Burn It Down”, “Lift Me Up” and “Bad Company”. During the song “Burn MF” Ivan and company abruptly stopped mid song to address an issue with several bouncers attempting to control a nearby circle pit. Moody assured the staff and concert goers that everyone would take care of one another and then instructed the bouncers to leave the floor area. After a minute or two of hesitation the floor cleared and the band kicked back in without missing a beat. This would be the only incident of the night as everyone held true to their word as the ripped through several more numbers including a two song encore.

Sometimes I get a little nervous when two headliners join forces for package like this. A lot of times what happens is one or both acts cut elements out of their set which great impacts the overall experience sometimes it’s a stage effect or in a lot of cases its material. This packaged proved to be the exception as all the bands on the bill pulled out every available the stops to ensure those who came out this night got their money’s worth. The tour package runs through the end of October so if you haven’t got your tickets for one of the remaining shows I really don’t know what you are waiting for.

Hellyeah Set List:
1.) Hellyeah!
2.) Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood)
3.) Demons in the Dirt
4.) War in Me
5.) Moth
6.) Cross to Bier (Cradle of Bones)
7.) You Wouldn’t Know

Volbeat Set List:
1.) Doc Holliday
2.) Hallelujah Goat
3.) Sad Man’s Tongue
4.) Heaven nor Hell/Warrior’s Call
5.) 16 Dollars
6.) Lola Montez
7.) Dead But Rising
8.) I Only Want to Be With You
9.) The Mirror and the Ripper
10.) The Hangman’s Body Count
11.) The Garden’s Tale
12.) Fallen
13.) Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza
14.) Still Counting

Five Finger Death Punch Set List:
1.) Under and Over It
2.) Burn It Down
3.) Hard to See
4.) Lift Me Up
5.) Bad Company
6.) Burn MF
7.) Drum Solo
8.) Remember Everything
9.) Battle Born
10.) Coming Down
11.) Never Enough
12.) Here to Die
13.) The Way of the Fist
14.) The Bleeding

Concert Review: All American Rejects – Syracuse, NY

All American Rejects with The Stone Foxes, Pacinello
Date: Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
Venue: Wescott Theater, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

The popular multi platinum selling act All American Rejects made a stop at the Wescott Theater in Syracuse, NY on December 5th as part of their current U.S. tour. Though the venue was only about half full, each act performed as though they were playing to a sold out crowd. Syracuse’s own Pacinello opened up the show and made me instantly questions as to how they became part of the nights bill. The band consisting mostly of teenagers performed an odd assortment of covers with a few original songs throw in here and there. Though the group was not bad per say they definitely were out of their element as they were not yet at the caliber they needed to be in order to be playing where they were. It was however pretty cool to see teenagers doing what they love and I am sure the performance will definitely bolster their resume.

The Stone Foxes hailing from San Francisco, CA were up next instantly throwing the show in to high gear. The band’s sound was a mixture of indie rock and vintage rhythm and blues that was really enjoyable. Each member of the band showcased a multitude of talents by playing a number of different instruments throughout the set. From a musical stand point the bands versatility was great however, each time the members paused to change positions I felt it interrupted the flow of the set. The band played for just under an hour and left the crowd chanting “one more song” to which the members of the band seemed quite grateful. After a rather lengthy stage change the All American Rejects would finally take the stage. The band started their set off with the hit song “Dirty Little Secret” which instantly ignited the built up excitement within the venue. Lead vocalist Tyson Ritter was a ball of uncontrollable energy that moved about the stage with reckless abandonment as the band blasted though song after song pausing briefly to interact with fans. The band closed out its 70/80 minute set with the popular sing-a-long anthem “Gives You Hell” before leaving the stage for the night

It was great to see all the bands on the bill perform as though the venue was full as each one could have easily given a half hearted performance due to the minimal attendance. The bands professionalism and dedication was certainly appreciated by those who braved the cold temperatures and intermittent snowfall as each band was rewarded with strong streams of applause. An enjoyable night of music is what you will find if you are able to make it out to one of the remaining tour dates. Hardcore All American Reject fans wanting to see the band stripped down in an intimate setting will surely want to get their tickets.

All Amercan Rejects Set List:
1.) Dirty Lil’ Secret
2.) Fallin’ Apart
3.) My Paper Heart
4.) Beekeeper
5.) I Wanna
6.) Walk Over Me
7.) Stab My Back
8.) Swing, Swing
9.) Mona Lisa
10.) Cheese No Keys
11.) It Ends Tonight
12.) Lethal Weapon
13.) Gonzo
14.) Move Along
15.) Kids In The St.
16.) Heartbeat
17.) Gives You Hell


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Concert Review “Rockstar Uproar Festival” Syracuse, NY

“Rockstar Uproar Festival”
Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Adelitas Way, Fozzy, In This Moment, Duece, Candlelight Red, Mindset Evolution, Cruz
Date: Saturday, August 25th 2012
Venue: New York State Fair Grand Stand, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival came to the Great New York State Fair on Saturday August 25th and despite a few band cancelations the festival was quite enjoyable. The day’s festivities kicked off on dueling side stages sponsored by Jagermeister and Ernie Ball. Due to the venue layout all three of the festival stages were side by side making it very easy to watch all of the performances. Besides not missing one note of music the rotating stages allowed for a very mini lag time between groups. This not only kept the energy of the crowd up but gave the show a great flow and feel. Despite the absence of P.O.D and the recent cancelation of Papa Roach each of the bands on the smaller stages did a great job filling in the time and the afternoon was capped off by energetic performances from In This Moments and Fozzy which features WWE Superstar Chris Jericho on vocals.

Prior to the start of the main stage performances fans we made to clear the venue which did cause quite a bit of confusion and chaos as fans were shuffled through various small openings leading under the grandstand viewing area. After a 40 minute wait fans were finally allowed to re-enter and take their seats for the rest of the evenings events. Up and coming hard rock band Adelitas Way opened the night and gave the fans a brief but energy packed set which came to a close with lead singer Rick DeJesus jumping in to the crowd for some quality time where he remained signing autographs and posing for photos for some time after the rest of the band left the stage. Staind would follow with a surprisingly energetic set which featured hits like “It’s Been Awhile”, “Mudshovel” and “Outside”. Despite singer Aaron Lewis preparing to take some time away from the band to promote his upcoming country album band moral seemed high and it really showed in the group’s performance. Hard rock heavy weights Godsmack would be next playing a greatest hits set consisting of songs from each of the bands albums. Highlights of the set were “Keep Away”, “Bad Religion” and of course the dueling drum solo’s between Shannon Larken and Sully Erna. Having seen the band several times now it would have been great to see something different from the band as this set was almost identical to the set performed by the band on this past springs “Mass Chaos Tour”. Shinedown closed out the night with a pyro packed performance featuring songs off the band latest album “Amaryllis”. Though the bands stage show featured a number of cool effects and a guest appearance by In This Moment front woman Maria Brink I felt the performance by the band was a bit boring. Singer Brent Smith very rarely left his podium and spent little to no time interacting with the crowd. At times the sound of the band seemed very produced and digital which I felt hurt the performance more than helped it. I am all for bands embracing technology however you have to know when enough is enough.

Though the “Rockstar Uproar Festival” is a bit smaller and doesn’t have as many big names artists as Rockstar’s other traveling tour “Mayhem Festival”. The smaller set ups gave each performance a more intimate feel. Having attended both festivals the “Uproar Festival” featured a wider variety of musical styles, better stage set up and a far better sound production. If Uproar is coming to your town be sure to grab a ticket and get to the show early to check out some really great talent.

Shinedown Set List:
1.) Sound of Madness
2.) Diamond Eyes
3.) Enemies
4.) If You Only Knew
5.) Devour feat. Maria Brink
7.) I’ll Follow You
8.) Unity
9.) .45
10.) Simple Man
11.) Second Chance
12.) Fly From the Inside

Godsmack Set List:
1.) Enemy
2.) Keep Away
3.) Cryin’ Like a Bitch
4.) Straight Out of Line
5.) Awake
6.) Bad Religion
7.) Speak
8.) Voodoo
9.) Drum Solo
10.) Whatever
11.) I Stand Alone

Staind Set List:
1.) Eyes Wide Open
2.) Right Here
3.) Now
4.) For You
5.) Paper Wings
6.) It’s Been Awhile
7.) Not Again
8.) Outside
9.) Mudshovel
10.) Something to Remind You

Adelitas Way Set List:
1.) The Collapse
2.) Hurt
3.) Alive
4.) Cage the Beast
5.) Criticize
6.) Sick
7.) Invincible

Concert Review “Shadows Fall, Station 58, Syracuse, NY”

Shadows Fall, Maps of War, Spire, All That Is Sacred, One Step From Falling
Date: Friday, February 17th 2012
Venue: Station 58, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Shadows Fall came to the intimate Station 58 venue in Syracuse, NY on February 17th and performed to a near capacity crowd. The band came through the city as part of a 5 date tour that is in preparation for their appearance at this year’s Sound Waves festival held in Australia.

One Step From Falling started the night off playing an interesting blend of experimental rock that reminded me of early System of a Down however with less substance. All That Is Scared took the stage next as the club began to slowly fill and though the bands set was brief each member appeared to put their best foot forward. Local favorite Spire was up next and received a very warm welcome from the crowd. The band played a technical blend of prog metal that received a great response from the crowd that helped set the stage for the rest of the evening. Maps of War followed playing to a packed house. The band was very technical and provided an intense in your face performance.

Shadows Fall would close out the night and though the band had not performed since the summer of last year it did not show. Lead vocalist Brian Fair with his signature dreadlocks had the crowd in a sweat filled mosh from the word go. Fair took several trips into the crowd which seemed to only fuel the crowd that much more. Guitarists Jon Donais and Matt Bachand laid down their signature riffage while drummer Jason Bittner and Bassist Paul Romanko filled in the band’s sound with thunderous bass runs and beats. The band played a variety of tracks from their 6 album catalog as well as the track “Fire From the Sky” which will be on the bands upcoming album due in May of this year. Shadows Fall along with all the other bands on the bill really delivered by putting on a great show for the Syracuse crowd.

Shadows Fall Set List:
1.)    My Demise
2.)    Thoughts Without Words
3.)    Enlightened By The Cold
4.)    Burning The Lives
5.)    Stepping Outside The Circle
6.)    Still I Rise
7.)    Fire From The Sky
8.)    The Power of I and I
9.)    King of Nothing
10.) What Drives The Weak
11.)  Inspiration on Demand
12.)  Destroyer of Senses
13.)  The Light That Blinds
14.)  Redemption


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Concert Review “Reborn In Defiance Tour” Syracuse, NY

“Reborn In Defiance Tour”
Biohazard, Sworn Enemy, Ghost Ship, Caustic Method, Jonestown
Date: Wednesday, February 8th 2012
Venue: Station 58, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Biohazard brought their brand of NY hardcore to Station 58 in Syracuse, NY on Wed. Feb. 8th and even though the turn out for the show was somewhat small and, Biohazard guitarist Bobby Hambel was suffering from pneumonia the Brooklyn born band still put on a great show for all those in attendance.

Jonestown hailing from Watertown, NY kicked off the show as fans slowly made their way through the intimate venues door. A small number of people posed no problem for the band as they put on performance as though the venue was filled to capacity. Fan favorite Caustic Method took the stage in the form of a 3 piece due in part to still training a new guitar player. You wouldn’t have known the band was playing a man down as they blasted through a 30 minute set which had people banging their heads and pumping their fists. Syracuse’s own Ghost Ship followed and performed a solid straight edge filled set reminiscent of early spirit 90’s era Earth Crisis shows.

Veteran hardcore group Sworn Enemy was on next and after a brief stage change proceeded to kick the night/crowd into a giant circle pit of fury. Performing a variety of songs from the bands 17 year career did a great job of priming the crowd for what was to come. As soon as their last song was done the crowd pushed forward in preparation for the nights headlining act to take the stage.

Biohazard helmed by energetic vocalist/guitarist Billy Graziadei hit the stage at 10pm and for one sweat filled hour packed enough punch in their set to knock out the likes of UFC champion Anderson Silva. Despite guitarist Bobby Hambel suffering from a severe case of pneumonia he played as nothing was wrong and only paused for a brief second to throw up behind his amp once or twice. The set list featured a variety of classic songs and a few songs of the band’s latest album titled “Reborn in Defiance”. Even though the bands line up was not fully the original due to former bassist/vocalist Evan Seinfeld leaving the band last year Scott Roberts did a great job filling the void. On February 8th, Biohazard proved to Syracuse, NY that they are still the raining kings on NYC hardcore.

Biohazard Set List:
1. Urban Discipline
2. What Makes Us Tick
3. Chamber Spins Three
4. Reborn
5. Black and White and Red All Over
6. Retribution
7. Down For Life
8. Come Alive
9. Vengeance is Mine
10. Shades of Grey
11. Love Denied
12. Howard Beach
13. Punishment
14. Hold My Own