I knew when I saw the announcement for the lineup at M3 in 2014, it was going to be an awesome show. As Friday night, and the first half of Saturday had already proved at M3, this was the Festival show to be at this year.
One of the acts that I was most anxious to see at M3 was Red Dragon Cartel. This return of Jake E. Lee to the big stage is something that I could not miss, and judging from the capacity crowd at the second stage, Jake E. Lee’s fans were in full force. Red Dragon Cartel did a great selection of tunes including music from Ozzy Osbourne, Badlands and of course Red Dragon Cartel. Darren Lewis did a fine job on vocals, and Jake E. Lee was freakin’ amazing, just as I had expected. As great as Red Dragon Cartel was, the evening was only going to get better from there.
Next up on the main stage was Queensryche. This was Queensryche with Todd La Torre on vocals in case you were wondering which version. I have not seen Todd LaTorre with Queensryche before, but I recall Queensryche’s last appearance at M3. It was obvious there was tension in the band at the time, and it ended up being one of the band’s last shows with their former singer Geoff Tate. With that being said, this was a different Queensryche than the one I saw previously, and I gotta say, I was impressed as hell. Queensryche was on fire at M3. They came out with all guns blazing, and Mr. LaTorre was absolutely incredible. As soon as I heard the opening riffs of “Nightrider” I was hooked. I haven’t heard Queensryche do this song in years. I was also super excited to hear “Queen of the Reich”. Man…oh Man, Queensryche practically stole the show, and I am pretty sure Todd LaTorre made about 10,000 new believers at the M3 Rock Festival. They were fantastic! A couple of days after M3, it was announced that Geoff Tate will and Queensryche have come to an agreement, and that Tate will no longer use the Queensryche name. This is good news, and I look forward to supporting both Queensryche and Geoff Tate in the future.
Our day was super packed, and I am sad to say that I missed Autograph. This was due to a conflicting schedule for an interview that we had lined up with Brad Gillis and Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger. (coming to HRH soon).
Next band up was Sebastian Bach and his solo band. As much as I love Sebastian, his performance at M3 this year was not my favorite. He kept going on and on about how his new album was # 1 on iTunes, and while I think that is great, and a hell of a hard accomplishment for any hard rock / musician from the 80’s, it came across kind of douchey. Sebastian seemed upset that folks still want to hear Skid Row songs, and while he did them and sound great, it kind of set the mood for his show. He was good, but he could have been so much better. He was amazing at the 2012 M3.
L.A. Guns was up next on the second stage. Aside from Kix, L.A. Guns has probably played more M3 Rock Festival’s than any other band, and always enjoy their shows. This year the band has a new guitarist, former Endeverafter frontman and guitarist Michael Grant. I have been fortunate enough to see Michael play with his former band, and I already knew that he is one bad ass dude. Grant does a great job as the band’s latest Axe slinger, and of course Phil Lewis and company were great. I can’t understand why they were on the second stage, but I digress.
I am embarrassed to say that the first time I saw Night Ranger live was at the 2012 M3 Rock Festival. Since then, I have made up for lost time and have seen them play live several times. The reason why I have gone, and will continue to go to Night Ranger concerts is that the band puts on an incredible live show. Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra really tear it up on stage, and are a blast to watch play. Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy still deliver some of the best rock vocals on the planet. Night Ranger’s set was far too short, but their condensed set was damn impressive, and I thought they were easily the best band of the day. The joy of music always comes out on the faces of Night Ranger. They always seem to enjoy playing as much as I do hearing and seeing them. Night Ranger also debuted their new song “High Road”, and I gotta say the new song is pretty good. I look forward to hearing the rest of the new album soon.
I didn’t make it over the hill again for Slaughter as the sky had opened up and turned what was an awesome weather day, into a rather soggy evening. I chose to protect my gear from the rain, and hung near the main stage for Tesla.
Tesla has been one of my favorite bands for a long time, and it has been a couple of years since I have seen them play (ironically Night Ranger opened up for them then too!) Night Ranger is always a tough act to follow in my opinion, but Tesla lived up to the challenge. Not only did Tesla debut a new song “MP3” off of their soon to be released album Simplicity, they also played killer set of tunes that covered the majority of their discography. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t hear “Song and Emotion” (one of my personal favorites) or Cumin’ Atcha Live, but it was still a great show. The Merriweather Post Pavilion was jam packed to one of the biggest crowds that I have ever seen for M3, and Tesla kept them all standing. This was a true testament to one great band.
Of all of the M3 Rock Festival’s I have been to, this one was by far my favorite. It was a great time with my good friend Ryo Vie, packed with awesome music and memories that I will never forget. I am already counting the days until M3 Rock Festival # 7 in 2015. I don’t know how they will top this lineup next year, but I have a feeling the next M3 Rock Festival is going to be even better!
The Hellpop II Tour came to Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bogart’s on Sunday night, but there was a little problem. You see, In This Moment had to postpone their show, as Maria Brink has been ill.
With the absence of the tour’s headliner, Bogart’s and the other bands on the Hellpop II Tour decided to make this a free show. Anyone could walk in and check out this event, and judging from the packed house at Bogart’s, many did.
Before the Mourning, All Hail The Yeti, Devout the Day & Butcher Babies took advantage of the situation by electrifying the crowd with their heavy, hair flying metal. The Cincinnati fans loved definitely loved every minute of it. The show had more crowd surfers than I have seen at any local events in quite some time. All of the bands were great, but it was the Butcher Babies who stole their show.
Devour The Day singer, Blake Allison joined in the crowd surfing fun during the band’s set, and The Butcher Babies’ Heidi Sheperd and Carla Harvey got up close and personal singing to the crowd atop the Bogart’s pit barrier, while the security scrambled to hold them up, and manage to deflect the onslaught of crowd surfers that made their way into the pit.
This show could have easily been cancelled, but instead it turned out to be a great night of metal in Cincinnati. In This Moment & Butcher Babies will return to Bogarts on February 3rd, 2014. Don’t miss them!
By the time you read this, The Winery Dogs first tour has now been complete. The Sixxis and The Winery Dogs visited Cincinnati, Ohio’s Mad Frog on the second to last night of their tour last Tuesday night. The Winery Dogs have been drawing big crowds all over the United States, so I was pretty concerned about how many people would try to squeeze into the tiny Mad Frog to see the band play. Maybe it was due to the Black Crowes were playing down the street, or just for the fact that it was a Tuesday night, but the crowd at the Mad Frog was not unmanageable. Quite frankly, seeing a show of this caliber in this small venue, made this a magical night of live music.
I never heard of the opening band The Sixxis before, and I scanned their website to see what they were about. They bio states that their “music presents a core sound of influences ranging from Classical, Jazz, and Rock music coated in a powerful, heavy, seductive, and emotional shell of sound reminiscent of Rush, Muse, Soundgarden, System of a Down, Kings X, and Alice in Chains”. I could definitely hear a mix of these influences in their performance, and I thought these guys kicked ass. They could barely fit their 5 band members on the small stage, and they rocked it nonetheless. Major kudos to Mike Portnoy for helping to bring these guys out on tour. If you are unfamiliar with the Sixxis, visit the band’s website, and check out the clip below. I think you are going to hear a lot more about these guys in the future.
I knew before The Winery Dogs even took the stage that they would be awesome, I just don’t think I realized just HOW awesome they would be. Seeing Billy Sheehan, Richie Kotzen and Mike Portnoy play on a small stage like this was just pure hard rock magic. Sheehan was on fire all night with his acrobatic bass playing. Mike Portnoy was a joy to watch. He is very animated while playing the drums, and in this small club, he controlled the light show as well (that part was pretty comical). Richie Kotzen’s had me bewildered all night. I knew he was a tremendous guitarist, but getting to see him play, and sing for the first time had me stunned. This guy is one of the best unsung talents in hard rock music.
The Winery Dogs’ set list was mostly made up of music from the band’s debut CD, some Richie’s solo music, and the Billy Sheehan penned Talas classic, “Shyboy”. I loved their extended version of “Desire”, and was very impressed by Kotzen’s two songs they performed, “Doin’ What The Devil Says to Do” and “You Can’t Save Me”. This has inspired me to seek out Richie’s solo music. It is fantastic.
Overall, I was very glad that I got to see The Winery Dogs on a small stage. To see expert musicianship from a few feet from the stage was a pretty special experience. I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more music from The Winery Dogs. This is probably the last time they will play on the smaller stages together. I was glad I was there to see them live.
( I snapped a few pics with my point and shoot camera. You can check them out below.)
End of Summer. Just the thought of it makes me sad, and that is what labor day weekend represents for me. Cincinnati’s last big rock summer rock show of 2013 took place last Wednesday night. Kid Rock brought his “Best Night Ever” to the Riverbend Music Center.
I don’t know if it was the best night ever, but it was certainly one of the hottest. This was easily the hottest concert I have ever attended. The crazy heat didn’t keep the rock fans away. Riverbend was sold out with over 18,000 in attendance.
Uncle Kracker, ZZ Top, and Kid Rock all put on outstanding sets. This was my first time to experience all three bands, and I enjoyed all of them.
ZZ Top has been performing for over 40 years, and I am still scratching my head why it took until 2013 for me to see them live. Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard & Dusty Hill are all in their sixties, but they can rock with the best of them.
Kid Rock by far surprised the most. His command of the stage is second to none, and his show was a lot of fun. I would go back to a Kid Rock show in a heartbeat.
If you live in the U.S., you still have a chance to catch Kid Rock live. There are a handful of dates left in the U.S. Visit Kid Rock’s site for details.
Check out our photo gallery below!
FIVE YEARS!!! I can’t believe it has been nearly five years since I have seen Airbourne play the last time! Airbourne rarely plays in the Cincinnati/Columbus, Ohio area, so when they announced a Monday night show in Columbus, Ohio, I knew I had to make the drive up for the show. Before the show began I talked to several of the fans in attendance, and for many, this was their FIRST Airbourne show. I would guess that after the performance that the band put on, this will be the first of many Airbourne shows for the fans in attendance.
Columbus, Ohio’s American Dog opened the show, and played a killer set of rock & roll to warm up the crowd. I have seen American Dog many times in the past, and somehow I always forget just how badass guitarist Steve Theado is. He is an impressive guitar player, that deserves far more attention than he gets. Talk about under rated. Theado’s picture should be in the dictionary under that word.
I loved every second of American Dog’s set. The band has the perfect amount of energy to complement Airbourne’s live set. This would be a killer national tour, even if it was on a club scale. I have to make it a point to see the band play again sometime this year. If you haven’t ever heard American Dog before, think Ted Nugent meets Motorhead, or something somewhere in between there. The band is a three-piece act led by former Salty dog, and Dangerous Toys bass player Michael Hannon on vocals, Steve Theado on guitar, and Michael Harris bashing the skins. Don’t miss them if they come to your town to play. Check out their new CD “Poison Smile”!
And now to Airbourne. What can I say about Airbourne that I haven’t said many times in the past. If you get the chance to see the band play live, by all means GO! You will not have a bad time at an Airbourne show. When Joel O’Keeffe and company take the stage, they put off enough energy to power a city. Their live set may not have pyro, big flashy video screens, or all the crap the big tours have, but the electricity the band emanates while rocking out is second to no other band out there.
This is the first time I ever got to see the band headline a show, and I wish I could have seen them play even longer. With a new CD “Black Dog Barking” ready to hit the streets in a few short weeks, I would have loved to have heard more songs from the new album. Airbourne did play “Live It Up” from the new album, and the new tune is as awesome live as the first time I heard it online. (Check it out in the clip below)
The Basement in Columbus, Ohio offered me the experience of a lifetime. I got to see Airbourne play only inches from the stage. That was a tremendous thrill for this old rocker. If anything, Airbourne made me feel even older. Even with earplugs (thanks Leanne), it took me three days to recover from the ear ringing, and lack of sleep I had Monday night/Tuesday Morning. It was all so very worth it to me.
Joel O’Keeffe is a terrific front man! He is always full of energy, and always has a few funny faces to offer the fans while rocking out, and he always finds away to interact with the crowd, even if it means soaking them with some beer. I don’t know how David Rhoads and Justin Street don’t get whiplash from all of the headbanging they due during the show. While Joel gets the majority of the attention, Rhoads and Street add to the frenzied energy that Airbourne offers up in their live show. Airbourne’s set was as tight as ever, the crowd at The Basement fed off of the band’s energy all night. There may have only been a hundred people there, but it felt like there was a thousand. It was a tremendous night of rock and roll, and one that I won’t ever forget!
Airbourne’s Set List:
Raise The Flag
Born To Kill
Diamond In the Rough
Blonde Bad & Beautiful
Chewin’ The Fat
Girls In Black
Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women
Live It Up
Too Much Too
Stand Up For Rock & Roll
Charm City Devils and Theory of A Deadman closed out the July concert season at Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 29th.
I have loved the band Charm City Devils since I first heard their song “Let’s Rock N Roll” under their old moniker Chosen Son on the Cruefest Compilation CD. The band doesn’t come to Cincinnati often. I believe the 2009 Cruefest was the last time they were here. Needless to say, when they come to town, I make a point to go.
The last couple of times I have seen Charm City Devils perform, I thought they were great, but on this particular night in Cincinnati, Ohio, they were the best I had ever seen them. Singer John Allen did an amazing job controlling the crowd. The band turned in a blistering set of tunes that included their songs “Burn Baby Burn”, “Spite”, “Start It Up”, “Love N’ War”, “Devil Is A Woman”, “Best of the Worst”, “True Love”, “I Got Mine (The Black Keys Cover)”, “Unstoppable”, “Man of Constant Sorrow” and “Let’s Rock N Roll”. If you get a chance to see them live, you should definitely go. You will not be disappointed. You can grab their newly released CD, Sins at Amazon.com.
I have to admit that I have been pretty tough on Theory of a Deadman in the past. Their live shows in the past have been somewhat of a let down to me. This was not the case at their Cincinnati show at all. The band made me eat crow, and I am ok with that. The band brought their “A” game to Cincinnati.
Tyler Connolly was interacting with the packed house at Bogart’s all night. The band was tight and sounded great. They did part of their set acoustically, while sitting on bar stools on the stage. It brought the old MTV Unplugged show to mind. I thought it was a very cool part of their show, and was a nice surprise. Theory of a Deadman performed their songs “Got It Made”, “So Happy”, “All or Nothing”, “Bitch Came Back”, “Gentleman”, “Nothing Could Come Between Us”, “Not Meant To Be”, “Truth Is”, “Out of My Head”, “Easy To Love You”, “Better Off” and “Low Life”. I am glad that I got to see Theory of a Deadman again, and won’t hesitate to do so in the future.
It was a fun night of rock and roll in Cincinnati. I will be looking forward to seeing Charm City Devils and Theory of A Deadman again in the future!
The Midwest Rock N Roll Express tour featuring Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon and Styx came to Cincinnati, Ohio on Tuesday June 26th.
I was surprised to find that Ted Nugent was leading off the show, but I was ok with that as I was pretty excited to see Uncle Ted & company play again. Ted Nugent’s band is rounded out by Derek St. Holmes on rhythm guitar and vocals, “Wild” Mick Brown on drums and Greg Smith on bass. St. Holmes rejoined Ted Nugent’s band in 2011, and is the voice of several of Ted Nugent’s hits including “Free For All”, “Cat Scratch Fever”, “Stranglehold”, “Hey Baby” and “Just What The Doctor Ordered”. The band played all of these songs and more and have never sounded better. St. Holmes still has an awesome voice, and Ted Nugent is a lot of fun to watch play. He makes a lot of crazy faces while playing the guitar, and isn’t afraid to say anything in his live set. “Wild” Mick Brown looks like his is having the time of his life playing drums for Ted Nugent. It was good to see him behind the drum kit.
REO Speedwagon is the second band to take the stage, and quite frankly, I didn’t know what to expect. This is the first time that I saw REO Speedwagon live, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed. I had forgotten how many great songs REO Speedwagon has. Lead singer Kevin Cronin sounds exactly the same as he did back in the 80’s. His voice is spot on perfect. The main highlight of the evening was REO’s performance of their song “Back on the Road Again”. This song is great hard rocker through and through, and while I have never considered REO Speedwagon a hard rock band, this song made me rethink this. After the show, I immediately went online and purchased the band’s albums, Nine Lives and Hi Infidelity. I am hoping that REO Speedwagon comes back to town again sometime in the near future. I can’t wait to hear these songs live again.
Styx is he headliner and the Midwest Rock N Roll Express tour and rightfully so! If you are one of those fans that won’t see the band due to Dennis DeYoung not being in the band, you are truly missing out. Styx was on fire on Tuesday night, and played a ton of their hits including “Blue Collar Man”, “Grand Illusion”, “Man in The Wilderness”, “Fooling Yourself”, “Too Much Time On My Hands”, “Lady”, “Lorelei “Miss America”, “Come Sail Away”, “Rockin’ The Paradise and “Renegade”. Styx’s current lineup is James “J.Y.” Young on vocals and guitar, Tommy Shaw on vocals and guiar, Todd Sucherman on drums, Lawrence Gowan on keyboards and vocals, and Ricky Phillips on bass. Tommy Shaw has been a favorite musician of mine for a long time now. His voice is still amazing after all of these years. This is the second time I have seen Styx with this lineup, and they have put on a tremendous show both times, but I think this one was my favorite of the two I have seen. The band had Chuck Panazzo come out to play a few songs towards the middle of the set. It was good see Chuck back on bass again too!
Although, Styx, Ted Nugent and REO Speedwagon will continue tour for the rest of the year. The Midwest Rock N Roll Express only has 5 dates left. Be sure to
check it out if it hits your town. It was great night of rock and roll in Cincinnati, and I am very glad that I went!
The remaining dates of the Midwest Rock N Roll Express Tour are listed below.
Tue 7/3 Verona, NY Turning Stone Resort Casino
Thu 7/5 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
Fri 7/6 Big Flats, NY Summer Stage
Sat 7/7 Gilford, NY Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
Sat 7/8 Bangor, ME Bangor Waterfront Pavilion
Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon, Styx Photo Gallery
We have been fans of classic rock music at Hard Rock Hideout for what seems like forever. The last few years have been a very exciting time in rock and roll with the influx of revival rock bands hitting the scene. One of the bands that have been a big part of the rock and roll revival, is Los Angeles, California’s Rival Sons.
I have been a fan of Rival Sons since I first listened to their CD, Pressure & Time. Needless to say, I was looking very forward to getting to see Rival Sons play live for the very first time. Rock at the Range gave me that opportunity, and the band did not disappoint. Scott Holiday’s wicked slide guitar, and Jay Buchanan’s powerful vocals rocked the huge crowd at the Jagermeister Stage at Rock on The Range. If you missed Rival Sons performance, you truly missed out on a great up and coming band that you are going to be hearing a lot more about in the years to come.
If you haven’t check out their CD, Pressure & Time, check out the video clips below, and grab a copy of the CD at this link. You will be glad you did! The band recently finished recording their new album which will be released later this year. More details about the new album coming soon!
What can I say about Kix that hasn’t already been said? They are the only band that has played each and every year at M3, and I can’t imagine this festival without them. They proved once again why they deserve the headlining slot at M3 on Friday night, by turning in another energetic set of kick ass rock and roll. Kix blasted out the tunes “Hot Wire”, “Heartache”, “The Itch”, “Same Jane”, “Cold Shower”, “Girl Money”, “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, “No Ring Around Rosie”, “Lie Like a Rug”, “Midnite Dynamite”, “Cold Blood” “Blow My Fuse” and an encore with the crowd favorite “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”. I am pretty sure 80% of the folks in attendance were singing along. (It sounded that way anyway.)
Overall, I thought the Kix off party was a big success for M3. This show seemed to have a lot more people in attendance than the Kix off party (Friday Night) in 2011. I hope M3 will bring Kix back again in 2013. My only disappointment was, I thought Kix’s set could have been a little longer. I was hoping they would at least play a couple of extra songs on their encore, but they only played one. I missed hearing “Red Light, Green Lite, TNT”, and “Sex”, but their set was still great, and I am extremely glad I got to see Kix again. They were easily one of the best bands of the M3 Rock Festival in 2012.
Alice Cooper came to Cincinnati, Ohio’s Taft Theater for a fun night of rock & roll, & mayhem. Opening up the show was UK rockers Livan. I had not heard anything about an opening act for Alice Cooper, so I was somewhat surprised that there was an opening band.
Livan describes themselves as Industrial, Pop, Punk. I would describe them as Alternative, Punk with some Classic Rock thrown in for good measure. I wasn’t familiar with the band’s music, but they put on a pretty good show. Lead singer, Livan came out in face paint, and a leather skirt, while the guitar player graced a top hat. Their performance was somewhat theatrical in nature, and was a good fit as an opener for Alice Cooper. I was impressed by their performance, and hope I get to see this band again. If you visit Livan’s website, you can get a free download of their song “Undead”, and some free wallpapers too.
Alice Cooper took the stage around 8:30 P.M. and it was clear the band was going to rock our faces off. Alice’s band was sporting a few changes since the last time I saw them. His current band line up has Orianthi, Tommy Henricksen & Steve Hunter on guitar, Chuck Garric on bass, and Glen Sobel (Ex-Beautiful Creatures) on drums. This band was super tight and Alice Cooper’s songs have never sounded better. This was my first time seeing many of his new members play live, and I thought everyone was great. I loved getting to see Orianthi play. There are not enough women that rock out like this. She is an extremely talented guitarist who fits this band perfectly.
Alice’s show included many of the normal theatrics including the guillotine, swords, snakes, and my new favorite, the 10 foot “FrankenAlice” which he brought to life during the song “Feed My Frankenstein”, and of course the flag waving in the show closer “Elected”.
Alice Cooper’s set list included the songs:
“Black Widow”, “Brutal Planet”, “I’m Eighteen”, “Under My Wheels”, “Billion Dollar Babies”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “Hey Stoopid”, “Is it My Body”, “Halo of Flies”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off”, “Muscle of Love”, “Only Women Bleed”, “Cold Ethyl”, “Feed My Frankenstein”, “Clones”, “Poison”, “Wicked Young Man”, “Killer”, “I Love The Dead”, “School’s Out/Another Brick in the Wall”, and “Elected”.
The only way this show could have been better is if more songs were in the set. I love Welcome 2 My Nightmare, and one song from that CD is not enough in my opinion. I would love to hear “Vengeance is Mine”, “Chop, Chop, Chop” and “Bye Bye Baby” and probably another ten or twenty songs that is not in the Alice Cooper set, but I will take what I can get.
Alice Cooper always delivers a great live performance. He is the ultimate performer, and the show on this evening was great as always. I can’t wait to see them play again!
Check out our photo gallery & slideshow below!
The Carnival of Madness made a stop at the Kentucky State Fair last Friday night. This concert featured new comers Emphatic, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge and Theory of a Deadman. Unlike the east coast that was getting hammered with high speed winds and torrential rainfall from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene, it was a perfect night for a rock show in Louisville, Ky. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The show started like clock work and every band pretty much started at their scheduled time.
Emphatic took the stage at promptly at 6:30, and the first thing I noticed is they had a different singer. I saw Emphatic earlier this year at the Phoenix Hill Tavern in Louisville, KY, and met their singer Patrick Wilson after the show. I wondered all night what had happened to Patrick. Thanks to HRH reader Shaylee, I found out that Emphatic’s singer Patrick Wilson was unable to tour with the Emphatic due to an injury to his vocal chords. Grant Kendrick from the Omaha, NE band, The Wreckage is filling in for Patrick while he heals. To my ears, Kendrick is doing a fine job. Emphatic played several songs off of their newly released self titled CD including: “Do I”, “Get Paid”, “Beg”, “Put Down The Drink”, “Original Sin” and my personal favorite, “Bounce”.
Las Vegas, Nevada’s Adelitas Way was the second act on the Carnival of Madness bill. This was the first time I have seen Adelitas Way perform live. I didn’t have any expectations for this band, and I liked their tunes quite a bit. They played songs from their self titled CD, as well as their new disc Home School Valedictorian. Judging from the tunes they played Friday night, I am going to have to break their CD’s out and give them another listen. They performed a tight set, and were pretty good, however neither Emphatic or Adelitas Way could even come close to the performance put on by Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry.
The Kentucky State Fair was a home coming performance for Black Stone Cherry. They were the headliner at the Kentucky State Fair one year ago, and quite honestly, I thought they should have been again in 2011. Black Stone Cherry put on a high energy set which included their songs,”Maybe Someday”, “Blame in on the Boom Boom”, “White Trash Millionaire”, “Blind Man”, and “Lonely Train”. They were excellent, and a whole lot of fun to watch. I wish they could have played longer. I have seen BSC perform several times over the years, and they never disappoint. They were easily the highlight of this Carnival of Madness concert.
The last time I saw Alter Bridge perform was in 2008, so I they were the second band that I was looking forward to most on this night. Myles Kennedy and company did not disappoint. Their set included the songs: “Slip to the Void”, “Find the Real”, “White Knuckles”, “Ghost of Days Gone By”, “Ties That Bind”, “Blackbird”, “Come To Life”, “Isolation” and “Rise Today”. The last time I saw Alter Bridge, I remember them being good, but they left a much bigger impression on me this time. Mark Tremonti was excellent on lead guitar all night. Myles Kennedy got to show off his guitar playing prowess, when he traded off guitar solos with Tremonti. I had no idea that Myles Kennedy was THIS good of a guitar player. Who Knew? I hope I can see Alter Bridge again, when they can play a longer set. Their performance was second only to Black Stone Cherry on this evening.
I must admit that I haven’t had a lot of love for Theory of a Deadman over the years. Every time I have seen them live, they have been disappointing at best. On Friday night, they surprised me. They sounded and performed better than any other time I have seen them. Singer Tyler Connolly did his best to interact with the crowd (and not look at his shoes). While I still didn’t think Theory of a A Deadman had a lot of energy, I thought their were much better than I have seen them previously. I don’t know if having Black Stone Cherry and Alter Bridge open up for them puts more pressure on T.O.A.D., but they definitely brought their “A” game to the old Cardinal Stadium. Theory of a Deadman performed their songs “Gentlemen”, “Got it Made”, “All or Nothing”, “So Happy”, “Bitch Came Back”,”Not Meant To Be”, “Lowlife”, their cover of the J.J. Cale classic “Cocaine”, “Bad Girlfriend” and more.
If you take one thing from this review, take this, go see the Carnival of Madness on one of the remaining dates. It is well worth your hard earned cash, and is fun night of rock and roll.
The following dates remain in the 2011 Carnival of Madness:
Thursday, September 1 Allentown, PA The Great Allentown Fair
Saturday, September 3 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino
Wednesday, September 7 Baltimore, MD Pier Six Concert Pavilion
Friday, September 9 Big Flats, NY Tag’s Summer Stage
Saturday, September 10 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
Sunday, September 11 Huntington, WV Harris Riverfront Park
Tuesday, September 13 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Uptown Amp.
Wednesday, September 14 Fayetteville, NC Crown Coliseum
Friday, September 16 Tulsa, OK Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino
Saturday, September 17 Poplar Bluff, MO Black River Coliseum
Sunday, September 18 Dayton, Oh Montgomery County Fairgrounds
Queensrÿche – When I received the assignment from Rob Rockitt to cover the Queensryche show at The Crocodile Rock Cafe, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, I was swirling with many emotions. Queensryche has been a core favorite of mine since I first heard their Metal classic “Queen of the Reich”, on a late night FM show called Metal Shop, way back around 1983. The last time I saw Queensryche in concert was back in 1986. 1986! They opened for Ozzy Osbourne on his “The Ultimate Sin” tour, while they were supporting their own eventual classic: “Rage For Order”. The venue back then was the Springfield Civic Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Fast forward twenty five years later and I’m still the ever loyal Queensryche fan. Or am I? You see, I still did not pick up their new album “Dedicated To Chaos” going into this concert and believe me, I felt really out-of-place for this. I figured all along: Old School Queensryche rules anyways. Truth be told, on this Tuesday evening, on August 2nd of 2011… “live” Old School Queensryche DID rule. I will touch more on this “Old School” topic as you read along. To make up for my slacking of loyalty, I did purchase an autographed CD of “Dedicated To Chaos” at the merch table. I fulfilled my Metal duty after all.
As I sat at the front bar at the Croc Rock, with staff photographer Tom Coderre, we both realized the atmosphere around us getting a bit more crowded. A hell of a lot more crowded. As soon as 6 pm hit, the line of Queensryche fans began to stretch from the venue door, through the bar and pouring out onto Hamilton Boulevard. This was not a short line. This was a very long line of Old School Queensryche fans. Immediately, from checking the faces of the fans and the sea of Queensryche concert t’s of past tours, within this growing line, I felt the electricity in the air. Tom and I were about to witness an amazing night of live Queensryche… a night of Old School Metal.
Any Rock, Hard Rock or Metal fan knows that feeling right before a core band of theirs takes the stage. The anticipation and the dragonflies in my stomach seemed to overwhelm me. I was getting psyched-out and Queensryche had not even taken the stage yet! I gave Tom the nod to take his position at the reserved area for photographers, he looked back at me and smiled with Metal glee. I studied the guitar tech at work, the artificial fog that enveloped the venue, the security guards (or public relations as their called on their t-shirts) as they began to make hand gestures to each other that only meant it was all about to go down… then… Queensryche took the stage!
The exhilaration was on overdrive now as Queensryche fired up the opening track from “Dedicated To Chaos”: “Get Started”. Metal be thy name did this “new” Queensryche song sound unreal great to my Old School ears! As the rhythmic thunder of this song was raging through my veins, I’m thinking to myself, “Get Started” couldn’t be a better song to open this night with! So much for my Old School mentality. Yes, I did get schooled on some new Queensryche this particular night.
Onstage Geoff Tate did frequently acknowledge the voluminous crowd of fans, making us all feel like we were one big Queensryche family. The entire band looked and played not only like seasoned pros, they commanded the stage as a unified force of their legendary songs. Never once could I not realize I was witnessing a Metal band of immense influence, a band that deserves more recognition for their contributions to Rock. From Progressive Metal to a chart topping ballad the likes of “Silent Lucidity”, Queensryche has played it all… and they played it with pride, class and skill for me to witness on that memorable night.
The Old School fever meter began its climb once the first beat of “I Don’t Believe In Love” hit the amps. This was early in the set and the song that told all of us in attendance that Queensryche will Rock our faces off tonight… and they did just that. Geoff introduced “The Lady Wore Black” as where “it all began for us”. The fans went nuts. I went nuts. Queensryche ripped into this legendary song with probably the same enthusiasm as they held for it 30 years ago. As I sang out loud to “The Lady Wore Black” and pumped my fists and Metal horns to the air, I also
found the time to high-five my fellow Old School fans around me, both young and old. The excitement was all too much to not share. It’s nights like these where Metal fans unite as one.
“Walk In The Shadows” rocked the place down! If there ever was a song that sounds ten times better when played live by Queensryche, then this is the one. This Queensryche classic sounds intense on album, I’ll never deny that, only hearing and experiencing it live with a throng of frenzied fans singing along was unquestionable Metal bliss for me. This was a point during the night when I realized just how powerful Geoff Tate’s vocals are. What a song… what a band… what a Metal moment.
To say I was moved and psyched-out beyond my wildest Metal dreams is an understatement, when describing how I felt when Queensryche played their encore. “Jet City Woman” had every fan squeezed into this hot and sticky Croc Rock belting out each
syllable, to each word, of this song’s amazing lyrics. This was a Metal high that money can’t buy. Without warning, “Empire” was next, without a hesitation from the band. Metal as my witness, my circulatory system was running on pure adrenaline now… there was nothing that was going to separate the energy that we the fans were sharing with Queensryche, on this glorious August night. Then, my god almighty it only got more insane… the final song of the night kicked in: “Eyes Of A Stranger”.
To summarize this Queensryche encore is to say: After 30 years of Queensryche, this band specifically saved the best for last. Geoff Tate sounded ridiculously amazing on vocals, from “Get Started” all the way to the shows close. The band sounded prolific at every turn and it was as if these three encore songs were meant to be played for just the fans in attendance that night and never be played again. 19 songs were played live by Queensryche, a lengthy set that usually fans can only wish for. Only this night of live Queensryche songs were very real.
I witnessed for myself many, many club shows during my lifetime, only I’ve never witnessed the embracing of Old School like this before, among the fans and band. Queensryche wanted to be there. The fans wanted to be there. I wish I could go back there again and relive that night over… and over again. Metal be thy name.
As side notes: I lost Tom Coderre for the entire show, yet I did make a couple of new friends. Upon Tom and I reuniting after the show, we were both fortunate enough to meet each member of Queensryche. I will tell the world this: Queensryche are Metal legends, professionals… and Metal gentlemen. Thank you Queensryche for this everlasting Metal moment in time.
I Don’t Believe In Love
Hit the Black
A Dead Man’s Words
At 30,000 Ft
Rhythm of Hope
Screaming In Digital
The Lady Wore Black
Walk In The Shadows
The Right Side Of My Mind
Around the World
Jet City Woman
Eyes Of A Stranger
LONG LIVE QUEENSRYCHE.
Guitarmaggedon came to the Alrosa Villa Saturday Night. It isn’t very often when you get the chance to see two bands in the same night that have guitarists the caliber of George Lynch, Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert. I have been fortunate enough to see both bands earlier this year, but it is this Mr. Big show I will remember best.
A couple of local bands Karma 10, and Dirty Side Down opened this show, and I have to give Kudos to both of those bands. Karma 10 played some originals as well as covers. This was the first show for Karma 10’s new guitarist Richie Baier. Baier was pretty damn good, and showed a lot of chemistry with the band for being his first show.
Dirty Side Down was up next, and they did a stellar job at getting the crowd revved up for Lynch Mob and Mr. Big. Singer Dan Compton looked like a cross between Disburbed’s David Draiman and Rob Halford from Judas Priest. He had a pretty impressive vocal range, and sang quite a few songs that most bands would dare touch, including Queensryche’s “Queen of the Reich”, Iron Maiden’s “Where Eagles Dare” and RATT’s “The Morning After”. I am usually not big on cover bands, but I would go see Dirty Side Down again in a heartbeat. They were really good.
The same can not be said for Lynch Mob unfortunately. It was an off night for Mr. Lynch and company. The last time I saw Lynch Mob back in January, the band had Oni Logan, and “Wild” Mick Brown drumming. It has been well reported that Oni Logan bailed on the tour at the last minute, and former Lynch Mob singer Chaz West rejoined the band on short notice. Chaz West was not the problem this evening. Chaz sounded pretty good for the most part. It seemed that George, and Lynch Mob’s new drummer, Ray? Brown (Mick’s brother) could not get in sync. George had to cut his infamous tune “Mr. Scary” short. He looked pretty frustrated. Before long, the band packed it up and called it a day. They played for 35 – 40 minutes tops. It seems like to me, the band needed to rehearse a couple of times with the new drummer before playing live. This appearance came across as amateurish at best. I was pretty disappointed with their performance overall. This is the only show, that Lynch Mob was playing with Mr. Big, and lucky for them, Mr. Big made EVERYONE forget about Lynch Mob’s set.
Earlier this year, before this tour was announced, Mr. Big made their only U.S. appearance at the M3 Rock Festival. To me, they were one of the best bands at M3, but they were far better at the Alrosa Villa Saturday night. You see, when Mr. Big plays at a big music festival, their set is condensed, and you don’t get a real Mr. Big show. Saturday night, Mr. Big played for over two hours, and played every Mr. Big tune you would want to hear, and a few you wouldn’t expect. They also played a few songs off of their new album What If…. including “American Beauty” and “Undertow” which sounded great live, and was met with a pretty good reception to the sold out crowd. Both Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan had their chances to shine in this show with cool solos. Paul Gilbert’s guitar solo was easily the best I have seen in 2011. I think he is the first guitarist I have seen to play the guitar with his mouth. He is one incredible musician. Billy’s bass solo was pretty awesome as well. Eric Martin never gets enough credit being stuck between Sheehan and Gilbert, but he was awesome last night. He interacted with the crowd quite a bit, and got a kick out of his on stage antics. His vocals were perfect Saturday Night.
The encore featured two killer Mr. Big tunes “To Be With You”, and “Colorado Bulldog”. The band also did an extremely cool version of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” where the band changed instruments. Paul Gilbert was playing the drums, Eric Martin lead guitar, Pat Torpey was playing bass, and Billy Sheehan was signing. Mid song, they changed it up again. Eric Martin took over on bass, Pat took over on vocals, and Billy Sheehan was playing lead guitar. I haven’t ever seen an entire band change instruments like this during a show. It was fun and extremely impressive to see. The show closed out with a killer version of the Talas tune “Shyboy”.
If you get a chance to see Mr. Big Live on this tour, you really ought to do so. They put on a whale of a performance, and was easily one of the best shows I have seen in 2011. You can check their tour dates at this link. Check out our photo gallery below!
Mr. Big Set List:
Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)
Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
Alive and Kickin’
Just Take My Heart
Once Upon a Time
A Little Too Loose
Road to Ruin
Still Ain’t Enough
Take A Walk
Around the World
As Far as I Can See
Addicted To That Rush
To Be With You
Smoke on the Water
I love when opening acts are so fantastic that I want to run out and buy their music at the merchandise stand. Such was the case with Royal Bliss, a band that I did not know existed prior to seeing them open for Puddle of Mudd at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. After their blistering opening performance, I will be paying more attention to the band.
When Royal Bliss took the stage, I was willing to give them a chance, as I am with any opening act I see. However, I couldn’t help thinking that the lead singer was out of shape and that there was no way this band was going to be good. Boy, am I glad that Royal Bliss proved me wrong. Lead singer, Neal Middleton not only energized the crowd with his amazing front man abilities, but the man can also sing his ass off!
Middleton won over the crowd from the first song. As the Royal Bliss set went on, he got the crowd signing along. It was quite a moment and as an opening act, Royal Bliss was astonishing. If you get the opportunity to see them live, I highly recommend that you take advantage of it. You will not be disappointed.
Rev Theory was out next and I was looking forward to seeing their performance. I like the band and had never witnessed them in concert, so my expectations were high, but perhaps a little higher than they should have been.
Lead singer Rich Luzzi, who hails from New Jersey, burst onto the stage, guns-a-blazing. He was looking to whip his hometown crowd up immediately. There was only one problem. His microphone was not working too well. The vocals were hard to hear and the rest of the band did not seem to bring as much passion as Luzzi did.
Rev Theory’s set was pretty weak, which was a disappointment, because I really wanted to like their live act. Yet, between poor sound, and Luzzi’s voice appearing to be road weary, the band just couldn’t get me excited. However, that doesn’t mean the rest of the crowd wasn’t excited, because they were. The New Jersey fans loved Rev Theory and when the band kicked into “Hell Yeah,” from 2007’s Light It Up, the ballroom went bananas.
After Rev Theory, it was time for the purpose of the evening. Puddle Of Mudd performing two sets, with the first being a set of covers. When the lights went down, I leapt to my feet and roared. I was excited to see what this band could bring live. Knowing their first batch of songs were covers found me ripe with anticipation. What cover songs would they perform? How would they sound?
The band started the night with The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” which is not an easy song to cover. Armed with additional musicians to compliment the core players from Puddle Of Mudd, the full band did an exceptional job on their rendition of the Stones classic. I was singing along like it was a Puddle of Mudd original. It was quite impressive how well the band performed “Gimme Shelter.”
The covers set was a quick one, totaling seven songs in all. And while there were plenty of high notes, there were also some lows. The biggest low of the night was backup singer, Tyra Juliette. It was hard for me to identify the purpose that she served other than being the second vocalist on “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.” Juliette did not sing well and overall, Puddle Of Mudd’s rendition of the Tom Petty classic was pretty sour.
The band closed their covers set with the Elton John classic, “Rocket Man,” and when Wes Scantlin introduced the song, I was uncertain. I did not think that the band was going to do the song justice. They proved me wrong, however, and closed the first set in style. Their version of “Rocket Man” was amazing and just might be worth buying their covers album for. I was thoroughly impressed.
The second set, the set of hits, kicked off with “Out Of My Head” from the band’s debut album. Hit after hit would follow including “Control,” “Away From Me,” “Famous” and “Psycho.” While the second set was short, it was jam packed with some of the best cuts from Puddle Of Mudd’s history.
Guitarist Paul Phillips was incredible on lead guitar. He looked great and played even better. His solos were spot on and his ability to work the crowd was stellar. I’ve always felt that he’s a bit underrated and after seeing his live performance, I know that he is. He was absolutely sensational.
Wes Scantlin did a great job on lead vocals, and left most of the guitar work to Phillips and Dizzi Devereux. While he did play guitar on a few songs, Scantlin is focusing mostly on being the band’s lead singer these days. Scantlin sounded just like he does on the record. His voice was crisp and sharp and he nailed every song that was performed during the second set.
The band closed the second set with their massive hit, “Psycho” which drove fans over the edge. The entire floor was jumping up and down during that performance and it’s a wonder the floor didn’t collapse. The crowd was into it and so was the band. “Psycho” made for the moment of the night.
The expected encore consisted of “She Hates Me” and an amazing version of “Blurry” that everyone in the building sang at the top of their lungs. After that, the night was over. While I was a bit disappointed in the length of the show, I am willing to forgive the band because I left the Starland Ballroom happy. Sure, I would liked to have heard some more Puddle Of Mudd songs, but their willingness to take a chance on the two set format scored them high marks.
Puddle of Mudd’s Setlist
SET ONE (Re:(disc)overed Cover Set)
Gimme Shelter, Shooting Star, Stop Dragging My Heart Around, T.N.T., Old Man, The Joker, Rocket Man
Out Of My Head, Control, Stoned, Away From Me, Drift And Die, Famous, Psycho
She Hates Me, Blurry
Puddle of Mudd’s new cover album, Re:(disc)overed will be released August 30th. You can pre-order it here!
Last Saturday night, the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio was packed full of metalheads ready to enjoy the music from not one, not two, but seven heavy metal & metal core bands to delivery their music to the masses. Three local bands opened for the national touring bands Havok, White Wizzard, Revocation & Forbidden. The show was opened up by Domestic Terror, followed by Dismemberment, and Black Rue. Black Rue was my favorite out of the local trio of bands. Black Rue’s singer had a similar to look to Dimebag Darrell, with his long hair and beard. Considering the location of this concert, his look was a little unnerving to this hard rock fan. I enjoyed their tunes though, and thought they might merit a second look. Check them out on Reverbnation.
Denver, Colorado natives Havok was the first band out of the national acts, and easily one of the best. David Sanchez and company delivered a tight set of metal that included songs from the band’s two CD’s Time is Up and Burn. The last time I saw these guys in May of 2010, they a three piece band. Since the last time I saw them play, the band has filled their vacant guitar slot with guitarist Reese Scruggs. Scruggs playing combined with the great vocals and fretwork of David Sanchez has helped to take Havok’s sound to the next level. This up and coming metal band is great live, and no thrash metal fan afford to miss them. Check them out on Facebook at this link.
White Wizzard was next on the bill, and compared to the other heavy bands on this bill, they seemed like an odd fit for this show. Don’t get me wrong, I dig these guys. Their Iron Maiden-esque sound works for me, and the band does it well. I thought it was strange to have a more NWOBHM sounding band sandwhiched between two thrash metal acts, and an extreme metal band, but at least they are out there getting their music heard.
White Wizzard has had a revolving door of musicians over the years, but the lineup has appeared to have stabilized as of late. The band’s current singer, Mike Gremio (formerly of Cellador) does a great job on vocals. If you haven’t heard him sing before, you ought to check him out. Gremio’s vocals could be the key to White Wizzard making it to the next level of their career. Their set was far too short in my opinion.
Revocation was up next, and I knew absolutely nothing about this band, with the exception that they had one of those completely unreadable band logos. I did not know any of the band’s songs. While I thought the music was really good, the vocals didn’t really do anything for me. I have to admit, I am not a big fan of extreme metal so I didn’t enjoy this band as much as the others on the bill. I prefer vocals that I can understand, and don’t care for that cookie monster stuff too much. Revocation was easily the most intense band on the bill, and I can’t fault them for that. When singer/guitarist David Davidson would gaze into the crowd, I didn’t know if I should be frightened or excited. That is s0 Metal!
After a rather lengthy soundcheck, Forbidden stormed the stage, and simply blew me away. Forbidden is one of those thrash metal bands that I never thought I would get a chance to see, so I was looking very forward to seeing them play live. They far exceeded my expectations, and were easily the best band of the night. Singer Russ Anderson probably hasn’t missed too many meals, but this guy can still sing with the best of them. He was flat out getting it done at the Alrosa Villa. The guitar triage of Steve Smyth, Craig Locicero and Matt Camacho might just be the most under rated in thrash metal. They put on one energetic set which included the songs: “Forsaken Gates”, “Overthrow”, “Off the Edge”, “Forbidden Evil”, “Step By Step”, “Adapt or Die”, “Draggin”, “R.I.P.”, “Twisted”, “March”, “Omega Wave”, “Infinite”, a killer cover of Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Sea” which Russ Anderson dedicated to the late Ronnie James Dio, “Through Eyes of Glass” and “Chalice of Blood”. If you are a thrash metal fan, you gotta get out to see these guys play, you won’t be disappointed!
Check out our Photo Galleries below!
It was a rockin’ story of three different bands at the Phoenix Hill Tavern on Saturday Night. The three bands on the bill this evening was Emphatic, Pop Evil and Crossfade. All three bands are at different areas in their career, and every band has new music offerings in the very near future.
Emphatic is a new band trying gain a new fan base (and succeeding). Pop Evil is on their way to the top with their recent appearances at Rock at the Range & Rocklahoma. Crossfade had a ton of success with their debut album, and have been fighting to get back to the top of the rock heap ever since then.
Other than seeing their name in some recent press releases for the up and coming Carnival of Madness Tour, I knew absolutely nothing about the band Emphatic. I haven’t heard any of their music prior to this show. They quickly won me over with their energetic live set and catchy tunes. (Check out their song & video “Bounce” here.) Their new CD, Damage is coming out on July 12th. Judging from the tunes I heard in their live set, this is one CD that you will need to get!!
I have seen Pop Evil a few times over the last couple of years and they never disappoint. On this Saturday evening, the band’s performance was quite electric. Leigh Kakaty is a great front man, and knows how to get the crowd revved up. He had the crowd at Phoenix Hill Tavern energized and singing along with all of their songs.
Pop Evil’s set list had the following songs: “Breathe”, “Broken”, “Somebody Like You”, “Monster You Made”, “Daisy Chain”, “Shinedown”, “Save the World”, “Boss’ Daughter”, “100 in a 55”, “Last Man Standing” and “Hero”. I thought the band was going to bring the roof down when they performed “Last Man Standing” the new track off of their up and coming CD, War of Angels (which will be released July 5th)! There is a half sized wall that separates the pit area in front of the stage from the fans who prefer to sit at a table. Leigh Kakaty used this wall as his personal stage and got up close and personal with the fans, while singing “Last Man Standing”. This made for one unforgettable show from Pop Evil.
I may be biased, but I thought Pop Evil stole the show Saturday night. They were great, and the crowd loved them!
Crossfade was the headliner for the evening, and they quickly proved that they too were a force to be reckoned with. Crossfade had a pretty nice light show set up behind them that looked really cool while they played, but it made it pretty tough to get good photos. The band was pretty entertaining to watch nonetheless.
Les Hall had some pretty cool guitars that he changed out often during Crossfade’s set. He was a lot of fun to watch play. Ed Sloan was in fine vocal form all night. Mark Castillo was letting the drumsticks fly all night. Crossfade played a few of their new songs off of their new CD, We All Bleed (due out today, June 21st) including: “Lay Me Down”, “Dead Memories”, “Dear Cocaine”, “Killing Me Inside”, “We All Bleed” and “Make Me a Believer”. The rest of the set included the songs “Starless”, “Colors”, “Already Gone”, “Drown You Out”, “Dear Caine”, “So Far Away”, and “Cold”.
While I thought Crossfade was pretty good live, I thought Pop Evil was the band of the evening, but all three bands help to deliver a great night of rock in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday night!
Emphatic Photo Gallery
Pop Evil Photo Gallery