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Blues punks The Bobby Lees (Sam Quartin , Kendall Wind , Macky Bowman, Nick Casa) have been tearing it up on stages in Upstate, NY and around the country. While you may recognize Quartin from movie roles like the (forthcoming) Run With The Hunted and Let Me Make You A Martyr , this band is not a novelty project but a full fledged rock n rollercoaster. They totally scorch the stage with a howling sense of purpose and poetic sting, capturing a primal and at times even fun energy on Beauty Pageant . Feral animals and ghosts hiding in the trees agree that this band is the shit. This record and group truly deserve to be heard, so head to their Bandcamp and blast "Deem Em Dead" now. You can say you knew 'em when.
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That about sums it up, as I bang around on this keyboard trying to sum up ways to describe this experience. I witnessed two nights of this unique tour. Twelve dates in the whole tour sold out. UK’s TesseracT headlined with Intronaut pulling double support duty. They played as the backing band for Ben Sharp’s Cloudkicker before their own Intronaut set. All tour long. Playing and mixing all the various instruments on his Cloudkicker recordings makes touring next to impossible. Intronaut finally filled that gap, after three years of planning. Very special. I’ve heard of single musicians doing double duty. Protest the Hero’s drummer did it touring with them and his old band, The Kindred. The Defibulators’ guitarist Roadblock did it as well, playing with The Dixons before a lengthy Defibs set. A whole band doing their set, plus a second set of music that has never seen a crowd is very rare.
TesseracT had a bit of a rougher time. Singer Ashe O’Hara was sick pretty much the whole month, even to the extent of not performing for the sold out dates in both Boston and Philadelphia near the end of the tour. In my interview with TesseracT’s bassis Mos WIlliams, he said the crowd was very accepting of the announcement and filled the vocal void with their own voices. Ashe did perform for the final night at New York’s Gramercy Theater, but he was looking rough when I saw him at Aftershock in Kansas, just six days earlier. Also, second guitarist James Monteith was absent for this tour, as well as the last. Regardless of the hurdles, they powered through and still created a very dynamic and textured atmosphere, very true to their performance styles. I was also treated to an extended photo shoot, both for sound check and their full set.
Click here for the pictures and reviews from both nights.Add to My Radar
Bogie’s is a classic venue that has hosted, and continues to host, the best names in hardcore – both large and small. Many bands got their shit started at this place over the years, so it is great when a band gives it back. Class acts The Acacia Strain did just that the other night after a fired up gig with Full Blown Chaos.
What an amazing fucking weekend!!!!! This is what I’m talking about!!! So,The Acacia Strain donated ALL of their money to help fix the rest of the roof and pay off a back bill!!! Now I remember why I do this!!!! – Mike BlackNBlue’s Facebook post
My old school show pal Matt Slater, who I’ve known since Beneath The Remains/Unbalanced days in Poughkeepsie’s hardcore late 90’s boom, was cool enough to send us his thoughts and some photos from the show!
“We arrived in Albany at Bogies in time to catch all the bands on the bill . The local bands put on a great show , with plenty of dancing , leading up to the main acts that night . Fbc was first , playing a wide array of songs , with sing alongs, & pile ons , one after the other . Tas took the stage right after fbc, and opened up with the beast , nightman , btm fdr , skynet ,the impaler,& hills have eyes just to name a few of their carnal onslaught of tunes . After the show , the acacia strain donated all their pay back to Bogies” – Matt Slater
Click HERE for some pics from the show!Add to My Radar
Castle are tearing across the USA as we speak, bringing their San Fran with a Canadian twist blend of power doom boogie to metal heads far and wide. 13 dates are left on the tour (remaining dates after the jump, so hang tight).
The night before their Saint Vitus NYC stop the Prosthetic Records artists touched down in my town of Kingston, NY. Under Siege, their latest Billy Anderson produced burner, is in my top 5 records for hard rock/metal this year, thus far.C’mon, baby…let it light your ear candles.
My dear friend Nicole Ann Marie Terpening, who I haven’t covered a show with probably since around when Thursday were in Full Collapse mode, shot some pics for us during the band’s too brief set.
Castle’s mega Mojo blew up the P.A. , usually never a problem in the humble but awesome venue. The regular sound guy was working a tv gig, from what I hear. I thought it was Real Housewives of Beverly Hills but I think it is an Atlanta hip hop love show because I heard the phrase “ratchet ass bitches” bandied about by a friend. The guy who filled in meant well but didn’t anticipate the might of some of Castle’s bass rig juice output. Kaboom! It shouldn’t be a mark too dark on the club, though. It’s a great place for touring bands to stop between NYC and Albany, though this was obviously a drag. The venue really cares a lot about the bands that come through and treats bands well.
Castle handled it well and fans were cool, too. Everyone felt bad for the band, but hung out and a friend of mine got a great copy of the new vinyl, with cover art from Denis Forkas. Shame, (along with Screaming Females) Castle are big proof the power trio is often still the best band format for rock n roll.
I was lucky to briefly open the show singing on a fast piano and vocal set of “Black Crayon” by Dax Riggs and “Karma Police” by Radiohead, collaborating with mega talented Kelly McNally of indie/folk Upstate, NY band The Virginia Wolves. We had bad days and so it was nice to sing sad songs and make other people want to kill themselves. We joked that we would do a gypsy tour and you could tell where we went from which towns on the map had all the lights out the next day.
Dead Witch Walks from New Paltz, NY, featuring towering guitarist Mucus Barfbag, did an improv two man set of gnarled death thrash with avant garde chaos noise. It was metal as heck. Was fun to talk with Mucus and Castle about the band Demon Lung, travel in the United States compared to Europe and other chit chat. Chaos came next, a younger band I didn’t know, booked by Tainted Entertainment. They were a great hybrid of early Megadeth snarl and bluesy thrash with feel, but a raw garage primal fight to it. Of all the bands, Only Castle’s set was vocally ill fated due to sound issues. Since they are like Mercyful Fate playing as a trio like Motorhead at half tempo witj great Sabbathy vocals sung by a woman, this was a real shame. Got to hear them play a whirling rendition of “Corpse Candles” and that’s about it.
Kind of like getting ice water thrown on your dick, but still an awesome night! Mucus apparently got married accidentally over the phone, but officially, somehow with a girl in Vegas later that night. I didn’t think you were that drunk, bro!
Click HERE for the photo set and tour dates…Add to My Radar
This was an interesting line up. New York City’s Webster Hall hosted “blackjazz” Norwegians Shining, Retox and Trash Talk both representing visceral Cali punk and hardcore, and The Dillinger Escape Plan to finish the night’s uncompromising variety. I also found all the singers to be exuding some serious libido. Each vocalist crooned to swoon like it was his last night to bang. Not many shows have had such pretty dudes fronting the bands on stage either. Great night to be a girl in the crowd. I hope someone got some D, it was definitely out there.
With Dillinger headlining, you could easily guess the stage was set to absolutely demolish the fourth wall, as many of the bands took advantage of the speakers stacked for stage dives into the crowd and extra long cables for the singers to wander into the pit for a stroll.
Click here for the full review.Add to My Radar
This line up did not fuck around. Each band hit the minuscule stage and went straight for the neck. Seven bands, both local and national, absolutely lit the room up, each with their own unequivocal performance and flair. Santa Cruz, California’s Arsonists Get All The Girls helmed this massive tour, with The Last Ten Seconds of Life, Beyond The Shore, MetalRiot.com homies Seeker, and Your Chance to Die opening the show. Refuge and Airismine ran the local New York City support, bringing with them a slew of fans to flood the intimate Club Europa in Brooklyn, New York.
Click here for the full show review and pictures.Add to My Radar
Wow, what a line-up and in a very historic metal region. Massachusetts has birthed many prominent bands in the past. Blood for Blood and Death Before Dishonor bludgeoned their way into Boston’s hardcore scene and the “Philswitch” Engage troops (All That Remains/Shadows Fall/Diecast/KillswitchEngage) rose metalcore out of the west. Massachusetts loves its metal, that’s for sure. It was evident on this night, as the show had sold the fuck out. Thanks Metal Blade for the in! On this tour, Between the Buried and Me brought along some serious contenders in modern metal. San Francisco’s Deafheaven have been infiltrating the ears of critics and concertgoers with their blackened, shoegazing approach to metal, giving no fucks along the way. From LA, Intronaut is definitely the prog side of the bill, spacing way out in a cloud of smoke and bass licks. Ontario’s telecaster troubadours The Kindred just celebrated their first release on Sumerian entitled Life in Lucidity.
Click here for the full review and pictures from the photo pit.Add to My Radar
Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus has always been a bar of great metal genre diversity. I’ve seen thrash shows, prog shows, and straight up death metal shows there, sometimes all in the same night. It is also a very fertile ground for New York City’s fledgling bands as well, many citing Vitus as a “dream venue” or one they “always wanted to play.” So Hideous is one of those NYC bands out there working hard to create a memorable experience with each performance. The other two bands both hail from Reading, Pennsylvania: Black Crown Initiate, who take a progressive approach to death metal, and headlineres Rivers of Nihil. Guitarist John Kunz told me in an interview once “I’m going to write a song that sounds like fucking Morbid Angel.” That pretty much sums up their sound.
Click here for the break down and photos.Add to My Radar
Greetings cretins. Not long ago, I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Oderus Urungus of Gwar on their last visit to New York City. Serving as opening band for the tour was Richmond, Virginia’s Iron Reagan, who is comprised of members of Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour. Listen to them now. Oderus and I had a few minutes before he took to his stage decimations and decapitations. Among those tattered and torn were The Queen of England with the royal baby, Barack Obama, and Justin Bieber. Unfortunately, the re-crucifixion of Jesus happened in Jersey.
Gwar released their thirteenth studio album last September entitled Battle Maximus on Metal Blade. It is the first album featuring Pustulus Maximus on guitar.
Click here for the interview and photos from their show.Add to My Radar
Never before have I thrown myself into two concerts in a night. On top of that, I planned a hat trick of interviews throughout my evening. I was loaded for bear as my night started in Manhattan at The Marlin Room of Webster Hall to catch thrashers Diamond Plate from Chicago and Boston’s Revocation. This marks the second time I’ve seen Revocation. So fun to see live. Both have new albums out and Diamond Plate is sporting a new singer on theirs. I caught up with Diamond Plate’s Matt Ares after their set, along with David Davidson and Phil Dubois of Revocation later.
Post-Gramercy, I hopped a train to Brooklyn to catch the last, and sold the fuck out, show for TesseracT‘s US tour at the mighty Saint Vitus. Vitus is by far the standard for live metal in New York City and was totally pumped to see such a dynamic band on that stage. They had some troubles on the road earlier in the day, so their tardiness was actually a boon for me to get there in enough time in my already insanely booked night. After a ridiculously energetic yet ethereal performance, I spoke with drummer Jay Postones afterwards about this tour and the reception of their new singer, Ashe O’Hara.
My daunting endeavor turned out a to be a huge victory and with you I share the spoils. I got set lists from everyone I interviewed. So if you want to relive the shows, check out the Double Beheader playlist out here.
Click here for the coverage of the two shows and the three interview links.Add to My Radar
Last winter I thought maybe I would never have the opportunity to see OTEP in concert when she announced that Hydra would be her last album.
But then came along the “With A Vengence Tour” and on October 24, I had the great fortune of seeing not only OTEP, but the interesting band of misfits she’d been raging across the country with – and OTEP and tribe both came out in full force to make this a night to remember.
Check out how the night went here.Add to My Radar
A black stampede raged through Times Square, as hundreds of metalheads poured into the Best Buy Theater for New York City’s stop on The Summer Slaughter Tour. Eleven bands performed nine hours of chest-rattling metal for the most extreme night of the year. I was front and center for the brunt of it and let me tell you cretins: this show was every bit as intense as it was billed. Armed with my camera, press pass, iPhone, cigarettes, and scores of power backups, I was ready for journalistic war. And I fucking conquered. Click here for the full spread of pictures and commentary.Add to My Radar
One of the premier shows of the summer was Tomahawk‘s raucous return to New York City. I hadn’t seen the Mike Patton led supergroup live in years (I think since an Ipecac showcase with Melt Banana, The Melvins and maybe even Isis…a long time ago), but they were back strong and in fighting shape. 2013 has seen some top notch releases, from The Ocean’s tidal tour de force Pelagial to the latest twists-and-turns filled power metal opus Nemesis from Stratovarius, but Tomahawk’s hard rock return Oddfellows is right smack near the top of the heap.
I’ll raise some eyebrows saying this, but Tomahawk has been my favorite Patton project since the group’s inception. As much as I love Faith No More (especially stone cold classic Angel Dust and oft-forgotten Bogus Journey soundtrack gem “The Perfect Crime”), Duane Denison of Jesus Lizard fame is just such a beast on guitar that anything with his name on it is hard to beat. He’s kind of one of those Tony Iommi type guitarists who play many riffs that sound related but which all absolutely kill. I mean, this is the guy who wrote “Dancing Naked Ladies” and “Wheelchair Epidemic”, for heck’s sake. Add John Stanier on the kit, who has progressed leaps and bounds since his already untouchable early years with the mighty Helmet, and (nowadays) Trevor Dunn on bass and ’nuff said.
Click HERE to read the full reviewAdd to My Radar
In Dante’s Inferno, Hell is bordered by the Acheron river. Souls were ferried across this river to their eternal torture. That night in Brooklyn, Hell could have easily opened up beneath us. The shadows twisted and the lights burned dim as each of the opening bands grinded out their menacing set. With overwhelming cheer, Rotten Sound took the stage, celebrating twenty years as a band this tour. Before the room erupted, I had a chance to sit down with bassist Kristian Toivainen for a one on one. Check that interview out here.
For a full breakdown of the show, click here.Add to My Radar
After a month of crazy weather in New York, the sky let loose a nasty wintry mix that made roads slippery and dangerous the night before The War of Change Tour came to Rochester, NY. I was looking forward to seeing Love And Death and The Letter Black perform but wasn’t even sure I would still be going until a half hour before I left. A friend and I then met to ride to Water Street Music Hall together.
The War of Change Tour was a line-up of four Tooth & Nail Records bands which were The Wedding, The Letter Black, Love And Death and Thousand Foot Krutch. At this particular show, there were also three local bands that opened the show, Battle Beneath, Cry To The Blind and Melia.Add to My Radar