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Trivium are currently on leg 2 of a massive co-headlining tour with Devildriver (with direct support from After the Burial) in support of their latest full-length release, Vengeance Falls. The co-headliner has been going since early September and now leg 2 of the tour continues on through December 15th, ending in California. This leg of the tour swapped out Sylosis, who had been opening for the lineup until an unfortunate RV crash in late September, for Providence, RI’s Thy Will Be Done.
I was fortunate to catch the tour as it made its way through Nashville, TN on November 25th to pack the 500-capacity venue, Exit/In. The venue is great for metal shows as a fan, but as a photographer it’s a real challenge because there is no barrier to allow for movement in front of the stage, or for protection from those moshing behind. I only mention all this because I got there a bit too late to fight my way up front and photograph Thy Will Be Done, who put on a great opening set, despite being relegated a criminally small portion of the venue’s already small stage. These gentlemen always put on a fantastic show, and have seen a lot of airtime on Sirius XM recently. TWBD are definitely a band to look out for in the coming year!
After the Burial took the stage next, playing to an audience that seemed to have never heard of them. Within the first 30 seconds, it was almost entertaining to see all the people I’d overheard asking “who’s this next band?” standing with their mouths agape or headbanging furiously to the grooves of ATB’s opening track, “My Frailty” from 2011′s In Dreams. Things never slowed down in their set, with the band even treating fans to two new tracks, including the massively catchy (and awesome, in my opinion) “A Wolf Amongst Ravens” and “Anti-Pattern” from their upcoming release, Wolves Within (out on December 17, 2013 via Sumerian Records). ATB closed their six-song set with “Aspiration” off of 2008′s Rareform. They put on a hell of a show, I can’t help but think that touring with the likes of Trivium and Devildriver has helped them improve live, and playing each night before an audience that is mostly new to their music can only be a good thing to help further their career. Read more »
Last Friday (25), Between the Buried and Me’s Fall tour rolled in for the last date of its six-week run to play a show at Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, TN. Lately I’d been disappointed in turnouts for metal shows in Nashville, but this show was an exception to this trend, with the venue filled to the brim with at least 1000 metalheads, if not more. The Safety Fire started things off with a pretty short set featuring 5 new tracks off of of their 2013 release Mouth of Swords. They closed their set with their fan-favorite song from their 2012 release Grind the Ocean, “Huge Hammers.” All together these Brits put on a good show and got the crowd moving.
The Contortionist were up next, and I was stoked to see Last Chance to Reason’s Michael Lessard at the helm of the band, on his first tour with them as their official new singer. I wasn’t sure how he’d sound, but he killed it! Definitely the best possible pick for the band to have made. They played a 5-song set featuring material from their 2012 release Intrinsic, including “Holomovement” and “Solipsis.”
The Faceless took the stage afterwards, and were the best I’ve ever seen them, and played a ton of new material off of their 2012 album Autotheism. Michael Keene was like a machine, hammering out each and every complicated riff with what looked like effortless ease. The band played “Autotheist Movements” 1-3 in a row, to the delight of myself and many other fans, and although they played more newer material, they managed to include 2 tracks off of Planetary Duality, closing with “Xenochrist” (who doesn’t love that song?).
Last to take the stage, Between The Buried and Me launched into a set playing their recent release, The Parallax II: Future Sequence, in its entirety, and ending with their hit song “White Walls.” This was my first time seeing BTBAM live and wow…I was floored. They had crazy lighting (maybe not so good for photos) that created an ambiance that I’ve never experienced at a metal show. While the crowd did mosh at times and scream along, I’ve never seen such attentive fans at a show – I’m pretty sure they were just taken aback by how amazing BTBAM’s live show was, they just sounded SO GOOD! By the end of their set I felt like I’d experienced a whole different type of metal concert, it’s hard to describe how awesome this show was, how good the lineup of bands were. Do yourself a favor though, catch them on their next tour through the US (presumably in 2014)! Read more »
The 2nd annual Ride for Dime Nashville charity show, which raised money for local animal rescue Proverbs 12:10 and the non-profit Ride For Dime took place on October 5th at Nashville Center Stage. All of the bands playing were playing for free.
The event kicked off with a tribute ride down to the venue. The show itself began with a Pantera tribute set by Nashville band, Hell Head, which was followed by sets from Chicago’s Habit of Force, Scottsville’s BeyonDuplication, and Scranton’s Digital Collapse. The event was hosted by Sirius XM Liquid Metal’s Jose Mangin, who even joined several of the acts on stage to help out on vocals for various Pantera covers.
Nashville’s Voodoo Prophet, who’ve been featured on Mangin’s program several times (Mangin even joined them on stage for their final song–see photos below!), were the last act on before the headlining act of the night, the mighty Sevendust! Sevendust launched into a set featuring fan-favorites like “Strong Arm Broken”, and “Denial”, but also featured newer tracks from their 2013 release, like “Decay” and “Till Death”. Unfortunately, with ~20 minutes left in their set, Sevendust’s equipment blew out. From what I gathered, this was a result of the prior days show, in which their gear had gotten wet and not had a chance to fully dry. This was definitely a bit of a bummer, but they managed ~25-30 minutes of great music before this happened, so all in all, it was still a good time.
While the final tally for the total amount of money raised from the event is not fully added up yet, previous RFD events this year in Dallas and in Pennsylvania raised $5,000 and $2,300 respectively. Check out photos of Voodoo Prophet and Sevendust below! Read more »
Last night, a special advance screening of Metallica’s much hyped 3D IMAX film Through The Never was held in New York City. Along with us, the theater was packed at least a hundred others and included an intro from That Metal Show’s Eddie Trunk and Jim Florentine (who revealed that they’re trying to bring the show back from L.A. to N.Y.). The crowd had seen plenty of sneak peeks of the part concert/part narrative film online. But finally we finally had an answer to whether Metallica could pull off an IMAX movie.
Without a doubt, the highlight of the entire film was Metallica’s performance itself. Metallica has always been praised for its powerful stage show, filled with loads of pyro and jumbo screens, and the band truly upped the ante for the big screen. The gigantic center stage had all of Metallica’s “greatest bits,” everything from Doris the Lady Justice from … And Justice To All to the stage collapsing bit seen in 1997’s Cunning Stunts concert video. Yet as great of a sight as it was to see those bits, it was seeing the band’s natural chemistry onstage that stole the show. Unlike most concert films, you felt as if you were truly witnessing the show from the band’s point of view rather than the audience’s. This gave the viewers the opportunity to witness every mannerism, every strut, every interaction, and even every mistake up close and personal, a sight normally unavailable at most shows. Read more »
It’s only been a few months since Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison announced that he’d formed a new side project. Scar the Martyr didn’t have a name at the time, but it was unveiled that former Strapping Young Lad guitarist Jed Simon was involved. A few months later, the band unveiled their name and the rest of the lineup. And with their debut album coming due out on October 1 and a song already out there, the band have taken to the road, opening for Danzig. The band’s first show ever was on August 9 in Toronto, but their US debut was the following evening at New York City’s The Studio at Webster Hall.
The crowd was warmed up by New York City teen/preteen band Unlocking the Truth, who proved they’re more than just an internet meme, and definitely have a promising future ahead of them. At this point, the crowd was relatively full, but not packed, which isn’t surprising for a band that many people are still unaware of. As the band started their eight song set of unfamiliar material, there were a few things that stood out: First of all, Jordison is a punk rock drummer. It showed in his previous band The Murderdolls, and it shows now. Secondly, the dual guitars of Simon and ex-Darkest Hour guitarist Kris Norris were definitely solid. At times, each guitarist had eight-string guitars. That, combined with keyboardist Joey Blush (Chris Vrenna played on the album), put the band’s sound solidly between industrial, nu-metal, and traditional heavy metal. Singer Henry Derek’s voice mixed melody and aggression, not unlike the vocalist of Jordison’s main project. By the time the eighth song, the sludgy “Last Night,” ended, the band likely had more fans than they’d started out with.
The crowd yelled for an encore, but being that it was the Scar the Martyr’s second show ever, they didn’t have anything more to play. And while the band might still be in the process of finding their legs, from what we saw and heard on Saturday, they’ll definitely appeal to any fans of the last 15 years of heavy music, specifically if they came to the new band because of its drummer. Scroll down for the set list and the band’s remaining tour dates with Danzig and Huntress. Read more »
Photo, Chris Becker
It’s been a long time since Black Sabbath put out an album with Ozzy Osbourne, 35 years to be exact. So the tour behind 13, the band’s first album ever to debut at No. 1 in America, had something to prove. One of the first of 20 North American shows to be announced in support of the album, Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center was sold out, with 17,500 fans spanning multiple generations showing up to soak in some music from the architects of heavy metal.
Whether it was a cost-cutting situation or just an attempt to further point out that there’s no opening band that could touch Sabbath’s 43-year legacy, Andrew WK opened up by DJing an hour of metal. However, most of the hard-partying was taking place in the parking lot during his DJ set. When Sabbath took the stage for their two-hour set, from the opening sirens of “War Pigs,” the crowd roared their approval, showing that they were on board for whatever was ahead.
Anyone that’s seen Ozzy or Black Sabbath throughout the years knew what they’d be in for. However, with Ozzy not having played with the band since 2006, it was probably some of the audience’s first time seeing the band, as familiar as they might have been with their catalog. While there have been many YouTube clips showing Ozzy’s vocals to be lacking on this tour, he did an admirable job as a frontman. Was he in tune all the time? Absolutely not, but that hasn’t stopped critics from swinging all over Pallbearer’s dick, and this is Ozzy Osbourne we’re talking about here. If you’re honestly seeing Black Sabbath or Ozzy solo just for his vocal talents, you’re doing it wrong. Repeatedly thanking the crowd for being there, he trotted out the tropes many that have seen him are familiar with (“I can’t fucking hear you!,” “let me see your hands!”), and alternated ducking his head in a bucket of water and throwing it out into the crowd (water, not his head).
And while Ozzy will be Ozzy, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi were in top shape yesterday. Iommi didn’t seem to be inconvenienced at all by the cancer treatment he’d been receiving, playing as fleet-fingered as ever. And Butler is as busy a bassist as ever, unflappable as his fingers buzzed around his bass. And as disappointing as it is that original drummer Bill Ward wasn’t part of the reunion, for whatever reason, it really is hard to imagine that he’d do as well as Tommy Clufetos did. Almost half the age of the other three on stage, Clufetos was energetic, hard hitting, and was given a solo that gave Osbourne, Iommi and Butler a chance to recharge.
As far as the music was concerned, the band’s two-hour set seemed much shorter than it actually was. Playing music spanning their 43 years of recorded history, there were some songs like “Snowblind” and “Behind the Wall of Sleep” that were a little deeper to counteract the “N.I. B.”s and “Iron Man”s of the set. Thankfully, they didn’t overdo it on the new material either, playing three songs from the new album as well as a B-side (“Methademic”) that should have been included on the album. And while “this one’s from the new album” is usually translates to “pee break,” the new material blended in very nicely with the old.
In all, anyone that caught the show knew they were in for a special show. While not a full-fledged reunion, seeing Iommi, Butler and Osbourne on the same stage and the same page was inspirational. And given the sad and sudden death of another Black Sabbath vocalist a few years back, not to mention Iommi’s ongoing health issues, it’s not like any of these shows should be taken for granted, and by the time the last note of “Paranoid” rang out, the crowd had definitely gotten what they’d come for.
Set list and remaining dates below: Read more »
Picking up where I left off on Tuesday’s Part I of our coverage of the Indianapolis stop of the Vans Warped Tour, I headed back to the Kia Soul Stage for pop-punk band, The Wonder Years. I’ve always heard great things about these guys, even from some of my most “metal” friends, and it was easy to see why. Their was filled with infectious hooks and exuberant sing-a-longs with the crowd. Even if you’re not a huge fan of the genre, if there’s one pop-punk band to see on Warped, it’s these guys.
Up next, Upon a Burning Body took to the Monster Stage, decked out in customized “UABB” formal attire, and played a killer set of music featuring tracks from both their latest release, Red. White. Green., and their older record The World Is Ours. This is a band that has toured the U.S. A LOT in the last few years, so I’ve seen them several times, but I’ve NEVER seen a crowd so receptive to them. They had the area around the Monster Stage filled up with fans who all seemed to be shouting the words to every song the band played. Not only has their fan base grown, but their live show has improved greatly as well. Be sure to catch them on Warped if you can!
Back to the Kia Forte Stage now for one of the more anticipated acts of the tour, Bring Me The Horizon. BMTH just put out a new record a few months back entitled Sempiternal and have been riding a wave of positive publicity from the record since that release. It’d been a few years since I’d seen these British gentlemen, but they didn’t disappoint, playing a set that featured tracks both new and old (nothing off of 2006′s Count Your Blessings, but they did play some songs from 2008′s Suicide Season). BMTH frontman Oli Sykes was one of the more vocal musicians of those who recently spoke out about a new Warped Tour policy in which bands are no longer allowed to incite moshing from the crowd, including asking fans to do a ‘wall of death’. The policy, as explained by Kevin Lyman, is due to the number of lawsuits that have been filed against Warped for injuries sustained by kids in mosh pits. Evidently Oli has found a way to circumvent the new rule in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner, half singing/screaming the words “Let me see a wall of deathhh” as if to disguise what he was doing, at the end of a verse in their track “Diamonds Aren’t Forever”, right before the biggest breakdown in the song. All in all though, they put on a hell of a live show, with their new guitarist even taking to an inflatable raft and crowd surfing in it.
After Bring Me The Horizon, I ran off to catch The Black Dahlia Murder at the Monster stage. I wasn’t sure what to expect, with TBDM being the heaviest band on the tour, and wasn’t sure if the average Warped attendee would be interested in a legitimate metal band (as opposed to the various “core” sub-genres commonly featured), but to my surprise the band drew a relatively huge crowd. Their set included the first three tracks of their just-released album Everblack as well as fan-favorites from 2003′s Unhallowed, 2005′s Miasma, and 2007′s Nocturnal, including one of my favorites, “Statutory Ape” (Other dates have had the ape mascot during this song, alas we did not get to see the statutory ape at our date).
Footage of Satutory Ape from Indianapolis date by YouTube user Ethan McMahan is available here. Aside from the huge turnout for it, it was neat to see the ridiculous amount of younger fans crowd surfing over and over again during their set! Perhaps this will get a new generation hooked on heavier music?
After taking a break from the metal and catching MC Lars and Big Chocolate, it was back to the Monster Stage for two bands from the U.K. that I’d been looking forward to all day long. Up first, Architects (UK) put on one of the rawest and most energetic showings I witnessed at Warped that day. With a set featuring songs from their older 2009 release, Hollow Crown, and their most recent 2012 release Daybreaker, the band was joined by Crossfaith frontman, Kenta Koie for the song “Even If You Win You’re Still a Rat” and by letlive frontman Jason Aalon Butler for the song “Follow the Water” (see photos of both artists with the band below). Architects are definitely vastly underrated and I really think they ought to be much bigger in the U.S., like they are in Canada and the U.K. However, if the band plays a set like they did this day at every date on Warped I think there’s a good chance that they’ll be touring through the states much more often then they have in the past.
The last band of the night, While She Sleeps, from Sheffield, UK,was one that I was so excited to see. However, they had the misfortune of having to compete against one of the biggest-drawing acts on Warped, Sleeping With Sirens. As such, their set at 8:05pm began with a crowd of ~80 people. Rather than putting on a half-assed set, the melodic hardcore band gave it their all anyways, and put on a display that gave high-energy acts, letlive and The Chariot, a run for their money. The band played songs off of their debut full-length entitled This is the Six. After photographing their first 4 songs, I tried to film the title track…but got distracted by the opportunity to mosh a bit when lead singer Lawrence Taylor hopped the barrier and performed in the midst of a mosh pit….but you can see the footage here.
By the end of their set, While She Sleeps had managed to wrangle at least 100 more people over from other stages to check them out. Much like with Architects, I can’t urge you enough to check these guys out if you can fit it into your Warped schedule! After their set they did an impromptu hang-out with the fans who had been cool enough to come watch them play. And with that my day was over, and I made the 5-hour drive back home. I’m happy to say that I’ll be attending Warped once more this year in Atlanta on July 25th.
Check out pictures from the bands mentioned above’s sets in the gallery below. You can see more of Nate’s work by following his Facebook page! Read more »
I was fortunate enough to be able to cover the 2013 Vans Warped Tour as it made it’s way to Noblesville, IN (on the outskirts of Indianapolis). My day began at 2:15am as I grabbed two friends and made the 5-hour drive north, picking up a third friend on the way. Although the region had just been drenched by a few inches of rain the day before, we luckily had good weather that day, and highs around 87 degrees, which, if you’ve been to Warped or any other summer festival in the U.S., is pretty nice!
But onto the actual music and hijinks and craziness that was Warped that day–we arrived there early and got in with ample time to catch the first band on the Kia Soulstage, Man Overboard. They put on a fun set of pop-punk that got the crowd of mostly teens and tweens moving and crowd-surfing despite it being relatively early in the day. It was to be an epic day as nearly all of the bands I wanted to see and photograph were not going to overlap–meaning I could catch them all!
Letlive. were up next on the Kia Forte stage, conveniently located right next to the Kia Soul stage, and were easily one of the highest-energy and most exciting bands of the day, with vocalist Jason Aalon Butler bounding back and forth across the stage and leaping into the crowd. At one point Jason even threw an amp cab across the stage – these guys are truly ridiculous live. These gentlemen have improved greatly since the last time I had the chance to see them, and their new material on their upcoming release, The Blackest Beautiful is truly a huge leap forward for them. I’ve talked to friends who’ve seen them on other dates of Warped and letlive is indeed bringing the energy on every date so they’re definitely worth seeing when the tour rolls through your town!
August Burns Red took to the stage after letlive, and were easy to get to as they were on the Kia Soul stage and put on a set that featured material both new, from their album they put out last week entitled Rescue & Restore, and material off of 2011′s Leveler and their older releases like 2007′s Messenger. While they were tight and solid as always, they truly seemed to be having a good time, with guitarists JB and Brent goofing around in between and during songs and the band sending beach balls out into the crowd. Frontman Jake Luhrs took time to address the audience, but unlike other bands of the Christian metal scene, he didn’t get overly preachy.
Back to the Kia Forte stage (convenient right?), for Attila was up next. These guys have gotten a lot of buzz lately both for their frontman Chris “Fronzilla” Fronzak’s attracting the Westboro Baptist Church’s attention and for their new record, About That Life, in which Chris (a.k.a. Fronz) doesn’t seem to hold anything back lyrically. Their live performance, however, speaks for itself. Few bands that day had the sheer volume of people they had turn out in the audience, or had the crowd going as nuts as these gentlemen from Atlanta, GA. Their set featured a smattering of new material from their freshly released album, as well as a few old fan-favorites from 2011′s Outlawed. With all the hype surrounding this band it’d be easy to be turned off from seeing them live on Warped when so many other bands are playing at the same time, however I’d encourage you to check them out, if for nothing else than the ridiculous display of kids going crazy to them. The band will be on Warped until July 11th.
After Attila I finally made my way to the Monster Stage to catch another band from Georgia, The Chariot. Their set was equal in craziness to that of letlive, albeit less of a spectacle due to the smaller crowd and smaller stage. The highlight of their set was when Jason Aalon Butler from letlive made a surprise guest appearance for the song “Not”. That’s it for now, check out Metal Insider later this week when we get WARPED again for the second half of our coverage.
Check out pictures from the bands mentioned above’s sets in the gallery below. You can see more of Nate’s work by following his Facebook page! Read more »
Scion Rock Fest took place on June 1st across 5 venues along Beale St. in Memphis, TN. The full festival lineup included a myriad of bands from different metal subgenres, giving fans a diverse lineup to check out all day long. To make things even better, tickets were 100% free. The day itself was supposed to be rainy, and early-on it was rather wet outside, but luckily the weather cleared just as the festival kicked off around 3 p.m.
There was no way I was going to be able to catch all of the bands on the lineup as the stages were running simultaneously, so I did my best to ask around ahead of time about whom I should check out and was able to catch 14 of the 32 bands playing. During my day I was able to catch (in order from early in the day to late in the day): A Life Once Lost, Gigan, Call of the Void, Vektor, Rotting Out, Code Orange Kids, Corrosion of conformity, Vision of Disorder, Touché Amore, Municipal Waste, Gates of Slumber, Six Feet Under, Whitechapel, and Testament!
Because I ran around from stage to stage so much, I’m just going to focus on the festival experience itself instead of talking about individual bands’ sets. Most of the venues were all ages, with 2/5 being 21+, so the crowd was a weird mix of teenagers and older metal heads. While all the stages were different, they all offered intimate experiences for fans, with no barriers at any of the stages (this offered many complications for me, trying to take photos of these bands without getting killed). Out of the different venue offerings, the scariest to me was the Hard Rock Cafe in Memphis. The bands playing there that day were mostly hardcore bands or old school punk bands, with the types of fans that like to stage dive and mosh like theyr’e fighting invisible ninjas. The issue at this venue was that the Hard Rock had clearly not realized that their clientele that day would be moshing in such a manner, and several waitresses nearly got taken out by stage-divers. Otherwise this venue was a blast, with Code Orange Kids, Call of the Void, and Touché Amore being the most fun bands there.
Over at the New Daisy Theater, Municipal Waste put on a set that was easily one of the funniest I’ve ever seen, and had one of the rowdiest crowds of any non-headlining band. I made it over to catch part of Gates of Slumber’s set, and was impressed, but couldn’t stay for long. The other big highlights for me that day were Whitechapel and Testament, both of which I had the privilege to see from side-stage and then back-stage during their sets. Whitechapel put on one of the longest sets I’ve ever seen them play, playing for more than an hour to their audience in what amounted to almost a home-town show (Whitechapel are from Knoxville, TN).
When Testament went on at 10:30 that night to play until 12-midnight, the New Daisy Theater was packed! Led by frontman Chuck Billy, the band wowed the audience and certainly eclipsed everyone else who had played earlier. They were the perfect choice to end one of truly, the most metal of any show I’ve ever been to!
Check out photos from the bands I saw during the festival in the gallery below. Read more »
I recently had the good fortune to catch Deftones and Periphery on the Koi No Yokan Tour on March 15th at a sold-out show, in Nashville, TN at Marathon Music Works (one of the more awesome venues in Nashville)! While a fan of both bands, I’d never gotten the chance to see either one, so this was a real treat.
Periphery kicked things off with a set of “progressive” metal (or as I and others of my ilk like to call it, ‘djent’!). For a band with such technically demanding music, I was expecting there to be mistakes or at least for the band to not sound as good as they did on recordings, however, Periphery were impeccably tight, and their set was flawless! My only complaint is that, for a tour with two bands on the bill, the supporting act should have gotten a longer set. Periphery’s set felt unjustly short, featuring a mere 7 or 8 tracks (by my best approximation). What they lacked in quantity, they made up for in quality though, playing several tracks off of their latest record, including “Ragnarok”, “Scarlet”, “Make Total Destroy”, and “Facepalm Mute”. They also played older tracks, “Jetpacks Was Yes v2.0” and “Icarus Lives!” from their previous release. While much of the audience seemed to be comprised of concert-goers in their mid-late 20’s, and 30’s, who appeared to have never heard the band, many were soon Periphery converts, head-banging and moshing by the end of the set. If other crowds at this tour are similar to that night’s, I can see this being a big chance for Periphery to grow their fanbase to include older-aged fans.
Deftones took the stage, kicking their set off with “Diamond Eyes”, the title-track from their 2010 release. Their set featured a whopping 20 songs, and went on for about an hour and forty-five minutes! Despite it being the “Koi No Yokan” tour, the band only played 4 tracks off of Koi No Yokan (by my best count)! Otherwise, they played songs from each of their albums, reaching all the way back to their 1995 release, Adrenaline for their 2-song encore to play “Engine No. 9” and “7 Words”. Through this long set, Chino Moreno must’ve gotten a hell of a workout—not content to stand in one place, he seemed to always be running or jumping about on the stage and is probably one of the most athletic frontmen I’ve ever seen. Deftones put on a hell of a show, and if you have the chance to catch them on this leg of the tour in the US (through March 30th), or in late April/early May before they head overseas, they’re definitely worth seeing! Read more »