Cherry Pools, Flint Eastwood, & PVRIS | 2/28/18

The second I walked into the venue for the PVRIS show, I knew it would be a wild one. Half of the stage was covered with a tarp, and instruments were pushed to the very front of the stage with a large, neon pink Cherry Pools sign. You can tell these boys are a bit new to the scene just by how happy they were to be playing. Along with playing their two released songs, they took plenty of time for some little secret, unreleased bops. Even with their lead singer Martin having crazy bright blue hair, I found myself watching their guitarist Matty most of the show. The kid literally did not stop smiling once. His happiness spread and most people I talked to all mentioned their love for just the pure joy coming from this band.

Not long after, Flint Eastwood came out and just completely destroyed the stage. Along with some killer dance moves throughout the entire show, she would call out specific people who weren’t joining in. There was a lot of audience reaction throughout her show as she held full conversations with some fans and even pointed out some adorable couples. She introduced her last song, Queen, in the most amazing way. Que one of the most motivational speeches I have ever heard, then one of the most intense dance parties I have ever seen. She left the stage completely inspiring everyone.

There was a long pause before PVRIS, and part of it was because they fully removed the tarp and showed the most beautiful back ground at a concert venue. I don’t want to spoil it, but just be very prepared if you get the chance to see it. Lynn amazed me as always by constantly picking up a different instrument to play while she was singing. They hit all the new music and some old jams, the crowd went crazy the second My House started. After slowing it down for some piano and acoustic songs, they picked it right back up to finish with a bang. This show was definitely one for the books.

 Review courtesy of Lexi Rodriguez, who owns Hope Through Headphones

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Vans Warped Tour – Summer 2018

The last cross-country Vans Warped Tour takes place this summer from 6/21-8/5. The tour will start in California and end in Florida. Being that this is the last cross-country tour, fans expected the lineup to be nothing short of amazing. Kevin Lyman really delivered with this lineup. It is a fantastic way to end the tour with a bang.

The lineup features bands from across a wide range of genres within the scene. Some of my personal favorites will be making an appearance on the final run of the tour. There are a few bands on the lineup set to only play a few dates including my favorite band, All Time Low (A little bitter I won’t be able to see them).

Some are not a fan of the lineup saying most of the bands they want to see aren’t playing their date. Others such as, TCAP member Emily Sulkowski, said “I’m ready to have the sweatiest, rowdiest, best day ever.” She also went on to say, “I love the lineup so much and I think it’s gonna attract younger and older fans alike.” I totally agree with Emily but also agree that more bands should be playing the full tour.

You can see bands and artists all the way from pop punk band, State Champs all the way to the death metal band, Nekrogoblikon (trust me I never heard of them either, but I’m intrigued). Some warped tour staples such as Taking Back Sunday, Sum 41, Reel Big Fish, and Less than Jake will be making appearances on the tour which really takes the tour back to its roots. Less than Jake has been on the tour since 1997 and this summer will be their 10th time appearing on the tour! It’s exciting to see a mix of new bands and older bands all coming together to make this last tour one for the books.

Thank you, Kevin Lyman, for all that you have done to bring this scene together every summer. I am sad to see the tour go but I am happy that it happened. It was the first place I ever photographed a concert and it will forever hold a special place in my heart for that. Looking back on where I started to where I am now, without warped tour I never would’ve gotten here.

Rebecca McKay

Icon For Hire – Turn Your Pain Into Art Tour 2/23/18

When a band uses all their might to push forward and promote self-acceptance and love, I am all for it. For the powerhouse band Icon For Hire, this was my exact feeling. Coming from having to declare bankruptcy, due to a bad record deal, to now being independent and being able to play over several countries, this band has impressed me a lot. With Makeout on the tour with them, I knew this would be quite a night.

Although there were two locals that night, the night truly didn’t start for me until Makeout hit the stage. These four gents surely awoke the crowd, bringing good vibes of pop punk and pop rock throughout the venue. Playing a 7-song set, all coming from their debut album “The Good Life”, released via Rise Records in 2017, these dudes turned it out. I am so glad I was able to buy a cd and have them sign it as well.

As I said before, I’m a big Icon For Hire fan. In fact, when they did the go fund me for their newest album, both my Dad and I pitched in a sum of about $30 to make sure they had our support. They wound up raising $126,000 from that. Their newest tour is named after the lead singer Ariel Bloomer’s new book titled Turn Your Pain Into Art. The book is all about her experiences of her journey from being an insecure individual into a grown woman with self-confidence and poise. Their set list did just this as well. They played songs from each album and threw a few covers in there as well. The order of the songs was strategic, as they went from that dark place and gradually became more upbeat and happy. I was so happy to be able to go see one of my all-time favorites once again and I hope to see them again soon.

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Review courtesy of  Jamie Kaufman

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*REVIEW * New Politics | Lost in Translation Tour 2018

I have only one word for the New Politics Lost in Translation Tour, wow. Just wow. This concert was quite possibly the most fun I have ever had at a concert.

Just getting there, it was one of the nicest crowds of a concert I’ve ever seen. Everybody was so happy and welcoming, it was about enjoying the music over getting to the barricade. Everywhere you went there were little pockets of people breaking out into dance throughout the whole concert and new friendships forming.

The first band to play was The Wrecks. I had listened to a few of their songs just so I was ready when they came on, but they absolutely blew me away. If there is any band that is even better live than over recording, it is The Wrecks. The vocals are simply amazing, Nick was singing such high notes nonstop. A girl next to me said that last time she saw him he was sick, yet he still came out and gave it his all on those hard songs. Towards the end they played a new song and the guitarists took turns absolutely tearing it up. Every instrument had a solo in this song, and every instrumentalist deserved that solo. The Wrecks very quickly became my favorite band, I even bought a hat for them to sign. I am just blown away with this band.

After The Wrecks, DREAMERS stepped up to the plate. After bringing the energy and hyping up the crowd, they decided to slow it down for a song. One fan jokingly protested it and these boys handled it like pros, saying they are just planning on depressing us for one song. The lead singer, Nick, told us a quick story behind it. (I feel like almost every guy on this tour is named Nick at this point.) Stating the fact that those who survive a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge regret jumping the second they do, he tells how this song is about being right on that edge of committing suicide. Right after, they brought the energy right back up when Nick made a toast to the audience. With the last few songs, Nick went from jumping up and down, to dancing around the stage, to jumping out over the crowd. It was a very large ending and really set the tone for the final act of the night, New Politics.

The crowd was ready, and they showed it the second the lights went down. New Politics brought more energy to the first few songs of their set than I’ve ever seen. I was down in the pit shooting and felt like I had to run everywhere just to keep up with them. I feared for my life at one point when David looked down at me, then stepped over me onto the barricade. The lights on this set were just gorgeous. I love the color choices for them and they worked it. David then made the announcement that he is a dad and his genuine excitement was the most adorable thing ever, that poor mother is never going to be the “fun parent.” After a few more songs and random handstands, the lights went down for a bit. They came up on Soren playing a beautiful melody on the piano that eventually turned into a very energetic Madeleine. More songs, then the whole crow helped sing Happy Birthday to one of New Politics oldest friends and coworkers. In between all the songs from their newest album they threw in a few classics like Dignity and West End Kids, and it made those of us that knew them ecstatic. I have to say my personal favorite was when they played Lifted, but I’ve just always dreamed of hearing that song live. It did not disappoint. The crazy energetic concert ended with a bang when the whole crowd went crazy for Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. With this friendly of a crowd, there was no way you couldn’t feel like One of Us (see what I did there?). This concert was without a doubt, one of the most fun concerts I’ve ever been to, I would gladly relive this night over and over again.

 Review courtesy of Lexi Rodriguez, who owns Hope Through Headphones

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The Peace and the Panic Tour | Photos & Review

         I had the honor of shooting Neck Deep’s ‘The Peace and the Panic’ tour, with Speak Low if You Speak Love, Creeper, and Seaway in Norfolk, VA on January 30th. In one word I’d describe the show as, “SPECTACULAR” I’ve seen Neck Deep in the past, but for some odd reason this show meant so much more to me than any of their prior shows.

      The night started with a 4 hour drive from NC, which had some bumps along the way, causing us to be a bit late. We finally got there during the end of Speak Low if You Speak Love’s show. Ryan is such a lovely human and performs wonderfully any time I’ve seen him with his other band, State Champs. So it was no surprise that he did an amazing job at this show. Next band was Seaway. I have never personally seen them before, but I had definitely heard of them. The band put on an awesome show and brought an intense energy to the crowd that I haven’t seen in a hot minute. I’d love to shoot for them again in the future when I’ve learned a couple more of their songs. Finally, last, but definitely by no means least, Neck Deep was up to preform. There was an overwhelming feeling in the air of excitement, happiness, and wonderment. You could tell just by looking at the crowd, that many of the people attending have been waiting a long time for this moment. I spoke with a few attendees as well and they were all beyond excited. Truly nothing feels as good as the mutual happiness among everyone in a venue, about to see their favorite band. Neck Deep finally came out and played a beautiful set with mixed song from their older and newer stuff, such as their new album, “The Peace and the Panic” which you can listen to here. The show was executed perfectly with just the right amount of upbeat songs, and heartfelt, sadder songs. I saw so many friends, partners, and strangers screaming the words to their favorite songs, holding each other close, and dancing the night away. It was one of the best shows I’ve been to in a really long time. I’d definitely suggest catching Neck Deep in your nearest city the next time they come around. I know I will.


 Photos  & review courtesy of Izzy Corcoran

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An HONEST review of “Mania” by Fall Out Boy


One would expect Fall Out Boy to make another pop album along the lines of American Beauty/American Psycho. Their new album Mania, however, is all over the place and never really finds its focus. The first single, “Young And Menace”, is a shrill dub-step mess that does not lend itself well to Patrick’s voice and well overstays its run time. “Champion” is at best a bland overly repetitive track that feels like it was tailor-made for radio. The track, “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)”, is the one glimmer of hope for this album and it seems to have been added for their old fans to show that they didn’t forget about them. With that being said, Mania is still bogged down in mediocre pop ideas that never really connect and leaves the listener with an album that’s more confusing than catchy; a damning sentence for a band that supposedly sold their souls to save rock and roll. 2/10

Review courtesy of Amanda Spring

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Suicide Silence – 10 Years of The Cleansing Tour 12/17/17 Review 

In many genres, we can all picture in our heads that one album that defines what a genre is and sets the bar for what future releases for the genre should be. Suicide Silence’s album The Cleansing is just that for the deathcore genre. This album is iconic for so many reasons: the dynamics, the distinct vocal stylings of Mitch Lucker, and the lyrics that drew people in. This iconic album hit its 10-year mark, which meant the band would go on tour in support of this release, along with some amazing bands supporting them. With a 40-day tour, and this being the last date, I knew we were in for a treat.

While there were some local opening acts, the first official band from the tour was Prison. Now, Prison has an interesting story. This was their very first tour, they came out on that stage and killed it. They played every song off their debut EP titled “N.G.R.I”. Also, Prison was the only unsigned band on the tour, which is very cool to see. I feel they will become signed very soon, as they have the talent and passion to get there. Prison speaks about issues a lot of people and bands are scared to talk about: suicide, depression, the struggles we go through on a day to day basis. The lead singer, especially, has a deep life story about depression that hit me deep to my core. It meant the world to hear a band speak boldly about conquering depression, and deriving their whole being from how to overcome that depression. It was amazing to see just an emotion-driven performance, filled with amazing crowd participation.

The next band up was the infamous Upon a Burning Body. This was my third time seeing this band and they always have some of the best stage presence I’ve ever seen. Playing songs from their whole discography, it was amazing to see them light up the stage. Though mainly backlit, it was fun to shoot their set. They chose a perfect eight-song set, spreading the songs out almost equally through their 4 albums, although 3 songs came from their most recent release “Straight From The Barrio”, via Sumerian Records. I knew they were amazing live, but out of the three times I’ve seen them, this was by far the best I’ve seen them play live. They were on fire out there.

The second to last band up was Winds of Plague. Now, I have a fun story, I met the members outside before the show and they were so down to earth and happy to meet people. I brought every album from their discography, as well as an album from their keyboardist Adrienne Cowan’s other band Seven Spires, which made her, and the rest of the band, very happy. When it came to the performance on stage, they were brilliant from head to toe. With a ten-song set, with songs from most of their five-album discography, they were filled with energy, fire, and talent. I was extremely excited to watch them play, as I had been waiting to see Winds of Plague since I got into them back in 2011 from playing Rock Band on my Xbox. Their newest release “Blood Of My Enemy”, release on EOne Music, is their best release to date, and what they played from it last night proves just that. Winds of Plague is back and better than ever.

The final band on was the one and only Suicide Silence. This was my second time seeing the legends of deathcore and they did not disappoint. Being the 10-year anniversary tour for their very first album, they knew they had to go out hard. Vocalist Eddie Hermida did his part to scream those vocals out hard, in memorial of previous vocalist Mitch, who died in a motorcycle accident November 1st, 2012. That incident shook the fanbase to the core, but the band continued with Eddie as the new vocalist. Since then, they released two albums with Eddie, the newest being the self-titled “Suicide Silence” via Nuclear Blast Records. On every date, the band played The Cleansing in its entirety, being twelve songs. Along with the twelve songs, they played three encore songs, being off three out of four of their other releases. I was blown away to see how on fire they were with these songs, as well as how identical Eddie was able to make his vocals sound to Mitch’s with these songs. At the end of the set, drummer Alex Lopez smashed his drum set and Chris Garza set his guitar on fire and then smashed it to pieces. Both members threw their instruments into the crowd, which resulted in people in the crowd fighting over pieces of broken guitar and drum parts.

Overall, it was an amazing show to attend and I’m so grateful to have covered it.

Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman 

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