Rings of Saturn – Dank Memes Tour Review 

 

When one hears that a tour titled the “Dank Memes Tour” is rolling around, one may stop and be puzzled by what that entails. But once they see the lineup filled with the deathcore affiliates, they know it’s going to be one epic night of music.  

The first band up was Gloom. This amazing deathcore band with black metal influences surely came out swinging. Playing songs from their debut album “Solaris”, released via EOne Records in 2017, they shredded that stage and got the night off to a great start.  

The next band up was Entheos. This was my 2nd time seeing them. Entheos has a dear place in my heart, as they are so much more than your typical deathcore band. How I’d best describe them is by saying they’re a mixture of deathcore, fusion, jazz, and groove. They have a very diverse sound unlike any other. They played songs from each release of theirs. But, most of their set came from their newest release, “Dark Future”, released via Spinefarm records in the fall of 2017. They slayed that stage and were one of my personal favorites that evening. 

The next band was no other than Lorna Shore. This was my 4th time seeing these deathcore gents and they were quite amazing. Each time I see them, they bring a level of talent and complexity through their music. Their newest release, “Flesh Coffin”, released via Outerloop Records in early 2017, was truly spectacular. For the most part, they played songs off this release, but still threw in one or two songs from earlier releases. The amount of energy these dudes bring to the table is amazing and I cannot wait to see them again.  

The next band up was Allegaeon. Allegaeon was one of my favorites of the evening for many reasons. I am a sucker for some melodic death metal mixed in with deathcore, and this band does it perfectly. From the dueling guitar solos, to those heavy breakdowns, this band is truly one to check out. They played songs from most of their albums, but most them came from their newest release “Proponent for Sentience”, released via Metal Blade Records in 2016. I was blown away by their stage presence and hope to see them again soon. 

The second to last band up was the infamous Nekrogoblikon. To say this band is conceptual is an understatement. With all their songs being about goblins, and even having a goblin come on stage and hype up the crowd, this band blows my mind with their creativity. They also blow me away with their independent releases and self-management. Nekrogoblikon was just announced as one of the bands to be on the final full-country run of the Vans Warped Tour and will be on the Monster Mutant White Lightning stage and will be on for the entire tour. So, if you like heavy music and like some very entertaining stage presence, I highly recommend checking these guys out! 

The final band of the night was the headlining band Rings of Saturn. This was my 4th time seeing the band that invented their own genre, Aliencore. Another conceptual band that has taken the world by storm, these guys surely know how to get a crowd going. With highly technical instrumentals and lyrics that all have to do with aliens, you have a band with some serious talent. They played a 9-song set, including the encore. A majority of the set came from their most recent release “Ultu Ulla”, released via Nuclear Blast in 2017. Rings of Saturn is certainly not the band to sleep on and I recommend checking them out.  

This tour package was an incredible one to see and I highly recommend checking out each of these bands, as they are all seriously talented and deserve some praise. 

** photos of each band to follow **

Review by Jamie Kaufman| 3/4/18 | 1720

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COUNTERFEIT. – together we are stronger | Review

counterfeit.

Counterfeit is a U.K punk band that burst into the scene in 2015. Their most recent release, Together We Are Stronger, definitely gave them some well deserved attention. With dark lyrics, heavy guitar, and dirty, yet melodic vocals. This album is something many can enjoy. Their single, As Yet Untitled is a fast paced, energized and heavy track. Yet more mellow tracks like Letters to The Lost don’t disappoint with meaningful lyrics and beautiful singing, giving off some Nirvana vibes. This album gives you anything you want and more. Songs about rebellion, love, lust and loss, Together We Are Stronger is an album for anyone looking to find a new band that they can relate too. Punk in fact isn’t dead, Counterfeit is breathing a fresh breath of life into a scene that always needs something new.
Review courtesy of Emily Sulkowski.
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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

** photos to follow **

 

*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. https://open.spotify.com/album/6MiQ7JVsKlOBJFJzWQZ2Kz 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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