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 

(photos to follow)

 

Made In America Tour | Review

Just about a month ago, I got the chance to see Waterparks perform with As it Is, Chapel and Sleep on It in New York City. The first band to play was Sleep on it followed by Chapel, As it Is, then Waterparks. The show was overall incredible and exposed me to some new artists.

The first band to play was Sleep on It, they have an amazing energy on stage that I really enjoyed. I was not very familiar with them before but I enjoyed their performance and the kind of things they stand for as a band. The spoke out against all the sexual violence this music scene is facing and that definitely put them even higher on my list of bands to support. Overall a band that I would love to see perform again.

The second band to perform was a band I knew very little about prior to watching their set. The only thing I knew of them was that their album was called “Sunday Brunch” and that they took their fans out to IHOP. Chapel is a two-piece band that has the same amount of energy between the two of them that a band of larger size brings to the stage. Their drummer had an incredible amount of talent as did their vocalist. After watching their performance, I went and downloaded their newest release.

As it Is followed them and I was already familiar with their discography. They came all the way from the UK to be on this tour. Lead singer Patty Walters is up there on my list of top performers I have seen live. His energy is incredible and he has great vocals to match. It was one amazing opener on top of another.

Waterparks headlined the entire show and there was a lot of real emotion in the performance. Lead singer Awsten Knight has been going through a lot lately which has been evident through his tweets. His performance was a great representation of all that emotion. This was my second time seeing them perform and this show definitely topped the first one I saw them play.

On top of watching all these incredible bands perform I had the pleasure of photographing them. It was an awesome opportunity to capture all the energy and emotion each band put into their performances.

As someone who has been to many concerts this one makes it up there as one of the best ones I have been to in a while. Each band gave the performances their all and made for an incredible show.

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Photos & review courtesy of Rebecca McKay

Rage on the Stage Tour 2017 | Review & Photos

October 28th was a very special day to me, it was the first time I was able to photograph one of my favorite bands. I’m very grateful to have experienced so much positivity, not every band is going to have management as amazing as I Prevail.

Escape the Fate was incredible. It was my first time seeing and meeting them. It was my first time shooting low light, so sadly not every picture turned out amazing. (Shout out to Em for being her own worst critic, you will only continue to improve) The Word Alive preformed an almost bone chilling set. Every person in the room knew the words. Telle Smith nearly moved me to tears when he sang. They are my absolute favorite band, so shooting them was an honor. Finally, the main event, I Prevail hit the stage. They have been one of my favorite bands since they started, so I was a little nervous. I didn’t see the complete set, but what I saw was amazing. Lead singer, Brian, sadly injured a vocal cord, but guitarist Dylan did just as amazing as I could hope. The set was rowdy, loud, and high energy. All anyone can want in a show. For my first REAL concert experience, I couldn’t ask for more. This was one of the most well put together tours I’ve attended. It’s certainly not my last time seeing any of the bands.

Review &  Photos courtesy of Emily Sulkowski

Escape The Fate & The Word Alive | 10/28/17 | Sherman Theater

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“Good Times” by All Time Low | Music Video Review

 

As a bisexual Jewish girl I know what it means to be a minority. It is unbelievably hard to be looked down on by others including our own president. It’s disgusting that people see people who are “different” as a problem. What is even worse is that our own president sees it as a problem. It is important that people who are considered “different” stick together and fight against all the hate that is in this world. No one should ever feel like being different is a problem. Love is love whether it is between a man and a woman, a woman and woman, a black man and a white woman or anything in between. We shouldn’t be discriminating anymore and it is sad to see we as a nation are not past that.

That all being said, when my favorite band of all times, All Time Low released their newest video for “Good Times” I was completely in shock in the best way. The music video brought light to all these issues that are so important right now. They hit racism, homophobic behavior and so much more all in one video. To say I didn’t tear up by it would be a lie. For someone like me the importance of this video is even stronger considering my background. Unfortunately, we live in this world filled with hate. Luckily, I know I always have music to turn to when I need to ease the pain of watching hate take over love. With that being said, I still never expected to see such a powerful music video from a band that has made such an impact on my life. I can’t turn on the news without seeing one story after the next with the most upsetting headlines. It is important now more than ever that bands reach out to the next generation of leaders and teach them what is important in this world. The current fan base of All Time Low consists of a lot of those future leaders, so a music video like the one they just released is exactly what we need to shape our future generation, and help rid the world of the hate. Thank you so much All Time Low for the extremely impactful video. There is no other rating to give this video other than 10 out of 10.

 

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Photos & Review courtesy of Rebecca McKay

Review | It’s Not Dead Fest 2

 It’s Not Dead Fest 2 | August 26, 2017 | By Melissa Rodriguez

         It was 107 degrees outside in San Bernardino, but that didn’t stop hundreds of punk rock fans from showing up dressed head to toe in black attire. Having missed out on the first run of the It’s Not Dead Festival in 2015, I was really thrilled to be seeing a bunch of my favorite bands at this year’s festival. 

Keeping to his traditional style with Warped Tour, founder Kevin Lyman didn’t announce set times until after the doors had opened. The lineup contained so many punk rock legends from over the last few decades and spread across four different stages; it was almost impossible to see everyone playing.  

Fans were already lined up to watch the first bands perform and were not disappointed with Spider, Channel 3, and Wraths (featuring Jim Lindberg of Pennywise) opening the show on the first 3 stages.  Their energy was just what the fans needed to get in the mood for a long day, filled with amazing music and memories. 

The intense heatwave didn’t stop festival goers from rocking out and dancing along to the Interrupters, who were the second band to perform on the main stage (and the only band on the lineup from the first festival). The rotating main stage was such a genius idea, and wasted no time dealing with set changes between performances. Once one band was finished, the next band was rotated in (some even started playing as the platform was still in rotation).  The main stage included performances from Good Riddance, GBH, Buzzcocks, and OFF! 

An hour into the festival, you could see fans making trips to the Vans merch tent to purchase $20 beach umbrellas to shield themselves from the desert heat. For the fans who didn’t want to carry around a giant umbrella, the festival also featured an art gallery set up inside a giant circus tent. The gallery featured lots of awesome art work and photos from past music gigs, some dating back almost 30 years. 

Although it was difficult to catch all the amazing bands performing on the different stages, there was a great turnout at the side stages for acts such as Slaughter and the Dogs, The Flatliners, The Unseen, and The Casualties (with David Rodriguez of the Krum Bums). Jimmy G, of Murphys Law, even managed to get one of their younger fans from the crowd into his arms and singing along with him. 

As the sun had begun to set, fans moved to the main stage to catch the final performances of the evening. The Adicts gave a vibrant performance, full of streamers and joker cards being tossed into the crowd. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes did not disappoint with their wide array of cover songs; “Hope you guys know, we are a cover band.”  

Finally, Drop Kick Murphys and Rancid closed out the show with a conclusion to their “From Boston to Berkley” summer tour. DKM went on at around 8:30pm; about 9 hours after the doors to the festival had initially opened. But judging by the crowds singing and pitting along, you would had never guessed they had been dealing with record breaking heat all day. Unfortunately, this little lady got knocked in the head with a jug of water from the crowd during DKM performance. Maybe they thought I looked thirsty? In any case, I had to miss out on Rancid’s performance and called it a night. 

Walking away from the performance I realized that this festival really lived up to its name; punk is definitely not dead. 

Kinky Boots ft Brendon Urie – Review

Earlier this month I had the privilege of seeing a man from our scene take the Broadway stage for the first time. Brendon Urie has always had a very impressive vocal range in my opinion and his performance as Charlie Price in Kinky Boots showcased that perfectly.

To set the scene, Kinky Boots is a musical that tells the wonderful story of Charlie and Lola. Charlie is a show maker and Lola is a drag queen. The story is one of acceptance, pride and love. Although the musical has a story just like any other it’s the underlying message is what really makes this show one to remember. It is important to remember to be true to yourself and not always listen to everyone else’s opinions of you. You are you and you are beautiful in your own way! As the musical states “just be who you wanna be, never let em’ tell you who you ought to be.”

For those of you aren’t as familiar with going to the theater here is some background. I was lucky enough to be sitting front row which meant I could see everyone perfectly. No matter where you sit you will be able to see everything. The showing I went to was at two which meant getting to the theater 30-40 before seemed appropriate. Nighttime shows tend to get a tad busier. Something to keep in mind if you are looking to get your playbill signed by some of the cast, if there are two showings for the day the cast only comes out at night. Performing day after day on Broadway is a ton of work and resting between shows is a must. Since I was at the matinee show I was able to go back to the theater before the nighttime show let out to secure a spot at the stage door with my playbill. People who went to the show at night still had the opportunity for signings but it wasn’t as easy to get a photograph with the cast members. Whatever you do please do not push or shove because Urie’s manager Zack will take Brendon back inside and shut down the meet.

Of course, I saw the show to see Brendon Urie but I highly recommend seeing it even if you can’t see it with him. There is an entire dedicated cast who brings the show to life and tells the amazing story. Definitely a show I would love to see again if given the chance.

It is a bit upsetting that I need to write this but I’m including here anyway. If you are seeing this show with Brendon Urie because you are a P!ATD fan please be respectful. Since this is a Broadway show it is extremely impolite to cheer at every moment and scream loudly. Some people are actually just there to see the show.  Please stay until the very last moment of the show. I know how tempting it is to run outside and try to meet Brendon at the stage door but leaving a performance early is extremely disrespectful. Last but not least, please do not record the show as it is strictly prohibited. With that enjoy the show and hope you all get the chance to see this wonderful musical.

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Photos & Review courtesy of Rebecca McKay

 

Staten Island Spring Art & Music Festival

On Saturday I met & shared a tent with Audrey GreenEyes at what happened to be both of our first vending experiences. I’m so happy with the results of the event, even though I only displayed a small amount of my photography on canvas, and in a binder. I’m left with no more business cards, new clients , and I even made my first sale. Its safe to say next time around will be bigger & better. Its only up from here. If you are in need of some delicious treats head over to @cheesecakesforchange on Instagram, $5.00 from each purchase goes to charity. Please check out the talented artists I had the pleasure of meeting at this event. HUGE thank you to my family & friends that came out to support my dreams.

Thank you @sitalentnyc for having me.

April 29th, 2017 | Lyons Pool Park | Staten Island New York

Photography & review by Cristine Trimarco

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You can view my art here : @ArtByCTrimz