Jake Scott’s Lavender Tour hits Denver, CO

Jake Scott @ Gothic Theater – Denver, CO- 11/17/2022

On a cold snowy night, Jake Scott brought his Lavender Tour to one of my favorite venues in Denver – Gothic Theater on November 17th. 

Kicking it off with “Last Night’s Mascara,” Brynn sang and captivated the crowd with her voice and just her guitar, piano, infectious energy and emotional relatability. Many knew the words and sang along. Her voice was strong and clear and you could hear every word throughout the venue. Before playing “Gemini,” she made jokes and apologized to the Gemini men in the crowd and I couldn’t help but laugh as well. 

I’ve never heard of ROSIE before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. You could tell that she was happy and honored to be there. Her songs dug deep into emotions and encouraged the fans to experience every one of them. The lighting was still intimate yet contrasted by bright blue and pink lights that set the mood for both of their sets. It was a beautiful and emotional set and people sang along with her and the biggest smile was on her face throughout the entire set. 

The lights went up and down before Jake Scott finished off the night. The crowd was excited and screaming for him to come out and kicked it off with “CWJBHN.” He was so full of energy that didn’t stop during the entire set. He was constantly running back and forth across the stage. He would go to different areas of the stage and sing to the crowd in front of him. Fans went wild when he started singing the song that he wrote with Russel Dickerson called, “She Likes It.”

He played a few “sad songs” in a row but he mentioned how these songs are usually inspired with the thought of his wife breaking up with him because most of his other songs are inspired by her. He finished off the night with songs like “Working For You,” “Good Day,” and even a cover of Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.”

The Lavender Tour brought a night full of joy, talent and wonderful music to Gothic. Everyone was having a great time and there was never a dull moment, not even freezing temperatures and snow falling.

Photos courtesy of Jess Kelly | Instagram | Twitter

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All 4 Nothing Tour 2022 | Photo Gallery + Review

9/6/2022

Lauv’s popularity has been on an upward trajectory over the past few years. He had a few hit singles in the late 2010s before releasing his debut LP in spring of 2020. Two years on from that release, he has dropped his sophomore LP, “All 4 Nothing.” The summer and fall of this year brought a tour in support of those two releases. It was his first tour in over two years, as well as the first concert I’d photographed in that time, and what a phenomenal comeback it was in both aspects.

Up first was Chicago-based musician David Kushner. The musician rose in popularity over the last several months after snippets from two of his songs went viral on TikTok. The set started with “Burn,” followed by one of the two aforementioned viral songs, “Miserable Man.” For his third song, he switched things up a bit by playing a more recent track, “Look Back & Laugh.” At the time, the track was unreleased, giving the concertgoers a taste of his debut EP, “Footprints I Found.” He closed the set out strongly with what is arguably his most popular song, “Mr. Forgettable.” Kushner is a very talented vocalist and musician who writes very poignant music, and his performance moved the crowd.

On this particular night, he also happened to be celebrating his 22nd birthday. In the middle of the set, people came out on stage with a sign alerting the crowd that they should sing “Happy Birthday” to him, although the crowd had already gotten a jump start on that just a moment prior.

Next up was Hayley Kiyoko, who brought tons of energy to the stage right from the get-go. She was constantly moving and jumping around, especially in the first few songs of her set, and the many fans in the crowd sang along to previous hits and tracks from her newly-released album “Panorama.” The setlist was primarily comprised of more recent tracks, with six out of the eight songs being from that album. The other two were some earlier hits of hers – “Curious,” from her first full-length album, and “Girls Like Girls,” which she concluded the set with, and at which point she waved pride flags handed to her by fans in the audience.

Finally, at 9:30 P.M., the lights once again dimmed and Lauv’s set began. As fog filled the stage, Lauv began playing “26,” the opening track to his new album. About halfway through the song, the spotlight turned towards him. He continued with another single from that album, “Kids Are Born Stars,” before deciding to turn back in time and play a couple of much older tracks of his, “Paris In The Rain” and “Chasing Fire.”

Lauv has always been open about his experiences with mental health, and he took a moment to tell his story to the crowd and promote his new guided meditation before playing “Modern Loneliness,” one of my favorite songs of his. Another highlight of the set was when he played the reflective “Hey Ari,” a song that shows him checking in with himself and looking back on the progress he’s made. Part of what made this part of the set particularly special is that, during the chorus, the crowd asked the question that becomes the main hook of the song: “Hey Ari, are you happy?”

Since this tour was in support of two albums, the majority of his set consisted of those songs and contained a pretty even split of tracks from “All 4 Nothing” (such as “Molly In Mexico,” “Bad Trip,” “Stranger,” and “Stay Together”) and tracks from “how i’m feeling” (including “Tattoos Together,” “Who,” “Lonely Eyes,” “i’m so tired,” and “Drugs & The Internet”). The 23-song set concluded with one of the songs that jumpstarted his career in the first place, “I Like Me Better.”

Each artist on the lineup put on an engaging live show, and it was a great night all around.

Photo gallery + review by Megan Langley

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Knotfest Roadshow 2022

Providence, RI

Saturday 21 May 2022

Slipknot announced taking their notorious show out on the road again in 2022 to bring complete chaos to the US with the legendary Cypress Hill and a punk, rap, metal three piece who has taken the nu-metal scene by storm, Ho99o9. This show was ran a little differently than what photographers are usually used to. We always are being rushed to the correct place of the venue to go over the rules of covering the show and such but on that night we had to rush take an on site covid test, meet up with the rest of the photographers once cleared, go over the rules and appropriate bands to photograph, which was only Slipknot at the DCU Center in Providence, RI. It was interesting to say the least but none of us had an issue with this given a heads up in the email on how this show was being ran. It was just a little different than the usual heart beating anxiety entering the venue. Once that was cleared, it was time to enjoy the rest of Ho99o9 set! The DCU Center holds up to 15,000 people and this arena was starting to fill in, from the floor to the top seats! The guys in the band were going off on the stage as I walked down the steps onto the sticky concrete floor. Ho99o9 was originally a duo, theOGM and Eaddy, who started in New Jersey and moved to L.A, gaining drummer Brandon Pertzborn. Ho99o9 is leetspeak for horror if you were wondering by the way. Their live show consists of lots of head banging, jumping around energy, and you could see the crowd was warming up for what was next to come. theOGM, Eaddy, and Brandon definitely bring a mix of punk, rap, and metal! Ho99o9 fits the Slipknot Roadshow bill for sure!

Setlist: Master of Pain. The World, The Flesh, The Devil. Mega City Nine. Protect My Bitch PT 2. Firefly Family. Bite My Face.

As the openers set comes to a close, people started to move to the refreshment stands and merch tables, while parents started rushing children to the front of the stage to be enlightened on who Cypress Hill was. I have always noticed the youth on the Slipknot Road Show shows and have always enjoyed knowing that amazing music will live on forever because of this!

DJ Muggs hit the stage first stating “There goes the neighborhood” and starts playing some mega mash up bangers such as Wu Tang, Ozzy, Run DMC, and Metallica. He would skip in and out of the mixes so the crowd could carry the rest of the lyrics and they did just that! Drummer, Eric Bobo, starts hitting his weed decorated kit and MC B-Real joins the stage. Unfortunately, Sen Dogg was absent for this one but will reconnect with the tour for future dates. The now, even more packed venue, started filling up with the sweet smell of Mary Jane as well as the stage and the area for what usually is the ‘pit’ is now a giant grooving dance party until they played “Superstar” that is. Then the area did break out into a small pit. B-Real was hyping up the crowd all set, asking if they are awake and “feeling insane” as they go into another top hit, “Insane in the membrane”. Cypress Hill has been around since 1988, becoming legends to the music scene. With multiple top hits, awards, and all around respect, it was an honor to see them live and on the roadshow!

Setlist: When the Shit Goes Down. Real Estate. Hand on the Pump. Sound of the Police. Roll It Up, Light It Up, Smoke It Up. Throw Your Set in the Air. Illusions. I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That. How I Could Just Kill a Man. (Rock) Superstar. Insane in the Brain. Jump Around.

The almost sold out DCU Center was packed and the fans in their positions were getting antsy starring at the Slipknot banner in front of the massive stage as the crew men built up the set for Slipknot. The playlist for everyone to get amped up was a solid mix of rock music but we all knew once ‘ACDC’s “For Those About To Rock” played it was time for them to take the stage. Slipknot has not played in Rhode Island for over 20 years and Corey Taylor was stoked to be back. The stage was about 11 feet high, so trying to snap all nine members was indeed a challenge for us photographers but we were ready. The ‘ACDC’ song finally plays after waiting a little bit and then, BANG, it is on!

Playing over an hour and a half set, Corey Taylor, lead singer, mentions that his voice isn’t 100 percent but no one could tell at all. His notes were flawless and his screams were gritty as always. Jay Weinberg, one of the greatest drummers of all time, was wacking his massive kit, while Clown and Tortilla Man were smashing kettle drums, and more precision drums, that were placed about 15 feet high on two separate towers. The stage presence of Slipknot is unmatched. It seriously is a must see live show, even if you have check it out on YouTube. Alex, the bass player at one point even had a flame thrower attached to his bass! While shooting the set, the pyros did go off on the second song and I was surprised to be leaving with eyebrows, however, even moving to the back of the massive crowd, I could still feel the heat from the fire! Corey Taylor is always showing his gratitude to the loyal and even new fans. He mentioned that he could see kids mixed in with older adults and that makes them continue what they have been doing for over 23 years now. Playing hits such as, “Before I Forget”, “The Devil In I”, which always gives me chills live, and “The Heretic Anthem”, to name a few, the Slipknot Roadshow once again blew minds.

There was actually two wild mosh pits that broke out until it turned into one huge one. Fans were helping each other up in the dark chaos if they got knocked down though and even Corey was looking out for his fans as a girl got pushed down, he stopped the show to make sure she was okay and to remind us to take care of one another. “This family lives and dies together”, he said, “as long as you’re on our side, we will give you 23 more years!”

Setlist: Disasterpiece. Wait and Bleed. Sulfur. Before I Forget. The Chapeltown Rag. Dead Memories. Unsainted. The Heretic Anthem. Psychosocial. The Devil in I. Solway Firth. All Out Life. Snuff. Vermilion. Duality. Custer. Spit It Out. Encore: People=Shit. (sic). Surfacing.

The Slipknot Road Show came and went but definitely did not disappoint in the least. I’ve attended the show twice now and I can’t wait to see what they bring us in 2023!

Review and Photos courtesy of Ashley Grace of aGrace Photography

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August Burns Red featuring Fit For A King, ERRA, and Like Moths To Flames | Leveler 10 Year Anniversary Tour | 12/8/21 | Photos + Review

August Burns Red Brings The Belasco To A New Level On Their Leveler Anniversary Tour

Venue: The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA

Date: 12/8/21

August Burns Red has been a leading band in the metalcore genre for quite some time. The band solidified themselves with their sophomore album “Messengers.” They garnered a large following from then on, constantly innovating in their song structure and musicality. For the tenth anniversary of their fourth album, “Leveler,” the band re-recorded the album in its entirety, bringing on special guests and changing the tunings of the songs from then on. In celebration of this, they embarked on a 10th-anniversary tour supporting the album, which they played in its entirety. Unfortunately, a few of the crew and band members caught COVID-19 on the run of dates in October due to the pandemic, forcing the band to postpone about a week’s worth of dates to December. Regardless, I am beyond stoked I got to cover this date for August Burns Red, along with the incredible lineup of Fit For A King, ERRA, and Like Moths To Flames. 

Up first was Like Moths To Flames from Columbus, Ohio. This is a band that I first got into in 2012 when I saw them on the “Scream It Like You Mean It Tour” alongside bands like Attack Attack!, We Came As Romans, and more. The band is the perfect middle ground between metalcore and post-hardcore. Since the last time I photographed and saw them back in 2018, the band found their new label at UNFD, where they dropped their fifth album “No Eternity In Gold” in 2020, along with their new EP “Pure Like Porcelain” in 2021. The band really strengthened their sound on these new releases. Chris Roetter’s vocals were showcased to the highest power on these releases, truly showing off his vocal prowess. Their single “Habitual Decline” in particular pops off like no other, both live and on record, showing off Chris’ cleans and screaming. Guitarists Zach Pishney and Jeremy Smith flourish on these releases as well, really bringing the instrumentals to new levels. I started feeling the band incorporating some elements of progressive metal on some songs, which, as many will tell you, is my favorite subgenre of metal personally. Unfortunately, bassist Aaron Evans was unable to make the rescheduled dates for whatever reason, which was my first time seeing the band without him. He has an entertaining stage presence that was sorely missed for me, but Chris Roetter was on top of that crowd, really getting people hyped like no other. Roman Garcia closed out the band’s live lineup on drums, who absolutely smashed through those drum parts with precision. The band played six songs that night, playing songs from their first album to the newest EP. Like Moths To Flames is always an incredible band to see live, and I cannot wait to hopefully see and photograph them on their upcoming co-headliner with Polaris in March – April! 

SETLIST

  1. The Worst In Me
  2. Habitual Decline
  3. I Solemnly Swear
  4. Preservation Of Hate
  5. The Anatomy Of Evil
  6. Bury Your Pain

ERRA from Birmingham, Alabama, was up next. The last time I saw these progressive metalcore boys was in 2019, when they did a co-headlining tour with Northlane. The band has since released its critically acclaimed self-titled album via UNFD in 2021, which helped the band garner even more fans and streams galore. The band opened their set with the song “Gungrave,” which has some heavy riffage from guitarists Jesse Cash and Sean Price, the vocal stylings from JT Cavey, the deep bass grooves from Conor Hesse, and the intricate drum patterns from Alex Ballew. The song has that iconic yin and yang in vocals between Jesse’s cleans and JT’s screams. The band then went on to play their heaviest song from the self-titled album “Scorpion Hymn.” JT’s vocal prowess is on full display here, truly showing off his range. From lots of mids, screeching highs, and deep gutturals, JT is truly a powerhouse, and this song showcases all of his abilities in one. The instrumental structure of this song is much darker than many of their other songs, making this song a standout on the record as a whole. In contrast, the following song the band played is “Divisionary,” which is much brighter in sound compared to “Scorpion Hymn.” Jesse’s vocals are the song’s focal point, but those contrasting parts with JT’s screaming help give the song layers and momentum. The intricate guitar patterns really stand out to me in this song, along with a thick prominent bass tone in the latter half of the song, which gives Conor his’ moment to shine. The band played a total of 8 songs throughout the set, showcasing the band’s newest album and songs from previous releases. I was thoroughly excited to hear how these new songs translated live, and they definitely did not disappoint. I cannot wait to see and photograph these guys again on their spring tour as they support Beartooth, Silverstein, and The Devil Wears Prada!

SETLIST

  1. Gungrave
  2. Scorpion Hymn
  3. Divisionary
  4. Eye of God
  5. Irreversible
  6. Breach
  7. Vanish Canvas
  8. Snowblood

Up next was Fit For A King from Dallas, TX. This was my fifth time seeing these metalcore greats, and they once again did not disappoint. Since I saw them in November 2019, the band dropped their sixth album in 2020 titled “The Path” on Solid State Records. It was met with critical acclaim and became the band’s most successful release to date streaming-wise. The band opened the set with the song “Stockholm,” which is a heavy banger to open the set with. This is one of the heavier songs from “The Path,” with Ryan Kirby’s iconic gutturals and lower toned vocals, the deep bass grooves from Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary, those chuggy guitars from Daniel Gailey and Bobby Lynge, and the fast and tight drums from Jared Easterling. This was Fit For A King’s first tour as a five-piece since 2013, with Bobby returning to the live stage for the tour. This was also the last run of shows with drummer and founding member Jared Easterling, who announced his departure prior to the tour. The band then went on to play the song “Locked (In My Head),” which was one of the leading singles from the new album. Locked definitely has a more post-hardcore vibe, reminiscent of the bands from the early-mid 2000s while still having a modern edge. Tuck and Ryan do an incredible job going back and forth on those clean vocals, really providing an emotion-driven melodic song to the mix that helped push the band’s boundaries in terms of what can be expected going forward. Continuing this momentum, the band then played “Breaking The Mirror,” which is all about overcoming past failures and pushing forward. The band really brought it to the next level with this new record, and the crowd was eating it up, with lots of crowd surfing and moshing galore. The band played a total of 11-songs, most of which came from “The Path” and “Dark Skies” and one song from “Deathgrip.” The band has really strengthened their core sound while still broadening out on what is possible. I cannot wait to see and photograph them on their “Dark Path Tour” in the spring as they headline the US with Silent Planet, Hollow Front, and AVOID supporting them. It will be an incredible time, and I cannot wait to see these metalcore boys again!

SETLIST

  1. Stockholm
  2. Locked (In My Head)
  3. Breaking The Mirror
  4. When Everything Means Nothing
  5. Annihilation
  6. The Price Of Agony
  7. Deathgrip
  8. Backbreaker
  9. The Path
  10. Tower Of Pain
  11. God Of Fire

August Burns Red from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, came up next to the stage. The band came out swinging with the brand new opening track from the Leveler re-recording “X,” a wholly instrumental track. Bassist Dustin Davidson came out front and center, plucking those deep bass notes. Guitarists Brent Rambler and JT Brubaker played these gorgeous melodic guitar riffs that created a sing-along melody that would go into the next track. Due to personal issues, vocalist Jake Luhrs could not play the rescheduled dates. Due to this, Michael Felker from the metalcore band Convictions came in to do vocals for the band. Michael came out swinging on the song “Empire,” a fast-paced and riff-heavy metalcore track. One thing that is in the forefront of all of August Burns Red’s songs is the drum playing from the impressive Matt Greiner, who is truly on point with every beat he makes. The song “Empire” is jampacked with all of the elements that have helped August Burns Red solidify their sound: progressive and intricate guitar and drum patterns, sing-along sections, breakdowns, guitar solos, and uplifting vocals. The band then went on to play “Internal Cannon,” which was the song that got me into August Burns Red back in the day. The song features Matt K. Heafy from Trivium on the studio re-recording, which really added another layer to the song. The incredible dynamics in this song make it apparent why it is a fan favorite. August Burns Red’s metalcore style creates the melody using the instrumentals, as about 99% of the vocals are screaming in their music. Internal Cannon also has this slow-down section that incorporates some influences from jazz and blues that really help give some serious contrast to the song. The band then went on to play “Leveler” in its entirety, then came back to play a few newer songs and even an instrumental cover of “Carol of the Bells,” since the show was near the holiday time, totaling in at a whopping 18-songs in their setlist. August Burns Red never disappoints, and I cannot wait to see and photograph them again on their tour going on now with Killswitch Engage and Light The Torch! August Burns Red is genuinely an incredible band!

SETLIST

  1. X
  2. Empire
  3. Internal Cannon
  4. Divisions
  5. Cutting The Ties
  6. Pangaea
  7. Carpe Diem
  8. 40 Nights
  9. Salt & Light
  10. Poor Millionaire
  11. 1/16/2011
  12. Boys Of Fall
  13. Leveler
  14. Drum Solo

ENCORE

15. Bloodletter

16. Defender

17. Carol of the Bells (Mykola Leontovych cover)

18. White Washed

The Leveler 10th anniversary tour was a celebration of a truly incredible album from one of the leading metalcore bands in the genre, August Burns Red. Fit For A King, ERRA, and Like Moths To Flames were the perfect bands to support August Burns Red on this tour! Make sure to see all of these fantastic bands on their upcoming tours if they come to a city near you!

August Burns Red | Fit For A King | ERRA | Like Moths To Flames

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Volumes with special guests Varials, UnityTX, and Kingsmen | Fall US Tour | 11/20/21 | Photos + Review

Volumes Sell Out Their Hometown Show To Close Out Their Fall Tour

Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA on 11/20/21

Volumes have been a band I have enjoyed for quite some time. Their progressive metalcore sound that verges on deathcore brings in a lot of fans that go absolutely nuts to their music. For their return to the stage, they embarked on a month-long headlining US Tour in support of their new album “Happier?” in 2021 via Fearless Records. They brought along a solid lineup of bands that are quite different in sound but who each bring the energy to the stage, those being Varials, UnityTX, and Kingsmen. This night was a lot of fun and brought a lot of high energy and vibes. 

First up to the stage were Kingsmen from Providence, Rhode Island. Unfortunately, some issues getting in as a photographer prevented me from seeing or photographing a majority of their set. However, I was able to get in and photograph the last song and a half of the set, which I utilized each second of. The band is good ole metalcore, with music in the same vein as bands like Killswitch Engage, Miss May I, and many more. I was very much looking forward to seeing Kingsmen and seeing their 5-song set, most of which came from their 2020 record “Revenge. Forgiveness. Recovery.”, which was released via SharpTone Records. The one song I did get to see and photograph was a cover of Metallica’s “Sad But True,” which they did exceptionally well. The vocalist Tanner was on point with his’ vocals, guitarists Nick and Tim did incredibly on those guitar parts, Adam held it down strong on those bass lines, and drummer Mike slammed those drum parts. I’m sad I could only see and photograph one song, but the band killed it on that cover. I cannot wait to see and photograph them for a longer period of time next time they come out to the west coast. 

SETLIST

  1. Tipping The Scales
  2. Nightmares
  3. Until I Departed
  4. Oppressor
  5. Sad But True (Metallica Cover)

Up next were the Dallas, Texas boys in UnityTX. This band is the perfect blend of metalcore, hardcore, and rap. The band played songs from their two EPs, “Madboy” and “Hellway,” released on Pure Noise Records. Their crowds went wild and even got so violent to the point where multiple crowd members were dragged out of the venue for fighting. Their music goes HARD. What’s unique is the diverse stylings the band has. With vocalist Shaolin at the forefront, the band incorporates many hip hop and rap elements. The band weaved some full-on rap songs into their set, showcasing Shaolin’s stage prowess and rap ability. The instrumentals in the band’s set should definitely be praised as well. Those basslines from Alberto are beefy and heavy. They add a deep groove to the songs that are very much needed. Then you have the guitar tones from Ricky that add a deep emphasis on those breakdowns and get the crowd going wild with those guitar chugs. Closing out the band’s lineup is Jonathan on drums, who slammed the hell out of those drums with precision. The band absolutely blew me away and proved why they are getting as far as they are. I cannot wait to see and photograph them again next time they come to Southern California. 

SETLIST

  1. Agony
  2. Ruckus
  3. Cross Me
  4. 60 Seconds (Wait)
  5. Bang Shit
  6. Hail Mary
  7. Walk With Me

Up next was Varials from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’d best describe their sound as the perfect trifecta of metalcore, hardcore, and deathcore, with some minor nu-metal influences as well. This was my second time seeing and photographing the band, with the first time being back in May of 2019 when they toured in support of Sylar and Cane Hill at this same venue. Since then, the band has gone through some lineup changes, the most notable being the shift of vocalist to Mitchell. Mitchell was previously on guitar and absolutely killed it on his new position in the band. He screams and sings those parts with power and emotion. Mike is still slaying it on bass, adding some serious grit to the rhythm section. James added some grooves to the rhythm section on the guitar, which adds a lot to the band’s sound. The band brought out two touring members to finalize their live set for this tour. Kendrick is in the band BeGotten and played lead guitar on this tour, absolutely slaying those leads while also having incredibly high energy on stage that included two-stepping, windmills, and lots of headbangs. Kevin finalized the band’s lineup on drums, absolutely murdering that kit on stage. They played a 10-song set, playing songs from both of their albums, “In Darkness” and “Pain Again,” along with a couple of songs from their E.P. “Failure//Control.” I always enjoy seeing and photographing these guys and hope to do so again when they come out with All That Remains, Miss May I, and Tallah in Spring of 2022!

SETLIST

  1. Romance
  2. Empire of Dirt
  3. I Suffocate
  4. In Darkness
  5. South of One
  6. E.D.A.
  7. Stigmata
  8. Savage
  9. Anything To Numb
  10. The New Damnation

Volumes from Los Angeles, CA, came to the stage next. For the tour’s final date, the Southern California native band came back home to party it up. The band played a great mixture of songs to please old fans and new fans alike. Their progressive metalcore sound that borderlines on deathcore has garnered various fans. Vocalists Myke and Michael do a great job going back and forth on vocals, creating a jab punch in songs like “The Mixture” and “F.X.B.,” and creating incredible dynamics between cleans and screaming on songs like “Bend.” Bassist Raad adds those deep grooves that are ever-present throughout the band’s whole discography. Drummer Nick slams those drums with intricate patterns that create the bassline for the instrumentals to flow effortlessly. Finalizing the band’s live lineup is Mikhael on guitar, who plays those complex guitar parts flawlessly. The band really had a lot to offer in this set. They had the crowd going wild with a dynamic lighting setup to a whopping 17-song set that incorporated songs from their entire discography. Out of all the shows I covered in 2022, this was by far the rowdiest crowd I had the honor of being a part of. Volumes know how to bring the party, and they did not disappoint this time around.

SETLIST

  1. Intro
  2. F.B.X.
  3. The Mixture
  4. Holywater
  5. 91367
  6. Pixelate
  7. Get Enough
  8. Weighted
  9. Bend
  10. Serenity
  11. The Columbian Faction
  12. Edge Of The Earth
  13. Erased
  14. Pieces
  15. Intake
  16. Wormholes

Encore

17. Feels Good

Volumes truly brought it on this final night of their month-long trek on the road. With bands like Varials, UnityTX, and Kingsmen, they truly brought along with them a diverse group of bands that created a dynamic night of music. I’m still sad I couldn’t see and photograph more of Kingsmen’s set, but that will definitely happen next time. 

Volumes | Varials | UnityTX | Kingsmen

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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“Manic” by Wage War | Review

album released October 1, 2021.

A little over two years ago, Wage War dropped their third album, “Pressure,” which was one of my favorite albums that dropped that year. Earlier in 2021, the band has been preparing to follow it up with their newly-released fourth full-length – “Manic.”

“Relapse” kicks things off with riffs reminiscent of Wage War’s metalcore roots, and it brings a standout lyric early on in the record (“I take one step forward, then two steps back, till I run out of time in the hourglass”). The mix of melodic vocals in the verses and choruses with the heavier pre-choruses and the breakdown towards the end showcases a little bit of what listeners can expect from the tracks that follow. Second up is the single “Teeth,” which also displays the juxtaposition between the more melodic aspects of their sound (such as the irresistibly catchy chorus) and the heavier ones (shown through the sections surrounding those choruses). The song is an ode to a friend who stabbed you in the back, explaining that this person is “accepting apologies” but would “never give it” and asking them with brutal honesty, “You only took from me but did you ever care?” 

The title track, “Manic,” is where the album gets a little bit experimental. The band incorporates elements of hip-hop and nu-metal, which immediately reminded me of music from bands like My Enemies & I and Afterlife, and these genres are blended with the aggression that the band is known for. Speaking of which, “High Horse” is up next, and it really hones in on the metalcore influences and the most aggressive parts of their sound, with monstrous riffs and furious vocals all throughout. “Circle The Drain” contains an anthemic and powerful chorus, and the lyrics deliver a crucial message. The song is all about taking accountability and wanting to do the best you can to make this world a better place. The lyric “the hurt begins with me” sums up this theme very well, showing the moment when someone “decides to be a part of the solution,” as the band said on Twitter when explaining the song’s meaning. “Godspeed” brings plenty of solid hooks from start to finish, and similar to some of the other tracks on here, it experiments a bit and mixes some glitchy effects with the harsher instrumentals. The song’s lyrics continue the conversation about cutting out toxic people in your life, as one line declares “and now you’re dead to me.” 

If you’re a fan of the aforementioned heavier aspects of Wage War’s sound, then you’re in for a treat when you hear “Death Roll.” It’s easily the heaviest on the record (aside from “High Horse”), and it seemingly incorporates elements of hardcore as well. In contrast, “Slow Burn” is way more melodic, and it feels reminiscent of “Circle The Drain” and even some of the tracks from “Pressure.” The chorus on here offers some of the strongest books on the entire record, and it’s another really memorable track.

“Never Said Goodbye” is up next, initially driven by acoustic guitar, simpler percussion, and clean vocals before the much bigger choruses crank up the volume of the instrumentals. The lyrics are very clearly all about grief, and lines like “Won’t ever heal cause I’m trying to make sense of a world where you’re not in existence” and “I know you’re home now in a better place, but I’m still searching for the words to say” will easily resonate with those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Second to last is “True Colors,” beginning with a combination of both screams and gritty shouted vocals that lead up to another catchy chorus with some more great hooks, and the riff-driven breakdown will have fans joining the mosh pit if the band plays the song live. “If Tomorrow Never Comes” concludes the record, and it does so very nicely by combining both the more aggressive and more melodic elements heard throughout the album, from the brutally heavy performances in the verses to the soaring vocals in the massive chorus. 

“Manic” shows Wage War staying true to their roots at times, but also shows some additional experimentation, and much like “Pressure,” this record as a whole shows how the band is continuously evolving as songwriters and musicians.

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Silverstein with special guests The Plot In You and Can’t Swim | Silverstein 20th Anniversary Tour | 11/19/21 | Photos + Review

Silverstein Sells Out Their 20 Year Celebration In Los Angeles

11/19/21 at The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA

              In March of 2020, Silverstein was set to go out on their 20th Anniversary Tour. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the tour was postponed twice. Finally setting out on tour in November and December of 2021, the band now hit their 21st anniversary as a band. To prepare for just a significant anniversary, the band prepared one of the longest sets I’ve ever seen a band play, and they brought along with them The Plot In You and Can’t Swim for the ride. This lineup made for a night of diverse music that kept fans entertained from start to finish.

              First up was Can’t Swim from Keansburg, New Jersey. I’d best describe the band’s sound in the subgenre known as “easycore.” Easycore is basically the merging of pop-punk and metalcore. Similar bands in sound would be A Day To Remember, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk, and more. The band started with the song “Set The Room Ablaze,” which comes from their newest album, “Change Of Plans,” released in 2021 via Pure Noise Records. This song has a heavy edge, with metalcore-inspired riffs courtesy of Danny Rico and Mike Sanchez. This song also features some raspy screams from guitarist Chris LoPorto. The song’s studio recording features Caleb Shomo from Beartooth, which honestly pushes the song over the edge. This is easily my favorite song from the band and having them open up with it was incredible to witness. The band then went on to play their song “Sometimes You Meet The Right People At The Wrong Time” from their 2018 record “This Too Won’t Pass,” released via Pure Noise Records. This song has an overall pop-punk feel, with the stand-out elements being the drum patterns and overall atmosphere. I focused during this song on drummer Blake Gamel, who was absolutely smashing those drums like crazy. Bassist Greg McDevitt also did a superb job on backup vocals, adding amazing harmonies that pushed the songs to another level. The third song in the set that I captured was their song “Sense of Humor,” which has a very lighthearted feel in the melodies and atmosphere. The song changes up about two-thirds of the way through with a breakdown, adding an extra layer of contrast and depth to the song that kept me jamming while in the photo pit. The band was tight as hell during their set and had incredible energy. They absolutely blew away my expectations. They played a nine-song setlist, playing songs from four of their releases. They’re a fantastic band, and I highly recommend attending their headlining tour in the spring if it comes near you!

SETLIST

  1. Set The Room Ablaze
  2. “Sometimes You Meet The Right Person At The Wrong Time”
  3. Sense Of Humor
  4. Prick
  5. Deliver Us From Evil
  6. Power
  7. My Queen
  8. Your Clothes
  9. Stranger

Up next was The Plot In You Hancock County, Ohio. This was my second time ever seeing The Plot In You, with the first and only other time being back in 2016 when they were headlining their “Happiness In Self Destruction” tour in support of their album they had released the year prior of the same title. The band has made quite the transformation since then. The band was previously a through and through metalcore band. They experimented with more melodic elements in the album “Happiness In Self Destruction” before diving deep into their new sound in 2018’s “Dispose” via Fearless Records. Going more towards a post-hardcore and progressive rock sound, the band has genuinely diversified their more recent records. The band opened with the song “Face Me” from their 2021 record “Swan Song,” also released on Fearless Records. Face Me opens up with a beat, and vocalist Landon Tewers before the full band comes in during the chorus. The band really brought the theatrics, with a gorgeous light show that really brought their performance to the next level. The instrumentals have a truly modern vibe to them. The bass from Ethan Yoder is vibrant and prominent, the guitar is deep and full from Josh Lewis Childress, and the drums are clean and solid from Michael Cooper. The band then went on to their second song, “Fall Again,” which is my favorite track from the new record. This song plays with the band’s heavier elements, bringing in some nu-metal inspiration in the guitar tones and vocalizations. Landon Tewers is truly on fire vocally on this record, showing his vast repertoire and prowess. The band then went on to play their song “Enemy,” which has an r&b feel to it, while still dialing into their post-hardcore sound. I love the new addition of the electronics into the music, as it adds a whole other layer to their sound. The crowd was eating them up, jumping, and singing along to every word. The band played a total of ten songs, spanning from “Swan Song,” “Dispose,” and “Happiness in Self Destruction,” which are three albums that really meld nicely in the band’s current discography and their more modern sound. The Plot In You has truly grown a lot since I last saw them, and I cannot wait to see them again. 

SETLIST

  1. Face Me
  2. Fall Again
  3. Enemy
  4. Not Just Breathing
  5. Time Changes Everything
  6. Paradigm
  7. One Last Time
  8. Too Far Gone
  9. Disposable Fix
  10. Feel Nothing

Silverstein from Burlington, Ontario, Canada, hit the stage next. Hitting two decades for a band in the heavier music genre is a massive milestone for bands in our genre and music in general. It can be easy to burn out and give up, but Silverstein has proven that a band can not only succeed but push themselves further and thrive through perseverance, growth, and rebuilding. For those who somehow have never heard Silverstein, they are that perfect blend of metalcore, post-hardcore, pop-punk, and punk rock. They started out as one of the classic emo bands and have constantly expanded upon their sound to keep previous fans impressed and gain a new, innovative following. For their 20th Anniversary Tour, the band went the whole nine yards, preparing three sets in total. They also brought an extensive amount of colorful and vibrant lighting, timed and themed perfectly to their music. The first set Silverstein played was a greatest hits set, performing songs from their whole discography. They opened with one of their newer singles titled “Bankrupt.” This track is an explosive and heavy track with a deep guitar groove courtesy of Josh Bradford and Paul Marc Rousseau. The crowd went bonkers, with crowd surfing and moshing galore. This track showcases vocalist Shane Told’s intense screams and solid clean vocals. He is a powerhouse vocalist and truly showcased that with this song. The band then went into the song “Massachusetts” from their 2013 album “This Is How The Wind Shifts,” which has a lighter sound compared to “Bankrupt.” Those intricate drum patterns from Paul Koehler are a standout in this song for me. The next song the band went into was “Smashed Into Pieces” from their debut album “When The Broken Is Easily Fixed,” which really has that classic emo and post-hardcore vibe the band founded themselves on. Bassist Billy Hamilton was on point with those harmonies and backup screams on this song, and that deep bass grove really helped push it over. The band then went into songs like “Bad Habits,” “It’s Over,” “Infinite,” and “The Afterglow.” The band even did a massive melody of songs, which included “The Artist,” “Sacrifice,” “I Am The Arsonist,” “The Continual Condition,” “My Disaster,” “Vices,” “Je Me Souviens,” and “Broken Stars.” After a short interlude, Shane Told came out to do an acoustic set while a few members joined during a song or two. The acoustic set consisted of “Rescue You,” “Untitled” by Social Distortion, “Red Light Pledge,” and “Where Are You,” all of which once again showcased how diverse and strong Shane Told’s vocals are all these years later. The band came on for their third set just a minute later to play their second album, “Discovering The Waterfront,” in its entirety. Songs like “My Heroine” and “Call It Karma” were standouts on the album for me, so to hear them live, along with the rest of the songs, was absolutely incredible. The band gave us a special treat for their encore to top it all off. As a final song, the band played “Bleeds No More” from their debut album. However, they changed things up, putting Shane Told on bass and having Billy Hamilton absolutely demolish those vocals. He was on fire, and Shane was plunking away at those chunky bass notes. This song finished off their set on such a high note. Silverstein again proves why they are a staple in their cohort, and I cannot wait to see them again in the new year. 

SETLIST

  1. Bankrupt
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Smashed Into Pieces
  4. Bad Habits
  5. The Artist/ Sacrifice / I Am The Arsonist / The Continual Condition / My Disaster / Vices / Je Me Souviens / Broken Stars
  6. It’s Over
  7. Infinite
  8. The Afterglow
  9. Replace You
  10. Untitled (Social Distortion Cover)
  11. Red Light Pledge
  12. Where Are You
  13. Your Sword Versus My Dagger
  14. Smile In Your Sleep
  15. The Ides Of March
  16. Fist Wrapped In Blood
  17. Discovering The Waterfront
  18. Defend You
  19. My Heroine
  20. Always And Never
  21. Already Dead
  22. The Hours Back
  23. Call It Karma

ENCORE

24. Bleeds No More