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

The American Nightmare Tour 2017 | Photos & Review

The American Nightmare Tour came through Toronto and it was quite the show. Beartooth was the first band to come on, their stage presence and Caleb Shomos’ roaring screams were enough to start off the show strong. Following that Underoath hit the stage playing fan favorites from every one of their albums. You could feel the energy in the crowd as these pioneers of metal-core rocked the stage. Finally , the main act, Bring Me the Horizon. The whole arena shook with excitement as they came on and you could hear thousands of screams upon Oli Sykes arrival. They kicked off the show with confetti and an amazing lighting set up while playing Happy Song. If this tour is coming near you I highly suggest you go, it’s not worth missing.

Photography and Review by Chris Luna

March 15,2017| Ricoh Coliseum | Toronto

Instagram / Twitter @chrislvna

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Death of a Bachelor Tour | 3/8/17

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My experience at the Panic! At The Disco concert was amazing. This was my first huge concert besides warped tour and it was spectacular. The visuals they put on the screens were really great because they gave a story to the whole concert. Before the concert started, they put teasers of Brendon walking to the stage and a countdown on the screens. Brendon’s voice of course was like Jesus to my ears and the rest of the guys played amazingly as well. I loved how they played songs from each album they have ever released. The variety of songs was probably my favorite factor of this concert. Confetti was also shot out at the crowd and I was one of those people to pick up some pieces of course. The visuals were amazing and everywhere you looked new surprises came about.

Photo & Review by : Rachael Cox

The Shakes | 1/21/17

The Shakes put on a great show at The Middle East Upstairs in Boston. I was not expecting such a soulful voice from the singer, it was a very pleasant surprise for a music scene that is dominated by metal and hardcore bands. You could see Big Mike (singer and guitarist) put his heart into his performance and his guitar solos were absolutely dripping with emotion. For those who appreciate alternative blues bands such as The Black Keys or The White Stripes but with an extra kick, make sure to give The Shakes a listen.

Photography by : Amanda Spring 

 

Review of “Illuminate Me” by Bad Cop

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Illuminate Me by Bad Cop has this retro feel with the singers vocals and the instruments behind the vocals make you want to get up and dance. The first thing you hear is a great beat and a very memorable guitar melody through out the song. The lyrics are original and unique, you’ll find yourself singing along in the chorus. You could jam out to this song  in our car without a doubt. This makes the song unique because the instruments give the song energy and the vocals give it that relaxing vibe. The vocals and instruments play on each other instead of against each other which is a very good thing. All components of this song fit well together and compliment each other.

Review by Rachael Cox