Hawthorne Height’s Stay Home Virtual Tour 2020 | Review

With virtual shows becoming more and more popular, quite a few bands have put together some virtual tours, and one of these bands is Hawthorne Heights. The band put together a three-date run where they stream a show from local venues in different regions of the United States, with the proceeds from tickets and merch giveaways held throughout the night going towards various local venues within those regions. 

The opening act for this tour was Mark Rose, a solo musician and the former vocalist of Spitalfield. His setlist primarily consisted of Spitalfield songs (“Texa$ With A Dollar Sign” from 2005’s “Stop Doing Bad Things” and “Stolen From Some Great Writer,” “Those Days You Felt Alive,” “Kill The Drama,” and “I Loved The Way She Said ‘L.A.’” from 2003’s “Remember Right Now”), but he also performed a cover and a song from one of his releases as a solo artist – “Like A Dark Sky Holds The Moon” from 2015’s “The Wild Type.” Mark’s vocals really grabbed my attention, and the set showed how talented of a musician and performer he is. Although I wasn’t familiar with his music and had never seen him live before, I really enjoyed his set. 

A little while after Mark’s set concluded, Hawthorne Heights took the stage. Despite a technical difficulty later on in the set, the band soldiered on and still put on a fantastic show. They played a wide variety of songs from throughout their entire discography, starting with three tracks from their debut album “The Silence In Black And White” – “Life On Standby,” “The Transition,” and “Silver Bullet.” The band performed one song from their third album “Fragile Future” (“Rescue Me”) before going back in time a bit and playing a handful of tracks from their sophomore LP “If Only You Were Lonely” (“We Are So Last Year,” “This Is Who We Are,” “Saying Sorry,” “Pens And Needles,” & “Where Can I Stab Myself In The Ears”). The setlist also included “Crimson Sand,” a song from the band’s most recent album, 2018’s “Bad Frequencies,” and after that, the band stripped things down a bit to do a few songs acoustically. This portion of their set consisted of acoustic renditions of “Oceans” (from 2011’s “Hate”) and “Decembers” (also off of “If Only You Were Lonely”), as well as an acoustic cover of “Pet Semetary” by The Ramones, and after the acoustic performance, the band did an encore consisting of two of their biggest hits from “Silence” (“Niki FM” and “Ohio Is For Lovers”), as well as an extra song to compensate for the technical difficulty earlier on in the evening – “Hard To Breathe.”

The sets from Mark Rose and Hawthorne Heights were both very entertaining to watch, and between the incredible performances and the fantastic efforts the bands made to support the music industry throughout the evening, the Stay Home virtual tour was a special one.
For more information on how to support local venues during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the websites of Save Our Stages and the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Ice Nine Kills – The Silver Scream | album review

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Ice Nine Kills is a band that has flown under many people’s radar for over a decade now. A band known by name, but never receiving recognition they really deserves. They’ve always been doing things their own way, putting  themselves on the map with their last release, Every Trick In The Book, which was a huge hit in the scene of heavy music.

October 5th, 2018, marked a new era for the band. The latest album from the band, The Silver Scream, is something unlike many people have heard. Every song is based off a popular horror film, everything from Halloween to The Crow. Ice Nine Kills didn’t hold anything back on this album.

The first two singles, The American Nightmare (A Nightmare On Elm Street) and Thank God It’s Friday (Friday The 13th) let fans know that they weren’t going soft anytime soon. A catchy chorus mixed with heavier verses, and a breakdown everyone could love, people knew to catch Ice Nine Kills on Warped Tour 2018, and to keep an eye on the band until October.

I’ve listened to the entire album, and now I can’t stop myself from listening. Lighter tracks, like Love Bites (An American Werewolf In London) and A Grave Mistake (The Crow) offer incredible songwriting and gorgeous singing. On the opposite end of that spectrum, songs like Stabbing In The Dark (Halloween), Merry Axe-Mas (Silent Night, Deadly Night) and Rocking The Boat (Jaws) hit hard with fun guitar riffs, energetic drumming, and some unclean vocals we’ve rarely seen from Charnas. The references to classic lines from the movies give every song its own little flare of nostalgia.  Many songs come completely out of left field, It Is The End (It) sticking out to me the most. Creepy voice acting, leading into chaotic and heavy verses, the song features ska punk band, Less Than Jake, offering some backing tracks to elevate the heavy guitars to a new level. The song makes you wanna move in any way you can.

The album shows tons of growth from the small metal band. Their ability to create and not take themselves 100% serious is obvious. The use voice acting, other genres, wordplay, and fun movie references, The Silver Scream gives you the creeps in the best way. Nostalgia and love for horror films makes my love for this album so much more personal. Ice Nine Kills has come a very long way, I have a feeling they can only go up from here.

Review & Photography courtesy of Emily Sulkowski

** click through to the link above to view photos of Ice Nine Kills **