Diseased & Disguised Tour 2020 | Photos + Review

Metalcore is a genre that never seems to go away, and that’s a good thing. When two giants of the scene, Beartooth and Motionless in White, announced their co-headlining tour, everyone knew we were in for a treat. With Limbs and Stick To Your Guns as support, this tour set the tone for the rest of 2020. 

Limbs was a band I had never heard of, but I was pleasantly surprised. They brought an energy no one in the crowd expected so early in the night. I’m used to watching openers have a few courtesy head bangs and nothing outside of it. The pit soon opened and the night began. With only one album, a few EPs and singles in their discography, you’d never expect a band to pack such a punch. 

Stick To Your Guns made their mark in the scene years ago, but something about them is always refreshing. Hardcore is a genre on a steady resurgence, and it’s easy to understand why. The set contained mostly classics such as “ Amber “ to spark memories in the crowd. The anger was obvious, but the band always has a way of bringing everyone in a room together. 

I can never stop suggesting Beartooth to anyone. Caleb Shomo has a voice that fills you with every emotion you could feel. The production of orange lights and fog created a vibe that made you want to move. Crowdsurfers made my job as a photographer difficult, but even my fellow photographers in the photo pit couldn’t help but bang their heads. Classic metal riffs with the anger and punch of a new hardcore band, Beartooth is a treat every single time. 

Few bands can pack a punch for over a decade. Motionless in White have the honor of being within those select few. The ambiance before they even walked on stage was enough to send shocks through the crowd. The spooky purple and blue lighting, strobes, and the skeletons on the stage, the band was sure to come out with a bang. Motionless mixes old songs with new, but the crowd knew the words to everything. Frontman Chris Motionless works the crowd into an angry and violent pit every single time, yet expresses his love and appreciation the entire time. With heavy hitters like Devils Night and Abigail, the crowd had plenty of energy to burn before the softer side of things came out towards the end with Another Life and Eternally Yours. The entire show was a mix of beauty, chaos, and spooky vibes. 

The Diseased and Disguised tour was an incredible start to the 2020 metal-core tour season. No mixed genres were needed to carry this tour around different fan bases. Solid, to the point heavy music was all it took to sell out shows, and created what I can say is one of the best shows I’ve been too.

Photos + review courtesy of Emily Sulkowski

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The Devil Wears Prada with Norma Jean and Gideon | The Act North American Tour | Photos + Review

The Devil Wears Prada Unleashes “The Act” On A Sold-Out Crowd In Pomona

Venue: The Glass House on 10/27/19

Ever since I got into The Devil Wears Prada, it has basically become a tradition to see them at least annually each year. From the elaborate lighting, to the engaging sets, The Devil Wears Prada never disappoints when it comes to a live show. For their tour in support of their newest record “The Act”, which was released in 2019 via Solid State Records, the band brought along with them Norma Jean and Gideon for their North American run of the tour. The night was truly amazing to say the least.

First to the stage was Gideon from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This was my second time seeing this four-piece in a period of 3 months, with the last time being a brief set when they played Ragefest in Los Angeles. Unfortunately at Ragefest, technical difficulties delayed their set, and the venue cut the band off after only playing 3 songs. While their set once again started with technical difficulties, the band made it through, playing their nonstop set of nine-songs. A few weeks after releasing their album “Out of Control”, which was released via Equal Vision Records, the band played a bunch from that release, along with other songs from their discography, including the single “No Love/No One”, which got the crowd going absolutely nuts when they closed out the set with it. The band’s sound perfectly blends together metalcore and hardcore, with some nu metal influences in their newer material as well. When you go see the band live, you will witness just how much control the vocalist Dan McWhorter has over a crowd, making them go absolutely bonkers at the snap of a finger. Guitarist Tyler Riley plays those riffs with ease while also contributing great backing screams. Caleb DeRusha is one of my favorite members, as he is constantly grooving along to the music as he slams his’ bass. Jake Smelley on drums closes out the band’s lineup, keeping the band on track with his’ perfectly syncopated drum patterns and high energy. Gideon is a very high energy band that truly helped warm up the crowd for the bands to come.

SETLIST

  1. Bite Down
  2. Cursed
  3. SLEEP
  4. Take Me
  5. 2 CLOSE
  6. STYLE
  7. Champions
  8. Freedom
  9. No Love/No One

Up next was the all mighty Norma Jean from Douglasville, Georgia. This was my second time seeing the band, with the last time being in March of 2018 when they did a headlining tour for the anniversary of their 2006 album “Redeemer”. This time around, I was seeing the band play the day after their newest record “All Hail” hit the shelves, being released via Solid State Records. The band’s sound is very much in the vein of metalcore, with some inspiration coming from hardcore punk instrumentally speaking. For their setlist, the band played a nine-song set, with only three coming from their newest album. The rest came from the rest of their eight-record discography, which is truly an impressive collection of music. Vocalist Cory Brandan was under the weather, but he pushed through it and poured his’ heart into that set, showing off his’ dynamic contrast in clean vocals and screaming. Guitarists Clay Crenshaw and Grayson Stewart helped keep the energy high with headbangs and riffage. Drummer Matt Marquez kept the music steady with his consistent and dynamic drumming, with high energy faces. Bassist Michael Palmquist closed out the band’s live lineup and played those basslines with ease. Norma Jean proved once again why they are still considered one of the pioneer bands in the genre and are still killing it time and time again whenever they hit the stage.

SETLIST

  1. The Planet
  2. [Mind Over Mind]
  3. The End of All Things Will Be Televised / I Used to Hate Cell Phones But Now I Hate Car Accidents
  4. 1,000,000 Watts
  5. Landslide Defeater
  6. Blueprints for Future Homes
  7. “The Potter Has No Hands”
  8. /with_errors
  9. If You Got It at Five, You Got It at Fifty

The Devil Wears Prada from Dayton, Ohio. For their yearly headliner at The Glass House, the band prepared a seventeen-song setlist, with four songs coming from the new album, and the rest coming from their widespread discography containing a total of seven albums and two EPs. Along with the setlist that pleased new fans and older fans of the band alike, the band brought with them a bright and creative light show with them. The lighting during their set is something The Devil Wears Prada has been known for since they started bringing the intricate lighting with them many years ago. The band opened their set with the opening song from “The Act” titled “Switchblade”, which is debatably the heaviest track on the album. What I enjoyed the most about their setlist choices is that they contrasted heavier songs, like “Dead Throne”, “Danger: Wildman”, with slower and more melodic songs “Please Say No”, “Chemical”, and “Lines of Your Hands”. It was amazing to see the vocal abilities of screamer Mike Hranica and rhythm guitarist and clean vocalist Jeremy DePoyster, who meshed together beautifully with contrasting vocal stylings. Kyle Sipress was on point on guitar, playing those melodies with ease while moving about the stage to hype the crowd. Giuseppe Capolupo slayed it on drums, slamming them with precise timing and power, giving the performance that extra edge. Keyboard player Jonathan Gering played the keys with such passion and truly helped hype up the whole performance. Closing out the band’s lineup, Mason Nagy played those groovy bass tones and really vibed well with the crowd and the music. This was honestly my favorite performance I’ve seen from Th Devil Wears Prada, and I recommend seeing them when they come back out on tour of North America in March/April in support of We Came Is Romans!

SETLIST

  1. Switchblade
  2. Danger: Wildman
  3. Worldwide
  4. Lines of Your Hands
  5. Dead Throne
  6. Assistant to the Regional Manager
  7. Chemical
  8. Gloom
  9. Planet A
  10. Daughter
  11. Anatomy
  12. Please Say No
  13. Dez Moines
  14. All My Life (Foo Fighters cover)
  15. Born to Lose
  16. Asteroid

ENCORE

17. Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?

 

The Devil Wears Prada truly went above and beyond for their North American Tour in support of their new album “The Act”. Norma Jean played a big role as direct support and really put their all into their set. Gideon also truly came out and crushed that set, rounding out this show as one of my favorites for 2019. I thoroughly recommend checking out all of these bands live when they hit a city near you!

The Devil Wears Prada | Norma Jean | Gideon

Photos + Review Courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Ghostemane w/ Lil Tracy, Jesus Piece, and Section H8 | Hiadica North American Tour | Photos

Hiadica North American Tour Photos

Venue: The Novo on 11/23/19

Section H8

Jesus Piece

Lil Tracy

Ghostemane

Ghostemane | Lil Tracy | Jesus Piece | Section H8

Photos courtesy of Jamie Kaufman

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Venom Prison & Homewrecker w/ Great American Ghost | The Blood Sacrifice North American Tour | Photos + Review

Venom Prison & Homewrecker Conduct Los Angeles on the Blood Sacrifice Tour

Venue: Five Star Bar on 10/2/19

When I first saw Venom Prison in 2018, I was in awe. As one of the opening acts on the Devastation of the Nation Tour, they had the challenge to warm the crowd up for the bands to come. What many did not expect was for the band to set a bar so high that few of the bands to come after them were able to reach. As the headliner this time around, they embarked on a month long across North America, co-headlining with Homewrecker. The tour has rotating direct support acts, but a majority of the dates had Great American Ghost as the support act, who were on my date as well. This tour mixed together bands of death metal, hardcore, and thrash metal, but it worked and blended so well!

The first band up was Great American Ghost from Boston, Massachusetts. Great American Ghost is cut from the same cloth as many newer hardcore and metalcore bands like Knocked Loose, Bodysnatcher, Traitors, Kublai Khan, Varials, and more. They were very high energy and truly got the crowd going wild. I was personally impressed by vocalist Ethan Harrison. His stage presence was powerful and truly helped hype the crowd up. Guitarist Niko Gasparrini and Bassist Joey Perron were also super tight on stage, headbanging and grooving along with the songs. Touring drummer Davier Perez smashed his drums, creating the foreground for the band to build upon, completing the lineup for this four-piece. The band played an 8-song set, most of which came from their 2017 album “Hatred Stems From The Seed”, which was released via Good Fight Music. They were truly a driving force on stage and got the crowd rowdy for the co-headliners to come. I cannot wait to see them again when they come back out here in 2019 with Bodysnatcher!

SETLIST

  1. No Savior
  2. New England Misery
  3. Destroyer
  4. Deliver Me
  5. Time Is Your Enemy
  6. Altar Of Snakes
  7. Prison of Hate
  8. Ann Arbor

Up next was Homewrecker from Ashtabula, Ohio. As one of the two co-headliners for the tour, they were solid. While not as high energy as Great American Ghost, they still slayed! Mixing together death metal with thrash metal, the band played an 11-song set, playing songs from several of their releases, most of which came from their 2018 release “Hell Is Here Now”, which was released via Good Fight Music. This four piece consists of co-lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Barnum, co-lead vocalist and drummer Matt Izzi, guitarist Paul Aloisio, and bassist Dalton Edwards. Although they had a couple of technical difficulties throughout the set, the band persevered and killed their set.

SETLIST

  1. Create Sin
  2. Bound By Validation
  3. Prophet Liar
  4. Demons In Disguise
  5. Worms and Dirt
  6. One With Torment
  7. Punish the Ignorance
  8. Buried in Suffering
  9. Land of the Damned
  10. Constant Eyes
  11. Perpetrators of Annihilation

Finally up came Venom Prison from South Wales, UK. Venom Prison is best described as a death metal band with elements of hardcore and grindcore. What I personally love about the band is their bold choices in lyrical content, speaking out about social and political topics like: rape culture, fascism, misogyny, mental health, organized religion, and more. The band played a super tight set, with 9-songs from both their 2016 record “Animus”, as well as their 2019 record “Samsara” which were both released via Prosthetic Records. The band stands strong, with vocalist Larissa Stupar at the forefront. Guitarists Ash Gray and Ben Thomas are very fun to watch on stage, shredding with technical guitar parts and intricate solos. At the foundation of any band’s sound is the bass and drums, which are filled by bassist Mike Jefferies and drummer Joe Bills. I was thoroughly impressed by the band’s performance. I found them to be even tighter and more dynamic than the last time I saw them, which I thought would be a hard performance to top. I am very much looking forward to seeing Venom Prison the next time they return to the states.

SETLIST

  1. Matriphagy
  2. Corrode the Black Sun
  3. Uterine Industrialisation
  4. Abysmal Agony
  5. Asura’s Realm
  6. Self Inflicted Violence
  7. Perpetrator Emasculation
  8. Dukkha
  9. Implementing the Metaphysics of Morals

The Blood Sacrifice Tour was filled with lots of moshing, a couple of brawls, technical instrumentals, and lots of heavy fucking music. All three bands were incredible, with the best being Venom Prison. This was a tour I was looking forward to, and I am truly grateful I was able to attend.

Venom Prison | Homewrecker | Great American Ghost

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Alesana w/ Capture, Avoid, and Dead Superstar | The Unkindness of Ravens Tour | Photos

The Unkindness of Ravens Tour

Venue: The Whisky A Go-Go on 8/21/19

 

Dead Superstar

Avoid

Capture

Alesana

Alesana | Capture | Avoid | Dead Superstar

Photos courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Crown the Empire w/ Attila, Veil of Maya, Gideon, HAWK, and Life Right Now | Ragefest 2 | Photos

Ragefest 2

Venue: The Belasco on 7/27/19

Life Right Now

HAWK