Blessthefall w/ Slaves and Glass Houses | Hard Feelings Spring Tour | Photos + Review

Blessthefall Brings Out the Hard Feelings in Anaheim

Venue: Chain Reaction on 6/8/19

Blessthefall is one of those bands I must see whenever they come out on tour. They were one of the first three bands I got into in the scene in 2008, with Escape the Fate and The Used being the first two. With their Hard Feelings Spring Tour, Blessthefall brought along with them Palisades, Slaves, and Glass Houses. Unfortunately, Palisades had to drop from the last third of the tour, as they had prior commitments out of country. But, the tour continued on and the remaining three bands came through and slayed the stage at Chain Reaction.

The first band was Glass Houses from Fargo, ND. The band came in swinging from the start of their set to the end. They played 6-songs, 5 of which came from their debut 2016 album “Wellspring”, as well as their new single “Lost Choices”. They are a perfect blend of metalcore and post-hardcore. This five-piece consists of vocalist Joshua Haider, guitarists Robert Whiteside and Tanner Leier, bassist Mark Sands, and drummer Lucas Chayne. Josh spoke about depression and the toll it can have on the psyche, which has been a common theme being brought up lately. It makes me happy to see more people talking about it so openly. Their lyrical content dives deeper into the concept of depression and coping, and you can feel the passion and drive through every instrument and lyric. I was thoroughly impressed by Glass Houses and will certainly be seeing them again when they return to California next!

Up next came Slaves from Sacramento, CA. This band has gone through a lot of struggles throughout their time, but they continue to use that pain to drive and catapult them to new heights. With many lineup changes, with the most notable being the loss of their vocalist and founding member Jonny Craig, the band had to move forward. They currently have Matt McAndrew, who was a finalist on the voice. Matt brought new renditions of the Slaves’ songs, which was cool to hear. The rest of the current lineup consists of bassist Collin Vieira, guitarists Weston Richmond and Felipe Sanchez, and drummer Zack Baker. The band played 7-songs, all from their 2018 record “The Beautiful Death”, which was released via SBG Records with critical acclaim. I was thoroughly impressed with their performance and recommend seeing Slaves when you get the chance.

SETLIST

  1. I’d Rather See Your Star Explode
  2. Back To The Roots
  3. Petty Trappin
  4. True Colors
  5. Warning From My Demons
  6. Patience Is The Virtue
  7. I Know A Lot of Artists

The final band up was the all mighty Blessthefall from Phoenix, Arizona. For this tour, the band prepared a 16-song set, with songs from every album from 2008’s Witness and beyond. The crowd was going nuts, especially when fan favorite songs like “Cutthroat”, “To Hell and Back”, “You Wear A Crown But You Are No King” and “Wishful Sinking Were Played”. The band always has a continuous amount of energy, which is catapulted by vocalist Beau Boken’s showmanship. Beau loves to make you wet and soaks the crowd with water throughout the whole set. The room became a hot and sweaty cesspool and everyone from members of the band to almost everyone in the crowd were covered in water by the end of the show. Blessthefall knows how to get the crowd hyped and sound identical on album as they do live, which is such a beautiful thing to see. I cannot recommend this band enough and will keep seeing them every time they come out to California on a tour.

SETLIST

  1. Wishful Sinking
  2. Cutthroat
  3. Hollow Bodies
  4. Youngbloods
  5. 0
  6. What’s Left Of Me
  7. Melodramatic
  8. Up In Flames
  9. Dead Air
  10. Sleepless In Phoenix
  11. 40 Days…
  12. To Hell and Back
  13. You Wear A Crown But You Are No King
  14. Sakura Blues
  15. Welcome Home

ENCORE

  1. Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted

The Hard Feelings Spring Tour was a masterpiece with a trio of bands that meshed beautifully together. Glass Houses were such a kickass way to start out the show, and Slaves fit perfectly as the night’s next act, and Blessthefall took the roof off the venue. If you ever get a chance to see a Blessthefall tour, be prepared for one hot and wild show filled with lots of energy and lots of water.

Blessthefall | Slaves | Glass Houses

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Stitched Up Heart w/ A Trigger Within and Darling | Spring U.S. Tour | Photos + Review

Stitched Up Heart Comes Home to Southern California

Venue: The Slidebar | 5/28/19

When Stitched Up Heart announced they were finally playing a show again in Southern California, I jumped on the opportunity to photograph them and finally see this band that I’ve been listening to for several years. When I went to go see them at the Whisky A Go-Go in 2017, the venue for the first time had to cancel a show due to them not being able to get the sound system up and running. So, when I found Stitched Up Heart was playing in Southern California again, I knew I just had to go. As the final date of an 8-week tour, they came through The Slidebar in Fullerton, CA to headline for the first time in California in almost 2 years, with local support from A Trigger Within and Darling. This show was a blast.

First up was Darling from Los Angeles, CA. Darling is an acoustic artist who also mixes in pop and rock. She and I met the first time at the whisky but actually seeing her showcase her talents was amazing. She has such an amazing voice and plays the acoustic guitar amazingly. She played 6 songs, which included her new single “Misery” as well as a cover of Bullet for My Valentine’s “Tears Don’t Fall”. She was joined on stage by Stitched Up Heart’s James Decker on drums and her husband and bassist of Stitched Up Heart Randy Mathias. She put on a breathtaking set and I cannot wait to see her again!

Next up was A Trigger Within from Los Angeles, CA. A Trigger Within came to The Slidebar to bring us some good ole Heavy Metal with an emphasis on symphonics and screaming anthems. Fronting the band is Jimmy Trigger, who commands the stage with a force. The rest of the band consists of bassist Eric Sinful, drummer Dylan Roy, and guitarists David Bruno and Tyler Morgan. The band played a powerful 7-song set, which consisted of new songs, as well as songs from their debut 2017 EP titled “I”. From just one listen to the band, you can hear just the melting pot of styles and inspirations this band has blended together to make powerful music. They are certainly enjoyable live, filled with a lot of energy. I cannot wait to hopefully see them again soon!

The final band up was none other than Stitched Up Heart, local to West Hollywood, CA. This band has been going since 2011 but didn’t release their debut album “Never Alone” until 2016 via Century Media Records. To my pleasant surprise, a majority of their 11-song set consisted of brand new songs most have not heard yet and only played 4 from “Never Alone”. It was so cool hearing the band’s new material and also being able to hear some fan favorite songs like “Finally Free” and “I Can’t Breathe”. The band consists of vocalist Alecia “Mixi” Demner, drummer and backup vocalist James Decker, bassist and backup vocalist Randy Mathias, and guitarists Merritt Goodwin and Jeremy Kohnmann. The band had so much energy on stage and even played around with me while I photographed them, constantly posing and jokingly covering my camera at times. I was so happy to finally see them and will certainly be making my way out again once they play Southern California again.

SETLIST

  1. This Skin (New Song)
  2. Warrior (New Song)
  3. Catch Me When I Fall
  4. Darkness (New Song)
  5. I Can’t Breathe
  6. Finally Free
  7. Lost (New Song)
  8. Dirty Secrets (New Song)
  9. Problems (New Song)
  10. City of Angels

ENCORE

  1. Crooked Halo

This was an amazing show from start to finish. I’m glad I was able to see Darling play her heart out. A Trigger Within was a great band to have for direct support, with dueling guitar solos and high energy. And finally being able to see Stitched Up Heart was exactly what I’ve wanted for over 2 years. Check out all of these amazing bands and artists.

Stitched Up Heart | A Trigger Within | Darling

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Sylar w/ Cane Hill, Varials, and Bloodline | Seasons Tour 2019 | Photos + Review

Sylar Changes the Seasons at Chain Reaction

Venue: Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA | 5/26/19

Sylar has been a very important band to me since I got into them in 2016. Their distinct sound that mixes together nu-metal, metalcore, post-hardcore, and rap metal has helped them stand out in a music scene that can sometimes be filled to the brim with soundalike bands. With their newest release “Seasons”, Sylar hit new ground, going a bit more personal, which received critical acclaim.  After several years of touring as the supporting act for many tours, Sylar finally embarked on a full 2-month U.S. Tour, with supporting acts Cane Hill, Varials, and Bloodline. With a stacked lineup at one of my all-time favorite venues, I knew this would be a fun show.

The first band up was Bloodline from Dallas, Texas. Bloodline has been on my radar for quite some time. This fourpiece band is a perfect mix of metalcore and hardcore, with some sweet melodies and slamming breakdowns. The members of the band consist of vocalist Joseph Todd, drummer and backup vocalist Matt Dierkes, bassist Jake Jones, and guitarist and clean vocalist Titus Kirby. They had very high energy from the start of their set to the end, and truly kicked the show off with a force. I was thoroughly blown away. Their newest release “Better View” came out in March of 2019 via Stay Sick Recordings and truly shows off the band’s wide range and variety from song to song! I cannot wait to see them next time they come out to California!

 

Next up came Varials from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’ve wanted to see Varials for quite some time but scheduling just never worked out for me to make it out to one of their shows until now. Varials is good ole fashioned hardcore mixed with metalcore. They had such a high level of energy that had the crowd going absolutely bonkers. In fact, a guy cartwheeled off the stage onto the crowd at one point. This five piece consists of vocalist Travis Tabron, guitarists Mitchell Rogers and James Hohenwarter, drummer Sean Rauchut, and bassist Mike Foley. The band played a 6-song set, 5 of which came from their 2017 release “Pain Again” which was their debut LP on Fearless Records. I was thoroughly impressed by their stage presence and their ability to control the crowd at the snap of their fingers.

SETLIST

  1. God Talk
  2. Anything to Numb
  3. D.A.
  4. Stigmata
  5. Pain Again
  6. Empire of Dirt

The biggest supporting act was up next, that being Cane Hill from New Orleans, Louisiana. I remember seeing Cane Hill as the opening act for Attila, New Years Day, and Bad Omens at Chain Reaction in 2017, so seeing how far they’ve come has been impressive. The band is the perfect mixture of Nu Metal and Metalcore. The band played a whopping 11-song set with songs from each of their releases: 7 off their 2018 album “Too Far Gone”, 3 from their 2016 album “Smile”, and 1 from their self-titled 2015 EP. The band was on fire and truly showcased their full range in sound. This four piece consists of vocalist Elijah Witt, guitarist James Barnett, bassist Ryan Henriquez, and drummer Devin Clark. Cane Hill has been a band I have been listening to consistently since Warped Tour 2016 and they continue to blow me away each time I see them!

SETLIST

  1. (The New) Jesus
  2. Lord of Flies
  3. 10 Cents
  4. Ugly Model Mannequin
  5. Fountain of Youth
  6. It Follows
  7. Hateful
  8. Why?
  9. Gemini
  10. Singing in The Swamp
  11. Too Far Gone

The almighty Sylar from Queens, New York came out on stage last to finally bring a headlining set. After being a supporting act for many tours throughout the years, they finally got the opportunity to headline their own tour, which was so cool to see. The band opened up their set with fan favorite song “Assume”, which is such a banger. The band truly went all out for their headliner and prepared a jampacked 15-song set, which consisted of 9 songs from their 2018 release “Seasons”, 4 from their 2014 release “To Whom It May Concern”, and 3 from their 2016 release “Help!”. It was surreal to see them play such a widespread set, with songs from each release. The band has evolved their sound with each release and they proved just how far they’ve come with their headlining set. This five piece consists of vocalist Jayden Panesso, guitarist and clean vocalist Miguel Cardona, guitarist Dustin Jennings, bassist Travis Hufton, and drummer Cody Ash. The band is super tight and together on stage, with high energy that had the crowd jumping and moshing like crazy. Sylar is growing more and more as a band as the months go by, and I’m so happy they’re finally headlining.

SETLIST

  1. Assume
  2. SHOOK!
  3. Same Dance
  4. Wait For You
  5. Sickminded
  6. Open Wounds
  7. No Way
  8. Seasons
  9. To Whom It May Concern
  10. Prescription Medication
  11. Live / Breathe
  12. All or Nothing
  13. Soul Addiction

ENCORE

  1. Dark Daze
  2. Golden Retreat

Sylar’s Seasons tour was filled with moshing, crowdsurfing, nu metal, metalcore, hardcore, and a lot of fun. I’m so honored to have been able to see this band grow over the years and see them many times in that time.

Sylar | Cane Hill | Varials | Bloodline

Photos and Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Chelsea Grin w/ Slaughter to Prevail, Traitors, and Bodysnatcher | Eternal Nightmare Tour Photos + Review

Chelsea Grin Unleashes The Eternal Nightmare on Pomona

The Glass House in Pomona, CA | 5/19/19

Chelsea Grin has been one of the leading bands in deathcore for quite some time. With their newest album “Eternal Nightmare” being released in 2018 via Rise Records, the band hit new highs, and showed more variety. This is partly thanks to the addition of new vocalist Tom Barber, who previously fronted the Blackened Deathcore band Lorna Shore. With the first North American leg of their Eternal Nightmare Tour, the band brought Slaughter to Prevail, Traitors, and Bodysnatcher. Enterprise Earth is also a part of the tour but were finishing up another tour at the time of my date, so they were not able to perform. The show slayed from start to finish.

The first band up was Bodysnatcher from Melbourne, Florida. Bodysnatcher has been on my radar for a while. Their 2016 EP titled “Abandonment” put them on the map and truly helped them create a name for themselves, which led to their signing with Stay Sick Recordings. Since then, they released their debut full length album “Death of Me”, which was originally released in 2017 via Stay Sick Recordings but then re-released as a deluxe edition in 2018. The band is a good mixture of deathcore, hardcore, and beatdown. The band played an 8-song set, all of which came from “Death of Me”. This 4-piece consists of vocalist Kyle Medina, drummer Chris Whited, bassist Kyle Shope, and guitarist Kyle Carter. The band was truly on fire and I couldn’t help but bob my head and headbang a bit while shooting their set. They were such a kickass way to start out the show and had such power and slamming grooves to their sound. I will definitely be seeing them again.

SETLIST

  1. Show Stopper
  2. Exterminate
  3. Rancid
  4. Ego Killer
  5. Open Wounds
  6. Bone Casket
  7. Consequence
  8. Closer to Hell

Up next was Traitors, who are also from Florida. This was my 4th time seeing these guys and they slayed like they always do. They are a perfect mix of alternative metalcore, hardcore, deathcore, and beatdown. I have always enjoyed their stage presence and their ability to get the crowd going nuts from the moment the intro notes hit to the moment they walk off stage. The 4-piece band consists of vocalist Tyler Shelton, drummer Stephen Arango, guitarist Alan De La Torre, and bassist Cameron Perry. One thing I admire about Traitors is that they have remained independent throughout their entire career, releasing 3 full length albums and 3 EPs during their time as a band. The band played a 7-song set, which encompassed songs from 4 of their releases, the newest being their 2019 album “Repent”. I always enjoy seeing these guys and recommend you all check them out!

SETLIST

  1. Short Fused
  2. RIP
  3. Disappoint
  4. Lashing Out
  5. Left To Rot
  6. Arrogance
  7. Ruthless Hate

Up next came Slaughter To Prevail, who came all the way from Yekaterinburg, Russia. This was my third time seeing these guys and they surely did not disappoint. In fact, this was the best set I’ve seen them put on to date. They started their set out by all wearing their iconic Slaughter masks. The only member that took the mask off really was vocalist Sasha “Alex Terrible” Shikolai. Other members of the band include guitarist Robert Brown, bassist Mike Petrov, and drummer Evengy Novikov. The band played a 7-song set, which consisted of 3 songs from their debut 2016 EP “Chapters of Misery”, 3 songs from their 2017 album “Misery Sermon”, which were both released via Sumerian Records, and also debuted a brand-new song titled “Agony”, which absolutely slapped. The band just had a tightness and cohesiveness that is stronger than ever. If you like deathcore that is mixed with slam and good ole fashioned death metal, I definitely recommend Slaughter to Prevail.

SETLIST

  1. Chronic Slaughter
  2. Russian Hate
  3. Death
  4. Agony (New Song)
  5. Beast
  6. King
  7. Hell

The final band up was the one and only Chelsea Grin hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. Chelsea Grin truly went all out for their headlining tour, bringing a large lighting setup with them, as well as preparing a monstrous 16-song setlist. The band played their newest album “Eternal Nightmare” in its entirety, along with mixing 5 other songs from their discography into the set. This was my second time seeing the band in a period of 3 months and they absolutely killed it. This 4-piece consists of vocalist Tom Barber, bassist David Flinn, drummer and backup vocalist Pablo Viveros, and guitarist Stephen Rutishauser. The crowd was going nuts, with circle pits, slam pits, and crowdsurfers galore. It was so cool to see the crowd getting so excited. The band also did their song “Recreant” as an encore, which is a fan favorite and got the crowd going nuts like never before. The entire crowd turned into a mosh pit at that point. It was amazing seeing Chelsea Grin play a headlining set, as they truly deserve it.

SETLIST

  1. Dead Rose
  2. The Wolf
  3. Across The Earth
  4. Playing With Fire
  5. See You Soon
  6. My Damnation
  7. 9:30am
  8. Limbs
  9. Scent of Evil
  10. Lilith
  11. Clickbait
  12. Nobody Listened
  13. Outliers
  14. Eternal Nightmare
  15. Hostage

ENCORE

  1. Recreant

The Eternal Nightmare tour was an amazing filled with slams, moshing, fight riffs, and good ole fashioned deathcore. I am so thankful to have been in attendance and to kick it with everyone afterwards. This was truly a show to remember.

Chelsea Grin | Slaughter to Prevail | Traitors | Bodysnatcher 

Photos and Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Archspire w/ Inferi, Virvum, Wormhole, and Discarnate Motions |Tech Trek IV Tour Photos | 5/12/19 | Whisky A Go-Go

Discarnate Motions

Wormhole

 

Virvum