Fitz & The Tantrums ft Twin XL | All The Feels Tour 2020

February 12, 2020

Twin XL

Fitz & The Tantrums

Photos courtesy of Angel Haines

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Dirty Honey w/ The Amazons | Rolling 7’s Tour | Photos + Review

Almost a year ago, Los Angeles based rock band Dirty Honey released their self-titled debut EP. The band have recently been on a headlining tour across North America in support of this release, bringing along fellow rockers The Amazons with them, and I attended the Denver, Colorado show.
Opening up the night was British rock band The Amazons. Their forty-five minute set consisted of eight songs, and each half of the set included songs from each of the two records in the band’s catalogue – “Black Magic,” “In My Mind” (my personal favorite song of theirs), “Junk Food Forever” and “Stay With Me” from their 2017 self-titled debut LP, and “25,” “Doubt It” “Mother,” and set opener “Fuzzy Tree” from last year’s album “Future Dust.” The band has a lot of charisma and a brilliant stage presence that really showed throughout their entire set.

Dirty Honey came on stage not long after for their headlining set. The band played their
self-titled EP in full (“When I’m Gone,” “Rolling 7’s,” “Heartbreaker,” “Down The Road,” “Scars,” and “Break You”), as well as their 2018 debut single “Fire Away.” In addition to playing all of the songs that they’ve released so far, they also added in two new songs, and played some impressive instrumental solos throughout the set, which allowed each instrumentalist in the band to show off their individual skills and talents. Similarly to The Amazons, Dirty Honey also had a really good stage presence, and did a really good job at engaging the ecstatic crowd.

Both bands on the Rolling 7’s Tour put on captivating and entertaining performances and
overall, it was an enjoyable night of rock and roll music.

Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Ice Nine Kills w/ Fit For A King, Light The Torch, and Awake At Last | SiriusXM Octane Accelerator Tour | Photos + Review

Ice Nine Kills Play Homage To Horror Classics At Their Sold-Out Los Angeles Show

Venue: The Belasco on 11/9/19

Ice Nine Kills has been a consistent band I’ve listened to since I got into them when I first saw them on Warped Tour in 2014. Their blend of symphonics with metalcore has always been intriguing to me. For the second edition of the SiriusXM Octane Accelerator Tour, Ice Nine Kills was announced to headline, with support from Fit For A King, Light The Torch, and Awake At Last. Make Them Suffer was also slotted to open on the tour, but due to VISA issues, they were unable to perform on the tour. This would be Ice Nine Kills’ biggest headlining tour to date in the United States, and they really went all out to make this an amazing tour.

First up was Awake At Last from Dover, Delaware. The band describes themselves as a mixture between pop, hard rock, and post-hardcore, which I agree with. Continuing their touring schedule in support of their newest release “The Change”, which was released in 2019 via Outerloop Records, the band opened the show with high energy that got the crowd going. Similarly to Ice Nine Kills, the band uses symphonic backing in their songs, with adds a great level of depth to their songs. Opening their set with the song “Purgatorium” from their independently released 2017 EP titled “Life/Death/Rebirth” showcases this depth to a T. Vocalist Vincent Torres has great stage presence, really engaging the crowd and moving about. Guitarists Imran Xhelili and Eric Blackway really held their own on stage, engaging their respective sides of the crowd and really adding to the energy coming from the band. Drew Hansen headbanged and slammed those notes with the bass with ease. Closing out the band’s live lineup is Jeff Dorber on drums, who was very energetic and engaging. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the band’s seven-song set, and thought they really got the energy going for the bands to come!

SETLIST

  1. Purgatorium
  2. More Than Animals
  3. Unobtainable
  4. Paralyzed
  5. Fallen Stars
  6. Dead Generation
  7. The Change

Up next was the all mighty Light The Torch from Los Angeles, CA. Previously called “Devil You Know”, the band has been around since 2012 and have released three studio albums together. I was very much excited to see them, as I have been a fan of each member’s respective bands. Vocalist Howard Jones was previously in Killswitch Engage, guitarist Francesco Artusato is also in All Shall Perish, who are on an indefinite hiatus, bassist Ryan Wombacher is also the bassist of Bleeding Through, who I had the pleasure of seeing and photographing in June of 2018, and drummer Kyle Baltus is the drummer of 38 Crazyfists. So as a super group, the band embarked on this tour and prepared an 8-song set, most of which came from their 2018 record “Revival”, which was released via Nuclear Blast Records. As the perfect blend between metalcore and alternative metal, the band was energetic and slayed that stage with ease. I was just in awe to finally see Howard Jones on stage, and to be able to photograph them was a dream come true. The band will be going on a North American tour in support of Killswitch Engage and August Burns Red in March – April, so definitely go check them out when they hit a city near you!

SETLIST

  1. The Bitter End
  2. Calm Before The Storm
  3. Lost In The Fire
  4. Virus
  5. Consume The Damned
  6. The Safety of Disbelief
  7. The Sound of Violence
  8. Die Alone

As direct support, Fit For A King from Dallas, Texas was up next. I have seen and photographed these guys four times now over the last two years and this is by far my favorite set they’ve performed. The band plays some damn good metalcore, and with five albums under their belt, they have created a solid career for themselves. For their direct support slot on this tour, the band prepared a ten-song set, with songs from their two newest releases “Dark Skies” from 2018 and “Deathgrip” from 2016, both of which were released via Solid State Records. Something long time fans will know is that vocalist Ryan Kirby has taken on more as a vocalist, doing both screaming and singing on these releases. His stage presence is incredible. Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary is the hypeman of the band, jumping, spinning, kicking, screaming, and singing to his’ heart’s content while playing those bass notes. Drummer and founding member Jared Easterling is always on point, playing intricate and dynamic drum parts, while exuding such joy and happiness while playing on stage. Guitarist Daniel Gailey closes out the band’s lineup, and despite some technical difficulties at the beginning of the set, came out and delivered a stellar performance. I love Fit For A King. If you love some good metalcore, they’ll be going on a world tour in support of “Dark Skies” that will be hitting North America, Europe, and more in the coming months!

SETLIST

  1. Engraved
  2. Backbreaker
  3. When Everything Means Nothing
  4. Shattered Glass
  5. Cold Room
  6. Dead Memory
  7. Deathgrip
  8. The Price of Agony
  9. Oblivion
  10. Tower of Pain

Ice Nine Kills from Boston, Massachusetts came out next to headline the night. With a dramatic curtain drop, the band started out their set with the infamous song and the third single “Thank God It’s Friday” from “The Silver Scream”, which was released in 2018 via Fearless Records. What the curtain drop revealed was an elaborate set of lighting and costuming. Each member was dressed up as a different horror icon: drummer Patrick Galante was dressed up was Billy The Puppet from SAW, guitarist and backup vocalist Ricky Armellino was dressed up as Georgie from IT, guitarist Dan Sugarman was dressed up as Jack Torrance from The Shining, and bassist Joe Occhiuti was dressed up as Edward Scissorhands. Spencer Charnas, the lead vocalist and founding member, changed costumes and props each song. When “Thank God It’s Friday” played, he was dressed up as Jason Vorhees from Friday The 13th, with the machete in hand. The second song in the set “The Jig Is Up”, spencer switched into his usual outfit for the show: a ripped green and red striped cut of shirt, black jeans, and shoes. But, to fit the song being about the SAW franchise, he sported an old man mask to act like John Kramer. For our third and final song in the photo pit, Spencer brought out a chainsaw and played with it for the duration of the song “Savages”. The rest of the set was filled with other costume changes, notably his’ complete costume change to be dressed up as Ghostface from the Scream franchise for the song “Your Number’s Up” from their 2019 deluxe edition release of the album. The whole band held their own. The most hyped part of the set would have to be during the encore when Spencer came on stage dressed up as Pennywise from IT and brought up someone in a Mickey Mouse costume. It was a creative way to mock Disney for banning the band. This set was filled with theatrics, amazing music, and amazing costumes. The band prepared a whopping 19-song set for their larger than life headliner, and it’s truly amazing to see how far they’ve come as a band since I first saw them. Ice Nine Kills is currently on a European tour in support of Hollywood Undead and Papa Roach, and then will be touring the US once again as support for Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, and I Prevail from 4/8 – 5/20, so definitely go see them on a date near you! I can’t wait to see one of my favorite bands again when they come out here!

SETLIST

  1. Thank God It’s Friday
  2. The Jig Is Up
  3. SAVAGES
  4. The Nature of the Beast
  5. The World In My Hands
  6. Communion of the Cursed
  7. A Grave Mistake
  8. Your Number’s Up
  9. Rocking The Boat
  10. Merry Axe-Mas
  11. Thriller (Michael Jackson cover)
  12. Hell In The Hallways
  13. Stabbing In The Dark
  14. The Fastest Way To A Girl’s Heart Is Through Her Ribcage
  15. Love Bites
  16. Tess-Timony
  17. Me, Myself, & Hyde
  18. The American Nightmare

ENCORE

19. IT Is The End

The SiriusXM Octane Accelerator Tour was absolutely incredible from start to finish. Ice Nine Kills truly put on a one of a kind set that truly made me speechless walking out of the venue. Fit For A King delivered an incredible set as direct support and blew me away yet again. Light The Torch tore the stage up and made me an even bigger fan of them. And Awake At Last delivered a flawless set with ease as the opening act. I am truly grateful that I was able to attend this show and capture all of these amazing moments.

Ice Nine Kills | Fit For A King | Light The Torch | Awake At Last

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Capstan & A Grizzly Fate | Photos + Review

Set it Off was supposed to headline this Candian show in Winnipeg Manitoba, but unfortunately their bus had broken down due to the insane cold weather. Capstan, who has been touring with Set it Off got a chance to headline instead. It was absolutely incredible getting to not only see Capstan a second time but photograph them a second time as well! I did not get a chance to see Loiter play, they were added to the bill after Set it Off was confirmed as not coming, but I had memory card issues and missed their set. The other local opener was A Grizzly Fate, these guys have amazing stage presence and are really great people. I’ve been going to their shows since they started as a band and I’m really happy to see them play with bands like Capstan. Capstan of course killed it on stage! They have said many times that they love Winnipeg and they plan on coming back as many times as possible and I hope they do come back.

A Grizzly Fate

 

Capstan

 

 Photos + Review courtesy of Chris Hall

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The Classic Crime w/ Assuming We Survive, Your Bourgeois, and David Lunsford | West Coast Tour | Photos + Review

Seattle-based rock band The Classic Crime have been around for quite some time, releasing a handful of albums over the past fifteen years. The band have recently dropped a couple of singles, leading up to their upcoming full-length album “Patterns In The Static” (due to be released on February 28th) and embarked on a tour of the West Coast (their first tour since 2018) in support of the new material.
Opening up the night was Seattle based acoustic musician David Lunsford. He began the set with his most recent single, “God Damn Soul,” and played “Without Your Armor” and “On My Mind” from his 2018 debut LP, “To All My Friends And Family.” In addition, he also played two unreleased songs, one titled “Evergreen” and a self-titled song that he concluded his set with. What stood out to me about David’s set was the emotion he put into each of the songs he performed, and that was evident from the moment he started the set.


Up next was Your Bourgeois, a local rock band from Golden, Colorado. They had a pretty good mix of slower and more upbeat songs in their set, and seemed to show influences of various styles of rock, which made their set even more interesting. One of the main things that stood out to me about this band’s set and the music they played was the very impressive lead guitar solos in a couple of the songs.


Second to last was Assuming We Survive. I saw them headline in LA a couple of years ago and since then, they have quickly become one of my favorite bands to see live and one of my favorite bands overall. One thing I like a lot about their live shows is the energy they constantly bring throughout so much of their sets, and the large majority of their setlist consisted of some of the most upbeat tracks from recent releases (“Tear Me,” “Make It Out Alive,” “Smile Sometime,” “Too Close”). The band played their two latest EPs, “Chapters” and “The Enemy Within,” from beginning to end (with the exception of “California Stoned,” the final track on “Chapters”), and amidst all of the more upbeat songs they played, they slowed things down a bit as well when playing “Lost” and “Let You Down,” which had everyone waving their cellphone lights in the air.


The Classic Crime took the stage not long after Assuming We Survive was done, and they
instantly had the crowd singing along and rocking out to their music. Their setlist spanned from throughout their discography as they played songs such as “The Fight” from their 2006 debut LP “Albatross,” “Abracadavers” and “Gravedigging” from 2008’s “The Silver Cord,” “Beautiful Darkside” and “The Precipice” from 2012’s “Phoenix,” “Driftwood” and “Holy Water” from 2017’s “How To Be Human,” . In addition, they played their two latest singles, “Take The Moment” and “Miles And Miles,” which are both from their upcoming album “Patterns In The Static.” This was my first time seeing The Classic Crime, and immediately I thought that they put on a really fun live performance.

Each act that performed at this show was something a little bit different, but one commonality that all of them shared was putting on an interesting and captivating performance, and the show overall was a very fun one to watch.

The Classic Crime | Assuming We Survive | Your Bourgeois | David Lunsford

Photos + Review Courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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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 HU ft Crown Lands – The Gereg Tour 2019 – North America

Crown Lands

The HU

Photos courtesy of Chyenne Conner

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Interview to follow

Blue Ridge Rock Fest Day 1 w/ A Day To Remember, The Convalescence, Beartooth, Of Mice & Men, Hinder, 10 Years,Cold, Soil, Flaw, A Feasting Beast, and Two Sides of Me

Blue Ridge Rock Festival Day 2

Two Sides of Me