Black Label Society w/ The Black Dahlia Murder and Alien Weaponry | Fall North American Tour 2019 | Photos + Review

Black Label Society Starts Their North American Tour in Ventura

Venue: The Majestic Ventura Theater on 9/11/19

With 10 studio albums and millions of fans, it was a pleasant surprise to see Los Angeles founded band Black Label Society to choose The Majestic Ventura Theater to not only be the sole California date for their North American Tour, but they scheduled it to be the very first date of the tour. Many fans lined the street waiting for doors for this nearly sold out show to open. Along with them as support was The Black Dahlia Murder and Alien Weaponry. With all three bands bringing different styles of metal to the stage, this show was amazing from start to finish.

The first band up was Alien Weaponry from Waipu, New Zealand. I did not know what to think of Alien Weaponry prior to the show, as I had not heard them before. But man did they start the show off on a high mark. This three-piece band mixes together thrash metal and groove metal, bringing the perfect blend of melody and chaos. The band consists of brothers Lewis de Jong and Henry de Jong, with Lewis on vocals and guitar and Henry on drums, as well as touring bassist Bobby Oblak. The band played a five-song set, four of which came from their 2018 release “Tu”, which was released via Napalm Records, and their 2019 single Ahi Ka. I was blown away by the amount of energy this three-piece had, headbanging and shredding like crazy. Definitely make sure to get there early to see these guys!

SETLIST

  1. Holding My Breath
  2. Ahi Ka
  3. Kai Tangata
  4. Raupatu
  5. Ru Ana Te Whenua

Next band to obliterate the stage came The Black Dahlia Murder from Waterford, Michigan. In all honesty, The Black Dahlia Murder is the main reason I went to the show and wanted to photograph. Their genre bending music that blends together melodic death metal with elements from metalcore and death metal is perfection. This was my third time seeing these guys and they always deliver. They opened with “Widowmaker” and “Jars”, two of the most popular songs from the band’s 2017 album “Nightbringers”, which they released via Metal Blade Records. I personally always love when they play “What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse” from their 2007 album “Nocturnal”, as that was the song that got me into them when I found it on the Rock Band Downloadable Store back in the day. This band truly slays on stage and truly gets the crowd going wild from the moment the first note hits. This five-piece consists of vocalist Trevor Strnad, rhythm guitarist Brian Eschbach, bassist Max Lavelle, drummer Alan Cassidy, and lead guitarist Brandon Ellis. From a photographer’s stand point, this band is truly fun to photograph, as they are constantly moving and have such a vibrant stage presence. Their lighting they brought added to the experience as both a concert goer and a photographer. I thoroughly enjoy seeing The Black Dahlia Murder every time I get the chance and definitely recommend checking them out when they hit a city near you!

SETLIST

  1. Widowmaker
  2. Jars
  3. Contagion
  4. What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse
  5. Statutory Ape
  6. Nightbringers
  7. As Good As Dead
  8. Kings of the Nightworld
  9. Everything Went Black

Finally, Los Angeles natives Black Label Society hit the stage. I will say, I was surprised the band took over an hour after The Black Dahlia Murder got off stage to finally set up, but when they did, the venue lit up like a firework. With bright lights and a wall of speakers behind them, Black Label Society tore the roof off the building. This four-piece has legendary heavy metal guitarist Zakk Wylde, who used to be the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, as their front man doing lead vocals and lead guitar. The rest of the band consists of bassist John DeServio, rhythm guitarist Dario Lorina, and drummer Jeff Fab. The band played a whopping seventeen-song set, playing songs from seven of their ten albums: five songs from 1999’s “Sonic Brew”, three from 2018’s “Grimmest Hits”, three songs from 2003’s “The Blessed Hellride”, one song from 2001’s “1919 Eternal”, 2014’s “Catacombs of the Black Vatican”, and one song from 2006’s “Shot To Hell”. The band showcased a wide variety in styles throughout the songs, blending together heavy metal, groove metal, and good ole fashioned biker metal. They were truly a blast to see and I’m glad I finally got to photograph the legendary Zakk Wylde.

SETLIST

  1. Genocide Junkies
  2. Funeral Bell
  3. The Beginning… At Last
  4. The Rose Petalled Garden
  5. Heart of Darkness
  6. Suicide Messiah
  7. Trampled Down Below
  8. Seasons of Falter
  9. Peddlers of Death
  10. Spoke In The Wheel
  11. In This River
  12. The Blessed Hellride
  13. Bored To Tears
  14. A Love Unreal
  15. Fire It Up
  16. Concrete Jungle
  17. Stillborne

Black Label Society’s North American Tour meshed together 3 different styles of metal, which made for an entertaining show. Alien Weaponry was a stellar opener, The Black Dahlia Murder obliterated the stage as the direct support, and Black Label Society took it home. I will say that The Black Dahlia Murder truly stole the show with their phenomenal performance, but the whole show as a whole was incredibly entertaining and a thrill to experience!

Black Label Society | The Black Dahlia Murder | Alien Weaponry

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Avatar w/ Devin Townsend, Dance With The Dead, and ’68 | Avatar Country World Tour | Photos + Review

Avatar Brings the Avatar Country through The Mayan

Venue: The Mayan on 6/13/19

When I discovered Avatar a few years ago, I was blown away not just by their amazing music but by how they captivate a stage. Whether they are the opening act or the headliner, Avatar is one of those bands that keeps you entertained from the start of their set to the end. With the second North American leg of their Avatar Country tour, they brought along with them Devin Townsend, Dance With The Dead, and ’68. With such a diverse lineup, this show was a spectacle.

The first band up was ’68 from Atlanta, GA. 68 has an undeniable stage presence. They are so unique in every song they perform, with a sound that I can only describe as noise metal. This two piece consists of guitarist and vocalist Josh Scogin and drummer Nikko Yamada. I last saw this dynamic duo when they opened for The Devil Wears Prada and Fit For A King in December and was extremely excited to see them again. The band played a 6-song set, consisting of songs from both of their albums. They surely did not disappoint and blew my expectations out of the water this time around. I was blown away by their sound and great stage presence and I cannot wait to see them again!

SETLIST

  1. Whether Terrified or Unafraid
  2. This Life Is Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
  3. Eventually We All Win
  4. Track 3 g
  5. Life Has Its Design
  6. Track 8 o

Next up to the stage came Dance With The Dead from Los Angeles, CA. Dance With The Dead is the perfect blend between electronic dance music (EDM) and gothic metal. With an eerie large skull on the stage, the duo of Tony Kim and Justin Pointer came out on stage and started their 6-song set by both playing their guitars. They played a variety of styles and songs, including a Master of Puppets cover. While not having vocal accompaniment in their set, they truly slayed. They did stick out from the rest of the acts in terms of sound, but they still slayed the stage and I was living!

SETLIST

  1. Go!
  2. Andromeda
  3. Salem
  4. Master of Puppets
  5. War
  6. Get Out

Devin Townsend from Vancouver, Canada was up next to the stage. Devin has had a triumphant career, creating around 30 albums. For his’ performance, Devin decided to do an acoustic set, which was honestly breathtaking. He has a truly amazing voice and plays guitar beautifully. I was living my best life while watching his’ set, especially when he started playing a snip bit of the shark song. Another moment that was amazing to see was my good friend Hannah Ribble, also known as Hannah Rebel (vocalist of Disrupted Euphoria) having Devin Townsend dedicate a song to her and tell the whole crowd that she has to pee. Townsend graced the stage with amazing music and funny jokes in between the songs, which was a standout set for the night.

SETLIST

  1. Let It Roll
  2. Deadhead
  3. Ih-Ah!
  4. Love?
  5. Why?
  6. Solar Winds
  7. Life

The all mighty Avatar came up next from Goteborg, Sweden. Commonly referred to as “Circus Metal”, Avatar is a perfect mix of hard rock, metalcore, and melodic death metal. Throughout their set, they told the story of the Avatar Country, while performing a bunch of other songs from other albums like “Hail The Apocalypse”, “Feathers & Flesh”, and “The Black Waltz”, totaling to a total of 17-songs. Through costume changes, to immense amounts of lighting and scenery, to shooting out bubbles as a part of their encore, Avatar’s set was a spectacle. The five-piece consists of vocalist Johannes Michael Gustaf Eckerstrom, drummer John Alfredsson, guitarists Kungen Jarlsby and Tim Ohrstrom, and bassist Henrik Sandelin. Avatar is an absolutely amazing band and performed a breathtaking performance, filled with spectacles and brilliance.

SETLIST

  1. A Statue of the King
  2. Legend of the King
  3. Paint Me Red
  4. King’s Harvest
  5. Bloody Angel
  6. The Eagle Has Landed
  7. Ready for the Ride
  8. Get In Line
  9. Tower
  10. Puppet Show
  11. Let It Burn
  12. King After King
  13. For The Swarm
  14. Smells Like A Freak Show
  15. Torn Apart

ENCORE

  1. The King Welcomes You To Avatar Country
  2. Hail The Apocalypse

The Avatar Country Tour was an amazing show, filled with such variety and amazing spectacles. When the next leg of Avatar’s tour comes out here in the fall, make sure you pickup a ticket!

Avatar | Devin Townsend | Dance With The Dead | ’68

Photos 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

 

Inferi

 

Archspire

 

Archspire | Inferi | Virvum | Wormhole | Discarnate Motions

Photos courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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AlterBeast, Continuum, and A Fractured Thought | March West Coast Tour Photos| 3/16/19 | VFW 3752

A Fractured Thought

Continuum

AlterBeast

AlterBeast | Continuum | A Fractured Thought |

Photos courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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