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

Keep up with us on social media! Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

In Flames with Red and Arrival Of Autumn | Winter North American Tour | Photos + Review

In Flames Set The Observatory On Fire On Their Winter North American Tour

Venue: The Observatory Orange Country on 11/6/19

            In Flames has been a band on my radar for quite some time. I got into them later than most when their 2016 album “Battles” hit the shelves. I was stoked when their North American Tour was announced, as I had still never seen them live. Along with the band came support from Red and Arrival of Autumn, giving the evening a mixture of metalcore, post-hardcore, hard rock, and melodic death metal. This night was truly amazing.

First up was Arrival Of Autumn from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. This was my second time seeing and photographing these guys, the last time being a little over a month prior on the last date of their tour with Soulfly, Incite, and Prison. The band is the perfect mixture of metalcore and melodic death metal. Unfortunately, due to traffic, I was only able to photograph and catch the last song and a half of their set at The Observatory, but something that is evident about Arrival of Autumn is just how strong and together they are as a band. From their riff heavy instrumentals, courtesy of Ryan Sorensen and Brendan Anderson, to their thick basslines, thanks to Kevin Student, technical drumming from Ty Fox, and the mixture of a wide array of singing and screaming from vocalist Jamison Friesen, the band has a very strong sound that have blown me away both times I’ve seen them. The band played a 7-song set, most of which came from their debut 2019 release “Harbinger”, which was released via Nuclear Blast. Arrival Of Autumn is truly an amazing band and I cannot wait to catch their set again next time they’re in Southern California!

SETLIST

  1. Hurricane on the Horizon
  2. Witness
  3. Better Off Without
  4. The Endless
  5. Apocalyptic
  6. Old Bones / New Blood
  7. The Horror

Up next was Red from Nashville, Tennessee. This was my second time seeing these guys, with my last time being in March of 2018 when they co-headlined The Regent with Lacey Strum. I didn’t know much about them the first time I saw them but became a big fan after seeing them the first time. I now own every one of their six albums on physical copy and was happy with the songs they chose for their 9-song set. They mixed songs from their albums, along with songs from their 2019 EP “The Evening Hate”, which they released via The Fuel. I would best describe their sound as a mixture of Nu Metal, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, and Hard Rock. Their sound is dynamic, blending each of these songs into their diversified discography to perfection. When you go see Red live, the first thing you will realize is just how energetic vocalist Michael Barnes is, truly engaging with the crowd and owning every inch of the stage. Guitarist Anthony Armstrong, and twin brother and bassist Randy Armstrong own their sides of the stage with ease, slaying those guitars with ease. In the back of the stage, you’ll find drummer Dan Johnson drumming with force with his double bass drums on point. The band was a joy to see, and I especially liked them more now that I actually know the music they were playing. I cannot wait to see Red again in the future.

SETLIST

  1. Fight Inside
  2. Death of Me
  3. Confession (What’s Inside My Head)
  4. Let Go
  5. From The Ashes
  6. Already Over
  7. Feed The Machine
  8. The Evening Hate
  9. Breathe Into Me

In Flames from Gothenburg, Sweden finally hit the stage last. The band really went all out in terms of choosing their setlist, putting together 21-songs that showcased songs from ten of their thirteen albums. What blew me away was hearing the band’s change in sound over the span of their 30-year career as a band. Their musical style mixes together melodic death metal, metalcore, alternative metal, and heavy metal. The band played the perfect mix of the heavy, with some of their more melodic songs, to make both old school fans and newer fans alike very happy. Of the 21 songs they played, 6 of those songs came from their newest album “I, The Mask”, which was released in 2019 via Eleven Seven Records in North America, and via Nuclear Blast throughout the rest of the world. One element to the band’s sound that is iconic when many think of melodic death metal is their heavy use of guitar solos and dueling guitar parts, courtesy of Björn Gelotte and Chris Broderick. Both Gelotte and Broderick had great stage presence and interacted a lot with the crowd. The band’s older sound was strictly melodic death metal, but as time went on, vocalist Anders Fridén started incorporating more clean vocals, which truly helped bring the band in a different direction. Fridén told jokes between the band’s songs and was very active on stage. Bassist Bryce Paul headbanged like crazy and was also very big on crowd participation while he slammed out those bass notes. Drummer Tanner Wayne closes out the band’s lineup, playing an intricate drum patterns with ease. Wayne was previously in post-hardcore bands Chiodos and Scary Kids Scaring Kids but has since joined the metal greats of In Flames and helped them create “I, The Mask”, which has truly become my favorite record from the band to date. Just like their live set, the new record mixes together elements from melodic death metal with elements from metalcore, alternative metal, and heavy metal. They played a truly amazing set that left a lasting impression on me. I cannot wait to see them next time they come out to Southern California!

SETLIST

  1. Cloud Connected
  2. Only for the Weak
  3. Take This Life
  4. Clay Man
  5. Where the Dead Ships Dwell
  6. Call My Name
  7. Behind Space
  8. Follow Me
  9. Monsters in the Ballroom
  10. All for Me
  11. (This Is Our) House
  12. The Hive
  13. Wallflower
  14. Here Until Forever
  15. Burn
  16. Voices
  17. Everything’s Gone
  18. Colony
  19. The Truth
  20. I Am Above
  21. The End

The Winter North American Tour was an amazing spectacle to attend. I was finally able to see In Flames, who completely obliterated my expectations out of the water. It was great to see Red again, who were insane at this show and tore that stage up. And it was great to see my new friends in Arrival Of Autumn tear up that stage again, even though I was only able to catch a couple of songs. Truly an amazing night!

In Flames | Red | Arrival Of Autumn

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

Keep up with us on social media! Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Blue Ridge Rock Fest Day 1 w/ Godsmack, DMX, In This Moment, I Prevail, Yelawolf, Another Day’s Armor, Memphis May Fire, RED, Kore Rozzik, New Years Day, and Burdens Within | Photos

Blue Ridge Rock Fest Day 1

Burdens Within

New Years Day

Kore Rozzik

RED

Memphis May Fire

Another Day’s Armor

Yelawolf

I Prevail

In This Moment

DMX

Godsmack

Godsmack | DMX | In This Moment | I Prevail | Yelawolf | Another Day’s Armor | Memphis May Fire | RED | Kore Rozzik | New Years Day | Burdens Within

Photos courtesy of Chyenne Conner

Keep up with us on social media! Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

New Years Day w/ Diamante and Savage After Midnight | Unbreakable Tour | Photos + Review

New Years Day Proves They’re Unbreakable at Chain Reaction

Venue: Chain Reaction on 6/14/19

New Years Day has been a consistent band in my daily listening since I first saw them in 2011 at the Vans Warped Tour. I’ve since seen them over 10 times, so I’ve seen New Years Day plenty of times with their many changes. With the release of their 3rd full length album “Unbreakable”, they embarked on an album release tour with support from Diamante and Savage After Midnight. Rivals also hopped on the tour at a later date, replacing Diamante, but my date had Diamante and Savage After Midnight. Overall, this was a solid show and the bands showcased their talents all around.

The first band up was Savage After Midnight from Memphis, TN. The best way I can describe Savage After Midnight would be a mixture of post-hardcore, hard rock, and nu-metal. I was thoroughly impressed by their high energy and stage presence. This five-piece consists of vocalist Shi Eubank, guitarist Jeremiah Lipscomb, bassist Landon Fox, DJ and vocalist James Thomas, and drummer Zack Pate. The band played a 6-song set, 5 of which came from their debut EP released in 2019 via RED Records titled “11:59 EP”, and then they did an Alanis Morissette cover of “You Oughta Know”. They got the crowd going wild, and truly impressed me.

SETLIST

  1. Unleash
  2. King
  3. You Oughta Know (Alanis Morissette cover)
  4. Overrated
  5. Heartless Machine
  6. 10 Feet Tall

Next up was Diamante from Hollywood, CA. Named after vocalist Diamante Bovelli, the band is best described as good ole fashioned hard anthem rock. Each of the 10-songs they played had beautiful anthem choruses and heavy instrumentals. 9 of the songs they played came from her 2018 album “Coming In Hot” which was released via Eleven Seven Records. Diamante’s band members consist of guitarists Jacob Stibbie and Dre Imura, bassist Matthew Denis, and drummer Harley DeWinter. They honestly had the most energy of the entire night, even more than New Years Day. That raw energy they exude truly drives their whole performance. If you like anthem driven hard rock, you definitely need to check out Diamante!

SETLIST

  1. Kind of Love
  2. Bite Your Kiss
  3. Haunted
  4. Sleepwalking
  5. Blackheart
  6. I’m Sorry/Lo Siento
  7. Sound of Us
  8. Coming In Hot
  9. Hear Me Now
  10. War Cry

Finally, New Years Day from Anaheim, CA came to the stage! This was New Years Day’s 2nd Headlining Tour and they came prepared with a 12-song set with songs from each of their releases. I’d say New Years Day’s sound is a mixture of Post-Hardcore, Hard Rock, Industrial Metal, and Nu-Metal. The band has gone through a lot of changes, especially in the member category. The current lineup consists of vocalist Ash Costello, guitarists Nikki Misery and Austin Ingerman, and bassist Frankie Sil. The band tried some new things on this tour, including all of the members except for Ash playing an entire song in the crowd. They even had some of the founding members come out and play the final song with the band “Angel Eyes”. It was surreal to see members I haven’t seen in a while on stage again. While they had all of these cool things happening, I will say it felt a bit formulaic compared to previous New Years Day performances. It felt very rehearsed and lacked that raw energy they’ve had in the past. But, overall, I was still impressed by their set and am proud of how far they have come since I first saw them at Vans Warped Tour in 2011.

SETLIST

  1. Come For Me
  2. Kill or Be Killed
  3. Gangsta (Kehlani cover)
  4. Skeletons
  5. Let Me Down
  6. Scream
  7. Epidemic
  8. Fucking Hostile (Pantera Cover)
  9. Shut Up
  10. Defame Me
  11. Death of the Party

ENCORE

  1. Angel Eyes

All in all, the Unbreakable Tour was a solid night of hella good music and amazing stage presence.

New Years Day | Diamante | Savage After Midnight

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

Keep up with us on social media! Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

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