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

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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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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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Whitechapel & Dying Fetus w/ Carnifex, Revocation, Spite, Fallujah, and Uncured | Chaos & Carnage Tour 2019 Photos + Review | 5/3/19 |

Whitechapel & Dying Fetus bring the Chaos and Carnage Through Anaheim

Date: 5/3/19

Venue: House of Blues Anaheim

The Chaos and Carnage tour was an amazing event, filled with a jam-packed lineup. As the 2nd year of the tour, the promoters got Whitechapel and Dying Fetus to co-headline, and lined up a stacked lineup to support them. Supporting acts included: Revocation, Spite, Fallujah, Uncured, and for 2 dates only, Carnifex, who headlined the tour in 2018. This was a crazy show from start to finish.

The first band up was Uncured, who are from New York, NY. The band categorizes themselves as progressive death metal, which I too think is a perfect term to call this band. They have elements of classic death metal, with some progressive metal influences, as well as some good djent. They opened the show by playing a 7-song set, most of which came from their newest album “Epidemic”, which was released in 2019 via Seek & Strike Records. This 4-piece band is so tight on stage, with co-lead vocals and guitars from brothers Rex and Zak Cox, slamming drums from Liam Manley, and bass grooves from Spencer Metela. They were such a good way to start out the show and definitely deserve some recognition for their amazing talent and ability to get the crowd going from start to finish.

SETLIST

  1. Resist the Infection
  2. Desecration
  3. Choke
  4. Myopic
  5. Sacrifice
  6. Terminal
  7. Blinded By Demise

The next band up was Fallujah, who are from San Francisco, CA. The band categorizes themselves as Atmospheric Metal, which is definitely fitting. While still retaining elements of death metal, deathcore, and those heavier genres, the band is very experimental with their sound. Their songs have so many layers to them, with elements of jazz, fusion, and space. I kept finding myself just looking up and watching them while shooting just in amazement. I saw them back in 2017 on the last date of a 60-day run they did with Carnifex, Despised Icon, and others, but they were no whereas tight and together then as they were this time around. They were on fire from the start of their set to the end. The band played a 7-song set, most of which came from their 2019 release “Undying Light”, which was released via Nuclear Blast Records. The band got a new vocalist since the last time I saw them, that being Antonio Palermo, who truly brought new life to the band. With Scott Carstairs on lead guitar, Nico Santora filling in on guitar for tour, Andrew Baird crushing it on drums, and Robert Morey slapping the bass, the band’s sound and stage presence was better than ever. I was blown away from start to finish during their set and cannot wait to see them next time they come out to California.

SETLIST

  1. Carved From Stone
  2. Hollow
  3. Ultraviolet
  4. Sanctuary
  5. Amber Gaze
  6. Last Light
  7. The Void Alone

The third band to come to the stage was Spite, hailing from Northern California. Spite had the crowd going insane as soon as the lights went down to start their set. With a sound emulating the heavier mixtures of metalcore, hardcore, and deathcore, Spite is and always has been a force to be reckoned with. The band played 7 songs, 2 of which came from Spite’s upcoming release, which is set to drop later this year via Stay Sick Recordings. This was my fourth time seeing these guys and they surely did not disappoint. Spite is on a roll, taking the genre over by storm. Spite’s lineup consists of Darius Tehrani on vocals, Alex Tehrani and Lucas Garrigues on guitars, Ben Bamford on bass, and Matt Guglielmo filling in on drums. The band is always super tight, wild, and crazy. I always know going into a Spite show that I’m going to have a crazy night ahead of me. They are one of those bands I always regularly see whenever they come out, and I will certainly continue that tradition.

SETLIST

  1. Waiting Hell (New Song)
  2. IED
  3. Drown Me
  4. Psychopath
  5. The Root of All Evil
  6. Despise
  7. Kill or Be Killed

The next band up was Revocation, coming from Boston, MA. The band is good ole fashioned Technical Death Metal with elements of both Melodic Death Metal and Black Metal. Members of Revocation consist of lead vocalist and guitarist David Davidson, guitarist and backup vocalist Dan Gargiulo, bassist and backup vocalist Brett Bamberger, and drummer Ash Pearson. The band played a 6-song set, 4 of which came from their 2018 release “The Outer Ones”, which was released via Metal Blade Records. The band had so much power and heavy energy radiating from them when they were on stage. I was blown away by this 4-piece band. They certainly blew away my expectations, and I hope to see them next time they’re in Southern California.

SETLIST

  1. That Which Consumes All Things
  2. Existence Is Futile
  3. Madness Opus
  4. Of Unworldly Origin
  5. Vanitas
  6. The Outer Ones

The next band up was the ever so talented Carnifex, from San Diego, CA. The band headlined 2018’s Chaos & Carnage Tour, and were a surprise add to the Anaheim and Phoenix dates of this year’s tour. This band defies categories, and has a sound that blends together Deathcore, Death Metal, Symphonic Death Metal, and Melodic Death Metal. The band consists of Scott Ian Lewis on vocals, Jordan Lockrey and Cory Arford on guitars, Shawn Cameron on drums, and Fred Cameron on bass. This was my fourth time seeing these guys and they surely did not disappoint. They performed a flawless set as the support act, consisting of 7-songs that displayed some of the band’s top songs. They had a beautiful stage set up, with two brightly lit pentagrams and a lot of strobes. They are always a blast to see, and I recommend you go check them out if you get the chance!

SETLIST

  1. Drown Me In Blood
  2. Slow Death
  3. Hatred and Slaughter
  4. Bury Me In Blasphemy
  5. Die Without Hope
  6. Lie To My Face
  7. Hell Chose Me

The first of the two co-headliners to come on stage was Dying Fetus, from Greater Upper Marlboro, Maryland. This was my third time seeing this amazing band and they did not disappoint. Dying Fetus’ sound is a mixture of Brutal Death Metal, Technical Death Metal, and Grindcore. I fell in love with their sound and the band in general when I watched them at Summer Slaughter Tour in 2017 when they co-headlined with The Black Dahlia Murder and saw them once again when they co-headlined with Thy Art Is Murder in 2018. But boy did they slay this time around. The band consists of co-vocalist and guitarist John Gallagher, co-vocalist and bassist Sean Beasley, and drummer Trey Williams. The band is doing a lot on stage, and as a 3-piece, they absolutely blow me away. They band played an 11-song set, which consisted of songs from 5 of their 8 albums. The band has been around since 2001 and has created a very large dedicated fan base. I love Dying Fetus and cannot wait to see them again!

SETLIST

  1. In The Trenches
  2. Fixated on Devastation
  3. One Shot, One Kill
  4. Grotesque Impalement
  5. From Womb to Waste
  6. Panic Amongst The Herd
  7. Destroy the Opposition
  8. Eviscerated Offspring
  9. Seething With Disdain
  10. Subjected to a Beating
  11. Wrong One To Fuck With

The final band up was the one and only Whitechapel, hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee. This band has been one of my favorite bands in the genre for quite some time. They have impeccable stage presence and a sound that mixes deathcore, death metal, and groove metal perfectly. The band consists of vocalist Phil Bozeman, Ben Savage, Alex Wade, and Zach Householder on guitars, Gabe Crisp on bass, and Alex Rudinger as their live drummer. One of my friends, Navene Koperweis, actually recorded drums for the band’s newest record “The Valley”, which was released in 2019 via Metal Blade Records. For their set, the band prepared a 14-song set, with 4 songs coming from “The Valley”, 4 songs from 2016’s “Mark of the Blade”, 3 songs from 2012’s “Our Endless War”, and 3 songs from 2012’s self-titled album “Whitechapel.” The band was on fire from start to finish, with crowdsurfers and moshers going wild. The band opened with the leading single off The Valley titled “When A Demon Defiles A Witch”, which showed the band’s growth in terms of song writing. I was blown away by Whitechapel’s set, and also blown away that Phil Bozeman reposted one of my photos to his’ instagram. I will definitely be seeing them the next time they come out to Southern California, and you should all go check them out as well!

SETLIST

  1. When A Demon Defiles A Witch\
  2. Forgiveness Is Weakness
  3. Brimstone
  4. Black Bear
  5. The Void
  6. Mark of the Blade
  7. Elitist Ones
  8. Make It Bleed
  9. I, Dementia
  10. Hate Creation
  11. Brotherhood
  12. Let Me Burn
  13. Our Endless War

ENCORE

  1. The Saw Is The Law

The Chaos & Carnage Tour was flawless from start to finish. I cannot wait to see all of these bands again. I recommend you all go check them out and give them some love! These are all bands that have impacted the genre as a whole in such a positive way and radiated nothing but positive energy.

Whitechapel | Dying Fetus | Carnifex | Revocation | Spite | Fallujah | Uncured

Photos and Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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White Chapel & The Black Dahlia Murder | Co-headlining Tour 2018

 To view photos of each band, click the link below.

Shadow of Intent | Aversions Crown |Fleshgod Apocalypse

White Chapel | The Black Dahlia Murder

Photography courtesy of Jamie Kaufman

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Bleeding Through | Welcome Back Show 2018

 6/8/18 | The Observatory

Photos courtesy of : Jamie Kaufman 

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Prison & Upon A Burning Body | The Cleansing Tour 2017