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

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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

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From their local School of Rock to Vans Warped Tour & more – Doll Skin is taking over stages everywhere.

 

Photos courtesy of Linette

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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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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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Between the Buried and Me | Automata II Tour 2019

Photos courtesy of Jamie Kaufman

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Devastation of the Nation Tour 2018

6/9/18 | @ 1720

Photos 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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Disrupted Euphoria | Whisky A Go-Go

Disrupted Euphoria| Photography courtesy of Jamie Kaufman 

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Prison & Upon A Burning Body | The Cleansing Tour 2017