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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Blessthefall w/ Palisades, Slaves, Glass Houses, and White Lights | Hard Feelings Spring Tour | Photos

White Lights

Glass Houses

Slaves

Palisades

Blessthefall

Blessthefall | Palisades | Slaves | Glass Houses

Photos courtesy of Ashley Grace

5/22/19 | Worcester, MA at The Palladium

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Architects w/ Thy Art Is Murder and While She Sleeps | Holy Hell Tour | Photos + Review | 5/20/19

On May 20th as I made my way past the line of fans literally wrapping around the punk-rock and heavy metal temple that is the Palladium in Worcester, MA, there was no doubt in my mind that the Architects show that night was going to be one for the books. Days later while the UK based metalcore band wrapped up the North American portion of their “Holy Hell” Tour in Chicago, I was still reeling from the show they put on. Whether it was the excitement buzzing through the venue, to the opening acts While She Sleeps and Thy Art Is Murder, to the granddaddy of them all Architects, the passion and energy felt that night was something I’ll truly always remember.

First up on the bill was While She Sleeps, hailing from Sheffield, UK. The metalcore band oozed energy and excitement and the crowd absolutely ate it up from beginning to end. From the very first song of the set “You Are We” the band came out packing a punch. Lead singer Lawrence Taylor delivered the highest quality of vocals and was backed by talented musicians Sean Long and Matt Welsh on guitars, Aaran McKenzie on bass and Adam Savage on drums. Seeing the crowd interaction with the band was one of the highlights of the night and you could certainly tell that each musician in While She Sleeps truly loved what they were doing. After this, I definitely put While She Sleeps on my list of bands I need to see again.

Next up was Thy Art is Murder. The Australian deathcore band came out swinging and absolutely delivered with every drop, strum and bang that they served us. Filling in for lead singer CJ McMahon was Nick Arthur from Molotov Solution and in my opinion, they couldn’t have picked a better vocalist. Nick’s vocal range, projection and energy was killer from beginning to end. For my first time seeing Thy Art is Murder, I was thoroughly impressed with the musical technicality the band brought and I can’t wait to see them again in the future.

Finally Architects graced the stage with not only amazing vocals and stage presence but a pretty kick ass light show, if I may say. The band never let up once during their sixteen song set, delivering hit after hit. Lead singer Sam Carter performed with such emotion and power that it was hard not to rock out with the crowd and scream all the words along with him. Architects never fails to put on a show that sends you on an adventure from beginning to end and if there’s any adventure I want to be on, it’s that one. The show simply was one of the best that I’ve ever been too and if you ever get the chance to see Architects in person in the future, don’t hesitate to buy your tickets because you won’t be disappointed!

Architects | Thy Art Is Murder | While She Sleeps

Photos + Review courtesy of Linette Ray

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The Veer Union w/ NeverWake, Saved By Skarlet, and Cross The Divide | 10 Year Anniversary Tour 2019

Cross The Divide

Saved By Skarlet

NeverWake

The Veer Union