Wake Up Sunshine by All Time Low Review

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All Time Low have been around for quite some time, having released two EPs, two live DVDs, a handful of standalone singles and seven studio albums within the first fourteen years of their career, and their sound has evolved a lot over the years. Fast forward to 2020, and the Baltimore-based quartet are back with their eighth LP, titled “Wake Up, Sunshine.”

While “Last Young Renegade” noticeably leaned in a bit of a different direction, as the band experimented with a lot of pop and alternative elements, there are plenty of moments on “Wake Up, Sunshine” that show them returning to their pop rock and pop punk roots, some of which are found in a few of the singles that the band put out leading up to the album’s release. “Getaway Green” is easily the best example of this, with plenty of energy and extremely catchy guitar riffs reminiscent of those on past releases like “So Wrong, It’s Right” or “Nothing Personal.”

A handful of the songs on here combine that nostalgic pop punk sound with some of their more pop rock influences, and the remaining singles are really good examples of this. The fantastic lead single and opening track “Some Kind Of Disaster: brings a softer intro before upbeat verses and a massive chorus come in, “Sleeping In” brings a very energetic chorus, and “Melancholy Kaleidoscope” brings a ton of energy throughout, adding in some acoustic guitar to help drive its chorus. “Trouble Is” leans way more to the pop rock side, and sounds a little similar to newer work from Blink-182 and Simple Creatures, the project that All Time Low front man Alex Gaskarth has with Blink’s very own front-man, Mark Hoppus. Rian Dawson’s drumming really shines on this track, and the chorus offers up some pretty good melodies. There are also two tracks on here that were seemingly meant to be a bigger track together called “Seasons.” “January Gloom” is the first of these two tracks, bringing some slightly darker composition through some memorable guitar riffs and melodies throughout. “Summer Daze” is the second of those two, and the title is very fitting, given the happier and brighter tone that the song has musically, and it’s yet another perfect example of how well All Time Low have blended their pop rock and pop punk influences on this album.

The band also did quite a bit of experimentation on this record, with songs that show them trying something a little bit different. “Wake Up, Sunshine” (which I personally believe would have been a great choice for the opening track) delivers some slightly darker melodies and instrumentals during the verses and pre-choruses, leading up to a happy, carefree chorus. “Clumsy” is one of quite a few on here that allows Alex’s vocals to shine with some more slightly darker melodies in the beginning, leading up to one of the biggest and best choruses on the whole album. “Monsters” is also on the darker side, which I think fits the song very well. Blackbear is featured on the track, and while that collaboration was a bit unexpected, his vocal style and the guest feature overall compliments the song perfectly. The other feature found on this album is on the upbeat “Favorite Place,” which features The Band CAMINO. The guitars are a bit more reminiscent of CAMINO’s signature indie/alternative sound and gives the song that sort of vibe (for the most part), but the song does a great job at mixing that sound with the blend of pop rock and pop punk that All Time Low have created throughout this record.

In contrast, a couple of the songs on here show a softer side of the band’s sound, similar to the overall sound of their previous album, “Last Young Renegade.” Interlude “Pretty Venom” is probably the most simplistic track on the album, but it works really well as an interlude and its placement on the track-list seems fitting, and closing track “Basement Noise” (one of my favorites) brings a solid vocal performance in the chorus and lyrics that reflect on the band’s humble beginnings. “Safe” is driven by subtle instrumentation in the softer verses before a huge anthemic chorus comes in, and the same can be said about “Glitter & Crimson,” which is primarily led by softer percussion and acoustic guitar as it leads up to a much harder hitting bridge with one of the strongest vocal performances this record has to offer.

“Wake Up, Sunshine” shows bits and pieces of All Time Low’s history as a band, combining the various elements of pop, rock, alternative and everything in between that they’ve incorporated into their sound over the years. Overall, this is a refreshing pop rock record, yet another fantastic one from All Time Low, and easily one of my favorite albums from this year so far.

Listen to the song here

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Trivium – What the Dead Men Say review

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Trivium – What the Dead Men Say review

When Trivium released The Sin and the Sentence back in 2017, it caught many in the metal community by surprise. Through the six years before that album’s release, Trivium had seen their fair share of inconsistencies and challenges, from drummer swaps to damaged vocal cords and stylistic changes in-betweenThis led to albums with some undeniable concert staples (ie. “In Waves”, “Strife”, “Until the World Goes Cold”), but none of these records could hold a candle to either Shogun or Ascendancy from the decade prior in terms of cohesion or overall quality. Sin and the Sentence changed all of that. It came across as a more confident and inspired record, due in no small part to the band’s inclusion of new powerhouse drummer Alex Bent, as well as singer/guitarist Matt Heafy’s revitalized harsh vocals (which had unfortunately been completely absent on 2015’s Silence in the Snow). The record was a shot of adrenaline for a band that had been quite frankly wandering in circles trying to find a foothold again in the modern metal world, and it won them back long-time fans who had written them off for dead.

Sin and the Sentence reset the clock for Trivium, and for listeners going into 2020’s What the Dead Men Say, it could almost be justified to have suspicions and fears of this potentially being a sophomore slump. The band arguably had more to prove going into this record than ever in their whole career. Success was crucial and not guaranteed, as that rebirth from three years before could have easily been a fluke, nothing more than an exciting yet short-lived footnote in their history. Yet while Sin and the Sentence was a culmination of all the things that made Trivium so appealing through the years before, What the Dead Men Say ends up being the leaner, more captivating record.

Over the course of nine songs, it is not only apparent how much tighter the band has become in the last three years, but also how much more attention to detail there was in making sure that no filler was present. The intro “IX” leads into the anthemic powerhouse title track, itself invoking feelings of classic Metallica opener “Battery” through a melodic death metal lens. This track’s sense of building tension appears frequently through the album on highlights such as “Sickness Unto You” and “Catastrophist”, the latter which delivers one of the best vocal performances of singer Matt Heafy’s entire career. His overall presence on this record shows a continued rebuilding of his voice that started as far back as 2015’s Silence and the Snow. His extra controlled grit and distortion is a fantastic touch to lyrics that are without a doubt improved over past records, never becoming as overly verbose as those on Shogun, nor as boringly blunt as those found on In Waves.

There are also plenty nods to the best parts of the band’s mid-2000s heyday in “Amongst the Shadows and the Stones” and “The Defiant”, and the years of experience behind them make these songs sound far more thought-out and mature in their rage and energy. All of the instrumentals are locked in with lightning precision, and while the guitar work of Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu in Trivium has always been a strong point even when the band was not in top form, the true source of What the Dead Men Say’s power is from the rhythm section of bassist Paolo Gregoletto and drummer Alex Bent. These songs wouldn’t have the same weight and impact if it wasn’t for Gregoletto and Bent’s massive synergy together, ranging from the drop-tuned groove of “Bleed Into Me” to the furious power thrash closer of “The Ones We Leave Behind”. As stated before, Trivium has always been a technically gifted band, but here it is beyond just pure guitar hero shredding and bombast, it’s now further developed into an experience where all 4 members lock into every moment with intent and integrity.

What the Dead Men Say is exactly the album Trivium needed to make in 2020. Off the heels of Sin and the Sentence, they recognized all the past wrongs they made right on that record and took that approach even further, without any uncertain sidesteps or shakeups that have plagued them on and off over the years. It is an uncompromising take on modern mainstream metal, and easily their strongest release to date, reflecting a band that finally feels comfortable with each other and their collective vision. “Gods walk amongst all without fear,” indeed.

Rating: 9.5/10

Review courtesy of Brent McCann

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Issues w/ Polyphia and Sleep Token | Beautiful Oblivion North American Tour | Photos + Review

Issues Runs Los Angeles Into Beautiful Oblivion

Venue: The Mayan in Los Angeles, CA on 11/14/20

When it comes to sound progression in a band’s discography, Issues almost instantly comes to my mind. While they started out sounding a lot like vocalist Tyler Carter’s previous band “Woe, Is Me”, the band started to slowly but surely incorporate influences from genres such as R&B, Funk, Jazz, and EDM. Their newest record “Beautiful Oblivion” saw the band taking a giant leap in terms of their sound. With the departure of long-time vocalist Michael Bahn, the band distanced themselves a bit from the metalcore sound, incorporating more of those influences than ever before. To celebrate the album, the band set out on their world tour, with the first stop being North America with support from Polyphia and Sleep Token: a mixed bag of talent that worked well for the tour!

First up was Sleep Token from London, England. Sleep Token is a fully conceptual band, with each member sporting masks and black body paint. They’ve created this story of being united in worshipping their god known as “Sleep”. The lineup still remains completely anonymous, which adds to the appeal. Sleep Token has taken the scene by storm, garnering a cult-like following with their diversified sound that blends together alternative rock, progressive rock, progressive metalcore, ambient, and EDM. It was surreal to see them on stage, as they looked very ominous on stage with their masks and look. But their music is very melodic and can completely change genres mid-song, which continuously keeps the listeners on their toes. I was personally thrilled to hear the band play songs from their debut album “Sundowning”, which was released in 2019 via Spinefarm Records. The band played a total of six songs, five of which came from that new album. The band played a flawless set with a lot of energy, and I cannot wait for the band to return to the U.S. in the future!

SETLIST

  1. The Night Does Not Belong To God
  2. The Offering
  3. Dark Signs
  4. Higher
  5. Sugar
  6. Jaws

Up next was Polyphia from Dallas, Texas as the direct support for the tour. Polyphia is a very dynamic band. And while they are fully instrumental, they got the crowd going wild like no other, blending together progressive metal, progressive rock, math rock, funk rock, and even some elements of electronic music. Both guitarists Scott LePage and Clay Aeschliman played some insane riffs, with odd time signatures that fit perfectly into the songs. Bassist Clay Glover acts as the band’s front man, hyping up the crowd between the songs and grooving along with his’ deep hitting basslines. With three full length records and two EPs under their belt, the band has garnered a very passionate following, selling out shows country wide on their headlining tours. As direct support, the band prepared a ten-song set, which showcased songs from each of their releases, the newest of which being their 2018 album “New Levels New Devils”, which was released via Equal Vision Records. Polyphia was truly amazing and blew my expectations out of the water!

SETLIST

  1. O.A.T.
  2. D.
  3. Saucy
  4. Goose
  5. 40oz
  6. Champagne
  7. Icronic
  8. Look But Don’t Touch
  9. Finale
  10. Euphoria

Issues from Atlanta, Georgia finally hit the stage next for their headlining set. To celebrate the new album’s release, the band played the album “Beautiful Oblivion” in its entirety, along with songs from their previous releases, adding up to a whopping 20-song set. “Beautiful Oblivion” was released in 2019 via Rise Records and shows a more adventurous side to Issues’ sound. Each song brings its own flavor, bringing in different levels of influences and styles. Many fans were surprised by the change in style, compared to their metalcore foundations on previous albums. New songs like “Drink About It”, “Tapping Out”, “Downfall”, “Rain”, and “Here’s To You” still retain some of the heavy instrumentals, but rarely include the screaming vocals or as heavy of instrumentals as the band had on their first several releases, 2012’s “Black Diamonds EP”, 2014’s “Issues” and 2016’s “Headspace”. It personally took me a couple of listens through the record to truly fall in love with it, but I eventually became obsessed. Tyler Carter writes some truly catchy lyrics that get stuck in my head on a daily basis. The groovy guitar and bass lines courtesy of AJ Rebollo and Skyler Acord. The intricate drum patterns come from the one and only Josh Manuel, who is very fun to see in concert with his energy in the back. Issues brought out some older songs on this tour, with “Never Lose Your Flames” and “Mad At Myself” being fan favorite songs from their self-titled album. I was thoroughly impressed by their performance and cannot wait to see them in the fall when they tour North America as support for Dance Gavin Dance, Animals As Leaders, Veil of Maya, and Wolf & Bear!

SETLIST

  1. Here’s to You
  2. Drink About It
  3. Never Lose Your Flames
  4. Hero
  5. Find Forever
  6. Tapping Out
  7. Stingray Affliction
  8. Without You
  9. Rain
  10. Your Sake
  11. COMA
  12. Downfall
  13. Second Best
  14. Get It Right
  15. King of Amarillo
  16. Flexin
  17. No Problem (Keep It Alive)
  18. Slow Me Down
  19. Beautiful Oblivion

ENCORE

20. Mad at Myself

Issues’ Beautiful Oblivion North American Tour brought together an excellent tour, with a mixture of music that was entertaining from the moment Sleep Token opened the show, to Polyphia slaying their set with crowdsurfers galore, and finally to Issues playing a monstrous twenty song set! Don’t forget to get your tickets to see Issues open for Dance Gavin Dance in August!

Issues | Polyphia | Sleep Token

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Juwan Rohan’s “How The Day Ends” Review

 

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Juwan Rohan is a recording artist from Berkley California, who’s goal is to influence, encourage, and reach out to lost souls through his music. He strives to use music as a platform to inspire, motivate, and influence youth and unite the community together.

The track “How The Day Ends“ starts off with Juwan speaking over a beat, to which his flow mixes with smoothly.  It’s soulful, you just may start moving your head, and swaying your body to the beat. After listening to this song, you’ll feel a bit more connected to his struggles.  A listener can relate to how his tough times stress him out, and even with support you will still have off days. The message I receive from this song is, no matter what, focus on your long-term goals and future successes. It is healthy for everyone to have a creative outlet to pour sadness, stress and happiness into. For me, it’s writing photography, and sometimes painting. For Juwan it’s clear that his creative outlet is writing and music.

You can listen to his music on SpotifyItunes, and Soundcloud ; as well as follow him on Twitter, and Instagram.

Review by Cristine Trimarco |  Instagram |Facebook 

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Upon A Burning Body w/ Of Virtue | The Southern Hostility Tour | Photos + Review

The Southern Hostility Tour Swings Through Santa Ana

Upon A Burning Body has been a band I have seen consistently since they headlined the All Stars Tour in 2015. With the release of their fifth studio album “Southern Hostility” being released this year via Seek and Strike Records, the band set out on a 3-week U.S. Tour, which they announced would be the only headlining tour for this album cycle. They surely brought the Southern Hostility when they came through The Constellation Room.

As direct support for the tour, Of Virtue from Lansing, MI brought the heat. This metalcore five-piece came out swinging with their song “No Control”, which involved a crowd chant and lots of headbanging. A majority of the band’s eight-song set came from their 2019 album “What Defines You”, which was released via SharpTone Records. The band was very high energy, with vocalist Tyler Ennis even jumping into the crowd and getting up close and personal with the audience members, and the whole band utilizing every inch of the stage they had. The rest of the five piece consists of guitarist and vocalist Damon Tate, guitarist Michael Valadez, touring bassist Derek McClung, and touring drummer Devin Attard. The band put on a noteworthy performance and set the stage for the brutality to come.

SETLIST

  1. No Control

  2. I Won’t Break

  3. Alone

  4. Thanks For Nothing

  5. Suffer

  6. Torn Apart

  7. Surrounded

  8. Ghost Town

The all mighty Upon A Burning Body from San Antonio, Texas finally hit the stage, opening with Southern Hostility’s intro track “All Pride No Pain”, which lead into the first single off the new album “King of Diamonds”, which both were a return to the band’s core sound of heavier metalcore. Upon A Burning Body didn’t come to play, they came to slay this time around. Along with their 12-song set, the band brought along with them a lighting rig and the most energy I’ve ever seen from the band, even after seeing them 4 times prior. They played songs from each of their albums, showing the diverse sound the band has in their arsenal. This four piece consists of vocalist Danny Leal, bassist Joe Antonellis, guitarist Ruben Alvarez, and drummer Tito Felix. This band is always super tight live, sounding exactly like their albums live. But it’s that live energy and engagement from the audience that takes their music to a whole other level. The band has great crowd control, with the crowd going nuts with circle pits, walls of death, and standard moshing alike. It was amazing to see these guys again and to see them bring the true Southern Hostility to Southern California!

SETLIST

  1. All Pride No Pain

  2. King of Diamonds

  3. Red Razor Wrists

  4. The Anthem of the Doomed

  5. The Champ Is Coming

  6. Reinventing Hatred

  7. Burn

  8. A Toda Madre o un Desmadre

  9. Already Broken

  10. M.F.

  11. Intermission

  12. Sin City

ENCORE

13. Texas Blood Money

The Southern Hostility tour was full of tons of energy, sweat, moshing, and tons of fun! Check out Upon A Burning Body and Of Virtue on tour when they each come to a city near you.

Upon A Burning Body | Of Virtue

Photos + Review Courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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Bleeding Through – Welcome Back Show | Review

6/8/18 | Venue: The Observatory Orange County in Santa Ana, CA

     Bleeding Through is back and better than ever. The band that pioneered the metal-core genre went on hiatus in 2013. With their newest album “Love Will Kill All”, released this year, 2018, via Sharptone Records, they sharpened their sound and brought a whole new level of raw talent to the table. With this being their first show in five years, and with the talented support they got for this one-day event, I knew it would be truly amazing.

          The opening band was Iron Curtain, local to the Inland Empire in Southern California. This band mixes grindcore and hardcore genres together perfectly. They played a 25-minute set, that was truly amazing. They released their album “The Road” independently in 2017, their setlist pulled from that release. I was thoroughly impressed with this band and will definitely be going to one of their shows again.

          The next band to take the stage was, Too Pure to Die. This hardcore metal act, hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, surely came in to showcase all they had to offer. Their 30-minute set showcased songs from their entire discography. Their most recent release was their EP “Only the True Remain”, which they released independently. The band played without their vocalist, as he was in the hospital awaiting surgery. So, bassist Joe Ellis filled in on vocals for the day and absolutely slayed it. It was as if he was made to be a frontman, as he commanded the stage with ease. They gained a new fan, me.

          The infamous Lionheart was next to grace the stage, coming to us from Northern California. Lionheart played an incredible set. They had a lot of energy from the start. Their newest album “Welcome to the West Coast II”, released in 2017 via Fast Break! Records, is amazing. I’m glad they played a few songs from this release. This is another hardcore band I hadn’t heard of much before, but I recently bought a ton of their albums. I would certainly recommend checking them out, as they are stellar.

          The biggest supporting act was none other than Winds of Plague. This was my second time seeing the deathcore and symphonic metalcore fusion act and they never disappoint when I see them live. They played songs off all their releases. However, the two releases that received the most coverage on this show were “Decimate the Weak”, released in 2008 via Century Media, and “Blood of My Enemy”, released in 2017 via EOne Records and Good Fight Records. Keyboardist and second vocalist Adrienne Cowan flew in from being on tour with one of her other bands, Seven Spires, just to play this date. They always give me goosebumps when I see them, as their music is truly amazing. If you haven’t listened to them, I recommend it. This is certainly a band I will go see whenever I can.

          The headlining band was the one and only Bleeding Through. They played the longest set I’ve seen live, consisting of 20 songs. They played songs off 7 of their 8 albums, and played 6 songs alone off the newest album, which is my personal favorite. The venue was completely sold out, with fans going wild for the band. I have never seen a venue so jampacked, except for when I saw the Back to the Basics tour with Blessthefall, and the floors were all covered with sweat after the show. Anyways, what I loved about their song choices was that it covered the full variety of what Bleeding Through is all about. Bleeding Through has a signature sound, that perfectly blends together metalcore with melodic death metal. So, some songs have clean vocals, but some do not. They chose a perfect mix and put on one of the best sets I’ve ever seen live. I cannot wait to see this band live again.

          What I will say about this night though is that the crowd was perfectly fine for every band up until Winds of Plague. That’s when the crowd-surfing truly started. I got pushed to the ground with my camera by a crowd-surfer, while I was in the photo pit. One guy actually landed on my camera, which was scary. Luckily my camera was not damaged, but I screamed out bloody murder. Also, the entire night, the venue did not put the usual 3-song rule in place for photographers. It wasn’t until Bleeding Through came on that they decided to put this rule through, so I shot 3 songs in the pit, and the rest with my telephoto lens from the crowd, which worked out pretty well. Seeing all of these bands made those issues I dealt with worth it. I wanted to personally thank Brandon Schieppati and all of Bleeding Through for this opportunity and I hope to be able to photograph for you guys again soon.

Review courtesy of : Jamie Kaufman 

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Slaughter to Prevail – Born to Die U.S. Tour 2018 Review

Slaughter to Prevail – Born to Die U.S. Tour 4/24/18 Review |Venue: The 1720

 

Slaughter to Prevail has undergone a lot of hardship in terms of touring over the past year. This amazing deathcore band from Russia was supposed to come to the United States three times last year for tours, but were only able to come a total of one time due to issues getting visas processed through fully. Thankfully, they could get it all processed through and came out to the US for a headlining tour that would last almost two months, spanning from mid-March to early-May. The only catch was that they are the only band on the tour, with local support on each date. Taking all of this into account, I knew with the local support on this date that it would be one hell of a night.

The first band up was The Prevalent Reaping, who are from Fontana, CA. I saw this band once before, when they opened for the Summer Slaughter Tour in Anaheim, CA., after winning the battle of the bands to get onto the date. I will say that out of the two times I’ve seen this band, they seemed more comfortable and together the second time around. They have a true groove to them and a tightness that is undeniable. This is for sure a band to keep an eye on. I cannot wait for them to release some music so people can truly hear their talent.

The second band to perform was Blood For Our Brothers, hailing from Compton, CA. This four-piece band has the perfect mixture deathcore, hardcore, and some technical death metal, and have a very commanding stage presence. Their debut album came out in 2014 titled “…And God Had Horns”, which they released independently via bandcamp. This is another band that has a lot of potential and is certainly worth checking out.

The third band up was Throne of Tyranny, coming to the stage from Pomona, CA. This band had some of my favorite elements, like the dueling guitar solos, a hell of a lot of energy, and songs that flowed very well. They were cohesive, and did a very good set. One of my favorite parts was vocalist David Forster’s energy. He would run from side to side on the stage, commanding the entire stage. While it was somewhat hard to shoot, it certainly was amusing to watch him do this. Their debut EP “Ashes of Mankind” came out in 2015, and is a true showing of the amount of technicality this band has in their music. They fit perfectly in the technical death-core genre and were a perfect fit for this lineup.

The biggest supporting act of the evening was So This Is Suffering, who are locals to Los Angeles, CA. I saw this band once before on the Whitechapel tour in December of 2017 and I must say, they put on one hell of a set. They played a 7-song set, most of which came from their newest album “Palace of the Pessimist”, which was released in 2017 via Unique Leader Records. Vocalist Rudy Flores brings a wide range of vocal variety to the band, with some seriously deep gutturals and high shrieks. Guitarist Robert Brown truly shreds and gives some amazing solos and technicality to the band’s sound, which truly brings them to a whole new level. Drummer Steve Guerrero helps set the sound up by giving the fast-paced foundation with fast double bass kicks and blast beats. This band quickly rose up as being one of my favorites in the Death-core genre, thanks to their kindness, as well as their incredible stage presence. They always look like their having fun, and they are so approachable. Definitely a band to check out.

The headlining band, Slaughter to Prevail put on one hell of a set. However, I must say I did feel a bit underwhelmed by the length. As a headliner, bands are expected to prepare a lengthier set than that of a supporting band. So, around 8-10 songs minimum would be expected for a headlining act, and that is still a rather short set for a headliner. Slaughter to Prevail played a total of 6 songs during their set, but those songs surely shredded on stage. Vocalist Alex Terrible wore his iconic white mask for the first 3 songs before taking it off. For this tour, they introduced the addition of a new drummer and had a touring guitarist with them, which may have been their reasoning for having such a short set. The part that truly surprised me was when they came back on to do their encore, they just played one of the six songs they had just played for a second time. Again, I truly love this band and had been waiting to see them again, after seeing them on 4/20 last year with Oceano. Their newest album “Misery Sermon”, released in 2017 via Sumerian Records, is truly amazing. I was just disappointed I didn’t get to hear more of their songs this time around.  I’m still so happy I could see them again after waiting a year since the last time.

Overall, the night was hella fun, even with the underwhelming length of Slaughter’s set. I truly loved getting to see so many local Californian bands, which led me to see how talented our locals are. Go check each of these bands out.

Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman

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Review | It’s Not Dead Fest 2

 It’s Not Dead Fest 2 | August 26, 2017 | By Melissa Rodriguez

         It was 107 degrees outside in San Bernardino, but that didn’t stop hundreds of punk rock fans from showing up dressed head to toe in black attire. Having missed out on the first run of the It’s Not Dead Festival in 2015, I was really thrilled to be seeing a bunch of my favorite bands at this year’s festival. 

Keeping to his traditional style with Warped Tour, founder Kevin Lyman didn’t announce set times until after the doors had opened. The lineup contained so many punk rock legends from over the last few decades and spread across four different stages; it was almost impossible to see everyone playing.  

Fans were already lined up to watch the first bands perform and were not disappointed with Spider, Channel 3, and Wraths (featuring Jim Lindberg of Pennywise) opening the show on the first 3 stages.  Their energy was just what the fans needed to get in the mood for a long day, filled with amazing music and memories. 

The intense heatwave didn’t stop festival goers from rocking out and dancing along to the Interrupters, who were the second band to perform on the main stage (and the only band on the lineup from the first festival). The rotating main stage was such a genius idea, and wasted no time dealing with set changes between performances. Once one band was finished, the next band was rotated in (some even started playing as the platform was still in rotation).  The main stage included performances from Good Riddance, GBH, Buzzcocks, and OFF! 

An hour into the festival, you could see fans making trips to the Vans merch tent to purchase $20 beach umbrellas to shield themselves from the desert heat. For the fans who didn’t want to carry around a giant umbrella, the festival also featured an art gallery set up inside a giant circus tent. The gallery featured lots of awesome art work and photos from past music gigs, some dating back almost 30 years. 

Although it was difficult to catch all the amazing bands performing on the different stages, there was a great turnout at the side stages for acts such as Slaughter and the Dogs, The Flatliners, The Unseen, and The Casualties (with David Rodriguez of the Krum Bums). Jimmy G, of Murphys Law, even managed to get one of their younger fans from the crowd into his arms and singing along with him. 

As the sun had begun to set, fans moved to the main stage to catch the final performances of the evening. The Adicts gave a vibrant performance, full of streamers and joker cards being tossed into the crowd. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes did not disappoint with their wide array of cover songs; “Hope you guys know, we are a cover band.”  

Finally, Drop Kick Murphys and Rancid closed out the show with a conclusion to their “From Boston to Berkley” summer tour. DKM went on at around 8:30pm; about 9 hours after the doors to the festival had initially opened. But judging by the crowds singing and pitting along, you would had never guessed they had been dealing with record breaking heat all day. Unfortunately, this little lady got knocked in the head with a jug of water from the crowd during DKM performance. Maybe they thought I looked thirsty? In any case, I had to miss out on Rancid’s performance and called it a night. 

Walking away from the performance I realized that this festival really lived up to its name; punk is definitely not dead. 

The End Is Here : NYC Tour Review

teih-tour

On January 27th, I attended my first show of 2017. I got to attend “The End Is Here” tour. It was an honor to start this year off with these three amazing bands, Falling In Reverse, Issues and Motionless In White. On tour, they had the help of upcoming bands Dead Girls Academy and Dangerkids as opening acts for the three. I must say, each band gave it their all on this night. The lighting for each set was absolutely phenomenal. My friend and I bought VIP for the show, with VIP we got to meet all three main acts. Meet and greet with Falling In Reverse went pretty quick, The guys in Issues made the time to talk to each fan and greet them very kindly. But when we got to Motionless In White, they stopped meeting the fans after I guess a certain time limit, so we did not get to meet them. Did not receive any of the merchandise to come with the package as well. VIP was very messy, there were three lines for each act. I feel we should have received what we paid for to seem fair. No big deal to us though. First time ever hearing Dead Girls Academy and Dangerkids, I was in shock with their stage presence. Very energetic. Issues, Motionless In White and Falling In Reverse had fantastic stage presence as well. Each band had a theme for their set, which was pretty amazing. Overall, the whole show was killer. Bravo to each band and the members for giving it their all. Such a fun night, I suggest catching this tour when it hits a city near you.

Review by : Gina Castaldi