Sleeping With Sirens w/ Don Broco, Point North, & Garzi | CTRL-ALT-DEL Tour | Photos | 8/4/22

Garzi

Point North

Don Broco

Sleeping With Sirens

Photos courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Silverstein with special guests The Plot In You and Can’t Swim | Silverstein 20th Anniversary Tour | 11/19/21 | Photos + Review

Silverstein Sells Out Their 20 Year Celebration In Los Angeles

11/19/21 at The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA

              In March of 2020, Silverstein was set to go out on their 20th Anniversary Tour. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the tour was postponed twice. Finally setting out on tour in November and December of 2021, the band now hit their 21st anniversary as a band. To prepare for just a significant anniversary, the band prepared one of the longest sets I’ve ever seen a band play, and they brought along with them The Plot In You and Can’t Swim for the ride. This lineup made for a night of diverse music that kept fans entertained from start to finish.

              First up was Can’t Swim from Keansburg, New Jersey. I’d best describe the band’s sound in the subgenre known as “easycore.” Easycore is basically the merging of pop-punk and metalcore. Similar bands in sound would be A Day To Remember, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk, and more. The band started with the song “Set The Room Ablaze,” which comes from their newest album, “Change Of Plans,” released in 2021 via Pure Noise Records. This song has a heavy edge, with metalcore-inspired riffs courtesy of Danny Rico and Mike Sanchez. This song also features some raspy screams from guitarist Chris LoPorto. The song’s studio recording features Caleb Shomo from Beartooth, which honestly pushes the song over the edge. This is easily my favorite song from the band and having them open up with it was incredible to witness. The band then went on to play their song “Sometimes You Meet The Right People At The Wrong Time” from their 2018 record “This Too Won’t Pass,” released via Pure Noise Records. This song has an overall pop-punk feel, with the stand-out elements being the drum patterns and overall atmosphere. I focused during this song on drummer Blake Gamel, who was absolutely smashing those drums like crazy. Bassist Greg McDevitt also did a superb job on backup vocals, adding amazing harmonies that pushed the songs to another level. The third song in the set that I captured was their song “Sense of Humor,” which has a very lighthearted feel in the melodies and atmosphere. The song changes up about two-thirds of the way through with a breakdown, adding an extra layer of contrast and depth to the song that kept me jamming while in the photo pit. The band was tight as hell during their set and had incredible energy. They absolutely blew away my expectations. They played a nine-song setlist, playing songs from four of their releases. They’re a fantastic band, and I highly recommend attending their headlining tour in the spring if it comes near you!

SETLIST

  1. Set The Room Ablaze
  2. “Sometimes You Meet The Right Person At The Wrong Time”
  3. Sense Of Humor
  4. Prick
  5. Deliver Us From Evil
  6. Power
  7. My Queen
  8. Your Clothes
  9. Stranger

Up next was The Plot In You Hancock County, Ohio. This was my second time ever seeing The Plot In You, with the first and only other time being back in 2016 when they were headlining their “Happiness In Self Destruction” tour in support of their album they had released the year prior of the same title. The band has made quite the transformation since then. The band was previously a through and through metalcore band. They experimented with more melodic elements in the album “Happiness In Self Destruction” before diving deep into their new sound in 2018’s “Dispose” via Fearless Records. Going more towards a post-hardcore and progressive rock sound, the band has genuinely diversified their more recent records. The band opened with the song “Face Me” from their 2021 record “Swan Song,” also released on Fearless Records. Face Me opens up with a beat, and vocalist Landon Tewers before the full band comes in during the chorus. The band really brought the theatrics, with a gorgeous light show that really brought their performance to the next level. The instrumentals have a truly modern vibe to them. The bass from Ethan Yoder is vibrant and prominent, the guitar is deep and full from Josh Lewis Childress, and the drums are clean and solid from Michael Cooper. The band then went on to their second song, “Fall Again,” which is my favorite track from the new record. This song plays with the band’s heavier elements, bringing in some nu-metal inspiration in the guitar tones and vocalizations. Landon Tewers is truly on fire vocally on this record, showing his vast repertoire and prowess. The band then went on to play their song “Enemy,” which has an r&b feel to it, while still dialing into their post-hardcore sound. I love the new addition of the electronics into the music, as it adds a whole other layer to their sound. The crowd was eating them up, jumping, and singing along to every word. The band played a total of ten songs, spanning from “Swan Song,” “Dispose,” and “Happiness in Self Destruction,” which are three albums that really meld nicely in the band’s current discography and their more modern sound. The Plot In You has truly grown a lot since I last saw them, and I cannot wait to see them again. 

SETLIST

  1. Face Me
  2. Fall Again
  3. Enemy
  4. Not Just Breathing
  5. Time Changes Everything
  6. Paradigm
  7. One Last Time
  8. Too Far Gone
  9. Disposable Fix
  10. Feel Nothing

Silverstein from Burlington, Ontario, Canada, hit the stage next. Hitting two decades for a band in the heavier music genre is a massive milestone for bands in our genre and music in general. It can be easy to burn out and give up, but Silverstein has proven that a band can not only succeed but push themselves further and thrive through perseverance, growth, and rebuilding. For those who somehow have never heard Silverstein, they are that perfect blend of metalcore, post-hardcore, pop-punk, and punk rock. They started out as one of the classic emo bands and have constantly expanded upon their sound to keep previous fans impressed and gain a new, innovative following. For their 20th Anniversary Tour, the band went the whole nine yards, preparing three sets in total. They also brought an extensive amount of colorful and vibrant lighting, timed and themed perfectly to their music. The first set Silverstein played was a greatest hits set, performing songs from their whole discography. They opened with one of their newer singles titled “Bankrupt.” This track is an explosive and heavy track with a deep guitar groove courtesy of Josh Bradford and Paul Marc Rousseau. The crowd went bonkers, with crowd surfing and moshing galore. This track showcases vocalist Shane Told’s intense screams and solid clean vocals. He is a powerhouse vocalist and truly showcased that with this song. The band then went into the song “Massachusetts” from their 2013 album “This Is How The Wind Shifts,” which has a lighter sound compared to “Bankrupt.” Those intricate drum patterns from Paul Koehler are a standout in this song for me. The next song the band went into was “Smashed Into Pieces” from their debut album “When The Broken Is Easily Fixed,” which really has that classic emo and post-hardcore vibe the band founded themselves on. Bassist Billy Hamilton was on point with those harmonies and backup screams on this song, and that deep bass grove really helped push it over. The band then went into songs like “Bad Habits,” “It’s Over,” “Infinite,” and “The Afterglow.” The band even did a massive melody of songs, which included “The Artist,” “Sacrifice,” “I Am The Arsonist,” “The Continual Condition,” “My Disaster,” “Vices,” “Je Me Souviens,” and “Broken Stars.” After a short interlude, Shane Told came out to do an acoustic set while a few members joined during a song or two. The acoustic set consisted of “Rescue You,” “Untitled” by Social Distortion, “Red Light Pledge,” and “Where Are You,” all of which once again showcased how diverse and strong Shane Told’s vocals are all these years later. The band came on for their third set just a minute later to play their second album, “Discovering The Waterfront,” in its entirety. Songs like “My Heroine” and “Call It Karma” were standouts on the album for me, so to hear them live, along with the rest of the songs, was absolutely incredible. The band gave us a special treat for their encore to top it all off. As a final song, the band played “Bleeds No More” from their debut album. However, they changed things up, putting Shane Told on bass and having Billy Hamilton absolutely demolish those vocals. He was on fire, and Shane was plunking away at those chunky bass notes. This song finished off their set on such a high note. Silverstein again proves why they are a staple in their cohort, and I cannot wait to see them again in the new year. 

SETLIST

  1. Bankrupt
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Smashed Into Pieces
  4. Bad Habits
  5. The Artist/ Sacrifice / I Am The Arsonist / The Continual Condition / My Disaster / Vices / Je Me Souviens / Broken Stars
  6. It’s Over
  7. Infinite
  8. The Afterglow
  9. Replace You
  10. Untitled (Social Distortion Cover)
  11. Red Light Pledge
  12. Where Are You
  13. Your Sword Versus My Dagger
  14. Smile In Your Sleep
  15. The Ides Of March
  16. Fist Wrapped In Blood
  17. Discovering The Waterfront
  18. Defend You
  19. My Heroine
  20. Always And Never
  21. Already Dead
  22. The Hours Back
  23. Call It Karma

ENCORE

24. Bleeds No More

Silverstein really went above and beyond for their 20th-anniversary tour. I am beyond grateful I could see and photograph them again, along with The Plot In You and Can’t Swim. All three bands played amazing sets and made the crowd go NUTS. Give some love to all of these bands and go see them live when they hit cities near you!

Silverstein | The Plot In You | Can’t Swim

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter |

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A Day To Remember w/ Asking Alexandria & Point North | The Re-Entry Tour | 10/13/21 | Photos + Review

Point North

Asking Alexandria

A Day To Remember

A Day To Remember | Asking Alexandria | Point North

Photos courtesy of Jess Kelly | Instagram | Twitter

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State Champs w/ Real Friends, Four Year Strong, Just Friends, and Bearings | Pure Noise Records Tour 2021 | 10/10/21 | Photos + Review

As soon as I saw that this tour was announced, I knew that I had to go. The lineup was stacked, and with some of my all-time favorite pop-punk bands were all on this – State Champs, Four Year Strong, Real Friends, Just Friends, and Bearings.

First up was Bearings. The crowd was slowly starting to pour in before they took the stage. I remember the first time I saw them, and I didn’t know who they were. I instantly fell in love with their music because of the lyrics in the songs they played and was upbeat and happy. The type of music that makes you want to jump around and start singing along. I wasn’t expecting to see many crowd surfers during their set, but to my surprise, there was and their frontman, Doug Cousins even jumped off stage to help people coming over the barricade. They played songs off their newest album, “Hello, It’s You,” and some of their older songs from the past. Bearings set the show off with energy to carry on throughout the night.

Following Bearings, Just Friends was up next. It’s been a few years since I had last seen them live on Sad Summer Fest, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from them. It was the strangest yet most hypnotizing band I’ve seen in my years of going to concerts. They danced and swayed to the music and got the crowd hyped during the opening song, “Supersonic.” I’ve never seen a band like them with their energy and stage presence. At one point, most of the band turned around and started shaking their butts to the crowd. Everyone was cheering while Eric Butler slapped the bassists’ butt and taking a phone out, and taking selfies and random pictures of the other band members on stage during “Never Gonna Bring You Down” and “Flex.”

Next, we had one of my favorite bands playing – Four Year Strong. I’ve been listening to them since 2009 and have seen them countless times over the years, and they never disappoint. Starting off with “Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die” the crowd exploded while the lights flashed, and everyone was singing along. The set was a mix of songs from multiple albums, including their newest, “Brain Pain.” released last year. People were slowly coming back over the barricade crowd surfing, but even more, came during the third song they played, “It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now.” The tempo was upbeat and fast-paced and the whole time. I always lose my voice when I see them live as the music is so much fun to listen to and scream to the top of your lungs.

Real Friends came out next. I was excited to see them live as this was my first time. I have almost every single album from them, and once I heard in 2020 that they parted ways with Dan Lambton, I was sad but excited to see what the future held for them. Cody Murano, formerly of Parting Ways and Youth Fountain, they came back with their newest album, “Torn in Two.” It’s been on repeat since it came out for me, and they played a mix of songs from that album, as well as older classics such as “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” “Late Nights in My Car,” and “Me First.” I was impressed with the sound, the lighting, and the energy they had on stage.

Then, it was time for the headliner – State Champs. Yet another band I’ve seen countless times over the years since I first discovered them. They started off with “Secrets” while cryo and streamers emerged from the stage. The venue was packed with people; everyone was singing along, more people came over the barricade, crowd surfing while the photographers did their best not to get hit or kicked in the process for the three songs. I was singing the whole time as they’re one of my favorite bands, and the energy they show on stage is unmatched. They played older songs such as “Elevated,” “Criminal,” and “Mine Is Gold,” as well as some of the newer songs they’ve released recently like “Just Sound” and their cover of Fall Out Boy’s “Chicago Is So Two Years.” After the last song, the house lights stayed off, meaning that they have encore songs. They came out from behind the stage and ended the night with more pryo and playing “All You Are Is History” and “Dead and Gone.” The whole show was full of energy throughout the entire night, making it one of the favorites I’ve been to in the last 19 months since the pandemic started.

State Champs | Real Friends | Four Year Strong | Just Friends | Bearings

Photos + Review courtesy of Jess Kelly | Instagram | Twitter

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State Champs w/ Four Year Strong, Real Friends, Just Friends, and Bearings | Pure Noise Records Tour 2021 | Photos + Review

State Champs and co. Slay The Belasco on the Pure Noise Records Tour

Date: 10-6-21

Venue – The Belasco in Los Angeles, CA

I’ve taken in music like a sponge for as long as I could remember going to shows. Being so open-minded musically, I listen to everything from classical to death metal. However, as a photographer, I’ve photographed a ton more metal than I have other genres. Since shows have come back post lockdown, I really wanted to broaden my horizons and photograph and see bands that have always been on my bucket list. State Champs was one of those bands for me. They have always been on my radar with catchy, high energy, and derived from classic pop-punk. But when running a publication, I have to pick and choose my shows and have typically gone for the heavier metal tours over pop-punk as I know others on the team will cover it instead. With the announcement of the Pure Noise Records Tour, I knew this was finally my chance to see and photograph State Champs, but to once again see Four Year Strong, along with other bands I’ve wanted to see and photograph for years and years, like Real Friends, Just Friends, and Bearings. This showcase of bands from the Pure Noise Records lineup was excellent!

First up was Bearings from Ottawa, Canada. The quintet can be best described as the perfect blend between pop-punk and alternative. They opened up the set with “Better Off Yesterday,” which acts as somewhat of a title track off their newest album, “Hello, It’s You,” released in 2020 via Pure Noise Records. Off the bat, vocalist Dougie Cousins took command of that stage, belting out those words in tune with the major key. A staple element to any pop-punk band is that most songs are in major keys, which is a massive change-up compared to the metal I typically see and photograph. I’m all here for a change and branching out here. Guitarist Ryan Culligan acts as a backing vocalist, sometimes singing lead parts and adding harmonies that add the extra touch to the band’s songs. The second song in the set was “Aforementioned” from their 2018 release “Blue In The Dark.” This song definitely incorporates some of their indie and alternative influences, and drummer Mike McKerracher was pounding away at his drum kit with a big smile on his face throughout the whole song. Bassist Collin Hanes and guitarist Ryan Fits were grooving along during the third song, in particular, that being “Over Now,” which once again came from their 2020 release. The band just seems to really enjoy what they’re doing, and with the music they create, and you can’t help but vibe and headbang along with them. Bearings was incredibly endearing and had positively infectious energy throughout their six-song set. I cannot wait to see and photograph them again!

SETLIST

  1. Better Yesterday
  2. Aforementioned
  3. Over Now
  4. Dreams
  5. Eyes Closed
  6. Sway

Up next was Just Friends from Dublin, California. The band is best described as “funk rock,” but to me, they are honestly a melting pot of genres. They have a blend of funk-rock, alternative rock, pop-rap, ska, and a slight emo vibe that I LIVE for. They had some technical difficulties at the start of their set. Still, co-lead vocalist Brianda “Brand” Goyos Leon did a good job entertaining the crowd during the downtime. In fact, she was asking us if we had bought anything cool recently, and I held up my hand sanitizer holder, which is a unicorn cat whose horn lights up when a button is pushed. Well, Brand held it up to the crowd and yells “LOOK HOW COOL THIS IS!!” I started dying laughing, and it’s now kind of an inside joke between us, which I now have looped you all in on too! After the band fixed their technical difficulties, they started the set with their song “I Wanna Love You” from their 2018 album “Nothing But Love,” released in 2018 via Pure Noise Records. I love the vocal dynamics between Sam Kless and Brand throughout their set, with Sam providing the rapping and some singing and Brand providing her bluesy tones that really amp everything up. The next song was the band’s most popular single, “Supersonic.” This song gets the crowd dancing. You can see guitarists Brandon Downum and Matt Yankovich, along with bassist Kevin Prochnow, dancing to choreographed moves to the song while playing their instruments. It’s an absolute bop and a half of a song, so much so that I couldn’t help but stop shooting for a second and dance along with them. The band played a total of five songs, each truly showcasing their talent and range as a group. They were an absolute blast to see and photograph, and I would absolutely love the opportunity to do so again!

SETLIST

  1. I Wanna Love You
  2. Supersonic
  3. Fever
  4. Stupid
  5. Sunflower