Rockstar Disrupt Festival | Festival Stage w/ Sleeping With Sirens, Andy Black, Four Year Strong, Memphis May Fire, and Juliet Simms | Photos + Review

Rockstar Disrupt Festival – Festival Stage

Venue: Five Point Amphitheatre on 7/20/19

Entering into the amphitheater and seeing a familiar layout, it felt like a return to form for me. I went to the Vans Warped Tour yearly with my Dad from 2011 – 2018 so seeing the Five Point Amphitheater with merch tents and a Rockstar booth, I felt like a new tradition starting that still held close ties to the previous one. The Rockstar Disrupt Festival had two tiers of bands: the festival stage bands and the main stage bands. On my date, however, all of the bands played on the same stage. So, the festival stage bands were treated like Kings and Queens for a day.

I unfortunately missed Hyro the Hero, due to a family emergency, but arrived just in time to catch Juliet Simms. Juliet Simms was in a few bands but really hit it big once she competed on the reality competition show “The Voice” where she placed second. Since then, she has garnered a large following, especially in the Warped Tour and alternative scenes, which lead to her signing to Sumerian Records in 2019. She has released 3 albums over her career, which she showcased in her 6-song set. Juliet pleasantly surprised me with her stage presence and vocal style. I would describe her musical style as a mixture of alternative rock, indie rock, and pop rock. Her vocals are very raspy, and I was thoroughly impressed. I was slightly getting some Janis Joplin vibes. Her backing band consisted of drummer Lindsay Martin, guitarist Evan Potter, and bassist Justus Dixon. Juliet put her heart on that stage, and I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.

SETLIST

  1. 100 Little Deaths
  2. Say Hello
  3. Trouble Finds You
  4. Take Me
  5. Wild Child
  6. Bad Love

Next up was Memphis May Fire from Denton, Texas. Memphis May Fire is one of the first bands I got into when I was getting more into metalcore. When I found out that I would finally be photographing them, I was ecstatic to say the least. Memphis May Fire brought out songs from five of their six albums for their set, showcasing how diverse of a band they are. I personally got to photograph them during one of my favorite songs in their entire discography “Prove Me Right” from their 2012 release “Challenger”, which is still the bands bestselling record to date, reaching 16 on the top 200 Billboard Charts. Memphis May Fire would best be described as on the border between metalcore and post-hardcore, with some songs more on the hard rock side. The current lineup consists of vocalist Matty Mullens, lead guitarist Kellen McGregor, bassist Cory Elder, drummer Jake Garland, and touring rhythm guitarist Samuel Penner. Not only does Memphis May Fire truly slay in terms of sound, their stage presence was insane. I always love seeing Memphis May Fire and am so glad I finally got the chance to photograph them!

SETLIST

  1. The Old Me
  2. Prove Me Right
  3. Carry On
  4. No Ordinary Love
  5. Heavy Is The Weight
  6. Vices
  7. The Sinner

The next band up was Four Year Strong from Worcester, Massachusetts. Their sound is commonly referred to as “Easycore”, as they mix pop punk with post-hardcore and melodic hardcore. Coming on after Memphis May Fire would be hard for many bands to top. But, despite not moving to much, no one could deny Four Year Strong’s sound was truly amazing that day. They played four songs from their 2010 album “Enemy of the World”, which is still their bestselling album to date. Along with those four songs, they played two songs from their 2015 self-titled album “Four Year Strong”, two songs from their 2007 album “Rise or Die Trying”, and one from their 2014 EP “Go Down In History”. This band has had a long history in the scene, and the reason for their popularity is shown through their catchy music with riff-heavy melodic verses and choruses mixed with breakdowns. I have lived for Four Year Strong for years and am so glad to see them still going strong.

SETLIST

  1. Maniac (R.O.D.)
  2. Go Down In History
  3. Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
  4. What the Hell is a Gigawatt?
  5. Who Cares?
  6. Find My Way Back
  7. It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now
  8. We All Float Down Here
  9. Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)

Andy Black came up to the stage next. Andy Black is also known as Andy Biersack or as his previous stage name “Andy Six”. I used to listen to his band Black Veil Brides almost religiously, but even though I don’t listen to them anymore, I was looking forward to seeing what he had to offer in a solo performance. While Black Veil Brides’ sound centers around hard rock and heavy metal, Andy’s solo music is a good mixture of alternative rock, pop rock, and synth pop. Andy played a 7-song setlist, showcasing songs from his’ two albums “The Ghost of Ohio”, which was released in 2019 via Republic Records, and “The Shadow Side” which was released in 2016 via Republic Records. He also played a Billy Idol cover, which was pretty cool to hear. During the first song of his’ set, Andy went into the crowd and hi fived a bunch of the crowd members. It was cool to see him interacting with fans and truly engaging with the crowd. The support band behind him consists of drummer Sage Webber, bassist Niles Gibbs, and guitarist Lonny Eagleton. Although I am not the biggest Andy Black fan in the world, I was still thoroughly impressed by his’ showmanship and his musical style!

SETLIST

  1. Ribcage
  2. They Don’t Need To Understand
  3. Stay Alive
  4. Westwood Road
  5. Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol Cover)
  6. Ghost of Ohio
  7. We Don’t Have To Dance

Closing out the Festival Stage was Sleeping With Sirens from Orlando, Florida. Sleeping With Sirens, like Memphis May Fire, was one of the first bands I got into in the scene. I fell in love with their post-hardcore style and unique vocals courtesy of Kellin Quinn. The rest of this very talented band consists of drummer Gabe Barham, guitarists Jack Fowler and Nick Martin, and bassist Justin Hills. The band played a 7-song set, filled with fan favorites and 2 songs off their upcoming album “How It Feels To Be Lost”, which will be released via Sumerian Records on September 6th, 2019. One thing Sleeping With Sirens delivers consistently is a stellar performance. They are extremely tight as a band and are extremely high energy. They utilize every inch of the stage and truly slay. Sleeping With Sirens also delivers on sounding even better live. They are already stellar on record, but that unbeatable energy drives each song further and engraves that live experience into the brains of their viewers. It truly brought me back to how I felt when I first discovered their music years and years back. I loved their set and believe they were the perfect band to close out the festival stage.

SETLIST

  1. Kick Me
  2. Do It Now, Remember It Later
  3. Leave It All Behind
  4. Better Off Dead
  5. Break Me Down
  6. If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn
  7. If You Can’t Hang

The festival stage bands on the Rockstar Disrupt Festival showcased a variety of bands of many different styles that meshed beautifully. It truly set the stage for the main stage bands to come. I was truly excited to see bands like Sleeping With Sirens and Memphis May Fire again, and to finally photograph them, so it was a dream come true.

Sleeping With Sirens | Andy Black | Four Year Strong | Memphis May Fire | Juliet Simms

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram

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YUNGBLUD w/ SAINT PHNX | Don’t Wanna Be A Loner Tour | Photos + Review

One of the most talked about artists in music right now is YUNGBLUD. Over the past few years, he’s released his debut EP and LP, as well as a live album, went on a large amount of dates on the Vans Warped Tour (as well as making an appearance at the Mountain View show for their 25th anniversary event), and did a few national tours supporting not only those releases, but also the singles he’s released so far this year, with this particular tour being in support of his song Loner. I discovered YUNGBLUD’s music about a year ago, after hearing so many good things about his songs and live performances, and quickly became a fan. I discovered SAINT PHNX (who would be supporting him for these shows) more recently, and really enjoyed the music from first listen. All of this made me even more excited about attending the Don’t Wanna Be A Loner Tour.

Opening up the night was SAINT PHNX. The Glasgow, Scotland based act kicked off their set with their debut single “Reload” and my personal favorite song of theirs, “Death Of Me.” In addition to incorporating many of their other songs in their discography (“Rise,” “Nunchuck,” and “Dead Man,”) they also fit in a new song in the middle of the set. The trio (vocalist Stevie Jukes, drummer Alan Jukes, and touring guitarist John Cargill) had a ton of energy and did a great job of engaging the crowd, especially during their more energetic songs.

Not long after SAINT PHNX finished, YUNGBLUD took the stage, opening with the title track to his debut LP “21st Century Liability,” followed by the fun and energetic “I Love You, Will You Marry Me” and “King Charles” off of his debut EP. As the set progressed, he continued to play more songs from that EP (“Anarchist”) as well as a handful of songs from his debut album as well (“Medication,” “Die For The Hype,” “Machine Gun”). Some of the highlights of his set were some of his slower songs – “Polygraph Eyes,” where there was so much emotion shown in that performance and everyone in the crowd was singing along, and “Kill Somebody,” where everyone made their cell phone flashlights pink to match the color scheme of the album. As well as playing songs from his past releases, he also played two of his newest hits – “Parents” and “Loner,” and included an unreleased song earlier on in the set. Frontman Dominic Harrison also brings so much energy, moving and jumping around on stage constantly, and the crowd of nearly a thousand people did the same throughout his set.

This was my first time seeing both acts live, and I was very impressed. I absolutely loved the energy and passion found during both live sets, I think it definitely makes both of their performances really stand out, and as a whole, it was a great show.

YUNGBLUD | SAINT PHNX

Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Set It Off w/ Emarosa and Broadside | Midnight Tour | Photos | 6/29/19

Broadside

Emarosa

Set It Off

Set It Off | Emarosa | Broadside

Photos courtesy of Angel Haines

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Chase Atlantic w/ Lauren Sanderson | Phases North American Tour | Photos + Review

6-28-19 – Chase Atlantic Debuts Phases To A Sold Out Crowd In Los Angeles

Venue: The Regent on 6/28/19

I had heard of Chase Atlantic from their time on Warped Tour, but for the first time, I went into a show completely blind and walked out amazed. For their sophomore album, Chase Atlantic set out on a North American tour in support of their album “Phases”, which was released via BMG Records. In fact, the Los Angeles date just so happened to fall on the date of the album’s release. Chase Atlantic brought Lauren Sanderson along with them, which meshed perfectly with the band’s vibe and sound. This was an amazing tour all around.

Up first was Lauren Sanderson from Fort Wayne, Indiana. The best way I could describe Lauren’s sound is a perfect fusion between Alternative, R&B, and rap. Lauren was very high energy from the start, taking the large stage by the horns. I was personally captivated by Lauren’s messages of positivity towards the LGBTQ+ community, and how humble and kind she came across. Lauren played a 7-song set, which came from two of her EPs “Don’t Panic!” and “Spaces.” I was thoroughly impressed by Lauren Sanderson and cannot wait to see her again next time she’s out here!

SETLIST

  1. The Only One
  2. Differently
  3. Electric
  4. Written In The Stars
  5. Oceans
  6. In The Middle
  7. Better Anyways

Finally to the stage came Chase Atlantic from Australia. Chase Atlantic is a fusion of Alternative Pop, Pop Rock, Indie Pop, and R&B. They brought a massive light set up with them and two LED screens as well, making their show a full on experience and spectacle. This five-piece consists of vocalist Mitchel Cave, rhythm guitarist Christian Anthony, lead guitarist and saxophone player Clinton Cave, bassist Patrick Wilde, and drummer Jesse Boyle. Along with their massive lighting set up, Chase Atlantic prepared a 14-song set that showcased songs from the band’s whole discography. I am always impressed when a band brings in songs from every release. They had high energy from the jump, opening with “ANGELS” from Phases. This song showcased Clinton’s amazing saxophone playing. Each song they played showed how wide their repertoire truly is. I was in awe and will definitely be seeing them next time they’re out here

SETLIST

  1. ANGELS
  2. WHAT U CALL THAT
  3. HER
  4. The Walls
  5. Friends
  6. STUCKINMYBRAIN
  7. Swim
  8. LOVE IS (NOT) EASY
  9. LUST
  10. Drugs & Money
  11. HEAVEN AND BACK
  12. LIKE A ROCKSTAR
  13. Uncomfortable
  14. Okay

The Phases North American Tour was a spectacle like no other, with music that tugs on the heart strings with high energy and showmanship like no other.

Chase Atlantic | Lauren Sanderson

Photos + Review 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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Seaway w/ Young Culture and In Good Nature | Fresh Produce Tour PHOTOS| 4/21/19

In Good Nature

Young Culture

Seaway

Seaway | Young Culture | In Good Nature

Photos Courtesy of Linette Ray

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Against The Current w/ Chapel and Guccihighwaters | Past Lives Tour| 4/20/19 | Washington D.C.

Guccihighwaters

Chapel

Against The Current

Against The Current | Chapel | Guccihighwaters

Photos courtesy of Angel Haines

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