A Long Awaited Reunion | My Chemical Romance performs back-to-back nights at TD Garden.

Boston, MA | TD Garden | 9/7/2022

After nearly a decade away, followed by 2+ years of additional delays, My Chemical Romance were finally able to take the stage in Boston, with all the furious passion and energy that has rightfully earned them their devoted fanbase since the early aughts. Kicking off their set with the explosive comeback single “The Foundations of Decay” could not have been a more perfect overture to the evening’s festivities, as it blended seamlessly into a set that celebrated both the band’s infectious hits (“Welcome to the Black Parade”, “I’m Not OK (I Promise)”, “Famous Last Words”) and ferocious deep cuts (“Bury Me in Black”, “Thank You for the Venom”). 

Singer Gerard Way commanded the audience’s attention with ease, belting the highest notes and snarling quasi-metal shrieks, all while donning a haunting “Black Swan”-esque suit to match the mood. While the rest of the band was dressed more conservatively compared to the iconic frontman, they did not lack one bit of his intensity, with lead guitarist Ray Toro ripping out some of his tightest solos, rhythm guitarist Frank Iero screaming along to double up on Gerard’s ferocity, and Mikey Way holding down the rapid-fire low end whilst patrolling the stage. 

The night only slowed down briefly for the fan-favorite ballad “The Ghost of You”, which overwhelmed the Boston arena with a cascade of cellphone lighters from everywhere the eye could see. This (along with countless other moments) showed not only how captivating these songs have been over the last 20+ years, but also is a testament to how much My Chemical Romance stood the test of time and grew with their fanbase, never merely being a nostalgic footnote and always striking with greater ambition than their contemporaries. 

My Chemical Romance yet again proved their resilience and cultural impact as a band at this show, and while set closer “Helena” ended the evening with the oh-so-famous cadence of “So long and goodnight”, we can all be very thankful that we won’t have to wait another decade to hear from them again.

Guest review by Brent McCann

Photos from: Boston, MA | TD Garden | 9/8/2022

Photos by: Amanda (Mandy) Spring

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All 4 Nothing Tour 2022 | Photo Gallery + Review

9/6/2022

Lauv’s popularity has been on an upward trajectory over the past few years. He had a few hit singles in the late 2010s before releasing his debut LP in spring of 2020. Two years on from that release, he has dropped his sophomore LP, “All 4 Nothing.” The summer and fall of this year brought a tour in support of those two releases. It was his first tour in over two years, as well as the first concert I’d photographed in that time, and what a phenomenal comeback it was in both aspects.

Up first was Chicago-based musician David Kushner. The musician rose in popularity over the last several months after snippets from two of his songs went viral on TikTok. The set started with “Burn,” followed by one of the two aforementioned viral songs, “Miserable Man.” For his third song, he switched things up a bit by playing a more recent track, “Look Back & Laugh.” At the time, the track was unreleased, giving the concertgoers a taste of his debut EP, “Footprints I Found.” He closed the set out strongly with what is arguably his most popular song, “Mr. Forgettable.” Kushner is a very talented vocalist and musician who writes very poignant music, and his performance moved the crowd.

On this particular night, he also happened to be celebrating his 22nd birthday. In the middle of the set, people came out on stage with a sign alerting the crowd that they should sing “Happy Birthday” to him, although the crowd had already gotten a jump start on that just a moment prior.

Next up was Hayley Kiyoko, who brought tons of energy to the stage right from the get-go. She was constantly moving and jumping around, especially in the first few songs of her set, and the many fans in the crowd sang along to previous hits and tracks from her newly-released album “Panorama.” The setlist was primarily comprised of more recent tracks, with six out of the eight songs being from that album. The other two were some earlier hits of hers – “Curious,” from her first full-length album, and “Girls Like Girls,” which she concluded the set with, and at which point she waved pride flags handed to her by fans in the audience.

Finally, at 9:30 P.M., the lights once again dimmed and Lauv’s set began. As fog filled the stage, Lauv began playing “26,” the opening track to his new album. About halfway through the song, the spotlight turned towards him. He continued with another single from that album, “Kids Are Born Stars,” before deciding to turn back in time and play a couple of much older tracks of his, “Paris In The Rain” and “Chasing Fire.”

Lauv has always been open about his experiences with mental health, and he took a moment to tell his story to the crowd and promote his new guided meditation before playing “Modern Loneliness,” one of my favorite songs of his. Another highlight of the set was when he played the reflective “Hey Ari,” a song that shows him checking in with himself and looking back on the progress he’s made. Part of what made this part of the set particularly special is that, during the chorus, the crowd asked the question that becomes the main hook of the song: “Hey Ari, are you happy?”

Since this tour was in support of two albums, the majority of his set consisted of those songs and contained a pretty even split of tracks from “All 4 Nothing” (such as “Molly In Mexico,” “Bad Trip,” “Stranger,” and “Stay Together”) and tracks from “how i’m feeling” (including “Tattoos Together,” “Who,” “Lonely Eyes,” “i’m so tired,” and “Drugs & The Internet”). The 23-song set concluded with one of the songs that jumpstarted his career in the first place, “I Like Me Better.”

Each artist on the lineup put on an engaging live show, and it was a great night all around.

Photo gallery + review by Megan Langley

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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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ERRA’s Pull From The Ghost Tour 2022 ft Alpha Wolf, Invent Animate, and Thornhill.

7-23-22 | Anaheim California | Chain Reaction

Alpha Wolf

Invent Animate

Thornhill

ERRA

Knotfest Roadshow 2022

Providence, RI

Saturday 21 May 2022

Slipknot announced taking their notorious show out on the road again in 2022 to bring complete chaos to the US with the legendary Cypress Hill and a punk, rap, metal three piece who has taken the nu-metal scene by storm, Ho99o9. This show was ran a little differently than what photographers are usually used to. We always are being rushed to the correct place of the venue to go over the rules of covering the show and such but on that night we had to rush take an on site covid test, meet up with the rest of the photographers once cleared, go over the rules and appropriate bands to photograph, which was only Slipknot at the DCU Center in Providence, RI. It was interesting to say the least but none of us had an issue with this given a heads up in the email on how this show was being ran. It was just a little different than the usual heart beating anxiety entering the venue. Once that was cleared, it was time to enjoy the rest of Ho99o9 set! The DCU Center holds up to 15,000 people and this arena was starting to fill in, from the floor to the top seats! The guys in the band were going off on the stage as I walked down the steps onto the sticky concrete floor. Ho99o9 was originally a duo, theOGM and Eaddy, who started in New Jersey and moved to L.A, gaining drummer Brandon Pertzborn. Ho99o9 is leetspeak for horror if you were wondering by the way. Their live show consists of lots of head banging, jumping around energy, and you could see the crowd was warming up for what was next to come. theOGM, Eaddy, and Brandon definitely bring a mix of punk, rap, and metal! Ho99o9 fits the Slipknot Roadshow bill for sure!

Setlist: Master of Pain. The World, The Flesh, The Devil. Mega City Nine. Protect My Bitch PT 2. Firefly Family. Bite My Face.

As the openers set comes to a close, people started to move to the refreshment stands and merch tables, while parents started rushing children to the front of the stage to be enlightened on who Cypress Hill was. I have always noticed the youth on the Slipknot Road Show shows and have always enjoyed knowing that amazing music will live on forever because of this!

DJ Muggs hit the stage first stating “There goes the neighborhood” and starts playing some mega mash up bangers such as Wu Tang, Ozzy, Run DMC, and Metallica. He would skip in and out of the mixes so the crowd could carry the rest of the lyrics and they did just that! Drummer, Eric Bobo, starts hitting his weed decorated kit and MC B-Real joins the stage. Unfortunately, Sen Dogg was absent for this one but will reconnect with the tour for future dates. The now, even more packed venue, started filling up with the sweet smell of Mary Jane as well as the stage and the area for what usually is the ‘pit’ is now a giant grooving dance party until they played “Superstar” that is. Then the area did break out into a small pit. B-Real was hyping up the crowd all set, asking if they are awake and “feeling insane” as they go into another top hit, “Insane in the membrane”. Cypress Hill has been around since 1988, becoming legends to the music scene. With multiple top hits, awards, and all around respect, it was an honor to see them live and on the roadshow!

Setlist: When the Shit Goes Down. Real Estate. Hand on the Pump. Sound of the Police. Roll It Up, Light It Up, Smoke It Up. Throw Your Set in the Air. Illusions. I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That. How I Could Just Kill a Man. (Rock) Superstar. Insane in the Brain. Jump Around.

The almost sold out DCU Center was packed and the fans in their positions were getting antsy starring at the Slipknot banner in front of the massive stage as the crew men built up the set for Slipknot. The playlist for everyone to get amped up was a solid mix of rock music but we all knew once ‘ACDC’s “For Those About To Rock” played it was time for them to take the stage. Slipknot has not played in Rhode Island for over 20 years and Corey Taylor was stoked to be back. The stage was about 11 feet high, so trying to snap all nine members was indeed a challenge for us photographers but we were ready. The ‘ACDC’ song finally plays after waiting a little bit and then, BANG, it is on!

Playing over an hour and a half set, Corey Taylor, lead singer, mentions that his voice isn’t 100 percent but no one could tell at all. His notes were flawless and his screams were gritty as always. Jay Weinberg, one of the greatest drummers of all time, was wacking his massive kit, while Clown and Tortilla Man were smashing kettle drums, and more precision drums, that were placed about 15 feet high on two separate towers. The stage presence of Slipknot is unmatched. It seriously is a must see live show, even if you have check it out on YouTube. Alex, the bass player at one point even had a flame thrower attached to his bass! While shooting the set, the pyros did go off on the second song and I was surprised to be leaving with eyebrows, however, even moving to the back of the massive crowd, I could still feel the heat from the fire! Corey Taylor is always showing his gratitude to the loyal and even new fans. He mentioned that he could see kids mixed in with older adults and that makes them continue what they have been doing for over 23 years now. Playing hits such as, “Before I Forget”, “The Devil In I”, which always gives me chills live, and “The Heretic Anthem”, to name a few, the Slipknot Roadshow once again blew minds.

There was actually two wild mosh pits that broke out until it turned into one huge one. Fans were helping each other up in the dark chaos if they got knocked down though and even Corey was looking out for his fans as a girl got pushed down, he stopped the show to make sure she was okay and to remind us to take care of one another. “This family lives and dies together”, he said, “as long as you’re on our side, we will give you 23 more years!”

Setlist: Disasterpiece. Wait and Bleed. Sulfur. Before I Forget. The Chapeltown Rag. Dead Memories. Unsainted. The Heretic Anthem. Psychosocial. The Devil in I. Solway Firth. All Out Life. Snuff. Vermilion. Duality. Custer. Spit It Out. Encore: People=Shit. (sic). Surfacing.

The Slipknot Road Show came and went but definitely did not disappoint in the least. I’ve attended the show twice now and I can’t wait to see what they bring us in 2023!

Review and Photos courtesy of Ashley Grace of aGrace Photography

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Trinity of Terror Tour 2022

April 16, 2022 | The Fillmore Philadelphia, PA

I’m starting this review with the obvious, I am very very lucky. Post covid life for photographers has been pure insanity. I’ve been denied more shows this year than any other in my 4 years of shooting shows. So being able to shoot such a monumental tour for the metal scene, I am beyond grateful. Obviously, this tour was absolutely a treat for me to shoot. I had more fun than ever, made tons of new friends, and was brought back to my days as a teenager with angst in my heart and eyeliner smudged on my face. Let’s recap one of the best nights of my emo kid life. 

Lilith Czar was definitely the artist most unfamiliar to me. I definitely had to jam her album in my two hour car ride, but despite how amazing it was, nothing beat seeing her perform in person. Apart from being stunningly beautiful, she was absolutely radiant on the stage. She was meant to be up there. Despite not bringing any rowdiness to the crowd, everyone was entranced watching her. Her entire band was outstanding, the rock music blended with witchy charm, making everyone in the crowd feel like they could conquer the world. I am definitely looking forward to some of the tour bills she is on in the coming months, as I am eager to see her perform again.  

Every elder-emo knows Black Veil Brides. The scene veterans still absolutely rule even after almost a decade. I found myself singing along to songs I forgot I knew every word to. The band was a very important part of my life and where I am now, as they were my introduction to the scene. And it’s always amazing to see the opener making the crowd wound up. While their music isn’t quite the same as the metalcore that makes people ready to mosh, the fans still made sure to keep the crowd moving. I cannot stress the overwhelming talent of both Jake and Jinxx, arguably the best guitarists in the scene to this day, CC and his outstanding drumming, and of course, the frontman of legend, Andy. Years later, and they still put on one of the best shows to watch live. 

At this point in my professional career, my love of Ice Nine Kills is no secret. And I can’t bring into words how much I absolutely adore this band. So I’ll let my friend’s words sum it up. I took him to his first Ice Nine Show this year, and as soon as we left the venue, he looks at me and says, “ When you said horror metal, I was expecting The Misfits, and you just showed me fucking Rammstein.” And he’s right. Ice Nine is always larger than life. I had a good laugh with a fellow photographer, who had never shot the band before. She expressed how she’s never seen such an insane act in front of her. And I agree. They are forever unmatched in the energy, presence, and entertainment value. The somewhat tame crowd came alive and almost feral as the first chords rang out through the Fillmore. Ricky and Joe are both incredible support vocally for the always outstanding Spencer. Chris is a magician on guitar, and Patrick’s bone shaking drumming is the perfect bow on top of the absolute gift of a show the band always provides. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting the days until I get to see them again. 

I was raised in the 570. Motionless in White are something of hometown heroes for me and many others. Philadelphia always ends up being a welcome home show for them, and that usually makes it the craziest show you will ever attend. Even down a man on stage, Motionless in White will never disappoint. I have to give huge credit to their photographer Bryce, as he created one of the most beautiful stage shows I’ve ever seen with LED screens and visuals. It was a treat to be able to take photos of it. I’ve been following Motionless around for years, and they quite literally just get better every time I see them. They have an amazing, natural way of making the entire crowd feel like they’re hanging out with their best friends. They also have a way of making a crowd go feral, and that’s sometimes a photographer’s nightmare. But dodging crowd surfers is worth seeing an entire room of people like me have an amazing time at a concert. Their setlist was packed full of heavy hitters that even the most casual of fans could scream along to. The entire band are outstanding performers, and you can see the joy in their faces while they do so.