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IT'S AN INVASION!
It’s always a banner day when a band comes to town that delivers what fans want to see and hear at a concert. I especially love it when SKILLET is on the bill for a couple of reasons. First, they’re stunning and on point live. Second, I love their fans because they’re super nice and they love SKILLET; which is always refreshing and fun to se at a concert! Getting up to the photo pit is never a hassle at a SKILLET show because even though people are crammed up to the railing not to miss a thing, they don’t mind moving over when photgraphers wriggle in to get in the pit. Not to mention, they want to talk about SKILLET and how much they love them!
Take these two brothers as an example! This was their first concert and they were super pumped to be up front for all the action! The youngest is nine and the oldest 14 and when their parents that were a couple of feet behind them agreed to me snapping a photo, my heart was warmed that this was a family affair. Music, that is. It is always so refreshing to see families at concerts, together, experiencing the thrill of live music.
Partially in support of their upcoming release entitled Dominion dropping January 14, 2022 and partially because the band was ready to hit the road earlier this summer, the tour was well-received by fans around the country and here in Dallas.. The first single off of Dominion has already been well-received by fans by the sheer amount of people that were singing along to “Surviving the Game” at tonight’s show at THE HOUSE OF BLUES DALLAS.
What I love about SKILLET, is the band’s ability to convey a positive message through seemingly impossible situations, while the underlying story parallels stories familiar to the faithful with modern-day challenges; without being preachy or uncomfortable. The knack to produce music that can literally melt your face off (#rockmyfaceoff) and make you feel good about yourself while planting a seed of hope, is refreshing and necessary. Dare I say that in these upside-down times? I will without fear or reserve. The titles of Dominion hint to the past almost two years humanity has encountered with tracks like “Standing In The Storm”, “Destiny”, Shout Your Freedom”, and “Ignite”.
It is humbling to be reminded of the inalienable rights that we have as Americans. In the fast-paced world we live in, it is almost like we think the world shares these rights that are taken advantage of so frequently. Because we are connected to people all over the world, it can be very easy to think that a person in another country shares the freedoms we have. The American Experiment, if you will, is what sets us apart from the rest of the world and the reason so many people love this country; or hate it.
“‘Dominion’ is about the celebration of freedom, a liberation from fear — to be who we want to be, say what we want to say, believe what we want to believe,” JOHN COOPER says. “In some ways, it’s a reminder of the God-given rights that we were born with. It’s time to regain some sort of control over our lives and not be a slave to fear. I hope this record is going to make people feel empowered, inspired, uplifted, and want to rock their faces off!”
Produced by KEVIN CHURKO (Ozzy Osbourne, Papa Roach, Disturbed), with songs written by John Cooper, Korey Cooper, Kevin Churko and Kane Churko, remotely wrote the record whilst touring and recorded at the band’s home studio in Wisconsin and the Churkos’ studio in Las Vegas.
Here’s the OMV for the “Surviving The Game” single for your convenience and viewing pleasure right here!
Here are some of my favorite moments from the show!
JOHN COOPER continues about “Surviving The Game”, “(it is) a defiant song about not giving in to the fear that the world is and has been experiencing. This song brings a feeling of survival; you have to do what you need to do in order to get your life back; a defiance against fear and the things that want to hold you down. For so many, that’s depression, isolation, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, etc. This song is about becoming the person you are meant be and coming out on the other side of all the madness.”
You can pre-order DOMINION by clicking the button or watch for the record’s release on January 14, 2022. While you’re waiting you can listen to “Surviving The Game” on Spotify or any streaming platform! The band is still on tour so you can catch them on the remaining dates by clicking here!
SIDE NOTE: This is not a politically charged post about music that is from a position in politics. SKILLET is far from a “political” band and those words like “freedom”, “rights”, “God”, and the undertones they infer aren’t meant to create discomfort to anyone that reads them. But if they do create a tingle of un-comfortability, that should be an indication that additional thought on where that discomfort is coming from is needed. And this, of course, is just an opinion or suggestion from me; and does not reflect the band’s position. My feelings just come from a place inspired by SKILLET’S music and my own personal beliefs, ya dig?
Swedish metal titans SABATON recently announced their new collaboration with World of Tanks and premiered a striking music video for “Steel Commanders.” Pioneering hyperrealistic visuals of the band and their GRAMMY Award-nominated special guest Tina Guo in epic war scenes, the video clip was viewed more than 3.6 million times within the first three weeks of its release.
After offering fans and gamers the chance to see them as crew members on the new Strv K tank, the first-ever Tier IX premium vehicle in World of Tanks, SABATON has now answered the calls from fans asking for the song to be made available via all music streaming platforms. Hop into your tank and download or stream “Steel Commanders” here:
In addition, SABATON also releases a brand new lyric video for “Steel Commanders,” inspired by the sketches used for the production of the official music video for the song.
In the more than two decades since their launch, Swedish metallers SABATON have headlined major festivals and sold-out arena concerts worldwide, gaining a legion of loyal fans across the globe by carving out a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the business. Since the band’s debut album in 2005, SABATON has combined standout stage design and production with epic concept albums, linking real-life historical war events with classic kick-ass metal. SABATON has released nine studio albums, amassed six GOLD, one PLATINUM, and one four-times-PLATINUM awards, seen eight of its albums score Top 10 international chart status, and six claim the Top 5. The band has earned eight Metal Hammer/Golden Gods Awards nominations, taking home the award for “Breakthrough Artist” in 2011 and “Best Live Band” in three different years, and a Grammis nomination (Swedish equivalent to the U.S. GRAMMY) as Best Heavy Metal band. SABATON has also accumulated more than two billion streams across all streaming platforms and 1.5 billion YouTube views.
In 2008, SABATON hosted the first now annual, three-day concert festival, the “Sabaton Open Air,” at the Lugnet ski stadium in Sweden. The following year, the band launched its annual – and always sold out – Sabaton Cruise that sails out of Stockholm for epic sea adventures, rocking the ship with fellow metalheads, and lots of SABATON. Twenty-nineteen saw the debut of the band’s own YouTube channel, “Sabaton History Channel.” The channel combines the power of YouTube, music, and storytelling to dive into the true-life stories behind every Sabaton song, bringing history to life in an informative and entertaining way. Sabaton’s Pär Sundstöm and Joakim Brodén are joined by the renowned historian Indy Neidell, of “The Great War” and “WW Two in Real-Time” fame.
Combining soaring power riffs with vocalist Brodén‘s instantly-recognizable gruff baritone, the band refuses to be simply slotted into a genre. Fans need only know them as SABATON, the heavy metal band that sings of real-life wars and the people who played a part in them; of grueling campaigns and dazzling acts of bravery, magnificent victories, and touching personal struggles, true stories more fantastic than any fiction.
SABATON is: Joakim Brodén/Vocals; Pär Sundström/Bass; Chris Rörland/Guitar; Tommy Johansson/Guitar; Hannes Van Dahl/Drums
SABATON is currently on tour with JUDAS PRIEST as Special Guest on its North American “50 Heavy Metal Years” tour. As one reviewer put it, “Sabaton is a thrill to see live. Monster riffs and sweeping melodies accompanied by Brodén’s soaring vocals captivated the crowd.” Upcoming tour dates are as follows:
22 Miller High Life Theatre, Milwaukee, WI
23 The Armory, Minneapolis, MN
25 Saint Louis Music Park, St. Louis, MO
26 Louder Than Life Festival, Louisville, KY (Sabaton festival date)
29 The Mission Ballroom, Denver, CO
30 Maverik Center, West Valley City, UT
2 Angel of the Winds Arena, Everett, WA
3 Moda Center, Portland, OR
5 Fox Theater, Oakland, CA
6 Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, CA
8 Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, NV
9 Arizona Federal Theatre, Phoenix, AZ
12 Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, TX
13 HEB Center, Austin, TX
15 Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, Dallas, TX
16 The Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, OK
19 Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, MO
21 Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN
22 Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, Alpharetta, GA
24 Charleston Civic Center Coliseum, Charleston, SC
25 The Met, Philadelphia, PA
27 Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
28 MGM Casino, Washington, DC
30 Foxwoods Casino Arena, Mashantucket, CT
31 Tsongas Center at UMass, Lowell, MA
2 Scotiabank Centre, Halifax, NS CANADA
4 Place Bell, Montreal, QC CANADA
5 FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, ON CANADA
You’ve heard of SPIRITBOX. I know you have and if you haven’t the only excuse you have is that you get confused with proper nouns of musical groups. I get it, kind of. Getting tripped up on new band names will be the only pass I will allow; as lame as it is. SPIRITBOX is THE only one of a handful of new bands that has been on the lips of ev-ar-ey-one in rock since mid-2020; so no biggie that you got “confused”.
OK, that last sentence is total sarcasm and it is a huge deal if you have managed to escape hearing about SPIRITBOX over the past year. Eternal Blue is the band’s debut record, but over the last year with the release of several singles from Eternal Blue including “Holy Roller“, “Constance”, “Circle With Me”, “Secret Garden” and “Hurt You” seemingly make the record feel like a greatest hits, not a debut. The metal press and YouTube Reactors can NOT get enough of SPIRITBOX. Honestly, when “Constance” hit the deck, I was so surprised that YouTube did not come to a screeching hault with how many times it was played and how many Reaction Channels jumped to chime in with their two cents on the track. I’ve never seen so many grown guys literally break down into tears on their shows listening and watching “Constance”!
The first time I heard SPIRITBOX, it was their first release“Holy Roller“. I think my exact words at start of the first chorus was, “HOLY CRAP!!”. I replayed it and before I had even looked up the band, the fleeting thought that this song was either a mix or an one of those songs that stands out, gains attention for the band and when the EP or LP drops, it’s the only track worth the price of beans in China on the whole record. But I added it to my Dailies and carried on about my day.
Of course I jammed “Holy Roller” over and over, but didn’t really give the band more thought because, well, they had not released anything else and honestly, I didn’t think their next release could hold up to the raucous rant of “Holy Roller“. Boy, I have never been that wrong about the next track released by a band in my life! “Constance” changed me molecularly; literally down to the cellular level. This song fused with every fiber of my being; the melodic timing, the key it was written, lyrically, everything about it imprinted within my spirit. Empathetically, I had experienced what I interpreted the song to be about. Its composition and SPIRITBOX’s performance brought me, and a gazillion of others, to tears.
It was with the release of that song, “Constance”, that I knew this band was not going to be a fly by night, shot in the dark, or one hit wonder. “Constance” lended me to realize that what I heard in the measures of “Holy Roller” was not just electronic clangs or pseudo-sampling, and bellowing emotional screams. “Holy Roller” was created from the same place in the gut that “Constance” came from.
What I love about Eternal Blue and SPIRITBOX. COURTNEY LAPLANTE, vocalist, verbally, speaks from her chest. Her methodic choice in lyrical delivery is brilliant. COURTNEY has a range that can melt your face and rock your heart. MIKE STRINGER takes the guitar parts and dissects them to become choral in some ways. He shows that he is not a stranger to heavy music and the world of rock. MIKE translates into chords and progressions what moves and gravitates music fans to music; their music. BILL CROOK plays the bass like a percussive pirate; looting chords and notes that the listener can feel adding to the dynamite dynamic of SPIRITBOX.
To say that SPIRITBOX is a bold, refreshing, and brilliant addition to Rock is an understatement. It is true that their music is fresh AF, I will say that. Hands down, this group is one of the best parts of the last year, if not the only best part. The members as SPIRITBOX show no mercy in all 12 tracks and bring a sense of normalcy back to music that personally, I have missed. The record is precisely produced and the mix is balanced, blatantly brutal at points, and beautifully rendered down to show their grasp on conveying music that fans crave. Eternal Blue is modern, and COURTNEY’s muse-like mantras are wedged into that confusing part of us between the head and the heart.
Eternal Blue gives listeners everything they could possibly want from a band and a record. SPIRITBOX possibly has done the impossible or improbable with their debut release by combining 12 bangers that fans will not grow tired of for decades to come.
Courtney LaPlante – Vocals
Mike Stringer – Guitar
Bill Crook – Bassist
Let’s Time Travel back to 2019 and revisit WAGE WAR’S release of Pressure, shall we? In anticipation of the 2021 summer tour with BEARTOOTH, I thought we’d go back to before the world was outwardly infected to revisit Pressure and to give those that aren’t familiar with the band a peek into why so many of us are so obsessed!
WAGE WAR is: BRITON BOND – frontman, CODY QUISTAD – rhythm guitar/clean vox, SETH BLAKE – lead guitar, CHRIS GAYLORD – bass, and STEPHEN KLUESENER – drums
With the relase of Pressure this record, I can definitively say in the Game of Thrones manner this band isn’t like Winter, they’re not approaching; WAGE WAR IS HERE!! Unlike the creepy snow zombies in GOT that took all that time alluding that “Winter Is Coming.” WAGE WAR moves in; quick like a fox running from a rainstorm and settles in for the long haul. I first saw them at Rocklahoma in 2017 and instantly knew they would hit rock fans in a massive way! Now, I didn’t have to time travel or conjure up any silly soothsayer to know this; the evidence was right there in front of my face. Even earlier songs, like STITCH and DON’T LET ME FADE AWAY, had the inner workings of badassness and unabridged brilliance. If you go back and listen to these early tracks and don’t hear this, I may have to have your Metalcore Membership card revoked. Listen carefully to what goes into a WAGE WAR song and I think you’ll agree. This new record is no different and in fact, the band levels up with every track on Pressure.
WAGE WAR offers PRESSURE, their third release since the band’s beginnings under the FEARLESS RECORDS brand on August 30th, 2019. This record is the band’s “F you Flag” – the nicest possible “f you” they can muster up, of course. This record is like a flag that’s going to fly high over their camp for a long time, I think. PRESSURE is just letting everyone near (and far), know that WAGE WAR has come to kick it and take names!
As one of those anomaly bands; heavily steeped with talent and come outta nowhere, WAGE WAR doesn’t play, as in ‘homie don’t play’, that is. So it isn’t surprising that PRESSURE as a whole is 10 out of 10, I’ll just say that right now. If you’re a fan, you already know this, right? For those that don’t know WW’S battle cry within the Metalcore Corps, it’s time you did. With standouts like TAKE THE FIGHT and WILL WE EVER LEARN along with the well-received singles like LOW and PRISON, PRESSURE just solidifies this band’s mark on music, even more.
If you haven’t seen WW live, I almost feel sorry for you. It only took one time for the cat to be let out of that f’in bag for me, and not just once, not just twice, but every time I have seen them. Jaw droppin’ show, Lovelies, #HandToGod! The band has busted balls on the road, on stage, and in the studio with the byproduct being music that is listened to by millions of people and right out of the shoot it would seem. All that being said, you’re here to read my review on PRESSURE so without further ado…
…here’s my track by track take on WAGE WAR’S #3: PRESSURE – ready? Let’s go!
WHO I AM – BOOM! An impressive start, right in the first couple of measures. BRITON’S bond with the ‘core rests in the crystal clear growls of his lyrics. I love this song’s raw emotional mantra because no one knows who any of us are on the surface. This track’s guitars dig into you – so hold on Lovelies…you’re about to learn who they are. WAGE WARE IS HERE!
PRISON – give me any song that makes me wanna rise up – no matter what your cause or plight. WW delivers fans more of the personal monsters within the notes, riffs, and blasts in this track that so many of us deal with. BRITON and CODY say what we can’t. PRISON takes that on for us. I dig the grind that is straight-up ‘core and one of the things this Bird saw in WW from the jump. The choir infers we’re not alone; no matter how imprisoned we think we are.
GRAVE – one of the sing-songy tracks that keep the pace strong on the record. I can identify with the lyrics “burn the pages, but you can’t erase it”. It is crazy AF to me why some try and erase the past, knowing that it’s not going to be any different than what it is. Love the tempo and the drums; STEPHEN kills it!
GHOST – MEGA guitars a the onset that are on fleek with BRITON’S screaming vocal assault; delivered from the pit within him. I’d put his scream up against any kind of Metal singer and he’d be the victor, hands down. And that heavy tone wound around the guitars totally echoes the undertones of this track; musically and metaphorically. CODY answers with that soothing sound that’ll back that ass up to the wall! STEPHEN again delivers and right in time with the guitar solo from SETH. The builds on the back nine of this track #bringit solid!
ME AGAINST MYSELF – a metalcore couple skate, without that second person. Skate alone in a circle as the beats of this song flicker like the light from the disco ball in the center. Orbiting around the tempo are the swells of CODY’S vocals that cause you to re-evaluate. I love the full chorus and killer riffs that hook you to the choirs. The punches of reality BRITON’S vocal at the end drop you back into The Now. I love the ethereal vibe from this track. There’s a wake-up call like an alarm here – we are our worst enemy in some things. Well, I can only speak for myself…glad I can see this but do I accept it? Hmmmm…food for thought.
HURT – in short, I’ll answer the question asking if the hurt ever go away, at the start of this song: “No. It does not. Ever..” Ok, now that we’ve cleared that up… Echoing in this track is the evidence that processing the nonsense the world has to offer through music is why fans love WW so much. I love the road BRITON jogs off from in this track. The tempos and that choppy cadence give CODY a sweet place to show his stuff is clean AF. Listen for the key change at the end – killer touch.
LOW – here’s a gritty lil’ ditty that flips some massive guitar and drum combos like the middle finger is in your face! Look, if you’ve not heard this song before, or if this is the first time you’ve heard WW, don’t be scared. CODY will chase you down and while you’re catching your breath, BRITON comes in and pokes you with a stick to make you get up and go again. I’ll give you the goods here: CODY reaches new heights with his technical peaks in this track – he shows it off with the holds and breath control. Take a bow man, seriously. Killer job.
THE LINE – very 80’s reminiscent at the start, a little pop-punk-like tempo, and the vocal effect. Is a very cool way to mix it up. The bridge of electronica is dope – WW has an awesome way of using audio layers to contribute to an amazing way to structure songs.
FURY – I love the way BRITON’S opposite side compliments the band, shown here. His vocal styling is the “war” that is waged on fans with the heave-ho power behind it. There are heavy AF guitars in this track that bounce off the electronics up in the middle. Love the way the end trails off like there’s more coming…ya know what I mean?
FORGET MY NAME – here’s a good revenge track that I can get behind; WW can bring up those parts in us that comes out behind a song like this – I’m empowered during the 3:23 song and I love the unity of the chorus telling us that we can charge our enemies together; even if it’s just symbolically. I love the guitar breaks and the choir “oh oh”s in the back of the room. Nice touch and lyric “the enemy wants me dead, but I got eyes in the back of my head”.
*** TAKE THE FIGHT – Word to my Mother on the sick AF guitars in this song!! They had me from the tone at the jump! That sound melts so good with the melody like PB and chocolate. The rough and airy parts balance this track; solid, solid like a rock! Ever wonder why opposites attract? Here’s a great example of why.
***** WILL WE EVER LEARN – jebus jumpin’ up crickets! Spotless and spot-on song saved for the last. I love the direction this might point WW war in for the future. Very subtle but different from their go-to delivery. Probably one of my favorite tracks on PRESSURE for the vocal CODY delivers, and the mash-up with BRITON. Not to mention I love the drums and the way it moves. DUDE, CHRIS!! You win the award for a bass line that is sticky and damn good – just like your favorite meal sticks to your ribs…hell yausssss! The drag of the tempo and the almost low, lows…f’ing killa! A+ my friend, A+!
So, there you have it Lovelies! PRESSURE from WAGE WAR drops this Friday, August 30th. You can purchase the record anywhere you pull down music: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon you know the drill. The band is also on tour this fall and I have dates below. I highly recommend seeing this band if they’re coming through your town. They’ll give you the metalcore goosebumps hard!
The long wait is over, TWIZTID, accompanied by their drummer Drayven, have finally released their long-awaited hard rock album, “Unlikely Prescription” today via the band’s label, Majik Ninja Entertainment. The album has already spawned massive singles “Envy” feat. Spencer Charnas of Ice Nine Kills, “Neon Vamp” feat. Dani Filth, produced by Zeuss (Rob Zombie, Hatebreed, Spirit Adrift), “Corkscrew“, “Perfect Problem” and “Rose Petal“.
To celebrate the release of the album TWIZTID has also released the official music video for “Parasite” which continues the story started with the “Envy” music video and continued through the “Neon Vamp” video.
Speaking on the release of their latest album, TWIZTID‘s Jamie Madrox shares:
“Unlikely Prescription” has been the craziest journey so far! The album has yielded the most singles for us as a band to date with a few of them already seeing some mainstream radio luv, bringing even more awareness to who we are and what we’re here to do.”
TWIZTID‘s drummer, Drayven adds:
“A lot of artists are afraid to change, afraid to push their sound but from working with TWIZTID I can say they are the opposite. Every album they do has a different sound, a different vibe, and a different style. “Unlikely Prescription” is the next evolution of TWIZTID. They know some will love it and some will hate it and they embrace both. They wanted heavier songs, they wanted bigger production, they wanted to push their voices in different ways, and I think this album really shows the range of what these guys can do. The album has some amazing guest vocals, awesome guest musicians, great producers, and top-notch engineers. If you don’t give this album a listen because you think you “know” TWIZTID you are missing out and I feel bad for you.”
The TWIZTID tale is gritty and fascinating folklore, built on self-determination, fearless creativity, and the elimination of the boundaries between artist and audience. The dedicated supporters who stand with co-conspirators Jamie Madrox and Monoxide are more than fans: they are family. The duo remembers what it meant to be part of the crowd before they leaped the barricades onto the stage themselves, and with unrelenting passion and aggression, they’re taking all of us with them.
There’s a rogue’s gallery of hooks, rhythms, and riffs in the TWIZTID bag of tricks. For 25 years, they’ve concocted artistic anarchy rooted in the streetwise storytelling sophistication of hip-hop, trance-inducing hypnotic beats, and the seething bite of hard rock rage. Merging horror movies, comics, and a level of depravity and violence rivaling the grimiest of pulp fiction in the annals of Americana, TWIZTID is the reflection of a tightly knit subculture and the sound of unbridled id.
TWIZTID spins emotional truth into even the wildest of tales, resulting in something endlessly relatable to the alienated and disenfranchised. The music, multimedia, and merchandise originate from their own Majik Ninja Entertainment, headquartered in their native Detroit.
With over a dozen entries on the Billboard charts, 167 million career streams, and 148 million Youtube views, TWIZTID built themselves into an institution, without the help of mainstream gatekeepers at MTV, traditional radio, or major press. They’ve brought their adrenaline-soaked, unbound artistic mania on the road, with metalcore, acts like Motionless In White, and on the Vans Warped Tour, all without forsaking the worldwide family they helped strengthen during their initial decade-plus on Psychopathic Records. TWIZTID built the connection they maintain with their fiercely dedicated legion of supporters to last and to evolve. Everything Majik Ninja does harkens back to that original impulse shared by Monoxide and Jamie Madrox: to make art that swings a big ax at the boundary between audience and artist.
STARSET returns with their fourth studio album, HORIZONS. The album arrives October 22 via Fearless Records.
A continued voyage through a captivating narrative, HORIZONS delivers a cinematic soundscape that accompanies the listener through pain, love, descent, and triumph. The world has been consumed by synthetic methods of escaping reality. It is with this technology that we are able to explore life through other user’s experiences — finally, the ability to be someone else. STARSET’s epic hard rock styling does not disappoint, as we travel a newfound digital frontier along with them.
A continued voyage through a captivating narrative, HORIZONS delivers a cinematic soundscape that accompanies the listener through pain, love, descent, and triumph. The world has been consumed by synthetic methods of escaping reality. It is with this technology that we are able to explore life through other users experiences — finally, the ability to be someone else. STARSET’s epic hard rock styling does not disappoint, as we travel a newfound digital frontier along with them.
HORIZONS TRACK LISTING:
“UNVEILING THE ARCHITECTURE”
“LEAVING THIS WORLD BEHIND”
STARSET have announced their Fall 2021 U.S. demonstrations. All dates and locations are below.
The band will also embark on a massive global tour in February 2022 that includes Europe and Russia and runs through April. Dates for those demonstrations are below:
11/3 — Asheville, NC — The Orange Peel
11/4 — Knoxville, TN — The Mill & Mine
11/5 — Atlanta, GA — Buckhead Theatre
11/7 — Ft. Smith, AR — Temple Live
11/8 — Dallas, TX — House of Blues
11/9 — Houston, TX — House of Blues
11/10 — San Antonio, TX — House of Blues
11/13 — Daytona, FL — Welcome to Rockville*
11/14 — N. Myrtle Beach, SC — House of Blues
11/15 — Harrisburg, PA — HMAC
11/17 — Philadelphia, PA — Theatre of Living Arts
11/19 — Stroudsburg, PA — Sherman Theater
11/20 — Horseheads, NY — The L
11/21 — Portland, ME — Aura
11/23 — Worcester, MA — The Palladium
11/24 — New Haven, CT — Toad’s Place
11/26 — Columbus, OH — Express Live
11/27 — Newport, KY — Ovation
11/28 — Grand Rapids, MI — Intersection
11/30 — Bloomington, IL — The Castle Theater
12/1 — McKees Rock, PA — Roxian
12/3 — Buffalo, NY — Rapids Theater
12/4 — New York, NY — Irving Plaza
12/5 — Silver Spring, MD — The Fillmore Silver Spring
12/7 — Charlotte, NC — The Fillmore Charlotte
12/8 — Nashville, TN — Brooklyn Bowl
12/10 — St Louis, MO — Delmar Hall
12/11 — Madison, WI — The Sylvee
12/12 — Minneapolis, MN — The Fillmore Minneapolis
12/14 — Des Moines, IA — Wooly’s
12/15 — Chicago, IL — House of Blues
12/17 — Detroit, MI — Majestic Theatre
12/18 — Cleveland, OH — House of Blues
Formed in 2013 by Columbus, Ohio singer/songwriter/frontman DUSTIN BATES, STARSET‘s first album Transmissions debuted at number 49 on the Billboard 200 chart, one of the highest-charting debuts for a rock band in 2014. The group’s intricately crafted sci-fi backstory piqued the interest of fans, and they subsequently released the concept album Vessels in 2017, followed by DIVISIONS in 2019. Their song “Monster” peaked at number 2 on the Billboard U.S. Mainstream Rock chart in May 2017, and by 2020, the band had tallied over two billion streams worldwide. STARSET’s latest single is “INFECTED.” STARSET has received critical acclaim from Billboard, Forbes, Loudwire, Nerdist, and beyond over the course of their career. The band’s fourth album HORIZONS arrives in Fall 2021 via Fearless Records.
With a little less than two weeks before “An Evening With Between The Buried And Me” Tour comes to a close, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME made a stop in Dallas, Texas at the world-famous Trees in Deep Ellum. Since touring has started to make a comeback after the lack of bands on the road due to Covid19’s stifling grip on 2020, fans of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME (BTBAM) here in Dallas came out in full effect on September 6th. Not only was this a Monday, but it was also Labor Day which made the sold-out show a must-see for me. I mean, when was the last time you attended a sold-out rock show?
I don’t really know the last time I covered or attended a show that was sold-out, scanning my memory briefly as I type. It almost seems surreal; over the last year and seven months, we all questioned if live music would ever return. Luckily, it has returned to Dallas and if you were at this show, you were one of the fans that got to see BTBAM with like-minded fans in a packed house, almost like it was before the world stopped.
And that is the surreal part. When at a show like BTBAM on Monday, it is almost like it didn’t happen. Right? The Pandemic created unbelievable events and spawned occurrences never seen in anyone’s purview, that anything that we did then and return to doing now; is so amazing and yet so…well, odd. Music is something that I have turned to during times of uncertainty, sorrow, and in times of joy. Like many, the Pandemic alienated me from the things I loved, music being one of them. Looking back, those times of sheltering in place, seeing my neighborhood in Deep Ellum boarded up and closed, and having live music taken away overnight, created a void that was very difficult to understand and even more difficult to turn to the familiar. Now that normalcy is somewhat returning and bands like BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME have come out victorious, I can begin to look to music again for comfort and solace.
“Especially with 2020, we really wanted to give it all we could and show the world we’re still here,” explains Tommy. “That’s part of the reason we named it Colors II. We were in a similar spot when we did the first Colors. Back then, we had just gotten done with OZZfest. We were wondering, ‘Where do we belong in this music scene?’ We still struggle with that. At both of these moments in our career, we decided to just be ourselves and write the best album we can. We came out guns blazing, and I feel like it’s some of our most creative material in a long time.”
“Colors was very much our attempt at a do-or-die statement,” recalls Paul. “We had to establish our identity and be who we really wanted to be in order to have a career. This time around, our industry was shut down for a year. Once tours were canceled due to the Pandemic, we were like, ‘We’ve got to write a record, and it’s got to be good. We had to do something next level.”
It was clear to me during the show in Dallas, that BTBAM was stronger on this other side. Their work on “Colors II” intensified a bond that was evident on stage. The synchronicity of the musicians washed over the audience as they sang along throughout both sets. The energy was exactly what I needed to jump-start my musical heart and while BTBAM creates complex compositions of intricate guitar work, backed by the orchestral measures that mix in a modern progressive rock recipe, their work never gets lost in translation from record to stage. Blake was phenomenal on drums, carrying the foundation of both sets on his back while Paul, Tommy, Dan, and Dustie threw in their parts just as solidly. I’m always amazed at Paul Waggoner‘s vocals and how he jumps from position to position on stage. It takes a very comfortable musician to switch from lead to rhythm melodies and backing and lead vocals. Paul isn’t the only one that accomplishes this on stage with BTBAM. Frontman Tommy Rogers does this perfectly and with insane precision. These accomplishments create a show that drives this embedded perfection in the band’s work, totally evident by the reactions of the audience.
I wish I could share the images my mind or the ones my camera captured but due to a mishap in communication with the venue staff at the beginning of the night, somehow my settings changed on my camera. I’m guessing this happened as I was pulled from the pit and told I couldn’t be in the pit and them me wading through the fans gathered at the front of the stage going back behind the barriers to shoot the remaining ten minutes I had left. I must have moved a dial on the top of my newest Nikon mirrorless or hit a button that increased the exposure. You win some you lose some, right? There will be other shows; let’s just hope that venues remember the distinction between a credentialed photographer and a house photographer going forward.
The Evening With Tour was a culmination for celebration. Recently, BTBAM dropped “Colors II“, released an OMV for “The Future Is Behind Us” and hit a milestone many bands never see; their 20th anniversary. For these reasons, this show is one you don’t want to miss. This solo tour gives audiences two distinct sets from the band; a set of songs from the last two decades and the second set that plays the album The Great Misdirect in full. What more could fans ask for? You can catch BTBAM on the remaining dates listed below.
Sep 10 Pensacola, Fl At Vinyl
Sep 11 Tampa, Fl At Orpheum
Sep 12 Fort Lauderdale, Fl At The Culture Room
Sep 15 Nashville, Tn At Marathon Music Works
Sep 16 Charlotte, Nc At Underground
Sep 17 Charlotte, Nc At Underground
Leighton, PA-based hard rock powerhouse Another Day Dawns have released their latest single “Look At You” plus the accompanying music video. Speaking on the release, front man Dakota Sean shares:
“Our new single “Look At You” is a very different approach from our last few singles. We had tons of fun writing and working in this one, it’s kind of a newer sound that we all feel still fits what we as the band stand for.”
The band also has a string of tour dates this summer. Watch the video for “Look At You” here or at the link below and see the band’s high-energy live show on the road (see below for more info).
September 3 – Green Bay, WI – EPIC Event Center
September 4 – Newport, KY – PromoWest Pavilion at Ovation
September 5 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee
September 7 – Wichita, KS – TempleLive
September 8 – Fort Smith, AR – TempleLive
September 11 – Danville, VA – Blue Ridge Rock Festival
September 12 – Montclair, NJ – Wellmont Theater (*with Breaking Benjamin and Miss May I)
September 23 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Festival
September 25 – Orlando, FL – Rebel Rock Festival
October 9 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival
Formed in 2010, the Leighton, PA-based band Another Day Dawns continues to be the most talked-about up-and-coming rock act in the Northeast to Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Led by front man Dakota Sean, guitarist Tyler Ritter, bassist Jerome Betz, and drummer Nick McGeehan, the band released their EP ‘A Different Life’ in February 2018 which landed them a charting spot on Billboard and solidified their foundation in the active rock market. Hitting the road with bands such as Hinder, Issues, Cold, Buckcherry, and Sevendust, the band has amassed a devoted and growing following. Be sure to stay tuned for more Another Day Dawns news coming soon.
For more information on ANOTHER DAY DAWNS, click here to visit their website.