CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY: Evan J. Thomas covered Korn and Staind at Hollywood Casino Ampitheater in Tinley Park, IL this past Friday, check out his photos and review. - READ IT HERE
One of the more highly anticipated tours came stumbling into Tinley Park, IL at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater on a very humid evening this past Friday. Disturbed originally was supposed to be headlining but they had cancelled their 2021 tour and festival dates due to the Covid-19 pandemic. C-19 was at the forefront for both these bands in various ways.
Staind led by vocalist Aaron Lewis heated up the crowd as they had brought their over 20 years of "Nu-Metal" to the masses. Lewis donned a t-shirt stating "My Freedoms Are Given By God Not The Government", taking a shot at the government mandated vaccinations. Let's get to the music, Staind put it all on the table as they killed it flowing through their massive catalog as Lewis had the masses singing word for word with him with hit after hit like "Outside", "It's Been A While", "So Far Away" "Mudshovel" and others. Staind's hour plus set brought those who are old enough back to the "Family Values" tour years from the late 90's and early 2000's. There was a moment in the set where guitarist Mike Mushok's guitar went out during "Crawl" so the band stopped, recollected themselves and started the song over. Lewis can belt it out with the best in the business and also can get down and gritty with his growl. I'm hoping we will get new Staind music but time will tell if that happens.
Nu-Metal pioneers Korn took the stage around 9:30pm and from the get go those in the crowd new something was a bit off. After cancelling a few shows the previous week due to Jonathan Davis contacting Covid-19 this was the bands first show back. Davis got emotional and told the audience after the first song that he didn't want to cancel this show and would do his best and needed help from the masses to get through the set. After song two I noticed Davis was sucking air through an oxygen mask and he had a throne set up so he could sit and gather himself if needed. He grinded through the one and a half hour set with "Shoots and Ladders", "Coming Undone", "Blind" and a dozen others. JD was not in his usual self on stage as he is usually thrashing around and whipping his famous dreads but he made it through.
I'll have to say I've seen both Korn and Staind various times over the past 25 years and even though tonight both bands sets were solid this show didn't move the needle for me. If you haven't seen both bands or if you haven't been to a show since the pandemic started you would probably would be star struck and have loved this show. Maybe if it wasn't 100 degrees out with 90 percent humidity, maybe if Davis wasn't struggling with the effects of having Covid things might have been different. Maybe if was shooting the show from the pit rather than the soundboard or if I hadn't seen some bad ass, high energy bands and shows in recent months I'd have a different perspective on this show. Rock On!
CONCERT COVERAGE: Evan J. Thomas covered Ra, Awake At Last and Reddstar at The Forge, check out his bad ass photography - CHECK IT OUT HERE
CONCERT REVIEW & PHOTOGRAPHY: Evan J. Thomas was at Live at 1175 in Kansasville, WI to cover the band Saul, check out his review and bad ass photos - SEE IT ALL HERE
I made the trek up to a venue in Wisconsin that I have never been to, Live at 1175 in Kansasville to check out Saul, a band that has a LOT of hype around them the past few years after releasing their 2020 album Rise As Equals as well as putting out a handful of banger singles like "Brother", "King of Misery", "Looking To Fight" and others. I walked into the venue as sound check was going on and holy shit that was one of the loudest places I have ever heard, glad I had my handy ear plugs to save my hearing.
I was stoked to finally be able to see Saul live especially after being able to interview on my Bad Ass Podcast vocalist Blake earlier in the year and then talking to drummer Myles and bassist William prior to the show as well as meeting and talking with guitarist and Blake's brother Zach. All four guys are down to earth and they also have a shit ton of energy as they show on stage.
I was checking out Saul's stage set up and they have a sick ass state of the art lighting rig that they utilize. Saul finally hit the stage just minutes prior to 11pm and gave those waiting a bad ass set full of their greatest songs as I had mentioned earlier. Blake connects with the Saul "Equals" and the energy that Zach, William and Myles match on stage. The "Equals" is the moniker that was given to the die hard Saul fans and there is a dedicated Facebook fan group. I loved everything I saw and heard from Saul on this night and I can't wait to hear what they have in store for us in the coming months.
I'm going to say this, Saul is a band that will be a future festival headliner in the coming years. Their music catalog is top notch and the band has the makings of having a long extended career in the rock/ metal genre.
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CONCERT COVERAGE: Evan J. Thomas recently was at the Otherwise & Kaleido show at The Forge, check out his photography and the interview he did with Adrian & Ryan for the Bad Ass Podcast - CHECK IT OUT HERE
I have been lucky since shows have been back to see some amazing bands gracing the stage. This steamy and humid night was another bad ass show as Otherwise headlined The Forge in Joliet, IL with Kaleido being direct support.
Kaleido was up just before Otherwise and I have seen Kaleido many times now. Vocalist and the lovely Christina Chriss normally is thrashing around the stage though tonight she had a walking boot on due to a badly sprained ankle that happened a few nights prior but her energy on stage was phenomenal. Chriss was enthusiastic and generally happy to be back on the stage in the Chicagoland area. I also love seeing drummer Joey Fava's intensity behind the kit and you can see that in the photos below.
Las Vegas natives Otherwise headlined and they brought the heat from the start as the brothers Patrick popped off hits like "Lifted", "Soldiers" their newest single "Silver and Black", an ode to the Las Vegas Raiders move from Oakland/ LA to Las Vegas a year ago, and the guys did an amazing cover of Billy Idol's classic "Rebel Yell". This was the second time i've been able to witness Otherwise as the first show being in November 2019 at the most bad ass venue in the US, The Machine Shop in Flint, MI. Otherwise have an eclectic catalog of music spanning over the past decade and they made sure they gave the masses at The Forge a show to remember. Check out my photos and interview below.
MUSIC NEWS: My Life in Dire Straits: New Memoir by Dire Straits Bassist John Illsley Recounts Story of One of the Biggest Bands in Rock History - READ IT HERE
With wry humor and soulful reflection, Illsley captures a phenomenal musical legacy, the shattering demands of global tours and life in the spotlight, and his friendship with Mark Knopfler, the band’s lead singer, songwriter and remarkable guitarist.
“This book above all is about passion and pursuing your dreams – taking the unpredictable path, not the easy option,” Illsey says. “It charts the journey from my innocent teens strumming a few chords, to playing on the biggest stages in the world; a chance meeting in 1976 with Mark Knopfler that created a musical partnership that lasted 20 years, and a strong friendship that continues to this day. Dire Straits was an idea that created a phenomenal musical legacy, an extraordinary journey of joy, fun, companionship and surprises. I am immensely proud of my contribution to this journey.”
With a foreword by Mark Knopfler himself, this the first, and only, inside story of one of the greatest bands in rock history.
“For us, it was a huge adventure and a hell of a ride, with all its comedy, absurdity, exhaustion, madness, and sadness….” Knopfler writes in the foreword. “This ride is not for everyone, not for those who can’t take the pressures and the pace…. It was a different world. And John has remembered a pretty big chunk of it.”
There was, quite simply, no bigger band on the planet throughout the eighties. Brothers in Arms was one of the best-selling albums of the decade and songs like “Sultans of Swing,” “Money for Nothing” and “Romeo and Juliet” remain rock classics. But the Dire Straits rags-to-riches story has never been told by one of their own until now.
Illsley rose to fame as the bass guitarist for the critically acclaimed band and has received multiple Grammy Awards. As a founding member and - along with Knopfler - one of two band members to stay the 15-year distance, Illsley played a major role in the development of the band’s sound. Since the band’s last tour in 1993 he has earned a reputation as a painter, with solo exhibitions in London, New York, Sydney and across Europe. Illsley also has eight solo albums to his name, and he now owns a pub in the New Forest, United Kingdom.
“A forensic and uplifting journey through the sheer hard work, pitfalls, and thrills of navigating a great rock and roll band to the pinnacle of success. I so enjoyed the ride! Onwards, John!” - Roger Taylor, drummer, songwriter and founding member of Queen
For additional information, please visit https://diversionbooks.com.
NEW MUSIC: Progressive Groove Metal Giants JINJER Reach Aggressive New Levels with Second Single + Music Video “Mediator” - WATCH IT HERE
Continuing their unstoppable way to the top, the band has just released their head-splitting second single “Mediator” and a brand-new crushing music video. The second track cut from the new album demonstrates once again that their unique sonic vision combined with visual attitude is more than peerless. Frenetic drumming combined with technically adept, fast firing bass and guitar attacks, merging with the unmatched mix of Tatiana Shmayluk’s clear vocals, pungent rap-like passages and ferocious growling. The track’s high-quality audiovisual bombardment draws the viewer into the spell of the progressive spectacle and constructs the visual antithesis of the postmodern utopia thematized within the track.
JINJER on the tone of the new single:
“With years getting older, we often realize that the world around us is far from what we expected it to be. Through the eyes of a kid everything seemed way more colorful, better and optimistic, didn't it? When did it all turn wrong? When did it all turn so gray? Is this really the world's fault? Or it is only about us chasing the wrong goals... the wrong careers, ambitions and achievements, rather than embracing one important truth... Rephrasing John Lennon, if one chases something else other than happiness, then they didn't understand life at all …”
NEW MUSIC: Experimental Metal Band KISSING CANDICE Unleashes “Brand New Low,” Featuring Twiztid’s Jamie Madrox - WATCH THE VIDEO HERE
“‘Brand New Low’ is about what it’s like when you hit rock bottom and you feel washed up,” says bassist Grip. “The feeling that your best years are behind you, but in reality, the best may be yet to come! It's about making the best of those times where you feel awful, so you can pull yourself out of that mindset and have fun with what's around you and just live your life.”
Watch the video for “Brand New Low,” in which Madrox also appears, now via Metal Injection at https://metalinjection.net/video/kissing-candice-teams-up-with-twizted-vocalist-for-brand-new-low.
“Brand New Low” is the first KISSING CANDICE song ever to feature a guest vocalist, and the band was set on finding a vocalist who possessed the element to complement the group’s brutal yet melodic sound. “We definitely did not want to have just anyone be the first vocalist featured on one of our tracks,” Grip says. “We wanted someone we respect that is at the top of their craft. We were lucky enough that our friend Jamie Madrox of Twiztid was all about hopping on the track and delivering a few killer guest parts.”
Also of note is the mask worn by vocalist Aunt Donna in the King Zabb-directed video, which is a new version of the original mask created by noted horror prosthetic makeup artist and director Tom Savini and special effects artist Jason Baker.
“Brand New Low” is the third single from KISSING CANDICE’s forthcoming album.
Scheduled for release later this year via Zoid Entertainment, the album will also feature “Tapeworm” and “Raise Her.” “Brand New Low” is available today at https://ffm.to/brandnewlow.
“During the process of recording this album, we did quite a few outside of the box songs along, with songs that sound like KISSNG CANDICE,” says Grip. “However, our flair and energy are still very evident in the weird tracks (“Raise Her”). In the songs that sound more traditionally KISSNG CANDICE, we really refined our sound to what we feel shows who we truly are as a band (“Tapeworm”).”
Combining the grooves of early nu-metal and the pulsing electronics of industrial, with a modern aggression and edge, the New York-based band is a horrific force to be reckoned with. KISSING CANDICE has released material with both Victory Records and Stay Sick Recordings, as well as relentlessly toured nationwide.
In February 2020, KISSING CANDICE returned to the studio with producer Zach Jones to begin work on the upcoming full-length. With no label behind them at the time, the band emptied their own pockets and also turned to fans with a perk-packed crowdfunding campaign. Immediately after the album was complete, live music came to a halt, but KISSING CANDICE continued to work around the clock to roll out the new album, now scheduled for release via Zoid Entertainment and guaranteed to decimate the metal world.
KISSING CANDICE is:
Aunt Donna - Vocals
Dreamer - Guitar/Vocals
Grip - Bass
Pak-Man - Drums
Suffront - Guitar
KISSING CANDICE online:
TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT: Combichrist Announces the Second Leg of Their Fall Tour Dates with King 810, Davey Suicide and Modern Mimes - READ IT HERE
“Time to get back on stage!I’ve been waiting way too long for this, and can’t believe we’re finally back on track! Let’s fucking do this!”says Andy LaPlegua, the band's vocalist.
Latest video for single "Not My Enemy" can be seen here:
MUSIC NEWS: INFECTED RAIN Kickoff U.S. Tour w/ Butcher Babies + Stitched Up Heart THIS MONTH - READ IT HERE
Speaking about the upcoming US tour, INFECTED RAIN’s Lena Scissorhands says:
“Here we come America – to all of you that have been patiently waiting, we are coming for you with the amazing Butcher Babies, Stitched Up Heart and Kaleido.”
Expected soon, INFECTED RAIN’s next release will follow their aforementioned latest full-length album, Endorphin, featuring multi-faceted fan favorites such as “The Earth Mantra”, “Passerby”, “Lure”, “Storm”, “Black Gold” and more. Fierce screams and growls, heavy riffs and pounding beats combined with ingenious samples make INFECTED RAIN’s style an energetic blend of the best modern metal styles the heavy music scene currently has to offer. Formed in 2008, the band made their first appearance on stage in the same year, performing a concert dedicated to Slayer. Countless shows all over Europe and Russia followed, alongside headlining slots at some of Europe's biggest festivals, until they gained the well-deserved attention of leading rock and metal label Napalm Records. INFECTED RAIN has released two EPs, several singles and four critically acclaimed full-length records to date.
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