Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

Vans Warped Tour – 22 Years and Going Strong! July 4, 2016

Vans Warped Tour is in its 22nd year and has become America’s longest running music festival!

VWT 16

“It’s fun to see so many people excited to be back on the road together. Warped continues to be a community that makes it all worth while.” says tour founder Kevin Lyman.

With a back-to-basics lineup that signals a return to the tour’s roots, the 22nd edition of Warped Tour welcomes back several fan favorites, including: American Authors, Atreyu, New Found Glory, Tonight Alive, Less Than Jake, Yellowcard, We The Kings, Sleeping With Sirens, Falling In Reverse, Four Year Strong, Reel Big Fish, Sum 41 and Pepper, to name a few.

NVMP is excited to check out some of the new talent hitting the tour this year like Dash Ten, Capsize, Mother Feather and Reckless Serenade (this year’s BBQ Band), as well as classic punk rockers like Less Than Jake, New Found Glory, Ballyhoo!  and Reel Big Fish. We’re also beyond excited to check out The Interrupters!  We’ll see you on the tour in New Jersey on Sunday July 17th at PNC Bank Arts Center – hopefully it won’t be recorded as the hottest day of the year again.

Since the band schedule is released daily for each tour date, here’s a list of bands and the stage that they will be playing on.  This should hopefully help you plan ahead.  Don’t forget to find the dude selling the full line up when you enter your venue – that thing is a lifesaver and well worth the couple of bucks.  Or, you can fight your way to the inflatable schedule and take a picture.

Journeys Left Foot Stage

Falling In Reverse 6/23-8/13

Four Year Strong 6/24-8/13

Good Charlotte 7/19-7/28

Less Than Jake 6/24-8/13

New Found Glory 6/24-8/13

Reel Big Fish 6/24-8/13

Set It Off 6/24-8/13

Sum 41 6/26-8/7

The Summer Set 7/30-8/13

Waka Flocka Flame 8/5-8/13

We The Kings 6/24-8/13

Yellowcard 6/24-8/13

Journey’s Right Foot Stage

3OH!3 7/21-7/31

ISSUES 6/24-8/13

Mayday Parade 6/24-8/13

Pepper 6/24-6/29, 7/1-7/22

Real Friends 6/24-8/13

Sleeping with Sirens 6/24-8/13

State Champs 6/24-8/13

The Maine 6/24-8/13

The Story So Far 6/24-8/13

Tonight Alive 6/24-8/13

Monster Energy Party Zone North Stage

Atreyu 7/19-8/7

Bullet For My Valentine 7/19-7/22

Crown The Empire 6/24-8/13

Every Time I Die 6/24-8/13

Ice Nine Kills 6/24-8/13

Motionless In White 6/24-8/13

The Color Morale 6/24-8/13

The Word Alive 6/24-8/13

Volumes 6/24-7/17

Whitechapel 6/24-8/13

Monster Energy Party Zone South Stage

Chelsea Grin 6/24-8/13

Coldrain 6/24-8/13

Cruel Hand 6/24-8/13

From Ashes To New 6/24-8/13

Gideon 6/24-8/13

In Hearts Wake 6/24-8/13

Oceans Ate Alaska 6/24-8/13

Vanna 6/24-8/13

Veil Of Maya 6/24-8/13

Poseidon Stage

Emarosa 6/24-8/13

I See Stars 6/24-8/13

Knuckle Puck 6/24- 8/13

Masked Intruder 6/24-8/13

Prof 7/26-8/13

Roam 6/24-8/13

SECRETS 6/24-8/13

The Heirs 6/24-8/13

The Interrupters 6/24-8/13

Young Guns 6/24-8/13

Cyclops Stage

Against The Current 6/24-8/13

Assuming We Survive 6/24-8/13

Ballyhoo! 6/24-8/13

Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! 6/24-8/13

Ghost Town 6/24-8/3

Sykes 6/24-8/13

Teenage Bottlerocket 6/24-8/13

Too Close To Touch 6/24-8/13

Waterparks 6/24-8/13

Full Sail Stage

Avion Roe 6/24-7/21

Bad Seed Rising 6/24-7/27

Broadside 6/24-8/13

Cane Hill 6/24-8/13

Capsize 7/17-8/13

Dash Ten 6/24-8/13

Hail The Sun 6/24-7/16

Like Pacific 6/24-8/13

More To Monroe 7/28-8/13

Mother Feather 6/24-8/13

Old Wounds 6/24-8/13

Palaye Royale 6/24-8/13

Reckless Serenade 6/24-8/13

Safe To Say 6/24-8/13

SayWeCanFly 7/22-8/13

Silent Planet 6/24-7/17

The New Low 7/19-8/13

Wage War 6/24-8/13

With Confidence 6/24-8/13

And here is a list of the remaining tour dates:

7.5 CHARLOTTE, NC

7.6 VIRGINIA BEACH, VA

7.7 SYRACUSE, NY

7.8 PHILADELPHIA, PA

7.9 NEW YORK, NY

7.10 HARTFORD, CT

7.11 SCRANTON, PA

7.13 BOSTON, MA

7.14 BUFFALO, NY

7.15 PITTSBURGH, PA

7.16 COLUMBIA, MD

7.17 HOLMDEL, NJ

7.19 INDIANAPOLIS, IN

7.20 CLEVELAND, OH

7.21 CINCINNATI, OH

7.22 DETROIT, MI

7.23 CHICAGO, IL

7.24 MINNEAPOLIS, MN

7.26 MILWAUKEE, WI

See you in the pit!

TNT

 

Congratulations Torrential Downpour! September 20, 2013

TD
Torrential Downpour from Clifton, NJ were the winners of the 2013 MetalSucks band contest. The prize? The chance to play at Euroblast Festival in Cologne, Germany on October 11th! They shared the stage with The Algorithm, The Ocean and Twelve Foot Ninja. Torrential Downpour had the most votes out of the other 19 selected bands with their progressive metal / post rock sound. I remember seeing Torrential Downpour back in the day, at the good ol’ Lodi VFW hall on Union St. Now I feel old, so hopefully I’ve succeeded in making others feel aged too so I’m not alone. Sidebar, I think they would tour great with Clutch. Check out Torrential Downpour here and preview all the finalists below.

 

Jersey Shore Music Festival on July 20th at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, NJ July 8, 2013

JSMF

What are you doing Saturday July 20th in New Jersey this summer?  If your calendar says anything other than checking out over 50 bands on six stages for only $25, cross it out now and enter the Jersey Shore Music Festival at FirstEnergy Park (Blue Claws Stadium) in Lakewood NJ.  This all-ages event will feature national acts including Papadosio, The Front Bottoms, River City Extension, Brick + Mortar, AER and some of the area’s favorite local acts, including one of NVMP’s favorite bands Echo Movement, to represent all genres of music.  Aside from the music, the Jersey Shore Music Festival will also feature an array of New Jersey’s top artisans, crafters, photographers and restaurants to provide plenty of local flavors.  Children 10 and under are free when accompanied by a paid adult (limit 2 kids/adult).  Kids will also have access to the Dr. Bernard’s Kids Zone which will include bungee runs, an obstacle course, bounce house, inflatable 22-foot slide and more.  VIP passes are available; $75 for Gold VIP, which include free parking and premier viewing access in front of the main stage.  Platinum VIP passes are available for $150 and include same benefits as Gold VIP pass but also a private buffet, cash bar and access to the BlueClaw’s air-conditioned bathrooms and upstairs sports club.  Don’t forget, general admission tickets are only $25!  All tickets are available online and can be purchased at http://thejerseyshoremusicfest.com/ or at the FirstEnergy Park stadium box office.

We were able to ask co-founder Cory Pedalino a few questions about the festival:

NVMP:  What inspired the creation of the Jersey Shore Music Festival?  What sets it apart from other music festivals this summer?
Cory Pedalino (CP):  The creation of the Jersey Shore Music Festival started with an idea from Jersey Shore natives Joe Ciano and his friend Tyler Culley. I was brought on when Joe and I were introduced through a mutual friend. At first, Joe, Tyler and I weren’t sure what the festival would turn out to look like, but as soon as we completed our team with Justin Hoy from Halogen and Matt Burns from Trendkiller, the planning process compounded with hard work set everything into motion. It’s only been within the past 14 months that Jersey Shore Music Festival was born. JSMF sets itself apart from other summer music festivals because it has almost every genre of music represented and there are no corporate sponsors (other than the personal relationships that Joe and I have attained over the years). Plus it is a homegrown event. We already have ideas for plans to host an annual Jersey Shore Music Festival, a winter event and another event TBD every year. We’re keeping a lot close to chest for now but announcements will be made soon.

NVMP:  Is this your first foray into music festivals?  What is your vision for this festival next year, 5 years from now, 10 years from now?
CP:  For Joe and Tyler, I believe it is their first foray into music festivals other than being an attendee. I’ve been working production on festivals for quite some time. I’ve been engulfed and worked in the local Asbury Park music scene since I was 16. Recently, I came off of a long weekend at this year’s Skate and Surf festival working production on the main stage.  I can’t tell you what the vision is for the festival for next year just yet…but I will say it’s going to be bigger and might include an entire weekend of dates. That’s all we’re releasing as of now. We will always include the local bands, artists and vendors in the festival – that is a promise. Some of the best local and regional bands are featured this year on the Harrison/Lakehouse stage.

NVMP:  There is a very eclectic line-up of musicians, how did that come together?
CP: The relationships that Matt, Justin and I have formed and bonded our entire musical careers with is what is featured at this year’s festival.  Aside from discovering new music, what else can your guests enjoy at the festival?

There will be over 200 craft vendors and artists, an assortment of food choices, a Magic Hat party area, a non-profit village, plus a kids’ area with inflatable slides and did I mention that tickets are only $25??? A great deal for a full day of music and entertainment!

NVMP:  What experience do you hope your audience will take away from the Jersey Shore Music Festival?
CP:  A fun-filled party with a ton of amazing local, regional and national talent. And one more thing…for music fans looking for something to do after the festival, we are in the process of solidifying deals with local bars River Rock and PB Shorehouse to run exclusive after parties with shuttles to and from the festival on the hour every hour.

We are very excited to hear Echo Movement will be playing at the Jersey Shore Music Festival!  Nevermind the Posers was at their record release show at The Stony Pony last September for Love and the Human Outreach and can’t wait to hear their progress with the new album!  Echo Movement has decided to lower their carbon footprint for the summer and tour locally, so be sure to see them live at the Jersey Shore Music Festival! 

echo-movement-love-and-the-human-outreach-album-review

 

On the sound and release of their new album “Love and the Human Outreach”… September 22, 2012

Warped Tour 2012 – July 21 – Nassau Coliseum

DF – David Fowler – Keyboards

SF – Stephen Fowler – Lead Vocals

DTK – Dave the Klone

TNT, as herself

One of the amazing highlights of the 2012 Vans’ Warped Tour was getting to catch an awesome set from, and hang out with Echo Movement, the band from the Jersey shore bringing their own brand of sci-fi to their Reggae / Classic Rock fusion sound.  Take 2 parts Bob Marley, 1 part Beatles and 1 part Pink Floyd, and you just start to scratch the surface of what Echo Movement has perfected with their latest album, Love and the Human Outreach.  The guys were super cool and more than happy to go into depth on the finer points of what makes Love and the Human Outreach more than just a mind-blowing album, but a scientific work of art.

          

   

.

TNT:  So it’s already been featured in CNN, MSNBC, Wired Magazine and other media as a scientific work.  Would you explain how this album is a scientific work?

DF:  Yeah, absolutely.  There are two things in there that would qualify as such, three things if you include the subject matter of the lyrics.  The two physical things that are in there, one is…well, actually this is our second album that features binaural beats.  What they are essentially are two sinusoidal frequencies that are ever so slightly out of tune with each other.  And when you pan one of those frequencies hard right, so that it’s only coming out of the right speaker, and you pan the other hard left, so that it’s only coming out of the left speaker, and then put on a set of head phones, your brain goes through a neurological process where it identifies the algorithm between those two frequencies, and it becomes what we call an audible artifact.  It’s something that doesn’t physically exist, but because of a certain exchange among elements, you hear something that may not exactly be there.  To get your brain working that way is always a great thing.

DTK:  Wow, it sounds like you’re creating a certain kind of big bang in someone’s head when they listen to your music.

DF:  Ha. We’d love for that to happen.  If there’s any sort of output of energy, or any sort of transformation of energy, I think that’s a beautiful thing and in this case, it’s a cognitive process that’s responsible.  It’s pretty fascinating because you can use binaural beats, and they have been used for therapeutic reasons.  It’s something we’ve studied for a pretty significant period of time before we used them on the last album.  On this one we used them on the first track, “Rising Sunset,” and a little bit on the second track, “Spaceship Earth.”  I feel like they put you in a nice relaxed state to set you up for the album, and then you proceed from there.

DTK:  That sounds incredible. [Referring to the explanation, as I had not heard the album at this point…but before you ask, yes, those binaural beats worked, and it was so fucking cool.]

DF:  It’s a good way of bridging the gap between reality and the world of the album.

TNT:  Could you explain Reggae Bubble?

DF:  Reggae Bubble is essentially a rhythm that is used commonly in our genre of music, and I guess in our case I’ve updated it or textured it with different sounds, but originally it had started to emerge thirty or forty years ago, if not more.  It’s a great rhythm, because the only beat that’s not hit is the first downbeat of each phrase.  That’s something that’s awkward and foreign and, for the lack-of-better-words, uncouth to any sort of western tradition of music, where everything falls on the down-beat rhythm.

DTK:  So is Reggae something that has always been with you guys, or did it come from growing up in the beach culture?  How did you guys wind up in the genre you’re in, which clearly involves a scientific component as well, so I can’t wait to hear how that plays into this to create Echo Movement.

SF:  You know, as far as Reggae, Bob Marley Legend was one of the first albums I got when I was younger.  We listened to a lot of Bob Marley growing up.  We also listened to Michael Jackson, a lot of Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Doors.  Those were the big players as far as the soundtrack at our house between ourselves and our parents.  Dave, you wanna explain the science-side?

DF:  As far as the science, that’s really just something we wanted to do.  We were into doing research in different areas that we’re interested in as far as from a scientific point of view, and then just use the genre as the communicative medium through which we express these things.  We use it as a vehicle.  Regarding the binaural beats, it’s something I discovered two or three years ago, but they’ve been around for something like 70, 80, 90 years, so it’s existed for some time.  It’s been used in the medical community as a treatment for certain neurological disorders.

DTK:  That’s really cool.

DF:  But the real science project on this album comes as a result of spending the last seven years contacting SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence…

DTK:  Whoa, really?!  Can I just tell you, I am so happy that’s the direction this is going, myself probably more than TNT.

TNT:  Haha, yeah.

DTK:  As soon as you said SETI, I was like, ‘Ooooooh!! X-Files!!’  So awesome.  So, you contacted SETI.

DF:  I did.  I was looking for any audio they might have that we could possibly use, and I wound up talking to Edna Davore, the Director of Education at SETI.  She introduced me to the Keppler mission, which is a space telescope that trails Earth, with the primary goal of discovering exo-planets, or planets outside our solar system.  To date, since it’s been launched in 2009, it’s discovered over 2500 planets, as dead-on confirmations.  It does this by observing the apparent magnitude of the star, because planets don’t emit light, it has to observe as the planet transits a small cross-section of sky, passing through our line-of-sight between us and the distant star of the galaxy where the planet is orbiting.  Passing in front of the star over a period of time will create a discernible pattern.  That pattern is charted by an organization called PlanetHunters.org, headed up by a Dr. Debra Fischer at Yale University.  So I reached out to her, at Edna’s suggestion, and she was able to talk to me about how to read and understand their charts.  So over a period of months, I searched through the data points on the charts until I found some that seemed to me to be sinusoidal, and something that I thought would translate well into music.  Then I found a sonification team at Georgia Tech, led by Dr. Bruce Walker, and he put one of his undergrads, O’Riley Winton in charge of putting together a small team of undergrads to help me sonify this data.  And over the course of four or five  months, working with them, I would say diligently…

DTK:  Yeah, I second that, diligently sounds like the right word.

DF:  …they came back with some results, and successfully translated this star-data.  The data we used in this case was actually a binary star-system, but they still create a series of data points that oscillate at the rate we were looking for, it just had a more consistent, more stable pattern that was easier for sonification.  On top of that, we “fitted” the data, which is an idea I borrowed from a Dr. Charles Bailyn, also at Yale University, who was doing a lecture series where he discussed how he would “fit” the data.  He discovered radio velocities of stars…so, you know the planet would go around the star, and it would wobble from its center of mass…and he would take those data points, which weren’t as stable because they were Hubble observations, and they used to just “fit” the data in order to make for cleaner digestion of the information.

DTK:  So, it used to be inaccurate and they’d fill in the gaps?

DF:  Well, it was more accurate eventually, but they were able to draw more conclusions and extrapolate more information from the data they had at the time.  Using that information applied to the binary star-system sample we were using, they came up with these sounds.  So when I got them back, I composed them into a five-part harmony and put it on the album, and then we dedicated it to Carl Sagan.

DTK:  Oh my God, that’s so awesome.  So now how many songs is this going to be happening in?  I mean people are going to be hearing these star sounds and not even be realizing that this is part of the music, right?

DF:  That’s fine.  If they don’t understand, that’s absolutely fine.  And those who do, more power to them.  It’s no problem.  At the end of the day, someone made a comment that they could’ve made these same sounds on their CASIO.  And I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, so could I have.  But what you can’t do, is make those sounds from a binary star-system on the other side of the galaxy.

DTK:  I love that you guys are hiding all of these little…I like to call them clues.  These would be kinda like, for people like me who watched the show LOST, these would be the Easter Eggs that are being left to explain what’s really going on.  I mean, the fact that scientists are actually figuring out where other planets are, and if they’d be able to support human life, and all while we’re sitting here drinking lemonade and listening to music, this is what the universe is throwing around, all around you.  I think it’s awesome you guys are incorporating that into your music.

DF:  Those scientists make very easy idols.  I idolize them, we idolize them, and they’re just fantastic human beings who are looking out for knowledge and the welfare and the progress of humanity.  We honor them through our music when we do things like this.

DTK:  Congratulations, guys.  That is definitely a lot of work, and I can’t wait to hear this for myself.

TNT:  What are some of the other bands you guys have seen on the Warped Tour that you’ve liked?

DF:  The top of that list is Streetlight Manifesto.

TNT:  How about the band name?  Can you tell us, does it have any meaning, where did it come from?

SF:  We are part of the echo generation.  The echo generation are the sons and daughters of the baby boomer generation.  Dave thought of the name.  He came up to me one day and was like, I thought of this…how about Echo Movement, like the movement of our generation, the momentum that is going to bring about big changes.

DTK:  Have you been seeing any of these big changes happening yet?

DF:  They happen at the pace of life.

SF:  I’ll tell you what, technologically we are moving at such an exponential rate, it’s noteworthy.

DTK:  Scary even.

SF:  If you think about it, hundreds of years ago, a father would teach his son a skill, I don’t know, how to make an ax or something.  And then the son would teach his son, who would teach his son, and so on, and so on.  It would always be the same exact method to make the ax; they’d heat the metal to the same temperature, they’d use the same materials, they’d live their whole lives in the same small town.  Now, every year we get new cell phones, with completely new applications and completely new technologies and peripherals that we hook up.  I mean, it’s like Ray Kurtzweil says, do you know Ray Kurtzweil?

DTK:  Of course, the singularity.

SF:  Yup, the singularity.  Some of the predictions he’s making are just awesome.  We’re going to have the human brain mapped out, in another two decades or so he’s estimating, and he’s been right about a lot of things.

DTK:  I think I had read that he thinks by 2025 we’ll have the human brain reverse engineered.

SF:  I mean, think about that.  We’re on the cusp of being able to digitize what a human brain is, and if you can do that, well then what defines a human, what is a human being?  Is it a collection of thoughts and memories, are we tissue, are we spiritual or what are we?

DTK:  I suggest you check out Battlestar Galactica if you have free time after the tour.

TNT:  Oh, God.  It’s so not for me.  Are you guys’ fans?

SF:  No.

DF:  No.  I think Noles is a fan though.

SF:  The only reason I know about it is through friends and now that you mention it, yes I believe that Noles is somehow a fan.

TNT:  Anyway, so did you guys catch Streetlight Manifesto today?

DF:  Not today, but we try to catch them as often as we can.  They’re pretty good friends of ours.

TNT:  Have you played together live or on albums?

SF:  Dave has.

DF:  We played a 5-show run with them in late 2009, and we’ve played with them on a couple isolated dates since then.

SF:  When I said, ‘Dave has,’ I meant he’s played on albums with them.

DF:  I played on their album 99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1, I played the organ solo on “Skyscraper,” which is a cover of a Bad Religion song.

DTK:  Nice.

TNT:  So, do you think sponsorships are the best way to tour and get around?  How did you guys start getting sponsors?  Is there a process?

DF:  It’s enabling.  Any sort of capital is enabling in a capitalist society.

SF:  It’s unfortunate that artists have to worry about such things.  But the sponsors that we’ve been lucky enough to hook up with are really, really cool.  Like Silver Surfer Vaporizors.  We hung out with them when we were in Denver.  They were awesome.

 

Don’t forget to order your copy of Love and the Human Outreach, out now!  If you hurry, you might be able to catch the limited edition version, which includes a piece of art from Brothers With Glass featuring the album cover-art!  Go my friends, be awesome and spread the word and music of Echo Movement.  Nevermind the Posers shares new music with you so that you can share new music you discover here with the world.

 

G-Eazy on the Entire Van’s Warped Tour July 13, 2012

Filed under: Music Festivals,Music Videos — NVMP @ 6:33 AM

Pure nostalgia…updated for 2012.   “Runaround Sue” – G-Eazy ft. Greg Banks

Doesn’t get more real.   “Marilyn” – G-Eazy ft. Dominique LeJeune

 

Orion Music & More Festival + 2 Weeks…but the Memory Remains! July 4, 2012

By: Dave “The Klone” Maresca

Where once man looked to the sky and ascribed names to the constellations, one name in particular holds more meaning than could be imagined for Metallica fans.  “Orion,” the 8 minute, 27 second instrumental on arguably Metallica’s masterpiece album Master of Puppets, now lends its namesake to the band’s foray into the music festival world.  On June 23rd, 2012 Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey became a historical landmark for fans of the heavy metal Gods, as it hosted the first annual Orion Music & More Festival (www.orionmusicandmore.com).

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t get my disclaimer out of the way.  Over the years, I’ve lost some love for the music festival as an event, or venue to catch one of my favorite bands.  Often the size and scope are so mind-numbingly overwhelming that just figuring out where and when the band you want to see is playing is a challenge.  Once you get a handle on the schedule and layout of the event, learning all the routes to the elusive 2nd, 3rd and sometimes 4th  and even 5th stages, should you be looking to catch more than one particular band often you’ll find you must make a few Sophie’s choices through the day, as without fail two of your favorites will be playing at overlapping time-slots.  Once you throw additional acts into the mix (like skateboarding ramps, art show exhibits, etc.), it officially hits capacity.  Get your gear, strap in, and start beating feet.  Stay hydrated and keep moving.

For the die-hard music fan and the loyal followers of rock icons, the music festival is a coveted experience, a day on the battlefield, followed by a night that will change you forever.  When attending the Orion Music & More Festival, this is the grandest of understatements.  Metallica, true to form, has redefined the music festival experience and for this former lover of the music festival, it was a welcome surprise; it may have rekindled a dying flame for festivals in general for me.  Why I expected any less from Metallica is beyond me, and I gladly take this opportunity to apologize…by gushing over how sick this event actually was.

Seemingly through simple things like logic (having the time-slots for the acts across four stages work with each other, and not against each other), clear communications from the event organizers (giant screens that constantly rotated between the event schedule, stage line-ups, and event information), or the layout of the event itself (from the center of the field, you could hear/see all 4 stages), this was a festival to make all other festivals bow down.  In addition to enjoying the wide variety of offerings from the concession stands, that included vegan and Asian food, as well as the “& More” acts that comprised the festival, I was able to catch Cage The Elephant play their set on the Fuel Stage, and then have time to get an awesome spot to catch a legendary set by Suicidal Tendencies on the Damage Inc. stage.  Each act on the four stages got introduced to the rabid fans by one of the four horsemen themselves, and Rob Trujillo stuck around to rock-out on four songs with his old “Institutionalized” friends.  It was amazing.

As impressive and extensive as the line-up of bands for this festival is, ultimately this entire event is about one band…METALLICA.  I attended the first day of this two-day extravaganza, which promised that the living legends would be playing the Ride The Lightning album in its entirety, the following night would feature them playing The Black Album in its entirety.  (How you call a festival “Orion” and NOT play Master of Puppets is really surprising, but let’s hope that’s in store for us at the second annual Orion Festival.)  The big question on everyone’s mind as they pushed forward, fighting for purchase on the precious real-estate in front of the stage, “are they really going to play the entire line-up of their epic sophomore album?  Including ‘Escape’?”  They did.  History was witnessed.

Hands down, Metallica is the best live show ever!  Not only are they true professionals, and sound even better live than they do on their studio albums, but their presence and passion are even larger than life than the massive screens that make the stage a constantly erupting volcano, light and sound that rattles the ground down to the mantle of the Earth.  The sense of awe inspired was palpable in the air hovering above the crowd, and audible in the cacophony of voices that echo every lyric that escaped James Hetfield’s lips.  This night was more than just a Metallica performance.  This was something different, something special.

This wasn’t my first rodeo by any means, but it was the first time I felt completely encompassed by the moment of being there and hearing the music I’ve grown up with and been living with as part of the soundtrack of my life being performed live, and performed perfectly.  The entire night I kept thinking, “I feel like I’m in the audience of the ‘Live Sh!t: Binge & Purge’ taping,” that’s how crisp and classic the ‘tallica boys were sounding as they rocked New Jersey.  With every chord that followed their opening salvo of “Hit The Lights,” “Master of Puppets” and “The Four Horsemen,” the anticipation for how they would begin to fulfill their promise of Ride The Lightning grew.  After another two songs, “Sad But True” and “Hell and Back” (a head scratcher for most in the audience, but bad ass nonetheless), we got our answer.

Following an introductory video featuring interview footage of all of the original line-up of the band, including the late Cliff Burton, the first tones of “Call of Ktulu” began as blue lightning illuminated photos of the group floating in a void of bluish clouds on the giant stage screens.  A moment and flash of stage lights later, the live band was continuing the epic instrumental that closes the classic album, without missing a beat.  From that point on, it was a surreal night that felt like a walk through a lucid dream.  There were instant bonds with those directly around us as we chanted song after song, and all screamed in childish giddiness as we witnessed “Escape” live for the first time ever.  It was a night with that sort of kismet feeling, like years of fandom has led to this night, and that’s exactly as it should be.

The first-nighters were treated to some songs off of The Black Album as well, which only added a more complete feeling to a night already epic in proportion.  If there’s ever been a group to make being larger than life so effortless and make us all feel special for being there with them for the magic, it’s Metallica.  Any who would dare to want to inherit that mantle, the road is far and wide to follow in the footsteps of these Leper Messiahs.

I could complain about the ticket prices these days, and how on the heels of The Big 4our tour, this seems a bit money-grabbish, but these are tough economic times, and it’s easy to let that affect how we see things that we grew up loving more than a casual fan would as luxuries.  Metallica and their world have been a part of my life and my world for over two decades, so hell yeah am I buying the Blu-Ray of this show, and hell yeah am I going to be at Orion Festival ’13 (whether my girlfriend wins the tickets on the radio for us, or not).

P.S.  If I could take this opportunity to beg for next year’s album choices, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do Master of Puppets and …And Justice For All.

Metallica Set list:
Orion Festival – June 23, 2012 (Ride The Lightning)

The Ecstasy of The Gold (Ennio Morricone)

1.   Hit The Lights

2.   Master of Puppets

3.   The Four Horsemen

4.   Sad But True

(Bass Solo)

5.   Hell and Back

      Ride The Lightning (Video)

6.   Call of Ktulu

7.   Creeping Death

(Frayed Edges of Sanity Jam)

8.   Escape (WORLD PREMIERE)

9.   Trapped Under Ice

10. Fade To Black

11. For Whom The Bell Tolls

12. Ride The Lightning

13. Fight Fire With Fire

14. Nothing Else Matters

15. Enter Sandman

Encore:

16. Battery

17. One

18. Seek & Destroy

Suicidal Tendencies Set list:
Orion Festival – June 23, 2012
 

1.    You Can’t Bring Me Down

2.    Institutionalized

3.    Freedumb

4.    War Inside My Head

5.    Subliminal

6.    Possessed To Skate

7.    Cyco Vision

8.    These Freaks Are Here To Party (Infectious Grooves Cover)

(w/ Robert Trujillo)

9.    Turtle Wax (Infectious Grooves Cover)

(w/ Robert Trujillo)

10.  Punk It Up (Infectious Grooves Cover)

(w/ Robert Trujillo)

11.  Violent & Funky (Infectious Grooves Cover)

(w/ Robert Trujillo)

12.  Therapy (Infectious Grooves Cover)

(w/ Robert Trujillo)

13.  Pledge Your Allegiance

 

Union County Musicfest 2011 October 1, 2011

by Mark B.

For the 5th consecutive year, the 3rd at its current location, the Union County Musicfest has tried its damnedest to bring the best musical acts that the industry has to offer to Union County, NJ.  And despite the fact that it is not a free concert (our tax dollars at work), I nonetheless appreciated the county’s attempt to do something enjoyable and worthwhile with our hard-earned money.  With past headliners such as LIVE, Cheap Trick, The Alarm, Chuck Berry and Third Eye Blind, among many great artist bookings, the promoters had a lot to live up to if they were going to get another massive turnout.  And for 2011, again they did not disappoint, bringing in such notable acts as Collective Soul, Ed Kowalczyk of LIVE, Blondie, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Smithereens and Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes for the citizens of Union County and neighboring areas to check out.


Leading off the Friday night portion of the rock show was recent former lead singer of Live, Ed Kowalczyk.  Thankfully, just as LIVE had sounded when the band had headlined the Musicfest a few years back, Kowalyczyk brought the same skill and energy back, playing a tight and rocking show, albeit with a different crew.  The set bounced between the obvious inclusions of LIVE songs (with “Selling the Drama,” “I Alone” and “Lakini’s Juice” being the real standouts), peppered with cuts from last year’s debut solo release Alive, which strangely rocked harder than the actual studio album sounded.  Regardless, the set was great.

Bringing the evening to a close was a standout set by 90s alternative heroes Collective Soul, who played an absolutely amazing set.  In fact, they were so good, the fest could have ended right on that Friday night and I don’t think anyone would have cared.   They kept the night moving at just the right pace, playing all the songs that any fan would want to hear (with the night’s versions of “Run” and  “Shine” being the best of the set), perfectly mixed in with a few obscurities, a random crowd request (the always great ‘Gel”) and a strange impromptu fifteen minute cover/freeform/writing session type jam mid-set, which turned out to be a strange highlight to the evening.  On a personal note, what made the evening even better was the positivity exuded by the ever so charismatic front man, Ed Roland.  While he was the consummate rock star on the stage, working the mic stand and dancing across the stage without managing to look Steven Tyler silly, he took the time, he exuded personal warmth that quickly engulfed the audience.  It was clear that he loves what he does night after night, and he not only made sure everyone knew it, but that everyone got to share in that moment.

Saturday evening brought the group that was touted as the main headliner for the entire weekend, Blondie.  And honestly, I am not sure what to make of what I heard.  On one hand, for a band that has been around in some way for over 40 years, they definitely did a great job, rocking the most loyal of fans and the newbies (like me) for almost 90 minutes or at least until the town curfew kicked in.  They played very well, ripping through all their hits, peppered with some of their newest tracks for good measure, (which sound very cool, by the way) and brought a lot of enthusiasm and nostalgic charm to the stage, which held the rowdy crowd captivated.  On the other hand, although I hate to say it, they really showed their age during the set.  Debbie Harry can still sing quite well, but she can’t really hit the high notes anymore; she can still sing decently, but now every song is played at least an octave down from how it was originally performed.  I am getting tired of giving bands the benefit of the doubt due to age, among other factors, and this group is where it ends.  Realistically, if you can’t perform it the way it was done x-amount of years ago, then maybe you should stop playing it, even if it is a mainstay.  Then again, I don’t want it to sound like I am really trashing Blondie, because they were really good, even better when you stack them against a few of the still existing bands with their longevity.  It’s really a tough call, but it’s more accurate to say that I truly enjoyed their set, just not as much as I had hoped I would.

Sunday featured sets from bands that could be considered more geared to the older crowds, as the lawn chairs were definitely in attendance.  You can always tell how old the crowd is by how much the acts on stage rock out and how little their supposed fans move during the songs.  It was like watching people watch paint dry, with the exception of a small group who huddled up to the barricades; at least they were dancing around and having a great time no matter how ridiculous they looked.  First up was one of New Jersey’s biggest and longest lasting rock acts, the Smithereens.  Having seen the act before and expecting a great show, they did not let anyone down.  Although it became obvious that they didn’t expect to play as long as the set times allotted (there was a lot of extended songs, stalling banter and the odd inclusion of the Star Spangled-Banner), it was still a great way to kick-off the last day of the fest.  Now that’s how an older band does it.

The day was capped off with a rocking set from New Jersey bar-room blues mainstays, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.  At the risk of trampling on Jerseyans pride, I have never really been a fan of what many consider to be “the sound of the Jersey Shore”.  For the longest time I found it to be very outdated and a boring, muddled style of music that wreaked too strongly of its past musical influences.  But barely 10 seconds after the Jukes took the stage and ripped into their first song, I had an instant change of heart.  The combination of Johnny’s voice (which sounded like someone broke a whiskey bottle in his throat while he was drinking it) and the striking horn section yanked my attention away from photo shooting and right to the center of the stage.  Basically, the tunes weren’t strong enough to urge me to run out and buy all of their albums, but it was definitely good enough for me to have enjoyed the show, and to have made a casual fan out of me.  Even with all the aging fans planted front and center rocking out like it was 1975, Johnny was the one who seemed to be having the most fun, giving a performance expertly leading with his highly skilled band of musical veterans, not bad for a 63-year-old Rock ‘n’ Roller.

The only blight on the weekend was my one major complaint: the Freeholders.  Right before every band took the stage, the mind-numbingly irritating “announcer” had to strut onstage and, along with the same barrage of unnecessary sponsor announcements and suck-up thank you’s, the good ol’ Freeholders had to be brought up postage and introduced to the crowds time and time again!  Otherwise, everything else was swell.  The UC Musicfest 2011 managed to deliver yet another year of fantastic rock acts, minus the egos.