Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

Vans Warped Tour Review at Monmouth Park Raceway in Oceanport, NJ September 20, 2011

Review by Angela Blasi

The 2011 Vans Warped Tour made its annual summer rounds and I was fortunate enough to have the chance to check it out.  I found myself one gray morning making my way to Monmouth Park Raceway ready to see the likes of A Day to Remember, Big D and the Kids Table, Less Than Jake, Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds and a whole host of others.

It would be next to impossible, or just a painfully long read, for me to sit here and list every single thing about each band that I liked and disliked.  I will tell you however, that I had the opportunity to catch the set of all but one band I was able to interview and that each group successfully stood and delivered both on and off stage.  With that, I’ll delve into some of the highlights of my experience at this years’ Vans Warped Tour.

Upon arrival and waiting in line to enter the venue, the crowd found the one and only MC Lars walking along the massed youth promoting his set.  I had no idea who he was yet, but I liked his DIY approach.  In just a few short hours I found myself sitting face to face with him and Josh of Weerd Science (formerly in Coheed and Cambria) as the two would be performing together as part of the tour.  In interview, Lars was quiet and thoughtful while Josh was the more animated of the two, energetically expressing his love and enthusiasm for music.  However, when it came time to catch the actual live performance, MC Lars seemingly crawled out of his shell and was absolutely spectacular.  Both performers gelled well together on stage, each with his own musical prowess.  It became clear quickly that the two were by no means all talk; they did in fact love every second of performing and creating music.  It was refreshing to see the happiness and passion still very much alive in artists who are no strangers to the music industry.

I ran into Patrick Salmon from Tomorrows Bad Seeds in the crowd and had a few minutes to catch up since I spoke to him last and his band mates the previous year.  Casually, we talked and he is still just as cool as he was last year and he brought me up to speed with the last 365 days and their continuing success.  I was able to catch their set and I’m pleased to report that they’re doing great.  Their live performance and sound quality coupled with the energy that is so unique to the band has not fizzled out despite rigorous touring and overall momentum.

The rest of the day consisted of back and forth from press to stage areas, interviewing bands I was familiar with and some I had never heard before.  I came out of this years Warped with a few new bands tucked away for further research and some of whom converted me to an instant fan.  From Sick of Sarah, who I might add are absolutely awesome, funny and badass on stage both in personality and musical styling, to the very theatrical and unique Venetia Fair, to one of my long time favorites Big D and the Kids Table, I was not disappointed with this year’s lineup.

Maybe it was just me, but I felt like this year’s show was more solid and musically diverse than last year’s event.  Did I mention Mr. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister himself paid a visit to this year’s event?  Yup, he did.  I have no idea why, but suddenly there he was surrounded by press conducting a group interview.

 

Vans Warped Tour 2011 Review September 8, 2011

Sick of Sarah

On July 23, 2011 I said screw the heat wave and headed to Nassau Collisuem in NY for my 9th Vans Warped Tour.  Complaining about the tortuous temperature was not bring relief, however, huddling in the shadows of merch tents and chilling on the air-conditioned Monster Energy truck did.  The first band I checked out was Sick of Sarah.  I am not usually a fan of female rock bands, but these chicks can play.  I enjoyed the live set more than their recorded tracks for the fact that there was more energy and less harmony.  The songs I recommend are “Bittersweet” and “Not Listening.”

Next I headed over to the Nintendo 3DS stage to check out Moving Mountains.  Before their set started, I caught the last couple of songs from Simple Plan.  I was slightly shocked to see them on the tour, but their new album is not too shabby.  Lyrically, the band grew up.  I really enjoy their single “When I’m Gone.”  They ended with crowd pleaser “I’d Do Anything”.  Oh high school, oh reminiscing.

Moving Mountains

I’m happy to now cross Moving Mountains off my list of bands to see.  When previewing the band, I was reminded of The Get Up Kids (think On A Wire) with a touch of Brand New, which is extremely rare.  The band owned the stage and their performance was nothing less than phenomenal.  “The Cascade,” “With One’s Heart In One’s Mouth” and “Where Two Bodies Lie” are my favorite tracks.  I can’t wait to check out their albums.  Emo music used to be good back in the day when it first became a popular, yet it is still a misunderstood and undefined genre.  This band reminds me of that; like when ’emo’ wasn’t such a shameful word.  I deem this band mandatory to check out.

The Narrative


The Narrative was up next at Kia/Kevin Says stage.  Local natives to Long Island, NY, the crowd filled rather fast, and more were gathering as each note played.  I loved “Fade” and “The Moment That It Stops”.  Their voices (Suzie Zeldin and Jesse Gabriel) are just so pleasant to hear with melodic hooks and lyrics.  When I take my next train ride, I know “Trains” will be on my iPod.  The music paints a great picture of the best train ride you’ll ever take; like you’re 5 years old and it’s your first time on one.  I get Tim Burton vibes from this song, but that’s probably just me.  The band may not have been something I would expect on the tour, but hey, the times they are a changin’.  We’re All Warped.

Finally.

A break between bands to check out the sites and find some shade.

I love the cloths from Sooshi Clothing Company.  They have these adorable plush wasabi/ginger duo and sashimi.  Sadly, they’re only up for raffle, so I opted for a shirt, this oneSkull Candy was selling head phones for $10 on top of throwing some free pairs into the crowd.  There were giant drinking water trucks with “durkin water” to fill up your water bottles and misting tents to cool down.  The Monster Energy truck was on site providing air-conditioned seating and free Monster drinks.  I love the Absolutely Zero; it’s energy without the guilt.  Oh, and of course I couldn’t forget to catch some skaters!

Middle Class Rut

I have to admit, I had no idea Middle Class Rut consisted of only two members Zack Lopez (vocals/guitar) & Sean Stockham (vocals/drums).  Before there set, I had only heard their single “New Low,” which I love.  I wish I could say the same about their other tracks, but didn’t care for them.  Was it lacking something?  It still felt like a full sound on stage, but it got repetitive after a while, and this coming from a gal who loves her jam bands.  I didn’t stick around for the full set and of course, “New Low” was played last.  I heard it half way across the venue and thought to myself “Fuck,” but sang along to the chorus anyway.

Lucero

When I was checking the lineup of the tour this year, I knew I had to make a stop and hear Lucero.  Again, a sound I thought I’d never experience on Warped Tour.  This alternative/country/punk band from Memphis had just enough punk rock in their veins to spark my interest.  I’m picking up Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen and at times and Gaslight Anthem.  It’s something that everyone can enjoy and I appreciate them being on the tour.  “The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo” is a must hear.  Listen here.

Roger Manganelli, Less Than Jake

The highlight of the day was watching Less Than Jake perform while standing on stage left.  Taking pictures in a photo pit is awesome, but stage shots just rock harder.  Less Than Jake takes to the stage like a fish to water (or the smell of weed at The Expendables’ set); they are natural performs and there was never a dull moment on stage.  They were fast to point out some visions of Long Island; Chris Demakes told a young girl who flashed her tits to “Put them away!”  Rightfully so, good move Demakes.

Less Than Jake

Another issue/concern they pointed out was the haircut choices of the crowd; lots were sporting the Justin Beiber do and that was not going to fly.  The band pulled up on stage one of the look-a-likes and made it a point that this had to change.  JR revealed the mohawk strip and buzzer.  The original kid chickened out, thus proving the wimpy look and demeanor the Beiber cut holds, and a true punk rocker was selected.  He let JR and Buddy shave his head into a mohawk.  Not over yet, the band pulls a girl from the audience for the freshly mohawk rebel to make out with on stage.  Only downfall to the onstage mohawk was my location and the direction the wind.   Thank God for giant speakers to duck behind to dodge the hair.  “Mr. Personality” from their new EP Greetings From… was a big hit, as were all the classics.  They deliver so many songs in one set it feels like they covered everything I wanted to hear.  I was happy to hear three tracks from TV/EP released back in October 2010, the theme songs to Animaniacs, Spongebob Squarepants and i-Carly.  Before I knew it, we were asked to leave the stage and the band was performing their last song.  What a great experience!  Coming soon, NVMP’s interview w/ JR!

Big D

Big D & The Kids Table was up next, another Warped veteran on bill.  I wasn’t able to catch their entire set, but still had a great time.  They played some tracks off of their new album that dropped on 7/5/11, The Damned, The Dumb and The Delirious.  Ska music is getting scarce these days, so you have to appreciate the classics.  Sure, there are new bands coming out w/ brass sections trying to keep Ska alive, but remember your roots;  both LTJ and Big D have been around since the 90s.  Ska is a genre of music.  If you don’t like it, then you don’t have to listen.  Fact is, the sound has never changed; ska music is known for having a horn section to tie together the elements of a rock/punk band.  Ska music will always have a place on my iPod.

Go Radio

Another new band I’m happy to have discovered this year is Go Radio on Fearless Records.  Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, these rockers have some dangerously addicting songs that had me practically paralyzed at the stage.  The lyrics are catchy and the hooks are strong enough for me to have just used the word “paralyzed”.  This is Jason Lancaster’s band since leaving Mayday Parade.  I got a good taste of this band to make me definitely dig deeper into their music.  “Goodnight Moon” was #8 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and sold more than 15,000 copies in 2010 off of Do Overs And Second Chances.  “Any Other Heart” was great live; lots of passion and energy, and definitely a song that drags you in and leaves you wanting more.

The Expendables

Blacklist Royals

No strangers to the tour, up next were The Expendables.  Ryan DeMars made a quick statement before their set, something to the tune of ‘light ’em if you got ’em.’  A minute later, the audience smelled fantastic and the mood mellowed out.  I love reggae.  I love punk.  I love The Expendables.  “Down Down Down” and “Sinsemilla” are my favorite tracks.

Another new band to check out was Blacklist Royals.  I hear Rancid and the Ramones with a taste of Gaslight Anthem, which means it grabbed my attention immediately and deserves a fair listen.   Their stage presence was pure energy and they knew how to keep the attention of the crowd.  Great set and will definitely be checking out more of their music. 
“American Hearts” and “Sick of Sin” are great tracks to start with.

illscarlett


The last band I was able to catch was illscarlett.  These boys are certainly no stranger to VWT, and this year, Lyman selected them to play the entire tour.  You’ve come a long way illscarlett, from playing your music at the gates of Warped Tour to rocking out on the whole festival!  Dub rock is a type of music that is extremely hard to hate, or at least that’s how I feel.  Yet again, their live set was able to get the crowd to unite and puff, puff pass.

All in all, it was another successful year at the Vans Warped Tour.  I can’t help but to feel that the theme this year was fusion bands.  With acts like Larry and his Flask, Lucero, Lionize, Peelander-Z, MC Lars and Weerd Science, River City Extension, all combining different elements of various genres, it lets us hear music we might have never listened to.  IE- I’m not a fan of country, but Lucero is pretty damn sweet.  In River City Extention there are eight members and that alone is enough of a fusion to create a unique sound.  We’re all warped, see you there next year!   Thanks for everything.

Here is a slide show of the best pictures I took at Warped this year, enjoy!

Review and Pictures by Tina Nicole Teresi

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Flogging Molly’s 7th Annual Green 17 Tour Has Started, Let The Count Down To St. Patrick’s Day Begin! February 9, 2011

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE DOWNLOAD OF FLOGGING MOLLY’S NEW SINGLE “DON’T SHUT EM DOWN”
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Yes!  We can hardly contain ourselves either!  Flogging Molly’s 7th Annual Green 17 Tour is now making its way across the US and shortly to the east coast!  With the tour off to a fresh start, NVMP is looking forward to the dates at House of Blues in Atlantic City, NJ on 2/19 and Terminal 5 in New York, NY on 3/2.  The Green 17 Tour started in 2004 as a count down to St. Patrick’s Day with a performance celebration in each city leading up to the holiday.  Which city is your city?  Check out the cities and venues of the tour below.

If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, I hope you’re blessed with the luck of the Irish, because these tickets won’t be available for long.  To buy your tickets now and for more information, visit www.floggingmolly.com.

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE DOWNLOAD OF FLOGGING MOLLY’S NEW SINGLE “DON’T SHUT EM DOWN”
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

 

CMJ 2010 November 9, 2010

Review by TNT

As new music filled the streets of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg during CMJ 2010, I was eager to discover something new for my ears to devour.  I did my research and planned a schedule; I was able to see majority of the bands and artists that struck my musical fancy and I will share some of those gems in just a moment.  In a future post, I will give a list of bands deemed worthy of checking out, either live or recorded, that’s your prerogative.

Its business time!

On Tuesday night, 10/19, I headed to NYU Judson Church to pick up my badge.  Walking through Washington Square Park felt like a moment of clarity and a breath of relief.  We all have our day jobs, and this year I was hitting up CMJ Tuesday through Friday immediately after mine, braving the rushing hour traffic from Jersey to NYC (averaging around an hour and a half of traffic each day).  This felt like my happy hour (minus the bar).  Working through a day job you don’t love and following it up with something you just can’t get enough of (new music, NYC, networking, meeting up with friends you don’t get to see as much as you’d like to), even knowing that you’re not going to be sleeping all week, made every second worthwhile.  Next stop was right next door, NYU Kimmel Center, for the festival guide and other various goodies.  Props to Reverend Moose and company for selecting such unbelievably fashionable travel bags.

Last but not least, I hunted down the Pure Volume House, which was conveniently located at the back alley of Extra Pl., a street I never knew existed in NYC until now.  I grabbed my pass, but am sad to say that I never made it inside.  Guess the discovery of Extra Pl. was good enough.   I saw Aunt Martha at Pianos once again.  Three members out of four played, but were still able to fill the air with their ambiance.  At least the last time I saw them there were four members, but their MySpace says three is the magic number.  But that is neither here nor there.  I always fall in love with the picture their lyrics and beats paint; it washes over me like a tidal wave.  My favorite songs were “Neighbor Song” and “Detroit City”.  They’ll be at The Living Room on 11/12 if you want to check them out live.

My favorite band at CMJ was Black Taxi.  I saw them at Bowery Electric Tuesday night and at the CMJ Gallery on Wednesday.  They always blow my mind.  Their live show is seriously not to be missed; so much energy and raw power!  Lead singer Ezra brings out a smorgasbord of instruments to keep your eyes and ears at attention.  My favorite?  The megaphone.  This man knows how to use it, especially in “Up Here for Thinking, Down There for Dancing”.  He crawled along the bar at the CMJ Gallery and jumped into the crowd.  I love Things of That Nature; every single song is a hit for me.  I dare you to not love them live, I double dog dare ya!

After surviving more rush hour traffic, I was ready hit the clubs and bars supporting CMJ on Wednesday.  One of the first bands I saw was the New Collisions @ CMJ Gallery.  This was a great band to check out live.  The lyrics were a mix between fun, carefree anthems and some darker lines.  The sound had a powerful pop rock/punk vibe with a new wave touch.  Besides their onstage energy, I thought the synth really made this band come alive.  Their catchy rhythms and beats kept the crowd moving.

I hate when you walk into a show and you know the band is on their second to last or last song.  It was a real shame with Click Clack Boom because they sounded like a band I would have wanted to catch their entire set.  I wish I could have heard more.  No use being upset, they often play in NYC.  I’m excited to hear more from this band and look forward to seeing them live again, hopefully a full set this time around.
One of the buzz bands at CMJ this year was Blood Red Shoes, whom I checked out at Le Poisson Rouge.  Minimal effects, just raw guitar riffs and drums made this rock duo from Brighton, UK a must see.  I loved what I heard on their MySpace page, but was not overly impressed with them live; I was expecting more from all the hype.  I liked that they both had a ‘I don’t care’ attitude while on stage, as if they were both in their own worlds and communicating only by looks.  Their music was pure and I would enjoy them at house party, but otherwise wouldn’t see them live again.

What could be a better end to a night of live music then with a dance party?  Nothing, which is why my last stop Wednesday night was at Bowery Ballroom to see The Knocks.  So much fun!  I can add them to my list of bands I’d hire to play a private party.  This duo knows how to kick it into high gear and get a crowd going wild.  The Knocks have been on my ‘must see’ list for some time, and I was not let down.  I recommend checking out some music, live if you can.

Free Poutine anyone?

Turbogeist at Bruar Falls

Thursday I had my heart set on seeing only a couple of bands.  I started at Arlene’s Grocery for Braids at the M for (pour) Montreal showcase.  As I waited for the music to start, I tried some free poutine, which is the Canadian version of disco fries (cheese and gravy on french fries).  I wasn’t crazy about the poutine, as the cheese was chunky and cold, the gravy was hot, and the fries were stale.  Maybe next time Canada, but I’m gonna pass on your version of an American classic.  I was not in love with Braids, they were all about the effects and it sounded like one big experiment to me.  I respected the effort and the sound was interesting to hear.  I stayed for most of their set when I was honestly done with them after the first few songs.  It started to get a bit repetitive.  Experiments are usually fun to watch, but I just wasn’t getting down with Braids.  I decided to hit up Bruar Falls in Williamsburg to catch Turbogeist from London/SE UK.  Tonight was the last show on their tour and knew it could not be missed.  This thrash rock band had so much energy and was just the music I needed to hear after the cab ride from hell (note to self and others- do not get a hot cup of coffee for a cab ride in NYC.  It’s just not going to happen).  “Extreme Closeup” was a great song to hear live and is about Wayne’s World.  I also loved “Ice Cold Beer” and “Devil’s Barter”.  This band is must see/must hear, check them out immediately!

Friday, the last day of CMJ for TNT.  I started the night at Pianos to check out Lord Huron for my curiosity.  Their MySpace page had me intrigued with elephants swimming in the ocean.   While listening, I felt like water was flowing all around me and that I was on vacation, either in Hawaii (because of the hula dancers on-screen behind them) or Africa (music has a tribal/tropical feel to it, like I was going on a safari).  I don’t think I came to any conclusions while listening to Lord Huron, but I did like the relaxed and chilled state their music put me in.  Any kind of music that is new to my ears and can do that gets a thumbs up in my book.  I wanted to see Bonfire at The Delancey, but due to a last-minute cancellation, I stuck around to check out Midnight Spin.  I liked what I heard, but it was short-lived when a bass string broke on stage.  It happens, but I didn’t have the time to stick around because K.Flay was playing next at Fat Baby.  Man alive, this girl is talented!  She can rap like no one I’ve ever heard.  Such speed and accuracy made me pay attention long ago, but any chance to hear her live is not to be taken for granted.  She just finished up a tour w/ Passion Pit and is on tour with 3OH!3.  Phenomenal!

The band to surprise me the most was Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.  You know when you know of a bands’ existence and have heard a song or maybe two, but just never really gave them the light of day or a fair chance?  This is what DEJJ was for me, until this epic night.  I LOVED every single song they played, reminding me of a mix between OkGo and Weezer and a touch of The Beatles.  The harmonies blew me away, the sound was so in tune that it felt natural for them; the pitch was perfect.  I was shocked to see them in the racing jumpsuits; those things have to be heavy and hot.  After the show, I did confirm with Daniel Zott that it’s 100% true.  Until next year CMJ!

 

Rockstar Energy Drink presents the UPROAR FESTIVAL! September 8, 2010

Review by Angela BlasiAugust 29, 2010- PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ.

Nothing says Sunday summer afternoon quite like a beautiful day complete with clear skies, scorching sun, and of course, face melting guitar riffs and guttural screams.  This particular Sunday played host to the UPROAR Festival sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink; a day dedicated to the enjoyment of pure, American metal in all its glory.  Now, I’m not a metal head by any means, but I have an eclectic taste in music and there is definitely plenty of mental in there.  A nice change of pace from my latest musical undertakings, I hit the road to the show excited to see main stage performers Disturbed, Halestorm, Stone Sour, and Avenged Sevenfold.

Having been to Ozzfest a few times in the past at this particular venue, I came into the show expecting the same type of huge outdoor set up, rife with all things metal.  However, being a bit smaller of a bill than Ozzy’s, the outdoor set up was modest, housing only a few stands for accessories, clothing, and food as well as each bands specific merch table.  Thus, for the rest of the day my mind had dubbed this concert, “Ozzfest Lite.”  I made my way over to the second stage, or Jagermeister stage, in time to catch super group HellYeah. Comprised of members from successful bands Mudvayne, Nothingface, and Damageplan, this group held promise to make each show about having an amazing time with one another and their audience; absolutely no distinction between band or audience member.  Having been a long time fan of Mudvayne myself, hearing Chad Gray’s familiar vocals once again was refreshing.  I always loved his ability to go from melodic tones into screams that had this way of purging my youthful anger.  However, in this group I found the vocals swayed more towards the screaming and rougher side of his range.  A well-rounded mix of southern rock, country and pure metal, HellYeah brought their blend of music loving, beer drinking and red-blooded American passion for their craft to the festival.  At one point Gray even announced that he was going to do what he did at every show the last few dates, and that’s drink and have a good time with his friends as every member of the audience was one with the band, just in a different geographic location.  I didn’t stay for the entirety of their set.  Having heard a good half way though their set, I decided I’d seen enough and went to go stake out my spot on the lawn.  I felt as though it was just pure metal, heavy and in your face as I would expect any outfit in such a genre to be.  Nothing crazy or insanely catching as far as my musical taste was concerned.

On to the main stage!

Halestorm was the first act to appear on the main stage at PNC and admittedly, I was interested in seeing them.  I had only become familiar with their music fairly recently, but I enjoyed it so I looked forward to seeing if they had the chops to entertain me live.  When their show time finally arrived the arena was filled with the solo vocals of one Lzzy Hale, crooning into the mic signaling to the audience that the show had begun.  I had to give it to her, the woman could sing.  Her ability to sing a cappella for the first few minutes of the show while also staying in tune and exercising fantastic breath control (she was holding some nice melodic lines), began to sell me on this bands live performance and musical prowess.  Minutes later the rest of the band joined her on stage breaking into the song “It’s Not You.”  They had a more mainstream feel with thick guitar riffs tuned down to create an edgy sound that could appeal to a more widespread audience.  Furthermore, drummer Arejay Hale was a small beast behind the kit, leaving me glued to his movements as he created a solid foundation for the group.  Overall, I loved their set.  Though, it was brief they diversified their time on stage with more than just playing to an audience.  I particularly enjoyed Arejay’s use of giant prop drumsticks (by the way, he still tore it up with those) and their brief intermission of a Stomp like rhythmic breakdown.  Yes, at one point they brought metal trash cans front and center, each grabbing a pair of drum sticks and playing their hearts out while still creating cohesive music.  It was definitely unexpected, but different isn’t always bad.  One could see that this band was all about having a good time and playing the music they love.

Next up was Stone Sour, led by notable Slipknot front man Corey Taylor.  Honestly, I never really followed this band outside of their mainstream hits, “Bother” and “Through the Glass”.  But like always, I approached their set with open ears and mind.  They were definitely a tight musical unit, delivering hard rock with Corey’s signature vocals.  Other than that, their set left something to be desired for me.  I’m not saying they suck or anything, but there was very little interaction between band members.  In fact, Corey really was the main focus of the set.  Granted, he is the front man, but in all honesty I never found myself wanting to take a look at the other musicians as they held little interest for me.  Maybe it’s just me and my personal taste, but it felt lacking, like they could have brought more energy to the stage.  Understand, they didn’t make me want to up and flee like many bands I’ve seen live have done, their music just doesn’t do it for me.

And then Avenged Sevenfold took the stage.  By this point the sun had gone down and all of PNC Bank Arts Center was shrouded in darkness.  The house lights cut out and the black curtain drew itself back treating my eyes to a visually stunning display of cemetery gates and devilish backdrop only to make my jaw literally drop when a man, appearing to have hanged himself, came falling from the ceiling.  The first innocent notes of “Nightmare” rang out and the audience surged to life.  Creating this epic feel with both setup and energy, Avenged Sevenfold blew me the fuck away.  Lead and rhythm guitarists Sinister Gates and Zacky Vengeance, often took center stage, playing side by side with their right and left-handed guitars, impressing the hell out of me with their nimble fingers and perfect squeals while giving me this stunning picture of brothers in metal.  This was more than music, this was a show.  Not one other band I had seen so far created this intense energy that heightened the state of the entire crowd.  Circle pits broke out all over the lawn and bodies flew into one another in a pulsing dance, physically channeling each pound of the kick drum, every shredded riff, and moving faithfully to each word M. Shadows belted out.  From pyrotechnics to fireworks, this band rocked the house so hard it felt like this was their headlining show; which I feel they absolutely stole by the way.  Not going to lie, I asked myself how in the world Disturbed could follow that.  Their music is this dark, unyielding force, shredding its way through every single crowd it encounters, leaving them changed.  Notably, I admit, I saw many an Avenged Sevenfold t-shirt that day, more than any other band, which should have told me something.  And in true die-hard metal fan fashion, I noticed the lawn cleared out considerably after their set ended, meaning the fans had seen what they came for.  Prior to this, I was only vaguely familiar with their music, and even more clueless to their stage show.  After that, I can honestly say I’m a convert and would jump at the chance to see them again.

Finally the time had come for Disturbed, the main attraction to grace the stage.  I had seen this band several years before and I distinctly remember them delivering a high quality performance.  As a result, I had expectations for this evenings show.  Opening with a short film clip that went back and forth between flashes of adulthood and childhood in a horror movie like fashion, it depicted singer David Draiman’s torment and escape from confinement.  Subsequently, the movie synced up with his appearance on stage, where he joined band mates and broke into “Remnants.”  A simple stage setup of digital background lent itself to their set for the night, flashing with different colors and images as each song played on.  For the first few numbers I felt as though the band’s energy was lacking and David’s signature growls weren’t as clean and on point as I remembered them to be in their last performance.  It was difficult to tell at first if the band was really into the set at all.  However, as the set got underway, the vibe felt more natural and David was more interactive with the crowd, leading the audience in unison to raise their fists in the air.  Admittedly, the entire arena was in sync with the band, all chanting and pumping fists at his every command.  It was a mellower feel in opposition to the crazy energy just unleashed by the previous act, but still encapsulated the entire audience.  Playing tracks off their new release Asylum, as well as a great mixture of fan favorites like closer, “Down with the Sickness” and hit single “Stupefy,” I liked their set and found the music to be well-played and cleanly delivered.  The band members seemed to keep to themselves for most of the set, each separately defining his presence while creating a unit.  I’m glad I stayed until the very last note had rang out instead of fleeing in hopes of beating the traffic rush, as it was definitely a great set overall.

So there you have it.  My take on the musical acts adorning this years Rockstar Uproar Festival.  The metal scene in all its patriotism and no-nonsense attitude came out to show their love and support for the music that has defined countless fans for years.  On the whole, the show was definitely a success and worthy of revisiting in the future inceptions.

 

Guiding the Warped Tour – 5 Minutes with Andrew W.K. August 24, 2010

Klone and TNT with Andrew W.K. at Warped Tour 2010

TNT – How has the Warped Tour been so far this year, would you say it’s mid-way through?
AWK – Well said, it’s about mid-way right now.  We’re at the Warped Tour 2010 going strong, this is the 16th year of the Warped Tour and it’s our 2nd time doing the entire tour.  We did a handful of shows in 2002 when we were primarily on the Ozzfest and then we did the entire tour, headlining on the main stage in 2003, and now to be invited back after all that time, seven years later, 2010, we are just very happy to be here.  We’re at the half way point, just looking at the calendar now, two or three more shows will mark the official half way, but we’re getting close and gosh, it still feels like it just started.

TNT – What was it like filming your new animated video “I Wanna See You Get Wild”?  (Click Here to watch the video!)
AWK – Thank you, yes.  This is a new video we have, the first ever video for Andrew W.K. that features a green scene with live action, motion graphics and animated figures.  I never shot a video where I actually had to plan out my movement for more than a few seconds.  Normally we’d film the whole song a bunch of different ways, you do the whole take and then you then cut it together in editing.  But for this, it was “From 1 minute and 3 seconds to 1 minute and 6 seconds you’ll move from point A to point B, then circle back to point C and then return to point A.  That will comprise those three seconds.  Now we move on to the next four seconds.”  We broke it down and I think the results speak for themselves, “I Wanna See You Go Wild”, our music video off of our latest album Close Calls With Brick Walls.

KLONE – Do you want to do more stuff like that in the future after having an experience like that or do you want to keep it more like ‘let me just get on stage and rip it apart’ kind of videos?
AWK – I want a little bit of everything.  In my life, I want to experience as much as I possibly can.  I am a big fan of Peter Jackson.  Now Peter Jackson has filmed many of his movies, of course the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with a lot of green screen or blue screen; whatever color suits your fancy, go with it!  Now, I learned from that.  I watched those movies, I enjoyed them, I absorbed them and I want to be able to include that type of performance, that type of production in my repertoire.  I want to be able to say ‘Hey, I shot something on blue screen’ and you know what, we just did.  “I Wanna See You Go Wild” that video, it’s a blue screen/green screen, it’s a video that was made using that technology and if I ever get to do it again, I’ll say ‘Hey, I’m doubly blessed’.

TNT – So what’s next for you after Warped Tour?  Do you have anything in the works?
AWK – Absolutely.  Of course, again, very happy to be back not only on warped tour, but just back with my full band performing traditional concerts.  This is the first time I’ve been on a nationwide tour with my full band, playing concerts on a world-wide basis since, really 2005, 2006.   Things turned crazy for me around that time.  Fortunately now, four, five years down the road, we’ve gotten them all worked out.  All the loose ends have been tied up into a beautiful bow, that bow has encased itself around a beautiful gift, that gift is the freedom to do and be Andrew W.K. all the way, one hundred percent, one hundred and TEN percent and that’s what we’re bringing in 2010 and 2011!  New albums, full nation-wide tours, world tours, maybe a book, more television; we want to take this party message out there using every mode, every method, every style of entertainment we can!

KLONE – Well we’re happy to help continue proving that Andrew W.K. exists and helping support your identity out there with everything we were talking about back in the winter time.  How has everything been going with that?  Everything positive and moving forward?
(Klone is referring to our first interview with Andrew W.K., click here to read and listen)
AWK – I appreciate you asking about that, I appreciate your support.  Anybody out there who has joined us partying, who has found some value, some experience as part of Andrew W.K., if it means anything to you, thank you very much for choosing to participate on that level and I’m here to continue that.  My name is Andrew W.K. and I’m here to keep it going. As far as everything else is concerned, all those elements, all those questions have been answered, all the pieces have been into place,  the puzzle has been finished.  And now we can just move on, move forward, have fun, party hard, you know how we do it.

TNT and KLONE – We can state that he’s definitely here in the flesh, he’s a real person, he’s not a hologram.
AWK – Yes, I am.  This is 3-d 100% in the flesh, Andrew W.K. talking to you live here.  I’m wearing the proper white clothing, I even have the white socks on.  So there you go, that’s proof.
KLONE – He does, I see them right there.

TNT – If you had to, could you pick one band you’d love to go on tour with?
AWK – There are so many groups out there I would love to tour with.  We’ve been fortunate enough to tour with so many of them, whether it’s been with Aerosmith, whether it’s been touring, of course, on something like today, Warped Tour, or Ozzfest that I mentioned earlier, or touring with bands like High on Fire, The Locust, The Used even.  I mean we’ve played with all kinds of groups, all kinds of folks.  We want to keep it going and that’s the tradition that we intend to establish and continue.  To continue partying, playing with music of all sorts, taking the party to people of all places and really making sure that joy is spread throughout the world as often and as much as possible.

 

Reel Big Fish Interview, 7/17/10 Warped Tour @ Nassau Coliseum August 13, 2010

Interview by Angela Blasi

Angela Blasi: I’m here speaking with Reel Big Fish and for the record you are…
Reel Big Fish: Aaron Barrett and Dan Regan from the Reel Big Fish!

AB: It’s kind of late in the day, how’s Warped tour been so far for NY?
Barrett: So far so good, we haven’t played yet.
Regan: We have a lot of time to get pumped up…and eat live cobras…get ready.
Barrett: We’ve been going on first or last this tour.  I prefer last.

AB: You guys get to close the show pretty much?
Barrett: Yeah, at 11am I like to be sleeping.  That’s why I chose the rock n’ roll touring lifestyle, so I could be asleep at noon.

AB: What do you normally do to get ready for a show, before you hit the stage?  Any pre-show rituals?
Regan: We avoid each other so that when we get on stage, its magic.  It’s like were seeing each other for the first time, like a new-born fawn falling out of its mother.
Barrett: We all change our clothes at the same time on the bus…try not to look at each others balls.

AB: Hows that workin’ out?
Barrett: Awful.  We love balls.
Regan: It’s so hard not to look at the balls.

AB: We are a music blog called Nevermind the Posers, and we’re dedicated to keeping music real.  Now, you guys play a lot of colleges, which I love that you still do despite your fame.  What is it about playing colleges and that type of environment that keeps you coming back?
Barrett: We pretty much play anywhere we’re invited.  That’s why.  A lot of colleges ask us, so we go play for ‘em.
Regan: We would play the Playland at Mcdonalds if they wanted to have us.
Barrett: If someone said ‘hey come and set it up,’ we’d do it.  We definitely try to play a variety of gig.  Tours of the UK where we’re playing fairly small venues, sometimes we’re playing giant festivals like this, or sometimes colleges, even acoustic invite only things.  We really try to spread it out, it keeps it fresh.

AB: Do you find it keeps you on an even keel?
Regan: Definitely, and the unifying factor in all of this that the fans are always so awesome and they’ll come out and see whatever.

AB: Not gonna lie, the first time I ever saw you guys was at a college in Vermont in the middle of nowhere.
Regan: Vermont is the middle of nowhere though, so that’s kinda redundant.

AB: I admired that though.  It was great that you guys were still out there giving it your all.  I’ve noticed that your live show comes across with a lot of energy, a lot of fun.  Is that something you strive for or does it just come naturally?
Barrett and Regan: Oh yeah, definitely.
Regan: We’re pretty awkward people in regular life, so we get on stage and it’s like we can finally relax and be awkward…professionally.
Barrett: We like to play, so we have a lot of fun being up on stage.

AB: Is there something you guys like to do, a favorite song you like to play, a certain gimmick, something you love doing for the audience that they always react to?
Barrett: Any song that they go crazy for.  I like doing that.  It starts, they recognize it and they start screaming and going crazy.

AB: Any top songs?
Barrett:  The “Beer” song, “Take on Me,” and “She Has A Girlfriend Now.”

AB: Have you found any other bands on this tour that you’ve gotten into, discovered or become fans of?
Regan: Nothing has jumped out yet, there’s a band people keep telling us to check out that’s a blue grassy thing- The Reverend Payton and his Big Damn Band.  We’re kind of waiting to see a lot of our friends, like Streetlight [Manifesto] and Chase Long Beach, then there will be more horn players hanging out.
Barrett: I saw a cool reggae band today called Tomorrows Bad Seeds.  Kind of like the reggae rock thing.

AB: Ok, last question.  Being that we’re Nevermind the Posers, we like to ask people how they define a poser.  So in your own words, as bluntly and as vulgarly as you’d like, what’s your definition of a poser?
Regan: It’s hard, you know, our style of music definitely brings an eclectic group of people together.  You got a lot of people who only know about us from radio and Baseketball maybe, or a lot of little band geeks.  Which, that’s me.  We’re an all-encompassing group.  I’d say…how to recognize a poser…usually they’re wearing some kind of pro-sports team attire.  Because that’s like instant inclusion.  It’s like,  ‘hey we’re friends automatically because we shopped at the same mall shop.’
Barrett: Oh man, you just pissed off a whole lot of people just then…sports fans get angry.  A poser…someone who tries way too hard to have a certain look or certain uniform for a music style or something.  Gotta have the perfect mohawk, the tightest pants, sleeviest tattoo sleeve.
Regan
: You can always spot the poser, they’re trying the hardest.  You should be practicing your instrument not doing your hair.
Barrett
: You should enjoy the music and what you do, not if people can tell how punk rock or hardcore or how whatever you are.

AB: I feel like you guys definitely stay true to yourselves and do just that.
Barrett: I don’t care what anyone thinks or if anyone knows what kind of music I listen to or if I’m cool or not.
Regan: He can say that because he’s so damn cool.
Barrett: I know, I’m that cool and I don’t care.

AB: To wrap up, you’ve been interviewing all day, is there anything you want to share with us or your fans that you haven’t been asked.  Maybe something you’d like to promote, anything?
Regan: Just get out there and see the show.  We love to see everyone come out to shows and boogie.
Barrett: We love to play, so come watch us do it.  Because if you’re not there, it’s really awkward, just an empty room.