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Gigantour 2008

April 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews

Gigantour 2008
Megadeth, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Job For A Cowboy, High On Fire

April 25, 2008
The Palladium – Worcester, MA

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Reviewed by:  Mary Ouellette

Let’s face it, for most metal fans, going to a Megadeth concert is pretty much taking a pilgrimage to watch one of the forefathers of thrash metal shred your face off. It’s a holy experience. For decades now Dave Mustaine has been holding the metal torch high and proud. Many soldiers of metal came before him and even more have followed the path in his footsteps after the fact, but very few have been able to grasp on to the secret to the longevity that Mustaine has sustained, including his own band members.

While the band has been plagued over the years with line-up changes, Dave’s passion for Megadeth remains the tie that binds, and even though the supporting cast may change from tour to tour, with Mustaine at the helm, fans will flock. Known for his signature snarl, raucous guitar solos, and honest, hard hitting lyrics that tell tales of politics, drug addiction and other tales from the underground, Megadeth continues to attract fans new and old who aren’t happy until they have the entire Megadeth library in their collection, for those of you counting that includes eleven studio albums, six live albums, two EPs, not to mention compilation albums and extras.

Gigantour, the now annual tour package that Mustaine put together, is now in it’s third year. Putting together the most diverse line-up of metal bands imaginable this year the tour boasts of a line up that could easily be crowned The United Nations of metal! The show kicked off with the power trio High On Fire followed by Arizona’s Job for a Cowboy opening the show and warming up the already pretty hyped up, full capacity crowd.

Gigantour 2008 - Job For a Cowboy Job For a Cowboy

While a chant of “Bodom, Bodom” could be heard between sets, the air started to get a little thick. Could it be the pride of Finland? As Children of Bodom hit the stage, the crowd hit it’s highest point with bodies being thrown through the air and the security guards working over time to play catch. It was clear, that the Children of Bodom fans were making their presence known. Children of Bodom rocked through their set with the crowd screaming in unison.

Gigantour 2008 - Children of Bodom Gigantour 2008 - Children of Bodom

Next up on our trip around the globe…Scandinavian death metal band In Flames. They assaulted the senses with strobing, pulsating lights and death metal that burned our ears off. Again a sea of bodies made their way forward as the band egged on a circle pit. Their wish…was the crowds command. Circle pit…check. Crowd surfing…check. Full frontal projectile vomit from the dude in the front row…check.

Gigantour 2008 - In Flames Gigantour 2008 - In Flames

While walking through the crowd I think the most amazing thing to me was the mix of ages, the range went from teenage boys and girls to old schoolers who remember Megadeth’s first album and their original line-up. It was an equal opportunity thrashfest for all.

On a personal note, seeing Megadeth was a surreal moment for me as it reminded me of someone I lost a long time ago. The only other time I saw Megadeth live was with her over a decade ago and at her personal insistence. It was hard to watch them take the stage without being overwhelmed with memories of that but it made the show all that more important to me. The first thing that smacks you in the face when Megadeth hits the stage is the larger than live drum kit on it’s larger than life drum riser, quite a sight to behold, but before you get too caught up with it, the songs begin, Dave’s snarl is in full force, and the crowd is eating it up chord by chord.

Gigantour 2008 - Megadeth

Another highlight for many fans was the addition of guitarist Chris Broderick (from Nevermore and Jag Panzer). Between he and Dave my head was spinning. The entire set was really metal in it’s purest form and I think at the end of the night the only thing people wanted was “one more song.”

If you’re a fan of metal, check out Gigantour when they come to a town near you.

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Jason Mraz

April 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews

jasonmrazIt’s been close to three years since we’ve had a new Jason Mraz album, and that break was just what he needed to refuel and rediscover himself. After taking some time off to enjoy the little things in life Mraz is back with We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things.

The album, which hits record stores on May 20th, delivers the clever lyrics and pop melodies that we’ve come to know and love and then some.  According to Mraz the songs are inspired “by these moments of self realization, self empowerment and self improvement.  I was happy to be able to write an album at the same time I was coming back to earth.”

Earth, Mars, Pluto..wherever he is, his passionate following is sure to follow, even if it means booking a trip on the space shuttle.  After a recent show in Pennsylvania TWRY Staffer Lexi sat down with the chosen one and a few of his friends to pick his brain about his new album and lessons learned.

Interviewed by: Lexi Shapiro | May 2008


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Anton Yurack of The Last Goodnight

April 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews

tlg2When The Last Goodnight’s major label debut “Poison Kiss” was released in August of 2007, the band was already hard at work on the road in support of it.  Making their way across the country state by state in a conversion van that broke down a time or two is a great way for a band to get to know each other, but given that the founding members of this band had been friends since high school, there wasn’t a lot left to discover.  Their first single “Pictures of You” was a fast hit and the video was a quick favorite as well.  People ate up their Poison Kiss and stuck around for a second dose, lethal or not…and sometimes thirds.

Soon after, they joined Elliot Yamin on tour and toured for the rest of the year bringing their brand of pop meets soul meets old meets new musical arsenal to the stage.  Their sound evokes a feeling of familiarity mixed with a vintage twist.  Their music has the innate ability to draw you in like a moth to a flame, it’s quite addictive. Songs about love and hope and the pursuit of happiness in this thing called life that make you think that the band sat down and wrote them for you and you alone, and maybe, just maybe, they did.

The musical clan (Kurtis John on lead singer, piano, Mike Nadeau on lead guitar, Anton Yurack on guitar, keys, (and harmonica!), Ely Rise on keys, Leif Christensen on bass and Skeeter McMillan on drums) are admittedly the best of friends and that kind of karma can only add to their success.  With their latest single and video for “Stay Beautiful” climbing up the charts, the future looks shiny and bright for this band.

Before a recent hometown show in Connecticut, guitarist Anton Yurack let me interrupt an episode of Cash Cab (who doesn’t love that show!) to pick his his brain about a year in the life of The Last Goodnight and all the amazing things in their future.

Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | May 2009
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Jacob Marshall of Mae

April 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews

maeJacob Marshall is not your average rock star. For one thing, he likes to talk about quantum physics — which, admittedly, went right over this reporter’s head. (Hey, it’s not his fault I barely made it through high school science.) He’s also refreshingly open about the kind of issues fans are curious about, but rarely hear discussed by other musicians. Overall, the Mae drummer just seems like an impressively deep guy. After chatting with him, you can’t help but feel motivated to consider how you could help make the world a better place. Kind of inspiring, actually.

Of course, Mae fans have been feeling inspired by the music of Marshall and his bandmates for the last six years. The Virginia Beach-based outfit, comprised of Marshall along with Dave Elkins (vocals/guitar) and Zach Gehring (guitar), hit big with their first two releases on indie label Tooth & Nail — “Destination: Beautiful” and “The Everglow.” After selling over 250,000 copies combined, Mae took their signature blend of pop and rock to a major label, signing with Capitol Records and releasing the widely-praised “Singularity” in August 2007. The band is currently on the road promoting the album, headlining a bill that also features The Honorary Title, Between The Trees, and Far-Less.

I caught up with Marshall before a recent show at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA, shortly after Mae performed an early-evening acoustic set to benefit Habitat for Humanity — a bonus they’re offering fans throughout the tour. During our talk, it became clear that the band is definitely in the midst of a transition period right now. But Mae fans, no need to worry. The band is handling the challenges being thrown at them extraordinarily well. They’re keeping the focus on what really matters: the music.

Interviewed by: Heather Kobrin | April 2008

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Hugo Ferreira of Tantric

April 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews

tantricmainFour years ago, Hugo Ferreira of Tantric was feeling pretty down and out.  First their record label folded, then he lost his manager, and the final blow came when the rest of his band walked out on him. Having lost everything he had, this might be enough for most people to call it quits, but for Ferreira it just added fuel to the fire that churned inside.  With a passion burning strong and the will to persevere he locked himself in his studio and wrote a new album.

Fast forward to the present.  Having resurrected an all-star line-up to support him with Kevin Miller on drums, Joe Pessia on guitar, Erik Leonhardt on bass and Marcus Ratzenboeck on violin, Tantric is set to release their new album on April 22nd.  Aptly titled The End Begins, this album will signify both an end and a beginning for both Tantric and Ferreira.

With the first single Down And Out already making it’s mark on rock radio from coast to coast, the band is getting an early start on promoting their new digs and has already hit the road in support of the new album.  On a busy afternoon full of interviews and cleaning the tour bus Ferreira took some time to fill us in on the new album, the new band, and how he managed to go from rock bottom to rock renegade.

Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | April 2008

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