November 5, 2016
The Music Hall at Fair Park – Dallas, TX
Photos & Words by: Mike Mezeul
Over the past six years, I have had the privilege of photographing nearly 200 concerts and experiencing some amazingly, mind-blowing shows. From KISS to Tim McGraw and more, but nothing that I have seen has come close to the outstanding performance put on by the extremely talented, Lindsey Stirling. To say her show is worth every penny is simply an understatement. Let me explain so hopefully you will have an understanding of why you need to attend one of Lindsey’s shows on her latest tour, Brave Enough.
Reviewed by: B. Cross
Steven Wilson’s name has been legend among progressive rock aficionados for many years now, and his current tour in support of his latest concept work Hand. Cannot. Erase. drew quite a diverse crowd to the Palladium. Old-school proggers in Rush shirts stood side-by-side with longhairs sporting Emperor patch-laden battle vests. That’s how much Wilson’s music means to people, and when you hear it, you’ll understand. (I should also note that for once, I wasn’t the oldest guy in attendance. That’s always a nice change of pace.)
Wilson’s set was comprised of nearly all of Hand. Cannot. Erase., kicking off with an extended intro into “First Regret,” moving down the line in proper order. Highlights included the title track and “Perfect Life,” not to mention the powerful “Routine.” Of course, the show wasn’t just Hand. Cannot. Erase.; the performance was interspersed with a few older tracks from Wilson’s solo career as well as his lauded Porcupine Tree compositions. From eloquent soundscapes to hard-hitting riffs with enough crunch to rattle the floorboards, Wilson and his immensely talented backing band shone a new light on earlier works like “Harmony Korine” alongside new material such as “Ancestral.” The set list was so well crafted that even the older songs felt like they belonged with the new pieces, forging one melodic whole that was far more than the sum of its parts. Read more
Reviewed by: B. Cross
I knew Nightwish was a big draw, but I’d never seen a show as packed as this one. When we arrived, we were greeted with the longest waiting line I’d ever seen. It snaked around the entire block, then back into the parking lot, where it curled around itself again. I spent most of the time wondering just how in the seven hells everyone was going to fit inside the venue, let alone how long it would take to reach the door. Much to my surprise, we only waited in line for less than an hour. Kudos to the Palladium staff for getting everyone into the building quickly and safely. Read more
Northeastern symphonic folk metallers Wilderun burst onto the scene with the release of their debut Olden Tales and Deathly Trails in 2012 (review here). After plenty of touring, songwriting, and life changes, the band raised funds via Kickstarter to record their next album, Sleep at the Edge of the Earth. (Full disclosure: I was a backer.) So how did it turn out? Read more
November 29, 2014
The Palladium – Worcester, MA
Review & Photos by: Jeff Palmucci
Halestorm played to a sold out crowd last Saturday at the Palladium in Worcester. The place was packed and these guys put on a great show. Lzzy Hale’s vocal work is amazing. She has the ability to come across as sweet or playful one moment and hard and aggressive the next, sometimes in the same song (Mz. Hyde). Read more
Outside of Extreme, Pat Badger has played with Jason Bieler of Saigon Kick in Super TransAtlantic and of course Tribe of Judah with Gary Cherone but has never really had his own project or solo effort. We all know what he brought to the table in all of these bands beyond his solid bass playing and that was his very underrated, extremely smooth harmonies. With that in mind, I had always wondered what a project of his own might sound like? My thought would be one part Cheap Trick, add in a touch of Queen, a sprinkle of Aerosmith, a dab of KISS and a small pinch of Van Halen and that would be a signature Pat Badger album. Well you know what, ‘Time Will Tell” from Badger is truly all of that and a whole lot more. Read more
Reviewed by: Roger Scales
It’s been three years since the release of the 2011 debut album from Hurtsmile that introduced to the rock world the first ever Cherone brothers (Gary –Vocals and Mark-Lead Guitar) musical compilation of straight up rock ‘n’ roll diverse in its musical content and ambitious in its lyrical approach. Add in a world class rhythm section with Joe Pessia (Tantric, DramaGods) on bass guitar and Dana Spellman on drums and Hurtsmile is all set to pick up where they left off. Read more
When I first heard about this book I basically expected a pretty vanilla offering from a very well known singer/songwriter/guitarist who just so happens to be a very devout Christian while fronting a heavy metal band called Stryper. I have been a very big Stryper fan going back as far as 1985, seeing them play in a small club in Boston and have never missed a single tour since. That being said, I was hoping that Michael’s book Honestly was going to give some insight to a number of questions I have had during the 30-plus year career of my fandom of Michael in Stryper such as who came up with the yellow and black outfit design? Why did Tim leave during the recording of To Hell With The Devil? Whatever happened to his short lived replacement Matt Hurich? Why in more recent years was their obvious reluctance to play songs off In God We Trust? Why did Michael essentially break up Stryper in 1992? Who got the band back together in 1999? Trust me, I got my answers and a whole lot more. Honestly is a no-frills look into the mind and soul of a man who has made mistakes, had musical and personal regrets but at the same time has been a loving husband and father while maintaining his stature as one of the top rock vocalists of his generation. Read more
Since Badlands’ 1991 release, Voodoo Highway, Jake E. Lee has led an incredibly low-profile musical existence. He has resurfaced from time to time with a few solo releases and a very short club tour with the short lived band Wicked Alliance, but none of his projects seem to take root and before too long he would be back living under the radar. Read more
The only reason there’s peace in Ireland is because we’re all over here!” – Dave King at the House of Blues, Boston
Flogging Molly played the House of Blues Boston last Wednesday to a packed house. Boston is a very Irish town and provided a lively audience for the Celtic punk band. For those of you unfamiliar with Flogging Molly: when I say Celtic punk, I don’t mean they are a punk band that simply started in Ireland. They are just as much Irish folk as anything else. To give you an idea of the atmosphere: picture a night at the Black Rose with an incredibly good and hard rocking band. Now, pack in 2400 people and add a mosh pit.
This is the 10th year of Flogging Molly’s Green 17 Tour. Each year, they take to the road around St. Patrick’s Day to support Boston’s hardest drinking holiday (no, New Year’s Eve isn’t close). Other bands do well to throw picks and drumsticks to the crowd. These guys throw cans of Guinness (really). No contest what I’d rather be catching.
I myself have had plenty of great St. Patrick’s days in Boston. After graduation, I moved in to a house in Southie (Boston’s Irish district) with 4 of my college buddies1 and one dog. When I say it was a dog, I’m being charitable. I doubt that Dreyfus had two brain cells to rub together. Incredibly stupid, and on top of that, my housemate Russ actively trained him to hump people’s legs. The house was right on the parade route, so we always had a huge St Patrick’s Day party. During these parties, we used food coloring to dye the dog green. With all the attention people lavished on Dreyfus, he had to be the happiest green dog in the world. No one even complained very much about the leg humping.2
Covering Irish bands like Flogging Molly brings me back to these wild parties. In addition to the standard rock instruments, this largish 7 piece band has people manning the accordion, flute, violin, mandolin, and banjo. These instruments help give the band their folk sound. For example, listen to Drunken Lullabies for great banjo and violin, and Devil’s Dance Floor features a flute and accordion riffing off of each other.
The band played “Rise Up” as a tribute to folk singer / activist Pete Seegar who passed away this January. Seegar, always one to stand up for what he thought was right, was blacklisted and indicted for contempt of Congress during the McCarthy era. Check out his Wikipedia entry, it is an interesting read. Also credited with popularizing the banjo as an American folk instrument, Seeger got a dedication stenciled on the band’s banjo.
Bridget Regan the band’s flautist and violinist is not only an incredible musician, but also married the front man Dave King. I guess the family that tours together stays together. However, while combing through the night’s photos, I came across this spousal moment. Hilarious. Her face is just shouting, “Back off honey, I’m busy.”
Flogging Molly puts on a great show. For the last decade, they’ve been getting people in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit with the Green 17 Tour. So go see them and have a happy St. Patty’s day. Just keep a wary eye on the green dog.
1 Five if you count Eugene, who crashed for a while for free on the back screened in porch in a kind of semi-homeless state.
2 After we moved out of the house, we saddled Eugene and Ed’s parents with Dreyfus. I’d just like to apologize to Mrs. Sweeney for any “training” issues they may have had, and would like to point out that it was all Russ’ fault.
- Wailing Wall
- Paddy’s Lament
- Every Dog
- Whistles the Wind
- Drunken Lullabies
- Tenement Square
- Saints and Sinners
- Requiem for a Dying Song
- Present State of Grace
- Son Neve Shines
- Us of Lesser Gods
- Tobacco Island
- Rare Old Times
- Devil’s Dance Floor
- Likes of You
- Rise Up
- Salty Dog
- What’s Left of the Flag
- Seven Deadly Sins
- World Alive
Check out our photo gallery from the Flogging Molly show: