Atlanta Gets Shaky: Shaky Beats 2018

 The Shaky Beats sign at Shaky Beats Music Festival 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Shaky Beats sign at Shaky Beats Music Festival 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Shaky Beats Music Festival at Central Park in Atlanta, Georgia just concluded its third run and it’s hard to put into words the mayhem that occurred over the weekend of May 11th through May 13th of 2018. This year’s lineup was stacked from top to bottom with some of the best names in the EDM genre. Throughout the weekend, Atlanta gave welcome to G Jones, Ludacris, Borgore, Ookay (LIVE), and Kayzo. And that’s only naming a few!

Friday kicked the weekend off with a bang with G Jones on the Peachtree stage. G Jones brought the heavy bass to Atlanta and kicked off the weekend with some wicked wubs. G Jones payed homage to his buddy Bassnectar several times throughout his set by touching on hits like “Mind Tricks” and “Underground”. His set kicked off the weekend with heavy bass that brought the head bangers out bright and early that day. It was the perfect way to kick off the festival for this year.

One set on Friday that brought all of Atlanta out to Central Park to get down and boogie was Ludacris. His set was an absolute dance party from start to finish. Ludacris came on roughly ten to fifteen minutes late, but pushed past his set time by about twenty minutes. As he opened his set, he let everyone know that he was ready and willing to play his whole discography. He pretty much went through all his number one hits during his time on the Peachtree stage. The crowd got to boogie to “Number One Spot”, “Stand Up”, and “What’s Your Fantasy”. And that’s not even scratching the surface on his set. Speaking of scratching, Ludacris had support from DJ Infamous. DJ Infamous is a force to be reckoned with at Shaky Beats.  He definitely know how to hype up a crowd and get everyone groovin’.

 And of course, we can’t forget the closing act from Friday night. The masked Marshmello himself came out to Shaky Beats to throw down a face melting set. Marshmello helped kick off the very, first ever Shaky Beats. Seeing him progress from one of the smaller stages to the main stage in just two years is an indicator of how rapidly the Mellogang is growing. His fans, known as the Mellogang, came out to Shaky Beats in full force sporting their DIY Mello-heads. Marshmello’s set threw down some groovy tunes that payed his respects to other well-known DJ’s in the industry while sprinkling in some of his heavy hitters like “LoVe U” and “BLocKs”.

Even though Friday kicked things off full force, Saturday came in for the kill and showed Shaky Beats had no intentions of taking it easy after the first day. The day had a killer lineup featuring Ookay (LIVE), Borgore, Excision, San Holo, and Shiba San. The day got super groovy when Ookay (LIVE) took the stage and we had a guest appearance from Roochute Ron at Central Park. Roochute Ron and the Festival Squad came to boogie with their Roochute and they conquered the whole festival set by set. People were thrilled to see the Roochute make an appearance at Shaky Beats. It’s literally the feeling you would get when you would walk into gym class as a kid and the teacher would pull out the parachute and the little scooter boards. The feeling of utter excitement and wonder washes over you when you see Roochute Ron and his squad show up. Things got super funky under the chute as Ookay cranked out his live version of “Next 2 Me”. We hope you were able to catch our live stream of that moment on Instagram. Concert Hopper would like to thank Roochute Ron, The Festival Squad and Ookay (LIVE) for the super groovy hour of dancing we got to enjoy on Saturday at Shaky Beats.

To take things from groovy and funky tunes to heavy bass in your face, Borgore conquered the Peachtree Stage after Ookay (LIVE). Borgore came through with a killer set list featuring songs like “Daddy”, “CoCo Puffs”, and his infamous hit “Nympho”. His set had everyone rocking the rail and I am surprised the rail didn’t shatter. Borgore is a classically trained musician who plays Saxophone and Piano and who is also able to produce some of the most filthy dubstep drops in the industry. He is also lined up to be working with artists like Gucci Mane later this year. Concert Hopper had the pleasure of sitting down with Borgore after his face melting set and chatting with him about his new releases and what he could possibly have planned for the future. You can read more about the opportunity we had to sit down with him here.

Sunday brought some big names to Central Park such as; Ofenbach, Medasin, Troyboi, Kayzo and Seven Lions. One set that was absolute mayhem from start to finish was Kayzo. Kayzo brought the Piedmont stage to its knees with a set riddled with bangers. From dropping a tribute to the late and great Chester Bennington from Linkin Park to getting all the head bangers riled up with a remix of Papa Roach’s “Last Resort”, Kayzo is definitely a former punk kid gone EDM. Kayzo is the place to be if you’re into some punk rock remixed with face melting, thrashing drops. He wasn’t the only artist throwing down on the last day, but he was definitely one of the highlight artists of that day.

Shaky Beats 2018 was an amazing follow up to Shaky Knees the previous weekend. This festival has bloomed into a wonderful place for people in the South to connect through the EDM genre. The community is growing and this year the festival took place at Central Park instead of Centennial Park like previous years. We here at Concert Hopper have loved watching the Shaky festivals in Atlanta evolve into what they are today. We certainly hope that this festival stays at Central Park. 

It's a Wrap: Shaky Beats (2018)

 Shaky Beats Music Festival 2018: Central Park (Atlanta, Ga.)

Shaky Beats Music Festival 2018: Central Park (Atlanta, Ga.)

What started out as the new kid on the festival block back in 2016, the Shaky Beats Music Festival has quickly become one of the premiere EDM/Hip-hop festivals in the Southeast region. Being a part of this festival since the beginning, I am very happy to see that this year’s event was held at Central Park while the old location, Centennial Olympic Park, is under some renovations. The move gave this festival new life by adding much, more space and an extra stage, Criminal Records Stage, across from the Ponce De Leon stage.

I want to first start off this review with a few of my favorite performances over the weekend: Marvel Years, Manic Focus, and Autograf. There were so many artists to watch over the weekend but I made sure that these three performances were not missed. 

Marvel Years (a.k.a. Cory Wythe) has taken the EDM world by storm with his exceptional blending of blues, classic rock, EDM, retro-funk, soul, jazz, and hip-hop into a groovy, funky sound that keeps the dance floor very busy. I was really excited to see what Marvel Years brought to the crowd at Shaky Beats and man did he play his heart out! I recommend checking out Marvel Years if he coming to your town via a festival or just a standalone show. Want to check out some of Marvel Years? Then follow this link to the official Soundcloud page for Marvel Years today and see what you think.

Manic Focus - John “JmaC” McCarten a.k.a. Manic Focus (MF) was also one of the best sets of the weekend and he played the Criminal Records stage, which is the smallest of the four. MF’s set would have definitely blown the lid off the main stage as a performer. He even had a special guest show up, Marvel Years, and perform with him during his set. After seeing MF a few times, I really think he will blow up after doing the festival circuit this year. Check out MF’s Official Soundcloud Page and see what you think.

Autograf – First off, I want to give special thanks to Roochute Ron for recommending this band to my crew and myself. When I walked up and saw some instruments on stage, I knew I came to the right place. The band consists of Adam Hirsch, Benito Lugo, and Mikul Wing. Their bio states, “It’s about leaving your mark on the world. It’s about leaving your Autograf.” Well this trio left a huge impression with me based on their performance and energetic, stage presence. Hope you enjoy this link to Autograf’s Official Soundcloud Page and dance all night like we all did.

By the way, did you know Atlanta's own Ludacris played this year? You can guess that was a packed house as almost everyone showed up for this incredible set by Ludacris. This was a bucket list item for me... so thanks Shaky Beats! 

So if you watched the Concerthopper live streams or story on Instagram then you might have saw that Shaky Beats had a special guest: Roochute. It was awesome to hang with Roochute Ron and his Ohio crew during the weekend. Ron is basically family and you always welcome family into your home town. It was great to see the festival goers open up and have fun with the Roochute during Ookay’s set on Saturday. Hope you enjoy these shots.

I mentioned earlier that the festival was held at a new location, Central Park, in Atlanta. This move gave the festival more space for activities, stages, vendors, and bathrooms. And we cannot leave out one of the most important things to have during May in Atlanta: shade. This is something you cannot get while roaming Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. Sorry, I said it. So adding these aspects to an already well run and organized festival you get one hell of a time with your festival squad. I only hope that Shaky Beats can continue to stay at Central Park for years to come because I heard nothing but positive things coming from festival goers all weekend.

Watching this festival grow over the last few years makes me really excited to see what next year has in store for us. I know I would like to see added to next year’s lineup: STS9, The Floozies, Pretty Lights (Live), Breakbot, The Polish Ambassador, Odesza, Chromeo, and Cherub to name a few. Even though Odesza, Chromeo, and Cherub all played the first year it is time for their triumphant return to Shaky Beats! So congratulations to Shaky Beats for another successful year in the books. Concerthopper, Kade and myself are very, honored to have been a part of this festival and we look forward to speculating to who is actually going to be on the lineup for next year’s event. Too soon?

Stay tuned to Concerthopper this week for Kade’s exclusive interview with Borgore right after his fire set on Saturday. Don’t forget to check out our BRAND NEW, redesigned website over at www.concerthopper.com and tell us what you think! We would love to get some feedback from our readers. ‘Like’ our page on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and stay up to date in 2018 on all music related events/festivals such as: Primus + Mastodon with All Them Witches: Live at the Fox Theatre, Underoath: Live at The Rapids Theatre, Papa Joe’s BanjoBQue Music Festival, Sloss Music & Arts Festival, Slayer: The Final TourMuddy Roots Music Festival by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  Also, you can follow my personal concert hopping on Facebook and Instagram for even more photos not available on Concerthopper.com.

Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!

 

 

Wide Awake with Parquet Courts: Shaky Knees Late Night Show

Parquet Courts, also known as Parkay Quarts, is an indie rock band based out of New York City. The band consists of members: A. Savage (vocals/guitars), Austin Brown (vocals/guitar), Sean Yeaton (backing vocals/bass), and Max Savage (drums). Since their first release American Specialties (2011), the band has released six (6) LPs, two (2) EPs, and one (1) live LP. While on tour in support of their latest release, Wide Awake, the band stopped by Atlanta to play not only the Shaky Knees Music Festival but also an after party at Terminal West on Friday with Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (RBCF) as opening support. Here is how it all went down that night!

For those who attended the actual festival which started around noon, Friday had been a very long day. And what better way to reward oneself than with an incredible set from Parquet Courts as a night cap? We made it to the venue during the openers, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, last song. When you leave a festival after 10 hours going back to the hotel room is a must before venturing out for the Shaky Knees Late Shows. Although, doing so will increase your chances of missing the opener. As you can see, I speak from experience. Next time, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever… next time. Parquet Courts took the stage to a thunderous ovation from the many faithful fans that attended this late night show.

Parquet Courts performed a strong nineteen (19) song set that included songs old and new like their current XM radio single, “Wide Awake”. This would be my second time seeing them, the first time was Shaky Knees 2016 coincidentally, and it was great to see them perform songs like “Borrowed Time”, “Dear Ramona”, “Water Gets Too High”, and “Master of My Craft” in front of a packed Terminal West. You can catch them on tour until September 28th when they end this tour at The Ritz in San Jose, Ca. Visit the Parquet Courts website for all their upcoming North American tour dates.

Don’t forget to check out our BRAND NEW, redesigned website over at www.concerthopper.com and tell us what you think! We would love to get some feedback from our readers. ‘Like’ our page on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and stay up to date in 2018 on all music related events/festivals such as: Primus + Mastodon with All Them Witches: Live at the Fox Theatre, Underoath: Live at The Rapids Theatre, Shaky Beats Music FestivalPapa Joe’s BanjoBQue Music Festival, Sloss Music & Arts Festival, & Muddy Roots Music Festival by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  Also, you can follow my personal concert hopping on Facebook and Instagram for even more photos not available on Concerthopper.com.

Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!

Used Future: The Sword Live at The Masquerade

The Sword is an Austin, Texas based band that formed back in 2003 and has released eight (8) LPs (this number is also counting Low Country which is a reimagining of their 2015 release – High Country). The Sword consists of members: J.D. Cronise (vocals/guitar), Kyle Shutt (guitar), Bryan Richie (bass/keyboards), and Santiago “Jimmy” Vela III (drums). Their first few releases categorized their music as doom metal, but over the years the band has developed their sound to more of a hard rock/metal 70s super band sound like Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin/Thin Lizzy. Since the release of their latest LP, Used Future, the band has been on tour in support of the record playing cross country and many festivals as well. Anytime The Sword makes it to Atlanta, you will find me in the photo pit! After meeting the band a few times, I have to admit that they are the nicest dudes who are very down to earth and chill.

On tour with The Sword is the band The Shelter People who are based out of Tulsa and consists of Dakota Hurley (vocals/guitar), Garon Burch (bass/vocals), and Adryon Dasilva (drums). Two really cool things about this band: they got their name from an LP from Leon Russell AND they covered Black Sabbath’s “N.I.B” which just happens to be one of my favorite songs from the fathers of doom metal. This band really had me sold after the first couple notes from their first song. I have to say that if you are a fan of Rock & Roll/heavy psychedelic blues then The Shelter People is the band you need in your life. Check out their official Bandcamp page to hear some of The Shelter People!

Don’t forget to check out our BRAND NEW, redesigned website over at www.concerthopper.com and tell us what you think! We would love to get some feedback from our readers. ‘Like’ our page on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and stay up to date in 2018 on all music related events/festivals such as: Primus + Mastodon with All Them Witches: Live at the Fox TheatreShaky Knees Music FestivalParquet Courts: Shaky Knees After Party, Underoath: Live at The Rapids Theatre, The Melvins: Live at The Masquerade, Shaky Beats Music FestivalPapa Joe’s BanjoBQue Music Festival, Sloss Music & Arts Festival, & Muddy Roots Music Festival by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  Also, you can follow my personal concert hopping on Facebook and Instagram for even more photos not available on Concerthopper.com.

Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!

Nightfall 2018 Line-up (Chattanooga, TN Summer Concert Series)

Nightfall 2018 Line-up (Chattanooga, TN Summer Concert Series)

Chattanooga’s free Summer concert series returns for its 31st year! Here’s a look at the acts performing this year.

J. Roddy Walston & the Business: Live at the 40 Watt Club

I am a firm believer that the universe takes care of those people who deserve it the most. With that being said, I was a tad bit nervous about finding something good to write about for the relaunch of the Concerthopper website. Well that was until one of my favorite bands, J. Roddy Walston & the Business (JRWATB), decided to give away 2 tickets to the their April 12th show at the 40 Watt Club in Athens on Facebook. I thought why the hell not?! Worst thing that could happen is that I would not win the tickets… so I entered the contest. The next day, I saw that my comment had a reply from the JRWATB Facebook page and what do you know… they awarded me the two (2) tickets. Now what makes this moment even more special is that one of my very first articles for Concerthopper was a review of JRWATB, Moon Taxi and Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas from their 2015 tour stop in Charlotte, N.C.

So I find it very fitting that I kick off the official Concerthopper website relaunch with my boys from Richmond, Va. JRWATB is best described as a roots rock/southern rock/gospel/Rock ‘n’ Roll band that can make a melody roll right off one of the sickest guitar riffs made by Billy Gordon (guitar/backing vocals) or even J. Roddy himself. JRWATB released their fourth (4th) LP late last year to critical acclaim from many in the music industry and took no time off before touring in support of this new record. It is great to hear this record because after growing up with the band’s first three (3) LPs, you can feel and hear a sense of musical maturity with all the members of the band. I am pretty sure that JRWATB is the best band that you may not have heard of, and I can highly recommend them to each and every one of our readers. The set list for this show in Athens would feature songs that are old and new and would last almost two (2) incredible hours. Want to hear more of JRWATB? Follow this link to the JRWATB official YouTube channel and give them a listen today!

SETLIST – 40 Watt Club Athens, Ga 04/12/2018

·         I Don’t Want to Hear it

·         Marigold

·         Same Days

·         Take it as it comes

·         Numbers

·         Bad Habits

·         Don’t Get Old

·         Don’t Break the Needle

·         Caroline

·         Brave Man’s Death

·         Bleed Out

·         Ways and Means

·         Used to Did

·         Use Your Language

ENCORE

·         Burn Black

·         Sweat Shock

·         You Know Me Better

·         Heavy Bells

 

Don’t forget to check out our BRAND NEW, redesigned website over at www.concerthopper.com and tell us what you think! We would love to get some feedback from our readers. ‘Like’ our page on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and stay up to date in 2018 on all music related events/festivals such as: The Sword: Used Future TourPrimus + Mastodon with All Them Witches: Live at the Fox TheatreShaky Knees Music FestivalParquet Courts: Shaky Knees After PartyUnderoath: Live at The Rapids TheatreThe Melvins: Live at The MasqueradeShaky Beats Music FestivalPapa Joe’s BanjoBQue Music FestivalSloss Music & Arts Festival, & Muddy Roots Music Festival by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  Also, you can follow my personal concert hopping on Facebook and Instagram for even more photos not available on Concerthopper.com.

Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!

Rhythm N' Blooms 2018 Recap

DSC_0070 This was my first time returning to the festival since 2015 headliners The Decemberists brought me to the festival for one day. I was excited to return not just to cover the event as press, but because this would be my first time going for all 3 days to Rhythm N’ Blooms! Thus I knew I’d have more time to explore the various stages, and catch not just the main acts, but many of the smaller acts as well as the secret shows.

Friday

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As any attendee will tell you Friday started out rather wet and cold, but I was too enthused to pay attention to that (except where my camera equipment was concerned). I started out by catching The Young Fables set in Jackson Terminal. I had become quite a fan of The Young Fables as I prepped for the festival (thanks Spotify playlist!), and they did not disappoint! Laurel and Wesley are both supremely talented, and you can tell they have not just the musical chops but also the drive to succeed that I think, quite deservedly, will get them national attention! I had the pleasure to talk with them during the festival too, so look for an interview with them later in the month on ConcertHopper.com.

 

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Following their set I rushed over to catch the venerable rocker Booker T. Jones. Even if you only know “Green Onions” you undoubtedly knew this was a show to see. Booker was all smiles coming on stage, but behind that you could tell he and his band came to rock! I planned a tight schedule for myself so perhaps regrettably I didn’t hang around for long, just half the set, but I loved every second. And as Booker introduced each song, and often the history of the tracks, I got an even fuller grasp of his and the Booker T & the MG’s reach into the annals of rock fame. I’ll remember this performance for some time to come.

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As I left Booker’s set I hopped on over to the Pilot Light – an odd venue I’d fallen in love with upon my first visit to the festival. Perhaps odd isn’t the word, but compared to many venues this was perhaps the dive-iest. In 2015 everytime I walked by I loved all the music I heard coming through the door. Regrettably it’s also the most packed venue I’ve found at Rhythm N’ Blooms, and in 2015 when the heat was out I couldn’t stay in for long without feeling overwhelmingly oppressed by the heat of the crowds. Enter 2018, a day when we dipped to near freezing temps, and as I realized the perfect weather for me to handle the Pilot Light. I was quite thankful as I saw many fantastic acts at this venue, starting with Daniel Donato!

Daniel Donato and his backing band look like what I imagine Led Zeppelin’s kids would look like, with their rock star style and hair. His music style is often referred to as “cosmic country”, also the name of his CD, and I can see what that all fits as it was pretty out of this world! Daniel’s known as a prodigious guitarist, and we certainly saw that on display, but what was perhaps most memorable to me was his cover of John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” performed with his girlfriend. Goose bumps galore broke out with their beautiful rendition of this classic song.

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Next I checked out singer songwriter Max Gomez, who perfectly segued Daniel's show for me, as Daniel played Prine, while Max clearly came from the singer songwriter world Prine inhabits. This was a more stripped down show compared to many I heard during the festival, but even with just two guitarists his sound filled the room as the audience was captivated by his softer, albeit strong sound. I discovered afterward he only has one full record, and an EP, but after that show I'll be giving both a good listen.

 

Following Max's performance, I headed back to the main stage to hear Deer Tick! Deer Tick’s style of music is right up my alley, as it’s reminiscent at times of the gone too soon Tom Petty, if he were partnered with artists such as “Wilco” and “Modest Mouse”. As they recently released not just one (1) but two (2) albums, after a four year absence, there was a sense of anticipation within the crowd, that I think that was met resoundingly with a very energetic set from the band. I had to call it an early night Friday, so I was quite happy to end my first day listening to a band not only that I enjoy but in so many ways encapsulates that Rhythm N’ Blooms vibe.

Saturday

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Rhythm N’ Blooms offered a number of workshops on Saturday, including “Get Your Music Heard (Radio + Streaming 101), Meet the Press: The Nuts & Bolts of Getting Great Media Coverage”, and the one I dropped into “Time’s Up in the Music Industry”. I thought this was an especially prescient panel for me to attend, and I’m certainly glad I did. Among the panelists there were representatives for radio stations, artists, festivals, including Chyna, the host of Rhythm N’ Blooms and Attack Monkey Productions, and they hoped to have an artist on however she had to back out. While the panel gave me hope with such aspirations as the 2020 movement, where festivals have a gender equitable line-up by 2020, so many stories of day to day abuse and harassment just made me recognize how much further we have to come.

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Following that inspiring panel I was excited to attend my first Secret Show at Rhythm N’ Blooms! These shows are on the schedule, but the bands aren’t announced till shortly before on social media. I actually did not have a chance to check my Facebook prior, so I was pleasantly surprised to see Penny & Sparrow, a band I wanted to see but didn’t know if I could with my schedule, take the stage. Their set felt like a perfect start musically to the morning, as their sound belies a soft power that’s awe inspiring, but not too racous either for the “just now sipping our first coffee crowd”. I absolutely loved the power of their vocals especially!

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On the flip side there’s The War & Treaty, whom I saw immediately following at the Pilot Light! The War & Treaty made my “9 Acts to See” list and for good reason. Their gospel inspired music is powerful on all fronts, and I can see that regardless of the size of the room this husband and wife duo would fill it. Seeing as how this was a dive bar it was packed, but the energy was incredible! I loved the show so much, but probably my greatest regret is that I didn’t see this act when they played again at the festival.

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I hopped on over for my first time to the Love Shack (no jukebox money required) following the War & Treaty show to catch Carly Burruss. Little did I know how appropriate this transition would be, as Carly’s songs do fit the country mold, but often bring a little extra gospel to bear too as she does in her track “Devil Can’t Steal My Joy”. While songs like “Good Enough for Me” have a more retro-country sound, and a message about the struggles of love that no doubt resonates with anyone who’s had a bad streak looking for love. I admit I came in with an unfamiliarity of her music, but I came away a fan.

 

At this point the afternoon sun was high in the sky, and the main stage was starting to come alive with activity. So I headed down to catch The Accidentals, one of my favorite discoveries in prepping for Rhythm N’ Blooms. Thinking back to the Time’s Up panel from earlier, it was quite refreshing to see a female fronted band take the main stage (something Rhythm N’ Blooms wants to do even more!). But as was discussed that morning in the panel it’s not just their womanhood getting them on stage, oh no, but their incredible talent that earned them this place. I loved the unique harmonies, and folksy rock, bringing together the harmonies and edge of Meg & Dia, while using instrumentation fitting for country and folk acts.

 

 

Before taking a break for the evening to get dinner I checked out one last act I was supremely looking forward to – Brother Sundance! Brother Sundance, the moniker of Rylan Talerico, is an artist whose sound heavily relies on electronics and his own unique production. So I was expecting an electro heavy set, but apparently do to tech issues the show suddenly became acoustic. Now this had Brother Sundance quite nervous for the whole show, which he joked about a few times, but for the audience I think we were presented with a rare treat as the show suddenly became what I imagine to be a rare acoustic performance from the artist. What I gleaned in listening to them acoustically, and to listening to his self-produced records prior to the festival, is that the talent and power of the music shines through either way so he had no reason to worry.

 

After a break for dinner I returned to catch the headliner for the evening Dr. Dog, where a large crowd had already gathered. Dr. Dog of course did not disappoint! Though why should they as they’ve honed their live act as a band over nearly 20 year run. Of note for me in particular was getting to hear tracks I’d heard on their 2015 “Live at a Flamingo Hotel” release played in person, so when I heard songs like “That Old Black Hole” it just felt all the more powerful hearing it live actually in person! Of course they played some new tracks as well such as their new single “Go Out Fighting” and my personal favorite track thus far “Listening In”. Both songs will be on their forthcoming album “Critical Equation”.

 

You’d have thought that’d be the end cap for the night, but the night was long and I still had LUTHI to see! LUTHI made my “9 Acts Not to Miss” list, so I was super hyped to see them already, but minutes before their show I also had the chance to interview founding member and bassist Taylor Craft. (Interview to be released at the end of the month!)

LUTHI performed in the 2nd biggest venue, the Jackson Terminal, and you’d have thought they had top billing as packed as the crowds were for their show. I even overheard one audience member say they’d been told by a friend “if you see only one band at the festival see LUTH”. Well they earned their crowd with a high energy set featuring all 9 members, that’s right 9, giving their funky best! They’ve really adopted the label of being a “Boogie Circus”, and it’s true that if they’re a circus you definitely got your money’s worth that night.

Regrettably after going nearly non-stop I had to call it a night immediately following the LUTHI show.

Sunday

I woke up with a bit of a festival hangover (condition of seeing so many great acts in such a short time), but continued forth to start the day with one of the Battle of the Band qualifiers. As I’m not based in Knoxville I missed the actual battle, but I wanted to catch the sets of either the winner or one of the qualifiers, and I got my chance with The Sedonas set on Sunday.

 

Upon seeing The Sedonas play I thought if this was just the qualifier how good was the winning band, because I was quite impressed by their sound! First of all they had probably the best guitarist at the festival in Ryan Sise, proven for me when they played one of the best Bob Dylan covers I’ve heard since Hendrix performed the song (“All Along the Watchtower” if you didn’t get that) and he nailed it! Fitting track to cover considering their original song “’Til I Say Amen” sounds like an ode to that era of rock, albeit perhaps more Steppenwolf style than Hendrix. James Connor Wike’s energy seems to harken from the 90s grunge era, and he used those strong vocals to add that extra power and oomph to the band’s sound. All while their bassist and drummer did an excellent job too driving the music.

PaulThorn

Following their show I came in late to the Secret Show at Pretentious Beer Co., only to learn why you don’t come in late to Secret Shows, as I couldn’t barely make it in with the impressive crowd that showed up. I learned very soon why as the artist was in fact Sunday’s headliner to come Paul Thorn! Paul’s music really reminded me of what it’d be like to hear Randy Newman play John Prine songs, cause he had that songwriting craft they both have but with the bite and wit of Prine’s greats. I was only sad I couldn’t catch more of the show.

 

I then stepped in to catch one of the shows that caught my eye on the program: The Brother Brothers. I found out 2 things right off 1) they are indeed brothers and 2) they are more than just a clever band name. In fact their traditionally inspired folk is downright haunting in the best of ways. Despite being in the largest interior venue at the festial, when they sang their harmonies I felt I'd hear a pin drop, as everyone was so still and silent so as to not miss a moment of their beautiful music. I'd say if you like classic soothing folks songs, be sure to check their music out.

 

Lastly, as that concert weariness was turning into full blown exhaustion, I had to cut my Sunday short. So I decided to wrap up my festival experience with the band Art Smashes Records. Very quickly I could tell the band’s sound fit the mold of what my listening habits generally include, which is 1990’s/2000’s era pop rock/indie artists. I would not be surprised if we have some of the same favorite bands in common. I was definitely digging their set, and kept thinking this is a band going places. In fact I would not be surprised if their music starts playing on the local alternative rock stations, cause songs like “Old Dreams” and their latest “Disagreements” are tailor made for radio play. I loved getting the chance to see them as I wrapped up the festival, and I'm excited to see where they go next.

Conclusion

Overall Rhythm N' Blooms was pretty much everything I loved about festivals, except maybe the cold and the rain. This weekend was a chance to see a myriad of fantastic artists really doing what they do best, along with passionate music fans such as myself. Thanks to Rhythm N' Blooms care with their line-up too even among the artists I did not know, I found several quality acts that will now be in my playlists for years to come. I am now ready for that long nap I've yet to take, and I look forward to all the excitement to come for 2019's festival!

Mo Pop is a Detroit Gem!

  I love Detroit and I'm proud it's my home. There is so much to love about this city. One of the things I love the most is the Mo Pop Festival which returns to West Riverfront Park on July 28th-29th. This is the 6th edition of the festival and there hasn't been a repeat act. In the current festival world we live in that's a rare and impressive feat!

The 2018 lineup is stellar. Bon Iver will play Detroit for the first time in 10 years. The excitement level is very high for that set alone. Anyone else play the song "Holocene" on repeat? Highly Suspect is a band that I got into over the last year and I was able to see them play at a small venue in the Detroit suburbs. The show was great and they will not disappoint the Mo Pop crowd. I've heard the name Billie Eilish a lot as of late and I had to hear what all the fuss is about. I was stunned to learn she is so young.  Her set is a can't miss set at Mo Pop.

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I lost my mind when I found out The National is also playing Mo Pop. The National is one of my all time favorite bands and each time I see their show I'm blown away. They just keep getting better and they give the crowd so much emotion. The Polyphonic Spree is a group that I've enjoyed for years and St Vincent was a part of that ensemble. Since going out on her own she has proved time and time again that she will be successful on her own terms. As I write this I'm listening to her song "New York". Take a listen when you have finished reading this. You will be glad you did.

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Mo_Pop_2015_Logo-e1490274506754-300x150

Mo Pop Festival has such much to offer. Are you feeling nostalgia for the days you spent quarters at the arcade? Welll you are in luck!  Just step into the air-conditioned Mo Arcade and go back in time to the days when you spent all day trying to beat the high score just so you can leave your initials as the highest score. Detroit is a city filled with creative people and that creativity will be on display in the Craft Bazaar. Take some time and walk around. I know you will find something fun, classy, cool, or quirky. Feeling thirsty and hungry? Don't worry. There is a beer tent and a great selection of food trucks. More info on both of those later in my series on Mo Pop.

There are so many great acts that make up the 2018 Mo Pop Festival lineup and I will highlight them between now and the festival. So stay tuned to Concerthopper!

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MO pop

Check out MoPopFestival.com for more info.

Mo Pop is amazing. Detroit is great. The experience will leave you will memories that will stay with you forever. Now go buy a ticket and I will see you there.

We Came As Romans: Cold Like War Tour 4/6/2018

We Came As Romans formed in Michigan in 2005 after one name change and multiple lineup changes. The current lineup is Dave Stephens, Kyle Pavone, Joshua Moore, Lou Cotton, and Andy Glass. The band is considered to be post hardcore and metal-core. The band's lyrics give off a positive vibe talking about purpose, hope, brotherhood, and morality. Over the years, the band has changed styles towards an alternative metal sound that is more "Radio friendly." The band is currently on their Cold Like War Tour with The Plot In You, Oceans Ate Alaska, Currents, and Tempting Fate.

EyeHateGod, Cro-Mags, & Dead Oath: Sold Out at The Earl!

EyeHateGod (56) This has been a good year starting off by adding some new venues to my list and now I can add one more: East Atlanta Village’s historic venue named The Earl. Concerthopper and I were given the opportunity to attend EyeHateGod/Cro-Mags/Dead Oath’s sold out show at this venue. Having attended shows here before, I was prepared for this room devoid of any and all light which did make taking photos a bit more challenging. And with this being a sold out show in such a small venue, this would also be a fun experience trying to get around the stage. I am always up for the challenge!

Atlanta’s very own Dead Oath was added to this lineup last minute due to Buzzoven’s cancellation. For the brief time that the band has been playing together, they have three shows under their belt but you could not tell from their stage presence. They are heavy and very loud! Great new addition to the Atlanta metal scene. Want to hear more of Dead Oath? Check out their Official Bandcamp for their 2018 Demo. Here is a link to check out their events in the Atlanta area for 2018.

Next up were hardcore punk/thrash metal legends the Cro-Mags and the crowd was definitely ready for this massive sing-a-long set. The band has been active since 1981 and released five (5) LPs including the critically acclaimed 1986 debut LP, The Age of Quarrel, which is considered the basis for the East coast hardcore scene. The Cro-Mags shows always get very wild and tonight was no exception: lots of stage diving and mosh pits!

Closing out the night were the sludge metal legends from New Orleans, EyeHateGod. EyeHateGod has been grinding together since 1988 and is one of the most well-known bands to come from the New Orleans metal scene. Mike “IX” Williams (vocals) & Jimmy Bower (guitar) are the only original members dating back to the original lineup. After catching EyeHateGod opening for Black Label Society & Corrosion of Conformity this past January, I was intrigued to get these guys in a smaller venue for some photos. Check out In The Name of Suffering, Take as Needed for Pain, or their last release EyeHateGod to hear some of the best of EyeHateGod’s sludge.

‘Like’ our page on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and stay up to date in 2018 on all music related events/festivals such as: The Acadia Strain: Live at Mohawk Place, We Came As Romans: Live at Lost Horizon, SweetWater 420 FestivalTy Segall & the Freedom Band: Live at the Variety PlayhouseRhythm N’ Blooms Music Festival, Primus + Mastodon with All Them Witches: Live at the Fox TheatreShaky KneesShaky BeatsPapa Joe’s BanjoBQue Music Festival, Sloss Music & Arts Festival, & Muddy Roots Music Festival by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  Also, you can follow my personal concert hopping on Facebook and Instagram for even more photos not available on Concerthopper.com.

Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!

Senses Fail 3/15/18 Buffalo, NY Photos

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Senses Fail is an American post-hardcore band, originating from Ridgewood, New Jersey. The band formed in 2002 and has since released seven albums including their newest "If There is Light it Will Find you." The current lineup consists of Buddy Nielsen, Gavin Caswell, Jason Milbank, Greg Styliades and Steve Carey. Overtime, the band has seen many lineup changes and even experimented with a more aggressive, heavier sound different from their 00's emo and post-hardcore roots. Neilson's passionate and powerful lyrics on their most recent album, reignite the band into every lyric screamer and crowd surfer's dream. The band is currently on tour with Household, Have Mercy and Reggie and The Full Effect.

Radio Silence Tour 2018: Talib Kweli speaks out.

I can still remember the day I heard the hip hop duo Blackstar (Mos Def a.k.a. Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli) for the very first time. Pretty much it was love at first listen and that’s no lie. I was managing a music store in our local mall back in 1998 when this promo CD came in titled Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star that caught my eye. I thought let’s give it a shot. Growing up in the golden age of hip hop, I was very impressed with this LP upon first listen. Both Kweli and Mos Def’s flow and delivery were one of the main points that had me hooked. I knew from that day forward I would follow both their careers very closely. I consider Kweli in the Top 10 of current MCs in the game today. Fast forward to present day, Talib Kweli has made quite a name for himself as a solo hip hop artist with eight (8) solo LPs and six (6) collaboration LPs and as a political activist for many important issues that are ailing our society.

Kweli is currently on his nationwide Radio Silence Tour in support of his latest LP with the same title, Radio Silence. Kweli has continued to produce LP’s full of thought provoking and health consciousness lyrics geared toward the betterment of one’s mind and soul. He reminds us that it is ok to listen to someone on the mic that has something poignant to say. In a world full of Migos and 21 Savages, hip hop needs to be reminded of its roots at times. As Kweli once said, “I paint a picture with the pen like Norman Mailer” on his hit track, “Get By”. Kweli’s thick, lyrical descriptive prose has remained unique and moving throughout the years.

Also on tour with Kweli: NIKO IS, DJ Spintelect, Skyzoo, Landon Wordswell, Santino Corleon, & Space Invadaz. It is always nice when you do not know much about an artist (or multiple opening acts) and they impress you so much that you tell everyone who will listen to check them out. Well this is that time, because if you love Hip-Hop then it is very important that you check out these provided links and hear for yourself! I have already started my descent into all of their discography and I can say that I am quite pleased with my decision in doing so.

I hope you will also take my word and check out some of Talib Kweli’s tracks if you have not yet already done so. Here is a link to his Official Soundclound page so you do not even have to search for it online. And here is a link to check out the remaining dates left on the Radio Silence Tour to see if he is coming to a town near you. I would also like to thank Javotti Media for giving ConcertHopper.com and myself this opportunity at The Masquerade.

‘Like’ our page on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and stay up to date in 2018 on all music related events/festivals such as: Corey Smith: Live at The Signal (SOLD OUT!), Knocked Loose: The California Brew Haus, EyeHateGod, Cro-Mags, & Buzzoven: Live from the Earl, The Acadia Strain: Live at Mohawk Place, We Came As Romans: Live at Lost Horizon, SweetWater 420 FestivalTy Segall & the Freedom Band: Live at the Variety PlayhouseRhythm N’ Blooms Music Festival, Primus + Mastodon with All Them Witches: Live at the Fox TheatreShaky KneesShaky BeatsPapa Joe’s BanjoBQue Music Festival, Sloss Music & Arts Festival, & Muddy Roots Music Festival by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  Also, you can follow my personal concert hopping on Facebook and Instagram for even more photos not available on Concerthopper.com.

Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (03/18/18)

My friend first introduced "Yamantaka // Sonic Titan" to me, the self-proclaimed Noh-Wave prog collective from Canada, by highlighting their theatricality and their heritage - indigenous, Asian, and Canadian.  I'm a big fan of anime, Asian cultures, and music from across the globe, so this was all striking a chord with me. Plus who doesn't like a fantastic show with their concert! So when I heard that their latest album "Dirt" was conceived as the soundtrack for an unreleased Haudenosaunee and Buddhist themed Anime produced in 1987 I was fascinated. And after I took some time to listen to their unique brand of prog rock, so artfully delivered in their first albums YT/ST and UZU, I knew I was ready to see them live! On March 18th I had my chance at Atlanta's historic venue The Earl, which has counted among its previous artists such as: the Postal Service, Neko Case, Cat Power, and perhaps more relevant to YT//ST, Mono a prog-rock/noise-rock outfit from Japan.

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This night YT//ST were joined by Atlanta based artists Shouldies and Chew. Shouldies, a "goth synth punk" band, resonated with the crowd admittedly more than I. However, they certainly gave the night that needed initial burst of energy. Chew, a post-rock outfit playing their first hometown concert after sometime away, really took it to the next level with their incredible dynamic sound and energy! Snare-uh Wilson just killed on the drums! All while Brandon Pittman (bassist) and Brett Reagan (guitar/electronics) rocked right alongside her. By the end of their set I was blown away! I now understood why they've started making a name for themselves not just in Atlanta but around the globe!

On next was YT//ST! Donning their kabuki inspired face-paint, they took to the stage and launched into a set of incredibly high energy and highly skilled rock. Playing largely a selection from their new album Dirt, not yet released at the time of the show, we were treated to a bevy of new tracks that I've now just one week later come to love. Additionally, we were treated not just to the spectacle of a YT/ST show, but to the skill of so many talented artists coming together! YT//ST is now as much a collective as it is a band, so for older fans they would not perhaps recognize many of the newer members. However, Alaska B, drummer and remaining co-founder, remains as the crux of the outfit, and she's definitely gathered some talented musicians alongside her to fill out the incredible sound.

Eventually, like Dirt's final track title's suggest, we were "Out of Time". I was thankful at least to have shared this wonderful evening with these bands, and certainly now after enjoying such a show I'll be on the lookout to watch Yamantaka // Sonic Titan again in the future!

Just Taking a Long Shot

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I have two words for you: Green Day. An iconic punk band that has topped the charts for more than thirty years. And they even gained themselves a seat in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. You would think that a band boasting a lengthy discography, holding multiple world tours back-to-back, turning one of their most famous works into a full length Broadway rock opera, and even releasing countless behind-the-scenes documentaries would sit down at the end of the day and say, "Wow I’m beat and can’t imagine doing anything else.” Well, you’re wrong. Billie Joe Armstrong, lead vocals/guitar, was born in Oakland, California to a big, bustling family and developed an affinity for music at a very, young age. His first debut single was known as “Look for Love” and recorded at Fiat Records in the Bay area when Armstrong was just five years old. From there his passion for music spread like a wildfire. At the ripe age of 10 years old, Armstrong met Mike Dirnt and they dove into a life-long bond through music.Dirnt and Armstrong formed their first band together known as Sweet Children. Shortly after, the guys were faced with a dilemma as their drummer, Al Sobrante, wished to pursue his education and no longer perform with the band. They then recruited the wild stylings of Tre Cool to join their band and from there the rest was history.

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They renamed themselves Green Day and went on to conquer every punk rock dream they had set out for themselves. But these guys didn’t stop there. They have a passion for music that radiates throughout their souls. This passion for music drives them to constantly be playing around with smaller, side project bands.The guys not only play in Green Day but they also play in several of their own side projects. Mike Dirnt has also played in bands such as The Frustrators, The Network, Foxboro Hot Tubs, and The Cover Ups. Tre Cool has been seen playing with The Network, Foxboro Hot Tubs, and of course his original band the Lookouts.  Billie Joe Armstrong has been the mastermind behind several of these side-projects as well as made on-stage cameos for several different bands at festivals.

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For instance, Armstrong can be found playing in the bands Green Day, The Network, Foxboro Hot Tubs, The Armstrongs, The Boo, Pinhead Gunpowder, and the Cover Ups. He has done on stage cameos with bands such as The Replacements and Rancid as well as teaming up with artists like The Lonely Island, Norah Jones and Miranda Lambert for various songs and albums.And to think on top of all of this, these guys still have free time to be avid surfers, motorcyclists, and active in the community outreach efforts. Not to mention the longshot that there may be a new side project in the works that has the Green Day fandom, a.k.a. Idiot Nation, completely beside themselves. It may be a longshot, but the Idiot Nation has discovered an account on Instagram that only has a few hundred followers and is only following a handful of people.

The account is being followed by Billie Joe, Billie’s Wife Adrienne, Green Day’s photographer Gregg Schneider, and The Cover Ups. The account has several clues within its posts but the most blatant one being there are several posts which feature Billie Joe’s handwriting. The account’s biography reads “New album, ‘Love is for Losers’ coming eventually”. The Idiot Nation is taking a longshot and saying this is Billie’s follow up to his most recent side-project The Cover Ups and we are hoping that eventually comes sooner rather than later. Let’s hope this Longshot is right.

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See you soon, Billie and friends.

Vans Warped Tour 2018: Final Full Cross Country Tour!

Vans Warped Tour is one of the most iconic traveling rock shows that has returned every single summer in the United States since 1995. This year the Vans Warped Tour is going on its final full cross country run. Vans Warped tour was created by Kevin Lyman, who focused mostly on alternative rock music in the beginning until it eventually transformed into what it is today.  The only downfall to this festival is it’s only in town for a single day, which makes it extremely hard to see some of the artists you have been waiting to see for ages. Each year that I have attended the Vans Warped Tour, they have never ceased to amaze me with the artists that they choose to bring on tour with them. Since this year is the last year of Warped Tour the feeling is very bittersweet. I remember the first time I attended the Tour, I was full of emotions and very excited to take in the experience of being at the Warped Tour. I have met many artists since I started going back in 2014, such as Falling In Reverse, Motionless In White, Attila, Jeffrey Star, Miss May I, and many more of my favorite artists.

The tour brings a few traveling stages with them to each venue to incorporate with stages that are already established inside the respected venue.  Each year at the Darien Center the stages are set up almost the same. The stages are scattered throughout the extra parking lot from the doors all the way back to the main stages in the back of the venue.

This year the stages include Journey's Left foot, Journey's right foot, Mutant Red Dawn, Mutant White Lightning, owly.fm and The Full Sail Stage. This year's lineup is very exciting for me because there are a lot of artists I really enjoy watching perform such as The Amity Affliction, Movements, Mayday Parade, Real Friends, and many more!

There are a ton of can't miss bands on this lineup espceially if you are going to the Darien Center venue. Every Time I Die is a Buffalo native, If you haven't seen them before, get out there and check them out! Tonight Alive is a must see band as well, they are big supporters of the I AM movement to help people prove that their worth is more than what others say. Ice Nine Kills always puts on a great show, every time I have seen them they have exceeded my expectations. If you are looking to throw down in the pit and mosh your heart out Wage War is a great option for you. If you are looking for something that's not heavy and is acoustic, check out This Wild Life. Kublai Khan, The Amity Affliction, Movements, Dayseeker and We The Kings are also all great bands to check out!17662dc8-fd1a-4dae-bf4d-f8960f10ede8-DXPS7j8W0AE0CRO.jpg

At the Darien Center, Vans Warped Tour can be a little hectic because it is only in the area for the day. The gates open around 11 AM, so get there early and try to avoid the line! As an avid Warped Tour attendee, skipping this line is essential in starting your whole day out with a bang. By bringing just 3 canned good items (the cans cannot be dented or expired), a $5 dollar donation or a used cellphone you can skip the longest line of your life (as it seems to be). And you are also able to get into the venue 10-15 minutes earlier,  making it easier to find all your favorite artist’s tents and the stages you plan on being at all day, but you sometimes you have to wait a little bit longer to get to the main stages in the extra parking lot due to them not finished being set up.

By bringing one of the three options listed above and skipping the line, you are also helping Feed Our Children NOW! to improve lives of children located in the United States. The food drive helps immediate needs for a better future for low income families & Children. So don’t forget to donate!

There are many other great causes that support Warped Tour such as Can You Hear Me?, They work with musicians to raise awareness, take action and provide a supportive, empowering community for teens struggling with issues such as mental health, bullying, and peer pressure. Stapaw raises awareness about discrimination of piercings and tattoos in the workplace. To Write Love On Her Arms is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Don't Forget to check out one of the many great causes Warped Tour has to offer! Although, this isn’t the only line you are going to find yourself standing in. There are many other lines such as merchandise, bathroom, water refill, food, and etc. So be prepared!

Warped Tour 101 – Here are some tips to stay your best during your day at the festival.

 Tip #1 – Get plenty of sleep the night before. I know it’s hard when you are really excited to get up and go see that band that you have been wanting to see for ages. But you don’t want to get tuckered out too early, especially if you want to rage to your favorite band(s) in the mosh pits.

 Tip #2  – When packing your backpack the night before, make sure you have everything you could possibly need. If you know its going to rain, bring some baggies for your electronics and a poncho just in case. You don’t want to get wet and stay stuck in those wet clothes all day. Bring some permanent markers, I can’t even remember the last time I went to a concert without one. A marker is very essential. You could catch your favorite artist walking by and then you could grab a quick autograph! Sun screen is also an important Warped Tour item to have as it tends to be one of the sunniest days out of the year it seems like. Or at least up here in New York.

 Tip #3 – When you get up in the morning try to eat something even if it’s just a granola bar… trust me. At the venue you will spend an arm and a leg on food and won’t have enough money to buy that tee shirt or any other merchandise from your favorite band. You can bring in a bottle of water as long as it is sealed and just keep refilling it at the water refill stations supplied around the venue.

 Tip #4 – Keep your eyes open and watch your surroundings especially if you don’t want to find yourself falling into a mosh pit or even have crowd surfers falling on top of you. Sometimes you find yourself getting lost in the music. I’m guilty of this… regardless you don’t want to end up getting hurt because you aren’t paying attention. Nobody wants to get accidentally punched in the face by someone moshing, kicked in the head by a crowd surfer, or even having a crowd surfer dropped on top you. Be aware of your surroundings, you don’t want to take a trip to the hospital or lose something of value.

 Tip #5 – Don’t get upset when both your favorite bands are playing at the same time. Figure out which one you want to see more because eventually they will go on another tour at a later date. I have sacrificed seeing my favorite artist’s full set just to go watch another band I just started listening to and also really enjoy. It happens!

 Tip #6 – If you are lucky enough to be a photographer for the day at your Warped Tour date, do not forget to pack extra batteries, SD cards (that actually work)! I'm guilty, when I was taking photos last summer, I had borrowed an SD card from a family member and I lost a lot of photos because they got corrupted. If you know it's going to rain make sure you have lots of plastic bags! You definitely don't want to ruin your camera for one small thing.

Tip #7 - If you plan on going by yourself, try to meet up with some friends that might end up going! You will have more fun jamming out to your favorite artists as a group than just by yourself. If you have friends that have never been to Warped Tour also bring them along, even if there is only one artist that they like, they will still have fun!

The Vans Warped Tour is a tour everyone should experience at least once in their life time no matter how old or young you are. Get out there this summer! It's going to be the final full cross country run. If you haven't attended before make sure this is the time to do it! This tour really brings people together no matter what artist you are there to see. The tour starts on June 21st and runs through August 5th. I can’t wait to see what the Vans Warped Tour has in store for us this summer especially since its going to be the final full cross country run. Good luck out there! Make plenty of friends this summer!

Dying Fetus 3/16/2018

Dying Fetus is an American death metal band originally from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Formed in 1991, the current lineup consists of John Gallagher,Sean Beasley, & Trey Williams. The band got their name when they were teenagers and intended for their name to be offensive. The bands songs are consistently hook-laden song structures, characterized by blast beats, complex riffing, heavy breakdowns, and slam riffs. The band is currently on tour with Thy Art Is Murder, Earth Enterprise, Rivers Of Nihil, and Sanction.

Dying Fetus Setlist 2018:

  1. Praise the Lord (Opium of the Masses)
  2. Induce Terror
  3. Your Treachery Will Die With You
  4. Fixated on Devastation
  5. From Womb to Waste
  6. Grotesque Impalement
  7. Raped on the Altar
  8. Justifiable Homicide
  9. Subjected to a Beating
  10. In Times of War
  11. Panic Amongst the Herd
  12. In the Trenches
  13. Wrong One to Fuck With

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan: Dirt Tour

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan are bringing their unique brand of "noh-wave" performance music down from Canada to a broader North American audience on their 30+ city tour this Spring! Though the album "Dirt" they are supporting on this tour has not yet been released, as it comes out March 23rd, based on their strong initial singles "Yandere", "Hungry Ghost", "Someplace" this will surely be a tour not to miss. Check out the full list of dates below, as well as a few music videos to introduce you this creative collective of musicians!

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https://youtu.be/2iUsVyZTB_I

https://youtu.be/KH3X4D0NyS8

https://youtu.be/k472YAVzoGU

The Devil Wears Prada 3/14/2018

The Devil Wears Prada is an American metal-core band from Dayton, Ohio, formed in 2005. Since forming the band, they have released six full length albums & two EP's. The band consists of members: Mike Hranica, Jeremy DePoyster, Kyle Sipress, & Andy Trick. Before The Devil Wears Prada went on stage, many local bands, such as Allegiant, Snapmare, Reformer & Destroy // Create, performed to get the fans excited for The Devil Wears Prada to take over the show.

Flashlight Shows: Partner (03/10/18)

Now in their new home, the recently renamed Palace Theater, Chattanooga's Flashlight Shows concert series kicked off their 2018 season with a bang! Local artists The Handsome Grandsons opened and Canadian rockers Partner performed for an expectant crowd. The Handsome Grandsons male guitarist and female bassist on stage at the Palace Theatre

Having not yet heard of the opener The Handsome Grandsons I really did not know what to expect, but I came away really impressed by their energy and their sound! On their official Facebook page they cite favorite artists such as Pavement, Built To Spill, and Neil Young, but I felt like I saw just as much a sonic connection with the likes of Car Seat Headrest. Seeing a young band take to the stage so exuberantly, it seemed with many of their family members in the audience, really just reminded me so much of what I love about music and why I cover artists. So thanks to The Handsome Grandsons not just for that reminder, but also for a wonderful set!

Partner came on next, and just with the warm-ups alone I think the audience all knew we were in for a treat! Having done my homework by listening to their debut album "In Search of Lost Time", I knew I was already a fan but still I was curious how their music would translate to a live show. I needn't have been concerned, cause - also having garage rock roots - you could tell that Partner had honed their sound as much, if not more so, in a live setting than in a studio.

the band Partner on stage at the Palace Theatre

With songs like "Gross Secret", "Everyone Knows", and "Daytime TV", the latter an all-too-relatable tribute to daytime TV marathons in the 90s, Partner toes the line between hilariously dumb and intelligently clever with great finesse. On stage their raport further gives the impression that they know their songs are as silly as we do, but with their incredible instrumentation they also know that they're the rockingest funny songs we've likely heard since Weird Al stylistically covered the Foo Fighters.

Partner strayed from their set of original songs for only one cover, an incredible rendition of Melissa Etheridge's "I'm the Only One", which came across like a literal shoutout to an artist who helped pave the way for LGBTQ artists such as themselves. The crowd eagerly ate it up, along with the rest of the set list, till Partner took their exit.

Partner's show was a perfect kick-off for what has become my favorite local concert series - Flashlight Shows! Thanks to the bands for playing and thanks to Flashlight Shows for bringing in such a diverse array of wonderful artists to support this show's featured non-profit the Nooga Diversity Center!

Path of Righteousness Tour: Hippie Sabotage- SOLD OUT at the Buckhead Theatre

 

Hippie Sabotage is an EDM duo, which consists of Whittier, Ca. natives Kevin and Jeff Saurer, who are currently on their worldwide Path of Righteousness Tour until April 4th. Most recently they made a tour stop in Atlanta to a sold out crowd at the historic Buckhead Theatre. Hippie Sabotage came on a mission to bring their unique style of EDM to all of their fans in attendance. Personally, I had no clue what their live performance was like as I was only familiar with their recorded material. Sometimes I get very disappointed with EDM acts based on the lack of emotion or interaction with the crowd. Let’s just say that from the start of their set until the very end, it was not at all what I expected and that is a very good thing.

 

Hippie Sabotage brings so much energy on stage for every performance. Whether it is Kevin’s interactions with fans on the rail or Jeff’s barrage of crushing beats and thrashing guitar solos. Crowd interaction is a major part of their performance because they are very thankful for all of their fans. At the end of the night during their seminal remix hit of Tove Lo’s “Habits (Stay High)”, it has become a habit, if you will, for the brothers to bring as many of their devoted fans on stage as they can for this song’s performance. It is always a pleasure to see random people bond together over something that they all can enjoy. Plus, they can take this wonderful memory with them so that they can revisit it when they are in need of a positive moment in their life.

 

Besides Girl Talk, I cannot say of anyone else who does this with their fans at the end of their set. To me it is sort of like recreating a house party vibe with many of your close friends and just dancing the night away. As I walked the venue throughout the night finding spots for some photos, whether it was upstairs, at the bar, or in the very back of the venue on the first floor everyone was dancing their worries away. For this moment in their life, nothing else mattered. And isn’t this the true purpose of music? To help take away all of the problems and ills of the day just for one moment of pure blissfulness. If you’re interested in hearing what you missed, check out Hippie Sabotage's Official Soundcloud page to listen to their discography right now.

 

Also on tour with Hippie Sabotage on the Path of Righteousness Tour were Melvv and Olivia Noelle. Melvv (a.k.a. Jeffrey Melvin) is a Wisconsin native who has been interested in making music since watching videos of Daft Punk’s 2007 tour. While attending the University of Wisconsin, even the school newspaper recognized Melvv as being a rising star in the music industry. Olivia Noelle is an electronic music vocalist with her musical influence deeply rooted in R&B, hip-hop, and electro-pop. She moved to Los Angeles at age 17 in order to start her music career and now she is opening up for Hippie Sabotage on their North American tour. Check out some of Melvv via his Official Soundcloud page and Olivia Noelle via her Official Soundcloud page today.

 

‘Like’ our page on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and stay up to date in 2018 on all music related events/festivals such as: Talib Kweli: Radio Silence Tour (2018), EyeHateGod, Cro-Mags, & Buzzoven: Live from the Earl, SweetWater 420 FestivalTy Segall & the Freedom Band: Live at the Variety PlayhouseRhythm N’ Blooms Music Festival, Primus + Mastodon with All Them Witches: Live at the Fox TheatreShaky KneesShaky BeatsPapa Joe’s BanjoBQue Music Festival, Sloss Music & Arts Festival, Slayer: The Farewell Tour (w/ Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament, & Napalm Death), & Muddy Roots Music Festival by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  Also, you can follow my personal concert hopping on Facebook and Instagram for even more photos not available on Concerthopper.com.

Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!