live reviews

Gig review: Pop Evil return to the road with CD release show

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Not many bands have risen to the top as quick as Pop Evil have. Sure, they’re set to release their fourth album this week, but their third album- Onyx­ - spawned four no. 1 singles and took them to headline status and solidified them as a major player in the rock world. When you ask any major band who tours throughout the Midwest what some of their favorite venues are and 9/10 times, Piere’s Entertainment Center in Fort Wayne, Ind. will be near the top- if not at the top of their list. Most big names have come through the venue- Korn, Slash, Stone Sour, Hinder, Shinedown, Creed, Halestorm, Hollywood Undead, Anthrax, Slayer, Saliva, Hellyeah, Sebastian Bach and countless others have all played the legendary venue so it was a no brainer for Pop Evil to come back to Piere’s for the official release show for their fourth record- Up. They’ve played the venue numerous other times- most recently with Stone Sour in January 2014 on the House Of Gold And Bones Pt. 2 Tour and they brought Red Sun Rising and Screaming For Silence with them- Aranda was scheduled to play but had to cancel due to a health emergence. The show must go on, though, and that’s exactly how it went down. Screaming For Silence is out of Omaha, Neb. and they’ve been making a lot of noise this year- literally and figuratively. Back in May, they won the Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands contest for a spot at Rock On The Range and Pop Evil took notice and rightfully so. With just a 30 minute set, they took full advantage of their time and worked the crowd into a frenzy. There’s no doubt Screaming For Silence left Fort Wayne with a grown fanbase. It wasn’t long before Red Sun Rising took the stage to keep the party going. Fresh off the release of their debut- Polyester Zeal - the band have been on the road for almost three years straight and shared the stage with Pop Evil last winter so they felt right at home. With Aranda unable to play, Red Sun Rising had room for a few more songs, which worked to their advantage, playing well over half of their debut album. When a band only has one album out and one that’s brand new , it can be hard for the crowd to get involved and feel comfortable but that wasn’t the case with RSR- they refused to let the crowd just sit idle, demanding every ounce of energy the crowd had. Red Sun Rising proved why Pop Evil keeps bringing them back on the road with them and showed that they are a band to watch and take seriously. If you missed them in Fort Wayne, they have numerous tours coming up and they’re playing this year’s Louder Than Life festival in Louisville this fall so catch them now. Before too long the lights went back down and Pop Evil took their place on stage for an hour-long set that was loaded with fan favorites and new songs as well. The band appeared on stage, entering from behind the stage and launched into “Last Man Standing” and “Goodbye My Friend” before introducing the Piere’s crowd to “Dead In The Water” from the now-released Up. With four albums out and this being their CD release show, they had to balance the number of new songs with the amount of hits and fan favorites and did so perfectly. Sure, there were a few songs they could have played but that’s always gonna be the case. Performance-wise, they were at the top of their game and a powerhouse as always. From the very onset of the set, they destroyed the crowd with the energy and adrenaline they had. The only downside was that frontman Leigh Kakaty seemed to be having some vocal problems. Rarely did he scream during the set and he utilized the diehard Pop Evil fans in the crowd, allowing them to sing more than he usually would. The band had to have been tired since they were plagued with travel issues all day- their bus broke down and the vehicle they got to pick them up also broke down so maybe it was just vocal strain and fatigue. It didn’t take away from the show, though. He quickly caught his stride and it was the Pop Evil show we’ve all come to know and love- complete adrenaline and maximized energy coming from the stage. What makes a Pop Evil show stand out from the rest of the shows isn’t just the energy the band gives out, but it’s also the energy and intensity the crowd gives right back. Some bands put on a show that’s worth going back to over and over and over again. Pop Evil are one of those bands. They ended the show with their lead single from Up in “Footsteps,” which made the crowd hit a second stride of adrenaline. It was like the show was just starting again and, in a lot of ways it was. From there they destroyed the rest of the fans with an encore of “Deal With The Devil” and “Trenches” to end the show. Pop Evil is back and their new music fits right into the show with the older material. Regardless of whether the show was loaded with all classic material or featured new songs- which it did- Pop Evil proved- as if you didn’t’ already know- that there’s a reason they’re one of the top rock bands coming up right now. -Reggie Edwards Loading... Loading... Loading... The post Pop Evil return to the road with CD release show appeared first on The Front Row Report . [read on]

Gig review: The New Regime take their throne in Indy

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

You may not be familiar with Ilan Rubin’s name, but you’re undoubtedly familiar with some of his work. In the past decade Rubin has drummed for some of the biggest bands in rock music, such as lostprophets, Fenix TX, Angels & Airwaves (fronted by former Blink-182 guitarist Tom Delonge), Paramore, and even Nine Inch Nails. As impressive as that resume is it still wasn’t enough to satisfy Rubin’s thirst for artistic expression, so he started The New Regime as a side project in 2007, giving him a chance to step out from behind the drum kit and take center stage. Although it’s taken a while for him to be able to devote his full attention to the project it seems the wait has been worth it and Indianapolis fans were treated to a solid set from The New Regime when they opened up for Failure at Indy CD & Vinyl’s free show at The Vogue. Despite there only being three members, the band’s sound was incredibly robust, allowing Rubin to go off on extended guitar solos during most of the songs the band played. The New Regime manages to take the best elements of a jam band and merge it with the sound and attitude of a rock band, making for a unique listening experience that feels all at once totally unique and yet very familiar. Even early on in the set it was clear the band was locked in and in tune with one another- they didn’t need any time to find their stride, but were firing on all cylinders from the very first note. Many times throughout the night Rubin and his drummer would lock eyes, With 2015’s release of Exhibit B it seems The New Regime has reached a point of total confidence with their sound and are starting to explore the intricacies and hidden niches within that sound. Although Rubin is wrapping up his current tour with Failure, he’s slated to spend late September through the end of October making his way across the country with punk band Gang of Four- a lineup that you definitely won’t want to miss. -Ashley Adcox Loading... The post The New Regime take their throne in Indy appeared first on The Front Row Report . [read on]

Gig review: Justin Moore steals the show in Indy

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Country music is an ever-evolving genre. Currently there are a lot of artists utilizing the rock sound within country music and it’s growing in popularity. Justin Moore is one of the fastest-rising artists in country and he recently stopped through Indianapolis on the Crushin’ It tour with Brad Paisley. Before Moore took the stage, though, newcomer Mickey Guyton took the stage to warm up the crowd and did just that. With the classic Toni Basil hit “Mickey” coming over the speakers, Guyton took the stage and revved the crowd up. It’s always hard opening a tour this size because a lot of people show up for the bands and artists they know and love and will skip the first act but with Brad Paisley and Justin Moore on the tour, fans made sure to fill the lawn pretty early. Guyton had more of a pop sound than country but featured just enough country sounds and the crowd loved every minute of it. Her debut self-titled album released back in May and her debut single- “Better Than You Left Me” has sold well over 100,000 copies and it made sense for her to close with that song. Guyton’s parents were in town and in attendance, which made for an even more special show for her. Guyton should be one of the biggest names in country music in the next year or two so remember her name. It wasn’t long before the lights went back down and Justin Moore took the stage to keep the party going. Honestly, he had the strongest set of the night too. With just eight songs, Moore stretched out his set to make it a personal and memorable show for everyone there. With the extended stage, Moore found himself up close and personal with fans for most of the show. The knockout punch came with the three-song combo of “Bait A Hook,” “If Heaven Wasn’t Too Far Away” and “Small Town Throwdown,” during which Moore said he wanted the crowd so loud that when Paisley came out he would have to ask “what the world did Justin Moore do out here!?”   He got exactly what he wanted- the crowd got loud and rowdy. Even though his set ended after “Small Town USA,” he wasn’t done yet, coming back out later to join Paisley for a song. After the song, the two even took a selfie together with a fan’s phone from the front row. -Reggie Edwards The post Justin Moore steals the show in Indy appeared first on The Front Row Report . [read on]

Gig review: Slaughter and Kix in Pittsburgh reviewed

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Veteran melodic rockers Kix and Slaughter are both out on the road right now. Kix are touring to support their latest album Rock Your Face Off and Slaughter, are doing it due to an overwhelming online push by fans that wanted to see them live again. By a strange, cosmic twist of fate and much to the delight of fans in Greensburg Pennsylvania, both bands found themselves playing the historic Palace Theater on a beautiful summer’s night in August. Speaking of Twist of Fate, ironically that just happens to be the name of the local band that got the ball rolling that night. They are a covers band comprised of former members of local legends Striknyne & Tangled Grace that peppers their set with some stunning originals and put on one hell of a show. That night was no exception and the band did a killer job of getting the crowd revved up for what was yet to come. Up next was Kix, who always and after all these years still put on a live show that brings the crowd to their feet and brings the house down every night, everywhere they play. It takes just mere seconds of opener “Wheels in Motion” from their new album Rock Your Face Off to see why the band was chosen to headline this year’s M3 festival in Maryland. As usual, the individual band member performances were flawless and classic Kix tracks like “Girl Money,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “Cold Blood” and “Blow My Fuse” sounded better now than they did in their 80’s prime. Fans were also treated to newer songs like “You’re Gone” and “Love Me With Your Top Down” alongside deeper cuts like “Sex,” “No Ring Around Rosie,” “Cold Shower” and “Hot Wire.” Frontman Steve Whiteman is a thin and wiry as ever and is not just fun to watch, but is also quite the comedian. Lines like “Does my dick look to big ” directed at the young lady standing face to face with his crotch and “I know, you’re thinking boy this fucker got fat ” as he took off his shirt had people laughing out loud. Fantastic set from start to finish. The only drawback was the bands bold decision not to play their signature closer “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” due to time restraints. Which left those fans screaming out it’s name a little bummed out, but still thoroughly entertained. Understandable, since that song can run over 15 minutes long itself, with Whiteman’s deliriously entertaining rant in the middle. At last, the time had come for Slaughter, who right out of the gate, invited the fans to leave their seats and come up front towards the stage, which they were all too happy to do. Now the stage was set for a proper rock concert, which the band delivered in spades. Now it bears mentioning right off the bat that this was one of the loudest shows in recent memory and as an added bonus, even though the volume was massive, the mix was near perfect. Nonetheless, even the most seasoned concert veterans left with a slight ringing in their ears. Now that’s Rock N Roll! After all these years, Mark Slaughter’s voice is still extremely strong, his falsetto as piercing as ever and bassist Dana Strum looks and performs as if he has drank from the fountain of youth. The band is rounded out by guitarist Jeff ‘Blando’ Bland, who replaced original guitarist Tim Kelly when he passed away in 1998 and drummer Zoltan Chaney, who’s been with the band since 2011. Strum, is an absolute madman that literally attack his instrument with a ferocity rarely seen these days. Frequently going to the front of the stage to get up close and personal with the crowd and Slaughter’s stage presence and command of a crowd are legendary for good reason, they are epic. Not to be outdone, Blando owns every inch of the stage, his performance bringing to mind a young Randy Rhoads and Chaney is a beast behind the kit that’s hard to take your eyes off, constantly twirling his sticks, throwing them in the air and back and forth with Slaughter. All this while standing, sitting and jumping up and down. Even after playing all their biggest hits, including “Fly to the Angels” and “Up All Night,” the fans were still screaming for more, not wanting to leave or believe it was over, but sadly it was. Thankfully, not forever, just until the next time. -Eric Hunker Loading... Loading... The post Slaughter and Kix in Pittsburgh reviewed appeared first on The Front Row Report . [read on]

Gig review: Lilly Hiatt Graces the Stage at Goshen’s First Friday Festival

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

The small Northern Indiana town of Goshen  has religiously celebrated each new month with their First Friday festival for years. Rotating themes and musical guests dominate the focus. September’s monthly shindig brought singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt to town. Two thumbs to Goshen and to Lilly for gracing the stage!   Loading... The post Lilly Hiatt Graces the Stage at Goshen’s First Friday Festival appeared first on The Front Row Report . [read on]

Black Star Riders and Europe, O2 ABC, Glasgow, March 5 2015

March 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

BLACK STAR RIDERS & EUROPE at O2 ABC Glasgow, March 5 2015 By DAVID WILSON/GET READY TO ROCK The first quarter of 2015 is awash with gigs of all shapes and sizes but one tour which has been hotly anticipated since it was announced is the co-headline tour with Black Star Riders and Europe. Two dates were announced for Glasgow, one selling out and this show, the first night, also graced with a large crowd. Opening proceedings on the tour were The Amorettes who were on home turf at the ABC. The only problem with opening at said venue is that you tend to be on when most people, including myself, are still trying to get into Glasgow so [read on]

Stephen Pearcy, Whiskey Au Gogo, December 19 2014

February 10, 2015 // 1 Comment

Stephen Pearcy, Whiskey Au Gogo, December 19 2014 By GERRY GITTLESON/METAL SLUDGE Ratt was once among the world’s biggest acts, but all that remains from the Los Angeles group’s legacy is Stephen Pearcy in the wake of the curly-haired singer’s permanent departure last year, in addition to bassist Robbie Crane joining Black Star Riders, drummer Bobby Blotzer taking a medical leave and co-guitarist Carlos Cavazo quietly announcing just recently his retirement from the music business. He’s 58 now, but Pearcy continues rocking along, drawing a near-capacity crowd to the Whisky on Friday, December 19 for a well-received concert that [read on]

The Rolling Stones with Jimmy Barnes, Adelaide, October 2014

January 26, 2015 // 0 Comments

ROLLING STONES with JIMMY BARNES, Adelaide, October 2014. By FREYA ZACKNICH/FASTERLOUDER.COM.AU THE issue is simple, and simply overwhelming. The Rolling Stones are without peer in terms of lifespan, activity and popularity as far as rock’n’roll acts are concerned. They are more original parts than modern replacements and relatively athletic with a not-dead-yet sentiment propelling members onward. Some have even chosen to wear sneakers. The “14 On Fire” tour is a tragically belated, yet not reluctant return to Australia. Qualifiers of relevance, excuses of interest and plain nostalgia-baiting aside, the Stones put on a damn big show [read on]