Black Sabbath Blazes Jones Beach – 8/17/16

25 Aug
of Black Sabbath perform onstage at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on August 18, 2016 in Wantagh, New York.

Black Sabbath perform onstage at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on August 18, 2016 in Wantagh, New York. Credit Getty Images

On the concert poster that supports Black Sabbath’s “The End” farewell 80-date tour an inferno encompasses the Northern Hemisphere of Earth. That includes the south shore of Long Island that at times this summer has felt a bit like the portrayed firestorm. On August 17, Black Sabbath started the second leg of the North America swing of its farewell tour at Jones Beach Theater and with the help of 15,000 raucous fans set the beach ablaze (figuratively, of course) with a vehement and booming show.

Before I get to breaking down Sabbath, let’s start with the turn out. I’ve been to plenty of concerts at Jones Beach, and I’ve never seen it as crowded as it was that night. The turn out was a fascinating mix of black-clad Sabbath fans. The mark of a great band is its ability to attract a range of fans, and Sabbath has developed that loyal following over the 45+ years of existence. The opening act was a band I had the opportunity to profile back in February. You can check that out by following that link. The band was an excellent choice as an opening act. Rival Sons plays a style of Southern Rock injected with heavy metal vocals and instrumentals. Back in February I wrote that the band features “old-style rock n’ roll music with a keen blues sound, driving percussion, and raspy vocals,” but after seeing them live I’d like to emend those descriptions, and add that the band can also crush a lick and headbang with the metal bunch. Rival Sons is an original sound, and you should check them out. Plus, the keys/synth player has an Amish-style beard that is all kinds of awesome.

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                   He’s the one on the left but you can’t really see the mega beard

Black Sabbath played a 14-song set in around 2 hours. The set featured the classics, but the band dispersed the hits throughout the nights, which was kind of them: I hate when bands wait until the last three songs to play the top hits. After a dystopic video opening (the video was a cool supplement throughout the show except for when it stopped working for around 15 minutes, but what are you going to do), Black Sabbath came out to the apropos “Black Sabbath,” and Ozzy, the grand master of wicked ceremonies, greeted the crowd with an energy that can be best described as effervescence. Throughout the night, he bounced around the stage, throwing up his hands to rile up the crowd, and leading several call-and-response lyric and clap sessions. He even prostrated twice and professed his love for the fans. He was Ozzy at his finest, and he made it explicitly clear how much he enjoys to be on stage. The concert must have also been joyous for Tony Iommi, who was diagnosed with the early stages of lymphona in 2012 but announced only a few days prior to the concert that his cancer was in remission. Iommi is a wonderful guitarist, and he proved it with his usual stage adeptness and fretboard adroitness that he has had his entire career. Also, let’s give love to Geezer Butler whose bass is not made with any animal products; he is a strict vegan (which I find excellent as a vegetarian and husband to a vegan). Butler mans a potent bass guitar, and did so throughout the concert. The rest of Black Sabbath is keyboardist Adam Wakeman, who strangely played the role of man behind the curtain, as he was not actually visible on stage; Ozzy said it was because he was too ugly, but I think the massive amplifiers blocked him, and session drummer Tommy Clufetos, who played a sick drum solo during “Rat Salad” that gave the rest of the band a piss and water break, and entertained the crowd thoroughly.

All-in-all, what else can I say. Black Sabbath was tremendous. The crowd loved every second of the show. It was a riotous affair. Yes, Ozzy, we had fun. Excellent show. Get tickets to this one if you can.

He Is Me Modernizes Industrial Rock With Debut Single Let It Drip

22 Aug

Debuting from the ambient/industrial duo arrives the post modern duo He Is Me. With their single called Let It Drip, listeners will view ambiance and industrial rock in a new light. The poignant lyrics that describe mind and thought patterns make listeners think of abstract concepts while listening. “Let the mind slip in a new state, let the walls break, let the fires rage” are just a few excerpts from the emotionally heavy track. With an ebb and flow pattern to the sound and acoustic flair to the track, Steve Moore and Casey Braunger’s musicianship clearly shows through their track. If you want to listen more to He Is Me, Moore and Braunger are currently working on an album in the works. With their refreshing approach to industrial rock, listeners will be thrilled there will be more to come in the future.

For more listening:

Jane In Space Makes Audience Rethink About Industrial Rock In Track Feel It Alive

18 Aug

With the introduction of Feel It Alive, Jane in Space manages to show dark music in a modern, yet moody light. Contrast to your typical industrial rock, Jane in Space accompanies the dark sound with the perfectly balanced synths and exaggeration of the song title in various combinations throughout the track. Doing so, almost creates an otherworldliness among the audience that Jane in Space plays to. In addition to that, it almost induces a transcendental connection to Feel It Alive as well. Mastered by Tom Baker, who is credited with mastering songs of the sounds of Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, and Wolfmother to name a few, uses his mastering signature in Jane in Space’s intentional sound. All in all the tone of Feel It Alive may sound dark, but it brings those who listen to it alive and emotionally charged.

For more listening:

Departure Delivers A Wave of Emotion Within Gateways

14 Aug

With emphasis on heavy synths and the electric guitar, the track titled Gateways from Salt-Lake City based group Departure’s newest EP called Gateways delivers angst and agony all wrapped within this heart felt song. Lyrics such as “shut the lights off”/” I’m exactly what you think I am”/, you never know how deep my sorrow goes/ all make the listener ride the wave of intense emotion within the tone of the song.  Additionally, the theme of personifying lyrics makes the listener connect even more; “agony has a new face, it looks just like me”. The vocal talents within Departure are strong, drawing similarities to Copeland and the early days of Coheed & Cambria. Setting an impressive mark in the music world so far with opening for Phantogram Neon Trees, Cold War Kids, and many more Gateway is here to stay with their lasting mark within their music.

“Falling in Love will Kill You” is Divine

12 Aug

WrongchildeTruckbyNikoSonnberger

 

Straight out of a morbid drama, “Falling In Love Will Kill You” by Wrongchilde, the solo project for Mat Devine of Kill Hannah, was released in 2014. The song, which features a duet with My Chemical Romance lead vocalist Gerard Way, was one of the principle tracks on Gold Blooded, Wrongchilde’s album also released in 2014. Devine is a bit of a jack of all trades, not only fronting Kill Hannah, but also playing the role of Grim Hunter in the original cast of Spider Man: Turn off the Dark on Broadway, writing a blog and a book, and co-creating a fashion line called Animal Royalty. His multifaceted pursuits reflect his music, as Kill Hannah was more post-punk, dark rock and “Falling In Love Will Kill You” is softer and intrinsically melancholy. Take a listen.

The song, which plays like a lachrymose lullaby, starts with an acoustic guitar, a toned-down strung-out sound with almost a Freelance Whales quality to it. The acoustic rises with the verse vocals, all while a sputtering, demonic sound oscillates under the surface. The effect is tremendous, as it depicts a mysterious presence under the surface that is almost kept hidden. The song comes together with the pleading vocal harmonies in the chorus falling in with the second verse with synth and drums. The song is carried by the trope that falling in love will kill you, and the lines are even repeated where eventually the the “falling in” is dropped and the song concludes that love will kill you. The downcast message is totally reflected by the emotional song, as the melody tugs at the listener.

Totally worth a listen, right? When do I steer you wrong? You can keep up with Devine on his Facebook or Twitter.

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