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The American Dream Tour

10 Mar

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On 2/28, I was, once again, without camera, but have to say I’m pretty satisfied with what my phone did manage to capture. I went to Best Buy Theater for The American Dream Tour, enduring an hour in the literally freezing cold before managing to get inside. The venue was packed for the night’s sold out show. After a long period of confusion, during which the crowd managed to spot BryanStars in the balcony, Northlane was finally on as the opener. The Sydney based metalcore band had a strong set, closing with “Quantum Flux,” a definite crowd pleaser. Next was ISSUES, featuring a bright neon stage set up on their equipment. They played songs from their new album, including “The Settlement” and “Stingray Affliction.” Tyler Carter’s vocals have only gotten better since his days in Woe, Is Me, as have Michael Bohn’s. They had a live turntable set up for the scratches and electronic components of their songs, manned by Ty Acord. They had an energetic set, which, for myself and most of the crowd, felt much too short.

Next was Of Mice & Men, with a backdrop of their new album artwork for Restoring Force. They had a mix of songs from their new album as well as The Flood, but disappointingly, songs from their self-titled were nowhere to be seen. Aaron Pauley proved his vocal capabilities on both their new and old songs, and singer Austin Carlile’s stage presence was powerful and interactive as always. Their set too felt too short, but they managed to pack an immense amount of energy into a short amount of time. The crowd had been becoming progressively more aggressive during this time, and during Bring Me The Horizon’s soundcheck people were rushing to leave the sea of people. They opened from behind a large sheet that had previously been behind Of Mice & Men’s backdrop, using strobe lights and smoke to create shadows from behind the sheet. Oli Sykes chastised the crowd’s use of their phones during the first part of the set, encouraging that we live in the moment instead of behind our screens. They used smoke and confetti cannons throughout their set, along with a fast paced light show in the background. They closed with “Sleepwalking” and more blasts from the confetti cannon, putting on a frenzied, high energy show as always.

People have criticized Sykes’s live performance in the past, but his vocals on the new album Sempiternal certainly prove how much his range and vocal quality have improved, along with how dynamic they truly are. Having seen both Of Mice & Men and Bring Me The Horizon before this review may be admittedly biased, but this was truly an incredible show, and the next day’s soreness was most definitely worth it.

Touché Amoré

5 Mar

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On 2/26, I found myself at (Le) Poisson Rouge to see Caravels, Seahaven, mewithoutYou, and Touché Amoré. In the hopes of being able to photograph I called them, only to be told that “no cameras with removable lenses would be allowed.” Turns out that there was no bag check, and I definitely could’ve brought, or at least snuck in, my camera. All camera related disappointment aside, the show was an incredible one, as to be expected.

Caravels, a self described post-hardcore band from Henderson, Nevada opened first, a five-member band with a focus on shouted vocals. After that came four-member Seahaven, from Torrance, California. They are along the same strains as Brand New and Citizen, and closed their set with the slow, heartfelt track “Honeybee.” Next was mewithoutYou, who managed to combine sleigh bells and acoustic guitar with spoken word and screaming in an eclectic mix. Parallels can easily be made with La Dispute, as they share a very similar sound.

The pit at this point was fully open, and had spread around to the entire front half of the crowd. Finally Touché Amoré was on, and the excitement from the crowd could definitely be felt. Though there were some technical difficulties with the microphone, lead singer Jeremy Bolm managed to power through, with the crowd shouting along every lyric. For such a powerful vocalist, his stage presence by contrast is extremely humble and reserved, only to be replaced moments later by his blistering screaming. This was most certainly the most energetic and intense show I’ve ever been to, but this was no surprise. I left with an even greater appreciation of the bands that had performed that night, along with the hardcore genre itself.

INTER ARMA, KEN Mode, Russian Circles

3 Mar


KEN Mode

KEN Mode

KEN Mode

Russian Circles

Russian Circles

(All photos from the show can be found here.)

On 2/20 I went to the Bowery Ballroom to shoot INTER ARMA, KEN Mode, and Russian Circles. I will admit I had no previous knowledge about these bands, but after a quick perusing online I discovered they were roughly in the genre of metal. I went in with an open mind, as I had no clue what to expect. INTER ARMA is hard to put into a genre, but they’re classified as “sludge” and “black” metal. Regardless, it was a great performance, and eventually the crowd warmed up to them and started to become more involved in the music.

Next was KEN Mode, a Canadian hardcore noise rock band, which for only three members had an impressively large sound. The trio works together incredibly well, balancing rapid-fire beats with blistering vocals. The headliner, Russian Circles, was a Chicago based three-piece band, with an instrumental rock and metal sound, and uniquely no vocalist. Their set up featured an extensive pedal board for both the bass and guitar, which allowed for a multitude of sampling and looping throughout the live performance. For a metal band, all of the members look surprisingly “un-metal,” and from appearances only they could very likely pass as an indie outfit. Overall, they displayed their technicality and musicianship very well, and their ambient sound closed out the sold out Bowery Ballroom.

Acoustic Basement Tour

7 Feb



Vinnie Caruana and Brian Marquis

Vinnie Caruana

Front Porch Step

Travis Alexander

(All photos from the show can be found here.)

On Friday, 1/31/14, I attended the Acoustic Basement Tour at Santos Party House at their first stop in New York City. The lineup originally comprised of Front Porch Step, Brian Marquis, Hit The Lights, and Transit, but Hit The Lights was unable to perform due to a family emergency. Instead, Travis Alexander of Ghost Thrower, along with Vinnie Caruana of I Am the Avalanche, were both there to fill in. The small, intimate venue was full for the stripped down acoustic tour, and the crowd was eager to sing along, shouting out song requests and lyrics during all of the sets. All of the solo artists stood on stage, with nothing but an acoustic guitar and their heartfelt lyrics, while Transit headlined the show with a full band setup. Overall a great show, with talented musicians who proved their talents were not exclusive to studio recordings, keeping the crowd going in the middle of the brutal winter just outside the venue.

Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! Tour

6 Feb

Panic! At The Disco

Panic! At The Disco

Panic! At The Disco

Panic! At The Disco

On 2/4/14, I had the chance to see Panic! At the Disco for the second time in my life, at the soon to be closed Roseland Ballroom. I was armed with an iPhone instead of a camera for this concert, but I was excited to have general admission pit tickets, instead of nosebleeds at the Barclays Center that I had when they toured with Fall Out Boy on their arena tour. After waiting in line in the cold for about two hours, the show opened with the band X Ambassadors, a local New York band whose lead singer made creative use of a loop machine and a saxophone. Next was The Colourist, a four-piece group with a male-female dual vocal combination who brought a lively set, slowing it down near the end with an acoustic number. At long last Panic! At the Disco were on, the lineup consisting of only one original member, lead singer Brendon Urie. They played several crowd favorites from the classic A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, along with several tracks from their two newer albums, Vices & Virtues, and Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!. The stage setup and lighting were phenomenal, and Urie brought his signature dynamic stage performance, never staying in one place for very long, playing piano, drums, and guitar throughout the set. Veterans and new fans alike all left thoroughly content, eager and awaiting their next return to the city. 

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