Review and Photos by Francesco Albanese
This past Wednesday (May 17th ), Hampton Beach was graced with some big names in music today. Pierce the Veil and Sum 41; two names any punk/pop punk fans are quite familiar with. The respective legacies of the bands fit in perfectly at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, a venue that is no stranger to big names in entertainment.
Along for the ride, the powerhouses brought along post-hardcore band Emarosa and indie/pop newcomers Chapel.
First up on the bill was Chapel. The duo comprised of lead singer/guitarist Carter Hardin and drummer Kortney Grinwis had a lot to offer with their blend of pop, electronic, rock, and indie elements that make for a great start to any party, or in ths case, show. Keep them in mind when you’re driving along the beach/coast/body of water this summer looking for something to listen to.
Next up we had Emarosa. These live wires kept the room electric with their stage presence alone. Lead singer, Bradley Walden, found himself among the crowd on multiple occasions during their set, and the crowd welcomed him with open arms. Aside from their showmanship, the notes poured out of each strum, drumbeat, and word was full of passion and fire that has kept this band going for years. Hit songs like “Sure” and “Helpless” would have anyone singing along for days. While singing about heartfelt and emotional content, the audience still found it in them to dance and jump along to the catchy and powerful melodies of each song. Catch these crowd pleasers next time they come to a venue near you.
Then finally came our first headliner of the night, Sum 41. The Canadian-born punk rockers are back on a mission to remind the kids of their pop punk roots and remind the veterans that these guys aren’t slowing down any time soon. Among the 12-song set was a perfect showcase of the band’s repertoire of classics, hits, and new jams. It’s as if someone asked, “Give me a playlist of what Sum 41 is all about,” this set would be the perfect playlist. The boys opened with their classic hit “The Hell Song” an instant crowd pleaser by any means, followed by “Over My Head, Better Off Dead.” Then they dove right into new jam territory with the single “Fake My Own Death” from their 2016 LP release of “13 Voices,” along with “Goddamn I’m Dead Again.” Next up were old favorites, “Motivation,” “We’re All to Blame” and “Walking Disaster,” which overcharged the crowd’s batteries. What came next was a most welcomed surprise, a punk cover of Queen’s triumph anthem, “We Will Rock You,” which can only be summed up in two words: hell, yes. Finally, the band had to say goodbye, but not before giving the crowd, “Still Waiting,” “In Too Deep,” and “Fat Lip” as the perfect parting gifts.
Next up was the other moment everyone was aching for, Pierce the Veil. Now as people who have seen these guys before, they know that these guys know theatrics and showmanship, which is why an unnamed person in a jumpsuit and skull mask with glowing eyes came out to greet the crowd first before getting it started. Accompanying the band was a light show of epic proportions that made the venue come alive. Just like the band before, PTV mixed a perfect setlist that united longtime fans and new fans in one welcoming swoop. Kicking it off with “Texas Is Forever” and “Bulls in the Bronx” gave way for some of the most in sync and loud vocals you’d ever hear in your life from a show of this genre. It’s a testament to the loyal and diehard fans that this band has been able to cultivate. Coming up next were “A Match Into Water,” “Today I Saw the Whole World,” “Yeah Boy and Doll Face,” and a new favorite “Floral & Fading.” Halfway into the set and the crowd was still fully charged, just raring to go. Next up the band gave their rendition of “Issues” by Julia Michaels before going into “Stay Away From My Friends,” “Dive In,” and fan favorite “Caraphernelia.” But the band and crowd’s time together sadly had to come to an end, giving way to a home stretch made up of “Circles,” “Hold On Till May,” and “King for a Day.” The swell of emotions left by the band on their way out just goes to show, no matter how many people or how big the venue, Pierce the Veil are loyal to all of their fans, giving them a show as if they were at Wembley Stadium.
By Francesco Albanese
Ah, the comforting sounds of a great show waiting to happen, and for some, the comforting smells. The tracks on the loudspeaker are your favorites, and the smell of beer coming from cans and the floor (and of course my pants if you’re lucky enough to get it spilled on you). These signs are amplified when the combination of artists performing is perfect; you know, when you go to a show for all the artists and not just the headliner. We were lucky enough to attend one of these shows with punk/rock band the Menzingers on their stop at the Royale in Boston with Rozwell Kid and Jeff Rosenstock.
First on the bill we had Rozwell Kid. The indie rock quartet that’s only been around since 2011 seriously wowed us with a happy attitude and tight showmanship. If you’re looking for something new to let your ears chew on, give these guys a listen.
Next up, Jeff Rosenstock. This man has been going strong since he was the lead singer of the former ska-punk group The Arrogant Sons of Bitches and other projects. Recently, he’s begun a solo career with his 2012 debut release of I Look Like Shit. On the tour, Rosenstock, along with himself, brought along a 5- piece band to assist in his solo career. From what we saw, these guys have been in the game a long time and don’t need any advice from anyone. They tackled genres from hard shoegaze to a quick U-turn to ska-punk, and a quick detour to 50’s doo-wop. Put this guy on your musical radar for sure.
And of course, we finally have the Menzingers. The quartet from Scranton, Pennsylvania (yes I see you “The Office” fans) came out to a roaring crowd clamoring for their best. To catch up the folks wondering, “who or what are the Menzingers?” they are a beautiful mix of punk with rock fit for the modern music world. It’s a little hard to pinpoint exactly if they’re punk or rock, but that’s why you love them. They bring a fresh sound to two genres that fans of either will be pleasantly satisfied. The band sauntered out greeting an already wild crowd to a new favorite “Tellin’ Lies” off their most recent record “After the Party.” They continued with favorites like “Nice Things,” “Mexican Guitars,” “Good Things,” “Burn After Writing,” and “Obituaries” all from the 2012 release of “On the Impossible Past.” Fans didn’t let up as song after song played; they just kept getting more and more energized for more. This continued finally until the last song of the night, “Bad Catholics.” Just before we knew it, the show was over, but the impression the band left on us would stay as we wait in anticipation for their next show in the future. From a Menzingers fan to potential fan, I can promise you will not be disappointed with what these guys have to offer, and continue to offer in the future.
By Chris Coutsoukis
Savagery, absolute savagery. That's a great way to introduce Motionless In White's brand new album, Graveyard Shift. If you are looking for a record that breaks all the rules and does it with grace and callous, this is your album. In this review, we break the band's fourth studio record song by song... hold on to your seat.
Motionless wastes no time kicking the album off with, "Rats." After a quick EDM intro, axe-man, Ricky Horror breaks into a monster riff that will drives the rest of the song. Like most tracks on Graveyard Shift, "Rats" is a straight forward, fist pounding, anthem designed to leave fans ready for war.
Queen For Queen
Get comfortable being uncomfortable, because Chris Motionless has no plans of letting you slow down. Another monster-sized riff brings us "Queen For Queen." The track is a straightforward metalcore tune with a catchy chorus, "When you fall down will you back out, As you crawl through life with no crown."
Necessary Evil (Ft. Jonathan Davis)
It's our bet this one is the next single from Graveyard Shift. Join Motionless as they invite Nu Metal legend Jonathan Davis of Korn for some crushing guest vocals on "Necessary Evil." This monster sing-along has Chris Motionless reminding you, "It's my party and I'll die when I want to."
Damn... This song is designed for a rough day. If you're having one, crank this track to 11 and enjoy the ride. We will compare this track to Avenged Sevenfold's "God Damn," the song on the album leaving you ready for pretty much anything. We can't wait to see what favors frontman Chris Motionless asks for from his pits during this track.
Returning to sensational catchy EDM beats, "Untouchable" is an upbeat anthem built on self-confidence. The song is driven by a simple and memorable beat, reminding you, "Through everywhere that I go, Every failure I fold, Every crack in my bones, I'm untouchable." This is song is designed to carry you through and remind you your inner strength, thanks Motionless :).
Not My Type: Dead As F*** 2
Would it really be a Motionless album if there wasn't a song you could picture your self having the best Halloween of your life to? No. That's why we have "Not My Type." Drawing on their Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson influences, "Not My Type" is one of the most cinematic tracks on the album. If a haunted hayride with Ghost and Vinny sounds like a good time, jump into this one.
Chris Motionless reveals his inner romantic on, "The Ladder." This song is all about finding true love, your yellow umbrella. Well, Motionless In White style at least. Gotye fans can rejoice as the band shows tribute to, "Now you're just somebody that I used to..." Well let you figure that one out.
"Voices in my head again, Trapped in a war inside my own skin, They're pulling me ." This track is guaranteed to be one you will not forget. "Voices" is an old-school, contagiously catchy rock song. Keeping company with bands like Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin, Motionless executes flawlessly on "Voices." If you're looking for a song to have stuck in your head, click the triangle.
You may have heard this one, it was the band's first music video for Graveyard Shift. One of the band's leading singles "LOUD" is total jam. This song is about making a name for yourself no matter what life throws out you. We're all about that here at HR TV, "You gotta be loud, You gotta be rude, So the world can hear you, You gotta be crass, You gotta be cold, It’s everything we know, Turn it up, turn it up now!"
In case anyone needed Scranton, Pennsylvania's Area Code, here you go. This song is about knowing your roots and knowing your phone number. Hey Chris, we're 617 in Boston. "570," is a throwback to the Motionless you first discovered at Warped Tour. It is always great to see a band protect elements of who they have always been, "570" hits that mark.
Life is short guys, listen to metal. "Hourglass" is another old-school Motionless tune. With metalcore riffing in full force, "Hourglass" reminds us to take each step carefully, "It's too late to feel I've lost my breath, With the hands of time around my neck, Am I more than a pillar of the past, Or am I just a sand enslaved by the hourglass."
The first single from Graveyard Shift is the same song that sends us home. "Eternally Yours" is an impressive evolution of Motionless' sound. "Eternally Yours" is an all out sing-a-long, with the riffing and breakdowns the band would be remiss to leave behind. We can see why the band chose this as the first taste. "Eternally Yours" has the punch that make the pit bounce and the melody you will sing the whole drive home from their show.
Graveyard Shift, might by our favorite from Motionless yet. It has attitude, it has creativity, and above all else, well-written melodies. Enjoy the album and be sure to catch the band on tour this summer.
By Michael Connelly
Like for legendary super heroes, or fan theories whispered in the line to a new Marvel film, murmurs among the crowd groaned and waited for Senses Fail. On a cold Sunday in Boston the line was around the block waiting in anticipation for Senses Fail at Paradise Rock Club.
The excitement for their 15th anniversary tour was felt by all. Like Pacific, Movements, and Counterparts accompanied the band and kept the hype up till Senses Fail was ready to grace us with their presence.
The crowd was welcomed first by Like Pacific. The Canadian born rockers did not seem scared to play to their Heart’s content until their last songs. They got the place hopping and teased of the music to come. “Distant” was played with an intensity and passion that many bands hope to attain. The band’s most recent release was “Distant Like You Asked.” Many of Like Pacific’s songs resonated deep within the crowd. “Worthless Case” was most notably played excitingly as the lead guitarist continued to do spins as he played. “22a” and “Hang” are some more of my favorites from Like Pacific. Check out their music if you haven’t!
On deck was Movements. The West Coast rockers came ready to play. The band’s most recent release was “Outgrown Things.” Their most memorable performance by them was “Nineteen.” It was an emotional experience and felt through the crowd. The rockers also played “Hatchet” a headbanging and jump-kick song classic.
Counterparts took to the stage and came out with an unmatched aggression playing crowd-pleasers such as “The Disconnect” and “Burn. “I overheard some of the crowd saying that there were there specifically to hear Counterpart’s set. The Canadian punk rockers did not disappoint and had the crowd practically hopping over the barrier to crowd surf onto their set. There set resonated with the crowd. The band also played my fan favorite called “Compass.” When Counterparts left the stage, they left the crowd wanting more and in anticipation for the headliner, Senses Fail.
“Our time is limited we are slowly dying to be truly here and now is what matters. Surround yourself in what you love with the ones you love”- Buddy Nielasan
Then the moment of anticipation arrived and Senses Fail took to the stage with Buddy Nielsen at the helm of what would be an epic sound wave. The band opened with “The Rapture,” which enshrouded the sold-out venue with good vibes. Sense’s Fail commanded the audience to “drink up the loneliness” in their performance of “Bonecrusher.” The audience sang along with inspired hearts. Senses Fail left it all on the stage after their performance and after a brief two minutes of cheering and applause returned for an encore. “All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues,” had a raw emotion that can only be written from the experience. “Family Tradition” also from the new EP continues the dialogue about the life without father. One of the many fantastic songs they played was “The Priest and Matador” which left me simply awe-struck at the combination of music and vocals. All parts came together to create a celestial soundwave that only lives in the moment. My favorite song played by Senses was easily “Jets to Peru,” from their new EP, “In Your Absence”. Sense Fail’s Buddy Nielsen said this song was written for his wife and the battles they have faced together. Buddy reminded us that we are not immortal and that the fragility of life is a beautiful thing.
WE THE KINGS SHAKE UP BOSTON WITH SPECIAL GUESTS CUTE IS WHAT WE AIM FOR, PLAID BRIXX, AND ASTRO LASSO
By Francesco Albanese
Last Sunday, February 26th, we caught up with We the Kings as they made their Boston stop on their tour celebrating ten years since the release of their self-titled, first EP. Along for the ride the band brought the likes of Cute is What We Aim For, Plaid Brixx, and Astro Lasso.
Kicking off the night was Indie-pop duo, Astro Lasso. The band, comprised of Jordan Davis and Tristan Martin were no joke, coming right out of the gates with their bouncy and live energy. It was hard not to smile and move along to what these guys had to offer, with some killer beats and vocals that made it hard to believe it was live. To add, the duo treated the crowd to a spotless cover of Ed Sheeran’s latest hit single, “Shape of You.” We’re anxious to see what these guys have in store for the future so be sure to check them out!
Next up we had rock-group Plaid Brixx. The three-piece is vocalist/guitarist Chris Duggan, drummer Mark LeRose, and on keys, Jared Sawaya. This band got the crowd going with their hyper energy that even had lead singer, Duggan, rolling on the floor; and that was just a taste of what the band had to offer. These guys seriously didn’t miss a beat and gave us a tight performance. This is the kind of showmanship we need with rock bands today and anyone who checks these guys out will definitely see that these guys put real effort into every aspect of the band.
Following Plaid Brixx, we had long-time favorites, Cute is What We Aim For. Yup the pop-rock band came back with flying colors after celebrating ten years of their own first record “The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch” just last year. After so long of on and off playing music, the current line up absolutely brought their A-game last Sunday night. Longtime fans were in the crowd because the energy from the crowd was heating up, singing along to fan favorite songs, one of them being arguably the band’s top single, “The Curse of Curves.” Frontman Shaant Hacikyan still knows how to work the crowd with great vocals and his fun, genuine attitude, and leading the band with great stage presence. If you haven’t heard of these guys before, check them out; fans of the genre will not be disappointed.
Finally, the main act, the moment everyone was waiting for, We the Kings. The air was electric from the great previous acts of the night, and when the lights went down, an explosion of excitement followed. The pre-recorded voiceover intro left everyone laughing and anxious for the act that was to follow. The ten-second countdown began, and the band rushed the stage right on cue. The band started off the set with classic “Check Yes Juliet” and followed with tracks “Headlines Read Out…” and “Whoa.” Being the 10th anniversary of their first record, the night was filled with all the tracks from the record and the crowd couldn’t have been more excited and happy to be a part of the nonstop party. There’s no question to the band’s veteran status being tight musicians as well as pro entertainers. The mix of the two shined that night and it’s no wonder why these guys are here today still chugging right along. The band treated the already spoiled crowd with their cover of pioneer pop-punk group Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle.” But alas, it was time for the band to depart, but not before we were treated to “Check Yes Juliet” one more time.
The tour may be almost half over, but if you have the chance, do not hesitate to see this tour, you will most certainly not be disappointed. Tour info and ticket links can still be found on the band’s website! If you were one of the lucky audience members that night, let us know what you thought in the comments and all over social media!
"Lifelines" tour with I prevail, Islander, Wage war, and assuming we survive in boston at Brighton music hall
by Michael Connelly
Islander crashed like a gnarly wave into Brighton music Hall on 2/13/16. Alongside them performed Assuming We Survive, Wage War, and the much-loved headliner, I Prevail. The sold-out venue was the backdrop for the second show of the Lifelines tour. The same, inclusive theme from all bands was carried out and that no matter who we are or what we go through you are still human at the end of the day.
Assuming We Survive kicked the show off with some hard hitting skate park head bangers, bringing in a simultaneous wave of nostalgia and unique face-kicking rock. The lead guitarist also proclaimed his love, one that we all secretly share, for Denny's Restaurant on this cold and romantic Valentine’s eve. Assuming We Survive played their hearts out for their hit song "Down", and the crowd reacted accordingly as the amplifiers echoed through the rafters, leaving well-earned pools of sweat on the stage.
Next on to stage came Islander. Islander has a very unique sound, echoing Red Hot Chili Peppers while at the same time sounding like Beastie Boys with a mix of good ol’ Marley. Islander is like a tropical cocktail at a biker bar that usually only serves beer and shots. The group’s hardcore intensity stayed consistent throughout each song, echoing subtle messages encouraging social change. Mikey killed it on the vocals, as was to be expected. His voice on “Devil Red” was spectacular, reaching tones I previously thought impossible. We were lucky enough to talk with him behind the scenes - as you can see in our Exclusive Interview! The crowd's chants of "You can't change me" rang throughout Brighton Music Hall from the song "Darkness." My personal favorite song by the band started with Mikey saying “This is what electricity sounds like,” before launching into a song to raise the hair on your neck. From the ephemeral tones of space to sitting Island side and hands waving back and forth, Islander certainly is a journey not to be missed.
Wage war controlled the crowd and played some songs from the album, "Blueprints." Cody Quithsaid's clean vocals combined with Briton bond's dirty vocals synchronized amazingly, leading to lifting harmonies and palpable power in every vocal line. Listening to Briton sing, I couldn’t help but feel empowered as he captivated his audience with the sound of his voice and ordered for the creation of a legendary mosh-pit. Wage War's set brought the battle to the masses, and showcased standout songs such as "21" and "Witness."
Then, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: I Prevail came out to play in an amazing display of strobe lights and guitar riffs as their set began. I found myself humming the melody of “stuck in your head” as the crowd jumped to the beat. The impassioned audience could be heard for blocks, singing “Stuck in Your Head.” The audience was electric and I Prevail fed off of the adrenaline.It was epic, to say the least. Brian Burkeheirs’ clean vocals were stellar throughout the entire set. I Prevail’s performance of “Chaos” was mind-bending to witness in person. The band played this flagship song with such raw emotion, belting “Home is where you make it!” as every single living body in the building shouted along. I Prevail not only crushed their original content but, also played a few little covers before the night ended. Avril Lavgine’s Complicated made it on the set as well as Puddle of Mudd’s “She Hates Me”. To everyone’s surprise, and enjoyment, the beloved metal rock stars topped off their nightly covers with Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” To some, lyrics are just that - blank slates for you to bop along to on the train. Yet, after this experience of a show, my more pertinent takeaway is to rock hard unapologetic-ally, and most importantly, “home is where you make it!”
By Chris Coutsoukis
We caught up with Reel Big Fish at House of Blues Boston for their album Turn The Radio Off's 20th Anniversary Tour. Check out our full coverage of the concert and enter our sweepstakes to win a signed Vinyl from the band!
By Francesco Albanese
Reel Big Fish and Anti-Flag made a pit stop at Boston’s House of Blues Sunday, the 15th with special guests Ballyhoo! and Direct Hit. After twenty years of both Reel Big Fish’s “Turn the Radio Off” and Anti-Flag’s “Die for Your Government,” these genre veterans are on the road across the country looking to stir up some mayhem and deliver some comedy gold.
The first act of the night, Direct Hit, dove in headfirst holding nothing back and revved up the crowd with a fast-paced, raw punk sound. The quartet rocked tracks from their most recent album, “Wasted Mind” and of course some older tracks made an appearance as well, like “The World is Ending (No One Cares).” These guys were nothing but high-energy, a great set to just get the crowd started. Second up was Maryland’s Ballyhoo! The reggae-rock group energized the crowd with their tight and bouncy sounds giving the crowd a taste of their summertime beach vibes in the middle of a cold January. Their stage presence left nothing to be desired as they energized the crowd, but also serenading them with frontman Howi Spangler’s smooth vocals.
By Jordan Lindley
We caught up with Bear Hands frontman Dylan Rau before the band took the stage on their North America tour with Foals. Check out our interview with Dylan to hear tour stories, the behind the scenes on their music, and a deeper look the Brooklyn-based band.
By: Chris Coutsoukis
Catch our interview with Wage War of Fearless Records to hear about the band's first Warped Tour experience, tour life, new music, and more.
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