Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
Before lines started to accumulate, everyone knew this show would be special. Special in a sense that the amount of passion pouring off the stage could very well overtake the volume pumping out of the speakers. Gathered at the Worcester Palladium on February 18th, 2018, were three, talented and emotionally driven bands. Bands who spoke about the overwhelming sadness being felt by those spread across the globe. War. Bloodshed. Self-centered politicians. Death. Loss. Greif. You name it. But one thing was certain, music brought everyone together on this evening.
Counterparts were first to bring the angst to the limelight. As a general rule of thumb, you do not want to get on Counterparts’ bad side. They will write a song about you. They will orchestrate a breakdown about you. They will let the crowd know how much you hurt them in order to awaken the beasts within them. There was so much passion being exuberated by every member of this band throughout the entire set. Guitar flips by Blake Hardman (guitarist) and chord whips from Brendan Murphy (lead vocalist) were key to Counterparts’ performance. Showcasing their most recent album You’re Not You Anymore (2017), “Thieves” sent the pit into a frenzy. So much technicality was found in this track. It truly displayed the talent in this group.
Plain and simple, a Stick To Your Guns show is an energetic, exciting and pulse pounding experience (just watch out for the ridiculous amount of crowd-surfers potentially kicking you in the face). One could assume that this band spends more time in the air than standing on stage. Chris Rawson (guitarist) and Jesse Barnett (lead vocals) have famously been known to get their jump on while rocking. Although Stick To Your Guns played many crowd favorites such as “Amber” off of The Hope Division (2010) and “Against Them All” off of Diamond (2012), they had a stronger message to convey. Jesse passionately addressed the Worcester crowd to speak about human values. About how these values make you unique and unlike anyone else. How this concept is much more accepting to those who don’t fit in or feel as if they will never fit in. To remember that no matter what you do in life, you only have one to live. This monologue transitioned beautifully into “We Still Believe” off of Diamond (2012). Bands such as Stick To Your Guns do the metal community justice. They provide a moral compass that many choose to follow. Be yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Stay metal.
It’s hard to back up such a powerful and emotional performance given by Stick To Your Guns. However, this is why Architects, Stick To Your Guns and Counterparts tour together. They all have stories to tell and messages to pass forward. This is exactly what Architects achieved.
Loss and grief rarely disappear. People begin to accept their altered reality in a positive and beneficial way. This is done in order to continue on their paths in life to achieve happiness. One could assume this is what Dan Searle (drummer) and the rest of Architects do every day to make their late guitarist proud – Tom Searle. Tom passed away in August of 2016 due to cancer. The record All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (2016) was said to be dedicated to Tom and the rest of Tom’s family. This heavy weight traveled to the Palladium while Architects took the stage. Fans showed their support to the band with Tom Searle posters and chants. Nevertheless, the show must go on. Architects showed incredible precision in every song they performed. Timing was spot on. Not a note was missed. Sam Carter (vocalist) took a few moments to express his deep appreciation for all those who have stuck with Architects through everything that has transpired. Sam spoke about the last time they played at the Palladium and how, maybe, there were 50 people. They played in front of over one thousand fans on this evening.
Their most recent single Doomsday (2017) seemed to offer a sense of acceptance to all the fans who expressed grief for Tom alongside Architects. Other songs such as “Gone With The Wind, A Match Made in Heaven and Memeto Mori,” off of All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (2017) also carried a message to show how special Tom was (and is) to this band. How his music is still living and carrying on. This performance was much more than lights, sound and instruments. In a way, any Architects concert is a tribute to anyone who has lost a loved one or dear friend. How it’s possible to push forward when the tide is against you.
This evening was special and most likely meant a lot to many people. Tom would have been proud.
Until next time.
Pictured above: Barry Stock (Guitar); Brad Walst (Bass); Matt Walst (Vocals); Neil Sanderson (Drums, Percussion, Keyboard, Programming).
We are left [refer to album art symbolism], in awe after our advanced streaming of Outsider, the 6th studio album premiere of multi-platinum legends: Three Days Grace from Ontario, Canada. Fans can Pre-order: Outsider on all formats here; out via RCA Records on March 9th.
Exclusively, we spoke with founding member and guitarist Barry Stock, regarding the anticipation for Outsider’s release.
As an introduction, the first single and newest music video, “The Mountain” dropped January 25th, 2018, accumulating already a shattering 4.5 million streams on YouTube. Review the Archives: "Three Days Grace New Music Video “The Mountain."
The second single teaser for Outsider is titled, ““I Am an Outsider;” it was published on YouTube last Friday, February 16th; already climbing the charts as well.
HRTV: “How would you best describe either your own or collective Three Days Grace feelings regarding the release of Outsider?”
Barry Stock: “Feeling excited; We took a year off away from the city; towards the lifestyle of how we all grew up; far from distractions to record this album.”
For context and comparison; In this interview with Guitar World, Barry had stated, “We did a lot of writing for [Human (2015)] while we were on the road.”
According to RCA, band members exclaim they wrote the content for Outsider collaborating around, “bonfires with acoustic guitars; tapping into the wild spirit surrounding them” on remote properties; incarnating the album quite literally as outsiders from the chaotic drift of city life.
HRTV: In a press quote by Neil Sanderson, Outsider was instrumentally inspired by the diverse cast of Nine Inch Nails (1988), White Zombie (1985), Bring Me The Horizon (2004), Lana Del Rey (2005) and the cult, dark-teen vampire classic: Lost Boys (1987) staged in a fictional city of California. Is this the band’s collective inspiration; or specific to Neil?
Barry: “We’re four different characters; we each have our own separate influences but when we were collectively discussing album themes, Outsider was one of our first ideas. The vampires in Lost Boys were outsiders; we find that [as a society] we’re all very different from each other and we need to be accepting of that; celebrating our differences and individuality. It’s O.K. to be different and to go against the grain; we should be judged on the content of our character and not by how we look like.”
Within my first advanced streaming of Outsider, my notes exactly paralleled research, writing that Metal, Rock, and Electronic seamlessly join together in the craft of the album. I found myself embodying the full-blown metal-dance-core progressions.
GIF from Film: "Lost Boys"; Directed By: Joel Schumacher
HRTV: The Outsider theme is transparent relating to the newest single released, “I am an Outsider;” and the album artwork portrays a compass indicating left (a motif of rebellion and straying away from pack-mentality). However, further tracks on the album struck different genres of what it means to be an Outsider; would you be keen to expand on this?
Barry: “Regarding Outsider themes, ‘The Mountain” is about getting up and moving forward [despite resistance]; one of my favorite tracks [unreleased] is about being righteous everyday; even if one doesn’t know where they’re going specifically. Another [unreleased] song speaks about seeing each other differently in a relationship than others do; an additional [unreleased] song inspires the theme to yell back and be bold.”
HRTV | Outsider Album Review | Situational & Emotional Descriptions:
Gif: "The Mountain" | Directed By: Sean L.T. Cartwright
HRTV: May we expect another Outsider music video soon?
Barry: “I Am an Outsider” (02.16.18) was a sneak peak; yes we have another music video in mind [no confirmation as to which song]; we’ll update.”
Since their inception, Three Days Grace have been pioneers towards featuring a broad range of emotional narratives and diverse cast (who sometimes sing along to the lyrics) in their music videos.
World reknown throwbacks include: “I Hate Everything About You”  and “Human Race” .
We’re anticipating everyone’s thoughts when Outsider is introduced to 2018 on March 9th; also let’s gear up for more accompanying Three Days Grace music videos!
Catch Three Days Grace on Tour:
Apr 20 2018 | Tampa, FL @ WXTB 98 Rockfest
Apr 21 2018 | Orlando, FL @ 101.1 WJRR Earthday Birthday
Apr 22 2018 | Charleston, SC @ WYBB 98 Rockfest
May 18 2018 | Columbus, OH @ Rock On The Range
August Burns Red, Born of Osiris, Erra and Ocean Grove bring the house down at the Worcester Palladium
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
The first guitars and amps to be tuned and warmed up belonged to the gentlemen from the down-under. Ocean Grove – an Australian band from Melbourne introduced a style of music that could remind one of a Linking Park feel. Specifically, the use of voice modulation and scratch-table effects. An effect board was used throughout the set by Luke Holmes (lead vocals) to nail the electronic additions to his performance. Ocean Grove provided a wide range of creativity in their songs. These weren’t your typical breakdown-blasting and hair-whipping rockers. In a way, they gave off a P.O.D. vibe with their heavy hitting choruses accompanied by their hip-hop feeling bridges. Ocean Grove certainly blended well with the rest of the bands on The Phantom Anthem tour. If this band isn’t on your list of “need to see,” be sure to add them.
It would be interesting to know how many times JT Cavey (lead vocals) from Erra has gotten mistaken for Jake Luhrs (lead vocals) from August Burns Red. Both have golden pipes and impressive beards. But this is beside the point. Erra proclaimed the stage theirs after Ocean Grove. The technicality displayed during their set was truly inspirational. Jesse Cashe might be from another universe with the amount of talent this human being possesses. The ability to effortlessly sweep pick while nailing his high octaves is nothing short of incredible. But this is how Erra has made their name over the years. By being so technically orchestrated, their performances speak for themselves. They certainly did not fall short on this evening. “Seven” off of Impulse (2011) also ripped off all of Palladium’s floorboards.
Wait. who’s up next? Born of Osiris? Time to party.
The breakdown, djent and double-bass gods have spoken. All must go see a Born of Osiris set. If you decide to partake in this experience, you’ll hear a fulfilling synthesizer, shredding guitar fills, and double kick-drum beats for days. And just for kicks, David DaRocha (bassist) and Lee McKinney (guitarist) cut off all the tuning heads to their instruments. Why? No one knows... but it’s awesomely unique. What’s also awesomely unique is how well all of these instrumental progressions blend so well together. Vibes of Children of Bodom could be felt with the finish guitar style and synth combination taking over. Every now and then, you can also hear a dash of death metal with Jashka Raatikainen’s (drummer) blast beats. Not a soul in sight was seen stationary while Born of Osiris was on stage. Be ready to move, jump and headbang when seeing these boys live.
With a flaming “U” lingering above Matthew Greiner’s (drummer) set, August Burns Red greeted the New England (anti-Philadelphia) crowd with the intro music to “King of Sorrow” off of Phantom Anthem (2017) bellowing into the Palladium walls. Jake Luhrs (vocalist) has this indescribable ability to sound like three vocalists performing at the same time while on stage. The amount of practice and precision Jake puts into his craft is visibly noticed during ABR’s live sets. JB Brubaker (guitarist) and Brent Rambler (guitarist) effortlessly demonstrate their ability to play in sync with each other while Matt Greiner hits seven cymbals at once with ease (joking… but it seriously sounds like he hits at least four cymbals with one swoop of his drum stick). One unique detail of an August Burns Red concert is that you can go from a thrashing breakdown to a salsa dance within moments of each other. An example of this was seen during performance of “Provision” off of Rescue and Restore (2013).
Although the Phantom Anthem Tour has come to its completion, keep all of these bands on your radar (if you haven’t already). The next time you’re in town when these groups are performing, you have to go!
Until next time.
Author and Photographer: Alison Bauer
Veil of Maya | Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL | February 16, 2018
Echoing, “We speak through defiance,” watch Veil of Maya headline a crowd-surfing performance of “Overthrow” from False Idol [Sumerian Records] at the Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL; their hometown farewell show before their upcoming March [04 to 09] U.K. tour opening for Dance Gavin Dance.
Accurately prophesized in the Artist Exclusives archives, accessible via this link,
False Idol | (Album Review):
“The classic punk, metal vibe of Veil of Maya is evident in False Idol and the live shows are not ones you’ll want to miss. The energetic and emotional aspects of every song will have plenty of angry finger pointing, stage diving, and jumping around. Who doesn’t love that?”
- Vicky Branca | HeadRush TV
Dead on! Instrumentally introducing the False Idol stage with “Whistleblower:” Sam Applebaum (Drums), Danny Huaser (Bass), Lukas Magyar (Vocals) and Marc Okubo (Guitar) employed a cheering unison of fans as the lights synchronized; the pit immediately identifying itself as a rager.
Live at the culmination of the recap video and the finale of their mosh-adoring  encore, “Subject Zero.”, Lukas stage-dives. Fan-favorite throwbacks performed included: “Nyu,” and “Leeloo” from Matriarch , “Punisher” from Eclipse , and “It’s not Safe to Swim Today” from The Common Man’s Collapse .
Current Tour Dates:
Veil of Maya opening for Dance Gavin Dance:
Sun | March 04 | Bristol, GB
Wed | March 07 | Manchestor, GB
Thurs | March 08 | Nottingham, GB
Fri | March 09 | London, GB
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
The only thing in bloom on a February evening in Worcester, Massachusetts was found at the Palladium theater. Neck Deep, Seaway, Speak Low If You Speak Love and Creeper parked their buses, unloaded the trailers and tuned up their instruments for an evening of Pop Punk.
This evening was full of surprises. Normally, the first band to play has a decent following (hopefully). It could be worse while it could also be better. This was not the case for Creeper. Starting off the evening, these Southampton rockers brought the weather with them. Black Rain, to be exact. For a moment, you could have thought the concert was headlined by this group with all the voices echoing from the stands. As an international band visiting the United States, I would only imagine this made their performance even more special. Popular hits like “Black Rain” and “Hiding with Boys” off of Eternity, in Your Arms (2017) really got the crowd interacting with lead vocalist, Will Gould.
Initiate surprise number two of the evening: Speak Low If You Speak Love. An Emotional Indie Rock band playing with Pop Punk bands? Something didn’t make sense there. Lead vocalist, Ryan Scott Graham, even mentioned that they played a small art club in Massachusetts in front of, “maybe 6 people” prior to the Worcester show. But these Pop Punk fans are another breed. No matter what the genre, expect crowd surfing and circle pits for any band on the lineup. Which is exactly what Speak Low If You Speak Love received. It was such an odd but moving sight to be hearing an acoustic guitar strum along to the sound of security guards catching fans surfing over the barrier. It was obvious that this show, specifically, meant a lot to them. It almost seemed as if they’ve never received a reaction to their music like that before. It was a pleasure witnessing such a memorable moment for a group of dedicated musicians.
With the calmness of Speak Low If You Speak Love’s set coming to a close, it was time for Seaway to pump the energy back up. The Pop Punk atmosphere had made its way to the stage while lead vocalist, Ryan Locke was locking it in.in The pit jumped around to “Best Mistake” off of Color Blind (2015) and “Shy Guys” off of Hoser (2015). To keep the surprise train chugging along, Fil Thorpe-Evans – Neck Deep’s Bassist, came out to the stage for a one song, bass-player substitution. You spontaneously felt a beach, summer vibe while listening to Seaway’s choruses. Seaway embodied a comforting concert experience as the show was almost stopped twice to ensure a fallen fan’s safety.
With the NFL Superbowl occurring the night after their set, it was only fitting for Neck Deep to accommodate the New England crowd. As the white canvas fell to reveal the stage, Ben Barlow was seen rocking a Randy Moss – New England Patriots jersey. Incredible. This provided additional fuel to the adrenaline fire of what was the Worcester Palladium. Everyone knew every single word to every song played by Neck Deep that evening. It was a sight to see. One aspect of Neck Deep’s performance that spoke volumes was their ability to incorporate the other bands into their set. You see this occasionally with headlining bands. It’s special when it happens. As an example, Ken Taylor from Seaway joined the Neck Deep boys in “Don’t Wait” off of The Peace and the Panic (2017). Sam Carter, vocalist for the Architects was the original artist who was featured on this track. Additionally, Hannah Greenwood, keyboard player, was brought back to stage in order to cameo in “A Part of Me” off of Rain in July (2012). These collaborations really allow the fans to grow a deeper appreciation for artists who respect other artists who are just as talented.
This tour is filled with go-lucky, positive and nostalgic feels. If there is a stop on this tour coming to a city near you, I highly suggest you check it out. Even if you don’t know the music, this is a show that anyone can have fun at.
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