On July 10th, we had the honor of covering the Synthesis Tour, which included the extremely talented violinist, Lindsey Stirling and the prodigious Evanescence at the Ravinia Festival in the Chicagoland area. The Ravinia Pavilion inside the Ravinia Festival was the perfect setting for a show like this, due to the fact that it is an enclosed venue with an unparalleled sound system. With venues such as this one, it leaves the acoustics no choice, but to be heard throughout the entire location.
This is ideal, strictly because as Lindsey Stirling took the stage, we were able to truly listen and observe her talents on the violin from start to finish. When Lindsey concluded her stunning set and proved to be one of the best opening acts the crowd has ever seen, the anticipation was extremely high as we knew Evanescence was coming on shortly after.
Check out the concert coverage below to know exactly what we are talking about!
It is honestly mesmerizing witnessing Lindsey do what she does best and that is putting on an amazing performance with her group of brilliant dancers. Stirling's act is a mostly instrumental set, but with her in the zone with her performers, it results in a presentation that is both unique and beautiful in its own way.
A perfect example of how unique and beautiful Lindsey can be with her music, she does this collaboration of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ that touches on all your emotions [video above]. Lindsey starts off fast and really in your face like a Rockstar, but then transitions to different songs from ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ that leaves you with goosebumps and chills.
Lindsey Stirling | Work & Collaborations
For anyone who has seen Evanescence in the past, this show is completely different, due to the fact that Amy Lee not only has the band with her, but in addition has a full orchestra as well. Amy Lee explained to the crowd how this is the first tour where Evanescence is using a full orchestra and how each show is unique due to the orchestra being hand selected for each show.
The orchestra plays a huge factor, in a way that it changes the pace of how Evanescence songs usually are performed. With Evanescence already being an amazing and powerhouse band, the orchestra actually gives them more justice. This is because the orchestra gives Amy Lee a bit more time to adjust with notes and even though it is not much time, that’s all a talented professional like Amy needs.
Throughout the Evanescence setlist, it was perfectly balanced with a variety of songs that ranged from the 'Fallen' album  to the 'Synthesis' album . It was truly one of the most enjoyable sets to listen to, due to the emotional roller-coaster Evanescence and the orchestra puts you on. One second, your screaming out the lyrics to the hit track “Bring Me To Life” and then before you know you could hear a pin drop in the venue as Amy belts out the beautiful track “My Immortal.”
Amy Lee makes it looks so effortless, but she is definitely something to see if you have the chance. She controls the crowd so well and then when she wants, she silences the crowd with ease with her powerful voice. During the set, one of the things that leaves you in awe is witnessing Amy multitask as she not only hits every note to perfection but plays the piano as well. There are several songs where the crowd is fortunate enough to witness this happen, but one that really stood out was the new song "Hi-Lo" with the opener Lindsey Stirling. During the performance of "Hi-Lo" the audience gets more than their moneys worth as they get to see two masters of their crafts collaborate with each other. You got Amy Lee on vocals and piano, Lindsey on violin for a good portion of the song, and the band and orchestra that results in a routine that is indescribable. Check out the video for "Hi-Lo" above!
July 27 2018 Toronto, Canada Budweiser Stage
July 28 2018 Saratoga Springs, New York Saratoga Performing Arts Center
August 10 2018 Holmdel, New Jersey PNC Bank Arts Center
August 11 2018 Wantagh, New York Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
August 14 2018 Simpsonville, South Carolina Heritage Park Amphitheater
August 15 2018 Atlanta, Georgia State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park
August 17 2018 Tampa, Florida MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
August 18 2018 West Palm Beach, Florida Coral Sky Amphitheatre
August 20 2018 Jacksonville, Florida Daily's Place
August 22 2018 New Orleans, Louisiana Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square
August 24 2018 Dallas, Texas Dos Equis Pavilion
August 25 2018 Woodlands, Texas Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
August 28 2018 Albuquerque, New Mexico Isleta Amphitheater
August 29 2018 Phoenix, Arizona Ak-Chin Pavilion
August 31 2018 Chula Vista, California Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
September 1 2018 Irvine, California Five Point Amphitheater
September 4 2018 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
September 5 2018 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheater
September 7 2018 Auburn, Washington White River Amphitheatre
September 8 2018 Ridgefield, Washington Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre
Tyler and Chase: "The title of the EP, ‘Colder Than Dark,’ came from a line from our song, "Euthanasia": '- longer than the night; colder than the dark.' Zach threw it out there as an album title and it encompassed what we were trying to say for the entire EP; as well as inspiring the imagery that went with. The woman’s hand at the touch of ice or death; freezing life. That can be the metaphor for what people deal with; what is delicate and beautiful yet destroys life the second it gets too close."
"THE SONG “HELL HERE” ITSELF IS ABOUT NOT BOWING DOWN TO YOUR OWN DEMONS OR SELF-DEFEAT AS WELL AS NOT LETTING OUTSIDE INFLUENCES AND OTHER PEOPLE GET IN YOUR HEAD TO KEEP YOU FROM DOING WHAT YOU WANT WITH YOUR LIFE. WE WANTED THE SONG TO BE DARK BUT TO ALSO PULL PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR RUT AND MAKE THEM REALIZE THEIR OWN SELF WORTH.”
Tyler and Chase: "Everything we do is DIY; until we found our manager Ashley who's been a huge asset. Zach books shows; Robbie produces our pre-production and designs a lot of merch and social media artwork. Chase helps on merch and Cody hand-built the risers we use on stage."
Chase: "I've been going to Warped since 2014; the ritual is the constant rain atleast in Mansfield. In 2015; my favorite bands Beartooth and Vanna came out to perform on the stage at the same time."
Tyler: "My first Warped was 2016; Underoath aside, Chiodos is mind-blowing. Motionless In White consistently blow me away. On their first Warped concert, they were on the Ernie Ball stage; the equivalent to what we'll be playing on Friday, July 27th. In the way that it was one of the first time I saw the bands I look up to; it's the same way people [new fans] will be seeing us.
Tyler and Chase: "Zach, [who lives in MA] sends us a screenshot of the weather everyday; thunderstorm to cloudy to thunderstorms!"
Chase: "Personally really excited to see the crowd."
Tyler: "It's a free festival; people can just go; that's really awesome.
We're playing with Underoath, my favorite band of all time. "
Tyler and Chase: "The festival has a really great message; preventing self harm and suicide which connects to our song “Euthanasia;” our lyrics are deeply embedded in these themes. We’ll be playing with Rivals; that we're fond of; friends with; watched them on the grind; they’re blowing up this year. We're playing another show with Rivals the night before iMatter on August 11th at Jupiter Hall in Albany NY."
How did you begin booking dream concert line-ups?
Tyler and Chase: "We always go to every show early and stay late; we meet people and support everyone and build a reputation as someone who cares about the scene. Every show we leave with a new friendship. If there’s 5 people there, we play like there’s 500. All the success is how we treated and handled the shows."
"A Prada show came through Vermont; our fans collaborated to contact the venue for us to open the show. That was July of 2017; when we started playing shows as we are now. From there we met our manager Ashley at Jupiter Hall in Albany NY; we got booked to open for Convictions; who we recently played with again alongide Volumes, White Noise, Upon A Burning Body [poster top left]. "
Tyler and Chase: Memphis May Fire, Like Moths To Flames, The Plot In You, Silent Planet; Nothing Nowhere (a hip-hop acoustic artist from Vermont).
Tyler: As far as films or series: '13 Reasons Why' & 'Requiem for a Dream'."
Tyler and Chase: "It’s all the beautiful things that now are gone; it’s the heaviest song in the entire EP atleast ending-wise. Very emotional, powerful; Chase's lyrical delivery is slam poetry but screaming. We experiment."
Via Lambgoat; the band comments, "This song plain and simple is about suicide but not so much suicide itself but the collateral damage it causes to the people left behind. The song does have a renewal life subject but for the privacy of the parties involved, we won't mention them. When we asked Rory Rodriquez from Dayseeker to feature on the track he mentioned the subject hit home with him so we let him write his part independently because we wanted the song to be real. Sometimes when you're in a dark place, it's easy to forget how many people will truly miss you when you're gone."
Tyler and Chase: "This song; it’s not as metal-core as the other songs are; it's post-hardcore edge. Very much what some of us grew up on."
Tyler: "Lyrically; I thought I didn't have a second chance on music. I gave up on it for a couple years; I never thought I was going to be in a band again. Now I'm seeing how far we can take it."
Tyler and Chase: "Love and drugs affect each other in a similar way; the chemicals in your brain; you can’t eat - can’t sleep; don’t want to live; also addiction; all things that were very real to different members in the band."
Tyler: "I talked to the different members to ask for thoughts of what the song means to them; I threw in lyrics of what they said to me; one line or two in this song lyric-wise come from every member in the band. Addiction and substance abuse controls your life and can’t live without it. You give all your control so it has all the power over you. If someone was a recovery addict; this song might really hit home with them; you’ll know which those lyrics are."
Watch Andrew Velasquez, also known as Andy Leo, of Crown The Empire share time with us in an interview and on the iconic game, 'Never Have I Ever' live from theX-Finity Theatre at the last Warped Tour of 2018 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Follow Crown The Empire at their website crowntheempire.net or on Instagram & Twitter @crowntheempire. Their new single and music video, "20/20," is out now!
The concert footage of Crown The Empire performing "20/20" is live from Warped Tour 2018 in Las Vegas, NV filmed entirely by @ZacharyChristopherr. His youtube video is titled "Crown The Empire - "20/20" Live Music Video Vans Warped Tour 2018;" or watch it embedded below!
Ready, Set, Join us for the classic game of '#NeverHaveIEver.' Andy shares secrets about his tattoos and near-death experiences.
Crown The Empire | "20/20" Music Video | July 12th, 2018
Link to the video: @ZacharyChristopherr's official youtube account:
Crown The Empire | 2018 Tour Dates | 2018
The discussion of 'OPERA' [07.20.18]; is conducted through the lens of myself as co-filmmaker and editor of the "Conviction" music video. Matthew delves insight into new-wave's history, present and future within hardcore, rock and metal.
Watch or read at your own "Conviction;" the video and interview is featured below!
Both ‘OPERA’ music videos: "It Won't Be Me" [06.15.18] and "Conviction" [07.20.18] integrated analog video distortions created by VFX artist Nick Marchese.
The first ‘OPERA’ single and music video “It Won't Be Me" was directed, filmed and edited by Dead Hummingbird and it was released on YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. The music video for “Conviction" was directed by Nick Marchese; filmed by Alison Bauer and Molly Kinnunen.
Alison | Interview With Dead Hummingbird | Matthew Meifert [Vocalist, Keys]
Gif | "Conviction" MV
Tell us about producing 'OPERA' | [07.20.18]
What other artists in the New Wave scene inspired you or 'OPERA'?
Why did you choose, "Conviction" to be represented visually?
What have been your experiences as a spectator of an Opera?
Gif | "It Won't Be Me" | 'OPERA' | 2018
Dead Hummingbird | Upcoming Tours | 2018
Matthew: For the group in Dead Hummingbird; we have been working on music together for over 7 years; not always in this incarnation as a band. The plan is to keep writing and performing. Touring is a priority - we aim to be out on the road this fall/winter of 2018 - and to a greater extent next year. We aspire to travel to a few countries.
Dead Hummingbird | Archives
Photo | The Morris Performing Arts Center
On May 16th, 2018; we witnessed Alice In Chains bring the original Seattle Grunge scene to South Bend, Indiana at the Morris Performing Arts Center; pictured above.
For those who are unfamiliar with this arts center, it was built in the late 1920’s; one of the most historic venues to still be hosting events in the Midwest. The Morris Performing Art Center has been responsible for a plethora of famous acts throughout its years, such as Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. The Morris is gorgeous inside due to its renovations; a theatre-wide stage, powerful light display, massively tall ceilings, venue shaking sound system, and its nearly three thousand seats that never make you feel like you’re far from the stage.
With these features, the sold-out Morris Performing Arts Center brought audiences back to the late 1980’s and 1990’s to relive the grunge scene with the one and only Alice In Chains.
Photo | Alice In Chains | 2018
The Walking Papers wrapped up their amazing set with recently added bassist Duff McKagan from Guns N’ Roses; the sold-out crowd patiently waited for the Seattle legends to take the stage: Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney,Mike Inez, and William DuVall. The Morris Performing Art Center erupted as they opened with "Bleed The Freak" from their debut album Facelift .
Alice In Chains continued with their nineteen song setlist, they graced the fans with a wide variety of chart topping hits ranging from the albums Facelift ['90] to The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here . Co-lead vocalist since 2006, William DuVall, was flawless as always as he belted out notes to perfection from all the fan favorites, such as: "Man In The Box," "Rooster," "Them Bones," "Would?."
DuVall took over co-lead vocals for Alice In Chains as a result after the death of the never forgotten Layne Staley in 2002. It is obvious that they pay tribute to Staley every show; he would appreciate the passion and perfectionism the band continues to put forth in their performances.
Throughout the night, these rockstars present you with moments that honestly leave you in awe. For instance, half way through the set, they took a break from their rock/heavy grunge songs and brought out the acoustic guitars to melt the crowd with their hit single ‘Nutshell’. It was in this moment, where the band was able to intimately connect with the crowd as you could hear thousands singing along with the fervent DuVall.
In addition to that, it was quite a site to see when Alice In Chains dropped their new single "The One You Know" during a four-song encore. "The One You Know" is the band's brand new single that was released May 3, 2018. By the first impression, you would have thought they were performing this song for years. The song will be on their upcoming album: 'Reinier Fog' set to drop August 24th, 2018 through BMG.
Alice In Chains | Upcoming Tour Schedule
Photo | Alice In Chains | 2018
Alice In Chains as of summer 2018; will be on a European tour until the next few months before they make their grand return to North America.
They start their North American tour again August 25, 2018 at the White River Amphitheatre in Seattle, Washington and continue through seventeen other cities. Check out the link and see if Alice In Chains will be at a venue near you later this year!
On June 28th we captured Code Orange on the 'New Reality Tour' at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago, IL with openers Vein, Twitching Tongues and Nicole Dollanganger. Watch our live concert recap below via HRTV Youtube!
To learn more about this metal band and our favorite tracks; scan our archives:
Code Orange Announce Summer Tour & 'Forever' (2017) Album Review.
Opening the night with "My World" from their album 'I Am King'  they transitioned into "Real" from 'Forever' . Following this album, we highlighted Grammy-Nominated track "Forever;" "Bleeding In The Blur" and "Dream2." Listen between songs for "Chicago hardcore" dedications such as "I love you; thank you; we've played garages, basements - it keeps growing because you are real."
Stage diving and moshing incessant throughout the setlist, the crowd was especially involved when two guest vocalists from Vein [the guitarist & the frontman] lent addition the mic.
The key vocalists for Code Orange are Reba Meyers [guitar], Jami Morgan [drums], and Eric Balderose [guitar]. There's Dominic Landolina on the synth & guitar as well as Joe Goldman [bass]. Together they deliver an action-packed, candid yet synchronized performance; a wicked experience of hardcore you can't miss.
"They hate us - They sure as f*ck imitate us; but they all know there's only one - Code Orange lives forever!" - Jami Morgan.
Visit: http://codeorangetoth.com/tour/ or click the photo below!
Jon Wilkes, previous drummer and back-up singer for the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus [RJA], introduces the breakthrough band: KØU [Kingdom Of Us] in our interview. Exclusively presenting, with LaRossa, the debut single, "Time Is The Enemy;" watch below, to discover KØU and our lyric video review.
Jon identifies his role as vocalist and producer of KØU, describing the upcoming album: "Long awaited - ten years in the making." Below, KØU confirms announcing new members, a full length album and nation-wide tours in the near future!
The heartfelt lyrics of this exciting dance track, "Time Is The Enemy," includes: "There’s thousands of miles and countless hours - That time has taken from us - So don’t let time break the chain; Don’t lose my hand in all of this." The crescendo concludes, "Time Is the enemy of our love." Expect around mark 1m:30s a beautiful symphony of echoes, and 2m:05s a piano melody that drops heightening vibrations. Let us know what you thought of this debut single in the poll below!
Photo | Jon Wilkes
What inspired you in the creation of this debut single?
KØU: Especially for this track, I was inspired by the movie Interstellar directed by Christopher Nolan. In the film, the lead character is trying to get back to his daughter without giving up, despite consequences. This song is based on the idea of trying to get back to someone that you long for.
[CON'D]: KØU: With this project, I write all the lyrics and the melodies; we use EDM production style and then go back to add organic instruments such as real drums, guitars and bass. It's a futuristic rock album.
What does KØU stand for and what is the premise?
KØU: I stepped down from Red Jumpsuit Apparatus [active from 2005 to 2012] to pursue new avenues; I still continued as a drummer until 2016. One day I woke up and realized it was time for me to step out as a vocalist.
Some of these songs [on the upcoming KØU album] were written in the back of the RJA tour bus back in 2009 - 2010. For me, this is a long awaited album basically ten years in the making.
When might we expect the full length album and the upcoming tour?
KØU: Expect the full length album in 2019 while a second single release coming soon. You never know who may end up performing live with me! Also, you never know what former members of your favorite bands might end up in KØU!
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