Interview and photos: Josh Justice
Bonus Gallery: New Years Day
wsg Savage After Midnight and Rivals
at The Intersection in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Author and Photographer: Jonathan Stark (Stark Raving Mad Photography LLC)
Alright, this was the moment…. A big moment for me, for a ton of fans, for The Ogden Theater in Denver, and the punk loyal of the metro area. Bad Religion performing a litany of their greatest songs in front of an eager, mildly insane, sweaty and committed audience. It was a sing along from the first note of “Them and Us.”
I’m going to pause right there for a moment to tell a short story. It’s a bit of my story, which is not unlike many fans in attendance. At one point, a long time ago, I was a boy mowing my parents’ lawn listening to a cassette tape of “Suffer.” That’s right, a cassette tape, on my yellow Walkman. Shut up. Listening over and over and over again. That album sealed my love for punk music indefinitely. Bad Religion has continued to put out stellar albums and are now on their 17th studio album, “The Age of Unreason.” Which is the catalyst for the current tour.
Back to it… the tension was built as the opening performance by Dave Hause and The Mermaid teased the headliner to come. Interesting tid bit- Jay Bentley’s son Miles plays bass with The Mermaid portion of Dave Hause and The Mermaid. Come on people, Jay Bentley plays and has played bass for Bad Religion since… I don’t know when. I can’t absolutely confirm that Miles was playing with them in Denver, but Wikipedia said it’s true, so therefore. They played on a professional level, with poise and energy. It was a pretty good showing and fans could be heard in the audience.
As aforementioned, “Them and Us” was first up on Bad Religion’s list and it was less them and us, as it was just us. As it should be at any great show, punk or otherwise, everyone was singing. Well perhaps not the multitude in the pit, but most everyone else.
Lead man on the mic Greg Graffin was the same as always. I’ve seen them kill it since the 90’s and his onstage mannerisms haven’t changed a bit. His voice hasn’t either, power and wit. Greg and crew steered the ship like a phone booth through time. What, too old? Like a hot tub through time. Better? No? Ok, like they had the Time Stone. They weaved in and out of the fabric of time, touching bits of hits from every era. The history of the band as an organic whole, the current and former members, the sound and the message have influenced generations. Regardless of if you believe wholeheartedly, partially or not the slightest in the messages of Bad Religion there is something special in the sound and energy they bring to the stage. It’s always been that way.
From “Stranger than Fiction” to “End of History” and “Generator” to “Paranoid Style” the songs just kept hammering away at the audience. Fans let go and gave themselves over to the Ooos and Aaahs, to the sound of Jay Bentley’s popping bass, Mike Dimkich and Brian Baker’s expertly executed strumming, and Jamie Miller’s pounding rhythm. Man, do those guys work well together or what?
Another side note, Mike Dimkich can chew some gum. The unassuming guitarist is not only an avid gum chewer and a pro on the strings, but also a serious bike rider. I believe he was able to get in some time on the two-wheeler while visiting Colorado. He fit right in with the Golden locals; hats off to him to bike at high elevation.
The highlight of the evening came when “Sorrow” was performed. Everyone went crazy. You could feel the excitement and energy shift. As excited as the crowd had been throughout the evening, the enthusiasm was now so thick and rich you could have slapped it between two slices of toast and sold it on the corner for a late-night snack. Then, as if that was not good enough, Bad Religion poured out a whole cup of delicious encore. I won’t mention the songs to protect your surprise, but you won’t be disappointed.
This concert was incredible. Do yourselves a favor and check them out as the tour passes through your locale. And hey, thanks for reading through until the end. I hope you enjoy the accompanying gallery of shots from the show.
Interview and photos: Josh Justice
Bonus Gallery: Sublime with Rome wsg Soja and Seranation - Michigan lottery amphitheatre, Sterling Heights, Michigan
Author and Photographer: Josh Justice
Fans packed the aptly named Majestic Theatre for indie pop rockers lovelytheband’s “Finding It Hard To Smile” Tour stop in downtown Detroit. For their second headlining tour, lovelytheband brought along newcomers New Dialogue, and filling in for an ill Flora Cash, local musician HALA.
Detroit’s own Ian Ruhala and his band HALA kicked off the night with a bang. With John Kick on drums, Jake LeMond on bass, and Austin Blicher playing a “sexy” guitar (as one fan in the front row exclaimed), HALA turned the Majestic into a college basement party, perfect for the beautiful night in Motown. With a sound reminiscent of mid 2000s Peter, Bjorn and John, the crowd was captivated with “She” and “What Is Love? Tell Me, Is It Easy?” (songs from HALA’s debut album Spoonfed) and their latest single “Sorry”.
Taking the stage next was the female fronted, Los Angeles based New Dialogue. Fresh off tour with Marianas Trench, the alt-pop quintet, led by Ela Kitapci, serenaded the crowd with their melodic syth-powered singles “Neon Ocean” and “Fake Smile” from their debut EP “Teach Me How To Feel.” The band even treated the crowd to a fantastic cover of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up.” Ela and crew finished off their set with “Pilgrims,” offering words of encouragement with lyrics like “It’s a story for the ages, living off the pages. Where we’re going you can be anyone.”
With a stage lit by neon lips, headliners lovelytheband took their places. Kicking off their set, lead singer Mitchy Collins led with “Emotions” and “Stupid Mistakes” from their debut album “finding it hard to smile.” The fans in attendance were hardly finding it hard to smile as the band pounded through their 17-track set, including their radio smash hit “Broken.” A personal highlight from their set was their rendition of The Killer’s “Mr. Brightside.”
By: Anthony Cannella
As the Chaos & Carnage Tour comes to an end, all we could say is that we hope you were able to catch this tour at one of the dates! As the tour was just kicking off, we were able to catch this show at the Concord Music Hall in Chicago, Illinois. It was the perfect venue for a tour such as this one, due to the fact that everything was compact, personal and had a sound system that went unmatched, which set the mood right for a night of various styles of Metal. Chaos & Carnage 2019 was definitely one to remember as you can tell each band fed off of each other’s energy perfectly. It was as if each band owned the night in their own unique way, which is rare at times in the Rock and Metal industry. Each band brought their own heavy styles and never allowed the crowd to have a break from start to finish.
Each band gave the crowd an opportunity to hear their venue shaking hits along with their new headbanging music. Headliners, Whitechapel did that perfectly as they destroyed the Concord Music Hall with their crowd favorites along with their music from their recently released album “The Valley”, which can be heard in full at the link above! Whitechapel, along with the other extremely talented and powerful bands came out intensely with their sets and gave Chicago a night of Metal that people will be talking about for a while. Check out the photos below to have a small preview of what we are talking about and don’t forget to keep Chaos & Carnage on your radars for next year’s tour!
Author and Photographer: Josh Justice
In the heart of downtown Detroit, the beautiful former church-turned-concert venue Saint Andrew’s Hall was rocked to its core. Fans lined the sidewalk and around the block for the sold out stop of Falling In Reverse’s Episode III Tour.
Kicking off the night were New Years Day, led by Ash Costello. With a new line up (including former Static X guitarist, Frankie Sil), and a new album, “Unbreakable,” New Years Day brought a heavier sound than previously heard with their last release “Malevolence.” Between songs, Costello riffed with the crowd, promoting a new era of women rockers and blasting through a cover of Pantera’s 'Fucking Hostile,' Kehlani’s 'Gangsta,' their latest single 'Shut Up.' This tour leads into their first ever headlining tour, as they will spend a month on the road this summer promoting “Unbreakable.”
Next on the card were Pennsylvanians From Ashes to New. A refreshing throwback to the days of rap-rock/nu-metal, singers Danny Case and Matt Brandyberry brought a POD/Linkin Park-esque, tag-teaming delivery of their hits “Crazy” and “Through It All.” At one point, Case brought the noise front and center into the audience, giving those lucky few an unforgettable performance.
Rounding out the supporting acts were Massachusetts natives Ice Nine Kills. Theatrically the most impressive band of the night, each member paid homage to various horror movies (IT, Saw, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Crow, appropriately picked for its Detroit setting). The slasher tributes didn’t end there as they unleashed a myriad of their songs, featuring 'Stabbing in the Dark,' 'A Grave Mistake,' and finished their terrifying set with 'IT is the End.'
With the deafening “Ronnie” chants from the crowd, headliners Falling In Reverse made their way to the stage. Despite being visibly under the weather, Ronnie Radke powered through his ailments to treat the crowd with over an hour of bangers, including 'Drugs,' 'Game Over,' 'Bad Girls Club,' then finishing out the set with a 5 song encore while being propped up by the pit. Highlight of the night being Radke belting out his cover of Smash Mouth’s 'All Star.'
The Episode III Tour continues until May 24, where it ends in Los Angeles at The Wiltern.
By Anthony Cannella
As the night kicked off, openers Shvpes and Erra came prepared to give Chicago a show. A tour is only as good as its opening bands and with Shvpes and Erra rocking the House Of Blues right from the start, we knew it was going to be a solid night of Metal Music. As the opening bands finished setting the mood in Chicago for a headbanging night, We Came As Romans hit the stage and came out heavy from the start. At the House Of Blues in Chicago, you know a band is absolutely killing it when you feel the ground beneath you shaking and bouncing. It is honestly quite the experience to be a part of and that’s exactly how it was throughout their whole set along with Crown The Empires set. Although We Came As Romans gave Chicago an amazing set of Metal and Hard Rock Music, they also shared a lot of intimate moments with the crowd as well. With the passing of their vocalist Kyle Pavone, they took time out of their set to dedicate a moment to honor Kyle. It’s amazing how the band still honors their friend and allows the crowd to share some love that they always had and continue to have for Kyle. We Came As Romans continues to cherish their times with Kyle Pavone as they hang a banner right next to their drum setup as you could see in some of the pictures. If you want to support We Came As Romans and Kyle Pavone, there is a foundation that you can donate to. The link for that foundation can be found directly underneath this section.
Kyle Pavone Foundation
As We Came As Romans wrapped up their headbanging setlist, Crown The Empire took the stage and completely took over the House Of Blues. With the ground bouncing and shaking from start to finish, Crown The Empire controlled that crowd every second of that setlist. Vocalist Andy Leo is quite the site to see along with his band of rockstars as they give you everything that you would want in a metal show. They do a phenomenal job with mixing the new music with their chart-topping hits. Andy Leo also does a great job with interacting with the crowd and getting them tuned in every second of the set. Crown The Empire actually just released some new music not too long ago, which was rocked at the House Of Blues. Their new song ‘Sudden Sky’ via Rise Records can be viewed below if you haven’t had the opportunity to listen to it yet! Let us know what you think of it!
Lead vocalist Andy Leo shares some words about the new song “Sudden Sky”:
"Sudden Sky is a call to push back on the conformity forced upon us by the world and the realization that the only solution to the artificial white noise surrounding us is genuine human connection that can help us reach the full potential of what we’re all capable of."
Hinder Comes To Chicago On Their Lucky 7 Tour; Exclusive Interview With Drummer Cody Hanson Before Show
By Anthony Cannella
As the boys from Oklahoma, Hinder, hit the road on their Lucky 7 Tour, we were fortunate enough to catch them on their stop in Chicago at the venue Home Bar! For the first time, we were able to see first hand on why Hinder has been a huge name in the music industry for about eighteen years now and counting. Hinder is responsible for selling over four million albums and ten million singles, racking over one hundred and fifty million video views and counting, and passing the one hundred million streams mark. These numbers continue to grow as the years go on, due to their never ending touring and endless hits that they continue to produce. In addition, they use their experience to their advantage (Marshal Dutton (Vocals), Cody Hanson (Drums), Joe Garvey (Guitar, Backing Vocals), Mike Rodden (Bass) and Mark King(Guitar)) making the venue rock from start to finish, while getting the crowd in the mix of their set!
The show at Home Bar was the perfect night for Rock N Roll as Hinder had supporting acts Ravens and the notorious SOIL! It was everything in a Rock show that you could ever want with these artists, due to the fact that they shared their new music while hitting the venue with their chart-topping hits such as “Get Stoned”, “Lips of an Angel” and much more! Before these bands took the stage though, we had the honor to go on Hinder’s tour bus and have some words with founding member and drummer Cody Hanson! Check out below to see how the interview went!
HeadRush Tv: You guys are on your LUCKY 7 TOUR now, how has it been? I’ve noticed a lot of sold out shows so far so how has it been!
Cody Hanson: Its been great and pretty unexpected if I am being honest with you. There has been a whole process with our team being hesitant to pair up with SOIL, since they are quit a bit heavier than us and in the past that has caused some problems for us due to the two crowds, but so far on this tour we have had zero issues and its been great. Like you said, we have had multiple shows sell out in advance, which is pretty rare these days, ya know? So, it’s been amazing and we couldn’t be happier!
HeadRush Tv: So as of January 25, Hinder released the new single HALO, would you guys mind getting into that for a bit? What does HALO truly mean to you guys and what was the inspiration behind the writing for this new single?
Cody Hanson: Absolutely, we kind of just were paying attention to everything like on the news and watching the way people interact online and just how awful people are to each other now a days and its truly just been weighing on us a lot and I think that’s been coming through the writing so we thought this song was important for us to write cause you know of all those keyboard warriors out there right now. Especially that and also I think everyone has had that hypocrite in their life that tried to be holier than now, but ya know they have their own skeletons in their closet as well, if you know what I mean. So ya know, we thought it was a very important subject to touch on.
If you have not caught the chance to see Hinder live or if you just want to see them AGAIN, we suggest that you do so! These guys never fail to put on a fantastic show making it a night you will definitely not forget. Hinder will be on tour with Saving Abel, American Sin and The Adarna starting May 30 so get your tickets while you can! We guarantee tickets will be selling out fast so check out the dates above!
A War Within Takes Over Chicago, Illinois at The Subterranean; We Share Exclusive Words With Lead Vocalist Spencer Maybe Before The Show
By Anthony Cannella
Recently, we had the opportunity to share the venue with the one and only A War Within at The Subterranean in Chicago, Illinois! If you have seen A War Within before you know that there is one way to describe this band and that is HEAVY. Band members Spencer Maybe (Vocalist), Roy Guldenpfennig (Drums), Dustin Jones (Guitar) and Maxx (Bass) dominate the stage as they take over any venue that is presented to them with their high energy and crowd interactive performances. One thing that A War Within does to perfection is give their fans that Metal opportunity to hear their new music mixed in with their previous headbanging hits. As fans it is a thrill to catch A War Within when they are in your city, due to the fact that they hit the smaller, more personal venues, which allows you to get the full experience of what this band has to offer. Last year they hit the road with Bless The Fall, The Word Alive, DED and Thousand Below which allowed them to showcase their talents to another level, giving them the experience to blow the roof off any headlining or supporting show that is in their future to come. Before they hit the stage at The Subterranean and hit Chicago with their Metal, we were able to share a few words with lead vocalist Spencer Maybe, check it out below!
HeadRush Tv: So Spencer, a few shows have been played so far and your back in Chicago. How have these run of shows been going so far?
Spencer Maybe: So far for 2019 we haven’t done a whole lot, but we’ve been focusing on more writing and recouping. We did a tour last year with Bless The Fall, The Word Alive, DED and Thousand Below and we were just in Chicago at The Bottom Lounge, which was awesome. Chicago is a different kind of monster cause of the curfews meaning we get on and off the stage at a decent time. Usually at home, we play super late, but Chicago gets a bit bar happy at some of the venues, so they get us all drunk and then get us out.
HeadRush Tv: A War Within recently released new music. How was that process and how has things been so far?
Spencer Maybe: Yeah, we just dropped our new album, but its kind of a weird situation. We have been dropping singles the entire time, so its like we released this entire album. We started in 2017, when we released “Where The Lines Are Drawn” and since then we have been dropping a single every other month and we’ve culminated the last few songs in this month (February) so basically we are just packaging it all together and we already have new singles coming out. Now we just need to start shooting videos and get rolling with the process. Music has changed since the 70’s and 80’s to where its not all about releasing the album and then wait a couple years. Now, its like send us that single and that single and that single, because there are so many bands out there and they are releasing music all the time. So, to stay relevant you just have to keep up and the more music that you release and the better music that you release, the more relevant you stay. It’s a mix between quantity and quality and being an independent band, we aren’t going to be able to compete with an August Burns Red who’s raking it in and has a label and infrastructure. A War Within is just a small band from Detroit, doing everything by ourselves and trying to push our own material. We already dropped this album and we are ready to move onto the next which we have done with releasing the new singles.
HeadRush Tv: What is your biggest goal as an artist in this industry?
Spencer Maybe: My dream is to play in Japan, but its bad because I hate planes and ya know we can’t just ride or walk to Japan. To get to the other side of the world, I need to overcome that fear of planes and I just can’t imagine sitting in a plane for that amount of time. So having some drinks and maybe a Xanax, “Don’t do drugs kids”, will help with that to zonk out, cause I can’t imagine doing that without those things.
HeadRush Tv: With the new music that you released and the new music that you are putting out. What are you guys trying to get across with that music and what is the inspiration behind that fuels you to keep producing the music?
Spencer Maybe: We have always been that band that has overcame adversity. With the last tour it was thirty dates back to back and we didn’t miss a single date even though we broke down twice on the road with our transportation, but name a band that hasn’t and if they say they haven’t I will tell you that they are full of shit. But we are doing something that is no different than the other bands out there and we stay true cause it is not for us. We are not in this band for us. I love to make music, but at the end of the day it is all about the fans and people like yourself that come out and hang out with us and get us more out there. Tonight we are just in someone’s basement in the city of Chicago. Our music just speaks volumes to people, and we aren’t trying to stand for something that we are not and we’re just trying to express ourselves just like everybody else. Everybody has thoughts and emotions deep inside, especially now a days, everyone is trying to bombard other people with shit. I just try to take everything that we have together as a whole and present it in the way that we love t do it. I think that’s why the number one complaint about our band is that we haven’t had a specific sound, but to us it’s like we don’t give a shit because we just care if the music sounds good. It’s not always about labeling, at the end of the day music is just music. It is just noise that has a certain connection to it whether that be emotional or melodic or beat wise. People just always try to connect and if that was the case with me my band would sound like a Hair Metal Band cause I love bands like Motley Crue, Poison and Whitesnake. I love listening to where the hair music came into play like Journey and REO Speedwagon.
HeadRush Tv: Would you say those bands are your influences and what got you into music in the first place? What are some things you would like to share with your fans?
Spencer Maybe: Oh yeah totally, I mean I feel like they definitely play a role, but I feel I get more influence from the people around me. From my personal experience, I see people who work a 9-5 job cause that’s what I do as well when I am not doing shows. I see people complain all the time and that clearly means you don’t love what you’re doing. Even if there was like a few people that came out, and we have had those shows before just like any other band, but we don’t do this cause of that specific part, but we enjoy the fact that we can travel and if there are two people or two hundred people, it doesn’t matter cause there is a connection to it. As complete strangers at a venue, we can share a moment that we will never again have and that’s all through a connection due to the music. Being in a band is tough with everything that goes into it and you have to have a love and passion for it and your follow and that’s why we are extremely personable people. As for some new stuff to tell our fans, we have a new sound coming out that is going to be a bit more mainstream and marketable. We are reaching more of the Rock roots and we will be putting out a bunch of demos. We are also doing an EP for this movie that we got asked to write music for and then we are working on our forth full-length album as we speak. Other than that, just expect more music and we hope to get signed so we can go on more tours.
As Spencer Maybe said in the interview, these guys are personal people that respect their fans and huge following. We suggest that you see A War Within any chance that you get, due to the fact that you will not be disappointed and given a solid night of live Metal music. If you want to connect with the band or reach out, they will definitely get back to you, we will be listing their socials below!
By John Indiveri
Earthday Birthday 26 hit the Orlando Fairgrounds on April 13, 2019 with a stacked line up of Rock and Metal favorites!
Earthday Birthday is the brainchild of 101.1 WJRR radio in Orlando, FL (one of the few stations around still playing rock and metal music that I know of) and has been running for 26 years now. Past artists have included Shinedown, All That Remains, Escape The Fate, Dirty Heads, From Ashes to New, Bush and many more. The locations have changed over the years as the festival grew of course and is quite impressive that WJRR has been able to put on this event for 26 straight years. Kudos to you WJRR!
Now, Florida is of course normally a fairly warm state, especially in the summer months. It’s one of those things you just have to cope with if you live here. Typically it doesn’t start to get really warm until the end of April and start of May, however on April 13th it was a scorcher. Temps hovered around 90 degrees most of the day with ~80% humidity and the sun out for most of it. It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to stand in an open field basically with the sun beating down on them all day. But stand they did. While I don’t have an exact count of how many were in attendance, it was easily in the thousands. With a line up like this years, any rock and metal fan in the area would be remiss to skip this show! The festival organizers, obviously being from Florida, are well aware of the temps that could be reached and did a great job at ensuring there were cooling stations throughout the grounds. While there could have been a few more tents in the GA areas, they did have a large cooling center (which also doubled as the acoustic sessions stage) in a large hanger. This photojournalist took advantage of this area quite a bit throughout the day!
Earthday Birthday is also not just about the music, but about the experience as well. From the food trucks to wrestling to helicopter rides (yes you read that correctly), there was a little something for everyone.
Now onto the music. EDBD had 3 stages plus the indoor acoustic stage. The main stage (aka the Bud Light Stage) was set up while the second stage (aka the Amp Stage) was already existing in the Amphitheater portion of the fairgrounds. There was also the Ink stage where smaller and local bands performed.
The day for me started with Eve to Adam playing on the Amp stage. I wasn’t super familiar with them but they came on stage with quite the show! Singer and founding member Taki Sassaris was dragged out by members of their crew in a straitjacket “struggling” to get away and placed in front of the mic. He sang the first song still in the straitjacket before it was removed. From there it was quick walk over to the Bud Light stage to catch Canadian rock n’ roll band The Glorious Sons. They opened with their hit single S.O.S and put on a great show. I stuck around the Bud Light Stage for the next act to play, Rival Sons. Man the sound these guys produce is refreshing. It brings you back to the classic rock and roll of the 70’s with a modern flare. The performance started out a bit rocky before they took the stage due to some technical difficulties, but once fixed they took the stage and put on an amazing show. High energy, powerful guitar riffs (courtesy of Mr. Fuzzlord) and commanding vocals is how I would describe Rival Sons live.
Once Rival Sons was finished it was a quick walk back over to the Amp stage to catch one of my favorite artist, Atreyu. This is the second time I have covered them and as always they did not disappoint. This was their first show since the In Our Wake tour and the following day was their spring kick off tour with Motionless In White. To my surprise they played a good deal of older tunes which was awesome and of course, the energy on stage was second to none! They went on around 4pm and unfortunately this stage faced towards the West so the sun was BRUTAL, but to their credit they didn’t skip a beat. Definitely one of my favorite artists to see live! From Atreyu it was back to the Bud Light Stage to catch Motionless In White, back from a bit of a break. Joining them as always on tour was Justin Morrow on Bass however he is now a full time member of the band, departing Ice Nine Kills. I had the chance to photograph Justin while he was in Ice Nine Kills and just as when he was with them, he put on an amazing performance as did the rest of the guys.
The evening rounded out with Underoath, Three Days Grace and the headliner, Godsmack. For me personally, it’s been a bucket list item to photograph Godsmack. I first saw them live back in 1998 when they started getting more national attention and have followed them ever since. The show was phenomenal! Fast paced, hard hitting and the guys were very engaging with the crowd and the photographers.
Overall Earthday Birthday 26 was a well thought out and fun festival, and after 26 years of putting on the show it’s evident they know what they are doing. This is one festival you do not want to miss next year.
Be sure to check out the gallery below!
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