Archive for the Reviews Category

Show Review: Dinosaur Pile-Up

Posted in Artist Watch, New Music, News, Reviews, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2014 by Randy

Stage AE//Pittsburgh, PA//7.10.14

On Thursday, July 10th, three lads from West Yorkshire England by the names of Matt, Mike and Jim came to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to play what is their spin on a very influential music genre: 90’s alternative and grunge. In a brief interview with them we learned many things, but the most important thing we got was where they drew influence(s) from, and after hearing their songs and seeing the live show, it’s easy to tell Nirvana and Foo Fighters shaped what we know as Dinosaur Pile-Up. Now before discussing their live performance and finer details about the band, we will answer the question everyone is asking: “How did they get their name?” Well, from Matt’s mouth to your eyes, here’s how it happened…Prior to the inception of this project Matt said he was watching a shitty Godzilla remake, and at one point in the movie there is a herd, (I think they’d be called a herd) or a group if you will, of dinosaurs running and the lead dinosaur tripped eventually causing… you guessed it, a DINOSAUR PILE-UP! He claims that as soon as he saw that he jokingly thought, “That’d be a unique name for a band.” A few years later when the band was sitting there trying to come up a name he figured, “Why not use it? It’s different! Thus giving birth to Dinosaur Pile-Up.

-Check out photos here!-

Now onto the performance displayed at Stage AE that night…I personally was not fortunate enough to ever witness a Nirvana concert in person but this show may be the closest I’ll ever be able to get to one. It was everything a grunge concert was and is supposed to be; angst, raw emotion, and jam sessions. DPU has two albums to date, Nature Nature and Growing Pains (with Nature Nature being the most recent). Regardless of which is your “favorite” album, their set list won’t disappoint considering they play a beautiful selection from each album respectfully. To take a step back from specifically the Pittsburgh date, I was given testimonials (via social media) from people at two other shows that DPU played, and they too were floored by the performances. One of the individuals went as far as to say “Kurt Cobain has been reincarnated” when describing guitarist/vocalist Matt Bigland’s stage presence. By the way, before it’s forgotten and not mentioned in this article, this was not a headlining show for Dinosaur Pile-Up, even though there is no doubt in my mind that it would be successful if they attempted a North American headlining tour. They were actually one of two opening acts for this band called Brand New that is fronted by a gentleman named Jesse Lacey… maybe you’ve heard of them.

Sadly, with as great as this tour was, it was short lived due to the fact that it was only scheduled to be a small 6-7 city loop in the Northeast region on the United States. However, we can report that sometime in the near future Matt and the rest of the guys in Dinosaur Pile-Up do plan on doing a bigger North American tour, and plan on making Pittsburgh a stop yet again. Be sure to keep a look out and catch their next show in your town. It’s the perfect excuse to bust out your old converse and hole filled jeans!

 

Logan Rendulic © The Rock Tribune 2014

Review: Summerland Tour 2014

Posted in Artist Watch, News, Reviews, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2014 by Randy

When the Summerland Tour pulled into Pittsburgh on June 20th it felt just like a spring Seattle day in 1995; not just because of the 90’s alternative that was playing all around, but because of the dreary/rainy day that the city was experiencing. The spring of 2014 marked the 3rd year in a row for the Summerland Tour which features acts from the 90’s that play and still record music such as this year’s participants: Everclear, Eve6, Soul Asylum and Spacehog.

The day’s event in Pittsburgh started off with an English alt rock act that goes by the name of Spacehog. I personally had never heard of these guys, and I think the same goes for most of the people who were in attendance that day, regardless of knowing their music they played a great set from start to finish. Not only did they play well as a group and play some awesome songs they were also very interactive with the crowd and just had a professional presence about them. Next to take the stage was the “great” Eve6. Their performance was kind of bland…so bland that I would suggest using that time to use the restroom and grab you a beer before their last song. Not to knock them as musicians though, they sounded great and tried everything they could to make sure the crowd had a good time. Unfortunately, that night at Stage AE just wasn’t theirs. The only highlight was their last song and possibly the only song from them that everyone knew, “Inside Out.” It seems the fact that no one really knew any of their other songs was the reason the whole performance seemed “flat” to say the least.

Following the disappointing performance by Eve6, was maybe one of the most underrated bands from the 90’s alternative scene, Soul Asylum. One of the first songs they played was their 1995 hit “Misery,” and because they started the set with a big hit like that, the crowd really got into the show and made the rest of the night smooth sailing for them. fter their allotted time was up came the epic performance of the band that most people were there to see and the band who is responsible for putting on the entire tour: Everclear. Art Alexakis, frontman of Everclear, is one of the ones responsible for the idea of this 90’s based music tour and the one who has helped make this tour a yearly event. The band took the stage playing some old school classics and fan favorites like Santa Monica, Heroin Girl, and Wonderful. They even included some new hits like Be Careful What You Ask For, which was off their latest album titled “Invisible Stars.”

Minus the few bumps that may occur during this tour, like not so popular bands and some unknown tunes, the Summerland Tour of 2014 was a very well organized and put together. Hopefully this tour continues to have a long and healthy run and these acts from the 90’s era don’t give up on us quite yet. If you were unable to catch a show during this year’s tour we suggest you keep your eyes open for next year’s dates and make it to a show; certainly a tour that’s worth attending.

 

Logan Rendulic, © The Rock Tribune 2014

Show Review: Terror

Posted in All Metal, Artist Watch, New Music, News, Reviews, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2014 by Randy

Stick To Your Guns is probably one of the biggest names in hardcore today as was showcased on “Fuck The Message Tour.”  They made sure that this would be the tour to see for hardcore fans, new and old. The lineup consisted of hard hitting new comers to the genre like Expire, Hundredth, and Counterparts; along with old school underground hardcore veterans – Terror. Start to finish this lineup delivered!

Victory Records’ hardcore pride and joy, Terror, have been making music since the late 90’s and haven’t missed a beat after all these years. Their albums deliver on a consistent basis and their live shows deliver tenfold.  You would never guess these guys are considered the “old dudes” on most tours because they have the same passion and energy as the up and coming bands.  While in Cleveland, Terror played a little bit of everything…old favorites such as “You Can’t Break Me,” to the title track off their recent record “Live by the Code,” and the crowd ate up every minute of it.

If you enjoy everything from slam dancing to stage dives, this tour was for you.  Don’t worry…if you weren’t a witness, you better check for the closest Warped Tour date and go see Terror as they will be touring all summer on the festival.  Also, regardless if it’s at your local record store or at a show, make sure you pick up a physical copy of “Live by the code.”  Be sure to check out the album’s artwork and indulge in some killer hardcore punk!

Logan Rendulic, The Rock Tribune © 2014

To view the Terror album, click on the link below!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/114220869@N03/sets/72157644246727273/

 

Show Review: Dropkick Murphys

Posted in Artist Watch, News, Photos, Reviews, Shows with tags , , on April 21, 2014 by Randy

Stage AE – 3/8/2014 – Pittsburgh PA

It was the season for Dropkick Murphy’s St. Patrick’s Day tour (first two weeks in March) and this year consisted of more than the Murphy’s them self.  Along with the Murphy’s were two opening acts by the names of Skinny Lister and Lucero, whom both are very amazing live and on record.  If punk rock and rock n’ roll, bag pipes, and are a few cold ones appease you, then this is a show you better not miss… and here’s why:

March 8th was yet another night where the city of Pittsburgh was crippled by more snow and frigid gusts of wind, but that didn’t stop everyone from venturing out to Stage AE for an exciting evening filled with friends, booze, and a power packed stage performance… and that was just the first band.  Skinny Lister proved that they deserved to be on this tour and gave Dropkick a run for their money as best performance by the end of the evening. They came out with bottle necks down, but not just normal bottles, they were drinking straight from their growlers preparing for one hell of a party.  Skinny Lister never once let the energy slip from them, especially because their hit songs “John Kanaka” and “Merry Old Dance” kept up the pace and had the crowd doing some distorted version of an Irish Jig.  Next was Lucero, a band who doesn’t quite have the Irish Punk Rock sound like DKM, but has a very unique rock and roll sound that shows some Irish influence. And like everyone else there, they have a love for an ice cold beer.  Within their set was some awesome rock n’ roll riffs coming from their popular songs “My Best Girl” and “Sweet Little Thing,” combined with a little bit of storytelling which added a different degree of entertainment no one was expecting.  After a few hours of quality entertainment from Skinny Lister and Lucero came the beer, kilts, and bag pipes everyone came to see from the Dropkick Murphy’s. DKM came out on stage and opened up with a new song, that was fitting for their return to Pittsburgh, titled “The Boys are Back.” From start to finish the whole show was completely crazy with everybody singing along to their favorite songs to people crowd surfing, even a man who had to of been near his early 60’s crowd surfing with what we assumed to be his grandson (that’s the sign of a true fan).  As the night went on the energy never once died down and the fans were so excited by the end of the show that they rushed the stage and climbed up and sang “Kiss Me I’m Sh**faced.  If you have yet to see the Dropkick Murphy’s perform (especially around St. Patrick’s Day), we highly recommend that you do whatever it takes to see them as soon as…no chance you’ll regret it.

Logan Rendulic, The Rock Tribune © 2014

https://www.flickr.com/photos/114220869@N03/sets/72157642762706854/

Review: Emmure – Live at Altar Bar Pittsburgh, PA 3/7/2014

Posted in Artist Watch, News, Photos, Reviews, Shows on March 22, 2014 by Randy

The Mosh Lives Tour is the second tour to come to the Altar Bar in Pittsburgh with a stacked line up. With Emmure headlining, it was bound to be a kickass tour, especially with support from killer bands Volumes and Thy Art is Murder, including two big up and coming bands (Sworn In and Gideon).  Altar Bar was sold out, and if this first show is a sign of things to come you better be ready for one hell of a beating.  From the first song to the last note, shit got CRAZY in Pittsburgh!  There was everything from hardcore dancing to stage diving, and even some blood shed… and that was just the first two bands!
Sworn In kicked things off…these guys are in the process of taking the industry by storm and are sure to be headlining these intense tours within a year or so.  They’re just a group of young kids who play really heavy music and write deep dark lyrics that connect with kids so well, and they have showmanship like no other.  If you’re into any kind of deathmetal/deathcore, then they are a band that needs to be on your radar.

The second band to take stage is Alabama hardcore band: Gideon.  They have been working like crazy the past three years or so playing tour after tour and leaving every bit of themselves on stage after every performance.  Next to perform was Thy Art is Murder and Volumes; both bands brought the roof down (like there was any left to be brought down after Sworn In and Gideon) and made everyone in the building get up off their feet.  During both sets there were circle pits all over the venue on top of kids stage diving and guitar players climbing on speakers for solos and epic bass drops.

Last but certainly not least, was Victory Records flagship band Emmure, led by Frankie Palmeri. Frankie and Emmure have been the center of attention over the last few weeks due to their new album (Eternal Enemies), and one track specifically that blatantly suggests that kids should take guns to school…but as Emmure has witnessed before, bad publicity is better than no publicity.  With that said, they clearly showed that they were worthy of the headlining slot.  With all the haggard bodies after the first four bands you’d almost think that the place would be emotionless by the time Frankie and the boys took the stage.  Think again, because the floor came alive with no safe place for anyone.  They played nearly every song that you can think of, from tunes off their first record to some fresh jams that hadn’t been heard by many.  If you have yet to purchase tickets for the show in your town, I suggest that you do before it’s too late because you’ll regret missing these brutal bands all at once.

-Logan Rendulic, © 2014 The Rock Tribune

https://www.victoryrecords.com/emmure 

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emmure, a set by logan.rocktribune on Flickr.

Review: Chimaira at Altar Bar Pittsburgh, PA 2/5/2014

Posted in All Metal, Artist Watch, News, Photos, Reviews, Shows on February 20, 2014 by Randy

Regardless of the insanely low temperatures, there was one thing that pierced the air near the Strip District that Pittsburgh hadn’t experienced in quite some time: a hard hitting metal tour led by none other than the great Chimaira. The band kicked of 2014 by announcing their headlining “Celebrate the Chaos” tour, which includes some pretty chaotic bands on the bill as support. (Fit for an Autopsy, Reflections, Oceano, and I Wrestled a Bear Once)

The show opened up with two local bands playing, and well, let’s all be happy they weren’t a notion of things to come for the night. I’m not sure if it was ill preparation or just the pressure of opening for some stellar acts, but the locals dropped the ball on this one. They seemed to have problems of every sort…from instrument difficulties, to long stuttering pauses in between songs, and what seemed to be nerves in their voices, regardless if it was during clean vocals or demon like screams. The verdict? Weaksauce.

Following the openers, Reflections stepped up and took control of the venue and everyone in it. By the midway point of the opening song they managed to have the whole floor turn into a huge mosh pit full of flying elbows and spin kicks. Continuing the barrage were Fit for an Autopsy and Oceano…two very heavy metal bands who both put on a good show filled with hard hitting guitar riffs and demon like “pig squeal” vocals that really got the crowd out of their shell and into circle pit after circle pit. But let’s not forget to mention the two bands everyone came for, I Wrestled a Bear Once and Chimaira. If you haven’t seen IWABO live, put it on your bucket list because you are missing out on some technical guitar riffs, unique female vocals, and their ability to connect with every single person in the crowd during and in between songs.

There is a reason Chimaira have been around for Fifteen years and are still going strong. Not only did they have an innovative style that set them above every other band of the new wave American Metal, but they possess an array of songs that enable them to put on a clinic. From Mark Hunter’s (vocalist) intensity on stage to their ear piercing guitar riffs, they leave their presence known before the first song is over. While on this tour you can expect Chimaira to play songs off their most recent release “Crown of Phantoms,” to the old-school favorites “Resurrection,” “Power Trip,” and even “Pure Hatred.” This tour is still in its early stages so check out the dates when it comes to a city near you. Oh yeah, brush off your moshing boots and go to a show, because a tour this badass doesn’t come around very often!

© Logan Rendulic, The Rock Tribune 2014

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Chimaira, a set by logan.rocktribune on Flickr.

Review: Stolen Babies @ Chicago House of Blues 1/28/2014

Posted in All Metal, Artist Watch, New Music, News, Photos, Reviews, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2014 by Randy

Circulating on rock radio right now is a very intriguing band that goes by the name of Stolen Babies. Their sound is very reminiscent of early Industrial Metal, mixed with a strong Shock Rock influence. Sprinkle a little accordion in there, maybe some 55 gallon drum, then choose either a guitar or bass (never both at the same time), and wa-lah.

Stolen Babies are currently embarked on tour with two power house bands in rock (Stone Sour and Pop Evil), and most dates on this tour have been sold out. We were fortunate to cover the Chicago House of Blues stop, and honestly, we were mind blown. They are the opener for this tour, and with only 3 bands on the bill, they had ample time to melt faces. From the first note, to the last riff, they managed to strangle hold the crowd. Regardless if they’ve never been heard, their arsenal of songs is a crowd mover…exploding with an instant pit, full of elbows and crowd surfers.

The band consists of Dominique Lenore Persi (vocals), Rani Sharone (bassist and guitarist) and Gil Sharone on drums. One interesting thing about the band and their sound is Dominique…and she isn’t just a vocalist. On certain songs she beats away at that 55 gallon barrel hanging from what appears to be an engine hoist, giving a slight percussion that you’d expect to hear in bands like Slipknot and Mushroom Head. But, there’s more: the unique sound doesn’t stop there because she also plays an accordion… YES, AN ACCORDION! This throws a completely different aspect into this band’s sound that has already separated them from traditional rock/metal bands. To say the least, these guys are a true experimental rock band and have certainly found their niche in an industry constantly looking for new sounds.

-Pop Evil highlights included Leigh Kakat coming out and climbing on the crowd to sing
-Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor played Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell” solo, and also the first 2/3 of “Through Glass” before the band erupted
-Within each set, there were some sound issues

Only a few more dates remain on this tour…check them out below. If you aren’t able to make it to a show, definitely get on your computer and check out Stolen Babis online and hear their fascinating sound for yourself.

-Randy Hall and Logan Rendulic © The Rock Tribune, 2014

Feb 6  Thu   Anaheim, CA
Feb 8  Sat     Las Vegas, NV
Feb 9  Sun    Tempe, AZ
Feb 11 Tue   El Paso, TX
Feb 13 Thu  Dallas, TX
Feb 14 Fri    Houston, TX
Feb 15 Sat   San Antonio, TX

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Stolen Babies

Stolen Babies, a set by logan.rocktribune on Flickr.

 

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