Archive for Randy Hall

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

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.

 

Review: Fall from Grace “The Romance Years”

Posted in News, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2012 by Randy

Back in action once again is Fall from Grace, a punk/alternative band hailing from the great Seattle, Washington scene. With the region producing punk/alt acts in the past such as Sonic Youth and Nirvana, it’s almost a given that Fall from Grace will have great success. “The Romance Years” is their second major label album, and given the revamped lineup, it’s clear FFG are ready to hit the road backed by their new record label “Road 2 Hell Rekkids.”  This emotion packed bundle of joy is just a small taste of big things to come, and and getting lost in this album makes it easy to remember how great the music of the early 90’s was, and the impact that was left on bands to come.

The Romance Years opens with “Your Majesty,” a catchy, upbeat, old school underground punk influenced track that sets the tone for this entire album. Remember who the winners of Fuse TV’s Bodog Music Battle of the Bands 2004 was? Ahhh…that’s right…now you remember. There are a few songs that stand above the others and are worthy of recognition. One being a tune titled “Heart Attack Road,” which echoes the ol’ chasing your dreams and achieving success that one wants out of life.  Lyrics PLUS Riffs EQUALS amazing…and arguably the best on the album. “18 and Out,” “A Train Leaves London,” and “The Romance Years” are winners too.

The losers: “Fade 2 Gray,” and “Maybe I’m Outa My Head”

Pick up “The Romance Years”…there’s a little something for everyone.  www.fallfromgrace.us

– Logan Rendulic, Randy Hall TRT

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