When I was in high school I spent most of my weekends going to shows. When one of my favourite bands was coming to town, I’d comment my excitement to my friends on MySpace and we’d all gather in our skinny-jeaned glory to travel to Toronto. One of the bands that we never missed was The Devil Wears Prada. I had a great time during those days, so I was ecstatic when one of my old friends asked me to go see The Devil Wears Prada open for Silverstein at the Kool Haus in December.
On Tuesday, November 2nd I attended to the Congregation of the Damned tour at the The Phoenix. The show consisted of five very talented bands that all brought a different sound to the stage, and a different reaction from the crowd.
As with any time you hit the town, it’s always good to pre-drink. Thus, I began the night drinking in a parked car owned by James Manning’s (Dancing With Paris) girlfriend. After establishing a decent buzz we proceeded inside to meet up with some more friends and enjoy the ska and punk which the night would provide us with.
My Sunday began with a jaunt to the water point. On my travels I was approached by two young men wearing g-strings and corsets, who drunkenly informed me that Karnivool were about to play on the main stage, and that they were "the best band in the world." Well, who was I to argue with two vagrants with such impeccable dress sense and the ability to maintain some level of awareness at 11am after two solid days of alcohol consumption?
Sonisphere day two. Or hangover day one, as many of us will remember it. For the festival-goers who were up early enough (or perhaps hardcore enough to just not have been to bed yet) Family Force 5 took to the Saturn Stage. If you're unfamiliar with them, as I was, then I can tell you they're a little like Hollywood Undead mixed with 3Oh!3 and Brokencyde. Certainly not to everyone's taste, but they put on a decent show nonetheless, as was evident from the slightly confused smiles on the faces of a questionably metal crowd.
As 55,000+ rock fans descended upon Knebworth this year for the second annual UK Sonisphere Festival, it became apparent that Sonisphere has been swift to throw its dirty, sweaty elbows into the likes of Download and the Reading and Leeds Festival to become one of the premier festivals in Britain. While promoters Kilimanjaro are highly experienced in the live music scene, Sonisphere's virginal inception last year raised a few questions - would they be able to top 2009's awesome headlining bands Metallica and Linkin Park?
Being from a little town in Idaho, going to a big festival-type concert is a big deal. The aptly named Mayhem Festival made a stop in Nampa (near Boise) this week, and with a line-up that includes Chimaira, Hatebreed, Lamb of God, Korn and several other of my favorite bands, making the four-hour drive was not even a debate.
After about 5 hours of sleep I was back to Parc Jean-Drapeau for the second day of Heavy MTL. I quickly got myself to the front of the Mayhem Stage where Hail The Villain soon came on and rocked the crowd, opening with "Try Hating The World". HTV were magnificent performing songs off their album Population: Declining. Bryan Crouch satisfied the crowd with his scary movements and talked about how they are the most badass group - Hail The Villain definitely won fans' hearts.
I got to Parc Jean-Drapeau around the same time 36 Crazyfists hit the stage. I could hear them rocking both past songs and new songs off their upcoming release Collisions And Castaways. The live set was sounding great as I stood waiting to get in. After came Skeletonwitch killing fans with their death/thrash mixture. By the time I got in they were on their second last song and fans were definitely mesmerized by their talent.
At 19:00 an expectant crowd queues outside the HMV Picture House and as the doors open, they filter into the venue, picking up drinks at the bar and settling in for three hours of Aussie brilliance.
Lineup: Kathleen Turner Overdrive, Shortline Hero, Estate of Grace, The Go Time, In Lights, Of Soldiers And Saints. I got to the Groove Lounge at 5:30, almost an hour after the doors opened and there was no band on stage. All I saw was some equipment set up but no presence of life at the time. Because of this I looked at merch that was being sold.
There was a rather workmanlike quality to the recent performance in Seattle by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, but I don't mean that as a complaint. This wasn't a band going through the motions of a set, but rather a well-oiled machine that has been cranking out album after brilliant album and hundreds of stirring live sets since the band as we know it was set in motion in 2001.
There are few bands I will drive four hours to see live. In the past I have made the sacrifice for Metallica and 36 Crayfists. But having heard that Alice in Chains, one of my favorite rock bands of all time, and arguably one of the best rock bands of the 90s, was performing in Boise, there was never even a question of whether or not I would be there.
The snow had just began falling and my Chucks had a few new rips in the sides; they should really be in the trash but that’s not going to happen, I really don’t find it that cold outside so it’s fine. I’ve met up with my friend Emily and we walk into the legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Downtown Toronto for the last date of Attack In Black's cross-Canada tour. I’m happy about the reception I get from the…
As one of the few women singers who can capture the proper evil growl needed for a death metal band, Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow may sound imposing, but the diminutive blonde's figure isn't cut to match. Get her on stage with a mic and her vicious band behind her though, and Gossow sings and snarls like she could cut through steel with just a glance.
It made perfect sense for French prog-metal wizards Hypno5e to open their set playing off and along to the piercing tones of Bernard Herrmann's familiar shower murder scene music from the film Psycho. Just as they spent their hour-plus performance accompanied by a stream of video images projected behind them, the quartet plays…
The California Love Tour Lineup: Winds Of Plague, Stick To Your Guns, Sleeping Giant, Oceano, Circle Of Contempt, On Burning Shores, Heritage. I got to the Reverb at 6:20, almost an hour after the doors opened and there was no band on stage. All I saw was some equipment set up and some Winds Of Plague art amps. Because of this I went upstairs to look at the merch that was being sold by all the great acts of the night.
So it’s the day before Halloween and the night after a show at Tattoo Rock Parlour on Queen St. West in Toronto, ON. It was one of these “secret shows” that seem to be happening a lot more often and really aren’t a secret at all. The band playing this secret show was none other than newly re-formed Creed. I haven’t really heard anything from these guys in a long time...
With: Baptized in Blood, Trophy Scars, Dancing With Paris and Texas, Armed To the Teeth. If I could think of one phrase to sum up the entire night of September 15, 2009 it would probably be “the best show I’ve probably ever been to.” This seemed to be the consensus among all the show-goers and especially with my friends who were there with me.
The beginning of August saw the UK experience the grand finale to the first ever Sonisphere Festival - a series of one day rock events in Holland, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Finland, which featured some of the best bands on the planet. The final Sonisphere installment took place over two days (plus 1 extra day for weekend campers) on the grounds of stately home Knebworth House.