Hey guys! I hope all your holiday events went well and lots of love was shared! Back to your regularly scheduled posting!

Everyone has the albums that made their year and the albums that made their decade. While that was originally what I had planned to make this post, I decided that there were certain songs, artists, albums, and aspects that should be highlighted as big parts of the decade for me as well…and why not have some fun with it?
All Time Low: My first concert in the alt-rock/lesser-known rock scene and my first GA show. The guys in All Time Low and the music they provided are so important to my musical preferences and my life today.


Breakdowns: This decade has brought us SO MANY amazing breakdowns, here are some of my favorites.

  • A Day To Remember “Resentment” (2:35)
  • Bring Me The Horizon “House Of Wolves” (1:47)
  • Ice Nine Kills “Thank God It’s Friday” (2:39) and “Me Myself and Hyde” (2:54)
  • Beartooth “Used and Abused” (2:18) and “Censored” (2:34)
  • I Prevail “Deadweight” (2:14) and “Come And Get It” (2:13)
  • Motionless in White “Thoughts & Prayers” (2:22) , “Disguise” (2:22) , and “Soft” (2:07)

Covers: Who DOESN’T love a good helping of Punk Goes Pop? Some of the most memorable covers include…

  • Beartooth “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones
  • A Day To Remember “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson
  • Ice Nine Kills “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” by Green Day
  • I Prevail “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift
  • Hands Like Houses “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia

Disease: When Beartooth dropped this record it sort of solidified them as my favorite band of all time. The raw emotion, the intensity of the tunes, the heart, and soul that Caleb Shomo poured into every song, makes for one of the best and most important albums of the decade in general. This album is also one of the most important albums to me personally as well. If anyone needs some music to relate to during hard times, give Disease a listen.


Entertainment: “Rare”, “11:11”, “Crybaby”, “Not Warriors”, LITERALLY the entire album is beautifully written and produced. These songs create a feeling of true love and heartbreak and even make you wanna punch some people in a pit…and by that I mean “Tantrum”…its a bop.

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Features: There are few things cooler than hearing an artist that you love chime in on a song from another artist that you love. Here are my favorites from this decade

  • Tonight Alive ft. Corey Taylor, “My Underworld”
  • All Time Low ft. Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, “Bail Me Out”
  • Simple Plan ft. Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low, “Freaking Me Out”
  • Pierce The Veil ft. Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember, “Caraphernelia” (This one is better than “King For A Day” and I will argue that to my dying day.)
  • Neck Deep ft. Sam Carter of Architects, “Don’t Wait”
  • Ice Nine Kills ft. JR. Wasilewski and Buddy Schaub of Less than Jake and Will Salazar of Finix TX, “IT Is The End”

Gone In Your Wake: Thousand Below is one of the best up and coming bands out there right now and this record solidifies that. The songs are catchy, intense and all-around amazing.

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Headspace: I am not really a fan of issues anymore, but this album will always be a 10/10 record. The bass is so fun on it and Tyler Carter really shines on the vocals in many of the songs. It’s a fun listen for sure.

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Ice Nine Kills: This band is one of the most, if not THE most, creative bands in existence. If you guys know of a band that can put together an entire record based on books and then follow that up with an entire record based on movies and then put on the same intense shows that these guys do…please inform me of them.

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Justified”: When A Day To Remember released Bad Vibrations, I knew the album would have its place in history. It is easily the most diverse and well put together album that the band has created and it brings in EVERY aspect of them as a group. “Justified” makes that album what it is. It’s intense, it’s emotional, it’s really the backbone of the record.

Keep Your American Dream”: I really don’t have anything to say about this song, other than it is probably the best song on Disgusting and I seriously want to mosh to it. I never mosh. It’s that good.

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Lyrical genius: There are so many songs that I could highlight for this but this decade brought some of the most emotional and well-written songs. From tunes like “Clever” by Beartooth to songs like “And The Snakes Start To Sing” by Bring Me The Horizon, listeners were able to hear wordsmithing at it’s peak. The intense music behind the words was great too.
Motionless In White: Motionless In White OWNED 2019. They put out the album of the year and did extensive touring before the album even dropped, then they booked a co-headline with Beartooth to kickoff 2020. Plus they put on amazing shows throughout the decade and totally made themselves icons of the scene.


Neck Deep: The Peace and The Panic was easily one of the best albums of the decade and this bad seriously reinvigorated pop-punk. I sadly haven’t had the chance to see them yet but they’re on my list and very high on it too.

Overthinking”: Coming from the band’s most recent record “Anon.”, this song is easily one of the most important songs of the decade and creates such a unique mix of Jazz and Blues sounding guitar riffs with musical techniques that tie the song to this scene of Rock. It truly is a masterpiece.
Photography: I have been able to grow tremendously in my photography skills this decade and most of that growth has come from this past year. I had the opportunities to photograph The Wrecks, Thousand Below and Waterparks professionally this decade and had so many other great shots taken straight from my phone. Anyone can achieve great shots, all you have to do is try!

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Quitting: I couldn’t think of a word for Q and I know that while many members didn’t necessarily “quit” their bands, this decade had a lot of hiatuses and switching of members. Most recently My Chemical Romance ended their hiatus and Black Veil Brides parted ways with bassist Ashley Purdy. There were many others but I won’t list them all!
Revolution Radio: This solidifies that Green Day wins this decade. It was never debated that this group of guys weren’t afraid to make a statement when there was one to be made. Revolution Radio is just the statement that this decade needed and deserved. Plus the album is full of absolute bangers and the tour was INSANE.

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Set It Off: This decade brought me to one of my favorite bands of all time. Set It Off has been a huge part of my life for the last five years and I have made so many good memories with them and appreciate them and their music dearly.


Tours: I was able to experience SO many good tours this year and I am certain that they all did well.

  • Shinedown “Attention Attention” tour with Papa Roach and Asking Alexandria
  • Papa Roach “Who Do You Trust?” tour with Asking Alexandria and Bad Wolves
  • Set It Off “Midnight World Tour pt 2” with Emarosa, Broadside, and Selfish Things
  • A Day To Remember “Degenerates” tour with I Prevail, Beartooth, and Can’t Swim
  • Green Day “Revolution Radio” tour with Catfish and The Bottlemen
  • The Rolling Stones “Zipcode” tour with Ed Sheeran

Unopened Windows”: Cody Carson seems to know how to write a song that gets me right in the feels no matter how many times I listen to it. This song means so much to me and it has gotten me through so many rough nights and continues to do so. My heart goes out to Cody and the boys in Set It Off, as it always does.

Vessel: This album is easily the best album Twenty One Pilots have put out to date. Songs on the album are iconic and all-around amazing. House of Gold and Trees are the two that stick out to me most. My favorite, however, would have to be Guns For Hands.

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Warped Tour: There is no denying that the ending of Warped Tour was a defining moment in music for this decade. Warped Tour was the biggest platform for exposure that this scene had and it allowed for thousands to be brought together in one place for a day of acceptance and fun. This tour was a huge relief for kids and will be missed dearly.

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X: Okay so does anyone ever have anything for “X” when they do this stuff? No? Cool, because neither do I.

Youngblood: 5 Seconds Of Summer have been a part of my life for almost the entire decade. So when I finally found my way back to them with this album I was thrilled with the way it sounded and the new sides it brought out. I absolutely adore this album and this band!

Zero”: When Crown The Empire dropped Retrograde, saying I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. This is easily the best song on that album and I will always love it.

Not that these guys need any sort of introduction now, but I recently had the chance to see them again, and I feel that talking about them is pretty necessary.

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In 2013 I was totally head over heels for One Direction, but what 13-year-old girl wasn’t at that time? I was lucky enough to have a set of tickets for their Take Me Home tour with 5 Seconds of Summer as the opener. I did what any person does (or at least should do) and looked into them since I would be seeing them live. I was immediately hooked. I ended up being a bigger fan of them than I was of One Direction by the time the show rolled around. I’ve had a place for them in my heart and playlists since.

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When looking at the band from 2013 to now, it is honestly crazy to me to see how they’ve grown. First off, they had such a garage pop-punk vibe when they first started. It was almost like Luke wanted to BE Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low. They were energetic and young and new on the scene, but that didn’t slow them down one bit. Not much has changed in 2019, they’re still the energetic and fun-loving dudes that they were before but with slightly less heavy accents. They’ve also found their new sound and have become probably a staple fusion of pop and rock. While I am someone who tends to enjoy heavier music, I can easily say that there isn’t a song 5SOS have that I can’t enjoy. Seeing the band live again was something I never thought I would get to do. I was in the very back of the arena in 2013 and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to truly enjoy the performance from that far away. They proved me wrong. I was drawn into their performance then and I was drawn into it the same way when I was right in front of them this time.

 

When I got the chance to go to this show, it was really eye-opening for me. I sat back and considered all that this band has done for me. I wouldn’t be in the position that I am without the music that I listen to, and I wouldn’t have found the music that I listen to without 5SOS. When they wrote with Alex from All Time Low, I looked into All Time Low. They did a song with Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil, and so on and so forth with features on songs. That was the spiral into music. It all started with a small group of dudes from Australia, and I couldn’t be more thankful for them.

 

Until next time…

 

I know that I talk about Thousand Below quite a bit, but since they’re one of my favorite artists out there at the moment it doesn’t make sense for me to not post a review of their most recent record.

The band’s sophomore album “Gone In Your Wake” was released about a month ago. The record follows “The Love You Let Too Close” which the band toured for a couple years, so you could say it had a lasting effect and I can assure you, this new record will too.

 

1. Chemical: This was the first single that the band released for the album and I was excited to say the least. It’s quite the tune to start out with and starts the album with a bang. The chorus is really fun and the art for the single is incredible.

2. Disassociate: This was the second single the band released and probably the hardest song on this album. This tune is an absolute banger and is so fun to hear and experience live. When I saw the band perform it, I could tell that this one was the song that really got the crowd started and brought the energy up. Plus the chorus is incredible.

3. Fake Smile: Hearing this song for the first time had me in tears. We can all, and I mean everyone, can relate to this song somehow. The feeling of having someone they thought they could trust only to have that person begin to make them feel like they aren’t able to be themselves. I think that this song’s message is important and to add to that it gets stuck in your head so easily.

4. Alone (Out of My Head): When I saw Thousand Below recently they played this song before it had been released and it immediately made me stop taking photos and just listen and watch. Then they released the video for it the day before the record dropped and I was hooked. This is by far my favorite track on the album and quite possibly one of my favorite songs ever. The chorus is so catchy and the song overall is something that anyone can relate to in certain times. The song is beautiful lyrically and musically. There are very few songs that I would call flawless but this is one. I can’t find a single thing about it that I don’t love.

5. The Edge Of Your Bed: Feels. All of the feels. But seriously, this is one of the more emotional songs on the album and it really puts the band in perspective for me and hopefully for others as well. This song is a perfect example of how James focuses on the reality of hard times that he has gone through, which allows for the songs and lyrics to resonate with people easier and that is something I respect with any artist. This song also features Michael McGough of Being As An Ocean. His vocals are incredibly smooth and add another dimension to the song, especially since they lead into a harsh replay of the chorus which up until this point had been done softly.

6. Vanish: I think that this is going to be a really interesting song for them to play live if they chose to do so. The chorus is definitely one for crowd involvement and I think that the energy the band has mixed with the energy of the song would really bring a show to new levels. The intro is unique in itself and sets the song up well. Plus the faded vocals leading into the heavier guitar are executed perfectly. I think the bridges and the chorus in this song are the big-ticket items.

7. 171 xo: This one comes in a close second for my favorite tracks on the album. The chorus is super emotional and honestly, this song is so real that it hurts sometimes. Plus the vocals on this song hit differently than the other tracks. The easy flow of the verse to the shorter and harsh chorus is something I truly love about this song.

8. Learn To Lose And It All Gets Easier: There really isn’t much that I can say about this song other than its such a contrast from the previous songs on the album. It really shows the different techniques and routes that the band wanted to bring in. The lyrics are still emotional and sort of heavy but the use of more technical elements is something that they hadn’t really explored before and I think it worked out so well.

9. Lost Between (feat. Marcus Bridge): The transition in the intro is impossible not to sway along to, seriously. I also have listened to this album probably close to 50 times and I think I’ve cried to this song close to maybe…47 times? It really hits you hard, especially on those days when you just sit and think. While I’m not a fan of crying (who is really?), it’s always nice to have a song that you feel gets you and that you can relate to.

10. The Other Side Of Things: This song has an incredibly personal tie to lead singer James Deberg and you can hear it in every aspect of the song. Going through a loss such as the one he did is something that completely alters a life. Hearing the emotion in the lyrics and delivery that this song has, it’s really incredible.

11. Gone In Your Wake: Speaking of crying. The pure emotion James pours into this song absolutely broke me the first couple times that I listened to it. Knowing the struggles that he has faced and hearing this song be almost an episode of closure is something so intense that you can’t help but respect him and honestly just want to give him a hug or something.

 

In conclusion, “Gone In Your Wake” is probably one of the most vulnerable and honest records out there. It’s beautifully put together and there isn’t a bad song on it. You smile, you get your anger out, you cry and you do it all in the time span of 11 songs. Thousand Below are seriously such a unique group of musicians that have firmly planted themselves in this scene and I can not WAIT to see what is next for them, because we all know it will be incredible.

 

Until next time…

 

What’s up guys, gals, and non-binary pals? I am back to talk with you about one of, if not THE best show that I have ever had the privilege to witness. When A Day To Remember announced this tour back in August, I am pretty sure I almost passed out. ADTR decided that they would take I Prevail and Beartooth out on a run and hit the KC area on Halloween. Did you guys think I wouldn’t be attending? No? Good. Here we go.

So either shortly before the tour started or shortly after, Can’t Swim was added to the tour. Being completely honest, they weren’t my cup of tea. I wasn’t exactly pulled into their performance but they were very festive so that was a plus.

Next came Beartooth. If you all haven’t gathered by now, Beartooth is my favorite band. This was my fifth time seeing Beartooth and honestly, I think this was one of my favorite performances that they have done. Maybe it was the costumes, maybe it was just an over the top night for the band but the energy was so uncontrollably high and everyone was getting into it. Not to mention Kamron decided that he wanted to get involved and ended up closing out the show on top of the crowd.

I Prevail absolutely stunned me. I had been in the area of their Warped Tour set in 2017 but ended up leaving early due to the level of fatigue my friend and I felt and since they were the last set of the night. Seeing them play live has been on my to-do list since then and I am so glad I finally did. These guys know how to put on a show and are so fun to watch. Then you add the facts that they were the team from dodgeball for Halloween and brought a six-year-old out on stage for their last song since he was dressed as Eric, and you can’t really deny that they’re amazing.

 

Then we witness A Day To Remember, who is easily one of the best live bands in music. This was the biggest show I have seen them perform and it was all around captivating. The lighting, the video wall, the crowd interaction, and not to mention one of the most badass openings to a show. When I first saw that the set began with “Downfall of Us All” I was curious as to what it would be like, since they usually close with that song. It was a great change and I seriously hope they keep it because that had the energy at an all-time high from the get-go and kept it there the whole night. One of the most emotional and engaging experiences I have ever been a part of at a show was when Jeremy came down to the barricade for the end of “Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail”. He is one of the most intriguing lead singers in general, so to have him down and with the crowd made everything feel incredibly cohesive and genuine. I will always be a massive fan of A Day To Remember and their live show is something that I hope everyone gets the chance to experience at some point in their lives.

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Until next time…

And now we fall to our last post in the series, highlighting my favorite guitarists. They shred, they spin, they throw their guitars in the air, they play intense and intricate riffs that have us air-guitaring along like nobodies business. They come to party, and they party hard.

5. Jack Barakat of All Time Low: When it comes to fun energy, I don’t think anyone can sum it up better than Jack. I also don’t think he stands in one spot for more than 10 seconds during the entire show. He is constantly engaging the crowd with either jokes or playful banter. He is incredibly charismatic and fast on stage and I think he really makes the shows what they are.

 

 

4. Ricky Armellino of Ice Nine Kills (vocalist for HAWK): You can’t be in the presence of Ricky and not laugh, it’s not possible. Plus he is incredible on stage. I think my favorite moment of seeing them live was watching him follow Spencer around screaming about getting his boat back before they played “IT Is The End” when I saw them in Chicago. Ricky is incredibly energetic and has a very focused attitude when he plays. It’s really amazing to see him perform.

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3. Kamron Bradbury of Beartooth: Kamron is incredibly quiet in the meet and greets and such but he is always super polite and kind. Seeing him play live is honestly captivating, he is intense, focused, powerful, and energetic. He seems completely in tune with the performance and the band and drives the show to a new level of fun. He is easily one of the best people to watch play live and amazing at what he does.

 

 

2. Elliott Gruenberg of Blessthefall: Look, Elliott is one of the coolest guys around. He’s nice, he’s funny, he’s incredibly easy to work with and then you watch him play guitar and he absolutely crushes it. Blessthefall is one of the most energetic bands I have ever seen and I think that most of that energy comes from Elliott. He’s fully connected to the crowds and the music no matter what. He’s always jumping around or screaming the words back at you. He really knows how to put on a show.

 

1. Zach Meyers of Shinedown: I have never, in my life, been so captivated by a guitarist. Zach’s chemistry with the band as a whole was astonishing but then being focusing on him playing was a completely different experience. Shinedown is an incredible live band and Zach is easily one of the heaviest factors in this. He’s intense and purposeful with everything and his energy radiates to every single person in the crowd. He wins at the live show game, hands down.

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Honorable Mentions:

Kevin Skaff of A Day To Remember

Ricky Olson of Motionless in White

Ronnie Ish of As It Is

Zach DeWall of Set It Off

I have been talking about nothing but Thousand Below for the past couple of weeks and guess what, I am not stopping yet. Here we go,

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The first time I saw Thousand Below was when they were a part of the “Nightlife in Revolt” tour with Youth in Revolt and Light Up The Sky. I went into the show knowing nothing about them and came out of the show a massive fan. So you all can only imagine how absolutely STOKED I was when they went on tour with Blessthefall last year. A band that I loved opening for one of my favorite bands of all time? I was hooked, obviously. Then watching them play to that crowd, definitely put Thousand Below on the same list as Blessthefall. Then they open for Of Mice & Men (They’re currently still on that tour, make sure you make it out to any date near you!) and hit Lawrence again, which made me incredibly happy.

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Music-wise, they don’t have a bad song. Not one. All the tracks on their first album The Love You Let Too Close are incredibly emotional and can totally be the tunes you scream at the top of your lungs on your way to work or class or on the way home from a long day. Their two new singles “Chemical” and “Disassociate” are absolute bangers and incredible to witness live. When it comes to their live show these guys absolutely NEVER disappoint. The chemistry and energy is through the roof and it radiates into the crowd. Also, they have really sick tour merch? I have no idea who designed it but I wish I could have bought all of it.

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If you’re not already listening to Thousand Below, you should probably start doing that pretty soon, because I firmly believe that they’re one of the best up and coming bands in the scene. You guys are totally missing out if you’re sleeping on them, but the good news is, you can change that! Their second album Gone In Your Wake drops October 11 and you can make sure to check it out on your favorite streaming platforms!

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Basically, Thousand Below is great and you should make sure to check them out.

Until next time…

Some of my favorite moments during shows are when we get massive drum solos from some of the most intense people around. Drummers have always happened to be some of the funniest and most sassy people out there, and I am not complaining. You also can’t really go without smiling when you’re around them and honestly, they bring most of the adrenaline to a show for me. I would also like to note that it is very difficult to get pictures of drummers performing so most of the pictures used here will be meet and greet pictures including the drummers, sorry for that.

5. Otto Wood of Waterparks: I have been seeing and meeting Waterparks since their very first tour in 2016. They opened for Never Shout Never at the Granada in Lawrence and were the smallest band on the bill. The very first thing I noticed about the band was Otto, his long curly hair constantly down around his face and constantly moving. I think the most memorable moment from this show was when he attempted to stab through the snare drum with a drum stick. I have since seen the band five times and will always stand by the fact that Otto is one of the most entertaining drummers to watch and he always keeps the energy up. He is also one of the sweetest dudes out there and we share a birthday so, that is pretty cool.

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Warped tour 2016, Otto is directly on my left

4. Ryan Seaman of I Don’t Know How But They Found Me formerly of Falling In Reverse: I had the opportunity to see Ryan with both bands and something that I find really awesome about him is that he fits into so many different attitudes and vibes during one set. When performing with Falling In Reverse, Ryan is intense and thrashing and crashing and bringing such an energetic and fast-paced feel to the show. Then seeing him in the IDK How habitat is completely different. He holds it down and still exudes the sassy and blingy energy that Dallon also brings. Not to mention he can play bass and drums at the same time? Mega bonus points.

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3. Barry Kerch of Shinedown: Shinedown is pretty much at the top of my list for live bands right now in general, but Barry is one of the best drummers around. His style and his hair and his attitude all lend to the bands overall persona in such a big way that it truly stands out. His energy is insane and no matter the song, you can always tell that he absolutely loves every minute of it. His intensity is so focused and he seems all around centered constantly during their set.

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2. Patrick Galante of Ice Nine Kills: Can you wear a taxidermy style pig mask and black cloak while playing drums for intense metalcore songs? I know I can’t, but Patrick sure can and he absolutely kills it each time. Yes, that pun was intended. Patrick is insanely talented when it comes to putting on a show and adding to the personality the band has live. We all know that the boys in INK love the costumes and make-up but that never distracts from their amazing performance live, especially Patrick. He really brings the band together in my opinion, plus he’s a pretty funny guy in general.

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1. Maxx Danziger of Set It Off: I can easily stand by the fact that Maxx is the best drummer in this scene. The personality that he brings to the band and the live shows is off the charts. This most recent time that I saw Set It Off, he had this MASSIVE drum solo with tons of random songs and that was the most energetic part of the show. He never fails to bring sass and attitude to a show and yet still be one of the nicest dudes around. His talent is undeniable and I think that overall he brings such a unique feel to the band that without him, they just wouldn’t have the presence that they do. Maxx is truly one of a kind and he knocks it out of the park every time I see him. Also, we take meme pictures so, that makes him even better.

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Honorable Mentions

  • Matt Traynor formerly of Blessthefall
  • Connor Denis of Beartooth
  • Lou Vecchio of New Politics
  • Billy Nally of The Wrecks
  • Rian Dawson of All Time Low

So those are my favorite drummers, and I apologize for the crazy posting, I will eventually get it together enough to stick to a schedule!

 

Until next time…

We interrupt your (not so) regularly scheduled “best of the best” programming to bring you ANOTHER SHOW REVIEW! And what better way to celebrate my 50th post than with the one and only, Papa Roach.

I saw these guys for the third time on Aug 24. I was hesitant to go to this show because I started classes again on the upcoming Monday and was telling myself to save money and not go and all that, but when do I ever make smart financial decisions? So I went, and I am so happy that I did. Getting to see Papa Roach headline was something I didn’t expect to see and what I saw was incredible.

First, I was met with Bad Wolves, who I had heard of but never really heard. I saw their cover of “Zombie” by the Cranberries when it first dropped on Facebook but I had never really devoted time to listen to them. They put on such a great show, it’s really unbelievable. The energy is consistently high, there is a massive feeling of positivity, the music is great, they’re really the whole package. These guys are going nowhere but up.

Then we fall to Asking Alexandria, who I was curious to see when performing a longer set. Danny has been in and out of the band and we are all aware of that now. However, we cannot deny that he has a major personality on stage. Maybe it’s his attitude or the songs, but seeing them live was definitely a fun time. The energy was soaring, the band was cohesive and consistent. I am interested to see more from them and hopefully get some more songs like “Alone In A Room” that I can scream at the top of my lungs.

Finally, we got to Papa Roach. Jacoby Shaddix is my pick for the Best frontman for a REASON. Like always, he absolutely killed it. Papa Roach may actually be one of the best live bands of all time, I stand by that wholeheartedly. No matter the length of their set, they always have people moshing and crowd surfing and screaming and just all around LOSING it. Their stage set up has only gotten better with every show that I have seen them at and words can’t describe how cool it was. All I can say is you guys need to see Papa Roach if you haven’t, it is totally something worthwhile.

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PS: check below to listen to “My Top 5” podcasts episode featuring Jacoby! This is the only podcast I have been able to actually listen to and enjoy, so I highly recommend checking it out. They always have an awesome guest and some of the best topics.

 

Until next time…

A band is a puzzle, with each member being a different piece. This series of posts is taking that puzzle apart and putting it back together. We’ve talked about lead singers, now we’re going to talk about bassists. Bassists seem to be the ones at live shows that really keep your attention on the music itself and keep peoples attention on certain songs. Let’s highlight some of them…

5. Ahren Stringer of The Amity Affliction: My first time seeing The Amity Affliction was at Warped Tour in 2015. I was completely nervous about being in a different city and state and being at the festival for the first time. The Amity Affliction was the band that I saw first that day and I am honestly so glad that was the case. Ahren has one of the strongest “this is my time to shine” attitudes on stage and totally rocks it. Both times that I have seen them since then, he still keeps my attention. Focusing on the way he plays to the crowd and balances vocals with some of the deeper riffs in many of their tunes is captivating. (I lost my pictures from their live shows so here’s a meet and greet picture).

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4. Oshie Bichar of Beartooth: Honestly, not only is Oshie one of my favorite musicians in general but he kills it live. He’s consistently putting his all into it and there are times during Beartooth sets where I literally cannot take my eyes off of him. He knows his stuff and knows how to put on a show, I know the band wouldn’t be near as cohesive if Oshie wasn’t a part of it. He will ALWAYS be one of my favorite bassists. Next time you guys see Beartooth, do yourself a favor and watch this guy for a second, you’ll feel the same way that I do.

 

3. Jared Wrath of Blessthefall: Of the four times I have seen Blessthefall, I have always been in awe of their show in general. Jared is absolutely no exception. This dude is a powerhouse and that is putting it lightly. With his screams and how he absolutely commands the stage, it’s difficult not to focus on him and the intensity of what he’s playing. If you’re not focused on what he’s playing, you’re probably focused on his screams so either way, this guy keeps your attention. Not to mention he’s usually the base of the shred pyramid so you know he’s a pretty big deal.

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2. Dallon Weekes of I Don’t Know How But They Found Me: Now, we all know Dallon was a member of Panic! At The Disco before starting IDK with former Falling In Reverse drummer Ryan Seaman, so did we really expect him not to be one of the best out there? I have seen Dallon perform once and honestly, that is enough to make anyone understand that he is one of the best bassists around. As weird as it sounds, the way he plays matches the bands vibe to a T. It’s poppy, it makes you want to dance, it makes you want to wear a sparkly black jacket and split the crowd in half for a sort of “come to Jesus” type thing. I don’t know how, but he’s got it all down. Sorry, I had to take the opportunity.

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1. Zach Merrick of All Time Low: I have had the opportunity to meet All Time Low, and therefore Zach, four times. Zach is probably one of the sweetest, most shy guys you could meet when talking about the music scene. The first time that I saw them, I was absolutely blown away by Zach for a multitude of reasons. Going from the meet and greet where he was quiet and shy to seeing him absolutely blossom on stage was incredibly refreshing. He’s jumping around, carrying Jack around on his back, jumping on and off of platforms, he’s taking every opportunity he can to move around. Then there are some songs, primarily from their most recent album “Last Young Renegade”, that allow him to find a more centered performance and give him the chance to be a little more emotional in his playing. He is one of the most impressive bass players that I have seen to date in his performance, personality, and chemistry with his bandmates.

 

Honorable mentions (In no particular order, *pictured)

  • Justin Morrow of Motionless in White formerly of Ice Nine Kills
  • Eric Bass of Shinedown*
  • Mike Dirnt of Green Day
  • Josh Woodard of A Day To Remember* (featured photo)
  • Sam Bettley of Asking Alexandria
  • Aaron Kelley of The Wrecks*

Stay tuned for the next set of “best of the best” and follow my Instagram @nat.lindz to help me decide who gets highlighted next! Until next time.

Hey guys, I know you haven’t heard from me in a minute but I decided that since I went to two shows last week, I would talk about both of them in one week for timeliness (Yeah, like I have any room to talk about that, I know) so be on the lookout for my Set It Off post either tomorrow or Saturday.

So, I went to my second A Day To Remember show last Monday at their stop in Wichita. This was part of the Raisin’ Hell in the Heartland tour that they had through the midwest. When I first heard about this tour, I did not care what I had to do to see ADTR again, all I knew was I was going to. With $60 in my bank account, I bought a $50 ticket and decided to figure out the way there when the time came to it.

The other bands on this bill were Boston Manor and Knocked Loose. I had seen Knocked Loose before during their run with Beartooth, but had never heard of Boston Manor before. I decided that for this run I would go in with no expectation of them and see what I thought. After seeing them, I can definitely say that I am a fan. They sound just as amazing live as they do on their records and know how to command a crowd, even if the crowd doesn’t want to respond. To anyone who has the chance, see Boston Manor, and if you don’t have the chance, listen to them and you won’t regret it. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Knocked Loose. They are not entirely my style when it comes to sound and I didn’t really feel the energy I think they were trying to convey. I will say that I respect them for how they appeal to their fans because their fans go hard, and I mean HARD. That leads me to my next point, I wasn’t entirely a fan of their fans. Maybe it was just an off day for me, or maybe the crowd itself, but there is a big difference between going off for your favorite band and “jamming” so hard that you injure or hurt people in front of you. Accidentally hitting someone when you’re waving your arms is one thing, but there were many voiced Knocked Loose fans at this show that were being aggressive with people who weren’t really vibing with it. Overall, I am not a fan, but to each their own and these guys definitely have a dedicated fan base.

 

Then we fall to A Day To Remember, who as always, absolutely ROCKED IT. You can tell that these guys have years and years under their belt (16 to be exact). They own the stage, the crowd, the sound, it’s theirs once the lights go down. You wouldn’t dare look away for a moment during their set. The energy soars with everyone the second they hit the first note of “2nd Sucks”. Their crowd is always intense, but never too intense to handle, at least from what I have experienced. What I would also like to add is that they are one of the most diverse bands when it comes to their sound and their vocal abilities, and they always capture that in their tour lineups. By having a more pop-punk sounding band like Boston Manor followed by a hardcore band like Knocked Loose completely captures both sides of the band themselves, which is probably why they always pull in such MASSIVE crowds. Mix their ability to put together a tour, how amazing their live show is, and how amazing they are? You’ve got a recipe for one of the best experiences ever. As if it was even a question, yes. Go see A Day To Remember. Now.

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Thanks for reading, see you around!

I am so so so excited to share this with you all and to have had this opportunity in the first place. I received an email awhile ago from a post that I made on Reddit, which eventually led me to find heavyvibe.blogspot.com … or for them to find me. After many many emails back and forth deciding the best way to go about this, we created this collaboration post about each others blogs. Here are the answers to my, and some of your, questions for Heavy Vibe!

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1. What is your name and what is your publication?
Hi there everyone! I say my screen name is Coleman, just because I wouldn’t want to go by my full real name due to the fact I am a wussy. I am the head (cough cough, only) author on my blog/wannabe entertainment website Heavy Vibe. A collection of shitposts that I try to make look professional because I have no idea what I am doing.

2. How long have you been blogging?
I have actually been blogging for more than 6 years if I gauge it correctly. I haven’t had Heavy Vibe for 6 years, but when I was younger. (probably 7th or 6th grade) I started a blog on this National Geographic game called Animal Jam and became famous on it. It was really weird and I had a better posting schedule on that blog when I was 12 than I do now and I am 17, so that says a lot about ambition. I’m joking, AP classes suck your soul out of you, and having a blog/website project on the side is like a ninja kick to the breadbasket.

3. What was the first concert that you attended?
The first concert I attended was this dinky screamo garage band in my town before my parents took me to Aftershock so I could get a taste. Well, that taste I hated 100%. I clearly remember shoving toilet paper in my ears because I still had a relative sense of hearing that I have now lost completely, because of the strategy the band employed or if it’s loud enough, they’ll think it’s good.  Just imagine a monkey banging on a drum set while someone screaming off mic and a guy in the corned strums the bass to some Metallica song that wasn’t even what the other band members were playing, and I don’t think they had a guitarist. The only thing I really remember about it was that the flyer for it had Goku from DBZ in the background, and that’s all I remember about my first concert.

4. What led you to start blogging about music? (Caitlin H., KS)
I was already going to all of these concerts, and one night after I had shepherded my group back to the hotel I saw this guy smoking cigarettes next door to my hotel room, and my dad approached him and I think offered him a beer or something and they got to talking. Well, it turns out that guy worked for Honest Brutality, they have a radio show for Rock Rage Radio- it’s like an online radio thing. He gave me a rolling tray he got from the backstage that was signed by a bunch of bands I liked. I told him I was thinking about being a blogger or something- he said doing Youtube is a nice safe thing to do. I decided later on that A: I didn’t want to have to look decent when I want to make content and I already know how to blog, where I can look as bummy as I want to make blog posts. And B, I don’t want anyone I know at school finding a video of me on youtube trying to Gordon Ramsay some Black Sludge Metal. So yea, that’s the overcomplicated answer as to why I made Heavy Vibe.

5. What has been your favorite show or interview that you have done? (Megan S., KS)
I can’t exactly say I have had a favorite interview because I like certain things about every one of the INterviews I do that are unique to each person I do. But hypothetically if I do get a press pass for Aftershock this year (praying on it), and I could slink my way back into getting an interview with Ghostemane- that would be a plus. My favorite show was probably going to see The Fever 333, other than hoping he wouldn’t throw a mic stand at me, the concert was so full of energy that felt really genuine rather than when I see some really big bands that are just going through the motions.

6. How do you go about listening to an album to review it? (Zach Z., KS)
Find a super comfortable place- my bed
Open your post template or a Google Doc
Open the album and play it, then go back to whatever your writing on.
Write down whatever pops into your head at that exact moment while listening to the music, you can sort it all out later.
After you’ve got it all down, go through it and turn your gibberish into complete sentences (or not, sometimes I don’t)
Finish it up, and Publish it
Send an email/DM to the band
Hope they don’t make you feel horrible about your advice/critiques/things you didn’t like about the submitted album
Advertise the heck out of it
Finally, start your homework at 1 am


7. What has been the most challenging part of being a music blogger? (Gavin S., KS)
Time management, management in general actually. I’ll go in waves of having maybe 5 bands or singular artists asking for a review or something really simple, that I can crank out in a day. But then I’ll get 55 bands with super fancy requests for really unique things, that I do all for free, that takes much, much more time. And the majority of the time gets much fewer thanks that doing a simple posting of someone’s new music video. Another problem I have is finding shows/ bands coming to my area. Or simply venues that would let me get the press pass to go and do my thing. Maybe it’s my age, because to some it’s a liability to have a minor go backstage and talk to a group of guys. And I have been warned of bands to stay away from, and not to be alone with. Which is really scary to me, because what if the guy I am going backstage with (my roadie, or Broadie I call them) aren’t allowed back there, and something bad actually happens. It’s all speculation for that last part. But having your stuff together, being professional, and finding people that take you seriously are some really hard parts about being a music blogger.

8. What are some difficult aspects of promoting your blog? (Kacy T., KS)
It’s actually not that hard. Other than the fact it’s hard to get your blog up on the google rating list because apparently, MetalSucks.com is more relevant when you Google “Heavy Vibe”. But something really easy I wish people knew more is this amazing thing called Facebook. Make a profile on FB, join a bunch of groups, and friend a bunch of people (that are typically band members, etc.). Share the links to your blog into those groups. Then bang, the targeted audience that you wanted to reach is condensed into that Facebook group. But the tricky thing is, is using the algorithms to your advantage. The more comments- the more people the post is put onto people’s timelines. Then it turns into a once they see it, they link and comment- so it sends it to more people. It is all reliant on those first few mins of it being posted on those groups. If no one takes a bite on the post. (Mobile-friendly, have some pictures breaking up the text, basically the “Scroll Friendly” rules, it will do amazing and you’ll wake up the next morning with 5 thousand new views on a post.


9. How do you go about getting interviews at shows? (Alexa G., KS)
Make a good email (relevant to your blog, like Heavyvibeoffical@gmail.com)
Find the contact info of the venue/show manager.
Say that you are a blogger, Youtuber, etc. Explain what you want to do, that you aren’t looking for freebies and already have tickets. And give links to whatever your thing is.
Harass them relentlessly until they tell you no-or yes. Don’t let them ghost you, they like doing it.
Make sure you send emails at least a few months in advance.
Rinse and repeat.


10. If you could give one piece of advice to a beginner blogger, what would you tell them?
Simple: Facebook is your best friend. Make everything scroll friendly. Bands are super happy to work with you- for free. (Smaller ones at least). There is TONS of music out there, don’t be afraid to post about a smaller band that doesn’t have a lot (or any) attention on them, and don’t be afraid to post your love letter to Ivan Moody of FFDP, do whatever you want to do. Find other bloggers- like the amazing one that runs this blog. People are willing to work with you if you put yourself out there, and if you do and a few don’t reply, keep trying! Trust me, plenty of people are trying to make there way in the music world. And you as a blogger can help!

 

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Make sure to check out Heavy Vibe and keep up to date with their posts! Thank you again for the collab and thank you all for reading!

 

PS. Follow my socials

Twitter: @Natlindz

Instagram: @nat.lindz

Facebook: justmenatalie.com

 

 

Alright guys, this may come as a shock to some of you, but I saw Beartooth again this past weekend. I know, who would have guessed. Well, all sarcasm aside, it was definitely a tour that I reccomend pulling up to at some point because it was a thrill ride to say the least.

Dead American:

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These guys are something alright. They opened the show in a very energetic and gathering way, bringing people in and making sure that the crowd was up and moving. I think there were three different circle pits in the span of their 30 minute set! While I didn’t find myself loving them at first, they definitely grew on me through their set. Overall, I think that they have great energy and know how to play to a crowd. You may not find their sound something you enjoy but hopefully that doesn’t take away from their show for you. That is something you don’t want to miss. At the end of it all, I found myself really enjoying their music too, which is always nice to find. I went in not having heard them at all and now I have a new band on my playlist. You can never have too many new bands. Look them up!

Hands Like Houses:

Okay, these guys absolutely crushed it. Everything about their set was incredible. I had seen them from afar at Warped Tour in 2017 and their sound never got out of my head all while I could never…for the life of me…remember who they were. Much to my surprise when I looked them up prior to this tour, I was met with a voice I could attach to the name. Their set encompassed their many albums really well, and I had one of the best experiences in their crowd. Vocally, these guys knock it out of the park and down the next two blocks. Smooth vocals and some nice full guitar tracks make for a band that you really don’t want to sleep on. I will do an artist highlight on them in the near future but for now, all I can tell you is to look them up, that is truly all it will take for you to fall in love with them and that I can guarantee.

Beartooth:

I have discussed Beartooth many times on this blog, so saying that I find them to be one of my favorite bands is something we all know by now. This set in particular was probably one of the most enjoyable for me, out of all the sets I have seen and out of all of theirs that I had seen. There was a energy put off by the band that was equally reciprocated by the crowd, this particularly surged during the drum solo (Thank You Connor Dennis). With the set full of some of the best songs to play to a crowd, meaning Body Bag and Enemy, they had me banging my head from beginning to end. With the exception of Afterall which made me tear up a bit, not going to lie. Caleb Shomo is definitively in my top five when it comes to frontmen. He proves that getting up on stage and simply singing can be just as powerful as jumping around and getting on the barricade and stuff like that. Their Meet and Greet was also incredibly relaxed and organized, you had time to actually talk to the band members and didn’t feel rushed AT ALL which is always a lovely time. I also want to point out that each time I have met them, I have never initiated the conversation? You walk up to these guys and one of them is always greeting you or asking you how you’re doing before you can get a word out. I wear Kamron Bradbury’s pick in my necklace everyday, and have since 2017. I walk up to the band and the first thing that happens is Caleb points out my necklace, I haven’t even said hello yet. They genuinely love meeting their fans and take the time to listen and talk to them, which is massively appreciated.

 

P.S: Of Mice and Men were supposed to be on the lineup for this show as well, but had a medical emergency and had to delay their start on the tour. I hope to see them in the future and will hopefully get to chat with them as well!