SPOILERS AHEAD

Alright, I don’t even know how to truly start this post.

When I first heard of Malignant I was sort of intrigued. I stress sort of because I don’t think I ever saw a full trailer? I only ever saw clips on Facebook or Twitter that were about 10 seconds long and went right into the title slide of the movie. I am assuming this was an attempt to lure people in, but for me it did almost the exact opposite. I honestly forgot that it was even a thing until I saw it on the front of my HBO. That was when I thought, “eh…I’ll give it a shot”.

Let’s start with the not so great parts of this movie. Horror movies are usually made with a goal of confusing the audience into fear. Malignant did a great job…on the first part of that. There was so much going on in so many different places during the first 40 minutes of the movie, that the audience never got any real answers to anything. However, nothing majorly scary had even happened yet. I say nothing scary had happened at this point because the only glimpses that we had seen of the murderer/creature/monster were things we had seen a million times before. There was nothing unique or new about anything we were exposed to in the beginning of the film.

This leads to my next issue with the movie which was the pacing. There was so much crammed into the first third of the film, that it all very quickly became muddled and convoluted. We didn’t even know what we were seeing, how could we be scared of it? Honestly I was left so confused that I didn’t even start to enjoy any of the events going on until the last 20 minutes or so.

I’ll end with the positives. This movie took a very unique approach to the doppelganger trope. Eventually the film made a full circle back to the beginning of the confusion and set some things straight, which was done really well and made the movie come to a complete and satisfying close. I was intrigued by the approach taken here as it was something I hadn’t seen before, at least not in a physical form. There were also some great moments of cinematography in the film, such as the lighting in the opening scene, the use of found footage in the film, and the birds-eye view tracking shot through the house.

Overall, this wasn’t really a knock out of the park for me. The pro’s don’t really outweigh the cons. The uniqueness that comes from the few positives that I did find are what makes me give it a 4/10. If things like Criminal Minds or X-Files are your thing, you might enjoy this a bit more. My love of those shows is what had me so interested in the good parts of the film. I have nothing but respect for James Wan, as he’s directed some of the most iconic horror films. Many of those are some of my favorites. However, Malignant just isn’t one of those.

Let me know your thoughts about Malignant on twitter (@justmenat_)

Stay entertained…

My hiatus is officially over! School is out, my jobs are started, I am still anxious but I am back nonetheless!

So I have taken to filling up my spare time with analyzing some of my favorite characters from shows and movies and creating soundtracks for them…because why not? I plan to keep doing this so if this one goes over well, I’ll post about the other ones that I do. So the first one I decided to make follows our favorite priorly brainwashed super soldier, Bucky Barnes. Let’s dive in.

So to start, you can find the playlist at this link

here.

This article is just to give some context to some of the songs I chose and certain scenes or aspects that connects Bucky to these songs.

Not having control of his mind:

A key concept of Bucky as a character is the time he spent under Hydras control. Even as he breaks free of the brainwashing, it haunts him. There were gaps in his captivity that allowed him to understand what was going on, making that 10x harder not only for him, but for audiences and comic book readers. The songs that speak to this are:

  1. Voices – Motionless In White
  2. Where Is My Mind – The Pixies
  3. The Wolf – SIAMES
  4. DEVIL – Shinedown

Regret:

So, after Bucky completely rids himself of the effect those dreaded words have over him, he is still left with the damage he caused. We see this through the Captain America and The Winter Soldier series (yes. im calling it that. nobody can stop me.) in which he tries to “make amends” with those he may have wronged or hurt. Obviously he puts more effort into some of these amends than others. The songs that speak to the regret he feels are:

  1. Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
  2. I’ll Be Good – Jaymes Young
  3. Sick of Me – Beartooth
  4. These Days R Mine – Johnny Goth
  5. Wired – Hands Like Houses
  6. Millennia – Crown The Empire
  7. Hurricane – I Prevail
  8. The Ocean – Tonight Alive
  9. Bleach – Hurtwave
  10. Perfect – Simple Plan
  11. Nightmare – Set It Off

Redemption:

Speaking of Bucky’s amends. Bucky starts his redemption arc during Captain America: Civil War when he is finally forced to confront Tony after years of living with the fact that well…Howard Stark was his doing. This is where we come to understand that those gaps in Bucky’s brainwashing not only allowed him to understand what he was being forced on him, but remember all the things that he did. As we follow him through the events of Infinity War, Endgame, and CATWS (series) we are truly shown the growth and acceptance Bucky has with this part of his life. The songs that fit this are:

  1. The Fire – Tonight Alive
  2. What I’ve Done – Linkin Park
  3. Flowers on the Grave – The Maine
  4. Healing Now – Sick Puppies
  5. Still Breathing – Green Day
  6. (Un)Lost – The Maine

Strength and Growth:

Finally, we grow to understand that Bucky has not only accepted his past, but is learning from it. He is taking what he has overcome and using it to push himself. We see the dynamic he forms with Sam Wilson and how he almost accepts himself as being a new and improved Bucky Barnes. The Winter Soldier will always be a part of Bucky, but that is no longer who he is. These songs are:

  1. Aftermath – Crown The Empire
  2. Throne – Bring Me The Horizon
  3. Don’t Back Down – Mammoth WVH
  4. The Other – Tonight Alive
  5. Unstoppable – Motionless In White
  6. Higher – The Score
  7. All My Life – Foo Fighters
  8. Glitter & Gold – Barns Courtney

What are some songs that remind you of Bucky? What character should I do next? Did you like the playlist? Let me know on twitter ( linked here 🙂 )!

Until next time,

Stay entertained…

So I had this idea a couple months ago to do this sort of series of underrated songs by different bands. I go into my Spotify and shuffle and the artist that comes up first is the artist that I highlight songs from. It looks like we’re starting with All Time Low!

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DISCLAIMER: My choices for these are NOT based on Spotify rankings, they are the songs that I fell in love with that do not get as much recognition from the band’s fanbase.

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5. “Take Cover” from Straight To DVD II

  • Favorite lyric/phrase: “Nobody’s gonna believe / When you say you’re turning the page / ‘Cause you never put up a real fight / So shut up and make it right”
    • Honestly, the intro and the faded distortion of the vocals in the phrases are super unique and pull you into the song instantly. I also think this might be one of Alex’s best songs vocally. It’s pretty simple but highlights his smoother vocals along with his raspy vocals in a very collective way.

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4. “Chemistry” from Last Young Renegade (B-side track)

  • Favorite lyric/phrase: I believe in the way you call to me / like a dance-hall choir / singing out in broken revelry
    • Alright but this song is so cute? I think it may be one of my favorite love songs in existence and that says something because I am a real sucker for a love song (as much as I hate to admit it).

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3. “Come One, Come All” from So Wrong, It’s Right

  • Favorite lyric/phrase: “Don’t call the doctors, I don’t need no medication / I just need one more vacation and make it last”
    • I will stand by the fact that this song can easily be the definition of teen angst. Plus with it being one of the band’s earlier songs, it has the choppy guitar riffs in the beginning that every punk fan falls in love with.

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2. “Painting Flowers” released as a single and on the Alice In Wonderland soundtrack

  • Favorite lyric/phrase: “When I wake up / The dream isn’t done / I want to see your face and know I’ve made it home”
    • I have been head over heels for this song since I first heard it in 2016. “Painting Flowers” has never gotten enough attention and I will promote it until the day that I die. They made such an amazing and interesting song off of one little detail of Alice In Wonderland and I adore that.

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1. “Dancing With a Wolf” from Future Hearts

  • Favorite lyric/phrase: ” So don’t you call my name / I will take you down / Should’ve known that you’ve been dancing with a wolf / So don’t you call my name / I will take you down / I’m not your friend, you burned a bridge / I’ll chew you up and spit you out”
    • This song is one of the most intense ones that the band has both lyrically and musically. There are very few times that an All Time Low song makes you want to punch someone in the face, and this one does which is why I love it so much. It’s confident and sassy and so well executed. I love it.

 

Do you have some songs that you feel don’t get enough attention? Tweet me @Natlindz and let me hear your favorite underrated songs!

 

Until next time…

 

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…

 

While I may listen to mostly metal, Waterparks have a special place in my heart. I was able to take photos of them this time and while that was an experience in itself this was the biggest headline that I have seen them play and I absolutely loved everything about it. This post will be a bit heavier on the photos but if you want to see all the photos I took head to my Flickr which can be found on my home page menu!

First, the show opened with D’Wayne Jackson, who has toured with the band previously. I absolutely love the energy that D’Wayne gives the crowd and he truly puts his all into performing. He has a very bright future in performing. Plus, damn can this man DANCE!

Then Kitten took the stage and absolutely CRUSHED it. From the stage to the barricade, to securities shoulders and finally, to the rafters, Chloe Chaidez was an absolute firecracker. With energetic songs and even covers, they covered Sk8r Girl…come on…they win, Kitten knows how to party. I can easily say that Chloe is one of the best lead singers out there right now and I am so glad that I got introduced to them through their live show first.

Finally, we have Waterparks. They always put on a fun show and are some of the nicest guys around. They always know how to create a tour that is fun for everyone and interact with the crowd so much. This was also the first show that I saw them where they had a video wall and their production/packages for that were mesmerizing. For the band themselves, Awsten is definitely a character and I have never left a show without laughing at least 12 times. Plus the band’s chemistry is absolutely adorable and you can tell that they really are the best of friends, no matter what they say about each other in Q&A’s. They’re close with each other and with their fans, which makes for an experience and atmosphere that can only be found at their shows and should be experienced by everyone.

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More photos are up on my Flickr if you are interested in looking further!

 

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…

 

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.

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!

 

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Twitter: @Natlindz

Instagram: @nat.lindz

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