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…

Playlist Link Here

Hello again everyone! Welcome back to another written episode of “Songs That Remind Me Of…” which is a series that nobody asked for but that I started anyways. So here’s another companion article to a playlist I made. This week, we’re putting some noise to everyones (my) favorite awkward supe-exploding, Billy Joel fan, Hughie Campbell.

If you haven’t watched The Boys on Amazon, I highly recommend checking it out. I fell head over heels for all the protagonists in the show instantly and the amount of angsty attitude this show contains makes me a little too giddy at points. Not only is it intense, but super well written and acted by all parts. Seriously…check it out.

As for Hughie, played by one of my favorite actors Jack Quaid, we see a lot of different tropes and ideas. However there are some big character points that create a pretty nice soundtrack if I do say so myself, so let’s check those out.

Hesitant, and almost shy

From the moment we meet Hughie, we are met with a sense of social awkwardness. We see his incredibly brief interaction with his boss, where he instantly drops the topic when he feels dismissed. *SPOILERS* Next when we see Hughie with Robin…in that brief interaction as well…because…well… A-Train…anyway. We see him interact with Robin in another awkward way but this was is endearing and cute. We immediately love Hughie and so after the run-through we’re almost as heartbroken as he is. Through Hughie’s anxiety, awkwardness, and innocence, we are met with a character that we not only adore but might even see ourselves in. Hughie quickly became one of my comfort characters for this exact reason. Songs for this are as follows:

  1. In Over My Head by Grandson
  2. 98 Degrees by Arrested Youth
  3. Tickle Me Pink by Johnny Flynn
  4. I’m Just a Kid by Simple Plan
  5. Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus
  6. everything sucks by vaultboy (we see his transition to our next character attribute through this song)

Emotionally traumatized

So, after the events of A-Train and Robin, Hughie’s world is completely shattered. First, he lost a girl he loved very deeply and probably even planned a future with. That’s then followed by the fact that he was completely unaware of what “The Seven” were actually like. He believed in what they stood for, what they were portrayed to be. That was quickly ripped out from under him, causing even more heartbreak and confusion. This leads him to Butcher and The Boys, allowing for Hughie to get a more developed and almost harsh outlook on life, while still keeping a bit of the innocence (and a lot of the anxiety) that we saw from him first. Songs are:

  1. Come A Little Closer by Cage The Elephant
  2. Honesty by Billy Joel (I had to make sure we had Billy Joel)
  3. Capital M-E by Taking Back Sunday
  4. Real World by The All American Rejects

Growth

Hughie quickly realizes that he is going to have to become okay with doing things he never ever expected to do. He is met with tough ethical choices and has absolutely no help from Butcher on those. Oh Butcher…we love him dearly…most of the time. Anyway! Hughie begins to not only understand that his comfort zone no longer exists, but begins acting on that sporadically through the two seasons of the show. The songs that lend to this are:

  1. The Setting Sun by Broadside
  2. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons (could have fit in the previous category, but I liked it better here.)
  3. New Generation by New Politics
  4. Apply Some Pressure by Maximo Park
  5. Burning Pile by Mother Mother (song that relates to the moment he knew he had to make some changes)

Anger/Intensity

By the end of season two of The Boys we have seen Hughie take on almost an entirely new persona. He has not only unalived a supe (a member of the seven nonetheless) but he’s manipulated Starlight/Annie into being their informant. However, we can’t hate him for it because he opens her eyes to the absolute shit-storm that is Vought. Through season two we see him sneaking around to talk with Annie and grows into his own enough to stand up to Butcher when he comes back on a whim. He is even able to keep secrets from the group he was hesitant to be a part of. Songs for this part of Hughie’s character are:

  1. All The Way Down by French Style Furs
  2. No One Knows by Queens Of The Stone Age
  3. One Engine by The Decemberists
  4. Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand
  5. Where Will We Go by IAMDYNAMITE

What are your thoughts? How well did I do? Let me know on twitter and make sure to share this article and playlist with anyone who watches The Boys! You better watch it too if you haven’t…both seasons are available right now on Amazon…do it.

Stay entertained…

For years I have considered myself an avid fan of horror. I remember the first time I watched Ghost Ship (yeah and I liked it…so what?) and from then on I was hooked. So needless to say I fell in love with The Conjuring series and did a little digging into Ed and Lorraine Warrens backstory, only pushing my interest in the scary shit further along.

However…this one was a different story.

What drew me into the encounters that Ed and Lorraine had and the films about them, was their ability to make me believe things that I haven’t always believed in. Up until this movie, they continued to achieve that (Not including the most recent Annabelle movie, but I don’t even acknowledge that one in general).

Arne Johnson played by Ruairi O’Connor in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

The story of Arne Johnson starts in the early 1980’s with the possession of David Glatzel. David was 11 years old at the time of his possession and with the help of Ed and Lorraine, the demon left Davids body and took over Arne. Later Arne then…well…unalived his landlord after a heated argument. His legal defense was that he was possessed by that demon which made him commit the crime. This then became the first legal case to use this defense.

Now, take all of that as you will. I personally am not a religious person, but there are some things that just hit a little different than others. The first two Conjuring movies made me deeply question what I did or didn’t believe. I had high hopes for The Devil Made Me Do It and those hopes were nowhere near met. On the surface, this encounter seems to be the most believable and logical out of all the rest. Yet the movie made me believe it the least out of all the films prior. This one seemed the most produced and exaggerated, which just did it a disservice. I pursed my lips and rolled my eyes more times than I could count and the ending was incredibly boring, overdone, and anti-climactic for the little bit of suspense that had been built up to that point.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

I’ll end on a positive note however. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga have always done a great job of not only connecting to their characters but connecting their characters to the audience. This movie focused heavily on their resilience as a couple and how each encounter brought something new out of them. There were also some really interesting shots in the movie, such as the one from the morgue.

Overall, this movie was a pretty big dud for me. I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t behind the story, and the positive moments weren’t enough for me to look past anything negative. I give it a 3/10.

What are your thoughts on the movie? Love it? Hate it? Let me know on twitter !

Stay entertained…

When I was much younger than I am now, my father was absolutely obsessed with Godzilla. I remember almost all of the movies and can picture each version of the monster in my head with total clarity. Even the ones I don’t want to remember…such as the Godzilla that was in the Matthew Broderick movie from 2000. I don’t think any of us want to remember that one. But nonetheless, I am a huge Godzilla fan to this day. I also am a huge fan of Kong: Skull Island. So when Godzilla vs. Kong got announced, I was over the moon.

Hottle as Jia

First of all, if anyone was expecting this movie to be some artsy outing with an amazing cast and script, you’re in the wrong place and you won’t get it from this movie. Obviously we have our familiar characters from Godzilla: King of Monsters Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler as well as a familiar face to us, Alexander Skarsgard. However, this movie does exactly what it is meant to do and keeps your focus on the monsters, while using the cast to attach you to them. Specifically with the character of Jia, played by Kaylee Hottle, and her lone relationship and understanding with Kong.

Tokyo scene from Godzilla vs. Kong highlighting color and editing.

For the film itself, it is an amazing experience for fans of Kaiju films and fans of action films while also bringing enough cinematic intensity to appeal to general movie and film fans. This movie is visually stunning. The detail in both Godzilla and Kong is immense and intricate, the editing on the film is beautiful and full of depth and saturation, and there are so many beautiful scenes that I could sit and watch over and over again.

The plot of the movie is easy to follow and easily keeps your attention, the constant question of who will come out on top. The rise and fall of characters who are already stated to be only feared due to their magnitude, as we know from their origin stories that they don’t attack unless provoked. We see a child connect to one of these “monsters” and we begin to humanize them only for them to seemingly fail. Really this is a long winded way of me saying I totally cried during the ending of this movie and I have no shame in that being completely fair.

Hollow Earth scenes, detail is impeccable and this comes from one of my favorite scenes in the whole film.

Godzilla vs. Kong is a Kaiju rampage through and through (even some Pacific Rim concepts came into play) and is more than satisfying for fans of the genre. Through the other elements that it not only brings but excels at, I believe it will appeal to a much broader audience as well. Godzilla vs. Kong is now playing in theaters (wear your mask if you choose this option) and streaming on HBO Max until April 30.

Stay entertained.

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Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in Wandavision “Now In Color”

When Marvel first announced their series ideas pre-covid, I will admit that this series was the one I expected the least from. Now that this was the first show we were able to witness I cannot say if that is still the case or not. Wandavision is a very important piece to the ever evolving MCU puzzle, but that doesn’t mean it is without its flaws. Most of which are simply a matter of opinion.

The Good:

I think the most important episode of the series would be episode eight “Previously On”. This not only introduces Wanda Maximoff as “Scarlet Witch” but gives a full insight to her previous life changes and events that lead her to this point. Including more hints at future X-Men involvement due to a theory that I will link right here. We have a very thorough introduction to Wandas new “alias” or “funny nickname” as Hayward would put it…still don’t like him and I just KNOW he’s going to be back in some way. We see her shift fully into the persona in the final after credits scene of the finale giving us our first full idea of how we will see her in Dr. Strange Multiverse of Madness.

The not so good:

Evan Peters, who plays Peter Maximoff in the X-Men universe, playing Pietro Maximoff in the MCU…for now.

I feel that the reason I find these things to be let downs or missed opportunities is truly my own fault. I fell victim to the rabbit hole theories, ESPECIALLY Paul Bettany’s little cameo joke. We were told that this series would lead us directly to Dr.Strange Multiverse of Madness (as we are already aware of Wanda Maximoff’s role in the film) and even some rumors to Spider-Man No Way Home hints. Those did not come to fruition. I was very firmly convinced we would see Patrick Stewart calling out to Peter Maximoff after he was pulled from the X-Men universe into Westview by Agatha, who was in fact behind everything all along. My hope for X-Men integration with the MCU is not completely extinguished however…I just can’t personally let go of that yet.

Wandavision Poster

So overall, I enjoyed Wandavision in some aspects and was sort of let down by it in others. I appreciate Marvel letting me not see Vision brutally murdered again when I am still trying to cope with the events of Endgame. I think the introduction of “Scarlet Witch” was done incredibly well and created a very exciting character arc for her. I wish we had a little bit more set up for future projects and I most certainly wish we had a more concrete X-Men introduction…but we have a lot more shows and movies to get through.

All episodes of Wandavision are available now to stream on Disney+ and make sure to mark your calendars for Falcon and The Winter Soldier which begins streaming March 19.

Stay entertained…

Image links:

Poster

Wanda and Pietro

Wanda and Vision

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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…

 

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…

 

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…

 

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