Live Show Reviews

Live Show Recap: Caleb Scofield Memorial Show

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This is not a review, rather this is a recap of this magical show. Back in March of this year, Cave In bassist Caleb Scofield was tragically killed in a car accident. Since his passing, his peers have come together to raise funds for his family as well as celebrate Caleb’s legacy. This past evening at The Wiltern, the second tribute show to celebrate Caleb happened and it was something special.

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Live Review: The Smashing Pumpkins at The Forum

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Over the years I’ve developed an interesting relationship with The Smashing Pumpkins. One one hand I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their albums and on the other, I’ve been less than impressed with their live shows, until now. The previous three times I’ve seen The Smashing Pumpkins, were not that great at all but, on this evening that I saw them, they put all those old thoughts and feelings to rest. The Shiny and Oh So Bright tour is more than a spectacle, it’s a right of passage and a sense of realization of a band that has always been at the forefront of alternative music.

 
As the lights dimmed and the curtain opened just a tad, out walks William Patrick Corgan (he no longer goes by Billy), armed with an acoustic guitar, he starts strumming the chords of “Disarm.” What a way to start the show. Then a quick pause to allow the other members of the band join on stage as they blast off with “Rocket.” Already after two songs, my mind is blown. I’ve been waiting years to hear these songs. As the show went on, more and more favorites of mine were played like “Siva,” “Rhinoceros.” “Drown,” “Thirty-Three,” “Soma,” “Eye,” “Hummer,” “Cherub Rock,” and “Muzzle.” Of course there were the quintessential staples that were played like “Zero,” “Tonight, Tonight,” “Today,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” and “1979.” One thing that made this night even more special was the inclusion of so many deep cuts like “Try, Try, Try,” “Mayonaise,” “Drown,” “For Martha,” and “Blew Away.” Even their new song “Solara” sounded superb. The production for this show was top notch as well. The videos playing behind the band were pretty trippy and drenched with different emotions to accompany the songs played. Even their cover of the Led Zeppelin classic “Stairway To Heaven” was outstanding.

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This night not only proved that The Smashing Pumpkins are back and better than ever but, it showed that real artistry is still alive. 30 years into their career, the Pumpkins, have shown that their songs stand the test of time and for the most part, their fan base is still intact, just waiting for the next great album from William and company. I will say that having Jimmy Chamberlain and James Iha back in the band really does make a difference. They have a distinct feel for how they play these songs and they really come to life with them on stage. Jeff Schroeder on guitar is a perfect addition to this group. Having been in the band since the Zeitgeist album, he too has a really great take on how to play these songs. Lastly, the addition of Jack Bates on bass was stellar. He brought a subtle yet dark eerie vibe to the low end that really complimented these songs well. Plus he’s the son of the legendary Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order so, it’s without a doubt that he understands the proper tone.

I came in not knowing what to expect, and left the show completely blown away. The 3 and a half hour set didn’t feel like it was that long. Every aspect of this show was spot on. William sounded great and better than ever. Personally I can’t wait to see them again. What a night and setlist to remember forever. Thank you to The Smashing Pumpkins for delivering one hell of a show and playing so many of my favorite songs.

 

The Smashing Pumpkins Set List:
01) Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness
02) Disarm
03) Rocket
04) Siva
05) Rhinocerous
06) Space Oddity (David Bowie Cover)
07) Drown
08) Zero
09) The Everlasting Gaze
10) Stand Inside Your Love
11) Thirty-Three
12) Eye
13) Soma
14) Blew Away
15) For Martha
16) To Shelia
17) Mayonaise
18) Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
19) Landslide (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
20) Tonight, Tonight
21) Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin Cover)
22) Cherub Rock
23) 1979
24) Ava Adore
25) Try, Try, Try
26) The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning
27) Hummer
28) Today
29) Bullet With Butterfly Wings
30) Muzzle

Encore:

31) Solara
32) Baby Mine (Betty Noyes Cover)

Live Review: Alice In Chains at The Palladium

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How do you put into words a feeling that comes over you when you see a band that is truly amazing? Not to mention still being speechless about what you saw. Last night at The Palladium in Hollywood, Alice In Chains came though town like a tornado and left the town in shambles after their magical performance. I’ve now had the pleasure of seeing this incarnation of the band seven times, and each time only gets better than the last. Alice In Chains are not only living legends but they are also the epitome of what a truly great rock band is all about.

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As the lights dimmed down and Sean, Mike, William and Jerry took the stage, you could already sense that this was going to be a night of epic proportions. Starting the night off with “Check My Brain” was a perfect choice to get things going. Then the quick follow up with “Again” just about set the audience off into a frenzy. Next up was the new single “Never Fade” from their most awesome new album Rainer Fog. This song was absolutely stellar live. It’s going to be one of those that will be in their live set for the rest of their career. All the classic songs like “Them Bones,” “Dam That River,” We Die Young,” “No Excuses,” and “It Ain’t Like That” were top notch. Certain ones though like “Down In A Hole” and “Nutshell” were seriously spine tingling. I still have chills just thinking about how amazing those songs sounded. William DuVall is a gem. He really brings the songs to life in his own way without tarnishing the legacy of Layne Staley. William absolutely inhabits the older songs with such precision it’s beautiful. Through the rest of the night songs like “Red Giant,” “So Far Under” from Rainer Fog were played along with “Man In The Box,” “Stone,” and “Hollow.” Their encore even was outstanding. Coming out with “The One You Know” and moving into “Got Me Wrong,” holy wow! Ending the evening was “Would” and “Rooster” which featured a special guest, Robby Krieger of The Doors. Just thinking of the moment when Jerry announced Robby was joining them on stage, is going to be one of those oh shit moments in my concert going history.

IMG_4625.JPGPlaying before Alice In Chains was The Pink Slips. This band is a really solid rock n roll band. Led by singer Grace McKagan’s (she’s also the daughter of Duff McKagan of GnR), sass and attitude along with killer pipes made her bands blend of punk, new wave, and rock the perfect band to play before Alice In Chains. This five piece really delievered a great performance. They are definitely one of those bands that when you see live, you “get it.” They’ve got all the makings of a great rock band for the future. The riffs, rhythms, and prowess all blended together to make something really cool. I personally look forward to seeing The Pink Slips again and to watch them continue to kick ass.

What a wonderful evening. I couldn’t have asked for better. Alice In Chains is a powerhouse. William DuVall was not only the right choice to carry on the legacy of the band but, he adds so much to the band. I swear, there are moments when he’s singing the classics, that Layne’s spirit is inside of William. Especially during “Nutshell” and “Down In A Hole.” Holy shit… I can’t explain how amazing William sounds on those songs. Alice In Chains’ legacy is intact for generations to come. Their albums with Layne will always be classics and the new albums with William stand out on their own. I urge you to go see Alice In Chains. Not only will you have a brilliant time but, if you are a doubter about this new incarnation, your mind will not only be changed but, you’ll be blown away.

Alice In Chains Set List:

01) Check My Brain
02) Again
03) Never Fade
04) Them Bones
05) Dam That River
06) Hollow
07) Down In A Hole
08) No Excuses
09) Stone
10) We Die Young
11) Red Giant
12) Nutshell
13) It Ain’t Like That
14) So Far Under
15) Man In The Box

Encore:

16) The One You Know
17) Got Me Wrong
18) Would?
19) Rooster (with Robby Krieger of The Doors)

Songs From Albums:

Facelift= 2
SAP= 1
Dirt= 5
Jar Of Flies= 2
Alice In Chains= 1
Black Gives Way To Blue= 1
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here= 2
Rainer Fog= 4

Review By: Brian Lacy

Photos By: Alisa Lacy

Live Review: One Side Zero at The Viper Room

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After eight years away from the stage, is it possible to capture the magic you once had? Well in the case of One Side Zero, the answer is emphatically, yes.  This past Saturday night at the Viper Room, the newly reformed One Side Zero took the stage for their first show in eight years and it seemed as though they never left. Armed with two new members, One Side Zero is right back where they belong.

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As the curtain opened, the crowd erupted into a frenzy that was reminiscent of many years back. Opening their set with the classic (and my personal favorite) “Tapwater” from their unsung masterpiece of an album Is This Room Getting Smaller, was a perfect way to start things off. Throughout their set which consisted of songs like “Instead Laugh,” “Holding Cell,” “A Point In Time,” “Awake” “Eight” the crowd was united, singing along with singer/guitarist Jasan Radford. As they played through more and more songs like “Never Ending,” “New World Order,” “Shed The Skin,” and fan favorite “Summertime,” it became very apparent that the guys on stage were enjoying this and feeling the energy emitting from the crowd back to them. Guitarist Levon Sultanian, got to show off his lead guitar skills aplenty, as the band included extended jams and interludes between songs. New members Marcello Dias (bass) and Michael Tarabotto (drums) seem like they have been in the band for years. At the end of their set, a new song entitled “Eleven” was played and it was the perfect way to end the evening. The song itself shows the musical maturity of the band and is a great precursor as to what’s to come in terms of new music.

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One of the other things that made this evening spectacular was that the mighty With Our Arms To The Sun were on the bill as well. They were the perfect band to play before OneSideZero. With Our Arms are the type of band that will light up a room with not just their music but their passion in how they perform. Their set included songs from both of their critically acclaimed alums A Far Away Wonder and Orenda. One song in particular that I’ve really dug since I first heard it, “Regret: Sailing Stones” was blistering live. The vocal brilliance of singer/guitarist Josh Breckinridge on that song is beyond powerful and the accompaniment of guitarist Joseph Leary and bassist Joe Breckinridge really drives that song right into the audience’s ears. I’ve said this many times before but, I feel I need to say it again, With Our Arms To The Sun are one of those bands that when they are playing in your area, they are a must see.

What a great night not just for OneSideZero and With Our Arms To The Sun. Being at this show made it feel like old times. The venue was vibrant and the Sunset Strip was full of people like how it used to be. The night felt alive and full of life. There was something else I noticed throughout the night and that is the fanbase that came out to support OneSideZero. They are dedicated to the music and art of it all, and each and everyone in attendance this evening was drawn into the songs and the thrill of it. So here’s to many more great shows and the long awaited third album from OneSideZero.

 

Review by: Brian Lacy

Photos by: Alisa Lacy

Live Review: Neurosis, Converge and Amenra at The Fonda

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There are certain bands that when they come through town you have to go see live. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen them or if it’s your first time, it’s imperative that you be there. Especially when you have a tour line up as special as Neurosis, Converge and Amenra. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Neurosis and Converge many times before, and now I finally got the chance to see Amen Ra. Tour packages like this are not only astonishing but they leave those in attendance in a state of awe and some inspired to create. There is a reason why all three of these bands have reached the “legendary” status. Their live shows, songs/albums, and general approach to their fans makes it all worth while.
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Live Review: Nine Inch Nails at The Joint

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There are certain bands that I will always go see no matter how many times I’ve seen them live. Nine Inch Nails is atop that list and I’ve now seen them 17 times. Each time has been it’s own experience which makes all the shows that much more unique. This past weekend I had the pleasure to see my favorite band at The Joint in Las Vegas and it was just as epic as you would think it was. Trent and company would be performing on 3 different dates and I was lucky enough to be at 2 of the 3. I have to say I’m pretty sure I was at the best shows of the weekend.

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Live Review: The Atlas Moth at The Resident

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Through all the many years I’ve been going to concerts and the countless number of bands I’ve seen, it all comes down to one thing, you either have “IT” or not. Last night at The Resident, one of my new favorite places to see a show, I got to witness the greatness that is The Atlas Moth. Since the release of their new album Coma Noir in early 2018, I’ve been waiting to see them live. It is worth noting that Coma Noir is my album of the year so far.

The Atlas Moth live is tremendous. The fury and volume each member emits while on stage is astounding. Their sound which is a mix of psychedelia, sludge metal and bits of black metal comes across live in a way that is almost hypnotic. On top of the musical trance they put you in, their visual elements with lights and lasers really helps to take you to another dimension. Their set while only 40ish minutes was enough to leave me in awe. Songs like “Galactic Brain,” “Actual Human Blood,” “Smiling Knife,” “The Streets Of Bombay” and “Coma Noir” were absolutely stellar live. The whole set was, not just those songs. Needless to say The Atlas Moth have fast become a new favorite of mine.

The Atlas Moth are one of those bands that when you first hear them your interest will definitely be peaked. Then when you see them live, it all makes sense and you are left with a sense of astonishment and desire to go home and play. At least for me, seeing The Atlas Moth made me want to go home, pick up my guitar and start jamming. I also had the chance to talk to Stavros, the singer/guitarist before the show and he couldn’t have been a more down to earth genuine dude. Thanks for the chat.

Do yourself a favor and listen to Coma Noir by The Atlas Moth. Let the music overtake you and put you in that “trance.”

 

The Atlas Moth- Coma Noir:

 

The Atlas Moth- Live At The Resident: