Concert Review

Live Review: Onesidezero, Minus Knives, Antenna The End, Satellite Citi & Heavy Machinery at The Viper Room

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Saturday night was one of “those” nights, where it was just meant to be. The perfect venue, a solid bill from beginning to end and an audience that was full of energy and packed the house. Since their return, Onesidezero has been back with a vengeance. The few shows they’ve played have all been something to remember but, this one, this is the one that had it all and really cemented their return.

Opening the night and setting the tone was the great Minus Knives. I’ve been really impressed with this band. They’ve got the right amount of heavy and melody to compliment their sound. Playing songs like “Cope,” “Shallow & Grave,” “Seconds Past,” and “Splntr,” it was evident that the guys in Minus Knives came out with purpose to rock the house and destroy. Singer Brandon Espinoza, was in control of the audience and delivered a vocal performance that was seething with passion and determination. Bassist Kevin Lewis held down the low end with extreme precision and a sense of reckless abandon that was invigorating. Guitarist Bill Schultz got to show off his guitar chops and nailed it each and every song. Drummer Greg Wroblewski was in the pocket the whole show and his thunderous drums along with Kevin’s low end, created one hell of a pulse inside The Viper Room. I highly recommend you checking them out live and via however you listen to music these days. Minus Knives were the perfect band to get things going this evening.

Next up was Heavy Machinery. These guys continued to bring the energy that Minus Knives did. They brought a different flair to the night injecting a bit of funk into their music along with some cool prog influence to compliment their sound. You could tell by watching them, that they are super into their music and believe in it too.

After them was Satellite Citi. This band brought a really cool vibe to the night. Their spacey prog rock sound was perfect for the evening and time slot. Led by drummer/vocalist Anna Gevorkian  and guitarist/vocalist Shaunt Sulahian, they delivered a rocking set that kept the crowd engaged and dancing.

Antenna The End was on right before Onesidezero and they too delivered a set that was full of energy and rock. As Satellite Citi did, they had the crowd dancing a bit. During their set my friend and I were trying to figure out who they reminded us of and we came to the conclusion that if you mixed System Of A Down and Coheed and Cambria, you’d get Antenna The End.

The main event of the evening though was Onesidezero. As soon as the stage curtains opened, the roaring crowds attention was drawn straight to the stage and then it hit. Opening their set with a brand new song called “Preacher” everyone in attendance was immediately enthralled by the song. It’s one of those songs that when it hits, you know it’s Onesidezero. Throughout their set when the classic songs like “Tapwater,” “Shed The Skin,” “Instead Laugh,” “Holding Cell,” and “Eight” were played,  the audience was singing louder than the band. A couple other new songs were played as well. I have to say, when their new album comes out in the new year, these new songs are going to become instant fan favorites as well as be a very welcome sound to those that are missing great rock music with substance. Another highlight of the night was the inclusion of some really cool older songs that were never released but the audience knew like “U4IA,” Brocwurst” and “Chasing The Sun.” The latter of which will be included on the re-release of the bands self titled album (that never got the due it deserved). Closing out the night with the song “New World Order” was perfect. The lyrics to that song resonate ever so much to today’s climate and the crowd’s energy was so overwhelming that the microphone was passed into the audience to sing it. The band itself was absolutely on fire too. Singer/guitarist Jasan Radford was a monster this evening. His vocal delivery was top notch and the spirited audience only fueled his performance more and more as the set went on. So much so that during “Eight” the crowd was basically calling for him to jump off the stage and really get in the nitty gritty with the crowd. Guitarist Levon Sultanian is an absolute beast on guitar. He was playing with so much gusto that I swear I saw smoke coming off his fingers. Bassist Cello Dias really brought a roaring sound to the low end and kept that rhythm rocking throughout the night. I’d also like to mention that the backing vocals of both Levon and Cello were superb and are often overlooked. Drummer Michael Tarabotto really hammered his drums with rigor and brought it all together.

What a great evening all around. Every band on the bill brought something different and it all worked. I do have to say though that besides Onesidezero, Minus Knives were my other favorite band of the night. Nights and shows like this need to happen more in the area. This show was very reminiscent of what the Sunset strip used to be like. It felt alive through the entire night and that is something that the area is in need of. I’ve mentioned this before but, it’s true, having a band like Onesidezero back is very welcoming and actually refreshing. Knowing that they still believe in what they do, just shows that the power of music and especially rock music is alive and well.
Review By: Brian Lacy

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Live Review: Mark Morton, Light The Torch & Moon Tooth at The Roxy

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On a clear Monday night in Los Angeles, at the legendary Roxy on Sunset, three bands, each with their own style, left an imprint on this fabled street and venue. Those in attendance (and there were quite a few, especially on a Monday), were witness to one hell of an energetic evening of heavy music. Led by headliner Mark Morton along with Light The Torch and up and comers Moon Tooth, there was no stopping the train of heavy from decimating the Roxy.

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Opening up the evening was Moon Tooth. Ever since I heard of them a few months back, I’ve been highly intrigued by them. Their blend of heavy and psychedelia mixed with bits of prog and jazz makes them one of the most exciting new bands to come along in a while. Their second album Crux (which comes out Friday March 29), is one hell of a record and it most definitely will be at top ten album of the year. Every minute of their set was absolutely on fire. As they ripped through new songs like “Trust,” “Omega Days,” and “Awe At All Angles,” there was no question that these four gents are primed for something great. Each member from Nick Lee (Guitar/Vocals), John Carbone (Vocals), Ray Marte (Drums/Vocals), and Vin Romanelli (Bass), really gave it everything for each song. Personally I was kind of bummed their set ended. I really wanted more. Moon Tooth really got the crowd going and delivered a performance that when they are headlining their own shows, will be talked about for some time.

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The middle slot of the night belonged to Light The Torch (formerly Devil You Know) and they brought the thunder with them. As the lights dimmed down, the frenzied crowd lost their shit when singer Howard Jones took the stage. For the next hour, Light The Torch, riding high off their new album, Revival, Howard Jones along with Francisco Artusato (Guitar), Ryan Wombacher (Bass/Vocals) and Mike Sciulara (Drums) delivered a set that was inspiring and crushing. Playing songs like “Die Alone,” “Calm Before The Storm,” “The Bitter End,” “The God I Deserve,” and “The Safety Of Disbelief,” there was no doubt on anyone’s mind that Light The Torch are here to stay. One of the best parts of their performance was the interaction between Howard and the crowd. It’s clear that Howard is a favorite among many people. His time in Killswitch Engage was something special and getting Howard back doing what he is meant to do is just great. Light The Torch are primed for a take over and rightfully so.

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The main event of the evening belonged to Mark Morton of Lamb Of God. His debut solo album, Anesthetic, is a departure from what most fans of Lamb Of God are used to. This evening though showcased what a talented songwriter Mark is as well as solidifying his status as a modern day guitar hero. For this tour Mark recruited drummer Art Cruz (Prong, Winds Of Plague and Chris Adler’s fill in for Lamb Of God), guitarist Doc Coyle (God Forbid, Bad Wolves) and Sons Of Texas members Mark Morales on vocals (who also sang the song “Blur” on the record) and Nick Villarreal on bass. This lineup along with Mark on lead guitar stormed through their set with vigor and passion. The songs on the album feature a diverse style of songs ranging from super heavy like “The Truth Is Dead” and “The Never” to more rock styles like “Cross Off,” “Sworn Apart,” “Save Defiance,” “Blur,” and “Imaginary Days.” The best songs though are the total curve balls like “Axis” and “Reveal” which truly show how good Mark Morton really is. The performances of these songs were right on target. Mark Morales did a stellar job handling the vocal duties for all these songs. The tandem guitars of Morton and Coyle were spot on and the pounding and thunderous rhythm of Cruz and Villarreal was right in the pocket. They even had a couple special guests joining them on stage. Naeemah Maddox was brought up to sing her song “Reveal” as well as staying on stage to perform “The Truth Is Dead” with Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, Soulfly, Abloom, etc) pounding the drums.

 
What a great night for every band on the bill. Each band was different and brought an energy that carried on to the next. It’s shows and tours like this that get people excited and want to go see live music. Not only was that a great show but, it was a great way to start the week. I know I’ll be replaying the show in my head for sometime, especially Moon Tooth. I can’t wait for them to come through town again. And a special shout out to Heavy Grass for making it happen for me to attend this great show!

 

Review and Shots By: Brian Lacy

(I was too into the show to take many pictures).

Live Review: Daughters, Cult Leader & Hide at The Regent Theater

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Awestruck is a word that comes to mind when describing what I witnessed the other night after seeing Daughters live. The plethora of adjectives to describe the sheer amount of awe is astounding. From the start of the show with Hide, to Cult Leader and then Daughters, there was magic in the room this evening, thats for sure. Every band on the bill brought something interesting and explosive to this evening. I’m still trying to piece together the right words to explain this amazing show.

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Hide was the first group to take the stage. The industrial goth group really knew how to set a tone for what was to come. Their short set was one of those that got you up and paying attention. The beats ruminating from the stage and the performance from singer Heather Gabel was quite stunning as she thrashed around to the music. The dramatic lights and strobes made the beats pulsate from the ground up. They definintely had the crowd building into a frenzy as they played.

 

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Next up was the mighty Cult Leader. I’ve now had the pleasure of seeing them four times now and they have fast become one of my favorite bands to see live. Also I’d like to mention that this is the second time I’ve seen them at the Regent and there is something about this stage and the band that are meant to be. Riding high off their most recent album, A Patient Man, Cult Leader tore the audience up with their blend of heaviness and poetry in motion. There is something about this band that is truly hypnotic. Every time I see them I get more and more into it as the set goes on. The use of just a red light as they play along with the driving force of the music and vocals is the perfect encompassing of controlled chaos. Their set included songs “I Am Healed,” “Great I Am,” and “Sorrow” as well as epic numbers like “To Achyls” and “The Broken Right Hand Of God.” It was a perfect set list for anyone that’s a fan of the band or if this was your introduction. I also have to note that even this performance was the best I’ve seen of theirs. I was at a show of theirs a couple months back that I thought was the best but, this one just blew me away even more. What a way to set the stage for what was to come next.

 

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Daughters took the stage to a roaring ovation and then unleashed a fury that I have been wanting to see for years. I have been a fan of the band for some time but, never got to see them live until now and it was worth waiting for and in no way did they disappoint. Their set contained a slew of songs from their new album (and first in 8 years) You Won’t Get What You Want, as well as others from Hell Songs, and their self titled album. Watching them on stage you wouldn’t ever think that they haven’t been a band for the past 8 years. Seeing them tear through songs like “The Reason They Hate Me,” “Satan In The Wait” “Our Queen (One Is Many, We Are One),” “Long Road No Turns,” “Less Sex,” “The Hit,” “Recorded Inside A Pyramid,” and “Ocean Song” was beyond words. The crowd was engaged from the very first note. While surveying the audience there wasn’t a still body in my line of sight. Getting to be right in the middle of the chaos and experiencing danger being restored in rock music was a joy to be around. Daughters are more than just a “heavy” band, they are artistic and poetic, thus providing a package of true substance. Having them back is a real treat. I truly hope they continue on and keep delivering inspired music and words.

 

Daughters Set List:

01) The Reason They Hate Me
02) The Lords Song
03) Satan In The Wait
04) The Dead Singer
05) Recorded Inside A Pyramid
06) Our Queens (One Is Many, Many Are One)
07) Long Road, No Turns
08) Daughters Spelled Wrong
09) Less Sex
10) The Hit
11) The Virgin
12) Guest House
13) Daughter
14) Ocean Song

Cult Leader Set List:
01) I Am Healed
02) Curse Of Satisfaction
03) Isolation In The Land Of Milk & Honey
04) To Achlys
05) Great I Am
06) Sympathetic
07) The Broken Right Hand Of God

More Cult Leader Shots:

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More Daughters Shots:
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Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy
(Side Note: I didn’t take many pictures because I was too into the show.)

Live Review: Minus Knives at The Viper Room

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Over the last couple of years while doing Audioeclectica, I’ve been able to see and meet some really great bands. And over time I’ve been able to watch these bands grow and continue to get better and better. A while back I was informed about a new band that was forming with members of previous bands I really dug, and my curiosity was most certainly raised. Fast forward a couple months and that band would become Minus Knives. 

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Last night I had the pleasure of checking out Minus Knives live at The Viper Room and it was quite a gem. For it being only their second show, they really played with a sense of vigor and gusto along with an unrivaled belief and passion for the music they have created. Playing songs off their debut self titled album, heir 30ish minute set was chock full of hard hitting melodic riffs, soaring vocals and rhythms that pummeled all the while being bright and crisp. Songs like “Disfigurines,” “Seconds Past,” “Origin Of Fracture,” “Splntr” along with new song “Cope” were stellar and really showed what a great songwriting band Minus Knives is.

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Each member of this band brings something unique to the table in terms of their styles. Singer Brandon Espinoza sounded great live. He’s got this really cool voice that is a little similar to that of Daryl of Glassjaw mixed with a little Chino from Deftones in the Around The Fur era. Guitarist Bill Schultz was dialed in with the riffs and melody. Bassist Kevin Lewis really let it all out on stage while making sure the low end was steady and punishing. Drummer Greg Wroblewski was in time and made sure those fills were tasty.

 

Minus Knives are definitely a band to be on the look out for. They have the songs and live show that will leave you wanting more. Rock is not dead and never will be as long as bands like Minus Knives are delivering the rock!

 
Minus Knives- Minus Knives:

 
Review By: Brian Lacy
Photos by: Joshua Guesford (@gues_vita)

Live Review: Nine Inch Nails at The Palladium

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When a band as big as Nine Inch Nails opts to play small venues and do multiple nights, you know that it’s going to be special. Back in 2009, I was lucky to get to go to a few of the Wave Goodbye shows Nine Inch Nails did in Los Angeles. I was able to go to the Wiltern, Fonda and Palladium shows. Each of those nights have always stood out in my concert going history. The Palladium show that evening was special as The Downward Spiral was played in its entirety. Last night didn’t have that happen but it was one of those shows that rank pretty high in my now 18 times seeing Nine Inch Nails.

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Live Review: Every Time I Die at The Regent Theater

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This past Saturday, Every Time I Die rolled through Los Angeles and absolutely destroyed part of downtown. Riding high on their 20 Years Of Bullshit tour, Every Time I Die left their mark in Los Angeles, not just as band thats been killing it for 20 years but, as a band that has truly cemented their place among the legends of their genre. As a fan of the band for nearly 20 years, I have to say that, these gents seriously get better as time goes on. Before I get into just how good their live set was, let me begin with the other bands on the bill.

 

The first band up was Vein. This band has been blowing up as of late and the hype is real. Their 25 minute set all be it brief was intense and chock full of energy that you would expect to see at a show like this. Performing songs from their debut album Errorzone, Vein ripped through their set with precision, passion and unrelenting force. I’ve been curious to check this band out since I heard them earlier this year and they did not disappoint. I could see them seriously becoming a band that will steal the show from many bands in the near future. They have the ability to really become a force of nature if they keep on the path they are on. Vein have a sound rooted in hardcore but with shades of metal, industrial, and a slice of nu-metal (a la the first 2 Korn and Slipknot records). Watch out for Vein when they come through your town!

The other two bands on the bill Angel Dust and Turnstile brought with them a ton of energy and a good amount of the kids in the crowd were eating it up. My friend I was with and I both looked at each other countless times throughout both sets wondering what the hell we were watching. Maybe it’s our age showing through and we just didn’t “get it” or it was really that bad. I will say though that they riled up the crowd in a good way before Every Time I Die took the stage and showed these kids how it’s done.

 

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Every Time I Die are legends. Lets just put that out there. For 20 years now, they truly have done things the way they wanted to and have continuously put out quality music. This evening was one for the books. Around 10:45 pm, Every Time I Die took the stage and for the next hour and twenty minutes, Los Angeles was owned by ETID. Their set was stunning. Compiling songs from all their 8 albums into an anthology set, was special. The amount of singing along all night from the crowd was something for the books. The diverse crowd of youngsters to the older ones made this night really represent 20 years of greatness. Songs like “Floater,” “Ebolarama,” “Apocalypse Now and Then,” “No Son Of Mine,” “Roman Holiday,” “Moor” “The Coin Has A Say” and “Map Change” were among the standouts of the set. The entire set as I mentioned was special, and I’m sure it wasn’t easy to just pick a couple songs from each album but, each choice perfectly represented each record and showed just how much the band has developed over the years. I will say this too, “Map Change” is one of the best songs of new millennium. Not only was it a great song to end the night on but it really is one of the best songs Every Time I Die has ever written.

 
I can’t say enough about how truly great Every Time I Die is. Not just as a band and songwriters but how they truly bleed and believe in what they do. They are one of “those bands” that no matter what, when they come through your town, you go see them. As I mentioned too, they are legends and rightfully so. They have ushered in a new wave of heavy music and fans. Their discography stands up among the greats, and they still have so much more in them. Their latest album, 2016’s Low Teens, has been in constant rotation from the day I bought it. I personally can’t wait to see and hear what Every Time I Die does next. Thank you Every Time I Die for 20 years of greatness.

 
Every Time I Die Set List:

01) Emergency Broadcast Syndrome
02) Floater
03) I Been Gone A Long Time
04) Ebolarama
05) Apocalypse Now And Then
06) Bored Stiff
07) The New Black
08) No Son Of Mine
09) We’rewolf
10) INRIhab
11) Roman Holiday
12) The Marvelous Slut
13) Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space
14) Holy Book Of Dilemma
15) Decayin’ With The Boys
16) Moor
17) Thirst
18) Glitches
19) It Remembers
20) The Coin Has A Say
21) Map Change

 
Every Time I Die- Map Change:

 

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)