Greg Puciato

Live Review: The Black Queen at The Regent Theater

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The Black Queen are the real deal. Everything about this band oozes inspiration and passion. Their two full length albums Fever Daydream and Infinite Games are beyond stellar. Their live show is more than just a concert, it’s a full visceral experience that will leave you in awe. Last night at the Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles, The Black Queen made an impact with a show that will be on my mind for quite some time. There really is something special about how The Black Queen’s songs translate from record to the stage. It’s a totally different experience. It’s like discovering these songs for the first time.

From the moment the lights dimmed and the video images began, the roar of the crowd eagerly awaited the arrival of Greg Puciato, Steve Alexander and touring member Justin McGrath (filling in for Joshua Eustis). Once they appeared on stage, it was game on. They opened their set with a subdued number “Thrown Into The Dark” then moved right into “No Accusations” from their new album Infinite Games. Both of these songs live took on a whole new life as the beats pulsated from the stage to the audience which then got everyone there moving. From there the set was impeccable as they feverishly played songs like “Ice To Never,” “That Death Cannot Touch,” “Silent Scream,” “Maybe We Should,” One Edge Of Two,” and “Strange Quark.” Closing out the night was the remarkable “Apocalypse Morning” which featured live drums courtesy of former Poison The Well drummer Chris Hornbrook. This song is not only one hell of an end of the set song, it emits a feeling that I just can’t put to words.

Throughout their entire set, singer Greg Puciato’s vocals were exquisite and drew you in word for word. The melodies and effects emitting from Steve Alexander’s guitar were right on cue with the beats and synth layers from Justin McGrath. The three of these gents delivered a show that had those in attendance in a trance and compelled to either dance and sing along. The Black Queen is a band for today and the future. There is something truly special about this band and the music. Just ask those that were there, they will tell you the same thing.

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The Black Queen Set List:

01) Thrown Into The Dark
02) No Accusations
03) Ice To Never
04) Maybe We Should/Non-Consent
05) Distanced
06) Your Move
07) Taman Shud
08) That Death Cannot Touch
09) Secret Scream
10) The End Where We Start
11) Now, When I’m This
12) One Edge Of Two
13) Strange Quark
14) Apocalypse Morning (with Chris Hornbrook on drums)

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy

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Book Review: Separate The Dawn by Greg Puciato

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Ever since I was a little kid, one of my favorite things to do was put on an album I love, lay back with headphones on, and read the lyrics while listening. The journey of getting lost in the words as well as the music, is euphoric. We all know that, as you start to follow a band, you begin to feel a connection. So for many years after connecting to an album, the words become a part of you. The person writing them becomes a literary figure to you. I can remember Jim Morrison being the first one to really hit me that way. So many more over the years like James Hetfield, Trent Reznor, Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell, etc have hit me in ways that I could relate.

One that really has struck a chord with me in the last 10 years is Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Black Queen. On top of the aggressive nature that has been seen by many over the years, there is a person inside that is trying to purge themselves of the pain and anguish they’ve been living with and I fully get it. That being said, Greg recently released a book of his writings called Separate The Dawn and with this release, he’s able to convey a different aspect of himself. Throughout the book, you as the reader, start to feel like you connect with the inner turmoil and tribulations of Greg. The writings tell stories that expand on thoughts one might have on a regular day and keep to ones self. From relationships, to growing up in a strange place, to the thoughts in your head, the way that Greg writes and lays it out, really hits home. The way some of the pieces are written are done in a way that after you read the passage, if you close your eyes, you can almost feel like you are swept away to where this is taking place. The vivid imagery in the way Greg writes is profound. The poetic sensibilities in the verse is something else that really hits as you read on. This book is more than just a collection of writings. It’s a capsule of a time that needed to get out and for people to understand the who and the why of someone.

From start to finish Separate The Dawn is a heavy read. The thoughts that will pass through your own mind while reading will leave you thinking and reflecting on your own self. Although very dark at times, this book does emit a sense of hope. Something  that Separate The Dawn provides as well is a feeling that you are not alone. So often, many of us feel like we aren’t able to express how we feel or feel like we have no where to turn. When a person like Greg, shares this for the world, it’s as though a door has opened and you are welcomed in.

Personally, I love books like this. It shows that not only is the person that you’ve looked up to a genuine person but, it gives just enough insight to see and know why they are the way they are. Lyrics and words are just as powerful as music, and when you have someone with the ability to really write as powerful as these are, it truly completes that sentiment. Separate The Dawn is a book that if you are a fan of Greg and his work, you should definitely read, as well as if you aren’t. I really hope that at some point, there will be another book because after finishing this one, I really can’t wait to read where Greg will go next.

 

Purchase Separate The Dawn:

Via Federal Prisoner:
https://www.federalprisoner.net/product-page/separatethedawn
Amazon:

Album Review: The Black Queen- Infinite Games

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Ever since I first heard The Black Queen‘s debut album Fever Daydream, I’ve been hooked. The Black Queen are a revelation among a sea of imposter bands of the genre. Greg Puciato, Josh Eustis and Steve Alexander have created a sound that is inspired and deep. The lush ambient landscapes and 80’s synth wave driven music along with the exceptional vocals and lyrics have made The Black Queen a real force to be reckoned with.

Their new album Infinite Games is superb from start to finish. From the moment “Even Still I Want To” begins all the way to the closing track”One Edge Of Two,” you as the listener get the full album experience. Songs like “Thrown Into The Dark,” “No Accusations,” “Your Move,” “Lies About You,” and “Spatial Boundaries” will instantly grab you. Then there are other songs like “Impossible Condition,” “100 To Zero,” and “Porcelain Veins”  that really go deep and take you on a bit of a journey. The album is dark and brooding yet sensual and seductive at the same time.

The combination of the three of these men, Josh, Greg and Steve is astounding. What they have created not only extends on what they started with Fever Daydream but, on Infinite Games, they have created an album that transcends the norm of what synth wave music is as well as paying homage to the bands/artists that have influenced and inspired them without making it a straight derivative of those works. Greg Puciato not only is one of the best frontmen of the last century but he undeniably has one of the best voices as well. His ability to go from The Dillinger Escape Plan to The Black Queen not only shows his versatility as a vocalist but also as a lyricist. The lyrical content explores different emotions and themes that he wouldn’t normally get into while in Dillinger, thus making this a visceral and impassioned adventure.

The Black Queen is calling and you need to make it a point of delving into this album, as well as Fever Daydream.

Overall Rating: A

 
The Black Queen- Infinite Games:

The Black Queen- Fever Daydream:

Anticipated Albums: The Black Queen- Infinite Games

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The Black Queen is one hell of a great band. Their debut album Fever Daydream is tremendous. That record has yet to leave my rotation. That shows you how good it is. Now on their second album, Infinite Games, The Black Queen, which is made up of Greg Puciato, Josh Eustis, and Steve Alexander, continue their sonic onslaught of lush synths, ambience and new wave. The first song released “Thrown Into The Dark” is seething with a sensual yet dark vibe. None the less, The Black Queen are going to leave a lasting impact with this new album.

The Black Queen- Thrown Into The Dark:

 

The Black Queen- Fever Daydream:

You Might Have Missed: Error

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Way back in 2003/2004 there was a group that consisted of Atticus Ross (Nine Inch Nails), Leopold Ross and Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion). This group came about when Atticus was messing around in the studio and came up with some very interesting sounds that could become songs.  Not long after the inception of the songs, Atticus recruited his brother Leopold to play drums and Bad Religion guitarist to play guitar and bass. On vocals Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan) was asked to take on the vocals for the EP.

The end result of this collaboration brought 5 songs of pure electronic hardcore with a healthy dose of industrial. You can tell from listening to this EP, why Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross work so well together. The songs are blistering and uncompromising. After the 5 songs finish, the EP leaves you wanting more but, it also leaves you pumped up and ready for anything.

Sadly though it is unlikely that Error will return anytime in the future as discussed in a 2009 interview. However, in a 2011 interview with Greg Puciato, he discussed the possibility of doing a second EP with Error. I personally would love to hear a new EP. Greg will be done with Dillinger soon, so why not!

 

 

Error- Error EP:

 

Error- Wild World (Single):

 

 

 

Live Review: The Black Queen

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You know that feeling you get when you hear an album and after a few minutes of listening to it, you feel compelled to HAVE TO go see the band live? In early 2016 The Black Queen which features Greg Puciato (of The Dillinger Escape Plan), Joshua Eustis (of Telefon Tel Aviv) and Steven Alexander (former guitar tech for Dillinger and Nine Inch Nails), released their debut album Fever Daydream. The album is drenched in dreamy synth pop, with industrial tinges, and stunning melodies. There is a true sense of inspiration in these songs when you listen. There is something more to The Black Queen though, and for you to really grasp it all, you must see them live.

The Black Queen are quite spectacular live. There is a sort of hypnotic trance that comes through their performance. The normally very eccentric and wild card performances that most fans of singer Greg Puciato’s other band The Dillinger Escape Plan, are toned back and instead, Greg delivers a much more subdued yet empowering performance fronting this band. Not only does Greg have one hell of a voice, but you can tell in how he delivers his words, that there is more to him than you thought. Handling the electronics and synths is the very talented Joshua Eustis of the underrated Telefon Tel Aviv. His ability to create atmosphere and a vibe through the use of synths, adds another dimension to the band. Steven Alexander adds an extra layer with his guitar playing. His use of distortion and delay, really does add a lovely sense of heaviness.

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Drenched with smoke and sparce light, the sounds of the beginning of “Strange Quark” filled the room, the smoke and lights beginning to shine, with each member appearing on stage. From there to “Distanced,” the set begins in an almost dramatic fashion, as though there is a story being told. Other highlights of the set came when “That Death Cannot Touch,” “Silent Scream, ” “The End Where We Start,” “Ice To Never” were played. The sheer volume of the audience singing along, took the show to another level. By the end of the set when they played “Apocalypse Morning” everyone in attendance was absolutely transfixed by the charm and sensations of the music.

Do yourselves a favor, pick up The Black Queen‘s album Fever Daydream and keep watch for when they come back around and play in your area. It will be a night you won’t forget, and it juts might leave you inspired and feel uplifted!

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Photos By: Alisa Lacy

 

The Black Queen- Fever Daydream:

Live Review: The Dillinger Escape Plan at The Regent Theater

The Dillinger Escape Plan Live Review | Audioeclectica

Epic, Fucking Epic is the best way to describe the beautiful chaos that occurred last night. In all my years of attending concerts, along with the hundreds upon hundreds of bands I’ve seen, there are very few bands and shows that can truly live up to being called FUCKING EPIC, and The Dillinger Escape Plan is just that and then some. On a Sunday night in Los Angeles, The Dillinger Escape Plan was able to sell out the Regent, and make it a memorable show, for all those in attendance. From all the opening bands, to the headliner, there was no way you would walk out of the venue disappointed after seeing and hearing what you just witnessed.

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The first band of the night was Entheos. This band features the very talented Evan Brewer formerly of The Faceless. Their short set, was a precursor for what was to come in the sense of brutality. Their intricate prog death metal djent based music was a great way to start it off. Screamer Chaney Crabb, was really delivered. She had a great presence on stage that allowed her to wrangle in the audience to pay attention.

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Next up was Cult Leader. I was very excited to see this band. And they absolutely killed it. They reminded me of Converge way back in the day. Everything about Cult Leader was top notch and brutal. Vocalist Anthony Lucero had a real knack for belting out guttural screams, all the while delivering a truly magnetic performance. Drummer Casey Hansen is one of the most talented drummers I’ve seen in a long time. Throughout their set, I kept feeling like I was being hypnotized by the band. Musically there is a bit of psychedelia, and ambiance to their heavy hardcore style. I would even go as far to coin a new sub-genre for them, Hypnotic Hardcore. Cult Leader should be on your radar to see live and to have in your music collection.

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The direct support for the evening came from Atlanta, Georgia’s, O’Brother. Their latest album ENDLESS LIGHT, is in my top ten albums of the year, so getting to see them with The Dillinger Escape Plan on the same night was an added bonus. Their set, although rather short, was truly epic. The use of three guitars and a beyond tight rhythm section, really added a few extra dimensions to their already grandiose and enormous sound. Songs from their new album like “I Am Death,” and “Bloodlines,” were absolute highlights for the night. Like Cult Leader, O’Brother are very hypnotic as well, and will leave you inspired at the end.

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Finally when The Dillinger Escape Plan took the stage, the entire audience broke out and began to exercise their demons. There is something to be said for the way that a band like Dillinger can have such an affect on people. Musically it’s something that you study, and vocally and lyrically it is something that you use as therapy. The combination of these two things really make The Dillinger Escape Plan truly special. Their latest and final album DISSOCIATION is a great summation of everything the band is known for, and these new songs live are absolute beasts. From the first notes of “Limerent Death,” to the closing notes of the classic “43% Burnt,” The Dillinger Escape Plan was on fire. As per usual, singer Greg Puciato and guitarist Ben Weinman were delivering performances that leave you speechless. Jumping off guitar cabs, leaping into the audience, and jumping from the second floor balcony, are just some of the things that were astonishing.   Their set list was a great collection of songs from their catalog. Highlights include “Sugar Coated Sour,” “Symptom of Terminal Illness,” “Panasonic Youth,” “One of Us is the Killer,” “Surrogate,” “Nothing to Forget,” “Prancer,” as well as “Room Full of Eyes,” and the very epic “Mouth of Ghosts.”

I’m going to put this out there in the ether and say, that this show is quite possibly the best show I’ve seen all year. Everything about the evening was perfect. From the bands, the company, and the crowd reactions, all this and then some made this a night to never forget. Dillinger will go down as one of the most legendary and dangerous bands, as they should, but they should also be remembered for creating music that is inspiring and full of passion. Everything that Dillinger has done in their 20 year career has been done on their own terms. They really are a band that deserves every ounce of credit due to them. What a band. And what a way to bring it each and every night. Thank you Dillinger for everything you’ve done!

The Dillinger Escape Plan Set List:

Limerent Death
Panasonic Youth
Symptom of Terminal Illness
Farewell, Mona Lisa
When I Lost My Bet
Sugar Coated Sour
Black Bubblegum
Surrogate
Hero of the Soviet Union
Milk Lizard
One of Us is the Killer
Nothing to Forget
Room Full of Eyes
Prancer

Encore:

Mouth of Ghosts
Sunshine the Werewolf
43% Burnt

 

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy