Monday, March 28, 2016

Devour The Day, Ace of Spades, with Pop Evil

Devour The Day
Blake Allison, Devour The Day
The alternative/rock foursome from Memphis, Tennessee, were main support for Pop Evil at the Ace of Spades last week. Before the show, I was still rather unfamiliar with their music, despite having enjoyed their set supporting Hellyeah! last year; my bad, and by the end of their set, I was wondering what the heck Pop Evil could pull out of the bag to top what Devour The Day had just given us! (To find out if they succeeded, read the review.)

Devour The Day
David Hoffman, Devour The Day
Evocative of old-school grunge, yet upbeat, full of energy, and very engaging. I wish the lighting had been better. I'm sorry. I say that too often, I know. But...

Devour The Day
Joey "Chicago" Walser, Devour The Day
Pre-order Devour The Day's upcoming album, S.O.A.R. here:  Several songs, including Lightning in the Sky, Golden City, Step Aside and the title track are already available: the expected release date for the full album is 1st April.

Here's a sample from S.O.A.R, Lightning In The Sky:

Devour The Day are Joey "Chicago" Walser (bass, backing vocals), Blake Allison (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ronnie Farris (drums), David Hoffman (lead guitar).

Catch Devour The Day on tour here: around the USA

A few more photos in the gallery, click here!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Photogallery: August Burns Red

August Burns Red
August Burns Red, Ace of Spades, Sacramento
Co-headlining the tour with Between The Buried And Me, August Burned Red rocked the Ace of Spades on Tuesday evening. Melodic-progressive-metalcore, screaming-not-clean vocals, excellent guitar riffs, interesting time signatures, and a really good light show that was best experienced from the back of the venue, where you could see it all.

Music that I want to take the time to listen to, again.

August Burns Red
Jake Luhr, August Burns Red
More photos in the photo gallery:

August Burns Red
August Burns Red, Ace of Spades, Sacramento
The joint tour with Between The Buried And Me continues--see August Burns Red's tour page for details.  Click here to see the review of Between The Buried And Me.

August Burns Red
Audience for August Burns Red. Sacramento

Friday, March 25, 2016

Some Fear None photo gallery... and congratulations!

Some Fear None
Some Fear None, Ace of Spades, Sacramento
Sacramento's own Some Fear None opened the evening of the Pop Evil show at the Ace of Spades... and the very next night were announced winners of the Sammies awards for both Artist of the Year, and Hard Rock!

Nathan Giguiere, vocals, Some Fear None
Nathan Giguiere, Some Fear None
Congratulations to Some Fear None and to all the Sammies winners and nominees!

See Some Fear None at The Boardwalk on April 16th, and at Concerts in the Park  too, on July 22nd. CITP lineup has been announced!

Gina Salatino, bass, Some Fear None
Gina Salatino, Some Fear None
More photos in the Some Fear None photo gallery--click here!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

There's something about Pop Evil. There's something about Pop Evil that I like.

Pop Evil
Pop Evil, Sacramento, Ace of Spades
I was expecting Pop Evil's first headline show in Sacramento to be good. I really enjoyed Up (here's the review).  I thought they were one of the best at Aftershock 2015. But last night's show at the Ace of Spades passed all my expectations. It was great to see them indoors, well-lit, and performing as the headliners they deserve to be.

Leigh Kakaty, vocals, Pop Evil
Leigh Kakaty, Pop Evil
From the opening moments of Pop Evil's set, to the last notes of Footsteps, they were just so darn good. Light, movement, show!!! They are masters of rock anthems that soar, but which are yet gritty and hard enough to appeal to this town of metal.

Chachi Riot and Davey Grahs, Pop Evil
Chachi Riot on drums, Pop Evil
Everyone needs watching, every band member, every musician. Eyes jumping all over the stage, all night. Drums? Chachi Riot is (an) Animal! Stands up, thumps down, I bet he uses six or seven million calories in a performance, I think (hope!) I lost six pounds just watching. Those drums!!! He attacks them, it's a ballroom blitz, he pounds them to pieces, yet so very exactly-precisely. Duelling with Matt DiRito's bass; together the foundation, together the earthquake. And then Davey Grahs and Nick Fuelling on guitar, each making their presence felt, each with a part to play, different styles, different stage personas, different guitarists but like fraternal twins.

And of course, Leigh Kakaty on vocals, on lyrics; front man of a band that's very much more than the sum of parts; every member unique, every member a vital part of the musical tapestry; this is the Pop Evil family. It's obvious how much these guys trust and know each other, musically and in the space of the stage; they don't slow down, they move, they keep moving, all night. It's equally obvious how much they enjoy being up there and playing for the audience. It shows, and the show's wonderful.

Davey Grahs, guitar, Pop Evil
Pop Evil, Ace of Spades, Sacramento
Pop Evil is a good name for this band. Direct, hard, nasty, but fun and easy too. Take a listen, if you haven't already. And be there, next time they are in town; hopefully, not too long before they are back. And if the folks in the audience last night have anything to do with it, they will be playing to a bigger audience; it was a midweek show bracketed by Between The Buried And Me/August Burns Red on Tuesday, and the Sammies local music awards tonight, and the Ace wasn't at capacity.

Pop Evil
Pop Evil, Ace of Spades, Sacramento
Pop Evil are playing in Fresno tonight, then off to Canada, and many more dates in the USA. Then Fort Rock and Welcome to Rockville festivals--and then on tour with Disturbed and Rob ZombieCheck out all the dates on their Facebook tour page.

Pop Evil
Pop Evil, Ace of Spades, Sacramento
Check out Pop Evil's latest album, Up, right now it's at a bargain price. Also, their previous album, Onyx, from which you may already know the hit single, but go on... listen to the rest, OK?

Matt DiRito, bass, Pop Evil
Matt DiRito, Pop Evil
Many more photos in the photo gallery:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Between The Buried And Me, and me...

Tommy Rogers, vocals and keys, Between The Buried And Me
Tommy Rogers, vocals and keys, Between The Buried And Me
Imagine some sophisticated artificial-intelligence system, or maybe a team of intelligent aliens dropping by from another planet, looking at my music reviews and photo galleries, taking them as big data in an effort to solve the problem: What band is missing, which fits all this person's requirements? What band is the perfect fit for this human, based on the data, based on scientific and mathematical analysis?

First, they'd see a heavy leaning towards Prog (progressive rock), but not just any-old-Yes-and-Genesis-prog, but rather the superb and melodic Marillion, Steve Rothery Band, Steve Vai's seventh songs. Then, they'd pick up on all the metal, all the shows covered in this metal-crazy town that is Sacramento. And then, they'd appreciate the love of a good light show to complement the music. And then, only then, this superior intelligence would reason, which band does this person not yet know, but which is the perfect fit based on the data we have gathered? Is it not Between The Buried And Me?

That's what happened last night at Sacramento's Ace of Spades: I experienced Between The Buried And Me live for the very first time, and wow... it is an experience, not a concert, not a show.

Paul Waggoner, guitar, Between The Buried And Me
Paul Waggoner, guitar, Between The Buried And Me
Songs the length of which would make prog gods proud; vocals to fit the baddest of metal; a light show to shame the usual metal three-shades-of-purple. Music that you can drift away in, fight to, make the fabric of your nightmares or the threads of sweet dreams.

Dustie Waring, guitar, Between The Buried And Me
Dustie Waring, guitar, Between The Buried And Me
Yes, I enjoyed Between The Buried And Me. More than enjoyed. The music fit me, like a glove, like a forgotten friend.

Co-headlining this tour with August Burns Red (photos and review to follow), Between The Buried And Me took the stage after the two openers last night and before August Burns Red. They possessed the crowd that filled the venue, during all the quiet moments, and throughout all the angry growls. The light show is wonderful and best experienced from the back of the venue; window-like screens on the stage give a glimpse of desert, music, a fire-breathing being... searchlights beaming laser-like through vapour, illuminating the crowd. Sound level just right.

Between The Buried And Me
Between The Buried And Me, Ace of Spades, Sacramento
A light show as wonderful as this brings its own challenges; digital sensors don't see the same things as our eyes, and photos often react the opposite way to expectations when trying, for example, to adjust contrast. Some of the pictures have come out so grainy that they might be canvas; and this, my dears, is the kind of photo challenge I love most. Many more photos are in the gallery:

Between The Buried And Me are Tommy Rogers (vocals, keys), Dan Briggs (bass), Blake Richardson (drums), Paul Waggoner (lead guitar), and Dustie Waring (rhythm guitar). More info on their website or Facebook.

Between The Buried And Me
Between The Buried And Me, Ace of Spades, Sacramento
The tour continues: Canada and the USA, Europe. Catch them if you can.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Melvins, at the Boardwalk, Orangevale

Buzz Osborne, vocals and guitar, The Melvins
Buzz Osborne, Melvins, at the Boardwalk, Orangevale
Last night, Melvins took the stage at the Boardwalk. The room, thronged with fans, from young teens to oldies like me; the venue nearly-almost-just-about full, loads of people waiting to see this threesome. Huge turnout for a Sunday-evening show, and nice that the Melvins were on stage at the kind hour of nine p.m. after a great set by openers Dusted Angel.

The Melvins
Melvins, Orangevale
Connected and part of the birth of grunge, this band has been given all kinds of labels from "sludge metal" to doom to alternate, but their unique brand of almost-punk and a-lot-of-fun has earned them a major place in the hearts of this country's concert-goers.

Dale Crover, drums, The Melvins
Dale Crover, Melvins

The Melvins
Set list at the Boardwalk

The band opened the set with long, buzzing intro Eye Flys, with a long and full set to follow.

There's a huge number of dates on the current tour, throughout the USA and then several gigs in the UK and in France. They are making a return to Northern California with a two-night stopover in San Francisco on May 5th and 6th. Find out more on (the) Melvin's Facebook!

Photogallery for last night's show is here:  or click on any of the images! And here are Dusted Angel too!

Buzz Osborne, vocals, Melvins
Buzz Osborne, Melvins

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Protoje and some Jamaica sunshine

Supporting Rebelution on the Winter Greens tour is Protoje; singer and songwriter from Jamaica, reggae with a touch of dancehall, dubstep, ska, and it's the Caribbean sound that resonates much more with me than any variety of Cali-rock. I always have to remind myself that both Bob Marley and reggae, ska, calypso and West Indies music in general was much bigger a deal in England; while Marley was a hero in the UK during his lifetime, it was much later in the USA. Culturally and connection-wise, there has always been a strong link between the UK and Jamaica--there's an earlier connection which became part of British music way back. Blame it on colonialism... but it's there, and we love our reggae.

Protoje and band, Rebelution's Winter Greens tour 2016
Protoje's show at Thunder Valley Casino Resort began with the long instrumental intro typical to reggae shows; two beautiful ladies dancing, excellent backing musicians, and then Protoje bouncing onto the stage. Moving from serene to high energy and back throughout the show.

Protoje has collaborated with Chronixx (Who Knows)  and with Ky-Mani Marley (Rasta Love), among others. Protoje's album, Ancient Future, was celebrated in the UK and topped the USA Billboard reggae charts. The whole album is excellent, and well worth a listen.

He stole the show for me.

Protoje, Thunder Valley Casino Resort, California
More photos in the Protoje photo gallery, click here!

Check out this video for Answer To Your Name, from Ancient Future; reggae, ska, and just really, really good.

Also check out Ky-Mani Marley... his album Maestro was my reggae favourite of last year.

Travel sites keep sending me special deals on flights from SMF to Montego Bay. I wonder why???

Bring Me The Horizon: new video, Follow You... and no, they didn't have to kill the dog but...

Some time really, really early this morning, California time, Bring Me The Horizon released a new video for Follow You, from That's The Spirit. From the comments on YouTube and on Instagram, folks around the world set alarm clocks or stayed up all night waiting to see it--some only to find that the video wasn't available in their region (it was available in the USA at 5.30 a.m. California time, but apparently not in several other countries in Europe and South America.) (That's a localization ooops, BMTH!)

It's bloody, it's gory, it's twisted, it's extreme, it's funny, it's Armageddon... and love really is blind.

And to the folks who are complaining that they didn't see Oli in the video, here's a picture just for you!

Oliver Sykes, vocals, Bring Me The Horizon
Oliver Sykes, BMTH, Aftershock 2015
Here's the video: get over the dog bit (I had to tell myself, it's not for real, it's a video) and enjoy it!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Foals, Bear Hands, Silversun Pickups: photos and more from the Spring Fling tour!

Yannis Philippakis, guitar and vocals, Foals
Yannis Philippakis, Foals
The entire evening was wonderful: each band different, each band putting on a show as if they were headlining, and that's why this was such a good, entertaining show. Everyone who was in the audience saw their money's worth, and more. More than four hours of excellent performance and really good music. Nice job, all of you, Spring Fling tour bands!!!

Silversun Pickups
Silversun Pickups
Unlike Karli, who wrote this Spring Fling Tour preview, I hadn't seen any of these bands before, and they have all left a musical impression; Bear Hands, post-punk-indie-rock from Brooklyn, NY; almost-shy, hiding in the lights (and a challenge to photograph); Silversun Pickups, alternative-rock, and a very, very active drummer; and Foals, indie-rock from the UK. Oh Foals, I love you--not just because you are from England and another in the latest British Invasion, but because I haven't stopped listening to you since I came home from the show.

Can we do this all again soon, please, Radio 94.7?

Dylan Rau, vocals, Bear Hands
Dylan Rau, Bear Hands

Try and catch this tour if you can--see the earlier post for Cage The Elephant for more tour details.

All the photos are now online in the galleries, click on the links below (or on any of the images in this post):

- Cage The Elephant
- Silversun Pickups
- Foals
- Bear Hands


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cage The Elephants: Spring Fling tour, 2016, at Sacramento's Sleep Train Arena

Matt Shultz, vocals, Cage The Elephant
Matt Shultz, Cage The Elephant
Headlining last night's Spring Fling tour date at Sacramento's Sleep Train Arena, presented by Radio 94.7: Cage The Elephant.

Cage The Elephant
Cage The Elephant, Spring Fling tour 2016
Backtrack several hours... one of the rainiest, darkest, wettest days we've seen in northern California for a very long time. It didn't feel like spring, not one bit.The weirs for the Yolo Bypass have been opened, relieving the Sacramento River and the city by allowing water to flood the fields under and surrounding the I-80 causeway. Folsom Lake Dam has opened its gates. There is water, water, everywhere, so needed after four years of California drought, and yet so discouraging to travel. Roads are slippery, Californians really don't know how to drive in rain; flash-floods across roads, giant puddles, aquaplaning, dark roads where trolls or sudden-and-black lakes hide under bridges. That's what it felt like, driving to Sleep Train Arena for the Spring Fling tour show. We took the high road along the levee; the river, swollen-brown, threatening, high on the left: homes and streets, low on the right. Torrential rain; a dash from parking lot to ticket office, through security, and into the aging structure that is Sleep Train Arena. Next year, we'll have a new stadium, downtown, but the old "Arco" still has good vibes... and a lot of history. But it really didn't feel like spring... not until the music began. And then, it suddenly was sunshine all the way.

Cage The Elephant
Cage The Elephant, Spring Fling Tour 2016
Spring Fling is a huge tour-event. Show started at 7 p.m. with Bear Hands; finished around 11.30 p.m. at the end of Cage The Elephant's set, with massive shows from both Foals and Silversun Pickups in-between (more reviews to follow). The venue wasn't sold out; upper-level seating was closed off with huge curtains, but this made the sound for the show just perfect, and the crowd was far bigger than any other Sacramento venue could hold, indoors.

Brad Shultz, guitar, Cage The Elephant
Brad Shultz, Cage The Elephant
Cage The Elephant, and Matt Shultz. He's like Mick Jagger and Josh Todd's stepbrother on speed, wound-up-to-go, and with an overdose of caffeine in his veins. He never, never, ever stops; running the stage, jumping, diving, unstoppable, In comparison, brother Brad Shultz, on guitar, seems almost sedate, but he's not; it's an illusion generated by Matt's hyper-enough-to-power-a-train energy.

Matt Shultz jumping, Cage The Elephant
Matt Shultz jumping, Cage The Elephant
A huge setlist: opening with Cry Baby and In One Ear: Cigarette Daydreams saved for the encore, about 18 or so songs later. Yes, it was huge. Yes, you want to see this show.

The Sacramento date was the second on the tour, which began on Friday in Fresno, Bakersfield tonight, and more dates throughout the USA. If you have any opportunity to catch one of these shows, don't hesitate: no matter the weather, no matter how hard it is to get there, you're going to have a wonderful time.

More photos from the show:

Reviews/photos for Bear Hands, Foals and Silversun Pickups coming soon!

Matt Shultz, vocals, Cage The Elephant
Matt Shultz, Cage The Elephant

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Rebelution: winter greens on a wild, wet and windy California night

Eric Rachmany and Marley D Williams, Rebelution
Rebelution, Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Lincoln CA
As we are going through a real Californian "winter" this year--rain, wind and lots of "storms" that would make a New Yorker cry laughing--the warming sounds of reggae and Cali-rock were very welcome last night. Making a stop duiring their 2016 Winter Greens tour at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California, Rebelution warmed the crowd with summer sunshine.

Rebelution, Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Lincoln CA
Playing their own special blend of reggae, calypso and rock, Rebelution have a happy sound. The smooth sound of reggae; rock guitar; sax and trumpet, drums and bass, the whole a joyful mix of summer in song.

Wesley Finley, drums, Rebelution
For more Rebelution tour dates, check the band's Facebook and website often: they're out on the road a lot, and will be appearing at the California Roots Festival in Monterey, too. Now that sounds like a fun festival!

Khris Royal, sax, and.Zach Meyerowitz, trumpet, Rebelution

You might also like: Rebelution, Sacramento, 2013.

Also: check out the upcoming concerts at Thunder Valley, not only indoors, but also the summer concert series. There are some great shows planned for the summer of 2016.

Friday, March 11, 2016

FallRise last show... what comes next?

SACRAMENTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: FallRise, performing at the Aftershock music festival, Sacramento CA, on September 23, 2012.
FallRise, Aftershock 2012
Tomorrow evening, at the Ace of Spades, will be the final show for Sacramento's FallRise. While sad that this is happening, I'm much more interested to find out What's Coming Next, because I can't for one moment imagine that they are going to keep the music inside them quiet.

A big part of Sacramento's music scene, they deserve a great send-off tomorrow night!

FallRise, Sacramento, May 2015
FallRise, Ace of Spades, 2015
Also part of the evening: The Alpha Complex, White Knuckle Riot, Sages, Madison Ave,
Heat of Damage, A Mile Till Dawn, and Conceived In Chaos. All your favourite local bands!

Dave Gorman of Fallrise at Aftershock 2014
FallRise, Aftershock 2014