On this date in history, 2/14/2018, a good friend who had free tickets and a kind heart asked me to accompany her to the Resurrection Tour featuring Black Veil Brides, Asking Alexandria, and Crown The Empire. This concert took place at Old National Centre’s Murat Egyptian Room in downtown Indianapolis. I must confess that I didn’t have too much knowledge of any of the bands’ music going in, which I really enjoyed, as it allowed me to witness all of them with an open mind and ears.

Crown The Empire started the show with an energetic set of basic lightweight metalcore. The audience seemed to enjoy them and they fit in well with the styles of the 2 headlining acts. I grew tired of the lead vocalist’s voice pretty early in their set, but he was on pitch and hit his high notes with ease, so it was just a matter of opinion for my not liking it.

From the very beginning, the production on this show was top notch. Excellent sound for all 3 bands and super lights, too. Asking Alexandria was on one of the Mayhem tours and I remember seeing them and noting that Danny Worsnop is a most excellent vocalist. I discovered that he had left the band a couple of years ago and then returned, apparently rejuvenated. He was in great voice on Valentine’s night, but the band’s lead guitarist, Ben Bruce, had flown back home to England for personal reasons. In addition to missing a key member, the band’s bass player was ill and had to leave the stage for a brief time, forcing them to perform a couple of simple songs with just acoustic guitar and vocals. This little change of plan turned out to be a real highlight for me, and Worsnop was really enjoying the break in the normal routine. Even with their having to perform at less than full strength, Asking Alexandria played a hell of a great rockin’ set. They gained a whole lot of respect from me in rising above their obstacles.

Black Veil Brides rounded out a great concert with an industrial strenght onslaught of prime old school rock and roll showmanship. Inspired by Kiss, Motley Crue, Van Halen, Poison, and any other great high energy live band you care to name, the Brides came out swinging, and never let up on the intensity and enthusiasm. They were all killer and no filler, delivering one song into the next and riding the wave of the delirious energy put out by the predominantly young female audience, who loudly sang along with virtually every anthem the boys threw at them.

The execution was tight and precise, and they never stopped moving for very long, keeping the adrenaline pumping throughout their set.

Andy Biersack had the crowd under his spell from the moment he hit the stage, and the entire band seems intent on keeping that time honored tradition of the big rock show alive and kicking…and that isn’t a bad thing at all, is it?

Hats off to whoever put this tour together, because these 3 bands truly complimented each other’s styles and delivered a great night of music for their demographic crowd, and that is what every working musician strives to do…satisfy their fans and make them dance, sing, sweat and create memories.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

On This Date in History

On this date in history, 2/13/1997, a good friend and I witnessed the diabolical Marilyn Manson utterly destroy a capacity crowd at the Pepsi Coliseum in Indianapolis. Manson was touring the Antichrist Superstar album and he was at the height of his popularity/notoriety. There was definitely a feeling in the air that literally ANYTHING could happen. The opening all female band, L7, had just played a really solid set and as we waited for the former Brian Warner and his interestingly named band mates (Twiggy Ramirez, Madonna Wayne Gacy, Ginger Fish, and the mysterious new guitar player, Zim Zum) to take the stage, the power tripping security steroid squad decided to make us all sit on the floor. Needless to say, a Manson crowd tends to be full of malcontents and non-conformists, so we didn’t take this order too kindly! When Manson hit the stage to the crushing industrial martial onslaught of “Angel With The Scabbed Wings”, we were up and frenzied! This was the first time I saw Manson headline and he was inspired. As crazy looking as the entire band was, it was the sinister and coldly charismatic front man who commanded our attention. He did some really creative theatrical stuff up there, from the stark lighting effect of him holding a simple construction lamp on an extension cord to illuminate himself during “Sweet Dreams”, to the pulpit where he tore pages from a bible and then threw the ruined book into the crowd during “Antichrist Superstar”, he knew he would be getting strong reactions! This was one of the few times I’ve ever witnessed people outside the venue protesting before a concert. They didn’t stop us…and we witnessed an incredible show. It’s not for everyone, but the best things never are!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

On This Date in History

Heard on All Things Considered

By: Rachael Myrow

John Perry Barlow has died at 70. Barlow was the co-founder of the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation. He was also a lyricist for the Grateful Dead.

Transcript:

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

If many of us think the Internet should be a place where free speech reigns and governments take a light hand, it’s probably in part due to a man named John Perry Barlow. He died this week at the age of 70. Rachael Myrow of member station KQED in San Francisco reports.

RACHAEL MYROW, BYLINE: John Perry Barlow came from Wyoming, so maybe that had something to do with his cyber-libertarian streak. Here he is introducing himself for a San Francisco episode of an audio tour produced by a company called Detour.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN PERRY BARLOW: I was a cattle rancher in Wyoming for about 40 years before I ever discovered the Internet. I decided to dedicate my life to its spread and its preservation and its eventual ability to bring us all together and to correct the sins of broadcast media, which had been very separating, in my view.

MYROW: In 1990, Barlow co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties advocacy group. Today it’s run by Cindy Cohn.

CINDY COHN: He wanted to give liberty a running start because we needed to talk about this new place as a place of freedom if we were going to have any hope of building it that way.

MYROW: Barlow’s most famous essay was “A Declaration Of The Independence Of Cyberspace,” which he released during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, way back in 1996. Some modern critics have argued his techno utopianism seems dated and naive in an era of mass government surveillance and politically manipulative algorithms. But Cohn says Barlow believed freedom has to be defended by the people who want it.

COHN: That’s an important message right now because I think many people are feeling very powerless around some of the effects of technology that they’re experiencing and may not recognize their own power to build a better world.

MYROW: Barlow did have a sense of the need for an individual code of conduct. As far back as 1977, he wrote “Principles Of Adult Behavior,” a list of 25 rules that has enjoyed a long life on social platforms like Reddit. Here’s just a few of those rules read by some of my colleagues at KQED.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (Reading) Praise at least as often as you disparage.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Reading) Tolerate ambiguity.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: (Reading) Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Reading) Foster dignity. Live memorably.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “LOOKS LIKE RAIN”)

GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) The rain’s going to come. Oh, it surely look like rain.

MYROW: If Barlow sounds like a bit of a cowboy poet, that’s because he was one. Many folks also know him as a lyricist for the Grateful Dead. With founding member Bob Weir, Barlow wrote a number of songs, including “Cassidy,” “Mexicali Blues” and “Looks Like Rain.” You could say John Perry Barlow managed to follow his own edict. By all accounts, he lived memorably. For NPR News, I’m Rachael Myrow in San Francisco.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “LOOKS LIKE RAIN”)

GRATEFUL DEAD: (Singing) Well, you know…

Champion Of The Internet And Grateful Dead Lyricist John Perry Barlow Dies At 70

By: Joel Leydon

A punks-versus-jocks cultural clash edges inexorably toward violence in Jameson Brooks’ impressive debut feature.

Bomb City,” a potently riveting drama by first-time feature filmmaker Jameson Brooks, spins the tragic tale of a punks-versus-jocks cultural clash that steadily builds to a furious altercation, with mortal consequences. In synopsis, it might sound like an updated version of “The Outsiders,” S.E. Hinton’s enduringly popular 1967 novel, which Francis Coppola memorably adapted in 1983 with a dream cast of young up-and-comers. But Brooks’ film, which the director co-wrote with Sheldon R. Chick, actually has its roots in real-life events of nearly two decades ago, and arguably cuts deeper as it methodically and relentlessly fashions a chain of actions and repercussions.

The apt title refers to the ironic nickname given Amarillo, Texas, site of the only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly plant in the United States. But much of the film indicates another meaning: In 1999, two hostile cliques of Amarillo teenagers — clean-cut high-school football players on one hand, brazenly rebellious punk rockers on the other — are engaged in a cold war that always seems just one out-of-control encounter away from bloody mayhem.

Right from the start, Brooks — who, not incidentally, grew up in Amarillo, and shot this movie there — signals the inevitability of an explosion with sporadic scenes from an after-the-fact murder trial. A self-righteous defense attorney (Glenn Morshower) does his best to demonize a deceased punk rocker as a menace to society who was “destined” to be killed by some upstanding citizen (like the attorney’s client) in order to protect decent citizens from such vermin.

The audience gets an appreciably more evenhanded view of things whenever “Bomb City” flashes back from the courtroom. Brooks offers teasing suggestions — most notably, during a sequence that intercuts brutal slamdancing in a mosh pit with full-contact Friday night football — that the two seemingly disparate social circles might intersect more often than anyone could imagine. And while the movie’s sympathies are obviously weighted toward the punk contingent, Brooks doesn’t let either group off easy: In both camps, there is at least one reckless hothead with a dangerous penchant for lighting fuses.

As “Bomb City” proceeds, Brian (well played by Dave Davis), a punk poet with a raging Mohawk coiffure and a surprisingly close relationship with his loving parents, emerges as the protagonist of the piece. On the other side of the cultural divide, there’s Cody (Luke Shelton), a macho-deficient football player who endures merciless teasing from his heartier and heavier-drinking comrades, and tries just a little too hard to be as bad as he wants to be.

There are signs that these two are intended to come off as equally important counterpoints. Unfortunately, despite Shelton’s game performance, his character is too sketchily developed to have the dramatic weight he should. It might have helped if he had a tad more screen time — or at least a sympathy-building scene equivalent to the one in which Brian and his girlfriend, Jade (Maemae Renfro), adopt a cute puppy.

Yes, you read that correctly: They bring home a sweet little doggie. It’s one of the few heavy-handed touches in “Bomb City,” a film that for the most part manages to avoid clichés while evoking and sustaining, even during relatively lighthearted scenes, a clammy sense of dread.

Brooks demonstrates an instinctive appreciation for what buttons to push and what levers to pull in order to ratchet up suspense, particularly when a police pursuit of graffiti artists gradually escalates into a worst-case scenario. The overriding air of foreboding is stealthily intensified by the chilly musical score credited to scripter Sheldon R. Chick and his brother, Cody Chick, and by the evocative lensing of Jake Wilganowski.

“Bomb City” will keep you in its grasp during every moment leading to its climactic violence. And it won’t let go until the closing credits roll.

Film Review: ‘Bomb City” With Marilyn Manson

Written By: Axl Rosenberg via Metal Sucks

It’s been five years since the release of Reign Supreme, Dying Fetus’ last album of original material. But to hear their latest offering, Wrong One to Fuck With, you’d think no time has passed at all. The band’s eighth album can be differentiated from its predecessors in only two ways: it is the first of Dying Fetus’ full-length releases to bear the less-legible of their two logo designs, and it is the first Dying Fetus full-length release to feature more than nine songs.

Otherwise, Wrong One to Fuck With is business as usual for Dying Fetus: vertigo-inducing tech deedilly-doo that makes it sound like John Gallagher’s fretboard is a minefield with lumbering, neolithic riffs sure to ignite your inner single-celled organisms’ innate desire to destroy (the track “Reveling in the Abyss” is especially strong in this regard). That may sound like a backhanded compliment, but it’s not; what Dying Fetus lack in creative adventurousness, they make up for in dependability. The band is still at their best when indulging their grooviest instincts, as they do on tracks like “Die with Integrity” and “Weaken the Structure,” but there isn’t a lousy song on Wrong One to Fuck With.

Still, it says something that the album’s strongest song is also the only one which dares to mess, however briefly, with the Fetus formula. The title track — the aforementioned tenth, and closing, song — has what is not only the album’s best riff, but the one most likely to cause involuntary windmilling. But it’s the first part of the song, which lasts less than forty seconds, which is the most interesting: it’s basically “Caught in a Mosh” by way of Exhorder, except that drummer Trey Williams is playing an unusual pattern which approximates the speed-ramping beats one usually associates with electronic music. It should go without saying that I’m not suggesting Dying Fetus attempt some kind of Illud Divinum Insanus in the future… but it is remarkable how far just a little change will take you.

Dying Fetus’ Wrong One to Fuck With comes out June 23 on Relapse. You can stream the track “Die with Integrity” and pre-order the album here. Listen to our interview with Dying Fetus drummer Trey Williams on The MetalSucks Podcast here.

Dying Fetus – Wrong One To Fuck With

Album Review: Dying Fetus’ Wrong One to Fuck With

Written By: Timothy Voldemars Johnston

Let me paint you a picture, set the scene.

The day started shitty. Work was busy, weather was bone chilling and my mood was…unpleasant. Up at 6am. Out the door by 6:30. Same as usual. But unlike usual there was an energy in the air. A tingling feeling that something was coming. Something that would change things. Got off work at 4. Felt like shit. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, perhaps I should just go home and actually get some sleep, but no, I have somewhere to be, comrades to meet-up with and a band to see. So, I take the hour and a half drive downtown… through our ugly city in rush hour traffic, past the hordes of miserable shits right into the heart of it. To say that the drive put me in a worse mood would be an understatement. Luckily parking was quick to find. I’d never been to this part of the city before so I had no idea what to expect so I came early just to make sure I wasn’t late. Perhaps I’d find something new. But, in a city such as this, I should have known this part would be the same as all the others. Yes, I’m bitter. That should be obvious. Standing before the parking meter a man comes up to me and asks if I’m going to the Wardruna show. He doesn’t look like a metal head so I’m thinking, scalper. I don’t like scalpers. I tell him politely that I am and very much looking forward to it. He asks if I have tickets already. Arg, scalper for sure. Yes, I tell him. He says ok, he has extras and was going to give me one. Yes, give me, free. Finally a smile creeps onto my face. The mood changes. Not as scalper. I remember that Wardruna may be bringing out a different type of crowd. Not just metal heads. I silently admonish myself. We start talking of neo-folk bands and how this show is going to be amazing. My mood now brightened considerably, I walked towards the venue. On the way I start to see men and women in full Viking garb. Fuck ya. They have smiles on their faces and are just glowing with anticipation. Now I’m getting excited myself. The energy is strong pulling me from my darker self. I start to stop thinking about work and start thinking about what is about to happen. I have no idea what’s going to happen. That makes it even better. From the conversations I’m hearing around me it seems no one has any idea of what they are about to see. Anticipation builds.

I get to the venue and lo and behold some of my tribe are there (I go to a Pagan event every year and consider those people my tribe). They rush up and greet me and great conversation is had. Some of them have driven hours just to get there to witness what is about to happen. And again, they aren’t metal heads so again I admonish myself for my earlier short-sightedness. After a good conversation I go to grab some food at the Allen (beside the Danforth Music Hall where the show is) and meet up with my Hexenklad bandmates John (who is the reason I got a ticket) and Andrew and Andrew’s brother Alex. Good food is had and the drinks flow. Also, got to hang out with Wolven Ancestry’s old drummer Jean-Guy Demers who I hadn’t seen in a long time.

Finally it’s time. We get into the venue’s lobby and its chaos. Organized chaos but still, chaos. People everywhere. All laughing and talking and greeting each other. Everywhere I turn I know someone. The energy is electric. Anticipation is building. We finally get through the crowd and get to our seats. Small seats (for us big folk). Nice big venue. Like a larger Opera House (though it’s all pastels and the stage is lower and the floor is slanted so everyone anywhere can see the stage perfectly). The lights go down. Cheering begins. Then a spotlight comes on, two men in tunics with giant horns stand in the middle of the stage, their shadows huge upon a custom backdrop that, depending on the lighting, looks like frosty snow or bright green leaves or brown wheat fields or just trippy textures. The sound that comes out is huge. It fills the room. Overwhelming. Other instruments start coming in. Building to one crescendo after another. Then darkness. The next song starts. Every song that follows, ebbs and flows, builds up and crashes down, the songs like waves of sound on an unimaginably deep ocean of meaning. I am in a trance from beginning to end.

The main vocalist’s voice is amazing. Emotive yet with perfect pitch and quite an impressive range. He used hand gestures throughout the performance to let us all know which song was being sung and what the song was about (which in and of itself if quite impressive). The female singer on the other hand never stopped moving. She swayed to the music, enraptured in the moment, her voice soaring through the hall. It was quite beautiful to watch the two opposites on stage both becoming one with the music.

When the lights finally came on the audience erupted in applause. Standing ovation from everyone there. Screaming and cheering and clapping the audience hailed the band. We’ve all been honored to witness what just happened.

Wardruna – One of the best shows I’ve ever been to. More of an experience than a show. I was blown away. Beautiful and powerful and trance-inducing. From beginning to end perfect.

Written By Timothy Voldemars Johnston

Wardruna A Night To Remember

On this date in history, 2/1/1983, I went to my first “age 21 and over” club show. The concert featured The Joe Perry Project and it was at the sensational Vogue nightclub in Broad Ripple. Joe had just recently left Aerosmith and I had his first album with the new band. It was loaded with Joe’s fierce playing and I was stoked to get this opportunity to see him up close and personal. My friends and I stood out in the cold Indiana winter, waiting to go in and get our faces melted. I remember we were all talking with some random people as we waited and someone asked us where we came from. When we replied Kokomo, they wondered aloud why we would travel all that way to see Joe Perry. I thought to myself, “Because he’s Joe Fucking Perry, you idiot!” but kept discrete and simply replied, “Have you ever BEEN to Kokomo?” That got a laugh out of my friends, at least. The show was everything I had hoped for…intimate, loud, energetic and passionate…all the ingredients I crave in my rock ‘n’ roll. This was in the time before moshing came along, but there was a guy who kept kind of slamming into me on the general admission floor. Eventually, a big security guard came along and removed the annoying guy and came back and asked me if I knew him. I had never seen him before and the guard told me the guy had a knife in his hand and was planning to stick me with it! True story! It wasn’t my time to go, because I had to witness Joe Perry do what he does best…deliver attitude drenched rock at a dangerously loud level. Near the end of the set, Joe started playing the unmistakable opening chords to “Dream On.” Of course, the crowd went nuts, but Joe just stood there with that famous Joe Perry sneer and casually asked us, “Do you wanna hear some more?” Thunderous applause was his answer. Instead of performing Aerosmith’s signature song, Joe said something to the effect of, “I don’t play that shit anymore” and launched into a scalding riff of one of his originals, standing defiantly in resistance to his past and facing a future of uncertainty on his own merits. We all know he eventually found his way back to the mothership, but I had to give him credit for walking away and taking that chance. There are many who play better, but I can’t think of anyone who looks more cool with a guitar slung over his back than Joe! Thanks for making my first club show one that would make me want to keep coming back for more…I see no end in sight!

Written By Braddon S.Williams aka “The Concert Critic”

On This Date in History