HELLYEAH / KYNG / CANE HILL - 2017
THE MASQUERADE - ATLANTA GEORGIA
WRITTEN BY TAYLOR RENEE AYERS
Within the Underground of Atlanta, Georgia on a Saturday night, the wild Masquerade concert venue held the attendees of a sold out show. Countless eager Metalheads hungrily awaited to headbang and mosh to the powerful lineup that was to take over the stage by storm.
First up was the Louisiana based band, Cane Hill. Despite being a fairly new band, they performed the show like true professionals. They had a noticeably strong stage presence and members with extremely high energy. Rough and aggressive, they were nothing less of a Heavy Metal band. The head banging and moshing was intense and devil horns and fists were held high. With everyone's blood and adrenaline pumping, the crowd was ready for what was to come next.
The second band to hit the stage was Kyng from California. They were also a Metal band with a promising future due to their increasing popularity. They gave a solid performance with a tough attitude that was simply Metal. The crowd became tighter and more riled up as the excitement intensified. Cane Hill and Kyng were the perfect duo to prepare the audience for the headliner, HELLYEAH.
There seemed to be no way that the crowd could get any more rowdy or loud, but the room seemed to explode when HELLYEAH took over the stage. The moshing, the headbanging, and the screaming of lyrics reached an all time high. The room was completely alive. HELLYEAH played with aggression, attitude and soul. The level of energy was completely extraordinary and contagious. The amount of energy was equal between the band and the crowd and it was undeniably powerful. Each song was performed with pure talent and raw emotion with 100% dedication. All three bands blew the crowd away and left an impression that will not be forgotten.
SHAMANS HARVEST - JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE - 2017
WRITTEN BY CHELSY DUNBAR
Johnson City, TN did not let a weekday stop them from showing Shaman's Harvest that they were there for a rock show when they made their appearance Tuesday night. As the guys stood side stage waiting to go on, the crowd was full of excitement and anticipation; cheering and clapping. Opening the show with "Blood in the Water", Nathan's vocals soared through the venue blowing everyone out of the water. Mid set, the band began their rendition of Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana", while the crowd sang every word at the top of their lungs. Radio stations everywhere have been receiving requests for the bands latest single "In Chains", so when they began the first few notes of the song it was no surprise the crowd erupted.
Nathan brought out his acoustic guitar and started playing what everyone in the crowd thought was "Dragonfly", but began to sing the first verse of "Behind Blue Eyes". I saw the shock on everyone's faces as they realized they had been tricked, but then quickly began to sing along. The song continued transitioning into "Dragonfly", and then eventually in closing, they did a rendition of "Whipping Post." Fans eagerly waited in a line for the bands arrival to their merch table so they could pose for photos, meet with the members, and purchase merchandise. They were all very welcoming to their fans, stopping to chat with everyone and sign anything they were asked to sign. They will definitely be welcomed back with open arms next time they come back to Tennessee.
BREAKING BENJAMIN - NORTH CAROLINA - 2017
written by Bob Forte - Contributing Writer
Breaking Benjamin have been a touring whirlwind since the release of their fifth studio album Dark Before Dawn back in June of 2015. Recently the band finished up another string of acoustic dates which were then followed up by the fan interactive Axes and Anchors cruise.
Switching gears and plugging their instruments back in on land Breaking Benjamin brought their brand of straight forward hard rock anthem sing-a-longs to a sold-out show this past weekend.
Dark Before Dawn and the subsequent tour is the first featuring an entirely new band lineup minus the group’s namesake and lead vocalist Benjamin Burnley. Six years between releasing new music and doing so with an entirely new group of musicians isn’t necessarily a recipe for future success.
Breaking Benjamin though appear to be unaffected by the lapse in time between new releases nor the reconstruction of the band’s guts as Dark Before Dawn debuted at number one on Billboard’s top 200 chart and the supporting tour has largely been playing to standing room only crowds.
Starset, a band that has been opening for Breaking Benjamin quite frequently on the Dark Before Dawn tour, was listed on the evening’s bill on Ticketmaster, however, shortly before 9:00 PM it was Breaking Benjamin themselves that took to the stage.
Breaking Benjamin’s new lineup does offer fans something different in terms of live performance. Aaron Bruch (bass/vocals) along with Keith Wallen (rhythm guitar / vocals), Jasen Rauch (lead guitar) and Shaun Foist (drums) deliver a much broader and diverse sound in a live setting versus previous incarnations of the band.
Wallen and Bruch both took turns on the evening singing lead vocals with Bruch manning the mic for “Simple Design” and “Believe”, while Wallen showcased his vocal talents on “Sooner or Later” while also contributing a few lead verses on “Until the End”.
Breaking Benjamin plays to their audience and the set list largely reflected this sentiment as it played out closely to a greatest hits kind of format including the aforementioned “Until the End” along with other fan favorites such as “So Cold”, “Follow”, “Blow Me Away”, “Breath”, “I Will Not Bow” and show closer “The Diary of Jane”.
Not necessarily known for their elaborate light shows, intricate visual imagery or even for varying their set lists all too much when it comes to their live performance Breaking Benjamin’s show proved to be no different. Probably the biggest takeaway on the evening was how much more layered and frankly more complete their music came off with the injection of the new musicians into the band.
Breaking Benjamin ultimately executed an extremely tight two-hour performance in North Carolina that had the crowd engaged from first note to last and really as a fan of any band can you really ask for anything more than that?
Breaking Benjamin- Knoxville, TN
for Rock/Metal Amplified - 2016
It's clear Breaking Benjamin fans are still buzzing about the band making it's way back. Joining members Keith, Jasen, Aaron and Shaun fit right into place as if they had been members all along.
The intro music, The Star Wars theme, began, the lights went up showcasing Shaun's drum kit with storm trooper helmets attached, and the members took the stage. These guys aren't afraid to show their love the Star Wars! Fans immediatley rushed to the front just to get a little closer as the first notes of So Cold are played and the night is started off with a bang. As the night progresses, the band plays hits from their newest album, Dark Before Dawn, and older albums such as Phobia. Keith took the stage to sing Sooner or Later on We Are Not Alone. Things slow down a bit halfway through the set with Ashes of Eden, one of the ending tracks to Dark Before Dawn, letting Shaun and other members take a quick break while Ben belts out the beautiful lyrics.
Things quickly pick back up with Blow Me Away, written for Halo 2, again showcasing Ben and all of his wonderful nerdiness. A few songs later, the room goes black and you can hear the breathing of Darth Vader. The room is dying of anticipation to see what is happening next. A glow appears, and Ben is standing on the high rise platform behind Shaun's kit waving a red light saber through the air announcing the upcoming Star Wars film. Lights shoot out from everywhere, and Ben plays an insane version of the Imperial March on his guitar. Next came a medley of Tool's Schism, Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, and Pantera's Walk. Ben handed the show over to Aaron, who then sang Believe, and absolutely blew it out of the water.
The band continued on with older hits such as Give Me a Sign, Until the End, and closing out the show with the single, Diary of Jane. The over all energy of the performance was incredible and the fans were provided with nonstop entertainment.
TOM KEIFER BAND REVIEW FOR CHARLOTTE NC SHOW
The Night was Wednesday November 11, 2015 and the stage was at Amos’s South End. This is where I finally got to see Tom Keifer Live. The show was a flashback to the good ole days and was nothing short of GREAT.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am going to be biased because in my opinion Tom Keifer and Cinderella have always been underrated. They have always been a favorite from the Head Banger’s Ball Era. Tom’s raspy voice and guitar playing have always set him apart from other bands. This also brings up another great moment I will discuss shortly.
The crowd was an mix of young and old that sang and had fun the whole evening. There was a lot of love for music in the room. When Tom took the stage with the opening song of ‘Fallin’ Apart at the Seams” to the final song “Gypsy Road” there was always singing and fist pumping. This brings up the other great moment, Riki Rachtman standing beside me enjoying the show too. Everyone remembers that VJ for Head Banger’s Ball.
There was a nice mix of solo stuff along with the classic Cinderella tunes. Tom also showed his soft side doing an outstanding rendition of “Don’t Know What You Got” with his wife Savannah. His voice was strong and “spot on”. Tom had a lot of energy and rocked the entire show without ever letting up not even to the end with the Encore with a great version of the Stones classic “Its Only Rock’n’Roll” & the Beatles “With A Little Help from My Friends.”
Tom’s band is solid with a tight sound. The show did not have a lot of flash but was just great rock’n’ roll. If you’re lucky enough to get a chance to see him Live, by all means, do it. If that’s not possible, pick up a copy of The Way Life Goes and give it a spin along with all the great Cinderella albums.
Tom Keifer’s Setlist:
01. Fallin’ Apart at the Seams
02. It’s Not Enough
03. A Different Light
04. Somebody Save Me
05. Shake Me
06. Heartbreak Station
07. The Flower Song
08. Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
09. Nobody’s Fool
10. Solid Ground
11. Night Songs
12. Coming Home
13. Shelter Me
14. It’s Only Rock n Roll
15. With A Little Help From My Friends (The Beatles cover)
16. Gypsy Road
Review by Cash Crawford…..
CAROLINA REBELLION 2015
The must see concert event of the year. Carolina Rebellion is back this year with quite possibly the stongest lineup yet. Featuring Slipknot, Korn, Rise Against, Linkin Park, Marilyn Manson, the return of Breaking Benjamin, and many many many more legendary and up and coming acts. On May 2nd and 3rd Rock will live at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Fans of Rock and Metal music you do not want to miss out on this weekend of music and fun. For Ticket information go to www.carolinarebellion.com/tickets.html
Carnival of Death Tour 10/12/2014
On October 12th, death came to Tampa, Florida. The Carnival of Death
tour came to the Orpheum in Ybor City. It was a line up consisting of
five legendary death metal bands and one up and coming band out of
Tampa. Fans traveled from many different places to see this night of
legendary death metal.
First up was local act
Must Not Kill. Though they had a short set, they demonstrated that Tampa
is one of the places where death metal started and that it is still
very much alive. They put on a heavy and energetic set. They were a good
opener for the acts to come.
The first act from
the tour package to play was New York Slam legends Internal Bleeding.
Touring in support of their first studio album in a number of years,
Imperium,they proved they have not lost a beat. Playing a set of new
material mixed with classic material, they brought their brand of death
metal to the rabid fans in attendance. Despite not having time to
prepare their sound equipment and some issues with the venue, they still
brought 110% to the stage. Guitarists Chris Pervelis and Brian Hobbie
brought the riffs, drummer Bill Tolley brought the punishing drums,
bassist Jay Liff ripped the bass, and vocalist Keith DeVito's vocals
tied it all together.This could possibly be the best line up this band
has had to date. Their set was sadly far too short, and left many
wanting more. Hopefully they will be back through the area headlining
Next up was death metal veterans
Pyrexia. They played a set with songs from all across their discography.
Despite having a shorter set, they delivered a punishing set. They even
had Keith DeVito of Internal Bleeding join them on stage for the song
"Confrontation" They definitely proved why they were on a bill with
other legendary bands.
Jungle Rot was up next.
They ripped through devastating material from their entire career.
Guitar driven death metal fury was the name of the game, and it was
great. Fans in attendance were shown that the band was a force to be
reckoned with, even on a bill stacked with legendary bands.
Canadian legends Kataklysm stormed the stage next. Playing a fast and
technical set scattered throughout their career, they showed fans that
they are here to stay.Touring in support of their newest album, Waiting
For the End to Come, they still made sure to expose fans to their
classic material as well. A lot of fans have been hoping to see the band
tour the states more often, hopefully they begin to see that and come
back more often.
Suffocation closed out the
Carnival of Death tour. Sadly this was the first night of the tour
without vocalist Frank Mullen, who had to return home that morning.
Ricky Myers from Disgorge took over vocal duties for the rest of the
tour and handled them very well. This probably caught fans off guard at
first, as no mention was made of this. The musicians were top notch as
always. Guitarists Terrance Hobbs and Guy Marchais showed their
technical fury. Derek Boyer kept the low end heavy. With legendary
drummer Kevin Talley behind the throne for now, they are certainly ready
to show the world how death metal should be.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter Tour 2014
Saturday December 13, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra brought the spirit of
Christmas, and the magic of rock and roll to the Amalie Arena in Tampa FL. They
played two packed shows that day. One at 3 PM and another at 8 PM.
RockMetalAmplified had the honor of being allowed to photograph and review the
8 PM show.
allowing time for everyone to get to their seats, the lights went dark. A video
introduction played, offering a slight preview of what was to come. After the
video finished, the video screen moved, and a giant trunk rose out of the
stage. As it opened, a drum riser and keyboard stand became visible. After
that, the show truly began. Using a movable lighting rig, laser lights,
pyrotechnics, video footage, moving platforms for the musicians, and narration,
the Trans-Siberian Orchestra presented a story of the spirit of Christmas, and
the effects of one little girl and some letters in the attic. The amazing
effects, lighting, and pyrotechnics did not take away from the story or the
talented musicianship of the band members.
band played a set focusing on their hit album "The Christmas Attic",
along with a few other Christmas favorites, and some other surprises. The set
was divided into 2 distinct portions, the first part telling the Christmas
story, featuring some great narration, and the second part focusing on some
non-Christmas songs off of their non Christmas albums, the 'Night Castle' and 'Beethoven's Last
Night" albums, as well as some covers and new material. This particular
line up of musicians featured some extremely talented musicians and singers as
Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a must see show for anyone who enjoys the spirit of
Christmas, anyone who enjoys a spectacular show, anyone who enjoys a great
concept story told through music and narration, and anyone who enjoys
exceptional musicianship across many genres of music. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra
aptly demonstrate that it is possible to blend a story, a show, and many styles
of music into something that is exceptional and magical, without losing
anything along the way.
special note of thanks to the staff of Amalie Arena, who went above and beyond
to assist, it is greatly appreciated. Anyone in the Tampa area should
definitely check out the venue, one of the best I have personally ever been in.