Live Review – Five Reasons Why Styx Are Not to Missed !

If you want a great night to rock out and feel young again get to a Styx show .

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Northfield, Ohio – The multi platinum award winning iconic band Styx stopped by the North Coast on their latest tour in support of ” The Mission ” ( An amazing album , make sure you get a copy )  . In honor of them giving an amazing performance this week we decided to list the five reasons why Styx are not to be missed !

Styx Live On Stage
Styx Live On Stage

One -Creativity

Why many bands or classic rock band rest on their laurels , Styx does not . They continually test their musical chops by creating new challenges and music . Case in point ,” The Mission ” an amazing rock opera of a mission to Mars and emotions and feelings of it and guess what . They are doing the complete album live on select dates on the tour . I remember being a kid and every time a new tour came to town,  being one of the first to see the music performed live  was special  and this recreates that time in my life .

Styx Live on Stage
Styx Live on Stage

Two-Musical Range

The musical range and ability of the Styx members cannot be understated . The range of Tommy Shaw’s voice and his virtuosity playing his Gibson guitar is a sight to behold and a treat for the ears . The voice of Laurence Gowan along with his beautiful keyboard playing on both classic songs such and ” Come Sail Away ” and modern classics at ” Khedive ” and his stage persona ( think acrobat meets comedian think stage actor ) makes it a fun night ! The aggressive guitar of  James ” JY ” Young  and rough and tumble vocals on classics as ” Miss America ” really make it a well rounded band .Bassist and guitarist/vocalist Ricky Phillips ( formally of The Babys/Bad English ) proves he is rock n’ roll royalty every night and beings it all together . The drumming of Todd Sucherman was as sight to behold. I was watching as he switched grips from a jazz grip to the power grip of a rock song . Subtle little things like that show a true professional in his prime ! Last but not least is founding member Chuck Panozza without whom Styx would not exist . His drive and ambition to create music cannot be understated in it’s importance .

Styx live on stage
Styx live on stage

3-Drive

Styx tours more then any other band that I know of . They continually sell out venues across the US for one simple reason .They give the fans what they want , two hours of great music and an escape from reality . For a band that literally could live off of their royalties they don’t , they get out there in front of the live audience and show them you can rock at any age from 17-70, the spirit never dies .

A fan recording a Styx moment in time
A fan recording a Styx moment in time

4-The Hits

The list goes on and on but the hits are not just songs , but time capsules to a different era when life simpler and not so complex. ” Blue Collar Man ” ( Long Nights ) , ” The Grand Illusion ” and ” Lady ” will live on and on in our memories. The new hits such as ” Gone , Gone , Gone ” and “Radio Silence ” are a beloved update as well to the mega list of hits . If you want a great night to rock out and feel young again get to a Styx show .

Styx live on stage
Styx live on stage

5-Giving Back

The band continually gives back to the community in both musical and financial means . Their history of playing a full concert with the Cleveland Youth Orchestra , showing the kids of today that classic and classic rock can be combined in a fun and exciting way . The  Rock To The Rescue charity  in which fans buy raffle tickets to a signed guitar with the funds  going to a local charity  takes place on most dates of the tour .

Lawrence having fun on stage !
Lawrence having fun on stage !

With all that mind , these are the five reasons Styx are not to be missed . Please don’t forget to listen to our interview with Laurence Gowan in a previous post. Until next time don’t be a ” Renegade ” and get to a show !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2lR2r-FjM8

 

Exclusive Interview -Lawrence Gowan of Styx

One of the best interviews you will ever hear !

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In this call in  interview we talk with Lawrence Gowan of Styx . We discuss family ,how they got the name of the ship from “The Mission ” , bands changing members and audicnce reaction , comic books and fan interaction . This is one fun interview so please have a listen and enjoy .

https://youtu.be/W2lR2r-FjM8

 

 

Live Review – Black Label Society-True Metal At It’s Best !

Get Loud, Get Heavy , The Metal Has Arrived

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Cleveland , Ohio – The mighty Black Label Society returned to a capacity crowd this week at Cleveland’s House of Blues . The almost intimate venue was the perfect stage for which Zakk Wylde to sonically shake the ear drums of all within those hallowed walls . One of the most respected guitar  players around , along with a band that has to prove their musical chops on a nightly basis . This was metal for the masses . Imagine guitarist Dario Lorina stress as a musician . You are Zakk Wylde’s guitar player , that is one hell of a supervisor as your job .

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BLS

The crowd was packed at the House of Blues with BLS shirts and tattoos everywhere . It was almost cult like but not , these were well versed metal heads ranging from 14 to 60 years of age and they came to rock . Zakk played close to two hours of music and the fans could not get enough ,all 17 songs were ingested like a warm meal with an ice cold beer to wash it down .Some of the fan favorites were ” Heart Of Darkness” ,” In This River ” and ” Fire it Up ”

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BLS

Black Label Society is

This is one well oiled metal machine and we highly recommend you check a performance if they are anywhere within your state. Until next time , Rock On !

BLS
BLS

 

Album Review- Grim Reaper -At The Gates

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There is an old expression that if you put 10000 hours into something, you are an expert. Therefore, after 40 years of experience, perhaps you can be considered a legend. Despite the fact that Grim Reaper have been active for over four decades and were part of the wave of British heavy metal with the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, they still remain below the radar of popularity behind their counterparts. Nevertheless, led by Steve Grimmett, Grim Reaper continues to tour and record with a new lineup consisting of bassist Julian Hill and drummer Mark Pullin, alongside Steve and his long-term collaborator, guitarist Ian Nash. Which brings us to their new album scheduled for release October 25, 2019 titled “At The Gates”.

As with all bands with a new lineup and 40 years of experience under the belt, Grim Reaper is a different band since their beginnings in 1979 and their new album reflects that. At The Gates provides the listener with a mature and emotional experience centered around classic Heavy Metal riffs from the days of yore. This is evident straight from the album-titled, opening track and carries through the albums first ten tracks. Guitarist Nash leads each song with trademark lead riff and only “What Lies Beneath” opens with a more classic late ‘70’s hammering sound found in heavy metal music of it’s time. The final track “Shadows of the Dark” provides a different sound compared to the rest of the CD with an opening sound of chanting before a lyrical story of personal inflection begins.

Lyrically, this album is different then many heavy metal albums but is relatable to the audience who have followed Grim Reaper over the decades. At The Gates deals with the difficulties of life of people who have experienced times of despair and uncertainty. Recorded after the tragic health situations of Steve Grimmett, the feelings expressed within the CD touch an emotional nerve with those who have experienced similar situations themselves or those of someone they have loved.

At The Gates is a quality British Heavy Metal album filled with solid musical leads and riffs equal to their iron Maiden and Judas priest counterparts. It is also a different album then previous Grim Reaper albums with Steve Grimmett’s timeless vocals being the primary link between past and present. Hill and Pulin play solid rhythm’s with Nash’s riffs being strong and scintillating throughout the album. As with all bands who have undergone personnel changes, new members bring new concepts providing At The Gates with a sound with a more modern edge then albums past and sometimes, change is good.

Please see their official website for the details  at http://www.facebook.com/grimreaperofficial

Live Review – RATT, Warrant, FireHouse & Kix at Tag’s Summer Stage

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Big Flats, NY-Its mid-September, a few weeks after Labor Day, kids are in school and the leaves are changing colors. Fall is in the air but summer is not over at the annual Tag’s Summer Stage in Big Flats, NY. This year’s event featured a bill of the top bands from the 1980’s – Ratt, Warrant, Kix band and Firehouse. The sold out crowd was hot and ready for the evening, and not just because of the unseasonably warm 86 degree weather outside. With an evening containing over a combined 50 top 40 hits and tens of millions of albums sold, summer was clearly not over just yet.

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Opening up the evening, but hardly an opening band, Kix the band played all their hits. The Boys from Baltimore came out in full force with lead singer Steve Whiteman strutting and performing with the same energy and enthusiasm he has since the beginning of the band. The crowd sang enthusiastically, knowing all the lyrics to their hits from their platinum selling Blow My Fuse album and their successful follow up, Hot Wire. Kix concluded their 45 minute set to applause as they thanked the people for supporting them over the years .

20190921_190116The next act was American Music Award Winning band from Virginia, Firehouse. The band reached stardom during the early 1990s with hit singles like “Reach for the Sky”, “Don’t Treat Me Bad” and “All She Wrote”, as well as their signature power ballad “Love of a Lifetime”, which had fans slow dancing on stage during the performance. Firehouse, who still tour extensively overseas, played a seamless set befitting a band who has been together for over 20 years.

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As the sun began to set, Warrant came in to light up the night. The Down Boys from California tore into the crowd, playing all their rocking hits and ballads from their platinum selling albums D.R.F.S.R. and Cherry Pie. Front man Robert Mason has cemented himself as Warrant’s lead singer since the unfortunate passing of Jani Lane and he also sung the title song of their 2017 album “Louder, Harder, Faster” which had the crowd singing aloud. He performed with an energy and style that has epitomized Warrant since the days of the sunset strip and is part of why Warrant is still touring extensively.
Closing the evening were one of the creators of the 80’s hair rock bands sound, RATT. Party arena rock anthems were their trademark and lead singer Stephen Pearcy showed the crowd why by playing in a traditional 80’s sequined outfit, arousing cheers from the women in the crowd. Original member Juan Croucier led the band, consisting of new members Jordan Ziff, Chris Sanders and Pete Holmes as the group performed classic RATT choreographed performances complete with twirls and leg kicks. The set concluded, naturally, with their biggest hit, Round and Round which had the crowd dancing until the end of the show. Pearcy thanked everyone for the party RATT has enjoyed over the years and here is hoping there are a few more parties to come.

DARK BLACK AND BLUE: THE SOUNDGARDEN STORY

Finally, Soundgarden’s legion of fans worldwide now have a book that tells the entire story – Dark Black and Blue.

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NEW BOOK CHRONICLES CAREER OF GRUNGE GREATS, ‘DARK BLACK AND BLUE: THE SOUNDGARDEN STORY’

There have been countless books penned about the leading grunge bands – namely, Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Surprisingly, few have been assembled about the mighty Soundgarden. But this is about to change, with the arrival of Dark Black and Blue: The Soundgarden Story.

Written by author/journalist (and longtime Soundgarden fan) Greg Prato, the book tells the Seattle band’s complete story – beginning with its members’ pre-SG days, all the way to today. Also featured are all-new interviews for the book, including chats with Matt Pinfield, Phil Anselmo, and Marky Ramone, among others, as well as rarely seen photos from throughout the band’s history.

In addition to dissecting and analyzing all of their albums (including such classics as 1991’s Badmotorfinger, 1994’s Superunknown, 1996’s Down on the Upside, etc.), readers will learn about the stories behind many of their classic songs (“Black Hole Sun,” “Jesus Christ Pose,” “Outshined,” “Hands All Over,” “Flower,” etc.), as well as recollections of tours (Lollapalooza, Guns N’ Roses, Neil Young, Faith No More, Blind Melon, Nine Inch Nails, etc.), goings on behind the scenes, and singer Chris Cornell’s surprising and tragic death in 2017.

The 453 page paperback book is priced at $19.99 and the Kindle digital version is $9.99, and either can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1691086134/. The book is also available as a Nook version for $9.99 at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-black-and-blue-greg-prato/1133636710.

Additionally, two excerpts from the book can be viewed via these links:

https://www.alternativenation.net/excerpts-from-new-soundgarden-book/

https://www.songfacts.com/blog/writing/dark-black-and-blue-soundgarden-story-book-excerpt

Greg Prato is a writer and journalist from Long Island, New York, whose writing has appeared in such renowned publications as Rolling Stone, Classic Rock, and Vintage Guitar. He is also the author of several popular books, including Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, and Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets. And you may even have heard him on one of his many radio or TV appearances, which have included interviews on The Howard Stern Wrap-Up Show, Eddie Trunk Live, and The Ron & Fez Show.

Finally, Soundgarden’s legion of fans worldwide now have a book that tells the entire story – Dark Black and Blue.

POP Evil review – Watertown NY – Sept 15, 2019

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Watertown , NY-The air was thick with anticipation and heat from a summerlike day in Watertown, NY as a packed house at the Exhibition Hall was ready for an intimate early evening Sunday rock show headlined by POP Evil.  And the boys from Muskegon, Michigan (and lady from London) did not disappoint as they rocked a full 2 hour set with an energy that POP Evil have made a trademark of all their performances.

Pop Evil live on stage
Pop Evil live on stage

POP Evil played their full setlist of hits spanning over the last two decades and included a few special fan requests such as PURPLE from their War of Angels album and When We Were Young from their latest self-titled album.  Frontman Leigh Kakaty’s vocals were in full effect with Matt DiRito and Hayley Cramer’s pounding percussions keeping fists in the air.  Dave Grahs and Nick Fuelling rhythms kept the rock hungry crowd going.  Breaks between the songs were short and showcased the humility and gratitude that has earned POP Evil respect worldwide by thanking everyone for coming out and supporting Rock acknowledging that it’s music for the people and appreciating everyone for coming out.

Pop Evil on Stage
Pop Evil on Stage
Pop Evil on Stage
Pop Evil on Stage

Opening act Royal Tusk were perfect in setting the tone for the evening.  Riding high on the rock radio success of their first single AFTERMATH off their Royal Tusk II album, the band from Edmonton, Alberta Canada showed why they are considered one of today’s up-and-coming groups.  This was the second time they have toured with POP Evil, the first one being part of the Canadian leg of POP Evil’s tour in 2018.  With this exposure in the United States, Royal Tusk is a band sure to be heard by everyone soon enough.

Warming up the evening was BRKN Love, a young band from Toronto, Canada who have just released their first single Shot Down on Spotify.  With a sound blending classic 90’s alternative rock with modern day heavy riffs, this is a band soon to be heard on rock radio.

STYX returning to Northfield, OH 10/10

A band that must be experienced live !

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Legendary and multi-Platinum rockers STYX–Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitars), James “JY” Young (vocals, guitars), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass), along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo—kicked off their 2019 headlining tour January 11 in Phoenix, AZ.

They’re performing in Northfield, OH on Thursday, October 10 at MGM Northfield .

After 14 years, STYX’s sonically sweet 16th studio album and its most ambitious, most challenging, and most rewarding album to date, THE MISSION, was finally released June 16, 2017 on the band’s label, Alpha Dog 2T/UMe. It debuted on various Billboard charts, including: #6 Top Rock Albums, #11 Physical Albums, #11 Vinyl Albums, #13 Current Albums, #14 Billboard Top Albums, #16 Retail, #17 Mass Merch/Non-Traditional, #29 Digital Albums, and #45 Billboard 200 (includes catalog and streaming). A video for the first single, “Gone Gone Gone,” and can be seen on the band’s official YouTube/Vevo page

“The planets truly aligned for THE MISSION, and I couldn’t be prouder,” says vocalist/guitarist Tommy Shaw, who co-wrote the album’s storyline with longtime collaborator Will Evankovich (Shaw/Blades, The Guess Who). “It’s our boldest, most emblematic album since PIECES OF EIGHT.” As founding guitarist James “JY” Young continues, “In the 40th anniversary year of our release of our biggest selling album of all time, GRAND ILLUSION, it just seemed truly appropriate to save our new studio album until this year. Needless to say, I’m very excited.”

 

The highly anticipated reissue of THE MISSION was released on July 27, 2018 via Alpha Dog 2T/UMe. The two-disc package includes a CD of the original album, as well as a Blu-ray of THE MISSION mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound by singer/guitarist TOMMY SHAW and producer Will Evankovich accompanied by stunning visualizations for each of the album’s 14 songs based on the album artwork. Other extras on the Blu-ray include: “The Making of The Mission Documentary” of exclusive interviews of SHAW and Evankovich, four music videos—“Gone Gone Gone” (official video), “Gone Gone Gone” (video created by NASA), “Radio Silence” (lyric video) and “Radio Silence” (live video from Syracuse, NY)—and three hi-res audio playback modes.

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At each tour stop, Rock to the Rescue—spearheaded by Tommy Shaw’s daughter, Hannah and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by the band, whose mission is to build strong, healthy communities through the support of grassroots organizations across the country–researches local nonprofit organizations and picks one to see if they are interested in volunteering to help the band sell $10 tickets for a drawing to win a signed STYX guitar at the shows.  They give these organizations a percentage of the sales as their way of supporting their cause and thanking them for supporting the band’s cause.

Make sure you head out to MGM Northfield on Oct 10 to see one of the greatest shows on earth .

Live Review -Adam Ant -Friend or Foe Tour 2019

A Show Not To Be Missed

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Cleveland, Ohio – The dandy highwayman known as Adam Ant  made a return stop to the North Coast this weekend and the ant fans could not have been happier . The tour marks the only time that the seminal 1982 album ” Friend or Foe ” was played in its entirety and it was sight and sound to behold  and the Cleveland Masonic Hall was the perfect venue for it .

To be honest this album was my first exposure to Adam as an adolescent and I have been hooked since . Adams fans are die hard . I was speaking to Allison K of Columbus Ohio and she said it was her 23rd show of Adams .That is a true fan

One of the highlights was  hearing songs such as ” Hello I Love You ” and ” Man Called Marco ” which usually do not get played .I did miss him not playing ” Wonderful ” but it understandable  as you cannot include every song in a set . Another highlight was ” Xerox” and ” Strip ” . I forgot how good Adam can play the guitar as well that as that was a treat also . Adam’s backup band or ant warriors as we like to call them  did an outstanding job as usual and they have been with him for quite a while so that is not a surprise .

They include

Andy Woodard, Drums

Will Crewdson, Lead guitar

Jola, Drums

Joe Holweger, Bass guitar

A.P. Leach, Rhythm guitar

Opening slot was none other then the Glam Skanks who  did a great job and I will be  doing a separate review for as well . The only negative of the night was the over use of the fog machine . It was it very difficult  to see and a few people in the front row said they had issues with coughing from it . So from one Ant fan to the next make sure you check out Adam And if he comes to a city near you .

Eddie Money – My Memories of the Man ! RIP Eddie

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When it was announced early today of the passing of Eddie Money it stopped me cold in my tracts . The recent release  of his battle with cancer affected me  so this news was just overwhelming . You see , I place all 80’s icons on a sort of pedestal as when they were on the top of the charts I was just a kid , loving life and being carefree until the responsibilities of age and maturity set ,so with Eddie I thought of my youth .

I didn’t know any well, in fact I only worked with the man twice . Once just covering a show and the second time a very long night about 8 hours , so I got to know the real man albiet if it was only for one long night .

I was working the Money for Animals event( a charity to help animals ) put on by Howard Perl Productions and I photographed the VIP meet and greet before the show and then the show . Well Eddie in his performance invited the entire audience  to meet him back stage for a picture and guess who took them all, yep me , let me add that Eddie wanted to speak and talk to everyone in line so it was not an instant photo and good by each person was there 5 to 10 minutes so it was a long night for all but a fun one as Eddie was very generous with his time .

I wanted to say goodbye to this wonderful gentleman and I know you will be Shakin’ up in heaven , Goodbye Eddie Rest In Peace