Thursday, March 27, 2008

Concert Review : Finger Eleven and Chevelle - Hippodrome, Springfield, MA

Radio Cinderella's glass slipper doesn't fit; Power trio from Chi-town rocks the house....

Finger Eleven
What seem to be the Cinderella's of today's pop radio, Finger Eleven, was the opening act for Chevelle. With their radio friendly catalog of songs, not much could save these guys outside of their lead guitarists sweet dance moves. The highlight of this set was Finger Eleven's most successful single to date, One Thing. It was well done and held together quite well. The rest of their set seemed disconnected and the band appeared to be trying too hard. At one point Scott Anderson, the lead vocalist, lost his positioning on stage, tripped over his monitor and fell to his knees. Their most recent radio hit, Paralyzer, went even further awry as they tried to infuse portions of the Doobie Brothers and Pink Floyd into their "breakdown". Stick to ruining your own stuff, guys. Thanks.

Yet another show that I had been anticipating for some time, Chevelle finally came to the area in support of their recent album Vena Sera. The power trio was as tight and on point as could be expected, replicating the sounds created on their recordings to near perfection. For a group of only three guys, Chevelle's sounds is big and powerful. Softer verses and aggressive guitar riffs burst into explosions of heavy licks and raw vocals. Standout performances were: Send the Pain Below, The Fad, Vitamin R, and Get Some. It pains me to only give these guys three stars, especially with half of my reasoning not being their fault, but there were two conditions with which I brought this from a four star performance down to only three. The Hippodrome in Springfield, Ma while an incredibly cool venue with tons of character has lackluster sound unless you are seated in the balcony. Also, it seems as though the crowd is never really that "into it" at this particular venue. I saw Staind there roughly two years ago, in their hometown of all places, and it took me (a guy from Connecticut) and my best friend to start the pit along with actually getting people to move to the music. It seems like the 'drome just draws a lame crowd. So, take half a star away due to the venue. The other half of star gets deducted because while Chevelle played a very well rounded set, they walked off stage and never came back. No encore. Even with cheering. I know encores have become a bit cliche with their attached expectation, but these days it is most certainly the norm and I felt cheated without one last chance to say goodbye and bang my head.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Concert Review : Silverstein, The Devil Wears Prada, A Day to Remember, Protest the Hero - Palladium, Worcester, MA

The opener for the Snow Bros tour, PtH is one of the best math/tech metal bands around to date. With riffs that are reminiscent of Iron Maiden and vocals that will make your ears bleed, I was truly looking forward to checking these guys out. They performed with the intensity, passion and precision found on both their albums, Kezia and the newly released Fortress. Protest the Hero was a complete pleasure to see and I feel they should have been higher up on the bill. I look forward to seeing them again.
A Day to Remember was the reason that I skipped my classes on this particular Thursday night and made the two hour drive to Worcester. They have been one of my favorite bands for the past year and a half and I highly anticipated seeing them perform. ADTR played an hour and a half set covering material from both of their albums with Your Way with Words and their cover of Kelly Clarkson's Since You've Been Gone being the standout performances. The boys from Ocala, Florida only earned three stars, though, due to the fact that I felt Jeremy, the lead singer, couldn't hit the notes in person he had originally recorded. As a fan, I give him the benefit of the doubt, with the understanding that touring and screaming night after night can take it's toll on one's throat. That being said, I need to give a fair review of what I saw and that's why one of my favorite bands only nets three stars.

The Devil Wears Prada
This Christian metalcore band rocked so hard, they turned me into a convert. I went in not knowing anything about The Devil Wears Prada and walked away thoroughly impressed. While I would consider them to be a bit harder than bands I would normally listen to, their musical aptitude turned me into a fan instantly. Their sound is hard to describe in words but there are elements of hardcore metal, typical emo scream/growling and keyboards infused into their music. An insanely high energy performance that translated into a highly energetic crowd, which you could see surge from side to side and front to back as a result of the collisions of mosh pit participants into unsuspecting crowd members. An excellent, unexpected discovery.


These emotionally charged Canadian guys were the cause of my getting kicked in the face and sustaining a bloody nose. As good of a performance as I've seen recently, Silverstein absolutely set the stage on fire. After lead singer Shane Told's recent break up of a seven year relationship, it made the performance that much more relevant and powerful. Shane absolutely poured his heart out on the stage this night. Stand out tracks, though only a few are hard to pick, were Smile in Your Sleep, Sound of the Sun and Bleeds No More. The mosh pit was one of the more burly I've been in as of late, complete with a guy doing the tightest roundhouse style kicks I've seen since Chuck Norris. Unfortunately for me, I didn't see this Chuck wanna be until his heel met my eye. Later in the set, during Bleeds No More, I managed to catch a forearm across the face which turned my nose on like a faucet. No matter, I wouldn't have offered up a form of respect for these guys in any other way. Get out and see Silverstein AS SOON as they come to your area!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Rating System

Over the past few weeks I've decided it would probably be best to start a formal rating system for all shows and albums. I was torn originally, as most of the shows I attend are obviously by bands that I enjoy, but it only makes sense that if you are going to review anything that there be some type of ranking system. The rating system will be as follows:

***** - Excellent
Run out and buy this album or ticket! This is an absolutely perfect performance. Near impossible to achieve.

**** - Great
A standout performance. This ticket/album/.mp3 is worth your hard earned money. This performance is great all the way through with a good amount of standout tracks.

*** - Good
A worthy performance. Grab the album or check out the concert if you're a fan. This performance may not be the strongest to start out with.

** - Mediocre
Not up to par. Give it a listen and decide for yourself.

* - Bad
Don't bother.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Review : Nonpoint, Novus Dae - Webster Theatre - Hartford, CT


One of my absolute favorite bands returned to the area for the second time in two months on February 4, 2008. Nonpoint is currently touring in support of Vengeance, their latest release. I was a bit hesitant to snatch these tickets up due to a previous Nonpoint show I attended where their set only lasted a little over an hour. I was fairly disappointed, but it was easily the fourth time I had seen them within a year and attributed the short performance to fatigue.

Needless to say, they absolutely did not disappoint this time. A truly rejuvenated Nonpoint appeared on the stage at the Webster on this particular Monday night, ready to do nothing short of tear the place apart. While the new songs March of War and Wake Up World were extremely strong, it was Nonpoint classics such as : Alive and Kickin', The Truth, What a Day and The Wreckoning that made the crowd surge. This was by far the best showing I have seen from the band and the crowd responded as such. Midway through the set Elias, the lead singer, threw his bracelet out to a guy standing on the edge of the pit, in order to give him props for picking up at least six people off the ground. While it was one of the meanest moshes I have ever endured (maybe my age is begining to show?!...), it was also filled with cameraderie and pure affection for the band. Get out and see these guys when they're in your area, without a doubt.

Novus Dae

Amazingly enough, a bill that I had lusted after for almost two years finally came to fruition : my favorite local band opening up for one of my favorite bands ever. This was the first time I got to see Novus Dae, from Plainville, CT, play anywhere larger than your average hole in the wall bar. I'm seen them an exorbant amount of times, travelling anywhere in the state where they may play. I am a regularly recognized fan in the crowd, often getting to talk to the guys after they get off the stage.

Their new stuff sounds great live and the guys put on an excellent performance in front of a decent sized crowd. They were on their game, even as Ryan literally cracked a tooth after a screaming portion on Sargent Ricketts and spit a portion of his tooth on the stage floor. As usual, I felt 2 11 was their strongest, follwed very closely by the afformentioned Sargent Ricketts. I'm looking forward to a new release from these guys very soon!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Review : Bayside/Straylight Run - Webster Theatre, Hartford, CT

January 26, 2008

Straylight Run

A mix-up of ex Taking Back Sunday members, Straylight Run is an indie band currently signed to Victory Records. Their set was roughly an hour long and stuck in the middle of two much faster paced bands: Bayside and Four Year Strong. All was not lost, however. Michelle DaRosa's voice really makes their music come alive and while they seem to have a more pop/experiemental vibe about them, some of their songs can cause some energy to expend from the crowd and at least get some head bobbing going. It was a good first experience and while not entirely my personal style, seeing Straylight is a worthwhile ticket purchase, just make sure you bring your significant other along.


The boys from Queens are back! Touring in support of their latest effort "The Walking Wounded", this was my third experience seeing Bayside in one form or another. I saw the entire band at Toad's Place during the spring of 2007 and also had the pleasure of seeing Anthony Raneri, the lead singer, perform a solo acoustic show at the Webster Underground late last summer, which was an entirely special experience all on it's own.

As usual, the band came out with obscene amounts of energy and thrashed through a full two hour set, mixing both old and new songs. Every song was equally powerful, but "Duality" and "Devotion and Desire" carried the most weight with me. The pit was full of energy and the band fed off of that. Anthony spoke out to security, after they moved into the pit and caused a lull in the action: "I'm not playing for you guys, I'm playing for them. They're just dancing, man.... Leave them alone!" and then he proudly presented a middle finger to what was the drain of energy in the room. Just what a fan needs to hear to keep the momentum going! I sustained two swollen fists, a bruised elbow and chipped front tooth, but all are to be expected and signs that a good time was had! My expectations were met and exceeded by this powerful foursome and I look forward to seeing them again ASAP! Make getting your hands on a ticket an absolute priority, should they visit your area!

The Black Swan has Arrived!

Epitaph annonced today that Story of the Year's next album "The Black Swan" will be released on April 22, 2008! This is sure to be a special disc as the guys had anything but a clean break from their last record label, Maverick.

As posted by Dan Marsala, SOTY's lead singer, in his personal blog:
"We are very proud of this one and I can't wait for you guys to hear it. I'm sorry this writing and recording process has taken so long, but I'm sure everyone has read about us signing a new record deal and all that shit. It's been a long year for us, and a shitload of work, but all of the fucked up shit that we've been through has sparked a new fire in this band. We're ready to get back on the road and burn down every fucking club in the world. 2008 is going to be a big year for us. Signing to Epitaph is one of the best things that could have ever happened to our band. They are an amazing label that actually cares about music, not just making fucking money."

I believe that says it all about this one. Fuel to the writing fire that is the fury we've come to know and love from these guys. Expect this album to have the appeal of Page Avenue, while carrying the heavy, fast riffs of In The Wake of Determination.


The Mosh Pit will provide coverage of underground Hardcore and Punk news, as well as live concert reviews and whatever other random tidbits I choose to offer up. Expect the latest from Victory Records, Roadrunner Records, Epitaph, Drive-Thru and many more!

Prepare to take over the world!