GHOST Mastodon Spiritbox Concert Review

GHOST Mastodon Spiritbox Concert Review
Peoria Civic Center
Peoria, Illinois
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

GHOST

GHOST

 

 

The Imperatour continues and sold out Peoria Civic Center. Grammy award winner GHOST continues their success. Their song “Mary On A Cross” is finding new fans due to their TikTok sensationalism after being featured in a Stranger Things mash up.  Some people are shocked that the song is so blasphemous. “Mary On A Cross” is a release from a seven inch EP with only two songs on it. That EP, Seven Inches of Satanic Panic was released September 13, 2019. Their fifth studio album Impera is a concept album inspired by the book The Rule of Empires: Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, and Why They Always Fall by Timothy Parsons. Tobias Forge who is the man behind the Papa Emeritus IV and Cardinal Copa explains that the album is a creation on Empires and why they fall. He emphasizes that the album is fiction and entertainment.  Do not criticize Forge as he is just a rock artist and not a religious or a political leader. Instead we should listen to what he is talking about of his interpretation of Empires and their greed and their downfalls being cyclical in nature. 

 

Spiritbox is from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  The band was started by Courtney LaPlante vocalist and Mike Stringer guitarist, husband and wife.  Many fans were looking forward to seeing Spiritbox live for the first time.  Vocalist, Courtney LaPlante has an amazing clean singing and also great growling.  Her vocal skills are rare.  There are many vocalists who can do both singing and growling but not many sound as good as LaPlante.  Her clean singing is ethereal and beautiful.  Spiritbox debut album Eternal Blue was released September 17, 2021.  

The band took the stage with everyone clad in black.  Courtney LaPlante wore a black dress and fishnet tights and platform boots.  She walked around the stage with authority.  They sounded great during their set that consisted of the songs “Circle With Me”, “Hurt You”, “Yellow Jacket”, “Holy Roller”, “Rotoscope” and “Hysteria”.  The fans hope for a headlining tour so they can hear all their fantastic songs live.  See where they are performing next on their website: Spiritbox.com

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

 

 

 

 

Mike Stringer of Spiritbox

Mike Stringer of Spiritbox

 

 

Josh Gilbert

Josh Gilbert with Spiritbox

 

 

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

 

 

Zev Rose of Spiritbox

Zev Rose of Spiritbox

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

 

 

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

 

 

Mike Stringer of Spiritbox

Mike Stringer of Spiritbox

 

 

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

Courtney LaPlante of Spiritbox

 

The Grammy award winning metal band Mastodon has been around since 2000.  The band consists of bassist Troy Sanders, lead guitarist Brent Hinds, rhythm guitarist Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor.  Sanders, Hinds and Dailor all take turns at vocalist while Kelliher sings back-up.  Their style is definitely progressive metal and we consider them a metal jam band.  They have been featured in video games and Dailor, Hinds, and Kelliher were in Game of Thrones as wildlings and later Hinds and Kelliher appear as wights.  Their track “White Walker” was on the Games of Thrones soundtrack.  Mastodon‘s eight studio album, Hushed and Grim was released on October 29, 2021.   Their stage had two large horizontal led screens with images of octopi, wolves, zombies, moroccan temples, pyschedelic totems.  Mastodon was exiting the tour this night and we were lucky to see them. 

Mastodon

Mastodon

 

 

Troy Sanders of Mastodon

Troy Sanders of Mastodon

 

 

Brent Hinds of Mastodon

Brent Hinds of Mastodon

 

 

Troy Sanders of Mastodon

Troy Sanders of Mastodon

 

 

Brent Hinds of Mastodon

Brent Hinds of Mastodon

 

 

Bill Kelliher of Mastodon

Bill Kelliher of Mastodon

 

 

Brent Hinds and Troy Sanders of Mastodon

Brent Hinds and Troy Sanders of Mastodon

 

 

Brann Dailor of Mastodon

Brann Dailor of Mastodon

 

 

Troy Sanders of Mastodon

Troy Sanders of Mastodon

 

GHOST stage had a gray Kabuki Drop that revealed the band on a huge stage with large backdrop of stained glass featuring Papa Emeritus IV. The drum riser was high in the center with stairs surrounding it.  The nameless Ghouls were positioned on platforms behind the drum kit and to the side of the stage.  The nameless Ghouls were wearing gas masks and black uniforms with fringed shoulders and boots.  

GHOST‘s fans are ranged in age from eight years old to fans in their sixties and possibly older. They dressed in black t-shirt and jeans, dresses, costumes ranging nuns, Papas, and even a dominatrix. Fans came in from miles around to see the show.

Tobias Forge had seemless costume changes wearing a general uniform that corresponded to the name Ghouls attire.  His costumes also included some bat wings, Papal vestments and then a sequined suit jacket.  The theatrical stage performance included concussive blasts.  A Frankenstein Papa that had to be brought back to life.  During “Mummy Dust”, gold confetti was blasted into the crowd.  When Tobias Forge is in the sequined suit jacket he reminded of The Joker and if the stage lights had not been in his eyes, he might have done a dance down the stairs.  There was also flames blasted and colored confetti.  During the final song, a curtain of sparks ended the show.  The show had so many entertaining elements it was hard to say what was my favorite.  Hopefully, you will be able to make it to a show to see what you love yourself.  

GHOST

GHOST

 

 

GHOST

GHOST

 

 

GHOST

GHOST

GHOST

GHOST

 

 

GHOST

GHOST

 

 

GHOST

GHOST

 

 

GHOST

GHOST

 

 

GHOST

GHOST

 

 

GHOST

GHOST

 

 

 

 

You can be featured on their website with your art by using the #IMPERAUnholyVestments 
Find out when the next tour happens on Ghost’s Website
 

                                

Sources: setlist.fm, wikipedia.org, https://youtu.be/KZ7dPYSetlI 

Greta Van Fleet with Rival Sons and The Velveteers Concert Review

Greta Van Fleet with Rival Sons and The Velveteers Concert Review
Peoria Civic Center
Peoria, Illinois
Monday July 25th, 2022

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

 

 

The Dreams in Gold Tour finally made its way to Peoria, Illinois after being delayed by Covid. The Peoria Civic Center show was sold out. I accurately predicted that Greta Van Fleet would be selling out arenas when they came to Peoria in 2017 and sold out the Limelight for Nutcracker. Read my review and see how much they have changed here: Nutcracker 2017. Greta Van Fleet has had a meteoric rise over the past five years. The band comes from Frankenmuth, Michigan and now have begun touring all over the world. You may have heard them on the radio and been interested because they sould like Led Zeppelin. Or your friends may have told you about them and you started listening and love them. Their newest album is The Battle at Garden’s Gate and is out now.

The Dreams in Gold Tour is joined by The Velveteers and Rival Sons. The Velveteers were the first openers. The band is a three piece rock band from Boulder, Colorado. They are in the space between hard rock and punk. The band consists of vocalist, guitarist Demi Demitro, drummer Baby Pottersmith and drummer, keyboardist, Jonny Fig. The Velveteers debut album, Nightmare Daydream, was released October 8, 2021. Their live show instantly grabbed the attention of the fans. Their dual drum kit was sitting close to the front of the stage. The energy was frenetic from the start. Baby Pottersmith took their drum into the crowd and the crowd helped them hold it while they did not miss a beat. Find out more on their website: The Velveteers

The Velveteers

Baby Pottersmith and Jonny Fig of The Velveteers

 

 

The Velveteers

Demi Demitro of The Velveteers

 

 

The Velveteers

Baby Pottersmith of The Velveteers

 

 

The Velveteers

Jonny Fig of The Velveteers

 

 

The Velveteers

Baby Pottersmith and Jonny Fig of The Velveteers

 

 

The Velveteers

Demi Demitro of The Velveteers

 

 

The Velveteers

Jonny Fig of The Velveteers

 

 

The Velveteers

Baby Pottersmith of The Velveteers

 

 

The Velveteers

Baby Pottersmith of The Velveteers

 

 

The Velveteers

Baby Pottersmith of The Velveteers

 

 

Rival Sons tooks the stage next. They are a Grammy nominated rock band from Long Beach, California. The band consists of vocalist Jay Buchanan, guitarist Scott Holiday, bassist Dave Beste, and drummer Michael Miley. Rivals Sons were impressive performers. They impressed the crowd with their blues rock sound. Their setlist included “Electric Man”, “Do Your Worst”, and “Nobody Wants to Die”. During their set, they took time to dedicate an acoustic version of “Shooting Stars” to Ukraine. You can see where they are next on their website: Rival Sons

Rival Sons

Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons

 

 

Rival Sons

Scott Holiday of Rival Sons

 

 

Rival Sons

Todd Ögren of Rival Sons

 

 

Rival Sons

Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons

 

 

Rival Sons

Scott Holiday of Rival Sons

 

 

Rival Sons

Dave Beste and Michael Miley of Rival Sons

 

 

Greta Van Fleet sold out Peoria Civic Center with a capacity of twelve thousand. The band consists of brothers, vocalist Josh Kiszka, bassist Sam Kiszka, and guitarist Jake Kiszka and drummer Danny Wagner. Sam and Jake are twins. I know critics of Greta Van Fleet will say that they are not the best technical artists. The band has a huge following of fans of all ages. I met people who were seventy and then many young girls who were right in the front row. They are not passing fans of the band. They actually knew all the songs. The fashion for the fans consisted of a lot of velvet and see through. The outfits ran the gamut of hippie fashion to punk to just plain black t-shirt and jeans.

What impresses me about Greta Van Fleet is their draw of fans to rock music. Many of the fans would never listen Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, or Jethro Tull but they may now to hear the comparisons. The band has matured in sound and presence in leaps and bounds over the past few years. According to their Spotify artist profile, “Expectations may run high, but Greta Van Fleet is indifferent to opinion. The band doesn’t have to say a certain thing or act a certain way to convince anyone of their capacity. All they have to do is play.”

The stage was all white with keyboards on risers and the drum kit on a riser also. The band took the stage barefoot as that is how they like to perform. Josh wore a gold jumpsuit with a gauzy royal looking gold floor length jacket. He has gold accents on his the tops of his cheeks. Sam wore a suit jacket with a left wing and no shirt. Jake wore an embroidered suit jacket and no shirt. Danny Wagner was almost unrecognizable as he had dark eye make-up looking every bit of a glam rock star. He also had a gold and black tank top. On the stage, behind the band were space age looking lighted rings.
During the performance, pyrotechnics of fire and cannons went off during the show. The pyro must have made them hot because Sam lost the suit jacket about halfway through and performed shirtless. There were light boards that made rainbows during their set. They played and improvised their songs. Jake Kiszka did that trick of playing behind his head. One song the band was jamming for over twenty minutes. Jake was playing guitar non-stop, Sam was on keys and Danny keeping the beat with Josh interspersing short vocals.

If you can make it to one of their shows, it is a must see this year. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for rock music and Greta Van Fleet.

 

 

AA

CLICK TO VIEW COMPLETE GRETA VAN FLEET PHOTO GALLERY

 

 

 
Greta Van Fleet’s Website

                                

Sources: setlist.fm, wikipedia.org, https://www.thevelveteers.com/, https://www.rivalsons.com/, https://gretavanfleet.com/

Greta Van Fleet Dreams in Gold Tour Photo Gallery

Greta Van Fleet Dreams in Gold Tour Photo Gallery
Peoria Civic Center
Monday, July 25th, 2022

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet Dreams in Gold Tour

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Sam Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Danny Wagner of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Silhouette of Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Sam Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Jake Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Jake Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Jake Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Danny Wagner of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Josh and Jake Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Fans of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Fans of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Fans of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Greta Van Fleet

Fans of Greta Van Fleet

 

 

Black Dirt Music Festival 2022 Day 2 with Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness, The Record Company, Nikki Lane, and Backyard Tire Fire

Black Dirt Music Festival 2022 Day 2 with Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness, The Record Company, Nikki Lane, and Backyard Tire Fire
July 23
Downtown Bloomington, Illinois

Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 
The second day of Black Dirt Music Festival was threatened by thunderstorms and tornadoes. What else would you expect from Central Illinois. At least the storms stayed to the north and helped cool down the festival grounds.  The night started right with Backyard Tire Fire.

Backyard Tire Fire is the band started by Edward David Anderson and Tim Kramp in Asheville, North Carolina. They are currently located in Central Illinois. The band had been on hiatus since 2011 and started back up performing in the area in 2021. Edward David Anderson has a solo project also.  Backyard Tire Fire had been a favorite live band many of my friends. And I had yet to see them live. They are a band that you can see Backyard Tire Fire love what they do. Backyard Tire Fire is blazing rock.

Backyard Tire Fire

Backyard Tire Fire at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Backyard Tire Fire

Backyard Tire Fire at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Backyard Tire Fire

Backyard Tire Fire at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Backyard Tire Fire

Backyard Tire Fire at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Backyard Tire Fire

Backyard Tire Fire at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Backyard Tire Fire

Backyard Tire Fire at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Backyard Tire Fire

Backyard Tire Fire at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Backyard Tire Fire

Backyard Tire Fire at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Nikki Lane is a country artist who hails from Nashville. Her style is considered Outlaw Country. Self-dubbed the Highway Queen and her third album of the same name was released February 17, 2017. Her second album was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. She also co-wrote “Breaking Up Slowly” and performed on Lana Del Ray’s Album Chemtrails over the Country Club.

Nikki Lane was recently in Spain during the heatwave and had a travel horror story where she had to travel 54 hours and got her jewelry and money baggage stolen. Sounds like the beginning of a new song. Nikki Lane’s music sounds like old country. Her songs cover all the topics of cheating, stealing, and drinking. Her upcoming album Denim & Diamonds out September 23rd has been produced by Josh Homme.

Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

My new favorite live band is The Record Company.  The Record Company is a Grammy-nominated rock band that comes from Los Angeles. The singer, Chris Vos, said he grew up not that far away from Bloomington. His Allis Chalmers hat might be some indication that he grew up in a black dirt farmland area.

The energy of the band is one of joyful rocking. Chris Vos asked us if we were having fun because he was. It was evident that the whole band was enjoying themselves. The closest sound that I think of when listening to The Record Company is The Black Keys. They have a blues rock sound that is just good to listen to. They played a cover of “Hound Dog” and reminded us that it was written by Big Mama Thornton who has yet to be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

Their completed setlist:
Baby I’m Broken
How High
I’m Getting Better (And I’m Feeling It Right Now)
Turn Me Loose
Rita Mae Young
On The Move
In The Mood for You
Hound Dog (Big Mama Thornton cover)
Off The Ground
Life to Fix

The Record Company

The Record Company at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

The Record Company

The Record Company at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

The Record Company

The Record Company at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

The Record Company

The Record Company at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

The Record Company

The Record Company at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

The Record Company

The Record Company at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

The Record Company

The Record Company at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

The Record Company

The Record Company at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness is the latest band for Andrew McMahon. He founded the bands Something Corporate and also Jack’s Mannequin. Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness has a definite pop sound. His piano is front and center and stickers from all over. Prominently placed in the center of the piano is a sticker for his project Dear Jack Foundation . After recovering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia thanks to a bone marrow transplant from his sister, he and his wife decided to give support to adults and young adults with this disease.

Andrew McMahon went into his former bands for his headlining setlist. And he was a huge Tom Petty fan and decided to cover “American Girl”. He said he saw Mike Campbell the night before and wanted to pay homage. He moves from in front of piano all over and even jumps off the top of the piano. He bravely decided to go into the crowd on a llama pool float. He went all over and made it back to the stage unscathed all while singing.

Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Year three of Black Dirt Music Festival was bigger than ever and we cannot wait until next year.

                                

Black Dirt Music Festival 2022 Day 1 with Kaleo, Houndmouth, Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs, and Leah Blevins

Black Dirt Music Festival 2022 Day 1 with Kaleo, Houndmouth, Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs, and Leah Blevins
July 22
Downtown Bloomington, Illinois

Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 
The best outdoor music festival is one in your small town. Black Dirt Music Festival has returned for third year. The bands being brought to the stage have gotten huge.

Friday night started hot with temperatures starting at 88 with a heat index of 97. The humidity was not as bad as some days during July in the Midwest. What we say in Illinois is if you don’t like the weather, just wait, it will change. The festival is an eclectic mix of Rock, Folk and Americana.
Leah Blevins started the night off. Leah is from Kentucky and her music is definitely rooted in Country She has a classic beauty and great voice. Her band was the perfect compliment to her style. Most of the fans stayed in the shade which was plentiful in the back.

Leah Blevins

Leah Blevins at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Leah Blevins

Leah Blevins at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

Leah Blevins

Leah Blevins at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Leah Blevins

Leah Blevins at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

The next band on the lineup was Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs. Mike Campbell is a member of The Heartbreakers and co-wrote many of their hits with Tom Petty. Mike had been performing only in Los Angeles with The Dirty Knobs but finally decided to go on tour after the death of Tom Petty. We got to hear “Runnin’ Down A Dream” first. When Mike first walked out on the stage, he was having some small, technical difficulties. He was not happy with the sound for the first few songs. After getting dialed in, the band sounded great performing their songs and also Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers songs. Before performing the song with the expletive, Mike wanted to warn the crowd that there was a bad word for the kids but they’ll have to learn some day “F*ck Tht Guy”. During the set, they performed a stripped down, melancholy verson of “Refugee” Of course, the breakdown was still very rocking because it just has to be played that way. Mike Campbell lamented that 40 years ago, there was a lot of reasons for writing that song with Tom Petty and still to this day, it is relevant and dedicated to those people who needed it. The crowd got to see the band just jam and rock out for their final song. It was great seeing such talent at Black Dirt Music Festival. Many of the other artists at the festival were humbled to share the stage with Mike Campbell.

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth were favorites and had been at The Castle Theatre numerous times before. So many people told me that was their favorite band of the evening and that is who they were there to see. Houndmouth is from New Albany, Indiana. The band has been steady on the scene with performances at SXSW Festival, Bonnarroo and Lollapalooza. Their style is definitely Americana with roots in Rock. They have had some lineup changes but remain a band. They performed “Las Vegas”, “Honey Slider” “Darlin’” and of course, “Sedona” Houndmouth is one of those bands who you could dance all night to their songs and just feel them. Well, they had to make room for the Friday headliner, Kaleo.

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Houndmouth

Houndmouth at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo is a an Icelandic blues rock band. Their hits include “Way Down We Go” which has been certified as double platinum in the United States, “All The Pretty Girls” and “Rock ‘n’ Roller”, “No Good” and “ Break My Baby”. The band consists of Jökull Júlíusson aka JJ, drummer Davíð Antonsson, bassist Daníel Kristjánsson, lead guitarist Rubin Pollock and harmoncist Þorleifur Gaukur Davíðsson. Kaleo released their third studio album, Surface Sounds, on April 23, 2021. JJ has an amazing voice with a huge range. The band sounded great. You know when you want to go see your favorite band live and then you hear them and maybe they do not sound as good live as their album. That is not the case with Kaleo. They sounded better than their album. The harmoncist, Þorleifur Gaukur Davíðsson, had great energy bounding around the stage and playing with passion that is rarely seen with a harmoncist. The fans were there to rock out and Kaleo helped them achieve their goals.

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

Kaleo

Kaleo at Black Dirt Music Festival 2022

 

 

                                

The HU Concert Review with The Haunt

The HU Concert Review with The Haunt
Saturday, May 7, 2022
The Castle Theatre
Bloomington, Illinois

The HU

The HU at The Castle Theatre

 

 

 

Music is truly the universal language. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote it in 1835. Andrew Wood sang it in 1990. We got to live a little piece of it tonight at The Castle Theatre in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. Mongolian metal band The HU sold out The Castle Theatre. The venue has a capacity of eight hundred. The HU wants to spread positive energy through its music.

The band sings in Mongolian, plays traditional Mongolian instruments and uses the technique Mongolian throat singing.  The instruments in addition to drums, guitar and bass are the Morin khuur or horsehead fiddle is a beautiful instrument that may have been in existence for over 40,000 years. It is a symbol of peace and happiness.  The other instruments are the Tovshuur, considered a Mongolian Lute and tumuur hhuur, the mouth harp, and the tsuur, the flute. Throat singing is practiced by the nomadic tribes of the Altai Mountains to imitate wind and water. The HU’s album is named The Gereg. The Gereg allowed Mongolian people to travel in the 13th century all over the world with diplomatic passage so they wanted their band to do the same and spread their positive energy.

Coachella curated a video to introduce us to The HU. This was in advance of their Coachella set on April 15, 2022. You can see their beautiful country here.

Openers, The Haunt, are from Fort Lauderdale Florida and consists of siblings Anastasia, vocalist, and Maxamillion, guitarist, Haunt joined by Nat Smallish on bass and Nick Lewert on drums. The band had high energy with strong, solid alternative rock performance. They dressed like a punk band in black eyeliner, leather, fishnet tights, and metal necklaces. Anastasia kept things interesting by doing backbends while singing and jumping rope with the mic cord.

The Haunt songs seemed to touch on breaking up. They have a new full length album coming out next week.

Their complete setlist:
Morally
Ultra Light
Love You Better
Constant/St James
Brag About
Why Are You So Cold
Hook, Line & Sinker
FML
Make Me King
I’m Not Yours
 

During their last song, Anastasia had to stop the show because a fan in the front had passed out. She alerted security that the person needed help. The person eventually got up and walked out but scared all of us during the opening act. Great to see that The Haunt was paying attention enough to have security intervene.

The Haunt

The Haunt

 
The Haunt

The Haunt

 
The Haunt

The Haunt

 
The Haunt

The Haunt

 
The Haunt

The Haunt

 
The Haunt

The Haunt

 

 
The HU was mesmerizing. The throat singing is almost meditative. I felt like it was similar to chakra chanting. The outcome was the same. The song Tatar Warrior was one of those songs where you just become entranced. I felt the cathartic release of movement and breathing.  Although most of the movement was headbanging. The fans were an eclectic mix of locals and people who traveled from all over the area. There were many Mongolian American fans who drove to support the band.

Even though very few members of the audience understood the words that were being said, they related to the music being played. They felt the power and the message. It was something that you have never seen before.  A positive message in the form of art that we love the most, rock.  

The HU is spreading their positive message all over North America, Japan, Australia and back to North America. Find out where you can see them on their website: The HU

The full setlist for this evening: 

Shihi Hutu
Shoog Shoog
The Gereg
Chinggis Kaan
Shireg Shireg
Uchirtai Gurav
Bii Biyley
Hohchu Zairan
Tatar Warrior
Black Thunder
Yuve Yuve
Wolf Totem
This is Mongol
—————-
encore
Sad But True (Metallica cover)

 
 

The HU

The HU

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 
The HU

The HU

 
The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

The HU

The HU

 

 

 
 

 

                                

sources: Wikipedia, Coachella YouTube, RAMzine Rock & Metal YouTube

Buckcherry Concert Review with Blacktop Mojo and Sumo Cyco

Buckcherry Concert Review with Blacktop Mojo and Sumo Cyco
Sunday, May 1, 2022
The Castle Theatre
Bloomington, Illinois

Buckcherry

Buckcherry at The Castle Theatre

 

 

Buckcherry made their return to The Castle Theatre in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. The band is on their Hellbound Tour which goes across the country and then caps off in New Zealand and Australia.  It is truly crazy that Buckcherry has been around for twenty-three years. Their ninth album, Hellbound, was released June 25, 2021. The band’s current lineup consists of Josh Todd, vocalist, Stevie D., guitarist, Kelly LeMieux, bassist, Francis Ruiz, Drummer, and Billy Rowe, guitarist.

Support for this tour comes in the form of Sumo Cyco, a rock band from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  The band was formed in 2011 and has three albums. The band is considered punk-metal and fits well with Buckcherry. The vocalist, Skye Sweetnam, has a strong rock voice as well as a growl. The band gave a solid rock performance and got the crowd in the mood.

 

Sumo Cyco

Skye Sweetnam of Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Blacktop Mojo is the second band to support Buckcherry on the Hellbound tour.  Blacktop Mojo is one of my favorite bands. Their eponymous fourth album was released on August 13, 2021.  I consider it one of the best albums of 2021.  Blacktop Mojo is described as Texas Grunge. They have some Southern Rock sounds as well as Grunge sounds. On this latest album, the song Stratus Melancholia sounds like an Alice in Chains song. You should try to make every effort to see this band live.

The band was in great form tonight and they won over the crowd with their Texas Grunge.
Their setlist consisted of:
All Mine Now
Strike Me
Do It For The Money
Bed Tundy
Latex
Tush, ZZ Top cover
Lay It On
Wicked Woman
Any Way The Wind Blows

 

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

Blacktop Mojo

You can find all good things about Blacktop Mojo on their website: Blacktop Mojo

 
Buckcherry is one the hardest working bands out there. They are gracious, friendly, and know how to rock. They are the epitome of a modern rock band. The proof that Rock is not dead. Perhaps what is really dead is the band that shows up late, high, and cannot remember their songs and are only in it for the sex, drugs, and money. Those bands are still out there trying to ride the wave of fortune from thirty years ago.  Evolve or die.

Buckcherry fans come from all walks of life. There were doctors, families, grocery store workers, tow truck drivers, and everyone in-between in the crowd. They started with the high energy song “5 4 3 2 1” that really gets the crowd in a mood. Josh’s voice was a little hard to hear for the first two songs.  Perhaps because those are new songs, the mix needed some tweaking.  As the night went on, there was no problem with the sound.

The setlist consisted of “Lit Up”, “Sorry” and new songs “So Hott”, “Gun” and the weirdest sing-along song, “Crazy Bitch”.  It is a sight to see your grandma singing along to “Crazy Bitch” but there are always several at a show that sing it at the top of their lungs. Really, it doesn’t matter who it is.  Everyone sings alongs to “Crazy Bitch” when it comes on.  The song is  4 X Platinum certified.  It is hard rock’s equivalent of “Sweet Caroline”!! 

Their complete setlist:
5 4 3 2 1
So Hott
Ridin’
Out of Line
Lit Up
Hellbound
Porno Star
The Way
Too Drunk
Sorry
Gluttony
Gun
Crazy Bitch
————-
encore
Say Fuck It

The band always delivers a great show.  You can catch them on the Hellbound Tour near you.  See all their dates on their website: Buckcherry Website
 
 

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

Buckcherry

 

                                

Shinedown with The Pretty Reckless and Diamante Concert Review

Shinedown with The Pretty Reckless Concert Review
Peoria Civic Center
Peoria, Illinois
Saturday April 9th 2022

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown and live rock is back! It has been 584 days since they last toured. They are joined on the Planet Zero tour by The Pretty Reckless and DIAMANTE. Shinedown’s album ATTENTION ATTENTION was recently certfied gold by the RIAA. They will be releasing their seventh studio album Planet Zero April 22nd. Their lead single “Planet Zero” was the band’s 18th Active Rock Radio #1 hit. The latest single “The Saints of Violence and Innuendo” seems to be a statement on social media or maybe its just about a dystopian,  fictional world. Fans are highly anticipating their new album.  It is to be a “a critical yet optimistic look at the fractures and frays of a society that has undergone many challenges in recent years, the album is part social commentary and part in-depth exploration of the human psyche.” in an article on Blabbermouth.  

The video for “Planet Zero” features the Invisible House in Joshua Tree that you can actually rent on AirBnB. It is visually stunning and reminiscent of The Matrix.

DIAMANTE is the mononymous band of Diamante Azzura Bovelli. The Mexican-Italian-American brings a hard pop rock dynamic to the tour. Her independent, sophomore album American Dream is set for release on May 7, 2022. DIAMANTE teamed up with Howard Benson and Neil Sanderson to create this album “bringing my stories to life and pushing me to embrace my vulnerabilities.” according to her Spotify bio. DIAMANTE got the crowd in the mood to rock out. Her voice is pure and the songs are definitely catchy. She performed “American Dream”, “I Love Myself for Hating You”, and had a sing along with the Goo Goo Dolls cover of “Iris”. She is a beautiful woman and was held the audience’s full attention. She was dressed in a white, sequined leotard similar to a Cirque Du Soleil performer. After her set, she met with fans in person and posed with pictures with them as well as autographed whatever they wanted.

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

DIAMANTE

 

  

The Pretty Reckless is a rock band consisting of former model, actor, singer Taylor Momsen (Gossip Girl, How The Grinch Stole Christmas), Ben Phillips lead guitarist, Jamie Perkins drums, and Mark Damon bassist. The Pretty Reckless has been out of touring and really the public eye from 2016 until their release of Death by Rock and Roll released on February 12, 2021. Taylor reminded us that she was in Peoria in 2014. I was lucky enough to see them then in Peoria in 2014 and also at Rock On The Range. I did miss their live performances. It was the first time seeing the band for many fans. The Pretty Reckless music consist of hard rock anthem songs with captivating lyrics and melodies and screaming guitars. Taylor talks about how writing that album and getting back to music helped save her from a deep depression in an interview in Nylon Magazine.

Taylor Momsen is a hypnotic performer. She was dressed in a black leather black mini-dress with a black leather jacket and knee-high platform boots. She walked up and down the long stage almost like walking a catwalk but singing the entire time. Her voice was magnificent. Her Mezzo-Soprano voice is strong and contradicts her thin frame. The tone and pitch were amazing. Plus, the songs rocked on every level. When you hear songs like “Going to Hell” and “Death by Rock and Roll” and “Only Love Can Save Me Now” once, you can sing along and then they become an ear-worm that you will be humming for days. The only bad thing about the set was that it was too short. We could have spent a lot longer time with The Pretty Reckless.

 

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless

 

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless

 

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless

 

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless

 

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless

 

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless

 

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless

 

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless

 

The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless

 

The stage was set with a pair of thirty-foot LED screens in the back that were angled to a point so they could be seen by each side. There was long and wide catwalk with two small platforms on either side at the end. The screens parted with a hieroglyphic image of SD and out walked the band shrouded in shadows. All the members walked to the end of the catwalk, greeted the crowd and then walked to their respective instruments. Shinedown started the night with their new song, “The Saints of Violence and Innuendo” The first song burst out with a bang with fireworks and fire. The pyrotechnics were underneath the wide catwalk and shot straight up. It was hot!

In addition to ATTENTION ATTENTION the album being certified gold, Shinedown has also released ATTENTION ATTENTION the movie.  Brent Smith wanted to let us all know the movie was out on the streaming service of your choice. The setlist contained “45”, “Enemies”, “Bully”, “Unity”, “Simple Man”, “Second Chance” and so on. After two hours, we could have stayed even longer to hear all the songs that we love. Shinedown is an anomaly in the hard rock world. They sing about addiction, bullying, suicide, and love and all without expletives. Shinedown fans were varied in age from five years old to retiree age. Everyone singing along with passion and adoration.
 

I have seen Shinedown many times and their performances gets better and better with each tour. Brent Smith spoke to the support that they get from their fans and he made it a point to communicate that they are ‘besides themselves with gratitude’. In that spirit, we felt valued as fans and did feel like we were personally responsible for their success. Every T-shirt, cd, meet and greet, download helps them to provide amazing shows. If you are a fan, do not miss Shinedown if they come to your area. If you are not a fan, you will be after attending one of their shows. Find out where on their website:
Shinedown.com

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

Shinedown

Shinedown

 

 

                                

Sources: https://www.blabbermouth.net/news/shinedown-releases-planet-zero-music-video/
https://www.nylon.com/nylon-nights/a-night-in-with-taylor-momsen
Spotify

Starset Concert Review with The Word Alive and Another Day Dawns

Starset Concert Review with The Word Alive and Another Day Dawns
The Castle Theatre
Bloomington, Illinois
Friday November 30th 2021

Starset

Starset

 
 
 

Starset is a progressive hard rock band from Columbus, Ohio formed by vocalist, Dustin Bates. They are touring in support of their fourth studio album, Horizons. The band was formed in 2013 and their first album, Transmissions, was released in 2014. Starset has grown to be a popular band drawing fans of all ages.

A show that happens on a Tuesday is usually not well attended in the quiet twin cities of Bloomington-Normal. The Castle Theatre is a small venue that has a capacity of about seven hundred people. Starset fans traveled to see the show aka live “demonstration” and packed The Castle. Starset, from the beginning, shared the story concept of The Starset Society created them to spread the message they received from space. They are a unique band with a unique story and a catchy sound. The band had an eat and greet with fans where they hang out and eat food with them before doors so their fans have the best positions in the venue. While I did not attend the eat and greet, I have heard that the band is very personable and perform an acoustic set. Their fan interaction is one of the reasons for their success.

The night was slated for a total of four bands however All Good Things had to bow out of the tour due to someone contracting Covid. We all keep thinking that we are post-Covid however Covid still abounds. I am thankful that we can still gather and see a live show.

The night started with Another Day Dawns. They are a very good band from Lehighton, Pennsylvania. The band is a blend between grunge and metal. The band has a solid fan base and was one of five finalists in the nationwide competition NeXt2Rock hosted by Cumulus Media. They performed great and were happy to meet with fans after the show. Honestly, they fell into a number of great, touring bands who all seem very similar. They do rock. Find out more about Another Day Dawns here:
Another Day Dawns website

Another Day Dawns

Another Day Dawns

Another Day Dawns

Another Day Dawns

Another Day Dawns

Another Day Dawns

Another Day Dawns

Another Day Dawns

 

The second band in the lineup was The Word Alive. They are a metalcore band formed in Phoenix, Arizona. The band had toured extensively and I first met them on Warped Tour. The touring band consists of vocalist Telle Smith, guitarist Zack Hansen, bassist Tyler William Ross, and drummer Mat Madiro. The band came out with blue makeup across their faces in a horizontal line about 2 inches under their eyes. Telle came out wearing an orange jumpsuit. They released their sixth album, Monomania on February 21, 2020. The Word Alive songs are a supportive for those fans who suffer from depression and just life in general. Their predominant song, Life Cycles, “I’d rather die for what I believe, than live a life without meaning”. Dare I say that they are a modern emo band.

The Word Alive
(You may be intereested in the the vocalist’ Frenchie, Colby Jack)

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

The Word Alive

 

The stage transition between The Word Alive and Starset took a while. The venue had to bring in extra power earlier to keep the lights on during the show. There were small risers and the backdrop were led panels that crossed the entire stage. There were laser lights crossing the stage and fogger jets. The band consists vocalist Dustin Bates, bassist Ron DeChant, guitarist Brock Richards, drummer Adam Gilbert, Cellist Zuzana Engererova and violinist Siobhán Cronin. The band started with the song “The Breach” and the screen behind them had cartoon versions of the band. The band was dressed in dystopian, sand colored gear and each member had three red dots on their left temple. Those dots are how they controlled by the evil powers in their story. The story the band tells is one that both astronomy and sci-fi geeks can love. In addition, their music is really catchy and I found that I knew most of their setlist from hearing them on the radio.

Parts of the show had the screen on the back showing dystopian society images while projected members of the band singing or playing. It was a high production show in a small venue. You cannot get that value from another band out there. Starset had their own intermission where a regular band has a drum solo, they had a reset transmission. After their reset, the band returned in white space suits and their stage backdrop moved to space.

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

 

The complete setlist:
Intro
The Breach
Where The Skies End
Infected
Carnivore
Let It Die
Trials
Manifest
Echo
Monster
Point of No Return
————————–
It Has Begun
Earthrise
Satellite
Devolution
Richochet
Die For You
My Demons

Frontman, Dustin Bates, thanked the audience and explained how they have evolved. He wanted the band to be part hard rock metal, one part symphonic, and one part cinematic. The fans support make all that possible. The merch they had ranged from the standards T-shirts, albums, posters to the special signed jacket and guitar.

You can attend the demonstrations yourself and see the amazing show.
See where on their website: Starset Online

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

Starset

                                

Ayron Jones Concert Review with Hounds

Ayron Jones with Hounds Concert Review
The Castle Theatre
Bloomington, Illinois
Friday November 5th 2021

Ayron Jones

Ayron Jones

 
 

Ayron Jones is a guitarist and singer from Seattle, Washington. If you have not heard of him, please take a moment and stop and listen to this amazing artist. His music style is a perfect almagmation of grunge, rock, and blues. Since he is fairly new to the national and international music scene, I was able to see his show at The Castle Theatre. The intimate venue has hosted amazing artists since its reopening over ten years ago.

The show happened on a Friday in November was brisk with a crispness to the air.  After a long week of work, the fans were ready to rock out.  These fan were not going to miss Ayron Jones after hearing him on Sirius Octane or Spotify.  His song “Take Me Away” grips you immediately and pulls you into wanting to know more about him and his story.  Then you listen to the other tracks on his album Child of The State and you hear those grunge and Hendrix influences from Seattle.  

Hounds, a band from St. Louis opened from them.  They are the winners of the Top Golf’s 2019 “Who Will Rock You?” contest.  Their sound is trippy, pyschedelic rock and they did a solid job opening.  Technically, they sounded very good.  I think that the fans wanted something a little harder to get them in the mood on a Friday but the band has some great, catchy songs.  Their album, Cattle In the Sky is out now.  Hounds website:  houndsounds.com 

Hounds

Hounds

Hounds

Hounds

Hounds

Hounds

Hounds

Hounds

Hounds

Hounds

 

Ayron Jones’ band members joining him are bassist Bob Lovelace, drummer Bobby Jimmi and guitarist Matthew Jacquette. Bob Lovelace was a ball of energy and jumping off the drum riser and hyping up the crowd.  Bobby Jimmi started the show by taking off his shirt and getting down to business.  Matthew Jacquette was the handsome one with a dazzing smile and micro braids that he threw around while headbanging with.  
 

Ayron Jones

Ayron Jones

Ayron Jones

Ayron Jones

Matthew Jacquette

 

Bob Lovelace

Bob Lovelace

Bob Lovelace

Bob Lovelace

Ayron Jones

Ayron Jones

Matthew Jacquette and Ayron Jones

Matthew Jacquette and Ayron Jones

Matthew Jacquette

Matthew Jacquette

Bobby Jimmi

Bobby Jimmi

Ayron Jones

Ayron Jones

Bobby Jimmi

Bobby Jimmi

Ayron Jones

Ayron Jones