Live Photos: Styx in Atlanta May 26, 2019

On May 26, 2019, Styx brought The Styx World Tour 2019 to Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Bank. You can find the complete gallery by Chuck Holloway below the review.


James “JY” Young and Tommy Shaw begin their onstage antics

Styx fans are unlike any other breed of musical fandom. We are legion and we are loyal beyond imagining. In the late 80’s and almost the entire decade of the 90’s, Styx could have faded away into obscurity. Instead, the band regrouped, tightened up, and made enough noise to get our attention again.

With the change in the way people began listening to music, Styx reinvented themselves as a touring band that occasionally recorded music, rather than a band that toured on the back of a new album. The model has been a huge success for them. Any given month, Styx is playing somewhere in the US.

This past Memorial Day-Eve, Styx showed up for their annual visit to Atlanta on the hottest day of the year, and lit up (literally and figuratively) the sold out crowd at the Cadence Bank Amphitheatre.

Drummer Todd Sucherman (who replaced John Panozzo after he passed away), and bassist Ricky Phillips provided the strong, relentless rhythm, while guitarists JY and Tommy Shaw, and keyboardist Lawrence Gowan, fronted the band. They showed absolutely no sign of slowing down as they jammed through the classics they’ve been playing for decades.

To start off the show, the band came out to the pre-recorded “Overture,” and then launched into “Gone Gone Gone,” both from their 2017 release The Mission.

The Mission is an amazing aural time machine that producer Will Evankovich was able to build with the band to bring the listener back to the greatest era of Styx’s history. The Mission feels like it belongs somewhere in between Grand Illusion and Paradise Theatre. 

Other tracks from The Mission included “Radio Silence” and “Khedive”. If there was one disappointment for me, it was that Styx only performed these three songs from their latest album. I would have loved to have heard “Time Will Bend” or “The Red Storm”.

The set of classic hits included “Fooling Yourself”, “Grand Illusion”, “Lady”, “Blue Collar Man” and “Too Much Time on My Hands”, to name a small portion. Each hit song was greeted by a roar from the crowd and sung along with from beginning to end.

For their finale, as usual, Styx performed “Come Sail Away” from The Grand Illusion. But, it was the encore of “Mr. Roboto” that had the crowd really excited. Hearing the opening keyboards and robotic voice speaking, “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto” brought a roar from the fans that put a gigantic grin on my face… I was not alone!

Many of us, including myself, had never had the opportunity to hear “Mr. Roboto” live, due to the band’s history with their former singer, Dennis DeYoung. In 2018, though, the band caved in to the constant pleading from their fans, and added it into their set as an encore, along with fan favorite “Renegade”.

All in all, the show at Chastain will go down as one of the best Styx shows that this writer has been to. Second only to The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight tour.

If you ever enjoyed Styx, now is the time to catch them live. You will never regret it.

For more tour dates, visit Styx website.


Styx Cadence Bank Amphitheatre 2019

 

Live Photos: Judas Priest & Deep Purple in Atlanta August 14

On August 14, Judas Priest and Deep Purple, brought The Firepower Tour 2018 to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

TAM Photographer Chuck Holloway was on hand to capture the evening.

For more tour dates, visit Judas Priest’s or Deep Purple’s websites.


Judas Priest – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – 2018


Deep Purple – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – 2018

The Smashing Pumpkins shine bright at Gwinnett Arena

The 90s alternative scene is now legendary, with no band quite as beloved as The Smashing Pumpkins. With iconic songs such as “Tonight Tonight,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” and “Cherub Rock,” the Pumpkins have created music that transcends decades, and is truly one of a kind. The band stopped in Duluth, GA July 22nd for the Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour, featuring an epic 30-plus set list that spanned the Pumpkins’ career.

As soon as the lights went down, the energy in the room was simultaneously excited and hesitant of what to expect from the long-awaited reunion of (most of) the original members of the band. As the curtains parted, bright white light flooded the audience, and Billy Corgan walked onstage to roaring applause, going into “Disarm,” the much loved track from 1993’s Siamese Dream, while photos of young Billy flashed on screen behind him, with captions such as “Broken Boy.” Corgan, or WPC to use his preferred moniker, was dressed in what appeared to be a half-skirt or kilt, a theme of halves making wholes that would continue through the night.

Founding members James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin joined Corgan on stage for “Siva” and “Rhinoceros,” before planets and stars appeared on screen, and Corgan climbed to the top of a staircase in the center of the stage to begin “Space Oddity,” a cover of the classic Bowie song. Fan favorite “Zero” got fans to their feet, while the gorgeous “33” calmed them.

The epic set was split into threes, with very theatrical and entertaining interludes featuring Mark McGrath (of Sugar Ray) along the way. Things quieted for a beautiful piano set including “For Martha,” and  “To Sheila,” also featuring dancers on screen in perfect keeping with the music. All of the albums from the ‘90s got coverage, from the 1991 debut Gish to 1998’s Adore, with several covers in between. “Landslide,” originally by Fleetwood Mac, was my personal favorite, with Corgan putting his own unique spin on the song. “Stairway to Heaven” was a somewhat surprising cover, but the band pulled it off well.

Pumpkins fans might have been a little worn out at this point, but the band pushed on, never losing the ability to captivate the audience. “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning” was a great example of this, as the stage flooded with red light and set the mood. “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” was definitely the highlight of the night, during which the entire venue—sleepy or not—got to their feet to sing along.

Before playing the last song of the set, the band broke its long silence in a completely random way, with James Iha rapping about Duluth and “Hotlanta” with (something of a) straight face. Billy Corgan took the time to truly thank the audience, saying, “literally, emotionally, and spiritually, we wouldn’t be here without you. See you on the other side.”

Overall, the performance was nostalgic, theatrical, colorful, a bit weird, and captivating, which describes the band itself in my opinion. I’d definitely recommend catching this tour, just be sure to bring comfortable shoes, your voice, and an open heart.

 

The Killthrax Tour: The Fillmore

“Are you shooting the Killthrax show on April 3rd?  You really should,” encouraged a fellow photographer at a show a few months back.  And boy, am I glad I did!  With a line-up of The Devil Wears Prada opening for a co-headlining tour of Killswitch Engage and Anthrax, I knew this concert at The Fillmore Silver Spring, MD would be one I’d regret missing.  And so, with my fingers crossed, I contacted the publicity representatives for both headliners in hopes of ensuring a slot in the photo pit.  Triumphant, I stand before you with the shots and experiences you see below.  If you don’t care to read further, just know this: see this show!

The Devil Wears Prada: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | iTunes

A stuttering emission of lights rained down upon the backs of the band members in sync with the blasts of the bass drum, while TDWP raged on stage.  Unfortunately for me, and my fellow photographers, all those lights silhouetted these fine fellows from Dayton, Ohio, resulting with fewer shots for you fine folks, but a great experience for those in attendance.  Throughout the performance there was an ominous air that gave way to sheer brutality as the band flowed in and out of songs.  Often, looking up, I couldn’t even see the eyes of vocalist Mike Hranica, aiding that eerie nature of the performance.  But a raucous applause at the final chord of their set made it apparent how well received this band had been.


Anthrax
: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | iTunes

Admittedly, one of the main reasons I wanted to make this show was to witness the greatness of one of the Big 4 Of Thrash, the New York-based band, Anthrax.  And they did not disappoint!  Loading up a riser in order to set the drums at yet an even higher altitude, the group transformed the stage into a battleground of thrash metal.  The core of the setlist came from the band’s seminal 1987 album, Among The Living, opening with that same one-two punch of its title track and “Caught In A Mosh,” diverging into the well-known “Madhouse” from Spreading The Disease, with a fair helping of their newest album, For All Kings, thrown in.

Throughout the concert, bassist Frank Bello ran, jumped, and rampaged across the stage like a loosed animal; guitarists Scott Ian and Jonathan Donais riffed and ripped; and drummer Charlie Benante – quite at home behind the kit – chewed bubblegum and slammed the skins with a combination of savagery and zen.  Vocalist Joey Belladonna incited the audience with his immense enthusiasm.  He threw guitar picks into the audience on countless occasions, making me worry that the guitarists might eventually be in need of one and find their supply sorely depleted.  During “Madhouse” he even commandeered one of the photo pit cameras and began his own aspiring concert photography career.  As the band left the stage, it felt like the whole night must be over, because it seemed impossible that another act could follow as the cheers of “Anthrax!” echoed on and on.


Killswitch Engage
: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes

Despite how dearly the audience relished Anthrax, tonight’s headliner had yet to perform.  Killswitch Engage’s stage setup, by comparison to the former’s, was quite minimalistic: four black backers with KSE logos, a few spinning lights, and the band.  But don’t think for a moment that this proved to be a deficiency for these fine fellows from Massachusetts.  Captivating the audience from their first song, “Alone I Stand,” the opening track from their latest album, Incarnate, they pulled out hit after hit that kept the crowd chanting the lyrics.  The circle pits went on for so long, that as the show stretched towards its conclusion I could plainly see the energy dripping off the participants and getting lost in a puddle of sweat on the floor.  One of the most memorable moments for me was the group’s well-known cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver,” which exuded power into the concert-goers.  And a KSE show wouldn’t be complete without outlandish comments from resident comedian, guitarist Adam D., sporting a sweatband with “TRASH” written across it in black sharpie.  “This next song is not about assholes!” he screamed before launching into “Rose Of Sharyn,” and later joked about having to end the show so they’d all have time for some much needed masturbation.  “The tour can’t go on without it!”

If you have a chance to see any of these bands live, whether on this tour or a future one, you’d be wise to do so.  Each pulls out all the stops to the delight of those in attendance.

Better B Brief: ‘Traveling Roots’ by Matt Flinner Trio

Better B# - TAM Logo 2

Woody.  Oaken.  Not a finely aged whiskey, distilled to perfection, but a finely played musical collection, also distilled to perfection. The Matt Flinner Trio has just released their most recent instrumental effort, Traveling Roots, an album built from the best of their “write a song a day while on tour” ritual. Pooling their finest, most memorable accomplishments, Flinner [mandolin], Eric Thorin [bass], and Ross Martin [guitar] provide us with a delightfully soothing record that is firmly based in bluegrass, but which ventures into realms such as old-timey music, and even moments of jazz. It has such a natural feeling, which I find calming even in its more rambunctious moments (see “Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump”). Personally, I prefer to just throw it on in the background and let it wash over me while I carry out my daily duties, as otherwise I’d find myself debating over whether it is morally acceptable to name a song “150 Banjos” which contains zero banjos. Philosophical soul-searching aside, Traveling Roots is as intoxicating as any top-shelf selection.  Smooth, refreshing, and wonderfully addictive!

Purchase Traveling Roots at: iTunes | Amazon | Compass Records Group

For more on Matt Flinner Trio, visit:
Official Website
Facebook
Twitter
Youtube


Be sure to catch them on tour as well:

02/16/16 – New London, NH; Matt Flinner Trio at Colby-Sawyer College

02/18/16 – Burlington, VT; Matt Flinner Trio w/Jamie Masefield at the Skinny Pancake

02/20/16 – Purdys, NY; Matt Flinner Trio w/ Tony Trischka at the Westchester Bluegrass Club, 7 pm

02/21/16 – Hartford, CT; Matt Flinner Trio at the Half Door Hartford

02/23/16 – New York, NY; Matt Flinner Trio at the Rockwood Music Hall, 11 pm.

02/24/16 – Boston, MA; Matt Flinner Trio w/Darol Anger at Club Passim

02/25/16 – Albany, NY; Matt Flinner Trio w/ Frank Vignola at the Linda Theater

02/26/16 – Portland, ME; Matt Flinner Trio w/ Joe Walsh at One Longfellow Square

02/27/16 – Cumberland, RI; Matt Flinner Trio with Darol Anger at the Blackstone River Theater

Interview: Jeff Waters of Annihilator (3/3)

Better B# - TAM Logo 2
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the final segment of my interview with the wonderful Jeff Waters of Annihilator.  As you may have caught in my first, or even second, interview segment, we’re talking about the band’s new album, Suicide Society.  In my personal opinion, it is a marvelous example of modern day thrash metal with the ability to run amok every now and then with a softer, more melodic side.  But in case you’d like a second opinion, my fellow contribute Jerel Johnson has written a review of the album.  Give it a peak!

In this final segment we discuss Jeff’s time as a musician’s advocate, getting them out of crappy record deals and contracts; a spat he had with a former bandmate over the release of Annihilator’s “Ten Years In Hell” DVD; as well as delving into whether he’s ever ghost-written any pop or country tunes.  Tune in to find out!  And just a reminder that there is a convenient Table Of Contents available in the Youtube description to help you jump around.

 

Check out Annihilator on tour if you get a chance!
Annihilator - 2015 Tour


For more on Annihilator, visit:

Official Website
Buy Suicide Society from: iTunes | Amazon
Facebook – Annihilator
Facebook – Jeff Waters
Twitter

Sarah McLachlan beams in Atlanta with ‘Shine On’ tour at Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

Live Review and Photos by Danielle Boise

“These are the last four (tour) dates, glad to be back. I feel so grounded and centered… I feel this is why I am on this earth.” – Sarah McLachlan

Same venue, but with a completely different show than the last time, Sarah McLachlan was in town two years ago with the ASO. This time there was more of an open exchange between McLachlan and the audience. The stage was set up more like her living room, with several plush, deep set violet chairs and couches, along with hanging lanterns and strings of dozens of lights that drew the audience in for a more intimate show with a familiar feel.

 

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

In fact, McLachlan remarked how much she missed her living room when she was out on the road, that she felt the need to bring her living room out on this tour to feel connected. The couches were later used for when McLachlan brought up two groups of winners, one for each set, from the social awareness campaign that she had launched on her Facebook.

What a perfect night, with cool temps bordering on the edge of chilly. As dusk became nightfall, Sarah McLachlan took Chastain Park Amphitheatre’s stage on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, for an evening with no opener. Instead, two distinctive sets with an intermission where McLachlan encouraged an open dialogue on the human experience by giving the fans an opportunity to ask her any question they wanted to, no matter how personal, by writing the questions down on a piece a paper and submitting it to McLachlan. Later in the show, she would then randomly pull the questions out of a hat on stage and answer them.

McLachlan didn’t just cater to playing her hits, but rather created a nice balance between the new songs and chart topping hits to create a rather enjoyable mixture of songs that brought together a meaningful, solemn experience through a sense of solace.

 

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

 

McLachlan started the night off with a new song off her recently released Shine On album called “Flesh and Blood” and then transitioned seamlessly into crowd favorite “Building a Mystery,” followed by “In Your Shoes,” “Adia,” “Answer,” “Broken Heart” and “Fallen.”

“For me, it’s got a lot to do with gratitude.” McLachlan referenced the meaning behind her latest album, Shine On. McLachlan took a few moments to discuss with the crowd the difficult time in her life transitioning between the ages of 44 to 46, and coming out on the other side of the struggle whole and complete.

“In these times when there is so much bad shit, it’s important to remember to lean on the people in your life.” McLachlan exclaimed right before going into “World on Fire.”

After which McLachlan stopped the show to have the social media winners come up on stage and sit in her living room, she took a few moments to connect with each of the six winners, by hugging them and taking selfies before pulling fan questions out of her hat.

The first question out of the gate was a tough one. What was the most difficult moment in your life and did music help you through it? McLachlan paused a bit to collect her thoughts, and decided on answering the second part of the question first. “Writing has always been cathartic for me. I think the safer (answer) one for me was when my dad passed away. He was an anchor for me. Music helped.”

 

07-30-14 Sarah McLachlan Shine On Tour @ CPA, ATL 248 tag

 

To the dismay of the crowd, when asked what her favorite junk food was, the response was more of the salty, fatty variety – French fries, instead of the joyful cry from the crowd when they all screamed “ice cream.”

The last question drew awkward laughter from McLachlan when asked if she had ever had sex to any of her own music. To which her response elicited chuckles, “Eww, that would be so creepy.”

After the Q & A session, McLachlan resumed playing her songs set to a spectacular light show of alternating hues of denim, chartreuse and golden light that illuminated powerfully as she sung “Loving You is Easy,” “Monsters” and ending with “Stupid” for the first set.

After the intermission, McLachlan came back and performed a touching tribute to her father, called “Song for My Father.” There is always at least one moment at a Sarah McLachlan concert where I am literally moved to tears; it’s just a given fact for me. That moment happened with “A Song for My Father.” A touching tribute that anyone who has lost someone in their life, especially a parent, can relate to on a personal level as it strikes a distinctive cord. Of course she followed that up with “I Will Remember You,” so my eyes stayed watery for quite a while.

 

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

 

McLachlan rounded out the rest of the set with “Brink of Destruction,” “Hold On,” “Love Beside Me,” “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy,” “Witness,” “Fear,” “Sweet Surrender” and finished with second set with the ever so powerful “Possession.” For the encore, McLachlan followed up with “Angel,” “Beautiful Girl,” the ever so popular fan favorite, “Ice Cream” and ended with “The Sound That Loves Makes.”

What was the most enchanting thing to witness was how much McLachlan was willing to not only open herself up musically and lyrically to the audience, but how she was willing to share her life’s journey with her fans in a non-evasive way, one that was truly organic and natural to participate in, while being able to take away some of her wisdom and truth.

There is absolutely nothing better than hearing a venue filled with happy, vibrant people listening to music that they not only love, but moves them to celebrate the human condition through laughter, love and tears. And that was exactly what happened at Chastain for Sarah McLachlan’s Shine On stop. If you can, don’t miss one of the few remaining stops of this tour. It’s truly heartfelt and humbling.

 

 

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

 

 

Full Photo Gallery of Sarah McLachlan

 

311’s two night SOLD OUT residency in Atlanta’s Tabernacle

311

311

 

The first of a two night sold out residency that 311 took up at Tabernacle started on Thursday, July 24, 2014,  in the heart of downtown Atlanta. I can honestly say there is nothing like a 311 show, especially at the Tabernacle, where the environment is a little more intimate than say at the other amphitheaters in the Atlanta area. This allowed for a true immersion of optical delights of the lightshow, meshing together with the funky, reggae-infused rock and love that is all 311.

311 is currently out on tour in support of the band’s eleventh studio album, Stereolithic, which was released on March 11, 2014, on the unofficial “311” day. In true form, 311 did not deviate from providing an entertaining, enjoyable time for its fans. It’s as if one big family comes to celebrate all night long, with enthusiasts lining up as early as 3 p.m. the night of the show to get as close to the stage as possible.

 

311

311

 

311 highlighted not only its signature style and sound with fan favorite songs, but also performed songs off Stereolithic. 311 started the night off with “Beautiful Disaster,” followed by “Do You Right,” “Showdown,” “Freeze Time,” “Livin’ & Rockin’,” “My Stoney Baby”, “Great Divide,” “Amber,” “Boom Shanka,” “Applied Science,” “All Mixed Up,” “Existential Hero,” “Love Song,” “T & P Combo,” “Friday Afternoon,” BASS SOLO, “Made In The Shade,” “Flowing,” “Random,” “Come Original” and ended the regular set with “Feels So Good.” For the encore 311 played a new song of Stereolithic, “Tranquility” and ended the night with “Down.”

311 are out on tour through the end of August, so do not pass up a chance to see the band live. This is a band that you will want to definitely put on your musical bucket list to see live. 311 is full of energy, great songs and above all it’s about having a good time.

311

311

 

Full Photo Gallery of 311