Falling Through April @ The House of Blues
Falling through April is a Charlotte based band that I've been hearing a lot of good things about. When I heard they were opening for Theory of a Deadman, I was excited to get the chance to see them. We got to the House of Blue in Myrtle Beach little early given us a chance to get to know the guys a little bit. We had a chance to talk with them before they did their sound check. They were very down to earth and loved the opportunity that Theory of a Deadman's gave them on this leg of the tour and was sad that this was their last night with on this leg of the tour. I've never had the opportunity to see Falling through April live, we got a chance to sample a few their songs during sound check and liked what we heard and couldn’t wait to see their live performance.
I was very impressed with their song writing, lyrically and musically. I can see why there is been a lot of hype about them and why theirs several touring bands wanting to take them on tour with them. The band musically are phenomenal and have a great stage presence, engaging the crowd and interacting with them. The guitar players Dan Candia and Jim Saini, had to completely different tones that work well together trading off leads and putting on a great show that was entertaining to watch. Drummer Taylor Foster was very solid, very tasteful fills and was entertaining to watch as well.
Mikaela Salazar vocals were amazing, along with bassist Dave Piontek backup harmonies blended well together. After they were done performing I talked to several the people in the audience and asked them what they thought of the band and everyone I talked to enjoyed them and said it was the first time to see Falling Through April, they all shared the same opinion. they really like the band their songs were very catchy and could even hear them on the radio.
Overall Falling through April is a entertaining fun band That I would definitely go see them again and I think this band out of Charlotte will go a long way. Go check out their new music its worth a listen. https://www.fallingthroughapril.com/
10 Years @ The Underground
For the second time in 5 months I was able to catch 10 Years, a rock band from Knoxville, in concert. This time they were the headliner at The Underground in Charlotte. They were joined by Charlotte’s own Killakoi, who will also be playing with 10 Years on two more dates in late May including 10 Years’s hometown show at the International in Knoxville. The Wednesday night crowd was about 250 people, which is respectable in a venue the size of The Underground for a Wednesday night. With Carolina Rebellion, a large 3-day rock music festival beginning on Friday in nearby Concord, the crowd wasn’t as big as it could have been for a band of this statue and with a popular hometown band in support. But those who came out were true fans and it showed in the attention they gave the bands from start to finish. The Underground is The Fillmore’s little brother and was recently renovated with some well thought out improvements to the audience areas. Killakoi took the stage at about 8:30 and played a very energetic set of their six, soon to be released originals from their debut EP titled Pangea as well as a cover of Alice In Chains’ version of Them Bones. I must disclose my close personal relationship with this band in the review and cannot possibly be un-biased. I’ve watched them come from music school pre-teens to a full on professional group of young men who know what they want and have the talent, drive and determination to go after it. I watched the opening song, Pangea, from the side stage and then moved to the back to observe the crowd’s reaction. Because I cannot be unbiased, I will tell you the crowds response. They stayed with them from start to finish watching, filming and singing along where they could. They were approving with applause and attention. The feedback I heard directly was very strong approval. The band who are comprised of Jordan Mattacchione-Vocals and Guitar, Robbie Reimer-Lead Guitar, Sam Ocheltree-Bass and Michael Russo-Drums, delivered an outstanding, high energy performance and were met by a lot of new fans after their set. They gave out tickets to the EP Release party coming up on June 2nd, at the same venue. Killakoi’s upcoming EP was produced by Sahaj Ticotin, of the band RA. They have been working with some industry pro’s including Mungo Creative Group on Video and Art. There are very big things happening with this band and I strongly advise that you stay tuned to their social media outlets for more news, video and music. 10 Years came on at 9:30 and unlike the December performance next door at the Fillmore, this time it was an intimate setting where fans could get close to the band and watch as well as hear everything. 10 Years has been touring in support of their eighth Studio Album, (How to Live) As Ghost which was released in November. The first single, Novacain preceded the full release in August and recently reached number 9 on the Billboard US Mainstream Rock Songs chart. The set started with Halos from the new Album. They played 19 songs in all including 5 from the new Album as well as popular older hits from Division, Feeding the Wolves, Minus the Machine and The Autumn Effect albums. The set also included a Master of Puppets jam and their own version of Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box. Their version of the Nirvana song is eerie and creepy and completely wonderful. They slow it down some and bring in deep haunting melodies for a version of the song that I like better than the original. Wasteland, their big hit from their first major release in 2005 was played 14 songs into the set with the entire crowd singing along. The final two songs were the current hit, Novacain and the high energy song, Shoot it Out which also engaged the entire crowd. Vocalist Jesse Hasek broke the holder on the mic stand and was playful about it with the mic and with the audience throughout the performance. The small but mighty crowd that came to see one or both of these bands were there till the end and were all in with singing along, crowd participation, and of course applause. And because this venue gives the fan a personal feel for the band 10 Years was just the band capitalize on that and give their fans a great live experience. After the show a lot of people lined up at the merch stand for an opportunity to buy (How to Live) As Ghosts on CD and Vinyl.
Karen Corzine- The Riptide Review
Billy Idol @ The Roxy
I had the privilege to attend the Billy Idol show in Atlanta, GA at the Coca-Cola Roxy courtesy of Charlotte Rock Review. We arrived early and at 2:30pm people were already lining up. Billy arrived to the venue and took time to say hello to fans and sign a few items. He was very personable and courteous to his fans. Doors opened at 7pm and the show began at 7:30. I personally think for a venue of hat size they needed 45 minutes to an hour to get the crowd in and settled. The Roxy is a beautiful room. Six chandeliers hang over the crowd, has led lights near them to illuminate them with a variety of colors and create a really nice effect in the room.
When Billy took the stage the place erupted with excitement. Majority of the crowd I would say was forty and older. There was a few teenagers in attendance as well. This crowd was ready to party. From this first beat to the last bow there were people dancing, jumping, screaming, singing and of course clapping. No one danced by their self at this show. Steve Stevens did a little solo moment where he busted out some classics. Artists such as Yes & Led Zeppelin. He followed all of that up with playing a song he co-wrote which is the theme to the 80’s movie classic “Too Gun”. As a true fan of 80’s movies and music I thoroughly enjoyed it. My favorite moment of the night was during Rebel Yell. When the crowd is all in unison together singing a song so loud that you cannot even hear the lead singer than you know the artist has true diehard, passionate fans. I would gladly see Billy Idol again and I recommend this show for all ages.
Review By John "Rev" Merry
Papa Roach @ The Fillmore
On Sunday Night I had the privilege of catching the Papa Roach Crooked Teeth tour at the Fillmore Charlotte. The line-up started with Escape the Fate, followed by Nothing More, and Papa Roach finished off the night playing a strong mix of songs from their most recent release which the tour is named for.
The Show was sold out several days before the event so the crowd came and lined up early, scalpers were out in force and fans were excited. Waiting in line afforded me the opportunity to talk to some of the attendees and I realized there were a lot of people there who have never seen Nothing More but knew their music, especially “Don’t Stop” which features a cameo with Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix singing a verse. I didn’t talk to any Escape the Fate fans but I admit I was clearly in a sea of Papa Roach faithful.
The line moved into the Fillmore at a fast pace and people steaked out the best spots quickly in the standing room only venue. I had friends in a prime spot behind the mix holding my spot so I was able to check out the merch as is customary for me. I purchased a nice, soft Nothing More shirt left over from their last tour. Papa Roach also had some new designs for this tour and a nice merch display. Escape the Fate was set up in a different location and I did not see what they had available. After my customary purchase to support my favorite band of the night, I found my way back to the spot in clear view of center stage from one level above the main floor behind the mix (front of house sound and lighting engineers).
Escape the Fate started on time and performed for just over 20 minutes with 7 songs. They were not bad, but not all together exciting either. I shared some conversation with other attendees who were disappointed that they didn’t play several of their most famous songs from the Radke era. It is my understanding they do not have ownership and are not allowed to play those songs, which were written and originally performed by the former frontman. One fan who commented on the new album release, described Escape the Fate as “that ex that was really good to you in the beginning, but then things fell apart and they just won't move on”. They are not exactly a cover band but they are not the force they once were in the metal core scene. The bright spot of this performance was the lead guitarist Kevin “Thrasher” Gruft who definitely had the crowd’s approval.
Once the openers left the stage all the wraps came off Nothing More’s elaborate stage set up The changeover was swift and even entertaining as Nothing More had chosen to play Eminem over the PA while fans waiting for them to take the stage. Their set started in dim red lighting with the shirtless and ripped singer, Johnny Hawkins, jumping down to the main part of the stage shouting the opening lyrics for Do You Really Want It? At this moment and for the rest of the performance he and the rest of this incredible band had the crowd in the palm of their hands. I personally had to catch my breath at one point because the energy was so high. They followed with Let ‘em Burn from the newest album The Stories We Tell Ourselves. The third song in was one that the Papa Roach fans who knew little of Nothing More were waiting for, Don’t Stop. I think the brief disappointment that Jacoby did not show up to do the part he performed on the recording faded quickly in the dust of a truly incredible performance by Nothing More. The vocal high notes that are performed in most of these songs leave you wondering how he can do that live. If anyone questioned whether or not a track was masking his vocals the question was answered during this song when Johnny jumped off of some stage prop and dropped his mic on the ground. All that was heard from his mic was “kerthunk” as it hit the floor. He picked it up, briefly made a quick reference to it and then kept right on going. Go to War, which has been a recent radio hit came next and the fans all joined in to certain choruses. Fade In/Fade Out, a song that may be called a ballad, although it has energy that exceeds most ballads, about growing up and growing old. During Jenny, which is a darker song with a great deal of meaning, the crowd displayed heart shaped fingers signals towards the stage. The eleventh tune was a cover by Skrillix called First of the Year. This is the point when the odd piece of metal rising from the right rear of the stage was revealed to be a “scorpion tail” contraption that reportedly weighs over 400 pounds and rises 14 feet tall. It was made by the bassist, Daniel, from scrap metal and used car parts including an automotive spring the catapults it into the air. The entire “scorpion tail” is an instrument itself. Front man, Johnny stands high atop this thing manipulating a lever using Ableton software to manipulate his vocals as well as the other band member’s guitar and bass effects. According to Bassist Daniel Oliver, this dubstep machine replaced a simpler MIDI controller and as a fan I can say, I’m glad it did. The final song was Salem which is also know by it’s prominent lyric “burn the witch”. Salem incorporates audience sing along and a very cool drum line with every member of the band playing percussion in sync. The fans who didn’t know Nothing More before tonight, know them now and will never forget them!
Removing the 400 pound scorpion tail as well as all of the other band equipment for the middle band of this three band bill took very little time. It barely gave many of us a chance to get our heartrate back to normal after the spectacle of a Nothing More show. I admit my bias is showing in this review. I was tired and almost considered leaving but I knew the Charlotte Rock Review needed to know about the headline act, so I did the right thing and stayed. I can tell you in all sincerity that I am very glad I did. Having seen Papa Roach several times before, I assumed I knew what they would do but I assumed wrong and it was great.
Papa Roach’s stage began with a banner displaying the Crooked Teeth cover art at the front of the stage. The stage set was very simple. Jacoby and the rest of Papa Roach managed to use all of the available Real Estate on the stage throughout the show. The set list included old favorites from the 18 years since Infest went triple platinum.
As you would expect, the band mixed in a good amount of music from Crooked Teeth including the opening song which is the title track. They followed that with To Be Loved from the Paramore Sessions album and then went on to play Face Everything and Rise, Still Swinging and Snakes. For added fun, the crowd incanted about the “Mother F’ing Snakes on the Mother F’ing Plane” along with the band. Nine songs into the set they played a new tune, never performed live before called My Medication. It started off a little bit slow but really picked up and was quite good. At song number fifteen, the last before the encore break, Papa Roach performed two last songs including Forever. Jacoby talked about his friend, Chester Bennington, who took his life last year and during Forever they entwined part of “In The End” by Linkin’ Park. Many heart shape hand gestures were raised in the air during this song. I wished my photographer had not been side stage but back where I was because there was a beautiful photo waiting with the soft pink stage lighting and the shape of the band seen inside the heart made of pointing fingers and thumbs pressed together in the air. The crowd stayed involved singing along and gesturing with a mix of rock fingers, heart shapes and devil horns. And of course there was mosh pit activity which was often encouraged and suggested from the stage. Born for Greatness was the last song before the preplanned encore. This song begs crowd participation and inspires us to believe that we are all born for greatness.
After a quick trip off stage, the band returned for a four song encore which started with an acoustic version of no Matter What. I think this is a great place to make mention of the fact that Jacoby’s voice was as strong or stronger tonight as it has ever been in any of the five or six times I have seen this band perform. It was definitely highlighted in this acoustic format. Many of the fans around me were chanting “scars”, “scars” and Papa Roach did not disappoint them as Scars came next, followed by None of the Above and finally Last Resort.
If this tour comes to your town or anywhere within a few hours drive of your town, just go, you will not regret it. However, I caution you to buy your tickets now because so far they have sold out every date on the tour.
The Riptide Review,