Foo Fighters – Love Dies Young
Muse – Hysteria
The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again
Stone Temple Pilots – Wicked Garden
Arcade Fire
Social Distortion – Story of my Life
Rage against the Machine – Killing in the Name
Kasabian – Bless this Acid House
Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime LIVE
Nine Inch Nails – Head like a Hole
Kitten – G#
The Pretty Reckless – Death by Rock and Roll
Van Halen – You Really Got Me
Dirty Heads – For What its Worth
Green Day – American Idiot
Death of Guitar Pop – Urban Ska Club
Bad Manners – My Girl Lollipop
Mojo Nixon – Elvis is Everywhere

Bros – Wolf Alice
Surrender – Angels & Airwaves
Train in Vein – The Clash
Blitzkrieg Bop – K-Man & the 45’s
Celebrity Skin – Hole
Over The Rainbow – Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
Get It Daddy – Sleeper Agent
Thunderstruck by AC/DC
Never Gonna Stop by Rob Zombie
First Date by Blink 182
Sabotage by Beastie Boys
Publication Date: March 21, 2023



March 20, 2023THE OFFSPRING Continue to Roll March 21, 2023 by Traci Turner Despite spending much of the past two years touring, The Offspring are keeping it going in 2023 by extending their Let the Bad Times Roll Tour. In a statement, the band said: “The only thing better than being on tour is touring with your friends! We had two incredible international tours last year with Sum 41 and Simple Plan and we’re excited that they’ll both be joining us this summer in the US!” The Offspring dropped “Let the Bad Times Roll” in 2021 and OC Music News can confirm Dexter Holland, Noodles, Todd Morse, Jonah Nimoy, and Josh Freese put on an incredible show in support of it. We caught them playing a new version of “The Opioid Diaries,” the new album’s title track, and the classics, “Come Out and Play,” “Want You Bad,” “Bad Habit,” “Original Prankster,” “Why Don’t You Get a Job?,” “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy),” and “Self Esteem.” Of course, the relationship and joking between Holland and Noodles is entertaining on its own. Joining our local guys are the Canadians known as Sum 41. They made themselves known to most of us with 2001’s “Fat Lip,” which topped the modern rock charts. With “In Too Deep,” “Motivation,” “The Hell Song,” and “Still Waiting,” Sum 41 stayed on the charts and remains one of the busiest touring bands around. Also Canadian, the band who played almost every single Warped Tour, Simple Plan will bring their hits “I’m Just a Kid,” “Perfect,” “Addicted,” and “I’d Do Anything” to the tour. Known for collabs like Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus guesting on “I’d Do Anything” and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden on “You Don’t Mean Anything,” maybe this friendly tour will have some crossovers… This leg of the Let the Bad Times Roll Tour hits SoCal on August 6th at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, and August 8th at North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre if you want to hop down to Chula Vista. The presale begins Wednesday at 10 a.m. local time using the password BADTIMESROLL. General on sale begins this Friday. TO FOLLOW SID 230327 | TRACI TURNER, EDITOR [...] Read more...
March 20, 2023ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN Heaven Down Here March 20, 2023 by Jimmy Alvarez As the music gods would have it, many of us have our favorites. They share in our ups and downs, our moments of happiness, sadness, and gladness. They are our sonic heroes that guide us through this journey called life. For many, one band that echoes in those chambers of that upward spiral of sonic heaven is an English band from the ‘80s – Echo & The Bunnymen. Best known for their melodic sounds, witty lyrics, and Sinatra-style crooning that even impresses the likes of Morrissey, Ian McCulloch and the rest of his Bunnymen are still playing for the masses. After all, when you sing to the beat, “First I’m gonna make it and then I’m gonna break it ‘til it falls apart. Hating all the faking and I’m shaking while I’m breaking your brittle heart,” we kinda get them, and they kinda get us. Thanks to bands like Echo, it’s not always a cruel world. With their signature sound in tow, fans became enamored immediately with early songs “Seven Seas,” “Never Stop,” “The Cutter,” “The Killing Moon,” “Lips Like Sugar,” “People Are Strange,” “Bedbugs and Ballyhoo,” and “Bring on the Dancing Horses.” Echo & the Bunnymen became of staple of new wave and the alternative rock worlds since their formation in 1978. Echo & the Bunnymen were once described as “the bridesmaids of rock.” With heavy hitters of the era such as U2, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and Simple Minds – who are all still performing – it is somewhat of a back step for this band to not get the credit they deserve for their music catalog. That is the price of greatness when you are compared to these bands. Then again, if the measurement of success is a band’s influence on their fans and society in general, then yes, Echo & The Bunnymen do deserve to be at the top of that pedestal. On the flip side, and on a purely commercial level, the other argument has merit and therefore that is the bucket we see Echo in today. It is a fair argument to weigh, it’s being a victim of your own success. Bottom line, ask McCulloch, and he’ll tell you that the only thing that matters is you as a person constitutes as “success.” For that alone, they have endeared themselves to fans worldwide. “I only ever wanted, since the age of 13, to be the best singer of the best band in the world“ – Ian McCulloch With touring the way it was over the past few years, hiccups of any kind could derail any across-the-pond acts, which was the case last year for the Cruel World festival. However, everything appears back on track for Echo and his World Famous Bunnymen to appear at this year’s sold out Cruel World. This year’s lineup is every bit larger-than-life. Appearing will be Siouxsie less her Banshees, Iggy Pop, Love and Rockets, Adam Ant, The Human League, Gary Numan, Gang of Four, Modern English, ABC, The Motels, Animotion, The Vapors, and of course, Echo & the Bunnymen. It will be the who’s who of epic bands from back in the day. It will be an electric atmosphere, so get your tickets to see the greatest show on earth. OK, maybe it’s not Ringling Brothers, but it is Ringling Brothers adjacent. TO FOLLOW FOR EVENT INFORMATION SID 230326 | TRACI TURNER, EDITOR [...] Read more...
March 19, 2023GRETA VAN FLEET LIVE at PNC ARENA March 18, 2023 by M.B. Edwards It’s been five months since fans were told the Greta Van Fleet concert in Raleigh, NC had been postponed due to Josh Kiszka’s ruptured eardrum, but last week, thousands of fans congregated inside the PNC Arena in anxious anticipation for GVF to take the stage. As an added bonus, special guests included Robert Finley and Houndmouth. The show started right on time with Finley being the first to take the stage. Finley said he only had “25 minutes to shock you, rock you, and roll you for the rest of your life.” Right before he belted out the soulful lyrics to “Sharecropper’s Son,” he predicted it would be a night we’d never forget (and he couldn’t have been more right). Throughout his set, which included “Medicine Woman” and “Souled Out on You,” Finley kept telling the audience how much he loved us. In between songs, he took time to give out prudent life advice. At nearly 70 years old, he’s bound to know a thing or two, so before singing “Get It While You Can,” he reminded us that life is too short to put off tomorrow what you can do today. Not only is he wise, but the man can shimmy up and down and move those hips, enticing both screams and smiles from the crowd. I can tell you that his voice is strong, unwavering, and rich. He loves to perform and he loves telling his story through his songs. All great things must come to an end at some point, and Finley had to leave the stage to make way for Houndmouth. I first saw Houndmouth, the four-piece band from Indiana, when they played in Des Moines, Iowa last year and they’ve been part of my playlist ever since. I was super stoked to get to watch them perform live again. There’s just something about their persona and music that puts a big smile on my face. I’m instantly in a better mood after listening to them, but then again, that is one of the main purposes of music – to make a person feel certain emotions – and Houndmouth knows how to make music speak for them. Houndmouth may have a small-town garage band feel to them, but they are anything but that. Seeming without a care in the world, Houndmouth slowly walked on to the stage while the crowd was screaming their heads off. Matt Myers and Zak Appleby took their time getting their guitars ready, Shane Cody took a moment before settling into his seat at the drums, and Caleb Hickman fidgeted with his keyboard. Then, after a quick burst of notes to ensure they had sound, they jumped into their first song of the set, “Las Vegas.” The chemistry between the band members is evident onstage and their smiles are contagious. Before playing “Make It to Midnight,” Houndmouth said they felt like “a hundred dollars” and told everyone this was their last show on the Greta Van Fleet tour and proceeded to thank everyone for the lovely experience. Up next was a beautiful version of “Palmyra” followed by “McKenzie.” Right before “Honey Slider,” the tour manager walked onto the stage with red Solo cups for each member, and in a toast amongst friends, they all downed the liquid. Between the last two songs of the set, “Darlin’” and “Sedona,” you could hear fans shouting to “Smash the guitar! Smash the guitar!” No smashing occurred; Myers simply put his hands in the shape of a heart and left the stage after the set was over saying, “Peace and love.” As with other Greta VGF concerts in this tour, the big black curtain with the symbols from their newest album, “The Battle at Garden’s Gate,” was once again draped and clipped tightly around the stage so no peeking into the behind-the-scenes stage setup could occur. This dramatic scene always gets the crowd revved up in anticipation. Soon, though it did seem like an eternity when you’re waiting in utter anticipation, the lights dimmed, the opening monologue started as strobe lights illuminated the band’s silhouettes. “…I’ve asked in moments full of doubt ah and this is what I’m told…that living is in itself a constant celebration of love and whether it’s love we will live on and whether it’s not love we must provide it…” The monologue ended, red light shone from behind the curtain just before it fell, and Josh Kiszka started singing “Built by Nations.” The crowd erupted in screams, but you could barely hear them over Josh Kiszka’s voice and the wailing of Jake and Sam Kiszka’s guitars. Danny Wagner was on a higher platform in the middle of the stage pounding on the drums. Halfway through this song, fire erupted from all corners of the stage and heat radiated throughout the venue. The pleasure of pyrotechnics continued through the night, with bursts of shots flaring from cannons here and there and fog rolling off the stage floor, creeping up and around the band. I was on the side of the stage where Jake performs so I got to see him up close as he climbed up on the side platform to show off his guitar skills and perform little solos during the songs. Josh wore a white sequined jumpsuit with a gold dragon going down side and one dragon going up the other. Barefoot, of course. Sam was also in all white, though he wore a suit. He started the show with shoes on but quickly discarded them. Jake, was the yang to Josh’s yin, wearing a black jacket with slacks adorned in similar golden dragons. They are twins after all. Josh always takes time between some of the songs to explain the intent of piece or to bring encouragement to their fans. He speaks about the importance of recognizing emotions and events but to discard the negativity and free yourself from any anxiety. After “Safari Song” played, Wagner went into his epic and impressively long drum solo where he really gets to show off his skills. Wagner is a beast on the drums! During his moment in the spotlight, his bandmates took a small break while Josh passed out white flowers to those in the front of the stage. (There were many fan interactions with the band during the show and Jake and Sam always go to the edges of the stage to get closer to the audience.) Josh said, “Whew… I’m on a voyage now, I wanna go on a trip” as they started playing “Caravel.” The songs “Heat Above” and “Light My Love” were next. “Broken Bells” rang through the venue as Josh sang the meaningful lyrics. This song is definitely a crowd pleaser with its unique guitar chords imbedded throughout and the raging guitar solo. “Age of Machine and “The Weight of Dreams” ended the set. Josh threw his tambourine way out into the crowd while Wagner tossed his drumsticks. The crowd was not ready to go home. Greta Van Fleet left the stage, while workers began to take apart some cables. The crowd screamed and hollered for Greta Van Fleet to come back out for an encore. Begging practically ensued before Sam took the stage and played an instrumental piece on the keyboard. After a bit of this, Wagner came back, followed shortly thereafter by Jake and finally Josh. For the encore, they played “Age of Man,” then Josh then said they ran out of time and must be respectful of the venue and that they can only play one more song. The grand finale of sorts was “Highway Tune,” which Josh said was his favorite tune. I feel like he said that about a few of the songs and I know fans have more than one favorite. I highly recommend going to see Greta Van Fleet in concert. They will be playing with special guests Rival Sons between now and March 28th and a couple of festivals this May. Those nearby can check them out at the Honda Center in Anaheim this Friday (March 24th). SHOW PHOTO GALLERY by Jed Gammon Photography TO FOLLOW SID 2303025 | TRACI TURNER, EDITOR [...] Read more...
March 17, 2023MORBID ANGEL A Conversation with Steve Tucker March 15, 2023 by Chris Hazel Considered one of the dominant bands of death metal, Morbid Angel has been releasing weird, twisted, and sick masterpieces – one after another – for four decades. Now they are ready to terrorize cities across America, devastating rock clubs on the United States Tour of Terror 2023. As Morbid Angel celebrates 40 years of death metal, they are bringing along their friends Revocation, Crypta, Vitriol, and Skeletal Remains. Morbid Angel has had a significant role in shaping the sound of extreme heavy metal with their ferocious and brutally fast guitar playing, and dark, violent lyrical content seriated with snarling vocal attacks that sound like someone is actually being murdered. Famous for wielding astonishing control over the rapid double kicks, the band’s precision on drums is so tight, you might think they are using a drum machine. Despite their incredibly busy rehearsing schedule, vocalist and bassist Steve Tucker was kind enough to chat with us about the upcoming tour. Chris: You must be pretty stoked about your 40th anniversary tour? Steve: Hell yeah we are! We haven’t toured since the COVID thing happened and we’re ready to get back out and start playing live again. Chris: Do you have some cool new swag for the fans? Steve: We’ve got some new merch that we’ve brought out, and I think some old tour stuff as well from past albums and things like that. Some, I guess, favorites, if you will. Chris: Have you been driving your dogs crazy with rehearsals? Steve: (laughing) I’ve got an eight-month-old pup now. Every time I started singing, the poor little guy acts like murder is happening. (laughs again) So, yeah, I did have to work around that a little bit and have his mom take him outside, things like that for a while. Chris: How one does prepare for a tour like this? Steve: I think the main thing is staying healthy and staying in decent shape. I take daily vitamins, which is a pretty standard thing for me. When you’re going from city to city, you’ve got to kind of watch out, and just don’t take unnecessary risks. Chris: With 40 years of material, is it hard to pick a setlist? Steve: Trey and I usually talk about it for probably a month before we start preparing. We’ll talk about what songs we want to do, and honestly, at this point, what songs really feel good to play. There are so many songs on each album, so there’s a lot to choose from. Unfortunately, we’re never going to be able to play everybody’s favorite, but we’ve got a pretty diverse setlist, and we have a few alternative songs to mix it up depending on how we’re feeling. Chris: Morbid Angel has toured with Revocation in the past. You guys must have a pretty good camaraderie to take them on tour with you again? Steve: Yeah, the guys from Revocation are awesome musicians, an awesome band, and they’re just fucking awesome! Dave Davidson will come out, even when we’re not playing, just to hang out, and if we’re in the same city, he’ll come see us. At this point I would say it’d be safe to call us family. Chris: That’s awesome! And what a great story to have; kids who grew up learning your riffs that are now friends and touring with you as adults. That has to feel amazing! Steve: It does, and at the same time, I don’t ever hear those guys ripping us off in any way either. I can hear the influence and stuff, but Revocation is their own thing. You gotta pat these guys on the back for the work they’ve done. These guys have busted their ass for years now and they’re getting their own success. Chris: It almost makes the legacy of Morbid Angel come full circle. Steve: It’s a double-edged sword when you’ve been around so long that people are like, “Hey, I heard you when I was 12.” In one way, that smacks you in the face; in another way, it’s a huge compliment and it lifts you up. Chris: Are you excited to play with the other acts on this tour for the first time? Steve: Yeah, this is a pretty stacked tour with a good lineup of bands and I hope it makes a lot of people happy. I like the Vitro and Skeletal Remains quite a bit myself and I think they’re both pretty cool. I haven’t met Crypto yet, but I have listened to them and I like their stuff. They’re 100 percent pro, I think they’ll probably kick a lot of ass, and I’m glad that they’re getting the chance to tour the States. Chris: It’s got to be pretty rad that all the California dates have already sold out before you hit the road. Steve: It’s great that some shows have already sold out! It shows that all this time, while we’ve been sitting, people have been waiting as well. I’m glad and I can’t wait. Being on the road and playing live is the one place in the world where I feel normal. Chris: What is it like to have such a huge influence in the metal community, so much so that many other bands copy you? Steve: To be copied is really kind of an honor. There are so many bands that might start off with a Morbid Angel or Megadeth riff, but then the good bands move into originality. We start by mimicking what we love, then you move into your own, and you find your own originality. It’s a real compliment. Chris: I think a lot of metal heads are happy that Morbid Angel is still going strong after all years. Steve: No one could have ever told me that this would be going on when I’m 50 years old and I would have believed them. I would have never believed a single person that told me that. That we would still be playing, that I would still be going out touring, playing death metal, and that death metal would actually be as strong as it ever was this many years later. It blows my mind. I’m glad to be a part of it honestly. Chris: It almost feels like death metal has been having a resurgence since the pandemic. Steve: Death metal and what’s going on in the world seems to be directly related. The more angst that people have, the more heavy music is made. When things get a little easy, music gets happy. A perfect example is the ‘80s. The popular music was happy ass and even what they called metal was dancy crap music. (big laughs from both of us) Steve continues: Then you had the bands like Slayer and Metallica coming up, and they were the only ones that were really pointing out that, “Hey, things aren’t as wonderful as you may think they are.” Then came the ‘90s, the world starts going a little bit more dark, you sort of have the relapse from the ‘80s, and death metal just blew up. They say the pinnacle of death metal was ‘92 or ‘93. I actually disagree. I think that it was the pinnacle of people discovering the longevity of death metal. To me, that’s everything. That just makes it legitimate. If it wasn’t, it would have gone away. Chris: Morbid has faced hardships in the past, but you guys never give up, and you come out on top with flying colors every time. If you could give one piece of advice to a band that is just getting started, what would you tell them? Steve: That’s a great question. Perseverance, man. Perseverance is everything. There are so many people in our world today that have one little setback and it shuts them down. Real life is full of setbacks and when you’re in a band, expect it, expect to lose members, and expect for people to suddenly not like doing this anymore. It’s just going to happen, and you’re never going to be able to guess which guy it is. So perseverance is everything, and if you really want it bad enough, don’t stop. That’s the only way to succeed. Chris: What’s next for Morbid Angel after the tour? Steve: Actually, I don’t really know what we’re doing next after this tour. We haven’t really talked too much about it. Our main focus right now is getting the machine lubed back up and running again. I’d love to start writing some songs and do another record; hopefully soon. But first we’ve got to knock off the rust. We’ve been sitting still and it wasn’t very inspirational. Getting out playing live and seeing the fans will be the medicine and inspiration that we really need. Chris: I can’t wait to see you live and to see the band find that inspiration. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us and is there anything you would like to say to the readers of OC Music News? Steve: Thanks for all the love and supporting us all these years, and I can’t wait to see you guys at the shows! Look for Morbid Angel’s United States of Terror Tour at a city near you (although the three CA dates are sold out!). Revocation, Crypta, and Skeletal Remains will handle the shows March 15th through April 4th, then Vitriol takes over for Skeletal Remains April 6th through the 22nd. Thank you Steve Tucker and Morbid Angel! TO FOLLOW SID 230326 | TRACI TURNER, EDITOR [...] Read more...
March 16, 2023The Sisters of Mercy Headed to US A Conversation with Ben Christo March 16, 2023 by Traci Turner For the first time in 14 years, The Sisters of Mercy are returning to the US and are poised to collect a new generation of fans. The English post-punk rockers gave us the classics “Marian,” “Lucretia My Reflection,” “this Corrosion,” and one of my long-standing favorites, “More.” Front-man and founding member Andrew Eldritch is bringing guitarists Dylan Smith and Ben Christo, and Ravey Davey – operator for the drum machine dubbed Doktor Avalanche – to our shores with some new stuff as well. Despite not releasing an album since 1990 and lacking a social media presence, The Sisters of Mercy are selling out their upcoming dates. (If locals want to attend the May 23rd Hollywood Palladium show, you’ll need to go through a reseller, but tickets for the May 15th show remain). With that kind of demand, OC Music News was thrilled to check in with guitarist Ben Christo via Zoom in hopes of finding out “More” of what’s ahead for The Sisters of Mercy. Traci: Hey Ben! Ben: Hey, Traci! Traci: I know you’ve been busy playing shows with your band Diamond Black, but it looks like you might be at your house. Ben: Yeah, I was on tour last week and I will be on tour in a few months’ time, but right now I am in my apartment. TSOM Traci: I did my research on you and my major question is: Do you ever NOT do anything?! Ben: (laughing) That’s a very good question. I find it very hard to not do anything. I have to force myself to not do anything. And sometimes what I’ll do is kind of surprise myself with not doing anything. As in, I’ll have a day planned out and I’ll be getting a bit stressed and I’ll just go, “Hey, how about I just do nothing for an hour” and there’s a board game cafe around the corner from me. But sometimes I just go in there and I’ll just sit there and read a book or just watch people playing board games with a coffee. I think sometimes it’s quite nice to almost surprise yourself with doing nothing rather than holding it in this high regard of, “So now I’ve scheduled in this hour, now I must relax.” Traci: You’ve been busy touring with your band, Diamond Black, and you just released the video for “Through the Misery.” Are you a songwriter that likes to talk about what your songs are about or are you one who prefers people interpret on their own? Ben: Bit of both, really, because I think having had some songs explained to me that I love by other artists, it’s sort of not ruined it, but it’s taking it away from me because as a fan, I’ve projected my own meaning onto that song. That’s why it means so much to me then, for the writer to go, “Oh, actually, it was about this.” Even if that’s just about something, of course it was about the relationship that you had with this person’s life, but it’s not my story anymore. You’ve taken it from me. But I also am fascinated by it, and I do like to talk about it. I think this is one this particular song, if that’s what we were going to talk about, is one that has been written, I think, very specifically about something which I think is worth discussing. Traci: And what would that be? Ben: It is actually written about the negative effect that social media has begun to have on me. I can’t necessarily say the way that it makes other people feel. I can make observations based on things that I see in my friendship group and in the general world. It’s about what I feel and how, particularly the last 10 years or so, I’ve started to measure my value as a human being on how many likes and follows and attention that I get through something which isn’t even real and validation. That something that I do – or that anyone does that considers to be using their talents or their goodwill or their imagination – it’s only good if a certain amount of people validate it. And those are people that you don’t even know, and their validation is literally this (mimics pressing a button on a phone). That’s it and they’re not thinking about it anymore. So it’s about how that’s made me feel and how that’s affected my ability to move forward. Ben continues: It is also about comparison, how sometimes I could open up my phone and instantly see something that immediately makes me feel worthless because this other person is doing better than me and their life is better than my life. “Why can’t I be this? Why am I not this? When am I ever going to be this?” And this sudden, depressing feeling. It’s about trying to work through that and understanding that ultimately – and this can be quite empowering once you discover it – you get to decide how you feel about anything and everything. Once you can start to really connect with that, it can become very liberating. THE SISTERS OF MERCY Traci: What is your songwriting process? Words then music? The other way around? Ben: It’s usually music first. Of the better things that I’ve written, they’d be melodies or little vocal phrases or riffs, but I haven’t even sat down with a guitar and composed. I’ve just been walking down the road and be like, “Oh, that’s really cool!” Then just record it in the phone or back in the day a Dictaphone and then figure out later on how that actually translates musically. And then what will often happen is if you do come up with a lyric at that point, then it might not be a very good lyric because it’s just the first thing that you thought of to hold the tune, but what you may find is that those syllables and sounds and consonants are the right sort of sounds for that tune. So you find words that have a similar rhyming pattern or meter or whatever to those words and that’s usually what helps you because certain melodies just don’t work. Ben continues: The other way that I’ve done a couple of times that actually was really good was the Desmond Child approach, which is title before anything else. I got a book and I opened it up and I was like, “The first phrase I see is going to be the name of this song.” In fact, the first phrase I saw wasn’t very super. It was something like, “he adjusted his shoe to make it” (laughing), so that’s not going to work. But the second one was “time to escape” and I thought, “Wow! What a cool name for a song.” Then I just built the entire song on this sense of “time to escape” and what it meant to me and that was one of the best songs I think I’ve ever written. So those are two ways that I’ve written and I think the title first one is a very good one, and I would recommend it to anybody because it immediately gets you vibed up, gets you in the style, gets you thinking. It’s like, if someone said, “Can you just write me a movie script?” you’d be like, (shrug). But if you said, “Write me a movie script and the title is ‘Night of the Halloween Devil,’” you’d start working on it! Traci: How did you get recruited into The Sisters of Mercy? Ben: I moved to London because I was looking to join a new band and I got a phone call from an area code number that I didn’t recognize. There was a man on the phone who said very, very forward, “We hear you’re a guitarist. We think you’re quite good. We’d like you to audition for our band.” I was like, “Sorry, what band? Who? What?” He wouldn’t tell me who the band was; he just said, “We’re a band. We’re a professional band. We’re going to tour America. We need a guitar player. Come an audition, bring some Hendrix licks. We’re like a mix of Motorhead and U2.” Because he was being so vague, I was very, very skeptical about it. So I went along to this audition again, not wanting to turn anything down because you never know, but very skeptical about it and I was a little bit scared, “Where am I going?” I got a mate who works for the police and I said, “Look, if I don’t contact you in half an hour, come and find me.” (laughing) Ben continues: I went into this audition and there were three guys in the room. There was a man on the sofa with a can of beer, some dark glasses on and a woolly hat. There was a guy with a guitar and there was a guy with a laptop, and they said, “Can you play this? Can you play that?” and the guy with the guitar would play a riff and I would play it back. I can’t read music, but I’m good at listening and I’m good at picking things up by ear. So we did this for a while and I started to think, this sounds a bit like The Sisters of Mercy, because I was a fan. They were in my top 20 bands, but I haven’t seen what they’ve been up to . He went on: I thought it’s got a kind of TSOM feel to it. So I just played one of their famous riffs on my guitar then to see if anybody would say anything. Sure enough, Shades goes, “That’s one of our songs.” I will never forget the snapshot of my life, looking at my hands and my hands were just shaking and shaking because I was so nervous that I was in the presence of a band that I hugely respected, that played a big part in my childhood, and that I could now be in. A couple of days later they called me up – at the time I was working in the English equivalent of a 7-11 store and teaching a few guitar lessons on the side, flat packing boxes and stuff – and it was, “We want you to do it.” It was just so amazing. We did some rehearsals and then about six weeks later, I was on the tour bus going from LAX to Vegas for the first show. It was just life changing within a relatively short space of time. Traci: And now you get to return to the US and you guys are going to be at the Sick New World Festival with like 900 other bands. Ben: Is it actually 900? Traci: I think it might be 889. I’m sorry, I tend to exaggerate. (laughing) Ben: Come on! (laughing) Traci: Is there anybody there that you are particularly excited to see? Ben: There’s a really great band called Cold. I heard a song off their first album on one of those magazine cassettes that you get free and I was like, “This is amazing.” I started following the band from there and when I got in TSOM, a mutual fan of Cold and TSOM made contact and said, “I know Scooter , do you want me to put you in contact?” I was like, “Yes!” It turns out he’s a TSOM fan because he grew up on it in the early ‘90s. Now we text each other and we talk and stuff. I’m really looking forward to seeing Cold and hanging out. I’ve never met him in person, so I’m looking forward to actually getting a chance to meet one of my heroes. Traci: You’ll do the festival and then a show the day after, still in Vegas. Then you’re doing all the shows! I think it’s amazing that while there’s new songs , there has not been a new album in decades, yet you guys are selling stuff out. How phenomenal is that? Ben: Yeah, I still don’t really know where that comes from. A number of factors have come together at a time that has made this possible. I’d like to think it’s because the last couple of years of the band’s touring, particularly 2022, has been very strong and the word has spread. We know that we’re a good, solid band. There’s lots of new songs written by the assembled lineup and it’s a good show. I’m hoping that’s part of it. I know there’s a cyclical nature to things as well. We’re seeing three generations of fans at our shows now, from teenagers to people in their 60s, so new blood coming in, discovering it from their parents, that sort of thing. And I think maybe just the amount of time that’s passed and the strength of the source material because those first three albums are so good and they’re so venerated that people want to come out and see the band and are intrigued, hopefully, by the idea of there being immaterial. Traci: I read an interview with Andrew and I know he is kind of, “We do what we want to do. Maybe we’ll do this, maybe we won’t.” Because of that, I won’t ask for specific plans for the future, but is there anything you can tell us to look forward to? Ben: I just want people to know that the show that we’re bringing is going to be really good. It’s exciting. It’s a really good mix of greatest hits, some deep cuts that you maybe wouldn’t expect to hear, and a bunch of new songs, which we think are really good and we think encapsulate the spirit of The Sisters of Mercy in a 2023 kind of way. Traci: If you guys are having fun on stage, I’m into it. Ben: Yeah, we’re basically bringing what we did in Australia, which was really successful, to the States, which is visually and sonically, very arresting. Really good visuals, good show, the way that we are on stage is a mixture of being quite reserved and then quite energetic, and there’s a good sort of light and shade to it. So, yeah, I want people to know that it’s going to be really good! Thank you Ben Christo from The Sisters of Mercy and Diamond Black! We look forward to seeing TSOM at the sold out Sick New World Festival at The Las Vegas Fairgrounds on May 13th, and their additional show the next day at Brooklyn Bowl Vegas. SoCal catch them at the Hollywood Palladium May 15th and May 23rd as they make their way around North America. TO FOLLOW SID 230325 | JIMMY ALVAREZ, EDITOR [...] Read more...
March 16, 2023LIVE at The Hollywood Palladium March 17, 2023 Review by Robert Hale It was a crazy Thursday evening as I fought rush hour traffic to get to Jane’s Addiction’s show at the Hollywood Palladium. With support from Damnage and L.A. Witch, I was determined to get there on time because I knew it would be well worth it to cover these amazing bands. Jane’s spent the fall of 2022 touring with Smashing Pumpkins as part of their Spirits on Fire tour and then scheduled a handful of their own headlining dates, before embarking on a tour of South America, in which they will play three Lollapalooza shows. They have promised new music is on the way, plus 2023 is the 35th anniversary of the band’s debut album, “Nothing’s Shocking.” First to the stage was Damnage, a phenomenal group of accomplished musicians whose resumes include Lady Gaga, Bad Bunny, Young Thug, and Knives. If Jimmy Hendrix reincarnated as a bass player, he would be Johnny Goood. This guy is all over the place and has mad skills with bass lines that make your head swim. Tim Stewart is a multi-talented artist – singer, songwriter, and producer. Drummer Will Useman provides the heartbeat for the band and also has incredible design skills. This band obviously has a huge LA fanbase because the crowd was giving them all the love! I was extremely impressed by their performance and highly recommend you check them out. L.A. Witch, the all-female three piece, was up next and I was pleasantly surprised by the combination of talent and beauty. Formed in 2011 and labeled as alternative garage rock, L.A. Witch has a sound all their own – a kind of bluesy, folk rock with a splash of surf guitar that reminded me of The Cramps. Their song “Sexorexia,” “Fire Starter,” “Get Lost,” and “Icycle” drew a huge response and it’s no wonder they have such a huge following. It was a pretty quick turnover from L.A. Witch to Jane’s Addiction and the Palladium was packed! The sold-out show proved fans were eager to see the reunited Jane’s. The Pumpkins’ tour brought the return of original bass player Eric Avery after more than a decade. Unfortunately, guitarist Dave Navarro is still out due to long COVID issues, but Josh Klinghoffer (formerly Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam) has been filling it nicely. Avery and Klinghoffer are of course joined by front-man Perry Farrell and drummer Stephen Perkins. Jane’s began with a very long version of “Up the Beach” and Farrell proved he remains the engaging showman. There was a scaffolding behind the drum platform and when “Whores” began, three scantily-clad women wearing white, Vegas-showgirl costumes ascended the scaffolding and began gyrating. At one point, Farrell – wearing a blue jumpsuit with the word UNITY on the back – went up the scaffolding as well and danced with the ladies (one of which is his wife). Between “Had a Dad” and “Ain’t No Right,” Farrell talked about Rozz Williams of Christian Death and their days of hanging out on the streets of L.A., and their drug use. Sadly, Williams chose to end his life on April 1st, 1998, making 2023 the 25-year anniversary of his passing. As Farrell spoke, colorful monochromatic visuals of shapes and things were shown behind him. During “Ocean Size,” Klinghoffer got more warmed up and seemed to lay back and spring forward! I’m always amazed at how some guitar players can move so dramatically and play so well at the same time. Farrell called upon everyone to raise their glass and toast the spirits and angels, who he says, have to buy tickets just like everyone else. After every song, the sold-out crowd would go wild. They took us through “Then She Did,” “Obvious,” “Ted, Just Admit It,” “Chip Away,” “Kettle Whistle,” and “1%” Plus other monster hit, “Three Days,” When the bassline of “Mountain Song” took over the Palladium, the crowd went nuts. You haven’t experienced life until you see “Been Caught Stealing” performed live! All the while Jane’s dancers would appear, disappear for a bit, then reappear. The crowd loved the visual sonic candy. After “Been Caught Stealing,” with a very big smile, Farrell thanked the crowd and said, “We love you!” The crowd went wild, and after a brief moment away from the stage, the band returned for an encore. They did one of their new songs, “True Love,” followed by two mega hits, “Jane Says” and “Stop.” What an awesome show from an iconic band! After their South America dates, they will once again join Smashing Pumpkins, this time in Australia. And now we wait for a new album… SHOW PHOTO GALLERY by Robert Hale Images TO FOLLOW SID 230324 | TRACI TURNER, EDITOR [...] Read more...
March 16, 2023Måneskin Announce Rush! World Tour March 16, 2023 by Traci Turner Måneskin is coming back! While 2022 was the year they made a name for themselves in the US, 2023 is the year they will rule it. The band came to stardom with their epic win on Eurovision, followed up by their international smash single, “Beggin.” The Italian rockers were just here in the fall, but thankfully are not making us wait too long to see them again thanks to their Rush! World Tour. The Rush! tour will see them headlining arenas in North America, South America, Europe, Japan, and Australia. Is the world ready for their incredible live show? We’re told they will have all new staging and lighting, so even if you saw them in 2022, 2023 will be something new and different for the Grammy-nominated artists. The demand for this foursome has been astronomical and I’m pretty sure they have not had a free moment in months. Måneskin released their album “Rush!” in January to high praise (I cannot stop listening to “The Loneliest”), and they continue to ride high being the darlings of the music world. They are still on their Loud Kids tour and the bulk of shows have been sell outs. The glam-rockers put on a show like no other and even if some songs are in Italian, the American fans sing right along with them. Their November show at the Hollywood Palladium was incredible and we know they will sell out the Forum. Front-man Damiano David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi, and drummer Ethan Torchio had the audience singing to “Zitti E Buoni,” “In Nome Del Padre,” “Mammamia,” “Kool Kids,” and the big one, “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” The newly announced North American dates include Boston, Chicago, New York City, Nashville, and Los Angeles (October 10th at Kia Forum). Presale tickets via an American Express early access begin March 20th. The general onsale starts March 23rd at 10 a.m. local time. TO FOLLOW SID 230324 | JIMMY ALVAREZ, EDITOR [...] Read more...
March 15, 2023Beyoncé  The Renaissance World Tour March 16, 2023 by M.B. Edwards It’s been six years since she toured last, this May Beyoncé starts her Renaissance World Tour. The frenzy to get tickets was incredible, spawning memes and Tweets of fans selling their souls to see their Queen Bey. The US leg of the tour starts July 12th when she performs in front of her enthusiastic Beyhive fans in Philadelphia. Some of the major city stops include Atlanta, Miami, Phoenix, Dallas, Charlotte, St. Louis, Vegas, San Francisco, and Inglewood, with the tour currently ending in New Orleans on September 27th. With 32 Grammy Awards, Beyoncé stands at the top of the artist success mountain. The cultural icon started her music career as a child partaking in singing and dancing competitions before she joined Destiny’s Child in the ’90s. “No, No, No” was their first major hit from the album “Destiny’s Child.” Although, it was their second album, “The Writing’s on the Wall,” that was one of their best pieces of work and produced the hit singles “Bills Bills, Bills” and “Say My Name.” In 2002, Beyoncé broke out with her first solo with her now husband, Jay-Z, with the song “03 Bonnie & Clyde.” Since then, they’ve created a lot of other music together, such as “Crazy in Love,” “Déjà Vu,” and “Drunk in Love.” What makes her a standout is the fact that she has sold over 200 million records, won 26 MTV Video Music Awards, 31 BET Awards, plus many more accolades. Her single “Irreplaceable” was a world-wide hit, plus “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” became a monster hit. Her album “4” has so many streams on Spotify, she was the first to have three albums exceed over a billion streams. Her album “Lemonade” was even bigger and even more successful. In other words, there is no one like Beyonce. But it’s not just music that has transformed her into a legend among legends. Beyoncé has also starred in big screen projects such as “Austin Powers – Goldmember,” where her solo single “Work It Out” emerged. She also had starring roles in “The Fighting Temptations,” “The Pink Panther,” “Dreamgirls,” “Obsessed,” “Epic,” and “The Lion King.” She’s also directed four movies, one being “Beyonce: Lemonade.” There’s not much this powerful woman can’t do when she puts her mind to it and her loyal Beyhive fans will attest. Seeing her in concert is a rare treat and one that is worth the experience. Since the original tour announcement, fans were elated when seven additional dates in the US were added. Many shows have sold out, but depending on the date, you might be able to find your way in. For locals, the first two nights (September 1st and 2nd) at SoFi are sold out, but tickets remain for the third (September 4th). TO FOLLOW SID 230323 | TRACI TURNER, EDITOR [...] Read more...
March 14, 2023MANIC HISPANIC May the 4th Be With You March 14, 2023 by Rachael Contreras Your favorite Chicano parody punk band is back and ready to share “The Force” with you. Manic Hispanic will be ripping up the stage of House of Blues Anaheim with the likes of The Aquabats: Tribute to The Cure, Plague Vendor, and Matamoska! on May the 4th. If you haven’t seen Manic Hispanic before, just think of a group of Mexican punk rock Weird Al Yankovics singing parodies of popular punk rock songs with great band member banter. The group lineup has changed a bit over their 30 years, but one thing remains the same – their impeccable sense of humor that seeps into their lyrics, stage performance, and general style. The Aquabats put on one of the most unique shows around, but then they have this other gig where all the members dress in black, some with makeup and hair to resemble the great Robert Smith of The Cure. They play amazing Cure covers and do a fantastic job at meshing the worlds of fun, pop punk/ska and catchy, ‘80s gothic rock. The Bats don’t perform under this guise often so when they do, it’s a big deal. Best known for “Black Sap Scriptures,” and “New Comedown,” Whittier’s own Plague Vendor will be joining the show as well. This quartet has been making waves for some time and supporting big acts. Their newest single, “Rumble,” has a Manic Hispanic feel that makes them a great fit for this lineup. The self-proclaimed Los Angeles ghetto ska-punk band, Matamoska! will be tying this lineup together like a perfect silky bow. With their ska horns and fun lyrics, they will set the tone nicely for what will be a fantastic show for a memory-making night. Will we see a “Return of the 5th” Friday after party? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t whip out a box of paletas and have your own shindig. Manic, as the kids call them, will also be headlining the second stage of the new Punk in the Park in Ventura on March 25th, so if you need a warm up for May, catch them there. TO FOLLOW SID 230322 | TRACI TURNER, EDITOR [...] Read more...
March 13, 2023COUNTING CROWS Hit the Road with Dashboard Confessional Banshee Season Tour 2023 March 14, 2023 by Traci Turner Counting Crows have decided to make the road their summer vacation with their Banshee Season tour. The Adam Duritz-fronted band will visit 56 North American cities with Dashboard Confessional on all but seven dates, and Frank Turner as a special guest on select dates. Duritz shared a statement: “One of the best things about a life in rock and roll is that we spend it traveling the world playing music. It’s even better when you can do it with one of your best friends and watch them play every night too. Chris Carrabba hits the trifecta for me in that he’s one of my best friends in the world, one of my favorite people in the world, and he leads one of my favorite bands of all time, Dashboard Confessional. Sorry for the terrible pun but hands down, this is going to be the best summers ever.” The Banshee Season tour will begin June 13th in Nebraska and close at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado in September. With 56 cities on the roster, they will of course hit all the majors including Boston, Atlantic City, Nashville, Milwaukee, and Seattle. Their SoCal date lands them at YouTube Theater in Los Angeles on September 6th. Counting Crows | Photo by Stephanie Pepper Photography Counting Crows released their “Butter Miracle Suite One” EP in 2021, but will surely bring out the hits “Round Here,” “Mr. Jones,” “Rain King,” “A Long December,” and “Hanginaround.” Last year Dashboard Confessional dropped their album “All the Truth That I Can Tell,” and we expect they will share favorites “Hands Down,” “Vindicated,” “Stolen,” “Saints and Sailors,” and the song that introduced many of us to them, “Screaming Infidelities.” The general sale for the Banshee Season tour begins this Friday at 10 a.m. local time. If you want to sneak into tomorrow’s presale, visit the Counting Crows link below for details. TO FOLLOW SID 230320 | JIMMY ALVAREZ, EDITOR [...] Read more...



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