Archive for the ‘Concert Review’ Category

This review is going to take a bit of a different route and is more personal than anything Stork Music has ever done. It’s more of an editorial review, which we try to shy away from, but we hope it’s something different that you can relate to.

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For those who aren’t familiar, welcome. I’m Thuy Lan (say it like twee-lawn), editor of Stork Music. For the past three years, All Time Low has played a show on or around the time of my birthday in cities near where I lived. For life up until two years ago, that was Milwaukee. For all those years, I never went because something was always in my way. This year looked like it would be no different.

I made an 1800 mile move across the country from a suburban Wisconsin town to the desert oven of a city, also known as Phoenix. My 20th birthday was approaching, and like clockwork, All Time Low was planning a fall tour.

Alex Gaskarth.  Marquee. Tempe, AZ. Photo credit Kyra Wennersten.

For a while, I’d been contemplating reaching out to All Time Low for some concert coverage, but always stopped myself, worried that Stork didn’t have a wide enough audience to be considered, or that a blog wouldn’t be credible enough for a band that was selling out cross continental tours.  And as every other year, All Time Low was playing a show in Milwaukee the week of my birthday.  But I was in Phoenix.

What was different about this year was an email I received, asking if I would be interested in doing some coverage on some band called All Time Low. I thought maybe this would finally be the year, where I finally got to see All Time Low in concert for my birthday. Three years of missed birthday concerts was coming to an end—in a horribly bittersweet way.

In the car on the way to the Marquee (Tempe, AZ), I knew for some reason this didn’t just feel different, it was different. For the first time in three years, I was letting someone else take the photographs [shout out to my amazing roommate and friend, Kyra Wennersten for her incredible pictures and being my voice of reason at times], and watch the show from the crowd. Since Stork was created two years ago, I had been watching from the pit or from side stage. I hadn’t realized how much of a dissonance there had been between actually experiencing a concert and covering it for the site.  Standing near the back of the crowd, I heard countless screams and gossip about the bands that were playing, and that was when I knew.  I had grown up.  Kids were talking about how their parents were going to pick them up after the show and how they hadn’t done their American history projects yet.  Some were exploiting their freedom to spew profanity without parental disdain as a consequence, shouting things like “OH MY GOD, I’m so GOD DAMN excited for this F**KING BAND to play my favorite F**KING SONG like F**KING EVER, you guys F**K.”

Jack Barakat. Marquee. Tempe, AZ. Photo credit Kyra Wennersten.

Seeing Hit The Lights brought back memories of my first Warped Tour, and hearing The Summer Set’s signature line about monsters in beds had me reminiscing of the AP Tour.  When All Time Low took the stage amidst deafening screams and a rhythmic cult-like “All-Time-Low” chant, I knew it would be my last show as a teenager.

Anyone who has ever seen All Time Low perform live knows that it’s high energy, fun, and wildly inappropriate.  They put on one of the most visually appealing shows with coordinated lighting—Peter Pan green for ‘Somewhere In Neverland’ and Ravens purple during ‘For Baltimore.’  Fun banter between front man Alex Gaskarth and guitarist Jack Barakat always evokes screams, whether the conversation is about Alex getting frisky with drummer Rian Dawson’s mom, or how sexy the band members are.

ATL played a handful of classic hits like ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In,’ ‘Poppin’ Champagne,’ ‘Remembering Sunday’ and ‘Jasey Rae.’  But it was their new track off Don’t Panic that got to me.  ‘Somewhere In Neverland’ sparked a train of thought—I’d been like Peter Pan.  I didn’t want to grow up.  But it didn’t really matter what I wanted, I knew from that moment it was inevitable.  What I also knew that from the genuine smiles on the face of every member on stage was that they were happy, doing exactly what they wanted.  I knew that I wanted what they had.  I’m doing that right now with Stork Music (though I’m not getting paid for it, boo) and I hope that in growing up, I’ll find that I can do what I love.

Alex Gaskarth, Zack Merrick. Marquee. Tempe, AZ. Photo credit Kyra Wennersten.

Seeing All Time Low then and now, I have watched them progress and grow into a band that’s matured lyrically and instrumentally and they continually put their all into every album and every show they play.  When I think of a band that defined my adolescence and growing up, it won’t be the Backstreet Boys or *Nsync.  Looking back, it will always be ATL—crying over boys while ‘Therapy’ played through my earphones, dancing to ‘Damned If I Do Ya’ in my room and watching almost every classic Disney movie after listening to ‘Somewhere in Neverland.’  I can safely say that All Time Low put on an amazing show, like they always do.

Thank you all for your support of Stork Music.  Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions at all.

Love,

Thuy Lan

Max Bemis performing with his band, Say Anything, on their Say Anarchy tour at the Rave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Spidersong

Burn a Miracle

Shiksa (Girlfriend)

Hate Everyone

In Defense of the Genre

Say Anything

Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too

Belt

Eloise

Alive With The Glory of Love

So Good

Every Man Has a Molly

The Church Channel

Property

A Walk Through Hell

(Setlist is summarized of all dates of Say Anarchy Tour)

On their 2012 “Say Anarchy” tour, Say Anything traveled with aspiring bands, such as Murder by Death, The Sidekicks, and Tallhart. The audience seemed to especially enjoy The Sidekicks upbeat style. In addition, Murder by Death received strong support by the portion of the crowd who support a style similar to Mumford and Sons. As lead singer, Maxim Bemis, put it, the band played a “plethora of new and old songs”, which the crowd appreciated. Aside from the occasional obsessive fan girl or rowdy guy, the audience was respectful and fully enthralled in the band’s performance.

Despite some inability to keep up with the beat, Bemis made sure to incorporate the audience. He even left the stage numerous times to let the crowd touch him, which the security guards clearly did not appreciate as they scrambled to hold people back. In some songs,  Sherri DuPree-Bemis (Max Bemis’ wife) , did back up vocals and audience members shouted “baby Bemis” in honor of her pregnancy. After Overbiter, the couple kissed, which the audience loved, and Sherri Bemis gestured knowingly toward her stomach.

Throughout the entire performance, it was clear that Bemis was trying to connect with his fans and sincerely enjoyed his time. The last song of the encore, The Stephen Hawking, was meant to be a “compromise” in Bemis’ words. Since neither he nor the audience wanted to leave, Bemis and the rest of the band decided to play their longest song. Bemis also promised his fans that the band decided to continue making music for as long as possible.

~R

(Stay tuned for a post specifically about The Sidekicks, they are worth checking out!)

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It was hot. Everyone at Summerfest was feeling the heat, and was searching for somewhere cool to rest before the headliners began in a few hours. If they were lucky enough to stop at the Tiki Stage, they were in for a treat.

Roster McCabe has been around since 2007, and has been named by Billboard Magazine as an up and coming band for the future, but I certainly hadn’t heard of them. Admittedly, I only sat down because of the large trees around the stage that provided the best shade I had seen all day. But once the performance began, I was pleasantly surprised.

Every person in the rapidly growing audience was tapping their foot and bobbing their head. Their music really relaxed a very tense crowd on a hot, uncomfortable day.  Maybe it was the heat getting to me or something, but I couldn’t find anything I disliked about them. Vocals were great and there were some awesome guitar solos.

If the good music and shade wasn’t attractive enough, a man I like to call “Mello Yello Man” helped bring the Tiki Stage past capacity. This man got up as Roster McCabe began their first song, and continually danced throughout the set. Tiring stuff, his Mello Yello shirt became a bit darker once it became absolutely drenched in sweat. I saw him about three hours later at a nearby stage, and I am not sure if he ever took a break, talk about dedication.

Personally, I will be looking forward to more Roster McCabe. If you need some music to relax to, I highly recommend you check them out yourself.

~O

Setlist:

1. Put Me Out

2. Take It Away

3. The Bird and the Worm

4. Listening

5. Kiss It Goodbye

6. I Come Alive

7. I Caught Fire

8. The Taste of Ink

9. All That I’ve Got

10. Buried Myself Alive

11. Blue and Yellow

12. Blood on My Hands

13. The Best of Me

14. Pretty Handsome Awkward

Encore:

15. Now That You’re Dead

16. A Box Full of Sharp Objects

A quiet, still audience transformed into a crunched mob right before The Used came on stage during their June 1st concert at the Rave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Used played a variety of old favorites, such as “A Box Full of Sharp Objects” and ” The Bird and the Worm” and new hits, like “Put me Out”. Their new songs are from the album Vulnerable, which was released earlier this year.

Many of the fans reacted with equal enthusiasm to the old and new songs. Lead singer, Bert McCracken, was very involved with his audience. McCracken thanked his audience for attending his concert, rather than the Tech N9ne concert being held in a different room of the same venue. Before one of his songs, McCracken encouraged the audience to put an arm around the closest person and give them a kiss on the cheek. One audience member chose to give McCracken the middle finger after each song, which annoyed him. McCracken then told his fans to punch that audience member if he was still flicking him off by the end of the next song. McCracken referred to this method as sending his “army” after him. Since no massive fight broke out, the audience member likely was not beaten up.

During a majority of the songs, the audience was averagely involved. Members in the back of the crowd formed mosh pits nearly every song, and most people swayed to the music and cheered for the band. However, right before the song “Pretty Handsome Awkward” McCracken insisted that the crowd form a wall of death. During a wall of death, the crowd splits into two distinct halves and then rushes at each other in a fashion similar to a mosh pit. The audience abided enthusiastically. After ” Pretty Handsome Awkward” and the wall of death, The Used exited the stage. The audience cheered for an encore. After a few minutes, the band came back out and performed “Now That You’re Dead” and ” A Box Full of Sharp Objects”.

Click to see pictures from the concert that the venue took! 

“We have a high energy show; we sweat a lot.” -Alexander Reed, Go Radio

Nintendo 3DS Stage, Warped Tour Milwaukee

Simply put, as talented and polished as Go Radio is lyrically, they are equally as talented live.  With fans dedicated enough to land Go Radio on the cover of AP magazine’s ‘We Are Warped’ issue, it’s clear the band has an enormous fanbase— who all show up to sets to sing along and belt their hearts out.  As much as the fans give, Go Radio reciprocates with a noteworthy onstage performance, jumping around and keeping fans interested by changing tempo— switching between tracks like ‘Any Other Heart’ and  the swoon-worthy ‘Goodnight Moon.’

The Truth Is‘ Stork Music has an obvious penchant for all things Go Radio. Especially these photos from Go Radio’s Milwaukee Warped Tour set.

Watch this interview with Alex Reed of Go Radio as he discusses fans asking for sweat-soaked underwear, the perils of tour life and his desire for an iPhone 4.

Make sure to check out the band on FaceBook, Twitter and iTunes!

~T

Although their sobriety was questionable, Asking Alexandria gripped their high energy audience from the beginning of their Warped Tour performance in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Their viscous crowd held no benevolence for one another as they smashed their way to the front rows and attempted to start their pits during any breakdown. This was only egged on by lead singer Danny Warsnop who told them that every other memeber of the crowd was their enemy and they were to show no mercy. This lead to more crowd surfing and brutality from spectators who were already rowdy.

They chanted along, with intensity, to songs such as , “Not The American Average”, and “I Was Once, Possibly,Maybe A Cowboy King”, and “The Final Episode” off the album Stand Up And Scream, and “Breathless”, To the Stage”, and “A Lesson Never Learned” from their newest album Reckless And Relentless (released April 2011).  In general there was never a calm moment during AA’s powerful show.

They finished their show with one of their biggest hits, pre-released single, Morte et Dabo. It was the song their audience had been anticipating for the entire show, which was made obvious by their instant reaction to the intro. Energy from both the band and crowd members peaked during that  song. The band excited with a successful performance under their belt and their audience begging for more from the controversial, yet appreciated UK band.

~R

Traffic is an awful thing.  Awful for the environment, awful for sanity and awful for trying to get to a concert on time.

Traffic caused StorkMusic to miss Parachute’s performance of ‘What I Know’ (iTunes free single a few weeks back).  Despite the disappointment of missing the opening of Parachute’s set, the rest of it completely made up for it. The band members of Parachute display a vast array of musical talent— multiple sets of keys, two saxophones, a multitude of guitars and foundation bass and drums.

Parachute’s frontman, Will Anderson is interactive and entertaining.  Not afraid to get up close and personal with a his fans, he jumps up onto the crowd barriers and uses heads of fans as support to keep from falling, gives countless high fives and even breaks out his own camera to mimic fans taking pictures of him on stage.

It’s becoming rarer to find bands who sound like their recorded albums, but the musical consistency of Parachute is one quality of the band not to be taken for granted.  A Parachute show begs for sing-alongs to classics like ‘She Is Love’ (featured in a Nivea commercial), ‘Back Again’ and ‘Under Control.’  Overall, Parachute offers an energetic, true-to-record performance.

Check out some photos from their Summerfest show on StorkMusic’s Flickr page.

~T