FESTIVAL REVIEW: Download Festival UK 2019

Throughout the journey from my home in the North of England to Leicestershire’s infamous Download Festival, I could be sure of only two things as a first time attendee; that I would absolutely see Tool headline, and that I would have to endure what was to become the muddiest weekend of my life in order to reach that point. Continue reading

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Download Festival 2019

The granddaddy of UK music festivals, Download Festival takes flight this weekend and Ghost Cult is there! The forecast calls for rain (surprise!) but the spirits will not be dampened! Here is the day by day rundown of indispensable bands to not miss and the running order!  Continue reading

Download 2019 Books Stone Temple Pilots, Halestorm, Clutch, Behemoth and more

Download 2019 has mad a major announcement today as forty-three new bands have been added! Among the new bands added are Stone Temple Pilots, Halestorm, Clutch, Behemoth,  Beartooth, Alcest, Animals As Leaders, At The Gates, Bad Wolves, Three Days Grace, Twelve Foot Ninja and more. Slipknot, Tool, and Def Leppard are the headliners for the annual rock extravaganza. The three-day festival takes place on 14-16 June 2019 at the spiritual home of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire. Kerrang! Radio have also launched a talent search for a chance to open the Avalanche Stage at the festival. Continue reading

Vans Warped Tour 2015 – Pomona Fairgrounds and Seaside Park at Ventura Fairgrounds

Warped-2015-lineup

Another year has arrived for the Vans Warped Tour full of anticipation and excitement to hit the summertime across North America. This year’s edition maintains their tradition of youth oriented angst filled music (or whatever the kids call it these days) and carving a path for the next batch of rising stars on the scene. Thanks to photographer Kevin Estrada for shooting these two dates of Warped tour for Ghost Cult!

The main stages (Shark and Unicorn) showcased the main attractions on the tour, ranging from the pop punk acts (The Wonder Years) to the screamo/emo (Pierce The Veil, Blessthefall) to the crossover half melodic and half aggro (We Came As Romans) to the harder sounding (August Burns Red) managed to keep the kids bouncing around in the crowd and rarely laying low.

August Burns Red,   photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

August Burns Red, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Tour veterans Motion City Soundtrack made their brief California run appearance, showing the crowd how things are done on this tour. Metro Station (featuring Trace Cyrus, son of country performer Billy Ray Cyrus), melodic punk act Man Overboard, and hardcore outfit Fit For A King all set the pace for the day with their respective sounds while keeping the crowd engaged.

Atilla, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Atilla, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

The main acts on these stages won over the crowd throughout the day. Memphis May Fire got the crowd into a high with their half heavy yet melodic styling that struck a nerve with them; Attila, led by their enigmatic frontman Chris “Fronz” Fronzak and his guitar crunching yet Eninem-esque “meth” suit bouncing along with the crowd; Black Veil Brides and their legions of die hard fan base singing along to every word; and Miss May I and their modern metallic sound that got the crowd worked up later on in the day.

The Amity Affliction, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

The Amity Affliction, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

While the main stage had their moments going on, there were a number of side stage acts making noise of their own. The Monster Stage housed their own brand of chaos throughout the day, as Senses Fail, Being As An Ocean, Beartooth, Mallory Knox and The Amity Affliction all got the pit crew throwing down alongside each band and rarely letting down. The harder driving acts such as hardcore outfit Hundredth had the pit kids going in effect, while veteran Canadian post hardcore act Silverstein had their mix of longtime fans as well as newbies who both showed their appreciation for the band. Australian metallic hardcore outfit I Killed The Prom Queen appeared to be bass player less, but that didn’t stop them from bringing out their At The Gates meets hardcore stomp to these fans. British metalcore act While She Sleeps briefly were down a singer (ie visa problems kept frontman Lawrence Taylor making a late start on the tour) but friends pitched in to lend a helping hand and fans didn’t even notice. Plus Escape The Fate closed out the evening with their eclectic brand of punk meets screamo meets modern metal that got the late comers their last bit of a sweat.

Neck Deep, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Neck Deep, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

On the other stages, indie hip hop acts MC Lars gave a lesson in nerdcore with rhymes about video games and Game of Thrones (ie his latest single “Dragon Blood), while Kosha Dillz brought out his East Coast blend of Spanish, English and Hebrew rhymes; and electro-DJ-performance duo mystery men Drama Club put on an interesting performance that combined part Blue Man Group-esque percussive moments with part electronica meets EDM moments and spontaneous bursts of energy that kept the interested crowd on its feet.

Pvrvis, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Pvris, photo © Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

The Journeys Stages found Juliette Sims and Night Riots wowing the crowd with their high energy sets, while hotly tipped electro pop outfit PVRIS became one of the much talked about acts on the tour and their set did not disappoint. Hip hop act Riff Raff put on quite the entertaining show on this stage, with his colorful summertime dress and animated raps to get the crowd bouncing along.

New York alternative rockers The Karma Killers stood out amongst the vast number of acts performing on the Ernie Ball Stage, with their fresh take on classic pop-punk, rock, and alternative rock with an energetic stage show. While they are newly signed to Island/Def Jam and new to the scene, they showed that they could one day end up on one of the larger stages in the new future.

The Acoustic Basement easily became an area largely for shade against the sun, but while most of the acts attracted stragglers throughout the day, Canadian singer-songwriter Saywecanfly and Brian Marquis were two of the acts who attracted a decent sized crowd throughout the day. Saywecanfly attracted a packed tent and entertained the audience with his emotion filled lyrics that got his largely female audience awaiting with anticipation.

Overall, this year’s edition featured a good mix of repeat acts moving up to larger stages, as well as a number of fresh faces to the scene. It is a positive sign to see new acts on the rise at a time when the music industry is struggling to attract new acts to the public. Hopefully someone is paying attention to this tour to see that there is a new generation of artists on the rise.

Set it Off,  photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Set it Off, photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

 

 

 

Tat,  photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Tat, photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

We Came As Romans,  photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

We Came As Romans, photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Miss May I,  photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

Miss May I, photo©Kevin Estrada / kevinestrada.com

 

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WORDS BY REI NISHIMOTO

PHOTOS BY KEVIN ESTRADA 

Senses Fail, Miss May I, etc Confirmed For Vans Warped Tour 2015

vans warped tour logo

The Vans Warped Tour announced eight more artists at the kickoff party at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA this past Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The acts confirmed include:

Senses Fail
Miss May I
H2O (08/07-08/08)
Knuckle Puck
The Bunny The Bear (07/26-08/08)
Kaya Stewart (07/15-08/08)
TAT (06/19-07/01)
Macy Kate (07/02-07/04, 07/06)

They joined previously confirmed acts:

Asking Alexandria
Black Veil Brides
Attila
August Burns Red
Memphis May Fire
We Came As Romans
Blessthefall
Hundredth
I Killed The Prom Queen
’68
Beartooth
Sirens And Sailors (07/14-08/08)
Slaves (07-14-08/08)
The Amity Affliction
Neck Deep
Palisades
Fit For A King
Crossfaith
Rotting Out
Escape The Fate
Being As An Ocean
Silverstein
Mallory Knox
Drama Club
False Puppet (07/23-08/08)
A+ Dropouts (06/19-07/03)
Man Overboard
Citizen
Carousel Kings (07/14-08/08)
Emarosa (06/19-07/12)
New Years Day
Set It Off
Kenneths
MC Lars
The Ascot Royals (07/01-07/08)
Rivers Monroe (07/04-07/21)
Svetlanas (07/29-08/08)
The Karma Killers
Mod Sun
Bebe Rexha
PUP (07/01-07/29)
Youth In Revolt
Juliet Sims
Koo Koo Kanga Roo
Metro Station
Never Shout Never
Night Argent (06/20-06/28, 08/01-08/08)
Riff Raff
Candy Hearts
BoyMeetsWorld
Ho99o9
Major League
Motion City Soundtrack (06/19-06/21)
While She Sleeps
Hands Like Houses
Le Castle Vania
Have Mercy
Our Last Night
ChrisB
PVRIS
Alvarez Kings
Moose Blood
New Beat Fund
Jule Vera
Seaway
This Wild Life
The Dirty Nil
Born Cages
The Wonder Years
Icon For Hire
Baby Baby
Matchbook Romance (06/19-07/11)
The Relapse Symphony (06/19-07/12)
Black Boots
M4Sonic
As It Is
Night Riots
Transit
Beautiful Bodies
Splitbreed
Handguns
Kosha Dillz
Alive Like Me
Family Force 5
Lee Corey Oswald
Trophy Eyes
‘Acoustic Basement Stage‘:
Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties
American Opera
Brian Marquis
Buttons
Grey Gordon
Koji
Meghann Wright
Onward, etc.
PVRIS (dates TBD)
SayWeCanFly
Speak Low If You Speak Love (07/09-07/14)
Transit
‘Comedy Tent‘:
Grant Cotter
Beth Stelling (06/19-06/26)
Chase Bernstein (06/27-07/12)
Dave Ross (07/01-07/12)
Eli Olsberg
Eric Schwartz (07/26-08/08)
Sammy Obeid (06/19-06/28)
Sandy Danto (07/26-08/08)

The Wonder Years, Icon For Hire, etc Added To Warped Tour 2015

vans warped tour logo

The 2015 Vans Warped Tour has announced a new round of additions. They include:

The Wonder Years
Icon For Hire
Baby Baby
Matchbook Romance (06/19-07/11)
The Relapse Symphony (06/19-07/12)

Previously announced artists on the festival include:

Blessthefall
Hundredth
Neck Deep
Palisades
Fit For A King
Crossfaith
Escape The Fate
Hands Like Houses
Le Castle Vania
Black Boots
M4Sonic
As It Is
Beautiful Bodies
Splitbreed
Front Porch Step
Handguns
Kosha Dillz
Alive Like Me
Family Force 5
Lee Corey Oswald
Trophy Eyes

ShipRocked 2015 Adds Gemini Syndrome, Metal Allegiance, Icon for Hire, etc.

shiprocked 2015

ShipRocked, the ultimate rock music cruise vacation has added Gemini Syndrome, Icon For Hire, Three Years Hollow, Daybreak Embrace and Sidewise. Rex Brown (Kill Devil Hill/ex-Pantera), Troy Sanders (Mastodon) and Alex Skolnick (Testament) are among the special guests confirmed to perform with Metal Allegiance on ShipRocked.

The previously announced acts on the bill –fueled by Monster Energy–will be headlined by Limp Bizkit. The sixth ShipRocked will also feature Chevelle (Pre-Party only), heavy metal all-star band Metal Allegiance, Black Label Society, Buckcherry, P.O.D., Sevendust, Tremonti, Andrew W.K., Living Colour, Filter, Lacuna Coil, Nonpoint, Otherwise, Zach Myers of Shinedown with J.R. Moore & Zack Mack, Crobot, Thousand Foot Krutch, Wilson, Gemini Syndrome, Icon For Hire, Andy Wood, Letters From The Fire, Cilver, Daybreak Embrace, Sidewise, Three Years Hollow, and DJ Lippy Rage.

ShipRocked guests are invited to start their vacation early with the ShipRocked Super Sailgate Pre-Party on February 1, 2015. The Pre-Party will feature Chevelle’s only ShipRocked performance, as well as sets from Sevendust and Wilson.

ShipRocked 2015 will be hosted by satellite radio host Kayla Riley, as well as Ralph Sutton of The Tour Bus Radio and The SDR Show.

Each night, guests will be treated to a late night taping of The SDR Show (Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll Show; www.theSDRshow.com) hosted by Ralph Sutton and comedian Jay Oakerson, who will interview various band members.

Comedians Jay Oakerson and Luis J. Gomez will also perform various stand-up sets throughout the cruise.

New to ShipRocked this year will be a tattoo parlor hosted by Spaded & Jaded Tattoo and yoga with Mari Dew of Rock My Yoga.

ShipRocked on-board and beach activities also include the usual photo meet and greets, pool-side games, artist Q&A sessions, trivia challenges, game shows, parties, contests and more.

Also onboard, the ShipRocked charity auction will benefit Cancer Sucks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding innovative medical research and finding a cure for cancer. The auction will feature one-of-a-kind rock memorabilia from current and past ShipRocked bands and more. ShipRocked guests have a history of generosity. In 2014, ShipRocked Cancer Sucks! onboard charity auction raised over $100,000.

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