As we do every year, we celebrate the life and work of Ghost Cult Magazine photographer Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography, who passed away today, August 19th in 2016, at age 29. While she only worked with Ghost Cult for a year and a half, but she made a huge impact on our life as a colleague and friend. In addition to being an invaluable member of our staff, covering huge national tours, festivals, underground acts, and music industry events, her concert photography, and writing was also featured in Loudwire, The Phoenix New Times, as well as local and national television outlets and magazines. You can read our original In Memorium piece here, and watch the celebration of her life held by her family and friends in Phoenix after she passed. Continue reading
How do you take a pretty kickass tour and make it more awesome? Make the last date of tour an all day festival at one of the best venues in California. The fully fledged Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos Festival assembled on a hot Saturday in mid-summer at The San Manuel Amphitheater, in the thick of a concert tour and festival season packed with options. Fans still gathered in droves for a show in which more than half of the bands could have headlined and sold out their own tours easily. Although tons of cool food trucks, countless craft beer options, and a carnival type atmosphere helped make it a fun day out, it comes back to being all about the music. It’s a testament to the organizers who put this bill together, but there seemed to be many heads in the venue for each band, all screaming along with every word. For fans of a certain age, this event was the holy grail of millennial teen angst and passion. Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday are two of the signpost bands of that era, and coupled with The Starting Line, Saosin featuring Anthony Green, Senses Fail and The Early November on the bill might be just too much for the hearts of early 2000s heartstrings to take. Add in 90s post-hardcore kings Quicksand, The Get Up Kids, Reggie And the Full Effect and many more, and you have an incredible day of live music. Captured for Ghost Cult by Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography in her final assignment before passing away in August, you get sense of the spirit these bands still embody, of music that still matters, and a mutual love shared by fans of all kinds.
Ghost Cult Magazine is mourning the loss of our dear friend and photographer Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography, who passed away this weekend at age 29. Known for her keen photographic eye, artistic passion, and caring demeanor; Melina won over fans, friends, peers and legendary artists alike. She only worked with Ghost Cult for a year and a half, but she was an invaluable member of our staff, covering huge national tours, festivals, underground acts, and music industry events. Her concert photography and writing was also featured in Loudwire, The Phoenix New Times, as well as local and national television outlets and magazines. Melina was also an award-winning nature photographer, a talented visual artist, and started shooting sporting events such as NASCAR, and motocross in the last year. She was devoted to several causes such as animal rescue relief and was also a mentor and a leader among the concert photography community. She touched many people’s lives and she was loved by many. According to her family, a memorial will be planed for the Phoenix, AZ area at a later date. We will continue to keep her light alive through her work and will honor her forever in these pages. You can see some samples of her work below: Continue reading
“Belial! Behemoth! Beelzebub! Asmodeus! Satanus! Lucifer!” If you are at show and hearing this verse sung by a choir, you are most certainly in the church of Ghost! The dark one goes by many names and Ghost knows them all, preaching their Satan loving philosophy in an occult rock candy coating shell of musical goodness. They are catchy enough to be popular in the modern sense of any metal band being “popular”, but make no mistake; this is one of the most subversive groups to infiltrate the mainstream in a long time. On this night the current leg of the US “Black To The Future” tour stopped off once again in Arizona, with the faithful masses gathered at the ready. Commanded by the ministrations of Papa Emeritus III and his Nameless Ghouls, crowds at a Ghost headline show are often found in a froth from the jump off. The set list was a heavy mix of 2015’s Meliora (Spinefarm/Loma Vista) and the bands’ earlier work too. The aura and imagery are certainly entrancing, but it is the music that makes fans commit so deeply to the band. They were captured for Ghost Cult tonight by Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography.
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Once again Ghost Cult, along with the entire music industry it seems, invaded Anaheim, CA for The National Association of Music Merchants, a.k.a. THE NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention center. Taking over the town and part of greater Los Angeles at Night, NAMM is becoming more and more of a yearly pilgrimage for brands, gear heads and artists. Autograph and selfie-seeking fans are also starting to dip in to part of the main weekend, with really only the first two days being “industry only types”. That dynamic is expected to change in 2017 when fans have free range for the entire event. In the mean time the name of the game is networking and wheeler dealer action between manufacturers, merchants and artist reps. The main action is at the booths where the big name gear companies show their new wares, and artists from the up and coming to the legendary vie for attention and props. All day long it’s a schmooze fest and a meeting of the minds in terms of gear mavens, and artists jamming. At night it is the special events such as this years’ NAMM Jam, Tribute to Randy Rhodes, and other events, many held for charity that pack the clubs at a more-exclusive-than-usual for L.A., clip. Whatever your motivation for attending, THE NAMM Show, and its summer-time counterpart can’t be beat for an awesome industry experience and eye-popping star power all in one place. Thanks to Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography or covering it for us this years and bringing us there with her amazing photo set!
Shiloh and Bill Elkins founded Alley Music Studios in 1973. Since opening its doors the famed rehearsal studio has been a magnet in Los Angeles’ NOHO Arts District for a who’s who of music legends. Now that Alley Music Studios is going to be the subject of a documentary film in 2016, we thought it was a good time to check in with co-owner Shiloh Elkins. In an interview with Melina Dellamarggio for Ghost Cult, Shiloh filled us in on the back story of this underrated L.A. music mecca, a namecheck of all the artists who led to its rise to prominence, the basis for the film and her dreams for the future of the business and much more. You can view the interview at this link or below:
The creators of the project are still seeking production partners, directors, and contributors to the film of artists with memories of Alley Music Studios to share. You can contact them here:
The Alley Music Studios online
Barreling towards the end of another successful run of US tour dates, The Australian Pink Floyd rolled into the Mesa Arts Center in Arizona recently, ready to enthrall the faithful disciples of Pink Floyd with another show. Putting on a great performance true to the authentic Floyd concert experience is no small task, and it’s a compliment to the band how consistent they are from show to show. On this night they were in true form and you could easily close your eyes and think you were seeing the genuine article. Opening up the proceedings on this tour is Led Zeppelin 2, themselves a faithful recreation of the biggest and brightest moments of every Zep era. Each band delivered all of the epic bombast, and softer moments too of each act. You can see that even details about the bands that would seem minute to the average fan have been replicated down to the elemental level. Captured here by Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography, you are transported back in time via your your mind’s eye and your ears, to when rock gods roamed stages and enthralled fans.
Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats (Chad Smith on drums, Jeff Kollman on guitars, Ed Roth on keyboards, and Kevin Chown on bass) teamed up for a night of funk/rock/fusion on at The Baked Potato, making for an unforgettable evening. Each musician complementing each other, the band played two sets, one at 9:30p.m and one at 11:30p.m, jamming on into the wee hours of the morning.
The band formed somewhat accidentally in Los Angeles in 2008 when Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, Smith, got together with Kollman (Cosmosquad), and Roth while having impromptu jam sessions when warming up for Glenn Hughes. They later added Chown on bass, to form the band.
During their show at The Baked Potato, everyone was all smiles, as usual. Jeff had celebrated his birthday the day before, so shots were passed around and a birthday song was sung in celebration. At one point, Chad asked for audience participation with an upcoming song. Pointing to a young kid seated at one of the tables, he asked (presumably) his father, “Who brings their kid to a dirty, smelly bar to see a show?” He then asked where they were from, and when the man responded, “Canada”, Chad said, “Ahh, that explains it!.” The whole crowd burst into laughter.
The light-hearted mood continued on through the night as Jeff’s guitar playing rang out through The Baked Potato, Ed’s vintage keyboard and Kevin’s thumping bass complimented Chad’s unbeatable drumming skills. By the end of the show, the crowd was left in awe of these talented musicians, and couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling evening.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY MELINA DELLAMARGGIO
Many people may know visionary artist Alex Grey from his contributions to Tool’s use of his artwork from such albums as Lateralus and 10,000 Days (both Volcano Entertainment). Alex and his wife Allyson have much of their life’s work on display at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, now located in Wappingers Falls, NY. However, there is so much more to the environment and artwork at CoSM that must be experienced and felt that makes a trip to Dutchess County, New York definitely worthwhile.
On August 1st, 2015, Alex and Allyson held their “164th Full Moon Ceremony” at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. With their intricate artwork lining the walls of the house, the beautiful ceremony commenced at 7:30p.m. as the Greys appeared from behind a doorway adorned with a tapestry of Psychic Energy System. They began the ceremony by playing a rhythm on gongs set on opposite sides of the stage.
Allyson spoke briefly at the beginning of the ceremony, bringing to stage two poets in order, Brett Bevell and Fun Yung Moon. Following their appearance was Joness Jones, who gave her Astrological weather forecast in disguise, discussing Leo and Aquarius as well as Venus being in retrograde. To conclude the ceremony, that had been primarily a reminder of love, Alex read a passage from his book, Art Psalms. The Ceremony left a clear impression on those who attended and set the stage for the evening’s festivities to follow.
As the night continued, inside, there was live painting by artists Caren Charles and Alexia Velez; a Sand Mandala was created by guests in another room, as well as Tarot Readings by Marcy. All the while Alex and Allyson sat in the main room speaking with guests and signing books and posters. Outside there was a gorgeous laser light show, and music ensued. In addition, there was everything from Reiki therapy on the patio, a fire spinner, acrobatics, and a bonfire to entertain the onlookers.
Later in the evening, Alex painted a Supportrait of one of the attendees. The proceeds of the Supportrait go to helping build Entheon. Entheon is their latest project on the property, a building to house the Greys CoSM Art Collection.
More information about the Greys, The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, and the Entheon project can be found at their website here:
One of the more interesting bills this summer of tours in the US is the co-headline tour from Coal Chamber and Fear Factory. Both names recall a simpler time when pants were baggy, fishnet sleeves were cool on guys, and even venerable old groups were “getting jiggy wit it” to Nu-Metal. Coal Chamber of course started around the same time as Korn and Deftones in California, to spur the “Nu” tide and bring their gothy spin to the Ozzfest crowd (Sharon Osborne managed them for a spell too). Fear Factory of course is the pioneering industrial metal band who paved the way for many and also mixed in the style du-jour with their own back then. So it’s not that big a shock that in 2015 with one band already touring behind a comeback album (Rivals by CC dropped in the spring from Napalm) and another about to launch a new album, these bands would team-up like Marvel. Coal Chamber always puts on a fun show live and played a mix of hits and newer tracks. Led by fireplug Dez Fafara, they gave the fans what they wanted: nostalgia. Fear Factory, on the cusp of releasing Genexus (Nuclear Blast) this summer, kept it tight on old jams and one new one, ‘Soul Hacker’. Joining them for a few early dates was Devil You Know, who are working on a new album too. Rockers like Saint Ridley and Madlife (not pictured) are setting the table for this tour too, so get to the club early. Shot here on the first night of the tour at the Rialto Theater, in Tuscon AZ, Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography brings you all the action you missed as if you were there.