Some “stranger things” seemed to start occurring on this road trip immediately. Let me step back a bit. I love road trips and when I was asked to cover Ghost, I jumped at the chance. Ghost and the clergy put on an AMAZING show that will keep you in a mesmerized trance! Not sure if this has happened to anyone as they where heading out to see Ghost, but for me, this was a Stranger Things can happen road trip. Off to Fort Wayne, Indiana to a recently remodeled “The Clyde” theater, decked out and powered by Sweetwater Studios Theatre. So the 1st strange thing that started happening was once on the highway heading on out to Indiana my car started to drive a little strange, not a smooth ride, almost as if it really didn’t want to make this road trip… I’ve made a couple and yes things happen to vehicles, so I stopped did a once over and everything appeared fine. Continued on my way and the car was still driving oddly but for the love of music, I press on.Continue reading →
Powerful, Heartfelt and Masterful is how I can best describe the evening of Sunday May 6th, 2018 at the legendary Chicago House of Blues. Jonathan Davis a.k.a. JDevil, vocals of KoRn invaded the fair city of the Dark Knight “Gotham City” aka Chicago in support of his upcoming 1st ever solo album Black Labyrinth (drops May 25). JD with KoRn since 1997 actually embarked on this solo album endeavor all the way back in 2007 where he formed a group and released a few live albums, but the solo record seemed to elude him. Until now! Well until May 25th that is! Take note: What my ears have heard so far….. Hmmmm… This is going to be one epic release!!!Continue reading →
Richie Kotzen came through Illinois for not 1, not 2, but 3 shows earlier this month. The tour was dubbed Salting Earth, but Salting Illinois is more like it. Richie was kicking off part 2 of his tour which got started in good ‘ol Moline, (almost Iowa “Are we in Heaven”) IL. Then Richie hit Reggie’s Rock Club in South Chicago and for extra rock n’ roll measure Kotzen performed for the Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville, IL, which was a make up show that was canceled last year. 3 nights of Richie made fans really happy in the Chicago-land area.
Kotzen is no stranger to rock n’ roll, with a little over 20 solo albums spanning a 28 year career; 5 years with Mr. Big; 2 years with Poison and now with The Winery Dogs (with Billy Sheehan & Mike Portnoy); Richie is definitely in a class of his own. His vocal style has a smooth raspy edge to it, similar to that of David Coverdale. Richie has a 3 finger fingerpickin’ guitar technique, with a lightning-fast guitar style. He slides his fingers up and down that guitar neck so effortlessly. Richie is a force to be reckoned with.
The very intimate Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville, IL is a slightly different type of venue that may not see a ton of Rock n’ Roll but I’m sure has seen plenty of Orchestras, Plays etc. being a performing arts center, which gave a very clean and crisp acoustical sound. The venue has an oversized stage, and the Kotzen 3 piece band was set front and center so the crowd could be up close and personal with Richie. There was no lighting flare with this show, no crazy visual displays, but what this show did have was great, performed to perfection rock n’ roll. When the 3-piece ensemble hit the stage it was with only one purpose – To deliver pure Rock and Roll. Richie along with Dylan Wilson (bass), and Mike Bennett (drums) slowly took their spots to a slightly somber crowd. Which heated up shortly after the first chord rang out.
Richie kicked everything off with a very appropriate song “You’re Entertainer” off the 2009 album Peace Sign then launched right into “Bad Situation” off 2011 album 24 Hours. The evening bounced around through all of the essential Richie Kotzen songs old and new. At one point Richie broke set to fulfill a special request, which he mentioned he doesn’t normally do, but he launched into a very smooth version of “Sara Smile” by Hall & Oates which the crowd just ate up.
Richie lit up the evening with a great selection of music spanning through his lustrous 28-year career. It was a great show in a great little Naperville, IL venue. The fans were very appreciative that Richie came back too. It might’ve even been why he gave a special extended encore, which included, “War Paint” with a little classic “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” a old Elvin Bishop cover, and so did the crowd.
Richie is on tour now until May 23rd in the states then off overseas until July 27th. Check out Richie Kotzen’s web site at: http://richiekotzen.com/tour-dates/ for more details. It was a great show, by a very impressive guitar virtuoso. Catch him while you can.
Love Is Blind
Sara Smile (Hall & Oates cover)
End of Earth
Fooled Around and Fell in Love (Elvin Bishop cover)
The Dixie Dregs invaded Chicago for a show to end all shows! A tour to end all tours! A reunion to end all reunions! A masterpiece of Prog power to end all PROG power… You see where I’m going with this…. Yes, the Dixie Dregs (The Dregs) have come together with an original lineup to bring us back to the classic glory days of real progressive rock music. The Dregs consisting of Steve Morse (guitar), Rod Morgenstein (drums), Andy West (bass), Allen Sloan, M.D. (violin) and Steve Davidowski (keyboards) embarked on a 2 part, 36 city “DAWN OF THE DREGS” 40th anniversary reunion tour, with the 1st leg ending in Chicago to a sold-out Vic Theatre crowd. A reunion of this caliber hasn’t been heard in over 40 years. Continue reading →
The Avatar Freak show graces Chicago with the presence of “The King”. All hail Avatar Country! Avatar out on tour (since the beginning of the year) in support of their 7th studio album Avatar Country (eOne) ripped through the Bottom Lounge in Chicago, IL with an over the top theatrical metal freak show. Continue reading →
The brotherhood of the Almighty Black Label Society brought its POWAH and PAIN to the Chicago chapter in the Grimmest of ways on January 3rd2018. Loud and Proud is how Zakk Wylde does it to kick off the New Year on an ice-filled, frozen city kind of evening. With Zakk embarking tours supporting Book of Shadows II (eOne), Zakk Sabbath, and of course performing with Ozzy it’s been over 2 years since BLS has taken the Blessed Hellride. The family of the House of Blues Chicago BLS DOOM crew came out in droves and packed the hall to the limit on a sub-zero night in Chicago. The house wasn’t heating up inside, it was burning up! The anticipation of the crowd was insurmountable – ready to rock with Father Zakk and the crew once again.Continue reading →
Anthrax, along with Death Angel, have spent the better part of the last 2 months on the road-supporting and pumping up their new album For All King’s (Megaforce) and as well as supporting their brothers in metal crime the almighty Slayer. But what is a thrash metal band suppose to do once a Big 3 metal assault across the USA comes to an end? Grab Death Angel and do it some more… And that’s what Anthrax set out to do. Continue on and melt the faces of more metal heads!Continue reading →
One thing about Zakk Wylde he never does what is expected of most guitar heroes. In his nearly 30 year career, he has always thrown curveballs at listeners, paved his own road, and still delivered for fans. Continue reading →
“We’ve been doing it so long, I would say the best year, if I were to think back on my whole career, is probably like in 1984 when we were all innocent little kids from Germany and we came to America for the first time. We discovered this huge market and the country of the United States. We met all these people that were our heroes. That was really a big world that opened up for us for the first time. That was pretty spectacular back then. The year, 1984, the first tour we ever did in the states was opening up for KISS. So that was huge! That was amazing. We came from playing small clubs and community halls, things like that in Europe. Then we toured arenas every night with KISS. Quite a change, there.“
Gene Simmons of KISS, by Rick Triana Photography
“Of course we learned (a lot from KISS)! We learned how big business is conducted in that world and what a great show they put on. To give you a funny little example of what we learned from them – Back in those days we had massive equipment on stage. Massive backline, huge Marshall stacks but we had no idea that KISS were using dummies. There were no speakers in any of their cabinets. When we saw that for the first time we were like, “Wow, they are cheating!” We can’t believe it. We didn’t know you could do that actually. That’s what we learned. Wow, they get away with that. Being on stage you realize there is nothing in these things. They look cool.”
Jesse Hasek of 10 Years chats with Rick Triana of Ghost Cult Magazine onShipRocked 2016. They discussed being ShipRocked veterans, 10 Years live performances, other bands on the cruise, Helmet, their upcoming US Tour with P.O.D., influences, and much more.