Make America Rock Again Tour Review

Written by Gerald Glaza • August 2017

Make America Rock Again w/ Scott Stapp (Creed), Drowning Pool, Sick Puppies, & Trapt OFFICIAL

Ralston Arena Ralston, NE 8/9/17

Review courtesy of: Pat Douglas / Photo courtesy of: Geraldography

The second year of the now annual Make America Rock Again tour stopped in our area Wednesday night. Setting up shop at the Ralston Arena, the tour brought a big time production with them as the stage erected was definitely designed to wow the crowd. A large backdrop with the tour logo and twin skull and crossbones was only overshadowed by the large and well planed light show. A nationwide tour of this size usually puts the crowd a little farther back from the stage, but this one left the alley between the stage and the barrier a bit skinnier- bringing the crowd a bit closer to the action. While the light show was definitely the highlight, the sound was not to be dismissed either. It was both clear and powerful, bringing the production value full circle.

Up first was Trapt. The California band, who has released seven studio albums and a handful of live releases took to the stage for a quick 45 minute set. Playing a good sample of their extensive library, the band doesn't seem to have lost their edge. Having gone through multiple lineup changes since forming in 1995, vocalist Chris Taylor Brown and bassist Pete Charell still anchor the group and keep the sound and consistency true to their roots. Joined now by guitarist David Sudock and drummer Brendan Hengle, the band has their sound honed in tight and doesn't seem to have lost a step.

Next on the lineup was the Australian rock trio Sick Puppies. First formed in 1997 by guitarist and singer Shimon Moore and bassist Emma Anzai, the band stayed solid and co-won an Australian band competition which allowed them to record and release their first album and an EP. When their first label folded and their original drummer left the band, they moved to LA and found new and current drummer Mark Goodwin by posting an ad on Craigslist. This led to recording and release their album Dressed Up As Life which included their breakout single “All the Same”. Three albums later the band ia now touring with new singer and guitarist Bryan Scott and, to me, they seem better than ever. The Sick Puppies were my highlight of the night as they solely depended on their talent and stage presence to wow the crowd. Filled with energy and fueled by crowd reaction, the band stepped it up a notch with every song they played. After playing what turned out to be their last song, it seemed they just wanted to keep going. Scott started to say “Do we have….”, but abruptly stopped his sentence, waved to the crowd and left the stage. It may just be my interpretation, but I think he was hoping for time to play another song. This would have been just fine with me and I'm sure would have been just fine with the rest of the crowd.

Third in line was hard rockers Drowning Pool. First formed in 1996 in Dallas, the band has had a steady core lineup of guitarist CJ Pierce, bassist Stevie Benton and drummer Mike Luce. However, tragedy, turnover and controversy plagued the bands early years. Their original vocalist, Dave Williams, died from an undiagnosed heart condition in 2002 after only one album. Since then, there has been a rotation of singers join the group until settling on current vocalist Jason Moreno in 2012. The bands biggest hit, “Bodies”, generated controversy by incorrectly being linked to a mass shooting and also being used by the US government as enhanced interrogation in Guantanamo Bay prison. Now, after 6 full length albums, the band is going strong and touring as much as possible. They've got their sound locked up tight and they all obviously fully enjoy playing to their crowds. This night, they had a very energetic set and played through many highlights of their catalog. One thing was extremely obvious during their set…..the moshpit is alive and well in the Omaha music scene. This was especially apparent during “Bodies”, which is what the song is about anyway.

The headliner for the tour was former Creed frontman Scott Stapp. Stapp has had plenty of his own controversy throughout his long career in music. A founder member of Creed, Stapp and crew earned many awards and nominations and frequently topped charts in the late 90’s. After disbanding in 2002, the band reunited to tour for a few years in 2009. Stapp played in some other bands, but has mostly focused on his solo career, his family and his philanthropic work. Interspersed with negative media attention, Stapp seems to be back on the straight and narrow and focused on his music again. Playing a good mix of his hits from Creed and his solo work, Stapp put on his show to the arena and gave his message for his “Arms Wide Open” foundation that is dedicated to helping children. At times, the performance seemed a little uninspired and almost as if his backing band had been thrown together and put on tour without much rehearsal. Regardless, the crowd reacted well and for the most part seemed to really enjoy what he brought with him.

To see more images from the night, click the link to go check out the gallery: http://nightlifeco.com/omaha/galler...

Make America Rock Again

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A Day to Remember Show Review

Written by Gerald Glaza • August 2017

A Day To Remember w/ Wage War

SumTur Amphitheater, Papillion, Nebraska 8/6/17

Review courtesy of: David Taylor / Photo Courtesy of: Sean Thomas of Inspired Film Studios

Mammoth Productions and SumTur Amphitheater were ambitious and decided to have their first all general admission high profile metal show by brining A Day to Remember and Wage War to Papillion. Many people filled the standing only front, while the seats and lawn were in the back. Usually a more calm environment for shows, this one was full of moshing and headbanging. People were crowdsurfing and, unfortunately, were getting kicked out, as this was a first for Sumtur. I think they could’ve used more security for the crowd surfers, but anyway, it was all about the music, so let’s get to the review.

Wage War was the direct support for the night. They are from the same town as A Day to Remember, which is Ocala, Florida. What a great opener they were. So heavy and melodic. They are currently on tour in support of their new album that was just released this year on August 4, Deadweight. They opened up with “Stitich”, such a hard hitting, fast song. Briton Bond’s, unclean singer, voice hit like a freight train. Seth Blake, lead guitarist, shredded some tasty licks. Cody Quistad, guitarist/vocalist, sang his heart out. The crowd gave them a warm response, moshing like they were the headliner. A good amount knew the lyrics, which gave them a good Nebraska welcome. They finish their set with “Twenty One”, a perfect blend of melodic and heavy. What a great start for the night to warm the crowd up.

Finally, it was A Day to Remember time to hit the stage. They came out on stage to Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”, so we all knew what we were getting into. They opened up with “All I Want”, a perfect song to get the crowd fired up. While I was watching them perform, I was noticing Jeremy McKinnon, singer, not looking to pleased, assuming he was not liking how security was handling their fans. I was kinda surprised he didn’t address the issue over the PA, as it was solved quickly. They really have a fun time on stage. They shot out streamers, shot t-shirts from a t-shirt cannon, and even threw toilet paper into the crowd. It was more of a party than a concert. They are on tour in support of their latest album that came out last year, Bad Vibrations. For a band that’s been active for almost 15 years, they look they are never slowing down onstage. They ended their set with probably their most well known song, “The Downfall of Us All”. Their blend of pop punk and metal is one that is catchy and heavy that resonates still to this day. Let’s hope that Sumtur and Mammoth books more bands like A Day to Remember and changes their safety procedures, but overall, great showing by both bands.

 

A Day To Remember

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You Look Good World Tour Review

Written by Gerald Glaza • August 2017

Lady Antebellum-You Look Good World Tour Review

Lady Antebellum w/ Kelsea Ballerini & Brett Young

CenturyLink Center Omaha, NE 8/4/17

Review provided by: Hollie Budka

As the massive crowd piled into the CenturyLink Center this past Friday night, my sister and I (who got there early to people watch) were glad to have found our seats early. The Friday night country show, hosted by KAT 103.7, was shaping up to be a spectacle of glamour and glitz like modern country shows have become. The show had attracted a very diverse crowd, with age groups ranging from 7 through 70 and most everyone dressed to impress. Lots of Wranglers, dresses, cowboy boots and (surprisingly) not a lot of cowboy hats. Also, as is typical of country boys there were a lot of gentlemen. My sister and I didn’t have to open a door all night. While definitely gentlemanly, they were also loud, as the crowd brought the cheers long and raucous most all of the night.

Brett Young opened the show with a quick 30 minute set. While the set was short, he sure did entertain. At one point, he took a fan’s phone from the front and snapped a selfie of himself. Throughout the performance, he did his best to connect with the large crowd by reaching out and shaking as many hands as possible. He had great energy and really got the crowd ready for the rest of the night.

Up next was Kelsea Ballerini. She took the stage in a very cute little black and sparkly romper. Kelsea is newly engaged to Australian country singer Morgan Evans and gave the crowd a pun filled story of the engagement (it happened while she was burning pancakes). Discovered and signed in 2012, at age 19, Kelsea has since released one EP and one full length album. Her second full length to be release in early November of this year. She played a varied collection of her hits (Stilettos, XO) and treated the crowd to a few singles (Legends, I Hate Love Songs) off her upcoming album. She is definitely a talented performer as she sang, played guitar and danced across the large stage.

The loudest cheers of the night now started up as Lady Antebellum took to the stage. After taking a hiatus for a couple years to focus on some solo work and family time, the band is back with a nationwide tour and a new upcoming album. Their newest album, Heart Break, their first since 2014 was released in early June and they have been touring on it for over 2 months already. The new album has more of a focus on experimentation, as the band played with some different guitar tones and drum sounds this time around. Formed by Charles Kelly and Dave Haywood in 2007 after meeting Hillary Scott in Nashville, the band has released 7 albums and has pulled together 5 headlining nationwide (and worldwide) tours. New on this tour is a horn section and that really shined for me. The horns are featured on the first single from the new album “Heart Break” and the sexy and soulful “You Look Good”. They also featured the horns on a few of their hits from past albums. I feel like their music resonates well, as they tell stories of their lives. Stories of what they have been through and their everyday life. For them, that seems to be the core of country music. The band seemed to really connect with each and every person in the audience and definitely with me.

Lady Antebellum in Omaha, KAT 103 Omaha's Country Radio Station

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Pat Bentar and Nick Giraldo at Stir Cove

Written by Karen • August 2017

Friday night was gorgeous…and glorious in the Cove.  The music was familiar and fun and the crowd embraced it all with enthusiasm and even left their chairs to dance and warble along valiantly.

Nightranger, the opener, put on a 45-minute gig of energy and fluency as they worked their way through tunes that the majority of attendees knew well.  This band is probably most famous for “Sister Christian”, but they could have sung the ABC’s and the multitudes would have loved it.  Nightranger is still touring and still releasing new tunes.  It was genuine fun for everyone.  I met a nice couple after the show that has seen this band a dozen times – and often has won the opportunity for a meet & greet with the troupe.  They said the show at Stir was one of the all-time best shows they had seen.  My music loving friends…that is saying a lot!  Way to nail it again, Stir Cove!

When the sun went down, and the bowl was filled to the brim, a wonderful 5-minute video of the history of Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo graced the screen.  Cheesy, but awesome, and I loved every moment. Then, with the downbeat of the drum and the twang of the electric guitar…there they were.  So fabulous, so talented and so connected to each other and their fans.  For 90 minutes they took us down their 38 year musical tour, and gave us everything we wanted to hear…yep, everything….and more.  I have had the pleasure of seeing this loving couple many times before, and each time it is special.  Benatar’s voice is clear and strong, and sounds just as fantastic in 2017 as it did in 1987.  Giraldo can stroke a guitar with such vivacity and perfection, and the combination is explosive.   Both performers are gracious and intimate with their followers.  They tell great stories and laugh easily, but the best moments are when they execute their musical talents.  It is a treasure to behold.

SO much more coming to Stir Cove …are you going to be there, too?  Check out www.stircove.com and find that act that catches your interest.  You won’t regret it for a moment!

See photos of the great night here:  http://nightlifeco.com/omaha/gallery/pat-benatarneil-giraldo-w-night-ranger

 

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Chevelle, Black Map, & Dinosaur Pile Up Review

Written by Gerald Glaza • August 2017

Chevelle, Black Map, DINOSAUR PILE UP Show Review

SumTur Amphitheater on July 29th, 2017

Review by: David Taylor / Photo by: Geraldography

What a beautiful Saturday night it was on July 29 in Papillion, NE as Chevelle, Black Map, and Dinosaur Pile-Up played Sumtur Amphitheater. I believe this was the venue’s first big heavy rock band they’ve had here, so we were all in for a treat.

Dinosaur Pile-Up from Leeds, England opened up the show. The last time they hit Omaha was back in January at the Waiting Room to rave reviews. They opened up with their song “Red and Purple” with a bang. They have this 1990s alt rock vibe to them, with singer/guitarist Matt Bigland sporting the same haircut Kurt Cobain had, and also, during the bridge of “Arizona Waiting”, played the opening to “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer”. They are on tour in support of the their latest album, Eleven Eleven. They're a fun band to watch live, giving a high energy performance. I think the crowd throughly enjoyed them, which is nice for an opening band. They ended their set with their well known song, “11:11”, such a heavy sounding and catchy song. What a great opening to the show!

Black Map from San Francisco was the direct support for the night. If you were at the last year’s show Chevelle played in Omaha, these guys opened for them with high praise, so it was nice that Chevelle brought them back for this tour. Unlike last year, they brought with them an album’s worth of new material, In Droves. They opened with their latest single, “Ruin”, a fast paced song, which they just released a music video for. They kinda reminded me of Queens of the Stone Age but a more heavier feel to them. One of my favorite things about this band is Mark Engles’s guitar playing. Very effects driven, reminding me of Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine’s playing. Drummer Chris Robyn’s playing was ferocious and intense. Bassist/vocalist Ben Flanagan’s vocals were powerful and blended seamlessly in the music. They ended their set with “I'm Just the Driver”, such a heavy rocker that really showcases everyone’s playing in the band.. I’m glad Black Map came back with Chevelle because they are a good fit with the Chevelle and never disappoint live.

Finally, it was Chevelle turn to hit the stage. What struck me the last time I saw them was their light show and this show was no excuse. They killed it with all production levels, with the dead tree backdrops, lights and sound, they were visually and audibly stunning. They kicked off their set heavy and fast with with “Another Know It All”. This time around, they played more new material from their latest effort, The North Corridor. There is nothing like singer/guitarist Pete Loeffler’s falsetto. So beautiful, yet so unique. And the rhythm section of Sam Loeffler, drums, and Dean Bernardini, bass, is so tight, yet undisputed. They combine melodic and heavy so flawlessly. Everyone was singing every lyric. Chevelle is one of my favorite live bands ever and I think everyone should see them at least once because they are one of the best.

To see more images from the show check out the gallery by clicking the link: http://nightlifeco.com/omaha/gallery/chevelle-black-map-dinosaur-pile-up 

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Interview with Dinosaur Pile Up

Written by Gerald Glaza • August 2017

Interview with DINOSAUR PILE UP by David Taylor

Photo courtesy of: Geraldography

July 29th, 2017 at Sumtur Amphittheater in Papillion, Nebraska

Before they hit the stage opening up for Chevelle at SumTur Amphitheater in Papillion, NE, I had the chance to talk to Dinosaur Pile-Up about music, touring, upcoming plans, and more.

First, I asked them what it’s like playing in America, especially in smaller markets like Omaha. They answered back saying it’s great and they’re no complaints. They say it’s cool to be here since these places tend to get less press rather than places like Los Angeles and New York City.

I also mentioned to them about how their latest album, Eleven Eleven, sounds like 90s grunge combined with garage rock. After my statement, I asked them if they were demoing any new material. Singer/guitarist Matt Bigland said that he’s kinda writing all the time and will be writing more after this tour ends.

I talked about their show at The Waiting Room Lounge in Benson, hearing positive things from that show and how that show became successful and one of their best headline shows in America. They said they met people at that show that were in the neighborhood and just showed up to their show. Gerald Glaza also mentioned about how the downtown Benson has this music scene to it and how Nightlife Co is helping the local scene, but with touring acts, as well.

I asked if they have ever been starstruck while on tour. They said they’re not usually starstruck, but thought it was really awesome touring with bands like Weezer and the PIXIES. Another cool moment they mentioned was that while they were side stage watching their mates in ÆGES at Rocklahoma this year, Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour was standing next to them watching them, as well.

Gerald Glaza also asked what bands have influenced Dinosaur Pile-Up’s sound. Their response was they think it’s obvious where they get their sound, saying they were influence by the 90s alternative scene with bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana, early Foo Fighters, Deftones, Weezer, PIXIES, as well as lesser known bands like Violent Soho, who are from Australia, and Rozwell Kid, from West Virginia.

I asked them with they like to do in their free time in America, other than playing music. They are big fans of shuffleboard, which I was surprised by that answer, bowling, drinking, eating pizza and BBQ. Gerald also mentioned about their day off in Sioux Falls when they played extreme Jenga with their tour mates in Black Map and Chevelle. They love American pop culture.

I mentioned about upcoming tours and they said they’re in talks for a tour in November in America, so keep an eye on that. They also showed us their new tattoos they got in St. Louis on tour.

I asked where they could find them on internet, they mentioned Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also check their music out on iTunes and Spotify. It was a pleasure interviewing Dinosaur Pile-Up because I’ve never interviewed a band before, so this band will always have a place in my heart.

Click the following link to see the Nightlife Co gallery featuring Dinosaur Pile Up, Black Map, and Chevelle: http://nightlifeco.com/omaha/gallery/chevelle-black-map-dinosaur-pile-up

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