Devil in the Details: Chapter II Review

Written by Gerald Glaza • November 2017

Devil in the Details Chapter II Tour Review

Lookout Lounge / Omaha, Ne / November 2nd, 2017 / Review by David Taylor / Photo by Inspired Film Studios

The Lookout Lounge has always been supportive of the local scene, so on a Thursday night in November, Devil In The Details rolled up to the Lookout Lounge amidst their ongoing tour titled, The Chapter II Tour. Along with Devil in the Details, they had an awesome group of local support acts, as well.

First act up was Deadbeat from Lincoln, NE. This was my second time seeing them live, after seeing them in July. They are a hardcore band that brought the hard and heavy to open the night up. Highlight of their set was Wyatt Haertel’s, guitarist, hops right before the breakdowns of their material. The saying goes that “white men can’t jump”, but I was truly impressed of how high he could. I was glad to hear they got added to the bill because they never dissapoint. Check out their recently released demo on Bandcamp and I hope to see them back in Omaha soon.

Next up was something completely different for the hard hitting night. It was Dear Neighbor, Cody Pedersen’s acoustic project. You might remember Cody use to be the bass player and clean vocalist for Devil in the Details. What I heard that night sounded really promising. His voice was nice and soothing, very relaxing. It’s always nice to mellow out at a rock show once in a while. You can check out his song, “Old Place”, on Dear Neighbor’s Facebook page. He mentioned during his set that he’ll be recording his first EP with Jeremy Schaffer for a winter release next year. I am looking forward to that because he really proved himself as a solo acoustic musician that night.

Next up was The Tale Untold. This was also my second time seeing them, as well. It’s not everyday you see a local band with a female lead singer that screams, and still nails it with the cleans. And that’s why Eliss Holla is one of the best in the scene. Also having a stellar backing band helps, as well. Jon Frost is one of the best guitarists in the scene and never disappoints. Their cover of Emmure’s “I Thought You Met Telly and Turned Me Into Casper” is always a crowd pleaser. Another awesome set from The Tale Untold. Looking forward to their upcoming EP and to more shows in the future.

The direct support for the night came from Wither, Decay which was, unfortunately, their last show. It’s always hard seeing a local band that you’ve enjoyed have it’s last show. They played material from their EP, Separation Anxiety, as well as new material, which sounded really promising. It was also cool seeing their family supporting them for this final show. They always bring it live. They bring so much passion in their performance. I wish for all the members the best and that I will always support their music.

Finally, it was Devil In The Details turn to hit the stage. This was my first time seeing them live and I couldn’t wait. I must say they are Omaha’s premier metalcore act. Having a few lineup changes, they did not disappoint. I respect Sean Thomas, vocalist, because he has this vision of what this band wants to brand themselves. For example, they would show He is a very artistic individual that always puts in the best, creatively. It was also cool to see Cody Pedersen sing on one of their songs during their set. I also loved how very receptive the audience was, helping the band singing the clean parts of their songs. Great turnout for the show. Looking forward to seeing more of Devil in the Details, as well as a new release in the works.


Interview With Hallow Point

Written by Gerald Glaza • November 2017

Interview with Hallow Point by Pat Douglas via Spotlight Omaha

                  Hallow Point is a 5 piece metal band out of St. Louis, MO who will roll into town next Thursday. The show is going down at Wired Pub & Grill on November 16th with support from Omaha bands 64-Hit Combo, Flourishing Illusions & My Last Request. Hallow Point is touring in support of their latest EP, Beyond Our Name. I got the chance to catch up with lead guitarist Aaron Chambers the other day, talking about music, touring and the Omaha scene.



Spotlight Omaha (SO): Your latest EP came out in May and you’ve been touring fairly extensively since then.

Aaron Chambers (AC): Yeah, after the release, we did a little run with Final Drive out of St. Louis and following that we played a few shows throughout June & July. Since August, we’ve been trying to play just about every weekend and once a month trying to do a week long stretch in there. We all still have full time jobs and everything, trying to keep a balance in there.

SO: You guys have been all over Missouri, places in Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana. This will be the second time here in Omaha in the last couple month, both at Wired. You guys like that venue?

AC: Yeah, it was fun. We played towards the end of August. That was the first time we’d gotten up there and we had a really good time. We played with a few bands from Kansas City and one band from up there, who I heard has unfortunately since disbanded. But yeah, we had a really good time up there. We’ve got a couple other bands we reached out to up there. We’re pretty much doing everything DIY right now. So we’ll reach out to the venues and reach out to local bands to see who wants to hop on. Doing anything and everything we can to promote. We got some awesome bands on it too, so we’re super stoked for that.

SO: I see that most of the guys in the band, you all met in high school. With touring and being stuck in a van together, I assume it helps that you’re all pretty familiar with each other.

AC: Yeah, we’re all like best friends. 3 of the guys actually went to grade school together, so they’ve been close friends for basically 20 years now. I met one in high school, we started talking and bouncing back and forth and he played guitar, he knew a couple guys who played drums and bass and it kinda evolved from there. Then it was about almost 2 years ago now, we added Brandon – who is now our bass player and singer…not the screamer, but the singer and he’s been a huge contribution to the band. He fit right in personality wise so we all get along and we’re all great buddies. It’s awesome.

SO: Cool cool. Where’d the name Hallow Point come from.

AC: Well, we initially had a different name, but we actually got in a bit of a legal issue with another band of the same name. They’re defunct now, but they ended up winning the name. We were kinda bummed about that, cause we were really stoked on the first name. We sat down to come up with something different. We scoured everything, the dictionary, the internet, the bible just trying to come up with any ideas or names or whatever. I came up with the idea of Hallow Point, I forget where I was looking, but it was kinda a play on words. Ya know, there’s the hollow point bullet – it’s spelled different, but when that hits it’s target it expands. We liked that concept. The main point behind it, no pun intended, was Hallow Point is something, the music, the band, it’s very important to us and we hold it near and dear to our hearts, something we really care about. So, the point of the band is important, or sacred or Hallowed – however you want to view it. Call it corny or what have you, but we are pretty happy with it. It does cause some confusion at times though – with the spelling. A lot of people like to spell it with the ‘o’. The on top of all that, Slayer has a song called “Hallowed Point” – so maybe it’s a bit of an homage to them.

SO: Playing of that a bit, from your music and that homage, Slayer seems to be a bit of an influence on you guys for when you’re writing music. What are some other bands that you draw influence from.

AC: Yeah. So, when we first started we were mainly just doing covers of songs in our basement, not really playing out for the first 3 or 4 years. We were doing a lot of Metallica, Megadeath, Slayer – The big four classic metal bands: Slayer, Pantera, Iron Maiden. Then we got into the new wave of American heavy metal – Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Trivium and now we’ve really gotten into Parkway Drive, Wage War. So we really draw from a vast variety of bands when it comes to metal. Even Avenged Sevensold, Distrubed – some of the more radio friendly metal bands – we dig those guys too. So we really just try to draw inspiration from about every source we can. I know a few of us are really into country music, some into hip-hop and rap. But when it comes to inspiration on writing, a lot of it comes from that new wave of American heavy metal.

SO: On that note, when it comes to a lot of bands on the metal scene, some don’t seem to really have a lot of staying power. The ones that do, in my opinion, seem to put a lot of focus on the melodies in their music and not so much just the raw power and energy that metal can produce. It seems to me that you guys do put a lot of focus on melody and having that melodic blend to what you are putting out. It that something you think about ahead of time? Making sure you stay on point with your melodies or is it something that just comes naturally with the way you guys write?

AC: I think it’s a little of both. We’re definitely very conscious of it – seeing that we love that melodic metal sound. Both the melody within the guitars and the vocals. All of us are also suckers for good hooks that catch your ear like that. So we try to really implement that in the music. But at the same time, a lot of it, because of our influences it comes naturally when we’re writing. We don’t really try to force it – like ‘that’s not melodic enough’. It really comes about organically. A lot of time we find we try to do a balance of finding a melody and also having those heavy parts so that when those heavy parts kick, they kick twice as hard cause you have the juxtaposition between heavy and melodic.

SO: Any plans for a full length album coming up?

AC: We don’t have any full length plans right now. Come December, we plan to start writing again. We’ll really put a heavy emphasis on that. Sometime with writing, things can go super fast or they can be like beating your head against the wall and it takes a lot longer. We’ll see how that goes. Our goal is to get as many songs together as possible. In the past, we’ve just t=done the 5 song EP. That seems to be working really well for us as far as timing goes. We definitely waited too long between our first and second EP – so we’re trying to keep the ball rolling. In this day and age, it seems people’s attention spans are a lot shorter – so it seems like you have to constantly be cranking out some kind of content to keep people interested in what you’re doing. Otherwise the next guy will come along and they’re on to something bigger, better, newer. So, we’ve been conscious of that – trying to get as many songs together as we can. So based on how that goes we may put out some singles, another EP or if we have it a full length. But for right now, we don’t have plans for a full length.

SO: Omaha, this is your second time. What do you guys like about Omaha. We’ve got a pretty healthy metal scene up here – quite a few good up and coming local metal bands. What have you guys seen of the Omaha scene and what you can expect this time.

AC: We only had the one local from Omaha last time and there was still a really good response and people who showed up. That was really nice and really kind of surprising for us. When you only have one local and you’re trying to get your wheels spinning and everything – you never know whether a show is going to turn out or not. From what I’ve seen from getting this show together, it seems there are a ton of really solid bands (in Omaha). Just about every band I spoke to was super helpful, super supportive. Saying ‘Yeah, I’d Love to play’. If they couldn’t play, they’d recommend other local bands or pledge to be at the show. So the sense I’ve gotten is that there is a big sense of community within the metal scene up there. To where everybody wants everybody else  to succeed and to do well. I think that’s awesome and that’s what is needed to really cultivate a local scene.

SO: So, is there anything exciting that you guys have planned that we can tease our readers about? I don’t want to give away anything, but anything to tease our readers about a great night to be had?

AC: We do have a few things. We’ve gotten some production in our show, We have certain elements that enhance the show a bit in my opinion. I love going to see bands, but it’s always more interesting when there are other elements. We’ve synced a lot of our production to the music, so that helps to enhance the intensity of things. We really try to get up there and really put on a show and make it something they can enjoy and to come away wanting more.


                  Be sure to come out to Wired Pub & Grill on Thursday to see just what Hallow Point has in store for Omaha this time around. We’ll be there, hope to see you all there as well.


Arson City's 4th Annual Citizens Ball Review

Written by Gerald Glaza • October 2017

Review by: David Taylor

It’s October, so you know what that means: it’s the 4th annual Citizens Ball for Arson City and their fans, the “citizens”! This was finally my first Citizens Ball after all these years of knowing the band, so excited was an understatement. What an awesome bill and an cool event to attend. Highly recommend adding this show on your list of Halloween parties.

Graveyard Smash was the first band up. I’ve know Billy Peck from his other band, Before I Burn, so when I heard he started a horror punk band, I was intrigued. If you like horror punk reminiscent of the Misfits, then this is the band for you! Brandon Voorhees, guitarist, is probably the hardest downpicker in the scene, makes sense since he worships Doyle from the Misfits. Billy slayed on the catchy backing vocals. Dale Steinhoefel, in true punk rock fashion, played loud and fast to a catchy beat. Lawrence Deal made the vocals his own, not sounding like a Danzig rip off. Good start to the night!

Next up was When Towers Fall. I have seen this band for three times in the past four months and they never disappoint. I can’t say enough things about them. Derrek Sammons is one of the best vocalists in the scene, blending his clean and unclean vocals perfectly. Ryan Hubbard and Cavan W Short chugged and shredded their guitars. The rhythm section of Jay Stoa II, bass, and Ian Waters, drummer, was tight. The neon face paint really worked for the Halloween aesthetic of the Citizens Ball. And, of course, at the end of their latest single, “Promises, Promises”, they put on their farm animal masks on, ending their set on a comedic note. Another awesome set by one of my favorite local bands!

Next up was Hungary’s own Ektomorf. They reminded me of bands like Sepultura, Soulfly, and Machine Head, that groove-infused metal sound. I would consider them the outliers of the bill, might’ve been a little too heavy for the hard rock crowd, but nevertheless they still killed it live, even starting a mosh pit. Zoli Farkas’s vocals were brutal. The drumming of Jaksa Róbert was fast, heavy, and powerful, even bumping up the tempo on their songs. Tomi Schrottner killed it on the backing vocals, with his dreads flying in the air as he headbang. Szabi Murvai chugged away on the bass. Solid set from Ektomorf. It was a pleasure to have them come to Omaha, and I hope they come back soon.

The direct support for the night was Des Moines’s own Dead Horse Trauma. This was my first time seeing them live, as I’ve noticed that they have a good following in Omaha. I consider them as Des Moines’s version of Arson City, both have lead singers with dreadlocks and both play nu-metal influenced hard rock. It was cool seeing people singing along to their songs. They were very energetic in their playing. They released a new album earlier this year called, Life, that I recommend that you should check out if you like some good midwest hard rock. Awesome set by Dead Horse Trauma. I would definitely check them out the next time they’re in town.

Finally, it was the band everyone was waiting for, Arson City. This was my fifth time seeing them live, the third time this year alone, and they never put on a bad show. I was really impressed with Patrick Michael Wilson’s face makeup that he had on that night. He kinda reminded me of Billy from the movie, Hocus Pocus, with the pale white zombie undead look. The beginning of their set was new material that they will put on their upcoming album, which sounded really promising. But the highlight of the night for me was the debut of a new cover song, Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”. I must say I was impressed that they could cover Journey and make it their own, which I applaud them. They played all the fan favorites as well, with everyone singing along. There was even a three song encore, ending their set with “The Horror Show”. I love how Arson City likes to push the envelope, always trying new things, while still pleasing the fans. I hope their next album tops the last one and that they trajectory towards nation wide recognition increases as they are solid musicians and should totally deserve it.


Bagpipes & Beatdowns

Written by Gerald Glaza • October 2017

Bagpipes and Beatdowns - A Blockbuster Night of NXT Live Featuring Drew McIntyre

WWE NXT Live / Ralston Arena / October 28th

Written by: Christy Jobman 

The lights go down in the arena. The crowd goes silent. The sound of bagpipes, badass drums and electric guitar fills the air. Drew McIntyre makes his way to the ring. The crowd roars, everyone is on their feet.

Whether he is brought in by the NYPD Pipes & Drums band, like a recent action-packed NXT Live night in August, or by Gallantry, his official theme song, this 6’ 5” beast is ready to dominate anyone who gets in the ring with him.

The scene is set for an incredible Saturday night of wrestling, something McIntyre, 32, has been doing for a cool 17 years. He announced his signing with NXT in April of this year and earned his first championship title with the franchise, but it’s been a long way to the top, starting as far back as he can remember.

At 16, he and his friends pioneered what would become modern wrestling in the UK. Surrounded by supportive, but doubtful, friends and family, he became the first wrestler from Scotland to ever be signed in America.

“I was that obsessed. I didn’t care what anyone else said. I pushed and pushed and was fortunate to achieve that,” McIntyre said. “If you truly want something and you work hard at it, you can have it.”

A lot has contributed to McIntyre’s success. When he was was in charge of his own schedule, he was the busiest wrestler in the world for two years straight. Last year, he stepped it up another notch and kicked his drinking habit. In the UK, drinking is a major part of the culture. He attributes the changes in his stamina and the way he looks and feels to this decision.

He’s focusing only on the positives these days - owning his first home with his wife, eating better and most importantly, working hard to take over the world of wrestling. And he better hurry.

“Wrestlers age in dog years,” McIntyre said.

He’s done alright with those wrestling dog years so far. He has truly built a brand for himself from the ground up. Multiple national and international championship titles to show for his career and most importantly, always focusing on his fans first.

“The fans in Omaha are very knowledgable,” McIntyre said. “We cater to those very loyal fans.”

Saturday will be no different. If you’re attending the October 28 NXT Live event at Ralston Arena, be prepared to have a voice because at these epic NXT showdowns, you aren’t just another face in the crowd in a sea of people.

You should also be prepared to not have a voice by Sunday, these events get loud and rowdy.

Stick around after the show. Following his matches, McIntyre takes pictures and signs autographs for his fans.

“I want to meet everyone and talk to them.” McIntyre said, “I want to hear what everyone thinks because in the end, I’m just a wrestling fan who took it too far.”

Meet the man, the myth, the legend after Saturday nights show and see for yourself what a dedicated, passionate and determined Scottish wrestler looks like in the flesh. 

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Bands From the Crypt Review

Written by Gerald Glaza • October 2017

Lookout Lounge / Omaha, Nebraska / October 14, 2017

Written by: David Taylor / Photo by: Geraldography

October is the month of Halloween, so having a show called Bands from the Crypt and also having a costume contest during the show was a good idea. Aorta Music & Management brought an awesome line-up of local bands to the Lookout Lounge, including Desiato, Black Sky Burning, Here/After, and The Phoenix Principle.

First band up was the Phoenix Principle. This was my second time seeing them live after seeing them in July at the Waiting Room. Such a soulful rock n’ roll band. Jared Gottberg is such an underrated singer. So much soul in his voice, it’s ridiculous. I think it’s cool that their lyrics of their songs are about Middle Earth, very reminiscent of the the almighty Led Zeppelin. I also think that Brent Tuxhorn is such an underrated guitarist, as well. That man can shred for days. Great opening set by the Phoenix Principle. Looking forward to some recorded material in the future.

Next up was Here/After. They are pop punk/hard rock band led by singer Kayla Bulin. They were really catchy. Kayla’s vocals were superb, reminiscent to those of one Hayley Williams of Paramore. They even threw in a cool cover of the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’s “Face Down”. Great lead guitar playing by Ryan Condrey. They opened up with “1UP”, which is a song about Mario rescuing Princess Peach, which is pretty rad. Check them out of you haven’t. You will not be disappointed.

The direct support of the night came from Black Sky Burning. I will always rememberer them when they were called Dirtfedd as they were they first metal band I had seen because they opened up Knotfest in 2012, so they’ll always be in my heart. Seeing Derrek Sammons of When Towers Fall with another band was pretty cool, yet surprising to say the least. He always kills it live. They were super heavy and tight live. Everybody in the band killed it on their respective instruments. Can’t wait for their new EP!

Finally, it was Desiato turn to hit the stage. The hard rock power trio were solid through all their set. Blake Jones’s vocals were stunning. Tyler Sims is one of the best bass players in the scene. Loved the use of CO2 during the performance. Gives off a unique quality to them. The band was tight, rhythmically, thanks to Aaron Rowe’s drumming and Tyler Sims’s bass playing. I did enjoyed Blake’s use of the double-necked guitar. It’s not every show you see that. But, overall, great set by Desiato. I was glad to finally seen them live after having seen Blake Jones at shows. Check these guys out because they’re talented musicians and looking forward to future material.


Floozies with BoomBox Review

Written by Gerald Glaza • October 2017

Sokol Auditorium / Omaha, Nebraska / September 28, 2017

Written by: Pat Douglas / Photo by: Pollieography

Being unfamiliar with all the bands, we weren’t too sure of what to expect on this Thursday night at Sokol. We knew a little of BoomBox, so we knew the basic style of music to expect, but by and large we went in blind. That, however, turned out to be a good thing as it let us be surprised at what was in store for us. Sokol is an interesting venue in Omaha, as it has a lot of history, always has a wide variety of acts coming through to perform and, like this show itself, you never really know what the night has in store for you. The surprises started early and kept coming throughout the night.

Surprise one was the fact that we got there early (only about 5 minutes before doors open), but there was hardly any line. At Sokol, it usually doesn’t matter what bands are playing, there is almost always a decent sized line before the doors open. The lack of a line can’t be blamed on the weather either as it was beautiful out. So much so that Hollie & I rode the Harley to the show. There were only about 6 people in line when we got there and the doors opened up shortly after that. I guess tonight was a night when people planned things out perfectly, as the small crowd filled up very fast. The music started about 30 minutes after we got in and the crowd had grown from about 10 to about 200 by this time.

First up, according to all the information I had, was Late Night Radio out of Denver, CO. From the research I had done, they are a two piece band with a decidedly electronic funk vibe going on. I was fairly excited for this as it is along the lines of BoomBox and lines up nicely with my own musical background. However, what ended up happening was one guy with a laptop. I’m not sure if the full band will be there for other shows on this tour (this was the first night of this tour I think) or this is just how the tour is playing out and not be advertised as such. Many people around me were heard remarking what a great DJ this guy was. I will say, he did have a fantastic track selection and I really enjoyed the music he was playing, however I don’t think it was really DJ’ing. You can call me old school if you want, but I grew up on old school DJs. Guys and gals who would lug around bags and boxes of actual records, they’d put on a set of headphones and they would actually manually beat match records along with picking out the tracks to play. This guy didn’t even have headphones…it seemed he was just picking a track and pressing his spacebar – letting his software beat match and mix for him. I’m not trying to take away from the guy, as my research did tell me he is a popular DJ in the Colorado scene. I just didn’t really see any evidence of actual DJ’ing.

Next up was who we were both really looking forward to – BoomBox. They are a two piece band out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. BoomBox has a very unique a cultured sound that has been born of the popularity of the EDM scene and laced with loads of Grateful Dead influence – not to mention some decidedly hip-hop influences thrown in for good measure. Founding member Zion Godchaux, son of Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux (who both performed in the Grateful Dead) has had a very varied upbringing in the music scene and it really shows in his song writing. Writing catchy hooks on his guitar and layering it all with his catchy lyrics, the only thing that stands out more are the grooves laid down by DJ Harry. Using drum machines, sequencers, samplers and a full on DJ setup – the groove behind Zion’s magic is enough to keep a dance floor packed and sweaty. This duo has really put together something unique and catchy enough to hit the airwaves, the dancehall or just something to bounce to at the bar. From tunes like (my favorite) Mr. Boogie Man, Stereo and Midnight on the Run – the beats were fresh and it kept the now near capacity crowd captivated from start to finish.

Closers for the night were the Midwest’s own The Floozies. Hailing from Lawrence, Kansas – the Floozies really packed them in. With Sokol hall now packed to the gills, the lights went down and the show really began. These guys are true performers. Also a two piece, you’d never really know just from the sound of things. Comprised of brothers Mark & Matt Hill, the sound these guys produce if full, intricate and fully engaging. With Mark on the drum kit, that leaves most everything else up to Matt. His setup was mind blowing. He stands on stage surrounded by guitars, bass, samplers, drum machines, keyboards, microphones and even a talk box. All this, mixed with an amazing light show really put a nice cap on the evening. The Floozies are truly original and are a sight to behold. Close your eyes and take a listen or keep them peeled and take it all in - these guys really are not only talented musicians, but also talented performers. They bring it all on this tour and if you weren’t there for it…shame on you. You should have been.