Anti-Flag Announces New European, UK Dates; Debuts New Video

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records/Brixton Agency

Anti-Flag is headed overseas for a new string of live dates.

The band announced Friday that it will head overseas for a nearly month-long European/UK tour in support of its latest album American Fall, which was released November 23, 2017 via Spinefarm Records.  The tour, which is set to launch October 11 in Vienna, Austria, is scheduled to run through November 6 in Dublin, Ireland and to include performances in Berlin, Germany; London, UK; Prague, Czech Republic and other locations.

The band’s upcoming European and UK dates come after the band wraps its current North American run, which will see the band perform July 27 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada next. From there, the band will perform at Toronto, Ontario; Portland, Maine; Worcester, Massachusetts and other cities, including Raleigh, North Carolina.  The full schedule for the band’s U.S. and European/UK tour is noted below.

Tour Dates:
7/27 – Montreal, QC – ‘77 Festival
7/28 – Toronto, ON – Echo Beach^
7/29 – Portland, ME – State Theater^
7/31 – Worcester, MA – Palladium^
8/1 – New York, NY – Coney Island Amp^
8/3 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun^
8/4 – Philadelphia, PA – Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing^
8/5 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summerstage^
8/7 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amp^
8/9 – Niagara Falls, NY – Rapids Theatre^
8/11 – Victoriaville, QC – Rock La Cauze Festival
8/26 – Pittsburgh, PA – Four Chord Festival
9/6 – Minneapolis, MN – Armory^
9/9 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works^
9/11 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s^
9/12 – Houston, TX – Revention Center^
9/13 – Dallas, TX – Toyota Music Factory^
9/15 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amp^
9/16 – Salt Lake City, UT – Complex^
9/17 – Boise, ID – Revolution^
9/19 – Bozeman, MT – Brick Breeden Fieldhouse^
9/20 – Calgary, AB – Grey Eagle^
9/21 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Expo Center^
9/23 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Forum^
9/24 – Seattle, WA – WaMu Theater^
9/25 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom^
9/28/18 Concord, CA – Concord Pavilion
9/29 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl^
9/30 – Irvine, CA – Five Point Amphitheater^
10/11 – Vienna, AT – Flex*
10/12 – Wels, AT – Alter Schlachthof*
10/13 – Salzburg, AT – Rockhouse*
10/14 – Prague, CZ – Meet Factory*
10/16 – Hannover, DE – Pavillon*
10/18 – Berlin, DE – SO36*
10/19 – Hamburg, DE – Fabrik*
10/20 – Köln, DE – Live Music Hall*
10/21 – Stuttgart, DE – Longhorn*
10/23 – Munich, DE – Backstage Werk*
10/25 – Saarbrucken, DE – Garage*
10/26 – Haarlem, NL Patronaat – ANTIfest*
10/27 – Hasselt, BE Muziekodroom – Groezrock Indoor*
10/28 – Wiesbaden, DE – Schlachthof – ANTIfest*
10/30 – Birmingham, UK – Asylum#
10/31 – Bristol, UK – SWX#
11/1 – London, UK – Heaven#
11/2 – Manchester, UK – Academy 2#
11/3 – Glasgow, UK – Garage#
11/5 – Belfast, UK – Foundry#
11/6 – Dublin, IE – Whelan’s#^ = w/ Rise Against, AFI
* = w/ Silverstein, Cancer Bats, Worriers
# = w/ Cancer Bats,Worriers

 

 

Courtesy: Spinefarm RecordsBrixton Agency

As part of its upcoming overseas schedule the band’s annual Antifest will make its return again this year.  The band will close out the month of October with a pair of Antifest shows — the first on Oct. 26 in Haarlem, Netherlands and the second on Oct. 28 in Wiesbaden, Germany.  Included in the lineup for the band’s Antifest shows are: Reel Big Fish, Cancer Bats, Prestige, Drones, Tusky, Black Peaks and more.  The full schedule for the Antifest shows is noted below.

26 OCT 2018
city: Haarlem, Netherlands
venue: Patronaat
line-up: Anti-Flag, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Silverstein, Cancer Bats, Prestige, Black Peaks, Culture Abuse, Worriers, Tusky, Drones

28 OCT 2018
City: Wiesbaden, Germany
venue: Schlachthof
line-up: Anti-Flag, Silverstein, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Cancer Bats, Black Peaks, Worriers, Tusky

If all of that isn’t enough for fans, the band also debuted the video for its new single, ‘Trouble Follows Me‘ on Friday.  The video, which is just as political as anything that the band has ever crafted previously, crosses footage of the band performing in a club with the band making its way around Bratisalva, Slovakia during its recent European summer tour, taking in the sights.  The whole thing ends with a clear, blatant statement about the band’s thoughts on the recent immigration debate in a simple fashion.

More information on Anti-Flag’s new video, tour dates and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://anti-flag.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anti.flag.official

Twitter: http://twitter.com/anti_flag

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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ESPN Announces CFB Media Days Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

The official start of the 2018 college football season is still a couple of months away, but ESPN is getting a head start on this season’s action.

The worldwide leader in sports announced its upcoming Media Days broadcast schedule on Wednesday.  The ESPN networks’ college football coverage launches with the return on Monday of College Football Live at 6:30 p.m. ET.  Monday’s broadcast will air live on ESPN2 from the College Football Hall of Fame and SEC kickoff.  The SEC Network will also be part of the SEC Kickoff from July 15 – 19.

After Monday’s broadcast, the 30-minute broadcast will air at its normal 3:30 and 5 p.m. time slots on ESPN2. Later in the month, College Football Live will also air live from the Pac-12 Media Day on July 25 at 3:30 p.m.

If ESPN2’s College Football Live coverage isn’t enough for college football fans, the ESPN networks’ extensive media day coverage will appease those fans. ESPNU and the ACC Network Plus will be live at the ACC Football Kickoff from July 18-19 while ESPNU and the Longhorn Network will broadcast live coverage of the Big 12 Media Days from July 16 and 17.

Online, ESPN3 will stream seven Media Days:  AAC (July 23-24), Conference USA (July 19), MAC (July 24), Sun Belt (July 23), Big South (July 24) Northeast  (July 24) and Southland (July 19).

As an added bonus for fans, ESPN will play host to two of college football’s greatest names as part of its early pre-season coverage later this month at its headquarters.  Clemson coach Dabo Swinny will appear on ESPN’s networks July 23.  Nick Saban will follow the very next day, July 24.

The ESPN networks’ full media days broadcast schedule is noted below.

Overview of ESPN’s Media Day Schedule Below
Doesn’t include daily episodes of College Football Live

Date

Time (ET)

Conference

Network

Mon, July 16

10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

SEC

SEC Network*

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Big 12

Longhorn Network

4 – 7 p.m.

Big 12

ESPNU**

Tue, July 17

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

SEC

SEC Network

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Big 12

Longhorn Network

4 – 7 p.m.

Big 12

ESPNU**

Wed, July 18

9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

SEC

SEC Network

10 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

ACC

ACC Network Extra

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

CUSA

ESPN3

4 – 6 p.m.

ACC

ESPNU

Thu, July 19

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

SEC

SEC Network

9:15 am – 2:45 p.m.

ACC

ACC Network Extra

10 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Southland

ESPN3

10 a.m. – noon

CUSA

ESPN3

4 – 6 p.m.

ACC

ESPNU

Mon, July 23

2-4 p.m.

Sun Belt

ESPN3

TBD

American

ESPN3

Tue, July 24

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

MAC

ESPN3

TBD

American

ESPN3

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Northeast

ESPN3

1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Big South

ESPN3

Wed, July 25

5-7 p.m.

Pac-12

ESPNU

*Complete SEC Network programming can be found here

**Re-air of Longhorn Network programming

 

More information on ESPN’s college football coverage is available online now along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

ESPN To Offer Full Day Of MLB All-Star Game Coverage Tuesday

Courtesy: ESPN

Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star Game is returning to ESPN Radio again this year.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports announced Thursday that for the 21st consecutive year, ESPN Radio will serve as the national radio broadcast home of the league’s annual mid-season spectacular, which is scheduled to be played July 17.  Broadcast of Tuesday’s All-Start showcase is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET.  The broadcast will also stream online via the ESPN App.

The ESPN Radio broadcast team of Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will have the call for Tuesday night’s game.  Reporters Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian will also be on hand for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

While coverage officially starts at 8 p.m., ESPN’s coverage of the All-Star game starts early in the day with live coverage on SportsCenter AM with host Pedro Gomez.  Coverage continues at 4 p.m. ET with a special 90-minute edition of Baseball TonightAround The Cage anchored by Karl Ravech.  He will be joined by analysts Marx Teixeira David Ross, Eduardo Perez and Tim Kurkjian for additional commentary.

Pardon The Interruption and SportsCenter continue ESPN’s pre-game coverage from 5:30 – 7 with PTI up first from 5:30 – 6.  It will broadcast live from Nationals Park.  Keith Olbermann and Karl Ravech will co-host SportsCenter from 6 – 7 on ESPN live from Nationals Park.

A half-hour Baseball Tonight2018 All-Star Game Preview Show airs at 7 p.m. with Ravech hosting and Teixeira and Ross serving as analysts once again leading into Tuesday night’s game.

More information on ESPN’s 2018 MLB All-Star Game coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Michael Schenker Fest’s “Debut” LP Proves The Magic Is Still There Between Schenker And Co.

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

The magic is still with us.  That simple statement is exhibited in a window on the rear cover of the booklet included in Michael Schenker Fest’s debut album Resurrection.  It is a fitting statement (and placement) for that message to include in this record.  That is because while it may be the new super group’s debut album, it is hardly the first time that the group’s collective members – Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO, Michael Schenker Group), Graham Bonnett (Graham Bonnett Band, Rainbow, Alcatrazz), Gary Barden (Gary Moore, Praying Mantis, Statetrooper), Robin McAuley (Grand Prix, Far Corporation, McAuley Schenker Group), Doogie White (La Paz, Praying Mantis, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow), Chris Glen (The Michael Schenker Group,  The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, John Martyn) and Ted McKenna (The Michael Schenker Group, Rory Gallagher, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band) – have ever performed together.  Each has performed with one another in one way or another more than once throughout each man’s career, and that familiarity and friendship shines through here.  The result of that long-running friendship is, in this latest effort – the debut LP from Michael Schenker Fest – another positive offering from the group.  This is proven throughout the record in its musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  Its lyrical themes do just as much to make it enjoyable, and will be discussed a little later.  The bonus DVD that comes with the record’s expanded edition puts the final touch to its presentation.  Each element noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Resurrection.  All things considered, they make Resurrection not only another solid effort from Schenker and company, but a record that shows without any doubt, that magic truly is still with each member of Michael Schenker Fest.

Resurrection, the debut album from Michael Schenker’s new super group (of sorts), Michael Schenker Fest, shows itself to be another solid offering from Schenker and company.  It also shows without any doubt that the magic that has been with the longtime friends and fellow musicians, is indeed still present in this album.  That is proven in part through the dozen total arrangements that make up the body of the record.  The album’s opener, ‘Heart and Soul,’ is one way in which those statements are supported.  The song’s arrangement boasts a sound that will appeal to fans of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and other similar acts from the so-called “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” thanks to Schenker’s talents.  The added talents of Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett in the song’s “guitar jam” (as it is listed in the booklet) adds even more of that touch to the song’s whole.  The addition of McKenna’s solid time keeping and McAuley’s powerhouse, operatic vocal delivery and Glen’s low-end fills out the arrangement and pull listeners completely into the up-tempo rocker.  It’s just one of the works that proves the importance of the arrangements to this record.

The full-on instrumental track ‘Salvation’ is another way in which the record’s arrangements prove pivotal to the album’s whole.  Whereas the album’s opener was a tribute (intended or not) to the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal,” this more light-hearted arrangement is more akin to fellow guitar great Joe Satriani’s best works than any metal tune.  McKenna’s time keeping and Glen’s low-end once again do their own part to play into such comparison, with McKenna’s time keeping having a certain, almost jazzy bounce and Glen’s bass line keeping right in time with McKenna’s beat on the bass drum.  All things considered here, the group has crafted a work that shows even more why this record’s arrangements are so critical to its overall presentation.

As if ‘Salvation’ is not enough example of the importance of the records’ arrangements, ‘Night Moods’ shows in its own way, why the arrangements are so important.  Where the album’s opener was a decidedly 80s British metal style composition and where ‘Salvation’ could easily be compared to compositions from Joe Satriani as recently as the 90s, ‘Night Moods’ presents in its arrangement, a sound that blurs the line between the guitar-driven rock and roll of the 1970s and the more hair rock sound of the early to mid 80s.  That is thanks not only to the song’s instrumentation, but also to singer Graham Bonnett’s vocal delivery style.  Bonnett’s delivery is full on 80s hair metal style even in the arrangement’s more 70s rock and roll moments.  The pairing of the two sides makes this song another standout work that exemplifies once more the variety of the record’s arrangements.  When that variety is considered in the bigger picture of the album’s whole, it becomes even clearer why the record’s arrangements are so important to its presentation.  Of course the record’s musical arrangements are only part of what makes Resurrection proof that the magic is still there among Michael Schenker Fest’s members.  The album’s lyrical themes do just as much to support that statement as the album’s musical arrangements.

‘Warrior,’ Resurrection’s lead single, is one example of what makes the album’s lyrical themes so important.  Penned by Michael Voss-Schoen, the song seems to be a tribute to those military forces who put their lives on the line every day to keep the free world free.  This is inferred as Voss-Schoen writes in the song’s lead verse, “If you open the book/Turn the page-take a look/You’ll find the truth right between the lines/Read the story all in one/How it all just begun/We’ll admit it’s one of a kind/Giving protection with love and affection/Standing for honor and pride/Every now and then/It will always be the same/Born to follow and walk a fine line.”  He goes on to write, “You’re born into this world/To you/Believe in mankind’s destiny/Marching on the path of glory/When misery is all you see.”  This comes across as a statement about someone who serves no matter what.  As if that doesn’t infer that tribute enough, Voss-Schoen seems to drive the message home even more as he writes, “Under fire and attack/You hear a never-ending battle cry/the unsung hero stands alone/Waiting for the day to die.”  Soldiers, warriors, are those unsung heroes who give that protection even with misery all around them.  Keeping that in mind, one can’t help but figure Voss-Schoen was indeed paying tribute to those men and women who put it all on the line (including their own lives) to protect freedom and the free.  Sure, it’s not the first time that any act has ever crafted a song that seems to pay tribute to the military.  Even with that in mind, it still is just as moving and powerful here as in any other case.  It’s just one of the songs included in this album that points at the importance of the record’s lyrical content.  ‘Everest,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another example of the importance of the record’s lyrical themes.

Also penned by Voss-Schoen, ‘Everest,’ seems to use Mount Everest as a metaphor for something far deeper.  This is inferred as Voss-Schoen writes, “Holy mountain in the east/High up there where spirits meet/And the shiny clear horizon/Pretends to be the one/Find your destination/Now your trip has just begun/If you knew there was no tomorrow/Would you climb up to the sky?”  It’s as if he is writing here about someone trying to reach something perhaps unattainable and whether someone would try to attain that unattainable goal.  This is especially the case as Voss-Schoen writes in the song’s second verse that reaching Everest’s peak is called by some a “victory of the human spirit/Satisfaction guaranteed.”  He notes that it may be that, though in reality so much might not have been attained.  Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation.  It’s definitely an interesting lyrical work that regardless of what Voss-Schoen was trying to get across, this song certainly adds its own depth to the record’s presentation.  It isn’t the only song that succeeds at creating so much engagement.  ‘Messin’ Around’ is yet another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.

‘Messin’ Around’ is the polar opposite of ‘Everest’ and Warrior’ in regards to its lyrical content.  Where the two aforementioned songs are deep and certain to generate plenty of discussion, ‘Messin’ Around’ comes across as something far more light-hearted.’  Co-crafted this time by Voss-Schoen and Gary Barden, this song is a celebration of life so to speak very much in the vein of Motley Crue.  This applies not only musically, but lyrically, too.  Voss-Schoen and Barden prove that as the pair writes, “Some might say I’m nasty/Some might say I’m a fool/But life’s a fight just to stay alive/So I forgot all the golden rules/The clock goes tick tock tick, tick tock tick/So come on guys, gotta get some action now.”  What more need be written for the song’s message to be pretty obvious?  The song continues, “So I’m cruising down to main street/Checking out the loverly dives/Give me a wall of sound/In this rock and roll town/It’s good to be alive.”  The song continues on lyrically in similar, upbeat fashion, and when that upbeat lyrical vibe is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat musical mood, the whole makes the song in whole another great addition to the record, and more proof of the importance both of the record’s musical and lyrical content.  When this is considered along with the lyrical content of the other songs noted here, and those not directly noted, that material in whole shows clearly the importance of the record’s lyrical themes.  When that importance is considered along with the record’s musical content overall, the two elements do plenty, collectively, to prove again, that indeed, the magic is still with the members of Michael Schenker Fest and that this record is another solid offering from Schenker and company.  Of course, it still is not the last of the record’s most important elements.  The bonus DVD that comes with the record’s expanded edition supports those noted statements, too.

The bonus DVD that comes with the album’s expanded edition is anchored by a lengthy behind the scenes look at the making of Resurrection as well as an interview held ahead of the band’s performance in Japan for its previously released live recording.  Both elements generate their own share of interest in part because of the humility exhibited by each musician.  Each man stresses again and again that there is no ego among the musicians.  That is made clear throughout the making of featurette.  Audiences also learn through this segment, how the album came together, from which vocalist would handle singing duties on which song to how arrangements came together and more.  Schenker even offers his own insight on how Michael Schenker Fest came to be, addressing rumors of band in-fighting with other groups playing into it and other items.  His Japanese interview offers its own interest, too, with Schenker talking about how Kirk Hammett came to be included in the new record and more.  The insights offered through each featurette itself collectively creates its own share of interest, just as does the album’s lyrical and musical content, and in turn insures even more, audiences’ maintained engagement in the album.  When this is considered along with the impact of the record’s musical and lyrical content, the end result is a record that once more proves why it is a solid new effort from Schenker and company, and why it also proves that the magic is indeed still among the group.  Keeping that in mind, the album in whole proves to be a work that fans of Schenker and his fellow musicians are certain to enjoy, and that they will also agree is deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

Michael Schenker Fest’s debut album Resurrection is a strong new effort from famed guitarist Michael Schenker and his fellow longtime musician friends included in the album’s creation.  Because Schenker and his fellow musicians are such good friends, it is obvious in hearing the album’s songs that the magic truly is with each man.  There is a certain magic in the album’s musical and lyrical content, too.  The bonus DVD that comes with the album’s expanded edition does plenty to show how alive that magic is among the musicians, too.  When this is considered along with the album’s musical and lyrical content, the album in whole proves without doubt why it is a welcome new offering from Schenker and company, and why it is arguably one of this year’s top new rock albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Resurrection is available online now along with all of Schenker’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.michaelschenkerfest.com, http://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelSchenkerRocks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MW_Schenker

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Styx Fans Will “Sing” The Praises Of Shaw’s New Live Recording, Despite Its Audio Issues

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Almost 50 years ago, the British hard rock band Deep Purple broke new ground for the rock industry when it partnered with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for the band’s now landmark Concerto for Group and Orchestra recording.  In the near half-century that has passed since that groundbreaking performance and recording, rock bands performing with professional orchestral groups has become an increasingly commonplace occurrence.  Other great names such as Eric Clapton, Yes, Metallica, KISS and others have since gone on to perform with such groups in a live setting.  Styx is one of the most recent of those others, having performed live in 2006 with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra for its live recording, One With Everything.  In 2016, Styx vocalist Tommy Shaw returned to Ohio to mark the 10th anniversary of that performance with a new performance with the same group (made up by then of a new group of young musicians).  That performance with the high school orchestra and chorus was released June 29 of this year through Eagle Rock Entertainment in the form of the new recording Sing for the Day.  Released separately on Blu-ray and CD, the recording is a positive offering despite having one notable problem – its audio.  This problem will be discussed a little later.  That’s because it also boasts its share of positives, beginning with its set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The group’s performance is another of the recording’s most notable positives.  When it is coupled with the set list, the two positives prove the recording to be one that Styx fans will still welcome in their home music libraries.

Styx vocalist Tommy Shaw’s new live recording Sing For The Day is a recording that any Styx fan will welcome in his or her music library.  That is due in part through the recording’s set list.  Composed of 13 songs (and 4 bonus audio tracks), the set list takes audiences through Shaw’s career including his work with Styx, his solo work and even his time as a member of Damn Yankees.  Counting the bonus audio tracks – included only in the recording’s Blu-ray presentation – the set list focuses largely on Shaw’s work with Styx, with eight total Styx songs presented in the set.  Shaw’s solo work is represented with four songs.  That’s including the bonus audio tracks.  The Damn Yankees tracks come in at a count of just two songs while Shaw’s classic tracks with fellow Damn Yankees member Jack Blades sits at the same number.  In all, the set list totals 14 songs and lifts from some of the most notable of Shaw’s works.  In other words, it paints a relatively rich picture of Shaw’s career, which his most devout fans are certain to appreciate.  Something that audiences will really appreciate in taking in the set (at least the audio-visual portion) is that each song is noted specifically on screen with what is known as a “super” to distinctly present each song’s title.  It makes following the show that much easier and more enjoyable.  The performance of those songs is coupled with short interview segments at certain points throughout the concert to add their own interest and insight to the overall experience, thus making the experience that much more enjoyable.  However, they also lead to the discussion of the recording’s one glaring negative – its audio.

As the interview segments and concert segments go back and forth throughout the presentation, the audio level consistently rises and falls between the two elements.  The result is that audiences are forced to constantly adjust the volume on their TVs.  This applies even for audiences watching on home theater systems, but should not be a factor.  It’s a rare instance in which an Eagle Rock recording has suffered from an audio issue.  Even within the concert segments themselves, there are moments in which audiences will find themselves having to make minor, yet constant, adjustments to the volume.  While it doesn’t make the recording in whole unwatchable, it can’t be denied that this issue does detract from the overall viewing experience in this instance.  Again, while it is an undeniable problem for the recording, it is not so bad that it makes the recording unwatchable.  Keeping that in mind, there is at least one more positive to discuss here – the group’s overall performance.

The energy in the group’s performance, which is addressed in one of the concert’s companion interview segments, is evident throughout the concert both from Shaw and his teen counterparts.  That applies both as the kids play and as they add visuals to songs such as ‘Boat on the River’ and ‘Renegade.’  The smiles on the young musicians’ faces, and the power in each song shows that the group in whole truly enjoyed taking part in the performance.  Even with the recording’s audio issues, that enjoyment could be heard just as well as it could be seen.  It translates that well overall on screen from the highest moments, such as at the end of ‘Renegade,’ when Shaw is joined on stage by a young violin soloist for a riveting conclusion to that song and in a more emotional moment such as the whole of ‘Boat on the River.’  Between those notable moments and so many others throughout this concert, the performance put in by the group in whole offers just as much to appreciate as the show’s rich set list.  When those two elements are coupled, they make the recording in whole well worth the watch, even with the constant up and down of the audio between the concert and interview segments.  Keeping this in mind, the recording in whole still proves to be another welcome addition to any Styx fan’s home music library.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new Styx/Tommy Shaw live recording Sing for the Day is a live recording that any Styx fan will appreciate.  That is proven in part through a set list that reaches deep into vocalist Tommy Shaw’s rich career, including his time with Styx, Damn Yankees and even his solo work.  Counting the four bonus audio-only tracks, the recording’s total set list equals out to 14 songs from that rich catalog.  Shaw’s performance with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra is one that is full of energy and emotion from start to end.  That energy and emotion is certain to keep audiences just as engaged as the concert’s set list.  The one negative to the whole thing is the constant up and down of the volume between the concert and interview segments.  Audiences should not have to have remote in hand so as to constantly increase and decrease the volume throughout the recording.  It isn’t enough to make the recording unwatchable, but does detract from the recording’s overall presentation.  Even with that in mind, the combination of the group’s performance and the show’s set list is still just enough to make the recording a welcome addition to any Styx fan’s home music library.  It is available now on separate Blu-ray and CD platforms.  More information on Sing for the Day is available online now along with all of the latest Styx and Tommy Shaw news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.styxworld.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/styxtheband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/STYXtheband

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mushroomhead Pays Tribute To ‘Evil Dead’ With New Video

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

Veteran metal act Mushroomhead released a new video this past weekend.

The video, which features guest vocals from Jackie Laponza of Unsaid Fate, is a companion piece for the band’s single ‘We Are The Truth‘ — originally included in the band’s 2014 album The Righteous and the Butterfly — and is included in the band’s forthcoming DVD Volume III.  The new video pays tribute to the cult favorite 1981 movie Evil Dead.  Because of the video’s content, viewer discretion is advised.

The band’s new video was a completely DIY effort, shot on sets that the band built itself in the band’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.  Founding member Steve “Skinny” Felton expressed his thoughts on the video, saying he was proud of the final product.

“As you can imagine, the entire Mushroomhead camp is heavily into horror films,” Felton said.  “So, we decided to do an Evil Dead tribute.  Dr. F., Stitch and myself were responsible for all set designs.  I think the end result is very creepy and a lot of fun.”

Volume III is currently scheduled to be released August 17 via Megaforce Records.  In celebration of its release, Mushroomhead will launch a tour in support of the new release the same day in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The nearly month-long tour is scheduled to run through September 15 in Chicago, Illinois and to include performances in Seattle, Washington; Houston, Texas; Virginia Beach, Virginia and a number of other cities.

The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

The Summer of Screams tour line-up:
MUSHROOMHEAD
Powerman 5000 (9-2 to 9-15)
The Browning
Psychostick (8-17 to 8-31)
Kissing Candice
Unsaid Fate
Voodoo Terror Tribe (8-17 to 8-30)/Earth Caller (8-31 to 9-15)
The Summer of Screams tour dates:
8-17 Indianapolis, IN – Emerson Theater
8-18 Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater
8-19 Toronto, ON – Rockpile West
8-21 Manchester, NH – Bungalow
8-22 Poughkeepsie, NY – The Chance
8-23 Virginia Beach, VA – Shaka’s
8-24 Spartanburg, SC – Groundzero
8-25 Huntsville, AL – Sidetracks Music Hall
8-26 New Orleans, LA – Southport Music Hall
8-28 Houston, TX – Houston Underground
8-29 Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live
8-30 Laredo, TX – Ethos Live
8-31 Fort Worth, TX – The Rail Club
9-2 Los Angeles, CA – 1720
9-4 Orangevale, CA – The Boardwalk
9-5 Portland, OR – Dante’s
9-6 Seattle, WA – El Corazon
9-7 Billings, MT – Pub Station
9-8 Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
9-9 Denver, CO – Roxy Theater
9-11 Merriam, KS – Aftershock
9-12 Waterloo, IA – Spicoli’s
9-13 Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre
9-14 Ringle, WI – Q & Z Expo Center
9-15 Chicago, IL – Patio Theater

More information on Mushroomhead’s new video, tour schedule, new DVD and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.mushroomhead.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mushroomheadofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mushroomhead

 

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Deep Set List, Solid Sound Production, Band Performance Form A Solid Foundation For ‘Live Over Europe’

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Veteran progressive rock outfit Fates Warning has been entertaining audiences the world over for almost forty years, having originally formed in 1982.  In the three decades-plus since the band’s formation, it has seen numerous changes in lineups and labels, yet still managed to release so far, a total of 12 full-length studio recordings.  The most recent of those recordings was 2016’s Theories of Flight, which was released via InsideOut Music.  Interestingly enough, the band has only released three (yes, three) live albums.  Though it has released a handful of live DVDs  The most recent of those live albums was released just late last month – June 29 to be precise – in the form of the 2CD recording Live Over Europe.  The recording’s 23-song set list, which forms the foundation of its presentation, was culled from the band’s extensive European tour in support of Theories of Flight.  That set list will be discussed shortly.  While the recording has been made available only on CD instead of DVD/BD, one can still garner much from the band’s performance, just not as much as could be taken from a full audio-visual experience.  That being the case, the band’s performance of the featured songs bears its own importance to the recording’s presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  Also despite the recording’s limited presentation, its production also should be considered, and will be later, too.  Each element noted here is important in its own right to the overall presentation of Live Over Europe.  All things considered, they make this recording another welcome offering for the most devout Fates Warning fans, regardless of those fans’ opportunities to experience the band live in person.

Fates Warning’s brand new live recording Live Over Europe is a welcome addition to the music library of the band’s most devout fans.  This applies regardless of said fans’ chances of experiencing the band firsthand. This is proven in part through the recording’s extensive set list.  Composed of 23 tracks, the set list paints a rich picture of the band’s life.  Given, it’s not necessarily a career-defining or spanning recording, but it certainly does do a good job of presenting the band’s history.  It reaches all the way back to the band’s fourth album, 1988’s No Exit and all the way up to Theories of Flight (2016).  Every album between that pair is also represented, including the band’s landmark 1997 album A Pleasant Shade of Grey, the equally talked about 1991 record Parallels and of course FWX (2004) among others.  Why the band’s first three albums – Night on Brocken (1984), The Spectre Within (1985) and Awaken The Guardian (1986) – were omitted in this recording’s featured set list is anyone’s guess.  That aside, the set list presented here is still a healthy sampling of the band’s catalog, showing where the band has been and how far it has come and changed since its infancy.  Keeping that in mind, the foundation formed through the recording’s set list is strong to say the very least.  Strengthening that foundation even more is the band’s performance of the featured songs.

In regards to the band’s performance, interpreting said performance here requires a certain extra attention as audiences have to interpret that performance from an audio-only presentation versus a full audio-visual experience.  Longtime front man Ray Alder’s vocals are just as powerful throughout this recording as they have ever been.  The depth of the emotions in each song translates relatively well thanks to his vocal talents.  Mark Zonder, who has handled drumming duties for Fates Warning for several years is just as solid throughout each song, adding his own touch to each composition’s impact.  His work handling the polyrhythmic patterns of ‘One’ clearly supports that statement.  The verses present some rather difficult patterns, yet Zonder makes handling those patterns seem so easy.  Meanwhile, the guitar/bass team of Jim Matheos, Frank Aresti and Joey Vera gets its own moment to truly shine on ‘The Light and Shade of Things,’ too.  The brooding bass and guitar combo that opens the song shows just as much, the band’s ability to convey power in subtlety just as much as through much harder rocking moments.  As the song builds, so does the power from the band overall, and in turn listeners’ engagement is insured even more.  It’s one more moment that shows the band’s full commitment to entertaining audiences, and the success therein.  ‘Wish,’ which comes immediately after ‘The Light and Shade of Things,’ does just as much to exhibit each band member’s talents, and at the same time, each man’s solid performance, as it also starts with that brooding intro before building to a powerful climax and finale.  It’s just one more way in which the band’s performance shines through in this recording, even with the recording having been presented only in audio format versus audio-visual.  Much the same can be said of so many other moments throughout this recording including ‘And Yet It Moves,’ with its full-on power metal assault, ‘The Eleventh Hour,’ with its 80s metal style arrangement and the absolutely moving acoustic approach of ‘Falling.’  Between each of these songs and the others more directly addressed here, it becomes clear how dedicated the band was throughout its tour, to entertaining its audiences.  Even in an audio-only setting, that dedication translates very well from start to end.  That dedication strengthens even more, the foundation established through the recording’s set list.  The two elements together do more than enough to make this recording another offering that Fates Warning fans will appreciate.  Even with this in mind, there is still more to note in examining the recording’s whole.  That final element is its production.

The production of Fates Warning’s new live album Live Over Europe deserves its share of applause.  That is because of the balance between the vocals and the instruments in each performance.  It would have been nice to know the size of the venues where each song was recorded.  That’s because it adds a certain amount of appreciation to the work put into balancing the sound.  Even without knowing the size of the venues, one can tell certain efforts were taken to make sure that each performance translated as best as possible in each song.  That includes those responsible for on-site sound management and those who handled the sound in post production.  To that end, hearing these songs on CD is almost as good as being there in person if not as good.  With any luck, this recording will eventually be complimented by a companion DVD and/or BD release to show even more clearly the work put in to balance the vocals and instruments in each performance while also accenting the venues’ sizes.  When this is considered along with the band’s performances and the featured songs, the whole of the elements makes this audio-only presentation of Fates Warning live, an experience that fans will appreciate.  Again, it would have been nice to have had an audio visual experience to compliment it, but even without that element, it’s still one that said fans will enjoy.

Fates Warning’s latest live recording Live Over Europe is an impressive collection of live performances from a group that is one of the most respected names in the progressive rock and metal community.  It’s hardly the band’s first live recording, what with two other live recordings and a handful of live DVDs and Blu-rays.  Recorded during the band’s most recent tour across Europe, this extensive 23-song set gives both the most seasoned and the least seasoned fans alike a healthy listen to the band’s catalog.  The band’s performance is just as critical to the compilation.  It strengthens the recording’s foundation even more.  The audio production in this recording puts the final touch to its presentation.  Each element is key in its own way to the recording’s whole.  All things considered, they make Live Over Europe a live recording that any of Fates Warning’s fans will appreciate.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Live Over Europe is available now online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.fateswarning.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FatesWarning

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fateswarning

 

 

 

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