Blacktop Mojo’s New LP Is Set To “Burn” Up The Mainstream Rock Radio Realm

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

This time next week, Blacktop Mojo and its fans will be only a week away from the release of the band’s latest full-length studio recording Burn The Ships.  For those unfamiliar with the Palestine, TX-based band, it is a good fit for anyone that is a fan of Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Theory of a Deadman, Zakk Wylde and all of his various projects.  From start to finish, this record is set to *ahem* burn up the mainstream rock radio realm with its infectious, guitar-driven arrangements and equally interesting lyrical content.  The record’s hard rocking second song ‘End Of Days’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  It will be discussed shortly.  The much more reserved, yet heavy in its own right ‘Prodigal’ supports that statement in its own right.  The band’s own take on Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream On’ even serves to support that statement, too.  Between these songs and the album’s other ten songs, the whole of this record shows Blacktop Mojo to have great potential.  They show in whole that given the right support from mainstream rock radio, Blacktop Mojo could be one of the realm’s next big names.  They also show this album to be one of the year’s top new hard rock records as well as one of the year’s top new independent albums.

Blacktop Mojo’s new album Burn The Ships, its sophomore release, is one of this critic’s choices for the year’s top new hard rock records and new independent albums.  That is thanks to its mainstream accessibility, even being an independent act. Independent here, should be clarified, to mean not signed to a major label.  It does not necessarily mean independent in the unsigned sense.  From start to finish, it proves to be an album that is primed to “burn” up the mainstream radio realm.  ‘End of Days,’ the record’s second song is a strong example of what makes this album such a “hot” (yes, that awful pun was intended, too) new effort from Blacktop Mojo.  That is due in part to the song’s arrangement.  The hard-hitting, guitar-driven composition instantly conjures thoughts of Theory of a Deadman’s heavier works.  That is only one part of what makes the song so interesting. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as the song’s musical arrangement. Front man Matt James sings in the song’s lead verse, “Has it all been an empty gesture/Has it all been a waste of time/World’s spinning into certain disaster/We never figured out the meaning of life/Don’t wait/To say/What’s on your mind/Don’t take/It with you/Leave it behind.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “There’s a fire in the sky/There’s chaos in the air tonight/Stay with me…sit back and watch the end of days.”  Taking this all into consideration, one can’t help but interpret the song, lyrically, as a statement of the world’s current state of affairs.  The song’s second verse proves that just as much as James clearly sings about the events of September 11, 2011.  It should be noted here, too, that his statements in the second verse are not meant to do anything but add to the statement of the direction this world—not just America—is taking.  When such content is set against the driving energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the pairing of the two elements makes this song stand out clearly among BTS’ other songs.  They join to prove the song to be a clear example of what makes this record such a worthwhile new effort from Blacktop Mojo.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that exhibits what makes the record so impressive overall.  ‘Prodigal’ serves just as much to show what makes BTS stand out in this year’s field of new rock and hard rock records.

‘End of Days’ is a clear example of what makes Blacktop Mojo’s new record Burn The Ships an impressive new effort.  That is due to the combination of the song’s driving, guitar-centered musical arrangement and its thought-provoking lyrical theme.  The combination of the two elements makes it just one example of what makes the song (and album) stand out.  It is just one of the songs that so clearly shows where this record gets its *ahem* fire (yes, that awful pun was intended, too).  ‘Prodigal,’ with its far more reserved, yet still heavy arrangement and lyrical theme, stands on its own merits.  The song is a deeply contemplative work that harkens back to similar works from both Theory of a Deadman and Black Stone Cherry.  This is especially true in examining the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical theme seems, at least to this critic, as a coming-of-age story of sorts.  That interpretation was made through James singing in the song’s lead verse, “Don’t call me/The prodigal son/Cause I ain’t comin’ back/I’ll make it/On my own/Let me walk my own path/And don’t worry/About me/I’ve got everything I need/I’m gonna see the world/through my own eyes/Climb the mountain, see the sky/Across the stars on the other side.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “One of these days I won’t be around/I’ll rip my roots up from the ground/With wings of feathers…I’ll fly toward the sun/’Till they melt from my back.”  James continues on in similar fashion in the song’s second half, singing from the vantage point of a figure striking out on his or her own.  It is not one of those standard “oh woe is me” sort of songs, either.  But the mixed emotion of a person wanting and needing to grow and be one’s own person is there.  It is especially illustrated through the song’s musical arrangement.  When that emotionally powerful arrangement is coupled with the song’s deeply moving lyrical theme, the two elements together make this song heavy without being heavy.  That heavy without heavy presentation makes the song stand out from its counterparts just as much as ‘End of Days.’  It also serves to show even more why this record stands out in this year’s field of new rock and hard rock entries.  It shows the band’s ability to entertain audiences while not just sticking to one style of song.  It is just one more song that shows the band’s breadth of talent and influences.  The band’s take on Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream One’ is one more of the album’s inclusions that shows what makes this record stand out.

‘End of Days’ and ‘Prodigal’ are both prime examples of what makes Blacktop Mojo’s new record Burn The Ships stand out as one of this year’s top new hard rock records and one of its best new independent albums.  They show the band’s range in terms of its talent and influence—one song is heavy both musically and lyrically while the other is heavy musically without being heavy, and is also heavy lyrically.  While both songs show in their own ways what makes this album stand out, they are only two out of so many songs that show how much the band and album have to offer.  The band’s cover of Aerosmith’s timeless classic ‘Dream One’ is just one more of the songs included in this record that serves to show how much the band and album offer listeners.  The arrangement presented by the band here is one of the most powerful renditions that any band has presented to date.  It boasts the same moving vibe evident in the original rock ballad, but also infuses its own hard rock edge into the song here to add even more to the song’s impact.  That harder edge even gives the song’s lyrical theme its own new identity.  That in turn makes the song all the more powerful of a composition, showing once more just how much this new record from Blacktop Mojo has to offer audiences.  Between this cover of a true classic, the other songs noted here and the album’s other 10 tracks, this album in whole proves to be one that hard rock fans everywhere should hear at least once.  In doing do, those fans will agree that this record is indeed set to “burn” up the mainstream rock radio realm given the right support.  They will also agree that this record is an easy pick for one of this year’s top new hard rock records as well as one of the year’s top new independent recordings.

Blacktop Mojo’s latest full-length studio effort Burn The Ships is an easy pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records and one of the year’s top new independent albums.  That is exhibited both through the record’s musical arrangements—which conjure thoughts of Fuel, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman, Zakk Wylde and Black Stone Cherry just to name a handful of more well-known acts—and the record’s lyrical themes.  From start to finish, both elements will keep listeners engaged in every song.  That includes the band’s cover of Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On.’  After taking in the 13 songs that make up the record’s body, listeners will agree, once more, that Burn The Ships is an easy pick for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records and the year’s top new independent albums.  They will also agree in taking in this album that given the right support, Blacktop Mojo is primed to be one of mainstream rock radio’s next big names.  Burn The Ships will be available March 10 in stores and online.  More information on Burn The Ships is available online now along with all of Blacktop Mojo’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.blacktopmojo.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blacktopmojo

 

 

 

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Perry: “No Truth” To Recent Aerosmith Rumor

Courtesy:  MSO PR

Courtesy: MSO PR

Rumors have allegedly been running rampant around the fate of veteran rock band Aerosmith.  The alleged rumors have centered on whether or not the band has been looking to replace long-time front man Steven Tyler.  It would seem that the rumors likely heated up upon the announcement of Tyler’s upcoming “Out On A Limb Tour.’  It isn’t the first time that rumors have swirled surrounding the band’s fate, either.  Tyler’s stint on Fox’s American Idol stirred rumors, too as did events both before and after.  In response to the latest rumors Tyler’s band mates have spoken out.

Joe Perry outright denied the rumors saying, “There’s absolutely no truth to a story circulating that Aerosmith is looking for a new singer.”  He added, “Any rumor out there about us looking for another singer is completely untrue. All five of us were just on the phone together talking about how excited we are to go to South America and Mexico City.” These tour dates run from September 29-October 27.

 

More information on the situation is available online now along with more news and more from Aerosmith at:

 

 

Website: http://www.aerosmith.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Aerosmith

 

 

Aerosmith’s latest studio recording is 2012’s Music From Another Dimension.  Late last year the band released its latest live recording Aerosmith Rocks Donington via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

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.

Veteran Acts Dominate 2015’s Top New Live DVD/BD Recordings List

This week marks the last full week of 2015. It’s a little tough to grasp that there are only eleven days left in the year. But it’s almost time to bid a fond farewell to this year. And even as the year’s final days tick away, there is still plenty of work left to do in turns of examining the top titles from the entertainment world. Phil’s Picks has already done quite a bit of that, delving into the top titles of the music world’s top titles. There’s still some ground to cover in that realm while beginning to transfer over into the year’s top new DVDs and Blu-rays in each of their different own areas. Keeping that in mind, what better way to start making that transfer than to look today at the year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. The year’s best new live CDs have already been tackled. And as previously explained, in many cases, some DVDs and Blu-rays are actually released separate from their audio-only counterparts even today, and vice versa. That justifies a separate category for the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays. That being the case, here, for your reading pleasure dear readers, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays. As always, the Top 10 titles make up the main body of the list while the bottom five are no less important. They each receive honorable mention for a total of fifteen titles. Enough rambling. Here, again, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS AND BLU-RAYS

  1. SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS – LIVE AT THE ROXY 09.25.14

 

  1. TESSERACT – SCALA

 

  1. AEROSMITH – AEROSMITH ROCKS DONINGTON

 

  1. GEORGE STRAIT – THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY

 

  1. THE WHO – LIVE AT HYDE PARK

 

  1. SHANIA TWAIN – STILL THE ONE: LIVE IN VEGAS

 

  1. ERIC CLAPTON – SLOWHAND AT 70: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

 

  1. THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE IN LEEDS 1982

 

  1. THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE AT THE TOKYO DOME 1990

 

  1. LYNYRD SKYNYRD – PRONOUNCED L LEH-NERD SKIN-NERD & SECOND HELPING

 

  1. PAT METHENY – UNITY SESSIONS

 

  1. WHITECHAPEL – BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE

 

  1. TASTE – WHAT’S GOING ON: LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT

 

  1. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK

 

  1. DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES – LIVE IN DUBLIN

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.

Lady A’s Latest Live Recording Will Have Fans’ Hands Up And Clapping

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

This past October, superstar country music act Lady Antebellum wrapped its “Wheels Up Tour.” The tour, which was in support of its latest full-length studio recording, 2014’s 747, spanned a total of sixty-six dates, eight countries including the United States, Canada, and select European nations, and garnered a total revenue of more than six million dollars. That means that thousands of fans across the world got to see this platinum-selling and Grammy Award-winning country act. However, just as many fans didn’t get to see the trio. That is because as many did get to see the trio perform, its global tour only visited a select group of nations. Its North American tour was far more far-reaching. Last month though, the band teamed up with Eagle Rock Entertainment to give even more fans the chance to see the band perform with the release of its new live recording Wheels Up Tour. There is plenty for fans to appreciate about this performance, originally recorded at the band’s June 27th performance in Irvine, California beginning with the concert’s overall presentation. Audiences get here more than just another run-of-the-mill concert recording. Audiences get to see the band’s concert as well as vignettes featuring fans in attendance and the band’s interaction with said fans before the concert. The show’s set list is just as important to the whole of the recording if not more so. The band’s stage presence is one more important part of the recording’s whole but hardly the last. The concert’s production values are also an important part of the recording’s presentation. Together with the previously noted elements, the presentation of Wheels Up Tour shows in whole to be yet another impressive live recording from Lady Antebellum and more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Eagle Rock Entertainment has shown time and time again why it is the leading name in live recordings. It has done so with the release of live recordings from a number of different acts that span the musical universe and with recordings that give audiences the best seat in the house whether or not those audiences were able to be in attendance at the concerts featured in the given recordings. Now with the release of Lady Antebellum’s latest live recording, Wheels Up Tour, it has continued to hold that mantle with strength and pride. The third full-length live recording that the band has released via Eagle Rock Entertainment, this recording is another impressive piece from the two parties first and foremost through its general presentation. The concert presented here is not just a standard, run-of-the-mill concert recording. Instead of just giving audiences the concert, the recording also features vignettes featuring the band’s fans as well as the band and its interaction with its fans outside of the concert. Audiences will be interested to learn of the dedication of some fans. One group of fans, audiences will discover, drove about three days just to see the band’s show. That’s dedication. In another vignette, audiences see the band invite a young lady “up on stage” in a pre-show performance in which the young lady gets to actually perform on her own for both the audience in attendance and for the band. This isn’t just a performance with the band but actually by herself as the band and audience watch. There’s a certain genuine vibe from the band that audiences will appreciate in seeing that genuine respect for fans from the band. At the same time, the love that the fans have for the band is just as pleasant to see. The solid editing between the band’s performance and the recording’s companion vignettes makes the presentation in whole one that entertain audiences from beginning to end and in the same vein will keep them just as engaged.

The general presentation of Lady A’s Wheels Up Tour is in itself plenty of reason for the trio’s fans to add this latest recording to their home music libraries and DVD/Blu-ray collections. It is just one reason that audiences will enjoy this recording. The show’s set list is another important part of the recording’s presentation. The twenty-song set list covers all five of the band’s current albums. Yes, there are six total releases, but one of them is a holiday collection, thus leading the count to actually be five if that makes any sense. What is really interesting about this is of those twenty-songs, the band’s 2010 sophomore album Need You Now is most heavily represented with a total of five tracks. Those tracks are: ‘Perfect Day,’ ‘Hello World, ‘Need You Now,’ ‘Our Kind of Love,’ and ‘American Honey.’ 747, which the tour was supporting, is represented here by four songs. The band’s 2008 self-titled debut is represented with only three songs as is 2011’s Own The Night. Golden gets two nods for a total of eighteen songs. There are also three covers–Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ ‘Aerosmith and Run DMC’s ‘Walk This Way,’ and Shania Twain’s ‘Any Man of Mine’–included in the show for a total of twenty songs. Considering the spread of songs featured in this recording audiences will appreciate just how much of the band’s catalogue is covered here. Add in the mix of covers included in the set, it shows that the band listens, obviously, to more than just other country acts. In turn it might even get audiences that might otherwise not listen to those acts into said acts. To that effect, the set list featured in Wheels Up Tour proves to be just as important to its overall presentation as the band’s performance. It still is not the only remaining important element worth noting in this recording. The band’s stage presence is just as important to note.

The set list that makes up the body of Wheels Up Tour and the overall presentation of the recording contained therein are both equally important to the whole of the recording. While both elements are equally important in their own right to the whole of the recording they are just not all that should be noted. The band’s stage presence couples with the concert’s production values to round out the recording’s most important elements. Audiences will be impressed by the band’s stage presence because of its energy throughout. The trio and its backing musicians give their all throughout the show. And it shows quite well even on the small screen. That clear translation of said energy is thanks to the work of those behind the concert’s cameras and audio boards. The venue’s rather large size allows for plenty of great shots. And the camera crew utilized every one of them, capturing every bit of the band’s energy and the love and energy given by the audience in return. The audio is just as impressive considering the venue’s size. The concert’s audio engineers expertly handled the challenges presented by the venue’s size. They captured the venue’s size by balancing the sound of the trio singing without losing the trio’s vocals in all of its echoing through the concert hall. Also balanced within that element was the crows noise. It complements the audio not just from the trio but its backing musicians, too. The end result of the expert camera work and audio engineering is a concert that captures Lady Antebellum’s enjoyable stage presence quite well. And together with the show’s set list and general presentation of the concert in all of its facets, Wheels Up Tour shows in the end to be yet another must have for any of the trio’s fans. It also proves to be yet an impressive companion to the trio’s previous pair of recordings released via Eagle Rock Entertainment as well as more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Lady Antebellum’s Wheels Up Tour live recording is another impressive recording released by the partnership between the trio and Eagle Rock Recording. The third of the band’s live recordings to be released via Eagle Rock Entertainment, it features a concert that is more than just a concert. It actually takes audiences behind the scenes before and during the concert showing why the trio’s fans are so dedicated to the group and why the connection between the two parties is so strong. The set list, which covers all five of the group’s albums so far adds even more reason for fans to add this recording to their respective music libraries and DVD/Blu-ray collections. The combined stage presence by Lady Antebellum and its clear translation via the work of those behind the lenses and audio boards rounds out the presentation, showing once more why any Lady Antebellum fan will appreciate this new recording from the superstar country act. Wheels Up Tour is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EalgeRockNews

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.

Chad Smith Lends His Talents To SAD’s Upcoming Debut LP

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Independent rock band Screaming at Demons recently introduced itself to the world in a big way when it partnered with the nationally known charity group Homeless Rock Stars. The band combined the video for its new song ‘Rock Star’ with footage from a Homeless Rock Stars event to make an emotionally moving and powerful to help raise money for the organization and introduce itself to the music community at large at the same time. Now the band has taken another huge step in getting its name out there. The band has enlisted the help of one of the most talented and respected drummers in the music community today to help record a pair of songs for its upcoming debut record.

Screaming at Demons announced this week that it has enlisted famed drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot) to record the drums for two of the songs to be included in the band’s upcoming album. Those songs are ‘Our Time’ and ‘All Of Me.’ Smith’s inclusion on the album, which currently has no set release date, is rooted in his friendship with AD bassist Chris Clemmence. Having previously performed live with Smith, Clemmence had a first hand understanding of and appreciation for Smith’s work behind the kit, leading to Clemmence asking Smith to lend his talents to the band’s new record. When asked about those talents, Clemmence responded telling reporters, “Chad is a legend and phenomenal powerhouse of a drummer. We are beyond honored to have him play on our two new upcoming singles. His feel and groove have brought our songs to a new level. We are so lucky to have him as well as an all-star team working on our music.”

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Photo Credit: Thierry Brouard

Currently, Screaming at Demons is hard at work on its upcoming album. The album is being mixed by five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Chris Lord-Alge. Alge is no stranger to the music community and obviously to success within that community having those awards to his name. The roster of bands with which he has worked over the course of his career says plenty of his expertise behind the boards. That list includes the likes of: Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Cher, Bon Jovi, Seal, Meatloaf, Three Days Grace, Aerosmith, Shinedown, Deftones, and countless others.  Alge was asked by reporters his thoughts on working with SAD.  his response showed just how excited he is to work with front man Shimon Moore and fellow SAD band mates Russell Ali and Chris Clemmence.  He had only positive things to say of working with the band, noting of the group, “A new level of excitement is coming from these boys and they are giving back to people in need and making music that instantly makes you wanna be a part of it!”  While fans wait for Alge, and the members of SAD to finish the band’s new album, they can check out the band’s video for its inspirational and infectious song ‘Rock Star.’ It can be viewed online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0g7QiwkAe4&feature=youtu.be. Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest updates from the studio and all of the band’s latest news online at:

Website: http://screamingatdemons.com

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

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.

Strait Rides Away In Style In His Final Live Performance

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Legendary country musician George Strait’s days on the road are officially over. On June 7, 2014, the man known lovingly within the country music world as “The King of Country” wrapped the final leg of his tour fittingly dubbed “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.” The tour wrapped at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It should be noted that while the show marked the end of his days on the road, it didn’t mark the end of his recording career. Of course Judas Priest’s members said the same thing some years ago and look how that turned out. So time will tell if he has indeed parked his tour bus for the last time. Regardless, Strait’s fans and country music fans in general can now own that landmark concert for themselves thanks to the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment. The leading name in live recordings, Eagle Rock Entertainment released The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium late this summer exclusively on DVD and digital formats. It goes without saying that whether one is a fan of the country music royalty, a fan of real country music or a little of both, this recording is a must for each. The central reason for that is the show’s extensive forty-song set list, which runs just short of three hours. Strait’s stage presence and that of his fellow country artists is another reason that fans will enjoy this recording. Last but hardly least worth noting is the concert’s production values. Even on DVD its production values are top-notch. They make the show’s near three-hour run time well worth it both in regards to the show’s set list and the performers’ stage presence. All things told, The Cowboy Rides Away Live From AT&T Stadium proves in the end to be a recording that every George Strait fan will enjoy just as much as any fan of real country music.

The Cowboy Rides Away Live from AT&T Stadium is a must have for any George Strait fan and any fan of real country music. So much can be said as to why this is the case. Jumping right in, the central reason for its success is its extensive forty-song set list. Covering so much ground it can be said of the near three-hour performance that it is one of those rare live shows released in recent years that is truly deserving of being called career-spanning. What’s more the very fact that Strait opted for such a rich set list is in itself groundbreaking. That is because few if any other acts out there past or present have ever released single performance recordings with so many songs. Even acts such as The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, The Who, and others have never released such an expansive single-show recording. That in itself speaks volumes about this recording. That every featured song is a fan favorite says even more. One of the bet of the show’s best is ‘Murder on Music Row,’ which he performs here with fellow veteran artist Alan Jackson. There’s a lot of truth in that song. Real country music is hard to find nowadays. There seems to be more southern rock and pop country out there today than real, pure country. On a different note (no pun intended) ‘I Saw God Today’ is another of the show’s best moments. The tender ballad sung from the vantage point of a new parent will bring a smile (and tears) to every fan’s face. The all-star performance of his classic hit ‘All My Ex’s Live In Texas’ is one more of the show’s best moments. It’s obvious that the performers had just as much fun performing the song as did the audience singing along. What’s more seeing so many great names representing country’s past, present, and future on one stage essentially honoring one of country’s greatest names of all time gives this performance even more of a special meaning. It’s just one of so many examples of the importance of the show’s songs in the big picture of the show’s set list. Of course the songs chosen for this show are just one part of what makes the set list in whole so important to the recording’s overall positive impact. The ordering of the songs is just as important as the songs themselves.

The songs that make up the concert’s set list make more than enough reason for Strait’s fans and real country fans alike to watch this recording. However, they are only one part of the set list that makes it so important to the whole of the recording. The ordering of the songs is just as pivotal to the show’s enjoyment as the songs themselves. Audiences will be quite impressed in taking in this concert to note the balance of its more upbeat moments with its softer, more emotional moments. From one song to the next Strait and company build the show’s energy and pull it back at just the right points from beginning to end. The end result is a near three-hour performance that will keep fans at home just as engaged as those that were in attendance at the concert’s taping. The mix of that smart sequencing with song after song that every fan will enjoy makes this concert one that even being Strait’s last live show potentially ever is one that fans will want to watch again and again.

The set list chosen for Strait’s final show and its sequencing make for more than enough reason for any George Strait fan and real country music fan alike to watch this recording. They are just a small part of the whole that makes the concert so enjoyable. Strait’s stage performance (and that of his guests) plays its own important role in the concert’s overall effect. Throughout the course of the concert, Strait maintains an almost unassuming demeanor. It could be argued that it actually presents Strait as having this full sense of humility. He doesn’t try to run around the stage and put on a certain kind of persona. it is more along the lines of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get persona. It’s nice to see such a humble persona. Believe it or not it adds quite a bit to the concert’s overall effect on fans. By contrast, his guests–of whom includes the likes of Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Eric Church, Martina McBride and others–are more energetic by and large. The juxtaposition of Strait’s stage presence to those of his fellow musicians makes for even more enjoyment. And when coupled with the show’s set list, both elements solidify the reason for fans to add this recording to their own home DVD libraries even more so. The combination of both elements would mean little, though without proper production values–the last of the recording’s positives.

Both the set list chosen for George Strait’s “final” live performance and the stage presence of Strait and his fellow musicians are equally important to the overall effect of this recording. Of course neither would be of any importance without proper production values. Luckily for fans the production values presented in the concert contained herein are of the utmost expertise. Even presented on DVD, it looks and sounds just as good as being there if not better. That could be chalked up just as much to the equipment at Strait’s disposal as those charged with manning the boards for the show. The same can be said of those charged with the show’s audio in post-production. On the side of the show’s video mix, having a slowly circulating stage could not have hurt the camera crew. On the one hand it offered the camera crew and co-directors Danny O’Bryen and Brian Lockwood plenty of options for good shots. That is because the stage was set dead center in the stadium as if it was set up for the Super Bowl’s half time show. The camera crew could shoot from on stage, from the crowd (especially since the stage wasn’t that high above the stadium floor), and from so many other angles. Having so many options and so much talent, the result of the production crew’s work is a concert that gives home viewers an even better seat than those in attendance from beginning to end. And coupled with an audio mix that is just as impressive, Strait’s performance (and that of his guests) coupled with the show’s rich, expansive set list proves to be a concert experience that is a wonderful final performance from a legendary artist should it in fact prove to be his last.

George Strait’s performance from June 7th, 2014 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is largely believed to be the legendary country musician’s final live performance. If indeed it proves years down the road to be his final live performance, then it is a wonderful way for Strait to go out. That is even with Strait claiming that he will still continue to record new music while no longer touring. The show’s rich set list will please every one of his fans as it more than lives up to the honor of being called a career-spanning show. The sequencing of the show’s songs, Strait’s performance (and that of his guests), and the show’s expert production values come together to make the concert whole and one that fans of all ages will enjoy with every watch. It is a wonderful final performance from a legendary artist that even if it is his last, will hopefully not be his last recorded concert to ever be released. The Cowboy Rides Away Live From AT&T Stadium is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

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Aerosmith Rocks Donington And The World On Its New Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Veteran rock band Aerosmith is an anomaly of the music community.  For forty-five years, the Boston, MA-based rock band has been rocking audiences the world over.  What’s more, the band has managed to face every obstacle put before it and stick together as a unit no matter the tumult that has faced its members.  Because the band has faced all of those obstacles and overcome them, it has become known as one of the most prolific acts in not just the rock community but the music community in whole.  And it has proven that yet again with its latest new live recording Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 is one of the best live recordings that Aerosmith has released to date.  That is especially the case with the concert’s 3-LP/DVD combo pack.  It is not the only platform on which the concert will be available upon its release on September 4th.  But it is definitely one of the best platforms on which the recording is available.  That is because it offers audiences the complete concert experience.  The LPs create a wonderful sense of nostalgia both through their sound and packaging.  The DVD adds the full video experience of the concert, giving viewers the full experience.  It is recommended though, that regardless of whether enjoyed on vinyl or on DVD, this concert specifically is enjoyed on a home theater system.  That isn’t to say that those without a home theater system shouldn’t buy this recording.  But audiences that experience the concert will agree to the need for said system.  That’s just one element of the recording that audiences will appreciate.  The show’s set list is just as worth noting.  It runs twenty songs deep and features some of the biggest hits from the band’s decades-long career.  The band’s stage presence throughout its nearly two hour performance makes all the more enjoyable.  It’s incredible to see so much energy from this veteran act’s members four plus decades removed from their first time together.  That energy coupled with the work of the show’s camera crew makes for a performance that translates just as well on screen as it surely must have for audiences that were in attendance at the concert’s taping.  All of these elements assembled together present a clear, vivid picture of a concert that is both one of Aerosmith’s best live recordings to date and one of this year’s best new live recordings overall.  It is just one more example of why today Eagle Rock Entertainment maintains the mantle of the leader in live recordings.
Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 is one of Aerosmith’s best live recordings to date and one of this year’s best new live recordings overall.  There are so many reasons that it earns such recognition that there is not enough time or space to cover them all. So for the sake of this review, we will focus on three of the most notable reasons that it stands out. The first of those reasons is its availability over multiple platforms. One of the best of those platforms is its 3 LP/DVD combo pack. This presentation gives audiences one of the fullest concert experiences possible for this recording. Not only do audiences get the audio portion spread across three double-sided 180 gram LPs but they also get the complete audio/video presentation in the set’s companion DVD. For those fans that are more particular about the format in which they enjoy music, the set’s three double-sided 180-gram LPs are a great part of the set. That is because they serve to really establish a welcome sense of nostalgia especially considering that Aerosmith got its start at a time when vinyl was the only listening option for music. The artwork incorporated both into the double gatefold packaging and that of each LP’s sleeve adds to the enjoyment for those audiences. The packaging presents a great down-angle shot of the band from behind drummer Joey Kramer in the initial opening. From there, the secondary opening presents an even wider shot of the band from the vantage point of the audience. Both shots serve to fully illustrate the magnitude of the show. The LP’s sleeves each present their own bonus as each has a picture of each of the band’s members performing at the show. They aren’t just random publicity shots, but actual shots of the band members performing. There is just something special about that that audiences will enjoy if only for cosmetic reasons.

Regardless of whether or not audiences take in the show on DVD or vinyl, it is recommended that it is enjoyed on a home theater system if at all possible. That is not to say that those without a home theater system won’t be able to enjoy the concert. But thanks to the work of those behind the boards at the show and those charged with handling the audio in post-production, it is clear that a home theater system is the best listening option in this case. The sound is just that full and rich from start to finish. It is a tribute to the work of those noted individuals. The work of the camera crew is a whole other story. The camera crew was right in time with the band, capturing every bit of the show’s energy and highlighting it so well. Their work really makes the band’s energy translate so well even on screen. That will be discussed at more length later. For the moment though, it can be said that the inclusion of the concert on such a full presentation is in itself plenty of reason for audiences to add this set to their home music libraries or to those of their favorite Aerosmith fans.

The presentation of Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 on a full 3 LP/DVD combo pack gives Aerosmith fans of all ages plenty of reason in itself to pick up this recording. It hardly the only reason that fans will want to add it to their personal music libraries, too. Its set list is just as much of a reason that fans will enjoy it. The show’s set list runs twenty songs deep and just shy of the two hour mark. More specifically speaking it runs roughly an hour and forty-five minutes. And that’s just counting the concert. That is not counting any bonus material. The set list could very easily be considered a career-spanning collection of songs featuring quite the variety of songs. Those songs include the likes of: ‘Dream On’ from the band’s self-titled 1973 debut, ‘ Same Old Song and Dance’ from its follow-up, 1974’s Get Your Wings, and the title track from the band’s third album, 1975’s Toys in the Attic among so many others. Simply put, the band pulled from almost all of its now fifteen (yes, fifteen) studio recordings in order to make up the set list for this show. It shows that the band wanted to give fans the fullest concert experience even in this aspect. It succeeded quite well in this avenue, too. And the success didn’t end here, either. The band’s stage presence throughout its rich set list was another success.

Aerosmith’s stage presence throughout its nearly two-hour set at Donington is the proverbial icing on the cake that is the band’s new live recording. It is difficult to put fully into words just how incredible the band’s stage presence is in its performance here. One would think that almost half a century into their time together, the band’s members would be anything but what they were in the band’s heyday. But watching this show, the band performs with the energy of so many of today’s much younger acts. This is especially the case watching front man Steven Tyler running around on stage, jumping on a piano and much more, and lead guitarist Joe Perry strutting all around with the confidence of a much younger man. The core of the band, these two are full of energy. And drummer Joey Kramer even shows quite the stamina through it all as he keeps the band moving. Audiences will be blown away at the band’s energy throughout it all. Even some bands out there today that have been around as long as Aerosmith don’t have the power and energy exhibited here. As noted previously, the work of the people behind the cameras enhances that energy and makes the concert in whole that much more intense for fans. From their pans and zooms to their interesting variety of angles, the shots captured by the camera crew translate so well even on screen. They honestly give fans at home an even better seat than those that were there. On a side note, for all of the band’s energy from start to finish, there is some foul language throughout the show courtesy of Tyler. As a matter of fact there is so much that it is a surprise that the recording didn’t receive a parental advisory warning. Though, on the hand there are no gratuitous shots of topless women at any point. Of course near the show’s end Tyler does throw a comment in the direction of a woman who one can only assume decided to put herself on display for the band. Again audiences don’t actually see said woman. So one can only assume, luckily. All of this in mind, Aerosmith’s stage presence throughout the course of its show completes the concert. They along with the show’s camera crew create an energy that translates perfectly on screen. That, coupled with the show’s extensive set list and its overall presentation in its 3 LP/DVD combo pack make fully clear why it is such an impressive release. It is one more example of why Aerosmith remains today one of the leading bands in both the rock community and the music community in whole. It is also one more example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the rightful leader in live recordings and why the recording in whole is one of the best of the year’s new live recordings overall.

Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 is one of the best of this year’s new live recordings overall. From the multitude of platforms through which it is presented to its extensive set list to the energy exuded by the band from start to finish, the band offers lots of reason for fans to add this recording to their personal music libraries. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

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.