Independent hard rock band Disconnected is doing its part to bring awareness to the planet’s ecological plight.
The band did so last month through its latest single, ‘Life Will Always Find Its Way‘ and its companion video. The song is featured in the band’s forthcoming album, We Are Disconnected. The album is expected for release in 2022, with an exact release date under consideration.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Life Will Always Find Its Way’ is an intense composition that blends elements of metalcore and progressive metal for a whole that is wholly unique. The addition of the symphonic metal elements to the mix makes for its own interest, too.
A brief statement from the band notes that the song’s lyrical theme delivers an ecological message. It reads, “‘Life will always find its way’ is a statement to raise ecological awareness, and the urgency to act. It is a clear shout out for ecology!”
The song’s video helps deliver that message by using visuals, such as the atom bomb exploding, massive tornados and hurricanes decimating cities, flooding, and plastic waste washed up on beaches.
In other news, the band announced Friday, it has been added to the lineup for the 2022 edition of the annual Hellfest festival in Clisson, France. The festival is scheduled to take place June 15-26, and also features performances from bands, such as Guns ‘N Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Megadeth, and Alice Cooper.
It goes without saying that Derek Sherinian, Tony Franklin, and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal are well respected by their peers in the music community. The trio’s collective resume reads like a who’s who of rock. From Sons of Apollo, to Dream Theater, to Alice Cooper, to Guns N’ Roses and more, the trio has worked with many of the industry’s top names. So for the group to join up-and-coming prog wunderkind Thomas Thunder for his debut album, The Pharaoh’s Temple – released today – was an interesting step for the musicians. It says a lot that these accomplished individuals would join forces with a 15 year-old (yes, 15 year-old) in his dream for music stardom. It says that they saw something special in the young drummer. Needless to say that in listening to Thunder’s work with the famed trio on his debut album, his work is impressive in its own right. The record’s already released singles have already proven that true. They are just a sample of what makes his work and that of his more seasoned counterparts so impressive throughout the album, too. ‘Iridescence,’ which serves technically as part of the album’s midpoint (the record consists of nine songs), is another way in which the collective’s work makes the album worth hearing. It will be discussed shortly. ‘King Chronos,’ the record’s penultimate entry, is another key addition to the album and will be discussed a little later. ‘The Voyage,’ which closes out the album, is one more way in which The Pharaoh’s Temple shows its success. When it and the other songs noted here are considered along with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole becomes a strong start for Thomas Thunder and another equally impressive outing for Sherinian, Franklin, and Thal that will appeal to most prog fans.
Thomas Thunder’s debut album, The Pharaoh’s Temple is a positive start for the young, up-and-coming drummer. It is additionally, another enjoyable offering from his more well-known counterparts, Derek Sherinian, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, and Tony Franklin. The record’s current singles make the clear. So do many of the album’s other songs, not the least of which is ‘Iridescence. While the album’s current singles are pure prog, showing influence of Dream Theater and Sons of Apollo, ‘Iridescence’ stands out because it incorporates other influences. The nearly four-minute opus opens with a drum fill by Thunder, brooding keyboard and equally steady bass and guitar from Franklin and Thal that takes audiences back to the 80s. Speaking of Thunder, at only 15, his talents on the drums are clear. His fills, his ability to keep time, and add just the right flare at all of the right moments is impressive. It is enough to put even some older drummers (this drummer included) to shame. The collective’s work points to a bit of the big hair ballads of that age before taking on more of a pure prog approach as the song progresses. From there, the group takes another even more dramatic turn, opting instead for a blues-based rock approach a la Deep Purple. It makes for such a stark contrast to the other influences. Yet at the same time the contrast is well-balanced. It makes the song all the more interesting. By the song’s end, it will leave listeners fulfilled through that display of well-balanced influences. It is just one of the songs that serves to show the album’s strength. ‘King Chronos’ does its own part to show the impact of Thunder and company’s work.
‘King Chronos’ presents its own unique arrangement separate from those featured in the rest of the album. Its opening bars present a solemn sound, anchored by Sherinian’s work on the keyboards. On a completely random note that likely only some will get, those opening bars are reminiscent of the music bed used for a certain scene from the little-known PC game, “The Journeyman Project 3.” Audiences who are familiar with that game will immediately catch that clearly unintentional similarity in sound. It only lasts briefly, though. It very quickly gives way to a full-on symphonic sound and stylistic approach that to a point, is one part prog and one part vintage Ozzy Osbourne. The Ozzy comparison (more specifically the Randy Rhoades comparison) comes through Thal’s work on guitar. The prog eventually wins out, with the more vintage guitar rock sound playing more of a companion role, but a solid role nonetheless. Again, Thunder’s abilities are on full display here. He shows with his timekeeping ability and his ability to effectively use his whole kit that he could become one of the next big names in the prog drumming community. The production that went into this song adds its own touch, as it adds certain aesthetic effects that enhance the song even more. The eventual chaos that closes out the song is worth its own interest, too. It makes for its own unique contrast to the whole. When everything within this song is considered together, the whole makes the song yet another powerful addition to the album and another example of what the record has to offer. It is just one more example of what the record has to offer, too. ‘The Voyage,’ the record’s finale, is one more example of the album’s strength.
‘The Voyage’ is important to examine because once again, it offers up a clear 80s-influenced arrangement. It is an arrangement that is also unlike any of the album’s other works. In this case, the duality in Sherinian’s performance, alongside that of Thunder, Thal, and Franklin hints ever so lightly at perhaps some Def Leppard leanings. As with the record’s other works though, that influence also soon becomes more secondary as the group’s prog leanings come more into play as the song progresses. Thal’s heavy guitars, alongside Sherinian’s work on keyboard and Franklin’s bass work creates such a rich, heavy composition. Thunder meanwhile adds just the right flare to the whole to complete the rich picture painted by this composition. The juxtaposition of that heavier prog sound and style to the more 80s hair rock sounds here makes the whole yet another unique addition to the album. It shows yet again, the variety offered throughout the record. It also does just as well to put each musician’s talents on display, including those of the young noisemaker himself, Thunder. When this composition is considered along with the other songs examined here, the album’s current singles and the rest of its entries, the whole proves itself to be another impressive offering from the veterans, Sherinian, Thal, and Franklin. It additionally proves itself a strong start for Mr. Thunder.
Thomas Thunder’s debut album, The Pharaoh’s Temple is a positive offering from the up-and-coming drummer. That is due to the talent shown by himself on the drums, and that of his fellow musicians. The singles that the record has already produced go a long way toward supporting the noted statements. Much the same can be said of the songs examined here. All of those songs do their own part to display the group’s talents. They prove Thunder could easily become one of the next big names in the prog community as he ages. They also continue to cement the reputation of his more seasoned counterparts from one to the next. When they are considered with the album’s remaining songs, the whole makes The Pharaoh’s Temple a presentation that will appeal to most prog rock and metal fans.
The Pharaoh’s Temple is available now. More information on Thomas Thunder’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at https://thomasthundermusic.com.
Independent hard rock band CO-OP is out on the road in the middle of a very busy tour schedule. That schedule includes joining Sunflower Dead, The Lonely Ones, and others on their tours. It also includes a performance, coming up at this year’s Metal in the Mountains festival. Amid everything that the band is doing, guitarist Jeremy Tabor and front man Dash Cooper (yes, the son of the legendary front man Alice Cooper) took some time to talk with Phil’s Picks about its tour. The guys also took on topics, such as the band’s new music and its coming material, as well as balancing everything that it has going on right now. The guys’ talk with Phil’s Picks is featured here.
PP: CO-OP has been really busy this year. Between new singles and new tour dates, you all are keeping active to say the least. Between live dates with Smile Empty Soul, Sunflower Dead and The Lonely Ones, and a number of festival shows, including the hugely anticipated Metal in the Mountains, you guys really have and have had a lot on your plates this year. You’ve even released two new singles and videos. So how have you managed to balance everything? It can’t begin to be easy, especially on the live side of things.
CO: It’s all about the balancing act isn’t it? We’ve all learned that staying flexible is so important, things can (and usually do) change in an instant and how you react to that change has such an impact on your success. Like everyone else, we had a bunch of shows cancel over the past 18 months, so we utilized that time to write and record some new material and tinker with the live show. We’re just trying to roll with the punches and keep busy!
PP: Speaking of the tour with The Lonely Ones and Sunflower Dead, I recently had the honor to interview The Lonely Ones front man Marty McCoy, and he spoke highly of CO-OP (and Sunflower Dead), noting that between word of mouth and research by the band, he felt you all (both bands) are “the type of bands we want to tour with.” Receiving such praise, what goes through your mind?
CO: Oh wow, that’s so kind of him! Those guys are so awesome, and we’re so grateful to get a chance to do some shows together. Playing with bands like Sunflower Dead and The Lonely Ones and other bands of that high caliber, we just do our best to step it up and give everyone a great show.
PP: Staying on that topic, when did you first learn that you had been tapped to join The Lonely Ones for its upcoming tour? What was the first thing that went through your head when you were notified that you had been tapped to join the tour?
CO: We’re legitimate fans of those guys so we’ve been hounding our booking agent for months to get us together with them for some shows, and then when we were putting together this tour run the stars finally aligned and we were able to make it work.
PP: One of the stops on The Lonely Ones’ tour is close to me at Hooligans in Jacksonville, NC. Have you all ever performed at Hooligans or other venues in North Carolina? Which venue(s) are you really looking forward to playing on the tour with The Lonely Ones and Sunflower Dead?
CO: We played in North Carolina a couple of years ago, on a tour with our good friends Smile Empty Soul, I can’t remember for the life of me what the name of the venue was but I do remember the incredible BBQ we had! Hooligans is well known among touring musicians as an awesome venue so we’re excited to check it out! There are so many good shows on that tour it’s hard to pick one! I know the Newport in Columbus will be a packed show.
PP: There have been lots of reports in recent weeks about the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. What with COVID shutting down live music for such a long time through most of last year and even part of this year (and even forcing many shows to push back to 2022), are there any concerns among you all about the potential of your tours getting delayed or even worse?
CO: It’s such an unprecedented and unpredictable time we’re in, we’ve been trying to just focus on the immediate and tackle everything else as it comes. We’re excited to be back out here now playing shows again, but if that changes for some reason in the future we know we can adapt in whatever way we need to.
PP: Switching gears for a moment, as already noted, CO-OP has released two new singles this year. Each song is really enjoyable. Lets start with your cover of Buffalo Springfield’s timeless song, ‘For What It’s Worth.’ The band’s take on the song is unique to say the least. I like the contrast in energy in the verses and choruses. I think it does well to help translate the song’s emotion. How did you come to the decision on that arrangement and how long did it take to settle on that arrangement?
CO: We thought that it seemed like a very relevant song to try and bring into a modern context. It seemed like the anxiety and uncertainty that was expressed in the original was still as powerful today. Building from that, we thought that intensifying the tension between the verses and choruses would highlight those feelings. When we went into the studio we had a general roadmap of what we wanted, but it was definitely a process that went through a lot of revision before we found what we were looking for.
PP: Staying on that cover, what was the inspiration to take on that song? It’s one that has been covered so many times by other acts.
CO: I think it was Cory’s (our drummer) idea actually to try it. He did some investigating and realized even though so many people had covered it they always stayed pretty true to the original. He always comes to us with these crazy cool cover ideas, but with a twist, so this one just felt like it was something we could run with and make a lot of fun.
PP: Moving on to your other recent song, ‘Lie To Me,’ it really is a good modern rock type work. Talk to me if you will about that song. What is the inspiration behind that one? The guitars, drums, and bass are so heavy and rich in this song. I’m going to sound dumb here, I know, but I’ll say it. The choruses….those gritty vocals, I can’t help but think of Chad Gray (Hellyeah, Mudvayne). Was that an intentional approach? Just talk to me about the song in general.
CO: ‘Lie to Me’ was the first song we started working on after the last album release, and we really wanted to build off that energy. We had been talking about early 2000s rock bands, and the awesome grooves those songs had and wanted something that was a little but of a callback to that. Dash gets a lot of comparisons to Chad actually, he takes it as a huge compliment! They have a really similar range and Dash’s voice naturally just has that rasp and grit to it.
PP: Getting back on the matter of CO-OP playing live, you all are scheduled to perform at Metal in the Mountains this year. Now we all know it was cancelled last year due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. So when did you find out that you had been tapped to play the festival and what went through your mind when you found out, because you’re going to be in some pretty well-known company at the festival (E.g. Soulfly, A Killer’s Confession, Butcher Babies, and The Lonely Ones just to name a handful). What does it mean to you all to be among so many established and up-and-coming acts at such a respected festival?
CO: I think we booked Metal in the Mountains pretty early on actually, we wanted to hit as many festivals as we could this summer after all the cancellations last year. We’re always honored anytime we get to play with such incredible bands, and especially so many bands we’re huge fans of! We work really hard to get our music out to people so it means everything to us to have opportunities like this to do just that.
PP: Now you all are scheduled to perform on the last day of Metal in the Mountains. That means that you’ll have time to check out other bands in the meantime. That time provided, what bands are you looking forward to seeing perform?
CO: Unfortunately Metal in the Mountains falls right in the middle of a back to back schedule for us, so we won’t be able to check out the other days, but I know we’re getting there early on the day we play and plan on watching all the bands! We’ll be at the merch table all day hanging out and enjoying some awesome music!
PP: Just one more question for you guys. Unless I’m missing anything, the last album that CO-OP released was its self-titled album in 2018. So can you offer my readers and your fans any update on a new album? As noted, you guys have two singles out already. I imagine you’ve had time between all your live shows to write even more. So what can audiences expect from you all in that avenue?
CO: We have a 5 song EP coming in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for that, and we have about 25 more songs to put the final touches on. But we’re always writing more. The idea is to release a new batch of 5 songs every 3 or 4 months and then maybe a full length. So expect lots and lots of new music coming!
More information on CO-OP’s tour and music is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Damon Johnson debuted the video for his latest single this week.
Johnson debuted the video for his single ‘Battle Lessons‘ Tuesday. The video’s premiere comes more than a month after he debuted the single by itself. The song is the title track for Johnson’s forthcoming album from himself and his fellow musicians, The Get Ready. The album is scheduled for release Jan. 22 through Double Dragon Records.
The video features Johnson and company — drummer Jarred Pope and bassist Robbie Harrington — performing the song on what is meant to look like a television screen. Video effects are incorporated into the video to make it look like it is presented on a vintage VHS tape.
The song’s musical arrangement boasts a sound that will appeal to fans of the rock sounds of the late 80s and early 90s. That is evidenced through the semi-operatic style vocals and the distinct guitar arrangement
Johnson said the lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical content comes from his own personal experiences.
“The lyrics to the song‘Battle Lessons’are about some past experiences in various bands I’ve been in through the years,” he said. “Though the words could easily be applied to any relationship.” He adds. “The lyric instructs me that I should take all the experience from my musical past and apply it to my now fully focused solo career.”
Johnson, known for his time with Brother Cane, Alice Cooper, and Slave to the System, announced his album’s pending release in December. Battle Lessons was produced and mixed by multi-platinum-selling producer Nick Raskulinecz (Stone Sour, Foo Fighters, Rush, etc.).
More information on Damon Johnson and The Get Ready’s new single and album is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:
Damon Johnson will open 2021 with a new band and album.
The guitarist/vocalist, known for his time with Brother Cane, Alice Cooper, and Slave to the System, has formed a new band called Damon Johnson and The Get Ready. The group (rounded out by drummer Jarred Pope and bassist Robbie Harrington) is scheduled to release its debut album Battle Lessons Jan. 22 through Double Dragon Records.
In anticipation of the album’s forthcoming release, the trio debuted the record’s lead single/title track in September. It is available to stream and download here. The song reached #13 on the Classic Rock chart.
The song’s musical arrangement boasts a sound that will appeal to fans of the rock sounds of the late 80s and early 90s. That is evidenced through the semi-operatic style vocals and the distinct guitar arrangement.
The lyrical content that accompanies the song comes across as a presentation that tells a coming-of-age story of sorts. The song’s subject seems to look back on a variety of things that have happened in life, and has come to specific realizations from that insight. That is only this critic’s interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.
Battle Lessons was produced and mixed by multi-platinum-selling producer Nick Raskulinecz (Stone Sour, Foo Fighters, Rush, etc.).
More information on Damon Johnson and The Get Ready’s new single and album is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:
Alice Cooper is doing his part to help audiences get through the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cooper debuted the video for his new inspirational song ‘Don’t Give Up‘ Friday. The video, which is essentially a lyric video, features pictures of audiences from around the world holding signs that make up the song’s lyrics. Those pictures are incorporated into a digital globe, at the center of which is Cooper, performing his new single.
The song’s musical arrangement is a mid-tempo work. The guitar line presents a sound that illustrates the emotional strain and stress that people are feeling right now. Cooper meanwhile uses a matter of fact spoken word approach in the verses to deliver his message. The singing used in the song’s chorus is meant to emphasize that despite all the emotional difficulties we all feel, there is hope.
Cooper elaborated on the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.
“It’s a song about what we’ve all been going through right now and about keeping our heads up and fighting back together,” he said. ” And whatever you do — Don’t Give Up!”
‘Don’t Give Up’ was produced by Bob Ezrin. A limited edition 7″ picture disc of the song will be available Aug. 14 through earMUSIC. Pre-orders are open now.
More information on Alice Cooper’s new song is available along with all of Cooper’s latest news at:
Wizards of Winter gave audiences an early Christmas gift Saturday night with a performance at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre.
The world-renowned holiday hard rock super group performed at the theater as part of its tour in support of its latest album “The Christmas Dream.” The band released the album — its third overall — independently Sept. 27.
Copies of “The Christmas Dream” were available for sale in the lobby throughout the evening. Band founder and keyboardist Scott Kelly informed the audience during the show that any active duty military personnel in attendance would receive copies of the album for free while proceeds from the sales of other copies would benefit the Wounded Warrior project. The Wounded Warrior Project is a charity and veterans service organization that helps military service members transition from military service life to civilian life.
Copyright: Philip Sayblack
The amped up sounds of the season echoed through the theater’s main hall over the course of more than two hours, as the band performed its own take on songs, such as ‘Jingle Bells,’ ‘The First Noel’ and ‘We Three Kings.’ The songs were taken from the band’s new album. Announcer Tony Gaynor came in between songs to help the band take the audience on their musical journey to the North Pole and beyond aboard the “Arctic Flyer.”
The nearly three hour show featured two separate sets, each one full of holiday-themed songs, lots of lights and holiday cheer. Band founder and keyboardist Scott Kelly even took a moment to offer his own inspiring words to the audience during a break in the show’s second set.
“If you pay it forward, good things can happen.”
Kelly recently spoke with Phil’s Picks ahead of the band’s decision to play at the theater. He said the venue’s size played into the band’s decision to perform at the facility.
“The Wizards have only performed in North Carolina once before,” he said. “Despite the large number of venues in the State, few are the right size for a band like ours. They are either arenas or smaller. The RRT provides the exact mix that works best for our show. Intimate, yet large enough to allow us to do our whole production.”
Copyright: Philip Sayblack
The performance hall inside the Roanoke Rapids Theatre was packed with people clapping their hands and tapping their feet along with the music throughout the night. Among the dozens who attended was Roanoke Rapids couple Betsy and Neil Rumford. The couple said before the concert, they moved to town last year from Richmond, Virginia, adding they are glad the city and county have the theater.
“It is really important for this theater to be here,” Betsy said. “It draws a lot of people. We’ve got friends in Richmond who came down recently just to see the Elvis show.”
Neil expanded on her comments.
“This theater being here helps to promote the city and the county,” he said. “It promotes community. It really puts the city and the county on the map. It really makes me think of the theater in Branson, Missouri because of its layout.”
Roanoke Rapids Theatre Security Officer Joel Motley had similar sentiments to those of the Rumfords as he talked about the theater before the concert.
“I love seeing everyone here,” he said. “The citizens of Halifax and Northampton counties need somewhere to go, and the theater gives them that place to go. We are growing here at this theater, and it feels good to know that.”
Copyright: Philip Sayblack
While the first set of Saturday night’s concert focused mainly on Wizards of Winter’s latest album, the second set presented a more diverse lineup of songs. The band, whose members have performed and recorded with other famous acts, such as Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, performed two songs from TSO in the Wizards’ own style, as well as some of its own older songs. The set also featured a powerful rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ that saw the concert hall fill with lights from the audience’s cell phones.
As the show ended, announcer Tony Gaynor told the audience the he hoped the theater officials will make the band’s performance an annual event. Gaynor’s statement brought applause and cheers from the entire audience. From there, some made their way to the building’s lobby, waiting for a free meet-and-greet with the band while others made their way back to their vehicles to make their return home.
Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell released his latest album Friday, and in celebration, also released the lyric video for the album’s latest single.
Campbell debuted the single for his new single ‘Straight Up‘ Friday. The song, featured on his new album Old Lions Still Roar, features vocals by legendary Judas Priest front man Rob Halford alongside Campbell’s solid, driving guitar work. The video presents the song’s lyrics, which seem to make a statement of wanting a person to just be honest with another person, are presented on a large weaponized machine.
Campbell discussed bringing Halford on-board for the song in a recent interview, offering high praise for him in the process.
“‘The Metal’ God Rob Halford has always been an artist I admire,” he said. “His distinctive vocals and stage presence have rocked millions of fans all over the world, so I count myself blessed to have written a rockin’ song together with him.”
‘Straight Up’ is just the latest song that Old Lions Still Roar has spawned. Most recently, Campbell debuted the video for ‘These Old Boots‘ — which features guest appearances by Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Mick Mars (Motley Crue) and Chris Fehn (ex-Slipknot) — ‘Swing It [ft. Alice Cooper]‘ led the way for the album.
Campbell also released a series of in-studio discussions on topics, such as the album’s mixing, how the album came together and the matter of the album’s singles. The links to those discussions is noted below.
Old Lions Still Roar is available now. The album’s track listing is noted below.
Old Lions Still Roar tracklist
01. Rocking Chair feat. Leon Stanford
02. Straight Up feat. Rob Halford
03. Faith In Fire feat. Ben Ward
04. Swing It feat. Alice Cooper
05. Left For Dead feat. Nev MacDonald
06. Walk The Talk feat. Danko Jones & Nick Oliveri
07. These Old Boots feat. Dee Snider
08. Dancing Dogs (Love Survives) feat. Whitfield Crane
09. Dead Roses feat. Benji Webbe
10. Tears From A Glass Eye feat. Joe Satriani
Campbell is in the midst of a tour in support of his new album along with his band mates “The Bastard Sons.” The group’s tour schedule is noted below.
PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS live:
»Old Lions Still Tour«
w/ KING CREATURE
29.10. UK Stoke – The Sugarmill
30.10. UK Glasgow – Classic Grand
01.11. UK Manchester – Rebellion *SOLD OUT*
02.11. UK London – The Dome
03.11. UK Norwich – Epic Studios
04.11. UK Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
06.11. UK Southampton – Engine Rooms
07.11. UK Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill
08.11. UK Exeter – Phoenix
09.11. UK Cardiff – Tramshed
Going to live shows is neither easy nor inexpensive nowadays. Between the collective cost of tickets — which is itself oftentimes bank-breaking — transportation, food, potential lodging and souvenirs, and of course planning around work and family schedules, getting out to live shows is not easy for anyone.
Those barriers make the availability of live recordings something critical for audiences everywhere, regardless of genre. To that end, live CDs deserve their own consideration just as much as studio recordings, each year. Keeping that in mind, Phil’s Picks has developed once again a list of the year’s Top 10 new live CDs.
This year has been an interesting one for live CDs. Some notable live CDs were featured as part of bigger bundles (E.G. The Rolling Stones’ San Jose ’99 and Voodoo Lounge ’94 shows) while others, such as Alice Cooper’s A Paranormal Night @ The Olympia Paris and Marty Friedman’s One Bad M.F. Live were standalone offerings.
Some were standout offerings for all of the best reasons. Others had some problems to note. Keeping all of this in mind, this year’s crop of live CDs deserves just as much attention as the vast sea of studio recordings released throughout the year.
Topping this year’s list is yet another live CD from the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment in the form of Charles Mingus’ classic 1975 Montreux Jazz Festival show. This recording presents Mingus at one of his finest moments, and why his live performances were — and still are today — such powerful presentations.
Coming in second in this year’s list is the new Jimi Hendrix live CD, Live at the Hollywood Bowl. This CD was released as part of the bigger Electric Ladyland box set, and stands out so strongly because of its set list, Hendrix and company’s performance and the production values.
Third place in this year’s list of the year’s best new live CDs goes to veteran viking metal outfit Amon Amarth. The 30-song set list spans two nights and quite an expansive portion of the band’s catalog. That set list is directly mirrored on its DVD and BD presentation, and sounds just as good. Though because of the intensity of the show, it is still better appreciated being seen and heard and not just heard. That’s not to say the CD presentation is bad, but audiences will agree that hearing it makes for far more appreciation for the concerts’ DVD and BD presentations.
Also featured in this year’s list of top new live CDs are those noted new offerings from Marty Friedman, Alice Cooper and The Rolling Stones alongside new offerings from Opeth, Devin Townsend and John 5 to name just a few more titles. As always, this critic’s list features 10 of the year’s top new offerings plus five honorable mentions, which follow, for a total count of 15. Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 new Live CDs.
PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW LIVE CDs
Charles Mingus — Live at Montreux 1975
Jimi Hendrix — Live at the Hollywood Bowl: Aug. 14, 1968
Amon Amarth — The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm
Devin Townsend Project — Ocean Machine: Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv
Opeth — Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
The Rolling Stones — No Security; San Jose ’99
The Rolling Stones — Voodoo Lounge Uncut
John Mclaughlin & The 4th Dimension and Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip — Live in San Francisco
Marty Friedman — One Bad M.F. Live
Accept — Symphonic Terror: Live at Wacken 2017
Alice Cooper — A Paranormal Night at The Olympia Paris
Veteran rocker Alice Cooper has a new live recording on the way this summer.
Cooper is scheduled to release A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris August 31 via earMUSIC. Originally recorded December 7, 2017 at the world renowned Olympia the 90-minute concert recording will be available on 2CD digipack, 2LP Gatefold, and digital platforms. The 2LP Gatefold will be available in separate white and red pressings.
A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris features an 18-song set list including older material as well as some of his more recent works including, but not limited to: ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy,’ ‘School’s Out,’ ‘Paranoiac Personality’ and others. The recording’s full set list is noted below.
TRACK LISTING: CD1:
1. Brutal Planet
2. No More Mr. Nice Guy
3. Under My Wheels
4. Department of Youth
6. Billion Dollar Babies
7. The World Needs Guts
8. Woman of Mass Distraction
10. Halo of Flies
1. Feed My Frankenstein
2. Cold Ethyl
3. Only Women Bleed
4. Paranoiac Personality
5. Ballad of Dwight Fry
6. Killer/I Love the Dead themes
7. I’m Eighteen
8. School’s Out
2LP COLORED: SIDE A:
1. Brutal Planet
2. No More Mr. Nice Guy
3. Under My Wheels
4. Department of Youth
6. Billion Dollar Babies
1. The World Needs Guts
2. Woman of Mass Distraction
4. Halo of Flies
1. Feed My Frankenstein
2. Cold Ethyl
3. Only Women Bleed
4. Paranoiac Personality
1. Ballad of Dwight Fry
2. Killer/I Love the Dead themes
3. I’m Eighteen
4. School’s Out
The concert featured in this recording was the final of a tour in support of Cooper’s most recent full-length studio recording Paranormal, which was released in July 2017. The album was Cooper’s first studio recording in six years at the time. The 10-song record was produced by Bob Ezra and released as both a standard and double-disc edition with eight bonus tracks. it features guest appearances from the likes of Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Larry Mullen, Jr. (U2), Roger Glover (Deep Purple) and Cooper’s original band mates, Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway and Micheal Bruce. Paranormal is available now in stores and online via Amazon and iTunes, and is also streaming via Spotify.
Along with the upcoming release of A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris, Alice Cooper also has more live dates coming up in support of Paranormal. His latest live schedule launches August 3 in West Allis, Wisconsin and is scheduled to run through October 24. It includes scheduled performances in Cincinnati, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; Charlotte, North Carolina and a number of other cities across North America. The tour’s current schedule is noted below.
ALICE COOPER ON TOUR:
8/3 — West Allis, WI — Wisconsin State Fair
8/5 — Sioux Falls, SD — Washington Pavilion
8/6 — Kansas City, MO — Kauffman Center for The Performing Arts
8/8 — Colorado Springs, CO — Pike’s Peak Center
8/10 — Las Vegas, NV — The Pearl at the Palms Hotel + Casino*
8/11 — Temecula, CA — Pechanga Resort + Casino
8/12 — Los Angeles, CA — Greek Theatre*
8/14 — San Jose, CA — City National Civic
8/15 — Jackson, CA — Jackson Rancheria Casino
8/16 — Reno, NV — Grand Sierra Resort + Casino
8/18 — Bonner, MT — Kettlehouse Amphitheater
8/19 — Everett, WA — Angel of the Winds Arena
8/20 — Vancouver, BC — Queen Elizabeth Theatre
8/22 — Calgary, AB — Southern Jubilee Auditorium
8/23 — Edmonton, AB — Northern Jubilee Auditorium
8/25 — Saskatoon, SK — SaskTel Centre
8/26 — Estevan, SK — Affinity Place
8/28 — Winnipeg, MB — Burton Cummings Theatre
8/29 — Thunder Bay, ON — Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
8/30 — St. Paul, MN — Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
9/1 — Ft. Wayne, IN — Foellinger Theatre
9/2 — Huber Heights, OH — Rose Music Center at The Heights
9/4 — Cincinnati, OH — Taft Theatre
9/6 — New York, NY — Beacon Theatre
9/7 — York, PA — York Fair
9/8 — Atlantic City, NJ — Tropicana Atlantic City
10/4 — Albany, NY — Palace Theater
10/9 — Charlotte, NC — Ovens Auditorium
10/10 — Atlanta, GA — Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
10/12 — Chattanooga, TN — Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium
10/13 — Biloxi, MS — Beau Rivage
10/14 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hill Lawn
10/16 — Irving, TX — The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
10/17 — Park City, KS — Hartman Arena
10/19 — Memphis, TN — Orpheum Theater
10/20 — St. Louis, MO — Peabody Opera House
10/21 — Cedar Rapids, IA — Paramount Theater
10/23 — Des Moines, IA — Des Moines Civic Center
10/24 — Rockford, IL — Coronado Performing Arts Center
*Featuring Ace Frehley
More information on A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris is available online now along with all of Alice Cooper’s latest news and more at: