‘Santana IV Live’ Is One Of 2016’s Top New Live Recordings If Not The Year’s Best

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Earlier this year, veteran guitarist Carlos Santana and his fellow musicians released what is one of the most anticipated albums of the past forty years in the form of Santana IV.  The album, released April 15th, it more than lived up to its expectations.  And now the band has followed up the album’s release with what is an equally impressive live recording supporting that album in the form of Santana IV: Live at The House of Blues Las Vegas. This new live recording is available now in stores and online.  It is a wonderful experience for those who were not able to experience the group’s live show during its most recent tour.  That is due in no small part to the show’s extensive 24-song set list.  That will be discussed shortly.  The band’s stage presence throughout the course of the two and a half hour concert is just as important to note of its presentation. Last but most hardly least of note in its presentation is the companion booklet included with the recording.  Of course one could even argue that the recording’s variety of platforms and its related packaging in said platforms are both important, too.  Considering all of these positions it is safe to say that Santana IV: Live at The House of Blues Las Vegas is one of this year’s top new live recordings if not the year’s top new live recording.

Santana IV: Live at The House of Blues Las Vegas is one of this year’s top new live recordings if not the year’s top new live recording.  That is because of the number of positives that it boasts.  Those positives begin with the concert’s set list.  The 24-song set list lifts liberally from Santana’s latest full-length studio recording and from all three of the band’s original albums.  A little more than half of the set list is made up of songs from Santana IV to be precise.  Simply put, all but three songs featured in Santana IV are included in this set list.  All three classic Santana albums represented in the show’s set list are equally represented too, with the band’s debut album being represented by no fewer than three songs and the next two records—Abraxas and Santana III—getting no fewer than four nods each.  As if that isn’t enough, Eagle Rock Entertainment made perfectly clear on the recording’s packaging how the set list was divided up – at least to a point.  Even as minor as that might be to the recording’s presentation even it is important to note, because of the time that it saves audiences in trying to find out which albums were represented here.  That is just one way in which the set list proves to be so important to the recording’s set list.  The songs that are featured here could easily be argued to be a way to introduce and re-introduce fans to the band.  For more seasoned fans, it serves as a great way to re-introduce them to this incredible act.  For younger fans who are less familiar with the band’s body of work, representing those three albums right next to its latest album serves to exhibit the band’s roots and to educate those fans about the band’s history at the same time.  Keeping this in mind it becomes especially clear why the set list presented here is so important to the recording’s presentation.  Even with all of its importance, the concert’s set list is not its only key element.  The band’s stage presence throughout its two and a half hour concert is just as important to note here as the songs that the group performs.

The songs that make up the body of this recording’s set list are important in their own right to the recording’s presentation.  That is due to the fact that the set list serves at least a dual purpose.  Even as important as the show’s set list is to its presentation it is not the presentation’s only key element.  The band’s stage presence throughout the concert is just as important to note as the show’s set list.  From beginning to end, Santana and his fellow musicians let their performances do the talking for them.  The ease with which drummer Michael Schrieve switches between traditional and matched grip in each song is incredible to behold.  The man misses not a single beat at any point.  The passion exhibited by both Carlos Santana and Neal Schon as they make their way through each song, regardless of who takes the lead, is just as inspiring to see.  The duo of Michael Carabello and Karl Perazo on backing percussion adds its own flare to the group’s presence throughout.  The pair’s love for its craft translates just as well on screen as that presented by the rest of the musicians on stage.  That is due to the energy that is displayed by each man as he drives each song forward.  From one musician to the next, every member of this organization displays such a solid presence throughout the performance.  Its presence is so solid that it feels that there is nothing left to give by the show’s end.  That will leave home audiences feeling just as fulfilled as the audience that was in attendance at the show’s recording.  It should be obvious by now why the band’s stage presence is just as important to note in examining this recording’s presentation as the show’s set list.  It still is not the recording’s last notable element.  The companion booklet is just as important to note here as the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof.

The set list that makes up the body of Santana IV: Live at The House of Blues Las Vegas and the band’s performance of that set list are both key elements to note in examining the recording’s presentation. Each element proves equal to the other in its importance to the recording’s presentation.  While each element is important in its own way to the recording, there are still plenty of other elements that can be noted, not the least of which is the companion booklet included in the recording.  The booklet is so important to note due to the liner notes presented therein.  The liner notes, composed by Hal Miller, outline the band’s history and lead up to the band’s performance at The House of Blues Las Vegas.  Miller’s notes are thorough to say the least in regards to the band’s history.  They serve as yet another wonderful way to teach young audiences about the band.  The closing remarks about the band’s performance are just as enlightening as those that outline the band’s history.  That is because it really brings the band’s story full circle.  If any one thing can be said to the negative about the liner notes, it is that it would have been great to see even more notes about the concert itself in place of the performance photos that are also included in the booklet.  That aside, Miller’s notes are still a wonderful addition to the overall concert experience for audiences in this presentation regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Santana.  Keeping that in mind, the liner notes presented in the recording’s companion booklet couple with the show’s set list and the band’s performance of that set list to paint a picture that exhibits vividly why this recording is so enjoyable.  Even with all of this in mind, these three elements are still not all that one could note. The varied platforms on which the concert is available and the packaging of each platform is just as important to note.  All things considered, Santana IV: Live at The House of Blues Las Vegas proves to be one of this year’s best new live recordings, if not the year’s best.

Santana IV: Live at The House of Blues is one of 2016’s top new live recordings if not the year’s best new live recording.  That is because there is so much to say to the positive about this recording’s presentation.  Its set list entertains and educates all at the same time.  The band’s performance will keep audiences of all ages completely enthralled and engaged from beginning to end.  That is because of the passion displayed by each musician for his craft and his love for performing with his band mates.  Hal Miller’s liner notes presented in the concert’s companion booklet serve as a secondary education of sorts right next to the show’s set list.  That adds even more to the concert’s overall experience for home audiences.  When one adds in the varied platforms on which the concert is made available and their respective packaging, the concert’s overall presentation is solidified in whole.  Each element is important in its own right.  That should be obvious by now.  All things considered, Santana IV: Live at The House of Blues Las Vegas proves wholly to be one of this year’s top new live recordings if not the year’s best.  More information on this recording is available online now along with all of Carlos Santana’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.santana.com

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

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online 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.

Green Day Announces New Live Date At Cleveland’s House Of Blues

Courtesy:  BBGun Press

Courtesy: BBGun Press

Green Day is going to make things *ahem* hot in Cleveland later this month.

Green Day announced today that it will perform live at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, April 16th. Members of the band’s Idiot Nation fan club can purchase tickets tomorrow, April 2nd, before they go on sale for the general public. Tickets go on sale for fan club members tomorrow morning at 10am ET and will remain on sale until they are all sold. Tickets for the general public will go on sale this Friday, April 3rd at 10am ET.

More information on this newly announced concert is available online along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.greenday.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/greenday

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.

Reveal Is Ready To Reveal F.L.O.W. To Rock’s Mainstream Realm

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Pavement Entertainment has made quite the name for itself within the music industry ever since its inception way back in the mid-90s. Ever since its creation, Pavement Entertainment has increasingly become known as one of the premiere labels for the next generation of rock and metal. One look at its current roster proves that. Acts the likes of Adage, Hell or Highwater, Dark New Day, and others currently call Pavement Entertainment home. Pavement recently bolstered its reputation even more recently with the signing of up-and-coming rock band Future Leaders of the World. The band released its sophomore album Reveal to the masses this week via Pavement Entertainment. Given the right support, Reveal could be the album that finally breaks F.L.O.W. into the mainstream. That is especially the case considering that it boasts a sound that fans of Fuel, Staind, and Puddle of Mudd will enjoy. The band proves right from the album’s opener ‘Live Again’ that it is an easy fit for any mainstream rock radio station with its melodic hard rock sound and its lyrics that seemingly paint the standard picture of love lost. The band strengthens that argument with the album’s second song, the forward-driving ‘Intoxicate.’ The energy doesn’t let up after these two album-opening tunes. Front man Phil Taylor and his band mates–Ian Severson (guitar), Jarred Mosely (bass), and Russell Bullock (drums)–keep things moving throughout the course of the album’s twelve total tracks, letting up only once in the album’s acoustic penultimate production that is ‘Rain.’ The partnering of Taylor’s vocals, guitar work and the companion string arrangement in this song make it one more prime example of the band’s range of talent in this record. It isn’t the last example either, as audiences will hear for themselves in listening to this record. Whether for this song, the album’s opener and its follow-up, or those not noted here, every song on this album is radio ready and in turn proves F.L.O.W. ready to finally break out and ready to be part of the future of the mainstream rock realm.

Future Leaders of the World (F.L.O.W. as it will henceforth be known in this review) is primed with its new album to break out and be par of the future of the mainstream rock realm. The band boasts across the album’s twelve total tracks a sound that fans of Fuel, Puddle of Mudd, and Staind will enjoy, with every song proving a potential radio ready single. That is evident right from the album’s opener ‘Live Again.’ The song’s melodic hard rock sound is one that any mainstream rock fan will enjoy. And the seeming picture painted of lost love through its lyrical side is just as familiar. That supposition is raised as front man Phil Taylor sings, “You say everything is for a reason/I say you’re right/And as we come together/Our lives and souls as one/We hope this lasts forever/No/I won’t let go/Never be the same/There’s no one left to blame/I can see myself through the window of your pain/What have I become/This life has made me numb/Come and break my heart/So I can live again/So I can live again.” Taylor’s subject almost comes across in the classic introspective fashion, looking back at the events of the past that have led to the current situation presented in the song. It obviously is not the first time that the formula has been used by any artist, group or band. But it proves just as successful here as it has so many times with the noted songs that have come before. It’s just one example of why Reveal could be the record that breaks F.L.O.W. into the mainstream music world.

F.L.O.W. proves right off the top of its new album that it is ready to break into the mainstream music world. It doesn’t let up on its argument after this song ends, either. The song’s follow-up and album’s second track ‘Intoxicate’ is just as strong of an argument. ‘Intoxicate’ is a solid, forward-driving piece headed by Taylor’s guitar work and Russell Bullock’s equally solid timekeeping. Lyrically speaking the song comes across as a piece in which Taylor’s subject ruminates on certain personal challenges and overcoming them. That argument is raised as Taylor sings late in the song, “And it tries to kill my soul/I’ve got to get control/When you think I’m through/I’ll find my way home/Cause I lost myself again/And there’s nothing to pretend…” Of course such interpretation is solely that of this critic. It is not to say by any means that it is right. It could in fact be completely wrong. Right or wrong, the one thing on which everyone will agree is the fact that just as with the album’s opener, this song is just as much an example of why F.L.O.W. is ready for the mainstream.

The members of F.L.O.W. show in both ‘Intoxicate’ and ‘Live Again’ show in their own way why their band is ready to break out and be part of the future of the mainstream rock realm. They display their potential both through their musical talents and their writing talents. Both songs are radio ready works that given the right support could help give the band that one big push. That is again dependent on the band’s support from the thousands of mainstream rock radio stations across America and their programmers. For all of the potential displayed through ‘Intoxicate’ and ‘Live Again,’ the band shows just as much potential in a completely different way in Reveal’s penultimate production ‘Rain.’ The coupling of Taylor’s vocals, his guitar work and the companion string arrangements give the song so much emotional depth. The song’s lyrical side adds its own depth as Taylor sings, “Don’t ever come close to me/Cause this heart is hardened and broke/Needing your touch/Needing so much/From all this anger, pain, fear and lust/Want you to know/I’m not letting go/Feeling your love fall down like rain.” The restraint shown by Russell Bullock behind the kit should also be noted here. It would have been so easy for Bullock to overplay. There are a lot of musicians that would do just that in such a situation because of their own interpretation of such a song’s emotion. Bullock didn’t do that. He actually incorporates a certain amount of dynamics into his performance, thus making the song all the more emotionally rich. The end result of that control alongside Taylor’s vocals, his work on the guitar and the string arrangements is a song that is one of the highest of points on Reveal. And together with the album’s first pairing of songs, all three songs show fully why Reveal is ready to break F.L.O.W. into the mainstream and make it part of the mainstream rock realm’s future.

All three of the songs noted here present their own evidence as to why F.L.O.W. is ready to break out into the mainstream rock realm and be part of that realm’s future. One would be remiss to ignore the other nine songs contained in Reveal. Audiences that pick up Reveal will find their own favorites among those songs and the trio noted here. They can pick up the album now in stores nationwide or at one of the band’s current scheduled live dates. The band is currently scheduled to perform live at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA on April 3rd. A performance in San Leon, Texas is also scheduled for April 11th. All of the latest tour dates, and information on Reveal is available online along with the latest updates from the band at:

Website: http://www.futureleadersoftheworld.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/flowarmy

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.

Saxon Announces Dates For U.S. Leg Of Its “Warriors Of The Road” Tour

Courtesy: UDR/Adrenaline PR/MEtal Blade Records/Chipster PR

Courtesy: UDR/Adrenaline PR/MEtal Blade Records/Chipster PR

Legendary British metal band Saxon is gearing up to hit the road in the U.S. this spring.

The members of Saxon announced this week that the band will embark on the “Warriors of the Road” U.S. Tour in May. The tour is in support of the band’s recently re-issued recordings Heavy Metal Thunder and The Saxon Chronicles. Both recordings were re-issued February 24th. Heavy Metal Thunder included a bonus live recording titled Live at Bloodstock. The double-disc DVD The Saxon Chronicles was accompanied by a bonus live recording titled Rock ‘n’ Roll Gypsies 1989 Live.

Saxon’s upcoming tour kicks off on Tuesday, May 12th at BB King’s in New York City and will run through Saturday, May 30th in Los Angeles, California. One of the scheduled dates is a performance at the annual Rock on the Range Festival on Saturday, May 16th in Columbus, Ohio. Saxon will be joined by Armored Saint for the majority of the tour’s scheduled dates. Judas Priest will join the band on a four-date string of shows from May 17th to May 21st. The complete “Warriors of the Road” tour schedule is listed below.

SAXON “Warriors of the Road” U.S. Tour w/ Armored Saint:

5/12 – New York City, NY @ BB Kings w/ Armored Saint

5/13 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium w/ Armored Saint

5/16 – Columbus, OH @ MAPFRE Stadium (formerly Crew Stadium) @ Rock On The Range

5/17 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Shoe w/ Judas Priest

5/19 – St. Charles, MO @ Family Area w/ Judas Priest

5/20 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Casino-Stir Cove w/ Judas Priest

5/21 – Rosemont, IL @ Rosemont Theater w/ Judas Priest

5/23 – San Antonio, TX @ 210 Kapone’s Live w/ Armored Saint

5/24 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live w/ Armored Saint

5/26 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red

5/27 – Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl at Hard Rock

5/29 – San Jose, CA @ Rock Bar w/ Armored Saint

5/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues w/ Armored Saint

More information on the “Warriors of the Road” tour and all of the latest news from Saxon is available online at:

Website: https://www.saxon747.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saxon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/planetsaxon

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.