Monster Energy Aftershock Festival Lineup Announced; Tickets On Sale Now

Courtesy: Danny Wimmer Presents

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is coming back to California this year.

The annual festival is scheduled to be held October 13 and 14 at Sacramento’s Discovery Park.  Now in its seventh year, the festival will be headlined this year by System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones.  This year marks the first time that System of a Down has performed at the festival.

Along with being the band’s first year at the festival, System of a Down’s performance at the Aftershock Festival will also be the band’s first announced U.S. appearance in three years.  It is also part of the band’s 20th anniversary celebration of its landmark self-titled album’s release.

While System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones are the two-day festival’s planned headliners, they are not the only bands on the bill.  Also scheduled for the performance are Godsmack (which is currently touring in support of its brand new album When Legends Rise), Incubus, Seether, Jonathan Davis (whose latest solo album Black Labyrinth is scheduled for release May 25), At The Drive-In and Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (who are currently working on their latest album) as well as Bullet For my Valentine (whose new album Gravity is scheduled to be released June 29), Sevendust (whose album All I See Is War is out now) and many more.  The full lineup for this year’s festival is noted below.

The current band lineup for Monster Energy Aftershock is as follows: System Of A Down, Deftones, Alice In Chains, Incubus, Godsmack, Shinedown, 311, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, At The Drive-In, Seether, Jonathan Davis, Bullet For My Valentine, Underoath, Black Veil Brides, Hellyeah, Asking Alexandria, Sevendust, Everlast, GWAR, Emmure, Stick To Your Guns, Dance Gavin Dance, Monster Magnet, Red Sun Rising, Bad Wolves, The Fever 333, Dorothy, Wage War, Plague Vendor, Hyro The Hero, Amigo The Devil, All Them Witches, Slothrust, The Dose, Viza, The Jacks and more to be announced.

Providing food for this year’s festival will be a variety of vendors including: Southern Hospitality Concessions LLC, Danny Wimmer Presents’ affiliate concessionaire.  Food trucks will also be on hand, providing savory and sweet treats from: Angry Bird Grill, Bacon Mania, Barrett’s Burgers, Barrett’s Sliders, Big Joe’s BBQ, Bubba’s BBQ, Cousins Maine Lobster, Dippin Dots Ice Cream, Dogtown, Drewski’s Hot Rod Sandwiches, Florez Bar & Grill, La Mex Taqueria, Mac Attack, Mount Olympus, Sausage King, Smokin’ Hot Pizza, Spicy Pie and Xochimilco Mexican Restaurant.

Beverages will be available from a variety of vendors, including vendors for festival-goers 21 and older.  Those vendors include: Caduceus Vellars & Merkin Vineyards Wine Garden (owned by Tool/A Perfect Circle/ Puscifer front man Maynard James Keenan) and the Belching Beaver Bar (featuring drafts from the Vista, CA brewer including the Phantom Bride IPA, a collaboration with the Defones).  Mrkt N Jolt will also be on site, offering hot coffee, cold brew and other items.

As if the music, food and drink isn’t enough for festival-goers, this year’s festival will also offer lots of entertainment options.  Those options include the Monster Energy Experience, which gives audiences the chance to meet and greet the bands while also sampling the festival’s various offered drinks, The Music Experience, which is an interactive exhibit and music instrument retailer.  Non-profit animal rescue organization Take Me Home will also be on-site along with Dyin 2 Live/FXck Cancer, a wish-granting organization.  Fans can buy music from the festival’s bands on site at the f.y.e. Fan Experience.

Festival-goers can win prizes and check out the latest products from Zippo Lighters at Zippo Encore and charge their phones at SWFTCharge.

Tickets and VIP packages for this year’s festival are on-sale now.  Prices are listed below.  Service fees on all ticket purchases include a $0.50 charity fee for the T.J. Martell Foundation, a foundation aimed at researching and fighting cancer.  Active military personnel get discounts on their tickets through GovX.

Initial ticket prices will be as follows:

  • 2-Day Weekend General Admission: starting at $149.50 + fees
  • 2-Day Weekend VIP: starting at $299.50 + fees
  • Single Day General Admission: starting at $89.50 + fees
  • Single Day VIP: starting at $179.50 + fees

VIP tickets include: VIP entrance lanes to the venue, shaded VIP hang area with seating for dining, a VIP-only viewing area of main stage, video screens featuring a live feed of main stage inside the VIP hang area, upgraded food and drink selections, dedicated VIP restrooms and commemorative VIP Monster Energy Aftershock laminate.

A park & ride shuttle is being offered again for this year’s festival as parking at Discovery park is very limited.  Every ticket includes parking at Sleep Train Arena and non-stop shuttle directly to the festival site.

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and fueled by Monster Energy.  It is sponsored by f.y.e., Coors Light, Jack Daniels, Zippo Encore, The Music Experience, SWFTCharge, Fxck Cancer, Ace of Spades, Take Me Home and Belching Beaver.  More sponsors will be announced later.

More information on this year’s Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.AftershockFestival.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AftershockSac

 

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.

 

 

No Kidding, Destrage’s New Album Is A Metal Masterpiece

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records has never been a label to rest easy on its laurels.  Every year, it proves to be one of the leaders in the world of hard rock and metal.  The only other label that measures up to Metal Blade is its counterpart, Century Media Records.  Metal Blade has consistently released some of the music industry’s best hard rock and metal albums in recent years.  This year is no different.  And that is especially evident with the release of the new album from the Italian experimental metal act Destrage.  Are You Kidding Me? No is the band’s Metal Blade debut.  And it is quite the aptly titled record, too.  That’s because every single track will leave listeners asking those words.  For those that have yet to hear Destrage’s music, the best comparison that can be made is a hybrid of Between The Buried and Me, Slayer, and Mr. Bungle.  Front man Paolo Colavolpe even sounds like Slayer front man Tom Array at more than one point throughout the course of the album’s nine tracks.

Destrage—Paolo Colavolpe (Vocals), Matteo Di Dioia (guitar), Gabriel Pignata (bass), Ralph Salati (guitar), and Federico Paulovich (drums)—exhibits so much creativity right from the album’s opener, ‘Destroy Create Transform Sublimate.’ The only term that can best describe this song is controlled chaos. The song goes from full throttle, shredding guitars to a more jazz-influenced sound a la its Metal Blade label mates Trioscapes to an almost symphonic metal sound complete with a slight dubstep finale. Colavolpe’s vocal style changes from one movement to the next to match each portion of the song, too. He switches between his seemingly Tom Arraya style vocals to something more akin to Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray and back again over the course of the song’s near six-minute run time. Add in the song’s lyrical side and audiences get in this piece an even more complex song. Colavolpe sings and screams through this song, “We are all here to witness the indomitable power of creation/As creative energy spreads like a relentless force/infecting every single atom/Art in all its manifestation conducts us close to God/And the struggle of our thinking/into uncontaminated imagination/Pure imagination.” Yes, this is rather metaphysical thinking. And that’s why it works so well with the songs musical side. Those words are a direct mirror image of what the band presents with the song’s music. And together, the two sides make the song title all the clearer and the song itself all the more enjoyable.

For all of the frenetic energy exuded by the band in the first half of its Metal Blade Records debut, the band actually does slow things down in a manner of speaking at the beginning of the album’s second half. Where The Things Have No Colour,’ is the band’s most radio friendly single. Interestingly enough, as much as this song is pulled back and more radio friendly, the band doesn’t sacrifice too much. That’s evident in the song’s lyrical side. Colavolpe sings in this song, “You won’t take this moment away from me/And make me a silent slave of yours/You won’t put me down on my knees/I will make this time as I always meant it to be.” If properly interpreted, Colavolpe’s words come across as being rather defiant. If they are meant to be interpreted in such fashion, one must admit that it is one of the most original lyrically defiant statements ever made. The guitar work of Matteo Di Dioia and Ralph Salati adds so much more depth to the song. The pair shines and soars alongside drummer Federico Paulovich and bassist Gabriel Pignata to complete what is easily one of this album’s most powerful pieces.

‘Where The Things Have No Colour’ isn’t the only radio ready song that Destrage boasts on its new album. ‘Before, After and All Around’ This song comes across as a song based in the topic of relationships. That interpretation is made through lines such as “Speechless, smileless/Smilesless, hopeless/Haven’t got you yet/Maybe you understand me better than I know/I’ve got this feeling we are going nowhere/Stupid, don’t you see/Why the f&*% do you deny it/I feel wrapped up in pain/Because we are going nowhere.” However, as Colavolpe writes, “At this point/A girl lives in a dream/In a little fairy house/At the following point/She lives surrounded by sweet things/Hers. Mine./At the same point/A few months ahead/she looks forward/She realizes she wanted a man/But was a boy/I should have built a fairy house/In the same time a few miles away/But what would I have missed?” he leaves the song wide open to interpretation. The ability of Colavolpe to generate so much discussion from this song is another sign of the importance of this album. He writes so cryptically and metaphorically that his writing creates discussion without even trying. It makes the song—much like the album’s other works—more than just a song. It makes it a true musical and lyrical work of art. It becomes something to discuss and truly appreciate, again much like the other songs noted here and those not noted here.

All of the songs noted here each play an important part in the overall enjoyment and success of Destrage’s new album. That isn’t to take anything away from those songs not mentioned. The album’s remaining seven songs each play their own part in the album’s success, too. Regardless of which song one chooses, one thing remains true about this album. That one thing is that there is no kidding that this is one of the best hard rock/metal records of 2014.

Destrage will perform live May 10th in Legano, Italy in support of its new album and then in Moncalieri, Italy at the Audiodrome on June 1st. Audiences can find out about Destrage’s upcoming tour dates and general information online now at http://www.facebook.com/Destrage, http://www.destrage.com, and http://twitter.com/destrage. 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.

Serj Tankian Releasing Two New Albums This Summer

 

Courtesy:  Serjical Strike Records

Courtesy: Serjical Strike Records

 

System of a Down front man Serj Tankian will release two new albums this Summer via his own Serjical Strike Records.  The first of the two new records, Orca will be released first on June 25th.  It will be followed up with the experimental jazz album, Jazz-iz Christ on July 23rdOrca mixes influences of Twentieth Century composers with works written for modern films, showing a vast expanse of influences.  Among those influences are the likes of Philip Glass and Ennio Morricone.  It was originally composed in Tankian’s home studio, and came to fruition thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that helped bring it to life.  Conductor Werner Steinmetz held the baton for the recording of the records four acts. 

Courtesy:  Serjical Strike Records

Courtesy: Serjical Strike Records

Jazz-iz Christ, the second of Tankian’s upcoming release this Summer, started with just Tankian himself.  From there, it grew into a large collaborative effort that included work from:  pianist Tigran Hamasyan, flautist Valeri Tolstov, and trumpet player Tom Duprey.  Also making appearances on the new record are Stewart Copeland (The Police), actor/musician Davis Alpay, and Vincent Pedulla.  The album contains a total of fifteen compositions, most of which are instrumental, save for four songs.  That group of songs mix together progressive jazz, electronic, ethnic and rock elements. 

Both Orca and  Jazz-iz Christ will be available worldwide on iTunes, Amazon, and other online outlets including Tankian’s own website, http://www.serjtankian.com and the Serjical Strike website, http://www.serjicalstrike.com.  Pre-orders for the deluxe limited editions of Orca begin this Wednesday, May 1st.  The deluxe limited edition of Orca includes a 180-gram picture disc, swag, and a signed copy of the actual score for the record.  Pre-orders for Jazz-iz Christ begin Wednesday, May 15th.  Audiences can check out audio samples of both records at the Serjical Strike Records website. 

A tour in support of both records will be held beginning September 19th at the Ukraina Hall in Ukraine.  The tour will come on the heels of the current System of a Down tour.  The current list of tour dates in support of Tankian’s new records is available below.  More dates will be announced at a later date.  To keep up with all of the latest tour information and news from Serj Tankian, fans can follow him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Serjtankian and on his official website, http://www.serjtankian.com

19 Sep 13 Thu Kiev Ukraine Ukraina Hall
21 Sep 13 Sat Yekaterinburg Russia Kosmos Hall
23 Sep 13 Mon Novosibirsk Russia DK Zheleznodorozhnik
25 Sep 13 Wed Krasnoyarsk Russia Philharmony
27 Sep 13 Fri Moscow Russia Crocus City Hall
28 Sep 13 Sat St. Petersburg Russia Orjktybyrsky Concert Hall
03 Oct 13 Thu Florence Italy Teatro Comunale
04 Oct 13 Fri Padova Italy Gran Teatro Geox
05 Oct 13 Sat Rome Italy Auditorium Parco Della Musica

 

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Draiman, Device Far From Being Disturbed

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

David Draiman is one of the most well known vocalists in the rock community today.  His animalistic sounding growls and seemingly Maynard James Keenan inspired vocal style make his a voice that is instantly noticeable when listeners hear it.  The problem is that just as Keenan’s side project, A Perfect Circle, was instantly compared to Tool because of Keenan’s iconic vocal style, so has Draiman’s new side project, Device, been compared to Disturbed.  While the first pair of tracks on Device’s self-titled debut do bear some semblance to material recorded by Disturbed, that similarity begins to fade early on.  The album’s third song, ‘Vilify’ has more of a pure rock sound.  Right from its opening verse, it impresses just as much lyrically as musically.  Draiman sings defiantly as the song opens, “As you vilify/Every single move that I make/And try to bind me/In your insanity/You’ll come to know/That you never had control/from the onset/Go find another lapdog, f***er.”  The defiance doesn’t stop here.  The verbal assault against those who would run their mouths seemingly just to run their mouths runs nonstop through the song with full on intensity that is sure to get the blood and body flowing.

If there was still any question of comparison to Disturbed even in ‘Vilify’, then those comparisons will be erased even more in the album’s very next song, ‘Close My Eyes Forever.’ Some might cringe at this, but it almost comes across as a ballad style piece, especially with the addition of vocalist Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) give it even more of that sense.  And if that’s not proof enough, one need only look at the song’s lyrical content as argument for that comparison.  Lyrically speaking, it comes across as a song of lost love.  Draiman and Hale sing here, “I know I’ve been so hard to you/I know I’ve told you lies/If I could have just one more wish/I’d wipe the cobwebs from my eyes.”  This one song isn’t reason for anyone to worry, as it’s the only time through the course of the album’s ten tracks that the album’s intensity drops off. 

The intensity built early on in Device’s self-titled debut picks back up not long after ‘Close My Eyes Forever.’  What’s more, as the intensity rebuilds through the album’s second half so does the separation of Device from Disturbed.  It all starts on ‘Out of Line.’  This socio-political piece offers a solid mix of electronics and heavy, foot-stomping, head banging guitar breaks that would make any metal purist proud.  And the inclusion of Serj Tankian’s (System of a Down) equally distinct vocal style adds even more musical flavor to this song.  One can’t ignore the addition of Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) on this track, either.  The mix of music, star power, and lyrical heaviness makes it just one more of so many tracks from which listeners will be able to choose as a favorite.  The intensity and separation from the band members’ primary bands builds even more in ‘Opinion.’  The guest guitar work of Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) is surprisingly unlike what Morello has recorded with his other side projects.  And it definitely helps to maintain this song’s identity from anything even remotely related to Disturbed.  It is one of those pieces that has to be heard to fully understand this.

If the guest appearances from Tom Morello, Geezer Butler, and Serj Tankian aren’t enough to convince listeners as to the identity of Device, then perhaps ‘War of Lies’ and the album’s closer, ‘Through It All’ will do the job.  The heavy bass and vocals from Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) mixed with Draiman’s vocals make this one of the album’s more surprisingly interesting songs.  That’s because of the fact that the song starts off very slow and deliberate.  But a little more than halfway through the song, it picks up, and carries the listener up to the song’s final fading moments.  Those moments are just subtle enough to allow listeners to catch their breath after the musical rollercoaster on which they have just taken a ride.  And having caught their breath, any listener that went into this album thinking it would be just another Disturbed record will have seen that that belief was in fact completely wrong.  While it might have started out with some similarity to Disturbed, that similarity is soon erased, and a new band with a sound that bears only the slightest closeness to the prior arises.  It definitely turns out to be a record that any fan of Disturbed and any hard rock fan in general will want to check out at least once.   

Device is currently touring in support of its self-titled debut.  Among some of its more notable scheduled concert dates are performances at the “Welcome to Rockville” Festival on April 28th in Jacksonville Florida, the Carolina Rebellion Festival in Rockingham, North Carolina on May 4th, and the famed Rock on the Range Festival in Columbus, Ohio on May 19th.  The band has even more dates that audiences can find out about when they “Like” Device on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Devicetheband.  Audiences will also find a link to download the band’s album via iTunes on the Facebook page.  That link is http://smarturl.it/deviceitunes for those that may not be able to get to the band’s FB page.

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.

Device Announce New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

Device, the new hard rock act featuring Disturbed front man David Draiman, will hit the road for a new series of U.S. tour dates.  The band will kick of a new tour beginning April 10th in Mobile, Alabama.  The band’s tour includes stops at a number of big name Spring festivals.  Nonpoint and Gemini Syndrome will be along as supporting acts on select dates.

Device’s upcoming tour is in support of its upcoming self-titled debut album.  The album is expected to be released April 9th, 2013 on Warner Brothers Records.  Draiman is the front man of this latest hard rock super group.  He is joined by Evanescence drummer Will Hunt and Virus (guitarist of Dope and Rock of Ages).  The trio worked with former Filter member Geno Lenardo.  The band has already earned some big honors even before its debut album drops.  It has earned a Gold God nomination for “Best New Talent” from Revolver magazine.  And Artist Direct said of the band’s sound, “Welcome to the 22nd Century of rock.”  The band has already released the first single from its album.  That song is titled, ‘Vilify.’  The video for that single is available online now at YouTube.  It can be viewed now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K1q1pw04Bs.  The album can be pre-ordered online through iTunes at http://smarturl.it/deviceitunes.

Device features guest appearances from Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Glenn Huges (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion), M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold), and Lizzy Hale  (Halestorm).

For a full rundown of tour dates and to get all the latest news from Device, go online to http://www.facebook.com/devicetheband and http://twitter.com/devicetheband

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.

Serj Tankian releases first slate of tour dates, new video

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian has released the first slate of dates for his upcoming tour in support of his third solo release, “Harakiri.”  Tankian will start his tour in the U.S. with dates along the Pacific Northwest and West Coast, as well as a date in Nevada.  The U.S. leg of his tour will begin September 19th and go through September 28th.  From there, Tankian and his band, The FCC, will head overseas for the European leg of the tour, beginning October 7th in London.

In conjunction with the announcement of the upcoming tour dates, Alternative Press has premiered the video for the song, ‘Uneducated Democracy.’  The video was created by students in Tankian’s home country of Armenia.  The students attend the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies in Armenia.  It is an after school center in Yerevan, Armenia that teaches teens skills in a variety of technological fields, including:  web design, digital media, video game development and much more.  The video for ‘Uneducated Democracy’ can be viewed here:  http://www.altpress.com/aptv/video/video_premiere_serj_tankian_uneducated_democracy.  The students also developed a behind-the-scenes making of video that can also be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDQ4ZNMjeb4&feature=youtu.be.

The videos for ‘Harakiri’ and ‘Figure It Out’ are also both available now on YouTube.  The video for ‘Harakiri’ can be viewed at http://youtu.be/PQtRXqBQETA.  Fans can check out the video for ‘Figure It Out’ at http://youtu.be/IlXb50LQehc.

Fans can get a full list of tour dates, and get the latest news from Serj Tankian online at http://www.serjtankian.com, http://www.facebook.com/serjtankian, http://youtube.com/user/serjtankian, and https://twitter.com/officialserj.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Serj Tankian’s “Harakiri” streaming free online now

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

Serj Tankian’s new album, “Harakiri” hits stores next Tuesday, July 10th.  And before it hits stores, Red Bull is giving fans the chance to check out his album in its entirety right now.  The full album can be streamed now online for free at http://smarturl.it/HarakiriPremiere .  In preparation for the album’s release next week, Tankian will host a release event at the Warner BRothers Records offices next Monday, July 9th.  And then next Wednesday, July 11th–the day after the album drops–he will be performing on Jimmy Kimmel LIve, on the show’s outdoor stage.  That will be followed up by a performance at the KROQ’s Red Bull Sound Space on Thursday, July 12th.  There’s even a big tour to support the new album set. 

Fans can check if Tankian will be coming to their town and get all the latest news online at http://www.serjtankian.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SerjTankian, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/officialserj, and on his official Youtube Channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/serjtankian.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.