BUTCHER BABIES, HATEBREED AND BLACK LABEL SOCIETY LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS – FEATURE EDITORIAL

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HATEBREED CROWD @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

BUTCHER BABIES, HATEBREED

AND

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY

LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS

 TORONTO

FEATURE EDITORIAL

By: Fridae Mattas

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TWinter sucks, especially here in Ontario where you can get all types of precipitation in one day. The worst is when you get sick like I did. Caught this weird virus that I thought was just a regular cold until it warped into a crazy one. Never in my life have I experienced something like this, along with all the typical symptoms my skin hurt and my hands would go numb to the point where I couldn’t even press buttons on my android. After nearly two weeks I’m finally back at full health, the photos from the first show of the new year Thursday January 8th, turned out alright. I hoped for better but with the ghetto lighting for the first two bands I did okay. Strobes look cool but are not fun to shoot in, nor is red lighting. At least the headliners had wicked lighting, they were the best shots of the night hands down!

BUTCHER BABIES - CROWD LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 20METAL FANS @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015This show was a bittersweet experience for me personally, it was the first of 2015 but the last show I will ever cover and see at the Kool Haus. For over thirty years with a few incarnations The Guvernment Entertainment Complex has been a mecca for entertainment in Toronto. It is globally known as one of the largest and longest running clubs in Canada. The complex houses a number of venues like The Kool Haus, Skybar, Chroma (means colour in Greek) aka “The Orange Room” where Deadmaus and quite a few other DJ’s got their start. Many international artists have graced the stage at the well known live venue, The Kool Haus formerly “The Warehouse” and “RPM”. Sadly on the 31st of January after 18 years of music, dancing and mayhem, the massive complex will be closing its doors for good. The Guvernment was the first club I went to as an underage youth exploring the club scene, always had a fantastic time! I believe my father even bounced their doors at some point during the glory days in the nineties.

BUTCHER BABIES - HEIDI SHEPHERD: VOX  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSMy siblings and I saw and met many artists like “Nsync”, “Pink”, “Evanescence” and so many more at the Kool Haus. As I got older before the journalist days, I did background work in many films shot at the venue, attended exclusive events, sales, parties, raves, had many backstage wanderings and got lost a few times in the maze of rooms, the Guv is always a fun place to explore. Once upon a time at the Kool Haus I left my backpack with “friends”, who didn’t want to leave the general admission line to actually meet the band. We skipped school to see the band, might as well make the best of it right? When I returned from hanging with the band to grab my backpack, I noticed that some teenie robbed the drawings from inside my bag! Days and nights, hours and hours of sketching and painting gone. Fuming, yet at the same time flattered that my artwork was awesome enough to swipe. To this day I still wonder, why on earth would anyone want to steal Sailor Moon and random school drawings in the first place? Good thing I wasn’t stupid enough to leave my purse because I never saw my artwork again! After all of that drama, at least I chilled with the band before and after the show.

BUTCHER BABIES - HENRY FLURY: AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY

BUTCHER BABIES  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015The Guvernment has been for many Torontonians a crutch, it would always be there in our minds. But, as the unnecessary condo communities grow, our music culture in Toronto is being demolished, one venue at a time. Out of all of my adventure spots, I will definitely miss this place the most! Even more so than when the Big Bop complex closed it’s doors. Okay, enough depressing jibbers of what is eminent, let’s get to the music. First up on stage was “The Butcher Babies“, these gorgeous ladies and lads were the BUTCHER BABIES - CARLA HARVEY: VOX  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAwhole reason I chose this show as the first of 2015! Major thanks to their team for hooking a girl up! Having heard so many good things about The Butcher Babies, I had to see them live for myself. The minute I wandered into the pit the lights dimmed and the band hit the stage, I made it just in time! Tried as fast as I could to find the best non flash settings in my camera for the lighting, we only had three songs. Right out the gate they embraced the stage with vibrance and charisma, Heidi and Carla did an amazing job entertaining the crowd! The ladies went right up in there, singing from the barricades almost in the crowd. At times the crowd looked like they were going to swallow front woman Heidi Shepherd but security had her back. The mostly male audience was getting wild, I’m glad that I didn’t see any inappropriate groping of these fearless females…Then again, I wasn’t in the pit for the whole set.

BUTCHER BABIES  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015BUTCHER BABIES - CARLA HARVEY: VOX  LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDA

During the last show of 2014, I felt like a fun-sized Fridae trying to film behind this WNBA sized femme who was in front of me for the entire set. This time, it was I who felt like Andre the Giant’s daughter when Vox – Carla Harvey ran past me to get back on the stage, she is so tiny! They kicked off their eight track set with intro “The George Takei song” followed by “I Smell A Massacre” and continued to rock out with their blend of New school metal. The sound was the best of the night and the crowd was having a fantastic time, especially when they rocked their big tunes “Mr. Slowdeath” and “Magnolia Blvd”. If you get the chance to see California’s Butcher Babies, go for it! I could actually understand what they we’re singing! Diction is the most common issue for metal bands live but these femmes had it on lock! Bassist Jason Klein and Guitarist Henry Flury used the stage and kept the music on point! The beats were always tight thanks to stick handler Chris Warner. Throughly impressed with The Butcher Babies, looking forward to covering them again in the future.

BUTCHER BABIES - CHRIS WARNER; DRUMS LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSD

 BUTCHER BABIES

HATEBREED LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015Hatebreed has always been one of those elusive bands I always missed at festivals and finally had the chance to shoot and absorb a set. Their lighting was the worst of the night and it shows in my shots, everyone was drowning in red lighting! At least the band sounded good, that was the last thing I needed, a shitty metal band in my ears for the next forty-five minutes or so! Thankfully that was not the problem with Hatebreed, surprisingly I enjoyed their fourteen track set very much. The crowd was singing along to the mix of old and new tracks played in the fourteen track set.

HATEBREED LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015HATEBREED LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015They rocked tunes like “This Is Now”, “Live For This”, “Doomsayer” and a few more of the classics…Not a big fan of the band, but am familiar with a few tunes thanks to an almost boyfriend. Hatebreed is one of those bands that has changed up members a few times. The current line up is: Jamey Jasta – Vox, Chris Beattie – Bass, Wayne Lozinak – Guitar, Matt Byrne – Drums and Frank Novinec – Guitar. The lighting was too boo and it was getting harder to shoot the band. The bodies were starting to fly more often and all the photographers who missed the Butcher Babies were trying to make up for it. Would I see Hatebreed again? Yes, would love to! They could use some more energy and crowd interaction but they held their own, that’s for sure! 

HATEBREED LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015

 HATEBREED

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015The last band of the night was Black Label Society who I thought would never hit the stage. How long does it take to put up a curtain? Apparently, half an hour and six stage hands! Oh and let’s not forget they wouldn’t let us into the pit until after the curtain dropped and was put away…That took what felt like an hour and a half, we only had three songs. Due to the delay in rotation at this event, I could only reach one of the other two scheduled for that night. My phone was dying, so I plugged it into the smartest thing I bought this year thus far, a portable phone charger for $14.99 from The Source! Just as I pulled the battery from my phone, the band began to play and the curtain dropped, we finally were able to enter the media pit.  

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TBLACK LABEL SOCIETY - JEFF FABB: DRUMS LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURBLACK LABEL SOCIETY - DARIO LORINA: AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THUThe set intro was “Whole Lotta Sabbath” followed by “The Beginning…At Last” which could not have been more ironic. As for vocals, the mic stand with a bunch of skulls was cool, but I couldn’t hear shit in the pit. I focused on the only instrument I could hear, the Lead Guitar. The sound of a seasoned guitarists fluid skills unfolding, is always a treat for my ears. Honestly, it did not matter that I couldn’t hear any vox at this point, my ears were too busy enjoying Zakk Wylde’s intoxicating electric axemastery. I’ve seen Black Label Society briefly once before, but only caught the last few songs of the set. The band has had a few member changes but two originals remain, founder Zakk Wylde – Piano/Vox/Lead Axe/Rhythm Guitar and Bassist/Backup Vox – John DeServio. The other members in the band are newbies Dario Lorina – Rhythm Guitar/Backup Vox and Jeff Fabb who was destroying that dragon skull drum kit.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TBLACK LABEL SOCIETY - DARIO LORINA: AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THUIt was awesome to see Wylde use different guitars for every song, especially the one that was stolen last year and found a few days after. The whole band was fun to watch because they were all feeling the music. My favorite of the night was, Bassist DeServio who was flying all over the stage, entertaining the crowd as some were flying into the pit. Security kept tapping us on our shoulder, which is the standard heads up for the incoming surfers. Didn’t have a chance to run away from the line of fire a few times and was smushed against the stage, as security pulled out crowd surfers. The lighting was perfect for this set, my camera loved shooting in these lights but as usual was being a diva with the reds. After the three media tunes I left the venue to hop in a cab and reach my next destination. Just as I wandered out the venue my friend called to tell me he was twenty minutes away. So I rewinded back inside to see a few tunes until my friend arrived.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TBLACK LABEL SOCIETY - JOHN DESERVIO: BASS LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS TBLACK LABEL SOCIETY LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURSDAY JAN. 8TH 2015Wandered back in the venue at the end of “Suicide Messiah” and new tune “My Dying Time” was played next. The crowd was even more into the show as it progressed, singing along to pretty much every tune played. A mix of hits with many from the latest record “Catacombs of the Black Vatican”. It was good to actually hear the vocals from the back of the venue, always the go to spot for the best sound.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - JEFF FABB: DRUMS LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS THURIn the end I actually got to watch and see most of the set but had to leave in the middle of “Angel Of Mercy” which sounded so good! Did not want to go just yet but I had other places to be, definitely need to watch a full set from Black Label Society in the near future. You should check them out, especially if you like hearing amazing guitar being played, Wylde’s guitar solo was epic. The newbs Lorina and Fabb killed it, they add more character and chemistry to the band. Thank you to everyone who helped make this first show of 2015 an unforgettable one! That includes the couple who were fighting before the BLS set and eventually escorted out of the Kool Haus by security. Adios Kool Haus, we had some amazing times! Will always be one of my favorite places to shoot incredible talent! Now this fabulously dangerous 18 year escapade is coming to an end. The memories will always be, but there will never be another venue like the Guvernment Entertainment Complex. You will be missed!

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY - ZAKK WYLDE: VOX/AXE LIVE @ THE KOOL HAUS T

 COPYRIGHT © 2015 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY

www.ButcherBabiesofficial.com

www.Hatebreed.com

www.BlackLabelSociety.com

NEW MUSIC MONDAYS: BAND OF THE DAY! O-TOWN LIVE @ LEE’S PALACE – FEATURE EDITORIAL

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O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE - FRIDAE TV INTERVIEW MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 - PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS
Photo By: Fridae Mattas

NEW MUSIC MONDAY’S

BAND OF THE DAY!

 O-TOWN LIVE @ LEE’S PALACE

W/ TODD CAREY

FEATURE EDITORIAL

By: Fridae Mattas

Additional photography by: Dipan Cheema

Last Monday December 8th, America’s first reality show musical group O-Town hit Lee’s palace in Toronto. First time across the border in ten years for their only Canadian stop on the reunion tour. Before American Idol existed and Puff Daddy took over Making The Band, there was O-Town. The last “Boy band” created by convicted con-man and alleged pedophile “Lou Pearlman” who is currently serving a 25 year prison sentence. You could probably find episodes of Making The Band’s first three seasons on YouTube. Unlike “The Backstreet Boys” or “N’Sync“, O-Town’s formulation was amidst Pearlman’s extreme legal issues. They didn’t even get the chance to sustain their momentum and stray from the boy band definition. The group released two albums and disappeared, until now! O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014

Late August of this year, O-Town released their third record “Lines & Circles”. The first single off of the new record is “Skydive”, a fantastic mid tempo ballad that you can watch here. The current group is Jacob Underwood – Vox/Guitar, Trevor Penick – Vox, Erik-Michael Estrada – Vox and Dan Miller – Vox. The group once had five members, Ashley Parker Angel the fifth member did not want to partake in the reunion. But hey, that’s okay because from what I saw and heard, the quartet will do just fine without him! Never have I seen them live before, I was expecting the worst. I’ve covered or seen pretty much every musical group except “The Beatles”, “The Jackson Five”, “New Edition” and a few more because I was not born yet or old enough to migrate! Bypassing the fans waiting in line at Lee’s, I ran straight into the venue thinking I was late! It was five-thirtyish, the bands publicist told me my interview time was at 5pm. Turns out the band wasn’t there yet, I breathed easier, so glad that I made it on time.O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema

Another media outlet was setting up their lighting across the room as I began unloading my gear. In the venue maybe five minutes before a guy walked over and introduced himself, his face looked familiar and the name Jacob rang a bell. One-fourth of the quartet and the business man of the band, which I later learned in my five second interview. Soon after the other interview began a blogger arrived to interview the group, adding to the time crunch. That pushed my interview back until she finished hers because mine was to be filmed, I didn’t mind for the time being. My priority was finding a plug to charge dead camera battery that was fully charged but somehow now dying…It was more than obvious that the Universe was being moody, something else was going to fuck up for sure.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE - FRIDAE TV INTERVIEW MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 photo by: Fridae Mattas

When it was finally my turn, we were getting acquainted as I set up my tripod. Was being rushed to the point where I almost didn’t get the mic into their hands, nevermind check the audio levels! The guys were friendly and helpful, making suggestions on where I’d like them to be placed for the interview. After introductions I opened with “You guys are back! Why now?” Underwood answered with “Well, it was the right time for us, it has been difficult to get together in the past, with me living in Nashville and Dan being a father and all of our other projects. Now is the right time.” I can recall telling them their 2014 debut single “Skydive” was a good tune and asked if they were more hands on with this record? After thanking me for the compliment, they answered back with “yes” and a more in depth perspective that was lost amongst the static in the recording because my lip reading skills are not the greatest.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Fridae Mattas

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaWhen I asked if they would do a reality show again, Dan was the most responsive, rapidly shaking his head “No”! We chatted about the difference of their first tour and this tour, at some point they were jibbering about visiting Niagara Falls (The big one is called Horseshoe Falls) before migrating to Toronto. Assuming it was their first time, judging by their excitement it sure sounded like it was. Niagara Falls Canada is the honeymoon capital of the world for a reason! The best time to see the falls is at night when they have the lights on, it looks too cool. Plus its fun to hit up a haunted house attraction and party there sometimes, on the Canadian side that is! Buffalo is ass! No offense Buffalo, I’m sure everyone notices how much it sucks compared to Canada’s Niagara and Toronto but, we are nothing compared to Manhattan. Oh yeah before I forget, single ladies…You are in luck! Three of the four are ready to mingle, as Jacob stated while he did the “call me” gesture on camera. They also chatted about their status during the show, playing the dating game theme song for shits and giggles.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaIt’s good to see them being responsible for their own careers. Underwood is basically the manager, handling most of the business, booking the gigs and apparently this is only the beginning, in 2015 we will be seeing a lot of O-Town!  There you have it Townies, they will be heading back on tour, hitting a city near you in the future! Literally in four minutes that is all I was able to get. Not the interview I had envisioned…But tour manager Chris (I think that was his name) looked like he was going to have a nervous breakdown when he told me to wrap it up… I blame my tech issues on that half hour interview because they fucked up the whole rotation! So annoyed, I went straight to my generic wrap, pretty sure the band read the annoyance of being cut-off on my face. Now multiply that by seven and add a livid LeTawniyah on level ten. That’s how pissed off I was when I played back the interview to no sound, just static…Couldn’t even finish eating my poutine. Clearly, the Universe was not happy with the brief little snippet. And, after spending the last week trying to resurrect the audio from Monday’s interview, I finally gave up. 

TODD CAREY LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE - PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

The opening act was “Todd Carey” American singer whose single “Nintendo” hit number one on the Billboard twitter charts. During one of the cover tunes, O-Town’s Jacob Underwood joined the stage to jam with Todd Carey and you can see how it all went down here. My ears were done after that, I had to find my ear plugs now! The sold out mostly female crowd was competing for the loudest scream, like Animals with the loudest mating call in the wild. Thankfully I was finally armed with ear plugs, they were my saving grace because that was only the beginning…Carey was good, a little too broadway and disingenuous for me but has potential, the fans were enjoying themselves. When Todd played his number one billboard twitter tune, my ears did not like that “Nintendo” song. The fans were screaming stuff like “Oh My Gawd, he’s soo cute” but not “I love this song” or any vulgar obscenities, that I heard anyway!  

TODD CAREY FT. JACOB UNDERWOOD LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaTODD CAREY LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaTODD CAREY FT. JACOB UNDERWOOD LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaAbout twenty or so minutes after doors opened we heard a commotion near the parking lot around the corner. Photographer “D” made a sarcastic comment about how the group probably popped up to check the fans. His words rang true, the quartet ran to the front entrance along the crowd causing “Bandimonium” because most of the fans were still waiting to be let into the venue. It was pretty amusing to those of us watching this madness unfold. Apparently an older woman looked absolutely disgusted as she passed by. I was laughing, this was hilarious and obvious they still have an effect on Canadian females.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaO-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaThe set up was pretty basic, a computer played the instrumentals as the group kicked off their sold out set with the song that started it all, “Liquid Dreams”. At first I could not hear them over the shrill screams of five hundred or so grown ass women with a few boyfriends in tow and a couple of gays sprinkled in the mix. To be exact, two Queen’s dancing the night away in the middle of the venue like nobody was watching. Both myself and photog D, refused to even attempt shooting anywhere near the front of the stage. D was stage left, closer to the pit area and I just chilled on the steps by the sound booth, stage right. Was hoping to get decent footage without too many heads and hands…But of course the struggle was real, Andre the Giant’s daughter decided to wear stilettos and a messy bun to this concert…You can see her head bobbing all over my footage and she was standing below me…My weakness is filming in crowds without media pits! Wish I wore heels to make my 5’8 stature at least 5’11 or 6 feet and if only I could find a good spot to set up my tripod! Nowhere in the chaos was that possible. 

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaO-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema

They sang a mix of their new and old track’s, sounding absolutely tight without needing any live auto-tune! The performance shocked me actually, because my ears were liking all of their voices and that is rare when it comes to vocal groups. The only ones able to accomplish that thus far were “Boyz II Men” who are impeccable live, watch them for yourself on FridaeTV Youtube.  As for The Backstreet Boys; my ears don’t really like Howie D’s vocals, N’Sync; JC’s vocals were the strongest, did not like the rest especially Chris’s tone. Occasionally Justin’s vocals were tolerable, the nasal whine in his falsetto still bothers my ears to this day. New Kids weren’t really known as a vocal group and 98 Degrees doesn’t even make the list! My ears don’t like any of their voices and they are so boring on stage. Saw them live when I was a youngin, it was the first time I was attacked by fans, all because one of the Larries handed me a rose. Never went to another 98 Degrees show or saw the rose again because the teenies yanked it out of my hand. 

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaO-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaRight out the gate, O-Town could have done anything and sounded like shit, yet the fans still would have eaten it up. A great example was when Jacob decided to try something new where he threw and caught his mic during the hit tune “All Or Nothing”. My reaction to the little trick was similar to Trevor and Dan’s but the fans loved every second! You can watch that big tune unfold here. At least he tried it and in the end it worked out for him.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaO-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaToronto embraced O-Town with open arms, except for this douche behind me who kept DAN MILLER: O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheemayelling “You suck, you fucking suck!” during an acoustic performance of a song they’ve never done live before. It was a little rough as expected for a first attempt, it was a lot better than many “Rock Bands” have done on the fly. That man was aggravating LeTawniyah, lucky for him he disappeared before she was unleashed. The crowd was entertained without the JACOB UNDERWOOD: O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheemabells and whistles of a huge production. O-Town’s talent and personalities we’re more than enough for the fans in Toronto. Next time, hit up the Phoenix where there is ample room for more fans and stage tricks ha ha.

My ears did not mind a few of the newer tunes like “Lines & Circles” and “Rewind”. Those songs stood out after briefly listening to the latest record and hearing them live. O-Town has been trying to gain respect in the industry, working hard to find a place in the world of today’s music as legit musicians. Is it possible for them to gain momentum in an era where everything is over processed and manufactured? I believe these indie underdogs of pop could slowly climb to the top! Ashley who? Keep practicing, writing and always remember what Drake says; “Started from the bottom now the whole team fucking here!” O-Town is Fridae approved, if you get the chance, go see their brand of non-autotuned musical infusions. Muchas gracias to D for assisting me in shooting the set, publicist Matt for all his help. And of course thanks to O-Town for taking a few minutes to chat, it was great to meet you guys! Reach out and I’ll see ya’ll in 2015, we need a new interview! Enjoy the holidays everyone and don’t forget to grab your copy of O-Town’s newest album “Lines & Circles” here in the US and here in Canada. 

www.OTOWNOFFICIAL.com

 COPYRIGHT © 2014 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema
Photo By: Dipan Cheema

LACUNA COIL WITH INCURA AND STARSET – LIVE IN TORONTO FEATURE EDITORIAL

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LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014
Photo By: Fridae Mattas

LACUNA COIL

WITH INCURA AND STARSET

LIVE IN TORONTO 2014

FEATURE EDITORIAL

 

 

Written By: Fridae Mattas

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Additional Photo Credits: Joanna Glezakos

 STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

Words are flowing with ease because now I can breathe and actually focus on writing this editorial. The photos I shot were lost and I was trying to recover them somehow, finally mission is accomplished and they’re all edited. I was very happy that long time FridaeTV photographer Joanna made it to shoot a bit of the last two sets. There was to be four bands on the bill but apparently “Devil You Know” had some car troubles and did not make it to Toronto for the set. Was looking forward to seeing them perform but shit happens! Before we get into the meaty part of the editorial I must say if you don’t know who Lacuna Coil is I suggest you listen to a few tunes and then come back to read the rest of this review.

CROWD @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014INCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

The first band on stage at The Opera House was Incura originally from Alberta and now transplanted to Vancouver. The band was support for the Canadian leg of the tour and I was so glad I made it to catch their set! Last time I saw Incura rock out was at Canadian Music week…I think? Who knows I could be lying, it’s been a while! Regardless, I don’t get tired of watching them play their hearts out on stage. I wish the Opera House would add some front lighting and not just backlighting always drowning out the performers.INCTINCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

It’s always a challenge to shoot at that venue but at least there was a barricade and mini pit to shoot from, very rare for the Opera House. Kyle Gruninger is the epitome of what a lead vocalist is, he actually sings the bands original material without all the bells and whistles and performs each track like it’s the last song he will sing…One day, they will be rocking arenas! They had an extended set due to the transportation issues of “Devil You Know” leaving a gap in the line up. The crowd didn’t seem to mind at all, I recognized quite a few tunes “Get The Gun”, “Who You Are”, “Greatest Con” and a few more. The other members in the band are: Phil Gardner – Drums, Jim McLaren – Keys, Jono Olson – Bass and Gatlin Fitzgerald – Lead Guitar. The band was extremely entertaining, every set is better than the last but some improvements still need to be made. McLaren on the Keys needs to be a little more vibrant, he looked bored some of the time and not that into the tunes. I cannot wait to see the next phase of progress for Incura.

INCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE SEPT 28TH 2014 TORONTO - Photo By: Fridae MattasINCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

Up next was a fresh band for me, Starset from Columbus, Ohio. I was the only one shooting the first two bands and didn’t know what to think when the band emerged on stage with lit space helmets on their head and rocking in black tights. The only one not in costume was lead vox Dustin Bates, the rest of the band Ron DeChant, Adam Gilbert and Brock Richards were glowing.

STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014Starset were very fun to shoot and easy on the ears, I was really liking their tunes especially the catchy single “My Demons” from their debut record “Transmissions”. I will definitely need to check out the full record. The only thing I can think of that this band needs to fix is visual, they had this giant screen with the bands logo on it beside the keyboard. It did look cool for a minute but then got in the way, you could barely see the drummer or the vocalist when he was standing behind it. The music was good, a little much on the electrification of the vocals but I thoroughly enjoyed this band and will hit up another set if they reach Toronto again. 

STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014 By: Fridae Mattas

Continuing the trend of not dragging this on let’s chat about the headliners, before there was Evanescence, Lacuna Coil brought the goth metal melodies and vocals back in the early nineties. The one and only Italian GodFathers of Goth Rock Lacuna Coil has had some mild success, I’ve heard the bands music for a long time and when I found out they were hitting Toronto, had to cover them! There are many bands out there that deserve much more success and exposure than the current crop of shitterific mainstream entertainment. All of the bands on this Broken Crown Halo tour are part of group “A” the fantastic bands that should be heard. 

LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

Over the years Lacuna Coil has gained quite a loyal fanbase and not just in Europe, these talented Italianos from Milano have made a name for themselves across the globe. The band is: Cristina Scabbia – Vocals, Andrea Ferro – Vocals, Marco Coti Zelati – Bass, Marco ‘Maus’ Biazzi – Guitars and Ryan Blake Folden on the Drums . 

LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE 2014 - PHOTO BY: JOANNA GLEZAKOS FOR FRIDAE TV

Lacuna Coil had a few cool looking crowns decorating the stage and once they migrated out they we’re greeted with cheers as they kicked off their well blended fifteen track set with big tune Trip The Darkness off of Dark Adrenaline. That tune was soon followed by Spellbound from Shallow Life. Vocals by Andrea Ferro were almost flawless, he gave the people what they wanted…A Performance! I noticed some technical issues with the microphones but Ferro embraced it like a champ. Cristina’s vocals were strong, she sang her heart out and the fans couldn’t get enough, especially when they played Depeche Mode cover “Enjoy The Silence” to end the set. I liked Lacuna Coil’s rendition of the song much better than the original. Maus Biazzi on the axe was beyond incredible those licks were spectacular to hear! The beat was tight thanks to stellar stick handler Ryan Blake Folden and Zelati’s Bass lines were on point.

LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE 2014 - PHOTO BY JOANNA GLEZAKOS FOR FRIDAETVLACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE 2014 - PHOTO BY JOANNA GLEZAKOS FOR FRIDAETV

After I shot some photos I was watching the set from behind the soundbooth, the best view in the house! They had some fabulous lighting, still backlit but you must always work with what you have. It was fun to see the bands lighting tech enjoying the show as much as the fans, never seen a crew member so into the music. Rhythmically, he was in sync with every beat the band played and it translated on stage, now that’s passion! I loved watching and hearing the songs I’ve heard on the albums come to life.

LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE 2014 - PHOTO BY JOANNA GLEZAKOS FOR FRIDAETV

The encore’s were a mix of old and new, first was Nothing Stands In Our Way from the current release Broken Crown Halo and the last tune the band played before lights out was Our Truth off of their album Karmacode. Huge thank you to Jon who linked it up and Lacuna Coil for having me! I enjoyed myself and will be seeing all of these bands again at some point in the future. 5 music notes out of 5 ♪♪♪♪♪ for each band, Lacuna Coil, Starset and Incura are all worth your time and support! 

INCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

 COPYRIGHT © 2014 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014 EDITORIAL – FEATURING AVENGED SEVENFOLD & KORN TORONTO

Featured

AVENGED SEVENFOLD - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014

 FEATURING

 AVENGED SEVENFOLD

&

KORN

EDITORIAL REVIEW

TORONTO EDITION

 By: Fridae Mattas

BODY COUNT CROWD - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival 2014 finally arrived on a beautiful Friday, not too hot not too cold! Actually, it was a little crisp by the lake at the Molson Canadian Amphitheater for July 25th, I’m just so glad it didn’t rain! The only water flow noted other than a drunk girl lean peeing on the wall by the mainstage…Was when IceT decided to spray his water bottle everywhere. Instantly everyone with a camera in the media-pit covered their gear, myself included. Water dries but it still fucks up your equipment! Lately I have been covering only select events because my FridaeTV time is extremely scarce these days. I’m amazed that this editorial, photos included is being published so soon even with a technical issue. I guess that’s just how amazing my problem solving abilities have become over time. There was a slight delay getting to the venue but I reached just in time for the last Suicide Silence media tune. Was absolutely annoyed I missed “Veil Of Maya“, “Mushroomhead“, “Darkest Hour“, “Miss May IandTexas Hippie Coalition“. Another setback was losing my photographer before the festival even started. She was having technical difficulties with her phone and I couldn’t reach her. So, on my own it was! I had a fantastic time, met some new friends in addition to running into so many of my friends already at the festival. Between sets I had a few beers with as many as I could find. My head did not appreciate the festivities the next day, I had a crazy beerover because the shenanigans continued after the show.  SUICIDE SILENCE - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014 A few of the bands on the bill I have already seen and covered but hey who could say no to another Avenged Sevenfold or Trivium set? For me this was exciting, I love seeing how bands progress, some do amazingly with refining their talents and some hit roadblocks because not everyone has the same drive. Suicide Silence was rocking a tune “Cease To Exist” off of their new release “You Can’t Stop Me” the first record with new vocalist Hernan “Eddie” Hermida. The band is: Chris Garza – Rhythm Guitar, Mark Heylmun – Lead Guitar, Alex Lopez – Drums and Dan Kenny on the Bass. SUICIDE SILENCE - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014SUICIDE SILENCE - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014The fans were loving the energy, perfect amount of guitar and angry growling for surfage…Crowd surfing that is! The security guards probably wanted to shoot themselves in the face (They did, I asked). Being in the front lines constantly pulling flying bodies from the crowd, never looks like a fun job. One of the security guards told me that they don’t look forward to country music shows the most because people get so hammered they start fighting everyone, including their friends. I’ll take his word for it because I wouldn’t know, I have only been to maybe four country shows and they were at smaller venues. Once I was satisfied with my one song shots, I migrated to the bridge between the Sumerian stage where Body Count was setting up and the Coldcock Whiskey stage to observe the performance. The following song in the seven track set was “Fuck Everything” from the 2011 record “Black Crown”, this is the song everyone needs to play when they’re having a bad day. Its always fun to watch the fans fly around and headbang to the bands. As the set was coming to an end, I kept seeing this one little Larry crowd surf over and over. When he popped out of the pit again, I heard him shout to his friend “let’s go again!” but his friend declined so he rewinded and dove right back in the crowd for another glide across the ocean of people. CROWD - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL TORONTO 2014CROWD - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014Body Count Frontman O.G Ice Mutha Fuckin T was up next and the fans at that stage were getting restless chanting “Body Count! Body Count!”. In case you only thought of IceT as the cop on Law & Order SVU, he’s the grandfather of rap/rock! He started his thrash metal career as frontman and co-founder of Body Count back in 1990, IceT has also dropped solo rap albums like “O.G Original Gangster” and the pre-Body Count days “Rhyme Pays”. The rest of the band is co-founder/Lead Guitar – Ernie C, Ill Will on the skins, Vincent Price  on Bass, Juan Of The Dead – Rhythm Guitar. I’m tripping out right now! I found out IceT has the same birthday I do, he also has the same beauty mark on his face in the exact same spot as mine. Now it makes sense why people were asking me if I was his daughter at the festival, I could very well play his kid! If I didn’t know better, I would absolutely think he was my dad, he’s only a year older than my mom. Maybe that’s why at first Coco was looking at me like I stole her money, I look like his long lost daughter ha ha. But now I completely understand IceT, his whole obsession with rock, he’s probably drawn to the sound of the guitar like I am, his confidence and he likes blondes! I love blondie boys, although I’ve dated brunettes and gingers there’s something about blondes I like more. Wow, he was my Dad in past life for sure, we are different beings.BODY COUNT FT. ICE T - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014BODY COUNT FT. ICE T - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014BODY COUNT FT. ICE T - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014As the band was finishing the gear setup, IceT’s gorgeous wife Coco popped out onto the stage with their two super cute bulldogs. I was more than happy to play with the dogs while fans took photos with Coco after the set. Never in my life did I think I would get the chance to cover or see Body Count live, never mind watching and listening to them cover a Slayer track (Disorder). The set started with old school tune “There Goes The Neighborhood” followed by “Bowels of The Devil” and before ending it off with the most controversial song in history “Cop Killer’, they dropped a newer tune “Talk Shit, Get Shot”. How ironic is it that IceT the man who created the track “Cop Killer” plays a cop on TV! I would love to check them out when they hit Toronto again, fantastic performance by the entire band, they brought it hard! BODY COUNT FT. ICE T - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014CANNIBAL CORPSE - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014The next band playing over at the Coldcock stage was Buffalo’s Cannibal Corpse, another veteran band I have never seen but more than glad to be checking out. Instantly I noticed the vocals weren’t very fluid in regards to diction, with Suicide Silence you could fully understand what he was singing but CC frontman George Fisher needs to clean it up a bit. Regardless, the band’s enthusiasm made up for it because they tore up that stage! I took as many shots possible so many photographers were in the pit, plus security and the continual flying bodies. I wasn’t about that life so I migrated to my little spot to watch the rest of their set. The band is: Alex Webster – Bass, Paul Mazurkiewicz – Drums, George  Fisher – Vocals, Patrick O’Brien – Lead Guitar, Rob Barrett – Rhythm Guitar. I would check them out again if they reached Toronto and all metal fans should definitely give these guys a listen. CANNIBAL CORPSE - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014TRIVIUM - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014Not only did I miss the six bands I wanted to see, didn’t catch any of the performances at the Victory stage either, had to keep reminding my ocd one person can only do so much. All of the side stages were wrapped by the time the mainstage was ready to be heated up by Trivium, who were breaking the ice. Surprisingly I have seen Trivium before, caught their set at Heavy T.O 2012 which was pretty good, this time around they were even more on point! They all looked like they were having fun, yes, a metal band was having fun! It was the trend of the evening for the mainstage bands, like everyone got laid and was in a fantastic mood. At first it was a little challenging to shoot the whole band because I couldn’t migrate freely, the pit was very crowded, seemed like there were more photographers than last year. Either way I still managed to get good shots, it just became increasingly difficult as the night progressed, by the time Korn hit the stage we could have created a photographer mosh pit. Obviously, some of the photographers were not supposed to be there but who am I to tell them to leave, that’s not my job. TRIVIUM LIVE @ ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL FRIDAY JULY 25THTRIVIUM - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014The set was very entertaining they even managed to get the crowd to participate, which is at times an extreme challenge with Toronto crowds.  There were some pitch issues but his diction was perfect and at least Vox Matt Heafy wasn’t using a voice box like many others do. Corey Beaulieu rocked his axe all over the stage, utilizing it like every guitarist should. Paolo Gregoletto on Bass had some expression on his face this time, he wasn’t all stone faced. I even caught a smile but that shot was too blurry to use in the gallery. The beat was kept tight and steady by Mat Madiro but it was nothing too fancy. If you like metal music with meaning then you must check out Trivium, they threw down tunes like the opener “Black” the tune “Strife” and ended the set with “In Waves” one of my favorite Trivium tunes. TRIVIUM - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014TRIVIUM - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014Next on the bill was Asking Alexandria from England, they’ve been to Toronto before. I don’t remember seeing them but for some reason I have a feeling that I have. We will pretend like I haven’t because my memory does not recollect anything. The only clue is that Warped tour keeps popping into my head, so maybe that’s where I’ve seen them. Asking Alexandria is the brainchild of Lead Guitarist Ben Bruce, he first started the band with different members in Dubai before migrating back to England for a fresh start. The stage set up had these giant brightly lit A’s on each side of Drummer James Cassells, who immediately began smashing those cans once he got behind his kit. Asking Alexandria to me, was the easiest band to shoot that evening. ASKING ALEXANDRIA - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014ASKING ALEXANDRIA GUITAR - BEN BRUCE LIVE @ ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYH ASKING ALEXANDRIA - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014ASKING ALEXANDRIA - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014

ASKING ALEXANDRIA - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014Frontman and co-founder Danny Worsnop was ready to rock with shades and a wobble. I’m surprised he didn’t fall into the crowd. Either way, vocally and performance wise he killed it! Wandering all over the stage, with his bandmates in tow actively helping him entertain the crowd. The fans were eating out of Worsnop’s hands, he was the only frontman of the night to get right in there at almost crowd level. Look wise, he kind of reminded me of a young Chris Jericho of Fozzy and yes, the wrestler…Interviewed him a few years back (Click to watch). 

Of all the bands I had seen up to this point in the day Worsnop had the best vocals and the band as a whole has impeccable chemistry on stage. So much talent for such a young bunch of Larries. I have seen bands ten years their senior who still haven’t figured out how to put on a show. Rhythm Guitarist Cameron Liddell was very laid back but he still had his skill and swagger, as did Bassist Sam Bettley. I guess there’s a reason these lads have been making waves on the scene, with their catchy melodic metalcore, I can see why. Go see these guys rock any stage it will be worth your time, I look forward to covering them again in the future. 

AAGDASKING ALEXANDRIA - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014ASKING ALEXANDRIA - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014 At this festival everyone who had lawn seats got lucky like Daft Punk! They were all upgraded to the 300’s section, which made it a full house and looked pretty cool. Even though nobody was on the lawns there were way more people in attendance than last year for sure! The People who would have been on lawns were drinking away at Beerfest across the bridge at the CNE fairgrounds. I passed by for a minute to visit with friends after the show and was to cover the event the following day. But…Due to solving my technical issues I couldn’t make it, I was mucho sad because I had been looking forward to it all year! And, I wanted to see the Trews! JONATHAN DAVIS - KORN - VOCALS - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVALKORN - BASS - REGINALD ARVIZU LIVE @ MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014 TORONTOBack to this festival, for the next band I couldn’t have been more excited than I was. On the outside I was the usual totally cool Fridae but inside I was teenying out hardcore! This band I could never see because I was like nine when they first emerged onto the scene. And, do you really thing my Sensei Father let me go to a rock concert? He didn’t even let me sleepover at my friends house next door! I only really got to know their music because my first high school boyfriend was obsessed with them. Randal was one of those “rebellious rich kids” who had a Korn patch and button on his backpack and probably still is a huge fan! Who knows, he may have been at the show. Always has been my ex boyfriends who have introduced me to rock music in my teen years. My Dad was into the old school classics like Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Queen, Genesis, The Police etc. And I love R&B, Soul, Rap. As for Korn, I have not had the opportunity to experience them live and to have the chance to watch and listen to some of my favorite tracks was incredible! Covering the band was the icing on the cake. As elated as I was for their set, one thing I was praying for was that Korn would be good live. So many bands and artists I’ve been a fan of that I have covered were horrendous live. KORN - DRUMS - RAY LUZIER LIVE @ ROCKSTAR MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014 TORONTOKORN - KEYS - ZAC BAIRD LIVE @ MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014 TORONTOThe moment of truth was upon us, would they blow my mind or totally blow and turn me off the band completely? The answer is…They were mindblasting! I loved every minute of Korn’s set and they truly showed their veteran skills off! The first to hit the stage was drummer Ray Luzier, he sat down and counted the rest of the band straight into the “Molested” intro, before they rocked the first track of the set “Falling Away From Me”. That tune was followed by “Twist” one of my favorites from the record “Life Is Peachy”. I was trying my best to get the cleanest shots possible in this media pit frenzie. Some faces I recognized others I didn’t and definitely can’t keep up with all of these new media outlets. I don’t pay attention to the competitors but I know most of them have grabbed a few ideas and words from me. Frontman Jonathan Davis is in surprisingly decent shape for a man of his age, and sang well enough to retain me as a fan. There were times in the set I thought his mic stand was going to go flying when he really got into a song but I think it was shellacked on the stage or something because it stayed.  From a critics perspective, a frontman with Davis’s experience should know how to build more of a connection with the audience, engage with the people a little more, they are there to see you, talk to them. At least Davis was visibly enjoying himself, throwing smiles at the fans here and there between songs. I remember seeing another favorite band and the singer was in a corner by himself the whole set, that was a huge disappointment. JONATHAN DAVIS - KORN - VOCALS - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVALKORN - GUITARIST BRIAN WELCH LIVE @ MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014 TORONTOKORN GUITARIST - JAMES MUNKY SHAFFER LIVE @ MAYHEM TORONTO 2014 Guitars by Brian “Head” Welch and James “Munky” Schaffer were fantastic, dreads were flying everywhere! I love the sound of electric guitars, that is what drew me to rock music. There’s something about the resonance of an electric guitar played by a true Axemaster that my ears can’t get enough of. The more guitars the merrier, as long as they are played well because if there were three of me playing the electric guitar, everyone would cringe and start throwing things at us as they booed. On the other hand, when you have the Axemasters in Korn rocking their tunes in your face, who can complain? I certainly can’t, even as a critic because they brought it! Their dexterity was more than obvious and absolutely amazing to listen to and watch. I wish all of my friends were there because concerts are always way more fun with friends than alone. Bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu was flying around everywhere and then there were these random times where he just stood there taking in the crowd. Don’t know why he hasn’t been in a “Pirates of the Carribbean” film yet, he looks like he would blend right in as the perfect pirate. KORN GUITARIST BRIAN WELCH LIVE @ MAYHEM FESTIVAL TORONTO 2014JONATHAN DAVIS - KORN - VOCALS - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVALHopefully I will one day get to see Korn rock out again, my favorite moment was when they played “Freak On A Leash” just before closing the set with “Blind”. “Freak On A Leash” is one of my all time favorite songs in history. If any of you rock and metal fans get the chance to see Korn live, take it and go, you will be glad you did! Mayhem fest is still on the road, check out the website here for the remaining tour dates. The day kept getting better of course, it was my day, Friday and good things always come to me on Fridays. There was still one band left to rock the stage, one of my favorite bands to date and the headliners of the 2014 Rockstar Energy Mayhem festival…Avenged Sevenfold!AVENGED SEVENFOLD GUITARS - ZACKY VENGENCE & SYNYSTER GATES LIVE @ MAYHEM FEST 2014 TORONTOAVENGED SEVENFOLD - JOHNNY CHRIST - BASS LIVE @ MAYHEM FEST 2014 TORONTONot too many bands out there that I can say I would watch more than once. However, Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Lincoln Park, Finger Eleven, and The Trews, to name a few are the ones I could watch perform over and over without getting bored. Their music and live sets are that good, especially after you see Finger Eleven guitarist Rick Jackett in action you will be spoiled, no other guitarist that I have experienced is at that level of phenomenal. Love seeing bands that I have previously covered develop more into their talents, Avenged Sevenfold is a primo example of hard work paying off. Last time I saw these guys they needed to work on various things. The minute I saw them fire up that stage and hearing Synyster Gates drop that riff I was more than pleased. Guitarists Zacky Vengence and Synyster Gates were comfortable as soon as they hit the stage, past sets they’ve come off as shy and sad. Clearly they were both having a good day because they were smiling all over the place, much different than the somber mope. The skill level in their Axe play has improved tremendously as has their audience interaction, although they still need some work in that area. Keep up the good work guys! Backup vocals were excellent, definitely enjoyed hearing and watching them play, especially with all of those guitar solo’s! Music to my ears couldn’t be a truer saying. AVENGED SEVENFOLD - M. SHADOWS - VOX LIVE @ MAYHEM FEST 2014 TORONTOAVENGED SEVENFOLD DRUMS  LIVE @ ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVALAVENGED SEVENFOLD -ZACKY VENGENCE - GUITAR - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYEvery time I cover A7X I look forward to seeing the stage set up andAVENGED SEVENFOLD - M. SHADOWS - VOX - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FE how they’re going to use spectacular pyro! You can always count on A7X to deliver some awesome fire, they had random blasts from behind the drum kit lighting up across the stage. It was too cool, I love shooting bands with wicked fire! A pyro I am, my favorite film for the longest time as a kid was “Firestarter” starring Drew Barrymore. Bassist Johnny Christ was doing his thing, compared to his bandmates, I noticed he connected more with the audience. They all did exceptionally well putting on a show for the fans. Newbie drummer Arin Ilejay was stick handling like his life depended on it, if he was to save the world by drumming, I believe he could save us! M.Shadows on vox was not so great vocally the last time I saw them, this time was a completely different story! As soon as Sanders started in with the first tune “Shepherd of Fire” from the 2013 release “Hail To The King” he came in strong and kept that power for majority of the set. I even noticed some improvements with his range, especially on the softer tunes. As he gets more comfortable singing without growling, his range will continue to expand. Sing some R&B tunes when rehearsing by mimicking the vocals, it will give your vocal range a boost the more you practice. It doesn’t matter what genre you sing, having more of a vocal range enhances your ability. A few producers I’ve met with assumed because I have such a large vocal range my sound was going to be Mariahesq, filled with vocal gymnastics…I am not Christina Aguilera, I don’t need to show off my range. I sound like me and don’t over use runs, my flexible range helps me sing intricate songs and keeps my vocals in shape. AVENGED SEVENFOLD - SYNYSTER GATES - GUITAR - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAAVENGED SEVENFOLD - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2014The second tune of the set was another enjoyable sonata to my ears “Nightmare”, I love the riffs so haunting, it reminds me of “Nightmare on Elm Street” for some reason and not because the track is called “Nightmare”! The films could have used this song, it would have been perfect but these guys were in diapers when the original films were made. Right out of the gate it was an awesome performance, the crowd sang along to every song, definitely a good night for everyone. The last tune I was in the pit for was one of my favorites, it was the first Avenged Sevenfold tune I had ever heard; “Bat Country”. The newest single “This Means War” was the last before the encores “A Little Piece Of Heaven” and “Unholy Confessions” which closed the set with more pyro and a few explosions. If you have not seen or heard these guys yet, you should do yourself a huge favour and check them out as soon as possible. Absolutely would love to cover Avenged Sevenfold again and maybe do an interview. Funniest thing I heard all night was when a female fan kept yelling  “Put your dick in my mouth! I want to put your dick in my mouth!” when M. Shadows was on one of the risers to my left. I was dying and couldn’t hold a steady shot until I got the laughs out of my system. Major shout out to all the behind the scenes people who made this festival run on schedule, without their experience and precision many things could have gone wrong.  AVENGED SEVENFOLD  LIVE @ ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL FRIDAYAVENGED SEVENFOLD - M. SHADOWS - VOX - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FEAVENGED SEVENFOLD -  CROWD - ROCKSTAR ENERGY MAYHEM FESTIVAL 201The crowd was a little sad that the show was over but some didn’t even make it through to the end…They were either dragged out by security or passed out in their seat. So funny were the people that wandered this years Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, there were a few Larries asking the popo’s to take pictures with them like they were being cuffed, it was so amusing to watch. The festival is still on tour, all of the bands are worth your time so go see them!! Check the photos below, I had the best time! Thank you to everyone who made this possible, I was fully entertained! See you next year! www.RockstarMayhemFest.com

COPYRIGHT © 2014 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK 2014 – FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

Featured

NIKKI YANOFSKY LIVE @ THE REVIVAL CMW 2014CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK

2014

FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

 

By: Fridae Mattas

Photography By: Fridae Mattas and Dipan Cheema

 

Here we go again, trying to squeeze yet another CMW adventure into one editorial. After years of hoping for a warmer Canadian Music Week, it finally kind of happened. It was held from May 6th to 10th for the first time, usually it’s in cold Canadian March. You would think in May the weather would be warmer…It was not, in fact the weather was just as confusing as the beginning of the festival. Compared to the eight previous years I have attended, this was the most lackluster and unorganized of Canadian Music Week’s. Many other industry professionals I came across were also left scratching their heads, communication was non-existent. Thankfully the miscommunications only lasted the first day of my coverage adventures and it did not slow the coverage too much.DSC_7440-2Wednesday night there were some super amazing bands at the Bovine and Hideout, I came across the gems of the night at the Bovine. One of those smashing bands being “Bloody Diamonds” from Halifax. They hit me up about a month before CMW, requesting coverage the proper way with an email and links to their music. Many think a Facebook invite is all they need to get media at their show…Wrong! We all receive emails from managers, publicists or label reps, I rarely check my fb invites because there are just too many and these days I am so busy. My friends even have to call or text me a few days before an event at the latest. But, if a band or artist sends me an email without a publicist in advance, unlike other media folk I will take the time to check them out before the others sent daily. All of this is possible if you take the initiative and do it yourself like Bloody Diamonds. If you don’t try, you won’t know what could have happened. Most media establishments don’t even open unsolicited emails, FridaeTV is a little different. I am always looking for amazing new music signed or unsigned to introduce to the world.BLOODY DIAMONDS LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014The Deadset” from Vancouver hit the Bovine stage just before Bloody Diamonds. You never know what to expect when it comes to unknown indie bands, but lucky for us this band was pretty good! The Vancouver pop-punk duo is; Jt Criminal – Vox/Axe and Steven Appleyard – Drums/Vox. They got the crowd extra hype as they rocked their original tune, “Hello Kitty”. A track they wrote pre-Avril shitstorm and you, can watch it here. Would love to see this band again, they were very refreshing and if I were to describe the vocals…The closest comparison according to my ears would be Paramore’s leading lady, but Jt Criminal sounded so much better live at the Bovine! They just need to add a few more band members to fill out the sound, that also applies to Bloody Diamonds who are mentioned in the paragraph belowTHE DEADSET LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014 - Photography By: Dipan Cheema THE DEADSET LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014As enjoyable as they were I couldn’t wait for Bloody Diamonds to hit the stage at the crowded Bovine, I was looking forward to hearing a specific song of theirs “Monsters”. Unfortunately for me they did not play it in their set but it was a fantastic show once the sound issues were handled. At showcases like these, you need to make sure to play the best tracks you have, hence the word “showcase”…Especially if you want to get signed to a major. The duo’s stage presence was electric and I was loving the last track “Four Walls“. The audience was captivated by Vox Sara Elizabeth’s unique vocal performance and Jake Seaward’s skills. I see extreme potential for both of the young bands mentioned. And, if by some chance you get to see them on tour which Bloody Diamonds is now on, don’t be shy! Go and discover some fresh sounds.

BLOODY DIAMONDS LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014BLOODY DIAMONDS LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014BLOODY DIAMONDS LIVE @ THE BOVINE CMW 2014After Bloody Diamonds wrapped their set, off it was to check out a few more bands along the strip but a large number of them didn’t make the cut. Oh yes, actually one band did make the final cut and technically it was a new day, the band being “Streetlight Social” from Peterborough. They were playing the Piston, a venue I have never been to and probably will never return to shoot at again! The reason? Overbearing red lights used during the performances, for a photographer this is the worst lighting to work with, might as well have them play without lights. The band consists of members from various other bands like My Darkest Days and Cold Creek County rolled into one giant six piece funky folk fusion of a band called Streetlight Social. STREETLIGHT SOCIAL LIVE @ THE PISTON CMW 2014They played well, had a lot of energy and tried to work the small stage the best they could. The stage did not fit all of the Larries comfortably, I could barely see bassist Brendan McMillan behind his giant old school string bass squished in with the other five. Streetlight Social is: Chris Millar – Vox/Guitar, Reid Henry – Keys/Axe/Backup Vox, Kevin Austin – Guitars, Matt Baylis – Percussion and Gabe Gallucci on Drums. Vox Chris Millar did better but still needs a little more vibrance, something is missing there. Honestly thought he was going to be a bundle of nerves like when I saw him sing with My Darkest Days last year in Peterboonz. He was still nervous but could hold it together long enough to shake most of his nerves by mid set. The music was good, different but that’s what makes them stand out and worth seeing. The whole band gave it their all and entertained the crowd of maybe thirty people like they were thirty thousand. Not bad for a first time viewing, wish I could have stayed longer but camera and phone were in nap mode and there were other bands I needed to see. Will definitely have to check them out again at a better venue, watch a couple of the tunes filmed hereSTREETLIGHT SOCIAL LIVE @ THE PISTON CMW 2014STREETLIGHT SOCIAL LIVE @ THE PISTON CMW 2014