VISUAL FEATURE EDITORIAL
All Photography By: Joanna Glezakos
Email “Crossfire Hurricane” in subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and the answer to the question below .
QUESTION: What is your favorite Rolling Stones album?
*No purchase necessary, non transferable contest ends 11:59pm Tuesday November 6th 2012. Winner will be announced on Wednesday November 7th 2012 chosen at random.*
Email your answer with “CROSSFIRE HURRICANE” in the subject line along with contact information as stated above to: email@example.com
xo FRIDAE (Who knows, I may be there…)
NEW SINGLE “BEAUTIFUL” HITS RADIO JUNE 18
TORONTO, ON – Platinum Blonde have officially announced their return after 12 years releasing their new single “Beautiful“(Fontana North) and a performance at The Mod Club in Toronto on June 16, 2012. Featuring original members Mark Holmes (Vocals) and Sergio Galli (Guitar) with Rob Laidlaw (Bass) and Dan Todd (Drums), Platinum Blonde unveil “Beautiful” to radio on June 18, in anticipation of new material to be released in the near future.
“I’m aware that there are thousands of bands throughout the years who have tried this seemingly impossible route of returning to former glory, but our route lies in making new glory,” explains Mark Holmes, vocalist of Platinum Blonde.
Written by Holmes and produced by Murray Daigle, Rob Laidlaw and Holmes, Platinum Blonde’s first single “Beautiful,” is an mélange of crisp rock with electro-pop overtones that will rejuvenate fans and appeal to new audiences of alternative and electronic music today.
Platinum Blonde’s debut EP Six Track Attack (1983) solidified the group as Canada’s new wave genre innovators. Multi-platinum selling follow-up albums Standing In The Dark and Alien Shores spawned numerous chart-topping singles including “Standing In The Dark,” “Doesn’t Really Matter,” and their #1 hit “Crying Over You.” The corresponding music videos showcased the band’s unique visual aesthetic and bold style allowing them to dominate the music video formats introduced to television at that time. Each release generated colossal success, including 7x Platinum album sales and multiple JUNO Award nominations.
Since parting ways in the early 1990s, Holmes founded internationally acclaimed Toronto’s club venue, The Mod Club, allowing him to further explore his musical evolution as DJ MRK, which has heavily influenced the spirit of Platinum Blonde’s new music. In 1999, their greatest hits compilation Seven Year Itch: 1982-1989, peaked at #1 and stayed at the top of the sales charts for three weeks. Most recently, Platinum Blonde received the great honour of being inducted into the Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2010 and Canadian electronic duo, Crystal Castles, revived Platinum Blonde’s “Not In Love,” featuring Robert Smith of The Cure; introducing Platinum Blonde to a new generation of listeners.
Platinum Blonde performs at The Mod Club in Toronto on June 16, 2012. The show is open to all NXNE badge and wristband holders; tickets will be available at the door. For more information, visit www.nxne.com.
Stream new single “Beautiful” by clicking the photo below
June 16, 2012 The Mod Club Toronto, ON
June 17, 2012 Red River Exhibition Winnipeg, MB
July 1, 2012 Mackenzie Glen District Park Vaughan, ON
July 28, 2012 Mattawa Voyageur Days Mattawa, ON
May 14, 2012 – Rock hit-makers Sixx:A.M. (vocalist and famed rock producer James Michael, Motley Crue bassist and radio personality Nikki Sixx and Guns n’ Roses guitarist Dj Ashba) announced today their support of City of Hope through an initiative designed to help raise money for research, treatment and education for the fight against cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. Joining other celebrities such as Ryan Seacrest, Vince Gill and Sugarland in their support of City of Hope, Sixx:A.M. have offered their new music video for “Are You With Me Now” exclusively to the charity. Beginning today, fans who make a donation to City of Hope via www.cityofhope.org/radio will receive a code to unlock the never-been-seen-before video.
Check out a short preview of Sixx:A.M.’s new “Are You With Me Now” video here!
“Are You With Me Now” is the third single from the band’s latest album, This Is Gonna Hurt. The album gave the band their first Top 10 debut on The Billboard 200 chart and has already produced the #1 hit “Lies of the Beautiful People.” The 11-track CD that Billboard proclaimed “redefines the meaning of beauty” and AOL added is “boasting 11 radio-baiting tracks” is also the soundtrack to Nikki Sixx’s New York Times bestselling book “This Is Gonna Hurt,” which debuted at #4.
Sixx:A.M. is the rock band formed in 2007 by Nikki Sixx (bass), Dj Ashba (guitar) and James Michael (vocals). Their debut album, The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, sold over 300,000 copies, and the single, “Life Is Beautiful,” became radio’s most played rock song of 2008.
@NikkiSixx; @DjASHBA; @james_a_michael
NEW SOLO STUDIO ALBUM
FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS
DUE OUT MAY 22
U.S. HEADLINING TOUR LAUNCHES MAY 3
SLASH has released “You’re A Lie” to radio today worldwide. The hard-charging song marks the first single off the iconic, Grammy-winning rock guitarist and songwriter’s forthcoming second studio album APOCALYPTIC LOVE. Listen to a 30 second preview of the song here: www.slashonline.com. “You’re A Lie” is the second song I brought to the band in 2011 during the last tour,” explains SLASH. “We worked on it at soundcheck somewhere, I can’t remember where. It’s gone through some minor changes along the way, mainly the chorus. But for the most part, it’s remained true to its original arrangement. I can’t wait to play this live.”
APOCALYPTIC LOVE features Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators and will be released May 22 on SLASH’s own label Dik Hayd International that’s distributed through EMI. The group will launch a headlining U.S. tour May 3 in Baltimore, tickets for which are available now at www.slashonline.com. See the full itinerary below, with more dates to be added.
On APOCALYPTIC LOVE, SLASH and his bandmates Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums) and Todd Kerns (bass) have teamed with producer Eric Valentine, who also produced the Slash disc. All the songs were written together by SLASH and Kennedy and cameras have been rolling throughout the entire making of the new album. Check out all four exclusive behind-the-scenes episodes airing weekly at:
Episode 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIYbyb8xXTQ
Episode 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiCJ4cAZPxo&feature=relmfu
Episode 3: www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5lX2C4ZZtI&feature=relmfu%20
Episode 4: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntisV8dT7AQ&feature=player_embedded
APOCALYPTIC LOVE will follow his 2010 debut album Slash and his November 2011 first-ever live solo album, the two-CD/DVD set Made In Stoke 24/7/11. Notably, the Slash album debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #3 (#1 on the Rock chart, #1 on the Independent chart, and #1 on the Hard Music chart). Digitally, it also became the #1 overall digital album and hit #1 on iTunes in 13 countries. Internationally, the disc achieved Top 5 chart positions in over a dozen major territories, hitting #1 in both Japan and New Zealand.
SLASH’s 2012 headlining U.S. tour dates are as follows below. *Indicates a festival appearance.
|Thu||5/3||Baltimore MD||Rams Head Live|
|*Sat||5/5||Rockingham NC||Carolina Rebellion, Rockingham Speedway|
|Mon||5/7||Orlando FL||Hard Rock Live|
|Thu||5/10||Biloxi MS||Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Hard Rock Live|
|*Sun||5/13||Boone, IA||Lazerfest, Central Iowa Expo|
|Mon||5/14||Minneapolis MN||The Brick|
|Wed||5/16||Madison WI||Orpheum Theater|
|Thu||5/17||Grand Rapids MI||Orbit Room|
|*Sat||5/19||Columbus OH||Rock On The Range, Columbus Crew Stadium|
|Sun||5/20||Camden NJ||MMRBQ, Susquehanna Bank Center|
|Sat||5/26||Albuquerque NM||Route 66 Casino-on sale 2/27|
Slash is widely considered one of the greatest rock guitar players of all time. He has received countless accolades and awards including his forthcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame set for April 2012. In 2007, Slash was inducted into Hollywood’s RockWalk (located in front of Guitar Center in Hollywood) alongside his idols Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. An original member of iconic rock band Guns N’ Roses, the Grammy-winning Slash helped the band create signature sounds like the guitar riff of #1 hit “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Welcome To The Jungle.” The band dominated the 1980’s and 90’s music scene selling more than 100 million albums worldwide and ushered in a decade of hard-charging rock music. After leaving the band, Slash went on to critical acclaim in his personal project Slash’s Snakepit, and global success with the supergroup Velvet Revolver. He has been widely sought after by the biggest musicians of all time, performing with everyone from Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder to Ray Charles. Slash recently landed on the top of the charts with his first true solo album, Slash. In addition, Slash was honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce who named him as an official selection for 2011 to receive a star on Hollywood’s iconic Walk of Fame. In February 2011, he performed at the Super Bowl XLV half time show, seen by more than 106 million people, becoming the most-watched program in U.S. television history (Nielsen Co.). In November 2011, Slash released his first ever live solo album, Made In Stoke 24/7/11, a double-disc CD, with a special-edition 2CD+DVD package (featuring five bonus tracks and an exclusive interview with Slash). Slash is currently in the studio with his band putting the finishing touches on his second solo album Apocalyptic Love which is due for release on May 22 of 2012.
SIXX:A.M. RELEASES 7 EP EXCLUSIVELY ON ITUNES; PREVIOUSLY UNAVAILABLE TRACK “CODEPENDENCE” IS ITUNES SINGLE OF THE WEEK
(New York, NY) – Sixx:A.M. today have released their first-ever acoustic EP entitled “7” today exclusively via iTunes. The EP features seven acoustic versions of songs from the band’s recently released album This Is Gonna Hurt, and also their 2008 debut release The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack. Additionally, the band is giving away the track “Codependence,” as a holiday thank you to its fans. The song was previously only available in Japan, it is currently featured as iTunes’ Single of the Week and you can download it here (US only) and to buy the full EP click here for US and here for Canada
Singer James Michael explains the motivation behind the EP, “We were inspired to create 7 after experiencing the incredible reaction people had to the messages within the songs on both The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack and This Is Gonna Hurt. Our goal with this EP was to take songs that our fans were already intimately familiar with and present them in a way that shifted the focus. I’ve always loved hearing a song with all of the production stripped away because it exposes the raw emotions that were present at its infancy…7 will give our fans a glimpse into the heart of what drives Sixx:AM.”
Just in time for the holidays, Sixx: A.M. have also launched their direct to consumer webstore. It is the only destination where fans can purchase official Sixx: A.M. merchandise, including a Sixx:A.M. t-shirt. Please visit the store here www.myplaydirect.com/sixx-am.
This is Gonna Hurt, which Blabbermouth.net describes as “a deep, dark and intoxicatingly addictive mix of sounds and passion,” is the follow up to 2008’s The Heroin Diaries and gave the band their first Top 10 debut on The Billboard 200 chart. The 11-track CD that Billboard proclaims “redefines the meaning of beauty” and AOL adds is “boasting 11 radio-baiting tracks” is also the companion album to Nikki Sixx’s New York Times bestselling book “This Is Gonna Hurt,” which debuted at #4.
Sixx:A.M. is the rock band formed in 2007 by Nikki Sixx (bass), Dj Ashba (guitar) and James Michael (vocals). Their debut album, The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, sold over 350,000 copies, and the single, “Life Is Beautiful,” became radio’s most played rock song of 2008.
For more information on Sixx:A.M., please visit: www.sixxammusic.com
By: Fridae Mattas
This year Avenged Sevenfold were headlining the Rockstar Uproar festival which hit up thirteen cities prior to Toronto, last date being Montreal the night before. I heard there was major rain in Montreal and I hoped Toronto would hold out. So far the weather was incredible, the sun was shining it was a little frigid in the shade and when the sun went down but other than that it was warm among the body heat of all the people. Unfortunately it started raining during Seether so everyone sitting in the lawns and 400 level ran for cover. I guess the sky didn’t like the band so it began to cry for a few minutes until Three Days Grace’s set. Lucky for me I missed majority of the rain, too busy running up, down and around the Amphitheater before and after my media tracks to meet friends and watch the sets.
This year the second stage was much closer to the main stage and none of the set times overlapped. The Jagermeister stage performances were much earlier and they ended just before the main stage bands started. It was very well thought out but the area they set up the stage in was kind of awkward, if they put the mobile stage the same place they did last year’s stage and use this years time schedule, it would have worked out much better with less congestion. Other than the overcrowding the lone problem was venue security, they were a little slow letting us into the media pit to shoot the bands; we do need a few minutes to check our angles and settings. With Avenged Sevenfold I already knew the rules, they put up a curtain to set up and when the show starts, they drop it to reveal the stage. It takes about ten people to carry that massive curtain back and forth; the media had to wait until they brought it back out. That’s fine with me, they need to do whatever to make it an unforgettable experience for their fans and if that means we have to wait and miss a few seconds, so be it.
First band on the Jager Stage we caught was Art Of Dying, as we climbed through the crowd to find the media pit entrance we thought we would miss our three but made it to the stage just in time. Pay attention if you haven’t already heard of Art Of Dying, they are a band you really need to check out if you like real rock and roll. At this time AOD consists of five; Jonny Hetherington – Vocals, Greg Bradley – Guitar, Jeff Brown – Drums, Cale Gontier – Bass and Tavis Stanley – Guitar. The music is melodic alternative post-grunge rock. They released their major label debut record ‘Vices and Virtues’ on Intoxication/Reprise/Warner in March 2011 quickly climbing to number one on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Many of the tracks on both records are the same just redone and in my opinion, I liked the sound of their first self titled LP ‘Art Of Dying’ better. Although the new LP has a fantastic duet to one of my favorite songs, the record is a little over produced.
This band has come a long way since I first saw them, they aren’t even the same band but as this unit, they have unquestionable chemistry. Art Of dying is today what the band was meant to be, they all have perceptible stage presence and talent! They clearly enjoy the music they are playing; you can see how much heart is put into the performance, when you hear how incredible the music is played live.
Drums are always solid because Jeff Brown is a sick drummer, he knows his stuff! People don’t give drummers enough respect; they have the most equipment to set up and take down and are the beat keepers, a very important piece of the puzzle! Greg and Tavis on guitars shred those strings to the fullest; they switched it up making the most of the medium sized stage keeping the crowd entertained. Of course Tavis was topless and he matched in nakedness with his wicked cool silent skeleton guitar, probably the coolest looking acoustic axe ever. Harmonies sounded flawless, this band is proof that when you take constructive criticism and apply it, magic happens! The live sets keep getting better every time and this was the first time I’ve seen them on a larger stage where they made themselves right at home. The performance would have been even better if they played the main stage where they had even more room to roam.
Bassist Cale Gontier tore it up; there are many Bassist’s who just stare out into the audience with a blank or redundant look on their face standing there going through the motions or trying to remember notes. Not Cale, he flew around with his Bass, loving every minute of being on that Jagermeister stage absorbing the energy of the hometown crowd, it looked like he could’ve played the tunes in his sleep. Hetherington’s Vocals were almost perfect; tone is much steadier and solid, blending in unison with his bandmate’s as they harmonized. On the down side there were moments of strain and some pitch issues but nothing untrained ears can hear. When Hetherington sang he had a little more confidence than in the past, flying about as he sang showing great control of his vocals.
Hetherington’s pipes were almost at par with Cale’s Cousin’s vocals when he joined Art Of Dying on stage for the tune “Raining” which features the Three Days Grace front man. It’s definitely an amazing track on a fantastic record and Gontier sang it well with Hetherington. It was good to see the cousins rocking out together and two of Canada’s best male singers sharing the same stage singing one of my favorite songs, epic! The five song set gave Jager stage headliners Protest The Hero a run for their money! Actually, Art Of Dying will give any band a run for their money because they are continually improving their live sets and creating catchy rock tracks people love. Judging by the last tune in their set when the whole crowd sang along to “Die Trying”, Art Of Dying is a force to be reckoned with! Great, now I’ve definitely inflated their egos (Laughs).
Closing things off on the Jager stage it was Protest The Hero’s turn to rock out, how does any band follow a guest appearance by Adam Gontier, really? A few people wandered off but there were more than enough people filling in the empty spots like a revolving door, some would leave, others would enter. I haven’t seen Protest The Hero live since that crazy Hideout show where it was body overflow. Protest The Hero are five larries from Whitby, Ontario, they formed in 1999 and have had the same band line up which I find is extremely rare for rock bands, they usually change members like they do girlfriends and band names. Moe Carlson – Drums, Rody Walker –Vocals, Tim Millar – Guitar, Arif Mirabdolbaghi – Bass and Luke Hoskin – Lead Guitar. They kicked off their six tune set with ‘C’est La Vie’ and just brought the Protest the Hero flavor of progressive melodic metal to the Jagermeister stage. Like Art Of Dying they were extremely personable with the people, loving the fact they were playing in Toronto because they are from here (Well, close to Toronto for most of them).
Protest The Hero front man Rody Walker was very vocal about current Toronto mayor, Rob Ford by making comments like “I hate Rob Ford!” Don’t worry Rody, most of us totally agree with that one. I guess his belly lint eating during ‘Bone Marrow’ gave him a burst of jibbers, but it’s true, who actually voted for Rob Ford? PTH put on a decent set, not the best I have seen them but it was close, vocally it was a little pitchy and diction needs work but I do admire Walker’s range and stage performance he did what a lead vocalist should, entertain the crowd. I wish Guitarist Tim Millar would put more effort into playing, it didn’t look like he was too excited to be on stage, he just stood there most of the time strumming the chords on his end of the stage (stage left, audience right). If you don’t like it, don’t do it, there are many guitarists out there who would trade spots. Thankfully his fellow band mates and lead guitarist Luke Hoskin brought some life into the performance, still have not seen any guitarist perform like Finger Eleven’s Rick Jackett does, he is phenomenal. If you haven’t seen either Art Of Dying or Protest The Hero live or have listened to their music, you certainly need to.
I wish there were more festivals like this when I was a teenager (Wow I feel old when I say that although I’m still in my twenties). Most of the bands in the lineup were signing autographs at different times throughout the day and wrapped up just prior to the main stage performances. They even had eye candy for the fellas with a Miss Uproar contest where a few females would compete to be named Miss Uproar for the City they were in. Art Of Dying’s Tavis and Jonny did the honors introducing the contestants and announcing the winner for Toronto (Sarah), a task I’m sure they did not complain at all about. I did not catch Escape The Fate I honestly do not remember where I was at that point, probably wandering or talking to people but that was for the best because I was not feeling their music from what I could hear as they started on the main stage. Bullet For My Valentine were up after they announced Miss Uproar Toronto, I was excited because I heard good things about them and their music wasn’t so bad either but could they pull it off live? Bullet For My Valentine are from Bridgend, Wales they began their Journey in 1998 before releasing their major label UK debut ‘The Poison’ in 2005 and on February 14th 2006 they released the LP in the United States.
Since dropping their first record in 2005 they have released two more albums most recently ‘Fever’ which was released in 2010. This band was new to my eyes and ears so I was expecting Matthew Tuck – Vocals, Michael Paget – Guitar, Michael Thomas – Drums and Jason Jamesfor on Bass to blow my mind. The crowd was anxious when the intro started in, once the British flag backdrop came down with a fist bursting through it holding the band’s name, the fans exploded. Almost everyone on the floor was singing along to all of their songs from the opening track “Your Betrayal” to the last tune of the set ‘Alone’. They didn’t blow my mind but they didn’t waste my time either, the set was promising and I did love the guitar solo near the end of the set. The whole band participated in entertaining the crowd, vox even migrated around the stage to different risers and Bassist Jason Jamesfor has great tone when he screams it sounded amazing! I kept asking everyone if Vox and Lead Guitar were brothers because they look alike and both played those sexy flying V’s similar with ease. I need to see them live again; they were definitely repeat performance worthy. If you get the chance, do it! The Rockstar Uproar Festival is still touring check the website for dates.
Something about this band was not floating my boat, as I listened and watched them on the stage I was getting sleepy because they were indeed boring me. The only thing that amused me were the decorations on Morgan’s mic stand which looked like these giant flesh and metal testicles hanging as he sang. Bassist, Dale Stewart was the main source of entertainment for the crowd because front man Morgan just stood behind his guitar most of the time occasionally moving but not too far, I don’t think he wandered over to the other side of the stage at all. We all know drummers aren’t mobile and John Humphrey couldn’t do anything more, he did what he needed to do and that was keep smash those cans. Shaun’s vocals were solid it just wasn’t a unique sound, he bounces between emulating Cobain to mimicking Pearl Jam vox Eddie Vedder, he even wore flannel. I didn’t hear any Shaun Morgan, if they can write better songs, Morgan finds his voice and loosens up a little, it might work. I guess the reason why I never liked this bands music is because they are unoriginal, perfect example is the last song in the set ‘Remedy’ which had different lyrics to Nirvana’s ‘Come as You Are’ music and melody. That’s not cool ever; I hate it when bands and artists recycle songs especially when they make their own version and it doesn’t even come close to the original. It was funny to me because I was like wait, are they covering Nirvana? That would have been cool if they did a Nirvana cover but as they played it, clearly it wasn’t a Nirvana tune, Cobain wasn’t the singer and I didn’t know any of the words. I just sang the Nirvana lyrics to myself because that melody and those chords in that order are originally Nirvana not Seether. This band will not be selling out stadiums anytime soon; the songs are not strong enough to carry them to that level. Bullet for My Valentine’s performance was much more entertaining, they should have switched set times.
Just before Seether’s set ended it started to rain which kind of sucked but for me it was fine, at least there was no mud at the Molson Canadian Amphitheater! I wish I had my photographer Melanie Schade for the last two bands because it was insane in the media pit. One of the assbob photographers told me not stretch out my hand a lift my camera in the air during Avenged Sevenfold. I was gonna deck the bastard because he was much taller than I, about six feet tall (I’m only 5’8) and he even stood on his briefcase to take shots blocking most of my and everyone else’s Three Days Grace pictures but we didn’t say anything. There were risers on top of an already high stage, I have to lift my camera to get the drummers half the time, unlike them; I shoot the whole band and not just the vocalist. When I’m shooting a band and there is space to move around, I shoot as many angles as I can, trying to get individual shots of every member in the band and group shots which are harder to obtain on the bigger stages. Most other photographers and media outlets just care about the front person, why? I don’t know but I have respect for everyone on the stage.
Three Days Grace began their set with ‘The Good Life’ and as always Gontier didn’t even need to sing, the crowd filled in for him which must be an incredible feeling. This time even Bassist Brad Walst was coming out of his shell, as was Barry Stock who was rocking a dual neck guitar for a few of the tracks like ‘Pain’. Drummer Neil Sanderson not only rocked those cans giving his all he always sings backup to help round out the sound.
The performance was a pleasant visible progression from last year’s show down the road at The Direct Energy Centre. Vocals were still a little pitchy but they are strengthening, Gontier also plays the guitar for some of the tracks and flies around to entertain the people. They didn’t have any pyro for this set which was okay because from what I saw the crowd was impressed by the constant high energy vibe. After playing one of my favorite tracks ‘I Hate Everything About You’ they played ‘Home’, another track I like but they made the tune even better by throwing in Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’. The whole amphitheater went wild, the guys in the VIP box just a few feet in front of me were hugging it out and chest bumping each other as we all attempted to rap along with Adam.
I do think they should have been allowed to play a few more tunes than Seether considering last year when Disturbed was headlining, Avenged Sevenfold had a ten track set with pyro and everything. Regardless of the short set it was an incredible performance with a lot more audience interaction making it a little more intimate and special for them. One thing that stood out because it was very peculiar was when Adam had a little schizo monologue moment arguing with his skeleton hand mic stand before getting into the next track. That was the weirdest thing I’ve seen all day but I guess maybehewas talking to himself in a way. Go watch Three Days Grace when you get the chance, you will not be disappointed.
Last year this band blew me away and they weren’t even headlining, this year their stage show was just as exceptional only difference was the vibe and vocals. This time Matthew Sanders (M. Shadows) vocals just didn’t sound right, most of the performance he sounded flat and congested, too nasally for my ears especially during the ballad dedicated to his lost friend and bandmate “Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan”. It was a great effort on Shadows part and the tune is a good song just not greatly sung yet. Sanders vocals still need work to pull off a proper melodic power rock ballad but it is surprising he even attempts them. That is an admirable quality in a person, showing persistence to keep growing and evolving. Go on with your bad self and continue learning and expanding your talents, don’t stop those vocal lessons; you need help to release your inner gospel singer (Laughs).
The fans loved it, regardless of what I have to say because they were making some serious noise! Last year Avenged Sevenfold had the hanging man with the cool nightmare house and fabulous pyrotechnics, this year there was a huge bat skull as the backdrop, it shot fire balls and the skull’s eyes lit up at times. With their exquisite lighting the stage looked unbelievable. They came in with a bang, fire streams exploded as the intro played followed by opening track ‘Nightmare’. Bassist Johnny Christ was the most genuine out of the guitars, Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates were a little boring as lead and Rhythm, they eventually started getting into it but come on guys give the people what they came to see, don’t leave all the work to Shadows. As the headliners, you have to school all of the other bands because more is expected of you. I loved that they played ‘Bat Country’ because last year they did not and Shadows like the entertainer he is, pointed that out.
For the finale during “Unholy Confessions” the wings of the skull bat were set a blaze as was the top of the skull. It’s always amazing when there are flames flying everywhere, absolutely fantastic to watch. I am kind of a pyro, I love playing with fire. This year Mike Portnoy was not the drummer because he was just temporarily filling in for Avenged Sevenfold’s lost brother “Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan’. They did however find a newbie, Richard Arin Ilejay as the beat master for this tour. His future with the band is still undecided but for now the kid does some pretty good work handling those sticks. Avenged Sevenfold put on a show not many will be able to top but Three Days Grace took it home vocally, they had home-base advantage.
This year The Rockstar Uproar festival had a better lineup and was much more organized minus the confusion at the beginning. There were some families and a few females but most of the people who were at the show were males, it was not sold out but I would say there were over 10,000 people rocking out to the tunes! If the Rockstar Uproar festival comes to your city with these bands and you like alternative to heavier rock, go see it! Actually, run like the wind because this show is totally worth your money and more. I am looking forward to next year, curious to see who will rock our faces off in 2012. Major thank you goes out to my awesome Jager stage photographer Melanie Schade and the amazing people at AM-Media for all your help. You can find more of the Rockstar Uproar festival photos on the slide show below or on FridaeTV facebook, both sets are mostly different.
Ever year I cover the Toronto Freedom Festival and this year was no different or was it? Saturday May 7th 2011 was completely different! Not a drop of rain to be found, it was absolute sunshine and there were no kids falling out of trees. About 35,000 plus people gathered at Toronto’s Queens Park to protest and speak their minds in regards to legalization of Marijuana. I always miss the Global Marijuana March but 20,000 other people made it out to march along the usual route of across Bloor to Yonge down and across to Wellesley ending back at the base Queens Park North.
There were smokers everywhere, but not as many police officers compared to the first year I covered TFF, I am glad because there is no need to have them everywhere, everyone is just chilling, smoking, eating, dancing, singing, drumming and learning but don’t get me wrong they were there but just a little more discreet with their Popo Horses, Bikes, Cars and Motorcycles. What is a festival without music and plenty of it from Rebel Emergency, KO, Daniel Wesley, iLL Scarlett, House of David Gang and DJ Sneak. The band members may seem familiar in every shot, that is because Rebel Emergency played until iLL Scarlett hit the stage but switched singers so it was more like a sneak peek of the Joint Venture show with Rebel Emergency, KO and Daniel Wesley that took place at the MOD club later that evening. The bands were amazing Rebel, KO and Daniel Wesley didn’t play a full set but Ill Scarlett was on the stage for quite a while. You will be able to find videos of the performances I managed to film very soon, until then enjoy the photos in a slide show at the end of this jibber. I couldn’t stay for the whole festival I did however donate at one of the many donation stations even though I was covering the event because the city needs festivals like these to keep the arts culture alive regardless of the reason which is a very good one, the legalization of Marijuana deserves a chance, it costs a lot of money to put on this one day “Freedom” festival everyone in attendance should donate. It’s not just another day in the park catching a few bands and DJ’s. So many events I had to choose from it was Saturday always a crazy day, if I could I wanted to catch Nikki Sixx signing copies of his new book ‘This Is Gonna Hurt‘ for all the fans that search him every day but we shall discuss that adventure after a few photos from the 2011 Toronto Freedom Festival.
Next stop was Nikki Sixx at the Chapters on John and Richmond, I wasn’t going to go because I thought it would be extremely too chaotic and my issues being in crowds would amplify but I went anyway didn’t think I would make it because it started at 7pm and I was just walking towards the bookstore which was about fifteen blocks away form where I ended up after I migrated from the Toronto Freedom Festival. Lucky for me when I arrived at about 7:20ish he still had yet to pop out and sign, his people were still waiting. I took some shots of everyone, so many people and that is a huge bookstore, you could not get an autograph if you didn’t have the book ‘This Is Gonna Hurt‘ that only makes sense because it is a book tour session not a regular autograph session. I have yet to buy it but I will! Skimming through it for a minute as I wandered around and I have to say as a photographer myself some of the photographs are too amazing! When it comes to photography many people are so technical about it and lose perspective of the art because the hunger for money and material riches blinds the creativity of the photographers eye. You can know every detail of your cameras functions and the lighting techniques but that doesn’t mean you can take a good picture. I have seen photographers with top of the line equipment but the photograph is flat and muted, it’s all about how you see it through your eyes and making that picture speak those thousands of words to everyone else like a photograph is meant to, Sixx is a natural!
The reason for my delayed purchase, is I don’t have much time to read, the last book I read was Marilyn Monroe – The Biography By: Donald Spoto that I borrowed from my cousin because she has two copies…Obsessed much? And that book took me over a year to read, that reminds me I should give it back to her and just buy my own. I am too busy filming music, shooting and writing everything including my own books, films and sonatas that will eventually come out when they are ready. The fans were screaming, cheering and yelling his name, I thought I was fucked for real because there were so many people all of those rows of books in the photographs were filled with people lined up in and around all of the top floor but it didn’t end there more people were downstairs wrapping the whole bottom floor. I did not see a media area and then a super nice security guy asked me if I was media, I’m surprised he didn’t ask me if I worked for Much Music like most of them do and guided me to the media area which was a little corner among the bookshelves. Not that many media people about a handful of us but you can always spot a Stalkerazzo! There he was all unnecessarily aggressive because you could tell those dollar bills in his eyes were gleaming and totally ruined every single one of my shots! I tried so hard to get a clean photograph you can tell the difference by comparison to my other photographs, this guy was big and large I ducked under him tried to move to the left and the right, his big body and arms were all up in my lens and almost elbowed me in the face and boobs, I was about to snap, the ghetto girl was shortly to make an appearance my mouth getting ready to start cussing in Greek but I kept my cool. Its a miracle a few shots were decent enough to publish. Huge thanks to Sixx for posing a little longer with book in hand, Shania Twain should have held her book when she did her camera call but she didn’t. Toronto! No worries dry your eye, Nikki Sixx will be back all of you Mötley fans with his Crüe and a few friends June 28th at the Molson Canadian Amphitheater buy tickets HERE.
There you have it my friends, mellow times with The Toronto Freedom Festival and some craziness with Nikki Sixx’s book singing all in a single day before sunset, Toronto always has so much to do and that is why I love my city.
Republishing use of this article or any of its content that includes but is not limited to photographs, written work and filming is strictly prohibited all content is original.
“THE FIRST GREAT MUSICAL OF THE 21ST CENTURY” – Toronto Star
AMERICAN IDIOT TO HOLD OPEN CALL AUDITIONS IN TORONTO
Saturday, March 26 @ Roy Thomson Hall
The producers of the critically acclaimed Broadway hit AMERICAN IDIOT will hold Open Call Auditions, for all roles, in Toronto on Saturday, March 26 at Roy Thomson Hall. AMERICAN IDIOT will play the Toronto Centre for the Arts, December 28, 2011 – January 15, 2012.
The Open Call Auditions will begin at 11am, on a first come basis.
Please enter Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe Street) via the stage door/artists entrance
at the south end of the Hall off Wellington Street.
Producers are seeking male and female rock singers in their early to late 20’s. All hopefuls should bring a recent picture, resume and prepare a short rock song. A piano accompanist will be provided. Men who play the guitar should bring one and accompany themselves.
For more information visit: www.facebook.com/americanidiotbroadway
or call 212.719.9393 x360.
Called “wonderfully raucous and emotionally charged” by The New York Times, AMERICAN IDIOT tells the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. Their quest for meaning in a post 9-11 world leads them on an exhilarating journey.
Based on Green Day’s GRAMMY® Award-winning American Idiot, Billie Joe Armstrong and the band collaborate with one of the theatre’s most acclaimed creative teams, led by the Tony Award®-winning director Michael Mayer, Pulitzer Prize and two-time Tony Award-winning composer and orchestrator Tom Kitt, and Olivier Award-winning choreographer Steven Hoggett, to bring this explosive, iconic album to the stage.
The show features Tony Award-winning scenic design by Christine Jones (Spring Awakening), costume design by Baryshnikov fellow Andrea Lauer (The Butcher of Baraboo), Tony Award-winning lighting design by Kevin Adams (Hair), sound design by Olivier and Obie Award-winner Brian Ronan (Cabaret), as well as video design by Darrel Maloney.
Tickets for AMERCIAN IDIOT are currently on sale with Dancap’s new FLEXI-SUBSCRIPTIONS. For details or to buy, call 416.644.3665, or visit www.DancapTickets.com/FLEXI.
Toronto’s Sweet Thing have released a new music video for their single “Lazy Susan.” 2010 was a big year for Sweet Thing – their music being featured in box office hits “Easy A” and “Morning Glory”, sharing stages with the likes of Metric and Justin Nozuka, and playing on Stroumboulopoulos Tonight – the band is determined to make 2011 just as exciting.
Sweet Thing’s bassist Morgan Waters directed the video!
Sweet Thing’s debut album is available now on EMI Music Canada. It is currently available from iTunes for $7.99.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES
Feb. 22 @ Bullys Event Center, LETHBRIDGE (w. Down With Webster)
Feb. 23 @ Lotus Club, RED DEER (w. Down With Webster)
Feb. 25 @ Vogue Theatre, VANCOUVER (w. Down With Webster)
Feb. 26 @ Vogue Theatre, VANCOUVER (w. Down With Webster)
Feb. 28 @ Wild Bills, BANFF (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 2 @ Edmonton Event Center, EDMONTON (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 3 @ MacEwan Hall, CALGARY (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 4 @ Odeon Events Centre, SASKATOON (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 5 @ Burton Cummings Theatre, WINNIPEG (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 7 @ Kiwanis Community Centre Theatre, SAULT STE. MARIE (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 8 @ The Capitol Centre, NORTH BAY (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 9 @ The Ale House, KINGSTON (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 10 @ Bronson Centre, OTTAWA (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 11 @ Metropolis, MONTREAL (w. Down With Webster)
Mar. 12 @ Massey Hall, TORONTO (w. Down With Webster)
SmartPhone Ap: Sweets Ap (free app where the fans can follow/communicate with Sweet Thing, post photos, comments, video and more!)