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Shinedown live at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee


by Paul Weber

When I heard that Shinedown was doing an acoustic tour I thought, “Well this could be interesting”. Having worked on tours with bands doing acoustic songs I knew it could be hit or miss in a big way. By the time the first song had finished I knew this Shinedown show was going to be something special. The show on November 30th at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, WI, was not only well performed, but was a rare, open book about the band and the story behind the songs. The show also felt like a rebirth for singer Brent Smith, as he described his struggles with drug addiction and his new found sobriety. There was no doubt that Shinedown loves what they do, at times being called the hardest working band in Rock and Roll. There is something to be said when the crowd is brought to their feet during an acoustic show, but when you take into account the list of hits Shinedown brings to the table, it’s no wonder the crowd at the Riverside clearly loved every minute of it.

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Jamey Johnson live at the Riverside in Milwaukee

Jamey Johnson

by Jennifer Bronenkant

Often credited as the Outlaw Country singer who will save Country Music from the “new country” that Nashville is pumping out, Jamey Johnson came to Milwaukee and proved he is much more than that.
Johnson opened his set with crowd favorites “High Cost Of Living”, “Angel” and “Lonely At The Top”. These hits brought fans to their feet where many stayed for most of the show.

With two back to back Grammy nominated albums, “That Lonesome Song” and the recently released double album “The Guitar Song”, this singer/songwriter has more than enough of his own material to fill a concert set. But instead of playing only from his own impressive song list, Johnson sang several covers. These included songs from country greats like Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and Waylon Jennings along with rousing renditions of rock songs made famous by ZZ Top (“La Grange”) and Bob Seger (“Here I Am On The Road Again”).

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Lifehouse at the Rave in Milwaukee


by Paul Weber

When you think of bands with longevity, you may easily forget that Lifehouse has been releasing music since 2000. With their latest release, Smoke and Mirrors, the band adds to an already impressive list of well written, catchy songs. Its easy to see why the fans love Lifehouse. Between an endless list of songs that stick in your head to a polished live show they give you every dollars worth, and I would argue even more.

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Sevendust at the First Avenue in Minneapolis


by Paul Weber

There are few things worse than being excited about a band who has a great CD but when it comes time to deliver it live they fall short. With Sevendust, I am happy to say that is never a problem. In the tradition of other legendary touring bands such as Pantera, Sevendust brings the music to a new level during their live shows. From the stage at Woodstock, to the smaller sized venues like First Avenue, its all about the music and the fans. Sevendust gives 100 percent to their fans, and by the reaction at First Avenue, the fans loved every minute of it. With crushing songs like Denial, to the pit fueling Black, it is one solid song after another.

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Styx Live at the Beacon Theater

by Michael Sherer

How many artists or bands have the distinction of having four consecutive triple platinum albums? Very few. Styx was the first rock band to achieve this during the high flying long playing record sales era of the latter ‘70’s. ‘78 was the peak year for sales since the invention of the LP in ‘48. So why not take two of their records from their glory years, ‘77’s The Grand Illusion and its follow up, ‘78’s Pieces Of Eight, and perform them live, back to back, both in their entirety and song order? (With a twenty minute intermission between the sets.) That’s indeed what Styx is doing on their current U.S. tour. Hits and favorites like “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man” and “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” were all on display.

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