Today is: Thursday November 15, 2018 | Status: Under Re-development | Version 2.99.03

LIVE SHOW REVIEWS


James Milbrandt

Versus Me

Live at The High Noon Saloon
by Al Brzostowski

Amidst the dark lighting, James Milbrandt and his VSME band mates took the stage after an eerie introduction, launching into “Not going back”. From there, VSME segued into their new track, “Left Here” — in which they recently released a music video to.


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Shaun Morgan

Seether

Seether at Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
by Al Brzostowski

Seether at Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI


DEAD ORIGINAL

When the grunge trio featuring Paul Wandtke (Bedlem, ex Trivium), drummer Rob Lerner and bassist Sean McCole hit the stage, Paul held his guitar up high, squealing with feedback, like a prize catch. The energy from the crowd during this intro was palatable; you could feel the anticipation from them as the night started.

As they plowed through their set, a familiar power chord driven tribute came to the ears of the fans; In bloom by Nirvana. As Paul banged away on the guitar, Sean’s bass riffs were on spot. Everyone at the show chimed in, singing along to this 90’s melody.

Overall, this bands’ presence and consistency of keeping the crowd at attention, rocking to their originals. Most of the set allowed fans to hear the upcoming release live. Their album releases early next year.

Dead Original setlist:
Intro/ Fade to Light
Blasted
In Bloom (Nirvana Cover)
My Friends
Don’t Stare
5 Days
Punch Me
Circles
Reminds Me
Bored Again

SEETHER
Seether kicked the show off with latest album opener Stoke The Fire. Stage dark, the band appears as the crowd comes to life…
Standing stage right,  vocalist Shaun Morgan remained there throughout the entire set, while bassist Dale Stewart played in the slot of the frontman. Stewart brought the energy as the band charged through the night. Appearing as the four piece again tonight, Corey Lowery of Dark New Day and Saint Asonia joined them again to add that bite and rawness to the guitar, Seether pulled absolutely no stops tonight; delivering their live tracks with electricity. Seether is a band that does not rely on theatrics; hell they refuse to even use tracks when performing live. Spread across the stage in a in a single line with Humphreys bringing up the rear.

As the set grew in intensity, the lighting, although typically subpar at this venue, offered an almost haunted house effect to the figures on stage as they dredged on. Fan favorites were played like thunder, with the band infusing the list with some tracks off of the new album. Touring their latest, and one of their heaviest, Poison the Parish, it was awesome to see the fact that the longevity of the band equates to a cross-generational fan base. There was a air of satisfaction that came across when the set was done, house lights came on, and people migrated towards the exits of the ballroom.

Shaun Morgan uses Schecter guitars, with there is a signature model. He was offered an endorsement with PRS, but turned it down.

Seether setlist:
Stoke the Fire
Gasoline
Let You Down
Truth
Words as Weapons
Nobody Praying for Me
Save Today
Country Song
Fine Again
Broken
No Jesus Christ
Rise Above This
Betray and Degrade
Fake It
Remedy


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Shirley Manson of Garbage

Garbage with Rituals of Mine - The Sylvee, Madison WI Oct 16th, 2018

by John Noyd

Starting out wonderfully sultry with the sparse, slinky, “Afterglow,” Garbage built up steam slowly, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their sophomore, “Version 2.0,” with an intimate examination of the band’s pivotal album. In many ways, “2.0,” is where Garbage began to become a real band, hunkering down to follow-up their smashing debut. They hunkered down in Madison, in Smart Studios and the subsequent work spawned several experiments that became standard band characteristics. In particular, their love of pop crept into their dense electro-rock configuration with songs like, “Special,” and, “Push It,” nodding to songs within a song. To that point, The Sylvee witnesses Fleetwood Mac’s, “Dreams,” Depeche Mode’s, “Personal Jesus,” and The Kinks’, “Tired of Waiting,” making sly appearances in the band’s nearly two dozen song set-list.

While the audience may not have recognized all the songs as being from “Version 2.0,” the tour dived into this year’s deluxe 2 CD reissue that included such gems as their covers of Big Star’s, “Thirteen,” and The Seeds’, “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine.” Both which appeared halfway through a show punctuated by humble asides and bombastic performances. Front-woman and non-Madisonian Shirley Manson, dressed in a shiny red dress with make-up somewhere between Blade Runner chic and Japanese Kabuki, paused to personalize these b-sides and deep cuts with stories of late-night phone-calls from Cafe Montmartre and marathon studio sessions broken up by runs to Ancora Coffee. Suddenly, “Get Busy with the Fizzy,” and “Hammering In My Head,” took on a more palatable persona, backed by actual facts and driven home by Butch Vig’s rumbling drums and triggered rhythms. 

Reassessing the culture that spawned the album, the decadence the band once harbored in unique freak anthems, “I Think I’m Paranoid,” and, “When I Grow Up.” have now become battle-cries for inclusion and acceptance.  History has been kind to the continued relevance and prophetic insight inside, ” Version 2.0,” with its remix-ready karate-chop riffs, cathedral-worthy keyboard power-chords and edgy, anti-establishment insistence. Twenty years later, the album’s precocious notions prove to be nuanced improvements in musical fusions as the skilled hands of Duke Erickson and Steve Marker welded processed guitars to seamless samples for enhanced ambience and optimal sonics. 

Two hours later, the band seems tireless, and as they wrapped up the night, much that Shirley referenced earlier was summed up in, “The Trick Is Too Keep Breathing.” Having experienced the ups and down of a band that began as a band of the moment and proved to be influential taste-makers, Garbage seemed genuinely grateful their dream continues to this day. Fitting then they closed the night with a new song, “No Horses,” before getting The Sylvee back up one more time with the smart, funky, “Cherry Lips.”
The evening’s opener, Rituals of Mine came on like gangbusters with a sleek data-banked techno-groove catapulted by the duo’s live thunder-drum percussion and dynamic lead singer.  A nice complement to Garbage’s pioneering work fusing electronics to rock, RoM’s relentless energy seemed worthy inheritors of the techno-groovy revolution.


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Tracii Guns, L.A. Guns

L.A. Guns 10-8-2018 Shank Hall, Milwaukee

by Al Brzostowski

Al catches classic metallers L.A. Guns at Shank Hall in Milwaukee


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Sting & Shaggy

Sting & Shaggy - Pier 17, NYC, September 26th, 2018

by Michael Sherer

With The Police’s music having reggae influences and leanings, and with Sting being the main songwriter for them, it’s a natural idea to have him pair with Shaggy, a Jamaican musician, singer and DJ. (And former United States Marine). The two first got together for the Grammy Awards this past January. They followed that up in April with a joint CD called “44/876,” a reference to their native country calling codes. (Sting, born Gordon Sumner, is from Newcastle, England.)

Currently on a U.S. tour for a month after having been in Europe since late June, the stop at NYC’s new (and great) Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport brings Sting home. (Listen to his song “Englishman in New York” for his thoughts on that.) With a stellar band consisting of longtime Sting guitarists Dominic Miller and Rufus Miller, and John Freese on drums, along with Shaggy’s keyboardist Kevon Webster and his excellent backup singers Melissa Musique and Gene Noble, with Sting holding down the bass and lead vocals along with Shaggy, they sounded fabulous. Combined with the open air of this outdoor, rooftop venue with the downtown NYC skyline below, it was a very memorable night.


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Sixth Street

Rockonsin 2018 and the Legacy That Follows

Live on the Summerfest Johnson Controls Stage
by Emily Sisson

For musicians, few experiences resonate deeper then the thrill and energy of performing for a live crowd. And young musicians around Milwaukee have long drooled with desire to get a coveted Summerfest gig. Lucky for the youth of Wisconsin, the dream of “some day” performing onstage at Summerfest can be achieved by the “Rockonsin” state finals.


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