Show Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Tracii Guns, L.A. Guns - photo by Tricia Starr--TStarr Photography

Tracii Guns, L.A. Guns - photo by Tricia Starr--TStarr Photography

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

Show Review By Al Brzostowski
Posted: Oct 2018
(6584) Page Views

L.A. Guns are known for their ties to the Los Angeles hard-rock band Guns N’ Roses. Axl Rose was even the band’s singer for a time, before the group merged with the band Hollywood Rose to become Guns N’ Roses. Their hits are “It’s Over Now” and “The Ballad of Jayne,” and many others. There have been many touring versions of the band over the years and this lineup features founding members Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis.

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Sting & Shaggy - photo by Michael Sherer

Sting & Shaggy - photo by Michael Sherer

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

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Oct 2018
(4275) Page Views

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.)

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Sixth Street - photo by Emily Sisson (ESOfficialStudios)

Sixth Street - photo by Emily Sisson (ESOfficialStudios)

Rockonsin 2018 and the Legacy That Follows
Live on the Summerfest Johnson Controls Stage
Show Review By Emily Sisson
Posted: Aug 2018
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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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Ritchie Blackmore & Candace Night - photo by Michael Sherer

Ritchie Blackmore & Candace Night - photo by Michael Sherer

Blackmore’s Night - Wellmont Theater, Montclair, New Jersey, 7.29.18

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Aug 2018
(4565) Page Views

England’s Ritchie Blackmore is one of the all time great and admired musicians from rock’s golden era, the 1970’s. As co founder of Deep Purple in 1968 and the founder Rainbow in 1975, his melodic and tasteful playing is one of the most distinctive and respected of all his peers and beyond.

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P.O.S. at the High Noon Saloon - photo by Sal Serio

P.O.S. at the High Noon Saloon - photo by Sal Serio

P.O.S. at the High Noon Saloon
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: May 2018
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In what had to have been one of the more highly anticipated hip-hop shows booked in to Madison this spring (JPEGmafia notwithstanding) Doomtree member/founder P.O.S. (born Stefon Alexander) brought his socially conscious raps to the High Noon Saloon on a balmy Tuesday night, May the 15. P.O.S. and D.J. Rowsheen had arrived in Madison several hours earlier for a well attended and inspirational warm up set in the downtown Isthmus magazine offices.

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Patti Smith - photo by Frank Stefanko

Patti Smith - photo by Frank Stefanko

The Photography Show - Presented by AIPAD, Pier 94, NYC, April 5 - 8, 2018

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Apr 2018
(3886) Page Views

For 38 years, The Association of International Photography Art Dealers, (AIPAD), has been presenting NYC annual exhibition called The Photography Show. Their current location is Pier 94 on 12th Ave at 55th Street, which affords lots of space and a bar with eating area. Featuring more than 85 prominent photography galleries from throughout the country, this is the biggest show of its kind. Myriad genres are on display, including contemporary, modern, nineteenth-century and photo-based media. There are also talks given by photographers and artists.

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Peter Criss & Gene Simmons - photo by Michael Sherer

Peter Criss & Gene Simmons - photo by Michael Sherer

Gene Simmons Vault Experience - VK Nagrani, NYC, 3.24.18

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Mar 2018
(1552) Page Views

After forming KISS with Paul Stanley in 1972 at the age of 23, Gene Simmons has a long and interesting musical and personal history to share with his fans. Always a very hands-on man, Gene, now 68, has taken his story on the road for an intimate fan experience. Here’s the deal: Gene has released a huge box set stored in a signed vault, which contains 10 CDs of 150 songs that until now have never been released. They cover a whopping fifty years - 1966 to 2016.

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Michael Schenker in Milwaukee, March 18, 2018 - photo by Sal Serio

Michael Schenker in Milwaukee, March 18, 2018 - photo by Sal Serio

Michael Schenker Fest obliterates the Pabst in Milwaukee! 03.18.18

Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: Mar 2018
(2189) Page Views

For a Sunday night, guitar legend Michael Schenker and band did not hold anything back for those who needed to get up early the next morning. I knew going in to this that it was a long show, but I was still unprepared for just exactly how expansive and what an incredible event the Michael Schenker Fest concert was. Any fans of Schenker’s career, especially but not exclusively the Michael Schenker Group years, should not miss this experience. Again, it was a Sunday night in Milwaukee, and the day after Saint Paddy’s Day to boot, but there was not fatigue and hangover in the air, rather a bristling electric excitement from the moment I walked in to the ornate and welcoming lobby of the historic Pabst Theater. From the look of the audience’s black t-shirts, many longtime Schenker fans were in attendance, but quite a few younger faces were present as well.

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Denis Gagné of The Musical Box, at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, March 8, 2018 - photo by Sal Serio

Denis Gagné of The Musical Box, at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, March 8, 2018 - photo by Sal Serio

The Musical Box at the Orpheum Theater, 03.08.18

Show Review By Sal Serio
Posted: Mar 2018
(1326) Page Views

A small but enthusiastic crowd assembled for this concert, and as the lights dimmed and the stage was bathed in fluorescent black lights, the five musicians launched in to “Watcher Of The Skies”, and it was obvious this was going to be a top-tier production. Adding to this excellence was a pristine audio presentation by the sound man; indeed, this may have been the most impeccable sound I have ever experienced in the Orpheum. Vocalist Denis Gagné was dressed in long black cape with striking chiaroscuro make-up on, made more intense illuminated by the black lights. Adding to the contrast were the other four musicians dressed in all white, while Gagné was in black. The current presentation by The Musical Box is an exact reproduction of the 1974 Genesis U.S. Tour titled “The Black Show”. As such, the second song of the evening was “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight”. Sébastien Lamothe, the Mike Rutherford member, faithfully and exceptionally played Rickenbacker double-neck 12-string and bass, with bass foot pedals, while Gagné accompanied with celestial flute. Stoic guitarist Francois Gagnon stayed seated for the entire performance, surrounded by vintage effects pedals.

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Anthrax live at the Eagles Ballroom - photo by Emily Sisson: (ESOfficial)

Anthrax live at the Eagles Ballroom - photo by Emily Sisson: (ESOfficial)

Killswitch Engage/Anthrax - Killthrax Tour
Live at the Eagles Ballroom
Show Review By Emily Sisson
Posted: Feb 2018
(1165) Page Views

Personally, I grew up attending every concert I could afford to attend. I came from a family with a musical background and I always felt the most memorable moments were ones spent going to concerts with my best friend or father. Sure it was $40-$50 of my money that could have been spent on T-shirts or lunch, but that ticket was a sure sign that I would have a unique memory and story. The Anthrax and Killswitch Engage “Killthrax” show in Milwaukee WI was no different.

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Jann Wenner in conversation with Alex Gibney, 92Y, NYC, 11.1.17

Show Review By Michael Sherer
Posted: Nov 2017
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Rolling Stone magazine is fifty years old. Jann Wenner, 71, was 24 when he founded the then newspaper form publication in San Francisco with the help of veteran Bay Area journalist Ralph Gleason. (The magazine relocated to NYC, Wenner’s hometown, in 1977.)

Wenner was in conversation with Alex Gibney, the director of a new documentary called ‘Rolling Stone - Stories From The Edge,’ released by HBO. An engaging discussion between the men was enjoyed in an intimate theater at the 143 year upper east side old institution 92Y.

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Noah Gundersen High Noon Saloon

Noah Gundersen High Noon Saloon

Noah Gundersen with Silver Torches
High Noon Saloon October 12th, 2017
Show Review By John Noyd
Posted: Oct 2017
(1571) Page Views

A healthy helping of heart and soul powered Noah Gundersen’s Thursday night show at Madison’s High Noon Saloon. The five-piece band doubled up on keyboards and percussion to deliver a well-coordinated arsenal combating existential crises with ballistic conviction and social afflictions with vengeful chords. From the light-drenched staging to the well-executed pacing, Gundersen threw out musical life-lines and walked emotional tight-ropes with breathless power-ballads exuding a David and Goliath vibe, uniting the crowd and rallying hope all the while seamlessly moving from full band to trio then solo and back to full band. Opening with the slow burning, “After All,” and closing with the climatic, “Bad Desire,” the evening never stopped changing dynamics. A rotating wheel of funeral pyre finales and flickering intimate interludes that inspired alliances between dancing air-guitarists and romantic mosh-pit singers.
A far cry from his simpler acoustic folk beginnings, Gundersen’s recent album, “White Noise,” shows an artist whose compound sound drives earnest certainty into parading crusades and self-conflicting benedictions into crucial resolutions. In performance, the lengthier tunes like, “Cocaine, Sex and Alcohol,” and, “New Religion,” blossomed in epic connections dredging deep and soaring high as sister Abby’s violin swept through brother Jonny’s lusty drumming and ace guitarist in the shadows fleshed out Noah’s passionate passages with delicate intensity while supporting the roaring choruses with finely-tuned fury.
Opener Silver Torches consisted of lead singer Erik Walters playing a solo acoustic set that drew incredible fire from his bold, rich vocals for a ferocious busking of his new rockin’, “Let It Be A Dream.” Both acts took time to remove the spotlight from themselves and point out they had brought on tour a spokesperson for SOS Children’s Villages, an independent, non-governmental international development organization which has been working to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children since 1949. A giant clue as to Erik and Noah’s focus in song and beyond, their grateful sincerity filled the night. Frankly, compassion never sounded so fierce or so good.

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