Show Reviews

by Max Ink Staff Writers


Michael and Spyder, Steel Panther - photo by Tricia Starr, TStarr Photography

Michael and Spyder, Steel Panther - photo by Tricia Starr, TStarr Photography

JJO Yellow Snowball 2018
Steel Panther Live at the Sylvee
Show Review By Al Brzostowski
Posted: Dec 2018
(53) Page Views

As tradition goes, Steel Panther made their holiday stop in Madison for the JJO Yellow Snowball. Steel Panther heated up the Sylvee, as the temperature dropped in Madison.

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Manchester Orchester The Sylvee December 5th

Manchester Orchester The Sylvee December 5th

Manchester Orchestra and The Front Bottoms with Brother Bird
The Sylvee, Madison WI December 5th, 2018
Show Review By John Noyd
Posted: Dec 2018
(84) Page Views

Indie-rockers Manchester Orchestra lets the music do the talking. Singer, guitarist Andy Hull did say hello halfway into their set, but soon apologized for not being very articulate or having much to say. That’s ok - the epic journey he and the band took Madison’s The Sylvee spoke volumes; brazen in its attacks and tender in its celebrations with lyrics placating demons and savoring dreamers, the exceptionally tight unit plummeted thundering depths and reached transcendental heights often within a single song. A seething seizure of light and sound greeted the eager audience as the band book-ended the show with the opening and closing tracks from their latest opus, “Black Mile to the Surface.” Although the new album dominated the set, choice cuts from every other album burned powerfully next to MO’s latest as their trademark catharsis came fully alive on stage. Bonding the audience in sweet savage sadness, the soul-baring session was bathed in red shadows and blue fog; stalking, white-hot high-beams swept the venue as brawny, longing songs faced blameless anguish, pitching blistering bliss against existential tempests and uniting the crowd in majestic consensus. Concluding with a three-song encore, which included a deep cut from The Black Mile Demos EP, the band finished the night reaffirming their music’s unique ability to draw gravitas and humanity from larger-than-life arrangements and down-to-earth concerns.

Chatty patter came naturally to The Front Bottom’s hard-strumming Brian Sella whose slacker narratives reveled in disheveled debauchery. Spinning winning folk-punk tales backed by a touring band playing two drum kits, guitars, multiple keyboards and violin,  alongside a functioning bar the crew and band-mates frequented during the side-splitting set, TFB’s smart-ass anarchy broke down all walls between them and their rabid fans. The snarky carnival had no problem getting the crowd to participate in every song including the uproarious, “Peace Sign,” where the mosh pit subsided long enough to flash a peace sign and middle finger in response to the song’s dogged insistence.

Brother Bird, whose thirty minute set started in a country-folk vein before turning dark and synthetic, wondered if they were being a downer, too emo. No worries, in a night of dire pariahs exuding groovy retribution, BB’s sultry despair fit right in with the rest of the evening’s misfit visions  

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James Milbrandt - photo by Tricia Starr-TStarr Photography

James Milbrandt - photo by Tricia Starr-TStarr Photography

Versus Me
Live at The High Noon Saloon
Show Review By Al Brzostowski
Posted: Nov 2018
(318) Page Views

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 - photo by Tricia Starr, TStarr Photography

Shaun Morgan - photo by Tricia Starr, TStarr Photography

Seether
Seether at Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
Show Review By Al Brzostowski
Posted: Nov 2018
(263) Page Views

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.

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Shirley Manson of Garbage - photo by Russell Kershaw

Shirley Manson of Garbage - photo by Russell Kershaw

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

Show Review By John Noyd
Posted: Oct 2018
(422) Page Views

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.

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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
(356) 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
(352) 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
(754) Page Views

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
(689) 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
(650) Page Views

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
(520) 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
(1077) 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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