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LIVE SHOTS Self Help Fest 2017, Philadelphia, PA

All photos by Taylor Markarian

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A Day To Remember Announce New Record ‘Bad Vibrations,’ Stream Heavy Title Track

A Day To Remember have finally given us a release date for their new record, Bad Vibrations! The long awaited release is set to hit stores August 19th, and the pre-order is available now. It’s been a little while since they streamed their last single, “Paranoia,” so to accompany this announcement they’ve streamed the title track, which is a lot heavier than we’ve seen from ADTR in a while. Check out the video and the album artwork below and let us know what you think!

Continue reading A Day To Remember Announce New Record ‘Bad Vibrations,’ Stream Heavy Title Track

LIVE SHOTS: Rock’n Derby’s 1st Year, New York

The Rock’n Derby was a weird little festival very much off the beaten path. In Schaghticoke, NY, bands from Stray From The Path, to Halestorm, to A Day To Remember gave performances on Saturday, May 21st–just one of the three days of the event. Nestled in rural New York, the festival featured not only bands, however, but wrestling and demolition derby. It also featured some not so cool things, like a surprising number of Confederate flags, only further proving my personal theory that if you drive far enough north (or in any direction, really) you eventually hit The South. 

Check out some shots we got from this one-of-a-kind festival. Banged-up cars, face-painted wrestlers, and Levi Benton? Yup. All here.

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VIDEO PREMIERE: A Day To Remember “Paranoia”

A Day To Remember is one of the few bands that remains impressive as the years go on and the record sales go up. Releasing their new material through their very own ADTR Records, they stay true to themselves and their sound and yet still move forward. Their new single, “Paranoia,” proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt. The only thing that would’ve made this video better is if the ADTR dudes transformed into actual superheroes. But given the split second AP comic book cover shown at around 1:10, maybe they’re saving the tights and the capes for the next video.

Record Review: August Burns Red ‘Found In Far Away Places’

abr found in far away places

The seventh studio album, Found in Far Away Places, from Pennsylvanian Christian metal band August Burns Red is their first on Fearless Records. It is a brutal yet sometimes hopeful twelve-song trek through faith, anger and other trying emotions, with melodic respites in between.

Found in Far Away Places begins with “The Wake,” the album’s first single, and it’s exactly what ABR fans have come to expect–loud, crushing instrumentals with deep, unforgiving vocals. Humanity’s greed and indifference to the world’s problems are, as usual, the focal point of ABR’s aural assault. Following “The Wake” is the accusatory “Martyr.” The ascent through brutality and anger continues and then, near the halfway mark, the listener gets a moment to catch a breath with an unexpected brief but beautiful guitar solo.

This record has more instrumental breaks than August Burns Red’s previous works. “Separating The Seas” has an interlude (weirdly similar to “Hava Nagila”) which serves as a bridge between two points of the usual ABR aggression. Almost every track on this album contains a melodic, relatively quiet bridge or interlude, and they tend to take the songs in an unexpected direction. The western interlude in “Identity” is yet another twist.  

A Day to Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon delivers clean vocals on “Ghosts,” reminding the listener to “Just look at the world around you/There’s a consequence for what we do.” Then the album avalanches down through confusion, anger, redemption, and even hope. There is hope in “Everlasting Ending,” but “Broken Promises” and “Blackwood” return to the palpable violent anger of the opening tracks. The album ends almost entirely in opposition to how it begins with “Marathon” and its last sentiment: “I will climb this mountain to find you/I will search far and wide/I will climb this mountain to find you before running out of time.”

The first words out of Jake Luhr’s mouth in “The Wake” are “Destroy everything.” The final words on the record are humble and hopeful. Found in Far Away Places demands to be listened to carefully in order to fully appreciate the scope of the emotions and themes it encompasses. There is no doubt that with each listen there will be more to discover, and whether or not you believe in a higher power, August Burns Red might just help you see hope for all of us.

By David Marulanda 

Four Star Rating

Live Streaming and Hardcore: Match or Misfire?

yahoo live vans warped tour wcar

On June 19th, Yahoo! Screen streamed the first date of Vans Warped Tour 2015 on its Live Nation Channel from the Fairplex in Pomona, CA. The live stream kicks off a hugely important festival for the “underground,” but it also kicks off an important question: Do live concert streaming and hard rock shows really belong together?

We’re all used to seeing live performances on TV by now. Come the Super Bowl, the halftime show is all that matters for many viewers. We watch televised performances from the likes of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, The Oscars, and nightly programs like Jimmy Kimmel Live and Conan. While broadcasted musical events have become commonplace, live concert streaming takes the concept to a next level and thus raises next level questions. When a -core band’s show inside a local venue becomes easily viewable from remote locations, is it just cool or does it take something away? When you can watch Stick To Your Guns play a set from your laptop in bed with some hot cocoa, for example, it inarguably changes the experience. But is it for the better?

Vans Warped Tour and Stick To Your Guns aren’t the only examples of streamed shows, of course, and Yahoo! isn’t the only platform for this market. (Others include IROCKE and ConcertTV & Concert Window, for instance). Various acts from genres all across the board have dabbled in the new digital music phenomenon. Bands like The Ghost Inside, Falling In Reverse, Chelsea Grin, August Burns Red, and Bayside have live streamed their shows via Yahoo!, as have acts like Stone Temple Pilots, Infected Mushroom and Meghan Trainor. On one hand, you might note how fair the platform is to music of all types. Heavy bands aren’t usually deemed noteworthy enough to appear side-by-side with ultra-famous pop singers or widely-known psychedelic trance groups. Alternatively, though it may be nice to see your favorite bands emerge from the more shadowy corners of the music world, there is something about watching their performances from a computer screen that can justifiably raise an eyebrow or two.

yahoo live past shows

I’ll admit, the first time I heard about live concert streaming, I thought it was pretty freakin’ awesome. “No way!” was followed by “I’ve gotta try that!” was followed by “I’m totally living in the future right now!” I actually tuned in to a couple of shows to see what it was like or to see how the bands actually performed live. Each time, I stared at my computer screen allowing that exact same train of thought to pass through my brain…for about 60 seconds. Then I got over it.

Then I started thinking, That’s cool. I’m sure the people who are actually there right now are having fun. Because although being able to watch a live show from your couch is admittedly a neat trick, the initial magic wears off rather quickly. Sure, with pop acts and more mainstream sounds it’s probably a bit different. After all, watching Super Bowl Halftime shows is always fun. But pop, hip-hop, and stadium rock acts are what the doorman of Oz would call a horse of a different color as compared to a hardcore outfit. Those streamline genres are more tailored to broadcast performances. For the most part, vocals are really most of what’s going on in a pop act, and the audio engineers are well-adjusted to those kinds of smooth vocals. But introduce some screaming and growling into the mic, some double bass pedals alongside intense cymbal work, and some crunchy guitars and most live music coming from your home speakers sounds crappy. Even though the actual live show at the venue could be insane, a live hardcore band will never sound as good over your internet connection as it will in person. As it always has with this kind of music, it comes down to the live show, and the thing about live shows is you should probably be there when they happen.

A Hardcore Crowd at NYC's Gramcery Theatre
A Hardcore Crowd at NYC’s Gramcery Theatre

Half of hardcore is the live performance. The recorded tracks are what get you interested perhaps, and they’re definitely what keep you going, but the live show is what it’s all about: being between a certain set of a walls with a certain set of people playing your favorite set of tunes. You go to your favorite venue with familiar graffiti impetuously scribbled on the walls. You stand in a crowd of 50, 100, 500 people wearing shirts of bands you’ll be seeing next month or whose CD you have laying around your car. You get pushed around, jump up and down, thrown front to back, toppled, drowned in the sweat of strangers, get a beer spilled on you, and get close enough to the band that the spit as their screaming flies past your eyelids. To use precise terms, there’s a vibe, an energy you get from the sense of community and from the charisma of the musicians striking chords you’ve heard alone in your room a thousand times. You go to a show to not be alone in your room anymore. You go to a hardcore show because there’s nothing like being at a hardcore show.

True, live streaming can allow you to virtually attend a show you otherwise might not have been able to attend. Boiler Room streams music events from all around the world, making it possible for someone who lives in New York City to “attend” a concert in London. Live streaming also may introduce you to new bands before you decide you want to spend your money on a ticket. However, you don’t get an accurate depiction of what the band in question is actually like because you’re not physically in the space, and you could end up hating a band you might have otherwise loved.

Am I standing atop a hill with a torch in one hand and a mace in the other shouting, “Down with the internet!”? No. Is live concert streaming a terrible development in technology? By no means. However, does it make sense for genres that have historically and culturally found a home in dingy basements and mosh pits? Not in my book.

10 Things You Do Pre-Show

If you’re a regular show-goer, you know all of these apply to you. Don’t deny it. Just embrace it. LET’S GOOOOOO!!

1. You and your friends find out your fave band is going on tour and coming to your city.

2. You bought your tickets. OMG.

3. The show is tonight and you may or may not be freaking out. 

4. Time to get fresh as fuck.

5. Throw on that leather jacket.

6. Put that eyeliner on.

7. Where did I put my ticket again?

8. Even after years of going to shows, you still don’t know where to put your wallet so it won’t fall out. 

 9. But you know exactly where to put your keys. 

10. You down that Red Bull or Monster Energy Drink like it’s your job. 

And when you finally get to the venue, your body is ready. Let’s do this.

Did we miss anything? Let us know what YOU do pre-show! 

Keep Warm This Winter

Keep Warm This Winter

Cold got you down? Temperatures far below 32 degrees keeping you holed up on the couch? Fear not!  We’ve got 10 great tracks for you right here that will help you trek through the harsh winter outside and remind you of the warmer weather right on the horizon.  Take a look at our ten tracks to keep you warm this winter:

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