Category Archives: Show Reviews

Go Betty Go and The Dollyrots at The Roxy

Go Betty Go, The Dollyrots, The Roxy, January 25, 2015

gobettygoIt was a Sunday night on the Sunset Strip, and Go Betty Go was playing their EP release show at the world famous Roxy. It’s been a decade since we’ve last heard new music from this all girl pop punk band based out of the City of Angels, and they performed with a passion that was absolutely exhilarating. Opening with the wondrously rambunctious refrains of By Your Side from their just self-released EP Reboot, Go Betty Go had the audience enraptured from the start. Older songs such as C’mon and The Pirate Song followed, and many in the audience would be singing along to those and the many other fan favorites.

gobetty2The new compositions were delivered with a skilled precision, with Drown and It Haunts You Now leaving indelible impressions. It was also exciting to see to hear Go Betty Go performing two tunes in Spanish. And then right after closing with their trademark I’m From L.A. song, a pinata was lowed onto the stage, and after it was smashed to bits, goodies were distributed out to the crowd.

The Go Betty Go lineup was on top form, genuinely excited to be playing in front of a capacity crowd at The Roxy. Consisting of Nicolette Vilar on lead vocals, Betty Cisneros in guitar, Aixa Vilar on drums, and Michelle Rangel on bass, Go Betty Go is back and their thrilling set was nothing short of a triumph! Be sure to snag a copy of the Reboot EP, either from the band or on ITunes.

thedollyrotsRight before Go Betty Go’s headlining set, The Dollyrots took to the stage, and delivered a pop rocking good time for all of the early arrivals. Opening with the wildly infectious Hyperactive, The Dollyrots tore through a rapturous set of tunes. They played a good amount of cuts from their recently released Barefoot & Pregnant, including the wickedly wonderful Get Weird and the spirited Stupidly In Love. The classic Melanie song Brand New Key was given a dazzling pop punk interpretation by The Dollyrots. Their own anthem for the ages is the grand Because I’m Awesome, featuring sexy/sassy vocal interplay from Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas, Such a solid live show, jammed back with fabulous tunes that will remain embedded in your head for a very long time!

thedollyrots2Go Betty Go and The Dollyrots make up a tremendous double bill, and they should definitely consider touring together in the very near future. Both bands have spent time on the Vans Warped Tour, and have paid their dues tenfold within the vast LA music scene. After the piñata bash and the glittery guitar giveaway courtesy of Daisy Rock, thus concluded another absolutely gloriously memorable night on the Sunset Strip!

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Edward Brandon)

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Lita Ford at M15 Concert Bar and Grill

Lita Ford, Against The Ordinary, M15 Concert Bar and Grill, January 17, 2015

litaford1Lita Ford aka The Queen of Metal and band made their way into the wilds of Corona, CA, performing to a packed house at the M15 Concert Bar and Grill on a wild Saturday night. Performing solo material as well as many crowd favorites from her days with The Runaways, Lita Ford instantly showed the Corona a hard rocking good time. From the opening refrains of her high octane cover of the Elton John classic The Bitch Is Back, Lita Ford slammed into the set with a mighty sense of fiery magnetism.  One of the highlights was her magnificently touching tribute to the late Kim Fowley, who was instrumental in the forming of The Runaways. The hits keep ringing through, with the glorious highlights being Out For Blood, Kiss Me Deadly and of course Cherry Bomb!  The Queen of Metal left her loyal subjects absolutely enraptured!  Lita Ford’s latest album, entitled Living Like A Runaway, is now available from SPV Records.

aorpix1A few hours before Lita Ford would hit the stage, the early arrivals were treated to a tremendous solid set from Against The Ordinary. An up-and-coming band based out of Southern California, Against The Ordinary may be young, but their musical references are timeless. Opening with the fierce Destruction Blues, Against The Ordinary had the crowd instantly hooked!  One noticed right away the charismatic front man Marc Llana, performing with an attitude and conviction that was both bold and refreshing. Clearly inspired by the rock icons of the 70s and 80s, Llana brings it all into the 21st Century with an all-out vengeance. Sole guitarist Dillon Brown places a good deal of imagination and resourcefulness into the proceedings, filling the air with an exhilarating wall of sound. The rhythm section packed a tremendous wallop, with bassist Ian Field and drummer Jacob Guzman weaving solid beats throughout the entire set.

aor2Fight, Your Love, and Walk Away were some of the choice cuts that garnered the band a good of attention. And then there was a cover of the Alice Cooper classic I’m 18, which Against The Ordinary absolutely nailed with a wicked ferocity. Closing out their set with Unsound Mind, there was little doubt that Against The Ordinary made a good amount of new fans at the M15. Although the average age is the band was 22, Against The Ordinary is sure to have a mass appeal to all types of modern rock fans! Be sure to catch Against The Ordinary opening for Puddle Of Mudd at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles on April 4th!

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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Midge Ure at McCabe’s Guitar Shop

midgeurelive2Midge Ure, McCabe’s Guitar Shop, January 11, 2015

There was a tremendous amount of magic and excitement to be found within the confines of McCabe’s Guitar Shop in the heart of Santa Monica, CA. The legendary Midge Ure was making his way through North America on the Fragile Troubadour Tour, and graced the Los Angeles area with two outstanding acoustic shows that fans will recall for the ages. The first was already sold out and the last minute addition of a second set would eventually reach capacity as well, with several fans choosing to buy tickets for both performances. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Midge Ure perform acoustic, and in such a tiny space as McCabe’s, this was a truly breathtaking presentation from a truly passionate artist.  Midge Ure opened for Thompson Twins and Howard Jones over the summer in larger arenas, including a stop at the Greek Theater, but was limited to a short set of older material. At McCabe’s, they sky was the limit, and the prolific Ure filled his set list with songs from throughout his vast and glorious career.

Opening with a gorgeous rendition of Waiting Days from his solo album Pure, Midge Ure instantly captivated the crowd with his easy going manner and wondrously expressive vocals. Touring in support of his critically acclaimed new album Fragile, a trio of gems were played from the new effort, including the hypnotic Let It Rise, the inspiring Become, and the sweeping title track. The Ultravox fans would be in for a wonderful night of reminiscing as well. Old favorites such as Lament, Vienna, and Dancing With Tears In My Eyes had the capacity crowd joyously singing along. And since Ultravox was not able to make it to the States to tour for comeback album Brilliant, Midge Ure played an acoustic rendition of the title track that enraptured the crowd. The even greater news was that Ure hopes to bring Ultravox to the States sometime soon for a full on tour!

midgeurelive1The solo material from the past still packs an emotional punch to this very day, with Dear God and If I Was definitely favorites of the past, present and future. And non-pretentious to say the least, Midge stayed onstage smiling while the audience clapped for an encore – concluding the memorable night with an Ultravox selection entitled The Voice from the Rage In Eden album.

And after the end of the magnificent show, Midge Ure walked to the front of the shop chatting with fans and signing each and everything that was presented to him. A remarkable night to be sure, and one of the very best acoustic shows this reviewer has ever witnessed! Midge Ure performing his wonderful compositions in this intimate arena is nothing short of euphoric and not to be missed! Be sure to pick up Fragile, the latest and perhaps greatest collection of Midge Ure songs, now available from EOne Music!

Midge Ure Setlist:
1. Waiting Days
2. Call of the Wild
3. Breathe
4. Brilliant
(Ultravox song)
5. Hymn
(Ultravox song)
6. Dear God
7. Fade to Grey
(Visage song)
8. Light in Your Eyes
9. Guns and Arrows
10. Tumbling Down
11. Let It Rise
(Schiller cover)
12. Cold Cold Heart
13. Lament
(Ultravox song)
14. Vienna
(Ultravox song)
15. Become
16. If I Was
17. Dancing With Tears in My Eyes
(Ultravox song)
18. Fragile
19. The Voice
(Ultravox song)

(Review and Photo by Ken Morton)

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The New Varsity at The Glass House

newvar1jlThe New Varsity, The Glass House, January 10, 2015

It was time to kick off the New Year at The Glass House in Pomona, California, and what better way to commence into 2015 than with a show filled with local talent? Headlined by Assuming We Survive and featuring top caliber sets from Cromwell, Dose of Adolescence, and The New Varsity, it was exhilarating to see the place packed to the rafters to support the very best of what our local Southern California music scene has to offer. Even in spite of the rain and a surprise show from The Foo Fighters across town at The Forum, nothing was going to keep the crowds from supporting these wonderful bands at The Glass House on a wet and wild Pomona Saturday night .

newvar2jlOpening the show was The New Varsity from down the road in Claremont, who delivered their own lively brand of pop-punk in the grand tradition of New Found Glory and Jimmy Eat World. One of the winners of the Ernie Ball Battle of Bands last year, The New Varsity found themselves at the Vans Warped Tour in Ventura, claiming their prize and gaining a good amount of fans in the process.

The stage at The Glass House is considerable larger than what they played on at Warped, and The New Varsity definitely made the most of not being confined to one single area. Their wildly infectious songs filled The Glass House, and many in the audience were smiling and singing along to the pop rocking anthems The New Varsity had to offer. From the opening dynamics of Not What You’d Thought I’d Be, The New Varsity kept the room captivated with their spirited melodies.

newvar3jlIn addition to performing selections from their current self-released endeavor Running Out Of Time, The New Varsity find themselves looking well ahead to the future, and delivering two brand new songs in the set. Waiting Room and The Last Day Of November were very well received, and should be available on a brand new EP sometime this year.

The membership of The New Varsity displays a good deal of talent and resourcefulness. Lead vocalist and guitarist Kyle Feyk-Miney compares exceptionally well to the classic front men of the pop punk genre. Lead guitarist and backing vocalist Eric Putnam colors in the songs with both his vibrant guitar playing and wondrously spirited performance. The rhythm section launches the material into orbit, featuring the talents of Diante’ Thomas on bass and Taz Reeves on drums.

newvar4jlPop punk is very much alive and well – especially if exceptional up-and-coming bands such as The New Varsity have anything to say about it. Expect 2015 to be a breakthrough year for The New Varsity! And if you are a fan of the pop punk genre or just overall songs that joyously remain in your head for ages, be sure seek enrollment within the auditory ranks of The New Varsity.

Set List:
Not What You Thought I’d Be
Waiting Room
When It’s Over
The Last Day of November
You’re No Silver Lining
I Can’t See You Anymore
To Play Us Out

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

The New Varsity on Facebook
The Glass House Official Home Page

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Secrets at White Oak Music & Arts

10898192_798567180218093_8288614445933685597_nSecrets, At Our Expense, An Ocean Wide, Digital Panic, Mayfair, White Oak Music & Arts, January 3, 2015

It was the commencement of a brand New Year, and San Diego-based outfit Secrets was doing a few one-off shows in Southern California. About to make their way into the studio to record a new album, Secrets headed out to White Oak Music & Arts in the San Fernando Valley to play an intimate yet raging performance. Prior to Secret’s headlining set, four promising local acts opened the show, leaving indelible impressions on all of the early arrivals. It the 3rd day of January, and 2015 was about to kick off in a thoroughly grand and exciting way!

Mayfair

Mayfair-170First on the bill was Mayfair, making their way from behind the Orange Curtain to play a show in the SFV. Presenting a heavy duty set of pedal to the metalcore, Mayfair instantly gained the attention of the White Oak audience. Fans of acts such as A Day To Remember and Parkway Drive will surely discover a new favorite when hearing what Mayfair has to offer. Performing selections from their recent EP entitled Dressed In Black, tunes that really stood out including the stunning title cut, No Man’s Land, and Moving On. Mayfair even presented a new song Face Value, giving the White Oak a preview of what’s ahead for this dynamic band on the rise. The Mayfair roster of talent includes Neythan Castruita on vocals, Billy Sweet on guitar, Corey Garcia on guitar, Kevin Villeda on bass, and Alonso Chacon on drums. The show was definitely off to a lively start!

Mayfair on Facebook

Digital Panic

Digital Panic-350Next up was Digital Panic making a journey from the Inland Empire to open for Secrets at the White Oak. The most striking aspect of this new band is the juxtaposition of the two lead vocalists. Eric Watkins has expressive clean vocals, delivering the lyrics with a sense of passion and conviction. Tori Riot Hernandez is the screamer in band, and what an absolutely ferocious performance she delivers. If the exhilarating lead performances were not enough, the Digital Panic musicianship was wondrously inspired and resourceful, featuring Michael Bullard on guitar, Hayden Baker on guitar, DJ Bittner on bass, and Nick Gutierrez filling in on drums. From the fiery strains of 50 Shades of Infidelity to the closing refrains of Your Savior is in Another Castle, Digital Panic displayed a force and ambition that should really take them places. It will be exciting to see and hear what the future has in store for this collective ready to rage into your world!

Digital Panic on Facebook

An Ocean Wide

anoceanjl1The last time this reviewer saw An Ocean Wide, they were opening for The Word Alive at Rock City Studios out the desolate wilds of Camarillo, presenting an impressive set in front of a packed house. Hailing from nearby Thousand Oaks, An Ocean Wide voyaged into the White Oak, this time to open for Secrets – and judging by what was witnessed onstage – it won’t be long before An Ocean Wide is headlining their very own shows. Performing songs from their just released Self-Titled EP as well as other fan favorites, the charismatic An Ocean Wide definitely swept up the audience with top notch cuts such as Aspirations, Miles Within, and Seasons Change. An Ocean Wide consists of Chad Bowe on vocals, Chris Marsh on guitar, Zach Valladon on bass and vocals, and Weston Goldberg on drum. With sets as impressive and well received as what An Ocean Wide unleashed it at the White Oak, expect this band to sail their way towards a larger fan base in no time at all.

An Ocean Wide on Facebook

At Our Expense

atourjl1In direct support of Secrets, At Our Expense proved yet again why they are one of the most underrated bands on the LA music scene today. Their latest EP I’m The One Who Changed shows a collective at the height of their passion and creativity, and At Our Expense delivers the goods tenfold within a live setting. Clean vocalist Angel Carmona has a voice that envelopes and intrigues, similar to Further Seems Forever and Dashboard Confessional. And then providing the perfect contrast is screamer Andy Argueta, unleashing an absolutely explosive performance. The musicianship of all involved is infinitely inspiring, courtesy of Danny Santamaria on guitar, Danny Lopez on guitar and vocals, Emory Mugalian on bass, and Michael Duffy on drums. Songs such as The Walls Around Me and In The Heart Of August leave a vivid impact on the listener along with the impassioned “I know you’re out there” chorus in Embers, which packs a wildly emotional punch. At Our Expense plan on recording new songs within the next few months, and if they are anything like what’s heard on I’m The One Who Changed, expect to thoroughly enraptured!

At Our Expense on Facebook

Secrets

secretsjl1And then needless to say, Secrets tore the roof off the White Oak! What a treat it was for the fans to see Secrets at such a small venue. The room was jumping and everyone was singing along with fans favorites culled from their first two Velocity / Rise Records releases. All this, and the first 100 people received an exclusive goodie bag from the band.  Yup, YOU should have been there! Presented by John McCrary and TwoHearts Concerts!

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue and Talia Farber)

Secrets on Facebook
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TwoHearts Concerts on Facebook

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The Final Night of Rock and Metal at the Cobalt Café

10882238_405266786298474_994124571885378705_nDiscarnate Motions, Psychedellica, Beauty And The Breakdown, Aphoenix Alive, Among The Bleak, Terraforming, Trapped In The Past, Delirium, at the Cobalt Café, December 28, 2014

It was announced recently the final shows at the iconic Cobalt Café would take place throughout December, with the doors set to close for good at the conclusion of 2014. With roots dating back to 1991, the Cobalt Café was known as the starting grounds for collectives such as AFI, Jimmy Eat World, Less Than Jake, Link 80, Avenged Sevenfold, Strung Out, Linkin Park, Incubus, and many more. Owner Dave Polito has been a passionate supporter of our local music scene, but the bad economy and health issues has forced the closure of a club fans of all ages call their “home.” This would be the final metal and hardcore night at the Cobalt, genres the club has become synonymous for in later years. The event was booked by Highwire Daze photographer Talia Farber, and it was a night that many in attendance will remember for the ages ahead.

Delirium

Delirium1_1200x900One bright shining example of the Cobalt’s willingness to let new bands start out and prosper is the last minute booking of Delirium by owner Dave Polito. Currently consisting of Henry Vargas on drums and Nick Madonna on guitars and joined by guest vocalist Noah Martynstien from Trapped In The Past. Delirium is definitely in the beginning stages, experimenting with a heavy sound that instantly caught the attention of the early arrivals. Many a band has played their very first show at the Cobalt Café, and Delirium now joins the ranks of many who had their start at the SFV venue. It’s too early to tell what’s in store for Delirium, but the two main members are certainly passionate about their art.

Delirium on Facebook

Trapped In The Past

Trapped2_1200x900The last time I saw Trapped In The Past was in September, when they opened for In Dying Arms at the Cobalt Café. And on that particular night, another one of those memorable Cobalt moments took place. In Dying Arm’s front man Orion Stephens joined Trapped In The Past onstage, and performed am explosive rendition of IDA’s Sloppy Seconds. Members of Trapped In The Past have been in various other bands that have played the Cobalt, and just want Trapped has managed to achieve in four months is pretty exciting. Songs such as Blue Pants Are Officially Banned, New Era Crumbled Down, and Point Blank are infinitely heavy, performed with passion and ambition by this young but very talented collective. Based out of Sylmar, the Trapped In The Past lineup consists of Matt Reyes on vocals, Noah Martynstien on drums, Joseph Pineda on guitars, Nick Mendoza on guitars, and Bryant Mendez on bass. Fans of In Dying Arms and Alesana as well as the local straight edge kids should check into what this band on this rise has to offer!

Trapped In The Past on Facebook

Terraforming

10877792_879813212058345_1650401039_nAlthough they played just four songs, the magnum opuses spewed forth by Terraforming nearly blew the roof off the Cobalt! What a stunning performance, the kind that leaves you surprised and enraptured by the sonic magnetism emitting from the stage. First and foremost, the guitar work presented by Adam Wang and Anthony Arellano is absolutely inspired, sending Terraforming’s compositions into the stratosphere. Bassist Joshua Barreras and drummer Ivan Arellano make for a highly skilled, supremely heavy rhythm section. And then there’s vocalist Braden Wise, whose ferocious performance grabs the listener by the throat. Terraforming proves yet again that Los Angeles is teeming with metal bands ready to take on the world at large. In their beginning stages for now, it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for these very imaginative musicians. Stay tuned! The four songs unleashed were Window Man, Carnal Patterns, Robot House and Cid.

Terraforming on Facebook

Among The Bleak

10906702_879813005391699_2119178202_oTaking over the Cobalt stage next was Among The Bleak, presenting their own breathtaking brand of deathcore / metalcore. Opening with the raging sounds of Vanta Black, Among The Bleak presented an exhilarating collection of songs that really captured the audience’s undivided attention. Lead vocalist Gustavo Lopez is a charismatic front man, delivering the lyrics with a fierce conviction. The frenetic dual guitar work was courtesy of Je Ad Ma and Mario Manjarrez, filling the room with a rapturous wall of sound. Peter Souza on bass and Jay Hadley on drums meshed perfectly as Among The Bleak’s fiery rhythm section. Highlights in the set included The Intelligence Complex, Terra Apocalyptica, and especially the closing song Ontologism. Judging by their exciting set and the reaction from the local crowd, there is little doubt that Among The Bleak has a bright future ahead of them.

Among The Bleak on Facebook

Aphoenix Alive

dx0a1141Imagine a lethal amalgamation of bands such as Alesana and Chelsea Grin, and then get ready to be introduced to your next favorite local band. Based out of Wilmington, Aphoenix Alive certainly brought a mighty amount of ferocity into the Cobalt. Songs such as Total Annihilation and Connect The Cuts sent the room into an all-out rage, and the heated intensity never let up. Playing with a dynamic sense of urgency, the devastating Aphoenix Alive lineup consists of Erik on vocals, Winston on lead guitar, Daniel on rhythm guitar, Seth on bassist, and Arturo on drums. Definitely check into what this Los Angeles based collective has to offer, as Aphoenix Alive is definitely a band seething with promise. Here’s hoping we see Aphoenix Alive rising out and obliterating other clubs in the area soon!

Aphoenix Alive on Facebook

Beauty And The Breakdown

dx0a1208The rest of the evening would show just how diverse one night at the Cobalt Café could be. Beauty And The Breakdown certainly attracted a good amount of kids with their own inspiring brand of rock and metalcore. With influences such as Bullet For My Valentine and Blessthefall, Beauty And The Breakdown presented a thoroughly infectious set that was a good deal of fun to watch. Songs such as Obsessions, 19 and Vegan, and Down The Road were instantly memorable. The entire band exudes a good deal of passion and charisma, featuring the participation of Ilyan Biteranta on lead vocals, Danny Hollywood on guitar, Andy Astengo on guitar, Dayton Blandon om bass, and Jerimiah Kripakov on drums. With the clever moniker, and the tunes and performance to back it all up, it will be exciting to see the sonic roads Beauty And The Breakdown travel upon in the months ahead.

Beauty And The Breakdown on Facebook

Psychedellica

psyche2And now for something completely wonderful and wildly different! Psychedellica from the SFV was up next, presenting their own stunning take on classic rock, and winning over the crowd in a big and glorious way! The musicianship in the band is superb, delivering timeless songs with some experimental heaviness rounding out the edges. Opening with the anthem-like Hell Breaks Loose, Psychedellica continued on with rip-roaring cuts such as Once In A Blue Moon, Rebels, and Sands Of Time. The good times and cranking tunes were delivered by Scott “Rock n Roll” Kraner on vocals, William Castle on lead guitar, Marcus Vamvas on drums, Eric Simion on rhythm guitar, and Troy Maldonado on bass. Rocking out of Reseda since 2007, Psychedellica is a band that all types of music aficionados will surely enjoy.

Psychedellica on Facebook

Discarnate Motions

discarnate2Headlining the final heavy music night at the Cobalt Café was Discarnate Motions, a metal band from the SFV more than ready to break out on the national music scene. Founded by guitarist Jelena in 2011, Discarnate Motions originally began as a one-woman project.  At the commencement, Jelena was writing and recording songs on her home computer. Now an entire collective who has opened for bands such as Vader and Amaranthe, Discarnate Motions drew in quite a crowd ready to give the Cobalt Café the raging head banging sendoff it deserved! In addition to the mesmerizing axe work on Jelana, the Discarnate Motions membership includes Arron on vocals, Josh on bass, Fernando on  guitar, and Edgar on drums.  Wings Under Skin would be the last song performed, concluding the show and the Cobalt’s vast and glorious legacy for hosting heavy music on a high flying note.

Discarnate Motions on Facebook

(Review and Some Photos by Ken Morton – Other Live Photos by Jack Lue and Talia Farber)

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Norma Jean at Cobalt Cafe

Norma Jean-117Norma Jean, Cobalt Cafe, November 14, 2014

Norma Jean at the Cobalt Café was downright INSANITY. They came out on stage with “The Potter Has No Hands” off their latest album, Wrongdoers. Instantly, the whole audience started to scream and jump, it was PACKED. Plenty of people were stealing the microphone from Cory, that night and tons were just screaming the lyrics. This was one of the craziest shows I have ever attended at the Cobalt, there were so many people, there were tons of crowd surfing, and tons of crowd diving.

Norma Jean-185I’ve seen Norma Jean twice before, at Summer Slaughter (House of Blues) & The Word Alive’s Deceiver Tour (Chain Reaction). Both times, they had great performances, but this night was one to take the cake. Most songs they played were off Wrongdoers, they played a couple old songs, off their first album. The overall show had some of the best sound I’ve heard so far from the Cobalt, I could hear every individual instrument and the vocals. Cory had said something about how clubs like the Cobalt are mostly the size of clubs they play as of now because of the intimacy. Norma Jean is definitely a hardcore genre veteran, they’ve been around since 1997, and definitely have made a huge impact in their genre. If you’re into the hardcore scene and haven’t seen Norma Jean, you’re making a huge mistake.

Presented by Twohearts Shows

Setlist:
“The Potter Has No Hands”
If You Got It at Five, You Got It at Fifty
The End of All Things That Will Be Televised
The Lash Whistled Like a Singing Wind
I Used to Hate Cell Phones, Now I Hate Car Accidents
Deathbed Atheist
Sword Mouth, Fire Eyes
Hive Minds
Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste

(Review and Photos by Talia Farber)

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Sworn In at House Of Blues – Sunset Strip

swornin4Sworn In, House Of Blues – Sunset Strip, November 30, 2014

Sworn In at the House of Blues was heavy and fun. This was the biggest tour they’ve been on so far, and they had a great set in Hollywood. The only bad thing about their set was that it was too short; they had only enough time for 5 songs, and they were my favorite band on the bill. Tyler Dennen came out on stage with XIII, and made a very demonic persona with it. Immediately you could see the resemblance to Gerard Way with the powdered face, and the red eyes.

The rest of the band enters the stage after the intro and starts to play Hypocrisy. The audience already being riled up from Tyler’s entrance made things crazier. Tyler was definitely more involved in the crowd than usual, and the whole band was just flowing so well live. Chris George, the drummer, had broken his right hand a couple days before the show and still continued to play perfectly. He didn’t miss a single note, and that was definitely amazing.

swornin1Sworn In played a brand new song live, called Sunshine. The song was definitely a lot lighter lyrically then all the other songs. Tyler explained the meaning of the song was basically f*@% all the haters and people who don’t believe in me, basically like all the other metalcore bands lyrics. It was still really cool though because Tyler definitely put his own twist on it. Sworn In is definitely being given an A+ for stage presence and their performance.

Set List:
XIII
Hypocrisy
Mindless
Not My Sunshine
Snake Eyes

(Review and Photos by Talia Farber)

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Circa Survive at the Fox Theater

Circa Survive-363Circa Survive, The Fox Theater, November 26, 2014

Circa Survive at The Fox Theater in Pomona was unreal, and too good to be true. The show was the day before Thanksgiving, and still managed to sell out. Words cannot put to justice how amazing they were, and how happy I was to get the opportunity to finally not only see, but shoot them. The best thing about the whole thing was that Circa Survive sounded better live than on recordings, I love when artists truly live up to their hype.

They came out on stage with Through the Desert Alone, hyping the crowd just with guitar riffs, and Anthony Green splashing a little water on the crowd from his fingers. Anthony’s vocals have become raspier, making the song sound different than how it was recorded. His voice was just perfect; he’s the best singer I’ve heard live, easily. Not only was Anthony’s voice incredible, but the instrumentals were beautiful. At one point during the middle of a song, Anthony Green stuck the microphone into his mouth. He was really getting into the performance and trying to make things funny.

Circa Survive-687In the middle of the show, after playing Semi-Constructive Criticism, Anthony pointed out a fan that he said, “sang beautifully, and sounded like an emo Josh Groban.” I’ve never heard a frontman say that to a fan before, let alone hear them with all the noise on stage. Circa Survive then played their single Schema, off their new album “Descensus” which was recently released through Sumerian Records.

The thing I found most interesting was when Anthony directed the crowd to stay still during the last song until he gives them a command to “release all wiggles and be little hippies”. I was shocked to see the floor actually listen to him. Everyone stood still for about half the song, and then started jumping around and whatnot when he gave them a signal to do so. That’s something else I’ve never seen at a show, so it was cool seeing that Circa Survive does things differently. This was one of the greatest shows I’ve attended, I highly advise everyone to see Circa live.

Setlist:
Through the Desert Alone
Strange Terrain
Sharp Practice
Semi-Constructive Criticism
Schema
Glass Arrows
Fever Dreams
The Greatest Lie
Suitcase
Kicking Your Crosses Down
In Fear and Faith
Stop the Fuckin’ Car
Only the Sun
Frozen Creek
The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is in the Dose
Child of the Desert

(Review and Photos by Talia Farber)

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The Shakers at The Viper Room

theshakersviperrev1The Shakers, The Viper Room, November 15, 2014

It was off to the notorious Viper Room on the Sunset Strip with photographer Jack Lue to check out a local band destined for greater glories ahead. We are speaking of The Shakers, a raging indie rock entity whose dynamic live shows will take this wondrously unique collective to the top! Fearlessly bucking the trends and coming up with a sound that is visionary and compelling, The Shakers is the kind of band that shows the City Of Angels could still unleash some ferocious talent onto the world at the large. Headlining the world famous venue on a Saturday night,  The Shakers had The Viper Room packed to the rafters for what would be a tremendously memorable show.

theshakersviperrev2Opening with the nefarious strains of Villain, the room was quaking right away with the vibrant intensity The Shakers were exuded from the stage. One notices right away the mesmerizing performance of Jodie Schell, unleashing the memorable vocals with a captivating sense of urgency. Not a shy chanteuse in the least, Ms. Schell vented a range of emotions that were absolutely electrifying. Chris Lee on lead guitar unveiled an exhilarating wall of sound, while John “Ro” Rogan on bass and Nick Woods on drum made for a thrilling rhythm section ride on the wild side. Performing songs from their recently released Rescue Team as well as unveiling a whole cadre of thrilling new material, top tunes by The Shakers included Mystics, I Spy, and the devastating Thundercloud.

theshakersviperrev3Opening for acts as wide ranging as Everclear, Our Lady Peace, and The Motels, The Shakers own innovative work has clearly attracted an audience looking for a heartfelt, auditory adventure. All this, and the songs are insanely accessible, leaving an indelible impression even at first listen. It will be exciting to see what the future has in store for The Shakers, certainly one of L.A’s best kept secrets.  Be sure to check this rocking outfit out when they show up to shake it up at the clubs in your town.

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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