Live Concert Review – Grand Arena, Cape Town 7.11.2017

Like The Rock Riff on Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

Our evening started off with a long walk to the venue, due to the long queues that stretched for meters past the entrance to the casino.

We eventually arrive with quite a good view from the Golden Circle. I was eager to see what the opening band would be like, especially since I know that they have a female lead singer. The name of the band is The Sweet Resistance and they are a South African alternative pop rock band, but the lead singer Tash hails from Canada. They released their debut album in September 2016, titled “Where There Is Hope”.

The band opened up their set and the crowd was silent, trying to gauge the band’s performance. It didn’t take me long to realize that this band was a solid unit and not intimidated by their position as the supporting band for Live’s Reunion Tour.

The Sweet Resistance performed an impressive cover of Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”. View their performance here:

The band ended their set and I was so glad that I got introduced to them as I would definitely go and watch a performance of theirs if I get the chance.

The crowd naturally couldn’t wait for Live to take to the stage. You could see the happiness on each of the band members’ faces as they came on, grateful to be doing what they are doing, together again.

Live currently consists of Ed Kowalczyk on (lead vocal, rhythm guitar), Chad Taylor (lead guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums).

The band  brought along two touring band members Zak Loy (rhythm guitar) and Adam Diaz (drums). The two drum sets on stage were a real treat and I can honestly say that I haven’t been to a live performance with a similar set-up.

The excitement in the air was tangible as the band opened their set with “All Over You”. The sound was incredible and honestly the best sound quality I have experienced at the Grand Arena.

“Pain Lies On The Riverside” is such a melodious song, due to the skillful layering of each instrument that the band plays and it translates so well during a live performance.

The band performed the ever-popular “Dolphin’s Cry” early on in the set, to my surprise and utter delight. Personally I think hearing this song live alone is an honour and worth every penny of the ticket price. It is such an iconic song of my youth and one of the songs that my generation use to relate to the band.

“Selling the Drama” did exactly that, the breakdown when the chorus hits is magical and it is a great song for the band’s guitarists to indulge in.

Live even treated us to their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Walk The Line”, which was a refreshing addition to their set and certainly one I didn’t expect.

Live performed “Sh*t Towne” which is about the town where the guys grew up and hated it at the time. The excitement on their faces was evident when they played that song and you could see the bond they share over that song. They like visiting their town in the current day, because there is more life there now in comparison to when they were growing up.

“I Alone” has become one of my all-time favourite songs and I can’t get the song to play loud enough. It is a raw and powerful song on all fronts, lyrically and musically. The song emits an energy, which you can only convey when you mean every word of what you are singing. I find that this song is more aggressive in nature in comparison to many of their other songs and it is one that will defy age. I was privileged to witness this song performed live and I couldn’t absorb that moment long enough.

“Lakini’s Juice” is a delightful, gritty piece of music, with that signature rift threaded between the lyrics and drums. A song that hits you right between the eyes and doesn’t let go until the last note.

After another song, the band left the stage and the audience had instant separation anxiety and started chanting for the band to return.

Ed lead the encore on his own for the first part of “Heaven” where he forgot the words to the song, it was an endearing moment and the audience actually seemed to enjoy it. I felt for Ed, but he handled it extremely well and I’m selfishly glad that I caught the moment  on video.

“Run To The Water”, is an invigorating song and one of the highlights of the band’s discography. I always find the song refreshing, because it is about seeking solace.

The band performed a tribute to Chris Cornell with a cover version of Audioslave’s “I Am The Highway” which was touching.

After the encore, the crowd could not wait for the band to play “Lightning Crashes”, because I heard quite a few audience members becoming impatient. Once the band played the first few notes of that song the crowd went hysterical.

Live Setlist Grand Arena, GrandWest Casino, Cape Town, South Africa 2017

me

My friend and I at the Live Reunion Tour Concert at Grand Arena, Grand West Casino, Cape Town, South Africa

Photo from Lauren Kruger 🎼
It was a fabulous night of quality performances!
Rock Regards,
Lauren K
Advertisements

Alien Ant Farm Review – Cape Town, South Africa – 4th of November 2017

Like The Rock Riff on Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

The evening started off calmly, up until a notorious South African band called “Half Price” took to the stage. I was impressed by their skills, because my first impression was that I shouldn’t have any expectations at all. Half Price proved me wrong. The band impressed with enthusiasm, attitude and solid musicality.

In 2016 they became the first South African punk band to sign with an American digital record label, Punk Outlaw Records. Prior to that the band remained independent before that.

You can view a snippet of their performance below:

The second support band that took to the stage at Mercury was Made for Broadway.

Made For Broadway is a four-piece pop, rock, and punk band from Johannesburg, South Africa. The band formed in 2014, released 2 EPs and launched a local tour within the first 10 months. The band self-produced their debut album and created a tour to support it, which took them to California, USA.

I love the band’s energy and songwriting abilities.

You can see the band’s performance below:

By the time AAF was due to perform the excitement from the crowd was palpable. The audience started chanting for the band to start.

The band entered with a bang and launched their set with “Courage” which I find is more aggressive in comparison to the other songs on their “Anthology” album. It is a great song to get the crowd going.

“Sticks and Stones”, “Attitude”, “Whisper” and “Flesh and Bone” were the deeper cuts off of their debut album that they chose to perform. In my opinion those were great set list choices. I love the guitar intro to “Attitude” as it is really unique and instantly recognizable accompanied by structured drumming.

“These Days” was understandably another crowd favourite and AAF didn’t dissapoint with their performance of the song.

I wish I could tell you that I held my composure when the band performed “Movies” quite early on in the set, but I would be lying…

I had to record a second video, because I couldn’t stand still any longer and started jumping way too much, while recording the first one. A total failure, but totally worth it!

Needless to say the band ended their set with “Smooth Criminal”, hearing it live and seeing the crowd’s reaction was incredible. Added to that I think the crowd enjoyed every single song and wasn’t just waiting for the most famous song of all, which makes the entire experience more enjoyable.

Leading up to this concert, I think I was in the same boat as most people when I say that only “Smooth Criminal” came to mind when I heard the name “Alien Ant Farm”. At the time the band was at their peak I wasn’t listening to the rock music genre except for what was in the media at the time. Leading up to the concert I downloaded the band’s debut album and I enjoyed it immensely, although it made me feel like I had missed out on a great part of the punk rock era. This night made me feel like I could at least relive a part of what I had missed.

Shout-out to a friend who made this possible.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

Thumping Thursdays

These past few weeks we have been spoiled for choice with rock music releases.

PVRIS – Heaven

A haunting and painful lyrical journey that can only be delivered by PVRIS. They are such a classy rock band!

Papa Roach – HELP

I think everyone at some point in their lives can relate to the bunny in this video and the lyrical content of this song. Papa Roach hit the nail on the head with this one.

Stone Sour – Song #3

A fast-paced energetic rock song about a passionate romance. Stone Sour delivered an intriguing video to accompany this more melodic rock song as one of their two singles ahead of their sixth studio album release titled “Hydrograd”.

In This Moment – Oh Lord

I absolutely love the new direction that “In This Moment” took on with this one. The more melodic sound of “Oh Lord” makes Maria’s voice stand out even more. The drumming in this song sets the tone beautifully and makes it work as whole. As always their music videos are very artistic and I love every second of it.

I Prevail – Come and Get It

I love the raw passion, energy and determination that this band has in bucket loads. This video and song just serves as the proof of that statement.

Fozzy – Judas

The videography of this video is amazing and Chris’s performance is captivating. The lyrics describe how we can become our own worst enemy. “Judas” is a real head-banger!

Avenged Sevenfold – God Damn

A strangely catchy song and chorus by Avenged Sevenfold. The drumming in this song is off the hook. I love the technique that went into capturing the energy of the band and the fans in this video.

 

Beartooth tackles the heavy subject of depression in this video and I love the fact that they depicted the problem as well as possible solutions. The uniqueness of this video is the fact that there really is light at the end of the tunnel. I love the song and the subject matter and I feel it is really important to address this issue in today’s society.

 

Have a smashing weekend everyone!!

Rock Regards,

 

Lauren K

Thumping Thursdays

Like The Rock Riff on Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

We are on the edge of another weekend, let the music fest commence.

See below…

Bring Me The Horizon – Doomed

Bring Me The Horizon combined with an orchestra, who would have thought? The combination is pure genius and I would definitely love to see the entire concert.

 

Papa Roach – HELP

The second single from Papa Roach’s unreleased album that has not been named yet. The release date is set for May 2017. Judging by what we have heard so far, it is set to be a cracker.

 

Beartooth – King of Anything

An introspective song lyrically and a different pace compared to the band’s other songs. I find it fascinating how the song builds up and the listener is not sure what to expect.

 

Seether – Let You Down

Seether is back!! The video for their latest song is amazing, the videography and direction plays like a very creepy short film. The crescendo of the guitars are thrilling. Definitely worth the watch!

 

While She Sleeps – Silence Speaks ft Oli Sykes

While She Sleeps is set to release their third full-length album “You Are We” independently. The video for the song “Silence Speaks” is intense and an adrenaline injection for sure. Oli’s presence takes this song to another level.

 

Have a smashing weekend!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

Thumping Thursdays

Like The Rock Riff on Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

One day before the weekend arrives I think it is only right that I share some new videos that you can add to your weekend playlist.

Dead by April  – My Heart Is Crushable

Epic lyric video and crushing vocals mixed with some heavy riffs, you’re welcome. 🙂

 

Nickelback – Feed The Machine

A relevant song that is a departure from their traditional sound. The intro builds anticipation and makes way for the song’s strong chorus. I hope Nickelback’s new material is more or less in the same vein as their first single. I can’t wait to hear more.

 

Amaranthe – Boomerang

Amaranthe deliver another one of their deliciously unique songs and a great video to boot. The contrasting vocals are surprising at time, but in a good way. Love the way the video was shot and seeing the director’s vision come to life.

 

 

Twenty One Pilots – Heavydirtysoul

Twenty One Pilots never disappoint and that is definitely true in this case. A nail-biting video that plays more like a movie than a music video. I love watching Josh drum and this video manages to highlight his abilities.

Have a rocking weekend!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

I Prevail – Band Feature

Like The Rock Riff on Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

I Prevail is an American metalcore band formed in Southfield, Michigan and established in 2013.

The band currently consists of Brian Burkheiser – clean vocals , Eric Vanlerberghe – unclean vocals, Steve Menoian – lead guitar, Lee Runestad – drums, Dylan Bowman – rhythm guitar, backing vocals and Tony Camposeo on bass guitar.

The band was formed on the 1st of December 2014 and shortly thereafter they started working on their EP. On the 10th of December I Prevail released the first two singles from the EP, “Love, Lust, and Liars” and “The Enemy”. The band became popular after posting a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” on YouTube on the 17th December 2014. To date the video has received over 30 million views.

The band released their debut EP, Heart Vs. Mind on the 26th of January 2015. The EP moved over 60,000 copies as I Prevail toured with the likes of Hollywood Undead and Crown The Empire in 2015 on Day of the Dead tour and they opened for Pop Evil in December. On the 12th of March 2015  rhythm guitarist Jordan Berger left the band due to other commitments. The band added touring members Tony Camposeo on bass and Dylan Bowman on rhythm guitar. The band embarked on a few tours namely the Heart Vs. Mind tour, Massive Addictive tour and The Crossroads tour.

On the 17th of May 2016 the band announced that they would be embarking on a headlining tour with support acts being The White Noise, My Enemies and I and Bad Seed Rising.

In early 2016, the boys retreated to Wall of Sound Studios in the small and secluded town of Riley, Michigan to work with trusted producers B.J. Perry and John Pregler. The band worked a year on their EP before they released anything publicly. This allowed the band to learn one another’s musical style. This process prepared the band for the writing and recording for their debut album, they were able to merge their vision in order to create the sound they wanted on the album.

On the 20th of June it was revealed that the name of the band’s debut album would be Lifelines and it would be made available on the 20th of October 2016. The first single titled “Scars” was released on the 1st of July 2016 and you can view the music video below.

I Prevail supported Pierce The Veil and Neck Deep on the Journey’s Made to Destroy tour throughout the fall of 2016. The second single from the band’s debut album “Stuck In Your Head” received a lot of attention from rock music fans and was listed on numerous blogs/websites as one of the best rock songs in 2016 including our list:

https://therockriff.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/best-16-rock-songs-of-2016/

This is how I discovered the band and their music, now I’m addicted and the rest is history. 😉

The third single off the album “Come and Get It”, released on Short.Fast.Loud, an Australian-based punk and hardcore radio show on youth station Triple J. I Prevail was nominated for “Breakthrough Band” at the 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards and has since garnered features from Billboard, Detroit Free Press, AXS, Loudwire. 

I love how I Prevail always has just the right amount of clean vs unclean vocals. In general I’m not a metalcore fan, but I Prevail may have single-handedly converted me. The majority of their songs have catchy choruses laced with enough angst for any hard rock music fan. The band has created a beautiful balance with their layered vocals and a solid sonic backdrop.

I Prevail on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IPrevailBand

Rock Regards,

Lauren

 

 

Best 16 Rock Songs of 2016

Like The Rock Riff on Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/TheRockRiff

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRockRiff

best-rock-songs-of-2016

The year 2016 has been a bumper one in rock music history. So much so that I had a hard time choosing the Top 16, normally there aren’t so many to choose from. We had releases from major bands, like Metallica, Alter Bridge, Skillet and a few newcomers I Prevail and Kaleo. A few songs made the list as 2016 was nearing its demise. A variety of different sounds can be heard and there is something here every rock fan can appreciate. Rock music is alive and well, if anyone needs proof of that 2016 is the evidence.

16. Kaleo – No Good

The relative newcomers from Iceland, formed in 2012, you just can’t deny the foot-tapping deliciousness of this song. JJ Julius Son’s vocals and the bluesy feel that is pulsing throughout “No Good” is sure to garner the band many new fans.

 

15. I Prevail – Stuck In Your Head

A little punk mixed with metal core is how I would describe “Stuck In Your Head” and it just works. The way Brian Burkheiser (clean vocals) and Eric Vanlerberghe (unclean vocals) feed off one another is captivating. I really enjoyed stumbling across this band this year, what a treat.

 

14. The Pretty Reckless – Take Me Down

The Pretty Reckless doesn’t disappoint, but I was surprised to see a tame release as the leading single from their new album. Taylor’s husky and soulful vocals envelop the song along with some solid drumming from Jamie Perkins. The song is infused with that undeniable Mississippi vibe.

 

13. A Day To Remember – Paranoia

A rock-fuelled injection for the aggressive rock fanatic. “Paranoia” doesn’t let up for one moment and A Day To Remember does not disappoint. This will be the song that concert goers live for. I will let the lyrics speak for itself, “I’m like a time bomb ticking in your head”.

 

12. Beartooth – Hated

I love the message of this song about how you should not allow people to belittle and walk over you. It is one of those songs that you want to hear blasted in a stadium to a massive audience. Beartooth hit this one out of the park.

 

11. Gemini Syndrome – Remember We Die

Aaron Nordstrum’s voice really shines on this track, it creates a sonically pleasing ebb and flow to the song and the guitar work is great. “Remember We Die” serves as a reminder to live each day as if it was your last.

 

10. Papa Roach – Crooked Teeth

“Crooked Teeth” is aggressive and hits you like a hurricane through the first listen. The lyrics describe a person who is reliving a terrifying event. I like how they incorporated the electronic sounds into the song and used it strategically. We can look forward to their new album in 2017!

 

9. Of Mice & Men – Real

This song really surprised me when I first heard it, because it is not what I expected from the band. I find it interesting that this is basically a duet between Austin Carlile and Aaron Pauley and the clean vocals surprised me too. The song deals with someone that’s been hurt by someone they love before and is trying to get through it.

 

8. Art of Anarchy – Madness

Scott Stapp took over the role of lead vocalist when Scott Weiland passed away. I love this song as I feel all the members of the band have combined their talents to create something unique. The song is based on Scott’s personal breakdown he had in 2014, which is why I believe the lyrics are so poignant .

 

7. Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage

Avenged Sevenfold surprised us all with the release of their latest album “The Stage” which happened unannounced. The title track is an 8 minute long epic journey describing humanity and the way we have treated one another throughout history. The intro slowly introduces each instrument and then they gradually combine until M.Shadows steps in with the vocals. Synyster Gates’ guitar skills will leave you in awe if it hasn’t already. I decided to post the video of their live performance atop the Capitol Records building, because I enjoyed it so much.

 

6. 3 Doors Down – In The Dark

I love the vibe of this song and the subject matter. A good rock song which you can dance to and it is great to have the band back after 5 years between their latest album and the previous one.

 

5. Twenty One Pilots – Heathens

I understand that there might be some dispute about what genre this song belongs to, but I believe that almost each Twenty One Pilots’ song falls within a different genre. Josh’s performance on the drums are impeccable and the bass guitar glues the whole song together. A hauntingly unique song indeed.

5. Skillet – Undefeated

Although this is not one of the singles off their latest album “Unleashed”, it is the heaviest rock song off the album in my opinion. A motivating song that you can definitely add to your workout playlist. The backing vocals add to the power of the song and the talents of Jen Ledger on the drums is undeniable.

 

3. Alter Bridge – Crows On A Wire

My favourite band is back with their first album in three years “The Last Hero”. “Crows On A Wire” is an epic track and the lyrics serve as a warning for all those who believe fame and fortune is a ticket to happiness. Brian Marshall shines on the bass guitar, but the whole band gels together effortlessly on every track.

 

2. Metallica – Moth Into Flame

Normally a Metallica song has to grow on me before I like it, but not this song. I fell in love with this song from the get-go. They really come out of the gates swinging on this one. James has been quoted as saying that “Moth Into Flame” was inspired by the documentary about Amy Winehouse titled “Amy”. Thrash metal at its best.

 

 

 

 

1. Disturbed – Sound of Silence

I was torn when I was picking the number 1 rock song for 2016, because this song was such an obvious choice, which automatically made me not want to choose it. I thought about it some more and I realised how much this one song on its own has done for the rock music genre this year.  I’m sure it garnered Disturbed some new fans and if it didn’t, more people were at the very least exposed to Disturbed’s music. When I first heard the song on the album, I actually went to check the song credits to see if it was really David Draiman’s voice I was listening to. It is one of the best cover songs I have ever heard and I’m sure I’m not alone when I make that statement. There is something to be said for a song that gives you chills every time you listen to it. A musical masterpiece.

2016 was indeed the year for rock fans to revel in, I mean even Guns ‘n Roses reunited!

Here is to a rocking 2017!

Cheers!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

https://twitter.com/MusicMonkey14