An Intimate Evening with Seether @ Kirstenbosch Gardens, Parklife Festival Review

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Last night (22 November 2013) I had the privilege to spend an intimate semi-acoustic evening with Taxi Violence and main act Seether. Everyone had their blankets, picnic baskets and drinks ready for the evening. The gates opened at 18:00 and we took our place on the grass just to the left of the stage with a great view. The weather was great, although as the night wore on it got slightly chilly not that anyone even seemed to notice. The crowd was munching away waiting for the show to start when Jon Savage our MC for the evening took to the stage. He introduced the band(s), sponsors and recited the rules for the evening with hilarious responses from the audience.

Taxi Violence consists of

  • George van der Spuy – lead vocals (2004–present)
  • Rian Zietsman – lead guitar (2004–present)
  • Louis Nel – drums (2004–present)
  • Jason Ling – bass (2008–present)

Around about 19:30 Taxi Violence took to the stage and I was really impressed by their overall performance. The lead singer’s (George van der Spuy) vocals were fantastic as was the rest of the musicians in the band. The band played a few covers, their much-loved original songs including “Love Sick Rock ‘n Roll”, “Heads or Tails”, “Devil n Pistol” and they ended their set with “Brainmash”. Nearing the end of Taxi Violence’s set a lone head banger expressed his enthusiasm at the front of the stage. Taxi Violence’s performance was energetic, passionate and it set the scene for what was still to come…

After about 30 minutes after Taxi Violence’s set Jon Savage took to the stage to introduce the main act Seether. The excitement in the air was palpable.

Seether consists of:

Shaun Morgan was the first to walk on stage cigarette in his mouth, bottle of water in hand and a devil-may-care attitude. Dale Stewart was the second member to come on stage and John Humphrey came on last. The band expressed their excitement at being back in South Africa and it is the first time the entire band has been back in South Africa. The band opened the show with the moody and intense “Gasoline”, followed by “69 Tea”, “Driven Under” and to the delight of the crowd an old Seether classic “Fine Again”. “Sympathetic” was up next and then the band threw in a Neil Diamond cover “The Needle and the Damage Done” which Shaun Morgan introduced as being one of his favourite songs. The band followed the cover with one of their more mellow songs “Here and Now”. The tender “Pass Slowly” was up next followed by “Breakdown” and the crowd swooned when the band started playing the intro for “Broken” to which they sang along in unison. Shaun introduced “Polly” by Nirvana as the first song that he learned to play on the guitar about 20 years ago. My favourite songs all followed one another. I was eagerly awaiting “Rise Above This” and even tough Shaun slipped up on a note or two ( 😀 ) the performance was flawless. Seether broke into a toned down version of “Fake It” followed by one of my favourite songs “Tonight”. The addictive “Remedy” was played and after that the band said there goodbyes much to the dismay of the fans. After a few chants the band came back on stage to play out with the catchy “Country Song”.

Some members of the crowd was slightly disappointed at the exclusion of “Careless Whisper” on the set list. It didn’t bother me much, because most of the songs that I came to hear was played. I really enjoyed the casual atmosphere of the crowd and the laid-back attitude of the band. The band was in a jovial mood cracking jokes and interacting with the crowd. They even introduced their latest band member who will become an official member of Seether next year, he will take on the role as the band’s lead guitarist. The crowd even threw underwear on stage among other strange things. I really enjoyed the night, the weather was great, the support act was a delightful surprise and Seether was on the top of their game.  The texture and sound of Shaun Morgan’s voice was astounding, for a semi-acoustic show it got pretty loud which I won’t complain about. Shaun Morgan confided in the crowd saying that he always gets extremely nervous when playing to a South African crowd which I found quite endearing. It was an experience I will hold dear for many years to come.

I apologise for the low quality of the photos and if you’re hungry for more/better photos of the event search for #ParklifeSA on Twitter to see some great shots of the night!

You can follow Taxi Violence on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Taxi_Violence_

Follow Seether on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/SeetherOfficial

Follow Shaun Morgan on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/SpawnMorgan

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

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Band of the Month – The Pretty Reckless

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The Pretty Reckless are an American hard rock band from New York. The band now consists of  Taylor Momsen (Lead vocals, Rhythm guitar), Ben Phillips (Lead guitar, Backing Vocals), Mark Damon (Bass) and Jamie Perkins (drums).

The band The Reckless formed in 2009, but changed their name to The Pretty Reckless to avoid trademark problems.  Taylor Momsen worked with different producers for two years before she met Kato Khandwala, she liked him, because he was a rock producer as opposed to a pop producer. Kato introduced Taylor to Ben Phillips and the three of them started writing songs together. At the time three unnamed musicians was hired to perform alongside Taylor Momsen. The band played their first concert on the 5th of May 2009 at the Annex in New York, seven concerts followed and then the band’s lineup changed. The band’s new line-up consisted of Momsen on vocals, John Secolo on guitar, Matt Chiarelli on bass, and Nick Carbone on drums. The latest line-up’s first show together also took place at the Annex theater on the 3rd of June 2009. The band recorded some demos in 2009 and opened for The Veronicas in 2010. In 2010 three of the band members left, leaving Taylor Momsen looking for three new members to complete the band’s line-up.

Ben Phillips, Mark Damon and Jamie Perkins are part of the band’s current line-up. The band signed with Interscope Records and planned to release their debut album in 2010. The band’s main influences are The Beatles, Oasis and Nirvana. Taylor Momsen’s personal influences include Joan Jett and Kurt Cobain. On the 30th of December the band released a new song called “Make Me Wanna Die” and offered to their fans as a limited-time free download on Interscope Record’s website. The song appeared on the movie Kick-Ass’s Soundtrack and features in the end credits of the film. On the 9th of April 2010 the band performed at the “Vans Warped Tour 2010 Kick-Off Party” and they played at The Bamboozle music festival on the 1st of May 2010. Their first EP released on the 22nd of June 2010 and received mixed reactions It contained four songs, three of which was released on their debut album these are “Make Me Wanna Die”, “My Medicine”, “Goin Down”. Their debut album “Light Me Up” was released on the 27th of August 2010. The US release of Light Me Up was delayed not being released until February 2011. “Miss Nothing” was the second single released from Light Me Up. The Evanescence tour was the third worldwide concert tour for the American rock band Evanescence. The Pretty Reckless was the opening act for their tour. The band was confirmed as the opening act for the Guns ‘n Roses Chinese Democracy tour in November of 2012. In 2012 two more singles off of the band’s debut album was released namely “You” and “My Medicine”, music videos for both singles were made.

The Medicine Tour was the second headlining tour by the band in support of their album “Light Me Up” and their 2012 EP Hit Me Like A Man. The tour consisted of 52 North American shows, 5 South American shows and 2 shows in Asia.

Their second EP “Hit Me Like A Man” featured 3 new songs and 2 live versions of songs off of their 2010 release Light Me Up. On the 6th of October 2012 a soundtrack called Frankenweenie Unleashed! was released to support the film Frankenweenie, the Target version of the soundtrack included a new song by The Pretty Reckless called “Only You”. In November 2012 Taylor Momsen turned to Twitter to vent her frustration with the havoc that Hurricane Sandy caused. All of thier recording equipment had been destroyed due to he fact that New York City was pounded by the storm.

Momsen tweeted: “Our studio, all its gear, all our guitars, destroyed… fuckyouhurricanesandy… At least we are safe. There are thousands less fortunate,  our thoughts are with you, hang in there.”

Read more at http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/taylor-momsen-band-pretty-reckless-see-equipment-loss-due-to-hurricane-sandy/10297408#p1EwYpehk6v2VW1o.99

On the 11th of December the band’s fourth single called “Kill Me” was released. The song featured on the last episode of Gossip Girl, but the song won’t be included on the new album. On the 9th of January Amp Rock TV released a video of Taylor Momsen and Ben Phillips performing an acoustic version of “Cold Blooded”. On the 30th of May 2013 the band released a new teaser trailer for their new album “Going To Hell”. The first single off the new album will be bear the same title as the album “Going To Hell”. The song was released on the 24th of September and a music video will follow soon. The “Going To Hell Tour” will be the band’s third headlining tour and it will be in support of their second album. The tour begun on the 20th of September 2013.

I decided to feature The Pretty Reckless as the Band of the Month, because they are entertaining to watch. The band isn’t afraid of controversy and sound great live. The Pretty Reckless are gutsy, talented and determined to delight their fans.

You can follow Taylor Momsen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/taylormomsen

You can follow The Pretty Reckless on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TPROfficial

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Thirty Seconds To Mars Unleash “Conquistador”

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Thirty Seconds To Mars have unleashed the lyric video for a new song from their upcoming album called “Conquistador”. The guitars on the track is really impressive and Jared’s voice gives me the chills while Shannon provides the base for the track with his energetic drum beats. This song has really made me even more excited for Love+Lust+Faith & Dreams which will be released on the 21st of May 2013.

Screenshot from the Short film for Up In The Air.

Screenshot from the Short film for Up In The Air.

The Echelon have already trended #CONQUISTADOR worldwide on Twitter today, so I’m obviously not the only one who is excited! 😀

Conquistadors were soldiers, explorers and adventurers at the service of the Spanish Empire and the Portugese Empire. They colonized much of the world for Spain and Portugal in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

30 Seconds To Mars’s New Short Film #MARSisComing

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The Echelon are basically salivating in anticipation of 30 Seconds To Mars‘s new music video and so am I. I have to say the sneak previews Jared has been sharing on Instagram and on his Twitter page is already looking quite impressive. It seems like a lot of colour will be used in the video, but I can’t help but wonder how these seemingly unrelated images will be merged into one film. My favourite shot is that of McKayla Maroney sailing through the air. McKayla Maroney is a gymnast, she is the 2012 Olympic Champion & Vault Silver medalist as well as the 2011 World Champion & Vault Gold medalist.

I can’t wait, hold on to your seats people, because Bart Cubbins has been released!

The Rock Riff does not own any of these images.

All images sourced from http://instagram.com/jaredleto

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Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Halestorm captured in The Live Room

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I just had to share the latest videos from Halestorm.

They are such a talented band and these series of videos just reinforces that statement.

To view the full list of videos go here:

http://loudwire.com/halestorm-warner-sound-the-live-room-performance/?utm_medium=twitter

Lzzy has a mind-blowing voice, enjoy watching!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Chris Daughtry’s cover of Pink’s Try

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I heard a lot of buzz on Twitter concerning Daughtry‘s cover of Pink’s song Try which just seemed to come out of the blue. I just listened to it and of course its a powerful interpretation of the song and proof just again of how talented Chris Daughtry really is. So without further ado here is the video.

I know Pink isn’t in the genre that this blog is dedicated to, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The video of Pink’s new single “Try” is astounding to say the least and she never ceases to impress with her physical acrobatics, voice and absolute fearlessness. How many artists in the pop/rock genre do you know who can swear in their songs and still come out on top of the charts. Here is the official music video for “Try”.

Enjoy!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Recent News 24/09/2012 – 30/09/2012

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Daughtry‘s bass player Josh Paul is leaving the band

Josh Paul

Josh Paul Daughtry’s bass player
Source: http://pics.lockerz.com/s/247095224

On the 24th of September 2012 , Josh Paul announced on Twitter that he will be leaving Daughtry after six years.

“Josh Paul Statement: Hello my Daughtry friends and fam, I’d like to start this note by saying that you are all amazing! The love and support that you give to the band and to me is overwhelming and beautiful. I couldn’t ever ask for better…

fans and friends. The time has come for me to bow out and let the band continue on without me. This has been a very difficult decision, as these are not only my band mates, but my brothers. For six years we have worked to build something special together, not only on stage and in the studio, but in our lives. I wish the band all the the luck and success that they deserve! I not only want to thank the guys in the band for all that we’ve accomplished together, but I really want to thank all of you for your undeniable support. Daughtry truly has the best fans! I love you all!!! JP @therealjoshpaul And always remember to SMILE!!!!”
JP
This was Josh Paul’s statement that was posted in Daughtry’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/daughtry
I’m sure all of Daughtry’s fans are sad to see the charming bass player leave the band. JP is such a positive person and he is always ready to interact with his fans on Twitter. From the start JP made it very clear that it was HIS own decision to leave the band and that there was no drama involved in the decision. Through Daughtry JP has gained a lot of fans who will continue to support his future endeavours. I can only be grateful that I got to see him play live, before he made this decision. You can read Chris Daughtry’s official statement on their official website here: http://www.daughtryofficial.com/us/news/official-daughtry-statement
You can follow Josh Paul on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheRealJoshPaul
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators release Bad Rain music video!

On the 26th of September 2012 Slash announced the release of his new music video Bad Rain, which is one of my favourite songs off of Apocalyptic Love. I more or less had the same visualisation of the song in my head when I first heard it, maybe less the skeleton part :).

Shannon Leto will no longer be collaborating with Antoine Becks
On the 27th of September Shannon Leto from Thirty Seconds To Mars made it very clear that he will no longer be working with Antoine Becks.
Here is the post for those of you who missed it:
Shannon Leto's Tweet

Shannon Leto’s Tweet on 27/09/2012

Godsmack and Staind pay tribute to Dimebag Darrell during Texas Uproar Festival
Godsmack has always stated how much of an influence Pantera has had on their career so a tribute to Pantera in their hometown was imminent.
Fans were treated to a performance of Pantera’s This Love from Godsmack joined by Mike Mushok and Aaron Lewis of Staind. This Love comes from Pantera’s 1992 release ‘Vulgar Display of Power’.
Members of Fozzy and P.O.D among others later joined the bands on stage and even Rita Haney, the longtime girlfriend of late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott joined in at the other side of the stage.
You can view some of the videos members of the crowd recorded during this special performance here: http://loudwire.com/godsmack-staind-perform-pantera-this-love-texas-uproar-fest/
Rock Regards,Lauren K

Lzzy Hale and Amy Lee duet on the Carnival of Madness tour

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I forgot to post the duet when I featured Halestorm as the band of the month. So for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, ENJOY!

Lzzy Hale and Amy Lee

Lzzy Hale and Amy Lee duet in the rain on the Carnival of Madness tour.
Photo taken by Rob Fenn.

Amy Lee and Lzzy Hale

Amy Lee and Lzzy Hale
Photo taken by Rob Fenn
Source: https://twitter.com/Rob_Fenn/status/240174794333634560/photo/1/large

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Halestorm

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Lzzy Hale

Lzzy Hale from Halestorm taken by Rob Fenn

Today I would like to feature Halestorm in my blog post for Band of the Month. I predict that they are the next big thing to hit the rock world. They are a relativley new band since they have only released 2 studio albums and 1 live album. I first became aware of Halestorm through numerous tweets about Lzzy Hale from Brent Smith‘s Twitter account (Lead singer for Shinedown). They have become quite close I assume because they have toured together in the past and the fact that they share a record label. I decided to keep an eye out for them in the future.

So I surf the internet quite a lot and at the end of the month I scour Youtube in search of good music. I have watched numerous videos of Halestorm and slowly but surely I began to warm to their music. Their music is loud with no-holds-barred lyrics combined with a frenzy of drums performed by Lzzy’s brother Arejay.

Personally I feel Lzzy is a woman I can look up to, she is feisty and strong, she follows her own instincts and she isn’t afraid to say whatever she wants. Added to that she has a killer dress sense and can rock just as hard in the rain as she can in sky-high heels.

Both Lzzy and Arejay started learning to play piano at the young age of 5. Lzzy later progressed to keytar and Arejay to drums. Lzzy started to attend guitar lessons at the age of 16. Lzzy is 3 years Arejay’s senior. Guitarist Joe Hottinger joined in 2003. Originally Lzzy and Arejay’s father Roger played bass before Josh Smith joined the group in 2004.

Their self-titled debut album was released on April 28, 2009. Their first single ” I Get Off” is a rowdy, cheeky rock song that is a really solid introduction to the band and their style. They later on released 3 more singles off of their debut album and 4 music videos. After that they released ReAniMate:The Covers which featured covers of various genres including the impressive cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. You can listen to it here:

“Their second full length album, The Strange Case Of… was released on April 10, 2012 in the US,April 9 in the UK, and April 17 in Italy. In May 2012, Halestorm made history by becoming the first female-fronted band to top the active rock airplay chart with their song “Love Bites…(So Do I).” In the same month, Gibson Guitars created a signature series guitar for Lzzy Hale.” – Quote Obtained from Wikipedia.

In their quest for writing new material for their second album Halestorm wanted to add more depth and variety to their songs as well as to their lyrics. Halestorm started off by writing the fast, gritty and energetic Love Bites (So Do I) and after that Lzzy penned more fast, hard rock songs topped off with soaring vocals. After a personal setback Lzzy wrote a vulnerable and tender song and recorded it using her cellphone and sent it to the album’s producer, Howard Benson. He liked it and asked Lzzy to write more intimate songs. So after that the album had quite a few hard hitting songs and very soft, intimate songs which they soon realised sounded a little schizophrenic. Lzzy then wrote Mz. Hyde which tied the album together and became an expression of Lzzy’s split personality.

Halestorm has become well-known for their constant touring with a variety of bands including Disturbed, Shinedown, Godsmack, Stone Sour and more recently Evanescence to name a few. This has given Halestorm quite a lot of experience and the band is gelling better than they ever have before. I believe that there is no reason why Halestorm can’t move from strength to strength from here on out. Become acquainted with Halestorm, because they are here to stay!

Here is the official video for Love Bites (So Do I) from Halestorm’s Official Youtube Channel:

Halestorm

Halestorm image obtained from Halestorm’s Official Website

Lzzy Hale taken at the Carnival of Madness by Rob Fenn

Lzzy Hale on the cover of Revolver Magazine.
Image obtained from Revolver Magazine’s Official Facebook page.

You can follow Halestorm on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Halestorm

You can follow Lzzy Hale on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/LZZYHALE

You can follow Arejay Hale on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ArejayHale

You can follow Josh Smith on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Jodowa

You can follow Joe Hottinger on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheJoeStorm

Enjoy!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Frontman of the week – David Draiman

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David Draiman

Original photo can be viewed here: http://www.clubzone.com/events/485798/las-vegas/chateau-nightclub/david-draiman-official-after-party

So today I put the spotlight on David Draiman lead vocalist from Disturbed. Last year I discovered a discounted compilation of music videos on dvd at a music store. I watched it and while going through about 30 videos I went back to Disturbed’s Stricken video, I fell in love with the song and David’s unique vocals. Disturbed is probably the “heaviest” band I listen to and I’m very proud to call myself a Disturbed fan. As a rock music fan I like structured music/songs with rhythm, Disturbed combine heavy guitar riffs and drums in a way that is still pleasing to the ears of a music lover, that is not necessarily a metal music lover.

After I started listening to a few samples of their songs on the web, I decided to purchase The Lost Children which is my favourite album of theirs thus far. After The Lost Children I purchased Asylum and their M.O.L dvd. There is a live performance of “Fear” on the dvd and it shows Draiman jumping up and down on  stage in sync with the audience which makes me want to join in and be part of the experience.

Disturbed has been on hiatus since July of 2011. Hopefully we will still enjoy some more of their work. I love David’s honesty and how he will stand up for what he believes in no matter what. He has a great love for animals which I share. He regularly interacts with his fans on Twitter which I admire, because Twitter is a great communication tool if you use it correctly and can generate even more interest in the band and Draiman’s other projects.

If you are interested in following David here is his Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/DAVIDMDRAIMAN

David is currently working on an industrial rock/metal project and this project is called Device. For more information check out the Facebook page for Device.  http://www.facebook.com/?sk=nf#!/Devicetheband

I’m looking forward to hearing what this new project is all about.

I have to praise Disturbed’s music videos they have released over the years, all of them are quite creative and creepy without making the viewer turn away from the screen in disgust. The  viewer can still appreciate the artistry that went into creating the videos even if it contains dark content/themes.

The way David distorts his voice differently in almost every song never ceases to surprise and amaze me. In my opinion Disturbed is probably one of the most unique bands out there.

You can like their Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=nf#!/Disturbed

I will end off this post with a picture of “The Guy”, Disturbed’s mascot.

Original photo can be viewed here:http://s612.photobucket.com/albums/tt204/daryl889/?action=view&current=Disturbed_Indestructible_Guy.jpg&newest=1&call=1

Cover art from Disturbed’s Indestructible Album.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K