Entries tagged with: NJ

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photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Depeche Mode @ Revel - 8/30/2013
Depeche Mode @ Revel - 8/30/2013

"Frontman Dave Gahan played with his mic and shared it with the crowd on a few occasions while busting some moves. Gahan didn't remain the center of attention for the entire show though as Martin Gore, the band's principal songwriter, got up and shared vocal duties on a handful of songs. He even sang a few on his own, including a haunting version of "Higher Love." Fans exploded in applause when the band performed popular numbers like "Enjoy the Silence" and "Personal Jesus." However, the biggest highlight of the night was when they returned to the stage for an encore and played their synth-pop classic "Just Can't Enough." It was a wonderful throwback for older fans and a nice counter to the outfit's gloomier songs. In a way the band's setlist came full circle that night, some of the new with some of the old - something for everyone." [BV Chicago]
Not long after hitting Chicago, Depeche Mode brought their North American tour to Ovation Hall at Revel Casino in Atlantic City last night (in 2009 they played the Borgata). Pictures, the setlist and video from the NJ show are in this post.

Depeche Mode continue their tour this weekend in Canada before returning to the NYC-area to play both Barclays Center and Jones Beach with tour-mate Bat For Lashes who didn't play with them in Atlantic City and headlined Webster Hall in NYC the same night instead. All tour dates are listed with the rest of the AC pictures and stuff below...

Continue reading "Depeche Mode played Revel in Atlantic City (pics, video, setlist), touring to Jones Beach & Barclays Center (dates)"

Dawes at SXSW 2013 (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
Dawes

As mentioned, Bob Dylan's AmericanaramA is coming to the NYC area for a few shows in July, including one at Camden, NJ's Susquehanna Bank Center on July 28 with Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Since announcing that tour, it's been revealed that the Camden tour stop is also part of this year's XPoNential Music Festival. The fest is also features Polica, Dr. Dog, and others at Susquehanna Bank Center the day before (7/27) Dylan and co. play.

And a number of bands will also be performing in Wiggins Park that weekend, including Phosphorescent, Dawes, Dr. John, Michael Kiwanuka, Justin Townes Earle, Jose James, Lord Huron, Matt Pond, Red Baraat, Edward Sharpe, and more. 3-day passes for the festival are on sale now, and tickets for just the Bob Dylan/Wilco/MMJ show are still available.

Dylan's tour also includes NYC-area shows on 7/19 at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard in CT with Wilco and MMJ, 7/26 at Pier A Park in Hoboken with Wilco and MMJ, and 7/27 at Jones Beach with Wilco and Beck. Tickets for the Harbor Yard, Pier A Park, and Jones Beach shows are still available.

Initial XPoNential Music Festival lineup below...

Continue reading "XPoNential Music Festival 2013 lineup & tix (Bob Dylan, Wilco, MMJ, Phosphorescent, Lord Huron, Dawes, Dr. John & more)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Queens of the Stone Age - Josh Homme & fans @ Vintage Vinyl
Queens of the Stone Age
Queens of the Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age released their new album, ...Like Clockwork, this week (6/4) and have been doing some celebrating for it in the NYC-area. They already performed "Live on Letterman" on Wednesday (6/5), and then last night (6/6) they stopped by Ford, NJ's Vintage Vinyl for an in-store. The setlist included five tracks off their new album, early classic "Monsters in the Parasol," and some material off their last two releases. The full setlist is below with more pictures from the record store show.

As mentioned, QOTSA continue their album release week celebrations with a show at Brooklyn Masonic Temple TONIGHT (6/7). That show went on sale yesterday and is now entirely sold out.

More pictures and the setlist from Vintage Vinyl below...

Continue reading "Queens of the Stone Age played Vintage Vinyl! (pics, setlist)"

TGI Fridays, you give bars a bad name, a bad name...

TGI Fridays

"State authorities this morning raided 29 bars and restaurants across New Jersey on suspicion that they have been re-filling empty bottles of their most expensive liquors with cheaper alcohol.

Dubbed "Operation Swill," the year-long investigation found the establishments fooled customers so they could charge higher prices and bolster their profits, according to a statement released by the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control." [NJ.COM]

Check out the list of busted places below...

Continue reading "Cops raid TGI Fridays, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday & other NJ bars for selling cheap alcohol as 'top shelf'"

Starland Ballroom

Back in November we reported that NJ music venue Starland Ballroom, who had to cancel a lot of shows due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, was going to stay closed until at least Spring 2013. Spring is here and though they're being vague, the club just posted a video along with the message: "Thanks for all of your well-wishes, good vibes and hopes for recovery. It's finally time to talk about the future of the Starland Ballroom." The video doesn't offer much information but ends with "June 4, 2013." A commenter immediately asked the natural first question which is, "does this mean the announcement will be on June 4 or shows will start then?" Starland answered, "We'll just have to wait and see." Ok, we're waiting.

Check out a videos of Motorhead and Wu Tang Clan at Starland, below...

Continue reading "Starland Ballroom getting ready to reopen"

Andrew WK at Webster Hall in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Andrew WK

Back before Bamboozle started hitting Asbury Park (or other nearby places in NJ) every spring, the similar Skate and Surf Festival used to go down there, but hasn't been in active in eight years. Following the announcement that there will be no Bamboozle in 2013 (but they say, "keep your eyes peeled for 2014 info"), it was announced that Skate and Surf Fest is being revived this year, and will happen from May 18 to 19 at Plaza Green at iPlay America (110 Schanck Road) in Freehold, NJ.

Though we'd never turn down a solo set by Andrew WK, the rest of the lineup is not one we particularly care about, much like most of Bamboozle's lineup in years past. Other bands playing include Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Saves the Day, Bayside, Into It. Over It., Hopsin, and more. Tickets go on sale Saturday (1/12).

Full lineup and flyer below...

Continue reading "no Bamboozle in 2013, but Skate and Surf is back (line-up)"

Rolling Stones @ Prudental Center -- 12/13/2012 (photo by caviartaste)
Stones

The Rolling Stones, with advertised special guest Mick Taylor, along with surprise guest John Mayer, played their first of two shows at the Prudential Center in NJ on Thursday night (12/13). Check out the full setlist below.

The show was their third NYC-appearance in a few days. The previous one was one night earlier as part of the 12-12-12 benefit at Madison Square Garden, and before that it was a headlining show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn with special guests Gary Clark Jr. and Mary J. Blige. The final show of the run, which is going to be available live on Pay Per View, is back at the Prudential Center on Saturday with advertised special guests Mick Taylor, Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen and the Black Keys.

12/13 setlist, below...

Continue reading "Rolling Stones Prudential Center night 1 setlist (Mick Taylor & John Mayer included)"

Starland Ballroom (more by Tim Griffin)
Starland BAllroom

Another victim of Sandy. The NJ music venue writes:

A MESSAGE FROM THE STARLAND BALLROOM:

The last two weeks in New Jersey have been a testament to our state's resilience. We've witnessed New Jersey's worst days, but also its greatest humanity. We've seen destruction, but we've also seen ho
pe, hard work and determination.

Our situation at Starland is a microcosm of these scenarios -- yet one we realize is significantly less important than one's home, family or livelihood. Hurricane Sandy devastated our electrical system and damaged our sound, lighting, heating / cooling and plumbing systems - all necessary ingredients in operating a public venue. Given the demand for these components in the regional housing and commercial sectors, we do not anticipate being able to open again until Spring 2013.

Speaking of 2013, it's the year in which we intend to celebrate Starland Ballroom's 10th anniversary. So we're dedicated to taking this time to rebuild the state's best concert venue, and make it even better. We'll take inspiration from all of our New Jersey neighbors who are working hard to get their lives back to normal. When it's all said and done, we'll be here for some of the best live concert celebrations available.

You can help in this effort: Send us an email to info@starlandballroom.com with your suggestions and ideas on how to make Starland even better. We'll read every last one of them.

Most of our shows will be canceled. A few will be moved to new locations. We'll have them listed here and at Starlandballroom.com ASAP.

Fans holding tickets to the canceled shows will receive a full refund, including fees. If you bought tickets online or via phone, you will receive an automatic refund within 7-10 business days. If you bought your tickets from a Ticketmaster retail outlet, you may return your tickets to that exact location for your refund. Tickets purchased here at Starland can be turned in for a full refund plus service fees during new hours of operation - Thursdays and Fridays from 3-6pm and Saturdays from 11am-2pm. The Box Office will not be open on Thanksgiving. Fans holding tickets to relocated shows, but unable to attend due to the new location, are also entitled to a refund. 2012 Starland SeasonPass holders will be permitted to use their passes for shows in 2013.

We regret that any of these shows are going away, but not as much as we regret the pain, suffering and destruction experienced by our customers throughout the Garden State. Much like the spirit of New Jersey, you can't stop rock n' roll. And we don't intend to.

Jersey proud, Starlanders. We'll see you soon.

Damn. See below for a list of shows affected:

Continue reading "Starland Ballroom closed till at least Spring 2013 "

Taking Back Sunday

As mentioned, Taking Back Sunday are taking their debut album, Tell All Your Friends, on tour this year for its 10th anniversary that kicked off in early October and it comes to NYC/NJ this month. The band posted an update to their website saying they'd like to help out with the areas most affected by Hurricane Sandy. So in addition to their two sold out Terminal 5 shows (11/23 and 11/24), TBS have added another NYC show happening on November 16 at Best Buy Theater with Bayside and The Menzingers, which will be a benefit show with 100% of proceeds going to relief efforts in and around Long Beach, NY where most of the band members are from. Tickets for that show go on sale today (11/12) at noon.

TBS have also "combined" their two sold out Starland Ballroom shows, which would have happened November 16 and 25 but had to be rescheduled due to the damage done to Starland Ballroom, into one larger show happening on November 25 at Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North in Toms River, NJ. This show, like the Best Buy Theater show, is also now a benefit for Hurricane Sandy Relief. Tickets to both shows will be honored and more tickets will be available starting Monday at noon. If you can't make it to the new date, refunds will be accepted until 10 PM on November 19.

The band also plays a Long Island show at The Paramount on November 21, which is sold out.

Updated dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Taking Back Sunday reschedule NJ shows and add Sandy benefit in NYC to 'Tell All Your Friends' tour (updated dates)"

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins is selling a new (re-recorded actually) song to raise money for her hometown of Neptune City, NJ, one of the many areas hurt badly by Sandy (Nicole's property included). In her own words:

I originally wrote and recorded this song in 2006. I wrote it about my feelings on the town i grew up in, Shark River Hills and Neptune City. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and after seeing the destruction it has left for my neighbors, friends and family I decided to rerecord the song for everyone to raise money to help us rebuild.

This version of "Neptune City" was recorded November 4th, 2012 at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis Tennessee with the help of engineer Matt Ross-Spang and pianist, Ricky Steff of Lucero.

100% of all donations received from the download will be directed toward nonprofit organizations working to restore and rebuild our Jersey Shore. The funds will be regranted from ATC's Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund. Specific organizations will be announced once the full range of needed funds emerges.

After disaster strikes, the aftermath is broken down into three separate phases: Rescue, Relief, and Recovery & Rebuilding. Goverments and multinational bodies are usually best equipped and poised to handle the first two phases. The Recovery & Rebuilding phase is where donors can have the most impact in helping communities over the long-term. It is critical to full recovery but is often the most overlooked and under-resourced phase as news sources turn to other stories and disasters. Thus, we are holding off on announcing specific organizations until the full impacts and long-term implications of the disaster become more clear.

Sincerely,
Nicole Atkins

Head to her Bandcamp now to listen and possibly buy the song. The picture above was taken while Nicole was recording the new version with Ricky Steff of Lucero.

In related news, Dean Ween was supposed to host a benefit in Asbury Park, NJ this Sunday, but the date has changed to WEDNESDAY. NOVEMBER 28 (the venue is still The Saint).

Asbury Park, NJ - 10/30/12 (via)
Asbury Park

Asbury Park, NJ - 10/30/12 (via)
Asbury Park

Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ - 10/30/12 (via)
Asbury Park

The NJ shore got hit pretty hard yesterday, so we were happy to hear that legendary NJ club the Stone Pony made it out alive: Asbury Park Press reports:

We did quite well," said general manager said Caroline O'Toole. "We did a lot of prep work and luck was on our side. Except for some damage to our side fence, we're OK."

"It's dry inside and all the history is preserved," O'Toole said.

The club stood with sandbags at it's entrances on Tuesday following the storm. Nearby on a Ocean Avenue, a tractor scooped up sand and debris, which was covering the street. Portions of the Asbury Park boardwalk are damaged, and many business on the boardwalk are damaged, too. The door of fortune teller Madam Marie was blown off.

A Stone Pony "Rock to the Top" show scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 28 was postponed. The Pony has a music and burlesque show scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 31. The show contingent on power being restored to the area and the safety of show goers, O'Toole said.

Not everyone and everything in Asbury Park and elsehwere in Jersey was so lucky.

Video taken last night as the hurricane was approaching on the ASbury Park boardwalk, below..

Continue reading "The Stone Pony but not all of Asbury Park survives Sandy"

UPDATE: More photos of the Coney Island Sandy aftermath posted

Coney Island this morning (via @dimkas79)
Coney Island

As you might expect and/or saw on the news, Hurricane Sandy hit Coney Island pretty good with major flooding, including the New York Aquarium whose entire 14-acre facility was entirely "under water". They won't be able to access the damage till the water recedes but we sure are worried about the sea otters and other animals there.

The Cyclone made it through intact, which is more than we can say for 'Jersey Shore' stomping grounds Seaside Heights, NJ whose boardwalk was almost entirely destroyed by the hurricane and the Jet Star roller coaster, well you can see for yourself::

Jet Star roller coaster hanging into the Atlantic Ocean in NJ (via NBC4)
Coney Island

Atlantic City, as you probably heard, was also hit very hard too.

UPDATE: More photos of the Coney Island Sandy aftermath posted

Don't steal our MP3s dudes
Iced Earth

An independent record label, a foreign film company and several pornography studios have declared war on illegal file sharing in New Jersey, suing more than 12,000 people since June for allegedly using peer-to-peer networks to unlawfully distribute copyrighted material over the Internet....

...McDaniel's clients include a London-based record company, Century Media Ltd., which is suing fans of two popular metal bands for allegedly using the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol to unlawfully distribute their music online.

Two of the suits aim to halt the illicit distribution of "Dark Adrenaline," the most recent album by the Italian band Lacuna Coil. The suits collectively target 3,136 John Doe defendants.

Four similar civil complaints accuse another 4,327 unnamed file swappers of illegally distributing "Dystopia," the 2011 album by Iced Earth, a Florida-based metal band on the Century Media label.

McDaniel is also representing a German film company, Amselfilm Productions GmbH & CO. KG of Berlin, which holds the rights to the 2011 Russian movie "Bablo," or "The Dough." Three suits, filed in late June at the same time as the six Century Media cases, contend 4,654 people shared pirated copies of the film.

"Illegal downloading has reached epidemic proportions, as thousands of works are pirated on a daily basis through bit torrents that rob copyright holders of the value of their creative work," McDaniel wrote in a suit he filed last year in Newark on behalf of another German client, Baseprotect UG Ltd. [NorthJersey.com (via Pitchfork)]

In related news, Drake is the most pirated artist in the US.

Happy Speak Like a Pirate day y'all!

Court Tavern

Stickers covering the wall tell some of the story.

Bold letters and designs shout out names such as Spredhaus, All Eyes West and Dinosaur Eyelids -- as well as dozens of other bands who performed there.

"People have told me, 'Don't take down that wall,' " said Mike Barrood, new owner of the Court Tavern, the legendary New Brunswick bar and music venue that closed in January.

Barrood, 33, is renovating the place and hopes to open within a month.

"A lot of the old customers called and offered to help and work for nothing," he said.

"Actually, people don't want it fixed up," he said of patrons who affectionately remember the scruffy-grungy atmosphere at the Church Street venue that gave bands their start.

Drummer Benny Horowitz remembers playing at the Court Tavern with six bands.

"I celebrated my 21st birthday there," said Horowitz, now with the Gaslight Anthem, a New Brunswick-based group that tours internationally. The band's first show was at the Court Tavern. [NJ.com]

Previously: Court Tavern RIP

The Gaslight Anthem's song "The Diamond Church Street Choir" is about the Court Tavern. They play Webster Hall tonight, and talk about the club and its booker Andy Diamond, in the video clip below...

Continue reading "Court Tavern renovating and reopening with new owner"

by Dave Hill (author of Tasteful Nudes)

Dave Hill rocking out to Poison
Dave Hill

Last night (7/11), I went to see Def Leppard, Poison, and Lita Ford at the Prudential Center, which is in Newark, New Jersey. What happened was my friend Ryan asked me and my friend Dave if we wanted to go to the concert and we were both like "Fuck yeah!" and the next thing I knew, we were totally on a train to New Jersey about to get our asses handed to us by Def Leppard, Poison, and Lita Ford, the bands that were playing the concert.

There were roughly 15,732 people in attendance at the show but I was definitely the most rocking person in attendance and you can basically ask anyone because I pretty much owned that show from the second we got off the train in Newark, at which point we walked briskly to the Prudential Center because we were fucking pumped to rock out and everyone around us was looking at us like "Those guys fucking rule!" We had black rock shirts on and everything. It was fucking sweet.

As it turned out, we were kind of late for Lita Ford so by the time we got down to our sweet seats (which were RIGHT ON THE FUCKING FLOOR, SECTION B, ROW 7 MOTHERFUCKERS!!), Lita Ford was playing her last song and basically her biggest hit ever "Kiss Me Deadly," which was great. At the end of her set, Lita Ford told all of us in attendance how awesome we were and I was just like "Yeah, I know, Lita Ford" cuz duh. Also, it should be noted that I would totally have sexual intercourse with Lita Ford if she is reading this, which I hope she is (NOTE: If you personally know Lita Ford and can send this on to her, please do, because I am a real catch and would treat her like fucking gold).

After Lita Ford finished rocking everybody, Ryan, Dave, and I headed up to the concession area and drank like six or eight beers or something I don't even know. Also, Dave had to take a piss, which was fucked because I was afraid we might miss Poison but everything was fine. After Dave finished taking what turned out to be basically the longest piss of all-time or something, we went back down to our sweet seats and watched Poison. If you like Poison, you would have definitely liked seeing them last night because they basically nailed it as far as being Poison goes. They played all the big rocking hits like "Talk Dirty to Me" and "Unskinny Bop" and all that but then they also brought it down by playing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", at which point I was practically crying like a fucking baby because, man, the words. I still ended up holding it together in the end but most of the chicks seated around me totally wanted to make out with me because chicks fucking love that sensitive shit.

After Poison finished and a bunch of stuff exploded and stuff, Ryan, Dave, and I headed back up to the concession area and had like 14 more beers or something. It was nuts but we couldn't help it because we were so pumped for Def Leppard it wasn't even fucking funny. By then, I had to take a piss too so I went into the bathroom and did my best to ignore the fat guy in the New Jersey Devils jersey shaking his dick next to me for like five minutes straight as I tried to focus on rocking out to Def Leppard pretty much any second now.

Dave Hill

Once we got back down to our sweet seats again (7TH FUCKING ROW, MOTHERFUCKERS!), it was fucking Def Leppard time and then sure as shit, fucking Def Leppard came on stage and started rocking the fuck out of everyone in the fucking place and that shit was nuts. Def Leppard opened with some new song which was still awesome but basically bullshit considering the fact that you know they've got "Foolin'", "Photograph", "Rock of Ages," and about 500 other hits locked and loaded the whole time and they could have played one of those tunes but whatever it was still sweet. A few songs into things, Def Leppard played "Love Bites" and I was singing along with every word and every chick in my section wanted to bang me because I was fucking nailing that shit so hard you would have thought I was in the fucking band, which I probably should be the more I think about it (NOTE: If you are in Def Leppard and are reading this and also want me in the band, just tell me where the bus is parked and my fucking gig bag and I will be there. Also, we should play some more songs from "High and Dry" cuz that shit rules). It should be noted that the Def Leppard guitar player Phil Collen was shirtless the whole time and so was I and I'm pretty sure he saw me and made a gesture to the singer Joe Elliott like "Check that dude out in Section B, Row 7- he is owning this fucking place." And I was. Ask anyone.

Dave Hill rocking out to Def Leppard
Dave Hill

About halfway through their show, the Def Leppard guys all broke out acoustic guitars and sat on a road case brought out by a sweet roadie with a hat on and played some song that I didn't know but it was a real panty dropper that's for fucking sure. A lot of chicks wanted to make out with Def Leppard and also me at this point but we had a show to focus on so we couldn't. It should also be noted at this point that the Def Leppard drummer only has one arm. I realize pretty much everyone knows that already and I am totally used to seeing him play drums like that but when he's just walking around the stage with one arm part of me couldn't help but be all like "Oh, shit- he's coming over here."

After Def Leppard got done showing their sensitive side, it was time for the fucking hits. They played "Women," "Bringin' on the Heartache", "Armageddon It" ("Are you getting it? Yes, I'm a getting it!" It fucking ruled), "Photograph", and basically every other fucking awesome Def Leppard song you can fucking think of. It was at this point in the show, that I ended up meeting this other sweet dude who was rocking out to Def Leppard almost as hard as I was. We high-fived and rocked out and sang every fucking word and basically no one around us could even handle it. You could tell the guys in the band saw us and were like "Fuck- that is some next level shit right there" as we were fucking owning that fucking show so hard. Def Leppard played "Rock of Ages" and then Ryan, Dave, and I got the fuck out of there cuz we had a train to catch back into NYC. I guess you saw this coming, but before we got on the train we fucking knocked back a cold one in the bar in the train station. There were a lot of people who were also at the show at the bar and you could tell by the way they looked at us that they all knew we were the fucking sweet dudes from Section B, Row 7. It ruled. Next time Def Leppard comes back to town we are totally going again and that shit is going to be awesome basically. If they play two nights I would even go both nights.

Dave Hill

--

Def Leppard, Poison, and Lita Ford play Jones Beach in Long Island this Friday (7/13). Tickets are still available. Unclear if Dave will again be in attendance. The tour hits Atlantic City on Saturday. They're back in NY to hit Buffalo and Saratoga Springs in August. All dates at Def Leppard's website.

Dave Hill will be promoting his new book Tasteful Nudes in Austin on Saturday (7/14). You can catch him in NYC when the "Dave Hill Explosion" returns to UCB Theater on July 26th. A few more pictures of Dave rocking, below...

Continue reading "Def Leppard Played and I Fucking Owned It "

photos by Alyssa Tanchajja

Screaming Females at Warehouse Motor Club - 6/29/12
Screaming Females

Screaming Females, who were supposed to play NYC last month for Northside Festival, but had to cancel much of their tour due to illness, played their first NYC area show since then this past weekend. They played Warehouse Motor Club in their home state of New Jersey on Friday (6/29) with Night Birds (who played NYC last week), Terrible Feelings (who played NYC on Saturday), Smart Cops, and Artificial Limbs. Pictures from that show are in this post.

Screaming Females have other upcoming shows in NYC and NJ, including C.L.I.T. Fest (7/13-15) in Highland Park, NJ and Riot Fest Brooklyn (9/8) in Williamsburg Park.

More pics from the Warehouse Motor Club show are below.

Continue reading "Screaming Females played Warehouse Motor Club in NJ with Night Birds, Terrible Feelings, and more (pics)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin ; words by Andrew Sacher

Metallica / Fucked Up at Orion Music Fest, June 23, 2012
Orion Music & More
Orion Music & More

Metallica's Orion Music & More festival went down in Atlantic CIty's Bader Field this weekend, featuring the band performing Ride the Lightning in full on Saturday (6/23) and The Black Album on Sunday (6/24), in addition to many other bands across four stages. Bader Field, which was previously used as an airport, was filled with rockers of all kinds -- from the satanist metalheads to the Gaslight Anthem-shirt bearing rock and rollers. In addition to the bands, you could check out Lars Ulrich's curated film screenings, James Hetfield's classic cars, Kirk Hammett's horror memorabilia, rock memorabilia with everything from old Velvet Underground postcards to Melvins posters, and much much more. And all of this went down just across the water from the towering, lit-up excess of Atlantic City's Trump Plaza, Caesars Palace, and the like.

Baroness
Baroness

I showed up to the festival on Saturday about halfway through Baroness' opening set on the main Orion Stage. Though the crowd was still pretty thin (they went on at 1 PM), the band delivered a strong set filled with a great mix of hooks and sludge, winning over most of the people who had showed up early enough to catch them.

Next stop for me was Lucero, also on the Orion Stage. "This song's called 'Women and Work,' it's about whiskey," said singer Ben Nichols of the title track off their most recent LP, making what was only one of many whiskey references during their set. They had a solid mix of the upbeat ones like that, and their sprawling slow-burners. The band sounded best on those slower cuts, as they drifted across the hot, sunny, mid-afternoon Bader Field, though I'm sure the foot-stompers would have taken charge in a smaller, tightly packed venue like their drunken NYE show at Brooklyn Bowl. The band did crank up the distortion on "Sounds of the City," and got great crowd reaction during "All Sewn Up," which he dedicated to the audience: "Plenty of fucking bad tattoos out there, so this one's for all y'all."

Fucked Up

After Lucero's set ended, the Fuel stage saw what might have been the wildest set of the day with Fucked Up. Frontman Damian Abraham began by saying, "Last year we were thinking... who would be the craziest band we could play with, and we were like... METALLICA!" before kicking into "Queen of Hearts" off 2011's epic David Comes to Life. As per ushe, it only took about three seconds into that song for Damian to barge into the crowd (where he spent most of the show) and another few minutes before he took his shirt off. They relied most heavily on material off of David, playing other highlights like "The Other Shoe," "Turn the Season," and more. In the past I've said that Damian's in-the-crowd antics tend to be less successful in larger venues, but at Orion fest he did everything in his power to make his way through the entire crowd. He must have been part of every single mosh pit that broke out, and traveled everywhere from the kids pushing against the barrier to the people standing in the very back.

The Gaslight Anthem followed, taking to the Orion Stage, and came out with an introduction from Lars (as many other bands that day did). After his introduction, the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" began playing through the PA as the band walked out, with frontman Brian Fallon decked out in an "RIP MCA" shirt (written in Run DMC typeset). I didn't notice it during Baroness or Lucero (and maybe Fucked Up's loud mayhem was to blame), but the sound at Orion Stage was significantly lower for all the non-Metallica bands that played, and it became easy to feel removed during The Gaslight Anthem's set. Despite the conditions, the band still sounded on point. They played "45," the single off their upcoming album, which is easily their best song since The '59 Sound, and older favorites as well, like "Old White Lincoln," "The Patient Ferris Wheel," and of course, "The '59 Sound."

Lars Ulrich introducing Hot Snakes
Orion Music & More

I then made my way over to the Frantic tent -- undoubtedly the best stage to watch bands -- for Hot Snakes, who were also introduced by Lars. Lars acknowledged the stage as well ("this is becoming my favorite stage of the day... this is where all the cool kids hang out!") and said tons of flattering things about Hot Snakes. The band thanked him a couple times for his compliments, before asking the crowd if any of us had heard of them, to which they were greeted with massive cheers that they seemed pretty surprised about. After all the intro-ing, the band began playing the buzzsaw guitar riff of "I Hate the Kids," the opening track off 2002's classic Suicide Invoice. They reunited last year after breaking in 2005, and they've definitely still got it. They played a good amount of Suicide Invoice, including "LAX," "Who Died," "Gar Forgets His Insulin," and the punishing title track.

After Hot Snakes' set, Modest Mouse took over the Orion Stage, and like with The Gaslight Anthem, the sound and setting of this stage did them absolutely no justice. We got some great songs -- "Bury Me With It," "Dramamine," "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" -- but they were mostly drowned out by the talking of the uninterested crowd, many of who had begun gathering for Metallica. Not surprisingly, "Float On" was the one song that stopped the crowd from talking and got 'em singing along. Things probably went over better for Modest Mouse at the more indie-centric Governors Ball, which they played on Sunday.

Suicidal Tendencies meanwhile were playing to a giant crowd on the smaller metal-centric Damage Inc. stage, with help from their ex-bandmate, Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo who joined them for a bunch of songs.

Suicidal Tendencies/Arctic Monkeys
Suicidal Tendencies
Orion Music & More

Hands down, my highlight of the pre-Metallica portion of the festival was Arctic Monkeys, who played the Fuel stage directly before the headliners took over Orion. It goes without saying that Lars took the time to introduce this band (their first record is his favorite of the '00s) and he said tons of appreciative things about the band, including that he's seen them every time they've played his city. They opened their set with the attack of "Brianstorm," which sent the band into a frenzy that didn't let up once during the set. Though the band's latter two records have been a bit less popular than their first two, they've really shown a maturation in sound on them and especially on a festival with a mass of heavier bands a lot of their newer material fit right in. Songs like "Pretty Visitors" and "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair" border on sludge metal and stood out just as much, if not more than older classics like "Teddy Picker," "Fluorescent Adolescent," and "Dancefloor." In keeping spirits with the festival, during "Don't Sit Down," Alex Turner changed the line, "bite the lightning," to "Ride the Lightning," and pointed across the field at the Orion stage where Metallica's stage hands were gearing up for the band to play said album in full.

Alex takes complete control of the crowd and throws in a bit of playful arrogance, like pointing to Matt Helders and saying, "check this shit out," before one of Matt's more technical drum parts. The band pretty much kept their whole set in full throttle mode, eschewing many of their lighter songs, and they delivered with colossal power. Over ruthless drumming, stoner rock guitar solos, and overall ceaseless energy, Alex effortlessly topped it all off with his soaring vocals, almost of all of which were met by singalongs from the crowd.

Metallica
Orion Music & More

Finally, after the rest of the festival had wrapped up, the strings of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold" from Metallica's S&M album began playing through the PA, which meant the band -- who for many, were the sole reason of coming to the festival -- were about to take the stage. They opened with a bunch of live staples, like "Hit the Lights," "Master of Puppets," "Sad But True," and "The Four Horsemen," plus a newer one as well. Then the lights went black and on the stage's screens, popped up a video of clips from Metallica's Ride the Lightning period, which was greeted by huge cheers of the thousands of people that knew the band's performance of the album was on the way. When soundclips of Cliff Burton surfaced on the video, even more applause came, honoring the band's bassist who performed with them on their first three albums before passing away in a tour bus accident in 1986. After the video ended, an animated play on the Lightning album artwork took over the screens and the album's final track, "Call of Ktulu" began playing (they performed the album in reverse). Once "Ktulu" picked up, the lights came back on, revealing the band members on stage playing the song, and yielding more and more applause.

After the instrumental track, live favorite "Creeping Death" came in, sending the band pummeling into a spiraling vector of thrash. The band's theatrics, rock star approach, and tendency to play hits-heavy sets can give off the feeling that they've reached the point where their shows are simply crowd-pleasers, but it's really not the case. The band whole heartedly rock the fuck out on stage, and despite everything else going on, simply watching them play is pretty mind blowing.

According to Lightning's reverse tracklist, after "Creeping Death," came "Escape," which the band have never performed live, mainly because James absolutely hates the track. For anyone who didn't know, he made it abundantly clear at the show and even looked like he was having a bit of trouble getting into it while they played it live for their first time ever, but by the end, the crowd had welcomed its live debut more than excellently. Though James wouldn't hear of it -- "NO!" he yelled when the crowd tried convincing him that they loved it.

Metallica
Orion Music & More

Then came "Trapped Under Ice," followed by "Fade to Black," which was by far the loudest singalong on the album during the acoustic guitar-led verses and, as occurs at Metallica concerts, the melody to Kirk's guitar solo in the intro. After the song's headbanging second half, James, with a smug smile, responded to the fanatic cheers with, "Yeah, I like that one too." The level of noise stayed above 10 for the following song, "For Whom the Bell Tolls," whose chorus saw tons of \m/-raised arms attached to bodies screaming along. Following the album's title track, Metallica wrapped up their performance of the album with much anticipated opening thrasher, "Fight Fire With Fire," for which the screens behind the band showed the masses of audience members singing along to the song's choppy vocals.

Directly after the performance of the album ended, the band stayed on stage and went immediately into more live staples -- "Nothing Else Matters" and "Enter Sandman." They then left the stage before returning for an encore which began in the dark with the acoustic intro of "Battery," and then hitting the lights for the song's slaying mile-a-minute riffing. The encore wrapped up with loud fireworks, black Metallica beach balls thrown int the crowd and two more live staples, "One" and "Seek & Destroy" and after the members of the band continued to thank the crowd for coming and making their festival a success.

More Orion Music Fest coverage to come. Lots more pictures, including Roky Erickson, Red Fang, Suicidal Tendencies, and more are below.

Continue reading "Orion Music Fest day 1 pics & review (Metallica does 'Ride the Lightning' + Fucked Up, Lucero, Hot Snakes, Arctic Monkeys & much more)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Willie Nelson & fan @ Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ
Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson, who recently collaborated with Snoop Dogg and got a statue of his likeness unveiled in Austin on 4/20, came to NJ last week for two shows at the Wellmont Theater with fellow Texas singer-songwriter Robert Ellis. We have pictures from one of those shows, and there are more of them, along with video of a performance Willie did at SiriusXM while he was here, below...

Continue reading "Willie Nelson played 2 nights @ Wellmont w/ Robert Ellis (pics)"

The Boss ActThe Boss Act

"The new version of his bill targets two areas of the secondary ticket market. First, it makes it a crime to use computer programs that circumvent online security procedures to allow brokers to snap up the best seats before ordinary fans have a chance. The bill also calls for the creation of a Justice Department task force to investigate these crimes.

When tickets for last night's concert -- Springsteen's first at The Rock -- went on sale in January, many Springsteen fans reported problems with the Ticketmaster website and said they were kicked off while a purchase was in progress. Later, Ticketmaster said it was attacked by these computer programs and that interrupted many fans' attempts to purchase seats.

In addition, the revised bill would establish protections for consumers using the increasingly popular "paperless tickets," which hamper the resale of tickets but also can inconvenience consumers. It would also require that a refund be made up to two weeks before the event and prohibits fees on the first transfer of the tickets." [NJ.com]

Last night's NJ setlist and more tour dates HERE.

Portugal the Man

Portugal. The Man's current tour with the Lonely Forest brings them to Brooklyn on Friday for show at Music Hall of Williamsburg followed by a visit to NJ on Saturday for a show at Starland Ballroom. The Brooklyn show is sold out, but tickets are still available for Starland, AND we have a pair of tickets you can win to that one. Details below.

You can also catch Portugal. The Man on Saturday, aka Record Store Day, in Fords, NJ where they're playing a free, 2:30pm in-store at Vintage Vinyl, which like Kim's in NYC, opens at 8am that day.

Contest details below...

Continue reading "Portugal. The Man playing Record Store Day in-store @ Vintage Vinyl before Starland Ballroom show (win tix!)"

Van Halen @ MSG in Feb. (more by Chris La Putt)
Van Halen

Van Halen, still reunited with David Lee Roth and out touring in support of a new album, have announced a July 13th show at Izod Center in NJ. "Tickets Go On Sale Monday, April 23 at 10AM at www.livenation.com, www.ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800.745.3000, and at select Ticketmaster locations." Prices are $49.50, $79.50, and $149.50.

Opening the new date will be one of Bob Marley's 11 children, Ky-Mani Marley. Why do I point out how many brothers and sisters Ky-Mani has? Because it's still fresh in my mind after seeing the "Marley" documentary (which opens in theaters on 4/20).

All Van Halen tour dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Van Halen add NJ show @ Izod Center w/ a Marley (tour dates)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Bruce Springsteen

So far, on every show on this tour, the final song has been "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out" which has included a powerful, silent tribute to Clarence. Every time Bruce gets to the line "When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band" the band stops playing and Bruce urges the crowd on, for at least 90 seconds to just cheer as loudly as they can.

On Wednesday, Bruce ran to the mini-stage at the back of the floor pit (where he starts his crowd surfing from earlier) and when he got to that line, he stopped and the video screens showed video and pictures of Clarence throughout his E Street career. It was so moving and as Bruce again urged the crowd on (for almost a good two minutes), this time just had so much more meaning with the pictures of Clarence shown.

And while we miss Clarence so much, his nephew Jake has been outstanding along with the other members of the horn section. [NJ.com]

Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band's "Wrecking Ball" tour hit the Izod Center in their home state of NJ for second time in two days last night (4/4). Here are some pictures and the setlist (you can see the previous night's HERE).

The tour continues at Madison Square Garden in NYC on Friday (4/6). More pictures and the setlist from Wednesday, and a video of the Clarence tribute, below...

Continue reading "Bruce Springsteen played the Izod Center again (night 2 pics, setlist & Clarence Clemons tribute video)"

the Izod Center filling in before Bruuuuuuuuce (via JessDefilippo)
Izod Center

"Mr. Springsteen, 62, has never had a problem wringing uplift from struggle; that was the implication of the show's most rousing songs, like "Born to Run," "Badlands" and "The Promised Land." And he has engaged poignantly with national tragedy. Among the other highlights here were "The Rising," originally a salve for Sept. 11, and "American Skin (41 Shots)," inspired by the 1999 police shooting of Amadou Diallo and rededicated, during a show last week, to Trayvon Martin." [NY Times]
Bruce Sprinsteen's "Wrecking Ball" tour hit the Izod Center in his home state of NJ last night (4/3) for the first of two in-demand shows at the venue formerly known as Continental Airlines Arena and Brendan Byrne Arena. "Wrecking Ball" was the 2nd of 25 songs the E Street Band played. Check out the full setlist below...

Continue reading "Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band played the Izod Center (night 1 setlist)"

The Black Keys (t-shirts) @ MSG last week (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
MSG

NJ.com reports:

As it turns out, Beyoncé Knowles will not be the first artist to sing at the new Ovation Hall at Revel Resorts in Atlantic City. This morning, the casino hotel -- which will celebrate its grand opening on May 25 with the first of three Beyoncé concerts -- announced an Ovation Hall show a week prior to the big date. The Black Keys, the Grammy-winning Akron blues-rock duo with a lovably grimy sound, will appear at Revel on May 19. Tickets for the Black Keys concert go on sale March 30 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.

Technically, the Keys won't be the first act to play at Revel, either. The hotel is opening a second performance space called the Social, a smaller room than the 5000-seat Ovation Hall. (This is likely to be similar to the division at the Borgata -- the Event Center handles the really big acts, and the Music Box takes care of the more intimate shows.) Revel is planning a soft opening -- they're calling it an eight-week preview -- on Apr. 2, and the casino is marking the occasion with a Social performance by Danish noise-pop the Raveonettes.

It's shaping up as a big spring and summer for popular music in Atlantic City. In addition to the Beyoncé shows on May 25, 26, and 27, Phish are scheduled to play a three-night stand at the disused Bader Field Airport on June 15, 16, and 17. A week later, Metallica brings its Orion Music + More festival to the same location. Bader Field successfully hosted the Dave Matthews Caravan last June.

Beyonce tickets go on sale April 6 at Ticketmaster. The Black Keys play their 2nd of 2 shows at NYC's Madison Square Garden with the Arctic Monkeys TONIGHT (3/22). Pictures from the first are HERE.

UPDATE: and The Black Keys will be co-headlining a new NYC festival this summer too!

Radiohead @ Roseland in 2011 (more by Bao Nguyen)
RadioheaD

As mentioned last night:

It's rumored that Radiohead will be announcing more dates soon. The latest rumor includes a June 1st show at Prudential Center in NJ, though I'm not going to believe it until I see it via Radiohead) (and not via Aids Bunny) (the previous rumor said there would be two nights at MSG around Bonnaroo, but now the rumor people are leaning towards the NJ show instead) (stay tuned).
Well, the latest rumor happens to be true (nice one Aids Bunny!), but also includes a May 31 performance at the NJ venue. They also play Camden on June 13th (so 3 NJ shows total!). Tickets for the new dates go on sale via W.A.S.T.E this Thursday, March 8. A general onsale will hit Ticketmaster on Saturday, March 10 at 10AM. All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Radiohead announce dates, 2 NJ shows @ Prudential Center"

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