Category Archives: Photo Gallery

Beale Street Music Festival 5/4-6, 2018, Memphis

Dates: May 4-6, 2018

Location: Memphis, TN

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MARK JACKSON

The Beale Street Music Festival is an annual music festival that takes place in downtown Memphis, with the backdrop of the mighty Mississippi River and the iconic symbols of the Bass Pro Shop Pyramid, and the Tennessee/Arkansas Bridge. Every year this is one of my favorite festivals for many reasons, first being the staff. Memphis holds a month long celebration every year for the month of May and celebrates a different country each year (this year was the Czech Republic), including events such as the music festival, BBQ cook off contest, Great American River Run, exhibits, and more.

This festival always has a great mix of rock, alternative, rap artist, and a blues tent that only has blues artist for the entire three day event. This festival is always packed, but this year sold out completely on Sunday by five o’clock. I think it may have had something to do with having a “Rockstar” artist who is all over the radio and Youtube with hit after hit. You may have heard of him, he goes by Posty aka Post Malone. If Post alone was not enough, Sunday also had Juicy J, Young Dolph, Delbert McClinton, Dram, Erykah Badu, The Flaming Lips, Flor, Andrew W.K., and a band who I was especially excited to see live called Misterwives an indie pop band based in New York City. The lead singer, Mandy Lee, reminds me of Haley Williams from Paramore, with her onstage presence and dance moves. Misterwives had the crowd jumping, dancing, and everyone singing along.                                                                                                                                      Other great acts from the weekend included Alanis Morrisette, Third Eye Blind, Margo Price, North Mississippi Allstars, Queen of the Stone Age, Kaleo, Clutch, Tyler, The Creator, Cake, Chevelle, Gov’t Mule, David Byrne, Ludacris, Al Kapone, Logic, and of course Jack White, who once again banned the photographers with a closed pit with no photos allowed (as he has done many times in the past). Jack also kept low blue lighting for the entire show, which I assume was to not allow fans to have any photos as well.

We want to send a special thank you to the promoters and staff of the Beale Street Music Festival for having me and Blurt back for the fourth year in a row – I can’t wait to see who’s playing next year!

Among the artists who performed:

ACTION BRONSON

AL KAPONE

ALANIS MORISSETTE

ANDREW W.K.

CAKE

CHEVELLE

CLUTCH

DAVID BYRNE

ERYKAH BADU

FLOR

JUICY J

KALEO

KINGFISH

LOGIC

LUDACRIS

MISTER WIVES

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS

POST MALONE

FLAMING LIPS

THIRD EYE BLIND

TYLER THE CREATOR

VANCE JOY

YOUNG DOLF

 

Rock On The Range 5/18-5/20, 2018, Columbus OH

Dates: May 18-20, 2018

Location: Columbus, OH

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MARK JACKSON

This year’s Rock On The Range was bigger than ever with 140,000 people attending over the three day festival. This year marked the 6th consecutive sellout for Rock On The Range, and with names like Tool, Alice In Chains, Avenged Sevenfold, A Perfect Circle (pictured at top), Greta Van Fleet, Machine Gun Kelly, Stone Sour, Three Days Grace, And Stone Temple Pilots (just to name  a few of the nearly 60 bands who played this year), you can see why this is the biggest and best rock festivals of the year!

The festival did have a weather delay on Saturday and a three hour mandatory evacuation due to lighting in the area. This had many festival goers worried that the festival would be canceled for the day or at least miss many of their favorite bands, but this was not the first time that the promoters and staff have had to deal with Mother Nature. The promoters were able to get an extension on the city curfew, and with a few set trimmings and only having to cut Bullet For My Valentine’s set completely, all other bands were able to perform.

I love festivals because you get to see so many great bands in one weekend while enjoying the festival atmosphere. To me the atmosphere is totally different than that of a single concert where everyone is trying to get in and get out as quickly as possible. A single “big name band” night also means that most of the people skip the opening bands. In my opinion, you miss the up and coming bands that could very well be your next year’s favorite new band. When you attend a festival you get to experience these bands through out the day.

A couple of the new acts that I caught this year included joyous Wolf and The Fever 333. Both of these bands not only sound great but have a unique and wild stage presents. Some of the highlights for me from the weekend were Machine Gun Kelly who never fails to deliver. Stone Temple Pilots who are back and better than ever with a new singer whom sounds and moves a lot like Weiland, but you can tell he is his own front man who should continue to make hits with this seasoned powerhouse band behind him. Cory Taylor is always a great show. Cory’s voice is amazing wheatear he is pushing the limits of his voice with Slipknot or hitting the sweet spot while fronting Stone Sour.

Sunday’s lineup was a full schedule, with all three stages giving the crowd more rock than they could handle! Greats included Shaman’s Harvest, Red Sun Rising, We Came as Romans, I Prevail, Code Orange, Stone Temple Pilots, Godsmack, and of course Tool, just to name a few of the 21 acts.

And that’s not counting The Comedy Tent. The Comedy Tent also brought the funny this year with Taylor Tomlinson, Big Jay Oakerson, JB Smoove, and my favorite of the weekend Jay Armstrong! We even got a little Rap Rock this year with Jelly Roll, Tech n9ne, Body Count, Yelawolf, and Machine Gun Kelly.

Music fans from around the world even got to join in on the action this year as LiveXLive live streamed performances and backstage interviews through out the weekend. One of the busiest attractions on the grounds was A.D. Farrow Co. Harley-Davidson — America’s Oldest Harley Dealer, who had a motorcycle demo that festival goers who have never been on a motorcycle could get a little taste of the feeling of riding a Harley Davidson. While the bike was safely locked into a vise, it allowed the rear wheel to move freely and the rider could shift gears and use the throttle. This made for a lot of smiling faces. On Sunday A.D. Farrow also hosted a bike run with over one hundred motorcycles in attendance to raise money for the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial.

I would like to thank the following for allowing us to once again cover this great event. Rock On The Range, AEG Presents and Danny Wimmer Presents. Thank you for another great year and I can’t wait to see who makes the lineup next year! If you want to be in attendance I suggest you get your tickets early as this event will surely sell out for the 7th year in a row!

Among this year’s performers:

10 YEARS

A PERFECT CIRCLE

BIG JAY OAKERSON

BLACK VEIL BRIDES

ICE T & BODY COUNT

BREAKING BENJAMIN

CODE ORANGE

GODSMACK

GRETA VAN FLEET

I PREVAIL

JAY ARMSTRONG

JELLY ROLL

JOYOUS WOLF

MGK

RED SUN RISING

SHAMAN’S HARVEST

STONE SOUR

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS

TECH 9

THE FEVER

THREE DAY’S GRACE

WE CAME AS ROMANS

YELAWOLF

Nelly / Bone Thugs- N- Harmony / Juvenile 4/27/18, Jackson TN

Dates: April 27, 2018

Location: The Ballpark, Jackson, TN

Hip-hop show hits a home run at The Ballpark.

PHOTOS/TEXT BY: MARK JACKSON

Jackson, Tn. was ready to “Back That Thing Up” and shake their tail feathers all night long! How can you not have a great night when you have three great old school rap acts on one stage which just happens to be an open air baseball stadium? The night started off with the hot boy himself Juvenile. Juve got the crowd jumping and dancing with hits such as “Back That Thing Up” and “Slow Motion”. (Juvenile pictured below.)

 

Next up was the old school rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, I have had the honor of seeing and photographing Bones a couple of times in the past and they never disappoint! Bone Thugs-N- Harmony have had hits such as “Crossroad”, “1st of tha Month”, and “Thuggish Ruggish Bone”. They continue to add new fans, many who weren’t even born when these hits were released, and why shouldn’t they with their great beats and fast raps. Before leaving the stage to make way for Nelly, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony paid tribute to such greats as Snoop Dog, Easy-E, Tupac, and Biggie Smalls with some smash up songs. (Bone Thugs pictured below)

 

By the time Nelly took the stage the crowd was at a frenzy and ready to sing along while dancing nonstop and Nelly delivered big time! I had forgotten just how many great songs that he had and he sang them all from “Air Force Ones”, “Shake Ya Tailfeather,” ” Batter Up”, “Pimp Juice”, “Country Grammer”,  “E.I.”, and of course ‘Hot in Herre”. Fun Fact about Nelly that I didn’t know until tonight is that Nelly used to wear a band aid on his face when he preformed. I didn’t know it was for his brother who was locked up and couldn’t be with him. Nelly now doesn’t have to wear it because his brother is on stage right there beside him. Before the night wrapped up Nelly also announced that he is working on new album called All Work No Play.

 

DISTAFF VERSE CHORUS DISTAFF VERSE: Speedy Ortiz Live

Live at The Root Cellar one fine May evening, 5/16/18, indie rock and hip-hop/punk — courtesy opening act Nnamdi Ogbonnaya—ruled, okay!

BY JENNIFER KELLY

An odd pairing, the hyper-verbal, slant-riffed, feminist indie pop of Speedy Ortiz and the complicated hip hop/punk/math rock adventures of Chicagoan Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, but that’s what’s on tap at the Root Cellar on a mid-May evening in bucolic Greenfield, Massachusetts, and we’re lucky to have it.

I arrive with Ogbonnaya already mid-set, bouncing antically through the first few rows of the audience with a mic cord trailing. Ogbonnaya made a big splash last year with his full-length Drool, a slinky, slippery, verbally dexterous set of songs anchored around the performer’s voice, but lavished with all manner of instruments and samples. It seems to have been a rule, somehow, that all writers, no matter how much they liked the record, had to include the word “weird” in the lede, so let’s just get it out there, Ogbonnaya has carved out a very eccentric niche.

 

Sadie Dupuis explains later on that Drool was one of her favorite albums last year, but that Ogbonnaya set is very different — equally wonderful, but its own thing— and indeed, for much of the set, what Ogbonnaya and his band are doing is more like math-y punk rock than hip hop. It is complicated and frenetic, anchored by a good drummer and bass player and with one guitar and sometimes two (Ogbonnaya plays guitar sometimes), very much in the rock idiom. Because of the acoustics, it’s hard to hear the lyrics, and so, hard to pinpoint which songs he played, but the set gains momentum as it goes and the last three songs are awesome.

Then it’s on to Speedy Ortiz, whose Twerp Verse, released in late April, is a sharper, sweeter, more pop-friendly iteration of the band’s off-kilter art. It’s a home field, more or less, for Sadie Dupuis, who earned an MFA in poetry at nearby U. Mass Amherst and lived for a while in Northampton. As always she channels the vibe of liberal arts prof crossed with the smartest tweener you ever met, long pigtails trailing, short shorts and pink and aqua tinted guitars at the ready. Her band includes bassist Darl Fem, her long-time drummer Mike Falcone and new guitarist Andy Monholt (Devin McKnight has gone on to form Maneka).

The set begins as Twerp Verse does with the churning, buzzing bass of “Buck Me Off,” that’s tall, striking Fem, who midway through the cut joins Dupuis in exultant full-body hops, straight up and down. It’s as good an introduction as any to Speedy Ortiz’s latest album, with its meandering verse and big pop pay-off, the whole thing knocked silly and sideways by the way that Falcone whales on the drums. Dupuis nimbly injects feminist discourse and cultural references into her effervescent songs, skewering digital dating mores in “Buck Me Off” and giving Sheryl Sanders the side-eye in “Lean in When I Suffer.”  Yet though politically pointed, the songs are anything but didactic. In the big single “Lucky 88,” Dupuis trades vocals with Fem, her acerbic asides punctuated with the bassist’s high girlish counterpoints.

The set borrows heavily from the latest album, but takes a detour towards the past with “The Graduates” from 2015’s Foil Deer and “Plough” from her long-player debut Major Arcana. This latter song she wrote while living nearby in Northampton, she explains, though it was mostly about drinking at the Boston pub, The Plough and Stars.

 

The rest of the show mixes old and new, the simmering vulnerability of “No Below,” the stretchy tempo’d snap and pop of “I’m Blessed,” the blaring punk rock fuzz of early single “Taylor Swift” and the off-balance tunefulness of Twerp Verse’s “You Hate the Title.”  Heard side by side, the old songs sound leaner, tougher, less ingratiating than the new material; the new songs are giddier and more euphoric. And yet, even at their fizziest, Speedy Ortiz’s songs carry a sting. They’re smart, articulate and absolutely onto male/female foolishness, even as they bounce and entice.

 

 

Moon Taxi 5/16/18, Port Chester, NY

Dates: May 16, 2018

Location: Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY

Jammin’ at the always-dependable (and legendary) Capitol Theater, natch.

TEXT & PHOTOS BY GREG KELLY

Never having seen Moon Taxi, I was looking forward to a good blend of music from some talented musicians, who were touring for their latest release, Let the Record Play—and the crowd was eager to hear the new material. The band, clearly, were just as happy to be playing for their fans at the legendary Capitol Theater. A really nice blend of alt-rock, a touch of reggae, and a little jam band. I really felt that the band has a bright outlook on things, and it was clearly heard and seen in their performance. A great highlight of the night was when 15 year old Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, an amazingly gifted—and young—guitar player joined the band for a cover of “All Along  the Watchtower.” (Look out for Taz in the future.) Moon Taxi played an inspiring set, and I see this band branching out to reach a potentially much bigger fan base in the future.

Parkway Drive 4/29/18, Memphis

Dates: April 29, 2018

Location: New Daisy Theatre, Memphis

Live at the New Daisy Theatre for a crowd ready and willing for a night of metal.

PHOTO AND TEXT BY: MARK JACKSON

Parkway Drive is out touring for their new album Reverence and played to a packed house at New Daisy Theatre on Sunday night. Formed in Australia in 2003 Parkway Drive had completed and released their first album in 2005 called Killing with a Smile. Parkway Drive is no stranger to touring and has played many big-name Festivals, such as Danny Wimmer Presents festivals Rock on the Range and Louder than life which was my first experience with the powerful voice of Winston McCall. Winston commands the crowd’s attention and pulls them in deeper with every song. From great vocals to piecing screams, tight hard riffs, and pounding drums Parkway Drive is a Metalcore band at its roots, but has just enough rock to win and keep the not so hard rock fans coming back for more.

The crowd at the New Daisy was ready and willing for a night of metal music. It didn’t take long for the seas to part and the mosh pit to be in full effect! One after another crowd surfers made their way to the front like a blow up wavy arm car lot advertisement man. The show had to be stopped twice due to injuries, the first being a security guard who twisted his back trying to catch a crowd surfer. The show was stopped for about 10 minutes while paramedics tended to the guard and waited for an ambulance. Winston came down to the pit and checked on the injured Security Guard, who was later released from the hospital with no serious injuries. The second time the show was stopped was for a girl who hit her head on the front barricade while crowd surfing, this was during the encore. When Winston noticed the injured girl he stopped the show again and announced that this was the end of the show. Safety Tip Kids: Crowd Surfing Can Be And Is Dangerous!!! The band wasn’t upset, it was just near the end of the show and wanted the staff and medical to be able to tend the girl.  Look for Parkway Drive out on tour now starting with a spot on the Carolina Rebellion lineup.

 

Ghost 5/15/18, Port Chester NY

Dates: May 15, 2018

Location: Capitol Theater, Port Chester NY

Capitol Theater plays host to the Ghost!

TEXT & PHOTOS BY GREG KELLY

Cardinal Copia and the nameless ghouls took over the sold out crowd at the Capitol Theater. Seeing Ghost a few times now I was highly anticipating this show. The band has a highly devoted fan base and tonight was no different. This would turn out to be by far the most theatrical show I have seen at the Capitol. The stage was set up like an altar with stain glass windows and a stair case to the floor. The lighting was amazing and the crowd could not peel their eyes off of it. The band opened with “Ashes” and quickly went into their new single “Rats”. Cardinal Copia had his followers willing to do what the church asked. I found myself being drawn in more to the service.

Introducing a few new songs from their upcoming album and the name of it is called “ Prequelle” and a mix of past material the band finished Act  I of II. Taking a short set break the crowd was just as eager for Act II. The curtains open and the band started with “Spirit” from the album “Meliora” and the night service continued. In between two songs Cardinal Copia had a small sermon about the female orgasm, which was quit entertaining, the crowd seemed to agree.

Again mixing some new and old material, a point of the show that really stood out was the cover of the Roky Erickson song “ If You Have Ghosts,” a great original that the band made their own. The band finished with the highly entrancing “Monstrance Clock” the evening was incredible both sonically and visually. If you have a chance to join the congregation, I advise you do. Amen!

 

 

 

The Cheer’ly Men, 1916 & CRAIC 4/14/18, Pittsburgh

Dates: April 14, 2018

Location: Pittsburgh

Bringing A Bit Of Irish Influence To Pittsburgh

BY TIFFINI TAYLOR

1916, a band from Rochester, New York, brought their Irish punk music to Hard Rock Pittsburgh. This was a great show from beginning to end. When I think of Irish punk automatically Dropkick Murphy’s come to my mind, but what people do not realize is that there is a more than one band that does this style of music. No matter what you want to call the music itself, it is a great music scene to see. What 1916 does is very different than today’s pop music or even punk for that matter. It is actually in my opinion, completely undefinable, and that is what makes it great. Any way you want to explain the music style or genre is fine, it is just uplifting good music.

This night is especially cool because I had never seen them live. This was exciting for me. The night began with The Cheer’ly Men (pictured above) and there is a theme of modern Irish influenced music throughout this line-up tonight. They are a local band in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Cheer’ly Men formed in 2015 and continue to play throughout the area and other parts. They are a talented and fun band to see live. They are a shanty band and play rowdy and bawdy bar songs that anyone will know an enjoy. Their music is inviting to the audience to participate in the fun of the music and song. I liked them. Anyone can tell that there is a lot of talented musicians in this band. A good way to start this night of music.

1916 took to the stage with an enthusiasm that is electrifying. Anybody in the audience could tell this is going to be special. The passionate way these musicians play their instruments is electrifying to say the least. They are genuinely having a good time on stage performing their music. This is refreshing to see. This is not saying other bands don’t enjoy themselves on stage, it is just a difference on how an audience can perceive a performance. The band is energetic and has a good way of composing music. This band has performed with some notable names which includes The Street Dogs, Flogging Molly, and New Politics. The interesting diverse of the band is made up of Bill Herring, Steve Ladue, Jon Kane, and Ryan Hurley. They are 1916.

Ordinary Man is a song that had the audience roaring. This Celtic modern punk band is one of the best punk bands to see a live performance from. The Hard Rock Café Pittsburgh is a good setting for the band. The bands addictive hooks and all around good playing of their instruments is what makes this band unique. Their bass player is interesting with the standup bass which has spider webs on it. The crowd was into it and once the song For Whiskey was played you could tell how much love for music was in the room. A great performance by 1916.

The last band of the night was CRAIC. The term CRAIC is Gaelic and it means interesting banter and good company including music. This is just what seeing them perform live is. It was a good show all the way around. The audience had fun, the bands had fun and I had fun. This is what good modern Irish punk rock is all about. If you are looking for a good live show go check out this show. Until next time rock on!

 

Shaky Knees Festival 5/4/18-5/6/18, Atlanta

Dates: May 4, 5, and 6, 2018

Location: Atlanta, GA

BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Above: Courtney Barnett kicks out the jams. All photos copyright 2018 by John Boydston; many more photos of each band up on his website. https://www.facebook.com/Johnboydstonphotos/ / https://jobo.smugmug.com/

Day 1 – Friday May 4th, 2018

This year’s Shaky Knees Fest was located on 4 stages in Atlanta’s Central Park area – with an amazing array of musical performers from the two large Stages (Peachtree and Piedmont) and 3 days of generally more indie-rockers on two smaller stages (Ponce de Leon, and Criminal Records, both of which provided for shade, the former with a tent and the latter with trees, so these were a ‘cool’ place to be always.)  Photos in no particular order except by performer, and no day is an all-inclusive photo collection – couldn’t get to all stages.  People were forced to make tough choices, which is probably a good problem to have at a festival, but you could generally see some of anyone you wanted if you were up for the walk.

***

David Byrne – Peachtree Stage

Courtney Barnett – Peachtree Stage

Brian Jonestown Massacre – Criminal Records Stage

Japandroids – Ponce de Leon Stage

Waxahatchee – Ponce De Leon Stage

Ghost of Paul Revere – Criminal Records Stage

LA Witch – Criminal Records Stage

The Frights – Ponce de Leon Stage

 

***

Day 2 -Saturday May 5th, 2018

Greta Van Fleet –  Peachtree Stage
Prediction – Jimmy Page sues this band to prove paternity, panicked GVF attorney settles out of court, band agrees to tour with Page as often as he wants as part of the settlement. Page could do a lot worse. All Zep issues aside, this band rocks and it was fun to hear such a young group cranking out such a big-sounding and joyous thunder. Huge mid-day main stage crowd. Heard several people say this band made their weekend.

Broncho – Piedmont Stage.
A newish indie-rock band many people were excited about and Broncho did not disappoint after getting a late main stage upgrade. They are original and quirky enough to be be huge.

Bully – Peachtree Stage
Nashville melodic pop-rockers carried the big stage like they were born to be there.

Andrew W.K Ponce de Leon Stage

Circa Survive – Ponce de Leon Stage.
The fans were ready.

The Distillers – Peachtree Stage.
Crowd digging ‘em before the band started.

***

Day 3 – Sunday May 6th, 2018
Tenacious D – Piedmont Stage.
Gotta start with a few the D –  They could headline festivals like this all summer. Tenacious D’s loyal followers showed up for this fun in the Funday fest. Sorry I didn’t get the full-frontal Jack Black jump. Most of us were heading out of the photo pit when he surprised us with 3 of these classic D moves.
  
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Ponce de Leon Stage
 
Menzigers – Criminal Records Stage
We’ve got another jumper.
 
Basement – Criminal Records Stage
 
Basement crowd – on that well-shaded and breezy Criminal Records stage.