Category Archives: Hard Rock Music Events

Rock Lives at the 2016 Epiphone Revolver Music Awards

2016-epiphone-revolver-music-awards

Written by Adam Waldman

Rock music, particularly hard rock and metal, is virtually ignored by music awards shows.  At best, it is disrespected by most with a lack of coverage and nominees that boggle the mind.  We’re used to it in the rock world.  Quite frankly, we don’t even care anymore.  There is only one awards show that means anything to us anyway – the Revolver Music Awards.

Sponsored by Epiphone, the 2016 RMAs ignored all other genres and gave well-deserved respect to hard rock and metal artists.  For the first time in the seven-year history of the awards, the show was held in New York City.

The night began as artists, both established and new, shuffled in from the cold NYC night into the black carpet area in the narrow bar attached to Webster Hall.  None of us were there to ask the artists walking the black carpet about their outfits, as is often the case on the more glamorous (but far less interesting) red carpet of other awards shows.  In true metal fashion, we care much more about substance than style.  In tight quarters, you might expect there to be some level of frustration, but we all worked together, and the artists couldn’t have been more gracious.

It didn’t take long to realize that this event was about much more than accolades.  At its core, the 2016 Epiphone Revolver Music Awards were about members of one big rock and roll family coming together for a kickass event that celebrates a lifestyle more than individual accomplishments.  That’s what makes it different from other awards shows.  That’s what makes it better than other awards shows.

Other awards shows are about a polished product that strives for perfection, or at least the appearance of perfection.  Like the metal culture, this awards show was real.  There were mishaps ranging from glitches on the screens in Webster Hall cutting out, to the Teleprompters not working at times, to the category nominees being read out of order and the five-minute delay of Ace Frehley taking the stage to close the show because of a broken guitar string.  And you know what?  No one cared!  When you’re at the coolest rock event of the year hanging out with your rock and roll brethren, these imperfections just blend into the background.

Rock and roll is not about putting on airs.  It’s about embracing the chaos.  Other awards shows have seat fillers so that the audience always looks full for the cameras.  The RMAs didn’t even have seats, but if they did, you can bet your ass that they wouldn’t have been used.  Most of the attendees used their hard-earned money to be a part of the event, and they were there to rock just like any other concert crowd.

The beauty of the RMAs is that everyone in attendance (including the artists themselves) are passionate fans.  While walking the black carpet, when asked for his thoughts about the band being nominated for having the most dedicated fans, Anthrax bassist Frankie Bello replied…“We’re all about the fans.  We’re fans ourselves, so really, we’re just fans playing for other fans.”

Out of all of the performances, Anthrax is the one that left many of us wanting more.  Their blistering four-song set bookended two new songs (“Breathing Lightning” & “Monster At The End”) with two classics (“Caught In The Mosh” & “Indians”).  Each song was received with tremendous enthusiasm from the crowd.  Can you imagine a mosh pit or crowd surfing taking place at any other awards show?

It’s not surprising that Anthrax electrified the crowd, nor is it surprising that Megadeth did the same.  Both bands are legendary, and still at the top of their game.  There were also memorable, hard-rocking performances by Stitched Up Heart and Lacuna Coil.

The RMAs celebrated hard rock and metal in style, but the event was not without its more heartfelt moments.  Zakk Wylde, who opened the show with a rendition of the National Anthem that would have made Jimi Hendrix proud, gave the most emotional performance of the night.  As he performed “In This River” – a song that he regularly dedicates to his friend Dimebag Darrell – with just an acoustic guitar, the names of the people that we lost during the most tragic year in rock scrolled on the screen behind him.

It’s fitting that the Fallen Heroes All-Star Jam (featuring Bumblefoot) closed the show.  The band paid homage to Lemmy (performing “Killed By Death” with Butcher Babies) and Scott Weiland (peforming “Plush” with Pop Evil’s Leigh Kakaty and Red Sun Rising’s Mike Protich on vocals).

Ace Frehley is the epitome of an NYC musician, which made him the perfect choice to deliver the final performance of the night with the Fallen Heroes All-Star Jam.  Ace’s former bandmate, Gene Simmons, has been fairly vocal about the supposed death of rock music.  It should be noted that while Simmons and the rest of KISS were performing on The Voice with the winner of the competition in front of a non-rock audience, Ace was playing to a passionate crowd of rock and metal fans in a NYC club during the most important awards show of the year.

Rock lives because its artists are as dedicated as the fans to something that is bigger than any individual award.  Rock lives because the artists are also fans, as are the industry people who are indecipherable from anyone else in the audience.  Rock lives because it brings people together at a time when the country is more divided than ever.  For three glorious hours during the 2016 Epiphone Revolver Music Awards, we were all united as one.  Anyone who thinks otherwise should make it a point to attend the 2017 RMAs and see for themselves.  I’m already counting down the days until the next rock and roll family reunion!

Geoff Tate Announces Farewell Tour as “Queensryche”

Geoff Tate Farewell Tour as Queensryche

For more than 30 years, the members of Queensryche focused on building an “empire,” but as the saying goes…all good things must come to an end.  It’s been nearly two years since quintessential frontman, Geoff Tate, was unceremoniously ousted from the “empire” that he helped build.  Devoted fans of the band were caught in the middle as Tate and the other original members of Queensryche (Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield) exchanged “killing words” in an attempt to stake their claim to the iconic band name.

 

The prolonged court battle for the Queensryche name resulted in the confusing scenario of having two separate entities releasing new music and touring under the same moniker simultaneously.  Some fans chose sides, while others embraced both versions of the band, but the uncertainty and fighting made things bittersweet for everyone.

 

It took much longer than it should have, but the battle is finally over, and an amicable settlement has been made between the two opposing factions.

 

Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield along with new frontman Todd LaTorre and guitarist, Parker Lundgren will be the ones to write the next chapter in Queensryche’s illustrious history.  However, Tate will be given the opportunity to give the band name a proper goodbye as he does one final tour as Queensryche (sort of).

 

Billed as Queensryche Starring Geoff Tate – The Farewell Tour, Tate will tour the country with his version of the band [Rudy Sarzo – bass, Robert Sarzo – guitar, Kelly Gray – guitar, Simon Wright – drums and Randy Gane – keyboard].  The tour commences on July 31, 2014 in Hermosa Beach, CA (see below for complete list of tour dates).

 

On the forthcoming tour, Tate will perform all of Queensryche’s hit songs, along with some rarities to celebrate the music that he’s enjoyed making over the past three decades.

 

Upon the completion of the tour, the name of the band will change, at which time they will perform under the moniker, Geoff Tate: The Voice of Queensryche.  Despite the fact that the name is changing, the expectation is that the band members will remain the same.

 

Even though Tate didn’t end up with the right to the Queensryche name, he did retain something of tremendous value in this amicable settlement…the exclusive right to perform the concept albums Operation Mindcrime and Operation Mindcrime II as unique performances.  “Mindcrime was my thing and my story, so it’s only appropriate that I keep that,” stated Tate.

 

Queensryche fans the world over undoubtedly wish that the amicable settlement had resulted in the original band members reuniting.  However, based on the 3-part interview with Tate that was featured on Hard Rock Daddy back in August of 2013, things went about as well as can be expected.

 

Tickets go on sale for the majority of dates on the upcoming tour on Friday, May 2nd and Saturday, May 3rd.

 

For more information, please visit www.Queensryche.com, www.facebook.com/GeoffTateOfficial and www.twitter.com/GeoffTate.

 

QUEENSRYCHE STARRING GEOFF TATE / 2014 FAREWELL TOUR DATES

Wednesday, July 30 – Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, California

Thursday, July 31 – The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California

Friday, August 1 – Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, California

Saturday, August 2 – House of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada

Sunday, August 3 – The Canyon Club in Agoura, California

Thursday, August 7 – Strummer’s in Fresno, California

Friday, August 8 – Theatre Deville in Vacaville, California

Saturday, August 9 – Downtown Amphitheater in Morgan Hill, California

Tuesday, August 12 – Music Marathon Works in Nashville, Tennessee

Wednesday, August 13 – Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, North Carolina

Thursday, August 14 – The Chop Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina

Friday, August 15 – Ziggy’s by the Sea in Wilmington, North Carolina

Saturday, August 16 – Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Sunday, August 17 – Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia

Tuesday, August 19 – Trees in Dallas, Texas

Wednesday, August 20 – Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Texas

Friday, August 22 – Rialto Theatre in Tucson, Arizona

Saturday, August 23 – Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona

Sunday, August 24 – Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tuesday, August 26 – The Depot in Salt Lake City, Utah

Thursday, August 28 – The Cotillion in Wichita, Kansas

Saturday, August 30 – Tailgaters in Bolingbrook, Illinois

 

 

 

 

Black Stone Cherry Teams Up with World’s Loudest Month for Innovative Contest

Black Stone Cherry

The arrival of April has brought the seemingly endless winter of 2014 to a merciful end.  For hard rock and metal music fans, the arrival of Spring means more than just better weather; it means that we are once again ready to embark upon the “world’s loudest month.”  Black Stone Cherry is teaming up with World’s Loudest Month and Roadrunner Records for a contest that will undoubtedly get two “horns up” from hard rock and metal music fans.

 

This is an exciting time for Black Stone Cherry.  There is already a buzz building over “Me And Mary Jane,” the first single from their highly-anticipated new album, Magic Mountain, which will be released on May 6, 2014, and they will be appearing at four of the top hard rock music festivals in the coming month.

 

Fans entering the contest will have the chance to win a weekend pass to see Black Stone Cherry (and a number of other great acts) at either Welcome to Rockville (April 26-27), Carolina Rebellion (May 3-4), Rock On The Range (May 16-18) or Rocklahoma (May 23-25).

 

The contest form also gives you the opportunity to join the e-mail list for Black Stone Cherry and other bands on Roadrunner Records (Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Gojira, Theory Of A Deadman and Kvelertak), so even if you don’t win, there is still a benefit to entering.

 

Hard Rock Daddy will be featuring a review of Magic Mountain in the coming weeks.  Until then, check out the official video for “Me And Mary Jane” to whet your appetite…

 

MÖTLEY CRÜE – RIP: All Bad Things Must Come To An End

Motley Crue

Mötley Crüe, the band that helped shape arguably the greatest decade in the history of hard rock and heavy metal, will be announcing the details of their farewell tour at a special event – dubbed RIP: All Bad Things Must Come To An End on January 28, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA.

No one could have ever predicted that the career that began in 1981 in clubs on the Sunset Strip would span over three decades, particularly because Mötley Crüe redefined the term “sex, drugs and rock n roll.”  They took debauchery to a whole new level, dealt with their fair share of tragedies, and still managed to not only survive, but thrive under circumstances that would have killed the average person several times over.

The generation of fans who grew up with Mötley Crüe will undoubtedly be saddened by the news of their farewell tour, but the band is to be commended for their desire to go out on top.  Unlike many hard rock bands that have embarked upon multiple farewell tours, the members of Mötley Crüe swear that the lengthy worldwide tour, likely to begin this spring, will be their last.

“It’s just that time,” stated Vince Neil in an interview with Billboard.com“We’re going out on top.  We still sell out arenas, have stadium stuff and things like that, so let’s go out when it’s a big deal.”

When asked if he would be sad to see it all end, Nikki Sixx stated “No, I’d be sad if we were playing half-full theaters and only two members were in the band.  Sad is not taking your final bow in Los Angeles all together as four brothers.”

It’s fitting that the journey that began in Los Angeles in 1981 will come full circle, ending in front of the fans that have supported Mötley Crüe since their club days.

The announcement of RIP: All Bad Things Must Come To An End brings to mind the classic line from “Kickstart My Heart”

“When we started this band, all we needed, needed was a laugh…years gone by, I’d say we’ve kicked some ass!”

Mötley Crüe kicked as much ass as any band in the history of hard rock, and there will never be another band like them.  Fans of all generations would be wise make it a point to catch Mötley Crüe on their farewell tour to experience an important moment in hard rock history.

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KISS Finally Gets Due Respect from Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

KISS Band Photo

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (RRHOF) has infuriated hard rock music fans for years with their selection process.  Despite a groundswell of support from their millions of fans, KISS had to suffer the indignity of being passed over by the RRHOF for 15 years.  During the course of the past decade-and-a-half, the RRHOF inducted a multitude of artists whose impact paled by comparison to the one made by KISS.  In 2014, the wait to be inducted into the RRHOF will finally end for “the hottest band in the world.”

The wait may have finally ended for KISS, but that doesn’t mean that hard rock fans are going to embrace the RRHOF anytime soon, not as long as band like Deep Purple keep getting inexplicably snubbed.

A certain degree of subjectivity is involved with any hall of fame selection process, but at least with sports, understandable mitigating factors can come into play, the most obvious being the steroid era of Major League Baseball.  However, rock and roll as we know it wouldn’t be the same without “performance enhancing substances,” so the only thing that should matter when it comes to the RRHOF is the impact that a band made on the world.  Whether you like their music or not, KISS is undoubtedly one of the most impactful bands in the history of rock and roll.

KISS being inducted a year after Rush finally got their due from the RRHOF is a good start, but until all of the deserving bands in the genre get inducted, hard rock music fans are unlikely to be booking flights to Cleveland any time soon.

According to Eddie Trunk, it is believed that only the four original members (Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss) of KISS will be inducted into the RRHOF, a decision that most KISS fans will likely embrace.

The 29th annual induction ceremony will take place on April 10th at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, which should make the event extra special for Criss, a Brooklyn native.

Black Sabbath Town Hall Review

Black Sabbath 2013

It’s been 35 years since Black Sabbath has put out new material with Ozzy Osbourne at the helm.  The eagerly anticipated new album “13” was released yesterday, garnering greater success than anyone, including the band themselves, could have ever anticipated, debuting in the #1 position in 50 countries.  In celebration of the release of “13,” Black Sabbath held a town hall with the help of SiriusXM, YouTube and Google+.

Hosted by comedian, Jim Norton, contest winning fans were able to ask questions directly to the band.  This is a stark contrast to the band’s heyday, where rock stars were virtually inaccessible to the public.  Clearly a lot has changed since “Never Say Die” was released in 1978.

In the 1970’s, Black Sabbath had an incredible fanbase, but little to no support from radio and media.  Perhaps it is the ability to look backwards and see just how influential Black Sabbath has been in metal and all of its sub-genres, but this time around, Black Sabbath is in the unfamiliar position of being media darlings.

The entire metal world has accepted “13” with open arms, drawing near universal praise for an album that would have easily held its own in the late 1970s.

Last night’s town hall with Black Sabbath was not only groundbreaking; it was also very entertaining and informative.

Ozzy, in his typical way, stated…

“We’re not used to people saying nice things about us.  They can fuck off with that nice shit!”

The band discussed the recording process that was devised by producer, Rick Rubin.  Because Rubin is such an enormous fan of the band, they trusted his judgment.  He implored the band to sit in a room and listen to the first album, something that the band admitted was a bit awkward, but ultimately helpful.  Tony Iommi, in particular, appreciated this approach.

Ozzy revealed that he contributes some lyrical ideas, but Geezer Butler is the genius that brings the concepts to life.  Butler admitted that because their lives are so comfortable now, and the older material was written from their personal perspective of the working class, the new songs are more observational.

Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since 1978, but Rubin went old school with this recording, forgoing the use of Pro Tools and tracking in favor of capturing the live band in its entirety.  There was no punching up this album.  If one band member made a mistake, the take was redone like it was in the old days.

In order to keep the band fresh, given their age, the recordings were done from 1-6pm daily, although one member probably would have had the energy to go for much longer.

If there is one disappointment with “13” for Sabbath fans, it is the absence of drummer, Bill Ward.

Ward and the band could not settle upon financial terms that would have brought the original lineup back together again.  To Sabbath’s credit, they found an extremely capable replacement in Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine), no easy task considering that he had to create original parts in Ward’s distinct style.

Wilk grew up as a huge fan of the band, so replacing his childhood hero was a bit surreal.  He admitted that it took him about a week or so to stop being in awe of his new bandmates.

Despite the absence of Ward, the band agreed that this was the best recording sessions that they have ever had in their history.  In fact, the reunion has gone so well that Sabbath has plenty of material for more albums in the future.  Ozzy plainly stated that he is back in the band, so Sabbath fans can rejoice in the fact that they are back together for the foreseeable future.