Saturday, September 4, 2010

long time no see

I'm sorry for neglecting to update this for all you devoted readers. It's been a whole month since I wrote anything here. I've meant to stop by many times but always got sidetracked or was too busy. There is actually a good bit to update you on. Movies were seen, concerts were heard and I won the lottery. Ok, that last part isn't true, but one can dream.

I was able to go see Halestorm recently when they played at a Best Buy store in Hunt Valley MD. If it weren't for Facebook or Twitter, I never would have known about it. Luckily Hunt Valley is only a little over an hour away and on the way to my parents house. It was another small acoustic performance for the fans to enjoy with a little autograph session at the end. They played a nice 4 song set and sounded great. As always, Lzzy Hale is pitch perfect on a cover of Heart's "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You." She gave it her all and it payed off. See for yourself here . The other 3 songs they played were their hits It's Not You, Familiar Taste of Poison, and I Get Off. With all these acoustic shows, they would probably do well if they put out a live acoustic EP also. They're one of those bands who just sound amazing live, even better than the CD. Keep it up guys.

The next night was another unexpected/unplanned (for me) concert in Baltimore. Once again, my friend Dave had extra free tickets to a show where he would be taking pictures. Main bands playing here were Burn Halo, Adema and Tantric. I had no clue Adema was even still around. Like I told Dave at the show, I don't think I had even listened to them since college. The same could be said for Tantric as well. I was never really that big of a fan of Tantric but I enjoyed them. They had some sound issues at the venue though and it was quite difficult sometimes to hear the vocals. Classic moment of the evening would go to the drunk girl that literally pushed Dave out of the way. She turned out to be the daughter of the drummer from Adema. The look on Dave's face as he was shoved by this girl was priceless.

Third concert was last night (3 shows in one week, two were free...not bad). Fireflight, a christian rock band, played in Columbia MD at a place called GenXaret. My friend Joelle and I went to this and opted for the VIP treatment which to be honest with you did not make me feel like a VIP. 6 extra dollars per ticket for early entry and a "meet and greet plus signing" with the band. We basically payed the extra money just to get in the doors early. Yes we were able to get the band to sign things and take pictures, but they did the exact same thing for everyone else directly after their show. The pre-show greeting seemed rushed and Joelle was very unhappy that the guy that took her picture with the band didn't do a very good job. The show was all ages and all ages were there indeed. I've never been to a rock concert where a pack of 5 year olds were running around back and forth jumping all over the place. It was actually quite annoying. Aside from all of this, Fireflight was very good. I enjoyed them and they had great energy and their songs have great meaning to them. Their setlist had a fair mixture of new and old songs. Joelle likes the new cd best, but I am more partial to their previous release "Unbreakable." I like it all though. My absolute favorite of theirs is Forever .

Duty calls and I must get ready for work now, but I promise I will be back. Sooner than later. In the meantime you should do yourselves a favor and check out Fireflight's new album "For Those Who Wait." The title track of that album is great. Also be sure to check out the updated Youtube page to see some videos of all the above mentioned shows. Subscribe and comment and enjoy some awesome music.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

God Knows the World Doesn't Need Another Band...

It has been over a week since my last update. In that time I managed to attend 3 concerts, one of which was actually free. I've come to the obvious conclusion that I love going to concerts. If there is a way to make going to concerts a full time job, I need to find out how ASAP. The only ways i can think really is if you worked at one of the venues or if you were in a band yourself.

Well the free concert I went to was another where Dave had his connections to get onto the guest list...even though (this is the 2nd time) he originally wasn't on the list when we arrived. A couple phone calls changed that and he found out he didn't even need a photo pass to take pictures. When we got inside we saw that it was both really small and really empty. "I kinda feel bad for not paying at a show this small" was Dave's thought.  The venue was the Rock & Roll Hotel (not a functioning hotel according to the website) in DC. The major bands that played were Framing Hanley and Transmit Now.  Two other bands, 3 Pill Morning and Legend of the Fall, were also there. The crowd as a whole was pretty young. Dave felt quite old. HAHA, actually I had stated that I felt old but he kind of glared and said "YOU feel old?" He's not THAT much older than I am. But, yes Dave, you're right. It was fun though. Pretty good music all around from each band. I especially liked the moment when Transmit Now said they just made up the next song and it was a Lady Gaga song.

Bring on the weekend. Saturday, July 31, was the Honda Civic Tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia MD. Bands that were here included Kadawatha (we caught the tail end of their set), New Found Glory, Tegan and Sara, and Paramore. The experience went from good to great to amazing as the night went on. This was the first time seeing New Found Glory and I'm sure it won't be the last. They sounded good and had a lot of energy on stage, unfortunately I don't think the majority of people were there to see them so the crowd wasn't as lively as it could've been. But they were still great and I bought a tee-shirt.

Standing in the line for the shirts did make me miss the opening song from Tegan and Sara, but I could still hear it while walking back to my seat. They played a great set and I enjoyed watching them for the first time. I listen to them a lot at home and they for the most part played all songs I like. There was probably just one i don't like too much (Alligator). I couldn't really tell what Jen and Dave were thinking about them. I didn't really think they were their type of music to begin with but Jen claims she doesn't necessarily have a type.  I hope they didn't DISlike them, but I would understand if they didn't like them. Does that make sense? I know what I mean. Do you?

Paramore just straight up rocked. Haley has incredible energy and hardly ever sits still. Well, that is except for two instances. One she just stopped everything and stood still for about a minute. That would be the time where EVERYONE in the place took their cameras and snapped away. It's the time when I was able to get the clearest pictures of her. Jump ahead just for a second to the next day. There was someone at the Lights concert who had actually been at the Paramore concert as well and he showed me a picture he took that looked almost identical to one of mine. Of course it was from that moment when she stood perfectly still. Now, jump back to the Paramore show. After a good bit of "regular" songs, they toned things down a bit. Haley did a cover of a Loretta Lynn song "You Ain't Woman Enough" that will be featured on an upcoming tribute album for Lynn. It was directly after this song they decided to pull out a big red couch (one like the cover of the All We Know Is Falling album, but more reminded me of SNICK from back in the day) and did 3 songs acoustically. This was a nice touch to the show. A few songs after this, the band was gearing up to play their hit Crushcrushcrush, and Haley was not too pleased that people were sitting down. These people included two that were sitting directly in front of me. I was enjoying the break from catching the tops of their heads in my videos, but I understand Haley, and I agree. When the couple in front of me did sit down, I believe that Jen and I kind of looked at each other very puzzled, pretty much thinking the same thing that Haley was thinking.

And then...came the finale. Two songs: Brick by Boring Brick and Misery Business. I have to say that this might have been one of the best encore finishes at a concert I have seen. Usually the bands just come out and maybe play one or two more songs, say goodnight and are done. Brick by Boring Brick seemed normal enough but towards the end of Misery Business things got crazy. Haley decided to find a new singer to help her with the rest of the song so she brought a girl and her friend up on stage out of the front row. The one girl helped her sing, while her friend did the worm. Yes, she did the worm. We have video to prove all this went down. And the entire show ended with confetti falling from the sky making the finish a huge spectacle. Kudos to you Haley for interacting with your fans and putting on a fantastic show.

My pictures and videos aren't ready for me to talk about Lights yet so maybe tomorrow or the next day, but it won't take a week I promise. As always if you want to see any of the videos I have, you can head on over to my YOUTUBE page. Subscribe and know when new ones are added. Also, if you tweet, be sure and follow Haley. Her twitter is @yelyahwilliams . You can also follow @teganandsara as well as @newfoundglory. Next time any of these bands come around, I'm sure to be getting tickets, so let me know if you want in as well! Until next time...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Today was a sunday

Today, I caught Inception for a second viewing. I'm still going to decline on talking about it but I came up with a different conclusion than I originally had the first time I saw it. It was just as good if not better the second time around. In August, a few of my friends and I are trying to take a trip to see it in an IMAX theater. A real one at that, not one of the fake ones they have in some of the multiplexes. I don't see how they can get away with calling themselves an IMAX. I just cannot get enough of this movie.

In other news, In This Moment recently came out with a new album "A Star-Crossed Wasteland".  I admit I did not ever listen to their first album, I only started listening to them when "The Dream" was released and they did their awesome cover of Blondie's "Call Me". The reception of "The Dream" was mixed. Apparently the first album has a lot more screaming and is much heavier and fans from before didn't like the new melodic softer songs. Maria Brink can scream! She can also sing though and shows this on the album. The newest album has a bit for everyone and it works. For me not really knowing the extent of how much she can scream, it was a little weird to hear at first but I got used to it. At the end of the album, there was a bonus 17 minute interview with Brink and the band. They explain just what they meant to do with the latest album, how they think they've found the sound that can really define them, and how they hope it can please both types of fans they may have acquired with their previous efforts. I guess I'll have to check out their first album.

2 Tracks to listen to off the new album are           Just Drive and The Promise.

<----Can't believe all that screaming comes from her

This coming weekend I get to see New Found Glory, Tegan and Sara, Paramore and Lights! Can't say I'm not excited about all of these bands. After that, I don't have anymore concerts lined up for a while. If you know of any that are coming around, let me know! 

Make sure you check out In This Moment and you can follow on twitter: @MariaBrink and @OfficialITM

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


So, I am not going to make this into a full review of the film Inception for two reasons. The main reason being that I feel I cannot give a proper review on just one viewing, but also because I feel the less you know/expect going into the film the better. The only thing I had heard about the movie before seeing it for myself was that it was awesome and would be mind-blowing. Well, I would have to agree. Christopher Nolan has made some pretty damn impressive films prior to this one. I have loved every movie he has made so far and this is no exception. This would probably rate within the top 3 of his films and probably of any films at all. I caught myself thinking about this movie well after having seen it (over a day after). I rarely have a desire to immediately go out and see the film in the theater again, but as soon as the credits started to roll, I felt like staying for the next show. The film is mind-boggling, visually stunning and has some of the best actors of the moment. Most people will immediately think of Leonardo DiCaprio as the biggest star, but I really enjoyed the rest of the cast in a big way. Both Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have been around for a while now, but are really starting to make big names for themselves. Have you seen (500) Days of Summer? Whip-It or Juno?

It's really hard to decide which Nolan film is the best because they are all incredible. Most people might not know about Following, his first film. It's short (only an 70 mins), in B&W and told not in chronological order. Although, the dvd does contain a special feature where you can watch the events all take place in the proper order. Either way, the film is brilliant. Memento equally as impressive, along with Insomnia, The Prestige and both Batman movies. You can actually see Following if you have a Netflix account. It's available to "Watch Instantly." That is quite a handy-dandy feature.

So, if you saw Inception, I want to know what you thought. Have you seen any other Christopher Nolan films? And who really killed Laura Palmer? Just kidding, I know the answer to that one. Do you?

Sunday, July 18, 2010


As I suspected, the concert for 311 and The Offspring was both incredible and painful. The thought of having pit tickets to a show like this was just scary. I figured that we'd end up somewhere in the middle or towards the back, having to look over people who are a foot taller than me and watch for mosh pits. Well, I got the location completely wrong. We managed to somehow get a spot front and center against the metal rail. The only thing obstructing our view was the stack of amps/monitors directly in front of us. But, the stage was elevated so it wasn't a huge issue. The metal rail did turn out to be an issue...if only it had been padded. Everyone enjoys a concert in a different way I suppose. I think they should section off the crazed, shirtless drunk guys from the rest of the crowd. Give them a designated spot where they can be assholes and start unnecessary fights with people. One guy standing behind another in the front actually told him he needs to be more into the band and jump up and down or get the F out of the front. Quote of the concert has to go to the guy that was getting too close with Dave: "It's ok, I'm a homo." I'm sure that made Dave feel much better about the random gross dude rubbing up against him. Dave had to stand behind Jen the whole time to try and prevent her from being pushed too hard. We still all got pushed. I also managed to have about 5 crowd surfers fall directly on my head. Is this type of experience worth all the money?

Well, the bands themselves were great. I had never heard of Pepper before the show, but they were a great opening band. This of course was the calmest part of the show, probably because not a whole lot of people knew who they were and it was early. I enjoyed them though.

The Offspring came on and played an awesome set, including a new song (and according to the set list that Jen was able to get after they played, it was written down as "new song"). The new song really didn't do much for me. Dave recorded it with his phone so maybe he will post it on youtube. They played all of their hits that you would expect to hear, even the one i truly dislike which both Dave AND Jen reminded me of it being my "favorite song." I actually had forgotten the song had existed until they started playing it. Damn them all.

Correction from my previous post, this was indeed the 4th time seeing 311 live. They are always full of energy and know how to get the crowd going. They usually have a good mix of songs in their setlist considering the amount they have to choose from. I was lucky to get a few decent pictures and videos during their set, but at one point I just had to give up completely. The video below shows how I had to stop filming. There was so much going on it was sometimes hard to actually pay attention to them perform. Anytime the bouncers would point to the crowd it was a warning that there was an incoming crowd surfer. At one point I couldn't pay attention to P-Nut's bass solo because of having to worry about getting kicked in the head. I nearly missed Nick Hexum reaching out his hand right in front of me for the exact same reason.

I would do it all over again, just with hopes of coming away with less bruises and less of a sore neck. And maybe I wouldn't have to stand next to the guy who just jumps up and down, hits me in the face with his long sweaty hair, and flails his arms around nowhere near close to the beat. If anything, it served for more entertainment. We definitely got our moneys worth.

Next concert will be Paramore/Tegan and Sara/New Found Glory, but we will have seats. If we had pit tickets for that and were up front, I doubt it would have been anything like 311/Offspring. I don't think many people mosh and crowd surf at Paramore concerts. I could be wrong though

Remember to visit my youtube page for more videos from this concert and for future concert videos as well. There is a slight upgrade in quality now that I have the iPhone 4 to use. The audio is not nearly as distorted.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Mixed Bag

There are 3 concerts in the near future that you can look forward to be hearing about within the next month. The first one will be this Friday, July 16. I will be attending the 311/Offspring concert at the Jiffy Lube Center (formerly Nissan Pavilion) in Bristow, VA with good friends Dave and Jen. This will be the second time seeing Offspring in concert, and I think third for 311. I should have seen 311 one other time before (even had tickets) but plans fell through and couldn't make it to the show. I'm looking forward to 311 more than Offspring personally, but my friend Jen is definitely going solely for the Offspring. Either way, the show should be awesome with both of these bands co-headlining. Both always show incredible energy on stage.

The next show planned is on July 31st in Columbia, once again with Dave and Jen. This one I have a feeling is going to be one of my favorites. The show will feature New Found Glory, Tegan and Sara AND Paramore. I can't tell you how excited I am to see all three of these bands. I have yet to see NFG and T&S, but I was able to catch Paramore last year at the Ulalume festival where they performed with some other bands for an MTV Halloween type special. I enjoyed seeing them there but felt it could have been a better show if it were a true headlining show and not something where they might not have complete control over what or how much they play. So, needless to say, I am extremely looking forward to this one.

The very next day will be one of six small acoustic shows that Lights is performing. This one I'll be attending with my friend Joelle. I'll admit right away that Lights is not the typical type of music I'd first choose to listen to, but her voice is just about as beautiful as she is. I have seen her twice already (both times with Joelle...She's kind of obsessed with her i think) and she has been incredible both times. Joelle almost missed out on even getting a ticket, but with a little legwork on my part, we found a way, or I guess I found a way.

I'll be sure to update you on these shows and hopefully will have some pictures and videos to share. The only one I'm not too sure about will be the 311/Offspring concert since we have Pit tickets and not seats. I'm looking forward to most likely having an obstructed view and trying not to get kicked in the head by the crowd surfers. The other two shows should be no problem.

Be sure to check out everyone's websites, twitters, facebook, etc. Whatever your social network of choice may be, you'll be able to find them, I'm sure.

New Found Glory
Tegan and Sara

Twitter names to follow: @Lights, @yelahwilliams, @paramore

Support the bands, buy their music!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Non-Music Related Post

It has been announced that Avatar will be back in the theaters at the end of August, in the form of an extended edition. This version will be exclusive to 3D and IMAX 3D shows and will contain around 8 minutes of never before seen footage. Among my friends, i heard a lot of mixed reactions to the film. I thought it was amazing myself, with the exception of parts seeming to drag on from time to time. I can't imagine what an even longer cut will feel like. Perhaps I was just tired when I went to see it the first time. Actually, that was before I was taking my energy boosting multi-vitamins every day. The plus side to this is that it will only be shown in 3D which in my opinion was the only way to see this movie. I don't think I would've liked the movie by itself without the 3D effects as much.

Speaking of 3D, have you heard of the ridiculous films that are going to be using this technology in the future? The one I find to be completely unnecessary would have to be the upcoming Harold and Kumar sequel. I just don't feel that 3D can save this. I enjoyed the first movie. It was funny enough. Escape from Guantanamo Bay on the other hand was atrocious. I just don't see the benefits of paying an extra $3.50 to see a comedy that most likely will not be very funny. Also, instead of searching for little White Castle burgers, this time around they're searching for a replacement Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve? Like the previous two films, I'm sure the appearance of Neil Patrick Harris will be what everyone really looks forward to. Yes, he will be returning.