Concert Review: Adelitas Way, Joyous Wolf, Of Limbo, & Down North In San Jose, CA

Last night (December 14) I attended the Adelitas Way, Joyous Wolf, Of Limbo, and Down North concert at The Ritz in San Jose, CA, and it was a great concert.

Down North opened the night with a soulful set. The band essentially sounded like a punk group with James Brown on vocals. It’s an interesting combination, but it totally works, and those who watched them were not disappointed.

Of Limbo took the stage next for a killer performance. The group had more of a ’90’s grunge vibe, and knew how to put on a sick show. It was heavy and energetic, and felt like a party before they were finished. A highlight from their set was when they played their track “L.G.F.U.”

After Of Limbo it was time for Joyous Wolf. The So Cal rockers, who were one of the stongest acts of the night, had a bluesy sound mixed with a bit of heaviness, similar to acts like Rival Sons. Between frontman Nick Reese’s insane amount of enrgy and his backing band’s musicianship, the performance was solid on all fronts. If you ever have a chance to see them, it would definitely be worth your while. A highlight from their set was when they played their track “Mountain Man”.

Then it was time for the headliners of the evening, Adelitas Way. The modern hard rock act put on an awesome show full of hits from various albums in their catalog, even a couple of slower ones that were played during a mini acoustic set in the middle of their performance. Frontman Rick DeJesus’s vocals and stage bantar were on point all night, and he seemed to have a good time onstage as well, which is always cool to see. It has been five years since I last saw them, and they have only gotten better with time. Highlights from their set included “Sick” and “Invincible.”

#AdelitasWay were awesome! \m/

A post shared by Caeman Amelio (@caeman13) on

#JoyousWolf killed it! Up next Adelitas Way \m/

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Concert Review: Foo Fighters & The Struts At Golden 1 Center In Sacramento, CA

Last night (December 2), I attended the Foo Fighters and The Struts concert at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA, and it was an awesome show.

The Struts kicked off the night with a high energy set. Frontman Luke Spiller was like a young Freddie Mercury (Queen) up onstage, and was really good at getting everyone invloved in the performance, even though, as he said, no one was there to see them. Despite the fact that people weren’t there for them, they sure made an impression, and probably gained a lot of new fans. If you have a chance to see them live, it is definetly worth it. Highlights from their set included: “Put Your Money On Me,” “Kiss This,” “One Night Only,” and “Could Have Been Me.”

Once The Struts finished, it was time for Foo Fighters to take the stage. The band put on an amazing three hour show full of tracks spanning their entire catalog. They opened with “Run” from their latest album “Concrete And Gold” before breaking out hits like “All My Life” and “Learn to Fly.” Then they just kept going, before frontman Dave Grohl finally addressed the audience as the set nearly approached the one hour mark. He let everyone know that it was going to be a “long fucking night,” and the crowd couldn’t be happier. Grohl and his band, Nate Mendel (bass), Pat Smear (guitar), Taylor Hawkins (drums), Chris Shiflett (guitar) Rami Jaffee (keyboards) were firing on all cylinders musically, as well as vocally. Grohl’s stage bantar was on point all night as well. The group played about 16-17 tracks before Grohl got to band introductions, which were complete with them rocking snippets of various covers like AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock,” the “Grease” track “You’re the One That I Want” (which Grohl jokingly said he won’t play anymore after a lady fainted up front), Van Halen’s “Jump,” and the Ramones’ “Blitzkreig Bop.” From there, they cranked out three more songs, before returning backstage before the encore. While back there, the members were shown on a screen asking the audience how many more songs they wanted. They agreed to play three, and wound up playing four more. The show, which included 26 songs by its end, finally wrapped up after they performed their classic track “Everlong.” Highlights of the night were the aforementioned “Everlong,” “The Pretender,” a cover of Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” with Spiller (The Struts) and Hawkins on vocals, “Monkey Wrench,” “Best Of You,” and covers of AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock” and Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers’ “Breakdown.”

Concert Review: Hollywood Undead, Butcher Babies, & Demrick At The Catalyst In Santa Cruz, CA

Last night (October 23), I attended the Hollywood Undead, Butcher Babies, and Demrick concert at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA, and it was a great show.

Rapper Demrick kicked things off with an interesting set. He was pretty good, if you like straight up rap music, but he seemed a bit out of place at this particular concert. Granted, headliners Hollywood Undead do rap, but they still have a rock vibe, which Demrick was lacking. A highlight from his set was a track called “Skyscraper.”

After Demrick’s set, Butcher Babies took the stage for a metal onslaught. I’ve seen the band live four times now, and they always manage to top their selves. This time, the group’s set was heavily focused on new tracks off their upcoming album “Lilith,” which will be out Friday (October 27). Frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey were on point the whole time and were able to keep the energy in the room at a high point. That combined with guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein, and drummer Chase Brickenden’s musicianship made their performance solid on all fronts. Highlights from their set included: “Monster’s Ball,” “POMONA (Shit Happens),” “Headspin,” and a “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, “Igniter,” and “Magnolia Blvd.” medley.

Butcher Babies finished up, and then it was time for rap rockers Hollywood Undead. The group took the stage with their trademarked masks, which they wore for three songs, and opened with their anthemic track “Whatever It Takes” off their new album V (out October 27). From there, they just kept the energy building throughout the night. The band were definitely having fun up onstage and it was infectious. They were also really good at getting the crowd involved, whether it be something simple like having them wave their hands or something bigger like inviting one fan onstage to perform “Comin In Hot.” There stage setup was appealing as well, with decent lighting and shooting sparks. Basically, all these elements wrapped together made for an awesome show. Some highlights from their set included the aforementioned “Comin In Hot,” “Undead,” “Dead Bite,” “War Child,” “Everywhere I Go,” and their finale “Hear Me Now.”

Concert Review: Sublime With Rome, The Offspring, & The Menzingers In Mountain View, CA

Last night (September 27), I attended the Sublime With Rome, The Offspring, and The Menzingers concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA, and it was an awesome show.

The Menzingers opened up the show with a cool set. The Pennsylvanian natives were a good opening act, and it was worth getting there early to see the group. A highlight from their set was “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore.”

Then it was time for The Offspring, the main reason I attended the show. The punk rockers kicked off their set by blasting into “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid.” After that, it was just hit after hit. In fact, the group played nearly every song on their greatest hits album, along with a few extra tracks thrown in. The group were very energetic and were able to keep the crowd dancing and singing along the entire time. Frontman Dexter Holland’s humorous stage banter helped keep things interesting as well. Highlights from their set included: “Want You Bad,” “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy),” “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” and “Self Esteem.”

After The Offspring, Sublime With Rome took the stage. Admittedly, I was unsure about watching Sublime songs performed live without the late Bradley Nowell, but the group put on a great show. Rome Ramirez’s vocals worked well with the reggae infused rock tracks the band was known for, and it was interesting to see his take on them. The band opened with “Date Rape” and followed that up with numerous other classics, along with a couple of Sublime With Rome originals like “Murdera.” All in all, their set was entertaining and helped keep Nowell’s music alive in a sense. Highlights included: “Doin’ Time,” “What I Got,” which featured a guest spot from Noodles (The Offspring), and “Santeria.”

Concert Review: Avenged Sevenfold, A Day To Remember, & HO99O9 In Mountain View, CA

On July 28, I attended the Avenged Sevenfold, A Day To Remember, & HO99O9 concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA, and it was a great show.

HO99O9 opened up the night with an insane performance. The group’s recorded music is considered hip-hop, but in a live setting they sound straight up punk. theOGM and Eaddy’s vocals mixed with Brandon Pertzborn’s (Black Flag, Doyle) insane drumming made for a cool set, which was worth getting there early for.

After HO99O9, A Day To Remember came out for a fun set. The group’s performance began with the stage “talking” to the crowd to introduce the band. Then they came out and blasted right into “All I Want.” The band’s high energy set was made only better by their crowd participation efforts, ranging from having people throw toilet paper, bounce beach balls, and catch shirts from a t-shirt cannon. Frontman Jeremy McKinnon was a little disappointed that people couldn’t mosh or crowd surf up front, due to a lack of a pit area, but that didn’t stop the band from keeping the crowd engaged. Highlights from their set include the previously mentioned opener “All I Want,” “Naivety,” and “If It Means A Lot To You.”

Then it was time for the headliners of the night, Avenged Sevenfold! The band’s show started with outer space-like imagery recreating the cover art of the band’s latest album “The Stage” across several screens, along with flashing lightning. Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance, Johnny Christ and Brooks Wackerman (ex-Bad Religion) then entered the arena to launch into the aforementioned album’s title track, before M. Shadows ran out just in time for the vocals to kick in. Their musicianship was impeccable, between Gates and Vengeance’s amazing guitar harmonies, to Wackerman’s thunderous drumming. This combined with the various onscreen imagery to accompany each track, and fire blasts, made for one grand spectacle. The images were especially powerful, due to the way they helped the songs come to life in a story-like manner, as Shadows’ powerful voice narrated. It didn’t stop there either. Shadows even made sure the audience was a part of everything by having them do things like throwing their fists to the sky, yelling “hail” during “Hail To The King,” putting lighters/cell phones up for “So Far Away,” etc. The concert was really phenomenal on all levels. Highlights of the night included “Nightmare,” “Almost Easy,” “God Damn,” “Sunny Disposition,” “A Little Piece Of Heaven,” and their finale “Unholy Confessions.”

Concert Review: Iron Maiden & Ghost In Oakland, CA

On July 5, I attended the Iron Maiden and Ghost concert at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA, and it was an epic show.

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Ghost kicked off the night with their brand of satanic themed metal. Tobias Forge aka Papa Emeritus was great at commanding the crowd and the Nameless Ghouls were definitely a solid musical unit, which is pretty impressive considering the drastic lineup changes the band has faced. Highlights from their set included: “Square Hammer,” “Cirice,” “Mummy Dust,” and “Monstrance Clock.”

Then it was time for heavy metal legends Iron Maiden. The audience went crazy as soon as they heard UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” blasting through the speakers, followed by a cool video game looking intro video. After the clip the curtain fell to reveal a elaborate stage setup that looked like an ancient Mayan temple, complete with flaming pillars and a smoking podium, where frontman Bruce Dickinson appeared to sing the first part of “If Eternity Should Fail.”

From there, the show just exploded with energy. Dickinson’s all powerful voice, Steve Harris’ bass lines, Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers’s guitar harmonies, and Nicko McBrain’s thundering drums only helped prove how much they deserve their icon status. The show didn’t stop at musicianship either.

The visuals were just as great, and ranged from simple things like Dickinson wearing a monkey mask for “Death or Glory” to spectacles such as the vocalist battling the group’s mascot Eddie, only to rip his heart out and toss it into the crowd. There was even things like a huge Eddie for a performance of their eponymous track “Iron Maiden” and a giant goat creature for “The Number Of The Beast.”

The show pretty much had it all, aesthetics, great music, and even things like a nice speech from Dickinson about diversity and equality. As far as song highlights go, I would say the following: The Number Of The Beast,” “Children of the Damned,” “Blood Brothers,” “The Trooper,” the title track of their latest album “The Book Of Souls,” and their finale “Wasted Years.” If you have a chance, you should hit one of the remaining dates, especially since the band are planning to retire “The Book Of Souls” stage setup very soon.

Concert Review: Seether, Through Fire, & Kaleido At The Fillmore In San Francisco, CA

Last night (June 5), I attended the Seether, Through Fire, and Kaleido concert at The Fillmore in San Francisco, and it was definitely a good night for rock fans.

Kaleido opened the show with a fun set. It was the band’s first time in San Francisco, and they managed to leave a lasting impression. Christina Chriss is an awesome frontwoman, and was able to keep crowd engaged with her great voice and stage antics. That mixed with the energy of the other members of the group made way for a solid rock performance. Highlights from the set include “My Rock And Roll” and their cover of Guns N’ Roses’ “My Michelle.”

Through Fire took the stage next for a sick show. If you enjoy hard rock, you need to catch these guys live. The band have a powerful sound, and all the members seem to be really into their music, which is always good to see. Highlights from their set include the title track to their album “Breathe” (an album that is worth picking up if you don’t have it), and the fan-favorite “Stronger.”

Then it was finally time for the headliners of the night, Seether. The band were tighter than ever, and the guitar work from frontman Shaun Morgan and guest guitarist Clint Lowery (Sevendust), who managed add a whole new element to the group’s sound, was especially impressive. On top of this, Morgan’s vocals were top notch. He didn’t talk much, but the songs are strong enough to stand on their own, especially under the dark lighting which helped give them a gloomy feel. The band tended to focus on hits such as “Remedy,” “Broken,” “Fake It,” etc., but their were some surprises, including an incredible cover of Thrice’s “Black Honey.” Aside from that, the highlights of their set included the above mentioned tracks as well as “Let You Down,” “No Jesus Christ,” and “Nobody Praying For Me.”