Escape the Fate Hit Hard Truths with “Ungrateful”

Escape the Fate have had a tumultuous career starting with the controversial departure of now Falling in Reverse frontman Ronnie Radke.  When replacement singer Craig Mabbitt was announced, fan wars erupted.  The band made great haste into making their sophomore album, This War Is Ours, resulting in a hard rock album with softer undertones.  The band made their major label debut under Interscope Records, releasing a self-titled album oozing with maturity and success.  Songs like “Issues” and “Gorgeous Nightmare” advanced the band from “underground Warped Tour artists” to mainstream rock radio hits.  Behind the scenes, however, tensions between band members rose, causing the departure of bassist Max Green and the adding of members TJ Bell and Michael Money.  And that’s only the condensed version!

Since Green’s departure, fans have been eager to hear what would come next for the band.  Some even began to worry that this would be the end of group with so much potential. ETF has alleviated those worries by releasing their latest single, “Ungrateful”.

The song itself is a 50/50 track for me.  The song has much more raspy screaming than anticipated – to the point it’s almost incoherent.  While it does express the deep emotions felt with violence and bullying, without being able to completely hear the lyrics, the message may not sink in as deep as it should.  On the other hand, Mabbitt brings out much more mature, clean vocals in the song’s hook – which is sure to stick in your head after one listen.  With the additional guitarist, the instrumentals sound much more mature, bring much-needed wholeness to their sound.

The video itself will pull at any viewer’s heartstrings.  The band has added to the long list of musicians and celebrities that have tackled the issue of bullying and violence through their craft.  Not only does it show the victim’s fear and anxiousness while attending school (think Rise Against’s “September’s Children”), it accurately portrays what may be the other side of the story – domestic violence in the bully’s home and the ever-continuing chain of pain.  It ends with a powerful message that needs to be made much more public – “Violence is a vicious cycle that has ended many lives,” Images of some of the most-publicized suicides and deaths caused by bullying then pass by in remembrance, “End the cycle now.”

It is a video that truly everyone in the American public should see.  However, due to the nature of the song, it may lack mainstream appeal.  Only time will tell if this is an accurate indicator of Escape the Fate’s new music.

Escape the Fate will be touring with Papa Roach this spring – with many more dates to be added.  Escape The Fate’s fourth album, “Ungrateful” will be released on May 14th under Eleven Seven Records.

If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, bullying, domestic violence, or other mental health issues, seek help.  Don’t suffer in silence.  You are never alone.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 || IM-alive  || National Domestic Abuse Hotline

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Fall Out Boy Announce Reunion, Tour, and New Music!


As many of you may have heard, earlier today, Fall Out Boy are coming back strong after a

three year hiatus.  Part of this announcement included the release of their first new single (featuring their ever-so-popular novel length titles) as a reunited band, entitled “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)”, which reached #5 on the iTunes charts within just a few hours of it’s release.  The song will be featured on the band’s new album, Save Rock N’ Roll, which is due out on May 6th and 7th worldwide. 

To announce the end of their hiatus, the band posted this message on their official website:

when we were kids the only thing that got us through most days was music. its why we started fall out boy in the first place. this isn’t a reunion because we never broke up. we needed to plug back in and make some music that matters to us.

the future of fall out boy starts now.

save rock and roll…


 With this announcement, social networks blew up with excitement from Fall Out Boy fans, many of which were militant about their comeback.  They never stopped believing in the band, and as Fall Out Boy made clear with what would have been their last tour – Believers Never Die.

You can check out Fall Out Boy’s tour dates here – be sure to catch them when they hit up your area!  It’s a show you surely won’t want to miss. Their new single can now be purchased on iTunes.  

Save Rock N’ Roll will be released on May 6th and 7th, 2013 through Decaydance Reords. 

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Halestorm Bring Their “Hale-iday” Rock Shows to Philadelphia and Montclair.

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As the egg-nog hangovers started to wear off and the temperatures began to drop, fans young and old lined up outside Philadelphia’s most historic venue, The Electric Factory, to catch “An Evening With Halestorm”. The show was uniquely set up in that the band was playing on their Jekyll and “Mz. Hyde” theme by doing both  acoustic and “electric” sets.

The venue continued to fill up as Lzzy Hale, took the stage at the piano, singing “Rose In December” – a ballad she wrote when she was just thirteen years old.  The rest of the band joined her on stage for “Private Parts” – a bonus track featuring James Michael of Sixx: A.M.  from their latest album The Strange Case of… Halestorm.  For the live version of the song, the male band members – Arejay Hale, Joe Hottinger, and Josh Smith harmonized Michael’s parts.  The acoustic set in Philly was also a night a firsts, as it was the first time the band has ever played “Beautiful With You”,  “In Your Room” and “Hate It When You See Me Cry”.  The acoustic set was a time for reminiscing for the band, as Lzzy and Joe recalled the many shows they had seen at the venue together growing up. Covers during this part of the set included “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac and the Heart hit, “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You”.  The latter was for “the people who remember what a VHS tape is”, Lzzy joked.  Josh and Arejay eventually left the stage, leaving Joe and Lzzy to cover AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”.  Closing with the post-Carnival of Madness fan-favorite, “Break In”, the band left the stage to prepare for their second act.

A short time later, the band took the stage once again donned in black-on-black from head to toe as Lzzy belted out the lyrics to “Mz. Hyde”.  Once all of the ballads were out of the way, the band put on a high energy performance from start to finish – although throughout most of it, the majority of the crowd was still. Moments such as Lzzy riling up her “Daughters of Darkness”, their cover of Judas Priest’s “Dissident Aggressor”, and Arejay’s pre-encore drum solo were the few times the crowd looked alive. Despite the frigid weather conditions, fans still lined up by the venue’s backdoor for a photo opportunity and to express their admiration and well wishes for the new year – which the band happily attended to.

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On Saturday, a looming snowstorm struck fear into many that the concert at the Wellmont Theatre would be cancelled. As the old saying goes – the show must go on.  The sidewalks packed with ice didn’t stop fans from lining up hours before doors. The venue filled up just as much as the Electric Factory, only with a less diverse crowd. Instead of an audience of mixed ages, the Montclair crowd was filled with what seemed to be- intoxicated Sons of Anarchy look-a-likes.

“I guess you have to be careful what you name your band,” Lzzy joked as she took the stage, referring to the inclement weather.  The band still played on their “Jekyll and Mz. Hyde” theme, only switching up the order of the songs in the sets. Typical crowd heckling included burly men shouting “I love you, Lzzy!”, “Slayer!” and “Free Bird!” – prompting humorous anecdotes from the band.  Arejay and Josh left Lzzy and Joe alone on the stage, allowing them to perform once again in a throwback jam-session style, accentuating their onstage chemistry.

The band took the stage once more, opening with a drum solo by Arejay, followed by their Grammy-nominated hit “Love Bites (So Do I)” and delivered an energy-filled set, getting fans off their feet with fists and horns in the air. Much of the set was the same, but the crowd’s roar was much louder and involved from start to finish.

Halestorm put on a flawless performance from start to finish, from Lzzy’s vocals – reminiscent of Pat Benetar and Heart’s Ann Wilson, Arejay’s on-stage charisma that perfectly emulates Animal from “The Muppets”,  Josh Smith’s flawless bass-playing and Joe Hottinger’s infectious allure.  Their touring schedule for 2013 is currently unknown, but we assure you – it’s a show you cannot afford to miss!


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Every Avenue Chase the Night at Their Final New York City Show

On July 1st, 2009, Every Avenue brought their first official headlining show to New York City.  Three years later, they announced their “Last Call” tour – their swan song before heading into a hiatus to break off and start other projects.  On December 13th, 2012, fans of the band filled the Gramercy Theatre  anxiously waiting to catch what would be the band’s final performance in the city. Some even crowded  the venue’s basement looking to say “goodbye” to the band they have supported unconditionally for the last six years.  Among the fans was Mike Gunzelman, also known as the host of idobi radio’s “The Gunz Show”. Before the show started,  he took the time to tweet, “Upset I’m seeing Every Avenue for their last show. Not ballin’!”

As the final opening act, Set It Off closed their set, the reality began to set in.  Throughout the crowd, exasperated remarks such as “I’m not ready for this,” and “I’m gonna cry!” were exclaimed.  In what felt like no time, Every Avenue took the stage, opening with “Days Of The Old” (off of their “Shh. Just Go With It!) album.  With every song played, the memories of their prior concerts came flooding back.  They covered every album, with songs like “Tie Me Down”, “Someday, Somehow”, and “There Tonight” their most recent album, “Bad Habits” .

Song after song, the roar of the crowd grew louder and louder as they sang their favorite lyrics for the last time, probably the loudest we’ve ever heard at one of their shows. The band clearly fed off of their energy as their normally charismatic personalities augmented throughout the night.  The band even took a moment to thank the fans and look back on some of their earliest memories as a group. “Our first show in New York City, we played in a bar to no audience!” singer David Strauchman joked then was interjected by Guitarist Josh Withenshaw,”Even the sound guy left!” Dave continued, “We’ve been able to do some incredible things over the years thanks to you guys, and I don’t think [the fans] get enough credit for that, so thank you very much.”

Before beginning their song “Chasing The Night”, the band was joined by original guitarist and filmmaker Jason Letkiewicz. “This guy probably makes more money than all of us combined!” Dave joked before hugging him. The songs were all uptempo, and the band never missed a note or skipped a beat. The fan’s heartbreak became real once they prepared to close their set appropriately with their Picture Perfect track, “Saying Goodbye”.

It was almost immediate that the fans began their “One more song!” chant, and a few moments later, Dave took the stage with his acoustic guitar, playing the band’s most well-known and heart wrenching ballads, “The Only Place I Call Home” and “Between You and I”, making it through a hoarse voice.  It was then some of the most devoted fans broke out into tears, the end had finally become completely real. However, the band refused to end on a sad note.  Closing with their most popular singles, “Where Were You?” and “Tell Me I’m A Wreck”, the crowd felt the true spirit of a live show – lifting each other off of the floor and singing at the top of their lungs.

Every Avenue’s “Last Call Tour” continues now until December 22nd, where it will conclude in the band’s hometown of Port Huron, Michigan.  While we are deeply saddened (and nostalgic) for the end of this era, several of the band members have started new projects such as Jimmie Deeghan’s solo career and  Josh Randall’s country duo RebelNRose as well as his clothing line “A Cut Above the Rest“. Please support them and their future projects – we know we will!

Photos are currently being edited and will be posted as soon as possible.

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Help Staten Island and Victims of Hurricane Sandy

It’s been quite a while since I last updated. Between a new school year, college applications and a superstorm, it’s been hard to juggle everything – including many of the great new music releases out there. However, I would like to take this time to write about something much more serious.

I’ve lived in the Mid-Atlantic region my entire life. Myself, as well as many others, always found comfort in the fact that not many natural disasters tend to occur often here.  With Hurricane Irene last year, my town was declared a disaster zone. So when the news stations began urging people in my area to evacuate and hunker down with the then-approaching Hurricane Sandy, we knew this was going to be the storm of the century.

The area I currently live in was fortunate to ascend from the storm nearly unscathed. We lost power for about a week and had many down trees and power lines. When the lights came back on, I was scarred by the images of my hometown of Staten Island, New York on the news.

Many places I had gone to as a child were completely destroyed. Boats scattered the streets nearby the marina, even landing on top of cars. Bungalows that lined Midland Beach were swooped off of their foundations. The insides of homes lined the streets.  Over 200 people have died – they’re even using two middle schools as makeshift morgues as the body count continues to rise.

When I visited the Island to help with the relief effort, I was surprised by the extreme lack of federal aid as well as the overwhelming amounts of citizen volunteers. While you may turn on the news and find equally disturbing images of the Jersey Shore and Breezy Point, Staten Island is unfortunately living up to it’s nickname, “The Forgotten Borough”. I grabbed my camera and took photos of the devastation I saw and put it to the powerful, heart-wrenching Sixx: A.M. track, “Oh My God”. Please watch the video above and spread it around.  It’s time that we give East Coast communities the attention and aid the deserve.

To donate to the Red Cross, visit or text 90999 with the message “REDCROSS”.

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Halestorm: “We’re all big one, messed up circus!”

They were a part of our Heavy Metal Roadtrip. They’ve toured with bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, Shinedown, and even Heaven & Hell. They just wrapped up The Carnival of Madness tour with Evanescence and Chevelle, but before the madness came to an end, I was lucky enough to sit down with Arejay Hale and Josh Smith of Halestorm at the second to last stop here in New Jersey to discuss the tour, their music, and the band’s future. Following the interview, the boys and the band got some great news – their  latest release – “The Strange Case of… Halestorm” had sold 100,000 copies – and they’re not slowing down from there. Check it out below the cut.

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Carnival of Madness Brings the Insanity to New Jersey

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Wednesday night, rock n’ roll fans of all ages came out for the third annual “Carnival of Madness” tour at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. Just before doors opened, the parking lot was filled with tailgaters, as the line to enter the venue grew more and more and the seats soon began to fill in the amphitheater. While the show’s opener, New Medicine, took the stage, I was backstage, interviewing Halestorm’s Arejay Hale and Josh Smith. The tour, being sponsored by Monster Energy Drink, offered fans a unique opportunity to meet some of their favorite artists, including Evanescence and Chevelle.

Following New Medicine’s set was Cavo, a post grunge band from St. Louis. Their latest album, “Thick as Thieves” was released earlier this year. While their music was mostly unfamiliar to the crowd, their set was enjoyable. Closing with their radio single, “Champagne”, the group left the stage and the anticipation in the crowd built as they awaited Halestorm’s performance.

Other than being one of the last shows of this tour, this show was a big accomplishment for Halestorm in another sense. Before they went on, they had found out that their latest album, “The Strange Case of… Halestorm” had sold 100,000 copies. Halestorm took the stage with their ever-so energetic drummer, Arejay, running across the stage donning a skeleton bandana, throwing picks to the crowd as the rest of the band joined him in their Billboard #1 Active Rock song, “Love Bites (So Do I)”, heading right into “Mz. Hyde”. Lzzy Hale’s voice is a powerhouse, which especially got the crowd moving during their anthem for the abnormal – “Freak Like Me”. As Arejay, Joe and Josh left the stage, Lzzy took her place by the piano for the ballad, “Break In”. The crowd roared with excited screams and applause as Lzzy was joined by tour-mate Amy Lee of Evanescence for a truly breathtaking duet.

Anybody who loves music with all of their heart would be the first to tell you that a concert is one of the places where you can truly feel alive – just letting loose and leaving all your problems at the turnstiles, a true escape for just a few hours. That’s what it felt like when Halestorm got into “Rock Show”, a song that will send chills through any music lover’s body. But they wouldn’t stop the rock there, going into “You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing”, the band created a spectacle with Lzzy and Joe dueling guitars. They then closed their set with their power-ballad “Here’s To Us”. Earlier this year, the song was featured on Glee, and as such it may be the band’s most well-known song. Lzzy held up her drink as her brother got the crowd’s arms swaying back and forth as the song began. Lzzy and the band gave 110% in their performance, from their crowd interactions (handing out picks and drinks to front row fans), to their spot-on playing, just like the record.

Chevelle were the next to hit the stage. With a huge stage setup – which included a giant bull, several rugs, a theater-style backdrop, and strobe lighting, the crowd expected an excellent performance from them. While fans of the band immensely enjoyed the performance, several parts of the crowd left the amphitheater during their set because, although their set-up was incredible, their performance was subpar – complete with a lackluster stage presence that left some having trouble paying attention.

The moment we were all waiting for was Evanescence’s headlining set. Opening with the flashing lights and drum solo by drummer Will Hunt, as Amy Lee took the stage and enchanted the audience with some of the group’s heavier songs, such as “What You Want”, “Going Under” and “The Other Side”. It didn’t take them long to get to the classic, piano based songs that Evanescence is known for, as Amy Lee took her seat. Not only is her live voice perfectly dead-on, she is a pro at tickling the ivories. She spoke to the crowd playfully and childlike and, like the bands that performed before her, thanked the crowd, “You all know too well without you guys, we wouldn’t be up her playing, so thank you so much.”

When they performed their Top 40 radio hits, “Call Me When Your Sober” and “Bring Me to Life”, the crowd erupted, singing along to every line, most even belting out the lyrics mimicking Amy’s style.

The band then left the stage, and came back dedicating their next song, “Disappear” to the audience. They closed the show with the somber, bone-chilling ballad, “My Immortal”, which was so beautifully overwhelming; it left some audience members in tears.

The Carnival of Madness came to a close yesterday at the Mohegan Sun Arena, but it was surely the show of the summer for rock n’ roll.

Our interview with Halestorm can be viewed here.

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New York, the International Secret Agents are coming for you!

UPDATE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, ISA New York and Boston have been cancelled. All tickets will be refunded through Ticketmaster and the respective concert venues. Donations can still be made to 4c The Power here.

This year’s International Secret Agents concert series is heading to New York City! The show, run by 4C The Power, takes place in cities all around the United States and allows different branches of creativity, such as film-making, DJing, dance, and artistry,  to shine in a unique setting.

ISA’s New York debut took place in the city’s most historic venue – Webster Hall, and had nothing short of a packed house. Fans lined up from the early afternoon hours to secure a spot in the venue as their own peers were setting up for the show inside.

You heard me correctly – peers. For this event, 4C The Power allows a unique opportunity to young adults to volunteer to work at the event.  Whether they’ll be handling ticket sales, ticket collecting at the door, merch sales, or handling promotional materials – just to name a few – the concert is nearly completely run by volunteers.

However, that’s not the only opportunity 4C The Power offers these young adults. Along with the aforementioned opportunity, the charity runs workshops along with the show’s headliners to mirror the professional side of the arts world. In 2010, Far East Movement showed the volunteers the ropes on how to write hip hop music. Wong Fu Productions taught them a few things about film making, and Lydia Paek of Quest Crew even taught a dance clinic. This year’s workshops will include Far East Movement’s hip hop music workshop, Poreotics’ dance workshop, a singing/instrumental workshop with AJ Raphael, and a comedy and acting workshop by youtube-famous KevJumba.

It’s only 5 days until ISA takes over the Big Apple. Are you ready, New York?!

Tickets for ISA at Terminal 5 can be purchased here. If you are interested in participating in a workshop, please register - high school students get first priority.

If you are not in the New York City area, don’t worry! ISA will be hitting several cities in the U.S. For more info, visit

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Help Every Avenue’s Jimmie Deeghan Record His New EP!


It’s no secret we’re huge Every Avenue supporters. Before starting Read Between The Grooves, we’ve seen the band over 10 times – and keep coming back for more. The band is great at showing what great artistry and musicianship is about and we love it! Not to mention, they’re all-around great guys.

When you go around tumblr, you’ll see a lot of fans saying how much bands and band members helped them out with their music. Now it’s time for fans to help the band members make their music.

When it goes into making a record, there’s a lot of money that goes into making it. You have to pay for studio time, producers, mixing, mastering, promotion, engineering – and that’s not even the half of it. Without a record label backing you up, it can be extremely difficult to pay for an independent artist’s music to be put out there as professionally as possible. Contrary to popular belief, it is also very difficult for a touring musician to maintain a stable income, and that’s why we want to help.

Jimmie Deeghan has posted a campaign on Kickstarter to help pay for his new EP. If you listened to his first EP – “Pretty Miserable”, you would know that he’s a great musician and deserves to have his new material put out there! Every little bit helps, and you can help by pledging whatever amount you can through his page. Being the great guy that he is, he has also posted several rewards – including autographs, postcards, and even his EP on vinyl – on his page for those kind enough to donate.

Please help support independent music and support the artists who need it!

You can find Jimmie’s Kickstarter page here.

Photo Credit: Every Avenue, Fireye Photos

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Honda Civic Tour Takes Over Camden

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The Honda Civic Tour made its way into Camden, New Jersey as Linkin Park fans from all over the world made their way into the waterfront venue for the band’s LPU Summit. Every year, the band holds what they call a “Linkin Park convention”, allowing fans to meet the band, hang out backstage, hold a jam session with the band’s instruments, and gaining early entry access to venue. Limited passes were sold, but that didn’t stop some fans from waiting all day to secure a front row spot on the barricade. One of these fans was Sal Spurge, a Staten Island native, covered in tattoos commemorating the band, who has been a fan of the band for over a decade. This show would be his 48th time seeing the band, and the threat of not being in the front row, like every show before, did not stop him from waiting in line for hours on end. “We were gonna leave Staten Island earlier, but we got here around 10:30 -11:00,” he said, “I hope they play ‘A Place for My Head’, they’ve had like, three different setlists on this tour so far.”

Once inside, a short set by the special guests, MuteMath, was performed – followed by the tour’s co-headliner, Incubus. The metal-turned-alternative group pleased the crowd with a blend of both their earlier and newest material. With their biggest radio hits, “Drive” and “A Certain Shade of Green”, the arena exploded – singing every word.

After a half hour wait filled with Honda Civic sponsored commercials, Linkin Park’s video diaries, and music videos, the lights dimmed in the venue as the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” rung throughout the arena. Linkin Park took the stage. Superfan Sal got his wish  – they opened with the same song he had hoped for. The band then gunned it, straight into the headbanging “Given Up” and the Transformers hit, “New Divide”.

With Linkin Park’s latest record, “LIVING THINGS” dropped nearly two months ago, so the crowd was no stranger to the new music, and went crazy with the rap-rock track “Victimized” and the Hybrid Theory-reminiscent, “Lies, Greed, Misery”.

While Linkin Park are experts at getting the entire crowd going, they also proved they can take an entire crowd’s breath away. In an unexpected turn of events, thunder and lightning pierced the sky as buckets of rain poured during an piano-based medley was performed of the band’s most popular ballads, including “Leave Out All The Rest”, “Shadow of The Day”, and “Iridescent”.

Following the acoustic performance, the band turned the amps up to 11 with their classic hits, while Mr. Hahn took over the turntables with “Numb” and “In the End”. While closing with “Bleed It Out”, LP brought in a huge surprise for the NYC Tri-State Area fans by bringing in another Beastie Boys’ classic, “Sabotage”, during the song’s bridge. Excited “Oh my God”‘s and jaws hitting the floor could be seen & heard all over the audience. Fans wanted more, and couldn’t wait for the band’s encore. “I feel like when they come back on, they’re going to do something insane,” a member of the audience said. The insane ending left the band’s performance at 100%, but when they came back for their encore, they truly gave the fans the 110% they were waiting for, with live staples “Faint”, “Papercut”, “Lying From You”, and the closer – “One Step Closer”, which was so intense even the security guards got into it and unleashed their inner fan. As Chester put it before leaving the stage, “This is the moment [bands] have always dreamed about.”

In short, Linkin Park’s live show is not one to miss, and when the Honda Civic Tour rolls through your town, you better be there – or you’ll surely regret it!

Photos from this show can be found in our photo gallery.

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