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 http://www.internationalsecretagents.com

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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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Green Day Surprise Fans With Secret Show

It’s been a crazy two weeks for Read Between the Grooves here in the City of Angels, and it got even crazier when Green Day announced a secret show, exclusively for fans at LA’s Echoplex on August 6th.

Tickets for the show went on sale at 10:00 a.m., with a slight time delay for sales. At that point, some had given up, thinking the show was sold out in under a second. However, many fans were determined, and some were lucky enough to get a pair of tickets. The band had made sure these were scalper-proof, making them only to be redeemed at the door, and non-transferable to anyone else in line. The line was so long, one can easily infer that people started lining up the moment they got a confirmation email.

Once inside, fans waited for an hour, and they were getting antsy. That was until the punk rockers from Oakland took the stage, opening with “Welcome To Paradise”. The 700 person capacity venue exploded – screaming the lyrics, taking photos, and even trying to grab for a memento – whether it be a setlist, guitar pick, or drumstick. Even some fans with a claim to fame – such as pop-punk rockers All Time Low and Nickelodeon star Drake Bell. The venue was small that Green Day’s infamous crowd interactions got even more intimate with the band playing crowd requests – such as the fan favorite and live show rarity, Christie Road.

Green Day also took the show as an opportunity to premiere new songs off of their soon-to-be-released album trilogy, “Uno! Dos! Tre!”, and fans caught on to those songs right away, whether they knew them or not. Their latest single, “Oh Love”, which has been taking over the airwaves one station at a time, had everybody in the venue singing. In our initial review of the single, we had felt the song was just “okay”. With the live performance, our viewpoint was given a complete 180. Other new songs that were performed included “Kill The DJ”, “Nuclear Family”, “Stay The Night”, “Carpe Diem”, “Stray Heart”, “Let Yourself Go” and “Wild One”. Those that knew the songs via youtube leaks sang along, and those who didn’t quickly caught on.

By that long list of new material, you’re probably thinking, “Did they just perform new songs and leave?”. However, any Green Day fan knows that their classics are a staple for live shows, and were definitely blended in there. Songs such as “She”, “Hitchin’ A Ride”, and “Brain Stew” were also performed, along with American Idiot favorites “Holiday” and “Give Me Novocaine”. Always proud to show their punk rock influences, they even played their cover of Operation Ivy’s “Knowledge”.

To close out the show, Green Day took the stage for their encore, performing their profanity-laced, “It’s F— Time”, from their side project, Foxboro Hot Tubs. The band left the stage, and fans began chanting once more for the band’s infamous dual encore. However, due to the venue’s restrictions, they were not allowed to perform past cut-off time. This, however, did not stop fans from searching the floor & begging stage crew for a piece of memorabilia from their favorite band until they were forced to leave.

Overall, Green Day proved they could make a secret show have arena-style energy while maintaining the intimacy of performing  in a small nightclub on the edge of Los Angeles for their truest of fans.

Green Day’s first release off their album trilogy, “Uno!” will be available for purchase on Septermber 25th.

Were you at the secret show? Get any good photos? Send them to us at readbetweenthegrooves@gmail.com to be posted in the photo gallery!

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Linkin Park, Incubus, set out on Honda Civic Tour

This last week, Linkin Park and Incubus had set out on the much anticipated Honda Civic Tour featuring special guests, Mutemath. The tour, which began on August 11th in Bristow, Virginia, is set to promote Linkin Park’s latest record, “LIVING THINGS”, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts along with the lead single, “BURN IT DOWN”. However, for Incubus, this tour will be doing quite the opposite. In our recent chat with both Chester Bennington and Brandon Boyd,  Boyd revealed that this tour will be the end of Incubus’ touring cycle for their latest release, entitled “If Not Now, When?”.

In the past, the Honda Civic Tour has featured artists such as Blink-182, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, and Panic! At The Disco. This year’s tour could easily be considered as much heavier in musical sound. However, the bands aren’t looking to one-up former acts. “We kind of don’t really look at what the other artists have done on these tours and kind of go, ‘Okay, what do we think we should do?’.  We’re just going to go out and do what our fans want from us which is play songs that they’re familiar with and catch up on some on the new music and become familiar with that. We’re just going to come out and put on the highest-energy show we can”, Chester explained. Brandon then continued, saying, “It’s a good moment and a great opportunity to have two big giant rock & roll bands sharing a stage. I just think that’s going to be better than either of us would do in our own show.”

Fans who have been to the first few shows on the tour have said that the live performances have given the audience “a connection that spans generations.” Others say Linkin Park’s setlist was a “perfect, well balanced mix of old and new music”. Another fan said the band’s use of stage pyrotechnics was so incredible that she almost cried.

We will be reviewing the Honda Civic Tour’s stop on Friday, August 17th in Camden, New Jersey. This is not a show anyone should miss out on – so get your tickets now!

Linkin Park’s new album “LIVING THINGS” is in stores now.

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Message from the editor.

Hi everyone,

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their support. It is truly appreciated and we can’t wait to show you what we else we have in store in the very near future! For the next two weeks, however, I will have very limited access to the internet and the blog will be seldom updated – please follow us on twitter or like us on facebook for any updates during this time!

Once again, thank you all for the support and we will we back up and running very soon!

Karissa

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Motley Crue Bring Back “SEX”, Drugs, & Rock N’ Roll

Okay, so maybe not the drugs, but in this day and age, when many are complaining that “rock n’ roll is dead” (See: Neon Trees – Teenage Sounds), only few bands can truly resurrect it – and who better to do that then the kings of decadence themselves?

After completing the first ever hard rock residency in Las Vegas, bassist Nikki Sixx revealed that the group was writing and recording new music with producer and Sixx: A.M. band mate James Michael. Photos posted by the bassist on instagram of the recording process teased fans for months – until July 17th. The band had released and promoted the single as “24 Hours of Free Sex” – a free download of the track for their fans.

The track opens with eccentric drummer (and now, DJ) Tommy Lee saying “It’s all. about. the sex!” and continues into an ass-kicking, true rock n’ roll track. According to Sixx, the lyrics truly emulate the feeling of Las Vegas. In this day and age, where the slightest innuendo in rock music could be controversial, Vince Neil makes it clear to the newer audience that this corruption is nothing new by belting out “This is not a new religion.”

On his radio show, Sixx says fans had approached him saying the single reminds them of Too Fast For Love -era Crue. While those elements aren’t so evident as the Saints of Los Angeles era influence in the track, it is definitely shows that true rock n’ roll won’t be going anywhere so long as the Crue are around. Judging by “SEX”, it won’t be anytime soon.

As far as a new Motley Crue album? Don’t expect that in the near future. According to the band, since the music industry has become very avant-garde in terms of releasing and promoting music, they plan on experimenting by releasing new music in a very nontraditional sense as well.

“SEX” is now available on ReverbNation and for digital download on iTunes. You can catch Motley Crue on “The Tour” with Kiss – tickets are on sale now.

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No Doubt take over Good Morning America

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It’s one thing to watch Good Morning America’s amazing concerts on TV – but it’s a whole ‘nother experience to be there yourself. Running on four hours of sleep, sitting in the tunnel traffic getting into NYC, and running through to park to get to Rumsey Playfield to secure that spot for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This Friday, that routine was for the legendary ska/pop group, No Doubt. This last week, the group released their first single in over 10 years, “Settle Down”. Fans waited at the stage in anticipation to see the band perform, especially after they tweeted a photo cryptic, blacked out, four song setlist. ABC crew members took the stage, getting the crowd hyped and throwing out free tee shirts to select audience members, meanwhile Gwen Stefani and guitarist Tom Dumont can clearly be seen from the sidestage.

When it was finally time for No Doubt to take the stage, the ABC newscasters took the stage, and did a short interview with the group, which was broadcasted on the TV. Everyone in the crowd knew their performance was coming, and the energy clearly flowed through.

When you watch No Doubt’s performances on television, you may turn to your friend and say, “Wow, they killed it.” and flip the channel. However, in person, one will easily find it’s a totally different experience. Ten years of hiatus, new families, and several solo projects later, the group hasn’t lost an ounce of their musicianship. Adrian, Tom and Tony took the stage, opening with “Settle Down”‘s instrumental, including Tony beating on a tom-tom for the mainly drum-based reggae track. Gwen then took the stage and had the crowd in the palm of her hand. For a concert at 8 A.M., the entire band was exactly on cue.

The band took it from newest to old, and continued on with “It’s My Life”. After admitting it was one of her favorite songs to play, they slowed it down & continued on with “Underneath It All”, and finally closed with the very upbeat “Spiderwebs”, bringing the whole crowd on their feet.

Gwen Stefani’s stage presence (and eternal beauty) is as hypnotizing as the day the “I’m Just A Girl” video was released. Adrian Young could easily be the definition of the “crazy drummer” – every band needs one.  With every crowd interaction Tony Kanal (and his neon bass) or Tom Dumont made – whether it be waving or smiling to a fan in the front row, just was further proof they love what they are doing, and appreciate every fan that has been there along the way & through the wait. And once the band took their bow at the end of “Spiderwebs”, they easily left the crowd wanting more.

Good Morning America has yet to post the official videos of their performances. However, if you would like to view their interview, you may view it above.

Unofficial videos of their performance can be viewed at the following links:

Settle Down || Underneath It All || It’s My Life || Spiderwebs 

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