All Photos by Steve Rose
by Lisa Schreiner
On October 28th, 1981, four young musicians came together, completely unaware that they would become one of the biggest bands in the world, continuously, for the next 35 years; though it’s likely it was an ambition. Metallica has become a staple in not only the rock n’ roll/heavy metal/thrash scene, but a solid staple in music all around. They are the epitome of success as well as a cautionary tale of what it truly means to be in a rock n’ roll band. Through it all, Metallica has always come out on top. They continue to sell out venues all over the world, they’re still pumping out albums and they’ve remained a relevant band, avoiding the nostalgia ditch their peers have fallen into (see Guns N’ Roses).
In 1981, frontman James Hetfield answered an ad in The Recycler, the famed Los Angeles based classifieds-only newspaper, posted by a young, Danish drummer named Lars Ulrich, looking to start a band. Hetfield and Ulrich would be the only two absolute original members of Metallica. Original bassist Ron McGovney would be replaced by Cliff Burton, who tragically died in a tour bus accident in September of 1986, while the band was touring in Europe. Burton would be replaced by Jason Newsted, who departed the band in 2001. Newsted would be replaced by current bassist Rob Trujillo (formerly of Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Groves and Ozzy Osbourne). Trujillo’s audition and ultimate hiring is documented in Metallica’s Some Kind of Monster documentary. Original guitarist Dave Mustaine was replaced by current guitarist Kirk Hammett in 1983; Mustaine would go on to form “rival” band Megadeth in 1983. Got all that?
Forgoing the spandex, hairspray and make up that engulfed the 1980’s rock scene, Metallica instead relied on their raw guitar riffs, screeching vocals and fast-paced drumming to thrash their way onto the scene. Their lyrics consisted not of girls, money and lavish lifestyles but of death, destruction and greed. Though there were certainly lean times for the foursome, soon enough, the band would be the ones drawing the crowds in for the music act they were opening for…Ozzy Osbourne; a true example of the student surpassing the teacher. From then on, Metallica continued to gain their now famously loyal fan base, thus becoming the world-renowned band they are today.
Now, Metallica has released their tenth studio album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (produced by Greg Fidelman along with James and Lars) , almost exactly 35 years from when James Hetfield answered that ad. And coincidentally (or maybe not), on Kirk Hammett’s 54th birthday. The album’s first track, “Hardwired” though very reminiscent of early Metallica, was still a shock to the system. First reaction upon hearing the first ten to fifteen seconds of the song: “They’re back.” The in-your-face rock continues with the second track “Atlas, Rise!” before the third track “Now That We’re Dead” brings us back to Load era Metallica. In fact, the next few songs seem to calm the album down a bit, but nonetheless speak heavy volumes. “Here Comes the Revenge” begins with a very familiar riff…so familiar that one could mistake it for the beginning of “Leper Messiah” off of Master of Puppets. However, it soon changes into another unique albeit hard-rock-filled track. The album ends just how it began: with heavy metal that could melt your face off. “Spit on the Bone” once again makes you say “they’re back”. This was a very well-thought-out album and should not go unappreciated. That’s not to say any other album wasn’t thought out, but Hardwired…To Self-Destruct has a certain, “je ne sais quoi” about it. Is it the eight-year wait fans had to endure? Maybe. Is it the yearning to hear pure, satisfying, true rock n’ roll that has seemingly gone missing among the Justin Biebers and Drakes of the world? Perhaps. One thing is for sure: Metallica has the ability to withstand the test of time and Hardwired…To Self-Destruct is the perfect example of that. And, when they tour again, their endurance and that same ambition to be one of the greatest bands in the world that they’ve been holding onto since 1981 will be extremely palpable in every venue they play.
There will always be a divide between “old school” Metallica fans and those who enjoy most of their music. Some fans just cannot get past …And Justice For All or their self-titled album (commonly known as The Black Album), and that’s sad. There is incredible music on albums Load and Reload as well as –dare it be said– St. Anger. Yes, Metallica has changed throughout the years. The band is made up of four individual human beings; no change would be unnatural. Let’s face it, the same fans that complain about Metallica changing would be the same people that would complain if they remained unchanged. And please, please stop bringing up the Napster lawsuit; the horse is dead already. The truth is, many artists did not agree with what Napster was doing. Metallica was the only band to stand up and do something about it.
James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Rob Trujillo may get older, but their music will never age. Maybe they’ll retire some day but it’s more probable they’ll continue on until they’re physically unable to walk out onto the stage. Why? Well, as Metallica promised in the song “Whiplash” 35 years ago:
We’ll never stop, we’ll never quit ’cause we’re Metallica.
by Bryan Holland
The Paramount in Huntington is one of the greatest Long Island venues to see a show. Not too big, not too small, it has a personal feel with great sound and it’s nestled in a nice downtown area. I recently caught Sublime with Rome there and it was a hit filled marathon on a Monday night.
Opening act The Skints, hailing from London, England, impressed everyone from the get go. The Skints are a four-piece group that have a dub heavy reggae sound. Extremely charismatic, you receive vocals from 3 of the 4 members which leads to great harmonies. They are all very talented musicians as you’re getting vocals from a drummer mid beat, a guitarist who sings and rhymes in the classic reggaetón style while rallying the crowd, a bassist whose low-end grooves keep everyone moving and a keyboardist that sings and plays around 5 instruments if my count was correct. She literally picked up a saxophone in one song, a flute in another, played a melodica, had a drum machine for added percussion and samples on top of playing the keys. A band to keep an eye on. They had fans cheering loudly from their music and even louder when they told everyone to meet them at the pizza place across the street after the show to hang out because “we’re all friends now”.
Sublime with Rome was next and came out of the gate, blazing. They played old, original Sublime hits to get everyone in the right mood for the first few songs. Classics that brought most of the crowd back to high school days cutting class and riding over to the beach. “Date Rape” was followed by “Smoke Two Joints”. “Wrong Way” was followed by “40 Ounces to Freedom”. 4 huge songs from the epic catalogue of original Sublime tunes they choose from.
For those that don’t know, this has been one of the many incarnations of this band since the passing of original singer/songwriter Bradley Nowell in 1996. After the remaining members played in a few different bands, most notably the Long Beach Dub Allstars, they decided to reform Sublime with Rome Ramirez in 2009. After some legal issues over the name with the Nowell estate, they became Sublime with Rome officially in 2010. 5 months after their first release, original drummer Bud Gaugh left and so Eric Wilson is the only remaining original member, although the sound is still very familiar as they play a mix of new originals and old classics.
After some more early Sublime songs such as “Pawn Shop” and “April 25th, 1992”, the latter being about the riots in Los Angeles, they moved into some new originals. “You Better Listen” was one for the newer fans as it’s Rome getting to try his hand at writing. It stays in the vein of the older material, but definitely has a fresh feel to it as well, an upbeat song with an infectious chorus. The crowd was singing along to every song that was played and the hits continued to come. You don’t realize how many songs of theirs are extremely popular until you look around and realize every single one of them is practically a giant sing along.
The crowd was a majority of late 20s and 30 somethings all dancing to songs, filling them with nostalgia. Sublime in the late 90s was something totally different. Tones of punk rock mixed with reggae, dub and ska. It just reeked of California, surf and smoky jam music. They often covered other groups songs, some of which nobody ever knew wasn’t actually a Sublime original because of the way they would make it their own. Take “Scarlet Begonias” for example, originally a Grateful Dead song. Many people have no idea it wasn’t original. They did skillful renditions of songs by Bad Religion, The Descendents, Toots and the Maytals, Bob Marley, The Wailers and many more.
I ain’t got no crystal ball, but after seeing what they had played to that point, closing with “Santeria” seemed the clear and obvious choice. It’s evident that they aren’t slowing down any time soon, which is a nice sight to see considering a few years ago, catching Sublime songs live were only possible through covers and cover bands. Even if it’s only Eric remaining from the original lineup, the spirit of Sublime lives on.
by Bryan Holland
Brian Regan is the type of comic that mends the feeling of youth and childhood innocence with the absurdity of adulthood and experience. His brand of clean humor is a breath of fresh air in a world numbed by the need to be lewd and obscene. There is a big reason he sells out every show and is held in such high esteem by his peers. It’s been said he’s your favorite comedians favorite comedian. It’s because his personality and wordplay are functioning on a level of high accessibility while still being clever, honest observations. You’re at a restaurant and receive your meal. The waitress says “Enjoy your meal” and you, like a robot, reply “You too!” The absurdity of life in a nutshell. That’s Brian Regan.
Brian was born in Miami, Florida in 1957, which is impressive considering how physical his comedy is. His arms flail around and he moves all over the stage, the nimblest 59-year-old I’ve seen in the comedy scene live. He began comedy back in 1980 after being persuaded by his college football coach to try theatre and after many ups and downs, he’s now one of the most well-known.
Brian recently performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York on September 26th and it was broadcast live on Comedy Central, the first live broadcast of a stand-up special ever done by the network. This goes to show how he is regarded in the comedy scene.
It the midst of a multiple month tour across the United States, I was lucky enough to catch his stop in Westbury, NY at the NYCB Theatre. Noticeably sold out and loud with anticipation, the 360 degree view layout of the theatre gives a different look to a comedian. It tests them in a sense where they have to engage people sitting in every direction of their perspective. Surrounded, if you will. He rose to the occasion and jumped all around the circular stage, delivering laughs left and right with his observational brand of comedy.
Any momentary pauses or silences were filled with people in the crowd yelling favorite past jokes of his. One thing that is truly amazing about Brian is that he seems to have a completely new show any time he tours. He never needs to delve back into his old bag of tricks. He’s got new ones ready to roll. Whether he talked about how hilarious and monotonous professional sports figures interviews can be (every game being a must win) or pondered on how the duties were divvied up while building the Panama Canal (someone has to take care of the malaria!), he always speaks from the heart with an honest, if silly, way of looking at every day occurrences.
A comedian that will definitely go down in history as one of the best, I felt very privileged to be watching a master of his craft in action. His appeal spans all age groups and some of his first comedy specials are still being spread to the younger generation, especially endearing because of their timeless quality. Family friendly humor that was funny when it came out and has staying power still now and on into the future.
Regan’s tour is still tearing through the United States, you can find tour dates here.
by Bryan Holland
It was a chilly October night in Huntington and the Dirty Heads and their openers brought the heat. If you’ve never heard of the Dirty Heads, you’re definitely missing out. This is a band that mixes the happy vibes and upstroke rhythm of reggae with the clever verbiage and honesty in the lyrics and beats of a hip hop group. They bring smiles and sing-a-alongs with every show, heads bobbing while a moving spectrum of assorted fans dance and sing their hearts out. Their music is not for everyone, but you won’t find anyone in the crowd not moving at least a little bit. The Paramount is the perfect venue for these types of groups. Just as their song “Cabin by the Sea” says, “when the sun goes down, we can start a fire to sing around”.
The opening act started the night very upbeat with high energy reggae and hip-hop in the vein of Dirty Heads but didn’t take long to make a statement themselves. Hailing from Washington, D.C., REDGLDGRN did an original take on the classic Bob Marley song “3 Little Birds” and asked everyone to light it up, of course meaning lighters and phones in the air, lighting up the balcony fans as well as the whole floor while everyone sang the words we were born to know. “Every little thing is gonna be alright”. And like that, everything was. Not too long after, they split the whole crowd in two, doing an east coast vs west coast battle. It was Biggie and Tupac songs head to head in downtown Huntington, their spirit alive and well.
The next group was the New Beat Fund. They had a very different style to their music compared to the other bands. More of a rock outfit with punk rock and reggae layers, they brought a lot of energy and had a front man reminiscent of Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, in demeanor, look, and voice quality. Some songs of theirs had definite recognition potential, as if I had already known a few from another time. They played an excellent cover of “Caress Me Down” by Sublime and had the crowd ready and roaring for the Dirty Heads.
Intermission had been going for twenty or so minutes when the lights dropped. People ran from all corners to be closer to the sound as the electronic riff to “Burn Slow” began, one of the huge hits from two albums ago. Dirty J and Duddy B, as their lead singers go by, came out for the hip hop heavy song with their custom California inspired words.
Next up was “My Sweet Summer”, lyrics speaking to anyone who has been played by the opposite sex. Relating a season being over to the loss of someone in a poetic dance vibe is artistic in the way of a great pun, making you laugh and cry, all the while dancing to the truth it speaks. Chanting “My sweet summer is gone” in October. If you were going through a breakup from summer romance, this one hit you hard. Well played, gentlemen.
“Dance All Night” was an obvious party starter, letting everyone know the hits wouldn’t stop coming. From here on out they delved back and forth, cutting waves like the crowd was their surf, through old songs, new jams, b-sides and back. Prior to this show, I was a huge fan of their b-side acoustic jams they had done over the years. Both of my favorites, “Garland” and “Sloths Revenge” were played. Sloths Revenge relies on references that I personally 100% relate to. “Like Goonies, never say die” and mentioning Marty McFly in one song is a direct line to my nostalgia. References in their songs are potentially the best lyrical mic-drop they do. In one song, you’ll laugh and nod a multitude of times, because you know exactly what he was saying through the façade of clever verbiage and quick spits.
They brought the house down at the end with the songs that got them popular, most notably “Spread Too Thin” right into “Lay Me Down”. With this band, you can be completely sucked in by the great rhythm section, the creative word play, the balance of the whole picture, or if you’re just there to party. They make you dance all night. They spread you thin. They burn slow. They live in a cabin by the sea. These are the sounds of change. Then they lay you down. My sweet summer isn’t over quite yet.
by Lisa Schreiner
She may have lost 100 lbs, but Lisa Lampanelli’s edge has stayed with her the whole time. After a six week break from stand up, Lisa performed at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury, NY on 10/22/16. Her balls-to-the-wall comedy may be shocking to those who have never heard or seen her stand up before but guaranteed, those same people were laughing until tears rolled down their faces. For those of us who are familiar with the “Queen of Mean”, our expectations were met…and then some. From discussing her stint on Celebrity Apprentice to a pretty well-detailed, certainly unsolicited description of menopause, Lampanelli had the Long Island crowd in the palm of her hand.
With Lisa Lampanelli, there are racial jokes, ethnic jokes, religious jokes, age jokes, sexist jokes (for both sexes); no one is left out. But, that is what makes her comedy so brilliant at times. With the way the world is today, offended and triggered by pretty much everything, the comedy world is one joke away from a hashtag rally on Twitter and Lisa makes it well known that, well, she really doesn’t give a shit.
Of course with election time and the fact that Lisa was a competitor on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice”, there were plenty of Trump jokes. What was unsettling (at least for this writer) was the plethora of Trump supporters that seemed to be in the audience. Instead of turning it into a political mess (see Amy Schumer’s diabolical bomb), Lampanelli quieted the boo’s by assuring the crowd that she would be making fun of Hillary Clinton as well. And she did. As mentioned before, no one is left unscathed.
The comedian also touched on her divorce and her debut as a playwright. Stuffed opened off-Broadway on October 7th at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre and touches on women, food obsession and the trouble with body image, all done in the signature Lisa Lampanelli style. The production is slated to run until November 6th. These past few years have become a constant battle of walking on egg shells when it comes to what people will make fun of or even talk about. Lisa Lampanelli is a welcomed break from the exhausting task of being politically correct all of the time. And we can only hope she will continue to insult us all for years to come.
Lisa will be performing at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey on November 5th. Tickets can be found here.
All photos by Kevin Wilson
Review by Darcy Stone
On the 22nd anniversary of the release of their debut album, Korn played the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, FL on 10/11/16 and showed the crowd exactly why they’ve had the staying power of nearly three decades. Front man Jonathan Davis, clad in his signature black kilt, grabbed onto his custom built mic stand and ripped into “Right Now” to kick off the night. With bassist Fieldy, guitarist Brian “Head” Welch (who has since returned after leaving the band in 2005), guitarist Munky and drummer Ray Luzier (who replaced original drummer David Silveria after his departure in 2006), Davis treated the Tampa crowd to a plethora of classics like “Blind”, “Good God” and “Freak on a Leash.”
In his 22 years as a front man for Korn, Jonathan Davis has never been known for political outbursts during shows (i.e. Eddie Vedder at many Pearl Jam shows), but something must have spiked his tone up as he went into a rant about our government before launching “Y’all Want a Single,” off of 2003’s Take a Look in the Mirror.
Music, namely rock n’ roll, has been veering into a bit of a black hole in recent years so to see a band like Korn still out there, performing with the same power they possessed in their earlier years is a treat for the eyes and ears. This is a band that pioneered a new genre of music on their own, influencing many bands along the way and outlasting every musical fad that has come and gone. Korn will no doubt join their peers in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in a few years…and deservedly so.
Korn is currently on tour through April 2017, dates can be found on their official site.
- Right now
- Here To Stay
- Rotting in Vain
- Somebody Someone
- Coming Undone
- Y’all Want a Single
- Make Me Bad
- Shoots and Ladders (with a snippet of Metallica’s “One”)
- Good God
- Falling Away From Me
- Freak on a Leash
All photos by Steve Rose
by Lisa Schreiner
She’s the lovable “Queen of Mean” and she’s bringing her stand up act to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on October 22nd! Lisa Lampanelli became a household name in 2009 after her HBO special Long Live the Queen debut gained tremendous ratings. With regular appearances on Howard Stern, multiple Comedy Central roasts, a stint on Celebrity Apprentice, appearances on late night shows across the board and having penned an autobiography (“Chocolate Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat and Freaks”), Lampanelli has become a staple in the entertainment industry. Her jokes leave no background/ethnicity/orientation/religion unturned. But it’s her sharp-yet-charming wit that makes her the most lovable “insult comedy” extraordinaire.
Lisa Lampanelli’s one-hour special Dirty Girl earned her a Grammy nomination in 2007 for Best Comedy Album of the Year and she has since starred as a regular on CMT’s Bounty Hunters as well as landing a role in the feature film Not Fade Away by David Chase (The Sopranos). Currently, the comedienne is working on her first theater production, Stuffed, which will bring a different side of Lisa that has yet to be seen.
Come see Lisa Lampanelli live at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on 10/22/16 and at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey on 11/5/16! For tickets to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury show, click here. Tickets for the Wellmont Theater can be found here.
All tour dates for Lisa Lampanelli can be found on the Ticketmaster website.
by Lisa Schreiner
“Oh, that’s the guy from Gilmore Girls!” This was in response to me showing a picture to someone asking who Sebastian Bach is. My heart sank just a little when I had to explain that long before Gilmore Girls, there was a band called Skid Row; and that Sebastian Bach is an actual musician, not just an actor playing one. But I suppose that comes with getting older and having to tell a younger generation that there was music before The Weeknd.
On October 1st, Sebastian Bach came back to play Mulcahy’s in Wantagh, NY and gave everyone — younger and older — a dose of what we have become dangerously deficient in: pure rock & roll. His unmistakable voice hasn’t changed much since he joined Skid Row in 1987 hitting the high notes in “I Remember You” seamlessly, far exceeding any expectations there might have been for his voice to break or show any signs of an almost 30-year career.
Playing both Skid Row hits and his solo music, Sebastian Bach –with his trademark long, blonde locks — entertained the packed Mulcahy’s crowd, appealing not only to us “elder folk” who were alive to witness the debut of Bach and Skid Row, but the younger generations in attendance as well. Sure, his gig on Gilmore Girls might have helped draw in some of the youngsters but it’s Sebastian Bach’s music and affable persona that keeps them as fans.