Thursday, December 8, 2011


The Dreaming - Puppet
Epochal Artists, November 2011

Led by Christopher Hall, former lead singer for popular industrial metal band Stabbing Westward, The Dreaming doesn’t stray too far from the sound he built with Stabbing Westward to deliver an enjoyable, pleasing record. Following a slew of EPs and one full-length album, Puppet has founding members Hall and Johnny Haro (drums) back with a revamped lineup that includes one-time American Head Charge guitarist Nick Quijano. Whereas Stabbing Westward delved into a dark, morose sound towards the end, The Dreaming takes the heaviness and great melodies of that band into more pop-sounding territory while retaining Hall’s bitter, personal lyrics. Right off the bat, “Puppet” shows that The Dreaming is out to make a statement with its dense, molten riffs. The single “Every Trace” has a more upbeat sound and cool march-like beat that gives it instant appeal. My favorite track, “Breathing”, has a brilliantly simple keyboard melody layered over a fast guitar riff while Hall sings a tale of regret and forgiveness. The next few songs aren’t quite as remarkable, but all are solid tracks, especially “Fight For You” and “Stitches”. A pleasant surprise is the inclusion of Depeche Mode cover “It’s No Good”, a heavier selection from a dark phase of the masters of synth-pop. The last part of the album features “Solo Crucifixion”, an interesting track that opens with some precise guitar work that eventually incorporates a heavy, low keyboard line that reminds me of something from Kill Switch…Klick, and “Too Late”, a great song with a memorable sing-along chorus. Puppet succeeds because Hall has taken elements of Stabbing Westward and woven them into a more accessible sound that at times surprises and impresses the listener. Hall’s voice sounds better than ever, and he still croons and screams as well as he did with Stabbing Westward. Big fans of industrial music are likely to dismiss The Dreaming as pop metal-sounding fluff, but there’s way too much talent here for anyone to write off without being a bit less than credible.

The Dreaming performs tonight, Thursday, December 8 at Station 4 in St. Paul with support from 3 Pill Morning, Killing Floor, Withering Deity, and Create, Control. This is a 16+ show with early doors at 6:00 pm, and tickets are $10 at the door.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Weekly Concert Update - KITTIE Concert Announced, SCOTT WEILAND Cancelled

There's only a couple things to report with regard to concert announcements. In what seems like one of the oddest billings I've seen in a while, Kittie is teaming up with Blackguard, The Agonist, and Bonded By Blood for a tour that brings them to St. Paul at Station 4 on Wednesday, April 18. This is an all ages show, and tickets will be $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

Diamond Plate has now been confirmed as main support for D.R.I. on the promoter's Facebook page for their show on Friday, December 9 at Station 4 in St. Paul. Although they are not listed on the flyer, they will be there!

Lastly in concert news, Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland has cancelled his December 6 show at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. Weiland hand only a handful of dates booked in December, and I'm not sure if other shows have also been cancelled.

During the coming week, there's a hard rock/metal show nearly every night so get out to something that interests you! Here's the quick rundown of the next week's shows.
Tonight, Friday, December 2, 80s heavyweights Warrant and Firehouse are joining forces for a co-headling show at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina with local openers Scarlet Haze. A little bit to the south of the Cities, local legends Gemini are doing one of their occasional reunion shows at the Wicked Moose Bar and Grill in Rochester tonight.

Saturday, December 3 brings Avenged Sevenfold, Hollywood Undead, Asking Alexandria, and Black Veil Brides to Minneapolis at the Target Center. Also on Sunday, a ton of local bands are gathering for a big show at Club Underground in Minneapolis, including The Black Light, OBCT, Thought Thieves, As/Of, The Night, Kether, Thosquanta, Avenpitch, Albuterol, and Oneneoeon.

Sunday, December 4 is a big day that starts early with Trans-Siberian Orchestra performing two shows at 3:30 and 7:30 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Also in St. Paul that night at Station 4 are 80s rockers Enuff Z'Nuff with The Regenerators, The Grande Machine, and Crashmatic. Enuff Z'Nuff really is so underrated and different than other hard rock and metal bands from this time. I saw them once at The Filling Station in Kansas City around 1998, and they are phenomenal live. Tantric also plays on Sunday in Burnsville at Primetime Sports Bar & Grill with Man Made Machine, Underride, and Eve To Adam.

Sevendust returns on Monday, December 5, this time at Myth in St. Paul with support from Eye Empire, Candlelight Red, and Seven Day Sonnet.

Wednesday, December 7 sees As I Lay Dying at First Avenue in Minneapolis with Of Mice & Men, The Ghost Inside, Iwrestledabearonce, and Sylosis. For those up north, the Avenged Sevenfold tour lands at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth on Wednesday.

Lastly, The Dreaming, featuring Stabbing Westward vocalist Christopher Hall, plays Station 4 in St. Paul on Thursday, December 8 with Killing Floor, Withering Deity, and Create Control.

Check the details on the concert calendar to the right for additional details about these and other shows.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

RAMMSTEIN Pre-Sale Password

If you're keen on going to see Rammstein when they bring their spectacle to Minneapolis at the Target Center on May 8, here's the password for ticket pre-sales: BERLIN. Pre-sales for the Minneapolis concert start today, Thursday, December 1 at 10 am, and this password is valid only until 5 pm today. General ticket sales begin Monday, December 5 at 10 am. I have no idea if this pre-sale password will work for other US dates, but it won't hurt to give it a try. Sometime before the concert I'll get around to posting pictures of Rammstein from the 1998 Family Values Tour when they were touring in support of Sehnsucht. They do put on an impressive show if you've never had the chance to see Rammstein.