Friday, May 31, 2013

Massive Updates on the Way!

As I warned earlier this month, an unexpected surgery set things back here for a little while and this is the reason for the lack of recent updates. I appreciate your patience as I get caught up on posting. There will be a big update with regards to concert announcements posted tomorrow. From there I'll continue with the usual mix of concert news, album reviews, and audio downloads. I have a backlog of material from the last month that will also be posted in due course. Check back soon for the latest concert news for the Twin Cities area!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

PAIN OF SALVATION Ends North American Tour Early, Tonight's St. Paul Concert Canceled

This crushing news was posted within the last hour on the Facebook page of SwordLord Productions, promoter for tonight's concert at Station 4 in St. Paul with Pain Of Salvation, Kingcrow, Imminent Sonic Destruction, Violent Fade, and Redshift. If you saw my review of the new album from Kingcrow, In Crescendo (10/10), you'll understand how deeply disappointing this news is. The SwordLord (Nathan Block) writes on his Facebook page:

"I found out early this morning that Daniel Gildenlöw, lead singer for Pain of Salvation, has developed pneumonia and will be flying home to recover. Obviously the band could no longer perform under such circumstances.

I then tried to negotiate a free show with KINGCROW, IMMINENT SONIC DESTRUCTION and my outstanding local acts in order to salvage the evening. Unfortunately, due to a breakdown in communication, the other bands on the tour package had already started heading home and were now not in a position to make the show on time.

This is the first time in my entire 10 year career of producing Minnesota concerts that I have completely lost a show. I am extremely sorry for the gross inconvenience. Unfortunately these circumstances were far beyond my control.

Advance ticket holders, please return your tickets to your place of purchase for a full refund."

This is the second show cancelled on this brief tour (Quebec City was the other) that only had about eight shows scheduled. In the case of Kingcrow it's curious that they would be "now not in a position to make the show on time." St. Paul was the last stop on the tour, and one would think their returning flight to Italy wouldn't be until at least tomorrow and would depart from Minneapolis. You'd think they would be spending tonight in the Twin Cities regardless of the status of the show, but I'm sure it must be more complicated than this. In any event, we can only hope that Pain Of Salvation and Kingcrow can make it back to the Twin Cities later this year.

Album Review - KINGCROW

Kingcrow – In Crescendo
Sensory, 2013

Kingcrow is a new band to me, so I’m overwhelmed with awe that In Crescendo from this low-profile Italian band is the best progressive rock album since Porcupine Tree stunned the rock world with In Absentia and Deadwing. In Crescendo will go down as a landmark album on par with other modern classics such as the aforementioned Porcupine Tree albums, Karnivool’s Sound Awake, Devin Townsend’s Ocean Machine (originally released as Biomech by Ocean Machine) and Opeth’s Blackwater Park. I wish I could claim that I had discovered Kingcrow earlier (this is their fifth album), so unfortunately I can’t place In Crescendo in the context of their earlier work.

Photo courtesy Kingcrow (

There’s everything you’d expect from a masterpiece – beautiful, thoughtful songs, impeccable musicianship, and innovative songcraft. During my first few listens I just couldn’t believe how good this album is. The rhythm section is tight, and picks up with driving force where appropriate, while the guitarwork typically shifts between solid, thick riffs and haunting acoustic melodies oftentimes layered together with electric guitar. Keyboards are ever-present throughout the album, from pulsing electronic rhythms to piano to difficult-to-characterize sounds. Then there’s the voice of Diego Marchesi – dynamic, soaring, majestic. Everything feels like it’s in its proper place. There’s not a whiff of pretention despite the depth of each song. Porcupine Tree is an obvious point of reference (the rhythm of “The Drowning Line” borrows some notes from “Arriving Somewhere But Not Here”), but more so in a stylistic sense. “The Hatch” has an eerie vibe similar to Queensrÿche’s version of “Gonna Get Close To You” before massive guitar chords blow the song wide open. Other high points are the slow-building melodies of “Morning Rain” and the measured grace of “The Glass Fortress”. The entire album is so compelling, so rich and captivating, that there’s no question in my mind that In Crescendo will stand as a monumental classic. So rare are the moments when a perfect, life-affirming album appears as if a gift from the heavens that one must simply bask in the glow and let the music infuse your soul. This is one such moment.

Kingcrow performs tonight, Saturday, May 11 at Station 4 in St. Paul as direct support to Pain Of Salvation with Imminent Sonic Destruction, Violent Fade, and Redshift.


I can't ever recall a night with five shows scattered across the metro, so here we go. My pick of the bunch is Swedish progressive metal outfit Pain Of Salvation with Kingcrow, Imminent Sonic Destruction, Violent Fade, and Redshift. I'll shortly have a review of the new Kingcrow album posted that I hope will convince you to attend. This is a 16+ early show that starts at 6:00, and tickets are $18 at the door.

Another rare performance happens tonight in St. Paul at the Girls Got Rhythm Festival at the Amsterdam Bar - former vocalist of The Runaways, Cherie Currie, headlines the night with Sugar Stems, Marilu And The Machetes, and Is/Is. It all starts at 8:00; it's a 21+ show that will cost you $20 at the door. The Minneapolis StarTribune recently ran a short interview with Cherie Currie.

Over in Minneapolis you can catch Escape The Fate with Glamour Of The Kill and My My Missfire - The Color Morale is no longer a part of this show. This is an all ages show that gets underway at 8:00, and tickets are $20 at the door.

DoryDrive returns to the area for a free show at the Hi 5 Bar in Burnsville; no further information is available.

Finally, Neisen's in Savage has a big local metal package of Blue Felix, Throw The Fight, Gabriel And The Apocalypse, Terror Overising, and A Sound Theory. This show is also free - it's 18+ and starts at 7:00.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Concert Announcements - May 10, 2013

Taproot has added a stop at Buster’s in Mankato on Tuesday, May 14 with Boy Hits Car and Intertwined.

Reaping Asmodeia has added a date on Friday, May 17 at the What’s Up Lounge in Mankato with Conflicts, Fail To Decay, and Valor Tracks.

Metalcore band Phinehas will play Station 4 in St. Paul on Monday, May 20 with Ark Of The Covenant, Chugchugwob, When Glory Came Home, and Watchmen in support.

Local noise crew Burn Fetish is having a release party for their new album Sun And Dust at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis with With A Gun For A Face, Torch The Spires, and Fury Things on Sunday, May 26.

Singer guitarist Bob Mould of Minneapolis punk legends Hüsker Dü and alternative rock band Sugar is a part of the Rock The Garden concert that is already SOLD OUT. Sponsored by 89.3 The Current, Rock The Garden takes place in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center on Saturday, June 15. Headlining the event is Metric with Silversun Pickups, Low, and Dan Deacon also performing. Local writer Jeff Severns Guntzel has written an interesting piece on Bob Mould for the Walker Art Center that extensively quotes Bob from various fanzine interviews from the early 80s.

The next night, Sunday, June 16, Bob Mould plays Grandma’s Sports Garden in Duluth.

Grant Hart, former drummer of Hüsker Dü, plays the Turf Club in St. Paul on Friday, July 12 to coincide with the release of his new solo album The Argument.

Sevendust has scheduled a show in Rochester at the Wicked Moose on Saturday, July 13 with support from Otherwise and Devour The Day.

The Cabooze in Minneapolis on Thursday, July 25 will host the All Stars Tour with Every Time I Die, Chelsea Grin, Veil Of Maya, Terror, Stray From The Path, Capture The Crown, Iwrestledabearonce, For All Those Sleeping, Structures, and Ice Nine Kills.

On Saturday, July 27 Chicago’s Kommandant, which features ex-members of black metal band Nachtmystium, will play Station 4 in St. Paul with Atrum Inritus and Nuklear Frost.

Saturday, July 27 also has Face Of Oblivion teaming with Goregatron, Byleth, Mastiff, and First Against The Wall for a show at the What’s Up Lounge in Mankato.

Great White Featuring Jack Russell returns to Neisen’s in Savage on Saturday, July 27 the day after their appearance at Halfway Jam in Royalton.

BulletBoys also return to Neisen’s in Savage on Saturday, August 10.

CORRECTION: Thanks to reader mad angel for catching my mistake - Grant Hart is the former drummer (not bassist) of Hüsker Dü. This has been corrected and updated with the title of Grant's forthcoming solo album, The Argument.

In Concert This Week - May 10, 2013

Brace yourself for a ton of great shows coming up this week!

Starting with a couple show outside the metro area, tomorrow, Friday, May 10 has local industrial metal bands Gabriel And The Apocalypse and Thira at Buster's in Mankato for a 21+ show at 9:45 for only $5. Down in Rochester, DoryDrive plays a free 21+ show at the Wicked Moose with Venus On Fire and Angry Room; doors are at 8:00.

Friday also kicks off the Girls Got Rhythm Festival at the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul with cult punk band The Avengers, Gateway District, The Pinsch, and Total Trash. The second night on Saturday, May 11 features former singer of The Runaways Cherie Currie, Sugar Stems, Marilu And The The Machetes, and Is/Is. These are 21+ shows, and tickets are $20 each night at the door or $35 for a two-day pass. 
You can read an interview with Cherie Currie and Girls Got Rhythm organizers Dana Raidt and Travis Ramin over at City Pages.

There's four other shows of interest on Saturday, May 11. Fans of progressive metal should turn out for the first U.S. tours of Sweden's Pain Of Salvation, Italy's Kingcrow, Detroit's Imminent Sonic Destruction, Omaha's Violent Fade, and locals Redshift. Over at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis you can catch hard rock band Escape The Fate with support from England’s Glamour Of The Kill. Note that metalcore band The Color Morale is no longer on the Escape The Fate bill. The Hi 5 Bar in Burnsville has alternative rock band DoryDrive. Lastly, it’s a big night of local metal at Neisen’s in Savage with Blue Felix, Throw The Fight, Gabriel And The Apocalypse, and A Sound Theory.

Speaking of Escape The Fate, their former frontman’s new band Falling In Reverse also plays Mill City Nights in Minneapolis on Sunday, May 12 with support from American Fangs. You can save some money by purchasing the “Escape The Fate 2 Show Pack” that gets you into both the Escape The Fate and Falling In Reverse shows for only $25. Just across the street at Epic the same night metalcore band Asking Alexandria tops a large bill with Motionless In White, Whitechapel, Chimaira, and I Killed The Prom Queen.

On Monday, May 13 rock radio darlings Sick Puppies perform at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis with local support from Pinwheel.

Limp Bizkit performing at Kemper Arena in Kansas City on October 22, 1998 on the Family Values Tour. Click on the picture to see more photos from this show (7).

Limp Bizkit returns to town after a long absence for a show at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. This show sold out quick, and additional tickets were released earlier this week – you can still purchase them through ticketfly here.

The busy week ends on Wednesday, May 15 with metalcore stars Bullet For My Valentine teaming up with Halestorm, Young Guns, and Stars In Stereo at Myth in St. Paul. The Stars In Stereo Album Preview EP was reviewed here (6/10). Also on Wednesday alternative rock band Taproot plays the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis with support from Boy Hits Car, XFactor1, and Willpowerless. Up north, Wednesday finds Sevendust plays Duluth at Clyde Iron Works with Pop Evil and Canadians Monster Truck.

RELATED SEVENDUST POSTS: I reviewed the awesome new Sevendust album Black Out The Sun here. You can download the audio from an early headlining show on July 19, 1997 in Lawrence, Kansas here, and my From The Vault feature has a ton of live photos and promotional materials from 1997–2000.

Sevendust performing June 18, 2000 at Cox Arena in San Diego. Click on the picture to see more photos from this show (18).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Varsity Theater Releases More Tickets for LIMP BIZKIT May 14

The Limp Bizkit concert on Tuesday, May 14 at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis sold out quick, and the venue has responded to the demand by releasing a limited number of additional general admission floor tickets for the show. If you want to go, you better head over to ticketfly right now and purchase tickets now before they're gone. Tickets are $35, and it's an 18+ show.

Limp Bizkit performing October 22, 1998 in Kansas City, MO at Kemper Arena on the Family Values Tour.

Tonight - FIREHOUSE, THE AVENGERS in Minneapolis

90s rock superstars Firehouse play the Twin Cities with remarkable regularity, and that streak continues with their show tonight, Thursday, May 9 at The Pourhouse in Minneapolis. There are three tiers of tickets for this 21+ show that gets underway around 7:30: general admission ($25), reserved table seating ($40), and premium VIP seating ($60). This is a special benefit show for Six String Slingers, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide "high quality guitars and lessons to U.S. combat veterans who are suffering from PTSD and other combat-related issues." Firehouse returns again on Friday, July 19 for a show with Bret Michaels and Warrant at Lakefront Park in Prior Lake.

Extreme Noise Records in Minneapolis has lined up a special, free in-store event with cult 70s punk band The Avengers from San Francisco. Starting at 6:30, there will be a record signing, a question-and-answer session with fans, as well as a live performance. This in-store appearance is a warm-up for The Avengers' headlining slot at the Girls Got Rhythm festival in St. Paul this Friday, May 10 at the Amsterdam Bar & Grill. These two shows are surely not to be missed if you're a fan of old-school punk. Scroll down to watch The Avengers performing "We Are The One" in Germany in 2006.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

GODSMACK Adds More Summer Concerts, Will Play Myth in St. Paul July 18

Hard rock band Godsmack has added a few new concert dates in the Midwest that surround appearances at a number of summer festivals in the U.S. One of the newly announced concerts is right here in St. Paul at Myth on July 18. Tickets for the St. Paul show, which is all ages, go on sale this Friday, May 10 at 10:00 am. Here is the current list of upcoming Godsmack dates:

May 30 - Boston, MA, TD Garden, Boston Strong
June 29 - Gibbons, AB, Boonstock Festival Grounds
July 18 - St. Paul, MN, Myth
July 19 - Oshkosh, WI, Ford Festival Park, Rock USA Festival
July 20 - Hammond, IN, The Venue at Horseshoe Casino
August 3 - Sioux Falls, SD, Sioux Empire Fair
August 4 - Milwaukee, WI, Eagles Ballroom
August 5 - Lansing, MI, Jackson County Fair
August 11 - Montreal, QC, Parc jean Drapeau, Heavy MTL Festival

Summer HOLY GRAIL Headlining Tour Hits Minneapolis on July 13

Not resting much after completion of their recent tour with Anthrax, Exodus, High On Fire, and Municipal Waste, thrashers Holy Grail will embark on their first North American headlining tour with support from new Nuclear Blast signee Anti-Mortem. The ambitious five and a half week tour starts June 19 in San Diego and circles nearly the entire U.S. and Canada before winding down in Hollywood on July 26. There's a stop in Minneapolis at The Nether Bar on Saturday, July 13; tickets go on sale Friday, May 10 at 10:00 am.

Holy Grail is out promoting their newly released second album Ride The Void (reviewed here, 6/10); the video for the title track can be viewed above.


Anti-Mortem hails from Oklahoma, and released their self-titled debut album independently in 2010 (it's still available for download through CD Baby). A video for a re-worked version of "Stagnant Water" that will appear on the new album has been released which you can watch below. The band also released a video for the non-album track "Truck Stop Special" in 2011. No release date for Anti-Mortem's Nuclear Blast debut has been announced, but expect it to arrive this year. Head on over the band's webpage where you can download a demo version of "Stagnant Water".

Holy Grail with Anti-Mortem:
June 19 - San Diego, CA, Soda Bar
June 20 - Mesa, AZ, The Underground
June 21 - El Paso, TX, TBA
June 22 - Lubbock, TX, Jakes Sports Cafe
June 23 - San Antonio, TX, The Korova
June 24 - Austin, TX, Holy Mountain
June 25 - Houston, TX, Fitzgerald's Basement
June 26 - Dallas, TX, Double Wide
June 28 - New Orleans, LA, Siberia
June 29 - Atlanta, GA, The Earl
July 1 - Baltimore, MD, Metro Gallery
July 2 - New York, NY, Knitting Factory
July 3 - Wormleysburg, PA, Jaxx
July 5 - Stanhope, NJ, Stanhope House
July 6 - Hartford, CT, Arch Street Tavern
July 7 - Boston, MA, Great Scott
July 8 - Burlington, VT, Nectars
July 9 - Montreal, QC, Divan Orange
July 10 - Toronto, ON, Hard Luck Bar
July 11 - Cleveland, OH, Now That's Class
July 12 - Chicago, IL, Reggie's Rock Club
July 13 - Minneapolis, MN, The Nether Bar
July 15 - Winnipeg, MB, Zoo Cabaret
July 16 - Regina, SK, The Exchange
July 18 - Edmonton, AB, Wunderbar
July 19 - Calgary, AB, Dickens
July 21 - Vancouver, BC, The Astoria
July 22 - Seattle, WA, Highline
July 23 - Portland, OR, Backspace
July 25 - San Francisco, CA, Thee Parkside
July 26 - West Hollywood, CA, Whisky-A-Go-Go

Fall VICIOUS RUMORS, LEATHERWOLF, SEVEN WITCHES Tour Dates Announced, St. Paul September 23

Long-running Bay Area power metal band Vicious Rumors is teaming for a killer North American tour this Fall dubbed the "Metal Masters Tour" with Leatherwolf and Seven Witches that will run from September 18 to October 25. The first batch of these dates has been revealed, and thankfully it includes a stop in St. Paul at Station 4 on September 23. Confirmed dates for the tour are listed at the bottom of this post.

Vicious Rumors just released their eleventh studio album, Electric Punishment, through SPV/Steamhammer earlier this week - watch the video for "I Am The Gun" above. My favorite album from the band is 1988's Digital Dictator, an absolute monster of an album that's relentless from start to finish. To get fired up for this tour, watch this live version of "Digital Dictator" from 1994 in Aschaffenburg, Germany with original vocalist Carl Alberts who sadly died from a car accident in 1995.

Veteran metal band Leatherwolf will release a new live album, Unchained, later this year, and you can download a free mp3 version of "Spiter" from the forthcoming album by liking the band over on their Facebook page. Seven Witches will release their ninth studio album, The Rebirth, through eOne this summer. Founding guitarist Jack Frost has enlisted an entirely new band that includes vocalist Anthony Cross, bassist Ronnie Parkes, and former Type O Negative drummer Johnny Kelly.

Confirmed Metal Masters Tour dates with Vicious Rumors, Leatherwolf, and Seven Witches (more to be announced):
September 21 - Indianapolis, IN, Indianapolis Metal Fest
September 23 - St. Paul, MN, Station 4
September 24 - Detroit, MI, IROCK
September 27 - Akron, OH, Rippers Rock House
September 28 - Rochester, NY, The Montage
September 29 - Toronto, ON, MOD (Virgin Mobile Center)
September 30 - Poughkeepsie, NY, The Chance Theater
October 1 - New York, NY, Webster Hall
October 2 - New York, NY, Saint Vitus
October 3 - Philadelphia, PA, Voltage Lounge
October 4 - Frederick, MD, Bentz Street
October 5 - Spartanburg, SC, Ground Zero
October 10 - Dallas, TX, The Boiler Room
October 12 - Arvada, CO, Jammin' Joes
October 19 - North Platte, NE, Sculley's Shooters

I DECLARE WAR - April 9, 2013

Brutal deathcore band I Declare War played an intense show on April 9 at Station 4 in St. Paul while on tour with Within The Ruins, The Contortionist, Reflections, and City In The Sea. I previously posted the audio from Reflections, and now here is the complete audio of I Declare War. The concert was reviewed in two parts, here and here.

Click on the photo to see additional live pictures of I Declare War (22).

The download link is here. As always, please share, but share the link to this post rather than the direct Mediafire link. Enjoy!

I Declare War
Tonight We Lay Waste
April 9, 2013
St. Paul, MN, Station 4
mp3@192 kbps, 41.7 MB zip file (artwork included)

1. Human Waste (5:39)
2. Misery Cloud (3:40)
3. March On (4:01)
4. Weak Minds (4:09)
5. The Dot (4:36)
6. Putrification Of The Population (4:03)
7. Malevolence (2:20)
Total time: 28:28