Friday, May 6, 2011

Concert Review: Avalanche Tour feat. Stone Sour, Theory of a Deadman, Skillet, Halestorm and Art of Dying

For the past few months I've been desperately wanting to segue into the reason I started this blog, to bring rock chicks, girl's who can't live without the wail of electric guitar and the deep voices of rock 'n' roll music, a place to call their own beauty wise. That's not to say that I intend to alienate any of my readers, shove my music down their throats or bombard you with all things music. A girl can have more than one love and beauty and rock music are two of mine. The basic concept of the site will stay the same but you may have noticed the direction I've been going in already, I'm going to keep up with that. Eventually, I'd like to be able to do album reviews but I promise I will post enough beauty related content to keep everyone interested. Now onto the post.

I've been to a lot of rock concerts, that's for sure. When I heard some guys debating the concerts they'd been to at Walmart the other day, I could have beat them. Let's just say I've seen my favorite band, Godsmack, five times, including the time I somehow convinced my parents to let 16-year old me and my 14-year old friend hop a bus to Boston alone to see a concert with a friend of the family who lived down there. It was the expirience of a lifetime, my first concert, and started the addiction that I'm living with today. Besides my makeup drawer concerts are the only thing I splash out money on and usually it's only 1-2 times a year. Now that they're contemplating building an arena in my hometown I'm hoping to get a lot more opportunity.

This past weekend I attented the Avalanche Tour, a concert that seemed so too good to be true that I swore it was, with bands Stone Sour, Theory of a Deadman, Skillet, Halestorm and Art of Dying it was pretty unbelievable, the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

First up was Art of Dying. Honestly, I'd only heard of them through the concert promotions and that's when their single hit local radio. The first thing I realized when they hit the stage was they were not what I expected, as Matt so eloquently put it, they're old. They look like a healthier, slightly younger, Canadian version of Motley Crue, I can get on board with that. The music was amazing and more than that, the performance was superb, the perfect mix of interacting with the fans and rocking out. I'm ready to go out and buy their album, Vices and Virtues, I think the name alone completely sums up the rock 'n' roll experience and the single "Die Trying" is sure to have commercial success. The energy these guys have on stage puts my 25 year old self to shame. If you have this album you have to let me know how it is. Judging by the few songs I heard during their set I'd say it's right up my alley and how can you go wrong with a song featuring Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace and a record label backed by the guys of Disturbed?

Then the house was rocked by Halestorm, who's own Lzzy Hale was the topic of today's Face-off Friday. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect out of Halestorm, as I find it's usually the girls who are sub-par performers when it comes time to hit the stage. Not this time. Lzzy looked cute in some amazing red tights and thigh high boots although I would have gone with a different top, I wasn't digging the American flag bikini top under a white corset that looked like it belonged in the bedroom. Their music is pretty provocative and I was shocked at some of the things the record label actually let her get away with saying, nothing even remotely close to what guys are allowed to get away with on a daily basis. Their new song "American Boys" was so much fun, I can't wait for that one to hit the radio, it would be perfect for the summer if it comes out in time. The most interesting part of the performance (besides Lzzy butchering the name of the city and everyone laughing at her) was Arejay Hale (Lzzy's brother) on drums. I'm not kidding, dude had a cymbal over his head and looked like an ADHD child without his Adderall. The performance was killer and Lzzy's vocals were just as beautiful as they were on the CD I played out nearly two years ago.

Skillet's performance was again, amazing. I've seen them play live once before with Puddle of Mudd (not my favorites) and Shinedown (one of my top five) and this performance was even better. Guest performers on the violin and cello really stole the show and I swear in my next life I'm going to play violin on rock albums I love it that much. Everyone looked great and I particularly liked John's awesome vest and the blue streaks in Korey's hair. Even with a brand new guitarist the band still rocked the house and dare I say, stole the show. Except for John's psuedo-religious rant I'd say his speaking was far superior to what it was a year and a half ago when I saw them. All the songs were familiar and the crowd really got into the whole performance and Korey and Jen did awesome on their backing vocals, really clear and powerful despite trying to play guitar and drums, respectively, at the same time. I can't wait for them to release a new album because I'll be buying it for sure.

A band who is releasing a new album soon, July 18th to be exact, Theory of a Deadman. I've also seen them perform live before when they were on tour with Hinder and Motley Crue. Same as last time I felt that Tyler just didn't bring it, like he didn't really want to be singing the same ol' songs again. When they performed new material he was alive again and I'm really looking forward to hearing the album and may even do a review on the site when it comes out. Fan interaction was good and he seemed to be pretty into that. Music was great and if we could just get Tyler to sing a little louder and lay off the mumbling it would be perfect.

Last but not least, Stone Sour. I admit, with the mile long walk back to the car we hit the road before the set was over, the first few songs were ones I didn't recognize. Let me just say that Corey Taylor is a lot shorter than I pictured, and balder than I remember, no wonder he's a rockstar, he definitely gets his attention that way. As we approached the car and they started playing "Scars" I have to say it sounded good enough to be album quality, like someone was playing the CD extra loud, even with a fill-in on bass, as the regular bassist left the tour for personal reasons. I much prefer Corey's vocals on slow songs where he can really showcase his vocal talent, the man is talented and I hate to see him waste it on screaming and stuff more like his other band, Slipknot. For that reason alone I was never really into Slipknot. Energy was up and I dug the way he took over the stage and really interacted with the crowd to get everyone rowdy and ready to go, the hour long set really left time for a wide array of songs from fan favorites to radio versions. If they stuck with soulful ballads Stone Sour would have a fan for life. Now, I just have to get around to checking out their new album, Audio Secrecy (great name, right?)!

There you have it, my first concert review on DOC. Tell me what you loved, what you hated, what you want to see more or less of. I'll listen and take that into account next time, which will hopefully be soon.

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