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All posts for the month June, 2015

The Rolling Stones. Photo courtesy of billboard.com.

The Rolling Stones. Photo courtesy of billboard.com.

By Brandon Judeh (Music Reporter)

The lights went down and the massive video screens showed 50 years worth of music and photos.

Fireworks went off and nearly 60,000 fans went insane.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones.

It was ironic as 71-year-old lead singer Mick Jagger strutted onto the stage and sang “And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,” during the opener “Jumping Jack Flash” just as the day long rain had subsided.

The crowd was in full-blown hysteria by the time the sets second song “It’s Only Rock “n” Roll (But I Like It)” kicked in, as Keith Richards’ sleazy guitar sound filled Heinz Field.

Though feedback, due to the excess of amplifiers, drowned out the greatness of songs like “All Down the Line” and “Tumbling Dice,” the rest of the show sounded flawless for a band that’s half a century old.

2012’s “Doom and Gloom” faired well stacked up against “Bitch” and “Moonlight Mile” and proved the boys from London can still write a hit song.

“Paint it Black” won the fan vote, over songs such as “Shattered” (much to the crowds delight).

Perhaps the biggest fan reaction came when the Gramps with Amps kicked into “Honky Tonk Woman” as nearly the entire stadium was on its feet belting out “It’s the honky tonk woman, gimmie, gimmie, gimme the honky tonk blues.”

Speaking of blues, guitarist Ronnie Wood and company played an exceptionally bluesy version of “Midnight Rambler,” which was easily the highlight of the night.

It also displayed the often-underrated chemistry between Richards, Wood and drummer Charlie Watts (as well as the backing musicians).

They all managed to cohesively trail off into their own jams just enough to make the performance a unique one. Then brought it back around to complete the classic track.

Before Richards took over lead singing duties on “Before They Make Me Run” and “Happy,” Jagger introduced the entire band.

Wood, ever the attention whore, stretched out his ovation by walking around the catwalk and egging the crowd on for more cheers.

Though Richards introduction was received with a roar of applause and chants of “Keith” the sometimes under appreciated Watts received the biggest reception.

Maybe the shyest Stone, Watts was treated to a nearly three minute ovation, before quietly returning behind the kit.

Kicking off their performance of “Gimme Shelter” the band played to a dimly lit stage as the lyrics to the 1969 hit still resonate to this day.

It’s worth noting that long time backing vocalist, Lisa Fischer, did an admirable job singing the legendary Merry Clayton’s vocals.

As the muggy night wore on, Jagger came out in a bright red, feathery outfit as flames erupted and the opening drums to “Sympathy for the Devil” filled the air.

When the Stones returned to the stage for their encore they were joined by the Penn State Concert Choir for a stunning rendition of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

But sometimes you get what you need, as fans were treated to the ageless “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” as the closer.

One thing is certain, all of the Rolling Stones fans, both old and new, left Heinz Field satisfied.

 

WayoFest

By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

The inaugural WayoFest is set rock Dave Grohl Alley in Warren, Ohio on July 11. Boasting over 20 of the area’s heaviest hitters, the all-day music festival is free, and places heavy emphasis on the revitalization and emerging art scene of downtown Warren. The festival will feature area mainstays Kitchen Knife Conspiracy, Zero.Set.Memory and Two Days Until Tomorrow, as well as some of the area’s brightest rising stars such as The Spectral Type, Panty Droppin’ Rock Brigade and Shaving Lincoln, as well as a special performance from the ladies of Infini-Tribe.

WayoFest, which refers to the Warren-Youngstown Festival, is the product of local DJ, entrepreneur and promoter Brandyn Petrick. Petrick is the founder of both Chaos Culture Entertainment and the soon-to-be-launched Domination Radio Network. He said that his love for music and counterculture served as the primary inspiration and motivation to organize this grand of a festival.

“Its been a long road. This festival was an idea that I had four years ago, inspired by an actress from Pittsburgh that I was dating. We talked about how cool it would be to blend the idea of a huge music festival and a horror convention and that was what the initial idea was and that became MacabreFest, which has now been changed to Wayofest,” said Petrick.

After deciding on Dave Grohl Alley as a location, Petrick decided to expand his vision to something with a more universal appeal.

“Even with the name change and a shift to a more family-friendly environment, I still want it to have that circus and carnival sort of feel to it. Something I can bring my seven-year-old son to and he won’t be bored out of his mind. So it’s more than just a music festival, it’s an all encompassing festival that brings together all aspects of arts and entertainment in Northeastern, Ohio,” said Petrick.

Petrick noted that through his own personal suffering, he chose to shift his focus onto something creative that has the potential to benefit not only the local art and music scene, but the entire community.

“A Little known fact about me is that I spent a good amount of time suffering from anxiety and depression, even though I tried to hide it most of the time, every once in a while it would sneak out. I’m a firm believer that anxiety and depression can be handled by doing something that you love that takes your mind off of the things that bring you down and that’s exactly what this festival has done for me, its my therapy. Chaos Culture Entertainment has recently partnered up with the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County to create a cultural hub in Warren. It’s common knowledge that Warren is fast becoming a crime ridden city and the Police are trying their hardest to clean up the streets and we figure that this is the best time to make downtown Warren to place to be for arts and entertainment,” explained Petrick.

As a 20-year veteran of the local/regional scene, Petrick has witnessed the rise and fall of many trends and sub-scenes within the area. He noted the selection of artists on this bill was a very significant factor in making WayoFest a unique experience.

“The Hellfire Club from Akron are lesser known in this area but they’re music veterans whose singer and drummer have played internationally for our troops, doing USO shows; Slap ‘n’ Tickle is a great Blues Rock band from Cleveland who’ve done countless national openers; and S.E.T. Movement is a fairly new Hip-Hop group from Cleveland. Then you have some local Youngstown staples such as Kitchen Knife Conspiracy who have been together for nearly 20 years now, as well as [contemporaries] Woodside Manor, Mettal Maffia, Baroque Monody, and The Spectral Type who are all great bands who put on fantastic shows,” Petrick said.

Aside from Petrick, a number of artists on the bill are very excited to be taking part in this year’s event for a number of reasons. Members of Zero.Set.Memory, Panty Droppin’ Rock Brigade and The Spectral type all weighed in on how WayoFest will benefit the music scene and what they’re most excited for on July 11.

“It helps that there are other options out there for bands and fans to participate in.  Having a festival like this in a new location will help rejuvenate the scene, both for the performers and for the fans of local music and the community.  I feel that WayoFest is going to be a great thing for the city of Warren and for the scene, especially for future WayoFests,” said Josh Allen, drummer for The Spectral Type.

“Have you seen that there is a blacksmith there? Look at the diversity. On top of that it’s one of the first times I’ve seen so many locals pull together for something this big,” added Zero.Set.Memory frontman Cody Skeen.

They are also happy to note that emphasis will be put on the scene as a whole, rather than a slew of artists and promoters competing for dominance.

“WayoFest will bring a lot of new camaraderie to groups of people who otherwise might never get to be in the same place at the same time. Making new friendships that, with all hopes, will inspire lots of new future shows, new fans and more new friends. The collaboration will be well worth the time and energy spent to help get WayoFest off the ground,” said Panty Droppin’ Rock Brigade manager Cecilia Walsh.

“WayoFest is giving the locals in our area an opportunity to not only play, but all come together for one cause: The music. Fans will benefit by being able to see all their favorites in one spot on one day and bands get to expose themselves to new people. And of course most importantly, everyone can celebrate their love of music and the people that make it,” added Skeen.

Not to mention that they are excited to share the stage with so many peers, some of which they have yet to do so. Skeen and Allen both noted specifically who they’re most excited for.

“Woodside Manor, Panty Dropping Rock Brigade, Shaving Lincoln. It’s hard to pick one. There are so many awesome locals it’s mind-numbing,” said Skeen.

“We’re honestly looking forward to all of the bands on the bill. We like to support local music as often as we can.  It takes a lot of hard work and dedication for a band to get to a place where they’re ready to perform in front of a live audience. Some people who have never been in a band sometimes don’t realize much effort goes into writing new music and what it takes to get up on stage and perform. It’s an intimate process, to share your music with others, and when you’re about to open yourselves up to an audience, it’s really sometimes quite nerve-racking. So, this is why we look forward to seeing ALL of the bands on the bill,” finished Allen.

Petrick indicated that WayoFest is merely a small key piece to the larger puzzle that is the revitalization of downtown Warren.

“We have numerous big events planned to represent this revitalization and Wayofest, which will be combined with the art hop, which is artists set up all over the city creating projects, will be our yearly big event. And there will be a trolley to take people from one stop to the next with Wayofest being a huge part of this event,” said Petrick.

Finally, in regard to the future of WayoFest, Petrick is optimistic and plans to gradually expand the annual event into something even more involving and encompassing.

“Initially I had the idea of making Wayo more like Rock On The Range where it’s just a weekend-long party with great music all weekend long. But as time has gone on, I’ve thought that while that is great, I think Wayofest would benefit people more if it were modeled more like South by Southwest. You have the local bars that will benefit from the business, you have several indoor and outdoor stages, and we can tie in the Amp and The Robbins Theater and it’ll all be free. We also plan on bringing in national acts and mixing things up with national and local acts and also diversifying the lineup more as well. I’m all about uniting people for one common cause and that’s entertainment. I want people to travel from out of town just to see this festival, and I want people to come to Warren for the entertainment value,” finished Petrick.

WayoFest kicks of at 12 p.m. in Dave Grohl Alley on July 11 with two stages and live entertainment continuing through midnight.

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Buzz Osborne. Photo courtesy of metalinjection.net.

Buzz Osborne. Photo courtesy of metalinjection.net.

By Brandon Judeh (Music Reporter)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins has been making plenty of headlines in the past month, due in large part to his criticism of the Kurt Cobain documentary, Montage of Heck.

The Raw Alternative talked to King Buzzo last week while he and his band mates were in Columbus, Osborne talked Cobain, new music and vinyl.

Whenever the topic of Nirvana or his late friend comes up, you can always expect the truth and some sarcasm thrown in from the Melvins singer.

This time there was a bit of surprise expressed.

“Getting all of this attention about that documentary has been surprising, I can’t believe people care about what I have to say regarding it,” Osborne said. “I’ve already said everything that’s been needed to say about the shitty documentary. What good is there to say? Kurt was a close friend of ours and he’s dead, tell me what the good part of that is?”

Osborne said the only reason he even watched Montage of Heck was because another outlet asked him to do a review on it.

The singer has been critical of the movie, saying, “90 percent of it is lies, false, made up bullshit.”

Buzz first met Cobain in high school and the two quickly forged a friendship, as the young Cobain became a roadie for the Melvins who heavily influenced the future Nirvana leader.

Fan reactions have been mixed about his comments. Some agree, some do not, while others are claiming Buzz is a “Bitter, old man that is jealous of Nirvana’s success.”

Osborne’s answer to that is priceless.

“Yep, that’s it! They are exactly right, I’m bitter, I’m old and I’m jealous,” Osborne sarcastically quipped. “Whatever people want to think is fine, if they want to assume I’m not successful, that’s great! I could care less.”

“I know what happened and what the documentary portrays is not how it happened, I was there from the beginning all the way to their final show when Kurt walked on stage for the final time.”

The Melvins will be walking onto the Grog Shop’s stage on Thursday as they continue to tour behind their release of the EP The Bulls and the Bee’s and the rerelease of 2001’s Electroretard all on one CD.

Melvins-cover

The main reason behind the rerelease of Electroretard (an album full of reworked songs) is because it was long out of print and Buzz and drummer Dale Crover wanted to give fans a better chance to have a physical copy.

“We felt it was a good time to put it back out there, to give fans a chance to get a copy, I think it was a good idea,” added Osborne.

EPs are something that Osborne says he’s fond of and believes that today’s generation may feel the same way.

“I think it’s an attention span thing, plus I would rather hear five or six really good songs rather than a LP that may be half good and half shitty,” Buzz added.

The vinyl release of “The Bulls and the Bee’s” has been delayed due to delays at factories because of the overwhelming demand for vinyl.

It’s no secret that every hipster imaginable has jumped on the vinyl bandwagon, but Osborne say’s he really doesn’t mind, nor does he care that chain stores such as Barnes and Noble have also jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s cool, I don’t mind it, it give’s more people ways to listen to music. The more opportunities there are for people to listen to my music the better. With so many stores carrying vinyl now, it makes it easier for the consumer to get a hold of music, it’s definitely an industry changer,” Osborne added.

The Melvins, however, are not new to vinyl; they have been releasing albums on the format for many years, often limited runs that fans snatch up quickly at shows.

Not to mention the limited edition posters, pins and other off the wall and rare goodies the band is known to sell at their concerts.

While Buzz admits that he doesn’t collect vinyl, he says he understands the mind of a collector.

“I get the whole mentality of it, I collect stuff too, so I understand how a person can get into collecting vinyl, it’s all pretty similar,” said the 51-year-old.

Though 2015 is half way over, the Melvins still have plenty of plans for the rest of the year as well as 2016.

The Colossus of Destiny: A Melvin’s Tale is a documentary on the more than 30 year history of the band and will be released in early 2016.

Started as a Kickstarter fund, the project raised nearly $100,000 and has plenty of cool extras that fans could snatch up for different dollar amounts during the pledging stage.

Stay tuned, as the Raw Alternative will have all of the latest Melvins news.

Rob Zombie performing at Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio. Photo by Brandon Judeh.

Rob Zombie performing at Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio. Photo by Brandon Judeh.

By Brandon Judeh (Music Reporter)

Halloween arrived early Monday night, when Rob Zombie and his “Super Monster Sex Action Tour” rolled into W. D. Packard Music Hall in Warren.

Set to a backdrop of famous monsters such as Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolfman and King Kong, Zombie and company rocked the intimate venue for nearly two hours.

Coming out in a cloud of fog and red lights, Zombie, guitarist John 5, bassist Piggy D and drummer Ginger Fish kicked things off with 2013’s “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy,” much to the fans delight.

The sold out crowd erupted after the first few notes of White Zombie classic, “Super-Charger Heaven” which set the tone for the rest of the night.

The layout of the concert was much more low key than a typical Rob Zombie show, using backdrops, lighting and fog to set the atmosphere.

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Photo by Brandon Judeh.

A big contrast to the high-end productions Zombie has been known to put forth in recent years. Missing were the giant robots, fire and big screens.

Surprisingly, this did not take away from the show; rather it proved that Zombie and his team could put on a high quality show, no matter the setting.

“Living Dead Girl” and “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” stood out as two of the best songs of the set, with Zombie’s energetic stage persona leading the way.

As the quartet hammered through “House of 1000 Corpses,” “Meet the Creeper,” and “Never Gonna Stop” they switched gears by throwing in a couple of covers.

In between “Thunder Kiss ‘65” the band stomped out heavy renditions of the Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop” and Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.” With Zombie adding “I’m sure sometime in the 22-year history of the Ramones that they came through your town. If you didn’t see them, well, you fucked up. If you weren’t born yet, that’s your problem.”

The Ramones did indeed roll into nearby Youngstown in July of 1976, when they played their first concert outside of New York at the Tomorrow Club inside of the old State Theater.

Joey Ramone also met future members of the “Dead Boys” that night.

Guitarist John 5. Photo by Brandon Judeh.

Guitarist John 5. Photo by Brandon Judeh.

As the band returned to the stage after a brief intermission (with the crowd chanting “ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE!”), John 5 came out and proved why he is one of the best Metal guitarists.

His gritty guitar solo of the National Anthem was the perfect segway into Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band.”

Aside from that, John 5 showed all night long why Zombie works closely with him on albums and with the music he provides for some of Zombie’s movies (see Lords of Salem).

As the night slowly closed to an end, John 5, Piggy D and Fish played a slow, sludgy and heavy rendition of “The Lords of Salem” before closing with the fan favorite, “Dragula.”

When the band left the stage and the lights went on, the crowd continued to chant, but this time the beautiful horror show was over.