Musikfest: Incubus Playing the Steel Stage 8/7

Incubus will be coming back to Bethlehem the make their Musikfest debut. The band has previously played the Sands Bethlehem Event Center years prior but this will mark the first time they’re playing the Steel Stage for Musikfest.

Ticket Pre-sale:
ArtsQuest Members (gold and above): Tuesday, 3/5, 10am
ArtsQuest Members (all levels): Wednesday, 3/6, 10am
Tickets on sale: Friday, 3/8, 10am

Price: $59-$79
Venue: Sands Steel Stage at PNC Plaza at Musikfest
Gates: 6 p.m. | Show: 7 p.m.

MEDIA PARTNERS:
Spin Radio
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Incubus – Photo by Henry Chung

The Bash: Music and Craft Beer Festival

The Bash, headlined by Rancid is a day filled with craft beer and live music!

The Bash Music & Craft Beer Festival is coming to:

May 11 – Phoenix AZ: Rancid, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Suicidal Tendencies, L7, H20
May 12 – Tucson AZ: Rancid, Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, L7, H20
June 2 – Englishtown NJ: Rancid, Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, L7, Madball
June 8 – Boise ID: Rancid, Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, L7
June 9 – Tacoma WA: Rancid, Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, L7, Noi!se
June 15 – Santa Clara CA: Rancid, Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, L7, Sharp Shock
June 16 – Sacramento CA: Rancid, Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, L7, Sharp Shock

The Bash will feature up to four hours of craft beer tastings featuring over 100 craft beers, including some of the best local favorites. Festival hours will: VIP- NOON, GA- 1pm, 21+ 4pm

This event is for those 21+ until 4pm. All ages after 4pm!

General Admission and VIP tickets will be available for purchase.
All tickets include craft beer tasting (21+) and access to view the music stage.
Passes on sale at https://thebashfestival.com/

FATES WARNING Signs Worldwide Deal With Metal Blade Records; Band To Kick Off US Tour With Queensrÿche in March

Metal Blade Records is proud to welcome FATES WARNING to its worldwide roster. FATES WARNING began in the early 1980s playing a traditional style of heavy metal. However, they quickly began to adopt a more technically proficient style and are considered by many to be the first true prog metal band. While the band has subsequently moved in more melodic and ambient directions, they have remained a vibrant and well-respected cornerstone for the progressive camp within the heavy metal strata.

Fates Warning – Photo by Stephanie Cabral

FATES WARNING vocalist Ray Alder comments: “All of us in FATES WARNING are happy to announce that we are back with Metal Blade Records. Metal Blade has been there for us since the very beginning and we are proud to call them part of our family. The journey begins again, and we cannot begin to say how excited we are to work together once more. A big thank you to our fans for sticking with us through all these years. We could not be here today without all of you. That is a fact. Thank you everyone. Here’s to making some new memories!”

FATES WARNING will kick off a US tour supporting Queensrÿche next month. The tour will commence on March 2nd in Orlando, Florida and run through April 3rd in Seattle, Washington. The band will begin work on their thirteenth studio album, set for a 2020 release via Metal Blade, following the tour’s conclusion. See all confirmed dates below.

FATES WARNING w/ Queensrÿche:
3/02/2019 The Plaza Live – Orlando, FL
3/03/2019 Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
3/04/2019 Jack Rabbits Live – Jacksonville, FL **
3/05/2019 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
3/07/2019 Sound Stage – Baltimore, MD w/ The Cringe
3/08/2019 Sellersville Theater – Sellersville, PA **
3/09/2019 Irving Plaza – New York, NY w/ The Cringe
3/10/2019 Palladium – Worcester, MA w/ The Cringe
3/12/2019 Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH
3/13/2019 Diesel – Detroit, MI
3/14/2019 Concord – Chicago, IL
3/15/2019 The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
3/16/2019 Medina Entertainment Center – Medina, MN
3/17/2019 The Royal Grove – Lincoln, NE **
3/19/2019 The Shrine – Tulsa, OK **
3/20/2019 House of Blues – Dallas, TX
3/21/2019 House of Blues – Houston, TX
3/22/2019 Aztec – San Antonio, TX
3/23/2019 El Rey – Albuquerque, NM
3/24/2019 House of Bards – Tucson, AZ ** w/ Push, Dirtnap, Tribulance, Fire By Rank
3/26/2019 The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
3/27/2019 Observatory – San Diego, CA
3/28/2019 The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
3/29/2019 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
3/30/2019 Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
4/01/2019 The Dip – Redding, CA **
4/02/2019 Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
4/03/2019 Neptune – Seattle, WA
** FATES WARNING only

Warped 25 Years: Locations Announced

Following the announcement that 2018 would be the last cross-country run, the Vans Warped Tour headed out for a final summer of music, philanthropy, and community.

Looking back on it now, Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman shares, “It was truly an honor to do a final cross-country run of Warped in 2018; to see fans from all eras of the tour come out for a day to celebrate an event that meant so much to them. I walked away from the final show with a true sense that the Vans Warped Tour became the community I had always hoped for.”

Fans can expect the heart of the Warped Tour experience to be intact, but on a much larger scale over 2 full days.  50+ bands across multiple stages, extreme sports ranging from skateboarding to motocross, and an exhibit of art that has come out of the tour’s history.

“With the [Vans Warped Tour] 25th Anniversary events, we want to bring the atmosphere of a classic Warped Tour show, but on a scale that our fans simply could not get with a national tour “ explains Lyman, “The bands, the special attractions, everything – we want to bring back elements that have made the Warped Tour, Warped Tour, over the past 25 years.”

VANS WARPED TOUR 25TH ANNIVERSARY EVENTS:
6.08 • CLEVELAND, OH • ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME
6.29 + 6.30 • ATLANTIC CITY, NJ • ATLANTIC CITY BEACH
7.20 + 7.21 • MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA • SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE

The individual band lineup and special attractions for each of the Vans Warped Tour presented by Journeys 25th Anniversary events, will be announced Friday, March 1st.  Pre-sales will begin on Monday February 28th and tickets will be available to all on Friday, March 1st.

For many, this announcement comes as no surprise; the Vans Warped Tour 25th Anniversary was eluded to in Lyman’s original statement about the end of the Vans Warped Tour: 

“ ’The enduring spirit of the Vans Warped Tour remains as bright as ever, continuing to inspire creativity and ambition in new and exciting ways as we prepare for a 25th anniversary celebration in 2019.’ ”

For more information, fans can visit – https://fanlink.to/VWT25

JUNE 8 • CLEVELAND, OH • ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME
The Vans Warped Tour has partnered with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to create a special new exhibit, Forever Warped: 25 Years of Vans Warped Tour, celebrating a quarter-century of the iconic traveling music festival. This comprehensive exhibit documents the history of the tour from its inception in 1995 through the final cross-country run in 2018.

Visitors will see artifacts from quintessential Warped bands and breakout artists from the tour’s lengthy run, including instruments played by members of Fall Out Boy, No Doubt, Rancid and Reel Big Fish and stage clothing worn by Joan Jett and Ice-T. The exhibit will also present iconic items from the very first Warped Tour, as well as from 2018’s final touring run. And much more!

On Saturday, June 8th, 2019, the Forever Warped will kick off with a special opening concert featuring bands from across the 24-year history of the tour, a mini vert ramp, and more!

JUNE 29 + 30 • ATLANTIC CITY, NJ • ATLANTIC CITY BEACH
Set to a backdrop of sun, sand and surf, the Vans Warped Tour will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with a special two-day extravaganza on the beach in Atlantic City on Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30, 2019. Atlantic City will be one of only three cities to host the Warped Tour and the only one on the East Coast.

The Vans Warped Tour’s 25th Anniversary event features 50+ bands across multiple stages over the two-day event, extreme sports ranging from skateboarding to motocross, and an exhibit of Warped Tour art that has come out of the tour’s history.

“We’re thrilled to host the only East Coast celebration of Vans Warped Tour’s 25th Anniversary on the Atlantic City Beach,” said Geoff Gordon, Live Nation Philadelphia Regional President. “Warped Tour was meant to take place on the surf and sand, so we welcome fans from across North America to experience this unforgettable weekend with us in Atlantic City.”

JULY 20 + 21 • MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA • SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE
After a sold out show at the Shoreline Amphitheatre for the final cross-country run, the Vans Warped Tour makes a triumphant return to the Bay Area for a special 25th Anniversary 2-day event on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA. 

The Vans Warped Tour’s 25th Anniversary event features 50+ bands across multiple stages over the two-day event, extreme sports ranging from skateboarding to motocross, and an exhibit of Warped Tour art that has come out of the tour’s history.

It’s only fitting that Warped Tour would choose the Bay Area’s as it became an instant second home to the event that got its start in the punk community of Southern California.

“I think probably close to half the bands on the first Warped Tour had some tie to the Bay Area,” remembers Lyman, “there was the up-and-coming band The Deftones, and then of course the Fat Wreck [Chords] roster – Good Riddance, No Use For A Name, Face to Face, and Tilt.”

Swallow the Sun Releases New Song and Video “FIRELIGHTS” Plus Tour with Children of Bodom

Finnish melancholy death-doom metal masters Swallow The Sun released their second single and video, “Firelights“, off of their forthcoming album When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light. Watch the music video, directed and produced by Aapo Lahtelabelow. “Firelights” is the second track released off of the band’s upcoming full-length out on January 25th via RED MUSIC.

When talking about “Firelights” Swallow The Sun states, “From the ultimate depths of Lumina Aurea we rose upon the water. Now it is time to light the first torches in the night. Death might be stronger than life, but Love is always stronger than death. This is Firelights!” You can listen to the previously released single “Upon The Water” HERE.

The track “Lumina Aurea” was released as a standalone single already in December 2018. You can watch the stunning video HERE and grab the track HERE.

Just this week, the band announced their direct support slot on the Children Of Bodom’s upcoming North American tour. Additional support will come from WolfheartSummer’s Circle, Hollow Cry, and Fragmentum as openers for select dates. The tour starts March 13th in Quebec City and wraps on April 19th in New York City. Tickets are available for purchase HERE.

Swallow The Sun Upcoming Tour Dates:
Feb. 7 – Helsinki, Finland @ Nosturi
Feb. 8 – Turku, Finland @ Apollo
Feb. 9 – Jyvaskyla, Finland @ Lutakko*
Feb. 14 – Tampere, Finland @ Klubi*
Feb. 15 – Oulu, Finland @ Teatria*
Feb. 16 – Kuopio, Finland @ Henry’s Pub*

*w/The Man-Eating Tree

North American Tour: Direct support to Children of Bodom
Mar. 13 – Quebec City, Quebec @ Imperial*
Mar. 14 – Montreal, Quebec @ Corona Theater*
Mar. 15 – Ottawa, Ontario @ Bronson Centre *
Mar. 16 – Toronto, Ontario @ The Phoenix Concert Theater*
Mar. 18 – Detroit, Mich. @ St. Andrews**
Mar. 19 – Chicago, Ill. @ House of Blues**
Mar. 20 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ Skyway Theater**
Mar. 22 – Denver, Colo. @ The Summit**
Mar. 23 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Metro Music Hall**
Mar. 25 – Calgary, Alberta @ The Palace Theatre**
Mar. 26 – Edmonton, Alberta @ Union**
Mar. 27 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ The Vogue Theater**
Mar. 29 – Seattle, Wash. @ El Corazon**
Mar. 30 – Portland, Ore. @ Hawthorne Theater***
Apr. 01 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Regency Ballroom***
Apr. 02 – Santa Ana, Calif. @ The Observatory***
Apr. 03 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Club Red***
Apr. 05 – San Antonio, Texas @ Alamo Music Hall***
Apr. 06 – Houston, Texas @ Warehouse Live***
Apr. 07 – Dallas, Texas @ Canton Hall***
Apr. 09 – Tampa, Fla. @ The Ritz*Apr. 11 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Masquerade*
Apr. 12 – Charlotte, N.C. @ The Underground*
Apr. 13 – Baltimore, Md. @ Baltimore Soundstage*
Apr. 14 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Mr Smalls Theatre*
Apr. 16 – Syracuse, N.Y. @ Westcott Theater*
Apr. 17 – Boston, Mass. @ The Royale*
Apr. 18 – Reading, Pa. @ Reverb*
Apr. 19 – New York, N.Y. @ Irving Plaza*

* Summoner’s Circle opening (March 13-16 and April 9-19)
** Hollow Cry opening (March 18-29)
*** Fragmentum opening (March 30 – April 7)

Swallow The Sun is:
Mikko Kotamaki (vocals)
Matti Honkonen (bass)
Juuso Raatkainen (drums)
Jaani Peuhu (keys and vocals)
Juho Raiha (guitar)
Juha Raivio (guitar and keys)

Exclusive Interview: Goatwhore (Ep 89)

The 2018 edition of the Metal Alliance Tour which began on Halloween came to a close on November 30th in Easton, Pennsylvania at One Center Square.

For reasons to be explained later, I was unable to see any of the local openers and much of Gozu’s set. 

For that reason, let’s resume with The Great American Ghost which brought intensity to the stage and brought their energetic stage show to a crowd that was, admittedly, still filling in. 

The Great American Ghost – Photo by Henry Chung

Georgia’s Black Tusk was next up and by this point, the room was filling up.  Their rough and tumble brand of rock, most recently heard on their album ‘TCBT’ brought a different vibe to the show, highlighting the lineup’s variety.  Being a fan for some time, I knew a lot of the music but didn’t particularly have a clear picture of the band, especially in light of lineup changes.  Seeing all four of the band members contributing vocals was very cool and showed a wrinkle that many of their contemporaries can’t boast.

Black Tusk – Photo by Henry Chung

Next was The Casualties, a very distinct punk act that dates all the way back to the 90s.  Their newest album ‘Written In Blood’ is certainly up to their usual high standard but I wasn’t aware that they had acquired a new frontman, David Rodriguez.  He contributed a ton of energy and, to be perfectly honest, they might have stolen the whole show.  The crowd was clearly pumped to see them, judging by the Casualties patches and punk attire in the crowd and the fact that the pit exploded during their set.  The set ended with Rodriguez somehow getting up to the second story of the venue and jumping down into the crowd where the audience (thankfully) caught him. 

The Casualties – Photo by Henry Chung

Finally, things got heavy and dark with the mighty Goatwhore headlining the show.  The set could be best described as unrelenting.  There were selections from newest album ‘Vengeful Ascension’ plus older favorites.  The songs varied from fast and pummeling to occasionally heavy and doomy.  This created the needed ebbs and flows for a dynamic set.  The rhythm section was tight but everything was led by the tasty riffs of Sammy Duet and the rasps and energetic stage presence of Ben Falgoust.  It was to be said, Falgoust spent a huge percentage of the set right up in the crowd’s face, slapping high-fives and fist bumps, really keeping the front row (at least) engaged.

Goatwhore – Photo by Henry Chung

As many would, presumably, hope, they ended the set with “FBS’.  There was no need for an encore as I think I can speak for many others, we were all spent.

Before the evening began, I was able to sit down with Ben to talk about all things Goatwhore.  It was also one of the relatively rare times I get to talk to someone on the last night of the tour and be able to get a true view of the tour with it being in hindsight.  We got into how to survive being the road demons that they are, the fact that this tour came on the heels of the previous tour being canceled, hot sauce, Queen and so much more.

Much respect to Ben for being such a cool guy to talk to and for the band existing and thriving for the last 20 years.

Pick up ‘Vengeful Ascension’ HERE

John 5 Returns to the Sellersville Theatre

John 5 and The Creatures makes a return to the Sellersville Theater with the ‘Invasion 2019’ tour. If you recall, they were at the theater back in February during the ‘It’s Alive!’ Tour.

JOHN 5 and The Creatures – comprised of world-renowned guitarist JOHN 5, bassist Ian Ross and drummer Logan Miles Nix – are following up on this year’s live album release, It’s Alive!, with a brand new full-length studio album coming in 2019! The new album, entitled Invasion, will be teased on New Year’s Day 2019 by way of a brand new music video for the new track “Zoinks!”, inspired by Scooby-Doo! Directed by Matt Zane with animation from Disney animator Brett Broggs (Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph), the video will also feature the voice acting talents of Nikki Sixx, Susan Olsen (known for her role as Cindy Brady on The Brady Bunch), and Fred Coury. Coury also is credited for scoring the video alongside JOHN 5. The video will be premiered via JOHN 5‘s YouTube channel.

Fans should stay tuned for the video coming on New Year’s Day! The official release date for Invasion will be announced in 2019.

Invasion was produced and mixed by Barry Pointer, and will be released via a series of music videos, just as JOHN 5 released his 2017 studio album, Season of the Witch.

In celebration of the upcoming album, JOHN 5 and The Creatures will kick off the second leg of his North American Invasion Tour on February 23, 2019 in Las Vegas, NV. The tour will feature support from blues-rock guitarist Jared James Nichols.

JOHN 5 says, “Get ready for the Invasion tour! I will be playing some songs from my new record, Invasion, a brand new medley, and much more. I’m really excited to have Jared James Nichols out with us. This tour is something you’re not going to want to miss!”

Jared James Nichols adds, “As a young budding guitarist, I grew up with a Guitar World cut out picture of JOHN 5 on my bedroom wall. He was always one of my ‘Guitar heroes’. He is the total package… insane technique, amazing musicality, with a style and look all of his own. Needless to say, when I got the call for this tour, my jaw dropped. I’m absolutely honored to warm up the stage for him every night across America and Canada. I’m getting my chops ready to tear it up!”

See below for all confirmed tour dates. Tickets are available now via individual venues, and VIP packages will be available soon exclusively via www.john-5.com/store

JOHN 5 and The Creatures Invasion tour dates:
2/23 – Las Vegas, NV @ Count’s Vamp’d
2/24 – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
2/26 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
3/1 – Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s
3/2 – San Antonio, TX @ Rock Box
3/3 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
3/5 – Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live
3/6 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
3/7 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street
3/9 – Indianapolis, IN @ HiFi
3/10 – Akron, OH @ Empire Concert Club
3/12 – Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater
3/13 – New York, NY @ Iridium
3/14 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
3/15 – Teaneck, NJ @ Debonair Music Hall
3/16 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Wally’s
3/18 – New Bedford, MA @ Vault at Greasy Luck
3/20 – Quebec City, QC @ L’Anti Bar & Spectacles
3/21 – Montreal, QC @ Piranha
3/22 – Ottawa, ON @ The Brass Monkey
3/23 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
3/24 – London, ON @ Rum Runners
3/26 – Thunder Bay, ON @ Crocks
3/27 – Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramids
3/28 – Regina, SK @ The Exchange
3/29 – Calgary, AB @ Dickens
3/30 – Edmonton, AB @ Starlite
3/31 – Vancouver, BC @The Rickshaw Theater
4/2 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Cafe4/3 – Portland, OR @ Dantes
4/5 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
4/6 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Whisky 

About JOHN 5:
JOHN 5 has worked with a varied range of artists, performing as guitarist for some of the biggest headlining rock bands in the world such as Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, as well as playing session with Paul StanleyRod StewartLynyrd Skynyrd and more. Slash has called JOHN 5“one of the most mind-blowing guitarists around” and Rob Zombie has dubbed him “a fucking shredder”JOHN 5 has released seven solo albums to date, as well as a remix album, and has written music for the likes of Avril LavigneGarbage, Ricky Martin and others.

JOHN 5 and The Creatures is:
JOHN 5 – guitars
Ian Ross – bass
Logan Miles Nix – drums

JOHN 5 online:
www.john-5.com
www.facebook.com/John5official
www.twitter.com/john5guitarist
www.instagram.com/john5official

Musikfest: 2019 Poster Released!

Every year since it’s inception in 1984, Musikfest has celebrated the visual arts through their iconic posters. The imagery helps set the tone of the week-long event. The poster for 2019 celebrates the legacy of Bethlehem Steel and it’s workers who helped build this city and notable landmarks throughout the nation.

The digital illustration was created by fine artist and arts educator Jessica Bastidas, a Bethlehem native and graduate of Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts. Her work will be incorporated in almost every element of the festival in 2019, from official Musikfest apparel to the event’s popular mugs.

“This year’s poster borrows symbols of the past as it looks to the future of our ever-progressing city and festival,” says ArtsQuest Lead Creative Juliann Masenheimer. “Jessica’s talents exceeded our expectations. As an emerging artist, she is now a part of our history and the face of the future.”

Doyle Returns to Reverb on the ‘As We Die World Abomination Tour’

10/10/2018 – Reverb: Reading, PA
In an inexplicably warm October evening, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, legendary guitarist of horror punks ‘The Misfits’ makes a return at Reading’s Reverb Nightclub with his band that shares his own namesake. This was the 2nd date of the North American run of the ‘As We Die… World Abomination Tour 2018’ in support of their 2nd record ‘As We Die’ that was released last June.

Doyle Photo by Henry Chung

I’ve caught Doyle LIVE a few years ago at this very same venue though, this current lineup consisted of Alex “Wolfman” Story on vocals, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein on guitar, Wade Murff on drums and Brandon Strafe on Bass.

Having wrapped up the UK/ European run just 2 months prior, this leg of the tour goes from 10/9 in Hartford, CT and stretches all the way into the New Year ending in Brooklyn, NY on 01/3. Be sure not to miss them this Fall!!

Photos by Henry Chung

Exclusive Interview: Exmortus (Ep 88)

Friday, September 7th Reading, PA – Reverb

A violently rainy Friday night couldn’t stop truly devoted metal fans from a show. Eyes of the Living Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch any of Eyes of the Living’s set, as I was….occupied by an interview. They could be heard slightly from up in the green room and an excited concertgoer shared his enthusiasm about them as I stood in line for the bathroom. So…that’s something. Secret Face They were certainly energetic and the singer had a capable yell, but the detail that dominated was the drummer who provided nearly constant double bass thudding. I’m a fan of Kataklysm, but even they mix it up once in a while. Exmortus
Exmortus – Photo by Mark Morton
Oh man. Exmortus (Facebook, Instagram) was the band I truly came for and they did not disappoint. Judging by the rapidly increasingly crowded, pit, it’s probably a fair assumption that many others felt the same way. Since they were promoting their latest album ‘The Sound of Steel‘ they leaned on that release, heavily. So much so, they started the set with the first three songs on the album. From there, they mixed it up a little with some older tracks and did a rendition of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” before ending with “Metal Is King.” Exmortus - The Sound of Steel This was all the more impressive considering their regular co-guitarist, Chase Becker of Warbringer, had other commitments and couldn’t make the first half of this east coast tour. He was replaced by Richie Brown from Mindscar with only one rehearsal. Considering the neoclassical guitar pyrotechnics on display and the number of jaws that were on the floor, Exmortus made at least a few new fans this night. Obituary This marked only my second time seeing Obituary. The first time was in a dingy VFW hall in Wind Gap a few years ago. It was cramped, no-frills and just seemed like the perfect environment to see the band. This was a more traditionally produced show with bright lights, smoke and a stage that was more than 12” off of the ground. Of course, Obituary still puts on a great show under these circumstances, most bands would, but it seems a little counter to their aesthetic. Their latest addition and secret weapon, guitarist Kenny Andrews, has added a lot to the last few albums with his leads and this extends to the live show. That said, he stayed tucked away in a corner of the stage and dutifully shredded away. The sampling of new material “Visions In My Head,” “A Lesson In Vengeance,” and “Sentence Day” played to this. The set was varied and touched on all eras of the band. The encore included “Chopped in Half” (which audience clamored for all night), “Turned Inside Out” and “Slowly We Rot”. The headliner’s set seemed a bit short (about 45-50 minutes of the main set and maybe 15 with the encore for about an hour’s work) with a protracted introduction replete with southern rock and copious moments when the band seemed to check in with each other and joke around. It was still a quality show, though. I guess it’s always better the leave them wanting more, right? Before all of this happened, as alluded to before, I conducted an interview with Exmortus main man, Conan. There was a lot of ground and we covered every inch of it. There was the new album ‘The Sound of Steel,’ Conan keeping the band going despite being the last original member, Youtube, changing things up, keeping things the same, art, food, being underrated, movies, giving lessons (hit him up on the band’s socials!) and more.
This was a fantastic talk. Exmortus is a band that continues to grow, evolve and perseveres even though their first album came out a decade ago. The next time they come to your town, check out Exmortus, that is if you’re ready for the shreddy. Words by JJ Ellis Photos by Mark Morton