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|Life is a BEACH- Tortuga Music Festival Review
|This past weekend, the 1st annual Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival took place on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Here is my review of this amazing event:|
Gloriana – Having never seen this band before, I made sure not to miss their set. Starting late due to a typical South Florida rainstorm, the band (brothers Mike and Tom Gossin, along with Rachel Reinert) did not miss a beat. Their vocal harmonies are akin to Crosby, Stills & Nash and are much more raw and natural than contemporaries Rascal Flatts. Having to cut their set short, Gloriana closed with their newest single “Kiss you Good Night”.
Michael Franti & Spearhead- The biggest thing I like about this band is that they are not sufferers of LSD (Lead Singer Disease). Franti may be the figurehead of the Spear, he does not leave his band in the dust as many other fame seeking lead singers tend to do. Franti moves to the beat and thrives off of what his band gives him. I am a firm believer that if his band did not give him a beat, He would not move. I hope to see them back next year at Tortuga.
Eli Young Band- I am not quite sure what was off about this set? The more I think about it, I believe the sound might not have been right. The band hit their infamous harmonies and sang and performed with unmatched passion and drive, but, the sound could have been much better. I really want to see them again and hope it is a better experience.
Kenny Chesney- If I had to describe Kenny Chesney’s Saturday night closing set, I would describe it as PERFECT. I will say this, Chesney is not my favorite artist, but, his passion and drive to make each show he performs mean something is something that can and should be respected. Beginning with “Feel Like A Rock Star”, Kenny had the crowd in the palm of his hand. At one point, Chesney grabbed a “No Shoes Nation” flag (name of his latest tour and forthcoming album) and waved it back and forth. Chesney has a relationship with his live audience that can’t be matched by many. This was proven more evident than ever on Saturday night. Playing a somewhat generic set list throughout the last several tours (give or take a few songs), Chesney has a knack for making the shows seem everything but generic. From the video screen highlighting local hangout spots to referencing specific events in his life that took place in and around the festival grounds, Chesney was a perfect end to a first night.
Brett Eldredge- Having never heard or seen of Sunday’s opening act, I was absolutely blown away. It takes a lot of nerve to open a stage where Eric Church, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jake Owen would later play, but, you never saw it throughout Eldredge’s hour set. Coming on stage dressed in a long sleeve shirt, it was not long before it was soaked. It seemed like it was soaked more with a passion for performing for his fans than sweat. As with Chesney the night before, Eldredge used the extended stage to his advantage. He would get closer and closer to the crowd taking them higher and higher with his amazing voice. That voice. That voice was amazing. It sucks when you go to show and the singer can’t really sing, but, this was not the case with Edlredge. He has such amazing command over his voice. No wonder why he is out on the road with Taylor Swift in the coming weeks. This is what other vocalist should look at when needing help. Check Brett out at https://www.facebook.com/bretteldredge and go and see him any chance you get.
Kip Moore- As with headliner Eric Church, Kip Moore is a country music Bruce Springsteen. Writing from the heart and using his life experiences more often than other songwriters, Moore allows the listened to step inside his life with not guard. This is what a real songwriter sounds like. Not some manufactured bullshit that they are forced to contribute 3 words too, but, a heart and soul kind of songwriter who does not take no for an answer.
Grace Potter- In a White Stripes-type of setup, Grace Potter was joined by Nocturnals drummer Matt Burr for her Sunday afternoon set. Grace Potter does not walk onto a stage, she struts onto a stage. As soon as Potter and Burr kicked into the opening song “God Is Gonna Cut You Down”, it sounded like they had commanded the lightning and thunder from the previous day’s storms and projected it from their respective instruments. Talented does not even begin to describe Potter. She belongs on any top guitar player list right along with anybody else. In addition to Potter’s guitar work, Burr’s drumming sounded like an explosion of organized chaos. Sometimes chaos is not such a bad thing.
Lynyrd Skynyrd- This band is much more than the sum of it’s parts. It has to be. With only one original member (Gary Rossington) still with the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd still has something to prove and they did so on Sunday. Playing just as hard and ferociously as anytime I had seen them before, they were not content to just play through the hits, collect a paycheck and go home. Lynyrd Skynyrd knows the reason they are still able to do what they want to do, and that is because of the fans. Opening with “Last of A Dying Breed” off of their latest album, Skynyrd made it sound like anything off of “Pronounced” or “Street Survivors”. The crowd was into their set from start to finish. I was one of them.
Jake Owen- You know your watching a Florida boy perform when instead of coming on stage in the customary jeans,t-shirt and expensive sunglasses, Ownen appeared on stage wearing board shorts, a tank top and cheap shades. Enhancing what was already a party atmosphere, he turned it up to another level. At any point Owen could have passed out from exhaustion and the crowd would have understood. Jake Owen has taken notes from recent tour mates Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean on how to take the crowd higher than they thought they could go. The pride in Owen’s eyes while performing in front of what was essentially a hometown crowd could not be ignored.
Eric Church- or as the shirt that was being sold at the merchandise tent read “ERIC FU*KING CHURCH”. This was absolutely the best show of the weekend. Church delivers a brand of country music that should be described more as “grab you by the throat and let you go when I am done” Rock and Roll. After the third song, Church promised the crowd that “If you give everything you’ve got, my band and I will give everything we’ve got”. Church delivered on that promise. When closing with his recent hit “Springsteen” and singing a snippet of the namesake’s “Born To Run”, Church finished with “I will remember Tortuga”. I will remember too.
|Rock the Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival
|The inaugural “Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival” will take place on a sunny beach in Fort Lauderdale, FL on April 13th and 14th 2013. Besides taking place on the beach, here are a few other reasons why you should attend:|
It is a hell of an accomplishment to snag top notch talent such as Kenny Chesney and Eric Church to play your festival in its rookie year, but, to have artists such as southern rock gods Lynyrd Skynyrd, budding guitar virtuoso Gary Clark Jr, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite along with more than 20 other amazing artists grace the stage, that makes for a great festival.
While other music festivals are pricing the “average joe” out of attending, Tortuga has done an amazing job of keeping the ticket price reasonable ($149 for a GA weekend pass and $99 for a single day pass) all while delivering a great lineup. I would hope that other festival promoters will take notice of this.
While there will be plenty of partying next weekend, the reason this festival is taking place is to facilitate awareness of the conservation of our oceans. Partnering with The Guy Harvey Foundation( Tortuga will bring awareness and educate the public on how they can play a part in keeping our beautiful beaches and waterways clean and safe.
There you have it. Hope to see you on the beach.
For more information on the festival and where you can purchase your tickets, please go to
|Excuses Have No Place In Music
|So with this being my first blog entry of the new year, I would like to talk about excuses. Like the old saying goes "excuses are like ass holes, everyone has them". Well, this could not be more truer in the world of music. You, the reader of this blog, know exactly what I am talking about. Your friend thinks or even you might think you are in a really good band and you think they should be bigger than they are. They keep playing the same shitty songs in the same dive bars and expect that somehow Jesus Christ himself will walk in and sign them to a major record deal. And when that does not happen, the excuses start to roll off the tongue. "My is just as good as that band" or "They paid somebody off". Well, Your band is not as good as you think and cahnces are some money did exchange hands. It all comes down to people taking hard work and determination and replacing it with EXCUSES. In real life, whether in music or not, excuses get you nothing. They do not get you signed. They do not get that great guitar player at your local bar noticed. NOTHING. The only thing that gets you what you want is YOU. A great example would be a country artist by the name of Chris Cagle. Some of you may be wondering "Who the hell is this guy'? Well, google him. Anyway, He had a string of top 10 hits in his career then his success started to dwindle. He decided to become a farmer. Well, after doing that for a few years, he decided to get back into music. Chris got signed to another label and is contiually churning out good(there is such a thing) country music. One thing he never did was make excuses for why his records were not selling or why his shows were not sold out. He did not have time for excuses. He only had time for the music. |
This is just one of countless examples of people who actually cared more about the music than they did about being famous. So, next time you see your "favorite" band play to a half empty bar of 20 people, there is a reason for that.
|Legacy of Disorder Interview- 10/22/2012
|A few days ago I was able to interview Rana Freilich , who is the guitarist for New Zealand heavy metal band Legacy of Disorder. Here is the interview. Enjoy!|
1. Tell me about the new album "Last Man Standing" and how it compares to your last album?
We feel the songs are more straight to the point, and often get to the hooks faster. Also it being our second album we were more familiar with the studio and it was a natural transition to build on from our first album.
2. How did the band come together?
Jase and myself had been playing together for several years and writing material for our self titled album. We then moved to our biggest city in New Zealand and eventually found James our vocalist...it was when we went to Dallas Texas to record our debut album that Matt (drummer) came on board. The line up has been the same ever since.
3. What do you feel sets you apart from current metal bands and bands that came before you?
We feel we incorporate the past and present and amalgamate it into our own sound....maybe because we don't come from the U.S we just tend to sound different.
4. When recording your self titled debut album with producer Sterling Winfield (Pantera, Damageplan), at any point were you intimidated?
No...we embraced the experience.
5. With being from New Zealand, were you more inspired by European Metal Bands or American Metal bands?
We feel we have been influenced both by American and European music maybe predominately by later U.S metal though.
6. What kind of gear do you use?
For the guitar and bass both Jase and myself are endorsed by ESP guitars so they are our guitars of choice, Peavey guitar amps and Marshall cabinets loaded with Celestion vintage 30 speakers and I mess with a bunch of pedals from Digitech through to boss. Jase our bassist uses Ampeg amps and speakers and Matt uses Vic Firth and Paiste.
7. What do you define as "metal" music?
Riff based rock n roll with crunching guitars wild solo's and pounding drums.
8. What guitar players inspired you when you started playing?
Tony Iommi, Glen Tipton and KK Downing, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde, Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, Dave Mustaine, Dimebag Darrel and a bunch more.
9. What do you feel the biggest misconception is that people have about metal music?
To think it's for uneducated devil worshiping idiots....which simply isn't true.
10. What do you feel has to be done to continue the success of Legacy of Disorder?
Continue to tour relentlessly and to carry on writing the best music we can. It's also real important to connect with the fans and to do your absolute best to make new ones.
For more information on Legacy of Disorder, check them out on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/legacyofdisorder/info
|Concert Review- Train, Mat Kearney and Andy Grammer
|Last night I had the pleasure of going to see Train, Mat Kearney and Andy Grammer at the Mizner Park Amphitheatre in Boca Raton, FL. It had rained all day and and I was drenched befre I even got to the box office. After working out some kinks with the box office concerning my tickets, I walked in and found a spot on the soggy grass. The first thing that struck me a bit odd was the demographic of the attendees. You had everything from stoner college kids (get better weed people) to wine sipping transplants. Enough about the crowd. On to the music.|
I was instantly struck by Andy's sunny disposition as soon as he walked on stage. He had not even opened his mouth and I felt a sense of warmth and genuine love that he had for his audience and his art. From the opening chords, the crowd was in the palm of his hands. About halfway through the show, Grammer left the stage and walked out into the audience and got the few people, who were not already up and dancing, moving and swaying with his every word. After this, he made his way back to the stage and went into the familiar opening chords of Rhianna's "We Found Love". With hsi soft, smooth voice, Grammer nailed every note and every line. To close out the show, Grammer paired his hits "Keep Your Head Up" and "Fine By Me". After he finished, and with the same sunny disposition that he entered the stage with, Grammer waved goodbye to a grateful, elated crowd. After his set, I had the chance to do an interview with Andy. Trust me when I say that he has the same attitude offstage as he did onstage. We even broke into a sing-along to the Fastball song "The Way". To listen to the interview, go to http://soundcloud.com/magicrat85/andy-grammer and for more information on Andy Grammer, www.andygrammer.com
Show Grade: A+
I had seen Mat Kearney before last December, solo and acoustic. He did not miss a step. This time, he was backed by his band.He only missed one and a half steps. Kearney reminds me of a Springsteen 2.0 in the fact that he has the yearning in his voice and longing for something better than now. The crowd was absolutely into his set from the start. Playing two of his most recognizable songs (Closer To Love and Nothing Left To Lose) early in the set, Kearney took the guitar off and moved around the stage a bit more. He is a much better fit behind a guitar(- 1/2 step) After doing a so so version of "Runaway" with a snippet of the U2 song "Where The Streets Have No Name", Kearney said "this next song is a new one and I am gonna make it up as I go". He then went into his version of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark". Word of advice: If you are going to do a song by such an artist as Bruce Springsteen, please remember the lyrics (-1 step) After botching the song, Kearney won me back with "Ships In The Night" (my favorite song of his). After thanking the crowd and waving , Kearney closed the show with his most recent hit "Hey Mama". For more information on Mat Kearney, go to www.matkerney.com
Show Grade: B+
Train is an absolutely fantastic band to listen to while in your car riding down the highway with the volume turned as high as it will go. However, when you see them live, it gets unbelievably better. Walking on stage to the sound of a train (pun intended), they went right into their latest single "50 Ways To Say Goodbye". I pictured the Hoff reprising his role from the video on stage. However, my dream was not meant to be. If you have never seen Train live, put it on your bucket list. You will not regret it. Every song they sing is a hit. And the few songs (newer) that are not certifiable hits will be soon. The energy of everyone in the band and Pat Monahan's unmistakable vocie made for a tasty nightcap to a great evening of music.
Show Grade: A+
|Interview w/ 311
311, the alternative rock band from Omaha, Nebraska, have been travelling the vast highway that is Rock And Roll for the past 22 years. Comprised of Nick Hexum (vocals/guitar), SA Martinez (vocals/dj), Tim Mahoney (lead guitar), P-Nut (bass) and Chad Sexton (drums), 311 continues to evolve with their albums (latest album “Universal Pulse” was released in July 2011) and with constant touring. Until September 5th, you can catch them on the “Unity” Tour 2012 with guest Slightly Stoopid (dates and ticket information after the jump). Recently, I was able to interview Nick Hexum. We talked about, among other things, the current tour, the record industry and how 311 has made it a mission to involve their fans in their success.
1.With being a band for almost 25 years, what do you feel you have had to do to stay relevant and productive?
I think 311 has a commitment to working hard and being the best we can be. Remaining teachable is the key. If you ever start to think you have nothing left to learn, that's when you're lost.
2. With so many bands/labels doing cruises, what makes the 311 Cruise different from the others? Who's idea was it to do the cruise?
I think the thing that makes the 311 Cruises so special is our fans. They really get into the welcoming spirit of Unity and the boat just turns into a big all-inclusive party. It's so cool to see and be a part of.
3. 311 is one of the few bands that tour regularly who change their setlist every night. Who decides on which songs are played and what approach do you take to making each show different?
We have a setlist meeting after each soundcheck. After so many tours we have a feel for each city and customize what we think will work best in that town.
4. When you first worked with Bob Rock on "Uplifter", what was that experience like? Was it at all intimidating?
The first time you work with a new producer is really exciting. Everyone brings their A-game. It's fun to pick their brains. Bob Rock is an encyclopedia of music knowledge and a real gentleman.
5. I just interviewed Ballyhoo! and Howi talked very highly about Ballyhoo's experience working and touring with 311. What was it like touring and working with Ballyhoo!?
We love them. They have a vibe and sound that fits well with 311.
6. With such an extensive catalog of songs to perform live, what incentive do you have to go back into the studio and put out new material when you could tour on the older stuff?
There's always new styles to explore. Business aside, I couldn't imagine stopping writing and creating. The journey from song idea to studio to live show is an amazing process.
7. In 311's career, what has been your "crowning" achievement so far?
Seeing how 311's fan base and grown and taken on a life of it's own is our biggest achievement. We love to see how they organize events, groups, and t-shirts on their own. So cool to see that.
8. How has the 2012 version of the "Unity Tour" compared to those in the past?
With Slightly Stoopid, it's a big backyard BBQ!
9. What is one way that you feel the music industry has changed the most in the last 25 years?
Being able to have a direct relationship with our fans through the internet is great for us.
10. Are there any bands that you feel you owe a sense of grattitude to?
Beatles, The Clash, Bob Marley
Remaining Dates for the "Unity" Tour 2012:
8/8 Columbus, OH Lifestyles Community Amphitheatre
8/9 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
8/12 Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavilion
8/14 Indianapolis, IN The Lawn at White River State Park
8/15 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/17 Chicago, IL Northerly Island
8/18 Bonner Springs, KS Summerdays Festival Sandstone Amphitheatre
8/19 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/22 Salt Lake City, UT Usana Amphitheatre
8/24 Irvine, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/25 San Diego, CA Cricket Amphitheatre Chula Vista
8/28 Mesa, AZ Mesa Amphitheatre
8/29 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl
8/31 San Francisco, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/1 Las Vegas, NV The Beach at Mandalay Bay
9/2 Reno, NV University of Nevada - Reno
9/4 Portland, OR Sleep Country Amphitheatre
9/5 Seattle, WA Marymoor Amphitheatre
For up-to-the-minute news, show and ticket information, please visit :
|311's "Unity" Tour 2012
JOIN FORCES FOR “UNITY TOUR 2012”;
311 and Slightly Stoopid are joining forces for what promises to be the party of the summer, as the two bands prepare to launch Unity Tour 2012. This installment of the annual trek hits amphitheaters nationwide this summer. The tour is scheduled to last until September 5th (see attached itinerary), with tickets for select shows on sale now. For details, visit www.311.com or www.slightlystoopid.com.
"Summer Unity in full effect!” said 311 vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum. “We're really excited that Slightly Stoopid is on the 2012 Unity Tour. 311 & Slightly Stoopid seems like a perfect outdoor summer party. Can’t wait to see you all at the shows!"
Slightly Stoopid vocalist/guitarist Miles Doughty said: “"We're excited to be on Unity Tour with 311. Going coast to coast, it should be a summer of madness…Butawatchout!"
After years of incessant touring, 311 have developed a reputation as one of the most entertaining live bands in the U.S. Their celebratory live shows & dynamic recordings have earned them a massive grassroots following and a catalog of modern rock hits, including “Down,” “All Mixed Up,” “Amber,” “Come Original,” “Beautiful Disaster,” “Love Song” and “Sunset in July”. 311 will be touring in continued support of their latest album, Universal Pulse.
Since forming in 1995, Slightly Stoopid has toured virtually non-stop. A headliner since 2007, their annual summer amphitheater tours have been supported by Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Ozomatli, Sly & Robbie and Stephen Marley, at venues including Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Berkeley’s Greek Theater, NYC’s Central Park and more. Slightly Stoopid has also performed alongside acts including the Dave Matthews Band, Damian Marley and The Roots, while appearing at such festivals as Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and New Orleans Jazz Fest. On March 30th, Slightly Stoopid will release a two-CD/DVD package, Live at Roberto's TRI Studios, which was recorded at Bob Weir’s studio and features collaborations with Weir, Ivan and Ian Neville, and Karl Denson of The Greyboy Allstars, along with host Tommy Chong.
2012 marks the 10th consecutive summer that 311 has headlined or co-headlined amphitheaters with the summer Unity Tour. Over the past several years,the tourhas included 311 with Snoop Dogg, The Offspring, Sublime with Rome, Matisyahu, The Wailers and The Roots. Unity Tour 2012 with 311 & Slightly Stoopid should be the biggest & best yet!
For up-to-the-minute news, show and ticket information, please visit www.311.com or www.slightlystoopid.com.
An interview with 311 to come! Stay tuned.
|Today, I was able to interview the alternative/rock/reggae band Ballyhoo!. The Baltimore, MD band consist of Howi Spangler (guitarist/vocals), Donald "Big D" Spangler (bass), JR Gregory (bass) and Scott Vandrey (aka DJ Blaze) (keyboards and turntables). The band, who embodies the "soul of the party lifestyle", released their latest album "Daydreams" in August 2011 and played the House of marley stage for the entire summer on the Vans Warped Tour 2012. Starting August 31st, you can catch them on tour with Tribal Seeds on the "Night and Day" Tour 2012.|
How quickly into your career did you realize that touring relentlessly was going to be the “status quo” for Ballyhoo!
Howi: Donald and I had always wanted to be in a band. Our dad used to take us to see all the "Hair Bands" when we were around 5 and 6. We knew from the first show we ever played that this is how we wanted to live our lives. You really have to bust your ass and go get it though. Even if you're selling out theatre shows at home, A&R guys aren't coming to you with million dollar contracts like they used to. The game has changed. I've seen a lot of great bands break up because things weren't taking off for them and it's depressing for me. I knew we had to get out of town and make it happen. There was no way in hell we were gonna play in Baltimore 20 times a month until we're in our late 40's.
Did “Say I’m Wrong” come from a specific relationship experience or is it just a general observation on screwing up?
Howi: It comes from those feelings of "I'm not sure if she's into me as much as I'm into her". I think a lot of people have felt that way at one time or another. You feel like you've got something good going on and it makes you insecure. Ended up turning into a pretty song though.
How did you come to start a working relationship with 311?
Howi: A friend had introduced me to Chad Sexton back in 2006. We emailed back and forth about him doing some mixing work for us. We got him on "The Friend Zone", the opening track to our 3rd album "Cheers!". He did a great job. The producer for that album was Scotch Ralston, who actually produced some 311 albums, and he's also their live engineer. So all those things worked together and 311 asked us to do some shows in 2008. Their fans started talking about us more and they ended putting us on some more shows in 2010, as well as their 2011 Pow Wow Festival and 2012 Caribbean Cruise. We have huge respect for that band and their "familia".
With being on the Warped Tour for all of the dates, what was the best/worst city and why?
Scott (aka DJ Blaze): Minnesota was probably the worst. Only because we had never been there before. Hoping to go back and rip it there. The best city, other than Maryland, was probably West Palm Beach. It was so hot and gross, but the crowd stuck around all day to see us. And they went wild when we walked on stage. Florida is just a really great market for us. Stoked for our fall dates there.
With artist such as Soja, Dirty Heads and The Aggrolites having success, do you feel that you had any part in laying the groundwork for their success?
Howi: Those are all great bands that did their own hard work. I wouldn't say we paved the way for any of them. We all started pushing around the same time in our hometowns and built outward. I think the fact that each of us have been putting out records and touring endlessly has made the scene stronger for sure. There are a lot more people listening and a lot more bands coming out with this sound. All the bands you mentioned here have different sounds, all in the realm of reggae, but with a unique spin. SOJA with the Roots Rock Reggae, Dirty Heads have the acoustic, hip hop thing, and The Aggrolites have that dirty, rocksteady sound. We have a more pop-punk rock approach to it. There is a nice, broad spectrum across the heavy-hitters of the genre and we're happy to be a part of the movement.
Every band has a “Spinal Tap” moment. What was that moment for you?
J.R.: We played at Webster Hall in NYC last year and after the show I couldn't find my way out of the venue. I somehow ended up wearing pink sunglasses at a Dubstep Party in the basement. It got weird.
Besides the obvious (touring, meet and greets), what do you feel is the best thing that you can do, as a band, to keep the connection with your fans as well as continuing your personal success?
Howi: I answer most, if not all of the tweets and Facebook posts to us. That's where the music lovers are these days. Bands have to embrace the technology and get on top of it. Kids go apeshit when we retweet them. I also believe that it's all about the little things. And people don't even think about it until you do it. If a fan is waving from the other side of the fence, I'll run over there and say hi. If someone emails and says they lost their Ballyhoo! shirt in the pit that night, we'll mail them another one. Stuff like that is important. It can really make someone's day.
Do you have a favorite town to play in?
Scott (aka DJ Blaze): I think Denver is probably my favorite city to play, for many reasons. Colorado is pretty boring driving west from Kansas, but once you get to Denver and the Rockies, it's absolutely beautiful. Denver has a ton of awesome venues to play (Ogden, Fillmore, Bluebird, etc). We have a very solid fan base with a lot of very dedicated fans that take excellent care of us: putting us up overnight, feeding us, and hooking us up with copious amounts of amazing pot and edibles. Oh yeah, did I mention how good and abundant the pot is?
What is it like to play in your hometown (Baltimore, Md) after experiencing the level of success that you have experienced?
Scott (aka DJ Blaze): Playing in the hometown area has been pretty mind blowing lately. The most recent example was our trip through Columbia, MD on Vans Warped Tour. The show was about 3/4 of the way through the tour, so it was something we'd all been thinking about and looking forward to for many weeks. We'd had a bunch of good shows in other strong markets, and even some not-so-strong markets, so we were expecting something big. Of course there was also a little nervousness and hesitation...I know at least I downplayed it a little and was maybe even a little worried that it wasn't going to go off like we were expecting. But that all disappeared as soon as we walked out on stage and saw what was the biggest crowd the House of Marley Stage has seen on this year's tour as far as I know. Not only that, but probably the biggest crowd we've ever pulled ourselves. We've played for more at festivals and opening for other acts, but this one was all us, and it felt GREAT! Actually had a minute or two of nervousness for the first time in a very long time. Can't wait for Charm City Music Festival!
Does the use of marijuana add to your songwriting?
Donald: Yes.....what was the question?
After releasing “Daydreams” last August, are you guys planning to tour on that material or are you writing for the next album?
Howi: Before all support stuff we've been doing, we did a few tours on that material. We love playing the Daydreams songs. It still feels new to us. We try to mix it up with old stuff as well for the crowds. We know they still want to hear "Cali Girl" and "Cerveza". As for new material, I'm always writing. Trying to get myself outside the box, challenge myself. Can't wait to hear what it's going to sound like. Always an exciting time. No plans at the moment for recording though. Just going to keep writing for now.
How did the upcoming “Night and Day” Tour with Tribal Seeds come about?
Howi: We have the same booking agent and he thought it would be a great team up. We're both doing our thing and the shows are going to be great. We've never played with those guys, so it'll be nice to hang with some new friends.
What should fans expect when coming to the “Night and Day” tour?
Howi: Lots and lots of fun! Tribal Seeds is going to bring the roots reggae and we're going to be in your face. I love that it's called "Night and Day" too. Really communicates the difference in sound. But we share the love for reggae music. I think the audience will be rocked in both ways. Get those tickets, people!!
"Night and Day" Tour 2012 w/Tribal Seeds and Ballyhoo!
8/31/12- Indio, CA
9/3/12 - Albuquerque, NM
9/05/12- Little Rock, AR
9/06/12- St. Louis, MO
9/07/12- Ames, IA
9/08/12- Chicago, IL
9/09/12- Cleveland, OH
9/11/12- Philidelphia, PA
9/12/12 - Asbury Park, NJ
9/13/12- Boston, MA
9/14/12- Richmond, VA
9/16/12- Wilmington, NC
9/18/12- Charlotte, NC
9/20/12- Gainesville, FL
9/21/12- Fort Lauderdale, FL
9/22/12- St. Petersburg, FL
9/23/12- Tallahassee, FL
9/26/12- Houston, TX
9/27/12- Dallas, TX
9/28/12- Corpus Cristi, TX
9/29/12- Austin, TX
|SO MUCH..... TOO MUCH: My weekend with the Dave Matthews Band
|Going to a weekend’s worth of Dave Matthews Band concerts is like an adventure in a foreign land. It could end up good, bad or somewhere in between. I would have to apply the latter to my experience this past weekend as I watched Dave Matthews Band at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL. First, the Friday night show. This was my 9th DMB concert and it did not disappoint. From the opening song “Seven” from 2008’s “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King”, the band was on fire and at their best. At certain points throughout the night, various band members (mostly Dave) would get so lost in the music and dance around the stage for the majority of the song. This was the band saying “we are here to have just as good of a time as you are”. A highlight for me from the first show was hearing “Don’t Drink the Water”. I had heard it several times at previous shows, but, it had been placed earlier on in the set. This time, it was much later in the set than I had heard it before. It was something different, as is the case with every Dave Matthews Band concert. Another highlight for me was the great guitar work of Tim Reynolds. Occasionally, he would play slide and it sounded like birds chirping on a spring morning. |
Now, the second night was a different story. Yes, I did here several songs that I had been “chasing” for several years. Yes, I was with my girlfriend. But something seemed off from the very beginning of the show. The band did not seem to have that typical fire that is contained in the last show of a multi-night run of shows. After the first 4 songs, the band’s performance seemed to be getting “phoned in”. Except for Carter Beauford’s drum work, you could have played a backing track from any given album and you would not have known it was not a live show. Also, the band came on late. Playing 21 songs on the first night, the band only played 18 songs the second night. Bands that play at venues that have curfews (Cruzan has an 11pm curfew) should be aware of the times that they are limited too. Out of the many Dave Matthews Band Shows I have seen, I would say that the weekend as a whole was only a little bit above average, which is not what I usually get from a DMB show.