Tag: Marcy J Royce
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Pullo Performing Arts Center, York, PA
Photos by Marcy J Royce
Review by Marcy J Royce
I first became interested in BLUE OCTOBER in 2007 after I listened to their 2006 release, Foiled. A part of the genre I don’t usually find myself having a gravitation towards. But some of the music and some of the lyrics had me intrigued. So when I knew I would be afforded the opportunity to photograph Blue October, and review their performance, I was thrilled.
The night at The Pullo Performimg Arts Center began with an acoustic performance by singer songwriter Justin Furstenfeld. It was a 25 minute solo set that included heartfelt, personal lyrics entwined with guitar and an electronically created drum beat that seems to have shed some light to the audience what Justin had experienced in his past. Meaningful and passionate peppered with jokes and laughter lent itself to a very intimate connection with a man so instrumental in leading BLUE OCTOBER.
Next up was GIRL IN A COMA. I really had not listened to any of this trio’s music prior to their set. These women started right out of the gate with hard rocking tunes that had decent riffs and hooks. Hard rocking and edgy, they proved that the audience should take them seriously as rockers. The growls of front woman Nina Diaz, the rupturing bass guitar of Jenn Alva and the drums of Phanie Diaz makes this lineup from San Antonio impressive. The crowd seem to really dig them.
The real treat was about to begin with the 90 minute set from BLUE OCTOBER. Kicking off the night with “She’s My Ride Home” from the successful 2006 release of Foiled got the crowd to their feet quickly. And singing along. Next up was “Say It” from the 2009 release of Approaching Normal and “Sound Of Pulling Heaven Down” also from Foiled. The lights stayed dimmed but the musicians shined brightly with every chord and every word. If Justin had been demure and awkward during his solo set he certainly did an about face as he slid right into the
charismatic frontman he is known to be.
The crowd seemed to be quite familiar with most of BLUE OCTOBER’s catalog of songs. Singing more loudly as the set progressed. Most of the setlist contained songs from 3 releases; Foiled, Approaching Normal, and the newest release from the fall of 2011 Any Man In America. The biggest hits of the night, and most popular with the crowd, were “Into The Ocean” and “Hate Me”. The crowd was delighted and sang along very loudly. Very happily they showed their enthusiasm and the band fed right from that energy. BLUE OCTOBER are one of those bands that seem to have somewhat of a cult following. Sometimes being viewed as an acquired taste.
Here is a link to my listing of the setlist for the night:
Here is a link to my video for “The Feel Again”:
For more info on BLUE OCTOBER including tour dates, tickets, media, merchandise, and bios, visit http://www.blueoctober.com/site/
I want to give a big shout out to Tim Tatulli of RED Music for making this opportunity happen for me and the Away-Team. Thanks!
Friday, March 16, 2012 – Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD
photos by Marcy J Royce
review by Marcy J Royce
Check out my video of Boss’s Daughter:
As some of you know, I am no stranger to the music of POP EVIL. I’ve been a fan for a few years. Each and every time I get a chance, I try to catch them as they pass through my area. I was once again afforded that opportunity.
Friday night couldn’t come soon enough. The anticipation in my world was building all week. I put the music of POP EVIL on exclusive play in my iPod leading up to this show. No rotation the last few days before the show. I was even quoting lyrics in my Facebook posts. Ha ha!
My husband and I arrived at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, MD just after 8pm. We caught the end of Landsdowne’s set, and all of Otherwise’s set. A good size crowd was building. And the 2 openers were okay. I say that because I was highly anticipating POP EVIL. No disrespect intended.
I was ready to have my face melted and my body rocked. In the dimly light preshow fever, I staked ground in the press & photo pit. Knowingly I chose my spot right in front of Tony Greve. That guy sure provides this happy chick with hot licks and awesome riffs. And catching them that up close is pure ecstasy. He’s one of my very favorite “Guitar Slingers”. The intro was cued and everything went black. And one by one they entered the stage. Lights blasted and the beginning chords of Somebody Like You rang out from wall to wall. Holy shit! The place immediately turned electric. They boys ran that stage like a herd of fierce buffalo running down the plain. They always remind me just how much they mean business when they are gonna rock their fans into a frothy frenzy. During that first song Leigh Kakaty belted out lyrics with gusto and fever. Matt DiRito is always jumping, and flinging that gorgeous long hair, smiling the entire time. Dave Grahs is magnificient to watch and take in. When you least expect it he just explodes all over you with his power. And Josh Marunde (aka Chachi)… my oh my… what a drummer. I’m always entranced with the drummer. Drums and bass always have my attention. Part of the foundation, part of the backbone, of any performance.
Capturing these emotions with my camera is one of the greatest highs for me. POP EVIL certainly is not one of those bands who stays in one spot for very long while they perform on a big stage such as Rams Head. And as a photographer, I love that! Motion and emotion make the shot. And these guys deliver it to me each time. Next up in the set was Save The World and then Daisy Chain. Why do those first three songs need to go so fast???? I’m just getting into the photography groove and BAM! Security is making all of us exit. Oh well.
I vacated the pit and headed for front of house to change lenses. As I walked on my way Shinedown was starting. I couldn’t help but get swept up in it all. As the set progressed with wailing solos, intricate melodic guitars, pound your chest drums & bass, and purposeful lyrics, the crowd just drew in closer to that energy. All these things, that when woven together properly, will make a band shine. Pepper in raw emotion, unbridled spirit, unending energy and you have all the makings of a truly talented band that will break the chains and move up the genre ladder.
The songs that followed were: Unstoppable, 100 In A 55, Purple, Let It Go, Hero, Breathe, Broken & Betrayed, Stepping Stone, Boss’s Daughter, Monster You Made, and for the finale… Last Man Standing.
The one thing I did notice is during this performance is just how far POP EVIL really has come in the last 2 years. They have become polished, honing their craft to the best it has ever been. A tight performance with high energy. I did, however, notice that Leigh’s voice was not quite up to the usual standard. He was singing an octave or two lower than he usually does to some parts of some songs. Not everything was different, just a few things here and there. Enough to make me notice. The final thing I noticed was the sound engineer had some difficulties until mid set bringing out Leigh’s vocals. The guitars were overpowering him. Finally, that issue seemed to get worked out. But for most fans, whom by the way were singing along loudly to each song, they probably didn’t even notice. And that’s the beauty of it all. The crowd enjoying the band they love. And that, my friends, always makes this photographer and fan, extremely happy every time!
For more information and all that is happening with POP EVIL including tour dates, and to find out where to purchase music and merchandise visit http://www.popevil.com/
Also check these sites:
And for really cool stuff: www.evil-nation.com
YouTube videos you should check out:
For War Of Angels Last Man Standing: http://youtu.be/4YB6H5q_gyU
For Lipstick On The Mirror 100 in a 55: http://youtu.be/DcfmwfY2GOE
Special thanks to George Cappellini, Sr., at G & G Entertainment, and Chris Iteen, Tour Manager, for helping to make it happen.
RAIN: A Tribute To The Beatles
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Hershey Theatre, Hershey, PA
Review by Marcy J Royce
As luck would have it, RAIN was making a stop in nearby Hershey,PA at the Hershey Theatre on Thursday, January 26. Being a Beatles fan I was eager to have the opportunity to see these guys perform as the fab four. In years past having attended shows by 1964 The Tribute, another Beatles tribute band, I wanted to see what RAIN had to offer.
There is no question as to why RAIN has been a extremely success national tour for decades.
The cast of RAIN includes 13 people in all, according to the current website. Most of these members rotate in their portrayal of our beloved Liverpool mop tops. Close my eyes and I thought I was hearing the real, live, one and only Beatles. These guys are right on the mark with their look, vocals, and mannerisms. “George” even did his shuffle, much to my delight. “Paul” did his head bob and wrist swish. “George” did his usual smiles. And always my favorite Beatle, “John” did his bobbing up and down in front of the microphone. The entire live show is meant to recreate and transport the audience back in time through the career of these iconic men. Even the stage props, mood lighting, wardrobe, and videos assist in the real feel. A bonus for me was the trivia before the show and during the intermission and also the era commercials. A true delight to the audience this night. And ya know, I even got most of the trivia RIGHT! My husband was surprised I knew the working title to Yesterday was Scrambled Eggs. Ah ha! I one upped him. (giggle)
RAIN actually got its start in the 1970’s as REIGN in night clubs in California. This tribute band then became a descendant from the Broadway show, Beatlemania. In 1982 as the show waned to its end at that time and cast members started to filter into RAIN’s lineup. Many changes have happened to members since that time but founder Mark Lewis is still involved to this day. Most recently, from October 2010 to July 2011 “RAIN” was on Broadway and entailed 300 performances in New York City’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre. But enough about the history, let’s get to this performance at the Hershey Theatre.
I was afforded the opportunity to photograph from the area of the soundboard. A good place for this short gal. And I wasn’t interfering with any patrons view. Very important. The night started as the crowd delighted in those first chords. RAIN encouraged crowd participation several times during the performance. The first full audience stand was for Twist and Shout. The energy was energizing. The first half of the performance included songs from Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, and Help. The second half of the performance included songs from Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, and Let It Be. It’s a hard task to do as many songs in a performance as there are so many hits and so many favorites. In my opinion I feel the setlist encompassed those songs well. The cast of RAIN was having a blast on stage. Bantering, joking, and laughing. But very serious when it came to presenting the songs to the audience. From start to finish, you couldn’t have asked for a better performance.
The setlist for the evening included such hits as: I Saw Her Standing There, All My Loving, A Hard Days Night, Twist & Shout, Yesterday, Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help from My Friends, When I’m 64, Eleanor Rigby, A Day In The Life, Strawberry Fields, Hello Goodbye, I Am the Walrus, Norwegian Wood, In My Life, Going Home, Come Together, Get Back, Revolution, Give Peace A Chance, Let It Be, Hey Jude. I know I’ve missed some however this is my best recollection as I was singing along and getting caught up in the performance.
For more info on RAIN including tour dates, tickets, media, merchandise, and bios, visit http://www.raintribute.com/the-band/
I want to give a big shout out to Melissa Hazek from Anita Dlonkiak and Associates, Jeff Albright from Albright Entertainment Group, and Melissa Stradnick from Hershey Entertainment for making this opportunity happen for me and the Away-Team. Thanks!
Friday, January 20, 2012 – Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD
Photos by Marcy J Royce
Just one sentence is all that is necessary to preface this show review. Watching incredibly talented musicians perform is why I love what I do, and Alice Anna is one of those bands in which I can’t get enough. Period. That’s all. Nothing else needs to be written.
Seriously though. I’ve missed seeing Alice Anna in those few months since last saw them in September 2011. I’ve had their music in constant rotation on my iPod. And I’ve purchased the subsequent songs of Awake, Look Into These Eyes, and Carry Me Away. These are the teaser songs for the next cd to be released. I was extremely excited when I found out that in December they would be spending a good amount of time in New York with their producer Jeremy. Good things are coming, I can feel it. I cannot wait to get my hands on the new release to review it for away-team and report back to you.
But for now the fans of Alice Anna will just have to see their band live to fulfill their need of great music performed by wonderful musicians and artists. I was glad to be there front and center once again for this show. The crowd was bigger it seemed. Or it could have been because more people wanted closer to the stage. Not sure which. I do know that enthusiastic fans were jamming out and bumping into me almost constantly, fists in the air, singing and dancing along to their favorite songs. I made sure to move around and capture each member, trying to showcase them in my photos the best that I could. Arms in the air make it hard sometimes, ha ha.
After half the set was over, I made my way behind the sound and light area. I switched lenses. Then I caught myself just letting the music wash over me. Alice Anna’s music just does that to me. Really makes me stop whatever I’m doing and just take in every note and every lyric. And much to my delight the dual drum solo happened. YAY ME! I have a thing for drummers and then when you put two in front of me like that, oh my. Pure ecstasy. Pure rhythmic precision. It was a great moment for all the fans.
I was able to capture and record the first song of the encore. Click here for the video:
As the set sadly ended to soon for me, I made my way around the room. I pleasantly bumped into Hunter Shafer’s father, Brady. We had a wonderful chat. Thanks for stopping me to say hi Brady. It was a true pleasure. As I gazed through the thick crowd, I finally found Dan. I wanted to collect on that goodbye hug I missed out on in September. I just love Dan. He’s so warm, sweet and very personable. It was like two friends who had not seen each other in months. A big, big hug and a kiss on the cheek. And that quick his fans needed him, he was wisked away. So great to see that.
Check out all that is ALICE ANNA at their site: http://www.aliceannamusic.com/. There you will find information on news, bio, photos and shows. And if you are in the area they are playing, GO. You must check them out. I’m so glad I did again! Special thanks to Shauna O’Donnell at MUEN Public Relations and Promotion for helping to make it happen.
Sunday, November 27, 2011 – Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD
Photos by Marcy J Royce
Taking You Down
Over and Under
You Make Me Sick
I was excited that EGYPT CENTRAL was going to be an opener for STAIND in Baltimore, MD. What a bonus for me! However, to me they are still a relatively new band. And I say that because their first release (Egypt Central) was in 2008 and their second release (White Rabbit) was in 2011. Even though they formed in 2001/2002. Fellow journalist/photographer here at Away-Team, Jason Rybak, had an interview with singer John Falls earlier this year and I was eager to catch their live show (link for interview: http://www.away-team.com/rock/2011/05/the-writing-on-the-wall-an-interview-with-egypt-centrals-john-falls ).
This band has had me intriqued since I first learned of White Rabbit back in the spring of this year. I’ve listened to the cd quite a few times and keep toggling between songs as to which one is my fav. So I was really, really glad to see Kick Ass, White Rabbit, and The Drug in the set. Being an opener doesn’t afford a band the to chance to really showcase more of what encompasses them. But the songs they chose did the job well for the limited time they had. Seeing these guys for the first time, and up close in the pit through my lens was killer, and a high. I was smiling a lot as I spent my time photographing them for those first three songs. I just felt every bit of energy they spewed into the crowd. EGYPT CENTRAL certainly did not treat this as though they were an opener, they made me feel like they were the headliners. They gave it everything they had. And that is why my personal opinion is they should have gone on JUST BEFORE STAIND, not first. They had a much better set than the band that followed them. I was more enlightened and drawn to their performance than the next band.
I left the pit after those three songs eager for more. I headed for higher ground to get a few more photos that I couldn’t get right up front. I only photographed two more songs since I knew their set was just seven songs long. I made my way back downstairs and took my usual position in the back, slightly off center. I try to always position myself for the best sight line since I’m short and for the best possible intake of the sound. WOW! What a set for EGYPT CENTRAL. I am certainly glad I was there. They left me wanting more. And the crowd also. I can’t wait for them to come through my area again. And I do hope that I can photograph them again. They are just one of those bands I can’t photograpy once or twice, they have so much to their performance that it will take me a few times to truly encompass who they are and convey that through my photos to you. I’ll be watching their tour cities and hoping it’s not too long before I see them again.
Check out everything EGYPT CENTRAL at www.egyptcentral.com
I want to give a shout out and a high five to my girl, Amanda Cagan at ABC Public Relations, for working with Away-Team to be able to bring you the best of the best.
Sunday, November 27, 2011 – Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD
Photos by Marcy J Royce
Eyes Wide Open
So Far Away
Throw It All Away
Country Boy(Aaron Lewis song)
It’s Been Awhile
Something to Remind You
On the heels of their self titled and seventh release in September 2011, STAIND kicked off their current headlining tour just 2 days before they pulled into my area in Baltimore, MD. I own several STAIND cd’s, but it’s beyond my comprehension as to why I had not yet caught them live. Other things in life keeping me busy I guess. So here was my chance.
I learned it was a sold out show a few weeks earlier so I just knew Baltimore was licking its chops to dig into STAIND on the Rams Head Live stage. One of the BEST places to catch a live, intimate performance. Albeit the place holds around 1600-1700, so it’s not too intimate but not a arena. We arrived just 30 minutes before Egypt Central jump started the night. (Read Egypt Central’s show review under their photos). Next was Adelitas Way. And finally at 9:45pm, STAIND took the stage to a crowd frothing at the mouth. The energy was high and the screams deafening. I was anxious to see new drummer, Sal Giancarelli, but not my luck from the pit. The drum riser was too high for this short gal. But I would get my chance later during the set. But before the band came out I was entranced by Aaron’s mic stand and the plethora of picks on both sides. See my first photo. Pretty cool, and entertaining to see what some of them had to say. Ha Ha!
STAIND dove right into the night with Spleen, followed by Falling, and then Right Here. Fairly good choices to start the set. I was okay with it. I snapped off quite a few photos in the pit during those first three songs. Interesting LEDs had me waiting for the good light. Red is not a good color for photos, as I tell my husband all the time since he’s an LD himself. I was captivated my Mike Mushok, that man can groove. And he’s really feeling the music he plays. And I thoroughly enjoyed Johnny April. Loved his bass and the way he played with the crowd and me. He smiled for me a time or two and I captured that. BONUS! Next I made my way to higher ground, in the stadium seating area. From there I FINALLY got to witness new drummer Sal. Not bad, he’s still getting used to his new shoes though. I will wait and see what he does in his future with STAIND before I have a full opinion of him. I do have a thing for drummers and will follow what he does in the coming months.
As I finished off my last photos from the second floor, I decided it was time to place my camera in my bag and go back down to the first floor and enjoy the show as a fan. I really enjoyed Throw It All Away, Paper Wings, Eyes Wide Open, Not Again and Failing from the newly released album. I need to listen more to this cd. It takes me about a dozen times to truly give a cd a fair assessment. So Far Away and Mudshovel were perfect for the set. But I do question why Mudshovel was not the encore. Seems to me it would be a better fit than Something To Remind You. But this is just my opinion. The band has its reasons. I respect that. But I hope they do give some thought to changing it. All in all the show was fabulous. So glad I had the opportunity to catch it this time through my area.
Special thanks to Kymm Britton of 60 Cycle Media for making it all happen for me and the Away-Team.
Thursday, October 27, 2011 – Chameleon Club
Photos by Marcy J. Royce
I Don’t Believe In Love
Hit The Black
My Empty Room
At 30,000 Feet
Screaming In Digital
The Lady Wore Black
Walk In The Shadows
The Right Side Of My Mind
At The Edge
Take Hold Of The Flame
Eyes Of A Stranger
As we arrived at the Chameleon Club and searched for parking, I knew what was inside would be nothing short of a sellout. And I was right! Walking into the room I noticed the super crowded area at the back bar. Yes, damn near a sellout. People were packed into the slender but long facility, all charged up to see Queensryche. And I noticed the average age of the fans, 35+. As Queensryche garnished most of it’s fans from the old school metal/rock of the 80′s and early 90′s.
Making my way from the back bar to the front by the stage was going to be difficult. Everyone was sardined in place. After a generous offer from a trusted security guy, we made it to where we needed to be. As I looked over the crowd I saw just how pumped up they were. Took my place in the pit and felt the crowd energy as they became restless, chanting ‘Ryche, ‘Ryche, ‘Ryche. The frenzy was about to take off.
The last time I saw Queensryche was when they were an opener for Judas Priest in June 2005 at The Giant Center in Hershey, PA. Needless to say 6 years was a long time for me to see them again. But oh so well worth the wait. Get Started was a perfect opener. Luckily I was the only photog in the pit, during that song I was everywhere. Geoff was working off the crowd energy and he returned that energy. Once again, the best place to be to feel that electricity is where I was. I get off of that stuff, pumps me up, pushes me hard to capture as much of the energy through my camera as I can. Next up was Damaged followed by I Don’t Believe In Love (which is one of my favorites). The fan frenzy for that song was iconic. I heard just as much sing along as I did Geoff through the PA system. Tingles ran down my spine. It’s a feeling like no other.
I made my way to my spot that I occupied for the rest of the night, just off stage left. I had a somewhat obstructed view because of the architecture of the Chameleon, but I bobbed and weaved to see what I needed. The great part about this spot is the long stretch of 1 foot high mirrors on the oppposite side of the room. This way I could see how packed the fans were, right up to the railings, on both the second and third levels. Arms were waving and the voltage meter rised with every song. This spot was also much better for me to take in all that is Scott Rockenfield. I love drummers and their craft. I take in everything that I can. Scott was quiet impressive with his kit setup and use of everything. One woman directly in front of me kept taking photos of Scott and Parker, she was so enamored with them both. She would look back at me and giggle. I laughed as I knew I shared that same sentiment for Scott. Parker and Michael were both tearing up the stage. Riffs and solos screaming with metal goodness. I did notice when Parker changed guitars to start using the Gretsch, that poor guy looked so small. But boy did he make that thing sing.
The night went so fast. Lots of good choices for the setlist. And I was heavily anticipating the encore. I just knew Jet City Woman and Empire HAD to be in there. Two staples of the good ole earlier days of ‘Ryche. But I was sadly disappointed. One encore song was played, Eyes Of A Stranger. Not sure why they nixed those other two songs, it was on the setlist to perform. Maybe someone wasn’t feeling well, and I can understand that. But nonetheless, I as an old fan was left wanting them. Guess that means I’ll have to catch them again soon. Which I hope to do!
For all that is Queensryche, go to http://www.queensryche.com/
Special thanks to Jeff Albright for making this happen for myself and Away-Team. It was a pleasure sir!