Archive for February, 2012

vom-eclipseIn early 2012, I saw Veil of Maya open for In Flames in Baltimore, Md. I had heard the band before in small doses, but not enough to get a true read on their music. Fair or not, I pegged them as one of these modern metalcore-screamo-style bands, many of which are interchangeable. But after seeing their set, I realized they actually are striving to do something different. (more…)

Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses

Axl Rose of Guns N’ RosesLive photos

Live photos

Review by Greg Maki

I first saw Guns N’ Roses live in June 1991 at the old Capital Centre in Landover, Md. It was around this time that three-hour shows were not unusual for the band, but it was not to be on this night. At about what should have been the halfway point of the performance, Axl Rose dove headfirst into the crowd and got into some sort of scuffle with security or a fan. It appeared to have something to do with a hat he threw into the crowd, but I could be wrong. The show came to an abrupt end after only 90 minutes, and to make matters worse, most of what we saw were songs from the Use Your Illusion albums, which were released three months later.

Fast-forward to December 2002. I was at the First Union Center in Philadelphia to see the reactivated Guns, with Axl as the sole original member and keyboardist Dizzy Reed as the only other remaining member from the Illusion era. (more…)

gnr10

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Suicide Silence: "Hardcore Gangstas"

Suicide Silence: “Hardcore Gangstas”

While I watched Suicide Silence open for Machine Head in Baltimore, Md., I couldn’t help thinking these guys remind me of a more hardcore, gangsta Korn onstage. With the bouncing groove that backs their violent combination of deathcore and technical breakdowns, maybe this band is as much nu-metal as it is metalcore. It turns out I was right. When talking to drummer Alex Lopez backstage, he told me nu-metal and bands like Korn and Deftones were indeed a huge influence on Suicide Silence. Alex also talked about touring with Machine Head and the primary differences in playing the Vans Warped Tour and the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. (more…)

John Fred Young of Black Stone Cherry

Live photos

Review by Greg Maki

This show confirmed what I had thought since I first saw Black Stone Cherry live in 2006: They are much more at home as a headliner than as an opening act. (more…)

bsc2012_13

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil

Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil

Live photos

Review by Greg Maki

While touring the United States in early 2012 as part of Gigantour, along with Megadeth, Motorhead and Volbeat, Lacuna Coil played two headlining shows, one of which was at Rams Head Live in Baltimore.

The Italian band was supporting its 2012 release, Dark Adrenaline, but it was Shallow Life, from 2009, that was most prominent in the set, though we did see the first live performances of “I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow” and “Give Me Something More” from the new album. Songs new and old (though not too old; 2002’s Comalies was as far back as the band reached into its catalog) fit together seamlessly, the new songs sounding like they had been performed for years. (more…)

machinehead2012_8

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Machine Head: "A Ten Ton Hammer Hits Baltimore"

Machine Head: “A Ten Ton Hammer Hits Baltimore”

Machine Head, Suicide Silence, Darkest Hour

By Jeff Maki

Whether they were opening for Metallica in Washington, D.C., in 2009 or headlining the side stage at the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Camden, N.J., 20- to 30-minute sets did not do Machine Head justice. Before 2009, I have to go back to Ozzfest ’97, which wasn’t a full set either, for the last time I had seen the band live. Vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn even addressed the crowd at Rams Head Live, saying this was the band’s first time back to Baltimore in more than four years. Long story short, after releasing two metal masterpieces in The Blackening and Unto the Locust in the past five years, we were overdue for a proper headlining set by Machine Head. (more…)

lacunacoil2012_11

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)