Highly Suspect @ Baltimore Soundstage 11/5/16

 

 

 

Highly Suspect’s second full length album, “The Boy Who Died Wolf” is slated for release on November 18, 2016. The trio from Brooklyn, New York has been touring nonstop since brothers Rich and Ryan Meyer and best friend Johnny Stevens decided to stop playing covers and started writing their own music. Highly Suspect is able to weave several genres together into a sound of their own. By taking the blues, grunge, classic rock and a little hip hop and blending them with life stories, they have a way of leaving the listener wanting more. On Saturday the 5th of November 2016 they brought their sonic sound and high energy show to the Baltimore Soundstage.

Opening the night was local favorites The Henchmen. Known around Baltimore for influencing and promoting the music scene, it was apparent a large portion of the crowd was there to see them. Led by Kevin Hock on vdsc_2171ocals, guitar and the piano, The Henchmen bring back the speakeasy feel of the 20’s and 30’s with an edge. Supported by Drew Pallace on guitar, Jim Matusky  on bass, and Nick Heflin on drums, The Henchmen took the stage in classy suits and ties and laid down a jazz infused rock that had people in the mood to get there groove going. Whether it was taping their foot, bobbing their head or singing along, the crowd was drawn in to what The Henchmen were serving.  2017 looks to be a big year for The Henchmen with plans to get back into the studio to record their follow up EP. While you wait for that to happen, make sure to pick up their self-titled EP through all the major outlets, if you haven’t already, and follow them on Facebook for updates and future show announcements.

https://www.facebook.com/TheHenchmenMusic/?fref=ts

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-henchmen-ep/id1140639960

https://play.spotify.com/album/7ahKHfjKhrMKq9RYnEqxDC

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JO9LSDK/ref=sr_1_1_rd?_encoding=UTF8&child=B01JO9LT3E&qid=1479053915&sr=1-1</a>

dsc_2336Slothrust have been the supporting act for a large portion of this tour. Fronted by Leah Wellbaum on vocals and guitar and backed by bassist Kyle Bann and drummer Will Gorin, Slothrust delivers a unique experience. Fusing jazz influences with a punk rock sound similar to Veruca Salt in the 90’s. With a no frills set, Slothrust took the stage to the cheers of the crowd. A strong following of fans that managed to get on the rail hung on every word that Leah sang. Head banging, singing along and completely lost to their surroundings; totally in the moment. No cell phones recording, no one taking photos– just a new generation of music lovers living in the here and now.  The majority of songs on Slothrust’s twelve song set can be found on their latest album Everyone Else released in October 2016.

 

http://www.slothrust.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Slothrust/app/204974879526524/

ITunes: http://apple.co/1OziyCe

Spotify: http://spoti.fi/29Tm8FE

SLOTHRUST SETLIST: Baltimore Soundstage 11/5/2016

  1. Surf Goth
  2. Misnomer
  3. Mud
  4. 7:30am
  5. Pseudo Culture
  6. Like a Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone
  7. Magnets, Pt. 2
  8. Rotten Pumpkin
  9. Horseshoe Crab
  10. Pigpen
  11. Crockpot
  12. Beowulf

dsc_2365It was evident that this show would be a total 360 compared to the last time Highly Suspect were in Baltimore back in March. The crowd has gone from 100 people to a sold out crowd of 1000 and they were hyped up. Highly Suspect took the stage a little after 9p.m. and wasted no time getting right into the music. Diving right into Bath Salts off of their debut album Mister Asylum, Johnny had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. Judging by the way he couldn’t stop smiling he knew he had them too and it did not stop him from showing off the blues/jazz influence during Lost and Bloodfeather.  These two songs speak of love, loss and hurt and even a touch of betrayal.  Regardless of the journeys they have written about, Johnny, Rich and Ryan are in a great place. How many people get to do what they enjoy and share the entire experience with their best friends? Johnny made sure to take a minute to humbly thank the crowd for coming out and encouraged everyone in attendance to be loud as hell and to make this the rowdiest show of the tour.dsc_2401 If you have been a fan of Highly Suspect from the beginning then you have seen the acronym M.C.I.D somewhere. If not you may have seen the merch table and new T-shirt “What The F$@k is MCID”. Well it stands for MY CREW IS DOPE but as Johnny stated when addressing the crowd,” to Highly Suspect it means family.” Midway through the set the band played the first track off of the new album My Name is Human. It’s a slower song with a heavy bass riff and a smooth chorus that became an instant sing along with the fans as they waved their arms from side to side along with Johnny. The highlight of the night came when the band launched into Lydia. The first single released from Mister Asylum which generated a lot of buzz and earned them two Grammy nominations, one for best rock song of 2016 and one for best rock album of the year. For an encore Highly Suspect finished with the most recent track available through pre-order “Wolf” before inviting the crowd to join them on stage for the song Fire in Bedstuy. Within seconds the stage was filled with adoring fans jumping and singing along to the point you almost couldn’t see the band anymore. Probably not the safest thing to do but when these guys say they will throw a party a party is what you’re getting. Special thanks to Kevin Liles who was in attendance for the evening. Mr. Liles grew up in West Baltimore and has been an instrumental part in the careers of some of the music industry’s biggest names including HIGHLY SUSPECT.dsc_2413-edit

http://highlysuspect.net/

iTunes: http://smarturl.it/MisterAsylum
Spotify: http://smarturl.it/HighlySuspectSpotify
Google Play: http://smarturl.it/HighlySuspectplay
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/HighlySuspectamz
Merch Store: http://highlysuspectband.colortestmerch.com/

HIGHLY SUSPECT SETLIST: Baltimore Soundstage 11/5/2016

1. Bath Salts

2. Lost

3. Bloodfeather

4. Vanity

5. Round & Round dsc_2432

6. Mom

7. Fuck Me Up

8. Serotonia dsc_2466-edit

9. My Name Is Human

10. Lydia

11. Claudeland

12. ATL

Encore:

13. Wolf

14. Fire in Bedstuy

 

 

Smith and Myers: An Acoustic Evening

Longtime fans of Shinedown have often heard the full band perform tributes to musicians that have influenced them throughout their lives. The entire band has recorded hits from fellow musicians Foo Fighters, Carole King, U2, and Queen. In 2004 the bands album, Leave a Whisper, was released in a deluxe edition and featured their rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s hit Simple Man. The song reached number 40 on the U.S. alternative charts and 5 on the U.S. mainstream market. In 2014, during a break from writing and touring, front man Brent Smith and guitarist Zach Myers turned to Facebook and asked the fans to request songs they would like to see covered. The two then planned to narrow the results down to the top ten and release separate videos of each song, to be seen on the social media platform YouTube over the course of ten days while they were being recorded. The end result is now known as Smith and Myers (Acoustic Sessions), a ten song EP featuring songs originally made famous by Adele, Pearl Jam, Bon Jovi, The Clash, and Otis Redding to name a few. Almost two years later and upon completing the first leg of touring for Shinedown’s latest album Threat to Survival, Brent and Zach decided to take Smith and Myers on the road for an eleven day run of shows across the U.S. playing small intimate venues to finish out the year. Check out the list of remaining Smith Myers shows and upcoming shows scheduled with the full band here: http://www.shinedown.com/shows

Opening the evening of December 12, 2015 at The Chameleon Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania was Zack Mach. A friend and collaborating writer with Zach Myers on their side project, Allen, Mack, Myers, and Moore, Mach captivated the audience with a sound that infused Folk, Country, and Rockabilly. The sounds of guitar and harmonica radiated through the venue as he played several originals before being joined on stage by Myers. The duo played a few songs from their recent album Just South of Moonlight, released in March of this year, before Myers had to change for the Smith and Myers set. Zach Mack ended his set with a surprising rendition of the Counting Crows hit, Mr. Jones. Having seen the Counting Crows perform this song on several occasions, I have to say Zach Mack did it more than justice. Stay up to date with Allen, Mach, Myers and Moore by following them on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/AllenMackMyersMoore

Smith and Myers took the stage around 9:30; both men looking sharp dressed in suits and ties. The first song of the night was Big Empty, originally performed by Stone Temple Pilots, after which they gave a posthumous shout out to Scott Weiland. Brent and Zach balanced the night playing a mix of songs from Shinedown albums, old and new. Zach joked about how he has been putting together the song choices for each night, while Brent had no clue until he walked on stage what they would play each evening. Some may think that would make for a chaotic night, but the two work together like a well-oiled machine. Between the banter with the crowd and with each other, the entire night seemed to breeze by in a flash. Brent took a little break midway through, so Zach took the lead on Wanted Dead or Alive, as well as on what turned out to be a crowd favorite song from the 90’s, Freshmen (originally written and performed by The Verve Pipe). Blasting their way through the almost two hour long set, Brent and Zach did not show any signs of wanting to stop. They decided not to take an encore break and jumped into the last three songs of the night, ending the show with Sound of Madness. One thing is for sure–whether it is an intimate venue or a sold out arena, full band or just the duo, there will always be the same energy and passion each and every time. Thanks to everyone in the Shinedown camp for putting on a great show night after night. As Brent Smith says “It’s not goodbye, it’s ‘til next time!” Here’s hoping next time includes Baltimore!Smith

 

Van Halen at Jiffy Lube Live 

    With multiple shows getting canceled for various reasons throughout the years, I was starting to feel that I was not destined to see Van Halen. The Hershey Park Stadium show was postponed only five days earlier citing David Lee Roth had the flu. As the date of the Bristow show approached, our excitement built and so did the dread that yet another alert would be sent out stating there would be a rescheduled date or a refund offered.  Thankfully the Gods of rock smiled upon us.

 Approaching the gates to the venue, the wailing of guitars could be heard in the distance, as The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band warmed the crowd up. Which was a surprise because we were there a half hour before the show time that was marked on the ticket. Making it through security was a breeze with ample security on hand to manage the search of bags, and separate men’s and women’s lines. We found a fairly clear spot in the field and settled in to listen to the last three songs of Kenny Wayne and company’s set which did include my favorite Blue on Black.  I have reached out to LiveNation about the time issue in the hopes that future concert goers to the venue won’t miss possible openers they paid to see and to their credit they said they would look into it.

During the band changed we chatted with other fans about what would we could expect to see and who the better front man is DLR or Sammy Hagar also how people felt about or Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass. Who is making a name on his own working with Mark Tremonti. Before the debate could get heated the lights throughout the venue dimmed signaling that Van Halen was ready to take the stage.

Dave and the boys wasted no time getting right into the thick of things starting the show in true David Lee Roth fashion,with Light Up The Sky, and Runnin’ With The Devil. At age 60, Dave has lost a bit of range in his voice at times talk/singing and relying on the crowd to sing along. But the man has not lost a step in stage presence. He managed to slip, slide, jump, and at one point even did a partial split. To say he owned the stage would be an understatement. The only time he slowed down was to sit on chair and exclaim “60 is the new 80!” And to tell a story about the playground near his house where he could hear none other than the Ice Cream Man.

Heading into the encore is where Eddie really took a few moments to shine with a shred induced guitar solo. Fingers elegantly maneuvering up and down the fret board with a quickness that showcased the fact that Eddie Van Halen has perfected the hammer on/hammer off and fret tapping technique. Finishing the show with The Kinks “You Really Got Me” “Panama“, and 80’s rocking favorite “Jump“. It has taken us a long time to finally see Van Halen and it was well worth the wait. From start to finish the guys looked to be enjoying their time on stage together. Maybe it’s possible any previous animosity has been put behind them and we can get a few more tours. I wonder if it’s too much to wish for a Van Rothgar Tour to happen?

There are still a few shows left of the Tokyo Live Tour. If you can catch one, here are the dates!  http://www.van-halen.com/2015tourdates.html