Category Archives: Concert Reviews

Super Bowl Halftime Show Review

Let me just say congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks on being the winners of Super Bowl XLVIII. It was quite the performance by the Seahawks, but there was also another performance, The Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show. Now this was actually a highlight of the night, as the game was quite boring towards the end, and Bruno Mars did not dissapoint, but the Red Hot Chilli Peppers did.

Now the performance (un-traditional medley) started off in a very unusual way with a children’s chorus singing a heavily harmonized version of Travie McCoy’s and Mar’s “Billionaire.” This was followed by an awesome drum solo by Mars himself. His band then played a rendition of “Locked Out of Heaven” which was followed by “Treasure.” and an awesome version of “Runaway Baby.”

Now this is where the trouble started. The Red Hot Chili Peppers appeared, and started playing “Give it Away” now at the time I thought they sounded awesome, but just like Denver’s offense, they were there, but they weren’t playing. I mean Flea didn’t even have his bass plugged in (as seen in Exhibit A.) Anthony Kiedis sounded like he was singing live, as did Mars, but it didn’t seem like anyone cared whether or not it was live at the time.

Exhibit A.


The final song in the misguided medley was Mars’ hit “Just The Way You Are.” The song featured a touching military tribute, and again Mars sounded great. This was one of the better superbowl half time shows, but nothing will top Aerosmith’s Super Bowl XXXV half time show.



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Lamb of God Tear Up The Palladium 6/18/13

Lamb of God made a triumphant return to one of the first places the band played on their first tour last night, The Worcester Palladium. It was a special night and you could tell that everyone was excited to see Lamb of God throw down their signature brand of pure American heavy metal. The bill last night was also spectacular featuring The Acacia Strain and the Polish metal band, Decapitation.

Lamb of God started their set with the song, “Desolation” and this got the ball rolling in a big way. The crowd of the palladium erupted, and the band continued with their set playing “Ghost Walking” and one of their best songs, “Walk With Me in Hell.” The band then launched into “Set To Fail” which is one of my favorite songs and the band played it expertly.

The band then played a couple of their older songs. One of these was “Ruin” which went over incredibly well with the crowd, as did “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For” which was dedicated to The United States Military. During this song the bands two projection screens featured pictures of military men and women who were also Lamb of God fans, which was awesome. They finished this part of the set with the great “11th Hour”

The band then played “The Undertow” this song was an odd choice in my mind, but the crowd still raged on. Then Randy Blythe said the opening words to “Omerta” and that’s when the palladium went absolutely insane, and it would remain that way for the rest of the, as the band weaved their riffs. The band finished the main part of their set with the brutally fast, “Contractor.”

The stage went dark and the Palladium started booming with chants of ‘Lamb of God,’ and then we heard the acoustic intro “The Passing” which lead into the bands terrific encore which included “In Your Words,” “Laid to Rest,” “Redneck,” and the always classic “Black Label.”

-B. Harlow

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The Rolling Stones Rock Boston 6/14/13

On Friday June 14th The Rolling Stones took to the stage at the Boston Garden for the second night of their two night stand on their 50 & Counting Tour. You could tell that everyone was excited for the festivities that night, as almost everyone outside of The Garden was decked out in Rolling Stones merchandise. As our party entered the stadium our intensity level went even further through the roof, as we realized we were only eleven rows from the stage.

At about 8:50 the house lights went down and the band’s intro video came on, and that’s when the crowds intensity skyrocketed. The whole Garden was clapping, whistling, and waiting not so patiently for the show to begin. Then, The Rolling Stones Appeared. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood in the flesh, and that’s when the place erupted, and the band launched into the first chords of “Get Off My Cloud.”

The band sounded tight on their first few numbers, but on the fourth song of the night, “Gimme Shelter” you could tell that the band was on fire, and it would be a great night of some of the Stone’s best material. They played “All Down The Lane” and for Boston’s fan voted song they played, “Memory Motel” which coincidentally features the lyric “When I asked her where she headed for ‘Back up to Boston I’m singing in a bar.’”

“When The Whip Comes Down” a classic cut from 1978’s Some Girls was up next, and that was followed by one of my least favorite Stones’ tracks, “Emotional Rescue.” The band then launched into the two new tracks which they recorded for their latest greatest hits album Grrr! which was released last November. “Doom and Gloom,” a political rocker was one of these new songs and that went over well, but you could tell that by the time they got into “One More Shot” people were using these new tracks as an opportunity to use the bathroom. I dig the new tracks, especially “Doom and Gloom,” and I felt I was one of the few people in the audience that new the track.

Keith Richards then busted into the riff for “Honkey Tonk Women” which brought the crowd back into the action. The band then did introductions, and after that Keith Richards took to the microphone performing two of my favorite Stones’ songs “You Got The Silver” and “Happy.” These two tracks went over well especially “Happy” which had a great number of fans singing along.

“Midnight Rambler” was up next and this was when Mick Taylor joined the band. Taylor looked happy to be there, but his playing was really not up to muster. In fact it felt like they buried his guitar in the live mix to cover any mistakes. Watts and Richards really held the band together on this track especially the very loose last part of the song at the end.

The band played “Miss You” and “Start Me Up” which both received enormous hands from the crowd who went up another notch when the band launched into the intro of “Start Me Up.” The band finished off their set with “Tumbling Dice,” “Brown Sugar,” and “Sympathy For The Devil.” These songs were all excellent especially “Sympathy For The Devil.”

The stage went dark, and the crowd called for an encore, and their wishes were granted when B.U.’s choir came to the stage with the band and performed a haunting rendition of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The band closed the night with the two crowd pleasers, “Jumping Jack Flash” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

The Rolling Stones were amazing and if you get the opportunity to see them, you definitely should not let that opportunity pass you by.

-B. Harlow
Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood

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Ghost B.C.’s Amazing Performance At The Royale, Boston 5/10/13

On Friday May 10th Papa Emeritus II and his band of nameless ghouls took over the Royale in Boston, MA, and put on one of the best live shows that I have ever seen. The band is all about theatrics, but unlike many other bands that have a theatrical side, Ghost’s music stands up both live and on record, and works perfectly with the bands live show.

“Infestissumam” started off the bands set, and when the band hit the stage the Royale was in the bands hand for the rest of the night. They then went into “Per Aspera ad Inferi” which kept the audience head banging away.  The band then launched into three tracks from their 2010 debut album, Opus Eponymous. Of these tracks, “Elizabeth” got the best crowd response. Ghost then launched into the first single, “Secular Haze”   from their latest album, Infestissumam.  This was one of the best songs of the night, and got a huge crowd response.

“Body and Blood” another favorite from the new album came up next, and this was performed quite nicely by the band, as it is a more delicate song with a very late 60’s vibe. The band took it up a notch for the next track “Stand By Him” which is one of my favorite tracks from Opus Eponymous. The Guitars on the track were magical and were executed with great skill live. “Death Knell” and “Satan Prayer” were up  next, and these two tracks also went over well with the crowd.  The band then showed off their musicianship with “Genesis” which was followed by “Year Zero,” the band’s second single from, Infestissumam.

The band then played “Ritual” one of their better known songs, and this brought the show up another notch above what was thought possible. But the best performance of the night came on the last song “Monstrance Clock.” Before Papa Emeritus and his band of nameless Ghouls started the song he stated that it was time for the people of Boston to sing together as one and they did, and it sounded awesome, and it was a great way to end the night.

Ghost B.C. took the Royale by storm and put on a masterful performance that left everyone in the audience wanting more.

-B. Harlow

Check out some video Highlights of The Show HERE





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Anthrax, Hatebreed, and others Bring The Noise on Night One of New England Metal and Hardcore Festival XV

On Friday I made my way to the Palladium in Worcester, MA expecting an amazing show put on by Scott Lee. Lee and his crew have been putting on New England Metal and Hardcore Festival for 15 years and this year they had one of their best line-ups. On Friday alone they had Great bands like Anthrax, Hatebreed, Every Time I Die, Exodus, Shadows Fall, and many more.

Brian I entered the palladium around five o’clock for Shadow Fall’s set. The band started off with their song “The Light that Blinds” which is one of my favorite songs from the band. It definitely shows off the excellent musicianship of the band. The band then played “Idiot Box,” and that pleased the crowd even more. When the band finished the song lead vocalist Brian Fair addressed their hometown crowd and proceeded to talk about the events of the week in Boston and Watertown. He then dedicated the next song, “Weight of the World” to Boston which was an awesome gesture. The band then launched into another one of their best songs, “King of Nothing” off of their album Retribution, this was another great crowd pleaser. The band continued playing the rest of their set which was topped off by their song, “War” a song whose lyrics were penned by Bob Marley and adapted for a more metal sounding song, but the message remains the same.

I then walked around the venue to check out all the vendors that were at the palladium, but returned to watch thrash metal legends Exodus’ set. When the lights dimmed and the intro to “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” you knew the Palladium was about to become a thrash paradise. In front of me appeared Gary Holt who was ready to thrash.  The band was tight and played some of their best and classic material including “Piranha,” “Bonded By Blood,” and “The Toxic Waltz.” It was my first time seeing Exodus, and I have to say I was blown away by the thrash metal masters.

Next up was Every Time I Die who came on right at about 8:00. They also played a killer set and gave the Palladium a healthy dose of hardcore. They even through in some metal too by playing a Pantera medley. The band played some of their best songs including some of personal favorites, the band seemed in tip-top shape including Singer Keith Buckley who puts on a great performance.

Hatebreed was up next, and what more can we say about Jamey Jasta and crew, but that they deliver a great show every time you see them. The band started off with one of their best songs, “To The Threshold,” and from then on they never let go of the solid grasp they had on the Palladium playing some of their best material including “  In Ashes They Shall Reap,” “Puritan,” and “Destroy Everything”

IMG_1021Headlining the festival night one was Anthrax who played, an amazing set that consisted of them playing the entirety of the thrash metal classic, Among The Living. The band started off with the great title track off of the album, “Among The Living.” It brought the  Palladium’s energy up another notch. This lead perfectly into the album’s second track “Caught In a Mosh,” which is a staple of the bands regular show. The band then played another classic from the album, “I Am the Law” which went over great with the crowd especially when Joey Belladonna dedicated it to the Boston Police Department. They then played  “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)” and “A Skeleton in the Closet” which rapped up part one of Among The Living. They launched Into a killer cover of “March of The S.O.D.”

The stage went black until the stage was lit up again when the intro music to “In The End” came on along with two large banners of Dimebag Darrel and Ronnie James Dio two fallen metal heroes who the song is dedicated to. The band sounded tight on this song and pulled off a great tribute to the two fallen musicians. The band then played a cover of AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” which went over great with the audience who were chanting along to the signature riff. The band then played “Madhouse” off of their record Spreading The Disease.

The band then continued into the second half of the album Among the Living by playing another  classic “Indians” which included the infamous call for a Wardance! by Scott Ian which is a call for a giant Circle pit. The band then played their cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got The Time.”

The band then came out for their encore which included the song “Imitation of Life” which was followed by the band’s rap flavored song “I’m the Man” and the band concluded their set with “Anti-Social” which was an awesome way to end the set.

-B. Harlow

Scott ian 2

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A Day to Remember’s crazy show at the Palladium, Worcester MA 3.24.13

Let me begin by saying that this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot of them. The show contained the bands Chunk, No Captain Chunk!, Of Mice and Men, and of course, A Day to Remember. The tickets for this show sold out less than two days after they went on sale. I got there 3 hours early and it paid off. I was right up front .
Chunk, No Captain Chunk! was decent. I am not really a fan of them to begin with, but they’re a good opener. They played 6 songs, the highlight being their cover of Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R.” “We R Who We R” appears on the compilation album Punk Goes Pop 4.
Of Mice and Men came on next. I have never really listened to them, but after the show they put on, I’m going to start. Their lead singer, Austin Carlile put on a great show performance wise, and is a great front-man. They played eight songs without skipping a beat. I particularly liked their song “The Depths.” It’s just my kind of heavy and I have a new-found respect for them as a band.
Then A Day to Remember came on. They started the show with 3 of their heaviest songs. They opened with their newest single “Violence.” It was awesome, the breakdown was absolutely crazy and even though it’s only been out a few months, people were singing every word. Next came the VERY heavy “2nd Sucks” where the music stops and the whole Palladium screams “get the f**k over it!” It was insane to say the least. “2nd Sucks” lead right into “A Shot in the Dark-” one of their older songs but still a heavy hit. They brought out the hit “I’m Made of Wax Larry, What are You Made of?” next and once again, Jeremy letting the crowd take over on parts, especially the lone “Ahem.” during the breakdown. Next came the popular “My Life For Hire,” not my favorite song, but a good one. Following this was two of my favorites back to back. “All Signs Point to Lauderdale” led into “Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End.” Once again, the Palladium was left to do the singing during the breakdown with “DISRESPECT YOUR SURROUNDINGS.” It’s one of the best breakdowns that ADTR has.
Jeremy took a different light for this next part of the show. He said that a lot of people have mixed feelings about “Better Off This Way” so he’d make it better by “giving out free sh*t during the song.” He followed it up with another favorite of mine “Have Faith in Me” where Jeremy had the ladies sing the opening verse. Next came “Another Song About the Weekend,” another one of my favorites. Jeremy explained “we’re gonna play fast and loud for these next few songs.” They began with the short “You Already Know What You Are,” followed by “Fast Forward to 2012” (a crazy hit) with “Why Walk on Water When We’ve Got Boats.” All three of those tracks are less than 2 minutes long so it was a great succession of quick songs. Next came a song never played outside the studio before. “Right Back at it Again” was an awesome track and it makes me even more excited for their upcoming album release. They turned back the clock a bit and played “You Should’ve Killed Me When You Had the Chance” which lead right into “The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle” with middle fingers in the air, a favorite by both the band and the fans.
The band stepped offstage for a moment and came back on. Jeremy asked “why do we do that? Like, why do we have to go offstage if you know we’re just gonna come back again? This is the part where we play “If It Means a Lot to You” but we’re not gonna do that.” They played an acoustic version of “It’s Complicated” which was awesome to say the least, followed by their hit “If It Means a Lot to You.” They picked it back up with “All I Want,” during which Jeremy gave me a thumbs up on my new ADTR-inspired tattoo “I will never falter”. He saw it on my arm and pointed then gave me a thumbs up. After that they went into the usual opener “Downfall of us All” and the whole Palladium was going crazy.
Needless to say, ADTR put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and their set list was stellar except the notably absent “Homesick.” After the show my ears were ringing, my voice was gone, and my neck was hurting, but it was all worth it. If you haven’t seen them or heard of them, I highly recommend you pick up an album or try to get to a show, A Day to Remember is a force to be reckoned with on the punk stage, bested by very few. Their sound, guitar work, drumline, breakdowns, Jeremy’s voice, and their stage antics all combine to make them one hell of a group putting on one hell of a concert.



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Coheed and Cambria, Between The Buried and Me, and Russian Circles Take Over House of Blues Boston for First Night of a Two Night Stand

Around 7pm on Thursday night Lansdowne st.  was packed with people excited to see Coheed and Cambria play the First night of their sold out two night tenure at the House of Blues, Boston. You could feel the excitement in the air as the venue filled up quickly, as they waited for the band Russian Circles to hit the stage.

Russian Circles hit the stage at about 8pm with a loud droning sound that echoed around the venue. They then played through their set that consisted of their songs, “Harper Lewis,” “Geneva,” and “Death Rides a Horse.” Their set was very minimalistic in terms of the lights, but the music is far from minimalistic and very intriguing.

IMG_0728Between The Burried and me Came on next, and this is when the venue started to liven up. They started out with their song “Astral Body” from the bands sixth and latest studio album,  The Parallax II: Future Sequence. The band then launched into “Lay Your Ghosts to Rest” one of their heavier songs from their latest album.  They then played “Ants of the Sky” a track form one of my favorite albums, Colors. They followed that up by playing another song from Colors entitled,  “Prequel to the Sequel” which is just an amazing song compositionally. They finished up their set with the songs “Extremophile Elite” and “Selkies: The Endless Obsession.”

Next up was the headliner, Coheed and Cambria. The band took the stage and proceeded to deliver a great set starting with the song “Prelethal” which featured the bands mastermind, Claudio Sanchez on Ukulele. The band then launched into my favorite song off their latest “Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant.” The band really seemed tight on this song, and that tight pocket would continue through the rest of the evening.

“Favor House Atlantic” from the bands 2003 album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. This has been one of my favorite songs since the beginning of my pilgrimage into Coheed fandom. The band performed the song very well, and it was very nice to hear this song from the bands earlier days.  This was quickly followed by the bands song, “Goodnight, Fair Lady,” which was performed with great energy. Next up was the apocalyptic “No World for Tomorrow” from the album of the same name. This song is one of my favorites by the band and let me just say that they did not disappoint a loyal fan. The band then played another song from the In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 called “The Crowing” which for a long time fan was also great.

The band then played three songs from their latest albums first was “Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher,” which was followed by “Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful.“ These two songs were received well by the crowd, especially for two new songs. The last was the song “The Afterman,” which was followed nicely by “Here We Are Juggernaut” from the bands 2010 album, Year of The Black Rainbow. This was followed by another one of the bands newer tracks, “Dark Side of Me.”

Coheed then played the epic, “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” which was probably one of the best songs of the night. The band left the stage and the room darkened, Fans started to chant part of “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3,” in hopes that the band would return, which they did. Sanchez came out with an acoustic guitar and played the great song “Wake up” wone of the most balled like songs out of the bands discography. This was followed by the sounds of “The Hollow” and then the band played the song “Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute” which was received by fans.

As fans cheers got louder fans knew what time it is, and that is time for the bands best crowd pleaser, “Welcome Home” from the album Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness to close their set. Which was a little off due to technical issue, but these were quickly fixed, and the show ended on a good note.

-B. Harlow

Claudio Sanchez Boston

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Gambino Is A Mastermind: Rapper Childish Gambino Hits UCONN 10/25/12

I had never heard of the rapper Childish Gambino up until about two months ago. But, after hearing only a few songs, I could tell he was more talented than your average rapper. As I listened to his album, Camp in closer detail, I also came to notice that he wasn’t just talented in his rapping style but also in his lyrics. Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover, is a writer, comedian and actor in addition to being a rapper. He has appeared on and written for shows such as 30 Rock, Community, and Parks and Recreation. Evidently, Donald Glover has some pretty impressive writing skills. His rhymes are so unbelievably clever and it’s almost impossible to not be jealous of this quadruple threat.

At the University of Connecticut, the concert committee on campus, SUBOG, announced in late September that the performer for the fall concert would be Childish Gambino. Every single floor seat for the concert sold out in under 3 hours. I was so unbelievably excited to see him live after hearing how incredible he is in person. It is safe to say that Childish Gambino did not disappoint.

A rapper named XV started the show off and really got the entire crowd hyped up. He engaged the audience immediately and interacted with everyone during each song. XV definitely had a lot of stage presence and was rather reminiscent of Kid Cudi at times with his quirky beats and unconventional writing style. I highly recommend checking out his newest EP called Awesome EP!, which features Pusha- T on the title track.

As soon as XV left the stage, everyone started chanting, “GAM-BI-NO!”. Then, the lights dimmed and the crowd went absolutely insane. Gambino took center stage surrounded by his band. I have been to many rap concerts before. Most recently was the “Watch the Throne” tour with Kanye West and Jay-Z, but I had never seen a band play with a rapper before. Gambino’s band consisted of a drummer, violinist, pianist, guitarist, and a very skilled bassist. This element truly brought a unique feel to his set. Childish Gambino rapped his most famous songs including “Bonfire,” “Fire Fly,” “You See Me,” “Heartbeat,” and “Freaks and Geeks” to name a few. He also played a handful of new songs that everyone went crazy for. Childish Gambino is a performer and an incredible one at that. My personal favorite part of the show was when he went a cappella and started freestyling. I would definitely recommend checking out all of Childish Gambino’s albums, EPs, and mix-tapes  including his album Camp and his latest mix-tape, Royalty.

Brilliant and talented rappers are hard to come by nowadays, but Childish Gambino is definitely only going to start receiving more recognition and acclaim as his fan base expands. No one quite says it better than Gambino himself in “Bonfire” when he asks the age-old question: “Why does every black actor gotta rap some?” to which he responds, “I don’t know, all I know is I’m the best one.” Childish Gambino is the shit. No humblebrag.

-B. Greenberg

Becca Greenberg is a freshman at the University of Connecticut studying Human Rights and Political Science. She is an actress and singer/songwriter from New York City. She is a big country music fan but loves rap, classic rock, and indie.

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Trespass America Hits The Boston House Of Blues 8/17/12

During the two-week gap between Mayhem Fest and Trespass America, I was full of excitement. I was thrilled to be seeing some of my favorite bands in such a short period of time, and when the day of Trespass America came I was ecstatic. First of all I had passes to meet the guys of Trivium. Secondly it would be my second time seeing Killswitch Engage, and my third time seeing God Forbid. I was also looking forward to hearing some music from two bands I had never heard before, Battlecross and Pop Evil. One was great and the other was ok, but we’ll cover that later.

The House of Blues opened its doors at 4:00 on Friday, by 5:00 the club was about three-quarters filled. The first band to hit the stage was Battlecross. I enjoyed this band very much, in fact for a band I had never seen before, they blew me away. They played about five songs including an awesome cover of Pantera’s, “Fucking Hostile.”

Next up was God Forbid, and I’d have to say they were the third best band of the night. They started off with the great “Don’t Tell Me What to Dream.”  This was shortly followed by “Better Days” which is one of my favorite early God Forbid songs. The band then played “Overcome” which is a great song from their latest effort. They then played “Equilibrium” which is the title track of their latest album and one of my favorite songs. The band closed their set with “The End of The World.” The band sounded great throughout their set, and should have been much higher on the bill.

The next band to come on was Emmure. I don’t understand why they were selected for this tour. In fact I think everyone in the House of Blues was thinking the same thing. They are more in the deathcore camp. The band came out and played a short set that was ok, but really nothing special.

A band called Pop Evil took the stage; truthfully I was not expecting a band like this. They were truly the odd men out of the tour, but took this as a challenge and put together a good set. They may have killed the pit, but fans heads happily bobbed away.

Orlando metal titans Trivium were up next. I’ve seen this band so many times that I knew they’d put on an amazing set, and I definitely was right. I was blown away with what the band did with the short amount of time the band had. They opened up with “In Waves” the title track off of their latest release. This was followed by “Pull Harder on The Strings of Your Martyr” a crowd favorite off of 2005’s Ascendancy. This was followed by “Rain” which is also off of Ascendancy. This was followed by one of my all-time favorite Trivium tracks, “Caustic Are the Ties That Bind.” The way the band changes dynamics in this song is truly mind-boggling, going from heavy to almost ballad like in the span of minutes.  The band then through in a surprise with “Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis” off of 2008’s Shogun. This was the first tour the band had played the song on so I thought it was a real treat. Trivium closed out their set with the great track “Throes of Perdition.” Trivium was definitely one of the highlights of the night.

Killswitch Engage were definitely one of the highlights, especially since it was a practically a hometown show for the band, and you could tell the audience was behind the band 100%. Needless to say I was also ecstatic about seeing Killswitch’s original singer, Jesse Leach back with the band. The band started out with “Rose of Sharyn” and “Fixation on The Darkness.” They followed this up with the new track, “No End in Sight.”  The band then played some more songs, but what really got the crowd going were the last four songs which included, “My Last Serenade,” “The End of Heartache,” “My Curse,” and a great rendition of the Dio classic “Holy Diver.”

After Killswitch’s I decided to take off as I realized nothing Five Finger Death Punch could do would ever top the amazing performances that Killswitch and Trivium put on.


-B. Harlow


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A Night with Bruce Springsteen at Fenway Park 8/15/12

Bruce came on around 7:30 with just Roy Bittan on the piano and performed a rare, piano-only, version of “Thunder Road.”  That made my night right there. But it only gets better.  Next came a sing-along “Hungry Heart” followed by “Sherry Darling,” “Summertime Blues,” and “Girls in Their Summer Clothes.” Bruce called these the “summertime hits,” and they really were as the beautiful summer evening turned to night.

Next was “We Take Care of Our Own;” the first or many off of the new album, Wrecking Ball. A smooth Transition right into “Two Hearts” with great companionship between Bruce and Little Steven Van Zandt.  Next up was “Wrecking Ball” followed by “Death to My Hometown;” both songs preceding the most powerful song of the night: “My City Of Ruins.”  Bruce had his ever present “story time” before the song began.  Bruce spoke about how ghosts are all around us, not to be scary, but to keep memories.  He spoke of “The man who stood there (the late Clarence Clemons)” “The man who sat there (the late Dan Federici)” and “The man who’s foul pole has been there for all these years (The very recently deceased Johnny Pesky.)

Next came a change of tempo with a cover of “Knock on Wood” by Eddie Floyd, this was quickly followed by a rarity “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?”  Bruce introduced his next song as “something to catch the audience off guard and to make us stand out when we were opening for a band.”  The band tore into the lengthy “Thundercrack” with an outstanding guitar duel at the end between Springsteen and guitarists Nils Lofgren and Steven Van Zandt.  The pace slowed for only a short while when Springsteen played “Frankie;” an emotional song about his brother that Bruce “wrote sitting on my front porch.”  Bruce took a fan’s request to play “Prove It All Night” but with the 1978 intro.  The guitar solos by Bruce and Van Zandt were out of this world and the song hadn’t even begun.  A booming rendition of a popular song to say the least.  Next was a fan favorite: “Darkness on the Edge of Town.”

Bruce downed a Fenway Frank and chugged a Beer on stage, all while strumming his acoustic before diving into “Working On The Highway” which led right into “Shackled and Drawn,” my favorite song off the new album.  The E Street Band played an amazing “Waiting on a Sunny Day” with vocals by a young fan in the audience.  Right in the middle the rain started to come down. Ironic.  Next was one of my all-time favorites “Backstreets” followed by “Badlands” then, previously unreleased “Land Of Hope and Dreams.”  A powerful trio to say the least.

There was no real encore, but I guess you could call it a 30 second break before Bruce came on playing “Who’ll Stop the Rain?” a CCR cover.  Followed by “Rocky Ground” with great vocals by Michelle Moore.  Then the Band busted out “Born to Run” followed by “Detroit Medley” then an awesome “Dancing in the Dark,” where a lucky lady got to dance with Springsteen on stage.  Springsteen grabbed another fan poster requesting “Quarter to Three;” a Gary “U.S.” Bonds cover.  Bruce playfully refused to play it until Little Steven and a young fan from the audience doused Bruce with a soaked sponge.  Next was the superb “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” with a pause and a standing ovation for Clarence Clemons, right after the line “The Big Man joined the band.”  An emotional tribute of photos was shown on the big screen.  Finally, Dropkick Murphys bassist Ken Casey sung on stage during the final song “American Land.”

The night was phenomenal to say the least.   Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band put on the best show I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to a lot of shows.  I highly recommend attending a Springsteen concert at least once, whether you are a fan or not.  It’s a breathtaking experience.

Late Clarence Clemons’ nephew has replaced him on saxophone.  The boy has big shoes to fill, but he’s doing a damn fine job, and the band and audience feel the same way.

-Z. Guida

Bruce Springsteen, August 15, 2012. Fenway Park

Thunder Road (Piano only)
Hungry Heart
Sherry Darling
Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochrane cover)
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
We Take Care of Our Own
Two Hearts
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Knock on Wood (Eddie Floyd cover)
Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
Prove It All Night
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Working on the Highway
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
Land of Hope and Dreams


Who’ll Stop the Rain? (CCR Cover)
Rocky Ground
Born to Run
Detroit Medley
Dancing in the Dark
Quarter to Three (Gary “U.S. Bonds cover)
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
American Land (With Ken Casey from the Dropkick Murphys)

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