Tag Archives: Marquee Theatre

REVIEW: Breaking the Sound Barrier with Arch Enemy and Trivium at Marquee Theatre 12-1-17

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PHOENIX —  In the brisk evening air of December 1st, fans waited outside the Marquee Theatre in eager anticipation.  It was Friday night and fans were ready to throw their weekday woes away and get ready to listen to the raw sounds awaiting them.  On tonight’s agenda: long established metal bands Arch Enemy and Trivium.

Fit for an Autopsy - Photo Credit: Dale Hurt
Joe Badolato (Vocalist), Fit for an Autopsy
Photo Credit: Dale Hurt © All Rights Reserved

Fit for an Autopsy & While She Sleeps

The night opened with New Jersey’s Fit for an Autopsy whose bass lines seemed to tremble right through the floor into your very breath.  The stage splashed with red and blue light as they worked up the crowd. Next up was While She Sleeps, all the way from Sheffield, England.  Lead vocalist Lawrence Taylor was a whirlwind of energy headbanging and even crowd surfing. Calling to the audience, he challenged them to “meet him” by crowd surfing all the way to the pit. Needless to say, many met his challenge. Taylor was all over the stage, even standing atop the drum set.  After their set, the crowd was definitely ready for Arch Enemy.

While She Sleeps - Photo Credit: Dale Hurt
Lawrence Taylor (Vocalist), While She Sleeps
Photo Credit: Dale Hurt © All Rights Reserved

Arch Enemy

As equipment was set up and sound checks were made, more and more people crowded into the room, shouldering and squeezing into their own perfect spot.  A backdrop reflecting hell itself stared back at the audience, with twisted demons and a red glowing reflection.  As the music started, a laser show of lights flooded the stage and members of the Swedish band Arch Enemy descended.  Vocalist Alissa White-Gluz dominated the stage with her powerful voice and energy.  She was a force to behold in her skeletal ripped bodysuit and wild blue hair.  Alongside her, guitarists Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis did amazing fingerwork and left the crowd screaming after their amazing guitar duo.  

Arch Enemy - Photo Credit: Dale Hurt
Angela Gossow (Vocalist), Arch Enemy
Photo Credit: Dale Hurt © All Rights Reserved

Arch Enemy promoted their new album Will to Power, showcasing some amazing songs such as “The World is Yours” and “The Eagle Flies Alone.”  In one moment, Alissa called to the audience, before the song “Will to Power”, to shine a light – and her will was done as the audience swayed their phones in the air.  She closed off the set with one of her favorite songs, “Payday.”  It’s safe to assume many who came to see Trivium that night left an Arch Enemy fan as well.  

Arch Enemy - Photo Credit: Dale Hurt
Jeff Loomis (Guitarist), Arch Enemy
Photo Credit: Dale Hurt © All Rights Reserved

Trivium

After a short break for set changes, Trivium was about to take the stage.  In the dim lights, the audience got so excitedly impatient that they started chanting the band’s name: “Trivium!… Trivium!…” Their chants were met with red and white flashing lights, and Trivium took the stage.  The backdrop was the same as the cover of their new album, The Sin and the Sentence.  Blanketing the wall was solid black with clean gold lines and iconic images, a great reflection of the band.

Trivium - Photo Credit: Dale Hurt
Matt Heafy (Vocalist), Trivium
Photo Credit: Dale Hurt © All Rights Reserved

Lead vocalist Matt Heafy’s passionate and clean vocals were accented by the raw enraged voices of guitarist Corey Beaulieu and bassist Paolo Gregoletto.  While Trivium’s sound has changed over the years, the audience was in full agreement that they sounded amazing! Many fans sang along with the lyrics, Heafy’s clear and thought provoking words making this an easy task.  Songs like “The Heart from Your Hate” and “The Sin and the Sentence” are surprisingly addictive, with their fast paced melodies and powerful lyrics.   

Paolo Gregoletto (Bassist), Trivium
Photo Credit: Dale Hurt © All Rights Reserved

In Closing

The show was five straight hours of metal. There is something about metal that is cathartic, raw, and enticing; this show was no exception. Arch Enemy and Trivium helped take the week’s stress, ball it up, grind it into the ground and just let loose in the music, allowing everyone to start their weekend refreshed.   

Photo Gallery

Photographer: Dale Hurt

Trivium, Arch Enemy, & More – Marquee Theatre 12-1-17

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Photography © Dale Hurt. All Rights Reserved

REVIEW: Adrenalized Yellowcard Farewell Show Leaves an Impression on Arizona 3-22-17

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TEMPE, Ariz. — For a few hours on March 22nd, current and former orchestra geeks got to feel like the epitome of cool for one more night as Yellowcard wound down their 20 year career to a sold out crowd at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.

After an acoustic opening set from former bassist Sean O’Donnell and a brief audio message humorously decrying the use of cell phones during the set, the house lights dimmed and Yellowcard exploded onto the stage with a fiery performance of Ocean Avenue lead off song “Way Away”. Despite setting the bar high with such a high-octane classic track, the band showed no signs of fatigue as they powered through a massive 24-song setlist featuring tracks from most of their 10-album catalogue.

Ryan Key, Yellowcard - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Ryan Key (Vocalist), Yellowcard
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design

While the band chose to spend the majority of their stage time blasting from song to song with scarcely enough time to breath between tracks, the few pauses afforded to the crowd were rife with a welcome wistfulness from lead singer Ryan Key as he reminisced on the band’s trajectory leading up to that night. Whether he was explaining how early shows at the Nile Theater in Mesa served to help the band cultivate their first true out-of-state fanbase, or pridefully detailing the various emotions surrounding each album, Key spoke from a place of true sincerity and love for the band which has encompassed the majority of his life.

An unassuming viewer could be easily forgiven for not realizing that Yellowcard’s performance that evening was their third to final show. Every member of the band was visibly having a great time flying around the stage with abandon as they effortlessly nailed every note. Violinist Sean Mackin in particular seemed to visibly buzz with energy as he leaped across the stage and even nailed his signature backflip from the bass cab with seemingly minimal effort. Lead guitarist Ryan Mendez was visibly having a great time playing the old songs as he added discords and dive bombs not present in the album versions, smiling ear to ear as the audience bounced up and down to the tempo.

Sean Mackin, Ryan Mendez, Yellowcard - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Sean Mackin (Violinist) and Ryan Mendez (Guitarist), Yellowcard
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design

For Yellowcard these final shows were clearly a celebration of a two-decade career still capable of churning out fantastic material, not the death toll of aging rockers far past their prime. Having loved Yellowcard since they played my junior high auditorium (seriously), it was definitely difficult to watch such an amazing set realizing it would be the last time I could do so.

However, the beauty of a band leaving on the power of their own strengths was a truly amazing site to behold, and one that every attendee will likely never forget for as long as they live.


Highlights: Despite being familiar with much more than Ocean Avenue, I truly have overlooked a great deal of Yellowcard’s albums from the middle section of their career. The sheer energy of this show has definitely lead me to further explore their discography with a newfound appreciation.

Low Points: For the first time in a long while, there truly aren’t any moments I can recall from this show that were anything other than ideal.

PHOTO ALBUM
by Katherine Amy Vega

Yellowcard – Marquee Theatre 3-22-17

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All Content © Kataklizmic Design.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO STEALING

REVIEW: Hearts Burst for Dashboard Confessional at Marquee Theatre 2-8-17

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Energy coursed through the crowd as Dashboard Confessional fans spewed through the doors of Tempe’s Marquee Theatre Wednesday night, anxiously awaiting the return of frontman Chris Carrabba’s sweet-sounding lyrical prowess.

Following a charismatic opening performance by acoustic duo This Wild Life, Vinyl Theatre took the stage with a magnetic energy that immediately caught our eye. Each track appeared to pulsate through them, elegantly rocking out between heavy drop-beats, vivacious keyboard riffs and catchy lyrics which boasted a similar rawness to that which Dashboard Confessional is known for. Vinyl Theatre closed out their set with a commanding performance of newly released track “Built by New Machines,” which explores universal ideas on human existence and our current world state.

Dashboard Confessional - Marquee Theatre
Hands Raised for Dashboard Confessional
Phone pic from Emily Rudolph

The Dashboard Confessional crew wasted no time setting stage. In fact they even made time to whisp what appeared to be Palo Santo smoke around each instrument, also positioning a small Himalayan salt lamp at the foot of guitarist Armon Jay. Minutes later, Carrabba stepped center stage immediately kicking things off with timeless track “The Good Fight” off Dashboard Confessional’s sophomore album The Places You Have Come to Fear Most, followed by longtime favorites “Saints and Sailors,” “The Sharp Hint of New Tears,” “As Lovers Go,” and “Remember to Breathe.”

Beneath a glaze of violet light, Carrabba’s voice settled as he began to address the crowd, “I’ve been thinking lately. You know, because the world went to shit these past three weeks.” The audience responded in overwhelming applause. Carrabba went on to speak on the current social tensions revolving around topics like sexual orientation, race and religious differences. “What the fuck does it matter?”, he said. Before going into the next song he finished his thoughts with a message for the audience, “Go out into the world and try to talk to as many people with opposing views as you can. Find out why they believe what they do and learn from that.” As Carrabba stepped back for another quick guitar switch, the audience was able to catch a closer look at drummer Ben Homola’s t-shirt, which read “Equal Is Equal. No Matter The People.”

Chris Carrabba, Dashboard Confessional
Chris Carrabba, Dashboard Confessional
Phone pic from Emily Rudolph

Next up was “We Fight” off the group’s latest unreleased album which Carrabba has been steadily building anticipation for since co-headlining with Third Eye Blind in the summer of 2016. The new track merges Dashboard Confessional’s classic emo-core sound with a montage of wildhearted lyrics and heavy-handed guitar that suggest a revitalized perspective on the free-spirited determination needed to find fulfillment as an artist. Making for the ultimate crescendo moment, Carrabba then announced the band’s performance of newly released track “Heart Beat Here” would be recorded live for possible inclusion on the their highly anticipated upcoming album. As the crowd sang along, Carrabba appeared visibly moved by the fans response, commenting moments later on the sweet sound of our voices in harmony together.

The setlist was fitting considering Carrabba’s plans to welcome singer-songwriter Trevor Hedges of local band, Sundressed to the stage following Dashboard’s hit track “Stolen.” Hedges stepped into the spotlight and instantly captivated the crowd with his intense vocal diversity and passionate lyricism. Although it was a single-track performance, it quickly became clear Hedges possesses a vocal dexterity reminiscent of archetypal groups like Taking Back Sunday, The Starting Line, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Used and of course Dashboard Confessional. It was an impressive performance to say the least, but the night wasn’t over yet!

Dashboard Confessional finished out the night with three additional tracks, including “Screaming Infidelities,” “Vindicated” and “Hands Down.” Conclusively, it was a night of truly stellar performers. The Burning Hot Events team is patiently awaiting the release of Carrabba’s latest material, but in the meantime we’ll be jamming out to newly discovered favorites Vinyl Theatre and This Wild Life.

Today’s #dashtag is brought to you by \m/ and @Danimal2533 (onTW). Hell of a night, Tempe. Austin, see you tonight at @emosaustin !

A photo posted by Dashboard Confessional (@dashboardconfessional) on

Want to know more about Sundressed?

They’ve just announced pre-orders for their upcoming LP A Little Less Put Together which is set for release on March 24th (2017). Click here to check it out! We have a feeling you’ll be seeing them alongside Dashboard Confessional very soon.

REVIEW: Getting Intimate with The Sounds at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre 12-10-16

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Swedish indie group The Sounds rocked the house at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre Saturday night with their 10th anniversary performance of sophomore album, Dying to Say This to You. Following energetic sets by spirited openers Zipper Club and My Jerusalem The Sounds guitarist, Felix Rodriguez took over the stage beneath a vibrant purple cloud of light. As soon as the first few notes of “Song With a Mission” dropped, the crowd went wild. Although it wasn’t a full house, there was a clear sense of communal nostalgia that seemed to supercharge the audience.

The Sounds - Marquee Theatre
The Sounds © Kataklizmic Design
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega

Next up on the set list was crowd favorite, “Queen of Apology” which kicked off with a signature Maja-esque display of her gives-no-fucks attitude, backed by airtight guitar and a stagelight-shift which illuminated fans as they sang along to every word. Hit after hit, The Sounds proved that ten years hasn’t slowed them down a bit, boasting a stage presence that could rival some of Rock and Roll’s most iconic female-fronted acts.

Arizona, I love you… We’re back, baby. We’re fucking back!” Maja yelled, igniting an outburst of claps and shouts throughout the venue. Maja’s pop-rock sound has been countlessly compared to that of Blondie and Missing Persons, and rightfully so! Personally, I also picked up on some similarities in tone between her and The Submarines’ vocalist, Blake Hazard.

The Sounds - Marquee Theatre
Maja Ivarssonv, The Sounds © Kataklizmic Design
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega

The Sounds finished out their live revival of “Dying to Say This to You” with a gritty, electrified reproduction of “Running Out of Turbo” before topping off their forty-five minute tribute with an additional 9 tracks including everything from classics like “Living in America” (from their debut album) to the group’s recent single “Thrill” which features an impressive display of Maja’s vocal diversity in addition to fast-paced drum beats, a reverberant dual guitar solo and some subtle synth-heavy, 80’s era keyboard.

The Sounds - Marquee Theatre
Maja Ivarsson, The Sounds © Kataklizmic Design
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega

It was truly a night to be remembered, especially considering the intimate audience size and Maja’s up-close-and-personal stage persona. By the show’s end, each track was visually pulsating through the audience as they fist-bumped, clapped and headbanged to the final songs of the night, “Rock N Roll” and “Hope You’re Happy Now” which Maja energetically concluded with one middle finger to the sky, and a cigarette in her other.

As the Burning Hot Events team exited the venue, we happened upon a couple who had actually travelled all the way from Kansas to see The Sounds in Tempe that night. It was a powerful reminder of just how impactful music can be, especially with a group like The Sounds who have an unbelievable, authentic connection to their fans.

PHOTO ALBUM
by Katherine Amy Vega

The Sounds – Marquee Theatre 12-10-16

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

All Content © Kataklizmic Design.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO STEALING

REVIEW: Phoenix Rises Again for CHVRCHES’ Highly-Anticipated Return 10-6-2016

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Fans of Scottish synthpop / indietronica band CHVRCHES have been saving their tickets since the April show, when Martin Doherty charismatically fronted three songs before the trio had to cut their performance short unexpectedly. The group returned with an overwhelming response this past Thursday, selling out their second show at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre within six months. Frontwoman Lauren Mayberry announced last minute openers Thursday afternoon, adding local indie-electronic duo MRCH to the lineup.

MRCH - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Mickey Pangburn, MRCH © Kataklizmic Design
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega

MRCH took the stage at 8 p.m sharp, greeting fans through a haze of vibrant blue-green lights. “We are very excited to be here!” vocalist Mickey announced. “My last time at the Marquee was to see Bone Thugs-N-Harmony,” she added through smiles. Mickey radiated an energy similar to that of Debbie Harry while energetically serenading the audience with romantic, electronically-infused vocals — although the synth and percussion were a bit overpowering, making the quality of her performance difficult to hear at times. Towards the end of their set, MRCH won over the crowd with an effervescent performance of Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass,’ showcasing Mickey’s unique, vintage pop sound.

CHVRCHES - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
CHVRCHES © Kataklizmic Design
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega

CHVRCHES wasted no time getting started, drenching the audience in a mesmerizing, strobe-like display of geometric white light and signature esoteric beats. The crowd erupted as silhouettes of Iain Cook, Martin and Lauren marched across the stage, kicking off their performance with a throwback to the April show  — “Never Ending Circles,” the first track from their latest album Every Open Eye. The group immediately engaged listeners with a few fast-tempo favorites and of course, Iain’s electrifying dance moves behind the keyboard.

CHVRCHES - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Iain Cook, CHVRCHES © Kataklizmic Design
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega

As the audience sang along Lauren’s voice cut in, “We return to the scene of the crime!” The audience responded in applause once again. “Thank you for coming back to see CHVRCHES! I know many of you came to see us many months ago, but things didn’t go as planned,” she continued, struggling to untangle a mic cord at her feet. “Much like this,” she joked. “But this  — this I can deal with.”

She went on to give an electrifying performance before handing the mic over to bandmate Martin for “High Enough To Carry You Over” and “Under The Tide,” a nostalgic selection considering the band’s courageous performance last April, in which they continued without Lauren in order to satisfy their fans. Lauren did re-appear at the end of their shortened set during the April show, fighting extreme illness in order to give fans one final song.

The band’s dedication to their fans was not lost on the people of Phoenix. Lauren’s hypnotic stage presence combined with an impeccable sixteen track set list Thursday night colluded seamlessly with the crowd’s energy, truly making this heightened performance one for the books. CHVRCHES left the stage on a high note, leaving the audience excited and hungry for more. Spectators spottily chanted “One more song! One more song,” lingering to see if the band might continue.

CHVRCHES - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lauren Mayberry, CHVRCHES © Kataklizmic Design
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega

Suddenly Lauren took the stage once again, stepping forward to address the crowd. “I’m not trying to make you guys jealous,” she said coyly, “but I am going to see Beyonce tomorrow and I’ve got to make it all the way back to the east coast. So, we are going to play you a couple more songs.” The crowd exploded in ecstasy once again, vibrating the floor of the venue as they began to fist pump along to “Afterglow.”

At this point, the group had now performed more than double their set list from last April, and continued to pour their souls into each track making for an unforgettable display of commitment to their fans. Lauren paused, holding Martin’s drumsticks in a crisscross formation above her head as the crowd roared, begging to hear the final song of the night. CHVRCHES then concluded things with their timeless hit, “The Mother We Share” from album The Bones of What You Believe, drawing on the communal energy exhibited during the April show one last time.

Their show Thursday night was more than high enough to carry us over. In fact, we think it’s safe to say this was one of CHVRCHES’ most impressive performances to date.

PHOTO ALBUM
by Katherine Amy Vega

CHVRCHES & MRCH – Marquee Theatre 10-6-16

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Photography by Katherine Amy Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO STEALING

REVIEW: Lacuna Coil Tours with New ‘Family’ 5-9-16

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Andrea Ferro - Lacuna Coil - Marquee Theatre
Andrea Ferro – Lacuna Coil © Kataklizmic Design

TEMPE, Ariz. — Lacuna Coil played at the Marquee Theatre Monday, May 9, as the third stop on their Delirium tour. The Italian metal band from Milan was preceded by Painted Wives, 9Electric, and label-mate Butcher Babies, who gave an over-the-top performance that left concert-goers in a frenzy before Lacuna Coil took the stage.

Finally, the introduction to “Nothing Stands in Our Way,” a track from Broken Crown Halo (2014), foreshadowed the headliner’s imminent appearance. And like true (Gothic) rock stars, the members of Lacuna Coil stepped out of the wings in their best psych ward escapee couture to screams and cheers.

Without a word and without missing a beat they launched into the song and followed it up with “Die & Rise” from the same album and “Kill the Light” from Dark Adrenaline (2012). After indulging fans for the first three songs, vocalist Cristina Scabbia addressed the audience for the first time. “This one is for everyone who tries to make this world a better place,” she said before playing “Victims.”

Cristina Scabbia - Lacuna Coil - Marquee Theatre
Cristina Scabbia – Lacuna Coil © Kataklizmic Design

The show included a good mix of the group’s older and newer songs, like “Spellbound” from their 2009 album Shallow Life. After “Spellbound,” they announced their new album, Delirium, which drops on May 27, and played the newly released track, “The House of Shame.” That’s when Scabbia demonstrated why she has been called one of the most influential women in metal. Her voice dominated the room into silent awe at the song’s climax. After that they returned to another classic, “Heaven’s a Lie,” from their 2002 breakout album, Comalies.

Diego Cavallotti - Lacuna Coil - Marquee Theatre
Diego Cavallotti – Lacuna Coil © Kataklizmic Design

After playing “To the Edge” from Karmacode (2006), vocalist Andrea Ferro admitted that the group was a bit jet-lagged after their recent return from Asia, though you wouldn’t have known it from their performance. “This is such a great welcome back to the United States,” Ferrero told fans. That’s when Scabbia introduced the band’s new guitarist, Diego Cavallotti.

Marco Coti Zelati - Lacuna Coil - Marquee Theatre
Marco Coti Zelati – Lacuna Coil © Kataklizmic Design

“We’d like to introduce you to Diego, who joined us and is family now,” Scabbia announced warmly. Cavallotti replaced the group’s former guitarist, Marco “Maus” Biazzi, after it was revealed in January that he would be leaving the group. Biazzi played with Lacuna Coil for more than 17 years before retiring to pursue other projects.

Although the core members–Scabbia, Ferrero, and bassist Marco Coti Zelati–are still together, Lacuna Coil also saw the loss of guitarist Cristiano “Pizza” Migliore and drummer Cristiano “CriZ” Mozzati when, tired of touring, the two decided to retire from the group in 2014. Since then, Ryan Folden has joined as the group’s drummer.

Ryan Folden - Lacuna Coil - Marquee Theatre
Ryan Folden – Lacuna Coil © Kataklizmic Design

Nevertheless, Lacuna Coil delivered a seamless performance, with nothing to evidence Cavallotti and Folden hadn’t been part of the band all along. Other songs in the night’s setlist included “Upsidedown”, “Swamped,” “Fire,” “Cybersleep” and “Delirium” from the group’s forthcoming release.

Toward the end of the show, Scabbia and Ferrero wanted concert-goers to sing along with them to one more song. “Have you heard of Depeche Mode?” Scabbia asked. “I’m totally sure you will know this one,” she promised before they played their popular cover of “Enjoy the Silence” with concert-goers singing along. Then, midway through the song, Scabbia enticed the audience to do better. “That was very good, but I’m sure we can sing louder!” she taunted to enthusiastic response.

[Setlist]
#1 Nothing Stands in Our Way
#2 Die & Rise
#3 Kill the Light
#4 Victims
#5 Spellbound
#6 The House of Shame
#7 Heaven’s a Lie
#8 Upsidedown
#9 Swamped
#10 To the Edge
#11 Fire
#12 Cybersleep
#13 Delirium
#14 Enjoy the Silence–Encore–
#15 Trip the Darkness
#16 Zombies
#17 Our Truth

Before their encore performance, Scabbia made a quick costume change into a short white dress with “DELIRIUM,” “LEAVE ME ALONE” and “TAKE ME HOME NOW” scrawled across the front in large, black print, in keeping with their psych ward theme. For the encore, they played “Trip the Darkness,” followed by “Zombies,” and “Our Truth.”

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to perform for you here tonight,” Scabbia told concert-goers at the conclusion of the show and let fans know the band would be signing autographs at the merchandise booth. With no word on when the European metal group might return to Arizona, a line formed in front of the booth almost immediately, full of fans anxious for one last encounter with Lacuna Coil.

PHOTO ALBUM by Katherine Vega

Lacuna Coil – Marquee Theatre 5-9-16

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (THAT MEANS NO STEALING)

REVIEW: Butcher Babies Makes Tempe Scream 5-9-16

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Butcher Babies wouldn’t have been an easy act for anyone to follow Monday night. The heavy metal band from Los Angeles was the final opener for Lacuna Coil, taking the stage right after 9Electric at the Marquee Theatre. And if synchronized hair tossing and head banging were an Olympic sport, frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey would have taken the gold.

Carla Harvey, Heidi Shepherd - Butcher Babies - Marquee Theatre
Carla Harvey, Heidi Shepherd – Butcher Babies © Kataklizmic Design

Butcher Babies’ set was short but memorable, especially when, at one point, Shepherd decided that security would help them play a game with concert-goers. “You ready to catch some bodies?” she asked before announcing that during the next song she wanted to see how many high-fives they could collect from fans crowd-surfing to the front of the stage. And they received a lot more high-fives than one might expect from the modest number of concert-goers that attended the show.

Butcher Babies - Marquee Theatre
Butcher Babies © Kataklizmic Design

Watching Butcher Babies play to a crowd is akin to watching parents dropping their kids off with two favorite aunts who then spend the weekend spoiling their nieces and nephews—deliberately getting them wound up and hyped full of sugar before letting them return home to terrorize their parents. By the time they demanded concert-goers start a circle pit in front of the stage, the audience was already wild with adrenaline and excitement.

Jason Klein - Butcher Babies - Marquee Theatre
Jason Klein – Butcher Babies © Kataklizmic Design

The band itself was a sight to behold on the stage. They brought an immense amount of energy and enthusiasm to the show, every member dancing and head banging in time with the music. Harvey was even seen cartwheeling mid-song. And crowd participation wasn’t just an option, it was a requirement.

“We absolutely will not start this song without you… I want them to hear us in Utah!” Shepherd shouted. “Let me hear you scream!” she roared as they launched into “Magnolia Blvd.” from their self-titled album.

Toward the end of their set, while singing, Shepherd made her way down from the stage into the center of the circle pit with a member of the security staff shining a flashlight on her as a makeshift spotlight. She then finished the song from the center of the pit while the moshers flung themselves about recklessly around her. Lacuna Coil couldn’t have asked for a better opening act.

Carla Harvey - Butcher Babies - Marquee Theatre
Carla Harvey – Butcher Babies © Kataklizmic Design

Butcher Babies will play with Painted Wives, 9Electric, and label-mate Lacuna Coil during the first leg of their North American tour to promote Lacuna Coil’s upcoming album, “Delirium”, which hits record stores on May 27.

PHOTO ALBUM by Katherine Vega

Butcher Babies – Marquee Theatre 5-9-16

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (THAT MEANS NO STEALING)

Related: REVIEW: 9Electric Gets New Fans in Tempe 5-9-16

REVIEW: 9Electric Gets New Fans in Tempe 5-9-16

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When 9Electric took the stage at the Marquee Theatre Monday night, the crowd gathered before them was a small one. Most of the concert-goers were at the back of the house buying drinks at the bar or socializing on the patio. But it wouldn’t stay that way for long.

Mikey Lopez - 9ELECTRIC - Marquee Theatre
Mikey Lopez – 9ELECTRIC © Kataklizmic Design

9Electric along with Painted Wives and Butcher Babies opened for Lacuna Coil as part of the first leg of their North American tour to promote Lacuna Coil’s upcoming album, “Delirium”, which hits record stores on May 27.

Opening with lyrics like “Let’s start a fire. Let’s burn it down,” from “New God”—a track off 9Electric’s forthcoming album—and filling the room with smoke and laser light, it wasn’t hard to tell what kind of show it would be. Between the songs “New God” and “Time Bomb,” the audience began to grow as the electronic metal beats lured concert-goers back to the stage.

CaseyDC - 9ELECTRIC - Marquee Theatre
CaseyDC – 9ELECTRIC © Kataklizmic Design

Lead vocalist Ron “Thunderwood” didn’t waste any time. From the first song to the last, he continually engaged with fans from stage right to stage left to right behind the barricades. He brought a staggering amount of energy to the show, but what was truly impressive was that he had the stamina to keep it up for the entire performance.

Ron Underwood - 9ELECTRIC - Marquee Theatre
Ron Underwood – 9ELECTRIC © Kataklizmic Design

During “The Damaged Ones,” another song from their upcoming album of the same title, Thunderwood got up on top of the barricades in front of the stage. “I want to see you move!” he shouted to the growing audience. And by the time they started playing “Beautiful,” people were moving to bass beats so hard, it felt like it could make someone’s heart explode.

“You ready to go ape shit?” Thunderwood asked the crowd. “This one’s about people who are full of shit,” Thunderwood told concert-goers before playing “Lies”. Afterward, he announced that their first full-length album would be released in July. “So fuckin’ buy it or get fucked!” Thunderwood said with an unapologetic smile.

Although 9Electric hails from Los Angeles, Thunderwood himself is a Phoenix native. Before singing “Beautiful” for his hometown audience, Thunderwood, who had periodically been standing on a platform at the center front of the stage for better visibility, joked that the height difference between him and their towering bass player, CaseyDC, was an “optical illusion.”

Micah Electric - 9ELECTRIC - Marquee Theatre
Micah Electric – 9ELECTRIC © Kataklizmic Design

The group’s setlist included “Goodbye,” “More More,” and “Naked.” By the time they finished “Naked,” drummer Micah Electric was shirtless, and they were playing to a much bigger audience. “It’s like they know we’re here now,” Thunderwood said to CaseyDC, both of them laughing. “Yeah, we’re doing something right… Let’s end this one on a high note!”

Ron Underwood - 9ELECTRIC - Marquee Theatre
Ron Underwood – 9ELECTRIC © Kataklizmic Design

For their finale, 9Electric covered AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds,” lending their unique electronic rock sound to an old classic. Nearly everyone in the room sang along as Thunderwood made his way from one end of the stage barricades to the other, exchanging fist-bumps and high-fives with concert-goers along the way.

After the show, Thunderwood, CaseyDC, Micah Electric, and guitarist Mikey Lopez all took time to talk to fans, sign merchandise and pose for selfies. If 9Electric returns to Phoenix to promote “The Damaged Ones,” they may find a whole new clutch of fans waiting for them.

PHOTO ALBUM by Katherine Vega

9ELECTRIC – Marquee Theatre 5-9-16

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (THAT MEANS NO STEALING)

REVIEW: Violent Femmes Just Like You Remember 5-3-16

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Violent Femmes packed the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Tuesday, May 3, as part of their tour to promote their latest album, “We Can Do Anything”. The punk-rock headliner of over 35 years drew a more mature crowd that evening, with fans eschewing sleep on a weeknight for the chance to see Violent Femmes live. They wasted no time in giving concert-goers exactly what they wanted and opened with their biggest hit, “Blister in the Sun,” from their self-titled 1983 album, then went right into “Kiss Off.” It was clear from the start that fans were in for a great show when bassist Brian Ritchie was already rocking out to a bass guitar solo by the second song.

Brian Ritchie - Violent Femmes - Marquee Theatre
Brian Ritchie, Violent Femmes © Kataklizmic Design

After sating the audience with two of their most well-known hits, Violent Femmes played “Memory” from their new album. At the song’s conclusion, lead vocalist and guitarist Gordon Gano finally addressed concert-goers, “Here’s another one that sounds just the same, but with different words and chords and melodies,” he said jokingly before launching into “Big Car,” another song from their new album, after which, Ritchie announced to excited fans that it was the first time they had played the song live.

Violent Femmes - Marquee Theatre
Gordon Gano, Violent Femmes © Kataklizmic Design

The release of “We Can Do Anything” in March of this year was a special treat for Violent Femmes fans. It was the band’s first new album in 16 years. Amid a variety of conflicts between Gano and Ritchie, the group disbanded in 2009 due to a lawsuit Ritchie filed against Gano in 2007. It wasn’t until 2013 that Violent Femmes reunited to play at Coachella. According to an interview with Gano, it was that event that laid the foundation for the two musicians to put aside their differences in order to successfully record a new album.

The set list for Tuesday’s show artfully wove together new songs with old favorites. “Now we’ll do one we’ve played maybe 3,000 times,” Ritchie smiled before playing “Country Death Song,” another one of what he referred to as “murder story songs”. From there he announced that they would play another, more wholesome murder story song and kicked off “I Could Be Anything,” which tells the story of Bongo the dragon slayer. The set list also included, “Please Do Not Go,” “Good for/at Nothing,” “Issues,” “Good Feeling,” “Never Tell” and “Hallowed Ground.”

Blaise Garza - Violent Femmes - Marquee Theatre
Blaise Garza, Violent Femmes © Kataklizmic Design

On the saxophone, Blaise Garza stole the show during “Love Love Love Love Love.” At the end of the song, Ritchie told concert-goers that Garza had been playing with them for 14 years. “Now he’s 27, so he’s been playing with us for half his life,” Ritchie added. Later, the group played “I Held Her in My Arms,” in which Garza delivered an incredible saxophone solo in tribute to the late Steve Mackay who played with the group early in their career.

Violent Femmes Contrabass Saxophone - Marquee Theatre
Contrabass Saxophone
© Kataklizmic Design
Click to Enlarge

Throughout the night, Garza played at least four different kinds of saxophones, including the impressively large contrabass for “Gone Daddy Gone”. But he wasn’t the only one in the spotlight. Gano and Ritchie were surrounded by a host of talent. While Gano rocked out with a fiddle during “Jesus Walking on the Water,” he was complemented by guitarist Jeff Hamilton on the mandolin. Drummer John Sparrow hammered out beats on a charcoal grill at one point. And during “Black Girls,” Sparrow delivered an impossibly long drum solo while Gano credited all of the players.

John Sparrow - Violent Femmes - Marquee Theatre
John Sparrow, Violent Femmes © Kataklizmic Design

Violent Femmes closed the show with “American Music,” after which they came back out and played “Mirror Mirror (I See a Damsel)” and “Add It Up” for their encore set. The combination of nostalgic hits from past and new soon-to-be favorites made it a fun night for young and old alike. It was also impressive to see the plethora of instruments that made their way onto the stage. If future performances hold as much fun and nostalgia as Tuesday night, Violent Femmes can look forward to a successful comeback tour.

PHOTO ALBUM by Katherine Vega

Violent Femmes – Marquee Theatre 5-3-16

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (THAT MEANS NO STEALING)

REVIEW: Say Anything Brings It to Tempe 4-22-16

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Say Anything came to the Marquee Theatre Friday night and gave fans exactly what they came for. The show opened with sets from mewithoutYou, Teen Suicide and Museum Mouth. Directly preceding the Los Angeles pop-punk headliner, mewithoutYou along with their high-energy barefoot drummer, Rick Mazzotta, was the perfect act to get concert-goers warmed up for what was to come.

mewithoutYou - Marquee Theatre
mewithoutYou © Kataklizmic Design

Even as the backline crew prepared the stage for the main act, attendees couldn’t contain their screams of anticipation when Say Anything’s backdrop fell open.

Say Anything - Marquee Theatre
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design

When the house lights finally dimmed to herald Say Anything onto the stage, the screams were deafening. From the first song to the last, lead vocalist, Max Bemis, brought raw, hard energy to the stage. The group opened with “Give a Damn” from their new album, “I Don’t Think It Is,” released earlier this year in February. And with hardly a breath between songs, they continued into “Say Anything” from their 2012 album.

Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design

Smiling and swinging the mic around by its cord between lyrics, it was evident that Bemis and the band were genuinely having fun on the stage. With a sea of hands raised in the air, Bemis alternately sang and screamed the words to “Woe” before thrusting the mic toward the audience. The crowd sang in unison, every word committed to memory.

Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design

 

Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design

It was clear that even as concert-goers were feeding on Bemis’s energy, he was feeding on theirs too, and their enthusiasm was fueling the performance. But what’s perhaps most striking about Say Anything is their sincere love for their fans. At the end of the song, while concert-goers applauded, Bemis applauded them.

Say Anything’s set included other favorites like “Six Six Six” from their 2014 album “Hebrews” and “Death for my Birthday” from their self-titled 2009 album. Bemis then doled out some sage advice to one 14-year-old he spotted in the audience, advising him not to listen to the next song. “If you can relate to it, that’s awesome,” Bemis said. “Otherwise, you don’t want all this. Trust me,” he said before launching into “17 Coked Up Speeding.”

At one point during the night, Bemis confessed that he was glad to see that so many fans had connected with their latest album, despite the band’s two-year hiatus before the album’s surprise release. Many of the lyrics in Say Anything’s songs relate to Bemis’s troubled past and his struggle with bipolar disorder. But the passion he brings to the stage and the emotions that come through as he sings are what make it real. And it was that realness that concert-goers connected with Friday night.

Sherri DuPree-Bemis
Sherri DuPree-Bemis © Kataklizmic Design

The highlight of the show came when Bemis’s wife, Sherri DuPree-Bemis took the stage for “So Good” from the band’s 2012 album, “Anarchy, My Dear”. Her voice was hauntingly beautiful as it grew in intensity, perfectly complementing Bemis’s own vocals. Their affection for each other is readily apparent when they’re on the stage together, and it was easy to see that fans were engaged, not only with the music, but also with the story behind it.

 

At the end of the night, Bemis sweetly announced, “one more song for you” before playing “Belt” from the band’s 2004 release, “…Is a Real Boy”. But it wasn’t the last song. After exiting the stage to screams of “encore” and people chanting “one more song,” the band came back out. Bemis, rejoined by his wife, Sherri, sang “Two of a Crime,” a duet from the album of the same title that the two recorded together as Perma in 2013. It was followed by “Varicose Visage”.

But something was missing.

Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design

“One more, for real,” Bemis said. “If you know this song, sing along. If you don’t know it, I don’t know why the fuck you’re at this show.” Say Anything closed out the night with their most popular song, “Alive with the Glory of Love”. Before leaving the stage for the last time, Bemis thanked concert-goers for making it a fun show. And in one last display of affection for their fans, drummer Reed Murray took out his phone to snap a shot of the audience before disappearing backstage.

For concert-goers who came for a night of high-energy punk music that rocked hard and didn’t quit, Say Anything didn’t disappoint.

Check out our review of Say Anything’s new album!
REVIEW: Say Anything’s New Album “I Don’t Think It Is”

PHOTO ALBUM by Katherine Vega

Say Anything – Marquee Theatre 4-22-16

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO STEALING