Tag Archives: pub rock

REVIEW: Under The Birthday Massacre’s Spell at Pub Rock 6-5-17

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Gothic rock band The Birthday Massacre, along with supporting acts Army of the Universe and Sumo Cyco, brought their 2017 North American tour to Pub Rock on the verge of releasing their seventh full-length studio album Under Your Spell. The Scottsdale stop was the 15th of 27 tour dates. With a whopping 20-song setlist and tireless energy, The Birthday Massacre brought their signature animated and dark stage presence to a packed crowd on a Monday night.

Sever, Sumo Cyco - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Sever (Vocalist), Sumo Cyco
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

Fronted by Sever (formerly solo artist Skye Sweetnam), punk metal band Sumo Cyco from Ontario opened the show. Their 2nd album, Opus Mar, was released recently on March 31, 2017. The charismatic front-woman with teal hair, matching bustier, high-waisted shorts, and fishnet stockings easily caught the attention of The Birthday Massacre’s fans. Sumo Cyco’s song “Danger” well-represents the image of the band and it’s lead singer, with lyrics like, “If you want it, we’ll give you danger“, and “I’m young and feisty, so tongue me and try me“. At one point, Sever rode on the shoulders of the guitarist Matt Drake amongst the crowd. With her sex-appeal and aggressive movements, and the band’s lively performance, they drew the crowd in and left them pleased.

Lord K, Army of the Universe - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lord K (Vocalist), Army of the Universe
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

The next band to play before the headliner took the stage was an Italian industrial band named Army of the Universe. Vocalist Lord K is also the lead singer of the band Kult of the Skull God. The audience was visibly impressed with the power that the band brought to the stage. Lord K took the stage with ferocity and cocky mannerisms; yelling and thrusting his mic into the faces of audience members, raising up and pumping the mic stand above his head, dripping with sweat and shirtless by the end of the set. While DJ, producer, and band co-founder Trebla primarily focused intently on his synthesizers and laptops; guitarist Davide Tavecchia and drummer Giuseppe Amato wildly played their instruments with their hair flying like they were caught in a storm while donning big smiles and roaring facial expressions. It was clear that the band members were having a blast, which made them equally fun to experience.

Army of the Universe was a fitting choice to set the mood and round-out the audience appeal following Sumo Cyco, with the style of The Birthday Massacre somewhat being a combination of that of the two openers.

The Birthday Massacre’s new album was funded through PledgeMusic, with full-album downloads being sent out on June 1st exclusively to pledgers in advance of the June 9th release. When they hit the stage, they kicked off their set with the first track of the new album, “One”, with instant force.

Chibi, The Birthday Massacre - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Chibi (Vocalist), The Birthday Massacre
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

The Ontario-based band was formed in 1999, and their well-seasoned prowess is clearly evident in their performance. Their fanbase at the venue that night was also a mature crowd, who interacted with the band like loyal, long-time friends. Front-woman Chibi engages with the audience, grabbing hands and emoting delightfully vicious facial expressions throughout the night; while the rest of the band also contorts their faces, violently headbangs, pounds on and swings their instruments around. With such a dynamic, The Birthday Massacre is a band that it would feel off to experience with a substantial distance from the stage; so it’s just as well that Pub Rock has no barricade between the crowd and the stage.

The Birthday Massacre - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Nate Manor (Bassist) & Rainbow (Guitarist), The Birthday Massacre
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

The next two songs the band played were “Red Stars” and “Looking Glass”, the first and second singles from their 2007 album, Walking With Strangers. “Red Stars” is a personal favorite due to it’s raging power-chords. Following, were a couple more songs from their new release, “All of Nothing” and “Counterpane”. Then, a few songs from the Superstition album; “Destroyer”, “Divide”, and “Superstition”.

The Birthday Massacre - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Chibi (Vocalist) & Falcore (Guitarist), The Birthday Massacre
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega © Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

“Lovers End” from the 2004 Violet album came next, followed by “Happy Birthday” and “Video Kid”. These two songs were originally from 2002’s Nothing and Nowhere, and then appeared again on the Violet album. They next played the new album’s title track “Under Your Spell”, and then “No Tomorrow”.

Owen, The Birthday Massacre - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Owen (Synthesist), The Birthday Massacre
Band Photo Album
Photos by Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved.

Chibi exudes such confidence and comfort on stage, it is inspirational and it garners respect. Event when forgetting some of the lyrics, she simply burst into laughter, which caused guitarist Rainbow to crack up too. It was very endearing as they continued through the song, unable to hold back more laughter between them. Temporary mic issues didn’t snuff out the fire of her enthusiasm either. During “Lovers End”, Chibi grabbed a fan’s phone that was recording video, and walked around stage singing into it.

The Birthday Massacre setlist Scottsdale
The Birthday Massacre setlist
Pub Rock 6-5-17
(Click to Enlarge)

Continuing to give a full-discography sampler, the next two songs performed were “Leaving Tonight” and “Alibis” from Hide and Seek, which was released in 2012. Lastly, from the 2010 Pins and Needles album, “Pins and Needs” and “In the Dark”.

Almost immediately after the band exited the stage before returning for the encore, the enthusiastic fans started chanting, “Ten more songs! Ten more songs!”. While they didn’t get their 10, they seemed to be satiated with the long set and an intense finale, which included “Blue”, “I Think We’re Alone Now”, and “Broken”.

PHOTO ALBUM
by Katherine Amy Vega

The Birthday Massacre – Pub Rock 6-5-17

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

PHOTOS: Rooney – Pub Rock Live 7-9-16

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SCOTTSDALE Ariz. — Equipped with a new lineup after a six-year hiatus, Cali power-pop band Rooney’s first gig of their tour had the crowd sh-sh-shakin’ every moment of their performance!  The dimly-lit concert at Pub Rock was opened with local Americana/Pop band Luxxe, followed by Cheeto-tossing G-punk band New Beat Fund from Los Angeles.

The tour follows the release of Rooney’s new album “Washed Away“; and the first single from the album is “My Heart Beats 4 U”.

Rooney Album Art - Washed Away
Washed Away (Album Art)

“Rooney is my baby and I really love it and I miss it.  I came to a place where I felt creatively ready to make new Rooney music.  On Washed Away, I wrote, produced, engineered, mixed and performed all of the songs which, I hope, will serve as a direct line from me to you.  I hope you enjoy it.” – Robert Schwartzman, lead singer. (Source: RooneyMusic.com)

The majority of the crowd appeared to consist of young new fans , which is great for the future of Rooney! Robert gave a heartfelt thank you to those that have been loyal to the band from the very beginning.

Check out our photos (below) of Rooney performing at Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale, Arizona on July 9, 2016:

PHOTO ALBUM by Katherine Vega

Rooney – Pub Rock Live 7-9-16

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

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

REVIEW: Lacey Sturm at Pub Rock 4-7-16

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Lacey Sturm at Pub Rock
Lacey Sturm © Kataklizmic Design

Lacey Sturm is a girl after our hearts, with a clearly compassionate desire to heal them through her music. Her graciousness and gratitude for her fans and career were impossible to go unnoticed throughout her performance at Pub Rock last night. You can tell that all of her heart pours into her songs, and I suspect that it is a very emotional and therapeutic experience. She is one of those musicians whose live vocals sound just like her produced music, if not better due to the live emotion. And you could tell the live band genuinely loves playing this music, and has a real bond with one another.

I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Lacey before her performance, and was able to express to her how her tracks “Vanity” and “Rot” really resonated with me, having previously been in an abusive relationship. Lacey thanked me for telling her, and gave me a tight and loving hug before being pulled away. You can tell Lacey has some loving people in her entourage who can see how precious she is and want to safeguard her.

Later on, I picked up her book “The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living” from the merch table; and read the back blurb about how she was once a suicidal atheist who had been abused, depressed, and disgusted with Christianity. Whether you are Christian or not, a story of someone’s experience with hitting bottom and recovering is inspirational and sorely needed for many of us to hear; I can’t wait to read it!

Lacey Sturm at Pub Rock
Lacey Sturm © Kataklizmic Design

The essence of Lacey as she is performing transcends human… She truly feels like a little angel with immense power. It is really fascinating to see this meek woman transform into a “rock princess”. Before playing “Faith”, Lacey said that it was one of her favorites; and it was really magical to see her bright grin as she danced and jumped around while performing the song. It is no doubt that Lacey Sturm has a vast amount of fans who are thankful that she is with us to share her wisdom, her gift, her hard work and talent, her massive voice.

PHOTO ALBUM by Katherine Vega

Lacey Sturm & Openers – Pub Rock 4-7-16

Flickr Album Gallery Powered By: Weblizar

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No Stealing