Alkaline Trio, New Found Glory, and H2O prove to be triple threat at Pittsburgh’s Stage AE

If one wanted to learn a bit about the History of Punk 101, a great start would have been a stop in Pittsburgh at Stage AE on Nov. 14, 2013 for a bit of schooling.  While not having the deep roots of their predecessors Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Seven Seconds, and the like, three bands from the era of punk from the mid 1990’s that began the resurgence of the sound that makes what The Warped Tour is what it has become today, all converged on The Steel City.  With the variance of their sound and take on the punk style, a real education could be retained from the mid life of punk as we know it today.  It was a refreshing reminder of how great this music is and how much of an impact it has had and continues to have on musicians in many genres.  Also, to be able to see bands on a full stage playing full sets, not in a parking lot, and with good lighting was very refreshing.  Love the Warped Tour and all, but between the sun, crazy schedule of bands, and less than ideal conditions in general it’s not the best place to see your fave bands.  Stage AE, being one of Pittsburgh’s premiere facilities, was a sight to behold last night with all the moshing bodies, legs and arms akimbo in the air and aloft upon another’s arms, and the general great vibe put out from everyone there, audience and bands included.

Alkaline Trio started their set off with “Cringe”, setting the tone immediately with a classic and fan beloved tune to get everyone in the proper frame of mind.   “[Cringe] is a pretty fun, high-energy tune, and the few fans we had at the time [we released it] really responded to it,” says Alkaline Trio vocalist/bassist Dan Andriano. “I love playing it to this day because it reminds me of that energy and the connection we began to share with the crowd, which is something we’ve strived to maintain to this day (Alternative Press)”.  Other songs that were included in their dynamic set included “Take With Lots of Alcohol”, “Sadie”, “Queen of Pain”, “Calling All Skeletons”, “Lied My Face Off”, “Ever Thug Needs a Lady”, “Time to Waste”, “I Wanna Be a Warhol”, “Dead and Broken”, and “My Friend Peter”.  The vocal output of both vocalist/guitarist Matt Skiba and the aforementioned Andriano is really impressive when witnessed live.  While maybe not having the flying about type antics of their peers, Alkaline Trio make up for it in their pent up emotion sent through their instruments released into the crowd and circularly back to them.  Their is a certain craft and art that Skiba, Andriano, and drummer Derek Grant create as the number in their suggests that is very unique and powerful and sets them in a different class than most punk artists.  In support of their latest effort, My Shame Is True, the band has full fan support with their new songs, especially fine tunes like “I Wanna Be A Warhol” which certainly has a connection in Pittsburgh as Andy Warhol was born here.  Overall it was a gem of a performance to witness that one could dare say was a perfect blend of art meets rough spikes of punk. (Be sure to scroll down to each band’s review for all pictures)

All photos ©2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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The co-headliner New Found Glory has been to Pittsburgh many times, often seen at Warped Tour, and they never disappoint with a high energy output.  As one of their t-shirts claims, “Pop Punk Is Not Dead”, and it certainly was not in The ‘Burg last night.  Jordan Pundik, looking like Morrissey and Henry Rollins’ love child, dominated the stage at all ends and showed no signs of slowing down the entire set. With a rich history of songs to draw from such as “All Downhill From Here”, “It’s Not Your Fault”, “Truck Stop Blues”, “Sucker”, “Radiosurgery”, “Anthem For The Unwanted”, “Forget My Name”, and “My Friends Over You”, the band had a ton of material to choose from to entertain the crowd.  On top of these tunes and other originals they also banged out two left field covers of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” (to which Jordan remarked, “Yes.  We just played that.”) and Six Pence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me” to great applause.  NFG is one of those bands that still get it that punk can be serious fun.

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My only complaint about opener H2O is that we don’t see you often enough!  Damn this band is awesome and it had been too long since they had been in Pittsburgh for my liking.  While some of us old timers in the crowd were getting our fix of Toby and Todd Morse, Rust Pistachio, Adam Blake, and Todd Friend we could not help but notice that the younger audience members were really into as well.  This is the beauty of shows like this.  While H2O may not have felt entirely at home with a crowd that was not completely familiar with their music at first; they were quick to find that there were more loyalist than they maybe first thought.  Toby (vocalist) is so inspiring in his lyrics and performance and is still at the top of his game.  It was also great to see some of the guys hang out to say hi to the fans after their set.  Absolute highlights would be “Family Tree”, “1995”, and “One Life One Chance” as well as a thrown in snippet of Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” and a brief guest vocal at one point by Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba.  It’s been awhile since any new tunes have come from H2O, the last release being 2011’s Don’t Forget Your Roots which was a tribute record to their fave bands.  Toby has said after this tour they will concentrate on recording after the holidays and a release sometime in 2014.  It will be good to hear some new stuff, but last night it was truly great to hear some classic.(On a side note, Rusty has some really cool jewelry that he makes called P-Nut Jewelry available at the shows.)

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MATT SKIBA AND THE SEKRETS to Release Digital EP on December 4, 2012

After the release of their highly-anticipated debut Babylon earlier this year, MATT SKIBA AND THE SEKRETS will release a digital EP titled Haven’t You? on December 4, 2012 via Superball Music.

The EP will be available for purchase through all major digital outlets, and features two previously unreleased, stripped down tracks. An acoustic version of “Haven’t You?” and an acoustic version of “Voices” are included on the EP, as well as the original version of “Haven’t You?,” taken from their debut album, Babylon. The iTunes release will also include a download of the “Voices” music video, which can be seen here.

MATT SKIBA AND THE SEKRETS has teamed up with ArtistDirect.com to premiere the acoustic rendition of “Haven’t You?” that will be featured on the EP. The track can be heard here: http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/exclusive-song-premiere-matt-skiba-and-the-sekrets-haven-t-you-acoustic/10297756

Alternative Press Magazine has described MATT SKIBA AND THE SEKRETS’ music as a combination of “Skiba’s trademark dark-tinged punk sensibilities with an electronic edge inspired by ’80s new wave,” while The Insider claims, “Skiba delves into familiar places, but makes it new and fresh. It will surely please new fans as well as die-hard Alkaline Trio fanatics.”

STELLAR CORPSES PREMIERE NEW HALLOWEEN EDITION VIDEO

Santa Cruz punk rockers Stellar Corpses are premiering an all-new Halloween edition video for their debut single “Vampire Kiss,” today at AOL’s Noisecreep! Recently filmed in Hollywood at a raucous house party, by director Jared Sagal (Rockerrazzi Films), check out the band performing the track singer Dusty Sheehan tells Noisecreep “is a tribute to the greatest vampire movie of all time, The Lost Boys, filmed in our hometown of Santa Cruz.” The band also recorded two webisodes full of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews to accompany the video.

Stellar Corpses’ new studio album Dead Stars Drive-In was produced by multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Joe McGrath (AFI, Morrissey, Green Day, Blink-182, Alkaline Trio). Blending a musical amalgamation of punk, rockabilly, hard rock and melodic rock, thrown in for good measure, Dead Stars Drive-In defies musical expectations. In support of the release, Stellar Corpses have recently been on tour supporting Tiger Army, punk rock legends TSOL, Nekromantix, Voodoo Glow Skulls, and classic horror punk rockers The Misfits. The band recently added a new slate of Southern California live shows, with additional tour dates to be announced.

With musical influences ranging from Elvis, Black Flag, Social Distortion, Stray Cats, and Bad Religion, to Black Sabbath, The Misfits, Danzig, Rancid, Sepultura and Megadeth, it’s no wonder Stellar Corpses chose to work with producer McGrath pouring everything they had into a stellar first album. Dead Stars Drive-In features special guest turns from Hunter Burgan and Jade Puget from the revolutionary goth punk band AFI, and Michale Graves of The Misfits.
Dead Stars Drive-In covers all sorts of subjects beginning with the title track, an ode to the dark side of Hollywood and how some of its brightest stars eventually burned out. “But to this day, their lights shine as bright as ever, and we will go on loving them always,” Sheehan explains.

Stellar Corpses, which literally means “dead stars” in astronomy (Grave’s idea from studying astronomy in college), have become a fixture in the Santa Cruz hard rock music scene over the years. They are by no means an overnight success story. The band met in high school and have been around, playing clubs, building their fan base one-by-one with their dynamic and interactive live shows.

Stellar Corpses is Dusty Sheehan on vocals and lead guitar, Dan Lamothe on upright bass and backing vocals, Emilio Menze on guitar and backing vocals, with Kyle Moore on drums.

STELLAR CORPSES CONFIRMED LIVE SHOWS:

DATE VENUE CITY/STATE
October 30 The Viper Room Los Angeles, CA
November 1 The Hood Palm Desert, CA
November 2 Bar Eleven San Diego, CA
November 3 So Cali Studio Los Angeles, CA
November 4 Slide Bar Fullerton, CA
November 10 The Cosmopolitan/Sunset Sessions Las Vegas, NV
November 30 The Alley Sparks, NV
December 01 Oakland Metro Oakland, CA
May 25, 2013 Tucson Rodeo Grounds (Hot Rods and Horror Festival) Tucson, AZ

* additional dates TBA

Riot Fest and Carnival Chicago in September Promises Big Acts

After a landmark year in 2011, the eighth annual RIOT FEST–the music festival which celebrates rock, indie, punk and underground artists from every era–is expanding for the first-time ever into an outdoor music event and carnival in 2012. The RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL will feature a wide mix of artists ranging from Gaslight Anthem, NOFX, Alkaline Trio, Built To Spill, AWOLNATION, Gogol Bordello, Frank Turner, Coheed and Cambria, Less Than Jake and many more. It’s set for Friday, September 14, Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16 in Chicago on the beautiful grounds of Humboldt Park which boasts rolling fields, pavilions, tall trees, picturesque gardens a lake and lagoons with a majestic view of the Chicago skyline.

Promoters are encouraging fans not to miss out by unveiling the majority of the diverse line-up for 2012 and offering an early-bird 2-Day pass for $36.00, plus surcharges for a limited time. 3-day passes begin at $90.00 and include all shows at Humboldt Park, Congress Theater and after-parties. VIP passes are available for $155.00 and include private stage-viewing areas, a sectioned off VIP area in the park with a private bar and drink tickets. Tickets are available at http://www.riotfest.org.

RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL is expanding to its new location Humboldt Park–which is flanked by a handful of hip neighborhoods including Wicker Park and the Division Street corridor–in order to accommodate a large carnival atmosphere featuring three main music stages, thrilling rides, games, vendors and gourmet food trucks thoughtfully arranged on the gorgeous park grounds with stunning views of downtown Chicago for an enjoyable experience. With temperatures averaging around a perfect 75°F/24°C, September is one of Chicago’s most popular months for travelers from all over the world.

A wide array of confirmed talent is on tap for RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL, including RISE AGAINST, IGGY & THE STOOGES, ELVIS COSTELLO, THE OFFSPRING, A DAY TO REMEMBER, COHEED AND CAMBRIA, DESCENDENTS, GOGOL BORDELLO, THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, DROPKICK MURPHYS, NOFX, THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM, ALKALINE TRIO, AWOLNATION, THE PROMISE RING, GWAR, AUGUST BURNS RED, FRANK TURNER, BUILT TO SPILL, LESS THAN JAKE, REVEREND HORTON HEAT, FISHBONE, NOBUNNY, A WILHELM SCREAM, SCREAMING FEMALES, TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS, DEALS GONE BAD, WHITE MYSTERY, LARRY AND HIS FLASK, THE STORY SO FAR, JAPANTHER; and the first show for a reunited CHIODOS (original line-up) as well as a reunion for SLAPSTICK.

More acts and events will be announced in the coming weeks leading up to the festival.