Chimaira, iwrestledabearonce, Oceano, Fit For An Autopsy, and Reflections Show How It’s Done at Altar Bar Pittsburgh

What could be said to be one of the best hardcore line-ups on tour currently, Chimaira stacked the deck  last Wednesday night at Altar Bar Pittsburgh.  With well known and diverse talents such as iwrestledabearonce, Oceano, Fit For An Autopsy, and Reflections the place was packed to the rafters and supported a pretty intense mosh pit as well.  Check ou the reviews of each band and the pictures that follow…all photos © 2014 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine.

Vocalist Mark Hunter of Chimaira may be the only original member, but don’t let that deter your listening pleasure.  On tour supporting, Crown of Phantoms, these guys are firing on all cylinders.  New guitarist Matt Szlachta and not exactly new to the band but new to lead guitar, Emil Werstler played with fire and passion and the crowd certainly did not seem to mind the changes.  It was great to have them back in Pittsburgh, it seems we always have to travel to their hometown of Cleveland to catch them.  Hopefully they will come by the ‘Burg more often.

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iwrestledabearonce showed why they have become a fan favorite early on in the evening.  Courtney LaPlante has a voice that a ton of hardcore vocalists would kill for, but it’s her sense of humor and stage presence that will win you over as well.  In support of their 2013 release Late For Nothing, IWABO have the ability to present some cross genre material along with a light-hearted attitude without ever giving up the hard edge of the music.  LaPlante has done a helluva job replacing Krysta Cameron  who had become pregnant, went on hiatus, and then was permanently replaced.

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Hailing from Chicago, and supporting their third full-length album, Incisions, Oceano was brutal and spot on.  With vocals reminiscent of Whitechapel and ear bleeding metalcore/death metal, these angry young dudes bring it and bring it hard.  We here at PMM expect and predict huge things for this band and won’t be surprised if they are headlining some stages in a few years.  Yes, they are that sick.

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Reflections debut (second record) on eOne and Good Fight came out in 2013, making them relative newcomers.  But, these guys are amazing musicians and have great chops and produce some pyrotechnics on guitar.  They are definitely heavy, a bit djent, a bit metalcore and deathcore, and maybe even progressive metal, Reflections have a long future ahead of them.  These guys will definitely be around again and you definitely don’t want to miss them because they are making some awesome sounds.

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August 2, 2013 (Los Angeles, CA) – UK Progressive rock band TesseracT will be returning to North America for two tours!  First the band will hit the road with Katatonia, Cult of Luna and Intronaut.  That tour begins September 23rd in Boston, MA and runs through October 7th in San Francisco, CA.

Immediately following their dates with Katatonia, TesseracT has announced a headline tour with support being provided by Scale the Summit and Anciients.  These shows kick off October 9thand Vancouver and are currently set to wrap on October 27th in Greensboro, NC.  More dates may be added in the coming weeks.

The band commented on their return to this side of the pond:

“North America! We’re coming back. And for not 1, but 2 tours back to back. We’ve all been missing Cracker Barrel, and Timmy Ho’s, so it’s with great pleasure that we can announce that we will be touring your fair lands again. Ever since the first tour we did with DTP way back when Ashe was called Dan, you guys have always been so cool to us. A lot has changed since then, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve been showing the Europeans for the past year. Firstly we’ll be on tour with Katatonia, Cult of Luna, and Intronaut, as part of the Uncrowned and Vertikal tour. This will be an intense evening of dark powerful prog. It’s so cool to be apart of this bill as all 4 bands create a completely different yet compatible atmosphere. Then we’ll start the Altered State tour, where we’ll have support from Scale The Summit and Anciients. Two bands that stretch progressive music to its limits. All of this is great, but you know the best bit…French Toast. Everyday for 5 weeks. Maple Syrup. Bacon. TubberacT.”

TesseracT‘s latest release Altered State came out earlier this year on Century Media Records.  The entering the Billboard Top 200 Chart at #94 as well as #88 on the Billboard Top Current Albums Chart and #4 on the Hard Music Chart.

A video for the song “Singularity” can be viewed HERE.

Altered State‘ is divided into four movements: Of MatterOf MindOf Reality and Of Energy,Altered State‘ represents the transformations that TESSERACT has gone through over the past few years.  The Law of Conservation of Energy states that: In a closed system energy is conserved, nothing is lost. It merely changes from one state to another.

Altered State was produced, mixed, mastered and engineered by TESSERACT guitarist, Acle Kahney, assisted by bassist, Amos Williams at Acle’s 4D Sounds studio, and marks the first full release with new vocalist, Ashe O’Hara.

TesseracT w/Katatonia, Cult of Luna and Intronaut:

9/23: Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

9/24: New York, NY @ Irving Plaza

9/25: Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of the Living Arts

9/26: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small’s

9/27: Toronto, ON @ The Opera House

9/28: Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s

9/30: West Springfield, VA @ Empire

10/1: Cleveland, OH @ Peabody’s

10/2: Chicago, IL @ The Bottom Lounge

10/4: Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall

10/6: Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater

10/7: San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s

TesseracT Headline tour with Scale the Summit

10/9: Vancouver, BC @ Tom Lee Music Hall

10/10: Edmonton, AB @ Pawn Shop

10/12: Calgary, AB @ The Gateway

10/13: Regina, SK @ The Exchange

10/14: Winnipeg, MB @ Union Sound Hall

10/16: Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theater – Studio B

10/17: Lawrence, KS @ The Granada Theater

10/18: Indianapolis, IN @ Emerson Theater

10/20: St. Louis, MO @ Fubar

10/22: Ft Worth, TX @ Tomcats West

10/23: Houston, TX @ Fitzegerald’s – Downstairs

10/24: New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks

10/25: Atlanta, GA @ The Drunken Unicorn

10/26: Tampa, FL @ Orpheum Theatre

10/27: Greensboro, NC @ Blind Tiger

Hugh Laurie to Hit Road for U.S. Tour in October

July 31, 2013 – (Burbank, CA) – Globally acclaimed recording artist, actor, and performer Hugh Laurie, has announced that he will hit the road for a U.S. tour in October performing in theaters across the country in support of his new album, DIDN’T IT RAINwhich will be released in the U.S. on Aug 6th.

Laurie will be joined by The Copper Bottom Band, which is David Piltch (bass), Vincent Henry (horns), Elizabeth Lea (trombone), Jean McClain (vocals), and Gaby Moreno (vocals) – and is completed by Herman Matthews (drums) and Mark Goldenberg (guitars).

DIDN’T IT RAIN is Laurie’s second album and the follow-up to his celebrated 2011 debut album LET THEM TALK, was a New Orleans blues driven celebration that included guest vocals from Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and Tom Jones. For DIDN’T IT RAIN, Laurie follows the trajectory of the blues upstream and into the American heartland. It includes songs dating back to early pioneers W.C. Handy (“St Louis Blues”)and Jelly Roll Morton (“I Hate A Man Like You”) to more recent artists such as Dr. John (“Wild Honey“) and Alan Price of The Animals (“Changes”). Produced by LET THEM TALK producer Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Bragg), DIDN’T IT RAIN was recorded at Ocean Way Studio in Los Angeles in January of this year.

On Aug 3rd, PBS will air “Live On The Queen Mary,” an intimate live performance by Laurie with the incomparable Copper Bottom Band filmed — as the title indicates — aboard the historical Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The special includes songs from both DIDN’T IT RAIN and LET THEM TALK, along with the hilarious and charming repartee that only Laurie can deliver. It’s a great night of viewing so check your PBS listings for details. Click here to catch a glimpse.

Don’t miss Hugh Laurie with the Copper Bottom Band on tour this fall. Upcoming tour dates are as follows:

Click on the venue for the on sale link:

Oct 13              Nashville, TN                 Schermerhorn Symphony Center

Oct 15              Minneapolis, MN           Pantages Theatre

Oct 16              Chicago, IL                   The Vic Theatre

Oct 17              Munhall, PA (Pittsburgh) Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead

Oct 19              Kent, OH                       The Kent Stage

Oct 20              Toronto, ON. CAN         Danforth Music Hall

Oct 21              Montreal, QC. CAN        Maison Symphonique

Oct 23              Alexandria, VA              The Birchmere – Music Hall

Oct 25              New York, NY               Town Hall Theatre

Oct 26              North Tonawanda, NY    Riviera Theater

Oct 27              Northampton, MA          Calvin Theatre & Performing Arts Center

Oct 29              Boston, MA                  Wilbur Theatre

Oct 30              Glenside, PA                 Keswick Theatre

Nov 1               Durham, NC                  Carolina Theatre

Nov 2               Jacksonville, FL             Florida Theatre

Nov 3               Atlanta, GA                   Buckhead Theatre


Jenny O. plays Brillobox

Is it just me or is the vocal clarity at mid level Pittsburgh venues a touch lacking overall? Pittsburgh live music has a bit of a raw, d.i.y., punk element surrounding it that I’ve always liked, and this often enhances the concert going experience, like when I saw the phenomenal Nirvana coat-tail riders Metz at Brillobox last winter, the unintelligible rasp of the sweat drenched, foggy-spectacled lead singer was as fitting to the performance as the ringing in my ears which lingered for at least a day after. However, when Jenny O. performed her short solo set as an opener for Nashville folksies Night Beds I wish I could have understood more of her lyrics, because, at least after reading on her website the words to “Automechanic,”–which she was playing as I stomped up the steep Brillobox stairway with its walls of bright neon psychedelia into the venue’s cozy stage room–it appears her lyrics are above average. Thankfully I could make out a good deal of her lines live and the mystic soothing tone of her voice–a blend of Stevie Nicks and Devendra Banhardt–and the down home, percussive and classic folk and rock guitar playing kept me immersed. The lone fact that she played a couple songs halfway into the set solo with an electric guitar is enough to want to throw some bucks into her metaphorical tip jar. Her music was sparse and woodsy. Jenny looks the part; on the low, dark stage she stood in front of the microphone with her ax, young and cute but not too cute, seeming very small-country-town bred, almost Appalachian, and humble and simple in a good way for it. She was wearing flowing clothing, rustic but not groaningly hippie, more rough understated mountain-woman than soul-diva. I’d let her play by my campfire as long as she wanted, no doubt.

One person with an instrument keeping a crowd satisfied is a feat, and I saw this green youngster do it (green and young though not inexperienced, she has toured with Rodriguez, an old Detroit garage rocker who has recently had his career revamped and supercharged by his central role in the biographical documentary “Searching for Sugar Man.”) I would’ve liked her more with her band, but that tends to be the case with any given solo set. My only hang up is that she didn’t play a little louder to drown out the argument between two guys at the bar beside me during the last half of her final song. It was like one of those stupidly loud Harleys revving by just as you’re trying to finish the final paragraph of a decent book. It’s called adaptability, Jenny. Similarly, if onstage people throw fruit at you, you turn it all around by picking up the fruit and smashing it against a cymbal at the precise right time, so it fits with the rhythm of the song, then you cold as ice glare at the hurler. It’s rock and roll 101. But I guess I’ll forgive her. And now I’ll listen to her album “Automechanic” and think about coyotes and dirt bike trails and the like. Gather up them hobo pie fixins.

I left my body in the bed.
I took my clutch and pipe
Climbed out the window
And I was something else instead.
I never worry
I have a garden and a radio.
Made all my own tools
Minding my business
Trade you a tune for some gasoline.

From “Automechanic”

Ghost B.C. Give Supernatural Performance in Pittsburgh

Ghost B.C. seem to have risen from the ashes of all the so called “Satan” worshiping metal bands that have come before them only to phoenix above  to huge sales and fandom.  One may question how a band dressed as ghouls reminiscent of ancient monks with a leader mocking the Pope as a skeleton, complete with pointy mitre and all, have accomplished such feats.  Maybe it was the star studded endorsements by the likes of James Hetfield and Phil Anselmo. Possibly it was the great opening spots on tours with the likes of In Flames and Mastodon.  Or maybe its the anonymity of Papa Emeritus II and his Ghouls and their selective press that just leave us wanting more.  But, beyond the brilliance of the gimmickry of it all, the music still has to hold weight;  and the tunes hold tons.

Their newest effort, Infestissumam, is rife stock with the anti-religious anthems and ‘Satan worshiping’ calls just like their first CD (Opus Eponymous).  But when one is at their show, arms raised and singing along to songs such as “Year Zero” (‘Hell Satan, Archangelo Hell Satan, Welcome year zero’), it could easily be misinterpreted that one has stumbled into a black coven ready to slay some goats and sacrifice some kids.  But what really is going on (at least I think so) is some great tongue in cheek humor about the whole thing- religion, hell, heaven, Satan, metal, worship, fanaticism, God, mysticism, whatever. The performance is not unlike a Faustian play or a Poe recital.  It’s macabre and ghastly, but by no means is it serious Satanism.

The musicianship of each of the nameless (but marked by a symbol) ghouls is very evident.  Impossibly difficult to really pinpoint into a genre, the music is  not quite metal, not quite synth-rock, not exactly the descriptions of Blue Oyster Cult/Mercyful Fate/Black Sabbath that they have been labeled by rock critics; these showman put on a production without having the budget of KISS, nor do they need it.  It seemed like every person in the 750 plus sold out crowd at Mr. Smalls knew every word as they sang along, shouting “PAPA” at the top their lungs, as he shook hands, spoke in a fake Italian accent, and even curtailed some of his language due to some very, very young audience members brought to witness the spectacle by their parents.

The vast improvements with their costumes from the last time we witnessed these Swedish spectres stateside (Stage AE in Pittsburgh) is amazing and money well spent (and the prompting for Papa Emeritus to don the II in his moniker).  While I really did miss the fake stained glass windows with church like atmosphere (though we did not quite need it in Pittsburgh since Mr. Smalls used to be a church!) and the burning of the incense in their routine from last time, the overall act was masterful and left much of us wanting for more.  That is the key ingredient that Ghost B.C. has found that many performers miss; give us a little mystery, a little coquettish toying and we will clamor for more.  Unfortunately for those that missed the performance, by the time you will have read this, Ghost B.C. will have given their last stateside performance at Rock on the Range in Columbus and then head out to Italy to start a European tour.  Although they take their name from an apparition, this is a band that begs to be seen and heard, don’t miss them again, if you do, it may haunt you forever.

Highlights: “Year Zero”, “Secular Haze”, “Ritual”

All photos ©2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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Local Pittsburgh Artist Competing to Open for LL COOL J at SXSW

Today, Doritos announced its return to the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival in Austin, Tex., complete with its 62-foot tall vending machine turned Doritos #BoldStage.  This year Pittsburgh’s own  Devin Miles will be competing for an opening spot on the coveted musical stage.


To help launch the brand’s “For the Bold” campaign, during Thursday night’s main event on the Doritos #BoldStage, three up-and-coming musical artists will compete for the chance to open for larger-than-life headliners LL COOL J,  Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Doug E Fresh.   A one-song battle will prove who is bold enough to take the main stage, and only the fans will determine the winner via Twitter engagement.  In the mix for the top spot is local 21-year old Pittsburgh native artist, Devin Miles — a college-aged student and rising emcee, with the lyrical capacity to rival many other young artists.


The winner of the battle will not only get to play a 15-minute set on the Doritos #BoldStage opening for the likes of LL COOL J, but he or she will also have a chance to perform with LL COOL J during his 2013 “Authentic” tour.


Even though you may not be headed to Austin for the festival, Pittsburgh can still support Devin.  The entire experience will be streamed live on the Doritos Facebook Page – so fans near and far can vote for their favorite artist immediately after the battle, using the hash tag #BoldStage. In fact, you can join the conversation and share your support of Devin, beginning now, using #BoldStage on Twitter. And check out this video of  LL COOL Jsharing his thoughts on what Devin will need to bring to the stage on Thursday night.


For more information on the Doritos #BoldStage please visit:


Live Now Streetwear To Drop Friday Music Mixtape

I just got word from our friends over at Live Now Streetwear that they are going to be dropping a mixtape titled Friday Music, named after the iconic stoner movie Friday featuring Chris Tucker and Ice Cube in the 90’s. It will be released the Friday right before 4/20 (4/19). Hosted by Live Now Streetwear and mixed by Dj Bamboo, the tape features tracks by Choo Jackson (who works with Mac Miller), Champs, Devin Miles, The Board Of Education, B. White (part of the collaborative group the 58s), Boaz (who is now on the record label Rostrum Records which Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa are on), Ikey Bubz, Palermo Stone, Mars Jackson, Owey (who had a song and music video with Wiz Khalifa), and others. It has about 16 tracks, and is currently being mixed. It will be available for download on


If you are out and about in the New Kensington area, Live Now Streetwear has their new our Realers crew necks in Klassiq fashions for sale. Stop in and tell them Pittsburgh Music Magazine sent you!!!

Pittsburgh Rap Artist KH at The Edinboro Fashion Show

Footage of the Edinboro Fashion Show and KH performance:

Check out Palermo Stone featuring Dee-1 – “Freedom Writers”

Palermo Stone partners with New Orleans buzzing artist Dee-1 for “Freedom Writers,” the first single from Palermo Stone’s album, R.A.R.E. The track finds the two trading uplifting stories over smooth production from 16 year-old British producer, Jazz Logic. R.A.R.E. will be released December 21, 2012.


Janes’ Addiction’s The Great Escape Artist FREE from Dobel Tequila & Perry Ferrell/Giveaways to Follow

Janes’ Addiction’s latest album, The Great Escape Artist, is now available FOR FREE courtesy of a revolutionary new partnership with Dobel Tequila and the band’s legendary front-man and creator of Lollapalooza Music Festivals, Perry Farrell. You can download the free album by liking the Dobel facebook link here which will lead you to the album download page.

The free album is just one part of an innovative new campaign Dobel Tequila recently launched to bring more art and music into the world. The partnership with Dobel Tequila also includes a new video featuring a candid interview with the iconic Perry Ferrell and shots from Jane’s Addiction’s end of tour shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles in October 2012.

The campaign also includes high-end giveaway items including an exquisite photography book from legendary music industry photographer Danny Clinch featuring amazing photographs shot at the inaugural Lollapalooza Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil with Perry Farrell and Dobel Tequila. PITTSBURGH MUSIC MAGAZINE IS PART OF THIS GIVEAWAY! WE WILL BE POSTING DETAILS ON HOW TO WIN SOON!

The new book will be made available in a series of giveaways along with other unique items signed by Perry Farrell. More interviews and other exclusive material with Perry Farrell will continue to be shared as the Dobel campaign unfolds.

“Perry is one of the most creative and inspiring people in the world,” said a Dobel Tequila spokesperson. “With his culture-defining international music festivals, to his on-stage music performances, DJ’ing, design and other collaborations, he embodies the inspirational, entrepreneurial, devil-may-care lifestyle that defines Dobel Tequila.”
“When you’re going to tell your friends about a product, you gotta have belief in it” said Perry Farrell. “I like drinking Maestro Dobel – It gets me set for creative designery. I savor it at the start and end of every show.”

About Perry Farrell:
Perry Farrell is one of the most influential and original musical figures in recent history. Dubbed as the “Godfather of Alternative Rock,” Farrell fronts Jane’s Addiction, which formed in 1985. Creating a new genre and musical movement, Farrell and Jane’s Addiction changed the music scene and paved the way for bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and STP. As well as being a groundbreaking musician, he is the creator and founder of Lollapalooza. Launched in 1991, Spin magazine listed Lollapalooza as the #1 tour that changed the world. The first of its kind, Lollapalooza quickly established itself as a lifestyle festival, pushing the envelope and exposing concert goers to a subculture of ‘alternative’ living and art, and provided a platform for numerous environmental and human-rights causes as well. As a constant creative force, Farrell continues to push his own artistic horizon as a music producer, electronic music performer and visual artist, as well as a rock icon.

About Dobel Tequila:
Maestro Dobel is a Single Estate, 100% Agave tequila. The crystal clear spirit comes packaged in a heavily embossed bottle inspired by vintage laboratory glassware used by the Maestro Tequileros (master distillers) in early part of the last century.