Shania Twain – NOW Tour!

Posted by Shania Twain on Tuesday, April 3, 2018

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan (July 18, 2018) – When Shania Twain brought her NOW World Tour to the Van Andel Arena, in Grand Rapids, MI, tonight, it was a culmination of 16 years of life-changing events for the Canadian-born singer. A comeback story of sorts; yet proof that hard work and dedication reigns supreme in the world we live.

In 2002, Twain inexplicably announced her retirement from performing. Later she explained that dysphonia and Lyme disease had robbed her of her voice and she no longer could effectively sing. A crushing blow for anyone, but for an artist whose 1997 release, Come on Over, sold 40 million units globally now being told you “can’t sing” anymore, became a life-changing crossroad.

Most performers, if not all, would have given up and faded off into the sunset leaving their legacy in their wake, not Shania Twain. She worked at restoring her voice then took up a two-year residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. The stint in Vegas, along with emotional changes in her personal life inspired new material and her first release in 15 years, 2017’s Now.

When the lights dimmed, a single spotlight illuminated drummer Elijah Wood, who was pounding on a tom to Queen‘s “We Will Rock You”. As Twain worked her way from the back of the arena and took the stage, a deafening roar ensued that overshadowed the opening lyrics of “Life’s About To Get Good” from the release, Now. Looking fresh and dressed in a sequined, black floor length gown with long slits running up the sides, Twain looked ravishing! After a few welcoming words to her fans, the party was on!

A well-placed run of fan-favorites, mixed with a smattering of new songs from NOW, kept the crowd engaged throughout the evening. “Come On Over” featured an acoustic guitar, along with the familiar accordion track that easily segued right into a rocking version of “Up!

To slow things down a bit throughout the evening, Twain would take a break (actually give her hard-working dancers a breather) and talk to the crowd, explaining her personal connection with a few of the NOW songs. “Poor Me” is a very personal song that she claimed was “very therapeutic”, took on a unique, personal touch that was highlighted with gritty guitars and Twain’s raw emotions that fully entranced the capacity crowd.

Twain appeared to be in her comfort zone, performing older songs from her storied library of hits as the night waned. Songs such as “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)”, ”Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” found her dancing along with her team of dancers while seeming to feed off the energy from the raucous crowd. After a quick set change that had a visual house literally appearing on the huge video cubes, the simple, but fan-favorite, “Honey, I’m Home” was up. Enhanced with her team of dancers and with Twain herself working the stage end to end, it finally dashed any doubts that this world-class entertainer is still on par with the best in the business!

As all concerts go, there is a certain moment where the fans become mesmerized by what is taking place before them. “Party for Two”, a sparkling duet performed with special guest Bastian Baker was that moment. The sultry, provocative song left each fan wishing that they were the ones on stage living in the moment, not just as the fan, but the actual artist. As the song came to a conclusion it felt as if the entire arena exhaled simultaneously, fully exhausted by the events on the stage.

A quick stage break was a well-deserved reward after “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “(If You’re Not In It for Love) I’m Outta Here!” closed out the 19-song main set. When Twain and the band finally returned to the stage for the encore, the energy and emotion being generated by the appreciative crowd were being felt by all in attendance.

Over-the-top is a term that is often tossed about with no definitive answer to its meaning. If you happened to be in Van Andel Arena this night, you now may have a sense of the true meaning. When “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “Rock This Country!” closed out the night the exhausted crowd left with a new appreciation for Shania Twain.

The saying, “getting to the top of the mountain is easy, staying on top is the hard part”, should have a picture of Twain engraved right next to it. How can you explain that at the peak of her popularity she walks away and 16 years later has one of the most popular tours of the year? It’s a testament to a driven individual, who still has the passion to perform and a deep admiration for her fans.

From the intricate video displays and the moving platforms to the breathtaking costumes and her well-oiled band – the NOW World Tour may be her last, but also may be her most memorable to date! Do yourself a favor, buy a ticket and enjoy what may be the best tour of 2018. A little Las Vegas, with a lot of hometown sweetheart thrown in. Shania Twain, catch her “NOW”!

Shania Twain:
     

Van Andel Arena:
   

Anthony Green + Good Old War + Found Wild

 

Detroit, Michigan (July 7, 2018) – Avalon 10 Year Tour Ten years ago, Anthony Green and Good Old War went on tour with one another for the release of Anthony Green’s debut solo album, Avalon. Fast forward to present day, and they’re back at The Shelter in Detroit, MI for the ten year anniversary tour of said album. Tonight was a celebration of not only Anthony Green’s album, but Good Old War’s debut album, Only Way To Be Alone.

This show originally was going to be upstairs in the main hall of Saint Andrew’s Hall, Detroit, MI, but they had moved it downstairs to  The Shelter. The location change was welcomed as The Shelter gave a more intimate feeling with the crowd. As more and more people gathered closer to the stage, Found Wild made their way on stage to start the night. Found Wild is a brand new comprised of Tim Arnold and Keith Goodwin, both from Good Old War. Keith is the lead vocalist of Good Old War, but in Found Wild, Tim took the reigns and absolutely killed it. Playing both guitar and keys, Tim wowed the audience with his musical prowess and voice as a lead vocalist for the first time. Having only played a handful of shows before tonight, their set included their newly released single “Nothing Gold Can Last”, and a bunch of brand new songs that will be featured on their upcoming album which is up for pre-order right now.

After Found Wild warmed up the crowd, Good Old War took the stage. This time, Tim returned to the drumset and Keith took the lead vocal duties. Joining them on stage was the talented Dan Schwartz to complete the trio. “Only Way To Be Alone” has been a favorite of mine ever since I first listened to it four or five years ago so you couldn’t imagine how excited I was to see Good Old War perform it from front to back. The album includes such hits as “Coney Island”, “Tell Me”, “Looking for Shelter”, and “Weak Man”, which featured Anthony Green on their track and tonight, on stage as well. Each song features all three members displaying not only their talent with their respective instruments but also their vocal prowess with flawless harmonizations in every key.  Their album, Only Way To Be Alone, may have come out ten years ago, but like fine wine, it ages well.

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Anticipation was building as Anthony Green was about to walk on stage. The crowd was teased a few times with Green coming on stage for a song or two with the previous acts and was now ready for his full set. As soon as the first chord was struck on the guitar, the crowd went nuts as they knew “She Loves Me So”, the first track from the album, Avalon, was the first song to be played. Watching Anthony and the rest of the band, you can instantly tell how much fun they were having on stage. Soon after that song came the single from his album, Dear Child, which sent the crowd into an energetic frenzy. Green’s energy was similar to that of Saosin and Circa Survive sets even though his solo music is more mellow, but his energy made even the slowest songs of his album a part of the party. After playing through his album, Green once again came on stage to play another five songs including “Every Way”, a Circa Survive song and “Diamond Eyes”, a Deftones cover.

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Tonight’s show was not only a celebration of two albums that came out a decade ago but also a celebration of friendship. It was only fitting that Anthony Green and Good Old War toured together for their ten-year album celebrations as they have been playing music together for more than a decade. We have much to look forward to from both Green and Good Old war and now Found Wild who only just started playing shows together last June. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future!

Anthony Green:
      

Good Old War:
      

Found Wild:
      

Saint Andrew’s Hall:
   

 

Toby Keith’s Should’ve Been a Cowboy XXV Tour – Battle Creek, MI

Toby Keith @ Firekeepers Casino, Battle Creek, MI, July 6, 2018 © Splice MagazineMary ElliottPlease do not alter images.

Battle Creek, Michigan (July 6, 2018)Toby Keith brought his Should’ve Been a Cowboy XXV Tour to the Firekeepers Casino in  Battle Creek, MI tonight. Start the night with screaming fans, who are up out of their seats, shaking their thang, and loving every bit of a 2-hour+ show! It was a great spread of all Keith’s greatest hits, with stops at the “redneck” part of the show which featured the title of the tours anniversary song.

During the second song of the night, “American Ride“, Toby spilled his drink from his red solo cup, it felt like a look as to what was coming up, after getting another drink on we went. He swept us through his hits, slowed it down with a blue moon, and then because we were in the Detroit area, floored the crowd with an impressive Ted NugentStranglehold” cover. It was fun, freeing, and took you back to different days when Rock n Roll ruled the music world and concerts were such an awesome lose-your-voice-from-singing-along kind of experience!

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The setlist took you through the years and pretty much only the greatest hits of Keith’s 25 + year career. He reminisced about those good ole days when record companies had told him “no“, and went into “How Do You Like Me Now?!

So, it bears the question, How do you like him now, with over 20 Billboard top ten hits!?  His show was so infectious, and it was a great look back and storytelling career thus far.

We found the encore to be quite moving. He brought a couple of military audience members, AKA “bigtime, badass warriors“, up on stage – check out our footage of “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)

Setlist:
God Love Her
American Ride
Made In America
Beers Ago
I Wanna Talk About Me
Wacky Tobaccy
Beer for My Horses
A Few More Cowboys
Who’s Your Daddy?
Red Solo Cup
Good as I Once Was
I Love This Bar
Should’ve Been a Cowboy
Whiskey Girl
How Do You Like Me Now?!
A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action“/ “Stranglehold” (Ted Nugent cover)
American Soldier
Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)

Toby has been touring with his daughter, Krystal Keith, who Splice recently caught up with at CMA Fest in Nashville, TN. With a rising music career of her own, opening for her dad must be a great learning experience, and one heck of a good time!

Cheers to all you Red Solo Cup drinkers, and cheers to Toby for bringing back the good time concert! Full of hits, heart, along with plenty of laughs that carried well through the encore, on into our night and drive home!  So when he sings “let’s have a party” He truly means a PARTY!!!

Catch Toby Keith on the rest of his Should’ve Been a Cowboy XXV Tour!

Toby Keith:
     

Firekeepers Casino:
   

 Photographer: Mary Elliott

 Journalist: Dawna Lovely

Styx + Tesla at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI!

07/06/18 – Styx + Joan Jett and the Blackhearts + Tesla @ DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkson, MI

Clarkston, Michigan (July 6, 2018) – As a music fan, you could not have asked for a better setting Friday night at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkson, MIWith Temps in the high 70’s and a gentle breeze, the conditions were perfect for a night of classic rock and roll. With super-group Styx headlining the evening’s festivities along with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and special guest Tesla, you knew it wouldn’t take long them to warm the cool night air!

After an abbreviated, yet highly entertaining eight-song set by Tesla and a pleasing 60 minutes from Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the crowd on hand was ready to party. As the lights dimmed and the virtual explosion of lights and sound overtook the fans, the party was on!

On tour in support of their latest LP, The Mission, the band wasted no time giving their fans a sampling from it. “Gone, Gone, Gone” opened the 16 song set that was basically a non-stop hit parade of Styx classics. The non-stop run of “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)“, “The Grand Illusion“, “Lady“, “Light Up” and “Rockin’ the Paradise” were the first seven songs to get things started! There are not many artists today that can string that many hits together to open a show let alone have that many hits in their total library to fill an hour 30-minute set.

The reason they can do it? Styx is a tight group of talented musicians who have played together, in some instances, for decades. James ”JY” Young (guitar/vocals) last of the original touring members and Tommy Shaw (guitar/vocals) are the well-defined leaders while Rickey Phillips (bass/guitar/vocals) and Todd Sucherman (drums) supply the rhythm section the band relies on. Master showman Lawrence “Larry” Gowan (keyboards/vocals) handles lead vocals on select songs while doing things with his keyboards that leave fans astonished. Mix in a circus atmosphere with a pulsating light show and video screens that display anything from album covers to circus tents, you have a formula for success.

As well choreographed shows go, Styx gave their fans a break when they introduced “Radio Silence‘ off their latest release. A fantastic song in its own right that deserves better support, the crowd took the opportunity to relax just a bit before Young ripped into the opening chords of  “Miss America“. And just as they started the night, they were off again, on a run of hits that would fill the remainder of the set.

As the band grabbed a quick breather off stage after “Outpost“, James Young announced that a special guest would be joining the band on stage for “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)”. When founding member Chuck Panozzo (bass) emerged from the shadows and strapped on his familiar bass guitar, a deafening roar ensued. After acknowledging his ageless fans, Panozzo joined the band and worked the stage side to side as if he never left. Playfully bantering with Young while trading guitar licks with Rickey Phillips, it was a genuine treat for all to see.

Just a quickly as the night started, the main set of the night was over. The crowd roared their approval and shouts of adulations echoed throughout the venue as the band headed backstage for a well-deserved breather. At this point most, hardcore fans know what songs the encore will hold. But everyone was wrong tonight. Styx reached back in their extensive music library and pulled out something that they hadn’t performed live in 35 years. “Mr. Roboto“.

When Gowan began the familiar opening notes on his keyboard and the fans realized what it was, the venue erupted. Based on the age diversity of the crowd, very few had ever heard “Mr. Roboto” performed live. It didn’t matter tonight as the crowd sang word for word right back at the band. To say this was the song of the night is a vast an understatement. The band lined up right across the stage and lit up the night in one of the most memorable performances of the year. It was total jubilation!

If you’re a fan of classic rock and roll and want to see it performed the way it was intended, “pay the price get your tickets for the show”.  Styx has defied time and their music has aged like fine wine. The 11000 people in attendance tonight all can’t be wrong, can they?

Styx:
     

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts:
     

Tesla:
     

DTE Energy Music Theater:
   

Beck + Oh Wonder

Detroit, Michigan (July 6, 2018) – The crown jewel of Detroit’s entertainment venues, the stunningly beautiful Fox Theatre, played host to quirky musician Beck as he brought his “Colors” tour back to North America after a brief festival run in Europe. Celebrating his thirteenth studio recording, the tour features a mix of tunes from his repertoire, spanning the gamut of singer/songwriter acoustic numbers to funky grooves to synthesizer and sample loaded rap.

Oh Wonder © Splice Magazine – Kate Sumbler. Please do not alter images.

About 5000 fans packed the 90-year old venue in time to get warmed up by opening act Oh Wonder, a British alt-pop duo enjoying international success after the release of their second album. The pair played an eight-song set, with numbers from both of their studio releases, that was well received by the Motor City crowd.

Beck © Splice Magazine – Kate Sumbler. Please do not alter images.

Born into a family full of creativity, (his father was a renowned arranger, composer and conductor and his mother was one of Andy Warhol’s “superstars” and an acclaimed visual artist in her own right), it is no surprise that Beck’s music and stage shows combine a range of elements to thrill all senses. Beck took the stage backed by a wall of trippy LED lighting effects, surrounded by a supporting cast of musicians on risers behind him. From the opening notes of the fiercely groovy “Devil’s Haircut”, Beck led the crowd through an idiosyncratic musical journey, splattered with oblique lyrics and sardonic humor wrapped up in a combination of live instrumentation and sound effects.

Beck kept the groove going through newer song “Up All Night” and the classic “The New Pollution”. The set continued with a couple of funky tunes from 1999’s Midnight Vultures, “Mixed Bizness” and “Sexx Laws”, that just make you wanna dance! A new tune followed, the floating, freestyled “Wow” from his current album Colors. Throughout the show we were treated to a heavy dose of psychedelic visuals on the floor to ceiling LED displays that filled the stage creating an ever-changing backdrop behind the percussionists’ risers.

Next came an acoustic interlude where his bandmates left the stage, allowing Beck to chat with the crowd and ask for requests. Taking the suggestions from a few fans in the front rows, Beck gave us a solo acoustic renditions of “Lazy Flies” and “Pay No Mind (Snoozer)”, the latter, a song he hasn’t performed live in several years. He followed this with a portion of “Country Down” before abruptly ending the song, laughing that he couldn’t remember the words. The intimacy of this portion of the show made it feel very personal and Beck seemed to truly enjoy the interaction with his fans, even saying that this was so much fun that he should probably consider coming back to do an entire show of one-on-one numbers for us in the future.

Moving back into the electric portion of the set saw the return of the backing band for “Lost Cause”, “Dreams” and “Girl” before a distinctive slide-guitar riff got the crowd back up on their feet for Beck’s breakthrough, nonsensical, lo-fi hit “Loser” from his 1994 debut album Mellow Gold. The set wraps up with the titular “Colors”, a pop-y number from his latest release, before getting fans joining him in the sing-along “Na na na na na naaah”chorus of “E-Pro”.

Beck returns to the stage for a few encore tunes after being re-joined by his seven-piece backing band, first an acoustic “Debra”, before giving us a great cover of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret”.

After a couple of verses of “Where It’s At,” Beck stops the song to introduce the band, with each member performing a solo snippet of a classic tune, including “Miss You”, “Cars” and “Once In a Lifetime”. Bringing it all back to finish “Where It’s At”, Beck winds up the show with style!

This North American leg of “Colors” continues across the US and Canada through early August. After a quick jaunt to Japan for two Summer Sonic festival shows in Tokyo & Osaka, Beck and band return to NA with dates going into September. For a guaranteed good time, grab tickets to the nearest show!

Beck:
      

Oh Wonder:
     

The Fox Theatre:
   

Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront Summer Concert Series!

We’re Ready to Rock the D!

Are you ready to rock? Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront, the annual FREE concert series (no tickets necessary), will return for its 13th season at the Detroit Riverfront this summer, welcoming crowds every Friday night for classic rock and roll in Detroit.

The concert series is set to amaze audiences of all ages with shows running from 7:30-10 p.m. on Friday nights. Rockin’ on the Riverfront takes place on the GM Plaza, directly behind the GMRENCEN – located along Detroit’s beautiful RiverWalk. Convenient parking is available for $10 per vehicle (after 5:00 p.m.) in the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater, adjacent to the GMRENCEN. Only credit cards will be accepted.

This Year’s Rockin’ Lineup Includes:

 

Vince Neil July 13, 2018

VINCE NEIL of Mötley Crüe has entertained rock fans independently and as the lead vocalist for rock band Mötley Crüe for the last 30 years.

With hits likes “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Home Sweet Home,” Neil will “kick start” this concert series with classic hits.

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Uncle Kracker July 20, 2018

Mount Clemens native, UNCLE KRACKER is ready to “drift fans away” with his country-rock crooning sound.

Initially known for his role as DJ in Kid Rock’s legendary Twisted Brown Trucker band, Uncle Kracker kicked off a stunning solo career of his own. The singer/songwriter made his solo debut with hits like, “Follow Me” and “In a Little While.”

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John Kay and Steppenwolf July 27, 2018

 

JOHN KAY AND STEPPENWOLF have sold more than 25 million records worldwide with hits like, “Born to Be Wild” and “Rock Me.”

This legendary rock band will take Detroit on a “Magic Carpet Ride” during their performance this summer.

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Starship August 3, 2018

 

STARSHIP FEATURING MICKEY THOMAS “Built this City” and wants to rock it this summer on the Detroit riverfront.
With singles like “We Built This City” and “Sara,” “nothing’s gonna stop” Starship featuring Mickey Thomas from bringing a powerful performance to Detroit.

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Survivor August 10, 2018

SURVIVOR released their first album in 1980 and is best known for their 1982 hit “Eye of the Tiger.” New lead vocalist Cameron Barton is now breathing new life into 80s hits “I Can’t Hold Back” and “High On You.”

“The Search is Over” for Friday night summer plans because there’s no better place to be than Rockin’ on the Riverfront.
War August 17, 2018

WAR fuses elements of rock, funk, jazz, rhythm and blues to create sound of their own.

They debuted to international success with the overall bestselling album of 1973, “The World is a Ghetto,” and have had continued success with hits “Spill the Wine,” “The Cisco Kid” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”

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Roger Daltrey Performs “Tommy” with Detroit Symphony Orchestra

07/05/18 – Roger Daltrey @ Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, Rochester Hills, MI

Rochester Hills, Michigan (July 5, 2018) – With temps hovering around 96-degrees at showtime, metro Detroit rock fans braved sweltering heat at Meadowbrook Amphitheatre to catch Roger Daltrey performing The Who’s iconic rock opera “Tommy” backed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Accompanied by members of The Who band, (Simon Townshend, Frank Simes, Loren Gold, Jon Button and Scott Devours) the 74-year old rocker churned out classic after classic as they rolled through the entire album, on the penultimate show of the tour.

Tommy” was originally conceived by Daltrey’s Who bandmate Pete Townshend and tells a story about a “deaf, dumb and blind” boy who rises to fame as a “Pinball Wizard.” Released in 1969, the album has long been considered The Who’s breakthrough work. receiving much critical acclaim.

As the sounds of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra tuning up waned, guitarists Townshend and Simes entered the stage to a rousing round of applause and the DSO and band launched into the opening “Overture”, the instrumental introduction to the rock opera. Although the original recording contains some orchestration, the presence of the DSO lent a depth and richness to the classic melodies. As they moved through “It’s a Boy”, with Townshend offering up the lead vocals that were originally sung by his brother, Roger Daltrey appeared, clad in a gauzy white shirt and black jeans, for “1921” inciting the crowd into another ovation.

The story progresses telling of British Army Captain Walker, missing and thought dead, returning home to discover his wife has taken a new partner. Their young son, Tommy, is witness to an altercation that ends with the murder of his father. In an attempt to protect the boy, his mother and her lover convince Tommy that he didn’t hear or see anything and not to say a word about what had happened, resulting in his becoming “deaf, dumb and blind” to the outside world.

Daltrey brought all of his charismatic stage presence, giving life to the vivid and varied characters in the following numbers, including not only the title character and his parents, but also the sadistic “Cousin Kevin“, twisted deviant Uncle Ernie (“Fiddle About“) and the mind-expanding “Acid Queen“. Known for his astounding vocal range and screams, Daltrey did not let us down, belting out every note with a strength and vigor that belies his age.

In particular, a few numbers really stood out, including “Christmas” which brought the entire crowd to their feet singing along “Tommy can you hear me?” with Tommy/Daltrey responding, “See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.” Similarly, the iconic “Pinball Wizard”, arguably the most well known track on the album, packed a punch with a stunning performance from both guitarists. The pivotal sequence of “There’s a Doctor“, “Go To The Mirror!“, “Tommy Can You Hear Me?” and “Smash The Mirror” ran the gamut of emotions as Daltrey and band brought to life the struggle to find out what is happening in Tommy’s head. 

As the story peaks, the music grows in intensity lending itself well to the backing of the orchestra. At many times, the brass, string and woodwind sections, deftly led by touring conductor Keith Levenson, further enhance the familiar songs and showcase the versatility and talent of the DSO. In each city, Levenson has the challenge of teaching a new orchestra all of the music in a single quick rehearsal just a few hours before showtime. That the show tonight sounds so put-together and runs like a well oiled machine is a tribute to the skills of both the conductor and the fantastic musicians of the DSO. Daltrey’s performance weaves the storyline, orchestration and rock & roll together, pushing many of the songs to new heights through the contrasting styles of music. 

Working through the climax of the story, Tommy’s rise and fall from grace as a superstar, during songs like “I’m Free”, “Sensation” and “Welcome” Daltrey and band showed no signs of slowing down, despite the almost unbearable heat. The fans were enthralled throughout the night and many appeared to be quite moved by the show right through to the final number, chanting along with “We’re Not Gonna Take It” just like the angry crowd in the opera.

After the conclusion of the album tracks, Daltrey offered a few bits of Who history and heaped praise on the DSO for their impeccable performance and learning the challenging works in such a short time and without the ability to rehearse with his band. During the show it had been noticeable that he was having some difficulties with his in-ear monitors, they kept slipping out due to the heat and sweat. While reinserting them for the encores, he offered some commentary on the benefits of using hearing aids and encouraged us to have our hearing tested. This seemed ironically funny coming from the frontman of the band once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the loudest concerts, measuring an ear-blistering 126 decibels (dB) at a distance of 32 meters from the speakers at a 1976 London show.

Daltrey and the band then offered up an encore consisting of a couple of classic Who tunes, the angry and hard rocking “Who Are You?” followed by “Baba O’Riley” featuring a mesmerizing electric violin solo from Katie Jacoby.  The show wrapped up on a mellower note with “Always Heading Home”, the single from Daltrey’s latest release “As Long As I Have You“.

Roger Daltrey and The Who band follow up the “Tommy” tour with a few more shows this summer in New York and California featuring classic Who hits, Who rarities and solo hits.

Roger Daltrey:
      

Detroit Symphony Orchestra:
    

Meadow Brook Amphitheatre:
   

 Photojournalist: Thom Seling

  Journalist: Kate Sumbler

Celebrating 50 Years of Yes!

Detroit, Michigan (June 30, 2018) The magnificent Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit, MI, has seen its share of illustrious performers over its lifetime. Tonight it added the legendary progressive rock band Yes to that historic archive!

Out on 35-date tour in celebration of their landmark 50th anniversary, Steve Howe (guitar/vocals), Geoff Downes (keyboards/vocals), Billy Sherwood (bass/vocals), Jon Davison (lead vocals), and Jay Schellen (drums) made up the current iteration of Yes that initially took the stage for the YES 50 celebration.

With a slew of hits scattered throughout their illustrious career, the casual fan would have been initially disappointed with the 15-song set the band chose. The setlist tonight wasn’t going to be hit after hit, it was going to be the deep cuts that true Yes fans would know and appreciate. Each carefully selected from a half-century of landmark music with arrangements evocative of the future, yet with distinctive lyrics from the past.

Among the selections were songs that ran the gamut from the early 70’s right through to the modern era of Yes. Classics such as “Nine Voices (Longwalker)”, “Fly From Here, Part I: We Can Fly”, and “Mood For a Day”, each exquisitely performed. The set seemingly was chosen to draw on the emotions of the eclectic crowd, by taking them back to a time in life long removed, when music was an art not a computer-driven function.

An emotional highlight from the riveting first set occurred right before “Parallels” was queued. Howe, the spokesman for the night, paid tribute to founding member and bassist Chris Squire who passed in 2015. A heartfelt arm to the heavens as Billy Sherwood, hand picked by Squires as his replacement, began the recognizable bass chords to “Parallels”. As the crowd joined in, Howe and Geoff Downs continued pointing skyward in a long, well-deserved tribute to their fallen friend.

When the band returned to the stage, after a short break, the journey through the past into the future continued. “Perpetual Change” and “Does It Really Happen” reinvigorated the crowd. Jon Davison’s silky smooth vocals along with Howes guitar and Downes keyboard magic transported the senses back to a time when progressive rock and roll was an art form, and music filled a generation with emotion.

When the eerie sound of the keyboards began filling the air, “Soon” was now! A beautiful fantasy song if there ever was such a thing. Mesmerizing the crowd with its artistic arrangements and reverberating vocals, a perfect lead into the final song of the second set, the musical masterpiece ”AWAKEN”.

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As the band returned to the cheers of their appreciative fans, they brought along with them founding member Tony Kaye (keyboards/vocals) and classic member, Alan White (drums/vocals). With Kaye center stage behind a classic Roland keyboard and White perched behind the drum kit, it was time for the hits. With Howe’s complicated guitar licks opening “Yours is No Disgrace” and Kaye covering the keys, the dash to the end of the night was on. With the crowd on their feet feeding energy to the band, the momentum kept building right thru “Roundabout” and finally to their unquestionably most recognized FM classic radio hit, “Starship Trooper”.

The #Yes50 Tour 2018 world tour is a celebration of a half-century of music written and arranged by virtuosos who are often referred to as “Kings of Progressive Rock”. Tonight we witnessed a small sampling of their history performed by aging stars with invigoration and charisma of their youth. If you have never seen Yes before, do yourself a favor and think about buying a ticket for a show on this tour. With 50 years behind them, there may never be a better chance than now!

Yes:
     

The Fox Theatre:
    

Red Sun Rising + Tripp N Dixie + Avalon Black

06/28/18 – Red Sun Rising + Tripp N Dixie + Avalon Black @ The Machine Shop, Flint, MI

Flint, Michigan (June 28, 2018)Red Sun Rising  with specials guests Tripp N Dixie and Avalon Black, took over The Machine Shop
in Flint, MI tonight.

First up was Tripp N Dixie, a Detroit based rock band formed in 2008. With a sound that is a blend of classic and modern rock, they were the perfect fit to start off the night. With their last show being over capacity by at least a couple hundred people, I was really excited to see them perform and they did not disappoint!

Next was Avalon Black of Flint, MI. They also put on a great show, especially with it being in their hometown. If you are in Michigan, I highly recommend checking these guys, as well as Tripp N Dixie out, you won’t regret it! It was also awesome getting to know a little bit more about the band with the interview that is to follow.

Red Sun Rising took the stage last and was what everyone was waiting for. Hailing from Ohio, Red Sun Rising is comprised of Mike Protich (vocals), Ryan Williams (guitar), Ricky Miller (bass, vocals), Dave McGarry (guitar, vocals), and Pat Gerasia (drums). I was very excited to see them again after seeing them have a killer show at this year’s Rock On The Range and they rocked once again! Coming back for an encore of “Emotionless” was the perfect way to end the night. The crowd was almost louder singing the chorus than the band was!

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Overall, this was one of the best shows I’ve been to in a while, and it was great getting to find some new awesome local bands! Speaking of local bands, here’s the interview with Taylor (bass) of Avalon Black!

 

Give us a brief history of the band. How did you guys meet?  “We’ve known each other for a few years now. One day when we were hanging out we decided to go downstairs and play guitars. Everything seemed to click and we wrote a song. Then another and another. We looked at each other and asked “do you guys wanna start a band?” And the rest is history!”

Describe your sound in 3 words: “Raw, loud, organic”

What were your musical influences growing up? “I grew up listening to classic rock. But always had an appreciation for Rage Against the Machine!”

Was there anyone specific that made you want to start playing music/ be in a band? “Growing up I always wanted to be a performer. I loved watching performances of Metallica and ZZ Top. I really Liked the idea of ‘being a rock star’ “

What kind of stuff are you listening to now? “These days I find myself listening to Royal Blood, Rival Sons, Shinedown, Issues…”

Tell me about your EP. How was the writing recording process? Do you have a favorite song on it? “The first EP was a lot of fun! They were the first four songs that we wrote. We went to a friend of ours who has a recording studio and laid all the tracks down in less than a week. I would say that the song Ultimate Price is my favorite on that EP.”

What bands would your “dream tour” consist of? “I always have a list of bands I would love to see live. It would be really cool to see a tour tour with Royal Blood, Alice in Chains, Pantera.”

Do you have a bucket list band that you would like to play with?I think It would be fun to share the stage with Asking Alexandria. Those guys are writing some great music right now!”

 

If you could bring back one dead musician, either to just watch their show or actually play with them, who would it be? “Prince. The answer to this question will always be Prince.”

 

If you could collaborate with anyone outside of your genre, who would it be? “I can’t speak for everyone in the band but my vote would be G-eazy.”

 

What are your thoughts on today’s music industry with all of the streaming platforms and not as many people buying physical CDs? “I still Like to buy physical CDs but streaming is so easy. I get why people do it. It just makes us work harder promoting.”

Regarding audience engagement, what’s your opinion on cell phones at live shows? “That doesn’t bother me much. We want people to pay attention but it’s nice to see pictures and videos online. I will say that I think it’s rude to text your friends or check Facebook right in the front row. People pay for those shows and would love to have a spot right in the front when someone else is up there checking their phone.”

Do you guys have a favorite venue to play? “So far The Machine Shop (where we just played) has been like our home venue. Those guys will always be family to us.”

Do you have a favorite show that you have played? “We have played some great shows over the last year and a half! They are all fun!”

When are some of the upcoming shows that you guys have? “We will be opening for the band Royal Bliss July 21st when they come through Michigan. Then we will be on the Michigan stage for Loud Wire Live Music festival August 10th. That is going to be our biggest show so far!”

Red Sun Rising:
      

Tripp N Dixie:
      

Avalon Black:
     

The Machine Shop:
    

Bay City Country Music Festival

Bay City, Michigan (June 22-23, 2018) – The 1st Annual Bay City Country Music Festival kicks off successfully as a new annual event for all country music fans in the Bay Area.

Located on the eastern banks of the Saginaw River in downtown Bay City, Michigan, Wenonah Park plays host location for the two-day country music festival. With a permanent acoustic stage already in place, the park becomes an automatic choice for a festival surrounded by nature’s beauty located in the city.

As the gates open on day one, Mandi Layne & The Lost Highway takes the stage as the opening act. Mandi is joined on stage with Greg Kevorkian on guitar and vocals; David Banks on bass guitar and keys; Brian Coonan on lead guitar while Mark Routt keeps the beat on the drums. The band is from Flint, MI and been entertaining crowds since 2007.

Mandi gets the crowd pumped with a country mix as she sets the pace with a few originals “Hot Mess” and “Summer Song.” Her short set concludes showing off her rebel side with a need for rock with her version of Guns N’ Roses cover of “Sweet Child Of Mine.”

Next to take the stage is Kari Holmes from Lansing, MI. Kari excites the crowd with more of a traditional country sound with hits like “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” where she starts the song by a cappella and then jumps down into the crowd during her Shania Twain cover of “I Feel Like A Woman.” Kari adds a few originals to her time on stage with “Loves Gonna Live On With You,” her debut single “Something New” along with the song she is taking to the studio in two days “Devil, Devil.”

Kari is joined by her band, Kerry Adams on guitar and vocals; William Shadrick on guitar and mandolin; and Pete Johnson on bass guitar.

The Todd Michael Band is next on stage. Todd and his band come out with a fury of country rock hits that get the crowd up on their feet and dancing. With new country sounds of Luke Combs “When It Rains It Pours” and Brothers Osborne “It Ain’t My Fault” they attract the new young crowds while hit songs by Don Williams “Tulsa Time” keep the older crowd enticed also. Including his soon to be released debut single “Amnesia,” he for sure makes people sit up and pay attention to him. Todd adds his favorite song “All My Friends Say” by Luke Bryan while blending in a snippet of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” for his rowdy crowd. Announcing that he will be opening for Brett Young later in the year, Todd also performs “Sleep Without You.”

With a who’s who of a cast of musicians behind him, Todd is welcomed on stage by Robert Amatangelo on bass guitar and vocals; Joey Amatangelo on drums; Pete Kane on guitar and Randy Hagle on guitar. The Todd Michael Band formed in 2017 in Saginaw, MI and is already turning promoters heads as they continue to open shows for national touring artists.

Kin Faux is another up and coming band from the Bay Area that came together in 2017. Introducing the new Michigan crowds with a taste of the Texas country sound has sent Kin Faux up the regional talent ladder as their crowd followings continue to grow. As they head into the studio at the beginning of the week, Kin Faux performs a few of their own originals “Plainview” “Water On The Stone” and a crowd favorite, train song “Dysfunction Junction.” Also included in the set are “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton and the foot-stompin’ hand clapping song “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band.

Kin Faux is made up of Rico Gonzalez on fiddle, keys, guitar, and vocals; RB Suave on bass and vocals; Jakey Black IX on guitar and vocals with Dan Currier on drums.

As the first evening of the festival is winding down, Thompson Square appears on stage as the headliner for night one. Opening with “Trans Am” the crowd quickly mobs the front of the stage to welcome Keifer and Shawna Thompson to the Bay City stage.

Continuing on with a fun paced performance, Thompson Square adds “Millionaires” and “Stuck In My Head” before their 2013 hit single “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking Of About.” As the song ends the crowd is split down the middle for a cheering competition with one half as Keifer’s Party People and the other half being Shawna’s Sexy People.

After taking a five year hiatus from the industry to refresh themselves and have a child, Thompson Square returns in 2018 to continue on the magical musical journey they originally embarked on. In 2018, they reappear with a new album Masterpiece to share.

As the day has been overcast and a threat of rain in the area all day, as Shauna steps out to the edge of the stage to introduce the new song “Make It Rain” the sky opens up and a downpour ensues. As she and Keifer look at each other and begin to laugh, Keifer shouts out “a little rain never hurt anyone and I am certainly not going to melt.”

Known as the romantic musical duo, Keifer and Shawna show they truly love one another in their number one hit single “If I didn’t Have You” when they come together at center stage and end the song with a loving kiss.

Introducing a new song “Love Like This,” Keifer talks about the duo being together for 19 years and having their son Cooper who is now 2. Not realizing how love could feel and everything he is fortunate for, he wrote this song to express how he feels because of it.

The new album Masterpiece is a collection songs written since becoming a family and the joys and feelings. The title track is a song written about Cooper and how he has affected how Keifer looks at the world since his birth.

As Thompson Square returns for an encore for their screaming and chanting fans, they include “I Got You” before jumping into a rock mix that includes “Living On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi and “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band. Thompson Square closes out night one with their first #1 single “Are You Going To Kiss Me Or Not.”

Day Two

Day two continues with the same threat of rain as opening day did, however, that does not scare the country music fans away as they are seen lined up both directions from the entrance and ready for the gates to open.

As the crowds are entering, the Matt Ryan Band takes the stage to get the show started. Matt starts with a Brantley Gilbert cover “Bottoms Up” before announcing that after eight and a half years of playing together, this is the band’s Bay City farewell performance. “Windows Down” is a song that has never been recorded but would still like to as Matt looks back at his guitar player Randy Badour and asks if they can still record it later. Matt also includes a song “I’m Here” that was his first attempt at songwriting 10 years ago that gets the crowd standing and showing their appreciation for the past years.

The Matt Ryan band consists of Matt Ryan on vocals and guitar; Randy Badour on guitar and harmony; Gary Carson on lead guitar; Derrick Fisher on bass guitar and Matthew Kramer on drums.

One of the latest new kids on the block and multi-genre’d is next in Tweed & Dixie from Flint, MI. Since 2015, Barry Forster on guitar; Rick Maida on bass guitar and Justin Clifford have set the music industry on fire with their performances that have raised many eyebrows as they have continued to expand their fan count.

Their performance on the second day of Bay City Country Music Festival appeared to be centered around a rock and roll show, but they managed to keep the crowd dancing and wanting more. In their set, they included original songs to their upcoming album that includes “Real Thing” and “That’s My Baby.” Tweed & Dixie ended their set with an Aerosmith cover “Sweet Emotions” that fired up the energetic crowd.

One of the longest-running and most reputable bands in Bay City is next as Steve Armstrong & The 25 Cent Beer Band takes the stage next with their crowd favorite original “Her Taillights.” Just as the band makes a grand entrance, the rain showers didn’t want to feel left out making an appearance once again today also. That, however, didn’t deter Steve or the crowd from continuing on as he introduced to the crowd his next new single “Looking For A Bar” that quickly warmed the crowd up and got them back into their party moods. Being a bit nostalgic, Steve and his 25 Cent Beer Band took off on John Denver’s “Country Roads” before coming across “My Kinda Party” by Jason Aldean. Steve wrapped up his fun time on stage with the crowd chanting for more after his version of “Redneck Side” by Justin Moore.

Steve Armstrong & The 25 Cent Beer Band is lead by Steve Armstrong on vocals and guitar while Jake Satawa is on guitar; Jerome Ratell on guitar and vocals; Zack Brunett on drums and M.K. Fredricks on bass guitar.

A late addition to the line-up includes Bay City’s own Joey Hartley who now calls Nashville, TN home.

Coming home to face the largest crowd he has face yet has Joey excited to take the stage in front of hometown friends and family. Joey starts his performance with a couple of originals “John Wayne” and “Same Team.” After looking over to the river and seeing all the boats out there catching his performance, it inspires him to “Buy Me A Boat” by Chris Jansen and have the crowd dance and sing back to him the words to the song.

Joey got everyone standing and raising their arms in the sky as they all sang “Rock Star” by the rock band Smash Mouth before ending with his current single “Radio.”

Closing out the second day of the two day Bay City Country Music Festival is Frankie Ballard of Battle Creek, MI. As the crowds rushed up to the railing in front of the stage Frankie and his band performed songs from his three previous albums Frankie Ballard (2011), Sunshine & Whiskey (2014) and El Rio (2016).

Starting off with “Young & Crazy,” his #1 single from 2015, Frankie set a fire under him and took off running with a giant crowd there to keep him going. With a series of guitar riffs and solos, Frankie and his guitar player Eddie Robinson had some fun challenging each other and playing off each other’s energy in “Little Bit Of Both.”

Showing his admiration for Johnny Cash while growing up, Frankie added a cover with “Big River.”

Not that they needed any help from the stage, but Frankie looked out over the crowd to the pavilion in the back and dedicated “It All Started With A Beer” to all the beer drinkers in the back at the beer tent before taking off in his “El Camino” with his “Cigarette.”

Thanking the crowd for giving him and his band the life they are living, he dedicates “Helluva Life” to all those out in the crowd who go out to concerts and support the artist by purchasing concert tickets and artist merchandise.

For all those in the crowd who may have had a broken heart at one time or another, Frankie performs “Drinky Drink” for them before ending with his #1 crowd favorite song “Sunshine & Whiskey.”

As a big fan of the late Elvis Presley, being called back to the stage Frankie concludes with a fun band song “Polk Salad Annie.” The crowd approves and adores as Frankie comes out to the front of the stage and passes by all those at the front of the railing before dropping to his knees for an emotional ending.

Although the threats for severe weather was a constant in the Bay Area all weekend, just a few small showers crept up on the festival and dampened things a bit, but overall the festival was a success.

A big shout out to DJ J.D. for providing music in between sets and his great role as emcee for the event by introducing each act before going on stage and also keeping crowds notified of special announcements.

The festival is the first attempt for Ken Shelton Promotions for a show this size and has done a great job with the event. Be sure to follow his links below for future shows in the area.

Thank you to Ken Shelton for allowing Splice-Magazine to attend and provide coverage of this new festival as we look forward to working with you and watching this grow over the years.

Thompson Square:
     

Frankie Ballard:
     

Mandi Layne @ The Lost Highway:
    

Kari Holmes:
      

Todd Michael Band:
    

Kin Faux:
    

Matt Ryan Band:
    

Tweed & Dixie:
      

Steve Armstrong & The 25 Cent Beer Band:
   

Joey Hartley:
    

DJ J.D.:
  

Ken Shelton Promotions: