Wednesday, February 3, 2016

KISS @ Choctaw Casino Grand Theater, Durant, OK

Mark one off the bucket list.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I not only got to witness the "Hottest Band in the World", but I also got to cover and shoot their show.  Not like it's that uncommon if you're a follower of KISS, but for me, it's a pretty big deal.  I was raised on the foursome, thanks in large part to my three uncles, one of which was 'Gene Simmons' in a KISS tribute band.  So to say that KISS is a big part of my music background would be a huge understatement.  I knew the last time they came through Dallas was in 2014, so I started to Google for any tour announcements and found none.  But lo and behold, I did stumble across a single date for Durant, OK at the Choctaw Casino Grand Theater, currently their only headlining (non-festival) date for 2016.  An hour and some change north of the DFW area, I knew I had to go. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tool / Primus / 3TEETH @ Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie, TX

The latter half of last year, I didn't attend all that many shows in the DFW area.  Call it busy, lazy, whatever, I just didn't make it out to as many as I would have liked.  But I did make a couple of trips to the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, TX (west of Dallas) to take in some pretty great shows.  You simply can't beat My Morning Jacket and their plethora of rockin' tunes.  I also got to cover KDGE's annual How the Edge Stole Christmas who had a stacked bill with Of Monsters and Men, Panic! at the Disco, Sublime with Rome, and many others.  While I said you can't beat MMJ's performances, I think the bill of Tool, Primus, and 3TEETH certainly left their mark with an insanely intense showcase of raw energy, fantastic musicianship, and sonic fury to your eardrums.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Junior Brown / Molly Simms @ Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
Covering live music in St. Louis is quite a gamble but at the Old Rock House, you always know what you’re gonna get:  great entertainment, the best in local acts, and as always, at least one colorful character in the audience.  Tonight, being no exception, as one of St. Louis’s rising musicians, Molly Simms warmed the stage for Junior Brown.  Molly wears many hats:  music teacher, band leader, solo artist, and writer of songs.  Her latest record, One Way Ticket, just received honorable mention as having the most spins in 2015 on KDHX radio.  Not too bad for an album that was just released in September.  With the soul of Big Mama Thornton and the sweetness of Bette Midler, Miss Simms offers a plate full for those that listen.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Sword / Royal Thunder @ Ready Room, St. Louis, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
Alright MTC readers, sorry for the delay but the holidays, as they do with most of us, consume a fair amount of our attention.  So now that the gifts are opened, let’s get back to the business of music reviewing. A  couple of weeks back, I had the chance to catch my first show at St. Louis’s Ready Room.  The opener, Royal Thunder, turned out to be a real sonic surprise.  This big noise foursome from Georgia had quite an impact on those that came early and most eyes and ears were on female lead singer, Miny Parsonz.  Parsonz's dark, yowling voice is pissed off with passion and a nice complement to Josh Weaver’s fretboard precision, combining neatly with the rest of the bands grungy rhythms.  Give their latest effort, Crooked Doors, a listen, you just might become a fan.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Photos: KDGE 102.1 How the Edge Stole Christmas @ Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie, TX

Every year,  KDGE 102.1 brings out concert goers by the thousands with their annual festivals, Edgefest and How the Edge Stole Christmas.  While the latter may be smaller in comparison, i.e. Toyota Stadium vs. Verizon Theatre, the lineup and excitement do not waiver.  With headliners Of Monster and Men and veteran acts in Sublime with Rome and Panic! at the Disco, the lineup was anchored by the ever-popular the Neighbourhood, upstarts the Struts, and Aussies Atlas Genius.  I think the booking for this year's show definitely trumps last year's, as 2014's lineup were relatively unknown and the only heavy hitter was headlining Weezer.  While this year's lineup was definitely more veteran, it was the newcomers the Struts who led the way with the most energetic performance of the evening.  Showing flashes of Freddie Mercury, front man Luke Spiller is a man possessed, dominating the audience with his charismatic persona and eccentric performance.  Of Monsters and Men were quite the delight, outshining their already stellar sound of their first two albums.  Overall, it was a great concert to end the year on.  Cannot wait until 2016.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Morning Jacket @ Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie, TX

Photo provided by artist
Being an avid concert goer and a lover of live music, I definitely have a bucket list of artists I would like to catch before the band or artists break up or go on 'indefinite hiatus'.  With that said, I've always wanted to catch My Morning Jacket, as I have heard they are one of the remaining great, live bands out there today.  From legendary sets at Bonnaroo and festivals worldwide to hours long sets at amphitheaters and arenas, My Morning Jacket has set the bar extremely high for rock bands.  So when Jim James and the boys descended upon Grand Prairie's Verizon Theatre, the last DFW venue the band played nearly four years earlier, I knew I finally had my chance to catch one of the best live bands out there.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chris Stapleton @ Gas Monkey Live!, Dallas, TX

Chris Stapleton is not your common country singer.  He has spent years songwriting for the giants of the music industry but it wasn't until earlier this year that he penned his own album, a breath of fresh air titled, Traveller.  Stapleton writes about the simple yet complex things in life, you know, heartbreak and drinking whiskey.  But where Stapleton soars about the rest is his delivery.  Molded by the singer-songwriters of yesteryear, Stapleton brings a slow and steady approach with emotion dripping from his lyrics and a ferocity to his live performances.  Performing at the much smaller City Tavern earlier this year, as well as an appearance at Good Records for Record Store Day, Stapleton has clearly moved in the right direction, being nominated for multiple Country Music Awards and booking much larger venues.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The D.O.C.: "Straight Outta Dallas" @ the Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX

There are shows and there are shows.  You're typical show may be special to a few, pleasing to some, and remembered by most.  But certains shows leave you in awe, give you all the feels, and are etched into the memory of everybody in attendance.  When a show like that comes around, it becomes a chapter in musical lore.  Almost a fairy tale.  When Tracy Curry, aka the D.O.C., of N.W.A. and solo fame announced a comeback show at the Bomb Factory in his home town of Dallas, the stars aligned and everybody in the DFW area knew this show was going to be huge.  Not only was this the D.O.C.'s first performance in over twenty years in Dallas, it was his resurgence to the rap scene that he had left a huge imprint on, before a tragic car accident took his voice away.  With a new voice and a new sound, the D.O.C. showed Dallas that he's not done yet and that a show like this can do more than bring fans together, it can bring a whole music community together.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Grace Potter / Rayland Baxter @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
Grace Potter, let’s see I know that Paris (Ooh La La) song, oh! and I know that “Medicine” song too but outside of that, what else did I know about Grace Potter?  Come to find out, not much.  So being the knowledge seeker I am and a big fan of the ladies performing rock and roll music, I couldn’t pass when I saw Grace was coming to town.  Rayland Baxter, an up and comer, and doing an admirable job, opened the show for Miss Potter and company.  I do need to give kudos to Mr. Baxter for covering one of my all-time favorite Neil Young songs, “Vampire Blues”.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Billy Idol @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX

Photo provided by artist
Some times, things just don't work out.  The week between the two weekends of Austin City Limits brought a plethora of unbelievable talent and shows to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  One of those being the sold out Billy Idol show at the House of Blues.  Having been to the House of Blues the previous two nights for Albert Hammond Jr. and Royal Blood, I thought I had a good knowledge of set times, solely based on the times of the doors and show that the venue displayed on social media the day of the show.  Some time between 7PM and 8PM, someone dropped the ball.