All posts by Rodrigo Izquierdo

Photographer, Author, Creative. International photo-comic book sales and museum photo displays. Entrepreneur, entertainer, motivator, animal lover, optimist, always evolving.

REVIEW: The Faim Gives a Memorable Musical Experience at The Nile Theater (4-14-19)

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Mesa, AZ — A high-rising band from down under, The Faim, is a prime example of confidence, enthusiasm, and love of the art of music and performance. Supporting headliner Andy Black on his “The Ghost Of North America” tour, alongside fellow opener KULICK, they treated fans to a performance far beyond even the most optimistic of fans’ expectations.

A young crowd, anxious and eager to see their music idols, lined the sidewalk into the alleyway entrance of The Nile Theater. Colored hair, ripped jeans, leather jackets, name-brand shoes, and fancy accessories dotted the scene, much like an amalgam of hipster and classic punk, creating a unique fashion style that may eventually define this generation, like big hair and shoulder pads defined the 80’s. This fusion of fashion is likely in part a byproduct of the union of fans of a variety of artists that were involved in this night and everything leading up to it.

Two days prior to the show, Black Veil Brides’ frontman Andy Biersack released The Ghost of Ohio — the sophomore album from his solo music project under the moniker Andy Black. A concept record, The Ghost of Ohio is meant to serve as the soundtrack for his comic book by the same name, according to Alternative Press. Andy Black and The Faim share megaproducer John Feldman (lead singer of Goldfinger), who has a massive arsenal of rock and pop artist veterans that he’s worked with, and has been able to mix them into a cocktail of contribution to recordings for these two acts. By bringing top music industry talent together, Feldman is taking the best parts of early 2000s rock and infusing it into a new generation of sound that will richly benefit from their prowess and the vitality of these artists’ spirits.

Jacob Kulick, also known as KULICK, came out to a screaming crowd of fans that did not know what they were in for. KULICK set the bar high for what was about to follow: clear vocals and clean-sounding instruments, akin to a Bad Religion show, accompanied by contagious energy, great stage presence, and command of the crowd — a polished performance and band dynamic that makes you want to see them again. KULICK performed 8 songs: “Crawling”, “Hole in My Head”, “City”, “Hydroplane”, “Scatterbrain”, “Colors”, and “Ghost”; closing his set with humor and natural crowd engagement. This was only his second time touring, but with a performance like this, it would appear that many more will follow and he will continue to enrich audiences with his energy and sound.

The Faim’s explosive energy became evident within a few seconds of their opening song, “Saints Of The Sinners”. With the never-ending energy and stage presence you’d normally see from a ska band or Mick Jagger, The Faim dominated the stage and slowly began to command a crowd that once again did not know what hit them. They played “My Heart Needs to Breathe”, as if they have been performing for many years.

Sam Tye (Guitarist), Josh Raven (Vocalist), Stephen Beerkens (Bassist, Keyboardist) – The Faim
Photography:
Andrea Stoica © All Rights Reserved

Sam Tye (guitar) and Stephen Beerkens (bass, keyboard) played on each other’s moves, and Raven engaged each member, including drummer and percussionist Linden Marissen, like Bruce Dickinson does with Nicko McBrain. Marissen himself exudes a type of energy and control of the drums that demonstrates his dedication to his craft; breaking a drumstick mid-song, and grabbing a new one so quickly that most people did not even notice. A fan later came to the merchandise table to have the broken stick autographed, which Marissen gratefully obliged.

The third song was a special gift to the audience: the still unreleased song “Beautiful Drama”. Lead singer Josh Raven’s enthusiasm was evident, not merely singing the words, but performing the song from his heart and leaving it all on the stage, like this was his own Live Aid performance.

The Faim - Photo Credit: Andrea Stoica
Josh Raven (Lead Vocalist), The Faim
| Photography:
Andrea Stoica © All Rights Reserved

Setlist:

“Saints Of The Sinners”
“My Heart Needs To Breathe”
“Beautiful Drama” (Unreleased)
“When It Comes”
“Infamous”
“Midland Line”
“Fire”
“A Million Stars”
“I Can Feel You”
“Make Believe”
“Summer Is A Curse”
“Amelie”

This wasn’t just a concert, it was a musical experience, as made evident once Raven decided to join the crowd while continuing to sing, engaging everyone on the floor either by high fives, hugs, or just direct eye contact. The energy never ceased or diminished, even as he helped a crowd surfer back to safety without breaking performance. He made sure to thank the crowd for making them all feel so welcomed on their first visit to this city, and the crowd went crazy. Raven’s closing words were, “look out for yourself, look out for each other, and have a wonderful evening!

When the lights went down once again, Andy Black began to sing to a sea of screaming fans that, to his obvious and evident delight, could sing along every word of each song he played. It was a night of endless energy and flawless performances that lifted the caliber of the show above and beyond.

Featured photo (top) by Katherine Amy Vega

PHOTOS: Black Label Society & Supporting Acts at Marquee Theatre 2-24-18

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Black Label Society - Photo Credit: Rodrigo Izquierdo
Zakk Wylde (Vocalist, Guitarist), Black Label Society
Photography: Rodrigo Izquierdo © All Rights Reserved

Tempe, AZFebruary 24th, 2018, shortly a month after Zakk Wylde’s 50th birthday, he put on a great show at the Marquee Theatre with Black Label Society, showing that he’s definitely at a different level musically and also in showmanship. Opener EyeHateGod, a band that has been playing since 1988 showed great energy, starting what was about to be a great night of rock. Corrosion of Conformity, who I remember watching their music video “Dance of the Dead” when I lived in Chile, only raised the bar and rocked the house, closing with their most popular song, “Clean My Wounds”.

Then the show became the kind of show you’d expect to see at a full stadium, opening with pyrotechnics and a classic curtain drop, to the excitement of the fans that had filled up the venue to what seemed to be absolutely max capacity. This was my first time seeing Black Label Society live, and I could not have been more pleased, as their sound and showmanship was definitely beyond what you normally see at small venues like the Marquee Theatre.

Photo Album

Photos by Rodrigo Izquierdo

Black Label Society, Corrosion Of Conformity, & EyeHateGod – Marquee Theatre 2-24-18

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Photography © Reagle Photography
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