This fall, the classic season for dark and romantic music, BLACK VEIL BRIDES and VV (VILLE VALO) will co-headline a massive tour in select cities across North America. Presented by Hot Topic, the BVB & VV 2023 tour (featuring special guests DARK DIVINE) combines three unique bands who champion the heavy-hearted, hopeless, and broken with mixtures of high intensity and melody.
Produced by Live Nation, tickets to the tour will be available starting Tuesday, May 30 at 12 pm ET via presales with additional presales running throughout the week ahead of the general onsale beginning Friday, June 2 at 10 am local time on LiveNation.com. For more information on the presales visit BlackVeilBrides.net.
“We cannot wait to join forces with Ville Valo and give both of our audiences in North America an unforgettable experience each night,” says Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack. “This run has been in the works for quite a while. We couldn’t be happier now that we can finally share the news. Ville is an icon. We have all been fans of his not only for his work in the hugely influential band HIM but as a torchbearer for an entire generation of rock fans and musicians.”
“There’s something tinnitus-inducingly romantic about the idea of being sandwiched nightly between Black Veil Brides and Dark Divine on this autumnal trek across North America,” muses Valo. “And imagining us explore the architecture of doom and gloom from three distinctly different musical perspectives has already made the bats in my belfry suitably ravenous.”
Andy adds, “This tour is a dream come true and will be something special. Dark Divine is new to the scene but garnering a lot of attention quickly and rightfully so. They are hands down one of the best young bands out there, and we are certain the BVB Army and VV fans will love them.”
Committed to uncompromising expression, with a foundation in hard rock tradition and rule-breaking iconoclasm, Black Veil Brides is a transcendent celebration of life-affirming power and anthemic catharsis. A gothic vision first summoned in a small town by an isolated kid fascinated with death, rock, theatricality, and monsters (both real and imagined), Black Veil Brides is now a postmodern heavy metal institution with a legion of like-minded fans and supporters worldwide.
2021’s The Phantom Tomorrow produced BVB’s first Top 10 single, “Scarlet Cross.” Last year’s The Mourning EP offered similar success with “Saviour II,” joining a rich catalog that includes “Knives and Pens” (over 160 million views on YouTube), the certified gold “Fallen Angels,” and the recently certified platinum “In the End.” (It’s possible Black Veil Brides may even release another brand-new song in the not-too-distant future…)
HIM, renowned as one of the most commercially successful Finnish bands of all time, has sold over ten million records. Ville Valo, the band’s frontman, released a series of beloved albums with HIM from 1997 through 2013, boasting influential modern goth-rock anthems like “Right Here in My Arms,” “Join Me in Death,” “Buried Alive by Love,” and “Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly.” Declaring Neon Noir a perfect record for fans of HIM, Ghost, and Evanescence, Kerrang! wrote, “If you’ve been seduced in Mr. Valo’s musical twilight before, then you can now prepare to pulse in the glow of the heartagram once again.” In a VV cover story, Valo told the magazine, “It is a continuation of what I’ve done in the past and what might happen next.”
Hot Topic Presents: DVD & VV Tour Dates
Sept 10 – Louisville, KY – Paristown Hall
Sept 11 – Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing Company
Get ready to rock out this fall as Chevelle and Three Days Grace team up for their highly anticipated 2023 co-headline tour, featuring special guest Loathe. The tour, produced by Live Nation, will kick off on September 8 at the Wind Creek Event Center in Bethlehem, PA, and will make stops in 23 cities across the US, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Boston.
Fans can expect an unforgettable night of headbanging and melodic anthems from two of rock’s biggest heavyweights. Don’t miss out on this epic tour! Tickets will be available starting with the Citi presale on Tuesday, May 30, followed by additional presales throughout the week. The general onsale will begin on Friday, June 2 at 10am local time on Live Nation.
Chevelle & Three Days Grace 2023 Tour Dates
Fri Sep 08 – Bethlehem, PA – Wind Creek Event Center
Sat Sep 09 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
Tue Sep 12 – Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
Wed Sep 13 – Chicago, IL – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom
Tue Sep 14 – Huber Heights, OH – The Rose Music Center
Sun Sep 17 – Prior Lake, MN – Mystic Lake Showroom
Tue Sep 19 – Indianapolis, IN – TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park
Wed Sep 20 – St. Louis, MO – Saint Louis Music Park
Thu Sep 21 – Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theater
Sat Sep 23 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
Sun Sep 24 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
Tue Sep 26 – Nampa (Boise), ID – Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater
Thu Sep 28 – Airway Heights, WA – Northern Quest Resort & Casino – BECU Live
Fri Sep 29 – Ridgefield, WA – RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater
Mon Oct 02 – San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
Tue Oct 03 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
Wed Oct 04 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre
Fri Oct 06 – The Woodlands, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sat Oct 07 – Durant, OK – Choctaw Grand Theater
Tue Oct 10 – Nashville, TN – Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Wed Oct 11 – Atlanta, GA – Coca-Cola Roxy
Thu Oct 12 – Charlotte, NC – Skyla Credit Union Amphitheatre
Sat Oct 14 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway
Scottsdale, AZ — On a mild Saturday night – one of the last mild evenings before the Arizona summer heat really sets in – a crowd gathered at Pub Rock Live to watch the final show of LA-based band AL1CE’s “Shadows and Light” tour, with Portland-based Adrian H. and the Wounds and AZ local bands Don’t Panic and Mike and the Molotovs opening the show up.
The venue sits less than half a mile from the border of Tempe and Scottsdale, situated in a low slung strip mall, a victim of the questionable design choices architects tended to make over half a century ago. A quick glance tells the viewer that form and function stopped talking to each other halfway through the design process, and at some point, form was found badly beaten in the alley.
It is a minor miracle that this plaza has survived the development of South Scottsdale, something that could perhaps be attributed to being consistently filled with tenants. Today, one can visit and find an smorgasbord of eclectic tenants: two churches, two gyms, a mattress store, three restaurants – including one that is also one of the best places to buy fresh seafood in all of Arizona – and a barbershop that doubles as a time capsule. The interior appears to have had few upgrades since the early 80s, and the owner – Justin, who the shop is named after – will only charge you $12 for a haircut and a conversation.
Around the corner from the barber shop, one will find the destination for this evening. Above the doors, you will be greeted with a simple sign that says “Pub Rock,” with an old-timey radio microphone dividing the words. Below, to the left of the double doors, there is a warning that you’re about to enter the AZ (Kansas City) Chiefs Kingdom.
Pub Rock started life as Atomic Café in the early 90s. Grey Daze – with Chester Bennington – reportedly played there around 1995. In 1998, the name changed to Chasers, and the clientele and music styles changed as well. In 2012, Chasers was sold, and became Pub Rock, hosting some broadcasts from the very short-lived revival of KUKQ. You will now find an autographed Joe Montana jersey hanging over the bar, surrounded with plenty of other memorabilia. There is a wall of CDs next to the stage, and neighboring that, the merch table. You will also find a security guard who may very well ask you to pet her by the end of the show, as she is a Great Dane named “Gucci,” who is exceedingly well behaved.
Mike and the Molotovs
Mike and the Molotovs (MATM) took the stage first, with frontman Mike Lee saying “Let’s get this shit started! Give it up for AL1CE! Thank you guys for making it out here, we’re gonna close your tour out right.” Lee, for those who are not acquainted with his work, deals in satire. One of his previous bands is Goth Brooks, a Phoenix-based band with a sound that combines the goth metal/industrial and country genres.
Some of the work of MATM is slightly more subtle than other pieces, but the opening number lacked all subtly, and instead reminded you that he is also not the biggest fan of capitalism. The opening line contains the excellent advice of “Don’t let your babies work at Wal-Mart.” The band bills itself as “Spaghetti Punk,” an apt description for the style. There is an undeniable country undertone with a dose of Flogging Molly with the fiddle – played by special guest Tim Sadow – over the guitars. As the first song came to an end, Lee urged the crowd to come a bit closer to the stage, telling them “we don’t bite,” to which guitarist and back-up vocalist Ivan deadpanned, “I bite. Don’t get too close to me.”
After informing the audience that they didn’t have a choice in if they wanted another song, Lee announced that the name of the next song was “If You Want To Be My Lover, The Two Party System Must End.” A glance at the song title may give one the impression that they are about to hear a cover of the well-known song by the Spice Girls named “Wannabe,” but nothing could be further from the truth. There are elements of “American Idiot” hidden in the first few bars of the song, and lyrics that are rather unlike the bubblegum pop that the Spice Girls were known for, save for the line “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want!” yelled by Ivan.
There were some surreal moments, including a song about Burger King that involved Ivan slowly ramping up to yelling, “Whopper whopper whopper WHOPPER,” into the microphone, much to the delight of the crowd. This is what makes seeing Mike and the Molotovs a fun event: the band has a message they take seriously, but they don’t turn it into an overly preachy event; instead you’ll have a bunch of fun with listening to a rather fun anti-capitalist band.
Don’t Panic took the stage next. Formed back in 2014, the band name is a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This is reflected in their latest album – 42 – released in August of last year. If you are unfamiliar with “the Guide”, the number 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Unfortunately, no one knows what the question is. Why? Well, I would tell you, but I think you should read the book.
As the band took the stage, your eye could not help but to be drawn to the bejeweled mesh mask that lead vocalist Dylan Rowe wore. It would catch the light throughout the show, throwing it back into the audience, adding to the enchantment of the performance. Don’t Panic is a mix of genres, sounding a bit like rock some moments, then some dance, and weaving it all together is Rowe and the back-up vocalist Jeffery Robens, who is also the guitarist. Bassist Ryan Obermeit and drummer Jesse Mitchell round out the band.
There is a bit of Evanescence hidden away in the band, with Rowe and Robens sometimes sounding a bit like Amy Lee and Ben Moody from the very early days of the band. One must also recognize those who do not get nearly enough credit as well: whoever programmed the light show. The stage was small, but the production value punched way above its weight class, and it is impossible not to be impressed by the ethereal short set, which leaves you yearning for an encore.
Adrian H. and the Wounds
Adrian H. and the Wounds joined AL1CE on their continent wide tour, marking one of their first tours since the pandemic began. The band has garnered a bit of a cult following locally in Portland, though they haven’t been quite as active as before the pandemic. They have played with AL1CE previously in October of 2020, and at festivals and internationally, but have been a bit quiet when it comes to touring for the last few years.
Their sound – according to their website – is sinfully soulful. It could also be described as darkwave, mixed with a bit of Nine Inch Nails. It was a nearly blackout, smoky set, with the fog machine getting a bit of a warmup for AL1CE. The band was backlit, with Adrian H hunched over the keyboard on stage left, and the rest of the band cracking out the paradoxically pleasant and yet somewhat monotone EDM and goth metal music.
One could not help but – at the very least – sway along to the music, if not join the others in the audience on what was now a dance floor. The final song of the set brought vitality to the performance as the frontman stepped out from behind the keyboard and had a much stronger stage presence than before. The band was enjoyable as it was, but the change in pace and flow elevated the finale. The set ended without much said, and while it was not the most overwhelming set of the night, they had joined AL1CE on a marathon of a tour and undoubtedly felt all of the miles they traveled. Adrian H. and the Wounds kept the dark atmosphere strong and served as a good segue between Don’t Panic and AL1CE.
AL1CE would finish the night off. In spite of a massive 25-day, 10,000-mile, 24-show tour, there was no indication of exhaustion throughout the set. Even though the band is based in the LA area, they have strong ties to the Phoenix area. Jonah Foree – a bandmate of Mike Lee in Goth Brooks, and the goth metal side of the band – was a prolific and well-loved musician who left us entirely too soon in 2022.
Foree, who was also a member of Ikonoklast and HARDWIRE, organized an annual free show called Mustache Massacre which fostered a collective bond of the gothic community for over a decade. It often featured his bands along with the AL1CE members’ previous project Mankind is Obsolete, and strongly supported other local industrial, metal, and punk music groups as well. This tour marked the first time AL1CE returned to Phoenix on tour after his passing, and a song written by Foree himself called “Drown” was played during tonight’s show. Vocalist Natasha “Tash” Cox was close friends with Jonah, and performed at the memorial show for Foree.
AL1CE is an experience. It is not just the music, it is also the feeling of being welcomed, of feeling like you know those on stage, even if you’ve never met them before. While one can eventually learn how to have a stage presence that will capture your attention, making the audience feel at home is not a talent that can be taught. There was nothing forced the entire night, nothing felt awkward or unnatural. Instead, you are welcomed into the venue, and you become a family of sorts with the band, even if you do not realize it at first. The band wears masks, they wear costumes, and it would be easy to think that they may be a bit different off stage, but that could not be further from the truth.
Cox is joined on stage by vocalist Sasha Travis, bassist and keyboardist Gordan Bash, drummer Steve Kefalas, percussionist Carl Garcia, and Scott Landes on the guitar. The band calls the music “dark electronic rock,” which is definitely true, but there is more to the band than just that. Their cover of “Land of Confusion” is nowhere near as abrasive as the Disturbed cover that most as used to, and is instead a heavy and enjoyable listen. Audience participation came halfway through the show, as a high hat was taken from the stage, put into the crowd, and those who wanted were handed a drum stick to hit the cymbal while one of the band members played a tambourine. While that may seem like a bit of a surreal experience, in context it made perfect sense, and was a unique experience.
AL1CE also performed an impressive cover of Bjork’s “Army of Me” in their unique and enthralling way. It takes talent to take a song, leave a major nod to the original artist, and yet add your own sound on top, a musical cake if you will. This is what this unique and lovely group of humans do: make music feel familiar in a show that feels like home. The show ended – this is the tragedy of all shows; they begin, and thus must also end – and the band stepped off the stage to mingle with those in the audience. And so, in that low-slung building that has witnessed history for the last half-century or so, another chapter closed, another show ends, and we all disperse into the night with gratitude for the memories made and the opportunity to remember Jonah Foree once again.
Today, the world collectively mourns the loss of a true icon, Tina Turner.
The legendary singer, dancer, and actress passed away at the age of 83, leaving behind a legacy that few can match. From her humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her rise to fame alongside her former husband Ike Turner and later as a solo artist, Tina Turner’s life was both tumultuous and inspiring.
Despite the challenges she faced along the way, Tina never lost her unrelenting spirit. Her timeless hits like ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It’ continue to inspire generations of fans, and have earned her numerous accolades, including a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But Tina’s influence extended far beyond her music. She was an actress, a philanthropist, and a survivor who never let her difficult past define her future. She taught us all how to be strong, how to persevere, and how to rise above our circumstances.
So today, we say goodbye to a true legend. While Tina may be gone, her legacy will live on forever. Rest in peace, Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
TOKYO – Nemophila, the all-female Japanese band who recently wrapped up a U.S. tour, which was preceded by a performance at Aftershock 2022, have released the new song “Night Flight,” and its accompanying video.
“This is a song we’ve been playing live for some time, but have not recorded or released it until now,” explains singer/Nemophila founder mayu of the new track. “Please take a look at the video as well, as it does a great job capturing the spirit of the song.”
In March, preceding the band’s SXSW show, Nemophila released the single, “Rise”.
Today’s arrival of “Night Flight” coincides with the release of “Seize The Fate,” a concert film featuring Nemophila’s February performance from Tokyo’s Zepp DiverCity.
Guitar Girl Magazine described the quintet as “one of the most thrilling metal bands in Japan,” Distorted Sound said their music is “a reminder of just how fun heavy metal can be,” and Glasse Factory, commenting on their riveting Aftershock performance, noted “they nodded to metal legends with their styling and offered a refreshing take on their own unique blend… the excitement was tangible and radiated through the crows ad they all leaned in to watch the rising rock stars.”
Nemophila formed in 2019, playing their first live show in August of the same year, supporting Loudness and Hammerfall at Tokyo’s Metal Weekend 2019. The band have released two albums: Seize The Fate (2022) and Revive (2021). Nemophila is mayu (vocals), Saki (guitar), Hazuki (guitar), Haraguchi-san (bass) and Tamu Murata (drums).
PHOENIX — Thinking of the history of popular music, especially rock ‘n’ roll history, I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of people who were “there.” Every legendary artist started small, as even the biggest artists of all time had those early shows before it all blew up, and inexplicably there were people — average everyday people — who were lucky enough to be “there” to see those struggling performers before they turned into superstars.
Still walking around are those who saw Elvis play local shows in Memphis, Bob Dylan play coffee houses in New York or, most mind-blowing of all to me, The Beatles play The Cavern Club in Liverpool. For the rest of us, those artists existed bigger than life, playing the biggest stages in the world. Unless you were one of those lucky individuals in The Cavern Club, or The Star Club in Hamburg, they only existed as mega stars, playing the biggest venues the 60’s had to offer.
We would never get as close or as intimate as those lucky individuals who were there for those early days before they were legends, that is unless you were lucky enough to catch Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band at Celebrity Theatre on one of two nights at their Phoenix stop on the tour. The Celebrity Theatre is a rare wonder that has no such thing as a “bad seat,” with its smaller intimate setting in the round with a rotating stage dead-center. It is certainly the most up-close anyone is likely to get to any of these legends since they first began their careers in bars and small clubs.
Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band
The “All-Starr Band” concept was originally conceived in 1989 by Ringo, with the idea that he would put together a band, not just of professional hired guns to help him perform many of his hits across his storied career from The Beatles to his many incredible solo records, but instead pack the band with fellow legendary performers who also had a bottomless well of hits from which to pull.
Over the years, the Ringo’s All-Starr Band has included members of The Band, Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band, The Eagles, The Who, Dr. John, Todd Rundgren, Peter Frampton, and the “fifth Beatle” Mr. Billy Preston. This, the 15th iteration of Ringo’s All-Starr Band, included Edgar Winter, Hamish Staurt fromAverage White Band, Steve Lukather from Toto, and Colin Hay from Men at Work. The band is rounded out with Warren Ham who has played with Kansas and Toto (nice pairing) on saxophone, flute, and keyboards and Gregg Bissonette, who has played with seemingly everyone (seriously, look him up) on all things percussion.
What of course makes the All-Starr Band so fun is that any given member could step up to the microphone and have enough hits at their disposal to play the show all by themselves. All of this results in a kind of jamboree of fun, as members take turns stepping into the spotlight for a song, only to then pass the spotlight to the next member, as the show rotates around the already rotating stage (if you’ve never been to the Celebrity Theatre, you need to get there for a show).
Ringo opened the show with a raucous cover of Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox,” a staple of The Beatles early live shows and later showing up as a single off of the Long Tall Sally EP. It was followed by “It Don’t Come Easy,” arguably Ringo’s most soulful vocal performance from his solo records. After blazing through “What Goes On” from The Beatles’ Rubber Soul, Ringo seceded the spotlight and moved to the drums.
This began what makes the All-Starr Band concept so much fun every time: each performer taking turns stepping up to the microphone to perform one of their own hits. Leading off was Edgar Winter who played his now 51-year-old hit “Free Ride,” which sounded as fresh and fun that night as it did the first time any of us played it in our cars with the windows down and the volume up.
This was followed by Steve Lukather leading the band through “Roseanna,” with the crowd spiritedly singing along and pumping their fist in time with the chord changes, Hamish Stuart playing a ripping version of Average White Band’s “Pick Up the Pieces,” and Colin Hay taking the band through an extended version of Men At Work’s hit “Down Under” that included a fun call-and-respond with the crowd. “I wrote this song in forty minutes, and it’s sustained me for forty years,” he told the crowd prior to starting the song.
At that time, Ringo returned from behind the drum kit for a run through of “Boys,” his first vocal performance on The Beatles first album Please, Please Me, “I’m the Greatest” from Ringo (a song written for him by John Lennon), and “Yellow Submarine,” which a quick scan of the theatre revealed that every generation of fan in attendance — from those who were there from the start with The Beatles to little kids who have since grown up with the band through their parents and grandparents love for them — was joyfully and exuberantly singing along. Following this, as the crowd was still on their feet, cheering and clapping, Ringo waved to the audience and left the stage. “Don’t worry. He’ll be back,” Edgar Winter playfully reassured the crowd.
With Ringo gone, the band performed Average White Band’s “Cut the Cake,” the title track from their third album. “I’m going to hand it over to Edgar Winter now to unleash the beast,” he said at the song’s closing. Winter’s performance of instrumental classic “Frankenstein” allowed the band to have fun on what turned out to be a jam session that impressively highlighted the drumming skills of Gregg Bissonette. Throughout the song, which stretched to nearly ten minutes, Bissonette worked in drum breaks that steered the song into a range of hits by other artists, including “Come Together” by The Beatles, “Rock ‘N’ Roll” by Led Zeppelin, and appropriately enough, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” — the seventeen-minute Iron Butterfly classic in which the recognizable drumming comes during the lengthy instrumental break in the song. By the end of the jam, Bissonette, very deservedly, got one of the biggest pops from the crowd.
Ringo returned to the stage, and before going into “Octopus’s Garden” (rivaling “Yellow Submarine” for one of the most crowd-pleasing moments of the night), he introduced each member of the band, heaping praise on them as he did. It was followed by his solo hit “Back Off Boogaloo.” Next up was Colin Hay to perform Men at Work’s ode to anxiety “Overkill.”
“Every song we’ve played tonight is one you know, but I’d like to debut my 30-minute jazz odyssey,” Steve Lukather joked with the crowd, adding, “If you get really stoned first, you might just get into it,” before launching into “Africa” — Toto’s mega-smash that will live on for generations to come. The performance featured some incredible backing vocals from Colin Hay.
After going one more round with each performer, including Hamish Stuart with the Isley Brothers’ “Work to Do,” and Ringo playing The Beatles’ “I Wanna Be Your Man.” Edgar Winter took a moment to pay tribute to his brother Johnny Winter before playing “Johnny B. Goode,” a song the brothers used to play together growing up, as they each first learned to play the guitar. It was immediately followed by Colin Hay playing “Who Can It Be Now?” and Steve Lukather on Toto’s “Hold the Line.”
The evening closed as it began, with the tour’s namesake Ringo Starr on vocals for his solo classic “Photograph,” the Johnny Russell hit “Act Naturally”, made famous by Buck Owens and even more famous by The Beatles version on Help!, and finally and very fittingly given the vibe of the tour and the mutual respect and camaraderie amongst the performers, they closed the evening “With a Little Help From My Friends.” As the song came to a close, they shifted to a cover of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” to send the crowd home happy, still singing along in their own acapella as they exited the Celebrity Theatre and out into the warm Phoenix night.
Alicia Keys will be launching a 23-date North American summer concert tour which starts on June 28th. The “Keys to the Summer Tour” ensues the ongoing sold-out, critically acclaimed “The Alicia + Keys World Tour”, which has spanned Europe, North America and will soon head to Latin America.
The general on sale for the tour will begin Friday, April 21st at 9am local time. Pre-sales will run from Tuesday, April 18th – Thursday, April 20th. Alicia Keys Fan Club and Keys Soulcare Pre-Sales will launch Tuesday, April 18th at 1pm ET. Spotify, Live Nation, Ticketmaster and Venue Pre-sales will launch Thursday, April 20th at 10am local time. For more ticketing information visit LiveNation.com.
This tour will bring the GRAMMY Award-winning global superstar to arenas across North America with an all new, completely reimagined and redesigned concert experience and setlist. A first for Keys, it will feature her in an “in the round” production setup, allowing fans to experience her live performance in an entirely new and exhilarating 360-degree form. Keys is known for incorporating innovative and engaging production design into her live performances, and she worked together with director Diane Martel (director of the powerful “If I Ain’t Got You” and “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” music videos) and designer Chiara Stephenson to conceptualize and design the staging of the “Keys to Summer Tour”.
Keys has said, “The ‘Keys to the Summer Tour’ is going to be completely unforgettable and unmissable! I describe it as a celebration of freedom and self-liberation! It’s going to be colorful, magical and will light up your body, soul and all of your senses! This is my first time creating a 360 experience and we’ve made sure it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen! I’m so excited to see y’all this summer!”
Lauded by critics for her stunning shows, Keys’ last tour earned rave reviews from press. The Tampa Bay Times called it an “outstanding live performance that cemented her as one of the greatest musicians and singers of all time.”
The tour will be offering a variety of VIP packages and next-level experiences for fans. Various packages will range from inclusion of premium tickets to the chance to join Keys in an exclusive, intimate and inspirational “Soulcare Session” before the show. For more info, visit the tour’s page on VIPNation.com.
Alicia Keys Tour Dates
June 28 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – FLA Live Arena
June 30 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
July 2 – Charlotte, NC – Spectrum Center
July 3 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
July 5 – Memphis, TN – FedExForum
July 7 – Washington, DC – Capital One Arena
July 9 – Boston, MA – TD Garden
July 10 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
July 12 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
July 14 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
July 15 – Cleveland, OH – Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Tickets for Hobo Johnson‘s performance at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix have gone on sale! If you are a fan of his unique blend of spoken word poetry and hip hop, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Hobo Johnson is touring all across North America with two tour legs: the “Loves the West Coast” and “Really Likes the Midwest…and East Coast” tours. All tour dates below.
For those who may not be familiar with Hobo Johnson, his real name is Frank Lopes Jr., and he gained popularity with his hit single “Peach Scone” in 2017.
Since then, he has released five studio albums and has been praised for his raw and honest approach to music. His live shows are known for their energy and unpredictability, and he has been known to engage crowds with his infectious personality, colorful stage presence, and undeniable talent as a performer.
The Crescent Ballroom is an intimate venue, which will allow for an even more immersive experience for concertgoers.
The performance is set to take place on Thursday, June 24th. Doors will open at 7:00 PM, and the show will start at 8:00 PM. Tickets are reasonably priced, and they are expected to sell out quickly. So, don’t wait too long to purchase your tickets.
If you are looking for a memorable night of passionate and relatable music, mark your calendars for Hobo Johnson’s performance at the Crescent Ballroom on June 24th. Get your tickets now before it’s too late!
PHOENIX — M83, an electronic group from France named after the galaxy Messier 83, performed at The Van Buren with experimental artist Rachika Nayar opening the show in a line-up consisting of only the two acts. The night of focus here is April 10, which was the original tour launch date scheduled in Phoenix and became the second night after it sold out, resulting in an add-on of April 9.
Opener Rachika Nayar, a composer and producer from Brooklyn, New York, set an ambiance that helped prime the audience for the vibes of M83. With the stillness of the crowd that portrayed an uncertainty of how to behave during this sensory electronic set, and a respectful patience, the performance came across almost like a pre-show DJ set.
Nayar has a muted stage presence, and she remained stationed at her equipment throughout the set, not speaking until the end when she expressed gratitude in an unassuming tone and wished a friend in the audience a happy birthday.
Touring in support of Fantasy,which was released last month, M83 opened with the deeply relaxing and ethereal “Water Deep,” continuing with the chill vibes emanated by Nayar, unlike many other acts that will typically burst onto a performance as they start their set.
Fronted by 43-year-old Anthony Gonzalez, M83 has existed for about 24 years. Gonzalez is not a glamorous showman, yet his prowess shines for him. More than just a singer, he is a renaissance man responsible for lead vox, guitar, synths, keys, bass, percussion, mixing, arranging, and producing.
M83 transitioned to a danceable energy with the upbeat title-track from Fantasy, which was the 8th song in a setlist of 20 (including the encore). “Fantasy” hearkens back to the primary energy of the Junk album — a personal favorite that I have kept on heavy rotation after being lucky enough to experience it live on their April 13, 2016 tour stop at Comerica Theatre (which, while I knew of M83 before that point, was what impacted me so much as to cement me as a fan).
It was during “Fantasy” that Joe Berry stepped away from the synthesizers and pleased the crowd with the EWI. The stage lights brightened and bathed the band in many more colors, and it was especially in that moment that the slow-roll of the night proved worth the wait. Though I may be biased as a sax player myself, I am confident in my opinion that anyone would be in agreement that the show really gets ripping once Berry starts wailing on the saxophone.
Kaela Sinclair commands attention as the siren of a soprano vocal that is a signature and integral part of M83’s sound. You can also catch her sultry, haunting, and powerful vocals outside of M83 as a solo artist.
The band’s show ebbs and flows from there, following “Fantasy” with “Laura”, which channels the 80s prom night air that much of M83’s music exudes. Afterward, they brought some of their highest energy with “Don’t Save Us From the Flames.” “Noise” from 2003 release Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts served as a segue to “Wait” from Hurry Up We’re Dreaming (2011). Delightfully, “Solitude” from Junk was next, and the bopping “Sunny Boy” from Fantasy after that.
The tracks that go heavier on the guitars for a dramatic electronic-meets-rock sound are absolutely soul igniting. The live band is rounded out with Julien Aoufi on drums, the skills of guitarist Théophile Antolinos, and bass rhythms from Clément Libes. These 3 musicians were shrouded in smoke and lights in the background as the front of the stage was filled with the synths and keyboards, along with Gozales, Sinclair, and Berry.
It comes as no surprise that the crowd’s energy climaxed during the encore as the group launched into the highly recognizable “Midnight City”, which has received heavy radio play since its release in 2011. If you are a regular listener of ALT AZ 93.3, you’ve heard it a lifetime’s worth. One can only long for more of M83’s superior tracks to hit the mainstream to give respite from the overabundance of formulaic, forgettable, and overplayed tracks of other artists that pervade popular music today.
This night of music was nourishing to the spirit with a perfect blend of chill time and outright fun, which was quite apparent by the invigorated energy that was effortlessly perceptible from the crowd leaving the venue following “Outro.”
See the full M83 setlist from April 10, 2023 at The Van Buren here:
Burning Hot Events highly recommends catching this tour. There is ample opportunity to do so, as it has just started, and the band has dates scheduled all across North America up through May 16th. Check out the tour dates here:
If you’re a fan of The Postal Service’s iconic hit “Such Great Heights,” you’ve probably heard countless covers of the song over the years. But have you ever heard a cover of a song that completely transforms it into something new and exciting? That’s exactly the case with Joy Kills Sorrow’s bluegrass version of this hit. This rendition, which was released on their EP Wide Awake in 2013, deserves your attention if you haven’t heard it yet.
What is particularly impressive about this cover is how effortlessly the band took an electronic indie-pop hit and made it their own, infusing it with their signature Americana sound that is a refreshing departure from the original. Fueled by Jacob Jolliff’s intricate mandolin playing and lead singer Emma Beaton’s soaring vocals, the song was transformed into a foot-stomping bluegrass number that’s impossible not to dance along to.
Right from the beginning, the mandolin and banjo (played by Wes Corbett) take over, providing a lively and instantly engaging introduction. While staying true to the melody and lyrics, the band injects their signature style, adding instrumental breakdowns and harmonies that showcase their musical prowess. Beaton’s vocals add a touch of sweetness and vulnerability to the already poignant lyrics. As the song progresses, each instrument takes its turn to shine, from the rhythm of Matthew Arcara flatpicking the guitar, to the harmonies of Zoe Guigueno and her upright bass. You can feel the energy building up, culminating in a triumphant ending that will leave you with chills. The result is a cover that’s just as catchy and memorable as the original, but with a new energy and vibrancy that’s impossible to resist.
What makes this cover so successful is that it doesn’t try to imitate the original, but rather reinvents it completely. It manages to capture the essence and emotion of the song while putting a new spin on it. Overall, Joy Kills Sorrow’s bluegrass cover of “Such Great Heights” is a testament to the power of musical creativity and innovation. It proves that good music can transcend genres and styles, and that sometimes the most unexpected artist can surprise you. So, if you haven’t given it a listen yet, it’s high time that changes.
Even die-hard The Postal Service fans will find themselves tapping their feet along to this bluegrass rendition. If you haven’t heard Joy Kills Sorrow’s cover of “Such Great Heights” yet, do yourself a favor and give it a listen. Although Joy Kills Sorrow disbanded after performing their last show in 2014, their legacy includes a stunning example of how a great cover can take a beloved song and elevate it to new heights.
Ben Gibbard Returns with a “Double Feature” Performance
Speaking of The Postal Service… lead vocalist Ben Gibbard is making a comeback to Arizona and other cities (listed below) with a “double feature” show that is sure to delight. As part of the “Give Up & Transatlanticism 20th Anniversary Tour,” The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie will be co-headlining, and Gibbard will be at the forefront of it all.
The tour runs in September and October of this year. Arizona Financial Theatre, one of the iconic spots to host this show, is set to witness an unforgettable night of music that showcases the evolution of the creative genius of Gibbard and his bandmates. (Fun fact: Jenny Lewis of The Postal Service is also a solo artist, actress, and was the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and keyboardist for the indie rock band Rilo Kiley.) It goes without saying that Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service carry energies that leave fans yearning for more. But, to have both bands share the stage on a joint tour is something else entirely.
Back in 2003, The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie became musical sensations that rocked the world with Gibbard at the helm. The Postal Service’s debut album, Give Up, and Death Cab for Cutie’s fourth studio album, Transatlanticism, showcased the range of Gibbard’s vocal and songwriting abilities. It’s been twenty years since those albums’ releases, and that is all the more reason to celebrate. The “Give Up & Transatlanticism 20th Anniversary Tour” is, therefore, more than just a tour. As each band performs their respective albums in their entirety, it’s a trip down memory lane accompanied by heart-thumping instrumentals and performances that leave concertgoers reveling in nostalgia.
With Gibbard headlining, The Postal Service & Death Cab For Cutie: Give Up & Transatlanticism promises to be a night to remember. Get your tickets now!
The Postal Service & Death Cab for Cutie 2023 Tour Dates
September 8 – Portland, ME – Cross Insurance Arena
September 9 – Kingston, RI – The Ryan Center
September 10 – New Haven, CT – Westville Music Bowl
September 12 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall
September 13 – Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall
September 14 – Washington, DC – Merriweather Post Pavilion
September 17 – Detroit, MI – Meadow Brook Amphitheater
September 20 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
September 21 – Philadelphia, PA – The Mann Center
September 24 – Minneapolis, MN – Armory
September 26 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom
September 27 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom
October 3 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre
October 4 – Las Vegas, NV – The Chelsea Ballroom at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
October 7 – Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena
October 10 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre – UC Berkeley
October 13 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
Featured photo (top) courtesy of Mongrel Music
News & Reviews from the Fiery Mosh Pits of Arizona