Tag Archives: Kataklizmic Design

REVIEW: Jim Adkins Returns to Phoenix (4-30-16)

Phoenix, Ariz. – Jim Adkins, lead singer of Jimmy Eat World, returned home to Arizona last night, bringing his solo project super chill “dude-with-a-guitar” gig to Valley Bar. The show sold out at least a month in advance, which is no surprise considering the success of the band he fronts, the success of his recent European tour,  and the special place he holds in the hearts of those in his hometown.

Set Times - Jim Adkins at Valley Bar 4-30-16
Set Times – Jim Adkins at Valley Bar 4-30-16

A refreshing deviation from the norm, the show unexpectedly opened with stand up from Anwar Newton instead of an opening band. Recruited by Adkins, he loosened up the crowd before it was going to “get emo”. Newton succeeded in garnering laughter from the audience with off-color humor about topics like self-righteous coworkers, a carjacker who couldn’t drive manual,  separation of food and politics, and paying taxes versus giving blowjobs (in his opinion… there’s no question, BJs FTW). For those that came to see Adkins, this was an engaging act, and time passed quickly before Adkins took the stage. It was unique that, as the headliner, he was the second act of the night with more bands following.

Jim Adkins at Valley Bar 4-30-16
Jim Adkins © Kataklizmic Design

As emotional as Adkins’ music is, he brought a very lighthearted, slightly goofy stage presence to Valley Bar. He was excited to be playing at Valley Bar for the first time! Despite 23 years in Jimmy Eat World, he is arguably the least pretentious major musician you could ever meet. Adkins effortlessly tapped into the vulnerable emotions of his music, while still interjecting his quirky sense of humor between songs. One moment he was singing heart-wrenching lyrics like, “Are we too damaged now to possibly connect?”, and the next, he was joking about learning Slayer songs to play upon request.

Jim Adkins setlist - Valley Bar 4-30-16
Setlist – Click to Enlarge

For the set, Adkins played songs from his “I Will Go” EP, as well as select J.E.W. songs and covers. Without falter, his vocals delivered exactly what you would expect from listening to his records, with the only noticeable difference being intentional changes to the melody for the performance. Adkins’ guitar is like an extension of himself, which lends itself to his ability to fully invest in the nuances of his vocal performance. He is a seasoned musician with the ability to genuinely connect with his adoring audience on the same level.

Jim Adkins at Valley Bar 4-30-16
Jim Adkins © Kataklizmic Design

For some solo projects, such as Nate Ruess and The Band Romantic or Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra, the artist performs with a full live band. For Adkins’ solo endeavors, he may be only one man with an acoustic guitar on a big empty stage, but these humble, low-key vibes are exactly what he goes for.

In a 2015 interview, Adkins told Substream Magazine that, “…planning out an encore makes me feel like an asshole.” So it was unsurprising that when Adkins exited the stage, that was the end of his set. He loaded up his equipment himself afterward, which he joked is what rock ‘n roll really is. Some in the crowd were overheard asking, “Why is he carrying out his stuff himself?”

Jim Adkins is a totally normal guy who happens to be a world-famous musician, and Arizona is proud to call him our own.

PHOTO ALBUM by Katherine Vega

Jim Adkins – Valley Bar 4-30-16

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (THAT MEANS NO STEALING)

PHOTOS: Nate Ruess – FestivALT Phoenix (4-23-16)

Photos of Nate Ruess (fun., The Format) performing at ALT AZ 93.3’s FestivALT in downtown Phoenix, Arizona on April 23, 2016.

Nate Ruess – FestivALT Phoenix 4-23-16

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO STEALING

CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO
OF NATE COVERING “LET’S GO CRAZY”
BY PRINCE! – PRODUCED BY KATAKLIZMIC DESIGN!

ORDER NATE RUESS’ SOLO ALBUM!

PHOTOS: KONGOS – FestivALT Phoenix (4-23-16)

Photos of KONGOS performing at ALT AZ 93.3’s FestivALT in downtown Phoenix, Arizona on April 23, 2016.

KONGOS – FestivALT Phoenix 4-23-16

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO STEALING

PRE-ORDER KONGOS’ NEW ALBUM “EGOMANIAC”!

Listen to their sick new single “Take it From Me” on Spotify!

REVIEW: Say Anything Brings It to Tempe (4-22-16)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Say Anything came to the Marquee Theatre Friday night and gave fans exactly what they came for. The show opened with sets from mewithoutYou, Teen Suicide and Museum Mouth. Directly preceding the Los Angeles pop-punk headliner, mewithoutYou along with their high-energy barefoot drummer, Rick Mazzotta, was the perfect act to get concert-goers warmed up for what was to come.

mewithoutYou - Marquee Theatre
mewithoutYou © Kataklizmic Design

Even as the backline crew prepared the stage for the main act, attendees couldn’t contain their screams of anticipation when Say Anything’s backdrop fell open.

Say Anything - Marquee Theatre
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design

When the house lights finally dimmed to herald Say Anything onto the stage, the screams were deafening. From the first song to the last, lead vocalist, Max Bemis, brought raw, hard energy to the stage. The group opened with “Give a Damn” from their new album, “I Don’t Think It Is,” released earlier this year in February. And with hardly a breath between songs, they continued into “Say Anything” from their 2012 album.

Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design

Smiling and swinging the mic around by its cord between lyrics, it was evident that Bemis and the band were genuinely having fun on the stage. With a sea of hands raised in the air, Bemis alternately sang and screamed the words to “Woe” before thrusting the mic toward the audience. The crowd sang in unison, every word committed to memory.

Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design

It was clear that even as concert-goers were feeding on Bemis’s energy, he was feeding on theirs too, and their enthusiasm was fueling the performance. But what’s perhaps most striking about Say Anything is their sincere love for their fans. At the end of the song, while concert-goers applauded, Bemis applauded them.

Say Anything’s set included other favorites like “Six Six Six” from their 2014 album “Hebrews” and “Death for my Birthday” from their self-titled 2009 album. Bemis then doled out some sage advice to one 14-year-old he spotted in the audience, advising him not to listen to the next song. “If you can relate to it, that’s awesome,” Bemis said. “Otherwise, you don’t want all this. Trust me,” he said before launching into “17 Coked Up Speeding.”

At one point during the night, Bemis confessed that he was glad to see that so many fans had connected with their latest album, despite the band’s two-year hiatus before the album’s surprise release. Many of the lyrics in Say Anything’s songs relate to Bemis’s troubled past and his struggle with bipolar disorder. But the passion he brings to the stage and the emotions that come through as he sings are what make it real. And it was that realness that concert-goers connected with Friday night.

Sherri DuPree-Bemis
Sherri DuPree-Bemis © Kataklizmic Design

The highlight of the show came when Bemis’s wife, Sherri DuPree-Bemis took the stage for “So Good” from the band’s 2012 album, “Anarchy, My Dear”. Her voice was hauntingly beautiful as it grew in intensity, perfectly complementing Bemis’s own vocals. Their affection for each other is readily apparent when they’re on the stage together, and it was easy to see that fans were engaged, not only with the music, but also with the story behind it.

At the end of the night, Bemis sweetly announced, “one more song for you” before playing “Belt” from the band’s 2004 release, “…Is a Real Boy”. But it wasn’t the last song. After exiting the stage to screams of “encore” and people chanting “one more song,” the band came back out. Bemis, rejoined by his wife, Sherri, sang “Two of a Crime,” a duet from the album of the same title that the two recorded together as Perma in 2013. It was followed by “Varicose Visage”.

But something was missing.

Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design
Say Anything © Kataklizmic Design

“One more, for real,” Bemis said. “If you know this song, sing along. If you don’t know it, I don’t know why the fuck you’re at this show.” Say Anything closed out the night with their most popular song, “Alive with the Glory of Love”. Before leaving the stage for the last time, Bemis thanked concert-goers for making it a fun show. And in one last display of affection for their fans, drummer Reed Murray took out his phone to snap a shot of the audience before disappearing backstage.

For concert-goers who came for a night of high-energy punk music that rocked hard and didn’t quit, Say Anything didn’t disappoint.

Check out our review of Say Anything’s new album!
REVIEW: Say Anything’s New Album “I Don’t Think It Is”

PHOTO ALBUM by Katherine Vega

Say Anything – Marquee Theatre 4-22-16

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO STEALING

VIDEO: Nate Ruess Goes Crazy at Alt AZ 93.3’s FestivALT 4-23-16

I had the honor of being asked to produce a video for Nate Ruess, as he paid homage to the late, great Prince last night at Alt AZ 93.3’s FestivALT in downtown Phoenix, Arizona!

Check out the mind-blowing performance from Nate Ruess and The Band Romantic below!

Video Production (Footage, Audio, and Editing)
by Katherine VegaKataklizmic Design

CHECK OUT KATAKLIZMIC DESIGN’S NATE RUESS PHOTOS FROM FESTIVALT!

REVIEW: Lacey Sturm at Pub Rock (4-7-16)

Lacey Sturm at Pub Rock
Lacey Sturm
Photographer: Katherine Amy Vega
© All Rights Reserved

Scottsdale, AZ — Lacey Sturm is a girl after our hearts, with a clearly compassionate desire to heal them through her music. Her graciousness and gratitude for her fans and career were impossible to go unnoticed throughout her performance at Pub Rock last night. You can tell that all of her heart pours into her songs, and I suspect that it is a very emotional and therapeutic experience. She is one of those musicians whose live vocals sound just like her produced music, if not better due to the live emotion. And you could tell the live band genuinely loves playing this music, and has a real bond with one another.

I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Lacey before her performance, and was able to express to her how her tracks “Vanity” and “Rot” really resonated with me, having previously been in an abusive relationship. Lacey thanked me for telling her, and gave me a tight and loving hug before being pulled away. You can tell Lacey has some loving people in her entourage who can see how precious she is and want to safeguard her.

Later on, I picked up her book “The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living” from the merch table; and read the back blurb about how she was once a suicidal atheist who had been abused, depressed, and disgusted with Christianity. Whether you are Christian or not, a story of someone’s experience with hitting bottom and recovering is inspirational and sorely needed for many of us to hear; I can’t wait to read it!

Lacey Sturm at Pub Rock
Lacey Sturm
Photographer: Katherine Amy Vega
© All Rights Reserved

The essence of Lacey as she is performing transcends human… She truly feels like a little angel with immense power. It is really fascinating to see this meek woman transform into a “rock princess”. Before playing “Faith”, Lacey said that it was one of her favorites; and it was really magical to see her bright grin as she danced and jumped around while performing the song. It is no doubt that Lacey Sturm has a vast amount of fans who are thankful that she is with us to share her wisdom, her gift, her hard work and talent, her massive voice.

Photo Gallery

Lacey Sturm & Openers – Pub Rock 4-7-16

Photography © Kataklizmic Design
All Rights Reserved.

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PHOTOS: Coheed and Cambria – Marquee Theater (3-21-16)

Photos of Coheed and Cambria performing at Marquee Theater on March 21, 2016.

Photo Gallery

Photographer: Katherine Amy Vega

Coheed and Cambria – Marquee Theater 3-21-16

Photography © Kataklizmic Design
All Rights Reserved.

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PHOTOS: Vance Joy – Marquee Theatre (3-1-16)

Photos of Vance Joy performing at Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona on March 1, 2016.

Photo Gallery

Photographer: Katherine Amy Vega

Vance Joy – Marquee Theatre 03-01-16

Photography © Kataklizmic Design
All Rights Reserved.

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PHOTOS: Jamie Lawson – Marquee Theatre (3-1-16)

Photos of Jamie Lawson performing at Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona on March 1, 2016.

Jamie Lawson – Marquee Theater 03-01-16

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO STEALING

ORDER ALBUM

Listen to Jaime’s hit single “Wasn’t Expecting That” on Spotify

PHOTOS: Gerard Way – Marquee Theatre 10-25-15

Photos of Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance) performing at Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona on October 25, 2015.

Gerard Way – Marquee Theatre 10-25-15

Photography by Katherine Vega, © Kataklizmic Design
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO STEALING.

BUY GERARD WAY’S ALBUM!