Michael McDonald and Toto - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - August 20

Categories: Concert Review

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Flickr

Chances are, when you heard that Michael McDonald and Toto were coheadlining the stage at Hard Rock Live last night, you didn't wet yourself with anticipation. Of course, if you're on the older end of the geriatric spectrum, then perhaps you did wee a little.

Unlike you, I was very excited to hear Michael McDonald singing in the same space as myself. There's room for argument here, but I'd say no singer in the history of music is more fun to imitate than this guy. He's just so very Michael McDonald. And you'd definitely be lying if you said his distinctive baritone never gave you chills, not ever, not once.


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The Offspring, Bad Religion, Pennywise - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach - August 15

Categories: Concert Review

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Jessica Daly

Stop-and-go afterwork traffic lined the way out to Cruzan Amphitheatre Friday night. The road was packed with people out to see Stiff Little Fingers, Pennywise, Bad Religion, and the Offspring on a balmy summer night.

Surprisingly, the lawn was closed off and only seats-seats were available. Well, seats and the most important area of the evening, the moshing section. Before buying our $16 tacos but after buying booze, we walked to our spot and found only a fence separating us from the pit, but we had a few veterans in our group that could handle the onslaught of sweaty slamming bodies on their way.

Irish punks Stiff Little Fingers opened the night to a small but eager crowd. The band jammed hard and proved that age clearly is nothing but a number by running around the stage just like little kids. After hearing songs like "Nobody's Hero" and "When We Were Young," we were pretty sure they also sounded this good back in 1977. After a quick introduction of band members and a final tune, the group left the stage and made way for Pennywise.

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Linkin Park, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Carnivores Tour - Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach - August 8

Categories: Concert Review

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Sayre Berman

Thirty Seconds to Mars took the stage a little earlier than scheduled this past Friday night at Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. Fans hungrily lurking about the Carnivores tour's merch table and those grabbing their second round of beers ran back to their seats to provide Jared Leto and co. with a very warm welcome.

The man who doesn't age, Leto, rushed out donning a gold crown and what looked like a priestly purple robe, nothing exceptionally new for a guy whose well known for being a little eccentric. He bears a great resemblance to a white Jesus with his long hair, full beard, and that angelic mug. The ecclesiastical getup highlighted his holy, natural look.

See also: Linkin Park and 30 Seconds to Mars (Slideshow)

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Linkin Park's Chester Bennington on New Album: "We Wanted to Make a Statement"

Photographer Brandon Cox

Linkin Park has been putting out rock-rap tunes for over a decade and recently returned with an album that promises a return to the heavier shit. The band is currently showcasing their new album The Hunting Party with 30 Seconds to Mars and openers AFI on the Carnivores tour. Before they hit West Palm Beach, we got the opportunity to jump on a group call with Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda.

On the afternoon of June 22, in Venutra, California, Linkin Park played a surprise set for an overwhelmingly large crowd at the twentieth anniversary Warped tour. Shinoda explained how the idea of playing this pop-up stage came about. A friend who works with people on Warped Tour did some introducing of bands, and the idea evolved from there.

See also: We Like Linkin Park, and We Will Not Apologize


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Yes - Hard Rock Live Hollywood - August 1

Categories: Concert Review

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The last time I saw Yes perform live was a year ago. It also marked the first time I saw this legendary prog-rock group. I then declared myself "won over" by a band I had never paid much attention to despite many years of love for peers like King Crimson, Genesis, and Pink Floyd. Their recreations of both The Yes Album (1971) and Close to the Edge (1972) seemed beyond note-perfect. The show included incredible moments of musical gelling that felt positively transcendent. I even had no trouble forgiving the absence of original frontman Jon Anderson (much to the offense of some commentators).

But then, something happened later that year. I interviewed Anderson and attended his solo show. His personality -- that which gave so much to the band's metaphysical and cosmic lyrics -- was extremely charming. He also expressed his hope to reunite with the band someday. Then there was his one-man show featuring tales of the construction of some classic Yes tunes, a light show, and mostly him on acoustic guitar and that voice.

See Also: Yes at Hard Rock Live, Hollywood, with Commentary by Ed Matus

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Gavin DeGraw, Matt Nathanson - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - July 30

Categories: Concert Review

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LJ Woolston via Hard Rock Live

Pop-rock singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw has been putting out music since 2003 when his hit "I Don't Want To Be" became the theme song of primetime soap One Tree Hill. His first album Chariot kept him on the map with various hits like "Follow Through" and "I Don't Want To Be." Now over a decade later, DeGraw is still going strong, putting on energetic live shows for new and dedicated fans alike.

To celebrate the release of his fifth studio album, Make A Move, DeGraw is touring with fellow headliner and rocker Matt Nathanson and opener Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness. The tour is a testosterone packed event that "rocked our socks off" just like McMahon promised the crowd it would at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood last night.

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Vans Warped Tour 2014: The Maine Says Pitbull Makes "Pretty Horrible Music"

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The air was hot and damp, punk and pop sounds blared, teens ran amuck in band T-shirts, the primary color of the day was black. This weekend at Cruzan Amphitheatre, the Vans Warped Tour blasted through West Palm Beach.

After watching Beartooth and a few other acts (we couldn't make out some of the screams, but we think we heard, "College never worked out for me, but I like this gig."), the Maine caught our ears. Greeted by a slew of screaming fans, its set kicked off with lead singer John O'Callaghan, a clean cut Kurt Cobain look alike, lifting his shirt to show off his tattoo. Nasally high school fans sang along to the poppy and infectious "Girls Do What They Want," drenched in sweat. Toward the end of the song, O'Callaghan pulled a guy with shades onstage named Alex. Alex fumbled with the lyrics, but still got cheers. The Warped crowd is a nice one.

A bystander squealed and grabbed her boyfriend's hand when she recognized the first seconds of "Right Girl." She was 20-year-old Chandal, aged the same as the now classic tour. When we asked what she thought of the Maine, she said, "Honestly, I've loved them since sixth grade. They used to be into a lot of love songs but now they write about adult stuff, like life. It's like I grew up with them!"

We managed to get an interview with the band's drummer Patrick Kirch. The 24-year-old told us about Florida shows and the Pitbull shoutout O'Callghan kept giving on set.

See also: Top Seven Signs You're Too Old for Warped Tour

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The Musical Box Perfectly Recreated Genesis at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale on July 25

Categories: Concert Review

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Gustavo Quintas

The Musical Box
Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale
July 25, 2014

Better than: You can do better only by using a time machine to see Genesis in 1973.

In the midst of several lengthy, early-era Genesis songs that the Musical Box performed last Friday, I came to a realization. There is just no way a band like Genesis could have existed today. Young music fans just would not have the patience for it. They wouldn't appreciate the rich complexity of these songs, the wry, surreal humor that references everything from myth to sexuality.

Genesis was an amazing product of a popular music movement revolting against short pop songs, prog rock. It, and similar British bands like Yes, King Crimson, and Pink Floyd, practically dared pop radio to pull one of its songs out of context from its albums in search of a single. This was nearly impossible given that some prog rock songs even took up the entire length of one side of a record.

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Sara Bareilles - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - July 25

Categories: Concert Review

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Amw9991 at en.wikipedia

When I originally told my plus one I was bringing her to a Sara Bareilles concert, she smiled at me with a look that said, "I don't do chick music." I tried to get her amped about the show, describing how hilarious Bareilles is, how her voice is magical, how she plays piano like a boss. I even got her to wear a little black dress with me for the occasion, appropriate, given it was the Hollywood, Florida, stop at Hard Rock Live of the singer's Little Black Dress Tour.

On our way to the concert, I played a bunch of Bareilles' songs to get the mood going, and I lucked out, because when my guest heard "I Choose You," she already started to change her mind on the matter.

See also: Hannah Georgas' Calls Girls Using Her Song "an Honor" and MC Hammer Her Guilty Pleasure


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The Fray - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - July 22

Categories: Concert Review

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The Fray brought out pop-rock in full force, with openers Oh Honey and Barcelona, and even a song about the Lord their God to Hard Rock Live in Hollywood last night.

Oh Honey warmed up the crowd with jokes about encountering gators, scary rides at Disney, and wanting people to stalk the band on Facebook like it's Justin Bieber. The band played its most popular song "Be Okay," and I was one of many in the audience who was left wanting to know more about this opening act. The group isn't a household name, and one of the band members joked, "We're going to play a new song. Well, if you've never heard of us before then these are all new, but this one is new for us."

After Oh Honey, Barcelona hit the stage with some heavy screaming, especially from a particular group of young girls in the front row who were most likely on the verge of fainting.


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