Cain’s Ballroom (Tulsa, OK)

- Words by Jordan Buford // Photos by James Villa -
Sevendust (Tulsa, OK) 8/19/14

For a Tuesday night, the historic Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma was pretty crowded. Several hundred people weren’t going to let the fact that it was early on in the work week stop them from seeing Sevendust. The lone Oklahoma date on their current tour was also one of the last shows of this run. Just because it was one of the final dates didn’t mean they were going to let any wear and tear from their weeks on the road show, though.

Their start time was set for 9:30, and literally as soon as the clock struck 9:30, a couple stage hands rushed out and ripped down the Sevendust banner that had been hanging across the stage all night. Now the back half of the stage was revealed, along with Morgan Roses’ drum kit and all the other gear.

One by one, the band filed on stage, and the already eager crowd was growing more excited by the second and packed in as tightly as they could. John Connolly stepped back and did a fist bump with Rose; and soon, Lajon Witherspoon joined them, and their intense set began with the brutal, “Pieces”. “Let me see your hands in the air! Like this right here!!” Witherspoon roared before they even got the song underway, and he led by example. Bassist Vince Hornsby got a clap along going at one point during the track; while Witherspoon continued pumping everyone up by telling them he wanted to hear them make some noise, or even bounce up and down.

One fan was so pleased by the performance so far, he took his hat off for the band and held it up in the air. “Cain’s Ballroom, are you guys happy to see us tonight?” Witherspoon asked after they had finished the song. Yeah, I’d say the people were happy to see them. Soon, they launched into another beast of a track: “Face to Face”. Connolly and fellow guitarist Clint Lowery, as well as Hornsby continued racing around the stage, while Rose showed off the trick skills he has perfected as a drummer, like throwing one of his sticks high into the air before catching it. (Even that paled in comparison to one of his later stunts, where he placed a drum stick on the right side of his neck, then rolled it around on his neck over to his left side.)

“…I’d like to see you dance…” Witherspoon asked of the crowd before “Till Death”, which I think evoked more head banging than it did dancing; and the fans were more than happy to pump their hands in the air when Witherspoon asked to see them. “I think you look beautiful tonight…” he told the spectators, before they continued the onslaught of massive songs with “Denial”, which saw Hornsby getting a broken drum stick from Rose and then throwing it out to whoever was lucky enough to catch it in the crowd.
Sevendust (Tulsa, OK) 8/19/14

“From front to back, I want to see everyone bouncing!” shouted Witherspoon as they bridged that track right into “Praise”; and once it had concluded, he checked with everybody to make sure it sounded alright to them. “Do you believe in karma in this town?” he then asked, before posing the question again. “I believe in karma,” Witherspoon added, before his band mates started them off on “Karma”, a song that was so well received by fans, the room was filled with loud whistling once it was over.

“Enemy” was dedicated to the United States and the men and women fighting for its freedom; while the patrons were told they would all know what came next. “Angel’s Son” was one of a small handful of tracks that highlighted what beautiful tones Witherspoon is capable of. Yes, his ferocious voice is perfectly suited for their deafening rock anthems, but on songs like this —which was largely acoustic sounding at times — it was bone chillingly gorgeous. “Woo!” the frontman exclaimed upon finishing the track, seeming to be riding a high from it. They followed that closing number from the Animosity album up with another cut form it, and “Trust” was another one fans loved.

Fans were every bit as engaged now at the end of their set as they had been at the start, still singing along to every word, jumping when they were instructed to, and some even had a large circle pit going in the middle of the room. I think it got a little more physical during “Strong Arm Broken”, to the point Witherspoon mentioned in the next break he didn’t want to see any ladies falling, and urged the women to avoid the men and vice versa. “Would you like to hear a song called Decay?” he then asked, as they concluded their 54-minute long set with the lead single off Black Out the Sun.

Fans wanted one more, but the band made them work for it. I actually liked that, and even though you knew they would be back, it was refreshing to see a band take several minutes out, verses most of the others I see, who, within a minute of disappearing back stage, come back out.

“Sev-en-dust!” the audience shouted repeatedly at one point, as they stamped their feet on the floor to accent their chants.

“…We were told they didn’t think anyone would show up…” Witherspoon mentioned once they retook the stage, which drew a booming response from the patrons.
Sevendust (Tulsa, OK) 8/19/14

The encore consisted of “Splinter”, and they had some help on it. Early on, Aaron Nordstrom of Gemini Syndrome (their tour mates for this tour) ran on stage, mic in hand. Nordstrom did more co-singing with Witherspoon than just simply backing vocals, and the two frontmen played off one another, doing a lot of interacting; while Lowery, Connolly, Hornsby and Rose gave every last bit they had in their tanks.

This marked my first ever Sevendust concert and they did not disappoint. I was impressed with their high-energy performance, which never tapered off or relented. They started out by giving it their all, and kept finding different reserves to tap into to make their performance even more dynamic and explosive.

For me, it’s often easy to find one band member I like the most and focus on them, but that was impossible to do with Sevendust. At times, it was the mighty Witherspoon who captivated your eye. Other times perhaps it was Connolly, Lowery or Hornsby; and then, while watching one of them, you’d catch Rose doing something, and quickly shift your attention to him.

They were an unstoppable force here at Cain’s Ballroom; and they had their fans enthralled for every single second.

Sevendust Enthralls with Explosive Show at Cain’s Ballroom Cain’s Ballroom (Tulsa, OK) - Words by Jordan Buford // Photos by James Villa - For a Tuesday night, the historic Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma was pretty crowded.

He Is Legend New Album, “Heavy Fruit” Out Now

He Is Legend New Album, “Heavy Fruit” Out Now

He Is Legend’s new album, Heavy Fruit, is the band’s first new release since their 2009 cult classic, It Hates You. During the hiatus, the band says they never lost touch and guitarist Adam Tanbouz never stopped writing.

“We needed the time off because we had been doing it for ten years and just needed a break. I think the time is what shaped the new record.” says vocalist Schuylar Croom.

Earlier…

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Jenny Lewis Scores Top 10 Debut, Announces Tour Dates

The Voyager – the new solo album from Jenny Lewis – has bowed at No. 9 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart, selling nearly 31,000 copies in its first two weeks. This is the celebrated California singer-songwriter’s first Top 10 album and highest chart debut ever, including the albums she released with her former band Rilo Kiley and with her side project Jenny and Johnny with Johnathan Rice.

In…

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- Words by Jordan Buford – Photos by James Villa -

Avenged Sevenfold (Mayhem Festival / Oklahoma City, OK) 8/7/14

Diversity is key to any music festival, and the 7th annual Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival had plenty of it. The Oklahoma City date also had plenty of sun beating down on the grassy field that is the Airpark, where the three roving stages (Coldcock Whiskey; Victory Records; and Sumerian Records) had set up for the day. Some die-hard fans even staked out spots in front of the main stage — which wouldn’t see any action until six-thirty — just to ensure they had a prime spot for Avenged Sevenfold and Korn, among others.

The 100+ degree temps were taken in stride by attendees, who, even at two-o’clock, were already out in droves on this Thursday afternoon.

Of course, the music helped make it bearable, and frontman Big Dad Ritch, bassist John Exall, guitarist Cord Pool and drummer Timmy Braun of Texas Hippie Coalition made time pass like a breeze as they ensnared everyone with opener, “Hands Up”. If you by chance weren’t familiar with THC before this, Big Dad Ritch made it crystal-clear in their set that they are Red Dirt metal. “I can’t tell you how good it fucking feels to have my feet planted on some red fucking dirt!” he bellowed after that first tune, also adding that they needed to wake up any other bands who might be sleeping off hangovers from the night before (or just sleeping in). “…’Cause if Big Dad’s got to be up, then everyone got to be up!” he exclaimed. They had no trouble with that: waking people up or keeping them awake.

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The stage setup was interesting, with all three side stages lined up next to one another. Bands on each end (the Victory and Sumerian stages) were playing at the same time, and despite the close proximity, the sounds never bled into each other that much; and now audience members got to pick between Veil of Maya and Wretched, neither of whom disappointed the metalheads.

One of the most memorable sets of the day came from Mushroomhead. It didn’t matter that it was as hot as hell outside, the nine-piece band from Cleveland was still sporting their trademark masks that make the performance so interesting. Seeing them was a first for me; but they hit the stage with an explosive force as they began their 24-minute long set with “Our Apologies”. Playing in the daytime did have its upsides, though, because the sunlight allowed all the audience, no matter how far back, to see the water that rose up from the additional drums with each strike Stitch and Roberto Diablo gave them. Relatively speaking, it’s a simple effect, but it’s a incredibly cool effect.

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The crowd was brought more into it when they were instructed to put their fists in the air during the second song; and after being told by the band they weren’t sure if anyone out there was even awake, fans proved it by clapping along during “We Are the Truth”. One of the greatest moments came during “Born of Desire” (their final song), during which Stitch grabbed an inflatable Killer Whale, like what would usually be considered a kids pool toy. He handed it off to the fans first, then jumped on, and while he almost suffered some near falls, he kept going — surfing out a ways before having them send him back to the stage.

J Mann, Jeffrey Nothing, Waylon, Shmotz, Skinny, Church, Dr. F, Roberto Diablo and Stitch owned the stage in a way that few bands did this day. They commanded the crowd with total ease and executed a set that had everyone head banging, pumping their fists or whatever else they wanted from the spectators. Even the final words of “Keep hydrated.” sounded pretty metal.

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Ill Nino followed immediately after, and as they say, the show must go on. Lazaro Pina, Diego Verduzco, Ahrue Luster, Dave Chavarri and Oscar Santiago began their fist number, and it was a minute or more later before frontman Cristian Machado took the stage. Your first thought was he was just waiting to make more on an entrance; and he got some of the audience to jump around during “La Epidemia”. He hadn’t waited just to make an entrance, though. “Pardon me, I was having a bout with throwing up just two-seconds before coming on stage.” Machado informed everyone.

You could tell he wasn’t at his peak, though he didn’t let that sickness hinder him, either. He challenged the audience to a head-banging contest on “This is War”, something he partook in as well. Whenever he asked people to jump around, he did it, too. Just goes to show that if you have true passion and dedication for what you do, you’ll do it, regardless of how you might be feeling.

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They offered up the lead track from the newly released Till Death, La Familia, and “Live Like There’s No Tomorrow” wound up being a favorite of mine from their performance. The song in general is killer; and the onlookers picked up on the chorus quite quickly, helping them in singing it. Then, for the final song of their 25-minute set, they invited Chris Garza of Suicide Silence up there with them. “He has more talent in five fingers than I do in my entire body.” Machado said, speaking of Garza, who helped them with “God Save Us”.

Ill Nino might not have been up to par this day, yet they still delivered an intense show that can outdo many.

The attendees had gotten plenty of metal so far this day, but now it was time for some metalcore, and Miss May I was serving it up. I’ll confess, their music is much harder from what I typically like, yet even I found it impossible to resist raising my arm up when Levi Benton asked to “see those fucking horns in the air!” before they ripped into “Refuse to Believe”. He kept the commands coming all through their set, and people were happy to meet them, rather it meant jumping, moshing or whatever. “You guys are as much a part of this song as we are!” Benton declared before “Day by Day”, as they continued on their very vibrant set that will no doubt ensure that while this may be their first Mayhem Fest, it won’t be there last.

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Following in that same vein was Emmure, who closed out the Victory Records Stage; and Suicide Silence had more eyes on them than any act so far this day. They capitalized off it, too; and two songs in, vocalist Hernan “Eddie” Hermida jumped from the stage into the photo pit, and then, from the rail, leaned pretty far out into the crowd, continuing to sing “No Pity for the Coward” while people grabbed him. It was metal to the core.

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Another highlight of the day came when Body Count took the Sumerian Stage. These days, to a new generation, Ice-T is known as much or more of an actor as he is a rapper. Still, rapping was where he got his start, and even now, in his mid-fifties, Ice-T can run circles around almost anyone.

Right from the start of “There Goes the Neighborhood” it was evident he was a machine. “…You are the softest pit in the United States!” he told the crowd, saying he didn’t care if it was a BBQ pit, he just wanted everyone to “make a fucking pit.” Heat and tiredness were probably factors in that, though parts of the crowd did as he said, while he and the rest of Body Count continued with their beast of a show that ended with what else, but “Cop Killer”.

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Cannibal Corpse capped things on off the smaller stages, and then attention turned to the main stage, where the final touches were being added for Trivium.

“Are you fucking ready?!” Shouted Matt Heafy when the band took the stage, being met with thunderous roars. “Prove it!” he shouted, as they jumped right into the pulse-pounding “Black”. A couple songs in, Heafy asked if they had any “first timers” out in the crowd, and quite a few hands (including mine) shot towards the sky. There were far more repeat offenders there, but for all the new ones, he made clear that they have one rule: “…Whatever we’re doing up here, we need you doing out there.”

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That was easy enough; and the further they progressed in their all too short seven-song set, old and new fans alike just got more and more into it. Then again, with a show so topnotch, how could you not?

Asking Alexandria got about a 45-minute set over the thirty of the band before them, which was just long enough for seven tracks. They focused most of their time on the From Death to Destiny record, from beginning with “Don’t Pray for Me”, to “Killing You” and even showed off the soft side they are capable of with “Moving On”.

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As usual, they killed it, leaving all satisfied.

The day had been grueling, though everyone had held up to the heat surprisingly well, and now the payoff was here.

The intro alone was enough to get fans of Korn excited, and all that excitement bubbled over when Ray Luzier took the stage, opening up the track with some ferocious beats; and was followed closely behind by keyboardist Zac Baird. “Oklahoma City, you ready for this shit?!” Jonathan Davis asked when the rest of the band ran out there, beginning this unforgettable 55-minute set with “Falling Away From Me”. Luzier caught my eye many times this night, and ended that track by slinging one of his drumsticks high into the air, before catching it and slamming it on one of the skins.

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Davis worked the crowd during one of the few breaks they took, telling them they could do better when he asked to hear everyone. He then spoke in tongues to the congregation during the brief “Twist”, using that as a lead in to “Got the Life”, which become a song for the audience to clap along to; and Brian Welch and Reginald Arvizu had an awesome moment where they faced one another and tore it up on their respective instruments.

They killed it all the way through, but about halfway was when the fans reached a fevered pitch. “Are you ready to take this shit up to another level?!” asked Davis after using his bagpipes on “Shoots and Ladders”. With that, they began a stretch of songs that mixed seamlessly into the next; and Welch armed himself with his double bass for “Coming Undone”; while Davis pointed the microphone out to everyone before the first chorus of “Here to Stay”, letting everybody sing back at them, “Anticipating all the fucked up feelings again!”

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It was really something to see the fans reaction to all this, because with each song they screamed and cheered louder out of glee of what they were about to hear. Korn neared the end, and then the noise that had been constant died out for some reason. “I didn’t tell you to shut up!” Davis remarked, prompting more screams to fill the air. He mentioned this last song was the one that started it all back about twenty-years ago, and perhaps the best thing about “Blind” was seeing some of the band members kids run out on stage and bang their heads along to the music. I doubt that was something they ever envisioned happening twenty-years ago, but it was cool to see.

Korn was yet another band whom I hadn’t seen before this day, and I can say they exceeded all expectations. In the little more than two-decades they’ve spent together, they’ve perfected what a live show should be about, packing it full of energy, to the point it was hard to decide which band member to focus on. They all have an overwhelming stage persona, and combined, well, it’s clear why Korn is the titan they are.

Oh, something else that was cool, they stayed on stage for a few minutes after finishing, just throwing picks, drumheads and assortment of stuff out to those lucky enough to be in the front.

Avenged Sevenfold (Mayhem Festival / Oklahoma City, OK) 8/7/14

The sun had set long ago now, and for the first time all day it felt nice. Perfect weather for Avenged Sevenfold.

The pyrotechnics were superb, and if you were close enough (I wasn’t even directly in front of the stage), you could still feel the heat from the massive flames that shot into the air during “Shephard of Fire”. “You alright out there?” M. Shadows asked once they finished, just checking in on everybody. “Let’s do this!” he said, as they tore into “Nightmare”, during which he said to every single person that he wanted to see everything that they may have had left in them after this day.

Avenged Sevenfold (Mayhem Festival / Oklahoma City, OK) 8/7/14

The duel guitar solo Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance did during “Bat Country” earned them the full attention of all the people who had turned out; and then came something very interesting. A light suddenly illuminated a man who had somehow climbed the scaffolding of the stage and sit atop it, talking to someone on his cell phone.

This upset all the festival goers, most of whom showed no concern for the man and didn’t care how he got down, they just wanted A7X to come back out. See, the band had left until this matter got resolved, and someone yelled a “Fuck you!” at them, which Shadows made clear was not the right way to handle the situation, and they would be back as soon as this guy was safe.

It took maybe all of five-minutes before the man suddenly scuttled across the scaffolding and came down, and then the band returned. “I’m so mentally distraught I can only play one more.” Shadows laughed, before starting a chant of “Hail!”. They got back on track with “Hail to the King”, and kept delighting fans’ ears with songs like “Almost Easy” and “Afterlife”.

Avenged Sevenfold (Mayhem Festival / Oklahoma City, OK) 8/7/14

Nine songs wasn’t enough for these rabid fans, though, but the two-song encore, which wrapped up with “Unholy Confessions”, did the trick.

Even that one weird moment with the guy on the scaffolding wasn’t enough to throw Avenged Sevenfold of their game, and the band who came out firing on all cylinders just got better with each passing moment, mesmerizing the crowd not only with the fire and stage props, but also their musicianship.

Avenged Sevenfold (Mayhem Festival / Oklahoma City, OK) 8/7/14

For those who ventured out early in the afternoon, this was a long day. The music was more scorching than the heat was, though; and the fact that it encompassed everything from metal, to metalcore and even hip-hop guaranteed this year’s Mayhem appealed to many.

Intense Heat Doesn’t Deter Mayhem Festival Goers in Oklahoma City - Words by Jordan Buford - Photos by James Villa - Diversity is key to any music festival, and the 7th annual Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival had plenty of it.

Gexa Energy Pavilion (Dallas, TX)

- Words by Jordan Buford // Photos by James Villa -

Chris Cornell - Soundgarden (Gexa Energy Pavilion - Dallas, TX) 8/17/14

Those who had seats at Gexa Energy Pavilion jumped up as soon as the intro track kicked on. They shouted with excitement, despite the fact that a massive sheet shrouded the stage, meaning nothing was visible. They then roared when the first notes of “Searching with My Good Eye Closed” rang out; and then the sheet dropped, revealing Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd.

Soundgarden may have been the opener on this must-see summer tour with them and Nine Inch Nails, but judging by all the excitement, you would have thought the pioneers of the grunge rock genre were the headliners for the night. Thayils’ guitar solo captivated every pair of eyes in the packed amphitheater; while Cornell jumped onto the drum riser right the end of the song.

“Thank you, Dallas. Dallas, Fort Worth and other places…” he said afterwards, making sure to not just lump everyone together as being from Dallas. The audience again shouted with delight over the prospect of “Spoonman”, which Shepherd took the spotlight on, doing a sort of windmill motion, though after plucking a chord, he raised his finger into the air for a second before unleashing another.

“Thank you so much,” Cornell told the crowd after he had handed his guitar off to a stagehand. He truly seemed gracious, and while this is a reaction they get practically night after night, he constantly seemed appreciative of the audience and their devout love for the band and their music. “We’re gonna go back and play an old song from Ultramega OK…” he informed everyone before they tackled “Flower”. Cornell proved even more engrossing without a guitar, where he really was able to explore the stage, but first, he shared a story with the fans. He went back to the first time they were played “all day and all night on television”, with a music video that had just taken off. He mentioned they had made several videos with the help of friends back when they were an indie band. “…We thought they were cool…” he proudly said of those low budget efforts. His tone changed when he got to their first professional music video, which he outright said they thought sucked, and he expressed some disdain about the “marrying” of visuals with videos. “…But don’t let that get in the way with how you feel about a song,” he stressed before “Outshined”, which saw him picking up the mic stand before the second chorus, as he walked all over the stage, brandishing it in the air and then carrying it over his shoulder.

Chris Cornell - Soundgarden (Gexa Energy Pavilion - Dallas, TX) 8/17/14

“2014 marks the twentieth year for this album…” he said afterwards, a guitar back in his hands. “Conveniently, it’s called Superunknown” he said of the title track. “The Day I Tried to Live” was another excellent one; while Cameron launched them into “Been Away Too Long” with some furious beats on the drums. They had been cranking out the songs at blistering pace, but now, they took a break, which allowed Cornell to again share a story.

“This song was banned from the radio after 9/11…” he remarked, saying he assumed they didn’t want anything that might possibly inspire more acts of terrorism. That wasn’t what the song was about, though. “…It was about pushing the world away and stuff, like having to fight for our own little corner… Our own little space…” Cornell stated. His skills as a guitarist are superb, and he was in the zone on “Blow Up the Outside World”, and simply put, he killed it.

It was segued directly into “Fell On Black Days”; and the audience roared at the end when Cornell raised his axe above his head. “Dallas, let me see you! Let me hear you! he demanded before they marched on with their 70-minute long set, that, among other tracks, included “Black Hole Sun” and ended with “Beyond the Wheel”. It was with that last song the band reached a completely different level. It was epic in every sense of the word, from the grand scale of the music bed to the wailing Cornell did at times. Shepherd swaggered around the stage, eventually wandering over to stage right, where he and Thayil interacted a bit. The end was left up to them, after their other two band mates had exited the stage, and Shepherd created some feedback as he stood next to his amp, while Thayil laid his guitar atop his amp and proceeded to play it like a lap steel of sorts.

The show was spectacular. Soundgarden owned that stage for the little over an hour that they had it, and it was everything you’d expect from an arena level band and a living legend who was influential in shaping modern day

music. They seemed to appease every fan who was in attendance, too, and even left people wondering, “Can Nine Inch Nails follow this up?”

Soundgarden Delivers Massive Rock Show in Dallas Gexa Energy Pavilion (Dallas, TX) - Words by Jordan Buford // Photos by James Villa -

- Words by Jordan Buford – Photos by James Villa -

Nine Inch Nails (Gexa Energy Pavilion - Dallas, TX) 8/17/14

It looked like Nine Inch Nails wasn’t going to make their 9:30 start time at Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas. The crew was still setting things up, while the bright lights still flooded the stage and all the sections of seats in the covered portion of the venue.
People were just chilling, no doubt checking up on all their social networks, as many had their phones out, while plenty more had left to go get some more drinks or food.

Suddenly, some sharp cries of glee rang out, and they only grew louder with each second. Trent Reznor somewhat jogged out of the wings of stage left, in a manner similar to how a boxer enters the ring. It was actually quite appropriate; and given Reznor is one of the biggest figures in music, it was refreshing to see a person of his stature make an entrance that was completely lacking any grandiose appearances.

He was simply a man getting ready to go to work.

Nine Inch Nails (Gexa Energy Pavilion - Dallas, TX) 8/17/14

Of course, there would be plenty of hits in this show, but first, Reznor and his cast of live musicians had to show off some new material, like the second single from last year’s Hesitation Marks, “Copy of A”. At first, it was just him and his synthesizer, though some of his band mates gradually filed on stage. The pinnacle moment of the song came when Reznor was handed his guitar, and he instantly began to shred, shortly before the lights suddenly dimmed drastically.

The visuals they implemented were stunning; and as they continued with that number, a series of screens appeared behind each of the four members, with their silhouettes being cast on them. The lights — all of them — went out as the song concluded; and they reached back to album number one, pulling out “Sanctified”. The dialogue was minimal. Then again, I doubt anyone was here hoping to have a one-sided conversation with Trent Reznor. They were here to hear him play his music and NIN barreled on by going straight into “Came Back Haunted”, which wrapped up with Reznor shaking a tambourine around.

The screens that served as their backdrops had been moving around throughout each song, and now two were spread apart to reveal the drummer and his kit, as they got more into a rock section with “1,000,000”. “Come on…” Reznor shouted as they continued the non-stop action with “March of the Pigs”. He kinda trailed off each time he sang, “Now, doesn’t it make you feel better?”, which allowed the voices of all the fans to surge as they helped in singing; and they were more than ready to clap along when Reznor began striking his hands together to the beat.

Nine Inch Nails (Gexa Energy Pavilion - Dallas, TX) 8/17/14

The theatrics continued during “Piggy”, which saw a stage hand shining a light right onto Reznors’ head, as well as on their guitarist, when he let loose a sensational guitar solo. Soon enough, they got to “Closer”, and the stage was bathed in a bloody red light. Two of the screens at center stage showed what was clearly Reznors’ face, as he leaned into and then pulled back from the camera that was capturing it. It was only when those two screens were pulled apart around the first chorus, that the audience glimpsed him performing solely for the camera, which in turn was broadcasting to the screens. His attention then shifted to the audience, and nearly everyone appeared to be signing along to that hit.

“Gave Up” really got the blood flowing (and heads banging); while more dazzling visual effects came on “Disappointed”. “Thank you very much,” he told the crowd right before the “The Great Destroyer”, and it was during the long synth/key solo at the end that Reznor seemed completely immersed in his element. That’s not to say he hadn’t been a force to be reckoned with as a frontman, because the way he conducted himself and how he handled that microphone stand was something to marvel at. However, he also looked just as much at home hunched over the synth.

Nine Inch Nails (Gexa Energy Pavilion - Dallas, TX) 8/17/14

“Eraser” was another track fans (obviously) went wild over; and the night hit a fever pitched rock atmosphere with “The Hand That Feeds”, while “Head in a Hole” wrapped up their set.

That couldn’t be it, though, and the crowd was relentless in screaming for more, until they returned to the stage and delivered the powerful, “Hurt”.

This was the first time I had ever seen Nine Inch Nails. I’ve heard tale of how great their live performances are, but I was not prepared for what transpired.

The energy Reznor possess draws from what seems to be a bottomless well; and with each song, he just got more and more into it, right up until the very end, when they had nothing left to give song wise.

It was all left out on the stage. The visual aspect of it all was incredible, too. To be honest, I’m not always a fan of stuff like that, but not only does it fit with the industrial sound Nine Inch Nails has, it’s also every bit as creative and mesmerizing as the music is. It actually adds to the show without taking focus away from the band, and that is not always an easy thing to accomplish.

Fans left satisfied, most likely already running over the entire show in their head just to relive it.

One thing was proved this night: Trent Reznor helped make industrial rock what it is today, and Nine Inch Nails is still the undisputed king of the genre.

Nine Inch Nails Wows with Incredible Visual Effects and Powerhouse Performance - Words by Jordan Buford - Photos by James Villa - It looked like Nine Inch Nails wasn’t going to make their 9:30 start time at Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas.

Eyes Set to Kill Announce “Little Liar Tour”

Eyes Set to Kill Announce “Little Liar Tour”

Hardcore act, Eyes Set to Kill, announces the ‘Little Liar Tour’ in support of their new record, Masks. “We are exceedingly grateful to have dedicated diehard fans which makes being on the road so worth it” states ESTK singer, Alexia Rodriguez. “We’ve been fortunate to live our dream and bring our music to our fans while introducing them to some fresh, up and coming bands as well” adds Rodriguez.

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Kix Cracks Billboard Top 50, Hits the Road

Kix New Album, “Rock Your Face Off” Lands on Billboard’s Top 50 Chart with First Record in Two Decades

KIX, Photo by Mark Weiss

Kix seventh studio album, and first in nearly 20 years, Rock Your Face Off, was released August 5 on Loud & Proud Records. The label and fans have pushed the album into the Top 50 on Billboard’s “Top 200 Albums” chart. The band hits the road in spurts throughout the Fall in support of the new…

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We Were Promised Jetpacks Announce New Record, Fall Tour

We Were Promised Jetpacks Announce New Record, Fall Tour

We Were Promised Jetpacks’ New Record, Unravelling, Releases October 14th. Fall Tour Announced.

We Were Promised Jetpacks

We Were Promised Jetpacks will release their highly-anticipated third album, Unravelling, this fall on FatCat Records. The album, which will be released October 6 in the UK and October 14 in the US. In lieu of release, the band has also announced an extensive North American tour this fall.

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