Grind, Punk & Doom: Second Edition of ‘Show Your Scars’ Fest Sells Out The Regent

Review by Andrew Bansal, photos by Jay Valena

January 7th 2017, The Regent, Los Angeles CA: Following its successful inaugural edition in 2016, the Show Your Scars fest returned to the Regent in downtown Los Angeles in 2017, boasting an irresistible lineup for underground heavy music lovers in the LA area. Brujeria, The Casualties and Pinata Protest started their US tour with this event, and were joined by local and regional heavy-hitters Repulsion, Exhumed, Nausea and others, for this nine-band, single-stage festival, christened “Dia De Los Metaleros”. The event was sold out in advance, and ticket holders gathered early in the afternoon in anticipation of a long debaucherous day of live music. Continue reading “Grind, Punk & Doom: Second Edition of ‘Show Your Scars’ Fest Sells Out The Regent”

Metal for the Holidays: Great Electric Quest, Cage Play Free Show in Encinitas

Review by Doug Walker, photos by Sherry Mande

December 30th 2016, Mr. Peabody’s Bar & Grill, Encinitas CA: Mr. Peabody’s is a small bar in the North County, San Diego area, a venue not entirely equipped to handle loud rock bands. The stage barely fits the bands, the P.A. has a hard time keeping up with the guitar amplifiers, and the room is almost completely soundproofed, so there’s little to no resonance. That’s what makes this a great place to go see a band play live. You get to really see what bands can overcome the sonic obstacles and sound good in a room designed to sound bad. That’s what happened twice on a cold, rainy Friday. Continue reading “Metal for the Holidays: Great Electric Quest, Cage Play Free Show in Encinitas”

In the Eye of the Storm: September Mourning End North American Tour in Rainy Long Beach

By Jason Williams

December 23rd 2016, Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach CA: When you’re at your favorite band’s gig, whether it’s in a club setting or even in an arena, we sometimes forget where they started from. For the few large bands out there, headlining gigs and the big tours get to happen right away. However, for most of the other bands who started out, they were brought up the usual way: as a local band. Inviting friends to support your music, countless copies of posters, creativity and indulgence in making the right merchandise to sell, it’s really a beautiful aspect to witness, and on Friday December 23rd 2016, a special local show would take place at the Blacklight District Lounge in Long Beach, California. Headlining this show would be September Mourning, a hard rock band with a dark storytelling theme, based on vocalist Emily Lazar in the title role. Gaining popularity since their inception in 2009, September Mourning has opened for Marliyn Manson, Mushroomhead, Avatar, Otep and Huntress. Bringing four local bands as support tonight, it would be a step outside my comfort zone musically, something I’ve been doing greatly the past few years, and was looked forward to it immensely. Continue reading “In the Eye of the Storm: September Mourning End North American Tour in Rainy Long Beach”

Photo Gallery: Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Gila River Arena, Phoenix AZ

Photos by Chad Alexander

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December 26th 2016, Gila River Arena, Phoenix AZ: While the rest of the rock and metal world goes on vacation around this time of the year, one band that comes into prominence is Christmas-themed progressive/operatic/symphonic metal act Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Their success has been a phenomenon for two decades, and the show only gets more epic every year. They’re currently on their winter 2016 North American run wherein two different versions of the band perform on separate routings through the western and eastern parts of the continent, and they’re bringing ‘The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve’ as well as a best-of set to these shows. TSO West, featuring among its ranks Jeff Scott Soto and Mats Leven visited the Gila River Arena in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday December 26th, to present their glorious prog rock opera to a packed house. Our photographer Chad Alexander was on site to capture some images for us. Check them out below, and whether or not you celebrate Christmas, mark this band down as one you absolutely need to see at least once in your lifetime. Continue reading “Photo Gallery: Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Gila River Arena, Phoenix AZ”

Metal with a Horror Punk Twist: The Thrill Killers Play Headline Show in West Hollywood

By Lisa Burke

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December 22nd 2016, West Hollywood CA: One of the most fantastic parts of living in Los Angeles that we all probably take for granted at one point or another is, even at the slowest times in the business, there is still a decent amount of highly entertaining live music to seek out. With the scent of pine as strong as ever, Christmas is definitely in the air this week, but I went out to West Hollywood to see The Thrill Killers headline their video release show that was recorded live. On Thursday December 22nd 2016, it was an eerie chill night, and again with the holidays coming up, LA became sort of a ghost town as the growing number of transplants take over the local population, therefore the turnout was on the low. The other bands on the roster this night unfortunately didn’t make the mark for me, although that is not to say they were lacking skill. Continue reading “Metal with a Horror Punk Twist: The Thrill Killers Play Headline Show in West Hollywood”

Joke’s Still On You: Excel Headlines Power Of The Riff Pre-Party at Complex

By Lisa Burke

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December 16th 2016, Complex, Glendale CA: Growing up in the east coast hardcore punk scene of the early nineties, I earned a few stripes on the subject and while a slightly different entity of crossover thrash punk bands definitely existed back in the day, they definitely matter in a big way in the year 2016 as the future is ours for the taking. Now that I have also earned my stripes as a full time west-coaster of thirteen plus years, I have become accustomed to some of the similarities and differences from coast to coast. On Friday December 16th 2016, I visited one of my favorite heavy metal venues, Complex in Glendale, for a special sold-out show, the official Power Of The Riff pre-party, headlined by Venice Beach locals Excel, who were celebrating the 2016 Southern Lord Records release of a remastered version of their 1989 album ‘The Joke’s On You’. Also on the bill was another hardcore punk crossover thrash band Despise You, with death rock openers Deth Crux, an event brought to us as always by Church Of The 8th Day. Continue reading “Joke’s Still On You: Excel Headlines Power Of The Riff Pre-Party at Complex”