Tag: Rock and Roll

Concert Review: Behemoth @ Knotfest Roadshow 8/23/19

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Slipknot embarked on a six-week long tour around North America and brought Polish extreme black metal blasphemers Behemoth along with them for the ride. Knotfest Roadshow 2019 was without a doubt the summer’s heaviest-hitting metal festival tour. I was fortunate enough to be approved to photograph Behemoth and all three of the other bands on the lineup.

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Slipknot struck metal gold by having Behemoth as the opening act on the tour. Behemoth was one hell of a way to kick off a heavy metal show. Their live performance, visuals, and stage theatrics were stunning.

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The show I attended was at Keybank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania on August 23, 2019. This was my first time at the venue and my first time seeing Behemoth perform live. I had been looking forward to seeing Behemoth for some time and it was worth the wait. Behemoth took the stage at 5:30pm and the crowd instantly rose to their feet upon first sight of the band. They played as if they were the headliners and their fans were obsessively head-banging, fist-pumping, and losing their minds during the entire set. The music just kind of makes you want to rock out. 

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The bands set began with “Wolves ov Siberia” and fan favorites “Daimonos” and “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer.” As I entered the photo pit I was immediately struck by the sounds of a satanic ritual. I can’t say I have ever photographed a band that is labeled as being satanic (for real satanic). Theatrics aside, Behemoth is a great band and all the musicians are uniquely talented individuals and their performance on Knotfest Roadshow proved it. Other brutal songs that rounded out Behemoth’s setlist included; “Bartzabel,” “Conquer All,” “Sabbath Mater,” and “Chant for Eschaton 2000.”

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Frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski was so much fun to photograph. His stage presence was dark and commanding. He stocked the stage and demanded attention from the crowd. This guy shreds guitar, wails into the microphone, and plays with fire all while looking quite menacing and nightmarish. I was lucky to able to take several great shots of him in such a short amount of time.

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As you have seen by now, at one point during the show Nergal appeared proudly wearing an evil looking HR Giger-esque pope hat aka a mitre. A mitre is a ceremonial head-dress traditionally worn by bishops and abbots in certain forms of Christianity. However, Nergal’s religious head-dress was covered with upside-down crosses and images of an inverted/crucified Jesus. It was rather beautiful and stunning (if you can open your mind and realize that it’s art). Yeah, it may appear to be somewhat shocking and/or offensive, but I found it be to be fascinating and light-hearted. Of course, that was just my initial impression and I’m not a Christian or a Satanist.        

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Behemoth’s current lineup consists of Adam “Nergal” Darski (lead vocals, guitar), Zbigniew “Inferno” Promiński (drums), Tomasz Wróblewski (bass, backing vocals), and Patryk Dominik Sztyber (guitar, backing vocals). The bands most recent release is 2018’s, I Loved You at Your Darkest. This is Behemoth’s 11th studio album, and like its predecessor, The Satanist, was met with universal acclaim among music critics.

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If you are a fan of heavy music and have not heard or seen Behemoth, I would highly suggest you check them out. This band gives all other metal bands something to fear and respect. Behemoth have been continuously changing and progressing as band, and they deserve a nod from all musicians, music fans, and music critics. Do yourself a favor and go rock out with the legions at a Behemoth show near you! All hail Behemoth!!!

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Here are some more photos of Behemoth performing at Keybank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania on August 23, 2019. These photos were originally taken while on assignment for These Subtle Sounds. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All images are solely the property of Andy Jillson and Hazy Eye Music Media.

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Check out Behemoth’s newest album, I Loved You at Your Darkest, on Spotify:

Photo Flashback: Ministry @ The Fillmore Silver Spring 12/5/18

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Al Jourgensen of Ministry performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring

For the first Hazy Eye Music Media “Photo Flashback” we’ll be taking a trip down memory lane with Ministry. Whoa. Being a fan of Ministry, and most Al Jourgensen side projects since my teens, this is a show I will not soon forget. I was granted a photo pass and permission to photograph one of my childhood musical heroes. Hard to forget that. It only took about 3 or 4 years of requesting photo passes. Hahahahaha! I can still recall the feeling of pure bliss and redemption I experienced during my time in the photo pit.

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Sin Quirin of Ministry performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring
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As with most bands, I was allowed to photograph Ministry for the first three songs. There were moments during these songs that I completely spaced-out and lost myself in the music. This experience was overly exiting for me. I was really on a sort of natural high. At times I forgot I was also there to take photos and not to just freak out to one of my favorite hardcore/psychedelic/industrial metal bands. The sad, confused, angry and angst-ridden teenager inside me had a cathartic spiritual awakening upon hearing the opening songs of this show. Holy shit!

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Cesar Soto of Ministry performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring

Pure white-hot antifascist industrial metal music with a healthy dose of punk rock attitude, and a dark and disturbing slant on psychedelia. Yep. Ministry and your old Uncle Al are still out there sticking it to the man. Ministry is no watered-down, sugar-coated, mindless corporate rock band. Nope. It’s raw, honest, straight-forward rock music that makes you think and makes you want to revolt. Discovering Ministry and their “Wax Trax! Era” music was one of the most musically significant discoveries of my youth.

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I felt as if I had been gut-punched and smacked upside the head with a baseball bat for this show. The songs were fast, loud, and extremely aggressive. It was fucking awesome! Ministry played a fun, energetic, and heartfelt set as if performing for friends and family at a holiday party. The vibes were welcoming and the band appeared to be having a blast. By the time the show was over I was exhausted. I was drenched in therapeutic sweat, and had a killer residual buzz for the next two days. Absolutely loved this show!

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Here are some more photos of Ministry performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring in Silver Spring, Maryland on December 5, 2018. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All images are solely the property of Andy Jillson and Hazy Eye Music Media.

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Derek S. Abrams of Ministry performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring
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Tony Campos of Ministry performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring
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Check out these three classic albums by Ministry on Spotify:

The Land of Rape and Honey
The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste
Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs

Concert Review: Le Butcherettes @ MECU Pavilion 8/21/19

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Le Butcherettes performing at MECU Pavilion

Le Butcherettes are currently out on a massive summer tour with Devil Makes Three, Flogging Molly, and Social Distortion. The band is extensively touring North American in support of their 4th studio album, bi/MENTAL. Le Butcherettes is a fearless musical force lead by founding member and singer/guitarist/keyboardist Teri Gender Bender. Of course, I was there in the photo pit once again rocking out and taking pictures. As always, Le Butcherettes kicked ass and proved that they are still progressing and are not to be overlooked.

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Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes performing at MECU Pavilion
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Le Butcherettes is a band that I never miss an opportunity to catch performing live. I’ve been following Le Butcherettes’ bread crumb trail for over 4 years now. Le Butcherettes have been rapidly gaining a large underground following of diverse music lovers. Le Butcherettes’ music appeals to such a diverse audience due to their musical diversity/style, stage performance, cultural background, and of course the fact that there are two female members in the band draws attention. Aside from all that, they are simply a great rock and roll band. 

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Alejandra Robles Luna of Le Butcherettes performing at MECU Pavilion
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For their performance at MECU Pavilion in Baltimore, MD played a short, but powerful set this time around. When Le Butcherettes took the stage at MECU Pavilion the crowd definitely took notice straight away. Le Butcherettes only played for about 30 minutes, but no time was wasted. They ripped through a few older songs, then primarily played songs from bi/MENTAL. As usual, Le Butcherettes played their hearts out and the crowd loved it. Their live performances have an aggressive punk rock attitude and sound, but strongly convey a sense of peace, love, tranquility, and unity. There is definitely pain and anger in their live performances, but there is also joy, happiness, and redemption. Teri’s voice is so powerful and eclectic. I have never heard a voice quite like hers. She can bring you to tears one minute and then scare the shit out of you the next. 

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Marfred Rodriguez-Lopez of Le Butcherettes performing at MECU Pavilion

As you can see by now, Le Butcherettes are an intensely moving live band. Their live performances have all the passion and intensity of an arena rock show; only this bands singer will literally stare straight into your eyes penetrating your soul while she passionately wails into the microphone. I’ve seen her abruptly jump into the crowd while performing; hitting the floor screaming and crying, and then lifting herself up to hug and console audience members. The other musicians in the band are not too shabby either. Great drumming, bass playing, guitar playing, and keyboard and synth sounds.

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Riko Rodríguez-López of Le Butcherettes performing at MECU Pavilion
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I would have to say that Le Butcherettes have struck gold again and have taken their sound to a new level with the release of their newest studio album, bi/MENTAL. For this album Teri Gender Bender recruited Talking Heads keyboardist Jerry Harrison as producer, and punk rock legend Jello Biafra as the spoken word guest artist. Not bad.

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Le Butcherettes’ current lineup consists of Teresa Suárez Cosío aka Teri Gender Bender (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Riko Rodríguez-López (guitar, bass, synth), Marfred Rodriguez-Lopez (bass), and drummer Alejandra Robles Luna.

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If you haven’t heard or seen Le Butcherettes, I would suggest you check this band out before they completely blow up and become untouchable rock stars on a stage twenty feet high. The band just keeps raising the bar and forcing all other musicians, music fans, and music critics to stand up and take notice. Once you listen to a few of their songs you will likely be hooked and will understand the urgency to see this band live. Do yourself a favor and go rock out with Le Butcherettes!

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Luckily for concert-goers, the band still has several shows remaining on their North American tour. Be sure to check out one of these performances. This band kicks ass!!! Click on the links below to see all Le Butcherettes tour dates and other info…

https://www.lebutcherettesofficial.com/#tour-section

https://www.lebutcherettesofficial.com/

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Here are some more photos of Le Butcherettes performing at MECU Pavilion in Baltimore, Maryland on August 21, 2019. These photos were originally taken while on assignment for These Subtle Sounds. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All images are solely the property of Andy Jillson and Hazy Eye Music Media.

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Check out Le Butcherettes’ bi/MENTAL on Spotify:

Concert Review: The Smashing Pumpkins @ Merriweather Post Pavilion 8/17/19

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Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin of The Smashing Pumpkins performing at Merriweather Post Pavilion

90’s alt-rock ground-breakers The Smashing Pumpkins kicked off their co-headlining North American tour with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds last month, and I caught their performance at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. I was there taking pictures from the soundboard and reminiscing my depressingly sad and lonely teenage years. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. The Smashing Pumpkins were one of those bands that oddly comforted me during my rock-filled adolescence, and I was once again comforted by their sound and presence.

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Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins performing at Merriweather Post Pavilion

The band played amazingly and appeared to be having lots of fun performing for the adoring audience. The stage set looked like it was straight out of an enormous Tim Burton toy chest. There were massive Victorian-era dolls onstage and other strange psychedelic constructs. The stage set complimented the songs, venue, and whole look of the band quite well. Frontman Billy Corgan appeared almost completely enveloped in a long black cape, and had thick black makeup around his eyes. Corgan looked as if he was some sort of dark and disturbed apocalyptic superhero. He proudly adorned an armband with the letters “SP” embroidered on it. He stood stoic and strong as he and the band shredded through some great songs.  

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James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins performing at Merriweather Post Pavilion

The Smashing Pumpkins founding members Billy Corgan (guitar, vocals), James Iha (guitar, backing vocals), and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums) reunited last year and embarked on their first tour together in over 20 years. They also released a new Rick Rubin-produced album, Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1.

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I discovered The Smashing Pumpkins when I was about 13 years old. This was before the band released their highly acclaimed major label albums Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The only album I had was Gish. I loved that album then and still love it now (I also love Pisces Iscariot). I was introduced to the album by a friend’s older brother. I believe he bought the first copy of Gish I ever listened to from Billy Corgan himself. This was back in the early 1991 when Corgan was working at Wax Trax! Records in Chicago, and my friend and I were kids living in northwest Indiana. I was fortunate enough to see The Smashing Pumpkins perform live 3 times in the 90’s. I also caught them at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland last summer, but I have to say that their performance at Merriweather Post Pavilion this past August was top notch. The band is out there still kicking ass, and they should not be written-off or overlooked.

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As you can see, I’ve had a soft spot for The Smashing Pumpkins for nearly 30 years, and they played a sonically satisfying mix of songs for this show. The Pumpkins hit the stage at Merriweather and blasted off with “Today” and “Zero.” The crowd immediately burst with sounds of joy, happiness, and musical redemption. The positive vibes emanating from the band and crowd were equally matched. It was damn near a rock love fest! Lots of intensely warm and fuzzy feelings despite the appearance of gloom and doom.

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The set list was filled with classics and fan favorites; however, they did play a couple deep cuts and a beautiful cover of James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain.” No cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” this go around. I’m not all at upset about that either. At one point early in the set Corgan broke into the opening riff of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.” There was a collective, “holy shit!” from the crowd. Later in the set, during a brief spoken word routine, guitarist James Iha joked with the audience that they were going to play a cover of Van Halen’s “Panama.” Shit. Now that would have been fucking awesome! I’d take a cover version of either song.

Other noteworthy songs The Smashing Pumpkins played included “Solara,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “G.L.O.W.,” “Disarm,” “Superchrist,” “1979,” “Tonight, Tonight,” “Blue Skies Bring Tears,” “Cherub Rock,” and “The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right).”

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The tour wrapped up on August 31, 2019 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. If you didn’t see The Smashing Pumpkins this year, be on the look at for them in the near future. Both artists on the tour were well worth seeing. Click on the links below for a trip to The Smashing Pumpkins official website…

https://www.smashingpumpkins.com/home

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Here are some more photos of The Smashing Pumpkins performing at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD on August 17, 2019. These photos were originally taken while on assignment for These Subtle Sounds. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All images are solely the property of Andy Jillson and Hazy Eye Music Media.

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Check out The Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on Spotify:

Concert Review: Bad Religion @ The Fillmore Silver Spring 8/11/19

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Greg Graffin of Bad Religion performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring

Classic American punk rockers Bad Religion stopped at The Fillmore Silver Spring recently, and I was the lone concert photographer rocking out in the photo pit. I was excited to see Bad Religion for the first time, and happy their performance was at a nice venue close to home. The band hit the stage at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD to a tightly packed house and proved that punk is certainly not dead. They very simply kicked ass and sounded fantastic!

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Brian Baker of Bad Religion performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring

Bad Religion’s current lineup consists of Greg Graffin (lead vocals), Jay Bentley (bass guitar/vocals), Brian Baker (guitar/vocals), Mike Dimkich (guitar), Brett Gurewitz (songwriter/guitarist), and Jamie Miller (drums/vocals). They are currently on tour in support of their 17th studio album, Age of Unreason. I’ve seen lots of punk rock shows over the years and without a doubt the fine gentlemen of Bad Religion are still putting other “punk rock” bands to shame. This band is the real deal. Great songwriting, beautiful harmonies, intelligent lyrics, killer guitar playing and drumming, and no filler.

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Jay Bentley of Bad Religion performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring

The band wasted no time and flawlessly ripped through a stellar set of 80’s and 90’s fan favorites. They also played a healthy mix of newer material and a few great songs from their most recent studio release. I honestly could not have been happier with the set list and how my images from the show turned out.

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Mike Dimkich of Bad Religion performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring
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Jamie Miller of Bad Religion performing at The Fillmore Silver Spring

The vocals and harmonizing Bad Religion delivers are still shockingly good, and they seemed to be playing and sounding better than ever. The fans were really worked up at this show. Lots of angst and unrest, but also a true sense of happiness and communal celebration. The crowd cheered and sang along for most of the set. Some noteworthy songs they played included “Them and Us,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” “Recipe for Hate,” “Chaos From Within,” “Los Angeles Is Burning,” “Automatic Man,” “We’re Only Gonna Die,” “Suffer,” “No Control,” “Against the Grain,” “I Want to Conquer the World,” “21st Century (Digital Boy),” “Do the Paranoid Style,” “Infected,” and “American Jesus.”

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Fans of the band love them for lots of different reasons. One reason being that Bad Religion are no slackers musically or lyrically. Their music is intense, shockingly honest, and straight-forward. The lyrics and imagery of the band also cut straight to the point and can startle the most stable mind. Bad Religion have all the talent and raw energy you would want in a live band. They’re not beating a dead horse or just trying to collect a check. Their performance came across as true rock and roll with no bullshit attached. One of the best live rock shows of this summer and fall.  

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Luckily for concert-goers, the band has recently expanded their ongoing North American tour to include a stretch of fall dates. The new 18-date leg kicks off September 17th in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and wraps October 12th in Sacramento, California. This is a band and a tour you won’t want to miss! Do yourself a favor and go rock out with Bad Religion. Click on the links below to see all tour dates and other Bad Religion info…

https://badreligion.com/tour

http://epitaph.com/artists/bad-religion

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Here are some more photos of Bad Religion performing at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD on August 11, 2019. These photos were originally taken while on assignment for These Subtle Sounds. All images copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson. All images are solely the property of Andy Jillson and Hazy Eye Music Media. 

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Check out Bad Religion’s Age of Unreason on Spotify: