If you've listen to the Power Chords podcast, you know that I m a diehard '80s music fan. And not just rock and metal, either--I love all '80s music. Lucky for me, there is a bad out there making sure the legacy of music's greatest decade lives on--Rubix Kube. Matt and I got a chance to see them play last night, and they put on a fantastic show.
Cherie Martorana (vocals), Scott Lovelady (vocals), Steve Brown (guitar/vocals), Greg Reigle (bass/vocals), John Laspina (drums) and Mike Hunter (keyboards, keytar, vocals) gave the audience almost two hours of nostalgia-filled awesomeness with music from Madonna, Def Leppard, Prince, Van Halen, The Buggles, Journey and about a dozen more amazing artists. Both musically and vocally, they captured the soul of each song and reminded everyone why the music of the '80s truly is the best.
After the show, we got a chance to meet guitarist Steve Brown, who I have loved for since 1990, when I bought my first Trixter album. He was super nice and chatted with Matt and I for almost twenty minutes after the show. After watching him nail all those songs and talking to him in person, it's not hard to see why he is so well thought of in the rock community, or why Def Leppard chose him to fill in for Vivian Campbell due to Campbell's was battle with cancer.
As always, thanks to our friends at Mohegan Sun for their wonderful hospitality. If you get a chance to see Rubix Kube, take it. Support this band that is bringing live '80s music to the masses.
Having never seen Uriah Heep live before I didn't quite know what to expect from the band, now celebrating 49 years of service. Uriah Heep is a legacy band that helped create a sound and style all their own; a down and dirty rock band that had elements of Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. They were exciting, challenging and never followed the musical trends and as I collect my thoughts of the concert that just ended a few hours ago... they still are.
Hitting the stage at the Wolf Den (promptly at 8:00 PM), Uriah Heep tore through a set that wasn't nostalgic and just a 'greatest hits' show, it was an incredibly balanced performance that paid homage to their history as well as featured some newer songs. Yes... Uriah Heep is still making relevant new music and have an album coming out this fall from Frontiers Music.
Opening the show with their classic Gypsy, the crowd (one of the biggest i've seen at the Wolf Den) was invested straight away, singing along to every song, throwing their hands in the air and really enjoying what the band had to offer. From their beloved catalog we were treated to Look At Yourself, Stealin', and the epic, Magician's Birthday mixed in with newer songs like 1991's Between Two Worlds and 2014's The Law. Despite the fact that my favorite Uriah Heep album, ABOMINOG was completely neglected, the set list flowed perfectly with just a few times to catch our breath. Saving the best for last, the band brought out one of their bigger hits, Easy Livin' and that got the crowd fired up!
The current line-up of Uriah Heep has been together since 2013 and it shows in how tight they play and how coordinated their attack was. Guitarist Mick Box is an amazing player and so relaxed on stage. He has a calming influence on his bandmates and really enjoys is time on stage. Behind him, drummer Russell Gilbrook is a beast, hitting hard, playing loud and keeping it all going. Bassist Davey Rimmer held it all down and was fun to watch, especially during some difficult songs. On keyboards, Phil Lanzon was a wizard, creating the sounds and textures for everyone else to play along with. Finally we have vocalist Bernie Shaw who has an incredible voice and solid stage presence. He is another one who is so relaxed on stage and very comfortable leading the band and audience from song to song, memory to memory.
When a band plays the Wolf Den, the audience can hear everything because the sound and acoustics are so clear. For some bands that can be a bit scary, but for Uriah Heep it seems that perfect sound is just what they do.
If you have never seen Uriah Heep live.... stop reading this, go to their website and go to a show! They are in North America for the next three months and "may be comin' to your town!!!"
Dirkschneider coming to Worcester
Osbournes starting a podcast
New Foreigner live CD/DVD coming 4/27
Uriah Heep--Abominog (1982)
Six Degrees of Frankie B
Comin Atcha Live:
Gene Simmons Vault Experience
Rockversation: Robin McAuley (Part One)
Matt recently chatted with the former vocalist of MSG to talk about his current tour with Michael Schenker Fest. This is part one of a two-part interview.
Bonus Track: Warrior
Listen to the new single from Michael Schenker Fest and grab the upcoming album RESURRECTION when it arrives on March 2nd. for more info, head to www.michaelschenkerfest.com.
Thanks for listening! If you're subscribing on iTunes or Google play, please leave us a review, as it will help spread the word about the show! You can also hit us up on twitter at twitter.com/powerchordspod, and email us at email@example.com.
A few episodes back I spoke about the GENE SIMMONS VAULT EXPERIENCE and what a great idea this was; giving fans a one on one experience and a huge box set (a vault) of Simmon's music and other cool stuff. I was blown away when my friend Bryan G. reached out to me and asked if I wanted to be his 'plus 1' for the event because he was given the Vault as a birthday gift! Before he even finished I blurted out "YES"!!!
Happening at the City Winery Boston, fans were treated to 40 plus minute talk with Gene as he talked about songwriting, the Beatles, life philosophies and joked around with the audience. This was followed with a Q&A where I was fortunate enough to tell Gene the impact he and KISS had on my life. He genuinely was touched by what I said as were many of those in attendance who told me later they all had similar stories about KISS having a positive effect on their lives. The audio of my question and genes reply will be in the next episode of Power Chords...plug plug!!!
Following the gathering Gene went into another room where he would meet each fan and present them with their VAULT. In the two plus hours we waited, we were treated to a listening party (amazing and historic stuff) of the music from the VAULT and got to share stories and live experiences with those in attendance. KISS fans are all the same... no matter where we were from, ages or where we were currently in our lives.
As we waited, we were treated to endless cheese and meat platters and free non-alcoholic drinks from the bar. This was an amazing touch that really made the entire event (waiting) feel like a party, because it was!
Then, when the moment finally arrived, Bryan and I were brought into meet 'the man' and wow, Gene Simmons is a presence, and a very approachable guy. There is a confidence and a swagger to his every move, motion and word he uses but this is what I expected. After all, he is the Demon... and so #$@% cool! For Bryan, I got to video the presentation of the VAULT, the chat the two had and an impromptu singing session that broke out. With my time I presented him with an autographed copy of UFO - YOUR FAVORITE BAND'S FAVORITE BAND, had some pictures taken, got some pictures signed and had the time of my life!
This was an incredible afternoon that made me even more of a fan of Gene Simmons. Is he polarizing? Yes! Is he outspoken? Absolutely. He is also the embodiment of the American Dream and a self made man, so don't fault him for that.
Gene's staff and everyone involved made every step of the way and every station so fun and memorable! They knew people made a large investment in this and i honestly saw no one leave disappointed, except that it had to end!
The venue, City Winery Boston is a beautiful venue located at 80 Beverly Street in Boston that seemed way to classy for me. The place is so clean, well lit complete with a friendly and helpful staff gave everyone there a solid reason to come back. While we were there, Bryan and I saw the main concert stage and got to hear how clean and clear the sound is as we watched that nights performer, Marc Cohen practice. For more info and shows you can go to www.citywinery.com.
For more information on a chance to get the VAULT experience, go to the official site at www.genesimmonsvault.com
Being a huge ASIA fan I am well versed in the music and history of the band. Most of you who know me also know about my friendship with the late John Wetton. As a friend of John's, people always are shocked when I would tell them how much of a fan I was of the John Payne era of ASIA. With Payne at the mic, the band really stretched their horizons, became a bit heavier and created some of the best music in the band's entire career. Now John Payne and keyboardist Erik Norlander have teamed up to bring us their new band, Dukes Of The Orient and their self titled debut album from Frontiers Music SRL.
If you didn't already know this, Payne possesses one of the best voices in all of music! He has so much power, emotion and soul that it is a perfect match for the musical direction he and Norlander works in. The two previously played together in a version of ASIA and have reunited to continue the legacy of that amazing band, creating modern progressive music with hooks, melody and listenability.
Musically, DUKES OF THE ORIENT is the the album you would expect, combining the best elements of ASIA, UK, ELP but with a new twist to it. The music contained inside has a lot of variety; some straight ahead rockers, some progressive epics and everything in between. If you were or are a fan of ASIA, then you will love this release.
You want the big chorus? It's here! Swirling keyboards? Yup! Sensitive guitar? Got that too!!!!!
There are eight songs on the disc and picking favorites is tough because there is so much to love here. The song that starts it all off is Brother In Arms, a song that sounds like John Wetton singing which took me by surprise. Lyrically the song is another anti war/fighting song that Payne has always done so well. Each song has something that gives it a certain charm, from the elegance and playing of the first single, Strange Days or the complete progfest of A Sorrow's Crown! For all the expressions musically and the stretching of boundaries, there are some very AOR, pop/rock tracks like Time Waits For No One and Seasons Will Change. Knowing the track records and talents of Payne and Norlander, it is nice to see and hear them making this a 'song first' album. In each song, you can hear a certain influence; Give Another Reason sounds like classic YES and the chorus in Fourth Of July feels like the Moody Blues. All... just... amazing!!!!!
Something I noticed throughout the album is keyboardist Erik Norlander's style of playing. Like Geoff Downes has always done, he fills every empty space with the right sound to progress the song and gives the guitars, drums and voices a nice bed to play over. Unlike many prog keyboard players in the day, they would dictate the song and sometimes the band's direction, where Norlander, like Downes do everything for the sake of the song.
Joining Payne and Norlander on the album are drummer Jay Schellen and four amazing guitarists; Jeff Kollman, Guthrie Govan, Moni Scaria, and Bruce Bouillet who all help to make this album an incredibly satisfying listen. All the musicians on the record have played with Payne's version of ASIA at one time or another which adds to the overall sound and cohesion of the musicianship. In fact, guitarist Jeff Kollman has worked with ASIA, UFO, Michael Schenker Group and Glenn Hughes!!! If Kollman was ever a member of the Beatles, he would be my favorite player in the world.
We are still a week away from the release of DUKES OF THE ORIENT and I encourage all of you to trust my judgement and pick this one up. I already have my copy reserved at Music Outlet in Enfield, CT (plug plug) and I encourage you to do the same wherever you buy your music. This album, the music and the line-up are something very special.
Isn't it so much fun to get excited about music?
DUKES OF THE ORIENT will be released on February 23, 2018 by Frontiers Music. My thanks to John Freeman for providing me the tools to help push this awesome project!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7etFNXFsn5U - video for Seasons Will Change
official site - www.dukesoftheorient.com
Brother In Arms
Amor Vincit Omnia
Time Waits For No One
A Sorrow’s Crown
Fourth Of July
Seasons Will Change
Give Another Reason
There is some amazing music out there that I feel people may miss, so I'm going to do everything I can to introduce y'all to some amazing albums that may not get the press they deserve!!!
Today we look at the latest release from Swedish rockers VOJD. Until today I never even heard of this band and now i'm so hooked. If you like classic 70's rock like KISS, Thin Lizzy, UFO and Ted Nugent than you will love VOJD. They combine simple riffs, classic vocals and very basic production... and I mean that in a good way. Their debut album, THE OUTER OCEAN is a brilliant and easy album to fall into right away.
"With "Goin' Under" and "Shadowline" the Swedish band Black Trip had released two classic metal albums to great critical acclaim. When drummer Jonas Wikstrand was replaced by Anders Bentell, the band,now consisting of Joseph Tholl (vocals and bass), Peter Stjärnvind (guitar) and Linus Björklund (guitar), decided to make a fresh start by changing their name to Vojd.
“With the new line-up and the new material we felt that we wanted to start a new chapter in a way,” analyzes vocalist Joseph Tholl. He adds: “I still see the new album as the third album, a follow up to Black Trip’s Shadowline, though this new one contains a lot of stuff we haven't tried before. The significant elements of Black Trip are recurring throughout the album, though the variety between the songs is much broader this time around, in all directions.”
The name of Vojd’s first album is The Outer Ocean. There is quite a big difference in sound, style and execution between Vojd and Black Trip. Vojd are much more classic rock than Black Trip ever were, and much less traditional heavy metal… “Yeah, I think you're right,” says Joseph Tholl. “And I'm glad you say it sounds different from the previous ones, change and development is very important to me. Whether it’s more classic rock, I don’t know, but It’s something different from what we’ve done before. I take inspiration from anything that has good melodies, whether it’s Swedish pop or German thrash metal doesn't matter.”
“This album was recorded bit by bit during almost a year,” describes Joseph Tholl the actual recording process of The Outer Ocean. “It’s the first time we tried this technique for this band. Previous albums have been recorded in one coherent session. There were very few occasions where the whole band would be in the studio at the same time.”
THE OUTER OCEAN will be released February 23, 2018.
Copyright Royalty Board raises streaming rate for songwriters
Judas Priest release Firepower title track
STP releases new single with new singer (http://ultimateclassicrock.com/stone-temple-pilots-roll-me-under/)
Dokken to release new song with classic lineup
Lynyrd Skynyrd announce farewell tour
New Uriah Heep album and tour
Skid Row--Skid Row (1989)
Black Label Society--Grimmest Hits (2018)
Six Degrees of Frankie B
5 to 1: Iron Maiden Album Covers
*Check out the recent Iron Maiden episode of Thrash It Out, where Brian and Antony discuss Number of the Beast (https://thrashitoutpodcast.com/episodes/3-9)
Thanks for listening! If you're subscribing on iTunes or Google play, please leave us a review, as it will help spread the word about the show! You can hit us up on twitter at twitter.com/powerchordspod, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stryper and Frontiers Music have released the album art, title and track listing for their new album. GOD DAMN SIN, hitting stores and online sellers on April 20th.
1. Take It To The Cross
4. God Damn Evil
5. You Don’t Even Know Me
6. The Valley
7. Sea Of Thieves
9. Can’t Live Without Your Love
10. Own Up
11. The Devil Doesn’t Live Here
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.