Category Archives: concert reviews

Sons of Apollo at House of Independents

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Sons of Apollo is a heavy metal supergroup, drawing musical expertise from bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, and Alice Cooper with the band members having formerly played in such bands. Their musical style consists of harcore, head-smashing metal music which brings out a certain animal in each listener. The talent of the band lies within their members, namely: Jeff Soto, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Billy Sheehan, Derek Sherinian, and Mark Portnoy. The band was formed in 2017 after Mike Portnoy had proposed the idea to fellow band members and friends who were interested in a full-time project. Their debut album, Psychotic Symphony, was released in October of 2017.

Off of their album, “God of the Sun” is an ode to the metal genre as a whole with its bone-crunching instrumentals and intense vocals, whereas tracks such as “Lost in Oblivion” and “Coming Home” dig into the bands roots and express the foundation of the band’s style. Sons of Apollo is currently playing their debut album on tour and tickets are on sale via their website.

written by Gianmarco Castronovo

photo gallery

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https://www.sonsofapollo.com/

http://www.houseofindependents.com/

https://jeffcrespirocks.com/

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Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at The Stone Pony

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Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, commonly known as “pigeons” is a funk rock group based out of Baltimore, Maryland. The band consists of members: ‘Scrambled’ Greg Ormont – Vocals, Guitar, Jeremy Schon – Guitar, Vocals, Ben Carrey – Bass, Vocals, and Alex Petropulos – Drums. The band was first founded in 2009 when the four band members were rooming together at the University of Maryland, recording music and EP’s together. The band draws likes from artists such as The Beatles, inspiring their funkadelic sound, and shares similarities to current bands such as The Dirty Heads, and the Arctic Monkeys. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has recorded 5 albums since their genesis, including a live recording of their album The Great Outdoors Jam, which released in 2017.

The group is most widely known for performing a high amount of tours and concerts since their genesis. Most recently, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has played tours in the Northeast, however they travel back to Michigan and the Great Lakes this coming week to promote their album, Pizazz.

written by Gianmarco Castronovo

photo gallery

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http://pigeonsplayingpingpong.com/

http://stoneponyonline.com/

https://jeffcrespirocks.com/

High on Fire at House of Independents

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Hailing from Oakland California, High On Fire emits a bone-chilling, powerful, and fortitudinous style of music that reinvents the entire metal scene. Lead singer and guitarist Matt Pike digs deep into his roots with every line of every song, while being complimented by the ever-so-talented Jeff Matz on Bass, and Des Kenzel on Drums. The band debuted with their first studio album: The Art of Self-Defense under the Man’s Ruins record label, which received critical acclaim and prompted the production of Surrounded by Thieves two years later. Since then, High on Fire has taken off as one of the staples in the Metal Rock genre, and have appeared as high as 14 on the Billboard Top 200 Rock Albums list.

The band’s latest release, Luminiferous, came in 2015 and has been one of their most celebrated albums yet. “The Black Plot” examines the very foundation of the band’s origin through cutting vocals and deep instrumentals, while “The Cave”, takes a slight step back and allows the listener to feel every note of Pike’s pain and agony he gives. Expect great things coming from the band’s next project, as High on Fire is a name to remember.

written by Gianmarco Castronovo

Photo galleries:

High on Fire

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Second Arrows

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Dutchguts

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http://www.jeffcrespirocks.com

Concert Crave Artist Spotlight Show at House of Independents

 

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Concert Crave and Spacebar Recording brought an Artist Spotlight Showcase to House of Independents. There was 32 acts doing seven minutes each competing for some cool prizes including opening up for a headlining act.

I decided to check it out since I’m always looking for new and interesting music to cover. It was more crowded then I anticipated with the snow and brutal cold hitting the area. Each act had a hometown crowd of friends and family to root them on which was cool to see.

Make sure you check out Concert Crave and Spacebar Recording for all upcoming events

http://www.concertcrave.com/

http://spacebarrec.com/

Here is the complete photo gallery from the event:

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https://jeffcrespirocks.com/

Work in Progress at The Stone Pony

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Work in Progress is a young band featuring Gaten Matarazzo from Stranger Things along with his sister Sabrina. This was a winter break party show to showcase some of the younger bands that compete in the Rock to the Top showcase The Stone Pony puts together. Once the press found out all hell broke loose making it a sold out show pretty quickly. A second show was added for the next day just to satisfy the the amount of people wanting to see them perform.

I myself as a music photographer has been to hundreds of these type of shows and I could say that you never what your going to see or hear. Some of these young bands are hard to listen to and some just blow me away musically and visually.

Both shows were incredibly entertaining as it was refreshing to see them on stage having so much fun and being themselves. Gaten as well as all the band members were really cool and very appreciative of the fans. All the other bands who performed were asking to take pictures with him and he didn’t say no to anyone. They performed some cool covers as well as some originals. I’m very interested in watching this band over the next year or two to see where they end up.

Here is my complete photo galleries from their sets

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https://jeffcrespirocks.com/

Another 90’s Show New Years Eve at The Stone Pony

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This years New Years Eve show at The Stone Pony put on by Christine Feola of Dark City Entertainment was another success as you can see from the crowd. The legendary Stone Pony has had some amazing mainstream artists come through over the years but the local scene has been drawing some great crowds as well.

The local bands that kept the crowd screaming their heads off consisted of

Emily Grove and friends as Tori Amos

MACK as No Doubt

Chris Rockwell and friends as The Beastie Boys

Lost in Society and Earth Telephone as Third Eye Blind

Levy and the Oaks as The Foo Fighters

Here is the complete photo gallery:

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Lost in Society

https://www.lostinsociety.com/

Emily Grove

http://ourstage.com/profile/emilygrove

Chris Rockwell

Mack

http://www.macknj.com/

Levy and the Oaks

http://www.levyandtheoaks.com/

 

Hit The Lights at House of Independents

 

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“Hit the Lights” presents an old-school pop punk metric, performed with pieces and sounds from their Lima, Ohio roots. The group of 5 consists of Nick Thompson (Vocals/guitar), Omar Zehery (lead guitar), David Bermosk (bass), Nate Van Damme (drums), and Kevin Mahoney (backing vocals, rhythm guitar). Since their fruition in 2003, the band has released 4 studio albums, and several other EPs, most recently releasing two singles in 2017. The band provides a pop-punk sound familiar to most, while also orchestrating a hard rock background with flashes of old school punk as well. Hit The Lights is most well known for their cover of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling”, on the popular Pop Goes Punk album series.

In 2017, the band has release two singles, “Siberian Itch” and “Believe in Me”, namely. Their new singles are nothing short of pure, classic punk music, representing the band’s original sound and message since their start. The band had recently played in their only show of 2017 at House of Independents in Asbury Park, NJ, to a sizeable crowd. Hit the Lights is also rumored to have a new studio album release sometime in 2018.

written by Gianmarco Castronovo

Photo Gallery

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https://www.facebook.com/HitTheLightsMusic/

http://www.houseofindependents.com/

http://www.jeffcrespirocks.com/