Category Archives: concert reviews

Blackberry Smoke at The Stone Pony


Blackberry Smoke sold out The Stone Pony. They are very talented musicians who relish in making there fans watch and listen in disbelief.

The rock and roll band, Blackberry Smoke, began in the early 2000’s in Atlanta, Georgia. The band is most commonly pinpointed as being a “southern rock band,” but ultimately draw from the edges of classic rock, blues, country, and folk music. Blackberry Smoke is made up of Charlie Starr (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards). In the past decade or so, the band has held numerous accolades, including two billboard chart-topping albums, Holding All the Roses (2015) & Like an Arrow (2016). They have also toured with artists such as the Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, ZZ Top, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their most recent album, Find a Light, was recorded, according to a an interview Starr did with Rolling Stone, in the same way as, “kids running in a candy store,” which he then explained as, “not answering to a producer or an A&R guy. But at the end of the day we’re not gonna release something we don’t feel strongly about.” The band is currently touring North America with JJ Grey & Mofro.

Written by Brianna Born

Photo Gallery:

Blackberry Smoke



Parkway Drive at Starland Ballroom


Parkway Drive always blesses Starland Ballroom and their fans to an amazing show. This time they brought along Stick to Your Guns and Bad Omens to generate a powerful lineup of heavy hitters.

Since 2003, the metalcore band, Parkway Drive, has been serving up twisted metal riffs, painful tension, and breakdowns. The band, who comes from the beachfront of Byron Bay, Australia, is made up of vocalist, Winston McCall, guitarists Luke Kilpatrick and Jeff Ling, drummer Ben Gordon, and bassist Jia O’Connor. Their latest album, Reverence, was released on May 4th & encaptures a wide range of metal/hardcore music. The band claims to have stopped listening to music all together before writing the new music, so they could create on their own terms. In an interview with ScuzzTV, when asked about facing old fans that may not be open to the sonic changes from song to song on the new record, McCall stated that, “Each song ended up with its own individual character and its own individual concept. Elements became part of a song because that’s what the song needed, that’s what sounded the best.” The band has released 6 full length albums, one EP, two DVDs, a split album and one book, titled Ten Years of Parkway Drive. Parkway Drive is currently wrapping up their US Spring Tour.

written by Brianna Born

photo galleries:

Parkway Drive


Stick to Your Guns


Bad Omens


Reality Suite cd Release Show at Debonair Music Hall


Reality Suite had their cd release show for “Awaken” at Debonair Music Hall on May 4th 2018. According to the insanely sexy front woman Kimmii a lot of blood sweat and tears went into the making of this cd. Reality Suite has become one of my favorite bands to cover for numerous reasons. They are a kick ass in your face rock band with a dynamic and visually appealing front woman. The band is very professional and gives their fans a great show every time out. Almost exactly a month ago I had them play my birthday show in Asbury Park’s very own Wonder Bar for Happy Mondays to help them broaden their audience. As a result they were featured this past week on Jersey Rock a local band feature on the Wrat radio station with host Tom Hanley.

The release show featured headliner Last In Line which features original DIO members Vivian Campbell & Vinny Appice. Opening up the show was Tempt who is opening up for Bon Jovi at MSG May 10th.

Reality Suite did not disappoint, Phil Soussan even came out and played “Shot in the Dark” with them.

Photo Galleries:

Reality Suite


Last in Line





Echo Black at the Asbury Park Music Foundation


Echo Black played the Asbury Park Music Foundation for Sleepless Mind Entertainment. Playing with Echo Black was The Victory Drive, In Loving Memory and City of the Weak. It was a really cool show in a very small intimate location in Asbury Park. The Asbury Park Music Foundation raises money to allow under privileged to be exposed to music programs.

The New York-based dance-rock band, Echo Black, was formed by front-man, Danny Blu, in 2015. The band is made up of Danny Blu (lead vocals), Felix Skiver (guitar), Billy Long (drums, piano), and Rob Gnarly (bass, synths). The band’s debut single, “Burn Another Day”(2015) was featured in Revolver Magazine, followed by singles, “Perfect” and “Chemicals”, in 2016. Then, in 2017 they raised money from an Indiegogo campaign to record their first album, Dawn, which was released last October.
Their unique look sets them apart from other pop/rock groups, as you can catch them sporting smoky makeup and glam clothes on stage. According to the band, the, “outcasted, the rebel, the different,” people that they are, is what inspired the name “Echo Black”. The band just wrapped up their co-headlining U.S tour, called the “Turn it to Eleven Tour”, with City of the Weak. In the past, the band also toured with bands such as The Birthday Massacre & Combichrist.
write up by Brianna Born
Photo Galleries:
Echo Black
City of the Weak
In Loving Memory
The Victory Drive

Sons of Apollo at House of Independents


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


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at The Stone Pony


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


High on Fire at House of Independents


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


Second Arrows