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Concert Review

Knocked Loose, Stick To Your Guns, Rotting Out, Candy, and SeeYouSpaceCowboy @Cat’s Cradle

Last Saturday (10/26) I had the privilege of seeing the litany of bands listed in the title. Obviously, it was a stacked lineup. Knocked Loose has been making waves for quite a bit now, and their recent album, A Different Shade of Blue, shows exactly why. It was my first time seeing them, and they made an excellent first impression. Stick To Your Guns was also great, although I had never really listened to them before. They brought a super positive energy that only a few bands can manage to do. It was also my first time seeing Rotting Out, West Coast legend with a fully latinx lineup. Their vocalist, Wally, is also a powerlifting monster so his stage presence was top notch. They were one of the bands that initially got me into hardcore, so finally being able to see them live was a real treat. Speaking of treats, how about Candy. They’ve also been gaining major traction, and as of their last single “Super-Stare” are signed to Relapse Records. They have origins in Richmond so you already know they’re going to be great. This was my fifth time or so seeing them, but this was one of the largest crowds I’ve seen them play to and the energy was through the roof. SeeYouSpaceCowboy opened, and anyone who showed up late definitely missed out on perhaps the heaviest set of the night. Their unique vocal style and penchant for a more mathy metalcore led to a unique and intense set. Along with this, their guitarist is local to N.C. All in all, the show was amazing and although way more crowded than the typical area hardcore show, it still had the same tight-knit energy that any legitimate show within the scene should have. As for other local shows, one huge one coming up is at Break Time in Winston-Salem on November 12th. The bill includes Sanction, Queensway (who just put out an absolutely insane EP-keep your eyes peeled for a review), Vatican, Fuming Mouth, Riot Stares, and The Burning Wind. Thanks for reading.

-Dylan McGee 

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Concert Review

College Radio Day

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College Radio Day was this October 4th and WKNC celebrated it at The Wicked Witch with a live set from Secret Shame, Green Aisles and Flood District. Sadly, I couldn’t stay around the whole show but I did see Green Aisles and Flood District, and they put on a really good show. I loved the atmosphere of the event. It was just small enough to feel relaxed but still hype enough to engage the crowd and make the show feel intimate. The music was memorable and the event overall was a worthy experience. 

I arrived a bit early and got to see meet of the band members while they were chilling around before the show started. The picture above is actually Flood District, and I got the chance to speak to some of the band members for a bit before the show started. They were super chill, funny and inviting and it made a good show feel even better. Everyone who performed was super kind and their interactions with the crowd all felt very genuine, it just added to the intimate and relaxed vibes going around. 

I went to the show alone, but it was so welcoming that it never felt awkward or off. Everyone was pretty inviting and I spoke to a lot more people than I would at other shows. Not that I have anything against big venue shows, but I think that there is definitely a place in the music world that needs these more intimate shows, and I’m totally here for it. It was a perfect way to celebrate College Radio Day. Cause I mean, we are the best in college radio.

– DJ Psyched

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Concert Review

Rhiannon Giddens: A Goddess Among Goddesses

This past Wednesday (9/25) I joined my parents in attending the Rhiannon Giddens concert at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Rhiannon Giddens is a native to Greensboro, North Carolina and frontwoman of The Carolina Chocolate Drops, an old-style African American folk band. Rhiannon was on vocals, fiddle, and banjo. Italian musician Francesco Turrisi joined her and played drums and tambourine. Accompanying them were a stand-up bassist/pianist, and an unbelievable player of the spoons. This show was different from most in the way that is was more than just a concert. It was a history lesson of sorts. Giddens successfully integrates her music and the stories behind the songs she plays into one entertaining show. Some of the traditional songs she covers date back upwards of 200 years ago, and a majority of the music is by black musicians. She touched on things such as black face and minstrel bands for example, and how many of the songs she played were also performed in ways like these. While the historical exploitation of black music is a harsh reality, Giddens makes it a point to use her music as a teaching point throughout her set. I found this extremely inspiring, and learned a lot. The banjo she played is a replica of a model from around the 1850s – the neck has no frets and has a lower register than what many people are familiar with today. This is one of the original styles of banjo, and was often played in minstrel bands. I left this show with a new perspective on old-style folk music, and was eager to learn more (and also buy a banjo:)) Definitely a memorable experience. Rhiannon Giddens is a queen.

-Elizabeth Esser 

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Concert Review

Whack World takes over at UNC-CH’s Memorial Hall

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It was an average Friday the 13th when my friends told me there were extra tickets to see Tierra Whack that night in Chapel Hill. I had seen Whack a few weeks prior in New York, but I was way in the back of a huge crowd and barely got to see her brightly colored ensemble from there. Needless to say, I was excited to see her again in a much smaller setting. I could not believe that UNC got someone so talented and trailblazing as she is. If you’re unfamiliar, Tierra Whack is a Philadelphia born rapper and singer who is a pro at freestyling, being weird and creating endless microscopic worlds within her songs. I definitely think the side of the rap world that’s occupied by women benefits from a fresh alternative like Whack who doesn’t take herself too seriously. 

As we packed into the theatre at Memorial Hall, I was happy to finally sit down and enjoy a concert in the comfort of a chair. The opener was ZenSoFly, a Raleigh based rapper with electronic production. By the time she finished her set I was quite literally itching to see Tierra. She finally arrives on stage via Razor scooter and I scream. She jumps into her performance of CLONES and when she’s finished she questions why the hell everyone was sitting down. Whack tells us to get up and commands the security guards to let us through to the pit area where you can stand directly in front of the stage. Everyone and their mother rushes the stage, my friend and I get split up, but I make it to the pit. Then she starts another song immediately and I just remember jumping up and down for about 2 hours straight after that, blowing out my vocal cords screaming the lyrics and climbing on the side of the stage to dance. 

Like something I’d always dreamed, she performed the entire 15 minutes of her debut album, Whack World, a piece of work that was hailed amongst the best albums of 2018 by Complex and Pitchfork. That 15 minutes felt like forever because Tierra Whack is so amazing at creating fun, dark and well rounded soundscapes in her lyrics and production. The show was sprinkled with Whack’s silly personality as she frequently conversed with the audience, handed out microphones for the crowd to sing along, stole keys, wallets and caught the numerous pairs of panties that were thrown at her. After her encore performance of “Mumbo Jumbo,” (a song chosen by a crowd member) she signed shoes for about 20 minutes and then disappeared into the darkness of backstage. I was sore for several days after, it was the most rambunctious, chaotic and enthralling show I’d ever been to.

-cellar door xx

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Concert Review

Flo Rida, TLC, Nelly Concert Review

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Does anyone else ever go to a concert where you know the artist but you don’t really KNOW the artist? Well, that’s what me and some friends did when we went to this show. We all joked about how we know these artists, but we definitely couldn’t just name off all their songs from the top of our heads. But once the show started we had a lot of those ‘oooh that’s their song?’ moments. 

When we went into it my friends and I were so excited to hear TLC play no scrubs, because you know that songs a whole classic bop. We knew we would enjoy the other artists too, but we were pleasantly surprised by just how much music we knew from the show. That’s when things became a very nostalgic and good time. It was as if everyone was going on a trip through time together.

I will say, aside from nostalgia, the show had plenty of highlights of its own too. Nelly and FloRida put on some very energetic shows and with those pop 2000 classics like ‘Hot in Here’ and ‘Low’ the crowd was dancing and singing their hearts out like crazy (my friends and I included). My absolute favorite moment of the show was the moment my friends and I we were waiting for… 

TLC had the best intro to no scrubs I could’ve ever hoped for. Rozonda Thomas and Tionne Watkins knew the crowd was anticipating their hit song so they started off subtly by telling a story ‘You’re going to be out one day minding your own business…’ which was based on the theme of the song and they kept the story going on for about 3 minutes. They really knew that they were doing because the tension and excitement just kept growing and building on itself. When they actually got to performing the hit it was like a mixture of that great feeling you get when you finally get to eat after waiting a long time and when someone says something to you that makes you just want to shout YES. It made an already amazing show just that much better.

Overall I would have to say this was a great introduction into a different genre of music, in a concert setting, for myself. Before this just about every show I’ve been to has been more Rock and Indie styled. But I really appreciated the change of pace and the nostalgia that came with it. After this, I’ve definitely been listening to ‘Hot in Here’ and ‘No Scrubs’ a lot more than before and i’m glad WKNC gave me the chance to experience this show.

– DJ Psyched

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Concert Review

Afropunk Festival: my experience

*Like most experiences, mine is extremely unique. This review will be an honest take from my own experience”

I went to Afropunk Brooklyn on August 24th and 25th, 2019. For those who don’t know, the festival, according to Wikipedia, “was created as a safe space for black alternative-minded punks to freely express themselves and build a community with one another.” The definition of the word “punk” is disputed across many circles, I like the phrase “alternatively minded” a little better. This year’s fest was held in Commodore Barry Park.

 I wanted to go to Afropunk because of three reasons of equal weight: fashion, music and because it offered a space for black people that were like me. I had been seeing Afropunk outfit pictures amongst other festival fashion inspiration pages for several years and have always wanted to go to just for the festival fashion aspect. I thought about my outfit for months during the planning stages of the trip to Brooklyn. I never definitively decided on anything until it was too late of course. It was my first time in any state north of Virginia so I was really taking it all in. 

On day one, I was extremely tired after walking around Brooklyn all day before the festival. I also didn’t know what to expect so I was really going through a lot of emotions. I saw Leikeli47, Tierra Whack (who brought out Alicia Keys), Leon Bridges and Jill Scott. Like a typical music festival, the artists performed on different stages around the park and we all scrambled to see our favorite artists on time. Leikeli47 had the whole crowd shaking their asses and bobbing their heads to her songs. Tierra Whack had a wonderfully weird stage presence and I was very surprised to see Alicia Keys come out there with her. Leon Bridges sung his heart out for 2 hours while I waited in line for a vegan BBQ sandwich; he really gave us all a show. The last performer of the night was Jill Scott and she was fabulous. Her onstage presence was magical, her vocals were amazing and she played a lot of the songs I grew up listening to. The fashion from day one was amazing! I saw some really well curated, creative and bold looks from all kinds of people. The energy in the air was chaotic, but I felt safe like I was right where I was supposed to be. 

On day two I came in tired again after another long day. We arrived late to Toro y Moi, but heard his last two songs through the gates. On this day I brought a camcorder I checked out from the library and it was the best decision I’d ever made. I got a chance to bring home a lot of what I saw at the festival with me. This day I saw Scarlxrd, Lianne La Havas, Masego and another act whose name I don’t know. The energy from the crowd and Scarlxrd was so exciting to watch happen in front of me. His fans are dedicated and his stage presence is one I won’t forget. Lianne La Havas’s show was sweet, chill and romantic. Her voice was like pillows. After Lianne, we saw Masego. He was my favorite performance of the night because I knew the most of his songs, he played the sax and because the crowd around me was so engaged while we all danced our asses off together to his music. Also Masego’s rendition of Andre 3000’s “Prototype’’ was very well done. The outfits on this day were fantastic. I saw so many people and they really did a terrific job at coordinating colors, creating stories and expressing themselves with their outfits. 

What I love the most about Afropunk is that it was a space that was created specifically for black people. What happened in Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn was an amazing thing. It allowed all kinds of people to come together to present a culmination of styles, cultures, lifestyles and music tastes. It was a beautiful experience for any black person to have. 

-Makayla 

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Concert Review

Jonas Brothers Concert Pictures

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Concert Review

Pure Noise Show Review

Okay, I know I say this a lot, BUT this show was amazing. The lineup for this tour was absolutely genius and all the bands played a killer show!! This was a show that I have been looking forward to for a while! I have seen all the bands that were on the bill (Year of the Knife, Sanction, Terror, Counterparts, and Stick to Your Guns) before so I was prepared for the chaos that was yet to come.

The first band to start off the night was Year of the Knife and right when their set started, a pit broke out. Everyone was 2 stepping, kicking, and swinging the entire time. YOTK set the bar for what the rest of the night had in store for us.

Sanction hit the stage next and… WOW!!! Sanction never fails to impress me any time I see them. The pit started to get more rowdy once Sanction started playing. I love the stage performance that they have because they all just jam out and the singer is in the audience’s faces the entire time. People were running up to the front and jumping over people trying to grab the mic and sing. They also did a NCHC mosh call and that is when I got kicked in the kneecap and now I have a purple/green bruise. That’s so metal.

Terror came on and I hung out in the back during their set because I recently seen Terror in Charlotte with Hatebreed. Terror was the most traditional hardcore band on the lineup and people went off during their set! Terror always brings explosive energy while on stage. Their riffs are killer, and they are always jamming with the audience, pushing us to do more chaotic stuff.

Counterparts was the second to last band to play and I have never seen them before! I was really happy that I finally got to see them and WOW!!! They were SO GOOD!!!! The crowd went crazy for them!!!! You can tell that Counterparts loves what they are doing because you could see how much fun they were having throughout their entire set.

Stick to Your Guns finally hit the stage and they were jamming! They had a cool light show and they were very interactive with the crowd! The last time I saw Stick to Your Guns was in Carrboro and the crowd went wild! A handful of people left after Terror but the people who stayed for Stick to Your Guns were going off!! People were jumping off the stage, jumping onto the stage, and moshing everywhere.  

 

Did you go to the Pure Noise tour? What did you think about it? Who was your favorite?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

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Concert Review

Show Review: Vatican @ Ardmore Barbershop

You read that right, y’all I went to a show that was in the back room of a barbershop in Winston-Salem. Now, the barbershop was cool as hell. They had leather couches, mirrors as walls; they also had some band shirts, and Harley Davidson shirts! The room that the bands were playing in was a decent size and it had some room for people to mosh and dance. There was no AC in the back room, though, so it was really hot. But other than that, the show was great! I wouldn’t mind going back to the Ardmore Barbershop to see a show!

The first band to perform was End Of Your Rope, a local band from Greensboro! Their riffs are undeniably headbanging worthy. This was my first time seeing them and I was impressed! I would love to see them again soon! Life’s Question was the second band to perform and people started moshing and dancing around a little bit more for them.

Bloodbather was next and besides Vatican, this was the band that I personally came to see. They stole the show that night. The singer was moshing, everyone in the band was headbanging, and the pit was rowdy as hell when they came on. Their energy and stage performance is a sight to see and their music tops it all off! One of my favorite bands to see live!

Typecaste was the second to last band and most of the crowd left, but the people who stayed were jamming their asses off! The guitarist was hitting people in the crowd and marching around with his guitar… it was so metal. I bought a shirt from them and it goes so hard 10/10 would recommend their merch.

And finally, Vatican took the stage! This was my second time seeing them! I saw them for the first time a couple of months ago in Greensboro! I was excited to see them again because I really like their music and they also put on a great show. They were on a time crunch because the show had to end by 10 pm and it was 9:40 pm by the time they got on… let’s just say for those 20 minutes, it was chaotic.

This show was really enjoyable because all the bands were good, the venue was great, and I got to catch up with some friends. It’s a Win-Win-Win for ya girl!

Have you seen Vatican or any of these bands before? What did you think?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW

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Concert Review

Legacy of the Beast – Iron Maiden Tour 2019

Scream for me Charlotte!!!!! I went to see Iron Maiden, with my dad, at the PNC Pavilion in Charlotte this week and… WOW!! What a show!! My dad has been listening to Iron Maiden since the early ‘80s and he has seen them two other times (`84 and 2012)! I grew up listening to Iron Maiden and this was my first time seeing them!

I was looking forward to the show because the last time Iron Maiden came to NC it was on the same day I was graduating, long story short, the fam wouldn’t let me skip graduation to see Maiden.

When we got to the PNC Pavilion, we parked in Premiere parking; which was pretty sick because it was close to the entrance, so we didn’t have to walk a long way! Once we got inside, we went and found merch. I bought a shirt that has the cover of Live After Death on it (one of my favorite album covers!!). The view from our seats was awesome! We had seats under the awning and were near the right of the stage. I had a clear view of the stage and the 2 jumbo screens.

Iron Maiden has one of the best stage performances I have ever seen live! My dad read the Legacy of the Beast tour is the most expensive stage show that the band has ever put on! And boy, it sure was a show!

They started with an intro of Winston Churchill speaking and went straight into Aces High. While playing this song, the stage prop was an airplane that was hanging above them, and it was moving! Their backdrop and props would change with each song, and Bruce would have different props and costumes depending on the song. When they started playing The Trooper, Eddie (the famous band mascot) came out and Bruce started sword-fighting him on stage, it was cool!

Bruce Dickinson is the man. He is a pilot, has a Ph.D. in history, singer of Iron Maiden, AND beat cancer? What a badass. Bruce can still hit them high notes, too! He sounded so good live; it was incredible! The entire band sounded amazing! They were all jamming out and playing every song with ease. And they all (in their 60’s) still have great hair! Lucky them!!

Iron Maiden went on to play Flight of Icarus where they had an angel flying above them that “flew too close to the sun" (according to the old Greek myth) and crashed and burned at the end of the song! It was wild to see! They also played some of their most well-known songs such as Fear of the Dark, Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden, and Run to the Hills! They played my favorite Iron Maiden song, Hallowed Be Thy Name!! The crowd was awesome during this show as well. Everyone was singing the songs back to the band and overall having a great time.

 

Have you seen Iron Maiden live? What is your favorite song by them?

Stay Metal,

THE SAW