Author Archives: Dave Barnhouser

TVD Live Shots: Monster Energy Rock Allegiance at BB&T Pavilion, 10/7

Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Festival stormed its way into the BB&T Pavilion on the Wiggins Waterfront in Camden, NJ last weekend with over 18,000 metal fans on hand for the annual hard rock event.

The festival, now in its third year, provides music on three stages along with gourmet food trucks, craft beers, and fan experiences for young and old. These experiences include artist meet and greets, Monster flavor sampling, and a section for charity organizations, as well as a small area for vendors. FYE was also on board with their own fan experience by way of artist meet and greets as well. There is so much to see and do, it’s impossible to take it all in.

A new location for the festival this year, the spacious Wiggins Waterfront Park provided a scenic view over the water and a historic battleship. The side stage highlights included Gojira, He is Legend, and Greta Van Fleet with new comers DED and Starset.

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TVD Live Shots: The Rock Carnival at First Energy Park, 9/30–10/2

Friday, September 30 marked the return of the annual Rock Carnival in Lakewood, NJ. A three-day festival boasting rock and roll royalty—Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, and Twisted Sister as well as Overkill, Monster Magnet, and Clutch.

The event is a unique concept. It’s a full-scale carnival with games, vendors, carnival rides, and gourmet food trucks. Not just your traditional scale carnival food, although that was offered, but higher end fare as well. There was also a small tent stage that hosted some local and regional cover bands, as well as national artist like Zebra and Trickster. All of this sat in the parking lot of First Energy Park, a minor league baseball stadium which hosts the Lakewood Blue Claws as its main resident. Once inside the baseball stadium, two large stages were placed in the outfield.

We arrived at the park just in time to check out the first band which was to be Zakk Sabbath, Zakk Wylde’s Black Sabbath cover band. Recently I saw Zakk do a 20 minute cover of “N.I.B.” while I was covering the Generation Axe tour, and to refer to it as epic would be an understatement.

It was raining pretty hard when we arrived and it seemed we had a few minutes to spare, so we went to say hello to a friend who was working the merchandise booth. This is when we were informed that Zakk wasn’t playing. Evidently the stage has some flooding on it due to the heavy rains and he would not be able to perform. We were then told that although it was not public yet, Clutch would also have to cancel their set as well. I was speaking with a fan who overheard the conversation and actually left because he was only there to see Zakk Wylde and Clutch. It was a bit heartbreaking to us as well, but as long as Alice Cooper was still going on, my 3 hour drive was worth it.

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TVD Live Shots: Generation Axe at the Tower Theater, 5/5

The Tower Theater in Philadelphia played host to some of the world’s greatest guitar talents this past Thursday. Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi are Generation Axe.

The night began with all five guitar gods on stage together for an all-star jam, then up first was a solo set by Animals as Leaders guitarist Tobin Abasi which really got the crowd primed. For the last song of his set Nuno Bettencourt came out and played alongside him. Seamlessly it transitioned to Nuno’s solo set which included classics from Extreme’s catalog as well as his iconic rendition of “Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee.”

Next was the always entertaining Zakk Wylde. Zakk changed things up a bit when he decided midway through the Sabbath classic “NIB” that he was going to play from the audience. Zakk spent almost half of his solo set in the middle of the crowd walking up and down the aisles of the crowded Tower Theatre. Wylde was truly the crowd favorite, and I must say if Zakk Wylde wasn’t such an amazing player, he should look into stand-up comedy because he has some of the funniest on-stage banter I have ever heard.

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Posted in TVD Philadelphia | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots: M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 4/29–4/30

Who said rock is dead? Not on my watch!

April 29th and 30th marked the return of Merriweather Post Pavillion’s annual ’80s hard rock and heavy metal party known as the M3 Rock Festival. Two days of all the classic hair metal bands who were not only the soundtrack to the Sunset Strip but also for east coast bars like Hammerjacks and the Bayou.

Kicking off the first day was a young lady named Gabbie Rae—who quite honestly stole the show. The highlight came midway through her set when she covered Dio’s “Last in Line.” Never have I heard anyone do Dio justice until now, and to put it mildly—jaw dropping. The night continued with Enuff Z’Nuff and 86 Bullets who were both a lot of fun.

Guitarist George Lynch and his band Lynch Mob slayed everyone with their technical precision and even managed to throw in a couple of Dokken songs to top off the night. Mötley Crüe may be done but Vince Neil still carries the torch and was backed up by Slaughter bassist Dana Strum, guitarist Mark Blando, and the high-flying mad man behind the drums Zoltan Cheney. (Tommy Lee has nothing on this guy.) Vince’s set consisted mainly of everyone’s Mötley favorites and he’s got great chemistry with the band on stage.

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TVD Live Shots: Ace Frehley and the Charm City Devils at the 9:30 Club, 4/8

PHOTOS: DAVE BARNHOUSER | Having spawned the careers of countless guitarists with his tenure in KISS in the ’70s, Ace Frehley is still holding the hot hand in 2016.

It’s time to give Ace Frehley credit where credit is due. Sure, the career’s been a proverbial rollercoaster, but Friday night at the 9:30 Club, Ace was smoking—and I’m not just referring to the pyrotechnics. His playing was nimble as ever and his signature tone sustained from track to track was impeccable. And how about those tracks? “Rip It Out,” “Rocket Ride,” “Parasite,” “Love Gun,” “Snow Blind,” Strangeways,” “New York Groove,” Shock Me,” “Cold Gin,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Deuce.” All, well, hotter than hell.

Ace’s brand new LP, Origins Vol. 1 arrives in stores this Friday, April 15 and finds Ace digging into a trove of tracks that influenced him early on. Covers from Thin Lizzy to the Rolling Stones to Jimi Hendrix round out the set which includes guest vocals from Mr. Paul Stanley on Free’s “Fire and Water.” While this material didn’t make Friday’s setlist, his own tracks blatantly informed the origin stories of those in the audience—that is, if we’re to weigh the crowd participation and the myriad of air guitarists in attendance.

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TVD Live Shots:
Rock Allegiance at
PPL Park, 10/10

For any of the naysayers out there who think that rock is dead, Rock Allegiance just proved you wrong. Saturday’s festival  in Chester, PA hosted two side by side main stages and a tent stage featuring some of hard rock and heavy metal’s finest.

Rob Zombie, Korn, Godsmack, and Five Finger Death Punch topped the evening’s bill and was rounded out with support from Papa Roach, Butcher Babies, PopEvil, Bring Me the Horizon, and my current favorites Atreyu and In This Moment. This line up had something for everyone—including an on-site after party hosted by Steel Panther.

Gourmet food trucks provided nourishment for the event which was a huge breath of fresh air compared to the usual festival afterthoughts. An outdoor music festival in the cool autumn air of October was also a refreshing change from the sweltering heat of other rock festivals like Mayhem and the Warped tour.

This was easily one for the record books and it was great to hear that they plan on doing it again next year—and given sold out crowd, they would be crazy not to. This was hands down one of the best-managed festivals this reviewer has ever gone to. Check out some of the sights below and support this festival next year. You will be glad you did.

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TVD Live Shots: WPOC Weekend in the Country at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10/3 & 10/4

Not even the threat of a hurricane could hold back the country faithful from this year’s WPOC Weekend in the Country. The annual event, held at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, has been a mainstay for country fans for decades.

This year’s lineup featured a new school of country heavyweights like Brantley Gilbert (below) and Sam Hunt, as well as family favorites like Thompson Square and Parmlee. Newcomers like Maren Morris (above), Kelsea Ballerini, Cam, and Chris Jansen, as well as local favorites LoCash, rounded out this year’s line-up.

The event was a virtual hodge podge of music from the classic country style of Mo Pitney to borderline pop music with a country twist from Kelsea Ballerini. The young pop country sweetheart turned heads with a medley of over the top, pop tunes from artists like ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears. This was sandwiched between her chart topping singles which hooked the country radio crowd instantly. This was also rounded out by some straight forward rock and roll.

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TVD Live Shots: Faith
No More at the Electric Factory, 5/15

After a hiatus of almost 20 years, May 15 marked the return of Faith No More to the Electric Factory in Philly.

Opening the set with their new single “Motherfucker,” Faith No More, clad in all white and surrounded by an ocean of flowers, showed no signs of being 20 years older. The band supplied cuts off of every album in their catalog and still managed to fit in a few covers, such as the Commodores’ “Easy” and the Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke,” which ended the night. New songs like “Sunny Side Up,” ” Superhero,” and “Sol Invictus” where scattered amongst fan favorites like “Midlife Crisis,” ” Be Aggressive,” and “Surprise You’re Dead.”

They even managed to throw in “We Care A Lot” from the 1985 album of the same name, which originally featured Chuck Mosley on vocals before long-time frontman Mike Patton joined the band.

To put it mildly, Friday nights show was nothing short of epic. (Pun intended.)

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TVD Live Shots:
M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 5/2 & 5/3

If the cliche, “a picture’s worth a thousand words” was ever of merit, it was put to the test last weekend at the now annual M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Certified legends of ’80s hair metal and their greying, and often hair challenged, devotees of the genre filled the outdoor festival grounds for 2 days of rock and roll flashbacks.

We were there to capture it. —Ed.

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TVD Live: Def Leppard, Poison, and Lita Ford at Merriweather, 7/10

July 10th, 2012 marked the return of rock and toll to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. The show featured ’80s hard rock heavyweights Def Leppard and Poison, with the Queen of heavy metal, Lita Ford opening.

The bill featured all original members of Poison and nearly all original members of Def Leppard. Each of the set lists ran like a greatest hits record. There would be no filler for any of the bands on the bill. Pure unrelenting rock and roll the way it is meant to be played. LOUD!

Check out the photos below to see proof that rock and roll will never die.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 1 Comment

TVD Live: M3 Rock Festival at MPP, 5/10-11

May 10th and 11th marked the 4th annual M3 Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. People traveled from as far as Australia to relive the music of the decadent ’80s metal scene.

Boasting bands such as Ratt, Queensryche, Dokken, Great White, Warrant, Skid Row, Night Ranger, and Kix, M3 had something for everyone, from the hard rocking and guitar shredding classics to the slower, heartfelt bad boy ballads. Check out a sampling of some of the bands from the festival.

Photos by Dave Barnhouser, 13th Hour Photography

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TVD Live: Scott Weiland at the 9:30 Club, 12/19

Christmas came to the 9:30 Club in the form of a yuletide performance by former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland.

The set consisted of Christmas classics is a very mellow style ala Bing Crosby and David Bowie, with some STP hits thrown in to jazz up the evening. Check out some of the photos of this holiday show.

Photos by Dave Barnhouser, 13th Hour Photography

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 1 Comment

TVD Live: Twisted Sister at Best Buy Theater, 12/17

When it comes to down and dirty rock and roll, there is no band who defines the term bad boys of rock better than Twisted Sister. So why should a Christmas show be any different?

Playing songs from both their A Twisted Christmas album, as well as hits from their thirty-five-year career such as ”Destroyer,” ”I Wanna Rock” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” Twisted Sister knows how to give a crowd exactly what they want. And for a sold out crowd in New York’s Best Buy Theater in Times Square last Saturday, that was a lot.

The nearly two hour set included a Twisted Santa Claus factory, crazy elves, smoking hot reindeer, snow machines, a giant Ozzy Osbourne statue, and all five original members of Twisted Sister. Dee Snider dressed as Santa entered on a sleigh pulled by scantily clad reindeer, giving presents to all the naughty boys and girls in the audience, in the form of condoms and candy canes pulled from a big red sack.

They tore into their first number, “Silver Bells,” followed with almost no pause at all by “The Kids Are Back.” The set was an even mix between all the rock we have known and loved for the past thirty-five years and the amped-up Christmas tunes that would be the center of that day’s Twisted Christmas.

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