Author Archives: Rachel Lange

TVD Live Shots:
Battle Beast with Blackbriar at Baltimore Soundstage, 6/1

This was fabulous. It was a night of firsts at Baltimore Soundstage, as Battle Beast made a stop in Charm City Saturday night, the penultimate date on their first North American headlining tour. Supporting Battle Beast was newcomers Blackbriar, touring North America for the first time ever.

I should have known this was going to be a special night when I queued up with everyone else right after doors opened at 7PM; the line to get into Baltimore Soundstage still snaked around the block. It was so long that I was a little nervous about making it inside in time to photograph Blackbriar. My fears were assuaged as security moved us through swiftly. Once inside at 7:58PM, I was told by security that Blackbriar would not be taking the stage until 8:15pm, as the meet and greet ran late. Relief!

Blackbriar took the stage and hit the crowd with gorgeous symphonic metal. The Netherlands-based band is promoting their latest album, 2023’s A Dark Euphony. This is an album that one reviewer praised as being “generation and genre-defining,” which is massive considering it is only the band’s second full length album (the first being 2021’s The Cause of Shipwreck). The songs explore gothic themes; sung by mesmerizing lead singer Zora Cock, they took on a magical quality.

The darkness of the songs was in direct contrast to the big smiles onstage, as the rest of the band (René Boxem, Bart Winters, Robin Koezen, Ruben Wijga, and Siebe Sol Sijpkens) all appeared to be absolutely stoked to be playing for the Baltimore crowd, which returned the love. Unusual for an opener, Blackbriar played for nearly an hour, even returning to the stage for an encore!

The Baltimore date of Battle Beast’s Circus of Doom Over North America tour was the first time I had ever covered or seen the Finnish power metal band (Juuso Soinio, Pyry Vikki, Eero Sipilä, Janne Björkroth, Noora Louhimo, Joona Björkroth). I will tell you right now, it will not be my last.

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TVD Live Shots: Judas Priest with Sabaton at MGM National Harbor, 5/19

Two years after Judas Priest last played the Washington, DC area, the OG metal giants returned to the MGM National Harbor Sunday night, one of the last stops on the current leg of the Invincible Shield tour. Like on the 50 Metal Years tour in 2021, Judas Priest brings Swedish power metal band Sabaton along for the ride.

The theater at the MGM National Harbor is part of the larger hotel/casino complex. As Sunday afternoon progressed, the place filled with fans—the line to get through security snaked through the atrium. Priest sold the joint out, so it took forever to get everyone through.

At 8PM, Sabaton (Joakim Brodén, Par Sunström, Chris Rorland, Hannes Van Dahl, and Thobbe Englund) took the stage to serve up their brand of historic power metal. For the unfamiliar, Sabaton is a Swedish band known for their war history-themed music. This started way back in 2005, with the release of Primo Victoria, the album to first take on historic themes. In the nearly twenty years since, the band has taken on broad topics like World War 1, World War II, and even Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Sabaton manages to pack a twelve song setlist into their opening slot, which is made up of crowd pleasers from across their discography

Despite the warmongering imagery, including gas masks, lots of camo, and a drum riser disguised as a tank, Sabaton comes across as just a happy, jovial bunch interested in cool stories about history. Brodén peppers his performance with lighthearted jokes while the rest of the guys engage with the audience, smiling broadly all the way. It’s very entertaining and the music is creative.

I’ve seen Sabaton perform many times with Judas Priest over the last few years; the National Harbor show was my fourth time on this tour alone. Something that stands out to me is just how strong a fanbase Sabaton has. It’s not unusual to show up at a Judas Priest gig and see many Sabaton t-shirts and even people dressed up in costume. Priest has done a great job here finding a band with crossover appeal for tours and is sticking with what works for them.

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TVD Live Shots:
Amon Amarth with Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, and Frozen Soul at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 5/14

Amon Amarth made a stop at the Fillmore Silver Spring Tuesday, a date on their Metal Crushes All tour, the band’s biggest ever North American tour. The venue sold out and it was an absolutely bonkers night of metal.

The insanity got started early, at 6:30PM, when Frozen Soul took the stage. The Dallas, Texas band (Samantha Mobley, Michael Munday, Chad Green, Matt Denard, and Chris Bonner) already had a mostly full house to play to when they laid down their 30-minute set of icy death metal. A still-young band, Frozen Soul’s latest album is Glacial Domination, released in 2023, and praised for its old school death metal sound. Vocalist Green wore a Bolt Thrower shirt, illustrating that the band does wear its death metal influences on its figurative sleeve.

The turnover took mere minutes before Obituary took the baton from Frozen Soul to continue the crowd’s annihilation. Formed in Florida back in 1984, Obituary is one of death metal’s pioneering bands, as well as one of the genre’s most successful. Forty years on, Obituary has eleven studio albums under its belt, the latest being 2023’s Dying of Everything.

Their seven-song set was heavy on new material, but the crowd didn’t seem to mourn the relative lack of older material. It was still fairly early in the night, but the roof was already starting to get ripped off the Fillmore—the venue was almost full by that point. Chanting and crowd surfing got started and never stopped. Not bad for a Tuesday night in the suburbs!

By the time Cannibal Corpse took the stage, the Fillmore was completely full, bursting at the seams with explosive energy from death metal fans ready to lose their minds. Cannibal Corpse (George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, Alex Webster, Paul Mazurkiewicz, Rob Barrett, and Erik Rutab), also from Florida, is another OG death metal band, forming with its original lineup in 1988. Despite having little to no radio or TV exposure, the band developed a cult following starting in the early ’90s of fans drawn to the technical death metal and horror-based lyrics.

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TVD Live Shots: Avatar with Conquer Divide
and Oxymorrons at the NorVa, 5/11

Swedish metal gods Avatar returned to the US last week and I have lots to say about it, having had the pleasure and privilege of covering the Norfolk, VA date Saturday night. Avatar continues to hit home runs with their support acts—last year’s tour with Native Howl and Orbit Culture was incredible, and on this quick headlining tour they knock it out of the park with Conquer Divide and Oxymorrons.

The freak show was still assembling when Oxymorrons took the stage at 8PM. From New York, Oxymorrons (brothers Demi “Deee” and Kami “KI,” drummer Matty Mayz and vocalist/guitarist/bassist Jafe Paulino) produce a mashup of rap, rock, funk, and punk that they refer to as “melanin punk.” It makes for an explosive sound and frankly an awesome way to get the night rolling.

The dual vocalist brothers have bottomless energy, weaving around and playing off each other while performing and working the crowd. They excel at it and are very easy to like. Meanwhile, Mayz and Paulino pound out the punk rock sounds. It makes for delightful, barely contained chaos and is a ton of fun to watch.

Arguably the cherry on top of all this is the band’s message of justice and self-acceptance. So, roll up wearing your bunny ears and mismatched socks with loafers, come out in your spiked ski mask and Wampa-looking furry boots. Be your “weird-ass” self. Oxymorron’s latest album is Melanin Punk, which includes banger “Look Alive,” a track that made Billboard’s Maintream Rock chart.

Michigan based Conquer Divide then took the stage as the next act. Interestingly, this band also has two vocalists (Kia Castillo and Madison Spencer) along with guitarists Kristin Sturgis and Isabel Johnson, and drummer Samantha Landa. I was at the show in Indianapolis earlier that week, and these young women bore the brunt of what was a disastrous sound problem at the venue. They were only able to play three songs before it was determined that the issue was unfixable, and they had to leave the stage. The women were pros about the whole thing, engaging with the crowd and treating us all to some impressive a cappella work before taking their bows.

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TVD Live Shots:
Sick New World
Festival, 4/27

LAS VEGAS, NV | After a hugely successful first year, Sick New World returned to the Las Vegas Festival Grounds April 27 and brought with it a massive lineup from across the nu metal and rock worlds. System of a Down returned to the festival as the day’s headliner, and the list of artists included Bring Me the Horizon, Alice in Chains, Sleep Token, Danny Elfman, A Perfect Circle, and Slipknot, among others. Las Vegas lucked out on the weather. After a stormy Friday, the high Saturday was a lovely 78 degrees, which made the one-day marathon a lot easier to enjoy.

Scheduling over 60 bands to appear in just one day meant choices needed to be made by all in attendance. In 2023, the bands were spread across four stages; this year, a fifth stage was added. Bands not performing on the main Red and Gold stages seemed grouped more or less thematically—hardcore on one stage (Diablo), newer bands on another stage (Spiral), and industrial/electronic bands on yet another (Siren).

The scheduling overlaps and distances between the stages, coupled with the huge crowd, often made it tough to see (and photograph) bands; nonetheless, fans in attendance endeavored to pack in as much as possible. As a side note, festival organizers also made sure there were plenty of food and beverage vendors and made sure the fairgrounds had free water stations set up throughout so everyone could stay hydrated. Perhaps more impressive were the bathrooms, which managed to stay stocked and maintained all day, no easy feat with a crowd of this size.

The day got started early, with traffic snarled around Circus Circus Hotel and Casino and long lines forming at the festival grounds long before gates opened at 11AM. The first band, nu metal pioneers Nonpoint, took the stage at 11:10 am, when most people were still making their way through security.

An early day highlight was the return of Kittie. In 2017, the band went on an indefinite hiatus. However, fueled by renewed (i.e. Gen Z) interest in nu metal bands, Kittie performed its first new song since 2011 at Sick New World in 2023. The 2024 crowd enthusiastically welcomed Kittie back in 2024; Sick New World was the band’s first gig of the year.

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TVD Live Shots: Blake Rose and Max McNown at Songbyrd Music House, 4/20

Perth, Australia’s Blake Rose made a stop on his Suddenly Okay tour at DC’s Songbyrd Music House. His first headlining tour showcases his fresh charisma and charm, along with catchy anthems with a rock edge. It was an impressive show from someone who is clearly an exciting rising star.

His latest release is “Suddenly Okay,” a four track EP of sing-alongs that adds to the singer-songwriter’s existing body of infectious but relatable guitar-lead anthems. At Songbyrd Saturday, the largely Gen Z crowd gathered tightly around the stage, singing along to the pre-show playlist that included the likes of The Killers and One Direction. A wholesome post-college party atmosphere continued through the night. Rose instructed the crowd to keep partying, with only two rules in effect: to dance with anyone they saw dancing and talk to people they thought were cute.

The set list included songs like “Dizzy,” “Casanova,” and “Heavy Shit”—songs that feature his signature adept lyricism, vulnerability, and explore relatable themes like heartbreak, growing up, and getting wise. It’ll be fun to see the career of this extremely talented multi-instrumentalist and producer progress and mature.

The night kicked off with a set by supporting act Max McNown. Currently Nashville-based, the country/Americana singer-songwriter’s songs also explore relatable themes from a young person’s perspective. McNown’s first album, Wandering, was released this month and is described as revealing “his extraordinary capacity to ease the mind and strengthen the soul.”

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TVD Live Shots:
Heilung and Eivør at
DAR Constitution
Hall, 4/17

The historic and stately DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC, the city’s largest concert hall, played host to a “ritual” last Wednesday night—folk collective Heilung made a stop on its current, brief run of tour dates. The DC audience was treated to an incredible melding of heavy music and the group’s interpretation of millennia-old rituals.

This date of Heilung’s brief tour featured Faroese singer-songwriter Eivør as a special guest. For context, the Faroe Islands are a tiny archipelago located halfway between Norway and Iceland and is a part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Known for its isolation and subpolar climate, it’s from this environment that musician and vocalist Eivør Pálsdóttir, who performs professionally simply as Eivør, comes to us. Raised in the village of Syðrugøta (population <500), she performed on television for the first time at age 13 and has since dabbled in jazz, classical, folk, chamber pop, and electronic music, releasing her first album Eivør Pálsdóttir, in 2000.

Eivør has also contributed to the soundtrack of BBC’s The Last Kingdom, her voice has made an appearance in a video game (God of War)—her set Wednesday night featured these songs—and she received the 2021 Nordic Council Music Prize. Eivør’s last album is the mostly English-language Segl, released in 2020. Eivor’s newest album, Enn, is slated for release June 14. The Constitution Hall crowd, relaxed but supportive, leapt to its feet to give Eivør a standing ovation as she ended her set, prompting her to tell the crowd she was “going to cry.”

As a Heilung newbie (“Heilung is a German word that means “healing”), I was eager to see what the collective had in store for us. Looking at the crowd, it was clear I was in the minority—everyone, from fans decked out in costumes, makeup, even antlers, to the more typical DC suits—seemed excited to be there, and happy to be with like-minded fans.

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TVD Live Shots: Lee Fields and Monophonics at the 9:30 Club, 4/13

This was a fun one. Washington, DC’s storied 9:30 Club hosted an evening of soul, playing to a packed house Saturday night. On the bill? The amazing Lee Fields with support from the funky Monophonics.

Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area and led by producer/multi-instrumentalist (and a solo artist under his own name) Kelly Finnigan, Monophonics’ latest album (the band’s fifth) is Sage Motel, released in 2022. Praised for capturing a difficult to nail ’60s soul vibe, Sage Motel tells the story of, as the band itself puts it, a “place where folks experience the highs and lows of human existence. A place where big dreams and broken hearts live, where people arrive without ever knowing how they got there. It’s where folks find themselves at a crossroads in life.”

Along with the usual guitar, drums, and bass, Monophonics features the glorious use of synths and horns to create a pure retro soul/psychedelic rock sound. Reviews compare Finnigan’s voice to Marvin Gaye, and I agree with that; however, as someone who was previously unfamiliar with Monophonics, I would also argue there are similarities in the band’s sound to contemporaries like St. Paul & The Broken Bones. But while Paul Janeway’s performances and songs reflect a grounding in the church, Monophonics feels like the darker flip side of that retro soul band coin with a more intimate feel to their performance. Indeed, late in the set, the band played their incredible “Warpaint,” a song about addiction.

In any event, the crowd ate it up, singing along and dancing and, by the time I left the photo pit three songs into the set, the venue was already full, surprising for an early show. Monophonics may be known as Bay Area band, but they have a following in the DC area, too, as demonstrated Saturday night. Some folks even left after their hour-long set, finishing up their Saturday night elsewhere. Those who left early missed out on something good, as Lee Fields took the stage with his band, The Expressions, at about 7:45pm and promptly tore the house down.

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TVD Live Shots: Bryan Adams and Dave Stewart at EagleBank Arena, 3/13

Bryan Adams extended his successful “So Happy it Hurts” tour into 2024, featuring Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dave Stewart as special guest. On March 13, the celebrated musicians—each best known for their respective contributions to ‘80s rock music—brought the three-and-a-half-hour-long show to EagleBank Arena in the Washington, DC suburb of Fairfax, VA. 

The night kicked off at 8PM when Dave Stewart took the stage with his eight member, all-female backing band. Stewart is of course one half of Eurythmics who, along with Annie Lennox, is responsible for ’80s megahits like “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” and “Here Comes the Rain Again.”

I never saw Eurythmics perform live, even though I was a fan growing up, so I jumped at the privilege of covering this legend. We photographers enjoyed the rare opportunity to shoot the entire set from the pit, something I’m extremely grateful for. While there is no replacing the rock goddess Annie Lennox (who no longer wishes to tour) seeing Dave Stewart with this very talented band was the next best thing. For an hour they treated the DC area to the “Eurythmics Songbook,” a well-crafted and crowd pleasing setlist of Eurythmics classics.

Stewart clearly enjoys performing these iconic songs—between songs he’d tell a story or two and joke a little with the crowd. He still sounds fantastic and, when the set was over, we photographers regrouped, and it was unanimous—his band is amazing.

The lineup is chock full of talent drawn from multiple countries. The charismatic Australian Vanessa Amorosi did most of the heavy lifting on lead vocals, sharing duties with Stevvi Alexander. Together they breathed new life into the songs with their modern vocal interpretations. The rest of the band includes Brazilian Indiara Sfair on harmonica, saxophonist Yasmin Ogilvie, bassist Julia Lamb, drummer Ellie East, keyboardist Hannah Koppenburg.

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TVD Live Shots:
Brandi Carlile and the Hanseroth Twins at
the Anthem, 3/22

Brandi Carlile, in Washington, DC for the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize tribute concert honoring her pal Elton John, played the second of two sold out shows at the Anthem Friday night.

The excited crowd gathered early and were already seated when The Hanseroth Twins took the stage to spend thirty minutes getting the crowd amped. Phil and Tim Hanseroth are best known as the bassist and guitarist, respectively, in Brandi Carlile’s band, as well as her songwriting and harmonizing partners. They recently started breaking out on their own, having released a single, “Remember Me,” which dropped at midnight Friday. A full Hanseroth Twins album is expected late this summer.

The duo was opening for themselves, essentially, only for the second time, the first being at the previous night’s show. They treated the crowd to a handful of songs, including the aforementioned “Remember Me” before tearing up a cover of the Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine” which got the crowd up, singing and dancing. They chatted with the audience in between songs and tipped their hats to DC and its legacy as a punk town.

After a quick break, the men returned to the stage accompanied by Brandi Carlile. As mentioned, they were in town to be part of the all-star tribute concert awarding the songwriting duo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which was held on March 20. Other performers included the likes of Metallica and Joni Mitchell.

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TVD Live Shots:
The Kills and Heartworms at the
9:30 Club, 2/28

After a lengthy hiatus, The Kills released God Games in October 2023, their first album since 2016’s Ash & Ice. On tour supporting that new album, The Kills, the supremely cool duo of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince, stopped at Washington DC’s 9:30 Club on Wednesday night, the first of two dates at DC’s storied venue. They tore the place to the ground.

The Kills are keeping things simple on this tour, with the casually dressed Mosshart and Hince strolling onto a barely decorated stage—adorned only with instruments and a sparkly silver curtain. Grabbing their instruments, they launched into “Kissy Kissy,” from 2003’s Keep on Your Mean Side. The crowd couldn’t have been happier. The tone was thus set for the rest of the night, which wove old favorites like “U.R.A. Fever” with new material like the gritty “New York.” Songs from God Games made up half the set.

While The Kills’ rhythm section, as it were, was simply a drum machine, nothing about the performance felt phoned in or incomplete—Hince unleashed his guitar fury on the crowd while looking to Mosshart to howl into the microphone. Mosshart is a tornado of energy and swirling blonde hair, and when she’s not tangled up in her guitar cord or knocking her mic stand around, she paces back and forth on the stage like an animal. Studying the audience, she smiles warmly at the crowd before hitting everyone with her sexy vocals. It was a stripped down, but a hot and satisfying set from beginning to end. Over 20 years since the release of their first album, The Kills’ knockout chemistry is reflective of a decades long friendship and musical partnership.

As a side note, I’d like to shake the hand of the person who manages to resist the tractor beam of Mosshart’s intense charisma; from where I sit it would be a nearly impossible feat. I hadn’t seen Mosshart perform live since she toured with the Jack White project The Dead Weather which, from the vantage point of 2024, feels like a thousand years ago. She’s still the coolest of the cool—it’s impossible to look away. Her stage presence is as hypnotic as anything I’ve seen in my concert going life. It didn’t take too long for some gobsmacked dude standing against the barrier to yell out “I think I love you!” Bro, join the club.

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TVD Live Shots:
Twin Temple with Vowws at Baltimore Soundstage, 2/25

“I want you to do two things. I want you to be a slut and I want you to do what you want!”Alexandra James, last Sunday night.

From bluesman Robert Johnson to hip shaking Elvis Presley to metal bands like Black Sabbath and Behemoth, music has always been accused of being in cahoots with the Devil. LA’s Twin Temple turns up the dial by overtly being Satanists, ones who craft fine, 1950s style rock and roll, woven with darkness. Their sophomore album, the “brutally blasphemous” God is Dead, was released in 2023. The God is Dead tour brought the Devil to Baltimore Soundstage last Sunday night.

Support act Vowws kicked off the ritual. They are an Australian industrial rock duo, comprised of Matt Campbell (vocals, guitar) and Rizz Khanjani (vocals, keyboard). Taking inspiration from horror film soundtracks and creating a sound that is reminiscent of new wave and goth bands from the ’80s and ’90s, it’s unsurprising that Vowws has collaborated with the likes of the legendary Gary Numan. The band’s debut album, The Great Sun, was released in 2015. Vowws followed up the release of Under the World with several singles, including a collaboration with Chelsea Wolfe.

Live, Vowws leans into its own description of itself as a death pop band, performing their very danceable songs in low light, dressed in black. Khanjani’s face was adorned in white makeup that is reminiscent of the demon Pazuzu in The Exorcist. Honestly, they’re great. They’re playing the Sick New World festival in Las Vegas later in the spring; they’re on my list of bands to catch then.

Twin Temple’s husband and wife team of Alexandra and Zachary James are fans of early American rock and roll and practicing Satanists. Since the 1970s, that darkness has been most associated with heavy metal, but Twin Temple wanted to incorporate Satanism with music of an era they love, that of Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison.

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TVD Live Shots:
Big Head Todd and the Monsters at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 2/16

Colorado jam band Big Head Todd and the Monsters stopped at the Fillmore Silver Spring for a relaxed and fun night of blues rock tinged with a bit of 1990s nostalgia. Without any support act, the band (vocalist Todd Mohr, keyboard/pedal steel guitarist Jeremy Lawton, drummer Brian Nevin, and bassist Rob Squires) was free to take the stage promptly at 8PM and lept into its set, which reached into the band’s early 1990s work.

The Washington, DC area is known for being a region crawling with transplants, so it was no surprise that the crowd responded with a supportive roar when Mohr introduced the band as being from Colorado. Big Head Todd and the Monsters is known for its sizable live following out in the western part of the United States where they spent the late 1980s and ’90s touring extensively. The band still fills venues like Red Rocks near Denver, where they are scheduled to appear again in June. Big Head Todd and the Monsters’ first album, Another Mayberry, was released in 1989. In 1993, Sister Sweetly was released and went platinum in the US. The band’s 12th full-length album, Thunderbird, is scheduled to be released in late spring.

Friday night at the Fillmore Silver Spring, Mohr and the rest of the band, by the looks of it, gave the crowd what it wanted—a well-rounded setlist featuring old favorites (such as “Bittersweet”), new material (“Her Way Out”), and a few carefully selected cover tunes (some John Lee Hooker, anyone?). It was a crowd that skewed in the direction of being old enough to have seen the band in the 1990s; it was also one that was enthusiastic and became more well-lubricated as the show progressed.

Favorites like “Please Don’t Tell Her” got the crowd singing along. “It’s Alright” was delivered with a dash of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On,” which promptly got the unselfconscious in the audience slowly dancing with each other. There were many! The show wrapped up with a cover of Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me,” which brought the house down.

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TVD Live Shots: Machine Head with Fear Factory, Orbit Culture, and Gates to Hell at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 2/12

Metal fans gathered Monday night—the night after the Super Bowl—for a blinding night at the Fillmore Silver Spring, the latest stop on metal icon Machine Head’s massive Slaughter the Martour North American tour. Machine Head has Fear Factory, Orbit Culture, and Gates to Hell along for the ride.

The night kicked off early as Gates To Hell took the stage at 6:30PM to a still-assembling crowd. Gates to Hell (vocalist Ryan Storey, bassist Dustin Cantrell, guitarists Seth Lewis, Stephen Price, and Eli Hanson, and drummer Jared Barron) is a metalcore outfit from Louisville, Kentucky; in September 2022, they released their debut self-titled album. The band has said that their body of work is largely inspired by horror-related themes; live Monday night, it prepped the stoked fans for a long night of metal chaos with a 30-minute set.

After seeing Orbit Culture three times in 2023 when they supported Avatar, I was eager to see the Swedish band again. At 7:20PM, Orbit Culture (vocalist/guitarist Niklas Karlsson, guitarist Richard Hansson, bassist Fredrik Lennartsson, and drummer Christopher Wallerstedt), took the stage and proceeded to tear the place down. Watching them perform, the word that kept coming to mind was “ferocious.”

Writing about the band last September, when I covered their date in Nashville with Avatar, I said that Orbit Culture seemed to have gotten better over the course of 2023, if it were possible. I daresay the same thing has happened since last fall—their sound and stage presence seems to have improve even more. The terrorizing sound of the band’s live set was punctuated by the egging on of the audience, which was more than happy to comply with Karlsson’s instructions to form circle pits.

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TVD Live Shots:
The Charlatans and
Ride at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 1/17

It was a frosty night in the Washington, DC area, but the Fillmore Silver Spring was warm with 1990s nostalgia when The Charlatans and Ride stopped by on a date for their coheadlining Between Nowhere tour last Wednesday night. Between Nowhere is a mashup of Ride’s classic album Nowhere, from 1990, and The Charlatans’ classic Between 10th and 11th , from 1992, both of which are played in full on this tour. 

Wednesday, The Charlatans kicked the night off and tore through Between 10th and 11th sounding as well-oiled as ever. Led by the energetic Tim Burgess, The Charlatans (Burgess, Martin Blunt, Mark Collins, Tony Rogers, and touring drummer Peter Salisbury), are known for being a pioneering indie rock band, having formed in 1988 in England, and associated with the “Madchester” scene. The R&B and keyboard-tinged soul music the band is known for was on display at the Fillmore Wednesday night.

As mentioned, the set included all Between 10th and 11th which included “Tremelo Song,” “The End of Everything,” and “Weirdo,” and “Chewing Gum Weekend.” Once the album wrapped up, the band launched into selections from the rest of their catalog, including “Just When You’re Thinking Things Over” and “The Only One I Know.” The first half of the night ended with “Sproston Green” from The Charlatans’ debut album, 1990’s Some Friendly. It was a set filled with fan favorites and clearly designed to evoke memories.

The blond-mopped Burgess hyped the crowd through the band’s set, clapping waving his arms, and engaging with the audience. After some banter about where folks shopped for clothes, one fan in the balcony took off her sweater and threw it at Burgess. The crowd cheered for him to give her his sweater in return. After a few unsuccessful attempts to toss his wooly blue garment up to the balcony, the “jumper swap” was finally successful. Burgess spent the rest of the set wearing a bright green sweater that said “WEIRDO” in bright pink letters across the front and presumably the fan went home with a memorable item from the show.

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