by Chris A.
September 24, 2011 at Alrosa Villa, Columbus, OH.
It was the final gig for the band before heading home for a few days off and the guys from Burn Halo were ready for the break. “Yeah, I’m living the dream,” remarked Burn Halo guitarist Joey Roxx as he lounged around the back parking lot of the Alrosa in oversized sweat pants and flip flops. Out on the road in support of their newest disc Up From The Ashes Joey Roxx and the Burn Halo guys have been tearing up the United States touring incessantly. Tonight’s gig at the Alrosa was a last minute addition to the tour and audience turn out for the gig was proving to be light creating the ultimate test of a bands performance credibility. Adding to the mix was that lead singer James Hart and a couple other members of the band had been ill and were feeling absolutely run down.
With their new metal sound, frenzied guitar licks and crooning-style vocals, Burn Halo mixes old school big arena riffs with new metal slick guitar licks greatly influenced by Avenged Sevenfold and their resident axeman, guitarist Synyster Gates, (who contributes some shredding on s track called “Dirty Little Girl”). Spin Up From The Ashes and one can’t help but be impressed by the powerful vocals, great arrangements and cool licks. It’s a solid effort by a really talented rock n’ roll band.
After cooling it for Four and a half hours while the openers performed, Burn Halo prepared to turn on the Alrosa Villa to their brand of hard driving rock n roll. From my perspective photographing the gig, had I not known that the crowd was on the small end, I would have thought Burn Halo were headlining a televised sold out show at the Madison Square Garden. Seriously, these guys were motivated and relentless. The musical assault by Burn Halo at the Alrosa was impressive as they ripped through song after song, sucking the fans into their world and involving them in the gig. Frontman James Hart sangs with power and emotion blowing the fans away with this range and vocal capability, despite feeling like crap. Within just a few songs Burn Halo captivated the audience and the staff of the Alrosa.
For the folks who came out, the performance was a treat and sure to be a memorable event. Everyone was up close, it was a personal show. It was cool and refreshing to see a band that absolutely gave it all despite a small crowd. The music was great, the vibe was electric and the band personable and friendly. Here’s to hoping that Burn Halo returns to the capital city of Ohio soon.
For more information on Burn Halo, visit their official page on Myspace or on Facebook.
by Deb Rao
July 26, 2011 at Cheyenne Saloon in Las Vegas, NV.
There is a whole new crop of bands garnering fans from East Coast to West Coast. Two bands making quite the impression with fans are Burn Halo and Egypt Central. I was fortunate to catch both bands when the rolled into Las Vegas performing at the Cheyenne Saloon. Vegas may be known for its glamor and glitz but there are a few good venues in town that cater to the rising stars. The Cheyenne Saloon is a Vegas roadhouse with a Texas ambiance, complete with pool tables and hardwood floors. The atmosphere is laid back and unpretentious.
Burn Halo hit the stage at 9 p.m., delivering a set that consisted of great lyrics and vocals. Fronted by James Hart, Burn Halo has all the potential to be the next breakout band. They have a modern day sound with a taste of ’80s, regarding the great lyrics and melodic yet hard-edged guitar riffs. Burn Halo also performed a number of songs off of their latest release Up From The Ashes. Highlights of the set included “Dirty Little Girl” and the title track.
You have read all the great reviews regarding Egypt Central but words cannot describe the intensity of the band’s performance. One word that describes Egypt Central is explosive. From the moment that John Falls and Egypt Central hit the stage, the band commanded attention. Opening with “Taking You Down” and ending the sledge hammer hit single “White Rabbit”, the band kind of reminds me of a young Disturbed but so ever much more intense. Highlights of the set included “Over And Under” and “You Make Me Sick.” I would love to see this band on a huge concert bill. The energy of their show was relentless. Be sure to check out the band’s new single and video “Kick Ass.”
Thanks to Amanda Cagan for giving Hardrock Haven the opportunity to check out these two outstanding new acts.
by Nikiforos Skoumas
Up From the Ashes is the brand new, second album by American hard rock band Burn Halo. Up From the Ashes could be regarded as the natural successor to their debut, once again bringing to front their groove-meets-melody approach. Along these lines you can expect thick riffs, groovy bodies, followed by melodic verses and catchy choruses.
The line-up features lead singer James Heart, guitarists Joey Roxx and Brandon Lynn, bassist Aaron Boehler and drummer Dillon Ray. The performances on Up From the Ashes are intense and fairly aggressive while retaining their radio friendly essence, which is mostly due to the album’s contemporary production qualities. The vocals are up-front in the mix while the harmonies effectively take over the grooves when the verses and choruses kick in. Their mainstream appeal owes a lot to their lead singer who sounds like a mixture of Chad Kroeger and James Hetfield.
In essence Burn Halo attempt to mix the riffs of classic rock ’n roll with the staccato rhythm of contemporary heavy metal all under a modern-as-it-gets production. It has to be said that Burn Halo succeed at blending the two rock sub genres although the end result is not as exiting as one would expect, that is until the verses and choruses come to play.
The power ballads are actually very well crafted with far more substance than one would expect from a radio-directed tune. Still it is possible that the radio friendly approach prevents the band from adding multiple instrumental layers to their songs which would make the end result more intense and intriguing; especially if you consider that a classic rock ’n roll riff will welcome just about any guitar lead or keyboard melody. On the other hand, one has to address that lead guitarist Joey Cuhna shines on each and every solo though far from being the protagonist musician on the album.
It is easy to see the potential of the songs on Up From the Ashes, but the experienced listener will probably be able to trace that there is certainly room on the compositions for more performances; from twin guitar melodies, background keyboards, to backing vocals, it becomes apparent that Burn Halo could have added more and would have been for the benefit of their new album. The best example of the could-have-been approach envisioned here is the closing track of the album “Shine” which includes everything from acoustic intros, to atmospheric keyboards to melodic wah-wah guitars and challenging rhythm section, providing a clear picture of how Up From the Ashes could have sounded. Instead the group chose to simplify their material which on one hand strengthens their mainstream appeal but on the other hand hinders their uniqueness.
Overall Up From the Ashes is a solid modern hard rock release with undeniable mainstream potential; bound to appeal to a wider audience that the defined rock-metal community though definitely prioritizing song-writing over performance.
Genre: Modern Hard Rock
James Hart – lead vocals
Joey Roxx – lead guitar
Brandon Lynn – rhythm guitar
Aaron Boehler – bass
Dillon Ray – drums, percussion
1. “Tear It Down”
2. “Up from the Ashes”
4. “Threw It All Away”
6. “Stuck in a Rut”
7. “Give Me a Sign”
9. “Rest My Soul”
10. “I Won’t Back Down”
12. “We Won’t Live Forever” (iTunes bonus track)
Band website: http://www.burnhalo.com/
Hardrock Haven rating: 7/10
May 15, 2010 at Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, MO.
by John Kindred & Shawna McHenry
Rockfest always is advertised as a festival that keeps the average fan from shelling out wads of money. The organizers, radio station 98.9 The Rock and AEG Live, provide a days’ worth of entertainment with fairly low-cost ticket prices, food and drink prices capped at a maximum of $5 per item and readily available free water.
This year, thunder and rain marked the festival most of the day. Fans made the best of it, enjoying the music despite the lack of sun. This certainly was the one of the coldest and wettest Rockfests to date. Concertgoers have billed the day as “Mudfest 2010” on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Some imaginative fans created a mudslide, and concertgoers who took the journey down the water-soaked hill encased themselves in mud.
Two stages provided the day’s musical entertainment. Fifteen bands followed a predefined rotation that kept the music rumbling throughout the afternoon and well into the evening, which was topped off by fireworks. With this year’s headliner being Godsmack, fans truly were able to embrace some of the day’s popular hard rock and metal bands.
The second stage, sponsored by Monster Energy Drink, was given more attention to make it bigger and better than previous years. The raising of the stage by several additional feet provided crowds a better viewing of the bands. Apparently, this sparked the second stage bands to take their live performances to the next level. The highlight of the day included Airbourne’s front man, Joel O’Keefffe, climbing 20 feet up the stage scaffolding for an old-school guitar solo. Their energy and classic hard rock sound got fans out of the dreary day’s slump and back into a rock festival mood.
The spirited festival event continues to bring an economic boost to the Kansas City area, if only just for a day. The festival also caters to a younger crowd, which maybe wouldn’t have had the income to drop on a more expensive event. However, long lines for frequent food and beverage runs continued to empty wallets. And hanging out with a bone-crushing crowd of 55,000 definitely leads to claustrophobia. In the end, promoters and fans find Rockfest a win/win event.
Main Stage Monster Energy Stage
1:30 – Halestorm
2:40 – Rev Theory
3:50 – Drowning Pool
5:00 – Papa Roach
6:30 – Seether
8:00 – Three Days Grace
9:30 – Godsmack
Monster Energy Stage
12:00 – Taddy Porter
1:00 – Shaman’s Harvest
2:10 – Adelitas Way
3:20 – Burn Halo
4:30 – The Veer Union
6:00 – Janus
7:30 – Airbourne
9:00 – Five Finger Death Punch
Kansas City Rockfest Photo Gallery
May 30, 2009 Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, Mo.
by John Kindred
9:30 p.m. – KoRn
8:00 p.m. – Buckcherry
6:30 p.m. – Shinedown
5:00 p.m. – Corey Taylor & the JBKB
3:50 p.m. – Theory of a Deadman
2:40 p.m. – Saving Abel
1:30 p.m. – Rev Theory
9:00 p.m. – Drowning Pool
7:30 p.m. – Duff McKagan’s Loaded
6:00 p.m. – Dope
4:30 p.m. – Parlor Mob
3:20 p.m. – The Veer Union
2:10 p.m. – Burn Halo
1:00 p.m. – Crooked X
12:00 p.m. – Federation of Horsepower
The Good: Newcomers; Burn Halo and Parlor Mob. The new-old-timers Shinedown. Plenty of porta-potties.
The Bad: Long lines at the concession stands. Over-priced beer, food and bottled water. However you present it, $5 per individual food item sucks … one meal per concertgoer easily could be $20. Free water means waiting in line, missing the concert. Purchased water means waiting in line, missing the concert and paying $3 a bottle. The venue is too small, period for 50,000 people.
The Ugly: I (heart) Vagina merchandise. Scantily clad over-weight individuals. Seeing tattoos in places you never would want to look anyway.
The Inside Skinny:
Kansas City radio station, 98.9 The Rock, dubs the event as the biggest one-day rock festival in North America. Kansas City’s annual Rockfest played host to 15 bands and more than 50,000 spectators. Sponsored by vendors such as Miller Lite and Worth Harley Davidson, 98.9’s one-day festival features new and emerging bands along with modern metal mainstays.
Headliners Korn were joined by fellow rockers Buckcherry and Shinedown. Slipknot’s Corey Taylor brought along his solo band The Junk Beer Kidnap Band and performed Stone Sour and obscure songs.
The second stage featured new talent including youngsters Crooked X, new-comers Burn Halo, Parlor Mob and Veer Union, Duff McKagan’s band Loaded, Dope and Drowning Pool.
Unfortunately, the best place to see any of the bands perform was at the Second Stage. Unless you were within 10-15 feet of the main stage barrier and you were of modest height, there was no way to see any live action. There were two video screens placed a few hundred yards from the stage, but they were stationed to the right of the venue and benefited few.
Observations of the day included bands moving away from Screamo-metal. Almost all the participating bands featured singing vocalists. Guitar solos are slowly creeping back into rock music. Bands continue to show influences from the ‘70s.
Burn Halo, led by vocalist James Hart, launched into their 40-minute set and performed songs from their new self-titled album. They performed their current radio hit “Dirty Little Girl,” “Save Me,” as well as “Gasoline” and “Dead End Roads & Lost Highways.”
Hailing from New Jersey, Parlor Mob’s music features a nostalgic ‘70s-inspired vibe. The band has a vibrant energy that feels raw and spontaneous. Touring in support of the debut album debut album And You Were A Crow on Roadrunner Records, this is a band to keep on eye on.
The Shinedown set included a majority of their hits. Brent Smith and company had the crowd eating out of their hands as they directed fans to the pulsating beat of their music. Performing hit after hit, the band is sure on top of their game. Fans were treated to “Devour,” “Sound of Madness,” “Second Chance,” “.45,” “Fly From the Inside” and “Save Me.”
Crooked X features four youths hailing from Oklahoma. Young, these kids are 15 years old! Their 10-song debut was released on MPM/EMI/Capitol in January, and the band already has opened for Kiss and Ted Nugent. This is another band to keep an eye out for. Crooked X has plenty of energy and talent as well song-writing skills.