by Chris A.
- Senior Photojournalist –
March 5, 2013 at Bogarts in Cincinnati, Ohio
Stars in Stereo, a five-piece rock n’ roll band opened the show for co-headliners Drowning Pool and Flyleaf on a blustery winter evening in Cincinnati, Ohio. Fronted by a young female vocalist named Bec Hollcraft, Stars In Stereo music is a of fusion of pop and rock, making them a perfect fit for supporting Flyleaf. Hollcraft has a strong vocal ability and the band was tight and energetic as they played to the crowd. Hailing from Los Angeles, the band’s debut album is scheduled to drop later this year. For more information about Stars In Stereo visit their website at: http://starsinstereomusic.com.
Photo Gallery: http://www.chrisaphotography.com/#!stars-in-stereo/cux4
Check out their first single “The Broken” on YouTube:
Stars In Stereo is:
Bec Hollcraft – Vocals
Jordan McGraw – Lead Guitar
Justin Siegel – Bass
Frogs McCormick – Rhythm Guitar
Drew Langan – Drums
[Photos appear courtesy of Chris A. @ http://www.chrisaphotography.com/]
May 22 & 23, 2010 at Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
by Chris A. & Deb Rao
[author: Chris A.] It’s the fourth time Columbus has hosted the “Rock on the Range” festival and by the size of the audience you’d never know there was any kind of economic crisis. With approximately 50,000 people attending each day, “Rock on the Range” is proving to be “the” show of the year in the upper Midwest of the United States. Three stages, 30-plus bands, dozens of vendors and lots of creative merchandise for sale, it’s a big party and a very good time. As with past years, there were three stages; the Monster Stage was the main stage inside the Columbus Crew Stadium while the Kicker Stage was located on the north side of the stadium and the smaller Jaegermeister Stage was positioned on the south. “Rock on the Range” has always been a great place for upstart “baby bands” to get some exposure plus they don’t seem to shy away from including diverse acts on the bill. In the case of Rock on the Range, a show known primarily as a “metal festival” it was interesting that the show would be opened and closed by rap oriented acts. Headliners for Saturday on the Monster Stage were, “Rise Against”, “Three Days Grace” and “Godsmack”. On Sunday the main bands were, “Seether”, “Rob Zombie” with “Limb Bizkit” closing the festival.
Despite a damp start to Saturday, gray clouds and occasional sprinkles didn’t appear to hold the crowd back as the yellow benches in Crew Stadium started to disappear as fans arrived to the show. At noon, the show started with Windsor, Ontario Detroit Tigers fan, “Richy Nix,” a tall thin white-guy from Ontario, rapping to metal. Twenty minutes later on the main stage, “Sevendust” exploded into their set, erasing any memories of cockeyed baseball caps and robotic hand gestures, with in-your-face metal intensity. Nearly 11 hours later the sound of electric guitars and the gritty metal of “Godsmack” faded as day-one came to an end.
Sunday was a glorious day, blue skies, beautiful hot sun and no indication of rain. At noon, “Shaman’s Harvest” a great young band, opened the show on the Kicker stage. Over the course of the next 11 hours Apocalyptica performed its brand of “metal”. Australian metal band “Airbourne” made a lot of friends and demonstrated why we all love blues-based rock ‘n’ roll! At nearly 10 pm, Fred Durst and the now out-of-seclusion “Limb Bizkit” capped off an incredible two-days of great music.
With three stages and almost invariably two running at one time, it was impossible for anyone to see all the bands. As seems to be the case with Columbus rock ‘n’ roll crowds, the fans were very mellow at Rock on the Range. It was a big party with lots of beer and thousands of friends. Sitting back and observing, It was amazing to watch the incredibly orderly procession of thousands of people snaking along the paths to get from stage to stage. Venue security, the Columbus Police Department (who were there in numbers) were extremely fan-friendly and were clearly there to keep an eye on things and to snatch up the occasional drunk-moron who got a bit too out of hand.
Each performance day started at 12 noon and for the most part the show stayed on time and ran smoothly. “Rock on the Range” 2010 was a very successful event with great bands and thousands of happy fans. Keep any eye here for interview articles from John 5, Airbourne and others from the weekends show. For more information on “Rock on the Range” visit www.rockontherange.com You can also see my photos of “Rock on the Range” by visiting www.chrisa.us
Rock on the Range Photo Gallery
Photos appear courtesy of Chris A. and Deb Rao
[author: Deb Rao] As thousands of rock fans descended to Columbus, Ohio at Crew Stadium, one thing was for certain the sporting venue was turned into a rock and roll extravaganza for one of the most anticipated events of the summer Rock On The Range 2010. The event promised to feature one of the most solid line-ups to date. This year Rock On The Range was hosted by Mistress Juliya and broadcast live by Nikki Sixx and his new hit radio show Sixx Sense.
Tattoos, body jewelry and rock clothing venders filled the area to the hilt. The crowd featured a young audience and some older fans of the older bands. One of the most exciting aspects of this year’s line-up on May 22 headlined by Boston’s Godsmack with the diversity to the line-up. ROTR featured the best in punk, alternative, hip-hop and hard rock cutting edge bands making an impact in music today. The festival featured three stages of music included the Jager Stage. Kicker Stage, and Monster Stage. I found myself mostly stationed at the Kicker Stage but after the days shooting of that stage was over, I managed to catch full sets of Rise Against, Three Days Grace, and Godsmack. More on the main acts later.
My journey began early in the morning from Boston, as my flight landed in Columbus, Ohio a tad late due to flight delays. But no worries a full day of music was ahead of me. One of the first acts I had the pleasure of seeing was Eleven Seven Music recording artists Drowning Pool on the Monster Stage. This band is one of the hardest working bands in music today. Singer Ryan McCombs has picked up the pieces and breathed new life into the band. As the sun tried to break through the ominous clouds, Drowning Pool heated up the stage with a set that included these songs,”Enemy,” “Sinner”,”37 Stitches,” Feel Like I Do”,”Regret”,”Tear Away”, and “Bodies.”
Next up on the Monster Stage was Puddle of Mudd who is in the midst of a successful headlining tour. Puddle Of Mudd is best when performing at festivals like this. Lead frontman Wes Scantlin always manages to get the crowd rolling and today’s performance was no exception. The band opened with the ferocious “Control”, as Wes took full control of the moment and the mosh pits began. Slammin’ into new song “Spaceship’ let the party begin as Wes yelled,”What’s up Motherf***ers?” Highlight of the set with fists in the air included the AC/DC cover “TNT.”
I proceeded to make my way to the Kicker Stage to catch one of the most exciting and promising acts of the day Halestorm. Mistress Juliya introduced the band as Lzzy Hale dressed in a black and red dress and hit the stage with a set that was clearly mesmerizing. Halestorm opened their set with “It’s Not You.” The ’80s had Heart and Pat Benetar as the reigning rock queens. Well, this is the Millennium and Lzzy Hale most definitely deserves the title as best new female of the decade. Lzzy can rock with the best of them and Halestorm clearly won the title for best act on the Kicker Stage at ROTR 2010.
It was great to see all the female musicians performing here today. Next up another great band that gave an outstanding performance was Christian rock band Skillet. Fronted by John Cooper, his wife Korey Cooper on guitar was also spellbinding. Jen Ledger was featured on drums. The band also featured a cello and violin, which added a nice flavor to the hard rock sound. Highlights of the set were the songs “Hero”, and “Monster.”
The Kicker Stage featured some of the best acts all day. Next up Killswitch Engage made Massachusetts proud. It was exhilarating to see all the talent from the Mass area here today. Highlight of the Killswitch Engage set was when singer Howard Jones dedicated the song “Holy Diver” to the legendary Dio. Metal horns in the air. May you rest in peace.
Throughout the day many of the bands held meet and greets including Adelita’s Way and Puddle Of Mudd. It was great to see the inter-action between fans and bands. This festival is all about the music. The rock stars left their attitudes at the door and chatted with the fans and showed their appreciation.
The event was blessed by the weather this year as the sun finally broke through the crowds with temperatures in the 80′s. Finally, the Kicker Stage music was over and now it was time to enjoy the Monster Stage. The floor began to fill up to capacity for The Deftones. I spoke with many fans who were eager to see the band. The Deftones took full advantage of the set premiering many new songs from their latest release Diamond Eyes. They are definitely one of the best punk rock bands around; true pioneers.
One of the most promising acts on the Monster Stage was Rise Against. I never heard of them before and really enjoy their high-energy set. The award for most promising act on the Monster Stage would have to go to Three Days Grace. This is a band that you associate all their hits on the radio when you hear them they play live and you go “I know that song.” This was my first time seeing this Canadian band perform live and I have to say I was very impressed by Adam Gontier vocals. Sporting a black hat, Adam and company delivered a set that was powerful and poignant. Adam is the master of love gone wrong songs. I highly enjoyed the “I Hate Everything About You.”
Boston’s Godsmack was the headliner on the Monster Stage and did Boston Proud. Sully Erna took full control of the Mid-western crowd and showed them how we rock in Boston. Their set list included
Godsmack Set List:
Straight Out of Line
War and Peace
Cryin’ Like a Bitch
Batalla de los Tambores
Spotted in the audience, was Jackass star Jason Acuna. Actually, he was sitting in back of me with a beret of beauties on his lap. The announcer of the show commented that this years show broke all attendance records. Rock On The Range 2010 proved to be a haven for rock fans to unite and enjoy some of the best cutting edge bands in music today. It was a time to make new friends, spend time with old friends, and celebrate the exciting new wave of music today.
Special Thanks to the great staff of MSO for letting Hardrock Haven cover Rock On The Range 2010. Be sure to check out Rock On The Range interviews with Puddle Of Mudd, Sevendust, Richy Nix, and coming soon Adelita’s Way and Apocalyptica.
Rock On The Range May 22 Line-up:
Drowning Pool 1:40
Puddle of Mudd 2:55
Papa Roach 4:15
Rise Against 7:05
Three Days Grace 8:51
Richy Nix 12:00
Violent Soho 1:05
Adelita’s Way 2:20
Killswitch Engage 6:20
Like A Storm 12:00
Taddy Porter 1:05
Non Point 3:40
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.
Rockfest 2009 Photo Gallery
by Deb Rao
Drowning Pool is deemed by Motley Crue bassist NIKKI SIXX, as one of the top survival stories in Rock and Roll. They say third time is the charm, and if that theory holds true Drowning Pool are in for the best year of their career.
Currently on third singer Ryan McCombs and third album, Drowning Pool has landed in the Top 10 Active Rock Charts with their current hit “37 Stitches”. Also NIKKI SIXX has asked Drowning Pool to join Crue Fest 2 this summer. The band will open a new door to their career, and hopefully leave the rocky climb to the top behind them once and for all.
Drowning Pool bassist Stevie Benton has checked with Hardrock Haven to discuss the upcoming Crue Fest Tour and their latest live album Loudest Common Denominator.
HRH: Stevie, Thank you for checking in with Hardrock Haven. Drowning Pool is getting set to embark on the Crue Fest 2 Tour this summer. How important is it for the band to showcase the re-birth of the band in front of a whole new audience this summer?
STEVIE: I mean it is huge. It is make it or break it at this point. It is kind of like a crescendo of two and a half years of hard work and a lot of playing every little bar and club coast to coast supporting this record. Finally, it has all come together at once. We have a single, it is Top 5 at radio now. We have this awesome huge tour coming up. It means everything to us to show in front of that audience that has never seen us before to show that the band is still around and we are not going anywhere.
HRH: In a recent press release, NIKKI SIXX deemed the band as one of the greatest rock and roll stories in metal today. As you mentioned Drowning Pool has a new single,”37 Stitches” it is in the Top 5 on the Active Rock Charts. You are on your third singer, which is Ryan. What is the motivation to keep going at the endless speed? I know the band has had some ups and down but have seemed to overcome them all miraculously.
STEVIE: It is finally good to see a lot of years paying off. It is unfortunate that we had to have three singers. We basically had to start over and rebuild every time. It is not something that we ever anticipated. It is not something that we ever wanted to do. It is just kind of the way it is played out. We hope that now have things have turned around for us that we will be able to go on for a long time. Hopefully having Ryan in the band will remain an established cohesive unit for a long time and we will do a lot of records together.
HRH: Drowning Pool recently released your first live album ever Loudest Common Denominator. Tell us the meaning of the title behind this album.
STEVIE: The title is supposed to mean big rock show that brings everybody together. It is like the Common Denominator that everyone can relate to. Going out and rocking out and having a good time. The title is as simple as that really.
HRH: What inspired the band to release a live album? It showcases your strength with the acoustic songs and you’re hard hitting songs like “Soldiers and “Bodies”.
STEVIE: Kind of the motivation behind it was the fact that people that come out to our show we hear so many comments how different the songs sound live as opposed how they come across on record. We always hear oh you guys are so much heavier. People always take away something that they didn’t expect. We wanted to give them a little piece of that to take home with them. They can have the big rock show in their living room or cars whatever now.
HRH: It is good that some of the fans attending Crue fest this summer who have never heard of Drowning Pool can go buy the album and experience the band live this summer.
STEVIE: Absolutely, that is the motivation for doing it. Getting an opportunity to get in from of those people every night that is the payoff for all the hard work and traveling and all the other BS that you have to deal with being on the road. That 30 minutes or an hour whatever it is in front of a crowd is what makes it all worth it.
HRH: Drowning Pool recently wrapped up This IS For The Soldiers Tour last year. How inspiring was it to give back to Troops and do this tour for them?
STEVIE: After we went to Iraq and Kuwait and that stuff and meant so many people that put their lives on hold and put their lives on the line most days and then go over there and spend 15 to 18 months at a time away form their families. It was really inspiring to see people being so selfless like that and doing so much for the country. We wanted to do anything we could to help them. We did the tour and worked on the Lane Evans Bill just seemed like the very least we could do for those that do sop much for all of us.
HRH: Do you think that the band accomplished all of your goals? I know you went to Capital Hill to push the Lane Evans Bill.
STEVIE: The goals that we had set for that time, we certainly did. They were able to create a lot of funding to do the mental healthcare for the returning Troops to help them get back into their civilian lives once they come home. It was awesome to see that all come together. But as far as being done with that type of work, I don’t ever see that happening. Hopefully, the IAVA or USO, they are always welcome to call us and we will be there to do whatever we can for any cause that benefits the Troops in any way we can.
HRH: How did performing in Baghdad on the fifth Anniversary of 9/11 forever change your lives?
STEVIE: That is where the title Full Circle came from. It was devastating for the band when 9/11 happened. It was a terrible tragedy for the country. Secondly, a lot of people kind of associated “Bodies” with that. It was pulled off the radio for a while. Which yeah know I can understand and it didn’t really bother me. If hearing that song upset people. I understand pulling it. The only thing I didn’t like about it that it kind of put that connection forever to that song and 9/11. It was rewarding having that song bring us Full Circle where The Troops taking that song in and making it their own. It gave the song all new meaning and all new life for us in the band. To be there in Baghdad, five years later was when you look back on it and how everything unfolded during those five years it was overwhelming.
HRH: Is Drowning Pool in the studio recording a new album?
STEVIE: Actually, we are in the studio doing demos for a new record. But we are popping out and doing shows. Tonight was our last night, we are driving back now. Last night we just finished doing a week with Korn. We are just kind of doing little shows here and there. To kind of keep our chops up.
HRH: What inspired you to do acoustic versions of “37″ Stitches”, and “Shame” on your live album?
STEVIE: When the record was put together we just wanted to pop in and try our hand of doing a couple of acoustic songs. We kind have done it before but never recorded it and put it out there before. It was something different. One thing we always strive to do. It would be easy to sit home and re-write “Bodies” for us but that would get really boring for us. It would be kind of cheating other people out of their money. We are always looking to try something new and out something different out there.
HRH: Stevie, is their anything else that you want to say about the upcoming Cruefest Tour kicking off July 19th?
STEVIE: It is going to be awesome. It is a dream come true for us to be out there on a tour. As a kid I had pictures of Motley Crue all over the place. I worshiped NIKKI SIXX. I still do actually. To be able to spend the summer with those guys is unbelievable. We are honored and we cannot wait.