I Love Rock Shows


The live music offerings for the winter and spring of 2016 are pretty incredible in my neck of the woods. In anticipation of these events I thought I would spend some time thinking about shows of the past and my experiences with the bands that I'm planning to see. Up first, a band I have never seen, Queensryche (Queens-richie is the pronunciation in my circle of friends. Thanks to Jeff Loppnow for establishing that for us).



I'm a huge Dream Theater fan, but never spent much time with Queensryche. Nick definitely knows their catalog, and he picked up some tickets for us as a gift for my birthday. I certainly enjoy the Geoff Tate vs. Queensryche saga on Blabbermouth, so I have some interest. The musicianship will be top notch live, so I'm sure it will be great. The show is at Knuckleheads in Kansas City.

Amon Amarth

Johan Hegg carries a viking horn on his belt, enough said. This band is pure entertainment, and I've had the opportunity to see them once in the past. I believe they were opening up for Trivium and Children of Bodom at the House of Blues in Chicago (looks like it was 11/13/05, holy shit that was a while ago). I don't listen to Amon Amarth on a daily or weekly basis, but they are consistent and reliable, and a lot of fun in a small club. The show is at the Granada in Lawrence, KS which is the home of some of the best live music I've ever seen. It's a pretty compact venue with a pit area enclosed by a raised floor area with a railing right in front. That raised area is super close to the stage and the sound in the Granada is great.

Children of Bodom

I have seen Children of Bodom many times, but the first time was when they opened up for Lamb of God at the Granada (looks like 10/23/04). Bodom released Hate Crew Deathroll in 2003, and that album has become one of my favorites. I had no idea who they were at the time of the show, and I have been following them ever since. Being exposed to a band for the first time via a live show is a special thing, and it has happened to me on many occasions. I've seen Bodom a few times at the Granada, and the black metal influence, precise playing, and high energy have always been enjoyable. Other notable shows would be the show I mentioned above with Amon Amarth and Trivium, Unholy Alliance in Milwaukee (2006), and another headline show at the House of Blues, can't remember any openers, but I think it was on a tour for the Blooddrunk album.

Killswitch Engage

I have not seen KSE in a while, but I did see Times of Grace at Bottom Lounge in 2011. I still listen to The Hymn of a Broken Man on a weekly basis, and it's one of my favorite records of all time. The first time I saw KSE was probably at an Ozzfest at some point while they were touring on The End of Heartache. I saw them at the Uptown in Kansas City with Chimaira and Dragonforce as well (April 2007), and maybe once at the Rave in Milwaukee. Anyways, I liked their last record and I'm psyched to see them again since it's been a long time. The show is at the Uptown in Kansas City.


I have never seen AC/DC. It will be amazing, enough said. The show is at Sprint Center in Kansas City.

There are a few more shows that I might be able to catch, Trivium / Sevendust for example, so I'll have to keep you posted.




Happy New Year!

Music can be at the center of my attention for extended periods of time (weeks, months), but it can also lay low and make room for the other priorities in my life. I certainly have many interests and priorities going into 2016, and I am grateful for everything that I have. I enjoy the challenges that music provides, and in writing new music I am reminded of how compelling and rewarding the process can be. Especially without the overthinking and trying to be this or that. The process is fueled by the ability of my collaborators to influence our music in the moment. Not everything has to be written this way, but playing together and jamming the same sequence of parts over and over again helps to calibrate our machine and set me in the right direction.

For those who are unaware, Nick and I now live in Kansas, and Jeff is still in Illinois. We recently got together to work on some music, and we're very excited. Our situation poses some challenges, but we believe in what we are doing, and it's fun. We have cycled through several different phases in this band, and we are as interested and invested as we have ever been. I'm currently writing lyrics and vocal melodies for a few songs, and am at a bit of a standstill with some lyrics. Lyrics always work themselves out over time, so I'm pretty good about not forcing things and pushing something that I'm not completely behind. I'm definitely eager for the final product. We have one song completed entitled "Closer to the Sun".

While we were jamming a few weeks back we got an email from Marija at 95.1 WIIL Rock, and she wanted to know if we were still going strong and what not. They selected us for the 420 Homegrown Hit of the Day, so special thanks to Marija and WIIL Rock! We were puffed through with 70 plus votes.

Holiday Brews - Here are my top 3 holiday brews for this year, in no particular order. They are well balanced, not overly festive, and full of flavor!

Cheers, Anthony