Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Show Recap: Haste the Day @ HeavenFest

Well i feel a lot older today

Last Saturday night my homie Tahoe and I stayed up past our bedtimes and saw Haste the Day play on the Garage Stage at HeavenFest. it was great!

Let me start by saying that HeavenFest appeared to be a success, lots of people, good bands, good sponsors and good parking (for band members!). Unfortunately of all the bands that played the H'Fest (jeremy camp, skillet, seventh slumber...) there was only one band i wanted to see; Haste the Day!

HTD was slotted to be the last band of the night on the Garage Stage, performing after K-Max of DC Talk fame, and therefore TAhoe got a glimpse of a few things lame on the evening. Apparently K-Max is like spoken word type stuff, and we only lasted about 2 minutes before heading back outside to wait for HTD. As K-Max wrapped up a mass of youth group kids took over the garage. The MC warned people to be safe, and that they were expecting a large number of people for the show. she was right, it was packed.

For those of you who might remember the Jesus Freak tour by DC Talk back in the day, you know, where Christian teenagers found a chance to "mosh" to what amounted to heavy alternative rock back then. this show wasn't much different, a ton of sub-16 year olds crashed the stage, and there was Tahoe and I, old dudes, arms crossed, serious faces, ready to destroy any kid that came into the Radius Of Doom that is often created by Tahoe!

HTD finally took the stage about 15 minutes late since the sound guy had no idea what was going on. the crowd was very anxious due to the +100 degree room and some live rap music by some random hip-hop group (who brings up a rap group to perform for a bunch of metal-heads?) anyway, HTD took the stage, opening with Pressure the Hinges which was amazing. the plugged through a few of the hits off their latest album including Minor Prophets and Needles and the place was going nuts. these new songs have such heavy outro's you could help but head-band (thing of wiping your chin on your left shoulder, repeat to the beat of the drums).

The first song almost resulted in the death of 10 teenagers when Tahoe slipped on some water and went down in the pit, almost losing his glasses, and if that happens you can be sure to see a Hulk-Smash moment!

Haste the Day is amazing live, and they haven't missed a beat since replacing longtime guitarist Jason. His replacement didn't miss a note all night! and Jimmy Ryan's replacement, Stephen is amazing live, his growling voice is less harsh than Jimmy's but it mesh's quite well with the great melody/harmony lines usually found in the chorus on HTD songs. Everyone seems to be in good voice on the night

After playing the newest songs, HTD switched back to play some oldies like Walk On which was solid. Next up they played Blue 42 and American Love. At this point you could start to see who really knew Haste the Day and who was there to 'mosh' and be tool. I also noticed something else at this point; the crowd was dominated by girls, probably a 2-1 ratio. this might be good news if you're a 15 yr old trying to decide what you'd rather look at more, the girls in their tank-tops or the band. Tahoe and I aren't 15 anymore and to be honest, that many girls in the pit makes things a little awkward. We stood our ground as mobs of 15 yr old girls pogo-sticked around us, luckily nobody messes with Tahoe, so i just stand next to him so i don't sucked into a circle pit made of a bunch of little kids and hurt somebody, yea thats right, i spared the kids that night.

As for the music, Haste just plugged away, smiling at each other as they rocked out. Stephen even took a moment to thank God for His grace and mercy, which was awesome to hear, even if it was to Christian crowd at HeavenFest and not a "secular" venue. the best musical note of the night probably came during American Love, the outro is a slow sing along and the whole crowd was singing along "Never should have let you, promise me, You'll stay with me forever" and then the places went crazy (at least who was still left).

Haste the Day is so reliable live, they play their songs really well and even through a handful of technical difficulties they just kept going. They play most of their hits though i'd like to hear Perfect Night, Stitches or White Collar live, and maybe we would have if there weren't so many problems during sound-check.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spend Money On Music!

it seems like i can't talk about music with anyone without somehow getting into a debate about downloading music, free or not. I don't particularly like this argument since i usually lose, but i do learn a lot about how different people think about the music industry and how "illegal" downloading is effecting it. Now that itunes is the largest retailer of music, i think i should try it out.

I personally download a lot of music, i won't deny it. i also think the record companies and bands are going to have to get creative with how they make money because downloading isn't going away (not that this makes it right!). but thats another post.

This post is about a plan i have. Sometimes i feel overwhelmed with trying to help so many small bands get noticed or succeed. i'd love to buy a shirt and a cd from every small band out there to help them out but i can't. i go to a lot of shows, i think more than most people, and not just big venue shows, but a lot of very small venue shows helping out bands that need every dollar (especially with gas prices!). i want to make a pledge to go beyond just going to shows and buying the occasional shirt. i'm going to try and purchase at least $15-$20 worth of band merch (cds, dvds, shirts, vinyl...) every month.

Some of you probably already do this and more, but i don't. i've never bought a song off itunes, but i plan to now. i think i'm more likely to order the cds and stuff from the bands official webpages since that gives you something physical to have and hold for your money rather than just a file from itunes.

i've already started this, purchasing the pre-order package from Means (shirt+cd) 2 months ago and then ordering a shirt from Life In Your Way (RIP) this last month. this month i plan on buying a shirt from Haste the Day when i see them at Heavenfest (as long as they have a cool one!).

This little $20 isn't going to change really anything, except help those small bands. playing in a small-time band myself i know that $20 can actually really help, i don't know if people really realize that, but just buying one cd can really help offset the debt for a lot of bands (hint hint buy our cd!)

What do you think? do you already buy songs off itunes? are you a freeloader like myself? are you going to try and put some money back into the arts!?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

News: Wertz, Edwin, Haste, 519...

So i've been lazy lately and therefore have neglected to update here. there have been a few news items that i think are worthy of posting, so i just start blasting through them;

Starting with new music

-Matt Wertz is releasing an album titled Under the Summer Sun. it has 12 songs, including some acoustic one's Matt recorded as well as some old and new songs. check it out, there are a bunch of pre-order specials at his site

-Edwin McCain just released his 103rd album titled Nobody's Fault But Mine. this one isn't original songs, but a compilation of covers of Edwin's childhood idols like Al Greene, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye. it's pretty good, though it's nothing really like Edwin's regular albums.

-As I Lay Dying's front-man Tim Lebasis has a side project named Austrian Death Machine that can be bluntly described as a metal band tribute Arnold Schwarzenagger. The album is called Total Brutal, and it's just that. It's pretty epic if you're down for an adventure, so far Tahoe gives it 2 thumbs-up.

-Third Day just released Revelation. If you like older more rock-style Third Day then you'll really like this album. its nothing crazy but it's very solid, good southern rock, and lots of energy!

-other new albums released recently include: Killing the Dream - Fractures, Means - To Keep Me From Sinking, and Street Dog - State of Grace.

and other news;

-For fans of Haste the Day's old lead singer Jimmy Ryan, he's in a new band called Trenches. They're planning on releasing their first album later this year.

-Apparently since gas is super-expensive, no bands are really touring this summer. there's a random show here and there but nothing huge to post except:


Come see our band, 519, play at Heavenfest along with other great bands like Trace Bundy, Haste the Day, the Brian Davis Band, Jeremy Camp, Kevin Max, and a ton of hip-hop acts. its going to be epic and i'm sure there's music for just about everyone that goes.

here's some Trace Bundy: