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Syracuse rock band The Alpha Fire has released the official music video for their single, “Trail of Tears.” Filmed by Wade Spencer (Imagen Records) at the abandoned Seneca Army Depot in Upstate NY, “Trail of Tears” is a third person narrative which journeys inside the mindset of a lost soul. It is a dark and brooding representation of the seriousness of the current mental health crisis in America.

The Alpha Fire - Trail of Tears (Official Music Video) - YouTube
“‘Trail of Tears’ is the debut single from the The Alpha Fire. The song itself is a representation of the struggles that we face every day, and the strength and determination that it takes to overcome them.” – The Alpha Fire

Download/Stream “Trail of Tears Online:
Google Play | SquareUp | iTunes | Spotify

The Alpha Fire is a 5 piece rock/alternative band from Upstate New York. Never to be contained by one style or genre, The Alpha Fire maintains its signature sound through the intense delivery of seasoned vocalist Jon Lamanna, the beautiful harmonies of Jesse Maty (guitars, synth, vocals) and the eclectically original lead guitar work of Naren Ananda. Bassist Bryan King adds the perfect foundation.

Formed in 2016, the band has already achieved significant regional notoriety, having recently been selected to represent Central New York as the regional winner of Cumulus Media’s national “Next2Rock” competition. With the release of their debut full length album Embers, The Alpha Fire will soon be a household name in the world of progressive rock and alternative music, naturally attracting fans of other genres as well through its diverse and undeniably original sound.

“The best live band in New York State” – Randy Peck, owner, The Montage Music Hall – Rochester NY

“The best unsigned band in the country” – Scott Dixon, Assistant Program Director, WAQX-FM – Syracuse, NY

Connecting to The Alpha Fire
Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

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Combat Records is thrilled to announce the signing of Bay Area Metal staples HATCHET, who will release their new LP DYING TO EXIST on June 22, 2018 via COMBAT RECORDS/EMP LABEL GROUP.

Fueled by the twin guitar attack of vocalist Julz Ramos and Clayton Cagle, bassist Devin Reiche, and drummer Ben Smith, Hatchet have built a name and reputation for themselves carrying the torch of classic Bay Area Metal, through three prior full-length releases of high-energy, intense Thrash, (including their 2008 METAL BLADE debut AWAITING EVIL, 2013’s DAWN OF THE END, and their latest THE END RECORDS’ offering, 2015’s FEAR BEYOND LUNACY) and countless tours supporting names like Metal Church, Flotsam and Jetsam, Soilwork, Warbringer, Act of Defiance, Exmortus, Doyle, DRI and more. The follow-up to 2015’s FEAR BEYOND LUNACY, DYING TO EXIST promises to be the band’s heaviest and most focused release to date.

Says vocalist/guitarist Julz Ramos, “The album itself is the fastest and most creative material to date, with all 4 members contributing our writing efforts throughout the record. This is the most we’ve sounded like a band collectively, and it’s definitely for the better!”

He adds, “We couldn’t be happier to have found a home on COMBAT! The label is obviously a huge staple in Thrash and extreme Metal, with some of the most infamous bands in close connection to or directly under Combat at some point. Its true history and significance is beyond my years and first-hand understanding, however from what I do know and have seen assures me this is a good home for our new album!”

Says Megadeth bassist, and Combat head David Ellefson, “Hatchet is a great, young band who definitely fit the bill for Combat. Aggressive modern Thrash Metal, with an old-school intensity. I’ve been a fan of these guys for a while now, and we’re extremely proud to add them to the COMBAT roster.”

COMBAT was relaunched in 2017 by Ellefson, and partner Thom Hazaert, with all releases manufactured and distributed by Ellefson’s EMP LABEL GROUP, via AMPED in North America, and SPV in Europe.

Connecting to HATCHET:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Ralston Arena played host to a dance party like no other. Norteño (northern Mexico) bands, Tierra Cali, El Trono de Mexico and Los Tucanes De Tijuana brought their special brand of Norteño music and light shows to Omaha on Friday, February 16, 2018 and it captivated all in attendance Norteño music has a strong relationship with polka and many times features the accordion. It became popular in the mid 80s during Selean’s run. Prior to each bands set a full blown promo video of the respective band was broadcast over the sound system as well as the humongous video screens. Each band played full sets and the crowd loved every minute of it. They were dressed to the nines and danced into the early morning hours. This was as fun a show as you could ever expect to see. So many lights, so much visual stimulation and so much dancing. I’m not sure if a show like this will come around again, but if it does, you can bet your bottom peso, I’ll be there. For that matter, so should you.

– Dean Birkheimer, Photojournalist for Go Venue Magazine (all photos by Dean Birkheimer)

Los Tucanes De Tijuana
El Trono de Mexico
Tierra Cali
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Radiohead has confirmed a summer 2018 North American tour. The newly announced dates begin July 7 in Chicago and conclude August 1 in Philadelphia.

The new U.S. and Canada shows extend the world tour in support of the band’s latest album A Moon Shaped Pool (XL Recordings), and are the band’s first North American appearances since spring 2017.

Tickets will be on sale beginning Friday, February 23. For further information, go to radiohead.com.

RADIOHEAD – North America 2018

Sat-Jul-07 – Chicago – United Center
Tue-Jul-10 – New York – Madison Square Garden
Wed-Jul-11 – New York – Madison Square Garden
Fri-Jul-13 – New York – Madison Square Garden
Mon-Jul-16 – Montreal – Bell Centre
Tue-Jul-17 – Montreal – Bell Centre
Thu-Jul-19 – Toronto – Air Canada Centre
Fri-Jul-20 – Toronto – Air Canada Centre
Sun-Jul-22 – Detroit – Little Caesars Arena
Mon-Jul-23 – Columbus – Schottenstein Center
Wed-Jul-25 – Cincinnati – US Bank Arena
Thu-Jul-26 – Pittsburgh- PPG Paints Arena
Sat-Jul-28 – Boston – TD Garden
Sun-Jul-29 – Boston – TD Garden
Tue-Jul-31 – Philadelphia- Wells Fargo Center
Wed-Aug-01 – Philadelphia – Wells Fargo Center

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The daily band lineups have been announced for Rocklahoma, presented by Bud Light, May 25, 26 & 27, 2018 at “Catch the Fever” Festival Grounds in Pryor, Oklahoma, just outside Tulsa. Weekend and Single Day tickets are on sale now at http://www.rocklahoma.com/.

The 12th year of Rocklahoma, presented by Bud Light—America’s Biggest Memorial Day Weekend Party—will feature performances from a slew of top rock artists, including: Poison, A Perfect Circle, Godsmack, Cheap Trick, Ghost, The Cult, Halestorm, Vince Neil, Stone Temple Pilots, I Prevail, Clutch, The Used, Underoath, Machine Gun Kelly, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer and many more.

The three-day camping festival features the best new rock artists and classic bands performing on four stages, with music going all night long. With onsite camping amenities and unparalleled VIP packages, Rocklahoma lives up to its motto of “Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Rock.” In 2017, Rocklahoma had its biggest year ever, with over 75,000 in attendance.

The daily band lineup for Rocklahoma 2018 is as follows:

  • Friday, May 25:

    A Perfect Circle, The Cult, Stone Temple Pilots, I Prevail, Sevendust, The Used, Trivium, Yelawolf, Red Sun Rising, SOiL, Adelitas Way, Big Story, Everybody Panic, Cimino, Midnight Devils, Chaotic Resemblance, Firstryke, ASKA, Down For Five, Agnozia, Silent Theory, KillSET, Dead Horse Trauma, Kirra, City of the Weak, Dirty Soul Revival, Dirty Blvd

  • Saturday, May 26:

    Godsmack, Ghost, Vince Neil, Clutch, Pop Evil, Underoath, Diamond Head, Shaman’s Harvest, Butcher Babies, Powerman 5000, Like A Storm, Wayland, LA Velvet, Black Tora, Dead Metal Society, Dead Girls Academy, TROY, Heaven Sent, Wild Planes, Maplerun, Hallow Point, The Maension, Renegades, Duel, Kevlar, Stanley’s Revenge

  • Sunday, May 27:

    Poison, Cheap Trick, Halestorm, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Candlebox, Machine Gun Kelly, 10 Years, Andrew W.K., Lynch Mob, New Years Day, Well Hung Heart, Mind Of Fury, Maxx Explosion, A Brilliant Lie, War of Thrones, Davey Suicide, Coda Cutlass, Love N Revenge, Shallow Side, Ten Thousand One, The Grizzly Band, Oddfellas, Jenny Wood, Bringer

  • Thursday Night Campground Party:

    Screaming for Silence, Dark Avenue, As Above So Below, Save the Hero, Hyperdose, One Step From Falling, Weston Horn and the Hush, Ryder, Honor Amongst Thieves, Wither

Registration for the Miss Rocklahoma competition is underway now at http://www.rocklahoma.com/. Voting on the Top 10 finalists begins in April and five finalists will compete on stage at Rocklahoma for the chance to be named Miss Rocklahoma 2018.

Rocklahoma General Admission and VIP tickets (including layaway options), as well as Premier Packages, Hotel Packages and Camping options are on sale now at http://rocklahoma.com/tickets.html. Fans are encouraged to buy early and save. Each ticket price level has a limited number of tickets available, so attendees can save more by buying earlier. Ticket prices will automatically move to the next price level once a price allotment sells out. The layaway purchase option also allows fans to split the ticket cost into three monthly payments.

Current ticket pricing levels are as follows while supplies last:

  • Weekend VIP Reserved: $429 plus fees (Phase 2)
  • Weekend General Admission: $129 plus fees (Phase 2)
  • Monster Energy Weekend General Admission 4-Pack: $436 plus fees (Phase 2)
  • Military Weekend General Admission (via GovX): $99 plus fees (Phase 2)
  • Single Day General Admission: $80 plus fees (Phase 1)

Limited quantities of Groupie and Roadie VIP Packages are also still available. The Rockstar Package is SOLD OUT. Please visit http://rocklahoma.com/tickets.html for details. General Admission and VIP camping is also available at checkout, by calling (866) 310-2288, or emailing info@rocklahoma.com.

The campgrounds are a unique part of the Rocklahoma experience, with an endless party running around the clock. The Rocklahoma campgrounds will be open from Sunday, May 20 at Noon CDT through Tuesday, May 29 at Noon CDT. Festival doors open at 2:00 PM daily on May 25, 26 and 27. Note: Camping is only available with weekend ticket purchases.

Rocklahoma is produced by AEG Presents and is part of the World’s Loudest Month concert series, which features the biggest names in rock music performing in six U.S. events in distinct atmospheres during five consecutive weekends in April and May of 2018.

Rocklahoma is located just 45 minutes northeast of Tulsa, in Pryor, OK. The “Catch the Fever” Festival Grounds is a premier destination for a multi-day festival and includes onsite camping with access to restrooms and shower house, a general store for campers, VIP reserved seating, hospitality areas and much more.

For more information on Rocklahoma:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Three-fourths of the Smashing Pumpkins’ classic lineup will reunite for a North American tour this summer. The trek marks Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin’s first tour together since 2000, though the band’s original bassist D’Arcy Wretzky will not join the trio.

The tour notably coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Smashing Pumpkins’ formation. During the tour, the band will exclusively play songs off their first five albums: 1991’s Gish, 1993’s Siamese Dream, 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, 1998’s Adore and 2000’s Machina.

“This show and staging will be unlike any we’ve ever done, and will feature a set unlike any we’ve ever played,” Corgan said. “For if this is a chance at a new beginning, we plan on ushering it in with a real bang.”

The band kicks off their tour July 12th at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. From there, the group will make their way across North America, making stops in Texas, New York City, Canada, California and finishing off the 36-city tour on September 7th at the Ford Idaho Center in Boise, Idaho.  Tickets go on sale February 23 at 10 am local time. Check out the video and the rest of the dates below.

The Smashing Pumpkins Shiny And Oh So Bright Tour 2018 - YouTube

Smashing Pumpkins Tour Dates
July 12 – Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena
July 14 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
July 16 – Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center
July 17 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
July 18 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
July 20 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
July 21 – Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
July 22 – Atlanta, GA @ Infinite Energy Aerna
July 24 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
July 25 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
July 27 – Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena
July 28 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
July 29 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
July 31 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
August 1 – New York City, NY @ Madison Square Garden
August 4 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
August 5 – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena
August 7 – Montreal, QC @ Centre Bell
August 8 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
August 11 – Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
August 13 – Chicago, IL @ United Center
August 16 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
August 17 – Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
August 19 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
August 20 – Omaha, NE @ CenturyLink Center
August 21 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Denny Sanford Premier Center
August 24 – Seattle, WA @ Key Arena
August 25 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center
August 27 – Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
August 28 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
August 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum
September 1 – San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
September 2 – Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
September 4 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
September 5 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
September 7 – Boise, ID @ Ford Idaho Center

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Last year, Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska had their first heavy metal concert with Iron Maiden and Ghost. Many people attended the show, nearing a sell out. And then a month later, In This Moment played there, having it moved from outdoors to indoors, another well attended show. I wonder who would top those two shows. And then Avenged Sevenfold announced their North American tour with Breaking Benjamin and Bullet for My Valentine. This was the premier winter rock tour, with a couple shows on the tour having been sold out. For being a Thursday night in February [8th], I was amazed to see the arena almost completely full. All three bands have songs that an average heavy rock fan would know, making this such an appealing show to attend.

Wales’s own Bullet for My Valentine opened up the show. The last time they were Nebraska was in May of 2013, so it was a long time coming for them. Their entrance music was Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna”, which has been used in many films and TV commercials. Then, they ripped through their opening song, “Your Betrayal”. These guys really know how to shred on the guitar. Matt Tuck, singer and guitarist, and Michael Paget, lead guitarist, melted everyone’s faces with their guitar solos. The set feature more recent material rather than their older material. But, manage to pull of an incredible opening set. I hope to hear an upcoming album from them before the year ends.

Next up was Breaking Benjamin. This was my fourth time seeing them live. They are truly one of the best live rock bands out there. The amount of hits they have in their catalog is insane! Everyone in the band is a great musician. Benjamin Burnley’s voice never deteriorates. My favorite part of their set is always their covers. I love how big of a nerd Benjamin Burnley is and how he is a massive Star Wars fan, just like me. So, they do this cover of the Imperial March and he has this percussion setup with lightsabers all over it that lit up. It was truly a sight. I will also give props to Aaron Bruch, bassist, for losing weight because he looks really good onstage now. Their new album, Ember, comes out on April 13, featuring the lead single, “Red Cold River”. I’m so glad they’re putting out more music after Dark Before Dawn, having them here to stay.

Finally, it was Avenged Sevenfold’s turn to hit the stage. I’ve been listening to this band since I was in eighth grade, so they really mean a lot to me. This was my second time seeing them live and they also hadn’t been in Nebraska since 2013. This was their first headlining North American tour supporting their latest album, The Stage, so they were going to pack as much production as possible to bring the audience a one of a kind experience. And they just did that what amazing graphics and lighting and video boards. It was truly a spectacle. They opened up with the title track, “The Stage”, which earned them their first Grammy nomination. I was impressed how much they blended their old and new material very well. M. Shadows’s vocals are very underrated. Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance’s guitar playing is unlike any other. One of the stand out moments of their set was when they performed “Higher”, an inflatable astronaut with a skull in the helmet appeared. It was a haunting sight, but an awesome one. Another stand out moment was their cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. They truly made it their own and had everyone singing along. It was amazing to see all these people attend this arena sized level show in Lincoln, Nebraska, a market that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. I hope more hard rock and metal tours, both large and small, consider Lincoln, or even Omaha, as a considerable date with the amount of people that were there. Rock was not dead in Lincoln, Nebraska that night, that’s for sure.

Avenged Sevenfold Setlist [February 8, 2018]
The Stage | Afterlife | Hail to the King | Paradigm | Beast and the Harlot | Buried Alive | So Far Away | Nightmare | God Damn | Welcome to the Family | Exist (Abridged) | Higher | Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover) | Bat Country
[Encore]
Critical Acclaim | A Little Piece of Heaven | Unholy Confessions

– David Taylor, Go Venue Magazine Reviewer
– Robert A. Chadwick, Go Venue Magazine Editor and Photographer

Avenged Sevenfold
Breaking Benjamin

Bullet for My Valentine
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The annual Free Press Summer Festival will be reborn in 2018, with a new name and springtime dates. Brought to you by a founder of Free Press Summer Festival and the founders of Austin City Limits Music Festival, In Bloom Music Festival will take place March 24-25, 2018 at downtown Houston’s Eleanor Tinsley Park.

Beck, Queens of the Stone Age, Incubus and Martin Garrix headline the 2-day multi-genre festival with other 50 music performances on 4 stages right in the heart of Texas. 

“As we enter the 10th anniversary of this incredible festival that our dedicated fans have made their annual Houston tradition, we are excited to announce a new name and a new time of year, while returning to our incredible location, Eleanor Tinsley Park,” said founding partner and Houston native, Jagi Katial. “We are always looking to improve the experience for the fans, and after the last few years of challenges with Mother Nature, moving our dates to the spring made sense.”

General Admission and VIP Tickets are still available. Be sure to pick those up before it’s too late.

Fans can sign up for the E-List to be the first to get new information, and follow official social media accounts to stay in the loop for all festival announcements.

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter

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The Expanders

The Expanders as an opening act were a treat to see. Their smooth traditional style and appreciation of the historical roots of reggae, provided a nice warm up for the bands. They showed tons of care and love for their fans while taking the audience on a head bobbing musical trip.

The Original Wailers

From the moment The Original Wailers took the stage you could feel their musical experience and vocal mastery. The lead singers silky voice had all the control that would make Bob Marley praise his vocal presence. This band paid a nice tribute to the classic Bob Marley while making the crowd crave more of the rock infused reggae that is such a foundation for the reggae genre.

Tribal Seeds

Tribal Seeds are a band that bridges rock infused reggae with a more modern sound that is interwoven with electrifying keyboards. They create something new and exciting and accessible to the young reggae fans while still holding true to their roots. This band has the ability to draw in the crowd so you feel like the songs are meant just for you.

Their song writing is in a class all their own with high level lyrics laced beautifully over the solid music. Tribal Seeds are a band with soul and style that should be experienced live and loud.

This band oozes confidence and an otherworldly stage presence that makes sense with their spiritually driven lyrics. They are the face of a new reggae revolution that will help usher in non-reggae fans by the thousands. Songs like “Gunsmoke” help to elevate their evolving discography to a level rivaling the greats.

Their style and musical chops appeal to men, women, young,  and old.  Music fans in this age  either really love reggae or don’t know anything about it, which defaults to statements like “I don’t like reggae.”.  I knew little before walking through the doors of the Fillmore last week but upon leaving I found a new love and appreciation for the solid and inspiring music that Tribal Seeds are creating. I look forward to seeing them in an outdoor venue at a later date.

Review written by Shauna Sullivan, photographs by Kris Comer.

Tribal Seeds
The Original Wailers
The Expanders
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This past Friday, February 9, 2018 brought Sabaton and Kreator to the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. This was the first time I’d seen either of these bands. I was able to catch the tail end of the Exmortus set which was the opener. I had never seen them either, but they seemed to get the LA crowd started.

Next, it was time for Kreator. German trash metal who have been around since the 80’s. The crowd really got into these guys as they powered through songs like “Phantom Antichrist,” “Enemy of God,” “Satan Is Real,” “Phobia,” and “Pleasure to Kill.” The German outfit had an uncompromising sonic assault that had everyone at the Wiltern wanting more. No wonder these guys have stood the test of time.

Next it was time for Sabaton who is another band I have never seen live. These guys also hail from overseas. The Swedish power metal band was welcomed by the loud LA crowd. They came out on stage and started the night with “Ghost Division.” It felt like they were there to find new recruits into the Sabaton Army. They blasted through songs like “Uprising,” “Blood of Bannockburn,” “Swedish Pagans,” “Night Witches,” and more. See full set list below and photos from that night.

Kreator setlist:
Phantom Antichrist | Hail to the Hordes | Enemy of God | Satan Is Real | Civilization Collapse | People of the Lie | Flag of Hate | Phobia | Gods of Violence | From Flood into Fire | Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite) | Totalitarian Terror | Violent Revolution | Pleasure to Kill

Sabaton setlist:
Ghost Division | Uprising | Blood of Bannockburn | Cliffs of Gallipoli | The Lion From the North | Swedish Pagans | Gott mit uns | The Final Solution | Resist and Bite | Night Witches | Winged Hussars | The Last Stand | Carolus Rex | Sparta | Primo Victoria | Shiroyama | To Hell and Back

Sabaton Gallery
Kreator Gallery

Maurice Nunez, Photojournalist for Go Venue Magazine (All photos are copyrighted of Maurice Nunez)

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