Filter (Rock ‘N Restock CLE)

Filter – Live at FWD Day + Nightclub Cleveland for Rock N’ Restock CLE, 9-22-2016

I did something I swore I’d never do last night. I went to a show and spent the entire time in the parking lot. I didn’t have a ticket going into it, and I just couldn’t bring myself to shell out the 30 bucks and some change to get in. Probably because when I got there I realized that the event was a Filter show tacked onto a silent auction. Everyone was walking in and out of the FWD Day and Nightclub in fancy clothes and here I am, clad black with my Filter logo flag shirt. I felt extremely out of place and it really sucked because the event was for a great cause, raising money for the Cleveland Food Bank and some folks affected by cancer.

Instead I paid $10.00 to park my car in a space right beside the stage. I didn’t pay for that specific spot, and I arrived well after the opening band (Tyler Reid) took the stage, so it was pretty much dumb luck. It was a good listening area; if I got on my car (did) I had a view of heads of the crowd and occasionally the band members, if they were feeling the will to move around. My personal Filter sound festival was interrupted only by the trains, the man who asked me to button his shirt sleeve, the echo off the bridges, and the couples yelling at each other on the way to the car.

They played for over an hour, and didn’t take a single break. Here’s the set list.

1. The Take
2. Trip Like I Do
3. You Walk Away
4. Head of Fire (<3 <3 <3)
5. Kid Blue from the Short Bus, Drunk Bus
6. Jurassitol
7. Pride Flag
8. Nothing In My Hands
9. Take A Picture
10. Surprise
11. Welcome to the Fold
12. The Best Things
13. American Cliché
14. No Love
15. Hey Man, Nice Shot

This club is right by the water and the outside area is lined with train cargo cars. Which was a nice feature since it made for a low barrier.

I recorded the whole thing on my phone. And it’s a damn good recording for a phone if I do say so myself!

While I didn’t enjoy this show as much as my first one, I mean that goes without saying because I was inside the venue, I am pretty stoked to have a solid recording of a Filter show where Richard Patrick talks a lot about his hometown. And apparently he’s writing a book?

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Game of Bands

So today I’m on reddit, and I see this ad on the side for GameOfBands, reddit’s longest running songwriting competition. I click it and read the greeter post, and the steps involved, and all of the rules and regulations are novel long and I don’t see myself joining the club as a songwriter. But I fall in love with the very first track I click, Broken Walls by scottpontiac, skerry1 and abyssmalstar. The theme for Round 98 is Stolen, and it looks like all the lyrics and music transpired from other songs.

It’s not the best song in the world. It has parts cut together, sloppily woven riffs and I’ve heard much better mashups, but it’s good for a two week deadline. In fact, it’s incredible for a two week deadline. It’s the imperfections that make it so freaking good. The point is, it’s like stepping back into my Myspace days of Zero Star and finding bands and music and raw talent I never would have found any other way. That’s what it’s all about.

Today was a good day.

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EVE 6 (The Grog Shop)

EVE 6 – Live at The Grog Shop, 6-21-2016

This show was 45 minutes away from my house, and since it was on a weekday I did the responsible adult thing for once and left early. I spent just shy of an hour listening to the guys of EVE 6 in the little Grog Shop, and in those meager minutes they managed to crank out many of my favorites. Here’s the list. It was the first time I recorded, in one big long text draft on my phone, each song as it started. While a semi-annoying task, it’s totally worth it knowing that, for sure, these are the songs I heard them play, in this exact order.

1. Leech
2. Sunset Strip Bitch
3. Open Road Song
4. Amphetamines
5. Promise
6. Situation Infatuation
7. Here’s To The Night
8. On The Roof Again
9. Anytime
10. Think Twice
11. Arch Drive Goodbye
12. Enemy

Leech started out with Max and one verrrry echo-y microphone. Throughout the night the mic got better.

My favorite thing about this show was the commentary. The first time I saw EVE 6, they played at a festival and it was one song after the other, with pretty much no breaks. This time, EVE 6 had plenty of time to talk about personal matters, goof off and interact with the crowd.

Max did his signature arm up, pointer finger in the air, and got most of the crowd to follow suit at least twice that night.

Did you know that none of the EVE 6 members attended prom? The popular prom song Here’s To The Night was not written about prom, and Max Collins, Jon Siebels and Tony Fagenson never attended.


Before Enemy, Max mentioned that it was a “pop song about doubt.”

This gig was two days after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship, so it’s possible that all of the friendly folks I met that night were still just riding the high from the pro team who broke the Cleveland drought. But I wore my (first) EVE 6 shirt before the show, and I had many people come up and and talk to me about it. It was cool, strange, and I loved it. Me + tipsy + asked about favorite bands = 1 talkative, excited human.

My only beef with this show was that the shirts were the same designs as last years selection.

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Escape The Fate (The Outpost)

Escape The Fate – Highway To Hell Yeah Tour – Live at The Outpost, 4-28-2016

I’ve never consciously listened to Escape The Fate until about three hours before attending this show. My buddy Royce and I arrived around 10, a few minutes before ETF took the stage. We were two of maybe 30 people without Xs on our hands; the crowd was a young one, and we both felt a bit out of place. I honestly wasn’t expecting much. To my delight I walked away surprised.

Young crowds are fun crowds. The members of Escape The Fate interacted with the audience so much, I don’t think they could have thrown more gratitude toward their adoring fans if they tried. Unusual for us, Royce and I watched from the back of the venue instead of the front. I wish The Outpost had an upstairs so I could have watched all the mosh pits from above.

My favorite things about the energetic members of Escape The Fate:

  • Taking a huge group photo with the opening bands and the audience
  • The lead singer hanging upside down from The Outpost rafters
  • Requesting all the girls in the crowd to get on the shoulders of a guy
  • Making fun of the guys without girls on their shoulders
  • Dividing the crowd in two, then videotaping a huge mosh pit breakout when they yelled go
  • Anime hair on one of the guitarists
  • The Motörhead shirt on the lead singer
  • Genuine thanks that the show brought in such a good turnout

I didn’t get there early enough to see American Wolves or Get Scared, but all three bands on the Highway To Hell Yeah Tour are comprised of super nice, sweet people who were taking questions, allowing photos and handing out free stuff in the merch booth after the show.

The Outpost was the last stop on this tour, but did headliner Escape The Fate show any signs of wear and tear? A big fat highway to hell no way.

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Filter – Crazy Eyes

As a backer of the PledgeMusic campaign, I was able to download Crazy Eyes today at 6:00PM EST. Personally I think it’s the best Filter release since The Amalgamut, and since I spent a good deal on my pledge, I’m pretty stoked about it. Here’s my short review on each track.

  1. Mother E – This is a really, really good intro to Crazy Eyes. It goes from whisper angry to wailing angry, a style that I feel is a signature Filter thing. According to Richard Patrick’s commentary to backers, no guitars were used in creating Mother E. Which completely boggles my mind. What the heck is making the guitar sound? It’s a heavy track, and according to Patrick it may be the heaviest Filter song to date. Personally I think Columind is heavier musically, or even Watch The Sun Come Out Tonight lyrically, but who am I to argue with the Filter frontman.
  2. Nothing In My Hands – The chorus of this song is addicting. And what’s even better and makes me both chuckle and appreciate it more is that the first and second verse of this track were recorded in one take, without any pre-planned lyrics. According to Patrick they just kind of mumbled whatever, liked it when they played it back, and kept it. I freaking love when Patrick sings “your justice is dead” four times in a row. I think it’s just how he sings it – higher than the rest of the words, which adds a cool twist to the otherwise dark feel. The chorus part “there’s nothing in my hands” is accompanied by some steady background tune-age that eventually builds up into this really great bridge around 3 minutes in. It’s a definite head-bang-dancer tune and would probably be one of the best Filter tracks to hear live.
  3. Pride Flag – Another track that goes from angry loud to quiet. This song is a-okay.
  4. The City of Blinding Riots – I knew this had to be a play on the U2 song City of Blinding Lights just from reading the title, and Patrick solidified my theory in his commentary. According to him, Blinding Riots is the anti Blinding Lights song. A reoccurring lyric is “burn that fucker down” and upon first listen, lyrically speaking, I was instantly reminded of the song Burn by Dope. But Filter delivers almost the same words with the same message in a classier, layered way that I truly enjoy listening to. Definitely one of my favorites.
  5. Take Me To Heaven – This was the first single off Crazy Eyes. I really enjoy it, and the moment I heard it I knew Crazy Eyes would deliver promising stuff. And it has.
  6. Welcome To The Suck (Destiny Not Luck) – First of all, the title of this rocks. I’m a sucker for anything that tries to rhyme. It’s no Welcome To The Fold though. It’s pretty hard to beat a manic line like “you get yourself a nice cold beer and drink yourself away.” This is one of the slowest songs of the bunch, but it’s not bad. I like that the title of the song made its way into the lyrics. It would be a blast to sing back at a live show.
  7. Head Of Fire – This right here is a Win Song, and is my favorite thing off Crazy Eyes. The driving guitars, the signature quiet to loud, the not silly lyrics, the fun beat of the chorus, the crazy cool bass line, the way it abruptly ends… it’s brilliantly, brilliantly done. According to Patrick, this song is about his wife being angry at his vaping. In his commentary video he is laughing about it in such a way that would bring a smile to anyones face. Whatever the reason, I’m so happy this musical composition was created.
  8. Tremors – Another very well done track. Of all these new songs, I think Tremors is most reminiscent of old school Filter.
  9. Kid Blue From The Short Bus, Drunk Bunk – My second favorite song off this record. The chorus is so awesome. It’s about an ex-bandmate who drunk calls Patrick a lot, and apparently the song was written as a form of revenge against him. If only all revenge was channeled into something this punk.
  10. Your Bullets – This was the first track written for Crazy Eyes, and it’s an overall solid piece. Classic Filter in a nutshell.
  11. Under The Tongue – It’s mostly an instrumental, and I freaking adore it. There’s a part near the end where it gets all quiet and a macho man goes “Look within. Be still.” To me it has old NIN remix written all over it. This song originated from a jam session and all the parts were pieced together on a computer. It turned out impressively awesome.
  12. (Can’t She See) Head Of Fire, Part 2 – The other slow song on this album. This song instantly had me thinking back to the Thanks Bro days, a track that I’ve always been very fond of. This track has a verrrry pretty tune musically, I believe it’s with an acoustic guitar, and the fading in and out of voices gives it another dimension, making it rather interesting to listen to. The lyrics are dark, the tune is lovely, and it’s a fantastic end to this thing called Crazy Eyes.

I would pay to see this entire album performed live from start to finish. Congrats on this release Richard Patrick, Oumi Kapila, Chris Reeve, Ashley Dzerigan and Bobby Miller of Filter!

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