Vital Radar: Blog en-us (C) Vital Radar (Vital Radar) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:37:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:37:00 GMT Vital Radar: Blog 120 80 Reignwolf Amazes Detroit with Third Shelter Performance!

My first introduction to Reignwolf aka Jordan Cook was from someone who sent me his Live on KEXP performance on YouTube. It’s an exhausting, sweaty performance that draws the listener into the world of one of the most talented rising stars in rock music today. It’s the kind of performance that is so passionate, it makes you pissed off when someone tells you “there is no good new music. It’s 27 minutes of raw power rock music with an engrossing cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” embedded in the middle. He plays two different guitars, keeps the beat with a kick drum, and sings the whole set by himself.


Reignwolf brought that same energy to The Shelter in Detroit 8/21/2019 which is the same venue that hosted the early rap battles from Detroit artist Eminem. It's his third time at this venue, and he played the guitar so hard the first time he bloodied himself all over his guitar. The show is pure fire from the minute the band hits the stage. Unlike his solo KEXP, Reignwolf brings some help with Joe Braley smashing the skins and S.J. Kardash on the four string. The show begins with Wolf slithering between the support beams while blasting through songs “Over & Over”, and “Hardcore.” The temperature in the room is rising; and the front row is beginning to share in sweat exchange as Reignwolf drips exhaustingly from above. He flips the microphone stand around backwards and tears the mic off with a swift maneuver. The band launches into their third song as Reignwolf slowly beings to wrap the mic cord around his neck while simultaneously plays the riff to “Are You Satisfied.”


The crowd is singing along and really engaging to the point where the band decides to break down the whole set and move into the pit area. First the snare drum, then the mic stands, then the bass drum all gets lowered into the floor from the stage. The whole show is now played in the round surrounded by fans. It’s not enough for the band to give you a show, they are determined to give you a memory that makes you want to clear your schedule for the band’s future performances. There is no way anyone in this audience will not come back! Cook announces that the whole band has never played on top of a bar together. So out of the pit they travel, another 15 feet to the top of the bar to play the finale “Palms to the Sky.” Jordan is first on top after hoisting his amplifier. The joined by Kardash and Braley who are not sure how to quite position themselves just yet.  The band jams out an extended version of the song to every excited person in the crowd. This is a fantastically intimate performance that no one in the audience will ever forget.

When someone tell you that all new music is crap, ask that person if they have ever heard of Reignwolf. If they haven’t make sure to send them a link to the current tour dates. The band will be touring across Canada and throughout the end of October. Do not miss the show in your area!

]]> (Vital Radar) Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:45:00 GMT
The Darkness - Rock N' Roll Onslaught - The Majestic Theatre

Have you ever seen a lead singer doing a handstand in front of the drum kit wearing a full leopard print onsie? Well neither had we until we witnessed the chaos that The Darkness brought to the Majestic Theater in Detroit on Friday the 13th. Lead singer Justin Hawkins moved like a whirlwind on stage - switching out guitars, sliding on his knees, and doing upside down jumping jacks. The band seemed unabashed to rip though their 90 minute set for their new "Tour de Prance" U.S. Leg of this tour. 

It’s totally ridiculous and completely in keeping with an over-the-top show that the band approach their set as if they were playing the 19,000 seat Little Caesar's Arena rather then the 1,650 guest capacity Majestic.

Kicking off the show with the song "Open Fire" from 2015’s album "Last of Our Kind" is an igniter before "Love Is Only A Feeling" from debut smash Permission To Land set the crowd off into a singing frenzy. The Darkness are back to rock our socks off like they were a mashup of Steel Panther meets early Aerosmith!

Hawkins’s younger brother Dan hammers off a power chord performance on rhythm guitar while the Afro haired bassist Frankie Poullain – dressed in a solid gold suit is the master of rythm section as he lays down the backing beat to allow the primal screeching front-man to enthrall the crowd with his over the top antics. 

At one stage Hawkins comes back out dressed in a pure Michigan shirt, a speedo, and some knee high socks. He doesn't stop there as he begins to ask the crowd for some wardrobe help by throwing miscellaneous clothing items (denim jacket, and trucker hat) to him as he rips thought the last son of the night "I Believe In A Thing Called Love." 

The experience is pure Rock N' Roll at it's finest and one that should not be missed. Check out the smash hit "Solid Gold" from the band's new album Pinewood Smile!

See the full gallery of The Darkness Images here:


]]> (Vital Radar) Sat, 14 Apr 2018 20:15:00 GMT
Cage The Elephant Is Unstoppable at Masonic Temple Matt Schultz hit the stage with ferocity on Saturday night fronting his band Cage The Elephant at Masonic Temple. It’s the kind of energy you see when you drop a roll of Mentos into a Diet Coke transferred into human form. He moves at neck-breaking speed; if you look left he is dangling off the edge of a speaker stack– look right and he is using the microphone stand like a pogo stick vaulting himself into the air. The rest of the band is solid laying down some serious percussion all whilst delivering some bluesy guitar riffs to match.


Cage The Elephant launches into their 2008 hit “In One Ear” as a follow up to the opening track “Cry Baby” and the crowd responds with a wild sing along. A steady stream of crowd surfers (missing articles of clothing) streams over the barricade as the ebb and flow of sweaty moshers sets the tone for the evening. Matt Shultz then sprints across the stage in his purple suit jumping on the back of his older brother Brad. Brad seems unfazed, and he and the band continue to jam out the guitar solo, as if this behavior is routine. The Kentucky foursome is here in support of their new album “Tell Me I’m Pretty,” which was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Launching into “Mess Around” you can hear Auerbach’s influence on the track, and Shultz begins to swing his hips and use the mic stand as an imaginary dance partner. It’s a fantastic album and gives the band a fresh set of tunes that plays extremely well with their older material.

The crowd is doused in sweat, with concertgoers looking like they have been in a ten-round fight. Shultz jumps off stage to reinvigorate the faithful on the barricade who showed up early to get the best view. His body is now lost in a see of arms and cell phones; but you can hear him singing the words to the hits “Back Against the Wall” and “Come A Little Closer.” I can’t help but to think that the band sounds as good as they do in studio as they do on stage.

The show ends fittingly with the song “Teeth” which sounds a bit like something that Jack White might have wrote. White owns the Masonic Temple now, yet it’s Matt Shultz and Cage that are channeling White’s punk rock energy for this closing tune. Please get yourself a ticket to one of their shows as they are stretching out tour dates into June with a couple of mixed in festivals along the way. Cage The Elephant is just entering their prime as musicians, but you shouldn’t miss seeing them while they are this entertaining!

See The Full Image Gallery Here:


]]> (Vital Radar) Balow Cage Chris Concert Detroit Elephant Masonic Matt Shultz Temple Tue, 10 May 2016 02:30:36 GMT
Taylor Swift Flexes Her Pop-Superstar Muscle in Columbus, OH on the 1989 World Tour This Friday, Taylor Swift was absolutely electrifying with “Style,” performing two back-to- back sold out nights at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Taylor has risen to and uncanny stardom packing arenas on her cameo laden 1989 World Tour, which was jammed to the rafters with adoring fans who spilled out into the steps and aisle way to sing and dance in unison.

The show is gripping and really something to behold. Swift plays just a little over a 2 hours set which features synchronized glow bracelets timed to her songs, 12 foot pyrotechnic sparklers, and a catwalk that transforms into both a mega-ramp to the nosebleed seats as well as a 360° rotating catwalk that scissors upward spinning over the whole main floor. The main goal that Taylor wanted to achieve on this tour; was to make a stadium show that makes everyone in the building feel like they had an intimate and personal experience.  She and her team have really outdone themselves with the production. Once the catwalk began to rotate every fan in the lower bowl had to feel like they were getting a real world personalized concert with Taylor Swift. She had an unparalleled connection with her fans on this night and they thanked her with a near 35-second scream fest that got Taylor a bit choked up.

Taylor would also frequently pause between songs to impart some wisdom with the audience, often reflecting on her own experiences and maturity. She encouraged her fans that you shouldn’t worry if you choose the wrong person to trust, because eventually you’ll start to live your life on your terms. “You’ll feel Clean,” she echoes before launching into the track “Clean” from the 1989 album.

Most of the set list featured the hits from the new album by the same name, while she embraced more of the pop-superstar that she is becoming. She did perform some of her earlier country-esque hits like “Love Story” and “You Belong To Me.” One of the highlights of the night was a surprise guest duet of the sleeper hit “Cool Kids” with lead singer Sideny Sierota from Echosmith.

Taylor Swift is sitting on the pop throne right now and for good reason. The 1989 World tour is a unique concert experience that can really only be experienced by buying a ticket. The Tour de Swift wraps up in Tampa, Florida on Halloween so make sure you secure your tickets for the remaining eighteen dates. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift

See More of Taylor Swift in our Photo Gallery here: 

The 1989 World Tour Setlist:Welcome to New York
New Romantics
Blank Space
I Knew You Were Trouble [Remix]
I Wish You Would
How You Get the Girl
I Know Places
You Belong With Me [Acoustic]
Love Story [1989 Remix]

Cool Kids (Echosmith Cover wsg/ Sidney Sierota of Echosmith)
Bad Blood
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together [Rock Remix]
Wildest Dreams [Contains elements of 'Enchanted']
Out of the Woods
Shake It Off




]]> (Vital Radar) 1989 Balow Chris Columbus Concert Ohio Photography Photos Radar Swift TSwift Taylor Tour Vital World Sat, 19 Sep 2015 23:12:00 GMT
Social Distortion Sells Out (Only the Venue) in Royal Oak, Michigan

“We are really a mash up of the Rolling Stones and the Ramones….with Hank Williams behind the wheel,” explains lead singer Mike Ness to the sold out crowd in Royal Oak, Michigan. On this night, the band needs no introduction. There are so many of the band’s shirts being worn in the lobby, that they outnumber all other concert t-shirts in the whole building. There are bikers, young punkers, tattoo artists, a Wall Street looking suit, and women rocking their best 1960’s pin-up outfits. The overwhelming majority there to share in the down and dirty, punk rock, outlaw country that is Social Distortion.


Social Distortion is here to celebrate their 25th Anniversary of their self-titled album, while modestly flexing the muscle of longevity in the music business. The format is really well done as the band has decided to play their third album in its entirety yet not in sequential order. It makes the audience clamor with anticipation off every note waiting to cheer for their favorite track to be played.  It’s the anti-Smashing Pumpkins approach, and lets the band throw in other classics for the audience to enjoy.


Ness is already glistening halfway through “Let It Be Me” as the muggy air gets the temperature in the venue surging towards ninety degrees.  Powering through the chords he knows he has the audience hooked as the emergence of a circle pit forms and Johnny “2bags” follow suit with the rest of the rhythm section. He’s true to his influences as the band pays homage to Hank Williams and the Rolling Stones with covers of “Alone and Forsaken,” and “Wild Horses” toward the end of the set.


Before the finale Ness has security lift two young kids up on stage. “What is happening here tonight?” he asks the 8-year old boy. “PUNK ROCK!” says the boy as the whole place erupts in laughter. The band tears through the song that Johnny Cash made famous in “Ring of Fire.” It’s a fantastic display of how staying true to yourself and the music has fans of all generations coming out to support great music. Social Distortion is halfway though an eight-week tour, make sure you buy at ticket to the show near you!

See the Full Gallery of Photos Here:

The Setlist 8-15-2015 was as follows:

     Intro (Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones)

1.   So Far Away 

2.   Let It Be Me 

3.   Story of My Life 

4.   Sick Boys 

5.   Ball and Chain 

6.    It Coulda Been Me 

7.    She's a Knockout 

8.    A Place in My Heart 

9.    Drug Train 

10.                 Cold Feelings 

11.                Wild Horses (The Rolling Stones cover)

12.                Alone and Forsaken (Hank Williams cover)

13.                This Time Darlin' 

14.                Misery Loves Company (Mike Ness solo song)


15.                Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash cover)

16.                Ring of Fire (June Carter Cash & Merle Kilgore cover)


]]> (Vital Radar) Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:30:49 GMT
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Soar In Royal Oak Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds returned to the Royal Oak Music Theater Sunday evening to deliver a poignant and grand message to an audience of faithful listeners; who really cares if Oasis ever reforms? Touring under their new record “Chasing Yesterday,” Gallagher shines and shows the audience what he sounds like with complete freedom. He’s not looking for another number one album or climbing up the UK pop charts. Instead, he’s crafted a knockout sophomore album with memorizing lyrics all while keeping the spirit of rock and roll alive. He is making the music that Oasis never could, while continuing to get better as he ages.


The show opens with “Do The Damage” and Gallagher digs into the strings of his red Gibson Les Paul Standard. The prevailing sound is similar to that of Oasis, with many of the tracks driving harder than the others ("Lock All The Doors", "The Mexican" and "You Know We Can't Go Back"). There is excellent guitar work on practically every song, and "The Mexican" has very prominent bass and horns accentuated by three members of the Motor City Horns section. Everyone in the audience seems to be drawn into the stage and the sound quality is superb (tips hat to the sound technician). Gallagher is crafting this spacey dreamlike experience that feels like a breath of fresh air. The show has an immediate timeless quality, as the audience members seem to forget about their cell phones, grocery lists, and Monday morning meetings.

The lyrics too are similar to those of Oasis, mostly ambiguous pop poetry lyrics in the vain of the Beatles. One of the most well thought out tracks “The Dying of the Light” hits with a catchy chorus

And I was told these dreams were paved with gold, There'd be no time for getting old when we were youngIt's alright, if we're dead, we'll meet tonightWe'll fight the dying of the light, we'll catch the sun.” Noel’s self expression seems to echo into the audience and they sing proudly making it easy for the songwriter to feed off the energy. He launches into “Everbody’s On The Run” from his Self-titled debut and there is not a silent voice in the house. The lyrics say “Sing to yourself and hold on,” yet the crowd politely disobeys singing aloud in unison. Noel Gallagher's success is further example that he is doing well without his little brother. He is clearly writing these songs for himself, and when he does the world listens.

Oasis fans got their fill with six total tracks performed during the night. Noel crooned out the mega-hit “Champagne Supernova,” as well as “The Masterplan.” He also mixed in a few rarities such as “Fade Away,” and “Whatever.” The final song of the night seems very appropriate as the horn section returned to play “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” which seems as an appropriate closing song for both the evening’s performance as well as nod to his brother Liam.

Gallagher has created a masterful live performance and two really amazing albums. Don’t miss this tour and pick up a copy of “Chasing Yesterday” immediately!

Full Gallery pf Photos here:


]]> (Vital Radar) Tue, 02 Jun 2015 00:15:57 GMT
Garth Brooks returns to Detroit where he began his Professional Live Debut! Garth Brooks played his first show as a professional recording artist at the Detroit Downtown Hoedown back in 1989. On Friday evening, he acknowledged his clamoring fans at Joe Louis Arena and exclaimed that, “Coming back to Detroit is more than I remember. You can tell everyone it’s on!” Without a doubt, fans exuded their love for Brooks’ music as he worked in a few of his new tracks form his new album “Man Against Machine” amongst all the classic tracks that he classified as “Garth 101” his 2 hour and 20 minute refresher course. He bends over at the waist laughing hysterically thanking God for this life as a performer – grinning ear-to-ear seemingly thinking how has it been 18 years since he has last played in Detroit.

This is opening night for Brooks who is playing 6 sold-out shows over the course of two weekends in the Motor City; he is on fire stomping around the circular stage that extends to the back of the arena end—so much so that he is dousing his black cowboy hat with two Aquafina water bottles before he cast the remaining contents on the crowd. The lights over the set begin to simulate lightning --the fog machine pouring in smoke as Brooks launches into “The Thunder Rolls” and the crowd helps him sing every word. Mr. Brooks plowed through all the hits including “Rodeo,” “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House,” and of course everyone’s sing along bar tune “Friends in Low Places.” He represents the definition of quality country music and it’s really hard to imagine that he has been gone for so long. He even stops to say thank you to the audience for their supportive energy “What you’re doing right now means the world to someone that does what I do,” as he guffaws in disbelief.

During the middle portion of his set, Garth takes a break as his wife Trisha Yearwood comes out to preform 4 songs including her song “How Do I Live” from the movie “Con Air.” The crowd is still blissfully singing along and it’s refreshing not to have to wait for a set change. Brooks and Yearwood  started her portion of the set with a duet “In Another’s Eyes,” and ended the show with a duet of “Walkaway Joe” which is a rare tour treat.

Garth BrooksGarth BrooksGarth Brooks and his backing band in a jam session at Joe Louis Arena This will likely be one of the best country events to happen in Michigan all year right next to the Faster Horses Festival. The remaining people that have a chance to see Garth Brooks perform should – as it’s a unforgettable night.

]]> (Vital Radar) Sat, 21 Feb 2015 02:15:00 GMT
Goo Goo Dolls Get Intimate With Acoustic Session at Wharton Center

Proving that well crafted music continues to stand the test of time, The Goo Goo Dolls brought their hit songs as well as those from their latest release Magnetic to the Wharton Center in East Lansing, Michigan on Wednesday night. Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac decided to hone their craft acoustically, after they just completed their extensive tour last year with Matchbox Twenty. The band has done some one-off acoustic sessions in the past, but never really like this. The ultra-intimate setting of the Peasant Theater feels more like walking into the band's living room for a performance. This was a chance to put a slightly new spin on plenty of old favorites. Rzeznik came out and did the first two songs "Sympathy" and "Two Days in February" solo. Then is joined by Robby and the backing band for "We'll Be Here (When You're Gone)" Run River North, The Korean-American indie folk band, added the accompaniment of violin, guitar, and vocals to the rest of the set once the band played their smash-hit "Name."

Before playing "Slide," Rzeznik engaged the audience stating that song "was declared the most depressing song of the 90's" The audience seemed to know the darker undertone of the tune. "Then Nirvana came out with a little song called Rape Me.....that was a happy little tune" he chuckled to the burst of audience laughter. You would never have known that Johnny had lost his voice only a few shows before. The band was crisp and on point with their performance. 

Be sure to check out Goo Goo Dolls this summer with Daughtry and Plain White T's on the arena tour circuit, but be really sad if you missed out on this performance.

Full Photo Gallery:

Setlist: Goo Goo Dolls - Wharton Center - East Lansing, Michigan


]]> (Vital Radar) Dolls" Goo Goo Goo Dolls Acoustic Johnny Rzeznik Magnetic Vital Radar Thu, 24 Apr 2014 23:45:39 GMT
CONCERT MEMORY: Soundgarden wsg/Rocket From the Crypt 1996 CHRIS CORNELLCHRIS CORNELL

It's almost like a first kiss as almost everyone remembers their first one, and their most recent one. The same can be said for concerts. Of course the memorable ones stand out and become legendary, however; for me the first one was really amazing. Tuning into MTV was an event that was happening more each day after school hoping to find new music to percolate my eardrums. I remember seeing the video for Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Crazy people making a rotissarie out of a girls Barbie doll. The band playing in the background as the world seemed to get sucked into this massive black hole. It was November 12, 1996 and I had begged my parents to drive me up to the Palace of Auburn Hills. I was 14, and they were really against me going to a concert by myself at the time. They knew I was responsible enough to handle it, yet they didn't really agree with the lifestyles of the other attendees.  I had just purchased Superunknown on CD for the first time and slammed it into a new discman that featured 10-second skip protection. I don't remember much of the show other than when Chris Cornell came on and did an acoustic version of that song. I also remember that when the encore was supposed to start, (I didn't really know that bands did encores) Chris also had to tell light booth to turn the lights back on. Most people know me for having a really good memory, yet that is all that stands out in my mind regarding this particular show. I also know that I never was able to save the ticket stub, because the inebriated gentleman next to me spilled a whole beer on my pant leg in which my ticket resided. i do remember that I started later saving my ticket stubs to most of the how that I attended. All I know is that I was hooked on music and it would be a source of interest for many years to come for me.

]]> (Vital Radar) 1996 Black Crypt From Hole Radar Rock Rocket Soundgarden Sun The Vital Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:10:52 GMT
Uproar Festival & The Ongoing Success of Alice in Chains This year's Uproar Festival features a co-headlining duo of Alice in Chains and Jane's Addiction. Alice has been one of my favorite bands for many years. I saw their resurgence back in November of 2006 with new singer William Duvall, at the Emerald Theatre in Mount Clemens, Michigan. I was blown away! Since then, they have strung together two very successful albums the most recent being "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here". My hands down absolute can't miss track of this album is called "Voices," and its really no shock that they have added this song into the most recent setlist for the first few Uproar dates. It's a great "sludgy" ballad featuring acoustic guitars (think "Your Decision" off of Black Gives Way to Blue). Alice's key to success has always been the ability to harmonize the voices of lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell and Duvall. The always deliver a superior sound that never feels overproduced, while maintaining that CD quality live sound. With two other successful songs in "Hollow" and "Stone," Alice is going to have 3 tracks that they will deliver with style and power over these live Uproar Dates. Make sure to grab your tickets here:

In addition to Alice you'll also get the opportunity to see Jane's Addiction who are still touring under their release "The Great Escape Artist." Dave Navarro shreds on the guitar while Perry Farrell delivers his signature vocals on many of Jane's classic songs like "Mountain Song"," "Jane Says," and "Been Caught Stealing." If you haven't have a chance to check it out yet you need to hear the song "Underground." Sonically, its one of the most interesting Jane's tunes with a heavy churning main guitar with plenty of Navarro solo work intertwined.

Circa Survive will join Alice In Chains, Jane's Addiction, and Coheed & Cambria on the main stage, while Walking Papers (featuring former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan), Middle Class Rut, New Politics, Danko Jones, Chuck Shaffer Picture Show, and more will slaughter the second stage! 

]]> (Vital Radar) 2013 Addiction! Alice Chains Festival In Jane's Uproar Mon, 12 Aug 2013 21:50:06 GMT
Scott Weiland kicks off March with a Souled Out Tour!

Under the cover of a media frenzy, Scott Weiland kicked off his solo tour at the Machine Shop in front of an energetic crowd in Flint, Michigan. Did he lie about being terminated from STP? Is it all just behind the scenes drama? Has he even met the band he is playing with tonight? Theses types of water cooler conjectures were thrown around amongst the patrons of the show, as I made my way through the packed house. I peer over the monitor as a roadie tapes the handwritten setlist near Weiland's mic stand. I can't help but to think to myself that this is going to be a great show. House lights turn off and the crowd roars. Two ceiling mounted smoke machines cover the front of the stage and The Wildabouts (Weiland's backing band) begin the opening jam. Weiland emerges like a Bedouin nomad draped in a long green parka, a pair of gold aviators, and several scarves enveloping his head and throat. He has this look on his face that he wants to prove people wrong about his past.

The band launches into "Wicked Garden" and Scott begins to feel the heat emanating from the crowd which just was rocked hard by MIGGS. Within a couple of minutes Scott has disrobed down to an argyle sweater and tie. Minutes later the sweater is now gone and he begins to shimmy to the drum kit to the front of the stage with his patented rattlesnake wiggle. With one swift move he is now perched on the front monitor; belting out the song while smiling and shaking hands with the front row. I forget for a few moments that Dean and Robert DeLeo are not backing. I forget that this is 2013 not 1994. 

"Coming to the first show is a hybrid of a first gig and a rehearsal, so it's the coolest one to go to," said Weiland as he puffed from a cigarette. I have seen the setlist and know that "Naked Sunday" is coming next in the order. "I have not played this song live in about 17 years" admits Weiland. As it turns out, it was a pretty faithful representation to the album version. Nothing about this show is perfect; however, I have to give him credit because he has a lot of soul. 

There is a Bowie cover of "Jean Genie," a cover of Jane's Addiction "Mountain Song," and a cover of The Doors "Roadhouse Blues." I know that Weiland has generated enough music over the years to avoid these setlist choices, but he performs them anyway. The latter of the songs was released by STP in 2000 with Robby Krieger of The Doors playing guitar at the House of Blues in L.A. This rendition pulled patrons attention back to the stage away from their cell phones and conversations. The whole crowd screams in unison "I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer." This show has real souI and I have never seen Weiland smile so much during a performance.

I exited the venue about 1:30a.m. after talking with MIGGS and soaking in the show. Walking out towards the tour buses I see a small crowd gathered and I wonder over. Weiland is there in the same drab green parka he was wearing on stage, discussing all things STP/Velvet Revolver/Life. He is smiling and signing autographs, which I never saw him do when he was with STP in 2000. Instinctively he turns when he hears me talking to his tour manager. He looks right into my eyes and remembers me from years past. He turns back and patiently answers questions and takes photographs. Carefully picking his words he has a slow and deliberate drawl. I let two girls who have waited a long time get their items signed and return to the warmth. Scott invites me over to the tour bus. "You are going to be the last autograph of the night." I talk with him for 10 minutes and then realize that I have nothing for him to sign. Weiland pulls out a sharpie and signs over the front breast pocket of my Machine Shop shirt. "STP S. Weiland" it reads. "There, I have signed your nipple" he finds himself amusing and it's delivered in such a manner I can't help but laugh. I thank him for music and he leaves for bed. Exiting the tour bus I see a stage roadie packing things into the trailer behind the bus. In one had he has the coveted STP megaphone and in the other he is pouring out a teapot onto the concrete. He sees me shutting the door to the bus and I  walk over gesturing towards the hand with the megaphone in it. He gives it to me and I switch it on and do an about face from the bus. Squeezing the trigger I do my best interpretation "I AM SMELLIN' LIKE A ROSE THAT SOMEBODY GAVE ME ON MY BIRTHDAY DEATHBED." Switched back off, I hand it back and just laugh to myself while soaking in the surreal. He had soul.


]]> (Vital Radar) MIGGS Machine Shop Purple To the Core Scott Weiland Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts Weiland STP Weiland Stone Temple Pilots Sun, 03 Mar 2013 22:24:21 GMT
The Used - Storming through Detroit on the Take Action Tour 2013.  

The Used came to Detroit as the headliners for the Take Action Tour 2013 this past Sunday night, and they managed to tear through a set of their hits. Wave after wave of crowd-surfers streamed over the barricade as punk rock raw emotion wafted into the air. Vocalist Bert McCracken address the crowd from the base of the drum kit and crooned "Everyone belongs at a rock show." As this fantastic double entendre set into the minds of the crowd as Bert pulled the drawstrings of his hoodie taught using it like a makeshift straight-jacket. He positioned his hands as if he was summoning a demon much like a sourcerer. Exclaimed McCracken “If you’re not having fun yet, get the fuck out of here!” which made the exasperated fans explode. Nobody left. The band was spot on with their performance; and they needed to be after the hometown crew of We Are Romans practically blew the roof off the building. Dan Whitesides was making kindling out of his drumsticks from a high riser that Bert had managed to climb upon to the sound of jeers in the balcony.  Looking gruffer than his high pitched singing voice might indicate, McCracken is at times off key, and is rarely pitch perfect- but as true punk music rarely is, which makes The Used so refreshing to watch. All four band members literally dripped with sweat, as McCracken pointed to members of the crowd, demanding they reciprocate lyrics back to him. Whitesides' black tank-top read: "The Used Don't Give a Fuck!" which was merely a slogan on a t-shirt. You can tell that the band closely cares about its fans. They purposefully picked a setlist that appeals to both new and old fans, spanning their five LP's. You need to get out in quick fashion to the Take Action Tour 2013 to see this band tear up the stage. If you want perfect you need to pick another band, however; if you want in-your-face, sing-along, awesome PUNK rock that leaves your through feeling like you swallowed a bag of cotton balls - the GO SEE THE USED! I promise you that it will kick off your 2013 in great fashion.

]]> (Vital Radar) Bert McCracken Dan Whitesides Take Action Tour 2013 The Used We Came As Romans Thu, 21 Feb 2013 03:18:24 GMT
Butcher Babies bold interview in Detroit Rock City!

As most of you know, Butcher Babies have been tapped as the opening band for the “Hey, Cruel World Tour” directly supporting shock-rocker Marilyn Manson. I had an opportunity to sit down with the Butcher Babies: Carla Harvey (vocals), Heidi Shepherd (vocals), and Henry Flury (lead guitar) and interview them at The Fillmore Detroit on 1/22/2013. In the past, they have made headlines with their scantily clad stage appearance, crushing guitar riffs, and flesh covered in fake blood. 

VR: Heidi: In 2001 you prophetically stated that you wanted to tour with Marilyn Manson. Now that it’s happening do you believe that putting that statement out in the universe made the happen?

Heidi: “I honestly do believe that things that you put out into the universe will manifest them themselves if you believe them enough. At the same time I don’t think that us, sitting on out butts would have got us this tour with Manson. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication from every member in the band.”

VR: Carla: Manson is from Ohio; Alice Cooper and yourself are both from the Detroit area is there something about being from the Midwest that makes people from here start a theme metal band?

Carla: “Honestly what I think is come from sheer boredom. You are trapped inside for a good six months out of the year when it’s raining, snowing, or just bitterly cold.  So literally, all you have it what is your mind. You use your imagination to keep you company and for me when I was a kid I wrote comic books all day, listened to heavy metal, and dreamed of being in my own band. We live in California now and there is always a distraction like going to the beach or doing anything else. Michigan wasn’t really like that. “

VR: I saw that you had interviewed Alice Cooper for Revolver TV; did he give you any words of advice?

Carla: “ He is such an amazing person, and he and I talked about Detroit after the interview. Funny enough he is actually related to my mom, she is an Italian girl and they are cousins.  I didn’t tell him that we were distant cousins but when I was interviewing him I had to stop for a second because I was so tripped out in my own head because I was interviewing on of my biggest idols. It meant so much to me and I was really lucky to have been able to do that.”

VR: It’s been pretty widely documented that Manson collects some weird things; do any of you collect anything out of the ordinary?

Henry: “Skulls, I collect them and so does Carla, but not the real kind. She collects them more than I do.”

Carla: “I had a fan bring us skulls (one for her and Heidi) last night. It’s awesome when our fans know what we love and bring us stuff! Henry collects girls panties that get thrown on stage.“ (Laughter erupts from the group)

Heidi: “When I see Henry in the morning I ask ARE THOSE MINE?”

VR: Are you drawing more female fans to the shows that want to be like you, or is it mostly male fans that want to see you naked?

Heidi: “It’s a complete mix, when we first started we were hoping for the first way and then it swung the other way, but it has been an even mix.”

Carla: “Even age wise we have had such a vast age group of people that like us. Tons of women love us and tons of men too.”

Heidi: “Last night we had a show in Joliet, IL and there were two young girls in the front row who were singing our lyrics. That is why we do this because we were those young girls.

Carla: “ Our songs are for those girls because that is what we were like growing up as misfit girls.”

VR: What is the craziest thing that you have seen on tour thus far?

Carla: “Manson’s DAD! (Heidi & Henry burst out laughing) Seriously!

VR: What is Hugh Warner like?

Carla: “I was trying to explain meeting him to my mom today and I couldn’t even talk about it.”

Henry: “We’ll just say this, he was a very nice guy but he is a very forward man.”

Heidi: “He came over to us after the show and was very complimentary about our band. He is not afraid of anything. I think it’s the weirdest thing that has happened on this tour.

VR: What made you say he is not afraid of anything?

Henry: “He speaks his mind and he is very vocal.  I mean you are Manson’s dad. Mr. Marilyn Manson Sr. you are going to say whatever you want.”

VR: You mentioned some of the younger fans; when writing lyrics today do you feel you have to dial down some of the lyrics because of current events?

Carla: “We don’t really feel the need to we have always tried to keep this band full throttle.  No matter what is going on we are going to be true to our stage show. We are not going to dial it back for anyone or anything.“

Heidi: “We are definitely respectful in anything going on, but there is nothing that we are doing that is disrespectful.”

Heidi stops me before I can ask my next question. She and Carla got dressed separately today and are wearing matching outfits. They insist that I get a picture of them matching in their outfits.

VR: Pick one band right now to open for right now that you haven’t toured with?

Carla & Heidi: In stereo both shout “Slipknot!”

Henry: “In Flames”

VR: Same question in reverse you are now the headliner, pick one band to open for Butcher Babies.

Henry: “Oh man that is tough. I am going to say 9 Electric.”

Carla & Heidi: (after a person sidebar) “We have to take our buddies Thrown Into Exile. We can’t say what it is yet this year but we do get to tour with Thrown Into Exile this summer.”

VR: You talk a lot about writing about thing you are afraid of, what is one thing you have yet to write about that makes you afraid.

Carla: “I think for me that one of the things that was really hard to write about was making a change. It’s coming up on a current song that has yet to debut. It was about growing up and the things that hurt us.”

Heidi: “Carla and I have had similar experiences and it about the things that were wrong in our childhoods that prevented us from growing into the adolescence that we could have.  It’s things about our childhood.”

Henry: “I write riffs that are really just too hard to play. The scare me, I am definitely afraid of those.  I wish they would kind of just go away.

VR: What is something that you learned about Manson that you didn’t know before.

Heidi: “I didn’t know what to expect when I first met him. The first time we saw him was the second show into the tour he was like “Come over here, come say hi” (pantomimes hugging). He has been 100% nice and respectful to us.

Carla: “ That he is a huge fan of the film Django. He has been speaking with the Django voice for most of the tour. He is as big of a personality on stage as he is when you speak with him.  He is in real life who you see on stage!”

Check out images from  the Butcher Babies performance here:

Article, interview, and live photography courtesy of Chris Balow of




]]> (Vital Radar) . Butcher Babies Detroit Butcher Babies Interview Hey, Cruel World Tour Marilyn Manson Sun, 27 Jan 2013 20:55:25 GMT
Eye Empire - "Impact" CD Review I had the pleasure of receiving a review copy of Eye Empire's Impact double disc debut CD this week. The disc is a solid effort from a consortium of musicians from great bands of the past: Donald Carpenter (Submersed), B.C. Kochmit (Switched), and Corey Lowery (Dark New Day).   My favorite tracks were "So Wrong", "Reason", Ignite (Moment of Impact), and "Moment." You can't help but to hear Donald channeling a little Chris Cornell in "So Wrong" as well as older Submersed. You can really hear the pacing and influence of Sevendust as Lajon Witherspoon joins Donald for the high-energy duet on "Victim" ( Morgan Rose was also the studio drummer), Dark New Day, and their respective collection of bands throughout both discs. B.C.'s solos on the record are very intricate and complicated to play musically. He really shreds through the solo's  and his crashing guitar tone pairs well with Carpenter's wide vocal range. It also is a disc that could be passed over with only one listen, but really shines when you get into the lyrical intricacies and solos on the second time through. When trying to find new music in a sea of poorly produced records these days; this album is a no brainer for hard rock fans.  Be sure to catch their performance this October when the band shares the stage with Seether and Kyng! You'll undoubtedly get to hear the melodic, powerful, and captivating influence of Carpenter's voice as he sings and screams into a v intage capsule microphone.

]]> (Vital Radar) Thu, 13 Sep 2012 18:36:40 GMT
5/24/2012 Jack White Crushes "Evening Show" at the Masonic Temple! Jack White brought a home schooled blues-rock revival back to his hometown of Detroit on Thursday evening. The singer, songwriter, musician, and Jack-Of-All-Trades (pun-intended) gave the crowd a healthy dosage of his new album Blunderbuss while mixing in plenty of his past work. There seemed to be a general buzz in the air regarding the show, as this was the first show of the tour with a matinee performance. If you wanted to hear Jack performing material from his other band The Dead Weather you had better have played hooky from work. If you wanted to hear Jack performing material from The Raconteurs you'd need a ticket to the late show. Mixed into all that were White Stripes songs, nine of eleven tracks off Blunderbuss, and a cover of Leadbelly's "Goodnight Irene" which closed the show. 


The three things that I found interesting about this whole show:

1.) Jack White (like Picasso's periods to Jack's bands) seems fulling intent on managing color in every aspect of his production.

     Red + Black + White = White Stripes   Yellow + Black + White = The Raconteurs  Blue + Black + White = Jack White Solo

2.) The whole evening show was played by The Peacocks (Jack's all female band) as (Los Buzzardos) carried the matinee duties. I really wanted to see Jack's interaction once they changed from female band to male band or vise versa. I remember seeing Carla Azar (drummer of the Peackocks) open with then band Autolux for Nine Inch Nails on the "With Teeth" tour. Jack seems to be drawn to her for energy, much like he was with Meg in the White Stripes.

3.) I like the choice of venue. The smaller 1,600 seat Scottish Rite Theatre was easily sold out in 3 seconds online, however; it shows that Jack wants to have a personal relationship with his fans. The tickets were for an individual seat however after the opener Alabama Shakes performed, NO ONE returned to their seat. I remained firmly pressed up against the stage for the best view of the performance. I never thought that security would let us stay in the 40 X 8 foot area before the first row of seats. 

One side note: There were no cameras, video, or audio recorders allowed. They were militant with security regarding that issue, but I didn't feel guilty snapping a couple of iPhone shots as I paid $330 for a $48 ticket. That is fan dedication!

Jack White interacting with drummer Carla Azar.

]]> (Vital Radar) 5/24/12 Jack White Evening Show Jack White, Masonic Temple Rite" Scottish Tue, 29 May 2012 02:51:11 GMT
5/19/2012 Candlebox - Emerald Theatre Mt. Clemens Candlebox returned on Saturday for the second time in two years to the Emerald Theatre in Mt. Clemens. The band is touring under their new album Love Stories and Other Musings. The Seattle rockers was fresh of another sold-out date from the Machine Shop in Flint. I have seen the band many times over the past 5 years, and lead singer Kevin Martin has never lost the ability to keep their concerts emotive and palpable. From the front row to the balcony, you can hear everyone in the place singing the songs that catapulted the band to stardom from "Don't You", "Change", and especially "Far Behind"The new material largely held it's own, as songs like "Believe In It" and "Turn Your Heart Around" paired into the setlist as if they had been there since 1991. There was a loose, off-the-cuff quality to the performance, and lead guitarist Peter Klett even let the entire front row strum his guitar before setting it atop Sean Hennesy's already reverberating on the stage. I personally believe that with the addition of Sean the band is better as a five-piece, both on this new disc and in concert. Sean's rhythm guitar skills, catchy solos, and engaging style always makes his side of the stage a blast to be near. Make sure that you pick up the new disc and catch one of the summertime gigs once the band returns from Japan!

]]> (Vital Radar) Candlebox Emerald Theatre Kevin Martin Peter Klett Sean Hennesy Mon, 28 May 2012 22:49:31 GMT