Tag Archives: Frank Turner

2015 Albums of the Year

Last week we revealed our 2015 Songs of the Year, and this week we go a little bigger, with the 2015 Rock Albums of the Year. The music industry is changing and great albums are simply becoming more difficult to discover. But, thanks to a nice year of Indie Rock contributions, I came up with a good list of albums that I feel defined the year. Take a look and see if you agree.

2015 (1)
Continue reading 2015 Albums of the Year

Positive Songs from Frank Turner

During his fantastically compelling solo career, Frank Turner has continually morphed his style and raised expectations from fans and critics alike. It’s reached the point that it’s virtually impossible for him to satisfy those drinking in his music. And, although it’s a shitty, unfair thing to do, I hold Turner to a higher standard than I do most other musicians.

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Continue reading Positive Songs from Frank Turner

New Music From Frank Turner


 
turner

New Frank Turner

It’s probably easiest if I just come right out and confess to it…

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…I have a man crush on Frank Turner.  My father would never understand it, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Turner is a gifted and entertaining musician who has evolved into one of my favorite artists gracing today’s rock music landscape.

He’s still a spry 33, but the tattoo-sheathed rocker has already led two distinct careers.  He has nimbly transformed from the edgy front man of aggressive punk rockers Million Dead to the intelligent, witty singer song-writer who penned the 2013 Album of The Year, Tape Deck Heart. As I offered on the Tape Deck Heart review: “he’s the perfect melding of the strumming folk troubadour and the fervid punk rocker.”

Before we get to the big Frank Turner news, check out a few of our earlier links:

Tape Deck Heart Album Review
Frank Turner Live Concert Review
2015 Can’t Miss Bands
2013 Album of the Year
2013 Song of the Year

Yeah, don’t give me any crap, I confessed it earlier in this article… mancrush…

So, why the deep dark confession?  Well, Turner just announced the release date for his new album, Positive Songs For Negative People on Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor UK/Interscope. The album was produced by the tremendously talented Butch Walker, and finds Turner recording again with his trusted backing band The Sleeping Souls.

Frank Turner - photo by RARAsFArm.com
Frank Turner – photo by RARAsFArm.com

“I feel like this record is my definitive statement, a summation of the first five records,” Turner says. “When a band makes a debut record, there’s a freshness and excitement to it that bands often lose as time goes by. I wanted to make a record with that young, exciting feel.” The lbum was recorded in Naskville over a breakneck nine-day period. “Pretty much all of it is live. The end result is everything I wanted it to be.”

I personally have not heard the album yet, but hope to review it soon. In the meantime, You can pre-order the album here:

And to provide a little taste of what to expect, here’s the video for his rollicking new single
“The Next Storm.”


 
Tour dates are below. Make sure you Follow/Like Us for more news soon.

Rock On!
Cretin

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂

 
Tour Dates
09/19 Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls
09/20 Toronto, ON Riot Fest
09/22 Syracuse, NY Lost Horizon
09/23 Burlington, VT High Ground
09/25 Boston, MA House of Blues (Sold Out)
09/26 Boston, MA House of Blues
09/28 New York, NY Irving Plaza (Sold Out)
09/29 New York, NY Irving Plaza (Sold Out)
09/30 New York, NY Irving Plaza
10/02 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore
10/03 Baltimore, MD Ram’s Head Live
10/04 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
10/06 Chicago, IL House of Blues
10/07 Minneapolis, MN The Varsity Theatre
10/09 Denver, CO The Ogden Theatre
10/10 Boulder, CO The Boulder Theatre
10/12 Salt City City, UT Urban Lounge
10/13 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
10/15 Seattle, WA The Neptune
10/16 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
10/17 Portland, OR Roseland Theatre
10/19 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
10/20 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
10/22 Los Angeles, CA The Mayan
10/23 San Diego, CA House of Blues
10/24 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
10/25 Phoenix, AZ The Press Room
10/27 Austin, TX Emo’s
10/28 Dallas, TX House of Blues
10/29 Houston, TX House of Blues
10/30 New Orleans, LA Voodoo Music Festival

 
Here’s a little treat for reading the whole thing – Rock On!

 

 

This Summer’s Can’t Miss Rock Concerts

The Best Rock Bands Touring This Summer

A RARAsFarm look at a dozen “Can’t Miss” rock bands touring this summer.

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As we leap into June, and the dog days of summer, I took a look at the best live acts on the road today. There were many killer rock acts to choose from, including a few bands we have not previously seen, but we decided to limit the list to a dozen acts that we can personally vouch for as guaranteed to deliver a great rock ‘n roll music experience.

Here you go – twelve bands from very different rock music genres, but all twelve linked together as the top dozen live rock artists touring this summer; a dozen bands who put on a fantastic show every time they hit the stage.

I list them here in alphabetical order, but every one of these acts delivers a killer show every night, and they are all absolutely worth seeing.

Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees at HOB Orlando
Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees at HOB Orlando. Photo: rarasfarm.com

Frank Turner Concert photo Big Ticket
Frank Turner and the Tour Flag that traveled the country.

Matt Johnson of Matt & Kim at Coastline Festival
Matt Johnson of Matt & Kim at Coastline Festival
Neon Trees Photos Frank Turner Photos Matt & Kim Photos

 

Foo Fighters Dave Grohl is one of the most dynamic front men around, and he’s got one hell of a catalogue of songs to play. The Foo Fighters are playing a bunch of stadiums on this tour, but I’d recommend one of their more intimate arena stops if you can swing it Tour Dates  |
Frank Turner He just might be the best storyteller gracing the rock ‘n roll landscape today.  Every show is a diverse, eclectic collection of wonderful songs from the punk rock icon turned rock ‘n roll troubadour.  (Read our review) Tour Dates | Review
Matt And Kim Surely the most pop-infused artist on our list, but this talented couple dish out fun danceable rock music that is guaranteed to keep you moving. Matt Johnson on keys and drummer Kim Johnson are energetic, athletic, and fun to watch. Tour Dates  |  Review
Neon Trees They’ve had a few big hits, but these talented Alt-rockers truly shine during their killer stage shows, and the spotlight shines brightest on charismatic frontman Tyler Glenn who is one of the best live performers on the rock landscape today. Tour Dates  |  Review
New Politics Energetic Danish pop-punk that translates perfectly in their powerful live show.  Acrobatic lead singer David Boyd flies around the stage, often sings from amidst the crowd and is guaranteed to deliver at least one headstand each show. Tour Dates  |  Review
Nothing More Industrial hard rock out of Texas with a very unique twist. This quartet does a lot of fun and dishes out unique stuff on stage, always delivering an entertaining and loud show. As an added bonus, they are touring with another great live act, Shinedown Tour Dates  |  Review
Of Monsters And Men One of the more mellow rock acts on the list, but the folksy Icelandic quintet always deliver a tight performance and sound perfect. Their unique blend of Indie rock is a joy to listen to and they pour out creative boy/girl rock onstage. Tour Dates  |  Review
Paul McCartney Sir Paul does not tour much, but when he does, it’s “Can’t Miss” rock personified. He is rock ‘n roll royalty, and in his 70’s, still delivers an amazing show every night. Three plus hours of engaging music from the greatest catalog ever and he still glides effortlessly through all of the offerings. Tour Dates  |  Review
Radkey  Three young brothers who know how to rock. They’ve got a unique garage rock sound tinted with clear punk stylings. This trio is uber-talented despite the fact their average age is under twenty. Catch them now while they are still playing smaller venues. Tour Dates  |  Review
Rolling Stones  You may have heard of these young guns out of England? They’re celebrating 50+ years of touring together and still boast the same line-up that first appeared 40 years ago! These guys are timeless and still deliver a great rock ‘n roll experience every time they storm the stage. Tour Dates  |
Super Bob  This Virginia quartet work their asses off; touring constantly and pouring themselves into every show.  Frontman Matt Santoro is a fantastic entertainer, paired with three other maniacs who love playing live. Their blend of dancey hard rock is a guaranteed good time for any rock music fan. Tour Dates  |  Review
21 Pilots  Hip hop meets alt-rock, and this duo have created a fantastic niche in the rock landscape.  Aside from delivering catchy addictive music, these two guys fly around the stage and always deliver an engaging, interactive show. Tour Dates  |  Review

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Tyler Joseph Twenty One Pilots Big Ticket
Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots at The Big Ticket
Matt Santoro of Super Bob in Orlando
Matt Santoro of Super Bob in Orlando
Nothing More at Welcome To Rockville
Nothing More at Welcome To Rockville
21 Pilots Photos Super Bob Photos Nothing More Photos

 

Rock On!
Cretin

Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂

 

Top Rock Albums of 2013

The Best Rock Albums of 2013

(Also, make sure you check out our Best Rock Songs of 2013)

Lots of strong music again this year across the rock music landscape, but truthfully, there were only a handful of superb albums from start to finish.  I’m not sure that’s really a bad thing, as in today’s digital download world, an album is less important as the delivery mechanism for excellent music.

My list is a lot different than all of those at the big time websites. That’s because they’re smarter, and I have better taste in music.  Check out the list and let us know what we missed; and if you’re new to RARA’s Farm, we are Rock And Roll Animals, and this is where we hang out, and we’d love to have you join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or right here in the Comments section.

Just like our list of the Best Songs of 2013, each album is linked to iTunes if you want to check it out or purchase it.

Here’s our Top two dozen:

Bonus Selection: Where the Kids Are – EP – Blondfire – Not technically an album, but every one of these four songs is superb. Hopefully we’ll see a full-length soon from this dynamic brother-sister combo who mix good old American rock with Brazilian influences.  Best tracks: Waves, Where The Kids Are, Hide And Seek. (Read the RARA’s review here)

24. Damage – Jimmy Eat World  – There’s something to be said for consistency. These four Arizona lads have been together for eight albums and twenty years. Their sound has softened and sweetened a bit, but it’s still good stuff. Best tracks: Lean, Book Of Love, I Will Steal You Back.

23. The 1975 – The 1975 – It’s not perfect, in fact, I feel the music is a little slicker and less raw than I’d prefer from these lads from Manchester, but there’s some creative artistry for sure from Matthew Healy and the band. Best Tracks: Chocolate, Sex, Girls.

22. Paramore – Paramore – The band’s first Farro-free effort, as brothers Zac and Josh left the band after their third album.  The music revolves around Hayley Williams’ vocals, but it also offers a refreshingly rougher sound at times (as well as some fluffy stuff I typically skip over). Best tracks: Fast In My Car, Now, Anklebiters.

21. The Next Day – David Bowie – Bowie is back with his 24th studio album. It’s a nice offering, hearkening back to some of his earlier sounds. Pop rock songs, with meaningful lyrics about our world today. Best tracks: Day, You Will Set The World On Fire, The Next Day.

20. By the Lamplight – Larry and His Flask – Hillbilly, Cajun punk at its finest. These guys have a unique raucous sound and are an absolute blast, a different kind of blast for sure, but that’s what we love about rock ‘n roll. Best tracks: Pandemonium, Home of The Slave, Out Of Print. (Read the RARA’s review here)

19. The Bones of What You Believe – CHVRCHES – Just love Lauren Mayberry’s vulnerable vocals, but there’s a lot more to this trio from Scotland. One of the best new Alt-Rocks on the scene this year. Best tracks: The Mother We Share, Lies, Under The Tide.

18. Revolution – Jupiter Falls – The album highlights the band’s diversity; at times they sound like 70′s or 80′s classic rock, current era Alt-hardcore, or turn of the century metal. Fantastic guitar work, memorable licks and powerful vocals throughout. Best tracks: Forgiven, To The Point, Story Of A Liar. (Read the RARA’s review here)

17. AM – Arctic Monkeys – This, their fifth album is a showcase for guitarist Jamie Cook and continues to show their evolution as a band.  Not their best effort ever, but still excellent Alr-rock with a snarl.  Best tracks: Do I Wanna Know? R U Mine? Mad Sounds.

16. Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies – Volbeat – Heavy metal with a rockability twist from these Danish rockers. Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano makes a great first impression for this band that is rocketing up the heavy metal scene. Best tracks: My Body (Young The Giant cover), Lola Montez, Pearl Heart

15. Reflektor – Arcade Fire – Without a doubt, my most anticipated release of the year. It’s a bit pretentios, and not as good as their previous offerings, but there’s plenty to like on this one as the Montreal rockers continue to push their limits. Best tracks: Normal Person, Flashbulb Eyes, Afterlife.

14. Hail to the King – Avenged Sevenfold – One of America’s best metal bands continues to evolve. A bit more commercial than their earlier stuff, but they don’t sacrifice any of their core values. Best tracks: Acid Rain, Hail To The King, This Means War.

13. Night Visions – Imagine Dragons – This is actually a late 2012 release, but we didn’t listen until this year when it became the most successful new Alt-rock offering in years. Best tracks: Hear Me, It’s Time, Demons.

And, our Top Dozen:

12. Signed and Sealed in Blood – Dropkick Murphys – These blue collar Irish punk rockers continue to defy expectations. In this, their seventeenth year, they release their most main stream offering. A few big hits on a very deep album. Best tracks: : The Boys Are Back, Rose Tattoo, Burn.

11. The Sticks – Mother Mother – From the stark opening notes of the ethereal “The Omen,” this album grabs your attention and locks you in for a forty-eight minute journey through genre-defining rock ‘n roll. Best tracks: Bit By Bit, Let’s Fall In Love, Dread In My Heart. (Read the RARA’s review here)

10. Shangri La – Jake Bugg – Bugg’s distinctive voice is not for everyone, but I love it, and the way the 19 year-old churns out poppy punk-infused ditties. Best tracks: Slumville Sunrise, What Doesn’t Kill You, Me An d You.

9. Bigfoot – Cayucas – The album, the brainchild of singer Zach Yudin, has an absolutely distinctive Alt-Rock sound highlighted by a cool sixties surf vibe that dominates their intriguing ethereal debut. Best tracks: Cayucos, High School Lover, Will The Thrill. (Read the RARA’s review here)

8. Vessel – twenty one pilots – This duo has a sound all to themselves. A little ukulele, killer drums, sweet keyboards and Tyler Joseph’s infectiously unique vocals power the band’s first major label release. Best tracks: Migraine, House of Gold, Holding On To You.

7. Twistification – The Last Royals – It’s an absolute blast to listen to as this duo just churns out fun, catchy rock tunes. Still cannot fathom why this one did not explode on the music scene, with a half-dozen potential hits on the album. Best tracks: Friday Night, All Over Again, I Hate California. (Read the RARA’s review here)

6. I Love You. – The Neighbourhood – No album this year starts off as strongly as this one. The first three songs are all stellar tracks.  The rest of the album is pretty damn good. A slinky dirty and absolutely addictive debut. Best tracks: Sweater Weather, Female Robbery, Afraid.

5. Modern Vampires of the City – Vampire Weekend – In general, it’s a bit more stripped down than their excellent first two albums, but there are exceptions, like the rollicking Diane Young that make every song a sonic surprise. Best tracks: Diane Young, Unbelievers, Everlasting Arms.

4. Waiting For the Dawn – The Mowgli’s – This album is a masterpiece. It’s a cool summer groove just overflowing with sweet rock ‘n roll gems and in a refreshing change from much of the music dominating today’s airwaves, The Mowgli’s offer up a host of tracks about love, hope and unity. Best tracks: San Francisco, Time, Emily. (Read the RARA’s review here)

3. Melophobia – Cage the Elephant – The term melophobia means fear of music, but there’s nothing to fear on this release. On this, their third album, Cage The Elephant continues to evolve as one of this country’s premier rock bands. Their 2011 release, Thank You, Happy Birthday was our album of the year, this one was close…  Best tracks: Spiderhead, Telescope, It’s Just Forever. (Read the RARA’s review here)

2. Blunderstone Rookery – Stephen Kellogg – I used to be annoyed reading through these lists and finding an author who spotlighted a little known artist near the top of their list. Now, I’ve done it myself, but this album from an uber-talented singer-songwriter is absolutely deserving of its lofty ranking. The collection of songs is as creative as it is supremely enjoyable. It’s a rambling tour through Kellogg’s memories and a great listen.  Best tracks: Thanksgiving, Good Ol’ Days, Forgive You Forgive Me. (Read the RARA’s review here)

1. Tape Deck Heart – Frank Turner – This was almost pre-ordained. Turner is a former punk front man turned rock ‘n roll troubadour. He’s a talented vocalist, guitar player and maybe the best lyricist in the business.  Tape Deck Heart is a rare marriage of stirring song-writing and creative passionate music. Turner is a talented poet, sincere story-teller and tremendous musician and this album is the first time he’s put it all together. Fabulously diverse stuff that demands attention. Best tracks: Four Simple Words, Recovery, Good & Gone, Oh Brother, and many more… (Read the RARA’s review here)

So, there you have it, the best rock albums of 2013. Let us know what you think. What did we nail? Where did we fail? And, make  sure you check out our Best Songs of 2013, too.

Rock On!
Cretin

Best Rock Songs of 2013

2013 best rock songs

The Best Rock Songs of 2013

(Make sure you check out our Top Rock Albums 0f 2013)

2013 was a year packed with interesting entertaining rock offerings.  Most commercial radio seems fixated on synth-driven, watered-down, safe music for the masses.  At times, I’m a sucker for that stuff, too, but far more often, I enjoy my rock with a little guitar, as you’ll see below…

Click on the sing titles to check out and grab your own copy of each song.

Bonus Track: Golden, Holly Maher – Our own BrokenBirdie sums this one up perfectly: This Nashville native “really knows how to mix sassy and sweet perfectly…” Maher is not an easy fit into our rock ‘n roll genre, but she’s a blossoming singer songwriter with lots of potential.

24. What Doesn’t Kill You – Jake Bugg – Garage rock 21st Century style. This 19 year-old has a great sound, sometimes punk, sometimes folksy, and this is the best offering from his second album.

23. Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys – Really like the guitar intro on this one, and just love the focus on Alex Turner’s vocals, which are his best yet.

22. Safe and Sound – Capital Cities – An example of the synth and drum machine recipe that dominates today’s airwaves, but this one is creative and catchy. 

21. Harlem – New Politics – A bit of a guilty pleasure. Bubble gum rock, but it’s got infectious lyrics and a memorable guitar riff that you’ll never get out of your head.

20. High School Lover – Cayucas – This one has a slick late 60′s surf rock feel which fits this band from Santa Monica perfectly.

19. Unbelievers – Vampire Weekend – It’s a great showcase for Ezra Koenig’s vocals, and unbelievably, this is actually the band’s highest charting song of their career.

18. 17 Crimes – AFI – This one is carried by Adam Carson’s drums. It’s got a great singalong chorus about a nasty topic. I should have moved this up to #17 just for the symmetry.

17. Recovery – Frank Turner – It’s fun catchy song with deep meaningful lyrics from one of today’s best rock ‘n roll poets from Tape Deck Heart, one of this year’s best albums.

16. Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood – The first single off of their debut album I Love You and it was a breath of fresh air on the Alt-Rock scene. The first of two tracks from the West Coast band on the list.

15. Wake Me Up – Avicii – My wife rarely turns me on to excellent new rock, but this is an exception. This one makes a great driving song, but it’s excellent in any environment and crosses so many musical genres. Love the music bed…

14. Drive Me Home – The Reason – A big rocker from a veteran Canadian band who sound like Kings of Leon, just with a little more talent and a lot more passion and less pretentiousness.

13. Deal with the Devil – Pop Evil – Reminds me a bit of Alice and Chains which is always a good thing. Love Leigh Kakaty’s vocals, but the music from his band mates is even better.

12. Diane Young – Vampire Weekend – Bit of a different feel, where Koenig’s vocals highlight early; and then the song masterfully devolves into a clever mash-up of sounds eerily reminiscent of the late 80’s dance remixes from Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

11. Hail to the King – Avenged Sevenfold – Best hard rock band around, and this song is a prime example why. Searing guitar solos, hard driving rhythm and killer vocals.

10. Cut Me Some Slack – “Nirvana” featuring Paul McCartney – OK, I named the band… It’s Dave Grohl’s fantastic contribution to Sound City. Paul bringing back haunting “Helter Skelterish” vocals accompanied by the living members of Nirvana, and it works amazingly well.

10. Waves – Blondfire – It’s a great summer vibe, and a tune that highlights the beautiful vocals of Erica Driscoll and an absolutely mesmerizing groove.

9. Bit By Bit – Mother Mother – One of today’s most underrated bands, and this provocative quirky song is the best one from their fantastic album The Sticks. It’s aggressive Alt-rock with a unique blend of boy-girl vocals.

8. Lola Montez – Volbeat – Killer guitar work from new addition Rob Caggiano (Anthrax) and an excellent spotlight for Michael Poulsen’s powerful and distinctive vocals.

7. The Boys Are Back – Dropkick Murphys – Bagpipes and a rousing chorus power this rocker. Just love Ken Casey’s beautifully ragged and harsh vocals. It’s Irish rock at its best, well almost…

6. House of Gold – Twenty One Pilots – Ukelele driven ode to Tyler Glenn’s mother featuring his quirky but perfectly fitting vocals as this duo continues their ascension into rock stardom.

5. Rose Tattoo – Dropkick MurphysThis is Irish rock at its best. Tender mandolin opening with more of a classic Irish story teller vibe and a memorable chorus. They also released a version with Springsteen on vocals as a Boston Marathon victims’ fundraiser which is just as good as the original.

4. Thanksgiving – Stephen Kellogg – It’s a masterpiece, a ten minute masterpiece, but worth every second of it. Poignant, meaningful lyrics, passionate vocals and superb music. This one should become the definitive Thanksgiving song.

3. San Francisco – The Mowgli’s – A positive, happy, upbeat song, and it’s just fun as hell. This octet delivers a wall of sound, and the music is simply addictive. A great song made better by the great vibe.

2. Afraid – The Neighbourhood – Jesse Rutherford’s vulnerable vocals and deeply introspective lyrics are fantastic, and the song is absolutely great. It is the highlight track from the band’s excellent debut I Love You.

1. Four Simple Words – Frank Turner – This one starts with soft piano accompanied by acoustic guitar, then evolves into a raucous punk rock throwdown. It’s everything wonderful about rock ‘n roll wrapped up into one song. Oh, and the lyrics are perfect, too.

 

There you have it. My list… What did I miss? Let me know in he comments below, and make sure you Follow Us on Twitter and Like our Facebook for rock music updates all year long.

Rock On!
Cretin

Best of The Big Ticket

The Best of The Big Ticket Festival

It’s been 5 days since this year’s version of The Big Ticket hit Jacksonville and I figured it was a good time to reminisce a bit.

This year’s event was year four of X102.9’s annual pilgrimage for Florida’s alt-rock nation; and there are rumors that changes in city ordinances could make it the last.  Hopefully, it’s the typical local news’ blown-out-of-proportion, attention grabbing crap that dominates so many newscasts these days, because this festival is an important event for we local Rock And Roll Animals at RARA’s Farm.

So, some thoughts this year:

Best Act: There were some great sets: Frank Turner, A Day To Remember, The 1975, but everything else paled in comparison to Twenty One Pilots.  This energetic, frenetic duo spent more time in the crowd than on the solid footing of the stage, sounded great, interacted with the crowd, and have clearly grown as artists since last year, when they were, um, the Best Act… Yup, two years in a row…(Check out our review of the 2012 Big Ticket here)

Best Song: “It’s Complicated” A Day To Remember. The crowd was already ratcheted up for these Ocala natives who were tearing through a powerful set. Then, they were pushed over the edge when lead singer Jeremy McKinnon crawled inside a big ball and sang this one from inside the ball, as the crowd bounced him around the park.  Pretty damn cool!

Best Setlist: Lots of great songs and creative selections throughout the day, but lets nod the head to Jimmy Eat World. Every song was good, plenty of hits, and they threw in “Last Christmas,” the only holiday song during the day.

Best New Artist: (New to me anyway) – I really enjoyed Nothing More. Quite frankly, their music is a little rougher than my normal preference, but I liked their sound, and loved their stage show. Every band member of this foursome out of San Antonio made the same kind of impression this year that Twenty One Pilots made last year. Entertaining band…

Hottest Chick in a band: Incomplete. We saw seventeen bands throughout the day and every single performer had a Y chromosome. Apparently all of the talented Alt-Rock women were in the area earlier this year at the Coastline Festival.

Best Topless Moment: Nope, not what you think. In fact, I didn’t see any female breasts, but think there were at least five lead singers who performed at least part of their set topless. We saw shirtless performers from Pepper, The 1975, Black Bottom Lighters, Twenty One Pilots and our winner Frank Turner. Why him? Because after 60 plus shows, his shirt was grimier than the sheets at an hourly motel, and it needed to go…

Frank Turner Concert photo Big Ticket
Frank Turner and the Tour Flag that traveled the country.

Most Engaging Performer: Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull offered up some funny one liners, but this is Frank Turner’s specialty. He was funny, engaging and entertaining throughout his set, and his lyrics were witty and creative. He’s also a great storyteller and I loved hearing the recap of the Tour banner that a fan brought to a show in Cleveland and henceforth has somehow managed, with no help from the band, to be at every show on the tour.

Best Food: I have no clue, but the funnel cake sucked and the $7 hot dog was worse. The pizza, at least, was edible. Let’s give this one to Monster, not only because it was free, but I actually liked the taste of their Rehab offering.

That’s it for me.  What did I miss?  Let me know in the comments below.

For a full recap of the day, visit the RARA’s Farm 2013 Big Ticket Festival Recap.

Rock On!
Cretin

 

 

Big Ticket Rocks Florida

Tyler Joseph Twenty One Pilots Big Ticket
Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots at The Big Ticket

The Big Ticket Festival Concert Review

The 2013 edition of The Big Ticket Festival came rolling through Florida over the weekend, providing a memorable rock and roll experience for the overflow crowds.

We have added links to all of our event photos at the bottom of this article. Please don’t forget to Follow Us on Twitter and Instagram for photos updates throughout the year, and to Like Us on Facebook to see all of our collections.

The event, co-sponsored by Jacksonville’s X102.9 historically features a broad spectrum of Alt-Rock acts, and serves as the highlight event for Alternative rock fans throughout Central Florida. This year was no different. Headlined by Thirty Seconds To Mars and the reformulated Stone Temple Pilots, we saw a harder edge then in prior years, but still quite a diverse offering of artists.

As it turned out, 21 was the key number for the day.  Spread out over the sprawling Metropolitan Park, we were offered the chance to see twenty-one bands over the three stages.  Over the course of the day, there were plenty of memorable highlights, but nothing more impressive than the amazing set from Twenty One Pilots.

30 Seconds to Mars and STP put on solid shows on the Main Stage, but in general, the smaller Jaegermeister Stage was the place to be. More on that later…

Let’s start with the Main Stage acts. Highlights included Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington making STP’s songs his own, and putting on his usual high energy show. Jimmy Eat World offered up forty minutes of non-stop hits, including a nice cover of “Last Christmas.” Crowd favorites, The Dirty Heads and Pepper (just three Coconut pokers from Hawaii)  got the crowd into a nice ska/reggae groove.  A distinctive pot odor permeated the crowd as both bands offered up fun, well-received sets, that seemed pretty much perfectly suited for the herb in the air.Local rockers, Breaking Through kicked off the main stage and looked and sounded perfectly at home on the big stage.  We also saw Ocala’s own A Day To Remember command the crowd with a powerful and creative set, including stuffing front man and lead singer Jeremy McKinnon into a big inflatable ball and bouncing him through the crowd during the best show of the event,”It’s Complicated.” The crowd loved the local guys, and their amped performance clearly fed off of the energy. Aside from his trip around the venue in the big beach ball, McKinnon was a mad man all over the stage and sounded great.

The main stage action was good, but truthfully, it paled in comparison to the events on the Jaegermeister Stage.  I was most excited to see Manchester Orchestra, but they truthfully were nothing special despite the fact they debuted some excellent new tracks.  Austin rockers Saints Of Valory kicked off the second stage with a tight set that featured a fresh rock sound. They also offered up the best cover of the day with a killer version of Lorde’s “Royals.”

Matthew Healy  The 1975 Big Ticket Festival
Matthew Healy of The 1975 at The Big Ticket Festival

The 1975 were clearly one of the most anticipated acts, and they lived up to expectations, led by charismatic lead singer Matthew Healy, they made the trip to Florida all the way from Manchester, England. Nothing More followed and delivered a powerful performance. Their powerful mix of metal and hardcore sounded strong, but I was more impressed by their stage show.  These guys were just fantastic, with all four band members also expert showmen,  They do some very creative things on stage and are a band that is truly a must see act just dripping with potential.

The festival also brought us another opportunity to see Frank Turner, and artist who I feel is one of the best touring the country today (see my recent review).  Accompanied by his uber-talented and hyper-energetic band The Sleeping Souls, they killed this, their 194th show of the year. They were a bit of an odd fit in the line-up, but walked away with many new fans.  Turner interacted with the crowd more than any other performer, and was his typical smart ass self, and as usual sounded superb. And, “yes,” the fans managed to get the flag onto the stage, after hitting every stop on this tour since it debuted in Cleveland.

As good as Turner was, he was not the best act on the stage; that honor for the 2nd year in a row went to Twenty One Pilots.  This duo out of Ohio, were astoundingly good live. Tyler Joseph is the lead singer and keyboard player, and he’s just a mad man on stage. He’s everywhere, he sounds great, he’s charming, he’s creative, he’s talented – in other words, he’s pretty damn good. Drummer Josh Dun is just as integral to the band’s success and also a great performer.

Highlights from their set, included a few new mandolin offerings, including a slick “Brown Eyed Girl” cover and their fantastic new single “House of Gold.” These guys are growing as musicians, impressive stuff, as they are already tremendous performers.  At different times, we saw Joseph crowd surfing, Dun perched on a small drumkit being held aloft by the crowd, and later dueling kettle drum solos where Joseph and Dunn were both being carried above the crowd by the fans.  They also did a bit of crowd-bonding through their new friend Austin, who led a bit of a group striptease with Joseph. Fun stuff!

Twenty One Pilots were our choice for best act at the 2012 (Read our review here) and have done it again this year.  Looking forward to 2014 when they return for an evening slot on the Main Stage.

Rock On!
Cretin

Big Ticket Festival Photos:

Saints of Valory Breaking through
The 1975 A Day To Remember
Pepper Dirty Heads
Nothing More Manchester Orchestra
Frank Turner Jimmy Eat World
Twenty One Pilots Crowd Shots