Tag Archives: Neon Trees

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

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Neon Trees Announce Intimate Tour

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

Neon Trees Tour Dates

Neon Trees and their hyper-charismatic frontman Tyler Glenn are one of the best pop rock bands touring the world these days, and they’re about to take their infamous live shows to a new level.

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This tour is touted as “An Intimate Night Out With Neon Trees” and it finds the band visiting cozier venues than they have in the recent past. The tour kicks off June 6th in Seattle at the Showbox and crosses the country for the next two months, including three July shows in Florida:

9th Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
10th Orlando, FL Beacham Theatre – Get Tickets Here
11th St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre

(See the full list of tour dates below.)

“At the end of last year we had made plans to take this year off, but honestly we got bored at home. We just love touring that much,” said Glenn. “We’re going to play songs from all three albums and it will be an entirely new show. We chose smaller clubs and theaters to make it a communal, fan driven experience for us and the audience.”

For a glimpse at what to expect check out our earlier review: Neon Trees Rock House of Blues. And check out Photos from the show here.

Rock On!
Mike G

NEON TREES TOUR DATES

JUNE
6th Seattle Showbox
7th Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
9th San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
11th Los Angeles, CA The Fonda Theatre
12th Las Vegas, NV The Pool – The Cosmopolitan
15th Englewood, CO Gothic Theatre
17th Austin, TX Emo’s Alternative Lounge – Inside
18th Dallas, TX Granada Theater
19th Houston, TX House of Blues
20th Baton Rouge, LA Dixie Landin’ Theme Park
22nd St. Louis, MO The Ready Room
24th Grand Rapids, MI Intersection
25th Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theatre
26th Council Bluff, IA Stir Cove at Harrah’s Casino

JULY
9th Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
10th Orlando, FL Beacham Theatre
11th St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre
13th Atlanta, GA Center State Theatre
14th Nashville, TN The Cannery
16th Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
17th Cleveland, OH House of Blues
18th Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
20th Washington, DC 9:30 Club
21st Philadelphia, PA TLA
22nd New York, NY Irving Plaza
26th Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club

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 🙂

Central Florida April Concert Calendar

April Rock Music Calendar

Not many shows in the Central Florida rock scene this month at a national level. But we will get Rush and some excellent festivals in all three primary cities: Two full days of Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville, Earthday Birthday in Orlando and 98 Rockfest in Tampa. Other than those killer shows, it might be a good month to check out some of the great local rock in your own backyards.

Orlando

04/12 – Anthrax, House of Blues. Metal Alliance Tour
04/12 – Umphrey’s McGee, The Plaza Live

04/13 – Sister Hazel, House of Blues. Gainesville rockers always put on a fun show
04/13 – WJRR’s Earthday Birthday, Tinker Field. Excellent line-up of hard rock powers, featuring Offspring, Papa Roach and Stone Sour

04/17 – All Time Low and Pierce the Veil, House of Blues
04/17 – Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, West End Trading Co (Sanford)

4/18 – 4/20 – Florida Music Festival, Downtown Orlando at various venues. Lots of good new music and plenty of the yet to be discovered.  Local favorites Blaine the Mono and The Dropa Stone, and fun Indie act Reverend Peyton’s Bog Damn Band highlight the schedule: Florida Music Festival.

04/21 – Dick Dale, The Plaza Live. Dale is the father of surf guitar and a legendary guitar player

04/24 – GWAR, The Beacham

04/25 – ASIA, featuring John Payne, Hard Rock’s Velvet Sessions – always a great cocktail party, this time with some great rock.

04/26 – The Wailers, House of Blues

04/28 – Rush, Amway Center. The legendary Canadian rockers visit the big house in this month’s highlight show in Orlando.

Cheap concert tickets

Jacksonville

04/01 – Marron 5 with RARA’s Farm favorites Neon Trees (see our concert review) and Owl City, Jacksonville Veterans Mem. Arena

04/03 – Yes, Florida Theater. This incarnation features Steve Howe, Christopher Squire and Alan White!

04/11 – Unphrey’s McGee, Freebird Live

04/24 – The Wailers, Freebird Live

04/25 – GWAR, Freebird Live

04/26 – Saliva, Jax Underbelly. Welcome To Rockville kick-off

04/27 – Welcome to Rockville, Metropolitan Park. This is a great rock line-up at an excellent venue for a festival: Limp Bizkit, Three Days Grace, Alice in Chains, Stone Sour, Halestorm, Papa Roach

04/28 – Welcome to Rockville, Metropolitan Park Day 2! More great rockers: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Three Doors Down, Shinedown (see our recent review), Buckcherry, Thousand Foot Krutch and many more

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Cheap concert tickets

Tampa Area

04/02 – Yes, Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater)

04/13 – Foghat – Manatee County Fairgrounds (Palmetto)
04/13 – Umphrey’s McGee, Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)

04/16 – All Time Low and Pierce the Veil,  Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)

04/19 – Dick Dale, State Theatre (Saint Petersburg)

04/25 – The Wailers, Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)

04/26 – 98 Rockfest, Tampa Bay Times Forum. Nice line-up of rockers: Three Days Grace (see our review and photos here), Alice in Chains, Stone Sour, Halestorm and more.

04/27 – Relient K with Mike Mains & The Branches, State Theater (Saint Petersburg)

04/30 – The Black Crowes, Mahaffey Theater (Saint Petersburg)

04/30 – Suicidal Tendencies, State Theater (Saint Petersburg)


Best Rock Songs of 2012


2012 was blessed with some fantastic rock songs, and it has taken weeks to whittle down the long list of worthy songs to find the 25 best of the year. Not quite sure this is perfect, but damn sure that these are 25 great rock songs.  Check out the list and see if you agree.

At the conclusion of the list, you’ll find a playlist on iTunes that links to all 25.

Enjoy!

25. “It’s Time” – Imagine Dragons: It’s Addictive. It’s always cool when the drummer is lead vocalist. It’s great to hear a viola in a rock tune. It’s good stuff.

24. “Bully” – Shinedown: Love the message in this one, and the song is pretty damn good, too. One of three bands with two songs on this year’s list.

23. “Little Talks” – Of Monsters and Men: It’s Mumford & Sons with a bit more of an edge from the amazingly talented band out of  Iceland.

22. “45” – Gaslight Anthem: Great straight forward rock tune from the Garden State’s newest successor to the Boss. Also love the lyrics and the 45 metaphors.

21. “We Take Care of Our Own” – Bruce Springsteen – Yup. still on top of his game. At times this reminds you of vintage E-Street band, but it also has a nice modern flair, and a big sound.

20. “Oh Love” – Green Day: What’s old is new again. this one brings back nice memories of songs from across the band’s past two decades. Billie Joe sounding great again.

19. “Love Interruption” – Jack White: The sparse arrangement works great. The guitar and Wurlitzer fling you back into the 60’s but the vocals and lyrics are totally 2012.

18. “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers: Amazingly successful debut song from American Indie rockers that’s impossible not to singalong to and as a nice bonus, it features nice mandolin.

17. “Gold On the Ceiling” – Black Keys: Great organs, hand claps and a blast to listen to. Dan Auerbach channels his inner Paul Rodgers. Nice guitar solo, too. They had two songs on last year’s list and two more this year!

16. “Simple Song” – The Shins: Beautiful harmonies, chaotic guitar played off against sweet piano and James Mercer singing fantastically.

15. “Reboot the Mission” – Wallflowers: Jacob Dylan makes a killer comeback – with a ska single! And, joined by Mick Jones of The Clash. Super cool.

14. “Tongue Tied” – Grouplove: Another great song off of 2011’s Never Trust A Happy Song. It’s a blast to listen to with great boy/girl vocals and stellar music.

13. “Hold On” – Alabama Shakes: It’s an instant classic with such a comfortable Southern Rock feel, coupled with Brittany Howard’s soulful vocals that evoke memories of the great Janis Joplin.

12. “Burn It Down” – Linkin Park: The same roaring electro-power rock we’ve come to expect from the lads from Aurora, California – this time with even more memorable hooks.

11. “Breathing Underwater” – Metric: Excellent song in which Emily Haines offers up beautiful vulnerable vocals in a song about a relationship still struggling to survive against the odds. The only band with two in our Top Dozen.

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10. “Default” – Django Django: A cool dance rock track that at different times reminds me of surf rock, classic T-Rex and 80′s new wave. Yeah, it’s a crazy mix, but it’s pretty damn fun.

9. Polarized – Luke Dowler – Great song about a relationship that just isn’t working. The music is excellent, but the lyrics are phenomenal.  So many different scenarios where they are perfectly fitting.  Every time I hear this, I think about our dysfunctional government (both parties) in the nation’s capital.

“He’s left, you’re always right
Polarized, You think he’s weak because he won’t decide
We’re disconnected – we’ve been infected
We’re building up defenses – protecting deadly interests”

8. “Kill Your Heroes” – AWOLNATION – My favorite inspirational lyric all year in a song that is both powerful and addictive. “Never let your fear decide your fate.”

7. “Little Black Submarines” – Black Keys: Really two songs in one love the tender opening, and LOVE the electronic jam on part two – sweet, powerful guitar and drums.

6. “Runaways” – The Killers: They’re back after a four year hiatus, this saga is a Springsteen-esque anthem that is pure old school Killers. Brandon Flowers at his best.

5. “What Makes a Good Man?” – The Heavy: Soulful rock from the Bath, England quartet with screaming guitar that would make Jack White proud.

4. “Youth Without Youth” – Metric: A great driving beat on a song that reminds me a bit of the most rocking Smiths’ tunes. This is a dark one about a young person who has grown up in a troubled environment and raced past their youth.

3. “Danny, Dakota and the Wishing Well” – A Silent Film: It’s a grandiose rocker you’d have expected from The Killers. Love the keyboards, the vocals and the story!

2. Unity – Shinedown – Soaring melodies, Brent Smith’s superb vocals and fantastic guitar in yet another uplifting song from one of the year’s best albums, Amaryllis.

1. “Everybody Talks” – Neon Trees: OK, so, this is a wee bit overplayed – Got it. But it is an absolutely fantastic song. Tyler Glenn’s vocals are mesmerizing, and the guitar and drums are pure old school rock.

Let us know what you thought.  Was your favorite on our list?  Also, we’d love to see what you think about our 2012 Rock Albums of the Year.

Rock On!
Cretin


Top Rock Albums of 2012


As I looked back on the 2012 rock landscape and reviewed the year’s best rock music, I realized that I’ve definitely become more of an Indie Rock fan over the past few years. 2012 brought us lots of great Indie rock, but we also heard some rocking albums in the mainstream.  You may see a few albums here that you’re not familiar with, but I implore you to check them out. You’ll open your ears to some killer new rock, and impress the hell out of your friends. (After each selection, you’ll find a link to check them out on iTunes as well as our recommendations if you just want to grab a few tracks off of each album).

So, here are the Farmer’s Dozens in reverse order. The two dozen best rock albums of the year:

Bonus Selection: Each farmer’s dozen comes with a bonus, so here are two:  Grouplove,  Never Trust a Happy Song and The Black Keys, El Camino.  Both of these albums would be at the top of our 2012 list… if we had not already recognized them in 2011.  Here’s our Top Rock Albums of 2011, to see what else we visionaries were thinking last year.

24. The Lumineers, The Lumineers – Impressive debut album from these “pop-folk” rockers out of Denver. Best tracks: “Hey Ho” and “Stubborn Love.” The Lumineers - The Lumineers

23. Lovedrug, Wild Blood – These Indie rockers out of Ohio are powered by Michael Sheppard’s unique voice and a nice Kickstarter campaign. Best tracks: “Premonition” and “Ladders.” Wild Blood - Lovedrug Read our full review

22. Halestorm, The Strange Case of… Lizzy Hale’s powerful vocals lead the way for these masterful metal rockers. Best tracks: “Love Bites… So Do I” and “I Miss the Misery.” The Strange Case Of... - Halestorm

21. Green River Ordinance, Under Fire – Great rock ‘n roll harmonies from this quintet out of Forth Worth.  They offer up a diverse selection of tunes on another self-funded effort. Best tracks: “Dark Night” and “Lost in the World.” Under Fire - Green River Ordinance Read our full review

20. Mumford and Sons, Babel – A nice follow-up to their hugely successful 2009 release Sigh No More for these barrier-breaking folk rockers.  Best tracks: “I Will Wait” and “The Boxer” (Simon and Garfunkel cover). Babel - Mumford & Sons

19, Dinosaur Jr., I Bet on Sky – The Massachusetts Alt-Rockers continue to put out solid Alt-Rock with their distinctive brand of guitar rock. Every song is good on this one. Best tracks: “Rude” and “Pierce the Morning Rain.” I Bet On Sky - Dinosaur Jr.

18. Luke Dowler, Polarized – Dowler’s music offers raw vocals with an urgent passion, mixed with poignant lyrics about world affairs, relationships and deep personal faith: Good stuff from Big Sky Country. Best tracks: “Polarized” and “Gun.” Polarized - Luke Dowler Read our full review

17. Jack White, Blunderbuss – White breaks away from the shackles and structure of his former band mates in The White Stripes and Raconteurs and it works nicely. Best Tracks: “Love Interruption” and “Trash Tongue Talker.” Blunderbuss - Jack White

16. The Shins, Port of Morrow – Fantastic lyrics, beautiful harmonies and rock and roll that just oozes likability  I just wish these New Mexico natives would put out album more often than every four years. Best tracks: “Simple Song” and “It’s Only Life.” Port of Morrow - The Shins

15. Muse, The 2nd Law – The band, built for stadium rock, took some chances on this, their sixth release. This stuff is nothing like what we’ve heard from them before, but it is intriguing and captivating. Best tracks: “Madness” and “Survival.” The 2nd Law - Muse

14. The Gaslight Anthem, Handwritten – Talented New Jersey rockers who offer up their most polished record to date. Strong heart felt rock and roll with excellent lyrics. Best tracks” “Too Much Blood” and “45.”  Handwritten - The Gaslight Anthem Read our full review

13. The Killers, Battle Born – Brandon Flowers and the band never disappoint.  One of the year’s best produced albums and it shows the band moving in a more mature direction. Best tracks: Runaways” and “Miss Atomic Bomb.” Battle Born - The Killers

12. Neon Trees, Picture Show – Everybody talked about “Everybody Talks,” but this album was much more than one hit.  Tyler Glenn is a future superstar and highlights his broad talent throughout the band’s third album. Best tracks: “I am the DJ” and “Everybody Talks.” Picture Show - Neon Trees

11. Django Django, Django Django – Hip, cool, groovy, rock ‘n roll with an oddly familiar feel considering this is the band’s debut. Mixes the best of the sixties, eighties and modern times. Best tracks: Default” and “WOR.” Django Django - Django Django

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10. Metric, Synthetica – From the opening lines of “Artificial Nocturne,” where Emily Haines offers “I’m just as fucked up as they say,” this album demands your attention.  Some deep introspective tracks disguised as excellent pop rock songs. Best tracks: “Youth Without Youth” and “Breathing Underwater.”

9.  Thousand Foot Krutch, The End is Where We Begin – The songs are positive Christian rock but these guys don’t slam you over the head with their beliefs.  It’s solid, active rock music that any hard rock fan will enjoy. A very diverse selection from a band returning to their Indie roots. Best tracks: “War of Change” and “All I Need to Know.” Read our full review

8. The Wallflowers, Glad All Over – Jacob Dylan continues to evolve as a musician and has never sounded better than he does now.  Excellent music with soulful vocals on a selection of tracks guaranteed to grow on you with each listen. Best tracks: “It’s a Dream” and “Reboot the Mission.”

7. The Drowning Men, All of the Unknown – They’re back with their second full-length album release, their first on Flogging Molly’s Borstal Beats label, which builds on the success of their fantastic debut album Beheading of the Songbird, and shows the talented quintet continuing to grow. These Indie rockers remind me a bit of the layered harmonies of Arcade Fire, with a clear West Coast U.S. bent. Best Tracks: “A Fool’s Campaign” and “Lost in a Lullaby.” Read our full review

6. Green Day, ‘¡Uno!‘ – Billie Joe Armstrong needs to be recognized as the prolific rock songwriter he is.  He and his longtime band mates never fail to put out good music and this is another prime example.  A great fresh punk/pop sound from our favorite So Cal trio. They released three good albums this year, this one was the best of the bunch. Best tracks: “Oh Love” and “Let Yourself Go.”

5. Fun., Some Nights – So much more than “We Are Young.” This masterfully produced album is a great vehicle for the talented vocal stylings of Nate Ruess and is packed with memorable addicting ditties. Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost round out the trio and lend their voices to create impressive harmonies throughout.  On Some Nights, Fun. has developed a unique sound and carved a nice niche in today’s Alt-Rock landscape. Best tracks: Why Am I the One” and “Carry On.” Read our full review

4. Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal. This talented Icelandic band has taken advantage of the revitalized interest in folksy rock courtesy of Mumford and Sons, but have kicked it up a notch.  Great, fun rock songs with amazing boy/girl vocals and meaningful lyrics; as well as a few tracks that are strictly fantasy adventures like the addictive “From Finner.” Best tracks: “Mountain Sound” and “Little Talks,”

3. River City Extension, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger – The second release from this talented octet out of New Jersey is a musical and lyrical journey well worth a listen. It’s a folk rock/Americana album packed with original sounds and with each listen a different track stands out. Joe Michelini, the band’s singer and guitarist is the primary songwriter and he takes us through a varied collection of memories. He offers: “Half of this record is love songs, and the other half is ‘I’m sorry that I fucked up’ songs,” and he writes about both in a compelling way. Best tracks: “Glastonbury” and “Ballad of Oregon.” Read our full review

2. Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball – I had just about written off the sage of the Garden State, but this is one of Springsteen’s best efforts in years.  The music is superb, and the lyrics even better.  It’s a bitter, but honest look at what Corporate Greed and idiot politicians have done to his country, and Springsteen pulls it off by surrounded the words with excellent music At times, he evokes memories of the E Street Band’s greatest anthems, at other times he has us heading down an entirely new path, such as the Celtic rock feel in the fantastic “Death of My Hometown.” Best other tracks: “We Take Care of Our Own” and “Wrecking Ball.”

1. Shinedown, Amaryllis – I loved “Bully” the moment I heard it and was pleasantly surprised to hear the excellent diversity on the rest of the album.  It’s aggressive, powerful, passionate rock that’s impossible to put down.  The Jacksonville based band has only put out four albums in their decade plus together, and each one has gotten just a little bit better.  Rolling Stone hated the album, which in itself is proof that it’s mainstream rock for the masses.  Amaryllis is one of the best hard rock albums in years and it’s packed with great songs.  Best tracks: “Unity” and “I’m Not Alright.”

There you have it – the best rock albums of 2012, according to me.  Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section.

Click here for the Top Rock Songs of the Year

Rock On!
Cretin


Everybody’s Talking About Neon Trees in O-Town

Tyler Glenn is a rock star, and a legend in the making.

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

Glenn brought his blazing hot band, Neon Trees, back to Orlando’s House of Blues this weekend and they put on one hell of a show.  With his magnificent voice, non-stop energy, peroxide-white hair and engaging personality, the flamboyant front man had the crowd in his hands the entire night, and absolutely blew away the packed house. He absolutely reeks of charisma, and has quickly become one of the most dynamic front men on the rock music scene.  He exhibited traits that at times reminded me of Bowie, George Michael and Iggy Pop. Hard to pigeon hole Glenn’s style, but it is without a doubt something fresh and special.

Hailing from Provo, Utah, Neon Trees is riding a huge wave of popularity associated with the enormous success of their hit current single “Everybody Talks.”  Their new album, Picture Show, is a strong release, and a nice follow-up to their excellent 2010 debut, Habits, but it doesn’t do justice to the sound of the band live.  Glenn and his band mates are talented musicians and passionate show men (drummer Elaine Bradley is out after giving birth to her first child).

Their set was focused on the latest release, including the first two songs of the set which were also the first two songs off of Picture Show, “Moving in the Dark” and “Teenage Sounds.” Right from the start, we were treated to Glenn flying around the stage, vamping for the crowd and belting out pristine vocals. He interacted with the crowd all night and constantly held their rapt attention in the packed venue. Chris Allen on guitar and bassist Branden Campbell were overshadowed by the performance of Glenn, but were strong in their own right.

As the set progressed, we got to hear a handful of tracks off of the band’s superb debut album, including “Sins of My Youth,” and “Love and Affection,” as well as a nice extended version of “1983” which started with some fun dialogue between Glenn and the rollicking crowd and included a quick snippet of “Hand Jive.” Campbell’s bass dominated the song.  It was followed shortly afterwards by the stark “Your Surrender” which Glenn played seated at his keyboard alone on stage. It was a well deserved respite for the magnetic front man who was drenched in sweat from his constant dashes around the stage and his powerful vocals. We also got a deeper look into Glenn’s roots, as he reflected on the decade long struggle to breakthrough and his revitalized relationship with his father.

Off of the new album, there were a few gems, including “Lessons in Love” and “I am the DJ,” which kicked off the encore.  “Mad Love” which typically includes vocals from the absent Bradley, was the only part of the show that didn’t really work.  The band brought out a young woman to sing the female part, but she clearly didn’t know the words. It was a bit forced and unusual, considering  there were about a thousand other females in the crowd singing every word to every song.

Chris Allen of Neon Trees at HOB-Orlando
Chris Allen of Neon Trees. Photo: RARA's Farm

“Animal” the band’s first hit off of Habits closed the set and ratcheted the audience into near frenzy.  The crowd sang along throughout and had the house rocking.  They pulled the band out for their encore “I Am the DJ,” and the crowd pleasing finale of “Everybody Talks.” It was the perfect end to a great show.

Twenty One Pilots and Walk the Moon (read the review here) put on engaging opening sets that had the crowd amped for the main event, and Neon Trees just kicked it up another notch.

Check out our Photos from the show on our Neon Trees Facebook album  – and Like us while you’re there 🙂

(Check out the setlist below)

Rock On!
Cretin

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Setlist:

Moving in the Dark
Teenage Sounds
Sins of My Youth
1983
Mad Love
Weekend
Your Surrender
Trust
Lessons in Love
Love and Affection
In the Next Room
Animal

Encore
I am the DJ
Everybody Talks

Monday’s Musical Manure – Random Crap Around the Farm

First a few reminders, then some random rock thoughts.

We reviewed the latest release from Lovedrug, Wild Blood today. Check it out here: Wild Blood Album Review

And, in case you missed it, we had a fun interview with David Uosikkinen, the drummer from The Hooters.  Read about his latest project: In The Pocket

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Some thoughts on some of the better new music I’ve been listening to lately:

  • I know I mentioned this before, but Provo Utah’s Neon Trees has absolutely nailed it with the first single off of their forthcoming  Picture Show album.  “Everybody Talks” is a great song that truly highlights Tyler Glenn’s excellent vocals. The full album hits the streets in late April.
  • Civil Twilight’s “Fire Escape” brings back memories of early U-2 Bono with a different sound.  The song is excellent with or without the Bono feel.  The South Africans’ album will be released on March 26th.
  • While we are comparing new music to legendary rock icons, let’s chat about Chappo.  It’s quirky stuff, but damn, it’s addictive.  And, Alex Chappo conjures up good memories of the great Neil Young. Check out Come Home
  • I love Shinedown’s “Bully.”  It’s an excellent song with a powerful and timely message. This should be mandatory heavy rotation in all high school cafeterias.
  • Walk The Moon had a great, fun, passionate song with last year’s release of “Anna Sun They signed a major label deal and truthfully saw all of the life get sucked out of the song.  It’s getting more airplay, but they wrecked the song.
  • From the “I Can’t Believe I Love This” department. Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra)” – this one continues to grow on me.
  • The Boo – “I Want Revenge.”  Yup, there’s good reason it reminds us of Green Day. It’s Billie Joe Armstrong’s family project, featuring sons Jakob and Joe, as well as his wife Adrienne on vocals.  It’s a blast, but unfortunately not yet available on iTunes.
  • Yukon Blonde’s “Stairway” is another fun poppy alt rock tune, this one from North of the Border.
  • Not Your Fault” from AWOLNATION is another one that keeps growing on me.  Aaron Bruno’s vocals are distinctive and carry the song.
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra meets Abba and it’s a beautiful thing.  Finland’s Nightwish tears it up with their classic metal and their powerful Storytime.”

Lots of good new rock these days, and with a bunch of albums headed our way, it only promises to get better.

As for some of our Veteran Cosmic Rockers, the Moody Blues have started their 45th Anniversary tour! They are in Florida this week for anyone interested in checking them out.  Back in the day, they put on a pretty good rock show, and their collection of rock classics is quite deep. Moody Blues Tour Dates

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, a quick shout out to the best Irish band in the country: Black 47.  They’ll be in their second home of New York City this weekend.  Another damn good Irish band is Flogging Molly – here’s our review of their recent show in Orlando.

Rock On! – Cretin

 

 

Musical Manure – Random Crap from the Farm

OK – It’s been a few weeks since I emptied this fragile mind, and there are a slew of little tidbits threatening to drip out and disappear forever. With a full-day Jimmy Buffett tailgate experience looming, I need to free up some room for the insanity I’m sure to witness.

It seems like the rumors of a Queen tour with Adam Lambert on vocals is about to become a reality. TMZ is reporting it, so it has to be legit, right?  I love Freddie, and think he’s one of the greatest rock and roll performers ever.  His voice was powerful, passionate and unique, and no one will ever be able to replace him.  Still, Adam might just be the best choice to follow. I think he’s a better fit than Paul Rodgers who gave it a shot years ago. The greedy folks at MTV have some good video of the new incarnation but it’s a bear to access. Try Youtube for some lower quality snippets.

I recently stumbled across Sleeper Agent’s “Get It Daddy.” They’re a young garage band out of Kentucky with a ton of potential. The sixsome is led by 24 year-old singer-guitarist Tony Smith and features riveting vocals from 18 year-old Alex Kandel.  Check out “Get It Daddy and the rest of their album, as our album of the week: Celabrasion – Sleeper Agent.  And, here’s a nice bonus find, follow this link to get to know the band a little better: Prison Sessions

The Kaiser Chiefs exploded onto the rock scene at the end of the last decade and then just disappeared. The Brits took a hiatus.  Now they’re about to release a new album in March.  The first single, On the Run has hit the streets.  Good stuff!

Listening to Slow Poison The Bravery’s 2009 release.  I’m surprised it was never a bigger hit. Great song by an excellent band. Here’s the video which is actually pretty damn good, too: Slow Poison.

Remember The Neon Trees from their gigs opening for The Killers a few years ago?  They’re back with the first single Everybody Talks off of their forthcoming album, and it absolutely rocks.

About a month ago, RARA’s Contributor Kari wrote an interesting piece about the Emergence of the Banjo in rock music today.  Since then, I seem to hear it everywhere, particularly with music from the Great White North, with bands like The Acorn and Elliott Brood. It’s a welcome addition.

OK, that’s enough for today.  Have a great week, and look for my post-Parrothead tailgate experience shortly…