Tag Archives: New Politics

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 🙂

 

Recap of Big Orlando Bands

Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy - photo by rarasfarm.com
Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy – photo by rarasfarm.com

Fall Out Boy and Weezer Headline Big Orlando Fest

As the temperatures dipped, the steady stream of alcohol began to take its toll on more than a handful of concert-goers and the drizzle started up, the action on the Big Orlando stages began to heat up.

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(For my afternoon session reviews click here: Sleeper Agent, Bear Hands, Big Data, Know Hamilton, Crazy Carls, The Hip Abduction, Kasson, A Hero’s Fate)

I covered the first eight Big Orlando Festival bands that I saw in my summary published yesterday (you can see it here), and today, I focus on the last six acts, which included three killer performances.  Here they are in the order I saw them.

  • Dirty Heads – Saw these Huntington Beach natives at last year’s Big Ticket in Jacksonville, and loved their unique blend of ska and hip hop. The band revolves around front men Jared (Dirty J) Watson  and Dustin (Duddy B) Bushnell. In an interview before the show, Watson summed it up perfectly, “Nothing compares to live music. There’s something magical in the energy of a live show that I just love so much,” and it  showed, as the band seemed to be having a blast from the first moments of “Franco Eyed” to the final notes of “My Sweet Summer,” and the crowd had just as much fun. Check out our interview with Watson here.
  • J. Roddy Walston and The Business – Long hair and rugged-looking, they took the stage looking like a classic Southern Rock quartet spit out of the seventies.  As it turned out, they were not exactly Southern rockers, but definitely boasted a cool, classic rock vibe. Walston deftly bounced between guitar and piano and ripped off impressive throaty vocals.  Their set seemed to wrap up a bit more quickly than planned, but their closing offering, “Heavy Bells,” was one of the best songs we heard throughout the day.
  • Young The Giant – Coming into the show, I suspected that I wouldn’t be crazy about this set, despite the fact that I really enjoy the band’s first two albums. Their music sounded good, the band was tight, and lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s voice was excellent, but their performance just didn’t impress me.  It was a nice backdrop for chilling in the food tents, but not the kind of moving performance I hope for in a festival headliner.
  • New Politics – Wow! One hell of an entertaining set.  This Copenhagen trio stole the show with an extremely energetic, unpredictable set. Their set boasted half a dozen great songs, which had the crowd bouncing and singing along throughout.  Drummer Louis Vecchio spent more time on his feet than on his stool, guitarist Soren Hansen flew around the stage with reckless abandon, and lead singer David Boyd was an acrobatic madman, back-flipping, break dancing, crowd surfing and doing headstands. He was an athletic freak, but also a fantastic singer and entertainer, and the entire crowd loved him and his mates.  There were many highlights, but “Everywhere I Go,” “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” and “Harlem” ignited the crowd. My favorite was the Beastie Boys cover of “Sabotage.” Killer stuff!
David Boyd of New Politics o stage at The Big Orlando - photo by rarasfarm.com
David Boyd of New Politics o stage at The Big Orlando – photo by rarasfarm.com
  • Weezer – Last time I saw this band, they were supporting their second album 18 years ago, and honestly, they did not impress me at the time.  Fortunately, their live act is aging nicely.  From the moment Rivers Cuomo grabbed his guitar and ripped into “Hash Pipe,” he seemed to be having a great time.  Their set featured a killer mix of old and new and left the crowd thoroughly satisfied.  Early in the set, Cuomo invited Sleeper Agent’s Alex Kandel to join him for a nice version of the new single “Go Away.” Deeper into the set, I loved the versions of “Say It Ain’t So” and “Pork and Beans,” but the highlight was a fantastic sing along version of “Undone.”  Surprisingly, a good number of fans left after they closed with their encore “Buddy Holly,” apparently more intent on beating the rain and traffic than catching Fall Out Boy.
  • Fall Out Boy – the thousand or so fans who split early missed a blistering set. From the minute they hit the stage, the crowd was totally engaged. I think the set started off good, but they kicked it into a frenzy with a tremendous four song stretch, that went like this: “Sugar, We’re Goin Down,” “Centuries,” “Immortals” and “Dance, Dance.” It was the highlight of a fantastic set. Pete Wentz gets a ton of attention and soaks up the spotlight, but he was literally the least important performer on the stage.  Andy Hurley’s hard driving drums powered the band and Joe Trohman’s guitars punctuated most of the selections, but lead singer Patrick Stump absolutely blew me away with his vocals and is clearly the heart of this band, and on this night was the most impressive performer to grace the main stage.

So, there you have it – I caught 14 very talented alt-rock bands in one incredible day in the fields of Orlando, spent the day with thousands of happy, satisfied fellow rockers and can’t wait to see what next year holds.

See a slew of our Big Orlando photos here.

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 from this festival. Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂

 

Big Orlando Line-Up Review and a few Samples

Big Orlando Line-Up and Videos

Well there’s been some exciting change since I last wrote about the Big Orlando, Central Florida’s biggest rock music event in years.  The line-up was filled out, and the newly announced bands are pretty damn impressive.

Make sure you Like our Facebook at the top of our site for more rock music coverage.

Make sure you check out some videos of our featured bands below the article.

We already knew about Alternative rock legends Weezer and one of the hottest bands around, Fall Out Boy, riding the huge success of their latest single “Centuries.”  In addition, we were excited to see our favorite edgy ska band, Dirty Heads, Alt-Nation favorite Young The Giant and two very hot alternative bands, Big Data and J. Roddy Walston and The Business.

Since that first review, things have been kicked up a notch.  The big news for me was the addition of Sleeper Agent.  The Kentucky-based band has one of the most unique sounds on rock radio today, and they are famous for their entertaining shows.  They are a can’t miss band.  Another band in the same vein with a great live reputation is another newly added act, New Politics.

Know Hamilton, of “We Can Work It Out” fame is another intriguing artist.  An interesting surprise for me was the addition of The Crazy Carls. We’ve wandered into The Flagler Tavern in New Smyrna Beach twice in the past year and both times, found these talented guys gracing the stage. They are uber-talented and charismatic as hell, and local guys to top it off.  Make sure you check them out.

The final four announced bands are all talented as well: Bear Hands, Twin Atlantic, The Hip Abduction and A Heroes Fate.  All told – 14 excellent alternative rock bands in one fantastic day in Central Florida – December 7th and Central Florida Fairgrounds.

Tickets are available here: The Big Orlando

If you cannot make the 12/7 show, most of these same bands are playing the Big Ticket in Jacksonville on 12/5. More info here: The Big Ticket.

Rock On!
Cretin

To whet your appetite, here are some live looks at the 5 bands we are most looking forward to. Like our Facebook page as we will be adding video for every performing band this weekend as we countdown to The Big Orlando.

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

Sweet Summer Rock Sampler


RARA’s FARM’s 2013 Songs of Summer

Here you go, the first rock ‘n roll summer sampler, RARA’s FARM style.  Twelve new rock songs that should either get you in the mood for summer, or if you’re already there, be part of your 2013 summer soundtrack.  You can click on the title to download the tune for iTunes, or make the leap of faith and download all dozen at the end of the article.  You’ll see a heavy tilt to bands from the West Coast and from The Great White North.

Take a look/listen and let us know your thoughts.  Special thanks to occasional contributor Chris Carey who recommended a few of these selections.

Bonus track: It’s Time (iTunes Session) – Imagine Dragons – You’ve all heard this one before, but not like this. A very cool acoustic version.

Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker – A definite country feel to this Old Crow Medicine Show remake. Think this one will be the song that defines the Summer of 2013.

Summer Paradise (feat. MKTO) – Simple Plan – A softer side to these Alt-Rock veterans, but another cool song.  This is one that has a nice reggae/ska feel to it. Our first of a bunch of Canadian acts on the list.

Waves – Blondfire – When we reviewed this EP, we noted that this track was the perfect song of summer. Listen yourself and see what you think of this LA-based brother/sister duo. EP Review here

San Francisco – The Mowgli’s – They actually took their name from The Jungle Book character, If that isn’t enough, it’s a fun, poppy rock song with a lot of interesting musical “stuff” going on thanks to the eight piece band from So Cal.

High School Lover – Cayucas – This one has a slick late 60’s surf rock feel which fits this band from Santa Monica. The entire Bigfoot album has a similar vibe. Check out our album review, too.

Awkward (EP Version) – San Cisco – Another fun tune, this one from from last year, and a guilty pop-rock pleasure. Love the boy/girl vocal trade-offs from these Aussies.

Art & A Wife – Rah Rah – another Boy/Girl vocal combo from North of the border.  It’s a cool rocker from this Saskatchewan sextet, with a nice mixture of rollicking good times and tender vocals. Oh, and let’s not ignore that their name is oh so close to ours.

Harlem – New Politics – Simply stated, it’s good old fun pop rock. Great singalong verse and a cool memorable guitar riff from this Denmark import.

Only the Brave – The Last Royals – A fun summer love song from Eric James and Mason Ingram off of a fantastic debut album. Check out our Twistification review.

Michigan Left – Arkells – Love this band’s guitar and retro alt-rock sound. This one is actually more than a year -old, but new to my ears.  Love the chorus which conjures up nice INXS memories. Yup, Canadians, too.

Born To Ruin – Wildlife – Love the big drums that kick off this tune, and the song is just a damn good time from that point on. Another impressive young Canadian band.

Drive Me Home – The Reason – Let’s close with this big rocker which begs comparisons of a more hip Kings of Leon. Good stuff.

As a bonus, here are two more nice choices, and songs which are also appealing fundraisers for good causes.

Thanks, let us know your thoughts below, and remember to Like Us and Follow Us while you;re here.

And now, the entire RARA’s FARM dozen: