The hugely successful NOW series has just announced their first-ever Rock Compilation which is set for release on Friday, January 22nd. The curators did a nice job delivering a diverse cross-section of rock music for this excellent collection. Click to see who made the cut on this historic album.
On Sunday in Jacksonville, I attended my 4th Big Ticket Festival, and came away from the day thinking I had seen the best musical line-up they’d ever offered. Kudos to X102.9 and Danny Wimmer Presents for putting together a killer day of Alternative Rock.
It helps to have arguably the hottest rock band on the planet closing your festival, but The Big Ticket again delivered a fantastic day of Alternative Rock music that left Jacksonville fans impressed and pleased with a full day of excellent live music highlighted by a killer set from headliners Twenty One Pilots.
The duo from Ohio opened this festival three years ago and delivered one of the most memorable early sets in memory. Now, on a beautiful Sunday a few years later, they’re closing the night out, but still delivering quality music and a spectacular show.
Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, the talented duo from Ohio, are dedicated musicians hell bent on constantly refining and improving their stage show. Sunday night, we saw them flying across the stage, leaping into the crowd and climbing the stage trusses. And, all the while delivering their distinctive brand of rock music that is absolutely embraced by their passionate fans.
Most of the bands were well-received by the diverse crowd, but talking to concert-goers as they departed (or sat forever in the parking lot traffic), it was clear that the other crowd favorites included Walk The Moon, Robert Delong, Coleman Hell and X Ambassadors.
(Make sure you Like our Facebook Page, as we will have band-by-band recaps and photos from every artist posted over the next couple of days for our loyal Facebook followers)
I’ve been to several prior Big Ticket festivals in the past, and don’t ever remember a line-up as talented as this years. Simply put, from the opening island-infused notes of Colorado’s Lola Rising to the thunderous close of Twenty One Pilots, there was no let down on either stage.
I have to confess that more than a few people were frustrated with the new stage arrangement, including myself. With both stages side-by-side, there was a constant sea of people rolling back and forth across the blanket covered fields. Although the idea of two stages fairly close has some merit, these two stages were too close.
On another positive note, the vendors and food stands were excellent, Despite a Sold Out crowd in attendance, the lines at the many food vendors never got out of control and there was tremendous diversity.
But, the truth is, everything other than the music pales in importance when compared to the artists who graced the stage, and on this wonderful day in Jacksonville, the 2015 incarnation of The Big Ticket nailed it. Kudos to X102.9 and Danny Wimmer Presents for another excellent event!
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Photos from the event on our Facebook (we will add more as they become available):
Twenty One Pilots
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Jacksonville’s The Big Ticket has established itself as Florida’s premiere Alt-Rock music festival, and this year’s lineup boasts an impressive buffet of fantastic live acts who always deliver top-notch shows.
Rock fans in Orlando had a chance to catch Walk the Moon, one of today’s hottest Alternative Rock artists, at the House of Blues in Orlando this weekend. The quartet out of Cincinnati is touring the country riding the enormous popularity of their current hit single, “Anna Sun.” The song has been kicking around the Indie music scene for a few years, but has recently exploded after being polished and re-released on their eponymous debut album on RCA Records.
The band’s sound is addictive pop rock with smooth harmonies and catchy lyrics. On this night, they played a short set, as the opening act for Neon Trees (see that review here). They were co-headliners on this tour, and by the time they hit the stage, the venue was packed to near sell-out capacity. It was apparent from the opening notes of their set that a good majority of the engaged fans were there to see Walk the Moon. The foursome who are known for painting their faces before performing found that there were a slew of fans who followed suit.
Lead vocalist and keyboard player, Nicholas Petricca is the focal point, but this is clearly a group where everyone contributes equally. Drummer Sean Waugaman and bassist Kevin Ray were the steady driving back bone throughout the energetic rocking set. The harmonies of Petricca, Ray, Waugaman and guitarist Eli Maiman were even better live than on the band’s debut release. Petricca interacted with the crowd all night, often getting their hands in the air and leading some cool rhythmic clapping. His unique voice sounded excellent live, and the remainder of the quartet’s music was tight and crisp throughout the show.
The highlight of the night was an extended version of ‘I Can Lift a Car,” a fantastic song that superbly showcases the bands’ musical abilities and which clearly highlights the potential for these Ohioans to be much more than a one-hit wonder. The youthful crowd sang along throughout the show and were bouncing and swaying during the entire set. For us more seasoned rockers, it was a nice treat to hear the band throw in an excellent cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” with a nice Walk the Moon touch.
As expected, the band closed with a rousing performance of “Anna Sun” raising the crowd to a fever pitch, with the entire house singing and dancing along. A great way to wrap up a passionate, albeit short set, from a band that proved they have what it takes to be a headliner their next time through Orlando.
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
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
Random Thoughts on a Monday evening.
Today is the 50th Birthday for both Richard Allan Ream and for David Howell Evans. If you don’t recognize the names, keep on reading…
Cage the Elephant’s “Around My Head” is my favorite song right now. I’ve liked most of their music the past few years, but this one is their best yet. They are playing on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show tonight (Tuesday, August 9th). Not sure what they’ll be playing, but you know what my vote will be for.
My Sister-In-Law turned me onto her cousin’s band, Walk The Moon. They made a big showing at Lollapalooza in Chicago, playing three shows over the weekend. Check out this song, and it’s quirky video on Youtube and see if you can’t get the lyrics out of your head. Fun Stuff: Walk The Moon’s” Anna Sun”
I realize that it’s a few years old now, but Mother Mother’s “Hayloft” is pretty damn fun. Sort of like the strange spawn if The Red Hot Chili Peppers and B-52’s had a little baby band.
The birthday boys? You’d know them better as the drummer from Poison and guitarist from U2. Happy Birthday to Rikki Rocket and The Edge!