Jason Younger

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The softer side of Shinedown

Posted By on Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 11:30 AM

If you’ve ever heard a Shinedown song (and if you haven’t check out the video below), you know the one thing the band is known for – lead singer Brent Smith’s voice. All power, all rock. So you can imagine my surprise when I spoke to him via phone and he sounded, well, normal. Excited, hyper, full of energy mind you, but normal. And when the band brings their act to Charlotte tonight, you’ll see what I mean.

“We’re doing our first ever acoustic show” Smith describes, “but it’s a different acoustic show than anyone’s done before.” And he’s right. The band will perform some of their biggest hits from their first three albums and tell the stories behind the songs. “For the first time, our fans get to hear what we were thinking when we wrote ".45," "Second Chance," all our best stuff. We really wanted to tear down the walls and have a Storytellers type feel.”

And Smith fully understands who’s in charge with this style of show. “The audience is the boss," he says. "They tell us if we’re great, or not. We couldn’t come out and put on some watered down show for our fans. We couldn’t look at the man in the mirror every morning and be happy with that.” Some fans will even get the chance to ask the band questions during the show, contributing to the Storyteller feel.

This will be the last tour in support of the band’s latest album, The Sound of Madness. As for what’s next Smith says the band is already working on album number four. “We’re in LA before the tour starts to start recording, writing, and working on the next album. We hope to get it out next year, but it’s gotta be perfect, so we might be into 2012. We’re excited because it’s always a journey. Climb one mountain, go find another. Just keep going.”

As for tonight’s show at The Fillmore, Smith says don’t expect anything less intense than a full electric show. “You should expect to be losing your mind just like you would at any Shinedown show. Having the absolute time of your life. Come and raise hell. That’s what we’re gonna do.”

Shinedown performs tonight at The Fillmore – 8:30pm.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A chat with Bear Rinehart of Needtobreathe

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 11:06 AM

The last time I spoke with Bear Rinehart, lead singer of the band Needtobreathe, he was excited that the band was finally starting to play larger venues. Its first trips to Charlotte were to venues like the Neighborhood Theatre. In April, they were able to sell out the larger Amos’.

This time around, it’s the Fillmore — Oct. 28. “It’s really insane,” says an excited Bear. “When this thing started 10 years ago, we were amazed to see the crowd go from 20 people to 50. Now, we’re selling out legit venues. It’s unbelievable.”

And larger venues isn’t the only thing that’s changed since we last saw the group in April. The band just returned from a trip to Europe to promote its highly successful, critically acclaimed album The Outsiders.

“Europe was wild,” Bear explains. “We’d never been before and had no idea what to expect. The album literally was released just a few days before we got there so we weren’t sure what type of response we’d have. It was great. Everyone knew the songs and had been listening to our old album The Heat for years. The response was amazing. We were blown away.”

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Bad music vs. no music — which do you prefer?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 8:42 AM

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I loaded up our Toyota Corolla with our 11-month-old, a 12-year-old diabetic pug, and approximately 98 percent of the things we own, and made the short trek down to Folly Beach, S.C., for a week of sun, fun and diapers.

If you’ve never been to Folly Beach, it’s about 15 minutes outside of Charleston, and is the type of small beach town, where you park your car when you arrive and you don’t get back in it until you leave. Everything

is that close. Folly Beach has an Asheville sort of vibe — artsy, hippy, but great all the way around.

Where else can you play such fun games like; guess what that guy’s neck tattoo says, watch 3-year olds kick their mom in the throat, and then my personal favorite – watch said 3-year old get its ass beat in public. Fun times!!

Anyway, while we were there I noticed there was live music literally everywhere; the pier, any restaurant in the area, the hotel, the hotel bar, the middle of the street – wherever. And as the week progressed, I begin to ask myself the all important question – “Is bad live music better than no live music?”

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Friday, August 27, 2010

The Academy Is... opening for Kiss

Posted By on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Ever wondered how a headlining band finds their opener? Apparently, it’s not as complicated of a process as one might think. Just ask Adam Siska, bass player of pop-punk bank The Academy Is…., “Man, I’m not

entirely sure how it all went down, but what I’ve been told is that Gene Simmons was looking for a young band to open and his kids were listening to us one day and he must have liked what he heard. So his people called our manager and it took us about an eighth of a second to agree.”

If you’re thinking this is a big break for a small band, you’d only be partially right. “This is a great chance to get our music out to a whole new audience” explains Siska. “We’ve been doing this for almost a decade, but we haven’t had the chance to reach an audience like this before. That’s a good thing.”

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who the hell is Justin Bieber?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:18 AM

“People write to me and say, ‘I’m giving up, you’re not talking to me.’ I just write them a simple message like, ‘Never give up,’ you know? And it changes their life.” — Justin Bieber on responding to Twitter posts.

Beiber fever is rocking America! Now, the only question is – what the hell is Bieber fever?

Usually, I think I’m in tuned with music. Usually, I know what’s going on – I may not like it (see: Hannah Montana, Joe Bros, Lady Ga(g) Ga(g)), but I can honestly say I’ve heard it, know it, and can give an educated guess on it. Not this Bieber kid. I’m lost. No clue. Don’t understand it. So I did what anyone in my position would do... I Googled the dude.

“I think hip-hop artists respect me because I’m real. I think they see where I came from, and they can relate.” Justin Bieber on being accepted by other artists.

Here is what we know:

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Skillet — Not your mom and dad's Christian rock band

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Real quick – scroll down to the bottom of this post and check out the video. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Ok, got it? Rocks right? You might even say that it’s a damn fine, hard rock song. And you might be a bit surprised that a Christian rock band has churned out such a bangin’ hit.

Meet Skillet. A Christian rock band like few others. With a rock opera sound, this group won’t be confused with the Christian bands of old. They actually fit right in with the Shinedowns and Evanescences of the world. According to lead singer John Cooper, this is by design. “We want to sing hard rock songs that actually lift somebody up. Just because a song has a hard rock sound, doesn’t mean it can’t be a positive influence on someone.” And when Skillet brings their Awake and Alive tour to the "Bo-Round" on Sunday, you’ll get the chance to hear just that. Uplifting songs with rock your socks off music.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Need to see Needtobreathe

Posted By on Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 10:32 AM

If you’ve never heard of Possum Kingdom, S.C., you aren’t alone. It sounds like most Southern small towns. Quiet, isolated, maybe one stop light... But for the group NeedtoBreathe, this is home. Which might explain why the group decided to title their newest album The Outsiders.

“When we were recording the album, the theme developed over time," explains lead singer Bear Rinehart. "The title track became a perfect story of who we are. We are outsiders to the music industry, to music in general. There was no music scene where we grew up, and we felt a bit like we never fit in.”

But with the tracks on The Outsiders album, the band may have found their niche – great songwriting, power lyrics and perfectly sung by Bear’s grizzled Southern voice. If you haven’t heard them before, you’re missing out.

When the band brings its act to Charlotte this Friday (April 16), you’ll have the opportunity to see the band in its natural element. “It’s a big deal to see the small crowds our show used to draw get bigger and bigger. It’s really amazing,” says Bear, “Last year we played in front of 200 people in Chicago. This year, we sell out the House of Blues there and perform in front of 1,400. Absolutely amazing.”

And for good reason. I’ve written in this space many times that good albums are a thing of the past. Not with these guys. Each song sounds different, distinct, which provides for a great listening experience.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This Providence — new rock band, old rock sound

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 10:13 AM

When you think of a guy who works for a printing company, the last image you’d get would be of Andy Horst, drummer for the band This Providence. Why you ask? Because most people who work at printing companies don’t rock like this guy and his Seattle-based band.

When This Providence hits the Casbah at Tremont Music Hall this Friday night (April 9), they’ll bring a sound reminiscent to that of the Cure, the Killers, a little Third Eye Blind and some Jimmy Eat World - which makes for one hell of a good rock n’ roll show. This is also the band’s first time headlining a tour (appropriately named The ‘Bout Damn Time Tour), and Andy Horst thinks this is their best effort yet. “With headlining we get the chance to really put on a show for OUR fans. The people who have supported and come to see us.” And with their new album Who Are You Now?, they’ve earned the right to showcase their talents.

“This album was really about figuring out who we were as a band and individually” says Horst, describing the new effort, “with band member changes, trying to understand the business, and just ourselves, we really were going through an identity crisis.” This explains why the band took most of the last year away from the road, working to really master the Who Are You Now? album. “This record, we really let it flow and be as natural as possible. Just write music and see how it turns out.”

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dead men tell no tales... except for Tupac, Jimi and MJ

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Last fall, when Michael Jackson moonwalked to the great beyond, people far and wide immediately said Michael may be gone, but his music would live on forever. Little did they know just how true those words will turn out to be.

Just this week, it was announced that Michael’s estate (read: Mama and Papa Jackson) had reached an agreement to publish previously un-released music. And I know what you’re thinking – “I’m sure MJ’s got a few tracks lying around the studio. They’ll put together and album and it’ll be a nice tribute.” Not quite. This is more than just a few odd-and-end singles. Allegedly there is enough for at LEAST 10 albums. That’s not counting tributes, re-releases, box-sets, remixes, anniversary celebrations, and so-on.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Tupac of this decade!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ready for Spring to be here

Posted By on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 10:51 AM

I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember moving to Chicago. This is North Carolina, people. The South. Home of two seasons. Summer and late-summer. This cold stuff has got to go! Five snow storms in one year!?! Global warming, huh?

The good news is this — whenever spring does decide to show up, people are going to go insane. Last weekend, we had a high just south of 60 degrees and people broke out the shorts and tank-tops. Everyone is practically willing warm weather to get here. When it gets warm, there will be lots of options for those looking to thaw out. So, sit back, zip up that ski jacket and just think about what’s ahead. Imagine if you will:

* Big time concerts at Verizon Wireless – Outside, outside, outside. Seeing big acts are ALWAYS better outdoors. Watchin’ Buffett in an arena just ain’t the same.

* The lawn at Verizon – yes, it gets its own category. That’s right, the return of $10 beers and hoping a massive thunderstorm doesn’t hit the night of your favorite show. What’s better than being outside, listening to some mega-act(s), spending half your paycheck to do so, and all the while hoping you don’t get puked and/or peed on and trying not to get struck by lightning all at once? Hey, it’s better than be stuck inside when its 6 degrees out with nothing to do but watch Celebrity Rehab reruns.

* Live music on the patio – any patio, any restaurant, anywhere. A cold beer, some chicken wings and somebody beltin’ out "Come Monday." Yes, it’ll be alright. Alright indeed.

* Gallery Crawls in NoDa – no, these don’t really stop in the winter time, but there is A LOT more people, you can stroll outside without shivering, and the music is ALWAYS kickin’. No shortage of bands, styles and people.

* Merlefest – more on this in a couple weeks, but if you’ve never made the short trip north to the campus of Wilkes Community College to check out this 4-day festival of Bluegrass and Americana, then you should. Some of the best singer/songwriters you’ll ever have the pleasure of listening to show up every year.

* Lake Norman – for those who live north of the city, the Lake is its own little world. Between party boats with live music to actual concerts on the water it’s the closest you’ll have to a beach feel without driving 4 hours.

So, hurry up Spring and sprung already. My beer hand’s getting’ twitchy in anticipation.

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