What started as a beautiful sunny day in San Francisco, quickly turned into a chilly evening. Young teenagers wearing their converse shoes, tights, and neon colored hair lined up outside The Fillmore on Feb. 26th for the Take Action Tour. Including bands like Mindflow, Crown The Empire, We Came As Romans, and of course The Used. My boyfriend and I anxiously waited in line with the other teenagers and adults, but the cold started hitting me when my hands and feet started to go numb. Luckily The doors opened at 6:30pm and we booked it inside. Walking into The Fillmore was a great experience. First thing I noticed was that the walls are a deep purple color. I didn't notice that the building was actually 2 stories tall. The 1st floor had the bathrooms, bar area, and a wide open space with a big square of hard wood floor in the middle. Towards the back of the first floor is the stage, it's not too big, kind of small really. When I first saw it, I imagined that the band members wouldn't really be able to move around much. Then we headed up stairs, the walls in the stairway had posters top to bottom of previous artists/bands/comedians that have performed there. Then, on the right was another bar area with café tables and a small place for café performances. On the right was again, a smaller bar area with every wall covered in music posters. It was really freaking cool to look at. There were about 5 tables spread out and on the left side, then on the right they have about 4 balconies that over look the stage. Great view also! On the ceiling of the entire venue, had around 6 chandeliers just hanging above the main floor. This is by far the coolest venue I've ever been to.
Mindflow was the first band to perform. As they came on, the crowd echoed with cheers and plenty of screaming. I had no idea who they were or what their music sounded like, and to be honest, it caught me off guard. Mindflow has a bit of a metal sound to them, like the band Disturbed. I'm not particularly into the metal genre as it is, but they weren't that bad. I also found out that they from Brazil. Their stage presence was okay, and they had a some energy. But there was something I didn't like about them. Then I heard it.. The lead singer shouted out to the crowd, "How are you doing San Antonio?!" Um WTF MAN YOURE IN SAN FRANCISCO?! Yes I know, I only see that stuff in movies or TV. But it really happened. So instantly he knew that he messed up and the crowd got quiet. He started singing, San Francisco ( Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) by Scott Mckenzie. Still the crowd was not moving. Talk about awkward. After that I think the crowd loosened up and started dancing a little bit. The ending song was a really hard metal song but sadly, there were no mosh pits. :[
The second band was Crown The Empire. My boyfriend was especially excited to see these guys. Although we did hear rumors that they weren't so good live. But after hearing the first song, those were only rumors. They had crazy energy flowing from the stage to the floor. The entire venue was vibrating. From jumping, dancing, and constantly moving. It was nearly impossible for me to get a good picture of any of them because they moved around so much! Which wasn't a bad thing. Fans were loving CTE too. Mosh pits constantly broke out throughout their songs. By the end of the last song, literally every person was jumping, dancing, mosh pit-ing, singing, and hands raised above the crowd. I was really impressed.
Then there was We Came As Romans. I think that they are another really good scream/hard core band. They jumped and danced with their fists held high. Lead on a few head bangs here and there. And kept you watching during their set. I think they have really good stage presence and really know how to interact with the crowd. Every song there was at least 1 kid going crazy in a mosh pit, which was fun to watch. In the middle of their set, they stopped and thanked everyone for coming out, and I could really tell how much they really adore their fans. But overall they sounded pretty dang good to me!
Finally, the band I was waiting for, The Used. I was right in front of the stage minutes before they came on with my camera in hand, and I was thinking how cool it is that when I was in middle school, I remember singing all the lyrics to "In Love And Death" and I'm going to be inches away from all of them. I was ecstatic to say the least. Their opening song was "Listening" and every person in the crowd was singing. It was a great feeling. I couldn't barely hear Bert's or the crowds voice singing a long, just the music. Which can give you a better idea of how close I was to the stage. Bert Mcracken, lead singer, danced side ways, backwards and all around, the stage. The fans loving every minute of it. Song after song you can just hear the voices of the fans singing their lyrics echo through the walls. It was a feel good time and really brought back memories.
This being my first show review and experience with me having a photo pass was a great opportunity and an exciting moment for me. I think all the bands did really well except Mindflow, shame on you! Just kidding, but really what the heck? Anyway, I had a great time watching the bands perform and jumping and singing a long to the lyrics. I had a lot of fun and I think it was a great show overall. Take Action Tour 2013!
"Third Stone from the Sun/If You Love Me Like You Say"
"You Saved Me"
"Next Door Neighbor Blues"
Gary Clark Jr. is based in Austin, Texas and is signed to Warner Bros. Records. Gary, singer/guitarist, has a few types of genres in his music, mainly blues and rock n' roll. After doing my research and visiting his website, I've discovered that many other popular magazines and newspapers loved Gary's music. His website included quotes like, " He maybe the next Hendrix" or, " He's about to become an overnight sensation." So needless to say, I was excited to hear his new album "Blak and Blu."
On the first track,"Ain't Messin Round," it caught me off guard with the bluesy, rock n' roll vibe. It kept my attention though and ended with a nice guitar solo. But song after song I started to get really bored with the rock songs. They weren't creative and there's unnecessary guitar solos in EVERY song. Some lasted 1-3 minutes. I also noticed he repeats his lyrics a lot, making me think that he doesn't know what else to write, so he repeats them which makes each song longer than they should be. The fifth track called "Travis County" was actually my favorite song on the album. It's got an old school rock n' roll feel to it and the lyrics are a story, which makes it more interesting than the other tracks on the album. Plus "Travis County" was an appropriate song for a guitar solo, surprising I know! But I have to give Gary props. Although I didn't like the album at all, he is good at the blues, rock n' roll, and R&B type genres. He's really showing his talents in each song, but I think he should stick to one genre because there's different genres all over the album from really slow and steady to loud and raw. Maybe I'm just crazy but it was not my cup o' tea.
Mumford and Sons have recently released their second album, 'Babel'. So as a long time fan, I was stoked to hear it. Also, I was really hoping that they didn't changed their sound and/or style. I am happy to say, they did not disappoint. When I listened to the first track called, 'Babel', it was a great song choice to start off the album. It's pretty much an epic start and doesn't stop until the end. After the second track, I was already hooked. One song after the other did not bring me down. You can imagine how happy I was! The only difference you can hear is the songs on this album are a lot faster and have more of the rock genre, compared to Mumford's last album, 'Sigh No More'. Good news is, you can still hear the Mumford and Sons we all love. I think they did the right amount of change to keep their folk style. I can honestly say that 'Babel' is another awesome album for Mumford and Sons.
The Lumineers have released their self titled debut album in April of this year. The folk-indie trio consists of Wesley, Jeremiah, and Neyla. Their sound has been compared to bands like Edward Sharpe and Mumford and Sons. I have a feeling you might also know them from their single, "Ho Hey". It's simpler than other songs on the album, as far as, the instrument playing. It still makes it a good sing along. Although, there are other songs on the album I wasn't too excited about. Some songs are too short or end too quickly, it made me want to keep listening and wanting more. I felt like I was being teased! The slow songs dragged a little bit to where I got bored. But once the songs picked up speed, they caught my attention more. However, the slow songs were more technical with the instrument playing. That's where I could hear how skilled they are at the their instruments. But I think overall it's a pretty good album, but I'm not too crazy about it.
Answers by Matthew Padgett (Guitarist for Flagship)
1. First off, we know you are touring the east coast so, how's the tour going?
The tour is great. We love being on the road. There are always ups and downs, but every tour has gotten us closer to where we want to be. It's not only a good way to grow our fan base, but it's how we connect with our fans. For me, touring is why I'm in music. We get to see new places, meet new people, do what we love every night, and expand our influence. I feel more at home when I'm on the road than when I am in Charlotte.
2.What's the band going to do after tour? Work on new music? Another tour?
The current plan is to spend a week in Boone, NC, writing new material for the LP. We then have plans to start recording the full-length sometime in August in Athens, GA. I'm sure there will be more touring before the year's end.
3. Judging from your videos on your blog at www.flagshipmusic.com , you guys look like funny and cool guys to hangout with. Do you play jokes or pranks on each other?
We are always joking and having a good time, but I don't know if we prank each other so much. We respect each other a lot and try to keep a positive atmosphere in the group. I think we may enjoy playing pranks on strangers a little more...
4. Who are the bands that inspire you? Would you want to tour with them?
We all love different music, but some of our collective inspirations would be Radiohead, Sigur Ros, U2... Robyn? If it were up to me, we would tour with all of them.
5. Which bands do you hope to collaborate with? If any.
I have never thought about it, and we have never discussed it... but I'm sure if Thom Yorke called, we would all jump at the opportunity. I also think a Skrillex remix of a Blackbush song could be great!
6. My favorite song from Blackbush is, "The Knife", which song is your favorite?
My favorite song to hear on the EP is "The Knife", but my favorite song to play live is "The Fool". There is a lot of emotion on stage when we play it, and the crowd responds well to it.
7. What other bands/artist are you currently into?
This past month or so, I have been listening to Beach House, Washed Out, Radiohead, Gorillaz, and Randy Newman. This list is constantly changing though. In fact, Beach House is a new addition. I just started listening to them on this tour.
8. I know a lot of bands pray, yell a chant, or do a weird dance before their shows. Do you guys do any rituals before the show?
We sure do. Our tour manager, Daniel Frazier (or "The Rev" as some like to call him) prays over us, and then we count to three and chant something new every show. The chants can be anything from "Bill Murray saves!" to something a little too inappropriate for this interview.
9. What do you do for fun when your not with the band?
It's rare that I am not with the band. We are always working on music or touring. Even when we aren't, we are all best friends, and I actually live with two of the members. However, those few moments I am away from them, I like to spend with my girlfriend. We like outdoor activities and traveling together, but a lot of times we end up just chilling out in Charlotte.
10. What was your most memorable moment on tour?
We have so many great moments on tour, but the most memorable moment for me wasn't so great. It was when my pedalboard and amplifier fell out of the trailer and were lost for good. We are still working on replacing them, but I think it's going to provide a great opportunity to improve my sound... so maybe it was a good thing after all... You can check out Flagship out at www.FlagShipMusic.com
I gave Flagship's, Blackbush, a listen and I couldn't help but love the melodic and mellow vocals, which blend in perfectly in the alternative folk, indie, and instrumental parts of the songs. The whole EP was 5 songs of pure relaxation. Each song is just as soothing and calming as the next one. Picture working your butt off all day, and you get in your car and all you want to do is relax. Put on Flagship's, Blackbush and just listen while you drive. Their music literally makes you listen to every part, every instrument, and every tempo change to every song. There's so much feeling behind their music, that I became a fan.
We Are The Union consists of five guys from Detroit Michigan. The ska-pop punk band has a variety of different genres in their music. Jim's punk beats, Brandon's bass lines, Mike's horn riffs, and Reed's ska guitar and pop punk voice. This band will stop at nothing at being original and not being your typical ska band. We Are The Union is currently signed to Paper + Plastick records, and have dedicated a lot of time touring the US and UK. The boys are now recording their new album, and is expected to be released later this year.