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Country Music Jesus – Eric Church earns praise on The Outsiders World Tour with special guests Drive By Truckers

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(PCM) Country music outlaw Eric Church is continuing his domination in 2015. Church released his fourth album The Outsiders just over a year ago, debuting at #1 on the both the Billboard Top 200 and Top Country Albums charts. It was the best-selling country album of 2014. Last month, Church was a featured performer at the 57th Grammy Awards. He delivered an emotional rendition of “Give Me Back My Hometown”, and was also nominated for four Grammys that night. Last week, The Outsiders’ fifth single “Like a Wrecking Ball” hit the radio waves. It’s a rather appropriate track, as Church is still rolling across the country like a wrecking ball on The Outsiders World Tour.

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Last night at the sold-out Mohegan Sun Arena, very special guests Drive By Truckers opened the evening. Last year, the likes of country legend Dwight Yokam, Grammy Award-winning hard rockers Halestorm, The Brothers Osborne, and Brandy Clarke all supported Church on respective stretches throughout the 31-show trek. Southern rockers Drive By Truckers played hits like “Birthday Boy”, “The Big To Do”, “Tornadoes”, and others. The set also featured “First Air of Autumn” from their latest album English Oceans which hit #16 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the UK Rock Albums Chart last year. The band closed the set with their 2001 anthem “Let There Be Rock.”

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After the set change, the arena went black and “Electric Worry” by Clutch came blasting through the speakers. The crowd began to sing along immediately, getting even more jacked up for The Chief to take the stage. He came out to Clutch. That’s badass.
Church entered out of the darkness with a Gibson Les Paul Special slung over his shoulder. He began strumming the opening notes of “The Outsiders”, the title track of his latest album. Then the rest of the band took the stage as Craig Wright and his drum kit descended from the rafters. “We’re gonna play whatever we want, and whatever you guys wanna hear,” Church stated. And that’s just what they did.

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Church tore through a 23-song setlist that included hits like “Creepin’”, “Guys Like Me”, “Country Music Jesus”, “Cold One”, “Smoke a Little Smoke”, the ultra-heavy rocker “Homeboy” and his feel-good megahit “Drink In My Hand”. He also played “Jack Daniels”, and at one point while shaking hands with the crowd, a fan handed him a mini bottle of Jack which he immediately slammed. Would you expect anything less from Eric Church? I think not.

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He closed out the evening with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A” that bled into his signature tribute track “Springsteen”. Speaking of The Boss, The Chief’s band The Outsiders are an absolutely stellar group that will one day take their place in the ranks with The E Street Band, The Heartbreakers, Crazy Horse, and other famous backing bands.

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While I still think that Chief was Church’s finest hour, he’s definitely put out another gem with The Outsiders. The sold out shows on this tour run prove that Church is definitely at the height of his career and atop the country music world. He’s a rebellious renegade who’s doing it his way in class by himself.

Eric Church signed with Capitol Records in 2005, and released his debut LP Sinners Like Me in 2006. That same year, he made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage. He promoted the album on the road with Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, and Miranda Lambert. In 2009, Church released his sophomore effort Carolina. The disc hit #4 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart and produced three hit singles.
Church broke out in 2011 with his third album Chief. The disc skyrocketed to #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and Top Country Albums Charts, selling nearly 2 million copies in the U.S. alone.

The disc ended up containing five hit singles, including fan-favorites “Homeboy” and “Creepin’” as well as #1 hits “Drink In My Hand” and “Springsteen”. Church toured with Toby Keith on the Locked & Loaded Tour, and he took home the American Country Music Award for Top New Solo Vocalist. The album Chief received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Album and won the CMA Award for Album of The Year.

In 2012, Church took his rebel reputation to a new level by accepting a personal invitation from heavy metal icons Metallica to perform at their own Orion Music + More Festival in Atlantic City, NJ alongside Avenged Sevenfold, Arctic Monkeys, Cage The Elephant, The Gaslight Anthem, Suicidal Tendencies, and more.

From Country Music Jesus – Eric Church earns praise on The Outsiders World Tour with special guests Drive By Truckers

Robin Thicke And Pharrell Williams Found Guilty Of Copyright Infringement

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(PCM) Many people have noted the striking similarities between the hit Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines” which was produced by Pharrell Williams and the late Marvin Gaye song “Got To Give It Up”. Apparently, 12 jurors felt that those similarities were enough to find the pair guilty of copyright infringement and award Gaye’s family the amount of $7.4 million in damages.

This case is now making waves within the music community, as there is cause for concern over the fact that if a songwriter is able to draw inspiration from another it could possibly be considered copyright infringement even it it is not done purposefully. It is worth noting that in this particular case the infringement was found to be non willful.

Gaye’ family is pleased with the verdict although they had initially been seeking over $25 million in damages. The jury also ruled that neither the record company, nor rapper T.I. who appears on the song should be held accountable in the lawsuit.

Gaye’s family claim that they noticed striking similarities between the two songs back when “Blurred Lines” was first released back in 2013, however both Thicke and Williams, who is responsible for writing the song, claim that they never discussed or copied Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up”.  Williams said he was inspired by the feeling of Gaye’s music and that he was channeling that feeling of the late 70’s when the song was created and Thicke claimed that he was high on Vicoden when the song was penned, mostly by Williams.

 

From Robin Thicke And Pharrell Williams Found Guilty Of Copyright Infringement

Catching Up With Mallory Knox Vocalist Mikey Chapman!

Credit: Andrew Wendowski Photography

Credit: Andrew Wendowski Photography

(PCM) Kristyn Clarke and Renee Winner of PopCultureMadness were recently able to catch up with Mallory Knox vocalist Mikey Chapman during their recent tour stop in Philadelphia, PA. The band were part of one of this winter’s biggest tours sharing a bill with both Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil and PRVIS.

Being out with bands such as Pierce The Veil and Sleeping with Sirens makes this a huge tour for the band. We are sure that they have seen their fan base continue to grow as a result. Mikey tells us “The great thing about this tour is that we get to go back to the beginning, our roots so to say, because we are performing to people who don’t know us and that is where we all start. It means that we can really be the underdogs again and work towards making new fans. So far, so good! 

The American public have really seemed to pick up on our sound and what we are doing. People are vibing off  of that and really enjoying it, so hopefully that will just carry on growing.”

We assume this must be refreshing to the band overall and certainly like dealing with a different type of animal touring-wise. Mikey reveals “Absolutely. I mean, you go from the U.K. and Europe to Australia and now finally we get to do The States, you notice that the crowds of people are different. They all have the same wants and likes, but there are slight kind of differences that you have to learn and craft your set around. You have to make a point to tailor it to the people you are playing for and people in The States are no different. It’s been a real nice challenge to come to grips with that for sure.”

When asked which songs are going over the best live thus far, Mikey responds “We always have our last song, which is “My House” which we always seem to play last because it is a favorite where ever we go and it carry’s over very well over here. There seems to be a divide among the crowds we’ve played to so far between kids who really like moshing and there are other kids who like the more poppier side of things so its been nice to see that both aspects of what we consider makes us a band are being received by almost two different kinds of people which is really weird, but kind of exciting to see.Kids who enjoy both subgenres of music can come together and enjoy one band. It’s very exciting”.

We were also curious if the band was looking into any of the U.S. music festivals this year. Mikey told us “I think we are going to be doing a summer over here, I can’t say too much right now, but I can’t wait.” The band is also headlining the Takedown Festival this year overseas. Mikey says “We head back home March 6th and then we have a few hours to get to where we are playing and then it is straight back on. It’s going to be nice because it is going to be one of our first home shows of the year. It gives us an opportunity to meet back up with our British fans. We then have a few more days off and they we come straight back here to The States for SXSW.”

With all the traveling that the band has been doing we are sure that they have seen some crazy stuff along the way. Mikey comments “Being a video game lover, one of the things I like the most here in The States and would love to take back home are these arcade/video game bars. It is brilliant. You have a place to buy alcohol and sh**tloads of video games, we don’t have that back home and we have been to three here so far and I am just in heaven.

It’s been a great thing to immerse yourself into and to me it is something that is quintessentially American. Things like pinball they don’t really do back home, as a kid I kind of assimilated so much American culture through television, music and stuff like that, so just being here and immersing yourself in it physically is a unique and exciting experience.”

We asked if it was everything he expected to which Mikey responded “In a way, yeah, I mean obviously you have your expectations, but the people here completely blow my mind and everyone has just been so welcoming and totally wonderful. Everyone seems to be looking out for one another and very friendly, so you guys should be proud of yourselves for that.”

Sometimes there can be certain aspects of a band that people misunderstand from time to time, Mikey reveals that with Mallory Knox often times people actually think they are Australian rather than British and that his name is not Mallory Knox. Many people at shows will think it is a singular person not an entire band. “I am not a girl, nor is my name Mallory Knox”. 

He goes on to say “We pride ourselves in just being straightforward and we are what we are. I used to be fed up as a kid about having to know certain things or know this or that to try to fit in and all that kind of rubbish. For me, if you like us you like us, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you do or any of that stuff, it is just completely irrelevant to me. For us if there are any misconceptions they are prefabricated because what we are on stage is what we are in real life. There’s no bulls**t”

The band are currently touring behind their latest album “Asymmetry” which was released last October. In talking about the recording process Mikey tells us “With Mallory’s recording process, before we even get to the studio, just in the writing side of things, we don’t write a song and bring it to fruition, if we don’t believe that it is going to make it onto the record. We may keep some stuff floating from time to time, but we will never take a song all the way to the end and then say we are going to put that one on the back burner.”

Whatever we write, if we are going to spend our time and effort on it, it’s got to be something we really think will fit on the record. Once the writing is out of the way, the recording process process is very swift I suppose. With “Asymmetry” we had maybe two or three months to do this one, which is really unique to us because the album before we only had about two or three weeks. So, in comparison it was a long time for us, which meant we could really perfect certain sounds and things like that.”

Mikey went on to praise his band mates in Mallory Knox saying “They are brilliant at what they do!”

Credit: Andrew Wendowski Photography

Credit: Andrew Wendowski Photography

We were curious what it was like to work with Gil Norton as a producer and if he challenged the band in any way. Mikey tells us ” Sure. We were really apprehensive to work with Gil because of some of the great records he has done, I mean we are all big Foo Fighters fans, massive Jimmy Eat World fans and know just how influential those bands are and he was such a big part of that. Gil really became a friend and he became the sixth member of the band. He helped us get through certain parts and he just really understood us and how we worked, especially when I was doing my vocals. He knew how quickly I would get frustrated if I couldn’t get something and he would work around it … he could see it before it could. It was the mark of a true master of his craft and we are very honored to say we got to work with him for sure”

The rest of 2015 will hold more and more traveling for the band, as Mikey says “We’ve put a lot of hard work into this record and our fans at home have just been so fantastic at picking it up and giving us the opportunity to do some of the things we are doing now. We just want to do right by that and just tour the hell out of this record and visit as many places around the globe as we possibly can and hopefully make some new fans and friends along the way.”

To wrap things up with Mikey we asked him some of this thoughts on the current rock scene and jokingly what he would do if Kanye took his award away.  He jokingly replied “I would kick that guy in the face. I don’t give a sh*t! That guy is rude as hell. Beck deserved that sh*t! Musicians these days fight an uphill battle and I take pride that within British music we all kind of have each other’s backs and it seems to me that being on this tour with the guys in Pierce The Veil and Sleeping With Sirens and seeing how they work, everyone is looked at as equals. We all have each other’s backs.”

Photography credit: Andrew Wendowski Photography

From Catching Up With Mallory Knox Vocalist Mikey Chapman!

Grateful Dead Reunion Tickets Going For Over $100,000 Online

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(PCM) I am not sure why, but something just feels wrong to me when I learned that 3-day tickets to “Fare Thee Well” the Grateful Dead reunion concert were selling for over $100,000 online.

The upcoming 3-day show will feature the four original members of The Grateful Dead to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary. “Fare Thee Well” will be held at Chicago’s Solider Field over 4th of July weekend.  The show will also feature Phish frontman Trey Anastasio who will be taking on vocal duties in place of the late Grateful Dead front man Jerry Garcia.

According to Grateful Dead band member Bob Weir, “Fare Thee Well” will be the last performance ever with the original members of The Dead. Tickets for the upcoming show sold out almost immediately and the original ticket price was between $60 and $200 dollars for 3-day passes. That number has since skyrocketed and now tickets are selling on broker sites such as Stubhub for thousands of dollars. In fact, Stubhub is even offering obstructed/no view seating behind the stage for about $1,000. Unreal!  Something tells us Jerry is rolling over in his grave at these prices!

From Grateful Dead Reunion Tickets Going For Over $100,000 Online

Rock On The Range 2015 Is Becoming Bigger And Better Than Ever!

(PCM) As if we already weren’t excited enough about the line-up for this year’s Rock On The Range, today’s announcement about even more bands being added to the already stellar line-up, paired with the official line-up for the Comedy Tent has truly upped the anticipation.

Rock On The Range will be held on May 15, 16, and 17th at the newly renamed Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Festival producers explain the name change by saying “Rangers, your rock home is now MAPFRE Stadium, formerly Crew Stadium (pronounced “MAH-fray”). Same rock experience. Same home. New name!”

The Pretty Reckless, Tremonti, Vamps, The Danger Kids, and Highly Suspect join a stellar lineup of top rock bands led by multiplatinum Linkin Park, global rock juggernauts Slipknot, and heavy metal legends Judas Priest–who are currently celebrating their 40th Anniversary–for a full weekend of non-stop rock on three stages. The daily lineups will be announced in early April.

The ROTR Comedy Tent will feature sets from some of the biggest rock n’ roll influenced comedians, including: Rob Schneider, Brian Posehn, Jim Norton, Don Jamieson, Jim Florentine, Rod Paulette, Jeremy Essig, Brent Terhune, Joe Howard, Bill Squire, Jay Snyder, Bill Arrundale, Jake Iannarino, Kenny Smith, and Craig Peters.

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Ernie Ball presents the Rock On The Range Battle Of The Bands returns in 2015, offering unsigned bands a chance to perform on the Ernie Ball Stage at Rock On The Range and receive over $15,000 in gear and prizes, along with an all-expenses paid trip to Columbus, OH. The grand prize winner will receive gear from Electro-Voice, DW Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Markbass, and 1964 Ears, as well as an Ernie Ball Strings endorsement and Music Man instruments! Beginning March 9, visit http://rotr.battleofthebands.com to enter the Ernie Ball presents the Rock On The Range Battle Of The Bands. This year, Battle Of The Bands fans will also have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win prizes from Ernie Ball and Ernie Ball Music Man. Visit http://rotr.battleofthebands.com starting March 9 for more details.

From Rock On The Range 2015 Is Becoming Bigger And Better Than Ever!

Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and Tyga get down and dirty on Between The Sheets Tour

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(PCM) “Double your pleasure, double your fun,” Chris Brown croons on his hit single “Forever”. It’s also exactly what Breezy had in mind when he teamed up with Trey Songz for their co-headlining Between The Sheets Tour. Along with very special guest Tyga, the duo have been packing arenas across North America. Despite nearby stops in New York and Philadelphia merely days earlier combined with last night’s nasty snow storm, the trio still managed to pack the Izod Center in New Jersey for another nearly sold-out show.

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Tyga kicked off the evening festivities with a tough set, dropping hits like “Make It Nasty”, “Rack City” and others. Tyga is still supporting his last album, 2013’s Hotel California, which debuted at #7 on the Billboard Top 200. Chris Brown laid down guest vocals on the song “For The Road”, and now they’re on the road together. Yesterday, Tyga and Brown released their much-anticipated collaborative effort Fan of a Fan: The Album. The disc’s lead single “Ayo” dropped back in January. Tyga has also been working on new music for his fourth album entitled The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty, which is due out later this year.

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Trey Songz took the stage and immediately captivated the audience with his sweet voice and undeniable swag. After opening with “Foreign”, his second song, “Cake”, set the mostly-female audience into a frenzy. They are the first two tracks on his latest album, 2014’s Trigga which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. From there, Trey pulled the trigger on several of his biggest hits including “Can’t Be Friends”, “I Invented Sex”, “Can’t Help But Wait”, and others.

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Chris Brown entered the arena surrounded by smoke and lasers, opening with “X”, the title track off his latest album. From there, Breezy unleashed a barrage of big songs. The crowd exploded and sang along to “Wall To Wall”, “Run It!”, “Look at Me Now”, and “Take You Down” among others. Brown dazzled fans with his signature dance moves that accompanied his high-octane hits. He is still touring in support of his latest album X which had a strong #2 debut on the Billboard Top 200 back in September.

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In the middle of the show, Chris Brown and Trey Songz gave the crowd an intimate experience that made the tour live up to its name. Chris and Trey took turns dropping songs that simply oozed sexuality. Songz performed the likes of “Neighbors Know My Name”, “Panty Dropper”, and “Dive In” while Brown sang “No Bulls**t”, “Don’t Judge Me”, “Songs on 12 Play”, and others. Their back-and-forth set was unique and a great treat for the fans. Afterwards, some were so hot and bothered that bras and panties began to fly from the crowd onto the stage.

After their collaborative sing-off, Songz returned to the stage for another solo stint that included performances of “Heart Attack”, “I Need a Girl”, “Bottoms Up”, and others. Brown would then come back to close out the evening, kicking off the encore with his megahit “Fine China”. Tyga would join Breezy for the final two songs of the night – “Ayo”, a cut from the duo’s new album that got off the presses just over 24 hours ago, and “Loyal”, a duet from Brown’s latest studio effort.

Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and Tyga put together an impressive tour package. Their resumes speak for themselves, but the trio delivered on stage. The Between The Sheets Tour is a sexy, energetic evening not to be missed.

From Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and Tyga get down and dirty on Between The Sheets Tour

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