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The Light Continues To Shine For Daryl Hall And John Oates

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(PCM) Every time I have had the pleasure of seeing Daryl Hall and John Oates perform live, I know that I am in-store for a fantastic evening of stellar musicianship and of course some delightful catchy melodies.

When Daryl Hall and John Oates take to the stage, they churn out hit after hit from beginning to end. To this day, they still have the ability to cause the women in the crowd to lose their minds and more panties were flying at the stage than I have seen at any other rock show in quite some time.

There is a reason that Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer’s Daryl Hall and John Oates are still the number one selling music duo in history. They always knew just how to craft the perfect song and their 14-song set spanned the entire length of their extensive career. Opening up with “Maneater” and “Out Of Touch” to closing their second encore with “Kiss On My List” and “Private Eyes”, there was not a single song that I wanted to hear that was left out of the evenings incredibly tight set list.

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The women in the crowd went truly wild during both “She Gone” and “Sara Smile” and I personally had the best time ever dancing my heart out to hits such as “Rich Girl” and my personal favorite “You Make My Dreams”. I adore hearing these songs in the live environment and a lot of the new arrangements do a fantastic job at enhancing an already phenomenal song.

The pair appear to be having a fantastic time on stage and while many artists who have been in the game as long as these two could afford to “phone it in” so to say, Daryl Hall and John Oates sounded both fresh and energized and put on a truly outstanding performance.

Daryl Hall & John Oates are soul survivors. Signed to Atlantic by Ahmet Ertegan in the 1970’s, from the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s, the duo would score six #1 singles, including “Rich Girl” (also #1 R&B), “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (also #1 R&B), “Maneater” and “Out of Touch.” By 1987, the R.I.A.A. recognized Daryl Hall and John Oates as the number-one selling duo in music history, a record they still hold today. In May 2008, the duo was honored with the Icon Award during BMI’s 56th annual Pop Awards. In 2014, the two musicians hit another high as they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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From The Light Continues To Shine For Daryl Hall And John Oates

“The Honeymoon Tour” Featuring Ariana Grande And Rixon At The Wells Fargo Center

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(PCM) It’s always nice getting over to the big arena for a spectacular show.  When in the Philadelphia area it’s always a treat to check out the large production shows that the Wells Fargo Center brings. Known by many as the face on some of Nickelodeon television’s most popular programs Ariana Grande has made her way from the screen to the stage. It would be easy to say that her popularity from these shows helped, but truthfully it’s her talent and shining star that helps keep her relevant to her many fans.

Opening was Manchester, England natives, Rixton. Making the most out of every second they had on stage the four pack made up of Jake Roche, Charley Bagnall, Danny Wilkin and Lewi Morganpiece group went right to work. Rixton opened with “Wait on me” to an appreciative Philadelphia audience following with their hit song “Make out”. It was great to hear a song that I recognized, and one I won’t forget as many of fans in attendance sang along with them.

Though most boy bands have to go through the motions of connecting with fans there was a real genuine energy and charisma that the group showed. They were entertaining to watch and looked like they were having a good time. Rixton played seven songs, my favorite being the cover medley of “Fine China / Uptown Funk / Crazy in Love”. The dancing and stage presence of these guys is something you don’t want to miss. I am sure this will not be the last time we talk about Rixton. Rixton will soon be hitting the road for a summer tour with Ed Sheeran, so we absolutely can’t wait to catch these guys when they are around again this June.

After a 20 minute changeover it was time for Ariana Grande to hit the stage. The lights went down and a roar of 20,000 screaming girls filled the air at the packed Wells Fargo Center. The girl we used to know as “Cat Valentine” is all grown up now. The innocence she showed on “Victorious” and “Sam & Kat” have been replaced with beautiful sparkled dresses and stiletto heels. Aided by a full group of back up dancers Ariana showed why she is making her way up the pop charts. Opening with her popular hit “Bang, Bang!” – Ariana went into full dance mode, leading her dancers like a true pop star. The way Ariana took control of the stage was very impressive leading her dancers like she has been doing this forever.

Each song came with a full costume change with sparkled dresses and stiletto heels being the theme of the night. Though she was singing to a parent in tow younger audience I always had the feeling that Ariana was performing like she is trying to shed the teenage innocence of her TV character and enter into adulthood as a pop superstar. As she performed through her one and half hour set Ariana showed a comfort in being on stage using props like clouds and beautiful chandelier’s to carry her through the air into or out of each song. The background light screens and lights also played into her performance, using perfect light and video combinations to build up each song. The fans sung along as she performed flawless versions of songs like “Be my Baby”, “Best mistake”, “Tattooed heart” and “Love me harder”.

If the fans in attendance did not get enough interaction with Ariana the highlight moment of the night came when everyone sang happy birthday to one of her back up dancers. There was so much child parent bonding at this show you couldn’t help but leave with a song in your heart. Catch Ariana Grande on “The Honeymoon Tour” in a city near you!

From “The Honeymoon Tour” Featuring Ariana Grande And Rixon At The Wells Fargo Center

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

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

Pierce The Veil Are A True Force To Be Reckoned With A Sold-Out Philly Show!

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(PCM) One of the hottest tours this winter season is without a doubt the current co-headlining featuring both Pierce The Veil and Sleeping with Sirens, along with openers Mallory Knox and PRVIS.  We had a chance to check out night two of the band’s sold-out show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA.

Pierce The Veil has a stage presence like no other and the crowd went absolutely wild as the curtain dropped and the band blasted into their hit single “Hell Above” complete with confetti cannon showers to really get the party started.

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It has been truly amazing to witness Pierce The Veil’s fan base grow over the years and at times front man Vic Fuentes doesn’t even need to sing as the entire audience is belting out every word at the top of their lungs. It was quite apparent while watching the show that the entire band is incredibly humbled by the audiences response and completely relishing in every moment of their incredibly well-deserved success.

The band’s set list consisted most of tracks of their last album release “Collide With The Sky”, but there were also a few tracks thrown in from “Selfish Machines” as well. The band are just about reaching the end of the album cycle for “Collide With The Sky” and are currently hard at work on a new album that is set for release sometime later this year. We absolutely can’t wait to hear what they have in store for us next!

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Pierce The Veil have not forgotten the art of putting on a solid rock show and their performance are always both a visual and sonic treat. We already mentioned the blasting confetti cannons, but the band also incorporates fog cannons, neon-lights and more to create a live spectacle that is second to none. The band has learned to make solid use of the entire stage and their raw energy envelops the entire venue.

Pierce The Veil ended their 10-song set with another hit single “King For A Day” which features vocals from Sleeping with Sirens front man Kellin Quinn and made for the perfect ending to another amazing show from Pierce The Veil.

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If you have a chance to get out to one of the remaining shows on this tour we highly recommend it, as they are currently on the second leg of the tour and gearing up to head to Europe throughout the month of April.

For more information about Pierce The Veil, please visit: http://piercetheveil.net/

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From Pierce The Veil Are A True Force To Be Reckoned With A Sold-Out Philly Show!

Marilyn Manson Concert Review: He Is The God Of Whatever He Wants To Be!

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(PCM) I recently had the privilege to attend Marilyn Manson’s recent “Hell not Hallelujah” tour stop at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA and I can say without a doubt that Manson is looking and sounding the absolute best that he has in years.

He and his band plowed through a blistering 16-song set that featured at least four to five tracks off his recently released new album “The Pale Emperor” as well as the “classics” such as “mOBSCENE”, “New Sh**t”, “Sweet Dreams”, “The Dope Show”, “Rock Is Dead” and of course “The Beautiful People”.

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As you can tell by my recent review of The Pale Emperor, I am absolutely in love with Manson’s new album, however hearing these tracks live just took things to a whole new level. Opening the set with his current single “Deep Six” was perfect and I  thoroughly enjoyed hearing “Third Day of A Seven Day Binge”, “Cupid Carries A Gun” and my personal favorite off the new record “The Mephisotopheles of Los Angeles” in the live performance setting.

Much of Manson’s fan base looks up to him as if he is a God, as it was quite apparent by the reaction of the audience at this show and at this point in his career with a stellar new album under his belt Manson is surely in the position to be the God of whatever he wants to be. The days of a Manson concert being a shocking or controversial experience are long gone and what is left is nothing more than a solid rock show for some incredibly talented musicians.

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Marilyn Manson has a way of being about to ignite the audience and hold them in the palm of his hand. The audience was hanging on to his every word and he along with guitarist Tyler Bates (who also happens to be the producer of The Pale Emperor) and bassist Twiggy Ramirez delivered an absolutely epic performance. His banter with the crowd was full of snark and dead-pan wit and I absolutely adore Manson’s ability to turn both a lyric and phrase on a dime.

Our one piece of advice to anyone heading out to any of the remaining dates on this tour, is to please take a moment, put your iPhone down and just spend some time soaking in the music and actually engrossing yourself in the show … trust me … it’s worth it!

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Full Set List:

“Deep Six”
“Disposable Teens”
“mOBSCENE”
“No Reflection”
“Killing Strangers”
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” (Eurythmics cover)
“Cupid Carries a Gun”
“Rock Is Dead”
“The Dope Show”
“Third Day of a Seven Day Binge”
“Personal Jesus” (Depeche Mode cover)
“This Is the New Shit”
“The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles”
“The Beautiful People”
“Irresponsible Hate Anthem”
Encore:
“Coma White”

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