Review: Taylor Swift Mesmerizes On The “1989 World Tour”

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(PCM) Fandom comes in all shapes and size and knows absolutely no bounds. The sky was truly the limit with the pure fandom that was on display during Taylor Swift’s “1989 World Tour” stop in Philadelphia, PA, as she performed back to back sold-out shows at Lincoln Financial Field. It speaks volumes to the generational appeal of Swift’s music and more importantly acceptance! We are all individuals united in the beauty of music and it is a union that will last a lifetime. It also says a heck of a lot about Swift’s character as a musician as well, she clearly understands her fans and they without a doubt understand her as well.

We, as fans, have all grown and matured along with Taylor Swift throughout the trajectory of her career and her songs have the ability to speak to her multitude of fans in a variety of different ways. Watching her interact with the 50,000 or so fans that were in attendance for the show was absolutely magical and her inspiring speeches throughout the evening are something that is going to stay with me for quite a lengthy amount of time.  In fact, I found myself literally fighting back tears as she perfectly described many of the struggles and obstacles that we all must overcome when facing everyday life. It could be likened to getting advice from your best friend or that one person in your life who just “gets it”.

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Several times throughout the evening Swift stopped to humbly thank her fans for taking time out of their lives to attend the show and they more than reciprocated with screams of pure joy and adoration belting out each and every word to all of their favorite songs throughout Swift’s mesmerizing performance. The beautiful bond between artist and fan was on full display and without a doubt unbreakable.

I also have to note that the production for this show was top-notch. From the show opener “Welcome To New York” to the final moments of the upbeat pop gem “Shake It Off” Swift’s performance was visually spectacular. The entire production was perfectly choreographed with Swift surrounded by a flurry of male back-up dancers and each audience member was given a light-up wristband that was perfectly synced to light-up along with the songs that she was performing. It created an amazing ambiance throughout the entire stadium.

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Taylor Swift has the amazing ability to be able to pull off sexy in the most adorable and classy way possible. She looked fantastic during her many costume changes throughout the night and my absolute favorite look of the evening was the special light-up glowing dress during the song “How You Get The Girl”. It was visually stunning paired along with the dancers glowing umbrellas.

Hailing from Wyomissing, PA, Swift referred to the Philly shows as being her “hometown shows” and again thanked the fans for their unwavering loyalty over the years. She reflected on the first time that she performed in Philadelphia, singing the national anthem at a 76’s game at age 12. It is amazing to see just how far she has truly come and that the dreams of that little 12-year old girl definitely came true.

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Of course, it wouldn’t be a Taylor Swift show without a few surprises along the way. Each night of the tour thus far, Swift has brought out another artist to perform a song with her during the set. This night, Taylor introduced us to singer/songwriter Rachel Platten who came out to perform the hit “Fight Song” with Swift much to the crowd’s delight.  Platten’s inspirational anthem is currently #2 on iTunes and is well on it’s way to becoming a break-out hit for the summer of 2015.  But that was not all the surprises that Swift had in store. She also had actress Mariska Hargitay come out to walk the lengthy catwalk stage during Swift’s hit single “Style”.

We also loved the way that Swift remixed many of her past hits to fit the style of “1989” which was especially apparent with early career hit “Lovestory” and a rocking version of “We Are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together”.  It was just brilliant!

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To open the show Swift brought along singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes and one of my personal favorites Vance Joy. Vance Joy is still riding high off the success of his break-out single “Riptide”, but has also just released a video for the song “All I Ever Wanted” which is also beginning to pick up on the airwaves, along with the single “Mess Is Mine”.  We can’t even imagine what the experience has been like for Joy to be chosen as part of the “1989 World Tour” and he did an absolutely fantastic job of gearing up the crowd and hooking them in with his soulful melodies and boyish charm.

Overall, we found that our own fandom for Taylor Swift grew in leaps and bounds after this show and if you have a chance to make it out to any of the remaining “1989 World Tour” dates we highly recommend checking it out and shaking the night away with Taylor Swift!

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All photography credit: Matt Christine

 

Originally posted at Review: Taylor Swift Mesmerizes On The “1989 World Tour” - unSkinny Pop

Review: Fall Out Boy And Wiz Khalifa Bring Their Eclectic “Boys Of Zummer” Tour To Town

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(PCM) Proving that any type of genre stereotypes are a thing of the past, Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa brought their eclectic “Boys Of Zummer” tour to the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ. The bill boasted co-headlining sets from both Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa and was rounded out by opening sets from MAX, Hoodie Allen and DJ Drama.

The show kicked off with a blazing performance from MAX, who was just recently named on of MTV’s Artist’s To Watch in 2015 and has earned a tremendous following thanks to the success of his delightfully catchy single “Gibberish”.  Watching MAX perform could be likened to watching a ball of energy grow and explode on the stage, such a fun guy! We had a chance to catch up with MAX prior to his performance to discuss his upcoming album due out this fall, his work with Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, and of course the Boys Of Zummer tour! Full interview below:

The anxious crowd continued to buzz as Hoodie Allen took to the stage and if they were not amped enough after MAX’s high energy performance, Hoodie Allen certainly had them soaring to another level. It was quite apparent that the crowd was eagerly anticipating the evenings headline performances by both Wiz Khalifa and Fall Out Boy.

It is truly amazing to see just how far a performer such as Wiz Khalifa has come over the years. I can clearly remember catching his set back at Bonnaroo in 2010 when “Black & Yellow” was a staple on both the top forty and hip-hop radio stations and seeing just how massive his fan base has become is so inspiring.

Wiz Khalifa’s cool and laid-back vibe appeals to multitude of people and his music has a true cross-genre impact on fans of not only hip-hop, but pop rock as well. As an artist, he has become a hit machine and it was fantastic to hear all over our favorites, old and new, packed into his current set list.

Wiz Khalifa oozes individuality and urges his fans to behave in much the same fashion urging them to always be sure to stay true to themselves. His positive attitude is infectious and it is refreshing to listen to an artist that is actually trying to make us think and feel something within their music.

Wiz Khalifa Set List:
Ass Drop
Black and Yellow
Roll Up
Paperbond
Let It Go
The Race
So High
No Sleep
Work Hard, Play Hard
Taylor Gang
Young Wild & Free
Promises
Staying Out All Night
You And Your Friends
See You Again

To close out the evening, Fall Out Boy burst onto the stage with their mega-hit 2005’s “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and wow, were we in for one heck of an amazing set.  Fall Out Boy have always been one of my favorite bands to catch live, as they literally mesmerize the crowd from the beginning to the bitter end of their performance.  This night was no different!

The crowd was hooked on every note that poured forth from the stage. It was quite apparent that Fall Out Boy put their heart and soul into the performance and the crowd reciprocated with unwavering adoration.  The stage show was phenomenal and the band’s talent shined even brighter when they retreated to a special stage in the back of the venue to perform acoustic versions of both “Immortals” and “Young Volcanoes”, I especially adored the acoustic version of the latter.

After the short acoustic break the adrenaline began pumping stronger than ever as the band plowed through hits such as “American Beauty/American Psycho”, “I Don’t Care”, and current hit “Centuries” before closing out with “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light em’ up)” and “Saturday”.

Fall Out Boy Set List:
Sugar, We’re Goin Down
Irresistible
The Phoenix
A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More “Touch Me”
Thriller
Alone Together
This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race
Immortals
Young Volcanoes
Drum Solo
Dance, Dance
American Beauty/American Psycho
Uma Thurman
Thnks fr th Mmrs
I Don’t Care
Centuries
My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)
Saturday

Originally posted at Review: Fall Out Boy And Wiz Khalifa Bring Their Eclectic “Boys Of Zummer” Tour To Town - unSkinny Pop

Rock On The Range 2015 Features Timeless Talent

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(PCM) Rock On The Range is well-known as the premiere rock festival in the U.S. and as always the 2015 line-up delivered as promised. Despite gloomy skies and some scattered rain showers, this year’s festival was simply superb.

Timeless is the one word that comes to mind when thinking about the wide array of talent that was featured on the sold-out Rock On The Range 2015. Over the course of the three-day weekend, there was a certain timeless quality to the music and stage presence of each band that graced the festival’s three stages. The multi-generational appeal of the band’s on this year’s line-up was top notch and the sold-out crowd appeared ecstatic to see so many of their favorites all in one place.

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This year we saw headlining sets from Slipknot, Judas Priest, Linkin Park, Marilyn Manson, Godsmack, and Rise Against throughout the course of the weekend’s festivities.

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Friday got off to a great start with sets on the Ernie Ball and Jagermeister Stages with both Shaman’s Harvest and Islander, however things were kicked into high gear when We Are Harlot took to the festivals main stage. After We Are Harlot we ran over to the outside stage to catch the always energetic VAMPS, before rushing once again to the main stage to see Apocalyptica’s killer performance. They are always a favorite, especially in the live setting, as their rocking set featuring cellos is always a sight to behold.

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We were also thrilled to be in attendance to catch Live’s debut Rock On The Range performance. Having seen the band a few years back on the Summerland Tour, I was incredibly curious as to what they would bring to the big stage at Rock On The Range and trust me, they did not disappoint. The band churned out hit after hit and had the audience belting out each and every word.  Next on the main stage was Breaking Benjamin and it just so happens that back in 2007, the very first year of Rock On The Range, Breaking Benjamin was the very first band to ever play the main stage, so with this being the nine year anniversary of the festival, it was wonderful to see them up there rocking once again. Just like at Carolina Rebellion, they by far had one of the most insane crowds of the day.

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Bringing a little bit of hip-hop flair to Friday’s bill was Yelawolf, who put on absolutely solid performance and did a fantastic job at gearing us up for what was yet to come to close out Rock On The Range day one.  Marilyn Manson took to the main stage and does what Manson does best … tearing up the stage with a blistering set filled with fan favorites, as well as, some new tracks off his latest album release “The Pale Emperor”.  Never one to shy away from shock value, Manson proceeded to chew up and eat his set list, cut himself and bleed on-stage, as well as, try to pull up and smash the amps or speakers on stage … all while gloriously mugging for crowd. It was intense in the best way possible.

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Carrying on that intensity were Friday evenings final performers, Slipknot, who took things to a whole new level with their mesmerizing performance. The band is still as fierce as they were they first broke on the scene and no matter the trials and tribulations they may have suffered over the years, they are in no way showing any signs of slowing down.

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After a much needed night’s rest it was time for day two of Rock On The Range 2015. While we were hoping for bright and sunny skies, our day unfortunately began with scattered rain storms looming over Mapfre Stadium. However, a little rain couldn’t stop us from checking out this year’s “secret band”, which turned out to be none other than Saint Asonia, the new band formed by former Three Days Grace lead vocalist Adam Gontier and Staind’s Mike Mushok. They performed an fantastic set that featured some tunes from each of their old band, as well, as some new material off their debut album, which we were able to preview at the special VIP party on Friday night. They were the perfect band to set the place and lift some of the gloom that hung over the crowd that afternoon.

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A little rain couldn’t keep us from checking out Sabaton next and somehow the rain gave this band an opportunity to rock even hard and the inclement weather conditions almost seemed like a perfect fit for this band’s thundering side stage set. After Sabaton, we hit the main stage once again to check out the blistering performance from Of Mice & Men. Vocalist Austin Carlile is absolutely hypnotic to watch on-stage and much of the younger generation of fans in the audience were clinging onto his each and every move on stage.

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Unfortunately, it really began pouring once Scott Weiland and The Wildabouts came on stage and sadly the main stadium area emptied out rather abruptly. We were able to catch a few songs before heading for shelter, but definitely wished we could have stayed to see a bit more.  Again braving the rain, we just had to go see what all the hoopla surrounding Babymetal was all about!  As much as I want to say they were ridiculous, I could not help but find myself completely engrossed and entertained by their performance. It is always a treat to see something different at these type of festivals and Babymetal with their pounding metal backbeat and adorable J-pop dance moves definitely fit that description to a tee. They are easy to fall in love with, that’s for sure and if the huge, rainy mosh pit was any indication, the Rock On The Range crowd loved this group as well.

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As the rain tapered off we made our way over to catch In This Moment, which should really just be called Maria Brink backed by In This Moment, as she is truly the main focus of the band’s entire set. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the band members especially guitarist Chris Hemsworth are incredible musicians, but Maria is truly the show. I don’t think I have seen another artist since Lady Gaga go through as may costume changes in such a short set time, but they made it work and in the end the theatricality behind In This Moment makes them a must see performance.

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Closing out the Ernie Ball stage on day two was the legendary Ministry fronted by the legend himself Al Jourgensen. Taking to the stage in epic fashion wearing a modified gas mask of sorts, Jorgensen immediately held the crowd in the palm of his hand. Obviously a bit unhappy with the amount of set time given to the band, he commented on stage “These motherf**ckers only gave us 40 minutes to play our best s**t”” before hilariously adding “I figure we’ve got at least 42 minutes of quality s**t”. We agree, Al, we agree!

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Day two ended with amazing sets from both Godsmack and Judas Priest. I don’t think I will ever tire of watching the epic drum battle ensue between Godsmack front man Sully Erna and drummer Shannon Larkin. It is as hypnotizing today as the very first time I saw it several years back. To again speak of the timelessness of the weekend, Judas Priest were a perfect choice to perform. It was sad to see so many people exiting the arena once these legendary “metal gods” took to the stage. Vocalist Rob Halford walked onto the stage using a cane, but that definitely did little to diminish the spirit and energy that poured forth from the band’s set. They were definitely one of the true highlights of our weekend of timeless rock n’ roll.

The intense heat and humidity did nothing to dampen the spirit as we moved into the third and final day of Rock On The Range 2015.  Due to an incredibly bad traffic back-up on the way into the festival, we got there just in time to catch the last few moments of Hollywood Undead’s main stage set. Once we were finally able to get into the swing of things,  The Pretty Reckless gave us a sultry, yet blistering performance. It was wonderful to finally see The Pretty Reckless shine during their Rock On The Range main stage debut. Last year, the band garnered an enormous crowd on the side stage, so it was only fitting that they be bumped up to the big stage, especially after the amazing success of the band’s latest album release.

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After The Pretty Reckless, we bounced over to the side stage to catch Rival Sons, who absolutely blew me away with their showmanship and musicality, followed by a set from Halestorm on the main stage. Halestorm is another one of those band that I truly never tire of seeing in the live environment. Vocalist Lzzy Hale absolutely captivates the audience and her brother Arjay Hale is without a doubt one of the most energetic drummers I have ever seen.

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While some die hard rock and metal fans were complaining about a little hip-hop flavor being thrown on the bill this year, I for one, was thrilled when it was announced that Tech N9ne would be appearing at this years festival.  Tech N9ne is a true artist and was without a doubt one of the performances that I had been waiting on all weekend long.  Take all your preconceived notions about genre stereotypes and toss them straight out the window because Tech N9ne is able to flawlessly blend together elements of both rap and rock to create a style that is very much all his own. He is incredibly unique and that is something that is very lacking in today’s music scene.  Tech’s Rock On The Range performance was fantastic and we absolutely can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve next! Not going to lie, though, I was really hoping that both Slipknot and Tech N9ne would have been performing the same day, as hearing new track “Wither” feat. Corey Taylor would have been epic to see performed together live.

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Gathering ourselves together after Tech N9ne, it was time to head back over to the main stage to see Rise Against. I was absolutely thrilled to be able to catch Rise Against, not only once, but twice this summer, as they performed at this year’s Carolina Rebellion festival, as well as, Rock On The Range. It is always wonderful to witness a band that truly has something to say and Rise Against does a fantastic job of making sure that everyone within earshot is listening. Superb performance from these guys yet again!

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To close out our wonderful weekend of rock n’ roll, Linkin Park took to the stage to close out Rock On The Range 2015 with a bang. The placement in the line-up for this year’s headliners was perfect, because in years past we have seen the stadium slowly begin to empty out once the third day headliners take to the stage, however this was definitely not the case with Linkin Park. They were the perfect choice to close out the weekend, as they are another one of those timeless bands which every generation in attendance can relate.

Whose ready for next year?  I know we are, as we can’t wait to see what Rock On The Range 2016 with bring!

Want more images from Rock On The Range 2015? Visit our Facebook page to see full galleries from this year’s festival!

Photography credit: Ken Schuler Photography

 

Originally posted at Rock On The Range 2015 Features Timeless Talent - unSkinny Pop

VAMPS Bring Adrenaline And Excitement To Rock On The Range

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(PCM) Fresh off their recent tour with opening up for Sixx:A.M. VAMPS brought a rush of pure adrenaline and excitement to the Rock On The Range audience. Once this band hits the stage, you are immediately mesmerized by their performance and they are certainly a band that is continuing to generate a ton of positive buzz here in the U.S.

These Japanese rockers are currently touring behind their latest album release “BloodSuckers” available now via Spinefarm Records and we absolutely can’t wait to see what they have in-store next!

We had a chance to catch with both Hyde and K.A.Z of VAMPS to chat about the band’s recent tour with Sixx:A.M., fans in the States, music festivals and just what’s next for the band overall.

Originally posted at VAMPS Bring Adrenaline And Excitement To Rock On The Range - unSkinny Pop

Live Brings A Spirited Performance To Rock On The Range

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(PCM) Seeing Live perform on the main stage at this year’s Rock On The Range was like catching up with a dear old friend you haven’t seen in a few years and feeling as if no time has passed at all. The band’s music has a timeless appeal and without a doubt Live’s music was a crucial influence on the type of music fan I am today.

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Front man Chris Shinn took control of the stage and led the audience through many of the band’s hits such as “I Alone”, “Lightning Crashes” and my personal favorite “Lakini’s Juice” to name a few. The band’s energy and stage presence was right on point and just like their music, Live as a band has certainly withstood the test of time.

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I had a chance to catch up with both Patrick Dahlheimer and Chad Gracey to talk about the continued positive feedback for the band’s latest album release “Turn”, changes in the music industry, the band’s business endeavors in Pennsylvania and more!  Full interview can be viewed below:

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Photography credit: Ken Schuler Photography

Please check out our Facebook page for more photos of Live performing at Rock On The Range!

Originally posted at Live Brings A Spirited Performance To Rock On The Range - unSkinny Pop

Yelawolf Bares His Southern Soul At Rock On The Range

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(PCM) What I adore so much about Yelawolf is that he absolutely refuses to fall into any type of genre stereotype.  He is making the music that is in his heart and this is truly apparent with the tracks that make up his latest album release “Love Story”. The album flawlessly blends together elements of rock, rap and country giving Yelawolf a style that is very much his own.

For the very first time in its’ nine year history Rock On The Range added some rap to the line-up and Yelawolf was the very first rap artist to perform at the festival. It was truly like a breath of fresh air and while Yelawolf’s style as stated earlier, defies genre, he was an absolutely perfect addition to this year’s bill.

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We had a chance to catch up with Yelawolf prior to his performance on the Ernie Ball stage to talk about “Love Story”, the recording process in Nashville, upcoming touring plans and more!

Photography credit: Ken Schuler Photography

For more images of Yelawolf performing at Rock On The Range, please visit our Facebook page!

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Originally posted at Yelawolf Bares His Southern Soul At Rock On The Range - unSkinny Pop

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