Saturday, December 18, 2010

Miss May I, School of Rock, 11.26.2010

Upon arriving at the School of Rock, I was a bit more excited than usual. On this night I had to make a decision; I was either going to attend a Bring Me The Horizon show, or I was going to go see Miss May I at the School of Rock and meet the guys before the show. Of course I was going to go to the Miss May I show, since I think I can say I’ve kind of seen them evolve, from playing a side stage at the Bamboozle festival, to opening and touring with The Devil Wears Prada, to headlining their own U.S. tour.

This is another band that has yet to disappoint. I like every song I’ve heard from them, and their live show is just pure energy. From start to finish there was never a dull moment for theses guys. Levi Benton is quickly becoming one of my favorite frontmen in heavy music theses days. Jumping all around stage and putting everything he had into that one show really speaks volumes about what this band wants to do. There’ s no flash of glam with this band--all they want to do is play music they love and have a great time doing it. With two studio albums under their belt they played variety of songs and every one sounded great. But when they band played the songs “Relentless Chaos” and “ Forgive & Forget” I though they were going to bring the house down. It’ s been a while since I’ve seen a crowed react they way they did for these two songs; it really was an awesome sight. Miss May I is definitely a band I'll never pass up the chance to see live.

The Miss May I management was great at helping me set up a photo opportunity for the station. I just want to thank them for everything they have done and cannot wait to work with them again.

- MoJo JoJo

Oceano, Crocodile Rock, 11.08.2010

If anyone has even ventured out to Allentown, Pennsylvania for a show at the Croc Rock, then you already know how amazing it is to see a band of Oceano's monstrous sound. To paint a quick picture: the size of Croc Rock's main floor stage is about the size of half a basketball court. This room was at full capacity when Oceano took the stage. Adam Warren, the vocalist, has a stage presence that just commands respect and attention. His larger than life size goes so well with his deep vocals and made you look twice when he started the set.

Oceano opened with an old sound to really get the room spinning, heavy breakdowns and heavy lyrics in a room packed full of kids waiting to see this band had everyone more than excited. Throughout the set there was a good mix of old and new songs. Seeing as how the band was just a day away from the release of their new album, Contagion, people were dying to hear more new songs, and the band was right there to offer them. One of the songs that really stood out and could be considered the band's single that they are pushing was a song named “Weaponized,” and it is amazing. Keeping right up with the Oceano style, I couldn’t wait to hear the rest of this album. The band played perhaps their most known song “District of Misery” last. From the opening riff to the final scream by Adam, hearing this song in this full-to-capacity room left me with a memory I will never forget. This is one of the hardest working bands, constantly touring and playing shows almost every night. I’m happy to have met the guys from Oceano and will continue everyday to tell people about this band to help them blow up and gain the respect of the heavy music community.

Once again thanks for everyone who made this trip possible, including Oceano's management, who were great and easy to work with.

- MoJo JoJo

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne + Halford, Madison Square Garden, 12.01.2010

"Let me see your beautiful hands!"

Rock legends Rob Halford and Ozzy Osbourne rocked Madison Square Garden this Wednesday with the aid of their respective talented band members. The crowd spanned several generations, from the man with the snow-white mustache seated in front of us who whipped out a lighter during "Mama I'm Coming Home" to the small child dancing a row back, who seemed to know the majority of the words to most of Ozzy's songs. Several WSOU staffers, graduated and current, dotted the crowd as well. The show began at 8 p.m. on the dot and continued well past 11, with near-constant entertainment for the crowd.

Halford took the stage first as the opening act, performing several songs of their own as well as a variety of cover songs. Rob Halford proved that he's still got that epic voice, screeching his way through the opening track, "Resurrection," before bringing in that constant interplay of growl and metal legend wail throughout the entirety of his energetic set. The 59-year-old Judas Priest veteran blazed through several tracks before stopping to chat with the audience, thanking them very sincerely and introducing the cover songs that he subsequently launched into--these tracks included a Fleetwood Mac cover, a reinterpretation of Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust," and the Judas Priest track "Jawbreaker." After a few more songs, the band members took a group bow, and exited the stage, having gotten the crowd suitably excited for the arrival of the Prince of Darkness.

Before Ozzy took the stage, the audience was treated to a short film that green-screened the sometimes-actor into several movie and TV scenes, which included an Ozzy Avatar, a fight with The Jersey Shore's Snooki, and a scene from Twilight (including the line: "Vampires are p*****s. I'm the Prince of f****n' Darkness!"). The real Ozzy then took the stage, totally conscious of his status as a rock giant, and began to whip up the crowd, starting with the promise that the louder the crowd was, the longer he would keep playing. He then launched into "Bark at the Moon," followed by his newest single, "Let Me Hear You Scream," and a series of tracks interspersed with interludes wherein he would attempt (successfully) to rouse the crowd to make as much noise as possible. The front few rows and the stage itself became a splash zone at several points during the evening, as the singer was given access to a foam-shooting hose and frequently stuck his head in buckets of water that were on the stage, the contents of which were flung into the crowd at the end of the show. Ozzy was in his element, singing, clapping, and smiling as he went through hit after hit. He threw in some Black Sabbath songs, as well, including "Fairies Wear Boots," "War Pigs," and "N.I.B." in the first half of the show.

Shortly after introducing his band members (Gus G. formerly of Firewind [lead guitar], Rob Nicholson [bass], Tommy Clufetos [drums], and Adam Wakeman [keyboard, guitar]), Ozzy took a brief break, during which his band showed off their musical chops with some soloing. Gus G. performed some fancy fretwork and Tommy Clufetos' earned the title of the smiliest damn drummer I've ever seen, keeping the crowd entertained while their singer took a breather. Then he was back with "Iron Man" and several other tracks, including "Flying High Again," Black Sabbath's "Into the Void," and what was ostensibly his closing track, "Crazy Train." He then led the crowd in a chant of "one more song," after which he performed "Mama I'm Coming Home," and then teased the crowd again before rounding out the evening with Black Sabbath's "Paranoid."

Really, though, Ozzy really just wants you to clap your hands, as he reminded the crowd during the instrumental portions of every song--either appealing to metal harshness ("Put those f*****g hands in the air!") or fondness for his audience's enthusiasm ("Let me see your beautiful hands!"). The Prince of Darkness is clearly still kicking and, as he said during the show, "still f*****g crazy."

- G-Rated

(Complete setlists for Halford and Ozzy Osbourne from