The band has gone through a lot of changes, with Benjamin Burnley as the only original member. His new bandmates come with a lot of experience, like guitarist Kieth Wallen from Adelita’s Way and Jason Rauch from Red. BB’s old stuff is top quality, and incredibly popular, with two platinum albums under their belt and some amazing awards and accomplishments. How will things be with the new band? Are we going to have the old sound with new musicians or will their own sound be stamped onto BB’s traditions? With a new release, Dark Before Dawn, due out June 23rd, and a nationwide spring tour, Breaking Benjamin is back on the scene and I think just about every rock and roll fan is seriously looking forward to finding out what is in store. The recently released “Failure” has been on YouTube only a few weeks and has over 2 million views. This is going to be great.
Motionless in White
My favorite story of MIW is without-a-doubt Rocklahoma 2013, which I attended with my 14 year-old daughter. So there was this guy Matt who was flirting with her the whole weekend, and I finally just went up and introduced the two of them during The Sword. Cool dude, and we all talked and went our separate ways. (He was 15, nothing creepy here folks.) Anyway, I am thrashing in the pit to MIW several hours later while my daughter had pushed her way up front, when suddenly this teenage boy, thrown from several rows back, lands on my head. We hit the deck together and gather our senses. It’s Matt. Crazy dude, if you want to meet my daughter, just talk to her, you don’t have to land on her dad’s head to set up a date!
I have seen MIW a few times since and their pits are active, intense, and respectful of old farts like me. MIW music is perfect music for exercising the body and exorcising demons at the same time. I just love the energy, intensity, and accessibility of the music. The MIW genre has a lot of music I just cannot digest, but MIW themselves are awesome. Get in the pit and I will see you there!
Shaman’s Harvest from Jefferson City, Missouri, is heavily influenced by the country sound. Hunt could easily have been a country music star, but instead uses his incredible gift to front this fantastically talented band. SH has been together for many years, with its first release back in 1999. The amazing new CD, Smokin’ Hearts and Broken Guns is packed with dynamic sounds and intense lyrics. It was during the recording sessions for this CD that Hunt was diagnosed with throat cancer, and according to his bio, this redirected his focus to making the best album of his life. I believe that he has succeeded. The songs are incredibly well written, and the instrumentation is fantastic. However, what stands out is the multi-faceted vocals. One part Five Finger Death Punch, one part country, and one part everything else, Hunt makes the perfect lead. I am focused on not missing a second of this dynamic band.
“Dragonfly,” their most successful single AND “Dangerous,” from the new album
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Dan Adler was raised in Southern California to a mom and dad, one of whom appreciated Creedence and left wing anti-war politics. By the teenage years, Dan became obsessed with Black Sabbath, listening to the same seven albums repeatedly for 5 years. During this time, his favorite concert experience was seeing Metallica open for a bunch of bands that no longer exist and winning the 1st ever Santa Cruz Air Guitar contest. After several years in Africa listening and dancing to Chimurenga music, Dan returned to have the two best children in the world, one of whom spends a lot of time at concerts with him. What a lucky dad!