Photos and Write-Up by Chris Weiss

Photos and Write-Up by Chris Weiss

Although I had never heard or seen Ludo live before the night of the Uncle Fest Tour in their home town of Saint Louis, Missouri, I was told by friends and strangers alike that they would certainly bring the show and wouldn’t disappoint.  So when Andrew Volpe walked out on stage dressed in a banana suit, followed by a handful of gorillas, I knew their set was going to be a sweet, power pop indulgence.



Photos and write-up by Keith Mokris

In an instant, the music blared and a horror movie came to life. Metal rockers from Des Moines, Slipknot, cranked their amps and speakers to a new level for the last show of the night. Entering the stage at just after 10 PM, the band brought the house down. Sporting their new masks, the band left the audience screaming for more.


The penultimate act of the night, Disturbed brought set the stage for Slipknot’s final blow.  The Chicago band opened with a fury and continued to excite the audience.  Singer David Draiman led the way with his melodic vocals.  Throughout the set, he encouraged the crowd to chant with him which produced an uproar of intensity.


Hailing from Great Britain, extreme power-metal band Dragonforce bounced across the stage with excitement and energy like no one else on the main stage. Their guitars were powerful, drums massive, and vocals triumphant! Above, guitarist Herman Li takes the spotlight directly in front of the crowd. On the stage, the band strategically placed industrial fans in front of the crowd to give their long hair that….fashion-show 80’s effect.


Florida rockers Underoath were the last show of the day on the Hot Topic Stage. Fans who had been waiting for their arrival weren’t disappointed in the least. As soon as they emerged, vocalist Spencer Chamberlain came to the front of the stage immediately urging an uproar. Then, in a split second, the show had begun.


This week, the Amp covered the Metal Mayhem Fest at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre. Check back throughout the week for concert reviews, photos, and exclusive interviews from genre-leaders Mastodon, Dragonforce, Slipknot, Machine Head, and others.

As the bands began to play in the afternoon, few rocked the crowd as hard as Australian-based pub-rockers Airbourne. Led by frontman Joel O’Keeffe, the band thrashed through hits from its 2007 debut album Runnin’ Wild. As they hit the stage, the four shotgunned beers and turned up the noise for their opener “Stand Up for Rock n Roll.”

For the continued review and photos, read on!


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Tim Elliott has long mulled over the effect of his parents’ musical choices and trends on his own personal taste. In this two part series, he examines the repercussions of a childhood full of Chicago, Elton John, America, and…nü-metal!? Look for part two in the coming week!

Bands of Our Fathers: Part I

Most people think “soft rock” is synonymous with “mediocre, bland suck.” For most of my generation, soft rock has a warm place in our collective childhood. It’s probably the first kind of music we were exposed to. I remember my Aunt Mary driving around blasting 102.5, the local soft rock affiliate, in her mint green Tercel that reeked of faux-cinnamon air freshener.

On Sunday afternoons, I’d sit in the basement with my dad and listen to his LPs and cassette mix-tape collection. He’d blast them, air guitar-ing along to artists like Crosby, Stills and Nash, Chicago, Elton John, America, Billy Joel and his favorite, James Taylor.

My mom probably couldn’t name her favorite band, but she always played the oldies and whenever I’d try to turn on some of my “crazy head banging music,” she’d quickly get a faux-migraine and switch to just about anything else. She digs just about everything made before 1980 with the notable exception of all of my dad’s favorite music which she felt obliged to hate after he made her listen to Chicago’s ‘Dialogue Part I and II” for the hundredth time.

It would be totally unfair to say that my musical fore-bearers didn’t listen to some universally acknowledged music. They liked Boz Skaggs, the Beatles, Steely Dan, Cat Stevens and the Beach Boys and other bands that don’t routinely appear after Gloria Estefan’s hits or Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” on 102.5’s “Stress Free Zone” programming.

What was most disconcerting to me once I became conscious of their taste in music was that my parents and aunts and uncles listened to music with little to no edge and even less cultural respect. Usually, the bands that got played at my house weren’t the sort that music critics praised or up tight politics groups burned en masse, barring any major moral backlash against Kenny Loggins.

The music I grew up with was fun to listen to, but rarely “influential.” Without the profound admiration of most 40 year-old rock critics backing my parents’ music of choice, I felt a bit embarrassed to own up to the fact that I knew the lyrics to James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” by heart. Sure, my parents’ favorite artists wrote songs that were catchy, fun and easily understood, but they seemed fairly simple on the surface and weren’t exactly the soundtrack to a teenage rebellion.