The Unbreakable Tour: A Night That Will Never Be Forgotten

When the Unbreakable Tour was announced, I jumped on the opportunity to see Parkway Drive. Though I have a long history of shows behind me, I had not once had the pleasure and absolute honor to see them live. That being said, I had high hopes going into this show on October 16th. And, allow me to begin by saying the performances put on by Parkway Drive, We Came as Romans, Counterparts, and San Antonio’s own Covina exceeded my expectations.

Counterparts, coined the “really nice Canadians” by the drunk guy screaming behind me the majority of the time they played, blew me away. I had heard a few of their songs, but had never really gotten “into” them, but after this show, I went home and Googled them immediately. These guys know how to put on an amazing show, even in a short amount of time. When vocalist, Brendan “B” Murphy, guitarists, Adrian Lee and Blake Hardman, and bassist, Brian Kaczmarczyk walked offstage, I was left upset and wished they’d come on for one or two more songs when they completed their set.

However, my sadness didn’t last too long because after their set came the only band on the tour I had seen before: We Came as Romans. Now, if you haven’t seen WCAR perform, I pity you because these guys are nonstop energy and entertainment. There was not a second of their set in which they weren’t moving, jumping, or hyping up the crowd in some way. They played so many of the songs that I know and love, including “To Plant a Seed” and “Hope,” and I did not stop singing along until the lights went out and they walked offstage. Guitarist Joshua Moore, bassist Andy Glass, drummer Eric Choi, guitarist Lou Cotton, and vocalists David Stephens and Kyle Pavone know how to put on one hell of a show.

Now, the main event is what truly took my breath away. Parkway Drive, a metalcore band hailing from Australia, has a fan base like no other. The moment We Came as Romans’ gear was cleared off the stage, the whole room erupted in cheers and chants for the hallowed “PARKWAY DRIVE, PARKWAY DRIVE, PARKWAY DRIVE.” The band did not take long to satiate these cries, as they came out about twenty minutes later playing “Crushed,” and hyping the crowd up even more. As a fan of the band, it was hard for me to take photos and not sing along, and in the end, I was left screaming with the crowd as I shot my final pictures.   Vocalist, Winston McCall, guitarists, Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick, bassist, Jia O’Connor, and drummer, Ben Gordon know how to put on a show nobody will ever forget. Much to the fans’ delight, “especially the dudes in the pit,” as McCall put it, PWD played “Boneyards” and got the whole room shaking. I know for a fact my heart was pounding the whole time I watched the band perform. With their smoke cannons and intricate lighting, Parkway Drive owned the stage and owned the minds and hearts of everyone in the GA crowd, from the people in the pit to the mothers and their daughters, to your little, pig-tailed photographer shooting photos near the stage and in the balcony.

This was truly an unforgettable show for me.

-Rini Christina

For more photos, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/rinicphotography/ 

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Movie Review – “Kevin Hart: What Now” #HittingTheatersThisFriday

Kevin Hart, Ride Along Red Carpet Premiere, Sydney Australia

Image from wikimedia.org

I laughed so hard, I thought I was going to have a stroke!  True story – “Kevin Hart: What Now” is hilarious.  I really did feel as if I was going to bust blood vessels from laughing!

I purposely left a set in between me and the first group of people in my row (I would have given the seat up if someone needed it, but it never came to that) because I was worried that the people sitting next to me were going to get mad at me. “Reason why is” I can’t watch Kevin Hart and not crack-up and when I crack-up, it’s LOUD! However, there were two seats on the other side of me.  Two nice young women asked if they were open, so of course I said, “yes.” I struck up a conversation with them about how much I loved Kevin Hart.  Luckily, one of them (the one sitting closest to me) saw him live and was a big fan.  As soon as the movie began, I was so happy she sat next to me because Kevin did what he does best – – make us laugh!

Kevin was firing off one funny “true story” after another; each one funnier than the last and the two of us were screaming with laughter from the very first joke!  It was as if she was my “sista from another mista” because she laughed just as loud as I did, she held her stomach and moaned from the laughter pains, just like me!  She even sat up trying to get air, just like me!  The movie was so funny that so many times I laughed so hard that no sound came out, because I was losing oxygen (she did the same thing!) We weren’t just laughing, we were losing our minds and it was the best feeling ever!!  I can truthfully say, I never laughed so hard and so much at a movie, in my life and having a “laughing partner” felt so liberating!  Of course, the rest of the theater was laughing too, so there was no way they could get mad at me.  Honestly, you’d have to have been in a coma not to laugh.

“What Now” is somewhat of a documentary movie.  It is Kevin’s stand-up comedy routine, which he performed in front of a record-breaking, sold-out crowd of 50,000 at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 30, 2015. It was the first time in history that a comedian sold out a football stadium.  Kevin wants to make history again by breaking box-office records for this opening weekend by showing the film around the world.  If you follow @kevinhart4real, he’s asking everyone to help him make history this weekend. He’s using the hash tag – #ComedicRockStarShit for all posts related to “What Now.”

The movie can also fit into the action, drama, and comedy, movie genres.  It opens with a James Bond-like title sequence.  At first, you will think it’s an action comedy.  For the first ten minutes or so, it’s a comedic parody of a Bond movie, featuring Halle Berry as herself but as Kevin’s “Bond-girl.”  Kevin is agent 0054! This movie within the movie satirizes all of the cliché things that happen in spy movies.  For example, there’s a room labeled, something like “convenient changing room with clothes that fit Kevin Hart!”  There is even a bloody shootout scene, which is rather gross and actually made me and my “sista” cover our eyes.  Therefore, besides for the language, the bloody scene also makes this an adult only movie.

When the “mission” is accomplished, Halle and Kevin make it to the venue, where Kevin shoots up an elevator shaft onto the stage, and the concert begins.  It was so awesome  to see the aerial shots of the sold-out stadium!  Kevin teared-up when he took his final bows.  You can tell how grateful he is to have been able to go back to his hometown and sell out the stadium. It was as if that moment was when he realized he made it as a star!  It’s inspiring to see someone who has worked hard, realize his dream.  I also have a lot of respect for big stars who are not afraid to be humble.  My favorite part, which made me love Kevin even more, was just before he left the stage and thanked the crowd.  He told the audience to “look around,”  he said, “I see every race, ethnicity, and nationality possible.  I see some of everybody. We all came under the same roof and we laughed tonight.  If you can laugh together, you can live together; if you can live together, you can love together.  I live by those rules and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see that s**t here tonight. . . in my city I made history. . .and this has been the best night of my f**’n life. ..” You can actually find video of this moment posted by a fan on YouTube.  I didn’t post the link here because I try to keep my content PG-13.

When the Universal Pictures studio representative asked what I thought of the movie, I told him that I thought I was going to have a stroke and that I was so lucky the girl next to me laughed as loud as I did.  He replied, “everyone was laughing.”  They were; the room was roaring with laughter for the entire run of the film!  The stand-up routine is full of so many funny and animated stories about Kevin’s kids, his “lady,” his dad, and his friends, all prefaced with “true story.”  Kevin says he doesn’t lie, “unless the truth is not believable!” I don’t want to give away and jokes or punch lines, you have to see this movie for yourself.  Please remember it’s rated –R; it’s not for kids and if you get offended by foul language, then it’s not for you.  If you are a Kevin Hart fan, the answer to the question, “What Now?” is go buy your tickets!  “Kevin Hart: What Now” opens Friday! Don’t miss it! – BMT

P.S.  Don’t get up when the credits start rolling, there’s more movie! As always, please let me know what you think. – Beth

The Final World Tour Broke My Heart and Mended It All In One Night

ryannnnnnnYellowcard has held one of the most special places in my heart for the longest time. Though I was born in 1998, a year after their journey as a band began, I was reached by their music at a very young age. They had a way of making me feel less alone, and somehow made me smile in some of my worst moments. Even now, at 17, after many changes in my life,  they are still a constant reminder that “everything is gonna be alright.”

Often, when talking about the band, I mention that Ocean Avenue was the first CD I ever bought with my own money. This CD became the cornerstone for a collection that is now built by over 100 albums and is still growing. Yellowcard made me want to listen to music and become involved in it, whether I was crying and singing “One Year, Six Months” or smiling at the possibility of forever and belting out “Ocean Avenue,” they were an integral part of my growth in music.

The prospect of them not being a band is something I am still trying to wrap my head around. Though I know that they will all go on to do great things, it is hard to accept that one of the few constants in my life will no longer be constant. However, the Final World Tour brought me quite a bit of closure. For an hour and fifteen minutes or so, I was reminded of Yellowcard’s amazing past but also assured by Ryan Key, the voice behind the lyrics that have meant so much to fans throughout the years, that though this chapter of their lives is closing, there is more to come in the future.

Dryjacket and Like Torches were amazing support. The former opened the show with melodic tunes that left the room craving more music, and the latter, a Swedish band on their first U.S. tour, were so entertaining, I was sad to see them leave the stage. Both openers shared stories of growing up listening to Yellowcard, and I believe this definitely caused an immediate connection between them and the masses of fans in the crowd. People standing around me commented on how impressed they were with both acts, and how great they fit with the tour. I was equally impressed, and hope to hear more from both bands in the near future.

Though I could write lines and lines about how absolutely perfect the Yellowcard set was, I believe the only way you can truly understand it is to attend one of their last shows. As always, they left me speechless, both from their spectacular performance and also from the fact that I sang along with every song.  They are a band that will never be forgotten by anyone who has been touched by their music, and who are unrivaled in love and support from fans. I hope everyone gets a chance to see them on this tour and is able to receive the closure I received from seeing them perform live one last time. There is something so touching about watching a band that has meant so much to you for such a long time say their final goodbye.

If you want to purchase tickets to a date near you, please visit: http://yellowcardrock.com/

You will not regret it, I promise.

All I can say with certainty is, long live Yellowcard. They are legends in my eyes, and legends never truly die.

-Rini Christina

For more photos of this show and others, please visit: http://www.facebook.com/rinicphotography

 

Frampton: Alive 40 Years Later

I entered the Tobin Center excited to see Peter Frampton for the first time. I was just 10 years old when I was introduced to his music, and too young to go to a rock concert. Typically artists don’t allow photographs during the show, so we didn’t bring a camera. Obviously aware that fans will sneak photos anyway, Peter Frampton must believe “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” so he posted signs stating fans could take as many videos and photos as they wanted during the first three songs only.  Once inside the theater, people were holding signs and walking up and down the aisles stressing that photos could be taken during the first three songs.  After the three tunes, he requested we put away the recording devices and “live in the moment!” Bravo Peter! I find myself saying that to my daughter at least once a day – “enjoy the moment.”  Not too long ago, OK, I’ll say it, “in our day,” we had to wait several days to get our photos back from the Fotomat AND we were lucky if they

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Fotomat booth – photo from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:This_is_a_typical_drive-up_Fotomat_booth..jpg

turned out! That was IF we were allowed to bring cameras into the venue. Unless we were there with our friends, we had to tell our friends about it AFTER the concert, (usually the next day), we’d then follow-up a few days later to show the few blurry photos we managed to salvage from the roll [of film for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about.] While we were at the concert though, we screamed, danced, clapped, sang along and could care less about connecting with ANYONE other than the artist and the fans around us! But I digress. . .

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Photo taken at end of 3rd song.

As you can imagine, during the first three songs, the auditorium looked like a sea of smart phone screens! Peter later commented that he didn’t recognize us (because he couldn’t see anyone’s face, just the back of their phones!) Our seats were not close enough for our cell phone camera, so my apologies, but our pictures resemble 1970’s Fotomat prints!  Thanks to the generosity of the Tobin Center, we were able to obtain two very awesome close-ups that were taken by their photographer, John David Scarcliff.

Frampton was ready to rock the night away and he told us that he was going to play for us, “virtually all night.”  Normally, that would make my daughter and I extremely happy, but this being the night before her last final exam, we were thinking that she should have stayed home. OK, so I failed Parenting 101 by taking her to a concert during finals week, but in the end, it was worth loosing sleep and study time!  (In case you are wondering, she got an A on the final.)

He began with his classics and went into at least a half-hour set of acoustic solos from his new album released in February 2016 – “Peter Frampton – Acoustic Classics.”

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Released 2/26/16 (Photo and track list from Frampton.com)

Tracklist:
01. Fig Tree Bay
02. Wind Of Change
03. All I Want To Be ( Is By Your Side )
04. Show Me The Way
05. Lines On My Face
06. Sail Away
07. Baby, I Love Your Way
08. All Down To Me
09. Penny For Your Thoughts
10. Do You Feel Like I Do
11. I’m In You

Peter allowed the audience to connect with him by telling personal stories that were very touching.  For example, he told the story behind his song, “Hummingbird in a Box.” When he was a little boy, his grandfather gave him some type of puzzle box that once opened revealed a small hummingbird figurine.  He had several guitar changes and told us a story about one he stole from his good friend, George Harrison!  He marveled at how big George’s property was and how many “tuners” (guitars) he had and stated that it was OK because “a Beatle should have everything he needs!”  He told us about the guitar given to him by Buddy Holly’s wife – a replica of Holly’s guitar named “Peggy Sue,” which contains the fret from Buddy’s original guitar.  Maria Elena Holly gave the guitar to Peter for his participation in an artist collaboration of recording Holly’s hits for a children’s charity.  He told us that “Peggy Sue” was the very first song he ever sang in front of anyone. He sang it for a Cub Scout music proficiency badge!  He then performed a fantastic rendition of “Peggy Sue” for us!  We even got to learn about his pet peeves.  For instance, it was obvious that he was not a big fan of people screaming things at him while he was trying to tell a story!  A few times he turned up the volume, while tuning to drown out the audience noise!  He also doesn’t like when people arrive to the concert late!  He embarrassed a couple that came in around the fifth song.  He told them, “. . .there’s probably a good reason why you are late” then rubbed-in that they missed several good songs and that there was a photo rule!  So, if you have tickets to his next show, be sure to arrive on time!!

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Photo by John David Scarcliff

A die-hard performer, Frampton never took a break.  His band got several, but he kept on playing and telling stories until his last bow.  As expected, he and the band came back for an encore.  He sang, “I Want you to Love Me. . .till the hair grows on my head.” Obviously making fun of his balding hair-line.  But don’t be fooled, at 66 years old, even though he no longer has those long golden locks, Peter Frampton still ROCKS!! The grand finale, was a tear-jerking performance of the Beatles’ “While my Guitar Gently Weeps.” I’m not sure about anyone else, but it made me cry.

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Photo by John David Scarcliff

The best part of the night was meeting him and getting his autograph.  Peter had two separate and private meet and greets that night.  One, I was told, was sponsored by Budweiser and the other for people who purchased VIP tickets from the tour.  Sadly, we did not have passes for either one but waited outside with a handful of others hoping to meet him.  We were joined by two people who came out wearing tour passes. They told us that Peter’s tour manager was their close friend and that they often get backstage passes.  What was interesting was that even though they have been backstage numerous times, they have never, I repeat, NEVER, actually met Peter Frampton and/or obtained his autograph! So, it was an honor and privilege that Peter decided to come out, greet us, and sign one item. We respected his request for no photos and just thanked him for the great show and for allowing us to meet him.  He was very humble and gracious.The Manager’s friends also said that they never heard Peter tell so many personal stories!  I guess the intimacy of the Tobin Center makes artists feel comfortable with the audience.

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In case you are wondering why the ticket is signed upside down – I mentioned that we waited and were respectful, but there were a handful of rude people who came “out of the woodwork” and just pulled-up to where we were waiting.  These type of people are why artists usually don’t bother greeting fans and ruin it for everyone else!  I use a cane and was standing on the side; I could not jump down to where the rest of the people were standing, I was technically at the beginning of the line, but Peter started from the other end.  These two guys who just pulled-up, cut in front of me.  When I pointed that out to them, they said, “well come down here.” Hello?! Didn’t they see the cane?! Someone else told them that we’d been waiting there a long time, so they grabbed my ticket and handed it to Peter, upside down, (after he signed their items) and told him it was mine. Peter handed it back to me and gave me a beautiful smile.  I was upset when I realized it was upside down, but being able to thank him for a great show and getting a huge smile makes it priceless.

Frampton is still touring, currently with Cheap Trick.  I highly recommend you make it to one of his shows. Check out his tour dates here – http://www.frampton.com/live/

– BMT

Operator, Put me on Through, Garth Brooks is Coming to San Antonio!

Image from AT&T Center Advertisement

Callin’ Baton Rouge (and San Antonio!)

Garth & Trisha Yearwood are coming!

Two nights – July 22 & 23 at 7:00 p.m. – AT&T Center.

Ain’t goin down till the sun comes up!  Tickets will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Central Time on Friday, June 3, 2016 at:

www.ticketmaster.com or ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks

or Ticketmaster Express 1-866-448-7849 or 1-800-745-3000*

*No sales at the venue box office or Ticketmaster outlets

Tickets will sell out fast!  Limit 8 tickets per person.

All seats will sell for the same price!

$61.64 plus $5.09 taxes plus $2.00 facility fee plus $6.25 service charge = $74.98.

“Life isn’t tried, it is merely survived when you’re standing outside the fire!”

Special Note: Select seats protected with paperless delivery. www.ticketmaster.com/creditcardentry

Garth, we’re “Shameless” and “Wrapped Up in You!”

#GARTHTOSA – Thank God for our answered prayers, San Antonio!

Brought to you by the American Honky Tonk Bar Association!

– Just kidding.  Show is sponsored by Ghost Tunes.

 

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo at San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo

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Hey “Heartbreaker” “Love is a Battlefield.”  You “Whisper Promises in the Dark,” you’re like “Fire and Ice” “Whatcha Tryin to do to my Heart? You Better Run.” “We Belong” at the rodeo. Come on Pat Benatar “Treat Me Right,” “Hit me with Your Best Shot.” We will be “Invincible!”
Can you tell I’m “All Fired Up” with “Anxiety” to see another musical legend and my teen idol, Pat Benatar?! I’ve been waiting for “Precious Time” and tonight I will cross off another item on my bucket list! Not even “A Little too Late.” Thanks to my daughter for her awesome and thoughtful Christmas present:)

pat benatar and neil giraldo