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Nationals – April 2017

By: Eric Hoffman

   Greetings Rockers N Rollers! The 21st Millennium Music Conference was greatly successful once again for its annual event bringing over 300 acts to the mid-state. Notable bands included the return of The April Skies at O’Reilly’s Pub and Jack Pyers at Pete’s in New Cumberland. It was great to catch up with Jack Pyersafter his set and reminisce stories from his days with heavy metal band Dirty Looks while being signed to Atlantic Records. Pyers, brings his solo work again to Camp Hill’s Cornerstone Coffeehouse on April 2nd. The keynote address given by Live’s Chad Taylor was a huge highlight of the Conference. Live, the band who originated in York, PA has sold over 20 million records including the 8x platinum album Throwing Copper. An incredibly informative speech in which Taylor spoke of his ambitious goals as a teenager, to the rise of a successful artist and how he continues his career today. Congratulations and thank you to MMCfounder John Harris Jr. on his achievements and contributions to Central PA.

    Noise pop band Crocodiles visited Baltimore’s Metro Gallery on March 5th. The band formed in 2008 in San Diego and their sound has typically been likened to The Jesus and Mary Chain. Core members Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell blared through a great set of their distortion songs from the band’s six album catalog. Crocodiles just finished at 20-date US/Mexico tour that finished atSXSW in Austin, Texas. Rowell is truly one of the best guitarist I’ve ever witnessed, with a style and passion unprecedented. 

    Lastly, two local bands who are currently making an impressive impact on the current scene include: Timmy and The Creeping Thyme and The Twindows.Both bands have only been around a couple years and both recently played free shows at Blue Moose in Linglestown. Timmy and The Creeping Thyme current band line-up includes founder Tim Lengel , with Tony Garber (The 91s) on bass and Brian Cartwright (Lebowskis) on drums. The Twindows released a really impressive ‘Super Demo’ cd in February and performed to 7 cities in 7 days last month, spreading from Buffalo, NY to Trenton, NJ. 


Chuck Berry, rock ‘n’ roll’s founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined music in such classics as “Johnny B. Goode,” ”Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” died March 18 at his home west of St. Louis. He was 90. Emergency responders summoned to Berry’s residence by his caretaker, found him unresponsive. Attempts to revive Berryfailed. Chuck Berry was the first artist in the inaugural 1986 class to go into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards said Berry was the one who started it all and acknowledged he had “lifted every lick” from his hero. In 1996, Berrybegan performing monthly at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room in St. Louis, where his final concert took place in October 2014. On his 90th birthday last year, Berry disclosed that he would release his first new album in 38 years in 2017, titled simply: “Chuck.” The announcement said it would be comprised primarily of new, original songs written, recorded and produced by him. No release date has been set. Chuck Berry once said, “Everything I wrote about wasn’t about me, but about the people listening.” 

   The Who have announced the “first six” performances as part of their Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace. The dates run between July 29 and Aug. 11. The English rock band also booked a short run of headline dates in July, with three nights on the East Coast and one in the Midwest. Performances include: July 18 – Oxon Hill, Md., MGM National Harborand July 22 – Atlantic City, N.J., Boardwalk Hall. The Who promise to span the rockers’ expansive catalog, from the days when the band called itself The High Numbers to hits off Who’s Next, Tommy, Quadrophenia, My Generation and Live At Leeds.

Finnish metal band, HIM, is embarking on one final farewell tour before the musicians go their separate ways. “After quarter of a century of Love and Metal intertwined we sincerely feel HIM has run its unnatural course and adieus must be said in order to make way for sights, scents and sounds yet unexplored. We completed the pattern, solved the puzzle and turned the key. Thank you,”  frontman Ville Valo said in a statement. The band released eight studio albums, starting with its 1997 debut, Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666. Its final album is 2013’s Tears On Tape. Tour dates in the U.S. are yet to be announced. 

   Daryl Hall & John Oates are headlining and curating Philadelphia’s inaugural HoagieNation Festival, described as a “celebration of everything Philly.” Taking place May 27 at the City of Brotherly Love’s Festival Pier. Hall & Oates will be joined by Tears For Fears, G. Love & Special Sauce, Vivian Green, Marah, Son Little, Allen Stone, Kandace Springs and more. The event promise to feature numerous local food favorites and craft beer and spirits, as well as “Philly personalities and other surprises.” Hall & Oates have teamed up with Tears For Fears for a North American co-bill tour that will run for almost two months.  

   After nearly 50 years as one of the most influential musical acts, Black Sabbath put the proverbial tombstone on its grave this past month with a post on social media sites officially signaling the band is dead. It simply showed the band’s logo and the dates 1968-2017. The band had a mammoth farewell tour to say goodbye throughout 2016 and early 2017, which was titled, “The End.” That tour wrapped up with a pair of shows in the band’s native town of Birmingham, England, the last night being Feb. 4. The final lineup for Black Sabbath was Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Ozzy Osbourne. Tommy Clufetos joined the band as the touring drummer on the road. Original drummer Bill Wardwas in poor health and did not take part. 

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch is back on the market with an asking price of $67 million. The 2,700-acre property near Santa Barbara, California, has been renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch. The listed price represents a significant cut from the $100 million it was on the market for last year. In addition to a 12,000 square foot main residence and a 3,700 square foot pool house, the listing boasts a separate building with a 50-seat movie theater and a dance studio. Other features on the ranch are a “Disney-style” train station, a fire house and a barn.

   Back in October Depeche Mode unveiled its 2017 European routing and have now announced 28 North American dates. The tour goes along with the band’s 14th studio album, Spiritwhich released March 17 via Columbia Records. Their itinerary includes: Sept. 7 – Washington, D.C., Verizon Center and Sept. 9 & 11 – New York, N.Y., Madison Square Garden Arena. 

Punk mainstays Rancid and Dropkick Murphys are joining forces for a co-headline trek across North America, titled the “From Boston To Berkeley” tour. The Bouncing Souls are coming along as support. Rancid has a new album arriving in 2017, the band’s ninth full length effort. “This is a dream come true for Dropkick Murphys,” DKM’s Ken Casey said. “Rancid gave us our break – Tim (Armstrong) signing us to his label, Lars (Frederiksen) producing our early albums … so much history and great memories. Now, literally sharing the stage together every night. This tour is going to destroy all others this summer.” The routing includes: Aug. 3 – Philadelphia, Pa., Festival Pier and Aug. 4 – Asbury Park, N.J., Stone Pony Summer Stage.

For what could be the metal tour of the year. The thrash kings of Slayer are hitting the road with Lamb Of God and Behemoth for six weeks of mobile mayhem. “The potential for greatness at these events is mind blowing,” Kerry King of Slayer said. “I look forward to being a part of it, and hanging with old friends – bands as well as fanatical fans!” Tour stops include: July 23 – Philadelphia, Pa., Electric Factory and July 28 – Baltimore, Md., Pier Six Pavilion.

Gregg Allman has called off all of his 2017 scheduled tour dates. A reason for the cancellation wasn’t given. Allman was supposed to play 10 shows at City Winery NYC in July – a residency that had already been rescheduled from November because of a vocal injury. At the time Allman released a statement saying, “This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long, long time. I’ve been on the road 45 years because I live to play music with my friends for my fans. As much as I hate it, it’s time for me to take some real time off to heal.” The acclaimed singer/songwriter had previously nixed several weeks of shows in 2016 to undergo surgery. 


Bo Deadlys / Jellybricks Harrisburg River City Blues Club Apr 1. Jack Pyers (Dirty Looks) Camp Hill Cornerstone Coffeehouse Apr 2. The Virus Baltimore Sidebar Apr 6. Saigon Kick NYC Webster Hall Apr 6. The April Skies Hershey Vineyard Apr 7. Def Leppard / Poison Baltimore Royal Farms Arena Apr 14. Sean Wheeler (Throw Rag)Baltimore Soundstage Apr 20. Dave Hause Lancaster Chameleon Apr 21. PJ HarveyPhiladelphia Fillmore Apr 21. Rhinobucket Hancock, MD Apr 26. RhinobucketBaltimore, MD Apr 27. Ratt Philadelphia TLA Apr 27. Ratt Stroudsburg Sherman Theatre Apr 28. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Millersville University Apr 29.

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