My Time at Sonic Temple 2019

In May of 2019 myself along with one of my best friends got the opportunity to go to the Sonic Temple Festival that is held at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus Ohio and is hosted by Danny Wimmer Presents. This was the first year for the festival after replacing what was Rock On The Range. This was not my first festival experience, but it was my first weekend long festival I had gone to and the first festival period for my friend. We were excited, nervous, restless, and intimidated up until stepping foot on the grounds. There was a plethora of different artists to see, art to look at, and food to eat.

Lineup Poster for Sonic Temple 2021

              When we got into the festival on that first day, we walked around the grounds for a little while to get familiar with everything. After walking around for a bit, it all felt familiar to me; reminded me of a larger scale Warped Tour. We ended up getting to watch nine artists that day and to highlight a few of them, my favorites from Friday were, Wage War, Badflower, Avatar was the biggest shocker of the weekend with their theatrical performance that terrified us in the best way possible, Beartooth played their best songs to a huge hometown crowd, and Ghost stole the show on Friday with their tightness as a band as well as Cardinal Copia making the entire stadium laugh with ease.

Saturday was also packed, we managed to watch ten bands throughout our day and some of my favorites from Saturday were, Boston Manor who is now one of my favorite bands because of their performance, Don Broco, Fever 333 was definitely the most energetic performance of the weekend because Jason Butler is an absolute maniac when he has a microphone, In This Moment, Lamb Of God were the circle pit kings of the weekend, Papa Roach, and I think Killswitch Engage were the best that day with their classic sounds of the new American metal scene from the early 2000’s.

Sunday took a rough turn, but it worked out great in the end. We only ended up watching six bands on Sunday because of weather delays and cancellations of some performances. On the good side of Sunday, the bands we saw were all great. We saw Dirty Honey who blew us away with these amazing classic rock vibes, Palaye Royale threw everything and the kitchen sink at us with their high energy alt rock sound, YUNGBLUD gave everyone a different experience with his pop rock and alternative style all while running around the stage, The Struts gave us all the glam rock we could have wanted and then some with their amazing performance, and the last band we saw that weekend we got to watch from less than 50 yards from the stage, and I can say with confidence that Foo Fighters was the best band I have ever seen. They made it their goal to make sure that we got to see them play no matter what. Getting to see Dave Grohl in person near to me was an experience I never thought I would have. They gave it their all for just over two hours and sent every last person that was there home unbelievably happy.

Overall this weekend was my three days of paradise and I cannot wait to go back the next time that it happens. Genuinely some of the most fun I have had at a festival, it was an exhausting weekend all together but I would give anything to back there right now watching some of the best bands in the world. As nervous as I was going into it, I quickly forgot about that and felt safe, happy, loved, and accepted which, I could not ask for more from a festival.

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Sunday Spotlight: Bearings

Ladies and gentlemen, under the spotlight this week is Canadian pop punk/rock band Bearings. Formed in 2014, these boys from Ontario have further given the great white North a reputation for bringing some great rock music to the world. Their EP’s began gaining traction and popularity in the scene of Ottawa. They debuted in the later half of 2017 on Pure Noise Records and were booked almost immediately to go on tour with the likes of, Less Than Jake, Four Year Strong, and State Champs. At the perfect time they released their first LP, “Blue In The Dark” in 2018 which consists of nothing but hooks and beautiful choruses. The boys and their fans are currently looking forward to the next LP release entitled, “Hello, It’s You” which is set to bless our ears on November 20th of this year.

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Bearings

              I have had the pleasure of seeing Bearings and was able to chat with some of the guys at the merch table, all very down to Earth and were genuinely interested in talking to myself and all others that stood there to talk with them. They were the second opening band on the Nella Vita tour in 2019 that consisted of Rich People, Bearings, Belmont, and headlined by Grayscale. Before the show I knew maybe two of the songs on Bearings setlist. During their performance I could just tell that these guys are tight, they have a great chemistry and truly enjoy the music they are playing. Their songs translate very well from recording to live. Vocalist Doug Cousins has a wonderful energy and persona on stage with an infectious smile. You cannot help but like these guys after seeing them. Soon after that show I was listening to Bearings daily and have learned almost every song they have released by heart.

              Their new album comes out this month and I could not be more excited, it’s one of my most anticipated releases for the year. The direction they are headed musically is exactly where I was hoping they were going to head. The hooks and choruses are very pop sounding, but they stay true to their roots with chord progressions and general tone of the songs. These creatives have a ton of potential and are headed to great places, I’m convinced. Their music is for everyone, everyone just needs to give them a few minutes of listening to see that. This band could open for Blink-182, The 1975, All Time Low, and 5 Seconds Of Summer and I believe the crowds at each show could go home satisfied with the opener.

Must Listen To Track: Sway

EP Review of Post Human: Survival Horror By: Bring Me The Horizon

Surprise! The only word that comes to mind when I think about the hottest thing from Sheffield’s new EP. Bring Me The Horizon really decided to lay everything out on the table this go around for their listeners. Oli really honed in his writing skills and creativity when conjuring up some of the tracks on this masterpiece. I can hear every single album that they have released up until this point in their career and I do not think anyone is mad about that at all. This nine track album is 32 minutes of pure sticking it to those who say “pick a genre”, which is exactly what they were going for.

Bring Me The Horizon - POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR | Album Review
Album artwork of Post Human: Survival Horror

         Right off the bat with track “Dear Diary,” we hear guitar parts that you would not be shocked to have heard on their first two albums, “Count Your Blessings” and “Suicide Season”. Lee Malia also comes out of left field with a solo that is reminiscent of earlier Pantera. Four out of the nine songs on the EP are featuring different artists, all of which I was blown away with. Obey is featured with YUNGBLUD who grabs takes the microphone it makes it his, the power and tone of his voice made him the perfect choice for a feature on this upbeat, chorus driven, and radio-friendly track. The next highlight is Kingslayer which features the kawaii-metal founders BABYMETAL; Oli brings back the  “Suicide Season” vocals that a lot of people thought was either behind the band or Oli could not do anymore which obviously is not true. BABYMETAL brings something seriously special to this track that makes it unlike anything I have ever heard before and I can’t get enough of it. Next up on the things that really impressed me is the song 1×1 which features Nova Twins, the rock duo consisting of vocalist/guitarist Amy Love and bassist Georgia South. 1×1 has a chorus that has been stuck in my head since the EP dropped, probably the song that I think would get the most air time if it had been released as a single but, I am happy it wasn’t a single. It’s the gems like that one that really make albums special and worth listening through over and over again. The last truly special song is the simply titled, One Day The Only Butterflies Left Will Be In Your Chest As You March Towards Your Death; the track that features Amy Lee of Evanescence, who just so happens to love BMTH. This piano driven and methodical ballad is perfect for those who love beautiful clean vocals. The entire song builds and builds until the very end and it sure does end perfectly.

         Bring Me The Horizon told us in this EP that they do what they want and are not going to be changing that any time soon. These are all songs that can and will translate beautifully if they decide to pop them into the set on any given night. Currently this EP which has the length to almost be considered an entire album, is the front runner for album of the year from me and I will be pleasantly surprised if something beats it. Massive congratulations to the Bring Me The Horizon gentlemen for yet another amazing release, we all cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

         RATING: 9.5/10

Must Listen Track: Kingslayer (feat. BABYMETAL)

Sunday Spotlight: Beach Bunny

Welcome to the first edition of the Sunday Spotlight! This is going to be a weekly article we are going to put out. Each week we are going to be writing about different artists that we enjoy or were submitted to us by readers that deserve a spotlight. This week the artist we are putting in the spotlight is Beach Bunny. Beach Bunny is an indie rock/ pop rock band hailing from Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 2015 by frontwoman Lili Trifilio as a basement creative project when she recorded the first song she had ever wrote titled, “6 Weeks”. Since the release of that song, Beach Bunny has released four EP’s and one full length released this year titled, “Honeymoon”. This band has blown up immensely in popularity over the past year because they’re biggest song, “Prom Queen” gain much popularity after being used in thousands of videos on the app Tik Tok.

Beach Bunny

            I found out about Beach Bunny after seeing them on the first wave of the lineup for Riot Fest 2021 in Chicago. I had not made an effort to listen to them at that point but, scrolling through Instagram and a Tik Tok with the aforementioned “Prom Queen” used as audio for the video came up. Just the first three seconds of the song had me intrigued and desiring to find out more about their sound and style. I began going through their discography because I was hooked, one song after the next; I just fell in love with all of their tracks. Their songs are not flashy or mind-blowing instrumentally, which I think is really helpful with the music they are putting out. Lili is an unbelievable songwriter, and her voice on recording and from what live videos I have seen is fantastic. The three song acoustic set that Lili and lead guitarist, Matt Henkels did for Paste magazine was beautiful, Lili’s vocals sounded no different from the recorded versions that had been released. Honeymoon has been one of my favorite albums of 2020 so far and will for sure have a spot on my albums of the year list.

            This band has all of the potential in the world, once venues start opening back up and artists start touring again, we can all expect to see Beach Bunny making their way across the states and overseas. We cannot really ask much for new releases seeing as they just released a full length record but, I am excited to see what comes next musically for them. One of the more unique and impressive bands I have discovered recently and am pushing hard for these creatives to gain all the attention and listeners they can get because, they truly deserve it.

Track to check out: Cloud 9 off of Honeymoon.

DWP Announces Lineup for Aftershock Festival 2021 in Sacramento, CA

On Thursday, October 22nd rock and metal festival titan Danny Wimmer Presents announced the full lineup (aside from a mystery reunion band) for Aftershock 2021. This may seem as a blessing to some but a bad omen to some of the DWP spring festival goers. Of course there is always a chance for those spring festivals to happen but, they are not going to put out those lineups until they are certain the show will be going on. When DWP dropped this lineup bomb onto all the fans, they were hoping for a great reaction and from what it seems to me, most people are very excited about this stacked lineup, especially with that exciting new Thursday night lineup.

Danny Wimmer Presents Aftershock 2021

This lineup is quite diverse, which is good for the rock listeners of today that have been going to these festivals for years now. Artists like Machine Gun Kelly is bringing a pop-punk/rap style to the lineup, bands like Rancid and Pennywise are bringing skater and surf punk, Hatebreed and Killswitch Engage are bringing that new American metal, and Knocked Loose is bringing hardcore to the bill.

              As the weekend lineup has many diverse acts, we would hope to see the daily lineups also be just as diverse. As previously mentioned by DWP Metallica will be performing Friday and Sunday night. My Chemical Romance is headlining on Saturday night, and Limp Bizkit on that new Thursday date. Each day has a wide variety of artists that can capture the attention of festival goers that may not have given the time of day to listen to artists like them. Limp Bizkit from what video I have seen look like they still put on a great show today, their songs have this infectious groove that translates well live and makes people want to move, I think their headlining performance will be good. Metallica is getting up there in age, they have been around the block more than a couple times so, I do not believe they will be putting on the greatest shows that they have. It will of course be fun, nostalgic, and impressive because come on it’s freaking Metallica. My Chemical Romance put on an amazing show at their reunion in December at the Shrine Expo Hall, I cannot expect them to put on anything less than that with a huge festival headlining slot.

          There are some artists on the lower card that have some serious potential to steal the show each day, as well as artists that I have seen that put on great performances that people ought to check out, if given the opportunity. Some acts that I believe may steal a day or the whole weekend are, Parkway Drive, Knocked Loose, Creeper, Black Veil Brides, Killswitch Engage, Machine Gun Kelly, and Avatar. Overall I think this festival has potential to be one of the better festivals that we will see next year, the diversity, amount of acts, grounds, and just the general excitement that hopefully live music will be back can draw tens of thousands of people to the grounds for that long weekend.

Review of ANTI-ICON By: Ghostemane

With his eighth studio album in the past six years Eric Whitney (Ghostemane) further adds to the weird, mysterious, and intriguing character and personality that draws in over 3 million monthly Spotify listeners. This record is 36 minutes of genre-fluid passion, which is exactly what he was going for. In the ninth track Whitney says himself that he is, “a genre hopper”. Several tracks off of this album would fit perfectly in a playlist with artists such as, Pouya, and $uicide Boy$, while other tracks on this album you might hear coupled with songs from Marilyn Manson, and Korn. As an artist who has acted as his own label for basically all his career, he knows how to promote himself and gain support from listeners. He proves that with every release he puts out and this was definitely no exception.

Album cover of ANTI-ICON

          On the tracks Vagabond, and Fed Up, Whitney shows us his flow and how well he can play into the rhythm of the songs. The beats on tracks similar to this always put a smile on the faces of those who enjoy that continuous slap in the face that does not let up until the song is over. His signature mixture between very low, lows and screams and screeches is very present in songs like Lazaretto, as well as the hardcore style instruments that finish out songs like AI. This is an album that cannot be confused for anyone else, this is Ghostemane. The filler tracks that are short of two minutes with little to no vocal work are beautiful to the ear and just further give you into the creative genius that is Eric Whitney.

          I believe this is his best work yet and it could not come at a better time. Music is keeping a lot of people sane and happy in a time where the world feels like it is falling apart by the second. This album has been getting huge amounts of hype almost the whole year and we are finally being rewarded for our patience with a masterpiece. Music such as this are a look into the future of rap and metal. Artists, take note of the creativity and determination. You do not need to be signed to a major label to be “big” Ghostemane is the prime example of why artists should not lose hope when things are not going good. We are only six years into the career of Ghostemane and if this is any indication of how it will continue to be, then start telling your friends now. Eric Whitney is making his way into the spotlight of popular music and Anti-Icon is going to do nothing other than boost him towards that spotlight.

RATING: 9/10

Authored by: Spencer Davis

Welcome to Live From The Pit!

The purpose of this blog is to bring topics of discussion, news, and analyzations of artists within the rock, metal, hardcore, alternative and punk scene. This can be read through things such as, album/song reviews, artist spotlights, deep dives into venues we have been to, and discussing lineups for different festivals and tours. New music within these different genres typically comes out weekly, so when new songs or albums that come out and pique our interest there will be reviews coming out. Along with new music, there will also be reviews and discussion on music that has already been released! We are always looking for suggestions of music in these genres to listen to or you would like to have reviewed. We also will be telling stories from personal experience with things like, going to concerts, festivals, meeting artists, etc. We are very excited to begin this journey and share the music that we love with all those who will read! Keep on rocking \m/.