May 21, 2015 Alien Ant Farm & (Hed) p.e. light up Revolution Music Hall Amityville, NY 4-23-15
Taking a step away from invading the many miscellaneous vehicles and homes of musical artists on the road and what they like to cook in their 65 MPH downtime, Digital Tour Bus sponsored a cross-country tour featuring Alternative rockers Alien Ant Farm and Punk Rock Soul searchers (Hed) p.e. Taking their name from guitarist Terry Corso’s idea that Earth has actually been seeded with otherworldly beings, Alien Ant Farm has been performing for over twenty years with original members Corso, vocalist Dryden Mitchell, and drummer Mike Cosgrove, while bassist Tim Peugh just joined the band last year. Their most recent album, Always and Forever released February 24, 2015 through Executive Music/The End Records, also is the multi-platinum selling band’s first studio offering since 2006’s Up In the Attic, and the source of much excitement throughout their huge following.
Also from California, G-Funk rappers (Hed) p.e. are sharing the stage with the Ant Farmers. After wrapping up a tour with Powerman 5000, these Jack of All Musical Trades hopped onto the Digital Tour Bus for this cross-country, twenty-six city US tour. Vocalist Paulo Sergio “Jared” Gomes, drummer Jeremiah “Trauma” Stratton, guitarist Greg “Gregzilla” Harrison and bassist Kurt Blankenship make up (Hed) p.e., a fifty percent line-up change after guitarist Jackson “Jaxon” Benge and bassist Mark “Mawk” Young both left the band this year. As the Digital Tour Bus tour wound down, Alien Ant Farm and (Hed) p.e. stopped for their penultimate show at Amityville, New York’s Revolution Bar & Grill on Thursday April 23rd, where they were joined by What They Died For, Lubricoma, For The Kill, and First Degree for a night of adrenaline-fueled, head-thrashing, kickass Punk-n-Rock.
Opening the night was What They Died For, a local Christian Rock/Rap/Metal band from Long Island, New York. This five-piece is made up of Steve Orfanos on vocals, Chris Orfanos and Andrew Sbarra on guitar, Nigel Cobham on drums, as well as Brad Franklin on bass. Performing for a small, early night crowd, What They Died For had a good energy, although some members were more energetic than others. As Cobham performed backup vocals from the kit, the band warmed up the crowd on the semi-darkened stage.
Next up was Lubricoma, comprised of the brolic Charlie Adrianus Parks on vocals and guitar, John Rivera also on guitar, Nick Formont on bass, and Lou Panariello on drums. Although this Alt Rock band is relatively new on the scene, with their debut EP Watchers Through Storms released in 2014, Lubricoma played a passionate set that included a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.”
Revolution kicked up into high gear when rockers For The Kill took the stage. The band held a maturity and an air of experience that shined strongly. With humorous, relaxed pauses in between high-energy, blood-pumping Metal, For The Kill wasted no time getting the crowd whipped up in preparation for the night’s headliners.
Continuing on with the Metal magnetism, First Decree bounded up onto the stage with high voltage, radioactive abandon, bringing even more people down to the floor. Also formed in 2011 by brothers Zach Lee (drums) and Dane Demar (lead guitar), Maurice (vocals), and Falco (bass), First Decree played a short but conductive set that evening in April. Maurice opened and closed the set with open conversation with the crowd while head-banging his way through each song. Their high energy and charismatic performance made them a band to watch for in the future.
The time finally came for (Hed) p.e.’s arrival. Energizing the room, as soon as they stepped onto the stage, the floor of the venue filled immediately, leaving no room for breathing, never mind dancing. A mosh pit forced its way through the crowd as the lights turned dark and red. The frenzy evoked by this band was palpable, from the barricades to the furthest walls of the bar and grill. As the Punk Rock sounds of “No Turning Back,” “Bloodfire,” and “One More Body” sent visible vibrations through fans, drummer Trauma posed for the camera from behind the kit. Vocalist Gomes pined for the irresponsible days of sleeping on sheetless mattresses in friends’ guest rooms to now being a provider and conscientious home owner, all in between “Bartender,” “First,” “Let’s Ride” and “Renegade.” He also protested teens smoking weed, implying that all pot should be given straight to him, getting a huge laugh and response from the crowd. The band finished up with the Bob Marley & The Wailers cover “No Woman, No Cry” and their final song, “Peer Pressure,” climaxed the night’s energy and fed it straight into the people on the floor. (Hed) p.e. are now in the midst of wrapping up the Born to Ride 2 Tour with Soil as they continue to support 2014’s Evolution, so get out there and join the party.
After an intermission, fans replenished themselves for the grand finale of Alien Ant Farm. Marking the second show at Revolution Bar & Music Hall in less than five months, it is safe to say their fans welcomed the return. Starting out with the brand new “Yellow Pages” from Always & Forever, the band rocked into the late hours of the night showing no signs of fatigue.
Continuing on with “Forgive & Forget,” fan-favorite “Movies,” “Let ‘Em Know,” and “Courage,” Alien Ant Farm poured gasoline on the fire started by Hed PE and the other opening bands at Revolution, proving they are still one of the most entertaining live Rock bands around. After a set that including “What I Feel Is Mine,” “These Days,” “Homage,” “S.S. Recognize,” “Attitude,” and “Sticks and Stones,” Alien Ant Farm closed out the night with their popular Michael Jackson cover of “Smooth Criminal,” leaving fans breathless with singing, dancing, and head-banging.
After beginning on March 26 in Poughkeepsie, New York, the Digital Tour Bus finished up their twenty-six date show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 24 at Legendary Dobbs after canceling the Lancaster, Pennsylvania show at the last minute. For the month of May, Alien Ant Farm joined up with two other former Kerrang! poster bands Hoobastank and P.O.D. for a UK tour which started on the 7th in London at KoKo and wrapped up on the 17th in Southampton at the Engine Rooms. (Hed) p.e. will be playing shows across the country throughout the rest of the Summer, alone and also with artists Kottonmouth Kings. More shows are being added all the time, so check local listings and grab a ticket for either of these house-dropping West Coast bands.