March 10, 2014 Sick Puppies, Lacuna Coil, Eyes Set To Kill, & Cilver bring The Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock to NYC 2-24-14
The hard rock and metal scene has been given a shot to the arm in recent years with a list of dominating and impressive female fronted bands. The revolution has not gone unnoticed, and Revolver Magazine pays tribute with ‘The Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock Tour’. Featuring a diverse mix of bands including Sick Puppies, Lacuna Coil, Eyes Set To Kill, and Cilver, the tour kicked off in Wilmington, NC and will conclude a month later on March 20th at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA. On Monday February 24th, the buses arrived at Irving Plaza to show New York City women can rock just as hard.
Kicking off the festivities was New York battle of the band winner Charetta. Having been on the New York scene since 2007, the band consists of Angelina DelCarmen (vocals), Pablo LaFrossia (guitars), Chris Fullam (guitar), Richard Mollo (bass), and Adonis Sanchez (drums). In that time their hard rock edge and dynamic style has made them one of NYC’s hottest rock bands.
Taking the stage with poise and confidence, DelCarmen and her band rocked hard at a venue they have grown accustom to over the years, having played in front of a sold out room here in 2011. The guitar work sounded crisp and heavy while DelCarmen sang each song with a dark and moody vibe that grabbed attention of the audience. Leaning over the stage toward the crowd more than a few times showing stage presence, Charetta started the show off with a bang.
Next up to take the stage were another New York native band by the name of Cilver. Having come together in 2012, the band is lead by the emotion driven vocals of Uliana. Their new single “In My Head” features guest guitarist Bubblefoot of Guns N’ Roses and has been getting some airplay on SiriusXM channel Octane, adding to a buzz around the band’s opening slot on this tour.
Exploding on stage like a ball of energy, Cilver rattled off a set of songs from their debut EP released four days earlier. The New York crowd responded warmly to the music as Uliana showcased her powerful voice while providing an equally dramatic performance on stage. Tight and rhythmic, Cilver amped the crowd up with a diverse style bound to catch on in each city they perform thereafter on the tour.
With two bands completed, it was time for Tempe, AZ adrenaline driven Eyes Set To Kill. Having been an established act over a decade now, the band has shed their metalcore skin of late and progressed into something vastly different and equally as intriguing. Lead by two sisters, Alexia (guitars/vocals) and Anissa Rodriguez (bass), Eyes Set To Kill made their biggest statement yet with their 2013 album Masks. Now in 2014, the tour fans eagerly awaited for in support of Masks is here.
Opening with the dominating “Killing in Your Name”, Caleb’s drumming blasted off into Alexia’s thrashing guitar work that caught attention. A laid-back mild-mannered individual naturally, Alexia saves her voice for every shred of emotion she exhausts while singing. Full of pitch changes and aggression, each song sounded powerful and unique. Anissa matched her sister’s energy with hair flying in front of her face and showing off her bass playing skills. Songs like “Surface”, “Where I Want To Be”, and “Haze” had thrilled fans bouncing along. Having not played NYC in sometime, this was the first live experience of Eyes Set To Kill for many, and unquestionably the band left a positive impression. Alexia took the time to personalize with the audience introducing “Little Liar” as a song inspired by being manipulated and mislead by someone. With that Alexia began the song, reached for the sky, and belting out a furious display of vocal emotion. The set closed dramatically with the band’s current single “Infected”. The song sounded equally as forceful and effective live as it does on the album. Eyes Set To Kill are clearly a band with a dedicated fan base, and their refusal to compromise their musical vision will bring them to extraordinary heights as they continue.
With the show at its midway point, the audience had already been given a few variations of rock-n-roll. Now it was time for a more gothic inspired band in Lacuna Coil from Milan, Italy. Considered one of the pioneers of the European gothic metal scene, Lacuna Coil has morphed and blossomed over the years into one of the most enchanting bands to cross over into more mainstream hard rock. Led by the dynamic duet of Cristina Scabbia (vocals) and Andrea Ferro (vocals), Marco Coti Zelati (bass/keyboards), and Marco “Maus” Biazzi (guitar) round out the line-up for the better part of fifteen years. Upon the retirement of long-time members Cristiano “Pizza” Migliore (guitar) and Cristiano ‘CriZ’ Mozzati (drums), Lacuna Coil bid farewell to their friends as they continue along their journey; ready to release their seventh studio album, Broken Crown Halo, March 31st.
With the audience moving up against the barricades ready to rock with Lacuna Coil, the set began with three consecutive hard-hitting songs off Dark Adrenaline (2012); “Trip the Darkness”, “Kill the Light”, and “Intoxicated”. Immersed in the moment, Scabbia and Ferro both sang at elevated heights with emotion in their voice and on their face. Fans were treated to a mixed bag of the band’s most commercially successful albums with songs like “Fragments of Faith”, “Die & Rise”, and “I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow”. The crowd moved back and forth, bopping about the floor while singing along to their favorite tunes, ratcheting up the already exciting evening.
Keeping the energy flowing, the band offered their dedicated audience “Spellbound”, “Upsidedown”, and new track “Nothing Stands in Our Way”. The set closed out with the mystical head-banging track “Our Truth”. Having performed as a unit for many years, the chemistry between Lacuna Coil still reigns supreme in 2014, even with key members departing from the line-up. Lacuna Coil will be picking up directly after ‘The Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock Tour’ for eight headlining shows along the west coast.
Starting out in New York, heading to Arizona, then Italy, it was now time to visit Australia with headlining act Sick Puppies. Originally from the land down under, the band relocated to Los Angeles, CA in 2009 determined to make their rock-n-roll dreams a reality. Now four albums deep into their career, building a massive fan base and headlining tour after tour, Sick Puppies are a leading force in hard rock. Their 2013 album Connect pushes the boundaries of the band’s sound and could prove to be their most complete piece of work yet. Pumped up and ready to go, their fans chanted “Sick Puppies” awaiting the band’s arrival.
Setting a tone and atmosphere, Sick Puppies opened with the lead track off Connect in “Die to Save You”. With an intense bass line by Emma Anzai, vocally dueling with Shim Moore, the song lit Irving Plaza on fire. Lifting things to the next level, the band went back in time to the thrashing rock song “Cancer” which ignited a mosh pit. Sick Puppies fans knew exactly what to expect, but newcomers to the band were completely shocked by the intensity the three-piece brought. Anzai continued to dazzle on bass, Moore sang with the perfect combination of emotions, and Mark Goodwin provided a blistering backbeat.
Providing the balance necessary for a great rock show, “There’s No Going Back” injected the anthem-like punch needed to keep the positive vibe flowing. With everyone’s hands in the air and singing along to the relatable honest lyrics, a happy attitude resonated through the room. Moore engaged the audience telling the story of the band defiance against naysayers trying to crush their rock-n-roll fantasy, and how they are now playing in front of a packed crowd in NYC. A sense of emotion draped over the audience as everyone cheered in response to the story which led right into “World”. With full participation, the chant back of “Kicking! Screaming!” filled Irving Plaza.
Moving along, Sick Puppies continued with an array of tracks from all their albums including “Pitiful” and “Maybe”. The mosh pit opened up again during the powerhouse performance of “Street Fighter (War)” and kept up through older song “Nothing Really Matters”. Moore did not let down vocally, encouraging the crowd along the way, as the band went into their fun and politically driven song “Gunfight”. The song is one of the many exciting new offerings from Connect which meshes perfectly with the band’s previous work. With a final crowd-pleaser, “You’re Going Down” closed out the evening.
Sick Puppies brought everything they had to Irving Plaza and the audience responded graciously. It is not often a band inspires their audience so much so that they are enthralled throughout an entire set, and Sick Puppies have captured that special attribute. Revolvers ‘The Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock Tour’ is something unique the scene needs, and should be continued year after year.