Music News, Interviews, Live Concert Coverage In The Hard Rock & Metal World
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Photos & Review By : Rich Frollini

All Photos © Coda Photography & PA Music News

‘Pure Rock Fury’ – It’s not just a song title. It’s what the Maryland rock band Clutch unleashed at Pittsburgh’s Stage AE on Friday night. No crazy lighting setups and little if any stage fog, Clutch puts on straight-up rock and roll show playing their asses off and stirring the crowd into a frenzy. The band seems to feed off of this energy as they dive deeper and deeper into their set. Clutch is considered to fit into a few different genres, but to me they seem like a blender full of rock, blues, funk and metal with a dash of secret sauce that pours out into a very unique sound that is all their own.


Touring in support of their 10th studio album ‘Earth Rocker‘, the band opened up the set with two songs from the album. First up was ‘Crucial Velocity’ in which frontman Neil Fallon displayed “velocity” as he darted back and forth across the stage engaging the crowd from the very start. Next up was ‘Book, Saddle and Go’ in which drummer, Jean-Paul Gaster and bassist, Dan Maines bring in with a rumbling intro before the song opens up into guitarist Tim Sult’s thick and groovy riff. Coupling these amazing musicians with Fallon’s raspy yet strong voice and rambunctious stage presence, gives the band that certain flair that helps keep the crowd involved in the entire show.

The next song up was ‘Mice and Gods’ from the 2005 release ‘Robot Hive/Exodus’. Being the third song of the set, this was the last one that I was allowed to photograph from the pit. The stage lighting carried pretty much the same intensity throughout the entire evening, while changing hues from blue to red and quite often a vibrant orange. Fallon and company continued on to absolutely crush it up there for another dozen or more songs which included crowd favorites such as ‘DC Sound Attack’ and ‘Open Up the Border’ and finishing the set with hard-driving  ‘Earth Rocker’.

The crowd, sweaty and on edge erupted into calling for an encore only 10 seconds after the band left the stage. And Clutch did not disappoint their fans. The three song encore began with the band launching into their classic ‘Pure Rock Fury’, followed by ‘Electric Worry’ and ‘One Eye Dollar’. At the end of the evening, people flocked to the merch booth to pick up t-shirts, CD’s and whatever else they could get their hands on. Definitely a sign that nobody wanted to leave the pit area and miss anything while the show was going on. Clutch came into Pittsburgh and simply kicked it’s ass. Can’t wait to see them again soon…

Check out the photos from the show

CONCERT COVERAGE: CLUTCH @ STAGE AE Photos & Review By : Rich Frollini All Photos © Coda Photography & PA Music News…



Fist Fight in the Parking Lot is a Pittsburgh based band that has been rockin’ the scene for a little over four years now. The band consists of singer/guitarist Abby Krizner, guitarist Jason Sichi, bassist Johnnie ‘Metal’ McCallough and drummer Chris ‘RuDogg’ Ruane. Some consider them a metal band and others say stoner or sludge rock , but from what they told us – they want you to come on out…

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One week from tonight Maryland rockers Clutch, will be taking the stage at Pittsburgh’s Stage AE in support of their latest release ‘Earth Rocker’.

Providing support on this show are American Sharks from Austin, TX and Pittsburgh’s own Fist Fight in the Parking Lot.

Check back early next week for an interview with Fist Fight in the Parking Lotas we talk about the show as well as their new EP…

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CONCERT COVERAGE: 311 with Sublime with Rome and Ballyhoo

CONCERT COVERAGE: 311 with Sublime with Rome and Ballyhoo

Photos & Review By : Nina Martin

All Photos Pennsylvania Music News & StellarPhoto  

It’s safe to say there were no case of the Mondays at Stage AE on Monday night, July 14. 311 performed to a packed outdoor crowd, bringing along Sublime With Rome and Ballyhoo.

Up first to perform were the Maryland natives Ballyhoo! The alt-punk/reggae 4-piece performed a solid set with some of their known hits…

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Photos & Review By : Rich Frollini

All Photos © Coda Photography & PA Music News

Under the Sun, Under the Clouds…. You say tomato, I say tomåto…

There was sun and there was rain, but one thing was constant at Stage AE during the Under the Sun Tour on Sunday – the four acts that took the stage had the crowd singing and dancing from beginning to end. On this particular tour there is no true headliner, as the schedule of bands changes from city to city.

At Stage AE Uncle Cracker was the first to go on, and he put on a really good set. From his rap rock-hits to his more recent country-rock influenced material, he displayed great talent as he got the Pittsburgh crowd riled up and wanting more.


Sugar Ray was the second act to hit the stage. Mark McGrath and Rodney Sheppard were just as amazing as they were 20+ years ago. And the two new guys, Dean Butterworth (drums) and Kristian Attard (bass) fit right in. McGrath looks like he is having so much fun up there while interacting with each of the other members of the band. They blew through a killer set full of hits and fan favorites. They even paid tribute to recently departed Tommy Ramone with a rendition of Blitzkreig Bop.


Some say that rain gives them the blues. Well, this evening the skies opened up and dropped a quick shower. This rain however, brought Blues Traveler. While not as visually exciting as Sugar Ray, lead singer John Popper’s voice and harmonica skills excited the damp crowd with song after song of the band’s bluesy rock goodness.


The final act of the evening was the incredible Smash Mouth from San Jose, CA. Lead singer Steve Harwell was all over the stage. He really plays to the crowd during the entire set. Guitarist Sean Hurwitz also puts on a good show both sonically and visually as he interacts with Harwell a few times during the set.


The crazy Pittsburgh weather didn’t scare anybody away from this awesome show, as the thousands in attendance had a great time singing and dancing the night away. Check out the rest of the concert photos below…

CONCERT COVERAGE: UNDER THE SUN TOUR @ STAGE AE Photos & Review By : Rich Frollini All Photos © Coda Photography & PA Music News…

Photos & Review By : Rich Frollini

All Photos © Coda Photography & PA Music News

 Saturday July 12th brought to Pittsburgh’s Stage AE what has become a summertime standard – a huge concert by The Clarks. This year it was especially huge because it was also the CD release party for the band’s newest album ‘Feathers and Bones’. The weather was amazing, as were the sounds coming from the speakers.

Opening the show was a sensational act, Jimmer Podrasky. Some of us old enough to remember his band, The Rave-Ups from the 80′s were excited to hear that Jimmer was making a return to the stage. Those who are too young to remember the band found a new favorite to listen to. He picked up right where he left off 23 years ago and played an amazing set full of some crowd favorites as well as material from his recently released album ‘The Would Be Plans’.


Jimmer Podrasky at Stage AE

After a short break in the action, the stage was set for The Clarks to give the crowd what they showed up for – an awesome set full of both traditional Clarks songs as well as a handful of new material from ‘Feathers and Bones’. This was sure to be a special night along with some special guests, as evidenced by the appearance of the band’s stage manager Jeremy Olson on guitar during the opening song ‘Take Care of You’. After opening with six killer songs including ‘Snowman’ and ‘Saturday’, the guys broke into their rendition of the classic ‘What a Wonderful World’. Next up was another special guest, guitarist Noah Minarik, son of drummer Dave Minarik. Noah looked right at home on stage with the band as they broke into their fan favorite ‘ShimmyLow’. Also on stage for this song was lead singer Scott Blasey’s daughter Ava, who assisted quite nicely on lead vocals. Guitarist Rob James was on top of his game, soaring through his awesome leads in one song after another. And bassist Greg Joseph combined with Minarik to anchor the thunderous rhythm section. Keyboardist/guitarist Skip Sanders along with pedal steel extraordinaire Gary Jacobs provided additional body and texture to the already fantastic sound that was filling the amphitheater.  As the show progressed, the crowd’s singing was louder and louder as the band played three straight from their 2000 Razor and Tie release, Let it Go. 


What came next was simply amazing. Opener, Jimmer Podrasky joined the band on stage to perform two Rave-Ups classics, ‘Class Tramp’ and a song that a lot of people used to think was written by The Clarks – ‘These Wishes’ which appears on the band’s 1996 release Someday Maybe. Both Jimmer and The Clarks appeared to be having so much fun jamming together during these two songs.

Jimmer Podrasky playing with The Clarks

Jimmer Podrasky playing with The Clarks

The band motored through seven more songs including ‘Penny on the Floor’ and ‘Cigarette’ as well as the finale, ‘Better Off Without You’. So yet another successful summer shindig at Stage AE has come and gone. But you can catch The Clarks live in the Tri-State area throughout the rest of the summer. And don’t forget to check out the new album on iTunes.

Check out more photos from the show below.

CONCERT COVERAGE: THE CLARKS @ STAGE AE Photos & Review By : Rich Frollini All Photos © Coda Photography & PA Music News…

Photos and review by Derek Tull

All photos are property of Derek Tull Photography and Pennsylvania Music News

Southern rap has been around since the 90′s. Musicians such as Three Six Mafia, Nappy Roots, Project Pat, Yelawolf, and Bubba Sparxxx have paved the way for what the genre is today. Then there is Big Smo. Who’s music takes some formula from southern rap, and cooks up a whole new flavor to the genre. This is accomplished by a unique blend of rap, rock, country, and a hint of southern blues.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Big Smo here’s a little background. Working hard on his music and to build a name for himself since 2002. His big break finally came when a single of his gained over five million views on YouTube. Which has gained him a record deal with Warner Brothers, as well as his own TV show on A&E.

Last Thursday night Big Smo came to Altar Bar. Before his set began fans began screaming his name. An impact in which almost gave me chills. The passion in the fans voices was like a crowd you would hear chanting for The Rolling Stones in a sold out arena. Finally onstage band and all, Big Smo delivered a very intense, soulful, and unique show. From the working man themes to just having a good time, Smo’s lyrics are a perfect reflection of what southern living is. His band provides an interesting mix of southern rock and rap. This all together created a very powerful and amazing live performance.

Big Smo is a man who has worked hard for what he has gained. A major record label and a TV deal is nothing to frown upon. I hope to one day see Smo performing in front of thousands. With an eccentric live show, a creative way of making music, and a major label now backing him, I honestly believe that Big Smo will become a household name and one that goes down in history as one of the best southern rappers there has ever been.


CONCERT COVERAGE : Big Smo Brings “Kuntry Livin” To The Burgh’ Photos and review by Derek Tull All photos are property of Derek Tull Photography and Pennsylvania Music News…