Coors Light Concert Series At Artpark


As Part of 103.3 The Edge EDGEFEST 2017: The Series, Baroness

Sat, May 20, 2017

Doors: 5:00 pm

Artpark Outdoor Amphitheater

Lewiston, NY


$5 on-site parking

This event will be held rain or shine, no refunds will be issued in the event of rain.
Performers and times subject to change.

For much of their career, Grammy-nominated Danish rock band Volbeat (est. 2001) have been critically celebrated and commercially rewarded for their unique and inimitable fusion of classic rock 'n' roll, heavy metal, and rockabilly. The band distilled its disparate influences —everyone from Johnny Cash to Elvis Presley to Metallica to Slayer into a fresh, thrilling sound that quickly separated itself from the pack and from peers. The patented formula, which is actually anything but formulaic, lead to four No. 1 singles at the Active Rock format and 2010's Beyond Hell/Above Heaven being certified Gold in the United States. The most memorable rock music functions best and resonates most fervently with fans when there is an authentic, fully beating heart at its core and pumping blood and adrenaline through its veins. That has always been the case with Volbeat and such remains true with their sixth album Seal the Deal & Let's Boogie.

The album is frontloaded with groove-centric, stadium-sized riffers that invoke emotion and inspire singing along. Volbeat's sound is distinct as DNA —you hear a vocal line or a sonorous riff and you know it's Volbeat— and it remains flawlessly executed. Overall, the songs crackle with catchy melodic Rock imbued with Volbeat's signature sound. The album is also fully immersive, inviting listeners along for the sonic journey via an intricate labyrinth of characters and deftly established storylines featuring characters from New Orleans' turn-of-the-century voodoo scene. The album stimulates every sense, be it base or highly evolved. Therefore, Seal the Deal & Let's Boogie defies categorization.

Singer/guitarist and main song writer Michael Poulsen is thoroughly excited about how the album demonstrates the progress and development of the Volbeat sound, which the band has been perfecting for over a dozen years. Yet he is quick to note the album's tone and theme is "spiritual with sarcasm" and he invites fans to read between the lines when it comes to processing that lyrical skew. Sonically, he points to melodies that are more upfront while still distinctly Volbeat and it's as though each prior album was the launchpad to get to this point.

The frontman said, "[The album] is Volbeat. But there is progress, too, when it comes to songwriting with huge melodies. It has the songs I have been trying to write for years and it seems like I was in the right spot to gather all the pieces."

Volbeat were able to fully execute their musical plan with former Anthrax guitarist and producer Rob Caggiano now firmly installed in his role as Volbeat guitarist, co-producer, and co-writer of some of the songs. Caggiano joined Volbeat after realizing he wanted a career shift and due to his desire to step outside of his comfort zones and challenge himself. The addition of Caggiano added an adrenalized boost to Volbeat's previously existing desire to further evolve. The chemistry has been cemented and as Caggiano succinctly put it — "it just feels right." Therefore, the Volbeat chassis is more stable and sturdy than ever, as the album also finds the band changing lanes, without drifting too far from the core or patented Volbeat sound.

For the song "Goodbye Forever," Volbeat invited the Harlem Gospel Choir to perform with them, something Poulsen has wanted to do since the band's third album. "I have long wanted to bring in a gospel choir in, but I did not have the right idea. This? It just came naturally." With an assist from the choir, the song explores the idea of global karma. "You have to be thankful for air we breathe and remember that Mother Nature will always be the boss," Poulsen mused. "I am trying to wake up everyone who thinks they are here forever. Do not expect tomorrow to be there. Think about what you do before you wake up or go to bed. Say what you need to to your loved ones."

The band recruited Danko Jones for the song "Black Rose" and drafted Danish singer/songwriter Mia Maja to contribute backing vocals on several of the songs. She was mined from the underground, as Poulsen was blown away after discovering her performing in a bar. This vocal addition allowed the band to layer its sound in a new way. Poulsen said, "I did all of the 'oohs' and the 'aahs' before. But this time, it seemed right to have a female voice doing those parts. I knew that the songs needed backing tones from a female, so we called her up. She was surprised and thought it was a joke, like she was Candid Camera or something, since she just played small bars. But she was into it."

Another way Volbeat upped the ante on Seal the Deal & Let's Boogie was by employing the bagpipes. Poulsen acknowledged that they are a "special instrument that you either love or hate." Volbeat recruited one of Poulsen's best friends from his school days to play the bagpipes on "The Loa's Crossroad," which is about the gatekeepers of the spiritual world. It may indeed be a polarizing instrument, but it gets a reaction and you can't argue with the result.

With the band taking musical risks that lead to great rewards, they were also free to push the boundaries with the subject matter. While not a concept album, Seal the Deal & Let's Boogie is spiritual, as mentioned. But Volbeat's definition of spiritual differs greatly from the traditional interpretation of the word. "When I say spiritual, I don't mean a believer," the singer said. "It's not religious, since I don't believe in God or the devil. But I do believe in the spiritual world and the songs have that voodoo element. It's not a concept but the songs are connected. It's not so much a theme, but rather using real characters who were strong in their belief about their contact with the spiritual world, with additional input from me, where I try and connect what once was and what is now."

On "The Devil's Bleeding Crown," he perverts the usual clichés surrounding the devil and offers a very unique take on his enduring mythos. "How many times do we need to wake up the devil in heavy metal?," Poulsen asked with a laugh. " He had fun pissing off religion for the longest time and now he has to run from the crazy people who are his followers. He is retiring, since he is getting old. He had been partying way too long. But his son cannot be humanized, so he is fighting to find the crown and to give it to his son. You'll have to wait and see what he does."

The rhythmically anthemic "Marie Laveau" explores the tale of one of NOLA's infamous voodoo queens, but with a modern day twist. "I am trying to wake her up from the dead and use her as an instrument to get in contact with my dead father," Poulsen explains. Meanwhile, "Gates of Babylon" explores the idea of a goddess who never made peace with her sister and therefore uses the song's protagonist as the conduit to locate her sibling in the underworld.

Clearly, Volbeat go deep enough to reach marrow with the lyrical material that comprises Seal the Deal & Let's Boogie. It satisfies the listener's desire to rock hard and loud, thanks to a potent cocktail of grooves and riffs. Essentially, Volbeat and their new album slay all.
Baroness' triumphant new album contains some of the biggest, brightest and most glorious riffs and choruses the adventurous rock group has ever recorded. But its title, Purple, also reflects a dark moment in the group's recent history: the terrifying bus crash they survived while on tour in 2012. "The band suffered a gigantic bruise," singer-guitarist John Baizley says of the ccident. "It was an injury that prevented us from operating in a normal way for quite some time. Hopefully, this record is the springboard that helps us get away from all that." The album, which is due out December 18 and which producer Dave Fridmann (the Flaming Lips, Sleater-Kinney) helmed, covers the gamut of emotions Baroness have experienced in recent years and serves as their victory cry.
Purple finds a revamped lineup of the band –Baizley and Pete Adams (guitar, vocals) and new additions Nick Jost (bass, keyboards) and Sebastian Thomson (drums) –playing 10 intricately textured tunes and singing about the worry they felt immediately after the crash ("If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain)"), the struggle to recover as smoothly as possible ("Chlorine & Wine") and their ongoing quest for survival ("The Iron Bell"). From its bulldozing opener "Morningstar" to the avant-garde 17-second closer "Crossroads of Infinity," the record is at once both their most emotionally threadbare and musically complex offering to date, with passages that allude to their classic-rock roots as much as their crushing metal past.
"We didn't want to make a mellow, sad, dark thing," Adams says. "We needed to be up-tempo. We needed to be melodic, and it also needed to be aggressive. In all of that, I think we were able to get out everything we felt, all of the emotion involved, everything from being angry to wanting to continue to push forward." Baroness formed in 2003, slugging it out in their local Savannah, Georgia scene while adhering to a DIY punk ethic, booking their own tours and silk-screening their own shirts. In 2007, they put out their critically acclaimed debut, the sludgy, guitar-banging Red Album, which heavy-metal magazine
Revolver named Album of the Year. They followed it up two years later with the heavier Blue Record, extreme-metal magazine Decibel's Album of the Year. But it was on their
last release, the 2012 double-album Yellow & Green where they really opened up, exploring a slightly lighter touch with more accessible vocals and alt-rock arrangements, leading to a Top 30 chart debut in the U.S. and Spin declaring it the "Metal Album of the Year." Unfortunately, the group would not be fully able to enjoy Yellow & Green's success and accolades. In August 2012, less than a month after Yellow & Green came out, Baroness were on tour driving in England when their bus broke through a guardrail on a viaduct near Bath and plummeted nearly 30 feet to the ground below. Through some miracle, none of the nine passengers died, though Baizley broke his left arm and left leg and the group's rhythm section at the time, bassist Matt Maggioni and Allen Blickle, both suffered fractured vertebrae.
"I was lying in my bunk when the brakes went out, and I knew immediately once we picked up speed that we were going
to crash, period," recalls Adams, an Army vet who went through the equivalent of a bus crash a day while fighting in Iraq
and who earned a Purple Heart in combat. "I didn't tense up. I didn't brace myself. I just rolled over in my bunk and said
a few peaceful words to myself and hung in there, because I was like, 'Here we go. If it this is it, then make it quick.' I felt
like a shoe in a dryer. Next thing you know, it's over and I'm standing there, and I was not broken. I was burned, I was
cut, I was bleeding, I was dazed, but I was OK. And I collected myself and started helping people out. But I absolutely thought the band would be over."Baizley spent two-and-a-half weeks immobile in a hospital and then months to recover from his injuries, but when he did, he and Adams decided to keep the group going. "I spoke to James Hetfield, who has also dealt with the fallout from a bus-related accident, and he said, "Life is going to be difficult for a while; but you'll be fine. You've got this,'" he says."And once I had done some physical therapy and played guitar again, I thought, 'Yes, I've got this. It's not over.'"Looking back on it now, Hetfield was right, and now Baroness' members feel like they've gotten through the worst of it. "While we realize the accident is obviously of interest, we have gone over
that particular story's details at length over the past few years," Baizley says. "We feel that this album not only addresses but puts a punctuation mark on that story.
Baroness existed before the accident and will continue to exist, and we'd rather talk about what we've created with
Purple than let one side-story overtake or define who we are as a band." Once Baizley was ready to get moving again, the first matter at hand was to find a rhythm section, since Maggioni and
Blickle had both split amicably with the group. To find the right people, Baizley leaned on some famous friends for advice. Eventually, Baizley spoke to Mastodon's Brann Dailor, who pointed him in the right direction to finding the group's new drummer, Trans Am member Sebastian Thomson, to help build
up the band again. "We didn't try out anyone else," Baizley says. Another friend suggested that they check out someone whom she described as being the best player she'd ever heard. That turned out to be Nick Jost, who not only played both the upright bass and bass guitar, but was also a skilled piano player with a degree in jazz composition. With a new lineup in place, the group eventually embarked on lengthy trek that Baizley describes as a "thank you tour," to the fans who stood by the band in its darkest hour, in the spring of 2013. Other than a handful of Australian gigs in 2014, Baroness spent the time since then getting ready for their next chapter, setting up their own indie label, Abraxan
Hymns, and writing songs for Purple. "I wanted to celebrate my misery through my creativity and face it head on," Baizley says of the LP. "The lyrics on Purple are about the different paths that formed in the fallout of the crash, from very direct stories about difficult moments of suffering to the love I feel for people who were there for me." When the group finally got to work out the tunes in the studio, they did so with a producer whom Baizley has always been eager to work with: Dave Fridmann. "He's been on the top of my list since Day One," the singer says. "I never thought he'd work with us. I absolutely worship his recordings." With 25 years of experience mapping out Wayne
Coyne's intricate flights of audial fancy on Flaming Lips records and making the most of bands generally known for
understatement like Low and Spoon, the producer helped the group construct a sonic habitat for all of Purple's
unique sounds, including acoustic guitar, otherworldly keyboard and echoes galore. He also helped them make the most of
themselves. "We're a very analytical band," Adams says. "We'll write something and over analyze it to the point where we feel we've edited the songs as much as they could be, and Fridmann threw ideas at us that we'd never thought about before. We
needed that outside ear." But Purple is perhaps most notable for serving as a vehicle for Baizley and Adams to move on, and welcome Jost and Thomson to the fold. "They are both very talented musicians," Adams says."They're open to new ideas and you can rely on them." "They said, 'We just want to make sure it kicks ass,'" Baizley recalls. "That's what I needed. I was in a pretty bleak spot when we weren't playing. And when I realized that Pete, Nick and Sebastian were excited – and I hadn't felt that unified amount of excitement before –it pushed us into saying, 'We've got this.'" "The whole process was very smooth," Thomson says. "The only thing that required a little bit of work was learning how to write together. That took us a month or two to figure out, but once we did we got on a roll." "I made a mistake and hit the wrong chord at the end of a run through of 'If I Have to Wake Up' and out of that mistake we wrote 'Fugue,'"Jost says. "That shows how we grew. And then 'If I Have to Wake Up' shows just how far we came." "We had a situation where a band had to rebuild itself with half-new members and an almost entirely new crew," Thomson says. "On paper that sounds like a possible recipe for disaster, but we all clicked almost immediately. We still have that attitude to this day."
Adams says only recently, since the group has gotten back on the road, he thinks that Baroness has felt like a band again.
And now with Purple under their belts, Baroness are ready to take on the world. "There's a lot more playfulness now,"
Adams says. "Everyone now is positive, there's no heavy bullshit. People are laughing and smiling more now in Baroness
than I've ever seen. That's real, and I'm thankful for that." The bruise is beginning to heal.
Venue Information:
Artpark Outdoor Amphitheater
450 South 4th Street
Lewiston, NY, 14092