Tim Barry Show


“Standing in Line to See the Show Tonight”
By Diana Ciuca

With my flower headband on and shiny European shirt, I felt out of place at the Thursday Night show. It wasn’t filled with the usual crowd of wasteful teenagers that have nothing better to do on their Saturday night. Instead, hardcore fans and devoted musicians composed the line outside the doors of The Culture Room. After my down-to-earth interview with Tim Barry, one of the opening acts, I joined anxious rockers in the smoke-filled room. Few sported Against Me! Shirts (a taboo, since it is beyond lame to wear the shirt of the band to their concert) while most fashioned the usual tight black shirt with another similarly cool group on them (i.e. Bad Religion, Anti-Flag…) while featuring their badass piercings and tattoos. My Vans flip flops stood out in the mass of converse All-Stars like a hot air balloon at a Blue Angels Air Show.

Ninja Gun, from Georgia, was the first group to hit the stage. With evident energy, they played their short songs to less-than-responsive group. People don’t react too warmly to opening bands. Yet, after every strong round of applause, the lead singer, a cute fellow (who resembled Elmer Fudd a bit), uttered, “ ’preciate it.” Their songs might have failed to get the crowd moving beyond an occasional clap party due to the lack of intense instrumentation, but mostly, I believe, to the light airy feeling of the music that would attract more of a pop/folk following than necessarily punk/folk.

Tim Barry, from Richmond, Virginia modestly walked onto the staged, grabbed his guitar and started jamming, without need for much explanation. Swaying passionately back and forth, he recalled memories of his hometown, past relationships, and even politics. The audience went wild as their connected to Tim based on their collective fallibility. Tim Barry sang of the misrepresentations of society along with the mistakes of human beings. With subjects like those, along with heartfelt thank you’s to the thrilled crowd, he won over even the most dispassionate spectators. He finished with an ad-lib.’d “Thank you guys again, I’m gonna go walk my dog now. She’s been waiting in the van for me.”

Against Me! finally decided to show up around 10:30 pm, after an extensive ‘instrument check’ and fog-set up. While waiting, the crowd did not grow too dissuaded, as many joked, “I remember when they used to tune their guitars on the own, not have someone else do it for them,” and “You know that a band is more popular based on the amount of time it takes between opening bands and their show time.” My favorite comment was from the back, someone ludicrously shouting, “I’m so excited for the Jonas Brothers! This is the Jonas Brothers Concert, right?” The sarcasm eased the tension as we all knew that the show was worth waiting and that (Thank God) this is not a Jonas Brothers concert – where a fully decorated Jo Bros shirtwould not be uncommon.

The band came on. The audience goes crazy. As if the place wasn’t already stuffed, with waves of pushing knocking people over, people started bouncing around once the first drum was beat. For not being the biggest Against Me! fan, I could recognize and sing along to most of their songs. However, there was not too much singing going on as the ‘bigger’ guys started crashing into each other in the center of the pit. I got pitted a few times – most of my own volition. Other instances, a rogue wave hit me, and I was ingested into the sweaty, pounding center. It was a good idea that I had left my camera with the merch guy, or else it would have suffered the same fate as my flip flops. Granted, my shoe choice was a horrible idea, almost as bad as paying $100 to see the Jonas Brothers last year. Nevertheless, they were gone, lost into the muck of the mosh pit. Guys started taking their shirts off, sweat everywhere… Music became of secondary importance to survival. A show is only as good as the energy through the audience; that energy was engulfing. Against Me! finished their set with mostly songs from New Wave, and even a few from As The Eternal Cowboy, along with Reinventing Axl Rose.

After pleas and lyrical demands from the audience, they finally concluded with a 4 song encore. Fretfully, I stared at my watch, knowing that it was way past my bed-time. Yet, all the agitation and waiting was definitely worth it. The pop/punk/folk/country/punk show left me with a couple of bruises, notably on my feet, but also a desire to explore the welcoming realm of punk-folk music.

Dan Black “Symphonies”

Dan Black “Symphonies”

by: Dina-Marie Kolman


From the choir-like bellows and trip through a captivating starry night sky, to the stroke  of the first drum beat, Dan Black has us hooked. He compels his audience to spin wildly through the song and accompanying video of humor, passion, and addicting melodies.   Black presents his track “Symphonies.” Please sit back, and enjoy the show.

The song “Symphonies,” alone, is absolutely addicting. With its meaningful lyrics,  “Gimme more than the life I see,” Dan Black yearns for more, hunting for deeper       meaning in life and the desire to broaden his experiences. “Symphonies” is a blended fruit drink. It consists of fresh, funky rhythms, catchy chants, and a groovy, flowing style. Its accompanying drum beats and sounds of an orchestra are the drink’s rich base and     driving pulse. As if garnished by a  miniature umbrella, Dan’s quirky, clever lyrics, like  “hocus pocus,” sit amongst the harmonies, appeasing the listener’s ears. Like the large chunks of ice that aren’t entirely blended, this   songs has some flaws; It has a repetitive chorus and a very minimal voice range. Just some minor icy chunks, yet nevertheless, refreshing and enjoyable.

The music video assists the lyrics and song in coming to life. Each word of the song is
transformed into a movie scene, including the lyrics as the movie credits. The creativity  here is simply remarkable. Black’s video takes us on a ride through time and across    continents. This shows his desire to explore and find the entertainment, beauty, and  meaning in the world.

How ingenious it is to connect prospective and retrospective styles! From a 1940s  romance film, to an action-packed Godzilla movie, to Western films and Asian too, this     video sends us on a journey. Oh, did I mention horror pictures, cartoons, and futuristic scenes too?

In a well-designed music video, Dan Black’s song “Symphonies” shines. The video’s
morpheus quality allows unique, artistic scenes transform into each other. Just a dazzling bonus to an already tremendous track. Hope you enjoyed the show!

Neon Trees create buzz in the music scene


By Alison Sikes NYU

Utah. A state known for its outdoor activities and scenic views, not for flash and bright colors. Alternative band Neon Trees hopes to electrify their home state’s reputation.  Self-described as post-pop punk, Neon Trees’ sound is infectious, entertaining, and dance-worthy.  Lead singer Tyler Glenn accredits bands like Passion Pit and The Big Pink as well as French DJs to their enthralling music. These influences are apparent in their first single “Animal.” The catchy song is a solid debut about comparing the start of a relationship to…well, to an animal. The upcoming video for “Animal” also takes from an interesting source of influence—Batman. As a teenager, Glenn loved superheroes like X-Men and of course, The Dark Knight. The band drew from their love of the Tim-Burton-directed Batman and paid homage to the Joker scene in which he and his cronies wreak havoc in an art gallery. Whether inspired by caped-crusaders or by electronic tastemakers, prepare for Neon Trees’ forthcoming album, Habits, to be filled with seductive vocals and hard-edged tracks about the habits of a relationship. Be sure to give Habits a listen when it is released on March 16th!

CD Review, “On Your Side”, A Rocket To The Moon and Concert Review for “TAKE ACTION” Tour with We the Kings, A Rocket To The Moon and Mayday Parade


A Rocket to the Moon, an alternative band, wedged right in the middle of the concert lineup, delivered a time of hype and rocking out. They  were simply phenomenal. With catchy lyrics and beats, the House of Blues was full of smiling faces and bouncing feet. Lead singer, Nick Santino had a genuine smile upon his face as he sung his heart out and as the entire band never failed to rock out completely. The crowd enjoyed the happiness that emanated from the music, tapping their feet and clapping their hands. I couldn’t help but smile constantly.  A Rocket to the Moon delivered the kind of show that gives the unfamiliar audience a reason to go home and search their songs on the web and really give the songs a listen. They are obviously a band to know.

Mayday Parade stuck true to its rock out rage and had the House up off their feet. The energy was incredible as Mayday Parade shot out song after song with barely any breaks in between. It was a continuous flow of rocking.  Bassist Jeremy Lenzo and electric guitarist Brooks Betts never failed to run across the stage, stepping up onto equipment to play to the crowd. Lead singer, Alex Garcia, sung to the point of exhaustion. Even when it seemed as though he could not go any longer, he shouted out his lyrics and kept the energy flowing. Exhaustion was not an issue; no one wanted to stop. Jumping and rocking out to Mayday Parade was incredibly exhausting — but of course, that’s what we spend our good money for!

We the Kings was obviously a crowd favorite, as people escalated from moshing to crowd surfing by the second. Travis Clark made sure to connect with the audience by telling stories about the songs before rocking out to them. He really had the audience connecting with every song, especially the old favorites. The band delivered beautifully for the audience. At one point, Clark told the story of the “gang sign” of We the Kings which really displayed a connection to everyone out there. It was as if We the Kings‘ personality was evident on stage which is always so much more interesting. It also made the crowd become more in tune with the vibe of the band as they continued to rock out endlessly. Even the soulful, slower-tempo song was sung with complete honesty and shown on heart-wearing sleeves. The progression of the playlist was very well thought out and effective. The crowd escalated into a  frenzy and could not stop begging for more. By the last song, the pit had to be filled with bouncers who carried screaming and sweating fans off the crowd’s hands and back to the floor. When Travis Clark leaned into the crowd, the crowd went in a frenzy, trying and hoping to reach and rub Clark’s signature long, red locks. The concert ended in a cry for more;  absolutely no one wanted to leave.


On Your Side is the newest album out by the alternative group called A Rocket to the Moon. This band is quite talented in with creating, stuck in your head lyrics that match upbeat melodies.  From the first listen, I felt upbeat and songs that assured me that life would be good – no matter what.  Many of the songs might sound similar to the first released single, Mr. Right, however it’s no mystery to see why fans love Mr. Right. It’s catchy and I think most people will relate to these songs. Most of the songs center around subjects of love. However, every song has a specific message that never feels overdone.

I especially enjoyed the song Annabelle, because it shows that this is a band of ‘real guys’ – not superficial guys  searching solely for good looks or a good time, but rather sincere guys hoping to find a genuine girl. A Rocket to the Moon’s personality seems to resonate throughout their music and lyrics – lyrics which are written by the band. In each song, I could feel lead singer and guitarist, Nick Santino, pouring out his heart. I was drawn in by the passion within each of his heart-felt lyrics.

A Rocket to the Moon produces their own, very unique sound, which is not something many bands these days can claim. They are definitely not a band that has to rely on sound effects or gimmicks.  Instead, ARTTM puts forth genuine talent, hard work, honest lyrics, enjoyable melodies – all backed up with deeply- felt passion. Also, since having the real pleasure of experiencing their live show in Chicago at the House of Blues, I can vouch for the fact that A Rocket to the Moon is a  band that backs up their album with a beautifully performed and rocked-out live show.  I would highly suggest you give their new release a listen and by all means, catch them live if you can.