Train runs into Fun. at 2012 Summerfest in Milwaukee

Train w/ Kelly Clarkson – 2012 Summerfest
Marcus Amphitheater – Milwaukee, WI
6/29/2012

All photos by Dan DeSlover – Concert Capture

Train - Summerfest 2012

Kelly Clarkson and Train packed the Marcus Amphitheater at 2012 Summerfest in Milwaukee on June 29. Jimmy Cliff, Kellie Pickler, Cowboy Mouth, Mutemath and The Hives were other featured headliners. However it was Fun., one of the breakout artists from 2011, that appeared to have drawn the largest crowd on the general admission ground’s stages. Fortunately, a cool lake breeze finally quelled the oppressive heat from the previous few days.

Continue reading the rest of this review (and find more great photos) at The Examiner!

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Summerfest 2012, The worlds biggest music festival turns 45 years young.

 

For those who love festival season there are a lot of choices these days, but how many can boast a 45 year run, attracting the biggest names in music, and millions of people having attended?  In it’s eleven day run, June 27-July 1st, and July 3-8th, Summerfest has every music lovers desires covered. With it’s multiple stages, and it’s world class amphitheater, Summerfest leaves no size act without a stage to perform.  Situated right on Milwaukee’s Lakefront, in the middle of Beer City USA, Summerfest is a must see for everyone who wants the best in music, in a setting that is comfortable and spacious. Well thought out and time tested, Summerfest has the Festival atmosphere down pat and is presented in a professional, convenient manner. A never ending scene of music, food, beer and people watching makes it a joy to return day after day. If you find yourself saying what is Summerfest, I say come to Milwaukee and see how it’s done. At the reasonable $15 admission, you may never go to another overpriced festival again.

 

A brief list of artists set to perform this year.

Aerosmtih, Zack Brown Band, Rascal Flatts, Young the Giant, Chevelle, Lupe Fiasco, Silver Sun Pickups, Gary Allen, Eric Benet, Train, Kelly Clarkson, Fun, Lady Antebellum, ZZ Top, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, All That Remains, Gavin Degraw, Skillet, Iron Maiden, Ziggy Marley, David Gray, 311, Big Time Rush, and many many many more.

 

www.summerfest.com

Kelly Clarkson and The Fray Head Out on Tour!

Kelly Clarkson and the Fray tour

Kelly Clarkson is back on tour later this summer! This time around The Fray is joining her as co-headliners with Carolina Liar as the opener on this 30 plus city tour. Kelly Clarkson is out supporting her newest album is Stronger and The Fray has Scars & Stories. Tour dates are below.

Tour Dates:

7/21/12             Ridgefield, Washington – Sleep Country Amphitheater
7/22/12             Airway Heights, Washington – Northern Quest Resort & Casino
7/25/12             Concord, CA – Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord
7/27/12             Las Vegas, NV – The Chelsea – The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
7/28/12             Murphys, CA – Ironstone Winery
7/30/12             Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
8/1/12               Phoenix, AZ – US Airways Center
8/2/12               Albuquerque, NM – Hard Rock Casino Presents: The Pavilion
8/4/12               Thackerville, OK – Winstar Casino
8/6/12               Orange Beach, AL – Amphitheater at The Wharf
8/8/12               Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park
8/10/12             Detriot, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/14/12             Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
8/16/12             Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center
8/17/12             Hershey, PA – Hershey Stadium – Summer MixTape Fest
8/19/12             Bethel, NY – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
8/21/12             Wantagh, NY – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
8/23/12             Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
8/25/12             Mansfield, MA – Comcast Center
8/26/12             Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
8/28/12             Toronto, ON – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
8/29/12             Canandaigua, NY – Constellation Brands- Marvin Sands PAC
9/1/12               Tinley Park, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
9/2/12               Indianapolis, IN – Klipsch Music Center
9/7/12               Houston, Texas – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
9/11/12             Virginia Beach, VA – Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
9/12/12             Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9/14/12             Tuscaloosa, AL – Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
9/15/12             Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
Ticket on-sales will begin on Friday, April 20 at 10AM. For exclusive information regarding ticket pre-sales, meet and greet opportunities, and other exclusive perks, log on to www.kellyclarkson.com or www.thefray.com/us/news.

Kelly Clarkson’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

Kelly Clarkson I'll be home for christmas coverKelly Clarkson gets in the Christmas spirit as did many other artists this year like Justin Bieber and Scott Weiland just to name a couple. She recorded a session that will be released on 12/27 that will feature “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Do you smell a Christmas classic in the making here?  Fans can purchase the track now because waiting until the 27th would be pointless.

Stream: I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Kelly Clarkson below

Kelly Clarkson returns “Stronger”

Kelly Clarkson
Stronger
Release Date: November 24, 2011
Sony

Our American Idol sweetheart is baaack and better than ever.  Kelly Clarkson returns with her fifth studio album, Stronger, and takes off running with her first single “Mr. Know It All”.  It’s got the same swagger as former Kelly songs, “Miss Independent” and “Walk Away”.

“What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”, the “title” track is a dancey anthem with synths bumping and might be the guuuurl power anthem of 2012.  This track leaves Britney’s “Stronger” in the dust as Kelly belts out “Stroooooonger” with more panache than the former mouseketeer.  The twinkling bass line ending is a nice touch too.

“Dark Side” reminds me a little of the opening of The Hills (aka Hillary Duff’s “Come Clean”)  with it’s slow burn into the chorus, “Everybody’s got a dark side. Do you love me.”  Another track that conjures familiar pop territory is “You Love Me” which opens a little like Gwen Stefani’s “Cool” with a retro 80′s undertone, as Kelly’s vocals really pack a punch on this track.

Standouts include “The War Is Over”, a signature ballad soon to be a kellassic, and “I Forgive You”, which  Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly aptly concluded “plays like a heartfelt postscript to the guy who left her in ”Since U Been Gone””.  Could this be the next single?  Unfortunately, the album isn’t free of duds.  Most glaringly is “Einstein”, where Kelly sings about math and utters the cringe-worthy lyrics, “Dumb plus dumb equals you.”  Kelly is known as a queen of the pop ballad, but aside from the aforementioned “The War Is Over”, tracks like “Standing In Front Of You” and “Breaking Your Own Heart” are simply sweet serenades and not the power ballads we love Kelly belting.  Here’s the thing though.  These mediocre ballads are still better than many of the latest crop of pop princesses attempting to overthrow our queen.  So with that all hail, Queen Kelly!

Note: Though not reviewed, a bonus version includes previously released “Don’t You Wanna Stay?” (duet with Jason Aldean), “Alone,” “Don’t Be a Girl About It” and “The Sun Will Rise.”

Track list
Mr. Know It All
What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)
Dark Side
Honestly
You Love Me
Einstein
Standing In Front Of You
I Forgive You
Hello
The War Is Over
Let Me Down
You Can’t Win
Breaking Your Own Heart

No tour dates announced yet, but Kellibrities await at baited breath.

V V BROWN KICKS OFF FIRST EVER NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

V V BROWN KICKS OFF FIRST EVER NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

IN SUPPORT OF HER DEBUT RELEASE ‘TRAVELLING LIKE THE LIGHT’ SUPPORTING LITTLE DRAGON

One of 2010′s best new artists V V Brown will be heading out on the road this spring in support of her debut album ‘Travelling Like The Light’. Her first single, “Shark In The Water,” was recently featured as iTunes Single of the Week and came in #2 most added at Hot AC radio that same week. The New York Post describes it as “so crazy catchy that it’d make Kelly Clarkson green with envy.” The album is currently available exclusively on iTunes, where it debuted in the top 15 on their pop album chart.

Recently, V Vs songs have made dozens of impressive appearances on television (Cougar Town, The Vampire Diaries, CSI: NY, 90210, and ABC’s Desperate Housewives), with print and online media catching on quickly. Perez Hilton writes, “We LOVE love LOVE her first U.S. single, “Shark in the Water” and USA Today notes she “knows how to juggle elegance with attitude”. V V was most recently named the new face of Marks and Spencer alongside Twiggy, Dannii Minogue, Ana Beatriz Barros and Lisa Snowdon.

The 25 year-old singer has already been tantalizing American ears for months, “her vocal shines through every track” (Elle). She’ll now get her chance to showcase those insanely singable, danceable and memorable songs with her live show. “It’s about letting out all these ideas I’ve had locked up in my mind,” V V states.

V V Brown on tour with Little Dragon:

March 21 – Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone

March 22 – Charlottesville, VA @ Rapture/ R2

March 23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas

March 24 – Washington, DC @ Liv Nightclub

March 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

March 28 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott

March 29 – Montreal PQ @ Lambi

March 30 – Toronto, ON @ Wrongbar

April 1 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall

April 5 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird

April 6 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

April 9 – Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge

April 11 – Bellingham, WA @ The Wild Buffalo

April 12 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios

April 13 – San Francisco, CA @ Independent

April 14 – San Francisco, CA @ Independent

Eric Hutchinson Preps Crowd for Kelly Clarkson

Eric Hutchinson
Rosemont Theatre – Rosemont, IL
October 27, 2009

Eric Hutchinson Rosemont Theatre

To be honest, I am the person who knows every song on the radio, yet fails to know who the artist is. Many times, I have caught myself singing the song “Rock & Roll,” thinking about how catchy it is and how much I like it. On Monday, October 26th, 2009 Eric Hutchinson performed at the Rosemont Theatre, holding a coveted slot opening for Kelly Clarkson. To my surprise, as I was bopping my head along to Eric’s soulful melodies, I found myself singing along to the song “Rock & Roll.” Finally, my mystery was solved and the respect that I was giving to Eric already, sky-rocketed. I immediately made it my mission to seek out his music after the concert.

More photos of Eric Hutchinson after the jump…

Set List / Chicago
All Over Now
You Don’t Have to Believe Me
Oh!
Back to Where I Was
OK, It’s Alright With Me
Rock & Roll

Eric Hutchinson Rosemont TheatreHutchinson’s first song “All Over Now” jump-started the vibe for his entire performance. The jazzy bassist, soul-filled drummer, funky keyboardist, and collective harmonious background vocals added to the already dynamic show. Eric brought guitar and piano elements to the mix, showing everyone why he deserved to be onstage while singing “All Over Now.” Playing electric guitar to kick off his set supporting Kelly Clarkson, Hutchinson danced across the stage with fancy footwork that reminded me of a funkier version of James Brown.

By the third song “Oh!” Hutchinson was comfortably seated at his keyboard. I expected Eric’s busy feet to stop at any moment, but they did not. Even while singing his heart out at the keys, Hutchinson’s two feet were dancing out of control with the beat. Hutchinson, bolstered by his boyish good looks and beautiful voice continued to amaze me. Needless to say, I was blissfully content.

With the song “Back to Where I Was,” fans immediately began clapping upon hearing the first bar of music. Then Eric, waiting to come in, said: “Yeah, keep clapping, I like it,” adding that it would “keep him on track.” Eric followed “Back to Where I Was” with his latest single, “OK, It’s Alright With Me.” The singer/songwriter performed on NBC’s Late Night With Conan O’Brien show earlier in the year. I nodded my head along to the familiar beat and groove. However, the night’s performance did not come around full circle until “Rock & Roll,” which was of course the last song Eric Hutchinson performed.

I instantly recognized the radio hit and a huge smile spread across my face accordingly. This song’s folksy, fast-paced rhythm that I so dearly loved had been the sound and style of Eric Hutchinson the whole time! As “Rock & Roll” came through the house PA system, I found myself being brought to a very happy place. Simultaneously with the hit single’s introduction, I commenced singing along and graciously complied when Eric told the audience to: “Get up to get ready for Kelly.” Eric Hutchinson, along with his band, was the first performance I have witnessed in quite awhile that has presented the audience with quality showmanship. The vocals, the unity of Hutchinson’s band, and his creative dancing appeared to be 100% genuine talent and skill. Basically, Eric Hutchinson’s concert was an awesome start to a fantastic concert. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Someone point me to the Soul Section!

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

Written and Photographed by: Kaytee Doering

Chicago Welcomes Newcomer Matt Hires

Matt Hires
The Vic Theatre
Chicago, IL
August 2, 2009

 

Matt Hires The Vic Theatre

Having never before heard the songs of Matt Hires, I showed up at his show last night in Chicago with an open mind and ready for anything. I honestly had not heard of Matt Hires before discovering he was the opening act for Paolo Nutini (along with Erin McCarley). Let me tell you though, I liked what I heard. I mean, I REALLY liked what I heard. Not only did this 22-year-old from Tampa, Florida win me over with his music, but he also appears to be a truly humble and genuinely good person. He plays barefoot for crying out loud! How laid back is that? The only other artist I have ever seen perform shoeless on stage in front of thousands of people is Kelly Clarkson. I found myself comparing Matt Hires to lead singer Michael Stipe from R.E.M. throughout the evening, which I believe to be a good thing. I like Michael Stipe and think his voice stands out from the hundreds of other male singers out there. The fact that Hires has a voice so unique that it reminds me of an amazing artist like Stipe only makes me more of a fan for life.

Of course, what makes an artist truly succeed or not in the music business is their talent and songs. However, having a voice that doesn’t sound like any of the other millions of singer/songwriters in the world definitely helps. In my opinion, Matt Hires has what it takes to make it: talent, good songs, and a distinct voice. If you want to decide for yourself, check out Matt Hires when he plays a city near you. Or you can pick up his debut album Take Us To The Start, available now! No matter what, at least take a few minutes to listen to my personal favorite Matt Hires song, “Honey, Let Me Sing You A Song.”

Set List / Chicago

You Are My Sunshine / I Walk The Line (Johnny Cash cover/medley)

Honey, Let Me Sing You A Song

Pick Me Up

You In The End

A Perfect Day

You Are The One

Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan cover)

Listen To Me Now

Turn The Page

State Lines

More photos of singer/songwriter Matt Hires after the jump…

Click on thumbnails to enlarge images:

Ronnie Winter On Why Virgin Records, Howard Benson, and Kelly Clarkson Kick Major Ass!

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will be performing at the House of Blues in Chicago tonight!  I have been a fan of this band since I first saw them on MTV’s “You Heard It First” way back in March 2005.  The band caught my attention with their catchy hooks – the kind of melodies that get stuck in your head for days.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

I have yet to meet the band in person, but I did get the opportunity to speak with lead singer and head songwriter Ronnie Winter the other day over the phone.  Read on to hear what Ronnie had to say about Virgin Records, Howard Benson, and Kelly Clarkson…

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