MUSIC NEWS: TWENTY ONE PILOTS SET NEW “EMØTIØNAL RØADSHØW” WORLD DATES

Fueled By Ramen recording group Twenty One Pilots has announced details of their upcoming world tour. The second leg of the "EMØTIØNAL RØADSHØW" tour will hit Mexico City's Palacio De Los Deportes on September 30th and then travel though an extraordinary range of countries, including Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The heroic trek will continue into 2017 with North American dates beginning January 17th at Providence, RI's Dunkin Donuts Center, followed by an eagerly anticipated March tour of Australia/New Zealand. Tickets will go on sale around the world beginning Friday, May 13th – for complete details and ticket information, please visit www.twentyonepilots.com/tour.
  
The "EMØTIØNAL RØADSHØW" tour – which follows last year's sold out "BLURRYFACE TOUR" – will officially get underway May 31st at Cincinnati, OH's US Bank Arena and then travel North America through two nights of sold out shows at New York City's world famous Madison Square Garden on August 10th and 11th. Tickets for all 48 North American tour dates are sold out, including Los Angeles, CA's The Forum which sold-out within one hour, as well as highly anticipated two-night-stands at Boston, MA's Agganis Arena (June 14th and 15th), Morrison, CO's legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre (July 12th and 13th), and Berkeley, CA's Greek Theatre (July 21st and 22nd). The band, who only just finished topping Australia's annual six-date traveling festival event, Groovin' The Moo, will then cross the Atlantic to finish up their incredible summer at England's one and only Reading/Leeds Festival (August 26th). 
 
Meanwhile, "Ride," the latest hit from the RIAA platinum certified blockbuster "BLURRYFACE," spent six consecutive weeks atop the charts at Modern Rock radio outlets nationwide – the band's second #1 single at the format this year. What's more, "Ride" is rising quickly at Top 40 radio with its companion music video – directed by longtime collaborator Reel Bear Media – garnering over 40 million views via Twenty One Pilots' official YouTube channel.
  
The success of "Ride" follows Twenty One Pilots' RIAA 2x platinum certified smash, "Stressed Out," which spent three months at #1 at Modern Rock while also topping the charts at CHR/Top 40 and Hot AC. The track – which recently received the iHeartRadio Music Award for "Alternative Rock Song of the Year" – has proven a true multi-format phenomenon, reaching #2 on Billboard's "Hot 100" while ascending to the pinnacle position at CHR/Top 40, Hot AC, and Alternative. 
 
Twenty One Pilots – who only just returned home from show stopping performances at Lolla South America in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina – have received a number of major awards nominations in recent weeks, including four nods for the 2016 Billboard Music Awards: "Top Duo/Group," "Top Rock Artist," "Top Rock Album (for "BLURRYFACE")," and "Top Rock Song" (for "Stressed Out"). The 2016 Billboard Music Awards will be presented Sunday, May 22nd at Las Vegas, NV's T-Mobile Arena and broadcast live on ABC (check local listings). 
 
"BLURRYFACE" – which also includes the RIAA gold certified single, "Tear In My Heart" – made a stunning chart debut upon its 2015 release, entering the SoundScan/Billboard 200 at #1 with total sales exceeding 147,000. The album further served as the duo's international breakthrough, reaching the top 5 in Canada as well as the top 20 in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Twenty One Pilots' Tyler Joseph stands as the #1 songwriter in the first quarter of 2016 on the strength "Stressed Out," besting veteran writers with multiple hits to their name, while "Stressed Out" became the first song penned by a single writer to top the Pop charts in nearly two years. "BLURRYFACE" follows Twenty One Pilots' 2013 Fueled By Ramen debut album, "VESSEL," certified gold by the RIAA and boasting a trio of gold certified hit singles in "Holding On To You," "Car Radio" and "House of Gold."
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LIVE REVIEW: Generation Axe - Madison Wisconsin

Generation Axe does not represent an age group, it represents niche of true guitar fans. Generation Axe isn’t for everybody, but if it’s for you, then you were here. The Steve Vai lead and inspired supergroup featuring Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders), Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme, Rihanna), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), Yngwie Malmsteen and Vai himself came to Madison Wisconsin to show us just how good they are…and we wanted to find out.




The mostly middle aged male crowd was fully prepared to have their minds blown. The five virtuosos came out playing Boston’s “Foreplay.” The show could have ended there and we would have gotten our money’s worth. It was like having sex with five of the most beautiful women at the same time. You couldn’t mess up. It didn’t matter where you looked you were looking at a legitimate Guitar God in every direction. To make matters even better, I’d never seen four of the five players live before.




The song was called “Foreplay” but it felt like full blown intercourse. After that song Tosin Abasi played a set. Abasi is the most unknown member of the group but he’s gaining a thousand fans every night of this tour. Nuno Bettencourt came out to jam with Abasi during his last song before going into “Get the Funk Out” followed by an Extreme medley. At one point Nuno sat down with an acoustic guitar and started playing “More Than Words” only to tell the crowd he was just kidding. Let’s be honest, I love that song but i didn’t come here to listen to a power ballad I came here to watch these guys shred and that’s exactly what I got.




The last song of Nuno’s set was joined by Zakk Wylde. Zakk was on stage for 45 minutes and played three songs and spent a solid ten minutes walking around the audience shredding. There were plenty of Black Label brothers in the crowd that night. This is where the show started to separate the guitar fans from the hard rock and heavy metal fans. Zakk solo’d a ton and it was amazing, but if you came to here a bunch of songs you were in the wrong place and potentially bored.




After Zakk, Yngwie Malmsteen came out for another 45 minutes. Yngwie has a completely different style from Zakk so that was a nice change of pace…if you’re into guitar solos. It was a three hour plus show of nonstop guitar porn. Steve Vai going Yngwie at the end of his set keep the momentum going. When Vai took the stage you quickly understood why this was his band and his tour. Vai kept a good pace before bringing the rest of the guys out to play Edgar Winter Group’s “Frankenstein” and Deep Purple’s “Highway Star.”




It was a night that I’ll never forget. I will repeat that this isn’t for everybody. At the end of the night my friend an I were debating who was the best player of the five. When it’s all said and done, all five of these guys are as good as it gets. All five of these guys have unique playing styles which is what kept the show from getting monotonous. It’s a five star show for the small niche audience and a two star show for those easily bored by talent.



Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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LIVE REVIEW: Ghost Black to the Future - Bloomington, IL

Central Illinois is the home of at least 807 satan worshipers. All of them came out to attend mass put on by clergymen Ghost. From the outside looking in this may seem like a scary place to be but it ended up being one of the most pleasant experiences for this parishioner. The sold out service was held at The Castle Theater in Bloomington, IL. Men, women and children (seriously there were children there) alike came out in droves. They were excited, respectful and ready to have a good time…and Ghost did not disappoint.


From the second I heard Ghost’s music I fell in love. When you mix in the theatrics and the image you’ve got the perfect combination of great music and mystery. That’s what’s missing from rock n roll today, mystery. Ghost is single handedly keeping that alive. They’re all in with the image, theatrics and music. The show started before the band hit the stage. Most bands just play music up until it’s time to hit the lights. Ten minutes before the band hit the stage organ based satanic church music blared through the speaker. Two stoic ushers came on the stage to remove the cover from the drum and keyboards and test the instruments. Name another band with that level of commitment to their live show.


When the clergy hit the stage the parish erupted in excitement. They kicked things off with “From the Pinnacle to the Pit.” The band was tight. Song after song was as good as the album if not better. They were flawless. Papa Emeritus III is the ultimate showman. While the other nameless Ghouls were all dressed the same they commanded the stage as if every member of the band was a house hold name. What this band has been able to accomplish over the last few years is truly impressive.


The highlight of the show for me was “Year Zero.” The song is clearly the bands biggest hit and it got the biggest reaction from the crowd. It was also the song that made me fall in love with Ghost. The song “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen” is a song I liked but after seeing them play it live it’s now one of my favorite Ghost songs. They played it during the latter part of the show which I thought was a weird place for the song since it starts out so mellow but to watch that song build live is quite the experience.


If you haven’t had the chance to experience Ghost I highly recommend jumping at the next chance. The dedication to not only their craft but the whole package is commendable. I’m glad I made the two hour trip to cover the show. I don’t plan on ever missing another Ghost show.


 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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