All posts by Ken Pierce

Ken Pierce is an NYC based Music Journalist and the Editor In Chief of; He's been documenting the live Metal and Rock scene of the Big Apple since 2003 and believes that there is always something exciting happening in this Metropolis.

Judas Priest Signing @ Sony Square NYC (3/19/2018)

It was an exciting time to be a Heavy Metal fan and a supporter of the absolutely legendary Judas Priest for you see not only has the band released an incendiary album with “Firepower”; but they’ve also landed on the Billboard Top 200 Charts which is pretty damned cool in this day and age. “Firepower” is the bands 18th album, and trust me it’s a molten one and worthy of addition to your music library. In honor of the release, the folks at Sony Square NYC have set up a small gallery of archival photos and some stage costumes along with other trinkets that you don’t generally get to see up close and personal. I did a walk-through video and photographic narrative of the gallery about a week ago and if you didn’t see that post just click HERE to be brought to that story, and then you can return to the topic at hand.

With the band on tour for the new album, it was decided that Judas Priest members would come to Sony Square NYC for an album signing. You had to purchase the album on CD, LP or cassette in order to get one of the wristbands but once you did you were golden to come in and say hello to the guys and get your shiny new album signed. I wasn’t going to miss being one of the media flies on the wall for such an appearance so over to the SSNYC space I went and after securing the credentials was told that around 5:45PM the band would be making a grand entrance. Who would show up for this I had to wonder but before I could think anything more about it I realized that I was right near the albums producer Andy Sneap. By now most of the Priest fans of the world know that Andy has stepped into Glenn Tipton’s shoes for touring purposes after the musician had to stop touring for health reasons. Sneap is also a member of the band Hell and has about 100 albums to his credit in terms of producing. Not too shabby right.

Some scurrying of security staff started to commence and then the sirens were heard and up rolled one of the powerful firetrucks of our city’s incredible New York Fire Department. When they went right to the corner I thought that they were responding to a call, but when the mighty machine started to back up I knew that they were only answering the call of Heavy Metal this afternoon as the member of Judas Priest began to exit the vehicle. Drummer Scott Travis came out first and he was followed by guitarist Richie Faulkner. A moment or three passed by and a small group started walking toward us. It was bassist Ian Hill, The Metal God himself Rob Halford and wait, could I be seeing things? Was that Glenn Tipton walking with Rob?!? Yes my friends Glenn Tipton was here as well and that was an awesome sight to behold. The cheers of those in attendance who were close enough to see were resounding.

Once inside, the media folks were able to gather in a small corral while the band members got ready for the signing. Over the speakers they were playing parts of “Redeemer Of Souls”, the live album “Battle Cry” and of course the brand new “Firepower” and eventually the guys all came out. I snapped what I could but they didn’t have a lot of proper light on them which was strange since usually these are very well lit events and I did what I could. A healthy group of contest winners went up to the band first and while it seemed as though they were signing other things that people brought along with them, there were NO personal photos allowed with the band. It’s not a popular decision in the fans eyes but in the interest of time one has to deal with it so the whole crowd can be processed and get their album signed. Between groups I even had the chance to pass through and say hello and thank them for all the music they have given us. It was great to be a part of this and to see Glenn at the appearance. With the band performing tomorrow at the Prudential Center one has to wonder if that show will be one of the appearances that he has eluded to in statements on the official Priest channels. One can only hope. I will be at the show tomorrow as well and have learned that there are still tickets available so if you consider yourself a Heavy Metal fan at all you want to be rallying for the Priest when they come a calling. Until next time.


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Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly Announce Co-Headlining Summer Tour

It’s a pretty exciting day for music fans as we’ve not only been announcing tour dates for bands like Life Of Agony, Godsmack and Shinedown – but now we are onto the stupendous pairing of Dropkick Murphy’s and Flogging Molly. A Tour 20 Years In The Making” as their press copy denotes. Let’s take a look at the full press release and dates along with the poster.

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The Press Release:
Dropkick Murphys. Flogging Molly. They share a working-class ethos, they share an Irish heritage and Celtic folk influence, and now – for the first time – these two giants of American punk rock will be sharing the stage for a co-headlining U.S. tour. This historic run, celebrating over 20 years of mayhem, kicks off June 1 at Jacobs Pavilion in Cleveland, OH. Tickets for all shows are on sale now at the websites linked at the close.

Dropkick Murphys just completed their 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Tour – including their annual sold-out hometown run of Boston shows – with NYC hardcore legends Agnostic Front and Boston ska pioneers Bim Skala Bim. This followed Dropkick Murphys’ sold-out European arena/concert hall tour – which included dates with Flogging Molly – in February. Flogging Molly is in the homestretch of their fast-paced selling Life Is Good Spring 2018 Tour, selling out over half of the dates in advance including their St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Hollywood’s Palladium, as well as the remaining shows. The band will set sail to the Bahamas on April 20th for their 4th annual Salty Dog Cruise, joined by The Offspring, Buzzcocks, The Vandals, Lagwagon, The Adolescents, and more.
Continue reading Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly Announce Co-Headlining Summer Tour

Godsmack And Shinedown Announce Co-Headlining Summer 2018

Since it’s lunchtime, let’s send you all out for a nice breather with another tour announcement. This one lines out the co-headlining run being plotted by Godsmack and Shinedown and their special guests Like A Storm and Red Sun Rising.

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The Press Release:
This summer, rock fans across the country should prepare to be rocked hard when the GODSMACK/SHINEDOWN co-headlining summer tour hits more than 30 cities. Produced by Live Nation, the six-week outdoor amphitheater tour kicks off July 22 and make stops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Atlanta, New York and many more before wrapping September 2. These dates come as both multi-platinum groups are set to release new albums: Godsmack’s WHEN LEGENDS RISE (April 27 via BMG) and Shinedown’s ATTENTION ATTENTION (May 4 via Atlantic Records). Tickets are available to the general public starting Friday, March 23 at Select dates of the summer tour will also be part of the popular Live Nation Ticket to Rock program. The Ticket to Rock bundle offers fans a low-cost way to see many of their favorite rock artists live in their area all summer long.

“We really believe this could be a great moment in our band’s career and we plan on running on the road until at least fall of 2019,” Sully Erna of Godsmack says. “We love the guys in Shinedown and we all go way back. There is a very strong mutual respect between our camps and we feel that this tour is going to be a must see!” Adds the singer, songwriter and guitarist: “We’re preparing ourselves to be on the top of our game!”

“It’s all about impact, and making a statement,” says Brent Smith, Shinedown’s lead singer. “We are creating a show for the fans that is powerful, passionate, and sonically inspiring. The audience has given us a platform to be ourselves, and create something spectacular. That being said SHINEDOWN, and GODSMACK will most certainly NOT let them down. This will be the Rock & Roll event of the year. In other words “IT’S ABOUT TO GET HEAVY!!!”
Continue reading Godsmack And Shinedown Announce Co-Headlining Summer 2018

Life Of Agony Announce “Rise Of The Underground” 2018 Tour

Monday is not everyone’s favorite day and hence Garfield always grumbling how that he hates Mondays. I feel the sure fire way to cure that level of blues is with a tour announcement or two. Let’s start the week off properly with the latest dope from the band known as Life Of Agony. I’ll return at the close with some additional editorial.

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The Press Release:
New York’s LIFE OF AGONY has announced dates for a headlining trek called “Rise of the Underground Tour 2018” spanning the USA and Europe. The shows will begin with two sold-out, hometown warm-up gigs April 18th & 19th at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, and conclude November 2nd as headliners of The Sound of Revolution Festival in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Full list of dates are below.

“With 2018 marking the 25th anniversary of our debut album, we are just so incredibly grateful to our fans for sticking with us all these years and wanted to do something really special for them. We’re breaking out some old fan favorites that we’ve never played before live and hitting cities we haven’t been to in over a decade,” says bassist Alan Robert. “You really can’t beat the crazy energy of a packed, sweaty, tiny club, like we used to play back in the day, so we decided to include some very intimate rooms on this tour, along with the bigger venues, to feel that deep emotional connection again with our die-hard fans. It’s gonna be insane.”

Joining Rise of the Underground Tour 2018 as main support during the September US dates will be Silvertomb, the new band featuring Johnny Kelly and Kenny Hickey from Type O Negative. More support acts to be announced soon.

LIFE OF AGONY emerged from the New York music scene in the early ’90s with one of the most distinctive sounds in its genre. Best known for its 1993 metal/crossover debut River Runs Red, the band instantly built a cult following. For over two decades, the group toured relentlessly all over the world, sharing stages with the biggest names in rock, including Metallica, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Foo Fighters, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. After the much-praised Ugly (1995), LIFE OF AGONY opted for a highly energetic alternative rock approach on Soul Searching Sun (1997) and Broken Valley (2005) – the latter produced by Greg Fidelman (Slipknot, Metallica). Last year, the group released their 5th studio album A Place Where There’s No More Pain (2017) to critical acclaim, debuting at #24 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Album Chart. LIFE OF AGONY has sold over one million albums to date.

The USA Tour Dates:
4/18: Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus (SOLD OUT)
4/19: Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus (SOLD OUT)
4/21: Worcester, MA @ New England Metal & Hardcore Fest, Palladium
5/16: Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go-Go
5/18: Anaheim, CA @ Parish at House of Blues
5/19: Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar
5/20: Phoenix, CA @ Club Red
5/22: San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
7/13: Mansfield, OH @ INKcarceration Festival
9/14: Baltimore, MD @Soundstage
9/15: Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of the Living Arts
9/16: Teaneck, NJ @ Debonair Music Hall
9/19: Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere’s
9/21: Joliet, IL @ The Forge
9/22: Flint, MI @ Machine Shop
9/23: Pittsburgh, PA @ The Rex
9/25: Buffalo, NY @ Ironworks
9/29: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom

The European Tour Dates:
6/15: Nickelsdorf, Austria @ Nova Rock Festival
6/16: Gräfenhainichen, Germany @ With Full Force Festival
6/17: Kiel, Germany @ Kieler Woche Festival
10/12: Papenburg, Germany @ Kesselschmiede
10/13: Dusseldorf, Germany @ Zakk
10/14: Leeuwarden, Netherlands @ Nueshoorn
10/16: Aschaffenburg, Germany @ Colos-saal
10/18: Mallorca, Spain @ Full Metal Holiday Festival
10/21: Salzburg, Austria @ Rockhouse
10/23: Budapest, Hungary @ A38
10/24: Zagreb, Croatia @ Culture Factory
10/26: Ljubljana, Slovenia @ Kino Siska
10/27: Pinarella Di Cervia, Italy @ Rock Planet
10/28: Munich, Germany @ Technikum
10/30: Sint-Niklaas, Belgium @ De Casino
10/31: Leige, Belgium @ Reflektor
11/02: Eindhoven, Netherlands @ The Sound of Revolution Festival

*** end of transmission ***

PiercingMetal Thoughts: Over the years I’ve pretty much been more of the casual fan of the type of sound that LOA brings to the table, but I’ve got to share that a whole lot of my inner circle are over the top ardent supporters of them so that’s awesome. I’m overdue on a new album review but watch for that soon and I’ll admit I am curious about the new Silvertomb band as well. That makes me feel that I will be looking to be a part of the NYC region show. It’s at the Bowery Ballroom which is a place I don’t get too all that much. So what do you readers think about this tour? Are you down with the program and will be on point for one or more of the appearances? Let me know down in the comments section below.

Official Website:
Official Website:

Santa Cruz Cancels Spring Headline & Fozzy Supporting Dates

Finnish Rock sensations Santa Cruz are currently on the road supporting Fozzy (which we shared months ago on THIS POST) and well, earlier today the band issued the statement that follows their photo. Let’s have a look.

The Statement: “Santa Cruz fans, we regret to inform you that we had to cancel our remaining shows on the U.S. Tour. If you purchased tickets for our headline shows (March 20th, 22nd, 23rd or 24th), please contact the appropriate venue for information on refunds.”

The Cancelled Gigs:
March 20, 2018: Pub Station (Headline) @Billings, MT
March 22, 2018: The Aquarium (Headline) @Fargo, ND
March 23, 2018: Nomad (Headline) @Minneapolis, MN
March 24, 2018: What’s Up (Headline) @Mankato, MN
March 27, 2018: Turner Ballroom w/Fozzy @Milwaukee, WI
March 28, 2018: Bottom Lounge w/Fozzy @Chigago, IL
March 29, 2018: Intersection w/Fozzy @Grand Rapids, MI
March 30, 2018: Shelter w/Fozzy @Detroit, MI
March 31, 2018: Oddbody’s w/Fozzy @Dayton, OH
April 2, 2018: House Of Blues w/Fozzy @Cleveland, OH
April 3, 2018: Jergel’s w/Fozzy @Pittsburgh, PA
April 4, 2018: Upstate Concert Hall w/Fozzy @Clifton Park, NY
April 5, 2018: The Gramercy w/Fozzy @New York, NY
April 6, 2018: The Foundry w/Fozzy @Philadelphia, PA
April 7, 2018: Aura w/Fozzy @Portland, ME
April 8, 2018: Wally’s Pub w/Fozzy @Hampton Beach, NH

Continue reading Santa Cruz Cancels Spring Headline & Fozzy Supporting Dates