U2 Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Comes to “Loudest Stadium in the World” to Honor America, and to Shame Trump's Hate

The Joshua Tree Tour honors the 30th anniversary of U2’s Joshua Tree album, and the honor is timely. As Bono said, “it has taken many years for these messages to ring true,” in regard to the lyrics of the songs, which show U2’s love and appreciation for America, but also point out the disillusionment of Americans, evident now more than ever because of the Trump administration’s attack on their basic human rights. “We have to stay awake to dream, even in God’s Country,” Bono warned the audience...

Anthrax and The Devil Wears Prada Backstage at Killthrax Tour 2017

Bass guitar legend Frank Bello of Anthrax and singer-guitar player front man Jeremy DePoyster of The Devil Wears Prada both took time backstage with UnRated Magazine to discuss their latest critically acclaimed albums as well as life on the Killthrax Tour 2017 at the Arvest Midland Theatre in Kansas City, MO on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  Both metal veterans looked healthy and happy with the tour’s success and the success of their albums...

Godsmack to Tour the US - Concert Review

Godsmack's show is a must-see. Quite simply, they rival the greatest heavy metal acts of all time with their live performance. Their sound system is amazingly clear, ominous and loud. Robbie Merrill's bass lines echo in your chest during songs like "What If," bringing chills to your skin and vibrations to your water bottle and, er, other things. Every band member contributes to vocals, including a tongue in cheek lead vocal by Merrill of Queen's "We Will Rock You" while holding the mic with one hand and plucking the bass with the other. Sully Erna is a multi-talented singer, writer and music visionary, but also a fantastic drummer and accomplished guitarist as proved by his drum and guitar solos...

Anthrax Came for You, Chicago - Album & Concert Review

Freak, headbanging DJ of 94.7 The Zone, introduced the band. The audience threw fists in the air and chanted "Anthrax, Anthrax, Anthrax" for several minutes. Then the theme from the Blues Brothers started blaring through the speakers, surprising the fans. I figured it was to honor as well as poke fun at us Chicagoans, though I've since heard Anthrax played it at a Long Island show, too. Silence returned, followed again by upraised fists and more chanting. Talk about suspense!  I'm sure Anthrax expected an enthusiastic crowd that night, as they know how many loyal fans they have in Chicago. But they were still visibly surprised by the deafening applause that met them as they climbed onstage...

An Interview with Alex Varkatzas of Atreyu - Artist Interview

Michele: How does it feel to tour with the Prince of Darkness?

Alex: It's awesome. It's surreal, especially just from being a fan you know, and now getting to tour with them. Or just hearing stories like about Sharon Osbourne and stuff and how she runs things, and then her laying down those kinds of laws on us, it's crazy! We're like part of the story now, you know...

Megadeth: Heaven and Hell Tour - Concert Review

We stayed for Black Sabbath, but we came for Megadeth - my old school, speed metal buddies and I. And there were many likeminded fans in the arena. Rumors of a "Rust in Peace-heavy" set list had us all fidgety with anticipation. We were as a group of believers awaiting the rapture of Mustaine's guitar. But once Dave plucked his first string we turned into behemoths, screaming and thrashing as if trying to bring down the proverbial gates of hell and issue forth the maniacal demons of speed metal to fuel our lust for Megadeth's music...

Chris Dignam, "Greenlit" - Album Review

An instrumental rock guitar work for the most part, Greenlit also has folk, classical and new age moments, and contains the most unusual, inspiring and enjoyable guitar compositions I've heard since first opening a Led Zeppelin album. His first recording in five years, Dignam broke free from the conventions imposed on him in his previous CD's and used every type of guitar, device, timbre and playing style in his repertoire, to create a compilation of experimental yet deftly written guitar pieces that sated my thirst for fresh rock sounds...

I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne and Chris Ayres - Book Review

Ozzy's is everyone's unlikely hero - the nowhere man who finds gold every time he steps in shit. "I Am Ozzy" is full of wonderful boy-beats-odds stories of his family, his childhood friends, his attempts at the blue collar life, and how he ended up as a rock vocalist with Black Sabbath. The entire book is written in the first person in a very conversational tone, as if Osbourne was sitting there puffing on a "fag" and telling you a good story. Osbourne's tales are very entertaining, and he tells them in a way that keeps you laughing throughout the book. He is truly a brilliant comedian - a self-professed clown who enjoys making people laugh...

Mudvayne Live at the House of Blues Chicago - Concert Review

As a headbanger of 25 years it did my heart good to see heavy metal still stirring the blood of young people at the Mudvayne concert Wednesday, November 20 at the House of Blues in Chicago. The small, ecletically decorated classical-style auditorium nicely complimented the young music lovers, mostly dressed in black, though nicely decked out in their own eclectic piercings and tattoos. Like the freaky appearance of their audience, Mudvayne’s screaming vocals and in your face lyrics demanded that you stop, look, and listen to what is on the minds of these young adults.  “You need to walk your own line, focus inward, and f--- the politicians,” preached lead singer “Chud” McDonald...

Judas Priest Reunites: Takes Back Heavy Metal Throne - Album & Concert Review

We caught the Chicago leg of the Retribution Tour in June. Judas Priest performed with the energy of a brand new band and with the virtuosity of accomplished musicians. Halford's voice was amazing; he hit the high notes easily and screamed as loud as ever.  Downing and Tipton haven't slowed down a bit, and whipped out solos with amazing skill and speed. The band members looked confident and proud like knew they were good, and they were. Downing walked back and forth across the stage, goading the audience to go nuts. The whole arena was having fun...

Perfect Red Sets Off Western US Tour - Album Review & Tour Announcement

Midwest-based melody-core metal band Perfect Red launches their tour of the western states this week to promote their second album, "Rebuild the Afterworld." Already a sensation in the Chicago area, Perfect Red's catchy songs and gritty style are quickly gaining nationwide exposure.  Still "hold outs, not sold outs" to the record labels, P-Red is financing their solo tour with the support of their fans and west coast connections. Already seasoned veterans of the Midwest circuit, P-Red has performed with bands such as Disturbed (sold out, House of Blues, Chicago), The Buzzhorn and Pillar.  Perfect Red's music has been described as bridging the gap between alternative rock and heavy metal. A hard rock band in every sense, P-Red's songs are melodic, rhythmic and infectious -- and are catching on with fans of indie, metal, and rock-n-roll alike...

Ozzfest 2006: Unholy Sunday Welcomes You To Hell - Concert Review

Heat fit for hell itself welcomed Ozzfest 2006 to southwest Chicago on the unholy Sunday of July 16, 2006. Attendees at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL were bathed in intense sun and endured a heat index of over 100 degrees. Ozzfest in Chicago is always hot though, and the fans weren't daunted.  "Sweet home Chicago," began Lead Singer Dave Draiman of Disturbed near the start of their set. "...I've been telling the other guys on this tour, for the entire duration of this tour, that all you mother f---ers better watch out when you come to Chicago, 'cause Chicago's going to put to shame any crowd you have seen so far throughout this tour...it wasn't too far from this venue where we started playing in all the clubs in Oak Lawn and all around the f---ing Southside. When the inner city clubs would not book a band as heavy as Disturbed, because they were too obsessed with the 1980's sounding bands, the Southside welcomed Disturbed...

SevenTrain: San Diego Metal is energizing fans! - Album Review

Seventrain performed together for the first time in the fall of 2012 in San Diego, California at a memorial show for the late Vincent John Crudo, (otherwise known as “Big Vinnie”), who was a respected local sound technician and bass player in the Southern California area. Guitarist Eric Horton, who had previous worldwide success with his former power metal band Cage, assembled some admired local musicians to play a handful of cover songs at the memorial show. Shortly after this performance, the guys sat down and decided to record an album of material that guitarist Eric Horton and vocalist Jon Campos had been working on...

SOiL "True Self" - Album Review

SOiL's latest CD "True Self" is their best album yet. The melodies are more pleasing and catchier than their last CD "Redefine," but this in no way diminishes the traditional gritty, raw sound for which this Chicago-based band is known.  "The whole premise of this new record was to take the elements that our fans knew and loved about SOiL and bring them to a new level," says bassist Tim King.  Taking over after the departure of original vocalist Ryan McCombs, A.J. Cavalier brought his vocals to the band without compromising its classic sound. He has a pleasing and versatile voice adept at impassioned screaming and great singing.  Cavalier wrote the lyrics for the CD's hit song "Give It Up," the first song he wrote for the band. It's great for thrashing and moshing and cathartic release of frustration and anger...

Troyer Award Speech for Dr. Miller

This year we have decided to honor another Sandy... Ms. Sandy Pendell...Sandy has counseled countless WIU education students and young parents of children at the WIU Preschool Center on how to be effective parents and educators of young children.  She is a patient and compassionate listener to parents and students both, and is always able suggest the best resources and support systems that can help them.  One of Sandy’s favorite sayings is a quote taken from A.A. Milne’s beloved character Winnie the Pooh:  “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart...”

Letter of Recommendation for Graduate Assistant - Ryan

Ryan embraces the most difficult assignments with a spirit of adventure, showing delight when we challenge his intelligence and resourcefulness, and attacks projects with a confident, positive attitude that is an inspiration to others in the office.  Ryan is far from arrogant, however; he is amazingly humble given his talents, and is quick to compliment the efforts and achievements of everyone, encouraging them, and appreciating their efforts...

Letter of Recommendation for Graduate Assistant - Nina

Nina is a capable, thoughtful decision-maker, showing good judgment, maturity and creativity in her thinking. She is confident in her ideas and does not hesitate to share them in a respectful manner in order to increase the excellence and efficiency of department operations. Nina is very intelligent, and is great to have around to bounce ideas off of, and always has great suggestions...

Nomination Letter for Dr. Jensen for Advisor of the Year

I enthusiastically beg your consideration of Dr. Mary Jensen as Advisor of the Year.  I have worked closely with Dr. Jensen over the last two years and am beyond impressed by the dedication, hard work, extra hours and heartfelt efforts she devotes to her Council for Exception Children members and to all of her students as well.  My office is right outside of Dr. Jensen’s, so I get to witness close up the love and respect that she and her students demonstrate for each other.  Their admiration for her is a joy to see, and her willingness to go above and beyond for her students, for the CEC, and for the Curriculum and Instruction Department is a personal inspiration to me...

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© 2019 by Michele Mussatto