Mac Sabbath plays at Holy Diver



Lead singer Ronald Osbourne on Stage at the Holy Diver Bar, Photography by Bryce Fraser

Bryce Fraser
Staff Writer

It’s not an unusual sight any Friday night at the Holy Diver Bar to see drum sets and guitars up on the stage, but a giant cheeseburger, a clown, a cat burglar, and a purple Grimace, might be considered an unusual sight to see  on any stage.

Mac Sabbath is not a typical Black Sabbath tribute band because they  not only play Black Sabbath music but they incorporate the world famous McDonalds characters into their imagery.

The band consists of lead singer Ronald Osbourne, who is a take on Ronald McDonald, the drummer Catburglar, who is a take on the Hamburglar, and The guitarist Slayer MacCheeze, who just has a giant cheeseburger  head with gigantic horns that sticking out of his cheeseburger face, and last but not least the bass player Grimalice, who is Grimace. All well known Mcdonald’s characters.

On stage Ronald Osbourne envelops many of Ozzy Osbourne mannerisms. Ronald walks the walk in a mirror image of Ozzy when he’s on stage and he even has the Ozzy stare.

The band performs many Black Sabbath songs, but replaces the words with a fast food spin, such as Black Sabbath’s famous song “Iron Man,” which is changed to “Iron Pan.” During the song Ronald is cooking hamburger patties in his Iron Fry Pan as he tosses a hamburger beach ball into the audience.

The night was full of puns, such as calling Sacramento, “Sacramentos the Fresh Maker,” Ronald refers to the Mentos slogan the Fresh Maker.  Also Ronald makes fun of non existent bands that he claims are copying him such as “Dairy Quensryke” and “Twisted Sizzler.”

The show had a good mix of all sorts of fans, such as a group of fans in their early 20’s decked out in Mac Sabbath T-shirts and wearing clown makeup resembling Ronald Osbourne  himself.

All in all they put on a great show, mixing hard rock with the all American McDonalds hamburgers, so if you are looking for something different, like hamburgers and Ozzy this is the show for you.



The Veterans Affairs office at ARC is like no other

Bryce Fraser, writer

American River College has about 1300 veterans attending its campus and is one of the largest veteran populations in the state within community colleges and universities. The Veterans Affairs center is the only school in the district to offer Wrap around services for its veteran students, according to Daniel Avegalio Student Services Supervisor at Veterans Resource Center.

“They created my position recently back in October as a supervisor to oversee the program because the need was there based off of our numbers,” said Avegalio.

In 2014 The Chancellor’s Student Success Award was given to the American River college Veterans Resource Center for it’s one a one-stop service center for student veterans, originally reported in an article in the Sacramento Bee by Loretta Kalb.

The Veterans Affairs Center on campus offers students help with issues such as Veterans Benefits, the  registration and application process at American River College, counseling, and other issues as well.

The Veterans  Affairs Center center contains their very own computer lab where Veterans can go to do homework and study in, as well as print for free at the lab. There are eight computers available. “A lot of vets come in they feel at home because it’s a space for them,” said Avegalio.

They are  fully staffed with student help who are VA work study students. They are all veterans, or family members of veterans, who are receiving Veterans benefits in some way themselves and understand the process of receiving those benefits, according to Avegalio.

Student Personnel Assistant, Robert Heryford has recently been hired and explained that his own experience transferring to Sac State can help American River College students who are transferring because he understands their situation.

Heryford understands how hard it is to transition back to civilian life and going to school.

“It’s a whole other ballgame when you’re coming back from working in that type of field and your back sitting in a classroom,” said Heryford.

The services offered at the American River College Veterans Affairs Center has helped ARC Student Honglu Johnson with getting classes and figuring out what to take as well as getting her military benefits.

“It’s a Nightmare getting Your benefits  and your benefit packets they did all that for me, said Johnson “They’re super organized about it,” said Honglu.

The Veterans Affairs center moved to a larger space as recently as last Fall Semester. “Other schools in the district have Veteran Resource Centers but its very small closet like, said Avegalio.

ARC Students chosen for Theater Festival in Denver

Bryce Fraser,writer

The hard work of the American River College Theatre Program students  just got some major recognition for their work.

The American College theater program and their production of “Cabaret” has been chosen to be a part of the national Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Denver where they will perform their production of “Cabaret.”

“In sports it would be higher than winning a state championship because it is regional,” said “Cabaret” director and American river College Theater professor Nancy Silva.

For the American River College Theatre Program to travel to Denver to perform it will cost the department 54,ooo dollars, according an ARC Theater Department press release.

They were chosen from region seven, from the national festival that features eight regions total around the US. The festival is suppose to “encourage and reward excellence in academic theater,”said Silva.

American River College  won at festival 18 years ago with the play Equus directed by Theater Professor  Pamela Downs. Siva herself  has been runner up twice with the plays  Keely and Du and Sweeney Todd.

American River College was chosen as one of three colleges out of 200 a part of region seven that included Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, with other community colleges as well as Universities.

“Its excruciatingly timely,” said Silva, “we are presenting the dangers of having a demagogue take over your county.”

There were two separate events this month to showcase the student’s work and to promote the opportunity to donors.

The “Cabaret Gala” which showed the ARC theater production “Cabaret” for American River College students and other audience members.

“An Evening of Scenes” where acting candidates nominated  by the Kennedy Center showcased their 6-minute competition packages that range from drama all the way too comedy.

Jordo Medina who is about to graduate from American River College this spring looks at the festival as finishing out the semester with a bang.

“As an actor it’s the best trophy you can get to hear your show is going to compete in regionals,”  said Medina “when we got the news everyone was in tears nobody knew how to react we just never expected this.”

Another student who plays a Kit Kat girl in the production of “Cabaret”, Jazz Sunpanich has been going to American River College ever since she traveled here from her home country of Thailand to study theater. “We are doing it for love and we love doing this thats why we doing this,” said Sunpanich.

At the festival there will be 16 regional and two national scholarships from the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. A judicator comes from a different college or university and offers opinions on each show and chooses actors in the production that stand out for them to be a nominee. who then go out to compete for their region.

Two students nominated this year for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship are Angelina Steshenko and Micah Smith. “Both on and off the stage you represent your college,” said Smith.

“It’s also an honor just that a complete stranger came and saw your show and that they liked you performance, that you stood out for them,” Said Steshenko.


Monster Energy Aftershock Festival returned to Discovery Park


Tom Araya lead vocalist of the band Slayer performing at the Monster Energy Aftershock festival Saturday Oct. 22, 2016-photography by Keith Koenig

Joseph Daniels
Staff Writer


Max Cavalera performing at the Monster Energy Aftershock Festival Sunday Oct. 23, 2016-photography by Bryce Fraser

Once again hundreds of people ventured to Discovery park last weekend to partake in the sold out event  the Monster Energy Drink Aftershock Festival. This year brought more metal bands to their lineup and that had sold out.


Only at a Slayer concert will you hear people cheerfully sing the words “God Hates Us all.”

Slayer is not only an influential band within thrash metal, but their music helps spawn both death and black metal. To say that the band is monumental is a vast understatement.

Hence the reason why their audience at Aftershock sang along eagerly to songs like “Angel of Death,” the song that is inspired by Josef Mengele, the person who was responsible for human experimentation during the Holocaust.

Slayer’s set list celebrated their career’s catalog by playing songs that dates back to “Show No Mercy.”

Tom Araya was hitting notes that wasn’t seen much since “Reign in Blood” during his performance on “The Antichrist.” His guttural vocals on “Hell Awaits” sounds as if belongs to something that lurks beneath the land and that lies just south of Heaven.

“This is a love song,” Araya described their “Dead Skin Mask,” which was about the infamous killer Ed Gein. Gein has a huge impact on pop culture in general, such as inspiring movies such as “Psycho” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

Slayer’s live performance captures the horror movie imagery that their albums invoke. It’s no wonder why this music scared the crap out of parents.


Meshuggah is so metal, when the day comes when one of the band members dies, doctors are going to find a terminator like skeleton. Their set list at Aftershock in Sacramento only served as further evidence for this theory.

If there ever was a band that deserves the metal label, it’s Meshuggah. The sound the body creates, invokes images of machines in operation. Jens Kidman manages to hit every word with each chaotic note.

While some members of the audience could argue that Meshuggah’s songs sound the same, they sound nothing like what was at Aftershock to a point where they sound as if they were out of place from the rest of the festival.

With their complicated time signatures, Meshuggah showed how metal could be both extreme and sophisticated.


When Anthrax started their act with “Caught With a Mosh,” it became clear their set will be mostly from their earlier years.

While their setlist also included newer songs such as “Fight Em ‘Til You Can’t” and “Breathing Lightning,” they feel like they could belong on “Among the Living.”

I have a theory that by bringing Joey Belladonna back on the lineup is to invoke nostalgia from their fans similar to J.J. Abram’s sequel to “Star Wars.”

While Anthrax was never as heavy as the other bands from The Big Four, but their stage presence makes up for it. Watching Scott Ian head bang and run around while playing rhythm guitar itself was a pleasure to watch.


The Soul Shakers Release Music Video For Debut Single “Here to Have a Good Time”

September 29, 2016Nashville based Rock N Roll band The Soul Shakers, have released a music video for their debut single “Here to Have a Good Time” . The video, which originally premiered with Revolver Magazine, comes from the band’s upcoming full length LP. Here to Have a Good Time is available for purchase now online.

“Here to Have a Good Time” is our definition of straight up rock n’ roll and a short story of where we come from and how we met. We hope this song makes you want to get up, shake what you got, grab a shot and have a good time.The Soul Shakers

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About The Soul Shakers:

When Elias Paul Reidy (formerly of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus) and Brett Hellings formed The Soul Shakers after a chance meeting outside of a club on the Sunset Strip, they had one single goal in mind – to bring good ole-fashioned, ass-shaking rock ‘n’ roll back into the forefront.

After two years of writing in Los Angeles and then a move to Nashville, Hellingsand Reidy were ready to lay down the tracks for their forthcoming full length LP. The two flew to Philadelphia to record at Soundmine Recording Studios with producer Dan Malsch (Motionless in White, Tantric, Framing Hanley), featuring Chuck Treece from Bad Brains on drums. The result is a culmination of the diverse lives they’ve led and experiences they’ve had along the way.

The Soul Shakers are one of those bands that seemingly have come out of nowhere. In an age, where the lines of music are blurred and everything is automatically defined by genre/sub-genre, comparison or cornered into a media-contrived box, make no mistake – The Souls Shakers personify what true Rock ‘N’ Roll is. Their repertoire and live shows are guaranteed to shake your very soul and strike a nerve, regardless of your musical tastes.

The band chose the track “Here To Have A Good Time” as their debut video, which was shot in and about their old Los Angeles stomping grounds with director Shane Drake (The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Taylor Swift, Panic! At the Disco) and is set to debut September 28, 2016 on

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Monster Energy Aftershock Band Times






Band performance times, food and beverage options, and additional onsite experiences have been announced for the fifth annual Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK on Saturday, October 22 & Sunday, October 23 at Discovery Park in Sacramento, CA.


Led by iconic bands Tool (in a rare U.S. festival appearance) and Avenged Sevenfold, Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK boasts a lineup of 35 bands on three stages, including Slayer, Korn, Primus,Disturbed and many more. California’s biggest rock festival also features the return of The Jack Daniel’s Experience, The Music Experience, the Juxtapoz MAKE YOUR MARK Graffiti Zone and more to engage fans with all aspects of the rock and roll culture.


A very limited number of single-day Saturday tickets for Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK (previously sold out) have just been released. Weekend General Admission and single-day Saturday and Sunday tickets are available at current prices through October 16 or while supplies last at Non-service fee tickets are also available at Dimple Records locations throughout the Sacramento area. VIP and hotel packages for Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK are now sold out.


The current Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK performance times (subject to change) are as follows:


Saturday, October 22
Monster Energy Stage Discovery Stage
8:20 PM Tool 7:15 PM Slayer
6:20 PM Primus 5:30 PM Meshuggah
4:45 PM The Pretty Reckless 3:50 PM Anthrax
3:10 PM Baroness 2:35 PM Motionless In White
2:00 PM Avatar 1:25 PM letlive.
12:50 PM Whores. 12:20 PM Big Jesus
11:45 AM American Sharks    
Capital Stage  
4:45 PM Deafheaven    
3:40 PM Face To Face    
2:35 PM Drakulas    
1:35 PM The Shrine    
12:20 PM Aeges    
11:15 AM Death Angel    
Sunday, October 23
Monster Energy Stage Discovery Stage
7:40 PM Avenged Sevenfold 6:35 PM Korn
5:30 PM Disturbed 4:35 PM Puscifer
3:45 PM Chevelle 3:05 PM Ghost
2:30 PM Parkway Drive 1:55 PM The Amity Affliction
1:20 PM Silver Snakes 12:50 PM Ignite
12:20 PM The Mendenhall Experiment    
Capital Stage  
4:15 PM Zakk Sabbath    
2:55 PM Max & Iggor Cavalera Return to Roots  
1:50 PM Suicide Silence    
12:50 PM Whitechapel    
11:50 AM Some Fear None    


Doors open at 11:00 AM each day.


Here is a list of Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK festival experiences, including various food options, as well as nonprofit organizations with a presence at the festival:


Coors Light Sports Bar: Coors Light, World’s Most Refreshing Beer, is proud to sponsor the Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK festival. The Coors Light Sports Bar will be showing college football games on Saturday and NFL games on Sunday, courtesy of Coors Light and Sacramento’s KHTK Sports 1140 AM. Coors Light goes to great lengths to bring you the coldest, most refreshing beer. Please remember to drink responsibly.


Monster Energy Experience/Sampling: Monster Energy will be keeping all fans fueled up and ready to rock by offering free sampling on their Monster Energy viewing deck. Enjoy Monster Energy drinks from one of the best seats in the house. Make sure to check back throughout the festival for a schedule of Monster Energy’s interactive artist experiences.


#monsterenergy #monstermusic


Eats: Food vendors at Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK include Angry Bird Grill • Bacon Mania • Barrett’s Gourmet Burgers • Big Joe’s BBQ • Bubba’s BBQ • Deluxe Asian Cuisine • Dippin Dots Ice Cream • Dog Town Dogs • Drewski’s Hot Rod Sandwiches • Florez Mexican Restaurant • La Mex Taqueria • Mac Attack • Monster Fries • Mt. Olympus • Sausage King • Spicy Pie Pizza • Strawberry Fields • Tube Steak Boogie • What’s Poppin Kettle Corn • Xochimilco Mexican Restaurant. VIP exclusive eats include Barrett’s Gourmet Sliders • Cousins Maine Lobster • Smokin Hot Pizza


Caduceus Wine Garden: This wine garden will highlight Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards, owned by Arizona resident Maynard James Keenan, co-founder of international recording acts TOOL, A Perfect Circle, and PUSCIFER. Having already dove headfirst into this venture, Maynard found out from a distant relative that wine making is in his blood. His Great Grandfather, “Spirito” Marzo, had vineyards and made wine in Venaus, Italy, just North of Turino in Piemonte.


The Music Experience: The Music Experience features all the elements that are involved in making music in a professional band setting. The interactive exhibit features guitars, basses, amps, drums, keyboards and electronic gear that are used by today’s most popular bands. The Music Experience has autograph signings and artist interactions throughout the day. Check Facebook and Instagram for the latest info on who will be hanging out at The Music Experience.


Instagram: @tmexp


Jack Daniel’s Experience: “Taste of Tennessee” invites visitors to come out and tour the nation’s oldest registered distillery from outside the Jack Daniel’s Hollow. Visitors get to see (and smell) whiskey dripping slowly through charcoal and the new oak barrels used in maturing Tennessee’s finest whiskey. The Jack Daniel’s Experience is open to all fans, 21 years old and up, for tours free of charge. Stop by the Jack Daniel’s Experience for interactive engagements throughout the weekend. Whiskies available at the Jack Daniel’s Experience include Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, Tennessee Fire, Tennessee Honey, Gentleman Jack, and Single Barrel.


Instagram: @jackdaniels_us

#jackdaniels #BornToMakeWhiskey


Juxtapoz MAKE YOUR MARK presented by Hellrzzr & Montana: This interactive graffiti art installation will showcase multiple live demonstrations and will allow AFTERSHOCK artists and fans the chance to add to the exhibit.


Keep Golf Metal: Keep Golf Metal is a movement that encourages festival attendees to play a 9 hole putt putt course with PGA level golf clubs provided by Rife Putters and MasterFit Custom Golf Clubs. Keep Golf Metal also has apparel that features designs that fuse the rock and golf worlds together.


Dyin 2 Live / Fxck Cancer: The F C Cancer Foundation’s mission is to fight cancer by raising awareness and to educate about early cancer detection, ultimately putting an end to late stage cancer diagnosis. The Dyin 2 Live wish granting program looks to enrich the lives of those fighting cancer by offering them an experience that will bring joy, hope, inspiration, and courage into their lives. In doing this, the program hopes it can help give the cancer fighter a chance to forget, even if it’s only for a day, what they are battling. The hope is that it can be used as a source of inspiration to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour.

Facebook: or

Instagram: @FxckCancer and @Dyin2LiveDreams


Take Me Home Animal Rescue: Take Me Home is a not for profit, volunteer based foundation that has been saving the lives of homeless animals since 2001. Many families living in low-income areas cannot afford medical care, basic vaccinations, or spay/neuter surgeries for their companion animals. The donations raised help us to fund mobile veterinary hospitals to travel into these under-served areas to provide free spay and neuter, vaccinations, microchipping and administer medical care for animals in desperate need. Take Me Home also supports local animal charities. Come by the booth to help out our furry friends by buying a shirt, signed merchandise, and entering a raffle. Danny Wimmer, Founder, DWP, said, “DWP is proud to support various charities, giving them a national platform to promote their messages. We are particularly fond of Take Me Home, which advocates for animal adoption. I hope everyone stops by their booth and supports their fundraising efforts to help animals in need.” For more information, please


Instagram: @TakeMeHomeRescue

Twitter: @TMHRescue


Life Looks Good On You: Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK has partnered with Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks for the Life Looks Good On You life jacket water safety campaign. Danny Wimmer Presents is pledging support with Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK alumni and DWP friends to create awareness for the Life Looks Good On You campaign. So far, music artists that have joined the efforts include Sacramento’s own Deftones, Rob Zombie, Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, Pop Evil, and Avatar. Photos of band members wearing life jackets will be part of a social media campaign designed to encourage people to safely participate in water activities by sharing photos of themselves and friends wearing life jackets.



LTD (Living The Dream) Foundation: A portion of all Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK ticket fees will be donated to Living the Dream. LTD Foundation bridges the music industry together with fans who are fighting terminal illnesses by giving them All Access VIP experiences backstage with their favorite bands and artists.


The most convenient way to get to Discovery Park for Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK this year is to use the Park & Ride program. Each Park & Ride ticket includes parking for one vehicle at Sleep Train Arena and a non-stop shuttle directly to the festival site for all passengers. Single day and weekend Park & Ride passes can be purchased at


Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, a producer of some of the biggest rock festivals in America, including Rock On The Range, Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, Monster Energy Fort Rock, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, LOUDER THAN LIFE, Northern Invasion, Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, Chicago Open Air, and more.


Sponsors for Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK include: Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, Coors Light, The Music Experience, El Jimador Tequila, Keep Golf Metal, Sound Exchange, Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Fxck Cancer, Take Me Home, KHTK, 98Rock, California Finest, Dimple Records, Juxtapoz, SoHo Concessions and more.


For more information on Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK, visit:






2015 Video Recap:

We Happy Few Game Preview


Image courtesy of Compulsion Games

Bryce Fraser
Staff Writer

Compulsion Games has done a complete change of the survival game formula that we have seen in other games. Instead of a post-apocalyptic land the game takes place in a dystopian 1960’s London and instead of zombies the player must fight off people addicted to happy pills known in the game as Joy. The game takes place in Wellington Wells where people who don’t take the pill known as Joy are known as Downers. The people of Wellington Wells even wear a white face make up of some sort representing the mask they put on when using their happy pills. The player who chooses not to take the pill, ends up a Downer themselves and must survive by finding food, water, and must sleep.

The game takes place in Wellington Wells where people who don’t take the pill known as Joy are known as Downers. The player ends up being a Downer and must survive by finding food, water, and even sleep.

The game is still in early development with some features that may end up in the finished game might be missing and bugs are also a strong possibility. The main story is not available yet but they tease of things to come. When you start the game you get an option of playing the character prologue The game also promises that later in development you will have a choice of their characters.

In the prologue you play as Arthur Hastings, who works as an information redactor censoring information that would bring the population down. When a newspaper clipping comes in about the Hasting brothers bad memories flood Arthur’s mind of his brother Percy and then he is offered the choice of taking a Joy pill or remembering. Hilariously, if you take the Joy pill the game goes to credits and then back to the main menu If you choose to remember.

As Arthur walks to the conference room he starts to think and notice things about the world. When going into the office next to him, he finds that Clive Birtwhistle wants his office when you read the notes around Birtwhistle’s office, he even a poster of Arthur with devil horn drawn on it.

The main floor of the office is filled with piles of Newspapers lying all over the place and Arthur says out loud how he never noticed how behind on work they are. When entering the conference room a few of his coworkers are gathered around a piñata. When Arthur hits it he is splattered with blood, then sees it was a giant rat the whole time showing that the effect of the Joy is slowly wearing off. When declining a Joy pill he is labeled a Downer and runs from the coming authorities who finally catch up and knock him out and the player wakes up in the Wellington underground.

It is unclear how Arthur got here but it seems that somehow he made it through the door, either way that was the end of the prologue. Now he awakes in the room on the other side. A TV is on with Uncle Jack playing. Uncle Jack is the face of propaganda in the game proclaiming the values of taking Joy.

The player must craft a jimmy bar to crack open the above hatch door to enter into the world above. The crafting system in the game  is simple you must find the allotted amount of items to craft the wanted item. You can craft different suits that offer protection or allow you to fit in better, Jimmy bars are useful for getting through locked doors or other locked containers, and of course crafting bandages to heal the player.

The game graphics art and styles are unique, the game really sets itself apart from other games with its bright colors and 60’s London style architecture. You first end up in Wellington Gardens District,  a rundown place with dull colors and what seem to be broken people. This is where all the Downers end up.

The Garden District, offers some interesting little side quests, crazy legs a man running around saying he has an important date he is late for who the player must somehow incapacitate,  finding a purple pill for a poisoned individual, or even rescue a doll for a very interesting fellow in a tree-house.

To get out there are two bridges one that requires you to know who won the Simeon Says game in town last week and one guarded by someone who really loves honey. I found the bee hive nearby, the game suggests crafting a padded suit so you can withstand the bee stings, I managed to grab the honey without crafting the suit and healed myself with a few bandages. Once you get the honey you are attacked by Downers who want it so they can cross the bridge. I jabbed them a bit with my sharpened stick and ran all the way to bridge where I rewarded the guard with his much sought after honey and made it through the gate.

The game offers a rich world to explore full of lure which are documents found in the world written by the people who live there, they sometimes offer hints to the player for figuring out quests or finding items.

The game allows you to free roam and explore the rich world of Wellington Wells It offers the player a decent amount of game play for someone who is interested in supporting the game by purchasing it before its initial release, the developers created a unique game and it will be interesting to see what they will do with the main story.


Fitz and the Tantrums plays at the Ace Of Spades


Fitz and the Tantrums’ percussionist and singer Noelle Scaggs, singing on stage, Thursday August 18, 2016. The band performed for a soldout audience at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento Calif. Photo by Bryce Fraser


Jonathan Ayestas
Staff Writer

The year 2016 has proved itself a productive year for Fitz and the Tantrums. With the release of their new album and hit single “Handclap,” and tour dates across the country, the six-piece pop-rock band is streamlining from their indie roots toward a mainstream presence.

The proof was in Thursday night’s crowd as the show was not only sold out, but the atmosphere felt thick with anticipation for the band to show up. Once the members started taking their position past the smoky background of a stage, cheers filled the room to a band that assumes a superpower presence confidently.

While the show overall was entertaining and poppy, Michael Fitzpatrick’s voice failed to reverberate past the front row. When comparing the studio version of “Spark” to the live version at Ace of Spades, it was unfortunate to hear Fitzgerald’s voice lack that sharper edge that creates such an appeal in the band’s later work.

He hadn’t redeemed himself till much later on when he treated his fans to the nostalgic gem “Moneygrabber.” At that point, the expectation of a sharp voice by a live Fitzpatrick had already left the venue.

The night was not without total consequence. The show was very much energetic — just not mainly from Fitzpatrick. Instead, co-lead singer Noelle Scagges brought the hype with her encouragement of crowd clapping and dancing during instrumentals. She reminded people that they were at a live show.

Then there’s saxophonist James King. His solos not only demanded attention but retained it. His mastery of playing is one of the reasons why Fitz and the Tantrums’ eccentric style of music doesn’t come off as eccentric. It somehow combines elements that shouldn’t go well together into a fusion that proves itself a coherent, competent unit, which is a blessing for the usual mix of Sacramento bands that pride themselves on fusion.

It’s not like Fitzgerald’s singing was atrocious, either. His monologue to the crowd before each song excited the audience. Fitz and the Tantrums is still a band worth seeing, but the differences between studio sound vs. live sound showed stark contrast and should be noted before attending one of their concerts.

The retro-reminiscent band remains a treat for the Sacramento scene. Sactown’s usual scene of fusion mixes could learn a thing or two from Fitz and the Tantrums, a band that has broken barriers of the swathes of indie bands trying to get their name in the limelight. If any band could do that, Patrick Fitzgerald and company are capable of doing it.

The sound is there. The energy is there, as is the capability of captivating the ears of larger crowds. For example, the Golden1 Center that is due to finish this year. Fitz and the Tantrums was a treat at Ace of Spades, and it would be worth a listen to seeing them in a Staples Center-sized venue.

Maybe it’s to their benefit that they emerged in the later half of the 2000s, when the indie-rock craze has mostly fizzled down to who made it and who remains deep in the indie woods.

But above all, it should be noted that this is one of the bands that sounds different live compared to what you listen to on your Spotify. It is up to the listener on what they like more.

The Joy Formidable @ Harlow’s


Ritzy Bryan lead singer of the Joy Formidable performing at Harlow’s Photo by: Bryce Fraser

Bryce Fraser
Staff Writer

Harlow’s nightclub and bar in the heart of midtown Sacramento was host to the performance of the Welsh indie rock band, The Joy Formidable hit the stage at Harlow’s alongside opening band the New Regime who had performed for an ecstatically excited crowd.

The band Joy Formidable has been on their USA Spring Tour around the nation for months now since their new album Hitch was released last March.

The opening band was New Regime, their sound was a blend of electronica mixed with hard rock and the drumming was very hard rock of the 90s in style. The band did great in getting the audience pumped up.

The band, The Joy Formidable, came on stage amped up and ready to perform for their fans. After the first few songs they apologized for being a few minutes late getting on stage and informed the crowd that the reason involved the dog that travels with them. They informed the audience the dog was ok and now enjoying a much needed quiet time.  They performed many songs from all of their albums, such as “Cradle” from their album The Big Roar.

The Joy Formidable played “Radio of Lips” and “Last Thing on My Mind” from their new album Hitch. The song “Radio Lips” really showed off Rhydian Dafydd versatility going from bass to keyboard while doing vocals.

The band returned on stage for an encore, they then preceded into the middle of the audience where  they  played “The Brook” from their new album acoustically without any microphones, or electric instruments. Ritzy Bryan, front-woman and lead vocalist of the band, explained how when writing their songs they are created acoustically away from usage of electric equipment.

Bryan showed off her angelic voice during the performance within the crowd while preforming “The Brook”. The band finished off the night with their hit song, and a favorite among fans, Whirling, getting the audience members got excited.

The song included a prolonged instrumental section at the end where the band jammed out as hard as they could. They invited a few audience members up on stage and even let one hold and even play guitar all while the instrumental continued, and then ended strong and with satisfied fans.