Marilyn Manson: Live at Blue Hills Bank Pavillion. Boston 7-28-2015
Marilyn Manson at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
Review and Photos by Rob Watts. Follow Rob @RobWattsOnline
Just over twenty years into his illustrious and controversial career, legions of dedicated and adoring fans stood loud and proud as Manson and his band took to the darkened and ominous stage. It was a thunderous entry as the band and frontman ripped into Deep Six from his recent studio effort The Pale Impaler. The clarity in the musicianship was apparent immediately as his band’s performance, especially Twiggy’s bass playing, was crystal clear and extremely tight. Manson, unlike many shows in the past, was in top form and highly active on stage as he moved on to Disposable Teens and mOBSENE. Highly animated, Manson engaged along with the crowd, especially the young females in close proximity. Obliged to perform the crowd pleasing covers Sweet Dreams (are made of this) and Personal Jesus, the band continued on with stellar originals such as No Reflection, Rock is Dead and The Dope Show. Theatrically, it was an amazingly visual set, although it was the same bag of tricks; the altar and burning bible, the crucifix, the stilts and so on. The set ended with the well-loved The Beautiful People, and Coma White was performed beautifully as an encore. So what you will, Manson still has it and brought it with him to Boston!
Photo by Rob Watts
Rob behind his table w/ The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove
Rob Watts appeared at the 2015 New England Author Expo in Danvers, Massachusetts on July 29th. Couldn’t make it out that night? The latest novel The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove can be purchased directly, signed by the author and delivered to you in a matter of a few days. Books can be ordered here!
With friend Tanya Gold from Tanya Gold Editing
w/ friend and author Stacey Longo
Smashing Pumpkins at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
Smashing Pumpkins at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion July 28, 2015
Review by Rob Watts. Follow Rob @RobWattsOnline
First there was the acoustic pre-show, where Pumpkins founder and frontman Billy Corgan laid down three beautiful renditions of Purr Snickerty, Perfect and Dorian (the latter two accompanied by guitarist Jeff Schroeder.) Followed by a Q and A between Corgan and the 17 of us in front of him. Corgan was in relaxed form and very gracious to the various fans and media professionals seated in front of him. No question was off limits as he gave explanations in his sometimes long-winded yet informative manner. As he’d made mention of his 25 years of coming through Boston, I’d asked him what his fondest memory of playing in Boston over the years. He told me it was an early performance at the tiny Cambridge, MA club called T.T The Bears Place, where the temperature was so intense, he poured a bucket of water over his head on stage.
Later in the evening, as the Pumpkins took to the stage for their full-length show, they leveled the crowd with Cherub Rock, followed by Bullet with Butterfly Wings and Tonight, Tonight. Little on stage banter was shared with the audience, but rather a full-blown rock show filled to the brim with Smashing Pumpkin classics, something that dedicated fans haven’t heard played on stage in quite some time. Aside from Drum and Fife, One and All and Run2Me from their well-received Monuments to an Elegy album, the rest of the set played like a greatest hits album. From Ava Adore to Zero to Disarm, the band aimed to please with this rare live glimpse of the band’s yesteryear. As predicted, once 1979 was performed, many fans walked off and called it a night. As Corgan announced that since the fair weather fans and posers had left, they would continue on stage with some hard rockers, as was evident with the thunderous United States from the album Zeitgeist and Stand Inside Your Love from Machina.
Adding to the excitement of the rock-solid performance was the inclusion of original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin who fit right back in behind the skins as if he’d never left. Complimenting his backbone beat was the inclusion of bassist Jack Bates, son of legendary New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook. He fit in very well and added an element of style and coolness on stage. The band ended the show with an encore of Today, which ended the party nicely.
Corgan during his Q and A Session
Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder performing “Perfect.”
Billy Corgan During “One and All.”
Thanks to those who came out for the June 4th signing of Rob Watts’ The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove. Was great meeting so many nice people as well as many talented authors from the area. Couldn’t make it out that night? You can purchase copies of The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove (Book & CD) at RobWattsOnline.com and OceanViewPress.com
Out of their Shadows by Ranjana Kamo
Review by Rob Watts
A wonderfully told story about faith, love, commitment and success. Two of the protagonists, particularly Nita and Sagar, are very well developed and are easily identifiable for the reader. The challenges that they face within the story are very relatable issues that anyone can attest to at one point or another in their life. Without giving anything away, Nita is on a journey towards success, but not the type of success one might automatically assume. Her personal journey towards her goal is one of dedication and drive, despite the pitfalls that lie ahead. Sagar has romantic feelings for someone (I won’t say who) and must gather up the courage to share his true feelings. He could be denied the happiness he’s in search of if he doesn’t. The story as a whole is very inspiring. It forces the reader to take stock in the gifts we’ve been given in life, as well as appreciating the tools afforded to us in life to go after what we really want. As cleverly implemented in the story, it’s patience, dedication, faith and loyalty that truly get us to the achievements we seek in life. Ranjana Kamo has a wonderfully unique way of getting this across to the reader in a very entertaining and subtle fashion.
Purchase Out of their Shadows at Amazon.com
The Crooked Roads through Cedar Grove, the new Mystery / Thriller by Rob Watts is now available at a discounted price of $19.99 and FREE shipping until June 30th. This special edition hardcover includes a 20 song soundtrack performed by Watts specifically for the novel. All orders between now and June 30th will receive a free limited edition 5″ clear vinyl album of “The Gathering” from the soundtrack (while supplies last.) All books come signed and will ship June 2nd.
The novel will be available digitally June 2nd.
Purchase your copy at Ocean View Press or RobWattsOnline.com
Faith No More: Sol Invictus
Review by Rob Watts
It’s as if the last eighteen years hadn’t happened. Reuniting in the studio for the first time since their 1997 release, Album of the Year, the San Fransisco based experimental rockers have responsibly recorded an album that die hard fans can declare worthy of the near two-decade-long sabbatical. Sol Invictus picks right up where Album of the Year left off. Having listened to their 1997 effort a bunch of times leading up to the new release, I can say with absolute certainty that Sol Invictus sounds exactly like what I’d have expected from the band in 1999, let alone 2015. In short; they truly meant it when they said they were recording a Faith No More album that sounds like Faith No More.
Mike Patton‘s vocals are amazing as always and his classic delivery has lost nothing over the years. All of his side projects have kept him in top shape and Sol Invictus benefits greatly from that fact. Roddy Bottum’s keyboards gives the album the right amount of ambience and ethereal quality. Billy Gould and Mike Bordin‘s familiar backbone will jump right out at you and Jon Hudson‘s guitar performance is probably one of his best offerings on this album.
It’s difficult to pin point all the great elements of each song, as I’ve always approached Faith No More’s music as a full-album experience. At least since 1992s Angel Dust. Superhero and Motherfucker, the two lead singles, are hard-driving rock delights, but Cone of Shame and From The Dead really shine a light on Patton’s operatic vocal abilities. Matador is a highlight, especially for fans of Bottum’s synth playing. Black Friday features Patton’s sung-in-spoken word vocals that we’ve all come to know and love. As an album in its entirety, it comes close to Faith No More’s finest work to date. I hope we don’t have to wait another eighteen years for a new album, but if it’s as good as this one, I’ll wait patiently.