Date: 8/20/11
Location: Sedalia, MO
Venue: Missouri State Fair
Bands: EMPHATIC, Adelitas Way, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman
EMPHATIC Setlist: Do I, Get Paid, Beg, Put Down, Original Sin, Bounce

EMPHATIC rolled into a pretty beat up town of Sedalia, MO Saturday. In talking to some of the grounds crew we found out that the day before the town had been hit with 83mph winds, golf-ball sized hail, severe downpours, and had been without power the entire day and night. Fortunately for The Carnival of Madness the weather decided to cooperate. There were a few showers/sprinkles, but nothing significant enough to cause too many problems.

I’ll be completely honest… I went into the day thinking it was going to be a relatively lame day for merch and attendance. I could not have been MORE wrong. We tip our hat to Sedalia for bringing it and bringing it hard.

The stage was quite wide and set up on the infield of the race track in front of the bleachers. Once the gates opened people poured in and were amped to see a great rock show. The guys hit the stage at 6:30 and put on one hell of a show. Doing the lights outside while it’s still light out isn’t the most exciting, but the crowds energy and the bands performance kept me pumped. I’ve neglected to give props to the amazing crew on this tour. Nick (our soundguy) has had us sounding amazing every night. The rest of the crew has been nothing but supportive and helpful every night.

A highlight of the show was after the first song when Grant (singer) said to the audience ‘this is a fuckin’ rock show – get out of those seats and lets have some fun!’ – and EVERYONE DID! Just proving that the guys really are making an impact and Grant is getting more comfortable in his roll.

After their set, the merch booth was MOBBED with fans looking to get CDs, T-shirts, autographs, and pictures. The band barely got a break from the end of their set until Theory of a Deadman finished the night. Everyone was extremely cool and patient.

The only downside for me was that with everything going on I didn’t get a single picture. I really do have to pay attention to that.

Thank you Sedalia… we look forward to coming back and doing it again soon…

Date: 8/17/11
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Venue: The Murat Theatre
Bands: EMPHATIC, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman
EMPHATIC Setlist: Do I, Get Paid, Beg, Put Down, Original Sin, Bounce

Today we rolled into a great venue… The Murat Theatre. While rock shows in a theatre with seats tend to be a little odd, the crowd was really amazing and enjoyed a great Carnival show.

Doing lights from under the balcony was a little difficult. I’m still learning the light rig so not being able to see the flown lights made it difficult for me, but the show was still great. The guys really poured their hearts onto the stage and everyone had a blast. This show was also special as Dylan’s parents were able to attend and see their 18 year old phenom drummer put on a great performance.

A moment that stood out during the night was when Myles Kennedy (lead singer of Alter Bridge) took a moment to dedicate their performance of ‘Blackbird’ to the 5 people who passed away in the tragic accident at the Sugarland concert the week before. 2 of those 5 worked at this venue and were supposed to work this concert for us. I recorded the song and have the video posted here on my youtube (the performance was simply amazing):
Alter Bridge – Blackbird

We’ve received some great reviews so far. Take a look at a few:
~ Music Tour Reviews

~ Zoiks Online

For this show I was able to get a few glimpses of the performances from Black Stone Cherry and Theory of a Deadman. They are both such great rock bands. Their stage shows and presence are top notch. Here are some of the pics I was able to squeeze in:

Date: 8/16/11
Location: Royal Oak, MI
Venue: Royal Oak Music Theatre
Bands: EMPHATIC, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman
EMPHATIC Setlist: Do I, Get Paid, Beg, Put Down, Original Sin, Bounce

After a day off to catch up on some R&R, we hit the Royal Oaks Music Theatre. This venue is very cool and great for shows.

Tonight I was ‘promoted’ and got to run lights for EMPHATIC. I’ve done sound and lights for bands quite a bit so I jumped at the opportunity. Set up can take some time so I had a quick tutorial of the lighting rig and kept things relatively straight forward, but it was something I really enjoyed doing and look forward to doing for the rest of the tour. The only downside was that I was so involved on getting merch together and doing the lights that I didn’t get any pics of the guys during their show.

As expected, the guys put on a great performance. Grant is getting more and more comfortable every gig and you could sense that he was much more at ease on stage. The rest of the guys were at their usual best. Response from the crowd was great. And we met some amazing new friends.

I wasn’t able to get many shots of the bands, but I got a few cool shots of both Myles and Mark’s (Alter Bridge) guitars as well as the backline set up for all the bands. There really is a lot of preparation and set up to pull off these shows.

Date: 8/14/11
Location: Chillicothe, IL
Venue: Three Rivers Park
Bands: EMPHATIC, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, Theory of a Deadman
EMPHATIC Setlist: Do I, Get Paid, Beg, Put Down, Original Sin, Bounce

Tonight’s show started out a little odd when we pulled into a large field with dirt roads and had no idea where to go. After some meandering and head-scratching we finally made our way through the trees to an opening with what seemed like a barn that they’d turned into a stage.

Once again, the EMPHATIC crew blew up the stage and the response was incredible. This was the first show I’ve ‘worked’ the merch booth and the team with all the other bands are some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. Really getting a crowd into an outdoor show at 5:15 on a sunny day can be daunting, but the guys did a great job.

I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Mark Tremonti for a few minutes before he hit soundcheck and he is one of the coolest people you’ll ever meet. That said, it’s very cool to be on a tour where EVERYONE is really down to earth and amazing to work with.

As expected, the rest of the bands put on stellar shows and everyone had a great time. Unfortunately I didn’t get many pictures, but here are a few for you.

Date: 8/13/11
Location: Twin Lakes, WI
Venue: Shadow Hill Ranch
Bands: Full-day festival including Carnival of Madness and: Nonpoint, Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, Candlebox, Saliva, Dope, Crossfade, Hinder, 10 Years, Powerman 5000, Soil, Veilside
EMPHATIC Setlist: Do I, Get Paid, Beg, Put Down, Original Sin, Bounce

‘The madness begins…’

EMPHATIC kicked off The Carnival of Madness tour in style at the WIIL Rock the Ranch festival. With 20+ bands on the card, it made for an amazing day of music and the opportunity to meet and hang out with some of the most amazing, inspiring musicians in the biz.

The venue had 2 stages set up, with performances alternating from one stage to the other, one right after the other. EMPHATIC was 2nd to play at 11:20am and got an incredible reception from an already pumped crowd. The show marked the first for singer Grant Kendrick (who is filling in for Patrick as he heals from a vocal chord injury) and he did not disappoint, putting everything he had into his performance. The rest of the band were in typical EMPHATIC-form, owning the stage, playing to the crowd, and gaining new fans and friends. Justin, Lance, Alan, and Dylan are known for their charismatic performances, guitar ‘flips,’ and energy and delivered.

As EMPHATIC finished their set we were slowly being overtaken by some ominous clouds. We got the last guitar into the trailer as the skies opened up and a nasty downpour caused about a 2 hour delay in the show. Unfortunately a few bands sets were cut, but the crowd did not let the weather get them down and stayed strong the entire day.

As the Merchandise Manager, the venue had their own crew for merch so I was able to help with load-in and enjoy the other band performances. There were quite a few amazing sets, but a few that stood out to me:
NONPOINT: Every time I see them they own the crowd. I basically lost my voice singing along to every song. Hanging and chatting with Ken (‘Bastard’ – bassist) after their set was awesome.
HALESTORM: Lzzy is an amazing singer and the band sounded amazing.
CROSSFADE: Friends of EMPHATIC from a recent tour, the Crossfade guys always sound great. From where I was there were songs where the crowd singing along was louder than the band singing.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH: Destroyed… ’nuff said…
ALTER BRIDGE: One of my favorite bands… so good it’s stupid…
CANDLEBOX: I caught some grief for being amped about seeing these guys, but they’ve been one of my favorite bands for the better part of 20 years. Seeing them play spot-on performances of songs like ‘Change’ and ‘Far Behind’ was like seeing them when I was in high school. Great performance.

Personal highlight: I was backstage in my own little world (texting or checking facebook) and a gentlemen tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘so do you know what Fret 12 is?’ (I was wearing a Fret 12 shirt) I said ‘my favorite guitar players company.’ He said ‘well – it’s his too – that’s Dan Tremonti.’ Then he shook my hand and told me he was Mark Tremonti’s father! I met my favorite guitar players dad. So cool. We started chatting about the guys winning the International Best Guitar Solo award for Blackbird when the skies opened again and our chat was cut short.

One show in the books… just the beginning of what’s looking like an amazing 5 week ride on The Carnival of Madness.

Emphatic

Emphatic

I’ll be using this site to document my travels with EMPHATIC. I’ll be posting show days, band line-ups, setlists, pics, my reviews of each show, etc.
~ MIKE

TOUR DATES: Carnival of Madness – Theory of a Deadman, Alter Bridge, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry
- 8/13 – Shadow Hill Ranch – Twin Lakes, WI (WIIL Rock the Ranch Festival – also played: Nonpoint, Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, Candlebox, Saliva, Dope, Crossfade, Hinder, 10 Years, Powerman 5000, Soil, Veilside)
- 8/14 – Three Sisters Park – Chillicothe, IL
- 8/16 – Royal Oak Music Theatre – Royal Oak, MI
- 8/17 – The Murat Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
- 8/20 – Missouri State Fairgrounds – Sedalia – MO
- 8/23 – The Hub Entertainment Destination – Fargo, ND
- 8/24 – Sioux Falls Arena – Sioux Falls, SD
- 8/26 – Kentucky State Fair – Louisville, KY
- 8/27 – McElroy Auditorium – Waterloo, IA
- 8/28 – Minnesota State Fair – St. Paul, MN
- 8/31 – The Times Union Center – Albany, NY
- 9/1 – The Great Allentown Fair – Allentown, PA
- 9/3 – Hampton Beach Casino – Hampton Beach, NH
- 9/4 – Bangor Waterfront – Bangor, ME
- 9/5 – Central Mass Expo Center – Fitchburg, MA
- 9/7 – Pier Six Concert Pavilion – Baltimore, MD
- 9/9 – Tags Summer Sound Stage – Big Flats, NY
- 9/10 – House of Blues – Atlantic City, NJ
- 9/11 – Harris Riverfront Park – Huntington, WV
- 9/13 – Time Warner Cable Ampitheatre – Fayetteville, NC
- 9/16 – Million Dollar Elm Casino – Tulsa, OK
- 9/17 – Black River Coliseum – Poplar Bluff, MO

TOUR DATES: X-Fest – Staind, Five Finger Death Punch, Theory of a Deadman, Alter Bridge, Skillet, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Kopek, Downplay
- 9/18 – Montgomery County Fairground – Dayton, OH