Tag Archives: Starland Ballroom

LIVE REVIEW AND PHOTO GALLERY: Psycho Thunder North America 2023 tour

At Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on September 17, 2023

Psycho Thunder tour is tearing and rumbling through North American cities as we speak, wreaking havoc in every city as they go. Or we can say that British rock luminaries Asking Alexandria and Mongolian rock sensation THE HU joined forces on a run across the U.S. The co-headlining jaunt — billed as the “Psycho Thunder” tour with special guests ZERO 9:36. Whatever way you are comfortable to put it. This last Sunday Psycho Thunder rolled into New Jersey.

Written by Andris Jansons

American heavy metal band Bad Wolves were also previously scheduled to join the tour, but the band withdrew because of circumstances beyond their control. Zero 9:36 stayed as the lone support for both heavyweights.

The Mongolian band The Hu came roaring into the metal scene a few years ago. Bands folk metal style incorporating Mongolian traditional instruments along with singing their songs in their native language gained attention to many music lovers as a breath of the fresh air. Their megahit Wolf Totem back in 2018 has gathered above 90 million views on YouTube in its original version and another 38 million views with their collaboration with Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix.

Personally, I admire all folk metal, let it be Mongolian, Indian, Nordic, Oceania or Asia. Incorporation of traditional music and native instruments is what makes metal music rich not only in tradition but also invention and truly international.

The band calls their style of music “hunnu rock”. The Hu consists of Galbadrakh “Gala” Tsendbaatar, Nyamjantsan “Jaya” Galsanjamts, Enkhsaikhan “Enkush” Batjargal, and Temuulen “Temka” Naranbaatar. To date The Hu have released the studio albums The Gereg and Rumble of Thunder. There are at least three to four traditional instruments band consistently uses – including the morin khuur, the tovshuur, tumur hhuur and tsuur.

Setlist included all the bands singles known to most fans “Wolf Totem”, “This Is Mongol”, Yuve Yuve”, “Black Thunder” and more. Band also performed cover of Metallica’s “Through The Never”.

Throughout the band’s set fans joined together for the “Hu, hu, hu, hu …” chant.

See The HU performance photo gallery below.

Asking Alexandria is on tour without their founder and lead guitarist Ben Bruce, for the reasons he previously communicated to the fans. While his charisma is sorely missed, Paul Bartolome nicely fills in his spot.

While the band is on the heels of their new album “Where Do We Go From Here?” which was released on August 25th, this tours set list is not heavily tilting towards it. There are only three songs “Dark Void”, “Bad Blood” and “Let Go” form their latest release. Rest of the set is pretty much evenly spread out throughout the bands discography. As Danny Worsnop said addressing the crowd that we are here celebrating their new and old music.

Some of the biggest hits performed were “Into The Fire”, “Alone In A Room”, “The Final Episode”, “Moving On” and “A Prophecy”. All together this set had bit heavier feel then other recent ones I attended, and was a bit more closer to the roots of the band, which for me personally was a welcome development.

To summarize everything that was heard and witnessed this night, I can give this experience a solid 10/10. Some inspirational folk metal coupled with modern rock and metalcore was an amazing experience. Psycho Thunder is a perfect way to summarize.

See Asking Alexandria performance photo gallery below.

See below list for future dates and get your tickets here: https://www.askingalexandria.com/tour

Sep. 20 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit

Sep. 22 – Ft Wayne, IN – Piere’s Entertainment Center

Sep. 23 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life ^

Sep. 25 – Chesterfield, MO – The Factory

Sep. 26 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre

Sep. 27 – Green Bay, WI – EPIC Event Center

Sep. 29 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave/ Eagles Club

Oct. 1 – Council Bluffs, IA – Harrah’s Stir Cove

Oct. 3 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium

Oct. 4 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Union

Oct. 6 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock &

Oct. 7 – Las Vegas, NV – The Industrial Sound

Oct. 8 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

LIVE REVIEW: Nickelback album release show

Highly anticipated new album Get Rollin’ out now

Nickelback is one the most commercially successful rock bands of all time. Such a title does not come without scorn from some rock fans. So, there are millions of the bands super fans and quite some haters too. However, while dogs keep barking, the band keeps on going. Six years have gone by since their latest release Feed The Machine. So finally, the long overdue album Get Rollin’ has been released to the public. To celebrate this moment the band performed the show at The Starland Ballroom in New Jersey.

Written by Andris Jansons

I have been to The Starland Ballroom like hundred times, and I’ve seen it sold out and packed. This was a sold-out show on a different level. People packed the place well before Nickelback came on the stage. People were wearing some self-made fan shirts and taking collective pictures. Some wore Canadian hockey team jerseys, and I noted at least two Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid jerseys. Anticipation and excitement grew by the second.

First on the stage came local New Jersey band Reality Suite fronted by beautiful Kimmii Heart. Band was hand picked by Nickelback to open the show for them, and they did not disappoint. For many people it was a nice introduction to their music, and myself too, as I had not heard them before. They play some nice melodic Rock music with some heavy riffs mixed in between. The band is very talented and I’m sure we will hear a lot of them in the future.

Getting back to Nickelback. Why New Jersey, why The Starland Ballroom? They could stay in Canada and sell out any given hockey arena. Not sure, and don’t care. I’m glad they chose this place. As evening went on everything made perfect sense.

Nickelback come on the stage and were greeted by raucous crowd, and without any intro went on to blast their hit song San Quentin from newly released album. Song has that familiar fierceness of hard rock that the band has become popular with. After the song front man Chad Kroeger addressed the crowd, thanking everyone for coming over and expressing the bands gratitude for everyone’s support. Chad also mentioned that band were thrilled to be and to perform at Starland Ballroom as the venue’s hallways are filled with many pictures of all the Rock music legends and superstars that have played here.

Photo by Andris Jansons

See full photo gallery here.

Band followed up with Savin’ Me from their most successful album All The Right Reasons. After that an unstoppable hit parade ensued. There was a sing-along going to most of the songs. First of such, Photography really brought up this connection between the band and the fans, as the choice for this particular venue made absolute sense, as the togetherness of everyone in attendance and closeness to the stage and their favorite band made for an amazing experience. Far Away, Figured You Out, Rockstar, and many more fan favorites were played that night. Of course, two heavy hitters were left for the desert – How You Remind Me and Burn It to the Ground closed out this amazing show.

Get Rollin’ really got rolling tonight!

Now the band is heading out to perform another sold out show tomorrow in Connecticut at Foxwood’s Resort. They are scheduled to be at Boots and Hearts Music Festival in August 2023. And while there is no information or hints about any upcoming tours, I think we will be hearing some exiting news soon enough. So, keep your fingers crossed for a Nickelback show near you and Get Rollin’.


Back in 2001 Sevendust released their third studio album called Animosity, and it proved to be a great success. Now in the year 2022 band is touring to commemorate that release which catapulted them to the worldwide prominence. Right now, Sevendust are in the midst of their third leg of this tour and are supported by Nonpoint, Bastardane and Burden Of The Sky. Getting close to the midpoint of this tour they came to Sayreville, New Jersey.

Written by Andris Jansons

The first band that we witnessed was Bastardane. I did not hear this band before. If you go by looks, I thought I’m about to witness some punk rock, but as music started an immediate resemblance of The Melvins sound struck me fast. Bands vocalist and bassist Jake Dallas stage persona looked perfectly fit for a band’s sludge sound. Bands drummer (more about him little later) played brilliantly, interacted a lot with crowd and provided backing vocals. Ethan Sirotzki on guitar was excellent too. Bands setlist contained only five songs, but they were fairly long – Gaslight, Chum, Praise No Bliss and Above All. For one more song I missed its name. While at first for me this band did not say much, I later found out that the drummer of this band is Castor Hetfield, son of James Hetfield from Metallica. While this fact by no means makes me look at them in more favorable way, I must admit that this band is very exciting, and I can’t wait to see how far they will go.

Photo by Andris Jansons

See full Bastardane photo gallery Here.

Nonpoint… well is Nonpoint. This was my third or fourth time seeing them live, and just like fine wine they are getting better and better, and constantly bring the enormous energy to the venue. Same goes for the bands sound. While some may argue that nu metal sound has aged, I will disagree, it feels as fresh and relevant as anything released these days. Their latest album X was released back in 2018, and we are waiting for more. For now, we have to enjoy basically a hitparade. All the big bangers were on tonight. Place went absolutely crazy during What A Day which was the third song on their list and absolutely bonkers to the traditionally last song of the set Bullet With A Name.

Photo by Andris Jansons

Se full Nonpoint photo gallery Here.

Sevendust picked up right were Nonpoint left. From the get-go crowd surfers went wave after wave (there was this one specific dude in Canadas Wayne Gretzky shirt who just kept on coming). Bands vocalist Lajon Witherspoon took a moment to acknowledge them giving high five to few lucky ones and coming closer to the front row giving the crowd thumbs up and appreciation for being her with them. While I’m not sure on official announcement but to me seemed like a sold-out show as there was no space left to walk around.

Animosity album was played in its entirety as all of the first thirteen songs came from this album, only for an encore band played two songs from other releases – Pieces from Next and Face To Face from Seasons. For the Angels Son band invited to the stage Manny Cabo who is from New Jersey and former The Voice contestant, and now singer himself, who sang verses in Spanish.

Photo by Andris Jansons

See full Sevendust photo gallery Here.

All together atmosphere was amazing, and fans got everything they wished for. Tonight, tour stops in New Hampshire and for further dates look below.

09/17 – Hampton Beach Casino – Hampton Beach, NH
09/18 – Reverb – Reading, PA
09/20 – Val Air Ballroom – Des Moines, IA
09/22 – The Vixen – McHenry, IL
09/23 – The Castle Theater – Bloomington, IL
09/24 – Louder Than Life – Louisville, KY
09/26 – The Music Farm – Charleston, SC
09/28 – The Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
09/29 – Janus Landing – Tampa, FL
09/30 – Club LA – Destin, FL
10/01 – The Fillmore – New Orleans, LA


Gothenburg, Sweden has given us many metal bands and is considered one of the worlds hotbeds for melodic death metal genre. In Flames is very important piece of Gothenburg metal scene as they pioneered this distinct genre along with likes of At The Gates and Dark Tranquility. This fall the band has crossed the ocean and are in the midst of North American Tour along side Fit For An Autopsy, Orbit Culture and Vended.

Written by Andris Jansons

The first band I witnessed that night was New Jersey’s own Fit For An Autopsy. Deathcore practitioners from Jersey City formed back in 2008 and have been staple of deathcore scene since. Last Thursday’s show was their homecoming of sort as Jersey City is just about forty minute drive from Sayreville, NJ. Their set was full of energy and loud. Well, I must say a little too loud. My personal take is that sound engineers could have dialed down one notch, as it was pretty painful for the ears in the pit and front rows. That later was rectified for In Flames set. Nonetheless band was great, as their setlist emphasized on their latest release Oh What the Future Holds. Band is scheduled later in October to take part in Lamb Of God tour.

Photo by Andris Jansons

Full photo gallery for Fit For An Autopsy here.

I think that is safe to say that thirteen studio albums later In Flames are considered in the heavyweight class. Grammis awards winning band (not to be confused with Grammy Awards) has not released album since 2019 however is working on new material and are poised to release one soon, as two new songs already has been introduced to the fans. Latest one of them The Great Deceiver was the bands choice for an opening song. Their set was fairly large and consisted of 17 songs spanning and represented almost every single of their albums released (except Siren Charms) and not yet released. The Great Deceiver was followed by Fear Is The Weakness before taking the trip down a memory lane to early beginnings with Cloud Connected and Stand Ablaze.

This tour features ex-Megadeth Chris Broderick filling in for Niclas Engelin, for like three years straight now. While seems like there is still no clear resolution with Niclas being with the band, Chris is really fitting well and seems to be in the right place.

Photo by Andris Jansons

Full photo gallery for In Flames here.

From notable songs bands setlist consisted of ones like I Am Above, Episode 666 and Take This Life. For the closing song bands choice went to My Sweet Shadow.

In Flames will continue to tour till the end of September with a quick stop at Louder Than Life Festival and then continue in October with Meshuggah and later with Born Of Osiris before returning to Europe. List of dates available below.

w/ Fit For An Autopsy, Orbit Culture and Vended:

09/12 Quebec, QC – Theatre Capitole
09/13 Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
09/14 Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
09/15 Ft. Wayne, IN – Piere’s Entertainment Center
09/16 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
09/17 Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre
09/19 Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Ballroom
09/20 Green Bay, WI – Epic Event Center
09/22 Chicago, IL – House of Blues
09/23 Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life
09/25 Birmingham, AL – Furnace Fest
09/27 Sauget, IL – Pop’s
09/28 Lawrence, KS – Granada Theater
09/29 Wichita, KS – The Cotillion
09/30 Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theatre

w/ Meshuggah & Torche:

10/02 Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
10/04 San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre
10/08 Riverside, CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium
10/09 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
10/10 Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
10/12 Dallas, TX – The Factory Deep Ellum
10/13 Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
10/15 Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
10/16 Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle

w/ Born Of Osiris, Darkest Hour and Hammerhedd

10/17 Tampa, FL – Jannus Live
10/18 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
10/20 Richmond, VA – The National
10/21 Warrendale, PA – Jergels
10/22 Cleveland, OH – TempleLive at Cleveland Masonic
10/23 London, ON – London Music Hall (no Hammerhedd)
10/24 Niagara Falls, NY – The Rapids Theatre
10/26 Hampton Beach, NH – Wally’s
10/27 Poughkeepsie, NY – The Chance Theatre (no Darkest Hour)
10/28 Reading, PA – Reverb (no Darkest Hour)


We Came as Romans, one of the metalcore / post-hardcore staples, are poise to release their sixth studio album called Darkbloom on October 14th. This will be the bands first one after the untimely passing of bands member Kyle Pavone in 2018.  Currently band started tour with August Burns Red and Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey was their second stop.

Written by Andris Jansons

We Came As Romans (abbreviated as WCAR) are known for their aggressive music with melodic passages, and they know how to bring on the heat at live show. Band did not waste their time with their set and opened with their eponymous single from their upcoming album Darkbloom. The album is full of emotions that band was undergoing after Kyle’s passing, and song contains all spectrum of those emotions, it was a perfect way for them to start of the night. They followed with Wasted Age from previous record Cold Like War, and then turned back to the new material with Daggers. Both new songs Darkbloom and Daggers are released as singles. While reached exclamation point on Daggers performance bands vocalist Dave Stephens jumped onto the barricade and with some help of the fans he stood up and finished singing together with crowd. It was unbelievable experience for many front row people.

Their set contained two more songs from upcoming album – Plagued and Black Hole. These two also are released as singles and fans already had a plenty of familiarity with them to sing along. Cold Like War was also widely represented this night as three more songs were played from it – Learning To Survive, Lost In The Moment and Cold Like War.

Photo by Andris Jansons

See full gallery of We Came As Romans performance by following this link.

Whole set was full of energy and excitement as fans start to truly appreciate the new music from the band. From the people that really stood out I must note bass player Andy Glass, his energy was unrivaled during this performance. He managed to do most amazing acrobatics and did not miss a single beat in the process!!!

WCAR still has more than thirty dates coming up on this tour through United States before they will join forces with Architects later in the Fall. Check their schedule for a city near you and don’t miss their incredible performance. Check the dates below. Info and tickets can be found at iamdarkbloom.com/pages/tour.

July 19 – Rochester, N.Y. @ Anthology

July 20 – Hartford, Ct. @ The Webster

July 22 – Baltimore, Md. @ Ram’s Head Live

July 23 – Norfolk, Va. @ Norva

July 24 – Asheville, N.c. @ Orange Peel

July 25 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ The Mill & Mine

July 26 – Columbia, S.C. @ The Senate

July 28 – Birmingham, Ala. @ Iron City

July 29 – New Orleans, La. @ Republic

July 30 – Austin, Texas @ Emos

July 31 – Corpus Christi, Texas @ Brewster Street Icehouse

Aug. 2 – Tucson, Ariz. @ Encore

Aug. 3 – San Diego, Calif. @ Soma

Aug. 4 – Santa Cruz, Calif. @ Catalyst

Aug. 5 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Ace of Spades

Aug. 6 – Portland, Ore. @ Roseland

Aug. 8 – Seattle, Wash. @ Showbox Market

Aug. 9 – Spokane, Wash. @ Knitting Factory

Aug. 10 – Boise, Idaho @ Knitting Factory

Aug. 12 – Great Falls, Mont. @ The Newberry

Aug. 13 – Billings, Mont. @ Zoo Montana

Aug. 14 – Fargo, N.D. @ Fargo Brewing Outdoors

Aug. 16 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ Fillmore

Aug. 18 – Lincoln, Neb. @ Bourbon St

Aug. 19 – Des Moines, Iowa @ Val Air

Aug. 20 – Milwaukee, Wis. @ The Rave

Aug. 21 – Bloomington, Ill. @ Castle Theater

Aug. 23 – Ft. Wayne, Ind. @ Piere’s

Aug. 24 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Bogarts

Aug. 25 – Louisville, Ky. @ Mercury Ballroom

Aug. 27 – Long Island, N.Y. @ Paramount