Black Dahlia Murder plays May 22
Tuesday, May 22, 8 p.m., Pub Station Taproom. Tickets for the all-ages show are $25.
Any band that has earned an army of devout followers through dropping seven full-lengths — and touring for 16 years — could perhaps be forgiven for thinking they could take it easy as they wade into their eighth release. But that's just not The Black Dahlia Murder's style, and “Nightbringers” is testament to that.
Having released their most accomplished, aggressive, and emotionally diverse music to date in the form of 2015's “Abysmal,” the Michigan quintet have once more pushed themselves to new heights, and the 34 minutes of searing melodic death metal that comprises “Nightbringers” is riveting listening.
"I always feel a responsibility to the people who support this band when we start making a new record," asserts vocalist Trevor Strnad. "The pressure that comes from people being excited to hear what you come up with next can be intimidating, but it's so exciting that those people love you so much for just doing what you do. It makes you want to honor what you've done in the past, but also excite them with where you go next, and that definitely drove us on 'Nightbringers'. When we started writing I honestly didn't know we had this album in us, and I feel really proud of it. It's a great moment for us."
Hemlock brings its metal shout-alongs
Hemlock with SevidemiC, Thursday, May 31, 8 p.m., Pub Station Taproom. Tickets for the all-ages show are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
Hemlock’s sound is a heavy blend of chugging riffs, deep bass tones, rhythmic grooves and catchy lyrics, with a haberdash of melody mixed in. The lyrics are always creative and positive, and the songs have lots of scream-alongs and hooks.
Hemlock has been called “The kings of self-promotion” and have been noted as the hardest working up-and-coming metal band. Hemlock has a very entertaining live show as well. Hemlock gets the crowd involved in the show, and puts on the show of a lifetime, every time.
Hemlock is on the road about eight months a year, and has toured with Slayer, Slipknot, Ministry, Meshuggah, Otep, Disturbed, Hatebreed, Lamb of God, Chimiara, Snot, Devil Driver, Machine Head, Mastodon and tons more.
Butcher Babies return with Nonpoint
With Cane Hill and Sumo Cyco, Thursday, June 7, 9 p.m., Pub Station Ballroom. Tickets for the all-ages show are $25.
For nearly a decade, Butcher Babies have been crushing stages worldwide with their vicious live performance and explosive energy. Their stage presence is a hypnotic spectacle that leaves audiences hungry for more. Frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein and drummer Chase Brickenden juxtapose brutal, aggressive riffs with beautiful melodies that wail with emotional redemption.
The unconquerable spirit of Nonpoint charges up the energy in any environment, from the studio to the stage. The stamina, resilience, diversity, massive power and undeniable authenticity of the enduring Active Rock crew makes them kindred spirits to their audience: fans who call upon the band’s tried-and-true anthems to help conquer adversity in their own lives.
Nonpoint emerged as part of the cultural wave of aggressive-streetwise-metal-mixed-with-melodic-force and unapologetic passion that burst from underground clubs onto Ozzfest and MTV in the “aughts.” But even as radio formats shifted and the window dressing aesthetics changed, the sheer intensity balanced with huge catchiness of Nonpoint bangers like “Bullet with a Name,” “Breaking Skin,” “The Truth” and “That Day” kept them relevant and revered.
Junior Brown brings the country twang
Friday, July 27, Pub Station Taproom, 8 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages show are $25.
Born in 1952 in Cottonwood, Arizona, Junior Brown showed an affinity for music at an early age. Discovering a guitar in his grandparent's attic at age seven, he spent the next several years woodshedding with records and the radio. Junior was also able to tap into music he couldn't hear at home that older, college aged kids were listening to.
Brown's passion for country and western music had intensified by the late 1960's. With many prominent figures as his inspiration, he spent his nights further sharpening his musical skills in small clubs across the southwest. "I played more nights in honkytonks during the ‘70s and ‘80s than most musicians will see in a lifetime. I did so many years of that, night after night, four sets a night, 15 minute breaks; I mean after that, you gotta get good or get out."
Brown still prefers to refer to his favorite music as "country and western" as it was called when he began his career. More recently, however, with the exception of classical, modern jazz and rap, he has shown himself to be equally adept at virtually all styles of American music, leading many to dub him America's most versatile musician.
Casey Donahew returns to Ballroom
Friday, Aug. 10, Pub Station Ballroom, 8 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages show are $25.
Over the last 15 years, Casey Donahew has risen from a favorite on the local Texas music scene, racking up 15 No. 1 singles, to a nationally hot touring act who consistently sells out venues all across the country with 10 sell-outs and 17,000 tickets sold already in 2018 alone, according to his press materials.
With more than 326 million digital music streams and more than a half-million followers on his social platforms, Donahew has released four independent albums to critical and commercial acclaim.
His most recent project, a 15th anniversary record released called “15 Years, the Wild Ride,” is a collection of Donahew’s most popular songs and the ones fans sing night after night as his live concerts. The album was inspired by and became a gift for the fans who remain loyal in Donahew.
Dustbowl Revival brings ‘Americana soul’
Friday, Aug. 24, Pub Station Taproom, 8 p.m. Tickets for the all-ages show are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
Dustbowl Revival is an Americana and Soul band with eight full-time members who mash the sounds of New Orleans funk, bluegrass, soul, pre-war blues, and roots music, into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party that coaxes new fire out of familiar coal. They band was founded in 2008 in the bohemian enclave of Venice Beach, California.
Dustbowl just recorded their fourth studio album with Grammy Award-winning producer (Old Crow Medicine Show, Dropkick Murphy's) and Flogging Molly founding member Ted Hutt, on Signature Sounds. While the band launched with an old-time style and deeper bluegrass roots (a fateful Craigslist ad got it all started), they recently departed toward a more modern soul sound, still with their mixture of New Orleans swing, Americana, a little blues, and roots-rock. The soul-dipped first single of their new collaboration, came out on a 45 with a music video in the end of 2016, with a premiere via Relix Magazine.
Davina and the Vagabonds return
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 8 p.m., Pub Station Ballroom. Tickets for the all-ages show are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Reserved tables for four are $210.
Davina and the Vagabonds have created a stir on the national music scene with their high-energy live shows, level of musicianship, sharp-dressed professionalism, and Davina Sowers’ commanding stage presence. With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band is converting audiences one show at a time, from Vancouver to Miami and across Europe. In 2011 Davina released her first full length, all original album “Black Cloud.” It was named one of the 10 best releases of the year by the Minneapolis Star & Tribune and awarded 4 ½ stars from Downbeat Magazine. Their next release in 2014, “Sunshine,” hit number 13 in the Billboard Blues Chart.
Sowers has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, but comparisons don’t suffice: Sowers is a true original.