Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Irvine
8808 Irvine Center Dr.
Irvine, CA 92618
Thirty Seconds to Mars:
30 Seconds to Mars have been lurking in the background of mainstream music for over ten years now, supported by a huge fan base and colossal musical style. The group's epic style can't be categorized by one genre of music and falls somewhere between progressive and alternative rock. It's this electronic, alternative, indie rock sound that has built 30 Second to Mars a huge fan base at tour dates around the world (known as The Echelon) and created three hit records. While the group's members haven't even confirmed that they'll make another album, there are plenty of tour dates in 2011 to keep fans satiated.
In 1998, brothers Jared and Shannon Leto began playing together and writing songs in their spare time. With Jared playing rhythm guitar and providing vocals and Shannon on drums, they were soon joined by Kevin Drake on lead guitar (although he was replaced by Solon Bixler before the recording of their debut album, and later by Tomo Millicevic). The band continued to be merely a hobby for the group's members as they played local tour dates throughout Los Angeles. In 2001, the group was rounded out with the addition of Matt Watcher as a bassist, keyboardist, and the group's signature synthesizer.
After playing tour dates around Los Angeles for years, 30 Seconds to Mars were signed to Virgin Records in early 2001. They released their self-titled, debut album in 2002 and was full of sci-fi themes, emotional lyrics, and a hard rock sound. The album received great reviews and reached #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. 30 Seconds to Mars reached the next musical plateau with the release of their second album, A Beautiful Lie, in 2005. The album produced four hit singles that received play on radio stations and tour dates; most notably "The Kill," which became a fixture on radios and television. The group's third album, This is War, was released in late 2009 but almost wasn't released at all, due to a lawsuit by Virgin Records. The album marked a change in 30 Seconds to Mars' sound, which was darker with a new wave infusion. The singles "Kings and Queens" and "This Is War" were both popular and both reached #1 in the Alternative Songs charts.
With three successful albums out, fans are curious as to when an announcement of new music will come. To relieve some of the anxiety, 30 Seconds to Mars has plenty of international tour dates in 2011, including concert dates at some of the summer's biggest music festivals. The first concert date is on May 22 in San Juan, Puerto Rico and will pick up again on June 4 in Chicago. Music festival tour dates in 2011 will include Novarock in Austria, the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands, the Hove Festival in Norway, the Highfield Festival in Germany, and appearances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Regular tour dates will occur primarily in European nations like Italy, Greece, and the UK, with a June 15 concert date in Paris already sold out.
Jimmy Eat World:
Jimmy Eat World emerged at the forefront of the alt-rock emo scene when their third album Bleed American hit store shelves in 2001. Since then, they have been at the top of the charts and the Jimmy Eat World concert schedule is nothing short of epic. Jimmy Eat World tour dates are scheduled nationally with the band promoting their most recent release Chase This Light.
Jimmy Eat World formed in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, Arizona in 1993 when schoolmates Jim Adkins, Zach Lind, Tom Linton, and Mitch Porter had the brilliant idea of starting a band. Their early sound mirrored that of eighties New York punk but they soon developed an emo-core style as the genre was in its nascent. Jimmy Eat World tour dates were scheduled around the southwest and the band was eventually discovered by a scout for Capitol Records who signed the band. They released their debut Static Prevails to minimal commercial success but were embraced by crowds at their live shows.
They released their sophomore set Clarity in 1998 and were widely cited as bringing attention to emo as a legitimate genre. It featured the single "Lucky Denver Mint", which was used in the Drew Barrymore film Never Been Kissed. Jimmy Eat World broke out big with their third release Bleed American which they produced independently and distributed through Big Wheel Records. The band self-financed the album with funds they earned through touring and working day jobs. The album's single "The Middle" became an international rock and pop hit reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified platinum and Jimmy Eat World tour dates were scheduled on a lengthy Bleed America outing that lasted for two years.
They brought in alt-rock guru, Gil Norton, to produce their next album Futures which was released in 2004. The album featured the lead single "Pain" and the subsequent single "Work", both hits on the Modern Rock survey. Jimmy Eat World joined Taking Back Sunday on an extensive US tour before joining Green Day on their American Idiot outing. Jimmy Eat World returned to Arizona to record their sixth album Chase This Light which was released in 2007. They followed this up with their most recent album Invented in 2010 which featured the hit single "My New Theory", which hit #2 on the Modern Rock survey. Jimmy Eat World tour dates are booked internationally in support of this album, and they will be on the road throughout 2011. Additional JImmy Eat World concert dates are scheduled at major festivals such as Reading and Leeds Festival in the UK and Rock Werchter in Belgium. Use Eventful as your source for Jimmy Eat World tour dates and concert schedule.
Vampire Weekend is an indie rock band from New York City signed to XL Recordings. Despite the band members' occasionally preppy style, they are influenced by both African popular music and Western Classical Music. They describe their genre of music as "Upper West Side Soweto", performing such songs as "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa," which references Congolese soukous music.
The members of the band -- Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Tomson, and Chris Baio -- met while attending Columbia University.
In the brutally cold world of Big Rock Biz, there’s something very comforting about just knowing that a band like L.A.’s Silversun Pickups exists. That feeling derives from the group’s searingly sumptuous music, sure, but it has a lot to do with knowing their rather humble origins and super-admirable raison d’etre.
Silversun Pickups, you see, rather than being just another fiercely determined young band willing to claw and scrap their way to the top of the rock heap, genuinely appear to be far more like a gang of real, true friends who happened, quite fortuitously, to meet as a result of their mutual love of — shock horror! — music, and who seem to enjoy each other’s company as much as they like playing their own brand of ravishing rock noise.
And in fact, guitarist-singer Brian Aubert, bass player Nikki Monninger, drummer Christopher Guanlao and keyboardist Joe Lester are bona fide pals who’d played together or in mutual friends’ bands when they finally settled on a Silversun lineup and began playing shows at local clubs, which further broadened their innately formidable playing chops and established loving loyalties among a growing crop of seekers and sinners.
Silversun’s initial forays into live performance weren’t exactly stunning achievements in stage artistry, according to Aubert. “In the beginning, we were just trying to figure out what we wanted to do, didn’t even know if this was what we wanted to do. But we were playing clubs while we were learning – and I was learning to be a frontman all of a sudden.”
“But after a little while we started honing in on where things were going and what we liked and didn’t like,” says Aubert. “It was like trial by fire, playing on stage all the time. It was scary, but you learn fast that way.”
Their initially haphazard performances didn’t phase their growing core of devotees, who seemed to easily grasp the inner grace of Aubert’s plaintively savage songs about the whys and wherefores of love lost and found, wrecked loyalties and fear of genetically inherited failure genes. These fans didn’t mind that the band’s otherwise wickedly pretty tunes’ delivery was a bit rough-edged, or that Aubert was initially painfully shy in front of a mike; it was obvious that Aubert and co’s. desire knew no bounds.
The band lived to play, and play they did, at numerous dates at many of the most important L.A. clubs, which found their stage sets growing more confidently not cocky but in greater command of their playing prowess. Aubert’s guitar was a rapidly developing feral beast of tight chipchop splendor and near-Hendrixian fuzzy howl in songs that seemed to reference the spare, driving cool of Neu while injecting a barely constrained glee – something like youthful romance, in the more tormented My Bloody Valentine way – into great walls of shredding white noise and a big throbbing rhythm section. The interplay of Aubert’s guitar with Lester’s spidery/splintery keyboards on songs like “Three Seed” made their combined effect resemble an enormous shiny machine being launched into the farthest reaches of the solar system.
Ex-Pine Marten keyboardist Lester was an important addition to the band, says Aubert, “because a) he was family — we didn’t want anybody we didn’t know, like take out an ad in L.A. Weekly: ‘Must not wear cowboy hats.’ Joe is like having a guy who’s not a keyboard keyboard player -- not a scientist, but like an orchestrator. He does things that really trip out the guitar, like sample it and make sounds that you can’t really tell what it is.”
“Or we’ll use our voices with something from Joe, as just a sonic element,” says Monninger
Guanlao adds, “People come up to us and they’ll be like, ‘Dude, how’d you do that sound on the guitar?’ or ‘How’d you do that sound on the keyboard?’ and it’s like, ‘No, the guitar player wasn’t doing that, neither was the keyboardist.’”
Yet Silversun’s secret weapons are the achingly potent melodies of their songs, which poke their lovely, shy heads out and ultimately proclaim their power in rare shades of melancholic ardor. While so many bands oft-claim supreme melody as the underpinning of their noise, with the Pickups it can claim moral superiority: Silversun radiates palpably great melodies that – the real test – simply won’t leave you alone no matter how you try to shoo them away.
That melodic/toughness no doubt encouraged Dangerbird Records to sign Silversun Pickups for an EP, called Pikul (pronounced pie-kul), a six-song set crammed with polished versions of many live favorites such as the growlingly ethereal “Kissing Families” and “…All the Go Inbetweens.” These songs sealed in the love among Silversun Pickups’ L.A. fans and critics, and their subsequent mounting acclaim led the band to undertake an increasingly heavy touring schedule, which found them playing alongside Brendan Benson, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Dead Meadow and Two Gallants, and they returned home to record, Carnavas, their full-length debut for Dangerbird (July 25, 2006).
Produced by Dave Cooley (J Dilla, Rolling Blackouts), engineered by Tom Biller (Sean Lennon, Jon Brion) and mixed by Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks, Belle and Sebastian), the album reveals the Pickups in a full flowering of their considerable melodic, textural and rhythmic gifts, with 11 dark/light songs about "Melatonin,” “Little Lover’s So Polite,” “Future Foe Scenarios” and “Well Thought Out Twinkles,” among other provocatively ambiguous themes. The album rages with a kind of mixed emotion well matched to those themes, a vibrating compound of feral cries amid tender harmony, resonating powerfully with heavily filtered guitar squawk, hovering keyboard clouds, and bass & drums that often seem to lurch their way into divinely propulsive beats.
For the new disc, Silversun Pickups got to play in the studio, which they’d never done before, and, at producer Cooley’s insistence, they got to take their time.
Says Aubert, “We wanted the EP and the record to be two different sort of things, and we knew that we didn’t want the same songs. Basically our live sound was so loud and big, and before we just sort of documented it -- Pikul didn’t sound like us live; even though we essentially recorded itlive.”
“We think of records and live shows being two different sorts of worlds,” he continues. “Ironically, in the studio, getting really specific about sounds -- how they cut through -- made us sound as big as it is onstage.”
Cooley proved an inspiring force for the band, sometimes if only to affirm their belief in doing things their own way.
Says Lester, “Sometimes he’d push and push, and sometimes suggest a bunch of different ideas, and all it did was steel our resolve. It was almost better that way, because it just reaffirmed what we know is the best way to do it.”
Aubert: “In pre-production meetings, we discussed the structure, for example, but he brought out ideas that were already clicking in our heads -- we would change things that we didn’t like and had been too lazy to change, or just hadn’t thought about. Or completely battle him and realize, wow, we really do mean this. Having someone who’s antagonizing you and you have to defend your choice, when you didn’t have to defend it before, you realize you actually really believe in that.”
Says Guanlao, “Before that experience, we were very organic about how we got a song going and finished; we would never really think about it too much, we did it how it felt. And then Dave came in and we really had to focus on things, just a measure or a little beat or whatever.
Aubert: “He’s amazing, because he’d push you and push you, but he’d be the first to pull the plug. I remember I’d been singing for days and days, trying to get a track right, and he’d say, ‘No, man, just stop. You’re tired.’ And I’m like ‘No, man, let me drink some more whiskey!’ And he’d be ‘Nope.’ He’d just push the stop button and say ‘It’s not right, it’s not working, it’s too job-like.’”
Not just the songs but their performance and their very sound were all critical factors in the album’s production. Says Lester: “Two measures in on a take, Tom would be like, ‘Snare’s out of tune.’ Stop everything, and we’re like, ‘Really, you can even hear that?’ And then we could hear it. It changed the vibe, and it sounds like the bass and drums are almost one thing. That made it seem way more solid.”
The proof’s in the pudding, and now all you need to do is listen. And all Silversun Pickups need to do is figure out how to transfer the album’s splendorous riot of beauty onto the concert stage — and deal with the acclaim that’ll inevitably follow. But that shouldn’t prove difficult for these dedicated friends, who’re happy to have found each other and make, almost like frosting on the cake, magnificent music together.
Fitz and The Tantrums:
Fitz and The Tantrums is bringing the Motown sound back to modern music. While Fitz and The Tantrums haven't had an all-star concert schedule yet, their fresh sound is garnering attention on tour dates in 2011. The band's frontman, Michael Fitzpatrick, has described his music as "soul-influenced indie pop" and also reiterated that the sound is similar to Motown Records, but that he's not trying to recreate it. In no way is a resemblance to Motown music a bad thing; in fact, it's one of the many reasons that Fitz and The Tantrums have struck a pleasing chord with fans and critics alike. The band's popular sound is also the reason Fitz and The Tantrums have had a full concert schedule since the release of their newest album Pickin' Up The Pieces, including upcoming tour dates for 2011. The remaining concert schedule for 2011 includes tour dates in North America, and even a stop off in Australia.
Michael Fitzpatrick - or Fitz - had been working as a singer and songwriter in Los Angeles for a few years, without any major claim to fame. One fateful day, Fitz received a call from his ex-girlfriend, whose neighbor had to move out quickly and was selling most of his things, including an old church organ. After hiring and pleading a group of people to move it into his living room, Fitz sat down at the organ and was struck by wave after wave of inspiration. "Breakin' The Chains of Love" was the song that first flowed from the organ and became the single off of his first EP, Songs For a Break Up, Vol. 1. While he liked the electric guitar on the track, Fitz felt it was the saxophone that shone through brightest, giving him the idea to create songs without any guitar at all (excluding a funky bass). Before recording, Fitz had to find some Tantrums; he recruited the sultry voice of Noelle Scaggs (former singer for The Rebirth, whom he produced), drummer John Wicks, keyboardist Jeremy Ruzumna (former musical director for Macy Gray), saxophonist James King (who has backed De La Soul), and bassist Joseph Karnes. He recorded all the songs for the EP in his living room in 2009, and the album slowly began to spread to the east coast. It made its way to New York, where the EP found its way into the hands of a tattoo artist who was inking Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The artist urged Levine to listen to the album and the singer was immediately impressed, personally inviting Fitz and The Tantrums to open for Maroon 5 on their 2009 tour.
Fitz and The Tantrums was signed to Dangerbird Records in 2010 and shortly after released their first full-length album, Pickin' Up The Pieces. The album has become a huge success, including the single "MoneyGrabber," and brought Fitz and his Tantrums a fair amount of fame and headlining tour dates in 2011. The group is about to experience even more fame this summer as they fill up their concert schedule with even more tour dates in 2011, this time with up-and-comer April Smith and the Great Picture Show. The tour is underway on the west coast of the US and will head to the east coast on April 9. Fitz and the Tantrums will make their way down the east coast and loop through the south until April 23, when they'll head to Europe to play shows in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, and London in early May. On May 24, Fitz and the Tantrums will return to the US to play the Northwest and Canada before traveling to Australia for tour dates on July 27. The last scheduled 2011 tour date for Fitz and The Tantrums is set for Austin, TX on September 17, with the possibility of an extended concert schedule in the near future. Those interested in seeing Fitz and the Tantrums should check them out on their current concert schedule, as the next time they tour, you might have to pay a lot more for a ticket after they hit the big time.