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LIZ RUSSO

Liz Russo

LIZ RUSSO is a standup comic and has been performing for over a decade across the country. Liz filmed for Laughs on FOX, and recently was a guest on Sirius XM’s “My Wife Hates Me” with Bonnie McFarlane and Rich Vos! She has been a regular on Raw Reality with Gail Kasper as part of the Odd Squad on WMCN44 in Philadelphia, PA. Liz can also be seen on YouTube web series,Transform My Transformers. Adding to her acting credits is the 2015 independent short film The Bottle produced by award winning Julian Farris Films, and as the sexy, smart, court judge divorcee Catherine Randolph in the Silver Tree Entertainment original sitcom A Hot Mess on STE-TV.

 

Liz’s self-produced and hosted comedy showcases, One Night Stand with Liz Russo, was a long running hit at Carolines on Broadway in New York City. Liz’s national comedy festival credits include Gilda’s Laugh Fest in Grand Rapids Michigan, two time performer at the ‘Laugh Your Asheville Off’ Comedy Festival in Asheville, North Carolina, and featured at the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas. Liz has featured for comedy greats as Colin Quinn, Gilbert Gottfried, Jim Norton, Jackie Martling, Dave Chappelle, Lisa Lampanelli, Rich Vos, and many more talented comedy stars.

 

Liz’s exuberant likability makes all of life and its adversities sexy, joyful, and earnestly comical. Liz has been called “adorable” and her comedy style as “hilariously self-effacing and endearing” combined with a “no-holds barred approach”. Liz is an easily likeable and relatable personality with an honesty and vulnerability that allows her to entertain audiences of all kinds.

Buy Tickets
8:00 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA

GENE WATSON

GENE WATSON

 

This masterful country stylist from Houston, Texas has been thrilling audiences for more than 50 years. Gene’s very first radio single, the self-penned “If It’s That Easy” was released in 1962 so the entertainer is celebrating his 50 Years in the music business, a “Golden Anniversary” in 2012.  Although the song didn’t make any radio charts, it did start the career of the man now known as “The Singer’s Singer.” Gene Watson’s tally of 75 charted titles, 23 top-10 hits and 6 number-one records has led to membership in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Radio listeners are still transfixed whenever classics like “Farewell Party,” “Fourteen Carat Mind” or “Love in the Hot Afternoon” are played. The depth of emotion in his singing, his brilliant phrasing, his jaw-dropping range and the power in the lyrics he chooses are all factors in the awe he inspires in both fans and his musical peers.

 

At an age when most people are contemplating retirement, Gene Watson is still making some of the greatest records of his life, receiving such accolades as Album of the Year and even Album of the Decade from journalists around the world. Watson earned the title of 2010 Country Music Legend of the Year, fromCitadel Media’s Real Country Radio Network nationwide fan vote.

 Watson is one of the rare singers who still sings in the same key as he did 30 years ago and his audiences respond with standing ovations night after night when he nails the octave jumping last note on his most requested song, the now country classic  “Farewell Party.”   As Rodney Crowell so aptly stated, “Just when I think Country Music is a lost art form, something by Gene Watson catches my ear and I can breathe again.”

Considered one of the finest pure-country singers of his generation Watson offers up one of the best traditional country shows in the business. His stunning voice captivates audiences and keeps his fans coming back again and again.

Buy Tickets
8:00 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA

CARROT TOP

Carrot Top

Becoming a pop culture icon is a difficult thing to achieve but Scott “Carrot Top” Thompson has done just that. With three decades of comedic performance in his rear view mirror, Carrot Top is one of the most popular, recognizable and successful comedians in America. After years of playing out to sold-out shows throughout the country, he has now become a Las Vegas icon as well, celebrating his tenth anniversary with the Luxor Resort and Casino at the end of 2015. Coinciding with his milestone anniversary, the property announced a five-year contract renewal for the hit resident show through 2020.

The trademark red locks and the undeniably inventive use of props have vaulted Carrot Top to the level that most comedians can only hope to reach. “Nobody can steal my act,” says Carrot Top. “I’ve challenged comics to write me a prop and they can’t. All comedians can use plays on words or puns but writing a visual joke is something else. A rubber chicken isn’t enough. I have to write my own material and make my own props because no one sells what I do better than me. I’m happy not only that I have my own style but that I’ve been an original from the very start.”

That start came when he was a student at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. His freshman year he went to a club and saw live stand-up comedy for the first time. A couple months later the campus bulletin board announced an open mic night. “I wasn’t going to do it but my roommate convinced me. He said ‘You’re funny.’ I was scared and did some old jokes but people liked it.” His second attempt brought his first prop to the stage. It was so well received that he found another prop that brought a great crowd reaction and then another that did the same. The rest is comedy history.

After building a following on the comedy circuit that made people laugh nearly every weekend, his first television appearance was on “Comic Strip Live” in 1991. Things changed for Carrot Top forever in 1992 with his first appearance on “The Tonight Show.” That appearance exposed his unique brand of comedy to every home in America. After an impressive 31 appearances, Carrot Top also had the distinct honor of appearing on the very last episode of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on February 6, 2014. Carrot Top’s other credits include hundreds of TV programs including “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,” “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” “Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels,” “Chelsea Lately,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Criss Angel - Mindfreak,” “Tom Green Live”, “The Neighbors”, “Tosh.O”, ESPN commercials, as well as the American Movie Classics’ presentation of “Three Stooges” shorts. He most recently appeared on the hit TV show “Glee” and was also featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Where Are They Now?” In addition to his numerous television appearances, Carrot Top also starred in his own movie Chairman of the Board and performed in Dennis the Menace Strikes Again, The Hangover, and most recently appeared in the Trailer Park Boys’ film Swearnet: The Movie.

Carrot Top went from working small clubs in the late 1980’s to becoming the highest grossing touring comedian in America by the late 1990’s. A spectacle worthy of most rock bands, Carrot Top’s show is filled with lights, music, fog machines and confetti cannons. “I went from two trunks and a strobe light to an 18-wheeler and 35 trunks full of props….from a Yugo to a tour bus for the crew and myself. I actually had to hire people to carry my props. It got pretty crazy pretty fast.”

Then came the move that every comic hopes to make, a regular gig on the Strip in Las Vegas. After headlining at MGM Grand for 16 weeks a year, he signed a very lucrative and long-term deal with the Luxor Hotel and Casino. He performs almost 300 shows a year in the Atrium Theatre. Fans flock to see his show because it is as current as today’s headlines, consistently poking fun at pop culture, politics, music and whatever the real world has to offer. No one is safe from the “King of Props” hilarious and infectious humor.

“I have been performing in Vegas for many years and now I truly enjoy calling it home,” Carrot Top said. “Luxor is the perfect place for me – on the Strip in the most exciting city in the world. Vegas has become such a star-studded vacation destination for celebrities, where else could I be in the center of the biggest resource in the world for new material?”

Buy Tickets
7:00 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA

CARROT TOP

Carrot Top

Becoming a pop culture icon is a difficult thing to achieve but Scott “Carrot Top” Thompson has done just that. With three decades of comedic performance in his rear view mirror, Carrot Top is one of the most popular, recognizable and successful comedians in America. After years of playing out to sold-out shows throughout the country, he has now become a Las Vegas icon as well, celebrating his tenth anniversary with the Luxor Resort and Casino at the end of 2015. Coinciding with his milestone anniversary, the property announced a five-year contract renewal for the hit resident show through 2020.

The trademark red locks and the undeniably inventive use of props have vaulted Carrot Top to the level that most comedians can only hope to reach. “Nobody can steal my act,” says Carrot Top. “I’ve challenged comics to write me a prop and they can’t. All comedians can use plays on words or puns but writing a visual joke is something else. A rubber chicken isn’t enough. I have to write my own material and make my own props because no one sells what I do better than me. I’m happy not only that I have my own style but that I’ve been an original from the very start.”

That start came when he was a student at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. His freshman year he went to a club and saw live stand-up comedy for the first time. A couple months later the campus bulletin board announced an open mic night. “I wasn’t going to do it but my roommate convinced me. He said ‘You’re funny.’ I was scared and did some old jokes but people liked it.” His second attempt brought his first prop to the stage. It was so well received that he found another prop that brought a great crowd reaction and then another that did the same. The rest is comedy history.

After building a following on the comedy circuit that made people laugh nearly every weekend, his first television appearance was on “Comic Strip Live” in 1991. Things changed for Carrot Top forever in 1992 with his first appearance on “The Tonight Show.” That appearance exposed his unique brand of comedy to every home in America. After an impressive 31 appearances, Carrot Top also had the distinct honor of appearing on the very last episode of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on February 6, 2014. Carrot Top’s other credits include hundreds of TV programs including “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,” “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” “Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels,” “Chelsea Lately,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Criss Angel - Mindfreak,” “Tom Green Live”, “The Neighbors”, “Tosh.O”, ESPN commercials, as well as the American Movie Classics’ presentation of “Three Stooges” shorts. He most recently appeared on the hit TV show “Glee” and was also featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Where Are They Now?” In addition to his numerous television appearances, Carrot Top also starred in his own movie Chairman of the Board and performed in Dennis the Menace Strikes Again, The Hangover, and most recently appeared in the Trailer Park Boys’ film Swearnet: The Movie.

Carrot Top went from working small clubs in the late 1980’s to becoming the highest grossing touring comedian in America by the late 1990’s. A spectacle worthy of most rock bands, Carrot Top’s show is filled with lights, music, fog machines and confetti cannons. “I went from two trunks and a strobe light to an 18-wheeler and 35 trunks full of props….from a Yugo to a tour bus for the crew and myself. I actually had to hire people to carry my props. It got pretty crazy pretty fast.”

Then came the move that every comic hopes to make, a regular gig on the Strip in Las Vegas. After headlining at MGM Grand for 16 weeks a year, he signed a very lucrative and long-term deal with the Luxor Hotel and Casino. He performs almost 300 shows a year in the Atrium Theatre. Fans flock to see his show because it is as current as today’s headlines, consistently poking fun at pop culture, politics, music and whatever the real world has to offer. No one is safe from the “King of Props” hilarious and infectious humor.

“I have been performing in Vegas for many years and now I truly enjoy calling it home,” Carrot Top said. “Luxor is the perfect place for me – on the Strip in the most exciting city in the world. Vegas has become such a star-studded vacation destination for celebrities, where else could I be in the center of the biggest resource in the world for new material?”

Buy Tickets
9:30 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA

JOHNNY RIVERS

Johnny Rivers

In 1964, when the British Invasion was in progress and American rockers were tough to find on the U.S. pop charts, Johnny Rivers was one of the first to regain a foothold; his first Top 10 record came right in the midst of Beatlemania. His formula was much the same as the British style vintage American rock n' roll and R&B played with a verve and simplicity that gave his music a contemporary edge. Over the next four years his funky, go-go rock gave him a steady stream of Top 10 records. His first #1 record came when, against the advice of the record company, he abruptly switched gears and began cutting ballads. 

The southern tone in much of Rivers' music was authentic. John Henry Ramistella was born November 7, 1942, in New York City. When he was about five, his father wound up out of work. The Ramistella's moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where an uncle, head of the Louisiana State University art department, got John's dad work painting houses and antiquing furniture. John's first musical inspiration was his father.

"My dad and uncle used to get together and play these old Italian folk songs on mandolin and guitar." As John started playing, he listened to R&B on the late-night radio, megawatt stations like WLAC in Nashville. However, R&B was a way of life in Baton Rouge. "When I went to Baton Rouge Junior High, Fats Domino, Jimmy Reed and guys like that used to play at our dances," Rivers says.

By junior high, he was sitting in with various local bands, including one led by Dick Holler, who later wrote "Abraham, Martin And John." Holler's guitarist was the still-unknown Jimmy Clanton. Holler, Rivers says, "introduced me to a lot of R&B artists and opened up a whole new world for me." Johnny formed his own band The Spades in 1956. "We played all Fats' tunes... Little Richard, Larry Williams, Bobby Bland," Rivers says. "We became the hot little band around Baton Rouge. Then Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis hit so I took on a little touch of rockabilly."

Johnny and The Spades toured Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama. His first recording, "Hey Little Girl," was released by the Natchez, Mississippi-based Suede label, and sold well on The Spades' touring circuit.

In 1957, John flew to New York during a school vacation and stayed with an aunt there. He wanted to meet Alan Freed. And he did. "It was like a scene out of an Alan Freed movie," Rivers says. He was at WINS in Columbus Circle. "I stood in front of the radio station. It was freezing cold and he came up with Jack Hooke who was his manager. I said 'My name's Johnny Ramistella. I'm from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I have a band. I play and write and I'd like you to hear my music.' Alan gave me his card and said 'We have an office down at the Brill Building on Broadway. Why don't you come down tomorrow afternoon?' I went down and Jack Hooke was there and I played four or five songs." 

Hooke called George Goldner, owner of Gone and End records, whose office was also in the Brill. Legendary songwriter Otis Blackwell, author of "Don't Be Cruel" and "Great Balls Of Fire" arranged John's debut single "Baby Come Back" b/w "Long, Long Walk." Freed also gave Johnny a new name. "I was sitting around with Jack and Alan and they were gettin' ready to release the record," John remembers. "Alan (said) 'Your name... you need to come up with something a little more musical.' We were talkin' about where I grew up on the Mississippi River and somehow Rivers came out of that, That was the first time I used that name."

"Baby Come Back" was released in March 1958. His New York contacts also led to releases like "Your First And Last Love" on the Dee Dee label, issued that August, and "You're The One" on the Guyden label, released in March 1959. None were hits.

Back in Baton Rouge, Rivers began touring as a solo act with innovative Southern comedian Brother Dave Gardner. At a show in Birmingham, Alabama, he met Hank Williams' widow Audrey, who brought him to Nashville around 1959 and got him a contract with Cub, a subsidiary of MGM Records. He cut two singles for Cub backed by some of Nashville's best session players: Floyd Kramer, Buddy Harman, Bob Moore, and Hank Garland, who became a close friend. Johnny also hung out with Roger Miller, then a promising songwriter at Tree Music, Roger's publishing company.

Rivers credits his uncanny gift of finding good songs and writers to his New York and Nashville experiences. "I learned that the song was everything from hangin' out at the Brill Building and in Nashville around Tree Music," he says. "I used to cut demos for Hill and arrange songs when I was in New York, Guys like Otis Blackwell would come in with a new tune and they'd get me to do the Elvis Presley sound and cut demos for them. 25 bucks a demo."

Around 1960, as Johnny alternated between Nashville and Baton Rouge, Merle Kilgore, then a deejay at KWKH in Shreveport, got him a spot on the Louisiana Hayride. He also introduced him to Shreveport guitar legend James Burton, home on vacation from working with Ricky Nelson in California. Burton took a tape of Johnny's song "I'll Make Believe" back to California. Within a month, he called to tell Johnny that Rick would record it. The song wound up on Nelson's 1960 Imperial LP More Songs By Ricky.

Rivers flew to L.A., met Rick and the band, and relocated to L.A. around 1961. "I was thinking of producing records," he says. "I was starting to give up on the artist idea. I'd kicked around for so long I was starting to look in other areas. Then I met a producer named Nick Venet and wound up doing some stuff for Capitol." The 1962 Capitol sides, including a cover version of Lefty Frizzell's country hit "Long Black Veil" didn't sell, but Rivers' contacts gained him work as a writer and producer.

Rivers returned to the stage in 1963, almost by accident. He was a regular customer at Bill Gazzari's club on La Cienega Blvd. in L.A. for some time. "Hangin' out in the studios, bein' a musician, I was always up late, so I wound up goin' by there quite a bit," Rivers says. "It was a little Italian restaurant that usually stayed open until four in the morning. When the clubs closed at two, everyone that was still hungry would go get some good food. He had a jazz trio there."

One night Johnny found Gazzari forlorn because his house band was leaving. "Bill said, 'You're a musician. Can't you come in and help us out for a few nights until I can find somebody?' I said, 'I play funky rock'n'roll. I don't think that's what you want in here.' He begged me, 'Please come in and play your stuff until I find another jazz group."'

Johnny devised a formula: "Trini Lopez had been playing over at PJ's, doin' this slap rhythm thing. I said, 'I can do that kind of stuff.' I didn't have a band so I called Eddie Rubin, a jazz drummer. He wasn't gigging at the time, so he and Eddie went into Gazzari's together‹just guitar and drums‹and played what we thought was going to be a three- or four-day gig." To everyone's surprise, huge crowds gathered to hear Johnny and Rubin play rock and R&B hits. Gazzari's profits soared, and when Rivers was ready to leave, Gazzari offered him more money and let him hire a bassist. Joe Osborn, just starting to become an L.A. studio legend, joined Rivers and Rubin.

Rivers also met two men at Gazzari's who would play major roles in his career: Lou Adler, who became his producer, and Elmer Valentine, who was opening an L.A. version of the Paris Whisky A Go-Go club on the Sunset Strip. Valentine offered Rivers a year's contract to appear at the new club. On January 15, 1964, he opened. Three days later 'The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" entered the charts.

"The Whisky was a smash from opening night," Rivers says. I brought my following from Gazzari's." Rivers and his famous red Gibson ES-335 guitar symbolized the Strip's new youth-oriented atmosphere. They weren't at the Whisky long when he and Adler thought of cutting a live album. Another L.A. club owner loaned Rivers and Adler money to hire Wally Heider's remote recording unit. "We recorded this album two nights in a row and took it to every record company in town. None of them wanted it," Johnny recalls.

Liberty Records executive Bob Skaff liked the tape and convinced reluctant Liberty President Al Bennett to release it on Imperial Records. Bennett had purchased Imperial from founder Lew Chudd, and ran it as a small, semi-independent label. To release Rivers' recordings, he and Adler formed Dunhill Productions with Bobby Roberts (an ex-member of The Dunhills, a tap dancing group that inspired the name) and Pierre Cossette (now producer of the Grammy Awards show). This eventually evolved into Dunhill Records, home to L.A rock legends The Mamas & The Papas, The Grass Roots and Steppenwolf.

Adler and company were disappointed that the album would appear on what they considered a secondary label. But not Johnny. "When they said 'Imperial Records.' I just jumped up and went 'YEAH! YEAH!' Because I grew up with nothing but Imperial Records, Bobby Mitchell, Fats Domino, and Ricky Nelson, and I thought 'What a cool label!'" Both Rivers and Adler came to see Imperial's smallness as a plus. "it gave Lou and me the autonomy to pick our own singles and work closely with the promotion men and marketing people," Rivers says. "I think that had a lot to do with why we had so much success, because we had a real good handle on it.

Buy Tickets
8:00 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

Bullet For MyValentine w/ Special Guests CANE HILL

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
w/ Special Guests CANE HILL

Bullet For My Valentine
bare their teeth like never before on the aptly-titled VENOM(RCA Records).

 

The UK metal powerhouse   Matt Tuck [vocals, guitar], Michael “Padge” Paget [guitar], and Michael “Moose” Thomas [drums]—didn’t hold anything back or pull any punches. When it came time to strike on their fifth full-length record, they rallied around one unified goal.

 

“We wanted to cut an album that was purely us inside and out,” asserts Tuck. “We thought about what makes us who we are and made our band what it is in the first place. We decided to get that energy back and unleash it for no other reason than we simply have to. So, that’s exactly what we did.”

 

Following a whirlwind tour cycle behind 2013’s Temper Temper, which debuted at # 1 on the Billboard Hard Music Albums Chart and Top 15 on the Billboard Top 200, the band re-shifted and re-aligned its focus. Amicably parting ways with original bassist Jason “Jay” James, they approached recording from a different angle.

 

In the past, writing sessions transpired over compact periods of time. However, leading up to VENOM, they wrote for nearly six months off and on in Padge’s own home studio, allowing the material the opportunity to take shape and the vision to coalesce freely in an open environment. Rather than choose to work alongside a producer they’d never met, they tapped the talents Colin Richardson [Slipknot, Machine Head, Trivium], the man behind their first EP Hand of Blood as well as their two gold-certified opuses 2005’s The Poison and 2008’s Scream Aim Fire, and co-producer Carl Bown.

 

“We didn’t want any kind of bonding sessions while we were making the record,” explains Tuck. “We didn’t want any clashes of egos, personalities, senses of humor, or anything like that. We called Colin, and he put us in touch with Carl—as they’ve worked together on virtually everything together for the past five years. We just talked about what we wanted this record to sound like, what we wanted to achieve, what was pissing us off, what we felt was weak, and what we felt was strong. We just poured our hearts. It felt so real, and the connection was instantly there. Having Colin back in the room was the best feeling. It contributed massively to the record’s sound.”

 

The musicians holed up in London’s Metropolis Studio from February through April 2015. Tuck handled bass duties for recording and encouraged a more vital, vibrant, and vicious instrumental attack around.

 

“Anything that went a slight bit too melodic or pop, we scrapped right away,” the frontman chuckles. “We wanted to keep this as dark as possible. It was very important that the album sounded intense. That’s what our fans loved the most since day one.”

 

The introductory taste of VENOM arrived with the opening track “No Way Out.” Fusing together a tight, technical, and taut thrash stampede, it’s an intricate and infectious battlecry for the record. Within just two weeks of release in May 2015, it garnered over 1 million YouTube/VEVO views, proving Tuck’s theory.

 

“The song revisits my younger days growing up in a shitty part of Wales where there was no hope for anyone,” he sighs. “You went to a bad school. Teachers didn’t care about you. You weren’t nurtured. You weren’t pushed in any direction you were good at. The only thing I ever wanted to do with myself was music, but they wouldn’t let me. It’s about feeling trapped but having ambition and not being able to express yourself. I felt like there was no way out of anything in my life. ‘No Way Out’ captures those frustrations. I found that dark headspace again and seized it.”

 

Then, there’s the first single “You Want a Battle? (Here’s a War).” A bombastic beat bleeds into an anthemic refrain meant to be chanted along to in stadiums. At the same time, Tuck and Padge ignite a crossfire of guitars, exploding into fret-burning leads. It also hits a personal note for the vocalist.

 

“When I was in school, I would get my fair share of ass-whoopings because I played music, had a band, and grew my hair long,” he says. “All of this anger boiled up inside from being picked on and mentally and physically abused. I wasn’t taking it anymore. It’s a big statement single and something that I think a lot of our fans—both my age and much younger—will identify with. We all go through difficult times, but there’s light at the end of that tunnel.”

 

The title track “Venom” nods to the group’s knack for a brooding ballad, offering up an emotional and evocative reprieve from the relentless onslaught mid-record.

 

“It’s a dark love song, which we always love to include on the album,” he admits. “It’s about being in a relationship with someone who’s just a piece of work. VENOM is a reference to this individual being poisonous, ugly, dangerous, and just bad for you. You don’t want this relationship anymore. It’s got that edgy element but sung in a melodic and beautiful way. It’s a touchstone of what we do.”

 

The group has firmly etched their place within the modern metal pantheon by doing “what they do.” An international phenomenon, their album sales cumulatively exceed 5 million globally. They’ve accumulated  220million-plus YouTube plays, while covering magazines ranging from Revolver and Alternative Press to Metal Hammer, Kerrang!, and Total Guitar. They’ve garnered the Metal Hammer “Golden God” Award for “British Band” in 2006 and 2010 and even notched a staggering total of seven Kerrang! Awards. They also remain a live juggernaut tearing up stages everywhere from Download in the UK to Rockstar Mayhem Festival in North America.

 

Now joined by fellow Welshman Jamie Matthias on bass and backing vocals, Bullet For My Valentine will launch VENOM stateside touring on one of the year’s biggest metal jaunts, Summer’s Last Stand, with Slipknot and Lamb of God. Everything points to these musicians leaving an indelible mark on the genre with VENOM.

 

“I’d love for everyone to enjoy the music and just walk away going, ‘Bullet is relevant. It’s a sick album.’ I think it’s the best record we’ve ever done. We didn’t want to overthink or overproduce anything. We harnessed what this band was in the first place. We kept things simple and let the songs do the talking.”

Buy Tickets
8:00 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

Bullet For My Valentine: Meet & Greet Package

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
w/ Special Guests CANE HILL

Bullet For My Valentine
bare their teeth like never before on the aptly-titled VENOM(RCA Records).

 

The UK metal powerhouse   Matt Tuck [vocals, guitar], Michael “Padge” Paget [guitar], and Michael “Moose” Thomas [drums]—didn’t hold anything back or pull any punches. When it came time to strike on their fifth full-length record, they rallied around one unified goal.

 

“We wanted to cut an album that was purely us inside and out,” asserts Tuck. “We thought about what makes us who we are and made our band what it is in the first place. We decided to get that energy back and unleash it for no other reason than we simply have to. So, that’s exactly what we did.”

 

Following a whirlwind tour cycle behind 2013’s Temper Temper, which debuted at # 1 on the Billboard Hard Music Albums Chart and Top 15 on the Billboard Top 200, the band re-shifted and re-aligned its focus. Amicably parting ways with original bassist Jason “Jay” James, they approached recording from a different angle.

 

In the past, writing sessions transpired over compact periods of time. However, leading up to VENOM, they wrote for nearly six months off and on in Padge’s own home studio, allowing the material the opportunity to take shape and the vision to coalesce freely in an open environment. Rather than choose to work alongside a producer they’d never met, they tapped the talents Colin Richardson [Slipknot, Machine Head, Trivium], the man behind their first EP Hand of Blood as well as their two gold-certified opuses 2005’s The Poison and 2008’s Scream Aim Fire, and co-producer Carl Bown.

 

“We didn’t want any kind of bonding sessions while we were making the record,” explains Tuck. “We didn’t want any clashes of egos, personalities, senses of humor, or anything like that. We called Colin, and he put us in touch with Carl—as they’ve worked together on virtually everything together for the past five years. We just talked about what we wanted this record to sound like, what we wanted to achieve, what was pissing us off, what we felt was weak, and what we felt was strong. We just poured our hearts. It felt so real, and the connection was instantly there. Having Colin back in the room was the best feeling. It contributed massively to the record’s sound.”

 

The musicians holed up in London’s Metropolis Studio from February through April 2015. Tuck handled bass duties for recording and encouraged a more vital, vibrant, and vicious instrumental attack around.

 

“Anything that went a slight bit too melodic or pop, we scrapped right away,” the frontman chuckles. “We wanted to keep this as dark as possible. It was very important that the album sounded intense. That’s what our fans loved the most since day one.”

 

The introductory taste of VENOM arrived with the opening track “No Way Out.” Fusing together a tight, technical, and taut thrash stampede, it’s an intricate and infectious battlecry for the record. Within just two weeks of release in May 2015, it garnered over 1 million YouTube/VEVO views, proving Tuck’s theory.

 

“The song revisits my younger days growing up in a shitty part of Wales where there was no hope for anyone,” he sighs. “You went to a bad school. Teachers didn’t care about you. You weren’t nurtured. You weren’t pushed in any direction you were good at. The only thing I ever wanted to do with myself was music, but they wouldn’t let me. It’s about feeling trapped but having ambition and not being able to express yourself. I felt like there was no way out of anything in my life. ‘No Way Out’ captures those frustrations. I found that dark headspace again and seized it.”

 

Then, there’s the first single “You Want a Battle? (Here’s a War).” A bombastic beat bleeds into an anthemic refrain meant to be chanted along to in stadiums. At the same time, Tuck and Padge ignite a crossfire of guitars, exploding into fret-burning leads. It also hits a personal note for the vocalist.

 

“When I was in school, I would get my fair share of ass-whoopings because I played music, had a band, and grew my hair long,” he says. “All of this anger boiled up inside from being picked on and mentally and physically abused. I wasn’t taking it anymore. It’s a big statement single and something that I think a lot of our fans—both my age and much younger—will identify with. We all go through difficult times, but there’s light at the end of that tunnel.”

 

The title track “Venom” nods to the group’s knack for a brooding ballad, offering up an emotional and evocative reprieve from the relentless onslaught mid-record.

 

“It’s a dark love song, which we always love to include on the album,” he admits. “It’s about being in a relationship with someone who’s just a piece of work. VENOM is a reference to this individual being poisonous, ugly, dangerous, and just bad for you. You don’t want this relationship anymore. It’s got that edgy element but sung in a melodic and beautiful way. It’s a touchstone of what we do.”

 

The group has firmly etched their place within the modern metal pantheon by doing “what they do.” An international phenomenon, their album sales cumulatively exceed 5 million globally. They’ve accumulated  220million-plus YouTube plays, while covering magazines ranging from Revolver and Alternative Press to Metal Hammer, Kerrang!, and Total Guitar. They’ve garnered the Metal Hammer “Golden God” Award for “British Band” in 2006 and 2010 and even notched a staggering total of seven Kerrang! Awards. They also remain a live juggernaut tearing up stages everywhere from Download in the UK to Rockstar Mayhem Festival in North America.

 

Now joined by fellow Welshman Jamie Matthias on bass and backing vocals, Bullet For My Valentine will launch VENOM stateside touring on one of the year’s biggest metal jaunts, Summer’s Last Stand, with Slipknot and Lamb of God. Everything points to these musicians leaving an indelible mark on the genre with VENOM.

 

“I’d love for everyone to enjoy the music and just walk away going, ‘Bullet is relevant. It’s a sick album.’ I think it’s the best record we’ve ever done. We didn’t want to overthink or overproduce anything. We harnessed what this band was in the first place. We kept things simple and let the songs do the talking.”

Buy Tickets
8:00 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

Bullet For My Valentine: Venom VIP Package

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
w/ Special Guests CANE HILL

Bullet For My Valentine
bare their teeth like never before on the aptly-titled VENOM(RCA Records).

 

The UK metal powerhouse   Matt Tuck [vocals, guitar], Michael “Padge” Paget [guitar], and Michael “Moose” Thomas [drums]—didn’t hold anything back or pull any punches. When it came time to strike on their fifth full-length record, they rallied around one unified goal.

 

“We wanted to cut an album that was purely us inside and out,” asserts Tuck. “We thought about what makes us who we are and made our band what it is in the first place. We decided to get that energy back and unleash it for no other reason than we simply have to. So, that’s exactly what we did.”

 

Following a whirlwind tour cycle behind 2013’s Temper Temper, which debuted at # 1 on the Billboard Hard Music Albums Chart and Top 15 on the Billboard Top 200, the band re-shifted and re-aligned its focus. Amicably parting ways with original bassist Jason “Jay” James, they approached recording from a different angle.

 

In the past, writing sessions transpired over compact periods of time. However, leading up to VENOM, they wrote for nearly six months off and on in Padge’s own home studio, allowing the material the opportunity to take shape and the vision to coalesce freely in an open environment. Rather than choose to work alongside a producer they’d never met, they tapped the talents Colin Richardson [Slipknot, Machine Head, Trivium], the man behind their first EP Hand of Blood as well as their two gold-certified opuses 2005’s The Poison and 2008’s Scream Aim Fire, and co-producer Carl Bown.

 

“We didn’t want any kind of bonding sessions while we were making the record,” explains Tuck. “We didn’t want any clashes of egos, personalities, senses of humor, or anything like that. We called Colin, and he put us in touch with Carl—as they’ve worked together on virtually everything together for the past five years. We just talked about what we wanted this record to sound like, what we wanted to achieve, what was pissing us off, what we felt was weak, and what we felt was strong. We just poured our hearts. It felt so real, and the connection was instantly there. Having Colin back in the room was the best feeling. It contributed massively to the record’s sound.”

 

The musicians holed up in London’s Metropolis Studio from February through April 2015. Tuck handled bass duties for recording and encouraged a more vital, vibrant, and vicious instrumental attack around.

 

“Anything that went a slight bit too melodic or pop, we scrapped right away,” the frontman chuckles. “We wanted to keep this as dark as possible. It was very important that the album sounded intense. That’s what our fans loved the most since day one.”

 

The introductory taste of VENOM arrived with the opening track “No Way Out.” Fusing together a tight, technical, and taut thrash stampede, it’s an intricate and infectious battlecry for the record. Within just two weeks of release in May 2015, it garnered over 1 million YouTube/VEVO views, proving Tuck’s theory.

 

“The song revisits my younger days growing up in a shitty part of Wales where there was no hope for anyone,” he sighs. “You went to a bad school. Teachers didn’t care about you. You weren’t nurtured. You weren’t pushed in any direction you were good at. The only thing I ever wanted to do with myself was music, but they wouldn’t let me. It’s about feeling trapped but having ambition and not being able to express yourself. I felt like there was no way out of anything in my life. ‘No Way Out’ captures those frustrations. I found that dark headspace again and seized it.”

 

Then, there’s the first single “You Want a Battle? (Here’s a War).” A bombastic beat bleeds into an anthemic refrain meant to be chanted along to in stadiums. At the same time, Tuck and Padge ignite a crossfire of guitars, exploding into fret-burning leads. It also hits a personal note for the vocalist.

 

“When I was in school, I would get my fair share of ass-whoopings because I played music, had a band, and grew my hair long,” he says. “All of this anger boiled up inside from being picked on and mentally and physically abused. I wasn’t taking it anymore. It’s a big statement single and something that I think a lot of our fans—both my age and much younger—will identify with. We all go through difficult times, but there’s light at the end of that tunnel.”

 

The title track “Venom” nods to the group’s knack for a brooding ballad, offering up an emotional and evocative reprieve from the relentless onslaught mid-record.

 

“It’s a dark love song, which we always love to include on the album,” he admits. “It’s about being in a relationship with someone who’s just a piece of work. VENOM is a reference to this individual being poisonous, ugly, dangerous, and just bad for you. You don’t want this relationship anymore. It’s got that edgy element but sung in a melodic and beautiful way. It’s a touchstone of what we do.”

 

The group has firmly etched their place within the modern metal pantheon by doing “what they do.” An international phenomenon, their album sales cumulatively exceed 5 million globally. They’ve accumulated  220million-plus YouTube plays, while covering magazines ranging from Revolver and Alternative Press to Metal Hammer, Kerrang!, and Total Guitar. They’ve garnered the Metal Hammer “Golden God” Award for “British Band” in 2006 and 2010 and even notched a staggering total of seven Kerrang! Awards. They also remain a live juggernaut tearing up stages everywhere from Download in the UK to Rockstar Mayhem Festival in North America.

 

Now joined by fellow Welshman Jamie Matthias on bass and backing vocals, Bullet For My Valentine will launch VENOM stateside touring on one of the year’s biggest metal jaunts, Summer’s Last Stand, with Slipknot and Lamb of God. Everything points to these musicians leaving an indelible mark on the genre with VENOM.

 

“I’d love for everyone to enjoy the music and just walk away going, ‘Bullet is relevant. It’s a sick album.’ I think it’s the best record we’ve ever done. We didn’t want to overthink or overproduce anything. We harnessed what this band was in the first place. We kept things simple and let the songs do the talking.”

Buy Tickets
8:00 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA

MICHAEL MALONE

Michael Malone

Award winning comedian Michael Malone is a larger than life performer who delivers heavy-hitting punchlines with the weight of a veteran and the heat reserved only for the country’s hottest up and coming comics.

 

Malone’s blistering humor and irreverent views on life, love and personal tragedy have earned him two top ten bestselling comedy album on iTunes and recognitions like Campus Activities Magazine’s Top Comedy Performer of 2013, “Hot Comic to Watch in 2013,” and winner of the prestigious 33rd Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition in 2012.

 

Michael’s latest album, “Thirty One” breaks down the idiotic ways we deal with life, death, love and sex. Critics like Angela Frissore from AXS raved about the new album, saying “Malone is as engaging as perfectly-choreographed ballet.” and “Thirty One is definitely a must-have for any standup comedy fan.”

 

Michael has been featured on the Bob and Tom Radio and TV show. He’s also made appearances on WGN, National Lampoon’s Operation Comedy Tour, NBC, The CW, XM Sirius Satellite radio and was named “Next Big Thing in Comedy” and asked to be an official cast member for season 2 of “Laughs” on FOX TV.

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8:00 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA

JACOB MARTIN BAND

Jacob Martin Band

Jacob Martin Band formed in early 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee through the underestimated power of Craigslist. Converging from all parts of the country, Jacob Martin (vocals/rhythm guitar), Josh Carlson (drums/background vocals), Jeff Coggins (lead guitar), and Mike Guy (bass/background vocals) came together to form a powerful, melodic band that captivates both country and rock listeners. Since forming, the band hit the road and built a following that would later land them opening slots for Brantley Gilbert, Lee Brice, Justin Moore, and many others.


In early 2013, Jacob Martin Band released their first single Wraparound Porch to secondary radio and reached #42 on the Music Row Chart. JMB has since returned to the studio with producer Jody Stevens (Cole Swindell, Luke Bryan) to record their new record entitled Look At What You Started. Take It To The Moonlight, their follow up single impacts radio November 2014
Buy Tickets
8:00 pm
Anthem Sioux City, IA
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