J.Rod’s Music World Returns

Villanovan Editor

First of all, I’d like to apologize to all my fans for not writing last week, but I’ve made up for it with two reviews this week. Secondly, I’d like to wish you all a happy Halloween. Now, down to business.

When I first heard that two of the most talented, innovative bands in today’s music scene were going on tour together, I couldn’t believe my ears. After months of anticipation, I made my way to the sold-out Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ.to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers and opener The Mars Volta put on a show for the ages. Complete with blazing guitar and bass solos, lovely balladry and Anthony Keidis’ punk/funk edge, this night was a showcase of two of today’s most gifted bands.

The Mars Volta opened up the show with a thrilling display of talent and musical tapestry with two jam sessions, the latter lasting an epic 25 minutes. Under the direction of guitarist and songwriter Omar Rodriquez-Lopez, The Mars Volta ventured through time signatures, keys and interludes with flawless ease. The second jam wandered into a hypnotic state that included bass, drum, percussion, keyboard, saxophone and guitar solos. When they had finished flooring fans with a stellar display of musicianship, they ended with a hard-hitting version of “Viscera Eyes,” the first single off their new album titled “Amputechture.”

After a half hour intermission, the time had come, the stage was set and the crowd was in a frenzy. As Anthony, Flea, John and Chad took the stage, the arena’s roof was nearly off due to sheer excitement. With a set that tore through the entire Chili Pepper catalogue, from “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik” up to the monster “Stadium Arcadium,” the Red Hot Chili Peppers set the place on fire with their unique blend of punk, funk, hip-hop and hard rock. The crowd got everything they paid for and more, including a surprise halfway through the night. At the beginning of the show, the ticket collectors handed out penlights to everyone in attendance, but their exact purpose wasn’t revealed. Flea announced to the crowd halfway through the show that he wanted everyone to get their penlights out for the next song, because the performance was going to be video-taped and turned into the next video for the band’s new single titled “Snow (Hey Oh)” from “Stadium Arcadium.” The crowd erupted with excitement upon hearing this, and RHCP cruised into the sing-along, which included a spectacular lights show and snow-like confetti showers, with style and excitement. If you enjoy hard rock, punk, funk, great musicians or great songwriters or simply like music at all you would have loved this show. For all of you Villanovans reading this article, I hope you made it to the show in Philadelphia. If not, I truly feel for you. This is the top show of the year – do not be left out in the cold when you could be experiencing some red-hot music.

The latest installment in the career of metalcore band Unearth, “III: In the Eyes of Fire,” finds the band continuing to push the envelope with their unique style of metalcore meets prog-metal. With aggressive vocals, pounding drums and brutal lead guitar riffs, Unearth has hit a stride with their newest record, sure to bring back fans of their past work and win new ones. The past two years have been a chaotic and restless time for the band. Between writing, recording and releasing their past three albums, this dynamic, hardworking group has toured a non-stop schedule including Ozzfest twice (2004, 2006) and brutal tours with Hatebreed, Full Blown Chaos, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall and Lamb of God.

All of the elements of Unearth have become more mature and pronounced with “III,” as their writing has become more distinctive and hard-hitting. Although Unearth has matured, they have worked hard to maintain an aggressive metal edge, and this record is another step forward on the road they’ve been on from the beginning. Unlike many bands in the genre seeking instant fame and success with cheap gimmicks, Unearth stays true to their colors (namely black) with “III:” a sign of the band’s belief in its music and power to push the limits of the metalcore genre. “III: In the Eyes of Fire” packs a devil-horned punch and leaves imitators in the dust. Fans of their past work will enjoy their sound, and onlookers will be drawn in by the aggressive style and hard-hitting vocals. Now Hear This: “Giles,” “Sanctity of Brothers,” “Big Bear and the Hour of Chaos”-Contributions made by Matt Butterworth of City Island, NY