By: The Busted Amp Staff
Derek: For an artist that I didn't know had any new music released until I heard the single on the new Madden video game, I was surprised to see the lack of hype for Big Boi at Madison Theater. Yes, lack of hype. Why? Well, we're only a few years removed from one of the biggest reunion tours of the last decade when Outkast held an expansive, uber-hyped festival hop in 2014. Yes, the tour received mixed reviews and Andre 3000 has since admitted that he only did it for the money and felt like a sell-out in doing so. But despite all of this, Outkast's music has legendary status, especially among the late 20 - early 30 somethings who grew up listening to "Hey Ya" and the plethora of other memorable tracks the Atlanta group released. So when Joseph and I walked into a half-filled theater, I was shocked and, frankly, disappointed in the Cincinnati scene.
It certainly didn't help the performance. Big Boi appeared like he was phoning it in nearly the entire night, and even great cameos from Killer Mike couldn't save what ended up being one of the most forgettable shows of the year. If not for the memorability of the selection of Outkast songs, it would have been even more forgettable than it already was. Killer Mike's flow is much better than Big Boi's at this stage in his career, and it felt like Killer Mike was getting the bigger cheers too. It doesn't hurt that Killer Mike is in the currently relevant hip-hop duo Run The Jewels. But I'll just go ahead and leave it at that.
Joseph: I'm gonna have to side with Derek on this one. I was pretty hyped to see this duo here in Cincy going in. Two of the bigger names in hip hop teaming up for what should be a unique co-headlining bill? Sign me up! However, it was not to be. Apart from the extremely disappointing showing from the Cincinnati music scene, (c'mon, guys!) Big Boi was anything but energetic as he slugged through his mostly forgettable set. Killer Mike stole the show whenever he was on stage, but I was disappointed to see him only get two or three solo songs. I thought this was to be a co-headlining set with each receiving equal solo time on stage, but clearly the set was Big Boi with Killer Mike. Frankly I felt a little deceived by the billing.
That said, I did feel some nostalgia hearing those classic Outkast tracks again, but this notion was already tickled last year when Derek and I saw Big Grams at Bunbury. (Big Boi + Phantogram) So unfortunately this set didn't bring much to the table other than Killer Mike reinforcing the notion that he's one of the best rappers out there today.
Check this one off the list ladies and gents.
Check out Big Boi's new single "Kill Jill" featuring Killer Mike and Jeezy
By: Derek Jung
DEREK: Joseph and I have been avid followers of The Church of Joshua Homme for as long as we can remember. Our love affair with Queens of the Stone Age dates back to when our adolescent musical tastes were just starting to grow, and it hasn't lessened for any album, lineup iteration, or side project that Homme has thrown at us. The band's latest album, Villains, was a banger, and we were excited to hear the songs performed live.
This was probably the tightest I've ever seen the band live. Every member was in perfect sync, playing off of each others' grooves and licks, and Homme, albeit visibly intoxicated, was really enjoying himself. There have been a lot of rumors swirling around about his mental state, but hopefully chainsmoking, boozing, and badassery are his only vices. All that being said, he looked in prime form on Tuesday.
The band focused mostly on Villains and their previous album, ...Like Clockwork. I was pleasantly surprised to hear "I Appear Missing", which I was disappointed they didn't play the last time I saw them, and the one-two-three punch of "Head Like a Haunted House" -> "I Appear Missing" -> "Villains of Circumstance" was one of my favorite moments of the show. It was the perfect amount of insanity, jamming, and psychedelic stoner rock.
I'll go ahead and omit the fine, but otherwise run of the mill opening set from Royal Blood. Seeing them for the first time on this album cycle at Lollapalooza was great, but seeing the same thing twice from a band that relies so much on riffs and British swagger, it was extremely boring.
Queens are touring through the middle of next year, so there are still plenty of opportunities to see them.
JOSEPH: I don't have a whole lot to add here. Derek and I feel pretty similar about QOTSA and go way back with the band. I just wanted to bring up that I feel like Joshua Homme is one of the last true rockstars of our time. Derek put it lightly relating to Homme's intoxication. He was wasted, like the rockstars of old. Yet he was at the top of his game. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. I also agree with Derek on Royal Blood. This was the third time I've seen the band on this tour, and even though I'm the resident riff rock lover between us, I couldn't help getting bored seeing the exact same set for a third time. Hopefully they start to add some spontaneity to their set as they continue to develop. But when it's all said and done.....go see QOTSA if you can. It's worth it.
Go With the Flow
The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
Feet Don't Fail me
My God Is the Sun
The Evil Has Landed
No One Knows
Make It Wit Chu
Leg of Lamb
Head Like a Haunted House
I Appear Missing
Villains of Circumstance
If I Had a Tail
I Sat by the Ocean
The Way You Used to Do
A Song for the Dead
By: Derek Jung
Nestled in a quaint park amphitheater on the banks of the Great Miami River in Hamilton, Ohio, David Shaw's Big River Get Down has put together one of the better single day festivals in the area. Shaw, lead singer of The Revivalists and Hamilton native, assembled an eclectic, good vibes focused lineup that delivered from top to bottom. Coupled with great weather and a crowd eager to soak up the sun and enjoy a day of music in an otherwise quiet town, The Get Down was a huge success.
Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band
Ironically only featuring three members, Peyton's energy, enthusiasm, and monster beard makes up for what the band lacks in size and, frankly, a vocalist. With slick slide guitar, smooth blues licks, and a hypnotizing rhythmic sound, Peyton and company commanded the stage for their 45 minute set. I found myself constantly watching Breezy, whose instrument is scratching a washboard.
Yes, this is a band from the 21st century.
Set highlights "Something for Nothing" and "Clap Your Hands" are worth the price of admission alone. Don't miss out on seeing The Rev if he comes around again.
The Marcus King Band
I missed seeing Marcus King earlier this year at 20th Century Theater because of a snow storm, so seeing he was playing The Big River Get Down was icing on the cake when I went to purchase tickets. The 21 year old blues guitarist has been playing live for a good portion of his life already, and being associated with legends like Warren Hayes certainly hasn't hurt his young career. Similar to Hayes, King's southern blues style bring back memories of The Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule. With accompanying horns and keys, King's guitar playing didn't take the spotlight quite as much as I would have liked, but there's no denying the kid's talent and passion for the blues. I'm really looking forward to hearing how his sound evolves, because there are certainly some growing pains involved. (His voice being one of them) But I have high hopes.
The Record Company
Seeing them open for My Morning Jacket earlier this year was a revolution for me. I'd heard their single, "Rita Mae Young" on local radio, but never thought they'd rock as much as they do. These three guys bring the hard pounding throwback southern blues rock riffs, a little twang, a little harmonica, and top it off with a dash of slide guitar. The resulting rock 'n' roll sundae is enough to fill the appetite of even the hungriest rocker out there.
Some would argue that The Record Company isn't bringing anything new to the genre, which is probably true, but why mess with a formula that's been so successful for so long. There's no denying that what the band's doing here sounds just as fresh as it did when Muddy Waters pioneered the genre in the 50's and 60's.
By: Derek Jung
There are few modern country stars that I can, without any shame, say that I am a fan. Chris Stapleton just happens to be one of them. I've been a fan of his since he broke onto the scene under his own name with his debut album Traveler. Stapleton, who had been writing for Nashville superstars for years, proved that he could be his own star and amassed a number of yearly awards for the release. Earlier this summer he released his sophomore album, From A Room: Volume 1, a collection of soulful country ballads that we at The Busted Amp thoroughly enjoyed. Friday night brought a good mix of both, as well as a number of great covers.
Chris Stapleton looks like a southern outlaw. Bearded, with long hair and a cowboy hat, his presence on stage immediately draws your attention. His voice demands it. The show began with the mood setting single "Might As Well Get Stoned", an apt description to the amount of smoke that was rising from the crowd all around us. It was a down home country throwdown, and the sold out crowd at Riverbend Music Center ate it all up.
It was also a sad night for country fans, as country legends Don Williams and Troy Gentry passed away earlier that day. To honor their memories, Stapleton played two Don WIlliams covers during the encore and introed a snippet of Montgomery Gentry's "Hillbilly Shoes" before "Nobody to Blame".
Stapleton is on the road through the middle of November. Check him out if you get the chance.
Might As Well Get Stoned
Nobody to Blame (intro of Hillbilly Shoes by Montgomery Gentry)
Midnight Train to Memphis
Trying to Untangle My Mind
I Was Wrong
Whiskey and You
More of You
Outlaw State of Mind
Tuesday's Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
The Devil Named Music
Second One To Know
Amanda (Don Williams cover)
Tulsa Time (Don Williams cover)
Sometimes I Cry
By: Derek Jung
Seeing any musical act in a sports arena is a gamble. For one, the sound system built into stadiums are not made to handle the intricate sounds of a live band. They also are not shaped to handle the way sound travels in space. We see this almost every night at Reds games with the now infamous wooing that echoes through the mostly empty stadium. The last act I had the displeasure of seeing at Great American Ballpark was Billy Currington during All Star Weekend. It didn't go well, and luckily we only had to endure two songs from the country star. Because of this, I didn't have high hopes for The Avett Brothers, who have a much larger, fuller sound.
The stage for The Avett Brothers was, unlike Currington's positioning, directly behind second base facing home. I can't imagine what the sound was like for anyone behind the stage in the outfield, or even more down the first or third baseline, but where we were sitting, we had a good view of the stage. Speaking of which, there were seven people in the band packed on a tiny stage, much of which was taken up by drums, a piano, and keyboards. For a band with as much on-stage energy as The Avett Brothers, I was worried we wouldn't get the full effect. Thankfully, my worries were quickly dashed, but not without some downsides. As I feared, the sound was immediately an issue for those of us in the upper seats in the stadium. The speakers in the upper levels were a good half second behind the on field speakers, which we could still hear. This resulted in an almost unbearable echo for the first few songs. Eventually, the sound evened out (or our ears got used to the echo) and the show progressed like normal.
The band, who headlined Bunbury Festival in 2015, returned a month later but have not been back to Cincinnati since the release of their latest album True Sadness. It was nice to hear a few new songs live, even though I thought the album as a whole was lacking in the punchiness that I've come to expect from Avett Brother releases. Most of the night, however, was dominated by their acclaimed 2009 album I and Love and You, and the band still puts the same amount of energy into it as they always have.
Our show was also one of the last for multi-instrumentalist Paul Defiglia, who departed the band less than a few weeks later. The band is on tour through the beginning of next year, so you'll have plenty of chances to see them on the road in the coming months.
Live and Die
Satan Pulls the Strings
Another Is Waiting
Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
Ain't No Man
Paranoia in B-Flat Major
Talk on Indolence
I and Love and You
Kick Drum Heart
I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan cover)
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: