Progressive Nation is hitting the high seas in 2014. Join us in this inaugural sailing from February 18th – 22nd 2014 on the luxurious Norwegian Pearl heading from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay and Freeport, Bahamas. This music festival at sea gives you an experience that a land festival just can’t match. In addition to four days in the beautiful Caribbean and all the amenities of a cruise ship; you will enjoy music from morning ‘til night with over 40 shows on multiple stages, along with activities, Q&A’s, panels and workshops from your favorite artists.
Founder Mike Portnoy elaborates, “In 2008 & 2009, I created a touring package called Progressive Nation and with Dream Theater headlining, we did three full tours (two in North America and one in Europe) that showcased a variety of bands that embraced the spirit and musicality of progressive music. Well after a five year hiatus, I have decided to resurrect Progressive Nation and this time we are taking it to the seas! But rather than a 4 band bill like previous Progressive Nation tours, we have expanded the bill to over a dozen of today’s greatest progressive bands, musicians and artists! (and there may be one or two more still to be confirmed). Myself and my former DT bandmate Derek Sherinian have teamed up with Sixthman (who have done incredibly successful cruises with Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the annual Kiss Cruise to name a few) as well as our friends at Inside Out Music and look forward to a very successful inaugural launch of Progressive Nation At Sea Feb 18th thru 22nd 2014. We are so excited to take part in this historic maiden voyage and look forward to sharing this one of a kind event with fans from all around the world!”
This music festival at sea gives music fans an experience that a land festival just can’t match. In addition to four days in the beautiful Caribbean, guest will have the opportunity to see their favorite musical heroes perform numerous sets around the many stages set around Norwegian Pearl. And when guests are not attending a performance, a variety of activities hosted by the artists will fill the day.
Progressive Nation at Sea begins at $700 per person plus taxes and fees. Prices include entertainment, meals, and access to Norwegian Pearl’s outstanding amenities, including outdoor pool, hot tubs, rock climbing wall, and fitness center. Fans can read more and sign up for the Progressive Nation pre-sale at www.progressivenationatsea.com.
With 15 decks of fun, Norwegian Pearl offers guests access to 13 bars and lounges, 19 dining experiences, one outdoor pool, four hot tubs, and spa treatments to help forget about the world left behind. Onboard concerts aren’t the only things that rock on Norwegian Pearl – passengers looking for more activities can visit the outdoor climbing wall, bowl a few frames at the onboard lanes, or tempt lady luck at The Pearl Club Casino. Progressive Nation cruisers will also have the opportunity to explore the sandy beaches of Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, their very own private island getaway. A host of beachside activities and games, the gigantic “Hippo” water slide, and access to food and beverage service will make the stay on Great Stirrup Cay an unforgettable experience.
Forthcoming announcements are scheduled to follow detailing artist-hosted activities, theme night information, contest additions, and activities! For full details and to sign up for the pre-sale at www.progressivenationatsea.com.
British metal legends Saxon announce a North American tour which will run September 12th- October 10th. The tour is a rare treat for Saxon fans as it hits many markets that the band has not visited in some time. The group are touring in support of their critically acclaimed new album Sacrifice but promise to play all of the fan favorites from their 30+ year catalog, including tracks like Denim & Leather, Wheels Of Steel, Ride Like The Wind, Motorcycle Man and Heavy Metal Thunder all of which have cemented the band’s legendary status. All videos have over eight million collective clicks on youtube and the band has sold over 12 million albums. Joining the trek will be Fozzy. Following the band’s highly successful appearance in last year’s Uproar tour, Fozzy are touring on their most successful album yet, Sin And Bones, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart upon release. The album contains the track Sandpaper, whose video has already surpassed an amazing 500,000 views.
Saxon’s Biff Byford comments, “We’re really glad to announce a new tour of North America and Canada with the Sacrifice world tour! The album has done fantastic around the world! We can’t wait hit your shores with the Saxon invasion with very special guest Fozzy. It should be a fantastic tour for all metal heads. We have been friends with Chris Jericho for years so there has never been a better time to hook up with Fozzy for a tour that will take us from the east coast to the west coast and finally winding up in the Great White North.”
Fozzy’s’s Chris Jericho adds, “After our highly successful US tour last summer on Uproar, we’ve been chomping at the bit for the right opportunity to return to North America …and now it has arrived! To tour with the legendary Saxon is a metal dream come true and the perfect way to satisfy all of our AMAZING fans in
the US and Canada and to make tons of new ones in the process. Get ready for Sacrifice and Sin…we’re gonna tear your heads off and leave u screaming Fozzy, Fozzy, Fozzy!!”
North American Saxon fans will also have the option for a rare opportunity to meet and greet with the band, a limited number of VIP packages are available at .
There is no rest for the Def Leppard lead guitarist, Phil Collen, as he will join the internationally acclaimed Koto Artist Yukiko Matsuyama at a special concert August 17th at 7:30 pm in the University of La Verne’s Morgan Auditorium.
Collen, a cross-cultural entity himself, is proud to perform alongside internationally acclaimed Koto artist, Yukiko Matsuyama, who blends world, jazz, new age and pop music on the Koto, a 13-stringed, 7th-century Japanese instrument. Add to the line-up a few special friends – legendary drummer James Gadson, sizzling saxophonist Greg Vail, and djembe drum master Steve Biondo – and you have the World Music, Rhythm-and-Blues and A Little Funk concert.
“When I was asked to perform with James Gadson,” Collen explains, “I felt like I already knew him due to the amount of times I’ve watched Bill Withers’ performances. It’s a pleasure to just have the opportunity to groove with him. I look forward to blending what I do with James’ great drums and the virtuoso Koto playing of Yukiko Matsuyama.”
Tickets for the World Music, Rhythm-and-Blues and A Little Funk show are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased at KotoYuki.eventbrite.com.
In related Def Leppard news, fans can look forward to VIVA! Hysteria – Live at the Joint, Las Vegas, a live album and film scheduled for release on October 22nd. The film will also play during a special theater engagement on October 2nd and 8th. Please visit fathomevents.com for a list of theaters.
Rolling Stone is streaming Black Label Society’s cover of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone. Listen to it here.
The song was a long time coming for Wylde. “Ain’t No Sunshine is such a beautiful, heartfelt song. I’ve always loved it and wanted to cover it,” he tells Rolling Stone. “It felt so right in the context of [our live album].”
Black Label Society’s cover of Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone will be on their upcoming live double album, Unblackened, out September 24th. Preorders are available on iTunes.
Unblackened DVD track listing:
1. Losin’ Your Mind
2. The Blessed Hellride
3. Sold My Soul
4. Road Back Home
5. Spoke In The Wheel
6. House Of Doom
7. Queen Of Sorrow
8. Machine Gun Man
9. Sweet Jesus
10. In This River
11. Throwin’ It All Away
12. Takillya (Estyabon)
13. Won’t Find It Here
16. I Thank You Child
Unblackened CD track listing:
1. Losin’ Your Mind
2. The Blessed Hellride
3. Sold My Soul
4. Road Back Home
5. Spoke In the Wheel
6. House Of Doom
7. Queen Of Sorrow
8. Machine Gun Man
9. Sweet Jesus
10. In This River
11. Throwin’ It All Away
1. Takillya (Estyabon)
2. Won’t Find It Here
5. I Thank You Child
7. Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone
8. Lovin’ Woman (Bonus Version)
9 Queen of Sorrow
10. Song for You (Bonus Version)
11. Won’t Find It Here
12. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Greg Prato of Songfacts spoke with guitarist Craig Goldy (Dio) of Dio Disciples, the band featuring: Tim “Ripper” Owens (vocals), Oni Logan (vocals), Bjorn Englen (bass), Simon Wright (drums) and Scott Warren (keyboards). Portions of the interview appear below.
Songfacts: How has it been touring with Dio Disciples so far?
Craig Goldy: It’s good. For those who love Ronnie and miss him, which all of us do, that’s the hard part. And then the easy part is seeing people enjoy the music again, because the main key was to keep Ronnie’s memory alive. So the people that go with us, like Tim Ripper Owens and Oni Logan, and at the beginning Toby Jepson, they all had a heart for Ronnie, because they were either close friends or close to the inner circle of the Dio family. So with that heart, they performed that music that way. And it would come across.
So we never knew when, but there was always going to be a special moment when a group of people gather together in the same room for the same purpose with the same heart, mind, and spirit. Something very special happens because of that. That’s usually what happens during the performances: there’s a moment when the band and the audience connect as one and you can see people just singing to the sky and tears rolling down their cheeks, because they miss him so much, and the music has made such an impression on them because it’s been a big part of their lives throughout the years. It’s like a memorial service in every city and country we go to. That part of it is really amazing.
Songfacts: As far as the singers, do you ever see or hear similarities between when, say, Ripper is singing compared to how Ronnie would sing the songs?
Craig: There are definite similarities, and thankfully so. Because we want the songs to be represented well. Nobody’s like Ronnie. Nobody.
Songfacts: Has there been any talk about Dio Disciples doing an album of all new material?
Craig: Yes. In fact, I’ve been working on some original material recently, and at Ronnie’s memorial service – the public memorial service – I stated that when I ever did another original material project, that I want to make sure that I utilize the things that I learned from him and that would hopefully make him proud.
So when Wendy Dio heard the songs that I’ve been working on, she said, “Wow, Ronnie would be really proud of you.” That was real special. So we’re probably in the first phase of what would be a live CD with a couple of bonus tracks of original material.
Songfacts: What do you remember about your first meeting with Dio and what your initial impressions were?
Craig: Well, I was a kid, I was like a teenager. And Ronnie was and still is my favorite singer. Every time I say that I get chills running down my back. So it was amazing for me. I was living on the streets in a car, and I was working with a guy named Perry McCarty, who became the singer of a band called Warrior. I liked his voice because he had a similarity to Ronnie’s tough sound.
So he left and went up to LA to join Warrior, and he felt bad about leaving me behind in San Diego. So he said if I give him some copies of my demo tape he’ll pass them around.
That band Warrior became friends with Rough Cutt. And sure enough, with my last $20 I made by giving guitar lessons, I made a demo, and that got into the hands of the drummer of Rough Cutt, who then played it for Ronnie, and he said, “We’ve got to get this kid up here.”
Apparently he was impressed with that demo tape enough to be present at the day of the audition, and they were saying that he wanted to meet me. I thought, “No, I want to meet him.”
He and Wendy were there. Wendy was his manager and also the manager of Rough Cutt. I got a chance to tell him how much his music meant to me and that he was, in fact, my favorite singer and I used to learn his melody lines on my guitar and I thought his lyrics were really cool because he was saying one thing but really meaning another. And he said, “What do you mean by that?” And I told him, “Well, I thought when you said this, that you really meant that.” And he grabbed my arm and he goes, “That’s right.”
And little did I know that was going to be the beginning of something later. It was almost like I cracked his little personal code. So during the audition he got inspired, which he never does. He doesn’t like to sit in and jam with people. He sat in on the audition, and we did Man on the Silver Mountain and Heaven and Hell. During that audition he came up to me, cheek-to-cheek, whisker-to-whisker, and was whispering in my ear, “What’s the lyrics to the second verse?” And I said, “The lover of life.” “Oh, right, ‘I’m the day, I’m the day,’ oh, right!”
He had filed his lyrics away because he was writing for Holy Diver. That spawned another thing that I didn’t know until later on, because it happened between him and I and his lyrics. But that was a very meaningful thing for me to meet him and then for me to actually perform with him.
Then they asked me to play a riff that I had to see if any of my original material was going to work with the band that he sang on. It was just a magical night for me to meet him and Wendy and to have that happen.
Then at the end of the night he goes, “If I have anything to say about this, which I do, you’ve got the gig.” [Laughs] The next thing I know I’m at his house, just me and him – I was invited over just to sit and talk and watch old Rainbow videos and stuff. We became friends and we worked really well together in the studio doing demos.
Songfacts: You also wrote a song with David Lee Roth (Lady Luck from A Little Ain’t Enough).
Craig: Yeah. He was a great guy. It actually came from a failure, which often happens. Me and David Isley from Giuffria were working on a project, and Geffen Records had given us some money to go into the studio. We wrote some songs and then they passed on it, so I sent those songs to Warner Brothers to see if maybe one of these songs might be used for another project or band, and it sat around for a couple of years.
Next thing I know I get a call from David Lee Roth at my home. He goes, “Hey, Dave Roth here. Is this Craig? Hey, I liked your shit, man. Can we do some more? Have you got any more?” I’m like, “Yeah, I’ve got tons of stuff.” “What about Wednesday?” It was Monday. I go, “Yeah.” I didn’t have anything. [Laughs] So I just scrambled. I went and bought his solo albums. I think mine was the third. And so I didn’t duplicate. Because some guys, you never know, you accidentally do something similar and they’ll, you know. So I made sure that none of the stuff he did with Steve Vai or any of that stuff was similar. Not putting myself in the same category as Steve Vai, just didn’t want to accidentally reproduce something that he’s already done.
So I came up with a couple of cool riffs, and then showed up at his house with Bob Ezrin, who worked with everybody. But at the time it was the Pink Floyd thing that got me [Ezrin co-produced Pink Floyd’s The Wall]. I was like, “Wow, David Lee Roth and Bob Ezrin!”
I was playing him some stuff and he stops the tape and he goes, “That’s cool, man, that’s great. Let’s do that.” So he would have me come to his house and play the ideas, and his band would be there and they’d learn my stuff and rehearse it for him to record. We wrote a bunch of songs and I thought what he did was really smart. He wrote about 25 songs and then recorded each and every one of them, demoed them off. That’s one other hurdle that a lot of people miss, is that you write a great song, and then when you record it, something happens, and it doesn’t come out as special as you think it’s going to for whatever reason. So he got that process out of the way: whatever rose to the top, he used, regardless. I thought that was really smart. I’m sure a lot of people do that, but I didn’t know that process at the time, and I was just going through my thing at the time learning all those songs and stuff.
So we spent some time together. We became kind of friends, and he’d invite me out to do stuff and we’d hang out at his house afterwards and talk. He was a great guy, and he was very polite and very funny. He was definitely “David Lee Roth.” That was not a cartoon character he created for his stage presence. That was just who he was. But he was very smart and caring behind the scenes.
Dollar Loan Center, in partnership with KOMP 92.3 in Las Vegas, is putting on a concert featuring Winger on August 31st at 10 p.m. This end of summer blowout concert will be at the Chrome Showroom in the Santa Fe Station. Along with Winger, Drivin’ n Cryin’ and Hericane Alice will also be performing. Drivin’ n Cryin’ will open the show and Hericane Alice will be performing at the after show party. Tickets for this event cannot be purchased. The only way to win tickets is by registering at Las Vegas area Dollar Loan Centers or from KOMP 92.3.
This August marks the 25th anniversary of Winger’s self-titled debut album and the band will be performing that album in its entirety. Winger is a hard rock band from New York City and their debut album achieved platinum status in the United States along with gold in Japan and Canada. As of this year, Winger is back and celebrating the 25th anniversary with a brand new cd and tour. This show will be one of two shows in the United States and will feature all original band members.Drivin’ n Cryin formed in Atlanta in 1986. Starting in 2012, the band began a series of EPs, to be released about once per month, and each based around a theme or story. Hericane Alice, a glam metal band from Minneapolis, had a self-titled debut album along with their second album that came out in 1990 called Tear the House Down.
At this rare and exciting concert, Dollar Loan Center will have contests in which lucky winners can walk away with a number of prizes. Dollar Loan Center and KOMP 92.3 are putting this concert on to show their appreciation to the rock fans in Las Vegas for their support over the years.