Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Cage The Elephant, Portugal. The Man in New York, NY (05/17/16)

Don’t ever expect to stand around at a Cage The Elephant show. They sure won’t. “That guy is going to be completely spent by the time this show is over,” I thought to myself as I watched lead singer Matthew Shultz power through the lines of “Cry Baby” in frenetic and sometimes acrobatic fashion. The studio version of the 2105 album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, is a little bit calmer. The live version is turned up to the max, welcoming you to a light where you will get your money’s worth. If you want to
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: The Kills in New York, NY (05/17/16)

By the looks of the packed Music Hall of Williamsburg, the five-year absence of The Kills did not go unnoticed. For that venue, where bands can be virtually on top of the front row, this was a great night for a gritty rock show. As a constant supporter of The White Stripes, it’s impressive to see a two-person ensemble release so much fury. (Coincidentally, The Kills’ Alison Mosshart plays with Jack White in The Dead Weather). If you were looking for a morsel of space, it was nowhere to be found—
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Underoath in New York, NY (04/15/16)

When you watched the 2015 documentary Tired Violence it felt like one of those cliffhanger endings to the second movie in a trilogy. People within bands change, priorities turn as families grow, and life on the road gets harder. I happened to attend one of the Underoath farewell shows in 2013 at Union Transfer in Philadelphia. There was a sense of melancholy, matched with a feeling of mutual respect between the fans and the band who had made an endearing imprint in the metalcore scene. When the
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Hoodie Allen in New York, NY (03/22/16)

Due to several recommendations from friends, I checked out a Hoodie Allen show and was not disappointed. Allen is the perfect example of someone who went full-force after their dream. After all, he quit Google in order to pursue his passion for music on a full-time basis. It takes a lot of work and dedication to make a dent in the music world as an independent artist, but impressively, Allen’s first two albums have both made considerable noise on the U.S. album charts. On March 22 at Webster Ha
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Set It Off, Tonight Alive, and The Ready Set In New York, NY (03/05/16)

Oh, the power of positivity in music. It’s undeniable. It’s one of the main reasons why we make music a mainstay in our modern day routines. You can’t deny when you hear your favorite part of your song – the song you hold on to the most. You either dance like nobody is watching or belt out the lyrics at the top of your lungs. We all fight for something one way or another – whether it be for a person, an idea, or a dream. On this particular night, at Irving Plaza in New York, the lead singers of
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Fall Out Boy, Awolnation, and PVRIS in New York, NY (03/04/16)

“Did you check everything? Are your batteries fully charged? Are your lenses clean? Seriously, check everything!” To say I gain a little OCD before shooting shows at Madison Square Garden is an understatement. It’s not that I don’t triple-check things to begin with, but this is the most famous arena in the world. You want to have all your ducks in a row. I had waited to take pictures of Fall Out Boy for a long time. Chalk it up to bad timing – either timing was not initially right or I had been
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Sun|Drones in New York, NY (03/01/16)

New York is an epicenter for indie rock. If you walk right down Ludlow Street in Manhattan, you will be surrounded by a number of bars housing some of the most intimate shows in the city. On this particular night, Pianos NYC was packed to the max. I had gotten in line where some people were turned away, perhaps forgetting to call ahead. Looking at my Twitter feed a couple hours earlier, the bar had mentioned that Sun|Drones‘ first New York show was on the verge of selling out. How about that for
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Muse in Newark, New Jersey (01/29/16)

Under The Gun Review sent photographer MJ Rawls to The Prudential Center in NJ to shoot Muse on their ‘Drones’ tour. There are some concerts that feel like your typical night out. You know, the pause, the looking down at your phone, and the waiting for the band to play that favorite song for you to loosen up to. Hopefully a paying customer is there to see more than one song. A little over two years ago, I got to see Muse on their ‘2nd Law’ tour and I was hooked into the grandiose style of the s
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Jess Glynne in New York City (01/20/16)

Under The Gun Review sent photographer MJ Rawls to Webster Hall in NYC to shoot Jess Glynne on her ‘I Cry When I Laugh’ Tour. Have you ever been in the car and heard a song so catchy, you couldn’t get your phone out fast enough to find out what it was? (Not while driving, of course). That song for me was “Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne. With that, I realized I was already acquainted with the London, England-born singer through the 2014 track by Clean Bandit, “Rather Be.” Both of these songs are r
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Health in New York City (11/21/15)

Under The Gun Review sent photographer MJ Rawls to The Music Hall In Williamsburg in NYC to shoot Health on their ‘Death Magic’ tour. “Whoa, what the hell did I just watch?” There aren’t a lot of shows that grab you by the collar and never let go. The thing is, early on in the night at The Music Hall In Williamsburg, there was a calm like the last gasp of a person who gets away from a killer in a horror movie. Everything seemed like it was going to be a typical night, but a Health show is far f
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Circa Survive in New York City (10/23/15)

Under The Gun Review sent photographer MJ Rawls to Playstation Theater in NYC to shoot Circa Survive on their ‘Juturna’ 10-year anniversary tour with RX Bandits and Citizen. There’s something about your first album. It’s the grit, the unbridled passion, and the uneasy feeling of looking down the road to see if it’s going to be the start of a following; a fulfillment of a dream, and if like-minded people will get it. My first encounter with Circa Survive was actually through an ex-girlfriend (no
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Zedd at Madison Square Garden (10/02/15)

I’d be lying to you if I said that doing photography at Madison Square Garden wasn’t a dream. It’s one of the bucket list items I put in the slightly frayed notebook I have with the page half ripped and discolored. Zedd has come a long way since his start in a German deathcore band. That seems like many lifetimes ago, and many electronic anthems later, he brought this True Colors tour to New York City. I’ve been out of the electronic loop for a minute, but the music itself has progressively evo
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Island Life NYC – Nick Jonas, Shawn Mendes, Kiesza & More (9/8/15)

Until this show, I had never seen the Best Buy Theater filled and come together so lively with younger fans in all my history of going to concerts at the venue. Let’s be fair: usually the concerts I attend embody a bit older audience. Perhaps, I was just going to the wrong shows. Island Life–essentially a showcase of Island Records talent that could have been classified as a mini-festival in itself–beget younger fans who tried to fit within every nook and cranny at the front of the stage. A game
Under the Gun Review

REVIEW: Halsey - 'Badlands'

Throughout my first listens of Badlands, I don’t know if I would call it an album in a traditional sense. Yes, albums take you through a variety of emotions even with a structure in some cases, but Badlands is a different monster. These are eleven writings within a slightly torn composition book; the journal you find as you get older, slightly unkept and discolored. Many, at face value, would likely try to group Halsey into any other category, but with blue hair in all, that’s not the case. We g
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: Incubus & Deftones in Camden, NJ (8/8/15)

It’s a tour package you dream of as you listen to Mike Enzinger’s cutting riff at the start of “Circles” from Incubus‘ 2001 album, Morning View, or when you’re opening up the vinyl packaging from Deftones‘ acclaimed White Pony. Liken it to the “band” version of fantasy football where you pick two of your favorite bands to go on a co-headlining tour. If you look at it, Incubus and Deftones are on that similar path from being veteran bands who will release music that fans will always resonate with
Under the Gun Review

Why Choosing FYF Fest Is A No-Brainer

We are in the heart of festival season and if you think some of these lineups look exactly the same, do not adjust your TV sets or change your glasses prescription – they are. Chances are if you go to a number of major festivals a year, you are going to see certain acts multiple times, queuing up your own Bill Murray version of Groundhog Day. There is tons of overlap, but let’s cut them a little break perhaps. Most of these festival lineups are negotiated a year in advance, some artists command
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS & REVIEW: Tove Lo At The Music Hall Of Williamsburg in New York, NY (06/16/15)

Chances are, you have heard the song “Talking Body” either on the radio or while canoodling with your lover. Fun fact: Tove Lo‘s album, Queen Of The Clouds, came out in September 2014, but it seems like it’s peaking at the right time for your summer outings. I had previously seen the Swedish pop star the week before at Free Press Summer Festival in Houston. Tove Lo has been on a lot of festival rosters – you have to respect her grind. It was about twenty degrees hotter and outdoors, but the sin
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS & REVIEW: Tyler, The Creator at Irving Plaza in New York, NY (06/12/15)

Under The Gun Review sent photographer MJ Rawls to Irving Plaza in New York to shoot Tyler, The Creator on June 12. I was talking to someone about Tyler, The Creator and they mentioned that he was that kid growing up who would tell you of his huge imagination about the future that you would always dismiss. Flash forward to 2015, a growing passionate fan base, new album Cherry Bomb, and innovative app Golf Media, all those dreams have come to fruition. Cherry Bomb still has the bombastic energy
Under the Gun Review

UTG PHOTOS: PVRIS and Born Cages in New York, NY (06/01/15)

Under The Gun Review sent photographer MJ Rawls to The Studio at Webster Hall in New York to shoot PVRIS at their recent show with Born Cages. Unless you may been living under a rock, you’ve likely been aware of the dizzying rise of Boston alternative rock band PVRIS and their outstanding debut album released in 2014, White Noise. One of the perks of living next to New York is Webster Hall, where great shows get announced as fast as your instant popcorn is done. When PVRIS announced that they w
Under the Gun Review

Blurred: It's OK Not To Be OK

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t think we are vulnerable enough. Being vulnerable is another type of courage. Perhaps we are too much in love with being invincible. A couple weeks ago, I took a look at the much talked about documentary, Montage Of Heck, which chronicled Kurt Cobain, the man and not the mythical figure that we may be familiar with. Albums like Nevermind and In Utero were basically the pulling off of the bandages of life’s old wounds that were persistent within Cobain as