Art of Anarchy Launch Tour In Amityville, NY 4-3-17
Posted at 14:00h Ellen Bello cryptic rock, CrypticRock, Event Coverage
Collectively, Art of Anarchy’s band members have sold tens of millions of albums worldwide and are said to “have a Rock pedigree on which most artists would be content to rest their laurels.” Looking at their story, Art of Anarchy evolved organically out of an 18-year friendship between Lead Guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, who played with Guns N’ Roses and twin brothers Jon (guitar) and Vince Votta (drums), who were renowned fixtures on the New York music scene. Additional joining forces with them are Disturbed Bassist John Moyer, and most recent addition, Grammy winner Scott Stapp, who is making the right progression as both a vocalist and artist.
Prior, the group, without Stapp, released their first self-titled album, Art of Anarchy, in June 2015, featuring another Scott on lead vocals; the late Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots). Unfortunately, Weiland recorded his part individually and remotely, never touring with the group. Jon Votta shared lead responsibilities and co-wrote the album with Weiland while Bumblefoot served as producer and engineer on the debut, and seeing the passion poured into the project, they were not about to just call it a day.
Looking to keep it alive, Stapp states he was approached by the Art of Anarchy guys last year. Estatic to be a part of it all, Stapp says this project has been a very unique experience for him, especially collaborating with artists from such different backgrounds. While the band possesses their own star power, their focus is squarely on songwriting and musical craft. Bumblefoot says they have great chemistry together, and the songwriting process has been so natural and seamless. Moyer says they have all created a uniquely powerful album of songs with The Madness, which was released on March 24, 2017 Worldwide via Century Media/Sony. That said, after working on the record for over a year, they could not wait to test them out live.
Which leads us to present day, where Art of Anarchy are currently embarking on their first ever headlining tour across the USA. Scheduled for ten dates in April, the band’s first live performance with Stapp as their vocalist came on Monday, April 3rd, at Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville, New York. An exciting time for the band, it would mark the opening night of the tour, and kicking off on the right foot, the venue was packed with curious Rock fans.
Getting the night started at Revolution was the first of three opening acts; Lubricoma, a hard, Progressive, Art Rock band from New York City with an extended and wide range of influences from Pink Floyd, to Nine Inch Nails, to David Bowie, Music, U2 Stone Temple Pilots, and Elvis Costello. Next up was Mother, voted one of the “10 Bands That Show Why Hard Rock May Be Getting Good Again” by Doc Coyle of VH1. Mother’s sound is pure Hard Rock intersecting powerfully textured guitar works, rock-solid rhythms, and driving vocals.
The third opener, acting as direct national support for the tour, Madame Mayhem forced a noticeable change in the crowd. People began to creep more to the front of the stage, with many male members pulling out their phones and recording Mayhem’s slow seduction.
Manhattan-born Singer-Songwriter Madame Mayhem first took the music scene by storm when she was featured on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio. She has performed to packed rooms, including The Roxy, The Viper Room, Bowery Ballroom, Knitting Factory, and has recently performed and collaborated with respected, notable Rock talents including Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs), Ray Luzier (KoRn, KXM), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex: Guns N’ Roses/Art of Anarchy), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Dio) and more.
Her fanbase is said to be over 160 thousand strong, and growing rapidly. With her spiked wrists, Goth fashions, and a bold “I’ll love you but kick your ass” image with slight hints of Marilyn Manson and a heavier Evanescence, Madame Mayhem was certainly eye-catching. Performing original tunes including “Left for Dead” and “Monster,” she delivered a fearless and powerful performance for both herself as well as the crowd. Those still unfamiliar with the rising star, be sure to check out her exciting 2017 album, Now You Know.
With the room now packed tightly, anticipation was high as the time drew closer for Art of Anarchy to take the stage. Interestingly enough, last summer, Creed co-founder and lead voice, the aforementioned Scott Stapp, launched his solo tour from the same club, Revolution. Robust and muscular with roaring and resonating vocals, here stood a newer and improved version of a man with conviction, and an uncompromising artist capable of delivering and giving much more. It was an important return for him after a publicized personal low fueled by substance abuse several years before. A healthy and sober Stapp not only pounded out an Arena Rock performance, but also proved he still had one of the greatest voices in Rock-n-Roll.
This in mind, LED lights on the clear drum set now start to flash different colors, the fog machine hisses to form a cloud, and a new instrumental begins to play as Art of Anarchy takes the stage. Standing seemingly slimmer with hair slightly frizzier than his previous appearance, Stapp and Art of Anarchy arrived as a heavily concentrated, guitar-based Rock band. Adding to all the buzz, Art of Anarchy is the first band Stapp has fronted outside of Creed, and he launched it with his vision, powerfully disciplined vocal range, and rock star presence. Meanwhile, Bumblefoot played his trademark double-neck guitar throughout and, at times, shared vocals. This is while John Moyer and the Votta brothers fill in the layers with bass, more guitar (Jon), and light drums (Vince). All in all, each one held their own while contributing to a mega dose of music.
Opening the set with “Echoes of a Scream,” the crowd clapped, following Bumblefoot’s guitar intro and dueling vocals. Then “1000 Degrees” hit some heavy rhythms while the waving, soaring, and roaring of “No Surrender” taunted. The addictive “Afterburn” continued the assault before some heavy-hitting “Won’t Let You Down.” Having complete control of the room, the band subtly slowed the pace with “Till the Dust,” a track from their first record with a darker Weiland. This is quickly contrasted by Stapp’s lyrically uplifting words and show of strength in “The Light In Me.” This led to shifting movements from each band member who, while holding their own, exchanged places on the stage.
By this point in the night, anyone who came out with any doubts in Stapp and Art of Anarchy, could not help but surrender and be captured by the band as a whole. Frenzied, Stapp started circling his microphone stand repeatedly, like a shark before it attacks its prey, then lunged forward, coddling his mic and slicing the air with his open palmed hand over the audience’s heads. The other band members now took their own leads and thrusted their heads, like waves crashing to the shore with the audience feeling every surge.
Taking a deep breath, on “Somber,” things start to slow a bit, before Stapp amped it right back up. This was before “Dancing in the Fire” came on with non-stop guitar and faint echoes of what could be Native American vocables with an inviting chorus of “Heya Hey.” Getting intimate, Stapp’s intro of the song “Changed Man” acted as a personal journal and message to his wife. Here, he bared his soul, providing a tender moment, seemingly out of place for Art of Anarchy’s rough and tough Rock assault, but a welcome turn by Stapp and Creed fans. Finally, Art of Anarchy closed with the title song, “The Madness,” a track about yearning for a better life while dealing with the irrationality that has personally plagued someone like Stapp.
It became fully apparent that Stapp has battled and killed his demons, and a new project with Art of Anarchy has put order to any chaos. Art of Anarchy have the makings of a Rock juggernaut and The Madness unleashes one hit song after another like rapid fire from a fully automatic firearm. With a series of dynamic and melodic radio friendly Rock anthems in hand, fans should catch them live now, because it is only going to get bigger and better from here.
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