Show Preview: Dropkick Murphys & Rancid @ WaMu Theater – Tues. 10/5

Dropkick Murphys & Rancid @ WaMu Theater – Tues. 10/5

Dropkick Murphys and Rancid are at it again! They’re on the road as part of the co-headlining tour, Boston to Berkeley II, and it’s bringing them to Seattle on October 5th. The show will also have the Bronx along as opener. What an absolutely awesome triple bill.

The Celtic punk rock band Dropkick Murphys are always popular here in Seattle (well, right, people dig them everywhere), but they’re one of the bands I know for sure Back Beat Seattle photographers will want to photograph. I would expect Dropkick Murphys to do a few songs from the well-received Turn Up That Dial, their 2021 release. Maybe one will be “Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding.” What a bastard!

To get more information and buy tickets, follow this link to the event page.

Photos: STYX & REO Speedwagon @ the Washington State Fair

STYX & REO Speedwagon @ the Washington State Fair – 9/22/21
Photos by Alex Crick

One of the final shows in the Washington State Fair’s 2021 concert series was the awesome pairing of STYX and REO Speedwagon. Big news for STYX today is the 45 year anniversary of their classic album Crystal Ball! The band is still recording, including this year’s Crash of the Crown, produced by longtime STYX producer Will Evankovich. Each group has numerous shows coming up in October and November, with REO Speedwagon’s tour continuing through January 2022.

STYX – photos by Alex Crick

REO Speedwagon – photos by Alex Crick

Show Preview & Interview: Angels & Airwaves @ Showbox SoDo – Sun. 10/3

Show Preview & Interview: Angels & Airwaves @ Showbox SoDo – Sun. 10/3

The always awesome Angels & Airwaves just released their sixth album, Lifeforms. It really rocks. Like really really rocks. “Timebomb,” the first single, would be worth the price alone, but then there’s also “Automatic” and “Spellbound,” and you know what? Every damn song is great. The tracks will be so cool live. Recently I sent some questions to drummer/songwriter Ilan Rubin, an accomplished musician who’s also been part of Nine Inch Nails and done solo work as The New Regime. Thank you, Ilan for taking the time to chat with me.

Angels & Airwaves (from left to right: Tom DeLonge, Ilan Rubin, Matt Rubano & David Kennedy) – photo by Jonathan Weiner 

Q: You’re a singer, drummer & songwriter. What are the different rewards in each craft?

Ilan Rubin: They all compliment each other very well. Strong sense of melody, rhythm, and music in general make for well written songs. 

Q: You’ve been in several notable bands – that includes Angels & Airwaves. How does being in Angels & Airwaves compare?

IR: Every group is different because the personalities are different. Every band also runs its ship differently. AVA is a bit looser and very humorous. 

Q: What’s it like working with Trent Reznor?

IR: It’s great. We work hard and the shows definitely bring that across. 

Q: “Spellbound” mentions Halloween as an intervention. It’s coming up. What are your memories of Halloween over the years?

IR: Halloween isn’t a special day on my calendar. I don’t dress up or do anything fun. My wife, however, loves Halloween and I’m sure it will become a more and more important date as the years go by. 

Q: The bands you’ve been in are very intense, and moving. Have you been drawn to this element? Or do you think it’s sort of unconscious?

IR: It’s unconscious because I’ve been doing it for so long. It’s what feels natural to me. 

Q: Wikipedia lists one of your influences as Cream. Can you talk a bit about what it was about Ginger Baker that made him so significant?

IR: Ginger Baker is actually my least favorite part of Cream, although my favorite drumming of his is far and away “Born Under A Bad Sign.” His playing on “Toad” is nice as well. It’s just within the format of that band, Jack Bruce and Clapton were so good that I think Baker always wanted to be as up front as they were in the jam/solo sections, which to me seemed a bit much. I feel the same way about The Jimi Hendrix Experience. 

Q: And what’s it like working with the guys in Angels & Airwaves? You worked with the addition of Matt Rubano and readdition of David Kennedy. How has that changed the elements of the band for you?

IR: The song writing has largely been Tom, Aaron, and myself. 

Q: You cowrite with your brother, Aaron. Did you write songs growing up with him? Did any kind of issues arise or was it easy?

IR: We did not write songs growing up. He wrote songs for his band and I didn’t really start writing until I started The New Regime. 

Q: Can you talk a bit about the development of “No More Guns”? Is this one you cowrote on?

IR: This is a song that changed quite a bit from its inception.  I tried to “Who” it up a bit because it seems like it needed that energy. It initially sounded very “Monkees” if you can believe that.


**Head over to Showbox’s event page for the show and more information – and to get tickets. Show is all ages!**


Photos: Ice Cube @ the Washington State Fair

Ice Cube @ the Washington State Fair – 9/17/21
Photos by Alex Crick

Rapper Ice Cube’s most recent work has been acting in films, but he’s taken some time off from that to return to his roots. This included a stop at the Washington State Fair on September 17th, where he headlined – naturally. And it’s also included new music with the song “Trying to Maintain,” tackling anybody who tries to attack him. Or cancel him.

Ice Cube – all photos by Alex Crick

Movie Preview & Review: A-ha: The Movie @ SIFF’s DocFest (9/30 @ the Egyptian) & Online 10/4-7

Movie Preview & Review: A-ha: The Movie @ SIFF’s DocFest (9/30 @ the Egyptian) & Online 10/4-7

a-ha (from left to right: Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket & Pål Waaktaar-Savoy) photo by Thomas Robsahm

A-ha: The Movie documents the lives of Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy, the three Norwegian musicians who comprise a-ha. Including amazing access to the band with photos, home videos and other previously unshared parts of their lives, the film reveals three hardworking artists who all happen to be perfectionists. Would the film appeal to people not familiar with a-ha as well? Absolutely yes. 

The trio’s unprecedented and unequaled success as a Norwegian band came with great benefits – money, wealth, fame, adulation – but it didn’t come without costs. Their friendships suffered under the strain and yet they still gravitate towards one another. With lovely artwork by Svein Kvamme along with the beautiful a-ha music, Furuholmen, Harket and Waaktaar-Savoy each reveals his serious artistry. Furuholmen and Waaktaar-Savoy both paint, while Harket releases solo albums, including 1995’s Wild Seed, which should have been a major international success (that’s not just my opinion; it’s addressed in the film too).

In one way the band was fated to be. Harket was one of the witnesses of the small plane crash that killed Furuholmen’s musician father. Furuholmen felt it was inevitable they’d know each other. In another way, the band was a success based on the sheer will of the guys. They chose to live in poverty in London while trying to break into the music scene and got turned down by Decca Records (who also turned down the Beatles). They were convinced they’d make it. And make it they did, selling 55 million records, and still tour, playing for gigantic audiences.

As a major fan, I need to say thank you to a-ha for what they’ve brought me in my life. And thank you to the directors, Thomas Robsahm and Aslaug Holm for making a sincere a-ha film. They are always more than just the “cartoon band” they worried they’d become after the video for “Take On Me.”

*A-ha: The Movie, premieres SIFF’s DocFest on September 30th, 2021, and virtually from October 4th-7th, 2021. For more information and tickets for the showings, please follow this link.*