* Alesana *

The crowd is still screaming at a sold out show in Anaheim, California as the sweetcore phenomenon known as Alesana exits the stage.

"I don't think I'll ever get used to this," says frontman Dennis Lee as he tips back the last wallow of his water bottle. "Seeing kids go crazy like that thousands of miles away from home reminds me that I have the best job in the world." Crowd response like this is something that the six-piece from Raleigh, North Carolina is quickly becoming accustomed to all over the country and other parts of the world: and this is only the beginning.

The band's debut full length record On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax is built around a dynamic, emotionally charged, three guitar, three vocal attack. "We're all about dynamics, both musically and vocally," says vocalist/guitarist Shawn Milke about why the band elected to employ three guitarists and three vocalists. "We don't try to be like anyone else or to be something we're not. By having six members we are able to pull off the same guitar and vocal harmonies in a live setting that we have on the record."

Forming in November of 2004, Alesana has always focused a great deal of their attention on having an energetic and memorable live show. The raw, honest intensity of the band's performance on stage has played a huge role in their growing popularity over the last year and a half. "Our music is always fun," says drummer Jeremy Bryan. "There isn't a single night on tour that I don't have a blast on stage. We give everything we have each and every night and it is a great feeling to see that same energy increasingly coming back from the crowd everywhere we go...and always play 'til you puke." Having already completed tours with Chiodos, From First To Last, Bayside, The Devil Wears Prada, and Drop Dead Gorgeous the band is ready to continue hitting the road hard and strong. 2007 saw the band play 325 shows in 365 days and 2008 is looking to be no different. Alesana is embarking on a world tour playing shows in the US, Canada, Mexico, England, Germany, South America, Japan, and Australia. In addition to their international travel, the band is headlining the Vans Warped Tour all summer long on the Smartpunk Stage.

In June of 2005, Alesana released their debut EP, Try This With Your Eyes Closed on Tragic Hero Records. After selling nearly 3,000 copies of the EP at shows and online, the band hit the studio with friend Kit Walters to co-produce and record their first full length record On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax. After nearly two months of round-the-clock writing, self-conducted pre-production, and two solid weeks in the studio, the band felt they had finally locked up the exact sound they were striving to achieve. The record did a soft release which included being sold at smartpunk.com where it remained in the top 10 for a solid year. The success of the record prompted Fearless Records to come check out the band live near their headquarters in California. Less than one month later, the band was signed to their new label. "We feel very at home with Fearless," says guitarist/vocalist Adam Ferguson. "I feel like I can pick up the phone anytime and call anyone on the entire staff. Plus, with a smaller roster of bands than some of the other labels out there, it feels more like family." Bassist Shane Crump adds, "Our label takes just as much pride in our success as we do. It feels good to know that we can make the people who work for us so proud of what we accomplish." Fearless re-released On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax in March 2007 and record sales are pushing 50,000, having never dropped below 400 records in any single week since being released.

In January of 2008, Alesana began work with producer Steve Evetts (Senses Fail, Story Of The Year, Saves The Day, Every Time I Die) on their new record Where Myth Fades To Legend, scheduled to hit store shelves everywhere in June. "Everything we have done on the road and accomplished as a band is here on this record," says Shawn. "We are proud of the concept, the lyrics, the music, simply everything." The recording process found the band working around the clock for three months straight. Four weeks of finalizing the writing, three weeks of pre-production, and six weeks in the studio led to the completion of what the band calls, "everything we ever envisioned our music being."

Where Myth Fades To Legend is Alesana at its very best. Following the footsteps of On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax, the band elected to continue its thematic approach to lyric writing. Many of the tracks on the new record are based on the fables of The Brothers Grimm and other famous fairy tale stories. "People reacted so well to the greek mythology theme with our first record," recalls Dennis. "It was so much fun writing with a theme so we decided to continue the approach on the new record."

It is very apparent during the entirety of Where Myth Fades To Legend that the band is playing straight from the heart. "Shawn used no vocal auto-tuning at all," states guitarist Patrick Thompson. "He wanted to be honest with himself and with the fans so he pushed and pushed until it was done right, without the help of any trickery. Our producer, Steve, pushed all of us. We are all stronger musicians coming out of the studio."

The bands first single off of the new record is entitled, "Seduction." "We based the lyrics on The Maiden Maleen, a tale of The Brothers Grimm about a girl who is trapped inside of a tower left with enough food to survive for only one year," explains Shawn. "She finally escapes to find that her one true love is with another. Dennis and I couldn't think of a better tale to discuss the trials of temptation and jealousy than one where the main character battles starvation and loneliness only to be left with nothing."

With the sincerity of their lyrics, the energy of their music, and the passion of their live show, there is no doubt that Alesana will fight its way into your stereos and into your hearts.

Get Scared

Genre: Rock
Similar to: Motionless in White, Snow White's Poison, Escape the Fate

As much a call to arms as it is a moniker, Layton, Utah's Get Scared put a gothic spin on post-hardcore. Formed in 2008 by singer Nicholas Matthews, guitarists Johhny B and Bradley Iverson, and drummer Dan Edwards the quartet put together the band with the intention of pushing themselves out of their musical comfort zones, expanding their songwriting to new places in an effort to grow artistically. The result is a mix of gothic/horror imagery and driving post-hardcore/metalcore, adding a dark touch to their driving, emotional sound. The quartet signed to Universal Motown and in 2011 made their full-length debut with Best Kind of Mess.

Hearts and Hands

"There's no holding back," proclaims Alex Lyman of Hearts & Hands. "We write and record how we feel and what we hear. In every song, you'll find something different. There are no walls, no boundaries, and definitely no rules."

That boundlessness makes the Salt Lake City, UT group's self-titled debut EP for The Artery Recordings/Razor & Tie so intriguing and irrefutable. Siphoning hardcore, metal, electronic, pop punk, and even a little classical into five dangerously dynamic songs, the group—Lyman, Garrett Garfield, and Chelsea Grin singer Alex Koehler—surprises at each turn. As a result, falling into their collective grip is as blissful as it is brutal.

In 2010 while working as a guitar tech for Chelsea Grin, Lyman began toying with what would become the very first Hearts & Hands song. On the trek home from the All Stars tour, he penned "We're Not Alone" in his head. Casually sharing the idea with Garfield and Koehler, both of them wanted to sing on it immediately.

"Their response was overwhelming," Lyman recalls. "I actually couldn't believe it. Alex was excited to try things that aren't typical of Chelsea Grin, Garrett added his touch, and I brought my pop punk background. After that first song, we quickly decided that this was a project that needed to be taken seriously, which led us to where we are now."

During 2011, the trio found time to enter the studio with Stetson "Bucket" Whitworth [Chelsea Grin] handling production and Bertrand Poncet [Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!] mixing and mastering. Pulling from a broad spectrum of influences that ranges from Coldplay to MxPx to Whitechapel, they tapped into something undeniably unpredictable.

First single "Choices" slips from a kinetic punk intro into a battering verse before spiraling out through an orchestral bridge. Koehler's signature guttural screams provide the perfect counterpoint to Garfield's entrancing clean melodies, giving the track a dynamic sense of duality.

Lyman goes on, "The song is about all of the choices you make in life. All of our inspirations come together in the music to create something different. Every choice you make has an effect on the rest of your life. That's a heavy concept. "

Speaking of "heavy", the EP opener "Revenge" blasts with bloodthirsty guitars and shrill growls. It's certified moshpit-ready. "The song couldn't be any other way," affirms Lyman. "It's definitely the angriest and most emotional track we've got. It's written about how Garrett's girlfriend of two years broke up with him and got engaged a week later. It delves into the natural, innate urge we all experience when someone stabs us in the back. You want to prove to that person it was the worst mistake ever."

In 2012, Hearts & Hands inked a deal with The Artery Foundation and Razor & Tie, and they've got their sights set on recording a full-length and touring full-time. In the meantime, Lyman has one important goal for the band's music.

"I hope people enjoy it," he finishes. "There's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that went into this. Take it in and embrace how it makes you feel. If that happens, then we're on the right track."

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Farewell My Love

Rock n' Roll should be larger than life. Rock stars are superheroes who take the stage propelled by a pomp and circumstance rivaling the royalty of old. They adopt fantastical personas that enrapture an audience, transporting participants away from their every day struggles and problems into a world of freedom and possibility.

Farewell, My Love has arrived carrying the torch aloft for a new generation hungry for the power, energy and magnetic combustibility inherent in the best rock. The five young men of Farewell, My Love have come together to share their individual hardships, triumphs and passions through a collective vehicle. They've taken the sum total of the lives they've lived thus far and fashioned them into a unique weapon to hand over to their audiences for the mutual uplifting of all involved.

Playground Etiquette

$16.50 ADV $18.70 DOS

Tickets

Box Office is open Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm and All Show Nights, 410-244-0057. Unless otherwise noted Maryland State's 10% Admissions and Amusement Tax is included in the ticket price.

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Baltimore Soundstage

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* Alesana * with Get Scared, Hearts and Hands, Farewell My Love, Megosh, Playground Etiquette

Monday, April 7 · Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:00 PM at Baltimore Soundstage