Highlights from the Chris Cornell tribute concert held on Wednesday night (January 16th) at the Forum in Los Angeles began to appear online late in the evening.
A slew of artists were confirmed to perform at the show, dubbed "I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell," including Foo Fighters, Metallica, Alice In Chains, Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age, Taylor Momsen from The Pretty Reckless, Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction, Faith No More's Mike Patton, the Melvins, Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler, Ryan Adams, Miley Cyrus, Brandi Carlile, Adam Levine, Fiona Apple, Miguel, Chris Stapleton and Ziggy Marley, along with members of Cornell's bands Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple Of The Dog.
Among the highlights online at press time were Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Perry Farrell fronting an Audioslave reunion with help on bass from Geezer Butler and Metallica's Robert Trujillo, while Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard joined forces to play the Cornell solo track "Seasons."
Actor Brad Pitt, reportedly a close friend to Chris, introduced Chris' daughter Toni, who played "Redemption Song" with Ziggy Marley.
According to a press release, each artist appearing at the show curated their own performance to honor the singer, who took his own life in May 2017 after a Soundgarden show in Detroit. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation as well as The Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to raising funds and awareness for this painful and debilitating genetic disorder.
Another day, another festival lineup announced. This time it's the long-running Rock USA event, which returns for its ninth year at the 350-acre Ford Festival Park in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The show will take place from Thursday, July 18th through Saturday, July 20th and will feature sets from Five Finger Death Punch, Rob Zombie, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, Breaking Benjamin and over 30 more acts.
Five Finger Death Punch are festival pros and guitarist Zoltan Bathory told us that it's important to make fans feel like part of the show: "You know, the people in the audience watch a show, right? It's almost there is no difference than they would watch a TV, because they're watching one static little box, which is the stage, and that's what they're looking at. And I think you have to do better than that -- to make the audience become a part of the show and have an experience."
Other bands on the bill include Asking Alexandria, I Prevail, Bad Wolves, From Ashes To New, In This Moment, Clutch, Of Mice & Men, Red Sun Rising, Lacuna Coil, Escape The Fate, Issues, Mastodon, Killswitch Engage, Starset, Nonpoint and many more.
Festival producer Derek Liebhauser said, "When a fan chooses to spend their hard-earned money on a weekend with us, it's an honor and a responsibility to deliver BIG. I want this festival to stand in a class by itself . . . I feel we've done that with Rock USA, and our fans' response has clearly shown that."
The location hosts more than 25,000 fans per day, including nearly 3,000 campsites. Since 2016, Rock USA has nearly doubled in attendance and is still growing, with VIP passes, PIT passes and campsites selling out last year in record time.
AUDIO: FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH'S ZOLTAN BATHORY ON MAKING FANS PART OF THE SHOW
Nickelback bassist Mike Kroeger spoke with Australia's Silver Tiger Media about last year's passing of Pantera and Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. The 54-year-old musician, who saw his brother, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, killed onstage by a fan in 2004, died in June 2018 of heart disease.
Kroeger said, "The truth is that I think Vinnie gave up a lot when he had to witness his brother being murdered. I think he lost a lot of his life. And I really felt like he was so sad that he didn't really wanna be alive anymore. He really struggled until the end; it never got better for him. It was a really horrible experience, obviously, seeing your only brother get murdered onstage while performing."
The bassist added, "He played in Hellyeah, and he did some things, but I don't think anything could distract him from how sad he was. He struggled terribly with it after Dime was killed; he really had a hard time . . . ever since that day, I don't think Vinnie was the same ever again, unfortunately. I think it broke him. And that's a terrible, terrible thing."
Kroeger said about his band's friendship with the Abbott brothers, "It was so fun to know those guys. They were one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life personalities, just how you'd imagine, and liked the odd drink, as we know. And would definitely serve up a few drinks to you . . . The last time I saw Dime, he was trying to incapacitate me with alcohol, and it was working."
Hellyeah will release its sixth studio album later this year. It features the last drum tracks recorded by Vinnie Paul Abbott, who completed his parts for the album before his death last June.
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith has told SiriusXM that the writing sessions for the band's new album were cut short late last year due to the Woolsey Fire. The blaze that broke out in November destroyed more than 1,500 Californian homes and other buildings from Ventura County to Malibu and killed four people.
Smith explained, "We started to work on (the new album), which, for us, is just getting in a room and making some noise and putting some notes together. And then the fires came, and the house we were working in, there was no damage, it didn't burn down, but we couldn't get back in there. So that halted our (progress)."
Smith told us a while back that it's rare for members of the Chili Peppers to write new music on their own: "We always got ideas bouncing, but until the four of us get in a room together, you know, that's when we really see how it takes shape. And for the most part when we all get together, that's when it really starts - get into a groove of jamming and writing." both live in Point Dume. Seventy houses in our neighborhood burned down. Ours was spared, luckly. So it was close to our hearts, and we wanted to do something. And it worked out. And it was fun."
The most recent Red Hot Chili Peppers album, The Getaway, was released in June 2016.
AUDIO: CHAD SMITH ON HOW THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS START THE WRITING PROCESS
Singer-songwriter Hozier will release his highly anticipated sophomore album, Wasteland, Baby!, on March 1st. The 14-track album is available for pre-order now and includes current single "Movement," which has already been streamed over 20 million times in just two months and become a firm favorite in Hozier’s live shows. The LP also contains "Almost (Sweet Music)," which is streaming online now.
Hozier said, "The album has been over a year in the making, and it’s a pleasure to finally turn out my pockets and share the work. I want to sincerely thank fans and listeners for their continued support in between the records. See you out on the road soon."
In support of the album’s release, Hozier will embark on the Wasteland Baby! tour this spring. Tickets are on sale now for the 26-date run, which kicks off March 10th in Buffalo, New York. Every ticket purchased online for the headlining dates will include a CD copy of Wasteland, Baby!, with fans having the option to upgrade to a vinyl LP copy for an additional charge.
Confirmed Hozier tour dates are (subject to change):
March 10 - Buffalo, NY - Shea's Performing Arts Center
March 11 - Albany, NY - Palace Theatre
March 13 - Baltimore, MD - Hippodrome Theatre
March 14 - Norfolk, VA - Chrysler Hall
March 16 - Raleigh, NC - Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
March 17 - Charlotte, NC - Ovens Auditorium
March 19 - Miami, FL - The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater
March 20 - St. Petersburg, FL - Mahaffey Theater
March 21 - Orlando, FL - Walt Disney Theater
March 23 - Atlanta, GA - Coca Cola Roxy Theatre
March 24 - Nashville, TN - Grand Ole Opry House
March 26 - Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre
March 27 - New Orleans, LA - The Fillmore New Orleans Music Hall
March 29 - Dallas, TX - Southside Ballroom
March 30 - Houston, TX - Revention Music Center
March 31 - Austin, TX - ACL Live at the Moody Theater
April 2 - Oklahoma City, OK - The Criterion
April 3 - Tulsa, OK - Brady Theater
April 5 - Denver, CO - Bellco Theatre
April 6 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Union Event Center
April 7 - Las Vegas, NV - The Pearl (Las Vegas)
April 9 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Forever Cemetery
April 10 - Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theatre
April 12 - Reno, NV - Grand Sierra Resort & Casino – Grand Theatre
April 13 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory Concert House
April 14 - Spokane, WA - First Interstate Center for the Arts
Disturbed visited Creech Air Force Base, Nevada to meet the airmen behind the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) mission and perform the base's first-ever concert last October 23rd. Each band member also had the opportunity to fly training missions with the 432nd Operations Support Squadron's MQ-9 Reaper flight simulator, both as sensor operators and pilots.
The members of Disturbed also met with airmen for lunch and a meet-and-greet event where airmen took photos with the band and brought in personal items for signing. The event ended with a concert by the band in a maintenance hangar with approximately 700 airmen, veterans, family and members of team Creech in attendance.
Singer David Draiman told us that Disturbed is always ready to play for U.S. troops: "We've always made it a blanket policy with us that any opportunities that come up involved with anything USO-oriented, or anything for the troops, that we definitely want to put our hat in the ring first and foremost. So we're always all about that."
Senior Airman Tanner Lease, a 12th Air Force Persistent Attack and Reconnaissance Center weather forecaster, said, "It was amazing . . . It feels great that a big band like Disturbed took notice of what we do here at Creech and they think it's important to show support."
The next day, the band visited nearby Nellis Air Force Base, participating in a military working dog demonstration and getting an up-close look at military aircraft on base. After visiting various units, Disturbed performed a second show for airmen and their families.
AUDIO: DAVID DRAIMAN SAYS DISTURBED IS ALWAYS READY TO PLAY FOR U.S. TROOPS
Motley Crue and Sixx: A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx is going to become a father for the fifth time. The 60-year-old Sixx and his third wife, 33-year-old Courtney Bingham Sixx, are expecting their first child together. Courtney told Us Weekly, "We are over the moon excited to be having a baby. Nikki is going to be the most amazing dad in the world because he already is."
Nikki is already a father to four children from previous marriages. He shares three kids -- 27-year-old Gunner, 24-year-old Storm and 23-year-old Decker with his first wife, Brandi Brandt. He also has a daughter, 17-year-old Frankie-Jean, with his second wife, Baywatch star Donna D'Errico. This will be Courtney's first child.
Nikki and Courtney wed in March 2014 after dating for four years. She told Hello! a year later, "He is such a hands-on dad. His three older children all grew up living with Nikki full-time. He took them to school every morning, helped them with homework, packed their lunches daily and continues to do that now with my stepdaughter Frankie . . . It's always amazing to me how he manages to be there for his kids so strongly. He is the best father I have ever seen."
Nikki recently returned to the studio with Motley Crue to record four new songs for the band's upcoming biopic, The Dirt, which is scheduled to premiere on Netflix in March. He's also been working on new music with Sixx: A.M., whose last LP came out in 2016.