Season 7 Artists

Season 7 Artists

The Cadillac Three

The Cadillac Three Front And Center

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ABOUT THE CADILLAC THREE: Bold and electric, THE CADILLAC THREE has proven to be a force with high-energy shows and gritty sonic instincts. Musical co-conspirators Jaren Johnston (Guitar & Lead Vocals), Kelby Ray (Bass Steel Guitar, Dobro, Acoustic & Vocals) and Neil Mason (Drums, Percussion & Vocals) have a sound all of their own that hovers between radio-ready Country anthems, hard-and-heavy Rock ballads and traditional Southern folk. Teasing their upcoming album BURY ME IN MY BOOTS – due out August 5 on Big Machine Records – the band has released new digital tracks worldwide with writing credits attributed to Neil for “Graffiti,” a collaboration with Jaren on “Soundtrack To A Six Pack” and their new single “Drunk Like You.” With a raw sound like no other, the buzz-worthy band organically builds around Neil’s thundering, melodic percussion and the sinewy intertwining of Jaren’s gruff vocals and guitar with Kelby’s lap steel, all ready to explode at a moments notice. Diversity extends into their songwriting talents with the Grammy-nominated frontman picking up his first CMA Triple Play Award for three chart-topping singles in a 12-month period: “Beachin’” (Jake Owen), “Sunshine & Whiskey” (Frankie Ballard) and “Raise ‘Em Up” (Keith Urban featuring Eric Church), which also earned Jaren an ACM Award nomination for Song of the Year. Adding to their growing accolades, Jaren co-produced Steven Tyler’s highly-anticipated first solo album due out July 15. The Nashville natives, who met in high school, are growing a rabid fanbase across the globe with slots on Superstar tours and sold-out headline stops across Europe. TC3’s nonstop rollercoaster has resulted in capacity crowds at famous venues – O2 Academy Islington, Dingwalls and The Garage – and will return in November for their DON’T FORGET THE WHISKEY TOUR. The 2014 UK Classic Rock Roll of Honour: Best New Band became the most played new band on Planet Rock in 2015 and were invited to record a live vinyl at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios, slated for release later this year. “Like Kings of Leon before them, they’re poised for their first big break in the U.K. — where they’ve sold out every headlining show for nearly two years — before conquering their U.S. home turf,” heralded Rolling Stone. The raucous trio are currently on the road with Florida Georgia Line’s DIG YOUR ROOTS TOUR in the US bringing their “unrefined live show you won’t want to miss” (PASTE). For tour dates and more, visit TheCadillacThree.com.

Kaleo

Kaleo Front And Center

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Every story has two sides, and that adage is certainly true for Kaleo, the four-piece band from Iceland who now call the US home. Call it a split upbringing: the isolated heritage that results from coming of age in Iceland has paired with the fresh inspiration of moving to America, and the band has built a sound to match the disparate landscapes. A gorgeous and raucous blend of rock, folk and blues, Kaleo’s debut LP embodies that very spirit of duality: titled A/B, the album showcases the band’s multi-layered dynamics and ability to play different genres with equal skill.

Best friends since attending elementary school outside of Reykjavik, bandleader JJ Julius Son, drummer David Antonsson, and bassist Daniel Kristjansson began playing together at the age of 17 before adding guitarist Rubin Pollock to the mix in 2012. They named the band Kaleo, which means “the sound” in Hawaiian, and started their career in with a handful of well-received shows at the 2012 Iceland Airwaves music festival. The band signed to Elektra/Atlantic and moved to the States in early 2015, choosing Austin as their new base.

“It has obviously been a big change coming from a small country of 300 thousand people in Iceland to the USA with over 300 million people,” says JJ Julius Son. “We’ve learned a lot, and we are more experienced now than when we first came. Overall it’s been a great adventure.” The past year has been a busy one for the band, as they’ve played nearly nonstop—including over 45 US states—as well as notching a spot on the soundtrack to HBO’s hit show Vinyl and recording a full length album with the producer Jacquire King in Nashville.

The concept behind A/B comes from Julius Son’s love of the split sides of vinyl records and their ability to showcase an artist’s different sides. “I write very different songs that many would like to label into different genres,” he says. “The idea of A/B is to show the diversity and the two sides of the band.” The “A” side is more rock and roll and blues (opener “No Good,” “Way Down We Go,” “Hot Blood”), while the “B” side is a bit softer with more ballads (“All the Pretty Girls,” “Vor I Vaglaskogi,” and closer “I Can’t Go On Without You”). But no matter which side you’re on and which song is playing, the sound can only be that of Kaleo.

A/B was primarily produced and recorded with King, the esteemed production icon whose past work with talented artists as varied as Tom Waits, Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, Buddy Guy, James Bay, and Of Monsters and Men helped Kaleo showcase both their louder and softer sides. In addition to the sessions in Nashville, Kaleo wrote and recorded in various other locales around their new home in the US as well as a few different sessions around the world, from their home of Iceland to Spain and London as well. Additional production contributions to the album in these various sessions came from Mike Crossey, Arnar Guðjónsson and the band.

Starting off A/B with a bang, “No Good” welcomes in the “A” side with its crunching, bluesy stomp-rock. Julius Son’s deep, raspy growl is perfectly paired to the band’s snarling assault, and sets the bar high for the rest of the record to come. “Kiss your baby goodbye,” he purrs, and with that, we’re off and running.

“Way Down We Go” is filled with bluesy angst and anchored by piano and rhythmic, pounding drumming. Julius Son’s vocals shift into the higher registers just as easily as they find their home at the bottom.

“All the Pretty Girls” leads off the “B” side, and in a sense it was the song that started it all for Kaleo in the beginning. In the spring of 2014, they recorded the lush, introspective song and in one night their destiny to outgrow their small, island nation was cemented, as it spread like wildfire across the airwaves.

“Vor I Vaglaskogi” is a traditional Icelandic love song, and the only one sung in the band’s native language. The song’s beauty and power transcend the fact that most in their newly found worldwide audience will not be able to understand it. And for Julius Son, that notion fits right in with how he likes his lyrics to be interpreted anyway.

“I prefer to let the listener decide what each song means to them instead of me telling my own personal connection,” he says. “Some of the songs are very personal for me, though—some more than others. But it seems that different people connect to songs in a different way, often based on personal experiences or things that you are going through at that time.”

Dawes

Dawes Front And Center

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California-based roots rock band Dawes were formed in the Los Angeles suburb of North Hills by brothers Taylor Goldsmith and Griffin Goldsmith (lead vocals/guitar and drums, respectively), Wylie Gelber (bass), and Alex Casnoff (guitar). They were previously in the band Simon Dawes, but after guitarist Blake Mills left the group, they changed the name (and added Casnoff, who was soon replaced by Tay Strathairn). Unlike the more intense indie rock sound they had as Simon Dawes, Dawes were heavily influenced by the gentle acoustic-based musical trappings and rich vocal harmonies of the Laurel Canyon sound (Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell), and also by the shambling, romanticized Americana of the Band.

After connecting with producer Jonathan Wilson, the group began participating in informal jam sessions at Wilson’s house with Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, the Heartbreakers’ Benmont Tench, and the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson. The loose feel of these get-togethers informed the group’s aptly titled 2009 debut, North Hills. The album was recorded in Laurel Canyon live to analog tape, which lent Dawes’ recorded sound an authentically vintage vibe. The band’s second album, 2011’s Nothing Is Wrong, had a similar feel to the debut and peaked at number 18 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart. That same year, the band had a pair of unique experiences: playing at the Occupy Wall Street protests and appearing as themselves on a prime-time network television show (Parenthood).

 

Stories Don’t End, the group’s hotly anticipated third studio album, arrived in 2013. Produced by Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse, Josh Ritter), the album also featured contributions from the Goldsmith brothers’ former Simon Dawes bandmate Blake Mills. Recorded in Nashville at the esteemed Woodland Studios with producer David Rawlings(Gillian Welch, Old Crow Medicine Show), the Hub-issued All Your Favorite Bands arrived in June 2015. The well-received album reached number one on Billboard’s Folk Albums chart and number four on the Top Rock Albums chart, and helped raise the band’s profile.

In 2016, Dawes released their fifth studio album, We’re All Gonna Die. The album found them once again reuniting with longtime associate Blake Mills, who handled production duties. Included on the album was the leadoff single “When the Tequila Runs Out.”

Steve Vai

Steve Vai Front And Center

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While many musicians fit easily into a single category, Steve Vai’s unique musical vision remains unclassifiable. After more than 30 years, Vai continues to use unbridled guitar virtuosity and soulful artistry to explore the spectrum of human emotion.

A virtuoso guitarist, visionary composer, and consummate producer who sculpts musical sound with infinite creativity and technical mastery, Steve Vai has awed fans of all genres with his exceptional guitar skills and musicianship for decades. At age 12, he started taking guitar lessons from Joe Satriani. At 18, he began his professional music career transcribing for, and then playing with, the legendary Frank Zappa. More than three decades, over 15 million in album sales, and three GRAMMY Awards later, Vai has proven himself, in his own right, to be one of music’s true originals.

Vai’s work has been recognized with a long list of awards and honors, including over 15 from Guitar Player magazine alone. His career accomplishments have earned him honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and Musicians Institute. The 2016 Long Island Music Hall of Fame inductee was voted the 10th “Greatest Guitarist” by Guitar World magazine and consistently lands among the best in various lists of the top guitarists of all time.

In 2012, the TEC Foundation honored him with the prestigious Les Paul Award, created in 1991 to salute those who have set the highest standard of excellence in the creative application of technology. Past winners of the Les Paul Award include Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan, and Bob Clearmountain. In bestowing it on Vai, TEC noted, “Steve Vai’s sheer breathtaking facility on the guitar is acclaimed in the rock world and beyond…Vai has dedicated his talents to creatively advance the language of music. While many artists fit easily into a single category, Steve Vai remains unclassifiable. He is a musical alchemist of the highest order.”

Vai has toured the world as a solo artist, as a member of G3, and with Frank Zappa, David Lee Roth (just after Roth left Van Halen), Alcatrazz, and Whitesnake—at the peak of its popularity. Vai’s full discography encompasses more than 60 albums, including many with Zappa, others from stints with Roth and Whitesnake, as well as live releases, collaborations, compilations, and orchestral works.

Highlights include 1990’s groundbreaking Passion and Warfare, and 2007’s Sound Theories Vol. 1 & 2, performed with the Netherlands’ Metropole Orkest. Vai’s other orchestral compositions include “The Middle of Everywhere,” which had its world premiere in 2011 with the Noord Nederlands Orkest. The orchestra’s director, Marcel Mandos, said of Vai’s work, “Steve Vai’s music can easily compete with that of famous contemporary composers.”

As an accomplished audio producer, Vai has written, produced, and engineered all of his solo albums, and released many via Favored Nations Entertainment, his own independent record label that has also released over 70 albums by legendary musicians such as Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Lukather, Eric Johnson, Billy Sheehan, Larry Carlton and many more. For Vai, virtuosity and versatility are not mutually exclusive. He has created music for blockbuster films, bestselling video games, national sports franchises, and corporate brand initiatives.

In 2012, Vai embarked on an epic three-year tour spanning 253 engagements (including shows, concerts with various orchestras, & master classes) in 52 countries in support of his 16th solo album release, the critically acclaimed The Story of Light. Upon signing a multi-recording agreement with SONY Music Entertainment and Legacy Recordings in 2015, Vai released Stillness In Motion – Vai Live in L.A., a 2-CD set and 2-DVD set, internationally. The multi-album deal marked an SME homecoming for Vai, who set the gold and platinum standard for instrumental rock music across a series of albums released through Relativity and Epic Records from 1990’s game-changing Passion and Warfare (his second album and first major label release) through 2007’s orchestral Sound Theories, Vol. I & II.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of his landmark album, Passion and Warfare — highly regarded as one of the greatest instrumental rock guitar recordings of all time — Vai released Modern Primitive/ Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition in 2016. The release, which included previously unreleased material, was celebrated by a very special 100+ date world tour in which he performed the entire Passion and Warfare record live from top to bottom for the first time. Having conquered Europe and the U.S., the third leg of the Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Tour will come to South America, Mexico, and Puerto Rico in May and June 2017.

In addition to his solo tour work, Vai is known for his creative live performances with orchestras around the world and for projects such as Vai Academy (his yearly guitar camp), Alien Guitar Secrets master classes, and Generation Axe — a unique combination of five fiercely talented guitar players in which he currently tours internationally with Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi.

Vai’s signature instruments include the Ibanez JEM guitar, which he designed in 1985 with first-of-its- kind features including the floating tremolo and the monkey grip. The JEM is now one of the longest running, most successful signature series guitars in history, and for over a decade its sister model—the RG—is second in worldwide sales only to the Fender Stratocaster. Also for Ibanez, Vai designed “The Universe,” the first commercial 7-string electric guitar. This instrument inspired a revolutionary metal subculture that started in the mid ’90s. Among his many other innovative collaborations with equipment manufacturers, he designed the Steve Vai Legacy V3 series of all-tube amplifiers with Carvin Corporation.

In the film realm, Vai has credits including Executive Producer for the acclaimed 2008 Hank Garland biopic Crazy, in which he also appears as Hank Williams. In the 1986 movie Crossroads, inspired by the legend of blues icon Robert Johnson, Vai appears as Jack Butler—“the devil’s guitarist”—and collaborated with Ry Cooder on the music scenes.

In 1998, Vai established (with Ruta Sepetys) the Make a Noise Foundation to provide instruments and music education to young musicians without means. “Music educates the whole person as an integrated individual. It educates the mind, the senses, and the emotions,” says Vai. “Those interested in music should not have to sacrifice their ability to develop important skills and express emotions due to limited financial resources.”

Jennifer Nettles

Jennifer Nettles Front And Center

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Superstar entertainer Jennifer Nettles is one of the most admired and animated performers. ASCAP has honored her songwriting prowess with five awards, including the emotionally charged, No. 1 PLATINUM hit “Stay” that also earned Jennifer GRAMMY®, ACM and CMA Awards. As the first female artist to be the solo songwriter on an ACM Song of the Year winner since 1972, Jennifer was acknowledged with the Crystal Milestone Award. Leading with her powerhouse vocals and vivacious energy, Jennifer hit high notes throughout 2016, releasing two critically-acclaimed Big Machine Records’ albums – PLAYING WITH FIRE and TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS – in addition to back-to-back headline tours as well as holiday-themed dates. In 2015, Jennifer made her Broadway debut as Roxy Hart in the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking musical Chicago. Last year she reprised her role as Dolly Parton’s mom Avie Lee Parton in the holiday-themed sequel to the ratings success Coat of Many Colors, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love. Jennifer also played a vital role on the inaugural season of American Supergroup, serving as a celebrity judge alongside Elle King, Aloe Blacc and Jason Scheff. Most recently, she starred as Donna in the Hollywood Bowl’s summer production of Mamma Mia!.

Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes Front And Center

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Shawn Mendes first started posting cover videos on the social video app Vine in 2013 and picked up millions of followers in a matter of months, becoming well known for his six-second snippets of renditions of many popular songs. Andrew Gertler discovered Shawn online in January 2014, bringing him to Island Records where he eventually signed and released his first single “Life of the Party” in June 2014. He is the youngest artist to compose his own debut album in the top 25 with a debut song on the Billboard Hot 100, debuting at number 24 for the week ending July 12, 2014 at 15 years of age.

Prior to his signing, Shawn toured as a member of the MagCon Tour (meet and greet convention) alongside other young artists and social media sensations including Nash Grier, Aaron Carpenter, Cameron Dallas, Matthew Espinosa, Taylor Caniff, Carter Reynolds, Sam Wilkinson, Dillan Rupp, Brent Rivera, Shawn Mendes, Hayes Grier, Jacob Whitesides, Jack Johnson, Jack Gilinsky, Chris Collins and Mahogany Lox (their DJ).Shawn also was on a nationwide tour with Austin Mahone and released his debut major label EP in July, with a debut album due out later in 2014.He won the Teen Choice award in 2014 for Webstar in Music. He is the youngest artist to debut in the top 25 with a debut song on the Billboard Hot 100, making to number 24 for the week ending July 12, 2014 at 15 years, 11 months and 4 days of age.

Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas Front And Center

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Rob Thomas is one of modern music’s most compelling and commercially successful artists. For 20 years, he has been the frontman and primary composer for Matchbox Twenty, leading the quintet to multiplatinum success over the course of four albums and a string of No. 1 hits that include “Push,” “3AM,” “Bent,” “If You’re Gone,” and “Unwell.” Thomas’ two solo albums, 2005’s platinum-certified No. 1 album …Something To Be and 2009’s cradlesong generated the hit singles “Lonely No More,” “This is How A Heart Breaks,” “Her Diamonds” and “Someday. Thomas made history with “…Something to Be” as having the first album by a male artist from a rock or pop group to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 since the chart had debuted. With cradlesong he made history once again as the only male artist with multiple #1 hits at Adult Top 40, tieing Pink with most #1s by a solo artist in the chart’s history.

Then there’s Thomas’ collaborations with iconic artists like Mick Jagger on the #1 single “Disease”, Willie Nelson, and Santana, the latter resulting in 1999’s “Smooth” — the Latin-tinged blockbuster that earned Thomas three Grammy Awards and spent 12 weeks atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It was also named the No. 2 Hot 100 Song of All Time and #1 of the Rock era. Overall, Thomas has contributed to sales of more than 80 million records. In 2004, he was the first-ever honoree of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s prestigious Hal David Starlight Award, created to recognize a composer in the early years of his or her career that has already made a lasting impact. He has won numerous BMI and ASCAP Awards, and has earned the Songwriter of the Year crown from both Billboard and BMI.

Thomas is also known as an electrifying live performer, drawing fans of all ages to Matchbox Twenty’s concerts as well as to his solo shows around the globe. “After 20 years, I still get excited when I go on the road,” he says. “The sound of the bus before it pulls out. The idea of waking up in a new city every day,not knowing what the day will bring. It’s the best part of what I do. Seeing new faces every night. Sharing the music. It’s what keeps me doing it. It’s the greatest job in the world.”

When you ask Thomas what accounts for his stratospheric success, his reply is earnest and thoughtful, just like his music. “Part of me feels like it’s because I am exactly like the people who listen to my music,” he says. “I’ve never written songs that speak to a particular group of disenfranchised youth. I’m not super-political. I just write songs about people and how they relate to each other. I think that’s something that is universal to everybody. And I think also, over the years, I’ve learned how to write a good melody, which is an easy thing to say about myself because I feel like it’s the thing I’m good at. If your car breaks down and I’m with you, you’re screwed. I can’t fix your stereo. I’m not really that good at math. There’s nothing else I do super well except for write songs. But I can say, ‘Listen, this is what I do. I’ve worked 20 years at it nonstop, 16 hours a day some days.’”

The majority of the tracks on The Great Unknown were produced by Thomas’ longtime producer Matt Serletic but for this album Rob also chose to work with some outside songwriters, including Ryan Tedder (first single “Trust You”), Wallpaper’s Ricky Reed (“Absence of Affection”), Cirkut & AG (“I Think We’d Feel Good Together”), and Shep Goodman and Aaron Accetta (“One Shot”). Of choosing to collaborate, Thomas says: “I figured, one, I’d never done it before, which are my favorite words to say, and two, the writers were people like Ryan Tedder, who is one of the most prolific songwriters in the world right now.”

“I also thought, ‘What if I it wasn’t about trying to see what I could pull off alone or prove anything other than trying to make a great record?’” Thomas adds. “Every time you make a solo record, there’s an element of trying to get something off your chest because it’s just you dealing with yourself. Doing it this way, when I looked at the blank page, I wasn’t looking at the same old shit. Everything wasn’t going to come from the same place.”

The result is a collection of songs that range from amped-up pop (“Trust You,” “One Shot,” “I Think We’d Feel Good Together” and “Hold on Forever”) to quieter, more reflective moments (“The Great Unknown,” and the piano and string-driven ballad ”Pieces”). “If you’re one of the five people left in the world who still listen to an entire record, I want you to be able to play it from start to finish and there’s a ride there,” he says. “There’s ups and there’s downs. There’s a little bit of everything happening, just like my CD collection. I think because Matt is such a good producer, he can shift effortlessly between all these different styles and not think twice about it. I can’t throw him a curve ball that blows him away. I think that gives the album an even more diverse listening experience all the way through.”

Lyrically, Thomas found himself pondering the theme of bad decisions on The Great Unknown. “It wasn’t on purpose,” he says, “but songs like ‘Wind It Up,’ ‘Heaven Help Me,’ and ‘I Think We’d Feel Good Together,’ are in some way about being right on the precipice of making a horrible decision and being okay with it. ‘Trust You’ is about that friend everyone has, who, no matter how stable you are, will call you up, you’ll go out, and it’ll be four in the morning and you’ve wound up in some weird Thai bar playing Russian roulette. You don’t know how you got there, but all of a sudden, you’re Frank from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia down in the basement with a towel wrapped around your head.”

Thomas may be light-hearted about his propensity for revelry, but when it came time to name the album, he was inspired by one of its more emotional tracks, “The Great Unknown”. “My wife Marisol has been dealing with a lot of health problems and I was amazed at how strong and resilient she is,” he says. “I realized that I had written songs about her like, ‘Ever The Same’ and ‘Her Diamonds’ and they almost paint her in a victim light, and I didn’t like that. It was important to me to write a song that shows how strong she is.” When Thomas played Marisol the song, she suggested it be the album’s title. “She said, ‘Because any endeavor you go into is the great unknown. Your motive, your intention, and your purpose are the only things you can control. Whatever is going to happen when it’s done, you have no hand in.’ It’s funny, success is really only 50 percent up to you.”

Thomas will take those odds as he gears up to release The Great Unknown, his third solo album and first in six years. “I think every time I make a record, the only thing I realize about myself is that I’m so completely not finished yet,” he says. “I haven’t gone, ‘Well, there you go. You’ve done it.’ I hope to God I never do.”

Cheap Tricks

Cheap Trick Front And Center

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Cheap Trick are an indisputable American institution, beloved around the globe since 1974 for their instantly identifiable, hugely influential, brand of pop rock ‘n’ roll. The band – Robin Zander (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar), Tom Petersson (bass guitar), and Daxx Nielsen (drums) – are true pioneers with an unparalleled streak of certifiably classic tunes, from “He’s A Whore,” “California Man” and “Dream Police” to “Surrender,” “I Want You To Want Me” and the worldwide #1 hit single, “The Flame.”

2016 saw Cheap Trick‘s long awaited induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The induction honored both the band and the pioneering sound that has earned them total record sales well in excess of 20 million featured appearances and more than 40 international GOLD and PLATINUM certifications. Cheap Trick closed the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with a show-stealing performance of “Surrender,” “Dream Police,” and “I Want You To Want Me,” prompting Rolling Stone to rave, “Their smoking three-song set (was) played to perfection, with Zander hitting all the notes he hit at Budokan back in 1978.” Members of the evening’s other top inductees – including longtime friend Steve Miller – then joined the band for a memorable all-star jam on Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame” – a song famously featured on the immortal CHEAP TRICK AT BUDOKAN.

BANG ZOOM CRAZY…HELLO made a spectacular chart entry following its release on April 1, 2016 – officially designated “Cheap Trick Day” in their beloved hometown of Rockford, IL. The collection arrived at No. 3 on Billboard’s “Top Rock Albums” chart while also entering the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200 at No. 30. “When I Wake Up Tomorrow,” the album’s powerful first single/video, also proved a multi-format smash, spending more than 15 consecutive days at the top of the Classic Rock airplay chart. As if that weren’t enough, Cheap Trick ruled the Classic Rock chart in the weeks preceding BANG ZOOM CRAZY…HELLO with a stunning 11 tracks in the format’s top 15, including material recorded at a special iHeartRadio ICONS concert in New York City.

BANG ZOOM CRAZY…HELLO was also among 2016’s best-reviewed releases.Kerrang! noted how Cheap Trick‘s “ability to write sugar-coated riffs that stick in your head as though made of golden syrup has not diminished” while Classic Rock’s Paul Lester applauded “the consistency and urgency of this, their 17th studio record.” “The album “swings at the kind of big-riff, mutant-guitar rock and near-falsetto, multi-layered vocal melodies that have long been a part of the band’s 40-year repertoire,” raved The AV Club as Ultimate Classic Rock noted, “Really, they haven’t sounded this strong in years.” “A guns-blazing reinforcement of classic tropes,” declared MOJO with Uncut praising the album as “the band’s most consistently thrilling long-player since the Carter administration.” “A rugged, uncompromising platter that will satisfy existing fans and might find new ones to add to their cultish following,” exclaimed American Songwriter, further praising the album’s 11 “swaggering selections, any one of which could have come off albums recorded decades ago in their prime… BANG ZOOM CRAZY…HELLO is everything anyone would want from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers at this late stage, and likely far more than even their staunchest fans expected. Here’s to another 40 years.”