Thursday, July 17, 2014

Album/ Concert Review: Patriotic Rock Band, Madison Rising

I first heard about this band during the Cliven Bundy standoff with the federal government who was trying to orchestrate an illegal land grab. The band went out there, set up and performed for the patriots who had assembled in support of Bundy. I thought that was absolutely cool, and I wanted to learn more about them. So, in learning about them, I discovered they were coming to Fayetteville, NC where I live currently. Nobody comes here!

Madison Rising are America's Most Patriotic Band, and they have played all over the country at patriotic events, military and USO events, NFL Halftime shows, NASCAR events, and have opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Toby Keith, Kansas, Steppenwolf, and others. They have also been on Fox News, The Blaze, and more.

The band are: AJ Larsen on guitar, Dave Bray on vocals, Tom DiPietro on bass, and Sam Fishman on drums

So, we'll start this review off with the show. Madison Rising has been on tour with Concerned Veterans for America. My wife, daughter and I went out July 12 to the Cape Fear Harley Davidson in Fayetteville, where they had a stage, free BBQ, several tents, and no short supply of patriotism. There were veterans of all ages in attendance, along with several speakers including a veteran who had survived the Bataan Death March. All of the speakers were moving, but his was the most emotionally charged because as he spoke, I kept thinking about what he must have endured. This man is a hero, and I would much rather see people like him on TV than the idiots who the dumb masses in this country worship. Another speaker eluded to that when he said "Lebron James? Never heard of her!"

My daughter is the first kid on the left. This was
her first concert, and she loved it. After all the other
kids had left the stage, she stayed there dancing all by
herself, only stopping when we called her over to get
some water...which we did frequently.

Then, in the 100 degree summertime heat, Madison Rising took the stage. They opened with their rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, and brought all the children in the audience to the stage. Singer, Dave Bray handed a folded flag to a kid, who held it up in the air, and all in attendance were either saluting or holding their hands over their hearts. When the song concluded, the band received a huge ovation. Other rocked up patriotic songs were America the Beautiful and God Bless America. They then went into a song from their first album, Right to Bear. I noticed that on all of the songs they played that lots of people were singing along. This band is well known, despite the fact that they will never get any mainstream coverage...unless its someone on MSNBC ridiculing them...But its ok. Bad publicity is still publicity. And, there were more people in attendance at this event in Fayetteville, NC than MSNBC's audience worldwide.

Despite the sweltering heat, the guys in the band still rocked out and put on a high energy performance, and the audience loved every minute of it. I have played many shows in my life, but I have never done an outdoor show in the middle of the day in July. You could tell that after their set, they just wanted to get out of there, back to their hotel, and into the pool, or at very least a nice cold shower. But, the band still stayed until they had greeted every last person who wanted to shake their hands, or get a pic with them.
This is from their show in Wilmington, NC the day before I saw them.
The battleship is the USS North Carolina

So, do yourself a favor and see Madison Rising when you get the chance. If they can put on a great show like they did in Fayetteville, NC in 100 degree heat, imagine what they can do at night, and on a larger stage. I'll definitely be seeing them again the first chance I get.

Now, onto their album, American Hero. It has a theme, and the theme is simply SUPPORT THE TROOPS! Although, it does get into the second amendment with Ready if it Goes There. The album is extremely well produced. At the show I attended, singer Dave Bray said before they played the biker anthem, Open Road that he had to sell his Harley to help pay for the album. Money well spent, because the album sounds great. Madison Rising is a hard rock band, and you could say there is some Creed influence in their music. Some. Not much. This album is guitar lick and groove oriented, and you'll want to CRANK IT! And, I guarantee you won't be sitting still for long.

It opens with their version of the Star Spangled Banner. They take creative liberty with the song to make it sound like a modern rock song, and they did a hell of a job with it. It has a hook that starts with a nice bass lick to open the song, and follows that groove throughout, with building intensity. I mentioned the people ridiculing the band. I looked over the YouTube comments on this, and certain people were criticizing it, saying they ruined the song. I looked over the subscriptions of one of these people, and found 50 Cent, Kanye West, and other rappers. What are they doing listening to rock and criticizing it? They are doing it because the "evil right wingers" like this band. And, speaking of liberties on the song, have you heard some of the hip hop renditions of the Star Spangled Banner? These people have zero room to talk. Not to mention the fact that Madison Rising are the ONLY band that has EVER been granted the honor of playing their version in front of Francis Scott Key's original manuscript. And, when I was at their show, I saw every soldier and veteran there saluting during Madison Rising's rendition. I think I will take soldiers, veterans, and the National Anthem Celebration Foundation's opinion of the song over some programmed hip hop punk's opinion ANY day. Not to mention the fact that singer, Dave Bray is a Navy veteran.

On their first album, there is a song called Hallowed Ground. It is a very emotionally charged song about a soldier dying on the battlefield. Dave Bray was a Navy Corpsman, so there is a very good chance that the song was based something that a wounded Marine said to Bray as he died on the battlefield. (I am not sure, but Navy Corpsman is not a glamorous MOS.) On American Hero, there is Hallowed Ground II, which is the side of the story that you never hear. Not on the news anyway. *Where Was The Media Then? The story of when the family of a fallen soldier gets the news, and the heartbreak that goes along with it. But, be ready to lose it if you're an emotional person. You will. There is great writing ability in this band.

Another song that Madison Rising gets grief about is Come to the Ready, where they mention "reelecting an antichrist." Barack 0bama is not THE Antichrist. Too many people hate him. The Antichrist is said to be someone that everybody will adore. However, he is AN antichrist, which is what the lyrics say. Lets see....He talks down to people who are Christians, and accuses them of "clinging to their bibles and guns" while arming Muslim terrorists, among other things. If the shoe fits...Anyway, the song is kind of a Kid Rock style jam with heavy guitar grooves, with a message about being ready to stand up for the constitution if necessary.

Get both their albums. They are both very good, and its a message that is missing from pop culture. I get that entertainment from the right side of the political spectrum is usually less than spectacular. For example, the movie An American Carol. It was a conservative parody of A Christmas Carol, and while it had its moments, it simply wasn't good. Madison Rising is a very talented rock/ metal band. And, while they aren't shy with their message, (which is refreshing) at least they stand up for what they believe. If that scares people, then so be it. This is the USA, and we are allowed to speak our minds. The difference is that most people on the right LIKE the music of the left, even if it preaches left wing ideology. Queensryche for example. They are one of my favorite bands, but their political message is highly liberal. I know many people who are Bruce Springsteen fans, and he preaches liberal messages at his concerts. Not to mention Bon Jovi, who is a very outspoken liberal and supporter of 0bama, or 99.9% of all actors.

This is for ALL Americans; Not just
those who agree with 0bama
What is my point is all this? My point is that people on the right like and even support liberal artists. But if Madison Rising, Ted Nugent, or any other conservative says anything, and you look at the comments on them, the majority of what you will see are people telling them that they need to shut up, death wishes, or even threats, all coming from liberals. I thought THEY were supposed to be the tolerant ones who made the Voltaire quote: "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" their mantra. Of course, that was back in the 60's and 70's. Now, if they disagree with you, they will smear you, and do everything in their power to ruin you.

That is why I want Madison Rising to succeed. I like their music, their message, and I admire their courage for getting up and standing up for what they believe in, even if it isn't the popular thing to do. Personally, I would rather be at a concert with a bunch of veterans and bikers than a bunch of "enlightened" liberals.

So, now as I climb down off my soap box, let me just say that Madison Rising is a great band, they are better than what is considered mainstream these days, and I will support them whenever I can. You should too!

Buy their albums: American Hero and their self titled first album Star Spangled Banner Single

Here is their social media: Facebook Twitter and their Website
Star Spangled Banner Challenge

Check out Madison Rising 10:00 PM Eastern, August 12, 2014 on the Will and Thunder Show. <Ca-ching!>

You can also catch their music on the soundtrack to Dinesh D'Souza's movie, America: Imagine a World Without Her

....Also, a word to the band...I know that your current tour is winding down, but if you are thinking about adding a rhythm guitarist or a twin lead guitarist who is also a lead singer, and therefore able to do powerful backup vocals, for the future, give me a ring.

*Where Was The Media Then is an awesome song from the band's first album.

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