– 15 Very Cool Bands You Must See Live This Year

One of the best things about music is musicians don’t have to be well-known to be great. The industry is full of very cool bands and artists offering an alternative to the mainstream.

For every Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, and U2, there’s a dozen other artists and bands that toil and sacrifice to hone their craft and create magic on stage.

Below are 15 very cool bands that offer enthralling musical experiences. They represent several genres including alternative, folk, heavy metal, and jazz.

You can download and stream music from all 15 entrants, but to truly appreciate their cool, as well as their creativity and talent, you must see them live. Between online videos, live recordings and social media, and seeing many of these acts live too, our staff has experienced each of these bands for ourselves. And while this may be subjective, take our word for it, each of the following bands deserves some of your time.

When any of our selections visit your neighborhood, do everything you can to secure tickets and make it to the venue. In doing so, you’re guaranteeing yourself an amazing evening of some seriously cool live music.

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When a gig becomes an experience! – review

It was a strange crowd, here to see the rock guitar legend that is Michael Schenker and his ‘Temple of Rock’ tour, but that aside, they were treated to one of those nights that was not a gig, but a really unexpected exciting experience.

The support band tonight were Venrez, a band out of LA comprising of Venrez himself on vocals, Cynthia Gillet on bass, Ed Davis on drums and Jason Womack on lead guitar. A motley crew who had definitely been around the block a few times, but that mattered not as they delivered a sublime set of high energy, hard, psychedelic rock music the likes of which has not been seen here for too many years.

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Sonic Abuse Venrez/Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock Live Review

It’s a Friday night in Nottingham and, in two neighbouring venues, two cracking metal gigs are taking place. In the Rescue Rooms Max Cavalera and his troops of doom in Soulfly are playing and, in Rock City, Michael Schenker is leading his awesome Temple of Rock project into battle. It’s an unfortunate conflict because it threatens to divide the audience somewhat, but happily Rock City is still comfortably full and the air is laden with anticipation for a concert that promises to showcase material from across the spectrum of a truly extraordinary career.

First, however, are Venrez. Venrez truly impressed SonicAbuse last year with their excellent album ‘Children of the drone’ and live they don’t disappoint. Superficially, the band have a somewhat incongruous look. With a bassist whose icy cool recalls Brigitte Nielson’s character in Beverly Hills Cop 2  and a drummer who seems to be Dave Grohl’s evil twin (and boy can he hit those skinshard), the band simply tear into the audience, laying down the hardest riffs this side of Schenker himself. Venrez has a voice that could level buildings, powerful and full of emotion and Jason Womack is one of those rare guitarists who somehow sounds like there’s at least three other guitarists playing on stage along with him.

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Ironworks Venue Inverness Live Show Review

It’s not often that a bona-fide metal guitar legend comes to town and when he does it’s only right that support is provided in the shape of LA upstarts Venrez. According to their biog, between them they have an extensive background of experience (drummer Ed Davis and guitarist Jason Womack are former members of Juliette Lewis and the Licks while Venrez used to be a movie producer and bassist Cynthia Gillet is a kickboxing champion and has toured with Billy Ray Cyrus) and this mishmash of experience has brought together an interesting and effective suckerpunch of rock music.


Bilston Robin 2 Live Show Review

Frequent visitors to these shores over the last year or two, LA rockers Venrez are confident live performers. That road craft means that their more thumping, balls out moments, like “Devil’s Due” and “Children Of The Drones” (both from last year’s album of the same name as the latter) have rather morphed into menacing beasts and with Jason Womack in excellent form, the quartet are a heavier prospect on stage than you might imagine from their studio output.

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