1st Annual Backyard BBQ featuring Breaking Benjamin

Thu Aug 25 2016

4:00 PM (Doors 3:00 PM)

Big Sky Brewing Company Amphitheater

5417 Trumpeter Way Missoula, MT 59808

All Ages

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96.3 The Blaze & Knitting Factory Presents
1st Annual Backyard BBQ featuring Breaking Benjamin

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  • Breaking Benjamin

    Breaking Benjamin

    Alternative Rock

    Six years have passed since BREAKING BENJAMIN released their last album—2009’s Dear Agony—but one listen to their new album, Dark Before Dawn, and it becomes clear that time away from the music world hasn’t caused them to lose a step.  Upon release, Dark Before Dawn debuted #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart, a first for the multi-platinum band, while their first single “Failure” spent 8 consecutive weeks at #1 at rock radio.  The band’s sound is noticeably more invigorated, energetic, and purposeful than ever and marks a new era as founder/frontman, Ben Burnley, worked with guitarists Jasen Rauch (RED) and Keith Wallen (Adelitas Way), bassist Aaron Bruch and drummer Shaun Foist (Picture Me Broken.) The result is simultaneously vintage BREAKING BENJAMIN and yet decisively more cohesive.

    Over the past decade BREAKING BENJAMIN has achieved worldwide success through their chart-topping music, their electrifying live performances and in the process amassed a sizeable and diehard fan base (over 5.7 million likes on Facebook, 220,000+ followers on Twitter.)  And, it’s the fans that ultimately fuels Burnley. “The band has always really been about the fans to me,” says Burnley. “That’s who comes first to me, and that’s what it’s all about. There’s nothing that matters any more than that to me, and so I’m just happy I’m able to give them the best they can possibly get.”

    BREAKING BENJAMIN’S discography includes 2002’s Saturate, 2004’s We Are Not Alone, 2006’s Phobia, and 2009’s Dear Agony.  The second two—We Are Not Alone and Phobia—yielded spectacular results with each being certified Platinum.   We Are Not Alone spawned a pair of No. 1 radio hits (“So Cold” and “Sooner Or Later”) and sold 2.3 million units (albums and digital tracks). Phobia debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200, hit No. 1 on the Rock Album Chart and was one of the top 50 selling rock albums of 2006. It featured one No. 1 and two Top 5 rock radio hits (“Breath,” “Diary of Jane” and “Until The End”) and sold 2.8 million units (albums and digital tracks). 2009’s Dear Agony debuted #4 on the Billboard Top 200 chart on one of the busiest release days of the year and #1 on the iTunes Rock Album Chart.  Dear Agony also spun off the platinum selling and #1 song Active Rock single “I Will Not Bow” where it stayed #1 for five weeks straight while the album itself was certified Gold, selling over 500K copies.

    Dark Before Dawn has already spawned a Top 10 rock radio hit with “Failure” and the full album will be released June 23rd.

  • Saint Asonia

    Saint Asonia


    A Canadian rock/post-grunge "supergroup" featuring ex-Three Days Grace vocalist/guitarist Adam Gontier, Staind guitarist Mike Mushok, Eye Empire bassist Corey Lowery, and former Finger Eleven drummer Rich Beddoe, Saint Asonia came into being after Mushok and Gontier began writing together just after the latter's split with his flagship band. Impressed with what they had managed to conjure up, the duo enlisted the rest of the crew and headed into the studio with producer Johnny K (Disturbed, Megadeth, Sevendust) to begin work on a debut long-player. "Better Place," the first single from the record, was issued in May 2015, followed by the release of the eponymous full-length Saint Asonia later that summer. ~ James Christopher Monger



    Heavy Metal

    A dark, twisted circus sideshow that’s built around bombastically grooving melodic death n’ roll is swinging forward with captivating glee, mesmerizing merriment and the plundering power of lethal pirates toward those brave souls who hand over a ticket to be torn by Avatar and their Black Waltz, the fourth album and first proper American release from the Swedish masters of mayhem.

    Within Avatar’s diverse songs, a steady focus on the fluid and organic power of the riff (recalling the thunderous foresight of heavy metal’s original wizards, Black Sabbath) takes flight combined with an adventurous sprit veering off into the astral planes of the psychedelic atmosphere conjured by pioneers like Pink Floyd back in the day. 

    Avatar has found a footing that combines the best of rock n’ roll, hard rock and heavy metal’s past, present and future into an overall artistic presentation that is thought-provoking, challenging and altogether enchantingly electric. With the grandiose showmanship of American professional wrestling, the snake oil salesmanship of early 20th century vaudevillian troubadours and the kinetically superheroic power of early Kiss, Avatar lays waste to lesser mortals with ease. Whether somebody gets their rocks off listening to Satyricon or System of a Down, they’ll find something suitably deranged here. 

    “We’re in this weird field, caught in a triangle between extreme metal, rock n’ roll and what can be described as Avant-garde,” confesses Avatar vocalist Johannes Eckerström. The all-enveloping theme park vibe of the band’s music and visual counterpart means that, naturally, “it’s turning into something bigger.”

    “I have been in this band for ten years. I grew up in this band,” Eckerström explains. “We’re somewhat veterans on the one hand. But we’re the new kids in the neighborhood in America at the same time.”

    Avatar came of age as “little brothers” of sorts of the famed Gothenburg scene that spawned the celebrated New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal. The band’s debut album, 2006’s Thoughts of No Tomorrow, was filled with brutal, technical melodic death metal to be sure but already, “We tried to put our own stamp on it,” the singer assures. While the following year’s Schlacht still contained flourishes of melody, the unrelenting metallic fury reached an extreme peak. “Intensity was very important,” he says, with some degree of understatement.

    Where to go for album number three? “We basically rebelled against ourselves,” Eckerström says of 2009’s self-titled collection. “We figured, ‘We can play faster and make even weirder, more technical riffs,’ because Schlacht was cool. But to take that another step would have turned us into something we didn’t want to be.”

    Instead Avatar rediscovered their inherent passion for traditional heavy metal and classic rock n’ roll. “We decided to remove some unnecessary ‘look at me, I can play!’ parts and added more groove. We added a whole new kind of melody. It was awesome to be this ‘rock n’ roll band’ for a while. It was refreshing and liberating.”

    Black Waltz sees Avatar coming completely full circle, returning to a more aggressive form of heavy metal but incorporating the lessons they learned while jamming on big riffs with album number three. “We finally came to understand what a good groove is all about and what a great fit it was for our sound,” notes Eckerström.
    Tracks like the appropriately titled “Ready for the Ride,” the rollicking “Let it Burn” (which dips into some delicious stonerifficness), the anthemic “Smells Like a Freakshow” (a modern day twist of Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie) and “Torn Apart” are supercharged with a dynamic range of artistic showmanship on a near cinematic scale and it’s all stitched together by a driving bottom end.

    While most European metal acts who dare attempt this level of musicianship, showmanship and attention to detail seem content to toil away in the studio and lock themselves away from the crowds, Avatar have excelled beyond their peers thanks in large part to their continued focus on road work. Careening to and fro on tour busses and airplanes around the world like a marauding troupe of circus performers, Eckerström and his mates (guitarists Jonas Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström, bassist Henrik Sandelin and drummer John Alfredsson) have forged the type of musical bond that can only be brought forth from massive amounts of time spent together on the stage, in hotel rooms, in airports and partying at the venue’s bar.

    Whether on tour with bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquility or Helloween, playing gigantic festivals like Storsjöyra and Sweden Rock Festival or demolishing South by Southwest, playing live is what it all comes down to for this band. “That is the final manifestation of our art,” Eckerström insists. “Of course an album is a piece of art in itself, but mainly it's a means to reach the higher goal, which is doing these awesome shows. Touring is of the greatest importance.”
    “We all just love the pirate’s life,” he admits freely. “Sailing into the city on this tour bus thingy, going to kick some ass, have that party and all the while meeting all of these people, entertaining them, encountering a culture that's not your own. We love that.” 

    The want for this type of lifestyle goes back to early childhood fascinations for the good-humored singer. Reading about superheroes, watching Hulk Hogan on TV, getting exposed to Kiss – these were the first ingredients for what Eckerström would go on to create with the guys in Avatar and what has culminated now in Black Waltz. 

    The frontman promises that Avatar will continue to create, to captivate and to experiment. There’s no definitive endpoint in sight. It’s always about the horizon, the journey itself. “As long as you're hungry as an artist, there are higher and higher artistic achievements. I love AC/DC and Motorhead and what they’ve established is amazing, but we don’t want to write albums that are kind of like the album before. We want to travel to a new galaxy, so to speak, every time.” 
    The goal is always to conquer what came before. “That is what stays with you as a mentally healthy musician. Or maybe a mentally deranged one, I’m not sure,” the singer laughs. And part and parcel to that continued evolution will be the ever broadening expansion of the scope of Avatar’s worldwide presentation: Black Waltz and beyond.

    “We have great visions of what we want to do and the things we want to give to people on a stage,” Eckerström promises. “These ideas, these visions, they require a huge audience. They require a lot of legroom to be done, so I want to get into those arenas, basically. I know we would do something really magical if we got the chance. This idea is one of those things that really, really keeps us going.”

  • Shaman's Harvest

    Shaman's Harvest


    It has been a long road for Shaman's Harvest filled with moments of triumph alongside challenges that few bands have the strength to overcome.  Through it all, the quartet looks optimistically towards a future with a record that exhibits their strongest, most meaningful recordings to date.  Long-time brothers in arms, they are stronger than ever with enduring souls that never cease to persevere. Singer Nathan Hunt overcame a bout with cancer while the band created Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns, so perhaps fate is now unequivocally on their side. 

    The story begins years ago in the Midwestern town of Jefferson City, Missouri. Bassist Matt Fisher and singer Nathan Hunt began a collaboration with guitarist Josh Hamler that has remained the foundation and core of Shaman's Harvest.  Fisher reflects, "Drake and I have been through a tremendous amount of high's and low's together in our years. We have somehow managed to keep this music marriage together. Playing music has squashed our differences, and it is our synergy.  I believe we share a soul in it. From the moment I meet him in his mother's basement in August, 1996 I've held the conviction he is a rare talent you might find once in your life."  Rhythm guitarist Josh Hamler echoes these sentiments sharing, "Nate has the gift of voice.  A voice that almost any vocalist would dream of having.  He brings a very artistic approach to song writing making even the simplest songs very unique, original, and very much that Shaman's Harvest sound."  

    Musically, the years together have created an intuitive symbiosis amongst the trio, which truly only comes with comfort and familiarity.  Hunt offers, "Josh and Matt I've known just as long as I've known anybody. We can play something new together and not have to think, and we know where it's going. Those boys capture the essence of the soul in the rhythm section. Its effortless playing with the both of um."

    They are all grew up together, sharing dreams, and becoming men in the heartland of the U.S.A.  Hunt shares, "Living in Missouri is awesome. I grew up moving around quite a bit, but knew Missouri as home. There's a beauty in the grit of us Midwesterners. We work hard, make babies, drink too damn much, and we're not afraid to rebuild and start over when we get God-smacked. We have an art community all our own, inspired by wind in the wheat fields, and summer morning haze off the rivers and streams. If shit is broke we either fix it ourselves, or put it up on blocks for yard art. There's enough musicians in the city jungles of New York and Los Angeles and they don't need four more of us. Here we have artistic elbow room." 

    After moments of significant heights, there were moments where it seemed as though the band was going to break wide open.  Their early years saw the release three albums which capture the band defining their sound: Last Call for Goose Creek (1999), Synergy (2002) and March of the Bastards (2006).  It was the arrival of Shine in 2009 though that presented optimism that their time had arrived. The single "Dragonfly" hit #16 on Billboard's Active Rock chart and #9 at Heritage Rock, selling a significant number of singles, and tens of thousands of albums.  It was featured on the soundtrack of the major motion picture Legendary, and with momentum in early 2010 Shaman's Harvest recorded "Broken Dreams" for the WWE as the theme song for wrestler Drew McIntyre.  They continued that relationship delivering "End of Days" as the entrance track for Wade Barrett and The Corre, alongside "Anger" which ended up in the feature film No One Lives.  There was no doubt the band was on the verge.

    With Shine, lead guitarist Ryan Tomlinson made his first appearance on the band's recordings.  He grew up in Jefferson City, reared by a father who was an active Blues guitarist.  He recalls, "Shaman's Harvest was the 'big band' in our town.  I remember attending a CD release show at the Blue Note when I was 15, and was blown away by their sound. I dreamed about one day playing that stage, or even just opening for them."  He continues, "Our music scene in Jeff City is small, so I'd become friends with every member.  Nate told me he liked what I did, and I reminded him a lot of him.  He offered to help me record a demo, and during those sessions they were beginning to track the Shine record.  Nate asked me to record some slide guitar and talkbox on it, and as far as I was concerned that was the big leagues." 

    Within the year, founding lead guitarist and younger brother of Nathan, Adam Hunt left the band to focus on his family and new baby girl. When it came time to release Shine, Fisher, Hamler and Hunt asked Tomlinson to sit in at their CD release party at The Blue Note in Columbia, Missouri.  It wasn't long before the band was on the road, being flown to New York City to play for major record labels, appearing in front of huge crowds on tour, and enjoying a hit at radio. Tomlinson turned 21 during that period, and was officially the fourth member of Shaman's Harvest.  Guitarist Hamler fondly reflects, "Ryan is the yen to my yang.  He's an old soul.  He continues in his dad's  (Dale "Soup Kitchen" Sapp, RIP) footsteps.  He's entertaining to watch perform and a beast in the studio with his Gibson Les Paul.   When asked about his tone there's only one comparison... BBQ Sauce!"

    There truly is a brotherhood amongst these four musicians.  Hunt offers, "My band mates are my brothers in the truest sense. Like blood family in the way you embrace one minute and the next your rolling in the yard kickin' up blood and dust. But so help the person who slanders or lays hands on one of us. The best kind of family. Ryan is a fella who always has a smile on his face and would give you anything he could if you need help. He has the perfect background of playing blues joints with his dad since he was a young teenager, which adds a perfect honesty to our blend of rock."  Fisher's perspective offers, "He'll always be the "kid" to me, even though he's been with us for five years now. Ryan came into this band, and helped us out when we were in a pinch.  At that time he had never really played out of our own town, so he had a lot to live up to and pulled it off. Now he has evolved into becoming a main writer and has filled the permanent lead guitar player position in this band. He's a part of the brotherhood.  He's a monster on stage and in the studio. And, most importantly, he keeps Nate, Josh and I young, while being one of the nicest guys you will ever meet."

    As they approached the next album and began recording, singer Hunt was diagnosed with throat cancer.  As opposed to scrapping their plans to march forward, the band stayed the course recording Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns.  Hunt remembers, "While recording I was struggling vocally, and got a lump in my throat biopsied that came up malignant. It was a rare, aggressive lymph cancer that was making a home in my throat. Bummer. I got the news on my way to the studio, and it took about five seconds to realize I wasn't gonna deal with it mentally.  I completely submerged myself in this record, committed to not missing a day working on this. I didn't know if it was gonna be my last record or what. So it was treatment, then studio, then some days back for more treatment. The different treatments do funny things to you vocally, and I had a lot of help from my vocal coach ,Juliet Jackson, who taught me how to manipulate my voice to hold up to the sessions. Everyone deals with cancer differently. There was a period I felt alone and a couple tracks speak to that directly and other times I felt overwhelming love for my mates and people who were there for me. The bottom line is I was lucky enough to be recording a record during it and it's all there. That's the best therapy in The World. Once I became cancer free it was like a reset button was hit and I was like o.k. now let's do something with this record."   

    The album is pure in the way it breathes feel and emotions that are diverse track to track.  They are cinematic, and offer audio beds for flashback memories or present experiences that are our lives.  Hunt states, "Whether they're driving down the highway, at work, or doin' the nasty, these songs should be the soundtrack.  I think people will accept the diversity from song to song whether it's a riff rock vibe like 'Here It Comes' or it's a darker, emotional anthem such as 'Ten Million Voices' without categorizing Shaman's." 

    As the repertoire came together for Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns it became clear that the band was delivering an album without a typecast template for the rock market.  The simple AC/DC reminiscent groove of "Dangerous" rests comfortably side by side with the stomp clap bombastic Southern feel of "Blood In The Water."  With "Here It Comes" the band offers what Hunt describes as a, "Sleazy jam with sexy harmonies, and full steam ahead riffs about a fella in love with a Hooker, the poor bastard."  The track "Country As Fuck" is a blistering blues song that the singer offers features, "Silly Midwest lyrics that basically say if you ain't country as fuck, then fuck you."  At the end of the day though it is "In The End" that the band looks upon across the board as their favorite composition on the record. It was the first track Hunt sang while enduring the cancer treatments, and it reaffirmed his belief that he could execute the vision.  He reveals, "It was such an emotional release for me, and I really think it comes across to the listener."  And for the future, they collectively want nothing more than to thrive another day, making every solitary appearance on stage bring those in their presence to another place, far away from their normal routines for that brief euphoric peace through escape.

  • Stitched Up Heart

    Stitched Up Heart

    Heavy Metal

    New music is just beyond the horizon...

    The Halloween 2015 tour will premier songs live that are not yet released and will be on the upcoming full length record.

    Songs from the last EP "Skeleton Key" are currently in rotation on over 60 stations. Revolver magazine premiered the video for "Grave" & "Frankenstein" from the record. 
    Mixi has been featured and interviewed in 3 issues of Revolver Magazine’s Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock as well as interviews in Alternative Press magazine.

    With Warped Tour, SXSW and over 300 US shows under their belt, the aggressive drive behind this band is tantamount to their ultimate goal of universal conquest. A violent cacophony of fiery charged emotions makes this a dangerously volatile maniacal machine that commands your attention.

    Stitched Up Heart’s passion explodes in an uproar of crunchy guitars, haunting melodies, driving rhythms and anthemic songs. Furious and ultimately rapturous performances led by singer extraordinaire, Mixi, have captivated fans across the nation and around the world. Baron Reventón even christened the band: ‘attention deficit gratification’.

  • The Ghost Peppers

    The Ghost Peppers

    Hard Rock

    The Ghost Peppers started out in the winter of 2010 under the name "High Voltage". 

    After writing and recording 3 albums, the musical style of High Voltage started diverging into two different styles. The band decided that the melodic, groovy rock style would be more appropriate under a different name, and thus, The Ghost Peppers were born.

96.3 The Blaze & Knitting Factory Presents

1st Annual Backyard BBQ featuring Breaking Benjamin

Thu Aug 25 2016 4:00 PM

(Doors 3:00 PM)

Big Sky Brewing Company Amphitheater Missoula MT
1st Annual Backyard BBQ featuring Breaking Benjamin
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

All Ages