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issue 6






HIGHLIGHT STAFF Press & Publicity – Photography – Editor– Co-Founder Ashley Osborn

Production – Art Director – Photography Cara Bahniuk

CO-founder – Writer McKenzie Hughes

Features Editor – Writer Liz Brossard

Online Editor

Jenn Stookey

Contributing Photographers

Derrick Austinson, Cara Bahniuk, Lauren Brown, Nicole Busch, Lauren Ewing, Lori Gutman, Arielle Johnson, Erica Livoti, Charlie Martel, Tara Novak, Josh Olson, Heather Phillips, Joel Pilotte, Brittney Tambeau and Nesha Torres

Contributing writers (Online & Publication)

Logan Anne, Liz Brossard, Tamara Fuentes, Jessica Klinner, Sophie McCaul, Jade Middleditch, Marina Oliver, Taylor Pittman, Patrick Quiring, Anna Schultz, Kristy Siciliano and Morgan Waldorf

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12 william beckett


8Snakes current trends 16 gold motel and Suits started out as a Gold Motel just released a new

32 album Reviews

creative outlet for three friends but become a popular clothing brand. Read to find out how it began and see a few of their favorite designs!

album under their own label, but they aren’t stopping there! Check in to see what is in the future for this Chicago based band.

9 venue highlight

18 paper route

THank you

10 label highlight

22 thenewno2

Among many venues, Irving Plaza is one of the most popular, largest venues in New York City. Read our highlight to check out what must see shows are stopping by in August!

Hopeless Records has become a very well known record label after signing All Time Low and The Wonder Years among others. Check out their other bands in our label highlight!

Paper Route has worked hard to make a name for themselves in the music industry. They sat down with Highlight to speak about their personal struggles with their music.

Chicago native, thenewno2, sat down with Highlight to speak about his music, highlights of his career and what is to come in the future. Make sure you give this article a read!

11 industry Highlight 24 Summer festivals Josh never expected a website of bands touring vehicles to turn into what it is today. Read about the history and what is to come!

Highlight stopped by four of the MUST see summer music festivals, Lollapalooza, Firefly, Warped Tour and Mayhem Festival.

Need new music to listen to? Want to read someone elses’ opinion on your new favorite album? Our album reviews should be your stop

We would like to send out a big thank you to Adrenaline PR, Fresh Clean Media, Johnny Minardi, Josh Weidling, Mac Reynolds, MSO PR, Press Here Publicity, Reg Frog Events, Stunt Company and William Beckett as well as all the bands that took time out of their busy schedules to work with us. Also, thank you to everyone who supported us and checked out the first five issues. We hope you have enjoyed what you have seen!

THis issue is dedicated to dean A. Kant (1950-2012)


william beckett


passion pit

Tonight alive

gold motel

paper route

walk the moon


Chicago, IL, Ashley Osborn

Grant Park, Chicago, IL, Ashley Osborn

Matt Wignall

The Woodlands, Dover, DE, Cara Bahniuk

Grant Park, Chicago, IL, Ashley Osborn

Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD, Cara Bahniuk

Chicago, IL, Ashley Osborn

Grant Park, Chicago, IL, Ashley Osborn

Want to post news online? Contact


william beckett - 12

passion pit

Gold Motel - 16

walk the moon


tonight alive

18 - paper route

20 - thenewno2


You have probably seen Snakes & Suits most popular design, The Ampersand, on some of your favorite band members, but did you know that the brand began as a creative outlet for Johnny Minardi and three of his friends? They created the brand in 2007 but never expected it to become what it is today.

COMPANY: Snakes & Suits LOCATION: Chicago, IL OWNER/FOUNDER: Johnny Minardi WEBSITE:

How did Snakes & Suits come about?

3 life long friends wanted a creative outlet for design, music and art. The name is a shot at people who do things for the wrong reason. Hence someone who is a “Snake” or a “Suit”. Create New. Destroy Old.

What do you feel your brand represents?

Our brand is meant to have a classic feel and represent positivity and honesty in one’s work.

Reason you started your brand?

To have a creative outlet and have some fun. There are no rules with what we do and we love that we have a community of supporters along for the ride!

8 -

Three personal favorite designs?

Forever Young – Very nostalgic and represents our long lasting friendship. Ampersand – It’s our stand-alone logo. Very simple and classic. Big and bold! Create New. Destroy Old. – I love the message in the statement and people have really gotten behind that.

Why people should check out your brand? We’re consistently trying to bring new life and style into a very boring clothing genre.

venue highlight irving plaza - new york, new york History:

Why Play Here?

Notable august Shows:

After opening in 1860 under the name Irving Hall first as a place for balls and lectures and later on rebuilt to its current structure to a burlesque house and theatre, it was finally converted to a rock music concert hall in 1978. It is now one of the biggest standing room venues in New York City and is well known to be the place for best new artists to play.

Located only one block away from Union Square, it gives concertgoers the chance to visit one of New York’s legendary spots. Concertgoers have a chance to get some shopping done in one of the nearby stores or flea markets that are done regularly or grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants nearby while taking in the beauty of Union Square.

august 10th – Allstar Weekend and Honor Society

august 11th – Shiner

august 24th – Chiodos

august 30th – The Heavy

REVIEW: Tamara Fuentes


label highlight

WRITE-UP: Logan Anne

Having been dared to start his own label, Louis Posen bought a book called How to Run an Independent Record Label and established Hopeless Records from his garage. 19 years and several signings of some of the greatest punk bands later, Posen made his success look easy. However, Posen was diagnosed with a rare degenerative eye disease at the age of 19. While his eyesight declined, his vision of spreading humanitarian concerns through music never faltered. Under the name Sub City, Hopeless is responsible for the hugely popular Take That! tour and compilation and has raised over $2 million for several non-profit organizations. Using both music and philanthropy, Hopeless Records has definitely made its mark on the music industry today. Check out some of the label’s artists below!

The Dangerous Summer -

After releasing their debut EP, The Dangerous Summer landed a record deal with Hopeless Records less than a year after forming the band. Since then they have released two full-length albums including War Paint, the album responsible for the band’s first appearance on the Billboard 200 chart. After sharing the stage with pop-punk veterans like Mayday Parade and The Starting Line through the years, The Dangerous Summer has added headlining tours and spots on major music festivals like Vans Warped Tour and The Bamboozle to their already enviable resume. With tour dates already organized for the next several months including dates in the UK, the band continues to solidify its reputation as alternative rock heavyweights.

Listen to: “Work In Progress”

The Wonder Years -

Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Wonder Years have adopted a do-ityourself mentality since launching into the music industry in 2005. With hard work and a sound that has been described as “realist pop-punk,” the band has gone from performing to a crowd of ten people to selling out six weeks of shows as a headliner for the Glamour Kills Tour. Currently, The Wonder Years are promoting their simultaneous re-release of their last album Suburbia, I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing with A Year As a Ghost, a book filled with photos and hand-written tour stories that will offer fans a glimpse into the lives of the Wonder Years and their journey to success.

Listen To: “Don’t Let Me Cave In”

Yellowcard -

Plunging onto the music scene with their summertime infused single “Ocean Avenue,” Yellowcard is the comeback kid of alternative rock. The band has always stood out with a unique sound thanks to the incorporation of a violin. After the success of Lights and Sounds and Paper Walls, Yellowcard took a hiatus in 2008. The band returned in 2011 and teamed up with Hopeless Records to release a seventh studio album When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. With a spot on Vans Warped Tour all summer long and the anticipation of their latest album Southern Air set to be released in August, Yellowcard has made it clear that they are here to stay.

Listen to: “Always Summer”

Highlight of

Josh Weidling Name: Josh Weidling Location: Chicago, IL Company: Digital Tour Bus Website:

How did Digital Tour Bus begin?

In January of 2009, I came up with the idea of giving fans a place to watch videos of their favorite bands showing off their touring vehicles. At the time, I was a freshman in college at the University of Iowa. Instead of waiting until I graduated in four years, I decided to take the chance and start Digital Tour Bus while completing my degree. At first, bands were very resistant to the idea of showing off where they live, since it is essentially their home-away-from-home. After building a following and filming hundreds of bands including: Boys Like Girls, A Day To Remember, Simple Plan and Bullet For My Valentine, they are not as resistant. Since the website launched in March of 2010, the site has grown from just offering our bus videos, to providing tour news, tour tips, road blogs, tour reviews, contests and much more. We are a website that is in existence for the fans because without them we would not be here today!

What do you feel your company represents?

Digital Tour Bus’ brand is one that fans can trust to bring them high quality content on a daily basis. We don’t let politics get in the way of how we run our website like many of the sites out there, which means you’re going to see posts about artists both big and small, as well as artists from almost every music genre. When you think of touring and music, we want you to think of us!

Reason you started Digital Tour Bus?

In the past, I have: booked concerts, promoted artists, managed bands and owned a clothing line. So, starting a website like Digital Tour Bus presented a new challenge to explore new territory, which is always way too tempting to resist. Also, I personally had interest in the idea for the site, so I figured other fans of music would as well and that has proven to be true!

What are your three personal favorite company moments?

This is really hard to narrow it down to just three moments, but I’ll do my best… 1) At the end of the first year of the site’s existence, the Digital Tour Bus website had received over 1.5 million views. I told my brother on the one year anniversary that I wanted to double the hits in year two. I knew that kind of growth would be hard to achieve especially with a very limited budget, but at the end of year two the site actually surpassed my expectations by receiving nearly 4 million views in year two! 2) Every week I get hundreds and hundreds of press releases. Getting placement in those press releases is one of the many things that a press outlet, like Digital Tour Bus, tries to obtain since those emails end up in the email accounts of almost every major press outlet in the world, depending on the agency. In December of 2011, we got our first press release placement for the bus video that we shot with the pop-star, JoJo, which landed us news posts on many major music websites. 3) The third moment I want to highlight isn’t a single moment, but a feeling that I wake up with every morning. I get the pleasure to wake up every morning with a smile on my face knowing that I get to do what I love all day long. Not many people can say that in this world and I will never take this feeling for granted. I don’t mind working more than the average amount of hours in a day because I love what I do and I don’t consider it work.

Why should people check you out?

People should check out if they want to experience what it is like to be on tour. If you’re a fan of music, I’m sure you will love what we have to offer! HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 11


HOME: Chicago, IL NOW jamming: Walk The Talk - EP [YIKE Records] CURRENTLY: Touring and working hard to release a third EP

Success is measured in achievements and William Beckett does not fall shy of being accomplished. Coming from a successful, dedicated and influential international band that began in 2003, William Beckett understands what it takes to be apart of an orchestrated band. Between having dedicated band members and having the capability to capture and please fans for nine years with three successful albums and touring endless locations, front man of The Academy Is… ,William Beckett is ready to make another mark on the music industry as a solo artist.

Jumping feet first into attaining his next step in the music industry, Beckett discussed the disbanding of TAI. Allowing this disbanding to become a result that further sparked his passion for his current solo career, Beckett is able to spark a new inkling for his words. With TAI ending, Beckett could focus further on soaring into his solo record, taking a break or having any doubt was never a question on his mind. “This is what I was born to do, this is what I am supposed to do so I am going to keep doing it,” said Beckett. Upon asking Beckett if he would like to branch into other areas of the entertainment industry, Beckett said that it was definitely an option but his plate is pretty full with his solo career currently. Having successfully pressed two EP’s within the last six months, Beckett’s most recent release “Winds Will Change” is currently being toured through the month of August across the United States. “I’ve been working on getting things prepared for the third EP release, tour, and spending a lot of down time with my family,” said Beckett. While beginning his solo career, there was not a break between TAI and Beckett focusing on his future release. Stating that there was not a time for reflection, as he never stopped writing music, this allowed his past writings to be the resulted for his EP’s. Evidently, Beckett was able to be a collaborated work from a year and a half of writings to produce his latest work. “Basically I am using the songs I felt fit best along with the concept- within the story that I am telling. So certain songs will not be included even if I really like the song. There is plenty of time to release them and create new songs. So basically the concept dictates which songs I chose,” said Beckett. Beckett is hopeful to share all of his writing in good time though. According to Beckett the three EP’s have a concept of an explanation of ‘the arc of a relationship’; it will be able to show the side of a relationship that people typically cycle through. Beckett remarked that the EP’s have a focus on the ups and downs people

face. Beckett is jumping straight into what people willingly admit to experience or tend to shy away from. Ranging from the early stages of the honeymoon effect, to when you learn more about someone, all bases are seemingly covered in these EP’s. Listeners learn that in the end these phases will result into becoming deeper with learning more about your partner. Beckett is able to illustrate the complicated aspects we experience through the music created on his self-released EP’s. “Things are not always easy so it is basically just a reflection of those experiences and trying to make a relationship work,” said Beckett. With Concepts streaming straight from real life events, Beckett is pushing to make it all work together as one. “Real life. Real ass life. Trying to make it work. The push and the pull, and the sacrifices that need to be made. Well, not needing to be made but the whole reality of trying to be happy and make them happy as well,” said Beckett. According to Beckett, that it is in regards to the reality of trying to be happy and making them (the individuals in the relationship) happy as well. Beckett has accepted this theory and wants to share it with those who are currently or could be in these cycles. . At Highlight we were curious if the EP wrap up is a happy ending or to be continued. The lyrics on his present releases allow fans to hold themselves hopeful for a steady finishing release this fall. “I would say it is a little bit of both. A little bit of bitter and a little bit of sweet,” said Beckett. When creating a new image in regards to his life, music and family, Beckett is very fortunate. Having new freedom, which results with Beckett’s new and fresh ideas, there is no flaw in his current plans. “We are starting a new brand and this whole new chapter of my career. So a lot of things are a slow climb, which is the way that I chose to do it and it is more workbut it is definitely more fulfilling in the end because I feel like I come out with a stronger connection with my fans and with myself and I’ve been able to start a new fan community; that is amazing; called The William Beckett Society and it is an exclusive place,” Said Beckett. As well as making a strong presence online with actively uploading images and personal adventures, Beckett is focusing on getting closer to fans and letting them in through a variety of ways.


“It is basically three to four songs for them and each of them has a hard copy that I send to all of the membersthings like that where I feel like I am getting closer to my fan base and it is a lot of fun,” said Beckett. Having the capability to enjoy the business and musician standpoint in his current position as an artist, Beckett is happy in regards to choosing what is released, who he wants to work with and being apart of making his own career choices. “I have full control over which songs I chose to release, as opposed to being in a band. It is more of a democracy. So in this case it is more of a friendly dictatorship or a monarchy. It is more like a monarchy,” said Beckett. Many artists deal with the transition to life on and off the road to be challenging in the past, although Beckett claimed it is another cycle (musicians) faced. Beckett said it is similar to riding a bike and being able to get back into the swing of tour life. “I have been trying to make that more of a priority to

balance everything, ” said Beckett. “My relationships are a priority on the road.” Becket aims to not neglect friends and not to lose relationships on the road from being caught up in tourlife; Beckett seemingly has his new idea for success on the right track. Balancing both his career and family, Beckett is a man who is in the clear to be himself and not two different people anymore (The Academy Is… era). He does not have to worry about mixing business and his personal life “I can just be myself and all aspects of who I am. That is everything from my family to my music to myself even in the press and onstage. It is me and it is truly only me and the personality that I feel like I have been living as for a while,” said Beckett. While time is the most difficult aspect in his new balancing act, organization is the key to his recent success in his solo-artist escapades. William Beckett is currently on tour across the country and working hard to release his third EP to be available this fall. Having made music and career goals a top priority, Beckett is ready to become more of a successful artist. With his hands full of his life, family and music he is still deciding on fall tour plans, Beckett will do “What makes the most sense.”

STORY: McKenzie Hughes INTERVIEW AND PHOTOS: Ashley Osborn

The William Beckett Society is the true goldmine when it comes to hearing exclusive songs from Beckett for his followers. The Singles Club is Beckett’s personal way to adapt a personal relationship to his past and more recent fans.

GOLD MOTEL HOME: Chicago, IL NOW jamming: Gold Motel (Good As Gold Records) CURRENTLY: On Tour!

Unique vibrations and sounds

that are reflecting of summer time, memories and experiences with friends and family are the icing on the cake when it comes to Chicago band, Gold Motel. Having started on a craze- Gold Motel is a collaborative group of successful friends. Gold Motel originated from the time when Greta moved back to Chicago after being in Los Angeles for a year. This opportunity of seeking and absorbing new music in Los Angeles gave Greta a new chance to use her roots to collaborate with old friends to form her next successful endeavor. Stating that this experience allowed her relationship with Chicago and Chicago’s music scene

to be renewed, this journey exhibited to be exactly what was needed. “I really loved the experience of recording Summer House with Dan engineering at a makeshift studio in the house where I grew up,” Greta claimed when discussing what made Gold Motel possible. Greta and Eric noted that they are still looking to build their power team. “For now, we take it on a tour-to-tour, showto-show basis,” Eric claimed when conversing that their source material is both a sonic and aesthetic level that is collective. “Greta, Dan, or myself; we’re fortunate in the sense that we are three songwriters, multi-instrumentalist, arrangers, producers, etc. (plus a talented engineer in Dan), but we are still trying to solidify a full band lineup,” stated Eric.

Greta affirmed, “That lineup (EP release show, December 2009) became the touring band for the first year and we’ve since had some changes, depending on the tour. It’s been an ear-opening experience playing with these guys, for which I’m very grateful. They are all musicians I’d known and looked up to for many years prior to forming the band.” Talking Fiction followed their debut album Summer House this past year. On July 3, 2012, Gold Motel released a self-titled album- Greta remarks, “I would hope that our core fans appreciate and share the music. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.” Eric claims that he has been previously in DIY positions involving his past projects, with being apart of an album release with a functioning team behind it (a manager, booking agent, label, publicist)- he did not know what to expect. “Even when Summer House was originally released, we still didn’t have all the puzzle pieces in place. But this album is the first release, for both Gold Motel and myself, where we have a solid infrastructure in place for the release,” Eric declared. “I’ve never experienced this process before, so I don’t know what to expect, or what others should expect. Hopefully fans can expect to see our live show more frequently, in larger rooms. We shall see!” Eric concluded. While the self-titled album has no collaborations, Greta has hope for something along those lines in the future. Eric chimed in, “ If any members of The Strokes are reading this, hit me up.” When discussing the lyrics on the most recent album, Greta noted that this album is more bittersweet. “Eric and I had both moved back into our childhood homes after spending many months on tour, and there was this bittersweet feeling of, ‘You can go home, but you can’t go back in time,’” Greta claimed with also stating that the lyrical reflections are in regards to time. “The idea of time moving past us and trying to catch onto it, the idea of seeing a beautiful place on tour once that we may never find again, and hope for great things in the future.” Discussing song development on their latest release, Gold Motel shows that they all bring an idea to the table (lyrics, melodies, structure, etc.). Their self-titled album involved Eric and Greta sitting down and writing lyrics together as collaboration. Greta claimed, “‘Leave You In Love,’ for example, was really a combination of a bunch of free writings that each of us had tucked away. We put it all together spontaneously, not really knowing the meaning as we worked, and sort of discovered the meaning later.” Eric followed, “The material on the new album is the most collaborative effort yet in terms of how Dan, Greta, and myself worked together. We all wrote songs for the album, we structured songs together, arranged songs together, produced songs together.” Eric continued, “We actually finished tracking the album a long time ago, and listening back to certain parts of it, I can’t even remember who brought what to the table.

We adopted a very democratic mindset while recording, and all three of us had to be happy with what we were working on for it to stick.” Regarding the future plans for Gold Motel, Greta hopes to be on tour this fall. While Gold Motel played 10 dates this July surrounding the release of the album. Greta claimed that it would also be an honor to play on the same stage with Spoon, Phoenix, Atlas Sound, Twin Shadow, and Arcade Fire in the near future. “Wow, there are so many great bands playing today,” Greta remarked. Gold Motel provides strong energy on stage, which they hope to keep spontaneous and fresh. Eric stated that he hopes to have a light show supporting them in the future. “Or a neon sign reading Gold Motel with big red light-bulbs ala Elvis’s 1968 Comeback Special, or gogo dancers. Ideally all three, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” Good As Gold Records is a self-created label that Gold Motel has released their latest album on. Greta’s past band- The Hush Sound- released 3 albums on Fueled By Ramen, and this time she aimed for the experience of a self-release. “We didn’t want to wait for anyone else to come along to sign us and we certainly didn’t want to sell our rights away. It’s been an empowering and enlightening experience, which I’m completely grateful for.” Gold Motel also is as personal as can be within interacting with their fans, “We ship all the merchandise from my basement essentially and when you see handwriting on the packaging, it’s probably from one of the band’s team members or I,” Greta remarked. For Greta the ‘highlight’ moment was when they started mixing their past record, “I was able to step out of the songwriter / singer chair and just be a listener. That’s when I began to have a fresh perspective on it. What a great feeling to be able to sit back and actually hear all that noise we’d been capturing.” Eric stated that his ‘highlight’ moment was reoccurring incident. Having been able to hear and watch Dan track harmonies. “Dan’s a great singer, and he’s very quick with harmonies. Watching him effortlessly layer his vocal tracks one after the other with these lush harmony parts was incredible. I specifically remember Dan tracking the harmony vocals for ‘These Sore Eyes’ and being blown away by how much they added to the arrangement. I’m a horrible singer, so talented vocalist, which Gold Motel has two of, always takes me aback!” With a fresh album released this past month, and hopefully a tour in the fall- listeners, fans, and friends should keep their eyes and ears open for this Chicago based band and the future success within the end of the year. INTERVIEW AND STORY: McKenzie Hughes PHOTO: Matt Wignall



HOME: Nashville, TN NOW jamming: Additions (Remixes) [EP] (Universal Motown Records) CURRENTLY: Preparing for the release of their full-length The Peace of Wild Things

Music fans often forget that bands

have to work exceptionally hard to be heard and even harder to make things work in an industry that chews up artists and spits them out even faster. Paper Route is reminding their fans that it is possible to make it in the rough and tumble world of music. With their new album, “The Peace of Wild Things,” to release in September of 2012; Gavin McDonald, Chad Howat and J.T. Daly sat down with Highlight Magazine and shared the ins and out of working on this album and their own personal struggles with their music and the music industry. Q: What can people expect on this upcoming album that is completely different than Absence? McDonald: Well, first of all, we are a three person band now, Instead of a 4 piece. We lost a vocalist. So James’s vocals are front and center now. He is very much front and center whether he wants to be or not. So that is probably the most obvious difference. People who have heard the record have said that they have never heard J.T. sing like this before. Daly: I think on “Absence” we had a lot of a wall of sound type songs. We just loved that type of music at the time. That still exists on the new album. We were just trying to make sure that every song had to be heard or every instrument played was absolutely crucial to the composition. So, I think there is a lot more space and I think you can hear the lines a lot more too. I think it definitely comes down to, that it is a lot more beats and music orientated than our last album. We tend to write just in an odd way so a lot of the songs just start with beats on this album. I think that is pretty different. McDonald: It is just less breathy and it is just one vocalist. There is no second guessing who is singing and what is being sung, for the most part. Daly: Tom Waits says; it takes you three albums to learn who your voice even is. And I think that I really had to step it up and had to discover it. I thought that I was best one way, but I think that I definitely, like, evolved into something different, ya know? What was best for the album. Q: Was it a struggle for you to find that? Daly: Not musically, but personally. Our band splits everything evenly we make all the decisions like as a band decision. I don’t know, every band eventually dissolves and you need to resolve that in whatever personal or musical way that it needs to be done, but I think we always saw it, as far as longevity, this is the way that we will remain friends and create for as long as possible. It is just a little bizarre to me that I really had to kind of just step up in a lot of ways. It is kind of outside of my personality, but I

don’t think I would have been able to do it if these guys wouldn’t have been as encouraging as they were. Q: Was this an album that you sat down kind of knowing what you wanted it to be, or was this something that just came together at the end? McDonald: Our normal process is just to make things up and express ourselves, and experiment and step back and look at what is going on here. And look at it and see where we are at and figure out exactly what it is we want to do. Musically and lyrically we have no rules. We create, create, and create. Then take a step back and look at what we have here. Howat: Well, when we finish creating we have 70 nearly full ideas. And then we have to start taking things to the chopping block and figuring out what was most immediate for us, what we liked the most and there would be like four different songs that would kind of work into one song. Just things like that. Taking bits and pieces of different ideas and piecing them together. Q: What would you say overall is the theme of the album? McDonald: When you shine a light in a dark place it is really bright. Daly: That pretty much sums up the album. I mean, there are like two types of people. There are the people that have like an endless amount of hope even in the darkest situations and then there are people that are just like: I just can’t take anymore. And I think as a band, we just in every single way, in our personal lives and artistically almost all didn’t make it and I think maybe in making this album it saved us in some ways. Because we had to, eventually, reach the conclusions that we did. McDonald: I wouldn’t say it is a positive album, it is just more themes of hope. If you just took, “A better life is waiting”, out of context it is a very positive message. The rest of the songs, well people really listen to music differently. The cool thing is that one person may hear it and feel hopeful and optimistic and someone else might need it to dwell in that depression that they are going through or whatever, which we have all done. Daly: We almost need to speak it into existence to follow that path. I mean, I went through a divorce as this album was going on and that shows up a lot and I mean the way that collides with having an internal perspective. Howat: I think part of the reason music is created is to just kind of feed the mood that you are in. Q: What has been the most difficult part of everything within the band during the last two years of creating this album?

McDonald: We just had to find ourselves. Labels red tape, a band member leaving, cutting ties with our first manager, Chad’s mom had cancer and JT got divorced. Everyone just had their thing, ya know? Howat: something massive was always happening. And we always had to make a decision on something. And we were all here and we were thankful for that. But, yeah, it never ended. Q: What are you most looking forward to with the new album release? McDonald: We have just talked about it for way to long. We are trying to let our fans know what is going on. We have been in the dark just as much as they have. Just because of different circumstances. So now that we finally have a release date, they can actually take the songs and listen to them and experience them how ever they want to. I think we are ready to come onto the next chapter. Howat: And the next one will be done differently. It is the typical story.

Daly: It is just a industry that doesn’t make sense in the way that it is built. There is a 90 percent failure rate on a major label. The 10 percent that works pays for the other 90 percent and everything is just run really backwards. And truly, I don’t know if I can get that upset about it because we worked with some awesome people that I have a lot of respect for. We have met a lot of incredible people, because we were, at one point, on a major label. It was just not working for us. And honestly it wasn’t working for us because they liked the album; they made it worse for us. It was almost like they wanted to hang on to the album to wait it out. We had to negotiate our way out. McDonald: They always demand everything and barely deliver anything. Paper Route will begin their fall tour in Atlanta, Ga. on September 13, immediately following their album release show in Nashville to celebrate “The Peace of Wild Things.” STORY: Liz Brossard LIVE PHOTO AND INTERVIEW: Ashley Osborn POSED PHOTO: Allister Ann


HOME: Chicago, IL NOW jamming: Thefearofmissingout (Self-Released) CURRENTLY: Conjuring up fall plans!

Chicago native, Jonathan Sadoff has

been destined for success at a young age and has built a successful name within the music industry. Being introduced to music at a young age- Sadoff is showing the world that he is more than an ordinary musician. Sadoff stated that he learned guitar first, although he is noted to have learned the piano at the age of five. When his mother asked him what he wanted for his birthday Jonathan was quick to ask her for a guitar. “She was super cool and supportive and told me I needed an amp and that I should take lessons. The rest is history!” Having a supportive mother behind his dreams, Sadoff was able to learn that his passions were within recording his own material stating, “Partly because as I learned more instruments I could play them on a little 4-track tape recorder and be my own backing band. I think my interest in recording came out of my fascination with Tom Petty and Pink Floyd, and just wanting to make my music sound like that.” Sadoff also remarked that this gave himself a chance to become a versatile musician by mimicking what he heard on those records. With attending USC’s Thorton School of Music Studio/ Jazz Guitar, Sadoff was able to learn first hand what was happening behind the scenes in the music industry. Obtaining new knowledge, Sadoff noted that only being a session guitar player was not going to be an easy way to make a living. Expressing that his success is given to him through a checklist of things not to do, practices and experiences helped him move forward with scoring student films, recording and producing records, and playing in bands. “Whether it’s learning from my mistakes or advice from people I’ve worked with,” Sadoff continued,  “Each experience is different and if you go into it as a student then you’ll come away better off than before you started.” Stating that producing, playing, and composing complement each other, Sadoff also has a positive look at how he writes for other musicians’ and knowing how he would like for it to sound. After graduation Sadoff was privileged enough to work on various scores for film through the help of his friends (Seeking A Friend for The End of the World, most recently). Sadoff continued, “The business is very social and through going to school in LA and playing in an LAbased band I guess I’ve just met a ton of people.  It’s a surprisingly small town and everyone seems to know one another.” Sadoff joined Dhani Harrison’s creation, thenewno2, in 2008. thenewno2 exceeded his expectations on what

he originally expected. When speaking on behalf of his part in the band Sadoff remarked, “We’ve been lucky to get to travel and play music with some amazing artists that I grew up loving. Dhani more than anything has been a great friend and almost like a big brother to me and the best thing about thenewno2 is how much fun we have!” When discussing past work within thenewno2, Sadoff is confident in a successful and exciting future. “We keep getting better so I think it will just be more and more fulfilling.” Playing Pearl Jam’s PJ20 festival last year was a special moment and a memorable show for the band, “That will be hard to top.” With sharing thenewno2’s latest album (thefearofmissingout), Sadoff remarks that he is most excited about playing songs that they have been working on for a long time. Also stating that it will be interesting to get reactions from people who have never heard them before and looking forward to playing shows back home (Lollapalooza) and in Los Angeles for their friends. Thefearofmissingout, released on July 31, 2012, and is an example that shows thenewno2’s writing process. Sadoff remarked, “It’s really a case by case basis.  Sometimes I will give him (who is him?) some instrumental music to finish and turn into a song.  Sometimes Dhani, Jeremy and I will sit around together with guitars and pianos and just work out a song together.” Although Sadoff also said that sometimes they would be in separate rooms and play each other what they are currently working on.   With Sadoff’s past success as not only an individual but within thenewno2, Sadoff plans to focus on thenewno2 for the remainder of the year. “We will be on tour supporting our new record,” while Sadoff also hopes to score films and write while touring.   When discussing what has been his most memorable ‘highlight’ in his career, fans learn it is hard to decide. “I really get a thrill from hearing my music in a big movie theater with a great sound system, but it’s hard to beat getting up on stage in front of thousands of people,” Sadoff noted along with having been able to play Lollapalooza in the past was a large highlight for himself. With his past performance being his first hometown show- making the performance memorableSadoff cannot wait to grace the stage this year,  “ I look forward to it again this year, it never gets old!” STORY AND INTERVIEW: McKenzie Hughes PHOTOS: Ashley Osborn


day 1

PHOTOS: Ashley Osborn REVIEW: McKenzie Hughes

French electro rockers M83 spoke to fans with a purely instrumental voice, an amazing light show at dusk with the sun setting, and were hungry to please fans. Their single “Midnight city” has been heard everywhere from Urban Outfitters to clubs ranging across the world. With being able to show diversity and true artistry, the six members of M83 gave the Sony Stage viewers exactly what they needed to close out the event at Lollapalooza- a stellar performance with an amazing view of Chicago’s skyline. While McKenzie was catching Zedd’s set, I had the chance to photograph canadian wonder band, Metric. Vocalist Emily Hanes (photographed above) was a ball of energy onstage. Her soft vocals radiated from the

Bud Light main stage straight into the ears of their large crowd. Their energy certainly kick-started my day and I can gladly say their set was one of my highlight (pun) moments of the first day of Lollapalooza! Massachusetts electro band Passion Pit ended up being one of the most tantalizing performances before nightfall. Vocalist Michael Angelakos’ energy radiated from left to center stage as he was backed with full confidence. The entire band took over the festival the second they stepped on stage and played a large range of songs from all of their discography! With the sun setting towards the West, Passion Pit elevated their performance to a heartwarming eighty-five minutes of reliable sing-alongs.

day 2

After possibly one of the smoothest evacuations due to one of worst storms we’ve ever experienced, Lollapalooza managed to pull together and continue the three day celebration stronger than ever around 6:30PM. The festival continued and we immediately caught fun. (photographed above), and I have no words to describe their performance. So I’ll just describe it using the word ‘smile.’ Boy, does fun. sure have a lot to be smiling about. This year their single ‘We Are Young’ took over the airwaves, they released their second full-length on Fueled By Ramen and they had one of the biggest crowds that I saw the entire weekend.

The iconic Red Hot Chili Peppers gave tens of thousands of fans an amazing combination of both the past and the present when performing. With what seemed to be the busiest performance of the day, with a orchestra piece opening their performance and a strong light show and camera work, fans were able to capture music from a distance in the Chicago nightfall. We were honored to be graced with such an iconic presense. The Red Hot Chili Peppers certainly proved not only to themselves, but to the entire Lollapalooza crowd that they were here to stay. HIGHLIGHTMAGAZINE.NET - 25

day 3

Sparked with beauty, grace, and poise, Florence + The Machine was composed delicately. With a steady strong opener and a pleasant smile for fans- her performance was more than expected. Fans, both old and new, were captivated with her strong vocals, and sparkling energy while running through the crowd. Chills ran up and down viewers spines with her emotional voice and performance. Strong and full of energy, Florence gave her all and gave each fan new written memories for seeing the strongest performance of the weekend. Speaking to fans and spreading the idea of love, her beautiful red gown flowing in the wind of Chicago- self-expression was key.

Despite being rained out Saturday, on Sunday Empires gave it their all at the BMI stage as the last performer on stage for the festival. With an consistently growing crowd throughout their performance and fans singing along to their songs, Empires came out to do everything in their power to have a stellar performance. With jumping around on stage and interacting with the crowd, fans were ready for a memorable time. Being hometown heroes for Lollapalooza, Empires struck gold with their performance with both older and newer songs.

The Rockstar Mayhem festival, founded by Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, is a touring metal festival that takes place during the summer. It started in 2008, but since them has become an annual festival across the United States and Canada. Highlight attended the festival in Chicago and Maryland, to bring you exclusive photos! Aside from Betraying the Martyrs and The Devil Wears Prada, Slipknot, Asking Alexandria, Slayer, and Anthrax are band among many that appeared in the 2012 lineup. Founded in 2008, French metal band, Betraying the Martyrs, were the first band I was able to catch during my day at the Tinley Park, IL date of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Tour. The entire band set the tone for the rest of my day at the festival. Their energy was at times overwhelming and they were also the only band of the entire day to venture off of the stage into the crowd. Both vocalist Aaron Matts and keyboardist Victor Guilette braved the gap and joined fans face to face during their phenomenal performance. They are certainly in my opinion the next big European band over here in the states and after a successful summer on Mayhem, they’ve even been able to expand their fan base exponentially! Be on the lookout for these guys in 2013! Christian metal band, The Devil Wears Prada, never fails to impress me with their live performance. Each time I’m able to catch one of their sets I am blown away by their ability to change it up. I feel that it’s rare to find artists who can musically overpower their albums when you see them live, but TDWP does just that. Vocalist Mike Hranica does a phenomenal job of keeping the energy up. His emotions live are some of the most powerful I’ve seen in my years of attending shows and festivals. While watching their performance I noticed every member paying full attention to the crowd, making it apparent that these five musicians are fully determined to continue their domination within the scene and on every tour they are apart of. TOP & BOTTOM PHOTOS: Cara Bahniuk MIDDLE PHOTOS AND REVIEW: Ashley Osborn

The inaugural Firefly Music Festival, held the weekend of July 21st in Dover, Delaware, was a rousing success for the artists, the organizers, and especially the fans. Tens of thousands of music fans descended on rural Delaware, to a wooded area north east of Dover International Speedway to see nearly 50 performances headlined by Jack White, The Killers, and The Black Keys. The first day was highlighted by OK GO, Mayer Hawthorne, Walk the Moon, and Silversun Pickups before giving way to a night performance by Jack White in the pouring rain. At sharply 9:30 pm he hit the opening chords of “Sixteen Saltines” and began a musical tour across his career in The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and his most recent solo effort. The minimalist blues sound of White’s backing band really shone through on “Catch Hell Blues” and “I Guess I Should Go to Sleep”. The second day of Firefly effectively started at 3:30 pm with the surprise performance of the weekend from indiepop band Grouplove. After taking the stage to Kanye West’s “Monster”, they played through their debut album

and even a cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”. An hour after their set ended the fans were given an encore as the band and Walk the Moon joined Young the Giant to perform their song “My Body”. Later that day, surprise guest Modest Mouse gave an hour and half long performance with many songs from their breakthrough album Good News for People Who Love Bad News. Immediately following Modest Mouse’s performance, Lupe Fiasco took to The Backyard stage, which was hidden in a secluded area farthest from the main grounds of the festival. Rivaling the Black Keys as the loudest performance of the weekend, Lupe Fiasco put a rock spin on songs from across all three of his studio albums. The highlight of the performance was an extended version of “Daydreamin’” where Lupe featured all of his backing band members with individual solos. Saturday at Firefly concluded with The Killers, who made Las Vegas proud with flashing lights, a stage high projection screen backdrop, and a crowd that packed the grounds in front of the main Firefly Stage.

Sunday at Firefly opened with a brilliant performance by indie-folk band The Head and the Heart. After playing through the first three songs of their self-titled debut album in order, they revealed a few new songs and closed with “Rivers and Roads”. During her solo near the end of this song, vocalist Charity Rose Thielen blew out one of the on stage speakers. This performance was contrasted by the following set by hard rock renaissance men AWOLNATION. They powered through their hits “Not Your Fault” and “Sail” as lead singer Aaron Bruno crowd surfed throughout the audience. Crowd surfing was a theme on the The Lawn stage Sunday afternoon as Michael Fitzpatrick from Fitz and the Tantrums also belted out some of their soul-infused songs from the crowd. He was joined by Noelle Scaggs to give an incredible vocal performance, especially during two great covers in The Raconteurs’ “Steady As She Goes” and The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams”. The closing performances of Firefly were the highlights of the third day. Death Cab for Cutie started the evening with an hour and a half set, during which Ben Gibbard and company gave emotional performances of their hits from Plans, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” and “Soul Meets

Body”. The Flaming Lips followed Death Cab with a show full of their normal antics. Balloons floated over the crowd, streamers filled the sky, a giant inflatable alien walked around the stage, and Wayne Coyne ran over the audience in his giant hamster ball. The Black Keys wrapped up the weekend with a raw industrial performance on the main Firefly Stage. After opening the set with “Howlin’ for You”, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney played many songs from their two albums with the most commercial success, Brothers and El Camino. Along with Jack White’s “Seven Nation Army”, The Black Keys’ performance of “Gold on the Ceiling” was one of the quintessential songs of the weekend. The first ever Firefly Music Festival was a smooth weekend full of good food, good weather, and most of all good music. The strength of the weekend of was the lineup, as Red Frog Events put together a list of bands that could rival any other internationally relevant music festival. It set the tone for what could be the east coast’s new summer music tradition in years to come. PHOTOS: Cara Bahniuk REVIEW: Ryan Bahniuk

highlight fills you in on this summer’s

stand out acts We Are The In Crowd

We Are The In Crowd have come along way from two years ago when they first premiered on the Vans Warped Tour. Playing on the Tilly’s stage mid afternoon in the hot sun, they tore it up! The split girl and guy frontman position between Tay Jardine and Jordan Ekes is what makes this band stand out from the rest. Because they have now had a few years under their belt, the crowd was vastly different from back in 2010, and everyone now knew their music, which made the atmosphere that much better this time around. The crowd favorites were, “For The Win” from their debut album, and their latest single, “Kiss Me Again”, which had the crowd jumping around and rocking out.

Phone Calls From Home

Phone Calls From Home is a band from Boston, Massachusetts that is slowly gaining a great following. The band has performed on the for the past two years, and is another group where you could tell their crowd just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. Their pop tunes had people bobbing their heads for a solid half an hour, and their constant moving around and climbing on speakers had viewers eyes glued to them from beginning to end.

You Me At Six

The brilliant band from Surrey, BC came back overseas for their second Vans Warped Tour. This band has had more success in the states then they could have ever imagined. Americans, especially teenage girls, seem to be obsessed with the British, but it only helps that their music is also outstanding and they are tough enough to have a huge male following as well. They started off the Monster Energy stage’s day bright and early at 11:40. For how early it was, the band brought it big time. YMAS was always jumping around and so was the crowd, not to mention the crowd surfing and moshing got an early start for the day during their set. Overall, You Me At Six is always a perfect fit for Vans Warped Tour, and anyone should be able to appreciate their music and great stage presence.

Matt Toka

This green haired rocker has had a rough past, but that’s just what it is, the past. Matt Toka was more than another artist who fits into the scene, his set was a must see show. The man does not stop moving on stage, and you can tell by the crazy look in his eyes that he puts everything he has into performing and leaves nothing for later. He spits, he jumps, he shakes, and his crowd goes absolutely berserk. If you managed to meet him on the tour, you would find out that no matter the character he is on stage, he is one of the nicest musicians you might ever meet. It’s always a pleasure to find an artist who has great music and is so genuine to each and every one of his fans.

Pierce The Veil

After being on warped tour in 2008 and 2010, this was Pierce The Veils first time performing on the main stage, Kia Rio, and they totally dominated it. Opening with their song “Besitos”, their set brought such a roaring energy along with one of the largest crowds on the tour. One of the highlights of their set was when Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens came out to perform their joint song, “King for a Day”. The crowd went absolutely crazy and the performance level of PTV and Quinn together was impeccable. Overall, Pierce The Veil was one of the best sets at the Vans Warped Tour.

All Time Low

Another main stage favorite was All Time Low. The band hasn’t been on the tour since ’09 but they are another band that brought energy and a great crowd. The band never fails to crack and joke in between songs, causing the audience to roar with laughter. Performing on the Kia Rio stage, ATL played about every single they’ve ever had, and after all of these years they still closed with the crowd favorite “Dear Maria”. The band never fails to get the crowd pumped up from beginning to end, which is why even if you are packed in the crowd like sardines in a can, it is still one of the most fun times you will experience.

Taking Back Sunday

You know a band is going to be unforgettable when the intro to their set is the introduction song from the Disney classic, The Lion King. Veterans of Vans Warped Tour back in 2004, and after 13 years of their own career, Taking Back Sunday were alive and fantastic as ever. The male dominated crowd showed no mercy by jumping, screaming, pushing, and crowd surfing like crazy. TBS is one of those bands who could be categorized in the group of the first bands fans got into back in their middle school days while trying to find their musical identity. The fact that the band continues to rock their songs such as: “Make Damn Sure”, “What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost”, and “Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team)”, made being smashed by a rowdy crowd worth it.

Mayday Parade

After self-releasing a self-titled album back in the fall of 2011, having Mayday Parade perform on this tour was a great choice made by the people Vans Warped Tour. Beginning their set on the Monster Energy stage with their song, “Oh Well, Oh Well” from their most recent album, was the perfect way to get the show started. The band played an even amount of old and new songs. Because this was Vans Warped Tour, their needs to be crowd surfing at every set, and the crowd surfing favorite was definitely “Black Cat”. The abundance of people that were floating from the back to the front of the packed crowd was amazing to watch. Mayday Parade is one of those bands who everybody and their mother loves, which is what made being in the heart of their sweaty and energetic crowd so enjoyable.

check out more photos at LEFT PHOTOS: Ashley Osborn RIGHT PHOTOS: Cara Bahniuk REVIEWS: Jenn Stookey


review: Ashley Osborn


Paper Route album:

The Peace of Wild Things


sounds like: Now, Now Passion Pit Imagine Dragons

recommended tracks: “Love Letters” “Sugar” “Glass Heart Hymn”

tracklisting: Love Letters Two Hearts 3 Letting You Let Go 4 Tamed 5 Better Life 6 You and I 7 Sugar 8 Glass Heart Hymn 9 Rabbit Holes 10 Calm My Soul 1 2

release date: September 12


The long awaited second full-length album from one of this month’s featured artists, Paper Route, unveils an entirely new dynamic to the alternative genre. This album is a 45 minute flowing story that is composed of 10 songs bound to exceed every fan’s expectations and bring a large growth to Paper Route’s fan base. To begin, the variety of sounds that are found on this album are phenomenal. From tracks on the more ‘upbeat’ side (Two Hearts, Better Life, Letting Go) all the way to opposite end of the spectrum with songs whose compositions are some that I can only explain as haunting, in a good way of course (Tamed, Calm My Soul). The album’s opening track, ‘Love Letters,’ is my personal favorite. It immediately pulled me in with a heightened sense of curiosity and sets the tone for the rest of the album. As I continued to listen, I was stunned when I heard the subtlety-sweet vocals of Now, Now’s Cacie Dalager on ‘Tamed.’ However, the awe factor didn’t end after Dalager’s vocals came to a stop; the surprises continued on until the very end. “I’ve seen too much this year, I long for it to pause,” is what opens the final track, ‘Calm My Soul’, which also features, what sounds to be, a very large choir in the background. The backing vocals took me by surprise, but Paper Route pulls it off; making this, what I felt, was the most powerful song on the entire album. All in all, this album is a release I’ve been personally anticipating since the bands first full-length, ‘Absence’, came out in 2009. In my opinion this IS the best album of 2012. The struggles the band, as a whole, have seen are prevalent. After one listen, it is obvious why the band is so anxious for the world to hear it. It is clear that over the years Paper Route has continued to master their craft, and ‘The Peace of Wild Things’ is truly their greatest work of art thus far.

Artist: VersaEmerge Album: Another Atmosphere (Sampler)

I remember coming across VersaEmerge’s first EP, Cities Built On Sand, back in 2007. The rest is history and I’ve remained a loyal fan of VersaEmerge since. Two year ago, the band released their first full-length, Fixed At Zero, and it immediately became one of my favorite albums. We now have a sampler composed of three songs that are set to be on their upcoming second full-length, Another Atmosphere. A sampler should make you excited, right? This honestly didn’t quite do that for me. The opening track “No Concequences” is catchy, but clearly due for radio play and “Bones” seems a bit too sexual for my taste. However, “Domesticated” brought me back to the past and gave me a splinter of hope. Will we once again meet Kusterbeck’s lost vibe? The new sound is much more pop and just by listening you can tell that Kusterbeck and Harnage have been experimenting a lot with their sound. Instead of screaming your lungs out along with Kusterbeck… you’re only really able to dance to this in a club. If you’re into that, then this is completely for you, if not, don’t get your hopes up. I guess we’ll have to see what the entire album sounds like to really decide, eh?

recommended tracks: “Domesticated” & “No Consequences” review: Ashley Osborn Artist: The Gaslight Anthem Album: Handwritten In today’s music industry, bands often struggle with creating an album that is unparalleled to the last, while still keeping fans happy. The Gaslight Anthem’s sound has been established since their first record Sink or Swim, and they continue to stay true to their roots with their latest release, Handwritten. The Gaslight Anthem is known for their soulfulness, as well as singer Brian Fallon’s distinctive raspy voice. Opening track and single, “45” kicks off the album to an exceptional start, showcasing classic guitar riffs and a contagious chorus. A couple songs like “You Got Lucky” and “Keepsake” contain very bluesy vibes. The album track by track is amazing, which is to be expected from such a solid, experienced band. It is tough nowadays to find a band that remains consistent throughout the years without producing the same record twice, and Handwritten proves that it is in fact possible.

recommended tracks: “45” & “Too Much Blood” review: Haley Black

Artist: William Beckett Album: Winds Will Change EP Ever since his hugely successful band The Academy Is… broke up, William Beckett has been on a quest to prove himself as a solo artist. With the ambitious goal of releasing three E.P.s this year he is already half way done. His latest effort, “the Winds Will Change E.P.”, feels as if it was meant for a summertime release. All the songs are majorly upbeat, and are just waiting to be played in a bar or at a campfire. You might not take notice of the songs at first, but after a few listens they will dig into your head and get stuck there for days.  Turning away from his more Emo past he has aimed his sights on a much more pop- rock sound. It still retains some indie rock tendencies though. From the first song on the record “Great Night” to the last song “Dig a Hole” you can tell that his solo career will be of a different breed than his The Academy Is… days.

recommended tracks: “Dig A Hole” review: Patrick Quiring


Issue #6  
Issue #6  

Who’s Inside: William Beckett + Paper Route, Gold Motel, thenewno2, Summer music festival round-up (Lollapalooza, Warped Tour, Firefly Music...