Hot Concerts, Cool Venues, Cold Drinks

By Bobby Hankinson, Andrew Jones, Len Sousa, Robyn Lee, and Christine Walsh

Lazy days and crazy nights, hot bodies and hot concerts …yes, that’s right, it’s…SUMMERTIME!! Let’s face it, the world is divided into two groups ~ those who have the summer off and those who don’t. But whichever group you fall into, you know that it’s a MUST to make time for road trips, shows, friends and fun. If your summer checklist doesn’t include (and not necessarily in this order) shorts, flip flops, fried food, cheap beer, sunburned shoulders, concert tix and naughty flings, then…pun intended…check your pulse! Never is the saying “All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy” more true that during the next few months, and as always, Pulse is here for you, giving you the heads up on summer music and bringing you interviews with some of the acts that’ll be rockin’ local venues. This summer, there’s something for everyone, from heavy metal to pop to country to oldies ~ So gas up the car, throw the bare necessities into your backpack, rally your friends, and get going!


Food and drink: Sportservice offers a variety of choices for food and beverages such as Hilltop steak tips sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, steak and cheese sandwiches, chicken fingers, french fries, and a wide variety of beer, wine, (don’t even THINK of bringing in alcohol from outside the venue!) water, and soft drinks

Where and when: 885 South Main St., Mansfield

Featured performances: Sunday June 17, Stevie Nicks/Chris Isaak; Thursday, June 21, Foreigner; Saturday, June 23, The Fray with OK Go and Mae; Saturday, June 30, Poison; Thursday, August 9, Vans Warped Tour f/ Coheed and Cambria, Bad Religion, The New Found Glory; Wednesday, August 8, Ozzfest (which is FREE this year, in case you hadn’t heard!).

More 411: More info on this summer’s Tweeter offerings is available at and tickets can be purchased by calling 508-931-2000.

By Len Sousa

Tennessee metal band The Showdown has come a long way since lead singer David Bunton and guitarist/lyricist Josh Childers first got together in 1999. Motivated by a passion for music but put off by the idea of going on tour in a van, the two played together in local bands for several years before assembling Travis Bailey on guitar, Eric Koruschak on bass, and ~ more recently ~ AJ Barrett on drums to form their latest line-up. And despite numerous offers, it wasn’t until late 2004 that the band finally accepted a record deal and piled into a van to support their first album with a national tour.

Now joining the ranks of this year’s Ozzfest, The Showdown has made a name for themselves thanks in large part to a nonstop touring schedule. “I don’t think we’ve ever been as excited about doing a tour as we are about Ozzfest,” Bunton says. “It’s gonna be huge crowds, we’re playin’ with killer bands, and I know it’s gonna be a challenge. We’re just really pumped about the whole entire thing, man.”

With a steely brand of Metallica meets Def Leppard, The Showdown also has surprisingly devout leanings toward southern Christian rock, which makes for an odd balance for a group on tour with a man known equally as the Godfather of Heavy Metal and the Prince of Darkness. This divide has left some ~ including Bunton himself to an extent ~ confused for a long time about just where the band stands.

“After living in it and being in both [the rock and Christian industries] for the last couple years,” Bunton says, “I’ve realized it’s so screwed up, dude…A lot of times it just doesn’t feel real.” Bunton stops short, as if still searching for the right words to articulate his feelings on a very personal subject.

Many of these mixed feelings only sprang up earlier this year with the release of The Showdown’s second album, Temptation Come My Way. Christian distributors refused to sell the album in Christian markets until the opening track, titled “Fanatics And Whores,” had been removed from the record. It was certainly no coincidence that the song’s lyrics were a severe indictment on what the band sees as greedy businessmen making money off of Jesus Christ: “You with the tie and that smile and the green in your eyes/selling Jesus on your TV show/…/Pious and blind, you are the thorn and the spear in the side.”

“The Christian market and the Christian industry is a joke,” Bunton says. “I mean, they have absolutely no backbone. The song was true and we’re not backing down from it.” Ultimately, however, their label felt differently and forced their hand into releasing the album without the song in Christian stores. But Bunton admits he was never interested in being in a Christian band anyway.

“As far as being worried about some kind of Christian market or some kind of mold to fit into, that wasn’t our goal when we wrote [our first] record.” Bunton adds, “We [hear] a lot of times, ‘The Showdown totally sold out; their music’s changed,’ or ‘What happened to those guys?’ And like, nothing happened to those guys ~ at all.”

While it doesn’t sound as though Bunton was raised in a strict religious household, he is still very much a Christian (as is the rest of the band) and knows the limits that can be imposed by some overzealous parents in the Bible Belt. Wanting to pave his own way and still be there for Christian rock fans, Bunton is understandably conflicted.

“We’re just really torn because we were those kids at one point that got music in Christian bookstores or that went to Cornerstone Festival. Those things were important to us when we were a lot younger…I want to be there for the kids whose parents are so strict on them that they can’t get music anywhere else than a Christian bookstore. I know that happens. If we took our music out of those Christian bookstores, it’d be like turning our backs on those kids that wouldn’t have a chance to hear cool music otherwise.”


Where and when: throughout the summer months and into the early fall. The entertainment kicks off at 7:30pm at Boarding House Park, 40 French Street in Lowell.

Food and drink: no alcohol is allowed in the park, but you can still pack a great picnic and enjoy it on the lawn from your blanket or lawn chair.

Featured performers: Friday 6/29, Joan Osborne; Saturday, June 30, Buckwheat Zydeco; Saturday 7/7, Saturday 7/14, Don McLean; 10,000 Maniacs; Thursday 8/16, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy; Friday 8/17, Indigo Girls; Friday 8/24 Shawn Colvin & John Hiatt

More 411: Go to for a full listing of all scheduled music and theatre performances. Tickets can be purchased via the website or at the gate of the park on the days of the performance.


Where and when: If you like to schedule your end-of-summer partying in advance, plan to head for Greenfield, MA from September 15th through 17th . Bands keep you groovin’ during the day as they perform on two different stages. But when the sun goes down, the festivities continue in various cabins the Wormtown folks have set up. In addition to lots of music from favorites and newbies alike, there’s a bunch of other attractions including roaming entertainers, a Little Folk Cabin, drum circles, a community bonfire, arts & crafts, body art and clothing vendors. Weekend passes cost just $60 if purchased before Sept. 8th!

Food and drink: bring your own (just no glass bottles) or buy it there from a variety of vendors…or get in the spirit and share with your cabin neighbors

Featured performers: Entrain, Strangefolk, Uncle Billy’s Smokehouse, Hint of Lime, Leroy White

More 411: Head to for directions, nearby accommodations, and more background about the famous fest!


By Christine R. Walsh

This year’s Wormtown Music Fest at Kee-wan-nee is sure to be a rocking good time and a great way to celebrate the end of a summer well spent. Fans in search of the elusive great groove of connectedness will swoon at this year’s concert in particular, however, when the band Entrain takes the stage.

Tom Major, drummer, musical visionary and creator of the unique group, chatted with Pulse Magazine and shared the band’s history and mission.

“I was touring with Bo Diddley and his schedule was light one summer,” said Major. The Berklee-trained percussionist had just come back from Gambia and had been so inspired by the music of West Africa that he sought to create a rhythm-heavy band. Major decided to return to a beloved spot of his, Martha’s Vineyard, to create this musical concoction.

“I called some musicians I knew who were summering in the island,” Major said. “We started playing at a club called the Atlantic Connection. We played every Thursday of every summer for about 5 or 6 years.”

Major brought together a group of percussionists who shared the same love of rhythm and life. Sam Holmstock and Rick Bausman handled the percussion section with Major, Judd Fuller and Johnny Cruz brought the bass and guitar and Rob Loyot shared his saxophone skills. The group was complete, but without a name. After the brainstorming clouds cleared, the name “Entrain” appeared.

Major had encountered the word, “entrain” while reading Drumming at the Edge of Magic. The author, Mickey Hart, had used the word entrainment to express the vibe that occurs when a group of drummers and musicians are all riding the same groove. Major believed in this concept and sought to recreate the experience of entrainment with each show he performed.

Today, the band’s sounds draw the listeners in and embrace them with a smile, a clap on the back and a chilly margarita. The delicious rhythms make you want to stomp your feet, swing you hips and it inspires one to go out and change the world.

“Our focus is about spreading peace and love and unity,” Major said. “I’m a big fan of John Lennon, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder ~ everyone who uses the medium in a positive way. Music can change the world like nothing else can. I see the young people gravitating towards music with somewhat negative messages and I feel that it’s detrimental to society. I feel it’s our responsibility to [present] positive messages.”

Recently, the band was led down a serendipitous path upon which they found their lead singer. Entrain was performing in Key West, Florida and one early evening, Major was wandering through the town and heard 25-year old Jeff Clark singing Al Greene’s “Let’s Stay Together.” The song is a complicated one to sing and according to Major, Clark was nailing it. Major approached Clark with an Entrain CD and Clark ended up singing a few tunes with the band that very night. Clark is now moving from Key West to the Boston area in order to be closer to the band and each of the talented musicians is chomping at the bit to go record some new songs in the studio.

Now that the Entrain recipe is complete, audience members can revel in the sweet music. Major assures music lovers that Entrain’s concerts are unique and wondrous experiences, so make plans to be out in Greenfield from September 15th through 17th.

“The audience gets locked in with us, there’s really not much of a separation,” Major said. “like we are all doing this together. When people are really losing themselves, that’s what we love.”

For more information on the band, go to

Entrain plays The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Event at Mt. Wachusett on Sunday, June 3 from 12-6pm. The show is all ages.


Where and when:
This familiar concert/sports venue is located at 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Lowell. Concerts times vary, but all are during evening hours.

Food and drink: Bring your own to enjoy on the banks of the Merrimack River before the show (no outside food or beverages are allowed in the arena), or book an outdoor table at Cobblestones Restaurant as part of “Grillin’ on the River;” You’ll get to enjoy more delicious steak tips and ribs than you’ve ever imagined!

Featured performances: The Arena hasn’t yet published its summer line-up, so check their website often for updates!

More 411: Want more beef about the Tsongas Arena or Cobblestones? Go to or Tickets for Arena concerts are available through the box office at 617.931.2000 or through Ticketmaster.


Where and when: Seven days a week from 7pm to 2am at 281 Lunenburg Street in Fitchburg

Food and drink: Drink? Yes, and lots of it! Food, no, but you’ll be feeding your ears so much great rock-n-roll you won’t care!

Featured performances: Haloburn on June 9

More 411: There’s a constant stream of rock heavyhitters stopping by to say hello and treat Compounders to some spur-of-the-moment shows, so it pays to check and pretty darn often.

THE INTERVIEW: Haloburn – Doing Things Their Way

By Andrew Jones

I don’t know of another local metal band that is currently on a faster collision course with success than Haloburn. Since forming in 2003, Haloburn has released two studio albums: 2004’s Unspoken, and their latest work of metal grace, Ouroboros. Though the members have been involved with popular adjourned bands 7th Rail Crew, Indesit, and Headshot, they essentially went back to the starting line and floored it to get to the level of popularity they have in just three years and some change.

And while you may think that writing unrelenting, kickass tunes and promoting non-stop is all these guys have done by themselves to keep this wrecking ball accelerating, there’s even more to it with Ouroboros. Haloburn recorded the entire album entirely by themselves, entirely on their own equipment and in their own studio space. With the latest addition of guitarist Ennio, the band really wanted to recreate themselves for this album from start to finish. This mindset ties into the album’s name, which comes from an ancient symbol that represents an eternal cycle of renewal.

But don’t think that this DIY process in any way hindered the quality of the final work of melodic metal art that is Ouroboros. From the one-two punch and Ozzy-caliber melodies of “Left For Dead” to the haunting harmonies and lyrics of “Down Side Up,” this album’s sound quality and content are equally matched ~ at a very high level.

Another amazing additive to this album’s virtues is the cover art. NYC artist David Stoupakis (the man responsible for the latest Korn album’s artwork) is a friend of the band and has bestowed upon them something as disturbing as it is beautiful. It truly encompasses the feel of the music and will catch the eye of not just metal fans.

The list of famous rock world artists involved doesn’t stop there, though. Haloburn recently worked with local well-known video producer Anthony Jarvis (who has done videos for such bands as Seemless and Killswitch Engage) for the third song on Ouroboros, “In Circles.” The video incorporates the lives of the innocent and the disturbed, and is filmed as though through hallucinogen-influenced eyes.

The Haloburn crew is also going to be recording a new song, based around the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC. The guys told me they are big fans of the UFC and are trying to get on its playlist. Their friend Kenny Florian is an acclaimed fighter, and he will be looking to get Haloburn on the music roster (the band hopes winning a round isn’t a prerequisite).

However you want to put it, Haloburn has their hands all up in the scene like a Tool lyric off of Aenima, and despite the hardships of trying to stand out in the New England market, they’ve done just that. They have played shows alongside huge lists of top acts such as Mushroomhead, Kittie, Nullset, and Ill Nino, just to name very few. Make no mistake, this band WILL be blowing up very soon, so go see them now while it’s not a huge pain in the ass to park. They’ll be playing the Compound on June 9th, and since the show has been very heavily promoted, you’d better get your tickets now if they’re still available. If not, they may have Kenny Florian down there to fight you for a chance to get in (well, if you’re lucky). Otherwise, make sure to check out their new CD, Ouroboros, and their video for “In Circles” on their Myspace page ( And make sure you also check out these sites, too:


Where and when: The legendary (who didn’t go there at least once each summer during high school!) venue is located at 169 Ocean Blvd, Hampton Beach, NH.

Food and drink: The Casino offers a huge variety of delish food (everything from pizza to sandwiches to wings and hot dogs) and drink (from frozen drinks to beer to soda and Red Bull), plus you can stop by one of the great restaurants right in Hampton before or after the show.

Featured performances: Kathy Griffin on Sunday, July 15th; B.B. King on Wed, August 1st: Zappa Plays Zappa on Thursday, Aug 2nd; Chris Isaak on Sunday, August 5th; Chelsea Handler on Sunday, Aug 19th.

More 411: Go to Tickets can be purchased through the website or at Ticketmaster by calling 603.868.7300


Where and when: The entertainment is generously spread throughout Downtown Lowell from July 27 – 29.

What: The Folk Festival is a true artisan experience: craft booths, fresh foods from diverse cultures, 6 different stages, people of all ages.

Food and drink: Pack a picnic or sample ethnic specialties from the vendors
Featured performances: Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, Dorado and Samson Schmitt, Kevin Locke, Gonzalo Grau y La Clave Secreta

More 411: Click over to for performance schedule, musician bios, directions, how to become a volunteer, merchandise and more.


Where and when: “A blockbuster array of talent that celebrates the best in blues, in bluegrass, and all the folk in between,” this American institution ~ a combination of indoor and outdoor performances ~ remains one of the longest running music festivals in the country.

Featured performers: Linda Ronstadt (kicking off the entire event!) on Friday, August 3; Allison Krause on Sunday, August 5; The Allman Brothers Band on Saturday, August 4th; also on August 4th, musician and activist Tom Morello (from Rage Against the Machine)

More 411: Go to or call the festival hotline at 401-847-3700 for more information about performers, stages, accommodations, and the history of the festival.


Where and when:
290 Northern Ave., Boston, right off the MBTA Silver Line. Summer starts here on May 25 and goes ‘til October 1.

Food and drink: Pizzeria Regina’s, an Au Bon Pain, Ben and Jerry’s, and Legal Seafood’s tasty chowdah

Featured performances: Saturday, June 16, TRUE COLORS featuring Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, Margaret Cho, Dresden Dolls (see The Interview below!), Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright, and The Gossip; Sunday, June 24, k.d. lang and Lyle Lovett; Wednesday, July 18, Widespread Panic; Saturday, August 4, Zappa Plays Zappa; Saturday, August 18, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (still one of the hottest couples in rock!); Monday, August 20, Meat Loaf; Friday, September 28, Heart

More 411: Visit or call 508-931-2000.

THE INTERVIEW: Rally of the ‘Dolls’ ~ The duo Dresden join True Colors Tour

By Bobby Hankinson

Some might call the Dresden Dolls alternative. Some may call them pop. Others even go so far as to label the duo “punk cabaret.” But drummer Brian Viglione has a different take.

“Trying to overanalyze it and go into a whole lot of detail just makes you just sound pretentious and like a fool,” he said. “We draw on a lot of modern influences, we draw on a lot of early-20th century jazz and cabaret-era performers, but other than that it’s drums and piano rock ‘n’ roll ~ isn’t that disappointingly bland?”

That’s part of the dark humor that defines the Dresden Dolls. The truth is, Viglione and singer/pianist Amanda Palmer couldn’t be further from bland.

Since their chance meeting at a Halloween party, Viglione, originally from Greenville, N.H., and Palmer, hailing from Lexington, have crafted a unique identity musically as well as theatrically. The pair’s Weimar burlesque outfits and painted faces create a stirring live show that perfectly complements their dynamic tunes.

This summer they join artists including The Gossip, Debbie Harry of Blondie, and Cyndi Lauper at the Bank of America Pavilion as part of Lauper’s True Colors Tour. The nationwide tour works with LGBT groups like the Human Rights Campaign (which receives $1 for every ticket sold), PFLAG, and the Matthew Shepard Foundation to promote equality and awareness of LGBT issues.

Of all the awesome artists participating, Viglione’s most excited to perform with Lauper. “I actually just got her new album and was amazed at how incredible her voice sounds and just how much she’s still putting into the music,” he said. “It gives me something to live up to and shoot for.”

In addition to the great line-up, Viglione said the cause speaks to the band. He cited his own experiences growing up in a “provincial” part of southern New Hampshire, seeing people around him being persecuted for being gay or, in one case, an English teacher losing her job because she selected a book for the class that featured a gay character in a sympathetic light.

“I think we have definitely a large cross-section of the gay community that loves the band and we completely embrace back,” he said. “One of the general, fundamental principles of the band when we started was we wanted anyone who was into the Dresden Dolls to realize that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what kind of lifestyle that you lead, that music is there to be enjoyed by anyone.”

The Dresden Dolls have been on some pretty big tours before, including opening spots for Nine Inch Nails and Panic! At the Disco ~ two very different bands that are also very different from the Dolls.

“The dynamic was actually opposite what we expected ~ we figured we would get torn to pieces by the Nine Inch Nails crowd and that the kids that went to Panic! at the Disco would sort of bop along and be into it and dig the vibe and it was totally the opposite.”

Warm reception or not, the Dresden Dolls stick to what they do best even in the face of adversity (check out some of the “hate mail” at The group’s commitment to daring to be different makes them a perfect fit for the True Colors Tour and, perhaps, a great inspiration.

The True Colors Tour comes to the Bank of America Pavilion June 16. Tickets are $76 and are available at or by calling 508-931-2000. For more info, visit


Where: TD Banknorth Garden is located at 1 Fleetcenter Place, St. 200, Boston and this monstrous arena is right next door to some famous Beantown landmarks like Fanueil Hall and the North End.

Food and drink: TD Banknorth Garden has three private restaurants plus on-site vendors ~ so plan to get your food and drink there ‘cause there’s no outside food or beverages allowed.

Featured performers: June 29 and 30, Cirque de Soleil; July 5 and 6, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill; July 9, Roger Waters; July 17, John Mayer; September 11, Genesis

More 411: Tickets can be purchased through the website, or by calling Ticketmaster.


Where: 1 Patriot Place in Foxboro.

Food and drink: With 46 permanent concession stands and 60 portable food and beverage stands located throughout the concourses, there’s no need to worry ~ you’ll definitely be well-fed!

Featured performances: 9/2 and 9/8, Jimmy Buffet

More 411: Click onto the Stadium’s website,, for tickets and more information. You sports fans will want to take note, too, for obvious reasons!


Where and when: Evenings on The Charles River Esplanade, right off the Copley Square Exit.

Featured performances: June 16, Oldies Concert w/ Frankie Valli; August 11, The Beach Boys; September 22 and 23, The Boston Blues Festival

More 411:,, and


Where and when: Wachusett Mountain, 499 Mountain Rd., Princeton, September 8 and September 9. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and friends for two days of great music on the mountain featuring some of the finest in local, regional and national performers. Great food, brews, vendors and a scenic stage area make this a don’t-miss annual favorite.

Food and drink: No coolers allowed, so take advantage of the restaurant and vendors

Featured performer: Jon Short

More 411:


Everyone’s favorite local-festival-made-good, Loco is a staple of the summer concert scene and has been a stop on the climb to fame for everyone from Kid Rock to Powerman 5000 to Buckcherry and more ~ and it’s a must-play for bands looking to make it big. And speaking of big, Loco outgrew its Fitchburg Airport home and last year and moved into the Tweeter Center ~ with Alice in Chains headlining!

This year’s lineup hasn’t yet been revealed, so check back often at and


Where and when: 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, CT. Shows start at 7, 7:30, or 8 depending on the day of the week.

Food and drink: With 32 options ranging from bars to the food court to buffets to fine dining, don’t even think about bringing your brown bag!

Featured performances: Bob Dylan on June 27th; Stevie Nicks on July 31, Rush’s Snakes and Arrows World Tour on July 9, Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell III Tour; Josh Groban on July 30th;

More 411: Mohegan Sun has several performance venues, so check out for details.

And right here at home…


Where and when:
50 Foster Street in Downtown Worcester. Most evening shows begin at 8pm.

Food and drink: Buy it on-site from vendors who offer everything from beer to pizza to cotton candy to cheese steaks!

Featured performances: August 4, Marilyn Manson and Slayer; August 11, Keith Urban; September 5, Pop Tarts presents American Idols Live

More 411: Make sure to check out pretty often ~ they’re adding new concerts every week ~ not to mention sporting events galore!

Love Country? Then you’ve GOT to hit Indian Ranch this summer!

Where and when: 200 Gore Road in Webster, MA. The fun begins mid-May and lasts until early October. Concerts usually take place on Sunday afternoons

Featured performances: Saturday, July 22 2007 Nashville Star with guest Tim LaRoche (a Gardner, MA native); July 29, The Marshal Tucker Band; Sunday, August 12, Grand Funk Railroad

Food and drink: Bring your own or pick up something yummy and grilled from the on-site food shack.

More 411: Check out Tickets can be purchased at the box office (508.943.3871), via the website, or at Strawberries locations.

We asked/You answered: Cheesiest summer pick-up lines

Is your name Summer? ‘Cause you are HOT!
You look like you could use some help rubbing in that tanning oil.
Is it hot out here, or is it just you?
You’re so fine, you make me want to go out and get a job.
All those curves, and me with no brakes.
I know I don’t look like much now, but I’m drinking milk.
Let’s go back to my place and get out of these wet bathing suits.
Stand back, I’m a doctor. You go get an ambulance, I’ll loosen her suit.
Waves aren’t the only things around here worth riding!

And our all-time fave?

Do you want to see something swell?

We asked/You answered: Most nostalgic summer tour

The Police
Elvis Costello
Stevie Nicks
Faster Pussycat
The Beach Boys
Billy Joel

We asked/You answered: The best parts of summer

Outdoor shows
Long days
The beach
Sweating (hey, we couldn’t make this stuff up!)
No school

We asked “What song best describes the summer you want to have?” And you answered:

Promiscuous by Nelly Furtado
Love Shack by The B52s
Vacation by The Go Gos
Cruel Summer by Bananarama
Last Night by Diddy
Better Than Me by Hinder
Candyman by Christina Aguilera
You Gotta Fight by The Beastie Boys (nice – takin’ it old school!)
Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne
School’s Out by Alice Cooper
I Wanna Love You by Akon
Dancin’ in the Streets by Van Halen
Fergalicious by Fergie

We asked/You answered: What can’t you live without this summer?

Iced coffee
Portable DVD player
A good beach book
A tan
A vacation from my family!
Air conditioning
Money in my pocket
Hair conditioner (Hello?!)