Boston to Berkeley II – Rancid & Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys and Rancid co-headline the “Boston to Berkeley II” tour with special guest The Bronx. This is the first time that Rancid and Dropkick Murphys have hit the road together since their 2017 national tour “Boston to Berkeley”.

According to the tour press release provided by A12 Entertainment, “Rancid and Dropkick Murphys have a long and important history together. Back in 1997, Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen came across a copy of Dropkick Murphys’ original EP at a friend’s house. He turned it over to his bandmate and Hellcat Records president Tim Armstrong, who quickly snatched up the band for his new label.”

Photos By Jesse Haswell

Dropkick Murphys and Rancid have 11 other tour dates after their 10/01/2021 show in Denver, CO at Mission Ballroom Outdoors.

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Gettin’ Funky with Marvel Years

Guitarist and producer Cory Wythe (A.K.A. Marvel Years) gave us a glimpse behind the curtain in this interview. In July 2013, Wythe had his first live performance supporting Pretty Lights in Boston, MA. Later that year he supported GRiZ on his Rebel Era tour. In the Spring of 2014, Marvel Years began his first national tour–The Retro Electric Tour. Fast forward and he has played with amazing acts including: The Floozies, Exmag, Break Science and even Gramatik.

The Beginning

Wythe began playing guitar at eleven years old. “I played in a few bands for fun throughout middle school and high school,” he said, “I started messing around making beats in my senior year of high school just to pass the time and ended up posting it on my YouTube channel.” This snowballed into his first offer to play a show in college and taking a leave from college and playing shows as his career.

When asked about his growth, Wythe said, “I just try to make music that I enjoy creating and listening to. I feel like you have a better chance to stand out making music that is true to yourself.” Obviously, a major part of the Marvel Years sound stems from guitar. “I try and make that a focal point throughout my work.”

Behind the Curtain

Next we ask, they can’t all be bangers right? “I just recently started to accept this fact,” Wythe said laughing, “I spent so much time lighting myself up when every new track I was writing wasn’t my best track.” In some regards, this can push an artist to be better. “I have accepted the fact that not every track is going to be amazing and that is ok. It’s all a part of the process.” he tells us. Wythe gains inspiration from traveling and experiencing new places. Additionally, his musical friends push him to work harder and keep pumping out music.

Wythe has said each song takes a different amount of time to finish. “It really depends on my creative head space at the time. Some songs kind of just flow out of you where you know exactly what you want to make. Other times I start with a cool idea like a guitar or drum loop and then build on it over time.” No matter how long the song takes, Wythe is confident in his music.

“What makes a good song is definitely subjective and different for everybody, but for me it’s the emotional reaction I feel,” he said. This holds true with his song, Friends–released a few months ago. The song originally began as a beat challenge Marvel Years put on Instagram. He later began the song and added his friends to it. “It ended up turning into a monster collab with 9 artists in total and it’s something I’m really proud of.” Wythe says.

Marvel Years has performed with legends like Pretty Lights, GRiZ, and Gramatik. He shared that all of these artists are major inspirations in his life and music. “It’s obvious that they are putting 100% of themselves into their [music], but it’s also the amount of time and effort they put into the behind the scenes that makes them the best in the game.”

Quarantine and the Road Ahead

Quarantine has affected us all. Marvel Years has stayed busy by performing ten live streams and he even played a socially distanced halloween festival. Wythe regarded his New Year’s Eve stream as his favorite.

“I’ve really been using this time to make music and collect myself mentally.” I’ve spent the last couple years on the road so it’s been nice to have some downtime and time to create.” While Wythe has stayed busy, he has many plans for the upcoming year including: New music, merch, and there have even been rumors of vinyls. “We are in the process of choosing the songs and getting the mixed and mastered for wax,” Wythe tells us. We are looking forward to everything Marvel Years has in store for 2021. Click the links below to learn more about Marvel Years and stay up to date on all of his plans ahead!

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An Evening With Lucid Vision

As we launch into 2021 we all begin to see normal day life, and nightlife, returning to the world. What felt like a century that was filled with lockdowns and livestreams, is now followed up with having the option of live entertainment. Being one of the first shows to return, Lucid Vision took the stage to play unreleased songs along with classics. By doing so he also sold out 2 shows which both had a unique set unlike the other.

Performing at Moe’s BBQ in Englewood, Lucid Vision had the place full. With proper Covid-19 safety precautions in place of course. Some precautions taken included having food brought to your table, masks at all times unless eating or drinking, tables being 6ft apart or more, sanitation before, middle, and after shows and much more. We were lucky enough to have the chance to sit down with Lucid Vision before the show, read everything that was had to say below! This interview is conducted by Patrik Essy. The following is an interview between Patrik Essy and Dalton Kieta(Lucid Vision).

Thoughts on Rebranding

Patrik: I see that you are rebranding, could you tell me a bit more about that?

Dalton: I’ve been thinking about doing the rebranding for actually awhile man.

Patrik: Yeah, tell me about that.

Dalton: So that logo before was actually the first logo I ever made and used. The one that is kind of stacked and staggered, have you seen that one?

Patrik: Yeah, I have yeah.

Dalton: Okay, cool. That one has been dope for awhile but I really just want to do that next level of branding. I actually studied music business at CU Denver, so I do have the degree in music industry studies. Emphasis on music business. So we can talk about that stuff. Dude, all the big guys such as Nike, Apple, Pretty Lights, they have what they call an icon logo, it’s a symbol.

Patrik: I heard you all talking about that.

Dalton: Yeah yeah. And it’s honestly something where it’s very tough to invent your own symbol. Unless you use something that is already kinda out there and just take it over. Apple just uses an apple with a bite taken out of it. But I mean Bassnectar invented his own. I mean Odesza kinda hijacked a platonic solid. Like that’s been around, so I wanted to create my own. I think it’s just very important to step away from a logo that uses the name, so you have the name logo and the icon logo as the symbol. Just because I want people to associate it more with the words, rather than when it’s format’d in a specific way in a specific font. It’s all across the board, it’s all the same. You see that name and connect with that emotion. Either connecting it with a song or a live performance.

Patrik: How long have you been working on it for? Sketching it up?

Dalton: Just about a month, it felt pretty long. It’s something I have considered for a long time and I have kinda tinkered around with. So as of recently I was like i’m just going to do it. I went through a bunch of stuff.

Patrik: Did you just have a true passion for this new symbol?

Dalton: Yeah, it kinda hit all the criteria I was looking for. It can still be evolved just as how any artists can from time to time.

Education

Patrik: So speaking on music a bit more you said you went to school here. How long did you go for?

Dalton: I went for 5 years, CU Denver.

Patrik: Seeing that you went to school out here are you a local to Colorado? Did you grow up here?

Dalton: I moved here with my family when I was 3. We moved from Chicago. I still have family out there. I just definitely don’t have the resources and friends built up back there, my friends are here. Really all I know is here.

Patrik: This is a great place to have your roots. Going back into code orange in Colorado and being able to have shows again, how does it feel to be playing two sold out shows?

Dalton: It feels great dude! It is less capacity which makes the energy a little bit different. It isn’t truly a sell out because of the lower capacity but it feels great! I’m sure people will still get rowdy. When I opened for CloZee at the Mishawaka I asked her if she broke any records. She did eight nights in a row at the Mishawaka and they were all sold out. It’s not exactly sold out because it wasn’t full capacity but it was still dope.

Patrik: How was that? How was opening up for CloZee at the Mishawaka?

Dalton: It was a dream bro. I have opened up for her twice before. This was the third performance. I think partly why I got the gig was because she recognized my name. I asked for it, we emailed her and lucky enough we got it.

Patrik: Genius idea, I believe that was one of the only shows happening around here for Halloween.

Dalton: That was the hot ticket, I literally tried to buy tickets and wasn’t able to. And then I got booked on it. Isn’t that crazy?

Patrik: A dream come true. Isn’t that wild how you weren’t able to buy tickets but were able to perform instead?

Dalton: If we can’t go in through the front door let’s go in through the back door. Let’s play it!

Patrik: Being a smooth criminal with it!

Dalton: I’m just kidding. It was the intention, but I got lucky. It was an honor to be on it.

Patrik: So how could you say tonights set will be different from that set? It was the space night correct?

Dalton: With the sets, the second set is somewhat similar. The first set is more similar to when I opened for RJD2 at the Ogden. A bit more “hip-hopy” and chill. It’s funny because when I was working on it last night I had the feeling I enjoyed the first one more. The second set will be a bit more comparable to that opening for CloZee set. But I have made some new stuff before now and then.

Patrik: I know you dropped that new album not too long ago, Still Dreaming? Will that album have a heavy influence on either of the sets tonight?

Dalton: This was supposed to be the album release party but we postponed it because we had to. It was supposed to happen on December 4th, about a month ago. But at this point it’s like dude, the album has been released so it’s not really an album release party anymore. So kinda just going all around with it, i’m pretty stoked on a lot of this new stuff. If there is enough time I am going to play some of it at the end of the first set because I do really like a lot of it.

Patrik: Speaking on the album a little bit more, who if anybody, were some heavy influences on this? Who pushed you to do this album?

Dalton: Me. As far as musical inspirations and influences, they have kinda come and gone. Macro scale like of all time, at the beginning it was Glitch Mob and Bassnectar, then moved to Pretty Lights. Pretty Lights took over for awhile. Then Bassnectar took over for for about 2 years. CloZee is also an inspiration. I would say my top few are all of them as my top artists and inspirations. I would like to think my newer album is my way of doing things. My sound.

Finding Dalton’s Sound

Dalton: That’s also a very good question dude. Because that is something that has been a long time search. Experimenting and figuring out different sounds. The last EP I put out before this album was the thing that partly made me think, dude I don’t like this music. I actually don’t enjoy listening to this stuff. I am going to go in this direction. I want songs that people can dance and grind too. But I still want it to be party music, not party music but high energy enough to where it’s groovy. It has to be dancey dude. I want it to be sexy but not too heavy, but still energetic enough.

Patrik: Cool, very cool. It does take some artists their entire life to find the right sound or correct direction to go in. When you can say, “I don’t like the sound of this EP but I do like the sound of this”, it’s cool to see what you like and that you can pursue it. You are doing what you like to do, create.

Dalton: Thanks dude. That’s how it will be for now but it is constantly changing. You made me think of a quote by Gramatik, “To ask an artist to create the same genre of music all of their life is like asking a painter to paint the same picture for them”. Don’t those sounds start to kinda get boring after awhile?

Patrik: I remember you said something about the Ogden and you mentioned this being the first spot that you ever headlined a show, thinking of local and global venues where was your favorites?

Dalton: There’s a lot that are still on the books. Dude I want to play Red Rocks, it’ll happen someday. It’s crazy because sometimes the smaller venues are the ones that are the most fun. My favorite, i’ve thought about this recently and this is what I probably miss the most is playing festivals. Everybody being out in the fields, these massive stages where you get to play on a bigger production, being in the open air. Those are my favorites.

Patrik: What festivals have you played?

Dalton: Sonic Bloom, Arise, I even played Electric Forrest last year. I was on Backwoods, and a few smaller festivals. I have played Sonic Bloom and Arise a bunch of times.

Patrik: Speaking on those festival vibes is there anything that you change about a smaller venue live set versus a festival set? Do you try to play more high-tempo and crowd engagement music? Or just play what you want?

Dalton: What is going to make me and everybody else feel all these emotions? That’s the question every time for every set.

Patrik: So are you the type of person to show up at a festival and get in and get out or do you walk around a bit and hangout with the fans?

Dalton: I’m usually fashionably late. I definitely hangout after to walk around. Let’s be honest it’s actually unfashionably late bro when I show up. If you love doing it don’t you want to see other people play right? Don’t you want to talk about it and experience. I’m taking notes while i’m watching these people perform. I could see how if you are going festival to festival it can be tiring. That’s when I almost ask the booking agent to add a bit more time there. It’s a shame to not spend the time there. People are paying to be there and you are being paid to be there. Hangout and enjoy it!

Production

Patrik: I see the floor starting to light up here, with all of your rebranding did you do any of your own video work for this? Did you do any of the production stuff?

Dalton: None of it. I did not, that was all Devin, (Rubik Visuals) over there. I of course helped draft the logo but he did everything else. He does design a lot of his motion graphics, a lot of it is original. That is so much work so hats off to those guys. It’s enough work to be an artist, manager, graphic designer, marketing, etc.

Patrik: So touching on that, you did a lot of that work tonight right? How did it feel from going to no shows to doing everything for a show.

Dalton: I have honestly done it a lot from the ground up. This one was a bit easier because it was a bit smaller scale. I have done shows at Cervantes Ballroom. I have done shows at The Bluebird, I have done three shows at the Bluebird where I was the promoter, i’ll hire the acts, talk to the venue manager, pay everybody at the end of the night, etc. I know a manager might ask me about all of this stuff anyways so might as well do everything myself. I do still have a managing partner. It’s nice to have somebody that you can bounce ideas off of. We will both handle things, if I am too busy or if he is too busy we can talk. Hold you accountable for everything and all that stuff. It’s nice to have a team with you.

Tourin’ Talk

Dalton: 2019 was my true taste of touring. I did a few small mountain runs. Or run offs of one in between. We did like 36 dates last year, most I booked by myself but I did get some help from a booking agent for a few of the in between shows and festivals. I did actually use to DJ at a sushi restaurant on Fridays. I wasn’t playing Lucid Vision but instead more jazzy and eatery music. That kept me sharp since I was always playing every Friday and Saturday. I think I had like eight shows booked when Covid first hit, so I did cancel a lot. It kinda sucked because it seemed in limbo but the most you can do is keep making music and be ready for when it does come back. As far as touring stuff i’m still a baby, you know what I mean? Compared to some of the big guys.

Patrik: It’s always an interesting question to ask, big or small. Being in Denver there’s a show almost every other night before Covid. It’s interesting to hear if it takes any toll on an artist that has to wake up and go play a show then hit the studio day after day.

Dalton: There is an energy to it though, it is addicting. There is a high to it when making music.Back to what I was saying also dude, I have come farther than most musicians out there. People come and go quick. When it comes to doing this as a career its a whole other level. If you aren’t headlining and selling out 1,000 capacity shows nobody is making money. I mean I just keep putting money into it, I keep chasing it. That’s the idea with Still Dreaming is keeping the dream alive. To pursue the passion.

Conclusion

Following up with this interview, Lucid Vision played two unique sets for two sold out crowds. Hearing new tunes and experiencing live music again was a truly special thing. Getting to talk with Lucid Vision made it all the more better considering we got that little bit of insight on how he made those sets. Myself and everyone at Party Guru would like to thank you Lucid Vision for this opportunity. Hopefully this is the first of many shows we see as our 2021 begins.

Photos By Patrik Essy

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