Concert Review: Planes Mistaken For Stars, 6.22.2017


“Lots of good times in this room.”

I don’t think I could sum up my thoughts on the Middle East Upstairs venue any better than Gared O’Donnell of Planes Mistaken For Stars. While taking a moment to address the crowd in between songs early in the June 22nd performance, he referenced the small space (capacity 192, I believe) with a bit of nostalgia. And it makes sense, Planes have covered a lot of ground dating back to the late 90’s. But The Upstairs for me has been the setting for some of the most memorable shows I can recall. The minimalist nature of its size and layout just makes the shows there that much more personal. So basically I agree, lots of good times in that room. And June 22nd, 2017 was another one. Continue reading

Concert Review: Exmortus, Spellcaster, and Seven Spires (July 26, 2016)

Exmortus, The Middle East, 7.26.2016

The Middle East in Cambridge has become a bit of a home away from home for me over the last couple of years. While I have grown familiar with virtually all of the Boston venues, this particular establishment has been the recent go-to when it comes to concerts. This has proven to be a blessing and a curse. I love the Middle East with its 194 person capacity upstairs… it’s one of the best places to see a show because of it’s up close and personal atmosphere. But at the same time, the lighting and tight spaces makes it’s a pain in the ass to photograph at. But I digress. Keeping the recent trend alive, I ventured back down last Tuesday for The Fellowship of the Strings Tour, featuring Holy Grail, Exmortus, Spellcaster, and Seven Spires as the local opener this evening. Continue reading

Concert Review: Dragged Into Sunlight and Primitive Man (June 30, 2016)

(Photo credit: Corey Butterworth)

You would think, having seen Dragged Into Sunlight perform at Marlyand Deathfest barely a month ago, that I would have some idea of what to expect from their late-June show in Boston. But the reality is this; Dragged Into Sunlight’s live shows have a distinguished reputation for a reason. While they were equally as ferocious this particular evening at The Middle East in Cambridge (basically Boston, for those not privy to the area), there were plenty of elements to this show that allowed it to stand out. In the end, these few hours of live music were among the most jarring and exhausting I had experienced in awhile. And I loved just about every second of it. Continue reading

The Nine Circles ov… Corey’s Top Live Performances of 2015


For those who know me, I go to a lot of shows. But I’m not alone in that, many of us here at Nine Circles choose to let live music dominate our schedules and, more significantly, our income. But with good reason. For as good as the music is that we listen to on record, it is even more impressive live. Being surrounded by the energy that fills a venue as bands we admire pour their sounds over an audience, with all the visual and sonical elements that go with them, is among my favorite experiences on this God forsaken planet. So, with that said, before we roll into our more traditional formats for The Nine Circles ov… series, I would like to take this opportunity to share nine of my favorite live performances from 2015. Continue reading

Concert Review: Mgła (November 7, 2015)


Following up their massive Exercises in Futility release from this past fall, Polish black metallers Mgła set out on a run of shows in the United States with Sangus and Mortuary Drape. This particular run of shows only spanned nine dates in the eastern half of the United States. Given the fact that the only time I had seen Mgła previously at Maryland Deathfest 2014, and considering the reality that Exercises in Futility very well might be the best album of 2015, there was no choice but to make sure I made it to the November 7th date at The Middle East. Continue reading