Michael Goldberg

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    Slayer and Rob Zombie Launch 'Hell on Earth' Tour

    With temperatures threatening to kiss triple digits in muggy downtown Reading, PA, Wednesday night, it felt more Hades-like outside the Sovereign Center than inside, where old-school thrashers Slayer and horror-schlock rocker Rob Zombie teamed up for the first time in more than a decade to launch their North American "Hell on Earth" tour. Still, both acts did their part to bring the evil and the chaos, and make stumbling out into the sweltering night air afterward feel like a relief from the draining, brutal assault. Visually, it was a study in contrasts.

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    Green Day Kick Off Epic Tour Near Philly

    If you hopped inside a flux-capacitor-equipped DeLorean, traveled back in time to Berkeley's crusty 924 Gilman Street club circa 1989, and told someone in the crowd that the scrappy, sneering punk trio ripping through its three chords in the corner would someday become multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, Broadway musical-inspiring, arena-filling, pyro-launching superstars, they'd probably laugh so hard that the safety pin would fly out of their nose. Two decades later, though, that's exactly where Green Day stands, and in front of a near-capacity crowd of 24,000 at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ (just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia) -- where they kicked off the second North American leg of their 21st Century Breakdown world tour last night -- the band delivered a marathon three-hour, career-spanning spectacle filled with more peaks than valleys. Following a

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    Thursday Open U.S. Tour in a Sweatbox

    "I have a rule about not playing in shorts," Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly said prior to the New Jersey post-hardcore sextet's U.S. tour opener at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia on Friday night. "But I have a pair of cutoffs that I'm gonna whip out just for this show, and then I'll go back to my rule." Wherefore the momentous occasion? The decidedly no-frills, wood-paneled basement of the church is a notoriously brutal sweatbox even in the dead of winter -- never mind a late-summer Philly evening. Rickly remembered the room from the last time Thursday played here: Back in 2003, when the band came through on its third album (and major-label debut), War All the Time. Six years later, they were returning in support of this year's fifth LP (and debut for Epitaph), Common Existence, which they re-released last week as a "digital deluxe edition" with five bonus tracks.

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