While many suspected the once acclaimed and popular Guitar Hero video game franchise was officially on hiatus, recent announcements have declared the game will be back and better than ever. Slated for release in fall 2015, the game is being titled "Guitar Hero Live," and while details are still scarce, an official lineup has revealed that Fall Out Boy leads the way among other rock giants such as The Rolling Stones, The Black Keys, Green Day and more.
Game will produce more live music feel
Previous games in the Guitar Hero series tended to focus more on the skill aspect of punching in buttons while playing user's favorite songs on their own TV screen. However, a recent video has been released by the game's producers Activision that emphasizes how this version in particular will be more catered to producing the live feel bands like Fall Out Boy create every night while selling out arenas.
The game will be a first-person experience, where you'll be a member of a band that starts off playing the low-key, bar shows until you work your way to the top, packing stadiums with thousands of fans. The graphics will also stray away from the cartoonish qualities of previous installments and instead incorporate live action footage, so your bandmates and audience members will look like real people. Fans in the crowd will also respond to how well you play, booing if you begin to miss notes and cheering you on as you exceed expectations.
Year of Fall Out Boy
Being announced as one of the leading bands for the new Guitar Hero game is just the icing on the cake for Fall Out Boy in 2015. This year is shaping up to be something special for the band hailing from Wilmette, Illinois, as they inch closer to their 15 year anniversary with a worldwide tour that kicks off in June and is slated to go on until late October. April alone has seen a lot of activity from the pop punk rockers, as the band made a special performance at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards and bassist Pete Wentz threw out the opening pitch for the Chicago Cubs in his nearby hometown of Chicago.
Back in January, the band released its sixth studio album titled American Beauty/American Psycho, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, being the band's third No. 1 album and selling 218,000 equivalent copies in its first week. Critics responded to the release with rave reviews, and the album has spawned singles such as "Centuries," "Irresistible" and "Uma Thurman."
Taylor Swift's 1989, her first foray strictly into pop music, has proven that she has unfathomable crossover appeal. The country artist turned pop icon's album, named after the year in which she was born, sold more than 4 million units in the U.S. alone in its first 12 weeks and more than 6 million copies total worldwide. 1989 kicks off with an upbeat track titled "Welcome to New York," perhaps in reference to Swift's move to the city in 2014. In honor of her new hometown, Swift has announced recurring donations to NYC Public Schools stemming from sales of the song, and began with a $50,000 donation in late February 2015.
New York's Welcome Ambassador
Swift originally promised to donate proceeds from the single to her new home's school system back in October 2014 on "The View." That same month, Swift was named the NYC & Company's global "Welcome Ambassador," and began her duties by making a number of promotional videos for the Big Apple. Though she initially caught some flack on social media for the size of her donation, NYC officials were quick to clarify that Swift would be making regular donations on a continuing basis.
Devora Kaye, NYC's Department of Education press secretary told Entertainment Weekly, "We're deeply appreciative of this kind gesture to donate her proceeds of the single 'Welcome to New York' to benefit NYC public schools."
A spokeswoman for the artist also ensured EW that "this is not a one-time donation." According to Time, Swift held an event with students from NYC public schools in fall 2014 and is often recognized for her philanthropic efforts.
As welcome ambassador to the city that never sleeps, Swift's promotional videos have included praise for the quality of NYC's coffee and lattes and definitions of vocabulary specific to the city. Though Swift has not lived in the city long, her ongoing donations to the school system and marketing heft are a sure sign that she can make a positive impact on her new home. The artist currently resides in a penthouse apartment in Tribeca.
For the majority of 2015, Swift is scheduled to be performing on her "1989 World Tour" with support from Vance Joy, Haim and Shawn Mendes. The tour will take the artist across stadiums and arenas in the U.S. and Europe, before she closes out the year with a handful of shows in Australia.
Clint Eastwood's film adaptation of the cultural sensation "Jersey Boys" is slated to come to DVD this holiday shopping season. The film is a musical biography of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, based off the celebrated musical of the same name. According to SI Live, the Blu-ray DVD is loaded with extras and bonus featurettes. While the film may be a great gift to get for the theater lover in your family, the only way to truly experience "Jersey Boys" is by enjoying the live stage production. The show has won a slew of Tony and Grammy awards, and is so successful that the national tour is in its eighth year. With "Jersey Boys" traveling throughout the U.S., theater tickets provide the perfect outing for this holiday season.
In many ways, "Jersey Boys" has become a national treasure, showcasing the possibility of making it in America. Productions of the musical are performed in major cities across the country, and the one in New York is in its ninth year on Broadway. Hayden Milanes plays the role of Frankie Valli on the national tour, performing 27 songs each show. Needless to say, that's a tall order for any actor, but in this case it's especially challenging, considering Milanes is cast as an American icon.
"When I go out there playing Frankie, the attention and recognition is for him," Milanes told the Idaho Statesman. "I'm playing a guy who has made a great name for himself and they're applauding me, but it is really borrowed glory. The reality is people come to see Frankie, not me."
The Four Seasons gained international success in the 1960s, becoming one of the most recognizable rock 'n' roll groups of all time. The group still tours, however, Valli is the only remaining original member who continues to perform. The group's original members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Known for singles like "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and "Big Girls Don't Cry," The Four Seasons were first known as The Varitones and then The Four Lovers before adapting their timeless moniker.
Now, "Jersey Boys" first came to Broadway in 2005 and became an instant success. Since then, it has continued to run on Broadway, and various productions have entertained audiences worldwide. The national tour is currently performing the musical in theaters across the country.