Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Announces Design Partners

Press release: LAS VEGAS – Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, has announced that five world-class design and construction partners Rockwell Group, Klai Juba Wald Architecture + Interiors, Studio Collective, Taylor International Corporation and McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. – have joined the project to re-conceptualize and develop the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Designs for the new property are nearing completion and construction is set to begin February 2020.

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The re-imagined Las Vegas lifestyle casino resort slated to open at the end of 2020 will feature innovative design and function with 1,504  exceptionally appointed Chambers, Grand Chamber Suites and Penthouse Suites which will include the Virgin Hotels patented bed and in-room technology; an exhilarating and immersive  60,000 square foot casino; over five acres of luxury poolside spaces and outdoor event venues amidst a modern desert landscape; a portfolio of dining options from some of the country’s hottest restauranteurs; captivating lounges and bars featuring the flagship Commons Club as well over 110,000 square feet of re-inspired meeting, event and convention spaces.

Design and construction partners include:

Rockwell Group is an interdisciplinary architecture and design firm based in New York with a satellite office in Madrid that emphasizes innovation and thought leadership in every project. The firm’s notable Las Vegas projects include KAOS Nightclub, Bobby Flay’s Shark, Greene St. Kitchen and the Kingpin and Hardwood Fantasy Suites at Palms Casino Resort; OMNIA Las Vegas; Nobu Hotel Las Vegas; and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Other projects include Virgin Hotels Chicago (the first Virgin Hotels property in the U.S.); Nobu restaurants and hotels worldwide; W Hotels (New York, Nashville, Paris, Madrid, Suzhou, Singapore and Vieques); Moxy Chelsea, Moxy Times Square and Moxy East Village in New York; and set designs for “Tootsie,” “She Loves Me” and The Shed’s inaugural commission, “Soundtrack of America.” Honors and recognition include 2016 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Scenic Design for “She Loves Me;” the AIANY President’s Award; the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award; and the Presidential Design Award.

“We are thrilled to be partnering again with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Virgin Hotels,” said Greg Keffer, Partner, Rockwell Group. “The Las Vegas project continues our relationship with Virgin Hotels, helping to further develop the brand’s signature playful spirit while tapping into the wider context of the desert landscape.”

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Klai Juba Wald Architecture + Interiors, recognized as a premier Hospitality / Gaming Resort Design Firm for more than twenty-three years in creating award-winning integrated resorts.

KJWA+I most recently responsible for the $2.2B property-wide expansions for the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s two flagship Hard Rock properties, including the iconic guitar-shaped +600-key hotel tower in Hollywood, Florida.  The company also proudly continues to lead efforts at the Las Vegas Convention Center Phase 3, Venetian, Bellagio and Palms; and expansion and remodel projects for San Manuel Casino Resort, Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Fremont Hotel and Casino, Rivers Des Plaines (Chicago), Pittsburg and Philadelphia; Maryland Live! hotel and event center; and UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Modernization with its ‘Strip-view’ Pavilion and the Fertitta Football Complex.

“We are beyond excited to lend our expertise, historical knowledge and experience with the property over the past several decades, in bringing both JC Hospitality and Virgin Hotels vision to Las Vegas.” – Brian Fink, Principal, Klai Juba Wald.

Studio Collective, an award winning, boutique design agency based in Venice Beach, have established themselves as the designers for some of the most coveted destinations in hospitality while simultaneously striving to create venues which place an emphasis on both originality and craft. “We are extremely excited to be a part of the reimagining of this iconic property,” remarked Adam Goldstein, design director and partner at Studio Collective. “For our portion of the project, we have chosen to seek inspiration from the surrounding landscapes, both natural and synthetic, of the American Southwest and when woven with the DNA of the Virgin Hotel brand, have sought to create something that is both playful and comfortable, seductive yet surprising.”

Taylor International Corporation, a name that’s been intertwined with Southern Nevada for more than half a century, having constructed MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, The Venetian Resort® Las Vegas, The Palazzo Las Vegas and Stratosphere.  “The entire Taylor Family is excited to be involved with the Re-branding of such an iconic property and to work with and to work alongside such a group of highly talented and professional Designers, Architects and Construction Professionals.” said Jim Mason, President and part Owner of Taylor International.

McCarthy Building Companies, recognized as one of the top 10 entertainment construction companies in the country, has been helping to shape the Las Vegas skyline for more than 40 years. With a strategic approach to hospitality construction, McCarthy’s team of local builders collaborates with owners, design teams and industry partners to bring the vision to life, assuring quality and safety from start to finish.  Their local team of builders has contributed to $700 million of entertainment projects in the last 5 years, including several high-profile property renovations and will be an integral part of building Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

“We are looking forward to bringing our expertise and collaborative, team-driven approach to the development of the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas,” said Jeff Wood, Executive Vice President of McCarthy. “Working in partnership with so many well-respected stakeholders towards the common goal of creating a new lifestyle hotel in the heart of Las Vegas is an amazing opportunity and we can’t wait to get started.”

President and CEO of JC Hospitality, LLC and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas Richard “Boz” Bosworth said of the acclaimed partnerships, “We are thrilled to have such great partners who have a vision for the lifestyle hotel that represents the Virgin Hotels brand.  The expertise of our construction, architecture and design partners is unparalleled and collectively we look forward to delivering a fresh, modern desert oasis to the Entertainment Capital of the World.”

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“The key role our design partners play to distinctively capture the “Virgin Hotels” experience and unique point of view is vital to the brand,” says Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal. “I look forward to working closely with our design partners to further anchor our lifestyle offerings to ensure Virgin Hotels Las Vegas delivers the best in design, heartfelt service, entertainment and culinary excellence.”

The property, located at 4455 Paradise Road, will continue full-service operations under the Hard Rock flag until it opens as a Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. To learn more about what is happening on property, visit

To learn more about Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and other future developments, please visit

Strut & Fret presents Blanc de Blanc celebrates grand opening at Sahara Las Vegas

Blanc de Blanc
Blanc de Blanc Photo: Denise Truscello

Press release: LAS VEGAS (Sept. 5, 2019) – Champagne flowed at SAHARA Las Vegas on Wednesday, Sept. 4, when international cabaret sensation BLANC de BLANC celebrated its grand opening with a VIP red carpet affair. The acclaimed production, which features high-flying aerial stunts, serious booty and one fine French hunk, made its debut inside the recently renamed BLANC de BLANC Theatre with a champagne soiree attended by several Las Vegas entertainers.

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Among those in attendance were Anthony Cools, Aussie Heat, David Goldrake, Eric Jordan Young, Gerry McCambridge, Jennifer Romas, Kate Shelor and Marc Savard, Melody Sweets, Ricardo Laguna, Sabina Kelley, X Burlesque, Zowie Bowie, and performers from FANTASY and Thunder From Down Under, who were seated in the production’s exclusive hot tub seats.

BLANC de BLANC is the Las Vegas debut of Strut & Fret Production House, one of Australia’s preeminent theatre and major events companies. The award-winning production, which has sold out the Sydney Opera House, London’s West End, the Brisbane Festival and the Adelaide Festival, plunges audiences into a world of overflowing champagne bottles, sparkles and glamour, leaving every spectator breathless with delight.

Devised by an electric creative team, BLANC de BLANC was conceived and directed by Scott Maidment (cabaret sensations LIMBO, Cantina, Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour), choreographed by Kevin Maher (choreographer for Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and Madonna), with costumes by James Browne (costume design for musicals Cabaret, Ghost and Xanadu), lighting and set design by Philip Gladwell (Magic Mike Live, The Exorcist), and a thumping soundtrack from Danish electronic artist Kenneth Bager.

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BLANC de BLANC performs Thursdays through Mondays (dark Tuesdays/Wednesdays) at 7 p.m. inside the BLANC de BLANC Theatre. Tickets range in price from $49 to $129 (Hot Tub tickets are priced for groups) and are on sale now at For more information, please visit or follow the show on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Aerosmith Announces 15 Additional Dates For Their Las Vegas Residency “DEUCES ARE WILD” At Park MGM

Aerosmith Las Vegas

Press release: LAS VEGAS (September 5, 2019) – Due to extraordinary demand, America’s all-time top-selling rock ‘n’ roll band, Aerosmith, has announced 15 additional dates through June 2020 for their Las Vegas residency AEROSMITH: DEUCES ARE WILD at Park Theater at Park MGM resort.

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Additionally, fans now have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to party on stage right alongside Aerosmith with the new “VIP ON-STAGE THX-PERIENCE” packages, which are now available for purchase for all shows. The package includes one on-stage seated or standing ticket, one pair of 1more THX-certified Triple Driver Headphones to keep, on-stage VIP bar access and entry access through a separate VIP entrance.

Members of Aerosmith’s “Aero Force One” paid fan club will receive access to an exclusive presale beginning Friday, Sept. 6 at 9 a.m. PT. Aerosmith subscribers will have access to a presale beginning Saturday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. PT.

Citi® is the official presale credit card of the Aerosmith’s residency at Park MGM. As such, Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets beginning Monday, Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. PT until Thursday, Sept. 12 at 10 p.m. PT through Citi EntertainmentSM. For complete presale details visit

M life Rewards loyalty members as well as SiriusXM, Live Nation and Ticketmaster customers will receive access to a presale beginning Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. PT. To join the M life Rewards program, or for more information, visit

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All presales end Thursday, Sept. 12 at 10 p.m. PT. Tickets starting at $75 go on sale Friday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at All shows are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

The 15 new dates going on sale are:

January 2020: 29, 31
February 2020: 3, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15
May 2020: 20, 23, 25, 28, 30
June 2020: 2, 4

A limited number of tickets and VIP packages are available for the following previously-announced performances:

September 2019: 21, 23, 26, 28
October 2019: 1, 3, 6, 8
November 2019: 14, 16, 19, 21, 24, 26, 29
December 2019: 1, 4

Since opening in April 2019, AEROSMITH: DEUCES ARE WILD has received rave reviews from both fans and critics alike. Of the show, Variety says that “the band didn’t disappoint,” while says the show is “an audible history of the group’s five decades.” writes “Aerosmith still rocks, hard, not in spite of their five decades but because of them,” with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution saying that the show “offers fiery spectacle, deep cuts and hits,” and that they “are rock pioneers triumphing in a new environment.” Of the show’s sound system, writes “This is the best live sound we’ve ever heard.”

The centerpiece of AEROSMITH: DEUCES ARE WILD is the 90-minute live performance from the original Aerosmith band members – Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer – who continue to deliver one of the most cohesive and electrifying performances in music. The band goes beyond the average concert by taking fans on a deep dive of their groundbreaking career with exclusive, unreleased audio and never-before-seen visuals from Aerosmith’s archives featured through a twelve screen media presentation (including a 140 ft x 40 ft high def screen) producedby Oscar and Emmy-winning global visual effects studio Pixomondo. Using cutting- edge technology, Pixomondo also brings to life Aerosmith’s infamous logo – the wings – which magically unfold to herald the band’s arrival on stage.

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The Aerosmith: DEUCES ARE WILD Residency at the Park Theater is the world’s first THX Certified live performance presented in L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound, bringing fans face-to-face with America’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in one of the most immersive, state-of-the art audio experiences ever. With more than 230 high-performance L-Acoustics loudspeakers and nearly 300,000 Watts of power, L-ISA surrounds the audience in a sphere of sound to convey the band’s stellar setlist in vibrant, hyperreal detail, wrapping fans in the ultimate 360° rock ‘n’ roll immersion. As a part of the THX certification process, THX engineers evaluated the L-Acoustics system design and its implementation, and verified the alignment of the acoustics systems and the seamless integration the equipment and technologies. As a result, concert-goers can expect sound to reflect wider sweet spots, improvement to vocal quality playback, and greater consistent frequency response throughout the performance. Fans can also purchase tickets to experience Aerosmith from the THX Certified On-Stage VIP, where they will have an unparalleled onstage vantage point seated in the middle of the action.On-stage, they will receive privileged access to studio-quality audio direct from the Aerosmith mixing board via MIXhaloaudio technology through their own pair of THX Certified 1More Triple Driver in-ear headphones, which have beenexpertly tuned by GRAMMY award-winning sound engineer Luca Bignardi.

Buffalo Wild Wings Partners With BetMGM To Bring Sports Gaming Experiences To Fans Nationwide

Press release: ATLANTA, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Buffalo Wild Wings is joining forces with MGM Resorts International and its sports betting venture, Roar Digital, for a multi-year partnership – a first-of-its-kind alignment between a national sports bar and a gaming leader. In accordance with applicable regulatory requirements, the partnership will deliver sports gaming experiences at a national scale inside Buffalo Wild Wings through MGM’s digital gaming platform, BetMGM. In addition, the deal is expected to spawn collaborations inside MGM properties and sports books, including a new Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar slated to open at Mandalay Bay in 2020. Roar Digital is the 50/50 venture established in July 2018 between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings.

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While the strategic alignment between these industry leaders is focused on capitalizing on future opportunities as states continue to pass sports betting legislation, consumers will begin to experience BetMGM at Buffalo Wild Wings as early as this week. The partnership kicks off today with a free-to-play football game available nationwide. Plans also include a sports betting test program in New Jersey later this year with the goal of expanding to additional states as legislation is passed.

“Our partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings is an important development in MGM and Roar’s position as the leader in sports entertainment and betting,” said MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren. “With more than 1,200 sports bars across the country, Buffalo Wild Wings is firmly established as a ‘go-to’ venue for sports viewing in all of its markets. Adding access to MGM’s world-class properties and the BetMGM mobile app will create unique customer experiences and redefine how fans enjoy sports.”

“As the largest sports bar in the country, Buffalo Wild Wings has the opportunity to pioneer sports gaming experiences for fans, and we are taking the first critical step on that journey through our partnership with BetMGM,” said Lyle Tick, President, Buffalo Wild Wings. “This is a landmark relationship between two preeminent experience brands that puts us in a position to innovate the current sports watching experience to bring the best of sports gaming to our guests.”

In-Restaurant Gaming: Nationwide Free-to-Play Game via BetMGM and New Jersey Sports Betting Tests

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The first consumer-facing product to come from this partnership is Picks and Props, a free-to-play, mobile-only football game available nationwide starting today when the pro football season kicks off. The game offers a seamless sports betting-like experience with no stakes attached. Players have the opportunity to win prizes like trips to Las Vegas to place a parlay bet for the Big Game that could pay out at $1 million or to Borgata in New Jersey to compete in the first BetMGM sports betting competition. To play Picks and Props, simply download the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ Rewards app, then make game picks based on the spread, answer prop questions and choose top fantasy performers for the week. While fans can play anywhere, they must check in at a Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar between Thursday and Sunday to be eligible for prizes.

Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM also will collaborate on a sports betting test program in New Jersey later this year. The program will give consumers exclusive perks, such as enhanced odds and free bets, when the BetMGM app is accessed inside Buffalo Wild Wings. Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM aim to expand the program to additional states as legislation allows.

Future Experiences
Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM will deliver a variety of additional consumer-facing initiatives as the partnership develops over time, including:

Buffalo Wild Wings sports bars across the country will begin showcasing custom sports book content on TV screens inside the sports bars, featuring live odds provided by BetMGM.

At least three new Buffalo Wild Wings sports bars are expected to open within MGM properties or in partnership with BetMGM as additional states come online – the first is expected to open in mid-2020 inside Mandalay Bay, which is adjacent to the site of the new Las Vegas pro football stadium.

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Adam Greenblatt, CEO, Roar Digital, said, “Buffalo Wild Wings is a perfect complement to our best-in-class sports betting and igaming products as they are leaders in serving up exciting and innovative game day experiences. This multi-year relationship will strengthen as states adopt sports betting regulations, with strategies already in place to drive customer adoption, engagement and loyalty.”

The partnership will be supported by co-marketing initiatives from Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM including joint efforts across digital and social media platforms.

Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM will work together to encourage responsible gaming practices in restaurant and via the BetMGM mobile app. For information on MGM Resorts’ innovative responsible gambling program, visit

FOX Bet Sportsbook Launches In New Jersey, Pennsylvania

FOX Bet Sportsbook Launches In New Jersey, Pennsylvania

The new sports betting app from Fox Sports, FOX Bet , went live in New Jersey over the weekend. On Wednesday, one day before the 2019 NFL season kicked off, the new sportsbook soft-launched in Pennsylvania, giving millions of sports fans in the Northeast another option to place their wagers during the football season.

Zombie Rampage Paintball Hunt invades The Core Arena at the Plaza Hotel & Casino this month

Zombie Rampage Paintball
Zombie Rampage Paintball

Press release: LAS VEGAS – The Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas in conjunction with Live A Little Productions is proud to announce that the Zombie Rampage Paintball Hunt attraction will invade the Plaza’s Core Arena beginning Friday, Sept. 6.  This all-new attraction brings to Las Vegas the thrills of paintball shooting, live target interaction, and monster trucks!  Every Wednesday through Sunday evening in September, guests can climb aboard a 14-foot tall monster bus and fire away at the zombies roaming the arena.

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“To say that we’re excited to bring this attraction to Las Vegas is a major understatement,” said Skyler Neibaur, CEO of Live A Little Productions, which produces motorsports events, concerts, and zombie hunts across the country.  “The outstanding folks at the Plaza Hotel & Casino and the Core Arena have been an absolute pleasure to work with, and we are ecstatic that we are able to produce this one-of-a-kind event in downtown Las Vegas!”

“When we opened the Core Arena, we envisioned hosting a multitude of events, including those never-before-seen in Las Vegas,” said Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. “We are excited to welcome zombie hunters, from near and far, to come downtown to the Core Arena next month for an experience they will never forget.”

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Hunts start at 6 p.m. each night and run every 20 minutes. Patrons can buy tickets for their preferred date and time slot online at or at the Plaza Hotel & Casino Box Office on the casino floor. Ticket prices are $30 for General Admission with 100 rounds of paintballs, and $45 for VIP, which offers guests priority boarding on to the bus and 300 rounds of paintballs. Prices are plus taxes and fees. Children ages 5 to 12 are permitted with an adult admission, and children under 5 years of age are not permitted.

Lagasse’s Stadium Kicks Off Football Season with New Game-Day Match-Ups Food Specials

Press release: LAS VEGAS (Sept 4, 2019) – Lagasse’s Stadium at The Venetian Resort invites sports fans to celebrate the return of football season with unrivaled viewing parties and specially-curated menus available during all Monday and Thursday night games.

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With more than 100 HD screens, including a 9 foot x 16 foot main display, luxury boxes, plush stadium-style seating, billiard tables, and an outdoor patio, Lagasse’s Stadium is the perfect location for visitors and locals to take in all the action and cheer on their favorite sports teams throughout the season. When inspiration strikes to place a sports bet, Lagasse’s Stadium is also home to a full-service sports book.

Game-day “match-ups” include competing food specials that highlight the hometown favorites of each featured team:

To see a full list of Monday and Thursday night football specials, visit

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Lagasse’s Stadium is located in The Palazzo tower of The Venetian Resort. It is open daily from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. You must be 21 years of age, or older, to dine or visit Lagasse’s Stadium. For more information and to make reservations, please call 702.607.2665 or visit

Holiday Hell Fest Takes Over Downtown Las Vegas with Cattle Decapitation, Unearth and More Dec. 13

Hell Fest
Hell Fest

Press release: LAS VEGAS – Sept. 3, 2019 – Get ready to raise the devil horns this holiday season as Smash Magazine debuts the first-ever Holiday Hell Fest at Backstage Bar & Billiards and Fremont Country Club (601 Fremont St.) on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Apocalyptic metalheads Cattle Decapitation and metalcore group Unearth bring their nation-wide tours together for one hell of an event in Downtown Las Vegas along with Atheist, Darkest Hour, Primitive Man, Author & Punisher and Vitriol. Doors to Holiday Hell Fest open at 6 p.m. and tickets start at $26. Fans have the option to upgrade to a combo package for an additional $20 which includes a commemorative festival t-shirt and an 18×24 poster. Tickets can be purchased at or via the Smash Magazine App. This is a 21 and over show.

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Get instant news and updates on the free Smash Magazine App by texting “SMASH” to ‘94502’ available on the Apple App and Google Play stores. All tickets can be purchased at or via the free Smash Magazine Mobile App, so mark your calendars for a lineup of hard hittin’ shows this summer! App Perks rewards users for using the Smash Mobile App – check in or at any live show and after 250 pts earn FREE concert tickets for you and a guest.

Over the course of nineteen years and six full-lengths, the San Diego based band Cattle Decapitation have more than proven themselves as one of the most vital, brutal and relentless forces in extreme music, and with The Anthropocene Extinction, they have delivered a volatile, apocalyptic beast that is as hideous as it is compelling. With 2012’s Monolith of inhumanity, Cattle Decapitation delivered a sledgehammer blow, maintaining their position at the most violent end of the death metal spectrum yet expanding their sound, allowing a little more melody in without losing any of their intensity. As always tied together by a central concept, the lyrics bluntly illustrated the fate of the human race if allowed to continue pillaging and destroying the planet. Rather than taking such themes and applying them to introspective, navel-gazing music, they weld them onto a soundtrack of all out savagery. Dominated by their blistering death-grind attack, shades of caustic black metal seep in across the record, and they further expand on the more epic and melodic aspects of its predecessor, at the same time making for a far more cohesive listening experience.

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After an awe-inspiring 15 years of blazing trails and dominating stages, Unearth is now institutionalized as a relentless force in heavy metal, standing the test of time with consistently triumphant creative output, tireless road warrior resilience, blue collar-style workmanship and a resolute determination to deliver the goods. Like Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Testament and Anthrax before them, Unearth emerged as part of a burgeoning revolution in heavy music but continued to maintain their relevance and mastery of their craft. The band resisted and prevailed against changing trends, subcultural fashions and the way music is obtained and distributed with their credibility, integrity and unique persona intact. The men of Unearth – vocalist Trevor Phipps, guitarists Buz McGrath and Ken Susi, bassist John “Slo” Maggard – are proven “lifers.” In just a couple of short years, drummer Nick Pierce has proven his commitment as well. They have put the furtherance of uncompromising heavy music at the forefront of their career goals. Unearth perseveres, conquers and continues to achieve.