For me, one of the best things about seeing music legends live is discovering new bands. So when getting ready to photograph Yngwie Malmsteen on tour, I was excited to see whom he would bring as support. As it turned out, opener Paralandra is a highlight of the 2019 concert season.
Paralandra is a hard-rock band whose sound has been compared to bands including Halestorm and Evanescence. Fronted by Casandra Carson on vocals and guitar, with her father Paul on lead guitar, Nick Gray on drums and Sawyer Rikard on bass, the band’s big, bold sound and riffs are reminiscent of the classic thrash bands – though with sonically complex, at times orchestral arrangements, this is a band that appeals to multiple generations of fans, and cannot be pigeonholed into a narrow genre.
The band started in the summer of 2013 as Casandra and Paul Carson decided to create a band to perform the songs they had begun writing. Within less than 2 months, the newly formed band began playing live and recording. They soon began to enjoy more widespread and high profile shows, including opening for Hinder, Scott Weiland, Alice In Chains, Disturbed, Soundgarden, and many more. They have also been invited to numerous showcases across the country, including playing at the Millennium Music Conference 2015, SXSW 2016 & 2017, and Launch Music Conference 2017; and played at national music festivals including Rockfest, Dirtfest, and Rocklahoma.
Recognition has been fast – Paralandra has been nominated “Best Original Band” by the readers of 417 Magazine, “Best Musical Performance” on the late night talk show, The Mystery Hour, and “Year’s Best Band Performance” by Ozarks LIVE! on KOZL, a CBS television network. And In 2016 their new release, “All Fall Down“, debuted, hitting #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
It may be intimidating to go out and play guitar for a crowd that came to hear Yngwie – though you wouldn’t know it with Paralandra. The sonic textures, the powerful voice, the crisp riffs – executed with alacrity, delivered with confidence.
Currently on tour with Yngwie Malmsteen, the band is destined for great things ahead. Catch them live, and check out the music and videos at https://www.paralandrarocks.com/.