An AP Euro Renaissance

Story by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief
Photos by: Ian Carson, Editor in Chief

Ren Faire full

This month, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Renaissance Faire, an event organized to celebrate and relive the past. People from all over the world, including Canada, flock to this event clothed in Renaissance garb and ready to have a great time.

The atmosphere of the event is relatively historically accurate, with an interesting mix of past and present. For example, there was a historical reenactment of a joust which captivated myself and the audience. The joust pitted a female jouster against a male. Throughout the joust there was a high air of suspense as the two fought using period weaponry and armor. Perhaps the most interesting part was that the host of History Channel’s “Full Metal Jousting” was there to provide commentary during the joust. With witty comments and amusing remarks, Shane Adams provided an additional layer of interest to the event. The female was knocked off her horse and required medical attention after the incident, adding to the intense atmosphere.

The food at the fair was relatively decent, but it was lacking the charm of the Renaissance era. For example, most of the foods offered were modern but with older names. For example, curly fries with cheese and meat were called “Kinky Spuds.” However, even more out of place, there was a Gigi’s Cupcakes booth that offered an assortment of cupcakes.

Ren Faire partialThe staff at the fair was very interactive and I enjoyed playing along with them. Because I was outfitted as a plague doctor, the staff began putting black clothes pins on fair-goers and having them come to me for removal. Along with that was a fairy virus called “Glerpes,” which involved sparkles being thrown at people. The staff consistently called phones “fairy screens,” which added to the overall amusement.

Those in attendance included Mrs. Terrell’s AP European History class, all of whom enjoyed the experience.

Leanza Valenti, 12, said, “It was a lot of fun and a really interesting experience. I plan on going next year.”

All in all, I would say that the Renaissance Faire in Fishers was a success, and I cannot wait to return next year.

A Lagoon adventure

Story by: Claire Dorsch
Photos by: Claire Dorsch

Lagoon swings

Lagoon Amusement Park is located in Farmington, Utah, which I had the opportunity to visit during fall break vacation while visiting family. My group consisted of my mother, her cousins Katie and Brooke, Katie’s son Mason, and my little brothers. With an arsenal of food courtesy of a necessary trip to Costco, we made or way through the crowd, deposited our food and jackets in an unattended corner, and went on some rides.

My favorite ride was Cannibal, a 22 million dollar roller coaster that reaches 70 miles per hour. The best way to ride was to get in the singles line, which was conveniently empty, and park my butt in an open seat.

At first I was scared, because getting on I was close to the ground, but where the ride actually began was several stories inside a large brown building. Little did I know that there was a giant elevator that actually took us up the entire 208 foot tower and precariously placed us on the edge. At this point, the family of three next to me was subject to my babbling about calling CPS on my mother, who had convinced me to go on the ride in the first place.

It was comparable to the Diamondback in King’s Island, which is located in Mason, Ohio, but not the kind of scary that gave me dry mouth like the Diamondback does for me.

My next favorite ride was Samurai, a red and black terror that plays the Fruit Ninja background music as I and 29 other rides spin for ninety seconds, that on Lagoon’s website, is described to be extreme yet smooth and thrilling. Each radial arm of the ride freely rotates, so one second I was sitting upright, and the next I was upside down and being knocked around like a penny in the clothes dryer. Eating before getting on this ride was not a smart decision on my part, but in all my stomach stayed relatively indifferent to the centrifugal force whipping me around for all to see.

Roller Coaster, the oldest ride in the park, reminded me of the Beast which is also in King’s Island. I love wooden roller coasters because they make me wonder how people were scared of them back when they were first being built, because they are relatively tame compared to today’s thrill rides.

Lagoon big bookThe whole day was a great experience, and I was glad to get a chance to reconnect with my family from Utah who I see almost never. If anyone were to travel to Salt Lake City and want a place to hang out with friends have have a day to let out the inner adrenaline junky inside like I did, this would be the place to be.

Lagoon octopus

Tying the knot on the Slipknot tour

Story and Photos by: Halee Evans, staff photographer


Metal heads and rockers of the like flocked to Klipsch Music Center on August 14 for a night of partying and music.

With a lineup that could kill and a total of three bands, Slipknot’s “Summer’s Last Stand” tour ended with a bang. Their last concert for the tour was on September 25 in Dallas, Texas.

Also playing at the concert were Bullet For My Valentine and Lamb of God.

Bullet For My Valentine was the first band to perform, and they had the crowd pumped. People were screaming along with the lyrics and mosh-pits were a common occurrence.

Lamb of God was a little less impressive. Their set seemed to be the perfect time to get a snack or talk to the people walking around.

“The line up was perfect, two good bands sandwiched in between a bathroom break. Lamb of God was the bathroom break by the way,” said Alex Jeschke, 11.

There were a lot of very friendly people at the concert or in the crowd. Everyone talked with each other, mostly about music and previous concerts. The most interesting people to talk to there where the people who were veteran concert goers. The whole event was one big party, with lots of rules and safety precautions of course.

After the snacks were had and everyone was ready to rock again, the main event started.

Slipknot killed their performance and had the crowd out of their seats and jumping.

As always, Slipknot made a huge production with their stage decorations. With their signature masks and flaming drum set, every eye was on stage and every mouth was singing along.

This is my second time seeing Slipknot live and I would recommend seeing them any chance you get. Their music may be a little aggressive for some, but they put on a show like no other.

Playing a total of ten songs, including the three encore songs, Slipknot had the crowd in the palm of their hands. With the mosh-pits at an all time high and the volume all the way up, I could not have been more in my element. The concert was one of the best I had ever been to.

By the end of the night everyone was dripping with sweat and and reeked of a good time. This was one concert that if you didn’t lose your voice and you mind by the end, than you were doing something wrong.

One Direction sells out Lucas Oil

Story by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor
Photos by: Baylie Clevenger, Managing Editor

one direction crowd

The lights go out, the music blasts and screams erupt. Everyone is in a frenzy in an attempt to see as much as they can, and the tears run. The concert has begun.

On July 31st, One Direction took Indianapolis by storm in a way no one could have expected.

I attended the concert, and after seeing this band for the third time, I  can say that I am always more than impressed by their talent and ability to entertain.

The show opened up with a song off their most recent album, Four, called “Clouds.” It was upbeat and the perfect way to get the crowd pumped up. One would expect the performance to be less impressive seeing as they just lost their fifth band member, Zayn Malik, but they did not fail to absolutely knock everyone’s’ socks completely off.

“I don’t even like the band and they impressed me,” said Sydney Shurman, 12.

By far the best part of the concert was when they performed their new single, “Drag Me Down,”  live for the first time. The song has a catchy beat, and to say that the vocals of these four beyond talented young men are impressive would be an insulting understatement. This song will be featured on their new album, which is yet to be named.

The concert was a great experience and I recommend seeing One one direction concertDirection live. They were entertaining and it was obvious that they genuinely wanted to be doing what they were doing. They even thanked the crowd multiple times just for being there.

I left the concert that night with one of feeling like I had had the time of my life. Seeing them again in the future is definitely something I am looking forward to.

Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson rocked our state’s capital and I am grateful that I was able to experience it.

Mr. Holmes

Story by: Tess Barnett, Reviews Editor

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved character Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed by many actors in both movies and a TV series. Until now, all have been at least loosely based off of Sherlock Holmes while he was still an active detective.

Writer Mitch Cullin, however, decided to go in a new direction with his Holmes. “Mr. Holmes,” directed by Bill Condon, tells the story of a senile Sherlock who has retired to the English countryside. As the story unfolds, we discover that he left the detective business after a botched case that he was unable to overcome.

Sherlock Holmes is accompanied on his journey of trying to remember the case by his housekeeper’s young son, Roger, who is played by Milo Parker. Holmes spends his days caring for his apiary and trying to discover ways to regain his memory.

While it is not the most exciting movie I have ever seen, Ian McKellen,also known as Gandalf, does an extraordinary job of playing the dying detective. His interactions with Roger are highly paternal and he incites genuine concern and wonder from the audience.

“Mr. Holmes” is a highly original movie that starred beautiful people in a beautiful area. There is much to be said for the cinematography of the film, which left me longing to return to the beautiful countryside of the British Isles.

Even though it will not be in theaters much longer, “Mr. Holmes” is definitely a movie that all fans of Sherlock Holmes should see.

Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.

Story by: Kailee Isham, staff writer
Listening to For King & Country’s new album, it is easy to see why the album won a Grammy at this year’s ceremony. The album boasts songs that utilize several styles of music and an array of different electronic and conventional instruments, such as cellos, synthesizers, and snare drums.

One song, “Without You,” is a bittersweet love song that employs an intricate piano part to convey the feeling of the song, whereas “Fix My Eyes,” is an upbeat song about living to the fullest, and features drums and violins.

“Shoulders” is a sad but hopeful song about God making up for one’s shortcomings, and is one of my personal favorites on the album.

“This is Love” is a song about someone realizing that the feelings they have for another, and making a promise to be strong and faithful. It takes advantage of a strong beat and a simple, but beautiful, piano part.

The album “RUN WILD. LIVE FREE. LOVE STRONG,” cannot be pegged into just one category. The one feature each song has in common is that, while not each song is explicitly Christian, each song is uplifting and free from all forms of vulgarity.This album has earned its place on my playlist.

Twenty one pilots

Story by: Ian Carson, Managing Editor

On May 19 the popular band twenty one pilots’ released their new album entitled “Blurryface.” Fans have been waiting with haste since the announcement on March 17, as their last album was released two years ago. However, before the release date, the band released five of the songs that are on this album.

“Tear In My Heart,” the second song released, deviated from the band’s usual neurotic pop-esque style. “Tear In My Heart” has a generally upbeat and rock-like feel to it. The song features lyrics such as, “My taste in music is your face,” and “My heart is my armor./ She’s the tear in my heart.” Such lyrics reinforce the happy attitude of the song, a break from their usual sad tone. The song is very enjoyable and encourages listeners to just get up and dance.

“Fairly Local” presents an interesting sound that is difficult to describe. The song is mostly rapped with heavy use of electronic elements. The song has a much more complex meaning than the other songs on the album. The song includes the lyrics, “We’re so cold./It’s the few, the proud, the emotional.” The song has a much deeper meaning concerning how people handle emotions. The song has a consistent beat, but not one that is particularly danceable.

“Lane Boy” is the most recently published song on the album. Although the song, at first glance, seems to deviate too much from the band’s usual style, but it actually has an impressive message. Tyler Joseph, the singer, included the following lyrics, “There’s a few songs on this record that feel common. / I’m in constant confrontation with what I want and what is popping in the industry.” The song is mainly rapped, but inculdes a very danceable beat and heavy use of electronic elements and percussion. The song goes on to discuss how twenty one pilots feels pressured by the music industry to “stay in their lane,” which is exactly what they do not want to do.

All in all, the prospects for this album are very good. I, along with many other fans, eagerly awaited the release of their new album.


Story by: Dakota Fisher, staff writer

March 13 marked the band Smallpools’ second visit to Indianapolis, this time headlining. The Indie-Pop quartet from Los Angeles recently released their first album, “Lovetap” that includes their hit “Dreaming.”

The lights died down and the opening act, Grizfolk, left the stage.

Fog machines were in full swing, the smell of Halloween permeated the air and the magic began.

Smallpools’ lead guitarist, Mike Kamerman- whom I met shortly after the show- acted as a composer and pretended to conduct the crowd. After his symphony was over and the man beside me and I had bumped elbows numerous times, the stage went black.

The typical “HELLO INDIANAPOLIS!!! HOW YOU DOIN’ TONIGHT?!?” rang through the room and the crowd erupted with screams and ” I love you’s” from 13 year old girls in flannels.

“I have a story,” lead singer Sean Scanlon said as the hearts of the entire crowd raced and adrenaline pumped through our already far-too-excited-veins. Sean told us about a strange dream he’d had that inspired the song, “No Story Time.”

As the intro to the next song began and it built up to the first line, the crowd was practically vibrating. Of course there were the few people standing perfectly still as to get a good shot of Beau killing it on the drums, but the rest of us had no restraint.

“I want all of you to turn your phones off,” Sean instructed. “No matter what, I want all technology away. Even if the Devil himself comes down and starts talking to you.” At that point in his short speech, his voice doubled as though ‘the devil’ had possessed him. Following the exorcism of Sean Scanlon , they begin performing their title song, “Lovetap,” to a phone-free crowd.

Throughout the rest of the night the energy never died and the crowd was energetic as ever.

It is always nice to see a band live, especially in instances such as this when the band is far more talented live than they are on record. Live, they can add so much more grit and emotion and the pressure of getting it right is gone. It is amazing to see a band just lose control on stage.

Smallpools’ first album, “Lovetap,” is now available on iTunes.


Kid Rock releases 10th studio album

Story by: Gavin Craig, staff writer

“And now these days when I drive through a small town, I turn my stereo up and roll my windows down…”

This is one of the lines heard in a thirty-second iTunes preview of Kid Rock’s newly-released album “First Kiss.” While it can be hard to judge an entire album based off of a portion of one song, this preview left me under the impression that the rapper-turned country-rock-singer’s tenth studio album was going to be little more than a mediocre collection of songs that sounded like a rip-off of Florida-Georgia Line.

Regardless, my status as a longtime Kid Rock fan compelled me to give it a chance, and recent events had left me with money to burn, so I went ahead and bought it. Surprisingly enough, by the end of the fifth track, I reached the conclusion that “First Kiss” is easily one of Kid Rock’s best three or four albums.

The first track, “First Kiss,” for which the album is named, was highly predictable coming from an artist like Kid Rock in terms of its lyrics and message about good times and simple fun, but it sports an energizing sound that carries on from the first few guitar chords to the final chorus. Other songs worth mentioning include “Johnny Cash,” “One More Song,” and “Drinking Beer With Dad,” all of which win a little more with their lyrics than their sound.

I think that it is important to bear in mind the vibe that “First Kiss” gives off compared to earlier works such as the 1998 album “Devil Without a Cause.” The former gives listeners a feeling of happiness, bliss and recollection of old memories, while the latter seems to be full of anger and chaos. To me, this shows the changing of the singer’s mindset over the years, which has evolved from that of a rebellious teenager to that of an older man looking back on his life. This idea is the heart of what makes “First Kiss” great in my mind.

On the other hand, this album definitely has its flaws. For instance the song “Ain’t Enough Whiskey” shows Kid Rock’s trademark political ignorance and closed-mindedness, especially in the lines, “Monkeys in suits writing laws and rules, they just bicker and fight, but I ain’t gotta listen to them fools, ’cause I know what’s right.” It seems like he has not quite caught up with the majority of society in that regard, and showing it in his lyrics is detrimental to the album.

My only other complaint lies with the song “Jesus and Bocephus,” a religious song that sounds somewhat like it belongs in a church sermon, rather than with the other songs on the album.

While not perfect, “First Kiss” is a solid collection of works that is definitely worth buying.

Sleeping with Sirens and Pierce the Veil review

Story by: Stephani McDole, staff writer

On February 7, a beautiful concert took place at the Old National Center in downtown Indy: The Sleeping with Sirens and Pierce the Veil concert.

The two bands have been touring together for their Rockstar Energy Drink tour, alternating as headliners. At this particular show, Sleeping with Sirens headlined.

Before the two better known bands hit the stage, two other bands opened up. The first band, Mallory Knox, got the crowd pumped. Personally, I did not know of the band until that night, so every word they said sounded like verbalized mashed potatoes. However, they still sounded swell.

The second opening act, Pvris, swept me away. They had a female lead singer, which is rare in the pop-punk world. The crowd had mixed reactions to the band, despite the amazing vocals. I would have listened to that band all night. That girl knew how to perform.

After a long wait, Pierce the Veil took the stage. The crowd went crazy for them. Lights flashed, the bass rang through the air nonstop, and to top it all off, the band members kept throwing picks and drum sticks into the crowd. This is when the pushing and shoving became a battle amongst the fans. Everyone fought to get to the front, which made it really hard to record anything, or even enjoy the music.

Once the crowd settled down, the show became easier to spectate. The band cleared the stage and the lead singer, Victor Fuentes, sang an acoustic version of their song “I’m Low on Gas and You Need a Jacket.” It was a nice break from the intense sound.

Before Sleeping with Sirens took over, the lead singer, Kellin Quinn, joined Pierce the Veil to perform a song he is featured in, “King for a Day.” It was one of my favorite songs to watch them perform because Quinn and Fuentes work so well together on stage.

By the time Sleeping with Sirens finally took the stage, I had made it to the front of the crowd. Once the band began playing, I was mesmerized. The whole band knew how to rock the stage and blew me away.

After a few of their ear-ringing jams, the band also took a break with an acoustic cover of the Goo Goo Dolls song, “Iris.” Phone lights waved in the air like lighters and the whole crowd seemed to be singing along.

Overall, the concert was perfect. The lights, the sound, the people, despite the body odor and mosh pits everywhere. My ears rang for three days after, and I’d have to say it was totally worth all the bruises.