The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Y&T Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, February 12, 2016

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Seeing Y&T last night was pretty much a last minute decision.  I had never seen them and there wasn’t much going on last night, so Rodney and I grabbed some quick dinner and got to the show right as the last of the opening acts was finishing.  They were horrible, by the way.

I’ve seen and heard enough live stuff in recent years to know that Dave Meniketti still sounds great.  I don’t have any real excuses for not seeing them before.  Unfortunately Dave is the only original member left in the band, but he’s the most important.

They opened up with Black Tiger and Lipstick and Leather.  Dave’s voice sounded a little weak but not bad.  Then they went into my favorite Y&T song, Don’t Stop Runnin’.  Everything sounded great.  Dave is such an incredible guitar player.  Midnight In Tokyo gave me chills.

His backing band was super tight and provided some of the best backing vocals I have ever heard.  The drummer was flat out badass.

They mixed up the setlist a bit and played two songs from their debut album when they were still called Yesterday and Today.  All of the hits were played as well as some deeper cuts.

While the whole band sounded great, the venue, Alamo Music Hall, sounded like shit.  I’ve seen two other shows there and the room just sounds awful.  I wish it would have been a block away at Kapone’s but oh well.

So far, this was the best show I’ve seen in 2016.  Of course I had the book with me and Dave signed it and my CDs after the show.  His bassist was in an 80s hair band called Jet Red and he signed it as well.

Great time.

 

Written by The Metal Files

February 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

Warbringer, Enforcer, Exmortus & Cauldron Concert Review, Austin, TX, February 11, 2016

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Quick and easy review today.

Having only been mildly familiar with all of these bands and being on the guestlist (thanks Metal Assault!), I took the decision to see this show that started at 645PM and would be done by 1030PM.  Silly sound ordinances in downtown Austin have made it like this.  Live Music Capital of the World?  pfft.

Cauldron goes on and they left me flat like they do on the one album I’ve heard.  They just don’t have the “umph” needed to keep me interested.  Production on the album I heard was really thin and they sounded thin live, and not because of the PA.  I think the singer, who has a decent voice, just doesn’t project it at all.  Not to mention the band was sloppy in general.  Decent riffs that go nowhere.  I really think the addition of a second guitarist would help.  And maybe a metronome or some extra rehearsals every now and then.  A touring band typically gets pretty tight.  They’re a band that I really want to like but just can’t.

Exmortus was up next and I didn’t care too much for what I had listened to online, but they won me over live, mainly based on the guitar work.  Both guys are shredders and I was totally hooked in.  I look forward to seeing them again.  There were a lot of Exmortus fans in the crowd singing every song, which was cool.

Enforcer (SWE) came next and had the biggest crowd of the night.  A good amount of the crowd was certainly familiar with their material.  Their singer/guitarist is a good frontman and the band was solid overall.  You’re not getting anything original here but they were at least fun.  My favorite part was his little Texas metal speech.  Something to the effect of, “We were influenced by a lot of great Texas metal, and not that Pantera bullshit.  I’m talking Militia, Wyzard and Watchtower!”

Warbringer closed out the night with their mix of thrash and death metal.  They share a guitarist with Exmortus, so some of the solos were killer.  While I wasn’t into the spurts of the blast beats, their drummer was certainly skilled.  They put on a solid set for sure.

Written by The Metal Files

February 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

Lamb of God, Anthrax, Deafheaven & Power Trip Concert Review, Austin, TX, February 8, 2016

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I went to last night’s show solely to see Anthrax and Power Trip.  I think Deafheaven and Lamb of God are awful.  Boring, really.

Originally I wasn’t going to go then I saw that Anthrax was doing a relatively inexpensive meet and greet and I’ve wanted to meet them and to get them in The Book so I got my ticket and ordered the meet and greet.  Shortly after the M&G was announced, a local record store posted that they would be doing an in-store as well and to get anything signed, you had to buy a deck of their playing cards and no photos.  Oh well.

Doors were at 4:30PM (wow) and we were told to be there at 3:15PM.  Ultimately there were only 4 of us and we got taken to the backstage area where the band came out to say hello, sign stuff and do a few pictures and talk for a few minutes.  It was pretty obvious that Scott Ian didn’t want to be there, so I just shook his hand, had him sign The Book, a photo and my Spreading the Disease CD cover.  Charlie was checking out The Book, looked up and saw my Loudness patch and said, “I bet Loudness isn’t in here.”  I let him know that they were and that I had sigs from 3/4 of the original band.  Then he started rambling off other bands, some of them nu-metal shit, and I said that there were no bands after 1991 in here.  “Oh, cool.  Where do I get one of these?”  So I directed him to Amazon blah blah blah.  Joey and Frank were extremely nice and super chatty as was their new guitarist, Jon Donais of Shadows Fall.  I wish I had recognized him at the moment because I love Of One Blood by Shadows Fall.  I mentioned to Joey and Frank that I had first seen them on the Among tour at The Boathouse.  Scott heard me and said, “Geez, I remember that dump.  We played there a few times.”  Three to be exact, but whatever.  It was good to meet them and we were all given a deck of the Anthrax cards, a record mat, a band photo to get signed and the M&G laminate.  We were also given the opportunity to buy merch on the way out so I got a tour shirt.

Since Power Trip wasn’t going on until 6PM, I went over to Lambert’s for some awesome food and a beer as it was only 430PM when we were led back out of the venue.  I’m back at the venue are 530PM and see a bunch of friends and hang out a bit before Power Trip’s set.

I head up to the mezzanine area and sit for a few minutes.  I’ve had some back issues lately and I was seated on the back corner of the back row (only four rows in this section) and could get up as needed.  I ended up standing for most of the show as it was more comfortable.  Power Trip started promptly at 6PM and the crowd was trickling in.  I’ve seen them several times and I really enjoy them in a live setting.  I think they gained some new fans by then end of their 30 minute set.  They were solid as usual.

Deafheaven was up next and I just went back out to the lobby area to hang out with some friends.  They bore me to tears.

Anthrax came on right at 745PM opening with Fight ’em Till You Can’t from their Worship Music album, which I really liked.  Having Belladonna back in the band has been great, for me at least.  They rolled effortlessly through an 8 song set that had 2 songs from their forthcoming album, For All Kings.  I liked the 2 new tracks a lot.  They played In the End, Caught In a Mosh and Indians as well…and two covers.  FUUUUUCK.  I mean, I know they’ve always played covers live, but throw us a bone every now and then.  On some of the shows where they’ve had a longer set, they’ve included as many as 3 songs from Spreading the Disease.  HOLY FUCK I’d lose my mind if I saw Lone Justice live.  *sigh*  Oh well.  Charlie Benante is still ungodly on drums and Frank Bello is basically the Angus Young of the bass.  I’ve always loved his playing and his backing vocals are superb.  Joey sounded great, too.  Jon is a killer guitarist and played Spitz’ parts perfectly as well as his own.

After a short break, Lamb of God comes on.  I stayed for the first song and that was enough for me.  Never liked their stuff.  Bro-metal.

 

Venom Inc, Necrophagia Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, January 27, 2016

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I’m not shy about how I feel about Venom.  In general, I can’t care about their classic era.  My three favorite albums are Calm Before the Storm, Prime Evil and Temples of Ice.  Even knowing that they were playing only one song from the Demolition Man era, I wanted to go.  It’s a legendary metal band that I’ve never seen before.  Plus I knew I’d get them in The Book.

Before the show, Rodney, his friends and I all had dinner with Venom’s tour manager, John Perez, who was in Rotting Corpse and more importantly for me, Solitude Aeturnus.  John’s a good guy all around and I always love seeing him.  He and Rodney were trading some pretty incredible stories about Texas metal history.

Opening the show was Hellknife which features fellow ex-Eternal Champion member, Van Darden.  As with a few other times, I missed them again.  DAMMIT!

San Antonio’s Hod was up next.  I’ve seen them a dozen times over the years.  Hod is Hod.  You know what you’re getting and what you’re not getting.  My buddy Jake is playing bass for their live shows these days, so it’s always great seeing that maniac on stage.

Necrophagia was up next.  I never liked them but one of my closest friends was always big into them, so I grabbed a shirt for him since he missed the Virginia show.  They were solid and Killjoy works the crowd pretty well.  Still not a fan, though.

Up next was Venom and the crowd of about 200 packed up closer to the stage.  My back has been jacked up for a while, so getting in a crowd that surely was going to be moving around a lot wasn’t appealing, so I hung back and sat at the bar.  Killjoy was standing back there next to me and I had him sign The Book.

Venom (Inc), opened with Prime Evil and for the rest of the set they stuck with songs primarily from Black Metal and Welcome to Hell.  I didn’t know any of them other than by knowing the titles.  Tony Dolan, The Demolition Man, did a fine job fronting and Mantas and Abaddon were as I expected.  It was an enjoyable show and when they got to the encore, I knew all of those songs…Black Metal, Welcome to Hell, Countess Bathory and Witching Hour.

After the show, Abaddon came out and signed stuff for everyone.  Outside at their tour bus, Tony and Mantas came out and signed stuff.  They’re all really nice guys.

Added bonus of getting Louie from Devastation’s signature in the book as well.  I love getting the rogue signatures at concerts.  Great to see a lot of Austin friends and the Corpus Christi crew hanging out!

 

Remember Me Now…I’m Motorhead

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In early 2004 my best friend and I started a Motorhead tribute band in SE Virginia called Capricorn USA.  Capricorn is one of my favorite songs and it’s one of Lemmy’s songs that he wrote about himself.  Always loved it because it sounded a bit unlike standard Motorhead.  The USA got added because there was already a band called Capricorn and even though we were just a tribute band, I didn’t want any issues to arise.  The original lineup consisted of me, Danile (Dizzo), Fast Chris and Filthy Fowler.  We practiced a lot and we were tight when we played live.  It was a pretty well-oiled machine.  I liked playing as a 4 piece because of the full sound we could get live, plus Danile and Chris could split up the solos.  They were both differently styled players and even though they both played solos pretty close to the originals, you could hear the differences in their techniques.  I loved it.  Chris and Folwer lasted for about 9 months before some differences arose and we parted ways.

Right before their departure, we were asked to be a part of an upcoming tribute album being put out by Steve Wensil of the Dead Kings.  None of the bands were allowed to cover Ace of Spades so we kicked around doing Mean Machine or Chase or Bomber.  With those two guys out of the band, I decided that instead of getting a drummer for the recording, I’d just do it.  I’m historically a drummer but hadn’t really played in years because of hand injuries, but I got in the studio and we knocked out Bomber and Chase with me doing everything except guitars, which Danile handled perfectly.  Steve let us use both songs on the CD but we had to do them under two different names, Capricorn USA and Phlemmy & Dizzo, because he didn’t want other bands getting mad for not being allowed to do more than one song.  I think we paid $100 per song to be on the album which was to get us several copies for our own use and to cover copyright and printing costs…although it never got properly printed because of copyright issues.  Bummer.

Danile and I decided to continue on and we found a guy named Juan who quickly became El Guapo.  He showed up to audition with a huge double bass kit that had all the shells filled with foam and triggers on the heads.  Playing-wise, we knew he was our guy but I told him the triggers had to go.  We’re playing Motorhead songs, everything has to be loud.  He didn’t like the idea but I offered to buy the heads and tune the drums and when he came back to start jamming, he knew it was the right decision.  We did some shows within the next year and always had a great response with both versions.  We were even listed on Motorhead’s website as the only USA tribute band, which was pretty sweet.

Danile parted  in early 2005 and that was it until I moved to Texas and reformed with band with Fast Doug Morrison, Jason McWurzel McMaster and Filthy AJ on drums.  We played some fun shows between 2008 and 2011 with some varied lineups because of illnesses, other gigs popping up or whatever.  Stuart “Batlord” Laurence from Agony Column and Ignitor sat in for a few shows on guitar when Doug was dealing with some health issues and Mike Soliz, singer of the mighty Militia, sat in on drums for a show.  The Texas version was a little more loose as we really only rehearsed if we had a show coming up.

Because of being on the Motorhead page, I was contacted by the producer of the forthcoming Lemmy movie and was asked if we’d film the band doing Ace of Spades.  They were going to piece together clips from tribute bands worldwide but ultimately none of the tribute band footage never made into the movie or the DVD release extras.

We basically disbanded in 2011 just because of time restraints and I was just a bit tired of doing it.  On the night of Lem’s death, a bunch of friends gathered at a local bar and drank all of their Jack Daniels.  Through the haze of the whiskey, another good friend, Jason K, said we should do a show at the bar on New Year’s Eve since they didn’t have a band.  He convinced his drummer, Chris, to do it and we did one rehearsal and knocked out 6 songs to a great crowd.

That’s the story of the band so far and click here to download the tribute album.

 

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Written by The Metal Files

January 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Posted in motorhead, Uncategorized

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Juggernaut Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, January 2, 2016

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First show of 2016 and wow, what a way to get started!

About a month ago I got a heads up that Juggarnaut would be doing a short reunion show in San Antonio and I made sure my calendar was cleared.  I had met singer Harlan Glenn in 2012 and he mentioned to me about a year ago that some sort of reunion was in the works.

Weather was shitty on Saturday but I headed down to San Antonio to pick up Rodney, grab dinner then head to the show.  The venue, Boozehounds, is more of a pool hall than a venue, but they do have a stage in the corner and they were set up in front of the headliners.

The lineup consisted of almost everyone from the first album: Harlan Glenn, Eddie Katilus and Scott Womack.   I imagine Bobby Jarzombek is out on tour.  The crowd was decent for a cold, rainy night right after a holiday and some of the San Antonio/classic Texas metal legends were on hand to witness like Art Villareal, Ron Jarzombek, Rodney Dunsmore and a few of the guys from Wicked Angel.

Juggernaut opened up with a snippet of House of the Rising Sun and then went into Impaler.  The sound could have been a little better out front.  The vocals weren’t coming through very well, but you could still hear them alright.  The band was pretty solid but as Harlan noted, this was the first show in about 30 years.  The followed up the rest of the set with Slow Death, Cut Throat and All Hallow’s Eve.  Between songs, someone shouted out, “Where are the rats?”  Apparently at one of their legendary shows back in the day, they tossed live rats out into the crowd.  Harlan explained that his mom cried when she found out about it and promised to never do that again.  She was in the crowd on Saturday.  He said that there would be a full show in the spring of 2016, so here’s hoping!

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

January 4, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Lemmy.

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December 28, 2015.  That’s the day that Lemmy died.

Official Motorhead posted that he learned of an “aggressive cancer” on the 26th of December and passed on 2 days later.  I’ve felt for well over a year of seeing him in photos and videos that he’d been suffering through it for quite some time.  The weight loss and frailness reminded me of my gramps who had pancreatic cancer and that’s my guess as well.  Not important, really.  He’s left us.

I read somewhere yesterday that most people have a Lemmy story.  I’m fortunate to have a handful of them, and all of them good.  You never really heard unkind words about Lemmy, even from people who weren’t Motorhead fans.

To say we were friends or even mere acquaintances would be a pretty big stretch of the truth, but the last few times I saw him face to face, he did recognize me and always made the joke, “How many times have I told you that you should have picked a better album cover?” referring to the Another Perfect Day tattoo on my back.  One of those times being at The Rainbow.  I’ll hold on to that.

I’m glad I got to see them 9 times since 1992 and I’m pretty sure some hearing loss is because of a few of the shows.

There will never be another one like him, you can count on that.

lem

 

Written by The Metal Files

December 29, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Posted in 2015, lemmy, motorhead, Uncategorized

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