The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Doro Concert Review, Houston, TX, March 8, 2015

leave a comment »

IMG_8950useFirst and foremost, I need to get this out of the way…“apology accepted”.  Those were the words Doro said to me last night after I apologized for my Butthead moment with her back in 1988.  She thought it was very funny actually.  It had always been in the back of my mind anytime I’d think of Warlock or her, so I’m glad I finally got to get that off my conscience.

When I saw that Doro was coming to Texas again (last time was 2007 in San Antonio but I couldn’t make it), I got a ticket ASAP.  I absolutely love Warlock.  The drive to Houston yesterday and the return home today were tough as it was a heavy rain both days.

Upon arrival to my hotel, I was relaxing a bit after a nice hot shower and looking at Instagram and saw that Johnny Dee, Doro’s drummer, ate at the ramen place next to the venue.  I was very hungry and this sounded like a good idea on such a cold and rainy night.  It was an incredible pork broth, noodle, ground pork, chopped pork, hot sauce, bok choy concoction that set me just right.

After the meal I go to the venue and run into some friends and hung with them for most of the night.  There were 4 opening bands, 3 of which were local and one from Santa Cruz called Archer.  I missed the first opener and couldn’t really get into the other 2 local bands at all.  Archer was a decent 3 piece of heavy rock band that is touring with Doro.

The crowd had thinned out some.  It wasn’t packed in there by any stretch but by the time Doro came on, I’m guessing about 150 were still around.  The band hits the stage and opens up with I Rule the Ruins and plowed right into Earthshaker Rock.  The band sounded awesome and I couldn’t believe how great her voice was.  She looked and sounded like it was still 1988 and she is very appreciative of her fans.  You could tell how much she loved being up there and seeing familiar faces in the crowd.  Some people had traveled from Luxembourg to be there as well as other parts of the USA and Mexico.  I love that.

The setlist was filled with songs from all four Warlock albums.  It was awesome hearing Out of Control and I freaked when they played Evil from the Fight for Rock 12″.  She played a handful of songs from the solo career as well including 2 from her new album, Raise Your Fist In the Air.  Hearing Metal Racer just blew me away.  They performed the cover of Dio’s Egypt (The Chains Are On) and it was just perfect.  I’ve always loved her cover of that.

It was just a wonderful set, which of course I wanted more Warlock songs.  Just play all night, ok?  After the show I got to spend a little time with Johnny Dee which was cool.  I’ve always liked that self-titled Britny Fox album, even though I despise most of that hair band stuff.  That riff on Long Way to Love is killer.  After talking with Johnny, I was afforded a moment to get on the bus with Doro.  It was a cool few minutes.  She signed The Book and my Triumph and Agony CD.  The tour manager was rushing me off the bus so I didn’t get the other Warlock CDs signed, but he did call me “assman”.  I didn’t take but a couple of photos as I really just wanted to stand there and take it all in.

Stay hard, true as steel!

Bob Seger Concert Review, Houston, TX, February 14, 2015

leave a comment »

IMG_8832

It’s funny.  Whenever I mention Bob Seger around friends, it’s always a reaction of love or hate.  I really like most of everything I’ve heard by him sans a few songs, mainly Katmandu, Old Time Rock and Roll and Like a Rock.  Even before Chevy picked that song up it annoyed me for some reason.  I could stand never hearing Turn the Page again just because it’s a good song that’s been overplayed, not to mention the bastardized version that Metallica recorded.  Horrid.

Upon getting to our floor seats, I noticed two drum sets on the stage which meant there was an opener.  BUMMER.  I didn’t sleep much the night before and even though I had a nap earlier at the hotel, I was still wiped out and the last thing I wanted to do was sit through an opener.  It was Austin’s Heartless Bastards and were about as boring as I could imagine.  Good on ‘em for picking some shows on such a huge tour, but they just weren’t my thing at all.

Bob Hits the stage just a little after 9PM and opens with Roll Me Away from The Distance album and went right into the Otis Clay cover of Tryin’ to Live My Life Without You.  I wasn’t familiar with either of them but the majority of the crowd was singng along to both.  That crowd averaged in age about 50 years or more.

Fire Down Below came up next and that got the crowd even more energized.  It was followed by a Steve Earle cover tune called The Devil’s Right Hand from his new album entitled Ride out.  That album is Bob’s last according to him.  He also played a John Hiatt tune from Ride out called Detroit Made.

They ran through most of the hits you’d expect and thankfully skipped Katmandu.  I’ve always been a big fan of Against the Wind, Come to Poppa, Beautiful Loser, Night Moves and Especially Hollywood Nights.    Bob’s songs sometimes tell great stories.  Against the Wind and Hollywood Nights certainly evoked some great childhood memories and even some memories of good loves gone bad or bad loves gone worse.  haha.  I was really hoping to hear Still the Same, Even Now, You’ll Accomp’ny Me, Shame on the Moon and even more so Fire Lake.  I adore that song.

Bob will be 70 this year but you’d never know it.  He was all over the stage and his voice was in excellent shape.  I was really surprised.  Overall it was a great show minus two drunk couples in front of us that wouldn’t shut up the whole show.

Thanks for the memories and great songs, Bob.

 

Uli Roth and Black Knights Rising Concert Review, Houston, TX, February, 13, 2015

leave a comment »

When I saw that the Extreme Guitar Tour was coming through Houston, on a weekend night no less, I had to make arrangements to go.  It was a tough drive since the Alice Cooper after party from the night before gave me a bad case of rock and roll pneumonia.  haha

Opening the show was a Canadian band called Old James.I couldn’t quite get a bead on them.  While I could tell that they were all proficient musicians, nothing sounded congruent.  No hooks.  They covered Thin Lizzy’s Cold Sweat but I couldn’t tell what it was until the chorus.  I heard a few other folks say the same thing.

Black Knights Rising (BKR) is a bit of a supergroup featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens (Winter’s Bane, Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio Disciples and many more), Craig Goldy (DIO, Giuffria, Rough Cutt), Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, DIO, Rick Derringer), Elliott Rubison (Uli Roth, MSG, CEO of Dean Guitars) and sometimes John West (Uli Roth, Royal Hunt, Artension). Based on the BKR Facebook page, Bobby Rondinelli was slated to take over drums after February 9th. That didn’t happen. Either way, both Bobby and Vinny are both in The Book, so I was set either way.  The band comes out and opens with Death Alley Driver by Rainbow and they sound great.  This show was the final night of he tour.  Everything played was either by Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath or DIO.  John West came out and went back and forth vocally with Owens on Burn.  They both sounded great!  Highlight for me, though, was Stand Up and Shout.  Vinny’s insane snare work always blew me away in that song and watching him that close live gave me a new appreciation for his playing.  He’s still a beast.  Goldy’s playing was spot on as well.  Effortless player and I’m glad I finally got to see him live.  Last time I saw Ripper live was on the Jugulator tour in Norfolk, VA.

Half of the crowd left after BKR.  Seriously.  Uli was up next and half of those folks left.  I’m still shaking my head over that.  His band is made up of John West, Elliott Rubison, Kofi Baker (son of Ginger Baker), David Klosinski (guitarist from one of the Sky Academy classes) and Allesandro Bertoni on keys.  Uli opens with All Night Long then in to Sails of Charon.  Holy crap.  To finally see him playing these Scorpions classics live was a dream come true.  His playing style is so fluid and relaxed.  He almost looks bored up there.  But even watching the old vids of Scorpions, he always has that look.   Klosinski played rhythm guitar and did some harmony soloing with Uli and was spot on with it.  How cool it must be to have Uli as a mentor.  John West sounded great.  There’s only one Klaus, and West wasn’t trying to imitate him.  He was a great fit.  Kofi’s drumming was great and you could tell that he and the band followed Uli’s every move.  He directed some jams with the wave of a hand, a nod or just some quick eye contact.  Seeing them play We’ll Burn the Sky and In Trance gave me goosebumps.  Maybe even a little verklempt during Burn the Sky.  I absolutely love that song.  The final 3 songs were all Hendrix covers, which is not surprising.  I’m not a Hendrix fan but respect his influence.  He’s obviously very important to Uli.  It was a great show.

After the show I got to meet Vinny and Goldy.  They were both very inquisitive about the book.  They signed on the DIO group photo that features both of them, so it was great that Vinny was there.  I also broke my own “no selfie 2015″ rule.  Uli was available, too, but I had met him in 2000 and he signed the book back then.  It was also getting late and I was dog tired.  Great seeing some friends there as well.

Alice Cooper Concert Review, Austin, TX, February, 12, 2015

with one comment

No real review that would be any different than the San Antonio show.  It was a blast again!  I did get Chuck’s pick, an Alice $100 bill and the necklace, too.

Enjoy the pics!

 

Alice Cooper Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, February 11, 2015

with one comment

IMG_7633useTo be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has said, “I don’t like Alice Cooper.”  Sure, you may not be into his music, his politics, his religion, but how can you not just like the guy?  He’s a class act.  Intelligent.  Funny.  Consummate front man.

I’ve been a fan since as long as I can remember thanks to one of my older brothers.  One of my favorite Cooper moments ever was his appearance on the Muppet Show in the 70s.  I met Alice last year in Dallas and those few moments talking together will forever be special to me.  A few months later I saw him with Motley Crue and it was great.  Shortly after that show, it was announced that he was doing a solo tour, an evening with Alice Cooper.  I bought tickets for the Austin show as soon as they went on sale and got one for the San Antonio show and scored second row 2 weeks after they had gone on sale, which I thought was odd.

I rolled down to San Antonio right after work and picked up my friend, Rodney, who had a close seat in the section next to mine.  I had never been to the Majestic Theatre before but wow, what a beautiful venue.

Alice was scheduled to come on at 8PM but didn’t hit the stage until about 8:15.  The lights went down and The Underture started.  The open up with Hello, Hooray and roll right into House of Fire and No More Mr. Nice Guy.  The crowd was going crazy and I was smiling ear to ear.  Alice and the band, as expected, sounded great.  He is pretty active on stage, especially for a guy who is 67 years old.

He played most of what I expected to hear.  Of course I want to hear songs from From The Inside but he’s been ignoring that album for quite some time.  I was a little surprised he didn’t go deeper into the catalog since he was doing the longer set but he decided to play 4 covers which apparently he’s been doing often when he’s headlining.

His band is always top notch and last night was no different.  Everyone is extremely talented and are each a show within the show.  Drummer Glen Sobel is a beast of a drummer.  Veteran guitarist, Ryan Roxie and bassist, Chuck Garric, were positioned on my side for most of the night.  Ryan slapped 2 picks in my hand throughout the course of the night.  While I started out in the second row, the security girl motioned for me to come right up front and there I was stationed for more than half of the show.  I didn’t realize until after the show that guitarist, Tommy Hendriksen, was the bassist for Warlock, who I had seen in 1988.  He and third guitarist, Nita Strauss, also handed picks to me during the show.  Score!

Alice threw out 2 of his plastic canes, a ton of Cooper dollar bills and some plastic bead necklaces (during Dirty Diamonds).  At the end of the show during the School’s Out encore, tissue paper feathers and streamers fell from the ceiling and the crew threw large balloons filled with confetti out on the stage and into the crowd.  The ones that got near Alice were pierced with his sword.

It was a great show and I can’t wait to see it again tonight!

Tesla Concert Review, Austin, TX, January 28, 2015

leave a comment »

TESLA_3x5_logoHappy 2015 everybody.  Seems like it’s been forever since I’ve written.  There just haven’t been that many touring shows since December but that all changed starting last night.

Tesla.  To be honest, and I’ve stated it before, I’m not a fan.  While I like Modern Day Cowboy and Heaven’s Trail, I just don’t get into them at all.  A big part of it are the vocals.  Just a bit too whiny for me.  So why did I go?  Free tickets!  Good enough reason to go and to hang out with some friends who were going.

A little history.  Back around 1990, the metal band I was in wanted to play Love Song.  I was completely against it.  NO BALLADS!  I was happy sticking with the heavier covers we were doing and not pussing out to wimp rock, and this song qualifies as wimp rock.  I’m pretty sure it was because of the bassist we had who had a new girlfriend and he was all goo-goo over her.  The rest of the band didn’t seem to mind playing that song but I was adamant about not playing it.  I had to maintain some integrity after all, yes?  After the second or third practice of them trying to introduce the song and me bucking against it, someone stated that it was time to find another drummer.  DONE AND DONE.  I packed up my gear and rolled on.  No muss, no fuss, no hard feelings.

We got there right as the opening band was going on and quickly went out to the patio.  We stayed out there for most of the second band, too.  To be honest, they weren’t memorable enough for me to care about their names, but hey, they were up there and I wasn’t, so good on ‘em, eh?

Tesla comes on and opens with a song from their latest album, Simplicity.  They ran through most of their catalog and the crowd responded accordingly.  They played pretty much everything you’d expect to hear.  We stayed near the back of the venue and I was quite surprised as to how many people were there.  The venue holds about 1700 and there were roughly 1200 in attendance.

The band was tight and Jeff Keith’s vocals were hanging tough (sorry, I had to).  Frank Hannon is a beast of a guitarist.  Brian Wheat’s bangs were in full effect, too.  Holy cow!

This was a great show for people watching, too.  Saw some sights that I’ll never un-see, that’s for sure.  Overall it was a good time and it felt great to catch another live show and to spend some time with good friends.  It’s also nice when a show ends earlyish (1130PM) since I have to get up early for work.

Lots of things in the hopper in the coming months like Uli Roth, Doro, Krokus, Alice Cooper, The Who and Bob Seger.

High Spirits Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, December 1, 2014

leave a comment »

usetitleChris “Professor” Black is a busy fella.  Along with High Spirits, in which he writes and plays everything on their releases, he’s also in Superchrist, Pharaoh, Dawnbringer, Metalusafer and Aktor.  High Spirits has been getting a lot of buzz over the last couple of years over their listenable brand of hard rock/metal that slightly teeters on the AOR style.  I like them a lot and am basically a latecomer to the HS as I just started listening to them around May of this year.  It’s great melodic hard rock that’s got all the hooks.  Chris has perfectly crafted it to be accessible to just about anyone’s ears.

I went down to San Antonio last night and stopped off at my friend, Rodney’s, house.  As always, I have to peer into his insane room of metal.  We go grab dinner then dinner then head down to Limelight on the north side.  High Spirits was scheduled to go on at 11:30 so we weren’t in a hurry to get down there.  I’m not really a fan of the 3 openers so didn’t care to see them.  Unfortunately, when we arrived right at 11:30, the 2nd band was mid-set.  Ugh.  I was already pretty tired.

I met Chris and talked to him for a while.  Very nice guy.  It was right around 12:30AM when they finally took the stage and opened with the song High Spirits.  Much of the crowd had left by the time HS went on, but a few of the faithful hung in there.  They were pretty tight and the folks that stayed there were familiar with the material, which was nice to see.  I really like his voice. Other than a few drunkasses up front, it was a fun show and worth the late night drive home.  I hit the sack at 3AM…exhausted…happy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,025 other followers