Archive for March 2010
Wow. Where to begin.
I love Testament. While I haven’t liked all of their albums, they are one of the best live bands I have ever seen. Friday’s
show was I think the 7th or 8th time I have seen them since 1987 when they opened for Anthrax on the original Legacy Tour.
Let’s go back a little further with Megadeth. I first saw them in 1986 on the Peace Sells tour with Overkill opening up on their Taking Over Tour(!!!). What a night that was! Friday’s show was my 5th(?) time seeing them and I’ve never been disappointed.
So a few months back when this tour was announced, I was pretty excited. Two bands that I love to see live and one that I have never seen, albeit not a major fan of either. While I like Fabulous Disaster and Pleasures of the Flesh a lot, Bonded By Blood and all of their other albums never did a thing for me. But, I was going to get to see them. They are legends, even with only 2 original members left.
When I purchased tickets, there was a meet and greet package available and I figured what the hell, I’ll drop the cash on it. Why not? Either I misread the original advertisement or it was misrepresented when I bought my ticket, but I thought it was for all 3 bands, not just Testament. Don’t get me wrong, Testament are badass dudes and Chuck Billy is nice as hell. I met him in 2000 on The Gathering Tour at Jaxx in Springfield, VA. So yeah, I paid the bucks to meet Testament. Whatever. Early birthday present to myself.
I had to be in line for the meeting before 5pm on Friday and there were a few others ahead of me. I really expected it to be a small crowd of people who bought the special pass but it ended up being about 35 or so. Good for Testament.
Dudes can’t make money on albums anymore, so make it through these kinds of deals and through merch. Good on ‘em!
Met this cool dude from Oklahoma City who saw them the night before in Houston. We hung out most of the show and I lost him during Megadeth.
We get to the backyard part of Stubbs and get herded like cattle through the line to get our shit signed. We were given a poster that the band could sign and most everyone brought other personal stuff. of course I had “the book” with me. As we’re going through the line, Glen Drover signed the poster and I spoke with him briefly about seeing him with King Diamond several years ago and how much I liked the first Eidolon CD. I also saw him with Megadeth 2 years ago. Eric Peterson and Greg Christian were next and I had them both sign their photo in the book. I got the usual reaction, “What the hell is this and where do I find a copy?” Got to Paul Bostaph and had him sign on the Forbidden Evil section. Seems to be a relatively quiet dude. When I got to Chuck, he saw that he had signed it and asked when and where. I told him it was at Jaxx in 2000 and the other guys in the band all said, “Jaxx! Fuckin Jaxx!” It was pretty funny. I told Chuck that my first Testament show was the Legacy Tour at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA. “We played that place a lot over the years.” Yes, I know. I was there for almost every one of them if not all of them.
Anyhoo, we get herded again to do photos with the band and then a couple of shots with the band and the whole meet and greet group. One cool thing was that we got to get to the merch booth before they let the crowd in. We were able to buy one t-shirt for $10 and one hoodie for $20, as opposed to the $35 and $60 they were priced. I bought one of each.
As we were sitting in the venue waiting for them to let the crowd in, I saw my friend Jay West who is an incredible rock photographer. His brother is the guitar tech for Exodus. Jay worked some magic and got the Exodus page signed by Tom and Gary. Jay grew up in the Bay area and knew those guys when they were still just a local band. Pretty cool.
I live next door to the venue and took my swag and the book back to my place. Didn’t want to lug it around all night. Luckily I know one of the security guys and he let us get right back in the venue without having to wait in the long ass line.
So the crowd gets let in and it’s a sold out show. Austin’s been getting a lot of good metal shows lately. Kreator was last night! I didn’t go.
Exodus hit the stage while the sun was still up and in general they sounded great. I only recognized a handful of songs but their performance was great. As the new singer was introducing the band, he noted that Lee Altus was one of the guitarists. HEATHEN?!?!?! Shit! I should have had him sign the book as well. Dammit. Oh well.
When Testament was getting their drums soundchecked, you could tell that they were having some difficulties. Unfortunately their sound was shitty for the whole show. All you could hear was mostly drums and some semblance of guitars. I could, however, hear Drover’s solos and he sucked. Learn Skolnick’s solos. You’re playing the whole Legacy album…LEARN IT! Overall, They were good, from the best that I could tell.
They never disappoint live.
I ran home to change shoes between bands. Stuffs has an unevenly sloped gravel floor and it was killing my feet, knees
Megadeth hits the stage and were great. Mustaine is a guitar god. Love him or hate him he’s a badass when it comes to guitar riffs. I’m in the minority, though, in that I never cared for Rust In Peace or anything else from the Friedman era. He bored me with Megadeth and Nick Menza’s drumming was the most boring. Shawn Drover did a good job imitating it but sounded great on the other Megadeth stuff. Dave Ellefson just returned to the band and was great. I’m such a fanboy. Chris Broderick’s solos were spot on as well. Of course I would like to have heard more from Peace Sells, Killing is My Business and So Far So Good So What, but there just wasn’t time. Megadeth delivered again, though. Love em! They also played a song from the new album that Dave stated had not been played live before that night. Sweet! The new album is great. Go buy it!
Apparently after the show the Testament and Exodus guys were hanging out at Headhunters with my pal Billy Milano. Had I know they were there I would have grabbed the book and got Altus’ signature in it. I LOVE Heathen’s first 2 albums. Oh well, hopefully they’ll come back again.
It was a great show and a fun night altogether. Shows like this bring everyone out. Ran into Rodney from Devastation which is always cool. I was really glad that testament was able to do more than 25 minutes like the last time I saw them.
In My Darkest Hour
Skin O’ My Teeth
Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
Take No Prisoners
Poison Was the Cure
Tornado of Souls
Rust in Peace… Polaris
The Right to Go Insane
Symphony Of Destruction
Over the Wall
First Strike Is Deadly
Do or Die
Into the Pit
Souls of Black
Alone In The Dark
Bonded By Blood
Children of a Worthless God
War Is My Shepherd
Strike Of The Beast
The Toxic Waltz
I think I got the setlists correct. Someone please let me know if I missed something.
I’ll post the full review tomorrow. But for now…
Dave Mustaine is one of the greatest metal guitarists ever.
March 20, 2010
Live at the Galaxy Room, Austin, TX
Three Voivod shows in 4 days. There was a show on the 18th as well but I didn’t make it thinking it was a badge/wristband only show. Unfortunately it wasn’t and only about 40 people showed up from what I was told. Oh well.
Yesterday’s show was pretty cool. The Galaxy Room was an old closed venue that got a quick facelift and a coat of paint to host shows for SxSW. This show was sponsored by Brooklyn Vegans and “M is for Montreal”. Vegans. Alrighty.
This particular show featured Roky Erickson (of whom I am still unfamiliar with), Andrew WK, Voivod and a bunch of other bands I have never heard of…mostly hispter bands. I was there for Voivod, of course.
I arrived about an hour before the show just to make sure I had a place in the venue. These SxSW shows can get filled pretty quickly sometimes, no matter who is playing. The band arrived shortly after and I got to have a few drinks and talk with them a bit, especially with Dan Mongrain from Martyr who is a cool dude and a great guitar player.
It was oddly cold outside yesterday and had rained earl in the morning. It was 75 for a good solid week and then a front rolled through and it was in the 40s all day. Sucked.
The band got introduced by some dude from Montreal who is apparently pretty famous up there. He ran through a quick repertoire of Canadian metal bands. Voivod was slated to play at 315PM but the bands were running behind. I think they went on around 345. This was to be a short set, only 6 songs. Unfortunately technical problems cut the set by one song.
As with the other shows the band was great. They all looked to be having fun again until the amp/chord issue happened. After tha was resolved they had time to do one final song, Astronomy Domine. At that point they were a little more frustrated. They were slated to leave for Canada by bus immediately after the show. When they finished their set I helped them load off of the stage, said my thank yous and goodbyes and went foraging for food.
As stated in my first of these Voivod reviews, I was never a big fan of the early work, but after seeing them live 3 times this week, I’ll do my best to see them anytime that I can. Great musicians, nice guys, good times all around. No need to post more pics of them, you know what they look like!
March 19, 2010
Live at Scoot Inn, Austin, TX
I’m having a blast during SxSW this year. Just saw legendary DC area doom band Iron Man. Not too bad at all. But at 5PM today I saw my second Voivod show. Just wow.
Before the show, each one of the guys in the band asked me if I was hurt badly at the other show a few days ago. Very nice of them. And for my vast audience, yes, I’m fine. No worries.
We saw a few bands before Voivod his the stage…locals Iron Age and NAAM from Brooklyn, NY. Both bands sounded great. Right at the end of NAAM’s set, Jeff and I worked our way into the light crowd and got front and center like we did for the 3/17 show.
After a quick soundcheck they went into the song Voivod. Sounded great. They are a very solid band and I wish I would have had the chance to see them years ago. Dan Mongrain is a very competent guitar player…it’s surely a requirement to play in this band. They have some good riffs and I really wish I could enjoy their early work a little more. However, hearing/seeing them live is great.
I was happy to see that they had some merch today. Do I need more black t-shirts? Well, it’s not always a question of need is it? They had a Nothingface shirt. Unfortunately they were out of XXL. I should lose some weight so I can own some cooler t-shirts. Yeah? I instead bought the Killing Technology shirt.
The band seems to enjoy playing live. Lots of movement, lots of glances, laughs and smiles at each other. I’m really excited to see them again tomorrow for the 3rd time this week.
Enjoy the picks from today. I’ll try to get some video up soon as well.
Written by The Metal Files
March 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm
March 17, 2010
Live at Red 7, Austin, TX
Voivod. Usually when I hear the name all I can think of is the song Cockroaches. I was never a big fan. Their breed of techno-thrash was just a tad too rough for my ears. Then came Nothingface, Angelrat and Outer Limits. Those album were a little more melodic and I’ve always liked them a lot. I’ve gone back and tried listening to stuff like Killing Technology and Rooooaaaaarrrr but it does nothing for me.
I found out a month or so ago that Voivod was coming to Austin to play the SxSW. Even with me not being a big fan, I’ve never seen them live so I figured I’d go.
I’m so glad that I did.
After leaving another show where LA Guns and Faster Pussycat were getting ready to go on, I ventured over a few blocks to Red 7. This whole show was part of the Relapse Records showcase. I caught the last song by a band called Tombs. Forgettable stuff for me. Saw a good friend up front and weasled my way to stand next to him at the front of the stage.
As the band got set up, there was a short comedy set by metalhead comedian Brian Posehn. It was pretty funny. The
energy in the room was pretty good. Lots of people there to see Voivod. It was cool to see their real fans there.
After Posehn’s set, the band comes out and fires into the song Voivod. The crowd went apeshit. So did I. The setlist was right in front of me and I only knew maybe 3 songs. Cockroaches wasn’t on the set and the only thing from the 3 albums I liked was their cover of Pink Floyd’s Astronomy Domine. But it didn’t matter. They sounded great. They were lively. The crowd loved it. They added one extra song but I don’t know what it was.
Some minor mosh pit action happening behind me. There were a
few stagedivers, one of which kicked me in the head and drew blood. He was just some hipster douche who I don’t think even knew who Voivod was, he just wanted to be “cool” and stage dive like the other 2 dudes did. I wasn’t really pissed about it but I found him after the show and put the fear of god in him. I think he almost pissed himself. I told him if he was still there when I turned around that I was going to kick his ass. He took off. Funny. Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t have a violent bone in my body. Luckily my looks and my size are intimidating to most people that I don’t get bothered much.
Blacky and new guitarist Dan Mongrain, from the Canadian band Martyr, both handed me a pick. Pretty cool and good ones to add to my collection.
I got to see a good local friend that I haven’t seen in a while as well, and that’s always a good thing. VoiVod is playing 2 more FREE shows this weekend within walking distance of my place, so I will try and check them out. I sort of regret not going to see last night’s Motorhead show as I heard it was a small crowd. Oh well.
Below are some pics from the show. Enjoy. I sure did.