Archive for October 2010
My history with Celtic Frost goes back to about 1986 as noted here. I am a fan. While Monotheist is probably my least favorite album, it’s not bad. A year or so ago Tom G. announced that Celtic Frost was done and he had a new project called Triptykon…which uses the Frost script in one their logos. Tom seems to have some deep seeded issues with carrying on as Frost.
Triptykon was announced to play Emo’s and I was in. I mean c’mon. It’s Tom G! I bought the meet and greet pass mainly to get his signature in the book.
Per my normal routine I walk to the venue early and happen to catch Tom G. walking the streets. I talked to him for just a few moments and headed over to the venue. The pre-sale on this show was 60. SIXTY! I was able to get in early via a friend who worked there and got to catch the soundcheck. They did Usurper and for whatever reason, Tom was smiling and laughing the whole time. This was the last show on the tour as they canceled the Houston show. It is my understanding that the tour attendance had been pretty light. Last night’s show had Triptykon playing before the headliner. The tour included Yakuza (Chicago) and 1349 (Norway) on the bill. Local band Mammoth Grinder opened but I missed them.
At the end of soundcheck Tom G was asked if he needed more monitor. Tom G responded with, “I can hear myself enough. Doesn’t matter, we’re just playing Austin.” Ouch! C’mon Tom G! Show a little love!
After soundcheck I hung outside talking with a few friends before the quick meet and greet. Only 7 people (including me) bought the pass for it. Two guys drove up from Monterrey, Mexico for this. That was cool. They brought each member of the band some gifts from Mexico which mainly consisted of tequila. Very cool. I had Tom G sign the book which got the usual reaction from bands…”What the hell is this?” He read through the Celtic Frost section and signed it. We all snapped a few pictures and that was it.
I left there to drop the book off back at the house and went to a bar for a beer. I missed Mammoth Grinder and caught most of Yakuza’s set. Not my cup of tea at all. Sort of avant-garde metal with lots of saxophone. Their slower mellower stuff was alright as background music but they aren’t something that I would want to listen to regularly.
Triptykon cam on next and I was glad to see the place fill up a little. There may have been 150 people there but I think that’s pushing it. They opened up with Frost’s Procreation of the Wicked. This band is tuned
down a bit and it’s weird hearing this song in a lower key. Overall they were good, solid. Tom G is no guitar wizard by any stretch of the imagination, but he does write good riffs. The Triptykon stuff sounds like where the music from Monotheist left off. Slow, plodding, dark. I enjoyed the show quite a bit, though. How many more times are we going to see Tom G in the states, ya know? They also plays Circle of the Tyrants and Usurper with the singer for 1349 handling vocal duties.
I was tired and didn’t stick around for 1349. I’m really not that big of a black metal fan. I saw what I wanted to see.
- Crucifixus (Intro)
- Procreation of the Wicked
- Circle of the Tyrants
- Abyss Within My Soul
- The Usurper
- Synagoga Satanae
- The Prolonging
- Winter (I think they did this)
(all images clickable)
My shitty vids from the show. The lighting was terrible.
Sometime in the mid-80s, I think, a friend of mine turned me on to some jazz stuff and the one band that stuck with me was Mahavishnu Orchestra. Their album Birds of Fire remains the greatest jazz/fusion album I have ever heard. Part of the reason, a big part really, was because of the drummer, Billy Cobham. He was a very musical drummer and I loved his work on his first solo album, Spectrum and the Miles Davis albums Bitches Brew and Live-Evil. He’s just a man-beast of a drummer in his chops, but he plays such a light fluid style.
That Mahavishnu album is very special to me. When I was still drumming (84-2000), I used to practice along with Birds of Fire quite often. No, I wasn’t able to play a lot of the stuff he was doing on there, but I tried my damnedest to play along and keep up. It was good practice.
When I saw that he was playing at the One World Theatre here in Austin, I had to go. I was able to score second row seats on the center aisle. Doug Morrison came along. I’d never been to this place but Doug mentioned several times how small and awesome it is. He was right. You almost feel like you’re in your own house watching a band with perfect acoustics. The place is pretty awesome. The sound was great.
Billy’s band consists of all foreigners, including Billy. I never knew he was Panamanian. The whole band was just great and one would expect no less. But then there’s Billy. I’ve never seen such a big drummer with such a soft style. He proved all night that power drumming has absolutely nothing to do with how hard one hits. He was so fluid and solid. He did hit harder for accent in spots, but it wasn’t his main thing. It was quite awesome to watch how he was conducting things from behind the kit. Normally he’d play with his eyes closed, but when they were opened, it was usually to give someone a cue as to what was coming next. In one spot he looked over to the bassist and guitar player and just said, “four” and they just nodded and smiled. Some of the stuff they played really had that early 70s Mahavishnu feel to it.
He is so musical of a drummer and it really took me back to my playing days. It made me miss it badly. Not that I was even remotely a jazz/fusion style drummer, but I did try to be a little musical about it instead of just keeping the beat. Both Doug and I sat there in awe. For 64 years old, he is still incredibly awesome.
After the show Billy was doing an autograph signing and I didn’t bring anything as I didn’t expect him to come out and hang out. I did have him sign my ticket and he was gracious enough to do a photo with me. They didn’t allow cameras during the show so I have no photos of the band. Pity. But I do have the awesome shot below!
If this tour comes anywhere near you and you even remotely like jazz/fusion, you will not be disappointed. Just go! I’m even more excited about seeing John McLaughlin, Colin Hay and Al Dimeola there in the coming months.