Archive for November 2011
These hallowed walls scream…and the walls of The Boathouse at Bessie’s Place in Norfolk, VA were certainly hallowed. Like just about anyone from that area will tell you, The Boathouse was THE place to see shows. I’ve lamented more than once on the website about how much I loved that place and some of the great shows I saw there. The national/international 80s metal scene flourished there for us kids. Megadeth, Overkill, Yngwie, Lita, Testament, Anthrax, Obsession, Sanctuary, Warlock, Metal Church, At War, Dianno’s Battlezone, Winger, Black Sabbath, King Diamond, Don Dokken, etc. Even into the 90s and 2000s I saw some great shows there like Sepultura and Motorhead. Pretty much any band that wasn’t big enough at the time to play the Hampton Coliseum or Norfolk Scope ended up at the Boathouse.
The Boathouse was finally torn down this week. Hurricane Isabel ruined it in 2003 and it never reopened. It was pretty obvious when Harbor Park was built next to it, nothing would happen there again. Pity.
Back in 2005 (or maybe 2006…whenever Gigantour played Portsmouth), I got the chance to meet Dave Mustaine at a charity softball
game. I saw Megadeth there twice: Peace Sells and So Far, So Good. Great shows. We were standing on the ball field at Harbor Park and I asked Dave if he remembered playing the Boathouse in the 80s. “That fucking dump! I hated that place!” I told him to look over the left field wall and he’d see the roof. “Good riddance!” Funny.
And really one important thing about The Boathouse for me…I saw my very first metal show there in 1985. Stryper. I was 15, my first time there and it was great. Definitely my favorite place to see shows back in those days. I think the last show I saw there was Motorhead/Supersuckers/Nashville Pussy in 2000.
RIP…and thanks for the memories, all of them were awesome.
Last night I was able to see a small and rare performance of Billy “Blanco” White. You may remember Billy from such bands as Watchtower, Don Dokken and the Billy White Trio. The guy is such a great guitar player. He’s been spending much of his time in Mexico in recent years and primarily does flamenco style music now, although he said last night he’s been doing some guest spots on other people’s albums recently.
I first saw Billy play in 1991 and you can read about that here.
Last night performance was pretty cool, albeit a tad uncomfortable. He played in a small room that was about 20’x40’. Everyone sat on the floor and we had to remove our shoes prior to entering the building. Even sitting on a pillow, my back and knees were killing me but it didn’t matter, I was sitting a few feet away from a great musician. Only about 40 people showed up and it was a great experience. His playing was awesome. A mix of flamenco with a tad of fusion thrown in. He had a violinist and a tabla player sit in for a few songs as well. It was all pretty cool.
Afterwards I got to speak to him for a few minutes. He graciously signed The Book and some CDs for me. It was a fun evening, very relaxing.
Philm is a project that has been around since the mid-1990s according to their drummer, Dave Lombardo. It remained pretty dormant until the time(s) he wasn’t with Slayer and apparently they jam a bit. I had seen some of the YouTube stuff and I was pretty underwhelmed by it. When I saw that they were playing Austin, I was a tad excited about it because, hey, it’s Dave Lombardo. While I could never claim him as an influence on my drumming, he was certainly an inspiration. The guy is a beast of a player and given the chance to see him play outside of Slayer seemed pretty rad.
Originally this show was $15 but a few days beforehand they made it a free show. Slayer is in town this weekend for the FUN FUN FUN Fest so I guess Dave decided to try and float his other band here.
The opening band was called Unmothered from Austin. They were pretty good and I’d certainly go see them again. They were a 3pc sort of droning thing. There was a weird dark almost black metal undertone but this was no black metal band. Worth checking out again for sure.
Up next came My Education, also from Austin. Apparently they are considered “post-rock”, another sub-genre of rock. They were all instrumental and had a viola player through most of it. It was slightly prog and gave me somewhat of a Kansas (band) vibe. They weren’t awful by any means, but a bit boring to watch. Perfect background music, though. My friend made a good observation by saying that if they had some sort of film projection along with their live performance, it’d be more palatable in a live setting. AGREED.
Up next was Philm. By the time they came on, there may have been 150 at the show. I’ll go ahead and say it first, they were very underwhelming. Sure Dave did some cool stuff here and there, but it was pretty boring. I think if they went all instrumental it would have been a bit better. The singer killed it for me, not to mention that the music was rather generic. It was cool to see him do his thing on a tiny drumset though. Apparently he came out for a few minutes after they played. A few friends met him. I didn’t bother as I got to meet him while he was on tour with Testament back in 2000. It was cool because I got to meet his wife and kid too.
Rumors were flying around that Slayer was going to show up and do an impromptu set after Philm. I think it was all a set up to get more people to the show and sell some drinks. Slayer never played. That was unfortunate as it would have been cool seeing them do a few tunes on a barebones stage.
C’est la vie, eh? At least I got to see another one of my musical idols play again this week.