Archive for the ‘2012’ Category
What a year. I went through some of the greatest and worst experiences of my life in 2012.
The worst being the January loss of my older brother, Robert, who was so influential on me musically at a young age. Rolling through these holidays and not being able to hear his voice or see him is tough and quite frankly it sucks. But…I can’t change it. Right in line with that was losing my dear friend, Sydni, a week before my brother’s passing. That was a brutal few weeks dealing with the loss of friends and family, funeral arrangements, etc. I still think about Robert daily. So much of the music that I love was introduced to me by him. I think about Sydni often, too. She was a sweet soul and I am grateful for the post-high school friendship that we had.
This year also marked the highest amount of concerts I had seen in one year. It was quite a diverse year musically. I saw Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Lemonheads, Bob Mould, Styx, Bryan Adams, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick (twice!) and a slew of others…But the best show that I saw and the one that may hail as the best show I have ever seen in my life was seeing Arch/Matheos in May with my friend Kelz. Not sure anything could top that but I’m hoping that a USA show of the Warlord reunion in 2013 will come close. We shall see.
Some really good albums have come out this year including releases by Venomous Maximus, Testament, Arsis, Karion (reissue), Graven Rite and Militia. It’s rare that I like and/or buy stuff by newer bands, but there are still some out there that catch my fancy. I need to still hear the latest by Sanctus Bellum!
Work has treated me well this year and I’m grateful for having a job that gives me the freedom to see shows that I want to see. Maybe the biggest change that I made happened just within the last month or so. I bought a house on the outskirts of town after having lived in downtown for 4 years. It’s already weird not being able to just walk out of an apartment door and be in the middle of everything that that city has to offer, but it’s cool not hearing neighbors having parties at 3AM on a Wednesday. I’m A-OK with that.
Here’s looking towards 2013 and another year already filling up with great concerts like YES, testament/Overkill/Flotsam & Jetsam, Chicago and more.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of the folks who continue to read this page. There have been over 40,000 views to this page since January 2012. Thanks!
Now some Christmas music that I have always loved.
Even though metal is my favorite music in general, I do enjoy a lot of non-metal music and Bryan Adams’ early rock stuff has always been a favorite of mine. I don’t really care for much of his 90s soundtrack ballad stuff but always held a ton of respect for the guy. He knows how to write good hooks.
A few months back ACL Live At The Moody Theater announced that Bryan was coming on tour. I bought tickets on the presale and got front row balcony, my favorite section in my favorite venue in Austin. Immediately after buying the tickets I noticed that this was going to be an acoustic show. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! The date of the show ended up being the same day I was moving into a new house and I figured that I would either just sell them or give them away. I had trouble doing both. We finished the move pretty early and I decided that I would just go ahead and go even though I was super tired and still getting over some health issues that have brought me down this week (kidney stone and diverticulosis). After taking one last stab at a few girls I know in town who didn’t have to work, I finally asked my pal Jason K to go. He’s a hard rocker/musician that, like me, likes a variety of stuff. He agreed to go, we met up at a bar and took a pedicab to the venue since I can’t do a lot of walking right now.
We both went into this show thinking it was going to be some weak ass, boring set of Bryan sitting in a chair doing slowed down versions of his hits. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.
When we got to our seats, there was a mic and a grand piano on stage. Bryan hits the stage with a top hat on, removes it and goes right into Run To You. I was a bit stunned as to how good his voice sounded. The song in general sounded great, even as an acoustic version.
He went right into It’s Only Love (sans Tina Turner of course). After this song he talked for a minute and mentioned that he had been writing music for himself and others for almost 40 years. The crowd started yelling out some of his hits and said, “We’ll get to those.” There was a quick lull between the crowd and what he was about to say and I blurted out “War Machine!” He heard me and said, “Man, I don’t even know what song that is.” He paused for a second as the wheels turned in his head and he said, “Oh man…wait, that is really fucking obscure. No one has ever requested that song at any of my shows!” In case you didn’t know, War Machine is a KISS song from Creatures of the Night that Bryan had co-written.
He continued on with more and less popular songs from his repertoire and did a lot of interactions with people in the crowd. There was a girl sitting in the front row with an empty seat beside her and he asked her where her date was. She said he was driving in from Dallas and be there soon. Bryan said, “Get your phone out and call him, I’d like to speak to him. She dialed his number and handed him the phone. He asked the guy how long he would be. “10 minutes? Ok. Should we wait for you? Oh, this is Bryan. Bryan Adams. The guy you’re coming to see.” It was really cool to see that type of interaction. He also had the girl switch places with a dude so when the guy got there, he’d be a little confused about what was happening. He messed with the guy saying that his girl had left and that he had found him a new date. It was all quite funny.
He continued through several more songs, left the stage and came back for a six song encore. He had a pianist with him who played on about 3/4 of the songs.
The show ended up being much better than I expected and I am really glad that I went even though I felt like hell. If there was one disappointment for me, personally, it was that he didn’t play One Night Love Affair. That’s by far my favorite if his. Maybe that was a difficult one to play acoustic. I don’t know. He played everything else that I would have wanted to hear and even a few older tracks that I had forgotten about. It was a great show and that guy is a great performer.
Can I get my metal card back now?
Having just seen Cheap Trick a few months ago and having had such a great time at that show, when the second leg of Aerosmith’s Global Warming Tour was announced, I knew I had to go. This was not a cheap show by any stretch of the imagination and I think partially because this show was sponsored by/centered around the Formula 1 (F1) race that is in Austin this weekend. Thousands of people from around the world have come to town to watch cars go fast at a premium price. More power to ‘em, I say.
I bought 2 tickets to the show as I figured it would be pretty easy to have a friend tag a long. For various and sundry reasons ranging from work, lies, sickness etc, it was difficult finding someone to come with. Finally my friend’s girlfriend stepped up and came with me. Perfect. She’s a good friend and we’re almost related. haha.
We walked to the Erwin Center, checked out the shirts and found our seats. We were a little higher in the stands than I would have liked, but that’s what I got in the ticket presale. No biggie.
Cheap Trick hit the stage promptly at 8PM to their standard opener of Hello There and went right in to Come On, Come On. The band sounded great and Robin’s voice was crystal clear as it was a few months ago. Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) came out and played guitar with them on Ain’t That A Shame which was super cool. A few songs later and right after Sick Man Of Europe (great song!) they announced that they would do a Beatles song. Steven Tyler (Aerosmith – duh) came out and split vocal duties on Golden Slumber/Carry That Weight/The End. While I’m no Beatles fan, it’s blatantly obvious that both Cheap Trick and Aerosmith are. It was a cool thing to see them on stage together. They closed with I Want You To Want Me, Dream Police and Surrender. I was hoping to hear She’s Tight again but no biggie. Cheap Trick changes their set up every night which is quite impressive. The crowd left a lot to be desired. It wasn’t even half full for most of their set. Either way, Cheap Trick sounded great again and I can’t wait to see them for a 4th time, whenever that may be.
After about a 30 minute set change, Aerosmith hits the stage with Mama Kin. On the first leg of this tour they had been opening with Draw The Line. Unfortunately that song fell from the setlist for this leg. It’s my fave! They went right in to Love In An Elevator (gag) and that was my cue to go to the bathroom. I really dislike that era of Aerosmith in general, save for a few songs. As my buddy put it last night, “they played the soccer mom setlist.” No truer statement could be told. It was cool to hear Movin’ Out and Last Child, which was my brother’s (RIP) favorite song by them. Hearing that one definitely sent a little wave of emotion up through me. What It Takes sounded great and that’s probably my favorite song from that era of the band. There were a few songs from the new album played and of course they did Come Together (I detest the Beatles in general), Dude Looks like a Lady (gag), Walk This Way (heard too many times to enjoy), Dream On and Sweet Emotion. Right before Dream On, a piano was to rise up out of the runway portion of the stage. It seemed as if there was a Spinal Tap moment about to happen as the piano wouldn’t move. But it finally did and they played through the song perfectly. While I’ve heard that song too many times in a lifetime, I still like it.
Tyler’s voice sounded great and the energy that the man has is practically unparallelled by any rock singer. His interactions with the crowd and just overall gender bending charm are unmatched. I think he’s a freak of nature to have done the things to his body that he has done and still be able to perform at that level. It’s impressive. Perry played well but I’ve always thought of Whitford being the unsung hero of that band. That guy is a killer guitarist but gets zero credit. Joey Kramer, as always, played flawlessly. I love seeing him live. Let’s not forget Tom Hamilton. Talk about unsung. He’s a lot like Bill Wyman in that he’s seemingly the quiet one in the band but lays down low end perfectly. He and Joey are definitely in tune with each other as they should be after playing together for 40 years.
It was a great show and was my 3rd time seeing Aerosmith (’89 and ’93 previously). It was also my 3rd time for Cheap Trick (’99 and ’12).