Archive for the ‘concerts’ Category
Heart was great last night. I’ve been a fan since the 70s and it started in Ellwood City, PA in my grandma’s basement. My awesome aunts Dianne and Debbie were big fans and I have good memories of spinning Dreamboat Annie, Dog and Butterfly and Little Queen down there. The limited time I spent up there yearly was filled with music in the basement with my cousins and aunts.
Oddly, I never went to see them until last night. I especially love the 80s MTV-era stuff.
Heart opened with a slow-ish version of Barracuda and rolled right into Heartless and Magic Man. Ann’s voice was stellar. She’s 64. She sounded so damned incredible and I was completely blown away by the power she still possesses in her voice. Nancy is 60 and neither of them looked their ages at all. They are still both beautiful. I was amazed as to how tiny/short the sisters are. I don’t know why I thought they’d be taller. I would have hugged both of them if I had been given the chance.
The whole band was tight as expected. The setlist was a decent cross section of the 70s and 80s hits. I will admit to getting all choked up during Dreamboat Annie. A few tears rolled down. Not sure why. I love that song and all, but it just moved me a bit last night. We were 5th row center for the show. Right after Dreamboat was played, the lights were turned on the crowd for a moment and I had the horns up in the air. Standing at the edge of the stage, Ann caught my glance, gave me a wink and a thumbs up. I was already smiling and that just made me smile even harder.
I will say that the show was damn near perfect except for one thing…the abundance of cover tunes. I know they’ve been playing Zeppelin covers for years, but for the entire three song encore? I’m not a Zep fan at all, but Heart does it well. They also did a Wings cover. I went to the bathroom on that one. I’m no McCartney fan in the least. They did, however, cover Robin Trower’s Day of the Eagle and that sounded cool. But when you’re already playing what I thought was a short set, fill it with originals.
But overall, it was a great show and I wish I hadn’t waited so long to see them.
The shows just keep coming. I’m tired but musically satisfied and it’s always completely worth it. Priest is an odd beast for me. Been a fan since the 70s and prefer that era much more than the 80s to now stuff. When Rob’s voice started leaning towards screeching for vengeance instead of the clean falsettos of the 80s, I was turned off. I first saw Priest in 1998 with Tim Owens on vocals. Blech. Didn’t like his albums or his Anselmo like stage presence, but the band sounded great.
Flash forward to 2008 and I went to the Priest/Heaven & Hell/Motorhead/Testament show but left before JP came on. I had seen footage of Rob from that tour and it was awful. Immobile, hunched over, a slave to his teleprompter, much like when I saw Halford (solo) in NYC. I didn’t want to see how much the mighty had fallen so I left. I sort of regret it but oh well.
Flash forward again to 2014 and Fun Fun Fun Fest announced that Priest and King Diamond would be headliners on their black stage. I wasn’t going to miss Rob this time. I got to the venue around 7PM and the line to get in was about 3hrs. I did a little hocus pocus and only waited about 15 minutes to get my will call wristband. Hung with some friends until Priest went on and then we rocked out. They opened with Dragonaut from the new album. I’m not a fan of the newer stuff as stated previously but it sounded fine. Then right into Metal Gods, Devil’s Child and Victim of Changes. Overall Rob sounded pretty good. He avoided the notes he knew he couldn’t hit. Some of them he got pretty good when he tried like in Victim. There were some instances where he did try and failed, but whatever. It was what it was…a great metal show.
They played 4 tracks from the new album. A decent mix of the older stuff. Of course my setlist would have been totally different. Richie Faulkner is sort of the star of the show now. He’s out front most of the time and handles all of KK’s old leads just fine. He’s good. The band was very solid as expected. Hard not to be when you have the human drum machine Scott Travis keeping time for you. Beyond The Realms of Death was the highlight for me.
So many childhood memories listening to that one as a kid. It was a fun show but when it ended all I really cared about was going home and going to bed. I went downtown for one beer and could barely drink it. Pure exhaustion. Today I rest up for King Diamond tonight!
This won’t be a long review. John’s played here several times in recent years and I kept missing it for whatever reason. I almost missed tonight’s show as I neglected to add the show to my calendar. Luckily a friend on FaceBook posted about it. Then I couldn’t find my ticket. Then found it. Show was set to start at 8 and he was to pay 75 minutes.
I’m tired and have been since the marathon of shows 2 weeks ago. Seems that I have been going non-stop since then and there’s no slowing down for November.
John came on just a little after 8PM with a trio of songs by The Babys. His voice sounded great. He’s a bit of a wiry fella and moves around a lot. Told some quick jokes and was pretty affable with the audience. He played a mix of some newer and older solo songs as well as Bad English’s When I See You Smile. Best of What I Got was slated to be played but they didn’t do it. Apparently this was a one off show in between his normal opening duties for the current Pat Benatar tour. They also played a Vince Gill cover as well as All Along the Watchtower. The encore was Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. I’m not a Zep fan in the least but I gotta say that John belted that out so impressively that he should contact Jimmy Page to do a flurry of Zep shows. Holy crap the dude has the pipes.
His bassist was a complete badass as was the drummer. One of the hardest hitting drummers I have ever seen but was as solid as could be. The guitarist however, not so much. Sloppy, choppy and for me, painful to listen to. His riffing was fine, but when he went into his solos, it was just painful. Either you can play those licks or you can’t. Maybe he was having an off night. I don’t know. But overall the show was fun. It looked like maybe 100 people showed up.
I love seeing GWAR live. I’ve seen them several times since the 80s and I think they peaked at the Scumdogs album. Nevertheless, I do try to go and see them still. They still crack me up. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Dave Brockie died earlier this year. He was the voice and personality behind the Oderus Urungus, Dave was a funny guy and cool the few times that I met him. I have an interview I did with GWAR in 1999 that I need to get uploaded. It’s hilarious.
The band is now using multiple members as singers and it works with their new storyline of having an epic battle to see who will become the new leader of the band. Included in that mix was my buddy, Brent, who replaced Corey Smoot on lead guitar after his untimely death a few years ago. He’s Pustulus Maximus. I’ve known him for about 10 years from other bands he played with back in Virginia. Awesome dude and it’s always great to see him.
The band hit the stage during the second annual Housecore Horror Film Festival and there was a video message on the “magic mirror” from Oderus. It was all strange, but it worked. He disappears into another dimension or something and all of the new singers bash it out. The show was enjoyable and Brent’s guitar playing was awesome. He sang a song or two as well. Way to go, Pustulus!
It’s always fun watching people get soaked in the pit at their shows. This past Saturday night, I got hit with a blood cannon. Totally unintentional but it made me laugh nonetheless. Good fun all the way around, especially their cover of West End Girls. I also ran into a guy I knew from Virginia that I hadn’t seen since about 2000. He was touring with a guitar company that he works for. I also ran into the VoiVod guys who remembered me from a SxSW show a few years back when I got my head cut open by a stage diver.
This show marked the 6th in a row since Monday night. I was absolutely exhausted by the time it was over.