Alice rolled into Austin again for the 3rd time in 2 years…and there’s nothing wrong with that! I’d go see him every week if I could.
As it was last year, we were served an evening with just Alice Cooper. I was quite pleased to see that the setlist was different for this tour. I ended up with 3rd row seats at stage right on Ryan Roxy’s and Chuck Garric’s side. Ryan pitched a pick perfectly to me towards the end of the show.
Overall it was great and Alice’s voice was in good condition and his backing band was as solid as ever. One of these days I’ll get Garric and Hendrikson added to The Book.
The only down side to the show was the amount of fucking camera phones being held up the whole show. Don’t get me wrong, I will snap some shots but I don’t keep my phone out and held up the whole show. It was really annoying. But I digress.
Highlights would be Ballad of Dwight Fry, Elected, The World Needs Guts and a good rendition of Ace of Spades. It was a strong set overall.
I used a couple of my own photos as well as some from Christie O. and John A. Thanks!
I had a ticket and flight booked to see Joe Lynn Turner (JLT) at the Whisky in West Hollywood a couple of months ago and had to cancel the trip. That was a major bummer. That blow got lessened recently when Sean McNabb, bassist for George Lynch, mentioned to me that he was also playing with JLT and that they were playing in San Antonio. Shortly after that Lynch show, the JLT show was announced.
Also announced was Blackfoot as the opener. A quick check to see who was still in the band led me to their website which showed that they had no original members but were still managed by Ricky Medlocke. Alright then. I’ve never been a big fan fan of southern rock although hearing Strikes takes me back to being a kid as one of best friends, Petey, always loved that record.
After some time bouncing around San Antonio record stores, Rodney and I grabbed some dinner then headed to the venue to meet up with Matt who had tickets for another friend, Diego, and me. The weather was complete shit. The show was originally scheduled to be outside rain or shine but the rain was pretty heavy and it was moved inside. Upon walking in, the place was packed, uncomfortably so. I stayed inside for part of Seance’s set then just decided to wait out Blackfoot outside. I could hear them perfectly and they were solid. This new lineup had been together for 4 years. It was weird after seeing them arrive to think that they were Blackfoot. They looked like kids and 2 of the guys in the band were sporting mohawks. Even prior to them finishing their set, I noticed some people leaving making comments about the lineup as they were walking out.
Then it was time for JLT. I was pretty excited since I hadn’t seen him since he sang on Odyssey tour with Yngwie Malmsteen, one of my favorite concerts ever. The band hit the stage to a thinned out crowd opening with the snippet of Over the Rainbow and going right in Death Alley Driver. The band was tight and Joe’s voice sounded great. I Surrender and Power were up next. The crowd was really into it. Unfortunately they were plagued with some technical difficulties throughout the night but they worked through them and completely rocked. Street of Dreams was a highlight as were Stone Cold, Spotlight Kid and Malmsteen’s Rising Force. JLT has Steve Brown from Trixter on guitar and he was pretty damned good, even handled the Yngwie guitar solo pretty well. It was a fun set.
After the show was the meet and greet with Joe. It was inexpensive and I wanted Joe added to The Book. They were letting us in 2 at a time and Matt and I went in together towards the end of the line. Joe was very talkative and inquisitive about the patches on our jackets. He was loving Matt’s Riot patch and mentioned how much he had loved that band since their early days. I mentioned as I was pulling out The Book that I brought Riot’s Privilege of Power CD cover with me. “Whoa, let me see that. I haven’t thought about this one in years.” I mentioned seeing the 1988 Yngwie show at The Boathouse and he said, “I remember that place. A bit of a dump.” Most bands say that. haha. We talked briefly about his time with Yngwie and both agreed that there should have been a second album with him on vocals. While finishing up the signing and photos, I mentioned that he was my favorite singer for Rainbow. I know that is not a popular opinion but whatever. Totally true. I like the Dio era a lot but it’s the JLT era for me any day. He was also quite pleased to see the Odyssey album.
What a great show although I’d prefer not to see another show at this venue.
Ted Nugent. Just the mention of his name to some, especially here in Austin, sends people’s triggers through the roof. When the show was announced on Facebook, the SJWs of Austin took to their keyboards in protest. “I’ll never go to your venue again!” “Boycott the Scoot Inn!” “Such and such should be ashamed of themselves for booking this asshole!” and blah blah blah. It was fun to watch. That being said, I bought a ticket as I’ve never seen Sweaty Teddy before.
Some history…one of my older brothers, Robert (RIP), was a huge Nugent fan in the 70s and 80s and through his fandom, I became familiar with the first 4 or 5 albums. Just the sight of those records takes me back to being a kid again. Oddly, the only album of his that I ever owned was Little Miss Dangerous as I liked the title track. I went back and re-listened to that one a few weeks ago and it’s pretty horrible.
As a musician, the guy is a guitar beast and severely underrated. As a human being, well, I wouldn’t mind meeting him but I don’t think I’d want to be his neighbor. One thing I learned over the years was that if I based my fandom of bands on the people in the band and their previous transgressions, I’d probably never be able to listen to any band ever again. Stones? Bowie? Sheesh, there goes a chunk of my music collection right there!
My buddy Jason K went with me and we arrived right around 730PM just after the opening band, who isn’t worth mentioning, had finished. This was an early show with a hard curfew of 10PM. I was pleased to see the 5 protesters out front and wish I had taken a photo of their signs, but oh well. Good for them for exercising their First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. I applaud that.
Ted hit the stage right at 8PM with his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and went into Gonzo after that. I expected long-winded political rants speckled between songs but hardly got anything out of him besides, “The world sucks these days, America just sucks a lot less,” and “I’m from Detroit, the murder capital of America, and that’s only because we’re a better shot,” and burped “Obama.” Pretty much everything else was about his love of Bo Diddley and Texas. I was a bit surprised.
Up next was Free-For-All, which is one of my favorites. Ted handled vocals for the whole show except for Stormtroopin’, another favorite. Bassist, Greg Smith, sang on that one. Greg has been with everyone it seems including Wendy O Williams. I met him 2 years ago when he toured with Hellion. Great bassist. It was also good to hear Hey Baby and Good Friends and a Bottle of Wine. Ted’s guitar playing was top notch. His trio was rounded out by 21yr old drummer, Jason Hartless, who was perfect all night.
I was told that presales on the show were about 450 and I think the overall number was about 700 or so in an outdoor venue that can hold 1200. I stayed up on the deck in the back with a couple of friends. It was a nice evening and even better running into my old friend, Robin, whom I hadn’t seen in some years.
This was likely my first and last Nuge show. It was fun and I got to see what I needed to see.