Archive for July 2010
Bruce sounded great on last album and even live. Are they leaking rough mixes to fuck with people? What’s the deal? The music sounds great in some of these songs, but the vocals are awful. He sounds weak and tired.
I just don’t get it.
Last night our local independent theater chain, The Alamo Drafthouse, played the 35mm version of the legendary Black and Blue concert from
1980 which featured Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult live in Long Island, NY. I hadn’t seen this movie in about 20 years and had forgotten a lot about it. For some reason I thought that there were some interviews along with the concert footage, but I was sadly mistaken.
The movie starts out with some silly little movie by BOC called Here’s Johnny. Completely goofy. Then the live footage starts.
Let’s clear the air here. I’m no true BOC fan. They have a handful of songs that are friggin’ brilliant, but most everything else of theirs is hokey cheeseball stuff. I’ve tried time and time again to get into them and just can’t do it save those handful of songs that I really like. Their stage show was completely goofy. Sure, it was 1980, but c’mon. For the song Divine Wind, they dedicated it to the Ayatollah Khomeini and were flipping him the bird. Yes, I know that it was a big deal when all that was going on, I remember it well. And I guess that the news reflects in music quite often. Remember all the songs in the last 80s and early 90s about TV preachers and such? But still. Too goofy for me. Maybe had I been at the show I would not have thought the same. The only songs that BOC did in this set that I moderately liked were Cities On Flame and Godzilla (purely for nostalgic reasons). BOC’s stage presence is pretty boring as well. I met those guys about 7 years ago and they were a bunch of douches. It was at a biker rally in Virginia Beach, VA and they were doing a little meet and greet before their set. They treated every person there like shit. We stayed for 2 songs and left. Fuck ’em. But that experience plays no hand in this review.
Now, on to better things. Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio. Ronnie always seems more animated when the cameras are running. When I saw DIO in 2002, he was lively but not cartoonish. When I was at Radio City Music Hall (NYC) in 2007 for the filming of the Heaven and Hell DVD, he was certainly more lively. Gotta play it up, eh? But in this movie, he’s over the top, more so than I have ever noticed in past live footage. Ronnie is very good with his between song banter. He throws the horns aplenty. He even says in one spot, “A lot of people mistake this sign for being something evil when it really just means long live rock and roll.” They play a lot of the Ozzy era stuff and I never thought Dio sounded good on it. Just like Ozzy would sound terrible doing the Dio era stuff. They some Dio era stuff and it sounds pretty good. Tony and Geezer are killing it although Tony looks wasted. Geezer is playing an awesome BC Rich Eagle bass, unfortunately they don’t show him as much as I would like. It was interesting watching him use a pick in a few songs. Overall they sounded great but would have been a little greater had Bill Ward been behind the drums. When they did N.I.B., Dio made the comment that it doesn’t stand for Nativity In Black, it just stands for N.I.B.
The crowd in the theater was about half full, not too shabby for a 10:15PM showing on a Monday night. Tickets were $2 each. Our whole row seemed to know each other and that was fun. My friend and singer for local doom band Mala Suerte sat next to me. I cracked him up when I leaned over and said, “This is definitely a night for mustache rock!”
In the end, it was cool to see this on the big screen and to hang out with some good friends while doing…but I am tired today.
Here’s the setlist:
- Here’s Johnny
- The Marshall Plan
- Doctor Music
- Cities On Flame
- Divine Wind
- Roadhouse Blues (The Doors)
- Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf)
- Neon Knights
- Iron Man
- Heaven and Hell
- Die Young
This came out on VHS and Betamax in 1980 and a few years later on Laserdisc. It was supposedly being released on DVD in 2002 and for unknown reasons got canned. You can view the entire show on YouTube on this girl’s channel.
Ratt – Back For More
Ratt – The Morning After
Scorpions – Make It Real
Scorpions – Send Me An Angel
Scorpions – Holiday
Scorpions – Still Loving You
SCORPIONS – RATT
San Antonio, TX July 23, 2010
Amazing. In a word that’s the best way to describe this show. But as always, I will go into more detail.
The day starts out with me picking up Christine and Charlotte, piling their pretty selves in my car and heading 75 miles south to San Antonio to the AT&T Center. Since it’s a Friday we allowed some extra time to
get through Austin and SA’s traffic. Good idea. The doors opened at 6:30 and we arrived at about 5:45. Hung out in the parking lot, had a beer, talked music and talked a lot of BS. Good times.
We hop in line and 15 minutes later we were in the door. Of course we head to the merch booth to check out the shirts. Both Ratt’s and the Scorpion’s shirts were pretty fugly so I didn’t pick one up. That’s a rarity, me no picking up a concert shirt. We’re inside, grab a beer and go find out seats. I of course looked at the seating chart as I was buying the tickets but didn’t really realize how good they were. My photographer friend, Jinger, was behind us when she wasn’t in the photo pit shooting both bands.
The place was filling in pretty well and I believe it was sold out by the end of the night. San Antonio is a legendary town for metal. So many bands from around the world got their first US break there. Scorpions and Ratt were 2 of those bands. Sure Ratt was popular in the LA scene on the early 80s, but SA radio really pumped them and got them out of California. The SA crowds are great too. They love metal there. It’s pretty awesome.
The lights go down and on comes Ratt. Thanks to the interwebz I had seen the setlist that they have been running for this tour and was pretty stoked for it. Morning After! Alright! Stephen Pearcy was never known for being a great singer and he’s still not, but he did a pretty good job last night. The band consisted of Pearcy, Warren DeMartini, Bobby Blotzer, Robbie Crane and Carlos Cavazo(!). Carlos! I’ve always been a huge fan of the first 3 Quiet Riot albums that Carlos was on. Was fortunate enough to meet and hang out with him in 98. Nice guy, fine guitarist. Ratt sounded great overall. Warren is definitely a hotshot player. Robbie’s been in the band for a long time now and did a fine job. He’s got strong backing vocal skills too. Seeing Ratt was a bit special for me as I had never seen them before. “Back in the day” they came to town with Poison and Bon Jovi and I refused to pay to see either of those bands. Blech! So this was a perfect bill for me to see them on, even if it was 20+ years after their heyday. The only song I didn’t care for in their setlist was Way Cool Jr. That song sucked then and it still sucks now.
Here’s the setlist as I recall it:
- You’re In Love
- Lay It Down
- Lack Of Communication
- Loving You’s A Dirty Job
- I Want A Woman
- Best Of Me
- Slip Of The Lip
- Nobody Rides For Free
- Back For More
- Way Cool Jr.
- Wanted Man
- The Morning After
- Round And Round
Damn fine setlist.
After the Ratt set, the girls and I go out and grab a drink and they run into some friends of theirs who ended up joining us for the Scorpions set.
The music on the PA at rock concerts has always been an interesting subject of discussion. Before the Scorps came on, they were paying all Nickelback. It was pretty annoying. Then Back In Black comes on (very
loudly) and of course people start cheering. I never cared for that song but it’s fun seeing how amped people get anytime it gets played in an arena. 20 seconds into it, the lights go down, the songs ends and here comes Rudy Schenker walking on the stage to open the show. The crowd goes apeshit…including me. Rudy! RUDY! The rest of the band quickly follows and they open up with Sting In The Tail from the new album.
The band sounded great all night. Klaus’ voice was clean and powerful even though you can tell that they were playing everything tuned down. But for a dude that’s 62, he did a fine job. They all did. They have some Polish bass player named Pawel Maciwoda and James Kottak on drums. Kottak is a maniac. One of those showy type drummers, but solid as a rock and did a great job. He did a drum solo and had a rather humorous synchronized video of him in a bunch of different live recreations of Scorpions albums. For me the video was more interesting than the solo, but the guy obviously has a great sense of humor.
I’ve seen the Scorpions twice before. Once in 1991 on the Crazy World Tour and the other in 2002 with DIO and Deep Purple. This show was probably better than the 98 show but hard to top the 91 show. I was a little
letdown that they played nothing from the Uli Roth era as in recent years. They had been doing either In Trance or We’ll Burn the Sky, but nothing on this tour…their final tour. In general it didn’t matter. They were great. They did Send Me An Angel and dedicated it ti Ronnie James Dio. For Angel and Holiday, Rudy and Matthias had a Flying V and Explorer electric/acoustics! It made me giggle a bit but it was pretty cool.
One great surprise was at the beginning of their encore. Klaus talked about how special San Antonio was to helping the Scorpions then they went right into Still Loving You. This is the only show on the tour, as I can tell, that this song was played. We freaked out. They dropped Winds of Change (thank God). That song always annoyed me. The finished up with No One Like You and Rock You Like A Hurricane. I would have stayed for another 2 hours of music had then been able to do it. The energy from the crowd and from the band were pretty amazing. In recent years the only show that rivaled this one was Iron Maiden in 2008.
- Sting Of The Tail
- Make It Real
- Bad Boys Running Wild
- The Zoo
- Coast To Coast
- Loving You Sunday Morning
- The Best Is Yet To Come
- Send Me An Angel
- Raised On Rock
- Tease Me Please Me
- Kottack Attack (Drum Solo)
- Six String Sting (Matthias rocks out)
- Big City Nights
- Still Loving You (encore)
- No One Like You (encore)
- Rock You Like A Hurricane (encore)
The drive home was long and both of the girls fell asleep. It was an incredible night for a lot of reasons.
Upon returning home to downtown Austin, I walked across the street and caught the last 2 songs from Jason McMaster’s Killa Maul Metallica tribute. Awesome as always. Slipped across the street from there and ate a slice of pizza, drank half a beer, came home and went to bed.
Wonderful night with wonderful people.
Long live the Scorpions!
I love bees. Always have. They are incredible machines of nature.
Today outside my office a swarm of honey bees came in and found refuge on a little magnolia tree. They were awesome. I put my hand in the wad of bees that were surrounding the queen and they didn’t get aggravated at all. Crawled on my fingers for a few seconds then flew right back to the coven. It was really cool. Had to be at least 1000 or more.
Here are 2 shots taken about 2 hours apart.
I wish them the best in their search. Bee populations have dwindled dramatically in recent years. Hope this turns around.