The Metal Files

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Archive for September 2010

September 27, 1986 – RIP Cliff Burton

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Nothing more really needs to be said.

Written by The Metal Files

September 27, 2010 at 7:31 am

Posted in 1986, metallica

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Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax – Concert Review – San Antonio, Tx – September 25, 2010

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I can practically remember the show like it was yesterday.  Anthrax and Testament in 1987 at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  Anthrax was touring for Among the Living and testament for The Legacy.  To this day it was one of the most incredible shows ever.  I had gotten into Anthrax in early 1986 when I found a used copy of the cassette at Unicorn Records (RIP).  I practically listened to that album every day driving to and from school.  Minus Persistence of Time, I loved the Joey Belladonna era of Anthrax.  When Bush came in, I was done.  He was fine in Armored Saint but not in my beloved Anthrax.  I was able to catch Anthrax with Joey on the State of Euphoria and Persistence of Time tours.  They were always great live.  I also caught them with Bush on the We Have Come For You All tour and it was a really good show.

When the American Carnage Tour was announced there was no doubt that I’d see the show.  The first leg of the tour had Testament as the openers.  That band never disappoints.  This current leg featured Anthrax with the newly re-re-reunited Joey Belladonna on vocals.  I was pretty excited about that since it had been since 1991 since I had seen him live.

I will say that even though I love…even adore Megadeth, I wasn’t too excited to see them this time since they are still playing Rust In Peace live.  I had just seen it 6 months ago.  But Megadeth always delivers.  And they did once again last night.  More on that in a bit.

So now the adventure of the day begins.  I grab my best friend Amelia and her boyfriend Cody and we shuffle down to the other side of town to grab my other best friend, McMaster and head to San Antonio.  Good conversation, good music playing and everyone is pretty excited about the concert.

We get to the show, check out the shirts which weren’t all that great so I got to save myself $40.  Jason had a floor general admission ticket and we had seats.  About 20 minutes before Anthrax hit stage we went to our respective sections and waited for the show to begin.  Our seats were pretty decent and we had quick access to the lounge area of the AT&T Center.

The lights go down at 6:55 and Jim Florentine from That Metal Show and Crank Yankers fame is on stage as he is the Jagermeister MC for this tour. He does 5 minutes of comedy about metal and such and next thing you know Anthrax hits the stage.

They come on and open up with Caught In A Mosh.  Good times.  Anthrax has always been a very tight band as far as their playing and last night was no exception.  A big part of that is because of Charlie Benante’s drumming.  He’s a beast of a drummer.  Anthrax only had a 45 minute set so they played the hits that you’d expect.  They also added in Only from the Bush era and it was alright.  It’s the only song from that era that I like.  I have to say how surprised I was of Joey’s voice.  He sounded great.  He hit the high noted pretty well.  Lucky for us it was only the second night of Anthrax being on the tour, so they were all still fresh.  They sounded great and I got a little choked up when they played Madhouse. Spreading the Disease, is such an important album to me.  I really felt like we flashbacked into the 80s for a brief minute.  It was nice to just forget all of the worries of today and rock out like I was 17 again when the only thing I had to worry about was doing enough school work to get by and play drums.  Simpler times for sure.  But again, Anthrax was great and I actually wish they would have been the headliner to get a longer set and play some deeper cuts.  being such a short set, I was only a slight bit disappointed that they played the 2 cover tunes, although they were big songs for them.

Anthrax’s setlist:

  1. Caught In a Mosh
  2. Got the Time
  3. Madhouse
  4. Antisocial
  5. Indians
  6. Only
  7. Metal Thrashing Mad
  8. I Am The Law

After Anthrax I head up to the lounge area behind our section to grab a coke and a hot dog.  A boy’s gotta eat!  Shortly after Florentine is on stage again and Megadeth hit the stage right after he walked off stage.  They open up with Holy Wars and the crowd was all over it.  People love the Rust In Piece album.  Me?  Not so much.  But they sounded great, as always.  Dave is one of the greatest metal guitarists ever in my opinion and he was great again last night.  The addition of Chris Broderick has been nice as well.  They did 5 other songs after playing Rust In Piece and sounded great except at the end of Peace Sells where Drover on drums couldn’t quite get his feet together.  Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a nerd and could overlook or not even notice such things, but I can’t.

Megadeth setlist:

  1. Holy Wars
  2. Hangar 18
  3. Take No Prisoners
  4. Five Magics
  5. Poison Was The Cure
  6. Lucretia
  7. Tornado of Souls
  8. Dawn Patrol
  9. Rust In Peace…Polaris
  10. Trust
  11. Headcrusher
  12. A Tout Le Monde
  13. Symphony of Destruction
  14. Peace Sells (encore)
  15. Holy Wars (reprise)(encore)

Now I’ll drop back a little in that during Megadeth’s second song, McMaster walks back to where our seats were and calls me down to the rail.  We were only 4 rows up from the floor.  He puts something in my hand and tells me to grab Amelia and Cody and meet him in the hallway right now.  I didn’t really even look at what he gave me and grabbed the other 2 and we walked out immediately.  Upon getting in the hallway I pull the wad of stuff out of my pocket and see that we were given Jagermeister VIP passes courtesy of Jim Florentine.  Hot damn!  We get escorted upstairs and ushered into a large VIP suite that had about 20 other people in it.  It was straight back from the stage.  It was stocked with beer, Jager (gross), Jager swag and food.  We were told to make ourselves at home and Jason introduced us to his pal, Florentine.

While I’m not the greatest fan of That Metal Show, he’s the bright spot on the show.  The dude is really a metalhead and absolutely hilarious.  You get the feeling that he’s “one of us.”  It was really pretty nice of him to give all 4 of us access.  It was totally unexpected  and a bit humbling.  Certainly I don’t deserve that sort of treatment but will not complain about it.  Thanks Jim!

So Megadeth finishes their set and Florentine goes down to the soundboard area and does another quick routine.  Shortly after he’s back up in the booth with us hanging out.

Slayer hits the stage and opens up with World Painted Blood.  For this tour Slayer was playing Seasons in the Abyss in its entirety.  I didn’t care too much for that album when it came and that tour was the only other time I ever saw Slayer.  It was also the last time that I was in a mosh pit.  My nose is still a little crooked from

Slayer's opening screen

that show!  I have a love/hate relationship with Slayer.  I love everything up to and including South of Heaven and a few tracks from Seasons.  Up until World Painted Blood, I just couldn’t get into any of it.  I tried, believe me.  I’ve bought every one of their albums and throughout the 90s and 2000s got rid of all of the post-Seasons albums.  The new one was a little bit of a return to their late 80s glory.  While it’s not great, I can stomach it.

With Slayer doing Seasons I wasn’t too excited about it, but hearing it live again had me pumped up a little bit.  I hadn’t listened to that album in 10 years or more and it felt weird knowing every word of an album that I had been slagging for 20 years.  After last night, I will call myself a fan of that album  now…minus the title track.  Still can’t get into it.  As for Slayer’s performance, they sounded awesome.  Tom’s voice was sharp.  He doesn’t headbang anymore because of problems with his back and neck.  No biggie.  Kerry and Jeff were solid.  Slayer has a unique sound and a unique riffing style.  Some time during their set, Jason and I looked at each other and both basically said the same thing…”They invented that.”  Lombardo was awesome.  He’s such a beast of a drummer.  I was fortunate enough to see and meet him when he toured with Testament on The Gathering tour.  It was cool hearing them to South of Heaven and Aggressive Perfector.  Slayer kicked everyone’s ass in the building last night.  I’m sure that’s a pretty consistent thing.  My only criticism of their show is that they got a little off in the intro to Seasons but they figured it out pretty quickly.  Slayer!

Slayer setlist:

  1. World Painted Blood
  2. Hate Worldwide
  3. War Ensemble
  4. Blood Red
  5. Spirit In Black
  6. Expendable Youth
  7. Dead Skin Mask
  8. Hallowed Point
  9. Skeletons of Society
  10. Temptation
  11. Born of Fire
  12. Seasons In The Abyss
  13. South of Heaven
  14. Raining Blood
  15. Aggressive Perfector
  16. Angel of Death

As I saw during the Iron Maiden show a few months back, they have a person on the floor behind the soundboard doing sign language to each band’s lyrics for the hearing impaired folks in the crowd.  Florentine was sitting next to me during Dead Skin Mask and I point the sign language lady out to him and say, “Dude, you gotta work this into your act.  Someone doing sign language to Slayer lyrics!”  If any of you faithful readers see him do this line in an upcoming act, you know where it came from!  haha

As always, it was a great night with great friends…the ones who came with me and the ones I ran into at the show.  Thanks again to Jim Florentine for his awesome act of kindness.

Let’s hope for a full blown Anthrax tour!

Florentine and McMaster

Written by The Metal Files

September 26, 2010 at 8:53 am

More bloggen on Dokken!

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On my way back from Louisiana this past weekend I was flipping through my iPod to find some stuff to listen to.  I had recently added a ton of albums to it and had gone though most of the new additions on my way there (7.5 hours).  As I was scrolling through I saw the Dokken.  Woot!  Haven’t listened to them in a while.

I first spun Under Lock and Key then Back for the Attack.

If you’ve been paying attention, you know how much I love Tooth and Nail.  The album is perfect in my eyes/ears.  But I was truly blown away by these 2 albums.  Even though the songs got a little more radio friendly, Lynch’s playing on them was over the top in the best of ways.  George had a reputation in L.A. long before Dokken became a household name.  In talking to people from that early 80s Hollywood scene, they’ve all said the same thing…George was better than everyone around there.

Listening to his solos on these 2 albums I really can hear it.  It’s not too often that I get over excited about music these days, but hearing this stuff, remembering the hits (some of which we attempted to play in bands back then) and listening to the deeper cuts that I had long forgotten, I really felt that Dokken probably should have been a lot bigger, if anything based on George’s guitar work alone.  He did get a lot of press in the metal and guitar mags back then and deservedly so.

It was too bad they broke up in 1988.  I think they could have squeezed out one more decent album.  By the time Dysfunctional came out in 1995, who cared?  I certainly didn’t.  What I remember hearing from it sounded very “90s”.  Pass.

I got to see George a few months ago in Austin with his solo band.  Dude can still hang.

If you’ve ever liked Dokken and haven’t listened to them in a while, I highly recommend popping in these 2 albums again.  You won’t be disappointed.

Written by The Metal Files

September 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Posted in dokken, heavy metal

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Pantera – Cowboys From Hell – 20 Years Later

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Twenty years has passed since Pantera’s seminal album Cowboys From Hell was released.  This album is what I like to call a game changer.  Metal got a swift kick in the ass when this came out and it influenced a new wave of metal, appropriately dubbed “nu-metal”.  It even spawned some clones…Fight anyone?

This was the beginning of the chugga-chugga era.  People from around the world started to take notice of this little band from the Dallas/Ft Worth area of Texas.  I remember hearing them several times a day on Z-Rock and even liked it when Diamond Darrell, as he was still called at the time, would come into the Z-Rock studios and let callers try and stump him on metal riffs.  I don’t think I ever heard him get stumped, even when someone called in and asked for Omen and fates Warning riffs.

This album was huge for them and launched them into being the 2nd biggest metal band of the 90s behind Metallica, and rightfully so for the times.

This album deserves every bit of praise that it ever got.  Too bad that I can’t stand this album.  I think it’s awful.  When I first heard Cemetery Gates I wanted to hurl.  That riff in the chorus with the pinch harmonics drives me nuts.  Then Cowboys From Hell?  Blech!

So please allow me to drop back and punt a little.  I had been listening to Pantera since 1986.  Projects in the Jungle was my introduction to them thanks to a former friend from high school.  I love that album, as cheesy as it may be.  I Am the Night is damned good too.  OK, Metal Magic isn’t so good, but it has some gems on it as well.  I remember buying their Power Metal album, with Phil Anselmo on vocals, and thought, “Man, these guys really kick ass!” even with the dumb lyrics.  Phil could wail.  I loved this band a lot.

I can’t iterate enough how coarse CFH was to my ears.  The band wasn’t recognizable to me any longer.  Granted they weren’t even close to being one of my favorite bands at the time but I still enjoyed spinning their albums.

I remember when they were coming to Virginia Beach to play the Peppermint Beach Club.  Some of my friends bought tickets and showed up at the venue early.  The band was hanging out and meeting with people outside the venue.  My buddies showed up with their pre-CFH record covers and Darrell and the rest of the band refused to sign them.  I’ll never forget some friends recounting Diamond Darrell saying, “Get that shit out of here.  That’s not us.  We’re not fucking signing that!”  Absolutely true story.  They were all acting like dicks.  I know a lot of people here in Texas who know/knew them and they are a bit surprised when I tell them the story.  Darrell always struck me as a nice, genuine soul from interviews and such.  Anselmo’s resume’ speaks for itself.  Pity.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is to never diss your fans.  Of course I’ve never had success like Pantera’s, but even in my little world of playing small gigs, garage bands that never even played out, making self-produced and financed records and going on the road for weekend gigs and such, no matter what, I would never talk shit to someone who took the time to come see my band play.  NEVER.  How shitty.  It really killed any future interest I could have ever had in that band after that point.

I listened to this album in its entirety again recently to see if maybe my mind could be changed after all these years.  Epic fail.  While there are a few good riffs here and there and Phil showed a few flashes of still being able to sing, the album still did nothing for me.

I know I’m in the minority on this one and I am OK with that.  A few months ago while at a show, 2 of the girls that were with us turned me on to the word Panterrible.  It’s how I have referred to them since.

RIP Diamond Darrell.  You surely didn’t deserve to go out like that.

Written by The Metal Files

September 15, 2010 at 10:43 am

Meeting Sepultura 1994

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Sepultura was on the Chaos AD tour with Fear Factory, Clutch and Fudge Tunnel in 1993/94.  I get a call on the day of the show from my friend Steve who owns Skinnies Records in Norfolk, VA and he says he’s guestlisted +1 and offers it to me.  Hell yeah!  I didn’t really care for the Chaos AD album that much but not having seen Sepultura before, I was definitely interested.  The other bands on the bill were not even mildly interesting to me.

I pick Steve up and it’s a cold rainy night in early March 1994.  We get to the Boathouse (I miss that place!) and go to the will-call window.  The girl hands Steve and envelope and tells one of the employees to see us inside.  I don’t recall getting a ticket for this one as it’s not in my ticket stub collection anywhere.  Steve put the envelope in his jacket and we go in.

The 3 opening bands were pretty dull.  I think Fear Factory was on right before Sepultura and Steve pulls the envelope out and opens it.  Two Sepultura after show backstage passes!  Score!  We were both excited and I remember Steve saying, “Damn, glad I decided to look in the envelope!”  Me too!

Sepultura comes on and they were great.  They mostly played stuff from Chaos AD and Arise but threw in Mass Hypnosis, Policia, My Inner Self and Beneath The Remains.  Score!  They were tight and entertaining.

After the show, we just hang out as people were leaving.  Several of our friends stopped to say hello and we both kept the passes under wraps until most everyone had left.  We then went to the backstage door with our passes displayed and got ushered in.  Saw some folks we knew back there and talked it up a bit.

My favorite memory was hearing someone in a thick yet higher-pitched Brazilian accent ask, “Does anybody want a beer?”  I turn around and right behind me is Max Cavalera holding 3 or 4 bottles of Beck’s beer.  I jokingly said, “Hey man, you sound like a girl!”  He laughed, handed me a beer and said, “Drink up!”

We chatted with him and the rest of the guys for a few minutes and I got them to sign the envelope that the passes came in.  They were very amiable and joked around with everyone a lot.  Steve and I were pretty worn out and left.

I’ve been pretty lucky meeting bands over the years.  And this was definitely another great experience.  Sepultura was very gracious and seemed to love playing in the States.

So, thanks to Steve and Sepultura for a great night of metal comradeship!

Sepultura backstage pass, Beck's bottle cap and autographs (click to enlarge)

Written by The Metal Files

September 11, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Meeting Queensryche 1989

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So there we were, some former friends from high school I heading to Tracks at Ward’s Corner in Norfolk, VA to do the free meet and greet with Queensryche.  It was a nice warm afternoon in March.  Kirshon brought something to get signed but I don’t remember what exactly.  One of my friends brought his copy of their first EP and I had nothing.  I couldn’t find my Warning cassette so when we were getting out of Kirshon’s truck, I just grabbed a piece of notebook paper.

It was a remarkably small crowd if memory serves me correctly and the line moved quickly. I snapped a few photos and had them sign my sheet of paper, of which each one of them joked on.  When they got to my friend’s EP, Tate said, “Where have you been keeping this, in your back pocket?” He laughed and replied with, “Pretty much.”  They were all really nice guys and some of the nicest I’ve met in situations like this.  They were having fun with the people there and were constantly talking trash to each other.

Queensryche was touring with Metallica on their …And Justice For All/Operation Mindcrime tours, respectively.  By this time I was already done with Metallica.  I thought AJFA was a shitty album (still do!) and didn’t even really care for Mindcrime (still don’t!), but I figured I’d get to hear enough stuff from the previous 2 albums and the EP to satisfy me.  They did several from Mindcrime but it was fine.  They kicked ass and made Metallica look like amateurs.  Even Metallica’s older songs sounded like they came from AJFA. Blech!

My girlfriend’s little brother Ryan came with us to the show and I think he may have been 14 at the time.  He loved Queensryche so we took him.  We were all 4 on the barricade for Queensryche but during Metallica we moved back towards the sound board area and a big mosh pit broke out in front of us.  Ryan got sucked in and I could see the look of fear in his eyes so I ran into the pit and extracted him as quickly as I could.  To this day he still says, “thanks for saving my life that night!”  hahaha

Enjoy the photos.

DeGarmo and Rockenfield (click to enlarge)

Queensryche (click to enlarge)

Queensryche autographs...on notebook paper! (click to enlarge)

Written by The Metal Files

September 10, 2010 at 9:23 am

I was visited by an angel the other day.

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Saw this elsewhere and found it share-worthy.

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September 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

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