Archive for December 2012
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?