The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Blaze Bayley & Killamaul Concert Review, Austin, TX 06/20/2013

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It’s never been a secret that my all time favorite band is Iron Maiden.  But being my favorite band doesn’t give them a free pass on everything they’ve done.  Cases in point: X Factor, Virtual XI, Dance of Death.  Those 2 albums in the 90s with Wolfsbane’s Blaze Bayley weren’t good, but I lay that blame on Steve Harris.  He chose Bayley and he was the primary songwriter for those 2 abominations of Iron Maiden albums.  While each of those 2 albums has 1 or 2 decent songs, the albums as a whole are pretty bad.  I owned Wolfbane’s first album back in the day but never thought it was great.  Had some pretty silly lyrics if I remember correctly.

A few weeks ago it was announced that Blaze Bayley was playing a new and insanely huge venue on the outskirts of Austin, TX called The Crown Center.  It’s only a few miles from my house so that made it convenient.  There was 2 other scheduled shows locally as well, but none of them downtown, which is pretty odd.

Admission for Thursday’s show was $20 which was stated to be going to tornado victims.  The Saturday show was only $6, but it wasn’t convenient.  My real reason for going at all was solely to get The Book signed.  NERD.  I know.

Local faves Killamaul were the opener and they’re a tribute band that only plays Metallica’s Kill ’em All.  Killamaul features legendary vocalist Jason McMaster (Broken Teeth, Dangerous Toys, Watchtower) on vocals and rhythm guitar.  They always do an awesome job and certainly did so on Thursday.  To be honest hey were the best band of the night.  McMaster is one of the best frontmen in the business and even though there may have been only 30ish people there, he still handles it like the pro he is.  Period.

Next up was Snake Skin Prison.  I’ve known them for several years and have done some shows with them, but I’m just not into what they do.  Super nice dudes, though.

Then comes Blaze Bayley.  From what I understand this band and tour were thrown together pretty quickly and featured some relatively well-known musicians.  On drums was James Kottak who has been playing with the Scorpions since the mid-90s and also with Kingdom Come in the 80s.  On bass was John Moyer who was/is in Disturbed and spent some time touring with Queensryche (Tater version I think).  On guitar was Rick Plester who was in WWIII and Black Symphony and apparently does  a lot of producing.  They also had local singer Shawn Austin from a band called Minx (?) and she co-sang on 2 songs.

The set consisted of songs from BLAZE, Wolfsbane and of course Iron Maiden, 2 of which weren’t from his era of the band.  For a throw together band and set, they sounded pretty good overall and even did a good version of Rainbow’s Man On The Silver Mountain.  By the time the band was on there may have been 50-60 people there and Blaze worked the stage like there was a big crowd.  Now, this place easily holds 5000 people and my mind is still boggled as to why the show was booked there.  But whatever.  Guest singer Shawn Austin sang Fear of the Dark (I detest this song) and Wasted Years with Blaze.  It was Wasted Years that really let me down as far as their set went.  I’m a Maiden snob and I get that they’re not the easiest band to cover, but at least get the opening riff right.  I’m not guitarist but I can play it properly.  It was obvious that they had just learned it as they dicked up with first verse completely by going into a chorus where a chorus doesn’t exist.  Moyer and Kottak did fine holding their parts down, but this song was just a mess.  See video below.

I’ll restate that their set was pretty good other than Wasted Years.  That needs to be said for how quickly this was put on.  Immediately after they played, the band came out and hung out and signed anything people put in front of them and snapped pics.  I’m glad I went but doubtful I’d go see them again if they come through again…that is unless there’s someone in the band that I need to get in The Book.  haha.

You be the judge.

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