The Metal Files

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Archive for May 2014

Journey & Steve Miller Band Concert Review, May 22, 2014, San Antonio, TX

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Let’s just get this straight.  I do not like The Steve Miller Band.  I never have.  I think it was because of high school and everyone played the greatest hits album incessantly.  That being said, I can tolerate Livin’ in the USA, Wild Mountain Honey and Space Cowboy.  To say I was disappointed to see that they were on the bill with Journey is an understatement.

But I bought tickets anyway.  I’ve only seen Journey one other time and that was in 2001 with Frampton and John Waite.  Great show.

Last night’s show crept up on me and the person originally supposed to go with me forgot as well and had other plans.  I asked a few others and with it being last minute, most were busy.  Wait.  A female too busy for Journey?  Certainly their vaginas were not working properly when they said that.  hahaha.  So I called up Margarita in New Braunfels, a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while and she jumped at the chance.  Perfect.  She’s cool, lives on the way and is gorgeous.  Great combo.

On our way down, there’s a bad accident on IH35 on the north side of San Antonio so after sitting in traffic forever, we were finally able to get off of 35 and take an alternate route.  That made us miss Tower of Power who were the first opener.  I wanted to see them just because.  Miller is already on stage when we walk in and is on Space Cowboy.  She likes Miller so we grab a beer and something to eat really quickly and go in for the rest of their set.  Our seats were kind of eprfect in that that our row only had those 2 seats in it.  No worries of having people coming in and out and having to move around a lot.  I’ll admit to not hating them as much in a live setting, mainly because his drummer was kickass.

Then Journey comes on opening with Be Good To Yourself and go right in to Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).  Great 1-2 punch for sure.  They sound great and I expected no less.  Arnel sounds great and he’s all over the stage.  Kid’s got a ton of energy and you can tell how happy he is to be there.  I had seen in previous setlists that Mother, Father was being played on this tour and it’s one of my favorite songs from Escape.  What made this even better was that Deen Castronovo sang lead on it.  MY GOD.  He sounded incredible and that dude’s range is insane.  Add to it that he’s an incredible drummer.  He could easily front that band.  That’s no slight to Arnel.

Journey played pretty much everything you’d expect them to play and added 2 songs from their last album.  I really wanted to hear When You Love A Woman as I love Neal’s guitar solo in that one, but no dice.

Great show and a great companion and worth every penny of the ticket price.  So…when are they coming back?

 

On Meeting Alice Cooper, Dallas, TX, May 17, 2014

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Unbelievable.  I got to meet Alice Cooper today in Dallas at the ComicCon.  Completely surreal.

About a week or so ago, Jason K. hits me up about going to Dallas with him to meet Alice Cooper and of course I accepted.  What a wonderful signature to get in The Book!  We made the 3 hour trek to Dallas around noon, got parked, got our tix and made our way through the convention center.  There were thousands of people in lines to see the casts of The Walking Dead and Firefly.  Insane!  We get to Cooper’s booth and there was virtually no one in line.  Lines for movie and TV personalities were long, but not many there for Alice.  That proved beneficial for Jason and me.

I paid my fee to get 2 items signed and walk right up to the table where Alice is sitting.  I open the book and put the CD cover for From the Inside in front of him and he signs them both.  He didn’t sign on his photo unfortunately, but no biggie.

Backstory…a guy I work with found Cooper’s golf club ID on a course in Florida in the late 80s and turned it in to the club.  I asked Alice if he remembered any of that and he said, “I vaguely remember that ID thing and definitely remember that club.  Thank your friend for being a good citizen.”  We both laughed.

No one was behind me in line so I stayed there and talked to him for a few minutes.  He wasn’t trying to move me along at all.  I tell him about the death of my brother 2 years ago and how much he loved Alice and got me into him at an early age, and especially our love for From the Inside.  The conversation got personal and in depth in discussing my brother and Alice says, “Sounds like you had an awesome older brother who influenced who you are.”  Alice got it.  He’s been there.  It was a personal moment and one that I’ll never forget.  I shook his hand and thanked him for talking and for his musical influence on me.  He’s got such an infectious smile, still very childlike.  It was a pleasure and totally worth the trip.

Alice!

Alice!

The hands of Alice Cooper signing my book and CD cover

The hands of Alice Cooper signing my book and CD cover

Deep discussions.

Deep discussions.

My favorite album by Alice

My favorite album by Alice

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Written by The Metal Files

May 17, 2014 at 9:12 pm

On meeting Cheap Trick (Concert Review), May 16, 2014, Austin, TX

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Tonight was the 4th time I’ve seen Cheap Trick in the last 2 years and the 5th time overall.  As always they put on an energetic show and it was a ton of fun.

Earlier this week I took the decision to buy the VIP/meet and greet pass to hopefully get The Book signed.  Immediately after paying for it, I received an automated email stating the details and rules of the meet and greet.  In bold letters, “NO AUTOGRAPHS” was written halfway down.  Wait…what?  It was the WHOLE reason I paid for this.  I honestly didn’t give a rat’s ass about a photo op.  You also get a shirt, VIP laminate, poster and a “special tour gift”, all of which will be mailed.  Upon receiving the email, I fired an email back asking for a refund and got denied.  I please my case one more time and the rep from the company who puts on the meet and greet said, “just bring the book and see what happens.”

Show day arrives and I get to the venue at the stated time and get in the line with the others.  Several folks said, “no autographs, you know” after seeing my bag with the book strapped over my shoulder.  “I’ll take my chances.”  We’re let inside and reform a line by the backstage door and they let us in 5 at a time.  One person at a a time was then let in to stand in front of the band and get a picture taken.  I was the 5th in the first group, walked up to the band, pulled out the book and said, “They said no autographs but I’d forgo the photo if you’d sign this book.”  Rick asks what the book is and I explain that it’s a book about metal bands but they’re listed and pictured in it as a reference.  Robin just smiles and says, “Weird.”  Tom says, “Hey, let’s play one of our metal songs tonight!”  Rick then asks who said no autographs and I told him the rules in the email.  “Well fuck them, they’re not here.   Where’s your pen?”  I hand him the Sharpie and he signs the Cheap Trick page and Robin and Tom sign their picture.  Then Robin says, “Now let’s do this photo, man.”  So we did the photo which I assume will be emailed out.  It was pretty cool.  Before walking away, I asked if they were going to play Southern Girls and Ricck says, “We’re not far enough south for that one.”  I love that song and they’ve played it on the recent tours in just about every city but Austin for whatever reason.  Rick’s son, Daxx (drums), smiled and looked at me and mouthed. “we’re playing it.”  Rick and Tom each hand me a guitar pick and that was it.  Out the back door.  But SUCCESS!  It’s a great addition.

Then the show started.  Austin’s own Ume opened and it wasn’t my thing at all.  I’d seen them before a while back.

Cheap Trick comes on and just does their thing.  They are a well oiled machine that has fun on stage.  Their setlist is different every night and that’s great.  It keeps things a little loose on tour.  They played their hits mixed with other stuff for the hardcore fans as well as a new song from their upcoming album.   The Flame always takes me right back to the 80s.  Tonight one of the Dixie Chicks did a duet with Robin on it.  They’re always a treat and I look forward to the next time I can see them!

 

 

 

Headbangers – The Worldwide MegaBook of Heavy Metal Bands

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Updated.

The Metal Files

So back in 1995/1996 I was still married to my now ex-wife.  She was a voracious reader and during our brief marriage inspired me to do some reading.  Most of the time it was band/musician biographies.  Sometimes it was just catching up on John Saul books (all of which suck anymore).  One day I went to the library and was just thumbing through the reference books and came across “Headbangers – The Worldwide MegaBook of Heavy Metal Bands” by Mark Hale.  I cracked it open and just started freaking out.  This book had just about everyone in it that was a metal band.  It spans from the late 60s to about 1990 and does a wonderful job of cross-referencing bands, listing albums and catalog numbers.  There’s an index in the back of musicians, band names, countries of origin and record labels with catalog numbers.  It’s a pretty extensive hardcover book. …

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Written by The Metal Files

May 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm

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Ghost Concert Review, Austin, TX 05/01/2014

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Three years ago I reviewed Ghost’s debut album.  When the second album came out, I found it almost non-listenable.  It sounds like circus music.  BUT…Ghost came to Austin last night and I decided to check them out.  I pretty much knew what to expect which was a bunch of kids wearing Ghost shirts and Xs on their hands.  The band is loved by kiddies/mallrats/hipsters.

They played well.  No gear onstage besides the drums.  The band is riding their schtick and they do it well.  Everyone in masks and robes and the singer in his pontiff gear and skull face.  The crowd loved it and Ghost is loving it all the way to the bank.  Good for them.  While I’d likely never go see them again unless they had a band with them that I liked, it was an enjoyable show.

Written by The Metal Files

May 2, 2014 at 7:02 am