The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Archive for October 2015

The Cult Concert Review, Austin, TX, October 28, 2015

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I first saw The Cult almost 3 years ago to the day of last night’s show.  I got in for free that night while walking home to my old apartment that was next door to the venue.  I remember being pretty bored and that their performance was pretty lackluster.  I liked their studio stuff, the radio hits at least, mainly because a band that I played in from 92-95 covered several of their songs.  It was easy yet fun stuff to drum to.

Not sure exactly why I bought a ticket for last night’s show when they first went on sale.  Maybe I wanted to see that they improved from that show 3 years ago.  Who knows what my mind frame was that night in 2012, but whatever.  I got the ticket and went.

The opener was the pseudo local band called Leopold and His Fiction.  They classify themselves as garage rock, blues and folk.  I generally withhold getting negative about bands on here, but fuck it.  That band was absolutely fucking horrible.  I got there with three or four songs left and just kept thinking, “what the fuck is going on here?”  The crowd was very unresponsive to them.  After each song, I swear I couldn’t hear one person clapping or cheering.  When they finished their set, they didn’t say anything and just walked off stage.  No goodbye, see ya, thanks, fuck off, nothing.  Maybe that’s part of their shtick?  I can’t care.  I just hope they’re never on another bill of a show that I go to.

The Cult was scheduled to play from 9:10 to a hard curfew 10:30 because of Austin’s sound ordinance.  They hit the stage on time and opened with Horse Nation from their 1984 debut Dreamtime and went right into Rain.  Ian Astbury’s voice sounded pretty good, better than what I remembered from 2012.  They mixed their set up with what you’d expect to hear like Love Removal Machine, Fire Woman, Lil’ Devil, etc.  I enjoyed hearing Spiritwalker and Sweet Soul Sister quite a bit.  They played a couple from more recent albums and those sounded really good.

The band was very solid, as expected, and I didn’t realize that John Tempesta was their drummer.  You might remember him from such metal bands as Testament, Exodus, White Zombie and being part of Anthrax’s tech crew.  Midway through the set Ian’s vocals got a little rough and he stated that he had a “nasal infection”.  It didn’t seem to phase him too much as he sounded really good overall.

I hung back by the soundboard for the show, which was about 2/3 full.  Plenty of space to move around and I could have gotten closer had I cared to.  I could see the setlist from the lighting tech’s rig.  They had about 4-5 more songs listed than what they played.  They ran over their curfew by about 10 minutes.  Stubb’s was quick to get people out afterwards.

I enjoyed the show and enjoyed seeing some folks that I hadn’t seen in too long as well.  Only thing I wanted to hear that I didn’t was Edie (Ciao Baby) and Peace Dogs would have been cool, too.

Written by The Metal Files

October 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm

Manilla Road & Graven Rite Concert Review, Austin, TX, October 25, 2015

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11057303_10153588423473560_5568181379365985049_nIt’s been quite a busy few weeks for shows and last night’s show was a last minute decision that I am so glad I made.

I got to Hotel Vegas right as Graven Rite was setting up so went outside for a bit and ran into Mark “The Shark” Shelton, who I had just seen the week prior at Frost and Fire Fest in Ventura, CA.  We spoke for a few minutes.  Before heading in to see Graven Rite, I ran into Scott from Texas Metal Underground who is one of the coolest dudes around.

I came in on Graven Rite’s third song, Bloodstone Ring.  After that they played Twisted Sister’s The Beast and it sounded good.  The closed their set with the title track from their debut EP, The Summoner’s Pit.  It was good to catch them live.

After a pretty quick stage switch out, Manilla Road comes on and I move right to the front where a couple of my friends were hanging out. My favorite album by Manilla Road is Mystification and they opened with Masque of the Red Death.  Trying to keep up with their setlists is interesting because everything is pretty much decided on the spot.  “Let’s play this one…” kind of thing.   That means the band has to be ready for anything and they were.  I was quite surprised to see so many people wearing MR shirts and singing along to their set, especially some of the younger folks I saw there.  After headbanging up front for the first 3 or 4 songs, I moved to the back with the old folks.  haha.  Plus I could hear everything better.  The whole band sounded great and watch Mark shred is such a pleasure.  Admittedly I don’t know their whole discography but really enjoyed Cage of Mirrors, The Riddle Master and Divine Victim and the others from Mystification.

I was pretty tired after the show, so I said some quick goodbyes to the band and headed home.  It was a great night though.  As an aside, I saw a lot of younger “metalheads” at this show.  A few I’ve seen at other metal shows but most seem to be, in my view, metalheads for the fashion of it.  I’d like to see some of these kids in 5 years to see if they stayed “metal” or if they’re just rolling in the trend.  And Matt, if you’re reading this, you’re not part of that crowd.  You’re one of the truest metalheads I’ve ever known.  :)

My neck hurts today.

Soul Asylum and Meat Puppets Concert Review, Austin, TX, October 23, 2015

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Not a huge fan of either band but in the early 90s I was working at a mall record store over the holiday season and Soul Asylum’s Grave Dancers Union was a huge hit.  After hearing the album nightly, I started to like it,  Never got into anything else by them but I do love this particular album.   Spying some of the setlists from the current tour, I saw that they were playing much of the album and decided to go.

The Meat Puppets were the opener and I don’t really know much about them beyond having covered their single Backwater in the early 90s.  I knew Lake of Fire from Nirvana’s Unplugged concert.  To be honest, I didn’t enjoy their set at all.  While they’re skilled players, their music does zero for me.  Plus they didn’t play the one song I cared about.  And yes, I’m totally that guy.  haha.  They did, however, do a cool cover of Seven Spanish Angels.

Soul Asylum comes on and opens with my favorite song, Somebody To Shove.  Dave Pirner sounds great.  His voice was strong and his band was tight.  They feature Michael Bland on drums who was in Prince’s band for much of the 90s.  They guy was awesome, of course.  Their set was pretty much as I had seen online and I had a great time.  I’d probably go see them again given the right bill.

Savage Master Concert Review, Austin, TX, October 22, 2015

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band logoAfter the Rick Springfield/Loverboy/Romantics show, we headed back over to east Austin to the Lost Well to catch my pals in Savage Master.  This is the third time I’ve seen them this year, the others being in May at Ragnarokkr and last weekend in Ventura, CA.  I enjoy them more and more every time.  The crowd was a little smaller than I expected but everyone was rocking out.  Maybe 35 people, but they were all into it, including The Lost Well’s staff.  That’s great to see that kind of support from a venue.  Love Savage Master’s cover of Swords and Tequila as well.

They were out of CDs and 7″ records, which is a good thing and shows that they’re getting some fan support on the road.

Bands are on tight budgets when on the road, so I offered to let them stay at my place.  They were happy to stay and I was happy to host them.  Great bunch of folks. Looking forward to hearing some new material.

Rick Springfield, Loverboy & Romantics Concert Review, Cedar Park, TX, October 22, 2015

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I’ve been really busy with shows lately.  It’s wearing me out.  It’s wearing my wallet out!  This past Thursday brought some big 80s pop rock bands to the Cedar Park Center.  Let’s just dog right in.

The Romantics opened up and beyond one song, I never cared for them.  Their set was hampered by major sound issues but they plodded through it like pros.  Interestingly enough, three of the 4 guys are originals.  That’s pretty rare these days.  I always thought most of their songs sounded the same.    They were solid though.  The had a minor hit in the mid-80s with One In A Million and didn’t play it.  What?  The one song I wanted to hear, of course.

Loverboy came on next.  I always liked their radio hits.  Friendly safe pop rock, totally 80s.  They were the main reason I went.  I had never seen them and who doesn’t want to rock out with Mike Reno?  Loverboy is also 4/5 original.  Sweet.  Their set was pretty much what you’d expect except they didn’t play When It’s Over, which is a great song and was a decent hit for them.  Reno sounded great and I got to hear the other songs I wanted to hear, especially Turn Me Loose.  That song rules.

We only stayed for 4 songs of Springfield’s set as I had another show to see at a different venue.  I’ve done Everything For You was played second, so that made me happy. He sounded great, though.  That dude is 66 years old.  He was all over the stage and of course the girls in the crowd were going googoo over him.

Good time and glad I went.