The Metal Files

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Archive for December 2015

Lemmy.

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December 28, 2015.  That’s the day that Lemmy died.

Official Motorhead posted that he learned of an “aggressive cancer” on the 26th of December and passed on 2 days later.  I’ve felt for well over a year of seeing him in photos and videos that he’d been suffering through it for quite some time.  The weight loss and frailness reminded me of my gramps who had pancreatic cancer and that’s my guess as well.  Not important, really.  He’s left us.

I read somewhere yesterday that most people have a Lemmy story.  I’m fortunate to have a handful of them, and all of them good.  You never really heard unkind words about Lemmy, even from people who weren’t Motorhead fans.

To say we were friends or even mere acquaintances would be a pretty big stretch of the truth, but the last few times I saw him face to face, he did recognize me and always made the joke, “How many times have I told you that you should have picked a better album cover?” referring to the Another Perfect Day tattoo on my back.  One of those times being at The Rainbow.  I’ll hold on to that.

I’m glad I got to see them 9 times since 1992 and I’m pretty sure some hearing loss is because of a few of the shows.

There will never be another one like him, you can count on that.

lem

 

Written by The Metal Files

December 29, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Posted in 2015, lemmy, motorhead, Uncategorized

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Zebra Concert Review, McKinney, TX, December 12, 2015

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I am a huge Zebra fan and have been since first hearing Who’s Behind the Door on Imageusethe radio in 1983.  I first saw them in 1987 on the 3.V tour headlining over Alcatrazz and Rough Cutt in Norfolk, VA at the famed Boathouse (RIP).  I remember it rained like hell that night and it was only $5.  Great show.

In 1996, I got to see Randy do a Zeppelin tribute with the Virginia Symphony.  I’m no Zep fan but it was a good show.  I got to meet Randy after the show and I don’t think anyone knew that it was him, but I did.  Randy told me last night that was one of the first of the Zep shows he ever did with the Symphony.

The next time I saw them was in 2000 at Jaxx in Springfield, VA.  I met Randy and Felix before the show and they gave me permission to film it.  When I reviewed the video the next day, the picture was perfect…but there was no sound.  I was pissed.  Great show, though.

A Dallas area promoter named Don Wishon does some quality shows in the DFW area bringing acts like Rik Emmett, Damon Johnson and the 2 night stint with Zebra this weekend.  Originally last night’s show was the only one announced and it sold out quickly.  It was booked at The Sanctuary in McKinney, TX and ticketing was limited to 250 people to keep it intimate.  A little while after, they announced a second show on the night before.  So first was second and second became first.  I bought 2 tix to the Saturday show and my pal, Rodney, said he’d use my extra ticket.

So yesterday we were off to the DFW area.  We first stopped in Fort Worth at the new-ish Born Late Records and Tattoos to see what they had going.  Rodney and I  both know the owners and it was a pleasure to see what they’ve put together there.  It’s almost a rock and roll museum as much as it is a store.  Rodney found some records and an awesome huge new old stock Blue Oyster Cult poster.  I picked up a sealed copy of Thin Lizzy’s Johnny the Fox on 8-track(!) and a couple of Brittany’s custom made coasters.  Keep up with new items on their Facebook page.

Afterwards we drive to our hotel, check in and go next door for some tasty tacos at a sketchy little taqueria. Shortly after we head up to McKinney in the pouring rain.  The venue was set up with some tables at the front of the stage, reserved seating behind them and then reserved tables lining the balcony with no real comfortable spots to stand and see the stage clearly.  I had bought standing room only tix.  I had noticed a table with only 2 people sitting there and asked them if we could use the speace on the other side of their table to stand at the rail and watch.  They nice enough to let us join them and we took care of their drinks for the rest of the night.

Zebra comes on shortly after 8 opening with As I Said Before from their self-titled debut.  The entire set was mixed up pretty well with songs from the debut, 3.V and IV, but only the title track from No Tellin Lies.  They played some different songs from the night before which included both Bears and Wait Until the Summer’s Gone, my 2 faves from that album.  Ugh.  Would love to have heard those.  But in the grand scheme it didn’t matter.  The band sounded great and Randy’s voice is still quite strong with that falsetto.

Highlight songs for me include You’ll Never Know, Take Your Fingers From My Hair, Tell Me What You Want, Better Not Call and, of course, Who’s Behind The Door.  They did lots from IV but not Arabian Nights, which I also love.  They did play it the previous night, however.

It was a fun show and definitely a 30+…erm…primarily 40+ age group.

After the show, the band came out for a meet and greet.  As stated earlier, I had met Randy and Felix before at the Jaxx show, but never Guy.  I got my CDs signed quickly as I only needed Guy’s on them and Felix’s on two.  When I got to Randy, I mentioned the previous shows.  When I mentioned the ’87 show in Norfolk, he brightened up and said, “The Boathouse!  Bill Reed promoted that show.”  I knew Bill a little bit through the 90’s but was totally surprised that Randy remembered him and the venue.  I mentioned to Randy that 3.V was my favorite and he whispered to me, “Mine, too.”

Going in I was hoping to buy a shirt until I saw them.  NOPE.  I’m often perplexed by the shirts that classic bands put out.  I think the worst offenders may be the Scorpions.  Personally, just give me a logo shirt with some tour dates or an album cover.  But that’s just me.

Another great trip and thanks to Don for putting this on.  We had to get up early as I needed to drop Rodney off at the airport for his trip to Vegas.  I drove home in the pouring ass rain, at least until about Waco where it tapered off pretty well.

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

December 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Holy Grail & Night Demon Concert Review, Austin, TX, December 7, 2015

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My good friends in Night Demon rolled back into Austin this week as direct support for LA’s Holy Grail.  With it being a Monday night I was a little concerned as to how well attended this show would be, but it did better than I expected.

The ND guys got to my house around 4:30PM after a long drive from Albuquerque and promptly unloaded their bags and started taking showers and just relaxing a bit before we head to the show for load in.  This is the 3rd time they’ve stayed here and they now have their own key to my house.  Great guys.

The show had 4 openers going on before ND.  Fortunately I liked two of them already, Blood for Master and Widower.  Both bands put on solid sets as usual.  Blood for Master played some new stuff from their latest disc.  Widower pretty much destroyed everything in their path.  Love seeing both bands.  I went elsewhere during the other 2 bands.  A few seconds into each of their sets and I knew I didn’t need to be there.

Night Demon comes on shortly after 10PM with their Conan the Barbarian intro and bust right into Screams in the Night and Full Speed Ahead.  The crowd of about 75 or so was very into it.  They played 7 more songs closing with Night Demon.  Great set as always and it seems like they picked up some new fans.

After about a 20 minute break, Holy Grail comes on and while the crowd thinned out a little, the faithful remained and stayed right up front.  They were really solid and I like their guitarists a lot.  The only thing I don’t lik.e it the occasional death metal growls.  They don’t need it but I guess it’s what the kids want these days.  They also played a decent cover of King Diamond’s No Presents for Christmas.  Solid set.

After load out and coming back to my house, I made tacos…again.  Night Demon loves my tacos.  haha

 

LA Guns Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, December 3, 2015

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LA Guns rolled into San Antonio last night to what was seemingly a last minute show, or at least I had only heard about it within the last 5 days.  Surprisingly, there were only 3 opening bands.  Most shows I am seeing in San Antonio has 4 or more, which is pretty annoying to be honest.  San Antonio is a weird beast for local bands these days compared to the acts coming out of there in the 80s, but that’s neither here nor there.  The majority of the less than 100 person crowd was there for LA Guns.

I rolled down there after work to grab my old friend, Don.  We were in our first bands together in 1986 and I like that he lives nearby-ish now.  Prior to the show, we hang out and catch up a bit, talking shit about the olden days, current life and the whole gamut.

Upon arriving to Kapone’s after getting a quick bite to eat across the street, I run into some other Austin friends.  The opening act was one of the 2 local Krokus tribute bands.  I said that correctly, 2.  Or maybe there’s only one now, but not too long ago there were 2.  I’d seen the ones that played last night before but we got there too late to see them this time.  No biggie really.  I spent most of the time outside on the patio during the next two bands, Minister Fiend and Days Gone.  It was the right decision although Days Gone did do a decent cover of Budge’s Breadfan.

Right as LA Guns was going on, I saw a post about some incident that happened right after they had arrived to the venue.  I’d like to find out the lowdown on that.  Here’s Michael Grant’s post:

mgrant

Right as they were going on, someone showed me the Scott Weiland had died.  I shrugged and kept singing along to No Mercy, their opening song.  They went in to Showdown and Sex Action.  As always, the band sounded great.  Phil’s voice never seems to change at all and watching Michael Grant’s guitar playing is always a pleasure.  That guy is really good.  I’ve seen LA Guns several times since 2001 and they are consistently good.

Rip and Tear!

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

December 4, 2015 at 1:06 pm

DRI and Zero Percent Concert Review,Austin, TX, December 1, 2015

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IMG_1568DRI is one of those bands that I could likely name most of their albums but not know a single song title off of any of them.  A good amount of my friends love them and I never gave them much of a listen.  I decided the day of the show that I’d go just for the hell of it.  I binged listened to several of their albums at work to get a feel for what they were all about.  The later stuff, as most people know, was more metal.  They could really write some riffs.  Out of all the stuff that I listened to, Four of a Kind is probably my favorite.

My friends in Zero Percent were opening up the show.  This band features guys who have been in the rock, punk and metal scene in Austin for a long ass time.  They hit the stage and ripped through their Lonestar and whiskey infused punk set to a good response from the crowd that was starting to fill in for DRI.  It was an early show so they finished up around 9PM.  One cool random fact is that the guitarist, bassist and drummer all play left handed.

After a quick break, DRI hit the stage and automatically a pit happened at the front and stayed active throughout the whole show.  Lots of mohawks and studded denim jackets to be found.  Spike (g) and Kurt (v) are the only two originals left in the quartet that originally hailed from Houston and moved to San Francisco.

I have to say that I enjoyed their set quite a bit, even not knowing any songs.  I can also hear their influence in a lot of newer bands.  The venue, The Sidewinder, is run by the folks who previously ran Red 7.  It’s quite a bit smaller but that hasn’t stopped them from bringing in good sized national acts like DRI, Exodus and Agnostic Front.  I’d guestimate that there were maybe 125 or so folks at the DRI show, maybe a little more.  I was down near the front at the edge of the pit and it never got packed where we were.

 

Cheap Trick Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, November 27, 2015

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Last Friday night I saw Cheap Trick…AGAIN.  I think it was the 5th or 6th time in the last 5 years or so and I am 100% OK with that.  Nothing new or extra special about the show, really, but they put on a great performance.

I scored a 2nd row ticket on the aisle at stage right, Rick’s side.  If you’re within the first 5 rows of a Cheap Trick show, you’re likely to catch one of the 100s of guitar picks that he throws out every show.  Right before the show started, I was already standing up and someone walked by and said something like, “Make sure you don’t block my friend’s view behind you.  She’s in a wheelchair.”  I found a spot I could stand in without being in the aisle that kept her view to the stage open.  About 2 songs in, Rick looks at me and throws a guitar pick which landed at my feet.  I picked it up and handed it to the girl in the wheelchair.  She was pleasantly surprised.  I ended up catching another from him later in the show.

The few photos I took sucked, so my pal, David Castillo, let me use some of his as you see below.