Archive for May 2016
Let’s face facts, I’m not really into much punk rock and I’m not into Manowar beyond their first album, Battle Hymns, but The Dictators have 2 folks that are in The Book that I wanted to have added: Handsome Dick Manitoba (HDM) and Ross the Boss. Add to the fact that my pal, Dean Rispler, plays bass for them, I had to see them.
I had a ticket to their Friday show in Austin and sold it because I had forgotten that Chicago was the same night. That show ended early enough and I ended up at the Dictators show anyhow. To be honest, I just wasn’t feeling it Friday. Not sure why. I was pretty tired and left mid-set to go home.
Dean put me on the guestlist for the Sunday show at The Korova in San Antonio and I got there around 930PM. I saw that a few friends were in the bar next door so I stopped in there for a little bit. As it turned out, Ross the Boss was there and I asked if he’d sign The Book. He laughed at the Manowar photo, signed it, gave me a guitar pick and took a picture with me. Super nice guy. I’m glad he didn’t ask me about Manowar. :)
Jeff from The Offenders and I headed back to Korova as Dallas’ Swingin’ Dicks were setting up. I bought a Dictators shirt then went up front to watch the band. Enjoyable set from this heavyish punk band. The bassist had a gorgeous white ’76 Rickenbacker.
With the backline being shared by the Swingin’ Dicks and The Dictators, it was a quick 20 minute or so break between bands and the on came The Dictators.
The crowd may have gotten up to 100 folks, but just barely. The band was solid, very solid. I classify them more as a garage rock band than punk, but I don’t really know. HDM is a character and the whole band gels together perfectly. Dean’s bassplaying is superb. The band is rounded out with JP “Thunderbolt” Patterson on drums and legendary producer, Daniel Rey, on second guitar.
It was quite an enjoyable show overall minus a few drunk shitheads.
After the show, I got to meet Dick and have him sign The Book. I told him that prior to this week I had never listened to the band, but that after seeing them live this weekend, I was now a fan of the live show and looked forward to seeing them again. “Nothing could make me happier than getting a new fan, man. That means a lot.” He signed The Book, I gave Dean a goodbye hug and headed home.
Last night was the 4th time I’ve seen Chicago since 1991 and the 3rd time since 2012. I’ve loved this band since I was a kid thanks to their heavy radio play and thanks to my Mom being a big fan.
Last night’s show was “an evening with” type show, meaning no opener which was fine with me. My friend, Kitty, ended up going with me and into the Moody Theater we went.
As soon as they hit the stage, I noticed on huge difference in the band. Jason Scheff, the bassist/vocalist who replaced Peter Cetera, was not there. Instead, Jeff Coffey was handling those duties. Apparently Jason had a family emergency and had to back out of the tour. Coffey auditioned for the band a week or so ago and got the job. Impressive.
The band played the set you’d expect with a song from their latest album thrown in. These “geezers” still deliver and it’s impressive how much energy they have. I’ll say this, though. Jeff Coffey was the highlight for me. For as good as Scheff is, Coffey was nailing Cetera’s vocal and bass parts effortlessly. I was really blown away. I’d be ok if he became a permanent member.
As always, the highlight song for me was Hard to Say I’m Sorry/Get Away. Street Player, Call on Me and Another Rainy Day in New York City were also great to hear again.
Even more impressive is that they played 32 songs. 32!
Striker, Spellcaster and Weresquatch rolled through San Antonio Friday night. I had just seen Spellcaster in Chicago at Ragnarokkr and couldn’t really get into the 2 songs I saw after getting blown away by Old Wolf.
We arrived with about 2 songs left from Weresquatch but I didn’t hear anything from them that made me care.
Spellcaster’s main man, Cory, found me before the show. Great dude. Spellcaster went on shortly after and were just great. Super solid, good stage presence and good players. Unfortunately the sound in the Korova basement leaves a lot to be desired as does the lighting. Overall it didn’t matter. Spellcaster rocked the crowd of 40 or so and I look forward to seeing them again at Frost and Fire II in October. The 3 songs from their new album, Night Hides the World, sounded great, especially the title track.
Striker headlined and I had only listened to some of their stuff a few days prior to the show. Good solid stuff that translated well live. My favorite part of seeing them was their great 3-part vocal harmonies. Much of the crowd had left during their set and admittedly I spent a lot of time talking with my drummer outside. I’d definitely like to catch them again.
Catch the tour if you can.