Dictators NYC Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, May 29, 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.