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Archive for June 2016

Quiet Riot Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, June 25, 2016

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The 80s metal weekend continued last night in San Antonio for the modern version of Quiet Riot which features only Frankie Banali from their definitive 80s era.  The band also features Chuck Wright who played bass on the original recorded version of the song Metal Health and did backing vocals for that whole album.  Jizzy Pearl and Alex Grossi round out the line up on vocals and guitar, respectively.

There were 4 opening acts.  I missed the first one, Iron King Stag.  Years Gone was up next and I had seen them before.  They’re a tight band, but I had that type of rock.  Lead guitarist is good though.  Black Heart Saints were up next and I’d say that if you liked Tesla, Skid Row, Kix and Motley Crue minus some of the sleaze, this is the band for you.  THEY WERE NOT THE BAND FOR ME.  haha.  Singer could fill in with Tesla perfectly.  That vocal style grates on my nerves.  The covered Come Together which I didn’t recognize until the chorus and covered Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.  The Selfish Machines were up next and other than a weak version of We’re An American Band, I don’t remember anything else about them.  Also, it was announced early on that if you bought the Quiet Riot documentary DVD, you’d be guaranteed to get your stuff signed.  I hadn’t seen it yet, so it was an easy $20 to spend.

After the last set change, lights go down and Queen’s We Will Rock You is played as the band comes on stage.  They opened with Run For Cover, Slick Black Cadillac and Mama Weer All Crazee Now.  Listen, there was only one Kevin DuBrow (well, the singer for Slade as well), but Jizzy Pearl handled the vocals just fine.  He’s got the vocal range that works perfectly.  Alex Grossi handled the guitar parts just fine without destroying Cavazo’s solos.  Frankie’s playing was solid, but Chuck’s bass work was pretty incredible.  I never knew just how good that guy was.  The set included pretty much everything that you’d expect.  It was a fun show all around and odd that I didn’t know anyone at the show besides Helstar’s James Rivera.

A little backstory, the only other time I have seen QR was in 1999 in Norfolk, VA.  They did a meet and greet that day at Mars Music and like an idiot I didn’t bring The Book to the signing or to the show that night.  One of things I did bring was a WASP CD/EP for Sunset and Babylon.  At the signing, Frankie asked me if he could have it since he said he had never seen one before.  I said no and he got a little pissed off and said, “I’m not signing your stuff then.”  Kevin DuBrow looked at him and said, “Seriously, Frankie?  Sign his stuff!”  Frankie signed it and we moved on.  The show that night was $5 and this shitty old theater called The Riverview.  When I had gone back home after the signing, I realized that I had a spare copy of that EP and brought it with me to the show.  There may have been 50 people at that show, maybe less.  It was the classic lineup as well.  Pathetic turnout.  During the end of their set, I held up that CD and pointed to Frankie and said, “It’s yours.”  His eyes lit up and he smiled.  Once they finished, they just stepped off of the stage and hung out with everyone.  Frankie came straight up to me and I handed him the CD.  He thanked me and apologized saying he was having a bad day.  He handed me his sticks and we spoke for a little bit before us talking with the rest of the band.

Last night as I got through the line to have him sign the DVD and The Book, I asked, “Do you still have that Babylon and Sunset CD that I gave you?”  He said, “Holy shit, that was you?!  I totally remember that day.  Thanks again!”  He then marveled over The Book and asked how to get one, signed it and I moved on.  Chuck Wright had just come out and I had him sign on the Black Roses section.  “What book is this?”  I told him how to find one and mentioned that he was listed in there several times.  I forgot to get him to sign my Metal Health cover, but oh well.

Fun night.

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Stephen Pearcy Concert Review, Austin, TX, June 24, 2016

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Last night was the third time in the last 2 years that I’ve seen Stephen Pearcy and those first 2 times weren’t that good.  I had met him last year in Irvine, CA and had him sign The Book then.  The main reason I went to last night’s show was to meet some of the guys in Pearcy’s band.  More on that in a bit.

The Boley’s from Florence, TX opened.  I believe they’re all siblings.  It was a solid rock set.

Super Vato was up next which features my pals Yayo Sanchez on guitar and vocals and  Chris Alaniz on drums.  Omar Vallejo rounded the band out on bass.  Musically the band was a bit all over the map, but I think this may have been their first show.

DeniroSmith, an Aerosmith tribute band featuring Jason McMaster on vocals.  They only plays songs from the first 5 albums and do it well.

Pearcy and crew hit the stage opening with Wanted Man and Drive Me Crazy.  His voice sounded really good throughout the whole set and they pretty much played everything I’d want to hear minus Morning After.  I could have done without Way Cool Jr but oh well.

After the show, I got the opportunity to spend a few minutes with the band.  I saw Stephen first and he asked if I wanted anything signed.  I mentioned that he took care of all that last year.  So he just gave me a hug and thanked me for coming.  I was stoked to learn a few weeks before the show that Matt Thorne and Chris Hager from Rough Cutt.  I had seen them in ’87(?) with Alcatrazz and Zebra.  I mentioned that tour and they both said they only did a few shows with the other 2 bands.  Great guys.  Matt asked Pearcy to take the photo of us.  Pearcy complained for a moment and Matt told him to just do it.  It was funny.  Greg D’Angelo from White Lion was on drums.  I had him sign as well, but he was pretty disinterested overall.

Fun night overall.

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Gordon Lightfoot Concert Review, Austin, TX, June 21, 2016

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Gordon Lightfoot will be 78 later this year.  He still tours.  He plays 2 sets and stands the whole time.  That’s pretty awesome.

Given his age, his voice has deteriorated a lot and it’s only in a few spots here and there that you can hear his golden voice from the 70s.  He’s much higher-pitched and weaker nowadays but he gets it done and does it without a teleprompter which I think is even more impressive.  His guitar playing is still pretty good, too.

He seems like quite a personable guy.  Doing some quick research online, it looks like he just got married (again) 2 years ago to the 55 year old actress Kim Hasse.

It was a good show overall and was comparable to the show I saw 2 years ago.  He played pretty much everything one would want to hear at his shows and it brought back great memories of being a kid listening to AM gold with my Mom.

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Lynch Mob Concert Review, Austin, TX, June 12, 2016

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I love Dokken.  Tooth and Nail, Under Lock and Key and Back for the Attack are great albums.  Breaking the Chains is just OK.  Lots of folks slag that band but whatever, I’m a fan.

Lynch Mob headlined an early show last night with Roc Holiday and Snake Skin Prison.  I missed SSP but caught Roc Holiday’s set.  Paul Lidel (Dangerous Toys/Dirty Looks), lead guitarist and backing vocals for Roc Holiday, is simply a badass.  He made their set for me.

It was a pretty packed crowd for this venue, Texas Mist.  I hung out towards the back for Lynch Mob’s set with a good pal that I hadn’t seen in quite some time.  To be honest, I never cared for anything Lynch did after Dokken.  Too bluesy.  BUT…his band is full of people who are listed in The Book.  So going to a show that’s less than 10 minutes from my house was worth the effort.

Lynch’s band sounded absolutely great.  Oni Logan’s vocals were stellar to be honest.  I had heard that the drummer, Jimmy D’Anda, was not feeling well, but you wouldn’t have known it by his playing.  Bassist Sean McNabb held the bottom down perfectly as well.  And then there’s George.  His performance was not so stellar.  He fumbled around his pedal board quite a bit.  His solos, especially during the Dokken songs, were awful except for that break in Tooth and Nail, he did that perfectly.  He pretty much seemed like he didn’t care to be there at all.  It was a bit disappointing, to be honest.  Three times as they were counting a song in, everyone started except for George and they had to restart each time.  I could speculate on the reason but anyone that was there, especially those of us who met him after the show could pretty much tell what was up.  I’ll leave it at that.

After the show George and Sean came out to sign stuff.  I got a minute with him and he signed The Book and my Tooth and Nail CD.  He saw Pilson’s signature and asked when I got it.  I mentioned that I got it during the “Foreigner tribute band” show.  He laughed and said, “Well all original Dokken members are doing a Japanese tour.  We’re getting paid so much money, it’s the only reason I’m doing it.  I’ve got kids and grandkids to support.”  He was very nice and so was McNabb who told me he was coming back to Texas later this year playing bass for Joe Lynn Turner(!!!!).  He also stated that Oni Logan typically doesn’t come out to sign stuff and that D’Anda was pretty sick so he wasn’t coming out.

I went to the back stage curtain and one of their road crew was walking back there.  I stopped and asked if he could get Oni and Jimmy to sign and I showed him where the pages were marked.  Understand that this book has only left my sight a few times to get signed.  I was able to see them each sign it through the curtain, though.  The crew guy brought it back and said that Oni laughed that he was listed in there with Ferrari.

It wasn’t a great show by any means, but still enjoyable to hear some Dokken classics.  Oni Logan’s voice was great on those.

Click fotos to enlarge.

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 13, 2016 at 2:42 pm

Zebra Concert Review, Houston, TX, June 11, 2016

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Zebra played last night in Houston at Concert Pub North.  They were fantastic.  Even though I had just seen them in December 2015 in Dallas, I wanted to see them again.  I love this band a ton.

Additionally, a show was announced a few miles away at BFE Rock Club with Jeff Scott Soto (JSS) performing.  JEFF SCOTT SOTO.  It was touted that he was performing with Houston locals Azrael’s Bane.  My plan was see both depending on set times, ot catching half of each show.  Jeff’s vocal performances on the first 2 Yngwie albums coupled with seeing him in 1986 have made him one of my favorite singers, although much of his post-Yngwie stuff has left me flat sans a few things here and there.

Before checking into the hotel I stopped in at BFE and talked with one of the folks that worked there.  He said to come back around 6PM as they’d likely start soundcheck around that time.  I got back there at 545PM and people were setting up for a birthday party which is the reason JSS was in town.  After he greeted some folks and took some pictures, I got a few moments to speak with him.  I showed him The Book and mentioned that he was in there 4 times.  He laughed and said, “Only 4?  Oh, pre-1991, that sounds about right.”  He signed it and I mentioned that ’86 show as being the only time I had ever seen him live.  “Funny, Boals and I replaced each other in that band!”  I told him that I was in town to see Zebra but wanted to make time to see his show as well.  “What show?  I’m not playing tonight.”  He proceeded to tell me that the venue mis-advertised it as a gig and he was only going to sit in for a few songs.  “Go enjoy Zebra and come back and hang out after.”  He signed my Yngwie stuff and gave me a guitar pick, snapped a picture and off I went to my hotel.  It was pretty awesome meeting one of my all time faves.

After a short nap at the hotel, I went to Concert Pub, had a quick dinner while the opener was on and then met some friends there for the show.  I was told at first that they were going on at 11PM, but an announcement was made shortly after that they would be playing two sets.  STOKED.

I’ll just say that aside from the time I saw them in 1987, last night was the second best of the 4 times that I have seen them.  The AC at the venue wasn’t working properly and it was very hot and humid, but Zebra was on their game.  They tore the roof off of the place.  Randy’s vocals were in excellent shape.  They played everything I wanted to hear and it was good getting some of the ones they didn’t play in December.

Great show all around.  And a great day overall after getting to meet Jeff.

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 12, 2016 at 3:14 pm

The Obsessed & Karma To Burn Concert Review, Austin, TX, June 7, 2016

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In general I’m not a big stoner rock/stoner doom fan.  I don’t think it’s because I’m not a stoner as I have a lot of friends who love that music but don’t get high.  Too much droning and not enough melody for me.

I was on the fence about going last night as I was still tired after the Whitesnake show the night before.  The Obsessed’s mgmt offered me a guest list slot so I sucked it up and went downtown.

As I arrived to the venue, Wino and co. were hanging out and I got a chance to speak with him one on one for a few minutes.  I showed him The Book and he was surprised by the entry in it.  “Where can I get a copy?”  I had met him several times before and didn’t realize until yesterday that they were in the book.  I should have known that at least based on their inclusion on Metal Massacre VI.  Duh.  I had him sign his entry and the CD cover.  In a rush to leave the house, I had forgotten the first Hidden Hand CD (my favorite Wino project ever) and the last St. Vitus album he was on.

My friends in Crimson Devils opened the show with a solid 30 minute set.  Jake and Curtis are fantastic musicians, good dudes and always a pleasure to watch.

There were 2 bands coming up next and I left to go get dinner.  By the time I got back, West Virginia’s Karma to Burn was getting ready to start.  My memory is a bit hazy but I think I saw them in Virginia in the late 90s, but can’t confirm that.  Almost all the way to the end of their first song, the growing crowd was standing at least 5 feet from the stage.  I walked right up front to help entice the rest of the crowd to move up and it worked.  Their set was solid, heavy and instrumental.  Highlight for me was their unrelenting drummer.  Although much of their stuff started sounding the same to me after a few songs, that drummer was damn near flawless.

Up next was The Obsessed.  Admittedly I’m not familiar with their stuff at all.  From what my friend told me, the first 3 songs were all Obsessed songs, then they played a Spirit Caravan song.  I’ve seen them before but again, I’m not familiar with the material.  After a couple more songs, I went home.  I was dog tired.  The band was solid and Wino’s guitar playing was good.  He looked confident playing it.  I will say this, though, and a few others noticed the same thing, Wino looked tentative when he was singing.  They’re midway through their tour right now so I don’t know if it’s just my perception or if he’s having some nervousness.  The guy is a seasoned veteran so I’m thinking it’s just my perception.

By the time I left, it looked like there were about 70 or so people there, which isn’t bad for a Tuesday night downtown.

Whitesnake & Whitford-St. Holmes Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, June 6, 2016

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Last night was quite a night.  I had just seen Whitesnake a year ago in Austin and I’ve never seen Whitford-St. Holmes, only Whitford with Aerosmith several times.  Whitesnake is doing a greatest hits tour and I do like them enough to continue seeing them when it’s convenient.  When Whitford-St. Holmes was announced as the opener, it made my decision to go even easier.  Especially since they added an affordable meet and greet option.

I arrived in San Antonio around 5ish, parked and found a bar to grab a drink and a bite to eat prior to the meet and greet.  The tour manager called me told me when/where to meet, which was at the backstage door at 6:30PM.  I got to that spot around 6:15 and there were about 7-8 people hanging out that I thought were all part of the meet and greet.  Come to find out, none of them were.  They were all there to try and meet Coverdale and they all knew each other.  Autograph seekers.  I asked if they were going to the show and got a resounding “hell no” from all of them.  Apparently they all just hang out before shows to see who they can meet.  One of the guys, easily 60 years old, got a call and said, “He’s about to pull up in a black SUV.”  I asked if they had a spy network and was told “yes.”

As Coverdale got out of the SUV, the security guy tried to usher him in the backstage door and he said, “Give me a minute, let me take care of these people.”  As he walked up, he said, “Just one item each, make it your best one and I’ve got to go.”  I was last and asked him to sign The Book.  “This is different,” he said.  I asked for a picture, he obliged.  I hit a wrong button and he saw the screen go black and thanks everyone and walked away.  No photo.  I was a bit bummed to not get that photo but super stoked to get him in The Book.  Immediately after that, the autograph seekers all left.  One dude walked up after and he was the only other person there for the meet and greet.  I was a bit surprised that there weren’t more.

A few moments later the tour manager escorted us through the door and into the basement to the dressing rooms area.  He stated that Brad was finishing dinner and to just hang out in the hallway until it was time.  No problem.  All of a sudden, there’s Coverdale walking by us and the guy next to me asked for a picture.  He obliged and I mentioned that the one I tried outside failed.  “Well let’s make that right, then.”  The dude took a few pics of us and I said, “Thanks, Dave.  It’s quite an honor to meet you.”  He replied very politely with, “Please call me David, alright?  It’s much better than Dave.  I don’t like that name.”  I apologized, thanked him again and called him Mr. Coverdale.  He smiled, shook my hand and said, “Enjoy the show, gents” and walked away.  Down the hall I heard one of his roadies call him “DC” and he said, “Why can’t you bloody just call me David?!”  haha.

Right after that we were escorted to the Whitford-St. Holmes dressing room.  Since there were only two of us, it made things nice and casual.  I spoke with Derek for about 10 minutes as we discussed his time in Blood of the Sun and I asked him about the time he spent in The Michael Schenker Group in 1983.  You can see some vids of him on rhythm guitar and backing vocals from that ’83 tour.  He told me some great stories and asked what I had to sign so I showed him The Book.  He was really into that thing and read the entire sections for Nugent and MSG.  I got the impression that he and The Nuge weren’t friends nowadays based on some comments he made.  I had him sign my Blood of the Sun CD and the two tickets I had, the other being for my friend, Rodney.  Derek was a super guy.

Then we switched and I got to talk to Brad for about 10 minutes.  Let me tell you, it was almost difficult to say anything as I was just humbled to even be next to that guy.  Aerosmith runs deep in my rock and roll history thanks to my brother, Robert.  I was a bit miffed that I couldn’t find my Draw the Line CD, my favorite album by them.  He, too, was interested in The Book and asked how to find one.  I told him about seeing them a few times in the late 80s/early 90s.  He was so laid back and extremely friendly.    I was really just blown away.  He signed The Book and those 2 tickets and then we did some photos.

Derek made it a point to show Brad the MSG section that he was in

They both thanked us and were escorted back out.  Reb Beach was standing on the sidewalk and I just shook his hand and said, “Have a great show tonight.”  I got him in The Book a couple of years ago in Houston.

I walked around to the front entrance, met up with Rodney, passed off his ticket and in we went.  The tour manager found me and handed me the swag bag from the meet and greet which included a copy of the latest album.  It has a bonus disc of the first album on it, too.  Whitford-St. Holmes came on right at 8PM and they sounded great.  Unfortunately they didn’t play anything from their debut album.  I was hoping to at least hear Sharpshooter.  The played a partial version of Aerosmith’s Last Child with the keyboardist on vocals.  That was my brother’s favorite track.  Then a partial version of Nugent’s Hey Baby followed by a partial version of Train Kept A-Rollin’.  They closed the show with Stranglehold.

After about a 20 minute stage change, Whitesnake came out to Bad Boys and Slide It In.  They sounded as good as they sounded last year and the backing vocals helped carry Coverdale throughout the show.  They played everything you’d expect them to play on a greatest hits tour.  I totally could have done without the guitar and bass solos and especially Tommy Aldridge’s boring ass drum solo.  Double bass, double bass, quads, quads, ohhh some triplets, more triplets.  Wait, more quads! Look, ma!  No sticks.  Hands-only solo now!  Quads with the hands!  Double bass!  Wake me when it’s over, please.  But overall the band sounded great.  It was a fun show.  Coverdale is the consummate front man.

I will say that in meeting him, it was quite intense.  He exudes so much personality and energy all the while remaining a gentleman.

The “covers” listed in the Whitesnake set were taped intros/outros, not anything performed live.