The Metal Files

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Archive for November 2016

Queensryche & Armored Saint Concert Review, San Antonio, November 22, 2016

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I’ve been working in Houston during the week lately and have missed some shows that I wanted to see lately as I cross paths with the bands while traveling between Austin and Houston.  Missing Diamond Head hurt a little.  Even though I’m not a huge fan, I have always wanted to see them live.  Such is life.

I picked up tix for Leanne, Rodney and myself and headed to Alamo City Music Hall.  I don’t like this venue at all.  The sound is horrible and stage lighting for the bands just sucks, but they get quality shows so that’ll keep me coming back.  As we arrived I got in touch with Armored Saint guitarist, Jeff Duncan, who I’ve known for some years.  We hung outside at their bus for a little while while the opening band played.  Great dude, killer guitarist.

We caught the last few songs of Midnight Eternal.  They were listenable keyboard-heavy metal.  After a quick set change, Saint came out an executed their short set flawlessly.  Bush’s voice was squarely in tact and the whole band was on fire.  I just wish the sound in that place wasn’t so shitty.  I really like Saint’s latest album, Win Hands Down, and they opened with that track.  They mixed the set up from some of the other shows so we didn’t get Last Train Home or Nervous Man, two of my favorites, but it didn’t detract from their performance.

Queensryche was up next and I hadn’t seen them with Todd yet.  Overall I’m not a huge fan of anything of theirs post-Rage for Order.  I know I’m in the metal minority when I say I don’t care much for Operation Mindcrime.  While the band played perfectly and Todd sounded absolutely amazing, we were both pretty bored and left during their 4th song.  I did get to hear Best I Can, which I do like a lot.  Again, sound is such a huge issue with this place.

Looked like about 400ish people were there which is a good showing for a Tuesday night.

Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman Concert Review, Austin, TX, November 10, 2016

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I’ve been a big YES fan since childhood mainly because of my brother’s influence.  Fragile and Close to the Edge stayed in steady rotation with him.  As the 80s rolled around, YES got super big with 90125.  You couldn’t get away from it.  Not necessarily a bad thing but Owner of a Lonely Heart got a little old.

I bought two tickets some months back on the presale and one of them ended up going unused.  The show crept up on me and I didn’t get proper time to find a date for the show.  Oh well.

Prior to the show I grabbed a quick dinner then met up with my friend, Armando, for a couple of beers.  Good drummer and good dude.  Show was slated to start at 8PM so we went to the venue, I bought a shirt and we parted ways to our seats.  It was actually a bit nice to have some space next to me.

The band came on stage and opened with Cinema and Perpetual Change.  Rick Wakeman was wearing a huge cape, of course.  The overall show was fantastic and I was really surprised that this older crowd stood for most of it.  They played a good cross section of YES material while definitely touching on the Rabin era often.  They even played an ABWH song, The Meeting.  Jon’s voice sounded absolutely amazing and it was great to finally see/hear Wakeman live.

During The Fish (I think), Wakeman and Rabin came out into the crowd and walked around the venue.  That was pretty cool.  Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the show but as in the 80s, I can’t stand Rabin’s hyper-sonic guitar tone.  He’s a great player though and his voice still sounds great.  The lefty bassist primarily played Rickenbackers the whole night and a Fender for 1 song.  Both he and the drummer were spot on.

Too bad that these guys, Howe and White can’t settle differences and do one more reunion tour.

Written by The Metal Files

November 15, 2016 at 9:40 am

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Black Sabbath Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, November 12, 2016

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Black Sabbath played what they say is their final show in the USA last night.  The setlist wasn’t much different than the show we got 3 years ago in Austin except they only played classic material.

I had purchased floor seats right next to the soundboard and my friend Pablo came with.  They opened with Black Sabbath and the crowd was pretty animated and most everyone on the floor had their phones over their head through much of that song.  Luckily that subsided as the night wore on.  Fairies Wear Boots came next then three of my faves, After Forever, Into the Void and SnowblindHand of Doom had been played at all other shows except this one and I’m not sure why, but whatever.

Geezer and Tony were perfect as expected and Tommy Clufetos was as solid as anyone could be.  And then our old friend, Ozzy.  Other than some timing issues (couldn’t follow the bouncing ball on the teleprompter?), I thought Ozzy sounded really good.  Way better than 3 years ago.  As expected, he stayed strapped to his mic stand and teleprompter.  He spoke a little between songs and I think he may have been reading those cues as well.  It’s a little sad to see.  But again, I was surprised as to how he sounded.  The only song he seemed to struggle on to my ears was Dirty Women.  He just couldn’t keep up and get his pitch right, no issues in the rest of the set.

We rolled out right as the encore, Paranoid, had started to beat the rush and traffic.  We times it perfectly.

Written by The Metal Files

November 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm

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