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Archive for February 2018

Doubling Down with Tanith in Philly and Cleveland, February 8 & 9, 2018

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I love Satan!

Now, getting that out of the way, Russ Tippins from the legendary NWOBHM band Satan has a new side project called Tanith which released a few songs recently and announced that they had some upcoming shows in Philly, Cleveland and NYC, so of course I had to check my calendar and book a trip.  This also included coordination with Kelz and Rodney, both friends that I travel with to shows.  After some conversations, Philly and Cleveland (Thursday/Friday respectively) best suited our schedules and the trip was booked.  The NYC show was on Sunday and I didn’t need to miss another day of work and driving all the way back to NYC from Cleveland wasn’t very appealing.

The band released 2 songs on their Bandcamp page from their7″ called Citadel that are quite perfect in my opinion, an opinion you can’t care about I’m sure.  If you’ve seen Satan live or heard Russ’ Electric Band, you know he’s got a great higher-pitched voice.  Tanith’s music has him sharing vocal duties with NYC’s Cindy Maynard who also plays bass.  It’s a perfect pairing.

An early morning departure got me to Philly around 130PM.  Unfortunately the Eagles parade was rescheduled for the same day and after meeting up with Kelz who flew in from Raleigh, we couldn’t get to any of the record stores I wanted to hit, but not without trying first.  Everything was shut down.

Fortunately/Unfortunately, we did find a cheesesteak place just up the street from the hotel.  It was delicious.  We went back to the hotel and crashed for a bit.  I had been up all night and just needed to re-energize a bit.

Awake and refreshed we got up with Rodney who was staying in the same hotel and used Uber to get us to our destination downtown to the Boot and Saddle.  This is the same spot we saw Satan in 2016.  Nice little venue.  The front part bar area was pretty busy with Eagles fans still partying after the parade.  The bar had 90s rock playing the whole time and it was painful.  We hung out near the back with some other friends there until the doors opened.  Once inside, Tanith, BAT and Crazy Bull were getting their merch set up.  I grabbed a Crazy Bull 7″ and a couple of Tanith 7″s, a shirt and a cassette from Shauna, girlfriend of Tanith guitarist Charlie.  She was pretty fucking cool.  Lots of merch got sold as well.  Ryan Waste from BAT was hanging out and it’s always good to catch up with him.

This was an early show overall and Crazy Bull went on a little after 9.  They’re good solid hard rock and played a good set.  It was the bassist’s first show with the band and he seemingly did fine.  Enjoyable and worth catching again when convenient.

Tanith had the middle slot and Kelz and I moved up to the front.  I was pretty excited to see them and love the three songs they’ve released so far.  They opened with Cassini’s Deadly Plunge which is the 3rd song they’ve released online.  Keep in mind this was the band’s first ever show.  They played wonderfully.  Russ’ and Cindy’s vocals mix together perfectly and the whole band was solid, although Charlie’s guitar needed to be a little bit louder.  They double guitar work and the solid drumming rounded their sound out perfectly.  I kept thinking to myself that they reminded me a lot of Wishbone Ash, Uriah Heep and a touch of Satan.  Very British sounding rock.  I was taken aback a bit when they covered Heep’s Lady in Black.  I’ve always loved that one and it was my brother’s favorite Heep song.  Brought back great memories of listening to that album with him and Tanith nailed it perfectly.  They also played a song that Russ said he wrote for Satan and was only played lived a time or 2 in 1982 called The Rock Stands Tall.  It was a killer song and was never studio recorded, although he stated that a live version has popped up online recently.  I haven’t found it yet.  Again, Tanith was great and very gracious to all who attended.  Their drummer, Keith, spent many years in Austin and we had some acquaintances in common.  Nice guy.

BAT was up next and it was notable that Felix wasn’t on drums…but notable only in the visual sense.  Chris Marshall, the (temporary?) replacement was a perfect fit.  Big shoes to fill and he did a great job.  The whole band was solid as always.  They’re a 3 piece band that always sounds bigger.  ‘Twas a good set overall and it’s always a pleasure seeing them live.

Setlists from Philly:
Crazy Bull

After the set was the normal mingling with friends and the bands and another drink or two before heading back to the hotel to crash.  We had planned on leaving at 9AM for the long drive to Cleveland.

Friday morning we did breakfast at the hotel and piled in my rental and drove off to Cleveland.  It was a long trip filled with the normal abuse between friends, metal concert stories, horrible food and tons of laughs.  We stopped at a couple of record stores in Youngstown, OH and didn’t really find anything.  We dropped Rodney off at a friend’s and headed on the final short stretch to our hotel.  I was able to get a 20 minute snooze which was just enough.  I had planned on eating at Maple Grove Tavern as they had food when I was there a couple of months ago for another show.  Things changed for whatever reason and their kitchen wasn’t open.  So a bag of chips, then?  Done.

My friend Teresa Kay from Austin now lives in Cleveland and she came out for the show.  It was great to see her and catch up a bit as well as catching up with some other Cleveland friends at the show.

Vandallus opened the show to a set of 80s style metal.  Enjoyable enough to buy the LP.  They didn’t seem very well-rehearsed though and only played maybe 5 songs.  Oh well.

Vulgar Devils were on next which features Dave Just from Destructor.  They laid down a solid set of upbeat hard rock.

Unfortunately the crowd of about 60 people dwindled down a bit after the local bands finished, but no bother, a good 30 of us stuck around to catch Tanith play their full set.  It was pretty much the same set with the addition Zeppelin’s The Battle of Evermore and an acoustic version of Under the Stars.  It was also pretty much the same awesomeness as the Philly show.  They’re so good and seemingly so well-rehearsed although Cindy said they had only practiced together about 5 times.  Total pros.

Setlists from Cleveland:
Vulgar Devils

After some photos, a final drink and some goodbyes, we headed back to the hotel.  Since Kelz and I hadn’t really had dinner, we ordered some late night pizza.  The clerk at the hotel called it “drunk pizza” and “it’s not that good.”  He was right, but it was at least  better than nothing.  There were also some Munchkins donuts, so there’s that.

Saturday morning started with breakfast, showers then heading out around Cleveland to hit some record stores.  Found a few odds and ends but nothing spectacular.  It was cold and gloomy and snowed a sleeted a bit.  I didn’t mind it too much as I knew I didn’t have to stay there.  Off to the airport to drop off the rental, grab some lunch before our respective flights and talk a little more smack before leaving.

It was a worthwhile trip.  Good friends.  Great music.  Be sure to check out Tanith!


Written by The Metal Files

February 13, 2018 at 10:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized