The Metal Files

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Archive for the ‘1991’ Category

Alice In Chains Concert Review, Austin, TX 04/28/2014

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In 1990 the record store I used to frequent and ultimately worked in for a while gave me an advanced copy of  a cassette called Facelift by Alice In Chains.  The owner said something to the effect of, “Check out this new metal band and let me know what you think.”  I had never heard of them and my buddy and I got in the car and immediately popped it in on our way back home.  We heard that voice and just started laughing hysterically.  I think we may have gotten all the way through the album once,  It was wretched.  A week or so later I gave the cassette back to Dave (the owner of the store) and said, “This is awful.  These guys will never amount to anything!”

DERP.

Alrighty then.  I guess they did OK for themselves.  A year later in 1991 I had tickets to see Van Halen on the F.U.C.K. Tour and AIC was the opener.  The day of the show I went to the record store to pick up my paycheck and as I am about to leave, I see a tour bus pull up outside.  It was AIC.  They looked pretty rough…in that I mean like they hadn’t bathed for a while.  Layne Staley was on crutches.  I stopped them and asked if they were AIC and they were nice enough to speak to me for a few minutes.  They asked if I was coming to the show and I said I was.  “Do you have tickets already?”  “Yes, but a backstage pass would be cool.”  “Uh, no.  Good luck with that.”  Cantrell said that laughingly.

That night they came out and blew Van Halen away.  Even if I wasn’t a fan of that album in the least, the band was great live.  Shortly after Dirt came out, the band I was in covered Would? and I bought the cassette and enjoyed it.  It’s a good album but it’s the only one of theirs that I can stomach to this day.

Flash forward 20+ years and both Layne Stayley and Mike Starr are no longer part of this world.  RIP.   When the listing for AIC at The Moody Theater comes out, I buy 2 general admission floor tickets more out of curiosity than anything.  I almost sold my tickets a few days before the show to go see George Clinton.  Glad I kept them.

Last night’s show was sold out but it didn’t feel like it.  My friend and I we just off of the corner on stage right with some other friends that I ran into.  AIC hits the stage with Them Bones and that new singer pretty much owned the show.  He’s a likeable frontman and worked the crowd pretty good.  I guess it’s easier when you have a captive audience full of fans, eh?  But whatever.  The guy could sing (like Layne) and had a good range.  He played guitar quite a bit and even had one solo.  The harmonies provided by Cantrell are still spot on.  I’m sure he feels like the lucky one and/or a survivor since two of his bandmates had died of drugs.

Last night’s set was quite different than what I saw in 1991.  AIC is a well-oiled machine nowadays although there was one false start on Last of My Kind.  I am not sure who was at fault, the drummer or Cantrell.  Seemed that one of the two was confused about which song they were supposed to play.  It made for a funny moment as the band joked about it and moved on.  They were tight and while I still can’t call myself a fan, I enjoyed their set for the most part.  I only knew the “hits” that they played and whatever tracks were on Dirt.  A lot of their stuff sounds the same to me and drones on a little too much, but that’s their sound.

I wondered how many people were there that didn’t realize that Layne Stayley was gone.  I bet there was at least one!  It was also a good show for people watching.

 

Alice in Chains Setlist The Moody Theater, Austin, TX, USA, Spring Tour 2014

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I guess the sign worked.  There were no incidents to report!

I guess the sign worked. There were no incidents to report!

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What? That’s not Layne Stayley!

Classic Buttons

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I was never much of a button collector but I bought a few.  Here are 2 of the 3 I know that I had.  The other was a Stryper button from 1985 (my first metal show) that I lost a few years back.

The Yngwie one came from Triumph/Yngwie 1986.  Thomas’ dad took us to the show.  He sat in the rafters while we stayed close to the front.  Triumph was on the Sport of Kings tour and Yngwie was on the Trilogy tour.  Jeff Scott Soto had come back into the band for the tour.  Don’t really know why Boals left but we were all happy to see JSS on stage.  Both bands were great.  I couldn’t afford a shirt so a button was my souvenir.

The other is from Iron Maiden/Anthrax in 1991.  I am pretty sure that I bought a Maiden shirt that likely disintegrated shortly after the show.

Yngwie and Anthrax buttons (click to enlarge)

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Slayer – Seasons In The Abyss Concert Ticket And More…

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Since today is the International Day of Slayer, I thought I’d post this Slayer memory.

February 17, 1991, 10 days prior to my 21st birthday.  Slayer and Testament invaded The Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  Slayer was promoting Seasons In The Abyss and testament was on The Souls of Black Tour.  I had seen testament at least once before and they were awesome.  To this day they are one of the best bands I have ever seen and I try to catch them every chance I get.  I had never seen Slayer before this night and I wasn’t much of a fan of the Seasons album but liked everything before it.  I remember going to buy my ticket and complaining that it was $15.  Hell, I was only making about $6.50/hr or so at the time.

It was an awesome show though.  Both bands delivered.  Testament was phenomenal and Slayer was probably more intense than any band I had ever seen.  There were mosh pits everywhere during Slayer.  Like a fool I decided to get into one at the back of the venue.  I may have gone around the circle once or twice when I fell over some dude who hit the floor in front of me.  My face lands square on his back and I thought I broke my nose.  Luckily there was no blood but my nose has been slightly off center ever since.  Damn that hurt.

On the wall in various parts of the venue were printouts as seen below with the band’s photocopied autographs.  I snagged one immediately when we walked in.  After the show the staff was trying to clear the parking lot and a few of use were trying to ditch them and see if we could meet some of Slayer.  I was able to get about 30 seconds with Kerry King who walked out with a towel around his neck.  I asked him to sign the back of this piece of paper and he asked what I thought of the show.  I told him I thought it was great.  He signed it, shook my hand, thanked me and got on the bus after a few other folks got to talk with him for a moment.  Total class act that night.  Jeff Hanneman came out and had a group of guards around him.  No one got close so we bailed.

It was a pretty cool night and overall an awesome show.  I got to meet Lombardo several years later and will talk about that meeting some other time.

Slayer sign (click to enlarge)

Kerry King's autograph

Written by The Metal Files

June 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Iron Maiden – No Prayer For The Dying Concert Ticket

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This was my 2nd Maiden show.  Two pals of mine drove up with me to the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA for this one.   Anthrax was opening on their Persistence of Time Tour.  I remember during Anthrax’s set that many of the folks in the front rows were sitting down and Belladonna had made some comments to the crowd about it.  Security was pretty tight for this show.  We had pretty decent seats up and off to the side.  At the end of Tailgunner (the opening song), they dropped stickers down from the roof and that’s what’s under the ticket in the photo below.

Setlist

  1. Tailgunner
  2. Public Enema Number One
  3. Wrathchild
  4. Die With Your Boots On
  5.  Hallowed Be Thy Name
  6.  22 Acacia Avenue
  7.  Holy Smoke
  8.  No Prayer for the Dying
  9.  The Clairvoyant
  10.  2 Minutes to Midnight
  11.  The Trooper
  12.  Heaven Can Wait
  13.  Iron Maiden
  14. The Number of the Beast
  15.  Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter
  16.  Run to the Hills
  17.  Sanctuary

Written by The Metal Files

May 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Crows – The Dying Race

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Here’s another band that I’m sure most people haven’t heard of.  They only did this one album and it was one of the first Century Media Records releases in 1991.  I happened upon this when I was in Los Angeles in 1997.  I had my own small time online CD and t-shirt business (Acacia Music) which was mainly supplied by Century Media and Metal Blade Records.  I went out there on a buying trip to meet and talk to my sales reps.  It was pretty cool that both companies offered me a position out there and I was certainly considering taking one of them and moving out there from Virginia.  Unfortunately family issues arose and I needed to stay put for a while.  But that’s neither here nor there.

While perusing the Century Media warehouse and filling up a shopping cart full of CDs, I saw Crows’ The Dying Race sitting on a shelf all by itself.  I had never heard of them and confirmed with my rep that it was for sale and not just something someone left there.  When he was tallying up my stash, the Crows CD didn’t show up in his inventory so he just gave it to me.  I didn’t get a chance to hear until after I got back from California, but man am I glad I picked it up.  This is some good stuff.  Their main lyrical theme seems to heavly lean on American Indian culture and the poor treatment of them.

Members of this band were also in Scanner, Angel Dust, Mekong Delta and Sodom.  Musically it’s sort of a NWOBHM style with great vocal melodies.  This has been long out of print and I wanted to share it.  Enjoy!

Download it here.

Here’s on of their slower tunes:

 

Written by The Metal Files

January 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Dokken – Up From The Ashes

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I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was living in Western Branch off of Taylor Rd with my cousin.  I don’t remember album-up-from-the-ashesexactly what day it was on but it was Jan/Feb 1991 only weeks before my 21st birthday.  I believe it was a Saturday and I was driving home from somewhere listening to Z-Rock and the local affiliate comes on the air to interview Don Dokken and Mikkey Dee about their concert that night at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  A former friend from high school and I had tickets and were pretty excited about the show.  I had been listening to Up From The Ashes since it came out a few months prior.

So as I am listening to them interview Don and Mikkey, I pull over to a gas station a few miles from my house and try to call the station to see if I could talk to them.  I was so damned excited that I kept fat fingering push buttons on the pay phone.  After about 3 or 4 tries I got through off air and got to talk to Don and Mikkey.  I asked if there was a way to meet Mikkey prior to the show and he told me what time to be at the Boathouse (super early).  I told him that I was a huge fan of his from the King Diamond days.  He said make sure I don’t have more than one person with me and everything would be cool.

So at this point I am flipping out (of course not on the phone but internally).  I get home a few minutes later and told my buddy what the plan was and that he had better be ready when I came by to get him.  He was notoriously slow at everything.  I told him if he wasn’t ready when I got there that I was leaving his ass behind.  Fortunately he was ready when I got there and we headed to Norfolk to the Boathouse.

We’re the first people in the lot along with the staff cars and Dokken’s bus.  Some dude came to the door of the bus and said they were coming from the hotel in a few minutes and to wait.  So we waited only a short amount of time and a minivan with Don, Mikkey Dee, John Norum and Billy White in it.  Mikkey gets out of the van and asks, “Are you Sean?”  I acknowledged and we were instantly escorted onto the bus.  So Don hands me a band photo which was already signed by Baltes (who was inside the Boathouse already).  So Don and the rest of the band sign it along with some other stuff like cassette covers and such (I hadn’t gotten into CDs yet).  He stood with us for a few minutes then hightailed it to the back of the bus to take care of stuff.  At this point I am freaking out because one of my all time favorite drummers and musical influences and standing next to me.  I don’t get start struck easily as I’ve met a lot of musicians over the years but this one was different.  This was Mikkey Dee…the guy who played drums on King Diamond’s Abigail.

We hung out for what seemed like an hour but was likely a lot less.  Talking with John Norum and Billy White was pretty neat.  Unfortunately in my giddy starstruck state I had forgotten that Billy White played on Watchtower’s debut.  To this day in my head I still hear my inner voice say, “You’re an idiot.”  Kelz reminds me of this regularly and he pointed out after the show, “Dude, how was it to meet Billy from Watchtower?”  Ummm…D’oh!  I am a Watchtower fanatic as well.  What a doofus.

But all in all, I was there to hang out with Mikkey which was the first of 3 times that I got to spend time with him, the other 2 being with Motorhead in 1993 and 2000.  Will post about those meetings some other time.

In my conversation with Mikkey, I noticed he was wearing an Abigail backstage pass.  It had one of the heavenly aura’s around it.  haha.  So being the fanboy that I was that night, we talked about drums and about some certain aspects of his playing that I tried to emulate.  I asked him if he was going to do a drum solo and he said there would be one.  I asked him if he could incorporate the intro to Welcome Home from the Them album.  He said, “That’s a good idea, we’ll see.”

So the opening act was on the stage at this point and it was time for us to get off the bus so they could get ready.  I can’t overstate how accommodating these guys were.  I honestly didn’t even need to see the show after that!  But we went in and caught the 2nd half of the set by The Blonz.  Wow.  They were just awful.  One of the worst bands I have ever seen.

So we make our way towards the front of the stage and got on the barricade at stage left which ultimately was in plain view of Mikkey when he was on the kit.  Perfect!

So out comes the band and they rip into their set.  They were absolutely incredible and it was one of the tightest sets I have ever seen by any band.  Watching Mikkey slay the drums and both Norum and White manhandling their guitars with such precision was pretty incredible.  Definitely one of the best shows I have ever seen.  Don’s vocals were clean and clear and he was an excellent frontman.

So I guess this blog is really about an album review, eh?  I’ve seen this one get trashed in many a metal review and I could never understand why.  It’s easily Don’s second best album behind Tooth and Nail and pretty much the last album that he actually sounded really good on.  Initially the main reason I bought the album was because I had read that Mikkey Dee was drumming on it.

Even with some of the slightly cheesier songs like Mirror Mirror and Stay, it’s an album of which I don’t ever feel the need to skip any of the tracks.  Good production as well.

This one gets 10/10.