Archive for the ‘2006’ Category
As I’ve been digging through all of my old ticket stubs recently I noticed one thing that has not left me at ease. Yes. I’ve been to 3 Poison shows. I mean, what the hell? I detest that band. I find their style of music to be of the utmost poseur category. I have a lot of friends who like them and that’s fine, but I don’t. Looking up who they were on tour with, it all starts to make a little sense.
The first time was in 2002 and they had Cinderella, Winger and Faster Pussycat as openers. Prior to this I had only seen Winger once in the late 80s and they were great live. I hated Cinderella back when they came out but over the years grew to appreciate them a little more. Faster Pussycat always sat well with me, even though they did some silly stuff too. But Poison? Blech! I will admit that they are entertaining live to a degree, I only wish I could have just turned their sound off completely. Their music and Brett Michael’s voice annoys me to no end. The other three bands put on a great show. It was worth the $10.
Next up was 2003. Wait…what? I saw them 2 years in a row even? Shoot me now! At least I got free tix to this one. Vince Neil and the Bach-less Skid Row opened up. Awful. When I saw Skid Row in 1991, they were great but then again they had a great frontman at the time.
Finally I saw them again in 2006. What is my f’ing problem? Ah, Cinderella opened up. Since seeing them a few years prior, I knew they were likely to put on another great show…and they did even though Kiefer’s voice was having troubles. Poison? Blah…again. My ticket says $10, but I think I got these for free.
If any of you ever see or hear me inclined to go see Poison again, please berate me and talk me out of it. I promise it wouldn’t take much to do. :)
So, the promoter called me Sunday afternoon to let me know that Yngwie was going to be brought in to our record store. Of course I dropped everything, grabbed all my Yngwie related CD covers and flew up there. I got there about 5 minutes before Yngwie and was just hanging out talking to the 4 NAVY guys who were there buying tickets. They had just gotten back from a tour in the Middle East that morning at 5AM and were excited to see Yngwie. As they were going on and on about how happy they were to see the show, Yngwie walks in and I said, “Hey guys, look who just walked in.” They fell silent and looked almost scared. They wouldn’t speak to Yngwie except to say, “Hey man, we’ll see you at the show tonight.” Yngwie shook their hands and went looking through our DVDs selecting a bunch of Deep Purple and DIO era Rainbow stuff.
It was Yngwie and the drummer and I started talking to drummer while helping Yngwie find a few things. The drummer, Patrick Johansson, played on the 2 recent Yngwie albums as well as toured with WASP in the last year. We were chatting and Yngwie was just having a good time talking to the owner about Rainbow and Blackmore. He was all smiles and his arrogance was at a minimum. The store owner, Steve, mentioned that he had a ’74 Strat in the store and Yngwie instantly said, “I’ll buy it. Right now. Give it to me. $4000. Where is it?” Steve said it wasn’t for sale as it was his very first guitar. Yngwie said, “Fair enough, I can respect that.”
So after buying the DVDs we snapped a few pics with Yngwie and he was in good spirits saying, “This is the first place on the tour where we have been treated so well. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Patrick was so very cool and gracious as well. I pull out all of my CD covers and Yngwie signs them all commenting on each album. “Steeler? Man, what a dreadful album!” He then looked at me and said, “Sean, are you coming to the soundcheck? You should really come by, it’ll be cool, yeah?” So of course I went. As I am walking in, the promoter gives me 3 all access passes. You can read about the soundcheck and stuff here.
As we arrived at the theatre I called Patrick to tell him that I have the WASP DVD that he wanted and we hung out for a little while backstage. He asked for my cell number to keep in touch and told me to program his number into my phone book. Very cool. He also gave me a copy of one of his other bands called Kinlin. “Call me and let me know what you think of it.” Of course I agree. He heads back to bus and I head back into the main area of the theatre as the opening band is about to start.
They were called Orange Sky. They are from Trinidad and were OK overall. They were very tight but I didn’t really care for their style. Very nice guys though. The whole crowd was sitting down during their performance. As soon as they finished, I just walked up front and stood on the edge of the stage in front og Yngwie’s pedals to secure my spot. My 2 cohorts were up there as well. I found it odd that until 5 minutes before showtime, everyone stayed in their seats. Maybe they thought you couldn’t stand in front of the stage. Who knows? Didn’t matter, I was up there and everyone followed suit.
Right before everyone came up out of their seats, my friend Shelly and her friend rolled in and we talked for a bit. They stayed next to us on the edge of the stage all night. It was very cool.
The lights start to dim and you can hear Yngwie soundchecking for a minute ripping some serious shred. I forgot my earplugs and knew I was in for a loud night.
Then the lights went all the way down and the keyboard intro to Rising Force came on. The show has now started. For the first few songs, Yngwie looked a little stiff in his playing but seemed to loosen up by the 3rd song. He was awesome, of course. He threw out a ton of picks, of course. He somehow cut open the pinky finger of his picking hand but it didn’t phase him int he least. He was just incredible. Derek Sherinian was on keyboards, Doogie White was on vocals and Mick Cervino was on bass. It was certainly Yngwie’s show. If Doogie wasn’t singing, he stood in the back with the rythm section. The only one seemingly having fun other than Yngwie was Patrick. Unlike the last time I saw Yngwie (2001), he really looked like he was having fun.
The show over all was really good. He played several tracks from the new album which is very good and threw in some oldies as well as a few covers. During one of his solos, he crouched down in front of me and asked me to hold my hands out. People kept trying to grab his Strat but he set it down on my hands and played his solo while I held it. That was pretty cool.
After the show ended, we all hung out in the lobby until it was time to go backstage. There were about 20 of us and the whole band came in except for Derek and the bassist. Yngwie sat and signed everything that everyone had with them but made it a point to come up to us and say how happy he was to have been treated so well and to have met such nice folks. I was still amazed at how humble he seemed. They said that the night before was a disaster in northern Virginia.
I basically hung out with Patrick and Doogie until it was time to go. We all had a great time and it was great to get a few new connections. Patrick asked me to come to Miami this summer after the tour. I told him, “We’ll see.”
Then we went home.
Cracking the Whip
Crown of Thorns
Star Spangled Banner
Far Beyond the Sun
Paraphrase into Dreaming
Gates of Babylon(!!!)
Baroque and Roll
Demon’s Eye (Deep Purple!!!)
Fugue (from the Concerto album)
You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget
I’ll See the Light Tonight
Never Die and Locked & Loaded were on the list but they skipped them.
Flashback to July 1986. I’m 16 years old and decided to use some of the money that I made from bagging groceries during my Summer job to buy a cassette. So I go to Roses department store and am just flipping through their stuff and I see Loudness’ Lightning Strikes tape. I had read about them in Circus magazine a time or two and thought I’d try em out. So I pay $7.99+tax and I am on my way out the door.
Not so fast…A plain clothes police officer grabbed me by the arm and said, “Come with me.” So I called to my older brother who was a few steps ahead of me to come back. So as this police officer was walking me to the back, I am raising hell with her. “What the hell is this all about?! I’ve done nothing wrong!” etc etc. We get to the back room of the store and she starts questioning me about my shoes. “What about them?” She accused me of stealing them from the store. They were a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor high tops off white in color. Apparently someone stole a pair of the same size and color from the store earlier that morning. Oddly enough, I bought this pair that morning but from another store in the same shopping center. She wouldn’t let it go (no pun intended for the Loudness fans in the room). Kept asking me for a receipt. So I told her to call my house, ask my mom to look on my bed and the receipt will be there. So she called, the receipt was there, the Chief of Police got a call shortly thereafter from my mom. That day started my love affair for Loudness.
Fast forward to last night in Fayetteville, NC. This is a huge military town and many parts of it reminded me of Norfolk. The main drag leading into the base was nothing but titty bars and pawn shops. I get to my hotel around 2:30PM and my best friend who lives in Raleigh got there shortly thereafter. So we hang out and decide to go get some food and jibber jabber and catch up. Another friend of mine was supposed to go with me but he got sick the night before. I sold the spare ticket I had to another friend I ran into there.
The venue opened at 7 and the first band was to start at 8. We hung out with a few folks we both knew and I saw Danny Stanton walk in and walk to the merch table. So I go back up and shake hands with him as I have known him for a while. He has been the tour manager for Thin Lizzy, WASP and Twisted Sister and other over the last 5-6 years. He also used to be the singer for NYC metal band Takashi in the mid-80s.
So the first band comes on promptly at 8. HellRazor. I was told that they have only been together for a few months and it showed. Sloppy, horribly sloppy. All original pseudo-thrash. They did a cover of Ozzy’s Breaking All the Rules and it was an absolute train wreck. I was glad their set ended quickly. Frexon Zo was supposed to open but not sure what happened to them. I think they would have been a bit more interesting.
Anyway, Widow played next. I had seen their disc on a few websites and saw they were on the same label as Tim Aymar’s Pharoah. Here’s the CD cover:
Yes, female fronted. And yes, that is the actual album cover. The cover is horrible! Ugh. I’m not a fan of 99% of the female fronted metal acts. To my surprise, she was booted out of the band about a month ago and the 2 guitarists. So they start and I was thinking they would decent from what a few folks have said and judging by the label they are signed to. Needless to say I was not impressed. The one guitarist who sane the clean vocals sounded good voice-wise, but his guitar kept crapping out. The drummer was obviously a huge fan of Robert Sweet and Scott Rockenfield and it showed from his drum set up. He had great backing vocals. The bassist was good. Overall I wasn’t impressed. I mean
they weren’t terrible, but I would not go out of my way to ever see them again.
Up next…Loudness! What a shock it was to see them on stage. I never realized how tiny they were. Minoru and Akira may have been 5’1″ at the most. Masayoshi was about 5’5″ and Munetaka was the tallest at about 5’8″. I have a few DVDs of them playing in the 80s with the over-the-top hair and such and they came out last night just wearing track suits and such, short hair and Akira looked like he was raised in Compton. He bounced around the stage like he was in RUN DMC. They played 16 songs and played them well, but the stuff from the last 5 years is a lot different. They tuned down as most bands from that era have to do to allow for the singer to sing in key to the music. Minoru’s voice still sounded pretty good and he was pretty funny when speaking between songs. “Being from Japan, trying to pronounce some English words can be difficult. I’ve been working on this one all day: North Car-o-lina.” He then went on to say, “I don’t even know what I am saying in Japanese half of the time.” Funny stuff. Masayoshi’s bass playinog was top notch. We were on his side for the evening and he made it a point to give my friend and I a bass pick each when the show ended. Very cool. Munetaka did not look comfortable behind the kit and it appeared that he was in pain. He seemed to play very conservatively.
Now we get to Akira. He’s always been one of my favorite guitarists and last night definitely solidified his place in my rankings. I can’t say I have ever seen anyone who is so comfortable on a guitar and seemingly be able to make it do exactly what he wants. He can be so fast and precise and then switch gears and hit some notes that just ooze with feel. Absolutely incredible. He only used Killer Guitars, which I believe are owned by EPS now.
After the show, some of us just hung out in the club as it was still early, only 11:30 or so. The Loudness guys all came out for some drinks and met and signed stuff for folks. I got to have some good conversation with all of them and they were so very gracious.
The downside to the show was that only about 90 people showed up. Fayettevile is not the most central location and this club does no real promotion. It would hold about 400 on a full night. They sold out Jaxx the night before.
There were about a dozen Japanese folks there who were behind us singing all of the Japanese parts along with Minoru, which was pretty cool.
All in all, it was a great time and well worth the 20 year wait to see them.
Photos from the show can be viewed here.