The Metal Files

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Ted Nugent Concert Review, Austin, TX, July 17, 2017

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Ted Nugent.  Just the mention of his name to some, especially here in Austin, sends people’s triggers through the roof.  When the show was announced on Facebook, the SJWs of Austin took to their keyboards in protest.  “I’ll never go to your venue again!” “Boycott the Scoot Inn!”  “Such and such should be ashamed of themselves for booking this asshole!” and blah blah blah.  It was fun to watch.  That being said, I bought a ticket as I’ve never seen Sweaty Teddy before.

Some history…one of my older brothers, Robert (RIP), was a huge Nugent fan in the 70s and 80s and through his fandom, I became familiar with the first 4 or 5 albums.  Just the sight of those records takes me back to being a kid again.  Oddly, the only album of his that I ever owned was Little Miss Dangerous as I liked the title track.  I went back and re-listened to that one a few weeks ago and it’s pretty horrible.

As a musician, the guy is a guitar beast and severely underrated. As a human being, well, I wouldn’t mind meeting him but I don’t think I’d want to be his neighbor.  One thing I learned over the years was that if I based my fandom of bands on the people in the band and their previous transgressions, I’d probably never be able to listen to any band ever again.  Stones?  Bowie?  Sheesh, there goes a chunk of my music collection right there!

My buddy Jason K went with me and we arrived right around 730PM just after the opening band, who isn’t worth mentioning, had finished.  This was an early show with a hard curfew of 10PM.  I was pleased to see the 5 protesters out front and wish I had taken a photo of their signs, but oh well.  Good for them for exercising their First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.  I applaud that.

Ted hit the stage right at 8PM with his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and went into Gonzo after that.  I expected long-winded political rants speckled between songs but hardly got anything out of him besides, “The world sucks these days, America just sucks a lot less,” and “I’m from Detroit, the murder capital of America, and that’s only because we’re a better shot,” and burped “Obama.”  Pretty much everything else was about his love of Bo Diddley and Texas.  I was a bit surprised.

Up next was Free-For-All, which is one of my favorites.  Ted handled vocals for the whole show except for Stormtroopin’, another favorite.  Bassist, Greg Smith, sang on that one.  Greg has been with everyone it seems including Wendy O Williams.  I met him 2 years ago when he toured with Hellion.  Great bassist.  It was also good to hear Hey Baby and Good Friends and a Bottle of Wine.  Ted’s guitar playing was top notch.  His trio was rounded out by 21yr old drummer, Jason Hartless, who was perfect all night.

I was told that presales on the show were about 450 and I think the overall number was about 700 or so in an outdoor venue that can hold 1200.  I stayed up on the deck in the back with a couple of friends.  It was a nice evening and even better running into my old friend, Robin, whom I hadn’t seen in some years.

This was likely my first and last Nuge show.  It was fun and I got to see what I needed to see.

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

July 18, 2016 at 8:28 am

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

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.

Holy Grail & Savage Master Concert Review, Austin, TX, May 31, 2016

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Savage Master began their tour with Holy Grail last night here in Austin at Dirty Dog.  They had just come off of a European tour that included playing the Keep It True Festival.

Last night’s show was an early show with Savage Master going on at 930PM and headliners, Holy Grail, going on shortly after 1030PM.  Perfect.

I saw a couple of songs from each of the two openers.  I didn’t hate either of them nor did I really get into them.

Savage Master hit the stage with a revamped lineup due to an abrupt exit by their former drummer.  Brandon, formerly their bassist, is handling drum duties for the tour and they have a fill-in bassist.  They opened the show with 6 songs from their latest album, With Whips and Chains.  I hadn’t heard anything from the album prior to the show beyond the title track.  Everything sounded really good.  The final 4 songs were from their 2014 debut, Mask of the Devil.  Overall they sounded good and it’s always nice to hang out with them.  Good people.  As with their last show in Austin, I let them stay at my place.  I like being able to help my friends when they’re out on the road.

Holy Grail was up next and the crowd got to maybe 50 total…MAYBE.  Other than the first time I saw them at SxSW several years back, I’ve not really been able to get into them.  They just leave me bored.  All competent musicians, just nothing that catches my ear.  I left after about 3 or 4 songs.

It’s funny how divisive this band seems to be, though.  Most of my friends either love them or hate them.  There’s really no middle ground.

Go see Savage Master on this tour.  Buy some stuff.

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 1, 2016 at 9:36 am

Chicago Concert Review, Austin, TX, May 27, 2016

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Last night was the 4th time I’ve seen Chicago since 1991 and the 3rd time since 2012.  I’ve loved this band since I was a kid thanks to their heavy radio play and thanks to my Mom being a big fan.

Last night’s show was “an evening with” type show, meaning no opener which was fine with me.  My friend, Kitty, ended up going with me and into the Moody Theater we went.

As soon as they hit the stage, I noticed on huge difference in the band.  Jason Scheff, the bassist/vocalist who replaced Peter Cetera, was not there.  Instead, Jeff Coffey was handling those duties.  Apparently Jason had a family emergency and had to back out of the tour.  Coffey auditioned for the band a week or so ago and got the job.  Impressive.

The band played the set you’d expect with a song from their latest album thrown in.  These “geezers” still deliver and it’s impressive how much energy they have.  I’ll say this, though.  Jeff Coffey was the highlight for me.  For as good as Scheff is, Coffey was nailing Cetera’s vocal and bass parts effortlessly.  I was really blown away.  I’d be ok if he became a permanent member.

As always, the highlight song for me was Hard to Say I’m Sorry/Get AwayStreet Player, Call on Me and Another Rainy Day in New York City were also great to hear again.

Even more impressive is that they played 32 songs. 32!

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

May 28, 2016 at 11:41 am