The Metal Files

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Archive for the ‘emo’s’ Category

On meeting Cheap Trick (Concert Review), May 16, 2014, Austin, TX

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Tonight was the 4th time I’ve seen Cheap Trick in the last 2 years and the 5th time overall.  As always they put on an energetic show and it was a ton of fun.

Earlier this week I took the decision to buy the VIP/meet and greet pass to hopefully get The Book signed.  Immediately after paying for it, I received an automated email stating the details and rules of the meet and greet.  In bold letters, “NO AUTOGRAPHS” was written halfway down.  Wait…what?  It was the WHOLE reason I paid for this.  I honestly didn’t give a rat’s ass about a photo op.  You also get a shirt, VIP laminate, poster and a “special tour gift”, all of which will be mailed.  Upon receiving the email, I fired an email back asking for a refund and got denied.  I please my case one more time and the rep from the company who puts on the meet and greet said, “just bring the book and see what happens.”

Show day arrives and I get to the venue at the stated time and get in the line with the others.  Several folks said, “no autographs, you know” after seeing my bag with the book strapped over my shoulder.  “I’ll take my chances.”  We’re let inside and reform a line by the backstage door and they let us in 5 at a time.  One person at a a time was then let in to stand in front of the band and get a picture taken.  I was the 5th in the first group, walked up to the band, pulled out the book and said, “They said no autographs but I’d forgo the photo if you’d sign this book.”  Rick asks what the book is and I explain that it’s a book about metal bands but they’re listed and pictured in it as a reference.  Robin just smiles and says, “Weird.”  Tom says, “Hey, let’s play one of our metal songs tonight!”  Rick then asks who said no autographs and I told him the rules in the email.  “Well fuck them, they’re not here.   Where’s your pen?”  I hand him the Sharpie and he signs the Cheap Trick page and Robin and Tom sign their picture.  Then Robin says, “Now let’s do this photo, man.”  So we did the photo which I assume will be emailed out.  It was pretty cool.  Before walking away, I asked if they were going to play Southern Girls and Ricck says, “We’re not far enough south for that one.”  I love that song and they’ve played it on the recent tours in just about every city but Austin for whatever reason.  Rick’s son, Daxx (drums), smiled and looked at me and mouthed. “we’re playing it.”  Rick and Tom each hand me a guitar pick and that was it.  Out the back door.  But SUCCESS!  It’s a great addition.

Then the show started.  Austin’s own Ume opened and it wasn’t my thing at all.  I’d seen them before a while back.

Cheap Trick comes on and just does their thing.  They are a well oiled machine that has fun on stage.  Their setlist is different every night and that’s great.  It keeps things a little loose on tour.  They played their hits mixed with other stuff for the hardcore fans as well as a new song from their upcoming album.   The Flame always takes me right back to the 80s.  Tonight one of the Dixie Chicks did a duet with Robin on it.  They’re always a treat and I look forward to the next time I can see them!

 

 

 

Pentagram and Ancient VVisdom Concert Review, Austin, TX 8/2/2013

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Pentagram came to town yesterday to play Emo’s East.  No need to rehash my love for them, it’s all written here somewhere.

I’ll just say that the band was solid and Bobby sounded great.  New guitarist, Matt, did a great job.  No, he’s not Victor Griffin, but no one is.  This kid did a fine job.  New drummer, Sean, was rock solid as well.  And of course Greg Turley killed it on bass.  I got to spend some time with Greg for a few hours before show along with Jeff, the band’s biographer.  Jeff and Greg know more about Pentagram than Bobby.  Their history with the band is quite interesting.  It was a great time talking with them again.

The Saint James Society opened the show and quite frankly I couldn’t have been more bored.

My friends Ancient VVisdom were on next and played a fine set.  Their singer now plays acoustic guitar and it changes the vibe quite a bit.

Overall it was a great night.

Written by The Metal Files

August 3, 2013 at 11:20 am

Testament, Overkill, Flotsam and Jetsam & 4arm Concert Review, Austin TX, 2/5/2013

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Not too long ago it was announced that Testament, Overkill, Flotsam and Jetsam, and 4arm were coming to Emo’s. What a lineup! I bought a ticket as soon as they went on sale.

Let’s just get right into this. You’ve seen me talk about The Book several times and my outer metal nerd was in full effect yesterday. I left work and went straight to the venue to do some hanging around trying to catch up with Bobby and DD from Overkill and the Flotsam guys.

There was a guy and his son hanging out as well who had made a nice huge canvas screen print of a current Overkill photo with their logo on it. When those guys rolled up, they signed it cheerfully. I had Bobby and DD sign the book and got the usual question of, “What the hell is this?” Right after Overkill headed to their hotel, Gene Hoglan came out of the venue and I spoke with him for a little bit. Ten years ago I gave him a ride from his Strapping Young Lad show to go see Nuclear Assault at another venue. We laughed about shoving his huge frame into my little Saturn wagon.

A few minutes later I saw a friend of mine who works at the venue and he went ahead and walked me in with him before they started letting people in. Testament was doing their paid meet and greet on the patio and I was standing at the merch booth when Eric AK from Flotsam walked up. I shook his hand, talked to him about my F&J history of seeing them in Virginia. He remembered both venues saying something to the effect of, “The Peppermint Beach Club? Cool place on the beach? Loved playing there. But the Boathouse was a dump.” Mustaine said the same thing about the Boathouse when I met him in ’06. I loved that place (RIP), but whatever. Mike Gilbert came up as we were snapping a picture and photo-bombed it. I then had both guys sign the book and again a “WTH?” reaction. Eric said, “Come find us after the show, we’ll get Kelly and Ed to check this book out.”  Sweet!

The doors open up and a small crowd shuffles in. Australia’s 4arm was the opener at 645PM. I had just listened to a few of their songs earlier and while not overly impressed, I didn’t think it was awful…other than their name. They had a 30 minute set of standard thrash and were solid. I heard a little Slayer meets Bay Area Thrash in their sound. They were solid enough, but nothing groundbreaking.

Up next came Flotsam and Jetsam. They sounded great and to be honest were the band I was most excited about seeing. The last time was 1992 opening for Mercyful Fate. They were only given 35 minutes for a set and just came on and killed it. They sounded great in general, minus some sound issues from Ed Carlson’s amp…snap crackle and pop were all in attendance. Haha. They played Hammerhead and Escape from Within and 3 others. They were super solid, though. Kelly’s drumming was still as spot on as it was 20 years ago. I stood about 3 people from the barricade with a huge smile on my face the whole time they were on.  Just great.  Eric’s vocals started a little rough in the first song, but by song #2, he was in full AK mode sounding great and powerful.  I’m ready to see them again ASAP and hopefully with a longer set.  Eric told me after the show that they’d definitely add Der Fuhrer and She Took An Axe when they tour on their own.  I almost squealed like a little girl.

Overkill was up next and to be honest I wasn’t enthused about it. I absolutely love Feel the Fire and Taking Over and a few tracks each from Under the Influence and Years of Decay, but without Rat Skates’ insane drumming and Bobby Gustafson’s uniquely styled riffs, they lost a lot. That this man’s opinion. Overkill hit the stage and I got what I expected, a cross section of their long career. They did Rotten to the Core and Wrecking Crew and while I love those songs, they just didn’t feel right last night. Way too fast and a tad sloppy. Almost like ‘let’s just get through these as fast as we can’. I’m such a curmudgeon. They also played Elimination and Fuck You, but I only heard them from outside the venue and my friend Carlos who was getting ready to interview Flotsam called me to their bus to get Ed and Kelly to sign the book. Score! I’d missed Overkill the last 2 times they were here and I had heard that they were both good shows and that they had even played Deny the Cross(!!!). But not last night. Oh well.

Last night was my 7th time seeing Testament since ’87 on The Legacy Tour opening for Anthrax. They’ve never put on a bad show in my opinion and tonight they were on it. I think Chuck Billy’s voice sounded better than it has in years. He used his cleaner voice more than the rough voice he’s done a lot live in recent years. The setlist was a good mix of old and new with all of the usual suspects except for one, and to me it’s a major one…Disciples of the Watch was not played. To me, that is the defining Testament song. I can’t have everything, right? But overall the band was great. The new album is good and a lot better than Formation of Damnation. Gene Hoglan was on the kit again for this tour and the guy is so incredibly awesome that it hurts my soul a little. He’s so fluid in his playing that it makes it look like he’s not even trying. Skolnick’s playing was spot on as always but I always get the feeling that he’d rather be doing his solo jazz thing these days.

Overall it was a great night for $20! I bought a shirt from both Flotsam and Testament, Overkill didn’t have a design that I liked. Saw lots of friends and made some new ones. Flotsam said they’ll be doing a US tour after their new album, Ugly Noise, comes out in April. I hope they can make some Texas dates. Great to see Austin continuing to get some quality metal tours.

I didn’t get any shots of Overkill or Testament as I was playing the “old man” and hung out near the back of the venue.

4ARM

4ARM

More Flots

More Flots

Erik AK says, "Horns up!"

Erik AK says, “Horns up!”

Eric AK and I being photo-bombed by Mike Gilbert

Eric AK and I being photo-bombed by Mike Gilbert

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Sigs from "Blitz" and DD of Overkill in The Book

Sigs from “Blitz” and DD of Overkill in The Book

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Triptykon – Austin, TX 10-29-10

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My history with Celtic Frost goes back to about 1986 as noted here.  I am a fan.  While Monotheist is probably my least favorite album, it’s not bad.  A year or so ago Tom G. announced that Celtic Frost was done and he had a new project called Triptykon…which uses the Frost script in one their logos.  Tom seems to have some deep seeded issues with carrying on as Frost.

No matter.

Triptykon was announced to play Emo’s and I was in.  I mean c’mon.  It’s Tom G!  I bought the meet and greet pass mainly to get his signature in the book.

Per my normal routine I walk to the venue early and happen to catch Tom G. walking the streets.  I talked to him for just a few moments and headed over to the venue.  The pre-sale  on this show was 60.  SIXTY!  I was able to get in early via a friend who worked there and got to catch the soundcheck.  They did Usurper and for whatever reason, Tom was smiling and laughing the whole time.  This was the last show on the tour as they canceled the Houston show.  It is my understanding that the tour attendance had been pretty light.  Last night’s show had Triptykon playing before the headliner.  The tour included Yakuza (Chicago) and 1349 (Norway) on the bill.  Local band Mammoth Grinder opened but I missed them.

At the end of soundcheck Tom G was asked if he needed more monitor.  Tom G responded with, “I can hear myself enough.  Doesn’t matter, we’re just playing Austin.”  Ouch!  C’mon Tom G!  Show a little love!

Tom G signs the book.

After soundcheck I hung outside talking with a few friends before the quick meet and greet.  Only 7 people (including me) bought the pass for it.  Two guys drove up from Monterrey, Mexico for this.  That was cool.  They brought each member of the band some gifts from Mexico which mainly consisted of tequila.  Very cool.  I had Tom G sign the book which got the usual reaction from bands…”What the hell is this?”  He read through the Celtic Frost section and signed it.  We all snapped a few pictures and that was it.

I left there to drop the book off back at the house and went to a bar for a beer.  I missed Mammoth Grinder and caught most of Yakuza’s set.  Not my cup of tea at all.  Sort of avant-garde metal with lots of saxophone.  Their slower mellower stuff was alright as background music but they aren’t something that I would want to listen to regularly.

Triptykon cam on next and I was glad to see the place fill up a little.  There may have been 150 people there but I think that’s pushing it.  They opened up with Frost’s Procreation of the Wicked.  This band is tuned

Eyes as black as his soul! Tom G!

down a bit and it’s weird hearing this song in a lower key.  Overall they were good, solid.  Tom G is no guitar wizard by any stretch of the imagination, but he does write good riffs.  The Triptykon stuff sounds like where the music from Monotheist left off.  Slow, plodding, dark.  I enjoyed the show quite a bit, though.  How many more times are we going to see Tom G in the states, ya know?  They also plays Circle of the Tyrants and Usurper with the singer for 1349 handling vocal duties.

I was tired and didn’t stick around for 1349.  I’m really not that big of a black metal fan.  I saw what I wanted to see.

Setlist:

  1. Crucifixus (Intro)
  2. Procreation of the Wicked
  3. Goetia
  4. Circle of the Tyrants
  5. Abyss Within My Soul
  6. The Usurper
  7. Synagoga Satanae
  8. The Prolonging
  9. Winter (I think they did this)

Ugh!

(all images clickable)

Love the H. R. Giger guitar!

My shitty vids from the show.  The lighting was terrible.

Written by The Metal Files

October 30, 2010 at 8:17 am

Nevermore – Concert Review – Austin, TX – October 11, 2010

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I was fortunate, very fortunate to see Sanctuary on the Refuge Denied Tour in May 1987 while they were touring with Megadeth and Warlock.  Sanctuary is definitely one of my favorite bands from that era and were very unique.  Unfortunately I missed them on the Into The Mirror Black Tour with Fates Warning.

When I read that Warrel Dane and Jim Sheppard had formed a new band I was pretty excited.  Nevermore, eh?  OK, I’m in.  I really only cared about hearing that patented screech of Dane’s.  But it wasn’t there.  I didn’t really dig the debut album or follow-up but did enjoy Dreaming Neon Black quite a bit.  The last one that I really gave a chance to was Dead Heart In A Dead World, but still couldn’t get into it.

In 1997 I did go see them at Twisters in Richmond, VA on the Politics of Ecstasy Tour.  They were great live and Jeff Loomis’ and Van Williams’ playing stood out more than anything in the band, even over Warrel’s

Warrel Dane

vocals.  I hung out with them a bit before and after the show and they were very nice laid back dudes.  I went to see them again in June 1999 at the same venue while they were touring for Dreaming Neon Black.  I believe Iced Earth and Destinys End were also on the bill.  It was a really cool night in general.  I had just started Acacia Music (online music store) and both Century media and Metal Blade gave me free access to all of their bands who came through, including interviews and filming of the shows when possible.  I was doing a dorky little cable access show that only aired in my hometown and filmed all 3 bands that night to be included on the show.  I need to find the interview that I did with Warrel as it’s pretty humorous.  I was such a doofus.  haha.

For the next few years, when Nevermore came to the Washington, DC area, I’d film their show and bring them VHS cassettes of the previous shows that I filmed.  We became pretty good pals for a few years and it was always a pleasure seeing them and hanging out.  The last show I did with them was in 2001 at the930 Club in DC (I think) and hadn’t seen them since.  I had lost interest in the band, I closed my music business and was just into other things for a while so I lost contact with those guys.

So now, 400 words later we get to present day.  When I saw that they were playing 2 blocks from my apartment I had to go and reconnect.  I bought the VIP meet and greet pass to ensure that I’d get to say hi.

Jeff Loomis in motion

They had about 20 folks there for the meet and greet.  I was fortunate enough to be able to go into the club early thanks to some folks I know that work there and just hung out at the bar and chatted with some pals.  Once they started signing and stuff, I hung out until the line was done and just sat down with them and reintroduced myself.  Warrel said, “Dude, that was a long time ago.  I’ve still got those tapes.”  and blah blah blah.  So I offered to take the band to dinner before their set and they obliged.  Jim Sheppard was nowhere to be found and they said he was “sick” on the bus.

Dinner ended up being Van Williams, Jeff Loomis, Attila Vörös, their road manager, their 2 roadies and myself.  Warrel had an interview commitment and missed dinner and as stated, Jim was “sick”.  I asked Loomis about the whole Sanctuary reunion and who exactly was a part of it.  He said everyone but Biosl.  Sweet!  But…there will likely be no tour.  So far they are only booked for Power Prog Festival and the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise.  Dinner was a blast and it was the

Inaugural meeting of the Gentlemen's League of Extraordinary Margaritas - G.L.E.M! (pronounced gleem)

first official meeting of the Gentlemen’s League of Extraordinary Margaritas, or G.L.E.M. (pronounced gleem) for short.  It was a funny conversation and the Austin chapter is now taking applications.  haha.  The guys were talking about Jim’s recent antics.  Seems that the dude has gone off the edge a bit and it was apparent during the show.

After dinner and drinks I walked them back to their bus and headed back to Jackalope for a beer with Angela and Laura.  It was Metal Monday and T.A. and Sarah Kay were playing the goods for sure.  Attacker, Agent Steel, Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Krokus etc.  Seeing Laura sing along to Nuns Have No Fun is priceless!

It was drawing near time for Nevermore to go on (1145 start time) and we headed back to Emo’s.  I missed every opening band as I am just not a fan of any of them.  Locals Vesperian Sorrow opened followed by Blackguard, Hatesphere and Warbringer.  Sorry, just not interested.

Nevermore hits the stage and do their thing.  Jim Sheppard looked terrible.  Emaciated, run down, tired, sick, drunk, etc.  I almost didn’t recognize him.  It was sad to see.  Warrel looked pretty worn out as well.  During the set the 2 of them were having words.  It was pretty wacky to see.  A few shoves, middle fingers and words and Jim ended up standing behind the mains for much of the set, just hiding and acting like a little kid.  He was obviously out of his head for the show.  It was sad.  At one point as a song ended he walked off stage and went to the bar after asking people in the crowd to buy him a drink.  It was pretty pathetic to watch,

Jim Sheppard, wasted away again...

especially coming from a band that I always regarded as being pretty professional.  In the final song Jim just stopped playing halfway though, handed his bass to someone in the crowd and walked off stage, out the door and onto the bus.  A few times during the set, Warrel was trying to make nice with him to at least get through the set.  The whole thing was pretty surreal. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jim out of the band soon if he doesn’t get his act together.  You can’t let stuff like that happen during a show.

As always, Loomis and Williams were on top of their game.  I consider Van Williams to be metal’s best kept drumming secret.  The guy is absolutely incredible and has a unique style to his playing.  The new guy, Attila, did a fine job playing rhythm guitar and the few solos he did were good.  Super nice guy as well, very funny.  Warrel’s voice sounded a little tired to me but not bad.  I will say that I’ve heard him sound better, but again I haven’t seen him live in 9 years.  I’m sure it was difficult for him to perform as well with Jim’s antics.  Jim threatened a few times to push Warrel into the crowd.  Everyone could hear the ridiculous banter between songs.

Seems that most other recent shows got to hear Sanctuary’s Taste Revenge.  We didn’t get it.  Damn!

After the final song finished, they came straight off the stage and onto the bus.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Sheppard got his ass beat last night.  He was certainly asking for it.  The attendance was pretty light.  I figure maybe 100 people were there with the majority of them being under 30 years old.  Lots of minors as well.  But that’s cool.  Everyone seemed to like the show and everyone just shook their heads over the nonsensical stage antics.  Here’s hoping that they got everything worked out.  It would be a shame for it not to.

Attila Voros

Nevermore!

Nevermore posing for me. So evil. ha.

 

Attila...seriously? Even the devil has s funny side. haha

Nevermore Setlist

Written by The Metal Files

October 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm