The Metal Files

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Archive for the ‘emo’s east’ 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!

 

 

 

Ghost Concert Review, Austin, TX 05/01/2014

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Three years ago I reviewed Ghost’s debut album.  When the second album came out, I found it almost non-listenable.  It sounds like circus music.  BUT…Ghost came to Austin last night and I decided to check them out.  I pretty much knew what to expect which was a bunch of kids wearing Ghost shirts and Xs on their hands.  The band is loved by kiddies/mallrats/hipsters.

They played well.  No gear onstage besides the drums.  The band is riding their schtick and they do it well.  Everyone in masks and robes and the singer in his pontiff gear and skull face.  The crowd loved it and Ghost is loving it all the way to the bank.  Good for them.  While I’d likely never go see them again unless they had a band with them that I liked, it was an enjoyable show.

Written by The Metal Files

May 2, 2014 at 7:02 am

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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Symphony X/Iced Earth/Warbringer Concert Review 2/28/12 Austin, TX

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Austin’s metal scene was a bit lacking when I moved here 5 years ago.  San Antonio has always been the metal capital of Texas but I think Austin has been picking it up a bit in the last few years.  While we’re still not getting Maiden, Priest, Scorpions and other big headliners like that, we’re still getting a steady stream of smaller acts.  Megadeth has come regularly and Motorhead always comes.  Luckily I get to see them together this coming weekend for Gigantour 2012.

Emo’s has been pretty consistent for bringing good metal since I’ve been here.  Now that they’ve moved to a bigger venue on the east side, they’ve been doing their due diligence and booking decent shows.

Last night was Symphony X/Iced Earth/Warbringer.

Warbringer opened up and I am indifferent about them.  Solid retro-thrash, but not bringing anything new to the table.  Like I said last night, “they’re just ripping off Testament.”

I once was a huge Iced Earth fan, then they released Something Wicked This Way Comes and I was out.  I’ve tried listening to all of their albums and they’ve never got me back.   I saw them in 1999 and filmed it.  You can see the entire show on Youtube. They picked up another singer recently, Stu Block, who used to be in Into Eternity.  The band was solid, as expected.  Jon Schaffer makes sure he’s got good players in his band.  They played 3 or 4 older songs and sounded good and the new stuff they played sounded fine.  Stu has a really good and clean high range, but his “normal” voice is a bit too much like Matt Barlow, minus the Hetfield-ah! tendencies that Matt had.  Whoever their lead player is these days is pretty good.  One annoying note, I really hate the crowd participation songs and they did it in over hald their set.  “hey hey hey hey!”  Ugh.

I saw Symphony X in 2000 at L’Amours in New York when they opened for Halford.  I thought they were good, but just not my cup of tea.  I like a handful of tracks from their first 3 records, but prefer to hear them on CD than live.  All very talented guys.  I left after their first song.

Iced Earth

 

Written by The Metal Files

February 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Philm, Unmothered and My Education Concert Review, Austin, TX 110311

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Philm is a project that has been around since the mid-1990s according to their drummer, Dave Lombardo.  It remained pretty dormant until the time(s) he wasn’t with Slayer and apparently they jam a bit.  I had seen some of the YouTube stuff and I was pretty underwhelmed by it.  When I saw that they were playing Austin, I was a tad excited about it because, hey, it’s Dave Lombardo.  While I could never claim him as an influence on my drumming, he was certainly an inspiration.  The guy is a beast of a player and given the chance to see him play outside of Slayer seemed pretty rad.

Originally this show was $15 but a few days beforehand they made it a free show.  Slayer is in town this weekend for the FUN FUN FUN Fest so I guess Dave decided to try and float his other band here.

The opening band was called Unmothered from Austin.  They were pretty good and I’d certainly go see them again.  They were a 3pc sort of droning thing.  There was a weird dark almost black metal undertone but this was no black metal band.  Worth checking out again for sure.

Up next came My Education, also from Austin.  Apparently they are considered “post-rock”, another sub-genre of rock.  They were all instrumental and had a viola player through most of it.  It was slightly prog and gave me somewhat of a Kansas (band) vibe.  They weren’t awful by any means, but a bit boring to watch.  Perfect background music, though.  My friend made a good observation by saying that if they had some sort of film projection along with their live performance, it’d be more palatable in a live setting.  AGREED.

Up next was Philm.  By the time they came on, there may have been 150 at the show.  I’ll go ahead and say it first, they were very underwhelming.  Sure Dave did some cool stuff here and there, but it was pretty boring.  I think if they went all instrumental it would have been a bit better.  The singer killed it for me, not to mention that the music was rather generic.  It was cool to see him do his thing on a tiny drumset though.  Apparently he came out for a few minutes after they played.  A few friends met him.  I didn’t bother as I got to meet him while he was on tour with Testament back in 2000.  It was cool because I got to meet his wife and kid too.

Rumors were flying around that Slayer was going to show up and do an impromptu set after Philm.  I think it was all a set up to get more people to the show and sell some drinks.  Slayer never played.  That was unfortunate as it would have been cool seeing them do a few tunes on a barebones stage.

C’est la vie, eh?  At least I got to see another one of my musical idols play again this week.

Written by The Metal Files

November 4, 2011 at 9:35 am

Anthrax, Testament & Death Angel Concert Review 092911

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It’s really amazing what music can stir up in a person. You know how it is.  You hear a song on the radio/iPod/etc that just shoots you back in time.  Last night’s show at the new Emo’s East did just that.  It was a high school flashback for sure.

I first saw Anthrax and Testament together in 1987 at the now defunct Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  To this day that hails as one of the greatest shows I have ever seen.  Anthrax was on their Among the Living Tour and Testament was promoting their debut album, The Legacy.  Just an awesome show.

Death Angel opened the show and I’ll readily admit that I am not a fan.  Not for lack of trying, mind you.  About every 10 years I’ll listen to their first 3 albums to see if they sound any different to me and they never do.  I just couldn’t get into them minus a few songs like Mistress of Pain and Room With A View.  My friends here kept saying that I had to see them live and it would change my mind.  Well, it didn’t.  I went in open-minded (no, really, I swear I did!).  They just didn’t do it for me.  Sure, they were solid but their brand of thrash just doesn’t settle with me.  Rob Cavestany is a fine guitarist, though.  He was shredding it up last night.  I did get to meet Mark Osegueda at my favorite bar a while later after the show.  Fun guy for sure.  Super nice.  Shots!

I’ve lamented for years that Testament is the greatest live band ever.  They never disappoint and last night they surely didn’t.  They had Gene Hoglan behind the kit and as always he was perfect with ever hit, every beat.  The guy is the greatest metal drummer alive and certainly the most versatile in my opinion.  I was hoping to catch up with him and say hi but it wasn’t in the cards, unfortunately.  Testament’s set was really strong.  They played a good mix of their back catalogue.  Chuck was in fine form.  Skolnick, while playing great, seemed a light bit bored, like he was going through the motions.  I know he is really into his jazz trio these days and maybe playing the metal is taking a back seat, but again, he shredded it perfectly.  The whole band was on it, as always.

Anthrax…I’ve been a fan since I first bought a used copy of Spreading the Disease on cassette for $3.99 at Unicorn Records in 1986.  They were a band that I had read about but not heard yet and Spreading is still my favorite album of theirs to this day.  Thanks to the Internet, setlists of previous shows get posted instantly and I was able to see what they had been playing on this tour recently.  Great list!  The main part of their set had been consistent for most of their shows with the closer changing up a little.  Only and Medusa had been played recently and I was really hoping to not hear Only and hear Medusa.  You see, they didn’t play Medusa when they were in San Antonio within the last year and I was a little disappointed.  Last night, instead of Medusa, they gave us Be All, End All.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Seriously?  Man, I really wanted to hear that one badly.  But alas, no dice.  I will admit that I left when they started their encore.  The went into N.F.L. and I was out.  My feet were killing me. Anthrax kills me, though.  With a band whose Belladonna era has some really great material, they continue to throw in Antisocial and Got The Time in their set.  I would’ve been happy with Belly of the Beast from Persistence of Time and something else a little more obscure like Raise Hell (yeah right, I know I’m dreaming) or even A.I.R.

There were a few times during Anthrax’s set that I really felt like it was 1987 all over again.  It was a great feeling, albeit a strange one.  Stirred up all kinds of stuff.  So glad I got to see this show and so glad I got to see most of my favorite Austin folks there.  It was quite refreshing.

I need more shows like this.  NEED!

Death Angel setlist:

I Chose the Sky
Evil Priest
Claws In So Deep
Relentless Revolution
Seemingly Endless Time
The Ultra-Violence
Thrown to the Wolves

Testament Setlist:

The Preacher
The New Order
The Persecuted Won’t Forget
Envy Life
Over the Wall
Souls of Black
Into the Pit
Electric Crown
Henchmen Ride
More Than Meets the Eye
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days in Darkness
Disciples of the Watch

Anthrax Setlist:

Earth on Hell
Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t
Caught in a Mosh
Madhouse
Antisocial
(Trust cover)
I’m Alive
The Devil You Know
Indians
In the End
Got the Time
(Joe Jackson cover)
Be All, End All
Encore:
Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
Metal Thrashing Mad
I Am The Law

Chuck Billy...THRASH!

Gene Hoglan. (Photo by Brooks M)

Yours truly, Mark Osegueda, T.A.

Written by The Metal Files

October 30, 2011 at 9:56 am