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Satan & Night Demon Concert Review, West Hollywood, CA, March 26, 2016

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What a weekend!  I’m completely wiped out this morning but here goes…

I go see Satan any chance I get.  I love Satan!  Unfortunately they aren’t doing any Texas dates this year so I took the opportunity to go see them at the famous Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood.  Even more, my good friends in Night Demon were playing direct support.  It was slated to be a win-win!

I had a super early flight from Austin to LAX and didn’t sleep well the night before.  Bummer.  Anyhow, I arrived in LA at 830AM Pacific time and there was some sort of weird mix up with the rental car.  Let’s just say that I’ll never try and use Payless Rentals again.  I ended up at Enterprise having to try and book something on the spot.  That’s never easy to do in LA as I’ve found out before.  The only available cars that they had were classified as exotics and there were only a few to choose from.  They handed me a rate sheet with the car selection and the cheapest one on there was a 2016 white Camaro SS convertible.  I gave a bit of a sob story to the guy that was helping me and he gave me some discounts.  It was still more than I had planned to pay but whatever.  I figured that the weather was nice, I’m in LA for just a short time, I might as well enjoy it as much as I can.  So off I went with the top down, the 80s metal cranked up and two suitcases full of Cirith Ungol and Night Demon shirts in the back seat that I was delivering for a friend.  I cruised around LA a bit, ate at Pinches Tacos on Santa Monica Blvd then went to the hotel to check in.  I was pretty tired and with the long night ahead and the 2 hour time difference, I was going to need all the rest I could get.  Unfortunately that rest only lasted about 30-45 minutes.  Too much noise around.  Oh well.  I went to do some exploring and ended up at Amoeba Music.  The place is huge and I couldn’t find a thing that appealed to me.

It was getting close to load in time so I called for a Lyft ride and took the aforementioned shirts along with me.  Night Demon had just started loading in and a good friend from Mexico was already there so we chatted while the bands worked.  Satan hadn’t arrived yet as they had some issues in San Francisco the night before and had to get some things worked out.  After Night Demon finished their load in, Jarvis and new Night Demon guitarist, Armand, Sarai and I went over to the Rainbow for dinner.  This was my first time back at the Rainbow since Lemmy died.  Lemmy died.  That’s still not easy to write or think about.  The group secured a table and I went to the outside bar to the corner and just spent a moment there in reflection.  It was good.  Back to the table and Armand and I ordered a Jack and Coke in honor of the man and we ordered a pizza for the group.  I love their pizza.  As we were eating, Sebastian Bach and his family/a family came in.  I just said hello as he walked by and it was returned with a “hey man”.  San Antonio Rodney showed up as did Night Demon’s drummer, Dustin, and we hung out for a little longer before heading back to The Whisky.

Once inside we made our way upstairs to the dressing rooms where Sean Taylor, Brian Ross and Steve Ramsey of Satan were hanging out.  Sean and I caught up for a bit while Brian and Steve were being interviewed.  After their interview, Russ Tippins and Graeme English arrived.  I really do love these guys.  All class and super kind and all very funny.  They were obviously still a bit worn out from the night before and their drive so I went downstairs to meet up with some other friends.  Some of the opening acts had already played and locals Resistance were just coming on when we got downstairs.  I couldn’t get into them at all although one of the guitarists had some good lead breaks.

Up next was Night Demon.  As I mentioned before, Armand was now in the band replacing Brent Woodward.  I love Brent.  All around solid guy and loved my tacos when he and Night Demon were in town.  I’ve known Armand for several years as his old band, New Liberty, played Austin several times during SxSW in 2011 or 2012.  Dustin from Night Demon was also in that band and it was through him that I got introduced to Night Demon when my old band played with them in Chicago at Ragnarokkr in 2014.  As much as I hated to see Brent gone, I’m elated to see that his replacement was Armand.  He’s a killer guitarist.  and was also recently in Gygax and I highly recommend their latest album, Critical Hits.  Night Demon opened up with Screams in the Night and blasted right into Full Speed Ahead, which is one of my faves.  Armand sounded great with them and brings a bit of a different vibe to their live show.  They played 7 tracks overall and were right on point as always.  I’ll see them again in a couple of weeks in San Antonio and Austin with the mighty Visigoth.

Up next came NWOBHM legends Satan.  I can’t say enough about this band on a personal level and on a performance level.  The band is practically perfect live and I’d go see them every chance I could.  They opened with Siege Mentality, Incantations, The Devil’s Infantry and Twenty Twenty-Five.  That’s the same four they opened with the night before but then they changed it up and played Break Free from Court in the Act.  That album is so good.  All told they played 5 from their great latest album, Atom by Atom, 8 from Life Sentence and 4 from Court in the Act.  I’m still utterly amazed at Brian Ross’ vocal abilities.  The whole band was awesome and it was especially nice to hear them on a quality PA system.  I was a bit surprised that the show didn’t sell out but it was good to see people singing along to Night Demon’s and Satan’s sets.

I ran into Tim Baker from Cirith Ungol.  What a nice guy.  He gave me some stickers.   I saw Robert Garven as well but we didn’t get to speak much as he was on his way out the door.  I also got to see my friend from Austin, Allie.  Quite the pleasure seeing her again as well.

After the show we headed back to the dressing rooms.  The band was packing their stuff as they had an early flight out for their next show in Portland.  We said our goodbyes and I told them I’d see them on one of their east coast dates in October.  Right before walking out of the dressing room, I was recognized by a girl I had met at the Cathouse Live show at Irvine Meadows last year.  She was wearing a killer Toxik shirt, too, so that’s major points with me!  It was great making that connection with her again.  Said my “see you later” to her, Satan and the Night Demon guys and headed back to the restaurant by the hotel for a late night bite to eat.  Service was slow and Rodney bailed.  My LA friend, Sabrina, and I stuck it out, ate and she took a ride back to get her car by the Rainbow and I was fading fast.  I went back into my room and pretty much passed out as I hadn’t been to sleep, real sleep, in almost 24 hours.  Unfortunately I was only able to sleep for about 3 hours as I have a hard time sleeping while the sun is out.

After checking out, I spent some time just driving around LA.  Made a quick trip into Venice to see Cameron and Rell.  She and I have been friends for a long time from when we both lived in Norfolk. She moved to Austin after me, met Cameron, moved to Venice and then got married.  Always great seeing them.

After that I headed up to Studio City to meet with someone whom I’ve loved since first hearing her music…Betsy from Bitch!  We had been in contact a few times in the last 15 years or so and I asked her if she had time to meet up as I’d love to get her signature in The Book.  She agreed and we met in town for about an hour.  It was really awesome to be sitting there with her.  We spent about an hour together, she told me some stories about the band, her current drummer showed up, she signed the book, snapped a few fotos with me and then we were both on our separate ways.  I can’t thank her enough for that time.  She’s pretty damned cool.

I was slated to turn my car in by 5 as I had a 7PM flight home.  I got notice that my flight was delayed for 2 hours but went ahead and turned it in as I was getting charged an hourly rate.  I couldn’t have asked for a better 2 days of 78 degrees and clear skies to be driving around with the top down, though.

Once at the airport, I just waited it out at Gene and Paul’s “Rock N Brews” for a beer and some tacos that weren’t that good.  I tried catching a few z’s on the plane but couldn’t as I couldn’t get comfortable, even with the whole row to myself.  I finally got to bed around 230 Central time, extremely tired by extremely pleased with the whole fast weekend in LA.  California always sets me right, even with the fakeness and the deplorable traffic.  Something in the air for sure.  BUT…I’m always ready to get back to Texas.

 

 

Cathouse Live Concert Review, Irvine, California, August 15, 2015

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IMG_0409useA while back, former MTV host, Riki Rachtman, announced a one day festival celebrating the now defunct (and purely dysfunctional) Cathouse in Hollywood.  Let’s be clear, back in that era of the 80s, I was not down with hair bands, silly ballads and much of the stuff associated with that hairspray and makeup.  There were a few acts, however, that I did at least like a few songs from.  But whatever.

This show was set up with a limited number of VIP passes and I was able to score one for the main purpose of the meet and greets to get my Book signed.  Supposedly all bands that were performing were suppose to appear.  More on that later.

I got into LAX around noon on Friday the 14th and got my rental car (1.5 hour wait) and headed down to Irvine to get checked in to the hotel.  I unpack, grab some dinner and head to a club in Anaheim called Chain Reaction.  It’s an all age club that didn’t serve alcohol so no beers for me.  I caught the last 3 bands which in order were Tower Guard, Toronto’s Crimson Shadows and Nekrogoblikon.  I really liked Tower Guard.  Younger power thrash with some good potential.  The singer could stand to do less talking between songs, though.  Crimson Shadows, while technically proficient musically, were about as boring as I could have wanted.  Tight Gothenburg style metal with cookie monster-esque vocals intermingles with clean vocal harmonies from the two shredder guitarists.  Nekrogoblikon came on and had a large band and some dude dressed as a “goblin” that runs around on stage.  I was totally annoyed less than a minute into the first song and left.

The next day I slept in a bit to save up some energy for the long day ahead.  Parking lot opened at noon and I went to get my VIP swag which included the meet and greet wristband.  I ran into some friends of friends and hung with them until 2PM when the gate was opened.  It was pretty damned hot and I was in jeans, black SA Slayer shirt, denim vest and the shoulder bag that I carry the book.  It was hot, but not quite Texas hot.  Opening band, Swamphammer, was playing as I walked into the venue.  I made a bee line right into the VIP tent and downed 2 bottles of water.  I was drying out quickly.

The meet and greets were set at 2 different times to have the later playing bands come out early to meet the fans and vice versa for the early playing bands to come out later.  In the early one, I got Stephen Pearcy, Tom Keifer and Steve Riley to sign the book.  Riley had been an elusive one for me over the years.  Phil Lewis recognized the book and said, “I remember this.  You’re carrying this around all day?”  Ugh.  Yes.  Faster Pussycat came out and it was good seeing those guys.  Good friends, Dangerous Toys came out and as always when I see any of them around town, it’s just friends hanging out together.  Great guys.  During this meet and greet, Bullet Boys, Enuff Z’Nuff, Trixter, Autograph, Black N Blue all played.  I only got to hear them play and all of them sounded great, Especially Black N Blue and Autograph.  I was hoping that Don Dokken, Mark Boals and Mick Brown would come out but they never did.  Bummer.

After this, I went down into the VIP pit and watched part of Junkyard’s awesome set and the beginning of Saigon Kick, which bored me as much now as back in the day.  I went to the merch/food area to grab a taco and caught some of Pretty Boy Floyd’s set on the side stage.  Kristy Krash Majors was back in the band and they sounded pretty good.  I moved back to the pit and caught LA Guns, Dangerous Toys and the beginning of Pussycat’s set.  They had a bunch of original members join them on stage which was cool.

By this point it was time to hit the other meet and greet.  At this one we got Autograph, Black N Blue, Junkyard, Extreme, Sebastian Bach, Bullet Boys, Jetboy and Trixter.  I got the 2 guys from Autograph, 2 from Black N Blue and Bach.  I didn’t know Extreme had come out until they had already left, so no sigs.  I hung with David Roach from Junkyard for quite a while and with my old pal, Rowan Robertson (DIO).  Guys from Trixter, Jetboy and others that I had no idea what band they were in signed my VIP pass.  I really hated bands like Trixter, Jetboy, Little Caesar, Bullet Boys, Cinderella and Extreme back in the old days.  Modern day, I do at least like the old Cinderella.

So let’s get to the band performances that I saw/heard.

  • Bullet Boys – I only heard them but they sounded good.  I’ve seen them several times in the last year and when their singer saw me he jumped up and gave me a big hug.  Nice guy.  I got to see their drummer, Shawn Duncan (Odin) briefly and his wife, which is always a pleasure.
  • Trixter – Heard them only.  They were solid but I just couldn’t care.
  • Black N Blue – Heard only but they may be my faves of the day.  They were solid, great vocals and heavy.  Chains Around Heaven!
  • Autograph – Sounded great and I wish I would have seen them to watch Steve Lynch play.  He’s a great guitarist.  It was cool hanging out with him as we have a good friend in common.
  • Junkyard – ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL.  They were great.  It was hot as hell up there and they rocked their set.
  • Saigon Kick – zzzzz
  • LA Guns – As solid as ever
  • Dangerous Toys – Jason McMaster and company sounded great and the crowd was really into them.  Always fun to see live, especially seeing “hometown” boys away from home.
  • Faster Pussycat – Sounded great and cool having the originals on stage again
  • Stephen Pearcy – Only heard him.  It was about like it was last year.  He’s having a tough time these days.
  • Sebastian Bach – He sounded great as did his band.  Great show.
  • Dokken – Only heard but they sounded much better than I expected.  Having Boals on backing vocals is a good idea.
  • Tom Keifer – He sounded great.  Utterly impressed.
  • Pretty Boy Floyd – Solid.  Nothing different than what I expected.

I didn’t catch any of the other bands.  I tweaked my back somehow during Dangerous Toys and it got progressively worse throughout the evening, so bad that I left before Extreme came on.  That meant that I missed the Gilby Clarke all star jam with Ace Frehley.  I was in incredible pain.  Absolutely horrible.  It was better by morning, thankfully, but not great.

All in all this show was fun and well organized.  The bands on the main stage were on a rotating stage and no set times were missed.  It was impressive seeing all bands start and finish on time.  The only negative thing I can say is that it sucked not getting to meet a few of the bands, but oh well, herding rockstars is like herding cats.  I had a blast.

See all setlists here.

Odin Live @ The Whisky 8/27/11

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What a weekend!  As has been discussed on this site ad nauseum, I am a huge Odin fan.  I love their debut Don’t Take No For An Answer and the subsequent albums all had some killer tunes on them.  When I found out in the Spring that Odin was doing a show, I had to go.  I’ve wanted to see them since 1986.  I had a chance to see them 3 or 4 years ago but stuff came up and I couldn’t go.  It almost happened again this time too.  I had purchased my concert ticket right as they went on sale but waited on buying my plane tickets as right around the time of the show announcement, I was told that I’d be getting laid off soon.  So I held off as I didn’t want to spend the extra money.  Fortunately I was only out of work for a month and was living on the severance pay that my former company had given me.  As soon as I got a new job I booked my flight to LA.

Twenty-five years is a long wait to see a band.  Sit tight, this post may take a while.  Maybe not.

The original plan was to stay with a good friend out there but with my flight getting delayed because of Hurricane Irene and some other unavoidable happenstances, I just decided to get a hotel in Hollywood.  Good move.  As soon as I landed in Burbank, I got my rental car and headed straight to Hollywood and my hotel on Santa Monica Blvd.  I checked in, freshened up a bit and headed out for the night.  It was about 10:15PM or so when I hailed a cab and headed straight for the Rainbow Bar and Grill.  Again, good move.  As I was having a few drinks at the inside bar, the guy next to me was talking to the bartender about Hurricane playing at Key Club just a few doors down.  Hurricane!  I always liked the song Hurricane and a few others of theirs.  While they were a pretty boy type of band, they were definitely a cut above bands like Poison, Warrant and much of the other terrible glammy sleaze that plagued LA (and the world) in the late 80s.

I used to own Take Want You Want and one shaped EP on vinyl.  In the late 1990s I started selling off my record collection. They were listed on eBay and Kelly Hansen, the singer for Hurricane, had gotten in touch with me to work a trade for those records.  Of course I

Robert Sarzo – Hurricane

was skeptical, but after he called me and we talked, I knew it was legit.  In trade, he sent me some unopened tapes and CDs and signed one of them for me.  Hard to believe that some bands don’t have their own material…same thing happened one other time with Frankie Banali.  I had a WASP EP that he didn’t have from the Headless Children album.  I had 2 so I gave him one.

OK, let’s get back on track here.  The dude at the bar was the show promoter.  He gave me his card and told me to hand it to the door guy and I’d get in for free.  I offered to pay my way in but he insisted.  Cool!  I finished my drink and went right over to Key Club as Hurricane was getting ready to go on.  I go in with no troubles, grab a beer and hit the floor.  Hurricane comes on and they open with Hurricane.  Sarzo and Cavazo were still in the band and I think Kelly’s brother was on drums.  Of course Kelly sings for Foreigner now.  The new singer is Andrew Freeman who used to play guitar for theOffspring.  He sounded great and played some guitar as well.  I was really impressed with them overall.  I caught a little more than half of the set and then made my way back over to the Rainbow.  Luckily for me Lemmy was there (of course).  I got to say hi again.  He remembered me from Austin.  We only spoke for a minute as he was only taking a short break from the video game machine.  I love the Rainbow.  Such a cool place with so much history.

Being almost 2AM California time, it was almost 4AM my time, so I was pretty worn out.  I grabbed a cab and went back to the hotel.  I watched the weather channel’s coverage of the hurricane until I fell asleep.

After only about 4 or maybe 5 hours of sleep, I got up and muddled around town for a bit before driving out to San Bernardino to meet an old friend for lunch.  It was great to see her and the Thai food was tasty.  From there I headed back into Hollywood to catch Odin’s Aaron, Randy O, Shawn's bass drum, Jeffsoundcheck and to get Randy O and Aaron Samson to sign the book.  I got to watch them do 2 or three songs, got my signatures and hung out with Shawn and Jeff Duncan for a little bit before they left to go back home.  I became friends with them a few years back when their band DC4 played here in Austin.  What a band and a great bunch of guys!  I really wanted to have dinner with Shawn and his fiance but I was so wiped out and just wanted to go take a nap.  So we parted ways and I headed back for an all-too-short nap.

When I originally bought my ticket, I went ahead and bought a spare as I figured a friend from Austin or someone I know in LA would want to go.  Luckily I happened to meet Regina in Austin a few weeks prior to the show through some good friends of mine and I mentioned that I’d be out there for the show.  I asked her to go and she graciously said yes.  So after waking up from my nap, I took a quick shower and grabbed a cab for the Rainbow again.  I wanted some of their pizza.  It’s my favorite ever.  I get there and the door guy remembered me from the night before.  He waived the cover and gave me 2 drink tickets.  SCORE!  It was still a little early so seating was pretty wide open.  I sat at the outside bar as it was a nice evening.  The bartender remembered me and even what I had been drinking the night before and automatically poured one for me.  Peroni on draft by the way.  I ordered a small pizza and it came out pretty quickly.  The small is huge.  I met a few people while waiting for my food and we were having a great time talking shit.  They were super fun and luckily helped me eat the pizza.  After the beers and pizza were done, I paid out and headed over to The Whisky Rowan and Ito see the reason I made this trip…ODIN.  Regina met up with me shortly after and we went in.  I ran into some folks that I knew, mainly the other DC4 guys, Matt Duncan and Rowan Robertson.  I love Rowan.  He’s such a nice guy and we always have a great time hanging out.  (Your arrow, siiiir.)  Saw a few other folks that I knew and we hung out upstairs until Odin was about to come on.  Luckily Regina didn’t mind getting in the crowd.  We were about 2 or 3 people from the stage in the center.

The lights go down and Odin comes out to a loud roar from fans, including me.  This show definitely brought out something in me that doesn’t happen that often.  I see a lot of shows…A LOT.  But very few bands actually get me “juiced”.  Iron Maiden, Testament, Motorhead and a few others do.  Odin did.  The music nerd in me came out completely.  Poor Regina.  haha.  Odin opened with 12 O’Clock High.  It was great.  Their setlist was great and Randy’s voice was in good shape.  A lot of the guys who used to hit those high notes back in the old days can’t do it now.  Randy hit a lot of his.  And the ones he knew he couldn’t hit, he didn’t try.  While they played most of the EP, The Writer and Solar Eye weren’t played.  Well, a piece of Solar Eye was played which gave Jeff some solo time.

It was a great show.  They were awesomely tight.  I really can’t put into words what it meant to see them.  It was a very special night for There's Shawn!sure.

I love California, or at least SoCal.  Never been that far north, but the LA/Hollywood area sets me right every time I am there.  It’s beautiful.  I almost moved there in 1997 and still do the “what if…” game sometimes.

After the show, Regina and I head back over to the Rainbow for a final drink.  It was fun closing it down.  The valet brought her car around and we drove around and foraged for food around town.  We grabbed some fast food and headed back to my hotel.  She dropped me off, I went to my room and went straight to bed, completely wiped out again.

The next morning was checkout, a drive around Hollywood for a bit and then off to the airport.  Absolutely one of the best weekends I have had in a long time thanks to Odin, DC4, Hollywood, and my LA friends, new and old.  Good times.  If/when Odin plays again, I’ll try to be there for sure.

Last view before hitting the airport.

Hurricane setlist

Andrew Freeman – Hurricane/theOffspring

Odin Setlist

Shawn Duncan

The Odin Guitar!

The Odin bass!

!

Thank you and goodnight!

Written by The Metal Files

August 30, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Odin! Odin! Odin! Odin! pt 2

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I am a happy boy right now.

Odin is doing a rare show on August 27th, 2011 at the famed Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood.  I’ve been a fan since 1986 and wanted to catch their last reunion show but missed it.  My concert ticket is bought and now I just need to book my flight and I’m set.  This has been a long time coming.

If you like some great hard rock, I also recommend Shawn and Jeff Duncan’s band DC4.  It’s killer rock and roll by a great bunch of dudes.  You can read about my trip to LA to see DC4 from 2009 here.

Damn, I’m a happy boy right now.

Sweet Pain – S/T (1985)

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I remember it like it was yesterday (it was 1986).  I went over to a former friend from high school’s house and he said, “Dude, check this out.”  It was Sweet Pain’s self-titled debut record and he put it on.  Before hearing it and just looking at the album cover I was in hysterics.  Were these guys for real?  Let me state right now that I was never a fan of the glam/sleaze rock and metal minus a few rare exceptions.  The album started and we were rolling.  It was awful.  So awful that we spun it all the time.  Made fun of it every chance we got. Kelly Nickels of LA Guns/Faster Pussycat was in this band.

Looking at the back of the album I saw that they were on Combat Records.  COMBAT?  Really?  How in the hell did that happen?  What the hell were these spandex chumps with teased up hair doing on this awesome metal label?  Whatever.  They were the running joke with me and some of my teenage metal pals for years.

Oddly enough I found this on vinyl some years ago and had to have, purely for nostalgia’s sake.  For as many times as we listened to it, I could still recite almost the whole damned thing to this day when I hear it.  A few years back a friend of mine made a CD of the vinyl for me and I still get reminded of that feeling of hanging out when we were just stupid teenagers.  They were great times.

About 6 or 7 years ago through the advent of Myspace, I met a dude online named Scarlet Rowe who was in a band from New York City called Joker Five Speed.  I dug his band a lot and got to hang out with him a little when they played a show in Portsmouth, VA.  They kicked ass even though there were only about 20 people there.  About a year or so ago I was browsing some of his photos and saw a promo photo of Sweet Pain with him in the picture.  Looking at my vinyl I saw that he wasn’t on it and started asking him some questions about his involvement with the band.  He wrote and played on it but was not credited nor in the final photo.  Pity.  Seems like it was a torrid split from the band.  Scarlet’s still rocking though and is a king amongst men.  100% good dude.

If you liked the NYC and Hollywood glam stuff, you’ll likely dig this a lot.  As I said, it was never my thing but it does bring me a great amount of joy when I hear them now.

Download from here.

Sweet Pain w/Scarlet.

Written by The Metal Files

January 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm

WASP – Face The Attack Demos 1983

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Good stuff!

1.On Your Knees
2.School Daze
3.B.A.D.
4.Hellion
5.Sleeping (In The Fire)
6.Master Of Disaster
7.Sex Drive
8.Mr Cool


Clickity!

Written by The Metal Files

November 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm