The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Archive for the ‘prog rock’ Category

Kansas Concert Review, Austin, TX, August 20, 2015,

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The last time I saw Kansas was 2000 in Virginia Beach, VA when they were opening for YES.  We had lawn seats at the amphitheater and it was started raining cats and dogs during Kansas’ set.  It made the show less enjoyable.  When YES came on, they moved us in seats at the back of the covered area as the show was lightly attended.  I can’t say I enjoyed the show that much getting soaked like we did.

I got home from work yesterday around 5:30 and felt like I needed to get out and do something.  I went to the ShowListAustin website to see if there was anything to spark my interest.  The last 2 things on their list for yesterday were Weird Al and Kansas.  I’m no big fan of Weird Al so I looked up the Kansas show and there were plenty of tickets available.  I ended up in a box section all by myself which was just fine.

I’ve never been to the Long Center before and it was an average sized place with good sound.  The venue doesn’t allows bottles, cans or food inside, so they pour your drinks in a cup with a lid and a straw.  Seemed odd.

The band started promptly at 8PM with People of the South Wind and then when into Point of Know Return.  Let’s be clear, Kansas are not young folks.  Neither am I and their fan base surely isn’t young.  I was certainly in the top percentage of “younger” folks and I’m 45!

The band sounded great albeit slower than the recordings.  No surprise and no problem.  The new singer, Ronnie Platt, sounded great taking over after Steve Walsh’s 2014 retirement.

The setlist consisted mainly of songs from “The Best of Kansas” compilation with some additions.  Being in the box and not blocking any views, I stood up the whole show.

The highlights for me were Play the Game Tonight, Belexes, People of the South Wind and Hold On.  I love that song and it has always elicited an emotional response and last night’s version was no different.  Great song.  Enjoyable show over all and was over before 9:30 so us older folk can get to bed at a decent hour.  haha

Written by The Metal Files

August 21, 2015 at 7:31 am

Wishbone Ash Concert Review, Austin, TX 4/27/2014

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Some reviews don’t need to get into a lot of details and this is one of them. Wishbone Ash, which is essentially Andy Powell and friends, played an incredible set at The Roost on far north Austin. The sound was incredible. There may have been 120 people there.

The plus for this tour is that they’re playing all of the album Argus. That album was my introduction to the band sometime in the late 70s through my brother. Just seeing the album cover takes me back to being a little kid sitting by the console unit stereo listening to this album with him. Argus was one of his all time favorite albums and it’s very special to me because of that. Hearing them play the album in order gave me a rush of emotions ranging from pure glee of the moment to sheer sadness in missing my brother. He would have loved it.

I did have Andy sign the book and the cd covers for Argus, Pilgrimage and their latest album, Blue Horizon. The whole band was great.



Nektar Concert Review, Austin, TX 7/4/2013

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Nektar was in town last night at a little place on the east side of Austin called Cheer Up Charlies.  Little is the understatement of the century.  This place was tiny.  20 people inside and you’re uncomfortable, I kid you not.  No matter, they were playing there and I had to see them.  And it was FREE!  There was a suggested donation at the door and I dropped in $5.

I was introduced to Nektar’s music through Iron Maiden.  They covered King of Twilight as the B-side of the Aces High single.  Because of that I picked up their albums A Tab In The Ocean and Remember The Future.  While not my favorite prog rock stuff from that era, it was enjoyable.  And if Maiden liked them, that was good enough for me back in those days.

Prior to the band hitting the stage, I met their current bassist, Lux, and merch guy, Nicky.  A friend had conversed with Nicky earlier and discovered that he was in the seminal British punk band UK Subs.  An original member even.  Weird world, eh?

Any way, Nektar takes the “stage” (read: the floor) and the room was filled with quite a few folks who were there specifically to see them.  I was pleasantly surprised by that.  The band seemed a little annoyed by the venue and understandably so.  It was a Wednesday night in Austin and this show could have been booked easily at a more suitable venue.  Again, no matter.  They sounded really good.  The band features original signer/guitarist and drummer Roy Albrighton and Ron Howden, respectively.  The keyboardist was a German named Klaus Henatsch and on bass was Lux Vibratus, an American.  He was a fantastic bassist.

I stayed for just under half of the set as there was another show that I had already paid admission to see.  Not to mention that it was completely uncomfortable in there.   Glad I got to see some legends last night.

Written by The Metal Files

July 4, 2013 at 8:25 am

John Macey – More Notes For Your Money (1987)

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I uploaded John’s first album a while back and was contacted by a former student of his and also a family member.  One of them shared John’s followup album from 1987.  This is good stuff.  Here are the covers and the link to download.

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October 31, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Uriah Heep – Demons and Wizards

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There’s really something special about listening to vinyl.  One of my all time favorite records to spin was Uriah Heep’s Demons and Wizards.  The record was a hand-me-down from my brother who was a pretty big Heep fan.  I believe it was the very early 1980s when he exposed me to this band.  As I was converting my CD version of this album to MP3 today, it really made me realize how much I missed spinning records.  This is certainly one album that is best heard through a needle.  Sure, the CD sounds good but there’s just something about this album that screams to be heard on vinyl.

I sold off most of my record collection years ago.  Sometimes I regret it, but generally I don’t think about it too often.  But today I am certainly missing it.  Sometimes you just need that hit of nostalgia, ya know?

Demons and Wizards was Heep’s 3rd album and the 2nd of what I call their Holy Trilogy.  Look at Yourself and Magician’s Birthday being the other two.  That was a good run of albums!

I’d say the only song on this one that I don’t care for is All My Life, but I never skip it.  When anyone ever asks me to recommend a Heep album to them, this is the one I tell them to start with.

So, if you don’t own this and you like classic prog and psyche rock, this is something you should check out.

Who couldn’t love this song?

And this may be my fave from the record:

Written by The Metal Files

October 10, 2010 at 5:19 pm