The Metal Files

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Stryper Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, July 2, 2016

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In November 1985 (hard to believe it’s been almost 31 years) I attend my first metal concert ever.  It was Stryper at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA (RIP). I was 15 and it was a pretty important show for us.  The next opportunity to see them was in 1988 opening for Hurricane at the Hampton Coliseum.  I didn’t go as I was already disinterested in Stryper by then.  My friend Bill and I did cruise the parking lot that night to check out the ladies and haze the posers though.  haha.

To be honest, Michael Sweet’s vocals really grate on my nerves.  He’s the Dennis DeYoung (Styx) of metal.  That being said, the 1985 show was still a big thing for me and getting the chance to meet them and have them sign their photo in The Book was an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss.

Once I got to speak to them, I mentioned that Boathouse show and that it was my first  metal show.  They were pretty much indifferent but Tim Gaines did say that he remember that “dumpy venue.”  Oz Fox was mildly interested in The Book as was Michael Sweet who said, “Ah yes, I’ve seen one of these before.”  Robert Sweet looked like he didn’t want to be there, reminiscent of meeting Scott Ian.  But whatever, I got them in The Book and that’s what was important.  After a quick photo I headed over to the America show.

The Stryper show was sold out and when I got back to the venue, Austin’s The Dharma Kings were on stage.  I missed the other 5 openers completely.  I wish I had missed The Dharma Kings.  While that dude has a decent voice, their songs are pretty uninteresting.  Add to the fact that it was jam packed in there and hot as hell.  I finished their set on the patio enjoying a refreshing beer.

Stryper hit the stage around 10:50 opening with Yahweh (Ya Guey?)then into the classic You Know What To Do.  I had forgotten how much of a shredder Michael Sweet was.  He had been sick during some recent shows on this tour but showed no signs of that last night as he was hitting all of the high notes effortlessly.  They played a few more songs that I didn’t know and then went into Co’mon Rock, a song that I do like and maybe my favorite by them.  The crowd was really into them.  San Antonio loves Jesus and Stryper apparently.  The band sounded fantastic in general.  Backing vocals were perfect.  You often hear about drummers playing behind the beat and i don’t think any drummer exemplifies that term more than Robert Sweet.

They did an album of covers a few years back and played Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell and KISS’ Shout it out Loud.  After the KISS cover, I was done.  Tired, bored and having seen what the setlist was, it wasn’t worth waiting around for the closer, Soldier Under Command.  So I bailed.

It was a good and busy day but I’ll likely not see Stryper again, at least not for another 31 years.

 

Written by The Metal Files

July 3, 2016 at 10:00 am

Quiet Riot Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, June 25, 2016

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The 80s metal weekend continued last night in San Antonio for the modern version of Quiet Riot which features only Frankie Banali from their definitive 80s era.  The band also features Chuck Wright who played bass on the original recorded version of the song Metal Health and did backing vocals for that whole album.  Jizzy Pearl and Alex Grossi round out the line up on vocals and guitar, respectively.

There were 4 opening acts.  I missed the first one, Iron King Stag.  Years Gone was up next and I had seen them before.  They’re a tight band, but I had that type of rock.  Lead guitarist is good though.  Black Heart Saints were up next and I’d say that if you liked Tesla, Skid Row, Kix and Motley Crue minus some of the sleaze, this is the band for you.  THEY WERE NOT THE BAND FOR ME.  haha.  Singer could fill in with Tesla perfectly.  That vocal style grates on my nerves.  The covered Come Together which I didn’t recognize until the chorus and covered Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.  The Selfish Machines were up next and other than a weak version of We’re An American Band, I don’t remember anything else about them.  Also, it was announced early on that if you bought the Quiet Riot documentary DVD, you’d be guaranteed to get your stuff signed.  I hadn’t seen it yet, so it was an easy $20 to spend.

After the last set change, lights go down and Queen’s We Will Rock You is played as the band comes on stage.  They opened with Run For Cover, Slick Black Cadillac and Mama Weer All Crazee Now.  Listen, there was only one Kevin DuBrow (well, the singer for Slade as well), but Jizzy Pearl handled the vocals just fine.  He’s got the vocal range that works perfectly.  Alex Grossi handled the guitar parts just fine without destroying Cavazo’s solos.  Frankie’s playing was solid, but Chuck’s bass work was pretty incredible.  I never knew just how good that guy was.  The set included pretty much everything that you’d expect.  It was a fun show all around and odd that I didn’t know anyone at the show besides Helstar’s James Rivera.

A little backstory, the only other time I have seen QR was in 1999 in Norfolk, VA.  They did a meet and greet that day at Mars Music and like an idiot I didn’t bring The Book to the signing or to the show that night.  One of things I did bring was a WASP CD/EP for Sunset and Babylon.  At the signing, Frankie asked me if he could have it since he said he had never seen one before.  I said no and he got a little pissed off and said, “I’m not signing your stuff then.”  Kevin DuBrow looked at him and said, “Seriously, Frankie?  Sign his stuff!”  Frankie signed it and we moved on.  The show that night was $5 and this shitty old theater called The Riverview.  When I had gone back home after the signing, I realized that I had a spare copy of that EP and brought it with me to the show.  There may have been 50 people at that show, maybe less.  It was the classic lineup as well.  Pathetic turnout.  During the end of their set, I held up that CD and pointed to Frankie and said, “It’s yours.”  His eyes lit up and he smiled.  Once they finished, they just stepped off of the stage and hung out with everyone.  Frankie came straight up to me and I handed him the CD.  He thanked me and apologized saying he was having a bad day.  He handed me his sticks and we spoke for a little bit before us talking with the rest of the band.

Last night as I got through the line to have him sign the DVD and The Book, I asked, “Do you still have that Babylon and Sunset CD that I gave you?”  He said, “Holy shit, that was you?!  I totally remember that day.  Thanks again!”  He then marveled over The Book and asked how to get one, signed it and I moved on.  Chuck Wright had just come out and I had him sign on the Black Roses section.  “What book is this?”  I told him how to find one and mentioned that he was listed in there several times.  I forgot to get him to sign my Metal Health cover, but oh well.

Fun night.

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm