The Metal Files

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KISS Review, Raleigh, NC, May 17, 2022

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This is a story about many things, but mostly of friends, KISS and how small of a world we live in.

Let’s just start with me being a huge fan of 70s KISS. I’ve told the story often about how my older brother Robert (RIP) stole a copy of Dressed To Kill from Montgomery Ward when I was a kid and that got me hooked on KISS immediately. Forever thankful that my brother was a thief I guess. Haha. I do prefer the 70s and some of the 80s stuff, but mainly the makeup era for sure.

But let’s get on with this story. I play poker…A LOT…and a couple of weeks prior to this show I was playing at a friend’s house where we play about every other month with fellow friends in our industry as well as some other friends of Steve’s (the host). That night a friend of a friend came to play and was seated next to me. He is in his early 60s and we got to talking about music and we connected pretty quickly. He tells me that he manages Earth Wind and Fire, Smokey Robinson and works with Doc McGhee (KISS). I tell him about how big of a KISS fan I am and show him some info about “The Book” and how much I’d love to get those guys in there. “I can make that happen.” Oh? He gives me his card and says to contact him over the weekend and he would see what he could do for the upcoming Raleigh show. He left mid-poker game to take care of some band business and that was that.

The next morning I send him a text with my contact info and he said he’d get back to me. I didn’t book my flight yet because you never know how real stuff like this is. I didn’t hear back from him until the following Wednesday and he said, “You’re all set up. I couldn’t get the meet and greet as it was filled up and still very limited, but I have you +1 and you’re gonna love your seats.” WHAAAAAAT? Sweet! I thanked him about 20 times then went and booked my flight. My best friend Chris lives in Raleigh so he was going to be my +1, mainly because he was available and I needed a place to sleep while I was there, not because I wanted to see him again so soon after Hell’s Heroes. Ha.

So I get to Raleigh on Monday afternoon and we go and grab dinner and a couple drinks before heading to his place. We get there, hang out with his wife and then crash out.

We get up Tuesday and he’s got to get his boys ready for school and work and I also had work to do, so we took care of business as we needed to and then got ready to head to the Walnut Creek Amphitheater for the show. We hit a record store, found nothing of interest and went across the street to a little bar and grabbed dinner and a couple of drinks and made our way through the show traffic to get parked. I was a little nervous since I didn’t have tickets in hand that maybe we didn’t get hooked up so I went to will call and gave her my ID and she handed me an envelope. Whew. We were prepared to buy cheap seats just in case we didn’t get tix. I opened the envelope and I saw that we were in section 2, row N. Ooooooh, those sound close.

Once inside, we bought an overpriced drink and meet up with some friends for a bit. After that we go to our seats and WHOA…we’re close. We’re dead center in the front section and only about 10-12 rows back. I was shocked to be honest. These are not cheap seats, especially at a KISS show.

As we’re sitting down, I have a woman and her kid next to me and we get into a conversation. She was in visiting from Corpus Christi, TX and I tell her I was in from Austin. Come to find out, she got hooked up through the same guy I did. Her best friend is this guy’s neighbor and her friend got them hooked up for the show. Oddly enough, I know her friend as well. Her daughter is 11 or 12 and is a massive KISS fan. I sent a message to the guy and their picture and he was ecstatic that we had connected. What a small world! Just a crazy connection.

So there we were, all anticipating KISS hitting the stage. Chris isn’t a fan, but that was only because he didn’t get that exposure in his younger years like many of us did, but he was also looking forward to seeing it live. And then boom, the curtain drops and there they are opening with Detroit Rock City and I got an instant boost of energy. They rolled through the same set that they have been playing for a while but it was a solid list overall minus Say Yeah and Psycho Circus. Of course I would have loved more from Rock and Roll Over but oh well. They were solid and both Gene and Paul’s voices sounded good. There was only one spot in one song that I think Paul used something canned, but the rest of the night sounded natural to my ears. The show was absolutely fun and I had only seen KISS one other time and that was within the last 10 years. One of the things I loved the most was watching Jeanette’s kid have such a great time seeing her favorite band. KISS knows how to put on a show. Towards the end they dropped large KISS balloons and I caught one to give to her kid. She was excited about it. I had such a great time and getting to see my best friend enjoy a band he wasn’t all that into and meeting new friends made it a wonderful night all around.

The show ends and as we’re walking out covered in confetti and Jeanette mentioned that she was going to try and get an Uber to get back to their hotel. I told her she’d likely be waiting forever and that we could give her a ride. So we get back to Chris’ vehicle, throw the large balloon in the back and head to their hotel. Quick hugs and goodbyes at the hotel and we were off to find a late night snack and drink. We found it, but it wasn’t that great. Whatever. Back to the house and we crashed out pretty quickly.

The next morning, we both do some work, catch his wife up on how the show went and the “small world” story. Once we both got caught up on work, I packed and showered and we headed off to hit a BBQ restaurant to get my belly filled with some eastern NC style pork BBQ since I can’t get that style here in Texas. Off to the airport from there. I had a connection through Atlanta and ran into a poker buddy there who was headed back to Austin.

What a great time. No matter that KISS is still Gene, Paul and “those other guys”, they still kill it live. They’re obviously not young guys anymore but can still put on as good of a show as anyone.

KISS FOREVER. And a million thanks to Mike for the hookup.

Written by The Metal Files

May 19, 2022 at 12:39 pm

Leather Rebels NWOBHM Festival Review, Glasgow, Scotland, February 19, 2022

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Hello. Haven’t done one of these in a long time, eh?

About 2 months ago I had ordered a ticket to the Leather Rebels Festival in Glasgow, Scotland on a whim. Other shows, work trips and life in general seemed to be piling things up and then a window of opportunity opened when something I had planned fell through. On Monday February 14 I asked my boss if he cared that I took off Thurs/Fri/Mon/Tues. “Go for it. Monday’s a holiday anyhow.” Done and done.

I went to my regular booking site and got a sweet deal on the flight and a nice hotel, especially for booking at the last minute.

My flight out of Austin was scheduled for Thursday at 1PM, arriving in Scotland on Friday at 10AM their time. No surprise, but that didn’t work out as planned. The path coming and going was Austin/Atlanta/Amsterdam/Glasgow. Right as we arrived in Amsterdam, my connecting flight on KLM told us that all flights in the UK were canceled for the day. They auto-rebooked me to get there on Sunday (wtf?) and I got on the text messaging service with Delta. Let me tell you, that service is pretty damned good and you end up with a live agent who can work with you instead of waiting on the phone. We ended up canceling my flight to Glasgow and I was having trouble finding any airline that was heading there. I posted my woes on the fest event page and a friend said that Easy Jet had a flight still available a few hours later so I nabbed a seat. KLM refunded their leg of the trip so it was basically a wash. I was a bit stressed out thinking I would miss the festival and was about to just adjust my trip and go right back home. Thanks Nadine!

Upon arrival in Glasgow, I got through customs in the just a few short minutes and was out in the cold waiting for Uber to arrive. The damp fresh air felt pretty good to be honest. I got to my hotel, a chain called Yotel, and checked in. Now, I know people from around the world and can usually understand most folks when they are speaking English, but the Scottish may be the toughest. The poor girl at the counter was trying to tell me some basics and she may have well been speaking Chinese. I apologized for asking to repeat herself so many times and she just laughed. I got my key and went to my room. While very small, the room was super comfortable and the bed was the most comfortable bed I think I have ever been on. This comes back into play later.

I freshened up a little and went foraging for dinner. It was about 7PM and I ended up going to the Solid Rock Pub which was right around the corner. I’ve been on a low carb diet in the past month and after researching restaurants in the area, eating healthy was going to be a chore. Everything everywhere is fried! Fried pizza?! Pass. I did end up getting a burger (no bun) and a side salad at Solid Rock. It was good enough. I was also prepared to cheat a bit since I was on vacation, so beers were in order as well. Nadine and Yaron met me there for a couple of drinks and I was feeling a bit tired. I also needed to make a work call so I went back to my room thinking that the evening was over. The call lasted literally 5 minutes and I was just getting my second wind as it was only late afternoon Texas time. A friend from Ireland was in town for the fest and let me know he was around the corner at the Cat House. They were mostly playing 90s hard rock and such and it wasn’t too great but we did run into Blaze Bayley. I’d met him a few times in Austin when he would come through for pre-tour rehearsal shows. We spoke for a few minutes, snapped a photo and that was that. I had enough of that place and decided to find another pub. There is a pub on every corner in this city, I swear. I fell into Denholm’s Bar where some karaoke was going down. I had a good buzz and ended up doing Gordon Lightfoot’s Sundown. It was a hit! Haha. I did stop at a fish and chips place nearby and chowed down in my room. Delicious! Finally off to bed for the long day on Saturday.

I woke up around 9AM which was painful due to the time difference and finally pulled myself out of bed and showered then went upstairs to the breakfast buffet. Scrambled eggs, English bacon and sausage. What, no hot sauce? Back to the room for a bit then went out exploring the area after getting a sugar free Red Bull from the quickie mart. Found a couple of record stores which had nothing of interest and contacted my friend Raul who was in from Chicago. We went to the nearby Waterloo and had a couple of beers. His friend Fernando was also in from Chicago and he joined us. Shortly after Nadine and Yaron came in as well. I’m about to turn 52 and we were the youngest people in the pub! After a couple of drinks, I decided to go to the venue which was around the corner and get my wristbands. Ivory Blacks is a decent sized venue and I just hung out for a bit checking out the merch and such.

Spartan Warrior was on first and I was pretty stoked to see them and grabbed a spot on the rail. Their 1984 self-titled album is a favorite of mine and I spent many a night doing homework listening to that record and staring at the album cover. It wasn’t until 2 decades later that I heard the debut Steel N’ Chains and it is also fantastic. I will go on record to say that I hadn’t listened to their recent stuff but it sounded great live. The only song from the S/T record that they played was Assassin and it really took me back in time and ran some chills up my spine. That was a strange and tough era of my life and this album helped me quite a bit. I had known Neil Wilkinson online for a few years and it was great to finally meet him in person. I was just recently connected with his brother David and it was nice meeting him as well. The whole band sounded great and David handed me a setlist after their set.

After their set as I’m walking to the back of the venue, I see my dear friend and one of my most favorite people, Brian Ross from Satan/Blitzkrieg. I was hoping to see him in the States this year but it looks like that’s not going to pan out. I gave him a big hug and said, “You’re not coming to me, so I had to come to you!” He introduced me to his son Alan who shares guitar duties in Blitzkrieg. Great guy and I can tell that Brian is very proud of him. I asked Brian if he was going to do either of his Avenger tracks with them but he said it never came up in conversation. That would have been cool! We talked about the new Satan record a little bit as well. It’s fantastic and if you’re a fan, you’ll love it.

Right about this time Jarvis from Night Demon showed up. Always great to see good friends away from home. He’s spending a lot of time in N. Ireland these days and I got to meet and spend time with his girl. She’s pretty awesome.

I have Avenger’s debut LP, but it’s not something that I’ve listened to very much. Their set was solid and Ian Swift’s vocals sounded great. He was also in Satan briefly.

Tytan was up next and delivered a very solid set. I’ve owned Rough Justice a couple of times but it never really connected with me. They played 6 tracks from it as well as some newer material.

Holocaust was up next and as legendary as they are, they’re another band that never did much for me. The Nightcomers is a solid album, but barely gets any play in my house. They played most of that album and the crowd really loved them.

I moved back up front to catch Brian and Blitzkrieg. They spread the setlist around playing 3 songs off of A Time of Changes and some of their other albums. The band sounded great and both guitarists were on fire, but I really need to give it up to the drummer, Matthew Graham. He was absolutely whipping up a frenzy behind the kit and all smiles the whole night. Brian’s voice sounded great as well, which is not shocking. They also played Pull The Trigger, and early Satan cut that Ian Swift co-wrote. Brian said from the stage that he offered to have him come up and sing it but that Swifty couldn’t remember the words. Haha. It was great to see Blitzkrieg and they said they’re trying to fit a USA tour in somewhere when Satan’s not playing here. That would be cool.

Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper closed out the night playing songs from all 5 Reaper albums, relying heavily on the first 3. Steve’s voice sounded great and the band was solid, although the drummer seemed to have a few issues here and there. Not sure what was up. It didn’t matter. Steve worked the crowd well with the singalong parts and it was as fun as ever seeing him. Steve’s a true warrior and I thought he was done for when he lost his leg a few years back. So glad that he’s still at and still able to rock us to hell!

The show finished up around 1030PM and the after party was slated to run until 3AM. Brian stated that they had to drive back to Newcastle that night so there was only one thing to do…ORDER SOME FIREMEISTERS! It’s a drink that Brian introduced me to that his son Alan apparently concocted. I think I actually dubbed the name on one of the US Satan tours, but can’t remember. The Firemeister is a full shot each of Jager and Fireball mixed…MIXED. Yes, it’s a bit disgusting but if that’s what Brian’s drinking, so am I! Sadly we only had time to knock 2 of them back. We said our goodbyes and snapped a photo in front of the venue in the cold ass rain. I was hoping for more hang time but I’ll take what I can get. It was just a pleasure to see him again and to finally meet his son.

After they left, I stayed until about 145AM drinking some beers and shots with Jarvis, Nadine, Yaron, Laura and whoever else landed in our little group. It was a total blast. I also met a bunch of locals who were great, especially Georgia who was super sweet. I was getting tired and also hungry as I hadn’t really eaten since lunch, so back to the fish and chips place. This time I just got the fish, no chips. So goddamned good.

Once back into my room, I was starting to fade pretty fast and crashed out.

On Sunday morning I got up and hit breakfast again and tried their haggis for the first time. While it wasn’t terrible, it’s not something that I’ll be seeking out if I ever go back. I went back to my room and chilled for a little bit, very tired still but finally got up, showered and walked around the city a little bit. I had an appointment nearby to get my covid test so I could travel back to the States on Monday. Once I found that place and got my test done, I meandered around for a while and found the Grosvenor casino. Even though it was Sunday at noon, I expected the place be filled with people but it wasn’t. It was empty. I asked the guy at the front desk about poker and he said they were having a tournament at 2PM and he got me signed up as a member of the casino. I walked around for a bit longer just checking out side streets and such away from the city centre and market areas. Cold and rainy. That was really the theme of the day. I wasn’t quite prepared for it and the jacket that I bought looks good, but it’s not really warm at all. D’oh. I went back to the casino at 2PM and went downstairs into the poker room to register for the tourney. I was the only person down there. “Probably just have a cash game with some folks in a little while. Hang around and I’ll come find you.” So I went and played some video roulette and won a little bit of money. The poker manager found me and said they had enough people to start the tourney, so I bought in for the 50 British Pounds.

It was quite interesting as it was a self-deal tournament to start off with, not to mention that some of the folks didn’t really understand tournament rules, but I fought through it. All in all there were only 10 players and a few bought in twice, and one novice kid who was absolutely terrible, bought in 3 times. I knocked him out twice. He did cripple my stack once with a horrible call, but that’s poker. I ended taking second place for 160 Pounds and David took first for about 300. He was a really good player overall.

The tourney ended around 545PM and I ended up meeting up with Raul and Fernando at Solid Rock again. We had some beers and dinner and met a couple of Englishmen who were also at the show. Nice chatty guys. I stayed until about 9PM or so and was feeling pretty tired. My flight the next morning was at 605AM so I need to get some sleep and get up early so I set my alarms for 3AM, 315AM and 330AM. Much to my own dismay, I woke up at 430AM with my alarm just going off for an hour and a half apparently. FUCK! Luckily I had everything packed and I just threw on my clothes and got an Uber to the airport. I was stressing pretty hard as I had to check in, go through security and make it to my gate. I had gotten there as they were half boarded. PHEW! After arriving back in Amsterdam, our gate changed seemingly at the last minute and then we were delayed getting off the ground by a half hour. This shortened the time just enough that I’d not be able to claim my bag and get through customs and security to make my connecting flight home. DAMMIT! So I ended up with a 3.5hr layover in Atlanta. I found a bar and had a light meal and a couple of beers and headed off to my gate…which had again changed at the last minute so I had to hustle to another side of the terminal to get to my flight. I made it back to my house right around 10PM and had been awake for about 24hrs and of course it took me a couple of hours to fall asleep.

All in all it was a great trip even though I never really got to see much of Glasgow. Seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones always feels great and especially seeing some legendary bands. Many have asked if I brought The Book and the answer is no. I thought about it but wasn’t sure how conducive it would have been to bring it along. I totally should have as I could have added a slew of sigs to it and taken it back to my hotel without missing any of the bands live. Oh well.

It was windy, cold and rainy pretty much the whole time but we did see the sun for about an hour on Saturday morning. People were literally standing on the streets trying to take as much of it in as they could and it did feel good until the wind started ripping again.

Anywhere I went and after hearing me speak, people always ask where I am in from and as soon as I would say Texas, I’d generally get asked the same question…”How many guns do you own?” I was asked that question no less than 20 times. At that poker game, we had a good discussion about it and I told them I only owned 2. “Two assault rifles?” one guy asked. I replied that all rifles are essentially assault rifles, but no, just a .410 shotgun I’d had since I was 10 and a 9mm that I hadn’t taken out of the drawer in years. I told them I’m not an ‘ammosexual’ but I know many who are and glorify their ownership of guns. I think it’s quite stupid, really. It’s also a bit embarrassing that that’s the first thing they think of the USA.

Written by The Metal Files

March 1, 2022 at 2:14 pm

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Hysteria – Night Closes In Review

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What’s this?  Another new US metal band?  Don’t we have enough already?  When will the madness end?  The answer is: HOPEFULLY NEVER!  Especially when you have quality acts like Hysteria popping up.

Let’s face facts, Hysteria is not really that new. I mean the band is but the players are not. They are a culmination of the Bay Area’s Hell Fire and Fresno’s Haunt, both bands  are road dogs and shouldn’t be a secret to anyone who even moderately keeps up with American metal bands.

Now on to real business.  Night Closes In is the first release from Hysteria and comes out swinging. Solid straight up metal from the opener to the closer. To be honest, it does sound like a mix of Haunt and Hell Fire, which is a good thing.

I’m on my third listen and I think the album gets stronger as it progresses. with tracks 4-7 taking total control of the over album.  Look Alive, Eyes Open and Death Consumes Me are certainly my favorites but the album has a very good flow to it overall and the closer, Soldiers of Tribulation, is a slow roller and closes the album perfectly. The album is filled with solid memorable riffs and tasty solos, as expected from these two guitarists.

Production on the album is solid, my only complaint would be in the way the vocals were mixed. I really like Jake’s vocals in Hell Fire and they do sound good on this Hysteria album, but I think they ended up with a too many effects/layering/etc on his vocals, almost in a Ripper Owens kind of way. But it’s only a minor drawback for me and live they’ll cut right through everything like he does in Hell Fire. Vocal production on most new releases has been a pet peeve of mine for the last 15 years or so.  Damned digital age! haha.

Make no mistake about Hysteria, though. This album is worth owning and I’ve linked their Bandcamp page above so you can give them a listen yourself and, for now, buy their download. Can’t wait to see them live!

Tracks:

  1. Graveyard
  2. Prophets of the Void
  3. One Year
  4. Night Closing In
  5. Death Consumes Me
  6. Look Alive
  7. Open Eyes
  8. Soldiers of Tribulation

Band:
Jake Nunn-Vocals/Guitar (Hell Fire)
John Tucker-Guitar (Haunt)
Trevor Church-Bass (Haunt)
Mike Smith-Drums (Hell Fire)

hysteria night

Written by The Metal Files

October 29, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Iron Maiden Concert Review, Mexico City, Mexico, September 29, 2019

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As of this past Sunday I’ve seen Iron Maiden 10 times since the Seventh Son Tour in 1988.  In general, that doesn’t seem like a lot.  I was supposed to see Somewhere on Tour but my grades were shit so I wasn’t able to go.  I’ve also missed a few other opportunities over the years. In the last few weeks I had tickets to see them in Las Vegas and San Antonio but life and work got in the way and I had to sell my tickets. While I made a profit off of them, being at the shows would have been way cooler. It is cool, however that I have seen Iron Maiden in 4 different states (VA, TX, NC and CO) and Sunday night I saw them in another country…FUCKING MEXICO!

Since seeing the Flight 666 documentary, I’ve wanted to see them in a Latin American country. It’s such a different vibe and energy. I was hoping for them to play Bogota Colombia this tour as I have friends down there but no such luck. They are playing some South American shows but I had to “settle” for Mexico City, a place that I am already familiar with and love so much. So let’s just move on to my weekend in DF.

I flew out of San Antonio Saturday morning on Interjet as Southwest no longer flies to Mexico City. It wasn’t a bad flight at all and you get free tequila if you ask for it!  Si por favor! After getting through customs quickly, I took Uber to my favorite record store, Dejalo Ser Records. Elia remembered me from previous visits and I picked up some Japanese pressings. From there I went to a book store that was also a Ticketmaster outlet and picked up my 3 tickets. Originally my quierida amiga Soledad and her boyfriend were supposed to attend with me but work took her out of town at the last minute. I offered them to several other friends but all of them either didn’t want to go or were seeing them on one of the other 2 nights they were playing there. In the end, a friend of a friend bought them from me so that worked out.

After getting my tix, I headed to my hotel to check in a relax for a little bit. I had stayed there previously and was quickly remembered by the staff. “Rockero!” Shortly after, Claudia contacted me and said they were at Bar El Espanol which is right next to El Chopo which was already closed for the day.  I got a ride there and walked up the steps and immediately ran into some friends before seeing Peter and Claudia. Marco handed me a 40oz of Leon, which is the only beer they sell in this bar and the only size. Toma!

I found my other friends, got introduced to a ton of other people, finished my beer then went over to a big ass mall to eat at a restaurant. It was good and I had a couple too many mojitos. Haha.  From there we rode over to the club HDX Circus where Japan’s Metalucifer was playing. I am 0% a fan but knew a lot of friends would be there. We missed Lead Soldier (CdMx) but The Ripper (CdMx) was playing.  They were pretty solid. Up next was Hellmidian (Oaxaca) and I really liked them.  They had an early Helloween vibe to them. I had a couple of beers here after meeting a ton of new people and then a couple of Jack and Cokes.  The placed filled up quickly as the Nefilheim show had ended. I think the club had Metalucifer wait just a bit until that crowd had time to get there from the other show. By the time the second song started, I remembered why I disliked the band so much.  Every song is about heavy metal…heavy metal is my way, heavy metal drill, heavy metal chainsaw, heavy metal bulldozer.  You get the idea. I was also getting pretty tired.  I was a long ass day.  I pulled the Irish Exit and just left without saying goodbye to anyone and got a ride back to my hotel. I did have a great time at the show overall, though. Peter knows everyone and introduced me to everyone. Very cool and always a pleasure to see him. I first met him in Chicago before one of the Ragnarokkr fests. Great guy. Once I got to the hotel, I fell right to sleep.

The next morning wasn’t great.  La Verganza de Moctezuma. It kept me sort of strapped to the hotel until I got things under control. I slept a little more, finally ate something and showered and headed over to the venue. I checked out the 1000s of bootleg merchandise items then met up with Jorge who was to buy my spare tickets.

Upon entry into the venue, I got in the official merch line to try and get a shirt. It was like a rugby scrum in there. It was so packed and shifted around like mad. Felt like the crowd at the 87 Testament show.  Nuts. Unfortunately, I didn’t get what I wanted as they sold out of the Mexico City shirts before I got up there.

Raven Age opened and I completely missed them. I had seen them before.  Not into it.

Then Transylvania started with the Legend of the Beast Game video playing followed immediately by UFO’s Doctor Doctor. The crowd went nuts. I didn’t go deep into the crowd, probably about ¾ the way back stage left side. The sound was pretty awful so I put in my earplugs and it cleaned everything up perfectly. For the first 2 songs, all I saw were camera phones which was a bit annoying but it pretty much dissipated.

Iron Maiden is pretty much on-fucking-fire these days. The energy they have on stage is unmatched. Bruce sounded great. He knows his range and stayed in it. I’ve said this before in Maiden reviews, but Nicko should have his own cam/screen 100% of the show. He’s still the best.  His right foot is insane.

The band has fun on stage in general.  Dave and Adrian are pretty stoic and Gers is Gers. He seemed a little less annoying that night in general.

Definite highlights for me were Revelations, Where Eagles Dare, 2 Minutes To Midnight, Flight of Icarus and The Evil That Men Do. Certainly I could do without many of the songs in the setlist, but it didn’t matter. I was there in the crowd with 25,999 friends in Mexico. So many times it seemed that the crowd just became one, everyone singing along together. The passion down there is way different than in the states. I certainly noticed it when I saw King Billy and Helloween down there.

Per usual, I did walk out to pee when Fear of the Dark was played. I grabbed a double shot of tequila and went back in the crowd and knocked it back during The Number of the Beast.

It was quite different being in that crowd alone. I had a few friends there but only saw one of them briefly before the show. But even with no friends next to me, I was amongst all friends.

Overall the show was awesome, probably in the top 5 Maiden shows I’ve ever seen.

UP THE IRONS!

On the way out I did grab a bootleg shirt and waited for Uber to pick me up. At the bus stand I waited at, there were a few cops muddling around. One of them asked me, “Como te fue?” Divertido senor! As I waited for the car, this guy came up to me and said in Spanish, “Sir, can you help me? Don’t worry, I won’t do anything with all of these police standing here.” I said that I wasn’t worried with or without them. He showed me a piece of paper that basically said he needed some gas money. I thought it was odd that he didn’t just ask for it directly. I responded in Spanish that I couldn’t help him and this is where it got funny. He says, “I’m a Christian, you must help me.” I laughed and said “No creo en nadie!”  His eyes got really big and he actually ran off.  Weird. I guess my heresy scared him off.

My Uber driver was super cool. He was seeing Maiden the next night and asked me about the show. Then when he saw where I asked him to take me, La Casa de Tono restaurant, he said, “Buena eleccion!” or good choice!

I was super hungry by that point and got pozole, a pibil taco, a tinga quesadilla (different than quesadillas in the USA) and a michelada preparada. All of it was fucking delicious and less than $8.  WHAT?!?!?!  Love that place.

I walked back to my hotel, about 3-4 blocks from Tono’s and got a mescal at the bar. It was a higher end one and cost more than my whole meal but so worth it.  Smooth, smoky, and with the naranja y sal de gusano (orange with worm salt), it was the perfect nightcap to a wonderful night.

The next morning I slept in a little.  I didn’t sleep that well overall for whatever reason. After showering and packing I just went ahead and checked out since I missed the hotel breakfast. I went around the corner to the 7-11 and got a red bull and some galletas and hopped in a car to hit some record stores. I hit Retroactivo, Roma Records and a place called Music En Vinyl which was on the walk between the  last 2 stores. Not sure how I missed it before but it was a cool place and I picked up a few LPs. After the record stores, I was feeling wiped out so I just went to the airport and chilled out at a bar. The flight back was smooth as was my drive back to Austin from San Antonio.

As always, it was a great time in Mexico City. I truly love it down there and am already looking forward to another trip with less of an agenda to see and do more stuff.

Orale!

Iron Maiden Setlist Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City, Mexico 2019, Legacy of the Beast

Written by The Metal Files

October 2, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tanith – In Another Time Album Review 10/10

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Tanith hit “the scene” in early 2018 with the release of their Citadel EP and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the band is co-fronted by one of Satan’s axemen, Russ Tippins and his girlfriend Cindy Maynard on bass and rounded out with Charles Newton on guitars and Keith Robinson on drums.

One of Tanith’s main principles in recording is that everything has to be done analog and it comes across clearly in their debut full length In Another Time released just recently on Metal Blade Records. While I’ve had the digital *gasp* files for a while, listening to the vinyl pressing this week on my 70s Pioneer turntable and receiver just sets me right. The recording is so warm and natural.  The 70s vibe is certainly there and they certainly reached their goal in the sound of the record.

The album has 9 tracks total, all of which I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen live on a couple of occasions.  The album is really special in that it’s not a metal record at all, but a melodic piece of art that just about any fan of hard rock can enjoy.  The ongoing comparisons to Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash and maybe a little early Thin Lizzy are legit but they have their thing going for them.  The best part is that none of this sounds contrived.  It’s one issue I have with a lot of the New Wave of Traditional Metal bands is that many try to hard to sound like they were from the 80s and it just ends up sounding like cheese. Again, Tanith isn’t a metal band, but their 70s rock sound and lyrics don’t sound like they were trying hard to fit that era.  It all sounds very natural.

Cindy and Russ’ vocals work together perfectly on this record and I love the mix overall.  Russ and Charles’ guitars circle around each other perfectly throughout the record.  Keith and Cindy’s rhythm section is spot on and natural.  Nothing is left out, meaning all instruments and vocals sound up front and clear and it’s quite refreshing. Their musical style lends to that as well.

I have no problem giving this 10/10 and it’s certainly one of the top releases of 2019. Top 3 tracks for me are Wing of the Owl, Cassini’s Deadly Plunge and Dionysus. Citadel and Eleven Years are the same recordings from the EP, but mixed a bit differently (I think?).  I also love those songs.  Let’s face it, I love the whole damned thing and can’t wait to see them live again.  Maybe one day they’ll add the song The Rock Stands Tall to an upcoming release.  While it was originally an early never-recorded Satan song, it fit their sound perfectly.

Listen for yourself.  DO IT.

Written by The Metal Files

June 4, 2019 at 9:44 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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