The Metal Files

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Y&T Concert Review, Austin, TX, April 14, 2017

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Sorry to all 8 of my faithful readers, I’ve been super slack in keeping up with show reviews lately but trying to get my ass in gear again.

A strange thing happened Friday night in Austin, TX.  A couple of things actually.  Let’s just line these out:

  1. Y&T played in downtown Austin
  2. Y&T played an almost full house
  3. Y&T did not play San Antonio on this current tour

You may not see these things as strange, but San Antonio seemingly has had a lock on many of the classic hard rock and metal bands that still tour.  Y&T has played there at least 6 times in the last decade and hadn’t played Austin since 1987.  As many know, San Antonio had a legendary DJ named Joe Anthony who helped make a lot of bands popular in San Antonio and elsewhere for that matter.  He did a lot for the scene and even years after his death (RIP), San Antonio still holds that era near and dear to their hearts, and rightfully so.

But it’s nice to see that the winds are changing a little bit.  When this show was booked at one of Austin’s newer venues, 3Ten, I was a bit surprised.  It’s in the fancier part of downtown attached to the W Hotel and Austin City Limits Live.  I was really wondering how attendance would be for this location.  To be honest, I imagined about 50-60 would show up.

I’d not been to this venue yet but took a ride into downtown loaded with my Y&T vinyl and ready to rock with Meniketti and Co.  Upon arrival, I ran into some good friends and in we went.  The venue is just basically an open box with the stage at the far end and a bar on the right side.  But it’s a nice place and obviously owned by ACL Live.

There was no opening act and Y&T hit the stage promptly at 9.  As we were getting our spots near the stage, we were all surprised by how many people were filling in.  I was shocked.  I would have expected this show to be booked at Dirty Dog or Grizzly Hall but whatever, this was a good thing.  They hit the stage and dove right into Lipstick and Leather and followed that up with Don’t Stop Runnin’, which is my favorite song by them and easily in my top 20 songs all time by any band.  I had goosebumps through the whole song.  So many great memories of that song from a time long gone.

The band sounded great.  They mix up the setlists every night but keeping most of the hits in there.  Every song was great.  The band have been road warriors since their inception and it shows in how tight they are.  Upon introducing Winds of Change, Dave mentioned the recent deaths of original members Joey Alves and Leonard Haze and of Phil Kennemore in 2011.  That’s got to be hard knowing you’re the only one left.

They totally killed it though.  Their backing vocals are great and Meniketti is an underrated guitar god.

This may sound goofy but I was proud of this town for showing up and it was obvious a lot of long time fans were there as you could hear people singing along all throughout the venue.  Granted one of their biggest cheers came from Summertime Girls, which I understand, but they had so many great songs.  Of course people were just calling out song titles in between songs and Dave asked a girl in a wheelchair down front what she wanted to hear.  She asked for Let Me Go and Dave said they had only played that 10 times or less since it came out…then they nailed it.  Someone else had yelled out “Game Playing Woman!” from the first album.  Dave laughed and started playing the riff.  The other guitarist and drummer fell right in perfectly.  The new bassist didn’t know that one.  They only did a piece of it but it was impressive seeing Dave just whip it out off the cuff and still remember the riffs and words.

After the show, Dave came out to hang with the fans.  It’s always great hearing his stories and he loves to talk about the olden days.  Since I had a stack of stuff to get signed, I hung back to let folks say hi, get photos and such.  He was super gracious signing my 7 LP covers and their 2010 CD cover.  He talked about how extremely happy that they were about the show and that he was a little worried about attendance but that from now on, he’s planning to book Austin instead of San Antonio for future tours.  Score!  He said the last few shows down there weren’t very well attended or as enthusiastic as this one.

One observation:  what’s with dudes my age and up in bedazzled jeans and shirts?

It was a great show all around and I highly recommend seeing them.  If you weren’t a fan before, I guarantee you’ll be one after the show.

Written by The Metal Files

April 16, 2017 at 11:27 am

Uli John Roth Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, February, 11, 2017

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Just another typical Uli Roth concert?  Hardly.  One major difference was that John West is no longer in the band.  I thought that he did a fine job with them.  His replacement was the third guitarist from last year’s show, whose name I don’t recall.  He was on bass now after the passing of Elliot Rubinson.  Wow, can this guy sing.  I noted in the review from last year’s show that his backing vocals we stellar and his was great.  There is only one Kalus Meine and both John West and this guy are fine performers.

This tour is dubbed Tokyo Tales Revisited and they played a great selection of Scoprions classics throwing in a couple of deeper cuts like Yellow Raven, Hell Cat and I’ve Got To Be Free.  Overall a great setlist minus the Hendrix songs.  Not much more to say except that Uli is still incredible and his touring band is great.

Written by The Metal Files

February 13, 2017 at 9:52 am

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On Meeting Bassist Hal Patino of Maryann Cotton/King Diamond

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Found out at the Udo show that Hal Patino’s new band, Maryann Cotton was playing downtown Austin on Sunday afternoon at Key Bar.  Weird spot for it but whatever.  Hal played for King Diamond beginning on the Them album.  I was fortunate enough to see that tour in 1988 at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  Great show!

I parked and walked to Key Bar and got there before the band showed up.  A local rock band was playing at the time.  After the band loaded in, they were just hanging out smoking and I walked up to Hal and asked if he would mind signing some stuff.  “Show me!”  So I whipped out The Book, a couple of CD covers and the Conspiracy album cover and he signed them all and took a photo with me.  After I took everything back to my vehicle, I went back and bought a round of shots for the band.  All great guys.  Maryann is Hal’s son.

Maryann Cotton went on while the sun was still up and played a good rock set of mostly originals and a few covers.  Robert Wagner, son of legendary producer Dick Wagner, is friends with the band and did a song with them.  It was totally fun and that W 6th St crowd seemed confused about what was going on.

Would definitely like to see them again.

Written by The Metal Files

January 31, 2017 at 2:43 pm

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Dirkschneider Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, January 27, 2017

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I’ve been slack on my reviews lately.

Friday night Udo’s band called Dirkschneider came to San Antonio on their Back to the Roots Tour.  Udo stated that this is the last time he’ll do any Accept songs ever again.

We had to arrive by 6PM for the pre-show meet and greet and it was a crowd of about 30.  I brought all of my Accept vinyl and “The Book” only to be told as we were going in that we were allowed just 2 items each.  I recruited some people in line around us to help get stuff signed.  Many were just there for the photo op.  I appreciated their help and bought them all a beer once inside the venue.  When it was my turn I had Fitty originally from the German band Bullet sign the Book and also had Rodney’s Bullet LP.  He thought it was great to see and Udo and his son teased him about the photo on the back.  As he was signing the book, I asked him to just across the Bullet entry as I’d likely never meet anyone else from the band.  He said, “That’s right because they’re all fucking dead!”

Udo signed the Book and whatever Accept album I had in my hand and we did a quick photo.  I mentioned seeing U.D.O. at Jaxx with Raven about 15 years or so ago.  “That was a fun tour.”  Nice fella.

We were ushered back out of the venue and we went to grab some food.  Jessikill opened the show and we caught maybe their last two songs.  Recently reactivated 80s San Antonio metal band, Syrus, was up next.  They played a solid set of older and newer songs but the sound man was doing them no favors.  Awfully mixed out front.  Other long time SA band, Byfist, was next and played a solid set.  They’ve got a strong fan base.

And then Dirkschneider.  They opened with Starlight, Living for Tonight and Flash Rockin’ Man and the crowd was singing along to everything.  The band was tight and at 64, Udo’s voice sounded absolutely fucking stellar.  How is that even possible?  He was spot on.  Then London Leatherboys came on and the crowd went nuts, including me.  They played song after song from the back catalog and I don’t think any album was left out except for the debut.  They played 24 songs in total and his voice never wavered.  Just perfect.  It was a joy to hear all of those classics live and his band executed them perfectly.  I would have added the song Russian Roulette, but it didn’t matter.  It was a great show.

Written by The Metal Files

January 30, 2017 at 11:21 am

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Merry Christmas!

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lemmy

Written by The Metal Files

December 25, 2016 at 12:47 pm

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Billy Joel Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, December 9, 2016

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Seems like it’s been forever since I’ve posted a review.  I’ve been busy working out of town and haven’t been able to see as much in the last 2 months.

I had never seen Billy Joel before but have loved him since I was a kid, especially The Stranger album.  Great one from front to back.  I was surprised whe I read up on his current band lineup that he has both Chuck Burgi and David Rosenthal playing drums and keyboards, respectively.  They were both on my favorite Rainbow album, Bent Out of Shape. I sent a message to Chuck a week before the show to see if maybe we could meet and have him sign my Rainbow stuff, but never heard back.  Worth a shot, eh?

We had seats behind the stage and while we had a great view of Billy, I could only see Chuck’s cymbals, which was a bummer.  He sounded great though.  The entire band was great and especially Billy’s vocals.  I didn’t expect him to hit some of the notes he hit and to still sing so clearly.

He was pretty jovial with the crowd and in three spots, the crowd would get to decide on which song would be played next.  He’d offer up 2 songs and the one with the loudest applause got played.  He also played a bunch of snippets of Texas artists like ZZ Top, Buddy Holly and Janis Joplin.  They also did Highway to Hell with one of the roadies on vocals and Billy played rhythm guitar.  He played it in a couple of songs.

Overall the show was great and highlights were all 5 songs from The Stranger (unfortunately he didn’t play the title track), Sometimes a Fantasy which I hadn’t though about in 20 years, Vienna, Miami 2017, and The Ballad of Billy the Kid.

Written by The Metal Files

December 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Queensryche & Armored Saint Concert Review, San Antonio, November 22, 2016

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I’ve been working in Houston during the week lately and have missed some shows that I wanted to see lately as I cross paths with the bands while traveling between Austin and Houston.  Missing Diamond Head hurt a little.  Even though I’m not a huge fan, I have always wanted to see them live.  Such is life.

I picked up tix for Leanne, Rodney and myself and headed to Alamo City Music Hall.  I don’t like this venue at all.  The sound is horrible and stage lighting for the bands just sucks, but they get quality shows so that’ll keep me coming back.  As we arrived I got in touch with Armored Saint guitarist, Jeff Duncan, who I’ve known for some years.  We hung outside at their bus for a little while while the opening band played.  Great dude, killer guitarist.

We caught the last few songs of Midnight Eternal.  They were listenable keyboard-heavy metal.  After a quick set change, Saint came out an executed their short set flawlessly.  Bush’s voice was squarely in tact and the whole band was on fire.  I just wish the sound in that place wasn’t so shitty.  I really like Saint’s latest album, Win Hands Down, and they opened with that track.  They mixed the set up from some of the other shows so we didn’t get Last Train Home or Nervous Man, two of my favorites, but it didn’t detract from their performance.

Queensryche was up next and I hadn’t seen them with Todd yet.  Overall I’m not a huge fan of anything of theirs post-Rage for Order.  I know I’m in the metal minority when I say I don’t care much for Operation Mindcrime.  While the band played perfectly and Todd sounded absolutely amazing, we were both pretty bored and left during their 4th song.  I did get to hear Best I Can, which I do like a lot.  Again, sound is such a huge issue with this place.

Looked like about 400ish people were there which is a good showing for a Tuesday night.