Archive for the ‘virginia’ Category
Upon waking up Sunday morning, totally parched and tired, Kelz and I got our stuff together and headed South towards Richmond. He was a little slower than me that morning so I drove us to Vienna, VA to stop at Vienna Music Exchange. I had met the owner, Mike, the night before and had been wanting to stop in there for quite some time. After some traffic snags headed down that way, we finally got to the store and I scored some cool stuff.
From there it was down to Richmond to Petey’s and Amy’s house. By that time, I was starting to fade a bit. I didn’t sleep that well and was quite tired by the time we got to Richmond. Petey was ready to party by the time we got there and I succumbed to doing a shot, which helped immensely even though it was tough to get down. After a couple of hours of catching up, we decided to head towards the venue and grab some quick grub at the restaurant next to The Broadberry. Our other friend, Danile, was supposed to come up for this one but unfortunately had to back out.
Upon arrival in the venue, I see Ryan and Felix from BAT. Good dudes. Richmond locals, Humungus, opened the show and musically and vocally I thought they were great. Petey said they had a bit of a Heathen vibe and I don’t disagree. Both the singer and guitarist did great harmony falsetto work and the bassist and drummer held the rhythm down just fine. The only thing I didn’t like about them was their lyrical content. Pretty silly for the some of what I could make out. Shark Castle. Drinkin’ Beer. Solid band overall and I wouldn’t mind seeing them again.
BAT was up next and delivered their Venom-esque set flawlessly as they always do. I love watching Felix Griffin play drums as he’s just a mean machine back there. I was getting pretty tired so I sat for part of their set. As I was at the table in the back of the venue, got to hang out with Mr. Ross a bit more. Sorry again, Brian, but no more Jager mixers for me!
I didn’t go up front for Cauldron. I just can’t get into them. As I mentioned in a previous review, their sound is just too thin.
And then…Satan. They had a bigger stage this time and could move around a bit. Since Danile couldn’t make it, Petey drew his face on a plastic cup and we set it at the end of the stage so he could be there in spirit. Satan got a couple of songs in and then Steve blew his head. During the change out, Russ and Sean just did a little Voodoo Child rendition and then it was right back into the set. We got a full set that night as they were shortened by a curfew or anything. Again, they were awesome. The crowd had thinned out a bit as it was a Sunday night but we remained up front for the whole set. Much like the Philly show, I had to get barraged by a person who smelled like hell. This guy smelled like a chicken house. It was fucking gross, especially when he started swinging his dreadlocks around. Luckily he only stayed up for a couple of songs, but goddamn, bathe please.
And just like that, it was over. I could already feel that little bit of sadness coming on. But it was a wonderful weekend overall with 2 of my lifelong closest friends. I couldn’t ask for much more than that.
I called for a Lyft ride to get us back to Petey’s and NWOBHM legend, John Gallagher of Raven, was our fucking driver! I saw him at the show as he’s old chums with the Satan guys. We were totally surprised and happy to have a familiar face take us home. I’ve met John several times and he’s always a gentleman. I think it was a fitting ending to the night.
Back at Petey’s house, we sat up and hatted for a bit longer and finished off his wife’s homemade beef jerky. Delicious! Then off to bed. Kelz had to get up and be on the road to Raleigh by 830, Petey had to work and Amy, Petey’s wife, had an appt, so not much sleeping in time. Amy took me the airport and that was that. Mitchfest over. I had a lengthy layover in Atlanta and my flight got delayed. Part of me was hoping for a cancellation as Satan was in town that night, too. It would have been great to catch a third show, but alas, no luck.
Long live Satan. Hope they come back in 2017. I’m hoping to catch Graeme and Steve in the Slyclad reunion in Germany and will definitely see Brian’s Alice Cooper tribute next fall in Newcastle.
Written by The Metal Files
October 27, 2016 at 6:16 pm
What a whirlwind of shows I have been though in the last couple of weeks. I’m tired. So tired. But it’s a good tired and my music fetish is being well served lately.
So ‘back in the day’ cerca 1984, my friend Daniel (Danile) bought Satan’s Court in the Act and shared it with Kelz, Petey and me and the rest is metal history. I’ve loved this album since it first hit my ears. Brian Ross’ vocals mixed with those awesome NWOBHM styled riffs made for a perfect album. The 4 of us have always been close friends, played in bands together and never lost touch over the years. We’re bound by metal, friendship, life events (good and bad) and have always been there for one another as needed.
Flash forward 30 years and the 4 of us still adore this album. When Satan announced a small US tour, there was no way I was going to miss it. I knew that I’d have to travel somewhere and luckily Richmond, VA was on the list…surprisingly so. So we started planning the trip. Kelz and Danile have kids and going out of town on a weeknight was going to be a little more difficult because of family and work obligations but they made it happen. I’m sure there was some sort of bribery or Jedi mind tricks with their wives. And that was that. Another MitchFest was in the works, this time with all 4 of us. I flew into Raleigh and stayed Monday night with Kelz and the fambly. Always great hospitality at their house. Tuesday morning we headed to Suffolk, VA to grab Danile and quickly headed up ti Petey’s house in Richmond. Unfortunately the wife and kids were out on errands so I didn’t get to see them this time. The car ride was as expected. Mama jokes, old stories of our younger years, gushing about metal etc. Before getting to Richmond, we decided to stop and grab a bite to eat at a BBQ place in Chester, VA. I love the NC/VA style of pork BBQ. I can’t get it in Texas. My sandwich was perfect, exactly what I needed.
We get to Petey’s and are greeted by his awesome wife, Amy. He gets home shortly after and after some adult conversation and life and things that matter, the roundtable of silliness begins again. We’re perpetually 13 years old when we’re all together and it’s a great time. Now it’s time to get ready for the show.
Satan are playing Strange Matter in Richmond which used to be Twisters and then later Nancy Raygun. I’ve seen a handful of shows there since the mid-90s and always like the place. It used to be a bit of a dump, but it had its charm. It’s been cleaned up quite a bit and I’m glad that location is still doing shows. Before going in, we park then grub at a pub on the next block. Just a good time having a meal and a couple of beers with my best friends.
We walk back over to the venue, get our swag out of the car and go in. I see my pal Tony “Dio” from NC who I’ve known since about 1997 when we met at a Judas Priest show in Norfolk. I had just seen him the week before at Rangarokkr. As we’re standing around jibber jabbering, I see John Gallagher from Raven walk in. How cool is that? I’ve never been a fan of the band but I did have lunch with him and his brother and their families in 2000 before their show at Jaxx in Springfield, VA. Nicest guy. I check out the merch table to hopefully get a Satan shirt, but no luck in my size. The cool thing was seeing my band’s 7″ on the merch table. Our label was managing the Satan tour so it was great to meet those guys.
The first band to go on is Salvacion, a band from NC which has the drummer for Volture. They were OK. I couldn’t quite gauge exactly what they were going for. The did a very uncomfortable version of Dokken’s Unchain The Night. I think I would have enjoyed them more if it wasn’t for the drummer. I get into that a little bit more when I talk about Volture.
Next up was BAT which features Felix Griffin (DRI) on drums and Ryan Waste (Municipal Waste/Volture) on vocals/bass and Volture’s Nick Poulos on guitar. They come on and run through a blistering set of thrash/speed metal songs that were all about 3 minutes long. Old school style. They were solid and Felix really ripped it up in single bass style on a 4 pc drumset. I enjoyed it and would love to see them again.
Right after BAT played, I feel a hand on my shoulder and hear a voice say my name. I turn around and it was a girl that I had dated briefly in 1991 and that I hadn’t seen since right around that time. She had seen on Facebook that I was in town and just stopped in to say hello. She couldn’t stay as her husband and kid were outside in the car. I swear she was only there for about 3 minutes and even paid to get in. I was floored by the gesture. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. That’s the type of person she always was. Very thoughtful. It was a special moment for sure. I’m still a bit “wow’d” by the whole thing.
Volture comes on next and I hadn’t really paid much attention to them in the past. There’s just so much out there that I can’t keep up any more. The members are a mishmash of members from Municipal Waste, Immortal Avenger, Twisted Tower Dire, BAT etc. I really liked the vocals. The guy has some great pipes and the guitarists are perfect. But the drummer…I just can’t take it. He was doing way too many Rikki Rokkett type moves instead of worrying about keeping good time. I’m a drummer as well. I’m hyper critical of other drummers that I see. When he was just playing the beat and not doing dumb stick tricks, his timing was fine. But when he’d go into circus mode, the timing would fluctuate, he wasn’t hitting the snare cleanly and it would drop out of the mix and he tended to keep time on his bass drum to where he’s hitting the bass and snare at the same time. Sorry, it just annoyed me to no end. Obviously his band has no issue with it, but I would for sure. :) But again, overall they sounded killer.
And then…Satan…SATAN. I never ever thought in my lifetime that I’d get to see them live. Right as Volture ended we made our way to the front of the stage. Danile and I were right on the barricade and Kelz and Petey were right behind us. Satan opens up with Trial By Fire and Ross’ vocals are on point. He skipped the first scream in the song and I though ‘uh oh, he can’t do it any more.’ And then there it was. His patented high notes came on cue everywhere else in the song and the rest of the set. I was completely in awe as to how well he still sings. He sounded perfect. They ran though a mix of songs from Court in the Act, Life Sentence, a couple of early demos and one from Into the Future of which Brian wasn’t the singer. They added No Turning Back mid-set which was a nice surprise. Of course we were hoping to hear the whole Court album but I have no complaints whatsoever about the set. They were incredible. Ramsey/Tippins are still a formidable guitar duo and the songs on their latest album prove that. It was just such a powerful set. Still blown away as to how good Ross’ vocals are.
After the show, most people leave and we stick around to meet the Satan guys. Success! They all come out after a little break and sign swag, take pictures with us nerds etc. It was especially nice to be sitting between Sean Taylor and John Gallagher listening to them talk about gifts they’ve sent to each others kids and some “back in the day” kinds of things.
It’s been a week since the show and I am still buzzing about it. Really a once in a lifetime show. Even more, I got to spend some quality time with my three best friends. That was as important as the show. It’s really nice knowing that even if we don’t see each other that often these days, we can always pick up right where we left off. Love those guys.
Written by The Metal Files
April 24, 2014 at 9:35 pm
Posted in 2014, bat, concert reviews, concerts, dri, eternal champion, heavy metal, north carolina, nwobhm, raleigh, richmond, salvacion, satan, strange matter, the metal files, twisters, virginia, volture
Arsis have returned from a short break and released a new EP entitled Lepers Caress via SCION A/V. The album returns to a little more of a brutal sound when compared to Starve For The Devil. Starve received mixed reviews from the Arsis fan base but I thought it was excellent albeit a little more lighthearted than their previous releases. This album reminds me a little more of 2008’s United in Regret. This EP is apparently a preview for the upcoming full length release called Unwelcome.
Lepers Caress is killer comes with my highest recommendation, especially if you’re already an Arsis fan. While the whole thing is killer, Six Coffins Wide, Carve My Cross and Denied are my favorites.
You can download the EP for free from here.
So, the promoter called me Sunday afternoon to let me know that Yngwie was going to be brought in to our record store. Of course I dropped everything, grabbed all my Yngwie related CD covers and flew up there. I got there about 5 minutes before Yngwie and was just hanging out talking to the 4 NAVY guys who were there buying tickets. They had just gotten back from a tour in the Middle East that morning at 5AM and were excited to see Yngwie. As they were going on and on about how happy they were to see the show, Yngwie walks in and I said, “Hey guys, look who just walked in.” They fell silent and looked almost scared. They wouldn’t speak to Yngwie except to say, “Hey man, we’ll see you at the show tonight.” Yngwie shook their hands and went looking through our DVDs selecting a bunch of Deep Purple and DIO era Rainbow stuff.
It was Yngwie and the drummer and I started talking to drummer while helping Yngwie find a few things. The drummer, Patrick Johansson, played on the 2 recent Yngwie albums as well as toured with WASP in the last year. We were chatting and Yngwie was just having a good time talking to the owner about Rainbow and Blackmore. He was all smiles and his arrogance was at a minimum. The store owner, Steve, mentioned that he had a ’74 Strat in the store and Yngwie instantly said, “I’ll buy it. Right now. Give it to me. $4000. Where is it?” Steve said it wasn’t for sale as it was his very first guitar. Yngwie said, “Fair enough, I can respect that.”
So after buying the DVDs we snapped a few pics with Yngwie and he was in good spirits saying, “This is the first place on the tour where we have been treated so well. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Patrick was so very cool and gracious as well. I pull out all of my CD covers and Yngwie signs them all commenting on each album. “Steeler? Man, what a dreadful album!” He then looked at me and said, “Sean, are you coming to the soundcheck? You should really come by, it’ll be cool, yeah?” So of course I went. As I am walking in, the promoter gives me 3 all access passes. You can read about the soundcheck and stuff here.
As we arrived at the theatre I called Patrick to tell him that I have the WASP DVD that he wanted and we hung out for a little while backstage. He asked for my cell number to keep in touch and told me to program his number into my phone book. Very cool. He also gave me a copy of one of his other bands called Kinlin. “Call me and let me know what you think of it.” Of course I agree. He heads back to bus and I head back into the main area of the theatre as the opening band is about to start.
They were called Orange Sky. They are from Trinidad and were OK overall. They were very tight but I didn’t really care for their style. Very nice guys though. The whole crowd was sitting down during their performance. As soon as they finished, I just walked up front and stood on the edge of the stage in front og Yngwie’s pedals to secure my spot. My 2 cohorts were up there as well. I found it odd that until 5 minutes before showtime, everyone stayed in their seats. Maybe they thought you couldn’t stand in front of the stage. Who knows? Didn’t matter, I was up there and everyone followed suit.
Right before everyone came up out of their seats, my friend Shelly and her friend rolled in and we talked for a bit. They stayed next to us on the edge of the stage all night. It was very cool.
The lights start to dim and you can hear Yngwie soundchecking for a minute ripping some serious shred. I forgot my earplugs and knew I was in for a loud night.
Then the lights went all the way down and the keyboard intro to Rising Force came on. The show has now started. For the first few songs, Yngwie looked a little stiff in his playing but seemed to loosen up by the 3rd song. He was awesome, of course. He threw out a ton of picks, of course. He somehow cut open the pinky finger of his picking hand but it didn’t phase him int he least. He was just incredible. Derek Sherinian was on keyboards, Doogie White was on vocals and Mick Cervino was on bass. It was certainly Yngwie’s show. If Doogie wasn’t singing, he stood in the back with the rythm section. The only one seemingly having fun other than Yngwie was Patrick. Unlike the last time I saw Yngwie (2001), he really looked like he was having fun.
The show over all was really good. He played several tracks from the new album which is very good and threw in some oldies as well as a few covers. During one of his solos, he crouched down in front of me and asked me to hold my hands out. People kept trying to grab his Strat but he set it down on my hands and played his solo while I held it. That was pretty cool.
After the show ended, we all hung out in the lobby until it was time to go backstage. There were about 20 of us and the whole band came in except for Derek and the bassist. Yngwie sat and signed everything that everyone had with them but made it a point to come up to us and say how happy he was to have been treated so well and to have met such nice folks. I was still amazed at how humble he seemed. They said that the night before was a disaster in northern Virginia.
I basically hung out with Patrick and Doogie until it was time to go. We all had a great time and it was great to get a few new connections. Patrick asked me to come to Miami this summer after the tour. I told him, “We’ll see.”
Then we went home.
Cracking the Whip
Crown of Thorns
Star Spangled Banner
Far Beyond the Sun
Paraphrase into Dreaming
Gates of Babylon(!!!)
Baroque and Roll
Demon’s Eye (Deep Purple!!!)
Fugue (from the Concerto album)
You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget
I’ll See the Light Tonight
Never Die and Locked & Loaded were on the list but they skipped them.
I’ll never forget the first time in 87(?) that a former friend from high school and I went to a “new” record store in Norfolk called Skinnies Records. We didn’t know what to expect and I think we even got lost on the way. I was driving and my pal was navigating (bad news!). So we find it on 21st St in Ghent and go in.
So we walk in and I believe the first time we went in, Jeff was working. Now, Jeff was a big guy too. So that’s 3 big guys in this store. What I haven’t mentioned yet was that the store was only about 14′ x 14′ and jam packed with records and tapes. That’s right kiddies, CDs had not hit the market yet. Jeff was an asshole. He knew he was so I’m not talking behind his back. He was an asshole but after we started coming in there a few times, he lightened up.
Maybe the second time I went in there, this tall sort of jangly looking guy who reminded me of Ian Gillan was working. He was cool. He was into metal. Jeff never seemed to really care about metal that much, but Steve was always ready to talk about it. I continued to go there for years and was excited when they were able to expand their current space which seemed to just get filled up again! That’s when CDs were starting to catch on too.
I pulled some real gems out of that place. Much of my (now gone) Iron Maiden vinyls came from there as well as a few of my more rare Triumph records which I still have. Pat Travers’ Putting It Straight Jap pressing on CD was one of my ultimate finds. I still drool about it every time I listen to that CD. I got several old Metal blade, Combat and NOISE Records albums as well…of course they weren’t old at the time.
I generally would schedule my trips in there over the years when Steve was working. Jeff was getting caught up in some bad shit and it eventually killed him. I was a bit sad when that happened. Actually, I was very sad.
Anyway…I had some great times in that place. I’ll never forget Mother’s Day 1989. Steve called me and asked if I wanted to come into the store that afternoon and jam with him and some other guy. Since it was mom’s day, I made sure she was cool with it and of course she was. So Steve, some tall red headed singer dude and I jammed for a few hours. Mostly to songs I had never heard. Older punk stuff I think. The only one I recognized and remember playing to this day is Under My thumb.
Sometime around that same year, Steve and Jeff were going to Hammerjacks in Baltimore to see Dave Chastain and offered to let me go. Hell yeah! I ended up having to bail the day of the show for something, I don’t remember what. I do remember calling Steve the next day to see how it went and he let me know that they never made it. Flipped the van or something like that.
Years later, Ghent was going through some redevelopment and the building Skinnies was in was slated for demolishing as a Walgreen’s was coming in. That was sad news but Steve persevered and found another location nearby.
Skinnies was always a cool place to hangout though. It still is. Steve and I became really good friends over the years. Helped him move twice and my back still suffers the ills of his fish tank and 1000 boxes of records! hahaha! I also got to see him get through some major medical issues and am happy as hell that things got back to “normal” so to speak. Not half as happy as him though, ya know?
I moved into the same neighborhood as the record store and even got to work there on Sundays for a little while. You don’t know how much I loved that and will always be grateful to him for the experience. When I decided to move to Texas, saying my goodbyes there 2 years ago was pretty difficult. I felt like I was leaving a major part of my life behind. In many ways I think I did, but not necessarily in a bad way.
So…all in all, just wanted to say thanks Steve. You and that store helped me get through the crazy 80s with some fine music and good people. You’re a good friend.
I’m really proud of you for getting thru the great record store crash that took out some of the other legendary stores in that area like Unicorn, Electric Smiles and The Music Man.
Straight to the toooooooooooop! Tooth and Nail!
Hell yeah, that’s some quality headbanging when that song is on.
Wow, has it really been 24 years since this came out? That’s insane. This CD came on when I was driving home from work today. As you’ll notice from a lot of my reviews, I have a tendency to flashback. I wish I could blame it on drugs but I can’t. I remember buying the cassette of this at Roses department store in Suffolk, VA when I was 14. I think I heard the song Just Got Lucky on the radio and thought it was rokken. The title track comes in and just gets you all pumped up for some spandex jammin!
Now, if you’re a metal fan, and old school metal fan, you already know this album. I don’t need to break down its awesomeness. This was another of the great albums from 1984. What a year!
There are some funny stories to share about this one. I was over at Kelz’ house and we were jamming to this tape down in his den and his mom came in. Now, let me preface all this by saying both of us grew up in homes where our parents (or probably just our moms) thought that heavy metal was of the devil. They were probably right, but whatever. So anyway, she hears the chorus to “Bullets To Spare” and asks to see the tape cover so that she could read the lyrics. If I am not mistaken, the cover was this one, aka the alternate cover (weak):
My hand is steady
Tonight I’m ready for fun
I got my finger
It’s on the trigger
Another night on the run”
Good times. Fun album. I met Don on his solo tour back in 90 or 91. I was on the tour bus before the show and he came on, shook hands, signed a few things then sat down in front of everyone and shot up. Classy.
Free shipping! $9! Buy it.
Now, I’ve only been a Thin Lizzy fan for about 10 years or so; yes, I know it’s a tragic shame. I was just never exposed to much by them until about 1997. Besides their 2 US radio hits, Renegade was the only thing I had ever owned and I loved it, but still never had the urge to delve in deeper to their back catalogue.
Anyhoo, I come back to this album a lot. It’s very dark, sultry, bluesy (and I HATE the blues btw). When I hear this album I really feel like I am sitting in a smoke filled dive bar where no one in there is under the age of 45, no one speaks to each other, the bartender is reading the paper and everyone is just seeped into their own lonliness. Depressing, eh? It’s like a scene from the movie Barfly.
There’s a few upbeat tunes on here like It’s Only Money (Concrete Blonde did a great version of this), Sha-La-La and She Knows. But even those have an air of dank depression. Still In Love With You is the biggest “hit” on this one and became a staple of Lizzy’s live set.
This album is such a weird thing for me. It makes me sad and picks me up all at once. I think the combination of Phil’s soulful and sad lyrics mixed with the great production and guitar work just put my mind in a spin. It’s tough to explain.
Back in 1991/92 I dated this wonderful girl named Alicia. She was the coolest of the cool and in hindsight I probably should have married her; instead I broke her heart. She was very much into “my” music and she really loved this record. She used to call it “a great album to tap to.” She wasn’t talking about tap dancing! haha. So, I think it’s another reason why this album sort of brings me down; it reminds me of her and how great she was and how much of a shitbag I was to break up with her. For the record, I made amends with her (for my own good) a few years ago but dropped all contact, much to her dismay. Girls are funny. Why do they want to stay in touch with their exes?
Oh wait, this is about Thin Lizzy, yes? Right. Phil’s ballads have a way of striking deep emotions with me. It’s weird. I feel like I can relate to much of it. That’s generally the mark of a great songwriter, yeah? The ability to “hit close to home.”
here’s a lyric from “Dear Heart” that I love:
“He’d give his life, give his everything
To reach that goal and take that last and final fling.
But I guess it’s just another story in the greatest story
Dear heart, I wish that you could see that
Dear heart, you mean the world to me”
Here’s a vid for Still In Love With You:
Just go buy it already.