The Metal Files

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Yngwie J. Malmsteen Concert Review, June 10, 2017, Houston, TX

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Last night I witnessed the over the top guitar playing of Yngwie Malmsteen for the 9th time since 1986.  While he is my favorite guitarist, I haven’t liked any of his releases post-Alchemy and his latest one with him on vocals is pretty boring.  That being said, I always love seeing him live.

Local (to Houston) band Apocalyptic opened up.  They were super tight technical shred thrash that at times reminded me of Agent Steel with a singer that could hit insanely high notes at will.  The only real issue I had with them is that the singer wouldn’t shut the fuck up between songs.  They could have played one more song with all the time he spent between songs talking about how cool it was to be there or “show me your horns” or “scream for me, Houston” over and over.  Less talk, more rock, please.  Their main lead player and bassist were also really good.

Of course Yngwie comes on and the wall of Marshalls is lining the back of the stage.  For the record, only 2 heads were actually used.  They opened with Rising Force and the bassist sang.  He sounded good but what irked me to no end was that they only did the first verse then the solo section.  What?  Most of the show consisted of instrumentals, which was fine.  That meant that Yngwie didn’t sing.  In Seventh Sign, the keyboardist sang and they did the whole song.  Sounded great.   Demon Driver and Heaven Tonight were also first verse and solo sections only.  To be honest, if you’re gonna cut out sections of songs like that, just do a full night of instrumentals.  In the encore, they ended with I’ll See the Light Tonight and, yes, first verse and solo sections only.

Beyond that silliness, Yngwie was awesome and I’m glad I went.  His back up band, basically tucked into one corner of the stage, was really good. Of course Yngwie threw a bunch of picks out and only high kicked a few this time.  I’m really glad he didn’t sing

The venue, White Oak Music Hall, holds 1200 and I imagine about 600-700 people were there.  Hopefully the 10th time I see him won’t be too far in the distant future.

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Written by The Metal Files

June 11, 2017 at 10:55 am

Joe Lynn Turner & Blackfoot Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, August 20, 2016

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I had a ticket and flight booked to see Joe Lynn Turner (JLT) at the Whisky in West Hollywood a couple of months ago and had to cancel the trip.  That was a major bummer.  That blow got lessened recently when Sean McNabb, bassist for George Lynch, mentioned to me that he was also playing with JLT and that they were playing in San Antonio.  Shortly after that Lynch show, the JLT show was announced.

Also announced was Blackfoot as the opener.  A quick check to see who was still in the band led me to their website which showed that they had no original members but were still managed by Ricky Medlocke.  Alright then.  I’ve never been a big fan fan of southern rock although hearing Strikes takes me back to being a kid as one of best friends, Petey, always loved that record.

After some time bouncing around San Antonio record stores, Rodney and I grabbed some dinner then headed to the venue to meet up with Matt who had tickets for another friend, Diego, and me.  The weather was complete shit.  The show was originally scheduled to be outside rain or shine but the rain was pretty heavy and it was moved inside.  Upon walking in, the place was packed, uncomfortably so.  I stayed inside for part of Seance’s set then just decided to wait out Blackfoot outside.  I could hear them perfectly and they were solid.  This new lineup had been together for 4 years.  It was weird after seeing them arrive to think that they were Blackfoot.  They looked like kids and 2 of the guys in the band were sporting mohawks.  Even prior to them finishing their set, I noticed some people leaving making comments about the lineup as they were walking out.

Then it was time for JLT.  I was pretty excited since I hadn’t seen him since he sang on Odyssey tour with Yngwie Malmsteen, one of my favorite concerts ever.  The band hit the stage to a thinned out crowd opening with the snippet of Over the Rainbow and going right in Death Alley Driver. The band was tight and Joe’s voice sounded great.  I Surrender and Power were up next.  The crowd was really into it.  Unfortunately they were plagued with some technical difficulties throughout the night but they worked through them and completely rocked.  Street of Dreams was a highlight as were Stone Cold, Spotlight Kid and Malmsteen’s Rising Force.  JLT has Steve Brown from Trixter on guitar and he was pretty damned good, even handled the Yngwie guitar solo pretty well.  It was a fun set.

After the show was the meet and greet with Joe.  It was inexpensive and I wanted Joe added to The Book.  They were letting us in 2 at a time and Matt and I went in together towards the end of the line.  Joe was very talkative and inquisitive about the patches on our jackets.  He was loving Matt’s Riot patch and mentioned how much he had loved that band since their early days.  I mentioned as I was pulling out The Book that I brought Riot’s Privilege of Power CD cover with me.  “Whoa, let me see that.  I haven’t thought about this one in years.”  I mentioned seeing the 1988 Yngwie show at The Boathouse and he said, “I remember that place.  A bit of a dump.”  Most bands say that.  haha.  We talked briefly about his time with Yngwie and both agreed that there should have been a second album with him on vocals.  While finishing up the signing and photos, I mentioned that he was my favorite singer for Rainbow.  I know that is not a popular opinion but whatever.  Totally true.  I like the Dio era a lot but it’s the JLT era for me any day.  He was also quite pleased to see the Odyssey album.

What a great show although I’d prefer not to see another show at this venue.

 

 

Yngwie Malmsteen Concert Review, Dallas, TX 110211

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Lucky me. Twice in one week I got to see another one of my all-time favorite bands/musicians. Yngwie! I think this was 8th time I have seen him since 1986 (Triumph/Yngwie). Even though many of his recent albums have been a bit lackluster, he’s still quite entertaining live and just being able to watch him play is worth it.

I’ve been working out of town during the week in Dallas for the last 3+ months and haven’t really explored the music scene up here much and regrettably missed some quality shows, but there was no way I was going to miss this one. I bought my ticket on Monday at Wal*Mart of all places. They were the nearest Ticketmaster hub to my hotel. I don’t like going there and it just felt weird buying a concert ticket there. But no bother.

Last night’s show was at the House of Blues in downtown Dallas. I went down right after work and it only took a few minutes to get there from the office. It was a bit odd, though. Downtown Dallas is huge but last night it seemed like such a desolate place. Other than the parking lot outside of the venue, I didn’t see anyone out and about. Maybe the cold front that blew in that evening kept some folks away. I liked it down there, though. I love city living…concrete and steel for me!

Doors opened to the venue at 7PM and I got there around 6PM. Because of the storm that was brewing, I decided to just eat there. Wasn’t too bad but of course a bit overpriced.

Checked out the merch booth and didn’t see anything that really caught my eye.

Opening band went on promptly at 8. They were called Little Green Men and hailed from Fort Worth. While they played a tight set and there were some good guitar solos, the band was not my thing, not in the least. I was pretty bored and just wanted them to stop playing. Just give me some Yngwie!

After clearing the stage, you could see the full Yngwie stage setup. The drums were set at the back left corner of

Marshall City!

the stage almost behind the wall of Marshalls…17 cabinets and 27 heads. No, really! I think that was the biggest setup I’ve seen him use ever. Of course most are only for show, but still…80s excess at its finest! The keyboard player was at the far left of the stage almost completely out of sight and the bassist hung around that side as well. I mean, c’mon. This IS the Yngwie show, right?

The lights die down and you hear the keyboard intro to Rising Force (From Odyssey), then the drums kick in and the band hits the stage and kicks into the song full force. For as much as I have slagged Ripper Owens over the years, he sounded pretty good going into the set, much better than he sounded when I saw him with Yngwie in San Antonio a couple of years ago. The setlist stuck with a lot of newer material and I think that’s mostly because Ripper can’t sing a lot of the Joe Lynn/Jeff Scott Soto era stuff. Not many can. He did sound good on Never Die as well.

They got to Dreaming mid-set and for the first half of the song, Ripper sounded great. I was shocked…then after

Yngwie unleashing the fooking fury!

that, I don’t know happened, but for the last part of that song, he sounded like he was singing something different. Sure, the lyrics were right but he had gotten so out of key that it was painful to hear. Not sure if he lost his inner-ear monitors or what, but the end of that song was horrid. It then kicked into Gates of Babylon and he sounded fine in that.

I’m sorry, but he can’t carry the Turner/Soto stuff. I really wish Yngwie could find someone else who can handle all eras of the band vocally. Not to mention that Ripper sounds so “enhanced” on the last 2 Yngwie albums.

Patrick Johansson is a killer drummer, unfortunately all you could hear was his kick and snare. He had toms, but they were so low in the mix that they didn’t matter. Same with the keys and bass. There were a few moments where Yngwie and the keyboardist were playing together and you could hear him somewhat and the guy was really good. The bass was practically non-existent, which is typical for an Yngwie show.

Now we get to Yngwie. The giant Swede. The man took what Uli Roth and Ritchie Blackmore and created a whole new genre. Sure, in recent years he plays fewer riffs and just solos everywhere, but he’s still incredible and fun to watch. The last 3 times I have seen him, he really seems to be having fun on stage. He has mastered the art of kicking guitar picks into the crowd. I think Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick is the only person to throw out more picks.

I stayed back by the soundboard for the show. Attendance seemed to be around 300-350, not too shabby, but seemingly small for a club that holds 1700.

It was a fun show. Not my favorite show that I’ve seen of his, but still quite enjoyable. I try not to miss him if I can help it. I’m glad he’s still out there touring and still glad I’m able to see it.

Setlist as I remember it:

Rising Force

Never Die / Shot Across the Bow
Overture
Critical Mass
Badinerie
Far Beyond the Sun / Star Spangled Banner
Enemy Within
Red Devil
The Damnation Game / Baroque & Roll
Live To Fight (Another Day)
Dreaming / Gates Of Babylon
(Rainbow cover)
Into Valhalla
Trilogy Suite Op: 5
Red House
Fugue
Heaven Tonight
Encore:
Black Star / Cherokee Warrior
As Above, So Below
I’ll See the Light Tonight

Written by The Metal Files

November 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Classic Buttons

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I was never much of a button collector but I bought a few.  Here are 2 of the 3 I know that I had.  The other was a Stryper button from 1985 (my first metal show) that I lost a few years back.

The Yngwie one came from Triumph/Yngwie 1986.  Thomas’ dad took us to the show.  He sat in the rafters while we stayed close to the front.  Triumph was on the Sport of Kings tour and Yngwie was on the Trilogy tour.  Jeff Scott Soto had come back into the band for the tour.  Don’t really know why Boals left but we were all happy to see JSS on stage.  Both bands were great.  I couldn’t afford a shirt so a button was my souvenir.

The other is from Iron Maiden/Anthrax in 1991.  I am pretty sure that I bought a Maiden shirt that likely disintegrated shortly after the show.

Yngwie and Anthrax buttons (click to enlarge)

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Flashback Yngwie Malmsteen Concert Review 5/7/06

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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.

Setlist:

Rising Force
Demon Driver
Bandiniere
Cracking the Whip
Crown of Thorns
Exile
Adagio
Star Spangled Banner
Far Beyond the Sun
Paraphrase into Dreaming
Gates of Babylon(!!!)
Baroque and Roll
Revolution
Demon’s Eye (Deep Purple!!!)
Trilogy Suite
Red House
Fugue (from the Concerto album)
You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget
(Encore)
Black Star
I’ll See the Light Tonight

Never Die and Locked & Loaded were on the list but they skipped them.

Written by The Metal Files

December 9, 2010 at 8:33 am

My Life With Yngwie Malmsteen

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I first heard this guy when Rising Force came out in 1984. After hearing this and reading stuff in Metal Edge and Circus magazines, I picked up Steeler and the first Alcatrazz as fast as I could. My friends and I were amazed at what this guy was able to do on guitar. It was mind-numbing and no one else at the time could hang with him. To date, I still consider Yngwie as my favorite player ever and believe he is one of the best ever living or dead.

So on with the show…

Rising Force – 1984
This album has a perfect mix of instrumentals and vocal songs. Jeff Scott Soto is such a powerful singer and was just a perfect fit for this style of music. There is not a stinker in the bunch.
10/10

Marching Out – 1985
Holy hell. As noted in the Scorpions review, the first 3 Yngwie’s also had the cream colored Polydor/Polygram tape cases. I’m one of the few, it seems, that likes this album over Rising Force. Mainly because of the addition of more vocal songs, not to mention the addition of Anders Johansson. This is one of those albums that I play over and over anytime it hits the CD player. I was never a fan of I Am A Viking but it doesn’t detract from the rating I’m gonna give this one. It’s a perfect album.
25/10

Trilogy – 1986
Mark who? When I first heard it, I hated it. I hated it for years and years. The thin production, Boals’ wimpy vocals. Yeah, the solos and riffs were there, the production and vocals really killed it for me. I think I went about 10-15 years without listening to this and finally bought it on CD a few years ago. I was blown away by it. I still don’t think it’s as good as Marching Out, but it’s damned good overall. Dark Ages is probably the weakest track on it (Viking pt 2 anyone?). I saw this tour when he opened for Triumph and got a really nice surprise when Soto came out instead of Boals. It was a great night. Jens Johansson is a deity.
8/10

Odyssey – 1988
Ahhhhh…I was finishing up my senior year in high school when this came out. I had read in the mags that Joe Lynn Turner was doing the vocals and was excited about it…afterall, Bent Out of Shape is my fave Rainbow album. So I see the first video before I heard the album…Heaven Tonight. D’oh. Dude. C’mon. OK, I understand trying to write the hits for MTV and radio, but this was a bit too cheese for me. Over the years I have grown to appreciate it, but it’s still wimpy. I’m not a fan of the instrumentals on this one and generally skip them but songs like Riot in the Dungeons, Dreaming, Faster than the Speed of Light, Crystal Ball etc. Great stuff even though his style lightened up quite a bit. I also saw this tour with Lita Ford opening up. Another great night.
7.8/10

Eclipse – 1990
Exit the Johansson Brothers. Damn! Enter horrible production and some pretty weak songs. Enter the upswing of Yngwie’s cocaine habit. I think with better production these songs would have been a bit better. Goran Edman’s vocals were really really thin as well. I do like Motherless Child, Judas, Demon Driver and What Do You Want. The rest was just average stuff.
6.5/10

Fire and Ice – 1992
WTF? The only song I can recall off the top of my head is Teaser. [PUKE]. I saw this tour as well and what a letdown. The bass, keyboards, rhythm guitars and all main and backing vocals were prerecorded. I kid you not. I was sort of crushed to see my favorite guitarist resort to such tactics. He was getting pretty hefty at this point too. I think he may have finished 2 bottles of wine while on stage. It was just awful.
0/10

The Seventh Sign – 1994
Enter Mike Vescera. I was completely excited to see him in Yngwie’s band because I am a HUGE Obsession fan. Well, I was let down a bit when I hear the album. The whole thing seemed to be written out of Mike’s range and he sounded strained through the whole thing. Never Die and Pyramid of Cheops are the highlights for me. I also saw this tour and got to the venue early to hopefully meet Mike (and possibly Yngwie). I knocked on the bus door and the tour manager said, before I could say anything, “Yngwie’s not seeing fans.” I said, “Cool, I’m here to see Vescera anyway.” After listening to the manager say that Mike was busy blah blah blah I saw him on the bus and just started shouting “Obsession! Scarred for Life! Marshall Law!” Mike came to the front quickly, moved the manager out of the way and hung outside with me for about a half hour. He freaked out when he saw my Obsession and Loudness vinyl and freaked out more when I told him about seeing Obsession back in the 80s. (Long story behind that one that I knw he’d remember…and he did!). Good times. Weak album.
4/10

Magnum Opus – 1995
Ugh, dude…Vengeance and Fire in the Sky are the only tracks that I can listen to. Mike sounded terrible (again).
3/10

Facing the Animal – 1997
Holy crap, Yng. Four in a row? I really wanted to hear this one because Cozy Powell drummed on it, but it couldn’t help it. Crappy production and poor songwriting killed it.
0/10

Concerto Suite – 1998
OK…for years I wanted Yngwie to release an acoustic classical album and I guess this is as close as I was going to get to hearing that. It’s pretty good overall, but I would have preferred him playing on a nylon stringed guitar along with the symphony.
7/10

Alchemy -1999
Re-enter Mark Boals. When I heard he was coming back, I was not amused at all. Then I bought the CD. Damn. DAMN! This album kicks my ass every time I hear it. For me it was a return to classic form for Yngwie. It’s a long one at 70+ minutes, but it’s great. Mark Boals sounds incredible when he has decent production backing him up. Highly recommended.
9/10

War to End All Wars – 2000
Bore to End All Bores. Not even Boals could help this one. Another let down. I wanted to like this one but it just didn’t happen. I did see the tour with Lizzy Borden opening up. Met Yngwie at a meet and greet that day and he was a jerkoff.
1/10 for Prophet of Doom.

Attack!! – 2002
Sucks!!
0/10

Unleash the Fury – 2005
Surprisingly, this is a really good album. Doogie White’s vocals are really strong and the album is pretty consistent, just a bit too long. I also saw this tour. The day he rolled into town, he and his drummer came into the record store that I worked Sundays in. Yngwie freaked out at all of the Blackmore stuff we had on DVD and bought all of it. He invited me to sound check and of course I accepted. I got to hang out with him quite a bit that day and was blown away by how nice he was. The whole band was cool. His tour manager was a douchebag though. After the show he thanked me and the store owner a dozen times for the DVDs and for making his “return to Virginia” a better experience than last time…not sure what happened last time.
7/10

Perpetual Flame – 2008
This album has terrible production although I do hear some licks from Yngwie that I have either never heard from him or haven’t heard him do in a long time. Owens’ vocals are so enhanced that it’s almost painful to listen to. While there are a few catchy tunes, this album falls flat. Yngwie, get Tsangerides to produce your next one. He made Alchemy sound brilliant!
4/10

I think I may have seen Yngwie live one or 2 other times…it all gets a tad hazy.

Written by The Metal Files

December 27, 2008 at 12:02 pm

YouTube

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I’ve go a bunch of stuff up there…things that i filmed, favorite videos and some random stuff.

check it out.

Written by The Metal Files

November 17, 2008 at 1:58 am