The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Iron Maiden, Mexico City, MX, September 7, 2022

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It’s no secret that I love Mexico City and have been down there 8 times in the last 5 years, 3 of those times this year. I’ve made some very good friends there and there’s just something special about the place that I can’t explain.

I saw Iron Maiden there in September 2019 and had a blast so when Maiden announced another show for this year, I instantly grabbed 2 tickets on the presale. This time the show was to be held at Foro Sol, one of Mexico City’s sports stadiums and the location of the F1 track.

Two weeks ago I was at a conference in Mississippi and when I returned to the office on Thursday, I asked my boss if he cared if I was gone the following week. We were already off on that Monday for a holiday. He said, “As long as you have everything taken care of that you need to, enjoy your trip.” Typically when I’m gone like that, I still handle calls and emails so it’s not that big of a deal. So I booked the trip that Thursday and was slated to leave on Monday, Labor Day. I had thought about just flying in and flying out for a quick trip to save some PTO but the guys in Night Demon were going to be in town. They played the Candelabrum Fest in Leon the previous weekend, so I moved my trip up to that Monday so we could hang out on their last night in town before heading to Germany on Tuesday.

Monday September 5, 2022

The trip down was standard; I was on the same time/route as the previous 2 times and got through customs without incident or delays. Once I got to my hotel, Armand and Dustin showed up and we headed off to find some tacos and beers. It took forever for us to get a ride as traffic was utterly ridiculous that day. We went to one of my favorite spots for some al pastor and it was delicious then wandered off to Bizarro Bar for some beers and tequila. My dear friend Soledad showed up and Jarvis arrive shortly after. We did a couple more beers and then headed off to a little party at Jimena and Pepito’s place. That night was absolutely perfect. We were on their rooftop patio and the weather was great. Our good friend Jaime showed up and Jimena’s friends Lucy and Lao arrived as well as Soledad’s boyfriend Alonso. We were knocking back some beers, more tequila and snacks and just having some of the greatest conversations. It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a while. As always, it was great to see my Night Demon brothers. Fortunately I will see them again in a couple of weeks when they come through Texas and I’ll go with them to do 2 Cleveland shows. They had an early flight out to Germany the next morning, so we ended the party and got our respective rides back to our places.

Tuesday September 6, 2022

I got up Tuesday needing some caffeine and headed out to find the nearest OXXO for a Sugar Free Red Bull. One of the things I needed to do that day was fine a raincoat as the weather predictions called for heavy rains for the show. I walked about a mile to a local mall that had a Wal-Mart and some other shops and not a single raincoat was to be found. Bummer. I did a quick search on Google maps for raincoats and found a shop that specialized in them. Off I went to the raincoat district! Once there, the lady instantly looked at me, smiled and said, “No hablo Ingles.” I responded with, “No te preocupes, hablo muy bien espanol.” I must say their variety of raincoats was impressive. I bought a standard poncho style one in black made of heavy PVC. It was $5! Unfortunately, Maryanne did not get in the raincoat with me (extra points if you get that reference).

I went back to my hotel, dropped off the coat and walked to Zocalo to a department store that had a Ticketmaster station in it. I needed to print my tickets and the hotel printer was down. There was a line of folks already there and most of them were wearing Maiden shirts. Once it was my turn I sat down with the attendant and asked her if she spoke English. “No.” She asked me for my order number and I showed it to her on my phone. She looks it up on her computer and I see her frown a little. She doesn’t say anything but grabs her phone and starts typing away on it. At first I thought she was maybe just texting a friend or something then I realized that she was typing stuff in to translate back to me. I asked to let me know what was happening and that I’d understand her Spanish. She looked relieved and proceeded to tell me that she couldn’t issue tickets because of the “print only” option that I had mistakenly chosen when buying the tickets. I told her that I understood, thanked her for her time and headed out. Luckily Soledad’s neighbor had a working printer and was able to take care of it. After that, I just bounded around Zocalo for a while. Mexico is preparing for its upcoming Independence Day and decorations were going up everywhere.

I was getting pretty hungry and Soledad had sent a couple of recommendations, one of which was a BBQ place. I grabbed a ride, got to the location only to find out that it had been shut down by the City just a week before. Oops. So I got another ride, went back to my favorite taco spot and chowed down on more al pastor. I hadn’t eaten yet that day and was getting pretty hungry after all of the walking and such. After my late lunch/early dinner, I had a work call that I needed to be on, so I sat in a nearby park and handled that.

In 2019, Netflix released a movie called Roma which is now a favorite of mine. The house that they filmed much of it in was a 15 minute walk south into Roma Sur. I was about 5pm and I headed down through some beautiful neighborhoods and found the house. I took a couple of photos and decided to walk around the neighborhood a little more. As I was walking past some restaurants and bars that were opening up, I heard Celtic Frost coming out of one and I stopped in. Revolver Bar. It was a cool little spot and the owner is a great guy. We had some friends in common and I drank a couple of local beers. It was just the two of us in there as he had just opened up and some rain had started. After that, I just went back to my hotel to rest up.

Wednesday September 7, 2022

Show day! I didn’t do much at all as I wanted to be well-rested for the evening. I had a late breakfast in the hotel that was pretty bland then walked around the neighborhood for a little while. I took a good nap and then made plans on meeting with Soledad and Jaime to ride to the show together. Traffic was total shit getting there and once the uber got us close, we just got out and walked with the crowd. It was quite a long trek to actually get inside. Lots of vendors selling bootleg merch and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to buy any. Once inside Foro Sol, I checked out the official vendor spots and Maiden wasn’t selling the event shirt in my size. I was hoping they’d do like the last tour and have them available online after (they did!). We had general admission on floor in Section B and stayed about ¾ of the way back. We missed all of Mastodon’s set (not sad about it) and came in during Maiden’s opening song, Senjutsu. I don’t care for the new album and they were opening with 3 songs from it. We grabbed a beer from a nearby vendor and just enjoyed the show. The weather stayed clear except for a few minutes of sprinkling. They moon was out for much of the set. When they went into Revelations, chills ran up my spine. Overall, Maiden’s song selection is pretty weak. One song each from X Factor and Virtual XI? Blood Brothers? Gross. My disdain for Fear of the Dark is no secret to anyone, but it is pretty special being in a crowd of 64,999 other people who are all singing along together. That song went over better than any other songs in the set. Blows my mind. But overall, it’s Iron Maiden, my favorite band of all time and I will continue to go see them no matter the setlist.

After the show ended, we tried waiting it out a bit to let the crowd thin out. Once we started walking out, it finally started raining and I got to use my new poncho for a about 15 minutes before the rain let up. As we got to the actual exit gate, the crowd was tight and there was no way out of it. If someone had fallen, they probably would have been trampled to death. It was a little nerve-wracking but we finally got through and started making our way to where Alonso was to pick us up. It felt good to finally get there and sit down for a bit. We ended up going to a taqueria called Av Sonora Tortas El Fuego. I got el pastor, bistec and costilla tacos which were all delicious. Everyone except me had to work the next morning and Alonso was nice enough to drive me back to my place. Once in my room, I crashed out pretty quickly. It was a great night.

Thursday September 8, 2022

No real plans for the day and I probably should have booked my trip to leave on this day, but oh well. I lounged around in bed until about 1030AM and finally got up, showered and made my way out for a bit. I wasn’t that hungry so I just grabbed a protein bar and a Red Bull from 7-11 and walked around for a while. I grabbed a ride and headed off to Dejalo Ser Records to see the owner Elia and see if there were any records I needed/wanted. She keeps a pretty decent metal selection and lots of Japanese pressings. As always she greeted me with a big hug and then I went digging. I ended up buying more stuff that friends were looking for than for myself but I did pick up a Luzbel album that I had been wanting. After leaving the store, I went back to my hotel as I was feeling a little tired. Soledad, Jaime and I were going to meet for dinner later and I just chilled out for a bit. We had planned to meet up at an Asian place called Koku. Unfortunately I went to the wrong one first. Haha. Once I met up with them, we had some hot sake, beer and a nice sushi dinner. They both had ramen which was delicious, too. We sat outside and it was a perfect night and a great ending to another wonderful week in CDMX.

Friday September 9, 2022

I was having trouble checking in online with Aerobus so I decided to get to the airport a little earlier than normal to make sure there wasn’t a problem. Once there, I breezed through the check in and through security and had too many hours to kill in the airport. I went to my usual breakfast spot and had a nice meal waiting for them to announce which gate the flight was going to be. Then we got notification of a delay. It was almost 2 hours. Ugh. This was going to get me back to San Antonio airport in perfect time for rush hour. Oh well. Once we finally landed, it took about 2 minutes to get through customs where the agent told me he processed Iron Maiden the night before! I asked him if he was a fan and he replied, “I’m from San Antonio, of course I’m a fan!” haha. Once back in my car, nothing but traffic all the way home. Plus I took care of some work phone calls.

As always, Mexico City treated me well, I saw some new parts I hadn’t seen before and I made some more new friends. It was a great trip. I was planning to go back in October to see Unto Others, but the promotor canceled the show, so now it looks like it’ll be sometime after the new year.


Written by The Metal Files

September 15, 2022 at 8:31 am

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Tom Keifer, LA Guns, Faster Pussycat. Cedar Park, TX, June 24, 2022

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What a fun night in general. When this tour first got announced, I had no real intentions of seeing this show, mainly because of location, I’m not much of a Cinderella fan and I’ve seen Guns and Pussycat several times. Then Shawn Duncan (Odin/DC4) joined Guns on drums and my decision to attend was made. I’ve been friends with Shawn for a long time and hadn’t seen him in several years.

I got to the venue pretty early to try and hang out with him. He said the bands have been pretty strict on COVID protocols but he’d figure it out. Fortunately was outside when I rolled up and we hung out for a bit and got to catch up. Love that dude.

As we were standing outside their bus, my friend Kurt walked up who is a manager at the venue. I had no idea. We first met at a Drivin’ ‘n Cryin’ show years ago. We also got to catch up, I introduced him to Shawn and we hung out for a bit and drank a beer in the parking lot. He handed me a VIP wristband, too. SWEET!

Shawn needed to get ready for the show and I needed to get to will call for my ticket (Thanks Shawn!). My old friend Robyn was working the guest list table, saw the wristband and just walked me into the venue ahead of the line. Feeling like a true VIP at this point. She showed me around the venue and let me know what access the wristband gave me, which was pretty much side stage view, but that also gave me a spot to sit if needed. It was great to see her, too.

BFF Lisa and her husband Matt get in and we’re all seeing friends all around. I got to see several folks I hadn’t seen in years which was nice.

Pussycat comes on and sound pretty good, maybe better than I have heard in years. The 2 newer guitarists were smashing the backup vocals perfectly. Taime’s voice sounded good, too. Clean living has helped him a lot.

Guns came on and I went to the side stage area so I could watch Shawn play. The whole band sounded great and he’s a perfect fit with them on drums. Tracii is such a great player, too. I’ve always felt he deserved more recognition. Great set overall.

I went back out and found Lisa and Matt. Kurt had hooked me up with another VIP wristband when I told him that she was a huge Cinderella fan. “I got you, no worries.” So off we went to side stage to watch Keifer. He put on a solid set and his backing band was great. The drummer is a beast. Tom’s a talented guy, can seemingly play anything well, but I’ve always hated his voice. I was surprised that he’s been able to maintain that screech so well, though. Lisa really enjoyed the set, so that’s all I cared about.

After the show, said goodbyes to some friends and the 3 of us went to bus area to say goodbye to Shawn. Security tried to give me some guff but we didn’t go anywhere. haha. Shawn came out, I introduced him to Matt and Lisa, gave him a hug and we left.

It was a great night overall. The Haute Spot is a great venue overall. Even tho it was so hot out, the trees, fans and misters kept it comfortable enough.

Written by The Metal Files

June 28, 2022 at 8:43 am

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Max & Iggor Cavalera Review, Austin, TX, June 21, 2022

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When I saw that Max and Iggor Cavalera were doing a reboot tour of Beneath the Remains and Arise, I knew I had to go. I was already out of high school when Beneath came out and instantly fell in love with it. I had heard the previous albums and they didn’t do anything for me but I really dig Schizophrenia these days, too. My best friend from my high school went to Brooklyn to see the Beneath tour but I couldn’t afford that kind of trip back in those days, but he did bring me back a tour shirt that my guitarist borrowed and never returned. I didn’t care much for Arise or Chaos AD outside of a few tracks here and there but did finally catch them on the Chaos tour in 1994 and got to hang out with them.

The goal for last night, outside of seeing them do Beneath, was to get Max and Iggor in the book. A few years back I met Paulo and Andreas and got them in there.

The show was packed and I stayed outside through all of the opening bands. None of them appealed to me at all. We went upstairs and got let into the VIP room overlooking the stage and I watched the Beneath portion of the set from there. IT WAS BADASS. It really took me back in time for a bit and it was great to watch Iggor play from up above. He’s got a cool style.

As the Arise set started, I made my way downstairs and took in part of the set then made it back outside. While I like the venue a lot, it’s not comfortable at all when there’s a huge crowd.

I actually got to the venue super early hoping to get The Book signed but with it being so hot out, 100+ degrees, they had already been in and sound checked so I walked to a local establishment and hung out in the AC for a while. After the show, a few of us went to the backstage door and both Max and Iggor came out and said they’d be right back. A few of us waited for over an hour and they never returned. That was a bit of a let down, but those let downs build character. haha. Oh well, maybe someday I’ll finish the Sepultura entry in The Book.

It was a great show and I got to see a lot of friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time.

Written by The Metal Files

June 22, 2022 at 8:33 am

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

Posted in Uncategorized