The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

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.

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January 30, 2017 at 11:21 am

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Merry Christmas!

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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.

Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman Concert Review, Austin, TX, November 10, 2016

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I’ve been a big YES fan since childhood mainly because of my brother’s influence.  Fragile and Close to the Edge stayed in steady rotation with him.  As the 80s rolled around, YES got super big with 90125.  You couldn’t get away from it.  Not necessarily a bad thing but Owner of a Lonely Heart got a little old.

I bought two tickets some months back on the presale and one of them ended up going unused.  The show crept up on me and I didn’t get proper time to find a date for the show.  Oh well.

Prior to the show I grabbed a quick dinner then met up with my friend, Armando, for a couple of beers.  Good drummer and good dude.  Show was slated to start at 8PM so we went to the venue, I bought a shirt and we parted ways to our seats.  It was actually a bit nice to have some space next to me.

The band came on stage and opened with Cinema and Perpetual Change.  Rick Wakeman was wearing a huge cape, of course.  The overall show was fantastic and I was really surprised that this older crowd stood for most of it.  They played a good cross section of YES material while definitely touching on the Rabin era often.  They even played an ABWH song, The Meeting.  Jon’s voice sounded absolutely amazing and it was great to finally see/hear Wakeman live.

During The Fish (I think), Wakeman and Rabin came out into the crowd and walked around the venue.  That was pretty cool.  Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the show but as in the 80s, I can’t stand Rabin’s hyper-sonic guitar tone.  He’s a great player though and his voice still sounds great.  The lefty bassist primarily played Rickenbackers the whole night and a Fender for 1 song.  Both he and the drummer were spot on.

Too bad that these guys, Howe and White can’t settle differences and do one more reunion tour.

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November 15, 2016 at 9:40 am

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Black Sabbath Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, November 12, 2016

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Black Sabbath played what they say is their final show in the USA last night.  The setlist wasn’t much different than the show we got 3 years ago in Austin except they only played classic material.

I had purchased floor seats right next to the soundboard and my friend Pablo came with.  They opened with Black Sabbath and the crowd was pretty animated and most everyone on the floor had their phones over their head through much of that song.  Luckily that subsided as the night wore on.  Fairies Wear Boots came next then three of my faves, After Forever, Into the Void and SnowblindHand of Doom had been played at all other shows except this one and I’m not sure why, but whatever.

Geezer and Tony were perfect as expected and Tommy Clufetos was as solid as anyone could be.  And then our old friend, Ozzy.  Other than some timing issues (couldn’t follow the bouncing ball on the teleprompter?), I thought Ozzy sounded really good.  Way better than 3 years ago.  As expected, he stayed strapped to his mic stand and teleprompter.  He spoke a little between songs and I think he may have been reading those cues as well.  It’s a little sad to see.  But again, I was surprised as to how he sounded.  The only song he seemed to struggle on to my ears was Dirty Women.  He just couldn’t keep up and get his pitch right, no issues in the rest of the set.

We rolled out right as the encore, Paranoid, had started to beat the rush and traffic.  We times it perfectly.

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November 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm

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Catching Up With Metal Church’s Craig Wells…Again

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Hard to believe that it’s been 6 years since I did a little email interview with the shredder Craig Wells of Metal Church.  I had seen that he moved to Houston within the last year and we couldn’t make a connection to meet until this week, as I’m working here weekly for a while.  He works nights in the TV engineering business and rarely gets a free evening.  Tonight I got lucky.

We went to a nice little Mexican place called El Tiempo Cantina.  Once inside I was given all kinds of great stories about the history of Metal Church.  One awesome tidbit he gave me was that Mark Baker of Strychnine played live for them on the first 2 tours when Vanderhoof wasn’t in the band.  Also that David Wayne (RIP) recorded the vocals for Highway Star in one take!  It was pretty mind numbing taking it all in and even realizing the fact that I’m sitting across the table from the guitar player that played on some of my all time favorite albums.

After dinner, he graciously signed The Book and some of my CD covers.  I couldn’t find my copy of Human Factor and had forgotten to bring my Operation Rock and Roll CD.  There’s also a foto of us from 1989 that I’d like to get signed.  He assured me that he’d take care of that next time.  Craig is an absolutely awesome guy and I look forward to seeing him again.

This was a perfect Halloween!

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October 31, 2016 at 8:30 pm