The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘acl live

Dennis DeYoung & Night Ranger Concert Review, Austin, TX, June 1, 2018

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For many of us, Styx has been unavoidable since the mid-70s.  Their music was everywhere…radio, roller rink, pool parties etc.  But they seem to always have 2 sides, you like ’em or you don’t.  Never saw much middle ground and it seems most people can’t stand Dennis DeYoung’s voice.  I’m in the “like ’em” camp although I’m not a fanatic and I’ve never seen them play with Dennis in the band, so I decided to go see the voice that was a huge part of my youth, good or bad.

I had sort of forgotten about the show until just a few days prior and invited a friend at the last minute to go.

Night Ranger was the opener and I hadn’t seen them before, either.  They rolled through their greatest hits with ease and with pure energy.  To be precise, they were completely badass.  I was really blown away by 2 main things, Jack Blades’ voice and Brad Gillis’ guitar playing.  Jack’s voice was sharp and he had no problem getting high in the vocal range.  Kelly Keagy and Gillis were no slouches in the vocal department either.  Overall it was a killer set and good to see Keri Kelli again.  Highlights were Don’t Tell Me You Love Me and When You Close Your Eyes.

Dennis DeYoung had recently been playing 2 sets containing all of the Grand Illusion album but last night it was just one set of basically Styx’s greatest hits.  As expected, the whole band was on point, musically and vocally including Dennis.  He’s a very spry 71 but his voice is still strong.  Lots of memories from middle school flooded in.  It was quite an enjoyable show and the highlights for me were Best of Times, Lorelei and Suite Madame Blue.

Dennis DeYoung Setlist

Night Ranger Setlist

Written by The Metal Files

June 2, 2018 at 3:22 pm

Heart Concert Review, Austin, TX, October 16, 2016

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Heart played to a sold out crowd last night in Austin at my favorite venue, The Moody Theater at ACL Live.

It was a good set but seemed to be over as fast as it had begun.  The Wilson sisters sounded great and the backing band was flawless.  It was a nice surprise to hear Mistral Wind from Dog and Butterfly.  Easily the highlight of the show for me.  Having seen the setlist from a few nights before, I knew that they were going to play 3 Led Zeppelin songs as their encore and I had no interest in that, so we left just as No Quarter had started.

Throughout the show I couldn’t help but think about my Aunt Dianne who died earlier this year.  She and her sister, my Aunt Debbie, were big Heart fans and the trips to Pennsylvania sitting in Grandma’s listening to their Heart records with my cousins are some really special memories.

Short set for that price and I’m not sure I’d go see them again to be honest unless they started doing full album shows.  I’d love to see them do all of Dog and Butterfly or Dreamboat Annie.

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Written by The Metal Files

October 17, 2016 at 10:12 am

Alice Cooper Concert Review, Austin, TX, August 21, 2016

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Alice rolled into Austin again for the 3rd time in 2 years…and there’s nothing wrong with that!  I’d go see him every week if I could.

As it was last year, we were served an evening with just Alice Cooper.  I was quite pleased to see that the setlist was different for this tour.  I ended up with 3rd row seats at stage right on Ryan Roxy’s and Chuck Garric’s side.  Ryan pitched a pick perfectly to me towards the end of the show.

Overall it was great and Alice’s voice was in good condition and his backing band was as solid as ever.  One of these days I’ll get Garric and Hendrikson added to The Book.

The only down side to the show was the amount of fucking camera phones being held up the whole show.  Don’t get me wrong, I will snap some shots but I don’t keep my phone out and held up the whole show.  It was really annoying.  But I digress.

Highlights would be Ballad of Dwight Fry, Elected, The World Needs Guts and a good rendition of Ace of Spades.  It was a strong set overall.

I used a couple of my own photos as well as some from Christie O. and John A.  Thanks!

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

August 22, 2016 at 11:02 am

Gordon Lightfoot Concert Review, Austin, TX, June 21, 2016

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Gordon Lightfoot will be 78 later this year.  He still tours.  He plays 2 sets and stands the whole time.  That’s pretty awesome.

Given his age, his voice has deteriorated a lot and it’s only in a few spots here and there that you can hear his golden voice from the 70s.  He’s much higher-pitched and weaker nowadays but he gets it done and does it without a teleprompter which I think is even more impressive.  His guitar playing is still pretty good, too.

He seems like quite a personable guy.  Doing some quick research online, it looks like he just got married (again) 2 years ago to the 55 year old actress Kim Hasse.

It was a good show overall and was comparable to the show I saw 2 years ago.  He played pretty much everything one would want to hear at his shows and it brought back great memories of being a kid listening to AM gold with my Mom.

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Foreigner Concert Review, Austin, TX, April 21, 2016

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Let’s briefly go back in time…

I guess it was on the “4” tour for Foreigner that my oldest brother, Mark, went to the show (Norfolk Scope 1981?).  He was a pretty big fan of the band and I think most people probably liked some of their stuff.  In the late 70s and early-to-mid-80s you couldn’t get away from them.  I liked them enough.  Urgent is a great song.  Beyond I Want To Know What Love Is, I pretty much like all of their hits.  And for many of us musicians, Jukebox Hero has a lot of meaning.

Flash forward to today.  Foreigner still tours…a lot.  But wait.  Who’s in the band?  Lou Gramm is long gone.  But Mick Jones is still on guitar, right?  Nope.  Who’s left from the original lineup?  No one.  NO ONE.  Mick has had some major health problems in recent years and can’t tour.  He did an acoustic TV appearance with the band a couple of months ago and looked pretty frail on that.  So what we had last night was the most solid Foreigner cover band you could ever see and I was aware of that fact when I bought the VIP/meet and greet pass.

I’ve got a few friends that call me crazy for doing that with bands, but there’s usually a mission behind it and that’s to get certain musicians in The Book.  With Foreigner, two of the guys were in 80s metal bands that I liked and actually have a little personal history with one of them.

Typically on these things it’s just a small group of folks but last night they had nearly 100 people buy the VIP.  It’s also usually known up front if personal autographs would be allowed.  Nothing noted during the purchase about that.  This was not a cheap purchase by any means.  We’re not talking KISS prices by any stretch of the imagination, but not chump change either.  I was there on a mission.  This one didn’t state either way so I went for it.  As they’re explaining the process, the girl mentioned “no personal autographs”.  Everything puckered up quickly.  She walked through the line to see if folks had questions and when she got to me, she got an earful.  Respectfully of course.   I showed her The Book and explained to her blah blah blah.  She leaned in to me and said, “I’ll do my best to make it happen.  Just hang tight and maybe drop back in line a little.”  OK.

So we’re going through the backstage area of the awesome Moody Theater and I’m noticing that only 2-3 other people had something extra with them.  It was almost my turn to meet the band and she comes up to me and says, “It’s happening.  Do the picture then just hang out over there with Bill (another manager) until everyone goes through.”  I hugged her.

As I got up to the band to shake their hands, Jeff Pilson (Dokken et als) was first.  I mentioned I was a huge early Dokken fan and said, “Me too!”  When I spoke to Kelley Hansen (Hurricane), I mentioned our history. “What did I do?”  I mentioned him contacting me around 2001 when I was selling a promo only Hurricane picture disc that he apparently had never seen and didn’t own.  We had worked out a trade.  “That was you?!  I still have that thing and still haven’t seen another!”  A couple of quick photos and I was shuffled off to Bill who says, “Leave the book here and I’ll bring it to you after they sign it.”  ummm…What?  No, sir.  Sorry, that book doesn’t leave my sight.  Allison heard our exchange and said, “He’s fine, Bill.”

As I’m waiting for the last 20 or so folks to do their thing with the band, I see Joey Kramer from Aerosmith walk in with a small entourage.  HOLY SHIT.  Joey Kramer.  He lives locally and is out and about often but this was my first encounter.  He walks by me and I just say, “Hey Joey, how’s it going.  Got a moment to sign something?”  “Sure, man.  Whatcha got?”  I flip The Book open to the Aerosmith page, he asked my name and signed it.  I mentioned how much his playing blew me away the 3 or 4 times I had seen them since the 80s.  “Best American rock drum shuffle ever”, I said.  “Thanks, Sean.  Nice to meet you.”  To be honest, I got a little star struck.  I’ve met a lot of bands over the years, but for whatever reason, maybe the surprise of seeing him, got me all worked up for a moment.  That made the price of admission completely worth it.

After the crowd got through the line, Kelley came over and signed the book, shook my hand and moved on.  Pilson came over and we chatted for a few minutes.  Told him I saw Dokken/Aerosmith in 89.  He asked who was better and I said, “We were mainly there to see Dokken.”  He seems like a pretty laid back guy.

I ran my stuff back to my truck quickly and went back in.  I was front row, just off center.  The show started at 815PM and they were slated to only play 13 songs.  Just the hits and nothing more.  I’ll say this, they were fantastic.  Everyone in that band is a solid professional, it’s just unfortunate that no original members are still playing in the band.  I heard a lot of complaints around me about Jones not being there.  It was a sold out show, too.  As stated earlier, I knew what to expect going it, but it was all worth it.  That said, I’ll never go see them again, even if Jones was able to come back.

I do want to give a hand to Kelley Hansen’s vocals and performance.  That guy’s voice was perfect.  He does, however, look a lot like Steven Tyler these days and is copping his moves pretty hard.  Some of his between song banter was annoying but he was also playing to the older crowd that was there.  At 46, I was one of the youngest in attendance.  As he was introducing the band, he stated that Jeff Pilson was a founding member of Dokken.  Part of me wanted to yell, “What about Juan Croucier?!”  haha.  He also mentioned that one of the guitarists had been assaulted the night before in downtown Austin.   The drummer was a beast, but I could have done without the drum solo.  They were slated to do Long, Long Way From Home in the encore but it got nixed for a little love fest tribute to Prince.  They had a local high school choir doing backing vocals in I Want to Know What Love Is and ended it with Hot Blooded.

Overall an enjoyable night.

 

Written by The Metal Files

April 22, 2016 at 10:03 am