Posts Tagged ‘armored saint’
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.
Three things in San Antonio have stood the test of time: Saxon, Armored Saint and Jason McMaster. Let’s just face facts, Saxon’s biggest USA fanbase is in Texas with the majority in the San Antonio area. Last night proved that.
The weather was bad all day but I drove down and arrived at the venue pretty early to meet up Armored Saint/DC4/Odin guitarist, Jeff Duncan, who I hadn’t seen since the Odin reunion show in LA a few years back. We met when his band DC4 was in town for SxSW about 5 years ago. His brother, Shawn, and I have been friends for a few years prior and I helped them out when they were in town. Jeff and Jason met me at the back door of 210 Kapone’s and walked me in. While sound checking Armored Saint, I got to meet John Bush and the Sandoval brothers. I had previously met Joey Vera at the Arch/Matheos show a few years back.
The Saint guys went back to their hotel after signing The Book (thanks, Jeff!) to rest and clean up and Jason and I hung out while some of the local openers were playing on the second stage. The crowd was starting to build around 730 and lots of friends were showing up. Jason’s thrash band, Evil United was scheduled to go on at 8PM. Thanks to Jeff, Jason and Saint’s manager I got an all access pass that was good though the end of the Saint set.
Evil United hit the stage and opened with Dead Can See from their new album, Honored By Fire, followed up by three more from that album. They went back to their self-titled debut for Dawn of Armageddon. The 30ish minute set was capped by a brutal cover of Judas Priest’s Tyrant. The crowd was into the set from the first note to the last. Jason is highly regarded in San Antonio because of his work with Watchtower and Dangerous Toys. He’s consistently flown the metal flag in Texas for 30+ years. Evil United sounded great. Don Van Stavern’s bass was crushing through the mains. I especially like EU’s drummer. That dude is pretty much a badass. The band was tight and the set was too short, but such is life. Jason has a long history with Armored Saint dating back to the early 80s and had remained friends with them since then. It was great seeing them hang out together.
Armored Saint was using EU’s backline so there wasn’t much of a changeover between bands beyond changing cymbals out and switching guitar pedal boards. They hit the stage around 855 with the title track from their new album, Win Hands Down. I like this song a lot and have listened to it several times since the single was released. They totally got the crowd going with March of the Saint and Nervous Man. Bush’s vocals were spot on and Jeff’s backing vocals sounded great. The guitar tandem of Jeff and Phil Sandoval is pretty crushing. The whole band was extremely tight and their setlist spanned every album. Symbol of Salvation is my favorite album and their played Reign of Fire and Last Train Home. The increasingly growing crowd was totally into their 11 song set that closed with Mad House from March of the Saint. Of course Can U Deliver elicited the greatest response. I had never seen Saint before and last night’s show was great. Just what I needed! After their set I went back to Saint’s dressing room for a bit to hang with Jeff and Jason. I didn’t want to be all up in their business as it was pretty humid in there last night and those guys put on an intense set so I knew they were a bit worn out. Bobby Jarzombek was up there and was having a discussion with John Bush about whose Mexican food was better, LA or San Antonio. It was pretty humorous.
Saxon was up next and it’s well known around here that I am not a fan beyond 3 songs or so. I just could never get into Biff’s voice, their lyrics and their riffs. Believe me, I have owned several of their album to no avail. They hit the stage to a seemingly capacity crowd opening with Motorcycle Man. They ran through what most would consider their most popular songs. I watched one song and went back to the room where the second stage was to sit for a while as it was vacant and I sit down. Ran into other friends out there and listened to the remainder of the show from a distance. I heard Dallas 1PM, Princess of the Night and the closers Strong Arm of the Law and Denim and Leather, and that was plenty for me. I was just bored and couldn’t wait for the show to end so that my friends and I could grab a late meal and hang out for a while at one of their houses. Saxon, however, did sound tight and the crowd was completely into it from beginning to end. That will likely be my first and last Saxon show.
Written by The Metal Files
May 25, 2015 at 11:18 am
Lots of great shows coming to the area. So many that I have to pick and choose a little more carefully to be able to afford the ones that I really want to see.
Tomorrow night I am heading to San Antonio to see Loudness. Saw them back in 2006 and they were great. RIP Munetaka Higuchi.
Next Friday is Orange Goblin and Naam(!!!). I’m not a huge OG fan but I’ve never seen them. Naam, however, has become one of my favorite bands. This is part of the Chaos in Tejas music festival.
There’s also the M.O.D. reunion show in late June that I am fortunate enough to be a part of as Milano asked my Motorhead tribute band to open up.
I just bought tickets earlier this week to see Armored Saint and Hirax at the Key Club in Hollywood. Should be a fun show. I’ve never seen Armored Saint and saw Hirax for the first time 2 years ago. I’m really excited to see Saint.
Odin is doing a reunion show in August at The Whisky and I’ll be heading out there for that one as well. I love Odin. Always have. Do a search for them on this blog site, you’ll see my inner fanboy. haha
September sees Return To Forever coming back to Austin. I got to see the first of their reunion shows a few years ago and it was quite mind-numbing. Unfortunately Al Di Meola isn’t on the tour, but Frank Gambale is a competent enough player to handle the duties. We get Jean Luc-Ponty this time as well!
Written by The Metal Files
May 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm
A song from this was on one of the many compilation tapes that Kelz sent me over the years. It was the song Blood on the Blade from Skullview‘s debut CD. I bought this CD and the followup and have enjoyed them both over the years but there was always something missing and I still can’t put my fingers on it. They vocals were fine, the riffs were fine…these guys were a good traditional American metal band but something always seemed to be lacking. I always thought the drummer was a bit boring and a tad sloppy. I don’t know. But nonetheless, this album is certainly worth putting ears to a few times.
They did play one of the Keep It True fests and I am sure some of the other US metal festivals. I used to correspond with the guitarist quite a bit in the days of the old usenet metal forums. Great dude, fine guitarist. Wonder what he’s up to these days?
I guess I could compare them to Armored Saint and Early Jag Panzer…a little anyway.
You know as I sit here and listen to this album again, I blame it on the drummer. He definitely had some meter problems which translated to the rest of the band.
Sure we all remember the movie “Decline of the Western Civilization – The Metal Years” and the scene where Mr. Gazzari was trying to get the crowd to chant “Odin!” The band came off like fluff and stuff in the vid, especially in the hot tub scene…but let me tell you, their debut album rocked.
This was another album that a former friend from high school turned me on to and for it I am eternally grateful. The production wasn’t so great and sounded thumpy on my record player but I loved this record. I still do. When I put it in the CD player, it usually gets 2 or 3 listens in a row.
I’m even more excited now that I found out last night that DC4 is playing here in a few weeks. DC4 features Shawn and Jeff Duncan from Odin. Jeff also plays for Armored Saint now. Apparently Odin just released a best of CD with DTNFAA (pictured) in its entirety and remastered by Roy Z. I highly recommend it. The albums that came after this were a little difficult to listen to. They really fell into the the Motley Crue/GnR styles and it just didn’t work for them IMHO. 12 O’Clock Is a great song though and the studio version is much better than the live version featured in the Metal years movie.
DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER
01. The Writer
02. One Day To Live
03. Shining Love
04. Solar Eye
05. Don’t Take No For An Answer
06. Judgement Day
Randy “O” – vocals
Jeff Duncan – guitar and backing vocals
Aaron Samson – bass and backing vocals
Shawn Duncan – drums