The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘at&t center

Scorpions/Ratt – Concert Review – San Antonio, Tx – July 23, 2010

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San Antonio, TX July 23, 2010

Amazing.  In a word that’s the best way to describe this show.  But as always, I will go into more detail.

The day starts out with me picking up Christine and Charlotte, piling their pretty selves in my car and heading 75 miles south to San Antonio to the AT&T Center.  Since it’s a Friday we allowed some extra time to

Christine, Charlotte, Yours Truly

get through Austin and SA’s traffic.  Good idea.  The doors opened at 6:30 and we arrived at about 5:45.  Hung out in the parking lot, had a beer, talked music and talked a lot of BS.  Good times.

We hop in line and 15 minutes later we were in the door.  Of course we head to the merch booth to check out the shirts.  Both Ratt’s and the Scorpion’s shirts were pretty fugly so I didn’t pick one up.  That’s a rarity, me no picking up a concert shirt.  We’re inside, grab a beer and go find out seats.  I of course looked at the seating chart as I was buying the tickets but didn’t really realize how good they were.  My photographer friend, Jinger, was behind us when she wasn’t in the photo pit shooting both bands.

The place was filling in pretty well and I believe it was sold out by the end of the night.  San Antonio is a legendary town for metal.  So many bands from around the world got their first US break there.  Scorpions and Ratt were 2 of those bands.  Sure Ratt was popular in the LA scene on the early 80s, but SA radio really pumped them and got them out of California.  The SA crowds are great too.  They love metal there.  It’s pretty awesome.

Warren, Carlos and Robbie

The lights go down and on comes Ratt.  Thanks to the interwebz I had seen the setlist that they have been running for this tour and was pretty stoked for it.  Morning After!  Alright!  Stephen Pearcy was never known for being a great singer and he’s still not, but he did a pretty good job last night.  The band consisted of Pearcy, Warren DeMartini, Bobby Blotzer, Robbie Crane and Carlos Cavazo(!).  Carlos!  I’ve always been a huge fan of the first 3 Quiet Riot albums that Carlos was on.  Was fortunate enough to meet and hang out with him in 98.  Nice guy, fine guitarist.  Ratt sounded great overall.  Warren is definitely a hotshot player.  Robbie’s been in the band for a long time now and did a fine job.  He’s got strong backing vocal skills too.  Seeing Ratt was a bit special for me as I had never seen them before.  “Back in the day” they came to town with Poison and Bon Jovi and I refused to pay to see either of those bands.  Blech!  So this was a perfect bill for me to see them on, even if it was 20+ years after their heyday.  The only song I didn’t care for in their setlist was Way Cool Jr.  That song sucked then and it still sucks now.

Here’s the setlist as I recall it:

  1. You’re In Love
  2. Lay It Down
  3. Lack Of Communication
  4. Loving You’s A Dirty Job
  5. I Want A Woman
  6. Best Of Me
  7. Slip Of The Lip
  8. Nobody Rides For Free
  9. Back For More
  10. Way Cool Jr.
  11. Wanted Man
  12. The Morning After
  13. Round And Round

Damn fine setlist.

RATT says goodbye

After the Ratt set, the girls and I go out and grab a drink and they run into some friends of theirs who ended up joining us for the Scorpions set.

The music on the PA at rock concerts has always been an interesting subject of discussion.  Before the Scorps came on, they were paying all Nickelback.  It was pretty annoying.  Then Back In Black comes on (very

Klaus and Rudy...Sting of the Tail!

loudly) and of course people start cheering.  I never cared for that song but it’s fun seeing how amped people get anytime it gets played in an arena.  20 seconds into it, the lights go down, the songs ends and here comes Rudy Schenker walking on the stage to open the show.  The crowd goes apeshit…including me.  Rudy!  RUDY!  The rest of the band quickly follows and they open up with Sting In The Tail from the new album.

The band sounded great all night.  Klaus’ voice was clean and powerful even though you can tell that they were playing everything tuned down.  But for a dude that’s 62, he did a fine job.  They all did.  They have some Polish bass player named Pawel Maciwoda and James Kottak on drums.  Kottak is a maniac.  One of those showy type drummers, but solid as a rock and did a great job.  He did a drum solo and had a rather humorous synchronized video of him in a bunch of different live recreations of Scorpions albums.  For me the video was more interesting than the solo, but the guy obviously has a great sense of humor.

I’ve seen the Scorpions twice before.  Once in 1991 on the Crazy World Tour and the other in 2002 with DIO and Deep Purple.  This show was probably better than the 98 show but hard to top the 91 show.  I was a little


letdown that they played nothing from the Uli Roth era as in recent years.  They had been doing either In Trance or We’ll Burn the Sky, but nothing on this tour…their final tour.  In general it didn’t matter.  They were great.  They did Send Me An Angel and dedicated it ti Ronnie James Dio.  For Angel and Holiday, Rudy and Matthias had a Flying V and Explorer electric/acoustics!  It made me giggle a bit but it was pretty cool.

One great surprise was at the beginning of their encore.  Klaus talked about how special San Antonio was to helping the Scorpions then they went right into Still Loving You.  This is the only show on the tour, as I can tell, that this song was played.  We freaked out.  They dropped Winds of Change (thank God).  That song always annoyed me.  The finished up with No One Like You and Rock You Like A Hurricane.  I would have stayed for another 2 hours of music had then been able to do it.  The energy from the crowd and from the band were pretty amazing.  In recent years the only show that rivaled this one was Iron Maiden in 2008.

The setlist:

  1. Sting Of The Tail
  2. Make It Real
  3. Bad Boys Running Wild
  4. The Zoo
  5. Coast To Coast
  6. Loving You Sunday Morning
  7. The Best Is Yet To Come
  8. Send Me An Angel
  9. Holiday
  10. Raised On Rock
  11. Tease Me Please Me
  12. Dynamite
  13. Kottack Attack (Drum Solo)
  14. Blackout
  15. Six String Sting (Matthias rocks out)
  16. Big City Nights
  17. Still Loving You (encore)
  18. No One Like You (encore)
  19. Rock You Like A Hurricane (encore)

The drive home was long and both of the girls fell asleep.  It was an incredible night for  a lot of reasons.

Upon returning home to downtown Austin, I walked across the street and caught the last 2 songs from Jason McMaster’s Killa Maul Metallica tribute.  Awesome as always.  Slipped across the street from there and ate a slice of pizza, drank half a beer, came home and went to bed.

Wonderful night with wonderful people.

Long live the Scorpions!


The Zoo


Iron Maiden – Concert Review – 06/12/2010

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The last time I saw Maiden was in 2008 on the Somewhere In Time Tour in San Antonio, Texas.  It was probably the best performance I had ever seen by the band and was my 3rd show since the Seventh Son Tour.  Anyone who knows me knows that Maiden is my number one band of all time.  Sure they have some albums that I despise, but I love them.  Always have, always will.

When I found out that they were coming to San Antonio’s AT&T Center this year, I was stoke.  Even more so because this time it was an inside arena show.  There’s something special about seeing big bands in an arena as compared to an amphitheater.  I wasn’t too excited to learn that Dream Theater was opening up.  Sure, they’re a talented band but I haven’t cared for anything they have put out since Images and Words.

As usual for just about any show, I bought 2 tickets.  Someone always wants to go who may have forgotten to get a ticket or couldn’t afford one at the time or whatever.  My spare ticket was originally purchased for my guitar player but he decided a few weeks ago that he didn’t want to go.  No biggie.  So I asked my beautiful friend Christine to go with me as my guest and thankfully she obliged.  Her knees may have even buckled a little when I asked.  :)

The only unfortunate thing was that I bought my tickets late in the day when they went on sale as I forgot all about it.  I got decent seats, but not great seats.  No biggie.  Just being there is all that matters.

A few weeks ago my friend Michael asked if he and our mutual friend, Sean, could go with us and of course I said yes.  He’s a huge Maiden fan as well, no matter that he’s the bass player for a well known country band in Texas.   A few days before the show we were chatting he said that he may be able to get us better seats or a box suite for the show.  He knows a dude who knows a dude or something like that.  I got even more excited about the show, but even without a hookup, the trip with good friends to see the greatest band in the world was going to be wonderful…and it was.

I saw the setlists from the previous 2 shows in Dallas and Houston and was originally a little disappointed that it contained stuff primarily from the last 3 albums with 3 or 4 old songs thrown in at the end.  After a day or 2 of rationalizing, I figured hey, they did the hits tour 2 years ago, why not play stuff that is fresh to them, eh?  Sure, having to endure songs from the painful Dance of Death wasn’t making me excited but they were playing some stuff from Brave New World and the awesome A Matter of Life and Death.  So, we’re all good here.

So here we are on Saturday, show day.  I played taxi and picked everyone up separately and we headed south to San Antonio.  We get to the venue around 6:30PM and the crowd is rolling in.  It’s a hot and beautiful day.

There was a merch booth outside and we grabbed a load of shirts and then get in line as the doors were open to the venue.  Michael and Sean had to go to the will call booth to get theirs so we met them inside.  Christine and I hit another merch booth and I buy some more shirts.  Iron Maiden always makes shirts especially for their Texas shows and this one was no exception.  In 2008 I only bought one shirt for me and the next day they were selling on eBay for $100 or more.  You see, I am a capitalist.  If I can turn a profit on my investment, I’m going to do it.  So I bought a small load of the Texas only shirts.  We’ll see how my venture turns out.  :)

Michael calls us as we are finishing up at the booth and we meet him near the main entrance.  We get introduced to his “guy” and we’re ushered up the step to the box suites.  He says, “I’ll bring some beer in a little bit but this is the best I can do for the moment.”  The best you can do?  Dude!  You just put us in a beautifully decorated box with a great view of the stage!  None of us were complaining and we were all a little freaked out by the whole thing.  It was very special treatment and I certainly owe my friend something huge in return for this.

After getting my head back down to earth, the lights go down and Dream Theater takes the stage.  I’m not really a fan even thought I like their first 2 albums.  I don’t know any of the material beyond Images and

Dream Theater

Words and suspected that they wouldn’t play anything except Pull Me Under.  I was right.  Their performance was solid but I was a little bored.  The rest of crowd seemed to enjoy them pretty well.

Here’s their list:

  1. As I am
  2. A Rite of Passage
  3. Home
  4. Constant Motion
  5. Panic Attack
  6. Constant Motion
  7. Pull Me Under

Dream Theater taking their final bows

Between sets, Michael and Sean go down to see where their seats are and they’re close to the front on Gers’ side and they stay there for Maiden’s set.  Christine and I stay in the box.  It was literally about 10 rows straight up from where our seats were, so why leave?

Maiden hits the stage and starts the rock with Wicker Man.  The sound was good and the band was energetic.  In true Maiden style, they changed back drops quite a bit and Bruce was all over the stage.  The band was

Bruce Bruce. Photo used by permission by Jay West

great.  They always are.  As most who know me already know, I despise the fact that Gers is still in the band.  It always pains me to see him prancing around the stage and playing sloppy solos.  Last night was a little different though.  It seems as if they have maybe reigned him in a little bit.  Sure he did a little of his prancing and guitar twirling, but he mostly stayed to his side of the stage.  I think also that since they were primarily playing songs from “his” era, he was involved in the music a little more.  His solos were pretty good.  It does still pain me to see him doing some of Adrian’s solos in the old stuff while Adrian is standing there on stage.  I would assume that Adrian isn’t bothered by it.

Christine and I rocked it in the suite.  It was a blast and was a very special night.  Any night seeing Iron Maiden is special for me.  Bruce stated that the show was sold out but I saw lots of empty seats.  Maybe some people got mad about the setlist and didn’t show.  Who cares.  We were there.  Dallas got to see them do Brighter Than a 1000 Suns but for Houston and and San Antonio we got Wrathchild.  I would have preferred 1000 Suns.  I love that song.  I think they threw it in the list as a replacement to keep the crowd involved.  Bruce said several years ago that US fans only wanted to hear the hits and that it was annoying.  He was right.  We got the hits 2 years ago so I can totally see why they wanted to do a set of stuff that was more fresh to them.  They played a new song from the upcoming album…El Dorado.  It sounded much better live than on the studio recording that was released last week.

One awesome thing that I saw was that there were 2 people on the floor behind the soundboard doing sign language to every song for both bands and all of the between song banter.  Obviously there were some deaf people in that section.  That was pretty cool to see.

Here’s Iron Maiden’s setlist:

  1. The Wicker Man
  2. Ghost of the Navigator
  3. Wrathchild
  4. El Dorado
  5. Pachendale
  6. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
  7. These Colours Don’t Run(!!!)
  8. Blood Brothers
  9. Wildest Dreams
  10. No More Lies
  11. Brave New World
  12. Fear of the Dark (I hate this song…and album)
  13. Iron Maiden
  14. Number of the Beast (encore – they have a new devil!)
  15. Hallowed Be Thy Name (encore)
  16. Running Free (encore)

Let me just add in here that I am so friggin’ glad I didn’t have to sit through the Trooper.  That almost made the show worth it right there.

Overall it was a great night with great friends seeing the greatest band in the world.  I am utterly humbled and thankful for the special treatment that we got.  The drive home was great and went by quickly.  All of us talking about the show.  This was Shawn and Christine’s first Maiden show and they were blown away.  It’s funny, Michael and I have only known each other for about 2 years.  He’s originally from Virginia as well.  He was wearing his original Seventh Son tour shirt and we both saw that show at the Hampton Coliseum in 1988.  Small world.  Thanks Michael, Christine and Sean.  Always nice to share experiences like this with good people.

I’ll have videos uploaded soon.  For now, enjoy the pictures.

Iron Maiden

Sean and Christine in our sweet suite

The view from up there...where eagles dare.

Me, Michael, Sean...Eddie's boys

La mas bonita del mundo disfrutando el show.

Texas only shirt...front

Texas only shirt...back

Iron Maiden

Always look on the bright side of life...

See more of Jay West’s awesome photos here!


Written by The Metal Files

June 13, 2010 at 10:23 am