The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘black sabbath

Frost and Fire Metal Fest Concert Review, Ventura, CA, October 17, 2015

with one comment

IMG_1189use

This past weekend I attended the Frost and Fire Metal Fest in Ventura, CA.  This fest could also have been called the “I can’t believe I’m hanging out with Cirith Ungol Fest.”

When this festival was announced several months ago, just based on the lineup and who put it on, I wanted to be there.  Jarvis Leatherby of Night Demon is the organizer and is a good friend of mine.  Night Demon stays with me every time they play Austin and I love those guys.  Shortly after the show announcement, it was updated to say that Tim Baker and Robert Garven would be at the fest to sign autographs.  Even more of a reason to go.  As the fest drew nearer, Mike Flint and Greg Lindstrom were also added to the meet and greet.  WHOA.  That’s a big deal, especially in the traditional metal realm.  So I bought my ticket and booked my flight promptly.

I got to LAX around 5PM and got my rental car pretty quickly.  There were major traffic snarls north of LA (shocker, right?), so I decided to kill some time in Hollywood at The Rainbow, which makes some of my favorite pizza ever.  I’m there pre-rockstar hour but just wanted to relax a little before heading to Ventura.  Chrissy comes on for her shift and recognized me from past visits.  “The Texas guy” she calls me.  My drinks and pizza got comped because of whatever, so score!  I get my car from the valet and make my way up to Ventura.  Traffic was still a little heavy but not too bad.

I get to the hotel, drop my bag and walk over to an Irish pub where my friend Rodney is hanging out with some of his friends from Mexico and Spain, one of which I knew already from Ragnarokkr 2014.  We’re all hanging out, drinking beers and such and are joined by a British guy named Tom Draper who played guitar for Angel Witch from 2013-2015.  Great guy.  After that we walked to the beach for a late night stroll.  It was a perfect night out there.  Great meeting Ieltxu from Spain, Xole and Sarai from Mexico and seeing my good pal, Mauricio from Mexico.

Rodney and I were sharing a room at the hotel.  It had some issues.  No shower curtain, water wouldn’t shut off in the tub spigot, toilet took about 4 tried for anything to go down.  We let the plumber take care of the shower issues and he said the pipes were all slow, so no help on the toilet.  Way to save water, California!  We headed out to Salzer’s Record store on the other side of Ventura.  I was carrying a slight headache and the incense in that shop were killing me so I hung outside on the bench in the cool air and just relaxed with a sugar free Red Bull.  The weather was perfect. After the record store we meet up with some of Rodney’s friends from Belgium and walk back into town to eat at a BBQ place.  It was alright.  Definitely not Texas style. but it hit the spot.  I was pretty tired from traveling still and went back to the hotel to catch a quick nap.  Doors were at 4PM with the first band, Wolfcross, on at 5PM and I didn’t want to miss any of the action.

After a 25 minute or so nap, I throw on my clothes, grab The Book, and walk the 3 blocks to the venue, Bombay Bar and Grill.  Upon walking in, I’m given my will-call ticket, a raffle ticket, 2 compilation CDs and march myself to the outdoor vending area to find Andrew Bansal from Metal Assault working the merch for Night Demon and official Frost and Fire shirts.  Andrew is an awesome guy and works with Night Demon when they’re on the road.  The kid loves metal and works hard at it.

Most of the bands had some merch out and it was great seeing some of the folks that I knew already.  I was especially pleased to meet the Davis brothers from Ashbury.  Great guys.

And then like clockwork, Wolfcross comes on promptly at 5PM.  Here’s the breakdown and my opinions of each band in order of performance and some backstory that I have with a few of them.  Bands alternated stages and no two bands played simultaneously.

  • Wolfcross – Quality traditional metal power trio.  I enjoyed their set although there seemed to be some sound issues.  Not their fault.  Hope to catch them again sometime.  Cool cover of Roky Erickson’s Two Headed Dog, too.
  • Helion Prime – Probably my least favorite band of the festival.  They played a solid set but their riffs and vocal melodies just didn’t catch my ear.  Maybe a little too much on the prog side for my tastes.  They got a good response from the crowd that ventured to the back room to catch their set.
  • Blade Killer – One of the best surprises of the fest for me.  Their set was powerful and their singer can wail with the best of ’em.  They’ve got the riffs and both guitarists can play quality solos.  I really hope they can do a tour or end up at some of the other US fests.  I wanted a shirt as well but they didn’t have my size, but I did buy their CD EP.  Certainly looking forward to hearing more from them and to seeing them live again.
  • Gygax – I was really looking for to catching this band, primarily because I’ve known their guitarist, Armand, for several years.  His old band, New Liberty, played Austin a few times during SxSW in years past and I became friends with him and Dustin (Night Demon drummer) through that.  Gygax also features the vocalist/bassist from Gyspyhawk who I had seen a time or 2 in Austin.  Essentially, Gygax is Thin Lizzy worship with Dungeons and Dragons lyrics.  Their set was killer and they have a full length coming out soon.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a shirt although Armand told me they brought a few to sell that went pretty quickly.
  • Steel Prophet – Neil Turbin (Anthrax, Turbin, et als) had signed on with Steel Prophet just recently.  The guitarist I played with for several years in Austin, Doug Morrison (from Ventura), was in the band Turbin with Neil when he first moved to LA after his exit from Anthrax.  I had never seen Steel Prophet before and although I had owned a couple of their CDs over the years, I was more familiar with them for their work on several cover albums over the years.  Steven Kachinsky Blackmoor was the only original member left in the band.  He signed the book prior to the first band going on.  Nice guy.  Their set was solid and Neil sounded good but apparently they didn’t get many rehearsals prior to the show as Neil had to use a lyric sheet for the set.  No surprise and it didn’t detract from their performance.  The only negative of their set for me was their cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, a song I don’t like at all.  Beyond that it was a good set.  I caught up with Neil afterwards and had him sign The Book and my Fistful of Metal CD cover.  Their crowd size suffered a bit because the Cirith Ungol meet and greet was happening at the same time.
  • BAT – I’d seen BAT before and knew what to expect.  It was a solid set of power thrash that features Ryan Waste from Municipal Waste, Felix Griffin from DRI on drums and Nick Poulos on guitar.  He’s a shredder.  I loved their set and it was good to hang out with Ryan and Felix before and after the show.  I heard a few people complain that BAT “didn’t fit” the show, but I think otherwise.  They had a great response.
  • Savage Master – I first caught Savage Master earlier this year in Chicago at Ragnarokkr 2015.  I think their Frost and Fire performance was a lot better.  I didn’t think that Stacey Savage was comfortable in Chicago but she certainly seemed that way in Ventura.  Their set was really good and it was great seeing the crowd sing along to some of their songs.  Hopefully I’ll catch them again this week in Austin.
  • Visigoth – I first became aware of them when my now ex-band, Eternal Champion, played with them at Ragnarokker 2014 in Chicago.  Singer Jake Rogers was sick that night but still put on a hell of a performance.  Visigoth has exploded since then getting signed by Metal Blade and doing some touring and getting scheduled for some of the Euro fests in 2016.  That’s awesome for them because they are great guys who have worked very hard.  Jake is an incredible front man and one of the best out there right now.  Most of the crowd was singing along to every song and Jake’s in your face style of stage prowling works perfectly for him.  Their set was filled with 4 songs from their album The Revenant King and three others.  Just totally badass metal.  I think they won over a few folks weren’t too familiar with them as well.
  • Ashbury – They is not a metal band but seemingly fit perfectly in this fest.  Singer/acoustic guitarist, Rob Davis, and I connected recently on Facebook and it was great to meet and talk to him and his brother before and after the show.  The front room packed out when they started their set and everyone there loved them.  Everyone was singing along and it was just an incredible set.  They played the entire Endless Skies album and closed with Tull’s Cross-Eyed Mary.  I can’t recommend the album or seeing them live enough.  They’re playing Ragnarokkr 2016.  Just absolutely incredible.  I bought one of their shirts prior to the show and had both of the brothers sign my CD.  Great guys.
  • Night Demon – This band puts 100% effort into every show they play.  They’re fronted by Jarvis Leatherby who is organizer of the fest.  They hit the stage and just went balls out as they always do.  The band is so incredibly tight and should be for all of the touring that they do.  Brent and Dustin rule.  New tour with Holy Grail starts soon!  Night Demon rocked it as always.  They’re one of those bands that I don’t get tired of seeing.  Saturday made my fifth time since April of last year!
  • Manilla Road – This is the tough one for me.  Manilla Road is a band that I should love but have never really gotten into.  I’ve owned Crystal Logic and Mystification but they never latched on like I feel they should have.  I’ve seen them twice now and they put on a great show.  Mark Shelton is an unheralded guitarist and a hell of a nice guy.  I played with them in in 2013 when I was in Eternal Champion.  The crowd loved them and they were the perfect headliner for this festival.  They’re playing Austin again soon and I’m planning on being there.

See all setlists here.

I can’t say how much I loved being there and how well-organized this was.  It was obvious that Jarvis and his crew worked hard to make this happen.  Jarvis was in constant motion the whole day making sure everything was running smoothly and that everyone was having a good time.  I don’t know how he had the energy to even get on stage and do what he does after a day like that.  I was fortunate that he pulled me aside at one point to meet Tim Baker from Cirith Ungol one on one for a few minutes.  Tim was as nice and laid back as anyone could be.  He surprised me with a King of the Dead patch.  “This is my last one.”  A gift from the gods!  Jarvis also got me one on one with Robert Garven and Mike Flint to sign The Book.  During the actual meet and greet, I got Tim and Greg Lindstrom to also sign it.  Tim handed me a Cirith Ungol backstage patch during the signing.  Another gift!  I got to spend some time later in the evening with Flint.  What a nice guy.  All of them were.  Apparently this was the first time the 4 of them had been together in about 20 years.  How cool is that?  Let’s hope for a reunion show at next year’s fest!

I met so many great people that night.  One guy named Hector that I know from Instagram recognized me and said, “Aren’t you in Eternal Champion?”  I said, “I was” and he said he was on my friends list on Instagram.  Great to meet him.  He also mentioned the Sword and Steel book that has a poem of mine in it.  That was a pretty cool moment.  We spoke several times throughout the night.  Also met another guy that I met through Instagram and Facebook, Ernesto.  Awesome guy.  One of the younger metalheads that loves the older true metal style.  The evening was filled with those types.

I also met Oliver Weinsheimer, the organizer for the popular Keep It True Festival.  Extra special was getting to hang out with my good pal, Jeff Black, from Gatekeeper.  What an awesome guy.

This festival was the perfect Size, especially for the venue.  not to mention that Ventura is a beautiful city.  I hadn’t been through there since 1997.  At the end of the night when everyone was getting shuffled out by the bar staff, many of us stood out front for some final goodbyes, pictures, hugs etc.  I really love the camaraderie at these fests.  Little to no bullshit although there apparently were 2 fights during Manilla Road and those folks got ejected.  There was also a drunk ass that was talking shit to some friends, but we made sure he took the right decision to walk away.  From there it was back to the hotel.  My feet and knees were killing me and I just wanted to lay down.  It didn’t long to fall asleep once I got settled in.  What a great fucking night!

Rodney had an early flight and left before I did.  I chilled out for a bit, took a shower, packed my bags then drove up to Serra Cross Hill to take in the view of Ventura from up there.  It was gorgeous.  I put some Paganini on and just chilled out up there for about 20 minutes.  I kind of wanted to go to the Observatory and get a closer picture of the Hollywood sign.  Prior to that, I had been talking to my friend, Jill, from Austin who was also in LA on a little vacation with her roommate.  Jill’s boyfriend, Gary, who is a close friend of mine, was also in town on tour with his band, Mala Suerte, so we decided to all meet up in Hollywood at Pinches Tacos on Sunset.  That was a lot of fun and the food was great.

After lunch I drove to the Observatory which was jam-packed.  I didn’t stop and took some time to get back out.  Beautiful drive through there, though.  At that point I just headed back to the car rental place and got a notification that my flight was being delayed an hour.  Once I got into the airport, I found a bar and shared a table with an older ex-Air Force guy who had spent time in Texas, Seattle and Arizona while still in the military.  He liked metal and we got on some good conversations about MSG, Loudness and he brought up TKO.  “Ever heard of them?”  Haha.  Hell yes.  I nerded out with him for quite a while.  After leaving the bar I went to my gate to get in line to board and some other guy came up to me asking me about my vest and just started showing me pictures from a funeral he attended over the weekend.  Apparently he’s good friends with the Dark Angel and Bloodcum guys.  While he was nice, he was also annoying.  I was pretty tired by this point of the evening and then the next thing I know he’s standing next to me with his phone in his hand and says, “I got the drummer for Bloodcum on the phone.  Want to say hi?”  I said not really but he insisted.  It was obvious with the Bloodcum guy was annoyed by the whole scenario as well.  “Sorry man, I’m not sure why he thought we should talk to each other.”  I said it was no problem, we exchanged a quick pleasantry and that was that.  At least I thought so.  Two minutes later the dude is back and said, “hey, save me a seat if you can and we’ll talk metal for the whole flight.”  I told him my plan was to go to sleep the minute I hit the plane and that I was done talking for the day.  Fortunately I boarded way earlier than him and my row got filled quickly.

Again, what a wonderful weekend.  Thank, Jarvis, for putting this one!  Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!

Uli Roth and Black Knights Rising Concert Review, Houston, TX, February, 13, 2015

leave a comment »

When I saw that the Extreme Guitar Tour was coming through Houston, on a weekend night no less, I had to make arrangements to go.  It was a tough drive since the Alice Cooper after party from the night before gave me a bad case of rock and roll pneumonia.  haha

Opening the show was a Canadian band called Old James.I couldn’t quite get a bead on them.  While I could tell that they were all proficient musicians, nothing sounded congruent.  No hooks.  They covered Thin Lizzy’s Cold Sweat but I couldn’t tell what it was until the chorus.  I heard a few other folks say the same thing.

Black Knights Rising (BKR) is a bit of a supergroup featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens (Winter’s Bane, Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio Disciples and many more), Craig Goldy (DIO, Giuffria, Rough Cutt), Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, DIO, Rick Derringer), Elliott Rubison (Uli Roth, MSG, CEO of Dean Guitars) and sometimes John West (Uli Roth, Royal Hunt, Artension). Based on the BKR Facebook page, Bobby Rondinelli was slated to take over drums after February 9th. That didn’t happen. Either way, both Bobby and Vinny are both in The Book, so I was set either way.  The band comes out and opens with Death Alley Driver by Rainbow and they sound great.  This show was the final night of he tour.  Everything played was either by Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath or DIO.  John West came out and went back and forth vocally with Owens on Burn.  They both sounded great!  Highlight for me, though, was Stand Up and Shout.  Vinny’s insane snare work always blew me away in that song and watching him that close live gave me a new appreciation for his playing.  He’s still a beast.  Goldy’s playing was spot on as well.  Effortless player and I’m glad I finally got to see him live.  Last time I saw Ripper live was on the Jugulator tour in Norfolk, VA.

Half of the crowd left after BKR.  Seriously.  Uli was up next and half of those folks left.  I’m still shaking my head over that.  His band is made up of John West, Elliott Rubison, Kofi Baker (son of Ginger Baker), David Klosinski (guitarist from one of the Sky Academy classes) and Allesandro Bertoni on keys.  Uli opens with All Night Long then in to Sails of Charon.  Holy crap.  To finally see him playing these Scorpions classics live was a dream come true.  His playing style is so fluid and relaxed.  He almost looks bored up there.  But even watching the old vids of Scorpions, he always has that look.   Klosinski played rhythm guitar and did some harmony soloing with Uli and was spot on with it.  How cool it must be to have Uli as a mentor.  John West sounded great.  There’s only one Klaus, and West wasn’t trying to imitate him.  He was a great fit.  Kofi’s drumming was great and you could tell that he and the band followed Uli’s every move.  He directed some jams with the wave of a hand, a nod or just some quick eye contact.  Seeing them play We’ll Burn the Sky and In Trance gave me goosebumps.  Maybe even a little verklempt during Burn the Sky.  I absolutely love that song.  The final 3 songs were all Hendrix covers, which is not surprising.  I’m not a Hendrix fan but respect his influence.  He’s obviously very important to Uli.  It was a great show.

After the show I got to meet Vinny and Goldy.  They were both very inquisitive about the book.  They signed on the DIO group photo that features both of them, so it was great that Vinny was there.  I also broke my own “no selfie 2015” rule.  Uli was available, too, but I had met him in 2000 and he signed the book back then.  It was also getting late and I was dog tired.  Great seeing some friends there as well.

Black Sabbath Concert Review, Austin, TX 7/27/2013

with 3 comments

I’ve been a fan of Black Sabbath since the mid-70s when one of my my older brothers, Robert (RIP), brought home Paranoid.  Somewhere around 78 or 79 he gave me their debut album for Christmas and it was one of the first pieces of vinyl that I ever owned.  I’ve spoken many times before about his influence on me musically and and his love for Sabbath was certainly passed on to me.  I f’n LOVE Sabbath…Ozzy, Dio, Gillan and Martin eras.  But my love for them doesn’t give them a pass.  In fact, it may make me more critical.

I’d never seen Sabbath (by name) but I did see Heaven & Hell twice.  I saw Ozzy live in 1988 and to be honest he was horrible.  At that point he was a shell of his former self.  Last night I would have called him a shell of a shell of his former self.

Lots of cards were in play with the recent Sabbath reunion.  No Bill Ward on the album because of a contract dispute (read: $$ and Sharon).  Iommi’s lymphoma which was caught early but is still being treated for every 6 weeks.  No Ward on the tour.  A new album that I think is boring, autotuned vocally and severely over-processed.  Bill couldn’t have saved the album.

Sabbath opened the recent leg of the tour in Houston the night before and the reviews of Ozzy were pretty awful.

The show was opened with Andrew WK doing a DJ of the same songs that most venues would have played prior to a concert…DIO, Slayer, AC/DC etc.  Sharon must have gotten him on the cheap!  I would have preferred an opening band.

Sabbath opened up with War Pigs then went into Into the Void(!).  By the second song Ozzy had pulled out his inner ear monitors.  He was motioning during War Pigs that his inner ear sound was jacked up.  The band sounded great the whole show.  Tony and Geezer were just incredible to watch and listen to.  Touring drummer Tommy Clufetos (Alice Cooper, John 5, Ted Nugent) did a fine job on everything except for the song Black Sabbath.  He played most of the songs pretty spot on but was doing something weird on that one that just didn’t seem to work.  He also did a drum solo and even as me being a drummer (retired), I really don’t like most drum solos, especially from metal bands.  But Ozzy said it best last night, “Rat Salad…I need to take a fucking break!”  So I can easily see why there was a solo.  Ozzy looked worn out.  Metal band drum solos are typically just a bunch of double bass, quads and triplets.  zzzz.  I’d prefer to not have a solo or to watch one where a drummer is showing me their chops.  But that’s just my opinion.  The crowd loved it and that’s what mattered.  And let’s be honest here, does anyone think Ward would have been good live at this point?  From what I have seen on Youtube and read in reviews of the reunion tour, dude had a tough enough time keeping up as it was.

I will say that I thought Ozzy was better than I expected him to be, but he wasn’t great by any means.  Strapped to his teleprompter, still not getting words right (same in 88 actually) and being flat for a majority of the show.  Sure his drug use is that of legend and in general the guy probably doesn’t know where he is half of the time.  His wife, who did save his life, seems to be money hungry and continues to prop him up like a puppet.

He sounded best on God Is Dead? and the other new songs which makes sense as they were written more about how he is able to sing now.  I was happy to see Dirty Women in the set, unfortunately he couldn’t keep up in it.  Snowblind was another highlight.

I know my opinion on this is a minority opinion, but I’d respect Ozzy more if he’d just say, “That’s all, folks.  I just can’t do it any more.”  I have a list of performers that fall into that category for me.

But all the above taken into account, I had a really good time and have zero regrets about going or about the high ticket price ($115+fees).  I felt it was the last time I’d have a chance to see Iommi and watching Geezer is always a treat.  He’s still a beast on the bass.  And Ozzy sounded better than what I had expected, so there’s that.

I did hear someone say before the show that they loved “Tommy Iommi.”  That one always cracks me up.

As we were walking out after Children of the Grave (Yes, I left before the Paranoid encore), I heard Ozzy say, “Thank you, Houston!”  He must have walked away from his teleprompter again.

Written by The Metal Files

July 28, 2013 at 9:08 am

The Bill Ward Saga Goes On

with 2 comments

This is an interesting comment from Sabbath’s camp:

“At the request of Bill Ward, through his attorney, so as to not give the public the wrong impression about his involvement in the current Black Sabbath lineup, we have temporarily removed Bill Ward’s images from the main pages of the blacksabbath.com official website. In accordance with Bill Ward’s attorney’s request, we are doing so for the duration of the forthcoming shows.” BLACK SABBATH

So Bill requested his removal from the photos?  Just gonna take your toys and go home, Bill?  Sheesh.

Written by The Metal Files

May 20, 2012 at 9:05 am

Posted in bill ward, black sabbath

Tagged with

Dear Black Sabbath, Fuck Off!

with 3 comments

Back Stabbath. Where’s Bill?

 

Revisionist history.  Sabbath and Bill Ward don’t come to an agreement for the contract of the new tour and album and they clip him out of their photos at www.blacksabbath.com?  That’s pretty shitty.  The above photo was clipped from their gallery.

Written by The Metal Files

May 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Posted in bill ward, black sabbath

Tagged with

Serpent Throne

with 2 comments

White Summer*Black Winter

I like a lot of instrumental bands but I’ve always found it difficult to find quality instrumental rock bands that didn’t write their stuff to sound like they were writing around having a singer.  Philadelphia’s Serpent Throne satisfies my instrumental craving perfectly.

I met the two guitarists, Demian Fenton and Don Argott, at the premier for the movie Last Days Here during the SxSW 2011 Film and Music Festival.  You can read my review of their movie here.  They are the guys behind the production/direction of the movie and in talking with Demian after the flick, he mentioned that he was in a band and I had forgotten about it until a few days after seeing the movie as I was wrapped up in a lot of SxSW activities.

Since then I have been spinning their stuff practically non-stop.  Metal has a lot of sub-genres and these guys would typically be classified in the stoner rock and doom categories.  To call them Black Sabbath worship is too easy.  Pretty much all metal bands worship Sabbath whether they know it or not.  Serpent Throne take it to a bit of a different level in my opinion.  They use lots great dual guitar harmonies that are reminiscent of Thin Lizzy in places.  I hear hints of Trouble (S/T LP era) in there as well, intended or not.  There are some cool hints of 70s Scorpions as well as Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash.  Maybe some Cactus too.  It’s a nice blend of great rock and metal without sounding like they are just ripping off all of the classic bands.

I think it’s pretty tough for an instrumental band of this genre to continue to write stuff and keep it interesting and Serpent Throne has done that

The Battle of Old Crow

with all 3 of their albums: Ride Satan Ride (2007), The Battle of Old Crow (2009) and White Summer*Black Winter (2010).  I highly recommend picking up all of their stuff.  Battle of Old Crow and White Summer*Black Winter are available for download from Amazon and iTunes.  I had to buy the CD for Ride Satan Ride and convert it to MP3 myself as it’s not available for legal download.

Hopefully I’ll catch these guys live sometime, even if it means heading to Philly for it.  Would be cool to have them hit Austin for a show sometime.  I think they’d do well here, especially if they were in on a SxSW gig.  So, nice work, guys!  Hope all good things come out of Last Days Here as well.

Black and Blue Concert Movie Review

with 2 comments

Last night our local independent theater chain, The Alamo Drafthouse, played the 35mm version of  the legendary Black and Blue concert from
1980 which featured Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult live in Long Island, NY.  I hadn’t seen this movie in about 20 years and had forgotten a lot about it.  For some reason I thought that there were some interviews along with the concert footage, but I was sadly mistaken.

The movie starts out with some silly little movie by BOC called Here’s Johnny.  Completely goofy.   Then the live footage starts.

Let’s clear the air here.  I’m no true BOC fan.  They have a handful of  songs that are friggin’ brilliant, but most everything else of theirs is hokey cheeseball stuff.  I’ve tried time and time again to get into them and just can’t do it save those handful of songs that I really like.  Their stage show was completely goofy.  Sure, it was 1980, but c’mon.  For the song Divine Wind, they dedicated it to the Ayatollah Khomeini and were flipping him the bird.  Yes, I know that it was a big deal when all that was going on, I remember it well.  And I guess that the news reflects in music quite often.  Remember all the songs in the last 80s and early 90s about TV preachers and such?  But still.  Too goofy for me.  Maybe had I been at the show I would not have thought the same.  The only songs that BOC did in this set that I moderately liked were Cities On Flame and Godzilla (purely for nostalgic reasons).  BOC’s stage presence is pretty boring as well.  I met those guys about 7 years ago and they were a bunch of douches.  It was at a biker rally in Virginia Beach, VA and they were doing a little meet and greet before their set.  They treated every person there like shit.  We stayed for 2 songs and left.  Fuck ’em.  But that experience plays no hand in this review.

Now, on to better things.  Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio.  Ronnie always seems more animated when the cameras are running.  When I saw DIO in 2002, he was lively but not cartoonish.  When I was at Radio City Music Hall (NYC) in 2007 for the filming of the Heaven and Hell DVD, he was certainly more lively.  Gotta play it up, eh?  But in this movie, he’s over the top, more so than I have ever noticed in past live footage.  Ronnie is very good with his between song banter.  He throws the horns aplenty.  He even says in one spot, “A lot of people mistake this sign for being something evil when it really just means long live rock and roll.”  They play a lot of the Ozzy era stuff and I never thought Dio sounded good on it.  Just like Ozzy would sound terrible doing the Dio era stuff.  They some Dio era stuff and it sounds pretty good.  Tony and Geezer are killing it although Tony looks wasted.  Geezer is playing an awesome BC Rich Eagle bass, unfortunately they don’t show him as much as I would like.  It was interesting watching him use a pick in a few songs.  Overall they sounded great but would have been a little greater had Bill Ward been behind the drums.  When they did N.I.B., Dio made the comment that it doesn’t stand for Nativity In Black, it just stands for N.I.B.

The crowd in the theater was about half full, not too shabby for a 10:15PM showing on a Monday night.  Tickets were $2 each.  Our whole row seemed to know each other and that was fun.  My friend and singer for local doom band Mala Suerte sat next to me.  I cracked him up when I leaned over and said, “This is definitely a night for mustache rock!”

In the end, it was cool to see this on the big screen and to hang out with some good friends while doing…but I am tired today.

Here’s the setlist:

BOC

  1. Here’s Johnny
  2. The Marshall Plan
  3. Doctor Music
  4. Cities On Flame
  5. Divine Wind
  6. Godzilla
  7. Roadhouse Blues (The Doors)
  8. Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf)

Black Sabbath

  1. Warpigs
  2. Neon Knights
  3. N.I.B.
  4. Iron Man
  5. Paranoid
  6. Heaven and Hell
  7. Die Young

This came out on VHS and Betamax in 1980 and a few years later on Laserdisc.  It was supposedly being released on DVD in 2002 and for unknown reasons got canned.  You can view the entire show on YouTube on this girl’s channel.