The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘concerts

Y&T Concert Review, Austin, TX, April 14, 2017

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Sorry to all 8 of my faithful readers, I’ve been super slack in keeping up with show reviews lately but trying to get my ass in gear again.

A strange thing happened Friday night in Austin, TX.  A couple of things actually.  Let’s just line these out:

  1. Y&T played in downtown Austin
  2. Y&T played an almost full house
  3. Y&T did not play San Antonio on this current tour

You may not see these things as strange, but San Antonio seemingly has had a lock on many of the classic hard rock and metal bands that still tour.  Y&T has played there at least 6 times in the last decade and hadn’t played Austin since 1987.  As many know, San Antonio had a legendary DJ named Joe Anthony who helped make a lot of bands popular in San Antonio and elsewhere for that matter.  He did a lot for the scene and even years after his death (RIP), San Antonio still holds that era near and dear to their hearts, and rightfully so.

But it’s nice to see that the winds are changing a little bit.  When this show was booked at one of Austin’s newer venues, 3Ten, I was a bit surprised.  It’s in the fancier part of downtown attached to the W Hotel and Austin City Limits Live.  I was really wondering how attendance would be for this location.  To be honest, I imagined about 50-60 would show up.

I’d not been to this venue yet but took a ride into downtown loaded with my Y&T vinyl and ready to rock with Meniketti and Co.  Upon arrival, I ran into some good friends and in we went.  The venue is just basically an open box with the stage at the far end and a bar on the right side.  But it’s a nice place and obviously owned by ACL Live.

There was no opening act and Y&T hit the stage promptly at 9.  As we were getting our spots near the stage, we were all surprised by how many people were filling in.  I was shocked.  I would have expected this show to be booked at Dirty Dog or Grizzly Hall but whatever, this was a good thing.  They hit the stage and dove right into Lipstick and Leather and followed that up with Don’t Stop Runnin’, which is my favorite song by them and easily in my top 20 songs all time by any band.  I had goosebumps through the whole song.  So many great memories of that song from a time long gone.

The band sounded great.  They mix up the setlists every night but keeping most of the hits in there.  Every song was great.  The band have been road warriors since their inception and it shows in how tight they are.  Upon introducing Winds of Change, Dave mentioned the recent deaths of original members Joey Alves and Leonard Haze and of Phil Kennemore in 2011.  That’s got to be hard knowing you’re the only one left.

They totally killed it though.  Their backing vocals are great and Meniketti is an underrated guitar god.

This may sound goofy but I was proud of this town for showing up and it was obvious a lot of long time fans were there as you could hear people singing along all throughout the venue.  Granted one of their biggest cheers came from Summertime Girls, which I understand, but they had so many great songs.  Of course people were just calling out song titles in between songs and Dave asked a girl in a wheelchair down front what she wanted to hear.  She asked for Let Me Go and Dave said they had only played that 10 times or less since it came out…then they nailed it.  Someone else had yelled out “Game Playing Woman!” from the first album.  Dave laughed and started playing the riff.  The other guitarist and drummer fell right in perfectly.  The new bassist didn’t know that one.  They only did a piece of it but it was impressive seeing Dave just whip it out off the cuff and still remember the riffs and words.

After the show, Dave came out to hang with the fans.  It’s always great hearing his stories and he loves to talk about the olden days.  Since I had a stack of stuff to get signed, I hung back to let folks say hi, get photos and such.  He was super gracious signing my 7 LP covers and their 2010 CD cover.  He talked about how extremely happy that they were about the show and that he was a little worried about attendance but that from now on, he’s planning to book Austin instead of San Antonio for future tours.  Score!  He said the last few shows down there weren’t very well attended or as enthusiastic as this one.

One observation:  what’s with dudes my age and up in bedazzled jeans and shirts?

It was a great show all around and I highly recommend seeing them.  If you weren’t a fan before, I guarantee you’ll be one after the show.

Written by The Metal Files

April 16, 2017 at 11:27 am

Warbringer, Enforcer, Exmortus & Cauldron Concert Review, Austin, TX, February 11, 2016

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Quick and easy review today.

Having only been mildly familiar with all of these bands and being on the guestlist (thanks Metal Assault!), I took the decision to see this show that started at 645PM and would be done by 1030PM.  Silly sound ordinances in downtown Austin have made it like this.  Live Music Capital of the World?  pfft.

Cauldron goes on and they left me flat like they do on the one album I’ve heard.  They just don’t have the “umph” needed to keep me interested.  Production on the album I heard was really thin and they sounded thin live, and not because of the PA.  I think the singer, who has a decent voice, just doesn’t project it at all.  Not to mention the band was sloppy in general.  Decent riffs that go nowhere.  I really think the addition of a second guitarist would help.  And maybe a metronome or some extra rehearsals every now and then.  A touring band typically gets pretty tight.  They’re a band that I really want to like but just can’t.

Exmortus was up next and I didn’t care too much for what I had listened to online, but they won me over live, mainly based on the guitar work.  Both guys are shredders and I was totally hooked in.  I look forward to seeing them again.  There were a lot of Exmortus fans in the crowd singing every song, which was cool.

Enforcer (SWE) came next and had the biggest crowd of the night.  A good amount of the crowd was certainly familiar with their material.  Their singer/guitarist is a good frontman and the band was solid overall.  You’re not getting anything original here but they were at least fun.  My favorite part was his little Texas metal speech.  Something to the effect of, “We were influenced by a lot of great Texas metal, and not that Pantera bullshit.  I’m talking Militia, Wyzard and Watchtower!”

Warbringer closed out the night with their mix of thrash and death metal.  They share a guitarist with Exmortus, so some of the solos were killer.  While I wasn’t into the spurts of the blast beats, their drummer was certainly skilled.  They put on a solid set for sure.

Written by The Metal Files

February 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

Lamb of God, Anthrax, Deafheaven & Power Trip Concert Review, Austin, TX, February 8, 2016

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I went to last night’s show solely to see Anthrax and Power Trip.  I think Deafheaven and Lamb of God are awful.  Boring, really.

Originally I wasn’t going to go then I saw that Anthrax was doing a relatively inexpensive meet and greet and I’ve wanted to meet them and to get them in The Book so I got my ticket and ordered the meet and greet.  Shortly after the M&G was announced, a local record store posted that they would be doing an in-store as well and to get anything signed, you had to buy a deck of their playing cards and no photos.  Oh well.

Doors were at 4:30PM (wow) and we were told to be there at 3:15PM.  Ultimately there were only 4 of us and we got taken to the backstage area where the band came out to say hello, sign stuff and do a few pictures and talk for a few minutes.  It was pretty obvious that Scott Ian didn’t want to be there, so I just shook his hand, had him sign The Book, a photo and my Spreading the Disease CD cover.  Charlie was checking out The Book, looked up and saw my Loudness patch and said, “I bet Loudness isn’t in here.”  I let him know that they were and that I had sigs from 3/4 of the original band.  Then he started rambling off other bands, some of them nu-metal shit, and I said that there were no bands after 1991 in here.  “Oh, cool.  Where do I get one of these?”  So I directed him to Amazon blah blah blah.  Joey and Frank were extremely nice and super chatty as was their new guitarist, Jon Donais of Shadows Fall.  I wish I had recognized him at the moment because I love Of One Blood by Shadows Fall.  I mentioned to Joey and Frank that I had first seen them on the Among tour at The Boathouse.  Scott heard me and said, “Geez, I remember that dump.  We played there a few times.”  Three to be exact, but whatever.  It was good to meet them and we were all given a deck of the Anthrax cards, a record mat, a band photo to get signed and the M&G laminate.  We were also given the opportunity to buy merch on the way out so I got a tour shirt.

Since Power Trip wasn’t going on until 6PM, I went over to Lambert’s for some awesome food and a beer as it was only 430PM when we were led back out of the venue.  I’m back at the venue are 530PM and see a bunch of friends and hang out a bit before Power Trip’s set.

I head up to the mezzanine area and sit for a few minutes.  I’ve had some back issues lately and I was seated on the back corner of the back row (only four rows in this section) and could get up as needed.  I ended up standing for most of the show as it was more comfortable.  Power Trip started promptly at 6PM and the crowd was trickling in.  I’ve seen them several times and I really enjoy them in a live setting.  I think they gained some new fans by then end of their 30 minute set.  They were solid as usual.

Deafheaven was up next and I just went back out to the lobby area to hang out with some friends.  They bore me to tears.

Anthrax came on right at 745PM opening with Fight ’em Till You Can’t from their Worship Music album, which I really liked.  Having Belladonna back in the band has been great, for me at least.  They rolled effortlessly through an 8 song set that had 2 songs from their forthcoming album, For All Kings.  I liked the 2 new tracks a lot.  They played In the End, Caught In a Mosh and Indians as well…and two covers.  FUUUUUCK.  I mean, I know they’ve always played covers live, but throw us a bone every now and then.  On some of the shows where they’ve had a longer set, they’ve included as many as 3 songs from Spreading the Disease.  HOLY FUCK I’d lose my mind if I saw Lone Justice live.  *sigh*  Oh well.  Charlie Benante is still ungodly on drums and Frank Bello is basically the Angus Young of the bass.  I’ve always loved his playing and his backing vocals are superb.  Joey sounded great, too.  Jon is a killer guitarist and played Spitz’ parts perfectly as well as his own.

After a short break, Lamb of God comes on.  I stayed for the first song and that was enough for me.  Never liked their stuff.  Bro-metal.

 

Venom Inc, Necrophagia Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, January 27, 2016

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I’m not shy about how I feel about Venom.  In general, I can’t care about their classic era.  My three favorite albums are Calm Before the Storm, Prime Evil and Temples of Ice.  Even knowing that they were playing only one song from the Demolition Man era, I wanted to go.  It’s a legendary metal band that I’ve never seen before.  Plus I knew I’d get them in The Book.

Before the show, Rodney, his friends and I all had dinner with Venom’s tour manager, John Perez, who was in Rotting Corpse and more importantly for me, Solitude Aeturnus.  John’s a good guy all around and I always love seeing him.  He and Rodney were trading some pretty incredible stories about Texas metal history.

Opening the show was Hellknife which features fellow ex-Eternal Champion member, Van Darden.  As with a few other times, I missed them again.  DAMMIT!

San Antonio’s Hod was up next.  I’ve seen them a dozen times over the years.  Hod is Hod.  You know what you’re getting and what you’re not getting.  My buddy Jake is playing bass for their live shows these days, so it’s always great seeing that maniac on stage.

Necrophagia was up next.  I never liked them but one of my closest friends was always big into them, so I grabbed a shirt for him since he missed the Virginia show.  They were solid and Killjoy works the crowd pretty well.  Still not a fan, though.

Up next was Venom and the crowd of about 200 packed up closer to the stage.  My back has been jacked up for a while, so getting in a crowd that surely was going to be moving around a lot wasn’t appealing, so I hung back and sat at the bar.  Killjoy was standing back there next to me and I had him sign The Book.

Venom (Inc), opened with Prime Evil and for the rest of the set they stuck with songs primarily from Black Metal and Welcome to Hell.  I didn’t know any of them other than by knowing the titles.  Tony Dolan, The Demolition Man, did a fine job fronting and Mantas and Abaddon were as I expected.  It was an enjoyable show and when they got to the encore, I knew all of those songs…Black Metal, Welcome to Hell, Countess Bathory and Witching Hour.

After the show, Abaddon came out and signed stuff for everyone.  Outside at their tour bus, Tony and Mantas came out and signed stuff.  They’re all really nice guys.

Added bonus of getting Louie from Devastation’s signature in the book as well.  I love getting the rogue signatures at concerts.  Great to see a lot of Austin friends and the Corpus Christi crew hanging out!

 

Juggernaut Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, January 2, 2016

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First show of 2016 and wow, what a way to get started!

About a month ago I got a heads up that Juggarnaut would be doing a short reunion show in San Antonio and I made sure my calendar was cleared.  I had met singer Harlan Glenn in 2012 and he mentioned to me about a year ago that some sort of reunion was in the works.

Weather was shitty on Saturday but I headed down to San Antonio to pick up Rodney, grab dinner then head to the show.  The venue, Boozehounds, is more of a pool hall than a venue, but they do have a stage in the corner and they were set up in front of the headliners.

The lineup consisted of almost everyone from the first album: Harlan Glenn, Eddie Katilus and Scott Womack.   I imagine Bobby Jarzombek is out on tour.  The crowd was decent for a cold, rainy night right after a holiday and some of the San Antonio/classic Texas metal legends were on hand to witness like Art Villareal, Ron Jarzombek, Rodney Dunsmore and a few of the guys from Wicked Angel.

Juggernaut opened up with a snippet of House of the Rising Sun and then went into Impaler.  The sound could have been a little better out front.  The vocals weren’t coming through very well, but you could still hear them alright.  The band was pretty solid but as Harlan noted, this was the first show in about 30 years.  The followed up the rest of the set with Slow Death, Cut Throat and All Hallow’s Eve.  Between songs, someone shouted out, “Where are the rats?”  Apparently at one of their legendary shows back in the day, they tossed live rats out into the crowd.  Harlan explained that his mom cried when she found out about it and promised to never do that again.  She was in the crowd on Saturday.  He said that there would be a full show in the spring of 2016, so here’s hoping!

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

January 4, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Zebra Concert Review, McKinney, TX, December 12, 2015

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I am a huge Zebra fan and have been since first hearing Who’s Behind the Door on Imageusethe radio in 1983.  I first saw them in 1987 on the 3.V tour headlining over Alcatrazz and Rough Cutt in Norfolk, VA at the famed Boathouse (RIP).  I remember it rained like hell that night and it was only $5.  Great show.

In 1996, I got to see Randy do a Zeppelin tribute with the Virginia Symphony.  I’m no Zep fan but it was a good show.  I got to meet Randy after the show and I don’t think anyone knew that it was him, but I did.  Randy told me last night that was one of the first of the Zep shows he ever did with the Symphony.

The next time I saw them was in 2000 at Jaxx in Springfield, VA.  I met Randy and Felix before the show and they gave me permission to film it.  When I reviewed the video the next day, the picture was perfect…but there was no sound.  I was pissed.  Great show, though.

A Dallas area promoter named Don Wishon does some quality shows in the DFW area bringing acts like Rik Emmett, Damon Johnson and the 2 night stint with Zebra this weekend.  Originally last night’s show was the only one announced and it sold out quickly.  It was booked at The Sanctuary in McKinney, TX and ticketing was limited to 250 people to keep it intimate.  A little while after, they announced a second show on the night before.  So first was second and second became first.  I bought 2 tix to the Saturday show and my pal, Rodney, said he’d use my extra ticket.

So yesterday we were off to the DFW area.  We first stopped in Fort Worth at the new-ish Born Late Records and Tattoos to see what they had going.  Rodney and I  both know the owners and it was a pleasure to see what they’ve put together there.  It’s almost a rock and roll museum as much as it is a store.  Rodney found some records and an awesome huge new old stock Blue Oyster Cult poster.  I picked up a sealed copy of Thin Lizzy’s Johnny the Fox on 8-track(!) and a couple of Brittany’s custom made coasters.  Keep up with new items on their Facebook page.

Afterwards we drive to our hotel, check in and go next door for some tasty tacos at a sketchy little taqueria. Shortly after we head up to McKinney in the pouring rain.  The venue was set up with some tables at the front of the stage, reserved seating behind them and then reserved tables lining the balcony with no real comfortable spots to stand and see the stage clearly.  I had bought standing room only tix.  I had noticed a table with only 2 people sitting there and asked them if we could use the speace on the other side of their table to stand at the rail and watch.  They nice enough to let us join them and we took care of their drinks for the rest of the night.

Zebra comes on shortly after 8 opening with As I Said Before from their self-titled debut.  The entire set was mixed up pretty well with songs from the debut, 3.V and IV, but only the title track from No Tellin Lies.  They played some different songs from the night before which included both Bears and Wait Until the Summer’s Gone, my 2 faves from that album.  Ugh.  Would love to have heard those.  But in the grand scheme it didn’t matter.  The band sounded great and Randy’s voice is still quite strong with that falsetto.

Highlight songs for me include You’ll Never Know, Take Your Fingers From My Hair, Tell Me What You Want, Better Not Call and, of course, Who’s Behind The Door.  They did lots from IV but not Arabian Nights, which I also love.  They did play it the previous night, however.

It was a fun show and definitely a 30+…erm…primarily 40+ age group.

After the show, the band came out for a meet and greet.  As stated earlier, I had met Randy and Felix before at the Jaxx show, but never Guy.  I got my CDs signed quickly as I only needed Guy’s on them and Felix’s on two.  When I got to Randy, I mentioned the previous shows.  When I mentioned the ’87 show in Norfolk, he brightened up and said, “The Boathouse!  Bill Reed promoted that show.”  I knew Bill a little bit through the 90’s but was totally surprised that Randy remembered him and the venue.  I mentioned to Randy that 3.V was my favorite and he whispered to me, “Mine, too.”

Going in I was hoping to buy a shirt until I saw them.  NOPE.  I’m often perplexed by the shirts that classic bands put out.  I think the worst offenders may be the Scorpions.  Personally, just give me a logo shirt with some tour dates or an album cover.  But that’s just me.

Another great trip and thanks to Don for putting this on.  We had to get up early as I needed to drop Rodney off at the airport for his trip to Vegas.  I drove home in the pouring ass rain, at least until about Waco where it tapered off pretty well.

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

December 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Holy Grail & Night Demon Concert Review, Austin, TX, December 7, 2015

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My good friends in Night Demon rolled back into Austin this week as direct support for LA’s Holy Grail.  With it being a Monday night I was a little concerned as to how well attended this show would be, but it did better than I expected.

The ND guys got to my house around 4:30PM after a long drive from Albuquerque and promptly unloaded their bags and started taking showers and just relaxing a bit before we head to the show for load in.  This is the 3rd time they’ve stayed here and they now have their own key to my house.  Great guys.

The show had 4 openers going on before ND.  Fortunately I liked two of them already, Blood for Master and Widower.  Both bands put on solid sets as usual.  Blood for Master played some new stuff from their latest disc.  Widower pretty much destroyed everything in their path.  Love seeing both bands.  I went elsewhere during the other 2 bands.  A few seconds into each of their sets and I knew I didn’t need to be there.

Night Demon comes on shortly after 10PM with their Conan the Barbarian intro and bust right into Screams in the Night and Full Speed Ahead.  The crowd of about 75 or so was very into it.  They played 7 more songs closing with Night Demon.  Great set as always and it seems like they picked up some new fans.

After about a 20 minute break, Holy Grail comes on and while the crowd thinned out a little, the faithful remained and stayed right up front.  They were really solid and I like their guitarists a lot.  The only thing I don’t lik.e it the occasional death metal growls.  They don’t need it but I guess it’s what the kids want these days.  They also played a decent cover of King Diamond’s No Presents for Christmas.  Solid set.

After load out and coming back to my house, I made tacos…again.  Night Demon loves my tacos.  haha