The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘dio

Cathouse Live Concert Review, Irvine, California, August 15, 2015

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IMG_0409useA while back, former MTV host, Riki Rachtman, announced a one day festival celebrating the now defunct (and purely dysfunctional) Cathouse in Hollywood.  Let’s be clear, back in that era of the 80s, I was not down with hair bands, silly ballads and much of the stuff associated with that hairspray and makeup.  There were a few acts, however, that I did at least like a few songs from.  But whatever.

This show was set up with a limited number of VIP passes and I was able to score one for the main purpose of the meet and greets to get my Book signed.  Supposedly all bands that were performing were suppose to appear.  More on that later.

I got into LAX around noon on Friday the 14th and got my rental car (1.5 hour wait) and headed down to Irvine to get checked in to the hotel.  I unpack, grab some dinner and head to a club in Anaheim called Chain Reaction.  It’s an all age club that didn’t serve alcohol so no beers for me.  I caught the last 3 bands which in order were Tower Guard, Toronto’s Crimson Shadows and Nekrogoblikon.  I really liked Tower Guard.  Younger power thrash with some good potential.  The singer could stand to do less talking between songs, though.  Crimson Shadows, while technically proficient musically, were about as boring as I could have wanted.  Tight Gothenburg style metal with cookie monster-esque vocals intermingles with clean vocal harmonies from the two shredder guitarists.  Nekrogoblikon came on and had a large band and some dude dressed as a “goblin” that runs around on stage.  I was totally annoyed less than a minute into the first song and left.

The next day I slept in a bit to save up some energy for the long day ahead.  Parking lot opened at noon and I went to get my VIP swag which included the meet and greet wristband.  I ran into some friends of friends and hung with them until 2PM when the gate was opened.  It was pretty damned hot and I was in jeans, black SA Slayer shirt, denim vest and the shoulder bag that I carry the book.  It was hot, but not quite Texas hot.  Opening band, Swamphammer, was playing as I walked into the venue.  I made a bee line right into the VIP tent and downed 2 bottles of water.  I was drying out quickly.

The meet and greets were set at 2 different times to have the later playing bands come out early to meet the fans and vice versa for the early playing bands to come out later.  In the early one, I got Stephen Pearcy, Tom Keifer and Steve Riley to sign the book.  Riley had been an elusive one for me over the years.  Phil Lewis recognized the book and said, “I remember this.  You’re carrying this around all day?”  Ugh.  Yes.  Faster Pussycat came out and it was good seeing those guys.  Good friends, Dangerous Toys came out and as always when I see any of them around town, it’s just friends hanging out together.  Great guys.  During this meet and greet, Bullet Boys, Enuff Z’Nuff, Trixter, Autograph, Black N Blue all played.  I only got to hear them play and all of them sounded great, Especially Black N Blue and Autograph.  I was hoping that Don Dokken, Mark Boals and Mick Brown would come out but they never did.  Bummer.

After this, I went down into the VIP pit and watched part of Junkyard’s awesome set and the beginning of Saigon Kick, which bored me as much now as back in the day.  I went to the merch/food area to grab a taco and caught some of Pretty Boy Floyd’s set on the side stage.  Kristy Krash Majors was back in the band and they sounded pretty good.  I moved back to the pit and caught LA Guns, Dangerous Toys and the beginning of Pussycat’s set.  They had a bunch of original members join them on stage which was cool.

By this point it was time to hit the other meet and greet.  At this one we got Autograph, Black N Blue, Junkyard, Extreme, Sebastian Bach, Bullet Boys, Jetboy and Trixter.  I got the 2 guys from Autograph, 2 from Black N Blue and Bach.  I didn’t know Extreme had come out until they had already left, so no sigs.  I hung with David Roach from Junkyard for quite a while and with my old pal, Rowan Robertson (DIO).  Guys from Trixter, Jetboy and others that I had no idea what band they were in signed my VIP pass.  I really hated bands like Trixter, Jetboy, Little Caesar, Bullet Boys, Cinderella and Extreme back in the old days.  Modern day, I do at least like the old Cinderella.

So let’s get to the band performances that I saw/heard.

  • Bullet Boys – I only heard them but they sounded good.  I’ve seen them several times in the last year and when their singer saw me he jumped up and gave me a big hug.  Nice guy.  I got to see their drummer, Shawn Duncan (Odin) briefly and his wife, which is always a pleasure.
  • Trixter – Heard them only.  They were solid but I just couldn’t care.
  • Black N Blue – Heard only but they may be my faves of the day.  They were solid, great vocals and heavy.  Chains Around Heaven!
  • Autograph – Sounded great and I wish I would have seen them to watch Steve Lynch play.  He’s a great guitarist.  It was cool hanging out with him as we have a good friend in common.
  • Junkyard – ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL.  They were great.  It was hot as hell up there and they rocked their set.
  • Saigon Kick – zzzzz
  • LA Guns – As solid as ever
  • Dangerous Toys – Jason McMaster and company sounded great and the crowd was really into them.  Always fun to see live, especially seeing “hometown” boys away from home.
  • Faster Pussycat – Sounded great and cool having the originals on stage again
  • Stephen Pearcy – Only heard him.  It was about like it was last year.  He’s having a tough time these days.
  • Sebastian Bach – He sounded great as did his band.  Great show.
  • Dokken – Only heard but they sounded much better than I expected.  Having Boals on backing vocals is a good idea.
  • Tom Keifer – He sounded great.  Utterly impressed.
  • Pretty Boy Floyd – Solid.  Nothing different than what I expected.

I didn’t catch any of the other bands.  I tweaked my back somehow during Dangerous Toys and it got progressively worse throughout the evening, so bad that I left before Extreme came on.  That meant that I missed the Gilby Clarke all star jam with Ace Frehley.  I was in incredible pain.  Absolutely horrible.  It was better by morning, thankfully, but not great.

All in all this show was fun and well organized.  The bands on the main stage were on a rotating stage and no set times were missed.  It was impressive seeing all bands start and finish on time.  The only negative thing I can say is that it sucked not getting to meet a few of the bands, but oh well, herding rockstars is like herding cats.  I had a blast.

See all setlists here.

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

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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.

Holy Dio Tribute 2CD Set 1999

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When I still had my CD business going, this was one of the things I plucked from Century Media and sold quite a few of.  There were a ton of tribute albums coming out at the time and Century Media seemed to be releasing half of them.  Some good, some not so good.  This one was one of the better ones and has been out of print for quite some time now.  Enjoy!

Tracks:

Disc 1
1. BLIND GUARDIAN – Don’t Talk To Strangers
2. PRIMAL FEAR – Kill The King
3. DORO – Egypt (The Chains Are On)
4. JAG PANZER – Children Of The Sea
5. FATES WARNING – Sign Of The Southern Cross
6. CATCH THE RAINBOW – Rainbow Eyes
7. GAMMA RAY – Long Live Rock And Roll
8. SWANO / TAGTGREN – Country Girl

Disc 2
1. GRAVE DIGGER – We Rock
2. HAMMERFALL – Man Of The Silver Mountain
3. HOLY MOTHER – Holy Diver
4. PRIMAL FEAR – Kill The King
5. AXEL RUDI PELL – Still I’m Sad
6. ENOLA GAY – Heaven And Hell
7. STEEL PROPHET – Neon Knight
8. SOLITUDE AETURNUS – Shame On The Night
9. DESTINY’S END – Last In Line
10. ANGEL DUST – Temple Of The King

Minus a few tracks like Destiny’s End, Grave Digger and maybe a few others, this is really good.  I especially love Doro’s version of Egypt.

Download Disc 1.

Download Disc 2.

Written by The Metal Files

June 15, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Thanks Señor Dio.

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Dio died yesterday.

Ronnie James Dio.

Dead.  It still pains me to even think about.

Sure it sounds cheesy that the death of someone I had never met has saddened me so much, but it is what it is.  Ronnie was legendary not only for his longevity in the business, the “devil horns salute,

an incredibly strong voice (even into his 60s) but also for being one of the nicest and classiest guys in the music business.  He’s one of the few big stars that I always wanted to meet and never got the chance to.  I’ve known several people through the years who did meet him and some who spent ample time with him on tour and they all said the exact same thing…’class act.’

Thanks to one of my older brothers, I got introduced to this voice in the late 1970s, probably ‘78 or ‘79 if I had to wager on it.  I’m pretty sure it was Rainbow Rising.  I just remember that I liked it a lot.  Subsequently I remember him bringing home Long Live Rock and Roll and the first Rainbow (my guess is that he stole them – funny but true).  I really liked that stuff but it was right around that time that Heaven and Hell came out and I was already a Black Sabbath fan thanks to my brother.  But this Sabbath was different.  A lot different.  Pleasingly so.  How could one not love this stuff?  And Mob Rules?  C’mon!  Dio was really making his mark in the music world and I fucking loved it.  I’m not never shy to say that I prefer the Dio era of Sabbath over Ozzy’s.  Don’t get me wrong, that Ozzy stuff, most of it, was great, but there is something about Dio’s voice that suits me better.  Even 15 years after Dehumanizer came out, I finally liked it.  Quality record for sure.

But this blog isn’t about the Dio discography.  After coming home from seeing some bands in the wee morning hours yesterday, I started seeing rumblings of “RIP RJD” posted on various social networking sites.  Then I saw that rumor get squelched.  Then yesterday afternoon around 2PM CST, I saw the official word from Dio’s page and the note from Wendy.  Crushed.  That’s how I felt yesterday; it’s how I still feel today.  I honestly feel like a friend of mine just died…in some ways a friend did.  Ronnie’s music, especially with Sabbath and the DIO (band) stuff was really important to me throughout my adolescent years.  I spent hours upon hours playing drums to these records in the 80s, especially Last In Line.  That is my favorite record of his over anything else he has ever done.

When I first saw the news about his death I just sat there for a few moments dumfounded.  Really?  He’s dead?  Dio?  Dio can’t die.  He’s Dio!  He’s going to live forever!  Then the pit in my stomach came.  I am not afraid to admit that I cried a little yesterday and am actually a little choked up writing this today.  Music can be a very emotional thing for me and Dio’s music certainly moved me for most of my life.

I’m glad I did get to see him live a few times, even if the first time was c. 1998.  In 2007 I went to Radio City Music Hall in NYC to attend the Heaven and Hell show, the same show that’s on the DVD.  That was quite a special experience because I also got to see Iommi and Butler on stage together with Ronnie.  I got a little verklempt when they hit the stage that night as well.

I remember my Dad saying to me years ago before he died (1997) that the older we get, those that we know and love in our lifetimes are going to die off.  So true.  Everyone dies sometime, eh?  Coincidentally, my Dad and Dio were only 2 weeks difference in age, Dio just lasted longer.

Not to drag this on any further, but thank you Mr. Dio for making my world a little bit of a better place because of the quality music you have been creating for as long as I can remember.  Much of the Dio catalog stays in steady rotation in my playlists, but I’ll surely be spinning a little more of it this week.  There’s no such thing as too much, Dio, right?  Whether you ended up in Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, a crematory or just a box in the ground, you touched the lives of many.  Thanks again.

Written by The Metal Files

May 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

My Life With Lizzy Borden

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“Hello suckers!” = Lizzy Borden

The first time I had seen or heard of Lizzy Borden was from a little photo and small article in Circus Magazine.  It was a cool shot of the band in black and white standing on the roof of a building and Lizzy had a big axe proppoed on his toe.  Would love to find that photo somewhere.

I think I first heard them on one of the old Metal Blade Records compilations but it wasn’t really until 1986 that I got into them via a former friend from high school.  I remember going to his house and he had the Give ‘Em The Axe EP on vinyl.  I was hooked.  In subsequent years we all got into Love You To Pieces and the Muderess Metal Roadshow thanks to the VHS they put out,  Good times!  That former friend from high school and I did Give “em The Axe for our junior year air band contest.  I think we won because everyone else was a bit scared.

Sure Lizzy and the band always looked a bit silly and even more so now, but they’ve never really done a bad record.  I finally got to see them play at the NORVA in Norfolk, VA back in 2004 opening for Yngwie, not long before their guitarist, Alex Nelson, was killed in a car wreck.  He was a killer player.  They were all very cool folks.   I couldn’t believe they didn’t play Give ‘Em the Axe though!  I felt cheated!

So, here’s the review that you’ve so anxiously been waiting for.

Give ‘Em The Axe EP – 1984

This was a cool EP.  The title tracks rules.  No Time to Lose and Kiss of Death are cool.  I never liked their cover of Long Live Rock and Roll (Rainbow).  7/10

Love You To Pieces – 1985

Oh man.  This album rules.  There’s not a bad track on it but the highlights ae Warfare, American Metal, Rod of Iron and Red Rum.  I listened to this tape so much.  No telling how many copies I went through over the years.  10/10

Menace To Society – 1986

Another fantastic record by Lizzy Borden but it suffered severely from poor production.  It was very tinny and I don’t really know that a bass was used on it.  I’m one of the few Lizzy fans who actually thinks this one is as good as the previews album.  My faves are Notorious, Ursa Minor and Love Kills.  10/10

Terror Rising EP – 1987

Ugh.  This really was a bit of a waste of petroleum based materials.  Catch Your Death was a cool tune but the cover version of the Tubes’ Don’t Touch Me There with Betsy from Bitch, the title track and the god awful cover of White Rabbit makes me with I could get my $5.98 back from the Music Man.  2/10

Visual Lies – 1987

Another Lizzy album that I love but it’s a lot different than their previous albums.  It’s a little more polished in production terms and a little more palatable for the MTV crowd.  They had a video for Me Against the World and the song was featured in the terrible movie Black Roses.  I dig the album though.  There are some really great tracks like Lord of the Flies, Shock Treatment, the title track and Eyes of a Stranger.  Worthwhile listening for sure.  By the way, this featured Joe Holmes on guitar who was in Ozzy for a brief time.  9/10

Master of Disguise – 1989

This is where started losing me a bit.  While it’s not a bad album, it was missing something.  I could never put my finger on it.  I think that this was supposed a solo album by Lizzy…allegedly.  I haven’t listened to this one in years and years.  I won’t anytime soon!  1/10

Deal With the Devil – 2000

This was a good comeback album for the guys.  I like this one a lot and still spin it a few times a year.  There Will Be Blood Tonight is a good track.  Their cover of Alice Cooper’s Generation Landslide was pretty decent too.  I really dig Zanzibar and The World Is Mine.  7/10

Appointment With Death – 2007

I haven’t listened to this one since it came out but I don’t remember it striking me like the previous album did.  Can’t really even name any songs off of it…so there you go.  0/10

So, as it stands, I always recommend Love You to Pieces, Menace to Society and Visual Lies to everyone.

Rare Vintage Concert Shirts For Sale

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I’m selling off a collection of vintage primarily hard rock and metal concert shirts.  Please take a look at them here. If you’re a collector, there are some real gems up for sale now and more to come.  It pains me a little to sell these off even though they’re not mine.  Lots of history here.  If I was a small, I’d buy them for myself.

Written by The Metal Files

December 30, 2009 at 4:28 pm