The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘heavy metal

Stryper Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, July 2, 2016

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In November 1985 (hard to believe it’s been almost 31 years) I attend my first metal concert ever.  It was Stryper at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA (RIP). I was 15 and it was a pretty important show for us.  The next opportunity to see them was in 1988 opening for Hurricane at the Hampton Coliseum.  I didn’t go as I was already disinterested in Stryper by then.  My friend Bill and I did cruise the parking lot that night to check out the ladies and haze the posers though.  haha.

To be honest, Michael Sweet’s vocals really grate on my nerves.  He’s the Dennis DeYoung (Styx) of metal.  That being said, the 1985 show was still a big thing for me and getting the chance to meet them and have them sign their photo in The Book was an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss.

Once I got to speak to them, I mentioned that Boathouse show and that it was my first  metal show.  They were pretty much indifferent but Tim Gaines did say that he remember that “dumpy venue.”  Oz Fox was mildly interested in The Book as was Michael Sweet who said, “Ah yes, I’ve seen one of these before.”  Robert Sweet looked like he didn’t want to be there, reminiscent of meeting Scott Ian.  But whatever, I got them in The Book and that’s what was important.  After a quick photo I headed over to the America show.

The Stryper show was sold out and when I got back to the venue, Austin’s The Dharma Kings were on stage.  I missed the other 5 openers completely.  I wish I had missed The Dharma Kings.  While that dude has a decent voice, their songs are pretty uninteresting.  Add to the fact that it was jam packed in there and hot as hell.  I finished their set on the patio enjoying a refreshing beer.

Stryper hit the stage around 10:50 opening with Yahweh (Ya Guey?)then into the classic You Know What To Do.  I had forgotten how much of a shredder Michael Sweet was.  He had been sick during some recent shows on this tour but showed no signs of that last night as he was hitting all of the high notes effortlessly.  They played a few more songs that I didn’t know and then went into Co’mon Rock, a song that I do like and maybe my favorite by them.  The crowd was really into them.  San Antonio loves Jesus and Stryper apparently.  The band sounded fantastic in general.  Backing vocals were perfect.  You often hear about drummers playing behind the beat and i don’t think any drummer exemplifies that term more than Robert Sweet.

They did an album of covers a few years back and played Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell and KISS’ Shout it out Loud.  After the KISS cover, I was done.  Tired, bored and having seen what the setlist was, it wasn’t worth waiting around for the closer, Soldier Under Command.  So I bailed.

It was a good and busy day but I’ll likely not see Stryper again, at least not for another 31 years.

 

Written by The Metal Files

July 3, 2016 at 10:00 am

Voivod Concert Review, Austin, TX, May 21, 2016

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The first time I ever saw Voivod live was during SxSW 2010, and there was blood.  I was a latecomer to them and really prefer their middle-era of Nothingface, Angel Rat and Outer Limits, Negatron and Phobos over all of their other material.  I love seeing them live and last caught them in Denver last year when I was up there for work.

I picked up my ticket yesterday afternoon and they were playing at the newly renovated Barracuda (f. Red 7).  What a great job they did inside and out.  The place is way more comfortable to see a show.

I missed opening act, Child Bite.  King Parrot (King Boring) was up next and while I’m 0.0% a fan of them, their drummer is damned good.

Voivod was on next to a crowd of 100 or so, which was a bit disappointing.  Apparently Dying Fetus was packed around the corner.  Gross.   Voivod was just hanging out with fans prior to their set.  No rock stars here, folks.  They’re really just laid back dudes and at least every time I have seen them, they’ve made themselves very accessible to their fans.

They opened with Ripping Headaches, Tribal Convictions and Order of the Blackguards.  The set included 3 of the 5 songs from their latest EP, Post Society.  The songs sounded great, especially We Are Connected.  My favorites of the night would have to be The Prow and The Unknown Knows.  This tour features new bassist, Dominique LaRoche, who did a great job.  The whole band was tight as always and it’s really a pleasure to watch Away’s drumming.  He’s a very unconventional.

The only played 13 songs ending the night with Voivod and Pink Floyd’s Astronomy Domine.

Upon exiting the stage, Dan Mongrain came up to me, put his hands on my shoulders and said with a smile, “How’s the head doing?”  I said, “Other than a weird occasional twitch, no problems.”  We both laughed, I told him it was a great show, he gave me a pick and we moved on.  I’m surprised he even remembers that at all.

Can’t wait to see them again!

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

May 22, 2016 at 10:46 am

Iron Maiden Concert Review, Denver, CO, April 13, 2016

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What a week this has been.  So many shows.  I’m worn out but invigorated, especially after seeing my favorite band of all time, Iron Maiden.

When Maiden announced their North American tour some months back, no Texas dates were listed.  Bummer.  The closest show was Tulsa, but who wants to go to Tulsa?  ha.  Honestly I looked into the Tulsa show long after tickets had gone on sale, but nothing was available in a spot I’d want to see the show.  So I looked into Denver.  Oddly they still had plenty of GA floor tickets available as well as some decent seats on the side at the Pepsi Center.  I chose the seats, booked an insanely super cheap flight/car/hotel and the plan was set.  Maiden in Denver 2016.

As mentioned in a previous post, Night Demon and Visigoth had been staying with me and after their show in Austin on Tuesday night, I just stayed awake through the night as my flight out to Denver was scheduled to take off at 6AM.  I hadn’t had much sleep all week and I was certainly starting to feel it by the time I boarded the plane.  I couldn’t really fall asleep so I watched Charles Bronson’s Deathwish.  Upon arrival at the Denver airport and getting my car, I headed into town.  It was still really early so I found a cool little breakfast spot and chilled there for a little while.  I went to the hotel around 10AM and my room wasn’t ready yet, so I just asked them to wake me up when it was ready.  I dozed off on the lobby couch until 11 and they woke me up and got me checked in.  I went straight to bed and got about 4 hours more.  I really needed it.

After showering and getting dressed, I called for a Lyft ride to a restaurant near the Pepsi Center and had a good meal prior to walking to the venue.  Austin pals Mike and Erik who came on the same flight had pit tickets and got in line early to be near the front.  Once in the venue I went to the merch booth and got a tour shirt.  Maiden’s shirts aren’t that great and they didn’t have a Denver specific shirt like they normally do in Vegas, LA, NYC and Texas.

Raven Age was the opener.  The band features Steve Harris’ son, George, on guitar.  I didn’t like their music at all but his son is a fine guitarist and the drummer was a bad ass.  Musically it was uninspired hard rock that would sell well to the Hot Topic crowd.  Several in the crowd seemed to like it but I found it hard to stay awake.  After their set, I went back out to the outer hallway to just get some air and to people watch for a bit before Maiden took the stage.

Then through the PA comes UFO’s Doctor Doctor.  My energy level instantly shot up and I made it back to my seat.  The show wasn’t sold out and I had a spare seat on either side of me, so no one was crowded in our row.

Then the lights go down and a short video runs, then there’s Bruce standing in a white robe at the back of the stage and started singing, “Here is the soul of man, here in this place for the taking…”.  He sang the whole intro to If Eternity Should Fail and the band kicked in with flames rising high from the stage.  They sounded great!  Bruce’s voice was on.  They followed up with Speed of Light which Adrian seemed to have forgotten his intro part, so the band started without him and he just caught up.  They were all smiles on stage and it was great seeing them be human.  After the song Bruce teased him a little bit and H just laughed it off.  Next up was Children of the Damned.  Bruce introduced it with something like, “This one came out before most of you were born.”  The crowd went crazy since it was the first of the classics to be played that night.  Their setlist hasn’t varied a bit on this tour, so I know what to expect next which was Tears of a Clown, a tribute to Robin Williams.  The Red and the Black followed and it along with the other songs from the new album all sounded great live.

Then came…The Trooper.  I really can’t stand that song anymore but since they named their beer the same, it will never leave the setlist.  Unfortunate.  I sat through it.

Up next was Powerslave.  Yes!  Very glad to see that on the list again.  So many memories from that album and flashes of listening to Live After Death as a kid ran through my head the whole time.  It was awesome.

Two more new songs and then Hallowed Be Thy Name was up.  Sweet.  So good.  Unfortunately Fear of the Dark was up next.  I saw through that one as well and was subjected to the crowd singing along.  So painful.  That song sucks.  Iron Maiden rounded out their main set and they blazed through it.

For the encore, they did Number of the Beast, Blood Brothers and Wasted Years.  It was a sweet finale and I wish there was more.

Being in Denver, I expected Bruce to make a few statements and he did.  “How many people here aren’t high tonight?”  “What made the Mayan civilization disappear?  Maybe they smoked too much weed?”

Overall the show was awesome.  I wish they could have had a drum cam vid showing Nicko the whole show.  Adrian and Dave’s solos were great and they still seem to enjoy what they do.  Steve and Bruce did their thing, running around the stage full of energy.   But I will still continue to bitch about Jannick Gers.  What a fucking buffoon.  He’s not even playing half the time, just running around the stage doing stupid fucking guitar tricks.  When he did do a solo, it sounded the same as his others.  No substance.  Fuck that guy.

After the show I took a ride to 3 Kings Tavern for a couple of beers.  I didn’t drink at the show.  I ran into a fellow Austinite there and hung out for a bit,  After that I went back to the hotel where the bar had about 15 folks from all over who came in from the show…Wisconsin, San Francisco, Virginia, LA, Jamaica.  One of the guys caught a pick from Adrian and it said “Chapter One” which leads me to believe that there may be second US leg later this year.  It was fun hanging out with them for a bit but the over the top Maiden nerdness started wearing thin and I needed sleep.

My flight out wasn’t until 9PM so I had the day to do some stuff around Denver.  I had lunch with Gwen, a former coworker, they went up into the hills to the Buffalo Bill museum.  Even the altitude there started to get to me a little.  The grave site and museum were cool, though, and the scenery around lookout mountain was gorgeous.  From there I popped into a record store.  Didn’t find anything I needed.  I then headed out east passed the Denver airport just to see the plains a bit.  Pretty out there.

Finally turned my rental car in, shuttled to the airport, ate a nice dinner and had a couple of beers.  It was a great trip.  I watched Rumble Fish on the way home and got back to my house finally around midnight Central Time.  I was wiped out.

UP THE IRONS!

 

 

 

Written by The Metal Files

April 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Night Demon & Visigoth Concert Review, Austin, TX, April 12, 2016

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Round 2 of the Night Demon and Visigoth tour takes us to Austin’s Beerland.  At the request of Beerland’s booking manager, I was asked to find some opening acts for this show.  That proved to be a little more difficult than I had anticipated but my friends in Think Lizzy, a local Thin Lizzy tribute, stepped up and were the only local presence for the show.  Both Night Demon and Visigoth are huge Lizzy fans and were excited to have the tribute as an opener.

Think Lizzy hit the stage and played their good mix of Lizzy classics.  The band is really good and the singer is from Dublin and does a great job vocally and on bass.  Armand John Lizzy from Night Demon plays in a Lizzy tribute back in Ventura and got up and played Emerald with the band.  It was pretty sweet.  Somewhere mid-set, Steve asked me to join them for Motorhead’s Ace of Spades.  He asked me if I’d do it a few days before the show and I said it’s not Thin Lizzy but apparently they’ve had it in their set for a while.  Since I occasionally do a Motorhead tribute in Austin, he wanted me up there so it happened.  I strapped on his Ibanez bass on and we went into a pretty loose but good version.  The crowd seemed to like it.

Visigoth was up next and everyone was looking a lot healthier.  The energy in their show was a lot better than the San Antonio show from the night before.  I think it helped that they had a good opening act and that there was a better crowd.  The played the same set as the night before with Demon’s The Spell added in.  For the folks there who weren’t familiar with Visigoth I think they gained some new fans.

Night Demon’s set was also the same from the night before and like Visigoth, the energy was up.  The crowd was into it and the majority of the folks in the venue stayed near the front and rocked out.  Night Demon has gained a many fans in Austin since they first came here with Raven.  The band was so solid and as I’ve stated before, the addition of Armand adds a new vibe to the band’s live show.

There were a lot more folks in attendance and I think both bands have a lot of new fans.

By the end of the show I was pretty wiped out.  This was my third show in a row this week and I flying out at 6AM to Denver to see Iron Maiden.  I decided to just stay up the whole night with the bands back at my house before heading to the airport.

It was great having both bands stay with me and I’m glad I was able to help them out.  They’re always welcome.  Also, they stayed at my place until Thursday while I was away and took great care of the house and my cat, Taco. In the group show below, right as Andrew was taking the picture, Taco had jumped into a paper bag.  It was a perfect candid moment where instead of trying to be super tough metalheads, we were just cracking up over my silly cat.

 

Written by The Metal Files

April 15, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Night Demon & Visigoth Concert Review,San Antonio, TX, April 11, 2016

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This is a busy week for shows and I’m a little further behind in my reviews, so trying to catch them all up today.

Night Demon and Visigoth have teamed up for a North American tour and booked some Texas dates.  Per usual when Night Demon is in town, I put them up at my place and Visigoth got shared space as well.  I didn’t originally plan on hitting the San Antonio show but last minute decided to drive down to Korova for the show.  On the way there I was notified that it would be an early show since the venue neglected to find an opening band.  Typically in San Antonio, these shows would have a handful of openers.

Rodney, Leanne and I enjoyed a great dinner at The Palm before heading over to Korova.  When we walked in, the place was practically dead.  The show was in the basement and I don’t think more than 25 total people were there. Didn’t help that it was a Monday night, but still, that’s pretty week.  At least if there were some local openers, it would have likely provided some additional promotion.

The singer and bassist for Visigoth have been pretty sick with some sort of flu-ish type bug but once hitting the stage, Jake put on a powerful vocal performance to the tiny crowd.  This was only the second date with the touring lineup as the main drummer and lead players for Visigoth were unable to make the tour.  While not perfect, they put on a great show all things considered and the few of us that were there were into it.  The sound in the basement was pretty awful, too, but they made do.  Of their short set, Iron Brotherhood is my favorite.

Night Demon came on and played like there was a packed crowd.  They’re already touring veterans and didn’t let up just because no one was there.  They opened with Ritual and their version of Riot’s Road Racin’.  Want to make friends in San Antonio?  Play a Riot song.  The band was tight and played all of their 2015 release Curse of the Damned and 4 tracks from their debut EP.  Solid set.

After the show I needed to get back home and try to get some sleep as I was going to do this all over again at the Austin show.

 

Written by The Metal Files

April 15, 2016 at 2:07 pm