The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘jason mcmaster

Blaze Bayley & Killamaul Concert Review, Austin, TX 06/20/2013

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It’s never been a secret that my all time favorite band is Iron Maiden.  But being my favorite band doesn’t give them a free pass on everything they’ve done.  Cases in point: X Factor, Virtual XI, Dance of Death.  Those 2 albums in the 90s with Wolfsbane’s Blaze Bayley weren’t good, but I lay that blame on Steve Harris.  He chose Bayley and he was the primary songwriter for those 2 abominations of Iron Maiden albums.  While each of those 2 albums has 1 or 2 decent songs, the albums as a whole are pretty bad.  I owned Wolfbane’s first album back in the day but never thought it was great.  Had some pretty silly lyrics if I remember correctly.

A few weeks ago it was announced that Blaze Bayley was playing a new and insanely huge venue on the outskirts of Austin, TX called The Crown Center.  It’s only a few miles from my house so that made it convenient.  There was 2 other scheduled shows locally as well, but none of them downtown, which is pretty odd.

Admission for Thursday’s show was $20 which was stated to be going to tornado victims.  The Saturday show was only $6, but it wasn’t convenient.  My real reason for going at all was solely to get The Book signed.  NERD.  I know.

Local faves Killamaul were the opener and they’re a tribute band that only plays Metallica’s Kill ’em All.  Killamaul features legendary vocalist Jason McMaster (Broken Teeth, Dangerous Toys, Watchtower) on vocals and rhythm guitar.  They always do an awesome job and certainly did so on Thursday.  To be honest hey were the best band of the night.  McMaster is one of the best frontmen in the business and even though there may have been only 30ish people there, he still handles it like the pro he is.  Period.

Next up was Snake Skin Prison.  I’ve known them for several years and have done some shows with them, but I’m just not into what they do.  Super nice dudes, though.

Then comes Blaze Bayley.  From what I understand this band and tour were thrown together pretty quickly and featured some relatively well-known musicians.  On drums was James Kottak who has been playing with the Scorpions since the mid-90s and also with Kingdom Come in the 80s.  On bass was John Moyer who was/is in Disturbed and spent some time touring with Queensryche (Tater version I think).  On guitar was Rick Plester who was in WWIII and Black Symphony and apparently does  a lot of producing.  They also had local singer Shawn Austin from a band called Minx (?) and she co-sang on 2 songs.

The set consisted of songs from BLAZE, Wolfsbane and of course Iron Maiden, 2 of which weren’t from his era of the band.  For a throw together band and set, they sounded pretty good overall and even did a good version of Rainbow’s Man On The Silver Mountain.  By the time the band was on there may have been 50-60 people there and Blaze worked the stage like there was a big crowd.  Now, this place easily holds 5000 people and my mind is still boggled as to why the show was booked there.  But whatever.  Guest singer Shawn Austin sang Fear of the Dark (I detest this song) and Wasted Years with Blaze.  It was Wasted Years that really let me down as far as their set went.  I’m a Maiden snob and I get that they’re not the easiest band to cover, but at least get the opening riff right.  I’m not guitarist but I can play it properly.  It was obvious that they had just learned it as they dicked up with first verse completely by going into a chorus where a chorus doesn’t exist.  Moyer and Kottak did fine holding their parts down, but this song was just a mess.  See video below.

I’ll restate that their set was pretty good other than Wasted Years.  That needs to be said for how quickly this was put on.  Immediately after they played, the band came out and hung out and signed anything people put in front of them and snapped pics.  I’m glad I went but doubtful I’d go see them again if they come through again…that is unless there’s someone in the band that I need to get in The Book.  haha.

You be the judge.

Jack Russell’s Great White & Broken Teeth Concert Review, Austin TX, 12/30/2012

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The last time I saw Great White was in 1991 with Scorpions and Trixter (blech!).  They played a short set, but I remember them being enjoyable even thought they didn’t play anything from their first 2 albums.  A close high school friend had originally turned me on to Great White by loaning me their first EP in 1986 and I was hooked (pun intended).  By the time Twice Shy came out in in 1989, I was done with them.  Their cover of Ian Hunter’s Once Bitten, Twice Shy was the catalyst.  To this day, that song still makes me want to hurl.

About a month or so ago I caught word that Jack Russell’s Great White was going to be playing a smaller Austin venue so of course I bought a ticket.  Not to mention I wanted Jack’s signature in The Book.

Broken Teeth opened the show with their new bassist and played a revamped set which included a new song called “Devil On The Road”.  They also played a couple of songs live for the first time including “All Hail The Altar” and “Spitting Nails”.  The band was in fine form and this was the first show in about 6 months since the sudden passing of their now former bassist, Travis Weiss (RIP).  It was great to have them back!

Great White used Teeth’s backline and opened the show with Call It Rock and Roll.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear how good Jack’s voice was.  He’s been dealing with some health issues in recent years and he looked a little on the frail side…but he got on stage and did a great job.  Three songs in and they played On Your Knees from their first EP.  That was certainly the highlight song for me.  They also played Face the Day, Save Your Love and Rock Me, all songs that I do like a lot.  They also mixed in some later Great White songs like House of Broken Love, Mista Bone (ugh) and Desert Moon.  They of course closed with Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

The show was lightly attended, maybe 125 max but the band rocked it.  Most everyone cleared out immediately after the show.  I hung around for a bit to see if I could get Jack to sign the book.  He came out for a minutes, signed the book and my friend’s poster then high-tailed it to his bus/van.  The tour manager said he wasn’t feeling well.

It was a fun show and it brought out some folks that I hadn’t seen in a while.  It was a fine closing to a year of seeing a ton of concerts.

Happy New Year!

ticket

Jason McMaster

Jason McMaster
(photo by Dave TeeVee)

Jack Russell

Jack Russell

Evil United – S/T Album Review

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I’ve been meaning to post my review of this one for months now.  I was given an advanced copy  and have even seen them live 3 or 4 times now, but yet, no review.  So here it is.  Who is Evil United you may ask?  Evil United features some legendary dudes like Jason McMaster (Broken Teeth, Dangerous Toys, ex-Watchtower, Ignitor etc), Don Van Stavern (Riot, SA Slayer, Pitbull Daycare), JohnValenzuela (Pitbull Daycare), TC Connally and Json West (Muderdolls, Sebastian Bach).  Not  a shabby group of folks to get together and make a band, eh?

This album is…well…this album is HEAVY.  Very heavy.   From beginning to end it’s in your face.  McMaster’s vocals go from his shrill to a good tenor backed with power.  I really like it when he’s in his lower registers.    It’s a nice change and he’s got a great clean voice which he has used with Ignitor.

The band is as solid as it gets.  The riffs are tight and the drums are as solid as you would want.  In a live setting this band is especially tight.  Again, the drummer is a badass.  The styles on this album flash from old school thrash and some power metal to some nu-metal sounds with some homage to Pantera.  The production is the one thing that bothers me on this.  It’s a bit too clean and the drums are overtriggered (at least they sound that way to my ears).  But that’s my opinion.  I want all albums to sound like an old Omen record.  haha

Highlight tracks include Walking to Sodom, Dawn of Armageddon, Rise and Fall of Earth and Man, Blasphemer and Hexorcism.

If you need a dose of heavy that’s not of the normal cookie cutter brand, I recommend this album for you.  And thankfully there’s no screamo/growling/cookie monster vocals.  It’s a nice change of pace.

You can stream the whole album on their Reverbnation page.

Thrash!

8/10

Written by The Metal Files

September 27, 2011 at 6:47 pm

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

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SCORPIONS – RATT

San Antonio, TX July 23, 2010

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

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

Christine, Charlotte, Yours Truly

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

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

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

Warren, Carlos and Robbie

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

Here’s the setlist as I recall it:

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

Damn fine setlist.

RATT says goodbye

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

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

Klaus and Rudy...Sting of the Tail!

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

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

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

Matthias

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

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

The setlist:

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

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

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

Wonderful night with wonderful people.

Long live the Scorpions!

Scorpions

The Zoo

Holiday

Concrete Blonde – Concert Review – 061910

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CONCRETE BLONDE

LIVE AT EMO’S, AUSTIN, TEXAS

JUNE 19, 2010

So let’s go back to 1990/91.  I was working part time at an independent record store in Norfolk, VA called The Music Man.  Pretty legendary place for a store that was in a mall.  Between them, Skinnie’s Records and Unicorn Records, there were none better in the area as far as indie stores went.  Skinnie’s is the only one to still be alive.  Awesome!

At The Music Man there was a girl named Teresa that worked there.  Tall, dark hair, black leather jacket, seemingly pissed off at the world and would likely kick your ass.  We weren’t friends by any means but were amicable.  Concrete Blonde’s Bloodletting had come out and any night that we were working together, she spun it in the store.  I neither liked nor disliked it, but I became very familiar with it.  She was a Concrete Blonde fanatic.  So for the year or so that I worked there, the album was force-fed to me.

A month or 2 ago it was announced that they were going to tour for the 20th anniversary of Bloodletting and were coming to Austin on the tour.  I figured what the hell, never seen them, liked some of the stuff I remembered by them, so why not go?  As I am apt to do, I bought 2 tickets.  I mentioned the show to my stunningly gorgeous friend, Christine, and she accepted.  This is the same Christine that went to Iron Maiden with us last weekend.

So I pick her up, we go eat some awesome sushi at Mushashino, grab a margarita at my favorite bar in Austin which shall remain unnamed) and head downtown.  Jason McMaster’s Killa Maul was playing early at Red Eyed Fly and we wanted to catch some of their set.  Killa Maul is Jason’s Metallica tribute band which plays only the Kill ’em All album.  It’s a fun show to watch, mainly because you can see him having so much fun with it.  We only caught 2 or 3 songs and had to head to Emo’s for the Concrete Blonde show.  They were playing the outside stage and it was hot and muggy and slightly uncomfortable with such a large crowd.  It seemed that no matter where we stood, some dude wanted to take his shirt off right in front of us.   We ran into my friends Sean and Jen and found a decent spot to catch the show.

An announcement came on before the band took the stage dictating that there is to be no filming of the show and no flash photography.  So, sorry…I have no photos or video to share.

The band took the stage which was purposely poorly lit on Johnette’s side.  They opened with Bloodletting (Vampire Song).  Her voice sounded good and really got better as the night progressed.  Next song was their hit “Joey”.  They botched the intro and I noticed on a vid or 2 on YouTube that they had done this a time or 2 already on the tour.  Hey…it happens.  We’re musicians, we’re not always perfect!  ha

Overall they sounded really good.  I was quite impressed with their guitar player.  He had a cool style, switching between using a pick and just fingers and sometimes a combo of the 2.  Drummer was solid.  Towards the end of the set, Johnette really belted out some lyrics.

Overall it was a good show and my friend seemed to enjoy it as well.  The one thing I could have done without was the cover of Little Wing.  I’m not a Hendrix fan in the least.  That being said, not too many people can do his stuff justice.  Their version wasn’t bad, but, well…ugh.  Hendrix.  ’nuff said.  I would have rather heard their version of Thin Lizzy’s It’s Only Money.  That would have been bad ass.  But alas, no.  I knew the Hendrix cover was in the set thanks to the interwebz, so it was expected.

Instead of doing encores, they just played through to the end of their set.  Four of the last 5 songs were done with no bass.  Just vocals, acoustic guitar and drums.  Sounded pretty cool.  They closed with Still In Hollywood.

As expected, this was a mostly “older” crowd and it’s obvious that some of these people don’t get out much these days.  It was great people watching for sure.  I was a little surprised to not see much of the goth crowd there.

In the end, nice job to Concrete Blonde.  We had a great time and they sounded really good.

This setlist may be a little jumbled up.  I’ll fix it later if I can find the correct order.

1. Bloodletting
2. Joey
3. I Don’t Need a Hero
4. Days and Days
5. Lullabye
6. Scene of the Perfect Crime
7. Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man
8. Someday
9. Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen cover)
10. Caroline
11. When I Was a Fool
12. God Is a Bullet
13. Run Run Run
14. Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix cover)
15. Heal It Up
16. Your Haunted Head
17. Mexican Moon
18. Happy Birthday
19. True
20. Tomorrow, Wendy
21. Still in Hollywood

Lizzy Borden Concert Review – 041710

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As stated before, I am a pretty big fan of Lizzy Borden. so I was pretty excited when I heard that they were coming to

Give 'em the Axe!

San Antonio to do a show…a FREE show!  I saw them in 2001 opening for Malmsteen at the NORVA in Norfolk, VA and they were great even though they didn’t play Give ’em The Axe.  My problem, not theirs, eh?

So McMaster and I head down to San Antonio (75 miles) around 6PM and go to the legendary Hogwild Records before heading to the venue.  I’ve been there one other time and it’s a great store, lots of San Antonio metal history there.  I ended up buying 6 shirts while I was there:  2 S.A. Slayer, Sepultura – Beneath The Remains, 2 Dark Angels designs and Mercyful Fate – Nuns Have No Fun.  They had tons of other great shirts, but sold out on my size (tent-makers must be running behind! haha!)  I really wanted the Sin After Sin shirt. *sigh*

So after doing our damage there, we head to the venue just to see where it is.  It’s an old warehouse, huge place.   After we spotted it we went to Denny’s and grabbed a quick meal.  I hadn’t eaten since that morning so I was feeling pretty weak.

We get to the venue around 9:30PMish and catch up with McMaster’s girlfriend and 2 of her friends who flew in from Oklahoma City…April and Angie.  good looking rock chicks.  Super funny and very cool.  Had a blast with them.

The venue is called Backstage Live and they are bringing in a lot of shows, mostly 80s rock and metal.  The place is friggin’ huge.  I imagine it can hold 1000 comfortably, maybe twice that.  They did a nice job doing the rehab work in there.  It was a very nice place.  Some cool swag on the walls as well like this German KISS poster from the Unmasked Tour with Iron Maiden opening up.  Damn!

It took almost an hour for Lizzy to hit the stage after the opening band, One Of Six.  WTH?  It was ridiculous.  The club owner spoke from the stage saying they were delayed in getting there, but I don’t know.  There was a point where they all walked out from backstage to come on then went back in…seemed like it was another 20 minutes until they finally came on.

Jason and I moved practically 5′ from the stage with ease and room to spare around us.  There may have been 100-120 people there, but the place is so big that the crowd looked tiny.

Lizzy finally hit the stage dressed in a hooded robe and a black screen covering his face.  Honestly, the sound quality

Lizzy Borden, one of many masks

was so bad that I have no idea what song they opened with.  I think it may have been from their last album of which I am totally unfamiliar with.  Give ’em The Axe was next but I had no idea what it was.  Jason elbowed me and said, “They’re playing your song.”  Really?   Couldn’t tell.  I could tell that Lizzy’s voice was good, though.  Really he sounded great.  He has such a unique voice and it can cut through just about anything.  His band was really good too.  Marten Andersson is a fantastic bassplayer.  Lizzy’s brother, Joey Scott Harges is still on drums and he had 2 hot shot guitarists with him.  Both of those dudes could play.

Lizzy changed masks and costumes between just about every song.  I have to say that I think I would have preferred a stripped down Lizzy show without having all of the “show”.  Their music can hold it’s own.  But then I guess it just wouldn’t be a Lizzy show without all the props and such.

nice mullet, hero.

They only did 14 songs and it really seemed like fewer because of the sound there.  I really left the show very disappointed…one, in the sound quality and 2, in the setlist.  I thought it was pretty weak and very short.  This is one of 4 USA shows, play a longer set!

I’m not so sure that I’ll ever go see them again.

Setlist:

? (inaudible)
Give ’em The Axe
Voyeur
? (inaudible)
Tomorrow Never Comes
Under Your Skin
Master of Disguise
There Will Be Blood Tonight
Me Against the World
American Metal
Hollywood? (inaudible)
We’ve Got The Power
Notorious (encore)
Redrum (encore)

If anyone can fill in the blanks on the setlist, it would be greatly appreciated.

I’m really hesitant to see other shows at this venue even though they have a lot of good stuff coming there…Y&T, Dangerous Toys, Pat Travers, etc.

Oh well.  I had fun with Jason, his girl and the OKC girls…and I got to meet the legendary Don Van Stavern Riot, SA Slayer).

We all bleed American metal!

****UPDATE****

Someone sent me the setlist.  Three songs were not played although they were listed:  Crawlin’, Deal With the Devil and Come Out At Night.

setlist

photo courtesy of Rockerazzi Photography

Written by The Metal Files

April 18, 2010 at 9:28 am

Hammerfall/Havok/Ignitor/Versperian Sorrow Concert Review 040810

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Was it really 25 years ago when Yngwie Malmsteen’s Marching Out album came out?  It doesn’t seem that long ago nor do I feel old enough for it to have been 25 years since.  But whatever.  It did and I am.  I remember hearing it for the first time and I think we were at Kelz’ house.  Simply blown away by the whole album and everything about it…the guitars, the vocals and especially the drums.  See, I was a relatively new drummer at the time and after hearing this guy, this Anders Johansson fella,  I wanted to play like that…and like Nicko McBrain…and like Kirk Arrington…etc.

Anders Johansson

I followed Anders through most of his career, especially with Yngwie.  I saw the Trilogy and Odyssey tours and got to witness his badassedness live.  It was pretty special for me getting to see him play back then, especially with Yngwie of whom I am still a big fan of.

Through the years I picked up Anders’ non-Yngwie stuff as well like Silver Mountain, Johansson Brothers with Jens, Jonas Helborg, Shining Path, Shawn Lane etc.  He always amazed me with his style.  I am a fanboy, I admit it.

When I found out that Hammerfall was coming to town, I bought my ticket immediately as he has been playing with them over the last several years.  I saw Hammerfall’s very first USA show at Jaxx Nightclub in Springfield, VA when they were opening for Death (RIP Chuck).  I love Hammerfall’s debut album, Glory To the Brave but never really got into anything after that one.  Sure they were consistent and I was pretty excited when I found out that Anders had joined them…but it still didn’t get me too excited to buy the stuff.

So anyway, I bought the meet and greet ticket which was $55.  Much cheaper than the Testament one plus this one would be a little more special because I’d finally get to meet one of my musical idols.  Sure I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many of them, but some are a little more special than others.  Last night ranked up there with meeting Nicko McBrain in 1988.

So the M&G was to begin at 8pm and I got there around 7:30ish.  There are a few folks hanging out but none were part of the M&G.  I didn’t expect there to be many and ultimately there weren’t.

The tour bus was parked in front of us and Anders and Pontus Norgren come off the boss.  After a few minutes I walked over to them and asked Anders to sign my CD covers and the book.  I had a big stack and just in case there were a lot of people there for the M&G, I wouldn’t hold them up…of course I guess I was holding him up by asking him to sign my shit.  He graciously accepted and signed it all.  We stood in the street in front of the bus and talked for a while and Joacim Cans comes out…”We have 35 minutes to eat before the meeting.”  I told them of a few places up the street with

Seriously? Nerd!

some good food and they asked me to come along…Sweet!  I had Cans sign my Warlord CD.  I sort of felt bad for not having any Hammerfall to sign but oh well.  He didn’t seem to bothered by it.

So we went to Jackalope but the music was loud and Cans didn’t want to strain his voice trying to have a conversation so we went next door to Chupacabra.  We sat and ordered quickly.  Unfortunately it didn’t come too quickly but they didn’t seem to mind being late to the M&G.  Pontus, Can and I all had the steak tacos and Anders had a 1lb burger.  I’m sure he could have eaten 2.  He’s a big dude.

Dinner with Hammerfall.

Conversation was cool.  Anders spoke about how he spent some months here in Austin while Yngwie was recording the Odyssey album.  He told me some pretty funny and crazy stories that I am not comfortable sharing here.  He also gave me some cool insight on Yngwie and Joe Lynn Turner.  We talked drums for a while and the other 2 guys asked about Austin and the area.  I told Cans about seeing their first US show.  “Wow!  You were there?!”  Yep.  Rocked.  I need to find my photos from that night.

Service was pretty slow and we were all done eating and waited on the check.  I offered to buy their meals but they instead bought mine.  I told them to go ahead and I’d settle up the bill.  Boom.  Done.

Get back to Emo’s and the handful of people went to the back for the M&G.  I ran into Jason McMaster who is a close friend and plays guitar in my Motorhead tribute and he was getting his gear together for his performance with Ignitor.  During and before dinner, Anders reminisced about hanging out with Jason and Dangerous Toys back in 1987 and the

McMaster and Anders.

fun times they had.  So I grabbed Jason and told him that Anders was in back.  It was cool seeing them hanging out and talking about the old times.

All of Hammerfall were there for the M&G except for Oscar Dronjak, who apparently was having a bad case of Montezuma’s Revenge.  Poor dude.  They weren’t sure if he would even be alright for the show.

After the M&G I walked back to my apartment to dump off my swag.  As I got back to the club, local band Vesperian Sorrow was playing.  They’re a death black metal band.  I’m not so into them but they played a fine show.  Their drummer is a badass.

Ignitor came on next and rocked it.  I still say McMaster is the best front man around, no matter what band he is fronting.  Ignitor only had a 30 minute set so they were on and done in the blink of an eye.  Always good to see Batlord and Co. do their thing.

Next up was Havok from Denver, CO.  Nice kids.  They were a mix of Slayer, Metallica, Death Angel, Megadeth, Exodus etc.  Nothing new in their sound but they had fun and the crowd really dug them.  But please, guys…change your name.  There have been too many bands called Havoc/Havok over the years.  They closed with a medley of songs from Reign In Blood.  Not too bad but the drummer totally cheesed the drums in Raining Blood.  If you can’t play the song properly, just don’t play the song.   Usually an unknown band will throw covers in to get the crowd into it.  These guys already had the crowd into them so I thought closing with the covers was a bit daft, but hey, not my band, eh?  The bassplayer was really good.  Both guitarists had good riffs but weren’t very tight in the solo department.

Next up came Hammerfall.  As stated earlier I haven’t been into Hammerfall in a long time but was excited to see

Pontus Norgren

Anders play.  Not too much stuff from the first 2 albums unfortunately for me.  It was a very lightly attended show.  Maybe 120?  Weak.  I thought the San Antonio crowd would come up for this since there were no dates down there.  I thought wrong.

Oscar did play although he left the stage a few times mid-song.  Damned Montezuma!  The whole band was tight and

Joacim Cans

everyone there was into it.  It was good to see some of their real fans there to support.  Pontus Norgren played most of the leads and that dude is a really good guitarist.  I was quite impressed.  Anders was great on drums.  Duh.  He played with headphone to a click track.  As expected he did some really great stuff when it was necessary.  That’s one thing I always liked about his style.  He never seems to play cool licks just to do them.

Faster Than The Speed Of Light! get it? Major points if you do.

Everything seems very calculated, but proper and with feel.  Impressive.

I spoke to a few dudes before the show who had never heard of Anders or Yngwie (WHAT THE HELL?).  I told them that if you like the drum work you hear tonight, go buy those early Yngwie albums.  Do it!

It was a great time and the experience with Anders, Pontus and Joacim was priceless.  I’ll never forget it it.  I’m a lucky guy, really.  And a music nerd.  And a doofus.

Look! Anders thinks I'm cool. Not.

Setlist