The Metal Files

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KISS & Def Leppard Concert Review, Austin, TX, July 12, 2014

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Last night I saw KISS and Def Leppard for the first time.  I still have to process that in my head.  I still really can’t think of a legitimate reason on why I didn’t go see KISS in the 80s.  They were the first band I ever loved.  No matter.  I saw them last night.  Not seeing Def Leppard before is easy to explain.  Hysteria came out and I hated what they became.  I first heard them when Pyromania came out when Stephanie S. had the cassette on my middle school bus and let me borrow it.  I liked that album a lot.  Shortly after I heard the first two and thought those were even better.  But Hysteria just didn’t do it for me.  I will say, however, that I have the utmost respect for Rick Allen for coming back after losing his arm. It was also cool to finally see Vivian Campbell live, even though he wasn’t playing any of his own stuff.

As I have stated many times, my brother, Robert, was a huge influence musically on me at a very young age and when he brought home Dressed to Kill, I was hooked.  But with KISS, everyone loved them.  My oldest brother, Mark, was also a big fan.  I can remember the three of us sitting around listing to Rock and Roll Over in the 70s and those times will always remain special to me.

KISS played the Frank Erwin just a couple of years ago and I still didn’t go.  I think in recent years the fact that they have Tommy and Eric in Ace’s and Peter’s makeup bothers me.  When the show at the Austin360 Amphitheater got announced, my friend and coworker “G” and I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger and get tickets.  We’ve known each other since I moved to Texas as he was my first boss here.  He switched companies and after 7 years, we ended up working together on a current project.  It’s great for both of us most of the folks on this project aren’t cool.  haha.  We get along well and and have become good friends over the last 14 months.  He brought his wife, Ms. G, to the show and I brought my friend Lauren who accepted my offer to go just the day before the show when my original date fell through at the last minute.

Canada’s Kobra and the Lotus were on when we were walking in so I never actually got to see them play but they sounded fine from a distance.

We grabbed drinks and found our seats right in time for Def Leppard to hit the stage.  The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again was playing when the curtain dropped and DefLep played it live to end the song.  They promptly went into Let It Go and I was happy.  Great song.  They mixed the set up with a decent mix of High N Dry, Pyromania and Hysteria and one from Adrenalize (gross).  The whole band sounded excellent and Joe Elliot’s voice sounded good.  He made no effort to hit the notes he knew he couldn’t hit and that was cool.  Their set overall was enjoyable, even with many of the songs being from Hysteria.  I only liked the title track on that one.

You wanted the best, You got the best!

KISS came out opening with Psycho Circus and I was glad to see that one get out of the way early.  They went into Deuce, Shout It Out Loud and War Machine and I have no problem admitting to being a little choked up.  KISS means a lot to me historically.  They sounded great.  Sure, Gene and Paul’s voices aren’t what they used to be, but those dudes are in their 60s and still sound strong.  Paul looked in great shape.  He’s obviously working out these days as his arms are quite muscular.  Gene’s playing was fine and of course Eric and Tommy were spot on.  Consummate pros.

Towards the end of the set, they go into Love Gun and Paul flies up to a platform that was about 15′-20′ from our seats.  It was quite amazing to be that close.  He was about to go into Black Diamond and there was a quick lull in his speaking and I screamed out, “We love you, Paul!”  He looked right over at me and said, “I love you, but you gotta represent!” and then went right into Black Diamond.  It was quite awesome.  Right at the 8 minute mark of this video.  You can’t hear me but you can hear Paul respond.

During KISS’ set, G tapped my shoulder and said look up.  We saw 2 lights moving fast that were close together in the sky that split apart and then just disappeared.  Granted, the venue is right next to the airport, but it was a little odd.  Definitely not a commercial liner and with the lights just disappearing on a clear  night, it was a bit odd.

The whole show was quite special and I couldn’t be much happier right now.  It was another great night with great friends and great music.

KISS FOREVER

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Bryan Adams Concert Review, Austin, TX 12/15/2012

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Even though metal is my favorite music in general, I do enjoy a lot of non-metal music and Bryan Adams’ early rock stuff has always been a favorite of mine.   I don’t really care for much of his 90s soundtrack ballad stuff but always held a ton of respect for the guy.  He knows how to write good hooks.

A few months back ACL Live At The Moody Theater announced that Bryan was coming on tour. I bought tickets on the presale and got front row balcony, my favorite section in my favorite venue in Austin. Immediately after buying the tickets I noticed that this was going to be an acoustic show. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! The date of the show ended up being the same day I was moving into a new house and I figured that I would either just sell them or give them away. I had trouble doing both. We finished the move pretty early and I decided that I would just go ahead and go even though I was super tired and still getting over some health issues that have brought me down this week (kidney stone and diverticulosis). After taking one last stab at a few girls I know in town who didn’t have to work, I finally asked my pal Jason K to go. He’s a hard rocker/musician that, like me, likes a variety of stuff. He agreed to go, we met up at a bar and took a pedicab to the venue since I can’t do a lot of walking right now.

We both went into this show thinking it was going to be some weak ass, boring set of Bryan sitting in a chair doing slowed down versions of his hits. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.

When we got to our seats, there was a mic and a grand piano on stage. Bryan hits the stage with a top hat on, removes it and goes right into Run To You. I was a bit stunned as to how good his voice sounded. The song in general sounded great, even as an acoustic version.

He went right into It’s Only Love (sans Tina Turner of course). After this song he talked for a minute and mentioned that he had been writing music for himself and others for almost 40 years. The crowd started yelling out some of his hits and said, “We’ll get to those.” There was a quick lull between the crowd and what he was about to say and I blurted out “War Machine!” He heard me and said, “Man, I don’t even know what song that is.” He paused for a second as the wheels turned in his head and he said, “Oh man…wait, that is really fucking obscure. No one has ever requested that song at any of my shows!” In case you didn’t know, War Machine is a KISS song from Creatures of the Night that Bryan had co-written.

He continued on with more and less popular songs from his repertoire and did a lot of interactions with people in the crowd. There was a girl sitting in the front row with an empty seat beside her and he asked her where her date was. She said he was driving in from Dallas and be there soon. Bryan said, “Get your phone out and call him, I’d like to speak to him. She dialed his number and handed him the phone. He asked the guy how long he would be. “10 minutes? Ok. Should we wait for you? Oh, this is Bryan. Bryan Adams. The guy you’re coming to see.” It was really cool to see that type of interaction. He also had the girl switch places with a dude so when the guy got there, he’d be a little confused about what was happening. He messed with the guy saying that his girl had left and that he had found him a new date. It was all quite funny.

He continued through several more songs, left the stage and came back for a six song encore. He had a pianist with him who played on about 3/4 of the songs.

The show ended up being much better than I expected and I am really glad that I went even though I felt like hell. If there was one disappointment for me, personally, it was that he didn’t play One Night Love Affair. That’s by far my favorite if his. Maybe that was a difficult one to play acoustic. I don’t know. He played everything else that I would have wanted to hear and even a few older tracks that I had forgotten about. It was a great show and that guy is a great performer.

Can I get my metal card back now?

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Written by The Metal Files

December 16, 2012 at 9:25 am

White Tiger – White Tiger (1986)

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Here’s one that I used to have on vinyl.  Some dude hooked me up with this when we were in high school.  I loved Mark’s playing on KISS’ Animalize.  This album is pretty good overall for LA glam tainted hard rock.  It featured Dave Donato on vocals who was in Black Sabbath for about 8 minutes.

The copy I have on CD was bought around 2000 directly from Mark, signed by him and included a White Tiger guitar pick.

Tracks:

  1. Rock Warriors
  2. Love / Hate
  3. Bad Time Coming
  4. Runaway
  5. Still Standing Strong
  6. Live To Rock
  7. Northern Wind
  8. Stand And Deliver
  9. White Hot Desire
  10. Rock Warriors (Remix)*

Download it here.

01 Rock Warriors (5:38) Donato/St. John
02 Love / Hate (5:51) Donato/St. John
03 Bad Time Coming (6:01) Donato/St. John
04 Runaway (5:00) Donato/St. John
05 Still Standing Strong (5:26) Donato/St. John
06 Live To Rock (4:06) Donato/St. John
07 Northern Wind (5:11) Donato/St. John
08 Stand And Deliver (4:38) Donato/St. John
09 White Hot Desire (4:37) Donato/St. John
10 Rock Warriors (Remix)* (5:28) Donato/St. John

Written by The Metal Files

January 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Tear down the walls! 66 Crush!

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Fall of 1986.  Rob Saunders and I were out running around town on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and saw that Trick or Treat was playing at the Suffolk Plaza Theater in downtown Suffolk.  We got there just in time to see the previews and such before the movie started.  I knew the guy who was the weekend manager and he gave us free popcorn and drinks which was very cool.

The only thing I really knew about this movie was that it was a horror flick and that it had a heavy metal soundtrack.  That was enough for me to want to see it.  So the movie starts and I see Skippy Handelman from Family Ties as “the metalhead”.  OK, not very fitting but whatever.  I was tripping out in the movie because of the various posters and albums he had.  Great stuff!  Lizzy Borden!

Gene Simmons played a good role as a DJ who gets killed by Sammi Curr.  Ozzy played a TV preacher and gets killed too.  I really do love this movie.  The guy who played Sammi Curr, Tony Fields, died on my birthday in 1995.  Up until recently most websites said it was complications due to AIDS, but now I see on the IMDB site that it’s listed as “cancer secondary to the AIDS virus”.  The dude was a Solid Gold dancer before doing this movie.  Apparently he was in the Thriller video and Lionel Richie’s Running With The Night.  So yeah, AIDS most likely.  Whatever, he did a fine job in this movie.

Sure, the acting is pretty bad but the story line always hit home for me a little bit.  Being practically the only metalhead in my school for a few years, I suffered some of the same silly taunting from the jocks and preppies like Eddie Weinbauer (Skippy!) did in the movie.  Unfortunately I didn’t have a dead rock star to conjure up and reak my revenge during a school dance.  hahahaha…lucky bastards!

Oh…the soundtrack.  Fastway.   Not their greatest effort but listenable just the same.

I bought it on DVD a few years back but it is not a quality version.  I’ll have to check to see if a better version was ever put out.  One can only hope.  I think I’ll watch this movie again tonight.  It’s been about a year or so.