The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘san antonio

Queensryche & Armored Saint Concert Review, San Antonio, November 22, 2016

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I’ve been working in Houston during the week lately and have missed some shows that I wanted to see lately as I cross paths with the bands while traveling between Austin and Houston.  Missing Diamond Head hurt a little.  Even though I’m not a huge fan, I have always wanted to see them live.  Such is life.

I picked up tix for Leanne, Rodney and myself and headed to Alamo City Music Hall.  I don’t like this venue at all.  The sound is horrible and stage lighting for the bands just sucks, but they get quality shows so that’ll keep me coming back.  As we arrived I got in touch with Armored Saint guitarist, Jeff Duncan, who I’ve known for some years.  We hung outside at their bus for a little while while the opening band played.  Great dude, killer guitarist.

We caught the last few songs of Midnight Eternal.  They were listenable keyboard-heavy metal.  After a quick set change, Saint came out an executed their short set flawlessly.  Bush’s voice was squarely in tact and the whole band was on fire.  I just wish the sound in that place wasn’t so shitty.  I really like Saint’s latest album, Win Hands Down, and they opened with that track.  They mixed the set up from some of the other shows so we didn’t get Last Train Home or Nervous Man, two of my favorites, but it didn’t detract from their performance.

Queensryche was up next and I hadn’t seen them with Todd yet.  Overall I’m not a huge fan of anything of theirs post-Rage for Order.  I know I’m in the metal minority when I say I don’t care much for Operation Mindcrime.  While the band played perfectly and Todd sounded absolutely amazing, we were both pretty bored and left during their 4th song.  I did get to hear Best I Can, which I do like a lot.  Again, sound is such a huge issue with this place.

Looked like about 400ish people were there which is a good showing for a Tuesday night.

Grim Reaper Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, October 15, 2016

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Steve Grimmett and company are on tour with their new album Walking in the Shadows.  I had just seen them the previous Sunday in Ventura, CA at Frost and Fire II.  Apparently they had some gear stolen from them at their hotel which totally sucks but as their song says, “The Show Must Go On,” right?

On my way down to SA, I stopped at Fitzgerald’s to meet Rigor Mortis and have their 3 remaining members sign The Book.  Great guys and I’ll be seeing them in Austin soon.  Their guitarist, Casey Orr who used to be in GWAR, had some prints of some of his paintings for sale and I picked up a few of those.  My pal who sings for the rebooted Syrus also bought me the large Lemmy print.  Thanks!

I arrived just as San Antonio locals Byfist were going on.  I had seen them before and while I’m not a fan, I’m happy to see them with by pal Stony on bass.  Great guy, great bassist and sounded great with them on bass and backing vocals.  Killstorm was up next and didn’t do anything for me.

By the time Grim Reaper hit the stage, there may have been 50 people there at best.  They had just played in SA in April so maybe that had something to do with the low attendance.  Didn’t matter, I was there and wanted to see them again.

They played the same set from Frost and Fire and it was solid.  The band is tight and Steve’s voice sounds great.  I picked up the new CD after the show and had the guys sign it.  When I got to Steve, he gave me a hug and thanked me for coming down to see them again.  Good dude.  Go see the tour if you can.

Written by The Metal Files

October 17, 2016 at 9:46 am

Riot V Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, October 1, 2016

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Riot V (Riot) is doing a short string of Texas dates in warmup to their Japan show with Rick Ventura performing all of Fire Down Under.  Last night was San Antonio’s turn and what a great show it was…as always.  There was yet another slight band member change for these shows.  Nick Lee and Lance Barnewold (Nick’s usual replacement) both had prior commitments and couldn’t do this show.  Riot tapped SA local Joey Villalobos to back up Mike Flyntz and he did a fine job.

Riot opened with a taped segment of Flashbacks from FDU then went into Narita as they always do.  They played 5 more songs that have been a part of their set in the last couple of years then brought out guitarist Rick Ventura to play FDU with Flyntz and the band.  It was quite a treat to see him again and to hear that whole album live.  Such an influential album and Mark Reale influenced a lot of guitarists.  After FDU, they kept Rick on stage for Tokyo Rose, Rock City and Road Racin’ and for a cover of Saxon’s Denim and Leather which featured Saxon’s Nigel Glockler on drums.  Pretty cool.  Last night proved once again that Todd Michael Hall is one of the best singers in metal.

Rick left the stage and Joey came back on for 5 more songs and that was it.  It was a great 2 hour set as always and was good to be there with good friends.

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Written by The Metal Files

October 2, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Joe Lynn Turner & Blackfoot Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, August 20, 2016

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I had a ticket and flight booked to see Joe Lynn Turner (JLT) at the Whisky in West Hollywood a couple of months ago and had to cancel the trip.  That was a major bummer.  That blow got lessened recently when Sean McNabb, bassist for George Lynch, mentioned to me that he was also playing with JLT and that they were playing in San Antonio.  Shortly after that Lynch show, the JLT show was announced.

Also announced was Blackfoot as the opener.  A quick check to see who was still in the band led me to their website which showed that they had no original members but were still managed by Ricky Medlocke.  Alright then.  I’ve never been a big fan fan of southern rock although hearing Strikes takes me back to being a kid as one of best friends, Petey, always loved that record.

After some time bouncing around San Antonio record stores, Rodney and I grabbed some dinner then headed to the venue to meet up with Matt who had tickets for another friend, Diego, and me.  The weather was complete shit.  The show was originally scheduled to be outside rain or shine but the rain was pretty heavy and it was moved inside.  Upon walking in, the place was packed, uncomfortably so.  I stayed inside for part of Seance’s set then just decided to wait out Blackfoot outside.  I could hear them perfectly and they were solid.  This new lineup had been together for 4 years.  It was weird after seeing them arrive to think that they were Blackfoot.  They looked like kids and 2 of the guys in the band were sporting mohawks.  Even prior to them finishing their set, I noticed some people leaving making comments about the lineup as they were walking out.

Then it was time for JLT.  I was pretty excited since I hadn’t seen him since he sang on Odyssey tour with Yngwie Malmsteen, one of my favorite concerts ever.  The band hit the stage to a thinned out crowd opening with the snippet of Over the Rainbow and going right in Death Alley Driver. The band was tight and Joe’s voice sounded great.  I Surrender and Power were up next.  The crowd was really into it.  Unfortunately they were plagued with some technical difficulties throughout the night but they worked through them and completely rocked.  Street of Dreams was a highlight as were Stone Cold, Spotlight Kid and Malmsteen’s Rising Force.  JLT has Steve Brown from Trixter on guitar and he was pretty damned good, even handled the Yngwie guitar solo pretty well.  It was a fun set.

After the show was the meet and greet with Joe.  It was inexpensive and I wanted Joe added to The Book.  They were letting us in 2 at a time and Matt and I went in together towards the end of the line.  Joe was very talkative and inquisitive about the patches on our jackets.  He was loving Matt’s Riot patch and mentioned how much he had loved that band since their early days.  I mentioned as I was pulling out The Book that I brought Riot’s Privilege of Power CD cover with me.  “Whoa, let me see that.  I haven’t thought about this one in years.”  I mentioned seeing the 1988 Yngwie show at The Boathouse and he said, “I remember that place.  A bit of a dump.”  Most bands say that.  haha.  We talked briefly about his time with Yngwie and both agreed that there should have been a second album with him on vocals.  While finishing up the signing and photos, I mentioned that he was my favorite singer for Rainbow.  I know that is not a popular opinion but whatever.  Totally true.  I like the Dio era a lot but it’s the JLT era for me any day.  He was also quite pleased to see the Odyssey album.

What a great show although I’d prefer not to see another show at this venue.

 

 

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

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It’s the 4th of July weekend, what better band to see than America?  I missed their Austin show a few months back and was happy to see they booked a San Antonio show.

It’s been a busy day.  I had just had the first rehearsal with my new band and then went to meet Stryper.

My beautiful friend, Margarita, met me at the show and in we went.  The Tobin Center is a great venue.  Absolutely gorgeous and not a bad seat in the house.

I’ve always loved the band since I was a kid.  AM radio gold type stuff.  The band consists of 2 of the originals, Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley.  And as no surprise, the backing band was incredible.

They opened with Tin Man and You Can Do MagicSandman and You Can Do Magic were my 2 faves of the night.  They sounded great, especially Dewey’s vocals.  Gerry’s were a little rough but those harmonies get tough at their age.  The set was mixed with everything from their famous greatest hits album to a few deeper cuts and a couple of newer songs.  It was a great show overall and was sold out.

 

Written by The Metal Files

July 3, 2016 at 10:35 am

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

Quiet Riot Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, June 25, 2016

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The 80s metal weekend continued last night in San Antonio for the modern version of Quiet Riot which features only Frankie Banali from their definitive 80s era.  The band also features Chuck Wright who played bass on the original recorded version of the song Metal Health and did backing vocals for that whole album.  Jizzy Pearl and Alex Grossi round out the line up on vocals and guitar, respectively.

There were 4 opening acts.  I missed the first one, Iron King Stag.  Years Gone was up next and I had seen them before.  They’re a tight band, but I had that type of rock.  Lead guitarist is good though.  Black Heart Saints were up next and I’d say that if you liked Tesla, Skid Row, Kix and Motley Crue minus some of the sleaze, this is the band for you.  THEY WERE NOT THE BAND FOR ME.  haha.  Singer could fill in with Tesla perfectly.  That vocal style grates on my nerves.  The covered Come Together which I didn’t recognize until the chorus and covered Stevie Wonder’s Superstition.  The Selfish Machines were up next and other than a weak version of We’re An American Band, I don’t remember anything else about them.  Also, it was announced early on that if you bought the Quiet Riot documentary DVD, you’d be guaranteed to get your stuff signed.  I hadn’t seen it yet, so it was an easy $20 to spend.

After the last set change, lights go down and Queen’s We Will Rock You is played as the band comes on stage.  They opened with Run For Cover, Slick Black Cadillac and Mama Weer All Crazee Now.  Listen, there was only one Kevin DuBrow (well, the singer for Slade as well), but Jizzy Pearl handled the vocals just fine.  He’s got the vocal range that works perfectly.  Alex Grossi handled the guitar parts just fine without destroying Cavazo’s solos.  Frankie’s playing was solid, but Chuck’s bass work was pretty incredible.  I never knew just how good that guy was.  The set included pretty much everything that you’d expect.  It was a fun show all around and odd that I didn’t know anyone at the show besides Helstar’s James Rivera.

A little backstory, the only other time I have seen QR was in 1999 in Norfolk, VA.  They did a meet and greet that day at Mars Music and like an idiot I didn’t bring The Book to the signing or to the show that night.  One of things I did bring was a WASP CD/EP for Sunset and Babylon.  At the signing, Frankie asked me if he could have it since he said he had never seen one before.  I said no and he got a little pissed off and said, “I’m not signing your stuff then.”  Kevin DuBrow looked at him and said, “Seriously, Frankie?  Sign his stuff!”  Frankie signed it and we moved on.  The show that night was $5 and this shitty old theater called The Riverview.  When I had gone back home after the signing, I realized that I had a spare copy of that EP and brought it with me to the show.  There may have been 50 people at that show, maybe less.  It was the classic lineup as well.  Pathetic turnout.  During the end of their set, I held up that CD and pointed to Frankie and said, “It’s yours.”  His eyes lit up and he smiled.  Once they finished, they just stepped off of the stage and hung out with everyone.  Frankie came straight up to me and I handed him the CD.  He thanked me and apologized saying he was having a bad day.  He handed me his sticks and we spoke for a little bit before us talking with the rest of the band.

Last night as I got through the line to have him sign the DVD and The Book, I asked, “Do you still have that Babylon and Sunset CD that I gave you?”  He said, “Holy shit, that was you?!  I totally remember that day.  Thanks again!”  He then marveled over The Book and asked how to get one, signed it and I moved on.  Chuck Wright had just come out and I had him sign on the Black Roses section.  “What book is this?”  I told him how to find one and mentioned that he was listed in there several times.  I forgot to get him to sign my Metal Health cover, but oh well.

Fun night.

 

Written by The Metal Files

June 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm