The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘san antonio

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

Whitesnake & Whitford-St. Holmes Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, June 6, 2016

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Last night was quite a night.  I had just seen Whitesnake a year ago in Austin and I’ve never seen Whitford-St. Holmes, only Whitford with Aerosmith several times.  Whitesnake is doing a greatest hits tour and I do like them enough to continue seeing them when it’s convenient.  When Whitford-St. Holmes was announced as the opener, it made my decision to go even easier.  Especially since they added an affordable meet and greet option.

I arrived in San Antonio around 5ish, parked and found a bar to grab a drink and a bite to eat prior to the meet and greet.  The tour manager called me told me when/where to meet, which was at the backstage door at 6:30PM.  I got to that spot around 6:15 and there were about 7-8 people hanging out that I thought were all part of the meet and greet.  Come to find out, none of them were.  They were all there to try and meet Coverdale and they all knew each other.  Autograph seekers.  I asked if they were going to the show and got a resounding “hell no” from all of them.  Apparently they all just hang out before shows to see who they can meet.  One of the guys, easily 60 years old, got a call and said, “He’s about to pull up in a black SUV.”  I asked if they had a spy network and was told “yes.”

As Coverdale got out of the SUV, the security guy tried to usher him in the backstage door and he said, “Give me a minute, let me take care of these people.”  As he walked up, he said, “Just one item each, make it your best one and I’ve got to go.”  I was last and asked him to sign The Book.  “This is different,” he said.  I asked for a picture, he obliged.  I hit a wrong button and he saw the screen go black and thanks everyone and walked away.  No photo.  I was a bit bummed to not get that photo but super stoked to get him in The Book.  Immediately after that, the autograph seekers all left.  One dude walked up after and he was the only other person there for the meet and greet.  I was a bit surprised that there weren’t more.

A few moments later the tour manager escorted us through the door and into the basement to the dressing rooms area.  He stated that Brad was finishing dinner and to just hang out in the hallway until it was time.  No problem.  All of a sudden, there’s Coverdale walking by us and the guy next to me asked for a picture.  He obliged and I mentioned that the one I tried outside failed.  “Well let’s make that right, then.”  The dude took a few pics of us and I said, “Thanks, Dave.  It’s quite an honor to meet you.”  He replied very politely with, “Please call me David, alright?  It’s much better than Dave.  I don’t like that name.”  I apologized, thanked him again and called him Mr. Coverdale.  He smiled, shook my hand and said, “Enjoy the show, gents” and walked away.  Down the hall I heard one of his roadies call him “DC” and he said, “Why can’t you bloody just call me David?!”  haha.

Right after that we were escorted to the Whitford-St. Holmes dressing room.  Since there were only two of us, it made things nice and casual.  I spoke with Derek for about 10 minutes as we discussed his time in Blood of the Sun and I asked him about the time he spent in The Michael Schenker Group in 1983.  You can see some vids of him on rhythm guitar and backing vocals from that ’83 tour.  He told me some great stories and asked what I had to sign so I showed him The Book.  He was really into that thing and read the entire sections for Nugent and MSG.  I got the impression that he and The Nuge weren’t friends nowadays based on some comments he made.  I had him sign my Blood of the Sun CD and the two tickets I had, the other being for my friend, Rodney.  Derek was a super guy.

Then we switched and I got to talk to Brad for about 10 minutes.  Let me tell you, it was almost difficult to say anything as I was just humbled to even be next to that guy.  Aerosmith runs deep in my rock and roll history thanks to my brother, Robert.  I was a bit miffed that I couldn’t find my Draw the Line CD, my favorite album by them.  He, too, was interested in The Book and asked how to find one.  I told him about seeing them a few times in the late 80s/early 90s.  He was so laid back and extremely friendly.    I was really just blown away.  He signed The Book and those 2 tickets and then we did some photos.

Derek made it a point to show Brad the MSG section that he was in

They both thanked us and were escorted back out.  Reb Beach was standing on the sidewalk and I just shook his hand and said, “Have a great show tonight.”  I got him in The Book a couple of years ago in Houston.

I walked around to the front entrance, met up with Rodney, passed off his ticket and in we went.  The tour manager found me and handed me the swag bag from the meet and greet which included a copy of the latest album.  It has a bonus disc of the first album on it, too.  Whitford-St. Holmes came on right at 8PM and they sounded great.  Unfortunately they didn’t play anything from their debut album.  I was hoping to at least hear Sharpshooter.  The played a partial version of Aerosmith’s Last Child with the keyboardist on vocals.  That was my brother’s favorite track.  Then a partial version of Nugent’s Hey Baby followed by a partial version of Train Kept A-Rollin’.  They closed the show with Stranglehold.

After about a 20 minute stage change, Whitesnake came out to Bad Boys and Slide It In.  They sounded as good as they sounded last year and the backing vocals helped carry Coverdale throughout the show.  They played everything you’d expect them to play on a greatest hits tour.  I totally could have done without the guitar and bass solos and especially Tommy Aldridge’s boring ass drum solo.  Double bass, double bass, quads, quads, ohhh some triplets, more triplets.  Wait, more quads! Look, ma!  No sticks.  Hands-only solo now!  Quads with the hands!  Double bass!  Wake me when it’s over, please.  But overall the band sounded great.  It was a fun show.  Coverdale is the consummate front man.

I will say that in meeting him, it was quite intense.  He exudes so much personality and energy all the while remaining a gentleman.

The “covers” listed in the Whitesnake set were taped intros/outros, not anything performed live.

 

Dictators NYC Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, May 29, 2016

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Let’s face facts, I’m not really into much punk rock and I’m not into Manowar beyond their first album, Battle Hymns, but The Dictators have 2 folks that are in The Book that I wanted to have added: Handsome Dick Manitoba (HDM) and Ross the Boss.  Add to the fact that my pal, Dean Rispler, plays bass for them, I had to see them.

I had a ticket to their Friday show in Austin and sold it because I had forgotten that Chicago was the same night.  That show ended early enough and I ended up at the Dictators show anyhow.  To be honest, I just wasn’t feeling it Friday.  Not sure why.  I was pretty tired and left mid-set to go home.

Dean put me on the guestlist for the Sunday show at The Korova in San Antonio and I got there around 930PM.  I saw that a few friends were in the bar next door so I stopped in there for a little bit.  As it turned out, Ross the Boss was there and I asked if he’d sign The Book.  He laughed at the Manowar photo, signed it, gave me a guitar pick and took a picture with me.  Super nice guy.  I’m glad he didn’t ask me about Manowar. :)

Jeff from The Offenders and I headed back to Korova as Dallas’ Swingin’ Dicks were setting up.  I bought a Dictators shirt then went up front to watch the band.  Enjoyable set from this heavyish punk band.  The bassist had a gorgeous white ’76 Rickenbacker.

With the backline being shared by the Swingin’ Dicks and The Dictators, it was a quick 20 minute or so break between bands and the on came The Dictators.

The crowd may have gotten up to 100 folks, but just barely.  The band was solid, very solid.  I classify them more as a garage rock band than punk, but I don’t really know.  HDM is a character and the whole band gels together perfectly.  Dean’s bassplaying is superb.  The band is rounded out with JP “Thunderbolt” Patterson on drums and legendary producer, Daniel Rey, on second guitar.

It was quite an enjoyable show overall minus a few drunk shitheads.

After the show, I got to meet Dick and have him sign The Book.  I told him that prior to this week I had never listened to the band, but that after seeing them live this weekend, I was now a fan of the live show and looked forward to seeing them again.  “Nothing could make me happier than getting a new fan, man.  That means a lot.”  He signed The Book, I gave Dean a goodbye hug and headed home.

 

 

Striker & Spellcaster Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, May 20, 2015

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Striker, Spellcaster and Weresquatch rolled through San Antonio Friday night.  I had just seen Spellcaster in Chicago at Ragnarokkr and couldn’t really get into the 2 songs I saw after getting blown away by Old Wolf.

We arrived with about 2 songs left from Weresquatch but I didn’t hear anything from them that made me care.

Spellcaster’s main man, Cory, found me before the show.  Great dude.  Spellcaster went on shortly after and were just great.  Super solid, good stage presence and good players.  Unfortunately the sound in the Korova basement leaves a lot to be desired as does the lighting.  Overall it didn’t matter.  Spellcaster rocked the crowd of 40 or so and I look forward to seeing them again at Frost and Fire II in October.  The 3 songs from their new album, Night Hides the World, sounded great, especially the title track.

Striker headlined and I had only listened to some of their stuff a few days prior to the show.  Good solid stuff that translated well live.  My favorite part of seeing them was their great 3-part vocal harmonies.  Much of the crowd had left during their set and admittedly I spent a lot of time talking with my drummer outside.  I’d definitely like to catch them again.

Catch the tour if you can.

poster

 

Written by The Metal Files

May 22, 2016 at 8:20 pm