The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘testament

SxSW 2011 Music and Film Festival

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I’m pretty fortunate to live in a town that holds a festival like this one every year.  Austin is dubbed The Live Music Capital of the World and while it’s a great place to see bands, it’s not the greatest place to be in a band.  But that’s neither here nor there for this article.

This will be the 4th SxSW festival in a row that I am attending and I always see some good bands.  For the music that I’m into, it’s only a small percentage of the 1,000 or so bands that come here from all over the world to play.  I wasn’t here for the early days of this fest where bands were really playing for their shot at a record deal, but I do find it enjoyable.

It is unfortunate, however, that many who visit Austin for SxSW treat the town like their own toilet and/or trash dump.  Sure, those who bought their passes/badges paid a lot of money for them, but that’s no excuse for poor manners and behavior.  Just my 2 cents on that.

In SxSWs past, I’ve seen Motorhead, the Lemmy movie, VoiVod (3 times last year!), and dozens of other bands of all genres just by walking the streets of downtown.  It’s pretty cool overall.

This year’s music lineup is pretty tasty for “official” shows.  It includes The Rods, Pentagram, X Japan, Saint Vitus, Christian Mistress, Agollach, Alex Skolnick Trio, Zoroaster, Naam and a slew of others.  I also always end up seeing some other good bands that I have never heard of before.  Not to mention it’s a big fun party.

I’m not the biggest moviegoer in the world, but I will make time to see Last Days Here which is a documentary about the life of legendary Pentagram singer Bobby Liebling.  I met and had dinner with Bobby and Pentagram last year and he is a really nice guy.

I’ll be posting reviews of the shows and the movie for sure.  I’m pretty excited already.

Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax – Concert Review – San Antonio, Tx – September 25, 2010

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I can practically remember the show like it was yesterday.  Anthrax and Testament in 1987 at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  Anthrax was touring for Among the Living and testament for The Legacy.  To this day it was one of the most incredible shows ever.  I had gotten into Anthrax in early 1986 when I found a used copy of the cassette at Unicorn Records (RIP).  I practically listened to that album every day driving to and from school.  Minus Persistence of Time, I loved the Joey Belladonna era of Anthrax.  When Bush came in, I was done.  He was fine in Armored Saint but not in my beloved Anthrax.  I was able to catch Anthrax with Joey on the State of Euphoria and Persistence of Time tours.  They were always great live.  I also caught them with Bush on the We Have Come For You All tour and it was a really good show.

When the American Carnage Tour was announced there was no doubt that I’d see the show.  The first leg of the tour had Testament as the openers.  That band never disappoints.  This current leg featured Anthrax with the newly re-re-reunited Joey Belladonna on vocals.  I was pretty excited about that since it had been since 1991 since I had seen him live.

I will say that even though I love…even adore Megadeth, I wasn’t too excited to see them this time since they are still playing Rust In Peace live.  I had just seen it 6 months ago.  But Megadeth always delivers.  And they did once again last night.  More on that in a bit.

So now the adventure of the day begins.  I grab my best friend Amelia and her boyfriend Cody and we shuffle down to the other side of town to grab my other best friend, McMaster and head to San Antonio.  Good conversation, good music playing and everyone is pretty excited about the concert.

We get to the show, check out the shirts which weren’t all that great so I got to save myself $40.  Jason had a floor general admission ticket and we had seats.  About 20 minutes before Anthrax hit stage we went to our respective sections and waited for the show to begin.  Our seats were pretty decent and we had quick access to the lounge area of the AT&T Center.

The lights go down at 6:55 and Jim Florentine from That Metal Show and Crank Yankers fame is on stage as he is the Jagermeister MC for this tour. He does 5 minutes of comedy about metal and such and next thing you know Anthrax hits the stage.

They come on and open up with Caught In A Mosh.  Good times.  Anthrax has always been a very tight band as far as their playing and last night was no exception.  A big part of that is because of Charlie Benante’s drumming.  He’s a beast of a drummer.  Anthrax only had a 45 minute set so they played the hits that you’d expect.  They also added in Only from the Bush era and it was alright.  It’s the only song from that era that I like.  I have to say how surprised I was of Joey’s voice.  He sounded great.  He hit the high noted pretty well.  Lucky for us it was only the second night of Anthrax being on the tour, so they were all still fresh.  They sounded great and I got a little choked up when they played Madhouse. Spreading the Disease, is such an important album to me.  I really felt like we flashbacked into the 80s for a brief minute.  It was nice to just forget all of the worries of today and rock out like I was 17 again when the only thing I had to worry about was doing enough school work to get by and play drums.  Simpler times for sure.  But again, Anthrax was great and I actually wish they would have been the headliner to get a longer set and play some deeper cuts.  being such a short set, I was only a slight bit disappointed that they played the 2 cover tunes, although they were big songs for them.

Anthrax’s setlist:

  1. Caught In a Mosh
  2. Got the Time
  3. Madhouse
  4. Antisocial
  5. Indians
  6. Only
  7. Metal Thrashing Mad
  8. I Am The Law

After Anthrax I head up to the lounge area behind our section to grab a coke and a hot dog.  A boy’s gotta eat!  Shortly after Florentine is on stage again and Megadeth hit the stage right after he walked off stage.  They open up with Holy Wars and the crowd was all over it.  People love the Rust In Piece album.  Me?  Not so much.  But they sounded great, as always.  Dave is one of the greatest metal guitarists ever in my opinion and he was great again last night.  The addition of Chris Broderick has been nice as well.  They did 5 other songs after playing Rust In Piece and sounded great except at the end of Peace Sells where Drover on drums couldn’t quite get his feet together.  Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a nerd and could overlook or not even notice such things, but I can’t.

Megadeth setlist:

  1. Holy Wars
  2. Hangar 18
  3. Take No Prisoners
  4. Five Magics
  5. Poison Was The Cure
  6. Lucretia
  7. Tornado of Souls
  8. Dawn Patrol
  9. Rust In Peace…Polaris
  10. Trust
  11. Headcrusher
  12. A Tout Le Monde
  13. Symphony of Destruction
  14. Peace Sells (encore)
  15. Holy Wars (reprise)(encore)

Now I’ll drop back a little in that during Megadeth’s second song, McMaster walks back to where our seats were and calls me down to the rail.  We were only 4 rows up from the floor.  He puts something in my hand and tells me to grab Amelia and Cody and meet him in the hallway right now.  I didn’t really even look at what he gave me and grabbed the other 2 and we walked out immediately.  Upon getting in the hallway I pull the wad of stuff out of my pocket and see that we were given Jagermeister VIP passes courtesy of Jim Florentine.  Hot damn!  We get escorted upstairs and ushered into a large VIP suite that had about 20 other people in it.  It was straight back from the stage.  It was stocked with beer, Jager (gross), Jager swag and food.  We were told to make ourselves at home and Jason introduced us to his pal, Florentine.

While I’m not the greatest fan of That Metal Show, he’s the bright spot on the show.  The dude is really a metalhead and absolutely hilarious.  You get the feeling that he’s “one of us.”  It was really pretty nice of him to give all 4 of us access.  It was totally unexpected  and a bit humbling.  Certainly I don’t deserve that sort of treatment but will not complain about it.  Thanks Jim!

So Megadeth finishes their set and Florentine goes down to the soundboard area and does another quick routine.  Shortly after he’s back up in the booth with us hanging out.

Slayer hits the stage and opens up with World Painted Blood.  For this tour Slayer was playing Seasons in the Abyss in its entirety.  I didn’t care too much for that album when it came and that tour was the only other time I ever saw Slayer.  It was also the last time that I was in a mosh pit.  My nose is still a little crooked from

Slayer's opening screen

that show!  I have a love/hate relationship with Slayer.  I love everything up to and including South of Heaven and a few tracks from Seasons.  Up until World Painted Blood, I just couldn’t get into any of it.  I tried, believe me.  I’ve bought every one of their albums and throughout the 90s and 2000s got rid of all of the post-Seasons albums.  The new one was a little bit of a return to their late 80s glory.  While it’s not great, I can stomach it.

With Slayer doing Seasons I wasn’t too excited about it, but hearing it live again had me pumped up a little bit.  I hadn’t listened to that album in 10 years or more and it felt weird knowing every word of an album that I had been slagging for 20 years.  After last night, I will call myself a fan of that album  now…minus the title track.  Still can’t get into it.  As for Slayer’s performance, they sounded awesome.  Tom’s voice was sharp.  He doesn’t headbang anymore because of problems with his back and neck.  No biggie.  Kerry and Jeff were solid.  Slayer has a unique sound and a unique riffing style.  Some time during their set, Jason and I looked at each other and both basically said the same thing…”They invented that.”  Lombardo was awesome.  He’s such a beast of a drummer.  I was fortunate enough to see and meet him when he toured with Testament on The Gathering tour.  It was cool hearing them to South of Heaven and Aggressive Perfector.  Slayer kicked everyone’s ass in the building last night.  I’m sure that’s a pretty consistent thing.  My only criticism of their show is that they got a little off in the intro to Seasons but they figured it out pretty quickly.  Slayer!

Slayer setlist:

  1. World Painted Blood
  2. Hate Worldwide
  3. War Ensemble
  4. Blood Red
  5. Spirit In Black
  6. Expendable Youth
  7. Dead Skin Mask
  8. Hallowed Point
  9. Skeletons of Society
  10. Temptation
  11. Born of Fire
  12. Seasons In The Abyss
  13. South of Heaven
  14. Raining Blood
  15. Aggressive Perfector
  16. Angel of Death

As I saw during the Iron Maiden show a few months back, they have a person on the floor behind the soundboard doing sign language to each band’s lyrics for the hearing impaired folks in the crowd.  Florentine was sitting next to me during Dead Skin Mask and I point the sign language lady out to him and say, “Dude, you gotta work this into your act.  Someone doing sign language to Slayer lyrics!”  If any of you faithful readers see him do this line in an upcoming act, you know where it came from!  haha

As always, it was a great night with great friends…the ones who came with me and the ones I ran into at the show.  Thanks again to Jim Florentine for his awesome act of kindness.

Let’s hope for a full blown Anthrax tour!

Florentine and McMaster

Written by The Metal Files

September 26, 2010 at 8:53 am

Megadeth/Testament/Exodus Concert Review 032610

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Wow.  Where to begin.

I love Testament.  While I haven’t liked all of their albums, they are one of the best live bands I have ever seen.  Friday’s

Exodus

show was I think the 7th or 8th time I have seen them since 1987 when they opened for Anthrax on the original Legacy Tour.

Let’s go back a little further with Megadeth.  I first saw them in 1986 on the Peace Sells tour with Overkill opening up on their Taking Over Tour(!!!).  What a night that was!  Friday’s show was my 5th(?) time seeing them and I’ve never been disappointed.

So a few months back when this tour was announced, I was pretty excited.  Two bands that I love to see live and one that I have never seen, albeit not a major fan of either.  While I like Fabulous Disaster and Pleasures of the Flesh a lot, Bonded By Blood and all of their other albums never did a thing for me.  But, I was going to get to see them.  They are legends, even with only 2 original members left.

When I purchased tickets, there was a meet and greet package available and I figured what the hell, I’ll drop the cash on it.  Why not?  Either I misread the original advertisement or it was misrepresented when I bought my ticket, but I thought it was for all 3 bands, not just Testament.  Don’t get me wrong, Testament are badass dudes and Chuck Billy is nice as hell.  I met him in 2000 on The Gathering Tour at Jaxx in Springfield, VA.  So yeah, I paid the bucks to meet Testament.  Whatever.  Early birthday present to myself.

I had to be in line for the meeting before 5pm on Friday and there were a few others ahead of me.  I really expected it to be a small crowd of people who bought the special pass but it ended up being about 35 or so.  Good for Testament.

random fat guy with Testament...ok, it's me.

Dudes can’t make money on albums anymore, so make it through these kinds of deals and through merch.  Good on ’em!

Met this cool dude from Oklahoma City who saw them the night before in Houston.  We hung out most of the show and I lost him during Megadeth.

We get to the backyard part of Stubbs and get herded like cattle through the line to get our shit signed.  We were given a poster that the band could sign and most everyone brought other personal stuff.  of course I had “the book” with me.  As we’re going through the line, Glen Drover signed the poster and I spoke with him briefly about seeing him with King Diamond several years ago and how much I liked the first Eidolon CD.  I also saw him with Megadeth 2 years ago.  Eric Peterson and Greg Christian were next and I had them both sign their photo in the book.  I got the usual reaction, “What the hell is this and where do I find a copy?”  Got to Paul Bostaph and had him sign on the Forbidden Evil section.  Seems to be a relatively quiet dude.  When I got to Chuck, he saw that he had signed it and asked when and where.  I told him it was at Jaxx in 2000 and the other guys in the band all said, “Jaxx!  Fuckin Jaxx!”  It was pretty funny.  I told Chuck that my first Testament show was the Legacy Tour at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA.  “We played that place a lot over the years.”  Yes, I know.  I was there for almost every one of them if not all of them.

Anyhoo, we get herded again to do photos with the band and then a couple of shots with the band and the whole meet and greet group.  One cool thing was that we got to get to the merch booth before they let the crowd in.  We were able to buy one t-shirt for $10 and one hoodie for $20, as opposed to the $35 and $60 they were priced.  I bought one of each.

As we were sitting in the venue waiting for them to let the crowd in, I saw my friend Jay West who is an incredible rock photographer.  His brother is the guitar tech for Exodus.  Jay worked some magic and got the Exodus page signed by Tom and Gary.  Jay grew up in the Bay area and knew those guys when they were still just a local band.  Pretty cool.

I live next door to the venue and took my swag and the book back to my place.  Didn’t want to lug it around all night.  Luckily I know one of the security guys and he let us get right back in the venue without having to wait in the long ass line.

So the crowd gets let in and it’s a sold out show.  Austin’s been getting a lot of good metal shows lately.  Kreator was last night!  I didn’t go.

Exodus hit the stage while the sun was still up and in general they sounded great.  I only recognized a handful of songs but their performance was great.  As the new singer was introducing the band, he noted that Lee Altus was one of the guitarists.  HEATHEN?!?!?!  Shit!  I should have had him sign the book as well.  Dammit.  Oh well.

When Testament was getting their drums soundchecked, you could tell that they were having some difficulties.  Unfortunately their sound was shitty for the whole show.  All you could hear was mostly drums and some semblance of guitars.  I could, however, hear Drover’s solos and he sucked.  Learn Skolnick’s solos.  You’re playing the whole Legacy album…LEARN IT!  Overall, They were good, from the best that I could tell.

Mustaine as shot by Jay West

They never disappoint live.

I ran home to change shoes between bands.  Stuffs has an unevenly sloped gravel floor and it was killing my feet, knees

Megadeth

and legs.

Megadeth hits the stage and were great.  Mustaine is a guitar god.  Love him or hate him he’s a badass when it comes to guitar riffs.  I’m in the minority, though, in that I never cared for Rust In Peace or anything else from the Friedman era.  He bored me with Megadeth and Nick Menza’s drumming was the most boring.  Shawn Drover did a good job imitating it but sounded great on the other Megadeth stuff.  Dave Ellefson just returned to the band and was great.  I’m such a fanboy.  Chris Broderick’s solos were spot on as well.  Of course I would like to have heard more from Peace Sells, Killing is My Business and So Far So Good So What, but there just wasn’t time.  Megadeth delivered again, though.  Love em!  They also played a song from the new album that Dave stated had not been played live before that night.  Sweet!  The new album is great.  Go buy it!

Apparently after the show the Testament and Exodus guys were hanging out at Headhunters with my pal Billy Milano.  Had I know they were there I would have grabbed the book and got Altus’ signature in it.  I LOVE Heathen’s first 2 albums.  Oh well, hopefully they’ll come back again.

It was a great show and a fun night altogether.  Shows like this bring everyone out.  Ran into Rodney from Devastation which is always cool.  I was really glad that testament was able to do more than 25 minutes like the last time I saw them.

Megadeth

gift picks. why does Chuck Billy have his own pick? haha

Megadeath setlist:

She-Wolf
In My Darkest Hour
Skin O’ My Teeth
Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
Hangar 18
Take No Prisoners
Five Magics
Poison Was the Cure
Lucretia
Tornado of Souls
Dawn Patrol
Rust in Peace… Polaris
Headcrusher
The Right to Go Insane
Trust
Symphony Of Destruction
Encore:
Peace Sells

Testament setlist:

Over the Wall
The Haunting
Burnt Offerings
Raging Waters
C.O.T.L.O.D.
First Strike Is Deadly
Do or Die
Into the Pit
Souls of Black
Alone In The Dark
Apocalyptic City

Exodus setlist:

Bonded By Blood
Iconoclasm
Children of a Worthless God
Piranha
Braindead
Deathamphetamine
Blacklist
War Is My Shepherd
Strike Of The Beast
The Toxic Waltz

I think I got the setlists correct.  Someone please let me know if I missed something.

Written by The Metal Files

March 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Megadeth/Testament/Exodus Concert Review (sort of…)

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I’ll post the full review tomorrow.  But for now…

Dave Mustaine is one of the greatest metal guitarists ever.

Period.

Written by The Metal Files

March 26, 2010 at 11:11 pm

SxSW and other upcoming shows…Austin is the greatest.

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When I moved here 3 years ago from Norfolk, VA, I didn’t really know much about this town.  I didn’t come here for the music, it was for a job.   From my first weekend here, I was thrown deep into what this city was about…or at least what this city touts itself as being…”The Live Music Capital of the World.”  The bad part about this town’s motto is that it does as much to keep music down as it does to support it.

Each year the local weekly music and entertainment paper, “The Chronicle”, puts on a festival called South By Southwest, SxSW for short.  This is the 24th year.  It was originally intended for bands to be showcased to record exec types.  Now it seems just more of a cash grab for record labels who showcase their own bands…and it’s really a huge cash grab for the festival promoters.  Bands come from all over the world, literally, to play here.  I went to my first one 3 years ago and got to see some cool stuff.  A lot of major label acts come and play for free.  There’s a whole badge, wristband, pre-pay sort of thing that gives you a little better access to shows but most of us locals can still see the ones we want to see by either waiting in long lines, showing up early or knowing someone at the venue who can get you in the back door.  Two years ago Motorhead played a free outdoor day show but you had to be on an RSVP list to get in.  Gates opened at 11AM and we were in line at 9am.  There were 20 people ahead of us.  Literally thousands lined up around 2 city blocks to try and get in.  You snooze you lose.  We won!

Walk anywhere downtown during the Weds-Sunday music fest and you will hear something that you like and most likely be able to get in, maybe with a small cover or just in for free…depending on whether or not it’s an “official” SxSW show.   The non-SxSW shows can be as good as the official ones, usually better.  Last night, walking by one of my favorite bars I hear some crazy jazz coming out…It was Prince’s bassist and drummer.  AWESOME!  Totally random.  Across the street the bassist for Little Richard was playing.

Last year the Texas Rockfest folks (non-SxSW) put on a great free show.  They always get use of 2 prime large open lots in the middle of the official stuff and show great bands for free.  Last year we got to see DC4 (Odin, DIO, Armored Saint guys) and Eddie Ojeda (who sucked actually, but still, you get my point).  The the the Rockfest guys are doing a $12 St. Patrick’s Day show featuring Agony Column (reunion!), George Lynch, Razr13 (Doug Pinnick), Faster Pussycat, Crank County Daredevils, LA Guns, Austin’s Broken Teeth (Watchtower, Dangerous Toys, Pariah members).  The next days begins the free Rockfest shows with more Broken Teeth,  Danko Jones(!), and more.

Other cool shows during this years festival are VoiVod, Cheap Trick (free!), GWAR (day show…sweet!) and tons more.

Getting past the SxSW thing, Austin is stepping up its game over the past year as for as the metal goes.  We just had Dianno here.  Anvil rolled through a few weeks back.  Megadeth/Testament/Exodus are next week.  Kreator is soon.  Overkill is soon.  Hammerfall is soon.  Not to mention with San Antonio just being 75 minutes south, there’s tons more to see.  Free Lizzy Borden show there in April.  Maiden is coming back this summer.  What’s a rocker to do?  I’m gonna go broke…happily.

All the above nonsense being said, life is grand here.  I just need to lose some weight…and I’m working on it…sort of.

Thanks Austin.  The move here changed and saved my life methinks.

http://www.showlistaustin.com for non-sxsw shows and http://www.sxsw.com if you want to see the “official” band list.