The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

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Doro Concert Review, Houston, TX, March 8, 2015

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IMG_8950useFirst and foremost, I need to get this out of the way…“apology accepted”.  Those were the words Doro said to me last night after I apologized for my Butthead moment with her back in 1988.  She thought it was very funny actually.  It had always been in the back of my mind anytime I’d think of Warlock or her, so I’m glad I finally got to get that off my conscience.

When I saw that Doro was coming to Texas again (last time was 2007 in San Antonio but I couldn’t make it), I got a ticket ASAP.  I absolutely love Warlock.  The drive to Houston yesterday and the return home today were tough as it was a heavy rain both days.

Upon arrival to my hotel, I was relaxing a bit after a nice hot shower and looking at Instagram and saw that Johnny Dee, Doro’s drummer, ate at the ramen place next to the venue.  I was very hungry and this sounded like a good idea on such a cold and rainy night.  It was an incredible pork broth, noodle, ground pork, chopped pork, hot sauce, bok choy concoction that set me just right.

After the meal I go to the venue and run into some friends and hung with them for most of the night.  There were 4 opening bands, 3 of which were local and one from Santa Cruz called Archer.  I missed the first opener and couldn’t really get into the other 2 local bands at all.  Archer was a decent 3 piece of heavy rock band that is touring with Doro.

The crowd had thinned out some.  It wasn’t packed in there by any stretch but by the time Doro came on, I’m guessing about 150 were still around.  The band hits the stage and opens up with I Rule the Ruins and plowed right into Earthshaker Rock.  The band sounded awesome and I couldn’t believe how great her voice was.  She looked and sounded like it was still 1988 and she is very appreciative of her fans.  You could tell how much she loved being up there and seeing familiar faces in the crowd.  Some people had traveled from Luxembourg to be there as well as other parts of the USA and Mexico.  I love that.

The setlist was filled with songs from all four Warlock albums.  It was awesome hearing Out of Control and I freaked when they played Evil from the Fight for Rock 12″.  She played a handful of songs from the solo career as well including 2 from her new album, Raise Your Fist In the Air.  Hearing Metal Racer just blew me away.  They performed the cover of Dio’s Egypt (The Chains Are On) and it was just perfect.  I’ve always loved her cover of that.

It was just a wonderful set, which of course I wanted more Warlock songs.  Just play all night, ok?  After the show I got to spend a little time with Johnny Dee which was cool.  I’ve always liked that self-titled Britny Fox album, even though I despise most of that hair band stuff.  That riff on Long Way to Love is killer.  After talking with Johnny, I was afforded a moment to get on the bus with Doro.  It was a cool few minutes.  She signed The Book and my Triumph and Agony CD.  The tour manager was rushing me off the bus so I didn’t get the other Warlock CDs signed, but he did call me “assman”.  I didn’t take but a couple of photos as I really just wanted to stand there and take it all in.

Stay hard, true as steel!

Alice Cooper Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, February 11, 2015

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IMG_7633useTo be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has said, “I don’t like Alice Cooper.”  Sure, you may not be into his music, his politics, his religion, but how can you not just like the guy?  He’s a class act.  Intelligent.  Funny.  Consummate front man.

I’ve been a fan since as long as I can remember thanks to one of my older brothers.  One of my favorite Cooper moments ever was his appearance on the Muppet Show in the 70s.  I met Alice last year in Dallas and those few moments talking together will forever be special to me.  A few months later I saw him with Motley Crue and it was great.  Shortly after that show, it was announced that he was doing a solo tour, an evening with Alice Cooper.  I bought tickets for the Austin show as soon as they went on sale and got one for the San Antonio show and scored second row 2 weeks after they had gone on sale, which I thought was odd.

I rolled down to San Antonio right after work and picked up my friend, Rodney, who had a close seat in the section next to mine.  I had never been to the Majestic Theatre before but wow, what a beautiful venue.

Alice was scheduled to come on at 8PM but didn’t hit the stage until about 8:15.  The lights went down and The Underture started.  The open up with Hello, Hooray and roll right into House of Fire and No More Mr. Nice Guy.  The crowd was going crazy and I was smiling ear to ear.  Alice and the band, as expected, sounded great.  He is pretty active on stage, especially for a guy who is 67 years old.

He played most of what I expected to hear.  Of course I want to hear songs from From The Inside but he’s been ignoring that album for quite some time.  I was a little surprised he didn’t go deeper into the catalog since he was doing the longer set but he decided to play 4 covers which apparently he’s been doing often when he’s headlining.

His band is always top notch and last night was no different.  Everyone is extremely talented and are each a show within the show.  Drummer Glen Sobel is a beast of a drummer.  Veteran guitarist, Ryan Roxie and bassist, Chuck Garric, were positioned on my side for most of the night.  Ryan slapped 2 picks in my hand throughout the course of the night.  While I started out in the second row, the security girl motioned for me to come right up front and there I was stationed for more than half of the show.  I didn’t realize until after the show that guitarist, Tommy Hendriksen, was the bassist for Warlock, who I had seen in 1988.  He and third guitarist, Nita Strauss, also handed picks to me during the show.  Score!

Alice threw out 2 of his plastic canes, a ton of Cooper dollar bills and some plastic bead necklaces (during Dirty Diamonds).  At the end of the show during the School’s Out encore, tissue paper feathers and streamers fell from the ceiling and the crew threw large balloons filled with confetti out on the stage and into the crowd.  The ones that got near Alice were pierced with his sword.

It was a great show and I can’t wait to see it again tonight!

Tesla Concert Review, Austin, TX, January 28, 2015

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TESLA_3x5_logoHappy 2015 everybody.  Seems like it’s been forever since I’ve written.  There just haven’t been that many touring shows since December but that all changed starting last night.

Tesla.  To be honest, and I’ve stated it before, I’m not a fan.  While I like Modern Day Cowboy and Heaven’s Trail, I just don’t get into them at all.  A big part of it are the vocals.  Just a bit too whiny for me.  So why did I go?  Free tickets!  Good enough reason to go and to hang out with some friends who were going.

A little history.  Back around 1990, the metal band I was in wanted to play Love Song.  I was completely against it.  NO BALLADS!  I was happy sticking with the heavier covers we were doing and not pussing out to wimp rock, and this song qualifies as wimp rock.  I’m pretty sure it was because of the bassist we had who had a new girlfriend and he was all goo-goo over her.  The rest of the band didn’t seem to mind playing that song but I was adamant about not playing it.  I had to maintain some integrity after all, yes?  After the second or third practice of them trying to introduce the song and me bucking against it, someone stated that it was time to find another drummer.  DONE AND DONE.  I packed up my gear and rolled on.  No muss, no fuss, no hard feelings.

We got there right as the opening band was going on and quickly went out to the patio.  We stayed out there for most of the second band, too.  To be honest, they weren’t memorable enough for me to care about their names, but hey, they were up there and I wasn’t, so good on ’em, eh?

Tesla comes on and opens with a song from their latest album, Simplicity.  They ran through most of their catalog and the crowd responded accordingly.  They played pretty much everything you’d expect to hear.  We stayed near the back of the venue and I was quite surprised as to how many people were there.  The venue holds about 1700 and there were roughly 1200 in attendance.

The band was tight and Jeff Keith’s vocals were hanging tough (sorry, I had to).  Frank Hannon is a beast of a guitarist.  Brian Wheat’s bangs were in full effect, too.  Holy cow!

This was a great show for people watching, too.  Saw some sights that I’ll never un-see, that’s for sure.  Overall it was a good time and it felt great to catch another live show and to spend some time with good friends.  It’s also nice when a show ends earlyish (1130PM) since I have to get up early for work.

Lots of things in the hopper in the coming months like Uli Roth, Doro, Krokus, Alice Cooper, The Who and Bob Seger.

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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Devo Concert Review, Austin Tx, July 2, 2014

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Admittedly I’m not a big DEVO fan, but I’m not an un-fan.  I had Freedom of Choice and Are We Not Men on vinyl but they never got much play.  That being said, friends said that the last few shows here in Austin were great so I decided to get tickets and go.

After a few songs I realized some of the quirky genius behind what they were doing.  This tour was touted as the Hardcore DEVO Tour 74′-77′.  The early stuff they were playing was noisy but still very much controlled chaos.  The band was entertaining and everything was pretty scripted, but we had a blast.

The donned blue jumpsuits and hardhats early in the set and bounced and danced around a lot for guys in their early to mid 60s.  The lineup consists of original members Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale and drummer Josh Freese who has been in the band in 1996.  They were solid and a lot of fun and just what I needed this week.

One cool thing was seeing Mark jump off the stage into the photo/security pit during Jocko Homo and half jump into the crowd to have people sing “We are Devo!” with him.

All of my iPhone pictures look like crap, so nothing really to share.  Once of these days I’ll buy another decent small camera.