Scumdogs of the Universe Gwar returned to earth to lay waste on the human filth. In 2017, they released their fourteenth album The Blood of Gods. The first thing you’ll notice about Gwar‘s infamous live performances are their grotesque costumes which makes them look like interplanetary warriors and science-fiction themed mythology. Their stage shows are always filled with satire, comedy, political rants, sexuality, and over-the-top violence. The most notable feature is how Gwar will spray their audience with vasts amount of fake blood, urine, semen, and other liquids of unknown origin leaving their audience drenched in different colors by the time the show ends. The Belasco theater in Los Angeles was the next stop in Gwar‘s intergalactic battle with Earth.
The lights dimmed down as two army soldiers came out to scope out the area where alien life forms had been seen. The members of Gwar started to make their way to the stage and soon found themselves in sword battles with the soldiers as Gwar started the show with War on Gwar. After some fighting, green-colored band member Bonesnapper brought the soldiers to their needs as they begged for mercy. Bonesnapper grabbed his trusty axe and with a swift strike, decapitated the soldiers thus exposing the neck and streams of blood were shot out from the neck and onto the unsuspecting audience. The show got a wild turn right away as fans went wild and moshed while being drenched in blood. During the performance of I’ll Be Your Monster, Bonesnapper brought out two puppets that looked like kids and rubbed them all over vocalist Blöthar the Berserker’s genitals which resemble cow utters. After a quick rub, Blöthar grabbed one of his penises, pointed it at the audience, and let loose blood in an interesting, but hilarious antic. A funny-looking fast food character known as Dickie Duncan came on stage to talk about feeding fast food to kids just as Gwar started playing the song Death to Dickie Duncan. Gwar had enough of Dickie Duncan and Bonesnapper grabbed his axe and split him in two which resulted in his organs being exposed and ended up spraying blood all over the audience. Gwar had something special planned for almost every song performed. When Crushed By the Cross was performed, a priest came out to try and cleanse Gwar of their sins. Gwar quickly silenced him by bashing him over the head with an axe. The priest bled into the audience while frantically running around on stage. Gwar flipped him upside down, took off his pants, and exposed his butthole. Bassist Beefcake the Mighty grabbed the cross belonging to the priest and jabbed it repeatedly into the priest’s butthole which resulted in blood being squirted into the audience. Gwar has never been afraid to show their political views. For the performance of El Presidente, a man that’s supposed to be Trump came out to give one of his less-inspiring speeches about illegal aliens. Blöthar reminded Trump that Gwar are illegal aliens and so the band members engaged in battle with trump before tearing off his suit and ripping his chest open and started to send more blood flying out. Gwar continued their debauchery and slaying of people as they performed monstrous tunes like Viking Death Machine, Saddam a Go-Go, Maggots, and The Sordid Soliloquy of Sawborg Destructo. Nearing the end of the show, a sea of red could be seen from all the fans that had willingly let themselves be drenched in blood and juice. Gwar announced that they were tired of the venue and said their goodbye by performing Fuck This Place. The chorus got the audience raising their middle fingers in the air while shouting, “Fuck This Place!”. Gwar finished the song then took their leave. Fans stayed around and chanted for the band to come back out. Gwar listened to their human filth fans continued the show with Phantom Limb. For the grand finale, Gwar announced that they were sick of the people in the venue so they played the fan-favorite Sick of You. More blood and madness was unleashed onto the fans as they continued to mosh and shove their way to the front to get as wet as possible. Gwar finished their show and left the stage as they prepared for their next voyage to the next unfortunate city. As for the fans? Faces, arms, and shirts were blood-soaked red, yet smiles were seen everywhere. Make America Gwar Again!
The intergalactic scumdogs of the universe known as Gwar made their way to the House of Blues in Hollywood on November 6th, 2014. After the passing of original frontman Oderus Urungus, the future of Gwar was questioned. With people thinking it was the end for Gwar, Gwar announced at their recent Gwar-b-que that they got not 1, but 2 new singers being Blothar and Vulvatron. This was my first time seeing Gwar and I had heard about their theatric and bloody shows so I couldn’t wait to see this for myself.
Gwar is best known for using a lot of fake blood and it was no surprise seeing a lot of fans wearing plain white shirts as an effort to get them soaked in the fake blood as a memento of the show they went to. Gwar’s shows are also very theatric and almost felt like a play. In this case, the play was that the late Oderus Urungus wasn’t dead, but rather missing. So Gwar had a “time machine” on stage and when they opened with Fly Now, it opened a portal to reveal what appeared to be Oderus Urungus trapped in a portal but still providing the vocals for the song. Gwar wasted no time in squirting fans with blood. As soon as the song starts, Bonesnapper brings out a mannequin wearing a security shirt and decapitates it and squirts out blood like a squirt gun. As soon as that happened, the crowd went into a frenzy as they scrambled to get blood all over them. Throughout the night, Gwar played out their act as they searched for their leader Oderus Urungus stopping after songs to ask “where’s Oderus?”. Gwar would activate the time machine and different creatures would pop out during songs. Things like a tall creature with tits all over and even a space penis that was apparently ripped off from Oderus himself in an attempt to bring him out of the time machine. Being the only female in the band and newest recruit, Vulvatron brought her own surprises.
During I, Bonesnapper, Vulvatron proceeded to show us what she was packing by squirting blood from her tits! The fans definitely enjoyed that part as did I. Towards the end of the show, Gwar brought out Oderus’ giant sword and put it up against the stage and kneeled down before it as a tribute to their fallen scumdog. For the end of the show, Gwar did a cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ West End Girls and blended it with a cover of The Jim Carroll Band’s People Who Died except changed the words to say “Oderus died, died!”. Gwar is a one of a kind experience that will leave you in shock wondering what the hell you just watched but at the same time will leave with satisfaction and an urge to jump in and get soaked in fake blood. Hail Oderus!
According to their official website “After spending months deep inside their arctic fortress working on what will be their next album, your Lords and Masters GWAR have announced their return to the road in North America.”.
And indeed they will. With support from Warbeast and Wilson spending the most of April on the road, kicking off the trek in Arizona April 10th and will continue on for 16 consecutive days. Hitting towns like Vegas, Salt Lake City, Tulsa and Nashville before ending things in the lovely Jacksonville, it’s a strong suggestion from us here at Concert Confessions that if you’re in one of these downs to please go get yourself doused in the fluids of the scumdogs. For more info, head to the band’s official website.
GWAR “Fate Or Chaos Tour” With Warbeast and Wilson
April 10 // Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
April11 // San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
April 12 // Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Cafe – The Strip
April 13 // Ventura, CA @ Majestic Ventura Theatre
April 14 // Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory
April 15 // Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
April 16 // Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater & Club
GWAR has just announced dates for their fall trek across the mighty continent of North America. Taking a break from recording their next studio record, GWAR will be joined by DevilDriver, Cancer Bats and Legacy of Disorder on this particular trek.
When asked for comment on the upcoming tour, GWAR front-thing Oderus Urungus muttered something incoherent, then when prodded a bit more muttered something else incoherent. After the third attempt for comment something more intelligible came from the mouth of the warty one:
Said Lord Oderus, “Once again GWAR returns, hoof and nail, to our old stomping grounds, North America, on a tour of utter destruction, and this time nothing less than the greatest power in the universe will do as our primary victim! That’s right, this time GWAR, fresh from our battle with Death, takes on another of history’s biggest assholes…God himself! Seeing as we don’t have the new album done yet, we really had to do something spectacular…”
Oderus belched out a midget and continued. “This tour will also see the arrival of a new Scumdog brother to aid GWAR in our quest to destroy everything that sucks. That’s right, I can finally reveal certain details regarding our new album…ever since our missing band mate Flattus Maximus took his leave of Earth, members of the Maximus tribe have been showing up at our Antarctic fortress, not only to pay their respects but also eat all of our food. And also lay tracks on the new album! You see, every member of the Maximus family rips on guitar (though Flattus taught them all they know), and they were anxious to help us fill the void left by Flattus. We have been working with his brothers Pustulus, Infecticus, Bubonus and even the shunned Corpulus…and right now they are fighting it out as to which one of them will stay here with the mighty GWAR for the “FATE OR CHAOS” Tour…and beyond! Get ready world, this fall shall see the birth of a new Scumdog!”
Dates for the trek are down below. As we previously reported, GWAR will host their annual GWAR-B-Q this August in Richmond, VA. For more details on that throwdown, click here. Finally, for some great love advice from GWAR, click here.
GWAR Fall 2012 North American Tour:
10/12: Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
10/14: Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights
10/15: New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place
10/16: Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/18: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
10/19: Ybor City, FL @ The Ritz Ybor
10/20: Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
10/22: Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ Southend
10/24: New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
10/25: Austin, TX @ Emo’s
10/26: Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
10/27: Houston, TX @ House of Blues
10/31: Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
11/1: Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
11/2: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
11/3: Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
11/4: West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
11/5: Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
11/6: Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
11/8: Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
11/9: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
11/10: Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market
11/11: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
11/12: Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theater
11/14: Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Events Centre
11/15: Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall Ballroom
11/16: Saskatoon, SK @ Odeon Events Centre
11/17: Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick Center
11/18: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
11/20: Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
11/21: Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
11/23: Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s
11/24: Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
11/26: Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theater
August 18th is going to be a great day for anyone within a 500 mile radius of Richmond Virginia. Now in its third year, the GWAR-B-Q is set to rock Hadad’s Lake. GWAR is set to headline the event and will be joined by The Casualties, GHOUL, Valient Thorr, Occultist, Lionize, Highness, Antietam 1862, MUTWAWA, and Black Naked Wings. There will also be Spew-O-Lympics, numerous food vendors, endless streams of golden nectar, pools to cool your fevered sun-burn, and much much more, including the return of the Sexecutioner to the GWAR stage for the first time in twelve years. Sexy has completed a lengthy sabbatical beneath the catacombs of Paris with his good friend, Prince Ray Pierre, better known as “Frenchy”, the demon of France. His return to the rock stage provides the promise of attaining unprecedented levels of naughtiness.
Last year’s GWAR-B-Q was scheduled to take place at Hadad’s Lake but fell through due to permit issues. GWAR leader Oderus Urungus had the following to say about the planning for this one of a kind event.
“All the proper arrangements have been made in triplicate and the proper demonic sponsorships attained,” said GWAR spokes-thing Oderus Urungus. “It’s going to be a stinking hot, beer and beef-smeared metallic murderfest of unprecedented debauchery…the most splat-tac-cularGWAR-B-Q!”
GWAR w/ Municipal Waste, Ghoul and Legacy of Disorder 04/10/12
The Great Saltair – Magna, UT
Words/Photos by Meredith
When aliens come to your town, you apparently pile the family in your car and go see them. That’s what about 800 Utahns did on Tuesday April 10, 2012. The invaders, GWAR, stopped in Utah on their Return of the World Maggot Tour . Along with them they brought guests Legacy of Disorder(all the way from New Zealand), Ghoul, and Municipal Waste. Each band did their job in riling up the crowd that was more than happy to come out on a Tuesday to The Great Saltair and get gooey.
The openers, Legacy of Disorder, were very amped and brought a lot of metal energy to the slowly forming crowd. They performed a short set, and the lead singer even stepped off of the stage into the crowd for a song. After they finished, things got pretty interesting. The band Ghoul took the stage. Four guys with bloody shirts covering their faces, a blood squirting voodoo chicken and jokes about eating babies? Sure, why not. Afterall, if you’re going to the show, you know damn well what you will be seeing.
Ghoul played a very unique set, including dark banter and limited thematic horror. At one point, one of the band members commented “I’m so hungry, I haven’t eaten a baby in hours”, to which another member quipped “I found a deli tray in the back that was also satisfactory, you should try that”. I’m pretty sure there was a plastic chicken that was sacrificed on stage, complete with a squirting wound that the audience lapped up. They also had a giant pepper-spraying robot come out(fake red spray of course). Oh yeah, and you know, a sub-human creature that pulled its own intestines out and choked band members while they played….including a member of Municipal Waste that came out for a song.
And this is when it got NUTS. Municipal Waste came out and played rousing hits like “The Thrashin’ of the Christ”, “Peer Pressure” and the ever-popular feel-good hit “Insurance Fraud”. The singer mentioned he was having throat issues but that didn’t seem to dampen his spirit. During the second to last song, he called for a “Wall of Death”. Do you know what that is? I do, now. He asked members in the audience to take sides, and when the music hit to run full force at each other and try to get to the other side. You know how I said you pile the family in the car and head to see the aliens? Well, there were quite a few children present. Glad to see dear ol’ Dad throwing 10 year-old Sonny Boy into the pit and scream “REGULATE SON”. I’m not even kidding.
After Municipal Waste cleared out, limping fans regrouped and the room got really thick. Oh and I missed the memo on the dress code, I wore all black. Apparently white pajamas, no underwear, the largest white shirt you can find, and Grandpa’s belted jumpsuit would have been more in line. It was about 45 minutes before the Ozzy tunes stopped and the lights dimmed for GWAR. I must admit, being one of only three photographers there(all chicks I might add, ROCK!) I was a little nervous. I had reserved my poncho to wrap my gear bag, and had my camera condom all snugged up and ready for action.
A cloaked creature opened the show with a quick explainantion on the deed he possessed to the castle of hell that GWAR would be performing from. A skeleton-headed character appeared. The next thing I saw was Oderus Urungus swing his big ass sword and cut the head off of the skeleton. This kicked off the first of the gore and the first song. Yay, right? Yeah…it was really cool. The now-headless torso took aim and showered the audience with blood. I used my proficient ninja skills to shoot this and duck the blood, which worked a few times. Then, the torso got wise and just dumped on me, twice. Mmmm, cold bloody water! Haha. I was a little shocked because of the chill, but kept on shooting.
GWAR tells a story. They present this live stage act that honestly had me missing the Ninja Turtles LIVE stage show I saw when I was 6. I was waiting for Shredder to make an appearance. Despite the gore, including yes, you heard it here, a satirical dismembering of Snooki(part of that “Jersey Shore” novelty act), they know how to throw an invasion. The crowd could not be more elated to take it in the face(yeah I said it) from GWAR. A large dinosaur-ish creature dubbed the Jagermonsta was cut limb from limb as well. We had the delight of a necrotic Nazi coming out and throwing a bucket of radio-active guts on us as well. He pointed right at me, I swear, but the middle of the crowd got his prizes, not me.
I was particularly amazed at the elaborate costuming that these dudes have to wear. Take Balsac The Jaws of Death, for instance. He stands in goat legs, complete with hooves that have to be at least 6-10 inches alone. He walks all over the stage, sings and plays guitar at the same time. Even if you don’t like the content of the music, the talent is definitely there. Beefcake The Mighty, the giant trojan fellow, didn’t move around as much but was clutch on the bass. I couldn’t really see much of drummer Jizmak Da Gusha, but he drove the songs as the drummer has to. In case you didn’t know, GWAR has been nominated for two Grammys, but has lost. *The More You Know*.
This was my first GWAR experience. I enjoyed it. I thought that they were amusing, engaging, frightening and funny at times. Oderus did mention that the prompter wasn’t quite working and only had one hiccup waiting for it. That was the only moment that I realized they were “normals” under there. Other than that, the dismembering, blood-thirsty aliens commanded the attention of all. I had a great time ducking blood from the Blood Cannon, headless torso, Snooki’s guts, and just the general horror that ensued that night. They covered their normal setlist for this tour. Please enjoy the photos below:
GWAR Announces Spring Leg of the Return of the World Maggot Tour
GWAR is about to awaken from their winter hibernation and return to the road for a spring leg of their Return of the World Maggot Tour. The trek will kick off with a special tribute for fallen guitarist Cory Smoot (AKA Flattus Maximus) at the National Theatre in Richmond, VA on March 16th. All proceeds from the Smoot Family Fund. From there, the tour will hit such exotic locations as Toledo Ohio, Lincoln Nebraska and Magna Utah before wrapping up April 11th in Ft. Collins Colorado. Municipal Waste, Ghoul and Legacy of Disorder will join GWAR on various points of the tour.
Personal slave to Oderus and Slave Pit spokesman Dave Brockie had this to say about the upcoming tour…
“All the years of doing GWAR could never have prepared us for what we have been through, and I want to thank the metal community and the extended GWAR family for all of your support. Finishing that last tour was the hardest thing we have ever had to do, and we still have about half of the country left to hit. We will continue as a four-piece, with the special tribute to Flattus at the end of the show, in order to give our fans a chance to say goodbye to our fallen Scumdog brother in true GWAR fashion-covered in blood and rocking the fuck out! After this tour is over we can start looking to the future and begin to put this tragedy behind us. But for now we are still in “Hail Flattus” mode!”
GWAR Spring 2012 Tour Dates
3/16: Richmond, VA @ The National
3/17: Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls
3/18: Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
3/20: Boston, MA @ Wilbur Theater
3/21: So. Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
3/22: Syracuse, NY @ Westcott Theater
3/23: Toledo, OH @ The Omni
3/24: Lexington, KY @ Buster’s Billiards and Backroom
Years ago I remember I had the Beavis and Butthead video game for Sega Genesis. Played it for months on end, but I could never beat the game. In the game the boys are out on all kinds of adventures in hopes to be able to snag tickets to the GWAR concert. Well folks, tonight I beat the game as I have finally made it to said GWAR concert! We embark on a trip to Williamsburg for the 42nd edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert series with intentions of being destroyed by the timeless metal gods that are GWAR at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. The best part is some friends from Concert Confessions helped me get in the door. And another added caviot to tonights events, I’m here with Lex from LastRemains.Net, who is also probably the only chick I know into metal. Doors open at 6:30 and the show is at 7:30, all seems to be set for an awesome night..
Mensrea went on almost 7:30 on the dot- I had to run to the bar downstairs to beat happy hour 5 dollar Heineken, which ends when the opening band starts..Coming back up and looking out into the crowd- You gotta love the mosh pits starting this early-these people are devoted to that shit.. Mensrea belted out tunes well deserving of those pits; they were HEAVY. Plus, the bass player had some epic dreads going on- I envy those locks. The lead singer, sporting a bald head( how do you headbang with no hair without getting a massive headache?) and a long goat tee screaming lyrics to each song with that look on his face.. The look like he would enjoy beating the crap outta everyone in the room.. They rocked it until 8:15
Mobile Death Camp had the stage set up at 8:30 on the dot.. Went on a few minutes after that.. For three dudes these guys are know how to shake a building.. I made my way down to try out my photo pass, and for the first time ever it was successful! There I am-IN FRONT of the guardrail I usually am stuck behind and I’m snapping shots from inches away from the band without having to show up 5 hours before the show to nail a spot down front. Sweet. They played a song called “Negative Minds” before they went off at 9:15.. pretty cool band.
Smoking a cig before GWAR hit the stage- the line outside has more people on it than people that were inside.. Shit is about to get hectic up in this mofo. When I came back in and saw the monitors on stage being wrapped up in garbage bags. Okay then, so I guess hectic is gonna end up being a severe understatement.
Made my way back in and headed right down in front leaning myself on those garbage bag coated monitors ready to start snapping shots. I look to the left, and look to the right and I noticed I was the only one in the photo pit not wearing a poncho-should’ve taken that as a sign. As soon as GWAR hit the stage around 9:45, two ‘slaves’ came out and started shooting fake blood at everyone in attendance as the set kicked off with the scumdogs of the universe destroying us all chord by chord. My white hat was removed swiftly by a stream of fluid and I almost slipped and fell as I put my ( now red) hat back on I could feel the room shaking as the crowd standing behind me went into a frenzy-forget that; it was way beyond a frenzy. There was so much going on down there in the photo pit- while trying to snap shots and making best attempts to avoid additional moisture; the next thing you know we were a few songs in and already being told it’s time to recede back into the crowd. Fair enough, me and Lex are taking turns holding our spot up a few steps along the left side of the room against a railing. Event staff came over to tell me not to take any video-which by the way I wasn’t taking at said time. I was too busy taking it all in- all the chaos that was going down on stage. The drums mounted high above a set of (pretend) boulders, a half the band barley wearing pants, the pretend Lady Gaga that came out with a toilet strapped around the waist(signifying the garbage she is) with blood streaming from her titties and feces coming out of her face. It was even entertaining when the music wasn’t playing and they were cracking jokes about Lara Logan, the CBS reporter that from what I’m told was slightly fondled during the celebrations in Egypt(for anyone else it would be “too soon”, but not GWAR because they’ll destroy you). Then this one dude climbed in front of me and stood up tall on the railing and took a dive right into the crowd escaping the grasps of event staffers-if only someone in the crowd who have had a grasped of this dude as I watched him plummet into a sea of people and disappear. As loud as the music was , that was one thud that I heard loud and clear. Slaves running around the stage with more streams of fluid shooting at us, and just when I thought being on the far side was an escape I felt the stream smack me in the face-by the looks of the stains on my pants they were also shooting a blue liquid of some sort. Myself, both cameras are drenched as characters on stage have their insides ripped out and spew blood all over us ( these guys must have an additional tour bus that just holds tanks of this fake blood-there was so much).
At like 11 o clock they walked off stage for what couldn’t be longer than a minute before coming back out to play a few more for us- at this time the staffers are so concerned with catching bodies that surfed their way to the front of the crowd that they’re not near me, meaning it’s time to hit record and go all Michael Moore in this bitch-I got a full recording of “Sick of You”, which was their last song of the evening. The lights came back on, everyone drenched as the house speakers begin to play the Bee Gees- to which we all did what we had to do-we started dancing. I looked at my phone and it was 11:15, and we ain’t gotta go home but we gotta get the hell up outta here.
So there you have it-scorched by the metal gods that are GWAR. I had in no way imagined it would be that much fun. When you go into a show only familiar with a song or so from a band you don’t think you’ll get much out of it. Well I got way more than I bargained for here. Without a doubt it would have been worth the $25 ticket price, and I am very grateful for the chance to cover these trail blazing residents of Antartica. I can seriously get used to this ‘press pass’ thing.
Well if you made it through this; through all my nightly tweets, Facebook mobile updates and by scripture length show review- then you understand why it is vital that before I post this I must jump into a quick shower as I look down at my bloodstained hands in amazement. So anyway, thank you all for participating and I’ll catch you all April 13th for Chris Cornell- but for now here’s hoping we can get a blurb in the Brooklyn Vegan or something; goodnight everybody!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXrJ0Kw6d_Y&feature=player_embedded
Oh the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd. Where a tall boy of Bud Light is $11 and video cameras are not welcomed because it looks bad when fans videotape security guards beating the shit out of fellow fans. While you won’t catch me paying for a ticket to the venue that the late great George Carlin declared needed to be burnt down, I have no issue checking out a show for free. Thus the reason you’re about to read this review of the awesome double-threat of The Casualties and GWAR rocking the venues soon to be demolished Sunset Strip location.
Walking into the venue, I noticed a sign posted over the venues overly racist décor. It declared that audio and video recordings were against the rules and equipment would be confiscated. You know this only further encouraged me to snag some footage in glorious HD (update 08/20/2011. After losing my YouTube account in May, the footage for this and a few other November shows is missing from my hard drive. Mother fucker). So I made my way up the stairs, found a spot and parked my ass right down just as The Casualties were hitting the stage.
I am not going to act as if I am some hardcore fan of The Casualties, because I am not. I have heard a few songs over the years, and based off the words of their devoted fan base was eager to check out the “insanity” that ensues when the New York based band hits the stage. For 45 minutes, the near capacity crowd was treated to a set of what punk is all about – authentic attitude and aggression. Kids with colorful Mohawks used the venues main floor to bounce off each other as the band ripped through songs like “War is Business”, “Heart Bleeds Black” and a cover of The Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop.” The group even took a page from the metal heads playbook and split the rowdy crowd in tow for a massive Wall of Death during the song “Riot.” When lead vocalist Jorge Herrera was not speaking to the crowd en Espanol (much to the delight of many young Latinos in the crowd) the group was thanking GWAR fans having an open mind and getting down with them on a Tuesday night. The fearless foursome closed their set with “Unknown Soldier” which gave a whole new generation of gutter punks’ one last chance to inflict insanity upon each other.
During the switch over between bands, one could see a radical change upon the main floor of House of Blues. Gone were bright Mohawks, leather jackets and plaid pants. They were replaced by a sea of young men and women dressed in white t-shirts, itching for a bath made of intergalactic blood and urine via GWAR leader and Fox News correspondentOderus Urungus. When Urungus and his backing band (featuring members with names such as Beefcake the Mighty and Balsac the Jaws of Death) hit the stage at 10:30pm sharp – the crowd was surged forward looking to get that first taste of blood.
The band is currently deep into the second year of their 25th Anniversary Tour. Per Urungus – this entailed that we were to party twice as hard, and the crowd did just that. It did not matter if the band was playing a new song from the recently released Bloody Pit of Horror, or a classic jam like “Vlad the Impaler” the fans were soaking up every note ringing through the PA.
Of course, a GWAR show is not a GWAR show without murder. Upon the stage at House of Blues on this November night, Urungus and his slaves welcomed pop superstar Lady Gaga to the stage. After she was allowed to eat human feces and shoot blood from her titties, Urungus did the world a favor and killed the multi-platinum singer/songwriter. A machine very similar to Bumblebee from the Transformers movies also met his maker towards the end of the set as the band rocked along with a smoking version of “Beat You to Death.”
With the rowdy crowd chanting GWAR loudly, Urungus wasted no time telling them to shut up before launching into a five song encore. Interestingly enough, the first four songs just so happened to be the first four songs from Bloody Pit of Horror. One look down on the rowdy floor and one saw just that. Fans soaked in blood, sweat and whatever Urungus was squirting out of his giant cod-shaped cock. Yet it was the final song that really sent the crowd into pure euphoria. Informing the masses that they would return next year to celebrate their 27th anniversary, the band launched into their biggest hit – “Sick of You.” For the first time all night, you could look across the venue and see everyone (even the few remaining fans of The Casualties) pumping fists and singing along.
Even if you hate loud and aggressive metal music, everyone owes it to themselves to witness GWAR live at some point in their life. The bands theatrics put jokes like Insane Clown Posse, Lordi and Marilyn Manson to shame. While Alice Cooper may have created shock rock, GWAR has spent 25 years perfecting it. Next time the band is in your neck of the woods, put on a white t-shirt and get messy with the living legends.
Almost everyone in the rock n roll community and beyond has heard the name Alice Cooper at some point. He’s a legend in metal and rock n roll history having played thousands of shows and released many well known albums and singles. However a lesser known name up until recently in Nita Strauss. Nita is the current guitarist for Alice Cooper and is rapidly rising as one of the most talented metal and rock guitarist in music today. I came across Nita through a close friend and fellow guitarist who also admired her amazing skills. However, playing with Alice Cooper is not the only performing the Nita Strauss does. She also writes her own music with her own self titled solo project and has just wrapped up her tour with the New York City band Kore Rozzik. I was lucky enough to get the chance to shoot one of the stops of this tour when they made their way through Baton Rouge, LA. They played a small theater called the Varsity Theater, which is within only steps from the campus of LSU.
The Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge, LA is one of the few small town venues left in the area for live music. Regardless of how small it is they always seem to draw big name acts such as The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, Gwar, and Black Label Society. Being a concert photographer and fellow metal head I’m always looking for great acts, local and big name alike, to shoot. The Varsity Theater is one of the few good venues left that not only book amazing acts but also allow cameras without a press or photo pass. However, like many small venues, the lighting at most shows is less than ideal for photographers. Never the less, Nita Strauss and Kore Rozzik tore the house down.
Supporting Nita on this tour was a New York City band named Kore Rozzik. Fronted by a singer known by the same name, Kore Rozzik took the New York City music scene by storm and rapidly rose among artist in the area. Also known as “The Bastard Child of New York”, he and his fellow band mates have created their imagery and stage presence based off of influences from such idols as Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Megadeth. This band, however, was unknown to me before this show and I was skeptical upon first glance. With the face paint, props and outfits I was unsure about them until they began to play. All members of this band are very talented and showcased their talents from the start to the finish of their set making all of my questions vanish. This band is most definitely worth checking out for anyone who likes this type of metal.
If any of my fellow metalheads reading this article are looking for a new act to catch live or some new music to listen to I highly recommend checking out Nita Strauss and Kore Rozzik.
Metalachi is the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band. If you haven’t heard of them by now, they are a mariachi band that does covers of classic rock and heavy metal songs using mariachi instruments. It may sound a bit odd at first, but a quick YouTube search and you’ll find plenty of live videos from their hundreds of performances. The members in the band are: Vega De La Rockha (vocals), Paco Halen (guitar), Kiko Cane (bass), Kyla Vera (violin) and El Cucuy (trumpet). Their stage outfits are inspiration taken from other rock/metal acts like Gwar, KISS, and Rob Zombie. Metalachi currently has three albums out titled Uno, Dos and Tres (One, Two, and Three). Metalachi has been climbing the ladder little by little and this show at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California was no exception as this show was once again sold out! As the stage was ready for Metalachi, the first thing you’ll notice how women’s bras from previous shows cover their mic stands showing just how raunchy their fans can get. The fans were more than ready to await the arrival of Metalachi.
Leading up to the show, Metalachi teased a special guest invited to their show. Many speculations were made, but things got started quickly as the guest was the one to warm up the audience. The lights dimmed and the guest came out which turned out to be none other than the internet sensation and YouTube star, Frankie Quiñones aka Cholo Fit Creeper. He warmed up the audience complete with jokes while wearing a six pack of Corona beers around his neck. The audience loved him and laughed at his performance and made for a great start to the show. Creeper wrapped up his stand up show and next introduced Metalachi as they made their way to the show and started with Rainbow in theDark (Dio). Right away, you can see how Metalachi turns classic heavy metal tunes into dancing mariachi tunes. Up next, De La Rockha brought out a traditional Mexican instrument called a guiro and played it to the tune of Iron Man (BlackSabbath) which also gave the song a feeling of wanting to dance. Metalachi next paid tribute to everyone’s favorite internet cat meme Grumpy Cat who had recently passed away. De La Rockha said how Grumpy Cat could now pass through the Pet Sematary Gates. As tribute, Metalachi played Cemetery Gates (Pantera). Aside from the performance, Metalachi are also known to be comedians on stage as they constantly berate and taunt each other with insults and jokes. It’s always a warm feeling seeing everyone laugh as El Cucuy let everyone from the first couple of rows is known as the “splash zone” due to the possibility of the women ending up pregnant by the end of the show. El Cucuy also made note on how he noticed the variety of people in the audience. Regardless of gender, age or sexuality, everyone was seen with smiles, dancing, and having a good time which is what a Metalachi show is all about. Kyla Vera jumped in on the conversation and said that if everyone in the audience can dance together then surely they can….sing together. Metalachi continued their entertaining performance by performance more classic songs like Raining Blood (Slayer), Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), One (Metallica) and for this special occasion, Metalachi premiered live for the first time their cover of Under the Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers). To end the show, Metalachi played Canción del Mariachi as seen on the film Desperado and is also performed by Los Lobos. Metalachi wrapped up their show and said goodbye to their sold out audience once again leaving them wet and satisfied. If the Metalachi loco train ever comes to your area, they are definitely worth checking out. Even if you have to road trip!
Metalachi is perhaps one of the most interesting and fun bands you will ever see live. As their name suggests, their music is composed of covers of popular rock and metal songs using traditional mariachi instruments. At first it sounds a little odd, but a quick YouTube search and you’ll quickly be blown away by what you see and hear. They make mariachi instruments work perfectly for the covers that they do. Their stage outfits are taken directly out of the books from other rock/metal acts like Rob Zombie, KISS, and Gwar. The members are made up of Vega De La Rockha (vocals), Paco Halen (guitar), El Cucuy (trumpet), Kyla Vera (violin), and Kiko Cane (guitarron/bass). Metalachi just released their third album Tres and have been touring non-stop in support of the album. The Discovery bowling alley in Ventura, California was packed which was no surprise on a Friday night.
The first thing you’ll notice is how the mic stands are covered by the bras of women from previous shows. Metalachi‘s manager Warren Moscow came out to greet the sold out audience and asked if they were ready to party with Metalachi. The crowd cheered, of course. He said that if any audience member is not ready to party, to do him a favor and walk their ass out of the venue. He also made note that alcohol is your friend and the more you drink, “the more this shit will make sense”. With that, he introduced Metalachi as they came on stage and started with their traditional opening song, a rendition of the classic Mexican song Guadalajara, but with the lyrics and title changed to Metalachi. Metalachi was welcomed by their loving fans as they performed the first song of the night, Welcome to theJungle (Guns N’ Roses). Right away, you’ll see how the music fits perfectly as it’s performed with mariachi instruments. The next song performed was We’re Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister). Metalachi is also known for their humorous dialogue in between song which leads to the band members taunting each other with jokes and telling personal stories. One such joke is when singer Vega De La Rocha told the audience to drink up as much alcohol as possible because “The more you drink, the better we sound”. Metalachi continued the debauchery as they performed classic rock and metal songs which included Rock You Like A Hurricane (Scorpions), Killing In the Name (Rage Against the Machine), BreakingtheLaw (Judas Priest), and Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) which has a new music video out by the band. Metalachi made note on how they noticed how people of all races were together rocking out and having fun. To celebrate the occasion, Metalachi played Rock and Roll All Nite (KISS). The show was coming to an end and De La Rockha introduced the final medley of the night which were Iron Maiden covers of Hallowed Be Thy Name, The Trooper, and Run to the Hills. Metalachi thanked the audience for coming out then left the stage. Warren Moscow came back out and asked the audience if they had fun. The audience cheered. He then asked if they would like one more song. The crowd cheered even louder. Instead of asking a second time, he was satisfied with the response and brought out Metalachi for an encore. The choice of encore was Canción del Mariachi (“Morena de Mi Corazón”) as heard on the film, Desperado. The crowd cheered as the show came to an end hoping that it’s not long before Metalachi rides the loco train back to Ventura County.
Metalachi is perhaps one of the most interesting and fun bands you will ever see live. As their name suggests, their music is composed of covers of popular rock and metal songs using traditional mariachi instruments. At first it sounds a little odd, but a quick YouTube search and you’ll quickly be blown away by what you see and hear. They make mariachi instruments work perfectly for the covers that they do. Their stage outfits are taken directly out of the books from other rock/metal acts like Rob Zombie, KISS, and Gwar. The members are made up of Vega De La Rockha (vocals), Paco Halen (guitar), El Cucuy (trumpet), Kyla Vera (violin), and Kiko Cane (guitarron/bass). Metalachi just released their third album Tres and to celebrate the occasion, they performed a special show at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. To make the show even better, it sold out! Anaheim was not ready for the madness that is Metalachi as the venue was packed by the time Metalachi came on stage.
The first thing you’ll notice is how the mic stands are covered by the bras of women from previous shows. Metalachi‘s manager Warren Moscow came out to greet the sold out audience and asked if they were ready to party with Metalachi. The crowd cheered, of course. He said that if any audience member is not ready to party, to do him a favor and walk their ass out of the venue. He also made note that alcohol is your friend and the more you drink, “the more this shit will make sense”. With that, he introduced Metalachi as they came on stage and started with their traditional opening song, a rendition of the classic Mexican song Guadalajara, but with the lyrics and title changed to Metalachi. The first cover song was The Final Countdown (Europe). It doesn’t take long before you know the comedic stage presence that Metalachi delivers to their stage. Their next covers included We’re Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister), Santeria (Sublime), and Sweet Child O’Mine (Guns N’ Roses). In between songs, Metalachi would put on a comedic show which involves the band members taunting each other and telling stories. One such act is when Vega claims that the front area of the audience is the “splash zone” and being exposed to Metalachi for too long would cause the women present to become…pregnant. Continuing the show, Metalachi played Hooker With a Penis (Tool), Raining Blood (Slayer), and TalkDirty to Me (Poison). One of the specially performed songs was Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, to which they recently released a music video for featuring comedian Felipe Esparza. Several more covers later and the show seemed to come to an end with Thunderstruck (AC/DC). Metalachi left the stage, but the crowd didn’t seem ready to leave. Warren Moscow came out once again thanking the audience for a sold out show and asked the audience if they wanted more. The crowd cheered, but Moscow wasn’t pleased with the response claiming they didn’t travel 27 miles from their previous show for a weak response. Asking again, the crowd cheered even louder which was convincing enough for Metalachi to come back out for some encores. The encores included Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne) and a medley of Metallica covers of Master of Puppets and Enter Sandman. At the end of the medley, Metalachi dropped red balloons all over the venue with fans kicking them everywhere. For the grand finale, Metalachi played Canción del Mariachi (Mariachi’s Song) as originally heard in the movie, Desperado. Metalachi stood center stage and bowed before their audience once again thanking them for an unforgettable night. Metalachi is always a guaranteed fun show and they’re always touring. So if you’re looking to have a good drunken time and let loose from life itself, going to a Metalachi party is the way to go.
The Monstrosity tour is perhaps one of the most bizarre tours of the year. Headlining the tour was Mac Sabbath, the world’s only Drive-Thru metal band. Along for the ride was Metalachi and Okilly Dokilly. A strange lineup, but something you’d have to see to believe. To super size the show, a very special guest was added. It was non other than Krammpstein, a Rammstein tribute band where the band members dress as Krampus and other Alpine demons. The historic Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles had a nice turnout on this Saturday night and it would prove to be a highly entertaining show.
To start the show, up first was Okilly Dokilly. If you’ve watched the tv show, The Simpsons, then you know the character, Ned Flanders. This band is a tribute to him where the lyrics are 75% quotes from Ned and the other 25% are other characters and original lyrics. The band debuted their first album Howdilly Doodilly on November 2016 and is readily available for anyone that’s interested in listening to their music. Okilly Dokilly came out and started the show with They Warned Me from their debut album. Their music has different elements of hard rock, metalcore, and even punk. Okilly Dokilly played all songs from their album except for one. Those songs included: Vegetables, Flanderdoodles, You’re a Jerk, and Press Destruct Button. To add to the comic relief, the band brought out an assortment of objects for laughs. Some of those objects included Ned’s head in the style of the popular video game Minecraft and a giant inflatable donut during the performance of Donut Hell, and even the suit from the “Stupid Sexy Flanders” scene. Okilly Dokilly finished with Nothing At All and left the crowd hungry for more. Fans of The Simpsons will surely enjoy this band for what they are. Stupid Sexy Flanders.
Krammpstein is a Rammstein tribute band where all the band members dress up as everyone’s favorite Austrian Alpine demon, Krampus. The band members came out and started with their Rammstein cover of Waidmanns Heil (Huntsman’s Salute). Rammstein fans could immediately fall in love with the music as it was played to perfection. The only difference is that the band changed Rammstein‘s lyrics to match the folklore of Krampus. Fans could be seen headbanging to the music, especially those familiar with Rammstein. Other songs played during this macabre performance were Ich Tu Dir Weh (I Hurt You), Sonne (Sun), Du Hast (You Have), Pussy, and Amerika (America). To match the folklore, Krammpstein brought out objects to match the band’s theme. Some of these items included Krampus’ ruten, a bundle of birch branches that was used to swat children with and a basket full of stuffed figures depicting children that Krampus would catch and were thrown for the audience to have. Krammpstein finished the show with Wiener Blut (Viennese Blood) and then left the stage. The concert was only halfway through and fans were still wanting more which they were about to get.
Metalachi is the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band. The theme if this band is silly, yet satisfying. They take famous classic rock and metal songs and cover them using mariachi instruments. The thought of that sounds far-fetched, but a quick YouTube search will reveal plenty of live material to check out should their description peak your interest. The band’s attire is an interesting blend taken from acts such as GWAR, KISS, and Rob Zombie, but still maintain a classic mariachi band look. The members themselves take stage names and personas. They go by: Vega De la Rockha (vocals), El Cucuy (trumpet), Paco Halen (guitar), Kyla Vera (violin), and Nacho Picante (bass). Metalachi came out and started the show with their cover of Ozzy Osbourne‘s Crazy Train. Hearing a trumpet play in the place of a guitar takes some getting used to, but eventually you get the hang of it and you realize that Metalachi‘s concerts are always a party. The band stayed very energetic throughout the show as to not bore their audience and in between songs would often taunt each other on stage as well as tell personal life stories of the adult kind. Some of the other songs played were: Ace of Spades (Motorhead), Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N’ Roses), Holy Diver (Dio), and Caught In a Mosh (Anthrax). Halfway through the show, one of the band’s highlights takes place. They bring a random female fan on stage and then Vega and El Cucuy would serenade her by singing Fuck Her Gently as made famous by Tenacious D. If that wasn’t enough, Vega would give the female fan a lap dance and then surprised when Kyla would give her a lap dance as well. After all that, it’s possible that the fan is pregnant with triplets. The world may never know. Kyla Vera displayed her electrifying violin skills and played a violin solo which consisted of snippets from J.S. Bach and metal acts Metallica and Iron Maiden. The show came to a bloody conclusion when the band performed Slayer‘s Raining Blood and kept up the mosh pit that had been going on for a few songs. Metalachi always puts on one of the most entertaining shows and is highly recommended if you’re looking to let loose and have fun at a show.
For fans that were looking to gorge themselves with the ultimate value meal, the best was yet to come. Mac Sabbath is exactly what you think it is. They are a Black Sabbath tribute band that dress like characters from McDonald’s and change the pyrics to match fast food. Those band members include Ronald Osbourne (vocals), Slayer MacCheeze (guitar), Grimalice (bass), and the Catburglar (drums). It’s something you have to see to believe. The stage was blocked by a giant red and yellow curtain so fans couldn’t see the stage being setup. The lights went out and the fans went wild as the curtain came down to reveal three of the four members on stage. They started the show with a cover of the song Black Sabbath, but renamed to Black Sandwich. One of the first things you’ll notice is how precise the music sounds. It’s as if you’re attending an actual Black Sabbath concert, but in the form of fast food. Eventually, Osbourne came out in a strait-jacket and sang part of the song before finally removing the strait-jacket. To being the next song, Osbourne turned on the grill that was on stage and picked up a beef patty, ate it, then proceeded to puke it back out into a bucket. I guess that patty wasn’t….Sweet Beef (Sweet Leaf). The band proved to be comical on stage as well as keep their Black Sabbath personas in check. Osbourne did a great job of copying Ozzy Osbourne’s movements on stage. From the way he jumps while on stage to his accent and the way he talks to the audience. Plenty of shenanigans were held on stage as Osbourne brought out plenty of trinkets literally not knowing what tricks he had up his sleeves. A huge straw was pulled out from inside his costume and then beer was poured from one end and Osbourne would be at the other end drinking it. Light up chicken nuggets would be eaten. Even water being squeezed out of ketchup and mustard bottles at the audience gave everyone a laugh. Other super-sized songs included: Lord of the Swirl (Lord of This World), Supersize (Supernaut), Chicken For the Slaves (Children of the Grave), and Organic Funeral (Electric Funeral). Frying Pan (Iron Man) was one of the songs near the finale and Osbourne brought out a frying pan and set it on fire. To add to it, he brought it the batwich which re-creates Ozzy’s infamous bat story. The show seemed to come to an end when they played Pair-a-Buns (Paranoid) and Osbourne decided to do some crowd surfing, or clown surfing as he called. The band left the stage and all seemed quiet. After a few minutes, the lights came back on to reveal the band members from all four bands came out to help Mac Sabbath perform the grand finale of More Ribs (War Pigs). It was truly a spectacular sight seeing Mac Sabbath, Metalachi, Krammpstein, and Okilly Dokilly all sharing the stage to play a song. The song ended and everyone bowed to the fans. The fans could all be seen with smiles leaving the venue. Full of cholesterol, but happy.
The metal fest known as Knotfest hit the desert plains of San Bernardino, California for two days of non-stop metal devastation! Someof the biggest names in metal were in attendance as well as some newer band and the Coldcock Whisky winners. I was fortunate enough to get access to both days of the festival and photograph bands to my metal heart’s desire with the exception of both day’s headliners Judas Priest and Slipknot. The festival also saw many attractions besides bands which included people on stilts, thunderdome, Slipknot museum, carnival games, and carnival rides. I arrived early on to catch many of the bands that I’ll either be seeing for the first time or for the second or more time.
Inquisition is a two-man black metal band from Colombia. As most black metal bands perform, they had corpse painting and all black outfits. For many fans, this was their first time seeing Inquisition. Inquisition started the show with Force of the Floating Tomb. Frontman Dagon has an interesting voice when singing as it sounds almost robotic, yet still has that black metal feel. While their music isn’t relatively fast as most black metal bands, Inquisition prefers a calmer style. Still, with their style of music they pulled in the crowd with plenty of horns thrown in the air and headbangers seen on the rail.
Swedish melodic death metal lords At the Gates were one of the main attractions of side stage 2. Plenty of fans were seen screaming their name and singing along as they started the show with Death and the Labyrinth from their newest album At War With Reality which is their first album in 19 years. The mosh pits commenced and helped At the Gates start off strong. At the Gates continued the slaughter with Slaughter of the Soul from their 1995 landmark album, Slaughter of the Soul. Being their biggest hit, fans went absolutely crazy as the mosh pits got more violent and huge clouds of dust were lifted from the ground and people could be seen covering their mouths and coughing. Some fans were seen waving the flag from Sweden as a thank you for At the Gates performing this one off USA show. Other songs in their setlist included: Cold, Under A Serpent Sun, Suicide Nation, and Blinded by Fear. At the Gates have proven themselves to be one of Sweden’s biggest bands and fans are very grateful to have them return after a very long hiatus.
Body Count is a heavy metal band formed by and fronted by legendary rapper Ice-T. Most people would think it’s odd to have an almost all black band perform heavy metal music. Some are for it, some are against it, some really don’t care. Body Count started the show with Body Count’s in the House and were welcomed with open arms as fans went wild and the mosh pits continued. After their performance of Masters of Revenge, guitarist Ernie C started experiencing technical difficulties and in the meantime, Ice-T entertained the audience by telling dirty jokes to which the crowd loved and laughed at them. The show continued and they played songs like Manslaughter and There Goes the Neighborhood. Body Count finished their set with their most controversial song, Cop Killer. Fans moshed and raised their fists and horns as they sang along, “Fuck the police! Fuck the Police!”. Body Count definitely knew how to get the crowd going and left the fans wanting more.
Belphegor is a blackened death metal band from Austria and along with stage-mates Kataklysm, have made the first stop of their tour at Knotfest. Belphegor have an intimidating stage presence with two microphone stands covered by bones and the band members have their faces painted white and covered with makeup that resembles blood. Plenty of fans could be seen anxiously waiting as Belphegor started the show with Feast Upon the Dead. Frontman Helmuth would unleash his demon-like vocals on the crowd while shedding on the guitar. Quite often he would make these evil faces while rolling his eyes to the back of his head giving him a truly demonic look. Other songs in their setlist included: Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador, Lucifer Incestus, and Bondage Goat Zombie. Belphegor has just started their US tour and hopefully will make another Southern California stop to truly experience a full set instead of a cut-down set.
The scumdogs of the universe Gwar are no strangers to the metal world. Infamously known for their stage theatrics, props, costumes, and of course their heavy use of blood (red food coloring) and other bodily fluids. Even with the death of Oderus Urungus, Gwar lives on and continues to spread their shenanigans to the masses. A human with an overly-sized head came out to greet the fans only to be held down by Bonesnapper and decapitated by a huge sword in which the body started spraying a stream of blood to the crowd as Gwar started the show with Crush, Kill, Destroy. Fans were overly joyed at the thought of being covered in blood and happily puts themselves in the path of the stream and soon lots of fans looked like they got a tan from the blood turning orange on them. An alien monster with a snail-shaped penis came out on stage to intimidate the fans and address since Urungus is dead, Gwar belonged to him now. Gwar would have none of that and proceeded to have an on-stage battle with Bonesnapper using an axe to beat down the alien monster as the band started to play Vlad the Impaler. The alien monster would then proceed to piss on the fans with his yellow liquid giving the human filth another chance to be soaked in alien piss. Other songs they played were: Saddam a Go-Go, The Salaminizer, and Sick of You. Gwar was one of the best side stage bands and were the final band on stage 2 as fans that were in the pit were seen leaving soaked in blood.
Kataklysm is a Canadian death metal band and released their twelfth studio album titled Of Ghosts and Gods on July31, 2015. Along with Belphegor, they embarked on the Of Ghosts and Gods USA tour and made Knotfest their first stop. Kataklysm started the show with If I Was God…I’d Burn It All. Frontman Maurizio Iacono displayed his powerful voice and really displayed his technique. It took a few tries for Iacono to get the crowd going into a mosh pit instead of standing around. Kataklysm has a very heavy sound to their music and metalheads will have an easy time headbanging to their music. Sadly, Kataklysm are heavily underrated. They played songs like: The Black Sheep, The Ambassador of Pain, and Crippled & Broken. The whole band has a great stage presence and are more deserving than what they get. If this tour makes a stop in or near your area, they are definitely worth checking out.
The first band on the main stage that I got to check out was Trivium. Trivium released their seventh studio album Silence in the Snow on October 2, 2015. Trivium had plenty of fans in the crowd and some of the crowd up front had signs for them to see. Trivium came out and started the show with Silence in the Snow from the new album. Trivium‘s music can often be described as a blend of metalcore, thrash metal, and heavy metal. Some might refer to them as new age Metallica. Frontman Matt Heafy would shred away track after track and enjoyed interacting with the fans. The other band members did their part in making their music sound just as good live as on album. Trivium played songs from their catalog like: Until the world Goes Cold, Blind Leading the Blind, and In Waves. Trivium has a great stage presence and made a great addition to get the audience warmed up for the other main stage bands.
Progressive/sludge metal band Mastodon is currently one of the biggest bands in metal and on June 24, 2014, released their sixth album, Once More ‘Round the Sun. Mastodon started the show with the first track from the new album, Tread Lightly. As Mastodon does with most tours, it’s no surprise to see that the new album dominated their setlist with as many as 6 tracks of the 10 songs performed were from the new album. Mastodon is one of those bands that sound so well live that they sound just like the album, note for note. In addition to the new songs, they also played older songs like: Aqua Dementia, Bladecatcher, and Black Tongue. During the middle of the set, frontman Troy Sanders made note to the audience that this exact Mastodon show was their 2,000th show. One of the best songs played was High Road, the first single from the new album and the music video for it is the first ever metal music video to contain females twerking. Mastodon ended the show by playing their most popular song and one of the most well-known metal songs, Blood and Thunder from their critically-acclaimed and Moby-Dick inspired Leviathan album. Mastodon is surely on their way of becoming one of the biggest metal bands of all time.
Nu-Metal veterans KoRn are currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their self-titled debut album. KoRn‘s first stop on the 20th anniversary tour was at Knotfest. KoRn started the show with Blind, the first track from the self-titled album. Drummer Ray Luzier started the song by repeatedly hitting his ride cymbal as the song originally starts. Bassist Fieldy would hit the quick funky bass notes. Guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch would introduce the song letting the fans know the show was about to start. Frontman Jonathan Davis came center, took ahold of his signature mic stand, screamed into it, “ARE YOU REEAADDYYY!?!?” as the song started in full force with all members headbanging and fans on the floor jumping simultaneously for an impressive sight. For this tour, KoRn was playing their debut album in its entirety. Some songs they haven’t played from that album in years and others they play regularly. Songs like Ball Tongue and Need To have recently been been played for the first time since the anniversary tour of the album that started earlier this year. Other song like Clown and Faget are fan-favorites that are regularly played, but are still welcomed from old and new fans. Being that KoRn has a shorter setlist than their own headlining tour, they couldn’t possibly plays just songs from the debut album. Instead, they played the first seven songs from the debut album. Davis came out with his signature bag pipes and fans knew what song was coming next. Shoots and Ladders is one of KoRn‘s best songs and is played at almost all their shows and is always fun singing along to a mix of nursery rhymes. To mix up the setlist, KoRn played some of their other hits starting with Falling Away From Me. This being a fan-favorite, the crowd was very into it and jumped to the beginning of the song and fans could be seen singing along. Here to Stay and Did My Time were other fan-favorites that made people in the crowd go wild and mosh pits could be seen from anywhere in the venue. KoRn finished the show with their most popular song, Freak on a Leash. Fans could be seen singing along to the song and of course loved with when Davis performed the beat box solo that the song is known for. KoRn finished the show and came out to greet fans and have their kids come out as well as they threw guitar picks and drum heads into the crowd. KoRn left the stage and paved way for the headliner of the night; the gods of heavy metal, Judas Priest!
Judas Priest is regarded as one of the greatest metal bands of all time and they have every right to be called that. Led by the metal god Rob Halford, Judas Priest has earned their place in the music world as one of the greatest bands in metal. After what seemed to be the end for the band, they came back to release their seventeenth studio album Redeemer of Souls on July 8, 2014. Judas Priest served as the perfect headliner for night 1 with lots of fans waiting for the metal gods. Black Sabbath‘s War Pigs played over the speakers and fans knew that was the cue that Judas Priest was about to start. The lights went out and fans screamed as loud as they could as the intro track Battle Cry played over the speakers. The curtain that was covering the stage came down and revealed Judas Priest on stage as they started the show with the first track from the new album, Dragonaut. Judas Priest kept to their roots by playing classics as the show continued with Metal Gods, a song about robots and technology taking over the world. Victim of Changes was the third song and gave Halford a chance to show that age hasn’t affected his legendary voice as he let out his beautiful high-pitched voice throughout the song. He would send a shiver down your spine as he sang, “VICTIM OF CHAAANGEEESSS!!” and guitarists Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton played the song to perfection and showed why they’re two of metal’s greatest guitarists. Halls of Valhalla is another new song that they played followed by The Rage which was a nice treat given that they don’t play that too often. The synth intro to the next song could be heard and fans knew exactly what was coming. The classic song, Turbo Lover. Halford would hold out the mic to fans and let them, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” Halford would sing, “Tell me there’s no otherrr”. Halford would hold out the mic again and let fans again sing, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” and Halford would finish with, “better run for coverrr!”. The real treat of the night came when they played the next song, Screaming For Vengeance from their album of the same name which itself is a metal masterpiece. That song hasn’t been performed in almost 30 years and many younger fans were overjoyed to finally have the chance to hear it live. Halford was at the top of his game as he sing in high-pitch with little problem as the song requires. Faulkner and Tipton performed the guitar solos to perfection and really brought the song to life after so long. Following that, Judas Priest kept bringing out the classics that made them who they are. The next song was one of the greatest songs in metal, Breaking the Law. Anyone that listens to metal should be familiar with this song. Halford would hold out the mic to the audience as they sang the chorus, “Breaking the Law! Breaking the Law!”. It is a very fun song to sing to live and amazing to experience everyone singing along. The stage went silent as the sound of an engine roaring could be heard. Fans screamed as they knew exactly what was coming next. Halford came out riding a motorcycle and to no surprise, the next song was Hell Bent For Leather. The stage went dark again as the familiar intro of The Hellion started and fans sang along to the intro of, “ooo-ahh-ooo-oh”. The intro ended and Judas Priest jumped right into Electric Eye. Fans all over could be heard singing along to the chorus, “I’m electric, electric spy. I’m protective Electric Eye”. The band took a quick break while Halford engaged with the crowd with some vocal exercises as the crowd followed his lead. Judas Priest was to end the one with another one of their most popular songs, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’. Fans were loving singing along to this song from start to finish. The show seemed to be over until Jose from SiriusXM Radio came out and asked the crowd if they wanted one more song. The crowd cheered to no surprise and Judas Priest came out to play the final song of the night, Painkiller. What a perfect choice for a show finisher. This song is the definition of heavy metal. Dual guitar leads, fast drumming, and Halford’s legendary voice. Halford finished the song strong with a very long, “Pain…killerrrrrrrrrr!!”. Judas Priest showed off their musicianship one last time in a huge noise of heavy metal music mashup of guitars and drums being played at the same time combined with the screaming of fans. Judas Priest left the stage while leaving the crowd overwhelmed that they just witnessed one of the greatest bands in metal. So was the end to day one of Knotfest.
The plan here was to post the pic of all the bands and just name a handful of ones that us here at Concert Confessions are fans of and stuff like that. Then, as I kept reading into the poster containing the lineup for the 2014 Riot Fest in Chicago, this thing just has so much one would want to check out. Your top billing is The Cure, Jane’s Addiction, The National, Rise Against and Weezer while The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Slayer,The Offspring and Staten Island’s very own Wu-Tang Clan rounding out your ten highest billed performers. Dig deeper into the lineup and you’ll find Pussy Riot, ThurstonMoore, Kurt Vile. You’ll also run into Failure and The Dandy Warhols. The Afghan Whigs are back, and you guessed it, they’re here too. My new favorite heroes(i.e. Dave Grohl/Safe Music) Mastodon is at this party as well. Feel free to have some fun too, throw a little Cheap Trick in your day. Things you don’t see here: Outkast, Lorde, Kanye West, Vampire Weekend, Skrillex and all those other garbage festival junkies you see on every card. Lots of music with guitars here.
Highlighted acts below, check out RiotFest.ORG for ticketing details and all that jazz.
There are few bands in this world that you could look at or see their name and think, “What are they supposed to be?” One of those bands is the band known as, Metalachi. So who is Metalachi? They are 5 men that do a fusion of rock and metal covers using mariachi instruments as well as play classic mariachi music. Their costumes take after a classic mariachi look mixed in with KISS, Gwar, and Rob Zombie. Sounds a bit odd at first, but once you see them live for yourself and are open-minded about music; you will see that they are a very interesting and fun band to see. The Sunset Strip witnessed the debauchery that Metalachi causes at the legendary Whisky a Go Go on May 4th, 2014 as part of a Cinco de Mayo concert.
Metalachi came on stage at 11pm and were immediately greeted and welcomed by their fans both old and new as one by one they took their places and prepared to give their audience an amazing show. Metalachi started their set with a classic Mariachi song called, Guadalajara, but instead changed the title to Metalachi. After the quick intro, they jump straight into the Dio classic, Rainbow in the Dark which was perfectly executed using their mariachi instruments instead of traditional rock and metal music instruments. Throughout the night, Metalachi played many well-known songs such as: Breaking the Law (Judas Priest), Symphony of Destruction (Megadeth), Master of Puppets/Nothing Else Matters/Enter Sandman (Metallica), Raining Blood (Slayer) and Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine). Metalachi is known for their hilarious speeches between songs and their topics include women, boobs, and life stories and they also mock each other which adds to the fun and party of the show. One of their show highlights is when they bring up a random woman from the audience and sit her down on a chair and basically violate her while playing a song (not that the woman doesn’t like what they do to her). Metalachi always delivers a fun and entertaining show and if they ever happen to come to your area, they are highly recommended as long as you’re not easily offended by their sexual and stereotype jokes.
Chicago’s Riot Fest is expanding yet again this year, heading to Toronto and Denver and those lineups have been announced, but that’s not even the big news here. Everyone hates surprise headliners including this guy, but when your festival announced that The Replacements are that surprise then it most certainly lives up to the hype. So in order, let’s go over how this is all going down in a few months.
As you can see in the above poster, Riot Fest Toronto is the first of the trio of festivals, going down August 24th-25th at Fort York in Ontario. The Replacements will headline and other cool acts we endorse here at Concert Confessions: Iggy and the Stooges and Dinosaur Jr. And let’s consider the possibility of Iggy coming out to jam with Dinosaur Jr. or J Mascis coming out to jam with the Stooges. Now clean yourself up and let’s talk about Chicago.
At Humboldt Park in Chicago September 13th through 15th Riot Fest will feature the likes of The Replacements, Violent Femmes, Motorhead,Blondie (oddly enough), Bad Religion, Dinosaur Jr., FLAG, Bad Brains, AFI, Fall Out Boy,Blink 182, Bob Mould, GWAR, and everyone’s favorite band to hate- Sublime w/ Rome among other bands noted above in the poster. Moving along
On to Denver, ahhh Denver. Legal pot plus they have tons of awesome bands coming to town September 21st-22nd getting together at May Farms. What bands you ask? Well, there’s The Replacements,Iggy and the Stooges, Rancid,FLAG, AWOLNATION,Bad Religion, The Dismemberment Plan, Blink-182, AFI, and AgainstMe! just to name a few.
If you’d rather here the news straight from the horses mouth, that’s understandable Just head over to the Official Riot Fest Website by clicking here. That’s where you can get tickets and stuff.
Words by Jakob Ross, Pictures/Videos by Scott Ross
Back to Spain we go for the final day of the Primavera Sound Festival. Today we will conclude with me recapping the five acts I saw for that day, and then we’ll open up the floor for a Q&A session.
The sea breeze turned into some pretty harsh winds that blew garbage and hats throughout the festival grounds, but that didn’t stop the festival goers, including myself, from having a good time. Five bands to talk about, let’s get this show on the road.
Bands seen so far: 16
Hours of sleep since festival started: 12
Phil Elverum has had a fairly long career in the world of indie rock, all starting when he started to release music under the name The Microphones when he was 18. The Microphones hit its peak in 2001 with the release of “The Glow Pt. 2,” and only continued for a few years after that before Phil changed the name of his project from the Microphones to Mount Eerie, which is also the name of the final album The Microphones released. Mount Eerie has released several lo-fi indie folk recordings that have garnered Phil similar critical praise that some of the Microphones’ best albums have given him, and the music he makes under this moniker is haunting, beautiful, and even loud at times, as evidenced by their loud-but-not-quite-loud-enough set at Primavera’s ATP Stage.
The strangest thing about Mount Eerie is their current live setup, which consisted of Phil Elverum on lead vocals and 12-string electric guitar, a young-looking lady on vocals and a drum pad machine, and two female bass players that also sang. The band played beautifully, although I imagine there was quite a bit of frustration with the adjacent stage.
The ATP Stage is located about 100 yards away from the Heineken Stage, so when two bands play these stages at the same time, there can be a sound clash. At the same time that Mount Eerie were playing, former Moldy Peaches singer Adam Green was playing the main stage with Binki Shapiro, and they were playing a lot louder than Mount Eerie was playing, most of the time. The drummer was having trouble starting the songs because she couldn’t concentrate on the beat, but they were able to persevere. It was obvious that the band members were at least a bit frustrated. At one point in between songs, Phil tried to sneak a peek at the noisy stage, pointed at it with his thumb, and said “Well that kinda sucks.”
Fortunately, the band handled their misfortune with grace, much like Savages did during their own difficulty. This made the audience love and respect the band even more, and the music Mount Eerie made sounded even more beautiful as they tried to create enough noise to drown out the sound of Adam Green and Binki Shapiro.
There was a long break in between the end of Mount Eerie’s set and the beginning of Mac Demarco’s set at Pitchfork’s stage, so I’ll tell you a little about Mac DeMarco first. Just to fill the gap. I mean I could tell you abou the disappointing kebab and messy crepe I ate, but Mac DeMarco is a little more interesting.
Mac DeMarco (not sure if that’s his real name) is a 23-year old Canadian musician and singer/songwriter who’s second album “2” garnered a decent amount of critical praise. His music has been described as “slacker rock,” and that title certainly reflects his style well, but only in the most positive way. Mac uses an extremely cheap guitar and he uses a string as a guitar strap, but that doesn’t make the music any less incredible. A little bit punk, a little bit pop, a little bit lo-fi, a little bit garage rock. All these styles combine for a very fun sounding blend that makes me think of bands like Pavement or Pinkerton-era Weezer. On his album, Mac sings about romance, nostalgia, and relaxation, and he’s able to actually capture the emotions associated with these topics very well. “2” is the perfect summer album, and Mac DeMarco is the perfect musician to hear at the end of May in Barcelona while standing right on the Mediterranean Sea as the sun sets.
Although the songs have a more relaxed and sometimes acoustic feel on the album, Mac really brings them to life with a full band on stage. The entire band play with 100% energy that gives these songs a new life.
Mac DeMarco and the band played a ton of songs from “2,” including the strangely dark “Cooking Up Something Good,” the cigarette ballad “Ode to Viceroy,” and the set-closing love song (which he dedicated to his girlfriend who was in the crowd) “Still Together.” But not only did they play their own incredible songs, they also did some strange covers (which Mac is known for doing). At one point the band went from Bachmann-Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business” right into The Beatles “Blackbird.” I’m not a huge fan of either song, but the band had a ton of fun playing them. They ended the set with the aforementioned “Still Together,” during which Mac DeMarco sang the chorus in falsetto pitch and then crowd-surfed. Overall, a very fun set that made me wish summer was closer than it really was. If you’re looking for a good summer album that was released in the fall, I highly recommend Mac’s “2,” and then go see him live.
It’s rare for any musical act to be able to maintain a certain amount of fame for 20 years, but, believe it or not, New York’s Wu-Tang Clan have done just that. It’s been 20 years since Wu-Tang released their influential debut album “Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers,” and that album has aged very well. It is now, along with “Illmatic” and “Ready to Die,” considered one of the best New York hip hop albums of all time, and often cited as one of the reasons the west coast didn’t completely take over the rap game in the 90s.
Although Wu-Tang currently have 8 members (RZA, GZA, Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa), Method Man and Raekwon were unable to attend the festival for reasons unbeknownst to the audience, and even RZA, who, according to several websites, admitted that he wasn’t sure why Meth and Rae weren’t there.
Nevertheless, Wu-Tang Clan put on an insanely energetic and almost completely audience driven show. Members of the group directed us to “hold our W’s in the air,” wave our hands from left to right, sing the “DOLLA DOLLA BILL, Y’ALL” part of “C.R.E.A.M.,” and repeat whatever strange thing RZA wanted us to repeat. “Hi-de-hi-de-hiiiii,” “Ho-de-oh-de-ohhhhh,” etc. And every time RZA said “Barcelonia,” it just got more and more funny. That doesn’t really fit here, but that’s just something you have to know. The RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan said “Barcelonia.” That sounds like a planet in Star Wars.
Before we left the Primavera Stage to go to the Heineken stage, we were able to hear some of Wu-Tang’s classic songs, including the set-opening “Bring da Ruckus,” “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit,” and a delightfully strange and somewhat out-of-place semi-cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together.” Maybe the members of the Wu-Tang Clan are insane, but I do know that after 20 years of classic albums and not-so-classic albums, deaths, legal battles, and feuds, they’re still able to put on a wild show, even if the majority of the people they’re playing for don’t speak English.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
One of indie rock’s most disturbingly heartfelt and poetic frontmen is Australia’s own Nick Cave, who’s been writing angry post-punk and soft ballads for 35 years. In 1978, Cave formed the band The Birthday Party, whose combination of post-punk and gothic rock turned them into legends, before forming The Bad Seeds with multi-instrumentalist and The Birthday Party co-member Mick Harvey. The Bad Seeds have gone through tons of phases that have produced some brilliant albums, some even more brilliant songs, and a raucously fun side project called Grinderman.
A few years ago, Mick Harvey left the band, resulting in a far more minimal and dark album, “Push The Sky Away,” which came out in February. The album was well received, and for good reason. Some of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard come out of Nick Cave’s mouth seem to come from this album, and hearing a lot of these intense works live really made me enjoy the man a lot more.
The band came on, Cave wearing all black, playing “We No Who U R,” a fairly soft yet slightly creepy song from the new album, followed by “Jubilee Street,” another new song. The band then jumped back nearly 30 years to the eponymous song from the band’s 1984 debut album “From Her to Eternity.” This loud rock song in 5/4 was played with the explosive energy of a punk band, and Cave danced all across the stage. If there’s any rock frontman who could challenge Mick Jagger to a “dance around onstage the most” contest, it’d certainly be Cave.
They then played the sorta-ballad “Red Right Hand,” from 1994’s “Let Love In” album. “The Weeping Song,” “Jack the Ripper,” and “Tupelo” (the latter of which was dedicated to Elvis Presley) all followed. The Seeds played another song from the new album called “We Real Cool” before jumping back to 1988 with “The Mercy Seat.” It’s amazing that they can play such a career-spanning set and still sound so consistent.
The Bad Seeds then played “Stagger Lee,” which is a huge fan favorite. The intense and swear-filled story involves a man named Stagger Lee who pretty much kills anyone who crosses his path, be it a grouchy bartender or the Devil himself. This song reflects Nick Cave’s own demeanor pretty well, considering it’s rare that I ever see a frontman look so terrifying onstage (apart from Michael Gira during the Swans set), and Cave’s dance moves pretty much certified his position as “World’s Sexiest Ugly Man.”
They ended the show with the album-closing “Push The Sky Away,” before thanking us and stating that they can’t wait to come back to Spain.
My Bloody Valentine
My Bloody Valentine would play the same stage as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, except they were to go on about an hour and a half after The Bad Seeds’ show ended. So my dad and I had some waiting to do. So we did what it is people do when they’re waiting. Sit down, eat some snacks, try our best to stay awake, watch a guy who was quite obviously tripping on some sort of hallucinogen dance around to whatever music was playing from the speakers.
It was pretty fun to watch the road crew set up for MBV though. They rolled out amps after amps after amps for guitar player Kevin Shields, as well as quite a few for lead singer and guitar player Bilinda Butcher. We also got a sneak preview of some of the crazy projections that would be showed while they played.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity of trying to stay awake, MBV came on stage and played “I Only Said,” the midpoint song on their 1991 classic album “Loveless,” followed by the dreamy “When You Sleep.” They then played the first of only two new songs that night, “New You.” You’d think a band that are just coming off the release of a new album (especially when it’s the first one in 22 years) would play a little more new music, but the music itself still sounded great.
Another slight complaint: MBV were the victims of some pretty bad mixing on the festival’s part. I know that the vocals are not the most important part of the show, but I’d at least KINDA like to hear them a bit.
MBV moved through a ton of songs from their classic album “Loveless,” as well as a couple from their debut “Isn’t Anything” and some tracks from some of their early EPs. The loud (and I mean LOUD) guitars combined with the hypnotic drums and woozy projections made this feel kind of like a late 80s/early 90s acid rock/rave show in Manchester. For some reason I was reminded of bands like Primal Scream and Happy Mondays.
At around half past 3, Kevin Shields took the mic and said “We’d like to play a new song, but we only have 5 minutes left.” So with that, they burst into their infamous show-closer “You Made Me Realise,” which is not only one of their faster songs, but it is also the loudest. This song is known for featuring a very long wall of noise and feedback that is sometimes referred to as “the Holocaust section.” They stretched a 3 and a half minute song into a 10-plus minute show stopper that left every ear ringing. This Holocaust section is often seen as something of a concert “rite of passage,” kinda like hearing “Ignition (Remix)” live or getting covered in GWAR blood.
MBV left the stage with the feedback still ringing through the amplifiers. We left, completely satisfied with the festival and life itself, and headed back to the hotel to try and get as much sleep as possible. By the time we woke up in the morning, I’d seen 21 bands and gotten 15 hours of sleep, which leaves my total ratio of bands seen to hours of sleep gotten at 7:5. Not bad for Spain.
Sure, the festival had its faults. The lineup was a little bit too good to be true, in the literal sense. Confirmed acts such as elusive singer/songwriter Fiona Apple, indie folk act Band of Horses, skate punks FIDLAR, psych rockers Foxygen, and shoegaze/dream pop band DIIV had to cancel their appearances for one reason or another. Some of the sound was kinda muddled and not mixed entirely well. Such is the way of the music festival. But overall, I had an amazing time, and it was worth every hour of sleep I didn’t get.
Author’s note: My dad saw both the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine in the late 80s (different shows), making this the first time in nearly 25 years that he’s seen either band.
If you’ve never heard of them(and you probably haven’t), Metalachi is the world’s first and only metal mariachi band where the member do covers of mostly rock/metal songs using mariachi instruments and take their stage outfits from the likes of GWAR, Rob Zombie, and KISS. When I first heard about this band in 2011, I didn’t wanna believe it until I saw YouTube videos for myself. Upon seeing a few videos of them, I was instantly hooked and saw them for the first time later that year at the annual Sunset Strip Music Festival. Some of the covers they do include: Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law”, Ozzy Osbourne’s “Cray Train”, Dio’s “Rainbow in the Dark”, and Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills”, a Metallica mix,a Led Zeppelin mix as well as a ton of others. They aren’t that big but little by little they are becoming known. The show they did on January 4th at the world-famous Roxy Theater was a fan appreciation show for them having reached 10,000 fans on facebook. It was a free show so anyone, fan or non-fan, were welcome. There were a couple of guests on this night. When the show started, they had their first guest when they opened with a cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”. The guest was Robert Sarzo, founding member of the glam metal band, hurricane, and ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist. Metalachi’s setlist was solid as they did “Youth Gone Wild”(Skid Row), “Rainbow in the Dark”(Dio), a Led Zeppelin mix, Man in the Box(Alice in Chains), “Epic” (Faith no More), and other rock/metal favorites. Through the night, Metalachi keeps us entertained by clowning around in between songs and they are just straight up hilarious! The highlight of the night was when they brought out the final guest. I was joking around with a friend as to who the guest might be but of course I had no idea that I would actually be right. The guest was none other than my idol as a drummer. Slayer’s very own, Dave Lombardo! When I first heard his name called out, I was shocked. I watched him jam with Metalachi as they did a cover of Slayer’s “Raining Blood”. Seeing that was truly historic and epic and may never happen again. After that, Metalachi played a mix of Metallica songs and finally finished with a traditional mariachi song called “Son de la Negra”. This is a show that just about anyone would enjoy if you like something odd and different than the usual instrument playing. Recommended for anyone that likes having fun at a show.
It’s nearing the end of the year, or if you’re into it, the end of the world as we know it. Since I’ve attended many shows this year(30+) and taken photographs, I thought I’d share with you a re-cap of my most favorite shows from 2012. I am going to list them in the order in which I saw them, because picking a favorite is not easy out of what I’ve chosen. Here we go!
1. 311 Day 03/10-03/11 MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas NV
What can I say?? I’m a 311 die-hard. This event was one of the most awesome concerts I’ve had the opportunity to witness. Yes it cost a lot for tickets, and yes, I was bummed I didn’t get floor tickets. But, traveling to Vegas knowing I’m not only going to see my favorite band play TWO nights in a row AND I get to see my friends from around the country made it worth it. Two days before leaving for Vegas, I caught 311 in Wendover NV as well. Met some fans who we actually followed and kept running into at gas stations along the way from Utah to Vegas. That’s one of the things that makes 311 unique. Their fans can easily become your family(literally, people have met through the 311 website and are now married with kids). When I got word that I got to photograph the band on 311 Day, that only amped up the show for me. With setlists that exceeded 30 songs per night, and a stage to rival the likes of Rob Zombie, 311 put on a show that went down in history. Thousands of people singing their hearts out, a band that loves its fans(truly….they honor fans by using fan art, our photos, etc, and always give credit) and a venue to fit us all. What an incredible two days.
2. GWAR 04/10/12 Saltair, Magna UT
When the opportunity dropped into my lap to go to GWAR, two things happened: I got nervous, and I got a raincoat for my camera. I’d never seen this band, nor listened to anything of theirs past what I heard over the years randomly. I also heard that they were less than polite to photographers. So naturally, shooting this show seemed like a good idea to me. What I saw and experienced made this show one that I will tell stories about forever. I had a poncho for myself, but used it to wrap my camera bag and hid it out-of-the-way. I was glad, because I got targeted immediately by a torso that had just had the head cut off on stage. The fake blood spurting out of the neck stump went directly into my mouth, eye and into my lens(yay for camera ponchos!)as the torso bent over and drained into my face. Yep, that’s normal. It didn’t phase me and honestly I got right over the fear of it. GWAR continued to dismantle people, creatures and Snooki on stage that night. Guts, blood, parts…..a mess. But the thing that amazed me was their ability to play instruments and sound good while all that was going on. A spectacle but very, very well produced. I will definitely take the time to bask in the live horror that is GWAR if they come back to Utah. Which they should, seeing as how there were plenty of flesh-hungry weirdos that were there(and a guy who literally threw his 7-year old into a mosh pit).
3. Primus 06/19/12 Rail Event Center, SLC UT
Legend. How could I not go to Primus? Playing their new album, “Green Naugahyde” in its entirety AND a set of our favorites as well? Sign me up. While the crowd warmed up with the “Primus Sucks” chant, I readied my lens. I stood in front of a stage with red lights, two giant astronauts with moving, living faces(awesome stage production), and my hands were shaking. In a moment, I was standing less than a foot from Les Claypool. Legend. Innovator. As I stated, they played two sets. The first was a mix of hits, “Frizzle Fry”, “Pudding Time” etc. The second, was what I would call a trippy date with Pink Floyd, but on more acid, with more spinning things. “Green Naugahyde” is very different, but still very Primus. I think it was best it was played as a whole, and it fits as a piece that I feel is meant to be listened to from start to finish. But as a gift at the end, Primus encored with “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver”. Dream come true. Capped off the night with meeting the band, and getting my Miscellaneous Debris EP signed, as well as my Green Naugahyde vinyl.
4. Band of Horses 07/26/12 SLC UT Twilight Concert Series
We here in Utah have an outstanding summer concert series for the last 15+ years. It has nothing to do with those stupid vampire movies/books, and it’s called Twilight Concert Series. This year, they spoiled the hell out of us. We got a visit from Indie(yeah I said it) rockers Band of Horses. With songs you know from popular shows (The Funeral) and gentle hits like “No One’s Gonna Love You”, this band’s live performance wins over both the casual listener and the uber fan. I had the pleasure of being in the photo pit for this, and I was like a giddy school girl. I have listened to this band now for a few years, and it delighted me to hear them live. This was one of the larger crowds that turned out for the series that also featured artists including Nas, and Tinnie Tempah. The energy was amazing, and the crowd was singing along word for word. One of the summer shows not to be missed.
5. Iron Maiden 08/01/12 USANA, SLC UT
You read that correctly. I went to Iron Maiden, and GWAR this year. I would not consider myself a hard/metal rocker. But I know better than to miss Iron Maiden on a tour to my piddly state. When Iron Maiden adds you to their tour stops, you go. And the crowd did. This was a very interesting mix of folks. I think I saw at least three pregnant women(two with broken legs) and a pregnant stage tech(also with a cast, hoisting her belly up a speaker stand no less). Mullets, 80’s leggings, and lots of black clothes. But, the thing that caught my attention was the many children that were out and about. This was a family affair. Many parents were seen passing on the musical tradition of a good ol’ rock show, and this made me have a little more hope in humanity. Instead of running to a Bieber show, little metalheads were having a great time watching the flames shoot out of the stage, and Bruce Dickinson leap about like a spring chicken(to quote the tour manager haha). The guys are in prime condition and threw down the gauntlet of rock music. The show was amazing, well-played, and for guys pushing 60+, doing the splits was pretty awesome. I am not allowed to share the photos, as there was a waiver, but the best way to see a show is to GO.
6. Rob Zombie/Marilyn Manson 10/01/12 USANA, SLC UT
I went to this show as a fan of Marilyn Manson. I like Rob, but I like Marilyn more. I missed out the last time he was here and I was not going to miss him this time. Marilyn Manson opened for Rob Zombie, and now that I look back, that is just fine. I had excellent seats for this show, and no photo pass(boo) for Manson. He had a crazy stage with several changing sets, costumes, effects, etc. He also blew some “coke” onto the audience during “The Dope Show”, which was backlit with a large sign that read “DRUGS”. From pope costumes to glittery gloves and sword-shaped mic holders, Manson, for me, delivered.
The star of this tour though, was Rob Zombie. Meeting him before the show was an added bonus. Skinny, polite, sweet I’d even say. He hugged me tightly and won me over for sure. Nothing like the man who came out of a robot’s chest that was shooting flames. Yes, I’d say it was about 12 feet of robot, and Rob Zombie emerged and took his place behind his mic of bones. The man is a talented showman. I was blown away at his pace, his talent, his band, and his stage. Rob interacted with the crowd, large inflated bouncing balls fell into the crowd during a song, pulp comics of vintage women played on screens that were part of the stage’s platforms, and Rob dominated the show. He walked off stage and came into the crowd and sang with people during a song. The theatrics do not mask a lack of anything for this group. They compliment the musical talent and experience that Rob’s band has, and this was a total delight. I did get photo access for this set and took some decent photos. GO SEE ROB ZOMBIE.
7. Deftones 10/17/12 In The Venue, SLC UT
Ch-ch-ch Chino. Again, one of those “do not miss” nights. Deftones came into Salt Lake City and owned it. I was talking to a stage hand who told me that they’d brought at least 3 semi trailers of sound gear, and so much of it that it wouldn’t fit the stage. I was more than amped for this show, and the crowd of sweaty people packed in on a mild October night, was pushing the capacity of what the place could hold. I was one of three people in the state lucky enough to get a photo pass for this. I was pretty damn blown away when Chino leaned into me and screamed into my face during a song. Nothing like that. The man is amazing. He also sweat on me, cause you know, we were close enough for that haha. The performance was killer, the sound amazing, the energy immense. My first Deftones show, and no way will it be the last.
8. Blue October 10/31/12 The Depot , SLC UT
Ok, this band took me by complete surprise. Yes, I knew who they were and their songs. But I have a rule. Never judge a band until you see them live(that even goes for country artists which I don’t usually like and yes, I’ve suffered through many country acts and some redeemed themselves). Blue October came into my town on Halloween and played a private “winner’s only” show for the local radio station. About 25 people were invited to see an acoustic performance by three members of Blue October, in a room that was part of The Living Planet Aquarium. This room is like a sunken ship, and that added to the beauty of what happened next. Singing four songs, Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld got into my head. I wasn’t the only one; several people were silently crying and listening to him sing. The acoustic versions of The Ocean, Hate Me, Dirt Room, and a new song, are haunting. That’s the best way to put it. No matter what your life is like, these lyrics echo in you. It was something I haven’t had before, a deep connection to a total stranger. It felt like no one else was in the room. I don’t know how they did that, but all the people in the room got a personal show that day. A handshake, photo and autograph….sure. But what stuck with me is way more valuable than those tangible things that will burn or fade away. Blue October played a whole set later that night at The Depot that was also incredible, but nothing like a bare-bones set with just a guitar and some other strings. I was honored to have been there.
9. Cursive and Minus The Bear 11/06/12 The Depot, SLC UT
I’ll admit it, I’m not well-versed in Cursive’s catalog. But I knew a few songs and a friend of mine has been following them for years, so he encouraged me to go. When I realized that Minus The Bear was headlining, I was sold. Cursive commanded the stage with such force. I was truly analyzing what I was hearing and really enjoying watching the show. To me, they sounded like a fusion of B52’s, punk, and some swing rock. But each song was so different, and the time changes alone were enough to make any musician want to know “how’d they do that AND make it work?” . A great set indeed.
Now, Minus The Bear….just, DAMN. I couldn’t have been more excited to see these guys. The last time they came, they played an album in its entirety, and I was ready to hear some other tracks performed live. I was lucky enough to shoot the show as well. The lighting was amazing, the sound-even better. Soft yellows and greens and smoke, along with that signature MTB sound and a crowd that was unusually young I thought. That made me happy though, seeing that there are some young folks left that appreciate real music. I got to hear “Pachuca Sunrise”, which they actually did in an extended version and I did get some tears in my eyes. I love this band, and they are doing amazing things with their music. Capped off the night with meeting the band, and pulling some gang signs at their request in our photo. Good times, good show, and awesome live performance.
10. NOFX 12/08/12 The Complex, SLC UT
Ok. This was probably my first “real” punk rock show. This was a highly anticipated tour stop for this band, as they have not been to Utah since 2008. Luckily, I was sent into the surprisingly large photo pit to capture the first few songs. Also awesome, was the fact that we were in the “big” room at this venue, which held about 2500 people I’d guess. Either way, the place was packed and punk getup was everywhere you looked. People were extremely excited for this show. I’d been seeing people post about it for weeks on various social media networks, and heard people talking about it in passing. When Fat Mike and the boys took the stage, a guy immediately hopped the rail. Security was less than polite, slamming his head into my back and taking him to the ground. When Fat Mike called them out for being rough, the guy stood up and yelled “FAT MIIIIIIIKE” and then was escorted out. Fat Mike told Security to be nice and let him stay, and alluded to some butt raping joke…..but hey, it’s a punk show. Some highlights of the night were the insane jumping by Eric Melvin, drummer Erik Sandin sticking his tongue out at me, a dumbass fan putting his hat over a bright light and nearly setting it on fire(personally witnessed this and slapped his arm to get his attention when the hat was smoking), a plethora of beer cans being tossed, a series of racist jokes between Fat Mike and El Hefe(who was spotted “face timing” with his kiddo prior to the show) and the polite and rowdy fans screaming the words to every song in our faces. This show was SO fun to be a part of. I’d see them 10 more times. Even if they sucked. But they don’t. So put on your spikey jacket, spray up that mohawk, tie up your Docs and head out to this spectacle. Because you’ll have a damn good time.
All in all, this was a great year for shows in my state. I was blessed with a great job that allows me access to take photos, and it has given me so many experiences that I will never, ever forget. I am honored and happy to share those with you, and please enjoy the photos I managed to snap at these shows. Have a happy, apocalypse-free 2013. Be good to each other. Looking forward to sharing the shows with you!
This actually sounds really cool. It is called the Riot Fest and it is going down September 14-16 in Chicago. While the lineup tends to be rather heavy, one can’t notice such diverse acts as The Jesus and Mary Chain and Elvis Costello. The event will take place at Humboldt Park and the Congress Theatre. The best part is that tickets start at $18 a day. Below is the full line up (as of 05/14/12) and ticket are available by clicking here.
Riot Fest 2012 Line Up:
Rise Against, Iggy and the Stooges, The Offspring, Elvis Costello, A Day To Remember, Coheed and Cambria, Descendents, Gogol Bordello, Dropkick Murphy’s , NOFX, Alkaline Trio, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Gaslight Anthem, AWOLNATION, Slapstick, The Promise Ring, Chiodos, GWAR, August Burn Reds, Less Than Jake, Built To Spill, Frank Turner, Reverend Horton Heat, Fishbone, No Bunny, A Wilhelm Scream, Screaming Females, Teenage Bottlerocket, Off With Their Heads, Sister Crayon, Deals Gone Bad, White Mystery, Larry and His Flask, The Story So Far, Japanther
Update #1 – GWAR posted this map on Facebook so we figured we would add it.
On the same evening that New York Jets Running Back Curtis Martin get’s elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, can you believe that’s only the second best thing that happened today? Well, The 64th installment of the Jay Pork Never Ending Concert Series may have had something to do with that. Tonight brings us to Irving Plaza in NYC for an epic evening with The Darkness! Along with Foxy Shazam (Which ‘thenaturalstoner‘ praises for their latest stellar release), and I believe some other band they threw on the card that will be named in the next paragraph or so. This is great for so many reasons. First trip back to Irving Plaza since the Joe Budden debacle, and as I recall I noted to show up earlier this time and make it a must to get a better spot. Irving Plaza is also the venue me and my friend Pam scalped the fake Alice In Chains tickets and got beat on 100 bucks. Bad things have happened here. But, it’s the freaking Darkness! A band that people don’t know til you sing them the chorus from “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”, and even then they snort in derision. “You’re going to see that band?”. Yea actually I am. I can recall actually having a professor of mine at the College of Staten Island last semester breakdown the Epicness of the Darkness to some classmate who claimed they were a “one hit wonder”. That teacher said he’ll be in attendance tonight, and I will be looking for him(Brian Cogan author of many books available on Amazon, including the “Encyclopedia of Punk”). So there’s that and hey, it’s our first 2012 show-time to get back in the swing of things. I kicked it off huge last year with GWAR, and I expect The Darkness deliver as well (Well, except the “one of the guys in the band dying” part anyway). So let’s get this show on the road shall we?
So after freezing outside on a line for about an hour, they decided to open the doors. I happened to be standing next to a couple outside who I got to chatting it up with. Totally cool people, it was all laughs and talking past show experiences. Love that shit. And it was either Connecticut or New Hampshire they were from I can’t remember because I’m a terrible friend. But I know they were in a hotel and I know they were nice enough to warm me up with some of their Jagermeister while we waited for doors to open. Awesome. Finally some people who are friendly! I’m standing next to someone who says there is a second opener in addition to Foxy Shazam. I’m sure as hell hope not. Anyway I was able to snag a standing room spot upstairs, so video is happening tonight (we hope).
At 9 on the dot, a band fronted by a guy wearing rainbow zebra pants hit the stage. This band turned out to be Crown Jewel Defense- they’ve been on tour with Darkness overseas they say, and by the looks of their wardrobe I believe them. These guys look like before they formed this band they played as a Darkness cover band the way everyone’s pants hugging testicles. I mean, these guys aren’t that bad- they’re tight as a band. This guy has painted lines under his eyes like a Native American chief or something. What the hell goes on with life? A whole 24 minutes of their set went by fairly quickly, before the last song there was chants of “No more songs!” from the Irving Plaza crowd. Wasn’t me this time I swear.
Foxy Shazam came out at 9:40, and were totally freaking cool from the get go. Lead singer grabs the microphone and says: “I know Rock and Roll is dead but that doesn’t mean we can’t dance with it’s fucking ghost!!”. Hell yes! THIS is a band I can get into. They kicked it off with a song called “The Only Way to My Heart”-you had me at “The”! The lead singer jumps on the lead guitarist’s shoulders as he’s playing his little solo part, humps the back of his head. They got what I thought was hydraulic keyboards going on over there, but that was just the dude enjoying lifting it and moving it into obscure angles, including upside down to end the set. He was standing (and stomping) on that keyboard for a while there. Their lead singer is something else. All over the place, crazy swinging the mic-stand around and catching it.. Little bit of Iggy in him,
you know, minus the blood and peanut butter. During the set he asked if anyone in the crowd has a cigarette, he was tossed one with a light and lit it up. He takes a few puffs, and EATS IT. The dude ate a lit cigarette on stage! That’s what I call showmanship right there, that’s a front man I want to see more of… I feel like I’ve said this before, but this band sounds exactly like it’s name. Foxy Shazam.. just say it like this Foxy Sha-ZAM!!..Their set was over at 10:09. Then the wait for the Darkness had begun.
Hey, message to the dudes behind me-bump me again, and I’m going to turn around and punch somebody. The dance floor is downstairs if you wanna boogie, there was 5 of us that ran up here for a reason-to get away from you idiots.
So at like 10:50, the lights went off and a little intro music for a minute or so before they appeared before us: THE DARKNESS !
Rocking a stache like no other, decked out in an American Flag themed outfit looking like Johnny Depp meets Freddie Mercury. The place has filled out to the gills and going completely crazy.. these people are screaming so loud I could barely hear the notes at first. Started it with “Black Shuck” and went into “Growing on Me” from there. As someone who writes stuff on the interwebs, this point of the show I’m in heaven with a great spot and no event staffers in sight. I’m rolling, I’m gonna get this whole freaking thing! “The Best of Me”, “One Way Ticket to Hell and Back”, “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us”(The music video they release a few days ago), and “Get Your Hands Off My Women”-with the only one I wasn’t recording was the new one.
– To me, this set happens in portions. The above paragraph is me rocking out doing my Social Media Journalistic duties from the 2nd floor leaning over the railing, recording songs like the rest of the room-except I’m not using an iPhone. So this schmuck starts tapping me on the shoulder during “Can’t Believe It’s Not Love” and demands I put the camera away. Really dude? Again, I can’t stress this enough, IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO BRING A CAMERA, THEN PUT IT IN THE EVENT INFO! You can’t just make up rules. Besides the fact of all the pot smoke and cigarettes being smoked downstairs. But no, me standing next the mom of one Foxy Shazam’s photographers with a little tiny camera is a problem. Screw you guy, you almost ruined my night.
It was at that point I realized my kidney’s were not up to the task of holding this urine in much longer, and since this great spot has gone to waste thanks to that event staff prick, might as well hit the head right about now. And I promise you this is how it went down, I can’t make this up. I run downstairs as I hear that Justin Hawkins is strumming an acoustic, but now I’m on the run to the stall and as soon as I close that door and begin to relieve myself, I hear that the song they’re playing is “Holding My Own”.. as I look down and, let’s face it, I too am also holding my own. I ran back upstairs because I heard “Love Is Only a Feeling” about to get started and I got up there and couldn’t see a freaking thing it’s so packed out. I was so mad for that split second I swung my fist towards the wall and almost punched it, I pulled back before I hit it (damn people watching me must think I’m a nutcase). I walked downstairs and sat back to enjoy this great song, and this great night. Eff that guy-I got “Growing On Me” that’s gonna have 100’s of views by next week. Porks 1, Event Staff 0.
Some bands let you down with their live performance-that is not the case here tonight. I cannot believe this guy can hit those high notes like that in real life-too bad Queen isn’t still looking for a front man to tour with-because THIS would be the guy. And keep now I’ve moved to the bar, and I’m watching the on stage happenings on a flat screen TV. I’m being blown away through a Television! This back end of the set they actually mixed in a few new songs too, that Justin said is on an album they’re working on. Good news for us Darklings. “Friday Night”(I love that song) was followed by a new one called “Everybody Have a Good Time”. He said it was “Everybody Have a Mother Fucking Good Time”, but the chorus didn’t have the expletive in it, so I’ll assume it’s not going in the title. “Givin’ Up” was in there too at some point, my iPod was dead I couldn’t take the songs down in order..Their were at least 2 more new ones in there that we weren’t privileged to be given the names of before the night was over. They went off well after Midnight, with “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” being the last song before the encore, and it was already 12:10 by then.
What a night. Feels so good to get back in the swing of things for 2012-as much as I love discussing festival lineups and trying to plan trips to Beale St., it fells so freaking good typing every single word of this as the clock ticks past 5AM. Tons of other shows coming this year, as we try and top last years total of 23: We got DMX coming up, Kasabian at Terminal 5 in March, Local H coming back at the Mercury Lounge in April. Fun times, fun times indeed. But here’s something not fun: I have a restaurant to open up in 4 hours-working til 9PM. And you know what, maybe someone get’s Merlot instead of Cabernet later because I’m so shot from all this madness… but it was all so damn worth it. Thanks for sticking around for all this jibber jabbar-stay tuned.
As 2011 reaches a close, we take a look back at the year in concerts. In volume, I probably attend the least amount of total shows per year if you pool all of the contributors here at Concert Confessions. But never the less, by years end I will have reached 23 concerts, eclipsing last years total of 20. My only personal goal is to always get out to more shows then the year before. We did that in 2011, and here’s hoping we crack a bigger mark in 2012. Back to the reminiscing, here’s the Top Ten Jay Porks Exerperience’s of 2011
It was a cold night in February. I remember it like it was yesterday-it was the day before I was to get my Blackberry, and I remember the whole night being pissed about how if I would’ve gotten a new phone earlier that day I’d leave here tonight with better quality photos. Speaking of photos, the Reverend Justito was able to go through channels and gain me a photo pass for the first 3 songs of their set. It was at this time that I would stand about an arms distance from the late Cory Smoot/Flatimis Maximus while getting soaked in GWAR fluids, which would later add some difficulty to hailing a cab after the show-being that it looked like I was covered in blood. Awesome times [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXrJ0Kw6d_Y&w=480&h=360]
I know what your all thinking-How the hell does he throw Hip Hop into his Top Ten? Well, a week or so prior to Joe Budden replying to a Tweet of mine setting off a back and forth which gained me a collective middle finger from his fan base, he played with Slaughterhouse at SOB’s. This is the show that made me buy the tickets to see the man solo at Irving Plaza, and even though that was terrible, I can’t deny what Budden, Royce Da 5’9′, ‘Joell Ortiz’ and ‘Crooked I’ did to the stage at SOB’s that night. And that was setting it on fire. Also, one of the openers ‘Emilio Rojas’, I promise you will headline shows in 2012. He sounded like the future.
8)Chris Cornell @ Town Hall(4/13/11)
With a Soundgarden full on reunion tour not yet confirmed, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Mr. Chris Cornell on his Solo Acoustic Songbook Tour. The hair is back, and in full Jesus mode Cornell blessed us with hits from Soundgarden, Audioslave, his own solo catalog and mixed in a Beatles cover along with a, brace yourselves, acoustic cover of Ghostland Observatory’s “Sad Sad City”.
Overlooking the balcony on the 3rd floor of Terminal 5 for an epic night of events. If it wasn’t enough that I was seeing Dinosaur Jr., we had Keith Morris in the building with his latest band. OFF!. In addition to that we had the critical acclaimed “Fucked Up”. And the frosting for the cake, Henry Freakin’ Rollins interviewed Dinosaur Jr on stage before their set, an interview I captured in it’s entirety and it up on YouTube. Also got most of their set, they had great lighting and my spot was of epic proportions. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n0mEa2r_hM&w=480&h=360]
6)Local H Mercury Lounge (4/21/11)
Local H is one of those bands that will probably always find there way on my year end best list if they come around to my neck of the woods, and that’s just what happened. Not only that, but they were booked for an “Early show” at the Mercury Lounge-which means doors at 7PM and show was to end promptly at 9:30. No problem for Scott Lucas and Brian St. Clair, who kicked out about 20 jams in the time they had on stage, including 2 songs from a forthcoming Local H record: “Cold Matter” and “Another February”(which I have video of below this paragraph). Covered ‘Joey’ by Concrete Blonde and “Wolf Like Me” courtesy of TV on the Radio. During Wolf Like Me, Scott came off stage with his guitar and played, like, into the camera was recording with and eventually was jamming out leaning against me as people snapped photos of him in the crowd. What Mercury Lounge is great for in not having security so I can tape, they suck at lights-and there is no conclusive proof of this on video. At least my buddy who I met into at the Lemonheads show says he remembers me from the crowd and remembers seeing that happen. Got an autograph from Mr. Lucas after the show and gave it to my friend Pam, who was defeated by New York City traffic trying to make it there. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sXiip0fN78&w=480&h=360]
5)Flaming Lips&Weezer Get Freaky On The Same Stage PNC (7/28/11)
So when I saw the show listed on Ticketmaster it was billed “Weezer/Flaming Lips” yet when my ticket arrived in the mail it said “Flaming Lips/Weezer”. I figured at the least I save myself time seeing some crap opener, as I like both these bands. As the show drew near, it was announced that the bands would both set their gear up on stage, and take turns playing songs back and forth. Now isn’t this interesting? And it turned out to be even way more fun then I imagined. With limited time, sort of, Weezer wasn’t able to squeeze into their set a bunch of songs I hate. Plus they kicked off the night both bands on stage playing Black Sabbath’s “Sweat Leaf” with Wayne Coyne and Rivers Cuomo floating the pit area in space bubbles. After 2 hours of back and forth hits from both bands, they shared the stage again to play “She Don’t Use Jelly” followed by “Undone(The Sweater Song)” before going off. Awesomeness. I was still giddy as I wrote the review on a plane flying off to Washington State-that’s a hint for things to come on this list. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d2iws3WKGc&w=480&h=360]
The Meat Puppets returned to New York City for the first time in 2 years to play Le Poisson Rouge. They would play 2 nights later in Teaneck, NJ at Mexicali Live with me in attendance as well. It’s a tie because on both nights they would equally scorch the stage they played frying hearts and minds-yet it was two totally different experiences for me despite the set list not varying much. Night one in NYC I got backstage, and was able to hang with the boys before the show and even got to meet Sean Yseult (bass player who started a little band called White Zombie with dude named Rob), who was nothing less then a bad ass chick-I mean that in the awesome sense. But after all that it ended up I couldn’t get a good spot up front and had to extend my arm up full length when recording songs(the good news being I don’t have to hide my camera from anyone, being the Social Media Assistant for the band I am actually permitted and encouraged to do so).
Two nights later I meet up with Pam in Teaneck, NJ-a little hidden spot of Northern New Jersey I never even knew existed. My intentions on this night are to finally show off my favorite band still touring to one of my good friends- [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yeJftK_l5Q&w=480&h=360]
one of the few friends I have in real life who’s musical taste I respect. She’s never seen them, and this was to be my 9th time. Check this out, you know that band Black Box Revelation that’s been blowing up by the show? Yea, they opened up this one before they set off w/ Beady Eye on tour a week or so later. They were awesome. And my great spot for video during this Meat Puppets set as oppose to they Friday night set is not even comparable. I got everything I needed to get and more. About halfway during set Pam says to me “This drummer is amazing”. That drummer is Shandon Sahm (son of Doug Sahm, I’m gonna let you use Wikipedia for this one), and for the nights encore as it would have been Doug Sahm’s 70th Birthday day, we saw Curt Kirkwood relinquish his guitar to Shandon and took a seat at the drum kit. They then played “She’s About A Mover”, a Sir Douglas Quintet cover with Curt on drums and Shandon Sahm singing and playing guitar. Got Curt to autograph Pam’s ticket after the show. Freaking amazing weekend of the Meat Puppets, hence my tie for 3rd/4th place. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTZw1SJbg4g&w=480&h=360]
2)Ween Hammerstein Ballroom: Halloween 2011
For a second year in a row through circumstances beyond their control, Ween fall one spot short of the top spot on my best shows of 2011 list. It was Halloween, it was WEEN at Hammerstein Ballroom in the city. We tore the seated section 103 apart, stacking chairs creating a standing room frenzy. They did another “Evening w/ Ween” which includes no opening acts-and played for the better part of three hours dressed up for Halloween in skimpy sailor outfits. It was amazing, and even through picking up the pieces of my face on the way out the door-the number one spot had already been locked in. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn820V9WMhw&w=480&h=360]
Remember when I said I was writing the Flaming Lips/Weezer review on a plane heading to Washington State? Yea well, that was one insane weekend. With tour guides TheNaturalStoner and Mr. Sparkly taking care of me, we were off on Saturday July 30th of 2011 to the Gorge Amphitheater to see Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and THE MEAT PUPPETS. This was before any Meat Puppets dates were locked for NYC so I had to make sure I caught them right? Plus opening for Soundgarden?!? A band I’ve been waiting to see for years and years. And sandwich in Queens of the Stone Age, which I missed out on a presale from their NYC show in March and how can we think this could get any better? Well, it got better as soon as we were at the top of the grassy hill looking down at the stage camped so behind it is the beautiful Columbia River and mountainside. 18,000 people get in this place, standing room exclusive. If it wasn’t enough that I got to see the Meat Puppets for the 7th time that night, I also got to see Soundgarden close out strong. And while Queens of the Stone Age kicked out songs I love, like “Go With The Flow” & “No One Knows” ,with the sun setting and beams of light bouncing off the river and silhouetting the people on the lawn.. man that 8-10 minutes right there may have been the greatest moment of my life(well, besides Jen Cartiglia). We had from what I counted 5 of us Concert Confessioners in attendance- Myself, TheNaturalStoner & Mr. Sparkly in one tent trying to get texts through to Phishbeard to meet up with us, while at the same time we tried to gain WiFi to find Jakob. The whole Washington experience blew me away, and the show being that epic wasn’t hurting matters either. Camped out afterward sleeping on a folding chair using a sleeping bag as a blanket starring up at the stars, which I can actually see in a state without the air pollution that New York City contains. Woke everyone around us camping up early due to my phone’s alarm clock still being on east coast time. The video I share below is not one that I shot, but shot by TheNaturalStoner. Since I was standing right next to him anyway, and his camera is way better then mine, here you go: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iou9tnsHt6w&w=640&h=360]
I seriously wanted to put Charlie Sheen’s Violent Torpedo of Truth tour in here, but I didn’t want to take the crap from all the trolls out there who DIDN’T attend…But damn that was a pretty freaking epic night, awesome times with friends.. hence it’s honorable mention.
-Phish, Night 1 of their MSG New Years Eve run was pretty funky as well, had this list not been done before I attended the show on 12/28/11, it would have been up for nomination
The Central: Social and Pleasure Club – Santa Monica, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
On President’s Day eve; Concert Confessions truly had sea to shining sea covered. While the incredible Jay Porks was being covered in large amounts of blood and semen in Brooklyn; I was 14 blocks east of the ocean taking my second trip with Cubensis. Playing two sets every Sunday at The Central: Social and Pleasure Club for the low, low price of two Abe’s (or ten Georges, perhaps a Hamilton or even five Tom’s) there was no way I was going to miss this event knowing Monday would be cubical free. So with a wallet full of dead Presidents thirsty for $4 micro-brews, I once again found myself deep in the Cubensis-zone.
Set I clocked in at a little over an hour and hit the senses of the over-capacity club hard. After paying tribute to the holiday weekend with the opening “U.S. Blues” the band put some serious boogie down on a cover of Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up.” Guitarist/Vocalist Nate LaPointe lead the group through a wicked version of “Me and My Uncle>Big River” that warmed up the chilly basement club. Other first set highlights included dedicating “Easy to Love You” to a fan who had just turned 21 (and thus no longer had to sneak into shows that are not all ages) and a cover of the Jimmy Cliff classic “The Harder They Come.” Yet the ultimate highlight of the first set was the closing number – “Shakedown Street.” Clocking in at just less than twenty minutes multiple members stretched musical exploration to the max as they jammed into the unknown.
After kicking II off with a solid “Passenger” the songs began to take a backseat to the jams. You know you are witnessing a great jam band show when the songs almost feel more like bus stops on a long journey versus a typical concert. After solid takes on “Althea” and “Tough Mama”, the bands journey went a little something like “Samson and Delilah>Drums>Space>Viola Lee Blues.” I may be missing a song in that run, but regardless the band went off to a rabid fan base. The set ending “The Other One>Friend of The Devil” simply continued the good vibe and energy felt within the room. The night wrapped with bassist Larry Ryan handling vocal duties on “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” sending many fans back to the bar for a celebratory drink with the band.
There is no doubt Cubensis can create some serious musical magic upon the stage. With a gig every Sunday at The Central, Dead fans have no excuse to miss a truly great experience.