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Orion Music + More 2013: Deftones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rise Against (And Metallica)

Orion 2013

We here at Concert Confessions would like to that Orion Music + More for putting together an awesome lineup in year TWO.  Coming to the lovely Detroit this year, the festival features the like of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones and Rise Against headlining along side festival curators Metallica. Other notables include Japandroids, Silversun Pickups, the FLAG version of Black Flag (How many years have people wanted Black Flag to tour now that they finally do there’s TWO of them?) and Death Grips. Check out the full lineup below, and for information on tickets and such just head to this link.

Orion Music + More 2013:


Red Hot Chili Peppers



Rise Against

Dropkick Murphys

Gogol Bordello


Silversun Pickups

Foals, Tomahawk


the Joy Formidable

Datsik, Borgore


Dillon Francis

Adventure Club

12th Planet

Death Grips

The Dillinger Escape Plan

The Dirtbombs

Fu Manchu

the Bronx


All Shall Perish

the Orwells





Check Out this photo gallery from last years festivities below:

Watch Metallica Perform ‘Blackened’ From Orion Music + More

Watch Metallica Perform ‘Blackened’ From Orion Music + More

Our pal Jay Porks did an outstanding job of covering the first Orion Music + More Festival last month. His first and second time seeing the mighty Metallica was no doubt a life changing event. Speaking of Metallica the band has just released a pro-shot video of their performance of the song Blackened from the 06/24 performance out at Bader Field. You can check it out for yourself down below.



Metallica Set To Launch Orion Music + More Festival

Metallica Set To Launch Orion Music + More Festival

For months, Phish fans have been on the ball in regards to the band hosting a festival later this summer at Bader Field. In various reports, it was known that Phish, Kenny Chesney and Metallica would be holding events at the airport. While we still wait for details on the Phish bash, Metallica has announced details for the inaugural Orion Music Festival. Chances are, you won’t believe what you are about to read.

Metallica will headline the two night festival. The group plans to perform the “Black Album” for the first time on American soil on one of the nights. That part we can all believe. What is hard to believe are some of the acts Metallica are bringing along. While it is easy to see the likes of Fucked Up and Avenged Sevenfold sharing the stage with the Bay Area thrash legends, what shocks us is the inclusion of such alt/indie rock darlings like Modest Mouse, Cage The Elephant and Arctic Monkeys. You read that right people, Modest Mouse, Cage The Elephant and Arctic Monkeys.

As with all festivals there are various ticket packages, various prices and chances are someone will forget sun block and get nasty sunburn. We would also like to go on record now and start the rumor that Lou Reed will cruise out from NYC and perform all of “Lulu” with the band. For all the details on the Orion Music Festival – click here.

Artists for Orion Festival A/O 05/21/12

Metallica (two nights)

Arctic Monkeys

Avenged Sevenfold

Modest Mouse

The Gaslight Anthem

Cage the Elephant


Best Coast

Fucked Up

Hot Snakes

Titus Andronicus

Gary Clark Jr.


Roky Erickson

The Black Angels


The Sword

Jim Florentine

Don Jamieson

Wooden Shjips

A Place to Bury Strangers



Soul Rebels

The Black Dahlia Murder

Appearing on the Damage Inc. Stage

Suicidal Tendencies




Red Fang


Landmine Marathon

Black Tusk

Thy Will Be Done

Also a midst the goings on there’s gonna be what they’re calling the ‘Orion Custom Car + Motorcycle Show inside the festival grounds throughout the weekend.’ Ticket holders like our very own Jay Porks, will get this added element to a festival continuing to shape into a very interesting 2 days in Atlantic City. As more details come out, we’ll have them for you.

Metallica Offers Free Concert Downloads

Metallica Offers Free Concert Downloads

Just in time for the holiday season, Metallica have opened their vaults. Fans of the band can now download 24 unique Metallica concerts recorded between 1982 and 2009. Some of the highlights include a 1982 appearance at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco and a 1992 appearance at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum featuring John Marshall on rhythm guitar.

To download these shows – please click here.

As previously reported, Metallica will perform four nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco this month to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Metallica Celebrate 30 Years With Intimate San Francisco Shows

Metallica Celebrate 30 Years With Intimate San Francisco Shows

Kirk Hammet in Inglewood, CA 12/18/08

To celebrate their 30th anniversary, Metallica have booked four shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco. From their official website:

Thirty years of Metallica… can you believe it? We think it’s cause for a major celebration! You’ve been asking for a while now “just what the hell are you going to do to mark 30 years as a band?” closely followed by “why don’t we have more exclusive shows for Fan Club members?” We’ve heard you loud and clear and are beyond psyched to announce that the week of December 5, 2011 will be a full on Metallica week in the Bay Area, more specifically we will be playing four shows for Met Club members only at the historic Fillmore in San Francisco on December 5, 7, 9, and 10 to celebrate our 30th anniversary. These unique shows will include special guests and events, rare songs, varied set lists, odds and ends, and all the nutty stuff you expect from Metallica… fun for the entire family! Come to the Bay Area and spend the week with us to not only close out 2011 out with a bang, but to celebrate over three decades worth of craziness.

Participate in the entire week of festivities with special four pack tickets (one ticket for each of the four shows) and automatic entry into the contests for various other special events, available for the clever price of $19.81 (get it??). If you can’t join us for the full week, we’ll have individual show tickets too and as you can see we’re going back to early ’80’s ticket pricing (but not the hair!)… single show tickets will be just $6.00 each. Both four packs and individual show tickets will be available for Fan Club members only through a reservation system and we do have to add facility fees, blah, blah. Clubbers can log in for all the details… we’re taking reservations through August 8.

Hope to see you for a week of madness in December!


So ummmmm who has a Met Club membership we can borrow?






Metallica Rock For Three Generations of Fans Inside The Lords Home

The Forum: Inglewood, CA 12/18/08

It was somewhere during their second song during their second night in Los Angeles (ok, Inglewood) that I realized – I have never actually seen Metallica live.  Sure, this was my 5th Metallica concert, but every time I have been in the back of the arena/stadium/amphitheatre.  Not this time however, as I lucked into a below market value pit ticket for the greatest heavy metal band on the planet.  I hoped into my car and after two hours of brutal ..Southern California.. traffic, I found myself on the floor of the once famous Forum for a night of Bay Area fueled heavy

fuckin’ metal.

James Hetfield of Metallica 12/18/08

James Hetfield of Metallica 12/18/08

Knowing that I had already missed the opening set by The Sword, after multiple security checks I made it into the one time home of the Los Angeles Kings & Lakers during Machine Head’s set.  While it was nice to see Machine Head after all these years (the other time I saw them was during their rap rock phase when they played at the Fillmore in San Francisco back in 1999), the opening act was supposed to be Lamb of God.  When the earlier pro sports teams moved across town to Staples Center, the Forum was purchased by an African American church.  While they allow acts such as Slipknot, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Motley Crue and Metallica use their venue, Lamb of God is banned.  While Jesus may forgive sinners, the Faithful Central Bible Church has not forgiven Lamb of God for once being called Burn The Priest.  Thus they are banned.  Machine Head made mention to this before playing a cover of Iron Maiden’s classic “Hallow Be Thy Name”.  I got to catch a song from their latest record The Blackening before they closed with their 1994 classic “Davidian”.  As with just about every band that I have seen open for Metallica, the sound was less than stellar, but after being on the road for God knows how long, the few songs I got to see Machine Head play were both brutal yet flawless.

Machine Head Open For Metallica 12/18/08

Machine Head Open For Metallica 12/18/08

I mingled with various folks while the road crew set up for the main event.  I met Beavis and Butthead, watched them hit on a mother/daughter combo.  I talked to the kid in the SF Giants hat (my team for those scoring at home) who managed to snag the plastic cup Rob Flynn of Machine Head threw out at the end of the set (for the record, it had ROOT beer in it).  The crowd in my section of the floor (keep in mind that Metallica is playing In The Round) was a mix of three generations of Metallica fans.  I met folks who first saw the band open for Ozzy back in the Master of Puppet days.  I was the kid who discovered them during The Black Album, but was not old enough to see them till they toured behind Load.  I also met some young kids who were about to watch their first Metallica show.  It did not matter what generation you joined the family during, we were all tightly squished five feet from the stage, and when the lights went down and The Ecstasy of Gold played over the PA, the family got a lil crazy.

Metallica 12/18/08 Inglewood, CA

Metallica 12/18/08 Inglewood, CA

As the band hit the stage, they opened with “That Was Just Your Life” from their new album Death Magnetic.  A return to their roots, the first part of the show featured multiple songs from their most recent #1 record.  “The End of The Line” got so crazy that it forced two small circle pits into one large sea of swirling sweaty souls.  While not mellow at all, “Broken, Beat and Scarred” gave the crowd a bit of a breather, especially after the pyrotechnic spectacle that is “One” wrapped with its speedy palm muted riffs.  Sandwiched back to back between Metallica classics were the new hits “All Nightmare Long” and “The Day That Never Comes”.  Both were brutal, and made all of us forget all about St. Anger (which the band wisely avoided playing anything off of).
Lars Ulrich - Metallica 12/18/08

Lars Ulrich - Metallica 12/18/08

With the amount of tracks from their debut album Kill Em All, one would think they were seeing a tour to support that record.  Mixed throughout the entire set, the family was treated to such thrash metal masterpieces as “The Four Horsemen”, “Hit The Lights” “Fight Fire With Fire”, “Motorbreath” & “Seek and Destroy”.  With the last song of the encore being “Seek and Destroy” large Metallica beach balls were dropped from the roof of God’s house making the gig look more like a New Years Eve bash then a cold autumn night in December.

Kirk Hammet in Inglewood, CA 12/18/08

Kirk Hammet in Inglewood, CA 12/18/08

The only other time I saw a show in the round was Metallica back in 1996.  I hated that stage (I think it may have had something to do with where I was sitting inside the Cow Palace), but this time around it worked really well.  With the three non seated members running around, it allowed you to focus better on each individual member.  I noticed the crowd seemed to follow James whichever side of our stage he was on.  Kirk seemed to spend much more time on the other side of the arena, but did pay a visit.  The newest member of Metallica – Rob Trujillo is such a beast, I think he managed to be on all four corner of the stage at the same time.  Lars, not wanting to ignore anyone who made it inside the gig had a drum set that made quarter turns throughout the night.  I also noticed famed rock photographer Ross Haflin (you have probably seen him on various VH1 specials) taking photos of the band during their set.  Not that anyone cares about that dude but me, and well maybe the guy smoking Crystal Meth a few feet away from me.

Rob Haflin Photographs Metallica 12/18/08

Rob Haflin Photographs Metallica 12/18/08

If Metallica now has three generations of fans, my generation (The Black Album) was well represented as well.  “Sad But True”, “Wherever I May Roam” “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman” (which closed out the main set) all ended up like camp fire sing along by the sold out crowd.  In fact, on many numbers, front man James Hetfield didn’t even have to bother to sing, he let the crowd do it for him.

Metallica - 12/18/08 The Forum, Inglewood, CA

Metallica - 12/18/08 The Forum, Inglewood, CA

While every show I have seen Metallica do over the last 12 years has been radically different, I truly feel like after this show I have seen Metallica.  They were in my face.  When I snapped photos, James made sure to smile.  I don’t know if I can say it was the best Metallica show I have seen, and I don’t know if it was the most fun (I did go by myself after all).  However, it may have been the first and last time I got to witness these legends From The Pit, and for that I am forever thankful. 





Kirk & James - The Forum 12/18/08

Kirk & James - The Forum 12/18/08


Machine Head Open For Metallica in So Cal

Metal Allegiance: House of Blues – Anaheim, Ca – 1/16/20

What better way to kick off NAMM weekend than with the annual Metal Allegiance at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. They currently have two albums out, Metal Allegiance (2015) and Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty (2018). The Metal Allegiance involves many talented musicians from various bands that come together to form supergroups. The group includes: Gary Holt (ex-Slayer, Exodus), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Chuck Billy (Testament), John Bush (Armored Saint), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), David Davidson (Revocation), Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Misfits, Suicidal Tendencies), Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), Jason Bittner (ex-Shadows Fall, Overkill), Jack Gibson (Exodus), and Mark Menghi (founder). With so much talent on one stage, things were bound to get wild. The opening acts for the show were Trauma, Weapons of Anew, and Exmortus. The venue was nicely packed with metalheads hungry for some shredding and head banging.
Exmortus released their fifth studio album The Sound of Steel in 2018 and released their newest EP Legions of the Undead in 2019. Exmortus came out and were cheered on as they started with Slave to the Sword. Exmortus is just what the crowd needed; face-melting guitars and ear-pounding drums. The next track was Foe Hammer followed by a brand new track from their latest EP, Swallow Your Soul. It’s no secret that Exmortus takes inspiration from classical music and so what better way to show their inspirations than by doing a cover of one of the most famous pieces, a metal rendition of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (Act 3). Being that they were the opening act, Exmortus had a very short set. Ending the show would be a metal cover of Foreplay by classic rock band Boston which turns into their usual ending song, Metal Is King. The mosh stayed wild the whole time and it’s amazing seeing a band like Exmortus carry the torch in the name of metal.
The Metal Allegiance was next and the crowd was more than ready for all the mayhem that was about to ensue. Out first came out the host for the night which was WWE Superstar Erick Rowan. After a quick introduction, Rowan left and made room for the first group of Metal Allegiance and started their show with The Accuser from their latest album. Seeing all those talented musicians on stage was a thing of beauty and it was only matched by the non-stop mosh pit in the middle of the floor. Metal Allegiance next played Bound By Silence followed by Can’t Kill the Devil. The fourth song was a Metallica cover of Leper Messiah. The first group of musicians were finished and made room for some new members. Metal Allegiance started to perform covers which is what their performances are known for. Those covers included Exciter (Judas Priest), Toxic Waltz (Exodus), Refuse/Resist (Sepultura), Only (Anthrax), and Lights Out (UFO). One of the highlights of the event was when legendary metal drummer Dave Lombardo came out to perform some Slayer covers. The first cover was Postmortem. Things were sped up after when Metal Allegiance performed Raining Blood and ended the Slayer covers with Angel of Death. Osegueda took a small break to talk about the passing of Rush drummer Neil Peart whose death impacted musicians all over the world. As a tribute to one of the most respected and greatest drummers of all time, all the members of Metal Allegiance came out and played a cover of Tom Sawyer. Nearing the end of the show, all the members of Metal Allegiance stayed on stage for the last couple of songs. The last two songs were Running Free (Iron Maiden) and Overkill (Motörhead ). It was an amazing sight seeing all those talented musicians sharing the stage, something you’ll only see at Metal Allegiance. An event like this only happens once a year so if you’re ever in the area, be sure to check it out!


Metal Allegiance



Metalachi: The Canyon – Montclair, Ca – 12/21/19

If you still haven’t heard about them, Metalachi are the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band. They perform rock and metal covers using mariachi instruments. Their stage outfits take on similar appearances from other bands like GWAR, KISS, and Rob Zombie, but with a Mexican twist. They have been rising in popularity within the last few years making appearances on America’s Got Talent and being praised by some of the biggest bands around. This was the last show of the year for Metalachi and it would be an emotional one as the last two remaining original members Vega De La Rockha (vocals) and El Cucuy (trumpet) would be leaving the band after ten years. The show would take place at the Canyon Club in Montclair, California. As the show prepared to begin, you’ll notice how the band’s mic stand were covered by women’s bras from previous shows. Part of their shenanigans they do on stage.
The lights went out and the packed venue cheered as Metalachi came on stage and started with a cover of the traditional Mexican song Guadalajara, but changed to Metalachi. The song transitioned into Rainbow in the Dark (Dio) and the show was underway. Right Away, you could see how Metalachi uses their instruments to mimic the original song to perfection to make that mariachi sound and still keeping the original feeling of the song. Metalachi is one of the most fun acts you’ll see and it’s only proven as they play songs like Santeria (Sublime), Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), Rock You Like a Hurricane (Scorpions), and Rock and Roll All Nite (KISS). One of the highlights of the show is when Metalachi brings a woman from the audience on stage to give her a special lap dance while performing Every Rose Has Its Thorn (Poison). First from Vega, then from violinist Kyla Vera. She would then be serenaded by El Cucuy as he sang a short Vicente Fernandez song who is one of the most famous Mexican artists of all time. Aside from the music, Metalachi is also known to be very comical and often joke with each other for added showmanship. One of those acts is when El Cucuy and Vega refer to the first few rows of the show as the “splash zone” due to the possibility of the women (and men, apparently) getting pregnant from their sexual innuendos. Metalachi made a nod to their heavy metal fans in the audience and played a medley of Metallica covers that consisted of One and Enter Sandman. Metalachi ended their show, then left the stage. The audience was having too much fun and didn’t want to call it a night just yet. After a small break, Metalachi came back out. Vega let the audience know that this is the last show with him and El Cucuy in the band and thanked everyone for all the year of support, memories, and of course the chichis. To end the show, Metalachi played Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne) followed by Feliz Navidad (José Feliciano). It was a very emotional night for the band and audience who had been following Metalachi for a long time, but it was still a good time and all the band members gave it their all for this special show. Only time will tell how Metalachi performs with new members.


Metalachi: House of Blues – Anaheim, Ca – 5/17/19

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 the Dark (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 (Black Sabbath) 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!



2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

Review and Photos by thenaturalstoner

Hi friends, it’s been awhile since I posted anything on this great site, and certainly longer than that since I have posted anything actually worth a damn, but now that I have gone to my last show of the year I felt inspired and wanted to put a Top 10 list together for you all.  I had a great year for concerts, except for having to cancel my trip to see Ween in Portland and missing two awesome shows, that really sucked.  FUCK.  But I got to see pretty much all my other favorite bands in 2018, including a couple “All Time” shows up here in the Northwest.  Here is how I would rank what I saw this year:

10. Jeff Austin Band, Johns Alley, Moscow, ID 10/26/18 – This bar is a smallish, windowless box of fun in Northern Idaho and I sure like seeing Jeff Austin when he comes to this town. We got two sets this time, which was nice compared to the one he gave us last time through – it was fun getting close, drinking a bunch of drinks, and having fun dancing to some bluegrass. The band was tight and Jeff kept remarking how he had been coming to this bar for 20 years playing shows and having good times.  He still owns it!

9. Metallica, Spokane Arena, Spokane, WA 12/2/18 – I’ve been wanting to see Metallica since the early 1990’s and it finally happened for the first time a couple weeks ago in Spokane. It was sweet seeing them in the round on the floor, and James sounded great all night. Kirk kicks ass on guitar of course, cool show, super loud and fun just how I hoped my first Metallica show would be. Encore of Blackened > Nothing Else Matters > Enter Sandman was awesome.  I really wanted that For Whom the Bell Tolls and I am super glad I got an Unforgiven night, I see they don’t do that one every night anymore.

8. Pearl Jam, The Home Shows Seattle Night 1, 8/11/18 – This show was pretty cool, although compared to the following night, it’s easy to overlook. This was a pretty big set from the band, lots of antics, including between security and myself which did not go in my favor, me and a scalper, and myself getting back to the floor. Fun covers at this one – I really liked the We’re Going to Be Friends from Ed solo and Comfortably Numb was epic, and any show that has a Long Road into Release is a winner in my book.

7. Pearl Jam, Washington-Grizzly Stadium, Missoula, MT 8/13/18 – Pearl Jam in Missoula is one of those things that I have learned you do your best to make every time. My first Pearl Jam show was in this exact same football stadium back in 1998 so it was cool to get back there and see them again all these years later. Nice that Tester got the W in his November vote too (nice poster Jeff!).  We got a super interesting setlist from Ament that was quite different feeling from the Seattle shows.  The first Know Your Rights in 6 years brought a bunch of energy to that stadium and I thought this was a great show to end the three show Northwest PJ run.

6. Phish in Lake Tahoe Night 2, 7/18/18 – I thought this show started out hot, I always love a What’s the Use, and the late 2001 and You Enjoy Myself when everyone thought Phish was watching the curfew clock/was going to give us Rocky Top, made this a heck of a fun night. My wife really likes Blaze On, so I was glad after 3+ sets at Harvey’s for her first run that she got that one to go home on.

5. Dean Ween Group, The Top Hat, Missoula, MT 7/7/2018 – Sweet small show in my favorite town in America. We brought my friend to Missoula from Washington state who doesn’t get to many shows anymore now that we are all old and he has a family, and we didn’t tell him where we were going – which made for a super cool road trip. This small bar show in Montana was smokin’, and while not a super long set that night we got super close and had a great time in Missoula with the Deaner!  I really wanted that With My Own Bare Hands.  And FRANK.

4. Lil Wayne, Bumbershoot Festival Seattle, 8/31/18 – I got to see my favorite rapper at Bumbershoot in Seattle this year, we managed to get upgraded to VIP status early in the day, and then ended up on THE RAIL for this set. Awesome!!  While this was only a festival set, it was super good and I am pretty sure I won’t ever get the chance to be on the rail for Weezy ever again in my life.  That was one awesome upgrade!  Will always see Lil Wayne when I can, and it’s good to know he is still the GOAT.

3. Phish in Lake Tahoe Night 1, 7/17/18 – This road trip and show was set up super cool for my wife and I, as this was the 20th Anniversary of my first ever Phish show, and it was her very first Phish show ever – so 7/17 is a very Phishy thing for us. Not an epic A+ Phish show but solid as hell to start a tour for sure. And to see Phish outside the Northwest for the first time in many years, plus taking my wife to her first show on my 20th anniversary was rad. The No Men in No Man’s Land > Carini kicked a whole lot of ass too!

2. Foo Fighters, Safeco Field, Seattle, 9/1/18 – I have seen several Foo Fighters shows and to be honest I thought I was kind of over seeing them live after the last one, even though it was fun as hell. But then I went and saw them at Safeco Field in Seattle in September, with Krist Novoselic’s new band Giants in the Trees plus the Joy Formidable opening, on a perfect Seattle night and everything aligned itself back to its proper state in the Foo world. Even with Dave Grohls voice going out at the end of the night, this show RULED.  I am back on board feeling like I should see the Foo Fighters every single time I can.  Molly’s Lips is really all you need to say.

1. Pearl Jam, The Home Shows, Seattle Night 2, 8/10/18 – A 3.5 hour marathon show filled with awesome guests (Kim Thayil!) and rare songs, with a boatload of money raised for charity. I saw somewhere that this was the third longest PJ show on record, and it was a frickin’ doozey. Cool covers of Missing from Chris Cornell, Sonic Reducer, Search and Destroy and others.  Crown of Thorns and Crazy Mary, I mean really?!  Plus the PJ tracks!  If you are a Pearl Jam fan you NEED to get this show.

Top single moment:

This is not my video, but this music moment in 2018 made me happier than I could ever put in words on this website.  It was one of those awesome feelings you get once every 10 years or so of going to shows.  Pat, Krist, and Dave all together on the same stage in Seattle, oh man.

Consolation Prize:

I am pretty sure my wife’s favorite set of the year was Ludacris at the Bumbershoot.  We weren’t on the rail for this set, but we still had a nice VIP spot over to the side, and my wife got to see her favorite rapper bust through an hour and a half of his best stuff!  It was pretty cool that we both got to see our favorite rappers on the same night, VIP.  I think Luda had a golf tee time the next AM in Atlanta as he was on a private jet home after the set to host his own festival that very same weekend, lol!

I hope 2019 is just as fun as 2018, long live ConcertConfessions!



Machine Head: House of Blues – Anaheim, California – 11/23/18

San Francisco Bay Area metal giants Machine Head released their ninth studio album Catharsis on January 26th, 2018. Once again, Machine Head would set out on An Evening With Machine Head meaning there would be no opening band and it would be three hours of pure uninterrupted Machine Head. On September 28, frontman Robb Flynn made a shocking announcement that guitarist Phil Demmel would be leaving the band after fifteen years and drummer Dave McClain would also be leaving the band after twenty three years. The Freaks and Zeroes Tour would serve as the farewell tour for this era of Machine Head, but not for the band as a whole. The second to last stop on the tour was the House of Blues in Anaheim, California and fans were ecstatic to see Machine Head perform all the hits.

The venue was packed by 8:30pm as Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osbourne played over the speakers signaling the arrival of Machine Head soon. The song ended and the lights went out and the fans screamed and chanted “Machine fucking Head! Machine fucking Head!”. The members of Machine Head made their way to the stage and started their set with Imperium. The crowd wasted no time in going wild with crowd surfing and moshing as Machine Head laid waste with fast and shredding riffs. The second song for the show was Volatile from the new album. The third song was Now We Die from the previous album, Bloodstone & Diamonds. Beautiful Mourning was the next song and is always a fan-favorite to sing along to and drives the fans wild in the mosh pit. After a few more songs, Flynn came out to talk to the audience. While talking, he would strum the acoustic intro to Darkness Within. His speech involved talking about how long it has been since Machine Head played in Anaheim. It had been eleven years due to being banned by Disney due to the band’s music and lyrics. Flynn had the audience raise their middle fingers and yell out, “Fuck Disney!”. He would also talk about politics and how politicians don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves and all they do is turn everyone against each other and how the only thing that matters is music bringing everyone together no matter what their beliefs are or what race. The rest of Machine Head would come out to play Darkness Within which is a beautiful piece heard live. Machine Head never had a dull moment in their performance and kept the fans raging as they performed blistering tracks like Ten Ton Hammer, Locust, an Iron Maiden cover of Hallowed Be Thy Name, and Bulldozer. Machine Head was about to start Killers & Kings, but not before Flynn ordered the pit to split in half for a wall of death and circle pit as the band started the song. The show seemed to come to an end as Machine Head played one of their popular songs from their Burn My Eyes debut album, Davidian. The song has their famous lyric of “Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!” and always has the crowd singing along. Machine Head the stage to a dark and packed venue. The crowd wasn’t ready to go home yet and kept chanting, “Machine fucking Head! Machine fucking Head!”. After a brief break, Machine Head came back out for some encores. The first two encores were Descend the Shades of Night and Now I Lay Thee Down. Flynn asked the audience if it was ok  if they messed around for a bit. The crowd cheered and so Machine Head treated the crowd with medley covers of Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (Metallica), You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC), Night Train (Guns N’ Roses), and Would? (Alice In Chains). Back to speeding things up, Machine Head played one of their best and fastest tracks Aesthetics of Hate which made the circle pits go even faster and crowd surfers were plentiful. More encores included Game Over and Old. After three hours and 15 minutes, it was time for the grand finale of the show which was Machine Head‘s most popular track, Halo. Fans sang along and moshed to whatever energy they had left which seemed to be never ending. Machine Head wrapped up their show which was definitely emotional given that it was the second to last show for Demmel and McClain. A new era for Machine Head was on the horizon and the fans will have to see what’s next for the band.


Metalachi: House of Blues – Anaheim, Ca 11/10/18

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 Talk Dirty 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.


Weezer & The Pixies @ BB&T Pavilion 7/21/2018 Camden,NJ

Weezer & The Pixies – BB&T Pavilion

Camden, NJ – July 21st 2018

Words/Photos/Video – Jay Porks

The second it was announced that Weezer was hitting the road with the Pixies there wasn’t any doubt that it would be something featured here on Concert Confessions when it came around the way. Two of my favorites of all time if we’re speaking honestly here. Weezer is as hot as they’ve ever been and that was my opinion even before they covered Africa. The Pixies are not only one of the best bands of all time, but they’re also band that all of our favorite bands take influence from. Anyhow, it’s a Saturday night in Camden. The real slums of Dirty Jerzy. It’s raining pretty heavy at times, but we have seats. I’m old now. Not built for the lawn.

The Pixies kicked things off at 8PM. As we’re walking in Where Is My Mind is blaring through the parking lot. I set off the metal detector so that held us up a bit but we made it to our seats soon enough. A couple of observations: (a)The people here for the Pixies are INTO the Pixies. I thought I was a super fan, the whole place was rocking, it wasn’t like half empty waiting for Weezer. (b) Livenation had all sorts of deals in the days leading up to the show, which leads one to believe there’d been less tickers sold than desired. If that’s the case, then they succeeded, because I can’t say this place was “sold out” but it was packed to the gills with people that were PUMPED. (c) Does the high school basketball team always have to buy the seats in the sightline of my camera?



The Pixies busted out a twenty two songs in their allotted 67 Minute set, which if you would have told me that they would have done as an opening act I would have called you crazy. Maybe this really is a true ‘split bill’ or double headliner, if you will. They were off by 9:07. Set list below.

Setlist: Where Is My Mind, Nimrod’s Son, Mr. Grieves, All The Saints, Here Comes Your Man, Silver Snail, Vamos, Cactus, Break My Body, Gouge Away, Head Carrier, Caribou, Bel Esprit, Gigantic, Wave Of Mutilation, Um Chagga Lagga, Isla de Encanta, Crackity Jones, Broken Face, Monkey Gone To Heaven, Hey, Planet Of Sound

Weezer didn’t come out until 9:42 and when they did we saw why. The stage was set up to resemble the Happy Days set that they used for the Buddy Holly video. That’s was cool as heck. Later on in the set they took that stuff away to make way for the “In The Garage” set, which featured AC/DC and Kiss posters along the back drop.

A night of hits and fun covers. We got ourselves the Weezer take on Happy Together by the Turtles. Cool thing about that is that they played the guitars on the hook grungy and not, like, happy with bright lights and stuff. Then in the middle they tossed a verse from Green Day’s Longview in there, (the “mash up” I guess) which Rivers has been doing at solo acoustic shows recently. The Rivers put on a sailor hat and shirt and rode a razor scooter off stage only to appear in the middle of the crowd on what I assume was some sort of b-stage set up. From our vantage point you could barely see him, but it was cool none the less. That’s when Rivers solo covered ‘Take On Me’

There were two total metal head dudes in Metallica tee shirts and all that a couple rows up from us. I wondered aloud why they were here. Then during Feels Like Summer, which is still hot a year later, pyro starts flying off behind the band. That’s why they’re here. Weezer is for everybody.

Sporting a Nirvana tee shirt with cut off sleeves for the duration of the show, Weezer played Africa before ducking off stage for the encore of Surf Wax America, Say It Ain’t So and at the very end finished us off with a tiny dose of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid.  They went off at 11 sharp, giving their 20 song set a duration of 78 minutes. What a blast. Full set list and some addition pictures below.

Set List: Buddy Holly, Beverly Hills, Pork and Beans, Undone – The Sweater Song, Hash Pipe, Perfect Situation, My Name Is Jonas, El Scorcho, In The Garage, The Good Life, Happy Together/Longview(The Turtles/Green Day), Keep Fishin’, Island In The Sun, Take On Me(a-ha), Burndt Jamb, (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To, Feels Like Summer, Africa (Toto)

Encore: Surf Wax America, Say It Ain’t So.

Slayer: FivePoint Amphitheatre – Irvine, CA – 5/11/18


Thrash metal legends Slayer recently announced that after over 35 years of making music, the band would embark on their farewell tour. To make sure that they went out with a bang, Slayer brought with them on tour some of the biggest bands in metal. It included Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament. The second stop on the tour was the newly built FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California. SoCal was so ready for this show that it sold out just  days after tickets went on sale. Even on this rainy day, fans still packed the venue early on. I missed Testament due to the usual nightmare that is Southern California traffic, but luckily I made it in time for the mighty Behemoth.


Behemoth are a blackened death metal band from Poland. They are currently riding on the success from their 2014 release The Satanist which earned the #1 spot on Loudwire’s 2014 metal albums of the year. Behemoth is now cooking up new music which we will hear very soon. Behemoth came out to the sold out audience and started the show with Ov fire and the Void. Right away, you can feel the evil in the band’s music and it gave you a feeling of discomfort, yet made you headbang and raise your horns to the music. Frontman Nergal always has a way with words when interacting with the audience and announcing the next song. To introduce the second song, Nergal said to the audience, “Let us rejoice, my brethren, for God is no more. This is Demigod!” and so the second song was Demigod from Behemoth‘s famed album, Demigod. One of the highlights of the show was when Behemoth announced their upcoming album which has yet to have any info on it, but Behemoth still gave the audience a taste of new music and played a brand new track, Wolves ov Siberia. Behemoth‘s set came to an end when they played O Father O Satan O Sun!, the final track from their album, The Satanist. The song seems to be over when all the band members leave, then they come back out for the ending of the song wearing the horned masks as seen on their music for Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel. A powerful set by this fine metal band and the show was still getting warmed up.


If you’re a Slayer fan, chances are you are also a fan of thrash metal veterans, Anthrax. Alongside Slayer, Anthrax are part of the “Big 4” of thrash metal (Megadeth and Metallica being the other two). Anthrax released their newest album For All Kings in 2016. With lots of fans in the audience, Anthrax was ready to tear it up. Anthrax started the show with the always satisfying Caught in a Mosh as guitarist Scott Ian started the familiar guitar intro to the song. The song was written specifically for people in the mosh pit so naturally, a mosh pit formed right away and even crowd surfers started to make their way to the front. Thrash metal is some of the best music to see live as it always makes for crazy crowds. Anthrax proved this as they continued their thrash assault with their most popular hit, Madhouse. A song that’s super fun to sing along to, yet always makes for some insane mosh pits. Anthrax went on to play some classics like I Am the Law, Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.), and Antisocial. Anthrax never had a dull moment in their show so when it came to the end, singer Joey Belladonna asked for a huge mosh pit as they played Indians. A great way to end their set and make way for the next band.


Lamb of God are a metal band from Richmond, Virginia. On May 18, 2018, Lamb of God released a new album under their previous band name, Burn the Priest. The album’s name is Legion: XX and is an album with punk covers. The lights went out and the audience cheered as the intro vocal track for Omerta started. The band made their way to the stage and started Omerta. By this time, rain had started to descend upon the sold out audience and with the venue being outdoor, it made it difficult to withstand the rain as fans tried to shield themselves from the rain. Frontman Randy Blythe always makes sure to interact with the fans as he would talk to them and make sure everyone is having a good time. Lamb of God next played one of their popular hits Ruin followed by a song from their previous album, 512. Blythe offered the audience to take a walk with him in hell, so Lamb of God next played Walk With Me in Hell, one of their most popular songs and always drives the mosh pits wild. It was during halfway through the song when Blythe brought the song to a halt when he noticed that a fan was injured in the mosh pit. He had people move out of the way so EMT’s could get to the injured fan. What a guy. After about ten minutes, Lamb of God continued the song. Nearing the end of the show, Lamb of God played their most popular song Laid to Rest which drove the fans even crazier and has fans singing along. To end their set, Lamb of God played their Grammy-nominated song, Redneck. Blythe asked for the biggest mosh of the night and so the audience gave him just that. A wild ending for Lamb of God and still the main band of the night has yet to come on.


Kings of thrash metal Slayer are undoubtedly one of the most important metal bands of all time. The majority of bands that have come out within the last 25 years or so can say that they have been influenced by Slayer. The rain was still in effect, but that wasn’t stopping fans from having a good time. Even before Slayer came on stage, the fans were eagerly chanting, “Slayer! Slayer! Slayer!” as any Slayer audience should. The intro track Delusions of Saviour started and the stage came to life as fire started to engulf the stage, including Slayer‘s eagle logo. The band made their way to the stage and started with Repentless, the first track from their newest 2015 album, Repentless. Right away, you could feel 35+ years of thrash metal come to life as Slayer unleashed hell on the fully-packed venue. Mosh pits formed and crowd surfers kept coming. Their song Disciple is a live staple as fans love singing along to “God Hates Us All! God Hates Us All!”. All four bands members were on fire that night. Literally. As the band played, the pyro behind the stage would go off to match the rhythm of the song. Pyro makes everything better. Slayer blasted through many classic from throughout their career which included Mandatory Suicide, Black Magic, Postmortem, and Blood Red. Frontman Tom Araya took a quick break to talk to audience. He asked, “you guys wanna say WAR with me!?” the audience cheered in agreement. He asked, “are you ready!?” and the crowd cheered some more. Araya let out a powerful “WAAAAARRRRRR” along with audience as Slayer played one of their best songs, War Ensemble. Oh, how the pits went wild. Slayer dug deep into their catalog and played more old school classics like Hell Awaits, Seasons in the Abyss, and Dead Skin Mask. Slayer played South of Heaven signaling that the show was near its end. As the song ended, the band members huddled around drummer Paul Bostaph as he drummed the familiar drum pattern to their most famous song and one of the greatest songs in metal, Raining Blood. Whether you like Slayer or not, you have heard Raining Blood. Slayer played Raining Blood and everyone was seen headbanging, raising their horns, and even multiple mosh pit had broken out on the floor. Metal truly brings people together. Chemical Warfare was next and kept up the energy that Slayer had going all night. The show had come to an end and so Slayer played one of their most popular hits, Angel of Death. Araya let out one of the most infamous screams in metal which is how the song is played and is satisfying to have the scream piercing your ears. Slayer wrapped up their show and came out front and center stage to thank the audience for coming out. Araya held an intimate speech with the audience thanking them for all the years of support, “if it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be here. Thank you and goodnight”. Slayer walked off stage as a sense of gloom covered the venue with many fans knowing that they had seen the thrash metal legends most likely for the final time.







Lamb of God



John 5: Discovery Ventura – Ventura, Ca 4/11/18

Guitar extraordinaire John 5 released his first live album It’s Alive on January 25th, 2018.  He is currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie and was also a longtime guitarist for Marilyn Manson. When he’s not touring with Rob Zombie, John 5 focuses on his solo albums. He has released eight solo albums with the most recent one being Season of the Witch. All of John 5‘s albums are instrumental and have no vocals so he lets his guitar work do all the talking. With the release of his live album, John 5 was once again ready to set out on the road in support of his most recent releases. On this day, John 5 made a stop in Ventura, California at the Discovery bowling alley. Ventura County made him proud as the venue was packed even on a Wednesday night.
John 5 had the stage setup with a screen showing classic horror/monster movie segments playing backwards and blow up carnival entrances. John 5‘s bandmates made their way to the stage with John 5 being the last one to come out and immediately started the show with Flight of the Vulcan Kelly from his 2014 album, Careful With That Axe. John 5 would immediately show his musicianship by swiftly and flawlessly playing his guitar exactly to the album. The first stage prop you notice is how he has a mouth piece that blinks and changes colors. After the second song, he would toss the mouth piece into the audience for a lucky fan to have. The second song played was Here’s to the Crazy Ones from his most recent album, Season of the Witch. Watching John 5 play his guitar is a thing of beauty that can best be described as something you have to go and see for yourself. The third song played was one of his more popular songs, This Is My Rifle. Every song John 5 plays sounds different so you never know what he will bring out next and is always a pleasant surprise. At one point, John 5 wore one of his own masks of his face paint while performing. A man dressed as an evil clown came up behind him and ripped the mask off John 5‘s face only to reveal a second mask in the form of flesh looking as if John 5‘s face had been ripped off. Another one of his props was when a man dressed as a little girl came up to John 5 and handed him a doll. John 5 used this to his advantage and ended up using the doll as a guitar pick to play his guitar. John 5 would go on to entertain his audience by playing songs from his recent album releases which included a cover of Enter Sandman by Metallica, Hell Haw I.G.R., Season of the Witch, and Portrait of Sydney Sloan. One of the more fun songs played live was The Black Grass Plague. In this song, for the solos, John 5 brings out a miniature Fender guitar which brought great laughs and entertainment to the audience. The second instrument for the solo was a banjo and it drove the fans wild as they cheered. John 5 made note that there would be special guests for this show as some of the stops on his tour had different guests. The first guest to come out was Sebastian Bach most famously known for being the singer for 80’s glam metal band, Skid Row. They performed covers of Parasite (KISS) and Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue). John 5 would reveal another special unannounced guest and it turned out to be Stephen Pearcy most famously known for being the singer for 80’s glam metal band, Ratt. John 5 showed how excited he was to have two influential musicians share the stage with him as he smiled throughout their cover of Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (Van Halen). John 5 would close out the show by performing a medley of covers of classic rock and heavy metal songs. To go with the medley, John 5 brought out a guitar that shot out lasers and even asked for the lights to be turned off to show the full effect. John 5 finished the show and the crowd cheered for him as he left the stage.


In This Moment: Riverside Municipal Auditorium – Riverside, Ca 10/25/17

In This Moment is a metal band from Los Angeles, California. On July 21, 2017, the band released their sixth album, Ritual. Just the day before, In This Moment was part of the Loudwire 2017 Music Awards where they received an award from the Century Media record label for their fourth record Blood which was now certified gold after reaching more than 500,000 in record sales. In This Moment is currently out in support for the new album and announced a tour which saw support from Of Mice and Men and Swedish melodic death metal band, Avatar. One of the stops was the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, California and their legion of fans were ecstatic to see In This Moment.

The lights went out and the fans went into a frenzy as the curtains opened to reveal all the band members in place ready to get the show started as they opened with one of their most popular tracks, Blood. Singer Maria Brink was at the center of the stage standing on a platform with two of her dancers known as the Blood Girls who wore masks the whole time. The band has a very energetic stage presence filled with head banging, dancing, and lots of smoke. The next track played was a song from the new album titled, River of Fire. Next was Adrenalize and it had the fans singing along while Brink gracefully head banged too and danced along with her Blood Girls. In This Moment is known for their use of costumes and theatrics on stage. you could think of Brink as a cross between Lady Gaga and Rob Zombie with the amount of costume changes she has during the band’s performance. The song Burn was perhaps was one of the best songs of the night as Brink was center stage and when it came to singing the chorus, she would raised the cloths above her head almost looking like she had wings and was covered and red lighting to add effect of being on fire. The lights went out once again and when they came on, all the members were absent from the stage except for Brink who was now on the platform center stage with a keyboard while smoke covered the stage and was being blown in Brink’s direction by fans and gave the song a beautiful sight to be seen as she started to play the last song from the new album, Lay Your Gun Down. A very touching moment when Brink asked the fans to light her up by using their cellphone’s flashlights. Next, Brink to the opportunity to introduce her band mates one by one including guitarist Chris Howorth who is the co-founder of the band including with Brink. She let them loose as the band instrumentally performed two medley covers from Metallica which were For Whom the Bell Tolls and Creeping Death. The band members also exited the stage and left drummer Kent Diimmel, the band’s newest member, to entertain the fans with a blistering drum solo. The band came back out to perform another new song, Black Wedding. On the album, the song is a duet which features Rob Halford from British heavy metal legends, Judas Priest. The stage went dark again as Brink once again came out with her mermaid outfit to do a melancholy cover of Phil CollinsIn The Air Tonight. Nearing the end of the show, In This Moment played Sick Like Me, the first single from their previous Black Widow album. Brink would come out in a black dress and black hat with long yellow nails on her hand resembling the legs of a black widow spider.

To end the show, In This Moment played the first single from their new album, Oh Lord, which is the band’s highest charting single to date, peaking at #6 on the Top Mainstream Rock Charts. The band finished the song, then left the stage. After a little while, A big podium appeared on stage as the band members started to make their way back on stage with Brink taking her place at the top of the podium with a ruler in hand and wearing a dunce cap with the word “WHORE” written on it. Brink talked to the audience how when she was just a girl, she was always made fun of, mistreated, and made feel worthless. The finale of the show was Whore and it was specifically written to those that are suffering and finding our power and taking a stand. Red and white balloons came down from the ceiling and filled he floor. The song ended and the fans kept on cheering. all the people involved for the show came out and bowed to the audience then left the stage for the final time.



Gojira and Oni: Ventura Theater – Ventura, Ca 8/2/17

French progressive metal band Gojira released their newest album Magma in 2016. Since then, they have been actively touring for the album. On this tour, they made a surprise stop in Ventura County in Southern California.  On this tour, they brought with them Oni and Pallbearer. Even when Oni came on stage, the venue was just under halfway full since it was a Wednesday.

Oni came out and started delivering their signature progressive metal sound that made them who they are. With guitarists Brandon White and Martin Andres doing twin lead guitar solos and finger-tapping giving their music a very interesting sound. Another very distinct sound they had to their music was the use of a xylophone/xylosynth from John DeAngelis. The way their music blends, it’s something you have to hear to believe. The music a long with the energetic performance made Oni for a great opening band. Since they were the opening band, they had a rather short set and it seemes to be over just as soon as they had started. Regardless, the audience enjoyed Oni which is what matters in the end.

 Gojira was the highlight of the night with the venue’s bottom floor packed. The stage was already set up with an amazing display of lights and fog cannons. The lights went out and drummer Mario Duplantier went on stage to his drum kit and started the intro to Only Pain from the new album and the rest of the band members came out to play the song. The crowd went wild as fog cannons shot out fog towards the crowd and Gojira played the opening song with precision to the album including the band’s signature pick-squeal sound which sounds like a “chewww” every time guitarist and frontman Joe Duplantier did his pick slide on his guitar. The band immediately got a huge response from a loud audience as well as a mosh pit forming right away right on front of the band. The Heaviest Matter of the Universe was next from their famed From Mars to Sirius album and it proved to be a fast and heavy track with Duplantier’s powerful screaming vocals. Gojira brought out some more new tunes from the newest Magma album and so they played new tracks like Stranded, The Cell, and Silvera which was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. Gojira couldn’t possible forget about their classic catalog of songs so of course they had to play something for the old school fans. The fans went nuts when Duplantier played the familiar intro to the band’s most famous song, Flying Whales. The pits went crazy and fans sang along to the song. Gojira played another hit Toxic Garbage Island further showcasing their lyrics about the environment, life, death, and nature. After the song, brothers Joe and Mario Duplantier displayed their musicianship by switching instruments for a quick jam. Gojira played Oroborus and left the stage. All the lights were off, but the crowd didn’t seem to budge and chanted the band’s name. Surely enough, Gojira came back out and performed the first encore, Vacuity. Gojira talked a little bit about being a support act for Metallica on their current tour and even played snippets of Metallica songs. Now that it was time for the show to come to an end, Gojira performed a special song. They played a cover of Territory originally by Brazilian thrash metal band, Sepultura. The audience went wild with a huge mosh pit forming on the floor. Gojira wrapped up the show and thanked the audience for coming out before leaving the stage for the final time.






Meat Puppets w/ Mike Watt + The Jom & Terry Show and Grant Hart – Brooklyn Bowl 05/10/2017

Meat Puppets, Mike Watt + The Jom & Terry Show w/ Special Guest Grant Hart

Brooklyn Bowl – 05/10/2017

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks

In 1985 label mates at SST Records embarked on the road in what was dubbed “The Tour” and it featured the likes of Husker Du, the Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Saccharine Trust, and SWA. Fast forward to 2017 and we have some of the ol’ gang hitting the road together again as The Meat Puppets have embarked on ‘The Tour Tour Two’ co-headlining dates with Mike Watt (Minutemen) + The Jom & Terry Show. Not only that, but a handful of dates here on the East Coast feature Grant Hart (From Husker Du) as a special guest opener. We’re at the Brooklyn Bowl for this one, which in case you’ve missed it, is a active bowling alley/concert venue hybrid and it’s the best thing to hit Williamsburg since IPA or CitiBike docking stations.

If you’re a fan of unique personalities, I’d like to introduce you to my new close and personal friend Grant Hart. Hanging around the venue incognito before he opened his set at 8PM with a booming Colorado. Real cool dude and as later discovered, nice enough to autograph stuff for fans who asked during the night. His set was about a half hour of glorioussness. You’re the Reflection of The Moon on The Water” is off 2009’s Hot Wax before the token Husker Du track Never Talking To You Again got resounding cheers. Or maybe it was someone rolling a strike at one of the lanes. Those folks seemed jacked to knock over pins with a ball. Two people behind me were talking to each other during the set. Overheard: “This guy, maybe he’s famous? A lot of people watching.” Yeah, he’s famous. As he said after the set “yeah man we worked hard back in the day on all this stuff so people can have our songs as their fucking ringtone.” Fantastic set.

Also, right before ducking off. Grant said something: “Home of the brave, not home of the chicken shit! We gotta do something man. Let’s shut the mother fucker down!” Damn right Grant, damn right. #Resist

Mike Watt has been bringing his Pedro twang to the scene since the 80s. He’s been in so many bands, so many different projects and is integral to every one of them. A set of assorted covers would blast out our eardrums over the next hour.

Tonight Mike Watt is with the Jom & Terry Show, comprised of Tom Watson on guitar and Jerry Trebotic. Need to be good to keep up with the pluckin’ and peddlin’ of Watt and these dudes are up for the task. Portions of the night had me in awe of Tom Watson’s guitar expertise.

Songs were running into each other without pause at times, like the notion of playing 48 songs in 43 minutes wasn’t so far out of the realm. Some songs contained long break downs at the end where Watt would run wild with the bass. Incredible vibes flowing through the Brooklyn Bowl on this night. Right after he said goodnight Mike Watt screamed out “John Coltrane!!!” then put his yellow backpack back on and headed off stage. Perfect.

The Meat Puppets had a little extra kick in their step tonight as they hit the stage at 10:15. Maybe it’s playing with old friends, maybe it’s the vibe of Williamsburg fueling the fire on stage. Legends to put it lightly, this is personally my 19th time seeing the sun scored desert rockers.

That said, it was exciting to hear a couple songs that haven’t been busted out most of those times. When Flaming Heart hit, it was so hard to contain squeals of excitement. They sang the harmonies on the chorus differently than the version found on Too High To Die, more low key. It was delightful.

Sam, Coming Down, Oh Me and Plateau had preceded. The Meat Puppets Facebook page had a live video going for the evening’s opener of Sam. How cool is that? And what do the comments read on that video? Well, they critique the abilities of the person taking said live video. The direct reason we can’t have nice things. Sidenote: I envy Cris Kirkwood’s beard.

The last time I saw The Meat Puppets play Severed Goddess Hand live, to my knowledge (fact-checking encouraged) was back in 2008 when they opened for Build To Spill with Dinosaur Jr sandwiched between them. The grainy pictures from my blackberry make me sick to this day. Sick in a different way was yet another gem from one of my favorite records of theirs.

Not exactly the same as the version that Metallica plays, Whiskey In The Jar is always a fun time live.

Mockin’ Bird Hill was the two minute break from the ear-shredding that we all needed. Sweet little diddy and gave everyone a chance to catch their breath. This calm in the air would only last one minute and forty four seconds.

ATTACKED BY MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!! How awesome!? It’s a freaking headbanger full of fuzzy guitar genius. Only time I’ve seen them do it is 2009. This was sick. Upset this isn’t one of the songs they chose to extended jam on, but the night isn’t over.

Up on The Sun had to have clocked in at over 10 minutes. It can’t be said enough about the Meat Puppets. It’s a trip you take. These mid-song space jams, it’s like being elevated into some sort of craft and you return to earth when they come back into the song eventually. They always come back. Curt didn’t pull out the slide til late in the evening. The Brooklyn Bowl got smoked by the old guard of SST tonight. And it was phenomenal.


Coming down

Oh, me


Flaming heart


Severed Goddess Hand

Monkey And The Snake

Mockin’ Bird Hill

Whiskey In The jar

I’m ragged but I’m right

Touchdown king

Seal Whales

Lake of fire

Attacked by Monsters

Up on The Sun

Encore: Climbing


Mac Sabbath, Metalachi, Krammpstein, Okilly Dokilly: 4/8/17

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.


Okilly Dokilly:






Mac Sabbath:

Metal Allegiance: Grove of Anaheim – Anaheim, Ca – 1/20/17

The Metal Allegiance is a special show where musicians from different bands all gathered to pay tribute to fallen musicians from the last couple of decades. Some of the musicians included in this group include: Chuck Billy (Testament), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), WWE Superstar Chris Jericho (Fozzy), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/Avenged Sevenfold), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer), and Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs). On August 2016, Metal Allegiance released an EP titled Fallen Heroes and included three cover songs. Metal Allegiance announced a show at the Grove of Anaheim and it was all put together by Mark Menghi (plays the red bass). For this special show, the opening acts were chosen to be Martyrd, Gus G (Firewind/Ozzy Osbourne), and ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman. Even early on, the venue was packed with metal fanatics just waiting to see what surprises awaited them. The show was even live-streamed via metal publication site, Loudwire.

Marty Friedman made his mark on the metal world as the former guitarist for thrash metal legends Megadeth from 1990 until his departure in 2000. He has released 12 studio solo albums including his newest Inferno album in 2014. In 2015, after living in Japan for many years, Friedman made his very long-awaited return to the USA with a solo tour. Now in 2017, he looks to continue to tour the USA after a successful run the first time. Friedman came out with his band to an already packed venue and they received a very welcoming applause and cheers. Friedman’s band is unique in that it’s strictly instrumental with no vocals. Friedman lets his guitar work do all the talking which is more than enough to keep the audience entertained. Bassist Kiyoshi would slap the bass guitar with great technique and an almost funk-like sound. The drummer was absolute madman as he pounded away at every opportunity making faces and having lots of fun on stage. Friedman played a variety of songs from his huge catalog of music. His setlist included songs from his solo albums such as Elixir, Devil Take Tomorrow, and Forbidden City. He also played a special snippet from Megadeth’s Tornado of Souls which of course drove metalheads wild to hear the solo performed by the original guitarist.  With a short set, Friedman played as much as he could, yet left the crowd in awe with his amazing guitar skills.

Metal Allegiance started with a quick intro about the project before the first batch of musicians came out and started the show with Pledge of Allegiance. Phil Demmel from Machine Head stayed on guitar duty the whole night while joined by other rotating guitarists. Can’t Kill the Devil was next and let Chuck Billy handle the vocals while joined by his Testament bandmate, Alex Skolnick. For the rest of the show, it was time to bring out the covers of songs that the musicians had worked so hard on just for this show. The first cover was Suffrage City by David Bowie. Mark Osegueda made note that they wouldn’t be covering just metal songs so it was a nice twist to hear non-metal songs being performed. One very special guest for the show was Ray Burton and he’s the father of the late original bassist for Metallica. He was getting ready to celebrate his 91st birthday in a couple of weeks and so the band brought out two cakes for him and the audience sang Happy Birthday to him. To celebrate the life of the late and great Randy Rhoades, Chris Jericho came out to sing vocals for the cover of Ozzy Osbourne‘s I Don’t Know. Other covers included in this crazy night were War Ensemble (Slayer), 5 Minutes Alone (Pantera), Stone Cold Crazy (Queen), and Bonded By Blood (Exodus). Metal Allegiance founder Mark Menghi came out to talk about how Cliff Burton from Metallica is the reason why he started playing bass and on this night, Ray Burton allowed Menghi to use Cliff’s personal black bass guitar while he and the rest of the band performed a cover of Metallica‘s Disposable Heroes. Megadeth bassist David Ellefson spoke to the crowd talking about how he still remembers original Megadeth drummer Gar Samuelson and how he still feels sad about receiving the phone call on May 2016 that another former Megadeth bandmate of his Nick Menza had passed away after suffering heart failure. To celebrate both of their lives, Ellefson, along with the rest of Metal Allegiance, played the intro to Rust In Peace…Polaris and then jumped into Megadeth‘s most famous song, Peace Sells. Other musicians that joined Metal Allegiance were Mike Inez of Alice In Chains performing We Die Young and Mikkey Dee of Motorhead performing Iron Fist. Deep Purple‘s Space Truckin’ made for the near end of the show celebrating the life of Jon Lord. The show was getting ready to come to an end and of course you can’t forget about one of the greatest voices in metal, Ronnie James Dio. Dio drummer Vinny Appice came out to join Metal Allegiance for a cover of Dio‘s We Rock because that’s what the band was doing. Rocking their hearts out. To bring the show to a close, Metallica‘s Seek and Destroy would serve as the show’s finisher and for this occasion, every musician involved, even the opening bands, came out to jam for this song and seeing all the talent playing together was truly a moment that could only be felt by those that were there or were watching live. The show was set to end at 12:15 a.m., yet the party kept going until the venue’s curfew at 1.a.m. That’s when you know the show was good.


Marty Friedman

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Metal Allegiance

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Korn, Rob Zombie, In This Moment: Irvine Meadows – Irvine, Ca – 7/24/16

The Return of the Dreads tour made it’s way to Southern California compared to the last time this tour took place in 2013. The tour features nu-metal giants KoRn, horror mastermind Rob Zombie, and metalcore band In This Moment. A huge package like this requires a big venue. So, the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater which is soon to be demolished was picked for this monstrous show. After putting up with some of the worst traffic venue, far parking, and packed lines to get in, fans were finally able to walk into the venue and pack it early to be sure all three bands got the attention they deserved.

In This Moment kicked off the show as their started the show with with the first single from their newest Black Widow album, Sick Like Me. ITM is known for their stage theatrics so it was no shock to see frontwoman Maria Brink came out in a black dress and being accompanied by two dancers known as blood girls. Up next was the album title track, Black Widow. Brink had changed her outfit to that of a nurse and her blood girls were now dancing with huge syringes. The third song was Sex Metal Barbie and a big pink judge seat was set for Brink to stand on while performing the song. The show continued with Burn and then a quick costume change as Brink came out wearing a dunce hat with the word Whore written on it as she prepared to perform Whore which is one of Brink’s more personally written songs about how when she was younger she would be called worthless and shit. The six-song setlist came to a close with Blood from the previous album of the same name. In This Moment finished their set and did a good job of warming up the fans for what was still to come. The only downside to the show was the long breaks in-between songs during costume changes. Other than that, In This Moment puts on a solid show and made for a great opening act.

Rob Zombie released his sixth solo album The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser (try saying that five times fast!) on April 29th, 2016. Many fans in attendance were excited for Rob Zombie. So by the time the band came on, the venue was packed to capacity. The lights went out as the intro track to the new album The Last of the Demons Defeated started. The members of the band came out one by one as the fans cheered them on. Guitarist John 5 came out with a mouth piece that lit up in different colors while bassist Piggy D wore an intergalactic space vampire mask. Rob Zombie himself came out and they started the show with Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown from the previous Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor album. The second song was one of Zombie’s best songs, Superbeast. It being super popular, fans could be heard singing along to the song. With the song came out a huge remote-controlled devil to add to the intensity of the song.


Zombie did a great job of playing the classic like Living Dead Girl, Never Gonna Stop, and House of 1000 Corpses. Zombie even brought out a couple of White Zombie covers like Thunder Kiss ’65 and More Human Than Human. New songs also made an appearance and everyone danced to songs like Everybody’s Fucking In A U.F.O, The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore and In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High. The band threw a bit of humor into their show by playing a cover of Tone-Loc‘s Wild Thing which got everyone dancing. John 5 is one of today’s most underrated guitarists and for a few minutes, let his guitar do the talking as he kept the crowd entertained with an electrifying guitar solo. Near the end of the show, John 5 did a John Stafford Smith cover of the Star-Spangled Banner as the rest of the band came out to play the final song, a cover of Grand Funk Railroad‘s We’re An American Band. The show was thought to be over, but the screens in the background lit up to reveal the trailer for Rob Zombie’s upcoming movie titled 31 which gets a release date somewhere in September. The trailer finished and to end the show, Rob Zombie played his most famous song, Dragula. Rob Zombie finished the show to a standing ovation from the audience then left the stage for the co-headliner of the night.


KoRn is one of the most popular bands out right now. Love them or hate them, you cannot deny their success in the music industry. The venue was still packed to max capacity as the lights went out and the venue once again erupted into a frenzy as Korn came out and started the show with Right Now. The energy was electrifying as Korn played their music. Korn next played their hit Here to Stay. Korn has made note that they have a new album coming out on October 21st and on this tour are playing the first single from it called Rotting in Vain. All the band members were very active and energetic. With the name of the tour being Return of the Dreads, it was no surprise seeing guitarist Brian “Head” Welch and frontman Jonathan Davis whipping their hair and dreads around. Other songs that Korn brought out to play were Y’All Want a Single, Coming Undone, Twist, and Narcissistic Cannibal. Even for a few songs, Korn let their kids join them on stage as they ran and jumped around.


The stage went silent for a bit and then the crowd cheered as they saw Davis come out playing his bagpipes. Fans knew what was coming and so Korn played another one of their biggest hits, Shoots and Ladders. To make the song extra special, Korn played a snippet of Metallica‘s One and fans could be seen singing along and headbanging. Blind is one of the band’s biggest hits and is especially famous for when the singing starts, Davis starts by saying “Are you ready!?!?” and the beat of the song starts and has the whole crowd jumping as well as mosh pits down below in the general admission pit.


Nearing the end of the show, Korn played Falling Away From Me, another one of their biggest hits. The show sadly came to an end when Korn played one of the most famous songs in metal, Freak On a Leash. It’s always awesome seeing Davis do his beatbox track in the middle of the song which is what made the song famous. The band finished the song and were given a strong standing ovation by the audience. The Return of the Dreads tour is one of the best tours of the year and it’s still in the beginning stages so if you see that they’re coming near you, be sure to go. You will not be disappointed!


In This Moment

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Metalachi and Mac Sabbath: The Observatory – Santa Ana, Ca 7/9/16


Metalachi and Mac Sabbath are currently two of the best cover/parody bands around. So what’s better than seeing each band on their own show? How about back to back at a good-sized venue? That’s right. These two popular bands got together for a night of debauchery, mariachi, and fast food deliciousness. One might think how bands like these play out their music. Well, if curiosity has gotten the best of you, then read on and venture into their world. The Observatory in Santa Ana, California was packed and not ready for what they were about to witness.


Metalachi is the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band. The band consists of members: Vega De La Rockha (vocals), El Cucuy (trumpet), Kyla Vera (violin), Paco Halen (guitar), and El Nacho Picante (bass). They hail from Juarez, Mexico and Hollywood, California. They specialize in playing covers of popular rock and metal songs using their mariachi instruments. If this sounds unusual, a quick YouTube search (or watch video below) will answer any and all questions you have. The first thing that people noticed is how their mic stand were covered with women’s bras from past shows. That’s a sign how rowdy their crowd can be. Metalachi came onstage to a huge cheer from the crowd as many of them were already familiar with them. Metalachi started their show with Ozzy Osbourne‘s Crazy Train. The way Metalachi plays their instruments is on point as to how the original song sounds. It takes a bit of getting used to, but you’ll immediately get into it and start tapping your foot or maybe even dancing. Motorhead‘s Ace of Spades also made an appearance and could get you jumping at the sound of Cucuy’s trumpet.



In between songs, Metalachi would talk to the audience as well as talk smack to each other and of course exchange stories about their past whether it’s personal or sexual and always gets the audience laughing to be sure they’re having a good time. Other songs performed included Quiet Riot‘s Bang Your Head (Metal Stealth) and Guns N’ RosesSweet Child o’ Mine. After member introductions, De La Rockha dedicated this next song to all the cougars in the audience. Halen placed himself on the front of the stage and played the intro to Van Halen‘s Hot For Teacher. In the middle of the song, De La Rockha would ask Cucuy if he did his homework. Cucuy would say no and say looks like he’s got detention again. All to see his former teacher Ms. Mendoza whom he was fond of due to her big chichis. Metalachi next played a medley of Journey covers and they started with Separate Ways (Worlds Apart). Nacho Picante was usually in the back playing his base, but it was his turn to shine as he came to the front of the stage to perform a little dance for the women in the audience and displayed his singing voice as he did the Journey cover of Open Arms. The rest of the band followed as they finished the medley with Don’t Stop Believin’. Kyla Vera is the newest member of the band and she also got her chance to shine on stage as she displayed her shredding violin skills and played her own medley of songs which included Iron Maiden‘s The Trooper. The show was coming close to an end and the band played their Metallica medley which were Master of Puppets, Nothing Else Matters, and Enter Sandman. To finish up the show, Metalachi played their cover of Slayer‘s Raining Blood and boy was it satisfying to have one of the greatest metal songs of all time being played in mariachi style. The band finished up and left the stage to make room for the headliner of the night.

When you first hear the band name Mac Sabbath, chances are the band is exactly what you think it is. They are a McDonald’s-themed Black Sabbath tribute band. The member of the band dress as McDonald’s characters, yet retain a bit of a rocker look. The members consist of: Ronald Osbourne (vocals), Slayer MacCheez (guitar), Grimalice (bass) and the Catburglar (drums). This ain’t no value meal though. To stay true to a Black Sabbath-turned-junk food band, Mac Sabbath would change the Black Sabbath song titles to match fast food references and change the lyrics to a more comedic feel. The stage was hidden behind a red and yellow curtain and all that could be seen were these two Ronald heads that would spit out fog during the show. The lights went out  and the crowd once again cheered as the curtain came down and Mac Sabbath started the show with More Ribs (parody of War Pigs). To anyone that’s familiar with Black Sabbath, you’ll see first hand that Mac Sabbath sounds exactly like Black Sabbath when playing their instruments. Ronald Osbourne would come out in a strait-jacket as he sang the lyrics to the song in War Pigs style, but with the band’s own parody lyrics. Something you’ll notice is how Osbourne literally took Ozzy Osbourne’s stage personality and put it in himself as if he was Ozzy himself. From his method of talking to his laugh and stage tricks.


Up next was Chicken For the Slaves (Children of the Grave) and Sweet Beef (Sweet Leaf). Keeping up with the fast food theme, Osbourne would regularly bring out items from his grill which was right in front of him and the items included chicken nuggets and beef patties. Halfway through the show, Mac Sabbath brought out El Cucuy from Metalachi to do a quick duet and have Cucuy play his trumpet while Osbourne put on a bull fight with Slayer MacCheeze using his red cloth. Mac Sabbath continued their fast food madness with tracks like N.I.B.B.L.E. (N.I.B), Brand of Doom (Hand of Doom), Organic Funeral (Electric Funeral) and Lord of the Swirled (Lord of This World). Osbourne seemed to have limitless amounts of tricks up his sleeve as he pulled out a giant straw from his crotch and watered fans with ketchup and mustard bottles. Mac Sabbath was close to finishing the show as Catburglar played the familiar bass drumming to Black Sabbath‘s Iron Man, except changed the title to Frying Pan. So it was interesting to hear the beginning of the song, “I am Frying Paaan!”. Osbourne had a frying pan in his possession and set it on fire as if cooking. Fans thought the show was over until Osbourne came back out saying that fans want the show to be super sized and so played one more song which was Pair-A-Buns (Paranoid). Fans got the chance to mosh pit to this song just as they had been moshing for most of the set.


Mac Sabbath finished up the show and left the stage as their fans were surely hungry from all the food imagery. Metalachi and Mac Sabbath are more than entertaining bands and should definitely be seen on their shows for a guaranteed night of fun and laughter. If either or both of these bands have caught your attention, keep an eye out on their Facebook pages because both bands are asking fans if turning this into a full tour would be something fans would want. Tacos and burgers all day!

Mac Sabbath:


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Steel Panther: Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, California 1/7/16

Steel Panther has been making themselves widely known these past couple of years. The release of their third album All You Can Eat has raised them in popularity to where you’ve heard their name, but may not be familiar with their music. Steel Panther is a glam metal band whom are known for their profane and humorous lyrics involving drugs, sex, women, celebrities, and hookers. All in true 1980’s lifestyle. It might sound a bit odd to have lyrical things like that, but if you have a sense of humor and enjoy comedic music, this is a band to listen to for plenty of laugh out loud moments. Steel Panther has been making the world-famous House of Blues on the Sunset Strip their home for the past few years and since recently the venue was closed down, the band was forced to find a new home. For now, they settled on the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. To start things off, they announced one of their Having A Threesome tours at the Fonda for three dates and another three-date stay in Las Vegas. I was there for their debut show at the Fonda and couldn’t wait to see how it would turn out.



The curtains raised from the stage to reveal Steel Panther and fans cheered as they started the show with Eyes of a Panther, a song about having sex with a cougar. Quite the interesting choice to start the show with considering the variety of women in attendance. The second song played was Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) and is one of their best and most hilarious songs with lyrics like, “I know you’re hungry, I can see it in your eyes. ‘Cause you’re lookin’ at me, like I’m a side of fries”.  Fans loved singing along to the chorus, “whoa, whoa, Thar She Blows”. This song is an instant fan-favorite. After that, the band took a break to not only introduce themselves, but also start the first of many of their shenanigans their known for. From talking trash to each other to glorifying each other. While vocalist Michael Starr and guitarist Satchel were going off on each other, bassist Lexxi Foxx took the opportunity to get into his vanity mirror and check himself out and applying more hairspray. Then he came out to the crowd holding his personalized glamoured mirror and looked into it while applying lip gloss. Satchel then turned his attention to Foxx and mentioned that Foxx had just landed a movie role titled 50 Shades of Gay. Jokes like that always have the crowd laughing. The third song was one of their songs about celebrities. This one was called, Just Like Tiger Woods. As you can imagine, it’s a song about the golfer and has lyrics like, “If you wanna be like Tiger Woods, fertilizin’ ladies in the neighborhood”. The next song is another fan-favorite song and that song was Asian Hooker. Just by the name alone, you already know what this song is about. After the song ended, Satchel turned his attention to Foxx to perform his hair solo and grabbed a leaf blower and used it on Foxx like an oversized hair dryer. Party Like It’s the End of the World was the next song and has a dancing and partying feel to it and you could see the crowd dancing, especially the female in attendance that were dancing amongst friends like if they were in a club. The band took a quick break afterwards so Satchel could perform his guitar solo. He made his way to the drum kit and played the bass drum with his foot while he played the guitar parts to songs like: Metallica‘s Master of Puppets, Judas Priest‘s Breaking the Law, Deep Purple‘s Smoke on the Water, and Ozzy Osbourne‘s Crazy Train. 10 Strikes You’re Out was next and is one of the songs on the new album.



One of the band’s favorite things to do and is the best part of the show is to bring up girls to the stage. Starr eyed a woman and based on how large her breasts were, you could see why. Starr and Satchel had her flash her breasts at the crowd which she did and revealed them to already be signed by the band. A stool was brought on stage for her to sit while the band started to play Girl From Oklahoma. Starr encouraged the crowd to sing along to this acoustic song and the fans loved singing the line, “so come on baby pretty baby, suck my balls all night”. Steel Panther let the woman go back down to the crowd while they continued the show. They asked the crowd if any of them remember them when they were just a cover band playing at the Key Club and the Viper Room when they were first starting out and when their popularity started to rise once they started playing the House of Blues. They made note that now they have three albums out, they are no longer a cover band, but that doesn’t mean they can’t play covers. They picked a cover to play and that cover was Whitesnake‘s Here I Go Again. Everyone in the venue was familiar with the song and they could be seen singing along. Now that the show was coming close to a finish, Steel Panther did their favorite thing to do on their shows. They started inviting girls on stage and after a few minutes, the stage was covered from left to right with girls. They played Gloryhole from the new album and is one of the best and funniest songs they have with the lyrics: “I don’t wanna know who’s sucking my dick today. I’m going to the Gloryhole, gonna spend my weekly pay. I’m gonna blow my load at the Gloryhole!”.


For the second to last song, Steel Panther picked another one of their best songs called Community Property and it’s just as awesome being that it has a ballad sound to it. This song is about your heart belonging to your girl and your love being pure and true, but your cock is Community Property. For the grand finale of the show, Steel Panther played their heavy metal anthem, Death to All But Metal! This song talk trash about artists like The Goo Goo Dolls, Britney Spears, and Madonna. They also talk trash in their lyrics saying, “Eminem can suck it, so can Dr. Dre. They can suck each other just because they’re gay”. The song ended as Starr let out a loud yell for the final lyric, “Death to All But Metaaaall!!”. The crowd cheered as Steel Panther left the stage thanking everyone for coming out on a Thursday night and Satchel advised that if anyone had work Friday morning, to not show up. Steel Panther is a fun band to see live and is a guaranteed fun experience. If you see them coming to your town, you should definitely go and see them.


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Knotfest Day 1: San Manuel Amphitheater – San Bernardino, CA 10/24/15


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.

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At the Gates

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Chris Cornell @ Beacon Theater New York City 10/19/2015

Chris Cornell w/ Special Guest Hemming – October 19th 2015

Beacon Theater – New York City

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks

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       A question often floated in my direction is “Well you go to a lot of concerts, what’s the best show you’ve ever been to?” For a while now I’ve been saying the same thing: Chris Cornell Solo Acoustic Songbook tour that I saw at Town Hall a few years back. There, I saw one man with a guitar put on the best show I’ve seen in my short life. It was 1,500 people basically holding their breathe for two hours hanging on every lyric, every chord, every note . It was magic. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that when another show with Chris Cornell doing the solo acoustic thing was announced  I would find myself in the building, but the bigger question was: Can you top the un-top-able?

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Hemming opened the night and treated us to a handful of sweet sultry tunes that would make Ryan Adams wanna cover her entire record. No seriously, he probably will. Then Spin Magazine will hype it up for six weeks before panning it. It’s their style. Anyway about Hemming’s style, well, let’s say she had the whole building feeling feelings before her set was over and I for one was glad I showed up early enough to catch it. She’s from Philly, has a sweet sense of self and some bad ass tunes to go along with it. And Girls + Guitars = Happy Face Emoji.  Can’t find a link to where you can buy Hemming’s record, but like her on Facebook here and stay posted. Highly recommended

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Just a tad after 9 the man of Higher Truth, Chris Cornell hit the stage to a resounding ovation. Some folks here from last night, others like myself lucky enough that a second New York City gig was added to help combat a chilly Monday evening in October. Chris, excited as ever, said that he was gonna mix things up tonight for the peeps who are hitting both shows. First song of the night was Misery Chain as the backing music played as he sang, not reaching for the guitar just yet. Before We Disappear was up next and the Higher Truth track was resonating much more with me while sitting in the Beacon Theater than listening to the song at my house. Can’t Change Me (from 1999’s Euphoria Morning) was another strong effort before Cleaning my Gun, which Cornell claims to have written for Johnny Cash but “Johnny never got around to it.” Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart was another instant classic from Higher Truth.

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See, last time I had the opportunity to see this tour they were using audio from the live shows to record an album. That lead to security being extra tight with the photo and video policy. This tour comes on the heels of the Higher Truth release. So tonight, in the balcony I’m 3 rows from the last one and there’s not a event staffer for miles. Safe to say I hit record on some of my favorites.

Like Fell On Black Days for instance, which was the first huge hit of the night. Besides the people continuously making the entire row get up so they can continue getting drunk, it was nothing short of incredible.

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Chris Cornell’s daughter joined her father on stage to do a version of Redemption Song.

The definition of heart warming-or as the kids might say “Totes Adorbs”-moment right there. Chris wondered aloud afterward about how he was going to top it. Say Hello to Heaven was a good start to topping that.

River of Deceit finished topping that. Mad Season!!!!

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Our first taste of Audioslave music came with Doesn’t Remind me. Back to 99 with Sweet Euphoria before the place exploded for Blow Up The Outside World. The Beacon Theater has got to have some of the greatest sound I’ve experienced. Chris Cornell’s voice reached every corner, every crevice of this joint. Sounded like I was first row. What a fantastic place to catch a concert.  At the same time, we’ve got probably the greatest voice of the last 20 years out here proving why he is that (again) here at the majestic Beacon Theater It was like I was watching a perfect game being pitched. I didn’t want to jinx it  by asking the question to myself: “Is he doing this again?!?”

One came next. Not Metallica’s One and not U2’s One, but actually a hybrid of the two. It’s a rendition he’s been playing since the songbook tour and its extremely cool.

Then we harked back to the wild time known as the 90s and the Singles soundtrack for a glorious Seasons, which was followed by a haunting The Day I Tried to Live.

Rusty Cage followed. My second aborted video due to concert goers just never ever having enough alcohol. Fans tonight in the balcony were disappointing. A lot of whom didn’t arrive til after Hemming (although event info listed an 8PM show time and also noted “please be early”) often shuffled around causing entire rows to have to stand to let them out. Felt like me and a handful of folks in the row behind me were locked in and other folks well, other folks were just not.

Like A Stone Chris dedicated to his mother in law who he says was in attendance this evening. Hunger Strike right around the corner and a the Beatles A Day In The Life closed out our pre-encore Cornell precedings.


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There was a dude on cello kicking ass on a lot of songs tonight.

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Earlier in the evening, before one song was played Chris mentioned a fan that had been screaming “Like Suicide” all night last night and he promised to play it if he didn’t hear that same guy screaming it all night.

Well, specifically for that guy we got ourselves a Like Suicide tonight. The title track from the new record, Higher Truth was the show closer. 11:29 lights on.

100 concerts attended. Damn that’s a lot for a guy who doesn’t have six dollars in his bank account.

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