Fleshgod Apocalypse is a death metal band from Italy. In 2016, they released their fourth album King. On October 2017, their fan base was shocked when the band’s longtime singer/guitarist Tommaso Ricardi exited the band. As a replacement, the band’s drummer Francesco Paoli will return to being the guitarist/vocalist for the band as he was for the band’s early days and first album. Taking over drums for this tour will be David Folchitto from the extrem metal band Stormlord. This would be the band’s first US tour with the current lineup. The lights went out and the violin outro to The Deceit filled the sold out venue. Fleshgod Apocalypse came out and started the show with The Violation and immediately sent the crowd-filled floor into a frenzy with moshing and crowd surfing. Fleshgod Apocalypse seems to only get better with time and their music will make any person headbang and throw their metal horns in the air. Their music was backed up by the haunting operatic voice of Veronica Bordacchini. Paoli’s voice is a force to be reckoned with as he unleashed hell on the sold out crowd. Their setlist consisted of some of their best songs including Healing Through War, The Fool, and The Egoism. The whole band was very energetic with not a single dull moment in their performance. Being one of the opening bands, they had a short set and the final song of the night was their most popular song, The Forsaking. Upon finishing their set, they got a huge standing ovation from the Orange County crowd with fans praising their performance and commenting how amazing they were as it was most likely their first time seeing and hearing the band.
The headlining band for the tour was The Black Dahlia Murder. In 2017, they released their eighth album Nightbringers. The album became the best-selling direct-to-consumer in Metal Blade Records’ history. To celebrate the occasion, The Black Dahlia Murder would perform the album in its entirety on their current tour. The sold out House of Blues was packed to capacity on this hot day and the crowd was more than ready to continue to show their support for one of America’s most popular bands. The lights went out and the fans screamed at the top of their lungs as the members came out and started the show with the first track from the Nightbringers album, Widowmaker. Vocalist Trevor Strnad was the last to come out and once he started the singing, the mosh pits went wild once again with even crowd servers being plentiful during the whole show. The second song was Of God andSerpent, Of Spectre and Snake and it drove the audience just as wild. The Black Dahlia Murder is known to have wild shows and this show was no exception. Strnad’s wicked vocals always drives the audience wild and goes perfectly with the fast guitar work. The album continued with Jars and Kings of the Underworld. The Black DahliaMurder took a quick break from the album to surprise the audience by playing their most popular hit, Whata Horrible Night to Have a Curse. The song got its name from a quote from the 1988 video game CastlevaniaII: Simon’s Quest. The Nightbringers album continued with Catacomb Hecatomb and eventually finished with TheLonely Deceased. Strnad announced that that was the whole Nightbringers album, but they weren’t finished with the show. The show continued with Everything Went Black and the fans continued to make the band proud by giving it their all in the mosh pit despite how hot and sweaty they were. The grand finale of the show was DeathmaskDivine and the crowd went totally berserk. The show came to an end and nothing but smiles were seen among the audience as going to a metal show was the perfect way to spend a Friday night.
The 2017 edition of the Summer Slaughter tour had a variety of metal for everyone’s taste. For the most part, this year primarily had metalcore bands with a few death metal bands higher up on the bill. This year saw the tour being headlined by melodic death metal band The Black Dahlia Murder and just before them were the death metal legends, Dying Fetus. A show like this was perfect for a Saturday and plenty of metalheads showed up to let off some steam as well as catch up with friends and maybe make new ones. Dying Fetus released their newest album Wrong One to Fuck With on June 23, 2017. Plenty of fans were seen sporting the band’s merch so you know they were ready to mosh and get crazy. Dying Fetus came out and started the show with Justifiable Homicide. Right away you can hear the heaviness from the band’s music combined with singer/guitarist John Gallagher’s deep guttural death metal vocals engulfing the audience and venue and of course the fans were already moshing to go with the band’s music. Intentional Manslaughter was next on the setlist and it proved to be just as brutal as the opening track. Subjected to a Beating is one of the band’s more popular’s songs from their previous Reign Supreme album and had the mosh pit going just as wild. The trio has a very energetic stage presence as Gallagher and bassist Sean Beasley exchanged death metal vocals showing their musicianship as they worked together to bring metal to the masses. Dying Fetus continued to unleash death metal as they played brutal tracks such as Fixation on Devastation, Invert the Idols, and the title track from the new album, Wrong Oneto Fuck With. Being that they were a non-headlining band, Dying Fetus had a short set and closed out their show with Killing On Adrenaline. They thanked the audience for coming out and left the stage for the headlining band.
The Black Dahlia Murder was the headlining band for the tour and this was an extra special tour for them because on this tour, they would be performing their third album Nocturnal in its entirety for its tenth anniversary. The lights went out and a background track of crickets chirping filled the venue to match the Nocturnal album. Not too long later, the band members came out and started with the first track from the album, Everything Went Black. The crowd went wild once again with a mosh pit starting and the fast-paced music from TBDM was a great way for fans to enjoy themselves. Up next was the band’s most popular track What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse which got it’s name from a quote from the 1988 video game, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. Frontman Trevor Strnad had the fans shake their fists in the air as the band played one of their most popular hits and plenty of crowd surfers made an appearance. Since the band was playing Nocturnal in its entirety, all the other songs performed were from the album which included Virally Yours, Nocturnal, and Deathmask Divine. The band played the final track from the album titled Warborn, then left the stage. All seemed quiet and dark and the fans chanted the band’s name. Surely enough, TBDM came out for a couple of more songs. The band made note that they were coming out with a new album titled Nightbringers later this year on October 6th. To give the fans a taste of the new album, TBDM played the title track of the new album, Nightbringers. Fans seemed to enjoy the song so they will definitely be looking forward to the new album. TBDM finished with I Will Return, thanked the audience for coming out, then left the stage once again while the fans themselves were left with looks of satisfaction, being tired, and of course, plenty of drunk people.
The Black Dahlia Murder w/ Nile, Skeletonwitch & Hour of Penance 04/05/12
House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better way to spend Good Friday Eve then with a quadruple shot of detuned death metal action. The line for the sold out House of Blues Sunset show wrapped around the block long before the doors opened with fans ready to mosh the night away. Once doors opened, the building buzzed with anticipation as fans slammed beers and discussed which of the night’s artists they were most looking forward to experiencing live.
Hour Of Penance
While the venues website stated that the music was to kick off at 8pm, the evenings first band Hour of Penance actually hit the stage at 7:30pm. Hailing from Italy (Rome to be exact) I know I was not alone in not knowing much about the four piece band. Likewise I was not alone in being instantly converted as a fan by the time they left the stage. For 25 minutes the band brought it hard as circle pits formed and fans went nuts. New songs like “Ascension” mixed well with older material like “Slavery In A Deaf Decay” and the set closing “Misconception.” I was very impressed and get the vibe that by the next time they make it to America they won’t be the first band performing on the bill.
Skeletonwitch made it clear from the second they hit the stage, they were there to drink beer and rock the fuck out. Mission Accomplished as the Ohio based band did exactly that. The set drew heavy from last year’s four star effort Forever Abomination. “This Horrifying Force (The Desire To Kill),” “Reduced To The Failure Of Prayer” and “Shredding Sacred Flesh” beat the capacity crowd into submission. I did have one major problem with the bands set and that is the fact they only got 30 minutes. I know they were second on the bill, but I assumed with the early start time they would have played for at least 45. Sadly that was not the case as the band said goodbye before launching into a spectacular version of “Within My Blood.”
Despite quick set changes, fans were ready for Nile the moment Skeletonwitch left the stage. With singer/songwriter Ryan Adams having already shared with me via Twitter that Nile was “intense” I was damn excited to finally see a band that has been making groundbreaking death metal for nearly 20 years. The group opened their main support set with the thunderous first track from their 2009 release Those Whom The Gods Detest. With it being Good Friday Eve, “Kafir!” was the logical opener as it gave the sweaty masses on the packed floor a chance to scream in unison “There Is No God.” Not even lead guitarists Karl Sanders Marshall Amp cutting in and out could stop the destructive onslaught Nile was brining onto the West Hollywood hot spot.
Nile did an outstanding job of interacting with the crowd while cranking out a seven song career spanning set. Vocalist/guitarist Dallas Toler-Wade had fans scream in their best death metal voice before launching into a devastating version of “Sacrifice Unto Sebek.” Other highlights included tight versions of “Ithyphallic” and “Sacrophagus.” Much like Skeletonwitch, my only complaint was how short the set was. 40 minutes of Nile is simply not enough. After the band wrapped the set with “Black Seeds of Vengeance” fans chants for one more song were unfortunately not granted. While a few were seen heading for the exits, most crowd members just grabbed another beer of complimentary cup of ice water in a hope to hydrate before the night’s final act.
The Black Dahlia Murder
It was shy of 9 months ago that I caught my 5th performance by The Black Dahlia Murder and I was no doubt excited for round 6. Kicking things off with the 1-2 opening punch from their most recent studio effort Ritual; “A Shrine To Madness” and “Moonlight Equilibrium” took what had already been an insane pit and somehow managed to make it bigger and faster. For the next hour, the Michigan based melodic death metal heads played a career spanning set much to the delight of the crowd. “What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse” and “A Vulgar Picture” took it back a few years but it didn’t matter as fans react to all eras of The Black Dahlia Murderwith equal enthusiasm.
I believe it was during “Conspiring With The Damned” that I thought of the perfect title for the set. It was A Night of 1000 First Bumps. Lead vocalist Trevor Strnad found a way to sneak in an even heavier dosage of arm raising fury than usual as the band blasted heavy hitters like “Den of The Picqurerist,” “Miasma” and “On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood.” Known for not playing encores, the set ended with a song from their debut album Unhallowed. “Funeral Thirst” gave fans one last chance to go bonkers in the pit and one final chance for Strand to raise his fists in the air while serving as the perfect exclamation point for an outstanding night of death metal mayhem.
The Black Dahlia Murder Announce Canadian Ritual Tour Dates
We have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that Wisconsin, North Dakota, Montana, Michigan and Washington are no longer members of the United States. The good news is that The Black Dahlia Murder will be visiting all of those territories on their upcoming Canadian Ritual Tour. The trek kicks off May 11th in Madison Wisconsin and wraps June 2nd in Detroit Michigan. Support on this tour will come from Exhumed and Fuck The Facts. You are probably not even reading this, just looking at the pretty tour poster above. We are cool with that. If you are reading this, check out our past reviews of The Black Dahlia Murder here, here and here.
The Black Dahlia Murder Announce 2012 Spring US Tour Dates
Having already performed to sold out across the nation as the headliner of the 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour, The Black Dahlia Murder are set for another round of US Tour Dates in support of their most recent release Ritual. The trek kicks off in the band native Michigan on March 24th and wraps on 4/20 with a headline appearance at the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival in Worcester, MA.
The tour will feature main support from Nile with Skeletonwitch and Hour of Penance rounding out the bill. Complete dates for the tour are listed below.
THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, NILE, SKELETONWITCH, HOUR OF PENANCE
Mar. 24 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
Mar. 25 – Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Club
Mar. 26 – Minneapolis, MN – Station 4
Mar. 27 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
Mar. 29 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
Mar. 30 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
Apr. 02 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
Apr. 03 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
Apr. 04 – San Francisco, CA – Slims
Apr. 05 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues
Apr. 06 – Phoenix, AZ – Nile Theater
Apr. 07 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
Apr. 09 – Dallas, TX – Prophet Bar
Apr. 10 – San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit
Apr. 11 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Apr. 13 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
Apr. 17 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
Apr. 18 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater of the Living Arts
Apr. 19 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Apr. 20 – Worcester, MA – New England Metal & Hardcore Fest at The Palladium
The Black Dahlia Murder (w/ HateSphere, Augury & Obscura) 03/06/10
The Roxy Theatre – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Videos/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
After two weeks of non-stop action up the coast in Vancouver, the close of the 2010 Winter Olympics has sent me into a downward spiral of depression. No longer can I turn on the television and watch global goliaths face off in events like Curling and Ice Dancing. Gone were underage girls drinking and smoking cigars, a Ginger on a snowboard and that ice-skater guy on LSD. For those like myself, hopelessly addicted to friendly yet fierce international competition, this week has not been kind. Thankfully, the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, CA understood the post Olympics withdrawals and helped ease the pain with a four-nation demolition derby of death metal. With heavy wind and rain splashing down upon the Sunset Strip, hundreds of fans waited in line for hours to get into the sold-out event. Featuring a triumphant return to the historic venue by headliners The Black Dahlia Murder, the melodic metal band handpicked three international acts to show their skills off to an eager stateside audience. With all three support acts unknown to me, I found myself with an opportunity to experience new music from exotic lands before one more round with Waterford Michigan’s best metal band.
As fans wrung out their wet clothes in the venue’s restroom, HateSphere took to the stage. Right out of the gate, the five-piece Danish act commanded the attention of the 60-70 fans in front of the stage. As many more rushed in, the band belted out a quick and energetic set, filled with groove-heavy trash/death metal. The riffs, while heavy, were rich with melody, instantly setting them apart in my mind from countless other opening bands I have seen over the years. Front man Morten “Kruge” Madsen (a recent addition to the group after the departure of Jonathan “Joller” Albrechtsen) did an outstanding job of getting the crowd worked up into a frenzy as guitarists Jakob Nyholm & Peter “Pepe” Lyse Hansen chugged along in unison behind him. Towards the end of the brief opening set, a circle pit formed as cold and wet fans bashed and banged into each other, signaling their approval. As my drink flew out of my hand from a wet mosher crashing into me, I didn’t even have time to mind. With it being the final few moments of their first show in the great state of California (The band is touring North America for the first time), I was going to enjoy every second instead of crying over spilt Red Bull and Vodka.
Hailing from Montreal, Augury was a perfect mix of random geeky band traits that I adore.
Hilarious Stage Banter – Check
Appreciation of Conspiracy Theories – Check
Crazy & Random Momentum Changes That Catch You Off Guard and Take You Places You Never Planned on Going – Check
Augury simply blew me away. Much like HateSphere, the four-piece band was playing with new members. I am unsure of who was playing bass before, but it’s hard to imagine it getting much better than fill-in, Christian Pacaud. This man is a monster who effortlessly lays gargantuan riffsdown upon his 6 string bass. In between heavy, technically progressive riffs and growling vocals, Patrick Loisel cracked jokes with the now over-capacity crowd. With a set that drew heavily from their recent release, Fragmentary Evidence, the band had the crowd right where they wanted them the entire time. Of the three opening acts, there is no doubt that Augury easily won the gold.
All the way from Munich Germany, Obscura took to the stage just after 10pm. Hitting the crowd hard with their relentless jackhammering riffs, while not terrible, I know I failed to connect with the band and it seemed as if other members of the audience felt the same. While decent, the songs lacked emotion and failed to make a lasting impression on me. Perhaps that is what some search for, but not I. At one point towards the end of their set, guitarist and lead vocalist, Steffen Kummerer, did his best to get the audience involved questioning if the American metal scene was still alive. It fell upon deaf ears as a majority of the crowd was ready for the main event. This was further proved by the loud chants for the headliner after Obscura had left the stage.
The Black Dahlia Murder (USA)
At 11:00pm sharp, the curtain rose for the final time to reveal the evening’s main attraction — The Black Dahlia Murder. Having rocked the same room for free two months earlier, the five-piece band returned to a hero’s welcome as they opened their headlining set with the song “Funeral Thirst.” Passing out high fives to rowdy fans, vocalist Trevor Strnad paced back and forth across the front of the stage, screaming bloody hell into his microphone. Over the next hour, the band played a brutal set of metal that spanned their four Metal Blade releases. One of the best things about the live Black Dahlia Murder experience is that the crowd goes off no matter what. It does not matter if the five-piece is destroying the stage with a classic like “Statutory Ape” or a new song like “Black Valor” (from the band’s most recent release Deflorate); the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd is exactly the same.
After dedicating the number to all the drinkers, the band launched into an intense version of “I’m Charming” that saw the pit swell so large it became impossible for security to keep the mob from overflowing into the fire aisles. While “What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse” gave the bloodsuckers in the crowd their chance to go off, I was more enthralled by new guitarist Ryan Knight. In the two short months since I last saw the band, he seems so much more comfortable on the stage and within the music. Hell he outright owned songs like “A Vulgar Picture” and “Miasma.”Really, the entire band owned the entire night, which is the reason I keep coming back for more. While intense, The Black Dahlia Murder shows have a wild and crazy edge that makes them feel more like a large house party than a concert. The bands fun loving energy is contagious and it is fucking impossible to not have a great time with them.
Hours after the band had made themselves accessible to fans, standing in the crowd during the sets by HateSphere and Augury, the show came to an end. While closing with a new song can often kill the momentum of an otherwise great set, this is not the case when you are the Black Dahlia Murder. Skipping an encore, the band gave the beyond capacity crowd one last chance to go nuts with “I Will Return.” An appropriate title, as it completely sums up how I feel after every single show I see these guys play. As long as they keep performing, I will keep coming back to see the most exciting band in melodic death metal. Here is to hoping that The Black Dahlia Murder won’t keep Southern California waiting too long for a rowdy round three within the legendary walls of The Roxy.
A few years before I was the concert confessing cubical warrior who hangs at Hollywood hotspots with Tom Morello and that dude who gets paid to beat the snot out of people, I drove various video tapes around in a highly decorated Scion XB. While there were many terrible things about making $9.00 to deliver digital betacam’s with Judge Judy episodes or Lexus commercials, there were some experiences that I truly miss. While many aspects of the Scions we got were stripped down, my boss made sure to get the good CD player/speakers. I often was expected to drive like a maniac (some execs often confuse video tapes with hearts in coolers going to transplant patients) and I can’t tell you how many rush hours Miasma by The Black Dahlia Murder helped me survive. Having seen the Waterford, Michigan melodic metallers a few times in the past, I had high hopes to catch them in support of their most recent record – Deflorate. I am sure you can imagine my excitement when my former road rage machine maker Scion brought the band to The Roxy in West Hollywood, CA for free.
Oddly enough, I actually had more fun waiting for the show than inside the show. I hit the sidewalk with fellow concert confessions user God Frank around 6:45pm, and found the line to already be rather long. In the 105 minutes that we waited in line, we watched some kids (who were cool enough to go buy us beer without us even asking) pay a 53 year old homeless man $15 to have a dance off with them. For those interested in the results, the cash heavy early had better overall moves, but dragon breath at 30+ years older busted some serious split. I was personally invited to participate in group sex act with 15 year olds boys, and when I looked to the father who was the chaperone for the night, he just smiled and seemed real proud of his flock of braces, acne and hated of the Raiders nation. Perhaps most important we discovered the first known North American MexiMetalMullet wook #17 as he walked up and down Sunset Blvd no less than 38 times. Sometimes the soul just needs laughter and on the first Thursday night in December, we were blessed with some very awesome temporary friends.
With a very slow entrance process into the venue being the worst part of the night, we ended up being some of the very last people allowed into the venue. Having already missed the opening band Revocation, we didn’t even have time to use the restroom and grab a drink before The Black Dahlia Murder hit the stage. As the curtain went up with a wall of feedback, the club erupted into pure chaos. With no guard rail, the very young crowd charged from the circle pit onto the stage, looking to jump back into a sea of their peers.
The band used its 42 minute headline set to pack fan favorites in with a few choice new songs. When fronmtman Trevor Strnad was not encouraging the crowd to get naked with him, he controlled the all ages crowd with a steady mix of screams and over-exaggerated hand motions. While the uneducated ear may pass it off simply as screaming, Strnad’s vocal range is rather remarkable. He made sure to show it off during songs like “Black Valor” and “A Vulgar Picture” hitting high shrieks and thunderously low growls. With more than one stage diver offering the Wayne/Garth “We’re not worthy” bow down to drummer Shannon Lucas, it was guitarist Brian Eschbach who protected them by getting into multiple fight with the one security guard who tried to stop the onslaught of fans upon the stage.
Really, at 42 minutes, the show was over before I felt the band had even really got started. To be fair, it was free, and the band needed to get to LAX to catch a flight to South America. It’s just that knowing what these guys can do upon the stage it wasn’t enough. Being one of the last ones in, I was on the opposite side of their new lead axe slinger Ryan Knight, which prevented me from watching him only improve an already technically solid musical machine. All the more reason I will do my best to check them out the next time they come through LA I suppose. So as the curtain came down before the band hardly had time to break a sweat, we hit the strip once again, this time meeting up with some real friends. As I clutched my free pair of Scion socks, I realized that with a few small changes, Scion has a pretty cool thing going here, let’s hope we will be fortunate enough to get plenty of free metal from the auto maker in 2010.
Almost everyone in the rock n roll community and beyond has heard the name Alice Cooper at some point. He’s a legend in metal and rock n roll history having played thousands of shows and released many well known albums and singles. However a lesser known name up until recently in Nita Strauss. Nita is the current guitarist for Alice Cooper and is rapidly rising as one of the most talented metal and rock guitarist in music today. I came across Nita through a close friend and fellow guitarist who also admired her amazing skills. However, playing with Alice Cooper is not the only performing the Nita Strauss does. She also writes her own music with her own self titled solo project and has just wrapped up her tour with the New York City band Kore Rozzik. I was lucky enough to get the chance to shoot one of the stops of this tour when they made their way through Baton Rouge, LA. They played a small theater called the Varsity Theater, which is within only steps from the campus of LSU.
The Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge, LA is one of the few small town venues left in the area for live music. Regardless of how small it is they always seem to draw big name acts such as The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, Gwar, and Black Label Society. Being a concert photographer and fellow metal head I’m always looking for great acts, local and big name alike, to shoot. The Varsity Theater is one of the few good venues left that not only book amazing acts but also allow cameras without a press or photo pass. However, like many small venues, the lighting at most shows is less than ideal for photographers. Never the less, Nita Strauss and Kore Rozzik tore the house down.
Supporting Nita on this tour was a New York City band named Kore Rozzik. Fronted by a singer known by the same name, Kore Rozzik took the New York City music scene by storm and rapidly rose among artist in the area. Also known as “The Bastard Child of New York”, he and his fellow band mates have created their imagery and stage presence based off of influences from such idols as Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Megadeth. This band, however, was unknown to me before this show and I was skeptical upon first glance. With the face paint, props and outfits I was unsure about them until they began to play. All members of this band are very talented and showcased their talents from the start to the finish of their set making all of my questions vanish. This band is most definitely worth checking out for anyone who likes this type of metal.
If any of my fellow metalheads reading this article are looking for a new act to catch live or some new music to listen to I highly recommend checking out Nita Strauss and Kore Rozzik.
The 2017 edition of the metal festival Ozzfest Meets Knotfest proved to be one for the books. Two days of pure in-your-face metal. The San Manuel Amphitheater was packed both days with metal fanatics and people looking to have a good time now that the year was coming close to an end. Both days were stacked with metal bands ready to thrust their way into your ears and fans were more than ready to mosh and drink lots of beer.
Day one was Ozzfest and featured a stellar lineup of bands. Starting early on the day on the side stages were Rings of Saturn, Fallujah, and SoCal natives, Night Demon. Even this early, dedicated metalheads filled the side of the venue where the side stages were being held. Tents with merch were plentiful as well as lots of food vendors. In the afternoon, bands like Suffocation ruled the Nuclear Blast stage and was extra special because vocalist Frank Mullen joined the band which he’s usually not able to do due to his regular job. Havok thrashed it up on one of the side stages. 1349 is a Norwegian black metal band which doesn’t come to the USA too often to it was a great opportunity for the band to reach out to new fans and play a large outdoor venue. Iron Reagan is a hardcore punk band which features members of Municipal Waste. Fans went wild for them as the mosh pits were fierce and crowd surfers were plentiful. Death metal legends and pioneers Possessed are one of Nuclear Blast’s newly signed bands so it was no surprise to see them on the bill. Plenty of Possessed fans were seen in the crowd and they got rowdy as Possessed delivered death metal classics like Pentagram and The Exorcist. High on Fire and Baroness are sludge metal bands that are sometimes referred to as “stoner metal” and they were so much fun to see live as fans raged on. Finishing up the side stage were the German thrash metal legends, Kreator. Earlier this year, they released their newest album Gods of Violence and fans were eager to get wild to some classic thrash metal. Kreator drove the fans wild with mosh pits and crowd surfers as they performed thunderous tracks such as Phobia, Satan isReal, Phantom Antichrist, Enemy of God, and finished up their show as they asked fans if they’re ready to kill each other as they played the grand finale, Pleasure to Kill. Now that the side stages were done, it was time to move out to the main stage where fans had completely skipped the side stages in order to secure a spot up front for the main stage bands. Orange Goblin started the main stage and warmed up the audience. Children of Bodom are a melodic death metal band from Finland and they were ready to bring that crazy metal from Europe that Americans love. They delivered blistering tracks like Needled 24/7, Hate Me!, and Downfall. Deftones are no strangers to the metal community and they are one of those bands that as a metalhead, you either love them or hate them. Fans in the mosh pit seemed to enjoy them as they played classics like My Own summer (Shove It), Shut Up and Drive (FarAway), Digital Bath, and Change (In the House of Flies).
Prophets of Rage are a rap/metal supergroup consisting of members from Rage Against the Machine, B-Real of Cypress Hill, and Chuck D from Public Enemy. Their music consists of covers from all three music acts which is something you have to see to believe. Fans cheered and went wild as the band played RATM classics like Testify, Bulls on Parade, and Bullet in the Head. Other covers were Insane in the Brain by Cypress Hill and Bring the Noise by Public Enemy. Prophets of Rage brought sadness and tears to fans as they performed an instrumental version of Audioslave‘s Like A Stone in Memory of Chris Cornell who sadly committed suicide in May. In Audioslave, Cornell was the singer/guitarist and the other three members were also members of RATM who were also in Prophets of Rage. The show wrapped up when they performed one of the greatest songs in the metal community and surely everyone in the venue knew what it was, Killing in the Name. It drove the mosh pits wild. Ending Ozzfest was none other than the prince of Darkness, OzzyOsbourne. Ozzy came back with Zakk Wylde after he was gone from the band for 10 years. The entire venue erupted into a roar as Ozzy came out and started the show with the classic, Bark at the Moon. This was a very cold night for this festival and lots of plenty were seen shivering from the cold. Ozzy suffered the most as he complained about it and his voice suffered from it too as you could hear he wasn’t at his best. Regardless, Ozzy played plenty of favorites which included Mr. Crowley, I Don’t Know, No More Tears, and Crazy Train. Ozzy is famously known for being the frontman for heavy metal gods Black Sabbath, so it only makes sense that the band also played songs like Iron Man, Fairies Wear Boots, and War Pigs. Wylde is known for his solos in his work and he showed that during an extended guitar solo ending of War Pigs which seemed to go on forever with what sounded like the same guitar notes for what felt like ten minutes straight. Ozzy and the rest of the band partied hard as they finished Ozzfest with what is easily one of the greatest songs in metal, Black Sabbath‘s Paranoid. Everyone cheered and sang along as Ozzfest came to an end.
Day two was Knotfest and also featured some of today’s top metal acts.
Starting the day early were band like Warbringer, Repulsion, Exhumed, and Stitched Up Heart. Just many metalheads showed up for day two of this festival. In the afternoon, bands like Oni, Death Angel, Goatwhore, and The Black Dahlia Murder made fans wreck each other in the pit. The side stage for that day was headlined by the San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal legends, Testament. The crowd was especially wild for them as Testament brought classic thrash metal to the festival with ripping tracks like Rise Up, Practice What You Preach, Over the Wall, and Into the Pit which the band wrote specifically for people in the mosh pit. Daylight Savings really took its toll on the festival as near the beginning of their performance, the sun went down and made it difficult to see the band. Road crew brought out lamps as an attempt to light the stage which singer Chuck Billy made a joke on how the band spared no expenses on their lights. Regardless, it was a great performance by one of metal’s finest bands. Even in almost total darkness, the huge swarm of metalheads made their way out of the side stage area like a horde of zombies and making their way to the main stage. Starting the main stage was Prayers which warmed up the audience. Eighteen Visions is a metalcore band that reformed earlier this year after having broken up ten years ago. A lot of fans were complaining on how the festival was called Knotfest, yet it didn’t feature Slipknot which is who always headlines the festival and are the creators of it. Instead, Slipknot singer Corey Taylor got his other band Stone Sour to perform at the festival so it was close enough. Stone Sour recently released their newest album Hydrograd and have been actively touring for it since. Stone Sour performed many of their classic hits like Made of Scars, Say You’ll Haunt Me, GetInside, and the band’s biggest single to date and ballad, Through Glass. Shock rock superstar Marilyn Manson was up next. This was his first performance coming back from an accident a couple of months prior where his gun props fell on him which resulted in a broken ankle. In the middle of the show, he made a joke on how he, himself, was a victim of gun violence. Manson mainly stayed strapped to a throne as to not cause more injury to his ankle. He still performed plenty of his hits which included Disposable Teens, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), The Dope Show, and of course one of the most popular songs in the metal community, The Beautiful People. Ending Knotfest was horror mastermind, Rob Zombie. Zombie released his newest album in 2016 titled The Electric Warlock AcidWitch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser. The stage was set as a giant boombox was at the center of the stage with monster and clown heads surrounding the stage. Rob Zombie came out with his band and started the show with Dead City Radio and the Gods of Supertown. Zombie himself stood on the top of the boombox while guitarist John 5 and bassist Piggy D stayed on the ground in full makeup and masks. A stunning light show combined with lots of pyro made for an amazing stage presence from the band. The second song performed was one of Zombie’s oldest and best songs, Superbeast. The energy to that song still holds even after all these years and always drives the fans wild. Zombie and his band always put on an energetic performance. They prove this as they performed lots of Rob Zombie classics and newer tunes which included Living Dead Girl, More Human Than Human (White Zombie song), House of 1000 Corpses, Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a UFO, and Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy). The band took a quick break except for John 5 who performed a nice guitar solo with backdrops specifically for him to showcase his underrated guitar skills. Rob Zombie and the rest of the band came back out with Zombie saying a few words to the audience that for this next song, for people to put away their phones and enjoy concerts like people used to back in the days.
Rob Zombie performed one of metal’s most popular songs, Thunder Kiss ’65 (WhiteZombie song) and what a wild ride it was and a sigh of relief to not see any phones up in the air. Rob Zombie would entertain the crowd with something different and performed two covers. The first being Blitzkrieg Bop by punk rock legends The Ramones and School’s Out by legendary rockstar, Alice Cooper. To end the show with a bang, Rob Zombie played his most famous song, Dragula. What a show it was with giant tv screens and pyro everywhere. Ozzfest Meets Knotfest 2017 was a very successful metal festival and hopefully the next edition of the festival is also held at the same location.
High On Fire
Jose Mangin of SiriusXM Liquid Metal
Children of Bodom
Prophets of Rage
Ozzy Osbourne (Photos courtesy of Stephanie Cabral)
The end of the year brings us empty wallets, fat stomachs and most importantly larger egos than we had the year before. It’s because of these egos that people like me put together these year end “best of” lists. Although as you know, here at Concert Confessions we do things a little differently then other sites. We don’t have a Top Albums list, Top Artist list, Male and Female Rookies of the year list we do top Concerts of the year. Personally, I’ll trust all of you readers enough to go ahead and listen to all those albums of the year you’re listing-You’ll let me know what’s good. You’re nice people right?
Anyway, more self branding: Every year I set a personal goal of going to more shows then the year prior. In 2011, we had ourselves 23 Jay Porks Experiences. In 2012, money was a bit tight, schedules fluctuated and goals were not reached as 18 shows were only attended. But don’t worry, they were some memorable ones that will most definitely fill the void in my heart that sits beneath my wretched soul (Alright it’s not that bad, but it’s good copy!). Below, you can view the list of the Top Five Jay Porks Experiences of 2012.
Heading to the lovely Detroit in 2013, this year brought this guy to his first ever “festival” experience. Sort of. And it turned out to be way more than I was actually prepared for. When you think festival you think a few things: camping, shower trucks and people lying overdosed in mud puddles while folks from LA Weekly takes photos. But Atlantic City brings casinos, thousands of hotel rooms (lots of them luxurious), and no camp ground. The idea is to get a room for the weekend, they had room packages with some tickets, I chose to go off course and book my own room accommodations and take a cab over and back each day. Was a solid plan going in. The list of acts seen was immense, including Metallica (curators of the Festival) headlining the two night stint. The first day I got to see Baroness, Roky Erickson, Fucked Up, Cage The Elephant, Modest Mouse and Arctic Monkeys before Metallica turned me into a fan playing Ride The Lightening in it’s entirety. Skin was turned powdery white to beat red after the full day (sunscreen something I rarely carry) and the dreadful Flagship Hotel had a less than desirable internet connection. Day Two brought me the likes of A Place To Bury Stangers, Ghost, Gary Clark Jr, the waste known as Best Coast, The Black Dahlia Murder, Eric Church and Titus Andronicus before Metallica hit the stage to remind me why I was never that big into them in the first place when they played the The Black Album…. backwards. Okay. Then on this night the return to the hotel room brought me with the dilemma of having NO internet at all at the again, dreadful Flagship Hotel whose front desk said the services were down. So I walked myself to Bally’s Casino w/ bags packed with all the towels, soaps and ashtrays I was able to fit in there and awaited the 4:30AM bus back into New York City. Had to catch Childish Gambino in Central Park the next night after all. Sounds like a pain, and looking back it kind of was but at the same time, those two days spent AT Bader Field (while the music was playing )were absolute magic.
This show was epic for so many reasons. In my 2nd time seeing the band this year (plus the Scott Lucas and the Married MenMercury Lounge pit stop in June), and 1st time since the release of their latest record “Hallelujah! I’m a Bum”, which is an absolute masterpiece, I found myself leaving the Bell House that night feeling way more blown away then I could have ever predicted. Take into account the spot in the back of the room where we were able to survey the entire place instead of getting hit with cups full a beer down front. The energy Scott Lucas brought to the table that night was one of a man on a mission, and tons of great songs got played off the new record. I usually hate when a band tries to shove new songs down my throat at shows but this record is one that people need to hear. It’s too good to get lost in the shuffle. Ended the night covering TV On The Radio‘s “Wolf Like Me”, which was like the cherry on an awesome sundae.
#3 Kasabian (Terminal 5 – New York City) March 22nd
It was something out of Biblical times. On March 22nd 2012, Kasabian hit New York City with the entire world watching via YouTube and left every ounce of their fiber and being on that stage that night. Every song was like another chapter in a great novel I was having someone read to me. I wouldn’t say the man, myth and legend Reverend Justito and I like tons of the same bands, but this is one of the few he pointed to me and I was instantly a super fan. They burned Terminal 5 down to the ground that night, and everyone who was there is a changed person today. It’s a shame I didn’t have a good camera when I went to this gig, or I would’ve had some cool ass pictures. Well, none of my pics would’ve been better than Mick Rock‘s anyway, did I mention he was there? Google him. The video below from that evening at Terminal 5 is courtesy of The Bowery Presents because this show happened when this guy was still rocking a $50 camera. Dear Kasabian: PLEASE COME BACK TO AMERICA
#2 Foxy Shazam (Bowery Ballroom – New York City) May 16th
With Ween breaking up, they weren’t able to snag their normal spot as my #2 show of the year in 2012(as they had in 2010 and 2011). Having seen Foxy Shazam already kind of/sort of blow The Darkness off stage in February – when a show was announced at Bowery Ballroom where they would headline I had to get in on that action-let’s see what the whole shebang brings to the table. And Oh Lord was I heeled with the Holy Touch with an evening of their finest numbers, funky vibes, and Eric Nally eating the cigarette I threw on stage!
I was sitting next to some people I met outside who were nice enough to pass along a pipe to me as I was filming “I Like It” . Snagged the spot upstairs balcony. Cannot beat it. Check the video for yourself. But if you told me before I went to that show that it would end up being the #2 show on my year end list I would have never ever believed you. The band is just that good. Nailing a spot supporting Slash on his Fall tour was a great job by him. Glad Slash has good taste in music. That was Another show I attended. So three times I’ve been baptized into the Church of Rock & Roll this year… And I Like It.
#1 Mike Watt & Friends (Le Poisson Rouge – New York City) May 2nd
Mike Watt has tons of friends. When this purchase is made, the only thing known is that the Minuteman will team with J Mascis and Murph from Dinosaur Jr to play tonight and that Mike Watt will be interviewed on stage before the show. I got to tape the interview but the questions are raised. So what songs are they going to play? Dinosaur Jr songs? Minutemen songs? Who’s singing? Well there was no mic set up in front of J, which is indication this isn’t a Dinosaur Jr kind of night. Out walks Don Fleming (from the band Gumball) and they play The Stooges“Real Cool Time”. Then I remember who the active bass player in the Stooges is: Mike Watt! So here we are playing Stooges songs all night with a revolving door of guest singers. John Petkovic came out, then one of my freaking heroes Thurston Moore(of the recently divorced Sonic Youth), then Sharon Von Etten, then Kurt Vile. And Thurston reappeared at least two more times, and they had Steve Shelly (also Sonic Youth) in there on drums on some songs too along w/ Byron Coley (who did the interviewing earlier) and John Maloney. I couldn’t have missed any names, because Mike Watt tweeted over the set list the next day with all the names of the parties involved and what songs they played on. That show was something I’m never going to forget. That’s the closest I’ll ever come to seeing the actual Stooges.
The Jay Porks Favorite Read Of 2012 on Concert Confessions:
And last and certainly not least, I’ve added a new section to this top shows post. That portion is Top Concert Experience of 2012 NOT attended by me. We have lots of contributors, lots of varied acts getting written about. But one gig really hit close to home when out pal Reverend Justito went and saw my pals the Meat Puppets at the closing of the Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, California. I can guarantee that I enjoyed reading this one as much as most of the attendees enjoyed living it.
This was the Metalocalypse tour on November 27th, 2012. The tour featured Dethklok, Machine Head, All That Remains, and The Black Dahlia Murder. This metal event took place at the legendary Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California where hundreds of now famous bands have left their mark. Due to my work schedule and not enough time to get there, I missed The Black Dahlia Murder but I made it in time for All That Remains and the rest of the bands. All That Remains kept the crowd pumped through the show. There were mosh pits going the whole time. They put on a decent show but I’m not too familiar with their music.
After them, Machine Head came up. Robb Flynn had just returned from surgery from a double inguinal hernia. It was a little disappointing that they only played 6 songs since I was looking forward to a longer show. They started the show with the song “This is the End” off of their new album, Unto the Locust. Robb Flynn stopped to talk to us about Disney banning them from playing near any of their theme parks so they can no longer play in Anaheim, California. Their show on December 4th in Orlando, Florida was also cancelled for that reason. Machine Head proceeded to play “Aesthetics of Hate” as a big F-you to Disney. They also played “Locust” which was another single off of the new album. They finished the show with Halo which is one of their best songs.
The headlining band for the night was the Adult Swim band from the show, Metalocalypse, Dethklok. Although the band itself is a cartoon, there are live performers for their live performances. The singer/guitarist for the band is Brendon Small which is also the creator of the show and voices some of the characters from Metalocalypse. The drummer is the legendary drummer, Gene Hoglan who has played with numerous metal bands throughout his career including Death, Testament, and Dark Angel.
They used a lot of theatrics for their show and lights. They opened with the first song off of their newest album, Dethklok III, which was “I Ejaculate Fire”. Throughout the night they did a good job of playing songs from all their albums. During small intermissions in between some songs, they put up videos on the screen from other Metalocalypse characters to entertain us. During their show I noticed their sound seemed to be a bit off since I had trouble hearing Brendon while he sang unless I was in a tough spot for his singing. This show is definitely a must for any and all metal heads that are looking for a night of non-stop metal.
Me with Robb Flynn(left, Machine Head) and Gene Hoglan(right, Dethklok)
Skeletonwitch Announce U.S. Abomination 2012 Tour Dates
When it comes to balls to the wall heavy metal, Skeletonwitch are one of the best bands out there today. The group has just announced dates for a lengthy trek across America this fall. Dubbed the U.S. Abomination tour, the voyage will kick off Sept 14th in Athens Ohio and wrap November 17th in Cleveland Ohio. Joining the band will be Havok, Early Graves and Mutilation Rites. The tour will be sponsored by the fine folks at Metal Sucks and you can check out all the dates down below. To check out our review of Skeletonwitch supporting Nile and The Black Dahlia Murder earlier this year in Hollywood, click here.
SKELETONWITCH WITH HAVOK AND EARLY GRAVES
9/14/12 Athens, OH @ The Union Bar
9/15/12 Pittsburgh, PA @ Ironworks
9/16/12 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
9/17/12 Albany, NY @ Bogies
9/18/12 Burlington, VT @ Monkey Bar
9/19/12 Bucksport, ME @ The Kave
9/20/12 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
9/21/12 Providence, RI @ The Met
9/22/12 Manchester, NH @ Rockos
9/23/12 Holyoke, MA @ Waterfront Tavern
9/24/12 Wallingford, CT @ Cherry St.
9/25/12 Asbury Park, NJ @ Ashbury Lane
9/26/12 Lemoyne, PA @ The Champ
9/27/12 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
9/28/12 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
9/29/12 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
9/30/12 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
10/1/12 Johnson City, TN @ Hideaway
10/2/12 Wilmington, NC @ Soapbox Laundrolounge
10/3/12 Durham, NC @ Motorco
10/4/12 Charleston, SC @ Jimbos Rock Lounge
10/5/12 Jacksonville, FL @ The Pit
10/6/12 Miami, FL @ Churchills
10/7/12 Lake Worth, FL @ Speakeasy
10/8/12 Orlando, FL @ The Bombshell
10/9/12 Gainesville, FL @ The Atlantic
10/11/12 Tampa, FL @ Brass Mug
10/12/12 Savannah, GA @ The Jinx
10/13/12 Atlanta, GA @ Club 529
10/14/12 Nashville, TN @ The End
10/15/12 Little Rock, AR @ Downtown Music
10/16/12 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
SKELETONWITCH WITH HAVOK AND MUTILATION RITES
10/17/12 Houston, TX @ Walters
10/18/12 Dallas, TX @ Trees
10/19/12 Austin, TX @ Red 7
10/20/12 McAllen, TX @ Fallback Records
10/22/12 San Antonio, TX @ Korova
10/23/12 Midland, TX @ New Blue Max
10/25/12 Albuquerque, NM @ El Rey Theatre
10/26/12 Gallup, NM @ Juggernaut
10/28/12 Scottsdale, AZ @ Chasers
10/29/12 Fullerton, CA @ Slidebar
10/30/12 West Hollywood, CA @ The Whiskey A Go Go
11/1/12 Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst Atrium
11/2/12 Oakland, CA @ Metro Opera House
11/3/12 Reno, NV @ The Alley
11/4/12 Bend, OR @ The Horned Hand
11/5/12 Portland, OR @ Branx
11/6/12 Seattle, WA @ Studio 7
11/7/12 Boise, ID @ The Venue
11/8/12 Ogden, UT @ Mojos
11/9/12 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
11/10/12 Kansas City, MO @ The Granada
11/11/12 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
11/12/12 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
11/13/12 Chicago, IL @ Reggies
11/14/12 Columbus, OH @ Ace Of Cups
11/15/12 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
11/16/12 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
11/17/12 Cleveland, OH @ Peabodys
Orion Music + More Festival- Day Two: Running later than yesterday because the alarm didn’t go off it was just a mere coincidence to have drank enough fluids on Day One that a built in intestinal alarm clock was installed as a back up. That was a dodged bullet there wasn’t it? That could have been so much worse. Maybe not wake up at 4pm and miss out on Ghost! Or The Black Dahlia Murder! Well luckily, in the 72nd edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series, I made it to Bader Field on time, here in the beautiful Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Fuel Stage to kick today off with A Place To Bury Strangers.
You see an editors note on yesterday’s recap about me writing this review at the show. That’s true. With memory card space and battery life on my mind, instead of filming all I can I’m taping one song per set, therefore leaving me more time to take little notes and stuff. Hence why some of the wording seems as if it’s happening live. It was at the time.
A Place To Bury Strangers
Who’s the one who told me to check this band out like 3 years ago? Anyway, thank you whoever you are, because they ain’t too shabby. You’d think with a name like A Place To Bury Strangers, they come and rip your heart out with the death grips of metal. I mean, they’re loud as fuck, and quite heavy-but the elements of distortion (I don’t if that’s an effects box on the drum set or what), they’re more “alternative-ty”. They kicked off at 1pm and a few songs in I’m thinking “wow these dudes are wrecking shit up, what time is it now?” It was only 1:18pm. I caught maybe 6 or 7 of their songs before I headed cross the field to the Orion Stage to get a good spot(behind the empty VIP area) for Ghost.
Yesterday, Lars and Kirk introduced a few of the bands that they said they were fans of. Well, Ghost got that same treatment today, only from James Hetfield. I was chatting it up with a fellow rail rider and a security guard in front of us. Kid next to me mentioned that they changed from all black to all white for this tour “so they look like Klan members”. The security guard happened to be black, so I said to him “so don’t run when you see them!” jokingly. It was all fun and games- even when Ghost came on. These guys definitely have a sense of humor. The costumes, the whole thing. When they walk out you can’t help but chuckle. I was no longer afraid, but intrigued. And they don’t seem to me to be this “heavy death kill your face” metal as assumed.
Ghost rocked. We got that cool ass “Here Comes the Sun” cover, and I think that last song was called “Ritual”. I noticed their drummer was kicking up something wicked over there. Awesome band- now go take those outfits off boys it’s hot at hell out here
Gary Clark Jr
Fuck yeah! I had and still have no idea who this guy Gary Clark Jr. is, and you know what, that’s a bad job on my part. Shame on me. Apparently I was the only one who was new to dude, because the crowd really packed in for this one. If you’re a fan of awesome bluesy crazy guitar work- emphasis on awesome-then you need to see check this guy out. The solos were freaking epic- some take you to space type stuff. Kirk Hammet introduced him as “one of my new favorite guitar players” and praised his interesting sound. Well, as Kirk watched from the side of the stage the riffs from Gary Clark Jr were hitting me in all the right places song by song. I got the name of one cause the lyrics were easy “If You Love Me Like You Say”. Seriously, where’d this guy come from? Does Jack White know about this guy? Because I can guarantee once he hears him they’ll form some sort of awesome side project for Mr. White.
Yesterday saw the indie acts the likes Modest Mouse and stuff. Today leans more towards the metal side of things- therefore, more drunk metal fans, hence peaking my interest to see Best Coast get stuff chucked at them. While I walked over I heard Soul Rebels doing a jazzy version of “Enter Sandman” wish I could have caught that. But instead I was catching these wusses. With their soft, boring music. How old is that chick like 14? They’re like emo kids who heard a song with a distortion pedal and started a band with their parents money. I’m chatting it up with this female security guard as they play. Forget these losers. Such uninteresting songs I could write in my sleep.
The Black Dahlia Murder
Ghost and The Black Dahlia Murderare the two acts of Orion that Reverend Justitohas been in my ear about. I’m on the rail at 4:46( their set is at 5:15) and as they’re setting up at the Damage Inc. Stage one of the guitar players screams to the crowd “Take off the glasses so I can see your eyes!!”. These guys have a sense of humor they were joking around with fans the whole time they set up, and between songs. Once they started, it was the fastest played instruments I’ve ever seen in my life. THIS band, is the first band at this festival with the exception of Metallica that I’d hear one second of and immediately say “metal”. The lead singer has the full growl going, I don’t know how that can be done night in night out without killing your voice box. Few songs in dude tells the crowd he wants to see the biggest circle pit of all time. So this, already rawkus crowd with some epic crowd surfers just got a tad more violent. Awesome. Thought I enjoyed the band, not sure if it’s something I can do full albums of. I got out of there 10 minutes to 6, I have to find a spot with some shade.
Back to the Orion Stage and another act introduced by James Hetfeild, this one being Eric Church. I’m giving it the blind listen for the first 2 songs, I found an shaded spot where I can sit on the floor behind the handicap seating( I need a breather!). I can say this much- I didn’t need Hetfeild to tell me this dude is from Nashville, because from the first lyric he sang his voice conveyed the sounds of he south. He said “We’re from Tennessee, we just wanna drink and party like you guys”. Sweet. His voice would fit in well with country music- but his band sounds like they belong at a place like this. Songs I didn’t hate, even if it is country music. Church mentions he drinks “94 proof, single barrel Jack Daniels” while holding up a red cup and says “I wrote a song about it, for those who won’t remember all this in the morning.. called Jack Daniels”. Did I mention there is no liquor on sale here? Just beer and I saw wine. With this crowd, probably a safe idea.
While everyone heads over to the Fuel Stage for Avenged Sevenfold, a band I tried so hard to get into but couldn’t, I figured I’d check out Titus Andronicus at the Frantic Stage. Of course now that the sun is setting I’ll make my first trip to the tented stage. I know Titus did one of those covers on that Spin magazine Nirvana Nevermind tribute album that I didn’t hate. So there’s one I’ll know if they play it.
Once they started I’m thinking: “Now this is more up my alley”. Three guitar players, front man who’s looks like his girl friend dumped him and they’re here to tell you about it type of band. Slightly whiney, but I can’t blame them they’re from Jersey and they get loud enough to make up for it. They’re more punky than anything else. Really enjoyed their set, it was fun- made me bounce. Towards the end the lead singer is like “Metallica is up next.. never thought I’d be saying that”.
Now let me preface this following paragraph by saying I think it’s really cool what Metallica did here with this whole “inviting bands outside the genre of Metal” to a festival thing, and I loved it. Orion Music + More was something I’m going to remember.
They’re set to hit the stage tonight at 8PM tonight as oppose to 9PM, it is a Sunday after all. Once their set started I received three texts from three people who shall remain nameless (thenaturalstoner, Mr. Sparkly, and I made up the third one it was only two) asking me if Fuse is running a repeat of last nights show on the stream. Add an hour more of daylight, and I kind of felt the same way. They went with “Ecstasy of Gold”, “Hit The Lights” and “Master Of Puppets” to kick it off again. Last night I played the role of “first Metallica show” guy. The guy who’d never seen the band before and I just sat back and really was able to take it all in. . But can you tell me something? What the hell guys?? What the hell? If you exchange “Ride The Lightning” with “The Black Album” tonight was basically almost a carbon copy set of last night. Okay, at 8:42 we got “Fuel”, I’ll give you that-it was freaking awesome. But even the way Hetfeild worded everything exactly the same way as he had did the night before, as if he had all that stuff memorized. He keeps saying stuff like “Orion and Metallica are family” and making us chant it, as if he’s taking this Orion Music + More brand and trying to pitch it for next year already. First of all you’re Metallica, if you wanna have a festival I’m sure you can afford to have one every single year. And second off , dude, if you book good bands, we’ll come back again-stop forcing it on us.
I was really happy to be able to grab footage of Metallica doing my favorites though, even if they were played last night. This new camera is such a beast. Last night my battery died before I could get pics of any of their pyrotechnics fireworks explosions that started with “Enter Sandman” (on both nights that’s where the bombs went off).
‘Unforgiven’ was epic, thank the sweet lord they didn’t play versions II and III. It wasn’t til after 9Pm when we got into the Black Album-backwards. I don’t listen to albums in reverse order unless I’m trying to find out if Paul is dead, so what the hell is up with that? They did the same thing last night. And don’t call me a noob, because when I got in the cab after the show and I asked the people I shared it with if they stayed for the entire encore, the answer was a quick “No way they played all the same songs”. And don’t talk my word and the word of someone I asked for it, as the Concert Confessions peeps who were watching the stream and had their own thoughts:
-“Just play a two-hour long Enter Sandman…call it a night.”
-” Yes, James…you are at Orion and your band is Metallica.”
-” Alright, playing the Black Album was cool and all, but there was so much more they could have done with the second night.”
-“A wasted opportunity”
Ooooo look they’re encoring with “Seek And Destroy”. Yeah, like a lot of stuff during this set, I got this last night. During that encore I was heading towards the exit. Tonight Metallica set was kind of a let down all things considered. Last night they seemed like cool guys, like changed men. Tonight all I see on stage is a band looking at a sea of about 22,000 fans while calculating profits in their heads.
At least I saw Metallica two nights in a row-I mean in the general scheme of things having never seen them before this weekend. But I do have one last question. Metallica has a song called “Orion” right? This is Orion Music + More festival right? Why not play that song, do you guys think it sucks? Then why name you’re festival after it? But besides a 2nd night headlining let down, the whole weekend was really great and I got to branch out my musical tastes a little bit from stage to stage, set to set. First “festival” I’ve attended was a success, even catching that 4:30AM bus back to NYC at Ballys.
Notes: The Medical staff gets all the blame when shit goes wrong, well let’s slurp them when shit goes well. Their were tents everywhere if you were feeling even the least bit dehydrated or anything. Drunken passed out people on the floors were quickly scoop up brought into the tent and revived in time for Metallica.
Must See Acts, Set Times for Orion Music + More Festival
Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ June 23rd & 24th
On Saturday June 23rd, Atlantic City’s own Bader Field will be taken over by the legion of Metal-Heads as Metallica’s Orion Music + More Festival will kick off. You may have heard over the weekend that Phish just did 3 nights at this same “field”.
When you hear someone say “Hey, I’m going to that Metallica festival” it’s immediately interrupted as something that would be titled “Death Metal Fest” or something like that(and in pour the comments about the differences between death metal and black metal). But au contraire friends, this isn’t the typical festival(line-up wise) at all you would expect for Metallica to be curating. The two day festival is bound to bring not only fans of the Metal or thrash genre, but the pseudo-intellectual hipsters will flock to this thing too, as some of their favorite Indie acts like The Gaslight Anthem and Best Coast have been invited to this festival along with the other 30+ , eclectic to say the least, acts set to appear. We’ll get to the full list of the acts at the bottom of this post when we map out which bands will be appearing at what times on which of the four stages this festival will have, but for now, let’s get into the Jay Porks Top Five Must See Bands at this Orion Music + More extravaganza this weekend June 23rd and 24th.
#5 Metallica ( Headlining both nights ‘Orion’ Stage)
I know what you’re thinking: “How can Metallica NOT be number one here?!?” . Well, truth be told, I personally am not the biggest Metallica fan. Putting all the differences aside like when Lars and the boys got angry about fans downloading the bands music from Napster, all and all I’m lucky to see the band. And hey at least they’re playing the Black Album and Ride The Lightening in their entirety, because those are the only two albums that contain the Metallica songs I like. I’m happy to be able to cross them off the bucket list of bands to see, and I appreciate them putting on a festival like this with such diversity. But there are 4 other acts I’d rather see perform at this thing.
#4 Ghost (Sunday, ‘Orion Stage’ 2PM-3PM)
Here’s all I know about Ghost: they scare the living fuck out of me. Seriously, have you seen their cover of “Here Comes The Sun”? The people (Fine authors like Reverend Justito and Jakob Ross to name two)I know who seem to know music speak very highly of the Stockholm band, and with nothing conflicting (and hopefully carrying a change of underwear) I will be sure to check these dudes out on the Sunday at 2 in the afternoon.
#3 Roky Erickson (Saturday,”Frantic” Stage 2:45-3:30PM
Before I explain myself let me remind everyone that every act on the bill was invited by Metallica to perform. But holy shit, I get to see Roky Erickson! I’m over joyed . Pioneer of the psychedelic rock movement with the 13th Floor Elevators back in the day, Roky has be cited as the influence for a number of acts, from the Meat Puppets to obvious Metallica. If that’s not cool tits right there, I don’t know what is. Above is a video of Mr. Erickson jamming with the aforementioned Meat Puppets at SXSW last year.
#2 Arctic Monkeys (Saturday,8PM-9PM ‘Fuel Stage’)
I don’t remember when it was, but I know it was some random Pandora radio station I had created back in the day. I was trolling some bands message board arguing with people for reasons I forgot 5 minutes later, a song called ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ came on and I immediately stopped to find out who the hell these guys were. Such an interesting sound, so unique in so many ways-these guys just opened up a Arena Tour for the Black Keys . That show (though pricey I was still going to attend) sold out on me faster than you can make a premature ejaculation joke. I’m so freaking ready to watch these guys rock out the ‘Fuel Stage’ before Metallica closes out Saturday with ‘Ride The Lightening’
#1 Modest Mouse (Saturday 7pm-8pm ‘Orion Stage’)
And leading that pack of aforementioned pseudo-intellectual hipsters will be this guy right here, hopefully riding the rail for Modest Mouse’s set. Hell, I’ve even grab a few Tao Lin books and spend two days in a garage errrrrrr I mean an “art space” in Williamsburg watching Russ Meyer flicks to gear up for this one. I freaking LOVE this band. The only thing I would question is why have Arctic Monkeys and these guys on the same night? One of them should be playing Sunday before Metallica. Anyway, I’ll hopefully be “Doin’ The Cockroach” with some festival groupie chicks to whom sober is 26 miles in their rear view mirror.
Honorable Mentions: Cage The Elephant are a really cool band, and had I wanted to do a Top six they were next-promise. If all goes according to plan, Metallica fans storm the stage and trample Best Coast for being such wusses. That’s one band that’s gonna get killed at this gig, seriously. Back when Dinosaur Jr came to Terminal 5 and Rollins interviewed them on stage and that douche bag stole a snippet of my full 18 minute video, an opener that was sorta over looked in the aftermath was Fucked Up. So I’m interested to check out their festival set and see what they’re all about. And either Jim Florentine or Don Jamieson I guess I’ll have to check out to. I wonder if “That Metal Show” will do an episode remote from the festival. Probably not, but here’s hoping.
Below, you can find humongous screen shots of the festival’s stage schedules and all the bands playing when and where. TheNaturalStoner hooked that up because I’m an idiot who was gonna type it out individually.
There are two slots in these photos labeled TBA. The Saturday 1PM at Orion Stage is Baroness, and the Sunday, 5PM on the Fuel Stage is Volbeat. They were the last two bands added to the line-up. You’d think the festival’s website would have an updated version of this. Oh well. Come find me at the Flagship Resort as that’s where I’ll be staying since Atlantic City has closed my favorite hotel/casino the Trump Marina (that had a sweet buffet and a Hooters). Seriously, come find me, I’m looking to freaking party. Besides the time at Bader Field, and the hour after that I’m writing the experience up-I will be wasted. The Jay Porks After Party. Don’t act like I WON’T do that. See you all there, I’ll be the one in the shirt that says “Your Favorite Band Sucks”(or my Blood Half Moons tee shirt).
Jay Porks Orion Schedule:
1PM Baroness-Orion Stage
2:45PM Roky Erickson-Frantic Stage
4PM Fucked Up -Fuel Stage
5:15PM Jim Florentine-Frantic Stage
6PM Cage The Elephant-Fuel Stage
7PM Modest Mouse-Orion Stage
8PM Arctic Monkeys-Fuel Stage
9PM Metallica (Ride The Lightening)-Orion Stage
1PM A Place To Bury Strangers -Fuel Stage
2PM Ghost-Orion Stage
3PM Gary Clark Jr.-Fuel Stage
4Pm Best Coast – Orion Stage
5:15Pm The Black Dahlia Murder – Damage Inc. Stage
In late 2008, Reverend Justito started a Myspace page with the idea that fans could share their concert tales with other fans. Out of the gate the page was an instant success to the point that Myspace could no longer support the beast. A few months later Justito was in a garage in Santa Maria California creating this very website – Concert Confessions.
With fan submitted reviews, you get the intimate details often left out by mainstream publications. Perhaps we may have a typo here or there and sure a digital camera won’t take photos as crisp as a professional photographer with a photo pass. Yet we are pretty darn sure that the reporter from your local paper has not felt bruises from being up against the guard rail and no doubt they missed the moment where the band came out for a surprise second encore because they were already back at the office trying to describe the experience in 500 words or less.
Concert Confessions is more than just a website, it is a family. With members spread across the United States and beyond we are more than just words and photos on a website. Members have traveled clear across the countyto take in shows with individuals they would have never met if not for this site. Seasoned Concert Confession vets take great pride in helping new members reach their full potential as concert reviewers. We may not all agree on who the greatest artist of all time is, but we do agree that nothing feels as good as music does when it hits your soul.
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 Sevenfoldsharing 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.
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.
The Summer Slaughter Tour 07/22/11 House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
If I ever have a moment where my life flashes before my eyes, I look forward to revisiting July 22nd, 2011. I ran into Grace Potter on the streets of Hollywood. I got a bunch of great vinyl from Amoeba Records and I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the kickoff of the 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour. Yes, July 22nd was much better than the day where a bee sting put me in the hospital or the time that one gal broke my heart into a million pieces.
I made it to the House of Blues a few minutes before Oceano was set to take the stage. I was ready to head inside but then life threw me a curveball that I just had to hit out of the park. Yes, I really wanted to see Oceano and As Blood Runs Black and I’m bummed to have missed them. However, when you are presented the opportunity to enjoy happy hour with some of the performers higher up on the bill, you take that opportunity and run with it. I did make it into the sold out venue as Powerglove was wrapping up their special halftime performance. Being the only power metal video game theme cover band on a death metal festival, the crowd was clearly showing the love for Powerglove. That could have been fun, maybe next time?!?!
The only time I have seen Dying Fetus is when they woke up on my couch in Sherman Oaks, CA about a decade ago so there was no way I was missing the bands 25 minute set of death/grindcore goodness. On a pure technical level, Dying Fetus in my opinion was the most impressive band that I saw. Not to take away from anyone else on the bill, but to watch these guys (especially guitarist/vocalist John Gallagher) pull off these complex parts and schizophrenic tempo changes in person is a treat. Highlights of the brief set included “Shepherd’s Commandment” “Praise The Lord (Opium of the Masses)” and the final number “Your Treachery Will Die With You.”
Six Feet Under
Another legendary group I finally get to kick off my bucket list. I was actually at their Key Club show in 2006 (maybe 2005?) and had to leave early which I still regret to this day. The band opened with the Cannibal Corpse classic “Stripped, Raped and Strangled” as the very young crowd erupted into a massive swirling pit. Barnes kept banter between songs to a minimum instead choosing to crush the capacity crowd with classics like “Revenge of the Zombie” “Seed of Filth” and “Human Target.” The 30 minute set (which felt much more like 12 minutes at best) wrapped with another Cannibal classic “Hammer Smashed Face.” Perhaps it was Barnes announcing that he would be at the t-shirt stand outside after the set, but as soon as Six Feet Under left the stage, so did much of the crowd.
I knew nothing about Darkest Hour walking into the House of Blues on a night where LA had below average temps and rather clean air. Clinging to my small piece of rail above the club I noticed that when they began they had the smallest crowd I had seen all day and after watching their set I think I see why. Based off thirty minutes with these guys it feels as if are having an identity crisis. The older songs like “The Sadist Nation” felt like Death Metal. Some of the newer songs (including songs being performed live for the first time) felt as if there was a lot more melody. Not a melodic metal say The Black Dahlia Murder, but it almost felt as if it wanted to be a heavy 90’s fuzz rock melody but was afraid to go there. Imagine Hum playing Death Metal, that’s what it felt like to me. As I said earlier, I don’t know anything about this band, so if I am way off my rocker on this one, let me know via the comments below.
It has been a little over a year since I saw Whitechapel at the Vans Warped Tour. While an entertaining performance, a new drummer mixed with an early afternoon set in the food court of a county fairground is not the ideal condition for these Knoxville based deathcore heroes. House of Blues on a Friday night is a different story. With this being my third Whitechapel live experience I was caught off guard at just how devastating the band was. From the opening notes of “Breeding Violence” to the closing “This Is Exile” the six piece band made you feel as if you were stranded at sea in the storm of the century with only an inflatable raft to hold. The triple guitar attack lead by Ben Savage sent the crowd into frenzy. The kids surrounding me were banging their heads and bouncing up and down in furious fashion during “Possession” and “End of Flesh” that I feared the balcony could collapse. It wouldn’t be a Whitechapel show without the band closing with a massive Wall of Death during “This Is Exile.” While the Ventura version was full of fail, on this Friday night in July the kids of Hollywood did not disappoint. Watch out America, Whitechapel is in the zone right now and with an entire tour ahead of them it’s scary to think just how destructive they will be at the conclusion.
The Black Dahlia Murder
I have said it before and I will say it again. The Black Dahlia Murder is the best metal band to emerge from America over the past decade. These guys get it. They are brutal, but can laugh at themselves. They fit the Concert Confessions format because like us they are fans. Where kids went and grabbed merch or water between acts all night, from the second Whitechapel left the stage to the moment The Black Dahlia Murder took to it the floor was packed. It was the main event and the masses were ready.
It made sense that the band kicked off an hour of madness with the opening track from the just released album Ritual. With the opening lyrics “Let us go out this evening for pleasure for the night is still young” “A Shrine To Madness” got the crowd moving despite the fact there was no room to move. A triple shot of classics including “A Vulgar Picture” and “Nocturnal” followed. It didn’t matter if it was a new song such as “Malenchanments of the Necrosphere” or a classic like “Miasma” the place was going nuts. Shout out to the wook in the mini skirt and polka dot underwear. Everyone up top got a good laugh at your crowd surfing antics.
One thing I have noticed about shows with The Black Dahlia Murder is that the energy from the band is fueled by the energy of the fans. The last two shows I saw had no guard rail and fans were free to get on stage and jump back into the crowd. On this night there was a large gap separating the fans and the band. All through the night you could see front man Trevor Strnad reaching for the crowd, greeting crowd surfers as they were escorted back to the pit by a hard working security crew. That need to connect that effort to reach each other was felt by all inside the house and I am still not sure if that struggle helped or hindered the music.
Personal highlights of the set include “Statutory Ape” “I Will Return” and “Funeral Thirst.” When it comes to The Black Dahlia Murder, the guys never disappoint which is why I see them again and again. The 2011 Summer Slaughter tour was an amazing day. If you are a fan of metal and it’s hitting your town you don’t want to miss it. Quick set changes, great bands and I believe all of the dates are inside so you don’t have to stink of sunblock.
Dates for the fifth annual Summer Slaughter tour have been announced. The month long trek will kick off in West Hollywood, CA on July 22nd before wrapping on August 21st in Dallas, TX. Concert Confessions favorites The Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel are set to headline the package tour. Also included in the trek are Darkest Hour, Six Feet Under, Dying Fetus, As Blood Runs Black, Oceano, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Powerglove.
Dates and venues are listed below. As always keep your eyes on the official site as dates/venues may change.
Summer Slaughter TourDates:
Jul. 22 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues
Jul. 23 – Anaheim, CA – The Grove
Jul. 25 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre
Jul. 26 – Seattle, WA – King Cat Theatre
Jul. 28 – Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
Jul. 29 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
Jul. 30 – San Diego, CA – House Of Blues
Jul. 31 – Scottsdale, AZ – The Venue Scottsdale
Aug. 02 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall
Aug. 04 – Louisville, KY – Expo Five
Aug. 05 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews
Aug. 06 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Aug. 07 – Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues
Aug. 08 – Chicago, IL – House Of Blues
Aug. 09 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
Aug. 10 – Montreal, QC – Olympia
Aug. 11 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Aug. 12 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Aug. 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre Of Living Arts
Aug. 14 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Aug. 16 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Aug. 17 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
Aug. 19 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
Aug. 20 – San Antonio, TX – Backstage Live
Aug. 21 – Dallas, TX – House Of Blues
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
Ever since I watched a ridiculous MTVnews interview with Helmet (you know, the one where they make a big deal about a metal band with short hair) I have been obsessed with seeing the band live. OK, perhaps obsessed is the wrong word, but I have been a fan now for over half my life and somehow always manage to miss the band when they swing through town. I decided it was time to change this, and on the night of Sunday Sept 26th I headed south to Redondo Beach to check out the long running metal bands concert at BriXton’s South Bay.
It took me almost an hour to get to BriXton’s, as I got stuck in the mass exodus of inland residents leaving various costal cities. I figured I had managed to miss the local support acts; however I made it just in time to catch the complete set for local rockers MX Machine. Initially, the power-trios Motorhead inspired trash metal set, bored me, however after about the second song things started to get interesting. First drummer and Packers fan Joe Ayala somehow lost a kick pedal. This forced bassist/vocalist Diego Negrete to fill time with akward yet rather hilarious stage banter. Once Ayala was up and almost running, the band continued on with the set. With the mood lite from the silly banter, the band semeed relaxed and let loose. One highlight was the bands “breakthrough single” from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre III soundtrack. The song was called “Psychcotic Killing Machine” and it got the 1/3rd capacity venue up on their feet and rocking out.
While the music was solid, it was the energy and banter of Negrete that truly made the set. From complaints about having to show up for his day job on Monday to plugs of an upcoming gig with Accept at the Key Club, Negrete even had the bartenders laughing out loud. So if you are going to that Accept show, or just happen to see that MX Machine are opening a gig you plan to attend make sure you check these guys out. They are a musically tight and will bring you more laughs than Dane Cook.
Up next was a band out of Vancouver Canada known as Bison b.c.. For three weeks, the group has criss-crossed the west coast with Helmet and Redondo Beach was the bands final night. Coming into the gig, the hype around Bison b.c. has been huge and despite not knowing a single song I was almost as excited for their set as I was for Helmet. I am glad to report that Bison b.c. not only lived up to the hype, but they blew that hype up with a fistfuls of dynamite and kicked it off the Redondo Beach Pier straight into the Pacific Ocean below.
Not owning any of the bands albums, sadly I can’t give you intimate blow by blow details of what songs they played. I can tell you that the band absolutley dominated the tiny club stage. Imagine all the things you love about bands like Mastodon and Black Flag and combine them with the ass-stomping power of The Black Dahlia Murder. That is Bison b.c. in a nutshell for you. The band is so brutal and so heavy that bassist Masa Anzai doesn’t even bother with a “G” string on his instrument. During their thirty minute set, the band not only seemed to be having a blast, but were grateful for the chance to expose their music to a new and highly appreciative audience. I was so impressed, I not only needed a lot more Bison b.c. (thus me rushing to the merch stand to pick up their lastest record), I found myself wondering how Helmet could follow such an amazing act. If you are into the heavy doom/thrash/stoner metal scene – believe the hype. Bison b.c. is the real fucking deal.
Where the first set change was quick, the change between Bison b.c. and Helmet felt like an eternity. By the time the band finally took the stage, I instantly noticed how many folks had left between Bison BC and the headline act. Anyone who did leave early is a fool, because Helmet crushed all within a three mile radius of the club. Promoting their latest release Seeing Eye Dogthe Page Hamilton led band kicked the set off with a new song from the new release called “Swallowing Everything.” The crowd surged to the front of the tiny stage and watched adoringly as the four piece band kicked off a 90 minute set that covered their entire career.
I have to say, what we heard from the new record was solid. The highlight was a heavy and moving version of “Welcome to Algiers.” The song had that classic heavy Helmet feel, but had the rich melody you would expect out bands like Jawbox or Hum. While respectful, it was clear the audience was not conecting with the band and the new (aka everything from Aftertaste on) material. Hamilton even tried to egg the crowd on by declaring how San Diego the previous evening was the highlight of the tour. While this was lost on the mosty 40+ year old crowd, Hamilton found the key to getting the crowd into set around the sixth song.
For the first time all night, a pit broke out and the crowd went nuts as the opening riffs for “Iron Head” rang through the clubs PA. Another classic “Give It” followed and the energy went from old and tired to youthful and energetic within a matter of seconds. The band followed these monster jams up with two more new songs – “In Person” and “She’s Lost.” Sadly almost all the energy in the crowd was once again lost. Of course that energy was brought back up as the band busted out their breakthrough 1992 hit “Unsung.” Clearly Hamilton noticed, and instead of having a Billy Corgan diva-esque moment he did the smart thing and called an audible.
After some hilarious stage banter, Hamilton decided to skip the title track from Seeing Eye Dog and instead informed his band mates that it was time to bust out “I Know” from the highly successful 1994 release – Betty. The place went nuts, especially as the song segued flawlessly into “Wilma’s Rainbow.” A third track from Betty called “Milquetoast” followed and it was clear Hamilton had made the right choice. The crowd was very much stuck in the early to mid 1990’s, and I am not just saying that because I was the only person not wearing jean shorts.
After toast, the band left the stage for a brief encore break. Upon their return, they dedicated the first song to a fan/friend who had recently returned from a tour of duty in the Middle East. The band then reached deep down and gave 100% for one last song. That song of course was the early 90’s classic “In The Meantime.” For the final time on this hot autumn night, the 12-14 men who made up the mosh pit ran around the main floor of BriXton South Bay beating each other silly. When all was said and done, those still left in the crowd seemed thankful for a chance to see Helmet rock their small costal community. As a single stage hand began to tear down the equipment, Hamilton met with fans. Caught in the mob, I quickly shook his hand and found myself in a painful conversation about our 0-3 San Francisco 49ers. Sure, our team may stink, but I can’t think of a better way to end my first Helmet show then Mr. Hamilton and I consuling each other over our crappy team. Here’s hoping we have a few victories under our belt when the band and I collide once again in Hollywood in November.
W/ Dirge Within, Hate Eternal, Born of Osiris, Whitechapel, Unearth, Chimaira, Cannibal Corpse, Trivium & Hatebreed
The Palladium – Hollywood, CA 11/28/2009
Words/Photos/Video by Reverend Justito
While many used Thursday to feast and give thanks, I managed to wait till Saturday to truly celebrate Thanksgiving. Armed with two comp tickets and a fancy photo pass (thanks KM), I hit the Palladium in chilly Hollywood, CA for a day long metal festival. With a lineup featuring rising acts like Whitechapel, legends such as Cannibal Corpse and Hardcore Superstars Hatebreed closing, how could I not be thankful? So enough with the stuffing, let’s get to the action:
Guys, I enjoyed watching your last song from the back bar. It was solid and left me wanting more. Shaun, it was very nice to meet you, granted I didn’t say much so you probably don’t remember me at all. I do apologize that we got in late, but some box office issues, its Hollywood you know how it goes. Next time!
Next time was this time as I was finally able to witness a Hate Eternal set. I missed these guys a few years ago with The Black Dahlia Murder at the Key Club (RIP) because of work/traffic, so finally getting to see them was a treat. The short set of crushing death metal did not disappoint. Front man/guitarist Erik Rutan had a great command of the excited and eager crowd. He was all smiles as the young audience went crazy for songs like “I, Monarch”. What truly stood out the most was the energy of Rutan. While the music may be dark, his smile is so big and contagious you couldn’t help but have your own spread across your face.
Born Of Osiris:
It would be very easy for me to make fun of this hot topic Nintendo death core band from the Midwest. I mean, they have a hype man who when not laying down Legend of Zelda grooves on his lil Casio keyboard, is singing along with no mic while shaking his cute lil boy emo haircut in time to the music . I noticed that their bass player tripped at least three times and while I wouldn’t rush down to the store to buy a record, I would watch these guys over the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade any day of the week. Besides, while I couldn’t confirm anything on Wikipedia, I am pretty sure their singer is that kid reporter from that Kate Hudson flick – “Almost Famous”. Feel free to check out some video of their song “Now Arise” to form your own opinion of the Midwestern mall rats that did a fine job of warming up the crowd for bigger and better acts. (Update March 2012. With Summerian Records having our original YouTube channel removed, we will no longer post their video. I was going to link you to a video where their owner Ash Avildsen talks about piracy, but it appears he took that down. My guess is he took it down because the fine folks at The Gauntlet called him out for being a pirate himself. Check it out here.)
Whitechapel is a band that I have heard the name of, but had never heard musically. Over thirty brief minutes, these guys were very intense and quickly made a fan out of me. With a dirty and distorted three guitar attack, these guys simply pound you into submission riff after riff. Add a thick rhythm section with the gravel gargling vocals of Phil Bozeman and you have a perfect concoction of beefy brutality. Songs like “Eternal Refuge” and “Father of Lies” very well could have been highlights if not for the bands closing stunt – The Wall of Death. Using the title track of their latest record This is Exile, the band parted the cavernous dance floor like Moses parted the red sea. While many in the eager audience were unable to wait for Bozeman’s starting signal, when the front man did let it rip, the results were pure carnage must to the delight of both the band and fans.
Out of all nine bands on the bill, Unearth is the only act I have seen multiple times. What keeps me coming back to see this five piece is their perfect mix of buffoonery and brutality. When not tearing up songs like “Endless”, guitarist Ken Susi is consuming ice cold brews via a lengthy beer bong. With their 30 minute set, the band focused more on brutality, mixing songs like “Crow Killer” from their recent release The March with earlier fan favorites. While I didn’t feel the energy of their set this past June with Testament at House of Blues, it’s impossible not to move your body while watching these guys. With vocalist Trevor Phipps instructing the crowd to go crazy, huge pits swelled for their devastating take on “Sanctity of Brothers”. With the promise of a headline tour in the spring, the Massachusetts metallers closed their oh so brief set with the fan favorite “Black Hearts Now Reign”. With one last chance, the crowd went crazy giving Unearth undoubtedly the second largest response of the entire event.
I have basically ignored Chimaira over the last decade. No reason really, they have just never stood out to me. When it was their turn for 30 minutes of metal, I listened with an open mind. They were pretty enjoyable. I really couldn’t tell you much, I know they played the songs “Severed” and “Pure Hatred simply because chatty front man Mark Hunter said so. Same goes for “Power Trip” which on a personal level proves that you can successfully drink a $9.50 Monster/Vodka and help contribute to the YouTube live music community. While they got 30 minutes as did most of the acts, Chimaira’s time on stage felt short and I found myself wanting more, which makes me wonder if perhaps I should not have ignored the Cleveland Ohio natives?!?!?!
Perhaps I will get some grief for saying this, but I have always viewed Cannibal Corpse as a joke. As my friends in high school discovered their music and took it seriously, I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous they were. While enjoyable, I just couldn’t take a band with barking vocals about amputations, sores and rotting flesh seriously. I have always wanted to see the band live (having failed twice in the past for various reasons), and my expectations were high. Thankfully the band did not disappoint as they blasted through an energetic 45 minute set. While I didn’t recognize the first few songs, I was excited when the death metal legends started busting out some classics. With bassist Alex Webster lying down wicked detuned grooves; “I Cum Blood” got a thunderous reaction from the mostly male crowd. I was actually surprised how comedic front man George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher is with his banter between songs. When not giving the audience the impossible challenge of out-head banging him, his dedicating “Fucked with a Knife” to the 20-30 female fans in the crowd was actually kind of sweet.
While two bands may have followed, the true headliner of the all day metalfest was Cannibal Corpse. Not only did Cannibal perform to the biggest crowd of the night, it was the rowdiest crowd of any band. The pits were the largest and most ferocious the venue saw all day. Crowd surfers drifted over the rails and into the arms of security guards waiting to bring them to safety. The main floor finally looked full for their set, and when Cannibal ended things with “Hammer Smashed Face-> Stripped, Raped and Strangled” fans begged for more. When the realization sank in that the set was over, at least half of the crowd decided it was time to head home.
I have one good thing to say about “co-headliner” Trivium. Of the 20-30 earlier mentioned females inside the Palladium, Trivium brought in about 19 of them. They also brought in a lot of men with flowing long locks of hair and large breasts so please keep that in mind. For as crappy as their set was this past March at The Forum with Slipknot, this was time around was a new level of pain upon my ear drums. Sure, I wasted some battery videotaping “Pillars of Serpents” (make sure to check the first user comment I got, an ignorant racist attack from what I now believe is a typical Trivium fan) but by the time these tools were butchering the Sepultura song “Slave New World” I decided my time would be better spent conducting an experiment. Could I curl into a fetal position below the stage right bar in the northwest corner of the venue and take a power nap? The answer was yes. With nothing else of importance to say about these guys, I would like to close with an observation. Two separate tours combined into one festival on this particular Saturday in November. Various bands mentioned earlier shows in San Francisco and how the crowd in the town of my birth went off much harder than Hollywood. The only band to say the opposite was Trivium, which further proves my philosophy that So Cal crowds blow, and Bay Area music fans know the real deal from the fakes.
I can’t lie, I feel bad for Hatebreed. With at least 20 female fans and a good chunk of the man tittie committee leaving after Trivium, the festival headliners took to the stage to less than 1000 fans inside the 4000 capacity auditorium. Having seen the band this past April at the equally dissapointing Golden Gods Awards, the lack of audience didn’t stop the band from exploding onto the stage and giving 100%. The band jumped all over their catalogue playing songs from their debut in-between more recent numbers such as “To The Threshold”. When not covering Slayer, the Jamey Jasta lead hardcore group was keeping their fans happy with songs like “Defeatist” and “Tear it Down”. For as excited as I was for the chance to see the Connecticut band, I ended up leaving early. Tired and hungry, watching the band perform to the empty room was depressing after what was a rather amazing day of music. I don’t even think I saw one single hardcore kid doing karate moves in the pit, and the few dudes who did make up the pit seemed to be there more out of habit than passion. Perhaps even having one other hardcore bill would have brought out more fans, perhaps Hatebreed’s time has come and gone. Whatever it was, having my fill of metal and thankful for a wonderful day I decided to meet up with my female companions a few blocks away at K24. It wouldn’t be a night at the Palladium without a post meal at our favorite diner in Hollywood. The perfect ending to a perfect fall day.
(Photos used only by permission of concertconfessions.com)
Last time I heard from Best Coast, it was killing time mid afternoon at Day two of the Orion Music + More festival between Gary Clark Jr and Black Dahlia Murder. Well, tonight marks the first time this writer has seen the Best Coast chick without the stupid white hipster glasses on. Anyway, you can watch the video below from their appearance on Conan from earlier tonight. Hat tip goes to the Audio Perv
On the night of Sunday, November 15th, 2009 I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom puking into my recently cleaned toilet when the unthinkable happened. With no warning at all, warm liquid poop flowed right out of my bottom and straight into my underwear. As I sat with vomit dripping from my beard and pants full of feces, I knew that it could only get better. No matter how rotten I felt at that moment, it would one day pay off. That day just happened to be Wednesday (my first day back at work after having the 24 hour flu for about 36 hours), as I explained my experience in 140 characters via Twitter to the fine folks @thepalladium. They took pity on me and decided to help me gain back the 9 pounds I had lost earlier that week by giving me two free tickets to see the Mastodon and Dethklok co-headline their fine venue (I explained I needed something heavy to weigh me down). Having seen Mastodon before, I knew I ran the risk of having my pants fill with warm liquid scat again, after all, how many bands do you know who actually sound like their name? Sure, Tenacious D may claim they will blow your ass out, Mastodon actually will.
Now, in the interest of fairness, I have to admit, I don’t watch much Television (LOST, South Park and live sporting events for those keeping score at home). So while I have heard of Dethklok from Adult Swim, I had no clue what to expect. Despite the fact they closed the show, and I usually try to write these in order, I want to discuss them first since I don’t have a ton to say. I suppose I expected a Gorrilaz vibe – some ugly old dudes playing backlit behind a video screen with the cartoon superheroes doing whatever it is they do front and center for the mostly male audience. I was slightly wrong, as the video is actually behind the old ugly dudes (not that I am one to talk, 30 and pooping myself). I must say overall, I was very impressed. First off, the music was very heavy, which was nice (I assumed it be more Stryper than Black Dahlia Murder based off how the cartoon characters look). The highlight in my book was the Mermaid Abortion Squad jam, which was a song/video that had a checklist of weapons for Mermaids who swim around and well, you can guess the rest. If anything stuck with me from their set, it’s that I really need to start watching more adult swim. I laughed at many of the cartoon intermissions (kudos to the guy who left the stage to pee) and the songs were really good. I think it may be time to add a third show to my small Television habit.
With money being tight, I had been very bummed that I would miss Mastodon. Ever since I heard “March of the Fire Ants” on Headbangers Ball half a decade ago, I have been obsessed with the beefy Georgia four piece. For as many issues that I have with Live Nation, I can’t thank them and The Palladium enough for choosing me as one of the winners of the twitter free ticket give away. Having missed openers High on Fire and Converge to get a pre drink at the Frolic Room, I managed to walk and get a spot on the floor the second the house lights came down for Mastodon. I got very excited when the band opened with the epic “Oblivion”. I got even more excited when they went right into “Divinations”. Having done no research pre-show, it was this moment that I realized that perhaps they were still playing their most recent release Crack The Skye. I didn’t make it to Coachella, so I assumed I had missed it with their small spring tour, but by the time the band reached the thunderous third track – “Quintessence” I knew for a fact that my blessings continued. I love seeing bands perform albums start fo finish live, and Mastodon doing such a feat – wow. I am as guilty as the rest of listening to my IPOD on shuffle, but as someone who has always appreciated albums and long works, I fear the mainstream death of the album. In a year which a lot of good records have been released, Crack The Skye has managed to stay in heavy rotation over the year.
At the end of “Divinations” I basically stuffed the camera away, further altered my own reality and enjoyed the southern tinged post hardcore sludgeadelia journey. I watched and tried to figure out how they do it. How do they make something so heavy, so brutal yet flow, evolve and sound so pretty at the same time? Musically, the highlights of the album (at least for me) are the longer tracks “The Czar” and “The Last Baron”. The later, was so heavy at the end, I truthfully feared for my bowls (it only got worse with the pre-recorded music that made up the encore break). For as wrapped as I was in the performance, I really am at a loss for words. Mastodon is just that good, and watching them perform an album from front to back was just too much for me to comprehend and try to explain.
The encore I thought was really cool. I assumed they would play some of their bigger numbers, but thankfully I was wrong. The opening duo of “Circle of Cysquatch->Aqua Dementia” just took everything up a level in both heaviness and intensity. When not following trippy images on the screens behind the band, I notice it’s hard to peel my eyes from both bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders and Guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds. The duo are larger than life and very intimidating, pounding the stage like two pre-historic terrors. Their screams make you feel as if you have had your chest crushed by something out of Jurassic Park, and as sick as it sounds, it’s a feeling I can never get enough of. That’s why I was sad when it was all over. The band closed the night with the elephant tit heavy “Mother Puncher”. 11 songs over approximately 90 minutes simply was not enough for me, I needed more. Sadly, that was not to be, so I headed back and grabbed myself a strong drink, thankful for a night of free music and clean underwear.