I mean, lets be honest here, you are not good enough to be a cop, so to get your rocks off you work concert security. Not only do you collect a paycheck to power trip, you tiny lil cock is rock hard right now and were it not for an arena full of underage children I know you would have it covered in your own saliva stroking till you blew watery wad all over the beer line.
Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, CA I uttered those words (or at least something close to that) to the security guard who confiscated camera #1. I spoke those words to him, not because I can, but because he works for me. As the cock smoker turned around and walked away, I told him I would make him famous, and I did just that.
It’s a shame that camera #1 got taken, not because it is the less superior of the two I crotched into the Forum tonight, but because it was taken by opening band Trivium. Now don’t get me wrong, Trivium do their thing and they do a fine job at it. However, it’s just not my thing. A bit too generic for me. They do however do an outstanding job at creating a relationship with the crowd. It is a relationship based on respect, and they truly did an outstanding job at warming up tonight’s very undersold and un-saved crowd.
After spending a few valuable minutes with Claudio Sanchez earlier in the day, I was very excited to see what really is the best thing going on in music right now – Coheed and Cambria. This was the 7.5 time seeing Coheed live for me, and expectations were at an all time low. I had planned to see Slipknot this spring regardless of who opened, so having the mighty Coheed was hard to believe for a few days. Knowing the Slipknot fan base has a lower IQ than NASCAR fans (with a few choice exceptions) I fully expected to see Coheed get boooo’d from the stage. With banners that read God Won’t Save You, the upstate New York band took the stage at the venue that would be holding a church service for 18,000+ the following morning in fine fashion. Opening with “Welcome Home” the band is so fine tuned being just shy of 3 years on tour that they easily could have checked tonight’s Phish set list on their cell phones without missing a beat. “The Velourium Camper III: Al The Killer” followed and despite the earlier shake down I stealth taped it with camera #2 as it was all part of God’s plan for me.
As a faint Slipknot chant started, bass player Michael Todd assured the crowd they would be their soon enough. A few songs from their recent record followed including a smoking “The End Complete” and solid version of “No World For Tomorrow” despite Sanchez having some kind of issue with his gear. The band closed with the epic “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” that was amazing for those who cared, but a struggle for those who could care less. In the end, where I was there were more cheers than boo’s and despite one object bouncing off Claudio’s dome I think they managed to at least get the respect legion of maggots ready to worship their own God’s.
As the floor grew more rowdy, I grew more angry about getting busted. I tried to shrug it off, and did a pretty good job as the main event of gang masked mayhem took to the stage. Going old school off the bat, “EYELESS” made an early appearance much to the obvious delight of the name dropping of our wonderful state. As I watched security warn a female for her camera only to bust and steal a camera from a male, I got so steamed I for a moment wished I could hop in any one of the 4-6 pits on the floor.
“Wait and Bleed” really seemed to be the first song that sent the large pits into overdrive. If there was to be a breather during the set, it was “Before I Forget” which is saying a lot for their song selection. The band is killing it. Not only are they killing it, they spend a lot of time walking around the crowd. Clown came somewhat close to us at one point, and Taylor managed to sing their most recent single “Dead Memories” from the soundboard that sits in the back of the floor. Watching another male busted while female was giving a warning, I decided to go fuck some shit up on my own.
I went up to the booth and demanded my camera back due to their sexist standards. The gal (who was neither friendly, but not rotten) refused, and I demanded to speak to a manager. Over the next three minutes, I explained the sexism at hand, I gave the number of the guard and I explained how this was already going to be on the internet anyways and that it was Gods will that he do the right thing. I returned to my seat with my camera tucked into my pocket in time for “Left Behind”.
The interesting thing with Slipknot is that even if a song is not a hit, heck even played on the radio, each song feels like a hit. I think it’s the fact that their fan base is so rabid and crazy. It is almost scary how much control that band has on their fans. Thankfully the 9 men who make up the metal messiahs treat that honor with respect. They allowed the fans to sing “Duality” and while 97% of the upper deck was empty, I know for a fact the crowd sang louder than every other show in Los Angeles tonight combined.
They closed their set with the popular “People=Shit” and left the stage to ear piercing chants of SLIPKNOT. Returning for an encore, the band launched into “Surfacing” and the place went nuts. All night injured/crushed fans were pulled over the guard rail. The paramedics clearly had their hands full. These fine individuals had to work overtime during the encore it was that nuts. “Spit It Out” closed the night. Taylor didn’t even have to tell the fans to sit down as he often requests the crowd to do, they already know too. As the entire crowd (floor included) sat down, the band built up, and waited for Taylor’s command. As he screamed JUMP, the entire crowd rose and went nuts one last time for their masked heroes. As the song wrapped and feedback rang through the room the lights came up and the crowd seemed as if it was a balloon that comes untied and is propelled by the leaking oxygen. A collective exhale with a crooked smile, knowing that you survived and won all on the same night.
The metal fest known as Knotfest hit the desert plains of San Bernardino, California for two days of non-stop metal devastation! Someof the biggest names in metal were in attendance as well as some newer band and the Coldcock Whisky winners. I was fortunate enough to get access to both days of the festival and photograph bands to my metal heart’s desire with the exception of both day’s headliners Judas Priest and Slipknot. The festival also saw many attractions besides bands which included people on stilts, thunderdome, Slipknot museum, carnival games, and carnival rides. I arrived early on to catch many of the bands that I’ll either be seeing for the first time or for the second or more time.
Inquisition is a two-man black metal band from Colombia. As most black metal bands perform, they had corpse painting and all black outfits. For many fans, this was their first time seeing Inquisition. Inquisition started the show with Force of the Floating Tomb. Frontman Dagon has an interesting voice when singing as it sounds almost robotic, yet still has that black metal feel. While their music isn’t relatively fast as most black metal bands, Inquisition prefers a calmer style. Still, with their style of music they pulled in the crowd with plenty of horns thrown in the air and headbangers seen on the rail.
Swedish melodic death metal lords At the Gates were one of the main attractions of side stage 2. Plenty of fans were seen screaming their name and singing along as they started the show with Death and the Labyrinth from their newest album At War With Reality which is their first album in 19 years. The mosh pits commenced and helped At the Gates start off strong. At the Gates continued the slaughter with Slaughter of the Soul from their 1995 landmark album, Slaughter of the Soul. Being their biggest hit, fans went absolutely crazy as the mosh pits got more violent and huge clouds of dust were lifted from the ground and people could be seen covering their mouths and coughing. Some fans were seen waving the flag from Sweden as a thank you for At the Gates performing this one off USA show. Other songs in their setlist included: Cold, Under A Serpent Sun, Suicide Nation, and Blinded by Fear. At the Gates have proven themselves to be one of Sweden’s biggest bands and fans are very grateful to have them return after a very long hiatus.
Body Count is a heavy metal band formed by and fronted by legendary rapper Ice-T. Most people would think it’s odd to have an almost all black band perform heavy metal music. Some are for it, some are against it, some really don’t care. Body Count started the show with Body Count’s in the House and were welcomed with open arms as fans went wild and the mosh pits continued. After their performance of Masters of Revenge, guitarist Ernie C started experiencing technical difficulties and in the meantime, Ice-T entertained the audience by telling dirty jokes to which the crowd loved and laughed at them. The show continued and they played songs like Manslaughter and There Goes the Neighborhood. Body Count finished their set with their most controversial song, Cop Killer. Fans moshed and raised their fists and horns as they sang along, “Fuck the police! Fuck the Police!”. Body Count definitely knew how to get the crowd going and left the fans wanting more.
Belphegor is a blackened death metal band from Austria and along with stage-mates Kataklysm, have made the first stop of their tour at Knotfest. Belphegor have an intimidating stage presence with two microphone stands covered by bones and the band members have their faces painted white and covered with makeup that resembles blood. Plenty of fans could be seen anxiously waiting as Belphegor started the show with Feast Upon the Dead. Frontman Helmuth would unleash his demon-like vocals on the crowd while shedding on the guitar. Quite often he would make these evil faces while rolling his eyes to the back of his head giving him a truly demonic look. Other songs in their setlist included: Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador, Lucifer Incestus, and Bondage Goat Zombie. Belphegor has just started their US tour and hopefully will make another Southern California stop to truly experience a full set instead of a cut-down set.
The scumdogs of the universe Gwar are no strangers to the metal world. Infamously known for their stage theatrics, props, costumes, and of course their heavy use of blood (red food coloring) and other bodily fluids. Even with the death of Oderus Urungus, Gwar lives on and continues to spread their shenanigans to the masses. A human with an overly-sized head came out to greet the fans only to be held down by Bonesnapper and decapitated by a huge sword in which the body started spraying a stream of blood to the crowd as Gwar started the show with Crush, Kill, Destroy. Fans were overly joyed at the thought of being covered in blood and happily puts themselves in the path of the stream and soon lots of fans looked like they got a tan from the blood turning orange on them. An alien monster with a snail-shaped penis came out on stage to intimidate the fans and address since Urungus is dead, Gwar belonged to him now. Gwar would have none of that and proceeded to have an on-stage battle with Bonesnapper using an axe to beat down the alien monster as the band started to play Vlad the Impaler. The alien monster would then proceed to piss on the fans with his yellow liquid giving the human filth another chance to be soaked in alien piss. Other songs they played were: Saddam a Go-Go, The Salaminizer, and Sick of You. Gwar was one of the best side stage bands and were the final band on stage 2 as fans that were in the pit were seen leaving soaked in blood.
Kataklysm is a Canadian death metal band and released their twelfth studio album titled Of Ghosts and Gods on July31, 2015. Along with Belphegor, they embarked on the Of Ghosts and Gods USA tour and made Knotfest their first stop. Kataklysm started the show with If I Was God…I’d Burn It All. Frontman Maurizio Iacono displayed his powerful voice and really displayed his technique. It took a few tries for Iacono to get the crowd going into a mosh pit instead of standing around. Kataklysm has a very heavy sound to their music and metalheads will have an easy time headbanging to their music. Sadly, Kataklysm are heavily underrated. They played songs like: The Black Sheep, The Ambassador of Pain, and Crippled & Broken. The whole band has a great stage presence and are more deserving than what they get. If this tour makes a stop in or near your area, they are definitely worth checking out.
The first band on the main stage that I got to check out was Trivium. Trivium released their seventh studio album Silence in the Snow on October 2, 2015. Trivium had plenty of fans in the crowd and some of the crowd up front had signs for them to see. Trivium came out and started the show with Silence in the Snow from the new album. Trivium‘s music can often be described as a blend of metalcore, thrash metal, and heavy metal. Some might refer to them as new age Metallica. Frontman Matt Heafy would shred away track after track and enjoyed interacting with the fans. The other band members did their part in making their music sound just as good live as on album. Trivium played songs from their catalog like: Until the world Goes Cold, Blind Leading the Blind, and In Waves. Trivium has a great stage presence and made a great addition to get the audience warmed up for the other main stage bands.
Progressive/sludge metal band Mastodon is currently one of the biggest bands in metal and on June 24, 2014, released their sixth album, Once More ‘Round the Sun. Mastodon started the show with the first track from the new album, Tread Lightly. As Mastodon does with most tours, it’s no surprise to see that the new album dominated their setlist with as many as 6 tracks of the 10 songs performed were from the new album. Mastodon is one of those bands that sound so well live that they sound just like the album, note for note. In addition to the new songs, they also played older songs like: Aqua Dementia, Bladecatcher, and Black Tongue. During the middle of the set, frontman Troy Sanders made note to the audience that this exact Mastodon show was their 2,000th show. One of the best songs played was High Road, the first single from the new album and the music video for it is the first ever metal music video to contain females twerking. Mastodon ended the show by playing their most popular song and one of the most well-known metal songs, Blood and Thunder from their critically-acclaimed and Moby-Dick inspired Leviathan album. Mastodon is surely on their way of becoming one of the biggest metal bands of all time.
Nu-Metal veterans KoRn are currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their self-titled debut album. KoRn‘s first stop on the 20th anniversary tour was at Knotfest. KoRn started the show with Blind, the first track from the self-titled album. Drummer Ray Luzier started the song by repeatedly hitting his ride cymbal as the song originally starts. Bassist Fieldy would hit the quick funky bass notes. Guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch would introduce the song letting the fans know the show was about to start. Frontman Jonathan Davis came center, took ahold of his signature mic stand, screamed into it, “ARE YOU REEAADDYYY!?!?” as the song started in full force with all members headbanging and fans on the floor jumping simultaneously for an impressive sight. For this tour, KoRn was playing their debut album in its entirety. Some songs they haven’t played from that album in years and others they play regularly. Songs like Ball Tongue and Need To have recently been been played for the first time since the anniversary tour of the album that started earlier this year. Other song like Clown and Faget are fan-favorites that are regularly played, but are still welcomed from old and new fans. Being that KoRn has a shorter setlist than their own headlining tour, they couldn’t possibly plays just songs from the debut album. Instead, they played the first seven songs from the debut album. Davis came out with his signature bag pipes and fans knew what song was coming next. Shoots and Ladders is one of KoRn‘s best songs and is played at almost all their shows and is always fun singing along to a mix of nursery rhymes. To mix up the setlist, KoRn played some of their other hits starting with Falling Away From Me. This being a fan-favorite, the crowd was very into it and jumped to the beginning of the song and fans could be seen singing along. Here to Stay and Did My Time were other fan-favorites that made people in the crowd go wild and mosh pits could be seen from anywhere in the venue. KoRn finished the show with their most popular song, Freak on a Leash. Fans could be seen singing along to the song and of course loved with when Davis performed the beat box solo that the song is known for. KoRn finished the show and came out to greet fans and have their kids come out as well as they threw guitar picks and drum heads into the crowd. KoRn left the stage and paved way for the headliner of the night; the gods of heavy metal, Judas Priest!
Judas Priest is regarded as one of the greatest metal bands of all time and they have every right to be called that. Led by the metal god Rob Halford, Judas Priest has earned their place in the music world as one of the greatest bands in metal. After what seemed to be the end for the band, they came back to release their seventeenth studio album Redeemer of Souls on July 8, 2014. Judas Priest served as the perfect headliner for night 1 with lots of fans waiting for the metal gods. Black Sabbath‘s War Pigs played over the speakers and fans knew that was the cue that Judas Priest was about to start. The lights went out and fans screamed as loud as they could as the intro track Battle Cry played over the speakers. The curtain that was covering the stage came down and revealed Judas Priest on stage as they started the show with the first track from the new album, Dragonaut. Judas Priest kept to their roots by playing classics as the show continued with Metal Gods, a song about robots and technology taking over the world. Victim of Changes was the third song and gave Halford a chance to show that age hasn’t affected his legendary voice as he let out his beautiful high-pitched voice throughout the song. He would send a shiver down your spine as he sang, “VICTIM OF CHAAANGEEESSS!!” and guitarists Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton played the song to perfection and showed why they’re two of metal’s greatest guitarists. Halls of Valhalla is another new song that they played followed by The Rage which was a nice treat given that they don’t play that too often. The synth intro to the next song could be heard and fans knew exactly what was coming. The classic song, Turbo Lover. Halford would hold out the mic to fans and let them, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” Halford would sing, “Tell me there’s no otherrr”. Halford would hold out the mic again and let fans again sing, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” and Halford would finish with, “better run for coverrr!”. The real treat of the night came when they played the next song, Screaming For Vengeance from their album of the same name which itself is a metal masterpiece. That song hasn’t been performed in almost 30 years and many younger fans were overjoyed to finally have the chance to hear it live. Halford was at the top of his game as he sing in high-pitch with little problem as the song requires. Faulkner and Tipton performed the guitar solos to perfection and really brought the song to life after so long. Following that, Judas Priest kept bringing out the classics that made them who they are. The next song was one of the greatest songs in metal, Breaking the Law. Anyone that listens to metal should be familiar with this song. Halford would hold out the mic to the audience as they sang the chorus, “Breaking the Law! Breaking the Law!”. It is a very fun song to sing to live and amazing to experience everyone singing along. The stage went silent as the sound of an engine roaring could be heard. Fans screamed as they knew exactly what was coming next. Halford came out riding a motorcycle and to no surprise, the next song was Hell Bent For Leather. The stage went dark again as the familiar intro of The Hellion started and fans sang along to the intro of, “ooo-ahh-ooo-oh”. The intro ended and Judas Priest jumped right into Electric Eye. Fans all over could be heard singing along to the chorus, “I’m electric, electric spy. I’m protective Electric Eye”. The band took a quick break while Halford engaged with the crowd with some vocal exercises as the crowd followed his lead. Judas Priest was to end the one with another one of their most popular songs, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’. Fans were loving singing along to this song from start to finish. The show seemed to be over until Jose from SiriusXM Radio came out and asked the crowd if they wanted one more song. The crowd cheered to no surprise and Judas Priest came out to play the final song of the night, Painkiller. What a perfect choice for a show finisher. This song is the definition of heavy metal. Dual guitar leads, fast drumming, and Halford’s legendary voice. Halford finished the song strong with a very long, “Pain…killerrrrrrrrrr!!”. Judas Priest showed off their musicianship one last time in a huge noise of heavy metal music mashup of guitars and drums being played at the same time combined with the screaming of fans. Judas Priest left the stage while leaving the crowd overwhelmed that they just witnessed one of the greatest bands in metal. So was the end to day one of Knotfest.
The 7th annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival kicked off in San Bernardino, California at the San Manuel Amphitheater on July 5th, 2014. The lineup for this year was somewhat different than the previous years with more of the metalcore bands making an appearance instead of the bigger and well-known bands. Some of the bands that were on the bill included: Miss May I, Mushroomhead, Suicide Silence, Body Count feat. legendary rapper Ice-T, Cannibal Corpse, Trivium, Asking Alexandria, and headliners KoRn and Avenged Sevenfold.
By the time I made my way into the area where the side-stage bands were performing, Suicide Silence was performing. I’m not familiar with their music so all I did was look on with their performance. The crowd seemed into them as they moshed away and headbanged. Suicide Silence seems to be doing well with their new singer, Eddie Hermida formerly of All Shall Perish whom replaced the late Mitch Lucker.
After them, Body Count featuring Ice-T took the stage and legendary rapper Ice-T put on a show to prove that he can also rock out. The crowd reacted well as there were mosh pits the whole time and crowd surfers started to appear once Body Count started to play their hit, Cop Killer. I’d never heard of Body Count until they were announced to be at this year’s Mayhem Fest and they were definitely and interesting addition.
Once Body Count finished, the first band I was looking forward to came on. The biggest-selling death metal band, Cannibal Corpse! They played a blistering set that kept the crowd going to where at one point I was being thrown around by two different mosh pits going on around me. They started their set with my favorite track from their newest Torture album, Scourge of Iron. The rest of their set included hits such as: Make Them Suffer, I Cum Blood, Stripped, Raped, and Strangled, and their most famous song, Hammer Smashed Face. As always, frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher made us laugh by cursing at us, the people standing around, the crowd that was watching from up the hill instead of being in the front with us, and by telling jokes. They are definitely a fun and brutal band to see live and I’m looking forward to their new album in September!
Video recorded by my friend/concert partner, Kanon Madness:
After all the main stage bands were finished, I made my way to the main stage where Trivium had started to perform. I’ve heard of Trivium for a long time now but I’ve never listened to them so this gave me chance to check them out and see what they’re all about. I could tell there were fans of their within the crowd from either singing along or they were wearing their Trivium shirts. As for the music itself, I wasn’t really impressed. It’s either because I just didn’t know their music or because there’s nothing that really stood out that made me want to check out their music and become a full on fan. Oh well, I tried.
Asking Alexandria was next and I’ve heard plenty about this band. They were the band that I asked myself, why are they on the main stage instead of Cannibal Corpse? I’m sure the majority of people there were wondering the same thing. During their performance, I looked around and saw little to no reaction from the crowd. I saw the occasional person going wild, but it could’ve been just random people going crazy for no reason, or an actual fan of theirs.
KoRn was the first of the headlining bands. Clearly there were a ton of KoRn fans since once the lights went out signaling their arrival, the crowd erupted in a huge roar louder than anything I had heard all day from being there. They wasted no time in pumping up the crowd as they opened with the crowd favorite, Falling Away From Me. Being the first night of the tour, I could tell they were freshly energized compared to the 2 previous times I’ve seen them since they were way more active and frontman Jonathan Davis brought his A-game and sounded the best out of the 3 times I’ve seen them. They played mainly hits during the night which included: Never, Never, Shoots and Ladders, Twist, Love & Meth, Here to Stay, and they premiered the song Hater live for the first time which will be released as a bonus track for the upcoming re-release of their album, The Paradigm Shift. They also played their most famous song, Freak on a Leash. Both Jonathan Davis’ and bassist Fieldy’s sons came out to rock out with their dads and it was fun seeing them have father and son moments right on stage. Seeing guitarist Brian “Head” Welch back in the band after being gone since 2005 made the band feel complete. KoRn finished their set with Jonathan Davis saying it’s been 20 years since the release of their self-titled debut album and proceeded to end the night by playing Blind, the first track off of that album. I always enjoy seeing KoRn live and will continue to do so.
The final act of the night was Avenged Sevenfold. Some people were all for them and couldn’t wait to see them, others wanted nothing to do with them and stated to leave after KoRn’s set. I’m a fan of theirs so I stayed. Once again, the lights went out and the crowd got on their feet and yelled and screamed as Avenged Sevenfold made their way to the stage. They started off with the first track off of their newest Hail to the King album, Shepherd of Fire. A7X had the best and biggest stage set-up. They had steps on the sides so they could go up and down as they please, a church-like backdrop with 3 screens showing the band perform from different angles as well as cartoons/music videos, pyros and fireballs that shot out matching the guitar solos, and of course the giant skeleton king statue. A7X had an impressive setlist dishing out the usual songs they play live as well as new ones I didn’t expect them to play. Their songs included: Nightmare, Bat Country, Seize the Day (tribute to their late drummer, Jimmy “the Rev” Sullivan), Burn It Down (rarely played), Afterlife, and of course, Unholy Confessions. I love how they use their pyros on stage, whenever certain guitar parts/solos would come on, pyros would shoot out from the back of the stage and go from left to right or just randomly shoot out from everywhere depending on what was being played but it was a beautiful sight. Guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance are amazing guitar players with their dual guitar playing and sounded spot on from the albums. Singer M. Shadows sounded awesome and had no trouble singing live with his wide range of vocals. Arin Ilejay served as the band’s new drummer following the death of original drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan and he did an amazing job on the drums.
Seeing the type of music I mainly listen to, it’s a bit out of the ordinary for me to say I love bands like KoRn and Avenged Sevenfold, but they were some of the first bands I listened to so they’ll always have meaning to me.
Most events held at Crew Stadium in Columbus are trash. I say that because we all know that Ohio State Football is a joke. What is not a joke (minus a few bands) is the lineup for the 2012 Rock on the Range concert. To be held on May 18th and 19th, highlights of the line up include, The Darkness, Down, Megadeth, Mastodon and many more.
Tickets are on sale Friday Feb 10th, 2012. A full line up is below and make sure to check our coverage from Rock on the Range 2009 by clicking here. For up to the minute details, check out the official Rock on the Range website by clicking here.
Daily Line Up:
Friday Night 4play: Hairball; Foxy Shazam; Black Tide; Hells Bells…tribute to AC/DC.
Saturday, May 19: Incubus; Shinedown; Five Finger Death Punch; Slash; Cypress Hill; Chevelle; Theory of a Deadman; Halestorm; P.O.D.; Adelitas Way; Cavo; Bobaflex; Falling In Reverse; In This Moment; New Medicine; Kyng; Otherwise; Rival Sons; Emphatic; (Fox TV winner TBA).
Sunday, May 20: Rob Zombie; Marilyn Manson; Megadeth; Anthrax; Mastodon; Volbeat; The Darkness; Down; Escape The Fate; Lacuna Coil; Black Stone Cherry; Attack Attack!; Trivium; Redlight King; James Durbin; Aranda; 12 Stones; SOiL; Eve To Adam; Ghosts Of August.
I can now say that I have been going to concerts on a regular basis for ½ of my life. I have seen shows on the birthdays of my mother, father and brother. I have seen shows on May 27th and May 29th, yet never has this self-proclaimed concert junkie attended a live musical performance on the day of his birth. This year we crossed that mother-fucker off the bucket list. What better way to celebrate your birth then with the man who doesn’t celebrate birthdays at all? Prince, night 20 of his 21 night stand in Los Angeles and I am in the house with a shit-load of friends both old and new. Perhaps we are high up and ended up looking at peoples asses most of the night? Perhaps I decided that birthday shots were more important than my regular standards of consumption as a concert documentation technician?!?!?! Fuck it, along with Kylie Minogue and John Fogerty it was the anniversary of my birth and no one was going to stop me for partying in honor of Memorial Day 1979. The idea to celebrate came as I walked out of the Prince show on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter. If the man in purple had the Forum booked for May 28th anyone and everyone who loved me would be there (unless of course they were out a Metal Fest in Maryland or avoiding calls from Olivia the Pig). Security asked if I had anything in my pockets. I was honest and told them I didn’t. All my contraband was in my 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants hat, right in front of their faces. They let me right in because they knew I was feeling fine on this windy late May night. I felt bad as the cashier at the beer cart had a hard time counting my mix of George, Tom and Abe’s. It was the Tom’s that messed her up, but knowing that Mr. Jefferson can travel through time when you spend him at a Prince show in Inglewood made my money marking mother fucking ass wanna spend more. My ass made it into my seat about eight minutes before Mary J. Blige hit the stage shaped like the nightmare of a 1990’s Warner Bros. Records exec. Just like most folks didn’t have Gil Scott-Heron at the front of their death polls, I would have never guessed that Mary J. Blige would be the first artist I would see live on my birthday. Walking into the Forum knowing she was the rumored opener I was excited. I don’t own any of her albums, but over the years I have enjoyed some of what I have heard. Live she brought the house down during her hit filled set. Opening with “Real Love” I was instantly taken back. There were songs I recognized and didn’t realize were Mary J. Blige. Oh and thoese shoes, how she moves around on that stage like she does with heels that high is beyond me. “ I Am”, “No More Drama” and “Dance For Me” all got the crowd up on their feet early. I knew her and Bono were pals, but I didn’t expect a really sweet version of “One.” Want to talk about a Birthday gift? Chances are I wouldn’t pay top dollar to see Mary J. Blige when she comes through town for a few nights at Universal Gibson Amphitheatre. But the fact I got to see her show on this particular night was truly a gift I didn’t expect. She was fucking amazing. On a different level of amazing was how the Forum handled the bathroom situation. All of the Male restrooms were converted to Women restrooms (Prince shows are not a sausage fest, that’s for sure). I got to walk from Col 24 to Col 18 to pee in an Andy Gump porta-potty. It’s cool I need the exercise anyways. It did cause me to miss “Raspberry Beret” but its cool Prince only played it for like 75 seconds. It was longer then he played “Darling Nikki” in his opening medley of hits. I mean folks went ape shit when he took the stage opening with “When Doves Cry” but it’s fun to see the heartbreak from the crowd when he puts the breaks on “Nikki.” Oh and he played a bit of “Party All The Time” by Eddie Murphy. “Let’s Go Crazy>Delirious>Let’s Go Crazy” was tasty. Oh and this lady yelled at me and told me I was going to hell from smoking a joint. She told me she would get security. I shrugged knowing there was no way in hell she could leave her seat. I smoked another later on not a peep. Perhaps my quoting of Luke 6:37 helped that out. How about “Nothing Compares 2 U” with Mary J.? What about Maceo Parker joining Prince for most the show? On one of my many trips to the porta-potty I heard a male receiving oral sex in the next porta-potty. Talk about going to hell, it was well past 11pm and of all places why would you want a dirty shit stained porta-potty for such a glorious act? Go to your car or something. Prince jammed a lot. Last time seemed like him doing what he wanted, tonight felt a bit like this run is almost done and I am going through the motions. Not that it wasn’t a better option than The Dickies at Key Club, the show was fucking amazing. I mean come on the guitar solo in “Purple Rain” is worth the price of admission. The night was fucking amazing. Prince is fucking amazing. Over two nights, I saw two radically different shows. I’ll wrap it up with this. If you live in Los Angeles and didn’t see Prince during his 21 night stand. I feel bad for you. For $25 Prince brought you a funky time. I may not always remember the 20th night on my 32nd birthday. But I will always be thankful to Prince for a funky time. Please don’t sue me for posting your photos.
Fourth Annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival To Hit North America This Summer
Dates and artist for the fourth annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festivalhave been announced. The trek will kick off in San Bernardino, CA on July 9th and wrap August 14th in West Palm Beach, Florida. The tour will once again have dueling side stages featuring the likes of Suicide Silence, Kingdom of Sorrow and Unearth. The main stage will feature Trivium, In Flames, Machine Head, Megadeth, Godsmack and headliners Disturbed. Why Megadeth is playing below Godsmack and Disturbed is beyond us, but then again we are music snobs and not the typical simple minded mainstream rock fans sending Godsmack and Disturbed to the top of the charts time and time again.
Take note: On July 9th in San Bernardino, CA, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s metal cartoon phenomenon DETHKLOK will perform in the place of MEGADETH, and colossal Bay Area thrash kings TESTAMENT will perform in the place of IN FLAMES. TESTAMENT will also perform in the place of IN FLAMES on the July 10th Mountain View, CA date. MEGADETH will not be appearing on the Montreal, QC Heavy MTL date. Other bands will be announced for Heavy MTL soon.
Rockstar Mayhem Festival tour dates:
7/9 — San Manuel Amphitheater — San Bernardino, CA
7/10 — Shoreline Amphitheatre — Mountain View, CA
7/12 — White River Amphitheatre — Auburn, WA
7/13 — Idaho Center Amphitheater — Nampa, ID
7/15 — Desert Sky Pavilion — Phoenix, AZ
7/16 — Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque Presents The Pavilion — Albuquerque, NM
7/17 — Comfort Dental Amphitheater — Englewood, CO
7/19 — Verizon Wireless Amphitheater — Maryland Heights, MO
7/20 — Riverbend Music Center — Cincinnati, OH
7/22 — Comcast Center — Mansfield, MA
7/23 — Parc Jean-Drapeau — (Heavy MTL) — Montreal, QC /www.heavymtl.com
7/24 — Comcast Theater — Hartford, CT
7/27 — PNC Bank Arts Center — Holmdel, NJ
7/29 — First Niagara Pavilion — Burgettstown, PA
7/30 — Jiffy Lube Live — Bristow, VA
7/31 — Susquehanna Bank Center — Camden, NJ
8/2 — Virginia Beach Amphitheater — Virginia Beach, VA
8/3 — Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek — Raleigh, NC
8/5 — First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre — Tinley Park, IL
8/6 — DTE Energy Music Theatre — Clarkston, MI
8/7 — Verizon Wireless Music Center — Noblesville, IN
8/9 — Zoo Amphitheatre — Oklahoma City, OK
8/10 – Gexa Energy Pavilion — Dallas, TX
8/12 — Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood — Atlanta, GA
8/13 — 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre — Tampa, FL
8/14 — Cruzan Amphitheatre — West Palm Beach, FL
Make sure to visit the festivals official website for up to the minute details on the trek.
The 2010 Revolver Golden Gods Awards
04/08/10 – Club Nokia: Los Angeles, CA
words/photos/videos by concertconfessions.com
OK, I admit it, I totally geeked out last night. In the deep trenches of confusion over guest lists vs. will call along with a “black” carpet ceremony, I was informed that my press credentials were at the VIP table. So I head into to the clusterfuck that is the VIP area outside Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles when I became the meat of a rock royalty sandwich. On my left side is the King of Darkness – Ozzy Osbourne and his people. To my right were Slash and his entourage, trying to get through. In front of me stood God himself – Motorhead mad man Lemmy Kilmister. Looking me straight in the eyes I simply said to the famed Rainbow Room resident “I don’t think I belong here”. He told me he felt the exact same way. It was this moment that I realized that the 2010 Revolver Golden Gods would be a far superior experience compared to last years inaugural event.
Once inside the venue, the show kicked off with co hosts Andrew W.K. and six time WWE champ Chris “Y2J” Jericho doing test shots for the TV telecast. It was at this point that the violent aggressive meatheads in the crowd (and much like last year, there were plenty of ‘em) began to boo Andrew W.K. – something that would occur all evening. If 2010 is my year to discover Andrew W.K (as I hope to catch him this summer on Warped Tour), let’s just say it didn’t get off to a good start. It’s not that he was bad, it’s well, and actually yeah he was bad.
As far as the presenters go, there were some truly amazing moments. While I won’t tell you who won (ok, so there is a spoiler or two below, but you get the idea), the action was non stop all night. From Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie presenting together to Marilyn Manson bringing up the fight of the West Memphis 3, seeing so many stars in one place on one night was truly magical. But you can catch all that on VH1 Classics in May; my job is to share with you what went down on stage from some of Metal’s biggest acts.
The first musical act of the night was legendary rock God – Slash. Playing in support of his just released self-titled record, the axe slinger welcomed a plethora of guests to the rotating stage. First at bat was Andrew Stockdale of the band Wolfmother. It’s amazing to me, no matter how hard he tries, this guy just fails. While his vocals sounded fine on “By The Sword” – between the outfit, the moves and just looking like a scared child at the schools music recital, I was not impressed. Thankfully I was able to drown out is Robert Plant rip off vocals and focus on Slash (who believe it or not I have never once seen perform live). Alter Bridge and Slash’s touring front man Myles Kennedy came out next for a song I believe is called “Back From Cali”. I am not very familiar with Alter Bridge, but lets just say Kennedy has indeed undergone a Sunset Strip makeover since teaming up with Slash, and it worked. His voice sounded great, the song kicked all kinds of tail end and I could easily enjoy a full set with him behind the mic.
From this point on, the set went from solid to superb. He may have told me he didn’t belong, but when Lemmy joined Slash on stage for a rocking version of “Doctor Alibi” well lets just say he sure as hell didn’t seem out of place. As soon as the last chords wrapped up from the final “Slash” original of the night, the bands bassist and drummer quickly exited the stage. As soon as a bass was slapped on to Lemmy, Dave Grohl snuck behind the large kit and the band busted out the Motorhead classic “Ace of Spades.” This was hands down the musical highlight of the night. Watching the three living legends bash out one of the top 10 heavy metal juggernauts of all time was a once in a lifetime moment that I am truly thankful to have witnessed.
AS I LAY DYING
It’s crazy to think that these San Diego thrashers have been on the scene for almost a decade now. In a lot of ways, they are responsible for me revisiting my love for metal after years and years of only listening to jam bands like Phish and moe. Having seen the band at least a half dozen times over the years, the highlight of the brief three song set was the debut of a song from their upcoming record The Powerless Rise. The songs title is “Beyond Our Suffering” and let me just say it is brutal. The duel guitar attack of Phil Sgrosso and Nick Hipa never lets up, and give the perfect backdrop for the deep growl of vocalist Tim Lambesis. From the opening number “Confined” to the set closing “The Sound of Truth”, sadly three songs in fifteen minutes is just not enough As I Lay Dying for me. With the earlier mentioned album about to hit record stores, I can’t wait to catch these guys headline later in the year.
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
I have now seen The Devil Wears Prada three times. I am sure they are nice kids, but they just don’t do it for me. The breakdowns are cool, but I feel the vocals of Mike Hranica are a bit weak and the entire thing just feels forced. The band opened with “Danger: Wildman” and did a nice job of having songs segue into each other. Their breif set closed with “Assistant To The Regional Manager” which you can view below.
I have an open invitation to any The Devil Wears Prada fans. I feel like I want to like these guys, but I am missing something. If you catch these guys on the road later this year, send us a review, tell us what the appeal is, because I am cleary missing it.
THE BRIAN POSEHN ALL STARS
Last years host returned to the stage at Club Nokia, this time to perform a track from his recent comedy/metal record – Fart & Weiner Jokes. Backing Mr. Poshen (who for the record is a kind and wonderful human being) was Drummer John Tempestra (Testament, White Zombie) bassist Joey Vera (Armored Saint), guitarists Brendon Smalls (Dethklok), Scott Ian (Anthrax, SOD) and my ex girlfriend* Brett Anderson (The Donnas) on backing vocals. What’s sad is despite being totally sober, and watching the same song performed twice (you have to love TV tapings eh?); I can’t even tell you what it was called. I think it’s probably because I couldn’t stop staring at Brett. I mean dude, wow she is hot and she had some very sexy boots on. Ok, all stalker tendencies aside, the song was basically what you would expect from this group of talented thrashers. Anchored down by Vera and Tempestra, the song (which produced the largest pit of the night, go figure) was some silly diatribe about being more metal than you. During the second take, I saw perhaps the most disturbing thing all night. Some juice head d-bag in an affliction shirt and his Rock of Love reject girlfriend picked a fight with some skinny screamo kid. As the trailer trash repeatedly smacked this poor kid, the same thug bouncers who had a kid arrested from consuming cannabis laughed as this poor kid was attacked for no good reason. Just another excuse for me to hate everything that is Club Nokia at LA Live.
I could write a novel on how rotten Dino Cazares is. However, he strikes me as the type of guy who is lame enough and petty enough to sue me for slander. So instead of telling you stories about him throwing out homophobic remarks at the Rainbow Room staff or how I once watched him flipped out and refused to sign an autograph for members of the Armed Forces on leave from Iraq, I will just tell you this. For me, Fear Factory died when Burton and Dino kicked Christian and Raymond out of the band. From here on out, I refuse to call them by that name in print until the situation is made right. So for those who choose to support those two no talent ass clowns, I will tell you this about their performance. Before the band played two new songs, and “Replica” (complete with Burton “Bon Jovi Hair” C Bell and his trademark flat and off-key vocals) Vinnie Paul and Joey Jordison presented an award (spoiler alert) for best drummer to the late Avenged Sevenfold skin pounder James “The Rev” Sullivan. As his family was accepting the award on his behalf, Dino (who was getting ready to perform) peaked from behind the revolving stage and was doing this “I am so cool dig me routine”. It was rude and disgusting, yet completely expected from the likes of Dino Cazares. I know I am not alone in rolling my eyes anytime Cazares is riding coattails backstage, and I know many who agree with me that he is a pathetic piece of shit. Heck, I am sure there was a reason he got the boot from FF in the first place. So while I did watch Fat Factory perform, they were the only band I didn’t shoot video or photos of, as they were not worth the space on the memory card. Lets hope this bastardization of a once great band doesn’t last very long. Likewise, Christian and Raymond, I hope you win your lawsuit against these guys.
Now that I am done getting the negative out, how about we do something positive? Lets talk about Marilyn Manson. Here is my take on Mr. Brian Warner. Very smart guy who makes crappy music. So the fact I got to hear him speak about something as important as the West Memphis 3 was a treat indeed.
I saw Rob Zombie twice in the late 1990’s and was not impressed either time. He seemed to be out of breath the entire time and just seemed to not be feeling the crowd and music. Not being a fan of the original Hellbilly Deluxe mixed with me being butt hurt over the break up of Rob Zombie, I walked away. Over the next decade, when not running into Mr. Zombie at Baja Fresh, I have pretty much ignored him, his music and his movies (I did catch the tail end of Halloween at Festival 8, which was a blast seeing as I had a blank space where my mind should be). Recently, a copy of Hellbilly Deluxe 2 ended up on my desk and I decided I needed a laugh and put it on. You can imagine my shock when instead of laughing; I actually really enjoyed the album.
Closing out the show, Zombie (armed with main axe man John 5 as well as the live debut of new drummer – the extraordinary Joey Jordison of Slipknot) took to the stage and bitched out the crowd. Backed with Bud Light ads and banners for the Jimmy Kimmel Live show (which is supposed to air April 22nd), Zombie ranted and raved about how dead the crowd was and how they didn’t have to play if they were not showed respect. My initial thoughts were- Great, here we go again another dreadful performance. After a “Zombie” chant failed to take hold and fans began throwing garbage across the venue, actor Danny Trejo came out on stage, ripped off his shirt and left. The confused crowd just stood around and collectively said “wait, that was that dude from that movie wasn’t it?” Zombie and band mates followed and ripped into a rocking version of “More Human Than Human”. I have to be honest, I don’t think I have ever seen Jordison play so slowly, ha-ha. From there, Mr. Zombie mentioned how he knew the fans didn’t want to hear new music, but he had to play just one song. Thankfully, he picked my favorite from the new album “Mars Need Woman”. With larger than life moves, Zombie owned the stage, stomping in tune to the thunderous riffs of John 5.
The band once again left the stage as roadies tore down all the Bud Light/Jimmy Kimmel flare. Upon the return to the stage, Zombie kept true to his word and played exciting and well executed versions of “Thunder Kiss ‘65” and “Dragula”. By this point, he had the fans in his pocket, as the crowd pogo and bounced off each other. Thrilled, Zombie decided to close the night with some OT fees for the union boys. Declaring he would raise hell if the PA turned off, Zombie screamed “Superbeast” and not missing a beat the three piece backing band dove straight into the original Hellbilly number.
While it was only five songs, Rob Zombie’s headline set at the 2010 Golden Gods triumphed over the other sets of his I have witnessed. The man has grown leaps and bounds as a performer, is energized and has a backing band that simply destroys. It almost makes me wish I was heading out to the land of the dirt people to catch him on Mayhem later this summer.
If the first annual Golden Gods was a massive embarrassment, the second annual Golden Gods is clearly on the right path. We have BET awards, Country Music Awards and the laugh out loud loser-fest known as The Grammy Awards®. While there were a few issues, the show never had a dull moment (compared to the massive wait between bands/awards etc last year). The fact that fans were able to vote for the winners versus record companies paying for awards was a brilliant idea, as was the rotating stage for bands. With a full TV camera crew and a presenter’s podium that stuck out into the crowd, I really can’t wait to relive this wonderful night on VH1 Classic in May. Cheers Golden Gods Awards – thanks for a wonderful night, I can’t wait to see you next year.
*Ok, sure she may have grown up a few miles from me, but sadly I dated a gal from Gunn High School, not Paly. Hey, I can dream right?
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)
(Note, I got no Coheed photos as I mainly took video during their set. As soon as we have net access in our new home, I will add the videos).
Sometimes, the stars and planets align and things work out, despite the fact you didn’t think it actually would.I was disappointed knowing I would not be able to make it to the beautiful Greek Theatre here in Los Angeles to see Coheed and Cambria.They are after all one of my favorite bands, and the thought of them making their first appearance at one of my favorite venues without me was heartbreaking.But $54 pre-service fee is a lot of cash for an opening set, especially when I have seen the band perform six times over the last nine months.Bummed over missing the show, imagine my shock when I got an invite from one of the last people on the planet I would have expected to go with.One of my softball teammates is obsessed with Ronnie James Dio.Knowing I love live music, he hesitated asking me if I was interested, in fear that I would mock him for his love of the pint sized metal juggernaut.I jumped on the chance, and faster than you can say dragon with an afro, I had a ticket for the double bill of Coheed and Cambria/Heaven & Hell.
After getting a front row parking spot (the one downfall of the Greek is its stacked parking, which can leave you in the lot waiting to leave for hours after the final notes have rung out across the venue), I made my way up the hill and past the gates.I dropped some Georges on a cup and the leadoff hitter and I made it to our seats.Within minutes of our arrival, my heroes Coheed and Cambria took the stage.Opening with a raucous “No World for Tomorrow” the band was out the gate like a warning shot during a prison riot.Not missing a beat, the band dove right into another song from their most recent record – “Gravemakers & Gunslingers”.With front man Claudio Sanchez moving across the stage with sudden spastic movements, I quickly realized that this would be a much different opening experience then the Slipknot fiasco back in March.
“In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” is one of my favorites, and as always it did not disappoint.With its epic build up and break downs, the band was winning over the crowd one mind bending solo at a time.After a solid version of “Ten Speed (In God’s Love & Burial)” the upstate NY band launched into another new one “The End Complete”.I was caught off guard as the band used this song to segue into the Iron Maiden (and often covered) classic “The Trooper”.This was the very moment that Claudio and company won over the entire crowd.Mullets and devil horns quickly rose from their seats to headbang in approval.
Perhaps the best thing to result from Neverender (where the band performed all four of their albums over four nights in four cities) is the rebirth of “Al the Killer”.I have gone from feeling I would never see it performed live, to now seeing it three times.This was a good way to follow up the Maiden cover, as folks had a chance to go crazy with the thick palm muted riffs.I wonder how many managed to catch that Sanchez was screaming Die White Girls?The band wrapped up the set with two songs from the IV album.“Welcome Home” kept the audience hypnotized, with bassist Michael Todd deep in the pocket while Sanchez went crazy.The band closed with perhaps the shortest version of “The Final Cut” I have ever heard.While Sanchez and guitarist Travis Stever exchanged solos, I had to stand back and smile.With a few breaks here and there, Coheed have now been on the road for three years, and it truly shows.The band sounded tighter than ever and blew the roof off the stage.Be it four nights or one hour, there is a reason I never miss this band when they hit Los Angeles.
After a quick set change, it was time for Heaven & Hell.I won’t lie, I respect Dio, but for me Sabbath has always been about Ozzy.I was thankful for a chance to see the little legend, and I am always down to hear Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler tear it up.With a backdrop of goblins and a large fence like structure, the four piece (also featuring drummer Vinny Appice) got things off on the right foot by opening with one of their bigger hits “The Mob Rules”.Over the next 90 minutes, the band managed to successfully mix in new numbers like “Bible Black” and “Follow the Tears” with classics like “I” and “Children of the Sea”.Iommi was on all night, ripping up massive solos in songs like “Die Young” and “Time Machine”.It seemed at times that the band just was not clicking 100%.Perhaps age or jet lag, or just one of those nights, but something seemed to just not be right.It was not bad by any stretch of the imagination, just not there.Personally, the highlight of the set for me was the closing number, the name of the band “Heaven and Hell”.Dio didn’t have to encourage the crowd to join in a chant of whoas but he did anyways.Clocking in at approximately 15-20 minutes, this was by far the highlight of the night, especially the fierce instrumental jam about 8 minutes in.
As the band came back for a Neon Knight’s encore, I realized that the pairing of these two bands was really genius.The Future Meets The Past.While Tenacious D may joke that it’s time for Dio to hang it up, the fact I finally got to see the legend with my new school heroes was quite a thrill.Likewise, with the earlier mentioned stacked parking, the decent amount of Coheed fans who made it in were treated to a history lesson in Dungeon’s and Dragon rock.Great pair indeed, if you are lucky enough to have this tour hit your town, check it out.
Saturday January 24th was a day I had been anticipating for a long time. You see thanks for my Older role model up the street i got turned onto slipknot at a VERY young age. We are talking in 98 right before ozzfest and all that shit. I was going to see these guys at POP’S. First slipknot show i saw them, they were a fuckin opening band. Here was the line up. It went Dope, Slipknot, Coal Chamber, and Soufly. I remember going to that show and not knowing much about this band called slipknot. Who had the unheard of TWO official sites Slipknot1.com and Slipknot2.com. Everything about them was just intense.
I remember like it was yesterday being at Pop’s where I have seen many a metal show and walking upstairs being greeted by James from slipknot who someone had pointed out to us. I remember Joey being so cool and all for the fans. I remember my Mom meeting slipknot outside a random show there a few years later when they came back to headline. I remember talking to Corey about Pizza Hut and George Carlin. Corey was wearing a pizza hut visor which really off set the image I had going for him. He told me stories about working the old shitty pizza hut paying dues. They were all really cool people in person.
Then Ozzfest 99 came. It was almost overnight. Slipknot became and still is HUGE. It is awesome to see these guys playing arenas now. They are one of a hand full of bands I was blessed enough to see, hear and meet before the masses. I will always remember those shows and there raw energy. I was hooked from a young age.
Then I get the call that chris had scored pre-sale to KC and we were going to see Coheed(his fav band) open for Slipknot(my fav band) I was ready to see them again.
This brings me to Jan 24th 08. I decided not to play games. I was going to wait for chris to call me, leave my house and meet him by the highway. The first call i get is at 11:30 and its all bad. The sprint center sent a email out saying basically leave your cameras at home. I was needless to say disappointed. I was really looking foward to shooting at that show. I don’t know who’s rules it was. Bullshit though.
Whatever…. I had packed plenty of herbal remedy refreshments! I also bought a half pint of grey goose, and the guy at the liquor store gave me one of those little ass bottles free! Score. I drink maybe 5-10 times a year. I am a event drinker. I don’t like sitting around being drunk id much rather be at a wild concert in a town ill never come back to for a while.
Doing the trip we almost got popped going down the highway which wouldn’t of been a fun experience. Everything was going great . After we got 90 miles out from kc from my post in the back seat. I started mixing up drinks, time to get CRUNK!!!!! That went great for 20 miles until the car started to over heat. We were 3/4’s of the way there. FUUUUUUUUUCK! So i hopped out and walked around this gas station for a half hour. Luckily it was a replica super walmart downsized to walgreens size and packed around a million gas pumps. That shit had a subway, A pizza hut and a Tire Center everything.
Chris brought his friend Jason on this trip, He was a good road trip companion. Pretty cool guy. He and Chris ate subway while i chilled and ate pretzels. I had smashed two cheeseburgers and a large fry from Culvers before i left. I didn’t want to be the kid that ate too much in the pit. I wanted to be the kid that drank too much!
We finally let the car cool off, topped off the antifreeze and said fuck it. Hopped back on the highway. We hit KC about 5:20 and found a parking spot 3 floors deep in KC’s underground garage next to the venue. We blasted off between the smoker session and the drinks pumping in my veins i was charged. I made us wait till doors open to walk up there. It was too cold to fuck around.
It was decided that we were going to try to sneak our cameras in. Disregarding that email from earlier and all the signs posted saying “no cameras”. I kept trying to educate Jason of our ways. He didn’t think we could get them in. I knew we could, but like i told him “thats the easy part”. When we approached the door, we realized our error. They were searching too vigorously to sneak anything buy them. They had a big walk through metal detector and wands.
Then we foolishly decided to abandon ship. We strolled back to the car and put the cameras up. I took that time to also make myself another drink with the little bottle i got for free. I poured the whole thing into a drink and headed for the door again. I am slamming this drink before i get to the security people, then i pull out a bottle of water and slam that shit too right in front of them.
We go inside and notice a very exploitable flaw in the security. They are not watching the smoking area at all. All they are doing is checking your tickets as you reenter. I was pretty smashed at this point and kept telling my friends I was going to hop the fence and go get those cameras. Luckily they talked me out of it. We went to the floor and watched Trivium. They were okay, and thats being nice because they were just okay and i was Drrrrrrunk. Nothing exciting happened during there set. I kept watching security during this set. They had that place locked down on the inside.
I went in between sets to see if i could sneak the cameras in before Coheed. This time they had security posted outside everywhere. Our time had came and went, there would be no bobby or chris footage.
I have two Coheed cd’s they both are acoustic cd’s. I like them but didn’t know what to expect. They came out and played “welcome home” to open the set. Honestly that was the only song i knew the whole set, and standing there during Coheed the alcohol caught up with me. I was kind of in a musical daze, it was one of those sets that just flew by. Claudio was definitely rocking the full fro’ they had the slit throat backdrop going too.
The slipknot fans put up with the set, but it was obvious it was not a lot of peoples cup of tea. Fuck those people, it is a concert. If all music was the same as the band you came to see it would all be boring and wouldn’t be MUSIC. My advice is if you hate a band that much, go smoke a joint, go get a beer, smoke a cigarette or walk around aimlessly. It makes no sense to sit around and bitch about it like some of these people did.
Honestly the Coheed set flew by, also i was expecting more. My buddy had hyped them up quite a bit. However he did say that there set that night wasn’t that tight and seemed a little off. Second day of the tour that seems understandable. Don’t get me wrong though they rocked. It just was a average set and flew by because i was blasted!
The intermission for slipknot was long, drawn out and seemed to take forever! It might have been because this radio DJ came out and hyped the crowd up. He said “slipknot will be out here in a few minutes” about 30 to 40 minutes before they actually took the stage. I passed the time by Inching closer and closer to the stage. During Coheed’s set i was 2 people from the barricade. By the time the infamous nine masked maggots hit the stage i was one person off the barricade. My buzz had leveled off, i was pumped.
I am Horrible at song names. I couldn’t name five slipknot songs honestly. I don’t study the track listings, I don’t have a read out on my cd player. When slipknot hit, they ripped the place apart. From the floor up, it was a mad house. What impressed me the most was how much old material they played. Only a few songs into the set they played my favorite slipknot song which i believe is number 3 off there self titled album. I got the fuck up during that song and bounced my ass off.
They really put a lot into this show, one nice addition i saw was a Flat Screen Tv mounted to Clown’s Percussion kit. He had a camera set up and was playing that footage on the TV. During the mayhem that ensued the camera was hit out of focus for at least 20 minutes until he fixed it. Sid looked healthy again from his foot injuries and was even doing pull ups while clowns kit was suspended 6 feet in the air.
Mick and James seemed to really be enjoying this tour, slamming out the hard riffs that make up slipknots style. Paul was jamming away on the bass. Corey was energetic as ever and really seemed to be into this set. He told the crowd at one point “if this next song doesn’t make you wanna rip your head off, i will piss in your mouth”. It is nice to have a band care so much about your experience at there show. Slipknot Cares.
At one point a bra flew up on stage from the girl behind me, James put it on his head and rocked out for a minute. I have to say that was a little wierd. Funny though, then it started a chain reaction of girls flashing the band towards the end of set. The best part though was the dude in front of me was with his girl, and she screamed like someone was about to stab her. “OMG DONT TURN AROUND” she said. Naturally i turned around. I thought it was funny. What was the big deal after watching nine masked men murder everything on stage for an hour.
They played a fierce 1 hour set and took a 10 minute break, then came out and rocked out for another half an hour. Then took another break.
Then i heard the opening chord’s to my favorite slipknot song. It all started back in gym class in high school, back in the slipknot ozzfest daze. My friend Aj would stomp, kick and slap the beat to surfacing while we screamed the chorus at the scared kids in our class. FUCK IT ALL, FUCK THIS WORLD, FUCK EVERYTHING THAT YOU STAND FOR. Surfacing is my jam. Both middle fingers in the air I screamed the chorus loud enough to make everyone in my gym class proud. I remember at the ozzfest when Corey would announce this is your new Fuckin NATIONAL ANTHEM!!!!!!
Brought me back. It used to be that meant the end of the show. They had one more for us though SPIT IT OUT was a great song to end with. I was impressed slipknot had outdone themselves yet again with another great show. Everyone seemed quite happy with the show. As we were climbing the stairs to exit the arena i realized i had left a sweatshirt in the pit. Oh well another causality of war, stepping out into the frigid missouri Air I wasn’t cold at all. It was that good of a show.
I encourage everyone to go see this tour if possible, it will be well worth your money to do so.