Good news for those in B level markets and neighborhoods with casinos. Alice In Chains will be paying you a visit later this year. Still supporting the highly forgettable The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, check out where you can catch Jerry and the gang below in the United States later this year.
Alice In Chains Spring 2014 U.S. Tour Dates:
04/25 Tulsa, OK – Brady Theater
04/26 Thackerville, OK – Winstar World Casino & Resort
04/28 Austin, TX – Moody Theatre (ACL Live)
05/01 Tunica, MS – Horseshoe Tunica
05/02 Cherokee, NC – Harrah’s Cherokee
05/06 N. Charleston, SC – N. Charleston PAC
05/07 Raleigh, NC – Memorial Auditorium
05/09 Atlantic City, NJ – Ovation Hall at Revel
05/10 Mashantucket, CT – Foxwoods Casino MGM
05/12 Syracuse, NY – Landmark Theatre
05/13 Reading, PA – Sovereign PAC
05/14 Roanoke, VA – Roanoke PAC
05/16 Huntington, WV – Big Sandy Arena
05/17 Cincinnati, OH – Horseshoe Casino
05/19 Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
05/20 Battle Creek, MI – Kellogg Arena
05/22 Elizabeth, IN – Horseshoe Southern Indiana
05/23 Davenport, IA – Adler Theatre
05/24 Council Bluffs, IA – Harrah’s Stir Cove
Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction & Coheed And Cambria @ Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival
PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ 08/17/2013
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
It’s been way too long folks, way too long. But your favorite self absorbed snob of an author is back to bring you the trials and tribulations of yet another Jay Porks Experience. Life kicks your ass sometimes, and at times it can keep you away from awesome shows for a four month span. But today that all ends as the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival hits PNC Bank Arts Center (one of my personal favorite venues) with Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction and Coheed and Cambria slotting one, two and three in our headlining spots. Other acts high on the list to check out, Duff McKagen’s Walking Papers and Middle Class Rut, a band that killed opening for the Meat Puppets at the Track 16 Gallery closing in Santa Monica not too long ago. So with tailgating permitted for today’s festivities, we headed out to Holmdel out in Dirty Jerz.
Interesting sidebar, the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival’s website has set times listed, and the set times included different stages. One might find this puzzling, because PNC Bank Arts Center has only one stage, and is not built in a way where other stages could be added. Wonder what their move here is, are we going to be walking through the parking lot and find a cheap, makeshift stage built outside the venue or something? Well, it didn’t matter because in the typical style that is this guy we didn’t roll into the parking lot until a little after 4PM, a parking lot that I thought would be a lot more packed out with cars than it was. We cracked the brews, along with the whiskey and cantaloupe and began the party that would be the rest of the day/evening. Note to the guy selling the bootleg tee shirts in the parking lot before the show: I really got you down from $20 to $5 BEFORE the show?? What kind of business man are you? Maybe I should grab one after the show from you for $1.50 or something. Idiot.
The plan was to get inside for Coheed and Cambria and take it from there. We’ve turned this “festival” into like a regular night at PNC with Coheed, Jane’s Addiction and Alice In Chains. I was with friends and got a ride and stuff, so I didn’t have to do my usual “show up 5 hours early to a show’ thing. As we were walking in Coheed was in the midst of their set, so I had to quickly dart to the seats (I bought one additional ticket down in the seated area for video/picture purposes. Why take chances on the lawn?) to record a song or two of theirs. This writer and Claudio have two things in common. One being the overly fluffed out hair and the other is being around bitchin’ music, and bitchin’ music is what Coheed and Cambria are all about. This is my first time seeing them live, coming in I honestly couldn’t name one of their songs. Gravity’s Union was the song I got to record most of and see up close. Taking it all in, with the wicked licks the drummer is shelling out and the shredding going on out in front of him, it’s safe to say this is a band I’m going to have to see again. Even if I was in a seat the entire time, a nine song set at a festival that’s not even really a festival while the sun is still up is a tough way to judge a band you’ve never seen. But I digged those guys for sure.
While I head back to the lawn and we’re groovin’ to Coheed and taking pictures (because the guy writing this lost 92 pounds over the last 14 months), we see a sea of empty seats and start game planning how we’re sneaking down. Not enough time to do it for Jane’s Addiction, because the lights have dimmed for them already, and here they come circa 8:20 kicking things off with a thundering “Underground”. I don’t know what it is but the darker it gets at this place the better it always seems to sound. During our drunken parking lot adventures earlier I kept saying “It’s all fun and games til we’re ‘COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN’!!”. Love that freaking song, and guess what came second.. you got it: MountainSong. And during this I look over to enjoy the fatal riffs of one Dave Navarro. I follow him on Twitter, and I know he’s on some Tattoo show and hosts a radio show and stuff. Sideline reporting at the Adult Video Awards and all that, I almost forgot how awesome this guy was at his day job. JustBecause followed, and later on the crowd pleasing BeenCaughtStealing made an appearance before OceanSize and Stop. In typical Jane’s Addiction fashion, there was almost naked models dancing along the stage at some point. Also, to keep things light hearted and cheery, Perry says at one point (anyone please correct me if I’m wrong) “My mom is buried in New Jersey”. Interesting factoid I guess.
Set closer, of course, JaneSays, which is being played in steady rotation at the restaurant I work because I control the tunes nowadays. Jane’s never disappoints, second time I’ve seen them all the way from the lawn and the second time I’ve enjoyed myself. Sometimes people like me get lost in the “trying to remember stuff to write about” aspect of a concert… it was good to find a happy medium tonight between that and having fun.
Before Alice In Chains, we need to get down to those seats while folks are fitting in bathroom breaks. So we spot some stairs where they let you exit the seated section, but you can’t enter. There’s two sides. These assholes actually are standing on the same side just shooting the breeze. I turned around to check if Pam was still with me, and she wasn’t. Text came in that she’s in. Okay, now only my other pals Nay and Meggo left to sneak in. So I pull out my ticket and show it to these two idiots working here. I ask if they can let me in through this entrance and 15 feet to my right I’m like waving my arms for them to skate through the fence. And they did. Now to find Pam, the boldest of bold. She’s not only sneaking down, she made sure to walk down to the front row of this section. Fuck yeah. Now we’re high fiving and stuff and gloating when the lights turn off.. it’s Alice In Chains time 3 seconds after we acquire the new digs.
The Hollow they opened up with hit me with so much more power tonight than I expected. As soon as they started banging the opening chords it was clear we were in for a memorable set. Them Bones followed by DamThatRiver and Again. I thought I was recording Again but I looked at the screen and saw no numbers moving on the ticker.
Damn. This no longer is a festival that isn’t really a festival, now this is Alice In Chains demolishing PNC Bank Arts Center and making everyone in the building forget about every other band that played here today.
Check My Brain followed, and by this time we’re packed down here in the seats, as compared to the absence of people down there earlier in the day. This feels like a packed house and not a show they’ve been trying to give tickets away to for 3 weeks. “Tears to fill my bong”, how cool is that lyric? Man In The Box up next. I look over at the rhythm section and recall that one time I scalped fake tickets to an Alice In Chains show and couldn’t get in, and Mike Inez and Sean Kinney signed my fake ticket after the show and expressed remorse for my predicament. These are not only guys that rock, but nice guys that rock. Everyone screaming the lyrics to Man In The Box, what a scene.
Tonight we got ourselves a GotMeWrong. I saw video of them playing it on this tour and hoped we’d get the same treatment. Unbelievable. This set is amazing, it’s as if I made my own Alice In Chains mixtape or something! Well, almost. We haven’t heard Junkhead, and that’s probably my favorite song of theirs for several reasons.
Next up, Junkhead. Seriously?? Get the hell out of my head Mr. Cantrell, stop reading my thoughts.
You may or may not here me screaming the “Well what have you got” lyric on the video. Mike Inez’s bass work on this song is so crude and punishing, Jerry’s making his 6 string his absolute bitch over there. I don’t think he used the same guitar twice tonight.
Stone followed, to give us a taste of at least one other newer track before we broke into Grind followed by Nutshell (one of Pam’s favorites). Everyone stood for that one. Would and a harrowing Rooster would end the evenings festivities. Great times at the PNC Bank Arts Center stop of the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, let’s do this again sometime.
Hey Jerry, why’d you have to go and cut the hair for? The brotherhood of long locked folks shrinks by the day. Sad to see you leave, you’re welcomed back anytime.
Rockstar Energy Drink has announced the lineup and dates to the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. Headlining spots go to Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction and Coheed and Cambria. Middle Class Rut and Walking Papers also make appearances along with others. Check out all the cool venues this tour will be hitting below, and also do not forget to hit the festivals official website for more information. Oh yeah, and customary with festivals these days, there’s a little lineup announcement video that goes along with it.
Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival 2013 Tour Dates:
August 09 Toyota Pavilion at Montage // Mountain Scranton, PA
August 10 The Comcast Theatre // Hartford, CT
August 11 Darien Lake Performing Arts Center // Darien Center, NY
August 13 Saratoga Performing Arts Center // Saratoga, NY
August 14 Comcast Center // Mansfield, MA
August 16 Jiffy Lube Live // Bristow, VA
August 17 PNC Bank Arts Center // Holmdel, NJ
August 18 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater // Wantagh, NY
August 20 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre // Toronto, ON
August 22 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre // Tinley Park, IL
August 23 Klipsch Music Center // Noblesville, IN
August 24 DTE Energy Music Theater // Clarkston, MI
August 27 Zoo Amphitheater // Oklahoma City, OK
August 28 Gexa Energy Pavilion // Dallas, TX
August 29 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion // The Woodlands, TX
August 31 Isleta Amphitheatre // Albuquerque, NM
September 01 Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre // Englewood, CO
September 02 USANA Amphitheatre // Salt Lake City, UT
September 08 Sleep Country Amphitheater // Ridgefield, WA
September 11 Shoreline Amphitheatre // Mountain View, CA
September 13 Desert Sky Pavilion // Phoenix, AZ
September 14 Sleep Train Amphitheatre Chula // Vista, CA
September 15 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater // Irvine, CA
Jerry Cantrell has abandoned all of his long hair brothers and sisters and cut his locks. That my friends is a damn shame. What’s not a shame, is Alice In Chains have a new record coming out soon, and have begun their trip around the late night circuit. Last night was Jimmy Kimmel, where the band performed “Stone” off the forthcoming album ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”. Check out the video of that below:
Here we go folks, another day another festival announcement. The 2013 version of the Beale Street Music Festival released its lineup this morning. Taking place at Tom Lee Park during the Memphis In May International Festival May 3rd through the 5th. Serving as your headliners are The Black Keys,Alice In Chains, The Flaming Lips and The Smashing Pumpkins, ZZ Top, Deftones, Patti Smith, Gary Clark Jr., The Joy Formidable, Heartless Bastards, AWOLNATION, Cracker and The Wallflowers round out the list of acts this writer would want to check out. Other acts you may be into: Phoenix, Bassnector, SherylCrow, Lucero, Hall & Oates, The Roots and Public Enemy to name a few. The full list of acts are below, and for tickets (which are very reasonably priced compared to other festivals across the country) and other information head to the festival’s Official Website By Clicking Here.
Beale Street Music Festival 2013 Lineup:
The Black Keys
Alice in Chains
Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Smashing Pumpkins
The Black Crowes
Gary Clark Jr.
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Three Days Grace
Jerry Lee Lewis
The Joy Formidable
Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers
Another good day for festivals as Rocklahoma 2013 has announced it’s lineup. Alice In Chains, “Guns N’ Roses” and Korn with the backwards “R” represent your headliners May 24th through the 26th if your the type of person to choose to hang in Oklahoma for 3 days. Other acts playing sets that don’t suck entirely: Cheap Trick, Bush, Bullet For My Valentine, Papa Roach and Clutch. And stop me if you’ve heard these words before, but for more information check out the festival’s official website
Another day, another festival announcement. For the third time, the Carolina Rebellion Festival will serve as Mid-Atlantic’s biggest rock festival around and May 4th & 5th it will return to Rock City Campgrounds in Concord, North Carolina. The big names are Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and the Deftones. Papa Roach, Bush, Rise Against and Bullet For My Valentine are other notables. For more information on tickets and all that jazz, head over to the official festival website. For a full list of announce acts, check below.
Caroline Rebellion Festival 2013:
Alice In Chains
3 Doors Down
Three Days Grace
Bullet For My Valentine
All That Remains
Device (with David Draiman)
In This Moment
Escape The Fate
Thousand Foot Krutch
Red Line Chemistry
No matter what year it actually is right now, this Rock On The Range lineup for 2013 is indeed super awesome. Upon a Google search trying to see Soundgarden‘s set list from last night in New York City, we stumbled upon this line up of past, present and future heroes and wondered how exactly one would bring themselves to actually go to Ohio. Headliners include Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Smashing Pumpkins. Some may say “What is it 1993 or something?”, but those people might not be aware that all three of those bands released new, critically acclaimed records in the past two years. Korn (can’t type the backwards R), Bush,Stone Sour, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Cheap Trick, Swedish Rockers Ghost,Middle Class Rut and Heavy Metal favorites Sevendust are among the notables.
It’s all going down May 17th through 19th at Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH. And tickets are on sale February 1st and you can head to the festival’s official website for more details on everything that is Rock On The Range. This one looks like a lot of fun. The full lineup as released so far is listed below.
Rock On The Range 2013 Line Up:
Alice In Chains
Three Days Grace
Bullet For My Valentine
Lamb Of God
A Day To Remember
All That Remains
Device (with David Draiman)
In This Moment
Black Veil Brides
Motionless In White
Middle Class Rut
Red Line Chemistry
Thousand Foot Krutch
Beware of Darkness
Love And Death
Alice In Chains have laid out plans to play some U.S. shows this spring. The band just recently released a video for their new single “Hollow”, and is expected to have a new record on the shelves this year. It would be the second with William DuVall, who in the writers opinion, does a stellar job playing the Layne Staley role. For the dates just scroll below, along with their new video for “Hollow”.
We are smart enough to realize that the date on the band’s website that is listed as Philly is actually in New Jersey. So for those in the Garden state we have your back and cleaned that mess up. We reported on a STP,Alice In Chains, Three Days Grace and Fuel show there 2 years ago. Check out that confession here
Alice In Chains 2013 Spring Tour Dates
4/25 (The Fillmore)Miami Beach, FL
4/26 (WXTB Rockfest) Tampa, FL
4/30 (BUCC Concert Hall) Birmingham, AL
5/1 (William B. Bell Auditorium) Augusta, GA
5/5 (Norva) Norfolk, VA
5/7 (Sands Event Center) Bethlehem, PA
5/8: (Benedum Center) Pittsburgh, PA
5/12 (KPNY Pointfest) St. Louis, MO
5/14( Lyons Fairgrounds) Sioux Falls, SD
5/15 (Eagles Ballroom) Milwaukee, WI
5/18 ( Susquehanna Bank Center) Camden, NJ
5/21 ( Embassy Theatre) Ft. Wayne, IN
5/22 (Aiken Theatre) Evansville, IN
5/24 (Pinewood Bowl Amphitheater) Lincoln, NE
Alice In Chains “Hollow”
Dear Alice In Chains. Please come to NYC this year. Thanks.
I swear I’ll eventually learn how to cut down on the length of posts.. Just not quite yet. That said, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to determine shows would make the cut in my Top 5 of 2010. I mean, what does one exactly judge specifically when it comes to this type of list. The criteria is vague to say the least-what factors go into determining the awesomeness of a show? Well, here at Concert Confessions (and of course the Jay Porks Experience), we pride ourselves in delivering “different” kind of concert reviews to say the least. We tend to not follow the rules of conventional journalism-hell I personally don’t even follow basic rules of grammar at times. So it was decided that why start following any sort of rules when it comes to this, even if that means turning the top 5 into a ‘Final Four’.
Anytime there is boobs being flashed in the parking lot you know you’re in store for a memorable day. And this is exactly what it was-the whole day. Pam and I didn’t pull into the parking lot until like 2PM and it was already a party out there. Hot chicks toss a beach ball around, us downing beers without being hassled by event staff to take it inside. Some girl flashed her boobs upon request. It got me thinking we should move the stage out here and just have the show in the parking lot-this is the place to be. After eventually making our way inside, by the time we we’re at the food court area I heard Fuel playing “Shimmer”. Damn, I really like that song.
Anyway, we had extra tickets to this show-I had 2 lawn tickets and Pam put a successful bid on some tickets for the pit So we first enjoyed the friendly confines of the lawn for the end of Fuel’s set and for Three Days Grace. We decided to start on the lawn and move down to the pit for Alice in Chains and STP. It was good to catch a second wind after getting bombed mid-afternoon in the parking lot At about 6:55PM Three Days Grace headed off stage and we began to bid our farewells to the posse of friendly fellow concert goers as we headed towards the pit for the headliners. A dude shook my hand and told me “Good luck” before we left.
Got down to the pit section and were literally feet away from the stage to witness Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots play memorable sets. If only the camera I was using at the time was more “sound friendly”, as I got some awesome videos if you’re able to tune the sound to the right volume. This was the point where I decided that I was going to be at BlackDiamondSkye when the tour rolled through NYC later in the year. Stone Temple Pilots did little to disappoint as they ran through most of my favorites and the peak of the evening was when Jerry Cantrell came out to join the band for “Sex Type Thing”. Dean Deleo and Jerry facing each other trading riffs on one of my favorite songs; safe to say it was all worth the 2 hour drive into Camden, NJ.
Was totally pumped to see another one of my favorite bands in Local H. Tickets were $15 and it was at one of NYC’s more intimate venues, the 600 person capacity Gramercy Theater. They labeled the tour the “6 Angry records” tour-they put all 6 of their albums names in hat and randomly picked out the one they’d play in it’s entirety that night. About a week before the show, news broke that the Stone Temple Pilots was looking to play a record showcase type gig in a venue smaller than their usual. Then I was nothing short of baffled when it was announced that STP would play Gramercy Theater the same night this Local H show was scheduled. I was worried my Local H show might have been compromised, but in the end both shows went on that night. STP was billed as a “Midnight Showcase” with separate admission of course. The bummer there was that Local H would only be able to play until 9:30 in order to clear out the place. So safe to say I showed up that night with low expectations, especially when the sign in front said “TONIGHT: STONE TEMPLE PILOTS!”
First thing Lucas says to the crowd is “You know, it kinda feels like we’re opening for the Stone Temple Pilots-but we’re not” before allowing a fan to reach into the hat and pick the night’s album. Turned out to be “Ham Fisted”, the bands first record-the record I was least familiar with of all their albums. To my surprise (through virtue of having the bands discography on my iPod) I happen to be familiar with most of those songs. After I got video of them doing “Feed” I knew I was in the best seat in the house-working with a two man band from this angle it’s very easy to keep the whole band in the frame without moving back and forth much. When they got into some other material later on after Ham Fisted I started to film almost every song. I impressed myself with the way I had the camera work in tune with the song, like: focused on the drums right before they break in, zooming in on the solos etc. The night ended when they played “Bound for the Floor” -in which mid way through they flipped it into “Rainbow in the Dark”(Ronnie James Dio had passed earlier that week) and then morphed back for the end of Bound for the Floor. Last song of the evening was an intense version of T.V. On the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me”-it was nuts! During the song Scott climbed off stage to lean his guitar into the crowd while taking a swig of the drink of a lucky fan. I was like 2 feet away, filming.
We could credit the great spot, the Scott Lucas autograph, the Wolf Like Me cover to end it-we could credit all that. Or we could just say that the band delivered big time in a tough spot-I mean, with my aforementioned low expectations and all I would have never thought to have taken away all I took from that show. Floored.
After reading a review at ConcertConfessions.Com of a Ween show earlier this year-when I noticed they were going to play a show at Central Park it was an opportunity I could not pass up. I’ll be the first to admit, I only knew a handful of their songs but I found myself curious of what the big hub bub was about-when you know what they say “Curiosity almost killed the cat by melting his face off”.
I was at Central Park the night before to see the band Cake-they came on at 8 last night. On line for beer I notice smoke beginning to fill the stage with smoke, as Ween is about to kick off at 7:30 as I dashed back to my spot which was pretty good despite a few taller people in front of me(I still think we should do size order at shows, like back in school). From “Buckingham Green” I was locked in-the Deaner is godly over there with the six string. The awesome light show they had going lights bouncing off smoke in rhythm with each song was epic stuff. Covering David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”- playing every song I had attempted to verse myself on in the week prior to the show they played. “Spinal Meningitis”, “Voodoo Lady”-even “Mr. Richard Smoker” as Gene Ween puffed cigarettes for most of the duration of the night. When they ducked off at 9:48 as we stood waiting for an encore I took a look around and saw a park with double the people in it compared to the night previous all standing with wide eyed, blank stares.. some clapping some screaming, hugging, high fiving-I get it now, and I’m so glad I was able to have the privilege to comprehend. Especially since they came back out to play “Dr. Rock”, with the lights at their peak of craziness in edition to people all around me just screaming top volume-to say it was a moment of ecstasy for everyone would be an understatement.
On the way out there was a group of dudes selling “Whip Its” (Balloons filled with Nitrous Oxide that you inhale it gives you a minute or two of a a light dizziness/light headed feeling). Anyway they were 3 for 20 bucks so I got a few and sat on a rock by the entrance of the park, with my peers from the Ween concert, all of us blown away sucking air from balloons getting momentarily intoxicated. Jay Porks was baptized into the Ween faith on that night, it was unbelievable.
When The Flaming Lips were coming to New York City to play a show at a venue called Terminal 5, of course you know I was more than interested. Surfing Ticketmaster, I noticed that they were playing a 4th of July show in Atlantic City, NJ(of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ fame), in which the House of Blues AC tickets were cheaper than the Terminal 5 tickets . So I figured why not make it a night in Atlantic City, book a room see the show write the review come back next day. It’s like a 2 hour trip riding via Greyhound bus for $20. So that’s what I did, stayed at the Golden Nugget Casino. Posted a little “Pre-Show” video and everything. Had a new camera in hand-set to be a great night.
When I got inside the House of Blues it was amazing, it had the whole vintage look going on, and the balcony was stadium seating and I was top row aisle seat-my view is epic! I’ve got an event staffer right in front of me and he watched me bootleg all those songs, didn’t say a word.
The night played out and so many weird freaky things were happening on stage from the start when Wayne came out in the bubble all the way through the stream shooters, pounds of confetti, thousands and thousands of balloons, a dude in a guerilla’s outfit ran out and Wayne stood on his shoulders. With Star Death and the White Dwarfs cheering on the side of the stage joined by a giant cat fish mascot type dude and Wayne bringing out the gigantic hands reflecting beams of light with each finger tip onto two disco balls hanging from the ceiling. I mean seriously, read the review-check the videos, this night was freaking crazy and that’s not even including being the Mr. 1990’s that I am watching these guys do “She Don’t Use Jelly” would’ve sent me home happy-but a few songs later I was way above the level of “happy”. I went from excited, to amazing, to shocked, to totally freaked out by the end of the night. I was seeing balloons and confetti in my dreams for weeks following the show-it’s without question the best 4th of July I have ever participated in.
Blackdiamondskye Featuring Mastodon, Deftones & Alice in Chains
10/11/10 – Gibson Amphitheatre – Universal City, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconessions.com
When rumors of a Mastodon/Deftones/Alice in Chains fall arena trek began to gain steam earlier this year, I found myself very excited. All great bands on both record and stage crisscrossing our nations arenas, what could go wrong? Well as it turns out, lots could go wrong with Blackdiamondskye as I found out first hand at Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, CA.
In the weeks leading up to the announcement of west coast dates, this was going to be the one fall tour I refused to miss. Yet when I learned that my local stop would cost $50+ dollars for a seated venue on a Tuesday night, I had no problem missing a tour that featured bands I have seen numerous times over the past year. It was at that very moment that I decided I would save my heard earned cash and skip Blackdiamondskye.
So why are you reading this? Well it turns out that somewhere along the line, I entered a contest for free tickets and a pair of Vans tennis shoes. Guess who won the contest? So I called up a friend and we headed up to California’s worst amusement park/tourist trap for a night of hard rock.
Mastodon is one of my favorite bands, and they never disappoint live. I wish I could tell you all about the groups opening set, however the same folks who got me into the show for free (a little company called Live Nation, you may have heard of them) are the same reason I missed the bands entire set. You see, it turns out that I am not the only person who didn’t want to see these bands for a high price in a venue that is better built for Neil Diamond then hard rock/heavy metal. With only a handful of tickets sold 48 hours before the show, Live Nation decided to drop the price down to $10. A great deal for fans, but as anyone who has been to a show in North America knows – Live Nation will do anything to fuck over those fans. I am going to guess that 4000+ fans bought $10 tickets starting Monday morning. Knowing it’s a week night and that fans would be traveling in heavy traffic from all over the Southland, how were fans greeted? Two people working Will Call for 4000+ people. After 45 minutes in line, I finally made it to the window and I almost snapped. The envelopes were apparently not in alphabetical order which caused an overworked staff member to sort through hundreds of envelopes to find my tickets. With the line not getting any shorter, part of me wanted to give her a hug and donkey punch her employer. I get that Live Nation lost their ass on this tour, but can you not afford an intern who can put the tickets in alphabetical order? Could you not afford four or even eight Will Call employees? So while I am stoked I won some silly Live Nation contest, the way they handled the entire process only makes me hate the company more. So I am sorry Mastodon, I really was looking forward to rocking out with you guys.
As a CSC security guard was busy fondling my man boobs looking for drugs, the Deftones were opening their set with “Rocket Skates” from their impressive new album Diamond Eyes. I know up next was “Around The Fur” but I am not really 100% sure since I was trying to get a drink before making my way in for the night (thanks to the rad bartender who gave me way more then he probably should have. That shot looked like 2-3, and I made sure he was well tipped). I made it into my seat just in time for the bands third song “My Own Summer (Shove It).” I was shocked at how packed the venue was (especially after Jay Porks MSG review), apparently the $10 ticket sale worked.
As a lifelong Deftones fan (this was show #15 for me) I could tell right away that this gig would be one to forget. Gibson is the wrong venue for the band – Deftones and seats mix much like peanut butter and ranch dressing. The crowd could care less that the band was playing intense versions of songs like “Diamond Eyes” and “You’ve Seen The Butcher.” Hell, the crowd hardly noticed the bands biggest hit “Change (In The House of Flies).” Deftones are a band who are powered off crowd reaction and energy. With it feeling more like a funeral then a rock show, you could feel the frustration from the band, which is why I am shocked at how they chose to finish the set.
With front man Chino Moreno wishing his daughter a happy 6th Birthday, the band launched into a three song segue fest that would have made many Phish fans proud. From their debut album Adrenaline and dedicated to their fallen brother Chi Cheng; the band got straight up nasty with “Birthmark>Engine No. 9>7 Words.” For the first (and I assume only) time all night, a small pit broke in the venues small and unseated pit area. As someone who first saw the band almost 15 years ago on the Adrenaline tour, the playing on the final three songs was my highlight of the night. When they want too, the Deftones still have that old school kick you in the teeth flair. Here is looking forward to show #16 in a venue that does not have seats.
Alice in Chains
Last summer, when I saw Alice in Chains for the first time, I was levitating above the Fairplex in Pomona. A fan for years, I was in shock that I was finally seeing a band whose music has made such an impact upon my life. So heading into the venue, I was eager to see the Seattle four piece play a full headline set. While the set was not terrible, you could tell the group was drained from non-stop touring around the world. The band started off on a good pace, performing three songs from the classic album Dirt. “Them Bones” is a perfect was to kick things off, and “Rain When I Die” is one of my all time favorite AIC songs. The band who has released multiple greatest hits packages busted out many of the big guns early. “Again” was hard and heavy, however the band started to fade quickly during the recent rock radio smash “Check My Brain.” Lead guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell tried to encourage the crowd to celebrate California, get into the music and check their brains. Yet most just looked on dazed and confused trying to act cool by not letting loose.
It was clear all hope for Alice in Chains was long gone by the time they dove heavily into songs from their comeback record Black Gives Way To Blue. “Your Decision” gave most of the crowd reason to sit down, and “Acid Bubble” gave the masses a chance to empty their bladders. It got so bad; Cantrell would point to pockets of fans rocking out in order to encourage the rest of the audience to join them. This move failed and as the band busted out the Facelift classic “We Die Young” you could tell that the fearless foursome were counting down the final days of a tour that has tanked from coast to coast.
Depressed and under-stimulated, my friend and I left during the encore break. Sure we could have hung around and watched a tired band struggle to make an impact with hits like “Man in the Box” and “Would?” but why watch something you love suffer? Looking back, for as excited as I was for BlackDiamondSkye, I see why it failed. In the last 14 months, the Southern California area has seen Mastodon three times, Deftones six times and Alice in Chains three times. I am not sure if it was Warner Music, Live Nation or perhaps a combination of both who decided it was a smart move to place these bands together with a steep ticket price during a bad economy. It’s a shame as both bands and fans deserve better. At least I got a free pair of shoes out of the deal (updated 08/11 – I am still waiting for my shoes to show up).
I felt the same way that I feel when I’m going to see any of my teams play at the Garden-there’s half as many people as capacity and everyone’s drunk and loud, only the product in front of us all tonight weren’t a bunch of sad losers! What goes on people, welcome into the 36th installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert series (I’m dead serious about the “Never Ending” part of that if you didn’t know by now) which has me feeling a bit sporty I must say. I mean come on, we’re at the Mecca of sports-The world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden to check out the legendary Alice In Chains with Deftones and Mastodon rounding out what is billed as the BLACKDIAMONDSKYE tour..Like I said, so happy to be coming here to see something good and not the New York Rangers sad excuse for a hockey team or the dreadful basketball team that plays there who’s name is not worth the proverbial ink. But by the looks of the arena, you’d thought something crappy was going on. That place got half full at best. Upon arrived, the early comers were re-routed to different sections leaving a full empty row in between every row. When I made a pit stop during Deftones, event staff was just telling people, and I quote “There’s tons of seats, it doesn’t matter what your ticket says just find an open seat”.. So I paid $38 plus fees for this thing to not be near capacity? That doesn’t make me proud of my NY peers at all. And why not just charge $25 for these seats I’m in now and you’ll sell the place out.. We’re at least twice the distance I was when I first saw Alice In Chains with DuVall in 2007 at an outdoor venue in NJ that I paid $20 for tickets. It just bewilders me that this thing isn’t crammed full-and later when AIC came on and everyone was standing up it looked like the place was packed-trust me when I tell you it was far from that.
Anyway, on to the tunes shall we? Mastodon played from 7PM to about 740PM, they were actually on when we were walking in, so I missed the first tune. They were heavy, they were dredging, did I mention they were heavy? I wondered if the sound got this loud for the first opener how much was it going to elevate throughout this night.. and these guys are REAL metal-they have the duel vocalists going on-the regular singer AND the screaming singer dude.. That’s how the real metal acts roll.. their light show (not much bright lighting) vs my camera was a losing battle for us, so I apologize for not putting a crappy picture of nothing up here, as all night I had problems with pics considering the distance..Of the few of us that were there, there was a group of dudes really getting into it-skin head dudes doing heavy metal air guitar-fun from a far, but certainly not a collection of swings I want to get in between.. That’s the thing about metal-the fans. I’ll be the first to admit that they were a little heavy for me, I mean I enjoyed it but wouldn’t blast their records all day long-I’d go deaf… But the thing about metal is the fans. They come out strong every time, they spend money. You know they spend money because they know all the words to all the songs that came off the latest record.. They come to shows, far and wide, rock out they buy albums and shirts and are not afraid to show how into it they are- This is unlike some people, who just find ways to listen to music on the internet without buying/owning it.
Deftones went on shortly before 8PM…Deftones rocked it out… Enjoyed them a little more because, compared to Mastodon, they were at a much more manageable volume. They had the nu metal thing going on-some songs it seemed like they were like a way better version of like, Korn or something and then at times they went to a totally different place..Also, Chino (vocals, guitar sometimes) had this table set up in front of him, that he would climb up and down during portions of songs.. he would jumped up there to do one of his deep screams and then jump down off of it-and hey he does not shy away from the occasional “F” bomb, using occasional in a sarcastic sense of course…. and way more Deftones fans then expected, much like with Mastodon, we had air guitaring skin heads-not the mean skin head tho, I’m just calling them skin heads because they were bald and I don’t know their names. I highly doubt any of the fun lovin’ Deftones fans beat women or ride Harley’s religiously-c’mon now what do you think this is Slayer or something? They worked it til ten minutes before 9, that’s when a curtain went up in front of the stage, and the army of roadies began to set up for Alice In Chains..
Let me mention the huge middle finger I gave society by smoking cigarettes right in my seat while ducking event staffers, whom of which the Garden seemed to be light on tonight… pot was being smoked everywhere-it was great. So suck on that James Dolan!
The sheet that was in front of the stage was used as a prop for Alice In Chains’intro, there was some cool effects going on there, including a beating, blackened throbbing veined heart, like from the front of their record Black Gives Way To Blue.. Roars of the crowd (it’s about 9:30 when the intro started ) as you can see the silhouettes coming out on stage. Then the drapes fell, and “Them Bones” was what they chose to kick things off with. Awesome from string one-what makes this band is the professionalism, the musicianship they bring to the table. I mean, I can rave all day about Jerry Cantrell’s sick ridiculous guitar skills, as I did back in May. Tonight lets take a look at Sean Kinney, who is drumming in a different league than most others. He’s off doing some other stuff over there with free flowing ease that was reminiscent of something out of the Ginger Baker handbook.. His drums were set up a foot or two up from the floor. A screen a few feet high ran effects from one side of the stage to the other, and under his drum kit in the middle… this was attached to a platform where Jerry, DuVall and Mike could climb up and play on during songs, which they did. I just wish one of them would have done the ‘Slash’ leap off that thing mid-riff. That would’ve been epic, but it didn’t look so high anyway, so maybe it just would have been stupid I guess. And in further comparison to the show in May, DuVall seems to winning over more and more fans every time.. They love him-shit I love him. He rocks. Mid set when I stopped working for a few songs and was sitting back taking it all in, I remember just looking at that stage oh so far away, and thinking about oh how far gone this band was before they found this dude. And Mike keeping it in step over there on bass, with the hair swinging every which way yet always landing down and perfect-maybe I could get whatever shampoo he uses. Also remember, I have Mike and Sean’s autographs on a bootleg ticket I bought to an AIC show at Irving Plaza last year, on Sept 9th. (Didn’t have a show to “review” for that, but the night’s events are here ). Anyway so they felt bad, and signed my ticket that I paid $50 for and turned out to be phony. So not only am I enjoying these tunes but I know these dudes aren’t dickheads in real life. Whats better then good people who play great music? And I mean great- I mean you should’ve heard “Grind”, you would’ve jumped into the time portal that leads to the fictional 90’s neighborhood I spend my life living in too. You’d love ever second of it. There were times where you couldn’t help but starting thinking of where you ranking Cantrell among guitar greats… he’s amazing with it. Does anyone else stroll around stage like this guy? He doesn’t walk back and forth he like power walks. I saw him pass by Mike Inez’s microphone to hit the wawa peddle-I guess they got their effects boxes linked up or something. that was really cool.. I like how they had the screens set up playing stuff where, if you didn’t know what song was playing you could still sort of figure it out by the images synced with the song. Everything about the set was perfect, besides them running off for the encore at 10:35, roughly an hour after they went on. It must be MSG’s ceiling for concerts is 11PM, because BlackDiamondSkye isn’t going cross country for tomorrow’s show, they’re going to New Jersey-no flight to catch. During the few minute break, I see some kid lean over to his friends asking them if they want to stay for the encore-what is that some sort of joke? You’re going to leave early? The same way I would leave a football game before my team comes back and scores the winning touchdown. Amazing how some people behave-sickening.. They came back out and played a seven minute “Love, Hate, Love”, then “Man In the Box” and “Would?” to close it out, and were tossing hundreds of guitar picks into the crowd as they thanked everyone and headed off to call it an evening.
And what an evening, glad I could be part of it.. besides the place not filling out. Really disappointed me that this show wasn’t long sold out. It was the biggest show in Alice In Chains history-and a lot of the alleged die New Yorkers missed it. But the billed bands delivered big time, and there’s nothing more you could really ask from the musicians.
So this was fun right? Hope my Dad thought so, as these tickets were my birthday gift to him back in July, which he is now calling the best birthday present since his Gibson SG when he was a teen…and of course hope you had as good of a time as I did, as I’m one who can never get enough of the Alice In Chains.. I have the set list below, I don’t think I missed any but I’m sure if I did It’ll be pointed out to me in a rudely stated comment.. Anyway, as for now I’m off to upload some more video, which isn’t so good picture wise but the sound is superb, so I felt it was worth adding to my archives. Thanks, for putting up with my non sense for a little while, and I’ll see you all October 6th for The Vaselines at Webster Hall.. LATE…
Alice In Chains Setlist:
Dam That River
Rain when I Die
Check My Brain
Down in a hole
We Die Young
Love hate love
Man in the box
Axl Rose vs. 500,000 Bikers: G’n’R Set To Headline Rock ‘N Rev
Rock ‘N Rev – the festival that was rumored to be cancelled just weeks ago has perhaps pulled off the headlining coup of the summer. That is of course if you like headliners who are 1/5th the band they used to be.
With an already impressive lineup of red state rock bands (Godsmack, Three Doors Down, Creed) coming to Sturgis to play for a bunch mad men (and women) on motorcycles, the first year festival has added former American Idol contestant Daughtry and Guns N Roses.
So for the 400,000 who still care about Axl and his silly gang of hired hands, grab your ass-less chaps and fire up your hog and start heading for Sturgis, South Dakota now. The five day festival will take place Aug 9th-13th at The Rock ‘N Rev Amphitheater at Monkey Rock. For additional information on the festival, please check their official website.
What a day leading into an insane night… on Sunday, in the 28th edition of The Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series, we debuted the third annual Summer Concert Series section of the little thing we have going on here. Out to the Susquehanna Bank Center for the MMR(93.3FM) BBQ in Camden, NJ for Stone Temple Pilots & Alice In Chains with Three Days Grace, Fuel, Skillet, Dive and Automatic Fire.. Doors open at 12 and the first band (Automatic Fire) set to hit the stage at 1:30PM… I had a few questions coming into this show. For one thing, 1:30PM? So then how late exactly will this run, will we be exiting at 8:30 or something? Another thing, this is the first time the Jay Porks Experience has made its way to this venue, the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ.. We had no idea what to expect besides being told that it was “just like PNC”, referring to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Homdel, NJ.. So lets check it out shall we?
About an hour and a half ride from my house in Staten Island, we rolled into the parking lot before 2PM, and the scene is one for the ages. For all the non-New Yorkers out there reading this a quick back story.. frequenting shows in New York City-We wait on lines to be squeeze into 800 person capacity venues-going from freezing on a city street to sweating in an oversold rock venue within seconds only to spend money on $7 beers and $13 shots for anyone to get their “buzz” on before their favorite band hits the stage.. Even at PNC in Homdel, NJ-due to an altercation that occurred during a 2007 Ozzfest show-you cannot tailgate in the parking lot. That means NO pregaming what so ever. So believe it that when Pam and I rolled into this parking lot and saw, what was basically one big party, we were pumped as ever.. reached into the cooler and cracked open some beers-at Supermarket discount prices…
Everyone is just having a great time.. there are some older people a few spots to the left of us, and a ‘Smart Car’ on our right.. So we’re just hanging there, figuring we’re going to head in when everyone else starts heading in (or at least until we each get through a six pack).. the row in adjacent to ours we’re looking at has a few chicks dancing on the back of a pick up truck with others tossing a beach ball around and all the way to the right of us is a few other girls standing on top of vans-everyone screaming in joy with music blasting from their cars.. a few guys in the older group to the left of us started screaming to this moderately attractive girl with a hat on-sort of like a top hat.. they start screaming “SHOW US YOUR TITS!!”.. Finally I’m next to some people that I can hang with.. So when I reached into the car for another beer, a roar from the surrounding crowd begins-she flashed everyone, and I MISSED IT! Damn. A dude from the older group to our left went over and handed her a beer, she was resistant to take it since she was drinking what appeared to be that Mikes hard Lemonade stuff-the thing we all drank before we choose the crappy taste of normal beer over days of acid indigestion.. Continuing on, one of the women in the older group to our left is being asked to “show us your tits” by the girl who just flashed everyone and her surrounding group.. that’s when this women, who honestly was not an eye sore at all, answers them by screaming “You don’t want to see them trust me-I’ve been through child birth!”.. a few minutes later, she’s next to the younger chick who flashed everyone( but me) before with a couple of surrounding dudes and chicks looking on and I said “Wait a second!” and ran over there to get in good view and said “I can’t miss this”.. the two girls standing next to each other- the top hatted party girl and the early 40’s looking woman who claimed we didn’t “want to see these” with hands at the bottom of their shirts ready to go with about 10 of us looking on from the close up.. and then they whipped em’ out.. Great stuff… and the woman who said we didn’t want to see them-lets just say we enjoyed her’s more than the top hat party girl chick.. a few minutes after this it was already past 4 o clock believe it or not and we headed inside after the groups around us had already done so..
The parking stub said things like “Cameras”, “Illegal Drugs” and “Sharp objects” are prohibited.. yet somehow after I was patted down and forced to open my cigarette pack to show insider contents, somehow I’m walking into the venue with all of the above… Pam and I grabbed a couple of those frozen alcoholic flavored beverages in a yard glass for $11.. looking over at the tee shirt prices of $35 and $45 listed, I didn’t even get myself on that line-I can’t exactly take out a loan for a tee shirt.. we sat in the concessions area with everyone else who was standing around people trying to hit the target on one of those dunk tanks-a few moderately attractive girls were taking turns on the hot seat… as this is going on, Pam says “I guess we missed Shimmer”, referring to Fuel being on stage at the moment.. they played from 4:20 to about a quarter after 5pm…. we then decided to head to the lawn section of the venue, which surrounds the area behind the 7000 seat weather-proof section with a ‘Pit’ section in front of that, which standing room and closest to the stage…
I bought two lawn tickets and Pam had two ‘Pit’ tickets, and since it was just the two of us we were going to take full advantage of both sections of this venue.. we went to the lawn first to sit on the grass for a little bit while Three Days Grace was on-this is in the 6 o clock hour.. all I kept saying was “Come on play those two or three good songs you guys have”.. I heard them playing “I hate everything about you” and I was like “Yea! That’s what I’m talking about!”.. then as we started into some recreational use of Marijuana, I turned to the various people around me and asked who wanted to engage-about six people did, and we were all chatting it up sitting on the grass not being annoyed by event staff or anything enjoying a show.. it was cool for that moment.. then we realized in a little while, this crazy day would turn into an even crazier night.. the plan is to move down to the “Pit” after Three Days Grace finishes their set at about 6:55 PM, and that’s when we set the plan and motion-and headed towards the ‘Pit’ for the main events of the affair…
At about 7:25pm, Alice In Chains hit the stage an emphatically put their stamp on the evenings proceedings about two songs in-kicking it off with “Them Bones” and “Dam That River”-Alice In Chains probably the heaviest band I’ve ever seen live-we were deafened immediately.. They were doing it-like they never skipped a beat… William DuVall isn’t imitating Layne Staley-that’s just the way he actually sings, which is what makes it so eerie…And he and Jerry can trade leads when he’s playing guitar on songs… Now Jerry Cantrell-there is a guitar player. It’s a shame that he spent years inactive on the shelf without a band-his playing is on such a level that it’s a travesty it was absent from society all these years… I mean when they start playing “Angry Chair” then lead that into “Man In The Box” you don’t hear the message board junkies screaming “it’s not the same without Layne!”.. all you have is all of us, some younger and some older than others-you have this crowd rocking to one of the greatest bands of our lifetimes.. I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but: Layne who? Come on-‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ was a great record (#3 on the Jay Porks top 10 of 2009).. the two hit singles off the record they played mid-set: “Your Decision” and “Check My Brain” were amazing live with DuVall strumming the opening chords on an acoustic then sticking with the electric the rest of the song.. it was brilliant all around.. Alice In Chains(This was known to me already but was announced by the band during the set) is embarking on the biggest tour they’ve ever been on..with Layne, they hardly were able to tour due to his(and probably other band members at times) drug issues.. now, on the “BlackDiamondSkye” tour, with the Deftones and Mastodon, they are set to headline Madison Square Garden on September 24th of this year-that’s going to by far be the biggest Alice In Chains show in history-they are back. This is NOT a reunion tour.. when they played “We Die Young”-there was nobody there including ourselves who thought this was anything but slightly beneath heaven what was being experienced… the epic set continued with hard hitting song after hard hitting song til about 8:40PM when they played a kick ass version of “Rooster” and exited into the night-freakin epic…. consider us and everyone else around completely blown away… WOW… gotta get BlackDiamondSkye tickets…..
After we grabbed drinks and pit stops at the bathrooms, we headed back towards the ‘Pit’ area and I saw written on a piece of paper that STP hits the stage at 9:15.. much to my surprise, they came out around 9:20, which isn’t so bad if we’re going by Scott Wieland time. They kicked it off with “Vasoline”, with the screen behind them getting lit up with weird visuals in tune with the light show and song.. Alice In Chains had some slight stuff going on this screen but STP had a whole schpeel going.. it was cool I guess.. and here’s the thing that STP does best of bands I see live-they play all those songs you want to hear.. they have a new record coming out-they played like 4 songs off it tops, and they kicked it til about 10:45.. kick ass versions of “Sour Girl”, “Interstate Love Song”, “Big Empty”.. Dean Deleo kicking ass over there and for some reason reminding me of Joe Perry-maybe the hair style.. then we got Robbie Deleo on Bass and he’s got the ‘Joe Cool’ look going-big sunglasses-leaning over conveniently towards people holding up cameras.. I got them doing “Between the Lines”, which if you listen to the bridge part of the song it’s an exact copy of the bridge part of Nirvana’s “Stay Away”-but that’s what STP is known for.. doing what others do best.. Scott looked like he’s clean I guess-one can never quite tell.. he had the megaphone going in full effect all night.. “Crackerman”, “Creep”, “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” all serious crowd pleasers.. they played “Tumble in the Rough”-thats a song I happen to like but Scott said they hardly do it live, and the two previous times I’ve seen them they didn’t play it.. but STP was upstaged in the highlight of their set, when they invited Jerry Cantrell out on stage to play “Sex Type Thing” with them.. That was beyond epic.. imagine “Sex Type Thing” with that Alice In Chains sounding riff that Jerry provides.. I have it on video of course…Jerry and Dean facing each other and playing viciously-then trading solos.. this is the definition of tearing the house down… After that Jerry left stage but no one forgot-they played “Dead and Bloated” before ending the night at 10:45 after the aforementioned ‘trippin on a hole’… great set… amazing night… I can’t believe Jerry Cantrell totally blew them off stage by himself.. brilliance….
Seriously-what more can be said? Just go to the Jay Porks Experience YouTube Channel-link is in the side bar somewhere over there and take a look at all the videos I got from the show… Until then check back here for late editions to the concert calender and chances to get free tickets to shows-LATE…
As for the folks reading at ConcertConfessions.com, there is obviously no sidebar with all my personal links there.. so head over to http://www.youtube.com/user/jayporks for all the videos….
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?
Why waste time with a long introduction about the Fairplex at Pomona (you know, where they race ponies) lets just get to the f’n music!
Street Sweeper Social Club:
Chances are I would not have shown up to this festival till much later in the day if it was not for SSSC opening up the cavernous main stage. As someone who spent their formative years (musically speaking) in the 1990’s I was not about to miss a chance to see Tom Morello live in person (having not seen him perform since the 90’s). Not knowing anything about his new project (which features Boots Riley from The Coup), I was blown away by their oh so brief opening set. Decked out in matching military jackets, the five piece outfit blazed through a handful of songs from their debut record. When not having us take “The Oath” the politically charged band (strike that, as was repeated through the entire set by Riley, they are not a band, but a Social Club) was pumping out high energy rap meets funk meets MC5 jams like “Fight! Smash! Win” and “100 Little Curses”. Perhaps the biggest crowd pleaser was their cover of MIA’s “Paper Planes” which became an all out assault against the current bank bail out by our Government. Morello was going crazy the entire set, making his guitar produce noises that NO ONE has been able to replicate in 20 years. I was so impressed, as soon as the Social Club closed with “Nobody Moves til We Say Go” I was off to the merch tent to pick up the album.
I was curious about this six piece crunk rock outfit hailing from my old home town. I have heard a few of their hits on the radio (and have seen plenty of graffiti left around the streets of LA bearing their name) and it’s not really my thing I suppose. However, I went in with open ears was somewhat surprised with their 30+ minute set in the muggy Pomona heat. Songs like “No. 5” and “Undead” got the mainly white male crowd excited. I think my highlight was a song called “California”, that was still hard hitting, but had the alt/pop sensibilities of Weezer. The collective closed their set with the hit “Everywhere I Go” which managed to get a small pit going at the front of the stage. Personally, I don’t think I would rush to a merch booth to buy a record by this act, but they were somewhat enjoyable. I am glad I went in with an open mind, and wouldn’t be opposed to seeing them again somewhere down the road.
Atreyu was terrible. I mean they were truly terrible. We lasted 1 ½ songs, before running for some shade (where sadly we could still hear them). Seriously, the fact that these complete tools have a career at all is shocking. I am sure the corn in the dookie that I left in the port-a-potty could could better songs. I now understand why their front man was booooed at the 2009 Golden Gods Awards. Perhaps the biggest crime of these complete and total waste of sperm is their name. They are not worthy of having such a cool band name, and I urge Congress to act quickly to strip them of it. Hell, lets just have Congress drop a bomb on their tour bus.
All I know is that Atmosphere has a great buzz around them (part of that buzz was actually featured here by our man BeeZnutZ a few months back) and they were set to close the Monster Energy Drink Side Stage at 4:20. Seemed like the logical place to be for someone like myself. Just before 4:20, the Minneapolis hip hop duo (featuring rapper Slug and DJ Ant) took to the tiny stage and figured they could start early and sneak an extra song in. I couldn’t tell you a single song title excpet “Shoulda Known” but they were really good. I have to assume the organic hip hop act would work better in a small club, this was a great taste for me into the infinite possibilities this act. Plus he got the crowd to chant make dinner dinner so that was pretty cool. I need to explore these guys deeper for sure. We cut out about 2/3rds into their set to get a good spot at the main stage.
Wow, where do I start on this one? I won’t lie, when Wolfmother first came on the scene I somewhat dug it, checked out their record. But as I got deeper into them, I was turned off by how it just lacked a certain something. By the time Mike Patton was all over You Tube ranting about how unoriginal this Australian outfit was, well lets just say I was drinking his Kool-Aid and hoping off the Wolfmother bandwagon. Knowing how front man Andrew “temper tantrum” Stockdale had fired the entire band, I went into their dinner time set with an open mind, but didn’t expect much. I think it was about three minutes into their opening song “Dimension” when my mind was made up. Wolfmother is a bad joke and truly generic, boring and un-stimulating. The band played with no feeling at all. Stockdale had to repeatedly ask their drummer (who sported a full on Mexi-mullet) to speed up, which sadly he was too fat and out of shape to do. The band seemed to mix (dare I say) classic Wolfmother with songs from their upcoming “Cosmic Egg” record. One new song, “California Dream” was basically Kasabian on their worst day trying to be Fu Manchu, while another new song “New Moon Rising” sounded like Black Sabbath being fronted by a goat. I don’t know how anyone could have taken it seriously. The band even struggled on their biggest hit – “Woman” with a very sloppy middle section that featured Stockdale running around stage like a four year old who was sent to his room without supper. “Mind’s Eye” was an even bigger train wreck than “Woman” if you can imagine that. Stockdale further grew upset by the lack of response from the crowd. I guess no one told him that a field of sunburnt dope smokers are not going to waste their energy clapping for a band whose bass player appears equally burnt (no joke, I think he gave up at one point). I have to assume that this may very well be the end of Wolfmother in the states. Face it: you’re an untalented cry baby who indulged himself by playing pathetic new material to close instead of a crowd favorite like “Joker and the Thief”. The stop watch has counted down 14 minutes; make the most of it while it lasts.
Alice in Chains:
Now this is what I was truly looking forward too. I have been a huge fan of Alice in Chains for over 15 years now. However, I was too young to catch them live the first time around, and sadly Lane was a waste of flesh and bones by the time I started going to concerts on a regular basis. You can only imagine my excitement to see them at this festival. I thought my brain was going to explode when the band opened their set with “Rain When I Die”. It’s amazing how similar to Lane, yet distinct new front man William DuVall sounds. The man can belt it out, and has a great stage presence. We were on bassist Mike Inez’s side of the stage, as he dropped bomb and bomb in classic Chains hits like “Man In The Box” and “Them Bones”. The band played two new songs (sorry, I didn’t catch the titles) and both were very solid (and better presented than Wolfmother). However it was the classics that got people moving (including the first full blown pit of the afternoon). The group closed with the one-two punch of “Would?” and “Rooster” . Despite being covered in sweat from the sun all day, I found myself having goose bumps during the last number. Both axe slinger Jerry Cantrell and DuVall sounded so good together on the vocals of what I guess would be AIC’s biggest hit. Perhaps the crowd (at near capacity) singing along the melody rich opening lyrics added a bit to my bumps. As a life long fan, the 45 minute set was much too short for me, but also truly magical. In fact it was a dream come true and my personal highlight from Epicenter 09.
A funny thing happened as the sun set behind the grand stand of the Fairplex @ Pomona. As roadies set the stage for the only North American appearance of Linkin Park in 2009, the douche bags came out in alarming numbers. While I don’t go out of my way to listen to Linkin Park, I have nothing against them. However, you can not turn on rock radio in Southern California without hearing at least one Linkin Park song an hour. They are the Depeche Mode of heavy metal. Catchy Pop songs with neat lil computer riffs and large Metallica-esque power chords. While I prefer something with a little more thought behind it, this music is the perfect backdrop for simple minded douche bags in Affliction shirts who enjoy beating the snot out of each other after spending $100 on 10 cups filled full of delicious Rocky Mountain Goodness. This is exactly what happened during the LP’s set. The band played hit after hit after hit to the delight of the simple minded masses. “Somewhere I Belong”, “Faint”, “Crawling” and “What I’ve Done”, you know, all the songs you and I are sick and tired of despite no longer listening to terrestrial radio. I know that sounds a tad mean, but with the mix of earlier mentioned D-bags I found myself having more fun throwing trash at various tweekers who used a safety barrier to stand upon to enrich their view, and selfishly blocking the view of thousands behind them. Musically there were two highlights for me. The first was “Numb” which happens to be my favorite Linkin Park song. As with all the other songs, the band played it to perfection, never missing a beat as DJ/band dictator worked hard on his laptop. The other highlight was “Breaking The Habit”. Towards the end of this one, the PA suddenly went silent. While the band didn’t realize this at first, the crowd sure did. Yet instead of getting hostile, the sweaty blob of humanity sang along with the band, turning it into a rather special moment. The band eventually noticed, and managed to start back up where they left off as soon as the PA was restored. A very pro move, showing that despite not being on tour all year, this band is very tight and play together very well. For as special as this moment was, it was short lived as lead singer Chester Bennington used Epicenter 09 as the perfect chance to commit suicide.
Dead By Sunrise:
We were treated to a very large promotional blitz for Bennington’s new project all day. Street teamers covered the venue with glossy promo posters, while a small place circled the venue for hours dragging a banner that read “Who Is Dead By Sunrise?” Towards the end of LP’s set, the band left, and roadies quickly brought out some synthesizers and drum sets. Chester returned and mentioned how he would be debuting some new songs with his new band (featuring Ryan Shuck and Amir Derakh formerly of Orgy) and wanted to know what we thought. I think he found out as the entire crowd sent a thunderous collective boo towards the stage after the first song. Simply saying thank you, the band launched into the next song, which somehow managed to be worse than the first one. It was at this time when trash was thrown upon stage, middle fingers were raised and the crowd quickly grew upset. It was clear by the third and final song that this little promo stunt had gone horribly wrong. Shuck (who is now a fat bloated old man still trying to act like he’s a cool hip 21) threw a temper tantrum that would have made Wolfmother proud, throwing his guitar and once again coming to the shocking realization that no one gives two craps about his piss poor techno guitar rock sound. As chants for Tool came from the crowd, the musicians quickly left the stage with their tails between their legs. Hell, it may be the first time in history that a drummer threw sticks into the crowd only to have the person who caught them throw them back. Atreyu owes these guys a gift basket of cookies or something, as it saved them from being the worst band all day. Thankfully, Linkin Park came back out (with Chester seemed to be holding back tears) to play the Transformers 2 song, another nameless hit that sounds like all the other hits before finally closing with “One Step Closer”.
I am a huge fan of Tool, and along with Alice In Chains, they were the reason I purchased a ticket for this festival. Having seen Tool four times over the years, I knew exactly what I was in for – a skull fucking sensory overload of massive proportions. However, despite playing a very similar set list as the 10,000 Days tour, this set a unique twist. Mr. Maynard James Keenan was “kicked in the balls by God” or so he said, and was on crutches with a bad leg. After the band opened with a skull crushing version of “Jambi” a very chatty Keenan shared how he had hurt himself, and how he should be praised for even showing up, as lesser pretentious singers such as HIMSELF would have cancelled the gig. He mentioned how he knew it was important for the audience to “get drunk and run into each other” and he didn’t want to let em down. Despite Keenan’s numerous apologies for his lack luster performance, I thought he and the rest of the band sounded fine. Hits like “46 & 2” and “Stinkfist” kept the crowd happy while crazy images created by guitarist Adam Jones were projected upon giant video screens. “Schism” caught me off guard as it had a really fast middle bridge section, almost more punk rock than prog. It was during this song that a large fire made from a days worth of trash and or various promo material broke out on the large infield, prompting Keenan to encourage the crowd to “Stop, Drop and Roll.” My personal highlight was the intense ode to acid and aliens that is “Rosetta Stoned”. I must be honest, instead of the normal lighting fast verses, I think Keenan was just making lyrics up. I have no clue what he said, but I must assume it was inspired by any and all pain killers the wine enthusiast was on because of the bad leg. Perhaps the highlight for the massive audience was the title track to the Aenima record. With Keenan opening the song by saying “Nothing Personal”, the Bill Hicks inspired song attack on collective home of Los Angeles was perhaps the loudest sing along of the night. Honestly, despite playing for 90 minutes and going well past curfew, the Tool set was not nearly long enough for me (I think Linkin Park actually had a longer set). Despite aches and pain from standing for hours, I wanted so much more, but sadly that was not to be. I truly figured the band would close with “Lateralus”, but thankfully we got to end with the recent modern rock radio hit “Vicarious”. As drummer Danny Carey (in full Kobe Bryant uniform) pounded out the final notes, we began the long walk back to our car, satisfied knowing that we got to not only witness Tool during one of their down times, but were able to witness a wonderful day of music.
In closing, the 2009 Epicenter Festival was a massive success. Sure, all the bands may not have been pleasing on the ears, but it was a great day, with a great vibe. Kudos to the event producers for putting on a truly fan friendly festival with hardly any flaws. I truly hope this new festival continues to grow and that 2010 is even better than this year.
So this was my first trip to the east coast. Im from Oregon and thats mainly where I stay. I decided to take this trip to Ohio to go to the Rock on the Range festival, a 2 day show with three stages and tons of bands. The band I mainly went out there to see was Slipknot and I was not dissapointed at all. but I will get to that in a bit.
I got to the Crew Stadium about an hour after gates opened. I diddnt have to wait long to get in. To my surprise the first thing that greets you when you walk in is ice cold beer. oh yes no beer gardens. You are free to roam around as you please with a beer or a jager bomb in your hand. So far im digging the east coast.
The first band I see is a band I have never heard of before, but they put on a good show. the band was called The Veer Union. they played the second stage. After that I ventured my way to the main stage to see Saliva warming up the crowd. Im not a big Saliva fan but they did put on a good show. Chevelle preformed next. i stayed back a little ways conserving my energy for Korn and Slipknot. After chevelle finished their set Korn came on. I had to make my way to the front and get a taste of the mosh pit. Korn put on an awesome show playing all their hits. But they did not play any new material which they said they would be trying some of it out. All in all Korn, despite not having David or Head anymore still brought their A game and it will be a preformance i will not forget.
Alice in Chains was next. All i can say from that preformance is WOW. Even not having layne (R.I.P) anymore they were incredible, and even brought Duff (Guns and Roses, Velvet Revolver) out to help out during Rooster. Next was the main event. Slipknot! All i can say is OH MY FUCKING GOD! they played about and hour, hour 15. I had to make my way to the front. I got my ass kicked in so many ways. I woke up in the morning with bruises everywhere, and a nearly broken toe. Every second was worth it. Of course they played all the songs you would want to hear. Wait and Bleed, Surfacing, Before I Forget. but the crowd went crazy on the last song they played. Spit it Out! I remember getting down to the ground during zero bullshit, then watching everyonme go nuts when Corey screamed JUMP THE FUCK UP! unfortunatly I lost my wallet at that time and could not make the show the next day. Iwas to concerned about being able to fly back home without an I.D. Its a good thing the Coumbus Airport is leniant about that sorta thing otherwise I would be sleeping under a bridge somewhere in Ohio. In closing Rock on The Range 2010 here I come.