Swedish heavy metal band, Ghost, opened for Iron Maiden at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Downtown Phoenix AZ on Wednesday, June 28. Referring to themselves as “the clergy”, their 2016 single, “Cirice”, landed them a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. In January 2017, Ghost became the first Swedish heavy metal band to ever peak the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart with their Popestar single release “Square Hammer”, which opened the show with its iconic Munster-esque organ anthem reverberating through the rafters. Taking the stage as five Nameless Ghouls and an archtypal anti-Pope, Ghost delivered a set of heavy visuals and if-ABBA-married-Anton-Lavey melodies, including fan favorite “He Is“.
The show opens with what would be, in keeping with the band’s theme, a call to worship. The slow chant and mystic music of Jocelyn Pook’s “Masked Ball“, from the Stanley Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut, plays over the mains, announcing the arrival of the band to the stage. From there, parishioners of music are treated to a church/horror themed rock show in which lead singer, stage named Papa Emeritas III, occupies the stage in his papal vestments creating a striking visual to accompany the catchy and toe-tapping rhythms of the music. The five Ghouls, who have no names, represent the 5 Elements: Water, Earth, Fire, Wind, and Either. While the Ghouls wear identical masks and costumes, their elemental designation is represented on their instruments. Fire () plays lead guitar. Water () plays bass. Wind () plays keyboards. Earth () plays drums. And Ether () plays rhythm guitar. The band prefers the anonymity of the musicians, including Papa Emeritus III to allow fans to more easily enter the dark church fantasy that Ghost creates on stage, which is brilliantly executed and results in the treating of fans to an altogether immersive experience.
Ghost will return to North America in April as the ghoulish rockers will hit the road for a month long trek. The tour will cover most major markets and feature King Dude as main support. Here is where you can catch the mighty Ghost.
4/17 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Theatre
4/18 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
4/19 – Chicago, IL @ The Vic Theatre
4/20 – St. Louis, MO @ Pagent
4/22 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
4/23 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater
4/25 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
4/26 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
4/27 – Hollywood, CA @ The Fonda Theater
4/28 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
5/1 – Austin, TX @ Emos
5/2 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues
5/3 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
5/4 – New Orleans, LA @ Civic
5/6 – Orlando, FL @ Beachum Theater
5/7 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
5/9 – Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage Theater
5/10 – Chattanooga, TN @ Track 29
5/11 – Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
5/12 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
5/14 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
5/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero Theatre
5/16 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance Theatre
5/17 – New York, NY @ Best Buy Theatre
Avenged Sevenfold w/ Deftones and Ghost – 10/23/13
Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City, OK
Words/Photos by Steven Anthony
Everyone’s got an opinion regarding Avenged Sevenfold. Lots of people hate them, calling them derivative/wannabe rock stars. At the other end of the spectrum, you have the band’s fans, eating up everything the band releases including their latest album Hail to the King which recently topped the Billboard’s Top 100. Touring in support of that record, Avenged Sevenfold stopped at Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena last night bringing along Deftones and Ghost as support. Surely one of the strangest mainstream bills to hit arenas this year, the three bands played to a small yet hugely passionate crowd.
Sweden’s Ghost kicked things off for the evening, running through a bizarre 45-minute set that seemed to captivate the audience. While it reeked of gimmickry (Anonymous band members? A Satan-worshipping Cardinal figure?), the band was certainly entertaining. Heavy music fronted by a pop-sounding Satan-loving freak? If it works, it works, I guess, and judging by the number of Ghost shirts on the front row (a concert sin), the Swedes have developed a nice little underground following here in America. The band’s set included performances of Per Aspera ad Inferi, Year Zero and Ritual, sadly leaving out their intense Here Comes the Sun cover.
Deftones were up next, still riding on the heels of last year’s critically successful Koi no Yokan. Chino Moreno still bounces around like an insane person, constantly climbing up on his riser before jumping of or running across the stage twirling is microphone. He’s an engaging performer, to be sure, but last night he seemed to be having a bit of trouble balancing his on stage acrobatics with singing, sounding short of breath more than a few times. After tripping on a platform mid set, it became clear that perhaps he was just having an off night. Luckily he picked himself back up and recovered nicely, smiling before resuming his nonstop dancing center stage. Musically the band sounded tight, delivering solid takes on Rosemary, My Own Summer (Shove It) and Swerve City. Deftones are certainly a different style of music than either Ghost or Avenged Sevenfold, but they seemed to have just as many fans out in the crowd. It seemed odd to have a band so critically respected sandwiched between some Satan-worshipping, relative newcomers and one of the most polarizing bands in American rock, but they made it work.
After the Deftones wrapped up their set, the crowd’s anticipation for Avenged Sevenfold seemed to reach a breaking point. Soon enough, fire erupted from the stage as the band took their places on stage. Opening up with Shepherd of Fire, the band heated up the arena — quite literally — with insane amounts of pyro coming from seemingly every direction on stage. Critical Acclaim was next, finding vocalist M. Shadows growling over the fairly typical guitar riffs going on behind him. Guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates played their first of many dual-guitar solos of the evening during the track, throwing out shades of Judas Priest while the crowd pumped their fists in response. The band’s music may come across as inauthentic to some, but for the thousands of smiling faces at last night’s show, it’s clear they have a connection with a large number of people.
The band’s stage, a huge castle facade with a giant skeleton king centered behind the drum riser, served as a great backdrop for all of the pyro and spectacle happening towards the front. M. Shadows and both guitarists all had their own mini-risers at the front of the stage, climbing up anytime they wanted to solo or pop off whatever rock pose they were feeling at that moment. There were so many solos peppering nearly every song that for every vocal hook present during the show, I’d say there were approximately 12 guitar solos. It was a little excessive, but both guitarists are more than proficient so it was never painful.
The band sounded at their best when things were speedy and had a sharper edge — when they slowed down the show for a heartfelt tribute to their late drummer The Rev, things became a bit rough. While Fiction was a nice way to keep The Rev’s memory alive, M. Shadow’s vocals really seem to have trouble when he lets off his distinctive growl and the multi-layered synth work was a bit over the top. It was a weak point in an otherwise strong and engaging show, and really seemed to throw off the flow of their 90-minute set. It certainly can’t be all solos and all growling for the entire show, but the song sounded incredibly out of place.
The remainder of the night was solid, featuring performances of Nightmare, Afterlife and Bat Country. Shadows thanked the audience for coming out on a Wednesday night before leaving the stage. After a few minutes of “Sevenfold” chants rising out of the audience, the band came back out for a quick two-song encore, rounding out their set with Chapter Four and Unholy Confessions. All in all, not a bad show.
While these three bands have very little common, least of all fanbases, each band delivered in its own unique way. Judging by the size of the crowd, it’s not clear that any of these bands have the draw to fill arenas, but it was obvious that the people who did come out had a great time.
Check out a few more selected shots, followed by a full gallery of all three bands:
Avenged Sevenfold is hitting the road in support of their new record, Hail To The King, due out August 27th. Fans of the band are more than thrilled. You know who else is thrilled? Fans of Deftones as well as fans of Ghost, both bands who will be on tour with A7X this fall, hitting arena’s in major markets not named New York or California. To check out where to catch this gig, take a look at the dates below. Head over to the band’s website for more information by clicking here.
Avenged Sevenfold/Deftones/Ghost Tour Dates:
10/03 Chicago, IL // Allstate Arena
10/05 Indianapolis, IN // Klipsch Music Center
10/06 Cincinnati, OH // US Bank Arena
10/08 Baltimore, MD // 1st Mariner Arena
10/09 Boston, MA // TD Garden
10/12 Bloomington, IL // US Cellular Coliseum
10/13 Detroit, MI // Joe Louis Arena
10/15 Atlanta, GA // Phillips Arena
10/16 Orlando, FL // Amway Center
10/18 Houston, TX // Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
10/19 Dallas, TX // American Airlines Center
10/20 San Antonio, TX // AT&T Center
10/22 Omaha, NE // CenturyLink Center
10/23 Oklahoma City, OK // Chesapeake Energy Arena
10/26 Las Vegas, NV // Mandalay Bay Events Center
Swedish Rockers Ghost are going to bless North America with a lengthy tour this spring leading up to their appearance at the Rock On The Range Festival in Ohio. Lots of major cities getting hit, like Seattle, Portland, San Fran and New York City. It’s a Concert Confessions guarantee that this band is not one you want to miss. Check out their slew of dates below, along with a video of the band being introduced at Orion Music + More Festival and kicking off their set with “Con Clavi Con Dio” . For more info, head to the bands official website here.
According to a press release, the band will from hence here forth be known as Ghost B.C. here in America due to legal issues. I think I can agree with every fan of this band when I say F%#k that. Ghost is Ghost.
Check Out Our Buddy Jakob’s Coverage of Mastodon, Opeth & Ghost from 05/12/12 by clicking here
Also Check Out Reverend Justito’s Ghost & Mastodon Experience from sunny California by clicking here
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
The end of the year brings us empty wallets, fat stomachs and most importantly larger egos than we had the year before. It’s because of these egos that people like me put together these year end “best of” lists. Although as you know, here at Concert Confessions we do things a little differently then other sites. We don’t have a Top Albums list, Top Artist list, Male and Female Rookies of the year list we do top Concerts of the year. Personally, I’ll trust all of you readers enough to go ahead and listen to all those albums of the year you’re listing-You’ll let me know what’s good. You’re nice people right?
Anyway, more self branding: Every year I set a personal goal of going to more shows then the year prior. In 2011, we had ourselves 23 Jay Porks Experiences. In 2012, money was a bit tight, schedules fluctuated and goals were not reached as 18 shows were only attended. But don’t worry, they were some memorable ones that will most definitely fill the void in my heart that sits beneath my wretched soul (Alright it’s not that bad, but it’s good copy!). Below, you can view the list of the Top Five Jay Porks Experiences of 2012.
Heading to the lovely Detroit in 2013, this year brought this guy to his first ever “festival” experience. Sort of. And it turned out to be way more than I was actually prepared for. When you think festival you think a few things: camping, shower trucks and people lying overdosed in mud puddles while folks from LA Weekly takes photos. But Atlantic City brings casinos, thousands of hotel rooms (lots of them luxurious), and no camp ground. The idea is to get a room for the weekend, they had room packages with some tickets, I chose to go off course and book my own room accommodations and take a cab over and back each day. Was a solid plan going in. The list of acts seen was immense, including Metallica (curators of the Festival) headlining the two night stint. The first day I got to see Baroness, Roky Erickson, Fucked Up, Cage The Elephant, Modest Mouse and Arctic Monkeys before Metallica turned me into a fan playing Ride The Lightening in it’s entirety. Skin was turned powdery white to beat red after the full day (sunscreen something I rarely carry) and the dreadful Flagship Hotel had a less than desirable internet connection. Day Two brought me the likes of A Place To Bury Stangers, Ghost, Gary Clark Jr, the waste known as Best Coast, The Black Dahlia Murder, Eric Church and Titus Andronicus before Metallica hit the stage to remind me why I was never that big into them in the first place when they played the The Black Album…. backwards. Okay. Then on this night the return to the hotel room brought me with the dilemma of having NO internet at all at the again, dreadful Flagship Hotel whose front desk said the services were down. So I walked myself to Bally’s Casino w/ bags packed with all the towels, soaps and ashtrays I was able to fit in there and awaited the 4:30AM bus back into New York City. Had to catch Childish Gambino in Central Park the next night after all. Sounds like a pain, and looking back it kind of was but at the same time, those two days spent AT Bader Field (while the music was playing )were absolute magic.
This show was epic for so many reasons. In my 2nd time seeing the band this year (plus the Scott Lucas and the Married MenMercury Lounge pit stop in June), and 1st time since the release of their latest record “Hallelujah! I’m a Bum”, which is an absolute masterpiece, I found myself leaving the Bell House that night feeling way more blown away then I could have ever predicted. Take into account the spot in the back of the room where we were able to survey the entire place instead of getting hit with cups full a beer down front. The energy Scott Lucas brought to the table that night was one of a man on a mission, and tons of great songs got played off the new record. I usually hate when a band tries to shove new songs down my throat at shows but this record is one that people need to hear. It’s too good to get lost in the shuffle. Ended the night covering TV On The Radio‘s “Wolf Like Me”, which was like the cherry on an awesome sundae.
#3 Kasabian (Terminal 5 – New York City) March 22nd
It was something out of Biblical times. On March 22nd 2012, Kasabian hit New York City with the entire world watching via YouTube and left every ounce of their fiber and being on that stage that night. Every song was like another chapter in a great novel I was having someone read to me. I wouldn’t say the man, myth and legend Reverend Justito and I like tons of the same bands, but this is one of the few he pointed to me and I was instantly a super fan. They burned Terminal 5 down to the ground that night, and everyone who was there is a changed person today. It’s a shame I didn’t have a good camera when I went to this gig, or I would’ve had some cool ass pictures. Well, none of my pics would’ve been better than Mick Rock‘s anyway, did I mention he was there? Google him. The video below from that evening at Terminal 5 is courtesy of The Bowery Presents because this show happened when this guy was still rocking a $50 camera. Dear Kasabian: PLEASE COME BACK TO AMERICA
#2 Foxy Shazam (Bowery Ballroom – New York City) May 16th
With Ween breaking up, they weren’t able to snag their normal spot as my #2 show of the year in 2012(as they had in 2010 and 2011). Having seen Foxy Shazam already kind of/sort of blow The Darkness off stage in February – when a show was announced at Bowery Ballroom where they would headline I had to get in on that action-let’s see what the whole shebang brings to the table. And Oh Lord was I heeled with the Holy Touch with an evening of their finest numbers, funky vibes, and Eric Nally eating the cigarette I threw on stage!
I was sitting next to some people I met outside who were nice enough to pass along a pipe to me as I was filming “I Like It” . Snagged the spot upstairs balcony. Cannot beat it. Check the video for yourself. But if you told me before I went to that show that it would end up being the #2 show on my year end list I would have never ever believed you. The band is just that good. Nailing a spot supporting Slash on his Fall tour was a great job by him. Glad Slash has good taste in music. That was Another show I attended. So three times I’ve been baptized into the Church of Rock & Roll this year… And I Like It.
#1 Mike Watt & Friends (Le Poisson Rouge – New York City) May 2nd
Mike Watt has tons of friends. When this purchase is made, the only thing known is that the Minuteman will team with J Mascis and Murph from Dinosaur Jr to play tonight and that Mike Watt will be interviewed on stage before the show. I got to tape the interview but the questions are raised. So what songs are they going to play? Dinosaur Jr songs? Minutemen songs? Who’s singing? Well there was no mic set up in front of J, which is indication this isn’t a Dinosaur Jr kind of night. Out walks Don Fleming (from the band Gumball) and they play The Stooges“Real Cool Time”. Then I remember who the active bass player in the Stooges is: Mike Watt! So here we are playing Stooges songs all night with a revolving door of guest singers. John Petkovic came out, then one of my freaking heroes Thurston Moore(of the recently divorced Sonic Youth), then Sharon Von Etten, then Kurt Vile. And Thurston reappeared at least two more times, and they had Steve Shelly (also Sonic Youth) in there on drums on some songs too along w/ Byron Coley (who did the interviewing earlier) and John Maloney. I couldn’t have missed any names, because Mike Watt tweeted over the set list the next day with all the names of the parties involved and what songs they played on. That show was something I’m never going to forget. That’s the closest I’ll ever come to seeing the actual Stooges.
The Jay Porks Favorite Read Of 2012 on Concert Confessions:
And last and certainly not least, I’ve added a new section to this top shows post. That portion is Top Concert Experience of 2012 NOT attended by me. We have lots of contributors, lots of varied acts getting written about. But one gig really hit close to home when out pal Reverend Justito went and saw my pals the Meat Puppets at the closing of the Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, California. I can guarantee that I enjoyed reading this one as much as most of the attendees enjoyed living it.
2012: A Rock Odyssey, or the Best Live Acts I Saw this Year
It’s been over two months since I’ve contributed anything to the site. Don’t worry all, I haven’t abandoned you. But I have moved from northeastern Georgia to southern Germany; a huge move for me. So, I haven’t had much time to write anything up, let alone make any trips for concerts. Well, so far.
But 2012 has been an amazing year in concerts, even though I didn’t expect it to be. I went to my first camping festival, saw Phish—TWICE!—and met up with our own BeezNutz. So, for the end of the year I figured I’d let everyone know what I consider to be the best bands I saw this year. Now last year I wrote about the best concerts I attended, but since this year it’d be almost unfair to do that (Bonnaroo would count as one concert and would trump all competition) I figured I’d just tell you who the best live bands I saw this year were, from 20 all the way to number 1. So, without further ado, here we go!
When indie pop group Under the Influence of Giants went on hiatus in 2008, lead singer Aaron Bruno decided to start his own strange little side project that used the same principles of dance, electronica, and rock music, which he called AWOLNATION. Their growth in popularity has been pretty rapid thanks in part to FM rock radio, but mostly to the internet.
In May, Aaron and co. rocked a Saturday afternoon set in Atlanta; and when I say rocked, I mean ROCKED. Bruno’s scratchy vocal is great for clean music and loud crazy music, both of which were represented well. They played some radio friendly hits like “Not Your Fault” and “Guilty Filthy Soul,” some louder and stranger songs like “Sail” and “Burn It Down,” and they even threw in a cover of the buildup section of Rage Against the Machine’s debut album closer “Freedom.” All in all, a fantastically energetic show by a very underrated band. Nothing about them is too challenging and maybe not that original, but the music is fun and the shows are great.
19. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the biggest alternative rock bands of the past 25 years. They may not release albums on a regular basis, but they still have millions of fans and are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as of this year. So who cares if their music isn’t THAT great? They’re the Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined the What Stage of Bonnaroo on Saturday Night to an 80,000 member crowd. And something that surprised me about their performance is how they’ve transformed into a jam band. New guitarist Josh Klinghoffer fits in well with the Peppers and fills the hole that John Frusciante left when he left the group for the second time a couple years ago. The Chili Peppers zoomed through some of their hits and a few of their lesser known songs, and were very energetic. Especially Flea. No bassist on the planet earth has more energy than that guy. But they seemed to have trouble connecting with the audience. Maybe it was because I was far back, or maybe because it was such a huge audience, but it seems like Red Hot Chili Peppers didn’t perform at their best that night. But Flea did leave us with an important message about supporting live music. And that’s always nice.
18. Fitz and the Tantrums
If you ask anyone who’s seen Fitz and the Tantrums before—anyone who isn’t Justin, that is—you’ll probably hear some good reviews. This neo-soul group always put on very energetic performances. And although they were a last minute addition to my Bonnaroo List of Bands to See, I don’t regret the decision for a second.
Throwing in a few new songs, and a couple covers (The Raconteurs’ “Steady As She Goes” and Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams”), Fitz/Tantrums caused many a foot to tap on the sandy ground of one of Bonnaroo’s tents. All of this leading up to the magnificent crescendo that is “MoneyGrabber.” Seriously, if you’re looking for a fun show and your name isn’t Justin Watt, I highly recommend seeing Fitz and the Tantrums at your nearest venue.
17. Ben Folds Five
In 2000, the world lost one of the most humorously clever bands that the face of alternative rock has ever seen: Ben Folds Five. Don’t be fooled, reader, for Ben Folds Five are, in fact, a trio. They released three critically acclaimed albums in the 90s before amicably splitting up. Three years after a one-off reunion in 2008, BF5 reunited for good, announcing a few dates and a new studio album in the works. Everything was looking good.
Fortunately for me, I got the chance to see the newly reunited Ben Folds Five perform their classics on the Which Stage at Bonnaroo. There were smiles all around and all three members seemed to enjoy themselves as they sang songs like “Song for the Dumped”, “Underground”, and “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces,” omitting any new material they might have had. They’re a fun live band and Ben Folds is seriously one of the greatest pianists and happiest guys to ever exist. Ben Folds frowning is about as unlikely as Michael Stipe smiling.
16. Major Lazer
Although producer Diplo may be best known for producing songs by M.I.A., No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, Das Racist, and Die Antwoord, he is also half of Jamaican reggae dubstep dance duo Major Lazer. On record, they’re strange and nothing about them really makes sense. But in a live setting, it’s like a rave with marijuana instead of ecstasy. They’re not the greatest thing to ever happen to electronic music, but if Skrillex is too much for you then Major Lazer is definitely a fun electro show worth seeing. I caught them about halfway through their set and the crowd was going nuts. Their hype man may be annoying, but Major Lazer’s show is as over-the-top as it gets. Air horns, dancing ladies, constant countdowns to craziness; it’s all there. So maybe that’s just all part of the fun.
15. Gary Clark Jr.
Blues guitar virtuoso Gary Clark Jr. has played more festivals in the past year than anyone, and for good reason too. He’s amazingly good and has been racking up hype and rave reviews for the past year even though his breakthrough album was just released a couple weeks ago. On the closing day of Bonnaroo, Mr. Clark Jr played an early afternoon set at Bonnaroo’s main stage. The weather was stormy, the wind was blowing, and Gary had the entire crowd eating out of the palm of his guitar playing hands. His set was loud and full of droning psychedelic distortion tones that nodded to Jimi Hendrix and Roky Erickson.
He played the blues with some elements of 60s garage, soul, R&B, and psychedelia thrown in there. All in all, a mind-warping show that caused one to be fully immersed in the music.
The red-hot ska punk band has been active for over 30 years, and they’ve not lost an iota of energy since the release of their debut EP. Lead singer Angelo Moore is still totally cool with singing songs like “Let Them Ho’s Fight,” “Party at Ground Zero,” and the classic “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.” Bassist Norwood Fisher is still as impressive as ever with the slap bass, and each musician is equally impressive at their respective instruments. With ex-Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Rocky George in tow, Fishbone certainly rocked the Hell Stage at Atlanta’s Masquerade with a fire-hot intensity that is rarely matched by other “older” punk bands. If you’re looking for a fun show, then I highly recommend catching Fishbone, since they’ll probably be touring for another 30 years.
Scandinavia is the perfect place for a heavy metal band to start. It’s cold, almost cut off from the rest of the world, depressing, and chock full of mystery. But never has a band as mysterious as Ghost existed since Mayhem released their debut album in the midst of a suicide and a murder among the band. Ghost’s sound is by no means frightening. It’s got an ear-catching, almost radio-friendly quality to it, and if it weren’t for the blatant satanism in the lyrics then Ghost would probably be very popular.
Lead singer Papa Emeritus (who dresses up in a manner that can only be described as “Devil’s Pope”) fronts a band of Nameless Ghouls (who wear black masks and hoods) and sings about their glorious master, Lucifer.
For the first time since Slipknot, no one is entirely sure who is behind the masks, and I doubt Ghost plan on revealing the members’ identities any time soon. But what matters is the frightening 6-song set they put on during their opening slot on the Heritage Hunter tour, where they opened for Opeth and Mastodon. Ghost managed to catch the ear of many audience members who had never heard them, as they continue to spread their philosophy, or whatever it is they’re trying to spread. They even managed to make Phil Anselmo a fan!
I know, I know. Dubstep is lame, Skrillex is untalented, I’m an idiot for liking it, bla bla bla.
Okay, have you vented your blind hatred yet? Good! Now let’s get through this with an open mind.
Skrillex, as you probably know by now, is an insanely popular and widely hated EDM artist, who many associate with the abrasive subgenre of dubstep, or “bro-step” for douchebags who don’t want Skrillex tainting the good name of dubstep. Skrillex’s early morning show (1:30 AM-3:30 AM) got going quickly and never got boring. The show was a nonstop wave of bass, energy, and volume. Some people need drugs to enjoy that kind of thing, others don’t. All I know is, I had a fantastic time there. He played through his hits such as “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” and “First of the Year (Equinox)” and even remixed songs by Bassnectar, Flux Pavilion, Doctor P, and Benny Benassi.
11. Bad Brains
In 1982, Washington D.C.’s own Bad Brains threw a curveball at the rest of the world with their self-titled debut album. It combined elements of reggae with that of hardcore punk, the likes of which had never been seen. Plus, it was (probably) the first time black people had involved themselves with the punk movement, and Bad Brains certainly put their own spin on it. Lead singer HR’s instantly recognizable howl led the band through some awesome times and horrible times. Sometimes screaming, sometimes singing, and other times using a fake Jamaican patois, Bad Brains were a whirlwind of genres and music that never seemed to stop.
Fortunately, I got the opportunity to see them live, and it was one of the strangest things I’ve seen yet. The music was loud and energetic and played almost without error, but I am beginning to think that HR is mentally unstable. Not quite sure. Either way, seeing living legends perform their classic songs is something not many people get to do, and I’m very happy that I was able to see Bad Brains’ early afternoon set. Keep sailin’ on!
Orion Music + More Festival- Day Two: Running later than yesterday because the alarm didn’t go off it was just a mere coincidence to have drank enough fluids on Day One that a built in intestinal alarm clock was installed as a back up. That was a dodged bullet there wasn’t it? That could have been so much worse. Maybe not wake up at 4pm and miss out on Ghost! Or The Black Dahlia Murder! Well luckily, in the 72nd edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series, I made it to Bader Field on time, here in the beautiful Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Fuel Stage to kick today off with A Place To Bury Strangers.
You see an editors note on yesterday’s recap about me writing this review at the show. That’s true. With memory card space and battery life on my mind, instead of filming all I can I’m taping one song per set, therefore leaving me more time to take little notes and stuff. Hence why some of the wording seems as if it’s happening live. It was at the time.
A Place To Bury Strangers
Who’s the one who told me to check this band out like 3 years ago? Anyway, thank you whoever you are, because they ain’t too shabby. You’d think with a name like A Place To Bury Strangers, they come and rip your heart out with the death grips of metal. I mean, they’re loud as fuck, and quite heavy-but the elements of distortion (I don’t if that’s an effects box on the drum set or what), they’re more “alternative-ty”. They kicked off at 1pm and a few songs in I’m thinking “wow these dudes are wrecking shit up, what time is it now?” It was only 1:18pm. I caught maybe 6 or 7 of their songs before I headed cross the field to the Orion Stage to get a good spot(behind the empty VIP area) for Ghost.
Yesterday, Lars and Kirk introduced a few of the bands that they said they were fans of. Well, Ghost got that same treatment today, only from James Hetfield. I was chatting it up with a fellow rail rider and a security guard in front of us. Kid next to me mentioned that they changed from all black to all white for this tour “so they look like Klan members”. The security guard happened to be black, so I said to him “so don’t run when you see them!” jokingly. It was all fun and games- even when Ghost came on. These guys definitely have a sense of humor. The costumes, the whole thing. When they walk out you can’t help but chuckle. I was no longer afraid, but intrigued. And they don’t seem to me to be this “heavy death kill your face” metal as assumed.
Ghost rocked. We got that cool ass “Here Comes the Sun” cover, and I think that last song was called “Ritual”. I noticed their drummer was kicking up something wicked over there. Awesome band- now go take those outfits off boys it’s hot at hell out here
Gary Clark Jr
Fuck yeah! I had and still have no idea who this guy Gary Clark Jr. is, and you know what, that’s a bad job on my part. Shame on me. Apparently I was the only one who was new to dude, because the crowd really packed in for this one. If you’re a fan of awesome bluesy crazy guitar work- emphasis on awesome-then you need to see check this guy out. The solos were freaking epic- some take you to space type stuff. Kirk Hammet introduced him as “one of my new favorite guitar players” and praised his interesting sound. Well, as Kirk watched from the side of the stage the riffs from Gary Clark Jr were hitting me in all the right places song by song. I got the name of one cause the lyrics were easy “If You Love Me Like You Say”. Seriously, where’d this guy come from? Does Jack White know about this guy? Because I can guarantee once he hears him they’ll form some sort of awesome side project for Mr. White.
Yesterday saw the indie acts the likes Modest Mouse and stuff. Today leans more towards the metal side of things- therefore, more drunk metal fans, hence peaking my interest to see Best Coast get stuff chucked at them. While I walked over I heard Soul Rebels doing a jazzy version of “Enter Sandman” wish I could have caught that. But instead I was catching these wusses. With their soft, boring music. How old is that chick like 14? They’re like emo kids who heard a song with a distortion pedal and started a band with their parents money. I’m chatting it up with this female security guard as they play. Forget these losers. Such uninteresting songs I could write in my sleep.
The Black Dahlia Murder
Ghost and The Black Dahlia Murderare the two acts of Orion that Reverend Justitohas been in my ear about. I’m on the rail at 4:46( their set is at 5:15) and as they’re setting up at the Damage Inc. Stage one of the guitar players screams to the crowd “Take off the glasses so I can see your eyes!!”. These guys have a sense of humor they were joking around with fans the whole time they set up, and between songs. Once they started, it was the fastest played instruments I’ve ever seen in my life. THIS band, is the first band at this festival with the exception of Metallica that I’d hear one second of and immediately say “metal”. The lead singer has the full growl going, I don’t know how that can be done night in night out without killing your voice box. Few songs in dude tells the crowd he wants to see the biggest circle pit of all time. So this, already rawkus crowd with some epic crowd surfers just got a tad more violent. Awesome. Thought I enjoyed the band, not sure if it’s something I can do full albums of. I got out of there 10 minutes to 6, I have to find a spot with some shade.
Back to the Orion Stage and another act introduced by James Hetfeild, this one being Eric Church. I’m giving it the blind listen for the first 2 songs, I found an shaded spot where I can sit on the floor behind the handicap seating( I need a breather!). I can say this much- I didn’t need Hetfeild to tell me this dude is from Nashville, because from the first lyric he sang his voice conveyed the sounds of he south. He said “We’re from Tennessee, we just wanna drink and party like you guys”. Sweet. His voice would fit in well with country music- but his band sounds like they belong at a place like this. Songs I didn’t hate, even if it is country music. Church mentions he drinks “94 proof, single barrel Jack Daniels” while holding up a red cup and says “I wrote a song about it, for those who won’t remember all this in the morning.. called Jack Daniels”. Did I mention there is no liquor on sale here? Just beer and I saw wine. With this crowd, probably a safe idea.
While everyone heads over to the Fuel Stage for Avenged Sevenfold, a band I tried so hard to get into but couldn’t, I figured I’d check out Titus Andronicus at the Frantic Stage. Of course now that the sun is setting I’ll make my first trip to the tented stage. I know Titus did one of those covers on that Spin magazine Nirvana Nevermind tribute album that I didn’t hate. So there’s one I’ll know if they play it.
Once they started I’m thinking: “Now this is more up my alley”. Three guitar players, front man who’s looks like his girl friend dumped him and they’re here to tell you about it type of band. Slightly whiney, but I can’t blame them they’re from Jersey and they get loud enough to make up for it. They’re more punky than anything else. Really enjoyed their set, it was fun- made me bounce. Towards the end the lead singer is like “Metallica is up next.. never thought I’d be saying that”.
Now let me preface this following paragraph by saying I think it’s really cool what Metallica did here with this whole “inviting bands outside the genre of Metal” to a festival thing, and I loved it. Orion Music + More was something I’m going to remember.
They’re set to hit the stage tonight at 8PM tonight as oppose to 9PM, it is a Sunday after all. Once their set started I received three texts from three people who shall remain nameless (thenaturalstoner, Mr. Sparkly, and I made up the third one it was only two) asking me if Fuse is running a repeat of last nights show on the stream. Add an hour more of daylight, and I kind of felt the same way. They went with “Ecstasy of Gold”, “Hit The Lights” and “Master Of Puppets” to kick it off again. Last night I played the role of “first Metallica show” guy. The guy who’d never seen the band before and I just sat back and really was able to take it all in. . But can you tell me something? What the hell guys?? What the hell? If you exchange “Ride The Lightning” with “The Black Album” tonight was basically almost a carbon copy set of last night. Okay, at 8:42 we got “Fuel”, I’ll give you that-it was freaking awesome. But even the way Hetfeild worded everything exactly the same way as he had did the night before, as if he had all that stuff memorized. He keeps saying stuff like “Orion and Metallica are family” and making us chant it, as if he’s taking this Orion Music + More brand and trying to pitch it for next year already. First of all you’re Metallica, if you wanna have a festival I’m sure you can afford to have one every single year. And second off , dude, if you book good bands, we’ll come back again-stop forcing it on us.
I was really happy to be able to grab footage of Metallica doing my favorites though, even if they were played last night. This new camera is such a beast. Last night my battery died before I could get pics of any of their pyrotechnics fireworks explosions that started with “Enter Sandman” (on both nights that’s where the bombs went off).
‘Unforgiven’ was epic, thank the sweet lord they didn’t play versions II and III. It wasn’t til after 9Pm when we got into the Black Album-backwards. I don’t listen to albums in reverse order unless I’m trying to find out if Paul is dead, so what the hell is up with that? They did the same thing last night. And don’t call me a noob, because when I got in the cab after the show and I asked the people I shared it with if they stayed for the entire encore, the answer was a quick “No way they played all the same songs”. And don’t talk my word and the word of someone I asked for it, as the Concert Confessions peeps who were watching the stream and had their own thoughts:
-“Just play a two-hour long Enter Sandman…call it a night.”
-” Yes, James…you are at Orion and your band is Metallica.”
-” Alright, playing the Black Album was cool and all, but there was so much more they could have done with the second night.”
-“A wasted opportunity”
Ooooo look they’re encoring with “Seek And Destroy”. Yeah, like a lot of stuff during this set, I got this last night. During that encore I was heading towards the exit. Tonight Metallica set was kind of a let down all things considered. Last night they seemed like cool guys, like changed men. Tonight all I see on stage is a band looking at a sea of about 22,000 fans while calculating profits in their heads.
At least I saw Metallica two nights in a row-I mean in the general scheme of things having never seen them before this weekend. But I do have one last question. Metallica has a song called “Orion” right? This is Orion Music + More festival right? Why not play that song, do you guys think it sucks? Then why name you’re festival after it? But besides a 2nd night headlining let down, the whole weekend was really great and I got to branch out my musical tastes a little bit from stage to stage, set to set. First “festival” I’ve attended was a success, even catching that 4:30AM bus back to NYC at Ballys.
Notes: The Medical staff gets all the blame when shit goes wrong, well let’s slurp them when shit goes well. Their were tents everywhere if you were feeling even the least bit dehydrated or anything. Drunken passed out people on the floors were quickly scoop up brought into the tent and revived in time for Metallica.
Must See Acts, Set Times for Orion Music + More Festival
Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ June 23rd & 24th
On Saturday June 23rd, Atlantic City’s own Bader Field will be taken over by the legion of Metal-Heads as Metallica’s Orion Music + More Festival will kick off. You may have heard over the weekend that Phish just did 3 nights at this same “field”.
When you hear someone say “Hey, I’m going to that Metallica festival” it’s immediately interrupted as something that would be titled “Death Metal Fest” or something like that(and in pour the comments about the differences between death metal and black metal). But au contraire friends, this isn’t the typical festival(line-up wise) at all you would expect for Metallica to be curating. The two day festival is bound to bring not only fans of the Metal or thrash genre, but the pseudo-intellectual hipsters will flock to this thing too, as some of their favorite Indie acts like The Gaslight Anthem and Best Coast have been invited to this festival along with the other 30+ , eclectic to say the least, acts set to appear. We’ll get to the full list of the acts at the bottom of this post when we map out which bands will be appearing at what times on which of the four stages this festival will have, but for now, let’s get into the Jay Porks Top Five Must See Bands at this Orion Music + More extravaganza this weekend June 23rd and 24th.
#5 Metallica ( Headlining both nights ‘Orion’ Stage)
I know what you’re thinking: “How can Metallica NOT be number one here?!?” . Well, truth be told, I personally am not the biggest Metallica fan. Putting all the differences aside like when Lars and the boys got angry about fans downloading the bands music from Napster, all and all I’m lucky to see the band. And hey at least they’re playing the Black Album and Ride The Lightening in their entirety, because those are the only two albums that contain the Metallica songs I like. I’m happy to be able to cross them off the bucket list of bands to see, and I appreciate them putting on a festival like this with such diversity. But there are 4 other acts I’d rather see perform at this thing.
#4 Ghost (Sunday, ‘Orion Stage’ 2PM-3PM)
Here’s all I know about Ghost: they scare the living fuck out of me. Seriously, have you seen their cover of “Here Comes The Sun”? The people (Fine authors like Reverend Justito and Jakob Ross to name two)I know who seem to know music speak very highly of the Stockholm band, and with nothing conflicting (and hopefully carrying a change of underwear) I will be sure to check these dudes out on the Sunday at 2 in the afternoon.
#3 Roky Erickson (Saturday,”Frantic” Stage 2:45-3:30PM
Before I explain myself let me remind everyone that every act on the bill was invited by Metallica to perform. But holy shit, I get to see Roky Erickson! I’m over joyed . Pioneer of the psychedelic rock movement with the 13th Floor Elevators back in the day, Roky has be cited as the influence for a number of acts, from the Meat Puppets to obvious Metallica. If that’s not cool tits right there, I don’t know what is. Above is a video of Mr. Erickson jamming with the aforementioned Meat Puppets at SXSW last year.
#2 Arctic Monkeys (Saturday,8PM-9PM ‘Fuel Stage’)
I don’t remember when it was, but I know it was some random Pandora radio station I had created back in the day. I was trolling some bands message board arguing with people for reasons I forgot 5 minutes later, a song called ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ came on and I immediately stopped to find out who the hell these guys were. Such an interesting sound, so unique in so many ways-these guys just opened up a Arena Tour for the Black Keys . That show (though pricey I was still going to attend) sold out on me faster than you can make a premature ejaculation joke. I’m so freaking ready to watch these guys rock out the ‘Fuel Stage’ before Metallica closes out Saturday with ‘Ride The Lightening’
#1 Modest Mouse (Saturday 7pm-8pm ‘Orion Stage’)
And leading that pack of aforementioned pseudo-intellectual hipsters will be this guy right here, hopefully riding the rail for Modest Mouse’s set. Hell, I’ve even grab a few Tao Lin books and spend two days in a garage errrrrrr I mean an “art space” in Williamsburg watching Russ Meyer flicks to gear up for this one. I freaking LOVE this band. The only thing I would question is why have Arctic Monkeys and these guys on the same night? One of them should be playing Sunday before Metallica. Anyway, I’ll hopefully be “Doin’ The Cockroach” with some festival groupie chicks to whom sober is 26 miles in their rear view mirror.
Honorable Mentions: Cage The Elephant are a really cool band, and had I wanted to do a Top six they were next-promise. If all goes according to plan, Metallica fans storm the stage and trample Best Coast for being such wusses. That’s one band that’s gonna get killed at this gig, seriously. Back when Dinosaur Jr came to Terminal 5 and Rollins interviewed them on stage and that douche bag stole a snippet of my full 18 minute video, an opener that was sorta over looked in the aftermath was Fucked Up. So I’m interested to check out their festival set and see what they’re all about. And either Jim Florentine or Don Jamieson I guess I’ll have to check out to. I wonder if “That Metal Show” will do an episode remote from the festival. Probably not, but here’s hoping.
Below, you can find humongous screen shots of the festival’s stage schedules and all the bands playing when and where. TheNaturalStoner hooked that up because I’m an idiot who was gonna type it out individually.
There are two slots in these photos labeled TBA. The Saturday 1PM at Orion Stage is Baroness, and the Sunday, 5PM on the Fuel Stage is Volbeat. They were the last two bands added to the line-up. You’d think the festival’s website would have an updated version of this. Oh well. Come find me at the Flagship Resort as that’s where I’ll be staying since Atlantic City has closed my favorite hotel/casino the Trump Marina (that had a sweet buffet and a Hooters). Seriously, come find me, I’m looking to freaking party. Besides the time at Bader Field, and the hour after that I’m writing the experience up-I will be wasted. The Jay Porks After Party. Don’t act like I WON’T do that. See you all there, I’ll be the one in the shirt that says “Your Favorite Band Sucks”(or my Blood Half Moons tee shirt).
Jay Porks Orion Schedule:
1PM Baroness-Orion Stage
2:45PM Roky Erickson-Frantic Stage
4PM Fucked Up -Fuel Stage
5:15PM Jim Florentine-Frantic Stage
6PM Cage The Elephant-Fuel Stage
7PM Modest Mouse-Orion Stage
8PM Arctic Monkeys-Fuel Stage
9PM Metallica (Ride The Lightening)-Orion Stage
1PM A Place To Bury Strangers -Fuel Stage
2PM Ghost-Orion Stage
3PM Gary Clark Jr.-Fuel Stage
4Pm Best Coast – Orion Stage
5:15Pm The Black Dahlia Murder – Damage Inc. Stage
Millions of years ago, before civilization existed outside of Mexico, the Aztecs (because screw the Mayans) predicted that one day, a tour would come along that would relentlessly and brutally destroy any town in its path. This tour would be known as the Heritage Hunter tour, featuring Opeth and Mastodon touring in support of their respective 2011 releases, Heritage and The Hunter. Opening for them would be the mighty Ghost, who hail from the dark depths of Hell. Or Sweden. One of the two.
Having seen none of these bands before, I knew right away I would be in for a treat. My dad and I arrived at the Masquerade Music Park (the larger venue located right outside the Masquerade) just as Ghost were opening up their fantastic albeit short set with Con Clavi Con Dio. As I made my way through the crowd, Ghost were making the transition into the second song, Elizabeth.
After Elizabeth, lead singer Papa Emeritus invited us, the Children of Georgia, to stare into the eyes of the Prime Mover, which flowed perfectly into the aptly titled Prime Mover.
I must say, I was surprised by the amount of people in the audience that were Ghost fans prior to the show. I saw numerous people singing along to songs such as Satan Prayer and the set-closing Ritual. But they also converted a few non-believers at the beginning of the show into huge fans by the end. If Ghost aren’t headlining venues this size within the next few years, then I will give up all hope in humanity. Their set may have been short, but Papa’s enchanting and hypnotic delivery had everyone eating out of the palm of his hand.
About 20 minutes after Ghost’s set ended, fellow Swedes Opeth took the stage to much applause. Lead singer Mikael Akerfeldt—who recently sustained a head injury—and friends bust into a pitch-perfect Devil’s Orchard, the opening track from the album they are touring in support of. Then they played another song from Heritage, I Feel the Dark.
“We are Opeth,” said Akerfeldt simply after I Feel the Dark ended. “Do you remember the song by Twisted Sister, I Wanna Rock?” he asked. “Well, do ya, motherf***ers?” I’m not quite sure if he was asking if we wanted to rock, or whether or not we knew the song. “This is a, uh, tribute to Ronnie Dio.” It was almost 2 years to the day since Dio died of stomach cancer. The song they paid tribute to him with was Slither.
I must say, I was greatly impressed by Opeth, whether it was the calmer, slower songs like Windowpane and Burden, or the one-two death metal punch (and set-closers) Demons of the Fall and The Grand Conjuration (the former inspired the first mosh pit of the night). Mikael Akerfeldt has a fantastic sense of humor, and it is tough not to sit there in awe of their sheer musicianship. Not even a head injury could stop Opeth from rocking.
As the sun set and the drizzle that formulated during Opeth’s set turned into actual rain, the crowd was getting anxious for its Mastodon fix. The hometown heroes were expected to really deliver tonight, and they did not disappoint.
Mastodon’s 17-18 song setlist relies mostly on their release The Hunter, from which they played every song. Their show kicked off with a tight rendition of Black Tongue, which folk songstress Feist covered recently for Record Store Day. Afterwards, Mastodon took a sharp turn right into 2006, playing two songs from that year’s release Blood Mountain. Hand of Stone was followed immediately by Crystal Skull. Then they continued with the new songs until the 10th song of the set, which was the title track from 2009’s stellar Crack the Skye. 11-14 were All the Heavy Lifting, Spectrelight, Curl of the Burl, and Bedazzled Fingernails. They took another break from The Hunter to perform two tracks from 2004’s Leviathan, Aqua Dementia and Blood and Thunder. They ended their set with The Hunter’s closing song The Sparrow.
One thing I noticed before they came back for a super-special encore was that not one member of the band said a word to the audience throughout the entire show. Not once did I hear “How are ya, Atlanta!?” or “Want some more?” or “Are you ready to ROCK!?” Nope. It wasn’t until after the encore performance of The Creature Lives did drummer Brann Dailor acknowledge us and thank us for coming.
The cool thing about the encore was that members of Opeth, Ghost (all the Nameless Ghouls, but no Papa Emeritus), as well as members of Mastodon’s family and friends came to sing it.
Overall, a consistently amazing show by three of the greatest heavy metal bands of the last decade. And after seeing the look on my dad’s face afterwards, I have a good feeling I’ll get the chance to see those bands again.
Universal Studios Hollywood is always a bizarre place to see a heavy metal show. As you make the long walk from your car to the Gibson Amphitheatre it’s hard not to laugh as metal fans stuff their faces with food court fair as tourists walk past and modern day Madonna songs blast upon the jumbotron. I actually thought it was an odd place for the Heritage Hunter Tour to be stopping in Southern California and upon seeing how many sections of seats were closed off inside the large venue it was at least refreshing to know my suspicions were correct. Undersold or not I was just excited to be catching Ghost and Mastodon together.
The show was set to kick off at 8:15 pm, but actually started around 8:13pm. As music you would hear on church during Sunday morning service rang through the PA many fans rushed in from the lobby to their seats. As the intro music faded the familiar bouncy bass line of “Con Clavi Con Dio”began and our ritual was underway. For thirty minutes Ghost enchanted the few diehards who made it into the venue while winning over every single individual smart enough to show up on time. Having spent a decade now living in Los Angeles, I don’t recall ever hearing a band refer to us as Tinsletown, but that is exactly what Papa Emeritus addressed us as. With the band’s February 2012 appearance at The Roxy being one of the best shows I have ever had the privilege of seeing, I knew a 30 minute opening slot would never be able to compare. While brief, it was still magical and I am still convinced that one day we will be watching Ghost headline venues this size in America. For the first time in my life I actually taped an entire performance of a band, and you can watch Ghost for yourself down below.
The last time I saw a show at Gibson Amphitheatre, Live Nation incompetencecost me a chance to see Mastodon. Thankfully that was not the case on this night. Having just seen the band in New Orleans last October, I was excited to see what they could do in a “headline” capacity. With their most recent release The Hunter being my top album of 2012, I was hoping for a set that was heavy on songs from the record and I got exactly that. Opening with “Black Tongue” we were in store for 75 minutes of hard hitting Mastodon action.
The group followed up “Black Tongue” by taking it back a few years to Blood Mountain. Both “Hand of Stone” and “Crystal Skull” got the mosh pit moving as an impressive light show caused more than one fan to fight of seizures. Yet after those two songs, the next 45 minutes was dedicated to material from The Hunter. With limited interaction of the crowd, highlights of this run of songs included “Dry Bone Valley,” “Octopus Has No Friends,” “Blasteroid” and of course the title track “The Hunter.”
The group snuck in a stellar version of “Crack The Sky” before going back to more songs from The Hunter. Instead of listing off all the songs the band played; let’s just say they didn’t play one of my favorites “Creature Lives.” That didn’t matter as the show was still incredible. The problem with Mastodon is that they are too good. It’s hard not to say cliché terms like “they killed it” or “brought the house down” because that is exactly what they do. Towards the end of the set, they did sneak in fan favorites “Aqua Dementia” and the mighty “Blood and Thunder” before closing with “The Sparrow.”
What I really love about Mastodon is that they change things up each time you see them. I do believe this was my 5th time seeing the band and I am inclined to say this was the best one yet. Phenomenal playing, killer light show and the sound was superb. As I am not a fan of Opeth (I have a ton of respect for them, but they tend to put me to sleep) I called it an early night and made the long walk back to the car grateful to catch two of the best live bands on the planet together on a Thursday night in Tinsletown.
Metallica Set To Launch Orion Music + More Festival
For months, Phish fans have been on the ball in regards to the band hosting a festival later this summer at Bader Field. In various reports, it was known that Phish, Kenny Chesney and Metallica would be holding events at the airport. While we still wait for details on the Phish bash, Metallica has announced details for the inaugural Orion Music Festival. Chances are, you won’t believe what you are about to read.
Metallica will headline the two night festival. The group plans to perform the “Black Album” for the first time on American soil on one of the nights. That part we can all believe. What is hard to believe are some of the acts Metallica are bringing along. While it is easy to see the likes of Fucked Up and Avenged Sevenfoldsharing the stage with the Bay Area thrash legends, what shocks us is the inclusion of such alt/indie rock darlings like Modest Mouse,Cage The Elephant and Arctic Monkeys. You read that right people, Modest Mouse, Cage The Elephant and Arctic Monkeys.
As with all festivals there are various ticket packages, various prices and chances are someone will forget sun block and get nasty sunburn. We would also like to go on record now and start the rumor that Lou Reed will cruise out from NYC and perform all of “Lulu” with the band. For all the details on the Orion Music Festival – click here.
Also a midst the goings on there’s gonna be what they’re calling the ‘Orion Custom Car + Motorcycle Show inside the festival grounds throughout the weekend.’ Ticket holders like our very own Jay Porks, will get this added element to a festival continuing to shape into a very interesting 2 days in Atlantic City. As more details come out, we’ll have them for you.
Ghost (w/ Ancient VVisdom and Blood Ceremony) 02/02/12
The Roxy – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
There is a moment when a concert junkie realizes that what they are about to witness is not a typical show as much as it is a special moment with great historical magnitude. That moment hit me as I crossed Sunset Blvd en route to The Roxy Theatre. I watched as a young man in a Manowar T-shirt handed a scalper no less than five $20 bills for one ticket to the 13 Dates of Doom tour featuring Ancient VVisdom, Blood Ceremony and Ghost. As Ancient VVisdom wrapped their opening set, I could feel goose bumps forming on my limbs as I walked into the small theatre for the show which had been sold out for weeks.
My night of music kicked off with Toronto Doom Metal outfit, Blood Ceremony. Knowing nothing about the four piece, I was instantly mesmerized by their Black Sabbath meets Led Zeppelin riffs. While that description may sound overly generic, it works because these four don’t mess around. What sets Blood Ceremony apart from countless other metal groups is front woman Alia O’Brien. In addition to an incredible set of pipes, O’Brien splashes random colors of sound over de-tuned and bonged out guitar riffs with both an organ and a flute. Unless you are the Recording Academy (AKA The asshats who hand out Grammy awards) chances are you don’t expect to find a flute in a metal band; and yet for Blood Ceremony, it works. The Canadians had the capacity crowd eating out of the palm of their hand and their 45 minute set flew by way too fast. I don’t know when these four are hitting the road again, but if you enjoy no bullshit balls to the wall rock and roll that sounds familiar, yet unique and totally original then you need to make it a point to check Blood Ceremony out.
Somehow, the already packed theatre managed to cram even more fans in by the time Ghost hit the stage at 10:30 pm. Kicking off with the opening chants of “Masked Ball” which flowed nicely into the pulsating “Con Clavi Con Dio,” the mostly male crowd lifted cell phone and devil horns in approval.
Despite this being the group’s first Southern California concert appearance, it became clear early on that The Roxy was simply too small to contain the energy of both the band and the fans. Lead singer Papa Emeritus led his Nameless Ghouls (AKA two guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and a keyboard player) into spot-on performances of every track found on their debut album Opus Eponymous. Highlights of the 45 minute headline set included “Stand By Him”, “Death Knell” and an evil take on the Beatles classic “Here Comes The Sun.”
In addition to an onslaught of highly melodic metal, Ghost is a very visual show. From the earlier mentioned Nameless Ghouls whose faces are hidden by their cloaks to the satanic pope garb (is there a proper name for those? Catholic I am not), Ghost has a uniquely sinister look. When you add in the burning of some form of sage and communion handed out by Papa Emeritus to loyal disciples in the front crowd, you have the perfect one-two punch of great music and incredible theatrics.
Towards the end of the set, Papa Emeritus growled into the microphone that this was a great show. While I won’t disagree with him, I feel that he underestimated the show. This was not just a Thursday night metal show at The Roxy. This was Elton John’s first show at The Troubadour or that night when cops came and broke up Black Flag at the Palladium. This was history and while a few hundred were lucky enough to witness it, there is no doubt in my mind that in a few years, when Ghost are headlining large rooms with thousands of fans, each and every last one of them will claim that they were in attendance at The Roxy. This is the type of show where everyone who saw it will tell 10 friends and those friends will tell 10 friends. So this is me telling you that Ghost is the total package. With their next North American trek as main support to Mastodon and Opeth, you have no excuse to miss quite possibly the greatest new heavy metal band of the last decade.
Mastodon, Opeth & Ghost Team Up For North American Tour
Mastodon and Opeth have just released the dates for their monstrous “Heritage Hunter” North American Tour. The trek (which will feature Ghost performing the opening duties) will kick off April 4th in Portland, ME and wrap May 12th in Atlanta Georgia. Mastodon and Opeth will rotate the headliner spot depending on what market they are playing. Dates for the tour are listed below. Likewise if you do hit this show, don’t miss Ghost. One of the best bands to emerge the last few years, we caught their sold-out show at the Roxy and it was amazing. Click here to read all about it.
Apr. 04 – Portland, ME – State Theater (M)
Apr. 05 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theater (O)
Apr. 06 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis (O)
Apr. 07 – Toronto, ON – Sony Centre (O)
Apr. 09 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory(M)
Apr. 10 – Wallingford, CT – The Dome (M)
Apr. 11 – New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom (M)
Apr. 13 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre(M)
Apr. 14 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection (M)
Apr. 15 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE (M)
Apr. 16 – Knoxville, TN – TN Theater (O)
Apr. 18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom (M)
Apr. 19 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom (O)
Apr. 20 – San Antonio, TX – Back Stage Live (O)
Apr. 21 – Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street (O)
Apr. 23 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium (O)
Apr. 25 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues (M)
Apr. 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Gibson Amphitheatre (O)
Apr. 27 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre (O)
Apr. 28 – Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Resort (M)
Apr. 30 – Seattle, WA – The Paramount Showbox SODO (O)
May 01 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theatre (O)
May 03 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Events Center (O)
May 04 – Calgary, AB – MacEwan Hall (M)
May 05 – Saskatoon, SK – The Odeon (O)
May 06 – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre (O)
May 07 – Maplewood, MN – The Myth (O)
May 09 – Washington, DC – The Fillmore (O)
May 10 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore (M)
May 11 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues (M)
May 12 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Music Park (M)
(M) indicates Mastodon headline, (O) indicates Opeth headline