Tag: House of Blues

Death To All @ House of Blues – Hollywood, California 4-13-13

Death To All is a tribute tour to Chuck Schuldiner, frontman for the band Death who passed away in 2001 due to brain cancer. He is the the father of the metal genre we now know as “Death Metal”. He is one of the greatest guitarists of all time as well as one of the biggest icons/names in metal and has influenced many guitarists that came after him. This show helps keep his memory alive. The tour is also a benefit show for Sweet Relief, a charity that provides financial assistance to career musicians faced with illness, disability, or age-related problems.

Death 2

Death To All was an amazing night. This tour featured the lineup from the Human album. This historic event took place at the world-famous House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California on April 13, 2013. Being Mr. Fancypants with my VIP meet and greet pass I was able to meet the Human lineup of Death. It’s weird how I always imagined them to look…metal yet they looked like normal. I’m like…that’s them? lol. Still, I got my stuff signed. The whole night I could feel the fanbase of Death. The opening bands did a pretty good job, I was actually entertained. A few minutes before Death started, a screen came down and did a montage of old pictures of Chuck, it was almost heartbreaking yet exciting seeing the crowd chant “Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!”. Once Death came on, the whole crowd went berserk as I figured. There were mosh pits and crowd surfers the whole time to the point where there was a cop on the rail. Being that it was the Human lineup, it made sense that they opened with Flattening Of Emotions which is fine by me because that’s one of my favorite Death songs. They continued with hit after hit and they played most of the songs I figured they would play but they didn’t play everything I was hoping for. Cynic’s Max Phelps filled-in in Chuck’s place and he did an awesome job. I got the feeling he was trying to in a way look, act, and sound like Chuck but that’d make sense since he’s taking his spot and has to make it look like Death as much as possible. His vocals were spot on for the most part except for a few parts here and there where he should’ve screamed louder but he sounded kinda low like he didn’t wanna go too high on the notes. A show like this is a great way to keep Death and the spirit of Chuck alive as there will never be another one like him.

 

 

Death VIP Meet and Greet pass Death 1

 

http://youtu.be/2tBMj6n-xQ4

http://youtu.be/KFqtroLP9os

http://youtu.be/7CgTbFTL_kU

http://youtu.be/OAEfvWUh2sU

Testament and Overkill: 2/2/13 – House of Blues – Hollywood, California


Overkill 2-2-13

On Saturday February 2nd, the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California was completely demolished by 2 of the biggest thrash metal bands, Testament and Overkill. The crowd reacted really well to both bands as there were non-stop mosh pits and there were crowd surfers the whole night. In one area people would be moshing, and somewhere else there’d be people crowd surfing. I’m sure security had their hands full with everyone on the floor as they had to continuously grab crowd surfers and drag them out back into the pit for their own safety but I’m sure people just didn’t care and they wanted to crowd surf as much as possible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people crowd surf in one show. Both bands were touring for their newest albums; Testament’s newest album being “Dark Roots of the Earth” and Overkill’s new album being “The Electric Age”. When I heard about this tour, I just knew I had to go and see 2 of the biggest thrash metal bands share the same stage knowing they would put on a great show.

When Overkill came on and opened with the first track off of their new album, “Come and Get It”, the crowd wasted no time in shoving and starting mosh pits. They continued the slaughter with one of my personal favorite Overkill tracks, “Rotten to the Core”.

Testament (02/02/2013)

Throughout the night they mixed it up with classic songs as well as a few newer songs since they had a short setlist. That didn’t stop the crowd from going completely crazy. When they were finished, the legendary Testament came on to continue this thrash night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1JsSbRAs9E

Testament also opened with the first track off of their new album, “Rise Up”. They also mixed up their setlist with old and new material. Chuck Billy sounded great on vocals. Guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson and known to be 2 of the best guitarists in metal and they personally proved it to me on that night. Drumming for Testament was none other than Gene The Atomic ClockHoglan who had previously worked with Testament and has been in a few bands including Dethklok and Death. Testament put on a fast and brutal show and anyone that was on the floor would feel all the shoving, pushing, and moshing that surrounded them.

Testament 2-2-13

My only real disappointment would be that neither band came out for an encore performance. Overkill I can understand since they’re an opening band but I expected Testament to perform an encore song with one of my favorite Testament songs but they failed to do so, so that was a bummer. Either way, I had a blast and with the year barely starting, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds in store for me in metal.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev8mVp4x26s

 

Municipal Waste/Napalm Death 11-14-12: House of Blues – West Hollywood, Ca

Municipal Waste/Napalm Death 11/14/12

House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Misael

Municipal Waste and Napalm Death was a night of non-stop metal. They rocked us out to a jam-packed venue at the world-famous House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California.

The opening bands were Attitude Adjustment, the death metal band Exhumed, and the hardcore punk band, The Dwarves. All opening bands did a great job in keeping the crowd wild and intense.

After them came up the 32 year veteran extreme/grindcore band from Birmingham, England, Napalm Death! They started off with the first 2 songs off of their new album Utilitarian. They continued to play songs from their new album was well as classics like “Suffer the Children” and “Scum”. The crowd was wild as there were mosh pits and people crowd-surfing the entire time.

http://youtu.be/h1TBFSMA9IA

The night’s headliners were the mighty thrash metal band Municipal Waste. The crows didn’t seem to be tired from Napalm Death as they continued to mosh pit and it was chaos the whole time Municipal Waste was playing. They were touring for their new album, The Fatal Feast and they played a few songs from that album but also did a good job of mixing it up with songs from their other albums. Highlights included “Mind Eraser,” “Beer Pressure” and “Thrashing Is My Business…And Business Is Good.” During “Born to Party”, one fan went as far as to climb up one of the speakers on the side of the stage and dove into the crowd for an epic stage dive. This was an intense night and exceeded my expectations as to how good it would turn out to be. My ears were ringing for days after the last note rang through the PA.

http://youtu.be/UIuMvn15xv8

To view a playlist of Napalm Death and Municipal Waste videos from this show, click here.

Tenacious D Cuts Vegas Show Short After Fan Is Stabbed

Tenacious D Cuts Vegas Show Short After Fan Is Stabbed

What the fuck is going on people? Another weird act of violence has occurred in public here in the United States. Tenacious D were performing in Las Vegas last night (07/28/12) when someone was stabbed during their set. Details are sparse but the Las Vegas Review-Journal has shared that the stabbing took place at the stage right bar.

The D cut were forced to cut their set short by 30 minutes. You can watch the below fan footage to see how the band pulled the plug early.

Fingers crossed this is the last cowardly act of violence at a public gathering we see for a very long time.

UPDATED: Initial Artists Announced For The 2012 Sunset Strip Music Festival

Initial Artists Announced For The 2012 Sunset Strip Music Festival

The Sunset Strip Music Festival is set to return to the streets of West Hollywood on August 16-18th 2012.

The 2012 Honoree will be Sunset Blvd legends The Doors. The festival will also feature its annual outdoor concert smack dab in the middle of the Sunset Strip. Below is the entire lineup as of June 28th 2012.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16
SSMF Celebrates The Doors at House of Blues Sunset Strip

The Roxy Theatre
Peter Murphy
Ours

Viper Room
Future Villains
Lady Sinatra
The Black Marquee
Gunpowder Secrets
Diamonds Under Fire

Key Club
Quiet Riot

Whisky A Go-Go
Jack Russell’s Great White
Faster Pussycat
Bulletboys
Pretty Boy Floyd
The Hard Way
Wizeguy Theory
Madysin Hatter
Everyday Feels Like Sunday

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17

House of Blues
Hank III + special guests

Key Club
RZA with full band

Viper Room (early show)
Unwritten Law
London Cries

Viper Room (late show)
Mickey Avalon
Little Miss Nasty

Whisky A Go-Go
James Ingram
Teddy Campbell Band

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18

Outdoor street festival stages
Marilyn Manson
The Offspring
Steve Aoki
Bad Religion
Black Label Society
Far East Movement
De La Soul
Dead Sara
The Mowgli’s

The Roxy Theatre
Das Racist
Matt Skiba
Street Drum Corps
Burning Of Rome
Caught A Ghost
Filligar
Love And A .38
The Stone Foxes
The Knife Outline
Dim Mak after party with surprise performances

Whisky A Go-Go
Tempting Fate
The Untouchables
Hardly Dangerous
Dynazty
The Rocketz
Cold Blue Rebels
Leif Garrett
Hurricane
Hotel Diablo
Beowulf
Bitch
45 Grave

Key Club
V Sevani
Venrez
Suedehead
Moses Stone
Nylon Pink
California Windfall
Vicci Martinez
True Press
Patience Prince
Brandon and Leah
After party

98-7fm’s “Close to Home” Roxy Lot Stage
JJamz
Family Of The Year
Terraplane Sun
Midnight Hour
The Vim Dicta
Jared James Nichols
Cherri Bomb

Silent Frisco

Saturday, August 18 AFTER STREET FEST (separate tickets required for entrance):

Viper Room (doors at 10 p.m.)
WAX
dumbfounded

House of Blues
Subhuman Tour (featuring Diesel Boy / Bare – dubstep DJ event)

Additional artists rocking both outside and inside the various clubs that make up the Sunset Strip will be announced at a later date. Tickets for the festival are on sale now and you can click here to purchase.

As of press time we can only start the rumor that Jim Morrison’s Hologram will make an appearance at some point during the weekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDN9y2vTdUs

 

Volbeat 05/29/12: House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Volbeat @ House of Blues Lake Buena Vista, Florida 05/29/12
With Eye Empire and Gorillafight

Words by Ronman

Up until just several weeks ago, I had no idea who Volbeat was. No clue. A friend of mine turned me onto this Danish Metal act. This friend of mine has been absolutely geeking out on this band, so I had to give them a listen. As it turned out, their song, “Warrior’s Call”, has been getting some serious air time on WJRR, our local rock station. I had heard the song, just had no idea who it was.

With the crowd warmed up after sets by Gorillafight and Eye Empire, the packed HOB exploded when Guitarist/Lead Vocalist Michael Poulsen  stepped up to the mic and shouted the words made famous by ring announcer Michael Buffer, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!” How ballsy is that? To open your set with the song everyone in the place knows you for instead of saving it for an encore, like most bands would. “Warriors Call” started what would be a blistering 90 minutes of what I can only describe as Johnny Cash meets Elvis meets Metallica on steroids.

I wish I could tell you their set list, but I don’t know any of the song titles. I can tell you that they really don’t have a “new” album they’re touring for. Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, is their latest and was released in 2010. I guess with their star just now rising, they don’t really need to release anything new just yet. They have 4 albums of material in which to choose songs from. They did a ripping cover of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want To Be With You.” I was just standing there with my jaw on the floor.

Volbeat’s entire set was nonstop action. The floor was a working mosh pit, which surprised me. When I saw Anthrax w/Testament at HOB back in November ’11, that behavior was not tolerated. At one point, Poulsen stage dived and surfed the crowd. It was a raucous and very appreciative crowd. They were eating it up. Michael Poulsen’s voice was strong. Not very many singers sound like their records, live. He does! The drummer, Jon Larsen is incredible. Bassist, Anders Kjølholm was all over the stage. The lead guitarist is a fill in, as their main lead player left the band late last year. The fill in Lead guitar player is none other than Hank Shermann from Danish rockers Mercyful Fate, King Diamond’s band.

HOB was the second to the last stop on the current leg of this tour. They are in Ft. Lauderdale tonight. They take a few weeks off and then they are back on the road for another North American tour. Look them up, check them out. I don’t often give recommendations. I hate most new/current bands. These guys kick ass!

 

 

Meshuggah 05/05/12: House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Meshuggah w/ Decapitated and Baroness 05/05/12

House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

It was not just any Saturday night on the Sunset Strip, it was Cinco de Mayo. America’s version of El Día de la Batalla de Puebla or as alcoholics prefer to call it Amateur Night. You can always tell it is going to be a good night when vomit is flowing down the boulevard long before sun sets upon Sunset. There is a good energy in Los Angeles right now, people like hockey all of a sudden and we can no longer laugh as hard at the Clippers. Hell even the metal heads on the Strip were feeling good on the 5th of May as most of them had tickets for the sold out celebration of a battle in 1862 with Decapitated, Baroness and Meshuggah.

The fiesta kicked off with Decapitated. The band was faced with the unfortunate circumstance of having to go on as fans whom showed up well in advance of the doors opening were left waiting outside as metal detectors and slow ticket takers worked at the pace of snail. That didn’t stop the Polish natives from bringing a pulverizing set. For those who were in the venue the group did a great job of warming them up for a night of metal. After rocking classics like “Mother War” and “Post Organic” the highlight of the brief set was the moment that the band welcomed back original bass player Marcin Rygiel for the set closing Spheres of Madness. I didn’t know much about Decapitated walking into the venue, but they no doubt won me over by the end of the night.

Baroness hit the stage around 9:15 and pleased the crowd with 45 minutes of southern sludge metal. Circle pits were swapped for stoney head nods as the Savannah four piece played a set that drew heavily from their 2009 album Blue Record. I was particularly impressed with how the band strung songs together using jams that were sparse in notes yet dense in tones. Highlights of the set included Steel That Sleeps The Eye, The Sweetest Curse and a new song called Take My Bones Away that I assume will be included on the groups’ upcoming Yellow and Green album. I was hoping we would get an hour but as the band busted into Isak I knew our time together was done. A great main support set I need to see these guys headline someday.

After great opening sets it was clear everyone was ready for the main event to begin. With their most recent record Koloss debuting at #17 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts House of Blues is far too small of a venue for Meshuggah. Those who made it in knew they were lucky and made sure to show it by forming small pits on the crammed floor as a recording of Obsidian played across the PA. When the band finally did come out, they opened with the outstanding new song Demiurge. You can hate me for saying this all you want but this song reminds me of Primus and I could not have asked for a better way to kick off the set.

Early on there was a heavy focus on the band’s 2008 effort ObZen as Pravus, Combustion and Lethargica all cemented the notion as fact that this venue is far too small for the music being performed on stage. Other early highlights included Glints Collide and the new song Do Not Look Down.

Around the midway point of the show, the band left the stage as Mind’s Mirror played. When they return we were treated to one of the high points of the night as they performed In Death – Is Life and In Death – Is Death from the 2005’s Catch Thirtythree. The entire band sounded top notch all night, especially vocalist Jens Kidman.

I was shocked at how little of the new record the band played. I Am Colossus did make a late appearance sandwiches between fan favorites New Millennium Cyanide Christ and the eventual set closer Rational Gaze. Also shocking was how loud the crowd was during the obligatory encore break. In my decade plus in Los Angeles it was one of the loudest I have heard. Fans were rewarded with two more songs before being sent back out onto the strip to shock the Swagtastic lushes of amateur night. After a mighty camera killing Future Breed Machine, the men of Meshuggah bid Hollywood goodnight with Dancers To A Discordant System. It may have been a Mexican-American holiday but on this particular night it was the Swedes who won the battle of the Sunset Strip.

Click here to see where you can catch Decapitated, Baroness and Meshuggah.

Nile/The Black Dahlia Murder 04/05/12: House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

The Black Dahlia Murder w/ Nile, Skeletonwitch & Hour of Penance 04/05/12

House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better way to spend Good Friday Eve then with a quadruple shot of detuned death metal action. The line for the sold out House of Blues Sunset show wrapped around the block long before the doors opened with fans ready to mosh the night away. Once doors opened, the building buzzed with anticipation as fans slammed beers and discussed which of the night’s artists they were most looking forward to experiencing live.

Hour Of Penance

While the venues website stated that the music was to kick off at 8pm, the evenings first band Hour of Penance actually hit the stage at 7:30pm. Hailing from Italy (Rome to be exact) I know I was not alone in not knowing much about the four piece band. Likewise I was not alone in being instantly converted as a fan by the time they left the stage. For 25 minutes the band brought  it hard as circle pits formed and fans went nuts. New songs like “Ascension” mixed well with older material like “Slavery In A Deaf Decay” and the set closing “Misconception.” I was very impressed and get the vibe that by the next time they make it to America they won’t be the first band performing on the bill.

Skeletonwitch

Skeletonwitch made it clear from the second they hit the stage, they were there to drink beer and rock the fuck out. Mission Accomplished as the Ohio based band did exactly that. The set drew heavy from last year’s four star effort Forever Abomination. “This Horrifying Force (The Desire To Kill),” “Reduced To The Failure Of Prayer” and “Shredding Sacred Flesh” beat the capacity crowd into submission. I did have one major problem with the bands set and that is the fact they only got 30 minutes. I know they were second on the bill, but I assumed with the early start time they would have played for at least 45. Sadly that was not the case as the band said goodbye before launching into a spectacular version of “Within My Blood.”

Nile

Despite quick set changes, fans were ready for Nile the moment Skeletonwitch left the stage. With singer/songwriter Ryan Adams having already shared with me via Twitter that Nile was “intense” I was damn excited to finally see a band that has been making groundbreaking death metal for nearly 20 years. The group opened their main support set with the thunderous first track from their 2009 release Those Whom The Gods Detest. With it being Good Friday Eve, “Kafir!” was the logical opener as it gave the sweaty masses on the packed floor a chance to scream in unison “There Is No God.” Not even lead guitarists Karl Sanders Marshall Amp cutting in and out could stop the destructive onslaught Nile was brining onto the West Hollywood hot spot.

Nile did an outstanding job of interacting with the crowd while cranking out a seven song career spanning set. Vocalist/guitarist Dallas Toler-Wade had fans scream in their best death metal voice before launching into a devastating version of “Sacrifice Unto Sebek.” Other highlights included tight versions of “Ithyphallic” and “Sacrophagus.” Much like Skeletonwitch, my only complaint was how short the set was. 40 minutes of Nile is simply not enough. After the band wrapped the set with “Black Seeds of Vengeance” fans chants for one more song were unfortunately not granted. While a few were seen heading for the exits, most crowd members just grabbed another beer of complimentary cup of ice water in a hope to hydrate before the night’s final act.

The Black Dahlia Murder

It was shy of 9 months ago that I caught my 5th performance by The Black Dahlia Murder and I was no doubt excited for round 6. Kicking things off with the 1-2 opening punch from their most recent studio effort Ritual; “A Shrine To Madness” and “Moonlight Equilibrium” took what had already been an insane pit and somehow managed to make it bigger and faster. For the next hour, the Michigan based melodic death metal heads played a career spanning set much to the delight of the crowd. “What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse” and “A Vulgar Picture” took it back a few years but it didn’t matter as fans react to all eras of The Black Dahlia Murder with equal enthusiasm.

I believe it was during “Conspiring With The Damned” that I thought of the perfect title for the set. It was A Night of 1000 First Bumps. Lead vocalist Trevor Strnad found a way to sneak in an even heavier dosage of arm raising fury than usual as the band blasted heavy hitters like “Den of The Picqurerist,” “Miasma” and “On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood.” Known for not playing encores, the set ended with a song from their debut album Unhallowed. “Funeral Thirst” gave fans one last chance to go bonkers in the pit and one final chance for Strand to raise his fists in the air while serving as the perfect exclamation point for an outstanding night of death metal mayhem.

 

The Darkness 02/19/12: House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

The Darkness (w/ Crown Jewel Defense and Fox Shazam) 02/19/12

House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

I have a shocking confession to make. For a brief period in time I lied and claimed I had seen The Darkness when they played at The Roxy. It was silly I know, but I just wanted to be cool. By dumb luck I was out of town when The Darkness returned and played the Fonda and then they broke up and my dream of seeing The Darkness live was all but crushed. So I lied. Thank God for reunion tours. You know I was online the second their House of Blues West Hollywood President’s Day Weekend Throwdown went on sale. I had missed the group twice; I was not going to miss them for a third time.

The evening started with a group called Crown Jewel Defense. While I wouldn’t say they were good, I will say they were the perfect openers for this tour. The band had the look – bad spandex, synchronized hair flips and screeching guitars. The groups’ music reminded me of what Saigon Kick would have sounded like after a decade that featured unoriginal ass clowns like Godsmack and Disturbed selling a ton of records. Nothing special, in fact some of the songs were cringe-worthy. Yet that didn’t really matter because the band was having fun performing to a very full floor of rock and roll enthusiasts.  The highlight of their set was being smart enough to throw plenty of free promotional gear into the crowd. No matter how bad your music is people love free shit and it’s hard to hate any band who can take out a hipster by hitting them upside the head with a t-shirt.

Up next on this particular evening was Foxy Shazam. My knowledge of the Cincinnati Ohio based rockers walking into the show was my 7 inch single of “Wanna-Be-Angel” and recent confessions from the likes of Jay Porks and BeeZnutZ. Within seconds of hitting the stage I was drinking the Foxy Kool-Aid and ready to tell everyone just how great they are. This band is pure energy. I can only imagine the bruises on lead singers Eric Sean Nally’s body from the way he abuses himself in the name of rocking roll. From somersaults and random drops to his knees to crashing into the drum set watching command the man command the stage is a lot like watching an episode of Jackass.

The groups’ music was as amazing as the performance. From the opening licks of “Welcome To The Church of Rock and Roll” to final notes of “The Only Way To My Heart…” the band sounded like a well-oiled machine. As great as the jams were, it’s hard to not talk about the antics. The first highlight was Nally’s bitching out of a douchebag who ruined the punch line of a long drawn out “joke” about a drunk by screaming for the night’s headliner. As you can see here, Nally had no problem cutting him down to size. Where I assumed the highlight of the night would be Nelly eating a cigarette on stage, it turned out it was anything but. Yes, it was great to see him eat not one but no less than five lit cigarettes during “The Temple.” However the speech that followed where Nally confessed he was over the dumb stunt but felt he had to do it was somewhat heartbreaking. Cigarettes or not, Foxy Shazam are one bad ass motherfucking rock and roll revival and the sold out crowd would have been won over had he eaten them or not.

It was around 9:40pm when “The Boys Are Back In Town” by Thin Lizzy blasted through the PA. While a mix of songs from the likes of Electric Six and Boston has already been heard by the capacity crowd, there was no way that this particular song choice was a coincidence. Moments later the boys known as The Darkness were hitting the stage to a thunderous applause as they kicked off the nearly two hour show with “Black Shuck.” Out the gate the band sounded superb with their flashy guitar licks and falsetto vocals. “Growing On Me” quickly followed as late comers did their best to find a spot in the packed club.

One of my biggest surprises of the night was how much new material (and B-sides) the band performed. Early on the band started to drop songs from their highly anticipated new record (still untitled and due out later this year). Of the new material and B-sides, some of the stand out numbers included “The Best Of Me,” “Concrete” and “Physical Sex.” Another highlight was front man Justin Hawkins giving a shout out to the individual who animated the music video for the just released track “Nothing’s Going To Stop Us.” The animator jumped up and down with delight in the VIP section as the group ripped the venue a new one with the feel good jam of 2012.

As great as the new material was, everyone in the crowd was pumped for the classics. I am pretty sure the band managed to perform every track from their 2003 debut Permission To Land. Highlights included Hawkins solo take on “Holding My Own” as well as spot on renditions of “Love Is Only A Feeling,” “Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman” and “Givin’ Up.” Another highlight from that era was the band breaking out their cover of the Radiohead classic “Street Spirit [Fade Out]” that featured seizure inducing strobe lights and the band sounding better than Radiohead has in fifteen years. You of course don’t need me to share the reaction of the crowd when the band played their biggest hit “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” to close the main set.

The thing that stuck out the most was how grateful the band appeared on stage. It’s clear that each and every member realizes that they have been blessed with a second chance and at least on this particular night it felt as if they refuse to allow the opportunity to go to waste. The energy all night from the crowd was massive,  be it singing along, synchronized overhead claps or clearing a path so Hawkins could shred while riding on the shoulders of a security guard during the night’s final number “Love On The Rocks With No Ice.” It’s clear that 2012 is going to be the best year for The Darkness yet and I am glad I no longer have to lie when folks asked if I have seen the pride of Lowestoft, England live.

O.A.R. 01/27/12: House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

O.A.R. (w/ Parachute) 01/27/12

House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

I have talked a lot of shit about O.A.R. By a lot of shit, I mean trolled the message boards known as O.A.R. fans for years. Most of my shit talking took place in off topic forums, but I made my distaste for the group’s music well known. So when I say I talked a lot of shit about O.A.R., I am talking years of trolling.  In an odd yet not unexpected turn of events, I managed to win many over on the board and even became pals with a few of them. One of those friends came into town this week to catch the bands shows in Anaheim and West Hollywood and was kind enough to bring me along. We met up with another Pub 24 (AKA what the cool kids call the O.A.R. board) vet and did the Sunset Strip right on a Friday night.

The night kicked off with openers Parachute. The best thing about their set was House of Blues re-tweeting the photo we took and posted online. Don’t get me wrong 1197 people inside the venue will tell you that they were great. This is because they are simple people who like simple music and/or females under the age of 17. For these individuals, Parachute are perfect. The music was basic, somewhere between a frat house and the iPod of a Volvo driving mother of two. I understand that some people really like that type of music and had Parachute done this genre well I would go easy on them. My problem is that they did everything wrong. Having already worked the length of the guard rail with high-fives to everyone within arm’s reach during the second song of the set, lead singer Will Anderson jumped into the crowd around the mid-way point of the set. Jumping up and down singing the word Baby over and over as if he was Justin Bieber, you could just tell he does this every night. It was not a spontaneous rock and roll moment as much as it was forced and generic. As he tricked little girls into thinking he was a rebel, I pondered dumping my beer onto Mr. Anderson from the balcony above. Things only got worse when the group performed an uninspired cover of the Tom Petty classic “Won’t Back Down.” Hell the entire second half of the show felt like covers when you throw in a few verses of U2’s “With Or Without You” and closing number that had the exact same intro as Death Cab For Cutie’s “I Will Possess Your Heart.”  Parachutes are pineapple on pizza and sitting down to pee. Totally acceptable for the ladies and an overall disappointment to the male species. I expect they will make it big performing their bland adult contemporary rock, because let’s face it the world needs another version of All American Rejects.

Before I even made it into House of Blues, I knew even if O.A.R. was torture upon my ear drums I would have a good time with the folks I was with. As it turned out, O.A.R. wasn’t torture at all. The Dave Matthews gone Reggae thing never really tickled my fancy and the highlight of the two shows I saw nearly a decade ago was the opening set from a then unknown Maroon 5. For me the 2012 trip to O.A.R. town was a nice mix of older songs I vaguely knew and some interesting new material. Two early on highlights of tolerable O.A.R. moments of yesteryear were “City On Down” and “Black Rock.” Dare  I say the later was one of my favorites and I was glad to see it is still in rotation.

The thing that most impressed me was Jerry DePizzo on guitar. I don’t remember him playing guitar when I last saw them but he should ditch the sax and stick with it. DePizzo has an excellent ear for tones that beef up music that has always been too bland for my tastes. I understand that many feel that “Shattered” is the sellout point, but the guitar work of DePizzo on it was the best thing I heard all night. I also enjoyed the new number “Irish Rose” but I seem to be one of only a few who does as that was one of the few moments during the two hour show where drunk sluts managed to drown out the band with their moans for black cock (I am not making this up).

The energy inside the club (which was sold out for weeks) was intense. Knowing the band can pack 15,000+ seat venues back east, the crowd (made up of transplants and 14 people born within the state of California) truly erupted for the last song of the night. “Crazy Game of Poker” was the biggest gun in the O.A.R. arsenal a decade ago and it’s nice to see that is still the case. The throwing of cards at the band is a nice touch and I dug the vagina/lasagna rap that took place well past the 10 minute mark. It was a random and fun way to end a night with some truly incredible people. O.A.R. has come a long way since the days I trolled Pub24, and it was nice to reconnect with the boys from Maryland.

Anthrax & Testament Set To Terrorize North America in 2012

Anthrax & Testament Set To Terrorize North America in 2012

With a successful trek across North America under their belts in 2011, (check out our coverage of the  Orlando stop) thrash metal legends Testament and Anthrax have just announced dates for quick run across the continent in early 2012. Death Angel will once again join the duo on the road and more dates will be added to the trek soon.

Anthrax w/ Testament and Death Angel 2012 Tour Dates

01/22 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV

01/23 – House of Blues – Anaheim, CA

01/24 – Marquee Theatre – Tempe, AZ

01/27 – Egyptian Room @ Murat Center – Indianapolis, IN

01/28 – Piere’s Entertainment Center – Fort Wayne, IN

01/29 – Expo Five – Louisville, KY

01/30 – The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC

02/02 – Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA

02/03 – Promowest Pavilion – Columbus, OH

02/06 – Crocodile Rock – Allentown, PA

02/07 – Rams Head Live! – Baltimore, MD

02/08 – Best Buy Theatre – New York, NY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaJzmyo6qzw

 

Anthrax with Death Angel and Testament: House of Blues – Orlando, FL 11/01/11

Anthrax with Death Angel and Testament

House of Blues, Orlando Florida 11/01/11

Words/Photos by Ron Man

I’m not going to bore you with the history of Anthrax. For that you can go to Wikipedia.
I will say that after the departure of lead singer, Joey Belladonna in ’92, I was really no longer a fan. For me, it was kind of like when David Lee Roth was out of Van Halen, the magic was gone. The difference being, Van Halen went on to be an even more successful band with out Dave. Whereas, Anthrax with out Joey… well… not so much.

Fast forward nearly two decades.
I started hearing the buzz about the new Anthrax record, Worship Music, and got excited. My excitement rested mostly with the fact that Joey Belladonna was back and was as awesome as he ever was. I don’t buy new music anymore, just not interested. However, I rushed out and bought this one. I was not disappointed. I am not writing a review of the new record, but I have to say that it is definitely the best thing to come out of the Anthrax camp in 20 years. This should win the album of the year, hands down!

With that said, it was announced that Anthrax would be hitting my city. Awesome! I am there!

Death Angel was half way through their set when I walked in. I have to say, I’m not really familiar with them or their music. It was heavy, it was thrashing. The bottom end was a bit too heavy in the mix. The mega double bass hits were a bit much.

Again with history lessons, I’m not going to get into the history of Testament. Once again, check out Wikipedia for that.
These guys were arguably one of the best bands of the Thrash Metal genre.
These guys brought their “A” game tonight and were just killing it! Singer Chuck Billy was awesome and you could just see it that he was having a blast! Alex Skolnick was shredding like it was 1987! As awesome as it was, I was most impressed with the fact that all these guys are my age (mid to late 40’s) and were still blasting it out like they were 20. At this point I figured, Anthrax was going to have to be amazing. There’s no way I would want to have to follow Testament. They were that good.

Anthrax started their set with Earth On Hell from their new record and they owned the room the rest of the night. Typical of an Anthrax show, it was non stop high energy!

Joey was spot on with his vocals. Charlie is nothing short of a monster on the drums. Scott and Frank were all over the place. Guitarist Rob Caggiono was fantastic and the only non original member of the band. However, he’s been with these guys for nearly ten years, so he’s hardly new. As I stated earlier, the fact that these guys are my age and older, just blows me away. Although, Rob is a youngster at 34. They delivered a performance that guys half their age could only dream of.

Anthrax played 5 songs from their new record as well as 5 songs from their smash “Among The Living”. A couple from “State Of Euphoria” and some classics like Metal Thrashing Mad and Madhouse. There were no John Bush era songs performed. Thank God!

Anyone that has been to a HOB show knows that security is tight and any “Not Mouse Approved” behavior will not be tolerated. So the mosh pit action was virtually non-existant. People were getting ejected. However, during the song “Indians” Joey pleaded with security to let the people rip it up and with the cry, “WAR DANCE!!!” the place erupted into what could be best described as a giant, swirling washing machine effect. It was a sight to behold. Crowd surfing and all. Indeed, it was just like 1987!

In just what seemed like 10 minutes, the 90 minute set was over. Anthrax lived up to everything I had hoped they would be. They blew the roof off of the joint. If you get the chance to see this show, do it! You will not be disappointed. Additionally, go out and BUY the new CD. It’s the best thing out there right now.

Sorry my pictures are lousy. That’s all I got!

Mastodon Announce 2011 North American Tour Dates

Mastodon Announce 2011 North American Tour Dates

With their new album The Hunter due to hit shelves at the end of this month, Mastodon have announced dates for a North American Headline tour. In addition to an appearance at the Voodoo Music Experneice in New Orleans on Saturday October 29th the band will be performing in most major markets during the five week run. Coming along for the tour will be Red Fang and Dillinger Escape Plan. You can check out the first single from Mastodon’s new album here. Dates for the trek can be found below.

Mastodon 2011 Tour Dates:
10/25 – Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
10/27 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgeralds
11/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre
11/02 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
11/03 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
11/05 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
11/06 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
11/07 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
11/08 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
11/09 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
11/11 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
11/12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Rave Ballroom
11/13 – Sauget, IL @ Pop’s
11/14 – Kansas City, MO @ The Beaumont
11/16 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
11/17 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
11/19 – New York City, NY @ Terminal 5
11/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
11/21 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
11/23 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
11/25 – Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
11/26 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
11/27 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
11/28 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
11/29 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
12/01 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues

Anthrax Teams With Testament and Death Angel For US Tour

Anthrax Teams With Testament and Death Angel For US Tour

With a new album entitled Worship Music set to hit shelves on September 13th, Anthrax has announced dates for an American tour. The trek kicks off October 14th in Grand Rapids Michigan and will cover most of the nation over five weeks. While Anthrax will close all shows, the tour will feature co-headliners Testament while Death Angel will cover the opening duties.

The American tour follows a hometown appearance for Anthrax at Yankees Stadium as part of The Big Four with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth.

Pre-sale is underway via AnthraxArmy.com while public on sales begin Friday September 9th.  For more information, make sure you check out Anthrax.com. Complete tour dates are listed below.

 

2011 Anthrax American Tour Dates

September

14 Yankees Stadium – New York, NY

October
14 Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI
15 Congress Theatre, Chicago, IL
16 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
18 The Cotillion, Wichita, KS
19 Summit Music Hall, Denver, CO
22 Nokia LA Live, Los Angeles, CA
23 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
24 House of Blues, San Diego, CA
26 Sunshine Theatre, Albuquerque, NM
28 South Side Music Hall, Dallas, TX
29 Emo’s East, Austin, TX
30 Warehouse Live, Houston, TX

November
1 House of Blues, Orlando, FL
2 Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
4 House of Blues, Myrtle Beach, SC
5 Fillmore Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
6 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
8 Northern Lights, Clifton Park, NY
10 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
11 Palladium, Worcester, MA
15 Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY
17 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
19 Rave, Milwaukee, WI

 

Summer Slaughter 07/22/11: House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

The Summer Slaughter Tour 07/22/11 House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

If I ever have a moment where my life flashes before my eyes, I look forward to revisiting July 22nd, 2011. I ran into Grace Potter on the streets of Hollywood. I got a bunch of great vinyl from Amoeba Records and I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the kickoff of the 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour. Yes, July 22nd was much better than the day where a bee sting put me in the hospital or the time that one gal broke my heart into a million pieces.

I made it to the House of Blues a few minutes before Oceano was set to take the stage. I was ready to head inside but then life threw me a curveball that I just had to hit out of the park. Yes, I really wanted to see Oceano and As Blood Runs Black and I’m bummed to have missed them. However, when you are presented the opportunity to enjoy happy hour with some of the performers higher up on the bill, you take that opportunity and run with it. I did make it into the sold out venue as Powerglove was wrapping up their special halftime performance. Being the only power metal video game theme cover band on a death metal festival, the crowd was clearly showing the love for Powerglove. That could have been fun, maybe next time?!?!

Dying Fetus

The only time I have seen Dying Fetus is when they woke up on my couch in Sherman Oaks, CA about a decade ago so there was no way I was missing the bands 25 minute set of death/grindcore goodness. On a pure technical level, Dying Fetus in my opinion was the most impressive band that I saw. Not to take away from anyone else on the bill, but to watch these guys (especially guitarist/vocalist John Gallagher) pull off these complex parts and schizophrenic tempo changes in person is a treat. Highlights of the brief set included “Shepherd’s Commandment” “Praise The Lord (Opium of the Masses)” and the final number “Your Treachery Will Die With You.”

Six Feet Under

Another legendary group I finally get to kick off my bucket list. I was actually at their Key Club show in 2006 (maybe 2005?) and had to leave early which I still regret to this day. The band opened with the Cannibal Corpse classic “Stripped, Raped and Strangled” as the very young crowd erupted into a massive swirling pit. Barnes kept banter between songs to a minimum instead choosing to crush the capacity crowd with classics like “Revenge of the Zombie” “Seed of Filth” and “Human Target.” The 30 minute set (which felt much more like 12 minutes at best) wrapped with another Cannibal classic “Hammer Smashed Face.” Perhaps it was Barnes announcing that he would be at the t-shirt stand outside after the set, but as soon as Six Feet Under left the stage, so did much of the crowd.

Darkest Hour

I knew nothing about Darkest Hour walking into the House of Blues on a night where LA had below average temps and rather clean air. Clinging to my small piece of rail above the club I noticed that when they began they had the smallest crowd I had seen all day and after watching their set I think I see why. Based off thirty minutes with these guys it feels as if are having an identity crisis. The older songs like “The Sadist Nation” felt like Death Metal. Some of the newer songs (including songs being performed live for the first time) felt as if there was a lot more melody. Not a melodic metal say The Black Dahlia Murder, but it almost felt as if it wanted to be a heavy 90’s fuzz rock melody but was afraid to go there. Imagine Hum playing Death Metal, that’s what it felt like to me. As I said earlier, I don’t know anything about this band, so if I am way off my rocker on this one, let me know via the comments below.

Whitechapel

It has been a little over a year since I saw Whitechapel at the Vans Warped Tour. While an entertaining performance, a new drummer mixed with an early afternoon set in the food court of a county fairground is not the ideal condition for these Knoxville based deathcore heroes. House of Blues on a Friday night is a different story. With this being my third Whitechapel live experience I was caught off guard at just how devastating the band was. From the opening notes of “Breeding Violence” to the closing “This Is Exile” the six piece band made you feel as if you were stranded at sea in the storm of the century with only an inflatable raft to hold. The triple guitar attack lead by Ben Savage sent the crowd into frenzy. The kids surrounding me were banging their heads and bouncing up and down in furious fashion during “Possession” and “End of Flesh” that I feared the balcony could collapse. It wouldn’t be a Whitechapel show without the band closing with a massive Wall of Death during “This Is Exile.” While the Ventura version was full of fail, on this Friday night in July the kids of Hollywood did not disappoint. Watch out America, Whitechapel is in the zone right now and with an entire tour ahead of them it’s scary to think just how destructive they will be at the conclusion.

The Black Dahlia Murder

I have said it before and I will say it again. The Black Dahlia Murder is the best metal band to emerge from America over the past decade. These guys get it. They are brutal, but can laugh at themselves. They fit the Concert Confessions format because like us they are fans. Where kids went and grabbed merch or water between acts all night, from the second Whitechapel left the stage to the moment The Black Dahlia Murder took to it the floor was packed. It was the main event and the masses were ready.

It made sense that the band kicked off an hour of madness with the opening track from the just released album Ritual. With the opening lyrics “Let us go out this evening for pleasure for the night is still young” “A Shrine To Madness” got the crowd moving despite the fact there was no room to move. A triple shot of classics including “A Vulgar Picture” and “Nocturnal” followed. It didn’t matter if it was a new song such as “Malenchanments of the Necrosphere” or a classic like “Miasma” the place was going nuts. Shout out to the wook in the mini skirt and polka dot underwear. Everyone up top got a good laugh at your crowd surfing antics.

 

One thing I have noticed about shows with The Black Dahlia Murder is that the energy from the band is fueled by the energy of the fans. The last two shows I saw had no guard rail and fans were free to get on stage and jump back into the crowd. On this night there was a large gap separating the fans and the band. All through the night you could see front man Trevor Strnad reaching for the crowd, greeting crowd surfers as they were escorted back to the pit by a hard working security crew. That need to connect that effort to reach each other was felt by all inside the house and I am still not sure if that struggle helped or hindered the music.


 

Personal highlights of the set include “Statutory Ape” “I Will Return” and “Funeral Thirst.” When it comes to The Black Dahlia Murder, the guys never disappoint which is why I see them again and again. The 2011 Summer Slaughter tour was an amazing day. If you are a fan of metal and it’s hitting your town you don’t want to miss it. Quick set changes, great bands and I believe all of the dates are inside so you don’t have to stink of sunblock.

 

Amon Amarth 04/24/11: House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Amon Amarth 04/24/11

House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

On Easter Sunday, the line to enter the House of Blues in West Hollywood, CA stretched well beyond the Best Western down the street. Rumor has it that by the time doors finally opened, the last person in line was standing outside of Pinches Tacos. A quick trip to Google maps tells you that the line was almost ½ a mile long and that the walk alone will take you 8 minutes. The most shocking thing about the line is that it was not for the venues World Famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. As a matter of fact, the line was full of rabid music fans looking forward to an action packed night from the melodic death metal band Amon Amarth. With their most recent album Surtur Rising debuting at #34 on the American Billboard Top 200 charts, the independent band is in the middle of a sold out “Evening With” tour of the US. Taking a page from the jam band playbook, the five men that hail from Tumba, Sweden are performing two sets each night. The first set is Surtur Rising from front to back, while the second set features fan favorites from the groups’ massive back catalogue.

Long before the first notes of Surtur Rising rang through the venues PA, it was clear the mostly male crowd was hungry for blood. In the massive line, a few fans with plastic Viking helmets screamed their plans to eat the first born of random individuals across the Sunset Strip at The Comedy Store. Inside the venue fans cheered each time the pre-show upcoming Live Nation concert reel showed a PSA warning of the dangers of texting and driving. The fans were not in approval of the message behind the PSA, as much as they enjoyed the images of violent car crashes designed to scare you into a hands-free habit. With many having waited upwards of three hours for the music to start, 9:30 pm couldn’t come soon enough.

As I have mentioned here before, I am a huge fan of bands performing entire albums live. While I knew I preferred two set of Amon Amarth vs. an uninspired opening act, I was curious how other fans would react to an onslaught of new material. It was clear from the first notes of the opening track “War of the Gods” that the album would be well recieved. For an album that has only been available legally for 26 days, fans have clearly taken the time to learn all ten songs. Fans sang along in unison to the material described by vocalist Johan Hegg as songs of hate and destruction. Massive circle pits grew out of control during “Destroyer of the Universe” and ‘Live Without Regrets.” Had the Easter Bunny shown up, there is no doubt that he would have been decapitated and devoured by the audience. While many bands must beg crowds to clap along in unison, on this night the fans needed no instruction to add additional rhythm during the opening notes of “The Last Stand of Frej.” The band, the crowd and the music were all in sync and while aggressive in nature the entire night had a truly special and beautiful feel.

While the album has a run time of just under 49 minutes, it took the band about an hour to complete the first set thanks to humorous banter from Hegg. While the material is new, you wouldn’t know that from watching the band. Songs like “Slaves of Fear” and “A Beast Am I” felt as if the five men had been playing them nightly for twenty years. By the time the band got to the albums closing number “Doom Over Dead Man” it seemed as if the only individuals ready for a break was the venues overworked security. In fact, there were mini pits during set break as the crowd was treated to classics by Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Pantera all while continuing to cheer for the texting and driving PSA.

What’s truly scary is that the opening set was simply a warm up for Amon Amarth. As the band opened set II with “Twilight of the Thunder Gods” the only words to describe the small floor at House of Blues are pure pandemonium. For as pumped up as kids were for Surtur Rising, the older songs sent the crowd into a whole new level of madness. With each song, the level of intensity from the band and the crowd grew to unhealthy levels. As the band played classics like “With Oden On Our Side”, “Varyags of Miklagaard” and “Live For The Kill” the massive arena caliber strobe lights in the small club not only shut my camera down multiple times, but had many individuals in the balcony fearing a seizure was imminent. If a seizure was not brought on by the strobe lights, then the ferocious drums and blistering guitars could have easily done the trick.

As if two lengthy sets were not enough, the band came back for a three song encore that kicked off with “Cry of the Blackbirds.” At times, the crowd managed to drown out the band when singing along, something that brought smiles to the bands face. When Hegg regretfully informed the crowd that they were out of time it was clear that 2.5 hours of Amon Amarth was simply not enough. Even with the extended middle section of “The Pursuit of Vikings” folks screamed for one more song long after the lights went up.

Constant touring and solid albums have brought Amon Amarth to a point where they can book a show in Los Angeles on Easter Sunday and have scalpers offer fans double the listed price for just one ticket. What is most beautiful about Amom Amarth’s triumph of America is that it’s as pure as the music itself. There is no radio play; you won’t hear Amon Amarth in the latest Volvo commercial. It has grown little by little with each album, each tour stop. Friends sharing with friends the magic of the music, that is a true token of success and judging on the reaction from Southern California on Easter Sunday 2011 – Amon Amarth will have success for a very long time.

The 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour Dates Announced

The 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour Dates Announced

Dates for the fifth annual Summer Slaughter tour have been announced. The month long trek will kick off in West Hollywood, CA on July 22nd before wrapping on August 21st in Dallas, TX. Concert Confessions favorites The Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel are set to headline the package tour. Also included in the trek are Darkest Hour, Six Feet Under, Dying Fetus, As Blood Runs Black, Oceano, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Powerglove.

Dates and venues are listed below. As always keep your eyes on the official site as dates/venues may change.

Summer Slaughter TourDates:

Jul. 22 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues
Jul. 23 – Anaheim, CA – The Grove
Jul. 25 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre
Jul. 26 – Seattle, WA – King Cat Theatre
Jul. 28 – Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
Jul. 29 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
Jul. 30 – San Diego, CA – House Of Blues
Jul. 31 – Scottsdale, AZ – The Venue Scottsdale
Aug. 02 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall
Aug. 04 – Louisville, KY – Expo Five
Aug. 05 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews
Aug. 06 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Aug. 07 – Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues
Aug. 08 – Chicago, IL – House Of Blues
Aug. 09 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
Aug. 10 – Montreal, QC – Olympia
Aug. 11 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Aug. 12 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Aug. 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre Of Living Arts
Aug. 14 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Aug. 16 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Aug. 17 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
Aug. 19 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
Aug. 20 – San Antonio, TX – Backstage Live
Aug. 21 – Dallas, TX – House Of Blues

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWYTCdJmkDA

Trey Anastasio Announces Winter 2011 Tour Dates

Trey Anastasio Announces Winter 2011 Tour Dates

Phish mastermind Trey Anastasio has announced dates for his 2011 Winter tour.  The trek kicks off February 18th in Portland, ME and will feature Anastasio using the acoustic set/electric set format for the first time since 1999.  The electric set will feature the same players from his last solo outing in 2010.  Anastasio will be joined by Tony Markellis on bass, Russ Lawton on drums, Ray Paczkowski on keyboards and a horn section that includes Jennifer Hartswick, Russ Remington and Natalie Cressman.

The 12 date tour will travel from coast to coast and includes stops in Boston, Chicago and a two night stand in Denver.  The tour will wrap March 5th at the Fox Theatre in Oakland, CA.

Ticket pre-sale begins January 14, 2011.  Click here for ticket information.

02/18 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
02/19 – Albany, NY @ Palace Theatre
02/20 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
02/22 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
02/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
02/25 – Pittsbugh, PA @ StageAE
02/26 – Columbus, OH @ Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
02/27 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
03/01 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
03/02 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
03/04 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Music Box
03/05 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater

The Jay Porks Final Four: Top Experiences of 2010

The Jay Porks Top Four Shows of 2010

Words/Photos by Jay Porks of the Jay Porks Experience

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’.

#4- MMR(93.3FM) BBQ featuring Stone Temple Pilots and Alice in Chains w/ Three Days Grace, Fuel, Skillet, Dive, Automatic Fire at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ 05/23/10.

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.

#3-Local H Gramercy Theater 5/18/10

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.

#2-Ween 9/17/2010 Central Park

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.

#1 –The Flaming Lips 4th of July FREAK OUT 2010-House of Blues Atlantic City

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.

GWAR 11/16/10: House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

GWAR w/ The Casualties 11/16/10

House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Oh the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd.  Where a tall boy of Bud Light is $11 and video cameras are not welcomed because it looks bad when fans videotape security guards beating the shit out of fellow fans.  While you won’t catch me paying for a ticket to the venue that the late great George Carlin declared needed to be burnt down, I have no issue checking out a show for free.  Thus the reason you’re about to read this review of the awesome double-threat of The Casualties and GWAR rocking the venues soon to be demolished Sunset Strip location.

Walking into the venue, I noticed a sign posted over the venues overly racist décor.  It declared that audio and video recordings were against the rules and equipment would be confiscated.  You know this only further encouraged me to snag some footage in glorious HD (update 08/20/2011. After losing my YouTube account in May, the footage for this and a few other November shows is missing from my hard drive. Mother fucker).  So I made my way up the stairs, found a spot and parked my ass right down just as The Casualties were hitting the stage.

I am not going to act as if I am some hardcore fan of The Casualties, because I am not.  I have heard a few songs over the years, and based off the words of their devoted fan base was eager to check out the “insanity” that ensues when the New York based band hits the stage.  For 45 minutes, the near capacity crowd was treated to a set of what punk is all about – authentic attitude and aggression.  Kids with colorful Mohawks used the venues main floor to bounce off each other as the band ripped through songs like “War is Business”, “Heart Bleeds Black” and a cover of The Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop.”  The group even took a page from the metal heads playbook and split the rowdy crowd in tow for a massive Wall of Death during the song “Riot.”  When lead vocalist Jorge Herrera was not speaking to the crowd en Espanol (much to the delight of many young Latinos in the crowd) the group was thanking GWAR fans having an open mind and getting down with them on a Tuesday night.  The fearless foursome closed their set with “Unknown Soldier” which gave a whole new generation of gutter punks’ one last chance to inflict insanity upon each other.

During the switch over between bands, one could see a radical change upon the main floor of House of Blues.  Gone were bright Mohawks, leather jackets and plaid pants.  They were replaced by a sea of young men and women dressed in white t-shirts, itching for a bath made of intergalactic blood and urine via GWAR leader and Fox News correspondent Oderus Urungus.  When Urungus and his backing band (featuring members with names such as Beefcake the Mighty and Balsac the Jaws of Death) hit the stage at 10:30pm sharp – the crowd was surged forward looking to get that first taste of blood.

The band is currently deep into the second year of their 25th Anniversary Tour.  Per Urungus – this entailed that we were to party twice as hard, and the crowd did just that.  It did not matter if the band was playing a new song from the recently released Bloody Pit of Horror, or a classic jam like “Vlad the Impaler” the fans were soaking up every note ringing through the PA.

Of course, a GWAR show is not a GWAR show without murder.  Upon the stage at House of Blues on this November night, Urungus and his slaves welcomed pop superstar Lady Gaga to the stage.  After she was allowed to eat human feces and shoot blood from her titties, Urungus did the world a favor and killed the multi-platinum singer/songwriter.  A machine very similar to Bumblebee from the Transformers movies also met his maker towards the end of the set as the band rocked along with a smoking version of “Beat You to Death.”

With the rowdy crowd chanting GWAR loudly, Urungus wasted no time telling them to shut up before launching into a five song encore.  Interestingly enough, the first four songs just so happened to be the first four songs from Bloody Pit of Horror.  One look down on the rowdy floor and one saw just that.  Fans soaked in blood, sweat and whatever Urungus was squirting out of his giant cod-shaped cock.  Yet it was the final song that really sent the crowd into pure euphoria.  Informing the masses that they would return next year to celebrate their 27th anniversary, the band launched into their biggest hit – “Sick of You.”  For the first time all night, you could look across the venue and see everyone (even the few remaining fans of The Casualties) pumping fists and singing along.

Even if you hate loud and aggressive metal music, everyone owes it to themselves to witness GWAR live at some point in their life.  The bands theatrics put jokes like Insane Clown Posse, Lordi and Marilyn Manson to shame.  While Alice Cooper may have created shock rock, GWAR has spent 25 years perfecting it.  Next time the band is in your neck of the woods, put on a white t-shirt and get messy with the living legends.

Unearth 10/16/10 – House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Unearth/All That Remains/Asking Alexandria 10/16/10

House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA

Words & Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com

When a last minute invite came my way to check out the next to last Unearth show of 2010, I knew I couldn’t turn it down.   Having just celebrated my beloved San Francisco Giants beating the Phillies in game one of the 2010 NLCS, I made it inside the venue just in time to catch the massive Massachusetts metal band perform way too early on a bill of bands that I struggle to find nice things to write about.  But enough with this useless introduction, it’s time to share with you the tales of another insane evening in which I was treated like a VIP for the simple fact that I registered a domain name.

All That Remains

All That Remains – Golden Gods 2009: Club Nokia Los Angeles, CA
Walking into House of Blues, I was aware that All That Remains was top dog on an akward bill that featured mediocre mallcore and Unearth.  I admit, I missed the bands set (which as I am told featured Unearth guitarist Buz McGrath performing butt naked) and I am fine with that.  Having met a few members of the band, I must say they are a class act, and very generous.  However, when it comes to their music, it is not my thing.  I have heard albums,

I have seen the band live

and while not bad it is just not my thing.  Best wishes to them (rumor has it their just released album will have a very solid debut on Billboard) but on this particular evening, I chose friends over watching you do your thing. 

Asking Alexandria

***Updated July 2011***

8 months after I posted one video of Asking Alexandria, Sumerian Records had my YouTube account with over 700 bands deleted. I wanted to share with you below all about how select members of this band were looking to sodomize underage girls post set, but figured I would take the high road instead. As the world knows, the founder of Sumerian Records was a former video game pirate who REALLY HATES when folks steal from his business. So hey, delete the one video I had up HELPING your band, but leave all that awesome footage of your band acting like a bunch of drunk dicks in Seattle up

As I sit and write this, I wish I was Perez Hilton.  The things I could tell you about these guys and how they acted backstage – pure tabloid delight.  Instead, I will just say this.  I am a 31 year old man who loves rock music.  Asking Alexandria is nothing more than a boy band with regrettable tattoos and BOSS Metal Zone distortion pedals.  The music is designed to give young girls their first sexual thought, not to stimulate the mind of an individual who is rapidly losing his hair.  With that said, I will tell you the same thing I told bassist Sam Bettley back stage when he asked my thoughts on the show.

 

The energy was good.  Los Angeles crowds are usually jaded and uninterested, but on this night the kids were going insane.  Huge pits, group sing-a-longs and a fan base eager to please any request by lead screamer Danny Worsnop.  So that’s the nice thing I have to say.  I will now give you the pleasure of imaging all the nasty things I really want to say.

Unearth

Two years and two days after Unearth released their most recent record “The March” I was lucky enough to catch the bands next to last show in support of the brutal yet masterful collection of songs.  I was lucky enough to catch the band at the same venue when they supported Testament, and also managed to see the band Thanksgiving weekend at the All Day All Ages Metal Fest at the Hollywood Palladium.  I have to confess, the whole set was a bit of a blur for me.  I made my way down to the photo pit just as the bands pre-recorded music began to blast from the PA.  It was fucking Journey.  I really fucking hate Journey.  I really fucking hate the fact that my beloved San Francisco Giants have adopted that fucking terrible Journey song as the theme for the 2010 post season run.  So despite my love for Unearth, I was hurt that the band would choose such a cheap and pathetic way to get the crowd pumped up.

Once the band actually started playing, I forgot all about the terrible into music.  I suppose that’s the actual beauty of Unearth.  On one side of the coin, you have hard hitting metal anthems, and on the other you a gang of jackasses decked out in Dr. Dre T-shirts and lewd sexual acts drawn upon their arms.  The short but sweet set drew heavily from “The March” but had plenty of older songs to keep the crowd moving.  Songs like “My Will Be Done” and “This Glorious Nightmare” mixed together perfectly.  When not playing class clown (not to mention kicking me in the head to reach the rail that separates the crowd from the band) guitarist Ken Susi is a master of his craft shredding solo after solo with a giant shit eating grin upon his face.

 

It really felt as if I had blinked and the bands set was coming to an end.  As with the last two shows I have seen the band destroy on this two plus year journey, the night ended with “Black Hearts Now Reign.”  Front man Trevor Phipps did a phenomenal job of getting the crowd to form a huge circle pit while his brothers created a loud wall of powerful heavy metal behind him.  The best news of the night came at the very end of the set.  The band is about to record a new album, and promised a return to Southern California next year.  See you then!

moe. To Ring In 2011 With Multi-Night Beantown Run

moe. To Ring In 2011 With Multi-Night Beantown Run

moe. the upstate NY jam rockers have released their New Years plans.  The five piece band plans to close out their 20 year Anniversary celebration with two nights (Dec 30th & 31st) at House of Blues Boston.

The bands official website reports that special $75 2-show ticket packages will go on sale Saturday, 7/31 at 11am EST through moe.ticketing. The 12/30 show is all ages, but the 12/31 show is 18+. Therefore, to buy this 2-show package you MUST be 18+.

As you may recall, our very own Reverend Justito checked in with the jam band this past February rocked Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles.

Ratt @ The House Of Blues Downtown Disney July 15, 2010

 

I had no intention of even going to this concert until I found out that my friend’s band was the opener. I got free tickets!
  
Ratt. They were big in the 80’s. I was a huge fan of their “Out of The Cellar” LP. “Round And Round”, “Lack Of Communication”, “Back For More”, “Wanted Man”, all great tunes. That was 1984. Their next effort, “Invasion Of Your Privacy” was a bit light for my tastes as I had since discovered Anthrax and Metallica. So, Ratt was all but a passing fad in my opinion. Part of the Hair Metal movement that I didn’t particularly care about. They had a string of popular songs through the 80’s and like most Metal bands of the era, they died a slow painful death as Grunge took over.
 
So, now it’s 2010. Ratt has resurfaced with a new album. “Infestation”. Former Quiet Riot guitarist, Carlos Cavazo is now in the line up replacing some replacements for the late Robbin Crosby. Stephen Pearcy, is he sober or not? You hear things, people talk. Anyway, I was interested as much as I was skeptical about how this was going to turn out.
  
The night started as you might expect with a show at The House of Blues at Disney’s Downtown West Side, with a line of people wrapped completely around the building. It also began as you might expect on a July afternoon in Central Florida, thunderstorms. Naturally, there’s no cover to stand under and of course, they didn’t open the doors to let folks in. Not even on time. So everyone got a good soaking before entering. At least The HOB has an awesome a/c system because once you got inside, you were wet AND freezing!
  
My friend’s band, Dirrty Hairy started promptly at 8:30 PM. Dirrty Hairy is an Orlando based Hair Metal tribute band. They’re an 80’s cover band. I think it worked out well. DH primed the capacity crowd with big hair 80’s metal. You can check them out at www.hair-metal.com they did a 45 minute set that started with Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” and ended with some Gun’s and Roses. It was 1987 all over again!
 
Ratt took the stage and started playing hit after hit. The sound was pretty good and you could hear everything clearly, except for Stephen Pearcy. I think that was by design though. The man just can’t sing his own songs very well anymore I guess. He can’t hit the notes. The rest of the band members were awesome and their singing ability pretty much carried Pearcy. They played some selections off of their new record too. Although, I couldn’t tell you what they were. They pretty much sounded the same as the rest of the material. Not that, that was a bad thing necessarily.
 
Of course, they all had the look. They all look matured, for sure. But it didn’t look like a bunch of old geezers up on the stage. They were rockin’ the house. I was glad to see Carlos Cavazo looking and sounding good. He fit in right with the Ratt and Roll show.
 
All in all, it was a great time and it definitely brought me back to a time when we were all about 25 years younger and 25 pounds lighter. If you liked Ratt in the 80’s, you’ll like them today. Check them out if you get the chance.

 





The Flaming Lips Live at the House of Blues: Atlantic City, NJ July 4th 2010

Did you hear? Lady Gaga is playing a show in AC tonight.. If you want to hear all about that-then exit this site and go somewhere else. As for the rest of us-all signs point to this night being crazy. Jay Porks here to welcome all of you to the 29th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series for the Flaming Lips at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. I’m coming to you live from my hotel, the NAME REDACTED Hotel and Casino here in the lovely Atlantic City. This is going to continue with the ‘Summer Series’ section of the little blog thing we have going on here considering the weather: It’s 90+ degrees outside- a good day if your in shape. If you’re me, then your stationed 21st floor in your room with the Air Conditioning pumping, set to a steady 65. The House of Blues website says that the Doors open at 9PM and the show is also listed to start at 9PM. Opening act is ‘Fang Island’, a band I haven’t yet heard of. The House of Blues is located in the Showboat Casino, which is sort of a distance (a bus called the ‘Jitney’ goes there for $2.25) as oppose to the last time I stayed here, when I was attending Stone Temple Pilots and The Meat Puppets right across the way at the Music Box at the Borgata back on July 18th of last year.

The Flaming Lips performed ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ in it’s entirety at this years Bonnaroo Festival. I got my hands on the audio days after the performance and was enamored. This is what’s bringing us to the question of the night-Will the Flaming Lips do ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ here at the House of Blues for the 4th of July? Weeks of searching Google for show reviews and artist released info has left the hand un-tipped, as there is no inkling to

what they will do tonight. The beauty of this band-I mean seriously: Who knows what they’re going to do? Will Wayne pull out the gigantic hands or tell us that we must do our part to fight for the legalization of Marijuana in America, who knows? Hell-they could come out and play a set containing not one song I know the name of and this shit is probably still going to be a life changer. At least one credible rock music publication has them on their list of “Bands you must see before you die”. Well then, lets get to it.

Lets not overshadow the opening act, Fang Island- a band that just released it’s debut album, which was self-titled, on Sargent House records in February of this year. They have to be cool if they’re opening for the Flaming Lips right? Well, lets see how the night turns out

I finally got to the House Of Blues at like 9:30PM- and sure enough, show is at 10 not the 9 o clock it was listed on the website. Never a surprise. So I run into the Showboat casino to find this place and of course it’s way deep in there- what felt like a mile.. I get there and it’s this elaborate place- with a concourse downstairs from it and an escalator leading up to the venue.. When I got there I was greeted by an old fashioned cowboy sort of feel to the room. Imagine if there was a perfect looking place to see a concert-now picture a bunch of high rollers trying to imitate that kind of look to their establishment. It was a little overdone(the inside section where the shows take place is flawless-sound was top notch, sight lines are great and they didn’t hassle me about video).. Concessions everywhere but since I thought I was late I was in a dash upstairs and not shopping around- I finally find the stairs that lead up to the balcony where my seat is and then proceed to head up four flights of steps at which point I was light headed-but I made it. here I am Row M- aisle seat.. The balcony seating is steep and elevates quite a bit- there is no way I can be blocked by anyone’s head-Awesome.

So the story goes from what I heard from some security guy is that the “Opening act is at 10, The Flaming Lips at 11”.. So here I am in my seat- at 9:44PM- as I await the set to begin.. And the crowd gets into the Star Spangled Banner before the bands hit the stage then clap for themselves.

Fang Island came on 10:03 and now I notice we have video screens to the left and right of the stage.. By 10:42 I had enough of these guys.. What’s up with the keyboards? You guys have three guitarists- you have potential to rock and you choose not too. They played a few songs- not sure how many were songs and how many were just flat out noise jams.. Half way through the set I notice the balcony seating not even be half full- leaving people to pretty much sit where they want. I’m right where I need to be- the highest row you can be-awesome view..

Fang Island went off a quarter to 11 with roadies running on stage to set up for the act we all came here to see – the one, the only, the kings of the weird- THE FLAMING LIPS!!!

It’s not until 11:10 that they start inflating the giant bubble Wayne uses to walk the crowd in.. Then a ramp was set up where all the other band members walked through a door that opened in the video screen and out on to stage to a big hand.. Then when they went into the first song with Wayne( after he stepped out of his bubble) fires streamers into the crowd, keeping with the 4th of July theme. The stage is set with almost everything orange, with tube/cannon shooter looking things on each side of the stage. These things shot out what must have been 1000’s of balloons in all different sizes and they were everywhere. The balloons were filled with confetti which burst out from each when popped- I gotta say it was a sight. You got the light show going with the visuals on a big screen behind the band which varied between visual effects and a close up of Wayne’s face.. He gave an emphatic ‘thank you’ after pretty much every song along with thanking the crowd for “being such freaks”.

Every song they played seemed to have a different feel to it.. constant vibe shifts..

The set got more epic as the night progressed. We had “Mr. Catfish” on the side of the stage-one of the roadies in this big cartoon looking costume-its a great shot with that dude watching from the side of the stage. The later it got the more people started showing up and when I thought the props done I was so wrong.. Wayne heads off stage and comes back with the gigantic hands.. Those things are so great. I have it on video- he comes out with the hands and as the stage goes black each gigantic finger tip has a green light beaming onto the two big disco balls floating over the stage.. It was freaking crazy- I haven’t seen that one on YouTube.

They did a basic Flaming Lips set- no dark side- but was still something that needed to be witnessed.. They played alot of songs off ‘Embryonic’, like ‘I can be a frog’, ‘Convinced of the Hex’. ‘See the Leaves’, ‘Sparrow Looks up at the Machine’, ‘Powerless’…I recorded a great version of “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ .. They did that song ‘the W.A.N.D.’- it was in a Dell commercial, ‘The Yeah Yeah Yeah song’.. The show went on til about 1:10AM, when they ended with “Do You Realize?”- a song that will be stuck in my head probably until the next time I get my bank account out of a negative balance.. and that’s a long, long time from now

Bonkers.. Complete shock that the show was that good-I thought there would be times where I would get lost in the deep cuts section of the show. Not so. This was everything I’ve seen in videos, everything from all the stories I’ve read and heard about seeing the Flaming Lips-it lived up to the hype.. what an awesome band. Also was great that by the end of the night it was like we all just saw ‘Blue Man Group’ as everyone was covered in confetti, streamers and pieces of balloons…What a night!

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The Final Steel Panther Sunset Strip Shakedown of the First Decade of the 21st Century

Steel Panther (with Delta Rose & TARSHA) 12/28/2009
House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos/Videos by Justin/concertconfessions.com

Steel Panther - 12/28/2009: House of Blues - West Hollywood, CA

Racist, Homophobic and degrading to women, one would think that a band like Steel Panther would never survive liberal West Hollywood, CA. Yet the band once known as Metal Skool has used Monday nights on the Sunset Strip to organically grow their mock metal musical onslaught from underground buzz to worldwide domination. Having not seen the boys since their name change/major label record deal, a co-worker and I decided to make the most of our forced paid vacation from work and checked in with Steel Panther at their new home – House of Blues Sunset Strip.

First off, I must say that I was shocked that there was no security search and I was freely able to bring my camera into the usually fan unfriendly venue. This may be the first time in history I have nothing bad to say about my least favorite venue on the Sunset Strip (and beyond, Anaheim is even worse). God Frank and I walked up to the bar just in time to catch the end of the opening set from Delta Rose. Solid licks from what appeared to be young kids. In fact, they should have been main support, as the next artist – TARSHA was not worthy of cleaning trash post show, let alone performing on stage. Looking like a pregnant version of Mitch Kramer from the film Dazed and Confused the “vocalist” (who the band is named for) danced around like a T-rex with a Mcnugget made of kangaroo meat shoved up his anus. This is being nice; his vocals were even worse and not worth wasting words on. While the back bar rapidly filled up from folks fleeing the dance floor, the band performed generic Sunset Strip rock that make Buckcherry sound fresh, original and ground breaking. The only good thing about this painfully terrible artist was his bass player – Patrick Morgan. He reminded me a lot of Coheed and Cambria’s Michael Todd, both in sound and style. Patrick, please stop wasting your talent with this TARSHA clown, branch out and create something original.

TARSHA - 12/28/2009: House of Blues - West Hollywood, CA

After moving up from the bar to the main floor (tall boys in hand) it was minutes before midnight when Steel Panther hit the stage with a scorching cover of Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart”. With front man Michael Starr playing up the lead guitarist Satchel managed to move a lot more than Motley axe slinger Mick Mars. For the next 75 minutes, the band proved why they have become the reigning kings of the Sunset Strip over the past decade with rocking riffs and offensive yet humorous stage banter.

Steel Panther works so well because of their relationship with the audience. No one is safe from humiliation in front of their peers, especially the willing. Hoping on stage after two songs, these gals were subjected to a dirty verbal lashing usually heard on the other side of the hill in the 818.

Musically, Steel Panther is a peak into the past for the current generation who were too young or perhaps not even born when spandex and aqua net ruled Sunset Blvd. Ok, sure Ratt was not re-working “La Bamba” into a highly racist yet hysterical number down the street at the Whiskey, but then again what do I know, I was in elementary school 370 miles north when that scene was going down. Hell, even recent numbers were not safe from Panthers mockery. The foursome used “The Reason” by Hoobastank to put males blocking females from the front row on cock block check.


It’s a good thing Southern California has a lot of pretty gals looking for attention. In the past, I have seen a gal or two get on stage with the band. On the last Monday of the first decade of the 21st century, all in attendance were blessed enough to have a good dozen women willing to shake and grind during covers like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and originals including “Party All Day”. Hell, even lucky male audience members got some action. During a Two-For-Tuesday double shot of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Chad was brought upon stage for yawning in the crowd and ended up being rewarded with lap dances from two “dirty whores” during “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. The band booted Chad from their stage before the musical highlight of the night – a down and dirty version of the G’n’R classic “Mr. Brownstone”. As far as boob highlights, I think everyone appreciated the Asian with perfect breasts made next door in Beverly Hills showing a job well done before the band played their original number “Asian Hooker”.

Steel Panther managed to point out the only black guy in the crowd and make fun of him, repeatedly called female fans whores, sluts and requested they get their tubes tied so the band could bang them without condoms and dropped multiple gay slurs smack dab in the middle of the largest gay community in Southern California. The reason why it works is much in the same vein that South Park works. Steel Panther not only pick on everyone, they can make fun if themselves. Steel Panther is Spinal Tap in spandex. A hilarious spoof of what Hollywood was in 1986, with tasty riffs performed by solid musicians, and is NOT to be missed if you ever have a chance.





Lazarus AD, Unearth & Testament Thrash West Hollywood

Lazarus AD, Unearth & Testament 06/11/09 

House Of Blues – West Hollywood, CA 

Words/Photos By Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com 

(NOTE: All photos taken with an iphone as House Of Blues does not allow cameras) 

  

Standing up against the bar alongside stage left inside Hollywood’s House Of Blues Thursday night, I was distracted from the on stage action by a young man who fit the exact description of a heavy metal stereotype:  A young Latino with long fluffy hair, black denim jeans, a faded leather jacket and 1980’s white high-top sneakers.  Exhausted from hours in the circle pit, the thrash enthusiast leaned up against a trashcan, trying to catch his breath.  In that moment, it became clear to me that he needed relief.  With no Gatorade in site, I gave the pit warrior the last 6 ounces of my Coors Light.  A large smile spread across his face as he pounded what was left of my Rocky Mountain Freshness.  Much like Popeye when he eats his spinach, the metal head was instantly rejuvenated.  He quickly thanked me once again and sprinted into the pit to catch the remainder of East Bay Thrash legends Testament’s headlining set. 

Marquee Outside House Of Blues 06/12/09 

It was Thursday afternoon when I was offered a free ticket/all access pass to the triple bill of Lazarus AD, Unearth and Testament at House of Blues.  Despite the fact I despise House of Blues (that’s another blog for another day) I wanted to hang with my pals so I decided to put aside my grudge and check the show out.  Besides, despite often feeling out of place and in the way, getting to hang back stage with bands always brings a smile to my face.  I am very blessed to have some generous friends within the music industry, and I am always grateful when they let me tag along, especially on a weeknight. 

  

 

  

I had never been in the balcony at House of Blues Sunset, but we headed up there to check out the evening’s first band: Lazarus AD.  Holy hell fire – this Kenosha, Wisconsin four-piece not only won the jaded Hollywood crowd over with great ease, but had some huge circle pits going inside the large club as well.  With blistering solos and great, heavy grooves, the upstart band absolutely destroyed everything in their path during their brief 30-minute opening set.  I wish I knew more about these guys so I could share more.  Instead, I will just say this: with an extensive summer tour still planned, these future thrash legends are not to be missed.  You will not be disappointed. 

Lazarus AD 06/11/09 - House of Blues: West Hollywood, CA 

After wandering around back stage for a bit, my friends and I returned to the balcony to check out Winthrop, Massachusetts’ metallers, Unearth.  Supporting lasts years “The March” (which came out on my wedding day for those keeping score at home), the five piece band sounded tight during their main support act.  It didn’t matter if the band was playing a new song like “We Are Not Anonymous” or an older number like “Endless” (which the band dedicated to headliners Testament); the crowd was eating it up.  Axe slingers Ken Susi and Buz McGrath (who was wearing a Dr. Dre T-shirt) criss-crossed the stage while vocalist Trevor Phipps encouraged the capacity crowd to increase the size of the circle pit.  The band wrapped up their 45 minute set with arguably their biggest hit – “Black Hearts Now Reign”.  As venue security executed brutal chokeholds on excited kids who crowd surfed over the rail, McGrath tore up the fret board on his 7-string guitar.  Not even the pain of losing oxygen by paid staff could wipe the smiles Unearth brought to the excited few who made it over.   

Unearth 06/11/09 - House Of Blues: West Hollywood, CA 

I have to confess; I only caught about a third of Testament’s headline set (my pals decided they would rather drink with the opening bands, and I was fine with that).  Despite growing up across the bay from their stomping grounds, my knowledge of Testament is limited to what I heard blasting through the speakers of my best friends Mustang back in High School.  The bit that I did see was very impressive and makes me realize I have missed out on some rather awesome songs.  As we watched from the side bar, the band sounded great after approximately a year on the road.  For as crazy as the crowd was for the opening bands, Testament had the audience eating out of the palm of their hands. 

Testament 06/11/09 - House Of Blues: West Hollywood, CA 

For me, the highlight was a song called “Practice What You Preach”.   I believe that life should be about making a positive impact whenever you can.  I know I often fail but sometimes, in life, even I surprise myself.  When that kid stumbled out of the pit exhausted from running around like a maniac, I knew he needed that beer more than me.  Besides, I had been blessed enough that evening with a free ticket, backstage pass and a great group of friends who not only hooked me up because I am a live music junkie, but also have my back when it really matters.  

Testament - 06/11/09 House of Blues - West Hollywood, CA 

  

  

  

 
 
 
 
 
 

  

 

 

  

  





 

 

 

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