Tag: Mastodon

Knotfest Day 1: San Manuel Amphitheater – San Bernardino, CA 10/24/15

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The metal fest known as Knotfest hit the desert plains of San Bernardino, California for two days of non-stop metal devastation! Someof the biggest names in metal were in attendance as well as some newer band and the Coldcock Whisky winners. I was fortunate enough to get access to both days of the festival and photograph bands to my metal heart’s desire with the exception of both day’s headliners Judas Priest and Slipknot. The festival also saw many attractions besides bands which included people on stilts, thunderdome, Slipknot museum, carnival games, and carnival rides. I arrived early on to catch many of the bands that I’ll either be seeing for the first time or for the second or more time.

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Inquisition is a two-man black metal band from Colombia. As most black metal bands perform, they had corpse painting and all black outfits. For many fans, this was their first time seeing Inquisition. Inquisition started the show with Force of the Floating Tomb. Frontman Dagon has an interesting voice when singing as it sounds almost robotic, yet still has that black metal feel. While their music isn’t relatively fast as most black metal bands, Inquisition prefers a calmer style. Still, with their style of music they pulled in the crowd with plenty of horns thrown in the air and headbangers seen on the rail.

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Swedish melodic death metal lords At the Gates were one of the main attractions of side stage 2. Plenty of fans were seen screaming their name and singing along as they started the show with Death and the Labyrinth from their newest album At War With Reality which is their first album in 19 years. The mosh pits commenced and helped At the Gates start off strong. At the Gates continued the slaughter with Slaughter of the Soul from their 1995 landmark album, Slaughter of the Soul. Being their biggest hit, fans went absolutely crazy as the mosh pits got more violent and huge clouds of dust were lifted from the ground and people could be seen covering their mouths and coughing. Some fans were seen waving the flag from Sweden as a thank you for At the Gates performing this one off USA show. Other songs in their setlist included: Cold, Under A Serpent Sun, Suicide Nation, and Blinded by Fear. At the Gates have proven themselves to be one of Sweden’s biggest bands and fans are very grateful to have them return after a very long hiatus.

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Body Count is a heavy metal band formed by and fronted by legendary rapper Ice-T. Most people would think it’s odd to have an almost all black band perform heavy metal music. Some are for it, some are against it, some really don’t care. Body Count started the show with Body Count’s in the House and were welcomed with open arms as fans went wild and the mosh pits continued. After their performance of Masters of Revenge, guitarist Ernie C started experiencing technical difficulties and in the meantime, Ice-T entertained the audience by telling dirty jokes to which the crowd loved and laughed at them. The show continued and they played songs like Manslaughter and There Goes the Neighborhood. Body Count finished their set with their most controversial song, Cop Killer. Fans moshed and raised their fists and horns as they sang along, “Fuck the police! Fuck the Police!”. Body Count definitely knew how to get the crowd going and left the fans wanting more.

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Belphegor is a blackened death metal band from Austria and along with stage-mates Kataklysm, have made the first stop of their tour at Knotfest. Belphegor have an intimidating stage presence with two microphone stands covered by bones and the band members have their faces painted white and covered with makeup that resembles blood. Plenty of fans could be seen anxiously waiting as Belphegor started the show with Feast Upon the Dead. Frontman Helmuth would unleash his demon-like vocals on the crowd while shedding on the guitar. Quite often he would make these evil faces while rolling his eyes to the back of his head giving him a truly demonic look.  Other songs in their setlist included: Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador, Lucifer Incestus, and Bondage Goat Zombie. Belphegor has just started their US tour and hopefully will make another Southern California stop to truly experience a full set instead of a cut-down set.

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The scumdogs of the universe Gwar are no strangers to the metal world. Infamously known for their stage theatrics, props, costumes, and of course their heavy use of blood (red food coloring) and other bodily fluids. Even with the death of Oderus Urungus, Gwar lives on and continues to spread their shenanigans to the masses. A human with an overly-sized head came out to greet the fans only to be held down by Bonesnapper and decapitated by a huge sword in which the body started spraying a stream of blood to the crowd as Gwar started the show with Crush, Kill, Destroy. Fans were overly joyed at the thought of being covered in blood and happily puts themselves in the path of the stream and soon lots of fans looked like they got a tan from the blood turning orange on them. An alien monster with a snail-shaped penis came out on stage to intimidate the fans and address since Urungus is dead, Gwar belonged to him now. Gwar would have none of that and proceeded to have an on-stage battle with Bonesnapper using an axe to beat down the alien monster as the band started to play Vlad the Impaler. The alien monster would then proceed to piss on the fans with his yellow liquid giving the human filth another chance to be soaked in alien piss. Other songs they played were: Saddam a Go-Go, The Salaminizer, and Sick of You. Gwar was one of the best side stage bands and were the final band on stage 2 as fans that were in the pit were seen leaving soaked in blood.

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Kataklysm is a Canadian death metal band and released their twelfth studio album titled Of Ghosts and Gods on July31, 2015. Along with Belphegor, they embarked on the Of Ghosts and Gods USA tour and made Knotfest their first stop. Kataklysm started the show with If I Was God…I’d Burn It All. Frontman Maurizio Iacono displayed his powerful voice and really displayed his technique. It took a few tries for Iacono to get the crowd going into a mosh pit instead of standing around. Kataklysm has a very heavy sound to their music and metalheads will have an easy time headbanging to their music. Sadly, Kataklysm are heavily underrated. They played songs like: The Black Sheep, The Ambassador of Pain, and Crippled & Broken. The whole band has a great stage presence and are more deserving than what they get. If this tour makes a stop in or near your area, they are definitely worth checking out.

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The first band on the main stage that I got to check out was Trivium. Trivium released their seventh studio album Silence in the Snow on October 2, 2015. Trivium had plenty of fans in the crowd and some of the crowd up front had signs for them to see. Trivium came out and started the show with Silence in the Snow from the new album. Trivium‘s music can often be described as a blend of metalcore, thrash metal, and heavy metal. Some might refer to them as new age Metallica. Frontman Matt Heafy would shred away track after track and enjoyed interacting with the fans. The other band members did their part in making their music sound just as good live as on album. Trivium played songs from their catalog like: Until the world Goes Cold, Blind Leading the Blind, and In Waves. Trivium has a great stage presence and made a great addition to get the audience warmed up for the other main stage bands.

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Progressive/sludge metal band Mastodon is currently one of the biggest bands in metal and on June 24, 2014, released their sixth album, Once More ‘Round the Sun. Mastodon started the show with the first track from the new album, Tread Lightly. As Mastodon does with most tours, it’s no surprise to see that the new album dominated their setlist with as many as 6 tracks of the 10 songs performed were from the new album. Mastodon is one of those bands that sound so well live that they sound just like the album, note for note. In addition to the new songs, they also played older songs like: Aqua Dementia, Bladecatcher, and Black Tongue. During the middle of the set, frontman Troy Sanders made note to the audience that this exact Mastodon show was their 2,000th show. One of the best songs played was High Road, the first single from the new album and the music video for it is the first ever metal music video to contain females twerking. Mastodon ended the show by playing their most popular song and one of the most well-known metal songs, Blood and Thunder from their critically-acclaimed and Moby-Dick inspired Leviathan album. Mastodon is surely on their way of becoming one of the biggest metal bands of all time.

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Nu-Metal veterans KoRn are currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their self-titled debut album. KoRn‘s first stop on the 20th anniversary tour was at Knotfest. KoRn started the show with Blind, the first track from the self-titled album. Drummer Ray Luzier started the song by repeatedly hitting his ride cymbal as the song originally starts. Bassist Fieldy would hit the quick funky bass notes. Guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch would introduce the song letting the fans know the show was about to start. Frontman Jonathan Davis came center, took ahold of his signature mic stand, screamed into it, “ARE YOU REEAADDYYY!?!?” as the song started in full force with all members headbanging and fans on the floor jumping simultaneously for an impressive sight. For this tour, KoRn was playing their debut album in its entirety. Some songs they haven’t played from that album in years and others they play regularly. Songs like Ball Tongue and Need To have recently been been played for the first time since the anniversary tour of the album that started earlier this year. Other song like Clown and Faget are fan-favorites that are regularly played, but are still welcomed from old and new fans. Being that KoRn has a shorter setlist than their own headlining tour, they couldn’t possibly plays just songs from the debut album. Instead, they played the first seven songs from the debut album. Davis came out with his signature bag pipes and fans knew what song was coming next. Shoots and Ladders is one of KoRn‘s best songs and is played at almost all their shows and is always fun singing along to a mix of nursery rhymes. To mix up the setlist, KoRn played some of their other hits starting with Falling Away From Me. This being a fan-favorite, the crowd was very into it and jumped to the beginning of the song and fans could be seen singing along. Here to Stay and Did My Time were other fan-favorites that made people in the crowd go wild and mosh pits could be seen from anywhere in the venue. KoRn finished the show with their most popular song, Freak on a Leash. Fans could be seen singing along to the song and of course loved with when Davis performed the beat box solo that the song is known for. KoRn finished the show and came out to greet fans and have their kids come out as well as they threw guitar picks and drum heads into the crowd. KoRn left the stage and paved way for the headliner of the night; the gods of heavy metal, Judas Priest!

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Judas Priest is regarded as one of the greatest metal bands of all time and they have every right to be called that. Led by the metal god Rob Halford, Judas Priest has earned their place in the music world as one of the greatest bands in metal. After what seemed to be the end for the band, they came back to release their seventeenth studio album Redeemer of Souls on July 8, 2014. Judas Priest served as the perfect headliner for night 1 with lots of fans waiting for the metal gods. Black Sabbath‘s War Pigs played over the speakers and fans knew that was the cue that Judas Priest was about to start. The lights went out and fans screamed as loud as they could as the intro track Battle Cry played over the speakers. The curtain that was covering the stage came down and revealed Judas Priest on stage as they started the show with the first track from the new album, Dragonaut. Judas Priest kept to their roots by playing classics as the show continued with Metal Gods, a song about robots and technology taking over the world. Victim of Changes was the third song and gave Halford a chance to show that age hasn’t affected his legendary voice as he let out his beautiful high-pitched voice throughout the song. He would send a shiver down your spine as he sang, “VICTIM OF CHAAANGEEESSS!!” and guitarists Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton played the song to perfection and showed why they’re two of metal’s greatest guitarists. Halls of Valhalla is another new song that they played followed by The Rage which was a nice treat given that they don’t play that too often. The synth intro to the next song could be heard and fans knew exactly what was coming. The classic song, Turbo Lover. Halford would hold out the mic to fans and let them, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” Halford would sing, “Tell me there’s no otherrr”. Halford would hold out the mic again and let fans again sing, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” and Halford would finish with, “better run for coverrr!”. The real treat of the night came when they played the next song, Screaming For Vengeance from their album of the same name which itself is a metal masterpiece. That song hasn’t been performed in almost 30 years and many younger fans were overjoyed to finally have the chance to hear it live. Halford was at the top of his game as he sing in high-pitch with little problem as the song requires. Faulkner and Tipton performed the guitar solos to perfection and really brought the song to life after so long. Following that, Judas Priest kept bringing out the classics that made them who they are. The next song was one of the greatest songs in metal, Breaking the Law. Anyone that listens to metal should be familiar with this song. Halford would hold out the mic to the audience as they sang the chorus, “Breaking the Law! Breaking the Law!”. It is a very fun song to sing to live and amazing to experience everyone singing along. The stage went silent as the sound of an engine roaring could be heard. Fans screamed as they knew exactly what was coming next. Halford came out riding a motorcycle and to no surprise, the next song was Hell Bent For Leather. The stage went dark again as the familiar intro of The Hellion started and fans sang along to the intro of, “ooo-ahh-ooo-oh”.  The intro ended and Judas Priest jumped right into Electric Eye. Fans all over could be heard singing along to the chorus, “I’m electric, electric spy. I’m protective Electric Eye”.  The band took a quick break while Halford engaged with the crowd with some vocal exercises as the crowd followed his lead. Judas Priest was to end the one with another one of their most popular songs, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’. Fans were loving singing along to this song from start to finish. The show seemed to be over until Jose from SiriusXM Radio came out and asked the crowd if they wanted one more song. The crowd cheered to no surprise and Judas Priest came out to play the final song of the night, Painkiller. What a perfect choice for a show finisher. This song is the definition of heavy metal. Dual guitar leads, fast drumming, and Halford’s legendary voice. Halford finished the song strong with a very long, “Pain…killerrrrrrrrrr!!”. Judas Priest showed off their musicianship one last time in a huge noise of heavy metal music mashup of guitars and drums being played at the same time combined with the screaming of fans. Judas Priest left the stage while leaving the crowd overwhelmed that they just witnessed one of the greatest bands in metal. So was the end to day one of Knotfest.

Additional photos:

Inquisition

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At the Gates

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Body Count

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Belphegor

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Gwar

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Kataklysm

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Trivium

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Mastodon

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KoRn

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Festival

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Mastodon and Gojira: Fox Theater – Pomona, Ca – 10/17/14

Progressive metal bands Mastodon and Gojira once again teamed up for another tour across the USA as they did earlier this year. Mastodon was out to support the release of their new album, Once More ‘Round the Sun which was released on June 24, 2014. Gojira was on the final trek of supporting their newest release, L’Enfant Sauvage (French for “The Wild Child) which was released in 2012. Both bands have a huge following in the states so having both bands together is a dream tour for many people. The Fox Theater in Pomona, California was in for a real treat.

 

 

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The lights turned off and the stage was lit only purple strobe lights. It was time for the progressive metal band from France to take the stage and start things off with sheer animosity by playing the first track from the L’Enfant Sauvage album, Explosia. Right from the start, Gojira wasn’t messing around and all 4 members performed nicely and were constantly moving around. The crowd was on their feet whether they were jumping, moshing, or crowd surfing. Gojira played a vast array of songs from their catalog which made a nice mix of old and new material. Not a single song failed to impress or keep the crowd from being energized even when Gojira’s lyrics are environmental-themed. It’s the sound of the music that gets everyone moving. When Gojira finished, they thanked us for coming out and promised to come back not only to play for us again, but return with a new album as well.

 

 

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Mastodon is a well-known band among the metal community. With them being around since 2000, they have lots to offer musically and continue to do so with the release of Once More ‘Round the Sun. Their sound has evolved over time with at first having a sludge metal sound and have now become a full-on progressive metal band. Both old and new fans of Mastodon gathered at the now packed Fox Theater for the headlining band hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. Mastodon opened with the first track from the new album called, Tread Lightly. Their setlist was a good mix of old and new songs and even played a song from their first album which they don’t do too often these days. Guitarist Brent Hinds is always entertaining to watch. As a backup vocalist, he’s known for his screeching voice and the variety of funny faces he does while doing so. Drummer Brann Dailor was amazing and was on point on the drums as always even when lending his voice as the lead vocalist on some songs. Mastodon ended the night with the song Blood and Thunder which is their most famous song and is also one of the best metal songs to be written. Mastodon and Gojira are two powerhouse metal bands that will bring crowds together like one big happy family which is one of the best feelings at any concert.

 

 

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Pictures and video for Gojira:

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Photos and videos for Mastodon:

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Riot Fest 2014’s Mega Lineup Unleashed

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The plan here was to post the pic of all the bands and just name a handful of ones that us here at Concert Confessions are fans of and stuff like that. Then, as I kept reading into the poster containing the lineup for the 2014 Riot Fest in Chicago, this thing just has so much one would want to check out. Your top billing is The Cure, Jane’s Addiction, The National, Rise Against and Weezer while The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Slayer, The Offspring and Staten Island’s very own Wu-Tang Clan rounding out your ten highest billed performers. Dig deeper into the lineup and you’ll find Pussy Riot, Thurston Moore, Kurt Vile. You’ll also run into Failure and The Dandy Warhols. The Afghan Whigs are back, and you guessed it, they’re here too. My new favorite heroes(i.e. Dave Grohl/Safe Music) Mastodon is at this party as well. Feel free to have some fun too, throw a little Cheap Trick in your day. Things you don’t see here: Outkast, Lorde, Kanye West, Vampire Weekend, Skrillex and all those other garbage festival junkies you see on every card. Lots of music with guitars here.

Highlighted acts below, check out RiotFest.ORG for ticketing details and all that jazz.

Weezer

Jane’s Addiction

The National

Pussy Riot

The Flaming Lips

Slayer

Rise Against

The Cure

Descendents

Wu-Tang Clan

The Afghan Whigs

The Offspring

Failure

Thurston Moore

Kurt Vile & The Violators

The Dandy Warhols

Dropkick Murphys

Mastodon

Buzzcocks

Social Distortion

GWAR

Mudhoney

Tegan And Sara

Patti Smith

Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas

Of Mice & Men

Cheap Trick

Metric

Anti-Flag

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival 2013 Reveals Lineup and Dates

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Good news for fans of Metal everywhere, The 2013 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival has announced the artists and dates that will keep heads swinging on both ends of the country this summer. Rob Zombie will headline and play along side Amon Amarth, Mastodon, Five Finger Death Punch while Children of Bodom, Behemoth, Battlecross and Machine Head will occupy the rest of your festival day. Check out the dates below, along with a announcement video that every festival seems to be doing these days. For more information, head over to the official festival website.

 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival 2013 Dates:

June 29 – San Bernardino, CA // San Manuel Amphitheater

June 30 – Mountain View, CA // Shoreline Amphitheatre

July 2 – Nampa, ID // Idaho Center Amphitheatre

July 3 – Auburn, WA // White River Amphitheatre

July 5 – Phoenix, AZ // Desert Sky Pavilion

July 6 – Albuquerque, NM // Isleta Amphitheatre

July 7 – Englewood, CO // Fiddler’s Green Ampitheatre

July 10 – Toronto, ON // Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

July 12 – Burgettstown, PA // First Niagara Pavilion

July 13 – Camden, NJ // Susquehanna Bank Center

July 14 – Darien Center, NY // Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

July 16 – Mansfield, MA // Comcast Center

July 17 – Bangor, ME // Bangor Waterfront

July 19 – Scranton, PA // Toyota Pavilion

July 20 – Saratoga Springs, NY // Saratoga Performing Arts Center

July 21 – Hartford, CT // The Comcast Theatre

July 23 – Holmdel, NJ // PNC Bank Arts Center

July 24 – Bristow, VA // Jiffy Lube Live

July 26 – Noblesville, IN // Klipsch Music Center

July 27 – Tinley Park, IL // First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre

July 28 – Clarkston, MI // DTE Energy Music Theatre

July 30 – Atlanta, GA // Lakewood Amphitheatre

July 31 – Tampa, FL // 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre

August 2 – Austin, TX // Tower Amphitheatre

August 3 – The Woodlands, TX // Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

August 4 – Dallas, TX // Gexa Energy Pavilion

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2012: A Music Odyssey, or the Best Live Acts I Saw This Year (Part 2: #10-1)

2012: A Music Odyssey Part 2

Words by Jakob Ross

10. Opeth

When the Heritage Hunter tour was announced, I knew I had to go. Opeth was the band on the tour that I was the least familiar with, and upon fully immersing myself in their challenging brand of progressive metal, I knew I’d be in for a fantastic show. Combining light, almost beautiful song structures with the louder, heavier sounds of common heavy metal (and a touch of dry, awkward humor from frontman Mikael Akerfeldt in between songs) the Swedes managed to put on a show that was set right in front of an amazing Atlanta sunset.

9. Umphrey’s McGee

With great jamming comes some great responsibility. Umphrey’s McGee are a jam band known for ridiculous song covers, odd stage presence, great lights, and insane guitar playing. Keep in mind, all this comes from six dudes who look like they could be working at a Best Buy or Target, and call themselves “Umphrey’s McGee.” They’re a cult act, no doubt, and this 2 AM – 6 AM concert at Bonnaroo showed that their fans will go where they go. I only stuck around for the first half of the show (I left right around the time Big Gigantic played their guest spot) but I got what I wanted. I got a “Bulls on Parade” tease, a “Stranglehold” tease, and some of the most intense jamming I’ve heard from any band. It was a rock and roll set, without a doubt, and it was one of the best rock and roll sets I’m sure Bonnaroo has ever seen.

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8. Mastodon

The headlining act of the aforementioned Heritage Hunter tour is a force to be reckoned with. Mastodon is a band that is exactly what the name implies: A big hairy beast that could crush a thousand men with the stomp of its foot. They played mostly new material from their stellar 2011 album “The Hunter” during the hometown gig and barely addressed the audience, but the concert was full of the sheer force that the Atlanta boys are known for. The facial hair on these guys alone should be enough to make the average man cower in fear. I would’ve liked to hear more from “Crack the Skye,” but it’s hard to complain when you’re witnessing one of the most brutal sludge/doom/weird metal bands of the past decade play songs in front of you.

7. Dispatch

Dispatch make catchy summer music and Bonnaroo is a festival built for specifically that. After nearly a decade long break from touring and releasing new material, the jam/roots rock band with a massive cult following has returned to rock the faces off frat boys who graduated from Dave Matthews Band University. The trio are phenomenal instrumentalists and write a great catchy tune. Although I couldn’t see the whole show, I saw enough to know that Dispatch’s music translates very very well to a live setting, especially when you’ve got a bigger crowd then one would expect from a band with literally no mainstream help.

6. Flogging Molly

Celtic punk isn’t for the critics, and neither is Flogging Molly. Nothing about Flogging Molly is very original, but it is a lot of fun. The sand that lined the floor was in the air and in my lungs by the time these guys finished their high-energy set. This set included their most well-known song “Seven Deadly Sins” as well as a Bob Dylan cover. Flogging Molly didn’t show up to promote any new music, but they did have a blast, as did I and the many other people who witnessed them perform.

5. St. Vincent

Anyone who knows me knows about my year-long crush on Annie Clark, the brains behind St. Vincent. And when I finally got to witness her perform music live in front of my eyes, I was not at all disappointed. Everything about this performance was everything I could’ve wanted from a St. Vincent show and more. She played mostly songs from her amazing 3rd album Strange Mercy, but threw in a couple songs from her first two albums. The set was full of energy, as well as beauty and intensity. And the way she plays that guitar… I could go on forever about how great of a musician this woman is. Bottom line is, you need to see her live if you want a great show.

4. Childish Gambino

Anyone who knows me knows about my man crush on Donald Glover, a standup comedian, writer, actor on the greatest comedy on television “Community,” and rapper. The rapper part of this complicated equation, Childish Gambino, put on a monster of a set at Bonnaroo. He walked on stage with what I can only refer to as “swagger,” wearing a black tanktop that was purposely a bit too big. He led the audience through energetic versions of “Bonfire,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “Heartbeat,” “You See Me,” and plenty more that just turned into sing-a-longs, for lack of a better word. It’s the only real hip hop show I’ve ever been to, and it was a fantastic experience. Gambino isn’t the world’s greatest rapper, but he certainly knows how to handle himself on stage.

3. Radiohead

Radiohead release some of the most beloved music of the past 15 years. Almost every other album they put out is hailed as a classic: OK Computer, Kid A, In Rainbows, etc.; and if they aren’t hailed as a classic they’re almost always lauded by critics and fans alike. The reception for their most recent release, 2011’s The King of Limbs, wasn’t as positive as it was for some of their other albums, but it still gets better with each listen. Radiohead’s 2006 Bonnaroo performance is often hailed as one of their best, and they without a doubt topped that performance with their 2012 Bonnaroo performance. Although half the set was songs from In Rainbows and The King of Limbs, the 25-song set was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. They ended the first encore with Everything In Its Right Place and the second encore with Paranoid Android, two of their most incredible and ambitious works. And not only did they play with energy and emotion, but the lights and the screen display was one of the best of all time. Up there with Phish and Pink Floyd. Speaking of Phish…

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2. Phish

I saw Phish twice this year. And from the very first song at Bonnaroo (Down With Disease) I knew that I was witnessing what might be the best touring band in America. The jamming is top-notch and the lights display is astonishing, especially since a good portion of the show is improvised. At Bonnaroo they brought out country music legend Kenny Rogers and performed his hit “The Gambler” with him, which proved to me that Phish can do a great cover. I also got to hear them perform their cover of TV On the Radio’s “Golden Age” the first time (I heard it again in Atlanta). Also in Atlanta I heard their cover of Ween’s “Roses Are Free” which was perhaps a tribute to the newly split group and they encored with a cover of The Beatles’ “A Day In the Life,” which would have made John Lennon proud. They’re not a band you’d expect to put on a great live performance since they hardly move from their spots while they play, but somehow they are able to reach these incredible crescendos that create this cloud of energy. Both shows I saw were amazing, and they’re a band you must see live at some point.

Phish 08/15/12: Long Beach Arena - Long Beach, CA

1. Flaming Lips

Has anyone ever seen Flaming Lips and been disappointed? Even if you’re not a big fan of their music the way they perform and the amount of effort they put into making the live experience perfect should earn them some respect. Lights, balloons, streamers, strings, explosions; all of this and more were a part of Flaming Lips’ Saturday night performance in Atlanta. They played some of their stranger songs like “See the Leaves” and “Pompeii am Götterdämmerung” as well as their more accessible hits like “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1” and “the Yeah Yeah Yeah Song.” They ended their beautiful and powerful live show with the all-out emotion-fest that is “Do You Realize??” which is probably their best song. It’s full of thought-provoking lyrics and is so powerful when performed live that it almost brought happy tears to my eyes. If you’ve lived this long without seeing Flaming Lips live, then I feel a bit of pity for you. But Flaming Lips tour very very often when they’re not busy paying tribute to King Crimson or Pink Floyd on record. So go out and see them. I did, and I have no complaints whatsoever. They’re the best band I saw this year, and probably the best band I’ve ever seen.

Mastodon, Opeth, and Ghost Tag-Team and Terrorize Atlanta

Mastodon, Opeth & Ghost 05/12/12

Masquerade  Music Park/Atlanta, GA

Words by JakobRoss424

Millions of years ago, before civilization existed outside of Mexico, the Aztecs (because screw the Mayans) predicted that one day, a tour would come along that would relentlessly and brutally destroy any town in its path. This tour would be known as the Heritage Hunter tour, featuring Opeth and Mastodon touring in support of their respective 2011 releases, Heritage and The Hunter. Opening for them would be the mighty Ghost, who hail from the dark depths of Hell. Or Sweden. One of the two.

Having seen none of these bands before, I knew right away I would be in for a treat. My dad and I arrived at the Masquerade Music Park (the larger venue located right outside the Masquerade) just as Ghost were opening up their fantastic albeit short set with Con Clavi Con Dio. As I made my way through the crowd, Ghost were making the transition into the second song, Elizabeth.

After Elizabeth, lead singer Papa Emeritus invited us, the Children of Georgia, to stare into the eyes of the Prime Mover, which flowed perfectly into the aptly titled Prime Mover.

I must say, I was surprised by the amount of people in the audience that were Ghost fans prior to the show. I saw numerous people singing along to songs such as Satan Prayer and the set-closing Ritual. But they also converted a few non-believers at the beginning of the show into huge fans by the end. If Ghost aren’t headlining venues this size within the next few years, then I will give up all hope in humanity. Their set may have been short, but Papa’s enchanting and hypnotic delivery had everyone eating out of the palm of his hand.

About 20 minutes after Ghost’s set ended, fellow Swedes Opeth took the stage to much applause. Lead singer Mikael Akerfeldt—who recently sustained a head injury—and friends bust into a pitch-perfect Devil’s Orchard, the opening track from the album they are touring in support of. Then they played another song from Heritage, I Feel the Dark.

“We are Opeth,” said Akerfeldt simply after I Feel the Dark ended. “Do you remember the song by Twisted Sister, I Wanna Rock?” he asked. “Well, do ya, motherf***ers?” I’m not quite sure if he was asking if we wanted to rock, or whether or not we knew the song. “This is a, uh, tribute to Ronnie Dio.” It was almost 2 years to the day since Dio died of stomach cancer. The song they paid tribute to him with was Slither.

I must say, I was greatly impressed by Opeth, whether it was the calmer, slower songs like Windowpane and Burden, or the one-two death metal punch (and set-closers) Demons of the Fall and The Grand Conjuration (the former inspired the first mosh pit of the night). Mikael Akerfeldt has a fantastic sense of humor, and it is tough not to sit there in awe of their sheer musicianship. Not even a head injury could stop Opeth from rocking.

As the sun set and the drizzle that formulated during Opeth’s set turned into actual rain, the crowd was getting anxious for its Mastodon fix. The hometown heroes were expected to really deliver tonight, and they did not disappoint.

Mastodon’s 17-18 song setlist relies mostly on their release The Hunter, from which they played every song. Their show kicked off with a tight rendition of Black Tongue, which folk songstress Feist covered recently for Record Store Day. Afterwards, Mastodon took a sharp turn right into 2006, playing two songs from that year’s release Blood Mountain. Hand of Stone was followed immediately by Crystal Skull. Then they continued with the new songs until the 10th song of the set, which was the title track from 2009’s stellar Crack the Skye. 11-14 were All the Heavy Lifting, Spectrelight, Curl of the Burl, and Bedazzled Fingernails. They took another break from The Hunter to perform two tracks from 2004’s Leviathan, Aqua Dementia and Blood and Thunder. They ended their set with The Hunter’s closing song The Sparrow.

One thing I noticed before they came back for a super-special encore was that not one member of the band said a word to the audience throughout the entire show. Not once did I hear “How are ya, Atlanta!?” or “Want some more?” or “Are you ready to ROCK!?” Nope. It wasn’t until after the encore performance of The Creature Lives did drummer Brann Dailor acknowledge us and thank us for coming.

The cool thing about the encore was that members of Opeth, Ghost (all the Nameless Ghouls, but no Papa Emeritus), as well as members of Mastodon’s family and friends came to sing it.

Overall, a consistently amazing show by three of the greatest heavy metal bands of the last decade. And after seeing the look on my dad’s face afterwards, I have a good feeling I’ll get the chance to see those bands again.


An Open Letter To Feist and Mastodon

An Open Letter To Feist and Mastodon

Dear Feist & Mastodon,

So there I was in the dentist chair this morning getting my face drilled once again (let this be a friendly reminder that not having dental insurance for a decade is no excuse for skipping your bi-annual cleanings) when I had what I would like to believe is a genius idea. To distract you from what is going on inside your mouth, my dentist has this big monitor where her victims patients can watch Hulu. Not being a huge fan of TV I am the one guy who heads to YouTube in search of a full concert performance from a band I love. On this particular trip, I stumbled upon a set that featured two artists I love – The Flaming Lips and Beck. Then it hit me, the world needs a Feistodon tour.

In case you are unfamiliar with what went down a decade ago, The Flaming Lips not only opened for Beck, they also performed as his backing band. The tour was a huge success for both artists and I know I have kicked myself numerous times for missing out. With the successful Record Store Day release of the Feistodon 7 inch, the next logical step is for these two powerhouses to hit the road together. Think about it, Mastodon comes out and warms up the crowd for 45 minutes. A quick set change and the lovely Leslie Feist takes the stage for a few solo songs. Next thing you know, Troy, Brent, Bill and Brann are sneaking onto the stage and backing the Canadian songbird for the rest of the night. We know that there is a mutual respect between both of you, so why not take this to the next level? Sure a few Feist fans may be scared of Mastodon and I have no doubt that a few Mastodon fans may not enjoy some of Feist’s more mellow moments but on a whole I know that a majority of fans from both sides are open minded and would eat this up.

So what do you say, let’s make this happen. I vote for a Halloween night kick off at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. For real, this gives Mastodon the chance to ‘twang’ it up a bit and explore new styles and it gives Feist a chance to re-imagine her back catalog. Hell perhaps Feist can sing Mastodon songs as well and you know the album Metals was made for Mastodon to play. So what are we waiting for, let’s make this fucking happen.

Thanks for your time and consideration of this once in a lifetime concert experience,

Reverend Justito

Concertconfessions.com

 

Ghost & Mastodon 04/26/12: Gibson Amphitheatre – Universal City, CA

Ghost & Mastodon 04/26/12

Gibson Ampitheatre – Universal City, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Universal Studios Hollywood is always a bizarre place to see a heavy metal show. As you make the long walk from your car to the Gibson Amphitheatre it’s hard not to laugh as metal fans stuff their faces with food court fair as tourists walk past and modern day Madonna songs blast upon the jumbotron. I actually thought it was an odd place for the Heritage Hunter Tour to be stopping in Southern California and upon seeing how many sections of seats were closed off inside the large venue it was at least refreshing to know my suspicions were correct. Undersold or not I was just excited to be catching Ghost and Mastodon together.

The show was set to kick off at 8:15 pm, but actually started around 8:13pm. As music you would hear on church during Sunday morning service rang through the PA many fans rushed in from the lobby to their seats. As the intro music faded the familiar bouncy bass line of “Con Clavi Con Dio” began and our ritual was underway. For thirty minutes Ghost enchanted the few diehards who made it into the venue while winning over every single individual smart enough to show up on time. Having spent a decade now living in Los Angeles, I don’t recall ever hearing a band refer to us as Tinsletown, but that is exactly what Papa Emeritus addressed us as. With the band’s February 2012 appearance at The Roxy being one of the best shows I have ever had the privilege of seeing, I knew a 30 minute opening slot would never be able to compare. While brief, it was still magical and I am still convinced that one day we will be watching Ghost headline venues this size in America. For the first time in my life I actually taped an entire performance of a band, and you can watch Ghost for yourself down below.

The last time I saw a show at Gibson Amphitheatre, Live Nation incompetence cost me a chance to see Mastodon. Thankfully that was not the case on this night. Having just seen the band in New Orleans last October, I was excited to see what they could do in a “headline” capacity. With their most recent release The Hunter being my top album of 2012, I was hoping for a set that was heavy on songs from the record and I got exactly that. Opening with “Black Tongue” we were in store for 75 minutes of hard hitting Mastodon action.

The group followed up “Black Tongue” by taking it back a few years to Blood Mountain. Both “Hand of Stone” and “Crystal Skull” got the mosh pit moving as an impressive light show caused more than one fan to fight of seizures. Yet after those two songs, the next 45 minutes was dedicated to material from The Hunter. With limited interaction of the crowd, highlights of this run of songs included “Dry Bone Valley,” “Octopus Has No Friends,” “Blasteroid” and of course the title track “The Hunter.”

The group snuck in a stellar version of “Crack The Sky” before going back to more songs from The Hunter. Instead of listing off all the songs the band played; let’s just say they didn’t play one of my favorites “Creature Lives.” That didn’t matter as the show was still incredible. The problem with Mastodon is that they are too good. It’s hard not to say cliché terms like “they killed it” or “brought the house down” because that is exactly what they do. Towards the end of the set, they did sneak in fan favorites “Aqua Dementia” and the mighty “Blood and Thunder” before closing with “The Sparrow.”

What I really love about Mastodon is that they change things up each time you see them. I do believe this was my 5th time seeing the band and I am inclined to say this was the best one yet. Phenomenal playing, killer light show and the sound was superb. As I am not a fan of Opeth (I have a ton of respect for them, but they tend to put me to sleep) I called it an early night and made the long walk back to the car grateful to catch two of the best live bands on the planet together on a Thursday night in Tinsletown.

2012 Ottawa RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Announces Lineup

2012 Ottawa RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Announces Lineup

We get a ton of email daily from Canadian citizens crying over the lack of festivals in their nation. Okay that is a giant lie I don’t think anyone from Canada has ever seen the site. That is also a lie. Regardless, another hour has passed and we have another festival to share with you. This one is in Ottawa which is in Canada and it lasts twelve days. It used to be called the Ottawa Bluesfest, but they decided to change the name to RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest. Now I will shut up and tell you who the hell is playing but only after I link you to the official site here so you can buy tickets and stuff. Oh and shockingly enough, Girl Talk is nowhere to be found on this lineup.

July 4th

Tangerine Dream, Tiesto, Alan Doyle, Riot Police, Fishbone, AWOLNATION, Fet.Nat, The Melvins, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Loon Choir, Akron Family, Billy Brag

July 5th

Charles Bradley, LMFAO, Fevers, The Strain, Plants and Animals, Mister Parker, Cole, Paul Oakenfold, Dry River Caravan, Johnny Sansone and Monkeyjunk

July 6th

Conor Oberst, City and Colour, Freelance Whales, David Gray, Kalle Mattson, Arkells, Kid SL, !!!, Tommy Lee and DJ Aero, Charles Bradley, Lake Street Dive, Winchester Warm

July 7th

Monster Truck, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Rory Gardiner, Hellbros, Sparrows, The Bright Light Social Hour, Marcia Ball, Lynn Drury, Toronzo Cannon, The Flats, Autumn’s Canon, Matt Dorgan Project, Philly Moves, DJ Illo, Mustard Pimp, MSTRKRFT, Downhere, Newworldson, Building 429, City Harmonic, She’s The One

July 8th

The Peptides, Jeff Rogers, The Bright Light Social Hour, Norah Jones, Seal, The Wooden Sky, Walk Off The Earth, Shred Kelly, Ashley Crnic, Amanda Bon, Keek, Orgone, Sierra Leone’s Refugee Allstars, Down With Webster, Chromeo, A Tribe Called Red, Drastik, Lukas Nelson, Flight Distance, Toronzo Cannon, Lynn Drury, TJ Wheeler, Deep Dark Woods, James Vincent McMorrow, The Royal Southern Brotherhood, Downchild Blues Band, Brea Lawrenson, Josef Pollock, Lucas Haneman, Tyler Kealy

July 9th

I Mother Earth, My Darkest Days, Nickleback

July 10th

Snoop Dogg, Zoo Legacy, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Jesse Greene Band, Carolyn Wonderland, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Deltron 3000, Chali 2na, Zeus, Damon Fowler, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Oliver Mtukudzi

July 11th

Thievery Corporation, Grimes, Big Wreck, Youth Lagoon, Good Old War, The Claytones, Blitzen Trapper, Rich Aucoin, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Alter Boys, Cody Allen Band, Carolyn Wonderland, Cassie Taylor

July 12th

The Pack A.D., John Mellencamp, The Love Machine, Sam Roberts Band, The White Wires, The Hold Steady, The Sheepdogs, Ariyan, Adam K, Arty, Terry Gillespie, Karen Lovely, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones

July 13th

Jordan Cook AKA Reignwolf, Our Lady Peace, Blue Rodeo, Become The Sun, Rudeboy, Dirty Heads, Young The Giant, Grandtheft, Drop The Lime, A-Trak, Mother’s Children, Bettye Lavette, Hey Rosetta!

July 14th

Skrillex, Beirut, Mastodon, Monophonics, Handsome Furs, Dirty Projectors, Fire and Neon, Tyga, The Souljazz Orchestra, 10CC, Shemekia Copeland, Amalgamation, Kelly Richey, Pat “Hatrack” Gallagher, Sound of Lion, Spencer Scharf

July 15th

The Ethics, Monophonics, K’naan, Metric, The Weeknd, Young Empires, The Bush Pilots, Birthday Girls, Victor Nesrallah, July Talk, The Balconies, Chains of Love, Detroit Cobra, The Trews, Wolfgang Gartner, Felix Cartal, Bzrk, Lazybones, Monkeyjunk, Current Swell

Mastodon Release Live Video For Dry Bone Valley

Mastodon Release Live Video For Dry Bone Valley

As you know by now, most of us are fans of Mastodon. We are pumped for the bands upcoming North American trek with Ghost (a band you should really check out if you have not yet heard them) and Opeth and will be confessing about stops in Los Angeles, Atlanta and hopefully Seattle. To get you in the mood, Mastodon has just released a live video for the track Dry Bone Valley which you can watch down below.

Big sexy love to our heroes over at Antiquiet for the heads up on this video. You can check out a complete list of dates for the Ghost/Opeth/Mastodon trek by clicking here.

 

Rock On The Range 2012 Lineup Revealed

Rock On The Range 2012 Lineup Revealed

Check Out The Lineup For The 2013 Rock On The Range Festival By Clicking Here!

Most events held at Crew Stadium in Columbus are trash. I say that because we all know that Ohio State Football is a joke. What is not a joke (minus a few bands) is the lineup for the 2012 Rock on the Range concert. To be held on May 18th and 19th, highlights of the line up include, The Darkness, Down, Megadeth, Mastodon and many more.

Tickets are on sale Friday Feb 10th, 2012. A full line up is below and make sure to check our coverage from Rock on the Range 2009 by clicking here. For up to the minute details, check out the official Rock on the Range website by clicking here.

Daily Line Up:

Friday Night 4play: Hairball; Foxy Shazam; Black Tide; Hells Bells…tribute to AC/DC.

Saturday, May 19: Incubus; Shinedown; Five Finger Death Punch; Slash; Cypress Hill; Chevelle; Theory of a Deadman; Halestorm; P.O.D.; Adelitas Way; Cavo; Bobaflex; Falling In Reverse; In This Moment; New Medicine; Kyng; Otherwise; Rival Sons; Emphatic; (Fox TV winner TBA).

Sunday, May 20: Rob Zombie; Marilyn Manson; Megadeth; Anthrax; Mastodon; Volbeat; The Darkness; Down; Escape The Fate; Lacuna Coil; Black Stone Cherry; Attack Attack!; Trivium; Redlight King; James Durbin; Aranda; 12 Stones; SOiL; Eve To Adam; Ghosts Of August.

 

Mastodon, Opeth & Ghost Team Up For North American Tour

Mastodon, Opeth & Ghost Team Up For North American Tour

Mastodon and Opeth have just released the dates for their monstrous “Heritage Hunter” North American Tour. The trek (which will feature Ghost performing the opening duties) will kick off April 4th in Portland, ME and wrap May 12th in Atlanta Georgia. Mastodon and Opeth will rotate the headliner spot depending on what market they are playing. Dates for the tour are listed below. Likewise if you do hit this show, don’t miss Ghost. One of the best bands to emerge the last few years, we caught their sold-out show at the Roxy and it was amazing. Click here to read all about it.

Apr. 04 – Portland, ME – State Theater (M)
Apr. 05 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theater (O)
Apr. 06 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis (O)
Apr. 07 – Toronto, ON – Sony Centre (O)
Apr. 09 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory(M)
Apr. 10 – Wallingford, CT – The Dome (M)
Apr. 11 – New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom (M)
Apr. 13 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre(M)
Apr. 14 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection (M)
Apr. 15 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE (M)
Apr. 16 – Knoxville, TN – TN Theater (O)
Apr. 18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom (M)
Apr. 19 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom (O)
Apr. 20 – San Antonio, TX – Back Stage Live (O)
Apr. 21 – Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street (O)
Apr. 23 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium (O)
Apr. 25 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues (M)
Apr. 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Gibson Amphitheatre (O)
Apr. 27 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre (O)
Apr. 28 – Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Resort (M)
Apr. 30 – Seattle, WA – The Paramount Showbox SODO (O)
May 01 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theatre (O)
May 03 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Events Center (O)
May 04 – Calgary, AB – MacEwan Hall (M)
May 05 – Saskatoon, SK – The Odeon (O)
May 06 – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre (O)
May 07 – Maplewood, MN – The Myth (O)

May 09 – Washington, DC – The Fillmore (O)
May 10 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore (M)
May 11 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues (M)
May 12 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Music Park (M)
(M) indicates Mastodon headline, (O) indicates Opeth headline

The Top 10 Jay Porks Experiences of 2011

As 2011 reaches a close, we take a look back at the year in concerts. In volume, I probably attend the least amount of total shows per year if you pool all of the contributors here at Concert Confessions. But never the less, by years end I will have reached 23 concerts, eclipsing last years total of 20. My only personal goal is to always get out to more shows then the year before. We did that in 2011, and here’s hoping we crack a bigger mark in 2012. Back to the reminiscing, here’s the Top Ten Jay Porks Exerperience’s of 2011

10)GWAR Music Hall of Williamsburg(2/20/11)

It was a cold night in February. I remember it like it was yesterday-it was the day before I was to get my Blackberry, and I remember the whole night being pissed about how if I would’ve gotten a new phone earlier that day I’d leave here tonight with better quality photos. Speaking of photos, the Reverend Justito was able to go through channels and gain me a photo pass for the first 3 songs of their set. It was at this time that I would stand about an arms distance from the late Cory Smoot/Flatimis Maximus while getting soaked in GWAR fluids, which would later add some difficulty to hailing a cab after the show-being that it looked like I was covered in blood. Awesome times [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXrJ0Kw6d_Y&w=480&h=360]

9)Slaughterhouse at SOB’s (5/25/11)

I know what your all thinking-How the hell does he throw Hip Hop into his Top Ten? Well, a week or so prior to Joe Budden replying to a Tweet of mine setting off a back and forth which gained me a collective middle finger from his fan base, he played with Slaughterhouse at SOB’s. This is the show that made me buy the tickets to see the man solo at Irving Plaza, and even though that was terrible, I can’t deny what Budden, Royce Da 5’9′, ‘Joell Ortiz’ and ‘Crooked I’ did to the stage at SOB’s that night. And that was setting it on fire. Also, one of the openers ‘Emilio Rojas’, I promise you will headline shows in 2012. He sounded like the future.

8)Chris Cornell @ Town Hall(4/13/11)

With a Soundgarden full on reunion tour not yet confirmed, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Mr. Chris Cornell on his Solo Acoustic Songbook Tour. The hair is back, and in full Jesus mode Cornell blessed us with hits from Soundgarden, Audioslave, his own solo catalog and mixed in a Beatles cover along with a, brace yourselves, acoustic cover of Ghostland Observatory’s “Sad Sad City”.

7)Dinosaur Jr w/ Henry Rollins, OFF and Fucked Up @ Terminal 5 (6/23/11)

Overlooking the balcony on the 3rd floor of Terminal 5 for an epic night of events. If it wasn’t enough that I was seeing Dinosaur Jr., we had Keith Morris in the building with his latest band. OFF!. In addition to that we had the critical acclaimed “Fucked Up”. And the frosting for the cake, Henry Freakin’ Rollins interviewed Dinosaur Jr on stage before their set, an interview I captured in it’s entirety and it up on YouTube. Also got most of their set, they had great lighting and my spot was of epic proportions. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n0mEa2r_hM&w=480&h=360]

6)Local H Mercury Lounge (4/21/11)

Local H is one of those bands that will probably always find there way on my year end best list if they come around to my neck of the woods, and that’s just what happened. Not only that, but they were booked for an “Early show” at the Mercury Lounge-which means doors at 7PM and show was to end promptly at 9:30. No problem for Scott Lucas and Brian St. Clair, who kicked out about 20 jams in the time they had on stage, including 2 songs from a forthcoming Local H record: “Cold Matter” and “Another February”(which I have video of below this paragraph). Covered ‘Joey’ by Concrete Blonde and “Wolf Like Me” courtesy of TV on the Radio. During Wolf Like Me, Scott came off stage with his guitar and played, like, into the camera was recording with and eventually was jamming out leaning against me as people snapped photos of him in the crowd. What Mercury Lounge is great for in not having security so I can tape, they suck at lights-and there is no conclusive proof of this on video. At least my buddy who I met into at the Lemonheads show says he remembers me from the crowd and remembers seeing that happen. Got an autograph from Mr. Lucas after the show and gave it to my friend Pam, who was defeated by New York City traffic trying to make it there. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sXiip0fN78&w=480&h=360]

5)Flaming Lips&Weezer Get Freaky On The Same Stage PNC (7/28/11)

So when I saw the show listed on Ticketmaster it was billed “Weezer/Flaming Lips” yet when my ticket arrived in the mail it said “Flaming Lips/Weezer”. I figured at the least I save myself time seeing some crap opener, as I like both these bands. As the show drew near, it was announced that the bands would both set their gear up on stage, and take turns playing songs back and forth. Now isn’t this interesting? And it turned out to be even way more fun then I imagined. With limited time, sort of, Weezer wasn’t able to squeeze into their set a bunch of songs I hate. Plus they kicked off the night both bands on stage playing Black Sabbath’s “Sweat Leaf” with Wayne Coyne and Rivers Cuomo floating the pit area in space bubbles. After 2 hours of back and forth hits from both bands, they shared the stage again to play “She Don’t Use Jelly” followed by “Undone(The Sweater Song)” before going off. Awesomeness. I was still giddy as I wrote the review on a plane flying off to Washington State-that’s a hint for things to come on this list. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d2iws3WKGc&w=480&h=360]

We have a tie for 3rd/4th place:

3)Meat Puppets (11/4/11) & in Teaneck, NJ (11/6/11)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cw28zvA_Xk&w=480&h=360]

The Meat Puppets returned to New York City for the first time in 2 years to play Le Poisson Rouge. They would play 2 nights later in Teaneck, NJ at Mexicali Live with me in attendance as well. It’s a tie because on both nights they would equally scorch the stage they played frying hearts and minds-yet it was two totally different experiences for me despite the set list not varying much. Night one in NYC I got backstage, and was able to hang with the boys before the show and even got to meet Sean Yseult (bass player who started a little band called White Zombie with dude named Rob), who was nothing less then a bad ass chick-I mean that in the awesome sense. But after all that it ended up I couldn’t get a good spot up front and had to extend my arm up full length when recording songs(the good news being I don’t have to hide my camera from anyone, being the Social Media Assistant for the band I am actually permitted and encouraged to do so).

Two nights later I meet up with Pam in Teaneck, NJ-a little hidden spot of Northern New Jersey I never even knew existed. My intentions on this night are to finally show off my favorite band still touring to one of my good friends- [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yeJftK_l5Q&w=480&h=360]
one of the few friends I have in real life who’s musical taste I respect. She’s never seen them, and this was to be my 9th time. Check this out, you know that band Black Box Revelation that’s been blowing up by the show? Yea, they opened up this one before they set off w/ Beady Eye on tour a week or so later. They were awesome. And my great spot for video during this Meat Puppets set as oppose to they Friday night set is not even comparable. I got everything I needed to get and more. About halfway during set Pam says to me “This drummer is amazing”. That drummer is Shandon Sahm (son of Doug Sahm, I’m gonna let you use Wikipedia for this one), and for the nights encore as it would have been Doug Sahm’s 70th Birthday day, we saw Curt Kirkwood relinquish his guitar to Shandon and took a seat at the drum kit. They then played “She’s About A Mover”, a Sir Douglas Quintet cover with Curt on drums and Shandon Sahm singing and playing guitar. Got Curt to autograph Pam’s ticket after the show. Freaking amazing weekend of the Meat Puppets, hence my tie for 3rd/4th place. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTZw1SJbg4g&w=480&h=360]

2)Ween Hammerstein Ballroom: Halloween 2011

For a second year in a row through circumstances beyond their control, Ween fall one spot short of the top spot on my best shows of 2011 list. It was Halloween, it was WEEN at Hammerstein Ballroom in the city. We tore the seated section 103 apart, stacking chairs creating a standing room frenzy. They did another “Evening w/ Ween” which includes no opening acts-and played for the better part of three hours dressed up for Halloween in skimpy sailor outfits. It was amazing, and even through picking up the pieces of my face on the way out the door-the number one spot had already been locked in. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn820V9WMhw&w=480&h=360]

1)Soundgarden, QOTSA, Mastodon,& the Meat Puppets @ The Gorge 7/30/11

Remember when I said I was writing the Flaming Lips/Weezer review on a plane heading to Washington State? Yea well, that was one insane weekend. With tour guides TheNaturalStoner and Mr. Sparkly taking care of me, we were off on Saturday July 30th of 2011 to the Gorge Amphitheater to see Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and THE MEAT PUPPETS. This was before any Meat Puppets dates were locked for NYC so I had to make sure I caught them right? Plus opening for Soundgarden?!? A band I’ve been waiting to see for years and years. And sandwich in Queens of the Stone Age, which I missed out on a presale from their NYC show in March and how can we think this could get any better? Well, it got better as soon as we were at the top of the grassy hill looking down at the stage camped so behind it is the beautiful Columbia River and mountainside. 18,000 people get in this place, standing room exclusive. If it wasn’t enough that I got to see the Meat Puppets for the 7th time that night, I also got to see Soundgarden close out strong. And while Queens of the Stone Age kicked out songs I love, like “Go With The Flow” & “No One Knows” ,with the sun setting and beams of light bouncing off the river and silhouetting the people on the lawn.. man that 8-10 minutes right there may have been the greatest moment of my life(well, besides Jen Cartiglia). We had from what I counted 5 of us Concert Confessioners in attendance- Myself, TheNaturalStoner & Mr. Sparkly in one tent trying to get texts through to Phishbeard to meet up with us, while at the same time we tried to gain WiFi to find Jakob. The whole Washington experience blew me away, and the show being that epic wasn’t hurting matters either. Camped out afterward sleeping on a folding chair using a sleeping bag as a blanket starring up at the stars, which I can actually see in a state without the air pollution that New York City contains. Woke everyone around us camping up early due to my phone’s alarm clock still being on east coast time. The video I share below is not one that I shot, but shot by TheNaturalStoner. Since I was standing right next to him anyway, and his camera is way better then mine, here you go: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iou9tnsHt6w&w=640&h=360]

Honorable Mentions!!

I seriously wanted to put Charlie Sheen’s Violent Torpedo of Truth tour in here, but I didn’t want to take the crap from all the trolls out there who DIDN’T attend…But damn that was a pretty freaking epic night, awesome times with friends.. hence it’s honorable mention.

-Phish, Night 1 of their MSG New Years Eve run was pretty funky as well, had this list not been done before I attended the show on 12/28/11, it would have been up for nomination

Jakob’s Top 10 Concerts of the Year

Jakob’s Top 10 Concerts of the Year

 

I’ve been to a ton of concerts this year, thanks in part to my awesome Dad for putting up with my concert-going needs. Well out of the many I’ve been to this year, here are my top 10. I am not doing top 10 live bands, but the top 10 shows. So here we go.

10. Social Distortion 02/12/11 – Showbox SoDo – Seattle, WA

Although I didn’t write a review of this show (I hadn’t discovered CC yet), this is the show that kicked off my 2011 concert season. Punk legends Social Distortion playing three sold out nights in a row in Seattle is just an outstanding feat. They played a great setlist and they were loud and crazy. Mike Ness and the boys may be kinda old, but they still put out great music and put on great shows (Photo from 10/29/11).

9. Matisyahu 07/28/11 – Oregon Zoo – Portland, OR

Two days before seeing Soundgarden at the Gorge, I was seeing Hassidic reggae/rapper Matisyahu at the Portland Zoo. Matisyahu put on an energetic, albeit short, concert to a mostly Jewish crowd (I think there was a Hebrew school field trip there). There was certainly more weed than I expected, but it was a cool show with great vibes. Oh and being Jewish makes it more of a rite of passage than a concert.

8. Bush 09/15/11 – Neptune Theater – Seattle, WA

I also had the pleasure of not only seeing but also being the youngest person seeing 90s post-grunge superstars Bush. After a decade-long breakup, the British band got back together for a tour that hit theaters and small clubs. Seeing them at the brand new venue The Neptune Theater just made it that much cooler, and Bush put on a brilliant show that rocked very hard. Gavin Rossdale sings better than I’ve ever heard him before.

7. Bumbershoot Music Festival 09/04/11 – Seattle, WA

Bumbershoot is an annual music/arts festival that takes place at the Seattle Center. While 2010’s festival sported big name acts like Weezer, Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Meat Puppets, Hole, and Rise Against, this year’s festival was headlined by Wiz Khalifa, Presidents of the United States of America, Ray LaMontagne, and Hall and Oates. I was almost not gonna go until I won tickets for day 2 of the festival. I was able to see bands like The Kills (kind of), Butthole Surfers, Atari Teenage Riot, NoMeansNo, and internet comedy act The Gregory Brothers.

6. System of a Down 05/13/11 – Key Arena – Seattle, WA

The recently reunited alternative metal band System of a Down did a short west coast tour earlier this year, including Seattle’s own Key Arena. Not only that, but they chose gypsy punk collective Gogol Bordello to open for them, a band I happen to love. Both bands put on amazing shows, with SOAD playing a 29-song set. It was also my very first review. (Read with caution).

5. Echo Movement 07/13/11 – Studio Seven – Seattle, WA

Unfortunately, there are people out there unaware of Echo Movement’s mind-warpingly fantastic music. Lead singer Stephen Fowler and his brother, keyboardist, Dave, are the greatest songwriting duo since Lennon-McCartney. They inspire nothing but good vibes, and they are some of the nicest dudes ever. So take their motto to heart, and “listen to Echo Movement.”

4. Zeds Dead (12/9):

Say what you will about dubstep, I love it. The overall energy and feel of it just makes me want to get up and dance way more than Ke$ha ever will. Skrillex has more talent in his ridiculous glasses than Ke$ha does in her whole body. Well anyway, Toronto-based dubstep duo Zeds Dead (named after the famous Pulp Fiction quote) rocked the house with their rockin’ house music (see what I did there?). After numerous songs mashed into one (nonstop!), they encored with The Pixies‘ Where is My Mind?, and Weezer’s Say It Ain’t So. Long story short, see a dubstep show.

3. Deck the Hall Ball 2011 12/07/11 – Key Arena – Seattle, WA


After days of bugging my dad to get me tickets to this show, I had to settle with the upper seating area of Key Arena. It was ok, though. I had a great view of great bands such as Mumford and Sons, Death Cab for Cutie (blech), Cage the Elephant, Foster the People, Young the Giant, Two Door Cinema Club, and Grouplove. The show was almost overwhelming with its sheer beauty, and it may have been more of a Christmas show (I am Jewish), but it was still wonderful.

2. Sasquatch 2011 Day 1 05/27/11 – Gorge Amphitheater – George, WA


Unfortunately, I only had the opportunity to see one night of the world-famous Sasquatch Festival. Fortunately, though, I was able to see Foo Fighters, one of the biggest bands in the galaxy. I also got the chance to see newly reunited garage rock duo Death From Above 1979, and new punk lords Against Me! The drive to the Gorge that day may have been difficult, but dancing to “Everlong” with strangers totally made up for it (Click here to read our review of Sasquatch Day 1 from our pals thenaturalstoner and Phishbeard.

1. Soundgarden w/ Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and Meat Puppets 07/30/11 – The Gorge – George, WA


No doubt, this is the best show I’ve been to. Not only did I have the opportunity to see the newly reunited Gods of grunge metal, but I got to see them with alt-rock stoners Queens of the Stone Age, muscular man metal band Mastodon, and classic indie rockers Meat Puppets. PLUS: I got to see them at the beautiful and fantastic Gorge Amphitheater. Soundgarden played through their classics, and I left the Gorge feeling tired and sore. Twas an awesome show.

I hope you enjoyed my Top 10!

Here’s to another great year of concerts. *coughREDHOTCHILIPEPPERS*cough*TOOL*cough*NOELGALLAGHER*cough*BONNAROO*

-Jakob

Voodoo Music Experience 10/29/11: City Park – New Orleans, LA

Voodoo Music Experience 10/29/11:

City Park – New Orleans, LA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

There is something to be said for having an adventure thousands of miles from home. My latest just happened to be a Saturday spent at City Park in New Orleans, LA. For years I have heard of the Voodoo Music Experience yet living 2000 miles away it’s not the easiest festival to attend. While my original plans for all three days fell through, I was able to at least take in one day of the long running music festival.

The adventure began with me hopping a street car from the Central Business District down to City Park. Public transportation in unknown cities can always be a bit nerve wracking but thankfully the $1.25 ride across town went as smooth as could be. Our street car operator pointed out places to get everything from Turtle Soup to Bacon Wrapped Donuts. He even allowed some local youth to pay for a ride on the car in candy. End of the line was City Park and I followed my fellow concert goers through the front of the park to the gates of the festival.

Upon entering, the first stage I stumbled upon was the Red Bulletin stage. Located next to some body of water, about 12 dozen kids were sitting on the lawn as Carmine P. Filthy did his DJ thing. This was the last kind of music I was looking for at just past 1pm so I headed deeper into the park to experience some sounds of New Orleans.

Over the next hour, I caught portions of sets by Treme Brass Band and Soul Rebels Brass Band w/ Cyril Neville. I’ll admit, I don’t check out many bands of this style, but when in Rome how can you not? I personally enjoyed Soul Rebels set more, mainly because as younger men they had much more energy and a more modern feel.

After walking around checking out the various foods and vendors for a while I took up residence at the main stage for a long haul. I was shocked to see next to no one at the main stage when I arrived but that probably had a lot to do with the fact that not only was it early, but that The Revivalists were butchering an Eminem song. The one good thing about such a terrible band performing on stage was the fact I was able to secure a spot three rows back. Pretty sweet spot for a stage that had at least 50,000 fans rocking out at it later in the day if I do say so myself.

Boots Electric

Boots Electric (also known as Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal) came to New Orleans to share songs from his recently released solo record Honkey Kong. As a long time fan of Boots, the first few songs of the set were rough. I chalked it up to the fact that the new group would have been better placed on a smaller stage but as it turns out the city of New Orleans was to blame. In between songs like “I Love You All The Thyme” and “Boots Electric Theme” it was shared that the swaggering front man had been awake enjoying New Orleans for about 96 hours. Clearly on his twelfth wind, where the music lacked one couldn’t help but root Boots on in hopes he could make it through the sun drenched set. Not even Eagles of Death Metal songs like “Whorehoppin (Shit, Goddamn)” and “Speaking in Tongues” managed to draw interest from a sparse crowd mainly looking to pop their Blink 182 cherry later in the night. It’s always fun to rock with Boots, but next time I hope it’s in a small club well after the sun has set.

Mastodon

Following Boots Electric was the mighty men from Atlanta known as Mastodon. The bands late afternoon slot on the main stage was the set I was looking forward to most at Voodoo and they did not disappoint. The four piece did a fine job of mixing songs from the recently released album The Hunter as well as plenty of classics from yesteryear. Still planted three rows back, I had assumed the Mastodon fans would make their way up front for some larger than life mosh pits. While a few drunk knuckleheads did try (and fail) to crowd surf, the Blink fans managed to hold their ground forcing the circle pit to be located about 40-50 feet back from the guard rail. I get the feeling this took an effect on the band as they tried yet were unsuccessful in getting a majority of the crowd energized as they bashed out songs like “Spectrelite”, “Crack The Skye” and “Bedazzled Fingernails.” Where Boots and crew were lost upon the big stage, Mastodon and their monstrous sounds made the place feel small. While there are still a few kinks to work out within the new songs, Mastodon came and conquered Voodoo Experience and confirmed my assumption that they would be the highlight of my day.

 

Social Distortion

As the sun began to set on City Park, the festival began to feel a lot like home. With quick set changes, all the older punks with faded tattoos and slicked back hair found their way to the front of the stage for the hard working tales of Mr. Mike Ness.  With their hour long dinner time set, Social Distortion did an outstanding job of performing material spanning their lengthy career. When not joking about puking up your booze upon the Festivals small selection of carnival rides, Ness and company gave it their all on songs such as “Story of My Life”, “Bakersfield” and a reworked version of “Prison Bound.” One thing I never thought I would see as part of a Social Distortion show 15 years ago was an acoustic guitar, but it actually worked (as did the ragtime honkytonk piano). Having seen Social Distortion numerous times in the past the band never disappoints and Voodoo was just another example of this. As the band wrapped their set with a cover of Johnny Cash’s classic “Ring of Fire” I decided to leave my cozy spot at the main stage in search of more California sounds within City Park.

X

X was one of those funky festival sets where you are there, but not really there. I had a quick snack. I watched the legends blast out song after song from their debut album Los Angeles as I stood in line for porta-potties (and here I thought Outside Lands had it bad). Then I found a spot, taped the title track while braving two young men smoking something from tin foil. Moved, found another spot only to have someone almost puke on me so I end up saying enough is enough it’s time to go check out Snoop Dogg.

Snoop Dogg

By the time I worked my way back to the main stage, the area was packed. I headed back to my stage left side however I couldn’t get to a good angle especially with the video camera passing back and forth right in front of my face. So I found another spot much further back and the pride of Long Beach paced back and forth upon the stage in a Marcus Colston New Orleans Saints jersey. When various members of Snoops entourage were not encouraging the crowd to light up on Cannabis, the collective were cranking out Snoop’s biggest hits. “Beautiful” “Gin and Juice” and even some Dr. Dre joints pleased the predominantly white rock crowd. Having never witnessed Snoop live before, it was fun but about ½ through the set I found myself bored. So I decided it was time to head over to the first stage I found at Voodoo and get a prime spot for Girl Talk.

Kreayshawn

Before we can discuss Girl Talk, let’s discuss Kreayshawn. For as bad as I thought the two songs by The Revivalists were, this may be the most God awful shit I have ever witnessed.

Girl Talk

As you may recall, I ragged my nads off with Girl Talk at Outside Lands in San Francisco earlier this year as I had already seen major headliner Muse twice within the year. I made the same call at Voodoo, this time skipping Blink 182 for Mr. Gillis. I caught no less than seven Blink 182 shows before the bands hiatus and with their new album being one of the worst I have heard this year I knew exactly how I wanted to wrap my Voodoo experience. Hitting the stage in a Freddy Krueger costume, Girl Talk was the right call as I had a blast dancing my ass off during his hour long set. As a human being blessed with the gift of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, his unique blend of all genres of music makes my soul happy. It didn’t matter how tired I was or how bad my feet already hurt, the man made my fat white ass groove.

I ended up leaving Girl Talk’s set a few minutes early as I had heard many fans share horror tails of how hard it was to take public transportation back towards the French Quarter the night before. Walking towards the 91 bus almost an hour before the festival came to a close I couldn’t help but have a grin larger than Snoop Dogg’s cross my face. Sure, things didn’t go as I planned for Voodoo and I this year, but the fact is I got to spend a day in City Park with some great acts. I met some amazing folks, including one Tulane Student who graduated from the same Junior High as I did. I visited the Third Man Records truck and almost had my beard died green. While Voodoo didn’t work out for three days as I expected, it was the unexpected that had the biggest impact on me. For a city that was destroyed six years ago, New Orleans is on the upswing once again and just by being there spending my hard earned money I was able to not only help rebuild a place with a rich history, but help every single person who never gave up on their hometown. A truly magical experience, I hope one day I can return to City Park and Voodoo all over again.

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

Jay Porks Heads Out West for Soundgarden, QOTSA, Mastodon & The Meat Puppets! 7/30/11

Spent much of this weekend just staring around in amazement, repeating the phrase “Holy freaking God” over and over again. This is a special 53rd installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series as it took us to Newark Airport, where I hopped on a plane and came out to Washington State(Home of the Cougs) to meet up with some of the Northwest chapter of Concert Confessions: thenaturalstoner ,Mr Sparkly (Who Are Hosting Me) and possibly another 3 as at last check we were to have five Concert Confessioners  who will be in attendance at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA for the epic bill of Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and The Meat Puppets on an awesome summer Saturday … Had NOOOO idea what I was getting myself into..

‘We’re not at PNC Bank Arts Center anymore’ is the thought in my head as we start to drive into the campground.. yea that’s right I said it, campground. A sea of tents pitched everywhere, people getting wasted everywhere; and this place was about 1000 times the size of ANY venue I’ve ever been to in my homeland on the Least coast. If I was at this show by myself, there’s no way camping out all night would’ve even been a thought in my head. We don’t camp in NYC, we take sweaty train rides after shows and get home at 2AM… but there I was after the show sleeping on a folding chair outside the tent using a sleeping bag as a blanket , but trust me we will get to all that later.

So we pitch a tent, camp out and pre-funk for a little while.. we decide to head down to the box office and claim the photo passes that were left for us through me via Meat Puppets personnel.. To not run off on a tangent here, lets just send out thanks over to those imbeciles (Livenation) that run the box office at this place for fucking that photo pass experience up for me. If I wasn’t walking over this hill and seeing heaven on the other side, I’d be super pissed-as opposed to just really pissed.

So after several up hill climbs through the scorching hot sun (Yea, I came to Washington State and didn’t see one drop of rain, not one CLOUD my entire time here! False advertisement right there-I thought I was escaping the heat), we finally make it to the the gigantic mountainside that is The Gorge Amphitheater.. I’ve been to venues with lawn based seating, but this is ONLY lawn seating and the hill is a hell of a lot of steeper then the one at PNC in Homdel or that similar, bigger venue in Camden, NJ.. and it’s not a polluted highway behind the stage, it’s a freaking river. It’s like this piece of land split in half causing a canyon to open-and they placed a stage in the middle. I know I sound a little too blown away by seeing the Northwest -but I’m from the city, this is all new to me. A one mile stretch without a cement building is something I’ve never seen before-let alone a valley(or a “Gorge” they might say).

Meat Puppets come out at 6PM with the guns blazing, they were heavy from the start..I knew it was gonna be “Oh, Me”  to kick it off by the sound of the guitar jingles.. but I didn’t know they were going to come out that intense with it. I was thrilled to see as many people down on the cement area in front of the stage(every part of this place is general admission-lawn tickets get you everywhere here) can walk down to the front and get rocking out.. Because I know a lot of people are missing them right now, and that sucks. Jumped into “Sam”, the lyrical demonstration that it is..moving faster than R.E.M.’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it”.. Then “Plateau”, which was fitting considering we hiked many hills and plateau’s to arrive where we are. Except there was way more “nothing at the top” at this Plateau, there was the freaking Meat Puppets right in front of me for the seventh time. It was the first time I’ve ever seen Curt Kirkwood use his Les Paul live with my own eyes before, the six times on the east coast I’ve seen them he played his teal Fender Strat.. That’s a query I need answered: Is it a coastal thing? Not like they sound any different, it’s just something that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. “Backwater” followed, the one Meat Puppets song I was able to get played on the radio when I was the in-studio guest at my local college radio station a week ago(88.9FM WSIA or www.WSIA.fm), so we were diggin our heels in, and again I loved the people up front so into it. That one time I caught the Pups as a first opener there was like 30 of us there at a 3500+ capacity venue it saddened me.. so glad I’m in WA. When they followed Backwater with “Sloop John B” (Beach Boys cover) I started getting really excited. Not for Sloop John B so much as for the fact that I was completely sold on the fact they would play “Hey Baby Que Paso”, I’ve been going over the lyrics to the song with the kitchen staff at my day job for months. Then I recognize the little lead in that’s about to be “Lake of Fire”.. as much as I love that freakin’ song, it hurt like a stab in the chest because I knew the set was ending in a little over 7 minutes when the end this song.. Damn, I figured this venue would give them at least 40 mins, they got a half hour, if not less. Again I’m not exactly from around these parts, but I know for a fact that the Meat Puppets didn’t request to only play six songs. I think doors should’ve opened earlier and had longer sets for the bands. It’s not like we’re in a residential area here-we’re all camping here all night.. I just don’t get it. The boys were done at 6:30

Which brings me to my next point: If there’s one band to remove from this bill to make this a full out amazing Ménage à trois of great bands playing long sets, which one would it be? Who’s the odd man out here? Then at 6:48 when Mastodon came out and we started to make our way back up the lawn, that was the question wondered aloud. And lets not take this as a shot at Mastodon, they do what they do and judging by the herds of people heading down for their set-they do it well. Caught them on the BlackDiamondSkye tour at it’s Madison Square Garden stop …so as they plowed through their 40 minutes set while we were walking up the mammoth lawn, they were plenty loud enough where we heard the entire set no matter how far away from the stage we went.

Another wild card to the evening, what is Queens of the Stone Age going to play? They’ve been on a album-themed tour, playing their first record in it’s entirety.. and we just had a 30 minute set followed by a 40 minute set. It’s 7:53 when they came out, there is a lot of show left tonight.

Not recognizing the first four songs was the indicator that this first album thing was going down. First song I recognized was “Giveth Then Take It Away”.. a little while later we had Josh Homme, who is the man by the way, saying “everyone’s waiting for it to get dark so they could do all those things they can’t do in the light” … introduced a song called “Make It Wit-Chu”, saying it was a song for the ladies. Then suddenly out of no where we turn and two people just got engaged during the song-now obviously that guy was aware of what the set list was going to be, we should’ve found him… from that guy popping the question and onward was magic.. my eyes are drawn to the left, as I notice the sun is beginning to set. I know it’s happens everyday, but man during those last three songs “Little Sister”, “Go with the Flow” and “No One Knows” with the sun setting and beams of light bouncing off the river, silhouetting the people on the lawn.. man that 8 minutes or so right there may have been the greatest moment of my life (well, besides Jen Cartiglia of course). They went off at 8:43.. epicness

So it’s coming up on 9 and Soundgarden is on deck.. Little note to keep in mind for the duration of Soundgarden’s set-I hate Eddie Vedder, and I hate Pearl Jam-personal preference, lets not muddy this up. Anyway, being the last show on Soundgarden’s tour and being in their backyard(even though Eddie Vedder is from California,he wears flannel so he can say he’s from there) combined with my luck I had a bad feeling we’d be having a Temple of the Dog section of the set and me in tears during everyone’s glee. All the awesome stuff I’ve seen over here in Washington, this gorgeous venue, this epic adventure can easily be turned into another Jay Porks Bogus Journey. I hate to be the one guy in the building praying for it not to happen(no I don’t), but I think I’m the only one in the building who traveled 3000+ miles for this. If would be the equivalent to finding out the hottest girl you know has a penis.

Save the suspense, as we can read in Jakob’s review, there was no PJ sighting, no Vedder appearances, no Hunger Strike or whatever non sense it is that they do…Also in Jakob’s review he mentions the bootleg tee shirts they were selling outside the venue.. it had all four bands listed on it. Not only did it have the wrong Meat Puppets drummer on it in the picture, but above the words Queens of the Stone Age was a picture of Pearl Jam. I, of course, bought this shirt. With Vedder staring right at me, didn’t notice it til the next day.. (I can’t get away from this guy). So besides that, I’m also thinking “How is Soundgarden going to top this? Seriously, what are they going to do, play a 2 hour set of nothing but their best?”

To answer the question in my last paragraph-Hell yes. It’s exactly what Soundgarden did. The sky was still a bit pink as the sun was behind the mountains. I don’t care how far away I was the sound if freaking golden on some of these videos I got.. 9:10 was the official first riff. And speaking of video, “Spoonman” was the 2nd song in.. “Gun” followed. This place is rocking like I’ve never seen a place rock before. And I got to see “Jesus Christ Pose”! For that girl screaming it in the row in front of me at Town Hall a few weeks back for Cornell’s Acoustic Songbook tour. See, 2 years ago when Soundgarden said they were getting back together, I didn’t think I’d have to wait this long to see them-I thought they’d do some heavy touring-they never did. So these guys were going to have to earn it blowing me away tonight.. and when “Blow up the Outside” smacked me in the face, I knew they were doing just that. Seeing Cornell acoustic songbook tour gave me a reminder that I needed to see this band live, one day, some how. Blow up the Outside at Town Hall just didn’t pack the punch that I needed it too-now here, it’s laying heavy fists to my face repeatedly..

 Just an observation here, what’s up with the little slowed down version of “Black Hole Sun”? That’s the song I need to blow up in my face, not the song I can’t wait to hear toned down a bit-but that’s my only critique here about this set, and its minor. I’m just sayin’.. he’s screaming like hell on every other song so it’s not like he’s voice is out.. And then it was only 10:18 when the song ended, which begs the question: So when do they start packing up here? I’m not used to seeing bands just keep playing awesome songs for hours .. everyone else had short sets, who knows.. And keep in mind Vedder walking around the back of my head, me thinking I was going to have to walk out and meet the group at the campground.. Out of no where, Chris Cornell, in one of the more humorous displays I’ve seen, got pissed off that the NBA took Seattle’s basketball team. I don’t know what got him, maybe he spotted a Sean Kemp jersey in the crowd- but he starts saying “Man, they fucking took away our team-It’s fucking bullshit to take away a basketball team!”

Fell on Black Days, My Wave..-they’re still kicking out the fucking jams. During “Burden in my Hand” I asked thenaturalstoner if the lyrics were actually “I shot my load today”.. then around 10:40 he turns and is like “Pretty Noose and I’m good”.. Freaking psychic is what he is, and I forgot how much I love that song. Played “Rusty Cage” and “Head Down” right before it….By now I’m playing with house money, I had stopped taking pictures(or little video snippets) for a while to just sit back and enjoy this.. I’m in the Pacific Northwest watching Soundgarden tear the place apart. We kept saying to each other (Mr Sparkly by now is down front and apparently found Phish Beard) “So what else you think they got?, what else can they play?”

Well they could play , “Head Down” and“Outshined”before topping us off with  “Superunknown” before ducking off at 10:52, only to come back out at 10:56 and rock three more songs. On the last song they rocked out and eventually drifted into a pure feedback orgy.. it made me want to cream my pants. They distorted sounds from 11:13 to 11:20, and that’s when the sound was turned down.. it was over.

This is usually the time where I gloat about catching whatever scheduled train I need.. but not the case tonight.. we’re climbing back up the hill and all the way down back to the campsite, where we will spend the night in the tent.. not for nothing, NYC’s been sweltering the last few weeks.. and here, unlike home, when the sun goes down it actually cools off significantly.. I had an extremely comfortable folding chair, plenty of bud and brews- I said “fuck it , pass my sleeping bag over, now it’s a blanket”. After the show while we’re (Me and thenaturalstoner until Mr Sparkly eventually showed up, minus Phishbeard) discussing the night’s proceedings (so glad to be at a show with these dudes, usually when I’m telling a random cab driver or some stranger about an epic night, I spend most of the discussion explaining to them who the bands are. NY is so lame).. main topic is Sparkly being quoted to saying he was “Underwhelmed”.  And we’re just about to delve into this deep convo about what show he was watching,  those dickheads camped out next to us who where annoying as hell before the show ended up showing up and annoyed the crap out of us all over again. All of a sudden the drummer has a mouth. These dudes say they’re in a band that “sounds like NOFX and Blink 182” named after some actor I can’t remember the name of now. Anyway, your band sounds like NOFX/Blink 182? Yea, that’s just about the time we called it a night.

A side note, my alarm on my phone set to 930 eastern time woke us, and the rest of the surrounding campers up.. seems I’m the only one who didn’t hear it until I was awoken.. So we packed up, and headed into Spokane to catch Willie Nelson at the Northern Quest Casino and Resort before I fly home Monday… Awesomeness.

Soundgarden/Queens of the Stone Age/Mastodon/Meat Puppets at the Gorge!!! 7/30/11

Soundgarden/Queens Of The Stone Age/Mastodon/Meat Puppets 07/30/11

Gorge Amphitheater – George, WA

Words/Photos by Jakobross424

On July 30, two epic concerts graced the west coast. One of them was LA Rising, which featured Rage Against the Machine, Muse, and Rise Against. The other was at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington. The bands included Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon and Meat Puppets. Many other Concert Confessions writers were there that night, so here was one side to the same story. My dad and I got to the Gorge with little to no trouble. We didn’t get lost, there was no traffic, we got a good parking spot, and we arrived an hour and a half before doors opened. So with time to kill, we cranked up the Echo Movement and we chilled. At around 3:15 or so, a heavy metal looking dude with a nipple ring came up to us and asked us if we wanted to buy a shirt. I’d experienced this before, it was a bootleg. But it was cool and $20, so we bought it. I looked at the back where it showed all the bands, and saw a picture of Pearl Jam above the Queens of the Stone Age logo. Upon questioning the heavy metal looking dude, we found out that there was a rumor that Pearl Jam would play a few songs and that got me even more excited about the show.

Before going into the line, my dad had to get his wrist band so he could purchase alcohol, which is funny because I don’t think he drank at all that night. So we are in that line and it’s my dad’s turn and I am right behind him. My dad hands the dude his ID, and receives his wrist band. I wanted to have a little fun, so I said to the security guy, “I forgot my ID at home,” which got a laugh. We went to the real line at about 3:30 and we were towards the front of one of the lines. First, the VIP/Fan Club members were let in and then us regular people were let in. When we got inside, I bought a legal shirt and my dad bought a Queens of the Stone Age shirt. We bought some water to fill our Camelbak with, and we made our way to the amphitheater in hopes to find something to do for two hours until Meat Puppets came on. We sat in the shade, ate some mediocre food, and at about 5:30, we stood up in the crowd to wait for the Meat Puppets.

After a quick sound check, I immediately saw Curt Kirkwood arrive on stage, followed by the drummer (whatever his name is) and Curt’s brother Cris. They immediately broke into “Oh, Me” and they were jamming out. Curt didn’t sound great, but I wouldn’t expect him to since that song was written almost thirty years ago. Next was “Sam,” the song I was looking forward to most. If you don’t know the song, Curt and Cris both sing incredibly fast. Like 400 words a minute or something. And it’s great to see that they both still know the words and can sing them without any mistake.

Then they played “Plateau,” an odd song about nothing in particular, I think. After that, they played their biggest main stream hit “Backwater,” which sounded amazing. The Kirkwood brothers’ harmonies together sounded better than Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus by a mile. After that they played “Sloop John B,” a song originally written by the Beach Boys. Then they finished their too-short set with “Lake of Fire,” which, for some reason, induced a mosh pit. People are stupid when they are drunk. Meat Puppets finished their elongated jam version of “Lake of Fire,” and if there was anything I could’ve changed about the entire show, it would’ve been that Meat Puppets would’ve played longer. They were so great, and even at the ripe old age of 50-something, the Kirkwood brothers can still rock harder than Black Veil Brides ever will.

Sort of at the last minute, I decided that I didn’t care to see Mastodon. So my dad and I walked around, shared a funnel cake, and listened for the cue that Mastodon was done. When they finished playing “Blood and Thunder,” they left the stage and my dad and I went into the pit to wait for Queens of the Stone Age.

The roadies started setting up the back drop for Queens of the Stone Age, which was the detective notes for the assassination of JFK. Why they chose that, I will never know. Somewhere around 8:00, QOTSA came on stage. Josh Homme spoke in his lovely country accent, telling us how beautiful the Gorge was and how happy they were to open for Soundgarden. QOTSA broke into “You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I’m a Millionaire,” which was a relatively short song. Afterwards they played “3’s and 7’s” and the hits just kept coming. They played songs like “Burn the Witch,” “Little Sister,” “Go With the Flow,” “No One Knows,” and “A Song for the Dead.”

The band sounded so great and the crowd was really into it. The problem was the two moshing idiots in front of me. One of them looked like the creepy dude in the Die Antwoord “Enter the Ninja” video.

When QOTSA left the stage, my dad decided he didn’t want to be in the pit during Soundgarden, so he left and went to the very back, while I stayed where I was. Some dude made his way through the crowd with his hand up to his mouth. He passed me and a few others, and then found out what happens when you drink a lot of alcohol.

After a sound check and some technical difficulties involving the images on the screen, we were ready to let the Sun set on the Gorge while Soundgarden jammed away. We heard some feedback and then what was certainly the opening bit of “Searching With My Good Eye Closed,” (This is my good eye; do you know a cow; a pig says; this is a rooster; the Devil says.) The band broke into that song and played it like it was nobody’s business. Chris Cornell sounded better than I expected him to. Ben Shepherd wandered the stage, made funny faces, and was a very entertaining performer. Matt Cameron banged the drums like a gun was being held to his head. And Kim Thayil looked like a gun was being held to his head if he didn’t reunite with Soundgarden. He had a smile on his face, but it didn’t seem like he was enjoying any part of it.

Soundgarden broke into hit after hit. They played “Spoonman,” “Blow Up the Outside World,” “The Day I Tried to Live,” “Superunknown,” “Slaves and Bulldozers,” “Black Hole Sun,” “Outshined,” “Rusty Cage,” and so many more that I can’t even remember. They even played some old songs like “Gun” and “Beyond the Wheel.”

I was in a lot of pain after the show, and my hopes that Pearl Jam would come out were crushed. No Pearl Jam. Just Matt Cameron. Not even Eddie Vedder would come out and play “Hunger Strike” with Soundgarden. It wouldn’t be much of a Temple of the Dog reunion since 5/6 of TOTD is Pearl Jam, but whatever. All in all, one of the best shows I have ever seen.

So I hope that Justito had a good time at the RATM show, because I definitely did. Unfortunately I didn’t run into any of my Concert Confessions peers, but I met a guy named Jeremy who saw Slightly Stoopid last weekend. That’s just as good, right?

Soundgarden Announces Remaining Summer Tour Dates

Soundgarden, one of Seattles great all time bands, has announced the remainder of their 2011 Summer Tour. 

Spanning from July 2 through July 30, Soundgarden will hit up parts of Canada, the East Coast, Chicago and some West coast spots (Sorry to those of you in the South!). 

Guests opening random shows of the tour include Coheed and Cambria, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, The Mars Volta and the Meat Puppets.  These will be shows NOT to be missed!

 

Full tour itinerary (Please note, I believe there is a typo on the Vancouver date on the Soundgarden website- likely to be July 29):

Date City Venue PreSale Times
July 2 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheater On Sale Now
July 3 London, ON John Labatt Centre Mon, May 9, 10:00 am PDT
July 5 Ottawa, ON Ottawa Blues Fest On Sale Now
July 6 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena Mon, May 9, 11:00 am PDT
July 8 Newark, NJ Prudential Center Mon, May 9, 9:00 am PDT
July 9 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre Mon, May 9, 7:00 am PDT
July 10 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center for the Performing Arts Mon, May 9, 12:00 pm PDT
July 12 Fairfax, VA Patriot Center Tues, May 10, 9:00 am PDT
July 13 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing On Sale Now
July 14 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Spa & Resort Event Center Tues, May 10, 10:00 am PDT
July 16 Chicago, IL UIC Pavilion Tues, May 10, 11:00 am PDT
July 18 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater On Sale Now
July 21 San Francisco, CA Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Tues, May 10, 1:00 pm PDT
July 22 Inglewood, CA The Forum On Sale Now
July 23 Las Vegas, NV The Joint Tues, May 10, 2:00 pm PDT
July 19 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena Tues, May 10, 3:00 pm PDT
July 30 George, WA The Gorge Amphitheater Tues, May 10, 4:00 pm PDT

 

SPECIAL GUESTS:
Coheed and Cambria: all shows 7/2-10 (Toronto, London, Ottawa, Uncasville, Newark, Wantagh, Mansfield)
The Mars Volta: all shows 7/12-23 (Fairfax, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Chicago, Morrison, San Francisco, Inglewood, Las Vegas)
Queens of The Stone Age, Meat Puppets: 7/29 (Vancouver)
Queens of The Stone Age, Mastodon, Meat Puppets: 7/30 (George, WA)

Epic Fail – BlackDiamondSkye Hits Southern California

Blackdiamondskye Featuring Mastodon, Deftones & Alice in Chains

10/11/10 – Gibson Amphitheatre – Universal City, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconessions.com

When rumors of a Mastodon/Deftones/Alice in Chains fall arena trek began to gain steam earlier this year, I found myself very excited.  All great bands on both record and stage crisscrossing our nations arenas, what could go wrong?  Well as it turns out, lots could go wrong with Blackdiamondskye as I found out first hand at Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, CA.

In the weeks leading up to the announcement of west coast dates, this was going to be the one fall tour I refused to miss.  Yet when I learned that my local stop would cost  $50+ dollars for a seated venue on a Tuesday night, I had no problem missing a tour that featured bands I have seen numerous times over the past year.  It was at that very moment that I decided I would save my heard earned cash and skip Blackdiamondskye.

So why are you reading this?  Well it turns out that somewhere along the line, I entered a contest for free tickets and a pair of Vans tennis shoes.  Guess who won the contest?  So I called up a friend and we headed up to California’s worst amusement park/tourist trap for a night of hard rock.

Mastodon

Mastodon is one of my favorite bands, and they never disappoint live.  I wish I could tell you all about the groups opening set, however the same folks who got me into the show for free (a little company called Live Nation, you may have heard of them) are the same reason I missed the bands entire set.  You see, it turns out that I am not the only person who didn’t want to see these bands for a high price in a venue that is better built for Neil Diamond then hard rock/heavy metal.  With only a handful of tickets sold 48 hours before the show, Live Nation decided to drop the price down to $10.  A great deal for fans, but as anyone who has been to a show in North America knows – Live Nation will do anything to fuck over those fans.  I am going to guess that 4000+ fans bought $10 tickets starting Monday morning.  Knowing it’s a week night and that fans would be traveling in heavy traffic from all over the Southland, how were fans greeted?  Two people working Will Call for 4000+ people.  After 45 minutes in line, I finally made it to the window and I almost snapped.  The envelopes were apparently not in alphabetical order which caused an overworked staff member to sort through hundreds of envelopes to find my tickets.  With the line not getting any shorter, part of me wanted to give her a hug and donkey punch her employer.  I get that Live Nation lost their ass on this tour, but can you not afford an intern who can put the tickets in alphabetical order?  Could you not afford four or even eight Will Call employees?  So while I am stoked I won some silly Live Nation contest, the way they handled the entire process only makes me hate the company more.  So I am sorry Mastodon, I really was looking forward to rocking out with you guys.

Deftones

As a CSC security guard was busy fondling my man boobs looking for drugs, the Deftones were opening their set with “Rocket Skates” from their impressive new album Diamond Eyes.  I know up next was “Around The Fur” but I am not really 100% sure since I was trying to get a drink before making my way in for the night (thanks to the rad bartender who gave me way more then he probably should have.  That shot looked like 2-3, and I made sure he was well tipped).  I made it into my seat just in time for the bands third song “My Own Summer (Shove It).”  I was shocked at how packed the venue was (especially after Jay Porks MSG review), apparently the $10 ticket sale worked.

 

As a lifelong Deftones fan (this was show #15 for me) I could tell right away that this gig would be one to forget.  Gibson is the wrong venue for the band – Deftones and seats mix much like peanut butter and ranch dressing.  The crowd could care less that the band was playing intense versions of songs like “Diamond Eyes” and “You’ve Seen The Butcher.”  Hell, the crowd hardly noticed the bands biggest hit “Change (In The House of Flies).”  Deftones are a band who are powered off crowd reaction and energy.  With it feeling more like a funeral then a rock show, you could feel the frustration from the band, which is why I am shocked at how they chose to finish the set.

 

With front man Chino Moreno wishing his daughter a happy 6th Birthday, the band launched into a three song segue fest that would have made many Phish fans proud.  From their debut album Adrenaline and dedicated to their fallen brother Chi Cheng; the band got straight up nasty with “Birthmark>Engine No. 9>7 Words.”  For the first (and I assume only) time all night, a small pit broke in the venues small and unseated pit area.  As someone who first saw the band almost 15 years ago on the Adrenaline tour, the playing on the final three songs was my highlight of the night.  When they want too, the Deftones still have that old school kick you in the teeth flair.  Here is looking forward to show #16 in a venue that does not have seats.

 

 Alice in Chains

Last summer, when I saw Alice in Chains for the first time, I was levitating above the Fairplex in Pomona.  A fan for years, I was in shock that I was finally seeing a band whose music has made such an impact upon my life.  So heading into the venue, I was eager to see the Seattle four piece play a full headline set.  While the set was not terrible, you could tell the group was drained from non-stop touring around the world.  The band started off on a good pace, performing three songs from the classic album Dirt.  “Them Bones” is a perfect was to kick things off, and “Rain When I Die” is one of my all time favorite AIC songs.  The band who has released multiple greatest hits packages busted out many of the big guns early.  “Again” was hard and heavy, however the band started to fade quickly during the recent rock radio smash “Check My Brain.”  Lead guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell tried to encourage the crowd to celebrate California, get into the music and check their brains.  Yet most just looked on dazed and confused trying to act cool by not letting loose.

 

It was clear all hope for Alice in Chains was long gone by the time they dove heavily into songs from their comeback record Black Gives Way To Blue.   “Your Decision” gave most of the crowd reason to sit down, and “Acid Bubble” gave the masses a chance to empty their bladders.  It got so bad; Cantrell would point to pockets of fans rocking out in order to encourage the rest of the audience to join them.  This move failed and as the band busted out the Facelift classic “We Die Young” you could tell that the fearless foursome were counting down the final days of a tour that has tanked from coast to coast.

 

Depressed and under-stimulated, my friend and I left during the encore break.  Sure we could have hung around and watched a tired band struggle to make an impact with hits like “Man in the Box” and “Would?” but why watch something you love suffer?  Looking back, for as excited as I was for BlackDiamondSkye, I see why it failed.  In the last 14 months, the Southern California area has seen Mastodon three times, Deftones six times and Alice in Chains three times.  I am not sure if it was Warner Music, Live Nation or perhaps a combination of both who decided it was a smart move to place these bands together with a steep ticket price during a bad economy.  It’s a shame as both bands and fans deserve better.  At least I got a free pair of shoes out of the deal (updated 08/11 – I am still waiting for my shoes to show up).

 

BLACKDIAMONDSKYE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN 09/24/10


I felt the same way that I feel when I’m going to see any of my teams play at the Garden-there’s half as many people as capacity and everyone’s drunk and loud, only the product in front of us all tonight weren’t a bunch of sad losers! What goes on people, welcome into the 36th installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert series (I’m dead serious about the “Never Ending” part of that if you didn’t know by now) which has me feeling a bit sporty I must say. I mean come on, we’re at the Mecca of sports-The world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden to check out the legendary Alice In Chains with Deftones and Mastodon rounding out what is billed as the BLACKDIAMONDSKYE tour..Like I said, so happy to be coming here to see something good and not the New York Rangers sad excuse for a hockey team or the dreadful basketball team that plays there who’s name is not worth the proverbial ink. But by the looks of the arena, you’d thought something crappy was going on. That place got half full at best. Upon arrived, the early comers were re-routed to different sections leaving a full empty row in between every row. When I made a pit stop during Deftones, event staff was just telling people, and I quote “There’s tons of seats, it doesn’t matter what your ticket says just find an open seat”.. So I paid $38 plus fees for this thing to not be near capacity? That doesn’t make me proud of my NY peers at all. And why not just charge $25 for these seats I’m in now and you’ll sell the place out.. We’re at least twice the distance I was when I first saw Alice In Chains with DuVall in 2007 at an outdoor venue in NJ that I paid $20 for tickets. It just bewilders me that this thing isn’t crammed full-and later when AIC came on and everyone was standing up it looked like the place was packed-trust me when I tell you it was far from that.

Anyway, on to the tunes shall we? Mastodon played from 7PM to about 740PM, they were actually on when we were walking in, so I missed the first tune. They were heavy, they were dredging, did I mention they were heavy? I wondered if the sound got this loud for the first opener how much was it going to elevate throughout this night.. and these guys are REAL metal-they have the duel vocalists going on-the regular singer AND the screaming singer dude.. That’s how the real metal acts roll.. their light show (not much bright lighting) vs my camera was a losing battle for us, so I apologize for not putting a crappy picture of nothing up here, as all night I had problems with pics considering the distance..Of the few of us that were there, there was a group of dudes really getting into it-skin head dudes doing heavy metal air guitar-fun from a far, but certainly not a collection of swings I want to get in between.. That’s the thing about metal-the fans. I’ll be the first to admit that they were a little heavy for me, I mean I enjoyed it but wouldn’t blast their records all day long-I’d go deaf… But the thing about metal is the fans. They come out strong every time, they spend money. You know they spend money because they know all the words to all the songs that came off the latest record.. They come to shows, far and wide, rock out they buy albums and shirts and are not afraid to show how into it they are- This is unlike some people, who just find ways to listen to music on the internet without buying/owning it.

Deftones went on shortly before 8PM…Deftones rocked it out… Enjoyed them a little more because, compared to Mastodon, they were at a much more manageable volume. They had the nu metal thing going on-some songs it seemed like they were like a way better version of like, Korn or something and then at times they went to a totally different place..Also, Chino (vocals, guitar sometimes) had this table set up in front of him, that he would climb up and down during portions of songs.. he would jumped up there to do one of his deep screams and then jump down off of it-and hey he does not shy away from the occasional “F” bomb, using occasional in a sarcastic sense of course…. and way more Deftones fans then expected, much like with Mastodon, we had air guitaring skin heads-not the mean skin head tho, I’m just calling them skin heads because they were bald and I don’t know their names. I highly doubt any of the fun lovin’ Deftones fans beat women or ride Harley’s religiously-c’mon now what do you think this is Slayer or something? They worked it til ten minutes before 9, that’s when a curtain went up in front of the stage, and the army of roadies began to set up for Alice In Chains..

Let me mention the huge middle finger I gave society by smoking cigarettes right in my seat while ducking event staffers, whom of which the Garden seemed to be light on tonight… pot was being smoked everywhere-it was great. So suck on that James Dolan!

The sheet that was in front of the stage was used as a prop for Alice In Chains’ intro, there was some cool effects going on there, including a beating, blackened throbbing veined heart, like from the front of their record Black Gives Way To Blue.. Roars of the crowd (it’s about 9:30 when the intro started ) as you can see the silhouettes coming out on stage. Then the drapes fell, and “Them Bones” was what they chose to kick things off with. Awesome from string one-what makes this band is the professionalism, the musicianship they bring to the table. I mean, I can rave all day about Jerry Cantrell’s sick ridiculous guitar skills, as I did back in May. Tonight lets take a look at Sean Kinney, who is drumming in a different league than most others. He’s off doing some other stuff over there with free flowing ease that was reminiscent of something out of the Ginger Baker handbook.. His drums were set up a foot or two up from the floor. A screen a few feet high ran effects from one side of the stage to the other, and under his drum kit in the middle… this was attached to a platform where Jerry, DuVall and Mike could climb up and play on during songs, which they did. I just wish one of them would have done the ‘Slash’ leap off that thing mid-riff. That would’ve been epic, but it didn’t look so high anyway, so maybe it just would have been stupid I guess. And in further comparison to the show in May, DuVall seems to winning over more and more fans every time.. They love him-shit I love him. He rocks. Mid set when I stopped working for a few songs and was sitting back taking it all in, I remember just looking at that stage oh so far away, and thinking about oh how far gone this band was before they found this dude. And Mike keeping it in step over there on bass, with the hair swinging every which way yet always landing down and perfect-maybe I could get whatever shampoo he uses. Also remember, I have Mike and Sean’s autographs on a bootleg ticket I bought to an AIC show at Irving Plaza last year, on Sept 9th. (Didn’t have a show to “review” for that, but the night’s events are here ). Anyway so they felt bad, and signed my ticket that I paid $50 for and turned out to be phony. So not only am I enjoying these tunes but I know these dudes aren’t dickheads in real life. Whats better then good people who play great music? And I mean great- I mean you should’ve heard “Grind”, you would’ve jumped into the time portal that leads to the fictional 90’s neighborhood I spend my life living in too. You’d love ever second of it. There were times where you couldn’t help but starting thinking of where you ranking Cantrell among guitar greats… he’s amazing with it. Does anyone else stroll around stage like this guy? He doesn’t walk back and forth he like power walks. I saw him pass by Mike Inez’s microphone to hit the wawa peddle-I guess they got their effects boxes linked up or something. that was really cool..  I like how they had the screens set up playing stuff where, if you didn’t know what song was playing you could still sort of figure it out by the images synced with the song. Everything about the set was perfect, besides them running off for the encore at 10:35, roughly an hour after they went on. It must be MSG’s ceiling for concerts is 11PM, because BlackDiamondSkye isn’t going cross country for tomorrow’s show, they’re going to New Jersey-no flight to catch. During the few minute break, I see some kid lean over to his friends asking them if they want to stay for the encore-what is that some sort of joke? You’re going to leave early? The same way I would leave a football game before my team comes back and scores the winning touchdown. Amazing how some people behave-sickening.. They came back out and played a seven minute “Love, Hate, Love”, then “Man In the Box” and “Would?” to close it out, and were tossing hundreds of guitar picks into the crowd as they thanked everyone and headed off to call it an evening.

And what an evening, glad I could be part of it.. besides the place not filling out. Really disappointed me that this show wasn’t long sold out. It was the biggest show in Alice In Chains history-and a lot of the alleged die New Yorkers missed it. But the billed bands delivered big time, and there’s nothing more you could really ask from the musicians.

So this was fun right? Hope my Dad thought so, as these tickets were my birthday gift to him back in July, which he is now calling the best birthday present since his Gibson SG when he was a teen…and of course hope you had as good of a time as I did, as I’m one who can never get enough of the Alice In Chains.. I have the set list below, I don’t think I missed any but I’m sure if I did It’ll be pointed out to me in a rudely stated comment.. Anyway, as for now I’m off to upload some more video, which isn’t so good picture wise but the sound is superb, so I felt it was worth adding to my archives. Thanks, for putting up with my non sense for a little while, and I’ll see you all October 6th for The Vaselines at Webster Hall.. LATE…

Alice In Chains Setlist:

Them Bones
Dam That River
Rain when I Die
Again
Check My Brain
Your Decision
No Excuses
Down in a hole
Grind
We Die Young
Acid Bubble
Lesson Learned
Rooster
(Encore)
Love hate love
Man in the box
Would?

Mastodon/Dethklok 11/20/09: Palladium – Hollywood, CA

Mastodon & Dethklok 11/20/09

The Palladium – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

On the night of Sunday, November 15th, 2009 I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom puking into my recently cleaned toilet when the unthinkable happened.  With no warning at all, warm liquid poop flowed right out of my bottom and straight into my underwear.  As I sat with vomit dripping from my beard and pants full of feces, I knew that it could only get better.  No matter how rotten I felt at that moment, it would one day pay off.  That day just happened to be Wednesday (my first day back at work after having the 24 hour flu for about 36 hours), as I explained my experience in 140 characters via Twitter to the fine folks @thepalladium.  They took pity on me and decided to help me gain back the 9 pounds I had lost earlier that week by giving me two free tickets to see the Mastodon and Dethklok co-headline their fine venue (I explained I needed something heavy to weigh me down).  Having seen Mastodon before, I knew I ran the risk of having my pants fill with warm liquid scat again, after all, how many bands do you know who actually sound like their name?  Sure, Tenacious D may claim they will blow your ass out, Mastodon actually will.

Dethklok 11/20/09: The Palladium - Hollywood, CA

Now, in the interest of fairness, I have to admit, I don’t watch much Television (LOST, South Park and live sporting events for those keeping score at home).  So while I have heard of Dethklok from Adult Swim, I had no clue what to expect.  Despite the fact they closed the show, and I usually try to write these in order, I want to discuss them first since I don’t have a ton to say.  I suppose I expected a Gorrilaz vibe – some ugly old dudes playing backlit behind a video screen with the cartoon superheroes doing whatever it is they do front and center for the mostly male audience.  I was slightly wrong, as the video is actually behind the old ugly dudes (not that I am one to talk, 30 and pooping myself).  I must say overall, I was very impressed.  First off, the music was very heavy, which was nice (I assumed it be more Stryper than Black Dahlia Murder based off how the cartoon characters look).  The highlight in my book was the Mermaid Abortion Squad jam, which was a song/video that had a checklist of weapons for Mermaids who swim around and well, you can guess the rest.  If anything stuck with me from their set, it’s that I really need to start watching more adult swim.  I laughed at many of the cartoon intermissions (kudos to the guy who left the stage to pee) and the songs were really good.  I think it may be time to add a third show to my small Television habit.

 

With money being tight, I had been very bummed that I would miss Mastodon.  Ever since I heard “March of the Fire Ants” on Headbangers Ball half a decade ago, I have been obsessed with the beefy Georgia four piece.  For as many issues that I have with Live Nation, I can’t thank them and The Palladium enough for choosing me as one of the winners of the twitter  free ticket give away.  Having missed openers High on Fire and Converge to get a pre drink at the Frolic Room, I managed to walk and get a spot on the floor the second the house lights came down for Mastodon.   I got very excited when the band opened with the epic “Oblivion”.  I got even more excited when they went right into “Divinations”.  Having done no research pre-show, it was this moment that I realized that perhaps they were still playing their most recent release Crack The Skye.  I didn’t make it to Coachella, so I assumed I had missed it with their small spring tour, but by the time the band reached the thunderous third track – “Quintessence”  I knew for a fact that my blessings continued.  I love seeing bands perform albums start fo finish live, and Mastodon doing such a feat – wow.  I am as guilty as the rest of listening to my IPOD on shuffle, but as someone who has always appreciated albums and long works, I fear the mainstream death of the album.  In a year which a lot of good records have been released, Crack The Skye has managed to stay in heavy rotation over the year.

 

At the end of “Divinations” I basically stuffed the camera away, further altered my own reality and enjoyed the southern tinged post hardcore sludgeadelia journey.  I watched and tried to figure out how they do it.  How do they make something so heavy, so brutal yet flow, evolve and sound so pretty at the same time?  Musically, the highlights of the album (at least for me) are the longer tracks “The Czar” and “The Last Baron”.  The later, was so heavy at the end, I truthfully feared for my bowls (it only got worse with the pre-recorded music that made up the encore break).   For as wrapped as I was in the performance, I really am at a loss for words.  Mastodon is just that good, and watching them perform an album from front to back was just too much for me to comprehend and try to explain.

 

The encore I thought was really cool.  I assumed they would play some of their bigger numbers, but thankfully I was wrong.   The opening duo of “Circle of Cysquatch->Aqua Dementia” just took everything up a level in both heaviness and intensity.  When not following trippy images on the screens behind the band, I notice it’s hard to peel my eyes from both bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders and Guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds.  The duo are larger than life and very intimidating, pounding the stage like two pre-historic terrors.  Their screams make you feel as if you have had your chest crushed by something out of Jurassic Park, and as sick as it sounds, it’s a feeling I can never get enough of.  That’s why I was sad when it was all over.  The band closed the night with the elephant tit heavy “Mother Puncher”.  11 songs over approximately 90 minutes simply was not enough for me, I needed more.  Sadly, that was not to be, so I headed back and grabbed myself a strong drink, thankful for a night of free music and clean underwear.

 

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