In this issue: The Adicts, Alice Cooper (2 reviews,) Combichrist, Cradle of Filth, Creature Feature, The Cult, Danzig, Glenn Danzig, Dommin, Faster Pussycat, Halford, Hank III, The Head Cat, HIM, Billy Idol (2 reviews,) The Iron Maidens, Judas Priest, Lacuna Coil (2 reviews,) L.A. Guns, Marilyn Manson (2 reviews,) Michael Monroe, Michael Schenker Group, Ministry, Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Murderdolls, New York Dolls, Prong, Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg, Ratt, Revolting Cocks, Jim Rose Circus, Satyricon, Septic Flesh, Seventh Void, Sex Pistols, Sisters of Mercy, Soulfly, Stolen Babies, The Sweet, Testament, Type O Negative, W.A.S.P., Wednesday 13 (2 reviews,) Rob Zombie,
Reviews by: David Necro, Sunset Vampyre, Lexa Vonn, K.K., The Pusher, EvAl, Cheese of the Apocalypse, Creeper
House of Blues
Photos By Lexa Vonn
An Adicts show is like a childhood birthday party.
There's confetti, magic tricks, sequined spangled
clowns, and several hundred punk rockers pounding
their fists in splendid madness! Well, if you grew up
in my family you'd know what I mean. Something about
watching the many antics that The Adicts provide in
any given performance never gets old. The way the
lights go dim and all you hear is the violin intro,
which builds in its intensity as the band's fiddler
plays faster and faster as if to summon our master of
entertainment for the evening, the legendary Monkey.
Alas, the tawdry figure appears an iridescent pancaked
clown looking like an old vaudeville performer against
his merry band of Clockwork Orangish mates. Once the
crowd reaches its peak of musical demand, The Adicts
break into their opening number, "Joker In the Pack."
Within minutes Monkey in cavorting around the stage
spraying us with playing cards, streamers and
The energy maintained throughout the set as we were
treated with such old favorites as "Viva la
Revolution", "Let's Go", and "This is Your Life."
Somewhere mid-set, Monkey declares he needs a dozen
girls to help him with the next song. Deciding that I
needed to take a break from the camera lens, I ditched
my gear, grabbed Miss April Vixxi, and mounted the
stage to be included in the orgy that accompanied the
very fitting track, "Naughty Girl."
When I returned to the chaos that had currently become the crowd, I
noticed that they were pushing so hard that it was
causing the speakers on either side of the stage to
slide. Luckily, I was able to stand just inside the
barricade where I was able to get my bearings by
placing one foot on the step of the barricade and
leaning against the speakers to provide some leverage
against the slippage.
After a pretty lengthy set, the show finaled with the
hit, "Bad Boy" which was accompanied by giant
inflatable balls being thrown out and tossed around
the audience making the entire club look like a
massive gum ball machine. The celebration continued
until the last note of the band was played, with the
violin taking the lead to exit the set in the same
manner as which it began, with a horde of fans
stomping and clapping along to send our minstrel of
mischief back to the dimension in which he came. -LV
Freedom Hill Ampitheatre
Sterling Heights, MI
It was a day of beauty for me as to finally see a longtime hero of myself as well as my father’s to go to see Alice Cooper. His “Theater of Death Tour” was finally strolling through his home town and I happen to be a fortunate drone that flocked to his performance. Arriving on time was more than capable for I wouldn’t miss a moment of lyrical pleasure. The black face paint and leather was abundantly filling the seats and placing themselves on the lawn as what was claimed as the original Salem Witchcraft took the stage to open the night with a measurably booming rendition of The Beatles “All the Lonely People”. They were sufficiently entertaining, and each of their songs in their set aside the first I believe was their own. Arlen Viecelli found only one sour note through the night when stretching himself to his higher registry, but in no way showed his age as his fingers dashed over his guitar. Jim Duffey back him with his bass and kept an alluring smile on his face throughout the whole performance. I unfortunately didn’t catch who they had on the keys that night, but was highly amused with the posture and overall aura of Moe O'Shaughnessy rolling his sticks over the drums. He showed a ease and comfort I often don’t see in live performances.
Soon to follow was The Hell Drivers who were promoed heavily by the MC having contained musicians that Alice Cooper himself had looked up to in the past. Jim Edwards then graced us with a dance about the stage as he sung away his heart up till he had to steal a mic from Jim McCarty. They were joined by Marvin Conrad as well as being backed by Johnny “Bee” Badanjek thrusting away at his drums. Unlike their predecessors this group had much less to say to the audience aside from crack at “the fat boys” in blue and their lack of transport in the day.
With the end of the openers came a wait for a stage set up that left my leg jumping and my toes to grow numb. Through the anticipation even the wind seemed to grow restless for the dark overlord to decent upon the stage, causing a dangerous swing in hanging speakers. The freaks spoke in volume in a chant for Coop as lights flickered out Then, as if he brought the chill of the night with him, Cooper hit the stage. Blaring lights hit the back of a hanging sheet as the band strummed the first licks of perhaps his most key song. The sheet dropped just as Alice came out of the gates with School’s Out. He hit the first lyrics twirling his black baton smoothly in his hand. His leg pumped with the beat as he started what proved to be an almost studio quality performance. I can honestly say from the start he outdid my expectations having heard several recordings of past live performances, but tonight his throat was aflame with black magic.
Not one seat was filled as soon as the chorus was presented for the audience to join in on. I even felt that the man in the power wheel chair could have been possessed to stand if the Cooper had demanded it. Without a pause to be noticed he continued into Department of Youth keeping the crowd alive. His marching about the stage like the general of hell’s army himself, using his demanding presence to push his band around at the tip of a bone crutch. He brought mellowness to the night by bringing a good lineup of sweet melodies including Only Women Bleed, Ballad of Dwight Fry, and Be My Lover. Sweet dark passion seemed to poor from him.
It was no surprise to find that he brought with him the usual entertainment factor including his staple beheading and hanging of himself. But through the night he has much more to offer. Stabbing a faceless drone through the chest, being wrapped up in a straight jacket, as well as a huge poisonous injection from a more than generously sized syringe. He also cleverly changed to a shirt with blood spot on it to reflect a box of piercing spikes he had been placed in, but I feel most fans had not noticed, so I certainly give him credit for detail.
I was slightly dismayed to have to be subjected to a duet of his newer music singing Vengeance is Mine and Dirty Diamonds back to back. In comparison to his many years of music these songs seemed to be tired and miss the feelings that seemed to work into his music in the past. The only interest keeping piece of this being novelty beads he offered the audience and was deliciously cruel in distributing, often teasing one individual just to send the beads flying out of reach and beyond them in the audience.
He got back on his feet through clutching a saber in his hand and rolling Billion Dollar Babies out of his plethora of hits to his name. Slicing the head from a baby doll at the end of his spin tingly performance of the song. Aside from his fantastic performance he also took a great opportunity to tie songs together through the night to showcase a short love story through the middle of his performance through smart song selection and the help of a gothic evil nurse of both sultry and cruel nature.
If I were to choose any true complaint of the night though it would be a pure musical performance of Black Widow’s chorus, which built to nothing before changing over just for Alice’s wardrobe change. Nearly the same was done with I Love the Dead, but the made a slightly smarter choice in letting one of his band members lead the audience in the singing of the chorus to give us a part once again in the performance.
The stage remained an eerie dark purple when Alice and his band, drenched in the sweat of a true musician, left the stage for the first time wishing us a goodnight, but the crowd knew it wasn’t yet time for the devil to return to his hole. Soon Cooper was back to the stage to bring us full circle in his encore. An even more wild, flashy, and spectacular thunder from a second performance of School’s Out got every man, woman, child and creep into a frenzy of pumping fists singing word for word with our hometown man of the damned. Releasing balloons filled with confetti about the audience just to wait for them to return to stage and viciously stab them to release their belly full of paper shards. And as the last bits rained down on the crowd the school bell marked the end of the night.
To leave was a bitter thought, but with that came the fact that the night could be committed to be one of my few golden memories. I do realize that there is a lot that has been done before. The Alice Cooper show isn’t something new, but it is an entertainment spectacle that no fan of shock rock should be without at least a glimpse of. I feel truly fortunate to be able to witness a sober and brilliant performance from the sadistic megalomaniac himself. Though there are songs I wished I could have heard but did not, I can not complain with the set her presented. He has so many greats to offer it is more than understandable that he can’t play them all. I have marked this to be the best performance I’ve ever been privileged to witness and would not pass up a second chance to go again in the future. -COTA
Set List (to the best of my memory)
Department of Youth
Wicked Young Man
Go To Hell
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Welcome To My Nightmare
Black Widow (Instrumental)
From The Inside
Be My Lover
Only Women Bleed
I Love the Dead (No Alice)
Vengeance Is Mine
Billion Dollar Babies
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Under My Wheels]
Schools Out (Encore)
The Orleans Showroom
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: Shy McGrath
What is there to say about an Alice Cooper show that hasn't already been said for the last 40 years? There is the tight (but loose) musicianship, the fantastic stage show, and Alice's fantastic (and very much copied) stage makeup.
This particular show was frenzied, dynamic, and propulsive. Also, it was as fun as it was vicious in its grandeur. Alice's songs are anthems for several generations, and they were layed down brilliantly.
Alice's vocals have gotten more menacing and sinister over the years, and on this night, they were no exception.The stage show included Alice driving a stake through the heart of a baby during "Dead Babies," locked in a straight jacket for "The Ballad of Dwight Fry," and an intense public hanging. Is this disturbing?
Yes, as it challenges you to realize that life is not all wine and roses. It continues to challenge the uptight mores of society. Also, it continues probe the dark corners of the human mind. Alice is as wild and crazy as ever.
It's all a bloody good time really, and the master of the macabre makes sure you walk away with a demented smile on your face. -DN
It's Hot Tonight
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Under My Wheels
Is It My Body?
Woman of Mass Distraction
Lost In America
Feed My Frankenstein
Be My Lover
(In Touch With) Your Feminine Side
Vengeance is Mine
Halo of Flies
Jimmy DeGrasso drum solo
Welcome to my Nightmare
Only Women Bleed
Ballad of Dwight Fry
I Love the Dead
Billion Dollar Babies
Black Light Burns
Photos by Poison Ivie & Spezial K, edited by The Pusher
That's all I really have to say about witnessing Combichrist live... but, since I'm assuming you weren't there, let me try to recap some of what you missed.
Depeneding who you ask, show openers DESILLUSION either kicked total ass, or were the worst thing to happen to music since the invention of DAT; I didn't actually see their set ('cuz Ohio winters suck), but I was told they did a VERY shitty job covering Nine Inch Nails (while allegedly playing along to their cd)... Either way, I can't say for sure - but I wasn't really there to see them anyway.
Black Light Burns had just taken the stage as we arrived and, I have to admit, I was actually REALLY impressed at how tight their sound was. (I don't know what the hell he was thinking back in the Limp Bizkit days, but that's another story entirely.) We actually ended up sitting at the bar for their set, as the crowd was so packed & insane that getting near the stage was a fucking impossibility; I remember hearing "Mesopotamia", and we ended up catching some video of them performing "Lie" that you can check out on my YouTube page (youtube.com/user/ImYourPusherman). The only thing I DIDN'T really dig was their cover of Love & Rockets' "So Alive", which is apparnetly on their new ep Cover Your Heart; that's not to say that it, like, sucked or anything ~ I'm just not a REAL big fan of cover songs to begin with. And their version is SO different that, if you'd never heard the original, you'd never even know it was a cover. Overall, I'll give them a B- for effort, though; now we just have to see if he'll still be touring with Manson this summer or if the rumors that he's actually going to be Fred Durst's stooge again... Guess I guess we'll see soon enough.
Anyhoo, after a few more drinks & a trip out back to smoke, Combichrist took the stage and immediately brought the wrath of God down upon everyone in the pit; opening their nearly hour long set with "All Pain Is Gone" (from their current "Today We Are All Demons" disc), Mr. LaPlegua & his partners in grime played just about anything you could have wanted to hear: "Get Out of My Head", "Blut Royale", "This Is My Rifle", "Electrohead", "Today I Woke To the Rain of Blood" all went down like a hooker on payday, and "Sent to Destroy" certainly lived up to it's name. But, as they put it, "the show aint over til the fat lady sings", and "(THEIR) fat lady is "This Shit Will Fuck You Up"" - and, goddamn, did it ever. By the time they ended their set "What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?", the only response you probably would have received is "We want MORE". . .
If you didn't make it out to see why, I truly feel sorry for you; almost as sorry as I feel for myself, because now I can't even listen to their studio albums & appreciate them as much since hearing them live. But that's MY problem. -The Pusher
Cradle of Filth
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: Shy McGrath
Something wicked this way comes...and man, did it ever in the form of this particular concert!
The evening started off with Septic Flesh from Greece. They specialize in symphonic death metal. They've been around since the early 90s, and most recently reformed. Their set was very heavy and dynamic. With more texture and color compared to most death metal bands.They are more melodic as well. A great set overall, and it was something to remember. I'm glad they reformed.
Norway's Satyricon came very close to blowing the headliners (Cradle of Filth) off the stage. Their set was truly excellent. It was forceful with excellent harmonics and dynamics. It was forceful and frenzied as well. They struck me as very 80s inspired, which is a good thing. They also had a very tight groove going on. You usually don't hear this in black metal, so Satyricon is something special in this regard. They definitely are a class act
in every which way.
Cradle of Filth stormed the stage with a malevolent and powerful set. There were many different textures and colors to grasp on to. You really didn't have to be an astute listener to notice this. They caused one to feel the beauty of pain and the elegance of darkness. We were treated to blood curdling screams hot and cold running chills, and thrashing uncontrollable rythms. Cradle of Filth is one of those bands that projects a true macabre and ominous atmosphere.
All in all, a splendid evening, and one that made a lasting impression. -DN
The Knitting Factory
Photos by: Sunset Vampyre
The first thing you notice are the sideburns. They arrive on stage ahead of the band, desperately searching for a cut-throat razor. The owner of the sideburns, borrowed from Abraham Lincoln, took up his position in front of the microphone, wearing an outfit borrowed from the aforementioned President when he gave his speech at Gettysburg. There were a couple of differences, though, between Abe and Curtis Rx. For one thing, Curtis was a lot younger. And prettier, in a fresh-corpse kind of way. And he had a very cool guitar. And yeah, he may look like a picture taken on a glass negative in the 1800's, and someone may have stolen his stove-pipe hat, but hey, who else is dressing like Abe Lincoln today?
His bandmates were an undertaker on drums ( I don't care what you think you were SUPPOSED to be, you only needed a tape measure to complete the picture ), who thudded out the terrorized hearts dying beats with such purpose and power you knew it was only a matter of time before you lost your own tenuous grip on this mortal coil.
And then there was Marcel Marceau.
Who? You know, the famous mime who wore a Blue-and-White striped top and had a White face.......Oh wait, this was Eric X, the keyboard player who was the spinal column ( read backbone ) of the band, and whose eerie effects were the audible fog that surround the glint of the knife as the slasher plummets it towards you. The music was a story unfolding of childhood monsters-under-the-bed, the twisted minds of writers of the macabre read with the light on, and horror movies watched with dilated pupils accompanied by the soundtrack of your own heart beating in your chest. Fun, Ghoulish, and Water-Splattered, ( next time add Red food coloring - much more effective! ) This band is definitely one to watch.
And on a bizarre note, a clown was seen in the audience, watching the show. Ever been followed home by a clown? Think Stephen King's IT. Now THATS Scary! -SV
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: Shy McGrath
On this night, The Cult delivered a high-energy affair that was dynamic, swinging, and boogied all the way to parts unknown.
The performance was passionate and exciting with a lot of light and shade. The dynamics were impeccable going from soft to loud perfectly.
Guitarist Billy Duffy provided sizzling rhythms and slashing solos. Singer Ian Astbury brought forth a commanding stage presence.
Speaking of commanding, the band kept your attention and didn't let go until the final buzz of the amplifiers and the final cymbal crash.
With solid playing throughout, The Cult delivered once again. Seeing them live is now quite a treat. -DN
San Francisco, CA
In support of his latest release, Deth Red Sabaoth, Danzig launched a 9 date tour starting on the east coast and ending here in San Francisco. Ever since first hearing On a Wicked Night, my anticipation for this show and the prospect of hearing the new music live has been gripping. I got to the venue early but still missed the first band, Toxic Holocaust as duty was calling at the bar next door. Entering just as All Shall Perish took the stage, I was still fortunate enough to nab a spot on the barrier. I can’t comment too much on their music since my whisky-addled mind was fixated on what the bass player was doing to his six string bass. All Shall Perish definitely had some enthusiastic fans, but I was here for one reason alone … Danzig.
Finally the house the lights went down and the tape rolled Wotan’s Procession as Johnny and then Tommy and Steve took the stage before the band ripped into Skin Carver which was so bottom-heavy that I could feel the floor shake. There’s something about this one-two punch that builds the crowd’s anticipation to a feverish pitch before releasing unholy hell as Glenn finally takes the stage. The crowd went nuts.
Glenn was clearly in a good mood, feeding off the audience reaction, and taking only a moment to introduce Twist if Cain as a song off of Danzig 1 … as if an introduction was even needed. Next up, a song that I’ve been dying to hear live since I gave Deth Red Sabaoth its first listen, Hammer of the Gods. I dig the opening riff and sing-along chorus and from the crowd reaction you’d never have known that the album has been out less than a week.
After switching-up band members on a regular basis since 1994, I’m happy to see some consistency with the line-up and I could definitely tell that these guys have been playing together for a few years now. Tommy moved around a lot and looked more relaxed than I’ve ever seen him in Danzig. Steve, bass slung low, would frequently plant himself on the edge of the stage as close to the audience as possible and just rocked the fuck out.
After Her Black Wings, Glenn commented that the San Francisco crowd was louder the previous night’s LA crowd. While I cannot confirm that fact, I do know that San Francisco loves its Danzig and that Glenn was in a great mood, kneeling down at the front of the stage, slapping hands and sharing the mic. As for Glenn, his voice sounded amazing. Between his recent live performances and vocals on Deth Red Sabaoth, I hope his detractors will be silenced once and for all. This is Danzig at his best and everyone that I talked to after the show, new and old fans alike, was blown-away by the performance.
One of the highlights for me was being able to hear some new songs live. In addition to the afore-mentioned Hammer of the Gods, Danzig played the new single, On A Wicked Night, as well as Thirteen (Satan’s Child) which was just brought into the live act last month. The new material came across great live and really integrates well with the rest of Danzig’s extensive catalog. We all have our favorite live Danzig songs and for me that’s recently become Black Angel White Angel. I love the thumping rhythm, how the vocals go from subdued during the verses to raging during the chorus and how it really complements Tommy’s playing style. Tonight’s performance was amazing and with Glenn slapping my hand and letting me sing along with him, made it nothing short of epic.
After the perennial crowd-pleaser Mother the band took a brief break before returning to stage to the sound of the crowd chanting DANZIG! DANZIG! DANZIG! Danzig has been switching up the songs in the encore so the anticipation was killing me. First up … Snakes of Christ which I cannot remember last hearing live. And if things couldn’t get any better, they followed that up with a performance of Am I Demon that was so powerful that it literally sucked the oxygen out of the room. Talk about leaving the audience wanting more! I bet we’ll be seeing most of the crowd back for Blackest of the Black in the fall. I, for one, can’t wait. -EvAl
Twist of Cain
Hammer of the Gods
Her Black Wings
Tired of Being Alive
How the Gods Kill
Do You Wear the Mark
On a Wicked Night
It’s Coming Down
Bringer of Death
Black Angel, White Angel
Snakes of Christ
Am I Demon
Glenn Danzig In-Store
Golden Apple Comics
Los Angeles, CA
Photos by: EvAl
I’m an impatient guy (at least so I’ve been told) so there aren’t many things that will motivate me to spend a few hours standing in line, much less driving six hours to do it. But when music legend and personal hero, Glenn Danzig, decides to step into the public eye for one of only two signings of his new book, Hidden Lyrics of the Left Hand, I couldn’t say no. So I found myself in Los Angeles standing on the corner of Melrose and La Brea, 40 minutes before the scheduled 5 pm signing in a line whose length was only rivaled by the one at Pink’s Hot Dog Stand across the street. It was a beautiful, sunny day in LA but the line felt about 10 degrees warmer that it should have been with all the heat being absorbed by the black clothes I was surrounded by.
Thankfully the staff at Golden Apple Comics provided a bit of relief in the form of luke-warm energy drinks while reminding everyone of the rules for the signing: 1. Glenn will sign only one extra item, and 2. No personal pictures with Glenn. I looked down at the stack of stuff I was holding … three books, a set list, a couple of records and some pictures … and, as the line inched forward, spent my time pondering which to get signed. When I finally made it inside the door I saw that I still had a ways to go as the line snaked through racks of comics to the back corner of the store and Mr. Danzig. At least I was out of the sun.
Flanked by security, Glenn sat behind a table armed with a pile of Sharpies and wearing a black, shirt leather jacket and aviators. In a seemingly good mood, Glenn smiled and shook hands with the reverent fans while the girl behind me in line looked like she was going to either faint or throw up from all the excitement ... I just hoped that she would do neither on me. Still a bit anxious over what do get signed, I handed the records to my pal who didn’t have anything besides the book and figured that I just stick the rest of the stuff on the table and see what happens. Finally I got to the front of the line but was distracted by the guy in front of me who brought a typed up list of questions and a cassette recorder and was hitting Glenn with rapid-fire.
I couldn’t decide if I should be impressed with or embarrassed by the guy as Glenn dodged and weaved around the particularly annoying ones. “Will there ever be a Misfits reunion?” Are you fucking kidding me? Then it dawned on me … I was next and I didn’t bring a list of questions. I plopped my stack of stuff on the table and, never one to follow the rules, Glenn signed a-way as we chit-chatted. Rule #1 broken, no alarms yet. While we talked, I handed my camera to Devilman who got a picture of Glenn and me, thusly breaking rule #2. When I saw that security wasn’t on their way to take me down, I asked Glenn about upcoming touring. His response: 9 shows in the summer to support Deth Red Sabaoth, 4 of which will be on the West Coast and 5 on the East Coast, and then Blackest of the Black in the fall.
Glenn also volunteered that they were building some new stage props which I’m personally looking forward to seeing as I’ve found the old Circle of Snakes and I Luciferi props to be getting a bit stale. As for Glenn, he was patient, gracious, chatty and couldn’t have been nicer. I shook his hand, thanked him and walked away with my stack of stuff (all signed) and my head buzzing over all the things that I should have asked him. In any case, two hours well spent! -EvAl
Los Angeles, CA
Photos by: Lexa Vonn
I’ve never liked Valentine’s Day much. It has always
seemed like a Hallmark holiday and one that makes
those currently out of relationships feel left out of
the loop. Luckily for me, I’m a groupie. The only
date I need is a good rock n’ roll show. And who
better-fitting to play a show on this particular
holiday then super-groupie aficionado, Mr. Taime
Downe. My chick crew, The Plastics had a rough start
to the evening as Diana got a flat tired on the way to
the gig and showed up nearly in tears just moments
before Faster Pussycat hit the stage. The other girls
and I had saved her a spot right up front, so the show
was ready to go on without a hitch. It was my first
time at Crash Mansion, the cool new spot in downtown
L.A. The venue has a lot of potential. It’s dark and
quite large and has the vibe of an underground New
York club. Its only fault is a shaky sound system.
No matter where you stand in the club, you can’t seem
to get a full sound and the vocals are often muffled.
This put a damper on the performance for some fans who
were heard complaining, but for us it was all about
the energy. There is something comforting about the
consistency of a Faster Pussycat show. While some
bands of eras past try to make a comeback by playing
mostly new songs, this band never deprives its
audience of all the best old hits including “Bathroom
Wall”, “Cathouse”, “Don’t Change That Song”, and even
the Carly Simon cover, “You’re so Vain”.
Of course the line up is more Newlydeads than Faster
Pussycat featuring Danny Nordahl on bass, Xristian
Simon on guitar, Chad Stewart on drums and Beautiful
Creature’s Michael Thomas stepping in on lead guitar,
but the rather large crowd doesn’t seem to mind. The
performance is full of classic Pussycat antics as
always. You are sure to get lots of Taime Downe humor
in between songs as he stands center stage in his rock
n’ roll nazi regalia sipping drinks and chain smoking
nonchalantly. When the band breaks into their famed
power ballad “House of Pain”, Taime announces that he
feels lazy and sits down on the stage for the entire
song. The rest of the boys join him and the whole
place turns into a heartfelt living room sing-along
between band and audience.
The Plastics dance at the side of the stage in girlish
glee snapping photos and downing beer like we would
have in the 80’s if any of us were old enough to get
into a bar back then. Afterwards, we are pulled
backstage by some of the other bands’ entourage who
recognized us, where we are greeted by an extremely
drunken Taime Downe who invites Diana to sit on his
lap, despite the fact that there is already a girl
sitting there. Ah, rock n’ roll… gotta love it!! -LV
San Francisco, CA
Photos by: EvAl
Before heading off on the road with this year’s traveling circus that is Ozzfest, Rob Halford graced about 1,000 lucky fans in San Francisco with an intimate, one-off performance. Making it all the more special is the fact that this is the first time Halford (the band) has performed in over seven years. As if that isn’t enough, all attendees were given a free promotional copy of Halford’s remixed and remastered 2002 studio release, Crucible.
Once the local opener left the stage, the throngs arrived and as 10 pm came and went the restless crowd started chanting for their Deity.
Finally, with little fanfare, the band entered a still-dark stage with Mr. Halford appropriately wearing a Metal God t-shirt under his tidy black suit. Uttering only, “we’re back,” before launching right into a stunningly powerful version of Silent Screams. Halford’s vocals were spot-on if not shying away from his trademark falsetto. Despite being bathed in shadows for most of the set, the band including ‘Metal’ Mike Chlasciak (guitar), Roy Z (guitar) and Mike Davis (bass), did not go unnoticed, delivering a tight performance that belied their extended absence together as a unit.
From there the band ventured into new territory with Rob introducing a new song from their upcoming album due out in October. For the next 50 minutes, Halford didn’t stray too far from center stage except to play a little air guitar. Despite the show having been billed as Rob Halford covering material from Halford, Fight and Judas Priest, there was only one Priest song played (Never Satisfied) to the obvious dismay of the audience. If anything, Halford focused the set list on the more obscure side of his back catalog as well as new material. After a brief break the band wrapped up their 1 hour, 10 minute set with two song encore. As someone in the audience accurately surmised, “I thought that I owned everything that Halford had ever done but he still managed to play 10 songs that I’ve never heard before.” -EvAl
Setlist which could be totally wrong:
Made Of Metal
Made In Hell
Heart Of A Lion
San Francisco, CA
Photos by: EvAl
I have a confession to make … I’ve never been to a Hank III show. In fact, I’ve never been to a country music concert in my many years of concert-going. So when Hank III and Assjack came to San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom I wasn’t sure what to expect. With his music spanning honky-tonk to metal, many would consider him an enigma, but what Hank is really about is sticking two upraised middle fingers in the face of the country music establishment and doing things his way.
Arriving at the venue during the opening act, the crowd was sparse but the venue quickly filled to what looked like near-capacity as Hank III’s set time neared. Aside from a few cowboy hats, the crowd looked like it could have been here for a punk or metal show. Hair braided and wearing a crumpled cowboy hat, Hank took the stage along with a stand-up bass, fiddle, banjo, slide guitar and drummer and banged through a no-frills set of his country classics. Sipping tea and water and taking the occasional squirt of a spray for his throat, Hank was clearly pacing himself for what would prove to be a long night. Even the joints that were thrown up on stage were carefully tucked away for later use. The crowd sang along and despite the nature of the music, a sizeable pit developed. At a country show!?!? Go figure.
Ninety minutes into the set … a point where most bands these days would call it a night … Shelton traded his cowboy hat for a baseball cap, swapped out his acoustic guitar for an electric, and was joined on stage by vocalist Gary Lindsey for a decidedly heavier Hellbilly set. During the ensuing 30 minutes two things happened: the size of the pit doubled and the size of the crowd halved. If I had the inclination (and the ability) I would try to find a mathematical correlation for this phenomenon but since I have neither, I’ll just say that a lot of people clearly only came for the country set.
Wrapping up the Hellbilly set, Shelton announced that they were going to take a quick break and return for the Assjack set, “if people want to stick around.” Are you kidding me, hell yeah I’m sticking around; Assjack was the main reason I was here! In a matter of 7 minutes, the stage and band went through a transformation. Tthe banjo and slide guitar went away, the stand-up bass was replaced with an electric, the fiddler now held a Gibson Flying V and Shelton and Gary were back in full-on head-banging mode; a transformation so complete that at times I couldn’t comprehend that this was the same band. After an hour of Assjack, the crowd had thinned to maybe 300 people and the pit was reduced to five exhausted dudes just trying to stand up.
After nearly three hours non-stop on stage and nearly 70 songs on the set list (which I never saw a single band member look at) the show was over but Shelton seemed determined to be the last guy standing. As the house lights came on and the clean-up crew took over, he hopped off the stage and shook hands and signed autographs for everyone who stuck around. One word for this show: Epic. -EvAl
The Head Cat
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: Don Brown, Sr. and Larry
How fortuitous! A free concert inside the Hard Rock featuring none other than the legendary Lemmy Kilmister himself! Also, you have Slim Jim Phantom (of Stray Cats fame,) on the skins, and Danny B. Harvey on the six-string.
The band were firing on all cylinders, breathing new life into rock n' roll and blues classics like "Blue Suede Shoes," "Shakin' All Over," "Crossroads," and "Five Long Years."
These are songs you have to know, as they are the roots of everything that came after it, including Lemmy's band Motorhead.
They just nailed every riff and beat perfectly. This was supercharged and ready for the drag strip.
So, this was a nite of strong emotion, and a no-frills, no bullshit performance. You really can't ask for more. It was powerful and made a lasting impression.
Even if you're not a Motorhead or Stray Cats fan, I highly recommend you check these cats out. They're the real deal! -DN
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: Creeper
The glory that is His infernal Majesty was unleashed upon the black clad masses via the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay. Despite the extremely early start time (I had to Ferris Bueller my boss just to make it on time) HIM came out fierce. Ville Valo has gone back to his old tailed sport coat, jeans and beanie look and Linde's dreadlocks have now grown past his waist.
The set was a mixture of old and new songs with some of the highlights being Katherine Wheel, Join Me, Heartkiller and The Funeral of Hearts. In between songs Valo belted out his own version of what I can only describe as Pagan chanting , it was both beautiful and haunting. I was enthralled by the atmosphere these chants supplied.Their set seemed to be cut short and I don't know if this was because it was an all ages show or what but it lasted only about an hour. They did encore with Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" which was incredible to say the least.
Being a old school HIM fan I gotta say that this performance was not at all the best I have seen but it does seem like they are trying to get back to their roots and their original sound and look. So true HIM fans can breathe a sigh of relief since the band seemed to hit a slight bump in the road a few years back with Dark Light. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the show and definitely recommend if this tour hasn't passed you by yet go and grab a ticket, you won't be disappointed. -Creeper
House of Blues
Photos by: Lexa Vonn
They called it “House of Billy”. For three days, the famous House of Blues on the Sunset Strip transformed itself into a shrine to 80’s superstar, Billy Idol for three consecutive sold out performances. Idol and his band was the only act on the bill and played for about two hours each night to an extremely receptive audience.
I attended the first night and watched as Billy emerged onto the stage looking trim, ripped and youthful in leather and old school bondage pants. He hadn’t lost an once of his sexiness as he launched into the opening number, “Cradle of Love”. The hits came out one by one, but I thought the first few were performed a little slower than usual, providing a more mellow vibe than what you would expect from an eternal punk rocker like Billy Idol.
The pace did pick up after about five songs or so though and you could feel the audience lock into it. Idol began reaching out to audience members and interacting with band members. Plastics girl, April Vixxi was among front row audience members who made out well with several picks and drum sticks handed to her by the singer himself.
Guitarist Steve Stevens may be underrated, for he is nothing short of pure rock star! He seemed to play flawlessly and passionately. The audience was mesmerized during his solo piece was spiritually transforming to me. I was moved by his essence onstage and it seemed no matter where I moved in the audience, he always found me and made sure to acknowledge me with a wink and a smile, a trait I find irresistible in live performers.
Billy’s energy became more intriguing as the night went on as well as he changed from childlike to seductive to demonic and back again. The set included most everything one would want to hear, “White Wedding”, “Dancing With Myself”, “Sweet 16”, “Flesh for Fantasy”, “L.A. Woman”, “Blue Highway”, “Eyes Without a Face”, etc., ect., ect.!! For the encore we were treated to the old Generation X song, “Ready Steady Go!” and “Rebel Yell”.
And finally came the closer, an extra long sing-a-long version of “Mony Mony” that had everyone chanting “come on everybody, get laid, get fucked!” Its nice to know his ideals haven’t changed over the years! -LV
House of Blues
Photos by: Sunset Vampyre
THE LINE FOR BILLY winding its way up Sunset told you one thing: If you didn't have a ticket, you were gonna pay a whole lot of money to scalp one - if you could even find one, that is.
Finding the Billy Idol venue couldn't have been any easier for anyone not sure where on the strip he was playing - the entire building and surrounding fence was covered in Billy Idol posters, and even on the roof it said BILLY IDOL - SOLD OUT. In fact, on the tickets it didn't say House Of Blues - it said HOUSE OF BILLY.
This was day 2 of his 3 days at the HOB. A friend of mine had arranged for backstage passes with the tour manager Tony - I was told to look out for " a Grey-haired guy with glasses". I found it extremely funny when I got there because there were a whole lot of "Grey-haired guys with glasses" - many, in fact most, of the audience seemed to be made up of middle-aged people who had grown up with Billy, and they were more then ready to turn back the clock and rock!
A sprinkling of us were wearing our customary black t-shirts - I saw Metallica and Megadeth T's and I was wearing NIN - in fact, as I was climbing into the photo pit, a guy grabbed me and said "Were you at the Forum a few days ago? That was an awesome gig!" ( Oh yeah - Nine Inch Nails Rocked! )
This was my only my second Billy Idol gig, but both times there were no opening bands, which was quite bizarre to say the least - if anyone knows why, please let me know.....
Anyhow, the lights went down, and the screams went up a few thousand decibels, and Billy Idol strutted on stage, skinny as ever, the blond hair toned down a few notches but still in that same style that he's had for last 35 years. He really is a guy frozen in time, embalmed with a high-octane "Rock"et fuel that gives him the moves and the body of a 20 yr old.
He played for 2 hours, singing about Sex ( Rebel Yell ), Masturbation ( Dancing With Myself ) and, er, Sex ( Mony Mony - with the hilarious hook, "Hey Motherfucker, get laid get fucked!" ) But of course, much as we love the songs, the girls were really only there to see him get his kit off - which was very disappointing, as he was happy to undo his shirt but he wouldn't take the bloody thing off!
The place was so packed one wondered about how many fire regulations were being broken - and then guys old enough to know better downed too much booze, began getting in everyone's way ( including mine - move, motherfuckers! ) and eventually started getting kicked out by security. However, they were all happy drunks, so no fights broke out. In fact, it was nice not to have a slam-pit brewing - the low or no I.Q. louts that start those things are my pet hate - hulking great fat gits who push over tiny women and think they're "men" when in fact they're dickless trannies.....Get a life, jerk-offs! So - Billy Idol - no opening band, no moshing, but the best fuckin' time ever at a gig - makes you want to relive the 80's all over again! "With a Rebel Yell, She cries More, More, More........." -SV
The Iron Maidens
Santa Fe Station Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: KK
It’s a rare occurrence when a tribute band turns out to be better than the band they’re playing tribute to…but The Iron Maidens have achieved this. “How the HELL is that possible?” You ask. I’ll tell you. The Iron Maidens’ faithful show transports you to that magical time when Iron Maiden ruled heavy metal (I’m thinking ’Number Of The Beast’ to ‘ Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’), and their songs are all Killers, no filler. The Iron Maidens rock you with a letter-perfect “Wrathchild” while Iron Maiden themselves currently bore you with “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg”. (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?) The members of Iron Maiden are all talented musicians, to be sure, but the Iron Maidens are virtuosos...Bassist Wanda Ortiz moonlights in Southern California’s Symphony Orchestra, and other members previously achieved stardom in the legendary band Phantom Blue. They’ve scaled heights other tribute bands can only dream of: worldwide gigs, press attention, awards, instrument endorsements, a CD (The Iron Maidens) and a live CD/DVD combination (Route 666).
The Iron Maidens bill themselves as the “World’s only female tribute to Iron Maiden”, which is true, but irrelevant…now they’re probably the World’s ONLY tribute to Iron Maiden. If there were any others, their members have probably gone back to delivering pizzas after seeing an Iron Maidens’ show.
OhmiGod, they sound just like Maiden…well, so do we…
They’ve got Eddie, and the Grim Reaper onstage…well, so do we…
Wait a minute, they’ve got a FEMALE Eddie onstage…hmmm, we don’t have that…
And their drummer is way HOTTER than Nicko McBrain…we don’t have that either…come to think of it, the BASSIST is hotter than Steve Harris…
F**k it, what do you want on your pizza?
And, to be sure, sex appeal should not count in the arena of rock & roll…but it does. I’d rather gaze in awe at Courtney Cox…while she shreds out Maiden’s classic scales note-for-note…than merely hold ‘horns up’ to Adrian Smith, Dave Murray or Janick Gers of the real thing (they always ignore you, anyway, but Cox is freakin’ fly, and they’re not).
The real thing…Iron Maiden, that is…has slipped a few notches down rock & roll relevance since Bruce Dickinson bailed out after “Fear Of The Dark”…and Steve Harris had the chance to recruit Michael Kiske from HELLOWEEN, but NO, he picked Blaze Bayley from WOLFSBANE to ‘sing’ for the LPs “The X Factor” and “Virtual XI”…two albums that the Iron Maidens leave out of their show, praise God.
The IRON MAIDENS also concentrate on performing, whereas once Dickinson returned, he took every spare moment onstage to verbally criticize everything…moshers, record companies, Hollywood, America, and Ozzy Osbourne (even as a guest on Sharon Osbourne’s OZZFEST, with the deserved result of becoming a human omelette at the hands of her egg-throwing allies)…and this is from a guy who’s made millions from heavy metal; Iron Maiden recently signed a deal for $30,000,000 for the rights to their back catalogue, and they still play arenas while Helstar, Anvil, and Raven play clubs. I and other fans actually booed Dickinson after his third needless tirade at a Hollywood concert during the Brave New World tour. Dickinson’s rants could be set aside if Maiden’s recent musical output (Brave New World, Dance of Death, etc.) offered the fury of Piece of Mind or Powerslave, but they haven’t.
Musically, the Maidens deliver all of their namesake’s goods…Sara “MiniMurray” Marsh and Courtney Cox supply identical dual-guitar firepower; Wanda “Steph Harris” Ortiz duplicates Maiden’s machine-gun bass; Linda “Nikki McBurrain” McDonald pounds the percussion perfectly and new vocalist Kristen Rosenberg (replacing Aja Kim) screams melodically to match messrs. Dickinson or Di’anno, as necessary. The only thing the Maidens don’t have are Iron Maiden’s larger theatrical set-pieces…their mascot Eddie isn’t a 20’ high mummy shooting sparks from his eyes, but he does make an appearance onstage with the Maidens, along with his female counterpart “Edwina”, the Grim Reaper and the devil. With their classic set list (see below), The Iron Maidens deliver an exceptional metal show at a much more economical rate than the real thing (tonight’s show at Santa Fe Station’s Chrome Showroom was free), and oh yeah…they’re hot. -KK
SETLIST: Aces High/Two Minutes To Midnight/The Trooper/Flight of Icarus/Revelations/Wasted Years/The Ides Of March—Wrathchild/Infinite Dreams/ Moonchild/Genghis Khan/The Number Of The Beast/Caught Somewhere In Time/Hallowed Be Thy Name/Phantom Of The Opera/Run To The Hills/ENCORE: Fear Of The Dark.
Las Vegas, NV
“Can you hear the thunder deafen every living thing about?!”
The correct answer is HELL YEAH, if you caught Judas Priest’s latest show at the Pearl Theatre in Las Vegas.
Touring in support of their new concept CD NOSTRADAMUS, Priest once again ‘delivered the goods’, albeit at new luxury prices. $78.00 for average seats—with no opening act—possibly priced a few fans out of the market this time, but I suspect the venue had something to do with it. And as far as venues go, the Pearl Theatre at the Palms Casino is a pretty damned cool place for a show. Viewing’s good from virtually any seat in the house, the stage is huge, the staff is friendly and there are no Gestapo-style security searches.
Priest’s stage set might not have been as overwhelming as Iron Maiden’s or Dio’s, but impressive nonetheless: a multi-level stage with steel ‘JP’ trademarks under a huge mural of Nostradamus. Of course, with Judas Priest, the visual element is secondary to the sonic assault.
The crowd’s incessant chants of “PRIEST! PRIEST! PRIEST!” are instantly conquered by the roaring guitars of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, and the battering drums of Scott Travis (You can barely hear Ian Hill’s bass in the wall of sound, but it’s in there somewhere) as they unleash the title track of “Nostradamus”. Rob Halford levitates up from a trapdoor on the second stage, wearing a blinding cloak of polished steel and wielding not only a microphone but a metal staff topped with the JP trademark. “Nostradamus” goes over well as an opener, but the crowd roars louder in appreciation for their next song, the classic “Metal Gods”. It also thankfully kills the notion that they’re going to play NOSTRADAMUS in its entirety…not that the album is bad, but everyone has a different Judas Priest song they want to hear.
From then on, the set list is surprisingly eclectic: “Eat Me Alive” is followed by an odd choice of “Between The Hammer And The Anvil” from PAINKILLER, during which Halford waves a pair of huge red flags with the JP logo and dresses the top stage with them. They then summon my favorite “Devil’s Child” from SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE and “Breaking The Law” from BRITISH STEEL…and it’s time for Costume Change #2. Halford returns in an even bigger, badder spiked-leather coat…the second of many more to come…and one realizes he’s become the Liberace of Heavy Metal. (The only thing his band members change is their guitars.) Yes, these are some bad-ass outfits, all right, but the costume changes also cut into their playing time.
They return to PAINKILLER for “Hell Patrol”, and an ornate throne comes out for Halford to sing the new song “Messenger of Death” from. Afterwards, Halford asks Hill “How long have we’ve been playing heavy metal, Ian?”
Ian responds “Thirty-eight years.”
“And we hope to be back here to celebrate forty years of heavy metal!” Halford shouts to a thunderous crowd agreement.
Halford’s awe-inspiring voice seems to be showing signs of wear—which is understandable after three decades of screams—he no longer hits super-high notes and doesn’t keep long notes going quite as long. Still, criticizing THIS voice is somewhat like criticizing a battleship for having a patch of rust on it. His voice is still clear, on time with every verse, and powerful enough to be heard miles away.
With “Dissident Aggressor”, Priest shows that their guitars are just as powerful, if not more so. The lead breaks in this ancient song are so savage it sounds like two dinosaurs are battling it out in the theatre. They up the ante with the speed-metal trendsetter “Electric Eye” to riotous applause, then dust off “Rock Hard, Ride Free” from DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH. And while they do it, they make it look so damned easy. They don’t jump all over the place, they simply stand their ground and crank out riffs from hell. I’m sure at this point they’re thinking “Right! Six more o’ these, and there’s a spot o’ tea waiting backstage.”
Halford asks Downing “What d’you think, K.K., are you ready to take the roof off this place?” (Funny, I thought he’d already done that twice!)And K.K. concurs with the storming opening notes of “Sinner”…another classic with a solo so crazy he practically tears the whammy bar off his classic Flying V. “Painkiller” follows, with the band running up to the second level of the stage for a bow. You think, “Damn, that was fast…” but after a brief pause, you can hear a Harley-Davidson rev up. Halford emerges on the bike, wearing an American flag, and Priest delivers “Hell Bent For Leather”, “The Green Manalishi”, and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” to close the show. “God bless Heavy Metal…God bless America…and God bless you all.” Halford graciously exclaims.
Even though He’s already gifted them with amazing talent and longevity, God bless Judas Priest as well -K.K.
All That Remains
San Francisco, CA
Photos by: EvAl
The hardest working Italian band I know, Lacuna Coil returned to the U.S. for a supporting slot on the HardDriveLive Tour along with headliners All That Remain and supporting acts Taking Dawn and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster.
Taking Dawn can best be described as a cock-rock band; dynamic and good at what they do with a couple of the band members taking several trips off the stage to the rail and into the pit. Unfortunately the crowd will only remember singer/guitarist taking an unplanned spill off the stage. Lucky for him a security guard cushioned his fall.
While Maylene and the Sons of Disaster set up, all I could think of was with their bushy beards and cowboy boots, that they looked like they were going to be playing Allman Brothers covers. What I heard was nothing like what I expected. To be honest, I’m still trying to get my head around what I actually did hear. They definitely had a Southern Rock groove but heavy. Their on-stage presence was dominated by the singer who looked like an emaciated Jim Morrison who spent half the set singing to the drummer. Overall I enjoyed the set and will definitely check them out next time they pass through town.
First on the stage were drummer Criz Mozzati and guitarist Pizza Migliore who broke into the intro for I Survive off of Shallow Life. Recently named one of the hottest women in metal by Revolver Magazine, Cristina Scabbia strolled onto the stage dressed in a tight black pin-striped suit, smiled at the crowd and demonstrated her vocal prowess by diving right into the beginning lyrics . Along with Andrea Ferro, they owned the stage. Sticking material from with Shallow Life, the band launched straight into Underdog. My third time seeing this band, I’ve found that their live performance only gets better and better with time.
With the exception of their latest release, Shallow Life, I’ve always felt that Lacuna Coil’s recordings never truly reflected the energy of their live performances. Previous releases may have had the music more focused on the ambiance where the live performance is much more oriented on the energy. Talk about energy! Tonight’s show felt like they were trying to cram the energy of a 90 minute set into 40 minutes. Cristina was spinning, running and jumping across the stage in a way I hadn’t seen in previously. While Cristina sang, Andrea was head banging and working the crowd … these two make a great vocal team. The rest of the band seemed to content to let the duo do their thing and focused on delivering a flawless performance.
With limited time in the supporting slot, the band chose to focus their time on their most recent release with four of the nine songs coming from Shallow Life. My personal view is that Shallow Life is one of the band’s best efforts and most closely represents what they are when record companies and producers are removed from the mix and the band is allowed to be itself. Apparently the crowd agreed with me and was clearly left energized for the headliners. Lacuna Coil won some new fans and would be a tough act to follow.
Lacuna Coil Setlist:
I’m Not Afraid
Heaven’s A Lie
I Won’t Tell you
It was clear from the t-shirts that a majority of the fans parked on the rail for the last four hours had been waiting for All That Remains. With the opening acts’ equipment off the stage, All That Remains had a full stage to play. Musically they sounded great and the crowd was definitely into them but personally I could have done without the lead guitarist’s excessive hair tossing.
I guess if you’ve got a move, you go with it. The band focused most of the set on their last two releases with only two songs off of 2004’s Darkened Heart. Based upon the crowd’s reaction to Focus Shall Not Fail and Tattered On My Sleeve, I’m sure that it would have appreciated more material from This Darkened hour. Overall a solid set to end a good night of music. -EvAl
All That Remains Setlist:
Before The Damned
Become the Catalyst
The Air That I Breathe
The Weak Willed
Forever In Your Hands
Focus Shall Not Fail
Tattered On My Sleeve
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Last Day Saloon
Santa Rosa, CA
Photos by: EvAl
The American Spellbound Tour came to Santa Rosa, California this headlined by Italy’s Lacuna Coil with support from Seventh Void, Kill Hannah and Dommin. Located 60 miles north of San Francisco, San Rafael seemed like an unlikely stop for a tour of this ilk but with a venue holding maybe 350 people, I was looking forward to the intimacy of the show.
First on the bill was Los Angeles-based Dommin whose name, for some reason, brought to mind images of Swedish death metal. I was admittedly leery when they first took the stage in tight black suits with rose-adorned instruments and a singer sporting a devil lock. Their sound was a marriage of deep vocals reminiscent of Type O Negative’s Peter Steele with the textures of Depeche Mode (covering People are People at one point in their set) but their music wasn’t over-the-top and they pulled off a surprisingly solid set.
Next up was Seventh Void featuring Type O Negative members Kenny Hickey (guitar, vocals) and Johnny Kelly (drums) backed by Hank Hell on bass and Matt Brown on Guitar. After listening to their debut release Heaven is Gone and talking to Johnny earlier in the day I was looking forward to this set. Between Johnny and his drum set, there wasn’t much space left on the small stage for the rest of the band; Kenny and Hank crowded in on one side while Matt occupied the space on the opposite end of the stage.
Having only seen Kenny play behind legendary front men such as Peter Steele and Glenn Danzig, it was very cool to see him step in front of the mic and I’m happy to say that he’s a natural. Not the most talkative guy, Kenny focused on the performance, cranking through the seven song set while Hank appeared to enjoy himself pounding his bass and wailing along with the lyrics. Matt, who at times seemed detached from what was going on at the other end of the stage, was much more subdued in his performance. Overall a great, but brief, set.
Have you ever been to a show where one of the bands just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the line-up? Well, that’s what Kill Hannah was for me. They weren’t bad at what they did, but with gimmicky stage props and a pop radio-friendly sound that appeals to angst-ridden teen girls, I opted for a trip to the bar.
The roadies cleared the opening bands’ equipment from the stage, giving Lacuna Coil’s six members room to perform in this intimate venue. The band took the stage and immediate launched into To The Edge. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the diverse crowd which seemed to include everyone from goth kids to soccer moms but they got into it immediately and the band responded in kind.
Sultry siren Cristina and partner-in-vox, Andreas, fed off the vibe and put in energetic performances that showcased their decade-plus of playing live and distinctive vocal abilities that largely define Lacuna Coil’s sound. The rest of the band and interacted with the crowd in a way that you’d never get at a larger show, chatting with the front row which was so close that I was showered with sweat every time guitarist Maus started head-banging. Given that Comalies was their breakout album in the U.S. Lacuna Coil, not surprisingly, pulled their set list exclusively from their last three releases. After covering Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence and taking a brief break, the band returned to stage for three more songs before saying their goodbyes. -EvAl
To The Edge
Fragments of Faith
I'm Not Afraid
I Won't Tell You
Heaven's A Lie
Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode cover)
Got something to say? Send fan/hate mail to EvAl@cryptmagazine.com
The Warfield Theatre
San Francisco, CA
Photos by: EvAl
I’ve seen Marilyn Manson a half dozen times over the last 10 years; the last time being a few years ago during the co-headlining tour with Slayer. I was pretty disappointed with the performance at that show which I found flat and un-energetic. Maybe it was the crowd, maybe it was the material, maybe it was just an off-day, but I was hoping that between the more intimate size of the Warfield (where I’ve previously seen Manson kick major ass) and the return of Twiggy Ramirez to the fold, Marilyn Manson would see some redemption.
After a forgettable opening act, a black curtain was pulled across the front of the stage. When the house lights went down, the stage was backlit and the audience’s anticipation grew to frenzy as an unmistakable shadow moved behind the curtain. The curtain was lifted and, without pause, the band tore into a ferocious version of We’re From America from their latest release, The High End of Low. My first time hearing this song live, I found it more powerful than the studio version and, coupled with Disposable Teens in the number two slot, it made for a powerful opener.
Manson has traditionally relied heavily on stage props from lecterns, to stilts, an elevating platform, more costume changes than Cher and coordinating band outfits. I personally found the various accoutrements to be distracting and was pleased to see that we were all in store for a more stripped-down and raw set. As for the man himself, the days of near/total nakedness on stage may be behind him and his baggy shirt seemed to be concealing a paunch. A master of managing his image, it’s hard to tell where Brian Warner ends and Marilyn Manson begins. Of late, he seems to be nurturing the image both on and off stage of an alcohol and drug-addled rock star, swilling beer, popping pills and sucking gas (oxygen or something else?) out of a tank.
It was great to see Twiggy/Jeordie back in the band although a bit strange to see him on guitar. While the new material doesn’t touch the genius of Antichrist Superstar, I think some of the magic has returned to the band. Twiggy did a respectable job on guitar though neither his sound nor his technical prowess was able to match the likes of previous guitarist, John 5.
The new material integrated very well with the old stuff and the only low point was during the performance of WOW whose slow pace and monotony killed the momentum. Things picked up a bit with Leave a Scar and by the time The Dope Show kicked in things were back on track. The performance peaked after Manson proclaimed, “I tried to kill rock but it would not die!” and the band launched into Rock is Dead followed by fan favorite Sweet Dreams. For me, the highlight of the show was Manson’s performance of Patti Smith’s Rock ‘n Roll Nigger.
If you like the new album, this is a show for you to see. Five songs out of the fifteen song set were from The High End of Low (Arma-gaddamn-motherfuckin-geddon has been played during previous shows but was not included this night) mixed in with classics from Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals and Smells Like Children. They entirely skipped material from the Golden Age of Grotesque and Eat Me, Drink Me but I didn’t hear any complaints.
So is there redemption for Manson? If you’re not there for the music, but instead hoping for the depraved antics of Manson-past you will be disappointed. Performance-wise and musically, this show was 10 times better than the last I saw and Manson has certainly demonstrated that he doesn’t need all the stage props to give a good show. -EvAl
Full set list:
We’re From America
Pretty as a Swastika
Irresponsible Hate Anthem
Four Rusted Horses
Leave A Scar
The Dope Show
Great Big White World
Rock Is Dead
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Rock ‘n Roll Nigger
The Beautiful People
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The Wiltern (2 nights)
Los Angeles, CA
House of Blues
San Diego, CA
3 Days With the Anti-Christ: What it Feels Like for a
I have been going to see Marilyn Manson concerts for
13 years. The first time I saw them play I was still
in high school, practically a virgin. I was standing
in front of bass player Twiggy Ramirez, admiring his
drag attire. Suddenly, Mansons gaze shot through me
like lightning bolts. He approached Twiggy, pulled
down his ruffle underpants and began masturbating him
just inches from my face. Both scared and aroused, I
was hooked in that very moment. Later in the evening,
I met Mr. Manson and the long tale of our strange
surreal friendship began. Though I have been in
journalism for several years now, I have always passed
on the opportunity to review Manson. I didnt know if
I could do the performance justice by using words.
For me, it has always been about emotions, and not
ones common to critics. It is very hard to describe
the Manson experience if you have never been there,
but the time has come for me to try.
A Marilyn Manson concert is like an experiment in
group hypnosis, a collective dream shared by both band
and audience, a psychedelic journey. The whole room
gets high together as the lights go out, and we all
come down together when the music stops leaving us
sick and shivering like the worst heroin junkie. As
soon as its over, you are willing to do anything to
experience it again. Many fans travel on to the next
city, weather it was in their original plans or not.
And somehow, even when you tell yourself that this is
your last show, remind yourself that you have a life
to get back to
you end up at the next show anyway.
What is it about Marilyn Manson that has this affect
on people? A good place for a reporter to start
searching for these answers would be within the line
of people that gathered outside the Wiltern theatre in
Los Angeles for two of the last dates on the final leg
of the Rape of the World tour as early as 3am, just
so they can ensure their spot in the front row. Some
fans had tickets, and some chose my personal favorite
method to get into the show, leaving it up to fate.
Among the die-hards were pairs of girls that traveled
all the way from Japan and Germany as well as all the
old familiar faces Id come to know from traveling the
states alongside the band. Huddling under umbrellas
in the pouring rain that cursed the weekend, they
assembled with blankets, chairs and boom boxes blaring
Manson tunes. By the second night, we were greeted by
anti-gay protestors who held up non-sensible signs
accusing us of eating babies and other good stuff.
They werent nearly of the caliber of protestors that
came out during the Antichrist Superstar period, but
the fact that Manson still scares white, right-wing
middle class America after all these years is just
another testament to his power and rightful place in
rock history. I giggled to myself and sent a text
message to his tour manager so they could capture some
of the action on video for future DVD content, once
again offering my eyes and ears services free of
charge. The venue security looked a little nervous as
fans started chanting back at the protestors and alas,
the doors opened!
As usual, I was the first one into the venue and I
immediately ran to my regular spot at the end of the
catwalk where I knew Manson would see me. In my
opinion, you havent experienced a Manson show until
youve seen it from up front where you can feel each
song pulse through your body. The circus sideshow
begins with Cruci-fiction In Space as Manson appears
in an interlude of smoke and lights. He plays the
ringmaster from the moment he gazes upon the audience,
making lots of eye contact, taunting and teasing you
with pseudo-sexual fascism and Manson-style proverbs
that are both thought provoking and amusing. At one
point he addresses the content of L.A. society
stating, L.A. is filled with two types of people, the
people that helped me become famous and become a rock
star and the people that can only become famous
because they know me or they fucked me because Im a
rock star. I pondered the statement realizing that I
might fit into both categories. I certainly helped
Manson become famous, having been a loyal supporter
since his club days, but I was also getting quite a
bit of notoriety in the press these days as a famous
groupie and Manson was definitely my favorite subject.
I hoped that he didnt lump me in with the ex-band
members, ex-wives and ex-exes that tried to fuck him
when he was down but then I realized I wasnt an ex, I
was a current! I was still here and had outlived them
all. I knew Manson knew that anytime I spoke of him
it came from a pure place. After all, when youve
spent most of your life hanging out with, waiting for,
or watching someone you love, its pretty hard to tell
your life story without including them. And although
I wished Manson would keep in closer contact with me
offstage, he has yet to disappoint me onstage. He
paid me lots of attention those two nights in L.A.,
frequently grabbing me and singing to me. In fact, as
soon as he hit the stage the following night in San
Diego, he made his way straight down the catwalk and
held my hand before doing anything else as if to thank
me for coming back again. Perhaps, this experience
was an addiction we both shared. As a reporter, I
should tell you about the pleasant nostalgia of having
Twiggy Ramirez back in the band, the power and fury
that special guest guitarist Slayers Kerry King
loaned to Little Horn and 1996, and Rob Hollidays
intense guitar playing precision over the last guy
that they had
but Ill leave those comments to LA
I want to talk about the fact that no matter how old I
get or how frustrated I get with Mansons frequent
periods of absence (or maybe absinthe) in my life, I
still forget it all when I watch him play. No matter
how many times I tell myself I wont take this pill
again, that I wont go down this emotional
rollercoaster again, that I wont put my life on hold
to go to the next city again, I cant help it
just so fucking good! And there are a dozen other
obsessed Manson friend/fans whispering in my ear, do
it, do it! as they shower me with free tickets,
backstage passes and hotel rooms. Ive become the
high priestess to the ritual and it seems many feel
something is missing if Im not there. They need the
most notorious Manson fan to show up and justify their
addiction. Misery loves company I guess. Who am I to
argue? Ill play Mansons Evita. I know things that
most of these kids dont. Ive been behind the iron
curtain. Ive done my homework on mind control
programming and magic within marketing. Ive allowed
myself to go over the edge and come back again. Ive
cracked all the Charlie Manson, Hitler, Illuminati,
Catcher in the Rye, hypnotic, trigger, mind-fuck
Wizard of Oz bullshit. But Manson may be wrong when
he stated, When all of your wishes are granted, many
of your dreams will be destroyed. For, I am under no
delusions. But knowing the recipe doesnt make the
cake any less sweet. Reality may crush my spirits
from time to time, but no one can take away my dreams.
I am still touched by Marilyn Manson and what I
experience through his art and I wouldnt want it any
other way. The show is stunningly beautiful. And for
us die-hards, its like the best drug you can ever
imagine. Its something that takes place in another
dimension, truly the land of make-believe. Its like
acid, ecstasy, absinthe and heroin all mixed together.
Its erotic at times, orgasmic, better than any sex
Ive ever had
and Ive had a lot of sex! Manson often
looks at me while fondling himself or caressing the
air in such a way that it looks as if he is molesting
an invisible woman while he sings. When he does this,
I am able to connect into his every thought and I can
feel it physically inside my organs as much as I could
if he were making love to me or fucking the living
hell out of me with his hands around my throat. He
has complete control of my body as I climax with every
chorus. I realize that I am forever screwed in the
real world, because no mortal man can ever get me off
like this. I can never love a human being the way I
love those songs and that performance. Thats what
makes a true groupie a groupie. He embodies the Willie
Wonka-esque childhood imaginary friend, a kinky Christ
of taboo sex, and a death angel. He is innocence,
sex, violence, intelligence, spirituality and death
wrapped into one grotesque yet beautiful being that
seduces you like a tragic starlet on the edge of an
overdose. He makes me want to die in the moment so I
can preserve the high. But I dont have a death wish
these days. I think the world needs people like
Marilyn Manson and Lexa Vonn to play the storytellers.
Its people like us that just may tell the real story,
and thats the one that people fear most of all.
The peak moment of what I witnessed this time around
was in L.A. during a mashed medley of Coma White and
Coma Black. Manson appeared center stage in a
flurry of snow machine produced flakes that sprinkled
both band and fans. Manson kneeling in a snow-covered
world was a vision I had seen long ago in a suicide
attempt acid trip nightmare, back when I first started
following the band. Maybe it had been a prophecy of
the future, or maybe Manson was replicating that
special alternate world that we frequently met each
other in. Whatever it was, his knowledge of my
connection to it seemed prominent as he grabbed hold
of my hand tightly and sung to me, This was never my
world, you took the angel away, Id kill myself to
make everybody pay. I closed my eyes and felt a
surge of energy transcend through his body into mine
and back again. It was if all the pain in the world
was shared between us in that moment. When he let go,
he remained curled in a ball at the end of the catwalk
screaming and raising his arms to the sky. It was as
if Manson came to pray at my groupie alter, just as I
had prayed at his for so many years. It was this
mutual exchange of meaning, message, and emotion that
would always keep me coming back for more, regardless
of the fact that he was always busy entertaining
celebrities and other women after the show while I
waited patiently, my laminate pass around my neck,
wishing that hed come to the after-party and whisk me
away to a private room where we could recreate what
happens onstage, offstage. -LV
Redondo Beach, CA
Photos by; Lexa Vonn
When I was 13 years old, I had a picture of Michael Monroe taped to the inside of my locker. He was the central piece of a collage of rock gods that I would gaze at periodically throughout my small-town days dreaming of a time when I would fly far away to Los Angeles to live happily ever after. My best friend, Jennifer and I would stroll the playground at lunchtime singing Hanoi Rocks tunes. We’d wear black every December 8th in remembrance of our dear sweet Razzle, Hanoi’s drummer, who died tragically in a car crash on that day. Long after I made my move to L.A., I too suffered the loss of my best friend Traci Michaels, drummer of glam band, The Peppermint Creeps. About a year before his untimely death, we spent a summer holed up in my Hollywood apartment drinking sake and popping ecstasy while listening to my endless catalog of music. Hanoi Rock’s “Two Steps From the Move” was probably our most played album during those endless hot nights and we literally lived through the lyrics of each song. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” became our songs. Needless to say, when I heard that Michael Monroe was touring America after being absent for nearly 20 years due to visa problems, I was beside myself!
It was a long time coming to finally be blessed with the opportunity to witness legendary Hanoi Rocks frontman, Michael Monroe live and in action and I must admit, I was nothing short of awe-struck from the moment he stepped onstage to the crowd-demanding encore. In fact, I was so excited to be there that I found it difficult to take pictures because I couldn’t stop myself from pogo-ing and singing along. This man has a true genius that goes much too unnoticed in rock’s history books. Michael Monroe is one of the only artists today that really nails the glitter punk sound of the late 70’s. Even more genius is his choice of a back-up band. You simply can’t go wrong with such a cool line-up as original Hanoi Rocks bassist and later day New York Doll, Sami Yaffa, Danzig’s Todd Youth and The Wildheart’s Ginger on guitar, and drummer Jimmy Clark from Debbie Harry and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I could tell that everyone onstage was not only in the band, but fans of one another as well, and the chemistry radiated through the club like static lightening. Michael looked beautiful as ever as he hung from rafters and performed leaps and high kicks that would make David Lee Roth pale in comparison. He was dressed in leather and star-print, accenting his signature bleach blond teased mane. He often jumped into the audience, even crawling across the bar at one point. If Iggy Pop and David Bowie had a love child, this would be him!
For those unfamiliar with Hanoi’s sound, they are more Dead Boys than Poison, so don’t write them off as just another 80’s hairband. The one thing people don’t realize about Michael is how punk rock he really is. Think Johnny Thunders or Stiv Bators, both of whom were paid tribute to during the show. Besides the covers, the set played like a catalog of Michael’s career beginning with a few new songs and mixing in songs from his days with Demolition 23 and Hanoi Rocks, as well as his solo material. The Hanoi stuff got the most boisterous response from the crowd, which is to be expected, but I found myself singing along even to the songs I was hearing for the first time that night. They hit a brief somber moment as Michael reminisced of Razzle’s passing so many years ago just blocks away from Brixton, the club they were currently playing. He dedicated “Boulevard of Broken of Dreams” to him and I got a little teary eyed thinking of both Razzle and Traci as they launched into it. The show was so high energy however that it was impossible to be sad for more than a moment. All in all, the energy didn’t break for the duration of the whole performance which ended with an audience sing-a-long of “Dead, Jail, or Rock n’ Roll”. In fact, it was so high energy that many of us up front found ourselves gasping for air. It might’ve been nice if they had thrown in a ballad or two, not just to give the crowd a rest but also because Hanoi Rocks wrote some of the best rock ballads ever. I would’ve liked to heard “Don’t You Ever Leave Me” or “Until I Get You”, but other than that, this show was nothing short of perfect. -LV
Michael Schenker Group
Santa Fe Station
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: KK
There must be something magically life-sustaining in playing rock & roll—or, perhaps, simply being able to make a decent living from your life’s passion—that enables certain performers to withstand ‘The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, and the test of time.
Case in point: Mr. Michael Schenker, wunderkind guitarist of UFO, Scorpions and the Michael Schenker Group. Here, tonight at Santa Fe Station’s CHROME Showroom. Still very much ALIVE at age 54, when he could very well not be. The rest of UFO were forcing drinks on this guy when METALLICA were in Elementary school. (While we’re about it, why is ANYONE in UFO still alive, after drinking a veritable ocean of alcohol? For Christ’s sake, UFO has ANOTHER album coming out next month! Oh well, see paragraph one again, I guess.)
I hadn’t seen Michael Schenker since 1994, when he’d reunited with UFO for their WALK ON WATER tour in Orlando, and he was in top form, as was the band…but here’s something: he always played separately from the band. He had his own space on the stage, rarely moved from it, and simply concentrated on playing his guitar. The other guys in UFO seemed to respect that space and gave him a wide berth (with the exception of Pete Way, who bounded all over the place).
Now, on the “In The Midst Of Beauty” Tour, Schenker seems relaxed, serene, even—dare I say it—happy? He ought to be, since it’s his band and his music. He’s also a rare pleasure to photograph, since he still stays relatively still on stage, except when his music moves him to sway a bit, or throw in a background vocal. He and his bandmates open with “Ride” and “Cry For The Nations”, and he only sways a bit, focusing as always on his trademark Flying V guitar. The near-capacity crowd at CHROME (the first time I’ve seen it with actual seats, and multi-tiered ticketing) is rabid in their response for the guitar hero.
Original vocalist Gary Barden does his best to conjure his lyrics out of the PA with MSG’s faster classic “Armed And Ready”, but f**k, I can’t hear him. Not really. Maybe my rock-deafened ears are failing me, maybe I’m too far to the right to hear the other amplifiers…or just maybe CHROME’S speakers aren’t up to matching the standards of The Michael Schenker Group…I’m hoping it’s reason #1 or #2, since Bulletboys and The Iron Maidens played here in top form, but I was in a different spot (Or perhaps they rented more speakers).
If you’re a Billy Squier fan, you’d love this MSG tour, because you’d be hard pressed to find a difference between Billy Squier and Gary Barden. His vocals combine a professional, operatic singer’s with any earnest rock fan you’d find on the street…perhaps exactly what Schenker was looking for in a vocalist. Still, I had to crane my neck to see the set list to ensure he was singing “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie.”
When he left the stage for Mike’s classic instrumental “Into The Arena”, we were all amazed by Michael Schenker’s guitar pyrotechnics…they tend to overshadow the lyrics and themes of his songs. MSG has a wealth of great songs, but no real ‘hits’ like UFO has. I was hoping to hear “Assault Attack” or “Rock You To The Ground”, but no luck…perhaps Barden’s not cool with Graham Bonnet’s vocal style. But we did get to hear “On and On” and “Attack of the Mad Axeman”, and those two were good enough for me. One cool ‘bonus’ was the sight of a six-year-old kid sitting on his Dad’s shoulders and frenziedly waving ‘the horns’ towards MSG!
After the shortest of breaks—just as the crowd begins chanting “M-S-G!” Schenker & the lads return for an encore of “Gypsy Lady” from the new album, where they’re joined by a third guitarist and an additional percussionist. The song’s an actual Flamenco ballad, soft and fluffy as a stuffed animal. Then the intro of “Doctor Doctor” begins, and the crowd goes nuts…and I like it, too, but I can’t figure why it’s considered UFO’s biggest hit; they’ve got plenty of others from their Schenker vaults. Fortunately the mothership of all UFO songs follows: “Rock Bottom”! Schenker and rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Wayne Findlay effortlessly reproduce the same guitar-keyboard duel made famous on STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT, and then MSG gracefully bows out…with Michael high-fiving everyone in the front row, including your humble servant! All in all, a great show, proving that Schenker and his group are so far above ‘rock bottom’ (at least in talent, if not raw sales) they might as well be in the stratosphere.
BAND: Michael Schenker, Lead Guitar, backing vocals
Gary Barden, Vocals
Wayne Findlay, Rhythm Guitar/Keyboards
Pete Holmes, Drums
Rev Jones, Bass
SETLIST: Ride, Cry for the Nations, Let sleeping dogs lie, Armed and ready, Ready to rock, I want you, A night to remember, Into the Arena, Lost Horizon, Rock my nights away, On and On, Attack of the Mad Axeman, (Encore) Gypsy Lady, Doctor Doctor, Rock Bottom.
TRIVIA: Michael taught his older brother Rudolf Schenker to play guitar, at around $1 per song.
Michael recorded SCORPIONS’ “Lonesome Crow” LP at age 17.
Since Michael didn’t know any English upon being recruited for UFO, Pete Way taught him UFO songs using sign language.
Besides UFO, SCORPIONS and MSG, he auditioned for both Aerosmith and Ozzy Osbourne, but priced himself out of the ballpark. He also played with RATT on MTV Unplugged when Robbin Crosby was ill.
An unfortunately savage divorce in the late 90’s cleaned Michael out of his Mercedes, his collection of trademark Flying V’s, and even his own song rights! (What kind of vindictive bitch thinks she deserves her ex’s song rights?)
Michael fired Graham Bonnet for dropping his pants at the Reading Festival (and for losing his voice too often). Instead of quitting, MSG postponed the rest of their performance and called Gary Barden. Barden arrived a few hours later and completed the set without even rehearsing.
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: Christine Sesman
Ministry hit the stage with a bang; exciting, heavy, full of dynamics. A very powerful sound to say the least. Al Jourgenson had a commanding presence (sinister and menacing) as eerie lights and spotlights flickered about. And that was just the first song!
They presented the sound of the apocalypse. Of a world gone mad. More than just sheer bombast, there were little intricasies interspersed. They were a bit hard to hear, but they were there.
An impressive display of sight and sound was as hand. A multimedia presentation that made one think and react. I was bombarded by sirens, strobe lights, spotlights, and surrealistic political and sociological film.
Rebellous, raucous, and defiant is how I would describe this show. At the same time, very fluid and sounded natural, not forced. The distortion was controlled as were the punishing rhythms, and the bottomless pit of bass.
In a way that can be best described as being in tune and not out of character. Most other bands couldn't handle or present the wall of sound that Ministry projected without going out of tune or becominc a big sonic glop.
Of course this literal wall of sound was an added bonus to what I described above.
This is Ministry's last tour. Let's hope it's not. -DN
Mandalay Bay Events Center
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: Shy McGrath
Mötley Crüe live can be a gamble, and what better place for that than Las Vegas. Their
concerts are very haphazard. Meaning, you can get a really good show or a really bad show.
On this particular night, it was a good show! The Crüe were at their raw, obnoxious, and
lewd and crude best. It was a spectacle that presented an atmosphere of sleaze and danger.Tommy Lee was an animal on the drums, Mick Mars' guitar playing was the highlight of the show. Extremely fluid and showed a lot of dexterity on the six-string. Nikki Sixx layed down the bottom end quite well.
Vince Neil prowled the stage, and surprisingly enough his vocals were very good. No skipping words and fumbling (and/or stumbling) about. Which he has been known to do in the past.
So the hand was dealt, and we came up with all aces. Overall, it was one Hell of a show. -DN
"Kickstart My Heart"
"Shout at the Devil"
"Saints of Los Angeles"
Mick Mars Guitar solo
"Sick Love Song"
Tommy Lee Tit E. Cam
"Motherfucker of the Year"
"Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)"
"Same Old Situation"
"Looks That Kill"
"Girls, Girls, Girls"
Encore: "Home Sweet Home"
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV
Motörhead are known to be one of the best live acts in their respective genre. On this night they didn't disappoint.
It was a fury of great proportions that never seemed to let up. It was intense times 100.
The combination of tight musicianship, high energy, and raw power was intoxicating to say the least. It was like a freight train at full speed on the tracks. Coming right at you. Either stay out of the fuckin' way, or get ran over and be faced with quite an aural orgasm.
Along with that, the bands' stage presence (especially bassist/vocalist Lemmy Kilmiser) was second to none. They certainly made their stage presence known to all.
The new songs and the old classics blended perfectly. It was very fuckin' loud, which is what you can expect from Motörhead. Phil Campbell and Lemmy Kilmister cranked out excellent riffs and Mikkey Dee is quite the powerhouse drummer. Along with Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain, Mikkey Dee has the ability to riff along with the guitars while keeping good time and not missing a beat. These 2 are neck and neck in the world of Heavy Rock/Heavy Metal drummers.
Honestly, it's real hard to review this band. Because they are very exciting, they command your attention at all times, and it is quite a thrill. The songs are definitely anthems for the ages, and this was not lost on myself or the rest of the rabid crowd. It is easy to get caught up in the excitment, and simply lose yourself in the music. -DN
THE MURDERDOLLS ARE BACK!
Now in an updated re-vamped mode, with a Coffin-Logo that sees the Red Devil girl with the chainsaw removed and a Living-Dead-Doll in her place. The colorful Red-and-Black clothes and hair have gone, replaced with a rather drab run-of-the-mill Black. The hair is no longer wild and fun to imitate, just long Black 80's-style Motley Crue.
Funny thing is, when it's Wednesday 13 alone with his own band, Gunfire 76, the look fits perfectly. For some reason, the Murderdolls should be DIFFERENT - that's why the Graveyard-Black and Blood-Red look worked so well. That's my two-cents worth anyhow!
The Murderdolls line-up is also different from the original band, using 3 members of Gunfire 76 - Racci Shay Hart on Drums, Nate Hate on Bass and Roman Surman on Rhythm guitar. And of course, not forgetting the main reason for the mass interest in the band, Joey Jordison from Slipknot, again on lead guitar, giving him a short break from his current gig playing drums for Rob Zombie.
The Murderdolls are set to play Ozzfest in London England, Third in the line-up behind Korn and Ozzy himself, showing the major pulling-power of Joey Jordison.
When I first saw them in 2002 in England, the band instantly proved immensely popular, blowing everybody off the stage including the headliner Papa Roach. Their album "Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls" was fresh blood to a necrotic wound, and they were destined to hit the stratosphere with a strong video for Dead In Hollywood getting constant TV airplay on the Kerrang! music channel thanks to the guest appearance of Marilyn Manson.
Long after they broke up due to Joey Jordison's commitments with Slipknot, the public kept their spirit alive producing and selling Murderdoll Merchandise whilst eagerly awaiting the return of the Prodigal Demons and the next album. Due to be released in August, it will be snapped up, dissected, and spewed up on Social networking sites by die-hard fans.
The live show in Pomona was the first, warm-up show. In a venue just a third full, Wednesday 13 showed the ease with which he commands the full attention of everyone there, fully aware of his power over them as he struts about the stage interacting with everyone. He has a knack of making everyone feel that they know him personally, and he tells little stories, starting with "O.K., Boys And Girls," and sits on the stage and talks to his "children". It's so endearing, that this Monster out to drink your blood wants to tuck you into bed first. The music as always, is Awesome, the new stuff getting a great reception and the old stuff getting rapturous screams and pumping arms. Joey as the Co-Ringmaster appeared to enjoy the small venue/small audience vibe. The band were a little stiff, learning to comfortably interact with each other, but it bode well for the future of the Murderdolls. Their next gig was the full-to-capacity Key Club in West Hollywood just two days later.......!!!
All I can say is, it was Love At First Fright! Welcome back to the Fresh-Faced Corpses of Undead Rock! -SV
World According /Intro
Chapel Of Blood
Slit My Wrist
Twist My Sister
My Dark Place Alone
Drug Me To Hell
Love At First Fright
She Was A Teenage Zombie
Die My Bride
People Hate Me
Welcome To The Strange
New York Dolls
House of Blues
Photos by: Sunset Vampyre
WE ARE THE FURY
When I arrived We Are The Fury were already up and running, and the crowd were dancing and singing, which is always a good sign that the party is swinging, the beer is flowing, and life is peachy. They were surprisingly good, with an abundance of stage-presence emanating from the snappily-dressed frontman, Jeremy Lublin, and a great posse of band members supporting the vocals with some exceptional playing. I was actually kicking myself for missing the beginning of the set - an amazing accolade from me who generally dreads the opening bands, as very few of them are on a par with the headliner ( to know what I'm talking about, see my review of Nine Inch Nails! )
Actually, I'm being a little harsh on support bands - they have a difficult enough job to do with half the audience propping up the bar, and there are some amazingly talented bands out there starving to death 'cause the record companies won't pick them up - however I stand by my review of NIN choice of support bands, just 'cause I love Trent Reznor but sometimes I think he has the worst taste in music ( Saul Williams, Dresden Dolls ), although his choice of Queens of the Stone Age and Bauhaus were excellent - then again, maybe I'm just missing point!
Anyhow, back to this band - they play the kind of music that isn't really heard much anymore, kind of a mix of old-school punk, and Queen-esque rock. Whatever, it's fun, can't-stop-moving kind of music that makes you laugh, then has you turning to your mates and say " that was mad, that was"! I even bought their CD "Venus" after the show, and didn't change my mind on playing it - if anything, they have gone up a few digits on my personal Richter Scale!
One little piece of advice for this band, though, is - when you have a lone camera in the pit taking pictures of you, occasionally pose for camera - you never know where those pictures will end up!
NEW YORK DOLLS
After an interminable wait, the opening operatic epic signaled the start of The Dolls set, and the audience was a sight to see - the place was packed to the rafters, and I was glad I was in the pit with a barrier behind me and the stage in front. There suddenly appeared a whole lot of peeps ( C'mon, its from Ali G! ) with cameras working for various magazines, so it got a little crowded in there - where were they when that other great band was on stage? Yeah, I know - propping up the bar.....
Anyhow, out comes Mick Jaggers twin brother, the Dolls vocalist David Johansen wearing a girls pink top, scarf tied around his waist, giving us a big grin and lots of views of his stomach! The rest of the band were as flamboyantly dressed, and they immediately started rockin' out, giving us a great intro into the party they were throwing for us.
Sylvain Sylvain was amazingly noticeable, and not just because of that hat ( you can still get those hats from the 60's? I thought train drivers stopped wearing them decades ago! ) He was very personable, posing for the cameras ( Fury, take note! ) smiling like a Cheshire cat, and showed everybody what a great time he was having. There's no doubt about it, this band really know how to rock!
They stayed in high gear for most of the show, playing all their much-loved hits, and giving the Stones and Sex Pistols a run for their money. The girl-group sound was blatantly-obvious at times bringing much mirth and merriment to their old-school fans, and the alternating between Punk-Rock and Jerry-Lee Lewis type of swaggering Rock 'n' Roll had the entire HOB up on its feet and dancing. From the first song to the last, that feeling of " Wow - I Just Got Laid!" never stopped.
Everybody left that place with a smile on their face, glad they had a Condom in their pocket ( read " New York Dolls" ticket! ) -SV
San Francisco, CA
Photos by: EvAl
I arrived to find openers, Mutiny Within, just starting their set. It’s got to be tough to be an opening act, taking the stage at 7 pm with only a few people through the doors. I got to hand it to these guys that they didn’t let the meager crowd keep them from delivering an energetic set of progressive, melodic metal with dueling guitar leads. After the set, the entire band went down and shook every single person’s hand in the front row. That’s how a young band wins over fans.
Next up was Cattle Decapitation from San Diego. If you’ve never heard them before, the band describes itself as “veggie gore-grind.” Not helpful? Think riff-heavy guitars with guttural vocals. They definitely nailed their style but I didn’t get a lot of variation out of their music. Other than that, the singer liked to spit straight up into the air and catch it. I found myself dodging puddles of spit the rest of the night for those many cases when he was not successful.
With his regular line-up busy with other commitments, Prong front man Tommy Victor turned to Tony Campos (Static X) for bass duties and Alexei Rodriguez for drums. Only a few dates into the tour, it was clear from tonight’s performance that these guys mesh well. Having previously seen Tommy back larger-than-life front men like Glenn Danzig, it was a treat to see Tommy revel in the spotlight; he looked good and appeared to be genuinely enjoying himself on stage. And unlike some singers who double-up on guitar duties, Tommy didn’t get stuck behind the mic and made sure to use the stage to its fullest and interact with the crowd as much as possible. Musically, the band sounded great, opening with For Dear Life from their 1990 release, Beg To Differ. With only 45 minutes to play, Tommy and the guys wasted no time tearing through a set list which focused on the years of their commercial success (Beg to Differ through Rude Awakening) as well as 2007’s Power of the Damager. According to the crowd response, the highlight of the set was Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck from Cleansing. After the show, I spied Tony in the lobby hanging out and taking pictures with the fans … class act, that guy. Be sure to check out my interview with Tommy here [insert link].
For Dear Life
Beg to Differ
Looking for Them
Another Worldly Device
Whose Fist Is This Anyway?
Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck
Power of the Damager
Headliners, Soufly, took the stage at 9:50 pm. My first time seeing them live I wondered what it would be like given the dramatic musical shifts on their albums which go back and forth between extreme metal , Brazilian drum grooves and everything in between. Upon hearing the intro music to Blood Fire War Hate two things became abundantly clear … first, most of the crowd that had been respectful through the opening bands was here for one reason … Soulfly. Second, this was going to be a straight up metal show. Max Cavalera, who sported a large beard and even larger dread locks, spent most of the night firmly planted behind the mic stand while guitarist Marc Rizzo made up for the lack of movement at center stage and was clearly the most energetic of the band members. At one point Max pulled an enthusiastic fan out of the crowd to help with some drumming on stage. Earlier this same guy had showed me his Soulfly tattoo thinking that I worked for the band. How Max knew to choose this particular guy who was so far off the side he could hardly be seen I have no idea but he made a good choice; he made this guy’s year. Covering songs like Seek N Strike and Jumpdafuckup, the band played a tight but relatively short set. After 65 minutes, the band left the stage and the house lights came on. You could see the confusion in the faces in the crowd and despite a chorus of ”olé … olé, olé, olé … Soulfy! Soulfy!”it was over. -EvAl
Got something to say? Send fan/hate mail to email@example.com
Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
San Jose, CA
Photos by: EvAl
Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg came to California for a one-off show at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Billed as El Mexicano Rock Fest, Blitzkrieg was sandwiched between two veteran bands from Mexico, Rostros Ocultos and headliners El Tri. Even knowing that there has always been a huge following in Latin America of the Ramones music, I still couldn’t help but wonder how a blistering set of punk rock classics was going to go over in front of the packed house.
As the stage crew set up for Blitzkrieg, the audience started chanting. While the English translation was lost on me, it was clear that I had nothing to worry about. The band took the stage to a roaring crowd and Alex and Clare took the chance to shoot some pictures and videos of the crowd. Marky and Michale took the stage and Clare counted in the first song old-school style … 1-2-3-4 … and the band burst into Rockaway Beach. I couldn’t help but sing along to one of my Ramones favorites as I snapped photos.
With a set consisting entirely of Ramones songs, it’s almost impossible to avoid comparisons. The Ramones were never a band to stand around and waste time and neither are Blitzkrieg. Barely seconds would pass between the time that one song ended and Clare would count in the next. I had the privilege of seeing The Ramones three times over the course of 13 years; they were a powerful band with a larger-than-life stage presence, but Joey, Dee and Johnny did not move around a whole lot. Rather than trying to emulate a Ramones performance, Michale, Clare and Alex really seemed to make those songs their own. Besides having the official role as song counter-inner, Clare did a fantastic job complementing Michale with her harmonies and did a great job interacting with the crowd, always with a mischievous look on her face that always had me thinking that she was up to no good. Alex brought his game, pounding out the signature rapid-fire eighth notes with precision. Michale’s vocals fit the material surprisingly well; surprising to me because I realized how closely his style matches Joey’s.
Wasting no time, the band tore through 24 songs before leaving the stage. The crowd knew that it wasn’t over yet and didn’t budge, waiting for the band to return to play Something to Do, Cretin Hop and R.A.M.O.N.E.S. Stepping of the stage again, the house music came on and the crew starting packing up the drum kit. Backstage I could see the confused look on Michale’s face and Clare talking to the stage crew. Put those drums back, we’re not done yet! Things straightened out, the band took the stage to finish with Wonderful World and, what else? Blitzkrieg Bop.
Bottom line: Marky and the band successfully honor the Ramones tradition without trying to make it something it’s not. If you love the Ramones like I do, go see Blitzkrieg. I think Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny would be proud. -EvAl
Do You Wanna Dance
I Don’t Care
Sheena is a Punk Rocker
Beat on the Brat
53rd & 3rd
Rock & Roll Radio
Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
Rock n Roll High School
Judy Is A Punk
She’s the One
I Believe in Miracles
The KKK Took My Baby Away
I Wanna Be Sedated
Don’t Wanna Walk
Something to Do
House of Blues
Photos by: Lexa Vonn and April Vixxi
On April 17th, 2008 I headed out, alongside my
Plastics sidekick, April Vixxi to catch Ratt and White
Lion at the House of Blues on Sunset. The night was
opened by 80's rock band, Little Caesar who looked as
though when they quit the first time, they never
thought they'd tour again. While their sound wasn't
exactly bad, they looked like a bunch of senior
citizens. I'm not sure how old they were when they
started the first time around, but they really needed
to take some lessons from Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler
on looking and performing like a rock star no matter
what age you are at. We found them boring. White Lion
was next to take the stage and were looking good as
they ran through some of their hits including "Tell
Me" and their cover of the classic Golden Earring song
"Radar Love." To finish off their set the right way,
they rang into their most notorious tune, "Wait",
complete with singer Mike Tramp thanking the audience
for making the song a hit in the 80's and sticking
with the band all of these years, while encouraging us
to all sing along. Finally at around 11 it was time
for some Ratt n' Roll!
The boys of Ratt seemed overjoyed to be playing their
hometown stage with an almost original line-up
featuring guitarist John Corabi filling in for Robin
Crosby who passed away in 2002. The show was
completely sold out with tickets being sold on the
street for well into the hundreds. Old time fans and
young recruits of the glam revival packed against the
barricade like sardines, some to reminisce, others to
catch a glimpse of what they missed out on in the
Miss April was among those in the front row
while I hung safely inside the barricade snapping away
on my camera and sharing a few flirtatious moments
with singer Steven Percy. The band rocked like the
pros they are and cut absolutely no corners on the set
list. It seems they fit in just about every single
they ever had. Some favorites were, "Way Cool
Junior", "You're in Love", "Lay it Down", "Wanted
Man", "Body Talk", and of course the obvious but
nonetheless engaging finale of "Round and Round".
Looking around at the faces in the crowd everyone was
wowed by the energy and enthusiasm of the band. It
seemed as if they could've played even longer as the
last picks and drum sticks were thrown to an audience
reluctant to depart. Although hair metal never earned
the true musical respect it may have deserved in its
own decade, it remains one of the few genres of music
that can still pack a venue today. Ironic. I loved
it then and I still do. -LV
Jim Rose Circus
House Of Blues
Photos by: Sunset Vampyre
IT WAS ALWAYS GONNA BE a fun show from the time you went to the Merch stall and saw " I LOVE COCKS" T-Shirts and " PISS ARMY" Beanie hats - written ( stolen ) in the exact same font of Kiss' logo. Getting there when the doors opened was a bit of an eye-opener - there was no line. AT ALL. Period. Walking into the venueI discovered there were about a dozen people all told - the floor was completely empty. Very Odd.
The first and second bands came and went, and then Jim Rose came on stage - Lewd, Crude, and extremely Rude. ( Yeah, I know, I'm taking liberties with a certain bands album title - hey, its not plagiarism, I changed it a little! )
He stuck a spoon into his nose, swallowed Razor Blades and then regurgitated them, threw darts into the back of a member
of one of the earlier bands, put a breeze block over the testicles of another band member and proceeded to break it with a sledgehammer, and then got his wife to put a live Scorpion into her mouth, which she bit into and then proceeded to spit out all this yummy yellow/green stuff - Poison or Bile, I couldn't tell. Was he funny? No. Was he Gross? Very.
On talking to him after the show, where he was promoting his new book, and willing to sign it of you paid him $20 for it, he expressed his misery at having to sit around in the HOB when all he wanted to do was to go home. He also expressed surprise when I told him he was in Marilyn Manson's book The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell. I found this amazing - how on earth could he NOT know?
After waiting an interminable time for the headliners, RevCo finally took to the stage, so full of energy they could have powered a nuclear sub-station. Looking behind me - THERE THEY WERE! The crowd had finally appeared, threatening to break down the barriers, driven into a frenzy by the antics of the bowler-hatted Josh Bradford looking sharp in his
suit and cravat, Ministry megaphone in his hand. Every movement of his was exaggerated, mesmerizing the whole audience into being unable to take their eyes off him.
He then proceeded to change outfits several times, finally ending in a floor-length woman's nightdress, red fishnet tights and matching red feather boa, cute kitty-cat shoes and copious amounts of make-up. It was at this point that Al Jourgensen made his appearance, much to the delight of everyone who had resigned themselves to his absence - Al has decided not to tour with RevCo this year.
Ever the showman he posed, smiled, and held all the attention despite the crazy guy in the woman's dress singing " I'm Not Gay!!! " For a Band that's been around in one form or another since 1985 they are a refreshingly sharp, brilliantly talented group of musicians who are gifted with writing perversely hilarious lyrics that speak to the Rocky Horror Picture Show parts of all of us! To Frankenfurter, Riff Raff and the crew - May your Revolting Cocks never whither away and drop off! -SV
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: www.HarrisonPhotos.com
One of the absolute best (and one of the original) British punk bands performed their only US date here in Frightfully Fabulous Las Vegas. I knew I was in for quite a treat. They began with a jazzy version of 1 of there classic (well, which one isn't) tunes, "Pretty Vacant." Then they switched gears to the song we all know an love. With a zeal.
From there, they delivered a set that was explosive and high energy. It was dynamic, forceful, raucous, and rebellious. All of the ingredients were there; which is why they are so revered. You could cut the electricity and intensity with as life. I know that's cliche,
but it's true.
Steve Jones ripped out blistering riffs and solos drenced in warm, creamy distortion. The whole band swung like mad. John Lydon was charismatic, always a bane to authority (by telling security to fuck off,) and quite frankly is out of his fucking mind. That's a good thing for any rock n' roll singer. Paul Cook pounded out the rhythms, and kept the beat and drove the band perfectly. Glen Matlock calmly executed stellar bass lines.
The band as a whole exhibited tight playing, but loose when it needed to be. It was also impressive in its' intensity. They made it look easy, and that's a great accomplishment in its' own right.
Finally, it was a blast, a big party spririt and atmosphere that never got boring. That what rock n' roll is about. -DN
"Did You No Wrong"
"Holidays In The Sun"
"Baghdad Was a Blast"
"I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone"
"God Save The Queen"
"Anarchy in the U.K."
"Silver Machine" (Hawkwind cover)
"Got My Radio On"
Sisters of Mercy
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV
The Sisters of Mercy have been enthralling audiences for almost 30 years now. On this
night, it was no exception. Presenting a razor sharp, dynamic sheet(s) of sound and bathed
in a sea of fog, the Sisters presented a vibe of thrills and chills, and was deliciously
The songs still sound fresh; very modern and not outdated in the slightest. Lead Sister
Andrew Eldtrich brought forth a commanding presence. However, his vocals were buried in the mix. Not high enough in the mix.
Nevertheless, the songs will take you to a different place and time. Also, the Sisters have
a definitive and recognizable style as well as substance. They brought forth many different
colors and textures. Therefore, the listener is allowed to use his or her imagination.
In closing, the Sisters put on 1 Hell of a show, and I hope they continue forward in the
months and years to come. The music world benefits from their presence. -DN
Crash + Burn
First and Last and Always
Never Land (a fragment)
Lucretia My Reflection
Top Nite Out
Temple of Love
The Knitting Factory
Photos by: Sunset Vampyre
In the same way as a car accident or porno film holds your complete and undivided attention, Stolen Babies, with merely a glance, accomplishes the same thing, only without the blood and the sweat. They are TOTALLY mesmerizing.
I'm convinced that one of the band is a professional hypnotist who waves a pocket watch in front of our eyes, making time stand still.
All of a sudden we are in a gingerbread house, and a delectable, diminutive doll walks out into the spotlight, her white face, glittering eyes and evil grin spelling out her intent to eat you, just as soon as she's finished singing you a sweet lullaby.
And how sweet it is. The songs are fabulous potions of poison, made all the easier to swallow by the liberal doses of honey which exude from Dominique's ( shouldn't that be Dominatrix? )vocal cords - just before the guttural demonic shrieks tear a hole in your psyche and her teeth tear a hole in your throat.
What's scarier, Piranha or Vampire? Meet their darling daughter Dominique. She treated us to soulful notes on her accordion, berated us for looking into the bands eyes when she told us not to ( during the singing of "Mind Your Eyes!" ) And subjected us to the fearsome sight of her bottom teeth biting on to her top lip, her face looking like a ghastly dislocated Zombie's jaw just before he snaps it back into place.
The rest of the band are equally awesome ( if you can tear your eyes away from the Voodoo Doll sticking pins into you ), with the stand-up bass player, Rani Sharone, doing a great job looking like a cross between a mad scientist trying to fire electricity out of his strings, and the Vampire Letstat. The whole band were a tightly-knit unit, highly polished and professional, and most of all, unique. If this band doesn't make it big real soon, I'll drink their embalming fluid! -SV
House of Blues
West Hollywood, CA
Photos by: Sunset Vampyre
L.A. GUNS came on stage with all Guns blazing - setting the tone for the night to come, one of Riotous, Screaming-At-The-Top-Of-Your-Voice Rock'n'Roll.
Chad the drummer (also of Faster Pussycat ) waved at me, shouted out hello and stuck his tongue out, none of which I captured on camera because I was laughing so much! If you gave the name of a gun to each member of the band, while the lead singer Marty Casey would be a Smith and Wesson, Chad would be a Musket!!!
The band got the whole place jumping ( although if they were standing still in dead silence the place would still be jumping - they are a tremendously good-looking band! )
Their set was tight, professional - and short. They lived up to the mantra Leave Them Wanting More! And We Did! Sweet got a really nice tribute from Marty Casey, who said he initially didn't realize just how many hit records the band had - he thought they were
While we were waiting for Sweet to come on, I heard the blissful strains of Monty Pythons " Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life".This was the funniest opening song of any band I've ever seen, and it was even more amazing to see the all the audience start swaying, singing and whistling in unison to it!
Then the band came on, and they proved just why they were at the top of their game in their heyday. They opened with ( Everybody Wants A Piece Of The ) Action, which was covered by Def Leppard years later ( their songs were also covered by Poison, Dokken and Quiet Riot - to name but a few! ) then they blasted out hit after hit - Blockbuster, Hell Raiser, Teenage Rampage, Little Willy, Ballroom Blitz - the list goes on and on, but they still left out some of their hits in the near 2-hour set they played. They also did a great Rockin' rendition of the Beatles' I Saw Her Standing There.
But what amazed me about the whole night wasn't the people who grew up with the Sweet and knew all the songs, but the considerable number of young girls in the audience who also knew ( and sang ) every word! You know its a great evening when everyone dances, sends beaming smiles out at perfect strangers across the room and swops phone numbers at the end of the night.
Its Two days later and I'm writing this wearing a Sweet T-Shirt......
Kid in a Candy Store? Nah - its the SWEET SHOP! -SV
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: Micah of Micah's Twisted Tattoo.
For over 20 years, Testament has been a force to be reckoned with. What makes them special and deserving of the utmost respect, is they stuck to their guns and didn't change, sell out, or whatever in the dark days of the 90s.They stayed true to what they did, and they are the better for it.
So is the scene in general. When the reunion (minus Louie Clemente, which is no big deal, since Paul Bostaph is a better drummer) happened in 2005, I was stoked. However, they only played shows sporadically, and it was a challenge
to go out and see them live. In the last 2 years or so, they have become an active touring unit once again. The question is, can they still deliver the goods
The answer is yes. On this night, we were treated to a high-energy affair with very tight musicianship, and excellent stage presence. Particularly from lead guitarist Alex Skolnick, and singer Chuck Billy. You had stellar rhythm guitar by Eric Petersen (as well as surprisingly good leads) and bassist Greg Christian.Paul Bostaph is an incredible drummer in his own right, a human dynamo more or less.
It is to say that these guys make it look easy, which is a tell tale sign ofba superior band. This was thrash metal personified. Very organic, real, no bullshit, no filler, and no pretentiousness. They excelled at keep your attentionbat all times, which is another sign of a great band. You see where I'm going with this? The energy just kept building with each song, and the intesity was palpable.
Like a heavyweight championship fighter, they never let up and went right for the gold. All of this crap I've been telling you is why they're one of the all-time thrash metal
greats, and this is why they deserve all the respect in the world. Because it is real and straight form the heart. So in closing, you must go see them before your time on
this earth is up! -DN
Type O Negative
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV
It began with the Soviet National Anthem. The '4 Dicks From Brooklyn' had arrived. They proceeded to deliver a set that was heavy, dark, forefoding, grinding, and burning. There was symphonic overtones which created layer upon layer of sonic landscapes for the heart and mind to explore. Type O Negative are true masters of emotion
There was also loose but tight jamming going on. The dynamics were very good, going from soft to loud very well where one could appreciate the subtleties inherent in Type O Negative's music. In addtion, there was sweet yet bitter melodies, and a lot of depth and power. They kept one' attention with all of this going on.
The tempos went from slow to fast dramatically. Peter Steele's voice was very sonorous and the rest of the band again, showed tight but loose enemble playing. The way they play off of each other is nothing short of brilliant.
Even though the band probably would disagree with me, Type O Negative have earned the right to be called a classic band, They have stood the test of time. The performance on this night proved it. -DN
Photos by: Sunset Vampyre
When I arrived at the venue 2 hours before Blackie Lawless and Crew were due to go on, the place was already jam-packed. I bumped into friends I knew standing at the back of the club, just thankful they had gotten in - this event was SOLD OUT. Wondering how on earth I was gonna get ANY pictures ( they don't have a photo pit at the Key Club ), I started staking out my spot. Propping up the bar was ex-Murderdoll's guitarist Eric Griffin and his girlfriend Dawn.
"Hello you two, you here to see W.A.S.P.?" "Hell Yeah, of course - wouldn't miss them for anything"! replied Eric.
"I'm here to take pictures for Crypt Magazine". "Oh Yeah? Good luck getting up close!" replied Eric.
But knowing what a hard-taskmaster the Editor of Crypt Magazine is, I decided that only the front row would do. I pushed my way through the crowd, made friends with a couple up front, and REBEL YELL!, there I was, prime position, dead-center, front row.
The support bands were good, and got the crowd dancing, singing cover versions of The Cult and AC/DC. But nothing prepared me for the onslaught that was W.A.S.P.
When the music of Mephisto Waltz started, the deafening sounds of a Railroad Train could be heard bearing down upon us. Only this train contained the monstrous roar of a crowd which would have been able to render even the hard-of-hearing Ozzy Osborne speechless, his hands over his ears.
Blackie Lawless, ever-unchanging, Rock God with that trademark-blank stare into space, stood quietly on stage completely masking the high energy-raw power about to engulf the crowd, his bandmate's Mike Dupke, Drums, Mike Duda, Bass, and Doug Blair, lead Guitar, waiting for his signal. When it came, they slammed into the opener 'On Your Knees'. The fans went wild, the Mosh Pit knocked the wind out of my sails, and security jumped into the crowd and started throwing people out.
Then came the cover version of The Who's 'The Real Me' followed by L.O.V.E. Machine. Meanwhile, behind the band, all the classic video's to the songs were played on the Key Club's screen, with Blackie and co in tune with them in flawless perfection - Awesome! The band then promoted their new album 'Babylon' and played two tracks from it - 'Crazy' and 'Babylon's Burning', the latter of which reminded me of Iron Maiden. These were both excellent songs and were a good indicator of future W.A.S.P. classics. Then it was back to the hits with 'Wild Child' spinning everyone into a frenzy, including the Surfer who leapt off the stage over my head, then surfed back to boot me in it! Following that mayhem was the 3-song Medley which included their song ( and video ) from the movie Ghoulies 2 - with one of those cute little creatures throwing up on screen.......
On to the 'Crimson Idol' album with 3 songs taken from it: 'Arena Of Pleasure', 'Chainsaw Charlie' ( Murders In The New Morgue ), and 'The Idol'. The next 2 songs were from the 'Dominator' album, 'Take Me Up' and the haunting 'Heaven's Hung In Black', with video images from the American Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln's famous quote at Gettysburg at the loss of 50,000 soldier's in 3 days of fighting, "Heaven's hung in Black tonight".
Then, it was that time already - the band went off stage and it was the Key Club that was all hung in darkness while we patiently waited for the bands reappearance.
As they walked back on stage the feeding frenzy started all over again as they played their last 2 songs of the night 'I Wanna Be Somebody' and 'Blind In Texas'.
They left the stage with everybody wanting more ( and I especially wanted Doug Blairs guitars - one with all the frets that light up and the circular-saw that spins around, and the other that had a lit-up stained-glass window - awesome! ) So, the show may have been too short ( 80 minutes ) and I definitely missed Blackie's mic-stand ( whatever happened to it, by the way? ) but I've gotta tell ya - anybody who's ever been stung by a wasp never forgets it - and that's why W.A.S.P. have been around for so long, and continue to be those scary creatures that buzz in your ears and won't go away!
W.A.S.P. ROCKS! -SV
On Your Knees
The Real Me ( The Who Cover Version )
Hellion/I Don't Need No Doctor/Scream Until You Like It
Arena Of Pleasure
Chainsaw Charlie ( Murders In The New Morgue )
Take Me Back Up
Heaven's Hung In Black
I Wanna Be Somebody
Blind In Texas
The Whisky A-Go-Go
Los Angeles, CA
Photos by: Sunset Vampyre
Watching Wednesday is like watching a young mischievous Demon evolve into a fully-fledged Monster. The demon-child cut his teeth ( literally ) into the body of a bland, bloated and boring Music Industry, sucking out what little goodness was in there and meanwhile poisoning his host malevolently with the venom dripping from his mouth. The baby demon took great delight in singing about his mischief-making with his fellow kiddy-grinder kindergartners such as their adventures in a spaceship while " Grave-robbing USA ", going to Weddings and turning them into Funerals, or dressing up as Drag-Queen Zombies with guns, knives, and Miss America in their night-vision field glasses.
As baby demon started growing up he still loved to play games, but they were becoming infused with a slowing-down of the chase: no more catch 'em and slash 'em, now it was the demon playing with his prey: he told them in great detail exactly WHAT Bad Things He Wanted To Happen To Them ( it would be really great if you drowned in a lake, or put a bag over your face and watched you suffocate ).
Yes, a malevolent puberty-reaching demon can be a terrible thing to behold: the Devil himself wondering when all those killer-hormones would settle down - even his bandmates needed to be replaced on a regular basis: body parts are still turning up in the dumpster next to the Whisky.......
Then it happened. The Monster evolved, his terrifying picture of decay encasing a death-knell soundtrack on a new album that shook the very ground ( and the walls and the roof ) as soon as the "Play" button was pushed. Except Wednesday doesn't " PLAY " anymore. He devours.
His shows were Stark, devoid of any kind of theme, with little to nothing in the way of props ( just a machine-gun and a couple of hats ) but oh my god, SO fucking brutal. The "Death Mask" song caused irreversible brain damage, the guitar work savage, the drums violently beating their way into your chest, intent on replacing your hearts own rhythm with Wednesdays sick arrhythmia.
The Monster that is Wednesday 13 is unique among his contemporaries - he induces us to gather around the Ouija board and conjure him up, and then he puts on the goddamn-best ever circus-freak show, with a sly wink to the Sex, Blood and Rock 'n' Roll ethos he re-invented that nobody else even comes close to achieving.
The sound that belongs to Wednesday isn't a chilly wind-blowing-around-the-tombstones - its a million-decibel howl that gets you dancing on your grave! -SV
Gimme Gimme Bloodshed
I Want You Dead
Home Sweet Homicide
Not Another Teenage Anthem
From Here To The Hearse
Till Death Us Do Party
God Is A Lie
House By The Cemetery
Put Your Death Mask On
Happily Ever Cadaver
Running Down A Dream
Look What The Bats Dragged In
Faith In The Devil
I Love To Say Fuck
West Hollywood, CA
Photos by: Sunset Vampyre
HIGH-OCTANE ROCK'N'ROLL Is what Wednesday plays - albeit of the Crawlies-and-Creepies-and-long-legged-Beasties kind. We waited an INTERMINABLE length of time for him to come on, with the crowd getting more and more hyped up the nearer it got to the cemetery gates swinging open - in fact, the electricity being emanated from the crowd alone could light up a small city ( or certainly stir the nether regions of Frankensteins's monster ) but of course, we gotta have the multiple support bands first - Creature Feature ( good ), AKA's ( no comment ) and probably one or two others that I missed 'cause I got there a little late. C'est La Vie - Its only Rock 'n' Roll but I like it........
Oh My God, Is Wednesday worth waiting for? You bet your sweet life he is!
The sheer change in the whole crowd is worth seeing alone - mass hysteria along the lines of the Pope stepping out onto the balcony of the Vatican is the only analogy worthy of Wednesday. He steps into the spotlight, cranks the amps up to MAX, and the best, fun-filled show on the planet takes place. The band ( including Trashlight Visions Acey Slade ) are the sexiest of ghouls, all horror-tattoos and corpse make-up, gyrating frenziedly in a Voodoo trance kind of way, with Wednesday as the Witch Doctor directing the proceedings, throwing the blood into the chicken bones cooking on the fire ( he'd already eaten the flesh. )
He sang songs from his Drag Queen days, the mayhem that was Murderdolls, and his current persona of Drop-Dead Gorgeous Chanel no 13 ( boy, those flower-filled graves sure smell good! )
We all sang "I Want Bad Things To Happen To You" and "Die My Bride" as well as "Happily Ever Cadaver" and "I Love To Say Fuck" - songs that will go down in horror history as having the most fun lyrics you will ever be lucky enough to drunkenly sing in public. But all "Bad Things" come to an end, and however long a Wednesday 13 show is, its too short, but after its over he comes and hangs out, talking and signing all our crap, having his picture taken with us just like every other time, and putting on his fake English accent every time he sees me.
Yeah, Wednesday does have a way of making everybody wanna roll over and die!
Cheers, Mate! -SV
Akron, OH Photo by: The Pusher
It probably goes without saying that the show was... well... I'd say amazing, but it kinda wasn't... The Nekromantix were on fire tonight, but I think Mr. Zombie is starting to believe his own hype; he's been billing this as the biggest production he's ever brought on the road but, trust me -- As cool as the show WAS, it didn't come even remotely close to touching the production WHITE Zombie used to roll out back in the day. Or, for that matter, the show he put on during the ORIGINAL Hellbilly tour back in 1998... No pyro, no mutilated clowns dropping out of the rafters... LOTS of video, yes ~ but the same predictable clips you'd expect to see: Charles Manson in every other frame, fire, pentagrams... You know... the usual. But even a mediocre Zombie show beats the hell out of the Jo Bros or, shit, even Motley Crue on their BEST night -- so I'm STILL not complaining.
Was it all worth it? Well, yes and no...
At one point toward the end of the set, Rob actually hopped off the stage & up into what he called "the cheap seats" -- literally... He ran up the stage left aisle, across the center & up into the first row BEHIND me (and almost landed on me in the process), and then tore back down the stage right aisle before jumping back onstage again... Which, admittedly, was pretty friggin' cool...
But that was as close to him as anybody who DIDN'T pay the overinflated VIP price got to him... After the show, a group of about 15 or 20 of us had gathered by the buses (in 30° or so weather, mind you, for almost an hour) to try & get a pic or something signed -- and after the REST of the group made their rounds, he actually had them bring out a barricade and move the bus to the opposite side of the building so he could come out & make his grand escape.Seriously.
To me, it wasn't THAT big of a deal... I already met him back in '98 TWICE... but some of the kids back there were, like, 15, and OBVIOUSLY breaking curfew to be there, and he just kinda blew everybody off... Maybe I'm jaded, but that's KINDA messed up.
Ultimately, though, I had a good time... and I guess that's what matters. To do it all for free, I certainly don't have room to complain. But would I have paid $55 to do it?
No... probably not.
But I've seen him, both in White Zombie & solo, 5 or 6 times now, so I know what I was missing... If you'd NEVER seen him live before, $36 for a seat UPstairs (the ACTUAL "cheap seats") would've been a fair price in terms of the bang you got for your buck.
$55, though? That's kinda pushing it... but I didn't hear anybody complaining, so maybe it's just me. Either way... yeah... I'd do it again.
And if he comes back in the spring... I probably will. : ) -The Pusher
As for the set itself...
What Lurks on Channel X?
Living Dead Girl
More Human Than Human
House Of 1000 Corpses
Never Gonna Stop
Scum of the Earth
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) [as if John 5 didn't play that enough in Manson...]
Thunder Kiss '65
Werewolf Women of the SS
Lords Of Salem
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