December 11, 2010 at Feelgood’s in Las Vegas, NV
by Deb Rao
It has been a whirlwind of a year for former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler. His band Adler’s Appetite has been touring nonstop in the U.S. and abroad. On Dec.11, Adler’s Appetite performed their final show for 2010 in Las Vegas at Feelgood’s.
If you never been to the newly Feelgood’s on West Sahara in Vegas, you are in for a treat. This is what a Rock N’ Roll Bar should be all about: friendly staff, nice rock decor, good sound system and the venue is open to 4 a.m. featuring some of the ’80s top bands. Let the party begin!
Adler’s Appetite hit the stage at midnight for a 90-minute set of pure Guns N’ Roses hits performed at their best loud and proud with a new rock n’ roll twist. The band features Steven Adler on drums, Alex Grossi on guitar, Michael Thomas on guitar, Chip Z’nuff on bass, and new singer Rick Stitch.
From the opening catchy chords of “Night Train” to the final encore of “Welcome To The Jungle,” is was clear to see what an impact that Guns N’ Roses music has made on the metal community. Steven and Company were at the top of their game. Cranking out the GNR hits as if they were playing in an arena to new fans and all the die hards.
This line-up features Adler’s Appetite at their strongest. Guitarist Alex Grossi is really making a name for himself in the music business. Alex has performed with some of the greatest names in ’80s metal including Dizzy Reed, Beautiful Creatures, Quiet Riot past and present. Alex has a musical style all his own cultivated by his penchant for ’80s music. He breathes new life into the GNR hits. Highlight of the set was “Sweet Child Of Mine’’ which featured a melodically passionate guitar solo from Alex and driving drum solo from Steve Adler. Check out Alex Grossi’s website at www.alexgrossimusic.com.
New Vocalist Rick Stitch has a style the is reminiscent of a young Joe Leste meets Buckcherry. The band has just released their single “Alive” available on i-tunes from their upcoming CD slated to be released in 2011. Singer Rick Stitch informed us, “The upcoming CD sounds like a more modern version of Guns N’ Roses. It definitely has everyone’s signature roots and influences on it. I am really looking forward to the European tour. We are currently working with producer Cinderella drummer Fred Coury on pre-production of our upcoming album.”
Adler’s Appetite slammed through such GNR hits as “Mr. Brownstone”, “Knockin On Heaven’s Door,” and “My Michelle.”
It appears that third time is the charm for Adler’s Appetite as Steven Adler commented that this was the band’s third time performing in Vegas this year and coincidently the bands’ final show for 2010. Steve commented, “Vegas reminds me of the jungle,” as the band wrapped up the set with the final encore, “Welcome To The Jungle,” with fists in the air.
Everyone at Feelgood’s had a great time listening to these timeless hits that has spanned a generation of fans. It was exhilarating watching Steven perform again. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of his book, My Appetite For Destruction: Sex And Drugs And Guns N’ Roses. Adler’s Appetite hit the road again in January.
For tour dates visit www.myspace.com/stevenadlersite
November 11, 2010 at Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, PA
by Steve Trager
On the opening night of the long awaited and very much anticipated North American Blind Guardian’s at the Edge of Time Tour , which kicked off here at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, was nothing short of pure greatness. Been a few years since this band graced the live stage. But, it was well worth the long wait with all new material showcasing the band’s timeless efforts, which has always made Blind Guardian one amazing band, especially as a live touring act. Even before the first band was to take the stage the merchandise booth was already buzzing with fans swarming around snatching up as much gear as possible with fists full of money.
The opening bands always deserve some sort of plug; honestly, some you don’t know much about and others if you do your research, you become familiar with pre material which gives you a better chance to enjoy whatever time they do get to play before the main band sets the stage into a flaming blaze. Florida’s own Seven Kingdoms open the show with a 30-minute set featuring a few songs from both self-produced recordings. For a band that has been a local native in Florida and has gained the spotlight in the club circuit they seem to fit the bill quite nicely. Reminds me of a bunch of young eager musicians just wanting to get their name out their and enjoy the glorified road of a national tour with the big guns of Blind Guardian.
Nice thing about the Trocadero is the quick fast gear change over which led right into the set of Holy Grail. This band reminded me of the early days and the rock roots of Iron Maiden. From the minute the intro sounded and the band took the stage, you could just feel this vibe that the 40-minute set was going to be a heavy hitter. A band that has the best of both worlds: one being sizzling guitar players that just kill it with showmanship and a lead vocal guy with balls of steel that can hit the high notes. Holy Grail posses some great talent as a band and puts their backbone into the live show.
Another quick change over and at last the preparation for Blind Guardian’s metal assault on Philly. The lights went down and the intro tape began to roll out and that set the tone for what was to be the greatest performance of Blind Guardian yet. The set list compiled featured some great amazing heavy hitters that have become a staple in the band’s set over the years. Even if Blind Guardian is truly known as a four piece, this time out while in Philly on the warm up opening date live setting shadowed out as a six-piece, complete with melodic guitars at full decibel volume. Nothing displays a more pure admiration for a band when you can hear the chorus notes from everyone’s mouth from the very beginning on the opening song of the set list. As if 90 minutes wasn’t enough to fill the metal veins of everyone that attended the show, we at least got to see and hear some amazing live power house anthems that made this band great over the years. Unlike most bands that just step onto a stage and rip into songs and then say goodnight, Blind Guardian certainly gives you the best of both worlds with what seems to be a fan participation with chanting song lyrics back at front man Hansi Kursch, as he often would hold up his hands up to his ears to as if to say “Are you still with me? I can’t hear you Philly!“ Indeed they were, as every song sounded great from not just the fans providing secondhand vocals but the band themselves had given the fans nothing but the best. In fact, every Blind Guardian show is always a fun-filled and entertaining concert.
Truly an epic performance with Blind Guardian this time around back in Philly, on the first night of their most recent tour of North America. A short but sweet 23-city trek not to be missed — period!
Blind Guardian Set List:
Welcome to Dying
Born in a Mourning Hall
Time Stands Still
Traveler In Time
This Will Never End
A Voice in the Dark
Lord of the Rings
Imaginations From the Other Side
Wheel of Time
The Bard’s Song – In the Forrest
Blind Guardian Photo Gallery
October 19, 2010 at the Key Club in West Hollywood, CA
by Erik Tweedy
The last time Accept played in Southern California, President Bill Clinton was in office and the world had yet to hear of stains on a blue dress. 17 years have passed and the wait for Accept’s return was well worth it. The best thing to come out of Germany since Hitler’s suicide, Accept hit the stage of the Key Club with a full metal onslaught rarely seen on the Sunset Strip these days. Playing to a packed house, Accept stormed through a set list that encompassed most of their career including several tracks off the newly released Blood of the Nations.
Kicking the show off with “Starlight” from their 1981 Breaker release, Accept sounded fresh and tight and showed no signs of an aging band that just dropped their first studio release in 13 years and has played more shows in the past 10 months than the past 10 years. With the final departure of original lead singer Udo Dirkschneider, guitarist Wolf Hoffman has taken over the reigns as the band’s leader and through his partnership with bassist Peter Baltes, they put the Accept machine back together again in late 2009. Taking over the vocal duties this time around is the dynamic Mark Tornillo who is a perfect fit for the band. Tornillo, sounding a lot like Udo, easily pulled off the older material and his vocal range will add a lot of depth to future Accept releases.
Leaning heavily on material from the ‘80s, Hoffman and the boys ripped through classics like “Breaker”, “Metal Heart”, “Son of a Bitch” and “Losers and Winners”. Highlights of the show came when the pace was at its fastest. “Restless and Wild”, “Neon Nights”, “No Shelter” and “Fast as a Shark” were brutal double bass drum assaults that left most of the fist pumpers breathless. The new material off Blood of the Nations sounded great alongside the respective back catalog of these metal legends. This night was filled with non-stop guitar solos and a number of surprisingly good bass jams that had the crowd begging for more as the show closed with the eponymous “Balls to the Wall”.
With a couple dozen European dates locked in for early 2011 the return of Accept to the worldwide scene looks to be permanent. Hopefully the fans in the U.S. will not have to wait another decade to see this terrific band.
Accept Set List:
Living for Tonight
Bucket Full of Hate
Restless and Wild
Son of a Bitch
Losers and Winners
Up to the Limit
Fast as a Shark
Princess of the Dawn
Balls to the Wall
October 12, 2010, House Of Blues on Lansdowne Street in Boston, Mass.
by Deb Rao
Black Label Society is currently on the East Coast Leg of their tour promoting their latest release Order Of The Black. BLS performed to a sold out audience at the House Of Blues on Lansdowne Street in Boston, Massachusetts on October 19th. The Boston Chapter of BLS fans arrived early and formed a line that made it’s way to the top of Lansdowne Street. Opening the show were 2Cents, Children Of Bodom, and Clutch. It’s has been a year since Black Label Society has performed in The Hub and as usual the band gave a stellar performance.
I arrived at the venue in time for Clutch. This was my first time seeing the band perform and I was very impressed with their rap-metal sound which was very unique. For some reason the sound reminded me of The Blues Brothers in heavy mode.
Black Label Society hit the stage at 9:30 P.M. for a 90-minute set in which the momentum of the performance never let up from start to finish. Zakk Wylde seemed healthy and energized and happy to be back onstage. As Black Label Society ripped through a set that was carefully orchestrated and full of BLS hits such as ”Concrete Jungle”, ”Suicide Messiah”, and ”Stillborn” plus new material from Order Of The Black. Fans lit their cigarette lighters when Zakk Wylde sat down at the piano, as the band paid homage to their fallen brother Dimebag Darrell Abbott on “In This River.” Highlight of the set was during ”Fire it Up” as guitar virtuoso Zakk Wylde masterfully shredded the strings in a blistering 10 minute guitar solo.
Black Label Society returned to their Southern country roots on ‘The Blessed Hellride’ in which Zakk Wylde and guitarist Nick Catanese performed on twelve string acoustic guitars. The band ended the set with their first hit “Stillborn.” I had the opportunity to speak with guitarist Nick Catanese and he told me, “The tour has been going great with a lot of sold out shows.”
Be sure to check out Black Label Society on tour this fall. During the set Zakk Wylde referred to himself as Keith from the Rolling Stones and Nick Catanese as Ronnie. It was refreshing to see the two guitarists unleash their powerful fury with dueling guitar solos. This past year has seen many health scares for guitar virtuoso Zakk Wylde and it was so good to see him back onstage performing again. The staff of Hardrock Haven wishes Zakk Wylde the best and much continued success with his new album Order Of The Black and tour.
Black Label Society Set List:
The Beginning…The Last
What’s In You
The Rose Petalled Garden
Parade Of The Dead
In This River
Fire It Up
The Blessed Hellride
Black Label Society Tour Dates:
23 – Masquerade Music Park – Atlanta, GA
24 – The Fillmore Charlotte – Charlotte, NC
26 – Hard Rock – Orlando, FL
28 – Verizon Wireless Theater – Houston, TX
29 – Concrete St. Ampitheater – Corpus Christi , TX
30 – Verizon Theatre – Grand Prairie, TX
31 – Lonestar Pavilion – Lubbock, TX
2 – Stubbs Waller Creek Ampitheater – Austin, TX
3 – Brady Center – Tusla, OK
5 – DeltaPlex – Grand Rapids, MI
6 – Congress Theater – Chicago, IL
7 – The Fillmore – Detroit, MI
9 – Main Street Armory – Rochester, NY
10 – The LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH
12 – Cotilion – Wichita, KS
13 – Uptown Theater – Kansas City, KS
14 – The Fillmore Auditorium – Denver, CO
16 – The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
18 – Dodge Theatre – Phoenix, AZ
19 – The Palladium – Los Angeles, CA
20 – Warfield – San Francisco, CA
21 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
October 12, 2010, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
by Alissa Ordabai
Artful balance between keeping your audience entertained and avoiding bombast and emotional overkill seems to come to the Dollyrots as naturally as genuine charisma comes to Kelly Ogden – the band’s singer, bassist and indelible frontwoman.
The imposing atmosphere of the Victorian 2,500-seater theater – which Shepherd’s Bush Empire has always been famous for – was on the night transformed into a club-like bristly vibe, the band connecting with the audience as soon as they hit the stage.
Affable, direct, and robust, the Dollyrots managed to walk the tightrope between goofiness and tongue-in-cheek bravura with natural ease, balancing out any musical superfluity with worldly, knowing lyrics which can caricature the stereotypes and obsessions of the modern Western teenage psyche like no other band’s.
Ogden’s singing hit the target on each song – accuracy of intonation and a knack for juxtaposing little vocal nuances making her smallish voice seem like just the right thing for this act. Linear and repetitive is how punk is supposed to be, and the Dollyrots know how to fit what they have into this simple concept. It may not be a great deal, but do try to put up an uplifting, entertaining show without affectations and false pretenses while enjoying yourself and sharing the fun with your audience. And the London crowd loved the band on the night, many having queued for over an hour ahead of the starting time to avoid missing the band.
Teenage music for the teenage audience – made for that curious time in our lives before grown-up sensibilities set in – is, of course, an overindulgent pleasure, a pleasure with no obligations, without any secret messages, contending to have no knowledge of adult ambition, loss, or sensuality, and of the devastation they can wreak. As a result, there is no self-importance to the Dollyrots’ act, which is, perhaps, the neatest thing about them. With them, it is all sincere, organic and open. How they will deal with this creative model once maturity sets in, is another question, but for now there is no other band on the circuit who can deliver such brilliant entertainment while asking so little of you – giving you all the fun you can have without demanding anything in return.
Photos courtesy of Alissa Ordabai
October 2, 2010, Jaxx, W. Springfield, VA
by Justin Gaines
German metal queen Doro Pesch and her band of metal warriors descended on Jaxx in West Springfield, VA Saturday night, part of a handful of select North American dates to warm the band up for their upcoming Japanese tour. The crowd was pretty sparse, especially given Doro’s stature in the metal community, but those who came out were among the most dedicated fans, traveling from all over the East Coast. The general consensus seemed to be that if Doro was playing within driving distance, you get in the car and drive!
After a lengthy wait (Jaxx saw fit to stack no less than four local bands as openers), Doro and company took the stage at just after midnight, and did so with style, blasting through the Warlock classics “I Rule the Ruins” and “Earthshaker Rock.” Switching gears to her most recent album Fear No Evil, Doro served up “Running From the Devil” and “Night of the Warlock” (with “Burning the Witches in between). The new material didn’t go over quite as well as the classics, but they’re both great songs and you can totally see “Night of the Warlock” becoming a fan favorite. After another pair of Warlock classics – “Metal Racer” and “True as Steel” – Doro delivered a moving tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio with her rendition of “Egypt (the Chains Are On.)” The set dragged a bit after that, with lesser-known Doro songs and a lengthy drum solo, but the band ended things with the one-two punch of a semi-acoustic version of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law” and the ultimate Doro/Warlock anthem “All We Are.”
The encore was a strange experience, with the songs seemingly chosen by audience request. The audience, it seems, wanted ballads, so Doro ended the show with “Love Me In Black” and “Fur Immer.” Both are good songs, but they’re hardly the kind of songs that bring down the house at the end of the night. Of course, as late as it was, maybe we all needed a couple of lullabies.
All in all, it was another terrific performance by the reigning queen of heavy metal. Doro seemed ageless, tireless (though she did seem thankful for a breather during Johnny Dee’s drum solo) and as always was completely gracious. Both she and the band had an incredible amount of energy and engaged the crowd to a great degree. Whether she’s playing at a huge European festival or a not-so-packed club show, Doro never gives less than 100%, and she always seems genuinely appreciative of the fans that have come out to see her.
1. I Rule the Ruins
2. Earthshaker Rock
3. Running From the Devil
4. Burning the Witches
5. Night of the Warlock
6. Metal Racer
7. True as Steel
8. Egypt (The Chains Are On)
9. Burn It Up
10. Haunted Heart
12. Unholy Love
13. Breaking the Law
14. All We Are
15. Love Me in Black
16. Fur Immer
August 22, 2010 at Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
by Steve Trager
We often had wondered about Ozzfest returning to the concert stage for yet another blistering day of pure metal, and we the eager maniacs of metal give OZZY the horns up for yet another blistering day of metal on two stages. Sadly this seems to be the shortest run for Ozzfest this year with only six US dates, among them a stop at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, N.J. As this year’s lineup seemed to be a slight slant with just a few larger scale names such as Halford and Motley Crue rounding out the main stage and Black Label Society and Drowning Pool rounding out the second stage for a blast of a day, despite the weather conditions. For the first four bands that were set to play in Camden on the second stage, I raise a glass to the people behind the production of Ozzfest, as they announced the threat of bad weather and moved the set times up and had set changes moving at a rapid rate of speed to a point that it seems like the first two hours went by so quick you just couldn’t keep up with any set list.
Even with mandatory 20 set list and ultimately quick set changes throughout the second stage, we had the pleasure of catching a great set from Drowning Pool who, graced the main stage several years back. Still with a different front man, Drowning Pool shreds with tracks like “Sinner,” “Enemy,“ and the song that broke the mold for this band “Bodies;“ if that doesn’t get your blood going better have a few more beers at Ozzfest. Many of us respect the music as do some bands covering their inspired mentors Pantera dropping tributes to Dimebag with “Cemetery Gates“ and “Walk.“ I was never a fan of other bands covering material in metal but you have to give these guys more than just credit with that alone period, a well job done with a true inspired moment of greatness.
The second stage was cut short due to the threat of thunder and lighting which forced Black Label Society not to play. After looking around I could see alot of pissed off people who paid some great money to see Zakk kill it on songs like “Stillborn.” For the most part not even a little rain would stop a show but with constant downpour and equipment getting trashed, it seemed to be a smart move at a quick decision.
Thanks to the rain for letting everyone miss out on BLS closing out the second stage, we were forced to just wait for like 90 minutes for the main stage to get going. With just four bands rounding out Ozzfest, this years’ run of dates we the fans were treated to some great metal from NonPoint’s opening slot with “Miracle“ and “Bullet with a Name.“ Such a great time to watch front man Elias Soriiano whip his dreads around a mad man during Ozzfest.
Certainly Ozzfest wouldn’t be complete without Dez Ferrara and Devil Driver who, just truly killed it with a memorable performance with a great tracks spanning Devil Driver’s musical career, that including “I Could Care Less.“ And “Not All Who Wander Are Lost.” While we enjoyed the old days of Coal Chamber, Devil Driver brings to the fold a fresh bit in metal all these years with a great live show at this years Ozzfest on the main stage.
As we metal maniacs looked forward to a great set by Halford and all those the contributions he has dropped into the bucket with Fight and Judas Priest spanning history behind him, his set list was actually decent but very disappointing as he pulled out songs I never heard before other than “Nailed to the Gun“ and ‘’Never Satisfied.“ One would think taking the stage right before Motley Crue, Rob Halford would just squeeze in his set with as many great pieces of material that made this individual famous as a front man of two separate worlds that collide under one genre. Being a fan of certain years of Fight and Priest material, you get pumped up waiting to hear those songs blast right through your skull and you don’t hear them you wonder has Halford lost it? Sadly we know Rob has more material than meets the eye and could kick your ass up and down the block but, we had to settle for an unusual set list.
Gracing the stage for this first time in the history of Ozzfest none other then a classic band all themselves Motley Crue. Another band that certainly earned themselves more than just a musical career in the ‘80s. It’s always a great set for this band as you want to hear the classic Crue songs, you ask and you shall receive it’s that simple. Just how many songs can Motley Crue leave out in a 60-minute blaze at Ozzfest … quite a few but it it a trip down memory lane for all of us fans who grew up listening to Vince and the boys since 1981. Not only is this a special slot for the likes of Motley Crue, they got their first big break as an opening slot on Ozzy’s tour in 1984 which is a big deal for any band to share a stage with a living legend such as Ozzy. It’s like a true classic rock show with all the classics not to mention the pop or pyros jetting to the sky behind the stage as key songs are jammed down your throat. I always loved watching Motley Crue bring it home with a musical career spanning countless generations of fans even as co-headliner this year.
The Great and Powerful OZZ man has returned at Ozzfest with all new material in the fold, not to mention a new lineup including axe man Gus G from Firewind. You could say to play along side with Ozzy is a guitar heroes’ dream come true as I watched this guy shred every song in Ozzy’s set to bare bones. Is 90-minutes enough soak up a typical Ozzy set… the answer will always be no. While he tossed in a few Black Sabbath songs for good measure, Ozzy also unleashed the new single “Let Me Hear You Scream “. A nice addition to all the old traditional great anthems Ozzy has kicked out time and time again at each and every Ozzfest.. It’s no surprise that this year was just a short run in the States, but Philly has been a great market for Ozzy all these years. Nothing truly says Ozzy without “I Can’t Fuckin’ Hear You” and Ozzy tossing buckets of water on him and fans in the pit.
Will this be the last Ozzfest ever once again? One never knows as Ozzy is getting older but, still can kill it as a great performer and front man that has carried the metal flame at Ozzfest for more than a decade.
Ozzfest Photo Gallery
September 8, 2010 by Publisher
August 21st 2010 at Alrosa Villa, Columbus, Ohio
by John McGee
RATT rolled into Ohio’s capital on a hot August night to a sold-out crowd. You could feel the energy vibrating through the air as the opening band, Dirty Side Down, pumped up the audience with some classic 80’s hits. Dirty Side Down is an incredibly good band to watch perform. This was the right choice for an opening act. After the opening band played a set lasting about 45 minutes RATT finally took the stage. This was their first appearance at the Alrosa Villa since 1997 when they played with LA Guns. Needless to say Columbus, Ohio was geared up to see them play.
As the stage filled with smoke Warren DeMartini’s guitar was ablaze with the opening lick of “You’re In Love”. The crowd erupted; a true sign that RATT N’ ROLL had undeniably returned. Never stopping RATT played straight into “Lay it Down”. Only as the final notes reverberated through the room did Stephen Pearcy finally say “Columbus Ohio how the hell are you?!”
RATT reached down into the cellar and came back with the song “Lack of Communication” before moving into “Take a Big Bite” the first of four songs off the band’s new album Infestation. RATT continued to pull out the hits from their earlier releases. The songs included “I Want a Woman”, “Slip of the Lip”, “Loving You is a Dirty Job” and “Back for More”.
Having seen the band during their heyday I can confidently say that they can still put on one hell of a show! Stephen Pearcy is still one the best front men in Rock and Roll; proving once and for all that he is the voice of RATT. Having proven in the 80’s that he was a guitar-God; Warren DeMartini still continues to astonish his fans with his guitar prowess. Carlos Cavazo, the newest member of the RATT PACK, seamlessly slid into the 2nd guitar position sharing guitar solos and limelight with DeMartini as if they had been doing it for years. The rhythm section powered by Bobby Blotzer and Robbie Crane was like that of a well -oiled machine.
In this photographer’s opinion there were many highlights of this unbelievable show. The most memorable being when RATT performed their encore of “Round and Round” and the crowd went insane singing along and pumping their fists in the air. Overall this was an amazing show that simply put…rocked. RATT once again showed that they have never lost their touch. This band still has what it takes to perform to another sold-out crowd thirteen years later.
Side note: If you were unable to catch one of RATT’s shows on this tour you really don’t know what you missed.
You’re in Love
Lay it Down
Lack of Communication
Take a Big Bite
I Want a Woman
Slip of the Lip
Loving You is a Dirty Job
Best of Me
Back for More
Nobody Rides for Free
Way Cool Jr.
Round and Round
Eat Me Up Alive
September 1, 2010 by Publisher
July 13, 2010 at B1 Club, Moscow, Russia
by Rodion Goloshchapov
Guest Staff Writer
At first it seemed like the infamous B1 club with its capacity of 3000 would not be able to hold Megadeth with their rowdy crowd of die-hard fans. But in the end both dates played by the band at B1 in Moscow this month couldn’t have passed better.
The local thrash-themed support act Arbitrator left no impression apart from their extremely young age and glaring unprofessionalism, but the imposing “supported Megadeth” line on their CVs is perhaps a fair enough compensation for having to bear the constant “Go home to your ma!” shouts from the crowd which accompanied their set.
An hour later, with the appearance of the Megadeth roadies on the stage, it became clear that Dave Mustaine was going to use Dean guitars, Dave Ellefson’s brand of choice would be Jackson, and Chris Broderick remains an Ibanez man. During the show Mustaine switched between three Dean Signature VMNT Flying Vs, just like Ellefson would switch between three Jackson basses, all three being Concert Bass SMG series. Chris Broderick remained faithful to his Ibanez RG7 axe throughout the set.
Amidst sweltering heat the atmosphere was becoming more and more agitated, when finally Shawn Dover came on stage walking straight to his drum set, followed by Broderick, and then by Ellefson and Mustaine himself. The first three songs (“Wake Up Dead”, “In My Darkest Hour”, and “She Wolf”) were played without breaks between them, while a fine, if not excellent, sound was gradually being shaped by the sound engineers.
Rust in Peace back-cloth was splattered behind the band, and even one of Mustaine’s guitars was decorated with the album’s artwork. Mustaine, Ellefson and Broderick were constantly switching places, allowing their fans (who have waited for almost 10 years to see the band in Russia again) to have a proper view of their heroes.
Mustaine, for one, looked imposing with his mane of blond hair and a white musketeer’s shirt – a true guitar hero and a heartthrob. His smiles and air-kisses directed at the VIP box looked elegant too, sincere and without a trace of flam.
Following a genius version of “Skin ‘O My Teeth”, Rust in Peace was performed in its entirety – in exactly the same sequence as recorded on the album. Broderick handled his lead guitar duties with lots of dignity, given that it isn’t the easiest of tasks to follow in Marty Friedman’s footsteps, as Rust in Peace to this day remains one of the most technically complex albums not only in the Megadeth catalogue, but of heavy music as a genre.
Broderick’s leads weren’t something that will suddenly change the world, but he is a competent, assiduous player who interacts perfectly with Mustaine, while carrying himself with confidence and poise. Mustaine soloed a lot too, and the interaction between the two was easy and natural. Plus Ellefson sounded like he’s never been away, given that 2010 sees him back in Megadeth for the first time after an 8-year break.
Toward the middle of the show a security guard decided it would be fun to pull down to the floor one of the crowd-surging fans, which made Mustaine act quickly and decisively. After seeing the lad being pulled down and hitting the floor, Mustaine leans over the side of the stage, slaps the guilty guardsman on the head, walks over back to his mic and says: “Don’t fucking do that,” to the ecstatic cheers from the crowd.
The ladies’ favourite “A Tout Le Monde” sounded truly impressive, and Mustaine showed that he is not only a virtuoso on the guitar, but is also an equally formidable singer.
After mind-blasting “Symphony of Destruction” it seemed like nothing else would take the audience onto another level of their natural high, but suddenly the band launched into “Peace Sells” which completely overwhelms the already overexcited crowd.
In the end Ellefson, Mustaine and Broderick throw their guitar picks into the audience, and after a light scuffle a 15 year-old kid emerges in front of me screaming, eyes popping with sheer joy, holding a green guitar pick which says “Megadeth” in his hand. Then Dover throws his drum sticks into the crowd, and they hit my buddy who stands next to me right on the forehead. A cracking good show.
2. Wake Up Dead
3. In My Darkest Hour
4. She Wolf
5. Skin ‘O My Teeth
6. Holy Wars
7. Hangar 18
8. Take No Prisoners
9. Five Magics
10. Poison Was The Cure
12. Tornado of Souls
13. Dawn Patrol
14. Rust in Peace
16. Angry Again
18. A Tout Le Monde
19. Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells / Holy War reprise
Translation by Alissa Ordabai
August 25, 2010 by Publisher
August 17, 2010 at Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT.
by Deb Rao
The end of summer kicked into high gear, as one of the top bands from the ’80s made a special appearance at the Wolf Den at the Mohegan Sun Casino on August 17. Fans had the opportunity to take a walk down memory lane, as Night Ranger cranked out many of the hit songs of their heyday.
Night Ranger features Jack Blades on bass and vocals, Kelly Keagy on drums on vocals and drums, Brad Gillis on guitar and vocals, Joel Hoekstra on guitar, and keyboard player Christian Cullen. Night Ranger hit the stage at 8 P.M. and performed a 90-minute energetic set that did not let up. The ’80s were a time that inspired great lyrics and catchy melodies. Tonight, Night Ranger relived the glory days as they performed such hits as “Four In The Morning,” “Sentimental Street” and “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me.”
Singer Jack Blades reminisced with the audience commenting, “The band got together in 1980, and released their first album in 1982.” Highlights of their career many music sound tracks including the Michael J. Fox hit, “Secret Of My Success.” It is great coming back to The Wolf Den, it is like we are playing in your living room.”
Guitar solos ruled the night, as guitarist Brad Gillis took center stage unleashing the powerful solos that ruled the charts in the ’80s. New guitarist Joel Hoekstra from Rock Of Ages also did a great job.
The evening prompted many sing alongs. The set list was outstanding. Jack Blades even through in a Damn Yankees song, “High Enough.” Brad relived his Ozzy days, as the band slammed into “Crazy Train.” I had the opportunity to talk with Brad after the show. He told me, “The band is having a great time onstage these days. I think Night Ranger has the best line-up these days. Joel is a great addition. We played some shows with Alice Cooper this year. Last year we toured with Journey.”
Night Ranger performed as if they were playing in an arena setting. Strong and energized. The future looks promising for this ’80′s rock band. Be sure to catch Night Ranger on tour this summer.
1. This Boy Needs To Rock (Highway Star)
2. Sing Me Away
3. Rumors In The Air
4. Coming Of Age
5. Crazy Train
6. The Secret of My Success
7. Sentimental Street
8. High Enough
9. Eddie’s Coming Out Tonight
10. Four In The Morning
11. When You Close Your Eyes
12. Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
You Can Still Rock In America
August 4, 2010 at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT.
by Deb Rao
The Carnival of Madness Tour made a special stop at the Mohegan Sun Arena on August 4th performing to a packed house of fans coming from as far as Massachusetts to see the show. Tonight’s performance included Shinedown, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust, and 10 Years. Chevelle wasn’t on the bill for the Mohegan Sun show.
10 Years opened the show at 6 P.M. with a strong 25-minute set. Having first seen the band before a few years ago before they got signed at The Middle East in Cambridge, it was great to see them progress to the arena setting.
Next up Sevendust hit the stage with a vengeance. Opening with “Splinter” from their latest release Cold Day Memory it didn’t take long for the mosh pits to begin. Singer Lajon Witherspoon took full control of the young audience. Sevendust only slowed things down for a moment with the song “Angels Son” and the frenzy began again with “Unraveling” the first single off of the new album that was very well received. The return of Clint Lowery has made a great impact with the overall sound.
Puddle of Mudd took Chevelle’s spot in this evening lineup. and opened with the song “Control.” The band performed their hits and had fans singing along to songs like “Spaceship,” Psycho,” and “She Hates Me.” Lead singer Wes Scantlin was very entertaining thanking the audience for coming out for the show. Guitarist Paul Phillips shined in an arena setting. Paul has made a great impact with his return showcasing the strength of the band with his songwriting skills on their current release Volume 4: Songs In The Key Of Love And Hate. Bassist Damien Starkey, replacing Doug Ardito, was very energetic onstage. One major highlight of the bands set was the sing along to the song “Blurry.”
The evening went relatively fast and it was time for Florida rock band Shinedown to take the stage at 9 P.M. for an hour and 45 minute set. Singer Brent Smith sporting a Black top hat, cane, and striped shirt played ringleader to a sea of 5000 fans opening with “Sound Of Madness.” Brent’s voice was captivating and the focus of the entire set. His vocal range went from melodic to hard rock adapting to every song in a flawless performance. Brent also dedicated “If You Only Knew” to all the women in the audience. He spoke with much enthusiasm announcing “Diamond Eyes” the song that can be heard in the upcoming Sylvester Stallone movie The Expendables.
Highlight of the set was the compelling, “The Crow and the Butterfly.” Singer Brent Smith proclaimed the Carnival of Madness Tour as the event of the summer. It is always a pleasure to watch a band develop into an arena act and hear their hit songs on radio. Reminiscing about seeing Shinedown for the first time on the Sno-Core Tour a few years back in Worcester at the Palladium, I had a feeling then that Shinedown would be huge musical act.
Shinedown came to play, with their set on the music, the band poured their heart into the evening’s performance.
Every band gave 100 percent. This was the perfect way to spend a summer evening listening to the bands making an impact today.
A Special thank you goes out to Julie Lichtenstein and Amanda Cagan, and Morgan Rose of Sevendust for making this review possible.
Check out our Interview with Morgan Rose of Sevendust right here at Hardrock Haven.
Be sure to catch Carnival Of Madness Tour this summer!
Puddle Of Mudd Set List:
Livin’ on Borrowed Time
She Hates Me
Sevendust Set List:
Face To Face
Shinedown Set List:
Sound Of Madness
I Dare You
Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide
If You Only Knew
The Crow and The Butterfly
Her Name is Alice
Son of Sam
Fly From The Inside
July 29, 2010 at Susquehanna Bank Center, Columbus, Ohio
by Chris A.
Ted Nugent continues to add shows to his incredible 6000+ performance count, bringing his traveling arsenal of democracy to the capital city of Ohio, Columbus. The sold out show was just another for Nugent who hasn’t slowed down since his days as an Amboy Duke. If there is a fountain of youth in the world of rock ‘n’ roll Nugent seems to have found it. Bouncing onto the stage with seemingly boundless energy “The Motor City Madman” broke into his version of America’s national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. Bright smile on his face, eyes as wild and alive as ever Ted Nugent has never had a problem connecting with his audience and tonight was no different.
Opening the show with “Free For All,” Nugent was wielding his Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul standard bearing the 9/11 U.S. flag paint job. In his now trademark stage stacked with Peavey Amps and military ordnance including grenades, machine guns, M-16s and other assorted ordnance props, Nugent worked the crowd as only he can. The audience was filled with long-time Nugent fans, folks who have seen Ted multiple times and feel like he’s an old friend.
On the “Trample the Weak and Hurdle The Dead” tour, Nugent continues never-ending verbal assault on those he feels are dismembering America from within. Its patriotism gone Gonzo and Nugent is one of the very few conservatives who’ll actually tell people what he really thinks. Nugent doesn’t subscribe to political correctness and for years his live performances have given him a platform for extolling the virtues of America, its armed forces, cops, and the rights afforded by second amendment to the US Constitution. Make no mistake, when it comes to Obama, Clinton and that on the left, Nugent is merciless. From offering “Free Machine Guns” to his anti-Clinton rally cry tune “Kiss My Ass,” Ted Nugent has gone from outrageous rock star of the 1970s to mainstream America.
Ted’s show has evolved over the years but today and as he has done for decades, he gives his fans what they crave; massive doses of bombastic, in-your-face, middle finger swinging, big-grinning rock ‘n’ roll from just a dumb kid from Milford, Mich. Ted’s show is basic, stripped down but lots of fun. He’s also playing some of his best guitar in years. Cutting lose, playing Hendrix licks, and cranking out blues riffs that demonstrated that there’s far more to Nugent the guitarist than “Wango Tango.”
Ted Nugent is currently on tour in the U.S. of A. For more information on Ted Nugent visit www.tednugent.com.
July 23, 2010 at Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
by Steve Trager
The recent third annual Mayhem Festival certainly outshined previous lineups with a much more diverse metal genre, even if most of these bands could easily headline on their own. It was the best day for a fist full of mayhem and metal hands down. Despite the extreme weather making the day seem to be a “sweat fest “nothing stops music other then some unforeseen disaster. Mayhem seems to become an annual event showcasing some of the best talent around, some garnering measureless popularity on their own as individuals, but for the most part, this festival gives the immediate fan the opportunity to be right up front in the “ pit “ as they say in music terms. The popularity of Mayhem Festival has become a staple in metal and could very well continue to become a new home in a traveling metal festival since Ozzfest is slowly diminishing.
With three stages filled with some of the best bands this year, Mayhem Festival Tour certainly captivates all the spectacles of greatness in music. However, short sets don’t really cut it when each band gets going but, one gets the ideal of such performance as the “meat and potatoes“ of certain key songs that have become a staple in bands like Hatebreed who closed out the ever popular sponsored Jagermeister music stage, cranking out songs like “To the Threshold,” “I Will be Heard” and “This is Now” have truly been the bullet in their sets over the years.
While we all enjoy our dose of metal at Mayhem this year it was nice to also see some bands that have graced headlining slots on other tours like Shadows Fall, Chimaira, and In this Moment rounding out sets on the two outside stages. Even if this seem to be the hottest day weather wise you could just look around and see endless fans with Atreyu shirts spanning generations of metal heads as they waited in the heat for them to finish out the silver star stage at Mayhem festival this year. One thing I would like to see is longer sets by some of these bands but I think it’s all about cramming in as much music in several hours as possible, and that makes it worthwhile no matter how sweaty one can get next to you. If you live for music like most of us, then nothing stops you from having the greatest day while watching your favorite bands tear it up on separate stages.
The Mayhem Festival main stage showcased four great bands this year, including Five Finger Death Punch who graduated from playing a side stage to opening the main stage to a packed house, performing songs from both efforts that included the Bad Company cover of “Bad Company,” a nice twist of a classic rock anthem turned pure metal. A quick set change that brings us to Lamb of God, a notable band with history of a fearless live performances that kill it time and time again. Lamb of God reminds me of a wrecking ball that swings to the hardest degree and can knock everything over in its path as a band.
Perhaps the nicer elements in the Mayhem Festival is that we get a double dose of headlining slots and this year is no exception with Rob Zombie as one and Korn as the second. Rob Zombie well known for his stage antics with pyrotechnics and flame bombs rounding out his stage production. Yet it is still all about the music covering his years with White Zombie and all his amazing solo work as a musician that including “More Human Than Human,“ “Thunderkiss ‘69,” “Living Dead Girl“ and “Dragula.“
Mayhem Festival wouldn’t be complete without a great set by Korn. Although it’s quite sad to see this band with just three original members as a whole, we come to expect greatness when it comes to music and that Korn still does as a live band. Seem to be more then ever out of the public eye for this band has they still can kill it with a sixty minute set covering all their hits that made them quite popular. Even if Korn hasn’t toured in some time, they still bring the energy and the passion as front man Jonathan Davis demonstrates his head banging force during songs like “Here to Stay,“ “Right Now,“ “Falling Away From Me,“ “Freak On a Leash“ and “Got the Life.“
If the last three years of this mayhem festival hasn’t shown that metal still reigns in the blood of fans everywhere, we all hope that this can be a sacred home summer after summer if Ozzfest can’t hold out any longer. Sure bands can headline on their own but what better way to cram more then a dozen bands on three different stages and call it Mayhem Festival, which is basically a nice term that centers around most heavy weighted bands these days. So we once again raise our fists and salute this entire day in metal with “Horns up“ as this years’ Mayhem Festival was the best ever for metal events of the summer. Mayhem has taken over the reigns as the new home of extreme metal.
Mayhem Festival Photo Gallery
July 23, 2010 at The Luminaire, London, UK
by Alissa Ordabai
Call the trend retro or retrograde, but nostalgia has been de rigueur on the Swedish rock scene for the past three years. Be it 80s-style hair metal revivalists emulating early Motley Crue, or old-school prog-rock enthusiasts with their vintage Moogs, bands trading in reminiscence is what keeps the Swedish rock scene going these days.
Last week Black Bonzo have proven how seriously – and how far – a band can take its love for a bygone era by delivering their 90-minute set at London’s Luminaire with unsmiling aplomb and plenty of rigour of purpose. From slow-mo borderline psychedelic numbers a la Jefferson Airplane to full-on Zeppelin-esque stompers, Black Bonzo remained right on the money song after song. Not once did they deviate from the 70s cannons and not once did they let a single whiff of the 80s and 90s slip through their tightly woven mesh of retro constructs. After all, style is about saying a constant “no” to things that may throw you off your course. And saying “no” is precisely what this band excels at, delighting their English audience on the night. Black Bonzo’s fellow lovers of old-school prog here in London may have been small in number (about 50 people in the crowd on the night), but certainly big on heartfelt support – cheering and dancing all the way the set, as well as insistently asking for an encore.
It is endearing how much rigour and commitment the band puts into recreating the 70s vibe while having a serious go at making this vintage language be their only means of communication. At times you wonder if their identity is a result of a connoisseur’s passion for the past or a carefully constructed musical experiment. After a while, however, they convince you it’s the former. Their chops may not be virtuosic (one element where they deviate from their protagonists), and their tunes may not be uniquely original, but the sheer flair and honesty of their performance spoke volumes about the passion behind their finely constructed act.
It’s just that somehow Black Bonzo have meticulously taught themselves to recast their feelings and emotions in terms and requisites of some 40 years ago, but toward the end of the show no one was left in doubt about authenticity of the band’s motivations. From the subtlety of keyboard-driven hippie slow-burners to space-rocking fire of Zeppelin-inspired barnburners there is an honest, authentic feeling running through the heart of Black Bonzo’s act. Something that may not turn them into an arena band any time soon, but will guarantee appreciation among a certain kind of crowd.
July 21 – 23, 2010 at Sioux Empire Fairgrounds, Sioux Falls, SD.
by Derric Miller
The third annual Dakota Rock Fest took place in Sioux Falls, S.D. July 22-24 at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds. Like Rocklahoma a couple years back, Dakota Rock Fest 2010 unfortunately had to battle with Mother Nature, and it ended up shortening the Friday night event to just two bands—Lita Ford and Bret Michaels. While the weather didn’t turn tornadic, it still put a bit of a damper on the event, considering one of the best new bands on the planet, Mama Kin, traveled from Sweden and didn’t get to show the crowd exactly why you need to be their biggest fan.
On Thursday night (which Hardrock Haven was unable to attend), promoters Leisinger Entertainment opened up the gates free of charge for past and current military personnel and their families. All you had to do have some sort of military ID, and you could have seen bands like Asphalt Valentine, Rock N’ Roll Damnation and one of the most talked about bands at festival, Hairball. The word on the street is that Hairball pulled out all the stops, went through extensive and believable costume changes, featured two lead singers who pulled off covers of Twisted Sister, KISS … and even Prince.
While the anticipation for Friday was sheerly about Lita and Bret, the bands Mama Kin, Attention and Far Cry planned on having their say as well. But the weather reports forced the promoters to put Lita on at 5:45 p.m., and Michaels at 7 p.m. While the promoters and all of the local radio stations made every effort (and then some) to get the word out, the venue was not as full as anyone would have expected when Lita tore things up. While Lita’s new album has taken some head for going in an industrial direction, you cannot deny her musical talent or refute that songs like “Close Your Eyes Forever” and “Kiss Me Deadly” have stood the test of time. Lita, who isn’t used to being the opening act for anyone, made it known she wasn’t thrilled playing so early, but that didn’t stop her from being a true professional. She had the crowd eating out of her hand, and her husband Jim Gillette even sang backing vocals the entire set. Gracious yet still full of snarky fire, Lita lived up to her name.
Bret Michaels, who is a nonstop touring machine and by now could do this in his sleep, unleashed his arsenal of Poison hits and some solo work to a crowd that seemingly can’t get enough of his music. He was the main headliner in 2009 and Dakota Rock Fest was fortunate to get him back considering the health woes Michaels has struggled with over the past year. The ultimate professional, Michaels closed the concert by making a few carpe diem comments—sometimes it’s just good to be alive, especially if you are Bret Michaels.
While the other bands were still holding out hope of playing after Bret Michaels, the minute Michaels left stage the venue announcement lightning, heavy winds and rainstorms are on the way, so everyone got the “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here” send off. You couldn’t help but feel sympathy for Mama Kin, who were living the dream right up until the promoter told them of the lineup time change. Lead singer Ward said it best: “He’s Bret Michaels. I can’t tell him when he can or can’t play.” Far Cry, the talented band with powerhouse vocalist Mark Giovi, found a slot on Saturday so their trip to Sioux Falls was not for naught. Mama Kin had a show in Omaha the next day, though, so maybe next year …
Saturday rolled around, and the promoters switched around playing times again, trying to accommodate as much music as possible. By noon, the music started, and local Sioux Falls favorites Jukebox Zeroes were on by 12:45 p.m. In the past, Jukebox Zeroes offered mainly covers, but every single person in that band has been a staple of the Sioux Falls’ music scene for a couple decades, and they featured mainly originals for their set. Singer/keyboardist Amy Ellsworth is one of the best singers you have yet to hear (unless you have), and covers be damned … their original music rocked. Of course, the band is known for their Heart covers, so they ended it all with “Crazy on You.” Even when you come to expect greatness from them, they exceed expectations anyway.
Hardrock Haven’s own Derric Miller took the stage to announce Paisty Jenny. This was Paisty Jenny’s third time playing Dakota Rock Fest, and first time with new guitarist Stan Liberty, who adds a bit more Metal to the overall sound. Since the band has opened the event the past two years, this was their first chance to play before a larger afternoon crowd (and not hungover morning crowd). Paisty Jenny is now a well-oiled machine, driven by songwriter/singer/guitarist Gregg Lee’s snarling yet fiercely melodic anthems. Along with drummer Tye Lovette and bassist Gabe Matthews, Paisty Jenny once again proved they belong on stage with every single band before AND after them.
Tango Down and Far Cry, both Kivel Records recording acts, had their time in the increasingly blistering sun as well. Far Cry, who fortunately found a slot Saturday after the Friday bounce, opened with “We Rock” from Dio and never let up. If you haven’t seen or heard them yet, you are doing yourself a disservice. Tango Down had 50 percent different people than last year, and the big addition is David Reece (Bangalore Choir). Tango Down’s music becomes more serious and Classic sounding with Reece behind the mic. Former singers Phil Naro and Alex Barbieri both fronted the band at one time, but neither have the weight of Reece’s legacy behind him. In fact, two songs played weren’t even Tango Down songs—they played a Bangalore Choir and an Accept song instead, making Reece the focal point of the band.
Bombay Black, who has a new album out called Love You to Death on Triage Music, are simply one of the best sounding live acts around. What they create in the studio they can recreate perfectly on stage. Their aggression, their sense of humor, their huge vocal melodies and their limitless attitude come to sonic life when you see them live. Each member is an original personality in his own right, and together, Bombay Black just keeps getting better.
Ted Poley of Danger Danger (www.tedpoley.com) was one of the most anticipated musicians of the whole event. He hasn’t played anywhere around the Dakota Territories in far too long, and to finally hear the voice of Danger Danger live was more than worth the wait. To put it bluntly, Poley is the ultimate frontman. He works the crowd, he draws you in, he makes you smile and laugh while you are trying to sing along with hit after hit, and vocally, Poley tied for the best vocals of the entire festival. Unfortunately for Poley, he was so dedicated to giving the crowd everything he had, he forgot that it was now in the high ‘80s, the sun was blasting a black stage, he had holes in his jeans … and he kept sliding to his knees on this searing surface. After the show, once the adrenaline wore off, Poley realized he was the proud owner of some nasty second degree burns; he even pulled off a silver dollar sized fried piece of himself and flung it at one his prior label heads. He was even nice enough to send a picture of his fricasseed knees for your viewing pleasure. It was a coup for Dakota Rock Fest to get Poley to play in Sioux Falls. Poley’s band featured Vic Rivera (Adriangale, Poley Rivera) and some players from Far Cry, including guitarist Pete Fry who dexterously nailed his Andy Timmons solos.
Last year, Dakota Rock Fest dipped into the vault and brought April Wine to Sioux Falls. This year, their retrospective look included Axe and Molly Hatchet. Axe fared the better of the two, with their hit “Rock And Roll Party in the Streets.” Molly Hatchet even played a Skynyrd cover, for some reason.
Warrant — who has undergone singer changes from Jani Lane to Jaime St. James back to Jani Lane now to Robert Mason (Lynch Mob, Big C**k) — played right before closer Vince Neil. Warrant finally has a singer who can hit all the notes, recreate the past and help forge the band’s future. If you haven’t heard Mason live before, his immeasurable vocal talent and limitless energy has to be daunting for other singers to follow. You don’t want to be the person to follow Robert Mason, period. From “Cherry Pie” to “I Saw Red” to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” they played all their multi-platinum hits and everyone witnessed a rejuvenated and recharged Warrant steal the show.
With the “evolution” of Rocklahoma, who completely sold out to the Corporate Rock Gods, it seemed that Dakota Rock Fest had the opportunity to steal some of their thunder by featuring these still-relevant ‘80s acts. Would it have been a bigger draw for the promoters had Motley Crue, Poison and Danger Danger played? Yes, certainly. Dakota Rock Fest is extremely affordable compared to other festivals, but they may have to bite the bullet and pull in a band like Whitesnake next year if they want to keep making the festival bigger and more relevant (and make bank for their efforts). The promoters have updated and rearranged the festival every year and have proven they can adapt, so it should make next year’s Dakota Rock Fest even more interesting.
Dakota Rock Fest 2010 Photo Gallery
Photos provided by John Kindred
July 16, 2010 at Wolf Den, Uncasville, CT.
by Deb Rao
Warrant first burst onto the LA metal scene with Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinkin Rich. The band had a penchant for cranking out the Top 40 ballad hits “Heaven” and “I Saw Red” but also proved they could rock with the best of them with their mega rock hits “Cherry Pie”, and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
During the heyday of MTV, Warrant ruled the video airwaves. I think it was every boys dream to date video vixen Bobby Brown. Over the course of the late 80′s and early 90′s, Warrant were at the top of their game. Selling out arenas, riding high on the Billboard Charts, and then came Grunge. Who could prepare for a whole generation of fans wearing flannel shirts and lyrics and bands like Nirvana singing about the perils of life? From one extreme to another, was metal dead?
During the dark age of metal, Warrant never gave up on their musical style. In 2004, Jani Lane left the band. Replacement singer former Black N’ Blue singer Jaime St. James came to the rescue and the band released Born Again in 2006. Jaime stayed with the band for 3 years until Jani re-joined for a short re-union in 2008. That was then and this is now. In 2008, former Lynch Mob singer Robert Mason joined Warrant and the rest is history! Finally the missing link to the puzzle was found. A band full of quality musicians waiting for the right break to regain their crown in metal.
Warrant featuring singer Robert Mason, Erik Turner, Jerry Dixon, Steven Sweet, and Joey Allen performed to a sold out crowd at the Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den on July 16. The 80′s metal revival is in full gear and Warrant is once again are garnering new fans as well the die-hard fans. I had the opportunity to talk with many fans at the concert in CT. Everyone agreed, new singer Robert Mason sounds amazing.
Opening with “Sure Feels Good”, Warrant took the audience down memory lane performing such hits as “Sometimes She Cries”, “Blind Faith”, and “The Downboys.” Guitarist Erik Turner shined and the rhythm section of bassist Jerry Dixon and Steven Sweet sounded very bluesy. The band has evolved so much since their heyday. They performed with a new found confidence. Singer Robert Mason did an excellent job on the ballads “Heaven”, and “I Saw Red.” For over an hour, Warrant fans were treated to the new version of Warrant. A band that has survived the odds, proving The Downboys still have a lot more music to write and perform with a whole new riveting attitude and vibe.
Guitarist Erik Turner informs us, “The new CD will be just some bad ass, killer no filler, kick ass Warrant rock and roll! We hope our fans will like it. We are working really hard and we all have all our influences in each of the songs. Nine songs have been demoed so far, in September we will be finishing a bunch more songs to be demoed as well, it’s a long process, but hopefully worth the wait.”
July 12, 2010 – Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
by Joe Mis
The mighty Iron Maiden machine rolled into New York City on its current Final Frontier World Tour and wowed a sold-out Madison Square Garden. The 35-year metal veterans brought Dream Theater (celebrating their 25th anniversary) along as the opening band, making for an awesome one-two punch from the kings of their respective genres. Both bands brought the best of their combined 60 years of experience and put on a show that will be long remembered.
Dream Theater hit the stage at 7:30 and began a solid hour-long, six-song set (yeah, thanks NYC for imposing an 11 p.m. concert curfew). James LaBrie and company were in top form and delivered a rousing and powerful set to an enthusiastic audience. On Maiden’s previous two U.S. tours, the opening acts, Bullet For My Valentine and Lauren Harris respectively, were, for the most part, ignored or had to put up with “Maiden! Maiden! Maiden!” chants during their sets, but NY-based Dream Theater hooked the crowd and kept most fans on their feet for the entire set.
Dream Theater did an abbreviated “best of” set, earning a huge crowd response to their finale, which truly was an awesome roar once the opening notes of “Pull Me Under” rang out. But “A Rite Of Passage” arguably was their best number of the night. James LaBrie’s voice was excellent, and he seemed very into the show. The rest of the band equally was enthusiastic. John Petrucci laid down his usual blazing solos and hooky rhythms, while John Myung’s amazing bass was clear throughout the set. Jordan Rudess did his usual fantastic job on the keys, even getting a chance to solo center stage and took the spotlight. Once again, drummer Mike Portnoy proved that he is the backbone of the band and is one of the finest rock drummers to ever pick up the sticks. He somehow manages to stay quiet and reserved while driving Dream Theater forward.
The only downsides of Dream Theater’s performance were simply the fact that they were limited by city’s curfew to a short set, and they also were playing in front of Maiden’s rather large stage setup, which left little room to move around.
There really is no doubt that Dream Theater deserves to be considered the finest progressive metal out there today – often imitated; but never equaled.
Dream Theater’s Set:
1. As I Am
2. A Rite Of Passage
4. Constant Motion
5. Panic Attack
6. Pull Me Under
After a half hour break for the stage change, Maiden’s traditional pre-opening track of UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” hit the PA system, and everyone scurried back to their seats. A few moments later, the house lights went down, and Iron Maiden hit the stage. From start to finish, the Brits were tight and precise, giving the fans exactly what they wanted.
The stage setup was typical Iron Maiden; multiple platforms, fancy changing backdrop curtains and multicolored spots. All the varying levels gave Bruce Dickinson plenty of places to run and jump. Each guitarist also had plenty of space, and Nicko McBrain’s drum kit was buried in the pit in the center of the backdrop, as usual. For a bunch of older musicians, these guys somehow find it in themselves to perform with more energy and enthusiasm than other bands with members half their age. Janick Gers was doing his trademark odd gyrations as he played his rhythm lines. Steve Harris ran all over the stage with his bass and pogo’d through most of the set. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith showed that they still are the best guitar team out there today – you may find better individual guitarists, but there is no pairing out there that works better as a duo. And Nicko was Nicko – playing fabulous drums and injecting just the right amount of insanity and energy to all his work. Iron Maiden remains one of the best live acts in the music industry, no matter the genre.
Maiden’s set list spanned their later works, from Brave New World to their upcoming release The Final Frontier, with a few classics thrown in to please the older fan base. Opening on a high note with “The Wicker Man,” Maiden’s energy level consistently was powerful throughout the 16-song set. The highlights included “The Ghost Of The Navigator,” “These Colours Don’t Run” and a surprisingly lively rendition of “No More Lies.” The only song that didn’t have all fans singing along was “El Dorado” from the soon-to-be released The Final Frontier. But some in attendance knew the words from the free download that was provided by the band. In a very moving moment, the band dedicated “Blood Brothers” to the late Ronnie James Dio. The last five songs brought the house down, as they were all considered “classics” and the entire audience could sing along, with mascot Eddie making his appearance during “Iron Maiden”
Iron Maiden’s performance was flawless and enthusiastic, and the crowd ate it up. As usual for Maiden, the fans were raucous but respectful, lively and enthusiastic without being rowdy, and a good time was had by all.
Iron Maiden’s Set:
1. The Wicker Man
2. The Ghost Of The Navigator
4. El Dorado
5. Dance Of Death
6. The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
7. These Colours Don’t Run
8. Blood Brothers
9. Wildest Dreams
10. No More Lies
11. Brave New World
12. Fear Of The Dark
13. Iron Maiden
14. The Number Of The Beast
15. Hallowed Be Thy Name
16. Running Free
A Brief Personal Reflection:
I grew up on the music of Iron Maiden.
I was in high school during the early years and in college when Somewhere In Time and Powerslave came out. I loved Iron Maiden’s music not only because it was good music, but also because it creeped out my parents and was a part of how I rebelled. I didn’t find the band until the fourth album, Piece Of Mind – and to this day, I find myself writing it that way in my non-music-related work instead of the proper “peace” of mind. I liked everything about the band, from the music and image to the cool Iron Maiden font to Derek Riggs’ fabulous album covers. I occasionally still find myself staring at all the details buried in the Somewhere In Time cover art, or making a list of the nicknames given to old IM producer Martin Birch. I waited for new albums at the record store and looked for their very cheesy videos on MTV when the “M” still stood for music.
I remember watching Dream Theater’s video for “Pull Me Under” when my daughter was an infant. It was all over MTV and helped us through many a late-night teething session.
Through all of that craziness and enthusiasm of those years, the one thing I never expected to do was to one day take my son to see Iron Maiden play, but now we’ve been to their last three U.S. tours together. My son just turned 18, and when we got the tickets for this tour he said, “Great – these are the Maiden songs that I grew up on.” He loves the classics (although, in his perception, anything recorded before 2000 is eligible to be a classic), but the newer of the albums are the ones he waited for in the store. Not only did I take my son to the show, but I also brought my wife and nephew and inducted them into the Iron Maiden family.
I’m obviously not the only one who feels this way. We saw many other families, and the crowd truly made it an all-ages show. There was a man in his late 40s brining his 10- to 11-year-old son (in a Maiden shirt) through the turnstiles and a few older guys sitting with what had to be there grandkids. What other bands really can pull this off? Scorpions, definitely, and Judas Priest to some extent, but nobody does it like Maiden.
Not only is this a tribute to the band’s longevity and tenacity, but also to their raw talent and love for making music. Dream Theater at 25 and Iron Maiden at 35; the numbers boggle the mind. Not only are the both bands still together – but also they have the same lineups. Unlike many of the other old-guard bands, both Dream Theater and Iron Maiden continue to record new music and are not rehashing the old material that made them famous. They are living, vital bands that are not resting on their laurels – and definitely not “has-beens” just out to make a buck.
So THANK YOU Dream Theater! THANK YOU Iron Maiden! Thank you not only for creating such amazing (and still growing) musical legacies, but also thank you for not selling out to the commercial forces out there and staying true to the musical styles you help create. Most of all though, thanks for the good memories from all those years ago and for giving me a chance create some new ones with my own family.
Up The Irons!
July 15, 2010 at Sandstone Amphitheater, Bonner Springs, KS.
by Kathy Kindred
Despite sluggish ticket sales, Lilith Fair 2010 has heart …
The Lilith Fair stop at the Kansas City’s area Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone Amphitheater included an empty lawn and half-filled seats. It has been no secret that the popular ‘90s tour has fizzled out with its 2010 return. Grammy Award-winner singer and songwriter and Lilith Fair co-founder Sarah McLachlan said that the 2010 tour already was in the making in early 2008, before the economy tanked. When lineups and tour dates were set, it was too late to adapt to the economic climate, she said. However, McLachlan confirmed a 2011 return of the Lilith Fair tour and said this year’s tour showed that “adjustments and streamlining” will be necessary for 2011.
At each tour stop, $1 of every ticket sold goes to a local women’s charity. Kansas City’s Hope House, which offers two residential shelters for domestic violence victims, was the area’s chosen charity. McLachlan presented a $4,000 check to Hope House CEO MaryAnne Metheny.
Lilith Fair Kansas City performers included Sarah Swenson, who was the local talent search winner, Julia Othmer, Jennifer Knapp, Kansas City-native group Vedera, Metric, Ingrid Michaelson, Court Yard Hounds, Emmylou Harris, Heart and Sarah McLachlan, who headlines at every tour stop.
For Hardrock Haven fans, Heart, clearly was the day’s highlight. Ann and Nancy Wilson kicked off their set with “Barracuda.” Ann’s voice hasn’t changed a bit since the sisters’ 1976 debut album Dreamboat Annie. If anything, her voice has improved with time, which was kind of surprising to many in attendance. She received a huge applause for belting it out. Nancy rocked on the guitar and was in perfect vocal and instrumental harmony with Ann. They played the hits “Straight On” and “Even It Up” before performing “WTF,” “Hey You” and “Red Velvet Car” from their new CD titled Red Velvet Car. The set concluded with the well-known songs, “Alone,” Magic Man” and “Crazy On You.” Heart’s encore, a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Never Be” left fans wanting more Rock and Roll and a standalone Heart tour. Props go to the Wilson sisters, who continue to rock and record.
Under a mystical blue light and sitting at the piano, Sarah McLachlan took the stage and, in a duet with Emmylou Harris, began with, perhaps, her most popular song, “Angel.” Crowd lighters quickly began shimmering. “Building A Mystery” brought fans to their feet, and the audience clearly could be heard singing along. McLachlan performed a new song, “Loving You Is Easy,” which is from her new CD, Laws of Illusion. “World On Fire” had fans swaying and dancing in the aisles, as did “I Will Remember You.” The other new songs from Laws of Illusion included “Forgiveness” and “Out Of Tune,” both of which received a warm and welcoming audience response. McLachlan concluded her set with “Sweet Surrender” and “Possession.” Her encore was the light and up-beat “Ice Cream.” The Lilith Fair finale showcased McLachlan with the day’s previous female artists as they joined in performing the Patti Smith and Bruce Springteen song “Because The Night.”
Lilith Fair 2010 isn’t a sell-out tour, but it provides a day in which women in music is celebrated. Ann Wilson said it best: “We don’t stand on gender, alone. But we’re happy we were able to kick open some doors for other female artists.” Let’s hope the 2011 Lilith returns to bigger crowds and more fans.
Lilith Fair: Heart Photo Gallery
July 17, 2010 by Publisher
July 15, 2010 at Trocadero Theatre, London, Philadelphia PA
by Steve Trager
On the second night of Soilwork’s “Panic Over North America Tour “which touched down in Philadelphia at the Trocadero Theatre, it seemed to be nothing short of greatness. It has been quite a while for this amazing band to hit American soil once again, and their power-packed show leaves you nothing short of breathless as a music fan who, enjoys Swedish Metal fast and extremely furious. Even with a new axe man at hand and Peter back into the fold, Soilwork never sounded better. In fact this was one of the greatest touring packages comprised of three Nuclear Blast Bands along with Mutiny Within, who seem to be the hardest working young band on the road with every major tour in the last several months.
This tour seemed to be nothing short of great with Swashbuckle opening the show with just under twenty minutes to get the fans going. An odd band from the shores of New Jersey, who entertained the fans with their quirky tunes and pirate outfits, makes you think you’re at some Halloween party. However, they still know how to kick it into high gear.
Nothing is greater than short set changes and right back to the fist pumping music with Mutiny Within who, still for only twenty minutes, played a great set with just five songs. This band not only showcases their drive as a young eager six piece outfit, Mutiny’s live show is nothing short of greatness as they performed songs from their debut release chock full of melodic metal.
Sharing the stage at the Trocadero Theatre on this super tour package Canada ‘s own Augury, another great Nuclear Blast band who stepped forward and ripped into some great death metal. Still, with only twenty minutes, it doesn’t give you much time to get into it. However, fans still enjoyed a great set.
Nuclear Blast has some great bands under their wings and this next band certainly needs no plug. It’s been more than 20 years Death Angel has been playing and recording. Not sure if this is the same line up as in the early ‘90s, but rest assured Death Angel never sounded better with their brand of pure Thrash Metal. It often reminds me of the early days when Thrash Metal reigned over the land with some great bands, pure and simple yet unique. Their live show brings back memories when I first seen this band with Forbidden; same place but different era in music. Nothing like sweating it out while watching these guys performs some great songs from their back catalog.
The night got even better with 90 of pure Swedish metal from Soilwork, who never sounded more tighter as a live band than they did on this momentous tour, featuring their new guitarist along with axe man Peter who, certainly give this band a nice blend of backing vocals and blistering solos, complete with Bjorn at the helm rounding out Soilwork’s quest to kick your ass as a live touring band. Seem so long since this band touched down on American soil yet since a short hiatus Soilwork makes a serious comeback in 2010 with Panic Broadcast. A new blend of speed and flawless vocals that we have come to expect only from Soilwork.
Soilwork Set list:
Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter
The Chainheart Machine
Night Comes Clean
Natural Born Chaos
Deliverance Is Mine
Follow the Hollow
Stabbing the Drama
20 More Miles
As We Speak
Two Lives Worth of Reckoning
Let This River Flow
Soilwork Photo Gallery
June 26, 2010 at Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, MO.
by Mike Allen
Guest Staff Writer
Uriah Heep absolutely rocked the small crowd of Heepsters at Ameristar Casino. Although the crowd was small, probably somewhere in the ballpark of 900 people, it seemed the crowd mostly included “Heepsters,” a term given to only hardcore fans of Uriah Heep.
They put on a very nostalgic show, one that really took this writer by surprise. Having seen Uriah Heep in the ‘80s, when the production was completely different and they didn’t pay much tribute to their roots, the Hammond B3 had been replaced with synth sounds, and it was more based on anthem rock at that time.
Heep wasted no time in defining the show right out of the shoot with the opening track, “Wake The Sleeper,” which was hard rocking, with tons of B3 and a very unmistakable punch. Mick Box, lead-guitarist and the only original member of the band, was working his mystical magic on guitar with hard-driving tones, lots of wah wah and a flat out a very cool Jimi Hendrix-like stage presence. The man plays with such intensity, and he moves as though he and his guitar are one. Keyboardist Phil Lanzon is amazing. If you’ve followed Uriah Heep over time, Ken Hensley is their original B3 player who really defined the Heep power rock sound with a distorted, Deep Purple-sounding style. Phil Lanzon was all over it during this show; an absolute wizard.
Lead-Vocalist Bernie Shaw, who has been with the band for more than 20 years now, sounds hauntingly like their original vocalist David Byron. He has a unique voice that has a very ‘70s-ish sound with range, vibrato and flare.
This wasn’t a boxed up package of a show. This was full-bore Uriah Heep in every sense of the word. Based off of the crowd’s response, Uriah Heep remains loyal to their fan base, while rocking just hard enough to keep even the unfamiliar fans on their feet and pumping their fists. Two thumbs up for rockin’ a small crowd and remaining true to their roots.
Wake The Sleeper
Return To Fantasy
Book Of Lies
Bird Of Prey
Corridors of Madness
Love In Silence
Fee An’ Easy
Angels Walk Without You
Lady In Black
June 23, 2010 at Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, N.H.
by Deb Rao
Guest Staff Writer
On Wednesday June 23, history was made as The Scorpions took the stage for their last hurrah in New England at Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, N.H. on the Get Your Sting And Blackout farewell tour. Anticipation filled the air, as fans arrived early for tailgating and turned up the new Scorpions CD Sting In The Tail up to 10!
For over 40 years, The Scorpions ruled the metal scene inspiring fans and musicians with their rock anthems such as “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, and “No One Like You.” Singer Klaus Meine is one of the influential singers to emerge out of the ’80s.
Motley Crue singer Vince Neil and his solo band kicked off the night’s festivities. Opening with “Live Wire,” ince and company got the fans on their feet with many Motley Crue Hits. Vince sounded great and we are looking forward to Ozzfest this summer with his band Motley Crue.
The ’80s were known for their party rock and tonights show featured all of the fun elements that go into a Vince Neil show. Vince announced that Tuesday his solo album Tattoos & Tequila as released and this would be the first time the band would be performing the title track live. Vince commented to the audience, “If you drink a lot of Tequila would you get a tattoo tonight?” (Priceless) The new song went over very well. Be sure to pick up a copy today.
Highlight of the show was the dedication to Ronnie James Dio made by guitarist Jeff Blando as he sang “Heaven And Hell.” Favorite songs and fan responses of the evening were the Motley hits “Kickstart My Heart”, and “Girls, Girls, Girls.”
Vince Neil Set List:
Piece of Your Action
Don\’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) S.O.S.
Tattoos & Tequila
Heaven and Hell
Whole Lotta Love
Kickstart My Heart
Girls, Girls, Girls
In just a few moments the concert of the summer featuring The Scorpions was about to transpire. It is hard to fathom that such a great band with a mega legacy are saying farewell. But not before performing one of the most amazing shows I have ever witnessed. Earlier last week, Rudolf Schenker informed us that the stage show was going to be spectacular. Well, he was right on the money. The Scorpions hit the stage at 8:30 P.M. for a 2 hour and twenty minute set in which every song was a highlight. The stage set was very impressive with a massive light show full of purple, and green lights. A drum rise that was lifted high into the air holding James Kottak. But most of all, the extensive stage show did not outshine The Scorpions dynamic performance and songs that have survived the test of time. As each member of the band gave the performance of a lifetime. All smiles, Klaus and company opened the show with their new hit single, Sting In The Tail.
It has been 7 years since I have seen the band perform on Long Island with Dokken and Whitesnake and this show combined all of the magic that ’80s rock is made of. Highlights of the concert were new song “The Best Is Yet To Come.” In which singer Klaus Meine asked the crowd,” Do you believe the best is yet to come?” I do. Guitarist Rudolf Schenker brought out the acoustic guitar. It was so exhilarating to watch Rudolf crank out all of the hits. His performance was flawless. “Winds Of Change” (anthem for the Cold War) was magical and new song “Raised On Rock” rocked the house.
Drummer James Kottak held the audience spellbound during his drum solo, as his drum rise was lifted high into the air and three videos screened displayed a very entertaining segment regarding James flying in the air and portraying different acting parts with different women who turned into aliens!
The Scorpions belted out hit after hit with much conviction. The set took the fans into the now and also relinquished all of the older hits. There are so many hits, they could have gone on for hours and hours but N.H. has a curfew. So the band ended on a high note with “Big City Nights”,”No One Like You” and “Rock You Like A Hurricane.”
Tonight’s concert was a celebration of the legacy of one of the greatest rock bands in the world The Scorpions. It was bittersweet watching The Scorpions perform. It was also so inspiring to see families bring their younger children to the show. The audience really did span a 40-year generation. The ’80s were a time that knew boundaries. Everyone lived life large and rock and roll dreams really did come true. Tonight, The Scorpions, as Rudolf refers to as (The Gang) from Germany that traveled across the world living the dream claimed their crown as a band that is still on top of their game after 40 years. Making rock history once again and leaving you believing the best is yet to come!
The Scorpions Set List:
1. Sting In The Tail
2. Make It Real
3. Bad Boys Running Wild
4. The Zoo
5. Coast To Coast
6. Loving You Sunday Morning
7. The Best Is Yet To Come
9. Wind Of Change
10. Raised on Rock
11. Tease Me Please Me
13. Kottak Attack
15. Six String Sting
16. Big City Nights
17. Encore: No One Like You
18. Rock You Like A Hurricane
The Staff Of Hardrock Haven would like to Thank MSO for letting us cover The Scorpions farewell tour.
June 22, 2010 by Publisher
June 3, 2010 at Starlight Amphitheater, Kansas City, MO.
by Mike Allen
Guest Staff Writer
A beautiful night under the stars was the perfect backdrop for this show. Three excellent bands on one bill.
Kansas opened the show with a 45-minute set, which definitely was not long enough for this once-major act to play. However, Kansas wasted no time tearing into their set. The show opener, “Point of Know Return” was performed without flaw, with bassist Billy Greer adding his vocals to the intros of each chorus. Steve Walsh’s voice was in raw form, sounding great and not strained as had been reported from previous reviews of the band. The band’s original lead guitarist Rich Williams still has the crunch and tone that keeps the Kansas sound very much alive. Rich plays with great finesse on, both, electric and acoustic, perfectly playing very difficult finger picking parts, while letting loose on his electric solos. Violinist David Ragsdale, who replaced original violinist Robby Steinhart about five years ago, plays very precisely, leaving nothing and adding in a little of his own flair and style to the music. Ragsdale also is an accomplished guitarist in his own right. Rounding out the band is original drummer Phil Ehart. The man is a monster on the drums and proved it throughout the show.
Kansas never disappoints, and this night, the only disappointment about Kansas was the band didn’t get to play long enough, which was out of their control.
One of several high points of the show was during “Icarus: Born On Wings of Steel,” in which Steve Walsh showcased his fantastic keyboard abilities. As the crowd watched and heard him preach the song while he played his classic sound, you, at times, really could feel the emotion Walsh was pouring out. Of course, Walsh let loose on his keyboard solo during “Carry On Wayward Son,” which brought the entire crowd to its feet.
It was a very quick and tight set. Kansas needs to be on a tour with one less band and be afforded more time to play. They undoubtedly are not tired and ready to rock.
Kansas Set List:
Point of Know Return (No intro music. They go straight into the song)
Miracles Out of Nowhere
Hold On (With the Peaceful & Warm Section)
Dust in the Wind
Icarus: Born on Wings of Steel
Fight Fire With Fire
Carry on Wayward Son
After a brief intermission, Styx took the stage. Opening up with the music to “Light Up,” playing as they took the stage, the house, by this time, was full and everyone was on their feet. Styx, no doubt, has the ability to bring a crowd to their feet during their entire show. Although the term “poser” is normally meant for someone who has no talent but knows how to look the part, this isn’t the case for Styx. These guys are the best posers in the business. The band is very photo friendly and offers an incredible stage presence. Tommy Shaw probably is the most talented poser ever. Watching Styx is very exciting. It’s so hard to believe that James Young and Tommy Shaw are 118 years old when you combine their ages. They both look and sound very young and move like they did in their younger days. Nothing has been lost, and the years have been so kind to Styx.
The opener, “Borrowed Time” went over really well. It’s nice to hear a band open a show with a little more of an obscure song, rather than just start playing the hits. They did a bit of a medley during “Borrowed Time,” sneaking in excerpts from “Mr. Roboto” and “Rockin The Paradise,” then returning to “Borrowed Time” to end the song. The audience loved it and screamed loudly throughout the entire show. Not enough can be said about Tommy Shaw’s talent. He’s the little man with the big voice.
Lawrence Gowan, the replacement for Dennis DeYoung, is a great fit in the band. He has a very similar voice to that of DeYoung, and his stage presence is sort of like Rod Stewart meets Mick Jagger. He keeps the crowd’s attention with not just with his voice, but his keyboard playing stays very true to the original Styx sound. He plays note for note, exactly what Dennis played. His background vocals and harmonies are spot on.
Ricky Phillips’ (formerly of Baby’s and Bad English) bass playing is very tight. He’s a seasoned pro and fits right in with the rest of Styx. Todd Sucherman’s drumming is nothing short of incredible. He’s a double-bass playing, technical drummer who pays close attention to detail and never, ever misses anything.
All in all, Styx’s energy level and enthusiasm makes for a really fun show to watch. A very cool screen with all sorts of graphics that go along with the songs is a really nice added touch. For example, they had a flag with the Statue of Liberty as part of a montage of scenes, along with girls dancing in sync as the backdrop for “Miss America.” And during “Come Sail Away,” the lyrics popped. These effects also were used during “Foolin Yourself” and “GET UP, which makes it fun to watch Styx.
Styx stepped outside the box and even covered Shaw’s Damn Yankee song, “High Enough.” With Lawrence Gowan covering Jack Blades’ harmony and playing piano, this song really sounded great. Also, hearing James Young’s interpretation of a Ted Nugent solo was a nice thing to hear. He did Nugent justice by playing key notes but still played it the way only JY can do it with quite a few more notes in the solo that were performed very tastefully.
James Young sounded great. He’s a very underrated guitarist and an even more underrated singer; He pulled off “Lorelei” like he’s owned it all along.
Styx certainly is enjoying a second youth these days. It was an incredible and energetic performance.
Styx Set List:
Too Much Time on My Hands
Can You Take Me Higher
Suite Madame Blue
Come Sail Away
Blue Collar Man
This brings us to Foreigner. It’s been rumored that during this tour, Styx and Foreigner have been switching as headliners. This writer is glad that Foreigner was able to close the show because from the second they took the stage to the second they left 90-plus minutes later, Foreigner tore it up. Kelly Hansen, formerly of the ‘80’s-‘90’s band Hurricane, took the helm for Lou Gramm, who left the band six years ago because of health reasons. Kelly is a singer to be reckoned with. He has all the range of Gramm, the sound of Gramm and the energy of Steven Tyler. What a talent. There absolutely was nothing about his voice that sounded bad. He is so on top of his game that it’s borderline orgasmic to listen to him. He is 150 percent balls-to-the-wall the entire show. He belted out all the high parts of “Juke Box Hero,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Hot Blooded” and even breathed life into “I Want To Know What Love Is.” Not enough can be said for what Kelly Hansen has done for Mick Jones and Foreigner. Jones probably said it the best when he introduced Hansen to the crowd. Summing it up, he said he found a singer that could bring life back into the songs and restore them to their original energy and form, and Kelly is the MAN! Lou Gramm’s shoes are big, big shoes to fill. If anyone was disappointed in Hansen’s performance, it wasn’t shown by anyone in the full-to-capacity crowd. He literally brought down the house.
Jones still has everything he always did. He looks great with his bleach-white, spiked hair and skin-tight leather pants. Most people would say that a man in his 60s shouldn’t be wearing that type of stuff. But Jones undoubtedly is the rockstar he always was. In fact, having seen him several times over the past 30 years, he was more “on” this night than seen I’ve seen in a long time. He still has all the crunch and meanness in his tone. The force is very much still alive in Jones. His version of “Starrider” still sounds every bit as good as it ever has with this time being an exception . His vocals sounded nice, but the four-minute guitar solo that erupted out of Jones during this song was awesome. Mick still knows how to work a crowd the old-fashioned way: Shut up and play guitar!
Foreigner’s new songs, “Can’t Slow Down” and “Pieces” came off sounding like classic Foreigner songs and definitely were a great way to boost a few album sales after the show.
To sum up the entire night, one word comes to mind: ENERGY; and lots of it. Two thumbs up and way to rock it, to all three bands.
Foreigner Set List:
Cold As Ice
Can’t Slow Down (new)
Dirty White Boy
Feels Like the First Time
I Want to Know What Love Is
June 16, 2010 by Publisher
June 5, 2010 at Luzhniki Sports Arena, Moscow
by Rodion Goloshchapov
Guest Staff Writer
He did make it to Moscow, it finally did happen. In mid-Eighties Russia, when subculture tribes were only starting to appear, and were often in confrontation with each other, Billy Idol was loved by everyone – from body-builders to punks and metal heads. His charisma just couldn’t leave anyone indifferent. Even at the time when his videos weren’t shown on Russian TV, everyone knew that here was a true rebel, a real rock macho and an Idol.
The message of his image resonated with personal life stories of young people growing up at the time of big political change which ultimately led to the collapse of the iron curtain. Now everyone called “idle” at school (this is also how Billy’s teachers called him for underachievement) could become an IDOL.
Twenty-seven years after the release of Rebel Yell the relentless rocker Billy Idol together with guitarist Steve Stevens have finally played in Moscow. Given that Idol’s audience is mostly comprised of people over 40 who prefer to spend their weekends at home with beer in front of their TV, Idol has managed to fill 70% of this 7000 seat venue. And younger people were in the audience too, showing that Idol’s music is capable of going over generation lines.
The first part of the show was big hits galore, including “Eyes Without a Face”, “Flesh for Fantasy”, and “Dancing with Myself”. Despite the fact that Idol has seemingly decided to spare his vocal chords during the first part of the show (sometimes simply saying the words as opposed to singing them), the show did happen: the audience was ecstatic, and even people in the VIP seats were dancing.
A group of elderly hippies sitting next to this writer tried to keep their composure during the first 20 minutes, but after that simply couldn’t hold back anymore, getting up and beginning to dance, erratically waving their arms and legs. Fans at the front of the stage could never calm down either – people were throwing paper plates at musicians throughout the show, catching them back autographed.
Toward the middle of the show the crowd was told they couldn’t take alcohol into the arena from the venue’s bar any longer, which was probably the right decision on the part of the organizers, given how volatile and explosive the atmosphere was becoming.
The show went without any glitches or stops, the sound was good, which can’t be said, however, about the light. The light was on a budget – far from the unforgettable light show done at the same venue by Nine Inch Nails just over 3 years ago. That said, Idol’s show was in this respect still better than Ozzy’s, who didn’t bother to do anything in terms of visuals the last time he played in Moscow.
“Hot in the City”, “Sweet 16”, “Shock to the System” – hits tried and tested by decades were continuing to bombard the arena, reducing respectable concert-goers (and most of them were indeed respectable middle-class concert-goes) to the level of giddy teenagers who have just discovered who Billy Idol was.
Steve Stevens did solo extensively at one point, but it wasn’t spectacular: fast passages on an acoustic guitar, an obscure mixture of flamenco, rock and indie. But one thing was special about this number – it was played by the legendary Steve Stevens. Many in the audience didn’t expect any less from him than they expected from Billy Idol. Some, in fact, expected more.
Slowly the atmosphere was going down the way a cell phone battery goes down at the end of the day: elderly hippies are hanging off the barrier rails exhausted by their own marathon dance, teenagers at the back are sliding off their seats; one of them is about to fall asleep. The stalls still kept going, but much less enthusiastically compared to the beginning of the show. People in the VIP seats are all sitting down, some are eating.
And then something happens. It can only be described as the End of the World, Apocalypse and Judgment Day all rolled in one. The band starts playing “Rebel Yell”. And the crowd immediately comes to life again – but this time with double force. In a second it all starts anew – the roaring and jumping stalls, the screams of pure joy, the hot wave of elation, and I feel like I’m 18 again.
Translated by Alissa Ordabai
June 5, 2010 at The Hideout, Omaha, Neb.
by Derric Miller
There are a number of excessively talented bands out there going against the grain of all that is Modern Rock and Metal, and bringing it back old school. They are doing it for the sheer love of music, and popularity be damned. Sure, bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Sevendust are all the rage, today, but when you listen to the music created by bands like White Wizzard, Pharoah, Cauldron, and another band with a “seven” in it like Seventh Calling, you can feel that Metal is going to stop being antiseptic and unabashedly corporate sometime soon. And it’s because of bands like Seventh Calling this is inevitably going to happen …
Seventh Calling blew through Omaha, Neb. June 5, in the midst of their cross-country tour pushing their brand new studio release, Epidemic, out on Heaven & Hell Records. For those lucky enough to catch them at The Hideout, a small but inordinately METAL venue, you not only would have witnessed a juggernaut on the rise, but they also came with another band hellbent on saving Metal from itself, the gents of Widow from North Carolina.
The opening band, a local group called Lords of Steel, unassumingly took the stage first. Their set consisted of raw, unpolished songs that rocked the smallish crowd, and everyone in the club had their ears set on fire by the unlimited range of singer Warren Curry. At times, he sounded like Geoff Tate and Michael Kiske of 20-plus years ago, and other times, his less soaring moments still pushed through with a Dickinson-like power. No, he wasn’t anywhere near the class of these singers who are surely the legends he looks up to, yet. But the talent is obvious. With a skilled, mohawk-wielding guitarist in Jeff Decker, and a surprisingly potent rhythm section, if Lords of Steel find their niche and continue to develop it, they might be on to something. (http://www.myspace.com/wearethelordsofsteel)
Up next was Cruz Del Sur recording act Widow, and they wasted approximately zero seconds in showing the crowd what a Metal band is supposed to sound like. Guitarist Chris Bennett is one of those effortless technicians, although he probably wouldn’t admit it. With the lead singer John Wooten IV off to the right of the stage, and the tall bald bassist Michael Wooten dead center, Widow lets you know from the get-go they will do whatever the hell they want … but certainly hope you enjoy it. Widow ripped it up with songs like “The Pleasure of Exorcism” and “Angel Sin,” and also ended their set with an ode to the fallen legend, Dio. This is the way Metal is meant to be played. If Widow is playing anywhere near you, you’d be a dolt to miss them live. The band also has a deluxe reissue out soon called Midnight Strikes … Twice and a new album in the works as well. (http://www.myspace.com/widow )
Seventh Calling closed the night, and they are a more testosterone-driven version of the bands before them. Seventh Calling slides back and forth between Classic Metal and Thrash Metal, and do it with such ease you aren’t always aware what just happened. These guys are tight; their live set sounds exactly like their studio recordings, unless they change it up on purpose. Hearing rabid tracks like “Paid in Blood” and the epic “Beyond (The Wicked Lies)” live was beyond impressive. The title track to the new CD “Epidemic” was another one of those thrash-tinged compositions that made you think that maybe if Metal Church and Megadeth wrote a song together, it’d end up sounding exactly like Seventh Calling. They even closed with a shout out to lead singer/guitarist Steve Handel’s vocal hero, the late David Wayne, and then tore up their version of the song “Metal Church.” Seventh Calling is a guitarhead’s dream, with solos and leads blazing throughout every song, and the demon-throated Handel is a force on the mic as well. Pick up their new album now. (http://www.myspace.com/seventhcalling )
With this much talent playing at such a humble venue, it does beg the question … where the hell are all the Metal fans? So you missed them all in Omaha, but Seventh Calling is heading out east, so check their itinerary and make it to a show. When bands like Widow and Seventh Calling are playing, you get the price of admission (and a great drunk) paid back a hundred times over.