Archive for the Stage Category

Stage – Three Bad Jacks @ U St Music Hall

Posted in Stage with tags , , , , on June 10, 2012 by heavyuberalles

Three Bad Jacks @ U St Music Hall

This past Tuesday, I was among the lucky few who got to catch Three Bad Jacks, playing in DC for the first time in years. The rockabilly trio from Woodland Hills, CA played a high-energy set to a very small but enthusiastic audience with nary a complaint, having a very gracious attitude to all in attendance.

Kicking off the set at 8pm sharp with a dirty, bluesy jam, The Jacks ripped through their catalog and then some, playing a variety of covers such as Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues (which started out in the traditional style then ended as an amped-up, high speed, punk-rock version of the classic), Motörhead’s Ace of Spades (which they recorded for their 2005 album Crazy in the Head), and Gene Vincent’s Be-Bop-A-Lu-La.

They closed the night with Noah and Jacob’s Song, a heartfelt number from their latest album, Pictures & Memories From Home.

Even thought their set didn’t even reach the hour and thirty minute mark, they played their hearts out, and their love for the music and good humor shone through. Three Bad Jacks is a band not to be missed and are sure to get you moving and leave you smiling.

 

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Thoughts on 2 Shows: ZZ Top and Danzig

Posted in Stage with tags , , , , , , on June 6, 2012 by heavyuberalles

The warm weather of spring/early summer has begun an onslaught of awesome shows to the area. I caught 2 shows this week, that I was truly ecstatic to see. Both shows had their good…and their bad.

ZZ Top/3 Doors Down/Gretchen Wilson @ Celebrate Virginia Live, Fredericksburg, VA (photo courtesy of Becka Moore)

I was most excited for this show, primarily because I had never seen ZZ Top before. Amazing that I never had, considering I have been listening to them since I was 5 years old. The weather threatened a little, driving through some rain on the way down there, but the whole time at the show was beautiful. Gretchen Wilson was up first, and her music was more heavy southern rock than country. Pretty entertaining, and her classic rock medley that included artists like Led Zeppelin and Heart (this woman has the PERFECT voice for Heart!) got the crowd going. 3 Doors Down was up next, and all I can really say (do remember that this is my blog and thus an opinion piece), is that they are one of the most vanilla, heartless, soulless, contrived, posing acts I have ever witnessed in my life. ‘Nuff said about that.

Finally, ZZ Top took the stage. Let’s start with the good:

They sounded every bit as good as i hoped they would. Playing such classics as I Thank You, La Grange, Tush, Sharp Dressed Man, Waitin On The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago, and Gimme All Your Lovin, Billy, Dusty and Frank played their asses off. Frank plays it cool behind the drums, pounding out the beat like a metronome. Billy and Dusty just oozed coolness, with witty banter and slick moves that played off of each other, and reflected the 30+ years the Top has been playing together. They even played an unexpected song that I dig, Vincent Price Blues off of the From Dusk Til Dawn soundtrack.

The bad: the setlist. My only real complaint from their set was the setlist. While they did play some great songs and some cool classics, Their 15 song set had some surprising additions and some glaring omissions. Some songs in the set that surprised me (not in a good way) were Pincushion (from 1994’s Antenna), Heaven, Hell or Houston, and Stages, from 1985’s Afterburner. Stages is probably on of my least favorite songs by the band, at the height of the 80’s synth-rock craze. the picture below is the single of Stages, and pretty sums up why I hate that song.

Ugh. Miami Vice house band? Maybe. What was most disappointing were some of the songs that they didn’t play. Songs like I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide, Cheap Sunglasses, Tube Snake Boogie, and Pearl Necklace. My biggest disappointment was the fact that they played NOTHING off of their first 2 albums, especially Just Got Paid.

Overall, I had a great time, and honestly haven’t smiled that much at a show in a long time. I just wish the setlist had been chosen a little more carefully, or at least with my wants and needs in mind. Selfish, I know, but hey….

Danzig/Kyng/Monstro @ The Fillmore Silver Spring  (Photo credit: Scott Gries/Getty Images)  

On Monday, I joined a big group of friends (I’m pretty sure it was an unofficial DC Nightclub Workers Night Out) at the Fillmore for a show I (and many others) had been waiting years to see. Not only was Danzig playing, but half of his set was Misfits songs with original Misfits guitarist Doyle Von Frankenstein. A good friend saw this show in NYC last year, and said it was incredible, and hadn’t let me live it down that I missed it (thanks, Rick). We arrived a couple of songs into Monstro’s  set, and they sounded great. Very Sabbathy/stoner heavy, with lots of energy. The singer for Kyng even joined them for a song. I missed these guys when they opened for Kyuss Lives (at both 930 and Rams Head), and I am glad I caught them this time. Kyng was up next, and they did not disappoint. This trio is high-energy, a more rock-oriented stoner rock, and singer-guitarist Eddie Velíz brought to mind a young Chris Cornell (think Ultramega OK/Louder Than Love era).

Up next was Danzig, and this time we will start with the bad. Keep in mind, I have loved Danzig since the 9th grade. I actually discovered his solo stuff before the Misfits, then once I discovered them, I loved Danzig even more. I was stoked to hear some of the Danzig songs I have been listening to for years, knowing he would mix in the newer stuff with it. Not even halfway through the first song, Danzig was yelling at the guy running monitors to turn them up, that he couldn’t hear himself. This continued into the second song, after which he told us how sick he was with the flu (they actually cancelled the next night’s show), “but they were still gonna put on the best damn show for you guys, even if fuckin assholes like that guy (points to monitor guy) wanna fuck it up.” My friends and I were all looking at each other with the knowing look of “uh-oh, a Danzig-tantrum is imminent”. By the 4th song, he had had enough, and screamed at the monitor guy then slammed down the mic and stormed off the stage (aaaand there it was). We all looked at each other and said in unison “he had BETTER get his ass back out here!” After more monitor woes, the poor guy cranked them up some more, which produced the obvious and expected result…FEEDBACK. A 6th grader knows that is what happens when you crank the monitors up too loud. In addition, after all these years (I hadn’t seen Danzig live since 1996), he still forgets the fundamental rule, that you have to keep the microphone near your mouth when you sing, not wave it around and pump your fist and pose.

The good came when Glenn said those magic words… “You guys want Doyle to come out?” The whole place erupted. The monstrous Doyle joined the stage, and they blasted into the classic Death Comes Ripping. As Glenn, his band and Doyle tore through such Misfits songs as I Turned Into A Martian, Bullet, Halloween and Last Caress, one thing became apparent: Glenn forgot to be a dick. It was like he went back in time 25 years, and sang with more energy, even cracked a smile. All drama with the monitor guy was forgotten, and he just sang. After 8 Misfits songs, the whole band exited. First, there was a Danzig encore of 3 songs (of course, one of them being Mother), and then Doyle made his way back to the stage for the finale of Skulls.

It was a truly memorable night, for both the good and the bad. The bad just left a sour taste in your mouth,  while the good hit it with a healthy dose of punk rock mouthwash, and left you smiling.

Tour Announcement – System of a Down & Deftones

Posted in Stage on April 23, 2012 by heavyuberalles

 

This summer is shaping up to be a huge one in the world of live rock and metal. A North American tour with System of a Down w/ Deftones was announced today, and are hitting DC on August 7. This is huge for me, as I never got a chance to see System of a Down previously (I have seen Deftones multiple times).

I was somewhat of a latecomer to SOAD – I didn’t like their style, didn’t like his voice, etc. All of a sudden one day I listened again, and BAM! all of a sudden it clicked. I love these guys, love their creativity, delivery and aggression, and I couldn’t be happier that they have worked things out and are hitting the road. Deftones latest, Diamond Eyes, is their best, heaviest work in a while (IMO). I’m looking forward to seeing them again as well.

Hope to see some of you there!

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Iced Earth Ticket Giveaway

Posted in Stage on February 6, 2012 by heavyuberalles

Florida’s Iced Earth is back in a big way. The new album, Dystopia, is recieving high marks all over the place, especially focusing on new singer Stu Block (formerly of Into Eternity). Iced Earth has hit the road on a headlining tour for Dystopia, with the mighty Warbringer opening up. The tour hits the 930 Club in DC on Tuesday, March 13th, and you can enter to win a pair of tickets to the show right here!

All you have to do is leave a comment below, and the randomly selected winner will get 2 tickets to the show. The winner will be chosen at noon on Monday, February 13th. Leave a comment and enter now!

M3 Rock Festival – Lineup Announced

Posted in Stage on January 31, 2012 by heavyuberalles

One month of the year has already come and gone, and summertime will be here before we know it. That means the return of the summer package tours! One show that has become a fixture of the summer scene is the M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. While tours like Mayhem Fest and Uproar focus on the latest heavy bands of today, M3, now in its fourth year, lets us relive the rock of days’ past, in all its hairsprayed and spandexed glory.

M3 has really hit its stride with Friday night, May 11 being the “Kix-Off Party”, featuring local heroes Kix, with Night Ranger and Enuff Z’Nuff (a favorite of mine from way back when) joining them. The main M3 Festival on Saturday, May 12 will feature Queensryche, Cinderella, Dokken, Loudness and others – all in all a pretty solid lineup this year.

Below is the official poster and press release for the M3 Rock Festival. Check back soon to score a free pair of tickets to M3!

Click here to read the M3 Rock Festival Press Release.

The Stage: Death Angel, Testament and Anthrax – 11.7.11

Posted in Stage on November 8, 2011 by heavyuberalles

The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD

11.7.2011

Once news of this tour got across the interwebs, I knew there was no chance of missing this classic thrash lineup. I met up with friends, and headed one to Silver Spring. The line was already down the block in front of the club, and there was still an hour before doors opened. We ventured off to Sushi Jin, 1/2 block away for some good pre-show eats. Bellies full and ready to thrash, we step outside to see the line had grown and stretched around the corner and all the way down the block. Not a big problem til we realized how slow the door security at the Fillmore is, and Death Angel had already started playing. Once I finally got inside, and Death Angel was on their second song of the night, and the place was already thrashing and going crazy.

With a mix of old and new songs in their 7-song set, the Bay Area thrashers were more intense than some headlining acts. My personal favorite was Seemingly Endless Time from 1990’s Act III. Flawless guitar, and spot-on backing vocals. Hoping these guys do a tour of their own soon.

 

Up next was the mighty Testament. Playing songs from every album (except Low and Demonic), Testament ripped their way through 13 songs without missing a beat.The crowd went crazy (ok, I did too) for such classics such as Over The Wall, The New Order, and The Preacher, and throwing in 2 from The Formation of Damnation and 2 from The Gathering. 

The lineup nowadays is actually 4 of the original 5 members, the one exception being drumming mastermind Gene “The Atomic Clock” Hoglan, by far one of the best drummers in metal today.Chuck Billy commanded the crowd, all the while laying air guitar with his mic stand (ya gotta love him). Definitely a fantastic set from these long-time thrash heroes.

 To finish the night was NY thrash legends Anthrax.

Recently reunited (again) with original singer Joey Belladonna (ok, I know Neil Turbin was the first singer in Anthrax, but c’mon…Joey was the original), and a critically acclaimed new album (the fantastic Worship Music), Anthrax came out full throttle, no holds barred. Opening with new songs Earth on Hell and Fight Em Til You Can’t, they tore their way through a 15 song set that never let up. The crowd responded in kind, with one of the biggest mosh pits I have seen in quite some time. During the “WAR DANCE!” breakdown of Indians, practically the entire floor of the Fillmore was one huge pit.

Scott Ian jokingly referred to the crowd as “doing the P90X workout since they hit the stage”. Playing 5 new songs in the set, no Anthrax show would be complete without playing the classics from their penultimate classic, Among The Living – Caught in a Mosh, Among the Living, N.F.L., Indians, and the ode to futuristic lawman Judge Dredd, I Am The Law (my personal Anthrax favorite). The songs from Worship Music were very well recieved, but the classic Anthrax tunes are what really got the crowd worked up. During the encore, the even went further back in the catalog, playing Metal Thrashing Mad and Madhouse. Before the night was through, Joey went up behind drummer Charlie Benante and they brought extra toms out. Scott Ian announces “this one is for Andreas” and they tear into a blistering version of Sepultura’s Refuse/Resist, much to the crowd (and this guy’s) delight. (note: Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser filled in for Scott Ian at some European festivals this year while Scott’s baby was born, thus the dedication to Andreas).Anthrax was definitely on their A game, with Joey sounding amazing, the same frenetic energy from Scott Ian and Frank Bello, killer guitar riffage from guitarist Rob Caggiano, and of course the machine gun timing of drummer Charlie Benante. After closing the show with I Am The Law, the crowd was just completely spent, and in most of the faces I saw nothing but tired smiles all around.

All 3 bands definitely proved that while their classic material has stood the test of time, their new music is far from a cheap throwback, it is a huge step forward for the future of thrash metal, which they proved tonight is definitely alive and well.