Friday, July 08, 2011

Sebastian Bach: Not One For Doing Things Half-Assed

Will the worst Photoshop job on a metal album cover please step forward? Nnnnnnnot so fast, Iron Maiden’s Dance of Death

Monday, March 14, 2011

Concert Notes: Manowar - 03/12/11, Agora Theatre, Cleveland, OH

by Myche

First, my unedited notes that I took the night of the show:

Opening band Holy Hell - count the bad signs:

* dumb band name
* chick singer
* chick singer who smiles a lot and tries to do a lot of "metal" things
* male band members take themselves way too seriously
* keyboardist
* keyboardist with keyboards turned so we can see him play
* need I continue?

I'm shocked at how polite the Manowar crowd is being to this band. Cleveland thing?

I just looked back and one of the soundguys was nodding off. Bad sign.

Actually, nodded off. Literally asleep.

Best denim metal vest ever: so many patches they overlap. I see Krokus, KISS, Sabbath, Savatage, Megadeth, Circle Jerks, Morbid Angel, Anthrax, Loudness, hell...everyone.

Manowar tattoo on someone's forehead.

Sign of the Hammer graduation cap (homemade - pretty sure not at merch table)?

There's a guy here with a big plastic sword, with, of course, blood dripping on the tip (fake and painted on, I would presume).

A white manowar shirt is not right. Two guys together wearing the same one is even worse. On purpose, or when the one guy picked up the other guy did they both look at each other and say "oh fuck?"

Keyboardist has one electronic drum that he punches from time to time.

The five biggest fans of this band are on stage right now...

I take that back - one electric cymbal.

They just said "good night" but are playing one more. The keyboardist is pumping up the crowd with a keytar.

Oh my, they are doing Holy Diver.

The guitarist looked like Nikki Sixx, but older and more worn out.

(For Hanner - the singer looked like Meredith Voller)
I took no notes while Manowar was on. I couldn't stop smiling. Had to be one of the most fun old school metal shows I've ever seen.

At one point I was standing next to probably the two tallest guys there. Thank god they weren't in front of me.

The guy next to me was such a metal specimen. Had to be every bit of 6'6", dark, vikingesque, long hair, and freaking arms as big as my thighs. When I had my arms raised and he did, his were at least a foot higher. He was into it. Looked like a nice guy, but I would have expected him to speak monosyllabically.

I never saw him talk through the whole show, and we never gestured to each other, but did bump each other a couple times while pumping fists, etc. I was not worried that he would be bothered by my bumps - probably didn't even feel them.

After the show, they played some majestic Manowar song and most people stayed and sang along. It was pretty intense. Then after that the big guy turns and we clasp fists - "great show" I say. One of the guys he's with is teary-eyed. I walk away a bit and the big guy has his head down on the rail by the soundboard where we were standing. Exhausted? Emotional? Doesn't matter...

Additional Notes - 03/14/11
Not a ton to add, but thought I would add a little color on the Manowar show itself:

* Joey tells crowd to stop crowd surfing or, I think, he would kick somebody's ass. Did the trick.
* Battle Hymns in entirety, but slightly out of order. Can't blame them for kicking things off with the song "Manowar."
* First song after Battle Hymns is "Brothers of Metal", one of my faves.
* I knew a lot more of the songs that they played than I thought I would, but learned each unfamiliar one pretty well by the end the song.
* Bass solo w/ Battle Hymns William Tell overture - awesome.
* Guitar solo ending with guitarist dropping to his knees and laying all the way back - I've seen that on a DVD and it hurts MY knees every time.
* As I've seen on a DVD - Joey pulls off each of his bass strings and gives them to crowd members. Mostly women I think, as one he mouthed "I'm going to fuck you."
* As a first-time audience member of a Manowar show, I would have to say that it was a great setlist. You got what you wanted: anthems out the wazoo.
* Most of the songs played had the words Heavy, Metal, Loud, Kill, and of course Manowar. It's easy to poke fun at this, but you know, it works for me. Thankfully not every band out there does this, but I doubt any band does it better than Manowar...

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Happy Birthday Hook of the Day: Metallica "Master of Puppets"

Happy 25th Birthday, "Master of Puppets"

You're still the baddest motherfucker on the block!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Hook of the Day - Prince "Kicking Kim Kardashian Offstage for Not Dancing"

Every time a fat bottom girl gets on stage with Prince and doesn't dance, an angel loses its wings.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Heavy Rotation: 2-7-2011


1. The Secret - "Solve Et Coagula"
2. The Red Chord - "Clients", "Fused Together in Revolving Doors" and "Fed Through the Teeth Machine"
3. the collected works of Trap Them
4. Belphegor - "Blood Magick Necromance"
5. Owen Hart - "Earth Control"
6. Slough Feg - "The Animal Spirits"


1. Iron Maiden "The Final Frontier"
2. Iron Maiden "A Matter of Life and Death"
3. Iron Maiden "The Number of the Beast"
4. Amon Amarth "Twilight of the Thunder God"
5. Chaka Kahn "Epiphany"
6. Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"


1. Greg Brown
2. David Bowie
3. Syl Johnson
4. Graham Central Station
5. Y&T
6. Van Morrison

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Hook of the Day: Iron Maiden "Killers"

Just read on Invisible Oranges that Maiden's Killers turned dirty 30 yesterday. So, that's roughly a decade older than the floppy haired, neck tattooed deathcore choads who think they sound rough, but would still get sliced to ribbons in a knife fight with this album.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Hook of the Day: Immortal "Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms"

Maybe this is just Chicago's sudden resemblance to Blashyrkh talking here, but I'm almost positive that I just saw Abbath coming out of Dominick's with bread, cheese, ten cans of tuna, two half gallons of Almond Milk, and the latest issue of Wired Magazine. Either that or the Roger's Park hipsterati has chosen its new look.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Hook of the Day: Amon Amarth "War of the Gods"

As Chicago prepares for a massive snowstorm, my first order of the day was to prepare a hot cup of coffee in my French press and sit down to enjoy NPR's free stream of the excellent new Earth album. It's a lovely work, full of space and texture and nuance. I looked out the window and took in the dusting of snow on the ground, and went inside myself. Took stock of myself and my place in the world as my birthday approaches in a few short days. It was a nice hour to get the day started off on the right foot.

My second order of business was to finally get around to checking out the new Amon Amarth track. And now all I can contemplate is how much I'd love to chop off some fuckin' heads with a ridiculously huge battle axe while flaming arrows whiz by all around me. I can see Lake Michigan from my window. The second I see a Viking longboat appear in the distance, I'm pointing the speakers out the open window and shit's gonna get real.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go put this bastard on a loop and play God of War III at the same time. If all goes well, my Rich Little head will do his killer Scanners impression. (Which pretty much sounds like Ronald Reagan, like all the other bits.)

Amon Amarth "War of the Gods" by Metal Blade Records

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hook of the Day: Crowbar "Cemetery Angels"

Looks like someone found the "Scratched n' Dirty Grindhouse Film" setting on the video editing software.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Best of 2010



1. Deftones - Diamond Eyes
2. Ghost - Opus Eponymous
3. Kvelertak - self-titled
4. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
5. Black Breath - Heavy Breathing
6. High on Fire - Snakes for the Divine

Honorable Mention (alphabetical)
Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
Intronaut - Valley of Smoke
Ludicra - The Tenant
Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones

Live Shows:
1. Roger Waters performs the Wall at United Center
2. Iron Maiden at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
3. Black Tusk every damn time they played Chicago (but particularly opening for Weedeater at Reggie's)
4. Rush at Northerly Island
5. American Carnage with Slayer, Megadeth, and Testament
6. Ozzfest with Ozzy, Motley Crue, Halford, Goatwhore, Skeletonwitch, etc.



1. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
3. Y & T - Facemelter
4. Dawnbringer - Nucleus
5. Ben Folds and Nick Hornby - Lonely Avenue
6. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part 2- Return of the Ankh

Live Shows:

1. Devin Townsend Lincoln Hall
2. Idina Menzel
3. Iron Maiden
4. Queensryche
5. Suzanne Vega
6. Scorpions



1. Richard Thompson – Dream Attic
2. The Sword – Warp Riders
3. Accept – Blood of the Nations
4. Y&T – Facemelter
5. Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here
6. Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones

Live Shows:

1. Devin Townsend @ Lincoln Hall
2. High and Lonesome @ The Mill, Iowa City, IA
3. Bob Mould @ Old Town School of Folk Music
4. John Doe @ Schuba’s
5. Greg Brown @ SPACE
6. Texas Tornados @ Old Town School of Folk Music

Honorable Mentions (chronologically): Project/Object @ Martyrs’, Merle Haggard/Kris Kristofferson @ Rosemont Theatre, Rush @ Charter One, Ugly Radio Rebellion @ Reggie’s Music Joint, Loudon Wainwright @ SPACE, Iron Maiden @ First Midwest, Black Cobra/Howl/Struck By Lightning/Hunters @ Empty Bottle, Roger Waters @ United Center, Joe Price @ Buddy Guy’s, Accept/King’s X @ Arcada Theatre, Nevermore @ The Rave, Richard Thompson @ Vic Theatre

51 shows in 2010, hereafter to be referred to as “The Year.” I don’t think this one will ever be topped. It was just incredible. It was very hard to pick my Top 6. #1-5 were nothing short of magical, and I’m not sure I’ve ever smiled, sang out loud and slapped my leg more at a show than #6. Some of the honorable mentions could have topped my list in a normal year. Given the magnitude of the year, I need to make some other special mentions:

Best opening band: Black Tusk (opened on three shows, and kicked ass every time), King’s X (I’ve tried to get into them 2-3 times before to no avail – their live show clinched it)

Best surprise setlist for me, but lots of people bitched: Iron Maiden (play as much off Brave New World as you want – so glad I didn’t peek at setlists before the show!)

Why you don’t miss shows from one of your favorite bands: Y&T at Melodic Rock Fest – tickets were expensive and the rest of the bands were awful, but it turned out to be the last time Mark and I will see Phil Kennemore play live. So long, pal, you will be missed.