Archives For Concert Reviews

November 23rd, 2013 – Webster Hall, New York, NY

“I know it’s getting late…but here we are, here we are…” – “A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Part 6”

It was windy and below freezing on East 11th St, and yet there I was standing only a few yards from Ray Alder, who was enjoying a cigarette and finishing a call on his cell phone. Politeness dictated that I not interrupt, even if it was just to tell him to have a great show.

Neither he nor the rest of his band needed my encouragement. Fates Warning put on an impressive show of progressive metal on the strength of its first album of new material in nearly a decade.

For once, I wasn’t attending a show solo: a friend was joining me for his first proper metal concert, and he was blown away by the evening’s celebration of prog metal greatness. “I was in the zone from about…uh…30 seconds into the first song!” he exclaimed later.

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When death metal legends Morbid Angel released their first album in 8 years, Illud Divinum Insanus, the reaction of the metal community was something like this:

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As I drove through the parking lot of Nassau Coliseum, the bass riff of “Dawn Patrol” thundering at top volume, I kept thinking about what a great deal my ticket for this show was: $40 for three of the most legendary and successful metal bands of all time (Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, and if Metallica been added to the bill, that price would have easily climbed to $150).

It was the 20th anniversary of the 1990 thrash masterworks “Rust In Peace” and “Seasons In The Abyss,” so both records would be performed straight through. I’ve always enjoyed that, as it’s like a giant listening party for the benefit of the especially eager fans. When you’ve taken the time to love every song on the record, it’s rewarding for you and the band, since you both get to hear and perform songs you usually don’t get to hear live.

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Monday, Feburary 2nd, 2014 – Stage 48, New York, NY

It was one of the most brutal winters in the tri-state area in recent memory, enough that Dark Tranquillity seemed to bring the weather with them from their Swedish homeland.

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August 29th, 2014 – Jones Beach, Wantagh NY

Who’d have thought that Motley Crue would retire before Alice Cooper did?

Motley Crue was one of the first metal bands I ever heard, thanks to their song “Too Young To Fall In Love” from the Grand Theft Auto Vice City soundtrack. It had been almost 10 years since I first heard it, about 9 years since I picked up the Red White & Crue 2-disc best-of collection, and 4 years since I read The Dirt, which is still one of my top 10 most entertaining reads.

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Concert Review – Nile

November 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

“Don’t die,” my friends warn me.

My friends looked with trepidation at the black and red clad line of headbangers outside BB King’s, where they were dropping me off.

But I was already off towards the merch booth, eager to see what was on display for Nile’s 20th Anniversary tour. All those years ago, the South Carolinian band had started to find its niche in the competitive and increasingly-crowded death metal scene in the USA. Nowadays, ask a headbanger, “What’s that band that does all the songs about ancient Egypt?” and you’ll immediately get the answer, “NILE!” They truly are that unique.

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Concert Review: Saxon

September 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

“I’m as Irish as they come, but Saxon makes me wish I was British,” reads a Youtube comment for one of Saxon’s videos. For this smashingly British band, the North American tour gave them an excuse to release a tour edition shirt featuring the band logo behind a fully-armored knight carrying an American flag. Naturally, such a shirt became one of my possessions after this show, in which the noble knights of old rode down upon BB King’s Club in New York City.

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A waitress noticed me wearing my black jeans and Cannibal Corpse shirt and asked, “Here for the show?”

“What gave it away?” was my response.

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