Here is a scenario, Baltimore city lay amidst ruins engulfed by flames and black smoke. As a raven flies over the city towards the inner harbor, it watches the fires and flames gradually intensify. The exact epicenter being 124 Market Place, the street address of Baltimore Soundstage. Surely this must have happened in one of the infinite alternate universes that exist. The cause behind this mayhem are two bands, Exodus and Obituary. On a balmy Saturday night, the two bands blew the lid off Baltimore Soundstage with the heaviest performance I have seen in a very long time. The tour titled “Battle of The Bays” is possibly the heaviest tour of the Fall, and I was not going to miss it. Continue reading
Prophets Of Rage
Prophets of Rage, the rap rock supergroup consists of members of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Wakrat, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill played to a packed crowd at the iconic 9:30 Club in Washington DC on last Wednesday night. While my political views no longer resonate with the lyrics of RATM and Prophets Of Rage, my opinion on their music has remained unchanged. I well and truly believe that the original quartet of RATM are a bunch of creative geniuses, and that is why they had been so successful in capturing the imagination of millions around the world. Tom Morello is consistently ranked among the finest modern guitarist. My primary interest in this show was because of the RATM songs the lineups were playing. And tonight was the night.
Last Friday night I was in Baltimore to experience DEAD CROSS, a super group consisting of past and present members of the bands Suicidal Tendencies, The Misfits, Slayer, Faith No More, Tomahawk etc. I had been approved for this show months ahead of the show date, and as a fan of Slayer I was excited to see Dave Lombardo on drums. DEAD CROSS released their eponymous album, the first one of the band, which has received excellent reviews from fans and critics alike. While I am not a huge fan of hardcore, I totally get why the fans have been so excited about this tour. Continue reading
Corrosion Of Conformity
As I was preparing for my almost 3 hour drive to the V Club in Huntington WV to cover Corrosion Of Conformity. I was wondering who might want to go with me on short notice and one person came to mind, Metal Nexus’ own Axe. So about an hour into my drive I picked him and away we went. Traveling in and out of rain showers we talked all things rock and roll, concerts, bands, venues even listened to a little rock and roll. Well, it may have been more than a little listening! I have heard of the V club but this was my first visit and I’m sure not my last. Very cool venue and a great place to catch a live show. Continue reading
Downtrend w/ Andy Haught (Zeroking) on Backing Vocals
Spending Labor Day weekend watching some bands live is quite the way to ease the pain of the summer coming to an end. This past Saturday West Virginia’s Zeroking and Kentucky’s Downtrend partnered up to melt the faces off of fans at Summit City in Whitesburg, Kentucky. The show marked only the 6th or 7th show new vocalist Shawn Williams had performed with Downtrend, and though I’ve seen the band various times throughout the years this is the first time other than witnessing a short practice session that I was able to see Shawn go to work on the stage. Both bands go way back and have played together before throughout the last decade. Zeroking have been furiously working on their upcoming album ‘The Empire Of Sin’ and have just put the final touches on the album. They have also released a track from the album titled “Boom”. The West Virginians have been working on the album since 2014 and needless to say we can’t wait to hear it. Continue reading
The Stephen Pearcy Band
As the first round of rain from the storm that was “Harvey” was making its way into Eastern Kentucky I find myself heading to The Forum in Hazard, Kentucky. Why The Forum you ask? Because if you’re a Rock n Roll fan in Eastern Kentucky and haven’t been living under a rock, you know The Forum is the place to be! In the last year and a half Napier Promotions (Greg Napier) has brought some very talented bands through Hazard and The Forum. The Winery Dogs, Stryper, Dokken, Warrant, LA Guns, The Tom Keifer Band, Last In Line and Rival Sons along with a host of opening acts. All have played the big stage at The Forum. Continue reading
Finally I had a chance to photograph and review a show of the legendary Alice Cooper, who brought the horror to Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia. This is the third time I’ve seen Alice Cooper in Bristow, and I have enjoyed every single one of them, for there is never a dull moment in his show. Here is a guy who sent bone chilling shock waves through the spines of many a 70’s parents. Alice Cooper has been in the music industry for over fifty years. Here is a guy who redefined the world of shock rock, and is still delivering rock and horror with aplomb to the legion of his fans around the globe. And one can clearly see that here is a guy who truly enjoys being on the road playing in front of his fans. Alice Cooper needs no new spectacle, the classic ones are still as good as they used to be in the heydays of the 70’s. They need no improvisation. The theatrics and the energy on the stage flow effortlessly as it always has, the show is just perfect. All Alice Cooper needs to do is to show up on the stage with his band, and pick up the microphone. Continue reading
The Dead Daisies
Last Friday night I headed back to Ram’s Head Live after four months to cover The Dead Daisies, a super group consisting of members who had played in bands like Guns N’ Roses, Thin Lizzy, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake and various other well known bands. I had listened to their recent album ‘Make Some Noise’ and checked out snippets of their live performances. The Washington DC-Baltimore metropolitan had been hit by a major storm system in the late afternoons and those who made it to the venue on time really had to endure the horrendous traffic of the region in very hard driving conditions. I was extremely annoyed to see the show start earlier than the scheduled time, which in my opinion is criminal, especially as it was a major “weather alert” day. Continue reading
Last night I had my second consecutive fantastic Sunday night in Baltimore. I covered Blaze Bayley, a singer who was the former front man of the iconic metal legends Iron Maiden, one of the greatest metal bands the universe has ever seen. This is a tour many may not have paid the attention it well and truly deserves! Iron Maiden is my favorite heavy metal band, bar none. Well, I am one of those people who think his album ‘The X Factor’ with Iron Maiden is fantastic, albeit different from the Dickinson era Maiden. This is an album that had kept me company during my troubled and volatile years while riding down remote mountainous roads in India on my motorcycle. And not once during those days did I imagine Blaze Bayley shoving the microphone right in my face to sing “The Man on The Edge” with him, the way he did last night. Personally, the whole show was sort of a trip down memory lane. Fish Head Cantina, located in Baltimore, is the venue where I photographed my very first heavy metal show, the band on that occasion being the mighty influential NWOBHM band Diamond Head. And to cover another legend in Blaze Bayley was the fitting way to go back to where it all began as a concert photographer. Continue reading
Here is a short story. A long time back a young kid growing up in a small hamlet by the Himalayas had chanced upon some guitar/music magazine with Marty Friedman on the cover, on the very same day he had first listened to the opening solo of “Hangar 18”. An article in the magazine had mentioned that Marty Friedman had grown up in a city called Laurel in a certain state called Maryland in the US. The name of this nondescript city of Laurel in a state called Maryland stuck in his head, maybe it was due to the magical solos in “Rust in Piece”. The kid developed into a fan of Megadeth eventually. He had also heard of a city called Baltimore that was in a book of the Tarzan series. When he moved to Maryland from a remote corner in Asia to pursue his studies he had no real clue of how close Maryland was to Washington DC or Baltimore for that matter. And little did he know that one day he was going to cover a show by the man himself Marty Friedman in a venue located in the heart of Baltimore. The boy of course is none other than me.
Megadeth has been my favorite thrash metal band, since I discovered them at the age of 20! At the cost of sounding like a very old guy I must mention in my defense that back in the days before the internet, western music reached the developing world quite late. As an example, disco was huge in the late eighties and early nineties in the Asian subcontinent! Can you imagine that? I regretted not being able to attend the Baltimore show of the Inferno tour, and out of nowhere appeared this Wall of Sound tour. I was not sure if I would be able to attend this show until the very last moment. Thank you very much painkillers! Believe me, they do a phenomenal job of subsiding the pain associated with wisdom teeth extractions. Attending this show came with a lot of emotions and is a very personal story to me. Hence, contrary to my usual style of dedicating individual section of a review for each band, I will let this be a potpourri of personal emotions that I felt at the show. Continue reading