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 →
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 →
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 →
For metal heads, going to a REAL metal show and seeing your favorite metal band is the ultimate goal. Thankfully, that’s a goal I was able to mark off the list a week ago in Nashville, TN when Slayer, Lamb of God, and Behemoth paid a visit to the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. In a city where country music is prevalent, it was a nice change to bring a metal touch to the city, and what better way to do that, than to bring the heaviest tour of the Summer right to its core? Of course, Nashville has seen its fair share of metal bands, but none of which compared to the lineup it witnessed on the night of July 30, 2017. Continue reading →
When I heard that legendary thrash metal band Sepultura would be playing near me in Hedon Zwolle I instantly got my tickets to the show. They weren’t coming alone, they brought death metal band Aborted with supporting band Killing Cult Society. Even though I had never heard Killing Cult Society I had high hopes because you don’t become the support band for Sepultura for nothing! Before we go any further I need to talk about the venue, Hedon Zwolle. This has been my second time being there and yet again right after the doors were open you felt welcomed. Everything was well organized and the staff was friendly and easy to talk to. I am really happy about this venue and I am glad that I am lucky enough to live close to it. Already looking forward to being there again!
Some couple of days back this month at AntiSocial, New Delhi when DEMONIC RESURRECTION, the king of the rings of Indian metal brought absolute havoc and belted forth destruction along with GRAMMY WINNING EFFORT and THE COSMIC TRUTH, they further established the fact that even after a battering 17 years of existence, pulling through thick and thins, why they are one of the best Indian heavy music acts one can cross his paths against with. On the 14th of July, DEMONIC RESURRECTION brought the new album tour party to the country’s capital city, New Delhi. They are touring in support of their new album ‘Dashavatar‘ that came out this year earlier in March to widespread positive reception. I was waiting for this gig eagerly since it was announced a month earlier, mainly cause I am a DEMONIC RESURRECTION fan and also I wanted to check out the new kids on the block, well they’re grown ups but you get it what I meant. The line-up represented a diverse range of bands on the heavy metal spectrum, from the in house Delhi talents GRAMMY WINNING EFFORT who play some hard hitting hardcore and punk along with the newly formed band of THE COSMIC TRUTH who are more into the new age genre of experimental and ambient metal thing. They also released their new EP on that very night which goes by the name of ‘Stroboscopic Illusion‘, and they put it up for a ‘pay what you want’ price. I paid them 200 INR or 3.10$ for the same, cause why not, they were rad as fuck and for the sake of supporting original music. Support live music people! The headliners were obviously as stated above none other than Mumbai death metal giants DEMONIC RESURRECTION. Now for those who were there, you know what an epic meltdown it was and for those who missed, I am here to accentuate your regret. Also before we plunge ourselves in the gig autopsy, I want to apologise our readers for the absolute crap quality pictures, we did not have any professional camera or equipment, so we had to settle for my cellphone camera. I hope that is not much of a big deal and won’t stop you from having a good read. Now let us dissect how the gig went, shall we?
We have finally arrived to the last day of Chicago Open Air. Sunday was the reason many of us made the trip for this huge three day weekend. By the time it rolled around, some fans were calling it “Death Day”. You could definitely understand where they were coming from. There were several heavy hitters taking the stages today including Ozzy and Zakk Wylde, Slayer, Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, DevilDriver, Behemoth, and more. Lots of running back and forth would lead to a very tiring day. Luckily, it ended up being the coolest day of the weekend, which made it a bit more bearable. Continue reading to see our review on the most electric day of the festival. Continue reading →