Tran-Siberian Orchestra is the brainchild brought to fruition by the genius of writer/guitarist/producer/etc. extraordinaire Paul O’Neill. Growing up in New York City, O’Neill was exposed to everything ranging from Broadway musicals, to Motown to singer-songwriter greats like JimCroce and HarryChapin. As he got older, Paul began playing guitar in the touring band for JesusChristSuperstar and Hair before being brought on with the management company, Leber–Krebs in the later portion of the 1970’s. With clients such as Aerosmith, TedNugent, AC/CD, DefLeppard, TheScorpians, TheNewYorkDolls and a plethora of other A-List bands, O’Neill’s influences and influence gained a huge market share, putting him at the top of the promotional game. After a stint as a major concert promoter in Japan during the 1980’s, he returned to the States to write and produce full-time.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016. JackRabbits, Jacksonville, FL. MetalBladeRecords’ artists NecromancingtheStone, Allegaeon and Battlecross take the stage for an evening hammering down some of the most engaging and hard hitting Metal around. This is the third such outing for headlining act, Battlecross, on their annual WinterWarriorsTour where veterans are allowed free admission to the shows and a portion of all proceeds land in the coffers of local veteran charities. The Metal community has no heart and is just a bunch of Satan loving hooligans wearing black t-shirts and leather jackets. Psh! No matter where I go, you people are the biggest hearted group, supporting our military vets, children charities and each other at every opportunity. Hell, there was a Metal show down the street from JackRabbits set up by local promoters and bands in support of a wonderful family that recently lost a child. I am truly honored to call each one of you brothers and sisters, even if we have never met! Thank you! In addition to the music, when it comes down to brass tacks, our solidarity is what grows the genre.
Man! When we first got wind that FlotsamandJetsam, Helstar and Hatchet were hitting the road together, all of us here at MN (particularly Dragon and me) were praying this would stop somewhere within striking distance. Not just to see this collection of top shelf bands but also to get this match made in heaven available to our loyal readers. Who wouldn’t want to see this? Love Hatchet. Been listening to them for since around 2013 when DawnofEvil hit. Helstar. Hell, I have listened to them on and off for the better part of thirty years. Don’t even get me started on FlotsamandJetsam. They have ranked among my favorite bands consistently since DoomsdayfortheDeceiver way back in 1986. Saw them on their tours supporting NoPlaceforDisgrace and Cuatro at Bogarts in Cincinnnati and one other time in Indianapolis in the late nineties. I have relentlessly listened to them even with my long hiatus seeing them live. While I like some of their releases better than others, Flotz is one of those bands that apparently cannot put out a bad album. I can only think of a couple of other bands that I hold in equal regards. To say the least, this was a dream show for me and was elated to find that it was coming to JackRabbits in Jacksonville, FL; just minutes from my house! So, you ask: “How was the show?”…
November 10, 2016. Get off work late. Quickly change clothes. Try to get off at your exit and no one will let you over and get bypassed onto a side street. Get stuck in construction traffic on the way back to the freeway because the city just has to have every road project going on at the same time. Get back on the highway for what should be a 45 minute drive. Traffic stops for five miles just outside of town for no apparent reason. Finally clear the mess and speed towards St. Augustine to find traffic again stopped all the way through town after taking “the short cut”. Get parked and head into the venue just as the first band starts some two hours after leaving work. Frustrating, but such is life in metropolitan areas everywhere; especially when one is in a hurry.
Who doesn’t love going to a metal show? The sweat, the hair, the ringing ears. Every time I get to go and see great artists ply their craft on the stage, I always consider myself to be extremely fortunate to be a part of such an experience. It’s an even bigger thrill when the artists that I get to scream my lungs out for are from my home state of Kentucky. Continue reading →
“What happened to the Metal scene here?” “Man, this sucks! I gotta drive to <pick a town> to see any good shows anymore.” “Nobody is playing around here this weekend.” “There are only a couple of good bands here and I have seen them a million times. Uhhhghh!” “We never get any good shows here anymore.” These are all statements that I constantly see, hear and read just about every day, from folks all over the world. Thankfully, these sentiments do not apply to my home state of Florida. No matter where you live here, there are almost too many shows to choose from on any given evening, especially on the weekends. The more difficult decision usually becomes “Do I go to see ‘X’ or do I see ‘Y’ or drive a little further to see ‘Z’?” We have also seen the rise of legendary bands like Death, Deicide, Obituary, Nonpoint, Trivium, Shinedown, Savatage, Cynic, IcedEarth, Kamelot, SixFeetUnder, MollyHatchet, AlterBridge, LimpBizkit, ADaytoRemember, LynyrdSkynyrd, BlackTide, Creed and many, many others over the years. The pool of talent seems to be bottomless here. All of these bands had to start somewhere and the next generation of bands continue to emerge in Florida at an exponential rate. Such was the case with the Halloween show at TheHaven in Winter Park, FL, Saturday, October 29th, 2016 which highlighted some of the premiere Metal acts available from Central and South Florida. Although it is exhilarating to see national and international acts in a large venue, local bands have the fire and talent at a comparable or higher levels in our own back yards.
As a special treat, all pictures are credited to my guest photographer MatthewDegele!
Louder Than Life came back this year with such an amazing lineup. Last year had more of a southern rock feel and this year was so much heavier. Ranging from some older classic bands to some of music’s fastest up and comers the lineup was filled full talented bands of varying genres. Unfortunately, we can’t see every band, so if we didn’t mention someone here it’s simply that we had a conflicting schedule with their set. If only we could see every band it would be a perfect day. Continue reading →
StateTheater in St. Petersburg, FL; Saturday, October 1st, 2016. This was the place to be for what is sure to become one of the biggest and memorable historic events for all the Metal fans fortunate to be present. MaxandIggorCavaleraReturntoRootsTour stormed this gulf city with more force than any damned hurricane and left more crushed skulls in its wake than the largest of epic World War II tank battles. Heavy, harsh and rowdy were the rules of the night as these two MetalMasters welcomed three local acts and four national touring acts to grease the skids for their dominant return to what now is considered a classic: “Roots”. Another long show that was well worth my four plus hour drive and eight hour Metal ride of shows. Wouldn’t have missed this event for all the tea in China!
Man, this was a big show! Put on by GoBigEntertainment at the 1904MusicHall in Jacksonville, FL, eight bands covering about seven hours, making for a great afternoon and night of music! A huge helping of local talent before MichaleGraves and freaking DeathAngel for those fortunate to get there early and stay late. Walk around and you can have endless conversations with all of the bands as they stand in support of one another. After their sets, this included MichaleGraves and DeathAngel who both were gracious enough to talk to fans, take pictures and sign whatever audience members brought along. A memorable night with old friends and new!
Rock N Roll was alive and well Friday night in Pikeville, Kentucky. The coal mining town doesn’t often see kick ass rock bands like Ted Nugent and Grimsley Rose. The town usually sways more toward country and bluegrass when it comes to music. But not on this faithful night. The crowd was pumped before the first note was struck at the East Kentucky Exposition Center. Ted of course is touring in support of his 2014 release ‘Shut Up And Jam’ which features one of the best rock songs released in quite a while. “She’s Gone” featuring the Red Rocker himself Sammy Hagar. The honor of opening the show went to a rock band that consisted of Kentucky born musicians. The members hailing from various towns around the Bluegrass State like London, Paintsville and Salyersville they pretty much felt at home in Pikeville.