Tour Reviews



Johnson City, Tennessee: EyeHateGod, Fight Amp, Navajo Witch!

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It’s not everyday you get to witness NOLA royalty. New Orleans sludge masters EyeHateGod recently unleashed their greatness on a crowd of fans at The Hideaway in Johnson City, Tennessee. The band is touring in support of their 2014 self titled release. The tour entitled ‘The Road to Psychotic Disorder is Not Elsewhere Classified’ also includes direct support from Philly based band Fight Amp. Also on this particular date is East Tennessee’s premiere doomsters Navajo Witch. Continue reading

Three Monsters, One show: The Contortionist, Entheos and sleepmakeswaves

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After a horrible day, I was definitely looking forward to hit my weekly show at 1904 here in Jacksonville, FL and blow off some steam. Hell, even the weather sucked. Cool, pouring down rain. Sucks. Nothing like some good music for a few hours to escape the frustration, angst and exhaustion of days (weeks) like that. I find Metal a good outlet for these “bad” emotions that all too often are left to fester and become destructive in so many ways. I find music to be productive release for all of it. Head bang, fists in the air, screaming my head off. Leave it all with the music and depart in a better mood, pleasantly tired and relaxed, maybe even with a couple more friends. Ask me why I love music. This night was sure to be the catharsis of my day, my week.

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International Guitar Month: Generation Axe (Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi)

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I was fortunate enough to cover a huge number of guitar heavy hitters in one fall swoop this week: Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi; all currently on the Generation Axe Tour. Five very different guitarists that cover Heavy Rock and Blues, to Neo-Classical Metal and Experiment Progressive. One thing is for damned sure: each man is at the top of their game and love playing the highest quantity of notes in the shortest period of time possible. As Bettencourt put it so succinctly: The promoters could not figure out how to pay all of these slingers and decided to pay each per note. No doubt, these gentlemen would come out on the winning end of that deal!

I think it is safe to say that everyone came to the show to see one or two of their favorite artists. That certainly holds true for me. I have seen Steve Vai quite a few times over the years and loved every show, Zakk Wylde with Black Label Society a couple of times which, of course, is always ear-splitting and fun, Nuno Bettencourt years and years ago with Extreme, Yngwie Malmsteen once in the mid-80’s (he was one of my primary motivators), but I have never seen Tosin Abasi or Animals As Leaders live, so I was especially excited to see this 8 string wonder shred the wood off of his fretboard. When it was all said and done, favorites mean nothing because the bar for this show was off the scale. It would become nit-picking or simply a matter of a subjective style and taste. Personally, I sat in the third row, center stage (Thank you so much, Scott!) and was moved, highly entertained and awed for three and a half hours. I love it all…

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Review of Sheiks of Neptune live in Las Vegas!

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Random and spur of the moment concerts are always amazing. While out in Las Vegas earlier in the month I just happened to make it to a Dead Kennedys show that was totally unplanned. The concert took place at the Las Vegas Country Saloon on Fremont Street (yes, DK played a country saloon). One of the best things that can happen at a concert happened that night. Other than the Dead Kennedys I knew none of the bands on the bill. I was absolutely blown away by the 3rd band of the night. The band Sheiks Of Neptune was not only the best band I saw that night but one of the most active and best stage shows I have seen in years. (And I have seen a shit ton of shows, trust me) These guys take the stage and every eye in the room is on the stage. The whole theme of the band helps build their stage presence, but when the vocalist known as “Sheikenstein” comes running out its non-stop energy until the set is over. A ride-able toy spaceship, a beheaded Barbie doll and a Marvin The Martian style ray gun are just some of the props used to help their show come to life. Continue reading

Columbus, Ohio: Slayer, Testament, Carcass @ Express Live!

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Slayer playing shows by themselves is more than enough to get metal heads out to a show. When you add Testament and Carcass to the bill that makes the tour a must see. Any of these 3 bands could headline a show or festival and draw a massive crowd. I knew we were in store for a massive turnout at Express Live in Columbus, Ohio. The first band of the night to take the stage was the Liverpool band Carcass. They quickly came out and got the crowd’s attention opening the show with their song “Unfit for Human Consumption”. When you are in the crowd it’s always great to catch a guitar pick, drum stick or really anything the band throws out at you. Bassist and singer Jeff Walker threw out more picks that night than I have ever seen anyone throw. The crowd kept growing and growing with each song Carcass played. By the time they were playing “Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System” there wasn’t even enough room to scratch your own ass. Carcass sounded flawless on stage. Note after note everything was perfection. It’s always amazing when the opening band is on stage and they blow you away. Carcass then played one of my favorite songs which is “Heartwork” the title track of their 1993 release. The song just has this fast paced shredding guitar riffs that flow into some slowed down groove section of the song makes you want to move around the mosh pit and tackle people. I am not the only person that feels this way, because during this song the pit was going absolutely insane. Continue reading

Joe Satriani “Surfing To Shockwave”: The Florida Theater, Jacksonville, FL

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It has been many, many years since last seeing Mr. Satriani (I believe it was the “Surfing With the Alien” tour in Louisville, KY; back when he had hair for you younger folks), so this was a particular thrill for me. Being self-identified as a guitar nerd, I have however kept up with all of his music and love everything he has produced.  I was about ready to come out of my skin waiting for him to take the stage…

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Uli Jon Roth, Jennifer Batten & Andy Timmons: “The Ultimate Guitar Experience”

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Uli Jon Roth. Jennifer Batten. Andy Timmons. Drop the name of any of these guitar gods and adjectives like virtuosic, spectacular and legend are sure to abound. The stars and planets have aligned now that Uli Jon Roth has chosen to tour with Batten and Timmons on “The Ultimate Guitar Experience” tour. Big words in a day when there are so many good guitarists out there. On the second night of their tour at The Plaza LIVE in Orlando, excitement and awe was palpable in the line waiting to see these three phenoms. What was waiting for us inside was beyond what any of us could have expected. Continue reading

Black Sabbath The End… with Rival Sons – United Center – Chicago, IL. 1/22/16

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Freezing temperatures couldn’t keep things from heating up in Chicago Friday night as Black Sabbath brought show 2 of their final tour, appropriately titled “The End”, to the United Center. The 23,000 Plus arena was sold out and filled to the brim by the time the metal masters took the stage. But first Long Beach, California rockers Rival Sons took the stage to get the crowd warmed up from the cold outside.

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Havok, Black Fast, Grave Rat, 1134 | Johnson City, Tennessee [Video]

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It’s not often you get to see two amazing bands at a small hole in the wall venue. When I say hole in the wall venue I of course mean that lovingly to the fullest extent. The Hideaway in Johnson City is one of the best smaller venues/bars to see a show. Havok have recently been on tour with several other bands as immediate support. Some dates had Extinction A.D., Black Breath, and Psychosomatic. While we do enjoy all of those bands we felt very lucky we got the pleasure of seeing Black Fast open for the mighty Havok. It always helps as well when a regional act is put on the bill and they step up to the stage and totally kill their set and make a shit ton of new fans. That regional act would be Wise, Virginia natives Grave Rat. Continue reading