DEICIDE, BROKEN HOPE, DISGORGE, NECRONOMICON @ The Whisky, Hollywood, CA (10/20/13)

The No Salvation Tour had made its way to Los Angeles, and by the looks of things outside the world famous Whisky A Go-Go, it would be a packed house inside.  There were tons of fans lined up outside the venue, but since the show was sold out, they had no choice but to stand outside and hang out all night!

The opening act for this brutal tour package was NECRONOMICON, but alas, they did not play, as their RV broke down and sadly, did not get to the venue in time to perform.  The crowd grew restless, and wanted some brutality…

After a few miscues with their intro, San Diego’s DISGORGE proved why they are still one of the most extreme and violent acts out there.  The band plowed directly into “Atonement” with new vocalist Angel Ochoa up to par with legendary ex-DISGORGE vocalist Matti Way.  The crowd started up the pit, and the band fed off the swirling hair and circle pit nicely, delivering the most ferocious, extreme, and ultra low guttural death metal possible.  They went through their “hits” such as “Womb Full of Scabs,” “She Lay Gutted,” and “Cranial Impalement” just to name a few.  The crowd gave them an excellent response, and this tour should definitely take the band to the next level in terms of gaining more fan base and support.

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CARCASS @ The Troubadour (9/28/13 & 9/29/13)

Carcass

An improbable reunion, followed by an improbably killer new album (Surgical Steel), followed by a still improbable small-venue mini-tour, CARCASS have found a second wind in their lengthy career to deliver more than just a “reunion” jaunt. With two nights at The Troubadour in West Hollywood on September 28th and 29th, CARCASS paid a visit to the very venue that came to be their “last” Los Angeles show (1994) before their extended period of inactivity.
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BLACK SABBATH @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine, California (08/28/13)

Three quarters of the original SABBATH line-up returned to their old stomping grounds of Orange County, California last night.  I underestimated how many of the devoted would turn out for a show on a Wednesday night as it was nearly a sell out with people making the pilgrimage from near and far.

Black Sabbath
As the house lights went down, the sound of the sirens signaled that “War Pigs” would be the night’s opening song.  Even from right outside the amphitheater, the absolute heaviness could be felt.

To nobody’s surprise, the band’s set focused on the first three records, Black Sabbath, Paranoid, and Master of Reality.  While you can’t question the love the masses have for SABBATH, it is a safe assumption that the majority do not spend much time with Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, or Sabotage, and would quickly complain if the band started playing “obscure” tracks such as “The Writ” or “Tomorrow’s Dreams.”  One gem from Vol. 4 did make the set in the form of “Under the Sun.”  They also performed three songs from the solid reunion album, 13.
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BORIS – Two Night Residency @ Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA (5/23/13, 5/24/13)

Boris

Everything BORIS sets out to accomplish is not without a dose of “special”. Such was their recent U.S. tour, half of which were two-night residencies; one night of “All-time Classics,” a set of their heavy rock, non-drone material, and a second night of the exact opposite — a complete performance of their hour-long Flood album, plus experimental/drone selections.
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TURBONEGRO @ El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA (5/25/13)

The Turbojugend were out in full force for the LA stop of TURBONEGRO‘s first proper U.S. tour in support of Sexual Harassment. The late arriving crowd salvaged what would have been a disappointing turn out by TURBONEGRO standards.  So after so many semi-legendary shows throughout the years in LA, what would the band bring with their new vocalist Duke of Nothing AKA Tony Silvestri?  Another awesome, special performance.

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SAINT VITUS, WEEDEATER, SOURVEIN, SPLITH @ Bootleg Theater (10/10/12)

Last night, the superb lineup of SAINT VITUS, WEEDEATER, SOURVEIN, and SPLITH invaded the beautiful Bootleg Theater in Echo Park/Silver Lake adjacent. The rear theater room was opened for the night’s serving of doom — a good thing thanks to it being a larger space and having better sound. The front bar area, meanwhile, made for a fine drinking and socializing area. Few other venues such an optimal set up — smoking patios don’t count.
Unfortunately, by the time I arrived, the reformed SPLITH, which features renowned producer Billy Anderson, and SOURVEIN, who I’ve been wanting to see for some while, had already played.

WEEDEATER‘s set was expectedly pummeling, rattling with loads of low end. Vocalist and bassist Dixie Dave stomped and shook like a crazy man while his raspy bark competed with the thundering low frequencies. Three different drummers took to the kit throughout the set, and MONDO GENERATOR‘s Nick Oliveri was spotted up front entranced by WEEDEATER‘s sludge power.

The heavy got heavier. SAINT VITUS followed, delivering thick riffs in a subdued yet commanding manner. Wino and guitarist Dave Chandler commanded the audience through their long grey hairs and mastery of doom. Heads banged in approval as SAINT VITUS stamped their sound into the Bootleg audience, young and old.

Check out a clip by opeth44 of SAINT VITUS playing “The Troll“…

DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST, STOLEN BABIES @ El Rey, Los Angeles, CA (09/08/12)

The Epic Kings and Idols Tour hit Los Angeles to a packed house.  Anticipation and enthusiasm were high. The merch booths were selling well as the crowd was littered with brand new shirts, particularly of KATATONIA and the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT.

LA’s very own STOLEN BABIES were first up with their eccentric brand of heavy music.  Always up for a challenge in front of a straight up metal crowd, the band bashed through their set with all the charisma and energy that they show on their headlining shows.  It’s always cool to see  first time spectators have a bewildered look on their faces as they watch this crazy band that looked like they jumped out of the Beatlejuice movie.  They played a few songs off of their upcoming album, Naught, which sounded right at home with their debut, There Be Squabbles Ahead.  Vocals were a bit low in the mix but still a sweet performance.


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IRON MAIDEN @ Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre, Irvine, CA (8/9/12)

In metal, there are so many great live bands but few deliver the kind of religious experience that IRON MAIDEN regularly delivers. The Maiden England World Tour hit Southern California last night with the band reprising the 1988 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour, complete with the stage set up and setlist modeled after that tour.

The enthusiasm, anticipation, and sheer positive energy at Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre was just so special. And when the band finally took the stage with “Moonchild,” the place exploded. The roar of the crowd was deafening. MAIDEN didn’t waste much time in between songs as they kept going into song after song. “The Evil that Men Do” and “The Prisoner” followed quickly afterwards. For MAIDEN purists, the removal of “Still Life” and “Infinite Dreams” may have been a disappointment. However, the band replaced these songs with the underrated “Afraid to Shoot Strangers” and the favorite “Fear of the Dark.” Also, it should be noted that the setlist is mostly based on the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son tour rather than being a facsimile.

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GRAVEYARD, RADIO MOSCOW, THE SHRINE @ Bootleg Theater (1/28/12)

GRAVEYARD‘s sold out show with RADIO MOSCOW, and THE SHRINE at Bootleg Bar in Los Angeles this past Saturday was no doubt the hottest ticket in town. The buzz was huge and rightfully so–their latest album, Hisingen Blues, is an honest-to-goodness, quality serving of 70s rock ‘n roll that has garnered much acclaim.

So while word rippled through the internet that the show had sold out, the venue subsequently moved the show into the larger (and better sounding) theater room in the back of Bootleg Bar. A limited number of tickets were then released with an additional unguaranteed chance for tickets at the door. Upon arrival, the line for fans waiting to purchase tickets was at least 40 people deep with THE SHRINE already loudly blasting away inside. It turns out that everyone who showed up without pre-sale tickets was fortunately able to get in. Continue reading

DIR EN GREY @ House of Blues, Hollywood, CA (12/23/11)

[slidepress gallery='dir-en-grey-111223']On a chilly eve of Christmas Eve in Los Angeles, the always faithful DIR EN GREY fans came out for their heroes. The band’s first show in LA for their latest album, Dum Spiro Spero, was to be a special one as the band had a full camera crew to film the show for a future release. Like on many of their recent tours, there was no opening band and the crowd eagerly awaited their heroes for about an hour before they took the stage.

DIR EN GREY took the stage with the type of unconditional love and adoration that their fans are known for. Bassist Toshiya did a great job working the crowd and getting the predominantly female crowd to yell out his name. Vocalist Kyo went into his trademark intense trance-like state and projected his furious and passionate delivery. The rest of the band was their usual cool selves.

The setlist revolved more around the band’s recent albums with the beginning of the latter half of the set focusing on the band’s more experimental, atmospheric side. At show’s end, the band threw out guitar picks, drum sticks, and water bottles, of which I was the recipient of the latter. Fortunately, no one tried to mob me for it. And before departing back into the cold evening, the vast majority of the crowd patiently stood in the merch line to buy some souvenirs.

It’ll be quite special to see the final product of the live recording of the evening’s show.