|» Doro 2009 09 10||
It is always invigorating, when Wendy and I witness a big show in Cleveland, because we can count on our friends, and the Cleveland Metal elite to be in attendance. This was definitely the case for the Doro show. It has been almost a year since we enjoyed the likes of Lordi and Lizzy Borden last autumn, at the House Of Blues. For one reason or another, we have not been able to get back to the taunted city. Once we heard that Doro would be returning, we knew for sure we would be there, full of excitement, and ready.
We were pleased to speak with Mr. Bill Peters: "The Cleveland Godfather Of Metal". He informed us of the latest updates with his label - Auburn Records. He introduced me to Ted Anderson - the lead singer from Lick The Blade - who had just performed at this summer's HOA Festival, and whose CD I just reviewed for Metal CD Ratings. We also met the notorious Jim who has been listening daily to - 'Nostradameus' - by Judas Priest, for well over a year; even having the band themselves make him an honorary member, and their biggest fan for that album. He swears that after he reaches 500 solid revolutions, he will finally take a break, but will he ever wash the shirt?
This was our second time seeing Doro in Cleveland. Last time the band Meltdown - now known as Mantic Ritual, signed to Nuclear Blast Records, was the opener. Lucklessly, Dan Wetmore - their vocalist and guitarist, has since departed, and Dave Watson has replaced him. Just as then, a great act boldly paved the way for things to come. It was awesome to have Cleveland's own thrashgods - Destructor, and the Beauty & The Beast breakdown rants of Cellbound welcome the Queen of Metal to Ohio.
The never forgotten, fallen angels of suicide - Cellbound - drew a favorable dark crowd of loyal supporters as the tantalizing Chris Emig, and randy, but bellicose Tom Herttna vied for dominance with an alembic affectation, bemuddling the audience with their ruse and dint of rousing ferocity. The gravenly, bewitching Mrs. Emig was just getting over a cold, but this did not prevent her from singing with fervent passion, and surreptitious sincerity. As she would approach the front of the stage, sharing the mic. with the tenacious Tom, both their voices would pink and pierce our ears with their shrill cries, spoken style, and enhanced imagery.
The pirouetting poise of super shredder - Shaun Vanek - was in full form,
as he would bleed for the audience's reaction. As usual, he exemplified
his eternal guitar legacy, never lifeless, but alive with his gut wretching
staccatos, and to die for licks and leads. Cellbound's set was relatively
short, so there was no pyrotechnic chiropteran mystique, on behalf of
their leading lady. The delectable Doro and volumptuously zaftig Chris
are close companions, so I know it was an honour to commence this evening
of true as steel sensationality, with heartfelt hellbound intent.
7 chalices of 10
Early on I encountered a slightly intoxicated Dave "Overkill" Just, imbibing tall beer cans, bitching about the malfeasant venue, but thrilled to play for Doro. He was not swilling the Silver Bullet, but he did belch the sonic bullet of belligerence. Thus, I knew we were in for a killer night of maximum destruction. I also enjoyed the casual time I spent with Pat "Rabid" Wolowiecki, who was wearing an Anvil - 'Pound For Pound' shirt, before the festivities got underway.
The storm of steel that is Destructor hit the stage ready to take control, and bring the hammer down, with no set-list, and I assume very little rehearsal. I rushed to the front ready to split my skull from the overdose of intoxicating mettle. As can be expected, they were still tight as a bondage babe adorned forever in leather, and as heavy as the artillery used in a world at war.
Next to me was a young lad donning the most obscure thrash bootleg patches. I had seen him at Kreator & Exodus, and since dubbed him: "The Mad Patcher". He was so pumped to see Destructor tear down the heavy rafters. Although, no one was there to catch him, when he attempted to later stagedive.
The G-force assault was "Unleashed" as they ripped right into this track from their 2007 full length - 'Forever In Leather'. Then, they began to "Tear Down The Heavens" with little damage control. I was surprised given their brief set, they chose this epic, but ragin' song, played with precision devastation.
Then I screamed, "Iron Curtain", and Dave returned the favour, playing my still favourite Destructor song, as Jamie "Boulder" Walters began to pound with upheaval on the bass strings. After this masterpiece of hammering riffs, and slick solos, Jamie cried out, "Skull Splitter", and we all went into a frenzy, and experienced decibel casualties, from all the power and aggression.
They asked what we wanted to hear next, and as a joke, I shouted, "Living After Midnight", in reference to Jamie's other side-project blackthrash act: Midnight. He seemed a bit bewildered, but Matt "Flammable" Schindelar just began to play the opening drum parts, either oblivious, or perhaps, as a prank. Abruptly, Dave screamed, "We are ready, and going to play "Pounding Evil"! We did not even bat an eye, but delighted in the fact that they chose to play both the trademark live songs featured on the 'Sonic Bullet' release.
Since they were not headlining, there was no mass destruction of the
guitars, or total devastation of the stage. All in all, they kicked serious
ass, and impressed many newcomers who had never witnessed their personified
maelstrom, and massive mayhem. Not bad for a banging bunch of elder masters
of the youth, who were spawned in the 50's & '60s!
7,5 chalices of 10
The ever attractive and vibrant warrior soul: Doro Pesch erupted with the Warlock classic - 'Earthshaker Rock', followed by - 'I Rule The Ruins'. Now, that we were all entranced by her wisdom and beauty, we were all ready for - 'Burning The Witches'. Wendy was pressed up to the stage, shooting the show, and celebrating the experience, as Doro thrust the microphone in front of her, egging her on to sing the chorus. Wendy would truly become an active member in this night's crowd participation. I chose to hang back with Chris Emig's husband Ron, as we are both tall, and chose not to melt 'neath the sweltering lights, and boiling sauna that is Peabody's.
There was only one guitarists performing. Last time we saw Doro in Cleveland, she had none other than Chris Caffery playing with her. This time neither Luca Princiotta nor Oliver Palotai were present. This was a bit frustrating, as I wanted to speak with Luca about his band: Clairvoyants on Valery Records, and his experience working with Blaze Bayley, and the tragic death of Blaze's wife. I was also hoping to converse with Oliver, whom I interviewed last year, when Kamelot was on tour with Edguy. I still have not heard his Sons Of Seasons project, and the album - 'Gods Of Vermin'.
Her new guitarist was Bas Maas previously of the now split-up band - After Forever. She also had a new keyboardist: Harry, who was exceptionally friendly, having only played four shows with her, before this evening. Of course, she still had her mainstay musicians: Nick Douglas tearin' it up on bass, and the foxy Johnny Dee (John DiTeodoro Jr.) brightly wasting the drums.
Even though she is triumphantly touring for her new album - 'Fear No Evil' - she only did one new song - "The Night Of The Warlock", and that can also be found on her 2008 - 'Celebrate' (EP). Since her visit to America was extremely limited, she wanted to focus on fighting for the rock by representing the hits. Personally, I was looking forward to hearing - "Walking With The Angels", "Celebrate", "25 Years", "Herzblut", anything from - 'Warrior Soul' - as well as classics like - "Metal Tango", "Homicide Rocker", or even the emotional - "Für Immer", but this was just not to be.
Nonetheless, the show was still an awe inspiring thrill ride of momentous occasion. The very delightful Doro dedicated - 'Above The Ashes' - to her faithful follower from Japan, a young metal maiden who had flown in to catch Doro on this limited US tour. I later spoke with this Japanese doll all about the great acts from her homeland like: Hellhound, Galneryus, Metlucifer, Sex Machineguns, and the mighty Loudness, whom I had the privilege of being the first American to officially review their latest, and best in a long time, new album - 'The Everlasting' - for Metal CD Ratings.
Johnny kept toying with us with his Maiden meets Kiss style drum solo, which gave Doro a chance to catch her breath before she announced - 'We Are the Metalheads' - a theme from Wacken which honoured Doro's 25 years of die hard female poise and presence. This was immediately followed by - 'Breaking The Law' - which she dedicated to my wife Wendy, whom I am sure was now extremely grateful that she chose to wear her hachured red and black Judas Priest - 'British Steel' Tour shirt, which she found in the clearance bins at Hot Top for only $10.
As the anthem - 'All We Are' - echoed all throughout, Dave Overkill joined the band on stage to sing along, in the very fashion as they had done in the past with previous German shows. Interestingly enough, when Destructor promoted this show on their My Space page, they were threatened with being removed, due to the explicit adult content of the Doro photo; something a family based site would not tolerate. WTF! With all the XXX rated material and beyond, easily to be discovered on the net, with very little parental control, I am amazed that My Space was offended by a fantasy based portrait of Dame Doro, taken from her latest album. It is not like she is nude! I wonder how they deal with Manowar or Steel Panther!
The first encore was for - "Fight" - the first hit from the 2002 album of the same name. This was followed by - "Burn It Up" - which she decided to play once she pointed out the fan donning his - 'Calling The Wild' shirt. She perspicaciously remarked how for her it was the year 2000 that marked the return of true metal in America, with the Dio & Yngwie Tour.
Nick pulled out the keyboard and did his best, blessed deadly Geddy Lee impression when it came time for the inevitable, but endearing - "Love Me In Black" - one of Doro's favourite songs. Dave from Destructor had left the stage by now, and was standing by my side, gazing at the very hot, wet, leather bound, burnt out beauty. We both agreed that we truly love Doro in black, forever in leather; even if her hair looks blue in the 'Herzblut' video.
The only other song she played from her divine masterpiece - 'Warrior Soul' - was the final encore of - "You're My Family". As much as Ron and I pleaded for - "Thunderspell", "Haunted Heart", or "Strangers Yesterday", this was it. What was very entertaining, at this time though, was watching this dude who claims that he is running for the mayor of Cleveland, bouncing up and down, acting like a schizo pogo stick. He was so persistent to get Doro to notice him, that once she did, she missed her cue in this moment of sternutation, and momentarily began to giggle, chortling at his silliness. After the show, when I spoke to this suspender strapped, bald, buffoon, his noisome presence sent me spiraling. I quickly noticed his matter of fact overindulgence in the spirits, and his innebriated circumspect stance.
This was truly an awesome sockdolager of a show, not everything I would have expected, but still a total joy, and memorable moment. What can I say, she is Doro: The Queen Of Metal! Any opportunity to watch her perform, and play right before my very eyes, fills me with simple mirth and more abundance than I can even describe in words. Even if the crowd is a meager gathering of the few and sincere, compared to say a Dethklok show at the House of Blues, or the mighty Metallica in an auditorium, I strongly feel it is worth the wait. Doro is always a blissful, blessed event.
After the show, she is always willing to meet all her fans, sign everything, and pose for pictures. What more could one guy ask for, when metal is his wife and life!
8 chalices of 10