|» Metal Masters Tour 2008||
I'm amazed how rapidly three weeks have fired away! Finally, I get a fighting chance to relay to you all, the mettle experience Wendy & I had when we sojourned to Pittsburgh to see the "Metal Masters Tour". Whether it be arriving way late to the gig, after getting seriously lost, or our broken digital camera, and pictures forever lost, we prevailed. Unfortunately once home torrential rainstorms damaged data files, and our computer was fried alive. Then between personal illness, family concerns, or just everyday B$, this review has been screaming for vengeance to finally be published!
There were definitely some ongoing
themes this particular Saturday evening, starring the Grandfathers Of
Rock. Overall, we were equally pleased with the four Gods Of Steel and
Starlight, but excessive drums solos, social distortion, and ubiquitous
cacaphony, as well as ridiculously tight security, and whatever get-up
Rob Halford chose to adorn, given his epicene antics, all served to sully
our overall musical experience.
The Bay Area bashers were in full form, a true legacy of brutality, imbued with raging wonder, and a 'do or die' intrigue. Chuck Billy towered over the stage, showing no sign of fatigue. Sadly, Testament were the only band we were able to photograph due to a mix-up on the photopasses. Even though the seats were still vacant in the early evening, Chuck and his wagontrain ripped right into "Over The Wall" and "The New Order", encouraging the crowd to bang their heads vigorously. It was so cool to see the ritual of Alex, with grey streak still in hair, solo and shred, while Greg slapped his bass, just like the good ole' days. It was also killer to see Paul bash the skins. This brother sure makes the rounds from Forbidden, to Slayer, to Exodus, to Testament, now practicing what they preach.
After a few classics, Testament matched their back-drop by doing three
new cuts from The Formation Of Damnation. These had a bit of the modern
bite live, but the overall sound at the Gazette seemed a bit muffled,
anyway. All in all, it was great to see this classic line-up open the
show. We are looking forward to seeing them headline soon!
8 chalices of 10
Next up were the mighty British Trio of over the top bastards: Lemmy, Phil, & Mikkey. I really like their new album: Motörizer, but even though they had this as their backdrop, they did not play any new songs live, not even "Rock Out"! Thankfully, I did find a used copy of Bastards on CD at the local 1/2 Price Books. I know how rare this title is! I really respect Motörhead, but this was not one of their better live performances. They were too loud, and too listless to really capture our attention. Lemmy bellowed, "We're Motörhead, and we play Rock 'N' Roll"! So, that's what they called the chaos on stage! The music was far from being enjoyable.
Orgasmatron is my favorite album, so hearing them open with "Dr.
Rock" was cool, as was the following track "Stay Clean",
and later for us older fans - "Metropolis". Then they just fell
off the right track, and everything became disproportionate. Lemmy grunted,
"We have a ton of songs to play, and very little time, so let's get
to it." Well, if that's the case, why the obligatory drum solo? I
have nothing against Mikkey Dee, but was this necessary with only a 45
minute set? People kept evacuating for a piss break or perhaps to purchase
the overpriced merch. Sadly, they missed the inevitable "Ace Of Spades",
and surprising "Overkill". Where were "Iron Fist"
or "R.A.M.O.N.E.S."? For my money, it seemed as if Lemmy could
not wait to get off stage, and get off with the queue of chicks lying
6 chalices of 10
Heaven & Hell
This was our second glance at Dio and his Sabbath, as we caught them in 2007, and I wrote a review, then. We accepted the fact that their set would be shorter, but no less enjoyable. It is always an honor to watch these wizards at work. They opened with "Mob Rules" as the stage prismatically echoed with gargoyles and crystal balls. As Dio chanted through "Children Of The Sea", he held up a fan made banner. The night was alive with the spell of wonder. After all these years, I was grateful to learn that "Sign Of The Southern Cross" was inspired by a constellation, and not something more sinister. Watching Geezer torment his bass reminded me of when I saw Cliff Burton churn out "Orion". There's no doubt that Terry & Tony invented Metal! Another drum solo ensued, and nothing against Vinny Appice, but if they omitted this, they could have done another song. Always a fan of Wayne's World, at least I was pleased to hear "Time Machine".
After the awesome "Die Young", we all knew it was time for the neverending "Heaven And Hell". I wonder if Dio and his ruling mob ever tire of this song? Obviously not, as they played it with such pernicious passion. Tony always smiling, enjoying the mirth of the moment, while Dio evoked an ominous crowd response (well, at least from those who chose to stay,and not seek refreshment or relief elsewhere). Neon Nights was a welcomed encore, as this song set the precedent for Power Metal. Overall, given their age, H&H created an etherial atmosphere of excitement and appreciation.
7,5 chalices of 10
As the stained class of aging enthusiasts, and teen newcomers awaited the turbocharged moment, Priest hit the stage. I, like a sentinel ready to strike, watched as the British Steel Machine erupted right before my very eyes. What a spectacle to behold! I have no idea who does Rob's wardrobe, but could he be more flashy and filled with such panache'? I mean, c'mon he looked like a mirrored chandalier! What's with the trident staff with the JP logo? What's with the beard? (Note to dumbass...shave!). Sadly, what's with Mr. Halford using a teleprompter to read the lyrics which he freakin' wrote! The Priest are my second favorite band, but even Joe Elliot of Def Leppard had more alacrity live, for fuck's sake! Just seeing him crouch down, eyes closed, apoplexic, really left me empty and cold.
On the other hand, Glen, K.K., and even Ian were alive and rockin' hot! Glen looked killer in his new threads, Rob needs to hire his tailor! Scott was awesome behind the kit, as to be expected. The songs consisted of a blend of classics and rarities. They opened with "Prophecy", the only new song they played that night, and besides Rob's glistening attire, it sounded good. I'm looking forward to seeing them do the entire Nostradameus set next year, as long as Rob can fight to remember the damn words!
Even though the Beast that is Priest have existed longer that Maiden, Rob should not emulate Bruce by waving a flag around stage. Hearing Rob struggle through "Dissident Aggressor" really had me appalled. He may be finally showing his age, even if Lemmy, Dio, and other band members are significantly older. I was pleased to hear "Rock Hard, Ride Free" from my favorite album, but even this was a bit weak. Just when I thought Scott was going to do a drum solo, he ripped into "Painkiller". There were three songs played from this overhyped release, and none of them sounded as good as the classics like "Metal Gods", "Devil's Child", or "Breaking The Law".
Wendy stood right under Rob as he crouched down screaming in her ear, "This is the Painkiller..Pain, Pain...Killler,Killer!" His eyes were sewn shut, and I don't think he even noticed her. The encore was cool as Rob ripped a ride on his motorcycle singing, "Hell Bent For Leather", although, the Nostradameus Denim & Leather jacket was a bit too much! All his "Whooah, whooah, wooh, yeah's!" went on too long, and had he curbed his enthusiasm, they could have played "Livin' After Midnight", in lieu of the obligatory "You've Got Another Thing Comin'". Even I could do without this staple!
Wendy was fortunate to be handed a pick by the axemaster, himself; but,
as I approached the stage to shake my hero, hero's hand, I was trampled
by a throng of hungry fans eager to seize any of the plethora of picks
Glen was doling out. A litte girl of nine was handed the drumstick personally
by Scott. I need to bring my son next time, so he can receive the same
favor! I'll always be a defender of the faith, no matter what my anger
or retribution. So, here's hoping after this run, Rob regenerates, so
next year the metal icon can rock hard, rightfully!
6,5 chalices of 10
Dawn Of Creation (Intro)