Blog

  • Alice In Chains Listening Party

    Jul 16 2009, 17h01

    Tue 14 Jul – Black Gives Way To Blue Listening Party

    I haven't even recapped the Rocklahoma event and I'm already going to new events in LA. Monday night I got a text from a friend inviting me out to a listening party for Alice in Chains' new album, Black Gives Way To Blue, scheduled for a September release.

    I landed back in LA Tuesday morning and then that night 4 of us went out to the listening party. The set up was nice, free open bar, free In 'N Out Burgers, and was set up in what looked like a modern multimedia theater. Two small screens flanking both sides of the stage and a very large screen in the middle.

    I had never been to a listening party so I didn't know what to expect. As we walked in they had the video for "A Looking In View" playing on the big screen over and over again. One of either the marketing or label people got up and stage, welcomed everybody and then they played the CD with accompanying still visuals on the large screen.

    The artwork accompanying the songs was distorted views of reality. My favorite was of an eclipse of the Moon covering the Sun, however the Moon was much larger than the Sun which is not a perspective you can see from Earth. Other distortions included two people sitting around a table with a child standing on the table that looked to be only 10" tall. Very fitting artwork for this band.

    The CD is fairly steady consisting of heavy, dark material and material that started in the acoustic world. You would never notice that Layne Staley isn't on this material. Will DuVall, their new singer blends perfectly with Jerry Cantrell, and this material is fidelity wise an evolution of the band although the songs may not be.

    After the CD the screen lifted and revealed Alice In Chains on stage in an acoustic setting. They were a five piece featuring Derek Sherinian, from Dream Theater fame, on keyboards. They ran through three songs and then left the stage. One classic, and the performance premiere of two of their new tracks.

    Alice In Chains
    July 14, 2009
    The Ricardo Montalban Theater
    CD Listening Party

    Down In A Whole
    Your Decision*
    Black Gives Way To Blue*

    * Debut Performance

    They took our phones at the door so unfortunately I don't have any pictures from the event itself, although I was able to get a poster promoting the album, and a guitar pick.
  • A Late Night With King's X

    Jun 6 2009, 23h19

    Fri 5 Jun – King's X

    It was a very late night with King's X with the band taking to the stage at midnight after some technical difficulties. The set was identical to other setlists I've seen from the tour.

    Highlights for me were the back to back Black Flag and Lost In Germany, and Looking For Love off Ear Candy. Oddly there were no songs from their first album this time out.

    And the biggest surprise of the night for me was King's X packed the Key Club. It had been awhile since I had seen that club this full for a rock show. Hopefully it won't be another 5 years before King's X plays a headlining show in the LA area.

    King's X
    Key Club
    Hollywood, CA
    June 5, 2009

    Groove Machine
    Alright
    Pleiades
    Move
    What is This?
    Black Flag
    Lost in Germany
    Pray for Me
    Dogman
    Go Tell Somebody
    Summerland
    Looking for Love
    Over My Head

    Encore
    It's Love
    We Were Born to be Love
  • KEEL Reunion

    Fev 5 2009, 1h25

    Sat 31 Jan – Keel 25th Anniversary Reunion 2009

    Sunday night I saw KEEL's first reunion concert at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. This past summer I was able to see Ron Keel's K2 band perform at Rocklahoma and they played a Keel heavy set so I knew a bit of what to expect.

    Tonight at the Knitting Factory was a Club Vodka event. Three stages, bands going round the clock and scantily clad dancing girls in the main room for the headlining acts. For KEEL's set they were wearing KEEL shirts. The club was packed and from where I was sitting in the balcony it was solid people from the stage to the back of the floor. A great turnout for this show.

    I wasn't in the mood for hearing new music tonight but I was able to catch 4 local bands, some good, some not so good. One band that did catch my attention was Ritual Habits. Good classic metal with a chick bass player that held her own, although she looked like she might still be in high school.

    The DJ began to announce some of the VIP's in the audience including members of Black N' Blue, Kiss, Cinderella, Quiet Riot and others. Right before KEEL went on Tommy Thayer stood right behind me and watched the entire KEEL set about 10 feet from where I was in the balcony.

    Jamie St. James from Black N' Blue introduced KEEL and the debut concert of the reunion started.

    KEEL
    January 31, 2009
    Knitting Factory
    Hollywood, CA

    Intro Music From - The Final Frontier
    Reason To Rock
    Rock And Roll Outlaw
    Evil, Wicked, Mean And Nasty
    United Nations Intro ->
    Somebodys waiting
    Speed Demon
    Because The Night
    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
    Medley: Electric Love -> Cherry Lane -> Let's Spend The Night Together
    Raised On Rock
    I Said The Wrong Thing To The Right Girl
    Tears Of Fire
    The Right To Rock

    Encore
    Joined by Jamie St. James (Vocals), Fred Coury (Drums), and Chuck Wright (Bass)
    The Boys Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy)

    Guests leave and KEEL band members rejoin with Ron's K2 guitarist and a KEEL crew guy
    We're An American Band (Grand Funk Railroad)

    Ron sounded great on vocals but the set was troubled with some sound problems and you could barely hear Bryan Jay's lead guitar. KEEL is heavy on the double solos so missing half of the harmonies was a minor disappointment. Near the end of the set Bryan's guitar was finally loud enough to be heard.

    I must admit the set list was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting a heavier set focused on material from Lay Down the Law and The Right To Rock. Instead the set covered their entire career with tracks from every album including the surprising set opener Reason To Rock off of their 6th album Back In Action released in the mid 90's.

    Highlights of course included the hits The Right To Rock, they even brought out the kid from the video although he is no longer a kid, and Tears Of Fire. Other highlights included Raised On Rock featuring Dwain Miller on the Michael Des Barres vocals, and of course my all time favorite KEEL song Rock And Roll Outlaw.

    They just announced a set on the mainstage at Rocklahoma this year so I'm hoping for a slightly heavier set with some more songs off of Lay Down The Law and The Final Frontier. The band looked and sounded great but you can tell it may take just a few shows before they are comfortable in front of an audience again. The band gave us our money's worth playing a setlist you couldn't predict and closing out the show with special guests at around 2:15am.
  • Ratt and The Donnas at HOB Anaheim

    Dez 30 2008, 22h59

    Went down to Anaheim with Darian this past weekend to see Rattand The Donnas. Ratt being one of the stronger bands out of the 80s and The Donnas being one of Darian's favorite bands today. One of those shows were both of us were able to have a great time.

    I've seen Ratt quite a few times the last few years and but this was my first time to see them with Carlos Cavazo from Quiet Riot fame on guitar. He recently replaced John Corabi. Although John is one of my favorite artists and I missed his vocals I must say Carlos is a better guitar player and even gave Warren some healthy competition on leads.

    The opener of Ratt's set was a song I hadn't seen them perform but the rest were pretty standard songs from the sets of the last couple of years. To round out the night Brett from The Donnas got on stage during Round and Round and traded vocals with Stephen.

    I didn't take note of The Donnas set but the highlight of their set was Kiss' Strutter.

    Ratt
    December 27, 2008
    House Of Blues
    Anaheim, CA

    Never Use Love
    Back For More
    I Want A Woman
    Slip Of The Lip
    Tell The World
    Sweet Cheater
    You Think You're Tough
    Lovin' You Is A Dirty Job
    The Morning After
    Wanted Man
    Give It Away
    I'm Insane
    Lack Of Communication
    Lay It Down
    You're in love
    Nobody Rides For Free
    Way Cool Jr (w/ extended guitar jam)
    Body Talk
    Round and round (w/ Brett Anderson)
  • Cheap Trick @ HOB Los Angeles

    Dez 30 2008, 22h45

    Cheap Trick
    December 15, 2008
    House Of Blues
    Los Angeles, CA

    Saw a great set from Cheap Trick at the HOB in mid December. They plowed through mostly a greatest hits set with a few interesting tracks including He's A Whore and My Best Friend thrown into the mix.

    Hello There
    That 70s Song (In The Street)
    California Man
    High Roller
    He's A Whore
    If You Want My Love
    Clock Strikes Ten
    Best Friend
    I Want You To Want Me
    I Know What I Want
    Voices
    Downed
    The Flame
    Surrender
    Goodnight

    Encore
    Dream Police
    Auf Wiedersehen

    I was able to get a couple of Rick's guitar pics, one during Dream Police and another after the show. Afterwards Jacki and I were able to go up to the foundation room with some friends and were able to get a picture with Robin Zander and another attendee Bobby Blotzer from Ratt.
  • Announcing Seven Seraphim at the Keyclub

    Set 22 2008, 6h30

    Seven Seraphim announces their first ever show for Wednesday February 18, 2009.

    I joined this band earlier this year, and although I didn't play on the CD that was released I have been asked to be part of the performing band. If all goes well we will record a live CD that will feature me on drums.

    Andrew Szucs is an amazing guitar player and is the mastermind behind Seven Seraphim. So if you enjoy guitar virtuosos and like your music progressive then come check out Seven Seraphim at The Keyclub.

    I have always set little goals in my sparse music career. Earlier this year I accomplished a big one with the release of my first CD with The Superlatives. This show knocks out several more of my music career goals. This will be the first gig I've booked on the legendary Sunset Strip. A place I made my Dad drive me through when we were out in LA on vacation in 1988. This is the first time I've opened for a national touring act. In fact I have a couple of Powerman 5000's cds. For those that don't know the singer in Powerman 5000 is Rob Zombie's brother.

    And this is the first time a band I'm performing with has tickets sold through Ticketmaster. Look at the ticket! I can't believe my band is on the official Ticketmaster ticket. And to make things even better The Keyclub is my favorite venue in LA.

    As we approach this show we will be playing some warm up shows and Andrew will be re-releasing the Seven Seraphim CD Believe in Angels through your favorite digital stores (iTunes, Amazon, etc...) soon.

    If you can make it out to the show then hit me up for discount tickets. Ticketmaster sells for $27 with service fees. I'll be selling them for $15. So come check out Seven Seraphim and get your discount tickets to Powerman 5000.
  • The Spider Show

    Jul 21 2008, 5h17

    Sat 19 Jul – Spidersuit

    I had my debut performance with Spidersuit last night. For a first show it wasn't too bad, and the one song that I thought was rough sounded fine when I listened back to the recording. We had the first slot of the night and went on shortly after 8pm. Not a big crowd but definitely enough for a first show.

    Spidersuit
    Club Good Hurt
    July 19, 2008

    OC/DC
    Tchopitoulous
    Dirty
    Lovesick
    Trouble With Cars
    Pete's 5/8 Special
    Isaac Newton A-Go-Go
    The Owl
    New Year's Dissolution

    The songs are short so I'm sure we were on stage less than 30 minutes. So far the songs I enjoy most are Tchopitoulous which was only added into rehearsal very recently, Lovesick, and New Year's Dissolution. There are a couple of other songs that we've been rehearsing that I hope we will be able to add into our next show.

    After the set I received the finished product of the 4 recordings I did with Spidersuit back in March. I'm not sure when this will be released but I believe this will be available on vinyl and digitally on places like MySpace and iTunes.
  • Rocklahoma Day 1 - 2008

    Jul 10 2008, 16h57

    Rocklahoma 2008

    Terry and I just wrapped our first day of Rocklahoma 2009. We got checked into our hotel late afternoon and made it to the Rocklahoma grounds around 6:30. It had rained earlier in the day so things were a little wet, a little muddy and very humid. We did a cursory walk through the VIP area and found our seats from last year and then headed to the merch booth. I bought a Ron Keel cd which was next to a side stage. We walked over just as the side stage was getting started and saw Bang Tango.

    I had never seen Joe Letsé live and he played a short set of Bang Tango with a couple of Beautiful Creatures songs thrown in. Last year they didn't have these large side stages so it was nice to see a smaller crowd in a GA environment right up against the stage with some big name talent, or at least big in Rocklahoma terms. It was a good start for the fest prior to a big act on the mainstage.

    Bang Tango
    July 9, 2008
    Rocklahoma

    20th Century Boy
    Dancin' On Coals
    Love Rejection
    Dressed Up Vamp
    Attack Of Life
    Ride (Beautiful Creatures w/ BC bass player)
    Kick Out (BC w/ bass player)
    Someone Like You

    After the Bang Tango set Terry and I walked over to the main stage area to watch Firehouse. Last year Firehouse was one of the surprises and played a great set. This year their set was just ok and even though the singer tried to work the crowd they didn't win over any new fans. The Wednesday line up was added at the last minute and the crowd was a fraction of what it will be this weekend so maybe the bands were having a harder time feeding off a crowd so early in the festival.

    Firehouse
    July 9, 2008
    Rocklahoma

    Overnight Sensation
    All She Wrote
    Oughta Be A law
    Shake & Tumble
    Love Of A Lifetime
    Reach For The Sky
    Don't Treat Me Bad

    Just as their set ended we headed back to the side stage where we saw Bang Tango perform. Just as we got in front of the stage the curtain dropped for Faster Pussycat. They played a short set that skipped many of their hits. This band still sounds good live, but time has not aged these rockers well.

    Faster Pussycat
    July 9, 2008
    Rocklahoma

    Power And The Glory Hole
    Cathouse
    Slip Of The Tongue
    Number 1 With A Bullet
    ? (lyric - turn you on... turn you up...)
    House Of Pain
    You're So Vain

    At this point the sets were perfectly timed, so as the second stage ended Eddie Trunk was on the main stage announcing the next band. Jackyl was up next. I find Jackyl very entertaining although I didn't need to see their entire set. They played the usual hits and capped off the set with a flying chainsaw routine which included pyro concussion bombs. I forgot my cord for my digital camera so I'll post the chainsaw pics when I return home. Since we missed some of Jackyl's set I didn't take set list notes.

    Ratt was the last band of the night and they alone were the reason we made an extra effort to come out to the Wednesay date. The band sounded great and didn't disappoint. They played their entire first EP and mixed up the set a bit from their tour last year. Being the final headliners they added an extra few songs to their set. I taped their performance and after a quick listen in the car back from the hotel I think I'm going to have a bootleg worthy of sharing. Stephen's voice was better than last year's performance although the energy of the band wasn't as high.

    Ratt
    July 9, 2008
    Rocklahoma

    Tell The World
    Sweet Cheater
    Walkin' The Dog
    U Got It
    You Think You're Tough
    The Morning After
    Back For More (Ratt EP Version)
    Wanted Man
    I'm Insane
    Lack Of Communication
    Lay It Down
    You're In Love
    Lovin' You Is A Dirty Job
    Dangerous But Worth The Risk
    Slip Of The Lip
    Way Cool Jr.
    Body Talk

    Encore
    Givin' Yourself Away
    Round And Round

    One day in and it is now 3:30am local time. We capped off the evening at Waffle House and consider the first day a good start. We'll wake up around noon tomorrow and lather, rinse, and repeat.
  • Outlaw Engine crashes into The Derby

    Jun 29 2008, 21h47

    Thu 26 Jun – Outlaw Engine

    This past Thursday night Outlaw Engine played the world famous Derby. It was a cool venue and has quite a bit of Hollywood history. Back in the late 90s on a trip out to LA I saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy play at The Derby at the peak of the retro swing movement. So this was the first time I played a venue in LA that I had been to previously as a concert go-er.

    I had a good turnout of friends from work and since so many bands were playing The Derby that night there was a fairly good built in crowd that were able to see us for the first time.

    This was our final show with our current bassist Presi, but hopefully not our last as a band. We are working on potential replacements and if all goes well we may even be able to keep our previously booked shows. I think we will know within the next 3-4 days the fate of our remaining summer shows.

    Outlaw Engine
    The Derby
    (Los Feliz) Los Angeles, CA
    June 26, 2008

    Rebelution
    Born In East LA
    This Woman
    Sweat Out The Sin
    The Palace Of Pleasures
    I Know Why
    Guerrilla Radio (Rage Against The Machine)
    The Four Horsemen (Metallica)

    Thanks to all who came out and supported us, and hopefully Outlaw Engine will see you again soon.
  • Iron Maiden and Anthrax in Irvine

    Mai 31 2008, 18h24

    Fri 30 May – Iron Maiden, Anthrax

    Pictures from the event can be found here.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/dhoward/AnthraxIronMaidenMay302008

    Last night was my first of two back to back Maiden shows. I took the day off from work and rested up for the long drive and headed out about 4pm for an 8pm show. As I was headed down there Friday rush hour was picking up and the 60 mile drive ended up taking close to two an a half hours. The time went quick, I was jamming out to Maiden and Anthrax psyching myself up for the show and then when I saw a car on the road that had IRON MAIDEN! 666 on the back window I knew I was not making the trek from LA to Irvine down the 405 alone.

    Once I had a quick bite to eat outside the venue I headed over to the parking lot and was parked and in the venue by about 7pm. The show time wasn't scheduled to start until 8pm but Lauren Harris (Steve Harris' daughter) and her band got an early start at 7:30. Not sure she was a good fit for the show and although she and her band were adequate I've heard much bands that are unsigned.

    Now I was ready to see Anthrax. I wasn't a big Anthrax fan as a kid but as I've gotten older I've gotten into the band quite a bit, first with the John Bush era material and then later becoming familiar with the Belladona era. I had only seen the band once with John Bush back in 2000 and I missed out on the entire Belladona reunion. Anthrax was debuting their new lineup featuring their new singer Dan Nelson. As they hit the stage the seats filled and you could tell they had quite a few fans at the show. The best part was when Maiden announced these two shows in Irvine, Anthrax were not part of the bill. A very nice after the fact surprise.

    The band was loose and having fun. This was their second show with Dan and he was working the crowd like he had been fronting Anthrax for years. His voice was almost a blend of Belladona and Bush but he could also do more of the deeper modern metal vocals as well. I think his voice sounded more like Bush, however he sounded better on the Belladona material. They didn't play any of the new songs they played at their first show in Chicago, but the greatest hits set suited me fine since this was the first time I saw them since I've become familiar with the material. By the end of the set the band was fairly tight and I'm anticipating they will be great tonight.

    Anthrax
    Irvine, California
    Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
    (Formerly Irvine Meadows)
    May 30, 2008

    Indians
    Got The Time
    Caught In A Mosh
    Madhouse
    Antisocial
    Room For One More
    Safe Home
    Only
    I Am The Law

    Ever since moving to LA Iron Maiden was one of the bands I wanted to see out here. They recorded their monumental album Live After Death in Long Beach, and I thought how perfect would it be to be at a show where Bruce yells "Scream for me Long Beach". Although I was slightly disappointed that they didn't play Long Beach, Irvine is just a short 30 minute drive away and Bruce humored the crowd and yelled "Scream for me Long Beach" and the crowd went wild.

    I've been checking out quite a few bootlegs from the recent tour and on the first leg of the tour back in the Spring the band played loose and the drums always sounded sloppy to me. Not last night, 6 months of touring has made Maiden a touring machine. You could hear each of the three guitars independently, the solos cut through, and Nicko was in top form.

    One interesting series of events occurred right before The Trooper. Steve Harris saw a fight break out and proceeded to pause the show for about 2 minutes as he cussed out this unruly kid. Bruce not knowing what was happening since he was behind the stage for the set change yelled out I feel a Foreigner song coming on, and sang the line "I've been waiting... for this song to start". Shortly thereafter they launched into The Trooper and Bruce got the background on what happened after the song.

    The show was great and at first I was worried about going back to back nights since I doubt the setlist will change, but now I'm anxious for tonights show. The one thing that surprised me is how chatty Bruce is. Through out the show he gave long winded intros but seemed sincerely in awe at the size of the crowd. I'm not sure if last night was sold out, it sure looked like it, but Bruce announced that tonight's show was sold out so if you didn't already have a ticket then you won't be able to see Maiden again.

    As they wrapped the set Bruce said a new Maiden album is in their future and they will be returning to Southern California. Up the irons!

    Iron Maiden
    Irvine, California
    Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
    (Formerly Irvine Meadows)
    May 30, 2008

    Pre-show Intro Music - Doctor Doctor (UFO)
    Intro Movie
    Winston Churchill's Speech
    Aces High
    2 Minutes To Midnight
    (Scream For Me Long Beach)
    Revelations
    The Trooper
    Wasted Years
    The Number Of The Beast
    Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
    Powerslave
    Heaven Can Wait
    Run To The Hills
    Fear Of The Dark
    Iron Maiden (Big Eddie)
    Encore
    Moonchild
    The Clairvoyant (Walking Eddie)
    Hallowed Be Thy Name