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In a last minute venue issue New Medicine had to cancel their 21 and over Seattle show for this Wednesday 10/3 BUT as a big fan I couldn't let that happen! One quick phone call to New Medicine singer Jake Sherer to see what it would take to secure the band to play and once I knew the figure I called Mr. Dreamfest Louie G and made a deal with him (out of our own pockets) to bring the band and play a FREE ALL-AGES show for the fans at Louie G's 10/3. Only stipulation to get in the doors, you have to bring some non-perishable food to support our short-in-supply food banks otherwise you'll pay $5 at the door! Thinking this over, we really wanted it to be a different experience especially on a work/school night. So not only will it be an early start (7:30pm) there will be no opening acts! A pure headline full New Medicine show for the fans! Plus meet the band after the show, get your picture with the band (by your's truly) and get back home and in bed at a decent hour!
You've heard New Medicine music on MLB broadcasts, MTV, KISW (see Jeetz's interview with the band below), seen them on tour opening for Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Halestorm, Shinedown, Hollywood Undead, Evanescence, Chevelle etc. now here's a rare opportunity in one of best local staged and food venues you'll ever see! Thank you Louie G for accommodating this with me and making sure one of the best angst punk rebellious radio rock killing bands plays the Seattle area! It's gonna be one frat-rocking party at Louie G's Wednesday! See everyone there! Here's the show info: https://www.facebook.com/events/201957746603390/
Hopefully you'll be recovered from KISW's Pain in the Grass show yesterday to attend this. I know I need a day or two to recover ha! Watch for all the PITG photos soon on KISW.com! Iron Mike
Bid as a Judas Priest farewell tour, anyone seeing this show knows there's no way in hell this band should stop. Blasting through a 21 song set of Priest classics that floored me with "Rapid Fire" & "Metal Gods" as the opening two songs, this show blew the doors off their last visit in 2008. I was a little skeptical knowing part of the twin guitar attack (K.K. Downing) retired from the band but the new guy Richie Faulkner not only looked similar to K.K. but killed it! What a player and showman! Still shocking how incredible Rob Halford's voice is at 60 years old! When he sang the old Joan Baez classic "Diamonds & Rust" and electrified everyone with "Electric Eye" the true golden voice of the metal god shined! Even though it's billed as farewell tour, it sounds like that's from the big tours so don't count out Priest yet! Check out Priest new greatest hits CD called "The Chosen Few" all handpicked by peers like Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera’s Vinnie Paul, Slayer’s Kerry King, Korn’s Jonathan Davis and more who have felt the influence of frontman Rob Halford & Co. during their nearly 40-year career! https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest
Opening right before Judas Priest hit the stage was Black Label Society. Fronted by ex-Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde. Each time I see these guys live they get better and better. BLS raced through a 12 song set that included Crazy Horse (see new exclusive Minecraft Machinima Music Video), Suicide Messiah, Overlord, Stillborn and lets not forget the EPIC 10-15min Zakk guitar solo in there. The BLS Berserkers left the Wamu Theater one happy bunch and gave the classic rock/metal crowd something to think about playing in between Judas Priest & Thin Lizzy. Should be noted too that Back on Black Records has reissued the first six albums from Black Label Society on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl, packaged in deluxe gatefold sleeves. The first 1,000 copies of each title is being made available on limited-edition colored vinyl.
What had me the most excited for the night were the Irish classic rockers Thin Lizzy starting the whole show off. I never had the opportunity to see the band play live with Phil Lynott before he passed away in 1986 at 36 years old. The band has had many incarnations since then but this lineup was pretty impressive. Headed by founding member and drummer Brian Downey with long time band members Scott Gorham & Darren Wharton, the band was filled out by rock veterans Marco Mendoza, Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson. Ricky Warwick handled Phil Lynott's singing amazingly. I remember during the "Cowboy Song" closing my eyes and listening and it was awesome! Phil was definitly there in spirit. Of the 10 song set they played I was a little upset they didn't include anything off their "Thunder & Lightning" CD...probably their best and hardest release ever. I won't complain too much, I saw Thin Lizzy in 2011, who would've thought! The boys were definitly back in town!
Did ya miss the sold out throw-back 80s rock Key Arena concert of Night Ranger/Foreigner/Journey last Friday night? No worries got your back. Here's some video and couple photos (more Journey shots will be posted in KISW photo gallery soon: http://www.kisw.com/pages/10419890.php) I did at the show. Did you know Journey's drummer Deen Castronovo hails from the Northwest? This Oregon native was a drumming staple in the Seattle 80s Metal scene with Portland's Metal Madmen the Wild Dogs! From there he's gone off to play with everyone from Ozzy to his current 13 year stint with Journey! Watch his drum solo..WOW!! Latest singer Arnel Pineda is a dead ringer Steve Perry! Awesome and lively onstage! Neil Schon...blew my socks off how good his guitar playing is! Even though the band is known for it's softer lovey hits they still rock the house especially with the metal drumming injection of Deen Castronovo to the mix! Oh did I mention the openers Foreigner might of stole the show without one original band member onstage? Ha! Hard to believe how many killer hits they had in the day. Watch the videos below! Check out Journey online: http://www.journeymusic.com
Anyone that had the KISS Alive 2 LP as a kid remembers that classic opening line we all said a million times as fans standing on the edge of our beds ready to jump off with air-guitar tennis rackets in hand: "You wanted the best! You got the best! The hottest band in the world, KISSSSSS!" The powerful voice that delivered that line and stuck in our heads for so many years with Kiss has passed away. R.I.P. Eddie Balandas (1952-2011)!
What can I say? I've always laughed seeing this in Spain but for it to actually be in Seattle, I had to do it! I had to lose my mind for awhile to actually think I was going to go into a 300,000lb tomato battle and video the chaos at the Pyramid Alehouse across from Safeco Field last Saturday! I'm gonna let this 16min video do all the talking! I document the pre-fight buildup then go into the war zone for some hilarious coverage! Thanks to Super Geek League for the haz-mat suit! They put on one hell of a performance after wards for those that braved getting a little dried and crusty. Let me tell ya, that sweet ripe/rotten smell is still stuck in my nose HA!! Add the Super Geek League confetti and it was an interesting shower of stuff in the shower drain filter HA HA!! Check out http://www.tomatobattle.com for future city fighting and more info!
Possibly the real last full day of Seattle sun for 2011, this Saturday's near 80 degree day is gonna be one red sticky wet mess at the Pyramid Brewery! What's happening you ask? Spain in Seattle is what's happening! Imagine 300,000lbs of old ripe gushy tomatoes and a couple thousand crazed out people ready to do their best Felix Hernandez on others? Then after the battle add the crazy show antics of Seattle's own Super Geek League and all hell-on-earth will be unleashed for a couple hours across from Safeco Field! CLICK HERE for event info and tickets and also check out the official Tomato Battle website for photos/video etc. See you in the pit!
Remember October 1st KISW Presents The 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival featuring Avenged Sevenfold! Other main stage artists include Three Days Grace, Seether, Bullet For My Valentine and Escape The Fate. The Best Buy Music Gear Stage features Sevendust, Black Tide, Art Of Dying and Hell or Highwater (formerly The Black Cloud Collective). CLICK HERE for tickets and more info!
I'm usually the one catching the moments behind the lens but you know how Pain in the Grass goes with lots of cameras around a full-bar like a hop, skip, and a jump away from backstage at the Rollin' Smoke House BBQ area feature for the KISW/Palace Law Premium Experience! I'll just let the photo/video speak for my excitement of the long day events...ha!! Thanks to fellow photographer Jeff White for catching the funny moment in click sequence! Oh and thanks for all the love from YOU in the crowd!! You finger well! HA!! Another great Pain in the Grass year with TONS of exclusive show/backstage/sponsor/meet & greet photos coming soon to KISW.com!!
Let's give it up for local rockers Windowpane for performing live on King-5 TV this morning on the New Day NW show! The band performed an acoustic version of "House of Cards," and also chatted with show host Margaret about their upcoming U.S. Tour! Check the TV video out! http://www.king5.com/new-day-northwest/Windowpane-Band-Performance-128186618.html
Remember this Friday: KISW Loud and Local Presents Windowpane Friday, August 26th Showbox Market With Kiss The Gunners Daughter, Catatone, Van Eps and Riot In Rhythm. Tickets are $13 ADV / $16 DOS and available through Ticketmaster. This is an all ages show. Doors open at 7PM.
Ask anyone! If it wasn't for Diamond Head we would've never had Metallica! You've heard Metallica play Diamond Head classics like "I'm I Evil?" "It's Electric" "The Prince" "Helpless" etc. over the years. Here's video of Diamond Head in 1980 doing "I'm I Evil" and Metallica in 1983 (W/ Dave Mustaine) doing the song also! One of the originators of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Diamond Head play El Corazon tonight Monday 8/15/11 with local metal heroes Zero Down! You've heard them on KISW's Loud & Local now see 'em live in their New Wave of British Heavy Metal element with Diamond Head tonight! I just finished the cover photo for the upcoming Zero Down CD and sent it off yesterday! Gonna be AWESOME! Can wait to share it with you all here soon! It's 2011 but TONIGHT it's the early 80s wave of NWOBHM at El Corazon! Show the spirit wear your Diamond Head, Raven, Saxon, Tank, Motorhead, Venom, etc. shirts! See ya in the front tonight! Horns up!
"Diamond Head were 50% of what ended up being Metallica" - Lars Ulrich, Metallica
What a double dose of metal theatrics you could have with the 80s shock-rock metal return of Lizzy Borden tonight at the Backstage in Tacoma and then Rob Zombie with Slayer tomorrow in Seattle at the WaMu Theater! Make it two nights with Lizzy if you run over after the Zombie/Slayer show to the El Corazon in Seattle tomorrow night as Lizzy will also be playing there! Back in the 80s when the whole glam hair-metal was blowing up with a zillion bands like Motley Crew, Poison, Ratt, Dokken etc. there was 2 bands that always intrigued me more with their over the top theatrics in the Alice Cooper & Kiss vein. W.A.S.P. and Lizzy Borden. Lizzy Borden was the real deal, great memorable songs, crazy theatrical show and one of the unique best voices you'll hear from that genre! Tonight there will be theatrics, blood, kick ass dual guitars, dancers, killer classic tunes like "Me Against The World," "Give 'Em The Axe," "American Metal," and newer stuff like "Under Your Skin" and "Tomorrow Never Comes." Backstage Bar in Tacoma LIZZY BORDEN with our local killer bands Mechanism, Stonebender, Ravens Rant and a special Burlesque show!! See ya there tonight (cameras ready to go) for some true American Metal!! Get there early, this will sell-out!
Two days after the Heavy Metal dream concert of my lifetime and I'm still recovering! After nearly 30 years, the Big 4 of thrash metal (Metallica/Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax) finally come together as one for the first time on U.S. soil! In 1984 when I graduated from high school while listening to all these new unheard of bands if you told me in 2011 I'd see all four bands in front of 50,000+ people I would've said you're on crack! Ha! I saw it and still don't believe it! Die-hard fans from around the world came to witness this historic show. After shooting Anthrax & Megadeth for my work (yes I even got paid to be at this dream show) with Jackson/Fender guitars I enjoyed the rest of the night backstage and out front watching Slayer & Metallica. Here's some highlight notes from each band:
Anthrax: Caught in a Mosh/Got the Time/Madhouse/Among the Living/Antisocial/Indians/Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t/A.I.R./Metal Thrashing Mad/I Am the Law
Hands down the show of the day! The energy, the songs, reunited with singer Joey Belladonna, Anthrax is truly back! New album coming out soon and they played "Fight Em Til You Can't" off of it. I did video of it from like 25ft above on stage. They were like a machine and ending with "I Am the Law" was spine tingling watching 50k fists flying yelling "Iiiiii Ammm The Lawwwww" at the end!
Megadeth: Trust/In My Darkest Hour/Hangar 18/Wake Up Dead/Poison Was the Cure/She Wolf/Sweating Bullets/Head Crusher/A Tout Le Monde/Symphony of Destruction/Peace Sells/Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
My second favorite set of the night. True song masterpieces of guitar skills and rhythms that definitely were the technical players of the night between the 4 bands. My hair stood up on the crowds yelling of "Sweating Bullets" and the last two songs of "Peace Sells" and "Holy Wars" was MIND-BLOWING! What can ya say about Dave Mustaine, just an amazing player and so much better with David Ellefson back in the bass duties! Mustaine debuted his new CRAZY Signature Model Double Neck Dean guitar also! See photos!
Slayer: Word Painted Blood/Hate Worldwide/War Ensemble/Postmortem/Raining Blood/Dead Skin Mask/Silent Scream/America/Circle of Beliefs/Seasons in the Abyss/Snuff/South of Heaven/Angel of Death
Did a nuclear bomb just hit? Slayer took it to another level or more like the crowd did! The crowd turned into a sky-like view of the recent multiple hurricane outbreaks in the Southern South states. Not one big moshing dust pit but several!! Exodus' Gary Holt sat in for Jeff Hanneman on guitar. Jeff contracted a rare flesh-eating disease believed to have been caused by a spider bite on his his right arm in October of 2010. Months in the hospital recovering we didn't expect to see him at the show and then the crowd went bonkers on the set-ending encore of "South of Heaven" & "Angel of Death" when Jeff came out on stage (right long sleeve arm cut off exposing his healing wounds see photo from my fellow concert photography buddy Raymond Ahner) to perform with the band ending the set. I lost count to all the bodies I saw taken to the backstage area for the medics..it was that crazy! My laugh of the night had to be seeing the Mr. Metal Kerry King flying by me with his guitar on a golf-cart to the stage! How metal is that!? HA HA! See photos!
Metallica: Creeping Death/For Whom the Bell Tolls/Fuel/Ride the Lightning/Fade to Black/Cyanide/All Nightmare Long/Sad But True/Welcome Home (Sanitarium)/Orion/One/Master of Puppets/Blackened/Nothing Else Matters/Enter Sandman/Encore: Am I Evil? w/members of Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth/Hit the Lights/Seek and Destroy
Massive 2 1/2hr set that showed who's the boss in Thrash Metal. Song and surprise of the night for me was the 8 1/2min Cliff-Burton bass featuring the rarely played song "Orion." Robert Trujillo does an amazing job but I wish Cliff was still around, as a fan from the beginning I felt the band has never been the same musically since his death in the tragic Sweden bus crash. The encore of Diamond Head's classic Am I Evil? w/members of Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth all on stage at the same time was pretty magical. Metallica rule the world still!
The big question remains, will this be a future tour in the USA? My answer is yes but when is anyone's guess. As Metallica's old 80s moniker stated, this truly was a day of Metal Up Your Ass! HA!
[[Please note hotel Internet connection has been hit and miss so reports might be a little behind]]
What a day #1 it was! Up at 3am drive to the airport at 4am in 4 inches of 32 degree snow/slush, get on a plane at 6:00am and next thing ya know I wake up and sunny 70 degrees! I should've been born in Orange County, California! All is well until I go to rent my car and guess what!? Can't find my driver's license. Somehow I lost it between making it through security at SeaTac Airport and landing at John Wayne Airport. So no ID no car. Spend the next hour on phone with Port of Seattle and John Wayne Airport and no one turned in to the lost and found. On the edge of being sick over it, wifey to the rescue and overnighting me my passport so I can at least fly back Sunday without hopefully too much troubles. Lucky I had my new business cards on me with my photo on it so I could check in to the hotel. So after a $60 taxi ride from the airport to my hotel then to NAMM in Anaheim I was a little nervous about checking in to get my NAMM badge without my ID but all was good when I said my name and the gal said (like she knew me) "Oh Mike hey! Got it right here" and that was it. Felt so relieved that went smoothly then my guardian angel went into full force! I turn around and I hear "Mike! Ya made it!" and there stand one of the Rabid AIC chicks (Jill) I met on the Alice in Chains tour this past year in Las Vegas! Come to find out she and her husband run TourBusLive.com down here in OC and they will be driving by my hotel each day for NAMM!! Instant transportation just like that each day. Are you kidding me? Nearly teared up thinking how lucky was that? I was ready to blow hundreds in Taxi fees then poof Jill to the rescue!
So today was Media/Press Day at NAMM from 10am-2pm. Us lucky few were allowed in a day early to see/report on any early participating company product releases and attending artists. Since I arrived late with all the issues of losing my licence I'm amazed what all I did in the two hours i had. These names might ring a bell in the rock world: Phil Collen, Alex Skolnick, Terry Bozzio, Governor Huckabee, What the, Governor Huckabee! Yes former Arkansas Governor Huckabee, rumored to be a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, is in attendance to speak about his efforts to get more school kids access to musical instruments across the country. Known for his bass playing he later sat down with Def Leppard's Phil Collen and C. F. Martin & Co. guitars representative in a quick simple jam session for the press. Of the products i saw today the winner in my book goes to the Peavy Ampkit Link, an unparalleled guitar amp and effects iPhone application! You gotta see the videos on this thing: http://www.peavey.com/ampkitlink See my photos below also of Alex Skolnick (Testament/Alex Skolnick Trio) demonstrating some of it. The possibilities are endless with a iPad hookup. Practice or record anywhere with just your iPhone and practically any amp/head/effect setup out there. Fully customizable and way cheaper that lugging an amp, effect boxes etc around. Another cool product I saw was the Sonomax Sculpted Eers. A custom molded earphone in less that 4 minutes with full acoustic seal! Molded so they don't fall out even when you are active! Check it out at: http://sculptedeers.com/sonofit.html
Also C. F. Martin & Co. unveiled their 1.5 millionth Martin guitar! A one-of-a-kind Leonardo DaVinci-inspired inlays! The pick guard is even an image of the Last Supper! See photo below but watch for full detailed set soon. Time to get a good nights sleep so I can be up the next 48 hours straight...ha!!