concert review

Concert Review: Overkill, God Forbid

On a rainy, bitter night, Overkill came to town and brought friends. The fans tolerated the chill and the dowsing with quiet fortitude, standing stoically in line awaiting their chance to pay tribute to the thrash legends and the crew they brought with them. This is the type of following and faith engendered by Overkill as they make headway in their fourth decade of writing and performing. Armed with their new album "The Electric Age," the Jersey veterans came to kick ass and chew bubblegum. You can venture a guess what they were all out of.

Concert Review: Kittie, Blackguard

When Bonded by Blood is the first band of the evening, each paying individual should be well aware of the night that is to follow. A perfect scene setter for everything that came after, Los Angeles’ Bonded by Blood is one of those rare acts who would have exactly the same amount of fun whether playing in front of 20 or 2,000. It is clear from the band’s raucous delivery that they enjoy playing their brand of thrash revival metal whether or not anyone is there to hear it.

Concert Review: Paganfest America - Turisas, Alestorm

The evening’s conflict had already been constructed before the first fan ever walked through the door. Paganfest 2012 was a tour set on answering a variation of the usual internet quandary concerning pirates and ninjas (on which my pro-ninja stance has been well documented.) Rather, the task for the evening was to settle the erstwhile grudge match between the two groups that were hosting the entire event. Who is superior? Pirates….or Vikings?

Concert Review: Gigantour - Megadeth, Motorhead

Not so different from the halcyon days of Ozzfest or Lollapalooza, Gigantour has become an annual staple in the music community. At the same time, the tour is among the last of a dying breed. The preponderance of festivals and their emerging popularity has caused a sort of death to the travelling circus of large tours. Those that still exist, such as the Mayhem festival and, for those inclined, the Warp tour, have been corporatized and transformed into musical billboard advertisements.

Concert Review: Anthrax, Testament, Death Angel

Death Angel is one of the oft-overlooked also-rans of the thrash movement of the early to mid 1980’s. Their name is spoken mostly in the dusty corners of memory, their legacy not as pronounced as so many of their musical kin. To mistake that somewhat faded glory for a lack of talent or acumen, and place Death Angel on the discard pile is a fool’s errand. Death Angel remains a vital and virulent band in this new millennium, and their performance as the first band on the stage was evidence enough that they remain hungry and capable.

Concert Review: Warbringer, Lazarus A.D.

It was in places like this that heavy metal began. A small-time bar out in the sticks with a stage, where the old Peavey PA has a significant hum and half the gathered crowd was there to watch the NLCS. It was in places like this, where billiards tables were pushed out of the way and the walls were undecorated, where bands made their name under dim, yellow-hued incandescent lighting. (Lighting so poor that only black and white photos were exposing properly.) These were, and are, the proving grounds.

Concert Review - Selfish Needy Creatures

To get to this show, I had to board a boat. Wait, a boat? Yes, a boat. Essentially, the show was a rock and roll river cruise, which is an astoundingly simple and yet profoundly novel concept. You got metal in my recreational boating! You got recreational boating in my metal! It continues to amaze me that this kind of synergy isn’t more realized by adventuresome promoters. Tell me you wouldn’t go to a metal show at a paintball park. In any event, it was like attending the “70,000 Tons of Metal” cruise, but much much colder and smaller. So, more like “7 Tons of Metal.”

Concert Review - Big 4 - Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica

How to describe a show that's thirty years in the making? An event so domineering it was called, without hyperbole, the largest metal show that the East Coast has ever seen. It was the culmination of a timely anniversary, fan support and the consistently discussed dream of all metal fans world wide. We asked and eventually, with some prodding, New York City's collective thrash prayer was answered.

So, the Big 4 and roughly fifty thousand of their closest friends came by all roads and paths to Yankee Stadium for an evening of heavy metal history and fury.

Concert Review - Lazarus A.D.

In the muddled quagmire of up-and-coming bands that is crowded with acts like Black Veil Brides and Motionless in White, there stands Lazarus A.D, an increasingly rare embodiment of the original tenets of American metal. Bred with speed and groove and forged in the heart of thrash's nuclear furnace, Lazarus A.D, represents the kind of ferocious fidelity to metal's principles that empirically seems to be from a bygone era.

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