One of the best classic rock tours of 2014 came to the Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati Thursday night. The Soundtrack of Summer features Don Felder (ex-Eagles), Foreigner and Styx. The show in Cincinnati also featured local opener Brent James & The Vintage Youth. This was the first time I heard Brent James, and I gotta say, I hope to catch this band again soon. They were great!
Don Felder was next on stage and I wasn’t sure what to expect from his live show. Felder and band did a full set of Eagles tunes including some of the heavier numbers, “Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride)” (from the Heavy Metal Soundrack), “Heartache Tonight”, “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Hotel California”. On “Hotel California” Tommy Shaw from Styx joined Felder on stage and traded vocals with Felder. Shaw is also on the newly recorded version of “Hotel California” that is on the Soundtrack of Summer available exclusively through Walmart. Don Felder was awesome, and I was glad that I got to see him perform.
I was surprised when Foreigner took the stage, as Mick Jones was not present. After the first few songs, the band brought Mick out and he finished the show. Foreigner sounded awesome. Kelly Hansen is such a superb vocalist, you would hardly recognize that he is not Foreigner’s original singer. At one point during the show, Kelly scaled the stage supports, and got the crowd fired up from death defying heights. Foreigner’s set included the classics “Double Vision”, “Head Games”, “Cold As Ice”, “Waiting For A Girl Like You”, “Feels Like The First Time”, “Urgent”, “Starrider”, “Juke Box Hero”, “I Want To Know What Love Is” and “Hot Blooded”. The Young Professionals’ Choir Collective of Cincinnati joined Foreigner on stage for the song “I Want To Know What Love Is”. I thought that was a pretty cool touch to their show.
Styx was closing act for the Cincinnati show, although Styx and Foreigner are rotating the headlining spot at select shows. I have Styx several times and they never disappoint. At this show, Styx pulled out a couple of old tunes that I have never heard them perform including, “Superstars” and “Light Up”. The rest of the set included the songs “Grand Illusion”, “Too Much Time”, “Fooling Yourself”, “Lady”, “Crystal Ball”, “Blue Collar Man”, “Come Sail Away” and an encore with “Rockin’ The Paradise” and “Renegade”.. Tommy Shaw and company sounded great, and I thought it was cool that pulled out a couple of old tunes for their live set. I wish they would do “Mr. Roboto”, but I digress.
The Soundtrack of Summer is a great summer tour, and one that should not be missed. You can catch this tour on one of the following dates summer.
I knew when I saw the announcement for the lineup at M3 in 2014, it was going to be an awesome show. As Friday night, and the first half of Saturday had already proved at M3, this was the Festival show to be at this year.
One of the acts that I was most anxious to see at M3 was Red Dragon Cartel. This return of Jake E. Lee to the big stage is something that I could not miss, and judging from the capacity crowd at the second stage, Jake E. Lee’s fans were in full force. Red Dragon Cartel did a great selection of tunes including music from Ozzy Osbourne, Badlands and of course Red Dragon Cartel. Darren Lewis did a fine job on vocals, and Jake E. Lee was freakin’ amazing, just as I had expected. As great as Red Dragon Cartel was, the evening was only going to get better from there.
Next up on the main stage was Queensryche. This was Queensryche with Todd La Torre on vocals in case you were wondering which version. I have not seen Todd LaTorre with Queensryche before, but I recall Queensryche’s last appearance at M3. It was obvious there was tension in the band at the time, and it ended up being one of the band’s last shows with their former singer Geoff Tate. With that being said, this was a different Queensryche than the one I saw previously, and I gotta say, I was impressed as hell. Queensryche was on fire at M3. They came out with all guns blazing, and Mr. LaTorre was absolutely incredible. As soon as I heard the opening riffs of “Nightrider” I was hooked. I haven’t heard Queensryche do this song in years. I was also super excited to hear “Queen of the Reich”. Man…oh Man, Queensryche practically stole the show, and I am pretty sure Todd LaTorre made about 10,000 new believers at the M3 Rock Festival. They were fantastic! A couple of days after M3, it was announced that Geoff Tate will and Queensryche have come to an agreement, and that Tate will no longer use the Queensryche name. This is good news, and I look forward to supporting both Queensryche and Geoff Tate in the future.
Our day was super packed, and I am sad to say that I missed Autograph. This was due to a conflicting schedule for an interview that we had lined up with Brad Gillis and Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger. (coming to HRH soon).
Next band up was Sebastian Bach and his solo band. As much as I love Sebastian, his performance at M3 this year was not my favorite. He kept going on and on about how his new album was # 1 on iTunes, and while I think that is great, and a hell of a hard accomplishment for any hard rock / musician from the 80’s, it came across kind of douchey. Sebastian seemed upset that folks still want to hear Skid Row songs, and while he did them and sound great, it kind of set the mood for his show. He was good, but he could have been so much better. He was amazing at the 2012 M3.
L.A. Guns was up next on the second stage. Aside from Kix, L.A. Guns has probably played more M3 Rock Festival’s than any other band, and always enjoy their shows. This year the band has a new guitarist, former Endeverafter frontman and guitarist Michael Grant. I have been fortunate enough to see Michael play with his former band, and I already knew that he is one bad ass dude. Grant does a great job as the band’s latest Axe slinger, and of course Phil Lewis and company were great. I can’t understand why they were on the second stage, but I digress.
I am embarrassed to say that the first time I saw Night Ranger live was at the 2012 M3 Rock Festival. Since then, I have made up for lost time and have seen them play live several times. The reason why I have gone, and will continue to go to Night Ranger concerts is that the band puts on an incredible live show. Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra really tear it up on stage, and are a blast to watch play. Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy still deliver some of the best rock vocals on the planet. Night Ranger’s set was far too short, but their condensed set was damn impressive, and I thought they were easily the best band of the day. The joy of music always comes out on the faces of Night Ranger. They always seem to enjoy playing as much as I do hearing and seeing them. Night Ranger also debuted their new song “High Road”, and I gotta say the new song is pretty good. I look forward to hearing the rest of the new album soon.
I didn’t make it over the hill again for Slaughter as the sky had opened up and turned what was an awesome weather day, into a rather soggy evening. I chose to protect my gear from the rain, and hung near the main stage for Tesla.
Tesla has been one of my favorite bands for a long time, and it has been a couple of years since I have seen them play (ironically Night Ranger opened up for them then too!) Night Ranger is always a tough act to follow in my opinion, but Tesla lived up to the challenge. Not only did Tesla debut a new song “MP3” off of their soon to be released album Simplicity, they also played killer set of tunes that covered the majority of their discography. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t hear “Song and Emotion” (one of my personal favorites) or Cumin’ Atcha Live, but it was still a great show. The Merriweather Post Pavilion was jam packed to one of the biggest crowds that I have ever seen for M3, and Tesla kept them all standing. This was a true testament to one great band.
Of all of the M3 Rock Festival’s I have been to, this one was by far my favorite. It was a great time with my good friend Ryo Vie, packed with awesome music and memories that I will never forget. I am already counting the days until M3 Rock Festival # 7 in 2015. I don’t know how they will top this lineup next year, but I have a feeling the next M3 Rock Festival is going to be even better!
After a fantastic night of hard rock on Friday night, it was going to take a lot to top Friday night’s performances.
One big surprise this year was the new permanent side stage that was erected for this and other festival shows. The new second stage is far bigger than the original side stage at M3, and its placement at the base of a hill gave a better vantage point for the fans in attendance. This was the beginning of a day of surprises at M3.
When the M3 Rock Festival began late Saturday morning, Heavens Edge quickly set the stage with a blistering performance of their biggest songs, most of which came from their outstanding 1990 debut. Much to my surprise, this wasn’t a bunch of hired hands playing with Heaven’s Edge singer Mark Evans, this was the original band. Evans voice was in perfect form, and Reggie Wu was delivering with all of these heavy riffs that I expected from Heaven’s Edge. I have always loved this band, and thought their debut was severely underrated. Their debut album/CD has been reissued for Rock Candy records, and I highly recommend that you check it out.
Shortly after Heavens Edge’s set, KEEL was ready to rock on the main stage, and they came out all guns firing. Ron Keel looked and sounded great, as did Marc Ferrari, Brian Jay, and company. One of my favorite KEEL albums is their 1987 self titled disc on MCA records. Needless to say I was very happy to hear “Somebody’s Waiting”, but I would have loved to have heard a couple of more from this album. KEEL’s set was way too short in my opinion, but they were great, and I enjoyed their music.
Next up on the second stage was former The Scream, Union and Motley Crue front man John Corabi. I had no expectations with John’s set whatsoever, but I have never seen him live, and was greatly looking forward to his set. I thought he may just do his acoustic thing that he has been doing in the clubs, but he had with him a full electric band. John’s set list made me very happy. I was excited to hear one of my all time favorites”Man in the Moon” (from the Scream), and lost Motley Crue tunes “Uncle Jack” and “Hooligan’s Holiday”. It is a shame that Motley Crue has forgotten about that great album with John Corabi. I am so glad that Corabi still does this music. I really dig Corabi’s new look too.
On the main stage, Jack Russell’s Great White was next, and this was another band that my expectations were kind of low on. I gotta say, Jack Russell’s Great White is far better than I expected them to be. While I thought Jack Russell was looking a little frail on stage, his voice was in great form, and I gotta give him a lot of credit. This version of Great White may not have all of the original members, but I gotta say this version sounds the most like the band I remember from my late teens and beyond. I don’t know where Jack Russell found his guitarist Robby Lochner, but this guy is great, and a lot of fun to watch perform. Kudos to Great White for bringing it at M3, and putting on a great show. I hope I can catch this band live again soon.
Femme Fatale is another band that I never got to see back in the day. I still remember the day when I found their out of print CD in a local record shop. I squealed like a school girl when I found it. I was tickled to death to see Lorraine Lewis and company perform. This was obviously not the original band. Lorraine brought an all female band with her and I gotta say they definitely rocked. Lorraine Lewis was having a great time, and the fans seemed to love the band’s set as much as I did.
Moving back to the main stage was Stryper. I still remember their last appearance at M3 vividly, and I was kind of miffed by their shortened set that year. 2014 made up for that show with a longer set. Of course I gotta hear a bunch of my Styper favorites including “To Hell With The Devil”, “Soldiers Under Command”, “Free”, “Calling On You”. One of the nice surprises, was Stryper doing a a cover of “Shout It Out Loud” from KISS. I love their version on their CD The Covering, but it was awesome to see them do this live. Stryper set was one of the highlights at the 2014 M3 Rock Festival, but the best performances of the day were yet to come.
More on those later in our Saturday Review part 2.
The Hellpop II Tour came to Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bogart’s on Sunday night, but there was a little problem. You see, In This Moment had to postpone their show, as Maria Brink has been ill.
With the absence of the tour’s headliner, Bogart’s and the other bands on the Hellpop II Tour decided to make this a free show. Anyone could walk in and check out this event, and judging from the packed house at Bogart’s, many did.
Before the Mourning, All Hail The Yeti, Devout the Day & Butcher Babies took advantage of the situation by electrifying the crowd with their heavy, hair flying metal. The Cincinnati fans loved definitely loved every minute of it. The show had more crowd surfers than I have seen at any local events in quite some time. All of the bands were great, but it was the Butcher Babies who stole their show.
Devour The Day singer, Blake Allison joined in the crowd surfing fun during the band’s set, and The Butcher Babies’ Heidi Sheperd and Carla Harvey got up close and personal singing to the crowd atop the Bogart’s pit barrier, while the security scrambled to hold them up, and manage to deflect the onslaught of crowd surfers that made their way into the pit.
This show could have easily been cancelled, but instead it turned out to be a great night of metal in Cincinnati. In This Moment & Butcher Babies will return to Bogarts on February 3rd, 2014. Don’t miss them!
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 This is the bible verse from which Stryper takes it name. And Stryper brought their healing power in the form of awesome rock n’ roll to the BMI Karts Indoor Speedway in Versailles, Ohio last Saturday (9/28/13).
It was far too long since I have seen Stryper perform live, and I was quite to excited to see the band perform once again. The last time I saw Stryper was at the 2012 M3 Rock Festival. They were excellent then, and even better this time around.
Aside from some minor struggles with the band’s monitors, Stryper forged on and never sounded better. Stryper’s set was a heavy one. Their set list included the songs “To Hell With The Devil”, “Soliders Under Command”, “The Rock That Makes Me Roll”, “Calling On You”, “The Way”, “Free”, “Loud N’ Clear”, “Heaven & Hell” & “Shout It Out Loud”. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t do “In God We Trust”, or “Honestly”, and I was really hoping to hear some songs off of their up and coming CD, No More Hell To Pay.
It was a short intimate set from Stryper, in a very unique and cool venue. I was quite glad that a made the trip to see the band play, and hope they return for another show after the new album has been released.
DV8, John Waite, and Night Ranger rocked the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Stadium in Florence, KY Saturday Night. Cincinnati’s favorite rockers DV8 opened the show on the main concourse stage, and provide an excellent set of classic tunes including Aerosmith, Boston, Shooting Star, Styx, and more recent songs from Kid Rock, Evanescence, Shinedown & many more. DV8 did a great job warming up the growing crowd at UCMC Stadium.
John Waite took the stage around 7:30 P.M. and dished out a great set of songs from his outstanding career with The Baby’s, Bad English and more.It was great to hear so many of Waite’s songs that I never got to hear live. John Waite’s voice is in fine shape. His voice hasn’t changed at all over the years. The great surprise of the night was seeing Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper, Pretty Boy Floyd) playing guitar for Waite’s band. Kelli got a chance to shine with a killer guitar solo, and really added a heavy & rocking flair to John Waite’s songs. John Waite’s set list included the songs, “Change”, “Missing You”, “Back On My Feet Again”, and “Best of What I Got”. John’s encore feature an A cappella version of “When I See You Smile”, and a rocking cover of “Whole Lotta Love”.
Over the last couple of years, the one band that has become a must see act for me is Night Ranger. Each and every time I see Night Ranger live, the band delivers an energetic set of outstanding tunes. Saturday night was no different. From the first moment Night Ranger took the stage, they owned the night. Brad Gillis, Joel Hoekstra and Jack Blades impressed me with their guitar acrobatics. Gillis and Hoekstra were absolutely killing it Saturday Night. They might just be one of the best guitar tandems in rock and roll today.
Of course I can’t talk about Night Ranger, without mentioning Jack Blades & Kelly Keagy. Both Jack & Kelly are such tremendous vocal talents. It is rare that a band has not one, but two exceptional singers. Night Ranger plays up to those strengths in all of their songs.
Night Ranger’s set included the songs “Lay It On Me”, “Sing Me Away”, “Four In The Morning”, “Coming of Age” (Damn Yankees), “Crazy Train” (Ozzy Osbourne), “Growing Up In California”, “Rumours In The Air”, “Secret of My Success”, “Sentimental Street”, an extremely rocking version of “Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight”, “High Enough” (Damn Yankees), “Boys of Summer” (Don Henley), “When You Close Your Eyes”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and an encore of “Sister Christian” and “(You Can Still) Rock In America”.
Night Ranger’s show was an absolute blast, and my only disappointment is I will have to wait several months to see them play again. Don’t miss Night Ranger if they come to your town. You can check out Night Ranger’s 2013 tour dates here!
End of Summer. Just the thought of it makes me sad, and that is what labor day weekend represents for me. Cincinnati’s last big rock summer rock show of 2013 took place last Wednesday night. Kid Rock brought his “Best Night Ever” to the Riverbend Music Center.
I don’t know if it was the best night ever, but it was certainly one of the hottest. This was easily the hottest concert I have ever attended. The crazy heat didn’t keep the rock fans away. Riverbend was sold out with over 18,000 in attendance.
Uncle Kracker, ZZ Top, and Kid Rock all put on outstanding sets. This was my first time to experience all three bands, and I enjoyed all of them.
ZZ Top has been performing for over 40 years, and I am still scratching my head why it took until 2013 for me to see them live. Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard & Dusty Hill are all in their sixties, but they can rock with the best of them.
Kid Rock by far surprised the most. His command of the stage is second to none, and his show was a lot of fun. I would go back to a Kid Rock show in a heartbeat.
If you live in the U.S., you still have a chance to catch Kid Rock live. There are a handful of dates left in the U.S. Visit Kid Rock’s site for details.
Check out our photo gallery below!
The 2013 Rock Allegiance Tour is in full swing with the bands Airbourne, All That Remains, HIM and Volbeat. While this may seem like a somewhat odd combination of bands, all four bands most definitely rock, and rock hard.
Airbourne is the opening band for this tour, and if you want to see them, you gotta be at the venue on time. They started at 7:00 P.M. sharp in Cincinnati, Ohio, and put on one hell of a show. There may have only been six songs in Airbourne’s set, but they definitely raised the bar high for the other bands that followed them.
The band opened up with “Ready to Rock”, and Joel O’Keefe took his guitar solo in this song out into the crowd via a piggy back ride from one of his roadies. This certainly got the crowd fired up, and deservedly so.
Airbourne always delivers a tremendous, hair-flying, fun rock and roll show that should not be missed.
Check out our photo gallery below!
Tom Keifer came to the 20th Century Theater last Wednesday night. It was the second to last night of Tom’s solo tour, and quite frankly I didn’t know what to expect. It has been a few years since I have seen Tom perform with Cinderella. It was 2010 at the M3 Rock Festival to be exact. That was a killer show then, and as many times as I have seen Cinderella perform, the band, and more importantly Tom Keifer has never disappointed me.
I still remember the first time I saw the band play back in ’87, and won’t ever forget it. I remember the long line that I waited in for tickets at the now defunct Ticketron for the Cinderella/ Bon Jovi show. The line extended halfway around the mall. The fans in line were quickly disappointed when it was announced that the show sold out, but a second show was quickly announced. In my eyes, and ears, Cinderella blew Bon Jovi off the stage, and I fell in love with the band from that day forward.
Night Songs may have gotten Cinderella in the door for me, but it was Tom Keifer’s song writing and blusier material on Cinderella’s later albums that had me coming back for more and more.
Last Wednesday night’s show was a pleasant surprise. Keifer’s set was a good mix of Cinderella songs, and Tom Keifer’s solo material from his up and coming album The Way Life Goes (due out April 30th). Tom’s history with his vocal surgeries is well documented. Well believe me when I say, Tom Keifer has never looked or sounded better than he did last Wednesday night. His voice is in fine form, and he can still pull off all of those trademark screams that he is known for in Cinderella.
As far as the new music? Tom’s solo material is a little more bluesy than Cinderella’s style of hard rock, but it awesome nonetheless. My current favorite from the new set was “Ask Me Yesterday”, but I truly loved all of the new songs. It almost seems unfair that we have to wait until April to purchase his new CD.
Tom’s solo band has quite a few music vets including Paul Taylor from Winger (keyboards, and Paul Simmons (Petra, Reverend Horton Heat, Black Oak Arkansas), and rounded out by Tony Higbee (guitar) and Billy Mercer (bass). I thought it was a very nice touch for Tom to bring out his wife Savannah Snow to help sing some of the songs that she co-wrote on the new album. It was also cool to see Paul Taylor again. I haven’t seen him play since the 90’s (with Winger).
I loved the storyteller aspect of the show, where Tom talked about the song writing of several of his classic and soon to be released tunes. I also enjoyed the nice twist that Mr. Keifer company put on Cinderella’s trademark hit “Shake Me”, as well as the other songs performed this night.
As a whole, it was a tremendous night of rock and roll. I am quite glad that I got to see Tom perform again. I hope Tom Keifer will schedule more dates in the spring and summer to support his new album. The new songs are outstanding and need to be experienced in a live setting.
Don’t forget to pick up The Way Life Goes when it is released April 30th!
The Set List for the show was:
Sick for the Cure
Ain’t That A Bitch
A Different Light
Ask Me Yesterday
The Flower Song
One For Rock and Roll
Cold Day In Hell
Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
Little Help From My Friends
I don’t think we have talked any where near enough about the band Halestorm at Hard Rock Hideout in 2012, and that has got to change starting now. My first introduction to Halestorm was when, I saw the band play live back in February 2009, when they opened up for Black Stone Cherry and Seether. I was impressed with the band back then, and their live performance has only gotten better since then. I have been wanting to see them live again for a couple of years, and for whatever reason, I kept missing them. In 2012, I have been luck enough to see them three times, including twice this past weekend.
Halestorm closed out their summer U.S. tour with New Medicine and Cavo. Their final two dates were in Cincinnati, Ohio and Lexington, KY. Both shows were well attended, and the Cincinnati show at
Bogart’s was pretty close to being sold out.
New Medicine and Cavo did a solid job opening up both shows, but it was Halestorm that owned the stage. There is a crazy amount of talent in the band, with singer Lzzy Hale, and her brother Arejay on drums, Joe Hottinger on guitar and Josh Smith on bass. Lzzy’s vocals are more powerful now than ever. From her silky smooth vocals to her raging metal like screams, Lzzy Hale is a singer that can simply do it all. She had me mesmerized with the band’s opening number “Love Bites”, and blew me away with their cover of Skid Row’s “Slave To The Grind”. I don’t even thing Sebastian Bach can scream like that anymore.
Arejay Hale has reinvented the drum solo. It has been a long time since I have seen any band do a drum solo. This was such a common thing in the 80’s, and it has seemingly gone by the way side in rock and roll as of late. Mr. Hale is a wildman on the drums. He can hardly be contained by his drum kit. Not only is his drum solo excellent, he also plays bare handed much like former Whitesnake drummer, Tommy Aldridge.
I was blown away by his playing.
Halestorm’s set was exactly the same for the Cincinnati, and Lexington shows, but it didn’t matter. The music both nights was fantastic. It was a great weekend of rock and roll, and I am glad I was able to catch Halestorm, before they left for their UK Headlining Tour. I only wish they could have played longer!
Halestorm’s Set List was: “Love Bites”, “Mz. Hyde”, “It’s Not You”, “Familiar Taste of Poison”, “Rock Show”, “American Boys”, “Don’t Know How To Stop”, “Break In”, “Private Parts”, Arejay’s drum solo, “Slave To the Grind”, “You Call Me Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing”, “I Miss The Misery”, “I Get Off” and “Here’s To Us”.
Check out our photo gallery from the Cincinnati show below!
Charm City Devils and Theory of A Deadman closed out the July concert season at Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 29th.
I have loved the band Charm City Devils since I first heard their song “Let’s Rock N Roll” under their old moniker Chosen Son on the Cruefest Compilation CD. The band doesn’t come to Cincinnati often. I believe the 2009 Cruefest was the last time they were here. Needless to say, when they come to town, I make a point to go.
The last couple of times I have seen Charm City Devils perform, I thought they were great, but on this particular night in Cincinnati, Ohio, they were the best I had ever seen them. Singer John Allen did an amazing job controlling the crowd. The band turned in a blistering set of tunes that included their songs “Burn Baby Burn”, “Spite”, “Start It Up”, “Love N’ War”, “Devil Is A Woman”, “Best of the Worst”, “True Love”, “I Got Mine (The Black Keys Cover)”, “Unstoppable”, “Man of Constant Sorrow” and “Let’s Rock N Roll”. If you get a chance to see them live, you should definitely go. You will not be disappointed. You can grab their newly released CD, Sins at Amazon.com.
I have to admit that I have been pretty tough on Theory of a Deadman in the past. Their live shows in the past have been somewhat of a let down to me. This was not the case at their Cincinnati show at all. The band made me eat crow, and I am ok with that. The band brought their “A” game to Cincinnati.
Tyler Connolly was interacting with the packed house at Bogart’s all night. The band was tight and sounded great. They did part of their set acoustically, while sitting on bar stools on the stage. It brought the old MTV Unplugged show to mind. I thought it was a very cool part of their show, and was a nice surprise. Theory of a Deadman performed their songs “Got It Made”, “So Happy”, “All or Nothing”, “Bitch Came Back”, “Gentleman”, “Nothing Could Come Between Us”, “Not Meant To Be”, “Truth Is”, “Out of My Head”, “Easy To Love You”, “Better Off” and “Low Life”. I am glad that I got to see Theory of a Deadman again, and won’t hesitate to do so in the future.
It was a fun night of rock and roll in Cincinnati. I will be looking forward to seeing Charm City Devils and Theory of A Deadman again in the future!
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival came to the Riverbend Music Center in July. This tour is easily the biggest Metal festival of 2012, and the lineup this year is pretty incredible. You have two of the Big Four thrash bands, Anthrax and Slayer, as well as Motorhead, Slipknot, As I Lay Dying, Asking Alexandra, The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel & more. Work commitments kept me from making it to the venue for the 2 P.M. start time, but I did manage to make in for the start of Anthrax’s blistering set.
This was the second time I have seen Anthrax in 2012, and much like the first time, the bodies started flying as soon as the music began. The security guys in the pit were having a time keeping up with all of the crowd surfers. Anthrax was incredible as always, but as good as they were, they weren’t the best band of the evening. I watched the conclusion of Anthrax’s set, and made my way to the main stage for As I Lay Dying.
This was a night of many firsts for me. I haven’t ever seen As I Lay Dying, Slayer or Motorhead, so I was excited to see these bands play for the first time. I have to admit, I am not much of a metalcore fan, but As I Lay Dying was very good at what they do. They hair was flying, and lead singer Tim Lambesis never stayed in place for a minute. My neck hurt just watching him perform. Lots of headbanging and hair flying fun!
Next up was the mighty Motorhead. I can’t believe that I haven’t seen the band play before now, but Lemmy Kilmister and company were excellent. Lemmy is still getting it done at the nice young age of 66. Of course, Motorhead closed out their set with the one and only “Ace of Spades” and it was as awesome as I expected it to be.
To my ears, the best band of the evening without question was Slayer. I readily admit that I haven’t been a big Slayer fan, but they blew me away. The band was on fire all night (as was their stage, with tons of pyro.) Kerry King might just be the most metal looking musician ever! I enjoyed watching him play.
I wasn’t able to photograph Slipknot, so I grabbed my seat for their set. I saw the band in the inaugural Mayhem festival back in 2008, so I already knew that they put on an in incredible show. They didn’t disappoint. Their is always something going on the stage during a Slipknot show. From Clown’s hydraulic drum kit, to the masks, random crowd surfing, and pyro you never know where to look during their set. I can’t remember Slipknot coming to Cincinnati before, but I am pretty sure this was their first time here. Judging from the people who raised their hand when Corey Taylor asked if it was their first time seeing Slipknot, there were thousands of people who have not seen them play before. They got their money’s worth at the 2012 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. This is a great festival for fans of metal music. I can’t wait until the next one.
Adelitas Way, Papa Roach & Shinedown brought their tour to the PNC Pavillion last Tuesday night. This is a nice triple bill that was a pretty cool preview for the up and coming Rockstar Enegy Drink Uproar Festival which starts in August 17th – September 30th. Check below for the Hard Rock Hideout photo gallery from this show.
Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden came to the Klipsch Music Center in Nobelsville, Indiana on Thursday, July 19th. I thought I was going to miss Alice Cooper, as the show was to start at 7:30. The road going into the concert was backed up for two miles. I didn’t hit the parking lot until after 8 P.M. but a Severe Thunderstorm rolled through which prevented this concert from starting on time. I was extremely grateful for mother nature to play her part, as five minutes after I sat down, Alice Cooper took the stage.
This is third time I have seen Alice Cooper in three years, and his show hasn’t changed too much from the previous two times I have seen him, but it didn’t matter as the show Alice and his band put on was outstanding. Alice Cooper’s band consisted of Chuck Garric on bass, Orianthi,, Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie on Guitar and Glen Sobel on drums. The band was excellent, and all of Alice’s normal theatrics (the guillotine, Frankenalice, etc.) were present in this show. I loved every minute of it. I was surprised that two of the songs in Alice’s set came from his 2000 album Brutal Planet, and none from Welcome 2 My Nightmare. I thought his set was way too short, but I would probably think this, if he played for two hours. Alice Cooper’s set list was: The Black Widow, Brutal Planet, I’m Eighteen, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Billion Dollar Babies, Feed My Frankenstein, Poison, Wicked Young Man, Killer, I Love the Dead, and School’s Out.
After a lengthy intermission due to an elaborate stage set up, Iron Maiden took the stage after 9:00 P.M. The digital screens on both sides of the stage showed visions of an Arctic Voyage through several glaciers and icebergs. When the stage was revealed, it looked like the ice age hit Iron Maiden’s stage. It was a very cool look with lots of fog, and blue lights to give it that chilly appearance. Iron Maiden’s stage may have been a little frosty, but their performance was anything but that. Every time I have seen Iron Maiden live, they have absolutely killed it, and this night was no exception. The mighty Bruce Dickinson still has every bit of the powerhouse voice that got him the Maiden gig back in 1981. He was running all over the multi-level stage all night, and absolutely rocking the crowd. I especially loved it, when he called out a guy on the left side of the stage who spent three of the songs texting on her cell phone. He called him a “Wanker!” 🙂
Janick Gers might be 55 years old, but he could give a clinic to most guitar players out there. His guitar acrobatics were a lot of fun to watch. The whole band was on fire, and was constantly in motion all night. There was plenty of pyro, different backdrops and stage theatrics, and of course a 20 foot tall Eddie, and a huge Eddie that came out of the stage.
Iron Maiden’s set list consisted of the songs Moonchild, Can I Play With Madness, The Prisoner, 2 Minutes to Midnight, Afraid to Shoot Strangers, The Trooper, The Number of the Beast, Phantom of the Opera, Run to the Hills, Wasted Years, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, The Clairvoyant, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden, Aces High, The Evil That Men Do and Running Free.
This was easily the best concert I have seen in 2012, and can’t wait to see Iron Maiden again. I was only armed with a point and shoot camera for this show, but I did get a few decent shots. If you get the chance to catch the Maiden England tour do so, you won’t be disappointed.
Bobaflex is a band that I thought was one of the better surprises at Rock on the Range. I have the band’s album Tales From Dirt Town, so I knew some of their songs, but I have not seen them live prior to Rock on the Range. Much to my surprise, most of the songs in their set came from their latest album, Hell In My Heart. I haven’t picked up the CD before Rock on the Range, but it didn’t matter. Bobaflex’s set kicked ass. The McCoy brothers know how to rock a crowd, and there was a ton of people in attendance for the headlining show on the Jaegermeister stage at Rock on the Range. I have to admit, that Bobaflex fell off my radar for quite some time, but after seeing them live, they are a band that I will be paying attention to. I loved their set, and especially loved their cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic “Sound of Silence”. If you haven’t checked out Bobaflex before, check out their videos below. I think you will like them!
Bobaflex set list at Rock on the Range included the songs: “Chemical Valley”, “Home”, “Vampire”, “Sound of Silence”, “Low Life”,” Bury Me With Guns On”, “Rise”, “Dangerous”, and “Slave”