Archive for Chris Jerico

Download 2017: Sunday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2017 by 80smetalman

I wonder if anyone obliged them.

Sunday, the final day of Download., we all thought we better make the best of it. Most of the bands I wanted to see this day were playing on the main stage so I didn’t have to travel very far, especially with the headache of packing and loading the car. Everyone in my group all wanted to catch the day’s opener on the main stage, Fozzy. I had seen them at Bloodstock in 2013 and was very eager to see them again and when they came out on stage, they were determined to impress. Lead singer Chris Jerico, now with darker hair, still was the main attraction to this band. Like when I saw him at Bloodstock, he has a stage presence that singers with greater vocal talent don’t. However, he did give his band a little more of the limelight this time around. After all, he does have a good band behind him and I have to say that they seemed to have better material this time around. Check out the new song, “Judas.” A great start to the final day.

Fozzy begin

Jerico goes to the front

With the rest of the band behind him

Chris came my way

The rest of my group returned to camp but I stayed because I very much wanted to see the second band of the day, Orange Goblin. I have some of you bloggers to thank for that, I’m looking at Stone and HMO specifically, because what I have read about them made that decision for me. I have been told that while their music was good, they lacked stage presence, however, I saw no evidence of that when they hit the stage. True, singer Ben Ward is not the showman that Chris Jerico is but he sings well and can get the audience motivated behind the band. I thought they had some good stuff with their combination of doom metal and stoner rock. Will definitely be listening to these guys more and I’m serious about that.

Orange Goblin do have the presence

Ben Ward serenading the Sunday morning crowd

After being wowed by Fozzy and Orange Goblin, it was time to head back to camp, finish packing and load up the car. We managed to do this but because one of the assistants sent us to the wrong car park, we were late in getting back so when only caught the last twenty minutes of Devil Driver on the Zippo Stage. Still, twenty minutes of hard core thrash from Devil Driver is miles better than none at all.

The closest I could get to Devil Driver

After Devil Driver, I headed back to the main stage to see the remaining four bands on the night. The first of these were Australian hard rock band, Airbourne. Remember what I said about Northlane are evidence that not all Australian bands are influenced by AC/DC? ¬†Well, forget about that in this case because the AC/DC influence came through the minute Airbourne was out on stage. The other thing I noticed straight away was that lead singer/lead guitarist, Joel O’Keeffe was the main attraction in the band. Like, Devin Townsend and another artist I would see later on in the day, O’Keeffe was good at both. However, he wouldn’t be so great without the rest of the band behind him. Most of the songs they played were from the “Breaking Out of Hell” album but that’s not a bad thing. I did like the song “It’s All For Rock and Roll, so it’s another album on my to get list. Airbourne warmed things up nicely in preparation for the rest of the evening.

Joel O’Keeffe going straight to the front

O’Keeffe belts out a guitar solo with rhythm section in support

The album cover alone is worth getting the album.

O’Keeffe leading the finish

After Airbourne, I was totally pumped for the next band, Steel Panther, and my feelings were justified. Steel Panther were the unsung heroes on the day. I loved them start to finish and let me put to rest any doubts about their ability, these guys can play, they proved that the second they stepped out on stage with “Eyes of the Panther.” Sure, there is a lot of humour in their songs and I was quite surprised they played, “Thar She Blows” live but whoever said that there can’t be humour in metal? I laughed and rocked out at the same time to the Tiger Woods song. In addition to the great metal, there was some great banter with the crowd and between the band themselves. Bassist Lexxi was the butt of most of the jokes, with constant insinuations he was gay but it was also said that lead singer Mike Starr was 72 years old. If that’s true, then all the power to him I say. Besides I believe them when they say the reason all the other bands hate them was because they sleep with all their girlfriends. I only had to wait halfway through the set to hear the famous “Death to All But Metal” and they played “Fuck All Night, Party All Day” straight after. The biggest surprise was when they played “17 Girls in a Row.” While playing it, they invited ladies up from the crowd on stage and before you knew it, there was a wall of young women across the entire stage and four deep. Most of the ladies seemed content with taking selfies with the band and giving them kisses, not that they minded. Once the girls were back off stage, they ended with what’s for me, the best song possible, “Community Property.” You bet people sang along to that one. So, after seeing them, anyone who insists Steel Panther are a joke band can come see me and I’ll show them my US Marine Corps training.

Feel the Steel

Michael Starr sings while Satchel hammers a solo

Starr and Lexxi come my way

The ladies answer the invite to come on stage

Ladies on stage

I only became familiar with Alter Bridge a week before I went to Download but after hearing their mix on Youtube, I made up my mind to go and see them. Myles Kennedy was already known to me on account of his work with Slash so that made me more determined to see them. He is a great singer but what I never knew was that he can play a guitar a bit as well. He really wailed away on quite a few of the songs so I was doubly impressed. While I can remember specific song titles, I can say that the songs I heard were absolutely brilliant. I think that after seeing them onstage, they are quickly becoming a favourite with me.

Welcome Alter Bridge

Myles came my way to play a solo

Don’t forget, there are three other great musicians in Alter Bridge

We all know Myles is a great singer too

More great guitar work

They played on til the end

Now common sense says that I should have stayed put after Alter Bridge so I would have a spot for headliners, Aerosmith. However, who says I have any sense? What did I do? I went over to the Zippo Stage to catch twenty minutes of headliners Slayer. Sure, I have seen them twice recently but who in their right mind would pass up any chance to see Slayer? I didn’t and don’t regret it.

Slaaaayyyeeeerrrrrr!

I did manage to get back well before the main event and managed to jockey into the best place possible to see the band that helped me through high school. Aerosmith came out to all the royal fanfare a band of their magnitude deserved. While I knew that their set would be a ‘greatest hits’ one, neither I or any of the tens of thousands there to see them cared. The hits came straight away, their was “Crying,” “Love in an Elevator,” “Living on the Edge” and “Jaime’s Got a Gun” for starters. It was common knowledge that the last song was about domestic abuse but I was a little surprised at Steve’s revelation that he got the idea for it while he was in rehab. Sometime in the middle of the set, guitarist Joe Perry was allowed to sing lead on a couple of songs, the first one was a blues number and the second one, Brad Whitford played a guitar solo. I always suspected Brad was capable of such things. After all, he’s been a brilliant rhythm guitarist for over forty years! After Joe’s spot, Aerosmith went back to the hits starting with the film classic, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” It was here that Steve Tyler introduced guest keyboards player Buck Johnson. Believe me, he went well with the band. Tom Hamilton played a bass solo but there was no surprise which song was to come after when Steve introduced him as Mr Sweet Emotion. This was the icebreaker for more of their 70s and 80s stuff. There was “Dude Looks Like a Lady” and of course “Dream On,” which the band left the stage. No fooling they would come out for encores and the audience was treated to a song I can’t remember before “Walk This Way.” The night ended with confetti and great fanfare. Now, there are rumours that this would be Aerosmith’s last tour. If so, they went out on an absolute high.

Aerosmith ended a night and a weekend of great metal! I went home feeling very satisfied and fulfilled. Download was great but I will not enter into any debate as to which is better between Download and Bloodstock. Both offer me everything I look for in metal. One thing, I must do in the future is to save my pennies so I can go to both festivals in the same year.

Steve and Joe in the front

Aerosmith rocks!

They rock some more

Cool lights

Tom’s bass solo

More Steve and Joe

A great end to the night!

Rock and Roll Children is still available on Amazon.

Next post: Honeymoon Suite

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Bloodstock! The Sunday

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2013 by 80smetalman

Many of you have been waiting with baited breath for my account of the Bloodstock concert this past Sunday, well here it is. To start with, the drive there was quite uneventful in a good way and I was glad that most people in Britain decided to spend their Sunday morning in bed allowing me to make such good time. I mean, the two CD’s played for the journey (The Best of Seputura and Megadeth’s “Youthanasia”) weren’t finished by the time I pulled into the car park. It did foretell what a great day it was going to be.

First, I feel I must apologise for the poor quality of the photos, they were taken with my cell phone camera. Anyway, as I got there very early, I thought I would start handing out cards for “Rock And Roll Children.” Handing one to a man of my age, he returned the favour by giving me a CD and saying that I should check this band out on the New Blood Stage and that’s were things began in earnest.

Black Emerald

Black Emerald

 

The CD was for a band called Black Emerald from Reading. What a great opener to the day as this hungry, unsigned band kicked the ass of those who ventured into the tent to see them. I won’t go into great details about them here but these guys have everything needed to be big. Good vocals, a tight rhythm section and a guitarist who can shred as well as songs about heavy metal’s favourite topics, sex, drugs and Satan. I can’t think of a better way to open the show. I was so impressed with Black Emerald that the next post will be why if any label happened to be there while they were on stage and didn’t immediately sign them, well they’re insane.

Gamma Bomb

Gamma Bomb

 

From Black Emerald to the Emerald Isle as we made it in time to see the first band to ascend the Ronnie James Dio stage, Irish metallers Gamma Bomb. What a great way to start things on the main stage at Bloodstock! Their speed metal had me ferociously banging my head away from start to finish and I loved the lead singer’s comment that they had started drinking at 9 AM and would continue for the rest of the day. I guess that’s bound to happen when you mix the Irish and heavy metal. Trust me, I have met many Irishmen and the great majority of them love their drink. Still, I will be looking for their albums in the future.

States of Panic

States of Panic

 

One improvement that Bloodstock 2013 had over 2010 was that in 2010, whenever I an act finished on the one stage, I felt frustrated that when I went to one of the other stages, nothing was happening there either. This year that wasn’t a problem. We decided to take a break after Gamma Bomb and to my surprise, there was music coming out of the Sophie Lancaster tent. My stepson and I went inside and were both delighted by the music played by the band that was currently on the stage, States of Panic. I know you can’t see from this photo but their image might suggest that these guys are simply clones of The Black Veil Brides. However, they had a sound all their own and that sound was fine and I was glad that I was able to catch them on stage.

Music wasn't the only metal on Sunday

Music wasn’t the only metal on Sunday

 

The next hour and a half or so was spent going in between the three stages. I did catch part of both bands that played the main stage, Whitechapel and Sacred Mother Tongue who both kept the day rocking as well as a band from each of the other two stages. While, they were all enjoyable, I didn’t see enough of any of them to give an account here. When we decided to go for lunch, we happened to go past this display of knights in armour. The sword play was a vicious as any mosh pit as they really went at it.

Fozzy

Fozzy

 

I knew nothing of this band before they went on stage but there was something familiar about the lead singer. Then he got the crowd to chant “Y2J” and it all fell into place. I knew that WWE Superstar Chris Jerico was singing with a band, but I didn’t know it was this one. Had I known this before hand, I would have assumed that Fozzy were a joke band and not bothered with them. For once, I am grateful for my ignorance. Fozzy are not a joke band. True, I only rate Jerico’s vocals as passable but this is made up for by the fact that he has a great band behind him and that he has something that many singers of superior vocal ability lack, stage presence. Y2J owned the stage during the entire time he was on it and he was able to use his physical abilities as a wrestler to his advantage when he climbed up the stage rigging and sang from on top of that.

Y2J singing from the rafters

Y2J singing from the rafters

 

Fozzy made a believer out of me, I was impressed to the point that I will have to check out their recorded material.

Amorphis

Amorphis

 

Amorphis provided a much needed respite between what had been and what was to come. Their more melodic metal sound allowed me to catch my breath for a second while yet continuing to enjoy some fantastic sounds. Once again, they proved my theory that keyboards can work with metal if done properly. Seeing the keyboard player for Amorphis brought back memories of Claude Schnell and Jens Johanssen. This in no way takes anything from the rest of the band, especially the way the guitarists shredded.

Exodus

Exodus

 

One thing I pride myself on when I wrote Rock And Roll Children was my accuracy. When Exodus take the stage in the story, the characters are amazed that mortal men can play so fast. Seeing Exodus again after all these years, I am glad that they continue to prove me right. They were fast, furious and just mental and that effect went out to the entire crowd. They weren’t on stage five seconds when a huge mosh pit opened up at the front. I’m afraid to say that when he saw the pit, my step son lost his nerve and didn’t want to go in but I can’t really blame him. Instead, we stood to one side and enjoyed all the fast paced music delivered by those on the stage. The energy was indescribable as Exodus stamped their name on memory of Bloodstock forever. They only stopped briefly so the lead singer could organise one massive wall of death.

The Wall of Death

The Wall of Death

 

When that was over with surprising no casualties, Exodus went on to finish their slaughter of the ear drums to the point that it could be argued that they won the day.

Devil Driver

Devil Driver

 

While Devil Driver may not have matched the violence of Exodus, they continued to carry on the fast metal. Having never heard anything from them before, I can say that I did like them. Especially when the lead singer invited everyone out to California, the only place where weed is legal.

Anthrax

Anthrax

 

This was my fourth time seeing Anthrax live, the last time was Donnington in 1987. Let me say that they haven’t lost any of that intensity they had back then. They took me with old favourites like “I Am the Law,” “Indians,” and the song they opened with, “Caught In a Mosh” to that magical time nearly 30 years ago when I was a pure Anthraxian and it made me renew my vows to follow them always. They also proceeded to convert my fifteen year old step son, although that didn’t take much. I was so impressed with the performance of Anthrax that I can even forgive them for not playing one single song from the “Spreading the Disease” album. I used to think that there were few better songs to open a concert than A.I.R.” but now I’m not so sure. Not many bands can boast to having two great show opening songs. As for the band themselves, they all proved they still have it.

Slayer

Slayer

 

The problem with the headline act is that they have all the lights and this makes it difficult to get a good photo. After several attempts, this was the best I could get. Slayer fulfilled their duties as a headline act. Taking the energy provided by all the bands on the day to an even higher level. The played a good mix of their material throughout the ages and had the crowd at their mercy. I had never seen them live before this day and I must say that all the good things I heard are all true. This was just one speed paced set going from one song to the next in wildfire succession. It proved to be the perfect end to a magnificent day of heavy metal.

Unfortunately, my stepson had the case of the spirit being strong but the flesh was weak. After an hour and ten minutes of Slayer, he was too tired to continue so I had to leave missing the final half hour. Still, “South of Heaven” was probably the best song to walk back to the car to. In the end, we both enjoyed an historical day of heavy metal, one that will match or supersede any of my previous and will dwell in the mind of my young stepson for a long time. Even getting home, at one in the morning following detours due to the motorway being closed and having to get up at 6:30 the next morning to drive to the in laws didn’t lessen the day. In the end, nothing could as it was a great piece of metal history.

Next post: Why Black Emerald should be signed to a record deal

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in Lonon