Wednesday, October 13, 2010

NEVERMORE - October 28, 1997, North Kansas City, MO

After a long absence, Seattle's Nevermore returned with a new album this year, The Obsidian Conspiracy, and they recently set out on an extensive North American tour. Station 4 in St. Paul hosts Nevermore, Warbringer, and Hatesphere for a Halloween show on Sunday, October 31. Go to the Nevermore Myspace page for a list of other remaining tour dates. Mutiny Within previously announced that they have dropped off the tour due the lack of a permanent drummer.
What better way to get primed for this show than to enjoy an uncirculated Nevermore concert unveiled here for the first time. Video and audio are available for you to download Nevermore captured in late 1997 while on tour to promote The Politics Of Ecstasy as the support band for Flotsam And Jetsam. Vocalist Warrel Dane wasn't kidding when he announced to the crowd as he takes the stage, "Hello, we're the band that no one knew was playing!" This show was part of radio station KQRC 98 Rock's Monday night sponsorship at Roadhouse Ruby's hosted by hilarious, popular morning show personality Johnny Dare, but no mention of Nevermore was ever given during promotion. Despite this, the club was packed early to witness Nevermore's first show in Kansas City. The 45 minute set primarily consisted of material from The Politics Of Ecstasy, and also included two songs from the In Memory EP and "Sanctuary", a song from the debut album, Refuge Denied, of Warrell and bassist Jim Sheppard's previous band Sanctuary. I've embedded the video for a couple songs here for you to check out, and you can stream the entire show through my YouTube channel.
Click to watch Nevermore play "The Seven Tongues Of God"
Click to watch Nevermore play "This Sacrament"
Click to watch Nevermore play "Sanctuary"
North Kansas City, MO
Roadhouse Ruby's
1. The Seven Tongues Of God
2. This Sacrament
3. Next In Line
4. Silent Hedges/Double Dare
5. Optimist Or Pessimist
6. Sanctuary
7. The Politics Of Ecstasy
8. The Tiananmen Man
The link to the text file below contains the download links for both the audio (mp3, 320 kbps) and video (mov, H.264, 640 x 480) files. I occasionally get requests for concert videos as a single file, so this is also available (mp4, 640 x 480).
As always, I encourage and welcome sharing, but please share the link to the post rather the link to the text file!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

AFTER THE BURIAL Announces Release Date For New Album In Dreams

Rising progressive metalcore band from the Twin Cities and Sumerian Records recording artist After The Burial has announced November 23 as the release date for their new album In Dreams. This will be the band's third album, and the first of new material with vocalist Anthony Notarmaso.
After The Burial completed a successful tour as direct support to Fear Factory this summer, but left a subsequent tour with Bleeding Through in September following internal band arguments. They embark on a European tour this week with Maroon, The Eyes Of A Traitor, and The Agonist through November 7. To coincide with the release of In Dreams, After The Burial hits the road in the US with Winds Of Plague, Carnifex, War Of Ages, and Upon A Burning Body from November 26 to December 23. The current list of US dates follows the tour flyers below. There's no Twin Cities area date on the tour, but maybe we can hope for a record release show to launch the tour.
November 26 - Phoenix, AZ, Clubhouse
November 27 - Las Cruces, NM, Mikey's Place
November 28 - San Antonio, TX, White Rabbit
November 29 - Corpus Christi, TX, House Of Rock
December 1 - Metairie, LA, The High Ground
December 2 - Columbus, GA, Gallery 13
December 3 - Augusta, GA, Sector 7G
December 4 - Greensboro, NC, Green Street Club
December 5 - Virginia Beach, VA, Skate High
December 6 - Philadelphia, PA, Starlight Ballroom
December 7 - Lancaster, PA, Chameleon Club
December 8 - South Hackensack, NJ, School Of Rock East
December 9 - Poughkeepsie, NY, The Chance
December 10 - Syracuse, NY, Lost Horizon
December 11 - Erie, PA, The Hangout
December 12 - Covington, KY, The Mad Hatter
December 13 - Pittsburgh, PA, Altar Bar
December 14 - Fort Wayne, IN, Broadripple
December 15 - Evansville, IN, Boney Junes
December 16 - Iowa City, IA, Blue Moose
December 17 - Tulsa, OK, Marquee
December 18 - Wichita Falls, TX, The Hangar
December 19 - Farmington, NM, Gators
December 21 - Fresno, CA, Club Retro
December 22 - Pomona, CA, The Glass House
December 23 - Pomona, CA, The Glass House


Dimmu Borgir - Abrahadabra
Nuclear Blast, 2010
Dimmu Borgir certainly has a way of dividing the black metal scene, but their status and influence cannot be denied. The two big questions on everyone’s mind are: how will the departure of bassist and vocalist ICS Vortex and keyboardist Mustis affect their sound, and how over the top will the band go with the increasing symphonic aspects of their music? There’s certainly cause for concern. The continued use of a real orchestra is actually a huge plus, giving the album a more organic sound than the keyboard orchestration used on older albums. There really isn’t any big loss in the heaviness of the band’s sound, either, and if anything the musicianship has been taken to a higher level. The end result is that Abrahadabra is very much akin to the last album from Septicflesh, Communion. After a short instrumental, two of the best songs, “Born Treacherous” and “Gateways”, open the album quite strongly. The first misstep doesn’t occur until the midpoint with “Dimmu Borgir”, which finds the band taking a backseat to the orchestra and operatic vocals in a way that could fit onto a Therion album. “Ritualist” will likely please older fans with its cold, dark feel, and it has a really cool acoustic guitar line incorporated over the fast parts. The other weak track, “The Demiurge Molecule”, is disjointed and all over the map, but “A Jewel Traced Through Coal” does a great job of featuring the while mixing things up a bit. “Renewal” has its moments, but the melodic parts seem out of place. Abrahadabra ends on a strong note with “Endings And Continuations” and leaves you feeling satisfied. I don’t think Abrahadabra will rise to being one of my favorite Dimmu Borgir albums alongside Spiritual Black Dimensions or Enthrone Darkness Triumphant, but the band has unquestionably succeeded in crafting a great record that advances their sound. Abrahadabra will only heighten the complaints from black metal purists, but any Dimmu Borgir album seems to do this. It’s funny how Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth are blamed for corrupting and selling out black metal, but other experimental black metal bands such as Enslaved and Ulver are embraced. Nevertheless, Dimmu Borgir continue to push the boundaries of black metal in ways that make some people uncomfortable. Where this will take them in the future remains to be seen, but Abrahadabra is a worthy addition to Dimmu Borgir’s extensive catalog.
Dimmu Borgir performs Tuesday, November 16 at The Cabooze in Minneapolis. Support will come from Enslaved, Blood Red Throne, and Dawn Of Ashes.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Nightmare Records Fall 2010 Sampler Available For Free Download

Progressive-power metal label Nightmare Records has made the Fall 2010 album sampler, A Nightmare On The Horizon, available as a free mp3 download at their website. A Nightmare On The Horizon features 13 songs from both Nightmare Records artists and distributed titles. Eight of the songs are from albums that will be released this October and November, while the remaining five are from albums available now.
I've been setting some money aside for many of these albums, as there's a lot of killer stuff here! Songs from the bands whose albums are released this Tuesday, October 12 - Manticore, Halcyon Way, Tetrafusion, Fracture, and Toxxic Toyz - are all great. Other favorites of mine here are Soulspell, Seven Kingdoms, Sinbreed, and Empyria. A Nightmare On The Horizon is a fantastic compilation featuring many great bands to be discovered. Click on the link above and commence downloading!
Nightmare Records is the St. Paul-based label founded and run by vocalist Lance King (ex-Avian, Pyramaze, Balance Of Power, Gemini, others).

CRYPTICON Minneapolis 2010 Bands Announced

The Crypticon Festival in Minneapolis has released the full lineup of 14 bands scheduled to perform at the horror movie festival held November 5-7 at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel. Here is the band list for each night:
Friday, November 5 - Jack Havoc, Impaler, Tennessee Murder Club, The Clincher, Alation, and Solution 13
Saturday, November 6 - Mushroomhead, Wrecking Day, Black Food Diesel, Dead Bundy, Souless Affection, Caustic Vision, Pinwheel, and Gabriel And The Apocalypse
Mushroomhead will also be doing a meet and greet on Saturday at the convention. There are a variety of ticket packages available, including tickets for all events, only the convention events, and only the concert events. If you're only interested in seeing the concerts, tickets for Friday night only are $13, and tickets for Friday and Saturday are $23. It doesn't appear that concert tickets for Saturday night only are available. If you are coming from out of town, Crypticon has arranged special room rates at the Sheraton if you reserve your room by Friday, October 15.
Among the guests that are scheduled for convention events are:
Jeffrey Combs - actor (Re-Animator, Star Trek, more)
Bruce Abbott - actor (Re-Animator, The Last Starfighter, more)
Kathleen Kinmont - actress (Halloween 4, Bride Of Re-Animator, more)
Walter Phelan - creature actor, makeup and effects artist (House Of 1000 Corpses, Watchmen, Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight, more)
Jake McKinnon - actor, effects artist (House Of 1000 Corpses, Halloween II, more)
Dee Wallace - actress (E.T., The Howling, Rob Zombie's Halloween, more)
Tom Sullivan - makeup and effects artist, props, animator (Evil Dead, more). Tom will bring along his museum of movie props and illustrations.
Troy Holbrook - Bodybag Photography and FX (Crave, Cyrus, more). Tory will be conducting a hands-on, 2-day class on the making of silicone appliances.
Brian Krause - actor (Charmed, Tales From The Crypt, more). Brian's new film, Cyrus: The Mind Of A Killer, will be screened Friday night.
Jason Lively - actor (European Vacation, Night Of The Creeps, more)
William B. Davis - actor (The X-Files, Stargate SG-1, more)
Joe Knetter - author and script writer (Twisted Loneliness, Strip Club Slasher, more)
Scarlet Salem - actress and writer (Killer Biker Chicks, Terror Overload, more)
Sean Clark - producer and writer (The Black Waters Of Echo's Pond, Horror's Hallowed Grounds, more)
Dr. Ivan Cryptosis - Kooky Spooky Theatre
This is the 5th year of Crypticon, and it promises to be an interesting experience for horror buffs. View the trailer from last year's event below.

GENITORTURERS Release Fall US Tour Dates

I alerted you 10 days ago about Genitorturers playing Friday, November 5 at Station 4 in St. Paul with support from Sister Sin and Mary Magdalan, and the likelihood that more tour dates were to come. The full list of confirmed dates has now been released that takes the band through the eastern half of the US in November. See the tour flyer below for the full list of dates and venues. Mary Magdalan is confirmed as support for the tour, but whether Sister Sin will take part seems to be in doubt since they are currently scheduled to play in Copenhagen, Denmark on November 6. A Genitorturers show is always a spectacle, and Gen never disappoints! Additional local support in St. Paul will come from Apocalypse Theater and Kali Yuga.

D.R.I. Announces More US Tour Dates Through February

Having just completed a month's worth of tour dates, crossover-thrash legends D.R.I. recently announced a huge number of new dates all over the US that run through February 2011. There's two opportunities to see D.R.I. in the Twin Cities area just before Thanksgiving. The closer show is Monday, November 22 at the Medina Entertainment Center in Medina, Minnesota. If you live in western Wisconsin, D.R.I. plays the House Of Rock in Eau Claire, Wisconsin the night before on Sunday, November 21.

October 14 - Jacksonville, FL, Jack Rabbits
October 15 - Tampa, FL, Brass Mug
October 16 - Orlando, FL, The Club At Firestone
October 17 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Culture Room
November 9 - Peekskill, NY, Popeye's Pub
November 10 - Newport News, VA, Budda's Place
November 11 - West Springfield, VA, Jaxx
November 12 - Hartford, CT, Webster Theater
November 14 - Baltimore, MD, Sonar
November 18 - Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall
November 19 - Lansing, MI, Mac's
November 20 - Madison, WI, The Annex
November 21 - Eau Claire, WI, House Of Rock
November 22 - Medina, MN, Medina Entertainment Center
December 15 - Farmington, NM, Gators Bar And Grill
December 16 - Pueblo, CO, Zippers
December 17 - Denver, CO, Bluebird Theater
December 18 - Salt Lake City, UT, Club Vegas
January 15 - Hollywood, CA, Key Club
January 16 - Ventura, CA, Ventura Theatre
January 27 - Grand Rapids, MI, Intersection
January 28 - Flint, MI, The Machine Shop
January 29 - Indianapolis, IN, Emerson Theater
January 30 - Chicago, IL, Reggie's Rock Club
January 31 - Des Moines, IA, Vaudeville Mews
February 1 - Springfield, MO, Outland Ballroom
February 12 - Corpus Christi, TX, Zero's
February 13 - Houston, TX, Numbers
February 14 - Austin, TX, Emo's
February 15 - San Antonio, TX, White Rabbit
February 17 - Amarillo, TX, The War Legion Underground
February 18 - Oklahoma City, OK, The Conservatory
February 19 - Tulsa, OK, Marquee
February 20 - Dallas, TX, Trees
February 24 - Rochester, NY, Montage Music Hall
February 25 - Providence, RI, Club Hell
February 26 - Philadelphia, PA, Trocadero Theater
February 27 - Sayerville, NJ, Starland Ballroom

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Darkness Day 2010 At Surly Brewing

Not only are we blessed with great metal bands and shows in the Twin Cities, but we have one of the best breweries anywhere in the world, Surly Brewing. If you are a beer enthusiast then surely you already know this.
Saturday, October 23 marks the annual release of Surly Darkness with Darkness Day, a day-long party held at the brewery (4811 Dusharme Dr., Brooklyn Center, MN 55429). For those unaware, Darkness is consistently rated amongst the top 1-3 beers in the world, any style, on many beer websites such as Beer Advocate. Darkness is a thick, potent Russian imperial stout that packs a big punch. It's no stretch to say that Darkness is one of the most sought-after beers in the world and bottles are only sold in limited quantities at Darkness Day. Sometimes you can get lucky and find a stray bottle at an area liquor store or a keg at a local bar, but purchasing your stash at Darkness Day is the only way to guarantee your supply.
The label for 2010's Darkness.
The event officially begins at noon, although people usually begin lining up outside the gates at 6 or 7 am. Approximately 7,500 bottles of Darkness will be for sale at $18 per bottle (these are wine-size 750 mL bottles) with a limit of six per person. Food and beer are available for purchase, and Surly usually serves some of their limited edition beers, including cask beers. It's fun to meet people from all over the country who make the trek for this event.
Surly is the country's fastest-growing brewery, and is working hard to increase their brewing capacity. They even had to pull Surly from all distribution markets outside the Twin Cities this summer just so they could meet the backlog of demand for their beer here in The Cities!
There will be also be bands playing all afternoon inside the brewery, but the bands playing this year haven't been announced yet. The cool thing is that many of the brewery employees are metalheads, and almost anytime I've been at the brewery to purchase growlers (when they were available) Slayer or another similar band would be blasting in the shop! A couple years ago Powermad played a reunion show at Darkness Day, so usually the bands that play this event are good ones.
The latest details about Darkness Day 2010 can be found at Surly's newsblog.

JAMES LABRIE St. Paul VIP Tickets Available

I usually don't mention the availability of VIP tickets for shows, but the benefits of the VIP ticket for the James LaBrie show in St. Paul go beyond the typical early entry privileges and band meet and greet. In addition to these things, it will also include seating in a "special front row VIP section" with tables and waitress service. I've never seen this type of setup at Station 4 before, but this sounds like VIP ticket holders will have seats and tables in a special section set up between the stage and barricade and general ticket holders will be several feet away from the stage. If you're a huge Dream Theater fan there's not going to be a better way to experience the show than this!
A limited number of VIP tickets for James LaBrie on Wednesday, December 8 at Station 4 in St. Paul are available now at Enter The Vault for $60. There will be one local support band that will be determined by a series of battle of the band events taking place through SwordLord Productions.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Avian – The Path
Blinding Force Recordings, 2010
It’s really difficult to rate an EP higher than 8, simply because most are usually stopgap releases containing odds and ends that aren’t representative of a band. Guitarist Yan Leviathan and Avian continue to improve upon the outstanding Ashes And Madness power metal album despite losing vocalist supreme Lance King. No band is so fortunate as to realize that they’ve got another member with the talent to replace someone like Lance, but that’s exactly what happened with Avian and their bassist, Brian Hollenbeck. If you’ve seen Avian or Echoterra, Yan and Brian’s other band, then you already know that Brian has a great voice, and Brian really takes it to next level here on The Path. Taking over the bass slot from Brian is Jaden Adair from the now defunct Minneapolis band Risingfall. This four-song EP contains two tracks that will appear on the next Avian album, “The Path” and “When The Night’s Undone”, an instrumental, “S.S.”, and an acoustic version of “The Fear”, originally released on From The Depths Of Time. “The Path” has been a part of Avian’s live set for a while, and its high-pitched vocals immediately lay to rest any doubts about Brian as the new frontman. Brian’s voice is edgier than Lance’s, and he helps to bring a darker vibe to “When The Night’s Undone”. Musically, these two songs contain heavy riffs reminiscent of Criss Oliva’s playing for Savatage. The big surprise on The Path is “S.S.”, a smoking-hot instrumental that has Yan and lead guitarist Steve Stine dueling their way through an aggressive shred-fest worthy of the Shrapnel label. The acoustic version of “The Fear” is tastefully done and a nice addition to the package. The Path is essential for any power metal fan, and it will reassure anyone skeptical about Lance’s departure. “S.S.” and “The Fear (Acoustic)” are exclusive to this release, and they make the EP well worth its modest price. Avian fans have a lot to look forward to on the next album, Midnight At The Tower, which is scheduled for release in early 2011, and The Path is an excellent preview that confirms Avian’s place at the top of the current power metal scene.
Click to listen to “The Path”.
The Path is available in CD format directly from the band (, CD Baby, and Amazon, and as a digital download from CD Baby and iTunes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Three Great Shows Tonight

There's three big metal shows going on tonight, surely there's something here for most people's taste.
Death metal fans should already have their plans set for Station 4 in St. Paul tonight, with a monstrous bill of Immolation, Vader, Abigail Williams, Pathology, and Lecherous Nocturne. Nuclear Blast recording artist from St. Paul, The Crinn, will open the show, so be there when the doors open at 7 for this 16+ show.
A big hardcore show is happening at the Triple Rock in Minneapolis with Agnostic Front appearing with Mother Of Mercy and Product Of Waste. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of their Victim In Pain album, Agnostic Front will be performing this classic album and their United Blood 7" in their entirety.
Lastly, the great alternative metal band The Pimps (aka The Goodyear Pimps) from Illinois will be performing tonight at Club Underground in Minneapolis with Kentucky Belt Fight and The Grande Machine.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


High On Fire, Torche, Kylesa
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, MN
The Varsity Theater rarely hosts metal shows, so this was my first time here at this great venue that reminds me a bit of the Granada Theater in Lawrence, Kansas. It’s obvious that the interior was designed by the same folks behind Loring Pasta Bar and the Kitty Cat Klub down the street in Dinkytown. Plush, comfortable chairs lined the back and sides of the hall, providing great sightlines from almost anywhere.
Click photo to see more pictures of Kylesa (22).
Kylesa just hit the stage with “Hollow Severer” as security rummaged through my camera gear and I quickly wormed my way to the front as the stage was bathed in a swirl of psychedelic imagery from slide-stage projectors. Half of the ten-song, 40 minute set was drawn from last year’s Static Tensions album, and having two drummers in the live show adds immense sound to the band. No breaks were taken between songs as Kylesa hammered their way through the sludge-drenched chords of “Unknown Awareness” and “Running Red”. Three songs from the forthcoming Spiral Shadow album were played (“Tired Climb”, “Forsaken”, and “Don’t Look Back”), and they indicate an evolving, slightly different approach to heavy Kylesa sound. This certainly will be an album to watch out for when it’s released on October 26. “Bottom Line” was the only song played from To Walk A Middle Course, which led into “Don’t Look Back”. The closing number, “Scapegoat”, was the highlight of the show, from a pounding, driving introduction featuring the drummers, all the way through a powerful solo from guitarist Laura Pleasants as the rest of the band joined in on percussion. Don’t miss Kylesa the next time they roll through your town.
Click to watch Kylesa perform “Tired Climb”.
Click to watch Kylesa perform “Said And Done”.
Click to watch Kylesa perform “Bottom Line”.
Click to watch Kylesa perform “Don’t Look Back”.
Torche was a pleasant surprise, as the trio is much heavier live than their most recent EP, Songs For Singles, would suggest. They’re commonly give the stoner rock tag, but I hear more of an influence from heavy alternative metal bands such as Therapy? All members of the band were energetic and fun to watch on stage, and the drummer was especially fun to watch as he made eye contact with the crowd. Most of Songs For Singles was played, the highlights being “U.F.O.”, “Face The Wall”, and “Hideaway”. I wasn’t too familiar with Torche before tonight, but the show has given me a new appreciation for Songs For Singles and convinced that they are band to watch out for great things.
Click picture to see more photos of Torche (19).
Click to watch Torche perform “Arrowhead”.
Click to watch Torche perform “Hideaway”.
Click to watch Torche perform “Lay Low”.
Everyone was now primed for High On Fire, and I was excited since it had been a couple since I last saw Matt Pike and crew rip it up on Megadeth’s Gigantour. No one writes cranium-smashing riffs like Matt Pike, other than Zakk Wylde, and he’s always a sight to behold live. The bulk of the set centered around the last two albums, Snakes For The Divine and Death Is This Communion, and the gauntlet was immediately thrown down with “Frost Hammer”. As all bands did tonight, there were no breaks or banter between songs, and “Turk” was immediately followed by “Blessed Black Wings”. The band dipped into the back catalog for “Baghdad” and “Hung, Drawn, And Quartered”, and newer tracks like “Rumors Of War” and “Fire, Flood & Plague” kept the crowd moving. The only drop in intensity came from the slow, drawn out “Bastard Samarai”, one of my least favorite songs from Snakes For The Divine. It was depressing to watch Matt struggle through a solo with his guitar chord laying on the stage. Several fans were pointed at the disconnected chord, but no one helped plug him back in until someone jumped up on stage to hand the plug to Matt. No good deed goes unpunished as the staff then decided to do something and hustled the guy away from the stage. Later, Matt threw up his hands in frustration and looked like he was ready to kick down his stack of amps. Despite these glitches, High On Fire on again proved why they are the reigning kings of heavy doom metal. It ain’t pretty, but no one can deny the power and talent emanating from Matt’s guitar. This was an incredible bill, and all three bands sounded as good as ever.
Click picture to see more photos of High On Fire (24).
Click to watch High On Fire perform “Waste Of Tiamat”.
Click to watch High On Fire perform “Baghdad”.



JAMES LABRIE Battle Of The Bands Details

Following up on the earlier post about the battle of the bands to determine the opener for legendary Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie on Wednesday, December 8 at Station 4 in St. Paul, the promoter, SwordLord Productions, checked in with additional details.
There will be three battles to select one band to open the show. The battles will be held on October 20, November 17, and December 1. Interested bands need to contact Nathan at SwordLord Productions ASAFP by email ( for details and a fantastic opportunity to share the stage with James LaBrie.

STEELHEART Concert Review

Friday, September 17, 2010
G.B. Leighton’s Pickle Park, Fridley, MN
Click either picture to see more photos of Steelheart (13).
Arriving late I missed about half of Steelheart’s performance, but what I saw was shocking. Vocalist Miljenko (Mike) Matijevic has kept glam-era band Steelheart alive throughout the years but in a radically different form. I’m all for bands doing something different, however, I think most people would be more than surprised at the heavy, modern sound of Steelheart today. They bore their way through the likes of “LOL” from the latest album, Good 2b Alive, and the crowd seemed to welcome the new material enthusiastically. Mike’s ear-splitting voice is still in fine form, and it almost seemed wrong for him to use effects on his vocals at times. For the life of me I don’t understand how he can chomp gum on stage all night while singing like he does. Everyone in the band was tight and aggressive, befitting the direction of newer material. The only thing that was out of place was the bass player’s incessant habit of twirling around his topknot like a clown; despite this, he was great on stage. Before I knew it the band left the stage, returning to play “Everybody Loves Eileen”, “We All Die Young”, and “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)” for the encore. Although Mike occasionally took up a guitar earlier, the encore was played with one guitarist and the songs were adapted well for this format. You can hear this well on “I’ll Never Let You Go”, the final song that brought down the house. This iconic power ballad had the crowd singing along with a vigor rarely seen at a club show as Mike was nearly pulled from the stage.
Steelheart performing “Everybody Loves Eileen”.
Not having seen Steelheart since one of their earliest tours in 1990 opening for Great White and Bulletboys, I was frankly surprised at the heavy emphasis on new material. I admire Mike and the band for doing so, as too many legacy acts use their classic material as a crutch. As long as you’re not expected a rehashing of the first two albums, Steelheart puts on a powerful, convincing show. Judging from the crowd’s response no one seemed to mind.
Watch Steelheart perform their biggest hit, “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)”.

CAIN Concert Review - A Mighty Reunion!

Friday, September 17, 2010
Sheraton Bloomington Hotel, Minneapolis, MN
Mid-America Music Hall Of Fame 2010 Induction Show
No one ever thought the day would come when the cult 70’s hard rock band Cain would reunite to perform. It’s been at least 30 years since this legendary Minneapolis band has played live! The short story is that they put out two albums (A Pound Of Flesh and Stinger) on the independent ASI label in the mid-to-late-70’s, toured all over with the likes of Styx, Kansas, and Cheap Trick, but never broke it big. After cutting a four-song demo for a planned third album, the band grew disillusioned with the music business and fell apart. I encourage you to read the interview I recently conducted with Cain vocalist Jiggs Lee. There’s been huge interest in the last ten years in discovering lost bands from the 70’s, and Cain has always been at the top of that list. Copies of their vinyl LPs go for hundreds of dollars on the collector’s market, but Rockadrome has reissued A Pound Of Flesh and Stinger will be re-released soon.
Which brings us to the occasion for this reunion show. Cain is part of the 2010 class of inductees to the Mid-America Hall Of Fame, a fantastic organization that recognizes musicians that never achieved “demi-god” status required for induction to other halls. An impressive cadre of bands was brought together over three nights, everything from rock, country, R&B, blues, and pop. The bar area outside the performance hall was set up with tables for fans to meet the bands and items to bid on for a silent auction. All of the staff was extraordinarily friendly and helpful. All egos were checked at the door as the bands met with and mingled with fans, old and new, and even former members of Prince’s band could be seen amongst the crowd. Cain had many long-time fans present, and it was cool to see them reconnect with the band and share stories. As a special treat, Cain was handing out a two-disc set of unreleased live material to fans that came up and talked to them! I’ll get a review of this treat posted soon. It includes two complete sets from the late 70’s, one is a live radio broadcast from the Thirsty Whale in Chicago and the other is Cain’s performance from the Minnesota State Fair where they opened for Kansas. These sets are smoking, and even include some Rainbow and Bad Company covers and an amazing version of “The Grind” by Tommy Bolin!
Watch Cain perform an amazing version of “Katy”.
A lot of bands performed this night, so although Cain only had 30 minutes, they made the most of it with a performance that made everyone wish they hadn’t gone away. They hit the stage running with two tracks from Stinger, the boogie-rocker “All I Need Is You” and the heavier “Harmony With One Voice”. One of the demo tracks for the third album, “All Wound Up”, brought great energy to the show. Another track from Stinger, “Thanks A Lot, Houston”, featured some fiery guitar work, but it was “Katy” from A Pound Of Flesh that stole the show. “Katy” is an epic-sounding, heavy ballad that clearly was the crowd favorite. Cain was presented with their award before they closed the set with “South Side Queen”, another choice cut from A Pound Of Flesh. Vocalist Jiggs Lee still sounded confident and strong at the mike, and he clearly was having fun singing these songs again. The other original member, bassist Dave Elmeer, also lit up the stage with vigor and contributed background vocals. Guitarists John Kast and Marc Partridge were brought in due to the unfortunate absence of Lloyd Forsberg. Listen to A Pound Of Flesh, and you know that Lloyd is an incredible talent not easy to replace, but John and Marc did an incredible job of bringing new energy to the songs. Drummer Kevin DeRemer couldn’t make it tonight due to commitments to a project in New York, but Brad Shultz also rose to the occasion to make this a special night. The depth of loyalty and love that Cain’s fans have for the band was easily apparent from the smiles and looks of awe in the crowd. Although I am too young to have seen Cain in their heyday, I heard many remarks that Jiggs and company sound as good as ever. It’s a shame that Cain didn’t have the luxury of being able to perform a full set, but six songs is more than anyone could have hoped for. This is without a doubt one of the most memorable shows I’ve ever seen, and let’s just hope that Cain had as much fun and find a way to hit the stage again in the near future.
Click any picture for more photos of Cain (27).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Battle Of The Bands To Determine Openers For JAMES LABRIE In St. Paul

SwordLord Productions has announced its Myspace page that a battle of the bands will take place to determine the openers for Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie when he plays Station 4 in St. Paul on Wednesday, December 8. No further information is available at this time. The SwordLord is asking that all interested bands contact him through his Facebook page for additional details.

Upcoming Concert Reviews - Cain, High On Fire, Steelheart

I went to the High On Fire/Torche/Kylesa show last night at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, so look for a full review with videos and photos later this week. Kylesa is extremely powerful on stage and put on a monstrous show. I wasn't expecting much from Torche, but their live show is quite impressive. As always, High On Fire was great, although guitarist Matt Pike suffered through a couple equipment problems. It was a fantastic show all the way around.
In the next day or two I'll also have posted reviews (with videos and photos) from the amazing reunion show by Cain, as well as thoughts on Steelheart at Pickle Park in Fridley. Look for all of this soon!

36 CRAZYFISTS Cancels Tour, Mounds View Date

Blabbermouth has reported this morning that Alaska's 36 Crazyfists has canceled the remaining dates on their North American headlining tour. This includes their show scheduled for Sunday, October 17 at Robert's in Mounds View, Minnesota with Straight Line Stitch, Taking Dawn, and Warvolution. As the band explains on their Twitter feed, financial losses incurred by the repeated breakdown of their van are the reason for the tour cancellation. This does affect other tours that the band has currently scheduled, or their October 30 date in Anchorage, Alaska. There's been no word yet if Straight Line Stitch and Taking Dawn will continue with the rest of the tour. The canceled dates are:
October 6 - Charleston, SC, The Oasis
October 7 - Fayetteville, NC, Rock Shop
October 8 - Springfield, VA, Jaxx
October 9 - Vineland, NJ, Hangar 84
October 10 - Philadelphia, PA, Polaris
October 12 - Providence, RI, Club Hell
October 13 - Pittsburgh, PA, Altar Bar
October 14 - Flint, MI, Machine Shop
October 15 - Crest Hill, IL, Bada Brew
October 16 - Waterloo, IA, Spicoli's Grill
October 17 - Mounds View, MN, Robert's
October 18 - Des Moines, IA, The House Of Bricks
October 19 - East St. Louis, IL, Pop's
October 21 - Omaha, NE, Sokol Underground
October 22 - Denver, CO, Marquis Theater
October 23 - Colorado Springs, CO, Black Sheep

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ANDREW W.K. Hosting The Most Interesting Show In The World Tour

Get set to party hard with Andrew W.K. as he hits the road hosting "The Most Interesting Show In The World" (MISW). MISW is an award-winning production described as an upscale, offbeat variety show. The first two MISW tours in 2008 and 2009 were hosted by the iconic Jim Rose and Angelo Moore, vocalist of Fishbone. This is the first time the tour has come to the Twin Cities, so expect a spectacle like none other. Among the acts performing will be Hungarian illusionist Elliott Zimmet, Persian burlesque star Cherie Lily, The Great Merlini, Bubble Man, and other extreme acts. Due to the nature of the performance, all attendees must be 21 or over. In the press release, Andrew W.K. describes the show as "an unparalleled combination of humor, danger and seduction. With a name like The Most Interesting Show In The World, you have to go all out on the talent, venue and production - and we've done that. We lined up dancers like you've never seen, performances that will amaze and engage the audience, and, of course, plenty of ice cold Dos Equis. It will, without a doubt, live up to its name."
It doesn't sound like Andrew W.K. will be performing with his band at these shows, but it should be interesting and fun when the tour hits The Cabooze in Minneapolis on Wednesday, November 3. On an interesting side note, it's often overlooked that Jimmy Coup, guitarist for Minneapolis cult metal band The Coup De Grace, was the original member of Andrew W.K.'s band.
October 5 - San Francisco, CA, Ruby Skye
October 7 - San Diego, CA, House Of Blues
October 8 - Los Angeles, CA, The Avalon/Bardot Hollywood
October 10 - Scottsdale, AZ, Venue Of Scottsdale
October 13 - Houston, TX, Warehouse Live
October 14 - Austin, TX, Austin Music Hall
October 15 - San Antonio, TX, Sunset Station Lonestar Pavilion
October 16 - Dallas, TX, Granada Theater
October 20 - Fort Lauderdale, FL, TBA
October 21 - St. Petersburg, FL, TBA
October 22 - Atlanta, GA, Center Stage
October 23 - Charlotte, NC, Amos' SouthEnd
October 27 - Baltimore, MD, TBA
October 28 - New York, NY, TBA
October 29 - Philadelphia, PA, TBA
November 2 - Chicago, IL, TBA
November 3 - Minneapolis, MN, The Cabooze