Iron Maiden – Tampa 6/11 and Tinley Park 6/15

Last year I had the opportunity and good fortune to be able to see Iron Maiden shows in both Florida and Illinois and when the new US leg of their tour was announced I jumped on the chance to do so again this year.  These would be my fourth and fifth Iron Maiden shows and even though knowing ahead of time the set list would be the same at shows only four days apart that in itself was in no way a deterrent to see this legendary metal band so soon a half a country away. Continue reading “Iron Maiden – Tampa 6/11 and Tinley Park 6/15”

Metallica Live – July 5th (Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL)

Metallica lit the Orlando sky afire with their mammoth stage production when they brought their “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” tour to Camping World Stadium on July 5th.  Four massive screens, seemingly a hundred foot tall, was the backdrop of a simple stage layout where the four metal horseman absolutely electrified a crowd of forty thousand plus with over two hours of pure in your face metal brilliance.  Continue reading “Metallica Live – July 5th (Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL)”

Three months into ‘Hardwired… to Self-Destruct’…

As a longtime fan of Metallica, literally I was hooked the first time I heard them the day ‘Master of Puppets’ was released back in 1986, I held so much hope of the potential for the rest of ‘Hardwired… to Self-Destruct’ to kick-ass and rank up as one of their best releases after Metallica strategically unveiled three singles leading up to its release date. I was up in Minneapolis just two days away from seeing them live this summer when I got a listen to their first single ‘Hardwired’. I immediately felt I (and many other longtime diehard fans) finally had the old raw and hungry sounding Metallica thrash sound back, like I was listening to a bonus hidden track that had been discovered after all these years on ‘Kill em All’. I mostly enjoyed ‘Moth into Flame’ as a solid new jamming song and thought ‘Atlas, Rise!’ was just absolutely their best song in years, if not decades, which I had almost overplayed it to the point I was thankful the band released videos for all of the news songs in the days leading up to the actual release. The section starting about 3:12 into ‘Atlas, Rise!’ leading up to Kirk’s solo is that exact raw, crunchy, heavy old school Metallica sound that I have been so hungry for in their new music. All I could think was these first three singles are really freaking good, please let the rest of it kick ass too! Continue reading “Three months into ‘Hardwired… to Self-Destruct’…”

Slayer / Anthrax / Death Angel (9/27, Orlando, FL)

 

As a long time Slayer fan I can tell you that purchasing a ticket upgrade and attending their sound check was about the second coolest thing I have ever experienced in my concert going history behind going on the Motörhead Motörboat cruise last year. I had some reservations after spending what I did for the upgrade as leading up to the show I saw videos from other stops on the tour where those that also upgraded their ticket posted video and it was not the entire band that was out for the sound check, instead a couple times the guitar tech for Kerry King was the one playing. Continue reading “Slayer / Anthrax / Death Angel (9/27, Orlando, FL)”

Metallica (Aug. 20, 2016, Minneapolis, MN)

To say that I had waited a long time in between Metallica concerts is an understatement. I, along with the majority or North America, have patiently waited as we fans have not had a proper tour by the metal icons in almost seven years. When the show in Minneapolis was announced back in March it was just a goof when I thought about trying to get in on the fan club pre-sale. So when the allotted time came and I scored some good lower level tickets, it was both instinct and impulse that trigged my finger to click on the ‘Buy” button. The first thing I did after the purchase was calculate out exactly how many days that the count would end in between Metallica shows for me – 2513. Two days after the fan club pre-sale once tickets went on general sale 50,000 tickets sold out in under ten minutes. Continue reading “Metallica (Aug. 20, 2016, Minneapolis, MN)”

“Weird Al” Yankovic (June 3rd, 2016)

 

The best way that I can describe seeing Weird Al live is that he puts on a show, not a concert. Weird Al has the ability to parody songs and engulf me into his performance that in any other instance I would not care to listen to the original. I can only describe his show as a comical musical journey filled with multiple hilarious costume changes and a very tight backing band that joins Weird Al with his non-stop energy on stage. This was my third time seeing him and each time I have been thoroughly entertained.

Being the metalhead that I am, I am not ashamed to admit just how much I have enjoyed his music over the years and going a step further that I actually prefer some of Weird Al’s versions to the originals, especially ‘Smells Like Nirvana’, the parody of Nirvana’s original ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.  I captured Weird Al in his Curt Cobain outfit during that song and with the lighting behind him he has an almost heavenly glow around him.

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His parodies of hit songs are beyond catchy and even now, weeks after the show I find myself listening daily to his ‘White and Nerdy’ version of “Chamillionaire – Ridin’ (Dirty)”. He performs most of his songs in their entirety but in an effort to fit in as many as possible from his vast discography Weird Al throws in a couple of medleys which he and his band have perfected over the years. He has so many awesome parody songs and his own original music that is the only way he can even try to fit in every fan’s favorite that they came to hear. For most songs the audience knew his parodies word for word and were singing along which adds to the overall experience.

In between songs (the costume changes), video displays show funny mock interviews from “Al TV” in montages that flow right into the next song and hilarious busts of laughter erupt from the audience as Weird Al and the band appear in the next costume arrangement. His parodies cover just about every big hit on the music charts since the early 80s and his music is not only fun but educational as he tutors while singing about proper word usage in the song ‘Word Crimes’, a parody of ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke. The costume changes are one of my favorite parts as it really sets the tone for the song and the videos playing alongside the stage, and Weird Al is very adept transforming into each character along the way.

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It was an audience of all ages as Weird Al’s music is clean and family friendly. He and the band engage the audience throughout the entire show with their antics, costumes, facial expressions, musical and vocal abilities, and Weird Al takes a couple of roaming trips through the crowd to engage unsuspecting audience members.

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Weird Al is also famous for closing out his shows dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi accompanied by Darth Vader and a group of Stormtroopers on stage who dance as he sings ‘The Saga Begins’ to the tune of ‘American Pie’ by Don McLean we hear the story of “…this here Anakin guy”.

Mahaffey Theater

I highly recommend seeing Weird Al as it is such an entertaining evening to a point that if it was your first time you almost regret not having seen him before it is that much fun. I never stopped smiling the entire show and even with a solid two hour set list I wish he had time for more. I have seen literally a ton of bands live over the years at many different concerts and I would most certainly rank Weird Al as one of my all-time favorite live performers. \m/

 

Set list:
Fun Zone
Tacky
Lame Claim to Fame
Now That’s What I Call Polka!
Radio Radio (Elvis Costello cover)
Perform This Way
Dare to Be Stupid
Fat
First World Problems
Foil
Smells Like Nirvana
Party in the CIA / It’s All About the Pentiums / Handy / Bedrock Anthem / Another One Rides the Bus / Ode to a Superhero / Gump / Inactive / eBay / Canadian Idiot
Wanna B Ur Lovr
Eat It / I Lost on Jeopardy / I Love Rocky Road / Like a Surgeon
White and Nerdy
Word Crimes
Amish Paradise

Encore:
We All Have Cell Phones
The Saga Begins
Yoda / Yoda Chant

“Weird Al” Yankovic/ June 3, 2016 at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, FL / Website / Twitter / Facebook

 

Volbeat “Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie”

Volbeat was a band I discovered back in 2009 when someone posted one of their videos in a metal forum that I read. After reading they were described as a mix of Elvis, Johnny Cash and Metallica, I had to give them a listen and wow was I blown away by how kick ass this band was. I really liked their unique sound and crunching guitar riffs and digging further into their discography they had at the time I was hooked on them and their sound right away. Continue reading “Volbeat “Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie””

A Night with The Scorpions (5/7/2016, Atlanta, GA)

From my first steps into Chastain Park Amphitheatre I knew right away this was by far the coolest venue I have ever been to for a concert. The amphitheater was located within Chastain Park which is the largest city park in Atlanta. The band shell was set at the bottom of a sloped hill and the outdoor bleacher style seating extended upwards to where the whole venue is nicely tucked into its own little bowl and the sound would perfectly reverberate off of the curved slope. Tables were set up in the pit and lower part of the orchestra section as this venue allows guests to bring in their own food and beverage and many of the locals we saw had elaborate setups with prepared trays of food, tablecloths, candles and coolers full of whatever they wished. Continue reading “A Night with The Scorpions (5/7/2016, Atlanta, GA)”

Fort Rock / April 30, 2016 (Fort Myers, FL)

I was rather elated when the Fort Rock lineup was released for the fact that the majority of the bands I wanted to see were all playing on the same day given that this year’s event had been expanded to a two day festival. Tickets were soon acquired, travel and timing plans were made after the set times were released as this event was a little over two hours away from where I lived. The schedule was set so that there would not be more than a ten minute wait between bands and the five bands I wanted to see were playing one after another. In an all-day event like this each band is usually only allotted just under an hour to play, which I am fine with because then there is usually no filler of chat in between songs or drum and/or guitar solos, just five hours of straight up face melting metal from a few of my favorite bands. All of the bands on my radar had recently released new CDs, so given their shortened set times I knew we were in for a mix of a couple of new tunes as well as the fan favorites from each band. Continue reading “Fort Rock / April 30, 2016 (Fort Myers, FL)”

Iron Maiden – 2/24 (Sunrise, FL), 4/6 (Chicago, IL)

Back in early October of last year, having just spent the most metal week of my life aboard Motörhead’s Motörboat, catching up on the metal news that had transpired while we were away was the discovery that Iron Maiden had announced a tour, which was to open only a few hours from where I lived. All focus and discussion about the cruise was temporarily suspended while my cruise mates and I digested the news and planned for acquiring tickets to this metal event. Continue reading “Iron Maiden – 2/24 (Sunrise, FL), 4/6 (Chicago, IL)”