Reviews

NEWSTED CRUSHED THE HIGHLINE BALLROOM!

NEWSTED CRUSHED THE HIGHLINE BALLROOM!

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Jason Newsted returned to New York City last night to a packed Highline Ballroom! The excitement to finally see his new project, NEWSTED, was all around the room, and once the lights went out for their set, it was on! As Mike, Jessie and Jesus took the stage, the chants for Jason began and the heavy metal legend ran on stage with the energy we all remember from his past and they quickly broke into their first songs of their set!

As for the set list, obviously the entire “Metal” EP was played, along with several new tracks from their upcoming album due in the summer! If these tracks are a sign of what to expect from the new release, get fucking ready! They sounded HUGE! Jason did not disappoint with the cover songs either! Even though he was rudely interrupted by some jackass knocking him off the stage, he did perform Metallica‘s “Whiplash“, which set the crowd off in a frenzy! Not only that, but he teased the “My Friend Of Misery” bass line we all love and ended the night with two Motorhead covers! It was an insane set!

Throughout the whole show, one thing was evident to everyone in the room; the passion and energy we all remember from Jason Newsted is still there. He is still playing every show like his last, and it’s just awesome to watch. Now that it’s his name on the bill, he is obviously loving the freedom and truly believes every word he’s singing to the fans. Being a huge supporter of Jason throughout the years, it was a special thing to watch him last night! The crowd interaction, the stomping on stage, the sweat dripping everywhere and the screams echoing off the walls, Jason never disappoints! He has always been one of the most exciting musicians to watch live, and with this band behind him, they looks unstoppable! DO NOT miss them on Gigantour this summer! You WON’T be disappointed! They killed it!

Watch the full NEWSTED set from last month in Sacramento below! Metal lives!

THE DEATH TO ALL TOUR MADE CHUCK PROUD IN NEW YORK CITY!

THE DEATH TO ALL TOUR MADE CHUCK PROUD IN NEW YORK CITY!

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Let me preface this review by saying that at the time of Chuck Schuldiner’s untimely death in 2001, I was not as big of a Death fan as I should have been. Yes, I was a metal head, but at that time I had not fully grasped the amazing talents and power that death metal truly offered, but I would quickly learn that fact in the next few years. Unfortunately, I was never able to see Chuck live to fully appreciate his immense talent, but the records he was a part of speak for themselves. Let’s be honest, you don’t get named the “Father of death metal” for no fucking reason. So when the first Death To All tour was announced, my excitement went through the roof! To finally hear the songs live was a dream of mine, but I lived in Atlanta, and the show was postponed. Now that I live in New York, my dream finally came true last night!

As the band’s legendary logo came over the screen and the lights went out, the fans just erupted in chants of “Death!” As Max Phelps, Paul Masvidal, Steve DiGiorgio, and Sean Reinert walked onto the stage, everyone knew that we were in for something special. The guys kicked it off with “Flattening of Emotions“, “Leprosy” and “Suicide Machine.” At this point the pit was more violent than ever, yet the energy continued to rise as “Left to Die” hit the speakers! How could this get any better?! Oh yea, you follow it up with “Spiritual Healing / Within the Mind”, “Together as One”, “Baptized in Blood”, “Secret Face” and “Cosmic Sea!” Was this seriously happening?! I couldn’t believe it. It was all I could do to just try and take a picture to remember this forever!

The next few moments sent amazing goosebumps down everyone’s spines as a beautifully done video tribute to Chuck was shown to the crowd. From childhood pictures to photos of him being the metal God we remember, this was a fitting tribute for everyone there. As the last picture came across the screen we all erupted in a chant of Chuck’s name and that’s a moment that will never be erased from my memory. A true talent gone too early, yet to see his legacy touch so many people’s lives, of all ages, was something very powerful to witness.

The screen rose again and the band quickly broke into the classic, “Zombie Ritual“, which once again electrified the crowd into an insane pit. The whole floor erupted and sang every word, and even the guys in the band were taken back by the response! The smiles on their faces were unforgettable! Almost as unforgettable as the last three songs! The band masterfully played “Living Monstrosity“, “Lack of Comprehension“, and ended the night with “Pull the Plug.” I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

So when it’s all said and done, the Death To All tour was just an unforgettable experience. For those of us who could never see Chuck live, we could finally hear the classics live. For those that did see him live, you got to relive the genius that he was all over again. Everyone in the band performed an exceptional set, full of energy, and full of love for the fans in attendance. It was evident at the end of the night that, no matter if you were on that stage or in the pit, this was a celebration for Chuck. It was truly a blessing to experience this show, and I’m sure that somewhere Chuck is smiling, because I gaurantee that no one that saw that show tonight hasn’t stopped smiling since! RIP CHUCK!

VOLBEAT RULES THE BEST BUY THEATER IN NEW YORK CITY!

VOLBEAT RULES THE BEST BUY THEATER IN NEW YORK CITY!

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Earlier this week Volbeat returned to New York City to a sold out crowd at the Best Buy Theater! Fans were packed in tight and everyone who is everyone in the industry seemed to be there to witness the show. This also happened to be the release date of “Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies,” so it was a special day all around! After great opening sets from Spoken and Danko Jones, the mighty Volbeat took the stage, and from then on it was a party!

This was my fifth time seeing Volbeat live, and obviously the first since Rob Caggiano joined the band, and their energy was out of this world! Just like every time before, their performance of each track was ridiculously tight and the new set list was amazing as well! One thing that really stuck out was Rob‘s performance on stage! He brings a whole new energy and vibe to the group, but fits in perfectly with them! He looked like he was having the time of his life on stage, and why not, Volbeat is all about having a good time!

As the band played through new and old hits, the reaction from the crowd was HUGE! From the random outbreak of mosh pits to everyone singing the words at the top of their lungs, this was truly an incredible night for everyone there! They were unstoppable! Of course the guys threw in their Slayer cover to please the metal fans, and Johnny Cash for the country fans, and although you know it’s coming every time, it’s still fun as hell to watch! As they closed the set with “Pool of booze booze booza”, the crowd definitely wanted more, but it unfortunately had to end sometime! As they said their goodbyes to a huge ovation from the audience, you could really tell this band appreciates all of their fans.  It’s a great thing to see from a band doing something very different and genuine in the music scene. As we left the venue and talked to other fans outside, we all agreed that on this night Volbeat truly ruled New York City and we were lucky to witness it!

Set List: “Hallelujah Goat”, “A New Day”, “Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood”, “Heaven nor Hell”, “Sad Man’s Tongue”, “Lola Montez”, “The Human Instrument”, “16 Dollars”, “The Hangman’s Body Count”, “A Warrior’s Call”, “Mary Ann’s Place”, “Angelfuck”, “Another Day, Another Way”, “Still Counting”, “The Mirror and the Ripper”, “Fallen”, “My Body” and “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza”

Here’s some great fan footage from their Baltimore show! Booza!

GOJIRA: LIVE REVIEW FROM NEW YORK CITY!

GOJIRA: LIVE REVIEW FROM NEW YORK CITY!

Gojira, The Devin Townsend Project, and The Atlas Moth closed out their U.S. tour last night in New York City, and while all of the performances were amazing, the night belonged to the headliners. As a makeup show for the snowstorm, the fans returned with high energy and anticipation for the French metal Gods. I was lucky enough to grab a spot in the third row, and as the lights went out and the intro music started, I lost my mind. Once they stepped on the stage we all screamed at an insane volume and the band kicked off what was going to be a legendary performance in New York City.

Once “Explosia” hit the speakers, the pit immediately opened up, and the band fed off that energy and performed with an intensity that I’ve never seen before! This definitely set the tone for the rest of the night, and what a mighty opener it was. Not letting up, “Flying Whales” was next, and once the massive breakdown happened near the end, the band ran around the stage like maniacs, flinging their guitars around like we’ve all seen before, but it’s part of their performance that will never get old for any fan, including myself. It’s so fucking powerful. As “Backbone,” “The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe” followed up, the sweat began to drip from everyone’s faces, the energy was still at an all time high, but we were all ready for more.

As they went into the title track of the new album, it gave us a little break from the insanity and brought out the emotionally powerful lyrics from Joe like I’ve never witnessed before. This is why this band is so amazing. They can pummel you with riffs, then rip your soul apart with lyrics. They are truly in a league of their own.

Wisdom Comes” was next and definitely one of the crowd favorites as they went completely insane once the main riff kicked in. The band followed suit, and continued their performance as if it was the first show of the tour. Their energy still blows my mind, even after seeing them numerous times over the past five years. They do not let up at all!

Oroborus” took over the set next, and at this point, the intensity of the night seemed to hit everyone around me. From crowd surfing to the front for some air, to people getting dizzy and leaving, but as for me, I was ready for more! This is Gojira for fuck’s sake. It’s an honor to see them live every time!

After Mario performed yet another amazing drum solo (because he’s a God amongst men), the band closed out with “The Axe” and the always brutal “Vacuity.” Once they thanked the crowd and the lights went dark, the fans began to chant for more and more, and when Joe walked onto the stage, we all knew what was next. Now as many of my friends know, “The Gift Of Guilt,” has taken over my life since the first time I heard it. It’s my favorite Gojira song ever, and a track that truly hits home with me on every note, and now I got to see it live! From the intro, to the breakdown, to the overly emotional chorus, it was everything I expected and more! What an ending to the set!

I’ve seen Gojira many times over the past five years in Atlanta, from their support shows, to their headlining sets and opening for Metallica, but I’ve never seen them like I saw last night. This band puts a new meaning to a live show. From their energy to the expert skill on the instruments, there is no other band like them. This band truly gives it all in their music and on stage, and it’s something we should all be grateful to watch. As I sit here with no voice and emotionally drained from last night’s set, I only have one thing to left to say…Gojira is the greatest live band on the planet.

MESHUGGAH LIVE SHOW REVIEW FROM NEW YORK CITY!

MESHUGGAH LIVE SHOW REVIEW FROM NEW YORK CITY!

meshuggahThe mighty Meshuggah brought “The Ophidian Trek 2013” to Roseland Ballroom in New York City this past Friday night and absolutely destroyed the place. The main question walking in the venue was if front man, Jens Kidman, would perform or not due to his recent illness, but once the lights went out and he marched on the stage, it was on. This was no cardboard cutout, this was the real deal and we were lucky enough to witness his return.

As their intense light show began and the music kicked off, the crowd completely lost it. From the pits to the crowd surfers, to the bodies screaming from the balcony, it was all out chaos, and exactly what a Meshuggah concert should be.

The Swedish giants opened up with “Swarm,” and right away the light show began to take over Roseland like I’ve never seen it. The brief moments where you saw the band were intense as ever, and the lights only added to the magnitude of the sound that night. How did Jens sound? Incredible. Of course there were a few moments where his voice gave out, but he’s been sick as shit, so it didn’t ruin anything. For what he’s been through, he absolutely killed it in my opinion.

As “Do Not Look Down,” “Behind The Sun,” and “The Hurt That Finds You First” dominated the venue, I grabbed a perfect spot to the side of the stage where I could see the legends up close and personal. By the time “I Am Colossus” hit, I was in pure awe. The power that this band projects live is unlike any other band out there. They are so ridiculously tight as musicians and perform their insanity with a precision that is just not human. This is exactly why many consider them one of the most important bands in metal.

The next tracks were “Mindís Mirrors,” “In Death – Is Life,” and “In Dead – Is Death.” After those monster songs were complete, we got a little breather for a second and then “Shed” was damaging our ear drums. The pit went absolutely apeshit during this song and you could tell the band was even surprised by that massive reaction. Everyone had been pummeled by this band for almost an hour, and all of a sudden the energy was back at a maximum level. Unreal.

Then it was time for the monster song that is “Bleed.” Not only is this one of my favorite tracks they’ve ever written, but it’s one I always look forward to hearing live. Lucky for me, I was close enough to see every finger move, every symbol hit, every vein in Jens neck and it was just awesome. This song has a power of its own, and from the band to the fans on Friday night, it was an unbelievable moment once again.

The night closed with “Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion,” “New Millennium Cyanide Christ” with Sacha from Intronaut on vocals and the massive instrumental performance of “Dancers To A Discordant System.” As they said their goodbyes, it was evident that we had just witnessed a masterful set by an unforgettable band. Meshuggah are untouchable in my book, and proved why with this performance. From the light show, to Jens‘ return, to the powerful songs chosen for the set, this was Meshuggah at their finest and I was honored to be there for it!

TESTAMENT & OVERKILL, DARK ROOTS OF THRASH TOUR SHOW REVIEW!

TESTAMENT & OVERKILL, DARK ROOTS OF THRASH TOUR SHOW REVIEW!

The “Dark Roots of Thrash” tour came to New York City last night and destroyed the packed house at the Best Buy Theater! The lineup included 4AM, Flotsam & Jetsam, Overkill and Testament, so there was a huge buzz in the air before the show! As the lights went out and the bands hit the stage, the pits erupted and the horns flew high in the air all night long! Unfortunately due to my work schedule, I missed the two opening bands, but thankfully got there right as the lights turned out for the great Overkill!

Overkill is legendary for the high energy live set, and they did not let anyone down in New York City. As Blitz hit the stage, the crowd saluted with horns and “Come And Get It” began to ring in our ears. As the show went on and we heard the hits like “Rotten To The Core,” “Wrecking Crew,” and more, it was evident that the Overkill fans were in full force in the crowd. From the insane pit to the lyrics being chanted at high volumes, it felt like a true Overkill show and I loved every moment. They closed with The Subhumans, “Fuck You,” which was the perfect closer for their set. Throughout the years they have stuck to their style and never changed for anything, and that is why they are considered legends today! What a set!

As the lights shut down for Testament, I grabbed my spot to the side of the stage and prepared myself for what was about to happen. I’ve seen Testament more times than I can count, but last night felt different. Maybe it was the first time seeing them in New York, maybe it was the poweRful crowd chanting their name, whatever it was, I knew something awesome was about to go down. As the thrash legends hit the stage with “Rise Up,” the whole venue turned into chaos! The band sounded absolutely huge and Chuck‘s voice sounded better than I’ve ever heard it! As they thrashed through the set list, I couldn’t help but watch Alex Skolnick for most of the set. There isn’t anyone that has more fun on stage than that guy. During every solo, every riff, he has that huge grin on the face, and it’s something all of us metal fans appreciate. He is a true performer every time!

The set consisted of a lot of new songs, which were all sick, but the real mayhem in the pit happened when they broke out “Into The Pit,” “Practice What You Preach,” “Trial By Fire,” and “D.N.R”. It’s amazing to think that these songs still have that power after all these years, but they are still better than half of the stuff that comes out today. Put this set with the amazing performance from the band, and you got one hell of a show! Testament can do no wrong!

As the final song ended and the night was over, I looked around and everyone had a huge smile on their face. Whether they were dripping sweat, blood or tears, this was truly a magical night for metal in New York City. True thrash legends graced the stage and reminded us of what real metal shows are about! The music, the fans, and the camaraderie between the two! This was truly a show I’ll never forget!