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Archive for the ‘Judas Priest’ Category

[ATTENDED: September 6, 2018] Deep Purple

My friend Al told me he was going to this double bill of Deep Purple and Judas Priest.  He and I went to my first ever concert back in 1985–Deep Purple at the Meadowlands.  It seemed like a fun idea to see Deep Purple again 33 years later.

Turned out he had a work thing and couldn’t go.  So that sucked.  But I scored great seats for $28 so that’s cool.

I was surprised that Deep Purple was going on after Judas Priest–I was sure that Judas Priest would be a bigger draw.  I wasn’t all that excited to see Deep Purple, but I was certainly curious.

And that’s when I realized that Ian Paice is the only person who has been with Deep Purple in all of their hundreds of lineups.  But, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were from the first major lineup (the Mk II version of the band).  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 6, 2018] Judas Priest

My friend Al told me he was going to this double bill of Deep Purple and Judas Priest.  I had just seen Judas Priest back in March and didn’t really feel like I needed to see them again (there was one song I ‘d wanted to hear which they didn’t play, but otherwise the set was great).

Then my friend Armando clarified something I’d often wondered about PNC.  He said that if you bought lawn tickets to a PNC show, you could get an upgrade to a really good seat for $20.  It didn’t happen for all shows, but any show that hadn’t sold out was fair game.  This seemed like a great opportunity to test this theory.   Then I received an email from Live Nation the next day that gave me $20 off my next concert.  Well, the lawn seats to this show were $20.  So I had to pay the stupid fees.  But that meant I bought my lawn ticket for $8.  A couple days before the show I was able to upgrade my ticket to row K (as in 11 rows from the stage) for $20.  So great seats for $28!

I realized that since both K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton were no longer in the band and since the drummer was a revolving door for most of the band’s history, the only two “original” members were Halford and bassist Ian Hill (and technically Halford isn’t original, but he is the real thing).

Like last time, there was a large red curtain at the front of the stage. This time, I was able to catch footage of it as it was pulled away. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 6, 2018] The Temperance Movement

I love that this band named themselves The Temperance Movement.

I looked them up before the show and got the gyst of their music: a British blues rock band formed in 2011.

It seemed like they might sound a lot like the band that opened for Judas Priest the last time I saw them.  I wasn’t all that interested in them because I assumed it would be very loud and sound very bad (the opening bands are never hooked up to the sound system correctly and they always sound ear-piercing).  Plus they were going on at 7PM, so I just assumed I’d never make it there in time to see them.

Well traffic was light and it turned out they started playing more or less as I arrived at the arena. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 20, 2018] Judas Priest

Judas Priest was one of my favorite bands when I was a kid.  I remember being very excited when Screaming for Vengeance came out.  I even liked Turbo (“Turbo Lover” may be a terrible song but it is sure catchy).  But then by 1988 I had stopped listening to them, thinking that they’d gone all synth.  I moved on from JP to more heavy music, but I returned to JP’s earlier more progressive-sounding rock quite a lot.  Which means I missed the outstanding “Painkiller” and the whole “Ripper” Owens period.

I even saw Rob Halford live with his band Halford in 200o (opening for Queensryche and Iron Maiden).  I decided I wanted to see this essential childhood band especially since they had a new album out that had gotten decent buzz.  I knew it wasn’t all the original members.  Bassist Ian Hill was still there with Halford.

The drummer Dave Holland was replaced by current drummed Scott Travis in 1989, so he’s a veteran of the band.

Original guitar maniac K.K. Downing left in 2011 and his replacement Richie Faulkner has been accepted into the Priest fold.

And then there was Glenn Tipton, the other original member and part of the twin guitar attack.

So 3/5 original members is pretty good for a band that started in the mid 1970s.  Then Tipton revealed that he had Parkinson’s and would not be touring with the band.  Ouch.  I wondered if it was still worth gong, and I was soundly criticized for doubting the Beast which is Priest.  He was replaced by their engineer Andy Sneap. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 20, 2018] Saxon

Back in high school, I loved Saxon.  I may have loved them more for their logo than their music (that battle-axe S is still awesome). But I know I listened to their records enough that their songs were often familiar (and cool).

“Denim and Leather” was my introduction and favorite song, although hearing it now, it’s not as good as many of their other classics.

I bought their first eight albums on vinyl. And then I kind of forgot about them. Or at least assumed they had broken up or something.

But, unlike most bands that started in the 70s, Saxon appears to have never stopped.

Indeed, since that last album I bought in 1988, they have put out fourteen (!) more (not including ten live albums and countless compilations). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 20, 2018] Black Star Riders

I had not heard of Black Star riders before this show.  My friend Nick told me that they were involved with Thin Lizzy in some capacity.  I really like Thin Lizzy, so I was intrigued by that aspect.  Although I didn’t quite understand  the connection, I assumed it was the original members plus a new singer.  I have just looked at the timeline of Thin Lizzy members and trying to figure out what an original member would be is a futile gesture.

Scott Gorham who is in Black Star Riders joined Thin Lizzy in 1974 (after the band had released three albums) and has been with them ever since.  Thin Lizzy broke up in 1983 (Phil Lynott, singer, bass player and primary songwriter died in 1986–I always assumed they broke up because he died).  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 5, 2016] Mastodon

2016-05-05 22.37.54I first heard Mastodon with their Moby Dick-inspired concept album Leviathan.  Since then, their albums have gotten bigger and better, with many more elements (they now have four singers in the band, and a great mix of really catchy stuff along with really heavy, kinda scary stuff).  Their latest album, 2013’s Once More Round the Sun has been a favorite of mine for the past three years.

I was supposed to see them at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville in November of 2014.  I even had my ticket purchased.  But through a terrible goof on my part, I couldn’t go.  I’ve been wanting to see them ever since.  They opened for Judas Priest in 2015, but I wanted to see them as a headliner.

They are planning a European Tour this summer, but for some reason, they decided to play one gig in the States, and they chose Philly.  I was pretty psyched to get my ticket!  I was even more psyched to learn that they played more or less the same set as they did at Starland Ballroom.  Honestly, I don’t really like when a band doesn’t mix up their setlists all that much. But in this case, it was fantastic.  I didn’t look at the songs before the shows, but I did check to see that most of the songs were from Once More, which was perfect. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 2, 2015] Helvetia

2015-10-02 21.51.07After Clarke finished his set, he removed his tambourine from the hi hat and took his guitar.  And then Helvetia came out and used the same tiny drum set.  It turns out that there is all kinds of connectivity between Clarke, Helvetia and Built to Spill.  Clarke’s record was released by Brett Netson’s label.  Brett Netson is the second guitarist for Built to Spill.  And, as it turns out, the bassist and third guitarist for Built to Spill (Jason Albertini and Jim Roth) are the two guitarists for Helvetia.

I had never heard of Helvetia.  So imagine my surprise that they released their 8th (!) album that night.

As the band was setting up, Zeke Howard, the drummer, projected a cool swirling pattern on his drum head.  Which I can assume only we in the front could see since his kit was so small (see the swirl here).  About mid way through the set, the projector had moved a bit and I think a helpful fan straightened it out for him. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: EARTH-All Tomorrows Parties, October 5, 2011 (2011).

Anyone who likes Black Sabbath a lot knows that they were originally called Earth.  About mid way through this concert, the lead singer/guitarist of Earth says that he grew up listening to Black Sabbath and reading HP Lovecraft, so Earth is clearly something of a tribute.   Incidentally, he grew up in Manalapan, NJ which is just down the road from us.

All of these bona fides means that I should love Earth.  But I have to say that although I didn’t dislike this show at all, it’s really not my thing.  Earth creates long droney songs.  I tried to measure a couple of BPM of songs and came out with 60 for one song and 42 for another (by contrast Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law” is 180 BPM).

The songs are all instrumental and range from 8 to 12 minutes.  Again, nothing objectionable about that.  Indeed most of the songs are cinematic and cool sounding.  My problem with them is that there wasn’t a lot of dynamism in the songs.  The bass wasn’t crazy heavy or loud or chest rattling (as I had been led to believe Earth’s bass was).  The melodies were pretty, but it came across as soundtrack music–for a very very slow zombie chase, perhaps.

According to some basic history, Earth used to be a heavier, noisier band, but have morphed away from that, and I suspect I would have liked their earlier stuff a bit more (although the one older that they played, “Ouroboros is Broken” wasn’t that much different from the rest.

NPR broadcast most of the All Tomorrow’s Parties concerts, and I enjoyed listening to them all.  But Earth is just not my thing.  You can check it out here.

[READ: October 20, 2012] “A Farewell to Yarns”

I mentioned the other day that I read one complete piece in the three Outside magazines since I subscribed.  It was this one.  The thing that I have enjoyed about the Outside articles that I have cherry picked is that unexpected writers pop up to write an essay.  So here’s Ian Frazier, comedian and essayist, writing for Outside.  Weird.  (Or maybe not so weird, he’s an Editor).

And, unlike many of the other things I’ve read in Outside, Frazier is not, repeat not going to do anything brave or daring or stupid, he’s just going to muse about a topic.  I like it.

Basically, this whole piece is a compliant about how with everything documented and digitalized it’s impossible to tell fibs about the one that got away or as he calls it, “an outdoorsman’s sacred right to exaggerate.”  What I like is that he takes us all the way back to ye olde mapmakers who wrote Here be Monsters which leads to this wonderful idea that I have never considered “the pictures of the monsters must have been accurate; how would the mapmakers have known what to draw unless eyewitnesses had told them?”

And he moves on through those who spied the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot.  He even talks about one I had ever heard of, a hidden city in Siberia called Gorod Koka-Kola, built during the cold war as a reproduction of an American city, they speak English and live and behave like Americans–perfect for spymasters to practice   Genius–and how would anyone ever know if it existed in remotest Siberia?

But Fraizer’s greater point is that “Lies make the wild scary and alluring.”  He grew up in Rural Illinois afraid of the Argyle Monster who haunted Argyle State Park–and, boy, how many adventures he had or dreamed of having back then. (more…)

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Sarah suggested that I update my most hated and most favorite Christmas songs list as it has been THREE YEARS (!) since I last posted it.  I haven’t changes the list at all, but I have updated the comments (with one retraction!).

In my original post, Sarah chimed in with her two cents.  And I’m going to leave her original comments.  If she has changed her mind (she told me yesterday that she liked a song that she never liked before, she’ll have to do the updating herself).

Here’s my two new additions for this year.  Oh and by the way, in the original post, I mentioned a couple of songs that I didn’t include in my list because we don’t own copies of them.  And while that is fair, I feel compelled to mention them this year.  (more…)

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