ICED EARTH, ANVIL, JAG
PANZER, THE QUIET ROOM I-Rock, Detroit 2-20-99
If it were to be totaled there was probably a century's
worth of musical experience spread across the I-Rock stage this evening. Unfortunately,
only about a hundred or so metal heads actually made it in to see the gig due mostly
to the complete lack of any advance promotion from the club owners. Equally as unfortunate
is the fact that there are not a lot of clubs in the Detroit area that would stage a metal
show like this in the first place so, for now, metro Detroit metal mavens must keep a keen
ear out for shows of this nature. Still, a hundred people did get a show full of the best
that the underground has yet produced.
THE QUIET ROOM is a progressive metal unit who has recently
released their debut disc, "INTROSPECT" on Metal Blade Records. The disc, as was
their show, is filled with all the trappings of Dream Theater styled progressive metal but
with a distinctively harder edge. They had but twenty-five minutes of stage time due to
the sheer bulk of the bill but did manage to impress all who attended with numbers like
"Grudge" and "A Different Scene." Mike Rice, the group's drummer, is a
phenomenal talent and certainly made his presence felt with his astoundingly "in the
JAG PANZER was, and remains, the true reason for my
attendance this night. I love what the rest of the bands are doing but JAG PANZER is the
single most exciting band to have caught my attention in recent years. They have a
history dating back to the early eighties, coinciding with the New Wave of British Heavy
Metal (the standard by which most metal is now measured) yet it has been their two most
recent records, "THE FOURTH JUDGEMENT" and "THE AGE OF MASTERY" that
have cemented their position in the metal pantheon. Aggressive and technical music
performed with a sense of spirit that is inescapably infectious.
From the instant that Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin
led his PANZER division to the stage it was obvious that this was a "true" metal
band. No rapping or homeboy posing, just leather and studs music to bang your head to for
the next hour.
Just as they
should have, JAG PANZER presented some of their most recent material first. "Iron
Eagle" and the incomparable, "Black" greased the wheels while
"Twilight Years" stoked the engine up to full speed. Occasionally I had to
remind myself that we have just entered the final throws of the nineties but it felt like
1982 in here. One could nearly see an early IRON MAIDEN on stage, just before their full
metal explosion. Conklin is also a dead ringer for Paul Dianno. No need for nostalgia when
you have the real thing right here in front of you so, back to the future.
JAG PANZER continued on through songs new and old,
"Shadow Thief," "Viper" and a selection from the bands embryonic stage
(can't recall the name just now, sorry) were
followed by set closer "The Moors." The latter number coming from the current
"AGE OF MASTERY" record, do get this one if you consider yourself any kind of
metal fan. ANVIL brought their title of "Wildest band in Canada" with them on
this short tour of the States. These guys were one of those bands that, amazingly, never
quite happened when they made their first run at it in
the eighties. They did manage a bit more acceptance in Europe where, I was told, that they
still have a very faithful and expanding following. After watching these veterans
bash it out for nearly an hour it is very easy to see why bands like METALLICA, PANTERA
and MONSTER MAGNET have all cited ANVIL as an influence. I would have liked to have heard
"Mad Dog" but with all the other golden nuggets cast from the stage who could
ICED EARTH put on their usual classic metal inspired set
complete with all of the audience request regulars intermeshed with their own personal
favorites. The group managed to completely reinvent the BLACK SABBATH classic,
"Electric Funeral" which is not an easy task to conceive let alone attempt. The
result was a respectable approximation of the original yet every ounce an ICED EARTH song.
These fellows have been through town so often that their set is fairly well known so I
won't repeat it again here but I will say that it was another above par performance for
Four bands and four hours of some of the best independent
metal that can be seen on any stage in the world and only one hundred people to see it.
Shame on the club for being so passive in their promotions and cheers to the next
wave of power metal both foreign and domestic!
to David Lee For this review.
Motley Crue/Noise Therapy, Sunday Mar 28,
General Motors Place, Vancouver
Motley Crue, to some die hard fans they still rule, to the
general public, despite major newspaper coverage.. its like "are they still around?"
Well this die hard fan got a chance to see the sleazy boys from L.A. for the first time
and this is what I thought.
The crowd. approx. 4000, capacity 160000, form the angle of
the stage, it was set in the middle of the arena, and if you ignored the upper deck, it
still seemed to be an impressive showing, although it might have been better suited to a
large theatre or auditorium. The stage, not huge, but impressive none the less. Cool light
show, confetti cannons that almost resembled pyro. Of note was Tommy Lee's drum kit which
on the bass drum said "drug testing pisses me off.
The set list, this was kind of a disappointment. No
surprises here and too short! In no particular order: Live Wire, Looks that kill, Shout at
the Devil, Home Sweet Home, Wild Side, Girls Girls Girls, Dr. Feelgood, Same 'ol
Situation, Kickstart My Heart, Don't Go Away Mad. Anarchy in the UK. Primal Scream,
Afraid. I heard they played more interesting/earlier tracks at other shows on the tour. No
new tracks ala bitter pill which was kinda weird. Probably a 75 minute show.
Standouts? Well the band had two slut actresses hired to
act out some of the songs. This was really funny. Girls, Girls, Girls, that's obvious: big
boots, cat o nine tails, etc. Same old situation, lesbian sex simulation, lots of kissing,
horizontal play, boob flashing. During one song (I cant remember which) one of the chicks
was dressed in a nuns outfit and the other in a school girl outfit and they were
pretending like they were getting it on. During the song Wild Side, I thought I was
watching the video. Very cool.
Performance. the guys played really well. Tommy especially,
was pounding the drums. At one point he came out and addressed the crowd, stating how good
it was to be free after being inside for 4 months. He stated that he felt love from all
the fans while he was inside. Then he asked to see some titties, He started getting really
upset when no one would flash their titties at them. He called the audience lame,
especially since Vancouver is supposed to be famous for their strip clubs; the boys spent
a lot of time here in 89 for during production of their Feelgood album. Anyway, he really
got into it when he grabbed one of those extinguisher things that sprays dry ice and
jumped off the stage into the audience looking for titties. That was a riot! Mick also was
cool, banging his head, he actually did a cool solo that began Kick Start My Heart. Some
of the solo contained bits of Stevie ray Vaughn little wing. Nikki was cool.. very into
it. Vince...well. When he sang into the mike, he was ok. Most of the time I couldn't even
hear him. Some nasty gossip, from a reliable source, my friend who works at gm place knows
the promoter who stated the the band insisted on having a separate dressing room from
Vince cause they were not getting along. the reason being is that Vince is "apparently"
a heroin addict. Stupid Vince, think he would have learned from Nikki who overdosed and
almost died on the shit several years back. Anyway, turns out that these instructions were
given way in advance of the show and the separate room was no longer necessary. Anyway, he
definitely was not up to par in terms of his delivery.
For fans of Noise therapy, I'm not really familiar with
their music, but they sounded really cool. It was their last night with Motley, so they
got special treatment, flour dumped on them from the lighting truss and a real live sheep
was brought on stage. They did end their set with Kiss' Do you love me.
All in all, it was a very cool show and I had a great time.
It was great to see the guys in all their sleazy glory. If they happen to come to your
town, dot miss it.
To Darrin for the review
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