Category Archives: Live Stuff….

Well i seen a few faces at these shows and we rocked em all!

T.B.B.F 2017..Day 3/Bachman-Big Sugar/July 9th 2017

Day 3 of the Thunder Bay Blues Festival was basically a bunch of Guitar Rock with these acts..

Right in my wheelhouse you could say…

Myself and Suzi arrived at around 3:40 pm Sunday afternoon but it took us a full half hour to enter the festival grounds. Why you ask? Simple to access the Festival you have to cross train tracks and well two full CN cargo trains one right after another (with one train stopping/backing up changing tracks) held up quite a few people.

The way the tracks are laid out in this town is it will eventually cut a path right through the heart of the city basically splitting the town in two. There’s a few not so shortcuts but amazing in the year 2017 a Choo Choo train can basically halt a town at least for a  few minutes or in this case a half n hour…

Once on the grounds site we dumped our lawn chairs got a couple of Adult Pops and Anthony Gomes was taking the stage. This guy did not disappoint as this is a power trio that loves to blaze hard blues rock. The tempo was set for the day. Anthony and his two other cohorts rocked and rolled and did not let the downpour of rain that blasted down from the skies for a good duration of his set bother him.  Kudos to Anthony he got wet. Just kept wiping his guitar and getting on with it! This is a dude that I’m gonna have to check out. Hell he even at one point tossed a snippet of Van Halen’s Eruption in one of his solo’s so you know he means business!

By the time the  Wide Mouth Mason trio of fella’s hit the stage the rain had passed(still kinda cloudy) and these guys I can tell you showed up. With Gomes setting the bar on frenzied heavy guitar rock WMM’s own guitarist  Shawn Verreault showed up 10 fold. Laid down some great vocals and brilliant guitar playing including lap steel guitar and these guys the last time I saw them was when they opened for The Guess Who back in 2000. WMM has not changed one bit. It was real good to hear songs like Why,Midnight Rain,Tom Robinson.  One of the coolest parts of the Mason set was when Verreault had his lap steel out and the boy’s ripped out a wicked rocked up version of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” that went right into David Bowies ‘Modern Love”. Man it was soooo good. Wide Mouth Mason took the challenge put forth by Gomes and his power trio and Mason Boy’s delivered!

BIG SUGAR. Gordie Johnson is back wearing the suits and he’s revamped Big Sugar. Gone is Mr Chill(Keyboards) and in are a few new musicians (a female backing vocalist)and I will say Sugar was unbelievable on this late afternoon. To me Big Sugar is a mashup of old school 70’s ZZ Top guitar rock mixed with a tinge at  certain time’s of Bob Marley reggae thrown in.  A sound that is known as BIG SUGAR. You want lots of Gibson Double Neck playing? It was here. Live his guitar tone sounds like it does on record. Red Rover was played early on and ‘Brothers and Sisters are you ready?” sang Gordie! Love the tempo these guys toss live. You know you have a decent back catalogue of material to draw from when one of Sugar’s biggest hits Diggin A Hole is played early on. If I Had My Way slinked its way around with Gordie playing some real slick slide guitar. Reggae rock of Turn The Lights On had the crowd moving while the old school ZZ sounding Better Get Used To It was brilliant. You cannot go wrong with this kind of rock. Gordie didn’t speak to much but when he did he told us that Sugar has a new album coming out later in the year and they proceeded to play two new tracks. (Sorry can’t remember the titles) But I will say they sounded like standout tracks and basically have sold me on wanting to purchase the new Sugar album. Slick move to play new tracks as you may lose the crowd but nope they were that good! One being a total rock out track . All Hell For A Basement whipped everyone in the crowd back into shape. Gordie totally slayed me with Sugar’s what I would say is my fav-o song of there’s The Scene. The Scene is a real cool vibe rock full steamer rock n sugar track. The Scene blends great percussion/guitar and vocals with some slick like lyrics. At the end of The Scene Gordie as per Protocol played O Canada on his double neck and flashed the Canadian Flag which was painted on the back of his guitar. BIG SUGAR DELIVERED!

To close out the weekend  it was up to Randy Bachman to cap things off. Did he? Well let’s put it this way. Randy has a ton of material to draw from him and he did by opening up with Roll On Down The Highway. Bachman at the age of 73(!) can still play the six string. The B.T.O material that was played like the classic Four Wheel Drive,You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,Let it Ride,Hey You ( in which Randy and crew jammed some AC/DC You Shook Me All Night Long, Steve Millers Rock N Me Rod Stewarts Hot Legs and WIld Thing) Now where he lost some momentum for me(not others mind you) was some of the Guess Who songs. Good songs mind you but songs like These Eyes,Undone  albeit a lot of people here tonight love those tunes to me Randy rules on the BTO stuff! Now saying that when Bachman dug into American Woman which segued into Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love only to return to American Woman was pure brilliance! So some Guess Who worked some in my opinion didn’t work so good. Course The Rand-man wrapped it up with Takin Care Of Business!

Gordie and BIG SUGAR stole the weekend but they were pushed by Mitchell/Doyle/Gomes/Bachman and  Wide Mouth Mason.

Sunday was a bunch of Guitar Rock which was what I wanted to hear in the first place and it was delivered upon.

Too wrap things up about the Festival. I still say the current location is crap. The setting by the lake is awesome but the place with the low stage sucks. The Food Vendors make a huge circle around the festival grounds and are right basically tucked on the sidewalk. This gets way to congested when you have people waiting for food and others just trying to back to their lawn chairs.  Friday and especially Saturday were jammed. Sunday was but not as much.

For the Organisers of  this Festival it’s about the buck. Too hear about broken attendance records all weekend gets nauseating after a while. With all this cash coming in fix this area up!

I think also the lineup nights could have been better but that’s due to availability of course. Bachman/Mitchell Friday Night ..Saturday Doyle should have closed with Bare Naked Ladies playing before Alan.  On Sunday BIG SUGAR should have closed this out. My gripe!

JACKASS MOVE OF THE FESTIVAL GOES TO…We weren’t even 20 minutes on the Festival grounds on Friday  when some ol dude(pushing 60 I would say) as Sue was about to put ice in her drink with a scoop this ol moron couldn’t wait for the scoop decided to grab the ice from the trays  with his bare hands. Sue decided at that point to never use ICE in drinks at a public gathering again(haha). What a DumbFuck this fella was…..

 

SUZI’S DAY 3 BOXSCORE

Anthony Gomes- 10/10

WIDE MOUTH MASON-10/10

BIG SUGAR-10/10

RANDY BACHMAN-8.5/10

Holeee Crap the wifey digs loud guitar Rock!

I’m outta here for a bit ! Thanks for reading!

T.B.B.F 2017…Day 2/Saturday July 8th 2017

So Day 2 of the Thunder Bay Blues Festival comes and goes so let’s get to it ok!

Word on the street is that 8000 people showed up to check out the acts that played down at the local waterfront festival on Saturday and you ask how do I know? Well simple! It was announced about 8000 Fuckin times that a new attendance record had been set in  the 16th year of the Festival! Ok that’s awesome lets move on from the continuous verbal ego boosting as I still find stuff wrong with this festival and a few decent things but I will gripe after..

The weather today was on/off light rain which was no biggie it would rain stop for a bit start but as the day progressed it got clearer out!

Let The Music Do The Talking….

Myself,Suzi and my pal Chuck D and his girlfriend Jennifer arrived at around 3:30 in the afternoon just as Vancouver’s Barney Bentall And The Legendary Hearts took the stage.

(pic below L-R ..Jennifer/Suzi and a Lunatic!)

Barney’s music on this day was basically John Mellancamp Lite. This is mid tempo rock kinda one beat and pace throughout. Nothing to write home about. Barney needs to crank the amp up in my estimation but the cat has been at it for so long(since 1988) as I don’t think that will change.  Basically I recognised one tune and that was from his 88 album debut which was Something To Live For.

So I was cruising to get us Beer tickets when I stumbled upon this fellow Rival Sons fan!( He was sporting the Son’s colours as well) He called me over and his girlfriend snapped a pic(I don’t have a iPhone) and I moved on. Later in the day he came by where we were sitting and Suzi snapped a shot of us on her phone. Never even got the fellow’s name. Seemed like a real chill dude and frigg he dig’s Rival Son’s so how about we call him Rando!

 

Lighthouse another Canadian radio staple for close to 50 years took the stage. This 9 piece act had a 4 piece horn section with them, Nothing like hearing live horns not some silly willy plonk of the ivories from a keyboard. Good act and the first real signs of life from the  audience this weekend as people got up off their asses and started jiving to the classic am rock of Lighthouse’s big radio hits like Summer Nights and One Fine Morning.  Lighthouse was good and entertaining and the second ever band I have heard with live horns ever! (Kool & The Gang Being the first) Dan Clancy  the lead singer was all over the place and should be commended as he worked the crowd hard man and was rewarded!

Another Canadian Blues N Brass band that has been going for about 40 years now is The Powder Blues Band. Led by founding member Tom Lavin Powder Blues featured 6 fella’s even featuring a local fellow on keyboards. (Sorry fella can’t remember your name) But these guys can play and Lavin told a great story about the late Jeff Healy as well. Powder Blues were good and of course big hit Doin It Right On The Wrong Side Of Town had people hopping.

Dunno what was going on as well, some kind of delay perhaps but 4 dudes hit the stage for a bit and played cover tunes? Killing time I would call it as the festival was about close to 90 minutes behind schedule and if you work early Sunday am this sucks. This festival is notorious for running late. Supposed to end at 11 pm but when the main act doesn’t hit the stage til 10:40 pm your shooting way over…

Alan Doyle And The Beautiful Gypsies hailing from Newfoundland rocked the Festival with a rocked up Irish Jig super fuel charged set! Alan was here with his previous band Great Big Sea four years ago and put on a great show. So now Al’s back with a new band and I can tell you there is no dip in this fella’s stage presence. Ton’s of energy and the real ace in the hole in Doyle s band is guitarist Cory Tetford  who wailed on the six string not showing off but playing slick like leads and at other times playing some nifty slide guitar as well.  Doyle has just released a new single Summer Summer Night which for a new track went over well and thorough out his 12 song set he kept working the crowd switching between his acoustic and electric guitar. He also dipped into his back catalogue and played Great Big Sea’s Ordinary Day and closed his set with 1,2,3,4 a song that had headliners Barenaked Ladies Frontman/Guitarist Ed Roberston jam on..

Barenaked Ladies came out and thanks to the energy put forth by Doyle was kinda lost when BNL opened with a track called Boomerang. Kinda mellow rock to open but the crowd was revived when the second track It’s All Been Done had the crowd moving. BNL are a quirky rock act to say the least ( did a jam out about a local Tbay pancake joint)and thats what I kinda dig about em. Not a huge fan per se but they are a tight live act and l will give them that. Tons of their hits were played and I like the guitar driven rock of tracks like Old Apartment. Even the theme of Big Bang Theory(TV show) was played. Big old-time jam out with Doyle and his band along with Bentall who joined BNL for IF I Had A $1000,0000 had the crowd moving as well….Good Act..

Day 2 was better act wise than Day 1. Doyle for my moneys worth should have headlined Day 2 over BNL’S as Doyle’s beer driven celtic rock cannot be beaten at this kind of festival. Even though I only know Doyle by his radio tunes and don’t own any of his music it speaks volumes that he can show up here to Tbay and make an old Metalhead like me take notice not once but twice!

SUZI’S DAY 2 BOXSCORE..

Barney Bentall- 5/10

Lighthouse-7/10

Powder Blues Band-7/10

Alan Doyle-10/10 (Suzi sez knew how to entertain a crowd. Did not let the crowd flatline)

BNL-  7/10

Thunder Bay Bluesfest 2017….Day 1/Friday July 7th 2017

 

I know I know I said yesterday I was out of here for a few weeks but I thought I had better review this weekends shows and strike while the iron’s hot! Once these 3 Day/ Nights are reviewed I will be on holidaze….

Pics done by D.S.P.S (Deke’s Shitty Photography Skills)

You have to hand it to the press in this town as the Headline’s read this morning”New Attendance Records Set” Well how about a whoop D who F’in cares. The organisers of this Festival go through this song and dance all the time with the amount of people  strolling through their gates.

Hey man do you think for a moment the press has to pay to get in? (Grease more palms please) . We paid and after my last post or should I say rant let’s see whats happening down at the old waterfront where the Festival takes place! Birch Tree’s included!

Now as I make my return to this festival after a 4 year sabbatical will it be a better experience for myself and Suzi or will it be “Meh!”

A few acts had already played by the time we got there which  was pretty much when Kim Mitchell  was about to take the stage and Akimbo still at around or over the age of 60 can bend those six  strings and when the sun is shining and you open your set with Lager & Ale followed by Rocklandwonderland you know you are gonna have the crowd on your side.

Kim over the years has built up an impressive solo catalogue of material as well as from his 70’s act Max Webster to which if I’m correct Kim and crew went 4 songs in this set with Webster material! (I can hear Mikey Ladano saying “WHAT!” ) High Class In Borrowed Shoes/Check/Diamonds Diamonds/Paradise Skies.  Props to Kim for shaking up the set list as he could have totally played it safe but choose to dig deep in the rock vault.

Kim also told the story of “technical issues” when he opened for Boston (Which I reviewed a ways back) and saying that Boston guitarist Tom Scholz had issues with his equipment that he monkeyed around with for about 4 hours! Quirky…comes to mind…..

Course some great Kim solo tracks were played like That’s A Man a real stripped down borderline acoustic country like  rendition of Easy To Tame.  The band than  rock’s  it up with I Am A Wild Party. 

All We Are featuring long time sidekick Bassist Peter Fredette was a standout as I have always loved the vocal trade off between the Pete and Kim on this song.

To top it off comes more blazing Rock Guitar in the form of Rock N Roll Duty and final tune Go For Soda! Just some good ol fashioned hard  rock nuggets with a ton of excellent axemanship on the six string left the crowd wanting more.

To which Kim and the boys headed back to the stage and ended there set with the mega hit Patio Lanterns.

Kim at this stage showed up and rocked it out as well as not playing it safe with his set list!

Atta Boy Akimbo!

This fella below needs to Go For Soda!

Next up was the Sam Roberts Band. These cats I have heard tons of on the local radio and in Canada they sell a ton of albums.  First things first I do not own any of these guy’s music so I will tread carefully with this one.

For starters there all clean-cut dudes from my vantage point who can play their instruments but the first three songs played to me sounded like one big tune that just floated about in the air down at the festival. Kinda U2’ey in spots. Fair enough as a lot of folks here are into them.

Sam did say that by being in Tbay it would be a great time to play   the tune  An American Draft Dodger In Thunder Bay.  I will give him a ton of props for really making a move to make me notice!

Course the biggie rock radio tracks like Were All In This Together  and  Brother Down did totally resonate with me and they are well crafted rock tracks.

To end the set Kim Mitchell joined the Roberts band and they from which I suppose did some collaborating and Kim once again laid down some guitar law. Pretty cool end of the set jam out!

Sam Roberts was good and perhaps I should give this dude some listens. But as I stated earlier he sells a ton of music and has his own Beer Line… Lets put it this way my good pal CHUCK D at one point asked “Who are we clapping For?” Haha…

Amanda Marshall was the closer for  night one of the Festival.  She showed up with a pretty decent light show and a real good 5 piece backing band but for some reason her pacing of the concert was left to be desired. Amazing that she has not put out any new recorded material since 2001 yet her 3 albums all sold well in Canada so I assume its comeback time.

Her set started off pretty rockin and no doubt the lady can still sing and she has a ton of airplay here in Thunder Bay.

Everybodys Got A Story is a pretty cool tune about Tattoos and Booze and well its  a song about when  shit happens.  But for some reason the set kinda limped along a little on the light side of things for my liking. Amp it up Amanda as you do have the vocals and the stage presence….

So Day 1 is in the books…

So shall we do a rating system like I did last year when me and Suzi went to Rock The Fort? 

Ok let’s do this…

Suzi’s Score –

Kim Mitchell ..7/10 ( Suzi deducted One point for Guitar Wanking…hahaha… but she did add that was  personal preference)

Sam Roberts Band- 5/10 ( no comment)

Amanda Marshall-5/10 ( Sound had too much bass)

dEkE’s Two Cents…

I agree with the Boss’s score on this show. The Festival Organisers would call this a diverse bill. I call it that yes but Kim Mitchell should have headlined this night as Kim has that driving loud guitar rock along with a mix of good ol fashioned Beer Drinking Tune’s that spike Beer sales! I can’t really say that about the other two acts. Albeit good acts in regards to musicianship and vocals but lacking in the  pace department!

Up Next Day 2……

 

 

Iron Maiden/Ghost-June 16th 2017/St Paul Mn.

 

So my Brother Todd back in January of this year received an email saying that Iron Maiden  would be playing the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St Paul Minnesota on June 16th.

Todd was working up in the area of Hudson’s Bay(Manitoba) back in January when the pre sale happened so with crappy WiFi where he was working he drove 60 miles to get a decent signal and viola grabbed us two tickets which was good as all 15,000 tickets sold out in less than a few hours!

Todd was pumped that not only Maiden was showing up but they were bringing Ghost as an opener. Todd vouched for them but I was on the fence with Ghost as I tried watching some of their live stuff on YouTube but for some reason I could not grasp the concept of the whole Ghost shtick! Would they convert me?

Keep Reading…

So the day of the show we took off bright n early and headed to St Paul Minnesota which is right next door to Minneapolis Minnesota(Twin Cities the locals call it) and Todd was on the ball and got us a hotel within a 10 minute walk to the Xcel Center.

So about 3 hours before show time we headed towards the Xcel Center (where there was a bunch of Maiden fanatics hanging out by the doors a good 3 hours before door’s would open. We realised later why as the floor was general admission)which has a bunch of Burger N Booze establishments so we picked one and had a few beers and you knew Maiden was in town as there were a ton of Maiden shirts everywhere. Let me clarify that. A ton of dudes wearing Maiden T’s with a handful of woman wearing some as well…Kinda like being at a Rush show!

It was funny as once as we headed back to the Xcel Center on  the entrance side of the building that  we were going to enter into I  counted 7 poh poh cars and one K-9 Unit sitting right beside the Arena. Ha! Guess they were calling in extra’s for the Maiden show thinking there was going to be trouble! Strong Arm Of The Law!

Once inside and tickets scanned it was off for me to the Merchandise tables and there must have been about 12-14 different Maiden T’s (One T was an Xcel exclusive in which we snagged a few of those stat) There was another table set up that was selling a bunch of silk screen covers of albums. All the bases were covered! Todd was talking to a guy who drove in from Des Moines Iowa for the show and he bought a couple of these Maiden only Minneapolis T’s and told Todd that he puts a couple up on eBay and gets about $150 U.S per shirt as Maiden fanatics will pay for rare shirts!

At 730 pm sharp Ghost hit the stage opening with Square Hammer and I was hooked! What a great opening song and let’s for a second talk about these guys.

Ghost consists of 6 members with the  Lead Singer going by the name of Papa Emeritus while the 5 other fella’s names or well they call em Nameless Ghouls. Papa looks like during the first three numbers an anti Pope. Seriously but I will say he has a wickedly good voice that with an excellent band of musicians around him whoever the Ghouls in real life are. Opening number Square Hammer is a great track but it was the tune Absolution  that made me really take notice. This tune blends heavy and melodic rock with a smattering of Alice Cooper vocally mashed with the Keys of Deep Purple. The two Ghouls on guitars are a show upon themselves getting the crowd into it with their demonic like silver masks. Papa after awhile ditches the Anti Pope deal and goes for Think Andrew Loyd Weber with a mix of  Phantom Of The Opera. He even has quite a bit of humour at times between songs when addressing the crowd. Good to see these guys don’t take themselves that seriously except when it comes to the music its taken very seriously! I posted a clip of Ghost from St Paul playing the track Cirice. You can see how they have that edge throughout but can snap into a real melodic bit and snap right out of it. Great stuff.

I don’t think I have ever seen an opening act get this much stage space and a real good use of lights(purple and green dominated the set ) from a headliner. Than again it’s Maiden!

The crowd was stoked as this was Maidens first appearance in the St Paul/Minneapolis area in 17 years!

At 8:55 pm the opening keys of  UFO’s Doctor Doctor filled the arena and you knew once this song was over it was time for Maiden.

I have to say the whole Mayan like themed stage is very slick-looking and as it filled with smoke out appears Lead Singer Bruce Dickinson perched  above Drummer Nicko McBrain’s Drums and does his Capella opening to the first song of the night If Eternity Should Fail for a few minutes than   the rest of the Maidens hit the stage amidst a blast of pyro it is definitely show time.

It’s official I lose my shit!

Speed Of Light is up second and everyone is at the front of the  stage with Bruce handling his mic stand like a Fencer swinging his sword. Guitarist Janick Gers is a show upon himself.  Doing a bunch  of wind mill’s on his guitar like Townsend. The dude is a throwback to the late 70’s early 80s look complete with the bullet belt around his waist. Flinging his guitar around his neck/back,legs stretched out over the PA and at times tossing in a solo for good measure. Must mention I dig Bruce’s stage attire for this show. Cargo pants/Hoodie and Boots. The dude is hanging with Mayan’s!

Great to hear Nicko and Bassist Steve Harris lock in at the start of  Wrathchild.  Bruce lets off his patent Air Raid Siren scream and wow man the guy is so good! Childern of The Damned is played this night and right before Children, Bruce addressed the crowd and asked how many people at the show where born after 1982.  (The year COTD was released) The response was pretty loud as this is what Maiden wants to hear. Kids getting into Maiden from their parents and plus it keeps Maiden themselves from becoming a straight nostalgia act! Case in point there was Dad sitting beside me with his two young teenage son’s.

Death or Glory and The Red And Black from the current album Book of Souls are front and centre and Death And Glory is a great track with Bruce “Climbing Like A Monkey” as he gets the crowd into it(watch the video below) and Adrian Smith plays some real slick slide guitar during the solo. The Red And The Black is epic and clocks in at over 10 minutes with spectacular lights and a boatload of guitar solo’s!

1983’s classic The Trooper complete with Bruce in a red war jacket jostling a Union Jack Flag cranked up the crowds even more as this is one of those tracks that you will always be played. My brother who plays guitar says that Dave Murray is one of the smoothest Soloists out there as you don’t hear his picking and he flawlessly goes up and down the fret board during his solo’s. Todd also mentioned on the drive home between Ghost and Maiden we heard probably over 60 guitar solo’s between the act’s. An exhibition in axemanship I would say!

Powerslave encompasses everything I love about Maiden. Ripping verse’s huge chorus/total chill out in the  midsection of the tune and the solos of Smith/Murray bring the song back up and Nicko does those crazy rolls right before the song goes back into its final verse! Told Todd that this track takes me right back to when I first bought Powerslave the day upon its release back in 1984! Must mention as well the huge wall of fire upon Bruce’s entrance…Impact!

The Great Unknown with its melodic opening and  ramps up and ends with an extended melodic jam with all three guitarists getting there shot at playing some bluesy like riffs while Bruce works the crowd( all night Bruce was pointing to the front/back/upper deck’s all sections were acknowledged throughout the show)

Bruce soars vocally on the track Book of Souls and   basically is  a 13 minute Maiden Metal Masterpiece especially when  Nicko lifts the tune off into a crazy tempo during the solo and  here comes at least a 12 foot Eddie swinging at Janick before Bruce takes Eddie’s heart out and chucks it into the crowd! Steve Harris has written many classic tracks but this tune is one my fav’s. Like Powerlsave (song) it encompasses everything I love about Maiden!

Fear of The Dark has Bruce running back and forth behind Nicko on  and not missing a line  vocally. Endurance the man has! Janick throws down a great solo on FOTD. Love the last verse as the band just rip it up and just like that it’s time for …

Iron Maiden! The classic tune from the self titled 1980 release is performed and there’s Eddie behind Nicko rising up and Bam out comes the fire/pyro off of Ed’s noggin and just like that …the show is over!

Kinda….Encore please…

The stage goes red and The Number of The Beast is dialled up and you want a ton of fire set off look no further than this track complete with another round of Bruce’s Air Raid Siren wail at the start of the track. Love Smith/Murray’s solo’s and Harris when he razzle dazzles with that bass riffing after the guitar solo’s…

Blood Brothers is next and I’m going to post the video and Bruce actually thanks Dekes and Todd for showing up(kinda thanks us..check it out it’s at the beginning of the song about the minute and half mark)

Wasted Years closes the show and it’s a great Adrian Smith track complete with A Plus solo. Maiden end things on a high!

First of thanks to Todd for making this trip happen! Maiden is still the best live act around and considering Nicko just turned 65 it’s crazy that these guys are still playing at this level! The solo’s/vocal’s it’s like its 1985 again! No dip in anything folks!

Bruce mentioned that there putting this show to bed at the end of July and they will go away for a bit but will be back. So it’s not quite the end yet.

Umm… yeah when they come back…..Myself and Todd will be there again!

Long Live Maiden!

 

Iron Maiden/Live After Death(1985)

Live After Death is in the upper echelons of my all time favourite Live Albums Period! Still to this day!

Shall we rewind back Somewhere In Time?

A week after my 18th Birthday in October of 1985 Iron Maiden drop on my senses this Double Whopper Of  A Live Album. The Double Whopper being its a Double Album.

Live After Death was released on Friday October 15th 1985 to be exact and I remember this day well as I had seen the ads in Circus Magazine  pre hyping it’s release a month or two before and I was chomping at the bit to go and fetch this upon its release which I did after the school bell rung on that Friday.  Basically barricaded myself in my bedroom with this album for the whole weekend! Frigg ya as Maiden as per their protocol went all out on this album. Cool artwork by Derek Riggs Double Gatefold Sleeve/Tons of Pictures/All the tour dates/Lyrics/Pics/Stats (like how many guitar strings and pics were used and how much booze was consumed) you know the important stuff involving suds! Even the Road Crew schedule was posted!

I drooled as here I am in Tbay with my head fried from my  Grade 12 Sociology Class yet Maiden and band mascot Eddie made me forget the hard trials of school that day and well….

So here it is Iron Maiden recorded over 4 Nights in Scream For Me Long Beach( California ) on there very successful World Slavery Tour 84/85. Plus a an added kicker they released this on VHS Video as well. A  few years back as Maiden released this on DVD with a bunch of extras…. They still know how to package their product!

Maiden Men…

Losfer’s Words & Music…

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. Intro: Churchill’s Speech Winston Churchill 1:09
2. Aces High” (from Powerslave, 1984) 4:07
3. 2 Minutes to Midnight” (from Powerslave, 1984) Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson 5:52
4. The Trooper” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) 3:59
5. “Revelations” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Dickinson 5:59
6. Flight of Icarus” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Smith, Dickinson 3:21
Side 2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (from Powerslave, 1984) 13:03
2. “Powerslave” (from Powerslave, 1984) Dickinson 7:06
3. The Number of the Beast” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 4:48
Side 3
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. Hallowed Be Thy Name” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 7:17
2. “Iron Maiden” (from Iron Maiden, 1980) 4:11
3. Run to the Hills” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 3:52
4. Running Free” (from Iron Maiden, 1980) Harris, Paul Di’Anno 8:16
Side 4
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Wrathchild” (from Killers, 1981) 2:54
2. “22 Acacia Avenue” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) Harris, Smith 6:04
3. “Children of the Damned” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 4:19
4. “Die with Your Boots On” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Smith, Dickinson, Harris 4:51
5. “Phantom of the Opera” (from Iron Maiden, 1980) 7:01
Total length: 98:09

YUP! Just over 98 Minutes of Maiden! Now you know why I locked myself in Bedroom with my stereo blasting this album on that cold October weekend! Special mention must be made to my parents who never ever once told me too turn it down but at times they must have wondered what the hell was going on in my bedroom! No worries Folk’s I was on the Flight Of Icarus!

Basically you have the first three sides recorded in Long Beach and man oh man did Bruce trademark the “Scream For Me Long Beach!” If he hadn’t he should!

Of course with Maiden on  this tour was the stages of all stages with a Mummified EDDIE leading the way! Massive is what I would call it!

The album opens with Churchill doing his War Speech and about never surrendering and Bam! Here’s Maiden ripping into Ace’s High  and tons of rolling/rolling turning/turning through out! The songs are crisp and clear. The Musicianship is second to none! Bruce’s vocals soar through out the whole album.

This is just one rock solid album from start to finish! The songs all stand on their own merit! It’s basically a Greatest Hits set done live while spreading throughout songs from the current Powerslave album that had walloped me outside the noggin the previous year!

Adrian Smith and Dave Murray in my opinion are the best two lead guitar duo’s ever in the business of Music! There playing is friggin unbelievable even up till this day (Along with current sidekick Janick Gers)  The solos’ are slick/well thought out and are hammered into our skulls as epic riff’s. Nicko the lunatic playing the drums does all the drum rolls and you want epic crash n smash style but keeping it smooth look no further than the track Powerslave after the Dave/Adrian solo’s man he just is so smooth as in making it look easy. Steve Harris being the main songwriter and he is the leader(much to Bruce’s chagrin at the time I suppose) as this was his vision put forth by him and manager Rod Smallwood. 

So if you want an  epic Harris track  look no further than Rime Of The Ancient Mariner as it weaves over it’s 13 minutes of tempo changes and keeps you the listener entrenched and no boredom ever sets in with this track.  Pure Greatness!

Course the big end of the set tune Iron Maiden pulls out all the stops! Just watch the clip below and see for yourself!

Side Four is recorded in England at the infamous Hammersmith Odeon and if my memory serves me correct this side was for the diehards across the pond as Maiden would mix up the set list as to keep the hardcore fans happy as America hadn’t caught on as quickly as Europe. I may be wrong here ….

22 Acacia Avenue rips accordingly and I love how Bruce drops the line of Speak For Me Hammersmith!” over the guitars of Davey and Adrian before Bruce ramps back up vocally on the second verse!

Die With Your Boots On is another kicker of a track. Great everything about this one as well! Love the guitar playing  on this track as Nicko drives the bus with his drums and keeps it all together!

Phantom Of The Opera always fascinated me back than as did the other tracks that were sung by original singer Paul Dianno on the studio versions before he got tossed and Bruce took charge. Of course now in 2017 it’s nothing new when Bruce sings the Paul tunes but back in 1985 other than hearing a B-Side of Bruce singing Remember Tomorrow you had no idea how the Dianno songs would come across with Bruce singing them!

Well the answer after listening to Live After Death was that Bruce basically took them over and made him his own.

Don’t get me wrong folks I love Dianno’s singing style on the debut Maiden album/Killers and especially Maiden Japan but the Air Raid Siren just belts it out like there is indeed no tomorrow!

Live After Death was the bridge gap between 84’s Powerslave and 86’s Somewhere In Time albums but this live audio/video showcase features a band showing everyone else in the Metal Spectrum how it’s done!

 

 

Def Leppard/Poison/Tesla..Live In St Paul(April 21st 2017)

DEF LEPPARD 2017 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR W/POISON & TESLA

DATE: April 21, 2017

TIME: 7:00PM

VENUE: XCEL Energy Center

CITY: St Paul, Minnesota

Hey Folk’s! Less than 2 weeks ago my Sister, Kristin and her Boyfriend, Darren shot down to St Paul to Catch the Leppard show! Being the older bro I told her ‘Review It!” and by golly  along with Darren’s help they reviewed it! Great Job! Give it a read friends!

Take it away…..

It was October of 2009 and the concert of a lifetime was only a few weeks away. I got a phone call from my brother Deke telling me that my all-time favourite band, Def Leppard had cancelled the Canadian portion of their tour. Having received more than one prank call from my brother, I assumed this was just another. I said a couple of swear words and hung up. I quickly googled and was devastated to find the cancellation in Winnipeg the next month had been confirmed.

Fast forward to February 2017. My birthday. I opened a card from my boyfriend Darren, and two tickets fell in my lap for the April show in St Paul. Figured I should invite him along…..

We arrived in St Paul with 15 minutes to spare, no thanks to Garmin. The lights dimmed and Tesla took the stage. Edison’s Medicine filled the arena with a sense of nostalgia which took me back to Grade 10. Love Song sounded like it was off the album in ’91 except I wasn’t crying into my pillow over my ex -boyfriend. Jeff Keith’s vocals were as rich and distinct as their debut in ’86. After 40 short minutes, Modern Day Cowboy closed the show. I could wager a guess and say that there were 20,000 fans wanting more.

Next up Look What The Cat Dragged In…..Poison. Bret Michaels and the band played all the classic hits you know and love to hate. Something To Believe In payed tribute to Prince on the one year anniversary of his death. C.C. DeVille played a face-melting guitar solo(in other words now would be the time to  go and  buy your Concert T’s) before leading into Unskinny Bop. Poison finished their encore with Nothin’ But a Good Time in anticipation of what was to come next.

Def Leppard opened with Let’s Go, their 2015 release not to be confused with Let It Go from ’81. The crowd was somewhat subdued for the first couple of songs until Foolin’ brought the capacity filled arena to their feet. The energy continued throughout Love Bites, Armageddon It, Rocket and Bringin’ On the Heartbreak. An emotional drum solo by Rick Allen had fans screaming for more. The most memorable part of the entire concert was to come. Hysteria, Let’s Get Rocked and Pour Some Sugar On Me, the everlasting tunes everyone came to hear followed. The stage went dark and the crowd went wild. After a 5-minute standing ovation the band returned to bring down the house with Rock Of Ages and Photograph.

HEY KIDS! THE ACTION IS BEHIND YOU’S!

Although it took me over 20 years to see the number one band on my bucket list, they didn’t disappoint. Joe Elliott managed to take the crowd on a ride in a time machine, and for a brief moment I was that teenage girl in ‘87 with acid wash jeans and big hair. –Kristin

Def Leppard/Live In Winnipeg…Oct 10/1992

 

Quick shout out to my sister Kristin and her Boyfriend Darren who are on there way to see Def Lep Live tonight in Minneapolis Minnesota along with Poison (meh) and Tesla(awesome). Kristin this one’s for you!

Back to 1992 ….Frigg I’m getting old but those  buggers Leppard are older than me still..haha! I will tell ya something that this production that Leppard put on back in 1992 must have been one of the last big Arena Rock Shows for a while as Grunge Mania was sweeping across North America and everyone was lapping up the saucer bowl filled with Nirvana.

 

Def Lep though went about their business and when they announced this show in Winnipeg I pounced on tickets ASAP as I thought it would sell out quick. Well wasn’t I fooled when myself and Sidekick Sal took our seats. I was amazed that only 9500 people were at this show where the old Winnipeg Arena could hold up to 16,000(that was the amount of people who were stuffed in the joint back in 89 on the Bon Jovi Jersey Tour). What was more bizarre was that there were 2000 more people at this Lep show than the one they played in Winnipeg on the Hysteria Tour in 1988!

When the opening lines of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry  vocal spiel was over (you know the part in the movie about looking down the barrel of gun) Leppard opened up with the leadoff single Let’s Get Rocked and the crowd was in it from the get go. Second track was Tear It Down followed by the classic Women (still love that end of the song  solo). Vocalist Joe Elliot is a good frontman as with the stage being in the middle of the arena there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. Actually all the Lepp dudes (except Drummer Rick Allen ) moved about and used up all  the stage as no one in the crowd could say they weren’t giving it there all.

Guitar Hero Dude’s Vivian Campbell & Phil Collen  layed down the law with the chops of a butcher! On one hand you got Topless Phil playing and at times riffing so over the top it was ridiculous but he somehow reigns it in and can contain himself in the Lep song catalogue. Campbell is more my kind of player. Little more chill relaxed in his deal as he was replacing the Great King Of All Riffs Mr Stephen Clark(RIP). I have said it before in all my reviews a lot of the riffs went to heaven that day Clark died. But Lep has moved on as they had too and in replacing Clark with Campbell they got a fellow who went through the guitar hero ranks in Dio. Played with Davey Coverdale in the 1987 version of Whitesnake. Played some slick guitar in the Riverdogs & Shadow King two bands that went nowhere before landing the Lep gig in early 92!

Campbell/Collen each got their moment in the sun (guitar solo’s) and it was pretty surprising that having two actual guitar solos in the show would kill the pace but it didn’t. The only real drag like the one I mentioned in my review of this tour which landed in Ladano’s Fav U.S City Duluth (about 6 weeks later after this show) was that basically the first two albums were ignored except for the acoustic rendition of Bringing On The Heartbreak.

Still though this was a great show with an over the top Lighting Truss that swirled a shit load of lights on moveable pods above the crowd on Gods Of War.

Hit after Hit was played … Rocket to this day still is one of my fav Lep  songs as a ton of Hysteria was played (8 songs off of it) whereas there was a huge dose of Pyromania and the current Adrenalize as well..

Top notch live show and the end of an era so to speak as Lep hit the skids shortly after as far as sales go though I feel that 1996’s Slang is one of there best!

Great Times and enjoy the show Kristin and Darren…..

Update….My sister has confirmed to me that she will review this show! 

Watch for it…..