Tag Archives: Heavy Metal

SONIC WAVES…..VAN HALEN/Diver Down

This is the mixed bag of Halen albums. Half covers/Half originals! At the time of its release in 1982 to say I was confused as a 15 yr old listening to Diver Down at the time would be the understatement of well …..1982!

My Halen collection up Til that point consisted of Fair Warning and Women & Childern First! So when I heard on our radio in town here(580 CKPR ) playing Oh Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison cover) and Eddie Van Halen is doing his whammy bar divey things and David Lee was leading the circus and conducting Alex Van Halen on drums and Michael Anthony on bass I was sold!

So it was off to Tbays Sam The Record Man to buy the 45 of Pretty Woman. This was a good couple of months before the actual Diver Down album release. So I buy the 45 race home put on Pretty Woman yeah man this is good and I flip the 45 and its Happy Trails! Hahaha! There Ya go Halen messing with a 15 year olds mind!

Bottoms Up……

WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD TIMES GONE- so HALEN kicks off the party with a Kinks cover tune! But they Halenize it and if it wasn’t for the credits I would have thought that Dave and Company Halen wrote this! Daves vocals are smooth on here! Eddie just nails out a cool EVH like solo! Of course man he’s the best and Ed locks in and out of the solo.with Al and Mike! Great rock track!

HANG EM HIGH- Ed rips out of the gate on this original and man to this day this is one of my fav songs! Al’s drums are smashing at full throttle and Mad Anthony keeps up on the bass and  Dave lays down a low voice “Somewhere, he lost it in a turn”and whoah the solo is so fuckin good like what could i add to it other than it sounds like Eds guitar is gonna explode and during the solo Als double bass drumming is smashing and throttling down of a cliff! This is a crash course in over the top drumming its the deal! Of course the end of Hang Em High it’s a free for all workout on the instruments! I have had my sonic senses kicked and kicked hard!

CATHEDRAL- this is Ed nodding around on his guitar and when I mean noodling more like classic playing which to this day he still incorporates into his live solo now! Great story as well I have to share…when me and Tbone were punching out the Current River Hodder To Hell (early 1993)tape Tbone late one night was doing his half sauced half assed version of Cathedral on his younger bros (Rugg) guitar as Rugg was at work! I was half asleep on a couch in a adjacent room and thats all you could hear through Tbones house …Tbone doing Cathedral at high volume thru his amp..wah wah wah with the volume knob on the guitar for what seemed like 15 minutes ..wah wah wah and than SILENCE! Followed by a loud “Shit”from Tbone it seems he did it so much that the volume knob on Ruggs guitar seized…..I Roared with laughter(nice guy I know) but shit  that was hilarious! Tbone had a half hour to take apart the guitar and fix as Rugg was coming home from work! Tbone pulled it off fixed and all was good and him  being the nice guy fessed to his brother……so whenever I hear Cathedral a little bit of it takes me back to those winter months of 1993! ( the vid at the top is Ed from 2012 doing Cathedral. I could not find good footage from 1982 or for that matter of Tbone from 1993 doodling Cathedral. I should have filmed it!)

SECRETS- this is another track that never gets talked about but it should! This should have been a huge single! Dave sings a real good vocal and great backing vocals as always from Micheal Anthony! Great rip out of a solo but of course it’s Eddie and no one was touching him back than in the land of guitardom!

INTRUDER-this short little creepy Intro is propelled by Alex’s drums and bizarro smoldering synth and guitar and boom into….

PRETTY WOMAN-and heres Halen making Roy’s tune there own and man I hope OL Roy got some royalty cheques from this! This single was huge and Ed keeps the song simple but man him playing stuff simple is so cool….great song…right into Daves Backyard for a barbecue!

DANCING IN THE STREETS- another single but I guess Dave likey and the rest of Halen not so much or so the story goes. Myself it’s there and it’s kinda weird that I would say that about a Halen tune. But in there defence they did not write it!

LITTLE GUITARS(Intro)- Ed plays a mean little guitar classical style thingy than….

LITTLE GUITARS-  drums and Ed and his sound take over another  great opening and another sure fire classic! Dave and Mikey carry the tune vocally and The VH  brothers do the rest! Love the pre chorus on this ‘Catch as Catch,Catch as Catch” yeah whatever Dave..however you  were saying things back than you made them sound cool!

BIG BAD BILL IS SWEET WILLIAM NOW- hey the Bros get there Dad (Jan Van Halen RIP) on clarinet and Ed and his acoustic with Al on the brushes make this song there own! Love the shuffle of the beat the strumming guitars! It’s all here folks…..’doin up the dishes mopping up that floor!”…..awesome!

FULLBUG- some crazy ass acoustic starts the Full Bug and boom HALEN kicks down the walls to the party shack with this song! Dave knows a woman who bite yo ass! Party Halen has rummaged thru your house and destroyed everything in site and Dave is telling the ladies he will give you the best part of a man! Cool Dave chugs on the harmonica! With the Halen boys scorching riff rock underneath! Classic very underrated track!

 

HAPPY TRAILS-ADIOS…….NUFF SAID!

 

IRON MAIDEN Destroys Cadott!

 

Bruce at 55 years young….I have said it before and I’ll say it again…no one sings this type of rock  or delivers it live better..just watch…..

Watch Bruce at the 1 minute 40 second mark literally take a tumble I mean the dude hits the deck (trips) but he doesn’t miss a lyric….!

Monday it was opening act Coop today it’s the main draw…Ladies and Gents….I present to Ya ……………..

IRON MAIDEN….July 21/2012

Rockfest is a 4 day  hard rock festival held yearly outside of Cadott Wisconsin about a hour or so drive away. My younger brother Todd like I mentioned the other day got us VIP tickets the day of Maidens appearance so basically we were about 22 rows back on the floor from the stage. These were great seats. The venue itself is interesting it’s located in a huge field with only one  farmhouse nearby. The seats in the VIP section(floor) have no cover from the weather and the only place for shade is in the VIP tent section of the venue.

Now let me tell Ya,my brother paid $175 U.S each for two tickets and included was our VIP tickets. Now if we would have paid for the lawn tickets they were going for a flat rate of $75 each and the view was pretty good also but my bro Todd said that if we’re driving 6 hours let’s treat ourselves shall we!!

VIP package was kick ass…it included all the beer you wanted/water/pop and the meals were awesome with chefs serving beef/chicken in the VIP tent! Plus the shitters were always clean as they had built in bathrooms on site!

In comparison,Tbay every year has it’s own festival here and there VIP is a waste of time and I can speak from expierence as I paid for it and it was a joke like seriously when Kim Mitchell played I had a fuckin birch tree in front of me!! Yeah a actual birch tree like talk about a obstructed view! (Should have brought a chainsaw)I won’t even plug this Festival as its a joke! The bands are good but the organizers c’mon man! I did send a email to the organizer and they did reply to my concerns but they did not like my comment that they should load up a SUV of Tbay festival suits and drive to Rockfest and see how a real VIP is run! They ignored that comment in my email! Hahahaha…..

Back to Rockfest so anyways like I said earlier it’s a 4 day festival. The first night I think it’s local bands that played but back in July of 2012 the Friday headliner was Five Finger Death Punch. Saturday was of course Maiden and Sunday was Def Leppard and (gulp) Poison!! Me and Todd were just going on the Saturday so by the time we got there at around 3 pm Svendust was playing ( dudes are heavy) followed by Papa Roach(better than I thought) Cooper(see yesterday’s review) and now the reason we are there…….

1988 and Maiden releases Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son and by the end of the decade Maidens popularity is taking a hit (not with me..hahaha) as there were more than a few empty seats on there North American tour and Seventh Son sold but it did not do as well as expected. For me though it’s always been of my favs by Maiden I loved how they melted the use of the synth with guitars and with Nicko smashing and the Air Raid Siren(Bruce) wailing away on vocals. I love the 7th Son album and still do!

Fast forward to 2014 and Maiden decides to redo what many missed in 88 the first time the whole 7th Son deal!  So by the time the Maiden machine rolls into Cadott it’s a set recreation done with the memories of 1988 but with the technology of 2012!

Case in point when Maiden showed up to Rockfest they had to add 6 feet to the front of the stage and add another 12 feet behind the stage to get all the Eddie props in! No short cuts for Maiden! Also they showed up with 12 semis (transport trucks) with gear and 10 tour busses with there entourage! That’s how it’s done!

So 9 pm sharp  and UFOs Doctor Doctor is pumped over the PA and once the UFO tune is done there on the screens are the icebergs and Eddie and now the intro to Moonchild …the acoustic and Bruce singing his 7 deadly sins bit….and whoah here comes the synth and the volume is GETTIN louder and here’s the guitars and bam…..

MAIDEN RIPS INTO MOONCHILD- there they are…Maiden it’s still hot as hell outside and Bruce is above Nicko on the ramps behind the drums and Janick Gers/Dave Murray/Adrian Smith and Steve Harris charge the front and it takes  Harris all of 2 minutes to crank his leg on the floor monitor! Maiden is delivering and Ummm I’m losing my shit already! Like how could you not?! It’s Maiden!

CAN I PLAY WITH MADNESS- Can I Play With…..Bam pyro drops from the top of the light truss and we’re off. Bruce commands attention and man the dudes on fire 55 years young and giving it his all! Shit his vocals are amazing and the dude is in tremodous shape! Running not missing a beat! Crazy good! No Teleprompters used! This stage is massive!

PRISONER-We want information…..Aahhhhh Nicko slams the skins and the 3 Amigos on guitars join in and Harris and now Bruce is working the front of the stage and telling all the lazy ass fucks to get moving! This is classic Maiden from the Number Of The Beast era! This song is mint……pure gold as Aaron would say!

2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT- Adrian Smith hammers down the opening riff and it’s becoming apparent that when Maiden play the solos it’s Dave and Adrian just like yesteryear. Janick is there but nailing down rhythms as the two original guys have reclaimed there solos on the old songs(pre Gers era)As well as they should …..Bruce throws out a few Hey Heys Heys and keeps the crowd going! Don’t worry man Dickinson plays right to the last guy in the crowd way up,in the hills…..

AFRAID TO SHOOT STRANGERS- so Maiden breaks protocol and plays this track from Fear Of The Dark! In other words they throw Janick a guitar bone as he solos away like a lunatic. Good soldier he is and well why not! Kick back let Adrian and Davey have there 80s heyday solos and when duty calls nail down your solos, put on a show stage right and collect your big paycheque! Win win for everyone!

THE TROOPER-here comes Bruce in his British uniform and waving a torn Union Jack flag and the rest of the Maiden crew is Center stage and the music just blows is away. I mean it’s Dave Murray ripping the frets on his guitar during the solo and boom Adrian joins him….Bruce leads the charge from atop the stage. What must be noted is the backdrops of various Eddie images throughout Maidens career. The Trooper is one em!

THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST- speaking of backdrops check out the vid posted as this is a great visual for this song! This is epic Maiden! Great opening,Harris and the guitars in sync and Dickinson gives that ear piercing ….yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Fire,fire and more fire…this song is taking us to hell! Shit I swear at one point of this song I took a glance at my bro and I thought I had seen devil horns on his head!!! Hahahaha ..just joking Todd! But this is another song that just wails classic! Plus like I said at the the top of the page Bruce mugs out and doesn’t miss a beat…..if that was Axl Rose he would have gone home!

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA- epic 8 minute romper from the debut Maiden album from 1980! You want guitar historics,vocals,drums,bass thumping and pyro! Here it is….the hardcore fans (me) were impressed they dug this one out dusted it off and Maiden kicked our asses with it!

RUN TO THE HILLS- Nicko sets the pace and if you are a hard rocker you know this tune and really do I need to explain it to you? I will say  though during the solos more pyro and a 7 foot Confederate Eddie walking back and forth and darting around the stage is Janick Gers! Tossing about  his strat high into the air!

WASTED YEARS-ahhh this is Todds favourite Maiden tune! Smith really exploded as a songwriter on this track and the album it’s from Somewhere In Time  may be its best track on there! The solo Is friggin good and Bruce makes the crowd sing it….Face up!

SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON- how about the whole deal of the tour delivered here in its 12 minute glory! The title track Bruce commands the stage! Man this is epic! Who knows how tall Eddie is holding the globe and man the solos are sick especially Smiths as he displays along with Murray why they dethroned Tipton/Downing  as my fav one two guitar punch! Shit just go,and listen to Killers as that’s Smiths debut with Murray..they blazed trials and as a little headbanger back than! HOLY SHIT Sez I!

THE CLAIRVOYANT- this is a great track. I mean the verses are catchy and there’s a time to live and a time to die ! Bingo folks this is heavy duty stuff! The solos are great Nicko and Harris are locked in tighter than the bottles of Scotch in Tbones boozey cabinet!

FEAR OF THE DARK- wow another epic classic! FOTD is a slow builder and than it shifts into hyper gear with everyone in metal sync and watch Bruce in the vid go from one side of the stage to the other. The man hustles,no slouching ever…. That’s why he’s the best in the biz right now especially in the endurance test  of live Metal ! This is a great track and Janick rips the solo! Classic Maiden ….

IRON MAIDEN- Scream for me Wisconsin sez Bruce…I dunno, I wish for shits and giggles Bruce woulda tossed out a Scream For Me Hammersmith!! I would lost it man! Haha..but still Bruce commands the epic song and well here comes the 7th Son Eddie holding a beating heart in its left hand with a mini Eddie trying to bust out! Crazy over the top production! Maiden says goodnight more pyro and me and Todd are blown away!

ACES HIGH-After a minute or so…..on the screens here comes the Second World War footage of Airplanes engaging in battle…and now Winston Churchills Speech and boom Maidens back on stage after the stage explodes and there’s the Aces High backdrop! That stuff is so cool looking! Rollin Rollin Turnin Turnin…Do It Again…

THE EVIL THAT MEN DO- once again another solid tune from 7th Son!  Love the galloping bass. Harris is the King of the 4 string and plus the dude tunes his own bass inbetween songs! Steve if your reading this(Hahahaha) I will roadie for you! This is a great track and guess how the song ends ..exactly more pyro! BAAAAAAAAM BAAAAAAAAAM!

RUNNING FREE- and boom into Nicko laying down the shuffle with Steve and it’s Running Free! Bruce works the crowd over one last time and basically lays claim that no band is better live than Maiden!

So basically as you can gather from this review I along with Todd were blown away by this performance! As you readers know I have seen a few shows in my life time (ha) Maiden 2012 was THE BEST live performance/production I have ever seen! Maiden ruled that night and blew my mind (what’s left of it that is) and proved that without a doubt they are THE force to be reckoned with!

I’m not the only one who felt this way what I heard was that normally each day at Rockfest the attendance is about 25,000-35,000. When Maiden showed up to Wisconsin for there show close to 50,000 passed thru the gates to check out Maiden!

One more story….the people that were beside us were cool guys but one dude made a remark after Maiden exited  that he was bummed that Maiden did not play Hallowed Be Thy  Name!!?. Fair enuff but Steve and the boys have played Hallowed every tour since 1982 so Ummm cut em some slack fellas…..especially when this guy beside me  was losing his shit on how Maiden was rocking it big time earlier that night!

 

SONIC WAVES…..Ace Frehley/Ace Frehley

2014 holy heck! Who woulda thunk  it that Space Ace still has a solid album of rock n roll left in his tank with his current release (Space Invaders). If you’re chuckling and don’t believe me check out LeBrains and Ulitmate Festival Guide for there reviews, I kid you not! Now since currently a lot of folks out there have a musical boner for Ace again let’s go back in time shall we and take a little look see at that solo  release of his from 1978 that a lot of fans from the Army consider his (and perhaps) Kiss’ greatest work.

For me personally, I say since this falls under the Kiss empire of 1978, this is one record I can listen front to back still in the year of 2014. What I mean is I loved Kiss and still follow em( There latest Monster was a strong record) years ago for every Love Gun there was a Than She Kissed Me,For every Detroit Rock City there was Beth, For every Save Your Love there was I Was Made For Loving You.For every Uh All Night well there was a bit of filler on that album(Asylum). See my pattern on each of those albums I mentioned (Love Gun,Destroyer,Asylum and Dynasty) was for me( personally my opinion only folks) always a track i wasn’t into . Some albums of there’s were very solid(Creatures Of The Night,Revenge,Rock N Roll Over) I guess as Kiss was sometimes cranking out 2-3 albums a year they should be forgiven right?! Like I could do better!

Ok everybody climb aboard and let’s go for a Rocket Ride……

RIP IT OUT-Ace comes out of the gates firing on all cylinders with a stormer of a track! When I was 11 I heard this song and it blew my little grade school mind. The spaceman sings,plays guitar,writes the songs, produces,does everything but the drums(Anton Fig) holy crap my little 11 yr old mind is gonna blow!!! Anton rips on this track along with Aces solo!

SPEEDING BACK TO MY BABY- hahaha what do fast cars,illicit  drugs washed done with alcohol produce? A dude racing back to his baby at the speed of sound. By track two Ace is flying the songs are cranking and he pulls off of one my favourite solos of his ever..a Sonic Boom is overheard!

SNOWBLIND- Weather forecast update…..cloudy with a ton of snow on tap! This is the Space Man singing about something he knows about and it ain’t the weather kids! Cool song, Aces vocals are sounding well spaced out and also the song kicks Into overdrive during the solo I guess Ace was trying to get around that weather watch! Hail the Space Man!

OZONE-after Ace cleans off the dashboard of his car from all that snow(shoulda kept the windows up)  he trips Into another dimension and basically it’s a song about Gettin high and it’s ok to feel high n dry cause well the Ace man likes to fly. Super cool verse and than the song shifts into a Sabbathy Ooooooozoooooone…that’s the thing about this record Ace says it’s ok to get high and why would we stop him!

WHATS ON YOUR MIND- holy crap Ace chugs this song along with Antons drums and Ace is concerned about his woman! In other words Ace says “hey baby,I have no mind! So what’s on your mind?”. Ace mixes a cool blend of acoustic and electric on this track.

NEW YORK GROOVE- the single…cool song and a cover version as well but if I never looked at the credits I woulda never known. Ace makes this his own tune and one song that a lot of folk associate with him. Ace is back ….back in the New York Groove! Plus when I seen Kiss live back in 79 Ace played his cool light bulby guitar during this tune. Ace was just downright cool.

I’M IN NEED OF LOVE-Ace steps it up on this tune. It’s a total cool groover of a track that chugs down  the Anton Fig line and him and Ace collide at the solo and it goes from cool to ultra cool! Aces vocal are wickedly good for this selection of material.

WIPED OUT- Anton blazes the path at the beginning of song and Ace throws out a Wiped Out vocally and were off back into party mode after a three  track hiatus! Pass the party treats Ace it’s 3 am and it’s time to wake up the stiffs that are lazing around on the couch eating there Doritos ! Cool use of rhythm guitar in this track sounds 70s ish but hey this is from the 70s!

FRACTURED MIRROR- Ace says it’s 7:30 am everyone pick up your crap,collect those empties and go home.The party is officially over. Nice Little quiet musical with the use of acoustic featured. Ace my friend you done well.

IN CONCLUSION- Folks…Ace stepped up and nailed it out of the park! I mean the guy back in 78 was a caged animal creatively speaking and than he unleashed this awesome album that for me was far superior than the three other guys that he was employed with. Ace made a classic rock album that appealed to everyone and still does. I mean Ace cooks up a real cool batch of tunes and look at the next Kiss album that followed the solo albums ( Dynasty) Ace thru down a cool cover of the Stones 2000 Man along with his two originals Hard Times and  Save Your Love which could have been on this solo release . Dude may have been Wiped Out but he was in control(somewhat)….