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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Get ready for Thrashgiving!

Back again to lay waste to Kansas City is a tiny little band called TOXIC HOLOCAUST! It'll be their second Kansas City show this year, and we have to show them that we want them to keep coming back! It's on November 23rd at the Riot Room and Vanlande and Koktopus will open.

Hammerween 2010 -- Kansas City, MO -- October 30th, 2010

Absolutely one of the best nights I've ever had, and it was by far the best performances I've ever seen of every band tonight. There were a ton of people there and it was so much fun.

Opening the show was The Cast Pattern. Last time I saw them was opening for Hate Eternal and The Black Dahlia murder and I really didn't like them, but my tastes have expanded since them and I found them much more tolerable this time. Parts of their set totally sounded like current good hardcore bands, like Terror, but it was still a bit too breakdown-y for my tastes. They had great energy, though!

The next band was Koktopus and they pulled out a great set. The vocalist was dressed as Jesus (only the beard was real!) and the bassist had a costume on as well. They went through stapled like Old Man River and Deathbed and another fantastic cover of Venom's Witching Hour. They ended their set by putting on Kiss masks and doing a Kiss cover and I am totally an X-generation child because I didn't know which song it was! But it was a great performance throughout!

The last time I saw At The Left Hand Of God was at the American Waste Festival last June and I think they take the prize for "Most Improved Band" since I last saw them, and they were good the last time I saw them! All their songs are really catchy and the guitarists and even the bassist have some serious skills. They played some new stuff and some old stuff and filmed the entire thing. A great performance and I'd love to see them again.

This is the first time I've seen Serated at a venue where I could actually hear them clearly and it made a huge difference. At the Riot Room their guitars were reduced to a wall of noise, but at the Beaumont I could hear all the groove and beats to their music and it really surprised me. What didn't surprise me is that their bassist is still a beast. Seriously, I think every Serated show should have a 10-minute bass solo in it. Dude is seriously talented. And thanks for the shout-out during your set, bro's!

The only band I'd never seen before tonight was Diskreet and it wouldn't be completely accurate to call them a band; they were more like a ball of pure energy set to death metal. The singer was covered in fake blood and bounding around the stage like a madman. Both the guitarists had some crazy solo's and the sound was magnificent all the way through. Diskreet just might be the biggest current local band from this area and man, they definitely deserve it.

My broseph's in Troglodyte absolutely laid waste to Kansas City tonight. They played a perfect setlist and they sounded fantastic. My favorites sounded great like Don't Go In The Woods and They Walk Among Us, but Hit By The Henderson's was insane. I almost wore myself completely out from headbanging too hard. A Madball cover and two GG Allin covers were thrown in for good measure and it was a devestating set.

It's Hammerween, so OF COURSE Hammerlord has to headline! Stevie was dressed up in a wrestler costume doing his best Macho Man Randy Savage impersonation and the smile never left my face. We all know by now that the instruments and the vocals for Hammerlord are mythical in a live setting, but you really have to see it to believe it. Screaming along with Tombstone Piledriver and Creating Destruction is always fun, but I think The Ballad Of Rusty Tomaski just might be my new favorite Hammerlord live song. It's just brutal. Best Hammerlord performance I've ever seen!

In the end, Hammerween (to me) was a huge success. There were a ton of people in attendance, every band was great, the people were great, and it really made me genuinely happy to know that the KC metal scene is like one big brotherhood. Bring on Hammerween 2k11!

The Cast Pattern included:

Shut Your Homeless Mouth

Koktopus included:

Old Man River
Witching Hour (Venom cover)

At The Left Hand Of God included:

From Coffins Choirs Rise
The Tears Of Blackmail Are Sweet

Diskreet included:

Infernal Throne
We Are Legion

Troglodyte included:

Troglodyte Rises
Don't Go In The Woods...
Skunk Ape Rape
Bite It You Scum (GG Allin cover)
Die When You Die (GG Allin cover)
Back Of The Bus (Madball cover)
Ric Flair's Hair
The Only Good Hippie Is A Dead Hippie
They Walk Among Us

Hammerlord included:

Creating Destruction
Storm The Castle
Demon Fever
Tombstone Piledriver
The Ballad Of Rusty Tomaski
Dead City Radio
Wolves At War's End
Halloween (Misfits cover)

The Cast Pattern: 6/10
Koktopus: 8/10
At The Left Hand Of God: 8.5/10
Serated: 7/10
Diskreet: 9/10
Troglodyte: 10/10
Hammerlord: 10/10

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just in time for Thanksgiving

Another pretty "eclectic" tour will be hitting Aftershock in Merriam, KS on November 16th. Wretched will be headlining, and thrashers Havok will be supporting, along with Armed For Apocalypse. Opening the show will be KC's own speed-demons Vanlade. A diverse bill, but Havok alone should make it worth the cost!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

KC Metal on!

I sent an e-mail to the guys at about how much I love the local metal scene here, and they did a piece on it!

Check it out!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Early Man -- Kansas City, MO -- October 18th, 2010

Not a particularly long concert tonight, but it certainly was a good one. I'm glad I wore my Suicidal Tendencies long-sleeved shirt, it looks like every show I go to for a while will end with a cold night. Anyways:

Walked into the Riot Room with my friend and sat in the bar to make it through Serated. I just don't get this type of music; it's basically just nu-Pantera worship. Definitely not my thing, and judging from the crowd reaction, definitely an odd choice for an opener.

First of the touring bands was Bonded By Blood, and apparently the vocalist is new. New, as in I think it's someone different than the vocalist who sang on their latest release which came out in August. Not my favorite vocals for a thrash band, but the guitarists more than made up for it. Lots of crazy and long solo's. I'd like to see them again.

The main reason I went to this show was for UK's Evile. I think it was their second or third full-fledged US tour and I made sure to let them know that we wanted them back in KC as much as possible! At times, they sounded just like RIB/SOH-era Slayer. At one point in one of their newer songs, I really did think they were covering Slayer. Thrasher was menacing and amazing, just like I hoped it would be, but I think the highlight was definitely We Who Are About To Die. I thought it'd be too long, but I didn't want it to end. Definitely up there on my "to-see again" list.

Ending the night was Early Man. I didn't really care for them when I saw them open for Iced Earth a few years ago, but this show was definitely a different experience. Lots of headbanging from everyone. I think Early Man is one of few thrash bands today that invoke a feeling of the '80s while still being completely original and refreshing to listen to. They're a great fit in-between Bonded by Blood and Evile. Some great solo's during their set as well. They'll be back in KC on February 11th with Bonded By Blood too, opening for Death Angel, and I'll be there to catch their set!

I also picked up a cool Evile shirt!

Early Man included:

Death Potion
Brainwashed At Birth
Feeding Frenzy
Beware The Circling Fin


Infected Nation
We Who Are About To Die
Now Demolition
Enter The Grave

Bonded By Blood included:

Immortal Life
Feed The Beast
Mind Pollution
600 A.B. (After The Bomb)
Prison Planet
Exiled To Earth

Early Man: 8.5/10
Evile: 9/10
Bonded By Blood: 8/10
Serated: 5/10

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Prince of Darkness returns!

Ozzy Osbourne has been playing some fantastic setlists lately, and he is returning to the Sprint Center in Kansas City on January 22nd! Opening the show will be former Guns n' Roses guitarist Slash, who has also been playing some great sets! Best news: cheapest tickets for this show are less than $30!

The Sword - Canceled

Due to their drummer leaving the band in the middle of their US tour, The Sword has canceled all its upcoming tour dates, including the one in a few weeks at the Record Bar in Kansas City. They are currently in the process of rescheduling all dates.

Envy -- Lawrence, KS -- October 10th, 2010

I can't believe a show like this came through Lawrence. There was a great crowd for the entire show, and each band put on amazing performances. Although the crowd was over-the-top violent at times, I had a fantastic experience.

Opening the show was And So I Watch You From Afar from Belfast, Ireland. I didn't know what to expect from them, but they were definitely fun to watch. They're like an instrumental version of The Fall Of Troy, but heavier. The two guitarists were all over the stage and out in the crowd. Great stuff, I'd love to see them again. 9/10

The band I was most excited for was Touche Amore. Their brand of emotional hardcore is infectious and I finally got to sing along with "Honest Sleep" which is always fun. Lots of singing from the crowd and a pretty good pit! I can't wait to see them whenever they come through town. 9.5/10

Trash Talk got the biggest reaction of the night, and definitely the most violent pit of the night. Not the most violent I've ever seen, but I had to break up several fights (punching/choking fights) and there were lots of stage dives and whatnot. The music wasn't too terrible, but they just seemed out of place on this bill. Not too bad, but I was too busy protecting my crotch most of the time. 8/10

The headlining band was Envy from Japan. They looked like regular guys, not a band that combines metalcore with Explosions In The Sky-type post-rock. Their songs were infectious and had the expansive soundscapes of post-rock with the emotional outbursts of energy from bands like Coalesce. Great stuff, and really loud. Lots of noise from the keyboards, but it was offset by beautiful clean vocals. Amazing. 9/10

And So I Watch You From Afar included:

Set Guitars To Kill
If It Ain't Broke...Break It
D is for Django the Bastard

Touche Amore included:

Honest Sleep
And Now It's Happening In Mine
Negotiating The Charade
Always Running, Never Looking Back
I'll Get My Just Deserve
And I'll Deserve Just That

Trash Talk included:

Flesh & Blood

Envy included:

Chain Wandering Deeply

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An odd tour

NY hardcore heavyweights Full Blown Chaos will be on a short tour in November and are ending it in Kansas. On November 19th they'll be at the Lizard Lounge in Wichita, and on the 20th, they'll be at Aftershock in Merriam, KS. Support comes from The Autumn Offering, and Knights of the Abyss, which makes this a...erm...electic tour.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Valient Thorr - Kansas City, MO -- October 3rd, 2010

The weather is getting cooler and that means the good tours should be kicking up all over the country. Valient Thorr has a long history with the Kansas City/Lawrence area since 2001 and with the rabid following and one of the best shows I've ever seen, it's not hard to see why.

Opening the show on a high note was Hammerlord and thanks to the Record Bar's wonderful sound system, they sounded better than any other time I've heard them. Ty and JP absolutely shredded their guitars to pieces and I had a lot of fun screaming along to "Tombstone Piledriver" with Stevie. A short opening set, but it just makes me want to see them even more!

It was my second time seeing Howl this year and overall. The last time was a few months ago in Lawrence on a weird bill consisting of Howl, Phobia and Black Cobra. I gotta say that Howl sounded much better this time. Very, very heavy and the vocals sounded absolutely menacing. I feel like they will continue to get bigger. A tour with Weedeater would be MASSIVE.

I'd actually never heard of Junius before, but apparently there were a few people in the audience who had waited a long time to see them live. I was blown away. The best way I can describe their sound (and I'm probably doing a horrible job) is: Alcest if they had doom/sludge instead of black metal. Or maybe Explosions In The Sky if they were pissed off (and with vocals!). Tons of great moments in their set that made me audibly say "Wow" more than once. Great stuff.

Valient Thorr's set wasn't so much an excellent musical performance as much as it was a bunch of fans getting together, having fun, and being happy whilst listening to one of the most energetic bands in the business today. Valient Himself kept the crowd smiling with positive reinforcement before and during songs, and some quirky anecdotes. "Did you know the Record Bar was the first place in America to have automatic paper towel dispensers?" I do now. During one song, he went out into the crowd, motioned for everyone to sit on the floor, and row/headbang along with the music. It was just random things like this that made this one of the funnest shows I've seen. The music was great, too. If AC/DC was metal and awesome, they'd be Valient Thorr. I can only hope they return from Venus to bless the KC area with their metal again soon.

Valient Thorr included:

Mask Of Sanity
Tomorrow Police
Night Terrors
Vision Quest

and a whole bunch more.

Hammerlord set:

Creating Destruction
Storm The Castle
Tombstone Piledriver
The Ballad Of Rusty Tomaski
Wolves At War's End

Valient Thorr: 10/10
Junius: 9/10
Howl: 8.5/10
Hammerlord: 9/10

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Scion Garage Fest -- Lawrence, KS -- October 2nd, 2010

It ain't no Scion Rock Fest, but Scion Garage Fest was a really fun time with friends and some pretty cool bands. There were about 35 or so bands spread out between four venues, but I only visited two venues and saw five bands. For free, and it was a steal.

The first band was at Liberty Hall and were called Best Coast. A large crowd showed for them, and my friends and I chose to sit up in the balcony for their show. The first half of their performance was alright, but it seemed like every song sounded the same. There was no bass player, but the guitarist who was "acting" as the bass player was getting really into it, but the two girls doing vocals/guitar and drums seemed to recycle the same couple of types of music over and over again. Only when the 40 minute set reached the halfway point did they really step it up and start playing really catchy lo-fi dream-pop. A little nine year old girl even got up on stage to play tambourine, and she was singing along with every word! That was pretty funny. Best Coast certainly wasn't the worst band I'd ever heard from that genre. 7.5/10

Liberty Hall completely emptied out after Best Coast, but I stayed to see the band after called The Ponies. To be honest, I thought their guitar tone and the vocals sounded like a less energetic version of The Hives, who I love. I enjoyed them a lot, but at about halfway through their set, I left because they had started to get a bit repetitive. Not too bad at all! 7.5/10

One of the bigger crowds of the day was at the Jackpot. I walked down there and caught the last half of Happy Birthday's set. They sounded pretty good, a faster version of Best Coast with some guitar solo's thrown in! The vocalist was pretty crazy, too. He was drunk, high, or both. It blew my mind that a guy with that long of hair wasn't playing metal! 8/10

The Jackpot was crammed for one of the "headliners" of the day, The Gories. Two guitarists and a drummer with only two floor tom's. Interesting, but they played intense and straight-up punk n' roll. It almost sounded like a more punk versions of 50's rock n' roll bands. With a song with lyrics like, "Hey hey, we're the Gories!" how can you not have fun and jump around. A couple of cool guitar solo's and the crowd went wild. I think if they had a full drum kit their sound would be much better because although it sounded great, it just sounded like something was missing. Like the band was kind of empty. I only stayed for about half their set, but it was truly an experience. 8/10

The only band I had listened to prior to the day of the fest was The Raveonette's, so I was pretty excited for them. There weren't a lot of people there; enough so that it was a good-sized crowd, but not so many that it was uncomfortable. Their brand of noise rock/shoegaze/punk had touches of everything from The Jesus and Mary Chain to Joy Division in it. When they weren't blasting full force with a full band, they sang some great songs with just the bassist + the two guitarists playing tambourines, or each guitarist playing and singing their own solo song. I think the girl's solo song might have been a cover. They were great and full of energy; more than once I got chills up and down my spine. They ended their set, the house lights came on, and the roadies were taking down equipment, but the crowd kept cheering and the band actually came back out and played two more songs. I've never actually seen that happen before! Great stuff, one of the best sets of 2010! 9/10

Again: it ain't no Scion Rock Fest, but give me a stellar Garage Fest line-up like Scion did this year and I'll keep coming back.