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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

High On Fire -- Kansas City, MO -- December 10th, 2012

This was my first show since Converge on Oct. 20th - so almost my first in two months. Perhaps I should slowly walk back into the world of live music with a low-volume, low-key show? NOPE. It was High On Fire and Goatwhore, and my ears are still ringing. Aside from that, it was one of the most solid shows I've ever been to!

First band was local doom rock/metal guys In The Grove and I just have to say...why have I not heard these guys before?! Honestly one of the best first performances by a local band that I've not heard of before. Very heavy and very catchy, had a whole Boris/Doomriders/Torche thing going on and they definitely weren't afraid to solo it up or crush the audience with riffs. Very impressive all around and a great way to start the night.

Up next was Lo-Pan from Ohio. Another band I had not looked into prior to the show, but they definitely made me and quite a few others fans tonight. Very bass-driven stoner/sludge metal with clean vocals in the vein of Kyuss. Not really in the vein of Kyuss, more like they ARE Kyuss. That's exactly what they sounded like and it ruled heavily. Their bassist also is one of the best bass players I've ever seen. He was shredding on that thing and was matching the equally talented guitarist note for note. Lots of headbanging with them and I hope they start to get huge.

Goatwhore was the first ever metal band I saw live when they opened up for Celtic Frost on their reunion tour on October 16th, 2012. I saw a bit of them earlier this year when they headlined a much too large venue following Hate Eternal, but playing after Erik Rutan and co. didn't do them any favors. Here, though, they sounded amazing. Full of tons of energy and constantly just going from song to song was awesome. Ben Falgoust might actually be one of the better live vocalists I've seen. He sounds almost exactly as he does on Goatwhore's studio work. He would bound around the stage and interact with the crowd during songs. Definitely a great frontman. The rest of the band was on point - especially Sammy Duet. His guitar tone was crunchy and heavier than I expected. They turned out to be a LOT better than I had expected! Despite being a really different genre of metal than the other bands here, they were a great change of pace! I didn't get a close look at the setlist and it looked like a few songs were crossed out, but I'm pretty sure their set was the same as the other dates.

The main attraction, though, was High On Fire. This is one of the smallest venues the band has played at and it made for an immense show. The band is LOUD, but they were mixed extremely well. I was 2 feet away from Matt Pike right in front of him the entire show and it was almost a religious experience. He is such a good riffer and non-technical soloist that I don't want to headbang during the songs just so I can watch him - and I don't even play guitar. But yeah, they sounded very heavy. The guitar was very full and the bass and drums added to it. It's much heavier in person than on album, if you can believe that. The crowd really got going during "Frost Hammer" and "Devilution", but my favorite performance of the night was "Speedwolf." That track just has such a heavy groove that translates so well live. Matt introduced most of the songs and thanked the crowd a few times, but other than that it was all business - just how it should be. They ripped through a great rendition of "Snakes for the Divine" and left the stage while everyone picked their ears and minds up off the floor. A great last concert of 2012.

Picked up a pretty nice brown HoF shirt with a really cool design on it. Wanted the Richard Pryor shirt and also "High On Fire" done in the Masters Of Reality album cover style, but they were out of my size. D: All bands have a TON of merchandise, though.

High On Fire:

Serums of Liao
Frost Hammer
10,000 Years
Fertile Green
Rumors of War
Fury Whip
Blood From Zion
Snakes for the Divine


Collapse in Eternal Worth
When Steel and Bone Meet
Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word
Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult
Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos
In Deathless Tradition
Sky Inferno
Beyond the Spell of Discontent
Judgement of the Bleeding Crown
To Mourn and Forever Wander Through Forgotten Doorways
An End to Nothing
Apocalyptic Havoc

High On Fire: 9.5/10
Goatwhore: 9/10
Lo-Pan: 9/10
In The Grove: 8.5/10

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just announced: VEKTOR!!!

In case you missed their excellent show back 8/21, Vektor is returning to the Riot Room on November 6th, a Tuesday! One of the best up and coming bands this century. You do NOT want to miss this! Opening the show are amazing dudes in Hellevate and Vanlade!

Note: It looks like Vektor is NOT headlining this show. They should still get a pretty nice set out of it, though. The headlining band is System Divide. I will save my commentary on them for myself.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Just announced: The Faceless!

Modern tech death gigantors The Faceless are returning to the area on November 29th at the Beaumont Club! They always put on a great show, and their newest album is unlike anything they've done before. Will undoubtedly be a great performance! Opening is the always stellar Revocation, The Haarp Machine, Sicadis,  Conflicts and Aerodyne Flex!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Saint Vitus -- Lawrence, KS -- October 2nd, 2012

Awesome show, although the crowd could've been much better. Lots of people just standing around for most of Vitus' set except for the last two songs, which seems to be kinda typical nowadays, unfortunately. The band sounded great, though - Dave Chandler's tone is straight out of the late 70's and Wino sounds great. He was goofing around with the crowd in between songs and got down to let them sing with him on some parts. And Dave, of course, ran out into the crowd on the last insane solo for Born Too Late, rubbing the strings on random patron's heads. He just threw his guitar on stage at the end, put both fists in the air, and walked to the merch booth while the reverb kept going. So awesome.

It was my fourth time seeing Weedeater, and it was probably the loudest I've ever seen them. They're already playing on blown out amps, but they just proceeded to blow them out even more. Dixie Dave was just as nuts as ever, and he seemed to have a good time joking along with the other members of the band. His vocals sounded fantastic, too. "Jason...The Dragon" was massive and "Weed Monkey" is still one of my favorite closing live metal songs. Probably consistently my favorite band of this type of genre.

Sourvein was the first touring band to play. I'd seen the vocalist in Hail!Hornet twice earlier this year, and he's still just as good in his main band. It took a few songs for the crowd to warm up, but they got a great reception. Very, very loud and very sludgey. Some of the best sludge/stoner vocals I've heard. I might want to see Hail!Hornet again next time, but I won't complain with Sourvein.

Opening the show was local band Death Valley Wolf Riders. They are basically what happens when you cross Speedwolf with Alabama Thunderpussy. Cool southern speed metal/rock. Fun kinda-southern vocals about motorcycles, werewolves and guitars - good fun and good opener.

All the bands had a lot of merch. Saint Vitus' main draw was a shirt with their logo on the front and "FUCK THAT WEAK SHIT" in the Vitus font on the back. Also a nice long-sleeve and other stuff. Was really hoping they had the pink/blue Born Too Late tees still, but nope. Sourvein had one design that was their logo in the Sunn amps logo, but in a million different colors. Weedeater had a million different shirts, too. I picked up a Vitus patch!

Saint Vitus (the order might be a bit off, but these were all the songs):

Blessed Night
I Bleed Black
War Is Our Destiny
Let Them Fall
The Bleeding Ground
The Troll
Living Backwards
The Waste of Time
Clear Windowpane
White Stallions
Dying Inside
Born Too Late


Turkey Warlock
Jason... The Dragon
God Luck and Good Speed
For Evans Sake
Gimme Back My Bullets
Monkey Junction
Weed Monkey

Sourvein (out of order, but all songs were played):

Imperial Bastard

Dirty South was written, but not performed

Saint Vitus: 9/10
Weedeater: 9/10
Sourvein: 8/10
Death Valley Wolf Riders: 7.5/10

Monday, September 17, 2012

Kreator -- Kansas City, MO -- Septembe 16th, 2012

This is the old-school heavy metal tour of the year for sure. Swallow The Sun is old-school heavy (despite not being old), Accept was old-school rocking, and Kreator was old-school brutality! Despite a few sound issues for some of the bands, it was a solid night overall.

Hellevate opened the night as people were still coming in. They only had time for about four songs, but they made the most of it. The whole band is really animated, especially the vocalist. He reminds me of a young Bobby Blitz. The riffing was solid and they had a nice thick bass sound, but it all kinda went to moot because not a ton of the crowd was feeling them. Tonight was their album release show, too, so it kinda sucks they didn't get at least a bit longer. Great warm-up, though.

It was my first time seeing Swallow The Sun since they played with Soilwork, Darkane and Warbringer back in 2008. This band seems to get on really odd tours. But they were still really heavy. They played six songs, but only two of them had any clean vocals - they catered their set to appeal to the fans of this tour, obviously. When all the instruments just started riffing together in one of their painfully heavy and slow breakdowns, it was so awesome. Swallow The Sun here and then Katatonia a few days ago? I'm in melancholic death/doom heaven. Awesome.

Up next was the legendary Accept. "Legendary" is a fair title, because they've absolutely earned it. A very high energy performance from all members of the band, spot-on sound and great crowd interaction. They were good and loud without being overbearing. The lead guitars came through perfectly, especially during the solos. The new vocalist also sounded fantastic. The band didn't spend that long chatting up the crowd in between songs, but it's okay because they spent most of their time rocking out! Lots of singing along with them. Old-school awesome!

Kreator was very punishing and very brutal, but unfortunately the sound problems that had been reported for previous shows were prevalent here. About half of their set, I could barely hear the guitars when they weren't soloing. Fortunately, this didn't deter from the overall performance that much. Their mix of likable new songs and classic ones went over very well with the crowd and there were several large mosh and circle pits during their set. They unfortunately cut out Betrayer, but the rest of the set was the same. Mille's vocals were great and the whole band sounded awesome for being able to play so fast. If you see Kreator, expect to mosh!


Mars Mantra
Phantom Antichrist
From Flood Into Fire
Enemy Of God
Hordes Of Chaos (A Necrologue To The Elite)
Civilization Collapse
Voices Of The Dead
Extreme Aggressions
People Of The Lie
Death To The World
Coma Of Souls/Endless Pain
Pleasure To Kill
The Patriarch/Violent Revolution
Flag Of Hate/Tormentor


Hung, Drawn, and Quartered
Restless And Wild
Losers And Winners
Shadow Soldiers
Bucket Full Of Hate
Princess Of The Dawn
Up To The Limit
Teutonic Terror
Metal Heart
Fast As A Shark
Balls To The Wall

Swallow The Sun (I think):

Emerald Forest and the Blackbird
Hate, Lead the Way!
Psychopath's Lair
Cathedral Walls
New Moon
Swallow (Horror Pt. 1)

Kreator: 8/10
Accept: 8/10
Swallow The Sun: 8/10
Hellevate: 8/10

Friday, September 14, 2012

Devin Townsend Project -- Lawrence, KS -- September 13th, 2012

Man, the drive there was stupid. The highway was down to one lane for most of the way and it was pouring down rain. I was ANGRY, but I'm really glad I stuck it out and went!

I got to the Granada about halfway through Stolen Babies' set. I wasn't really all that impressed with them. I guess I'm used to accordion's being used in a kick-ass, folk metal way, but it just kinda didn't serve a purpose in their set. I thought their bassist and drummer were pretty good, but other than that...nothing really stood out for me. And they're the second band I know of where one person's sole job is to bang on an empty oil drum during shows.

Paradise Lost was awesome! Those kinda old-school, late 80's/early 90's doom bands always bring it. They were very heavy, although the vocalist seemed like he was struggling on a few songs. I guess he had some voice problems and ended their set early at an earlier date. The whole band was really into the performance, though. Really good though.

The big response of the night came from Katatonia, however. One word: Wow. These dudes can put on a show. They were heavy, melodic, had some amazing solos and just absolutely ripped everyone's face off. There was a ton of headbanging in the crowd and lots of singing along, too. Jonas' vocals sounded spot on, and both of the guitars really crunched and brought the house down around them. I can't believe I even entertained the thought for even a second that I might have skipped them. Never again!

I was actually going to leave after Katatonia, but I'm pretty glad I stuck around for Devin Townsend. Although he wasn't nearly as jaw-dropping as Katatonia, I was really glad I stuck around for him. First and foremost - he is an entertainer. I don't think I've ever seen a frontman for a band engage an audience like he does. Whether it's talking to the crowd in-between songs or playing to them during songs, Devin is just really fun to watch. Most of the stuff they played was on the heavier side, although the song "Life" has a really upbeat, almost pop sound that was fantastic! Set went really fast, and I really hope he'll be back many more times.

Devin Townsend set:

Seventh Wave (Ocean Machine)
Life (Ocean Machine)
Supercrush! (Devin Townsend Project)
Kingdom (Devin Townsend/Devin Townsend Project)
Liberation (Devin Townsend Project)
Truth (Devin Townsend)
Regulator (Devin Townsend)
Color Your World (Devin Townsend)
Vampira (The Devin Townsend Band)
Lucky Animals (Devin Townsend Project)
Juular (Devin Townsend Project)
Grace (Devin Townsend Project)


1. Dead Letters
2. Buildings
3. The Longest Year
4. Deliberation
5. My Twin
6. The Racing Heart
7. Lethean
8. Teargas
9. Walking by a Wire
10. Sleeper
11. Hypnone
12. Forsaker
13. Leaders

Paradise Lost (included(Out of order and incomplete):

Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us
Tragic Idol
One Second
Say Just Words
The Enemy

Devin Townsend Project: 8.5/10
Katatonia: 10/10
Paradise Lost: 8.5/10
Stolen Babies: 6/10

Monday, September 10, 2012

A couple new HUGE shows!

Show 1:

Megadeth will be performing all of Countdown To Extinction on November 28th at the Midland in KC! Kyng + TBA will open! Cool!

Show 2:

Dethklok w/ Machine Head, All That Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder will be at the Midland on November 17th! First time Machine Head has been around these parts since the first Mayhem Fest, I think. Awesome!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New shows alert!

Got some new shows announced lately! Remember - always check the sidebar for upcoming shows. I update that more often than actually posting about shows!

That Lamb of God tour that got canceled has had its make-up dates announced. It's all different bands this time, though. They'll be at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City along with In Flames, Hellyeah and Sylosis. Last time they were at the Uptown, a huge crowd showed up. Wouldn't doubt it to happen again at this show. So get there early!


The Sword will be returning to the Record Bar in Kansas City almost exactly 2 years after their triumphant show in 2010. They'll be there on December 3rd with Gypsyhawk and American Sharks. They were really heavy 2 years ago, so I expect no different from them this time.

If you are really keen on  Gypsyhawk, they have a show at the Aftershock in Merriam, KS on September 20th with Vanlade and Alsatia. A great headliner with amazing local bands. Totally worth seeing them twice!


Converge is coming back to the Granada theater with an absolutely stacked bill. Opening the show is local boys Mansion, then Kvelertak and Torche will light everyone on fire. The Lawrence date is special because after Torche, local legends Coalesce will take the stage to open for Converge! Legendary. Don't miss this show, because it'll be full of stage dives!


If you want to slow things down, drone-doom pioneers Earth will be at the Record Bar on November 19th. Earplugs are recommended, they can get loud! Eagle Twin and Stebmo open.


Keep an eye out, here and on the sidebar and all the local venue's websites. Lots of stuff is getting announced!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Vektor -- Kansas City, MO -- August 21st, 2012

Shows like these are the reason I live for heavy metal. There is no other place in the world that makes me happier than at a metal concert. Surrounded by tons of my friends and a lot of fanatical Kansas City metalheads, Vektor put on one of the best performances ever and have solidified their place in the annals of heavy metal history. I could honestly write like a 50-page paper of why heavy metal is the greatest thing in the world right now because of this show, but I'll try and keep it brief and just about the amazing show tonight.

The thing about Vektor is that they are definitely on the brink of exploding with popularity. When I saw them a few years back, at a free show nonetheless, there was barely anyone there for them. At this show, they had a big crowd (especially for a Tuesday night past midnight) and the numbers didn't dwindle at all throughout their set. I would say there was close to 100 people or so in this tiny bar and I don't think anyone left during their set, which was amazing. During Black Future, David broke a guitar string and left to repair it, so the rest of the band kinda jammed on stage for a good 10-15 minutes. The crowd was really understanding, and let out a cheer when they did a bit of The Number Of The Best and Scavenger Of Human Sorrow. After David got everything fixed, they ripped right back into the set. We missed a couple of Outer Isolation tracks because of the technical difficulty, but it seems to me we got a bit of an extended encore.

Black Future was, of course, a killer tune. I headbanged so much during each song that my neck broke, but none more so than for Hunger For Violence. You have to mosh to that song. It's not a suggestion, you HAVE to. And everyone should be familiar with how much I don't like to mosh. Tetrastructural Minds was insane and is still my favorite track off of Outer Isolation. I think they were originally going to end with Forests of Legend, but we wanted Accelerating Universe, so they played that! It was seriously insane. So much moshing and headbanging. They were about ready to pack up but everyone kept screaming. At this time it was like 12:50 AM so they got the okay for one more, and gave us Asteroid! Killer, killer stuff.

The sound was impeccable. I could really hear each instrument and the vocals perfectly, which was surprising because I was up right in the front. This is kinda weird I guess, but I absolutely love the thick bass sound that Vektor has, and it was mixed perfectly tonight. The bass on Cosmic Cortex makes me want to rip my face off. Erik and David hit every note perfectly, and Blake on the drums is one of the most talented drummers I've ever seen, especially with such a modest kit.

The dudes were really, really appreciative of the crowd. Huge crowd on a Tuesday night in Kansas City...who woulda thunk it? Erik came up to me afterwards and laughed at my shirt of choice for the show (my bright blue and yellow "Defend Pop Punk" New Found Glory shirt :3 ) and assured me that they'd be back in KC. YEAH!

Three amazing local bands opened the show. The first to play was Meat Shank and they play awesome death/thrash. Probably the best performance I've seen by them. They were a lot heavier than they've ever been, and there were lots of people headbanging to them. They did a killer cover of Slayer's Antichrist too. They need to play more!

Second band of the night was one of my new favorite power metal bands from the area, Alsatia. They have the riffs and solo of thrash metal, but the vocals and keyboards for Rhapsody-esque power metal. It mixed very well, and the guitarist and keyboardist do that Bodom-style solo battle type thing very well!

Direct support came from Hellevate who play like (and get the reaction of) a legendary thrash band. Seriously, the vocalist has the charisma and the pipes of Bobby Blitz, and their brand of thrash was so infectious that it kind of boggles my mind how they aren't the biggest band from the Midwest right now.

Man, I just can't get over how amazing this show was. Having a ton of my friends there, some who I haven't seen in a while, just added so much to the experience. I love heavy metal so much and I will love it more than anything else for the rest of my life.

Vektor: 10/10
Hellevate: 9/10
Alsatia: 8.5/10
Meat Shank: 8.5/10


Cosmic Cortex
Black Future
(long jam while David fixed his guitar)
Echoless Chamber
Tetrastructural Minds
Dark Nebula
Hunger For Violence
Deoxyribonucleic Acid
Accelerating Universe

Friday, August 17, 2012

Upcoming religious experience: SAINT VITUS!

One of the best bands EVER, Saint Vitus, will be in Lawrence on Oct. 2nd! These guys are legendary, and they're on top of their game right now. Opening is the ever amazing Weedeater, along with Sourvein! They'll rip the roof off the Granada.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Upcoming Show: Negative Approach

Old-school hardcore punk band Negative Approach will be at the Record Bar in Kansas City on September 11th. These guys are still going strong from their days in the 80s, and are as energetic as ever! Opening is Early Graves, Spine and No Class. Don't come to this unless you wanna get bruised up.

White Wizzard -- Kansas City, MO -- August 9th, 2012

Despite it being the first night of the tour and despite the two opening touring bands not playing the first date of the tour, White Wizzard put on a phenomenal show. Even though they go through more lineup changes than a preseason football squad, the group they have now are phenomenal. Their new lead guitarists can both shred, but I was on the side of Jake Dreyer and he was melting my face in every song. There was a nice, thick, Maiden-esque bass sound to every song, and the new vocalist Joseph just added to everything. They were really appreciative and there were more than a few fans in the audience that were headbanging and singing along with a ton of the songs.

The coolest part of the night was when someone pointed out that there were a few underage kids (the venue was 21+) were watching through the windows out on the street. Near the end of their set, someone opened the door right next to the window, and during a song, guitarist Jake walked outside and started playing to those two kids! It was so awesome. My friend and I went out there and headbanged with them! I remember when I stood outside that same venue to watch Exodus in the freezing sleet because I wasn't 21. White Wizzard totally made those kids have a memorable night!

Every song they played was awesome, especially the older stuff like 40 Deuces, Over The Top and High Speed GTO. Iron Goddess Of Vengeance was really heavy, too. Just all around good sound and great performance from the band.

We didn't get Icarus Witch and Widow, who will be on later dates of the tour. Direct support came from local heavy/power metal band Ancient Creation. One guitar, bass, drums and vocalist, but they were really heavy. They're older dudes, so instead of just emulating that classic heavy metal sound, they are the real deal! Their songs Apocalypse and Bringer Of Evil were awesome, and they can really shred.

Opening the show was good ol' Vanlade. The power/speed/thrash powerhouse added a second guitarist to their lineup again, and it only added another layer of awesome to their sound. This might have been the best time I've seen them, and they ended with a cover of Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild. Awesome!

Such a great show, even though some of the bands fell through. Next time!

White Wizzard:

Torpedo Of Truth (new song)
40 Deuces
Out Of Control
Flying Tigers
Iron Goddess Of Vengeance
Fall Of Atlantis
Over The Top
High Speed GTO

Ancient Creation included:

Bringer of Evil

Vanlade included:

Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf cover)

White Wizzard: 9/10
Ancient Creation: 8/10
Vanlade: 8/10

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Upcoming concert: Abigail Williams last area show!

There is a giant local metal festival at the Riot Room on September 1st that has too many amazing local metal bands to remember. It's for KC Anthem's 5 Year Anniversary show, and it utilizes both the indoor and outside stage at Riot. That's reason enough to go, but Abigail Williams will be headlining the show. They are breaking up after this tour, and their last album was amazing! This will definitely be a memorable show.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Upcoming show: VEKTOR!!!

If you don't know Vektor, then you're missing out on possibly the most electrifying and amazing band of the past few years. Their first album, Black Future, is my favorite thrash album of all time. Their new album, Outer Isolation, continues their amazing streak of perfect musical output. They'll be at the Riot Room on August 21st with three of the best local bands opening for them: Meatshank, Alsatia and Hellevate! This will be an unbelievable night of metal capped off by one of the best bands around today.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Coming soon: a ton of show announcements!

Hey dudes. I'm all moved in to my new place, so get ready for lots of updates again! There have been a ton of shows announced, which I'll post here shortly. Something for everyone, I'm sure.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Warped tour -- Bonner Springs, KS -- July 9th, 2012

What a great time I had today. By far the best Warped Tour I've been to. It was pretty much cloudy and sprinkling rain all day today, until the sun came out for the final hours of the festival. Couldn't ask for a better experience. No sunburns, no dehydration, all fun!

I got to Sandstone (now Cricket Wireless, but I'll never call it that) Amphitheater around Noon and I could hear some music going on already. Warped was split up that the main amphitheater with the big stage, in front of the seats and the general lawn area, was one of the main stages. The rest were in the 2nd parking lot. As I got in and walked down into the lawn area, I realized the band playing was For Today. I walked down and the singer was screaming about how the only way for salvation was for everyone in the crowd to give themselves to Jesus Christ today and to not wait to do it. Right after, he wanted the biggest circle pit and for everyone to go crazy. The fact that what I heard of them was one big breakdown didn't help either. I quickly booked it over to the parking lot.

My first really big letdown of the day followed shortly. As I made it to the parking lot, I started to walk over to the giant blowup schedule they have to see when everyone is playing. Unfortunately for me, I walked by Man Overboard who were just finishing up their set. They were one of my must-see bands, so I was pretty devastated. I didn't really hear enough of them to give a proper review, so I can only hope that they'll be back soon. Rather than see half a song from them and judge them on that, I went and picked up one of the printed out schedules they have for sale (even though it cost $2, it's super preferable for me.)

I went over to a different stage and saw my first band of the day: Four Year Strong. Even though I was off to the side and in the back of the giant crowd there, I thought they sounded really good! Really heavy for their infectious brand of pop punk. I actually think they are creating the best pop-punk around right now. "It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now" was awesome and there were tons of people crowd surfing during their entire set. Great way to start the day off.

I had a good chunk of time until the next band I wanted to see, so I walked around a bit. Warped Tour is really cool because they have a ton of tents for each band on the tour, and then some more tents for labels, social things, etc. There was always something going on. I picked up a shirt and a vinyl from New Found Glory. At this point I walked over to the Ernie Ball stage and watched local dudes The Atlantic played, and they were great! They're kind of just straight up rock-n-roll and I'm really looking forward to seeing them again soon. I love the KC music scene so much!

As I walked down to the amphitheater stage, I passed blessthefall finishing up their set. Still as bad as when I had to suffer through their entire set. I just don't get them at all. Anyway, I got to the amphitheater pit area with a sparse crowd and waited for Streetlight Manifesto. As soon as they took the stage and started their "Saints Come Marching In" intro, the pit area had a good sized crowd. Literally for every song, the entire pit turned into a bunch of happy people skanking everywhere. I've never seen anything like it. The pit area was pretty full by the end of their set, and everyone was skanking! So much fun. The band was great and is pretty much the epitome of why ska is such a fun genre. They didn't talk a whole lot to the crowd, but that was alright. Great stuff! I hope I can see them again when they come back.

At this point it was the biggest break I had in between bands. I mostly just walked around and listened to a bunch of bands and went and got some more merch. I watched a little bit of Yellowcard - not enough to do a proper review, but I heard them play a new song and it sounded alright.

I made my way back to the amphitheater stage. I passed Rise To Remain playing, and they didn't sound good at all. Again, just a passing glance, but not my thing. There were a million people at the amphitheater stage, both in the pit and in the seats. They were there for The Used. I can maybe count five songs by them that I like, and they were pretty much their biggest hits, so I decided to check them out. As soon as they started, I could tell they weren't going to be very good. I don't know if it's because Bert was sick or drunk or a crackhead or a combination of all three, but his vocals were terrible. Especially for the old songs. I stuck it out for Take It Away, The Bird And The Worm, two more songs and The Taste Of Ink, then I got out of there.

At 3:30, New Found Glory was doing a signing. I wasn't going to do it because I thought there was no way I would get there early enough, but to my surprise it was about 3:20 and there were only about 20 people in line. I had to do it. As I waited, I listened to this guy called Troy Harley on the Ernie Ball stage. He was playing a cover of some pop song and his normal songs weren't that much better, but then he did a cover of The Pretender by the Foo Fighters, and that actually wasn't too bad. But I got my vinyl copy of Radiosurgery signed by all of NFG which I am still so stoked about. I was wearing my Final Four NCAA shirt that had both the UK and KU logo's on it, and Chad was like "Oh, nice shirt man! My family is from Kentucky and I love UK!" and I was like "UK? Don't you mean KU?" and he just laughed. They were the first band I ever saw live, so it was such an amazing moment for me.

Right after the signing, I checked out Transit on the small Ernie Ball stage. I knew I would like them, but I had never really listened to them before. They were one of the biggest surprises of the day! I'd definitely say they were like a cross between Man Overboard and Fireworks. That Melodic Hardcore/emotional pop-punk type of stuff. It was really infectious! The crowd was definitely into it, and during the last song the vocalist dove into the crowd while everyone was jumping on each other to scream into the mic. I'm really glad I caught them. Will definitely be checking them out more.

I was pretty worn out by this time, so I skipped walking back down to the amphitheater stage to see Miss May I, and headed over to the Kevin Says stage to check out After The Burial. Before them was a band from New Zealand and/or England (lol accents) called We Are The Ocean. I thought they were really, really good! It's kind of weird, but they gave me a vibe kinda like Muse and Rise Against mixed together. After their few songs, ATB started setting up. As soon as they took the stage, the crowd in front of them swelled to huge numbers. So many people came just as they started. Their first song was nothing special, but then they did "Berzerker" which is just a fun song. I don't know how anyone could not at least headbang to that song, especially to the breakdowns. Luckily the pit was full of actual pitting and no dancing. The bass sounded non-existant, although the guitar players are just as good live as they are on album. And I really thought their vocalist was good, especially his guttural lows. I left after Berzerker, knowing that they could only go down from there.

On the Monster Energy stage was Every Time I Die. They had another huge crowd waiting for them, and as soon as they started the pit turned into absolute mayhem. A million billion crowdsurfers and moshers. Craziness. I didn't stay for ETID's whole set, but I know I saw them play We'rewolf, Underwater Bimbo's From Outer Space, and Wanderlust which I thought was a brilliant song. I wouldn't mind seeing them in a smaller venue with better acoustics.

Before my main band of the day, I stopped at the Tilly's stage to check out We Are The In Crowd. They're like old Paramore and if All Time Low wasn't terrible now. Not a whole lot of people there, but a lot of people singing along, mostly screaming underage high school girls. You know, that kind of band. But they did Paramore-worship adequately!

FINALLY, it was time for New Found Glory. They came out to Gary Glitter's "Rock And Roll" AKA The Song They Play At Chief's Games. They took the stage in matching NFG Basketball jerseys and kicked right into Hit Or Miss. The entire place erupted: people were circle pitting, tons of people were surfing from the back of the crowd up to the front, and EVERYONE was singing along. It was so much fun. I sang to every single song and it was such a fun experience. They went right into Understatement and there was a huge circle pit for it. Jordan went out into the crowd and was letting people sing and kept giving the mic to crowdsurfers. They shot out t-shirts into the crowd to whoever was on someone else's shoulders and they were having a ton of fun on stage. We got Truck Stop Blues, which was awesome, and Truth Of My Youth. Truth was a fun song, although I wish we would have gotten At Least I'm Known For Something, or another Radiosurgery song. I really hope they take out the Green Day cover after Warped. It's a TON of fun and everyone sings along, but I'd much rather have another NFG staple. The set-closer, My Friends Over You, is pretty much a perfect example of pop-punk. It might even be the pop punk anthem. It gave me chills to everyone singing along, especially in the quiet part. Great way to end their set.

After NFG, I booked it over to the Ernie Ball stage again, which thankfully wasn't far away, to catch the last half of Fireworks. I'm really glad I went, because even though I saw half their set, they were amazing! Their vocalist is really talented, and all their songs ooze of melody and catchiness and amazing lyrics. Again, not a huge crowd for them, but everyone that was there was super passionate about singing along with them. They ended with "Detroit" which is super easy to sing along with, even for people who really don't know them. After their set, I went and got a shirt and their AMAZING album Gospel, which the vocalist autographed for me! One of my favorites.

At this point, I was dead tired. I contemplated just going home, but thankfully I stuck it out for the last two bands I wanted to see. While waiting at the Tilly's stage, the Monster Energy stage started with Sleeping With Sirens. Good Lord almighty, I don't think I've ever heard a worse vocalist in my entire life. I can't really comment on the music, but I had to move closer to my own stage so I wouldn't have to hear him sing anymore. So bad, but people were going nuts for them.

The smallest crowd I was in that day was the 20 - 30 or so that was there for Polar Bear Club. I was kind of surprised they were on a big stage, so I kind of assumed that they might rotate with some other smaller bands. The vocalist was super appreciative of us checking them out. He got down on the barrier and we all swarmed him. They were playing at the same time as Sleeping With Sirens on one side of them, and Taking Back Sunday on the other, so he was so happy for the people that showed up for them. The one song I know by heart for them is Living Saints, and it was amazing live. Screams In Caves and Killin' It were also fantastic. They played like they were in front of 10,000 people and it was such a great experience. Please, PBC...come back to Kansas soon!

The last band I wanted to see was on the same stage, and they started early! It was I Fight Dragons, and they are certainly a different band than the one I saw years ago opening for mc chris. They are definitely more rock oriented, going so far as to re-tool some of their older songs to appeal more to a live setting. They still had their goofy keyboard player (dressed up as The Stig from Top Gear) playing his Guitar Hero controller and Power Pad, and all the members playing SNES controllers during The Faster The Treadmill. I really wish they would have played Heads Up, Hearts Down, but I loved everything they did. I really need to check out their newer stuff. Oh, and their lead guitarist can SHRED.

And that was it. IFD started a little early, so I got to leave while Rise Against played behind me, and I passed a huge crowd waiting for You Me At Six. It took me a million years to get out of the parking lot, but this was by FAR the best Warped Tour I've ever been to. No dehydration, no sunburns, and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. Hung out with some great friends there (including Nick_to_the_face who watched IWABO) and it was one of the best days ever!

Four Year Strong

Tonight We Feel Alive (On a Saturday)
Stuck in the Middle
What the Hell is a Gigawatt?
Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
Heaven Wasn't Built to Hold Me
Maniac (R.O.D.)
It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now
Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)

Streetlight Manifesto

Intro (The Saints Go Marching In)
Would You Be Impressed?
Watch it Crash?
(New Song)
We Will Fall Together
Down, Down, Down to Mephisto's Cafe
Somewhere in the Between
A Moment of Violence
Here's to Life

The Used

Take It Away
The Bird and the Worm
Put Me Out
The Taste of Ink
All That I've Got
Pretty Handsome Awkward
A Box Full of Sharp Objects


Listen & Forgive
Long Lost Friends
Asleep at the Wheel
Please, Head North
Skipping Stone
All Your Heart
Stay Home

We Are The Ocean

Trouble Is Temporary, Time Is Tonic
What It Feels Like
Nothing Good Has Happened Yet
The Waiting Room

Every Time I Die

Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space
Bored Stiff
I Suck (Blood)

We Are The In Crowd

Rumor Mill
Never Be What You Want
Exits and Entrances
For the Win
The Worst Thing about me
Kiss Me Again
Lights Out
Both Sides of the Story

New Found Glory

Hit or Miss
Truck Stop Blues
All Downhill From Here
Something I Call Personality
Anthem for the Unwanted
Truth Of My Youth
Basket Case (Green Day cover)
My Friends Over You


I Grew Up In A Legion Hall
X's On Trees
When We Stand On Each Other We Block Out The Sun
The Wild Bunch

Polar Bear Club

Bottled Wind
Our Ballads
Living Saints
Burned Out in a Jar
Screams In Caves
Killin' It
Most Miserable Life

I Fight Dragons

Save World, Get Girl
The Faster the Treadmill
(Goldfinger cover)
The Geeks Will Inherit the Earth

Four Year Strong - 8.5/10
The Atlantic - 8/10
blessthefall - 4/10
Streetlight Manifesto - 9/10
The Used - 6/10
Troy Harley - 6/10
Transit - 8.5/10
We Are The Ocean - 7.5/10
After The Burial - 7.5/10
Every Time I Die - 8/10
We Are The In Crowd - 7/10
New Found Glory - 9.5/10
Fireworks - 9.5/10
Sleeping With Sirens - 3/10
Polar Bear Club - 9/10
I Fight Dragons - 8/10

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Black Cobra -- Kansas City, MO -- July 2nd, 2012

Black Cobra is heavy. That's all you really need to know. In front of a crowd that maxed out at about 75 (hey, it was a lot more than the last time I saw them), they absolutely destroyed. They rarely stopped playing, segueing into each song and only talked to the crowd about three times. But they played a ton of songs. The set I have is out of order but I'm almost positive they played those songs, plus maybe another 4 or 5. One guitarist had the heaviness and crunch of a full-fledged sludge band. It was a riff-filled night of doom. My neck is still sore from headbanging!

(Out of order + missing another 3-4 songs.)
Somnae Tenebrae
Corrosion Fields
Negative Reversal
Storm Shadow
Five Daggers
Red Tide
Dragon & Phoenix

Hardcore duders Gaza opened for Black Cobra and they were a lot better than the first time I saw them. They sound a lot more like Converge now, which is definitely not a bad thing. They're also a very political band, but one that makes you so pissed off that you want to do something. They are still as chaotic and dissonant as ever, though. Good stuff.

There were two local bands opening. Tycho Brahe opened the show and they were kind of fun. I'd say they're a bit like a proggy (sorta) grind 'n' roll band, if that makes any sense. Definitely wanna see them again. Second band was Canyons who are usually really good, but their vocalist had lost his voice halfway through there set. That really sucks, because I know how great these guys are live.

Black Cobra: 9/10
Gaza: 8/10
Canyons: 6/10
Tycho Brahe: 7.5/10

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Upcoming pagan music ritual: Korpiklaani/Moonsorrow/Tyr/Metsatoll!

Get your bear pelts and horns of ale out. It's pagan time in Kansas! Korpiklaani is bringing their party to the Granada in Lawrence on September 3rd! Along with them are Moonsorrow, Tyr and Metsatoll. That's one of the best lineups I've seen in a few years. Awesome!

Upcoming show: White Wizzard/Icarus Witch/Widow

I'm not well-versed in any of these bands, but the thought of this show coming here is amazing. This is going to be such a solid night of heavy metal! These great bands will be at the Riot Room on August 9th. Attend in your patch jacket, or don't come at all!

Upcoming show: Nachtmystium!

Nachtmystium announced a small tour in the late summer, and Lawrence is getting one of the dates! They'll be at the Bottleneck on July 30th with Krieg and Murmur. Totally awesome!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Alice Cooper -- Kansas City, MO -- June 15th, 2012

A late birthday present/early Father's day present, I went with my Dad to Alice Cooper in Kansas City. We had seen him four years ago at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, KS, but everything from Alice's voice to the musical performances and everything in between was MUCH better tonight.

The main difference between this performance and the one I saw a few years ago was that Alice was much more concentrated on the music aspect of the show this time around. There definitely wasn't as much vaudeville interactions as in the past, but it only worked in his favor. He brought out the sword stabbed through stacks of money for Billion Dollar Babies and also got his head chopped off in the guillotine after Wicked Young Man, but it was definitely a rock show. The biggest laugh of the night came when a giant Eddie-esque Alice ran out of stage during Feed My Frankenstein!

Alice's backing band is better than ever. The main noticeable addition to me is Orianthi on guitar, who I absolutely love. She blew me away. Might be one of the best guitarists I've ever seen live! All the musicians had a pretty nice jam session within Halo of Flies, and the two main guitar players had a great call and return shred session in Under My Wheels. There was a bass and drum solo as well, but Orianthi and the guitars were where it was at!

Alice himself actually sounds better now, too. He had a much larger range than he did a few years ago. He hit all the tough notes (well, tough for someone that age) in Only Women Bleed. Great stuff.

So yeah. If you're seeing Alice open for Maiden on their tour coming up, you really don't want to miss him. He's a legend and he's on top of his game right now.

1. The Black Widow
2. Brutal Planet
3. I'm Eighteen
4. Under My Wheels
5. Billion Dollar Babies
6. No More Mr. Nice Guy
7. Hey Stoopid
8. Is It My Body
9. Halo Of Flies
10. I'll Bite Your Face Off
11. Muscle Of Love
12. Only Women Bleed
13. Cold Ethyl
14. Feed My Frankenstein
15. Caffeine
16. Poison
17. Wicked Young Man
18. I Love The Dead
19. School's Out
20. Elected

Alice Cooper: 9.5/10
Venrez: 3/10

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hail!Hornet -- Lawrence, KS -- June 13th, 2012

It seems that the best sludge metal shows are often paired with super hot/muggy weather, small venues and/or dedicated crowds. Lawrence was a combination of all three factors, and sludge supergroup Hail!Hornet took advantage of it all.

The first band to open the night was local metallers The Melting Point Of Bronze. They are all incredibly tight musicians, but it's a little hard to pinpoint exactly what they sound like. As far as genres go, I'd call them (even though I really hate the term) "post-thrash." Kind of like is Pantera, Iced Earth and Metallica had a baby that grew up on Sci-Fi cartoons. If that intrigues you, then you'd be a fan! They had some great call and return shredding guitar solos in most of their songs. Lots of headbanging during them. Looking forward to seeing them more.

When I saw The Gates of Slumber down in Austin, I enjoyed them but I thought the sound was very thin. That wasn't a problem here. They had a commanding guitar tone and guitarist/vocalist Karl was in complete command of his instrument and its pedals. Some of the effects he put on it were just classic heavy metal staples. One word to describe their performance: "Sabbathian." They are riff-lords, as evidenced by how straight-forward and pounding "Ice Worm" is. They ended with "Coven of Cain" and it was a throwback to the glory days of good ol' fashioned heavy metal. Horns up!

Hail!Hornet loves to drink. Hail!Hornet loves to get high. Hail!Hornet loves to play loud music. That's the holy trinity of heavy metal. The band sounded just as good as they did in Texas, but the venue in Kansas was more suited to them. That dirty little bar with a handful of devoted fans in the crowd. Those are always the best shows, right? Once Hail!Hornet kicked in, they really didn't let up once during their set, unless it was to take shots and drinks that were bought for them from the crowd. Troy on vocals really sets the bar for vocalists in sludge metal. They were consistently amazing throughout the entire set. And Dixie Dave Collins is just so much fun to watch, as always. He literally turns into a madman when playing. They were really, really loud. In a good way. Totally heavy, and lightning fast compared to their contemporaries. Hail!Hornet is a must-see if they come near you in a small venue. Absolute metal goodness.

Hail!Hornet: 9/10
The Gates Of Slumber: 9/10
The Melting Point Of Bronze: 7.5/10

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Some live Troglodyte!

I'm actually going to be gone May 31 (my birthday!) through June 4th. I'll be at Chaos In Tejas, down in Austin, TX. Tons of killer metal and punk bands are playing it. Check it out:

Since I probably won't be updating for a while, here's Troglodyte's complete live set opening the Origin show last week! Only 20 minutes, but it's killer! Big thanks to Chris Wilson, Trog's drummer, for uploading this!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Upcoming AWESOME show: Kreator and Accept!

There are metal shows, then there are great metal shows, then there's THIS. Kreator returns to the area for the first time since (I think) 2005. The German thrash pioneers are co-headlining with legendary speed metal band Accept! At first it seems like an odd line-up, but it kinda makes sense! Opening is the VERY good doom/death/gothic band Swallow the Sun and amazing locals Hellevate! This will be the fastest show of the year.

Upcoming show: Lamb of God with guests!

Lamb of God is probably the biggest and fastest rising American metal band in recent memory, and they're returning to Kansas City at the biggest venue they've ever headlined. Opening for them is Dethklok and Gojira! This is definitely a stacked bill and will be a wild show.

Upcoming concert: Clutch w/ Prong!

One of the world's greatest live bands, Clutch, is coming back to the area! They're bringing Prong and Lionize with them to the Granada on July 12th. Clutch really is one of the best live bands you'll ever see, so you bet this show will be nuts!

Upcoming concert: Toadies and Helmet

While maybe not metal in the strictest sense, the Toadies and Helmet are definitely really heavy in their own right. They'll be at the Beaumont Club on August 12th and it's going to be one of the funnest shows of the year!

Upcoming show: Rockstar Mayhem Fest

Yes, sir! After being left off of the initial dates, the Rockstar Mayhem Fest returns to KC this year on July 17th at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater (aka Sandstone). The lineup this year has some tasty acts on it, and some not so good ones. I think there's enough there to warrant a trip to Bonner Springs, though!

Main Stage:

Rotating Band Slot (Asking Alexandria, The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying)

Jagermeister Stage:

Rotating Band Slot (AA, TDWP, AILD)
Rotating Band Slot (AA, TDWP, AILD)
High On Fire

Sumerian Records Stage:

Upon A Burning Body
I, The Breather
Sumerian Stage local opening band

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Origin -- Lawrence, KS -- May 18th, 2012

Tonight was the final date of Origin's headlining Occupation Domination 2012 tour, and it was one of the craziest shows I've ever been to. If you missed this tour, you missed one of the most impressive packages to hit the road in the metal scene in a very long time.

First band of the night was good ol' Troglodyte. It's been a minute since I've seen them, but they still never fail to impress. The sound in the Granada was very very good all night long, and Trog was no exception. They only had about 20 minutes, but they ripped right through the set. They played a few new songs, and they are hard at work on the new Trog album. If the other songs are as half as good as the new ones they played tonight, it'll be a ripper for sure. Great stuff, as always.

Loculus was added to this show after Decrepit Birth dropped off ( :( ) and they were really awesome! They had a great, crunchy old-school guitar tone that reminded me a lot of bands like Bolt Thrower or even Asphyx. Straight-up death metal that induced a lot of banging heads. They also gave away their CD they had for free, which is always good! Check them out.

The first of the regular touring bands was Battlecross. I had just seen them a few months ago when they filled in last-minute on the Goatwhore/Hate Eternal show. They were a lot better this time around, and a lot more thrash. They definitely won me over with their great stage presence and awesome songs. Sure, some of their songs are a bit bland, but it's fun and entertaining. They're on the precipice of exploding into popularity.

Rings of Saturn were next. The fact that they were playing after Battlecross was a shame. There were a few pits for them, but it was obvious that a lot of people in the crowd didn't like them. They are just way too technical for their own good. It just devolves into wankery with -core breakdowns. They were better than I thought they'd be, but they were still pretty bad.

I wasn't too sure how Aborted would do. Yes, they would obviously put on a good show, but I'm not the biggest fan of their past few albums. That said - they absolutely destroyed. They actually didn't play with a bass player, but it really didn't matter. The sounds was incredibly full and really heavy. Almost every song they played sounded like it was tailor-made specifically for headbanging. Color me surprised: Aborted put on the second best set of the night.

Decrepit Birth didn't play ( :( ), so Cattle Decapitation was up next. They took a bit longer than usual to set up because the monitor's were messing up, but it seemed to get fixed right as they kicked into their first song. Travis was a bit more talkative in between songs than I've seen him the past few times, which just made their set more memorable. The sound wasn't amazing, but I could hear all the instruments. The bassist is originally from Topeka, so a bunch of people were going nuts for him the entire time. They played the same set they've been doing all tour long; it's a good set, but I really haven't gotten a quality set of Harvest Floor material, which makes me sad. :( Travis Ryan is still absolutely insane and one of my favorite vocalists. Hocking a loogey, catching it, then snorting the loogey? That's what I'm talking about. Grind goodness.

As good as all the other bands were, they couldn't even touch Origin. I've never seen a crowd go more insane than tonight when Origin was onstage. When I say there were non-stop stage dives, I mean literally person after person after person going everywhere as soon as each song started. It was old-school in the purest sense of the word. Jason is one of the best frontmen in metal. The crowd was putty in his hands, and he could get every moshing, diving and moving whenever he said so. The rest of the band was spot on with their mind-blowing technical prowess, but Jason held the spotlight on himself by bounding all over the stage and even diving out into the crowd. There were walls of death with people riding on eachother's shoulders, there were people cannonballing into groups of about 2 - 3 people, and during the last song was the most hell I've seen unleashed in a pit area at a concert. Literally no one stayed still and everyone moved. Some girl got knocked out so it kinda brought the pit to an early end, but is there a better way to end a tour of such epic proportions? I think not. Origin is amazing and if you haven't seen them yet - I pity you.

Origin set (out of order/missing maybe 1 or 2 more):

Expulsion of Fury
Banishing Illusion
Evolution of Extinction
The Aftermath
Wrath of Vishnu
Consuming Misery (I think)
Staring From The Abyss
Implosion Of Eternity

Cattle Decapitation:

The Carbon Stampede
Dead Set On Suicide
A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat
Testicular Manslaughter
Forced Gender Reassignment
Your Disposal
Success Is... (Hanging By the Neck)
Kingdom of Tyrants

Aborted included:

Global Flatline
Coronary Reconstruction
Meticulous Invagination
The Holocaust Incarnate
The Origin of Disease
Sanguine Verses (...of Extirpation)
The Saw and the Carnage Done

Battlecross included:

Push Pull Destroy

Loculus included:

Chainsaw Disfigurement
Hacked Apart
Ocular Extirpation
The Mutilator

Troglodyte included:

Piece Of You
Mummified Yeti Hand
Caught On Super 8
Bring Me The Head Of Bigfoot
The Only Good Hippie...Is A Dead Hippie
and 2 new ones

Origin: 10/10
Cattle Decapitation: 8/10
Aborted: 8.5/10
Rings of Saturn: 3/10
Battlecross: 7.5/10
Loculus: 8/10
Troglodyte: 8/10

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Upcoming show reminder/update!

Hey dudes and dudettes! It's been a while since some new shows were added, but there have been some and I'll put em all here in a sec! But here's a quick reminder of some killer shows coming up between now and the end of May:

Overkill w/ God Forbid, Suidakra, Diamond Plate, Marasmus at the Beaumont Club on April 26th!
Kittie w/ Warbringer, Pathology, The Agonist, Bonded By Blood, Blackguard at the Beaumont Club on May 9th!
Bible of the Devil at the Riot Room on May 9th!
Origin w/ Cattle Decapitation, Aborted, Decrepit Birth, Battlecross, Troglodyte at The Granada on May 18th!
Danzig and Doyle play Misfits! w/ Hammerlord at Uptown Theater on May 31st!


Now, here are some shows that have been announced recently:


The father of theatrics and shock rock, Alice Cooper, returns to Kansas City after a long while on June 15th at the Midland Theater! I saw him a few years back at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, and he put on an amazing show! Can't wait to see this legend again.


Torche is taking a break from their tour with Corrosion of Conformity to bring possibly the heaviest show of the year to the Riot Room on June 17th! Also with them is The Slowdown!


A pretty big concert for Kansas City - Dream Theater will be making a semi-rare appearance at Starlight Theater on June 29th! Opening for them will be a King Crimson cover band featuring ex-members of the band! Should be a fantastic show.


My personal concert that I'm super excited for is the return of probably the heaviest duo on the planet - BLACK COBRA. They'll be bringing crazy awesome sludgey/crusty/grindy guru's Gaza to the Riot Room on July 2nd! I was floored when I saw these guys a couple years ago. Their last album was amazing, so this show will be off the charts crazy.


And finally, just announced - Nightwish will be returning to Kansas City at the Beaumont Club on September 27th. Along with them is Kamelot. It's not often you see these two bands around these parts, so it's a can't-miss show!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sabaton -- Kansas City, MO -- April 19th, 2012

First things first: go see Sabaton if they are EVER near you. They packed the most energy and showmanship into a live performance I may have ever seen. And this is coming from someone who really hadn't even listened to the band before this week!

Before the band took the stage, they played The Final Countdown over the speakers and everyone was singing along. It was in that moment that I knew the crowd for this show would be amazing, and it really was one of the best crowds I've ever been a part of, even if there weren't a ton of people there. The band exploded onto stage for Ghost Division, and the vocalist Par Sundstrom had the most energy I've seen from a frontman in a long time. He was all over the stage, pounding his fists and jumping up on the monitors. Very animated and very fun to watch. The new guitarists did their jobs perfectly and didn't miss a note. The whole band was all smiles and joking around with each other during the show and it just made the whole experience that much better.

The crowd was very, very loud and energetic throughout Sabaton's entire performance. After every show, we started chanting "Sabaton!" and every time it flabbergasted the band. I know every band says something to the same effect, but I truly believe they weren't expecting a small crowd (200~) on a Thursday night at their very first show in Kansas City to be so crazy and sing along with every single song in the set. The crowd went nuts for every song, but mostly for 40:1, Attero Dominatus, and Swedish Pagans. Par threw his sunglasses out into the crowd during Metal Crue, and it just capped off an excellent night. As someone who was pretty much oblivious to the band until I saw them, they put on one of the best shows I've EVER seen. No joke. See them.

The opening bands were awesome as well! The first band was Alsatia, and they might just be my new favorite power metal band from Kansas City. They were really fast and pretty technical power metal, and it was just great fun. Every member of the band was fantastic.

The second band of the night was Obliterate the Apex, featuring James King (ex-Origin) on drums. While that dude is a beast, so is everyone else in the band! They were the odd band out on the line-up, being technical death metal, but I think their talent and technical prowess won the band over. The two guitarists were blowing my mind at multiple times during the set. Can't wait to see them again!

The last opening band was classic KC power metal band Ancient Creation. Nearing their tenth year as a band, these dudes had a throwback sound to other KC metal like Manilla Road, and it was awesome. Lots of great melodies and great vocals to compliment their fun set. Some of the crowd was singing along as well!

All in all - DON'T MISS SABATON.


Intro: The March to War
Ghost Division
Cliffs of Gallipoli
The Art of War
Into the Fire
Carolus Rex
Swedish Pagans
Attero Dominatus
The Price of a Mile
Coat of Arms
Primo Victoria
Metal Crue

Ancient Creation (out of order/partial):

Bringer of Evil
Profane Destiny

[artist]Sabaton[/artist]: 10/10
[artist]Ancient Creation[/artist]: 8/10
[artist]Obliterate the Apex[/artist]: 8.5/10
[artist]Alsatia[/artist]: 9/10

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Behemoth -- Lawrence, KS -- April 16th, 2012

I've never had a show ruined for me because of sound problems, but last night came pretty close. Luckily, it ended up still being a fantastic concert.

The first band was In Solitude. Although they play pretty much straight-up heavy metal, it kind of had a tinge of black metal to the sound in some songs. The vocalist looked like he was insane, he was muttering to himself and drooling everywhere during the whole set. It was definitely awesome.

The Devil's Blood was the surprising highlight for me. Their brand of occult rock translates so well live, and the guitar players can really shred. In every song, there was at least one solo (usually more) that just made my jaw drop. The vocalist had an insane presence and had the best singing voice of the night and just hit every single note. It was really awesome, and I'm hooked on them now.

Our date was the first date that Watain played on the tour. Throughout the whole night I kept smelling a skunk but it never really hit me until right before Watain just where the smell was coming from. They brought out some giant inverted crosses and hung animal skulls and bones on some poles, then put out some skinned animal heads. Those smelled pretty bad, but it was nothing compared to when Watain themselves took the stage. They were wearing the carcasses of dead animals and the smell was almost unbearable. But it just made for that much of a better show. Watain is probably the purest black metal band I've ever seen. Although I'd consider myself more of a Marduk fan (I don't know why, but I always group the two bands together), Watain put on a pure evil show. All the songs sounded straight out of black metal's glory days in the early 90s, and Erik Danielsson is a great frontman. "Stellarvore" especially was great. Don't miss them!

The fact that Nergal is doing alive, let alone doing a Behemoth tour, after everything that's happened made me in awe to see him in the flesh. The entire crowd was so stoked just to have him there. That said, the sound was, to me, the worst of the night during Behemoth. Which is a shame, because their performance was outstanding. "Moonspell Rites" was the best song played that night - total black metal. "Alas Lord Is Upon Me" was ripping too, and 23 (The Youth Manifesto) was awesome. Just having them back is amazing enough, but they are still as vicious as ever!


Ov Fire and the Void
Moonspell Rites
Conquer All
The Thousand Plagues I Witness
Alas, Lord Is Upon Me
The Seed ov I
Decade of Therion
At the Left Hand ov God
Slaves Shall Serve
Chant for Eschaton 2000
23 (The Youth Manifesto)

Watain: (partial set. Sorry bros, I couldn't really hear Erik announce the songs that he did announce. The ones here they 100% played, though. The set was about 7-8 songs long, and they ended with a long one.)

The Serpent's Chalice

The Devil's Blood (partial set, five/six songs long, some songs extended, ended with Christ Or Cocaine):

The Heavens Cry Out For The Devil's Blood
Christ Or Cocaine

In Solitude:

We Were Never Here
The World, The Flesh, The Devil
To Her Darkness
Witches Sabbath
On Burning Paths

Behemoth: 8/10
Watain: 8.5/10
The Devil's Blood: 9/10
In Solitude: 8/10

Monday, April 16, 2012

Metal Alliance Tour -- Lawrence, KS -- April 15th, 2012

Even though the lineup of this year's Metal Alliance tour paled in comparison to last year's, it was still a really fun show. The Granada had a good amount of people in it that were ready to mosh and give their all for each band on the bill.

The first band of the day was local band Enemies Laid To Rest. The music they played was a big like a typical melodic metalcore band, not so unlike Killswitch Engage or As I Lay Dying. Their drummer was the vocalist as well, and he really worked his small kit all over the place. A great drummer. They weren't great by any means, but they were alright. Kind of just how an opening band should be!

The first band of the tour was Wretched. I really hadn't listened to them before, but they did a great job! I felt like they were the perfect combination of deathcore and technical death metal that just caused for great stupid fun. Their guitarists can shred, too. Fun stuff, if not the most intellectually stimulating music.

After them was Impending Doom. I've seen them before and while I definitely didn't like their performance, at least they didn't preach about their religion that much. But that wasn't the case this time. I couldn't care less about what religion people are or if it is used in their lyrics or anything, but to force those on the crowd you're playing to and then having a flippant attitude toward them if it isn't received very well just isn't cool in my book. They still play supremely boring deathcore - still one of the worst bands in the genre.

Next was 3 Inches of Blood, the first band I was super excited to see. And they slayed! The stuff they played off their new album sounded fantastic, I'm going to have to pick it up. The circle pits didn't stop for them the entire time they were on stage, and Cam Pipes has never sounded better. I think tonight might have been the best time I've ever seen 'em! Deadly Sinners was epic as always.

And then that band came on stage. Yes, that band. Job For A Cowboy. This marks the...hold on.........sixth (I think) time I have paid money to witness Job For A Cowboy. It was my fourth time actually seeing them. Yes, I've tried listening to their albums. Yes, I've checked out their new stuff. Yes, I agree they aren't deathcore anymore. They still are supremely boring death metal and everything in their live sound just runs together. I will say that their closer, "Constitutional Masturbation" sounded pretty good in some parts. Other than that...pass.

But now was the point in the concert that I'd been waiting over five years for - Dying Fetus. They played the 2nd metal concert I ever went to, and I haven't had a chance to see them until now. And it was totally worth the wait. Their brand of slamming brutal/technical death metal translated so well live. They didn't rely on gimmicky breakdowns or anything, and the riffing is what got pits and stage divers going, not the singer endlessly chiding the audience to get up there. Every member of Dying Fetus is so ridiculously good at their instruments, especially Sean Beasly for me - the bass during Homicidal Retribution killed me. It was some of the purest, excellent moshing I've ever seen for a band, and everyone in the venue ate up everything Dying Fetus was putting out. Spot on in every song, and the new songs sounded great too. Honestly probably in my top 3 performances I've ever seen. I need to see them again, RIGHT NOW.

The Faceless closed out the show for me. I thought I wouldn't like them because there was no way to follow up Dying Fetus, but I'm really glad I stuck around for all of their set. They opened up with Prison Born, which I don't think they've done all tour long. The Planetary Duality songs sounded magnificent and all the solo's and technical riffs sounded just like the album. The new song was super, super weird, but in a good way! Again, I'll be jonesin' to see these dudes soon in the future.

I left before DevilDriver - It's kind of my ritual nowadays.

But yeah, would I have liked another Metal Alliance tour in the same style as the 2011 version? Of course. And I really hope the tour goes back to that style in years to come. But tonight was a fantastic show. Behemoth tomorrow.


Cimmerian Shamballa
Dilated Disappointment
Repeat? The End Is Near
My Carrion
Fetal Consumption

Impending Doom:

There Will Be Violence
Anything Goes
For The Wicked
More Than Conquerors

3 Inches of Blood:

Leather Lord
Deadly Sinners
Metal Woman
God of the Cold White Silence
Battles and Brotherhood
Dark Messenger
The Goatriders Horde

Job For A Cowboy:

Entombment of a Machine/Embedded
Black Discharge
Regurgitated Disinfomation
Imperium Wolves
Unfurling a Darkened Gospel
Plastic Idols
Constitutional Masturbation

Dying Fetus:

Your Treachery Will Die With You
From Womb to Waste
Homicidal Retribution
Invert the Idols
One Shot, One Kill
Praise the Lord (Opium of the Masses)
Killing on Adrenaline
Kill Your Mother / Rape Your Dog

The Faceless:

Prison Born
Sons of Belial
New Song
Legion of the Serpent
An Autopsy

The Faceless: 8.5/10
Dying Fetus: 11/10
Job For A Cowboy: 4/10
3 Inches Of Blood: 8.5/10
Impending Doom: 2/10
Wretched: 7/10
Enemies Laid To Rest: 6/10

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Speedwolf -- Lawrence, KS -- April 8th, 2012

Happy Easter everybody! I hope you all went to church today. I just got home from the Church of SPEED METAL. Denver speed metal outfit Speedwolf ended their lengthy tour with a show in the basement of a house here in Lawrence, but what a show it was!

The only opening band I caught was Stiff Middle Fingers from Lawrence. Out of all the local punk bands I've ever seen open shows, they were probably the best. Most of their set were covers, including 3 from the Descendents, "In My Eyes" by Minor Threat, "Where Eagles Dare" by the Misfits, and they closed with a Stiff Little Fingers cover. Really awesome stuff. Just bass, guitar, drums and a vocalist, and the crowd responded really well. It was a lot of fun!

Speedwolf was complete chaos from beginning to end. The Overlook is just a house and the bands played in a basement, but there was a good-sized crowd and they were going nuts for every single song. Probably one of the best crowds I've ever been a part of. Speedwolf is just as fast live as they are on album. They ripped through each song with extreme aggression and the same rock and roll groove that Motorhead can call their own. They also covered Motorhead and also "The Rocker" by Thin Lizzy. We were the last stop on their tour, so they were all smiles, laughs and jokes, albeit tired ones. Didn't hinder their performance whatsoever. Right before "Denver 666", the vocalist said "Fuck the Chiefs!", but stopped in the middle of the song and gave a great big "Fuck. Tim. Tebow." which made everyone cheer! A great night full of pure, unadulterated METAL.

Speedwolf included (plus about 2 more):

Up All Night
Out On Bail
I Am The Demon
I Can't Die
The Hammer (Motorhead cover)
The Rocker (Thin Lizzy cover)
New song (It might have been Breakin Down)
Another new song (I think it was called Hour of the Wolf)
Denver 666 (KANSAS 666!)

Speedwolf: 9/10
Stiff Middle Fingers: 8/10

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Last minute show: Speedwolf in Lawrence!

Hey guys! Don't know how this one slipped past me, but Speedwolf will be playing at The Overlook (house on the corner of 6th and Alabama) for only $5! A few other bands will be playing, including Boreas (KC black metal) and Stiff Middle Fingers (punk covers!) so it should be a fun time!

Remember though, The Overlook is a house and people live there, so try to be respectful to everything! Woo!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Upcoming show: Alice Cooper!

The godfather of shock rock returns to Kansas City! He always puts on a fantastic show. He'll be at the Midland Theater on June 15th!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nile -- Lawrence, KS -- March 28th, 2012

An almost perfect show with near perfect sets from every band on the bill tonight. Pure death metal bliss.

First up was Gornography, who is rapidly climbing my personal list of favorite local bands. They are so stupidly heavy it's not even funny. Pure brutal deathgrind, they'll break your neck thirteen times over throughout their set. Their set closer, Lakes of Blood, actually might be the heaviest live song I've ever heard, local band or not. Oh my God, dude. Dude.

Visions Of Gore
Homicidal Maniac
Leech Filled Cunt
Spinal Fuck Fest
Intoxicated Abortion
Vomitous Vaginal Anal Deathmachine
Pissing Blood
Lakes Of Blood

Next up was local death metal veterans Marasmus. They've got their brand of death metal down to a science and they just completely rip through every song without a second thought. Shut The Fuck Up is so much fun, and the band seriously rips. Can't wait to hear the new album.

Set included:

Caskets Made of Ivory
Mountains Of Dead
Shut The Fuck Up And Die
Modes of Vitriol

I had never really listened to Hour of Penance before tonight, but I'm definitely going to start now. They won me over based only on their absolutely crushing live show. The sound could have been a little better, but they were super enthusiastic and played their hearts out. I think I might like them more than any other Italian death metal band I've heard now! Awesome stuff.

Sedition Through Scorn
Absence of Truth
Incestuous Dynasty of Worms
Slavery in a Deaf Decay
Incontrovertible Doctrines
Decimate the Ancestry of the Only God

Nile. Man, what can I say? They were flawless. They were having so much fun on stage and the crowd was eating it up. Karl Sanders is a master of the guitar and the back-and-forth solofest during Cast Down The Heretic was just about the best thing I've ever seen. Went nuts during Kafir!, Sacrifice Unto Sebek and Lashed to the Slave Stick. So good. I'll always go out of my way to see Nile as many times as I can.

Sacrifice Unto Sebek
Hittite Dung Incantation
Serpent Headed Mask
Execration Text
Supreme Humanism of Megalomania (new)
Papyrus Containing the Spell to Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks from He Who Is in the Water
Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld
Cast Down the Heretic
Lashed to the Slave Stick
Black Seeds of Vengeance

Gornography: 9/10
Marasmus: 8.5/10
Hour of Penance: 9/10
Nile: 9.5/10

La Dispute -- Lawrence, KS -- March 27th, 2012

I had never really listened to any of the bands tonight before, except for maybe a few plays of La Dispute's side of their split with Touche Amore. But they definitely made a fan out of me tonight! Most of the bands tonight put on exceptional shows.

The first band was Sainthood Reps, and they were a great opening band. They played the kind of music you'd associate with this tour: emotive post-hardcore, but they did it with a lot of intensity. It was their guitarists birthday, too! Woohoo!

The second band, All Get Out, I actually liked a bit more than the other opening bands. They had a more rock and roll sound and at times reminded me a lot of Taking Back Sunday or old Weezer. Most of their songs were really intricate with a lot of emotion. Pretty awesome.

The one band I kind of didn't like was the last opening band, Balance and Composure. I'm not sure if it's because they had three opening bands of if it was just the uninspired performance they put on, they just didn't seem to be having a lot of fun on stage and it carried over to their performance. The aforementioned 3 guitars created a wall of sound that kind of made every song sound the same. Meh. Could've been a lot better.

La Dispute was really refreshing and full of energy and put on a great impassioned show. For some reason, I was stuck in a bias against them for so long (even for the first few songs of their set) that La Dispute was good, but not anywhere near as amazing as Touche Amore. The band played the first few songs and the crowd really liked it and the band looked like they were having fun, but when they brought out "New Storms For Old Lovers" as their first old song, the Jackpot went ballistic and catapulted every aspect of the performance into the stratosphere. I stopped trying to compare them to other bands and really enjoyed their set. Their vocalist is very emotional and went into the crowd a few times to have the fans help sing. There was a lot of jumping and a few small pits and lots of screaming along - pretty much the perfect audience you could ask for at a show like this. No hardcore dancers or any moshing at all. It was awesome. Their encore was King Park and it was chillingly good. I'd definitely see them again if they come back!

Partial/out of order La Dispute set:

New Storms For Older Lovers
a Departure
Safer in the Forest/Love Song for Poor Michigan
a Broken Jar
How I Feel
Why It Scares Me
King Park

La Dispute: 8.5/10
Balance and Composure: 5/10
All Get Out: 7.5/10
Sainthood Reps: 7/10

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Danzig + Doyle = Misfits!

Woah. This is going to be an unforgettable show.

Danzig will be at the Uptown Theater on May 31st along with Doyle and they'll be performing a Misfits set! I'm sure it'll be preceded by a (surprisingly amazing) Danzig set, so it'll be a night full of horror!

May 31 is my birthday, but I won't be in town! :(

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hate Eternal -- February 29th, 2012

I had a work meeting that would've kept me from leaving until 6:00, but it got out a bit early. I made the trek to KC and saw the opening band which, to my surprise, was Decimation from Manhattan, KS. I hadn't seen them in forever. I only caught the last song and a half from them, but they sounded really tight. I hope they get on more shows in the future!

After them was Gornography. Featuring the durmmer for Troglodyte and the vocalist for Diskreet (check them out!), they play really catchy brutal death metal/grindcore. The vocalist was all over the place. He even tripped over and fell from the amps, but hopped right back up and went back in the song.
Super fun. I can't wait to see them again.

Good ol' Trog was up next. Their set was as blistering as ever, and they played a new song! It had a crazy solo in it, so I'm already looking forward to the new stuff. They had a setlist was about 15 songs on it, but they got their set cut a bit. Kinda sucks, because they were absolutely on fire that night.

By the worst stroke of luck, both Cerebral Bore and Fallujah has to drop off the tour. Cerebral Bore never made it over because they didn't have Visas, and Fallujah actually flipped their van and trailer the night before. Thankfully they're okay. Their replacement is Battlecross, who are going to be on that pretty killer Origin tour later this year. They drove straight from Michigan to play the tour. They are mostly fun thrash metal. A few breakdowns here and there, but nothing so bad as, say, Lazarus AD. The vocalist is awesome, and their bassist can rip. They had some bass solos! Really cool stuff. Can't wait to see them again.

I'm a pretty big Hate Eternal fan, so I really enjoyed them last night, but I could definitely see how some people would absolutely hate them live. And I know this is such a cop-out, but their older material translates so much better live than their newer stuff. Erik's guitar tone is just absolutely punishing. There's no room to breathe and no room to rest during a Hate Eternal show. It would be rectified if they would get a second guitarist, but I don't see that happening any time soon. No Catacombs this time, but I, Monarch and Behold Judas were especially great.

I actually didn't stay for too much of Goatwhore. I can tell you that I really like their groovy songs a bit more than the straight-up death metal attack. Alchemy Of The Black Sun Cult was the last song I saw from them, but it was fantastic. Goatwhore was the first metal band I saw live, so it was awesome. But Hate Eternal really sucked all the energy from me.

Hate Eternal (partial, out of order):

The Victorious Reign
Behold Judas
Saturated In Dejection
I, Monarch
Thorns of Acacia
Phoenix Amongst The Ashes
Haunting Abound
The Obscure Terror


Collapse in Eternal Worth
Provoking the Ritual of Death
The Black Art of Deception
In Deathless Tradition
Carving Out the Eyes of God
Sky Inferno
Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult
When Steel and Bone Meet
Judgement of the Bleeding Crown
Invert the Virgin
An End to Nothing
Apocalyptic Havoc

Battlecross (out of order/partial):

Push Pull Destroy
Man Of Stone
Breaking You


Symphonies Of Sasquatch
Bring Me The Head Of Bigfoot
Beaten And Eaten
Don't Go In The Woods
(The Only Peace In Me Is) A Piece Of You
Crippled Foot Cast (new song)
Mummified Yeti Hand
The Only Good Hippie...Is A Dead Hippie
Caught (On Super 8) (still one of the heaviest songs ever)
Hit By The Hendersons*
Fight For Your Life
They Walk Among Us*
Skunk Ape Rape*

* = On set but not played


Visions Of Gore
Homicidal Maniac
Leech Filled Cunt
Spinal Fuck Fest
Intoxicated Abortion
Vomitous Vaginal Anal Deathmachine
Pissing Blood
Saliva Soaked Shit
Contortions Of Guttural Mayhem
Lakes Of Blood

Goatwhore: 8/10
Hate Eternal: 8/10
Battlecross: 7.5/10
Troglodyte: 8.5/10
Gornography: 8/10
Decimation: n/a