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Friday, November 8, 2013

Kreator -- Lawrence, KS -- November 7th, 2013

The aptly named Legends Of Thrash tour made a stop at the Granada in Lawrence on a chilly Thursday night and performed to an unexpectedly enthusiastic turnout of metal heads, young and old alike. The night was full of riffing, guitar solos, blastbeats and lots of smiling, moshing maniacs.

The show wasted no time in getting things going, with California thrash maniacs Warbringer. Coming off the release of their fourth album "IV: Empires Collapse," the band showcased a side of their musicality not seen before. The album, which comprised the majority of their set, has a very strong heavy metal influence, although it still has some breakneck thrash moments - the kind of which Warbringer does better than most of their recent contemporaries. Their performance was spot-on and the mixing was great, very easy to hear vocalist John Kevill and and the guitar solos came through great. Warbringer's drummer Carlos Cruz (ex-Hexen, ex-Mantic Ritual) was one of the most impressive drummers I've ever seen in a band. "That dude has serious chops" is the understatement of the year. Warbringer can still blast off at lightspeed, but now they've shown they can take a page from Slayer's "South of Heaven" and slow it down but keep it heavy. The future for this band looks exciting.

The most impressive part of Overkill is that they're one of the first thrash metal bands in America, but they're faster and heavier now than they've ever been. Opening with 1987's "Deny The Cross" sent the crowd into a frenzy of moshing and singing along that didn't let up for a second. Overkill has one of the most impressive discographies in all of thrash metal, and this co-headlining set touched on the classics, the contemporary greats and even a couple of left-field surprises. One surprise in the set came from their performance of 1999's "Necroshine" - the track itself isn't necessarily a rarity or anything, and it comes from an era that Overkill was experimenting more towards groove metal, but it just came across as insanely heavy - maybe another nod to the stellar sound mixing from the Granada that night? As Bobby Blitz and crew ripped through their standard set-closer for almost 30 years of a cover of Subhumans' "Fuck You," it's apparent that Overkill is quite possibly the best American thrash band that is still active from the 80s.

When Kreator played the Beaumont Club last year, the only fault I could find was they came across muffled because of the sound system. Not only did the band sound clear and vicious, they outdid themselves and put on a devastating performance. Whether it "Endless Pain" from their debut album, or "Phantom Antichrist" from their fantastic album last year, each Kreator song was performed with just as much ferocity and technical brilliance as the last. Frontman Mille Petrozza is legendary for his unique vocals and his stage presence - he was constantly playing to the crowd and getting people to circle pit all night long. There was actually a part during "United In Hate" that had the crowd vocalizing along with the guitar melody - I don't think I've seen it done with that much vigor in the crowd outside of an Iron Maiden show. Mille raised the Kreator flag, as he always does, before launching into "Flag of Hate" and "Tormentor," the last two songs of the night, and the weary but appreciative crowd gave their all one last time. The crowd left everything they had on the floor for these three bands, and it made for one of the best all-around heavy metal shows that this area has seen in quite some time.


1. Phantom Antichrist
2. From Flood To Fire
3. Warcurse
4. Coma of Souls (intro only) > Endless Pain
5. Pleasure To Kill
6. Hordes Of Chaos (A Necrologue For The Elite)
7. Riot of Violence
8. Enemy of God
9. Phobia
10. Violent Revolution
11. Acoustic guitar solo > United In Hate
12. Civilization Collapse
13. Flag of Hate/Tormentor


1. Deny the Cross
2. Bring Me The Night
3. Electric Rattlesnake
4. Hammerhead
5. Rotten To The Core
6. Hello From The Gutter
7. Ironbound
8. Necroshine
9. Thanx For Nothin'
10. Overkill
11. Elimination
12. Horrorscope
13. Fuck You (Subhumans cover)


1. Living Weapon
2. Severed Reality
3. The Turning Of The Gears
4. Hunter-Seeker
5. Living In A Whirlwind
6. Scars Remain
7. Towers of the Serpent

Kreator: 9/10
Overkill: 9.5/10
Warbringer: 8.5/10 


Hey, anyone who still has stuck with me through this absence.

I actually write show reviews and a bunch of other stuff for a Kansas City music blog for Mill's Record Company, but I'm going to start posting show reviews and stuff here as well - I've actually gotten some e-mails from readers asking about this blog. So yeah, I'm back now! Gonna update the upcoming shows here now, too.

So stay tuned! Lots of good stuff coming up.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Baroness -- Lawrence, KS -- June 4th, 2013

In the past year, Baroness have gone through things that would rip most bands apart. They released the double album Yellow & Green last summer that was initially met with divisiveness. Shortly after, the band was involved in a horrendous bus accident - similar in destruction to the fatal crashes involving Metallica and Decapitated that killed key members of those groups. Fortunately for Baroness there were no fatalities in the bus crash, but it left the members hospitalized and the fate of the band unknown. Well, it'll take more than a bus crash to keep the mammoth-sized beast that is Baroness down for long. Frontman John Baizley, along with guitarist Peter Adams and replacements Nick Jost and Sebastian Thomson brought every ounce of their rehabilitated selves to a sizeable crowd at the Granada theater on a humid Tuesday night.

Although Baroness is near the top of "sludge" metal bands signed to Relapse Records from Savannah, Georgia, their sound is much more rooted in the riff and melody of heavy metal than the dissonance and power chords of their friends in Kylesa and Black Tusk. Baizley uses his distinct melodic vocals in time with driving riffs to create a unique take on this dirty type of heavy metal. Some songs, such as "March To The Sea" and "A Horse Called Golgotha" do not shy away from the high notes on the guitars - a rarity in sludge metal these days. These riffs and strong bass presence mixed with impressive drum fills make for a very danceable, or headbanging, live show. With each song played, the stage lights were changed to the appropriate color from which album the track originated from. Mostly yellow and green lights, though there was a healthy dose of blue lighting and an appearance of red lighting for "Isak" near the end of the set, which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

John Baizley and Peter Adams might just be this generations dual-guitar attack duo in the vein of a stoner version of Judas Priest's KK Downing and Glenn Tipton. The sound throughout most of the night was a bit too loud, rendering Baizley's guitar and the bass sound heads and shoulders above all else, but it evened itself out at times. And speaking of too loud, this might have been the loudest show to ever hit the Granada. "Board Up The House" reached excruciatingly painful levels of volume and made some in the crowd rethink about being up too close for the band. Despite that small gripe, Baroness played an outstanding set and the crowd was extremely receptive. There was a lot of singing along to nearly every single song which put a big smile on Baizley's face. If tonight is any indication, Baroness' music transcends the heavy metal spectrum and is common ground for countless different music tastes and personalities. If Baroness is indeed taken from us much too soon, at least their music will inspire and bring happiness for a much longer time.

The only opener of the night was Coliseum, also from the south. While the sludge is apparent in their sound, Coliseum is very much rooted in the hardcore punk scene. Like a grittier, faster, looser version of Kyuss, Coliseum thrashed through a 45-minute set unleashing songs like the infectious "Black Magic Punks" and the grooving "Blind In One Eye." Guitarist/vocalist Ryan Patterson gave a quick speech on how their first ever show was opening for Baroness in 2004 and have basically been touring with them for almost a decade now. It just made their energetic set that much more endearing and special for the moment.


Ogeechee Hymnal
Take My Bones Away
March to the Sea
A Horse Called Golgotha
Little Things
Green Theme
Swollen and Halo
Board Up the House
Sea Lungs
The Sweetest Curse
The Gnashing
The Line Between
Jake Leg

Baroness: 9.5/10
Coliseum: 8.5/10

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Upcoming Show: Deafheaven!

Deafheaven stormed onto the scene in 2011 with their debut album "Roads To Judah" and quickly established themselves in the black metal scene. Their take on ambient/ethereal/post/whatever black metal is some of the best around. They'll be at the record bar in Kansas City on July 8th with Marriages opening. I wouldn't be surprised if this sold out!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Suffocation -- Kansas City, MO -- April 22nd, 2013

Full review here:

Suffocation (might be missing a song, may be out of order):

Thrones Of Blood
Mass Obliteration
As Grace Descends
Funeral Inception
Rapture Of Revocation
Liege Of Inveracity
Pierced From Within
Purgatorial Punishment
Devoid Of Truth
My Demise
Infecting The Crypts


The Beginning After The End
Dis-Aseemboly Line
Through Cadaver Eyes
Distorted and Twisted to Form
Limb from Limb
Guitar Solo
Decrepit Crescendo
All Guts, No Glory
As Hammer to Anvil
The Rotting
The Matter of Splatter

Suffocation: 9.5/10
Exhumed: 9/10
Jungle Rot: 8.5/10
Adimiron: 6/10
Troglodyte: 8.5/10

Monday, April 15, 2013

Upcoming show: Baroness!

Baroness suffered a terrible accident in August of last year, seriously injuring 2 of the members and it really put the status of the band in question. Thankfully, they've recovered (though some more than others) and are back at it. This amazing band will be returning to Lawrence at the Granada on June 4th, with Coliseum in tow. It'll definitely be worth it to be there to support them.

Upcoming show: Torche

Genre-defying band Torche will be back in Kansas City on May 30th at the Czar Bar. Their brand of pop-influenced stoner metal is some of the catchiest you'll ever hear. Opening the show will be Cherokee Rock Rifle.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Upcoming concert: The best show in Kansas City in at least 13 years

This deserves its own post. One of the biggest bands in music history will make their triumphant return to the Kansas City area since 2000. And what's awesome is that MEGADETH will be opening. They'll decimate Kansas City on September 7th at the Sprint Center. I don't need to tell you who the are - you should already know. Tickets go on sale in May at

Lots of upcoming concerts: Six Feet Under, Decapitated, and more!

Lots of shows have been announced recently!

First up is Six Feet Under. This is the band featuring the original vocalist for Cannibal Corpse, Chris Barnes. They play death metal, but put their own twist of groove and rock and roll aesthetics on it. It should make for a very fun show! They'll be at the Granada in Lawrence on July 23rd. Support comes from Decrepit Birth and Cannabis Corpse!


Next up (I'm going out of order, here) is 3 Inches Of Blood at the Riot Room on May 19th. The response to their new album has been amazing, and they always put on a great performance! The only downside is that this is the same night as Katatonia at the Aftershock. Luckily the two venues aren't really far from each other, so it might be possible to see both shows. Opening for 3 Inches Of Blood is one of the best new bands around, Speedwolf!


Finally, after so long, Arsis returns to Kansas City for a headlining show! I've been waiting to see them forever. They'll be at the Riot Room on May 23rd, a Thursday, with Whoracle and Meat Shank opening. Can't wait!


After Cradle of Filth canceled their US tour, The Faceless hopped on Dillinger Escape Plan's tour. But what about their tourmates, Decapitated? Well, don't worry any longer. The Polish legends will be headlining a rare appearance at the Riot Room on Tuesday, May 21st. Unmerciful, Night Creation, and more open!


And also, Valient Thorr makes another stop in their favorite place to play - Kansas City! One of the most fun bands in the world, they'll make their stop at Riot Room with Gypsyhawk and Ramming Speed on Tuesday, June 25th. Seriously - don't miss them!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fu Manchu -- Kansas City, MO -- April 8th, 2013

Riffing, thy name is Fu Manchu. The semi-legendary stoner rock band came to Kansas City on really the first warm day of the year for us and played their awesome album "The Action Is Go" to a sweltering packed Record Bar.

After wailing on their instruments for a few minutes, the band kicked right into the album with the kicking opening track "Evil Eye." Right from the start, it was apparent there were more than a few diehard Fu Manchu fans in the audience. Lots of singing along and lots of headbanging - a girl even stage dove near the end. The crowd was great. Each song from the album elicited huge responses from the crowd, especially "Anodizer" and "Hogwash", which were two of the heaviest songs of the night. They didn't talk too much during the set, but they were moving all around headbanging into the audience. For the encore, we got something a bit different than previous sets: Rojo Ojo off their first album was a great surprise, and King Of the Road was a perfect closer. The mic stand got thrown into the audience for us to finish the song off. Perfect way to end such a killer show. After King of the Road, Scott Hill jokingly said "ALRIGHT, KING OF THE ROAD FULL ALBUM, LET'S GO!" before chuckling and walking off. Bastard!

Opening was Minneapolis band Bloodnstuff. They are a two-piece with a drummer and a guitarist, but the guitarist had a myriad of pedals and played so well it sounded like a full band was playing with him. I was getting whiffs of Clutch, Queens Of the Stone Age, mathcore and, oddly enough, the guitar one of Liturgy, all in one. Very good.

Fu Manchu

Evil Eye
The Action Is Go
Burning Road
Trackside Hoax
Unknown World
Grendel, Snowman
Strolling Astronomer
Saturn III
Nothing Done (SSD cover)
Rojo Ojo
King Of The Road

Fu Manchu: 9/10
Bloodnstuff: 8/10

Monday, February 25, 2013

Huge update!

Been silent for February, but have a ton of new confirmed shows to let you all know about! Here we gooooooooooooooooooo:


The hardest working band in a touring sense, JUCIFER, is returning yet again to Kansas City. They'll be at The Riot Room on March 10th, a Sunday. They literally play with a wall of amps so be prepared for one of the loudest and heaviest experiences of your life.


HOWL, the only good thing to come out of Rhode Island, will be returrning to KC on March 19th, a Tuesday, at the Riot Room. I was very impressed the last time I saw them, one of the first acts on the first Metal Alliance tour. Super heavy! Also on the bill are Boreas, Keef Mountain and Abbot.


Here's one for the kids - Australian death metal/metalcore act PARKWAY DRIVE will be at The Granada on April 4th, a Tuesday. I actually think they do this genre of music better than pretty much all others, even though I'm not a huge fan. Along for the ride is The Word Alive, Veil of Maya and While She Sleeps.


Here's a big one. One of the original old-school death metal bands that is world-renowned will be making a stop in KC for the first time in...AGES. The legends themselves, SUFFOCATION will be bringing a packed bill to The Riot Room on April 22nd. Along with them are one of my favorites EXHUMED, along with legendary act Jungle Rot, Rings of Saturn, Adimiron and of course, local favorites Troglodyte will be opening! Seriously stacked bill - get your tix soon!



Another pretty sweet show, KVELERTAK is bringing back their brand of hardcore punk and black metal to the Granada in Lawrence on April 28th, a Sunday. Along with them is Canadian extreme music act Cancer Bats and sludge addicionados Black Tusk.


Are the shows announced so far not crazy enough for you? Then here you: DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN will be headlining at The Granada in Lawrence on May 12th, a Sunday. The Faceless and Royal Thunder open. Get ready for stage dives!


Here's probably my most anticipated KC concert so far of the year. Doom legends KATATONIA is making a rare headlining appearance at The Aftershock on May 19th, a Sunday. They put on one of the best performances of 2012 opening for Devin Townsend, and hopefully they're every bit as heavy this time around. Locals Existem and the always awesome Wrath and Ruin open.


And finally, new inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame RUSH will be at the Sprint Center on August 4th, a Sunday. It seems KC-based Rush appearances are becoming rarer and rarer, so I suggest not missing out on this one!


That's most of the shows announced. Check the sidebar for more! Thanks! :D

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Title Fight -- Lawrence, KS -- January 30th, 2013

Title Fight was, by far, the craziest crowd experience I've ever been a part of at a show. More so than Ceremony and Origin combined. I know people always say stuff about how as soon as the band starts, people go crazy? That literally was what happened here. As soon as the band started the intro to "Numb, But I Still Feel It," the number of stage-divers was in the teens by the time the actual song started. It kept up all night long with tons of divers, moshing and surfers. The set contained mostly songs from their last album "Floral Green," but I'm super okay with that. Maybe the hugest response of the night came from "Secret Society." Title Fight is, like all good punk music, extremely bass driven and the sound and mixing was loud but still super clear. When they kicked it into overdrive like with "You Can't Say Kingston Doesn't Love You" and "Symmetry," the D-Beat drums came through and only facilitated more and more stage dives. It seemed like everyone took one last launch off the stage during the closing number "27" and although they ended after that, people stuck around wanting more. Short and sweet, just as it should be. One of the best concert experiences ever.

Opening for Title Fight was KC's Clairaudients. They're one of the more interesting local bands - their sound is very easy to take in but pretty hard to pin down exactly just what kind of music they are. There's elements of post-hardcore, blues, noise rock, shoegaze, melodic hardcore, and more. They blend this all together to switch seamlessly from rocking out to chillaxing in, and they do it all brilliantly. Really looking forward to seeing them again.

The first band to play was Sovereign States. They're the band that plays the cover show at a bar in town every Monday. Their original songs weren't so bad! In the pop punk/melodic hardcore vein, it was pretty good. When they tried to do other stuff, it kinda hurt a bit, but that might be because their vocalist was coming down off a cold. Huge props for covering Saves The Day's "At Your Funeral." Any band who does that gets an automatic pass from me!

Title Fight: 9.5/10
Clairaudients: 8.5/10
Sovereign States: 7.5/10

Title Fight:

Numb, But I Still Feel It
Secret Society
You Can't Say Kingston Doesn't Love You
Loud and Clear
Safe in Your Skin
Like a Ritual
No One Stays at the Top Forever
Head in the Ceiling Fan

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Upcoming show: Cradle of Filth and co.!

I'm not one to have guilty pleasures. I say: don't feel guilty about liking what you like! But if I was to have something that could be called a guilty pleasure, it'd be Cradle of Filth. They finally return to the area after a long absence! They'll be at The Granada in Lawrence on March 17th along with The Faceless, Decapitated and The Agonist. Should be an overall fun show!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Finally, some good news!

Here's a couple of shows that were just announced!

First is Mutilation Rites! They're a pretty awesome newer black metal band from New York. They can blast with the best of them, though, so don't let their looks fool ya! They'll be at the Jackpot in Lawrence on March 12th.


Second is a pretty special announcement! Fu Manchu, which featured Kyuss' Brant Bjork (I actually don't think he's with them anymore), will be at the Record Bar in KC on April 8th performing all of their album "The Action Is Go", which is a great album! This will be a heavy, HEAVY night. Here's all of the album:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Update on the Soilwork show

The Soilwork show that was going to the (now-defunct) Beaumont Club in April will instead be going to The Riot Room! Smaller venue = more chaos!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's Start the new year off with some bummer news

Happy 2013 everyone! Hope everything's good for you, but the KC Music Scene is starting the year off with some crappy news: it looks like The Beaumont Club in Westport is closed! It happened unexpectedly and no one knows exactly why it happened, but it's definitely gone.

I mean, I kinda get it. Kansas City isn't exactly the biggest market for mid-level bands, and I always thought the Beaumont Club was too big for some of those bands. Hopefully something like a few more smaller venues pop up and we still get some more concerts. The only metal show that was scheduled for there was an upcoming Soilwork show in April, but I'll keep you updated as to what happens with that.