live reviews

Gig review: Concert Review: CJ Ramone – June 14, 2015 – Atlanta, GA

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

The CJ Ramone/Shonen Knife might as well be dubbed “The All Ages Punk Rock Revival Tour” as this tour truly encapsulated all of the energy, fun, excitement, and charisma of the punk rock shows of old. When this tour rolled into Atlanta you can bet your sweet ass that I was going to be there and be there early. Surprisingly, the crowd was small but what I’ve learned from shows like this (especially CJ Ramone shows) is that you can judge the power of an audience solely based on the numbers. Hell, Sepultura had about 3x as many people up stairs in Heaven and that audience looked like they had all drank Kool-Aid laced with Ambien but that’s a whole other story.   The El Caminos Kicking things off were local homeboys The El Caminos. I’ve seen this band two other times and after this show, I came to the same realization every time. I figured out that I only like this band for about three songs and after that they just start to fucking annoy me. Their lead vocalist has one of the best stage presences I’ve seen in a local band but after watching these guys, it’s easy to see why they haven’t really grown much out of their “local band” status. The songs just aren’t that good and the playing is just pretty sloppy, even by punk rock standards. After yet another forgettable 45 minute set which was about 35 minutes too long, I was stoked to finally be seeing the legendary Shonen Knife. Click to view slideshow. ========================================== Shonen Knife Shonen Knife took to the stage to a huge roar from the crowd and right away this was proof that a small crowd could be a powerful one. For over 30 years Shonen Knife has been delivering their own brand of sweet, fun, and energetic pop-punk music and they are a band that I was very excited to see as a part of this show. Usually, lead singer/guitarist is Naoko Yamano is the only one touring but on this North American tour, original bassist (and Naoko’s sister) Atsuko Yamano was present and along with drummer Emi Morimoto they put on, hands down, one of the most fun, electrifying performances I’ve seen in ages. Click to view slideshow. Shonen Knife very much embodies the spirit of the Ramones so it’s no shock that they were a perfect match for this tour. Their setlist was comprised of songs spanning their career like “Banana Chips”, “Sushi Bar”, and “Riding on the Rocket” but it was the material from their latest album Overdrive that I found to be some of my favorite stuff. Yamano announced that their latest album was very much inspired by the 70’s hard rock bands and that was very much apparent on “Bad Luck Song” and “Ramen Rock.” The band was so engaging and they really worked the crowd with their KISS-like stage moves/choreography and here’s the deal, Shonen Knife had me smiling ear to ear and dancing like a damn fool. It was a perfect performance and one that solidified me as a Shonen Knife fan for life.   ========================================== CJ Ramone I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. CJ Ramone, in my opinion, is the living heart and soul of The Ramones. As a matter of fact, I will go out on a limb and say that nobody loved being a Ramone more than Christopher Joseph Ward. When I first started listening to the Ramones, Dee Dee was on his way out and CJ would soon come in and inject the Ramones with a youthful energy that would carry them forward for another 7 years and have them go out on top of their game. The last time CJ was here in Atlanta he had yet to put out his first solo album Reconquista so the set was primarily made up of Ramones songs with just one new song, “Three Angels”, in the set. The show was massively awesome but I was so eager to see what kind of difference four years would make. Well, the answer is, a whole fucking lot! This time around, CJ has enlisted Aquabats guitarist Ian Fowles and _____ drummer_____ and the trio wasted no time kicking things off with “Understand Me?” from CJ’s latest album Last Chance to Dance. Without even taking a break in between (in classic Ramone’s fashion) the band slid right into “One More Chance” which had everyone bopping up and down and dancing. It was so great to see CJ boldly kicking things off with two new songs and as the band launched right into the Ramones classic “Judy is a Punk” it was very easy to see that CJ’s new solo material is more than capable of standing tall on its own two feet beside the timeless Ramones classics. CJ was very playful with crowd and the band was giving nothing less than 110% and it was a nice change to see the audience reciprocating. What this crowd may have lacked in numbers they totally made up for it in enthusiasm, appreciation, and excitement. Click to view slideshow. CJ’s set was comprised of some amazing new songs such as “What We Gonna Do Now?”, “Carry Me Away”, and my personal favorite “Last Chance to Dance.” We were also treated to a heaping helping of classic Ramones songs such as “Rockaway Beach” , “Glad to See You Go” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” but it was the rare deep cut “Danny Says” that really seemed to get everyone going mental. Set closer “Blitzkrieg Bop”, as always brought a huge roar from the crowd and while this is usually the end of the line, CJ actually did something he never does… an encore! CJ and Co. returned to the stage all smiles as CJ said, “You guys know I never do encores but this is Atlanta and you guys are fucking awesome.” With that the band kicked into “The KKK Took My Baby Away” which had everyone losing their minds and then to complete the 1-2 -3 punch was “Psycho Therapy” and “California Sun.” To see that CJ Ramone & Co. brought it is just the hugest of all understatements. If there was ever any doubt as to who the real heart and soul of the Ramones is, all it takes is to see CJ Ramone live and you’ll get your answer quicker than you can say, “Gabba Gabba Hey!” As a Ramones fan for well over 20 years, all I can say is that the spirit of the Ramones is alive and well and in addition giving the fans some fantastic new music of his own that stands tall and proud on its own. CJ always says before leaving the stage, “Ramones Forever!” Well, I’d like to say this… CJ RAMONE FOREVER! Thanks for keeping it alive, CJ. Let’s do this again sooner than later. About Don de Leaumont Don (aka. The Brainfart) has been a heavy metal fan since hearing it for the first time in 1983. Don is also repsonsible for all of the typos, shitty grammar, and kick ass content on this site. Don likes cheap beer, whiskey, Coca Cola Icees, going to shows, and hanging with his kick ass wife, two cats and dog. He originally wanted to name his dog Shandi but his wife said, "No fucking way." Mail | More Posts (1129) [read on]

Gig review: Concert Review: Crowbar/Battlecross/Lord Dying – Atlanta, GA – July 2, 2015

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Crowbar/Battlecross/Lord Dying July 2, 2015 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade (Heaven) The Summer of Doom tour rolled verrrrrrrrrrryyyyyy slooooowwwwwlllyyyyyy into Atlanta the on July 2nd and it was a show that I have to say piqued my interest. Headliners and the reigning New Orleans kings of doom Crowbar this time around had Portland based doomers Lord Dying and frantic metal warriors Battlecross in tow as their opening act. It had been years since I had seen Crowbar and since I had never seen either Lord Dying or Battlecross I figured this would be quite an experience to take in. Lord Dying Lord Dying kicked things off and I have to say that right off the bat I knew that this band was going to be something to be reckoned with. After having heard their albums and not really loving them, seeing them live put them in a whole new light for me. Opening things up with ” In A Frightful State Of Gnawed Dismemberment” was absolutely flooring. Lead vocalist/guitarist Erik Olson was a total powerhouse of riffage and vocals that sounded like he was ripping his vocal chords out. The MVP award does have to go to drummer Nickolis Parks as he had all the stage presence of a front man. He was without a doubt the “pump ’em up” guy. As a whole, Lord Dying’s 30 minute set was powerfully moving and surprisingly dynamic but I just found that I can only take this kind of music in small doses. The band’s music had so many different layers that it kept my interest but I just don’t think I could’ve taken much longer of it. Lord Dying is without a doubt one of the best bands out there playing this kind of music and while I feel like I would totally enjoy seeing them again in a support slot, I just don’t think I would go out of my way to see them headline. Again, nothing to do with the band as a whole but more to do with the fact that I’m just finding that my threshold for this kind of music has dramatically shrunken over the years. ================================================= Battlecross Detroit’s Battlecross is a band that I have been hearing so much about. They are one of those bands that every time they are mentioned someone says, “… but you gotta see ’em live.” Well, this was my first opportunity to see Battlecross and as they took the stage opening with “Push Pull Destroy” I knew right away what they meant. What an exciting fucking band to watch. These guys completely worked the crowd and opened up the pit like seasoned veterans. Guitarists Hiran Deraniyagala and Tony Asta traded lick after lick while lead singer Kyle Gunther worked the crowd with his powerful presence and entertaining banter. By the time the band got into the 4th song “Man of Stone”, I was pretty much ready for them to be done. Why I’ll tell you. Similar to that of Lord Dying, I just don’t have much of a threshold for this kind of music. As a whole, Battlecross are some of the most amazing musicians I’ve seen play and they were insanely entertaining but she sheer speed of their songs one after the other just started to wear me thin. I wished for a bit more dynamics in the band’s sound but I totally get that Battlecross makes music for a specific audience that loves this kind of breakneck speed. Unfortunately, I’m just not one of those fans. Battlecross is a truly great live band and again, if I ever saw them in a support setting I would thoroughly enjoy them. ================================================= Crowbar New Orleans sludge lords Crowbar took the stage as headliners to a hefty roar from the at most 1/3 full room as they launched into “Burn Your World” and right off the bat I have to say, I wasn’t moved, I wasn’t floored, and I wasn’t really much of anything. Even after hearing them do my favorite song “High Rate Extinction” I just didn’t feel anything. As a matter of fact, I felt bored. I’ll be honest. I was bored to fucking tears. I was so bored that I started to hallucinate I think. At one point, a friend of mine came up to me, stood beside me and poked me with his finger to make sure I was still alive. I just didn’t get it. This was a band that back in the day I held in the highest of regard but now, there they were; up on stage just boring me with their songs. Having this feeling as I watch Crowbar just proved to me that we, as fans, can completely outgrow bands. There are plenty of bands from my youth that I have out grown; bands that at one time I absolutely loved and held in the highest regard but now I just don’t find much about them that connects with me. As we grow up and experience other bands and other styles of music it’s more than normal for some of those older bands just not have much of a place in your life anymore. I have to say, I am very appreciative of all three of these bands for showing me just what my threshold is for bands who play this kind of music and that threshold is very small. About Don de Leaumont Don (aka. The Brainfart) has been a heavy metal fan since hearing it for the first time in 1983. Don is also repsonsible for all of the typos, shitty grammar, and kick ass content on this site. Don likes cheap beer, whiskey, Coca Cola Icees, going to shows, and hanging with his kick ass wife, two cats and dog. He originally wanted to name his dog Shandi but his wife said, "No fucking way." Mail | More Posts (1129) [read on]

Gig review: Concert Review: Goatwhore/Ringworm/Black Breath/Theories – Atlanta, GA – July 12, 2015

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Goatwhore/Ringworm/Black Breath/Theories July 12, 2015 Atlanta, GA The Earl New Orleans music undeniably possesses an element that can’t be found in music from any other city in the world. It’s hard to define exactly, but it pervades songs from every genre that are born and bred in the Big Easy. I could call it ‘soul,’ but that word has been so overused that it has lost its meaning. Suffice it to say that the folks from New Orleans know good music. I grew up visiting New Orleans often, since my parents grew up there and most of my extended family still lived there when I was a kid. I’m so busy now that I don’t get to go back nearly as often as I’d like, so when bands like Goatwhore bring a piece of New Orleans to me here in Atlanta, I am always thrilled. This was the last night of their North American tour, along with Ringworm, Black Breath, and Theories, and with The Earl packed out on a Sunday night, it was certainly not a show to be missed. THEORIES Seattle death/grind trio Theories started off the night early, playing loud and fast to a pretty small audience at that early point in the evening. Unfortunately it sounded to me like the mixing was off because the guitar and bass drowned out most of the drums–I couldn’t really hear anything but the snare and bass drum, which was disappointing because it looked like the drummer was really pounding his heart out back there. Most of the set sounded muddled to me, which I know is intentional to a point with grind, but I do think some adjustments from the sound board would’ve make things a little clearer. Regardless, I really dug the vocals and what I could make out of the other elements of their songs. I appreciated the fact that they weren’t playing as fast as possible one hundred percent of the time, like some death/grind bands do. They seemed to have a little more variety in their songs, and I’d like to hear what they sound like when they aren’t the sound board guinea pigs for the evening. ==================================================================== BLACK BREATH Apparently the sound issues (or what I perceived as such, although I might just be out of touch with grind) had been fixed by the time Black Breath went on. Another Washington-based band, Black Breath specializes in not specializing, drawing influence from a variety of metal subgenres, particularly thrash and hardcore, while not fitting neatly into any one. Only having heard the name before but never the music, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but halfway into the first song I was sold. I loved it, and so did the rest of the audience that was starting to fill the room during their set. Obviously I had been missing out–there were guys up front who knew the lyrics to half their songs, and the other audience members I spoke with who had never heard them before were equally impressed. I’m generally not a big hardcore fan but I enjoyed the way they fused it with thrash, of which I am a huge fan. They paid homage to classic thrash without ripping it off. It was the perfect beer drinking metal, the kind you listen to when you’re at a house party in someone’s garage and everyone is fucked up, chugging beer and doing air drums and terrible yet awesome imitations of thrash metal screams. I know you know what I mean. ==================================================================== RINGWORM Old school hardcore kings Ringworm brought their legendary sound from Cleveland and raised the energy at The Earl from excited to feverish. I saw them open for Napalm Death a few months ago and have been a fan ever since. I said before that I’m not generally a fan of hardcore, which remains true, but something about their powerful sound really reaches me. They are masters of their genre, but they don’t fall victim to monotony or simply appease expectations. Their songs are rhythmic without being full of breakdowns, which is generally one of the things that bores me about hardcore and metalcore. They seem to be heavily influenced by thrash, and even their faster riffs are notably catchy. I will say I enjoy the album version much more than seeing them live, not because of the sound but because of the inevitable ‘hardcore dancing’ that occurs every time they play. It’s just not my thing. I’ll never understand it, and I find it makes the entire experience kind of suck (except for the people doing it, I guess). Anyone who has seen me at a show knows I’m not afraid of a mosh, but I’d rather not deal with some 300 pound dude intentionally karate chopping me in the tits or kicking me in the shins. But whatever, that comes with the territory, so I deal with it. End rant. Aside from that complaint, which has nothing to do with Ringworm’s sound itself, I was once again thoroughly impressed with their set. They are seriously fucking intense. They played a lot of their newer stuff and a few older songs, and they even covered the Motörhead song, “Iron Fist,” which Sammy from Goatwhore came on stage to help out with. They won’t convert me into an outright hardcore fan, but I will always enjoy good musicianship, regardless of what label people slap on it. ==================================================================== GOATWHORE Enter the amazing, indescribable New Orleans element that no one can define but everyone can recognize. Goatwhore is one of my favorite New Orleans bands–actually one of my favorite bands overall–and I had never been so lucky as to see them at a venue as small as The Earl before. They opened with a newer song, “Poisonous Existence in Reawakening,” and the crowd was hysterical. Throughout their set they moved through a variety of older and newer songs, all of which the crowd received with equal frenzy. Of course one of my favorite parts of the set was when they played “Fucked by Satan,” which they endearingly dedicated to all the ladies in the audience. And I’d be remiss if I wrote this review without mentioning the lovely performance by some of the members of Theories and a few others who graced the stage in nothing but their “Fucked by Satan” panties and twerked their skinny asses off. Frontman Ben Falgoust has a way of connecting with his audience that is refreshingly authentic, like he is as excited to be there as we are. Maybe it’s because he plays air guitar as much as we do in the audience. Guitarist Sammy Duet is another crowd favorite, and I’m always impressed to hear the complexity and fullness he achieves with his guitar, without needing a rhythm guitarist for support. Drummer Zack Simmons delivered a crushing performance as the band’s heartbeat, and current touring bassist Rob Coleman did an exceptional job filling in for James Harvey. Extra points to Coleman for wearing a Hellgoat shirt in Atlanta. Overall this was an amazing night of metal. I was happy to see that there was a great turnout despite being a Sunday night show. The energy was buzzing from beginning to end, and the bands all delivered an amazing, high-intensity performance to end their North American tour. About Tina Extreme metal correspondent Tina Nosari has been a metal fan since the age of eleven and likes everything from death metal to sludge and doom. By day, Tina is a lawyer in Atlanta. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her dog, weightlifting, and volunteering at a local animal shelter. Mail | More Posts (6) [read on]

Gig review: Concert Review: Electric Citizen/Mondo Drag/Slow Season – July 23, 2015 – Atlanta, GA

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

I go to a lot of metal shows as you all probably know. Now don’t get me wrong, as much as I absolutely love what I do, sometimes metal shows can just be a bit too much. The deafening volume, the breakneck speed, the meatheads running around in a circle pummeling the crap out of each other are all things that, after a while, start to wear me thin. Sometimes I just want a very welcome change of pace and this past Thursday night I got just that when the Riding Easy Records tour featuring Slow Season, Mondo Drag , and headliners Electric Citizen rolled into Atlanta for an awesome night of good ol’ fashioned dirtbag psych rock. SLOW SEASON Kicking things off was California based Slow Season . The band took the stage and launched the festivities with “Sixty Eight” from their latest album Mountains and right off the bat I was moved. I could feel the groove hitting me and causing me to nod my head and groove along with the song. Before launching into the next song, lead vocalist/guitarist Daniel Story Rice announced that this was the band’s first time in Atlanta which totally made me smile. There’s nothing cooler than seeing a band’s first time in your town. Slow Season really made a hell of a first impression on me with a dynamic and magnetic stage presence and a short, but very sweet set of songs full of gritty, dirty groove that at times even bordered a bit on jamming territory. Lead vocalist Rice was totally blowing my mind with his soulful vocals while the band boasted one of the best fucking drummers I have seen in ages. Just watching drummer Cody Tarbell alone would’ve been enough entertainment as he played like John Bonham and looked like Animal. The band closed things out with “Bars & Bars” which was a jamtastic slab of rock n’ roll that was of epic proportions showcasing some very impressive fretboard wizardry courtesy of lead guitarist David Kent. Slow Season really blew my mind and this is without a doubt a band that I will be keeping on my radar. As of now, the band has released two stellar albums (Slow Season, Mountains) and they are both fantastic, easy on the ears, driven groove rock. I look forward to seeing and hearing more of this band in the future! Setlist: Sixty Eight, Heavy, Shake, Bars & Bars ================================================================== MONDO DRAG I was beginning to wonder how the next band would hold up after such a facemelting performance from Slow Season. As the 2nd California based band of the night, Mondo Drag , took the stage I was really intrigued by their gear setup. I saw the standard drums and amps, but then center stage was a Moog synth and stage left was a full electric Hammond (not the big ass wood kind) set up. This right away picked my interest and as they kicked into their first song “Zephyr” I was whisked away. As much as I hate describing a band’s sound as other bands, I want to give you an idea of what I was hearing. What I heard in Mondo Drag was a very distinct Deep Purple meets Jethro Tull (sans flute) kind of sound. The songs were daring and exciting in that the music really seemed to take me someplace. As corny as it sounds, I closed my eyes and I was really feeling the music, seeing the kind of landscapes they were creating with the music. Unfortunately, that whole vibe was interrupted when keyboardist John Gamino began singing. Maybe it was that I was just so floored by the music that the vocals seemed to be somewhat of an interruption. I didn’t find the vocals to be nearly as strong or as interesting as the music, but at the same time I’m not ready to write them off. Mondo Drag is a band that I feel like I need to dive a little deeper into to see just what all is there for me. Musically they took me on a sonic journey, but the vocals didn’t seem all that necessary to me. I need to spend a bit more time with this one, but their set was enjoyable and they have me wanting to hear a bit more to see what they are all about. Setlist: Zephyr, [new material that has yet to be named] ================================================================== ELECTRIC CITIZEN Feeling a bit bored with my musical choices a few weeks ago, I felt compelled to check out the artist roster for Riding Easy Records. The band name Electric Citizen picked my interest right off the bat . Once I laid ears on them, I knew I was hearing a new Brainfart favorite.I thought to myself, “I bet they’ve already been to Atlanta and won’t be coming back for a while.” I literally jumped out of my chair and did a happy dance when I saw that they would be playing in Atlanta a week later. I made the mad scramble to email the band and their PR as I couldn’t wait to cover their show. Electric Citizen took the stage and without any kind of flashy introduction they slammed right into “Savage” from their debut album Sateen . I could feel the music shoot through me like I was being struck by lightning or something. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more electrifying, they slid right into “Ghost of Me” which took things completely over the top with its sonic groove and ethereal vocals from lead singer Laura Dolan. Before moving forward into the set, Dolan smiled and thanked everyone for coming out and for being a “small but powerful audience” Electric Citizen, as a whole, plays with a lot of passion and fire. They also play with a natural energy and enthusiasm for the music that they are making. It’s very easy to tell that this band is feeling what they’re playing and in turn, creating a contagious vibe. The band’s rhythm section of Nate Wagner (drums) and Randy Proctor (bass) locked down a solid groove song after song while guitarist Ross Dolan just unleashed riff after riff of facemelting awesomeness. Without a doubt the MVP was vocalist Laura Dolan. Watching her perform was like watching Ronnie James Dio and Doro Pesch meets Ozzy. She worked that tiny stage as if she was on an arena stage performing for thousands yet did it all without coming off as corny or cheesy. Electric Citizen blew my mind in a huge way. I knew I enjoyed the album, the songs, and the songwriting, but after seeing them live, I saw even more potential for this band to grow into something even more spectacular. Electric Citizen is onto something and if they keep moving in this direction they are undoubtedly destined for greatness. Electric Citizen is proof that some of the best fucking bands out there are the ones you have to dig for and seek out yourself. Seek and you shall find my friends. Consider the work done for you already and go be mesmerized by this band. You’re welcome. Setlist: Savage, Ghost of Me, Shallow Water, The Trap, Future Persuasion, Magnetic Man, Beggars Need, Light Years Beyond, Evil (new song)       About Don de Leaumont Don (aka. The Brainfart) has been a heavy metal fan since hearing it for the first time in 1983. Don is also repsonsible for all of the typos, shitty grammar, and kick ass content on this site. Don likes cheap beer, whiskey, Coca Cola Icees, going to shows, and hanging with his kick ass wife, two cats and dog. He originally wanted to name his dog Shandi but his wife said, "No fucking way." Mail | More Posts (1129) [read on]

Gig review: Concert Review: Mayhem Festival – July 29, 2015 – Atlanta, GA

September 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Mayhem Festival featuring: Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah, Devil Wears Prada July 29, 2015 Atlanta, GA Lakewood Amphitheater The 2015 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. You’ll never mind a more wretched hive of backwards baseball cap, Axe body spray wearing, tribal tattoo wearing “high five me bro” douchebags. Well, that’s how it had been in the past but this year something was missing. Oh yeah, the audience. Literally. This year’s Mayhem Festival was so sadly undersold that Lakewood turned this event into a full on General Admission show. Because of this they shut down the lawn and the people who bought lawn tickets were now privy to sharing the pit with all those people that shelled out big bucks for pit tickets. Why was this happening? Was it a weak bill? Was it the shit talking of promoter Kevin Lyman in the press recently? Who knows? All I can say is that this was easily one of the most sparse large scale shows I have ever seen in my life. DEVIL WEARS PRADA Parking for this show was not an issue. The festival started at 1pm with all the crappy side stage bands (and Sister Sin) at like 1pm and the parking lot wasn’t even half full. I got inside to the main stage just in time to catch Devil Wears Prada. Devil Wears Prada? What kind of shitty name is that? I liked them better when they were a book…. at the bottom of a box…. that was nowhere near me or better yet, a shitty Meryl Streep movie that I didn’t have to sit through. As a matter of fact, I’d rather sit through that movie than through all this screaming. So much screaming. My god will it ever fucking stop? A buddy of mine described them as “The Live Nation Package Deal.” Did you miss all the shitty side stage bands? Fear not! Here they all are rolled into one band: Devil Wears Prada. It’s bands like this that drive a man to buy an 11 dollar Miller Lite just to help ease the pain. ====================================================== HELLYEAH Up next was Hellyeah. How is this even really something that is allowed to happen? I’m not even going to waste my time here as I really only have a two word review of their set: Hell No. ====================================================== KING DIAMOND Finally, the only reason for braving the disgusting, humid, sweltering, thick as a block of fucking cheese Georgia air was about to take the stage. I made my way down to the pit area and started to work my way up front just as King Diamond kicked things off with “The Candle.” As always (and as expected) King Diamond’s performance was absolutely flawless. The set list this time around was shortened to 10 songs but King Diamond did more in that one hour set than most bands do in twice that. The highlight of the set without a doubt was getting to hear “The 7th Day of July 1777.” That alone was worth the price of admission as I have always wanted to hear/see this one live. Another cool moment was when Kerry King joined them for the Mercyful Fate classic, “Evil.” It was really cool to hear Kerry King playing guitar in a way that didn’t make me want to eat a box of nails. I was impressed. King Diamond chose “Black Horsemen” to cap off a set that absolutely melted my face off but seemed to go by way too fast. Photos by Michael Bradley During King Diamond’s show, the audience seemed absolutely mesmerized. I feel like many of these people were seeing King Diamond for the first time as they all just looked amazed and rightfully so. The folks in the seats were all sitting with their mouths dropped open. It was almost as if they were taking in a theater production. Hell, what am I saying? They were taking in a theater production of epic metal proportions complete with backdrop changes and a nice visit from Grandma. The band, as always, absolutely killed it. Andy LaRoque is such an underrated master of metal guitar and drummer Matt Thompson again just blew my mind. He has to be without a doubt one of the most underrated metal drummers around today. It’s always awesome to see how this band just kills it all the time and does so without all the ridiculous showboating or egos. King Diamond once again proved to be a band (and person) who’s best years are still far ahead of them and I cannot wait to see what King has in store for us all. ====================================================== SLAYER Slayer closed the evening and it was very obvious that this audience was a Slayer audience. The people packed into the pit to pledge their allegiance to their metal masters as they opened their set with the new song, “Repentless.” This was the biggest stage production I’ve seen Slayer have to date. Fire, burning upside down crosses, and a larger than life media screen projecting all kinds gory images and mind numbing visuals. While the stage production was pretty fucking fantastic, at the end of the day it was still just Slayer. By the time Slayer launched into “War Ensemble” I found myself pretty fucking bored to be honest. I find myself doing this every fucking time I catch a Slayer show. I said it before and I’ll slay it again (see what I did there?). Slayer is just Slayer. They don’t suck and I don’t hate them but I just never feel moved by them. Hell, if anything, too much Slayer just kind of annoys me. Their fans seem to eat this shit up and take just about anything they give them as the cream of the crop. I just can’t help but feel that Slayer fans love the idea of Slayer more so than the music. I mean, after all, it’s pretty “cool” to like Slayer these days right? Musically Slayer was just doing absolutely nothing for me. Seeing Gary Holt actually look like he forgot how to play real lead guitar and adopt that psycho finger babble dive bombing tremolo bullshit just made me shake my head in frustration. I never got why Slayer guitar solos sound like someone falling down a flight of stairs with an electric guitar plugged in and cranked to 11. It also didn’t help that Slayer was following King Diamond. Whatever it was, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Slayer just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I’ll always enjoy the aspects of them that I enjoy but I really have no further interest in seeing them live again. ====================================================== The 2015 Mayhem Festival may have been a financial bust but at the end of it all, a whole new fan base was given the opportunity to witness the awesomeness of King Diamond. Seeing King Diamond on such a huge stage was pretty amazing and to see a lot of young people so stoked to witness him for the first time was a pretty magical thing. This was a King Diamond show without a doubt. It was so nice of him to invite all those other bands but I have to say, they weren’t necessary.   About Don de Leaumont Don (aka. The Brainfart) has been a heavy metal fan since hearing it for the first time in 1983. Don is also repsonsible for all of the typos, shitty grammar, and kick ass content on this site. Don likes cheap beer, whiskey, Coca Cola Icees, going to shows, and hanging with his kick ass wife, two cats and dog. He originally wanted to name his dog Shandi but his wife said, "No fucking way." Mail | More Posts (1129) [read on]