Category Archives: music

A site to see

Everyone looking for an interesting read, go check out The Walrus Panel’s Top 100 Songs list

I was one of the many participants in the panel’s assembly of the list, and its definitely worth a look.

As a preview, here is one song that DIDN’T make the list:

2007 Concert Series in Review

This would be a review of all the concerts I attended in 2007.

03/07/07 – Machine Head – The Venue in Fargo, ND: The headliner was actually Lamb of God, but let’s be real, I was there to see Machine Head. They are a thrash metal band that got famous in the 90s, then was dropped from their record label, Roadrunner, and immediately signed by Roadrunner International. Apparently, they are still huge over seas. Their guitar work is quite impressive live, and have one of the coolest crowd chants ever, “Machine-f*ckin-Head!” I now try to work all band names into a similar chant, for some reason it doesnt work as well with most other band names.

05/11/07 – Flaw – Ground Zero in Minneapolis, MN: This was a small club that I am nearly certain doubled as an S&M club on non-concert nights, or at least it looked like it did. Flaw is a metal group that had been broken up for several years before reforming and going on tour. It was quite easy to see why they broke up, as even on stage the lead singer and lead guitarist dont seem to be able to get along. That said, I still enjoyed them live, and since I can almost guarantee from watching them that they will break up again soon, this may have been the only chance I would ever have had to see them live. I really enjoyed that rather than play a “final” song, then go off stage and wait for a few minutes and comeback for an encore, they instead just said “we don’t like doing encores, so these are really our final two songs”.

05/24/07 – Static X – The Rave in Milwaukee, WI: Of note was one of the opening bands, Invitro. They are a band that consists of a former member of Snot, and their record label is part owned by crazy NFL lineman Kyle Turley (if you dont remember, he was the player that ripped the helmet off of one of his opponents and tossed it down the field). Also, they come out dressed in white lab coats and tinfoil masks that they make themselves. I predict Invitro will be HUGE in the near future. As for Static X, they are not too shabby live either, but the sound at The Rave is really awful and it was about 150 degrees in the building. Being in Wisconsin, they obviously closed with Wisconsin Death Trip.

06/11/07 – Chevelle – The Venue in Fargo, ND: One of the opening bands, Finger 11, has a guitarist that needs to be seen to be believed. He throws his guitar around so much that it comes unplugged several times each song and it was quite clear that either they had his sound turned waayyy down or completely off, as none of his antics seemed to affect how the band sounded. He was basically a homeless looking man who appeared to be on some form of cocainne. As for Chevelle, they have a suprising number of good songs. I have liked all of their albums, but until I saw them live it never dawned on me how many excellent songs they have. Also, it seemed like the crew turned everything up to 11 for the last few songs because it really wasnt that loud for most of the show, then all of a sudden during the last three songs it was deafening.

07/4/07 – Tool – Marcus Amphitheatre in Milwaukee, WI: The band that opened for them was named Big Business. I hated them. They sounded like Type O Negative, but without any good songs. The guy next to us really liked them for that reason, so I asked why didnt they just get Type O to open then because at least I would have enjoyed that. Later on we attempted to convince that fellow that we were a couple who had come from New Jersey to watch the show, because I had been watching a lot of Sopranos then. He asked what my job was, I said waste management. As for Tool, their lead singer, Maynard, doesnt stand front and center. He stands toward the bank on a riser next to the drummer. Everyone else in the band has a spotlight on them and he does not. He can only be seen because he was standing in front of a giant video screen that backlight him whilst it played what can best be described as windows media player visualizations (if windows media player visualizations were really cool, and featured stuff like pouring rain showers instead of those crazy green circles). They also played quite the weird set list, neglecting at least 4 of their biggest hits, including Sober, and instead playing multiple 13 minute long songs off the end of Lateralus and 10,000 Days. Also, there were A LOT of laser light display going on. Weird, but cool.

07/22/07 –┬áKorn, Atreyu, Flyleaf, Hellyeah, Trivium – Family Values Tour in Chicago, IL: Evanesence was also there, but I severely dislike them. Invitro played on a side stage, which was definitely a bonus. Flyleaf was impressive the first time I saw them live, but this time they werent nearly as good. That’s possibly due to our seats being MUCH further away than the first time I saw them, and they played several new songs that I hadnt heard and wasnt all that impressed with. Hellyeah was also disappointing. Considering they consist of Mudvayne’s lead singer and guitarist, and Pantera’s drummer, I had high hopes for them. Unfortunately, they play nothing more than standard rock and dont seem to utilize the fact that they have one of the world’s best drummer in their band. I enjoyed Trivium, and had previously seen that at the aforementioned Machine Head show. They played Master of Puppets, probably better than Metallica could at this point in time. Atreyu being one of my favorite bands really couldnt have done anything to disappoint. Korn, as always, was very solid live. Nicely they have reduced the number of people on stage from 55 to 7.

07/29/07 – Warped Tour – Metrodome parking lot in Minneapolis, MN: It was nearly 100 degree that day, so standing on concrete all day did get quite hot. In fact, I was convinced at one point my sandals were going to melt. However, shade was available in the Guitar Hero tent, and there was an inflated slip n slide (that alone may have been worth the price of admission). I was there for basically two bands Killswitch Engage and Coheed & Cambria. Killswitch puts on quite the show, being far more energentic then you would assume, and they dont take themselves that seriously (the lead singer was laughing throughout the set and couldnt stop laughing after the guitarist threatened to “kill all the emo kids”). Coheed’s lead singer/guitarist is insanely good. Also, I was encouraged to give Underoath a look. I did and they might have put forth more effort and energy into their set then I had seen out of any band ever. If they had played any longer, I am nearly positive their keyboardist (a pudgy, homeless looking fellow who was chugging Monster every moment he was doing something else and was screaming along with the vocals even though there was no microphone near him) would have had a heart attack. Also, their lead singer looks like a skinny Andrew W.K.

08/05/07 – silverchair – First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN: The opening band was mediocre at best, and kept trying to get the crowd to chant along with them, “Let’s start a fire, tonight”. That failed miserably. Silverchair, who had just released THE best album of the year (Seriously, go listen to Young Modern, you owe it to yourself), were very good live. Their lead singer, Daniel Johns, has a stage presence that most lack. Probably one of my top five favorite live shows. Also, they had a keyboardist who had a mullet, was always smiling, and kept jumping up and down.

08/24/07 – Rage Against the Machine – East Troy, WI: Best concert I have ever been to. I can’t imagine this being topped unless Kurt Cobain and John Bonham rise from their graves and we get a Nirvana opening for Led Zeppelin show. (Can we use technology and cloning to get to work on making that happen, by the way?) Zack de la Rocha brought the insane amount of energy and protest filled fervor to the stage that I assumed he would. Tom Morello is unreal with his guitar sounds and effects. Since tickets were so tough to get and pricey, everyone who was there was rapidly into the show. Also, it gave me the epic story of getting out of that parking lot. See the parking lot for the 50,000+ fans in attendance was just a grassy field. It was a downpour of rain the entire day and thru most of the concert as well. The grass turned to mud. Basically, EVERY vehicle that was trying to drive out of there was getting stuck in the mud. Every car was having to be pushed, and I mean every car – small cars, big cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, everything was getting stuck. I had mud on me when I got to my friend’s car, so I stripped down to just boxers to avoid getting mud inside his car. He ended up pushing his car whilst I drove in sitting in only boxers. It took nearly 3 hours before we got out of the parking lot, or mudpit, whatever you want to call it, then we had a solid 3 + hour drive to get back to his place. Didn’t matter, because we saw Rage Against the Machine. Rage Against the Machine. Oh, they played nearly their entire first album, the first two track of Evil Empire, and all the hits off Battle for Los Angeles, opend with Testify, and obviously closed with Killing in the Name.

09/13/07 – Atryeu – The Venue in Fargo, ND: As said before, they are one of the bands I am most into currently. Again, they didnt disappoint. This was right after the released of the newest album, so they mixed in some new material. It was the first time I had seem them as a headliner, and I quite liked that they still play a couple songs from the first album, even though their sound has changed a lot since then.

That’s the 10 concerts I went to in 07.

As always, comments encouraged.