"Concert Reviews"

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by Dan MacIntosh... 

King's X/Moke

House Of Blues, West Hollywood, CA

November 19, 2001

Like a high-powered locomotive, King's X just keeps rolling along. This night, they made a noisy stop on the Sunset Strip at the House Of Blues to play a sampling from their new Manic Moonlight album. But unlike the cloned boxcars of your typical freight train, King's X pulls into town with a wide variety of music boxes.

From a compartment marked "Manic Moonlight," the trio pulled out "Believe" and the title track. In the middle of "Believe," soulful lead singer Doug Pinnick took a moment to give a spoken word pep talk about learning to believe in oneself, and as an intro to "The Other Side," (another "Manic" track) he spoke poignantly on learning of a friend's contraction of the HIV virus. It served as a reminder of just meaningful these songs are to Doug.

The group opened with "Groove Machine," which is a song title that goes a long way in summing up what this not-just-metal band does so well. In addition to Pinnick's Urban-influenced singing, the band also sports an extraordinary guitarist in Ty Tabor and a steady drummer in Jerry Gaskill. The group switches easily between rocking out, and harmonizing together.

This well-paced set offered tastes from every stop along the group's long career track, and even reached back to their 1988 debut album Out of the Silent Planet for "Sometimes."

With their accumulated momentum, King's X shows no signs of stopping anytime soon: This is one veteran act with fuel to burn.

The UK band Moke opened for King's X, and the melodic hard rock crunch they applied to songs like "My Degeneration" and "Strange Days" sounded an awful lot like the headliner's music. Just as King's X has obviously done, Moke has listened to its share of The Beatles and The Who, as well as many more modern hard rock inspirations, to create their winning style.

It all added up to a night of tunefully rocking music where the listener alternated almost equally between banging one's head, and humming right along.

by Diane Anderson...

WASP and Pissing Razors

The Quest Night Club, Minneapolis, MN

September 25, 2001

I had been waiting weeks to see WASP, and the night finally came.  The doors were opened at 8:00 PM, and it was a 21 and over show.  The night started out with two local bands, Numb and With. They both put on good shows, but the music was different than what the crowd was expecting, so they didn't fare well.

That was the same thought I had when it was announced that Pissing Razors was on tour with WASP, but that all changed when I saw them perform. Pissing Razors is a straight-up, in your face extreme metal band, just like WASP but a lot heavier.  They did fit well. It took about 3 songs for the crowd of 800+ to get warmed up, but once they noticed they were heavy and were going to stay heavy, they got into it.  This crowd was not into any pansy-ass nu-metal shit.  They wanted hard rock, and that's all, and that's what Pissing Razors delivered.  Pissing Razors did get about 20 people to do a small mosh pit, but most of them just shook their fists and banged their heads.

Pissing Razors has 4 albums out -- Pissing Razors, released in '98, Cast Down the Plague in '99, Fields of Disbelief in 2000 and the new album Where We Come From, just released this summer.  They just added a new singer, Jason Bragg from LA and New Orleans.  Jason offered some in-your-face, original vocals that will make you feel what the band was feeling when they wrote the songs.  Now Eddy Garcia, the drummer, offers a slaughtering drum beat throughout the whole album that will make you exhausted just from listening.  The fatter bass sound comes from Rick Vallez, and let's not forget about the true metal thunderous riffs from Cesar Soto.

I had a chance to have a beer with Jason. We talked about the new album and the new label. Pissing Razors just signed to Spitfire Records.  They are pleased with the recording and also the tour and tour support they are receiving.  They were assigned to the Judas Priest tour before it was canceled, but are still planing on going out with the tour in January when it's
scheduled to start up again.  Make sure you get a chance to see them.

Pissing Razors offer the metal sound antidote for listeners who are sick of the nu-metal shit that's being shoved down our throats, so make sure you go out and buy their new album Where We Come From on Spitfire Records.  Their music is lethal.

Now, on to the show of all shows.  WASP.  As the anticipation grew, the crowd was given a peek as to what was in store.  The crew brought out this all-metal demon of a mic stand.  It was a vertebra spinal column with a pelvis bone, and it extended up to a dragon head with half a saw blade sticking out of the top of his head.  Long lanky fingers that grip handle bars.  It was six feet high.  Then the lights dropped, and out came WASP.  They broke into a medley as the crowd cheered, then went into "Helldorado," then "Electric Circus" and to one of my favorites, "Chainsaw Charlie."  By this time the crowd was nuts.  It has been years since WASP was last heard.  Then came "Let It Roar," "Wild Child," "L.O.V.E. Machine," and "Animal" -- the crowd helped out a lot on this song.  Fists were flying in the air as they played "Sleeping In The Fire."  Then Blackie led the crowd in a chant of "U.S.A." as the band held up the American flag.  Then "My Tortured Eyes" was played totally in the dark except when a special light was shown on Blackie. Then his skin was turned glowing green as he crawled around the floor.  Then he climbed on top of his demon beast mic stand and started to sway back and forth, just like those stupid spring rides at the local playground that we used play on, but it was bigger. I was surprised he didn't fall off.  One time he hovered over the front row; then he swayed back.  Then the handle bars spewed fiery sparkles as Blackie continued to sway.

Then the lights came back on, and they played "The Real Me" and then "I Wanna Be Somebody," where at the end of the song he climbed on top of the mic stand again, but this time with a skull with blood that he poured out of an eye socket and into his mouth, and it dripped down his throat.  Then he threw the skull out into the crowd and left the stage.  Then the chanting of “Blackie” started, and after about 5 minutes WASP came out and played "Blind in Texas." Then the house lights came on, and it was over.  It was a hell of show, way more then I ever expected.  I was left speechless.

by Al Slavicsky...

Keith Urban

Cambria County Fairgrounds, Ebensburg, PA

September 3, 2001

Australian county singer Keith Urban came to the Cambria County Fair to do some hot county music for the huge audience that attended the fair. Unlike most county fairs where you have to play extra to see top rated musician, the Cambria County Fair is one where you pay a low cost price of $6, and you can enjoy the music and events at the grandstand, and today it was Keith Urban.

Keith Urban, despite having a sore throat and jet lag from playing the opening cermonies at this year's Goodwill Games in Sydney, Australia the week prior to the show, performed not one but two entertaining sets to the crowd.  Keith Urban, who has three CDs out, proved that he was a good entertainer.

Prior to coming to the stage, the sounds from the stages were anything but country music.  In fact, it was a Peter Gabriel CD being played, which was a bit odd and different.  Then, after introduction by local country radio station DJs from The Mountain 96.5 out of Johnstown, PA,  Keith Urban hit the stage dressed in a bright red shirt along with his band Sexual Chocolate.  Keith played mostly songs off his 1999 Capitol Nashville release Keith Urban, so the fans knew most of his tunes.

Here is a complete run down of the songs he did at the 4 PM show... "But The Grace of God," flowing into the uptempo two-step rocking country song "Where The Blacktop Ends," which really rocked and got the crowd into a good mood.  Keith then did the mid-tempo Eagles-like original  "A Little Luck Of Your Own," which was very impressive.  Keith then did a long singing intro about Pennsylvania before doing the tearjerking ballad "Your Everything."   The next song was a song which he originally did with The Ranch called "Walk In The Country," which was a surprise to hear and proved that Keith Urban is one of the greatest new entertainers in the world today, for it had a sort of story telling flair. Then came the crowd standard about growing up and paying the bills and making a lasting impression on the world called "Out On My Own," where Keith spoke prior to the tune about paying the electric bills and keeping the lights off.  In the middle of "Out On My Own," he did some guitar work similar to the Peter Frampton classic "Do You Feel Like You Do," which proves that Keith Urban has crossover appeal... this was one of the most impressive tunes that Keith has ever done, and it was truly unbelievable.  "So Good Enough" was the next tune... to be honest, this is a new song, but am unsure if it could be a B-Side or a Ranch tune -- very Southern-fried rockish.  Keith then paid homage to The Eagles with his rockin' rendition of  "Take It Easy," even though some of the younger crowd said to Keith, "Good Travis Tritt song," and Keith responded that he must be getting old in a humorous manner.  The vibe for the next song was the tearjerking ballad "I  Thought You Knew," which Keith captured with his powerful vocals in such a way that he sounded like he was spreading his soul out for the audience.  Then came a cover of  "Will You Meet Me In The Middle" with a jam session intertwined in it.  Then Keith gave the mic to Scotty Huff to do a special version of The Mavericks tune "There Goes My Heart," for Scott did play with The Mavericks on their last tour.  The second to the last song of the 4PM show was the instrumental track "Rollercoaster," which spotlighted members of his band with different solos. The last song of the show was the rocking "It's A Love Thing," and Keith really got into the number. He really worked the crowd and told the crowd to come back for the next show at 8PM.

I was unable to cover the 8PM show, but I heard that the performance was much the same, and Keith got more emotions in his set. Proves that he will work hard doing two sets in one day, which is great for a performer of his talent. Keith will move county music in the 21st century and rock the day away.

Keith Urban proved that he is a world class entertainer even though he was sick. Rarely does any musician work this hard for his fans, and under the circumstances it proved that that he is true sportsman for not cancelling the shows.  Truly on his way to being a huge superstar, and he does have great crossover appeal. Thanks, Keith, for you have made a lot of fans happy.

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