Stubbs BBQ, September 20th
got to the long awaited Ween show around 7:30. You could feel
the anticipation for the show in the air. Most of the diehard
fans even left their expensive, privileged spots at the ACL
fest to get to the show. Apparently Gene and Dean were enjoying
the feeling of anticipation because they didn’t come
on stage until about 9:30. I was amused to see the crowd scream
and yell “Yearrrrraaayys” every time a sound person
or a stagehand came across the stage. The crowd erupted when
Gene and Dean finally came out and Gene made reference to
the fact that they were playing with REM the next day with
sound coming form the stage was very compressed and reflected
the sound from the albums well. They ran through many of the
favorites. From “Ice Castles” to “Baby Bitch”
the crowd was getting their fix. The rain was coming down
reflected in the lighting at Stubb’s outdoor stage and
I must say it was damned beautiful. Ween was cheese without
all the whine. With songs like “Piss Up a Rope”
and the like Gene is relaying a message. Ladies, don’t
piss this guy off.
from songs such as “Most People Are Not Ok” and
“Waving My Dick in the Wind” Ween made grown men
wiggle and do more than rock out with their cock out. I am
not sure if I have ever seen so many grown men get giddy and
gyrate like little school girls at a boy band show but that
was part of the entertainment. I even yelled like a girl when
“Voodoo Lady” came on. Either way, Ween does not
need the radio nor do they need to play that one song from
way back to sell records or sell out shows. All they need
to do is tell the bitch to get lost, do some blow while eating
bananas and remind us the “most people are not ok”,
suggesting that “Z-O-L-O-F-T” is the answer.
gave the crowd their encore wish with the “HIV”
song, “Booze Me Up and Get Me High” and finally
“Fat Lady”. It was a surreal moment to see people
crowd surfing to a song that repeats the chorus “HIV”
over and over again. Don’t try searching for a message
to cling to with Ween. Just let them come in and out of your
life and enjoy the music.
Kreator/Vader/Amon Amarth/ GoatWhore
remember a friend rattling off a reduction of all that is
speed, black, or death metal and it came out like this: for
lyrics-- “Kill your Mom, Kill your Dad, flush a baby
down a toilet!” For the music—“it all sounds
the same.” Like Herpes, it depends on who you’re
Backroom was full with black metal freaks. Mostly men with
black tees, a slogan like “Persecute the Holy”
in large white letters across the backs. There were horned
hands aplenty, sweaty pit freaks with testosterone distribution
probs, and those guys who cuddle their quaint Goth girlfriends
amid the whole flurry. Yes, people were dragged out by security
and yes, there was a smoke machine. Yes, every band twirled
bands played their hearts out to the easily revved dudes who
came out to watch five of Metal’s touted bands egg them
on with goofy tuff faces, evil stares, thinning hair, and
flying V Dean Guitars.
The music was at tip top quality and covered the full range
of metal’s history. Put it this way: these bands all
own albums by Slayer, Venom, Celtic Frost, Emperor, even Judas
Goatwhore opened the show. Ben, who also fronts Soilent Green,
was screaming and growling like usual, but some of GW’s
songs feature him doing the “speak-singing” parts
which live came through thin like a lambskin condom. I have
to give it to him; he is the best pantomiming metal front
man in the biz, complete with finger pointing, slashing throats,
and a swing of the arm to show devastation. GW had the classic
Swamp sound going. Not the bluesy aspect, but the swarming
speed into old hardcore riffs method that creates jarring
juxtaposition. Like Soilent Green, the songs got a little
repetitious ¾ of the way through since I hadn’t
had time to listen to the studio stuff to pick clean the multiple
Amarth took care of mid tempo warring. They are the most straight
up heavy metal out of this tour. With their albums all dedicated
to Odin I wasn’t surprised to see a Thor’s hammer
round the necks of most of these guys. I thought of Rotting
Christ and late Carcass. The music is more emotional than
blazing, with a double bass that tricks the ear into the sense
of really fast tunes. These blonde burly guys had tapping
solos and a Fuckemo’s dirge. I was amazed to watch these
Norwegian’s carry on the real music that drives fans
to literally burn churches.
Poland and no joke at all was Vader. This was my fave no doubt.
They rarely slowed down. This set was like having Reign in
Blood be 35 minutes longer. The solos were textbook J.Henneman/
K.King, pinch harmonics with whammy in all. The double bass
sounded just like an AK-47 with an endless cartridge. I would
recommend them to anyone who enjoys the Slaytanic sound.
the German delegation. They played the faves: “Extreme
Aggression”, “Flag of Hate”, “Betrayer”.
They are very anthematic in their true speed metal service.
Back from a time when Yngwie Malmstein tapped his way to Headbanger’s
ball, when Metallica was respected for forging ahead, when
gallop picking made a fuck, when poweramp outweighed technicality,
when muffling the power chords was innovation, Kreator stood
present. The crowd went nuts for this stuff and rightly so.
We’ve been listening to their albums for almost 20 years
finally, Nile. Curses from the Fertile Crescent echoed through
the Backroom. I didn’t enjoy this as much I thought.
The sound moved faster than my ears heard. Nile’s albums
are really full, with Egyptian instruments, Mummy moans and
quality to back the fan-picked neo-classical riffage. Live,
this was as hard to translate as hieroglyphs by lantern light.
They did overdub choral singing parts and ambient mood soundscapes.
This helped add flavor to the mung. They were tight like a
tomb. Dead stops on dimes were the dynamics of the show. Sometimes
I wished the bass player could play the root notes and not
riddle the melody like...oh you know what’s coming…the
Cafe Mundi, September 26th
contains a lively punk rock history. On the 26th old punk
rockers came together to commemorate one of the finest moments,
the Huns Riot. As legend has it, when the police arrived at
the Huns show, lead singer Phil Tolstead kissed a police officer.
This led to his arrest and the incitement of the crowd, plus
many great memories. The riot took place at Raul’s,
the original punk rock hang out on the drag. The reunion show
allowed old friends to catch up, many of whom hadn’t
seen each other since the days of Raul’s, while listening
to some great music.
up, Ultra Violet Wave, led by Larry Seaman, formerly of Standing
Waves. Steve Marsh of Terminal Mind also joined him. These
guys prove to the world that punk rock will never vanish,
maybe evolve, but never fully die. They never missed a beat,
but rather played exceptionally for more than an hour. Can
one actually believe them when they claim they haven’t
played some of these songs in years?
between sets, “Biscuit” Turner regaled the crowd
with his witticism and memories of growing up punk in Austin.
Next to entertain the crowd were the Punkaroos. Lead singer,
Dottie, shows the world what punk rock is all about, in your
face and overflowing with fun. She demanded to know when the
riot was going to start. In response someone threw a chair
and the show took off full of force. Kiddies beware this isn’t
radio friendly punk. As Dottie put it, “We’ll
never be cool. That’s what’s cool about Austin
punk.” All of these musicians should inspire us to maintain
the scene here; so we can all have something to celebrate
in another twenty-five years.
Hole in the Wall, September 25th
Curlywolf cancelled, so rather than face an endless string
of Pavement wannabes at Beerland, I hustled up to the Hole
in the Wall to catch a rare performance by Mike McCoy and
his travelling political open forum, the American People.
Although bassist Hunter Darby was the only regular member
present due to various scheduling conflicts, drummer Bryan
Bowden, and the guitars of Andy Thomas (Rockland Eagles) and
Jennings Bryant (Wannabes) were more than adequate replacements
as the backdrop for McCoy and his twisted anti-Fireside Chat.
in his demented genius, has looked long and hard at the sad
state of this country of ours and designed a rock and roll
pulpit from which to report his findings. The ever-irritating
attitude of teenagers, capitalism, money hunger and the ritualistic
abuse of fun seekers everywhere fall under his scrutiny where
they are dissected and revealed for what they really are:
an illustration of the ridiculousness and futility of the
human condition. Solutions aren’t forth coming, nor
is that McCoy’s responsibility. He’s here not
as a faith healer but as a correspondent of man’s war
what a correspondent! Our foibles are laid to bare, yet the
Fever of Dance has possessed us all and we couldn’t
help but get reeeaaallly drunk and dance ‘til we dropped.
Or in certain audience members’ cases, until we got
knocked off our feet and thrown into a table.
The most fun one can have being preached at. Now get out there
Hot Water Music/ Bleeding Through
La Zona Rosa, October 2nd
have a confession to make. I have a man crush on Davey Havok,
and I’m not the only one. Everyone at La Zona Rosa,
regardless of gender, could not help but to be infatuated
by the presence he had.
that being said, AFI lived up to any expectations I might
have had previous to Thursday night. The energy they brought
to the crowd, with their fist pumping anthems and melodic
sing alongs had me convinced that they are the greatest performers
on earth. Maybe the booze clouded my judgment a little, but
nonetheless, it was a stellar performance.
played an even mix of old and new songs to appease both the
dedicated and not so dedicated audience. The night was highlighted
when Davey Havok did his best Jesus impression and walked
into the crowd by walking across the top of the crowd about
five feet in. He stood over (and on top of) the fans as AFI
finished their energetic set. AFI fans are, well, fanatical.
Their website is a host to over one hundred and fifty fan
tattoos of various AFI symbols, and an AFI tribute album which,
for a band just over ten years old, is impressive.
light of the band’s recent ascend into the limelight,
I asked drummer Adam Carson why he thought so many people
were drawn to their band. “I don’t know. I mean,
I think there’s a level of honesty, and we truly are
passionate about it, and I think that hopefully comes across,
and maybe that’s what people are seeing in us, because
we really do feel it, and we really do love to play music,
and love to perform, so perhaps they pick up on that, but
we feel really lucky.”
was a great show. AFI, a seemingly average punk band showed
a depth and charisma that places them far above the Warped
Tour staples they are commonly categorized with. Hot Water
Music returned to Austin in top form, redeeming themselves
after a sloppy performance with Sparta early this year that
had left a lot of people with a bad taste in their mouth.
Bleeding Through, a California metal band, opened.