Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Stone Sour - 19 Oct 2010 (Dingwalls)

The first European date for Stone Sour promoting their new album Audio Secrecy, before they head to Berlin to kick off the tour with Avenged Sevenfold and Hellyeah, and this gig sold out in just an hour after the tickets were released. Those familiar with Dingwalls will know that it is not a venue that bands with the reputation of Stone Sour usually play, but this time it was perfect. As expected the venue was packed. Corey Taylor (Vocals) really made the evening feel like a very private party with some very special guests. The gig was just overwhelming. The band kicked off with Mission Statement and went through with songs from all three albums that the band has released so far.  The new songs, in particular, got a very warm reception by the British public with massive sing-along on Say you’ll haunt me and Digital. The all so famous acoustic performance of Bother by Corey was perfectly performed both on vocals and guitar which makes me think that Corey has been practising. Through the glass followed, which to me has become some kind of a trademark for Stone Sour, along with a few other songs out of Come What(ever) and then surprisingly we got the honour to get the rarity that is Idle Hands with Corey and the crowd doing the “infamous” dance routine! The gig ended with a massive 30/30-150 that left everybody, including me, highly satisfied. The crowd was amazing and Corey really knows how to create a link with his audience. If you bear in mind that this was a “warm up” gig for the European tour then the only thing I can suggest is: GO AND SEE STONE SOUR WITH A7X! You won’t be disappointed. I even had the chance to ask Corey a few questions before the gig and discussed matters such as the upcoming tour, Slipknot and of course...Coldplay! The band just came back from some gigs in Japan and was getting ready for the European leg of the tour with A7X and Hellyeah. All three bands, pretty much, have lost a member in the near past so I took the liberty to ask Corey about how was the atmosphere backstage, with the other bands. It all seemed to be working pretty good and the friendship between the bands really made things run nicely. Vinnie Paul(Drums for Hellyeah) even gave the guys his piece of advice on the matter by saying that Paul, Rev and Dime are always with them and that now they have to live for them as well. When asked about the future of Slipknot Corey stood still on his position that it is too early to say, (despite the fact that both Clown and Joey Jordison have confirmed that there will be a new Slipknot chapter to come), and that there hasn’t really been a band meeting about the matter yet. Regarding the new Slipknot DVD, that was released a few weeks ago, the band is really happy with the result although it was very strange watching the whole thing again. Corey described the experience as being a “bittersweet sensation”. Finally I asked Corey what seems to turn into my standard question: What do you think of Coldplay? Corey described Coldplay as a “Vanilla version of Radiohead” and to be “sleeping music”. To be honest I’m kind of relieved that at least someone shares almost the same opinion as me on the matter!

Stone Sour: 19/20

PS: Corey is a fucking cool guy!  

Posted by Nick 

Monday, 11 October 2010

August Burns Red - 10 Oct 2010 (Islington Academy)

I was a bit disappointed when I entered the academy and heard the singer from Of Mice & Men saying “Goodnight, thank you very much”. I was kind of looking forward to see this guys live. However the other two bands kind of made up for this. Second to come up was Blessthefall. The boys from Arizona had a tough time to get the public with them during the whole set with a clearly divided public. At the front ¼ of the room was full of people enjoying the gig, then some kind of empty space with a few moshers, followed by a motionless group of people that occupied the rest of the venue. By the end of the set things got a little better and the rest of the crowd started to move a little bit mostly thanks to the amazing energy of the singer Beau Bokan and Jared Warth(Bass). This two guys made a great effort to carry the academy with them and almost reached their goal. I have to be honest and say that I was disappointed with the stage presence of the two guitar players. To me they seemed very tired and were lacking a lot of energy in comparison with the two other guys. I'm pretty sure that if they were up to the same energy level as the other two guys they would had achieved a better impression and would had carry more people with them. Up next came the leading act for the evening: August Burns Red. Last time I saw this guys at the Lamb of God gig I was very impressed by the power and energy they were giving out so I kind of knew what to expect and thankfully I wasn't disappointed. The guys kicked in with a very aggressive and powerful set and grab me by the hair and made me head-bang for the majority of the gig. Despite the warnings of the venue that no moshing should be encouraged the crowd did go mental and the surfers got on their “boards”. August Burns Red was like the Iron Maiden spaceship driven by Eddie on the Final Frontier video clip. Fast, aggressive and ravaging everything on its way! After the gig I had the chance to speak with the singers from the two bands and guess what...Just like Architects, the bands are also influenced by Coldplay. Beau Bokan admitted to me that Chris Martin was one of his singing influences and Jake Luhrs(ABR Vocals) told me that one of Matt Greiner(Drums) favourite bands is again Coldplay. I should probaly listen to more Coldplay!

August Burns Red: 18/20
Blessthefall: 15/20

Posted by Nick  

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Architects - 8 Oct 2010 (Koko)

What a night and what a gig. A sold out gig at Koko featuring some of the best upcoming bands and headlined by one the UK's best metal acts at the moment. I managed to get in the venue just as Architects got on stage. The whole Koko was packed and the lower level seemed like an angry sea of people. From what I was told the previous bands did an amazing job at warming up the crowd. Architects got on stage with an amazing energy and took with them the 1400 fans that made it to the gig. The gig kicked in with the powerful riffs of Day In Day Out and continued with a selection of songs out of the Hollow Crown CD. The Hollow Crown song as it self was profoundly acclaimed with the majority of the public singing along with Sam Carter(Vocals). The gig ended with Follow the Water. The energy that the band gave out was amazing and the presence on stage was intense and ball-grabbing. After the gig the band headed for the after-party at the Relentless Garage where I had the opportunity to speak with the guys for a bit. I was very surprised when I asked Tom Searle(Guitar) to tell me which guitar players he was looking up to and replied to me:”The guy from Coldplay isn't bad”(lol?). Anyhow if Coldplay helps to inspire the music of Architects, I guess they don't do only bad things after all!

Architects: 18/20

Posted by Nick  

Thursday, 7 October 2010

This Will Destroy You - 30 Sep 2010 (Underworld)

I was lucky enough to discover this band earlier this year and even more lucky to find out that they would be playing in London. Despite the fact that I believed that the gig wouldn't get much attendance it was fully packed. The first band to come up was East/Strike/West which delivered a very pleasant set. Nice melodic and harmonic ideas, a very powerful voice and an appropriate stage presence made me want to listen to more from this band. Up next was Talons. The band line up looked very appealing with two violins, two guitars, drums and bass. However I did find the whole thing a bit too “messy”. The sound wasn't really good and the stage presence was extremely imposing. Musically the band delivered a nice mix of heavy riffs and violin melodies. I do believe that this band has a lot of potential but they really need to work on their sound and their presence. Then it was This Will Destroy You's turn. If you haven't heard of this band please go find one of their songs on Youtube, Spotify, iTunes or what ever you like and play it NOW! This band delivered an amazing set. They really transmitted the feeling of floating in space. The smoothness and energy of their sound can really make anyone travel in their own minds. The band started their set with Black Dunes and went through some older songs as well as songs from their upcoming CD. The encore brought back the band to deliver another two songs before the end of the gig and just blew everyone away when I Believe in Your Victory was played making it a perfect ending song. If you ever get the chance to see this band live please do so. You wont be disappointed.

This Will Destroy You: 20/20
Talons: 13/20
East/Strike/West: 16/20

Posted by Nick  

Opeth - 5 Apr 2010 (Royal Albert Hall)

A virtually sold out gig, in one of England's most majestic venues, for one of my favourite Swedish bands (along with ABBA of course). Having literally the best seat in the house (first box opposite the stage) this gig was definitely something more than a normal gig. The wedding between the hall's amazing sound and the mind drifting melodies of Opeth was a unique experience to witness. No supporting bands this time but two amazing sets by the Swedish metalers whith the first one consisting of the entire Blackwater Park album. Opeth delivered that album live, with amazing effectiveness and accuracy. I have to admit that I was mind blown by the great job that the media team has made. The projections behind the band were suiting the context perfectly and were just travelling across mountains, forests and an amazing variety of shapes and colours while the all so famous Harvest and Dirge for November were enthusiastically welcomed by the public. The second set consisted of songs from the entire catalogue of Opeth albums from the beginning of their career to their latest opus Watershed. A very nice move from Opeth which obliged them to play songs that they very rarely play in concert and also showcased the evolution of the band throughout their 20 years old career. The gig ended with one of the most powerful songs from Watershed: The Lotus Eater. During the song some technical difficulties with Fredrik Åkesson's guitar led to, what I believe to be, an amazing moment where the crowd just embraced the band and made a difficult and somehow embarassing moment seem like nothing. I believe that everybody who has attended that concert will agree with me that it was one of the best performances from Opeth in many years. And if you missed it, well don't can now buy the DVD of the performance!

Opeth: 19/20

Posted by Nick 

Machine Head - 18 Feb 2010 (Brixton Academy)

I have to be honest on this one. Five days after the Lamb of God concert I was still kind of buzzy when I entered Brixton Academy for the second time in a week and to be honest I didn't really know what to expect. I had previously seen all the bands on the bill individually but I had a feeling that it wasn't going to be the same this time. I arrived in the middle of the Bleeding Through set and the room was packed so I decided to stand at the back of the venue and watch the entire gig from there. Bleeding Through delivered a good set with no big surprises. Marta was as always charming on her keys but the set didn't really delivered the whole potential of the band. Then came on the ones who were bound to destroy me: Hatebreed. The band came up on stage with a very powerful set and a great live sound. I will be Heard was the opening song from the hardcore metal heads and it was definitely heard. I actually managed to move all my bruised muscles from the previous gig five days ago. A very nicely prepared set from Hatebreed with songs as Destroy Everything and In Ashes They Shall Reap. Get the full Hatebreed set-list here. By the time Hatebreed finished I had moved to the middle of the venue and the echo of MACHINE FUCKING HEAD was going around the whole academy. Machine Head came on and they just blasted the place up. It only took one song to get me all over the place and fortunately that was the second one on the list. Imperium kicked off and that was the beginning of an amazing gig. Flynn(Vocals, Guitar) gave 101% and Demmel was ripping the guitar strings . Flynn even gave away their newly acquired Silver Record for “The Blackening” to a lucky member of the audience. The gig was loud, fast and heavy, exactly what you can expect from MACHINE FUCKING HEAD !!! I found myself literally floating across the venue: From the far-left side to the far-right side in about 2 seconds.( Guinness Record?) The set ended with a mind-blazzing Halo and the riffelicious Davidian. It is a shame because in my head this gig kind of cast a shadow over the Lamb of God gig. Nevertheless this week had been amazing with two incredible gigs, good memories and buzzing ears. LET FREEDOM RING!!

Machine Head: 20/20
Hatebreed: 18/20
Bleeding Through: 15/20

Posted by Nick 

Lamb of God - 13 Feb 2010 (Brixton Academy)

LAMB OF GOD! You do realise that when a band like this hits town you know it will be a “messy” night, and indeed it was. Got at Brixton quite early and managed to get all the supporting acts with first on stage Between the buried and me. A not so impressive set by this North Carolina band but to be honest when you are waiting for Lamb of God it is quite hard to attract anybody unless you grab them by the balls. August Burns Red did exactly that. If you are not familiar with this band they do actually kick ass. Great, heavy music, nice stage presence and nice interaction with the public, despite the fact that most of the crowd was there for Job for a Cowboy and Lamb of God. HOWEVER...............August Burns Red members dressing style is to put it?.... “not appropriate”. I really don't mind having people dressing up in any kind of way, but coming to a Lamb of God gig dressed like just doesn't feel right. Coming up a band that I was very intrigued to see live and I have to say I was quite disappointed. Job for a Cowboy came on stage with attitude, confidence atrocious sound. Don't really know if Job for a Cowboy is to blame or if it is Brixton but the sound was just very very bad. Also the fact that the pit was mostly consisted of young teenagers who, I ll be honest, don't really mosh but try to be as violent as possible, did leave a very bad taste in my mouth about the whole set . Job for a cowboy is definitely a respected band and they perhaps deserve a review with a better sound. And now the main act for this soiree. LAMB OF GOD. Couldn't ask more from this set. Powerful, aggressive, headbangigly amazing, hair pulling, bruise maker, knee destroyer and everything else that follows a great metal gig. The “big boys” took over the pit and things started to feel a bit more METAL. I actually had to quit for a moment to get a break because of the intensity of the pit. Lamb of God delivered an amazing set with a mixture of Wrath songs as well as some classic head bangers such as Redneck, Laid to Rest and Omerta. Randy(Vocals) was on excellent form and Chris Adler made that drum-kit wish it was never born. A definite must-had-gone-to show and I'm sure that all who attended will remember it for a few years.

Lamb of God: 19/20
Job for a Cowboy: 14/20
August Burns Red: 15/20
Between the Buried and Me: 12/20

Posted by Nick