Concert Review: Metal Blade Records’ 35th Anniversary Tour Feat. Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation, Goatwhore, Allegaeon, & Necromancing The Stone In San Francisco, CA

Last night (March 10), I attended the Metal Blade Records 35th Anniversary Tour, feat. Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation, Goatwhore, Allegaeon, and Necromancing The Stone at The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA, and it was an awesome show!

The supergroup Necromancing The Stone opened up the show with their traditional brand of metal. They were a great opening band, who are worth checking out if you haven’t heard of them. The band’s music is like that of NWOBHM acts with some thrash and death elements mixed in, making them appealing to all types of metal fans. A highlight from their set was their performance of “The Siren’s Call.”

Allegaeon took the stage next for an energetic display of technical melodic death metal. Greg Burgess and Michael Stancel’s guitar work was a sight to see. On top of this, vocalist Riley McShane, who is still relatively new to the group, was also cool to see live with his powerful growls/screams. Highlights from their set include “Of Mind and Matrix” and “1.618.”

After Allegaeon, blackened death metallers Goatwhore came out to, as they say, “fuck [the crowd] with Satan.” They were definetly a contender to be considered the strongest act of the night. Between Sammy Duet’s unbelievable guitar shredding and Ben Falgoust’s vocals/stage banter they really put on a great show. Their whole set was basically a party, which was fitting considering Falgoust was celebrating his birthday, which happens to be today (March 11). Highlights from their set include “FBS,” “Baring Teeth For Revolt,” and “Apocalyptic Havoc.”

Goatwhore wrapped up their set, and made way for deathgrind legends Cattle Decapitation to destroy the stage. They were probably the most brutal band of the night, with frontman Travis Ryan being the main attraction of the group. His insane demonic growls and screams are just something you have to witness live, whether your a fan or not. There was so much intensity in their set, that the energy actually transferred to the crowd for the biggest circle pit of the night. If you’re a fan of extreme metal, you should go watch them live if you ever have a chance. Highlights from their set include “We Are Horrible People,” “Pacific Grim,” and “Forced Gender Reassignment.”

Then it was time for the headliners, deathcore masters Whitechapel. The band used dark lighting to create the perfect atmosphere for their music. This combined with frontman Phil Bozeman’s badass growls, and the band’s heavy riffs/sick breakdowns, made for one hell of a show. The group were also really energetic as well, and were able to keep the audience engaged throughout the night. As far as setlists go, they pretty much performed tracks spanning their whole catalog, offering a perfect balance of old and new. Highlights included their opening track “The Saw Is the Law,” “Our Endless War,” “I, Dementia,” “Mark Of The Blade,” and their encore “This Is Exile.”

Concert Review: Orgy, Powerman 5000, Death Valley High & Knee High Fox In San Jose, CA

Last night (January 29) I attended the San Jose, CA date of the “Set To Stun” tour, featuring Orgy, Powerman 5000, Death Valley High, and Knee High Fox, and it was a cool show.

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Knee High Fox opened up with an powerful set. Frontwoman Chrissy Fox’s vocals really stood out with her great melodic singing and screaming. Those combined with her backing band made for a  solid performance. Highlights from their performance included “Comin For You” and their cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.”

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Death Valley High took the stage next for a rockin’ set. The band had a heavy sound with electronic elements which went well together. They were also very energetic and are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t heard of them. Highlights from their set included “Ick Switch” and “DVH – The Movie.”

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Then it was time for the co-headliners to take the stage. Powerman 5000 was up first and they put on the strongest show of the night. Between the band’s musicianship and frontman Spider One’s singing/stage banter they were definitely on point in all aspects. Highlights from their set included their opening track “Super Villain,” “V Is For Vampire,” and “Bombshell.”

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Orgy closed out the night with a sick performance. Singer Jay Gordon was full of energy and was good at keeping the crowd engaged. This was especially seen when he jumped into the crowd and had fans sing Orgy’s cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday” with him. It is worth noting that the newer lineup sounds awesome as well, regardless of how you may feel about Gordon carrying on as the only original member of the group. Highlights from their set included the previously mentioned”Blue Monday,” “Stitches,” and “G Face.”

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Concert Review: Black Sabbath In Oakland, CA

Black Sabbath will soon be no more, but for those who catch them on their final tour are definitely in for a treat. I attended the band’s concert in Oakland, CA last night (September 15), and it was one awesome show. The band opened with the haunting “Black Sabbath,” which has gone down in history as an archetypal metal track. From there the band broke into “Fairies Wear Boots,” and just kept rocking.

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Despite being in their sixties, the band can still shred. Ozzy Osbourne’s powerful vocals over Tony Iommi’s classic riffs and Geezer Butler’s smooth bass lines made a perfect unity. Even Tommy Clufetos was amazing, if his drum solo during “Rat Salad” was any indication of that. Fans may be disappointed that Bill Ward wasn’t involved, but Clufetos certainly held his own.

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As far as the set goes, the headlights of the night were “War Pigs,” “Iron Man,” “N.I.B.,” “Hand Of Doom,” and “Children Of The Grave.” The band played a total of 18 songs, before returning to the stage to rock their encore track “Paranoid.” All in all, it was a great show, and if you have a chance to check out the metal godfathers one last time, it is totally worth it.

Concert Review: Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, & Of Mice & Men In Concord, CA

Last night (August 13), I attended the Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, and Of Mice & Men concert in Concord, CA and it was a great show.

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Of Mice & Men kicked of the night with a rockin’ performance. The band opened with their track “Public Service Announcement” and powered through a high energy set which also included songs like “Bones Exposed” and “Never Giving Up.” The higlights of their set included their new song “Pain” and their closing track “The Depths.”

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Marilyn Manson took the stage next for a unique stage show, which included burning Bibles, singing on stilts, and more. Manson was on point during his whole set, which is awesome considering fans have said that some of his past performances on this current tour have been a bit off. Higlights from his set included his cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams,” “The Dope Show,” and his closing song “The Beautiful People,” which was sung from the crowd.

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Then the headliners of the evening, Slipknot took the stage. The band opened with “The Negative One” and just slaughtered the stage from there. The band’s set up was similar to last year’s, except this time it featured a big screen playing interesting clips, instead of the giant goat head. Corey Taylor still performed at high capacity, despite wearing a neck brace due to recent spinal surgery. The rest of the band rocked as hard as ever as well, making the whole unit a force to be reckoned with. Higlights from their set include “Eyeless,” “The Heretic Anthem,” “Before I Forget,” “Killpop,” and the finale “Spit It Out.”

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Concert Review: Guns N’ Roses At AT&T Park In San Francisco, CA

Last night (August 9), I attended the Guns N’ Roses show in San Francisco, CA and it was one hell of a show. The band’s latest lineup, which includes classic era members Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan, along with Richard Fortus, Frank Ferrer, Dizzy Reed, and Melissa Reese have been performing at the top of their game, and this show was no exception.

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Rose’s vocals were powerful and on point throughout the whole night, which is impressive considering some his performances before to this “reunion” tour. This combined with Slash’s masterful guitar playing really was a sight to see. The dynamic between the two seemed to be as strong as ever, making it hard to believe that prior to this tour they hadn’t shared a stage since the 1993 “Use Your Illusion” tour. This exchange was the ultimate driving factor during the show.

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As far as songs, the set was pretty diverse. The band opened with the “Appetite for Destruction” track “It’s So Easy,” and just cranked out hit after hit after that. The “Appetite for Destruction” tracks were definitely the highlights of the night. That album spawned so many classics ranging from “Nightrain” to “Mr. Brownstone” to “Welcome To The Jungle” to “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” all of which were definitely fan-favorites during the performance. Other highlights included “Patience” from “Lies,” “November Rain” from “Use Your Illusion I” and “Civil War” and “You Could Be Mine” from “Use Your Illusion II.” The covers were cool as well especially their version of the Mifits’ “Attitude” (which featured McKagan on vocals) and their version of The Who’s “The Seeker.” The band ended the show by returning to the “Appetite for Destruction” album with a extraordinary performance of “Paradise City,” complete with fireworks. All in all, it was a great show.

#GunsNRoses were awesome!!! @gunsnroses #ParadiseCity

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#GunsNRoses #SweetChildOMine \m/ @gunsnroses

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#GunsNRoses #WelcomeToTheJungle @gunsnroses

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#GunsNRoses covering some #Misfits! \m/ #Attitude @gunsnroses

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Concert Review: Volbeat, Black Stone Cherry, & Monster Truck In Modesto, CA

Last night (April 18), I attended the Volbeat, Black Stone Cherry, and Monster Truck show in Modesto, CA, and it was one awesome show.

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Monster Truck kicked off the show with a cool set. They opened with their track “Don’t Tell Me How to Live,” and just kept on rocking from there. The band got the crowd going right away, and were a solid opening act. A highlight from the set was their performance of “Sweet Mountain River.”

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Black Stone Cherry took the stage next with a high energy set, which began with “Me And Mary Jane.” Chris Robertson’s vocals were on point, and Ben Wells was all over the stage with his masterful guitar work. As far as the set goes, it was heavily weighted in new songs like “In Our Dreams,” “Soul Machine,” and “Rescue Me,” from the band’s latest album, “Kentucky,” but the highlights were tracks like “White Trash Millionaire,” and “Blame It On The Boom Boom.” The band wrapped up with “Lonely Train,” followed by “30 Seconds Of Death Metal.”

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Then it was time for Volbeat, and they definetly put on one hell of a show. The band started off with “Doc Holiday,” before rocking “Hallelujah Goat,” and “Radio Girl.” Frontman Michael Poulsen’s rockabilly style vocals sounded amazing over Rob Caggiano’s (ex-Anthrax) shredding guitar and Jon Larsen’s thunderous drumming. The crowd was going insane all night, as the band cranked out hit after hit. They played 19 songs in total, including four encore tracks, and a medley, which mixed together “Heaven Nor Hell,” “A Warriors Call,” and “I Only Wanna Be With You.” The highlights from their set were their performances of “Sad Man’s Tongue,” “Pool Of Booze, Booze, Booza,” “Lola Montez,” “16 Dollars,” and their finale “Still Conting.”

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Concert Review: Breaking Benjamin & Starset Rock Modesto, CA

Last night (March 11), I attended the Breaking Benjamin and Starset show in Modesto, CA, and both bands rocked.

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Starset opened the show and had an awesome stage show. They had a unique space theme that showed up in their songs, and their outfits, which looked like glowing space suits (not counting vocalist Dustin Bates’). They even called their set a “demonstration,” which was also interesting. The highlight of their set was when they performed the fan-favorite “My Demons.”

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Then it was Breaking Benjamin’s turn. The band was on point all night, and the latest lineup of the band is definitely a force to be reckoned with. A cool thing about their set was the fact that they alternated between vocalists. Frontman Benjamin Burnley turned the microphone over to Keith Wallen (ex-Adelitas Way) for the tracks “Sooner Or Later” and “Until The End.” Aaron Bruch (ex-Forever Ouevre) also took over vocals for “Simple Design” and “Believe.” Burnley even had Bates return to the stage to sing “Breath” as well.

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As for other highlights, one was when the band had the venue turn off all the lights, which allowed the crowd to light up the room with their phones. Another was when they performed a cool medely that mixed together a few covers, including bits of Pantera’s “Walk” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The last one was when the band wrapped the show with “I Will Not Bow,” before returning for their encore track “The Diary Of Jane.” All in all, it was a great show.

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