Eagles - American Airlines Center, 11/15/08
Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer
Photo Travis Tutwiler
Blacklist’s Dave Little
Few bands can match the Eagles in most categories - longevity, number of hits, diversity of styles, individual talent. But in the live arena, that already small list gets even shorter.
The Eagles are truly in a class by themselves as a live act. Perfect vocal harmonies, amazing guitar work, dynamic percussion, tasteful keyboards/pianos when the mood calls and, a new addition, a hot horn section that gave new life to already great songs like “The Long Run,” Joe Walsh’s “Funk #49,” Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” and “Witchy Woman.”
With absolutely perfect sound, witty banter from Glenn Fry, Henley and of course, Walsh, the night was filled with highlights. Indeed every song, from “Peaceful Easy Feeling” to “Take It To The Limit” to “Already Gone” to Timothy B. Schmidt’s amazing “I Can’t Tell You Why,” holds its own special memory. But Walsh’s legendary “Life’s Been Good,” replete with his patented ‘Helmet Cam’ routine, and a passionate rendition of “Hotel California” that featured a haunting lone trumpet intro, easily made the night what it was - one of the best live experiences of my life. (Kevin White)
Iced Earth Ridglea Theater, 11/11/08
Iced Earth has hit the road in support of The Crucible Of Man: Something Wicked Part 2. They opened this show with “Behold The Wicked Child” and included “I Walk Alone” from the recent release. Jon Schaffer’s precision guitar riffs throughout the night were mesmerizing on tracks like “Pure Evil” and “Stormrider.” Matt Barlow’s vocals were superb and really shined on “Watching Over Me.” Brent Smedley (drums) kept the pace behind the kit and stood out on “Ten Thousand Strong.” Freddie Vidales (bass) not only supplied the low end but also worked hard to keep the crowd fired up. Troy Seele delivered stunning lead guitar work throughout the set and really complimented Schaffer. With a large catalog to choose from, fans got to hear standouts “Melancholy (Holy Marty),” “My Own Savior” and “Iced Earth.” Simply an amazing night. (Travis Tutwiler)
Hair Ballad Allstars, Lakewood Bar & Grill, 11/24/08
Monday nights are a chance to escape your worries and delve back into the 80’s at the Lakewood Bar & Grill. Dick Diamond and DD Semons team up to form the dynamic duo of the Hair Ballad Allstars. Their acoustic set included songs from Journey, Poison, Faster Pussycat, Great White, Bon Jovi, G & R, Whitesnake and even a couple of AC/DC classics. Dick and DD rocked the house for nearly five hours, playing any request thrown at them. The Hair Ballad Allstars are presently playing every Monday night at LBG. If the thought of the workweek ahead is getting you down, this could be just what the doctor ordered. It is a guaranteed good time. (Jill Jackson)
Blacklist - 10/14/08, Skillman Street
Blacklist is a three-piece powerhouse featuring Dave Little (vocals and killer guitar solos), Tony Smith on thunderous bass and Christopher “Hillbilly” Bowling (drums) keeping the strong sound alive. Always a thrill for their fans, they played all originals including “Right Wing,” “The Creeper,” “Battle Hymn” and “Splinter.” Though an early show, there was still a large crowd at the front of the stage their entire set. Recently returning to the DFW music scene, Blacklist is a trashing success full of power, attitude and talent not to be missed. (Kim “Kimber” Polen)
Mudvayne (97.1 The Eagle’s Freaker’s Ball) - Nokia Theater, 10/31/08
What better way to spend Halloween? The freaks were out for a rockin’ ass live show put together by, 97.1 The Eagle. This was the place to be Halloween night! With 97.1’s triumphant return, it was only appropriate they’d bring back BFD and Freaker’s Ball. And who better to resurrect Freaker’s Ball than Mudvayne?
The vocals and face paint were fresh, and the sound was absolutely killer! Chad Gray and the boys never missed a beat. Tribbs (in his top hat) threw down stellar guitar licks, while Rhino and his bass bounced around the stage. Matt was workin’ overtime because, by show’s end, his war paint had melted into a sweaty mess all over his drum kit.
Other than new single, “Do What You Do,” they mostly stuck to the old school, with something from every album: “Death Blooms” “Not Falling,” “World So Cold,” “Happy,” Cradle” and of course “Dig.” For old school oxygen wasters and new fans alike, Mudvayne did not disappoint! (Derek “D-Rock” Walker)
Debri -Skillman St. Pub, 11/15/08
Photo Misty Johnson
It’s crucial to have good stage presence, and locals Debri possess that notable synergy. Their version of southernswamp is reminiscent of Louisiana’s Crowbar. “Grimmace” and “Pulling Triggers“ grooves had Brian Moody (vocals), J.D Wakefield (drums), Jeremy Trollinger (guitar) and Brad Kirkland (bass) twisting and careening their metal formation through songs at a high octane pace. The intro on “The Life of Death” chopped a clear-cut path leading into this, their grittiest song, while Brian’s vocals were primitive, unforced and demanded attention. The Dallas/Ft.Worth area is a hot spot for metal acts these days. While it can be hard to set yourself apart from other bands, Debri has no problem accomplishing that feat. Winning the Garage to Ozz Battle of the Bands proves they’re anything but traditional - and unlike the majority. (Misty Johnson)
Kamelot - Ridglea Theater, 11/2/08
As their tour in support of the excellent Ghost Opera album came to an end, Kamelot made a second stop at Fort Worth’s Ridglea Theater. Like their previous appearance, the crowd was loud and appreciative all night. Frontman Roy Khan sounded great, even though he was still nursing an illness that caused them to cancel a recent show in Mexico. Thomas Youngblood (guitar), Casey Grillo (drums), Oliver Palotai (keyboards) and touring bassist Sean Tibbetts (filling in for Glenn Barry, who was spending time with his family) played a fantastic set that mostly featured songs from their last two albums. Since many of Kamelot’s songs feature female backing vocals, the beautiful Anne-Catrin Marzke accompanied them on tour. Highlights included “When the Lights Are Down,” “Ghost Opera,” “Abandoned,” “Forever,” “The Haunting (Somewhere In Time),” “Love You to Death” and “Soul Society.” (Andy Laudano)
Love It To Death - The Rockstar, 11/22/08
The D/FW music scene turned out to support a special show benefiting The Rockstar, which had recently fallen on hard times. Throughout the day, an assortment of original and cover bands played and a silent auction. Amazing Houston-based Alice Cooper tribute band, Love It To Death, headlined the event. Paul Byron does a dead-on impersonation, complete with authentic costume changes and all kinds of assorted props. Mike Lambert (guitar), Rob Jacobs (guitar), Greg Norton (bass) and Mike DeLuco play the material as well as any musicians who ever played with Cooper. After seeing the real Alice Cooper recently, I have a newfound appreciation of just how flawless Love It To Death’s performance really is. Highlights included “No More Mister Nice Guy,” “Schools Out,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” and “I’m Eighteen.” LITD is the next best thing to seeing Alice himself. (Andy Laudano)
DragonForce/Turisas - House of Blues, 11/17/08
Finland’s Turisas played a fun set of what they call “Battle Metal.” The whole band, including a violinist and female accordionist, was dressed in leather and furs with their faces painted red and black and looking like a cast of extras from Braveheart! They seemed to be having as much fun onstage as the crowd did watching them.
If someone could harness the energy DragonForce puts out during one concert, they could power a city ... for a year! Guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman, ZP Theart (vocals), Vadim Pruzhanov (keyboards), Dave Mackintosh (drums) and Frederic Leclercq (bass) are the definition of perpetual motion. But even with all the spinning leaps off platforms and running laps around the stage, DragonForce never missed a beat and kept playing at light speed. Favorites included “The Fire Still Burns,” “Reasons to Live,” “Valley of the Damned” and the highlight of Guitar Hero III, “Through the Fire and the Flame.” (Andy Laudano)
Lizzy Borden - House Of Blues, 11/8/08
Lizzy Borden - a black figure of death
Photo: Travis Tutwiler
It’s been a long time since a band really went out of their way to bring a show to life. Lizzy Borden did just that, with Lizzy coming dressed as the black figure of death while the band was painted as corpses. Lizzy wore a variety of different masks and used several props. Joey Scott (drums) provided the intro to “Me Against The World,” which featured Lizzy crawling through a television screen. Guitarists Chris Sanders and Ira Black were amazing, and Ira blistered the fret board during a solo before kicking into “American Metal.” Marten Andersson provided the thundering bass on new tracks “Tomorrow Never Comes” and “Live Forever.” Lizzy made sure the crowd felt the love during “There Will Be Blood Tonight,” as he ran an axe across his tongue to start the blood flowing. He was then kind enough to share with those in the front row. (Travis Tutwiler)
Mothers Anthem - Firewater 11/22/08
This was the band’s second headlining show in as many weeks but this time at Firewater. This larger venue allowed space for those crowding the stage to experience the musical voyage of the five-piece Austin-based band.
Guided by vocalist Kirk Baxley’s emotionally-filled voice and stories from the heart, Mothers Anthem breezed through their 12-song set with originals “One Day,” “Awaiting,” “Slowly,” “Silence,” “Running Man,” “Beautiful” and fan favorite, “God Save the Queen,” leaving no dead air between song transitions. It’s a sign Mothers Anthem is on top of their game while utilizing every available moment.
Bearing Victorian-styled, black crushed velvet wardrobes with intricate stitching, the band presented a visually stimulating and brightly lit show reinforced with a veteran stage presence of all members. Mothers Anthem’s visit was not just another set played by major label hopefuls; it was a showing worthy of star status. (Brian McLean)
Blood of the Sun, TMA: Benefit for Rockstar - Rockstar Sports Bar, 11/14/08
In today’s economy, the taxman (i.e. TABC) is quick to snatch a property. Rockstar Sports knows this first hand and was under the gun to make a large payment to keep this from happening. So fellow metal heads banned together to contribute door proceeds… and this night was about saving the Rockstar.
Blood of the Sun (BOTS) played a phenomenal set with their unique southern fried sounds, kinda like a heavy metal Montrose meets the Doors. The band was happy to lend a hand, especially since the club hosted a benefit for them when their gear was stolen. And of course, Texas Metal Alliance was on board as well. In fact, several bands joined in their footsteps over the coming weeks, and the club is now through the roughest part of the storm. There was an overall sense of cheer and gratitude as everyone did their part this night. Merry Christmas Rockstar and many more to come! (Marissa Bruce)