Archive for the live show review Category

Badfish w/Skaflaws, 880 South, and FUBAR

Posted in live show review with tags , , , , , on February 22, 2008 by sae

so for months flyers have been popping up around Santa Cruz, Badfish- a tribute to Sublime coming to the Catalyst. my interest was peeked by all of this promotion, but i was also a bit thrown off. i’ve never gone to see any tribute band perform before, and they did name themselves after one of the two big Sublime singles i really dislike.

however, a friend of mine told me she had heard they were really good. i checked up on the tickets – $12. can’t really turn that down now can you. so i strolled down to the Catalyst and picked up two tickets…

…and then last tuesday came around. it was finally time. i made it a point to not listen to anything by Badfish prior to the concert. i wanted to see what they could do live before i heard anything else, especially since i already knew all that words and was familiar with all that muzik. my friend and i arrived slighltly late, opting to miss out on at least one opening band since we were both already tired and it seemed like it took forever to get through the opening bands at the Circle Jerks show last month.

when we arrived we were greeted by The Skaflaws on stage, missing the first band FUBAR. i was really impressed with them. they sounded a lot like old school No Doubt and they completely embodied that energy that makes most ska shows undeniably fun, even if you aren’t into that scene. their singer Renee Gonzalez did an excellent job of engaging with the crowd and dancing on stage whenever she wasn’t singing, and let me say, that girl is damn good at dancing as well as fronting a band.

the highlight of their set was a cover of Sublime’s Saw Red that they did with a friend?/roadied?/i dunno of their’s who was on crutches and seemed to have something permanently wrong with his legs. he wasn’t the best singer, but it didn’t matter. that was one of those bad ass, live & raw moments that are so good at shows.

following their set was San Jose’s own 880 South. and i have to apologize to all my friends who love them and want to support the local scene, but i was unimpressed with those guys. if you like really mellow reggae influenced muzik then they might be your thing, but for me personally, their was only about 30 seconds of their entire set that i enjoyed. the beginning of one song, and then the middle of some other song where they got really intense for about 10 seconds and then dropped all the intensity out and went slow again…i felt cheated personally…but that’s just me

and then the stars of the night hit the stage, Badfish.

now, it’s not that i was skeptical, but i was really interested to see what these guys could do and if they could live up to their reputation. i mean, being a Sublime tribute band – that’s got to be a tough thing to pull off. Sublime’s a very unique band, with a unique singer, and even though they had a short career, their discography amounts to a helluva lot of songs so it’s going to be hard to get a well rounded set that will please the whole crowd.

they did it though, Badfish was fucking great! and i highly encourage anyone who likes Sublime to make sure to check them out if they are playing in your area, especially for everyone out there like me who was too young to see Sublime play before Bradley died. all of the musicians in the band were great and the singer has an excellent voice for covering Sublime songs and sounding like Bradley, but not making it cheesy.

i don’t have a full set list from the show, but this covers a lot of it (definitely not all of it though – they played for a damn long time too)

Garden Grove
Wrong Way
We’re Only Going to Die for Our Own Arrogance
Caress me Down
Date Rape
Smoke Two Joints
Same in the End
Waiting for my Ruca
Scarlet Begonias
Doin’ Time
April 29, 1992 (Miami)
Pawn Shop
40 oz to Freedom
What I Got

their version of Doin’ Time was amazing. they extended the song quite a bit and brought in elements from many of the different version of the song out there. initially the singer/guitarist had no guitar during the song, but instead had a sax that he soloed with for a while until he went back to the guitar.

Pawn Shop broke down in the middle for a fucking amazing drum solo that allowed the drummer to show off his skills and prove that he’s a really musician, not just some guy playing in a cover band.

then on Caress Me Down (or maybe Date Rape but i’m almost positive it was Caress Me Down) they started to jam out in the end a lot, allowing the guitarist and bassist to really rock it for a bit showing their musicianship. the bassist was goddamn amazing too, as was the guitarist, but the bassist really impressed me, especially since the bass is so much the backbone of all Sublime songs so you can’t fuck that up.

there was quite the moment during What I Got towards the end. the band completely dropped out and everyone in the crowd was left singing as loud as they could lovin – is what i got, i said remember that. it was beautiful. it seems cliche, but it wasn’t. it was amazing, like a moment we had all been waiting for since the first time we heard that song.

and after that something else amazing happened. with What I Got and all the other big Sublime songs out of the way, they covered fuckin BRO HYMN!!! by Pennywise!!! fuck yeah! i heard the bass come in and i knew and went running to the pit to get in on that shit. it seemed like a lot of the crowd knew the song, but there was still a decent sized chunk that didn’t know it. not really a problem though, Bro Hymn is easy enough to sing along with. they played the longer extended version of it that Pennywise does at shows as well. absolutely amazing end to the show, and a great way to pay tribute to Bradley in my opinion, especially since the PW crew were all big Sublime fans. after Bradley’s death they played Same in the End quite a bit and recorded a studio version of it for the Sublime Tribute – Look At All The Love We’ve Found.

Bafish is amazing – make sure you see them live if you like Sublime
to all my friends – present past and beyond
especially those who weren’t with us too long
life is the most precious thing you can lose
while you were here the fun was never ending
Bradley Nowell this one’s for you


Circle Jerks Live at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz January 24

Posted in live show review with tags , , , , on January 31, 2008 by sae

…so we’re waiting for the Circle Jerks to come out to play. the soundtrack to merry poppins is playing over the PA which was funny for the first few minutes but then just became really annoying. i wonder if this was a joke requested by the band, or just those fucks who work at the catalyst screwing with their customers as usual. regardless, after sometime passes i see this short skinny guy walking through the crowd. his jeans are torn to all hell, he’s got a stack of things in his hand, he’s got a big bald spot on the back of his head, and his dreads are extremely ratty and hang down further than most. he also looks like he might be dead. this of course, is the unmistakable presence of Keith fuckin Morris. i point him out to my friend and the he quickly disappears walking behind the stage. a few minutes later he emerges on stage and starts to tape down a handful of setlists that span the length of three pages taped together. a few minutes later Greg Heston (Circle Jerks founding guitarists and the second guitarist to join Bad Religion) walks out to start fucking with his guitar. i really give it to these guys. it’s about 40 years later and they still set all their shit up.a few more minutes pass and we’re all getting antsy. there’s been enough opening bands and too much time spent sound checking for a punk show. it’s time to finally get this shit started. a few more minutes pass, the lights go out, and the band emerges on stage. Keith takes a few minutes to introduce everyone in the band, explains that his sick, and makes a comment that everyone in the band hates him and he doesn’t care (this is something i’ve heard reports on before but i’ve never been able to confirm…though it wouldn’t surprise me). during this intro all the meatheads in the crowd are yelling to shut the fuck up and play, something that would continue throughout the entire night whenever Keith would stop to talk about politics, ways to try and fight the system, or anything really. and to you meatheads (especially all of you who make it a point to go out of your way to tell me how much you think Pennywise sucks), i hope you become quadriplegics and can never make it to another show in your life and have to suffer through living till you’re 112. Punk isn’t just about fucking loud aggressive music and running around in circles. it’s about realizing you can fucking do something in this world and if you don’t get that, then you’re fucking useless. rather than ignoring the meatheads, Keith told them to calm the fuck down, that they weren’t going anywhere and they were going to play something like 30 songs so fucking relax.

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Andy Mckee and Don Ross Show Review

Posted in live show review with tags , , , , , , on January 17, 2008 by ethertrace

I can’t even express how amazing Tuesday night was for me. I’ve been playing guitar for far less time than just about all of my friends, but I’m luckier than most of them in that I’ve found a style of playing that inspires me like some mythical muse. As such, I have latched onto it like the proverbial obese child does a piece of particularly moist cake.

However, a few months back I had my mind blown back in pretty rorschac-like patterns against the wall when I discovered Andy Mckee. He will never be mainstream, as his style of playing is decidedly not marketable, and as such I realize it’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea. But, to me, this cup of tea is delicious and warm to the soul. He handled the guitar in a way in which I’d never seen before, using the entirety of the instrument and changing the very way people thought about guitar. In fact, I’d heard that in concert he changes his guitar tuning after just about every song. That concept itself was fascinating to me, the idea that one would change the instrument so that it serves as the medium only, and not the end.

On to the show. I looked at Andy Mckee’s touring schedule, and found out he was playing a show at a small venue in Felton, called Don Quixote’s, about 8 miles from where I live. I decided that I was going to go if I had to sell my soul or my first-born child, whichever they asked for at the door. Luckily for my both my progeny and my eternal fate in the afterlife, it was only $12 advance tickets.

Walking in, the place is divided into a couple different rooms: the dining area, a room with tables crowded around the stage, and the main bar room. The lighting made it all somewhat reminiscent of the bar in The Shining, but I wasn’t drinking so I don’t know if they relegated the soul-gouging prices to the bartender. The crowd was mostly of the elder persuasion, which seemed rather strange to me considering it was a Tuesday night near a college town. Anyway, my friend and i took our seats near the back, which was only about 25 feet from the stage anyway, and, giddy as a school-girl, waited for them to begin.

So, my favorite guitarist and his favorite guitarist, Don Ross, walk on stage and immediately launch into Spirit of the West, the first song off their duet album. My friend promptly starts punching my arm demanding that I look at whatever the hell it is they’re doing, specifically Andy, as she had never seen anyone play like that before.

They introduce themselves as they finish, and it becomes immediately apparent how large a man Don Ross is, and how tiny Andy is by comparison. A reference to David and Goliath is not entirely out of line here, both because of the massive difference between their relative height and girth and the rather bear-like quality Don’s hair gives him compared to the more hobbit-like quality of Andy’s.

Don then launches into a solo song of his called Afraid to Dance, and the arm punching continues. At this point, the order of the set list gets a bit foggy in my mind, but I’ll relate the songs they played and the prefaces they gave them as well as I can.

Andy comes up to the mike after having to adjust it down a good foot and a half, and talks about growing up listening to 80’s music (he’s 28), and how that had influenced his musical development. As a side note, it’s worth noting that he was quite the metalhead before picking up this style. Anyway, he started doing a drumbeat on his guitar one day that reminded him of a song by the band Toto, and so he arranged it for solo guitar. If you don’t know the song, check out the original first before you listen to his rendition of Africa, just so that you can appreciate the fact that he seems to have somehow captured an entire band and sealed them within his hands using some sort of ancient and forbidden black magic.

Don steps up to the challenge and slaps the shit out of the audience’s ears with a rather nice twist on his song Never Got to Pernambuco, in which he hits some sort of delay pedal halfway through the song, and the hypnotic quality it induced really only became apparent after he turned it off and finished the song. I felt like I’d gone on some sort of drug trip. Great way to kick off their set, all in all.

So, they go on to play Rylynn, Andy’s tribute to his brother’s best friend’s daughter after she passed away. I enjoyed this one a lot, because the external mike that is used in the video captures a lot of dischordant notes from the hammering on at the end, but they avoided most of that during the performance because they were plugged in. Little things like that bug the crap out of me and can ruin a great song, but it was performed beautifully.

Other duet songs they played: Dolphins; Ebon Coast, one of my favorites; With You in Mind, Klimbim (the German word for junk), which Don described as being a project in which he’d somewhat miraculously been able to fuse two different compositional pieces into something resembling a song.

The duet pieces, while strikingly beautiful at times, were also occasionally a bit overwhelming. As each of them can play two or three distinct guitar parts by themselves, there was almost too much coming at you at once, which took away a bit from the relaxing and peaceful nature of some of their music. Overall, though, it was fantastic to watch, and each, without a doubt, shone brilliantly when playing solo.

Throughout the course of the show, Don revealed himself to be quite the personable character, almost bordering on the stand-up comedian during his various stories that were usually only loosely related to the material at hand. It turns out that at the very beginning of the tour, a couple weeks ago in Hawaii, the airline lost one of his guitars. I was horrified at the thought, as, to me, that would be like going in for an operation and the surgeon casually informing me afterwards that they had managed to misplace my liver. However, Mr. Dean Markley himself was apparently kind enough to lend Don his personal guitar.

Andy was also quite amiable, but in a more reserved fashion. While Don was up playing solo, he’d be sitting behind him, closing his eyes and weaving his head around through the atmosphere of the music. Of course, the truly impressive part is that he was often doing the same thing while he was playing. I can’t even imagine trying to hit all those slap harmonics with my eyes closed. He never stops impressing me.

Don’s solo songs for the night included: Brooke’s Waltz, named after his wife who helped him compose it. Personally, I thought it was one of the highlights of the show; it’s got a rather ethereal quality to it. He played Dracula & Friends Part II, the name of which was apparently the result of Don’s young daughter telling him that he should name the song after a movie monster, but as if the monster had a Saturday morning kid’s television show. He also treated us with a song called Any Colour But Blue, which was about the arduous road trip to a concert he played in northern Canada in the coldest winter ever recorded. He actually sang, and I won’t say that his lyrical ability was fantastic, but it was surprising to hear that good a voice come out of that man.

Andy’s solo songs: Art of Motion; Drifting, which could arguably be said to be the song that almost singlehandedly shot him into the Youtube Hall of Fame; Keys to the Hovercar, a song inspired by the type of science fiction stories which said we’d have flying cars by the year 2000.

At one point in the show Don explains to the audience his bizarre-looking guitar, a fan-fretted baritone, but without a doubt, the award for the most bizarre guitar of the night goes to Andy for when he brought out the harp guitar to play Gates of Gnomeria, a song meant to make one feel as if they are traveling through subterranean caverns and then emerge into the magical Gnome city of Gnomeria. Andy also won the award that night for biggest nerd in the room. Apparently this particular harp guitar was “made by a dentist in Virginia, of all people and places.” Andy first saw it when he went to watch a Stephen Bennett show, and later bought it from him.

The best piece in the entire show, however, came at the end when they played a duet version of Don’s song Tight Trite Night. Apparently Don was judging a guitar competition which Andy was competing in, and when Andy placed in the top three (missing first by about half a point), he had the audacity to play his own rendition of Don’s song, which Don apparently liked better. I was a little disappointed that the balance was slightly off, so that Don was drowning out Andy a bit. Still a spectacular performance, though.

After the show, both of them were quite kind enough to stick around and sign whatever we wanted signed, and I’m proud to say that I got to shake their AMAZING hands. I was gushing a lot of babble by the time that I actually talked to Andy, but he was really humble and took it all in stride. I was struck by the fact that I had a good half a foot of height on him, and therefore a significantly larger reach on the guitar. In a way it was rather inspiring because it meant that if I ever ran into any limitations in my playing ability, the size of my hand wouldn’t be one of them.

And so, I stepped out of the venue into the cold night air, still rather star-struck about it all, but knowing that I had just been to one of the best shows I’d ever see in my life. If this kind of music strikes you at all, I cannot recommend highly enough going to see either of these two if they swing your way.

Strata/Team Sleep – San Francisco Show Review

Posted in live show review with tags , , , , on December 18, 2007 by sae

Team Sleep./.Strata./.Monster in the Machine./.Sonny
Slim’s, San Francisco
December 16, 2007
first of all – fuck yeah strata!!!!

alright, so though i thought the show was going to open with Strata, in opened with Monster in the Machine. i’ll just be honest, not my thing. they were alright, someone said it reminded them of early ’90s rock…i can see that. not my thing though, but not really bad at it. i will say though, the guitarist had really amazing control over doing weird things with volume swells and what not on his guitar, i dug that.

the strata came on. fuck yes!!
i think this was the set list, but i accidently deleted it off my phone, pretty damn sure this was it, with maybe the chronology fucked up just a tad

the new national anthem
piece by piece
hot/cold (darling don’t)
night falls (?)
coma therapy
stay young
in a sweet dream
poughkeepsie, NY

so with that, dope set list. i’d love for them to bring never there and i will breathe fire into the rotation, but maybe when they can play a longer set. so with this being my third time seeing strata, i will say, GODDAMN AMAZING again and again. these guys put so much energy into their set and are so talented at what they do. they seem so happy to be on stage too which i really appreciate in response to just having to having to deal with watching maynard on stage and reading a lot about the tool las vegas show. unlike that ass, the guys in strata you can tell want to be up there and are having fun interacting with the crowd.

a few notes on songs here and there. love that they are opening with The New National Anthem, fucking love that song; have ever since i got the demo version way back. also love that he change the lyric what they’re really fighting for to what the fuck they’re dying for.

love darling don’t live, especially the beginning. it’s so cool to watch ryan play that intro riff and then set it to playback backwards.

introed cocaine with here’s a song about drugs and teenage sex last time it was a song about date rape
great song, especially live. wish i could hear it in a room full of people who wanna dance

stay young – goddamn, amazing live drumming on this track. just really blows my mind, both when i saw them at Music in the Park in the summer and at this show.

throughout the whole show i kept thinking this, goddamn Eric can hit some fucking notes. also, i kind of felt this when i saw them over the summer, but i felt it much stronger this time, that while Strata was playing, the crowd is automatically more tolerant of all sexual preferences and even encouraging of it (kind of like MSI shows but in a bit more of serious manner)…i dunno, maybe that’s just me. definitely a cool and good thing though.

i wanna say this too…any of those of you out there who weren’t super excited with their new album and missed the aggressiveness of the older tracks, which i will say at first i was somewhat in that crowd, GO SEE THEM LIVE! you’ll be amazed and yeah, just, the energy. go go go go go. even if you don’t feel that way, go SEE STRATA LIVE!!!!

one thing i love about their live show is Adrian’s drumming. it’s super intense throughout and very passionate. beyond just that, even when it’s a mellower song, the way he hits his drums, even if he’s not going crazy, you can feel them resonate through you. he has a way of making the drumming so powerful no matter the overall aggressiveness of the song.

as i already say, Eric can hit crazy notes and it’s amazing to watch live, not to mention he makes you feel so welcome when you are part of the crowd. it’s like he’s invited you into his home and he’s the best host possible.

Hrag does an amazing job on bass.  i got screwed out of being able to see much of anything he did at this show though cause i was jammed all the way to the other side of the crowd, but that did allow me to watch Ryan kill it on guitar. last time i saw Strata i thought watching Ryan play guitar was like watching someone fuck their guitar in a really passionat way, but now i’ve decided it’s really like watching someone make love to their guitar and it’s beautiful. one of my favorite tricks of his is how he’ll pick really crazy for a moment while muting the strings (i believe) and then go right into something slower, and go back and forth, if that makes any sense.

so yeah, basically Strata is fucking amazing. go watch this music video of their’s that the singer directed.

after an amazing Strata set Sonny came on and that’s all i’m going to say about that.

after Sonny’s set and too long of a wait between sets Team Sleep finally emerged from Slim’s below ground dressing rooms. though i am a Deftones fan, i never ended up getting the chance to ever listen to any Team Sleep, not because i didn’t want to, but just cause it never worked out that way. so i was pretty stoked on the idea, though i was fucking tired of standing up and being squished against the railing. Team Sleep came out and fucking rocked it. Chino set up all these weird video clips to run in loops during songs and kept switching them between songs. for those who haven’t listened to Team Sleep, they do a pretty good blend of a lot of weird ambient stuff that’s still fairly aggressive from some of the guitar and from their drummer who is goddamn fucking insane.

that dude was a animal. his name is Zach Hill (and apparently he only uses one bass drum and one bass drum pedal which is ridiculous). but yeah, animal, the dude never stopped going absolutely fucking nuts on those drums, just beating the shit out of them, even on the mellow songs. somehow he was always beating the shit out them. he did an amazing drum solo too. check him out.

chino did some amazing vocal screeches and weird shit like that. the rest of the band was dope too, alternating between instruments and what not.

found a team sleep interview today with chino, check it out


so, i enjoyed checking out Team Sleep, and i still fully believe every fucking body should check out Strata, especially live. and oh yeah, picked up a copy of Eric Victorino’s (Strata’s singer) book Coma Therapy. it’s poetry, but a lot of tells stories. i’ll update you on that more later when i get through more it. you can order it from him if you want off his myspace. i highly encourage it, support underground art!!!

Tool – Fall 07 San Francisco Review

Posted in live show review with tags , , , , , , , on December 13, 2007 by sae

Tool – West Coast Winter Tour 2007
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco
December 11, 2007

Stinkfist (ext.)
Forty Six & 2
Schism (double time breakdown)
Rosetta Stoned
Wings for Marie
10,000 days
lateralus (w/guest drummers Tim Alexander from Primus and Sebastian from Trans Am)
**HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA w/Jello Biafra on vocals**

 So as is tradition, my friends and I arrived to the show fairly late (a habit I must break them of this weekend so we don’t miss Strata opening for Team Sleep).  We got to the city, ate it for parking and just parked in an overpriced lot, and then found our way into the line at Bill Graham (my reports say that the line was there since 4:30 too, wtf? It’s not like you are going to get in any earlier being their early).  While we are in line I’m chatting with this chick in front of us who was very excited about it being her first Tool show.  She was worried about getting in when they had already started.  I told her not to worry though, that instead she should prepare herself for the longest wait ever between an opening band and the headlining band (as has been true for every concert I’ve been to where Maynard was singing for the headlining band).  We get in without much wait, scope at the merch for a second which I refuse to buy without first being an explanation for why it’s so goddamn expensive  (this is odd for me too, because politically, I buy a ton of shit at shows because it supports the  band in the most direct way, but Tool’s merch is overpriced at shows and online, and they have never explained why which leaves me to assume it’s some sick joke about consumerism, except Tool is only fucking over their fans, not stupid people buying the merch cause they link the current single – they shop at hot topic where the merch is reasonably priced but this is another issue entirely).  Anywho, after that, Eddy grabs a beer and we head out to the floor.  Shit is mad crowded so we decided to head up to the seats to try and find a place to sit.  Unfortunately, at this point there really is nowhere to sit for more than one person here and there.

Then suddenly, and unexpectedly I eat my earlier spoken words about the wait before Tool and they hit the stage.  Me and Lopez decide to say fuck it and leave our other friends on their seat search and head back to the floor.  We find our way down as Tool busts into Jambi which worked out perfectly since the song really doesn’t do it for me.  It is cooler live, and it’s neat to see Adam do the talk box solo, but I really don’t care too much for the song.  Tool continues into Stinkfist which was amazing as it always is.  Though I’d seen it with the extended breakdown a few times before, it wasn’t until after the last time I saw them that I got a bootleg live version with that in which I listened to earlier in the day.  This reminded me to be prepared for the majority of the crowd being fooled and singing the breakdown long before it was due.  Along with this it was just dope to be able to check out the breakdown with a frame of reference for what it was.

Tool continued through their set.   Just like last time, the breakdown for Schism was fucking amazing and made me feel as if I was going to my heart and body we’re going to explode which was quite something since I was in nowhere near the altered state of consciousness that I was last time I saw them.  The set kept going.  Flood was goddamn amazing, and I doubt they’ll ever play that song much, if at all, after this tour ends in a few days.  Extremely glad I got to see it since I love that song.  Really cool to hear it with Justin playing as well, just to see what he would do with it you know.  The intermission came and Lopez and I went back up to meet with our friends where they had found seats.  Kind of shitty seats, but at the same time, we could see every move Danny was making.  I could even see his feet.  I just wish I could have seen what Justin was doing as well, but oh well.

The band came back out and got ready for Wings.  Justin sat down as he always does for that song because it’s too fucking hard to play otherwise.  Wings was pretty fucking amazing, almost brought me to tears but not quite, at this point I was still kind of at odds with myself so I was in a weird place.  I wish Maynard’s vocals would have been higher on this song just because they are so amazing, but oh well, I’d rather they be down the whole set including that song, rather than up the entire set.  He’s a great vocalist, but he’s such an ass so it kind of annoys me to be in the same room with him.  These days I have difficultly separating him from the singer of Tool, but that’s my issue.  Plus, the other guys are stellar musicians and I enjoy being able to hear their playing. 

They started into Lateralus and as the song got moving I saw them setting up drums for the drum soloing.  I was confused though, because they were setting up drums in a fashion that would require two more drummers.  At this point I was thinking it would be the drummer from Trans Am and the guy from King Crimson/Tu (since we got they’re late I had no idea if Tu was at this show as well, and actually, I still don’t know).  With that two dudes came out and they drummed off.  Pretty fucking amazing.  My only complaint about it was I wish they would have done more drumming simultaneously rather than just switching off over and over until they end.  After the drum off Maynard said something which sounded to me like in contained “Tim ‘Herb’ Alexander” and “Primus” but I wasn’t sure.  Then he dropped the name again or something and I was like, whoa, holy shit!  Really?  I wish he would have said that before so I had known.  Good shit though.  At some point towards the end of the song as they worked towards the end of Lateralus Danny reached back and hit his gong.  Goddamn that was amazing.  I was watching right as he hit it and it was as if I could feel and somehow see the ripples from it reverberate all the way from it, to me, and then through me.  It was just fucking powerful.

After they finished Maynard started saying something about a special guest, I couldn’t really understand and I figured he was still saying something about Tim or the guy from Trans Am or something.  Then out comes this bouncy, chubby guy.  Then I heard “Jello Biafra” and then…then I fucking died a little bit inside (in the good way).  Instantly my mind starts racing, holy shit, I know they only have one song left.  They are going to end with Vicarious.  I love Jello, but how the fuck do you fit Jello into a Tool song.  Like, really, how the fuck do you do that.  This is gonna be crazy and weird.  And then the real magic starts.  Justin and Adam start into fucking HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA!!!!  HOLY FUCKIN JESUS FUCKIN CHRIST.  Lopez and I started going berserk, rocking out and screaming along.  It was so goddamn amazing.  Really, words can’t describe in any way that moment that was occurring before our very eyes.  Adam, Justin, and Danny had that song fucking down and Jello was in top fucking form, singing, running around all crazy, even though he’s a lot older now.  It was just amazing, and it’s a goddamn shame Tool are such anal retentive bastards about bootlegging cause that shit (and when Serj came out with them in New Zeland, and Kirk Hammet in Hawaii, and Terry Bozzio in Texas, and Aarron in Idaho, and Layne way back in the day wherever)  needed to be recorded and spread around. 

So after those few minutes of pure amazingness, Jello left the stage and the band launched into Vicarious.  Damn good, wish the vocals had been a bit higher on this one too, but maybe it was just where I was sitting.  Wish I had still been in the pit too so I could have screamed along better, but I tried singing and I could hear my voice way to easily since I was up in the seats and no one there was singing.

And with that, the show was over.  The guys in the band came out bowed, accepting their applause.  Justin and Danny (and maybe Adam) started launching picks, drums sticks, and drum heads into the crowd.  They even did a good job of tossing some up into the balcony seats.  Jello came out and took a bow as well and they all group hugged.


So with all of that, pretty fucking amazing show.  Flood was killer.  Holiday in Cambodia, that will never happen again, period.  The lights were really cool, and it amazes me how well Tool can make every seat worth it.  There’s always projections, on the screens, on the stage itself, on the crowed, and lasers are different from every direction so everyone gets a good piece of the action.

The musicianship was amazing too.  Justin is just a fucking god on that bass, he creates such amazing textures and landscapes for the songs to flow over.  He looks so goddamn happy the whole time as well.  Adam’s guitar playing was great too, and he’s guy that signature sound with all his weird little screeches and shit.  He looks so calm the whole time too – Adam isn’t at a Tool show, he’s just strolling through the park playing his guitar.  And Danny Carey, what is there to say really.  That man was built to play drums.  I’m pretty sure his drum skills could kick the ass of Zeus’s lightning skills.  I don’t really know how to explain it otherwise. 

Other fun things on note.  Maynard played keyboards during some songs, particularly Wings.  Between songs too, there was always some weird shit going on.  Some of it was just Adam and Justin do weird fucking shit with their instruments, some of it was Adam fucking with keyboards, and I think at some point some other dude was fucking with a keyboard.  It really helps to keep the music the main focus though, having music seguewaying each song into each other.  It was really cool too cause the music that comprised the segueways was never very indicative of what song was coming next.  It kept the level of anticipation at a high.

Don’t know if there’s much else to say.  Tool is amazing live.  They are this generations Led Zeppelin and you really shouldn’t miss them.



Posted in live show review with tags , , , , on December 12, 2007 by sae

Stinkfist (ext.)
Forty Six & 2
Schism (double time breakdown)
Rosetta Stoned
Wings for Marie
10,000 days
lateralus (w/guest drummers Tim Alexander from Primus and Sebastian from Trans Am)
**HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA w/Jello Biafra on vocals**

slightly stoopid show review

Posted in live show review with tags , , on December 3, 2007 by sae

[posted a few days late]

My face is bruised…there’s a bit of blood around my eyebrow ring…my lip is split open…my back is wrenched…and it all feels so fucking beautiful.

            At about 6 pm yesterday my friend calls me up and says hey, what are you doing tonight.  I tell him I’m working till 7:30.  he say’s I’m coming up to Santa Cruz to see Slightly Stoopid.  I got extra tickets, wanna go.  I say hell yes, really, how am I going to turn that down ya know.  So 2 hours pass and I’m surrounded by some of my favorite people from home that I barely get to see and we are in the Catalyst. 

            I never caught their name during the show, but it was Capital Eye that was opening.  They were pretty cool, nothing amazing or mind blowing though, and nothing I hadn’t heard before.  Still fun though.  The two guitarists and bassist were pretty metal head looking, hair hanging in their faces.  The drummer seemed to be more in the rock influence of things too and I must say, that dude tore it up pretty damn well.  Then there was the DJ and the singer who was rapping more than singing.  They were basically a blend of KMK and bad Cypress Hill (not saying they were bad, but it’s fucking hard to be as good as Cypress Hill – if you don’t believe me, go see ‘em live, and make sure to take numerous blunts). 

            Flat out review – totally fun live, wouldn’t by their album, but, if you’re into hip-hop blended with heavy guitars and shit like that, if that’s your sound give ‘em a spin, see what ya think.

            Next up was Fishbone.  Now I’d heard of these guys before, but never anything other than hearing their name.  Didn’t know shit about ‘em otherwise, and I have to see – OHMIFUCKIN’GOD they were goddamn amazing.  Those guys had so much energy and their singer, Angelo was just fucking insane (and he played a fucking theremin now and then, badass!).  The first thing that caught me with them was the bass playing.  John started the show with a fretless five string and eventually moved to a fretted five string.  His grooves were great, as well as his slap and pop style.  Throughout their set I became more and more impressed with how often other band members would be doing vocals, as well as the trumpet and trombone player would be switching around to be playing a guitar or keyboards or whatever here and there to add more to the flavor.

            They did an excellent job of keeping their set extremely eclectic too, going from reggae jams, to funkier shit, to straight up punk metal shit that got the pit going.  And let me tell you, that pit, absolutely perfect.  The blend of skanking and slamming was amazing, no one was acting like a dick, and everyone got along.  Shoes got picked up, people got picked up, and no one pulled any stupid shit.  We all just ran around and did our thing and I kept getting drawn back into it over and over again.  The guys in the band did a lot of stage diving too, especially Angelo.  At some point he dived in and surfed way out into the crowd, got all the way over to the right side of the crowd, and started grabbing onto piping or something to pull himself up to stand on the outer edge of the balcony.  So at this point he is standing on the wrong side of the balcony, swaying above the crowd and singing with one security guard up there holding onto his wrists.  Eventually he starts to look as if he is preparing to dive into the crowd and crowd starts to get ready to catch him.  However, the security guards rush him and now there are 3 or 4 or them pulling at his arms, trying to drag him over to the other side of the balcony.  My friends and I were basically right under him this the whole time, so we were part of a massive group of people screaming lengthy strings of profanity at the guards, along with me nailing one of them right in the face with a pen I threw at him.  Eventually they got him over the balcony though and he ended up back on stage.  Watching the whole thing was like watching when they through people out of shows but the people go all limp and dead weight making it difficult, this of course was better though cause of course they can’t through the singer out.  Bravo to the Catalyst security though, for once you didn’t beat down someone in a band unlike the Against Me show and the Aquabats show (and yes, that does mean your sins will not be forgotten).  After all the commotion the show continued without a hitch and was just fucking amazing.

            Then it was time for Slightly Stoopid, who just like Fishbone, were fucking amazing.  They  had great energy and played a great eclectic set ranging from ska, to reggae, to punk shit, to blending it up back and forth.  Watching those guys play I was so amazed with their musicianship and their stage presence.  The whole time you could see on their faces how happy they were to be up on stage playing for a huge crowd, and that happiness translated through their fingers into the instruments.  It amazes me the sounds that they could get out the guitar, all these weird little tones here and there just to add flavor to the song.

            Something that was so cool in their set was every couple of songs the singer and the bassist would walk across the stage and hand their instrument off to each other and switch it up, along with switching the vocals duties.  Whenever the bassist was singing too, he would light up a joint, puff, puff, and then pass it into the crowd.  He had to have done this at least 5 or 6 times too.  What a fucking crowd pleaser.  Dude stage dived and crowd surfed a lot as well which is always fun.  A lot of surfing going on with the crowd members as well. 

            Then, to end their set Slightly Stoopid jammed out on one of their songs for at least 15 minutes, if not more, with pretty much everyone from Fishbone slowing coming out and a big mish mash of handed the bass off to this person then that person, this guy taking the guitar, this guy singing, someone else switching onto keyboards, almost everybody switched off to every other instrument throughout the jam, fucking dope!

Great show
Great bands
Great energy
Great crowd