Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hollywood Vampires - Coney Island, Brooklyn NY - July 10, 2016

Well you've all heard about this show already.  Hollywood Vampires at the Ford Ampitheater on the Coney Island Boardwalk last Sunday, July 10, 2016.



Hollywood Vampires is of course anchored by Alice Cooper on vocals and dual guitars of Johnny Depp and Joe Perry of Aerosmith (the touring band also includes Matt Sorum on drums, Robert DeLeo on bass, Tommy Henriksen on rhythm guitar and Bruce Witkin on keyboards and other assorted instruments).  



This was the show where Joe "collapsed on stage."  Well, not quite...

The show began with the second track off their self titled debut album, a tune called "Raise the Dead."  It was hot as balls in the semi circus tent design of the new theatre so I was heading back to my seat with waters (yes WATER...I know) so I wouldn't pass out during the show.  Got to my seat as they started in with their great cover of Spirit's "I Got A Line On You"



It was pretty exciting as we had kinda crap seats all the way in the back in section 302, but an usher came up to our group and asked if we wanted upgrades...for free!  To 10th row Orchestra section 102...Thank you concert Gods!



There's Alice! There's Johnny Depp!  There's friggin Joe Perry...but wait...a minute or so into the song is he kinda sitting on the corner of the drum riser not looking great...and then he walked around it behind the Marshall amps not to be seen again.  The band didn't blink an eye...(and no...I didn't get any shots of Joe...I figured I had the whole show to do so...damn)



Next up were a couple of David Bowie classics with "Rebel Rebel" and "Suffragette City."  Around this time I leaned over to my buddy Kev and yelled "Where the fuck is Joe Perry?"  I wasn't sure if this was one of those All-Star band kinda deals where various members only are on stage for certain songs...guess we'll see...



There's a giant video screen behind the band and as they play covers of these dead classic rockers, they show montages of classic images.  Jim Morrison popped up as "Five To One" / "Break On Thru (To The Other Side)" was played.



The band of course is great.  The legendary Alice Cooper handling lead vocals and telling short tales of his friends whose songs were being covered.  Johnny Depp looking and sounding great on guitar.  Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots fame absolutely holding down the rhythm section along with Matt Sorum of Guns n Roses on drums.  On Rhythm guitar there was Tommy Henriksen (filling in valiantly on many of the leads that would have normally been Joe Perry's) and keyboardist Bruce Witkin filled out the sound.  Super tight and super cool...but man, Joe Perry not being there definitely was a bummer...



I'm not sure exactly when the band actually acknowledged Joe's absence, I would say it was about an hour into the show when Alice said he had fallen ill.  We all now know he was rushed to a local hospital having gone into cardiac arrest.  



Another Hollywood Vampires original "As Bad As I Am" was followed by a tribute to Marc Bolan and T. Rex with covers of "20th Century Boy" and "Bang A Gong (Get It On)"



Surprisingly, they still played the cover of the Beatles "Come Together" next...I say this as it is the Aerosmith version of the song.  The other Aerosmith songs normally played would be cut from the set.



An amazing cover of Love's "7 and 7 Is" was next followed by what I thought was the one throwaway cover of the night, an okay version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love"



The last original of the night, the fitting "My Dead Drunk Friends" then led into the powerful closing set of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" into The Who's "Pinball Wizard" and "My Generation" (with a little taste of "Won't Get Fooled Again" thrown in).  



The main set ended with Alice announcing they were going to do a song by the one remaining original Hollywood Vampire (basically made up of Alice and the aforementioned "Dead Drunk (rock star) Friends" back in the 70's) with a killer version of "I'm Eighteen."



Normally Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" would follow as the set ender, but it was nixed.  Also cut were the Perry led version of Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" and Fleetwood Mac's "Stop Messin Around" which he would normally sing lead vocals on.  The encore would be next and the normal opener of "Train Kept A Rollin" was also cut, but we did get a special surprise.



Alice announced they would be back after a quick break with a special guest.  They returned to the stage with Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople.



Hunter opened the encore set with a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" and then of course played the Mott classic "All The Young Dudes".  Alice played maracas during both songs letting Hunter do lead vocals.



The night ended with Cooper's "School's Out" (with acrowd singalong it of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall (part 2)" thrown in the middle).



It was cool to see Ian Hunter.  It was a bummer Joe was not there most of the show, but of course we all know now he is on the mend and expected to rejoin the tour shortly.



It was a damn good rock show.  (Keep scrolling down for the rest of the photos)




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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Monkees: Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Bobby Hart live at Chiller 2016 NJ

One of the big guests appearances at Chiller Theatre convention in Parsippany NJ this Spring was the reunion of Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork of The Monkees along with songwriter Bobby Hart.

The trio performed as part of the Rock & Roll Party at the Sheraton on Saturday April 23, 2016 backed by the house band for the night, The Dead Elvi.

Setlist:
Last Train to Clarksville
Words
(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone

Micky left the stage at this point and Tork and Hart performed "Gonna Buy Me a Dog".

Hart departed and Tork stayed on to kick off the David Bowie tribute with "Diamond Dogs" after which he bid farewell.

I didn't film this, but the whole set is easily found on Youtube.  Here's some shots I took that night though:
















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Monday, April 25, 2016

VIDEO: Martha Davis of the Motels performs David Bowie's "Soul Love" at Chiller 2016



Martha Davis of The Motels and Actor/Saxophonist Tim Cappello were two of the guests at the 2016 Chiller Theatre convention in Parsippany, NJ.  On Saturday night, April 23, 2016 as part of the Rock & Roll Party there was a David Bowie tribute led by the Dead Elvi.  

Davis and Cappello joined the band for this great version of "Soul Love"




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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Metal Allegiance - The Chance, Poughkeepsie NY - April 4, 2016

Evidently not many of the Poughkeepsie area metal heads felt like venturing out in the cold and leftover snow to The Chance this past Monday, but for the few of us that did (I'd say 70 in attendance at this show), we got a hell of a show for twenty bucks.



Metal Allegiance were supposed to hit the stage around 10pm and my buddy Anthony and I had some stuff to do before hand so we met inside the Chance at about 9:30 and the first opening band (of three) was still on.  Ugh...it was going to be rough getting up for work the next day.



The opener (I didn't catch their name) played a very short set and there was a quick turn around between bands and Chains Over Razors were up next.  Good straight ahead metal three piece with just drums, guitar and a vocalist.  Hell, who needs bass?  They played to the small crowd like they were playing to a packed house really working to get everyone involved.  Good stuff, they did about a half hour.



Next to None was next and again very quick breakdown/setup between bands mainly because all they had to do for the drums was uncover Mike Portnoy's set because his son Max is the drummer in this band and played on his dad's kit.



I bet these kids (well, to mid 40's me they're kids) destroy on say the warped tour - super energetic, all obviously good musicians, just not the genre of metal I like - although their Slipknot cover was good and the insane running leap keyboardist/vocalist Thomas Cuce took off his keyboard stand down into the pit was one of the craziest things I've seen at at the Chance in quite some time.  He had to have been easily 12 feet in the air and must have just missed hitting the back of the pit barricade when he landed.  Definitely kept you watching.  I will say as well that even though this crowd was small, Next to None definitely had a contingent of fans there to see them instead of the headliners.  Just seemed an odd fit but has to be cool for the Portnoy's to tour together so rock on.  I think they played about 35 minutes. (one note, the mix for them was HORRIBLE.  The bass kept overblowing the rest of the band and the drums had the sounded like he was hitting the plastic lids of garbage cans.  There were no issues with the mix for the rest of the bands, so not sure why they suffered)



So finally at probably around 11:30 Metal Allegiance hit the stage and oh man...all I can say is if you're a fan of classic metal you NEED to see this band.  



If you look on their website, you'll see they list 25 artists as part of the Allegiance and you never know who is going to show up at a particular show.  At the Chance there were no "Special Guests" just the core band touring at this time which is:

Mike Portnoy on Drums
Mark Menghi on Bass
Alex Skolnick on Guitar
Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal on Guitar
Mark Osegueda on vocals
Chuck Billy on vocals



Mark sings I'd say about 60% of the songs and Chuck does the rest with a couple of tunes where they trade off.  Alex does a bit more lead work (including Van Halen's "Eruption") but Bumblefoot has plenty of time to shine throughout on his doubleneck guitar.



While they have an album and would play three originals, all of which were great, especially the unbelievable showstopper "Pledge of Allegiance", what they really are is the greatest metal cover/tribute band you will ever see.  Check out this amazing setlist:

The Hellion (pre-recorded intro)
Electric Eye (Judas Priest)
The Ides of March (Iron Maiden)
Wrathchild (Iron Maiden)
Can't Kill The Devil
Balls to the Wall (Accept)
Heaven & Hell (Black Sabbath)
Creeping Death (Metallica)
Territory (Sepultura)
Dying Song
Pledge of Allegiance
Into the Void (Black Sabbath - video below)

Iron Fist (Motorhead)
Runnin' With the Devil (Van Halen)
Eruption (Van Halen)
Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC)
Encore:
Seek & Destroy (Metallica - video below)


I believe it was after "Pledge of Allegiance" that Mike Portnoy took the mic to address the crowd and said how the band had discussed backstage that at this point they would decide if they would do the whole set or not or end it early.  Hell maybe this is the standard rap at every show, but it didn't seem like it and I think the cheers of those of us who came out, along with the fact that these guys don't get to tour and play together a whole lot gave us the full deal.



So there you have it.  I have no clue why this show wasn't packed.  Testament sells this place out when they play here and this was almost like "hey Chuck and Alex from Testament are coming to town and bringing their incredible musician fans to play all of your favorite tunes."  How this was not packed out boggles the mind...maybe word just isn't out yet on who/what Metal Allegiance is.  I know those of us who were there will be spreading the gospel and hopefully Metal Allegiance will give us another shot on their next tour.



Bonus, at one point Chuck Billy came over and grabbed one of Alex Skolnick's Guitar picks and threw it to me.  Nice!  Thanks Chuck!



Check out the rest of the photos below

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Click any photos to enlarge them to full screen.  Also follow on twitter @MostPeopleBlank   Then, of course, as always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul