Friday, December 19, 2014

Ace Frehley Invades Anaheim: An Ace Frehley Show Review

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The last time I saw Ace play was with KISS was in 2000 on the KISS Farewell Tour and, as been well documented, he was not in very good form. His playing was sloppy, even by Ace standards and, by that time, he was simply mailing it in. That performance was reminiscent of the last two times I saw Ace solo, 1993 and '94. Both times he was a mess and both times I left the club feeling sad and disappointed. Sad because of what one of my heroes had become and disappointed because I was always rooting for Ace to be great. How could this be the same guy that played so amazingly on those first six KISS studio records and '78 solo album? He wasn't even the same guy an underage me with a fake ID saw at The Palace in Hollywood on the Trouble Walking tour just a few years before. Ace was great that night. Peter Criss even joined him onstage to play Deuce!

So when I saw Ace was going to tour Space Invader and had announced a show in Anaheim,  CA only a few miles from where I live, I couldn't get my ticket fast enough. The show was scheduled 3 days after my birthday so that gave me all the justification I needed to go all out and pony up for the VIP meet and greet. I had met Ace once before in the early 90's at the NAMM show. Not surprisingly, he arrived well after his scheduled time and was completely out of it. I was lucky he was able to sign his name. I needed a redo.


I'll admit I was more than a little nervous in the days leading up this show. By all accounts, Ace was playing great, but was still having some, shall we say, punctuality issues. I also knew that I was going to be writing this review and just as I was 20 years earlier, I was rooting for Ace to be great.

Even though I had purchased my ticket and meet and greet over a month in advance, beyond a purchase confirmation email, I did not receive any details about the meet and greet. I emailed the provided contact, John Ostrosky, Ace's tour manager, twice prior to the show with no response. I even tried reaching him through Facebook. I get that you're busy, but if you can't respond to questions from an email address you provided, hire someone who can. Finally, less than 24 hours before the show, I received a group email with instructions for the meet and greet. I knew it was a group email because I could see the emails of all the other recipients and, presumably, they could see mine. I'm no IT guy, but it's not hard to mask this info. It was starting to feel a bit like amateur hour. I don't expect perfection, but more than 24-hour notice for an arrival time and not publishing my email to strangers isn't asking for a lot.

The night of the show, I arrived at the venue, as instructed at 7:30 only to find the box office had not yet been given a list of those doing the meet and greet. It would be another 30 minutes before me and the other 50 or so received our tickets and passes. Once inside, we were first ushered downstairs to the merch booth to receive our t-shirts. We were told the rest of the meet and greet items (CD, small poster, 8x10, picks) would be given out later so back upstairs to line up for the meet and greet. It's now about 8:15 and we're told the meet and greet will begin at 9:00. The opening band is already on and all I could think about was people have been waiting in a general admission venue packed like sardines since 7:30 and the meet and greet isn't even starting until 9:00. What time in Ace planning on going on? I hope he got his wake up call.

The meet and great finally got rolling at 9:30. A full two hours since we were told to be at the venue and over an hour since we lined up inside. I could tell the standing room only, near capacity, crowd was getting restless. They too had been on their feet for the better part of two hours. I had read that Ace had been forced to cut songs from previous dates due to curfews. I knew the House of Blues in Anaheim typically does not have a curfew so while it was shaping up to be a late night, at least I felt there was a good chance we'd get a full set. Finally, we were ushered in one at a time to see Ace. He was seated behind a table wearing his familiar sunglasses. He was quiet and did not say anything as I worked my way around the table and said hello. In addition to all the provided goodies, Ace will sign one personal item so long as it's not a guitar or guitar part. Ace perked up a little when he saw what I had brought for him to sign, a Love Gun artist print signed by the artist, Ken Kelly. He asked me about the print and where I'd like him to sign it. He then reached out to shake my hand, thanked me and said "enjoy the show". One of the House of Blues employees assigned to him took a photo with my phone and I was shuffled out of the room. All in all, I'm happy did the meet and greet. I had my do over and got my print signed. If you're thinking about doing the meet and greet just set your expectations accordingly. My experience was it was quick, inefficient, and a bit disorganized. Ace's tour manager, seems to be doing his best, but appeared to be overwhelmed at times. My advice to Ace or any artist charging fans for a meet and greet is if your going take money from your fans for a "meet and greet", be on time, smile, be in a good mood and interact with the fans, even if you're having a bad day and don't want to be there. If you can't do that, then don't do them at all.

Ace and his band finally took the stage at 10:30 and just in the nick of time. The crowd, most of whom had now been waiting upwards of three hours were beginning to scream obscenities and make single finger gestures at the roadies or anyone else who dare walk onto the stage. Occasionally, a cup or other item would fly from the audience onto the stage. I had to squeeze in against the back wall of the room as there was no area roped off or saved for those of us doing the meet and greet. I learned from talking to people who had seen other shows that there were such accommodations. This must be venue specific so if you care about where you view the show from, do your homework before you pony up for the meet and greet. Once Ace came out and played that familiar intro to Rip it Out, all was immediately forgiven. Ace spend the next hour and forty five minutes ripping through a 20 song set. The band around him was tight and included, Scott Coogan on drums, Chris Wyse on bass, and familiar face, Richie Scarlet on guitar. All four took turns on lead vocals. Time and hard living has taken it's toll on Richie. Think Johnny Thunders meets Keith Richards. His playing and singing were not great this night, but he's got that rock and roll attitude and vibe that makes up for it.

I'll list the complete set list below but, as a fan of Ace, and let's face it, the 900 or so other people in that room were not casual KISS fans, I would have liked to see fewer non-Ace KISS songs. While, drummer Scott Coogan does a fine job singing the Paul Stanley vocal, I could have done without the likes of Strutter, Detroit Rock City, King of the Nighttime World and Love Gun. I recognize that Ace was in the band when those were recorded and they contain some classic solos, to me, they just don't belong in an Ace Frehley solo set. Whether I want to or not, I get nearly all those songs when I go see KISS. I would have much rather seen Ace break into, 2000 Man, Dark Light, Into the Night, Hard Times, Talk to Me, or almost anything else off the '78 solo record. Let's hope Ace will consider adding some of those in the set should he add more dates next year.

As I watched Ace, I really felt as
though he was playing with a chip on his shoulder. Like he had something to prove. There was a fire I hadn't see maybe ever. Perhaps he was out to prove to Paul and Gene that he could still play a quality two hour set. Maybe that's what drove some of his set list choices. At a couple points in the set, Ace couldn't help but take a couple verbal digs at Paul Stanley from the stage. For as much trash talk that has gone on between the two camps in the press, it should stay there. Taking shots from the stage comes off cheap and unnecessary. I've never seen or heard of Paul or Gene take a shot at Ace or Peter from the stage during a KISS show.

If Ace was out to prove he could still handle the guitar duties in KISS, then mission accomplished. But as good as he played an sang, his punctuality and inability to put on a happy face for a meet and greet all but ensures that day will never come, and I'm just fine with that because, on this night,
Ace Frehley was great.

Set List


1.       Rip it Out
2.       Gimme a Feelin’
3.       Toys
4.       Parasite
5.       Snowblind
6.       Love Gun – Coogan Vocal
7.       Breakout – Scarlet Vocal
8.       Space Invader
9.       King of the Nighttime World – Coogan Vocal
10.     Strutter – Coogan Vocal
11.     Change
12.     Bass Solo/Strange Ways – Wyse Vocal
13.     Rock Soldiers
14.     New York Groove
15.     Shock Me
16.     Ace Solo/Smoke Guitar
17.     Too Young to Die – Scarlet Vocal
18.     Rocket Ride
Encore
19.     Detroit Rock City – Coogan Vocal
20.     Cold Gin
21.     Deuce
 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Shadowbane-Facing The Fallout

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Since forming between 2007-2009, Germany's Shadowbane have been rocking stages in their homeland and are now set to introduce themselves to the world with the full length debut, Facing the Fallout  available January 16, 2015.  The quintet from Hamburg is compiled of Stefan providing vocals, guitarists Lukas and Markus, Mortiz on bass and drummer Rene. Shadowbane
 issued a demo EP, Dystopia, in 2010 and have progressed in their sound for this effort.  Their music is described as "post apocalyptic power metal" that is positioned between melodic US power metal and raw Teutonic steel with dystopic lyrics.  Facing the Fallout promises mostly fast songs and contemporary production without leaving any doubt of their musical roots in 80's & 90's power metal, featuring melodic vocals and the thrashy riffs and melodic harmonies of the dual guitarists.

Not being a particular fan of intros I usually find them to be basically a waste of time, but I suppose the windswept waves that lead to the clanging of a bell and air raid siren of Facing the Fallout's :50 opener "Red Alert" do fit in quite well with the motif of the band and album.  From there we explode into "Beyond the Winds of War" for nearly five minutes of blissful headbanging riffages
 and some solid vocals delivered by Stefan.  "Traitor" keeps things charging forward in the same vein with some excellent melodies, guitar solos and a chorus guaranteed to have you chanting along!  The album's lead single and video, "Under Bleeding Skies", is the longest running track of Facing the Fallout at just over the six minute mark.  The video itself was directed by Peter Gerulat, features actress Sandra Quadflieg and was previewed at the Great Lakes International Film Festival in Erie, Pennsylvania in September 2014.  "After the Fallout" rips through the speakers next as my hand goes to increase the volume controls while "Dystopia" keeps up the headbanging and finds me chanting right along with the chorus, fist raised!  "Tear Down the Wall" is no change from the formula established so far and that's a good thing, but "Badlands Law" could be the crowning glory of Facing the Fallout.  "Last Division" and "Source of Grief" both uphold the themes (and your fist) to bring the album to a close in strong fashion.

Bottom line:  This is a solid debut effort for these guys from Hamburg, Germany and I enjoyed listening to the album but sadly it will probably not become a "go to" choice for me and may get lost in my massive collection as there's just not enough hooks or distinction to warrant one track over another or this album over some of the bigger names.  There is however great promise for the future of Shadowbane, the groundwork having been solidly laid down.

Cheers,
The Meister

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PHOTO CREDIT: Pure Steel Promotions

(Shadowbane Website) (Shadowbane Facebook)

Monday, December 15, 2014

1989 Year in Review Part 1 - Ep167

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It's been six months but this week we return with another Year in Review; this time it's one picked by our very own listeners.

Aaron and Chris take you on a journey of the first half of 1989. You'll get discussion of news stories, sports, movies, the price of bacon, and pop culture happenings highlighted by tons of music discussion and tunes from artists like Extreme, Lizzy Borden, Skid Row, Sepultura, Tesla, Blue Murder, Badlands, and much, much more! It's a trip in the way back machine going back 25 years. Join us!


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Lizzy Borden
Skid Row
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Blue Murder
Badlands
Sepultura
The Cult
Great White
W.A.S.P.
Dangerous Toys
Ramones
Nirvana
Faith No More
Mr. Big
King's X

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...And the Winner is: Red Dragon Cartel! (Award: The Band That Meister Has Seen Live the Most In 2014)

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Anyone who knows me knows what a fan of not just hard rock and heavy metal music, but the live concert scene I am.  That being said it's unavoidable that I would catch a few bands for more than
Jake E. Lee - photo by Wally Norton
one performance as I hit up concerts in Toronto and festivals around the world as much as work allows throughout the year.  Jake E. Lee's Red Dragon Cartel is a band that I've seen a whopping six times throughout 2014 and frankly, it's still not enough!  After all the hoopla surrounding the band's premiere show front man Darren James Smith has more than proven his vocal prowess around the world, something that I, like Jake E. Lee, knew he would.  A former member of Harem Scarem, Warmachine, Heavens Fire and other Toronto area bands, the Southern Ontario resident has delivered countless top notch performances as the band saw heavy worldwide touring throughout 2014.

Darren not only has to sing the songs from Red Dragon Cartel's self titled album issued earlier this year that he provided vocals for, but has to also sing songs that originally showcased the voices of the likes of Robin Zander and Paul Di'Anno. On top of that he has to pull off the late Ray Gillen's Badlands tracks and one of the most well known voices in rock, Ozzy Osbourne. Not an easy feat!

Jake E. Lee is a guitarist that everyone definitely has to see before they die and now with his Badlands brother Greg Chaisson stepping in for Ronnie Mancuso who returned to his producing, Red Dragon Cartel is still setting the world on fire!  The band seemed to be playing everywhere in 2014 with appearances at Sweden Rock Festival, Monsters of Rock Cruise and M3 Festival and has more gigs planned for 2015.  But on Wednesday December 10, 2014 they rolled into Toronto for the second time this year!


After the stage and crowd at The Garrison was warmed by opening bands Warmachine, a local area band that formerly featured Darren James Smith with a pummeling fast paced set and young guitar wizard Ethan Brosh and his band with their shredding instrumental set, the crowd tightened up for Red Dragon Cartel.  Coming out of the gates ripping, they delivered Ozzy's "Ultimate Sin", of course co-written by Jake E. Lee.  The band sounded great with Jonas Fairley's pounding drums, Greg Chaisson's thundering bass and Darren James Smith's soaring vocals, but it was of course the master Jake E. Lee who stole the show.  "Wasted" from the Red Dragon Cartel self titled CD, which Paul Di'Anno provided the vocals for on the album was the next selection.  The crowd was clearly loving every minute of the show, but they weren't the only ones as a broad smile could often be seen to flash across Lee's face as he seemingly effortlessly wielded his guitar.  Throughout the evening we also were served songs like "Shout It Out""War Machine""Deceived" and "Feeder" (a Robin Zander sung track on the album).  Intermixed with those awesome Red Dragon Cartel songs were some classic Badlands compositions in the form of "High Wire""Healer" and "Rumblin' Train" among others.  One of the absolute highlights for me and one of the earliest rock/metal tracks I ever heard was the encore presentation and show closer of Ozzy's "Bark At the Moon".


Once again, this is the sixth time that I've seen Red Dragon Cartel live this year and it's still not enough!  If you have the chance, don't miss these guys!

Cheers,
The Meister

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PHOTO CREDIT: WALLYGATOR NORTON 2014

(Red Dragon Cartel Website) (Red Dragon Cartel Facebook)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Well, Who Would Want Frivolous Black?: A Review of Serious Black's As Daylight Breaks

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The minute that I opened the press release one sheet for Serious Black I was excited.  The second line of the document will show why: "The line-up consists of Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween), Thomen Stauch (ex-Blind Guardian), Mario Lochert (ex-Visions Of Atlantis), Dominik Sebastian (Edenbridge), Jan Vacik (ex-Dreamscape) and (last but not least) the golden voice of Urban breed (ex-Tad Morose, ex-Bloodbound)."  Anyone into melodic power metal should be familiar with several of those names and I was certainly enticed to hear this new supergroup.  The album is titled As Daylight Breaks and features the collaborations of the full band who were all involved in the songwriting process.  With eleven tracks contained in As Daylight Breaks I anxiously cued it up for a spin:
We begin with "I Seek No Other Life" opening with a blistering pace in true classic power metal fashion.  The soaring vocals courtesy of Urban Breed almost add another dimension to the song.  "High and Low" is another charging composition featuring more prominence of Jan Vacik's keyboard work, some great guitar soloing, thundering bass lines and pounding drum beat.  Breed's velvet vocals overlay the soft keyboard notes at the outset of "Sealing My Fate", but it's not long before the rest of the boys join in for this slower tempo composition.  Personally I don't have much
 time for intros, so based on that the 1:14 minute instrumental "Temple of the Sun" just serves as a momentum killer and general waste of time for me.  All hope is not lost as the thundering drums of the oddly titled "Akhenaton" resonate from the speakers in an awesome track.  Some quick internet searching finds that Akhenaton may refer to the tenth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty.  The keyboard work on "My Mystic Mind" gives it a real Gothic metal feel at points while "Trail of Murder", sadly the shortest track at under three minutes, is my favorite of the lot.  The title track, "As Daylight Breaks", is a ballad and vehicle for the talents of Breed and Vacik, but again, not to my particular liking.   "Setting Fire to the Earth" is once again more my speed with a catchy bridge and chorus, perhaps a little more straight forward rock-like. The longest track, "Listen to the Storm", opens with some dark, ominous keyboarding but soon gives way to the rest of the all-star project in another slower tempo, rather epic sounding composition.  Things wrap up with "Older and Wiser", another classic power metal track crafted by some of the best of the genre.
Overall these masters of metal have delivered a decent melodic power metal album, with only a couple of low spots.  Fans of the genre would certainly do well to pick this one up.  Serious Black is set to rock the stages in January and February as they open for HammerFall on their upcoming European tour, wish we could get a tour like that here in Toronto!

BUY: Serious Black - As Daylight Breaks

Cheers,
The Meister

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PHOTO CREDIT: AFM RECORDS PRESS KIT 2014

(Serious Black's Website) (Serious Black's Facebook Page)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

God Of Thunder Thighs

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“Even the best chicks can only last a couple of hours.”



I was years away from my first sexual experience when I first read that quote from David Lee Roth.  Yet despite my inability to truly comprehend what he was saying, something about that comment resonated with me.  That comment and the ability to come up with it seemed to embody everything I wanted to be.  In my pre-pubescent brain, it was quite possibly the coolest thing to say.  It oozed with confidence and dripped a sexual overtone that came with being a rock God.  That was before he became a caricature or a punch line to some lame 80’s rock joke.  No sir.  This was Diamond Dave in all his high kicking, spandex sporting Rock God glory.  And everything I wanted to be. 



As much as I found myself in awe of the bands I saw in Hit Parader and MTV, I was never star struck.  What I felt was more like desperate separation.  Like “If these guys only knew me, we’d be best friends.  I’d be the one dorky teenager they’d want to hang out with.”  I longed to be part of something out of my reach and I was frustrated.  I saw my surroundings as something I couldn’t put behind me quick enough.  I was a boy out of place.  An rock n roll astronaut stuck on earth.  A devil in the church.  I looked at rocker’s like Diamond Dave and dreamed of what it would be like to be them.      



But that’s just it isn’t it?  When you’re 15, rock stars seem ageless.  Old enough to do all the cool shit but not old like your stupid parents.  Parents are lame.  They eat three meals a day and go to church every Sunday.  Fuck that.  Do you think David Lee Roth is worried about the 4 food groups?  There’s no way Gene Simmons has ever gone to church.  He was born evil.  Right?  Or so I thought anyway.



I'll clean your chimney after this song
Ah but 25 years later things have changed.  Gene Simmons is just an old Jewish man who’s gotten a bit fat. And Diamond Dave?  More like Dingbat Dave.  He’s just an old man.  He isn’t even kind of cool.  He’s a hokey vaudevillian type.  A Vegas act and a cheap one.  In fact both Gene and Dave have taken their talents to Vegas.  Turns out, they were never as cool as I once thought they were.  In reality nobody is.  Cool is façade.  Cool is an illusion.  An outfit.  Shoes and makeup.  Lighting and cheap fabric.  Behind those serious faces of musicians who glamorized binge drinking and groupie sex were guys running on treadmills and avoiding alcohol to preserve their voices while making sure their tour riders included plenty of fresh fruit.  Lyrical reference’s to drugs and neck tattoo’s portray an image that often masks reality.  (Insert Buckcherry reference here) 



Ok so not all of them were healthy eating monogamous phonies but plenty of them are.  And I find it interesting the way our rockers age.   You can tell how successful a musician was and how relevant they still are by the way they look.  If you ran into Chuck Billy and James Hetfield at a San Francisco bar in 1988, you wouldn’t see the stark difference in appearance you do now.  Chuck Billy looks like he ate himself while Mr. Hetfield has on a pair of jeans and a t shirt that combined probably cost more than Chuck’s monthly rent on his apartment. 



Chuck Billy. Living the Dream
By 1992 Metallica were beginning their run as the biggest rock band on the planet while Testament was already into the downside of their career cycle.  20 years later they are both still going.  Only one of them strong.  When Metallica fly’s their private plane to their next show, I don’t think the in flight meal is Big Mac’s and Dilly bars.  And when Testament is playing some 400 seat club in New Mexico, I doubt their rider has top end, low fat catering.  More like 6 tombstones and a case of diet coke.  Look at current pictures of U2, Metallica, and and compare them to current pictures of bands like Testament and Exodus.  You can tell who’s staying in the better hotel’s. 



Alas we all age.  Some better than others.  But Rock Gods are supposed to stay golden.  Finding out they don’t is like discovering the whole Santa Claus cover up.      

God Of Thunder Thighs
The silver lining of course is that when it mattered to me, the illusion worked.  When I was popping pimples and jerking off 7 times a day, it all seemed so real.  So awesome.  So cool.  Right around the time I realized most of the musicians I inspired to be were either horribly boring or just horrible people, I no longer cared.  And for some reason, I didn’t feel betrayed.  I look back with fondness at the way dreaming of Rock Stardom made me feel.  And while it can never be the same I miss it.  There is a small window of time where horror movies are something you can watch and find scary.  And if you never watch horror movies during that time you will never know that feeling.  That same sentiment is why I don’t feel like I was lied to.  The feeling I had was real.  And that is what really matters.

HATE MAIL



 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"Some Girls Do".....A Lee Aaron Concert Review (Including Photos by Shawn Irwin)

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Lee Aaron - @ Barney's in Whitby, Ontario - photo by Shawn Irwin
There was some dividing and conquering of the Canadian Decibel Geek team for this trio of Lee Aaron shows in the southern Ontario area.  Photographer Brian Ronald attended the sold out London, Ontario show on Friday December 5th, 2014 and had rave reports for The Meister and photographer Shawn Irwin, who hit up Whitby's December 6, 2014 show.  Here's my (The Meister's) account of the Whitby event including a photo gallery from Shawn Irwin and a couple of The Meister's videos from the show.

Our initial reaction to this new venue for us was at first less than positive.  There seemed to be bit of a bottleneck just through the entrance doors as patrons collected behind the soundboard.  With a bar on the right side stretching the length of the venue and booth seating on the other it made for a crowd in this area and poor vantage points for ones of challenged stature such as ourselves.  Once we pushed through, however, there was relatively no one on the floor area and this is really where you need to be for a rock/metal concert anyway.  I noticed that the only way on and off the stage was via stairs at the front and center, a poor design.  I can't imagine trying to clear drums and equipment during set changes if this was a packed house with everyone crowding the front of the stage!  Other than that I loved the size of the venue, the balcony which would provide great views of the concert (but I'd rather be down front!) and the sound was awesome.  I do hope that this venue succeeds, I'd definitely make the three hour public transit trek there again to see a great live band.

Cindy Weichmann
It began to look a little like The Rockpile in here as we spotted a couple of our regular concert attending friends and even another random guy sporting a Rockpile t-shirt.  The opening band, Nail (featuring Cindy and Rainer Weichmann, once members of Helix), had a thick and heavy, rather industrial sort of sound and I'll have to check into their music.  As we caught up with our Rockpile friends and met some new friends at the same time, Nail were wrapping up with their final song, a radio friendly track titled "Fuck Off and Die".  It was actually about women getting out of a bad relationship, I believe, and was a great song with Cindy Weichmann's strong powerful vocals leading the charge.  At one point she left the stage into the crowd (few people milling about) and stopped to sing in front of us, pushing me in the chest a couple of times as she sang the chorus.

Heavens Fire was up next and having seen them a couple of times before, I was looking forward to their show.  Actually they're not using the Heavens Fire name at this time due to some internal legal band disputes to my understanding.    Darren James Smith (Harem Scarem/Warmachine/Red
Jesse Jack-Heavens Fire-photo by Shawn Irwin
Dragon Cartel) was the former lead singer but he has moved on to front Jake E. Lee's Red Dragon Cartel and so Jesse Jack has stepped in to fill the void, and does so excellently I might add.  I noticed that the guitarist was different, JT Harris being absent, but this new guitarist did a fantastic job and had a great tone.  Perhaps Harris' absence has something to do with the use of the Heavens Fire name, at least that was the rumor going around.  In any case Heavens Fire ripped through a spirited set comprised mostly of songs from the Judgement Day CD.  The original version of the CD featured Darren James Smith, but the band were passing out the re-recorded version at the show featuring Jesse Jack and titled Judgement Day A.D. (which I assume stands for After Darren?).

Drew Masters, editor of M.E.A.T. Magazine (a staple in my days of youth), bounded on to the stage bringing with him the lady of hour (or should I say "Lady of the Darkest Night"?).  After Drew's introduction and welcome to the stage Lee Aaron and her band, Sean Kelly (Guitar), Dave Reimer (bass), John Cody (drums and Aaron's husband) and Matt Weidinger (keyboards) ripped into "Hands On" from her 1989 release Bodyrock.  I was able to capture this opening track on video.


"Powerline" followed as everyone in the audience sang along with Canada's "Metal Queen".  During "Rock Candy" Aaron was sure to give some special attention to the gentleman in the front row at the
foot of the steps as she came right up and sang directly to him.  Lee Aaron stole the hearts of men all over the world in 1984 and she's still doing it today!  "Handcuffed to a Fence in Mississippi", "Sweet Talk" and "Baby Go Round" all followed bringing us to a real treat for Lee Aaron fans.  Lee Aaron with guitarist Sean Kelly have been working on new music and she let us know that they are hoping to have the new album out by December 2015 at the latest.  They debuted "If You Don't Love Me",
Lee Aaron - photo by Shawn Irwin
one of the new tracks and it went over extremely well from what I saw of the audience, both Decibel Geeks gave it "two thumbs up".  "Some Girls Do" had the crowd rocking and saw Lee Aaron invite a young lady up on stage to join her for a few seconds of chorus singing.  Although I do appreciate many styles of music it's the hard rocking that's true to my heart and so, subsequently, the following selection of "I'd Love To" from Aaron's Jazz era was not a favorite for me.  "Odds of Love" took us to the emotional ballad "Barely Holding On" which Aaron struggled to promote and get played on Canadian radio upon it's release back in 1986 she told us.  I marveled at just how strong and ridiculously powerful her voice was, "Barely Holding On" a complete showcase for these talents.  I readied the video camera once again and caught "Metal Queen", a song that as I understand, Lee Aaron dropped from the setlist for a number of years.  But for me, that song alone was well worth the admission price.


Our friend from the Rockpile found himself being invited on stage for a few moments as Lee plucked his hat from his head to wear herself and quipped that she'd found Walter White in Whitby (prompted by our friends fashionable headgear).  "Watcha Do To My Body" wrapped up the set, but the crowd at Barney's in Whitby would have none of that!  Aaron and band were soon back to deliver a two punch encore set.  Aaron invited two gentlemen concert goers from the crowd up on stage to be her "Go-Go dancers" for "Sex With Love".  The guys looked to be having a lot of fun and "selfie" photos were being snapped all over as they danced, flanking the "Metal Queen" on either side.  "That was awesome!" one exclaimed as he exited the stage afterwards and I recalled that exact feeling when I was called up on stage to sing in the past with other bands.  "Bad Boyfriend" was the final song for the evening and Aaron announced that she would be over at her merchandise table to sign autographs and pose for photos after the set, so please come and say hi she invited.

Shawn Irwin's Photo Gallery (71 Photos)

Another excellent night of homegrown Canadian rock featuring some of the best performers Canada has to offer!

Cheers,
The Meister

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PHOTO CREDIT: SHAWN IRWIN 2014

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ride for Dime - Ep166

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This week marks an anniversary that is anything but something to celebrate. That said, we pay tribute to a true metal icon and, more importantly, an amazing human being.

Aaron and Chris return this week to pay tribute to the memory of Dimebag Darrell. The iconic guitarist was murdered onstage 10 years ago this week. Since then, a series of bike rides for charity have sprung up all over the United States. We had rock photographer and friend of Darrell's, Chad Lee, on the show as he was gearing up for the Nashville chapter event in September. Chris attended the ride and documented the process while later being joined by Aaron for the knockout metal concert. 

In this Dimebag tribute special, you'll hear first-hand how the day unfolded for Nashville's Ride for Dime event; from the bar-b-que before the ride and party that includes chats with Chad Lee, Steve Bumpus of Bumpus Harley Davidson (hosts for the event), Nancy Sayle (Rock for MS), and guitarist Nick Bowcott (Grim Reaper). The episode moves into the evening and features backstage talks with Sirius/XM deejay Jose Mangin as well as a lengthy talk with former Black Label Society guitarist Nick Catanese. It's a fly-on-the-wall perspective of a day that saw thousands of people coming together to help out charities and remember a metal legend and amazing person. We hope you dig it.

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More Chad Lee!


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More Jose Mangin!


More Nick Catanese!


Rock Against MS


Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue


Geeks of the Week:
Stuart Balk (Midnight Movie Cowboys podcast), Matt Ashcraft, Mike Blount, Jason Thomas Broadrick, Howard Tate, Gino Ames, Kal Hinz, Aaron Baker, Brian Bates, Paul Stamm, David Alpizar, Brad Kalmanson, Joe Lascon, Justin Ace Sixx, Sit and Spin with Joe, Shane Hebert, Brent Walter, Warren Money, Jason Ramaley, Derik Novak, The Riff of the Day, Chad Pollock, Brian Knapp, Alicia Martin, Lynn Bohne, Cassius Morris, Jack Broad, Adam Cox, Raw Magazine, Hot Metal Magazine, Loudmouth Column, Faces Rocks Magazine, Steve Newton, Music Mags and Wax, Daniel Chaput, Hoops, Pep Pep


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