They say the sun shines on a dead dog’s ass from time to time. Can’t think of a more accurate cliché that fits my life. After a long ofrun of seeing some awesome shows it seemed that the well had run dry. Well, a tleast my finances had. For the time being shows are going to be scarce andplayed by ear.
Luck shined down on this dead dog ass the other night allowingme to see Suicidal Tendencies/DRI/Waking the Dead at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte. When myself and some of my posse saw the show listed we wereslightly intrigued, but the tickets seemed out of reach at the time, plus I had some reservations about seeing the show.
See, years ago I saw ST opening for Queensryche, which I found to be an odd mix taking in consideration that thiswas for the Empire tour, when QR started moving away from the heavier stuff into the lighter sound. Of course, being a big fan of both bands I went. Nomatter how crappy Queensryche’s music has gotten over the years (holding out hopethat the La Torre fronted version breathes new life into the band) they’vealways put on an excellent show.
My problem? Mike Muir. Like I said, I loved ST’salbums immensely, but what bugged my so much was that, as an opening act theywere already limited on playing time, and sonically the band were tight ashell. Mike Muir, however, talked so much between songs I felt it cut too muchinto their abilities to play more music.
My fear going into the show the othernight was that it was going to be more of the same. Not to mention that I hadheard from others that DRI, another band I have loved for some time, tended to…well,suck live. As for Waking the Dead, I had no idea who they were and with shortnotice of getting to go to the show didn’t get my usual time to investigate.
Also due to the last minute opportunity to see the concert I wasn’t able to round up my usual crew, plus lack of funds prohibited me from taking my woman. Well, truth be told I would’ve sprung for her to go as well no matter how broke it would’ve left me, but she told me she wasn’t really that big of a fan.
Of course, I suspected that this was a lie to prevent me from spending the money. I don’t mind going to shows alone, though I do prefer having someone with me. I usually run into folks I know at shows, but I took my Kindle with me just in case so I would have something to occupy my time between sets. I also ate at the house sacrificing the usual trip to McDonalds (though I did hit them afterwards.)
On my way to the show I played Suicidal’s new album 13. I gotta say that it’s a pretty great album. Mike sounds as fresh as ever and musically it stands with anything the band has done in the past.
If you get the chance check it out! Once I got to the club I sat in the car for a little bit reading, waiting for the doors to open.I freely admit I’m not a big social guy when it comes to making new friends. Ido fine online, but in the real world…not so much.
Once I noticed the doors open, I tucked my Kindle into my pocket and headed inside. Almost immediately Iran into someone I knew, Ferndog the new bassist for Final Curse. We chatted some then parted ways.
Lucky bastard got to meet Mike Muir. Then I run into Kevin, who used to play bass in my band Hot Soup back in college. We joked that it had been so long since seeing each other and now we’d seen each other in two weeks at two metal shows. We chatted for a bit, and then he went to check out the merch.
While I’m standing next to the sound board area who do I see walking by?John, the guy I run into at almost every show I’ve been to the last year or two. I actually met him through Mike from Final Curse. We ended up hanging out the whole night, which was pretty cool seeing as he’s moving to Florida soon.
The first band of the night was Waking the Dead. Both Kevin and John told me that it was a band put together by former ST rhythm guitarist Mike Clark a few years back called No Mercy.
The name change came courtesy of Vince McMahon of WWE fame taking umbrage with the name choice as he was running a PPV of the same name back then. The name Waking the Dead was taken from an ST song of the same title. Damn they were so good! Much like Suicidal, they play what is commonly referred to as Crossover, or Crossover Thrash. Basically it’s the melding together of punk sensibilities and song structures with thrash metal intensity and solo’s.
Whereas Suicidal plays a more funk oriented version of it, WtD goes straight for the throat. Amos’ was already starting to fill up when they hit the stage, and the crowd was really into their set. I was impressed enough with them that I had all intentions of purchasing their CD,but was informed they didn’t have one out yet. It’s to be released in October and I can assure you it will find its way into my collection with the quickness.
DRI was next up to hit the stage. Much like Suicidal Tendencies, DRI was a band I’ve been a fan of since high school and had always wanted to see live. Their music is so ensconced in the Crossover scene they even have a classic album called Crossover.
I have missed them a couple times prior mostly due to money, but partially because I had heard a few people tell me that often times they’re very drunk live and the performance suffers greatly from their inebriation.
This left me a bit weary to see them as there’s nothing that pisses me off more than to spend money for a lackluster show. John and I were outside when their set began, so we made our way back in. I have to say that apparently I was fed bad information or else the band was on fire this night.
The energy was high, the performance was spot on, and they truly knew how to work the crowd. And clearly the crowd was super into them. They played all the songs I wanted to hear with the exception of “Nursing Home Blues,” but there’s always next time. So far the night was shaping up to be a surprisingly awesome night of music…but Muir had yet to take the stage.
John had never seen Suicidal Tendencies before, so I gave him a heads up. He wanted to get up towards the front, and I thought that would be a good idea, allowing me to get some good pictures. By this point Amos’ was fairly well packed. It had been a while since I had seen a crowd this size at this venue.
There were only about three rows of people (maybe four) separating us from the stage. In fact, one of the people standing right beside of us was founding member of Nile singer/guitarist Karl Sanders.
So as to not draw attention to him we spoke very casually. The pit had been fairly active all night, but I felt confident that we wouldn’t get sucked into it. Besides, John said he’d keep an eye out for me what with my knee and all. As soon as the opening strains of “You Can’t Bring Me Down” started the crowd started moving, and frighteningly enough we got caught up in the melee. Not entirely sucked in, but close enough that we were getting pushed and shoved around pretty good.
In my younger years I would be all about this, but I’m no spring chicken any more. I still stuck to my guns for a bit, but about the time I started snapping a couple pictures to the best of my abilities, I was doused with beer. Now folks,I don’t have an issue being around people drinking.
As a recovered alcoholic that enjoys live music, it’s just something you have to adjust to. I don’t like having it poured on my head and in my face. So to prevent any further issue(also my attempts at taking pictures was failing…horribly) I leaned towards John and said I was heading to the side where it would hopefully be safer. For the most part it was, and I was still close enough to snap a few good images, except of Mike. I had totally forgotten how much he moves around on stage, and tends to avoid the front area. Any pictures I did get of him were purely by luck!
Now for the actual music: despite the fact that I am a huge Rocky George fan and he’s now playing with Fishbone, and despite my misgivings from my prior time of seeing ST, I’m here to tell you, they were tight as amofo!!!
And if I’m not mistaken it wasn’t until about the third song that Mike spoke to the crowd at any great length, but most of his rants were kept short.The setlist was the highlight of the night for me. They played classic stuff,more recent songs, as well as a few from their new album. All era’s blended so well. T
he band he has assembled right now is insanely talented. The drummer in particular really caught my attention. He’s this hulk of a guy playing heavy,complex licks making it look like it’s nothing, and clearly enjoying every second of it.
The whole band seemed to love what they were doing. Muir hasn’t lost a beat either. I’m so glad it worked out for me to make it to this show.Of course the end was almost sullied by yet another alcoholic beverage being dumped on my head, but this time it was an accidental drop from the balcony.That person apologized profusely for it.
Once the show was over John and I hung out some more,chatting more with Karl from Nile as he and his girlfriend were looking for her lost camera. I’m not typically one to ask to have my picture taken with someone, but I felt compelled to ask him, which he was gracious to do. He was a super nice guy.
It’s a shame I had to miss their show in Charlotte a few weeks ago. After Karl left I happened to see that the drummer and bassist of Suicidal were out on the floor taking pic’s with the fans. I couldn’t resist so I went over and met them, thanking them for the awesome show and again they were very nice and gracious. John then asked if I wanted to accompany him to the Milestone, but I was pretty tired by this point and decided to head on back to the house. I hope to see him again before he moves away.
All in all this was a fantastic show. All three bands were a perfect fit together, and all three gave all they had on that stage. If this tour comes your way, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s a fun, spirited show that’s sure to entertain fans of this genre. Just please try not to drop or throw your beverage.
You just never know what kind of negative impact such an act can have. I was also glad to run into old friends and meeting some cool musicians. Until next time my peep’s remember: You wouldn’t know what crazy was if Charles Manson was eating Fruit Loops on your front porch.
Review by Chris Martin
In his show broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 24 May David Randall played a further selection of artists and albums included in the new Features series, “2020 Vision”.
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 25 May (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 FM Synchronized (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE ROCKET DOLLS The Art Of Disconnect (indie)
14:00-16:00 BEN KUNDER Searching For The Stranger (indie)
Power Plays w/c 11 May (Mon-Fri)
THE MERCY KILLS Alone (Golden Robot Records)
DEAD REYNOLDS By Your Side (indie)
THE JAILBIRDS Watery Grave (Golden Robot Records)
ALI MASS & MICKY MOODY These Times (Last Man Music)
MASSIVE WAGONS Bangin In Your Stereo (Earache)
UDO We Are One (AFM Records)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!