Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jagermeister Music Tour - Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax Review


It's been a while since I've been to a concert. I used to go to concerts regularly. Once upon a time there were a lot of great shows here in Kalamazoo. Now you have to drive an hour north of where I live to Grand Rapids or three hours to Detroit to see a decent metal concert. Last night me and a good friend drove the one hour drive to Grand Rapids to see three of the "big four" thrash metal bands. This isn't going to be your typical concert review. I have quite a few thoughts and some funny details to share though, so here goes...

We arrive at the show and immediately have to go back to the car because my friend Steve had a laser pointer. If we had read the sign on the way in we would have known that, but really who reads those signs? Not us. No big deal. I was thirsty anyway and had a bottle of water in the car. We head back in to get frisked. We are good to go. We were both told to go get over 21 years of age bands at the next table. Not that I was drinking, but whatever. To one side they were selling beer. To the other side they were selling liquor and lots of Jagermeister. Go figure. To the front they were selling t-shirts...lots of t-shirts. They were selling more t-shirts and other merchandise than I've ever seen at a concert. It was literally a huge wall of stuff. I brought enough cash to buy quite a few shirts, but decided to show some restraint and only bought two. Shirts were 35 bucks a piece. Remember the good old days when shirts were only 25 bucks? I could have easily bought 6 or 7 shirts, but didn't. BTW holding on to shirts for an entire show sucks, but you do what you gotta do. Next up I had to piss which took forever because I had to stand in a long ass line because the bathrooms were rather small...just as I got done I could hear Anthrax starting to play CAUGHT IN A MOSH...

Anthrax played a very short set consisting of just seven songs. This was my second time seeing Anthrax. The last time I saw them they opened for Judas Priest for Priest's ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION album. I've only ever seen Anthrax as an opening band which kinda sucks because I'm a a pretty big fan of Anthrax. Though their set was short they played some classics. It's too bad more people weren't there early because I'm sure the pit would have been more intense for INDIANS...WAAAAAAR DAAAAAAANCE!!! Anthrax kicked ass and got a really good response from the crowd. Scott Ian is intense on stage. He looks like he's in his own world when he's playing. He was just totally into it as were the rest of the band. Joey really is a great front man with a ton of stage presence. Man, Joey is looking old! I guess that's because he is. Though he may have looked old he was still running around like he was in his 20's. At the end of their set Scott Ian thanked us all and told us there would be a new Anthrax album next year.

Next up was Megadeth, but I had to piss again. Yes, I have the bladder of a little girl. I also had to get a water. While getting a water a guy said "you are from Kalamazoo aren't you". I was like yeah. He said "I recognize your face". I said "Is that a good thing or a bad thing"? he laughed and then pointed at my Overkill shirt and said he recognized me from the in store meet and greet they did here at that store. He couldn't think of the store, so I immediately told him it was called Sounds Unlimited and that autograph signing they did in Kalamazoo was back in 1989. They played later that night in Grand Rapids with Wolfsbane, and Dark Angel opening. I told the guy I was surprised he remembered me because I am now 21 years older and had a lot of hair then. We both laughed and I took off. I get this all of the time at shows. I must have a really recognizable face or something. Now here is where I let you all know that we weren't supposed to be on the floor seeing the show. Those tickets are more expensive than the tickets I purchased. Nobody was checking wristbands when we first got there to see Anthrax. When I came back from the bathroom there were people checking wristbands. We decided to go into the stands where we were supposed to be. The plan was to wait until the lights went off before Megadeth hit the stage and slip through the guard rails in the stands. We did. Rules be damned! I wasn't about to pay 10 bucks more a ticket to be on the floor.

Megadeth hits the stage and the crowd freaks out. This was my third time seeing Megadeth. I saw them on the Rust In Peace tour back in 1991 opening for Judas Priest. I also saw them headlining on the Countdown To Extinction tour with Korn opening. Of course I didn't watch Korn though. Megadeth were top notch. They ripped through every song on RUST IN PEACE from beginning to end. If ever there was an album for Megadeth to play straight through this is the one. I am so glad I got to see them play this one. I think my only complaint is that they weren't loud enough. They were using the house system with no Marhall stacks like Slayer. I'm not saying I wanted to be deafened, but louder would have been better. The crowd was drowning out Dave's vocals. I don't think I've ever heard a crowd sing every song the way we did or as loud as we did. Shit, we sang that album straight through from beginning to end. When they had finished playing RIP they broke into TRUST. Really? Trust? The posers seemed to like it though. LOL I'm probably being a bit too harsh here, but that was a radio friendly song. It really felt out of place after playing all of RIP, but whatever. It was mostly the young kids and chicks who went ape shit over it. They really need to take that song out of the set and play IN MY DARKEST HOUR or WAKE UP DEAD instead. The also played HEAD CRUSHER which I also thought was weak as hell. The finished with PEACE SELLS. Megadeth owned it for sure. They got the best crowd response of the night. In my opinion they should have played last. They were better than SLAYER. Judging by crowd response Megadeth stole the show.

Once again another piss break and once again I snuck back onto the floor. This time while the lights were still on. I must admit that knowing what to expect as far as a setlist goes kinda ruins it. I knew what Slayer's setlist was going to be. I like SEASONS IN THE ABYSS. It's a great album, but it's no REIGN IN BLOOD or SOUTH OF HEAVEN. SEASONS IN THE ABYSS is really not a good album to here straight through live. It just isn't, and it showed just by how the crowd was reacting. The pit was even sluggish and slowing down during certain songs. That's unheard of at a Slayer show. I really thought that even the band knew that SEASONS doesn't really work all that well live. It just lacks the energy that RIB and SOH have. Just as an example as soon as the crowd heard the opening for SOUTH OF HEAVEN it was like a wake up call. Everyone erupted and it was crazy again like it was when they started the show with WORLD PAINTED BLOOD. Hands down the best response they got all night was for RAINING BLOOD. Slayer was good. I just think playing all of SEASONS was a bad idea.

Various thoughts and happenings at the show.

Some chubby metal chick needed to get by me at the show, so I moved and smiled at here. She then smiled at me and rubbed my bald head as she walked by.

This is something I'll never forget. A guy needed to get through all of us. He was leaving the pit. To get people to move he covered his mouth with both hands with a sick look on his face like he was going to barf. The crowd parted like Moses parted the red sea. Then when he was through the crowd I saw him smiling and laughing about it. Hey, it was effective. I'll use this in the future if I need to.

Jim Florentine from THAT METAL SHOW was there as the MC I guess. He told some lame jokes and also asked us all if there was another band added to the big four to make it the big five who would we want added. He threw out Testament, Exodus, and Overkill as bands. I shit you not Overkill got the loudest reponse. I was kinda shocked by this, but thrilled of course.

Saw a chick I hadn't seen since probably 1998. Seeing her made me feel old.

Got quite a few Overkill comments because I was wearing an Overkill shirt, of course. One skanky metal chick even decided to touch my back saying fuck you over and over again because my shirt has fuck you written on the back a bunch of times. Yeah, that's right I get the fat chicks rubbing my head and the skanky ones touching my back flirting with me. Of course the hot chicks that were there paid me no mind. lol

I took a ton of pics. Too bad my phone fucked up on me for some reason and none of my Megadeth and Anthrax pics were saved. I do have some Slayer pics though. They aren't very good shots though. Oh well.

It was a great show. There were only a handful of idiots that I encountered. Most people were really nice though. One guy even passed a joint my way. I don't high though, so I declined. Remember my last blog post about metalheads being the worst music fans? I've changed my mind. There are a lot of good people in the scene. I think it may have helped that a lot were my age and not snotty little kids.

Here's a link with a lot of great pics from an earlier show on this tour. I'd love to post my own, but my phone decide to be a whore! http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2010/10/slayer_megadeth_4.html

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Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
I'm 38. I'm addicted to Xbox 360 gaming and Dallas Stars hockey. I make a decent living at a boring job where I run two autoclaves and do various other tasks. My escape from this boring as hell life is video games, hockey, and music. I generally listen to Metal music, but I also love 80's tunes as well as 70's tunes. I have an unusual love for the band Overkill. They do it for me for some reason. Blitz is GOD!

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