Yngwie Malmsteen ticket give away

Yngwie at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Yngwie Malmsteen is coming to the brand new Fillmore Silver Spring on Saturday 15 October 2011 and DCHeavyMetal.com has tickets to give away. All you have to do to enter to win is post in the comments below why you’re a fan of Yngwie and/or why you’d like to go to this show. On Friday the 14th of October 2011 at 6pm EST I’ll pick a winner at random (using Random.org) from all the valid entries below to win the pair of tickets to this show! Be sure to enter using an email address you check regularly so I can contact you when you win. And I won’t add you to any email lists or anything either, I hate spam as much as you do.

Yngwie Malmsteen is a neo-classical heavy metal guitar player known for his incredible skill and technique. The guy can solo and shred to an extreme level and is one of the best guitar players in the world. The guitar virtuoso will be playing a Saturday night show at the brand new Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland this weekend. Fans of technical guitar playing will not want to miss this. This tour is to support he most recent album, Relentless, which was released last year. Opening for Yngwie will be Washington DC’s own The Jones, a bluesy rock band. If you simply can’t wait to get tickets you can pick them up from Live Nation here for $25. The doors open at 7pm and should be a great night of shred in Silver Spring.

After you’ve entered the contest check out this promotional video Yngwie put out for this tour, it should give you an idea of what to expect.

Queensrÿche ticket give away

Queensryche at the 9:30 Club

Here’s another ticket give away for readers of DCHeavyMetal.com! This time you can win a pair of tickets to see the old school power prog metal band Queensrÿche play the 9:30 Club on Tuesday 9 August 2011 with opening act The Voodoos. To enter just tell me what song you’d like to hear Queensryche play from their albums in the 80s. If you don’t know any of their songs from back then, you can see their discography here (just click an album title to see it’s track listing). I’ll randomly select a winner to get the tickets from all eligible entries at 5pm EST on Friday August 5th 2011. Be sure to use a valid email address you check regularly when you enter (the email address does not have to be in the post itself) so that I can contact you if you win. If the winner does not respond within 24 hours I’ll pick another winner at 5pm the next day. And don’t worry, I won’t put your email on any lists or spam you, I hate that crap too. Don’t be a jerk and enter multiple times or I’ll disqualify all your entries. If you just can’t wait to get your tickets or the contest is already over when you read this, they’re available from Ticket Fly for $35 each here.

Queensrÿche is a progressive metal band from Washington state and this is their Washington DC area stop on their 30th Anniversary Tour. The band still consists of four of the original five members, so you can bet they’ll be playing some of their old material for this anniversary tour. Unlike many bands from the 80s, they weren’t forgotten once the grunge wave hit in the early 90s because these guys were actually writing music with some substance to it. The fact they’re playing large venues like the 9:30 Club shows that the band still has a strong following, even after all this time. They just finished a string of gigs in Europe opening for Judas Priest on their farewell tour and now they’re coming to the states to headline. Enter the contest in the comments below then check out this recent backstage video interview with Queensrÿche singer Geoff Tate.

Holy Grail ticket give away

Holy Grail

On Thursday the 5th of May 2011 the Red Palace is hosting their second metal concert ever and to celebrate DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a pair of tickets! The band playing, Holy Grail, is a newer metal band that Holy Grail at the Red Palaceplays in the traditional style of bands from the 70s and 80s. They put out their first full length album, titled Crisis In Utopia, last October on Prostetic Records. The album has been a hit with fans of power metal and thrash and now they’re coming to Washington DC to support it with a headlining concert at the Red Palace. Along with Holy Grail on the tour is Toronto’s Cauldron, also a traditional metal band and a great support act for this gig. There’s local support from the excellent band To The Teeth and this is their first show inside the district so be sure to get there early to see them. To win the pair of tickets to this awesome concert just tell me in the comments below which of the three bands playing you are most excited to see, Holy Grail, Cauldron or To The Teeth. On Monday 2 May 2011 at 6pm EST the contest will close and I’ll pick a winner from the valid entries below at random to win the tickets. Make sure you use a valid email when you enter (does not have to be in the comment itself) so that I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry I won’t put your email address on any annoying spam lists or anything like that, I hate that crap too.

The Red Palace is located in the heart of the burgeoning Atlas Theater district of North East Washington DC on H Street. It was created when the Palace Of Wonders and next door neighbor The Red And The Black knocked down a few walls and merged last year. The upstairs stage area has been expanded and is much improved. You can read my review of the first metal show at the venue here. The address for the Red Palace is 1212 H St NE, Washington DC 20002 (click the address to see it on a map). Tickets to the concert are $8 advance or $10 the day of the show (for those of you who don’t win) and can be purchased online here. It’s ages 18+ with the doors opening at 8pm and the first band at 8:30. There’s only a few days to enter this contest, so don’t wait and help spread the word to any friends you might have that could enter, they could win and give you the extra ticket, right? Now, check out this awesome Holy Grail video for their song My Last Attack as you leave a comment to enter to contest.

Metal Marathon – The First 3 Days

Well it’s Tuesday the 8th as I write this, and I’ve been to four metal shows in the last three days. I saw two metal fests in Richmond on Saturday, the Virginia Extreme Metal Festival at the Canal Club and A Rockin Massacre at Alley Katz, both are just blocks away and I walked back and forth between them all day. Sunday I headed up to Bourbon Street to see Cradle Of Filth and Monday night I was at the Metal Mondays/La Noche De Metal weekly metal spotlight at So Addictive Lounge in Herndon, Virginia. With seven more concerts in the next six days (starting tonight!), I just don’t have the time now to do full reviews of these shows, but here’s some highlights of my metal adventures the past three days.

As I mentioned in my last post, my car is not sounding good and Monday morning I brought it to the mechanic for what is going to be at least a few days worth of work (ugh!). Because it has been sounding bad, I got myself a ride down to Richmond on Saturday with the very cool Clinton Eickelberg, the bass player of local thrash act Death Penalty. His band was playing the Rockin Massacre at Alley Katz that afternoon so we left early to get there in time for the bands to load in. Everyone seemed to get there a bit late due to traffic but I think everything started pretty much to schedule at Alley Katz at least. The first band of the day I wanted to see was Loculus. They’re a pretty sick death metal band from Northern Virginia and they were playing second at the Canal Club. Their drummer is the new drummer for the legendary Pentagram, and their bass player will be touring with Wretched this spring, but that’s not what makes them cool. Their brutal death metal assault on the ears is! They played a tight but short set and when they finished I found myself headed up the street to catch Death Penalty who were just starting. Their set was pretty much the same as when they played at the State Theatre with King Giant in January (my review of that is here), though this time when they played a cover of Iron Maiden‘s The Trooper they had Nina Osegueda of A Sound Of Thunder doing vocals with them. After they played I headed back down to the Canal Club and talked with a few people and watched a few random bands. The schedule for the Virginia Extreme Metal Fest was not the same order as they had posted, so it was a bit crazy catching the bands I wanted to see. I ended up missing Ethereal Genocide, who I wanted to see, but I got to check out Hatred again at least. Then I saw a band called Blood Tribe which was a sort of metalcore band I didn’t have much interest in. I headed back up to Alley Katz after that and watched the last few bands there, A Sound Of Thunder, Chopper Trike Rebels and Division. A Sound Of Thunder vocalist Nina had recently been in a car wreck and she did a pretty good job of hiding how sore she was, though it you’ve seen them before you could probably tell she was a bit less crazy on stage than usual. Their set wasn’t bad though I noticed they had to cut off a few songs from their setlist to keep the show on schedule. That kinda sucked cause I wanted to see them play My Name Is Doom but that song was axed. I ended up bumming a ride back to NoVA from their guitarist, Josh Schwartz, at the end of the night so a big thanks goes out to him on trusting that I wasn’t a serial killer. Yes, I went down to Richmond not knowing how I’d get back, haha. The Chopper Trike Rebels were up next and while their guitarist had some pretty cool custom guitars on display through their set, the sound mix was pretty shitty and you couldn’t hear them that well. They had a LOT of fog on stage, and their singer ran around and had good stage presence but unfortunately the mix was too poor for me to fairly judge their sound at all. The final band of the night was Division who actually had a pretty good mix. They really killed it and while a lot of people had gone home by the time they played, it was worth sticking around to catch them. They’re a great local band and Catherine Lewis of the Washington Post named their latest album one of the top five local metal releases of 2010 (link here). In all it was a great day for two metal fests, I just wish the promoters/venues had worked together to make everything more cohesive. After Josh gave me a ride back up to the area I was really tired, that was a long day and I still had 8 more days of metal shows ahead!

Sunday I again needed help getting a ride out of town to a show, this time to Bourbon Street in Baltimore to catch Cradle Of Filth. One of my followers on Twitter, Sarah aka @murrainofswains, decided that I probably wasn’t a crazy murderer and gave me a lift up to the show with her. Really awesome of her and she had some cool stories about seeing music festivals in other countries and working with Iraqis. Neither of us had been to this venue before, but it was pretty nice. More deep than wide, they had a great lighting system set up and the stage was really high too. When I got there the venue couldn’t find my photo pass until luckily someone I’d contacted weeks ago came into the will call booth and got me set up. He told me they were only allowing the photographers to shoot from the photo pit for the first two songs, but after the band’s opening song, Heaven Torn Asunder, they kicked us all out! Not sure what happened there, I think perhaps the bouncers didn’t know the band’s material at all and since Cradle has long songs, they assumed when the first ended it was actually two songs. The lighting wasn’t great for shooting though and I felt kind of rushed since I got up front just as the band was heading on stage. After watching a couple songs from the side of the stage I figured I’d shoot some video for you guys and headed back into the crowd a bit. Their set was really great, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Cradle Of Filth show these days. I am not really a fan of their more recent releases and I kind of expected them to play a lot of their newer material. I was pleasantly wrong though as they played a nice mix of tunes from all eras of the band, even a couple from the first album. I saw them last about ten years ago at the 9:30 Club and that show was really over the top, contortionists on stage and some girl doing acrobatics from these rings hanging over the stage. The whole thing was sort of a goth circus. This show they turned down the ridiculous a lot. No goofy side show shit on stage but they did have their normal uh, costumes on and corpse paint and such. Dani Filth has a short hair cut, which while not really metal, it’s better than fucking neon blue dreads and crap like that. His voice isn’t holding up and he couldn’t scream like he used to though. He isn’t able to sustain for as long that high pitched scream he’s known for, but that’s bound to happen with age. He did still scream a lot though and the show was really entertaining, especially because of their great set list.

Monday the 7th of March was day three of my nine day Metal Marathon and I found myself getting a ride out to So Addictive Lounge in Herndon, Virginia for the weekly local metal showcase there called La Noche De Metal. I got there a bit late and missed the first band, Wolventhrone, apparently a black metal act. Next up was the band I came out to see, Wolfnuke, who are a pretty kick ass blackened thrash act that just doesn’t slow down on the energy level. Check these guys out if you haven’t already, great stuff and even better live. They probably should have played last though as they seemed to have the largest audience of the night and the longest set too. After they played another black metal act was up, Xeukatre. They’re a very raw black metal band obviously drawing from the Darkthrone school of keeping it “trve”. Their show was VERY dark, only a strobing set of colored lights on stage lit the room, which they also filled with smoke. I took a few shots but nothing too great due to those conditions. I think they were wearing corpse paint, and their drummer may have been a woman, but it was so dark you couldn’t really tell any of that. They’re so kvlt that their lighting is so dark that you can’t see their theatrics, haha! The last band of the night was Palkoski. They were the only band not from Maryland this evening and they’re a pretty good grind act. They were formerly a band called The Seventh Gate but they have since changed their format to a grindcore concept band where the lead singer plays the persona of his alter ego, a fictitious serial killer named Frank Palkoski and their live show is supposed to be a sonic representation of that. While some grind can get pretty damn stale by the end of a set these guys always keep it entertaining and mix things up a bit throughout the set. They aren’t the kind of band that’s going to stage dive and have lots of breakdowns, they’re going to basically shred your face off in raging bursts of aggression. They also set up a table with free stuff for anyone to take, and I got what appears to be a previously used flask with a bumper sticker on it with a bunch of nekkid dudes bound in duct tape on it, haha! It was another great Metal Monday at So Addictive and I’m glad I got to see such great metal for just $5!

It’s been a crazy first three days and I can’t wait to see how the rest of this adventure goes. My car is totally MIA right now but I’m doing my damnedest to keep this metal marathon alive! If anyone wants to give me a ride to Baltimore on Thursday to see Atheist at Sonar that would be awesome, please don’t rob/kill me and I promise the same in return (and I don’t mind chipping in for gas or whatever). If you’d like to help me buy beer/gas/fix my car feel free to kick a couple bucks my way via Paypal here. I’ve made a set of pictures on Flickr of all the shots I’m taking during my Metal Marathon and you can see those here, more will be added as I go to more shows. I’ve posted one video by each band I’ve seen so far on my Metal Marathon below but you can see the rest on my YouTube page here, I particularly recommend checking out the Cradle Of Filth videos as I think they came out rather well. So it’s three days down, six more to go!

Recap of Mandatory Metal 3 at the State Theatre

Mandatory Metal 3 was the third local metal night at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia held on 16 December 2010. This was the first Mandatory Metal to take place on a Thursday night, instead of a Friday, and that combined with the fact that it snowed a couple inches that day unfortunately kept the turn out rather low. For those who did make it out though, it was a really entertaining show. As usual there were four local bands who played and this time they were Scream/Ruin, A Sound Of Thunder, Iris Divine and Division. While the previous Mandatory Metal show had been more death and black metal based, this one was more melodic and most of the bands used clean vocals (aka non-growling/screaming) at least some of the time. Now if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that’s not usually my preference, but of course there are exceptions and this show was a great way to stay out of the cold.

The first band of the night was Scream/Ruin, a hardcore band with some thrashy elements based in Loudoun, Virginia. They had a lot of heavy breakdowns and some nice shredding in parts. The vocals were mostly somewhere between shouting and screaming. One thing that sort of set them apart from your typical hardcore metal band is they had atmospheric keyboards in parts of some songs. I’m generally not a huge fan of most hardcore, but these guys were entertaining. The drummer seemed to come from the Lars Ulrich school of drumming, not really too fast but high drama most of the time. I really enjoyed the parts of their songs that had the faster drum beats most, but that might just be my bias for extreme metal talking. Their stage lighting was very dark, with a couple of flood lights on stage that blinked on and off throughout the set. I was right up front most of their set but I’m not sure how well people farther back could see the stage. The video I shot of them is pretty dark too, but the audio is still decent. They were a good opening act and started the show off with a lot of energy.

The next band to play was A Sound Of Thunder. Their lead singer is a very charismatic woman named Nina Osegueda. While they may have a female lead singer, they don’t really sound anything like other local bands that also do, like say Todesbonden, This Means You or Rain Fell Within. This band is more in the vein of traditional and power metal stylistically. While Nina sings very cleanly, it’s not in that operatic style but more of a female rock or metal style. The band itself was more talented than the bulk of the metal bands that have a woman up front just as more of a gimmick. The guitarist had a cool solo with the spotlight on him for a bit at one point, and you could tell the band was really in tune with each other on stage. While they did rock out a lot they had some slower and more melodic parts too, showing some range in their songs. The stage was still fairly dark for them, and since my camera sucks in dark lighting you don’t really get as good of an idea of how they looked on stage, but the audio is listenable enough. They were certainly fun, and while I wish I’d gotten to record their song Walls, probably my favorite song of their set, I did get their closing song Wings Of Steel at least.

The next band to play was Iris Divine from Alexandria, Virginia. They’re a more progressive style band, though that genre label has always seemed a bit vague to me. They reminded me a lot of Maryland’s Periphery, though I wouldn’t call them a djent band. They do have some complex song structures that are also catchy, not a lot of bands seem to be able to do both. The songs have lots of rhythm changes, and the vocals alternate from a rough yelling to singing. Their keyboard player, Farhad Hossain, would step away from the keys to play guitar in some parts, as well as share the singing with their other guitarist, Navid Rashid. Probably the biggest issue I had with their set was that sometimes they had problems harmonizing their voices on the parts where they were both singing together. Either one by himself sounded fine though. Really that’s a minor issue as this band is one that you focus more on the musicianship anyways. The clean vocals as well as the programming and keyboards did seem to fill their sound out with some atmosphere, and there were some more heavy and energetic parts too. You could definitely tell they had put a lot of thought into all these songs. In all I was impressed by them, as this was the band that I knew the least about going in to this show.

Next up was the fourth and final band of the night, Division from Woodbridge, Virginia. I met some of the band members at the first Mandatory Metal show back in August and they had given me a copy of their latest CD, Control Issues (buy it here). It’s definitely grown on me and I was glad I knew some of their material by the time I got to see them live. They opened with their song Hunt, which is probably my favorite song of theirs. Their setlist wasn’t only songs from the new album, but also songs I didn’t recognize from older albums. Both were fun to watch live though. They really put on a show, members of the band were constantly shifting position on stage and their showmanship certainly made it easy to watch them as they walked around on the stage like they owned it. The thrashy and heavy riffs were fun to listen to as well. The two guitarists seemed to be playing dueling solos at points too. I guess you could call them power metal, but vocalist Nick Kelly doesn’t overdo it in that annoying way that reminds me of 80s hair bands like plenty of power metal bands do. He has a good voice and knows when to sustain and when not to, the latter being noticeably rare in the world of heavy metal. They were my favorite band of the night, and they were a great headlining act. The highlight of the entire night was definitely their closing song, a cover of Metallica‘s Disposable Heroes. They really had the audience participation going, and also had Alan Margazano (the guy who organizes the Mandatory Metal shows) of Death Penalty singing back up vocals on that. Those of you who missed the show or left early are lucky that I shot video of it and have posted it below. They really put on a great show, my only gripe was that they didn’t play their song Short Attention Span Society, which is another tune I really like of theirs. But that’s ok, gives me something to look forward to the next time I see them.

In all it was another great night of local metal at the State Theatre. I enjoyed all four bands, none of which I had seen live before. I just wish more people had shown up, the bands really deserved it. I suppose nobody can control the weather, but people really should have come out, it wasn’t THAT bad out. Alan told me there were a lot of people who had bought presale tickets and didn’t even show up! If you missed out though, you can check out three of the bands that played, Scream/Ruin, A Sound Of Thunder and Division, who all have free mp3s you can download on my Download’s page here. You can also see A Sound Of Thunder, Iris Divine and Division play with a few other bands in Richmond at Alley Katz on March 5th, 2011. There will also be another metal show coming to the State Theatre, though not a Mandatory Metal (the next one will be in February). In late January King Giant and Death Penalty are playing a gig, the State Theatre’s first non-Mandatory Metal concert. Details are on the calendar of upcoming concerts. AND don’t forget I’m giving away a pair of tickets to see Gwar on 29 December 2010 at the 9:30 Club, you can enter here for free. You can check out the rest of my pics from Mandatory Metal 3 on my Flickr account here, and as usual I’ve posted all the videos I shot at the show below. Enjoy!

Recap of the first Metal Night at the State Theatre

Wow what a night for local metal! Friday the 20th of August 2010 was the first metal night at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia and it was a pretty fun time. Four local bands played, Invader, Croatoan, King Giant and Timelord, and the event was organized by an employee of the State Theatre, Alan Margazano. Since this was the first of hopefully many local metal nights at the State Theatre, I didn’t really know what to expect. Word from management was that if they could sell 200 tickets the night would be considered a financial success and more metal nights would be scheduled in the future. This meant that it was important that people actually came out to this event and showed that there is a real interest in metal in the area. There was no way that I was going to miss this call for local metal heads to assemble, even if I wasn’t running this blog I’d have gone.

I got there at about 8:15 and the first band, Invader, had already started playing. I didn’t know if there would be like 20 people there when I walked in or what, but there was already at least 75 people inside the venue at that point. Invader had also recently played at the Blood And Fire Festival in July (you can read my review of that here) but they had played before I arrived then. I’m glad I got to see them this time, they put on a fun set of thrashy death metal including a cover a Slayer‘s crowd pleasing classic Raining Blood where the vocalist and drummer switched roles. Even if you don’t include the cover, their set consisted of a lot of mosh-friendly riffs and a ton of raw energy coming from the stage. You could tell they were having a lot of fun and were happy to be playing. Their set was long enough you could get a good idea of what they were about, and they were a great band to start off the event on a high note.

The next band up was Croatoan. I didn’t know much about these guys. They weren’t bad, but they seemed to have not really found their sound yet. Different songs seemed to be in different genres. One more more death oriented, one more traditional thrash, another doom. Don’t get me wrong, they were fun to watch, and they were certainly having fun entertaining the audience. Their vocalist, Emil Poss, had a good banter with the crowd going between songs, and they didn’t lose my interest through their entire set either. I just think a more defined direction would help these guys out. There’s certainly room for them to grow and I look forward to seeing them again in the future to see how they’ve progressed. They did get the pit going a few times, and I have to admit it was kind of surreal seeing a circle pit at the State Theatre.

After Croatoan played there was a long break before the next band, King Giant, started. This made it a good time to get a beer and/or order food from the bar. There wasn’t a whole lot of food to chose from on the menu, pretty standard burgers and fries (there was a veggie burger too) with the only thing a little different being the hummus. I’ve got a pic of the menu here if you want to check it out. The beer menu was certainly more filled out, though there were a couple draft beers that had run out. They did have a decent selection of bottled beer too, including a couple non-alcoholic options, as well as a fully stocked liquor bar too. You can check out the picture I shot of the beer list here. After each band played they’d hide the stage with a movie screen that dropped down and displayed various images on the screen. Often logos for the band playing next, or a funny images from the internet. They would also play samples of music by metal bands selling merch in the back of the room. These were local bands who weren’t playing this evening, but were hoping to play future metal nights. The upstairs balcony seating was closed, so people were confined to the downstairs main floor, which had tables as well as a standing room only pit area directly in front of the stage. Alan would get up on stage before each band played and introduce them as the movie screen raised up behind him revealing the next act.

When King Giant hit the stage the venue was really alive. They had the largest draw of the evening and probably should have been playing last. I won’t get into a long description of the band and their sound here, I reviewed them playing at the 9:30 Club three weeks ago and you can read that here if you want that. In short their sound is a very polished and distinctly southern heavy metal. They have a clear vision of their sound and they bring it to the stage very well, this night being no exception. They were a bit different in sound than the rest of the bands playing, but I think that’s great. Part of the draw of Metal Night, at least for me, is seeing a mixture of bands from different sub-genres exposing each other’s fans to new music they wouldn’t have heard before. I’m sure there were some people who didn’t like the sound as much, there always is, but I talked to several people who were impressed with King Giant and they certainly won some new fans this night. Their set wasn’t as long as it had been at the 9:30 Club, but it still had fan favorites like Solace and Mississippi River in there. In all, it was another good live performance by one of the area’s best unsigned metal bands.

Next up was the final band of the night, Timelord. I’ve seen them on the calendar opening for bands at Jaxx before, but never gotten the chance to see them. Alan introduced them as an Iron Maiden influenced band and he wasn’t kidding. Vocalist Matt Aub certainly has a likeness to Bruce Dickenson in his vocal tone, though he is also playing guitar while singing. These guys definitely knew how to play their instruments and their set was full of killer guitar solos and even a drum solo at one point. I think calling them Maiden influenced thrashy power metal would probably best describe them. Unfortunately, power metal isn’t my favorite metal sub genre and while their set wasn’t bad by any means, it was probably better suited to fans of the genre more than myself. The songs didn’t have a lot of variation, which isn’t always a bad thing, but when paired with my lack of interest in power metal I found myself getting distracted and talking to people. Fans of old school heavy metal, NWOBHM, and power metal in general would probably enjoy these guys a lot more than I did. At one point a couple of the guys from Invader showed up on stage with them and started headbanging. After their final song, Cult Of The Dead, people were chanting for them to play more but the movie screen started lowering and people knew the concert was over.

The first metal night ended a few minutes shy of midnight. Afterwards Alan announced over the PA system that the night had been a success and the next “Monthly” Metal Night at the State Theatre would be held in October. The event was hell of a lot of fun, and I spent a good amount of time talking to people. Throughout the night I saw a lot of familiar faces from the area’s metal scene and got the chance to meet some new people and bands too. I picked up some new music and also got to check out some bands play that I’d never seen before. On my way out the door Alan told me over 230 tickets had been sold, plenty more than the 200 needed to ensure more metal nights at the State Theatre in the future. They’ve got a big stage with great lights and a good sound system too, it’s very cool that they’re giving real metal a chance to use it. It’s really amazing that this all came together from it’s beginnings as a Facebook group page (join it here for updates on future metal nights). They’re already starting the search for the next event’s band line up and you can make suggestions for that here. I’d like to see more genres represented at the next one, maybe some black and doom and a bit less thrash. Also, you can check out videos I shot of each of the four bands who played at the end of this post and view the photos I’ve posted here. The event’s turn out was good and while Alan deserves a lot of credit for putting this all together as well as the bands who played, all the people who got off their asses and came out and bought tickets for a night of local metal deserve a big thanks for making it not only possible but successful enough to ensure another metal night. Lets keep this ball rolling and get even more people to come out to the next one on October!

Review of Iron Maiden gig at Jiffy Lube Live

This is a review of their 2010 concert at Jiffy Lube Live, for the 2012 concert review go here.

Whenever Iron Maiden comes to town you can bet most of the metal heads in the area are going to find their way to that concert. Tuesday the 20th of July 2010 was no exception when Iron Maiden played the horribly named Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia. The concert was fun as always, though there were several problems with it too. Also of note, it was the final show of the US leg of the Final Frontier Tour. I totally missed the opening act Dream Theater. This was partly because of the weather, partly because of some minor navigational issues getting to the venue, and partly because (or so I was told) they played a short set.

When we got to Jiffy Lube Live (formerly known as Nissan Pavilion) it was pouring rain, though by the time we actually got the car parked it had mostly let up. The rain never got that bad again, but it was still a damp and humid night, and the lawn area had a lot of mud on it that only seemed to get more slick as the night wore on. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a large venue concert like this one. Part of that is because there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of bands that play arenas and amphitheaters that I actually want to see, and part of it is because the experience kind of sucks. Sure seeing the band is fun, but paying $11 for a can of beer that would cost me $2 at a 7-11 is ridiculous. Leaving the venue is always horrible too, and Jiffy Lube Live is known for being one of the worst. Things like finding your friends can be tough in such large places, and of course these outdoor shows leave you vulnerable to the elements. On top of it all, the ticket prices are astronomical if you want to be anywhere halfway close to the stage. Now I understand the whole supply and demand part of it, but I’m sorry I’m just not willing to pay a few hundred bucks to see a band one night, I don’t care who it is. This concert expectedly had all the same problems, at no fault to Iron Maiden, though I suppose they could make tickets a bit cheaper if they wanted, but they were pretty typical in price. They did have a rather elaborate setup on the stage, and I like how they have a backdrop that changes for just about every song, and that stuff costs money to do. At one point they brought out some guy in a full body costume of the newest space alien version of the band’s mascot, Eddie. Kinda goofy and a bit Gwar-ish I suppose, but entertaining none the less. The band’s singer, Bruce Dickenson, is always entertaining on stage, jumping around and climbing on the elaborate stage sets as well as getting everyone to sing along with him on those classic chorus lines Iron Maiden is known for. At one point between songs he asked the audience who was there for their first ever Iron Maiden show. I don’t know if people weren’t paying attention and going along with the herd, or if they were all just n00bz or whatever, but most of the audience put up their hands and yelled. Bruce didn’t seem to believe it and made a comment about how this can’t be EVERYONE’s first Maiden gig. He also dedicated the song Blood Brothers to the late Ronnie James Dio which also pleased the crowd. The three guitarist attack of Iron Maiden is pretty fun to witness too, the guys really know how to make solos fun to watch AND listen to at the same time. If you’re not up close it can sometimes be hard to tell which of the 3 guitarists is playing the solo, especially when they start switching off, but that’s part of the fun of watching an Iron Maiden show. The stage was set up to look like the inside of a space ship along the lines of something you see in the Aliens movies. It had a door that Bruce would occasionally duck into to let the focus of the audience stay on the rest of the band for certain parts of songs, such as the aforementioned guitar solos. He’d later appear on top of the set materials above the band or run back out the door just before his next line. The showmanship was great and all, and the concert was really awesome except for one thing, the setlist…

Iron Maiden Setlist Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA, USA 2010, The Final Frontier Tour

The setlist was not what I had been hoping for, and I’d imagine many of the people in attendance would agree. If you’re a big fan of Iron Maiden’s material from the year 2000 on, you were in luck. If you wanted to hear lots of their old classics and maybe a few newer songs sprinkled in for good measure? Well, this wasn’t your night. Do you know how many people went to this concert hoping to get a chance to hear The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg instead of The Trooper? Zero. You’ll notice in the setlist posted above which was actually played though. This was the biggest problem with this show. Yeah, it was Iron Maiden and they are damn fun to see live, but where were all the songs? No Wasted Years? No Powerslave? They didn’t even play Run To The Hills and I thought for sure they’d play that one. They played ten songs that were released in the years 2000 to 2010, including the new single El Dorado which was expected, but come on! They played just one song released between the years 1983 and 1999, Fear Of The Dark. That’s a huge part of their discography that was completely ignored. They only played one song from 1980 to 1982 until they closed the show with four straight songs from that era, three of which were part of the planned encore. Those songs were great to watch live, don’t get me wrong, but aside from Wrathchild being played early, where the hell were these classic tunes during the first hour or so of the concert? When I last saw Iron Maiden, in 2003 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, they basically played their best hits CD live. That was an awesome experience, everyone knew all the songs and everyone sang them like they were in the shower or driving in their car alone. People were playing air guitar to songs they’d learned to play when they were growing up and banged their heads to beats they have loved for many years. That nostalgia, that’s what everyone (well, at least me!) wanted at this concert too, but unless you’d been following their more recent material, you didn’t really get that experience. As I said above, it’s always fun seeing Iron Maiden, but the set list really left me feeling glad I hadn’t decided to fork over a few hundred dollars for a spot up close. I did get to shoot a couple videos while there, and you can see them below. They’re a little shakey as I was doing my best to hide the fact that I was shooting video, though midway through The Number Of The Beast I grew some balls and tried to keep the camera steady. I hope you enjoy them! I know a lot of people who will read this were there, feel free to tell me about your experience at the concert in the comments below.