Ghost and Graveyard ticket give aways

Ghost and Graveyard isn’t some crappy Dungeons & Dragons knock off, they’re the names of two awesome Swedish bands that are coming to DC next week! Graveyard is playing DC9 on Monday the 16th of January and Ghost is playing the Rock & Roll Hotel on Thursday the 19th of January. To celebrate this mini Swedish invasion DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a pair of tickets to each concert! All you have to do to win is leave a comment at the bottom of this post naming which band you’d like to see most. You can choose both bands if you’d like, however you can only win a pair of tickets to one of them. At 5pm EST this Saturday, the 14th of January I’ll pick two winners, one for each concert, at random using Random.org. The winners will each get a free pair of tickets to the concert they chose. Be sure you use a valid email address you check regularly when you enter so I can contact you when you win, however the address does not need to be in the post itself. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any annoying email lists to spam you. Please note that the Graveyard show is ages 18+ only so if you are under 18 please don’t enter for that show because winning tickets here still won’t get you in the door. If you didn’t win or simply don’t want to wait, you can buy tickets to see Graveyard for $10 each here or to see Ghost for $15 each here. Both bands have a sort of throwback sound to their music, and they both kick ass, so I couldn’t hold a contest for just one of them! Keep reading for more info on both of these great concerts and remember you can click any of the band names and it will link to a site that streams their music so you can check them out.

Graveyard has caused quite a buzz in the underground rock world with their second album, Hisingen Blues. The album came out in the spring of 2011 but this is their first US tour supporting it. It’s full of catchy riffs and hooks and it should be pretty awesome getting to see some of these songs played live. They are also playing with Radio Moscow, a psychedelic blues band from Iowa and Daniel Davies who is the son of Dave Davies of the Kinks. This is his solo band but he has also been a member of Year Long Desaster and Karma To Burn. If you’re still not convinced to see this show, check out this video to hear the title track off of Graveyard’s second album:

Ghost is a mysterious band that took the underground metal world by storm when they released their first album, Opus Eponymous, in early 2011. They have a clean vocal delivery, something between Blue Oyster Cult and King Diamond, and they play a fairly simple, yet very catchy, style of music. The band members have never made public their true identities and always wear masks on stage with their singer, Papa Emeritus, in a full on evil pope costume. They are said to be working on a new album so maybe we’ll be lucky enough to hear some new material at this show. Ghost has only ever played two concerts in the US before this tour, one of which was their performance last year at Maryland Deathfest, and they had to drop off a tour with Enslaved and Alcest that came to Jaxx in September due to visa issues. Now they’re headlining this US tour and they’ve brought two good bands with them. Blood Ceremony is Toronto based doom band with a female vocalist who also plays flute in the band. The opening act is Ancient VVisdom (the W is really two letter V’s) from Austin, Texas and they play a very dark style of rock. Listen to the Ghost song Ritual if you haven’t heard them before (or even if you have!):

Torche ticket give away

Torche at DC9

Here’s a quick contest for you readers who check in regularly here on DCHeavyMetal.com. Florida’s Torche is bringing their thunder pop to DC9 this Thursday. I’m giving away a pair of tickets to one of you on Wednesday 9 November 2011 at 6pm EST. All you’ve got to do to enter is tell me which song you’d like to hear them close their set with in the comments below and I’ll pick a winner at random from all the valid entries using Random.org. Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Also, this show is ages 18+ only, so if you are under 18 you are not eligible. Even if you win they won’t let you in the door, so please don’t enter if you are a minor. If you don’t know any of their song titles you can check out the set list I photographed when they played at Jaxx back in March on the right and pick one from there.

Torche plays a sort of stoner metal and rock hyrbid that is full of great riffs, and they are really fun to watch live. This show should be a lot of fun! They’re playing with the London based band Part Chimp, as well as the regional acts Regents and Chumps. Hell, even if you don’t win you should come out to this show, it’s going to be a blast! You can get tickets from Ticket Alternative right now for $12 here, the price goes up to $14 the day of the show.

Review of Liturgy gig at DC9

The Brooklyn based black metal band Liturgy played a gig on Tuesday the 5th of July 2011 at DC9 and even though I was running a fever I still headed up there to catch them play. I’m glad I did as it was an entertaining show, even if I was feeling as sick as a Cerberus. I was running a bit late getting there, and apparently a third “band” had been added to the lineup but I didn’t see them play. I heard it was a few guys with laptops and synthesizers or something and that sounded awful so I didn’t even want to go upstairs to find out more. It’s bad enough DJ nights are taking away more and more booking spots at venues, apparently now they’re creeping into the opener slots as well. Anyways, the next band was called Dope Body, from Baltimore. To put it bluntly, they were awful. They weren’t particularly heavy, certainly more rock band than metal. Their songs were highly repetitive which wouldn’t be awful if they were playing something more interesting than chopsticks. The vocalist had a lot of stage presence and was moving all around the stage but when the band announced they still had a few more songs left to play I decided to go downstairs and sit for a while. I was really feeling sick by that point and this band just wasn’t doing it for me at all.

After a short while I moved upstairs again to see the band I came here for, Liturgy. Liturgy is a fairly controversial band in the metal world. The thing that seems to make them the most controversial is that they don’t adhere to what metal heads expect of a black metal band, and they do that on purpose. They don’t wear corpse paint or spikes or any of the other stereotypical black metal imagery. It should be noted that not all “true” black metal bands like that stuff any more either, many saying it’s been over done. I can’t remember the last time I saw any of the old “inner circle” black metal bands wear corpse paint on stage, other than Immortal that is. Yet Liturgy is often labeled as hipsters though I didn’t see any skinny jeans or ironic tshirts. Maybe I’m not up to date on what constitutes being a hipster these days. (Please don’t bother explaining in the comments, I don’t care). Regardless of appearance, Liturgy is black metal with a lot of atmosphere and progression. They’re comparable to bands like Wolves In The Throne Room, Krallice and Weakling in that way, though they have their own distinct sound. They’ve got a bit of indie rock aesthetic in there too, though not in that Alcest shoegazey way. Their older material was definitely more rooted in black metal but now they’re starting to drift away into something different, something that is their own. Honestly, their music simply isn’t as dark as most black metal bands, but that’s not to say it isn’t bleak. The music often goes from dark and brooding and elevates itself to something lighter, and sometimes back again. The band’s main man, Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, has angered many in his interviews with his views on metal and it’s community. But live, the guy seemed extremely soft spoken. When he was playing his music and screaming into the microphone during the songs it seemed like he was letting it all out. When he did speak between songs he spoke so softly, sort of mumbling, that I could hear people in the audience asking what he had just said. Not what I was expecting at all from the guy who’s words have pissed off so many in the underground metal world. They played several songs from their new album (see the concert’s setlist here) and they fit in well with the older material that was in there as well. The vocals were highly reverbed and their songs went through slow progressions, sometimes almost seeming to stall if it wasn’t for the band’s drummer keeping everything moving so well. He kept the show moving long and he really stood out to me live. My fever broke midway through their set and I started sweating all over the place but I didn’t mind, the songs kept me captivated for their entire set. By the time they finished I was sweating profusely but I was feeling better, surely it was Liturgy’s take on black metal that helped me transcend my illness, if even just temporarily (I was back to being sick the next day).

The audience wasn’t your typical black metal crowd, but that’s totally fine by me. It’s nice to see people outside the typical metal ‘clique’ going to see metal bands. I did recognize a few faces and a few of you came up to say hi and that you like reading my site, that’s always awesome and I often don’t know what to say and start rambling incoherently. There was a good sized crowd for a Tuesday, especially considering it was the night after a major holiday and at a venue that rarely gets metal bands. I really enjoyed watching Liturgy play that night and I’m glad I got to see them start off their tour that night. If you’re someone who thinks black metal must be kvlt and fit into some rigid standard to be “true” then you’re not going to like these guys. If you think black metal only means the ultimate in blasphemous and unholy music, again, you’re not going to enjoy Liturgy. If, however, you’re interested in seeing a band experiment with what black metal is and can be, I highly recommend checking them out. It was an interesting ride and I can’t wait to see them again, hopefully I’ll be feeling better for their next area appearance.

I gave away a pair of tickets to this concert and now I’m giving away a pair of tickets to see Torche at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Saturday the 16th of July, be sure to enter here. Now check out the videos below that I shot at this concert. The lighting is really dark but the audio should be OK if you want to hear how they sounded.

Liturgy ticket give away

DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a free pair of tickets to see Liturgy play at DC9 on Tuesday 5 July 2011! I can’t think of a better way to work off a 4th of July hangover than by being enveloped by some pure transcendental black metal for a while. DC9 is a small venue so this show will be up close and personal. All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment below telling me what American black metal band you’d like to see playing a venue in DC next! It can be Liturgy or another band, but they’ve got to at least be based in the US. Be sure to use a valid email address you check regularly when you enter so that I can email you when you win. Don’t worry, I won’t spam you or add you to any lists, I hate that shit too. One winner will be chosen at random from all the valid entries at 6pm EST on Wednesday 29 June 2011.

Liturgy is a somewhat controversial black metal band from Brooklyn that has more of a non-metal head fan base than your typical black metal act. They don’t wear spikes or corpse paint on stage, or even black band shirts with illegible fonts. Basically they get a lot of hate for things that have nothing to do with their music at all. I find this kind of funny since the metal scene is supposed to be a place where the outcasts can hang together, though it seems if you break from the tradition people want to make you an outcast and labeled a hipster or something. Anyways, their sound is reminiscent of bands like Wolves In The Throne Room or Weakling, though they’re definitely doing their own thing. And that’s what I like about these guys, regardless of positive or negative press and who it comes from, they’re doing their own thing. Making metal music they way they think it should be made regardless of anyone else’s opinions on the matter. This show will be a good chance to check out a black metal band doing something different, and that’s a great reason to come see them. If you don’t want to wait for the contest to end, or it is already over when ya read this, you can get tickets here from Ticket Alternative for $8 (they’ll be $10 at the door). If you’ve never been to DC9 it’s right around the corner from the 9:30 Club and is easy to access from the U Street metro stop as well. The address is 1940 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 (click it to see it on a map) and is open to anyone ages 18 and up. Be sure to spread the word about this contest to your friends and check out this video of Liturgy playing their song Pagan Dawn live.

Ticketing Changes

So the 9:30 Club is changing it’s ticket company from Tickets.com to Ticket Fly. All shows from 1 Jan 2010 onward at the 9:30 Club will be using the new service for ticket purchases. What does this mean for you? I tried comparing the differences of the two from a consumer standpoint, and I didn’t find a whole lot to be excited about. I was hoping with a new ticket vendor maybe service fees would go down, but that doesn’t seem to be the case really. The first show at the 9:30 Club with tickets that will be sold by Ticket Fly is Gogol Bordello on Sat 2 Jan 2010. The cost listed on the 9:30 Club’s website is $30. Of course if you’ve ever bought tickets to a concert before the day of the show, you know the cost will actually be more due to various fees tacked on. To compare, I found a concert also for $30 at the 9:30 Club, but since it’s before Jan 2010, it’s still on Tickets.com. The show is Devendra Banhart (whoever that is) on Weds 25 Nov 2009. Ordering the $30 tickets through Tickets.com gave me a $6 “service charge” per ticket. They didn’t charge any other fees, but they do charge you $4 for mailing you the tickets, or for will call (yes, they charge you $4 to NOT mail your tickets to you). They do have 1 other shipping method, for $22.50 you can get FedEx shipping. It doesn’t say if this is 2 day, overnight or what, but for $22.50 it had better be delivered the next day in Megan Fox’s ass crack. Anyways, assuming you opted for the $4 shipping (or will call) that brings your $30 ticket to $40, a 33.3% increase (also known as: ridiculous). Did I mention that beers in the venue cost $7 before tip?!?! You can also pre-pay for their shitty parking service (another $10) for any show. This is retarded for 2 reasons: 1, you can usually find free parking on the street around there if ya look long enough. Secondly, they stop watching your car “15 minutes after the last song is played” but even that I think is bullshit as the last time I went there (to see Motörhead in September) I left right after the show ended and nobody was there watching the cars. And as a side note, Tickets.com also does this thing where they time how long it takes you to enter various info. If you don’t fill out your info on any particular page in time (and there’s several), they make you start the whole process over, which I find extremely annoying.

Now if you use the 9:30 Club’s new ticket company, Ticket Fly, to buy a ticket at the same list price of $30, you don’t really save any money at all, but there are a few differences. They charge you a $6 “service fee” per ticket again, and then on top of that a $4 per ticket “order processing” fee. It boggles my mind how these companies charge you for service and order processing when it’s a god damn website doing all the work for them. Do they need to pay it’s ridiculous overtime wages from it always working 24/7? Hell no, they just want to charge you more for them doing less, the fuckers. At least they don’t charge you for shipping (or will call, wtf Tickets.com?). They don’t have any other shipping options though, so no more Megan Fox’s ass delivery for 9:30 Club tickets. Awesomely they don’t have a timer on the site for how soon you need to buy your tickets in either. So your $30 ticket still costs $40 from them, they’ve got less shipping options but at least they don’t time your transaction either. Supposedly they’ve got some new “social media tools” for customers, which is just part of that annoying corporate marketing trend where every company wants us to promote them by posting their spam all over our Facebook and Twitter pages. According to the press release about the switch (you can read it here) this was a main factor in the switch. Fucking wow. I really wish it was cheaper for the customers though. With all the various ticket options popping up these days you’d think they could manage that. I guess you can always still buy tickets at the door ahead of time with cash. Of course, I found out when buying my Motörhead tickets that the 9:30 Club will charge you $1 per ticket for that too. No, I have no reason (other than greed) why they would charge you anything extra for buying presale tickets in cash, MOST clubs make presales a few dollars less. At least they’re not doing what DC9 is with their ticketing service…

DC9 has changed their ticketing service from Etix to the generically named Ticket Alternative (also used by the Black Cat and Rock & Roll Hotel). This change is actually going to cost the customer, aka you, more money. Currently, for a $10 ticket to a DC9 concert, Etix will charge you a $1.92 convenience fee. They don’t charge you for will call, but if you want the tickets mailed it’ll cost you $4.50 for a stamp and envelope. There are no other mailing options available. You can also buy a ticket at the door with cash and DC9 won’t charge you any fee, just the flat $10, though sometimes the day of show price is a few bucks higher than the presale, and sometimes they sell out. Still, it only brings the cost of the $10 ticket to $11.92, or 19.2%, if you buy your ticket ahead of time and choose the free will call option. Some shows on DC9’s calendar still use Etix, but all further shows to be added will be using Ticket Alternative. For a $10 ticket to a DC9 show from them, they’ll charge you a $2.73 fee. They do have many more options for ticket delivery, will call, print at home and standard mail all are free. They also have various forms of FedEx delivery, ranging in price from $13.50 for 2 day delivery to $35 for Megan Fox’s ass crack covered in honey delivery. Still, a 27.3% increase over list price is pretty steep for a small club like DC9. This means if you got the free will call option from either service, for a $10 ticket, Etix would charge you $11.92 and Ticket Alternative will charge you $12.73. Since Etix is being phased out, you don’t have a choice in the matter but to pay extra. Now, I know it’s less than a dollar increase per ticket, but still, when you go to a lot of concerts (like I do) it adds up, especially if you also find yourself buying tickets for other people a lot. Ironically, Ticket Alternative’s slogan is, “the cheaper way to buy tickets!”. Yeah right! I’m sure these changes are helping the clubs, probably costing them less to sell tickets than the previous companies were, I just wish there was someone trying to lower the fees tacked onto concert tickets for us, the customers.