Children of Bodom's first headlining date in the US ever. Absolutely phenomenal show, one of the best of the year.
After the tour with Lamb of God and Fear Factory, the band opted to do a one-off show in NY. This was on Long Island, literally 10 minutes from my house. Chris came by and then Mat and we hung out at my place for a few before heading over. The timing was perfect as the opening band was unloading as we arrived. We walked in, got some beers, and the band took the stage shortly after.
I had seen the band just one month prior and 7 months earlier as well. In fact, the setlist had nothing I hadn't seen in either of those shows. But it didn't matter one bit. This band is probably one of my favorite new bands from the last 5 years or so. As they came out, the place went wild and I muscled up to the front. After attempting to take pics from the pit, I headed back and gave Mat the camera and returned.
The crowd was rather young on an average, but everyone knew the words. I was extremely surprised at the feedback. As an opening band you know that the people up front are a mixed bag, some for you, some for the band after. Seeing the venue packed with COB fans was a thrill. Bodom....After Midnight YEAH! It was fantastic. My ankle held up just fine and I banged my head the entire time. We all emerged soaking wet, even in mid-November. That telltale sign of a great show.
Highlights included the back-to-back Bodom songs, as well as a 3rd one later in the set. Once again, the setlist wasn't very different from prior shows, but with this band I don't care. Every song is awesome. Every record rocks. Chris said it best when he stated that, "they could play the same song for an hour and a half and I'd be happy."
Fantastic night. Here's the setlist, in order.
The last 3 pics (not the one of Mat and Chris) was taken from someone else and posted to a message board. Contact me if you'd like credit.
Another great show in NYC. My purpose was to see Children of Bodom, but all 3 bands ended up being awesome.
Left work a bit early and headed to Babylon to meet Mat and catch the express train. Our 40s were drained in the quick ride and we hit the bar across the street for some pints of Bass Ale. Yum. Chris (Crew) arrived soon after and then Katherine. After another round of drinks we hopped in a cab (courtesy of Crew, thanks!) and headed to Roseland, sufficiently drunk.
Once inside the opening band was just breaking down and so it was perfect timing. On a return trip from the bathrooms I stumbled upon John, my old singer from the Pręter Morte days! It was fantastic seeing him again as it's been a few years. We split up, Mat and Chris staying in the back while Katherine and I moved up. CoB hit the stage and pounded out 8 phenomenal songs. Having seen them back in April, the set was about the same, just a bit shorter. They put on a great show, a veritable ton of energy. As usual the only downside was the short time slot. The new guitarist is more than competent and everything else was just about perfect. Hoping for a headlining date sometime soon. Here's the setlist:
Children of Bodom
By the end of their set we were pretty close to the stage and there we stayed and waited for Fear Factory. This would be my 5th time seeing the band, first time since way back in '98. I had low expectations, even though they never failed to put on a good show. Being a fan of the first 2 records only, their set comprised of 50% material from that era. Quite a nice treat! I knew the 2 songs from Obsolete and nothing from afterwards, but the old stuff was great and the crowd intense. In fact, Katherine and I were squeezed pretty tightly during that set. The 3 songs from Demanufacture show that this is still their best record, at least most well-received. The song selection was great, but as usual I've one gripe, no Self Bias Resistor. That song is their best live song IMO and I recall some SICK pits in the mid-90s to this song. Definitely one of my favorite pit songs, but even without, their set was enjoyable. A lot more energy than I expected, good stuff. I suppose the bass player from Strapping Young Lad was with them. The setlist is as follows:
By now Katherine had managed to get us just 1 person behind the barrier. When some idiot tried to be a nice asshole to me (and received some choice words from myself), we pushed forward to the barrier and held our ground for the upcoming insanity. Lamb of God arrived on stage after a short wait and while I was far removed from the pit, I could feel its effects. Familiar mostly w/ the 3rd LP, less so with the other 2, I recognized almost all the songs. They played my one choice from the new record, Something to Die For, but as a whole they were great. It's still hard for me to get into a lot of the new American metal, but there's no doubting their riff capabilities. Even the songs I wasn't as knowledgeable about were intense as the crowd was going pretty nuts. The show was broadcast on satellite radio, sure would love to get a copy of it! I thought the band sounded good and I marvelled at how the guys looked (never having really noticed before). All have tattered long shorts, black t-shirts, long hair and beards. I fit right in there!
In any event, the set was intense and we got pretty battered up front. I recall looking over and noticing Kath and I headbanging in unison to one of the songs. In fact, I noticed a LOT of ppl doing the same thing, a welcome sign of metal's true return. How many years was I looked at as the outsider for doing what comes naturally to most metalheads? It was great, even with a few boots to the head, a fall to the floor and 10 ppl deciding to get a handful of my hair as they fell to the ground. I was impressed to say the least, even though I expected them to be as good as they were. The setlist goes a little something like this:
Lamb of God
All-in-all it was a great night. Rarely do 3 very different types of metal come together so well in one show. The crowd is always a source of rating the quality of a show and they did not disappoint. Things built up with each band, and the final product was a very diverse, but incredibly heavy night of metal. I was sweaty and battered, tired but pumped...precisely how you should feel upon leaving Roseland.
Another quick cab ride (thanks again Crew!) left us almost on the doorsteps of Twins, our favorite hangout, for the remainder of Game 2 of the ALCS. The Yankees put away Boston w/ Mo slicing down Ortiz and Mueller, and the night somehow got even better.
An awesome night with an awesome friend in the pit. Far too frequently am I up there all alone. Great night.
After quite a lot of time reminiscing about the show, I realized my memory of the night is very scattered. I recall the party beforehand and some songs from the show. Unfortunately I still cannot pull up a memory of them playing Rainmaker.
So, to tell the tale until the show....Mat, Dave, Cari and myself were hanging out at my apt when we realized Mat forgot the tickets. A quick ride, a near accident, and a new destination (Babylon station) got us to the city about when we would've had we not had to make the extra trip. I was sipping my much-aged Soco & Cranberry concoction that was in the fridge for 6+ months and so the usual trend applies. I was totally wasted by the time we arrived in the city.
From here on out the detail of my tale will fade. Arriving at Twins, we met the usual crowd, a bunch of familiar faces. We blew the speakers again at the place so we were relegated to listening to old Judas Priest cassettes. Better than nothing. The booze was flowing, and flowing and flowing. In fact, round after round arrived almost constantly. Towards the cut-off time, I walked to the bar and slammed back the rest of my drink only to have a shot arrive in my hand almost instantaneously. Sitting down and getting what I thought would be my last drink, another shot arrived. 4 drinks in a handful of minutes....I wonder if I could've counted that handful at the time.
Anyways, we all had to leave soon enough and I do remember vividly a gang of drunk metalheads stumbling down the streets of New York City. It was a beautiful thing of course. We all arrived at the show and split up rather quickly. Here's where things really become unclear for me. I remember the first few songs and then recall retiring to one of the empty booths for a seat. I remained here the remainder of the night. Dan Spitz appeared on stage for a little while, at least I remember that. And a cool woman named Jade sat down a few minutes after I did, which gave me someone to talk to as I sat in a daze.
Afterwards we all waited in line to meet the band, and I got Nicko's autograph on my ticket (the back, the rest of the band covered the front). Here I got to speak w/ Jade for a while which quite pleasant.
Hitting Penn Station we missed a train by mere minutes and had a 70 minute wait unitl the next one. As we sat I know a Japanese guy got into a fight w/ some women...and as I write this, here is where my memory ends. I think we passed out on the train. Yeah, that sounds about right. In any event, here's where my tale ends and the setlist begins:
The summer tradition of seeing Dream Theater at the beach continues, this year in the opening slot though.
As usual, the tailgate is where it's at, and after readying ourselves Mat, Kelly and I arrived at the beach shortly after 2pm.
Reno stopped by next, and then Dave and the rest of the gang. Sipping my patented Soco & cranberry, I was pretty toasted the whole day. It was positively gorgeous out, sun shining brightly all while a wonderful breeze kept me very comfortable. No one got completely sunburnt either, a very good thing.
The festivities continued on until just before 7 when we all headed in and went our separate ways. We were sitting in the last row of the orchestra, but the seats were good and the huge video screens help those sitting anywhere to get a good view.
The setlist was good, as the band only had an hour. They went through a number of shorter tunes, doing much off the last 2 records, but one song in particular was the highlight of the evening. Learning to Live was done in it's entirety...well, 99% of it. They went into a Yes song instead of the very very end, which disappointed me...but the rest of the song was amazing. That's always been one of my favorite songs from Images & Words and as they played it I smiled and soaked up everything. The sun was setting and the weather was still perfect. I felt the breeze blowing through my hair, the band sounded incredible as always, and I smiled thinking of life and other profound topics.
The rest of the set was good...nothing outstanding or noteworthy, but a great show. Here is the setlist, in order:
Yes took the stage and I recognized about 4 songs, but none were really my cup of tea. So I appreciated it and enjoyed it, but wasn't converted or anything. In the midst of their set however, John Myung of DT walked in front of us and sat down! We recognized him immediately as he arrived with his lady friend. We got to shake his hand and I marvelled at how huge it was! I know, that sounds bad, but whatever.
Another excellent day and DT show. Days like today are what I live for.
What a day!!! A full review is coming soon, until then, here are the full setlists and some pics of the pre-concert party.
I drove Mat, Dave and Cari to NJ the night prior to the show where we had a hotel room. We partied in the room a bit, watched some DVDs and everyone decided to pass out.
The next morning we got going and headed to PNC, a venue I'd never been to before. After coordination efforts, we were all situated near each other and the whole gang partied for much of the day. Skipping over any particular details, we were all pretty trashed and Dave was passed out on the hill.
Unfortunately we couldn't round up the masses in time to see Dimmu Borgir. This would be one of my biggest disappointments of the concert year b/c I STILL have yet to see them and I know they played Spellbound (by the Devil), which is my favorite song of theirs. But as we finally got everyone together we arrived just as Slayer took the stage. The set ran through the expected tunes, a nice appearance of Die by the Sword and they were right on. I'd never seen the band outside, nor in the daytime, so it was weird, but they rule and always will, so it was great. Here's their setlist:
We moved down to the front, just behind the seats for the next set. The hill was insane and I had my cane still...we saw several people take nasty spills. Judas Priest appeared on stage and blew everyone away. Rob Halford back at the helm and it was incredible. I cannot say enough about how fantastic they sounded, the energy they created, how psyched the crowd was. This was my first time seeing the band and certainly won't be the last.
Better yet, they ran through 2 of my favorite songs, The Green Manalishi and one of the greatest, Victim of Changes. Just awesome, there's really little more I can say.
I moved towards the back as Sabbath came on and Mat, Katherine and myself just laid on the hill staring at the sky. The band had a video intro and covered the expected tunes. I was particularly thrilled to hear Into the Void and Snowblind. It was the end of the evening for me, having drank too much and I ran out of steam. But it was a good set, and they sounded pretty good. Just nothing too memorable.
After this we all gathered together again and headed back. Turns out the car was 15 thousand miles away and my ankle was positively killing me by the time we found the car. Some guy almost hit me on the way over, and ended up hitting a few other cars in the process. That was pretty insane.
We all met up at the cars, got our things together and headed home. A long day, but a memorable hangout and show.
Some pics courtesy of other ppl's galleries. Here are some links:
Of course, Iced Earth were the headliners, but my focus was on Children of Bodom and they positively killed.
Backtracking a few hours though, the day's tale began with an MRI on my sprained ankle. This yielded the news that I tore all the ligaments and fractured it, and I got this put in a cast the following day. So, hobbling to the store to get a 6-pack, I met Mat on the train a few minutes later. At Penn, we made our way up to meet Katherine and off to the bars we went.
After a quick stop at one place, we went to the famous Bellevue and met up with Ralph, Chris and Peggy for a few hours of drinking. Truth be told, I don't know how many rounds came past me, but it was too many. Normally there isn't such a thing, but since I was on crutches, I had too many. However as with most recent concerts, the meet-up can be the best part of the night. I had a blast with everyone, even when I fell off my stool...sorry Katherine.
Before heading over to the venue, the televisions at the bar changed and we were treated (?) to one of the most peculiar entries into the porn industry in recent memory. Having heard of this film I can say that my interest was piqued. Edward Penishands graced the televisions much to our amusement. It is precisely what you think it is and if you don't believe me you can see the visual evidence captured by myself here or purchase it on dvd for a mere $10 here. NOTE! This is explicit material! By clicking on either of the aforementioned links, you agree that you're of age in the area in which you dwell. Kinda had to say that.
Back to the real purpose of this review, we stumbled onwards to the venue...and I mean stumbled. I took a dive at one point and Katherine didn't even make it into the show. Chris, Ralph and myself all walked into BB King's and managed to avoid getting even our tickets checked. Ralph had sold his already and we simply strolled in and everyone got out of our way. It was pretty sweet.
Bodom had already hit the stage but we only missed a little bit. We got directly in front of the stage but way back at the bar. It was safe from danger, gave a good vantage point, and they sounded AWESOME. I checked out a setlist online which seems roughly accurate. I don't think they did all of these songs, but everything was a bit cloudy at that point, so I could be wrong.
They simply ruled. I've been a huge fan since Hatebreeder and everything was perfect. The solos were fantastic and the energy huge. Most songs were newer but I don't really dislike anything by the band so that's fine. Plus they played my favorite song Silent Night, Bodom Night. Chris and I were rocking the whole time, banging our heads, enjoying the excellent musicianship. I stood on the small riser in front of the bar, propped myself up w/ my crutches and banged my head away. They were awesome.
The break before Iced Earth seemed rather short and as they took the stage I took my leave of my friends and headed to the restrooms. I found a comfortable seat to the right of the stage and got a much needed rest. I could see the stage much better from the side and took a bunch of snapshots. Unfortunately most came out blurry. Below you'll find 2 of the better ones, and they're just decent at that. If you look at the second pic, notice that everything is blurry except for one fan's face in the crowd. I found that amusing.
I'm really not a big IE fan with the exception of the new record. Ripper was excellent and he's up there bellowing out these notes as if it's nothing. He really sounded amazing and was the highlight of their set. I enjoyed about 8 songs of the band before beginning my long journey home by myself. It was no easy task I might add, getting out of the place, down the subway stairs, buying tickets (OMG so difficult), going through Penn, then back to the car and home. I was positively drained just from the travelling alone. It was all worth it though for the 45 minutes of Children of Bodom IMO.
First off, I seriously screwed up my ankle just a few days prior to this show and to my utter dismay, I couldn't Waltz it Up for the ultimate ode to Mosh, The Toxic Waltz. Barring this positively terrible aspect of the evening, everything else was absolutely fantastic.
Up until this day I still had claimed my 2 missed-concert regrets included not seeing Sepultura with Max and Exodus. It's funny though, seeing as how I DID see Exodus back in '97! A brief personal history begins around '89 and Fabulous Disaster. While I always appreciated the first record, I grew up listening to Souza and prefer him as a vocalist and the catalog of songs he performed on. When I saw the band in '97 with Baloff, they did pretty much the entire Bonded by Blood record, as expected. But it was lacking to me as I was always a much bigger fan of Fabulous Disaster and Impact is Imminent.
So, moving forward, the untimely passing of Paul Baloff was a blow to the band, but as a fan I welcomed Steve Souza back into the ranks with open arms and sheer excitement. Tempo of the Damned will likely end atop my Best of 2004 lists and the show that accompanied it had only my swollen black and blue ankle to mar it.
The show started a little after 11 and Dave, Mat's and myself only waited 20 minutes for the band to hit the stage. Before this I grabbed a band logo shirt, shook hands with Rick Hunlot and Jack Gibson and saw Holt and Hunting walking around.
The set began as I expected it would and they played both the songs Mat & I predicted...here's a full setlist, generally in order:
Small pits broke out and it was amusing to see some of the bouncers singing along and even getting into the fray.
The show was awesome, the band ripped and Souza is still a better frontman than Baloff IMO. He seemed really appreciative of the crowd regardless of the relatively small size, a key ingredient to good band/crowd relations. I can't stand it when the band complains about the lack of people. Hey, we're here!!! We paid! If you decide to play less b/c there are fewer people, don't be surprised if next time you come around the number of paying attendees decreases more! King Diamond is another like this...5, 500 or 5,000, he gives his all and you get your money's worth. Souza did this as well, though while the crowd was generally small, we were into the show, again as true fans.
Excellent night, fantastic performance....as good as they've ever been!
First time in Philly, Mat, Dave, Kelly and myself took the day off and drove down. Got lost, hit some traffic and didn't get the hotel room we were supposed to get, but we found another one and met up with Katherine before heading out to some bars. Got a Philly cheesesteak, hit 2 bars and the Relapse store before driving across the city to the venue. Almost hit Katherine at one point as Testament was blasting for the duration of the drive.
Got there and found our seats to the far left of the place just moments before the band hit the stage. The venue was rather large, fit a considerable amount of people and soon they kicked into their set:
I was just about flipping out when during the 2nd set they started my favorite Pink Floyd song, Echoes! It was the first part, as the band did in Live at Pompeii, and footage from the film was playing in the background.
Dave and I were able to move up and sit right in front of Mat and Kelly, who managed to get tickets just a few rows ahead of us. The vantage point was perfect for watching Jordan and the huge screens above the stage gave us a good view of Petrucci.
After debating whether or not to see them again, I had a great time and they put on a phenomenal show.
Unfortunately you can't seem to get beer after dark in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, so as the designated driver I wasn't allowed to indulge as much as I'd like all night. We headed back to the hotel, chilled out and passed out.
This trip started with a nice venture to the beach and a beautiful afternoon.
The trek to the train station was a rushed one only to find out that the train we were scheduled to take wouldn't arrive for almost a half hour more, and that we needed to travel east before going back west into the city. Stacy and I sipped our beverages, went to Babylon, then to Jamaica, then to Penn, arriving relatively toasty.
A quick subway ride uptown got us there late to the show and we missed one or two songs.
Growing up listening to this band I always appreciated their music, but never became familiar with song titles. The song that ended as we entered was familiar and I was disappointed that the LIRR caused us to miss this. The rest of the first set was filled with good, but relatively unfamiliar music. One round of beer during the first set and another during the second maintained the buzz as they just jammed on and on.
Until I find a setlist, this is how it'll remain. Somewhat blurry but I had a great time, the fans were fantastic, the music excellent and a wonderful time overall.
Of course the train was just departing as we arrived back at Penn. We barely caught this which dropped us off at Lynbrook where we needed to take a bus back to Copiague. A long night of travelling for the 30 mile trek. It was well worth it though.
These shows will essentially be referred to in the collective as the entire weekend experience surpassed the few hours we spent actually watching Iron Maiden playing.
The long tale begins early on Friday morning when Dave arrived at my apartment. A quick run to the beer distributor yielded liters upon liters of alcoholic refreshments which only barely fit in the cooler we were to carry in with us. Filled to the brim it was and weighed accordingly. Up to the train platform we went and onto the train we lugged the 'cooler of fun'.
Cracking open the first beverage in the early afternoon was a sign of things to come. The trip in went smoothly and we carried the cooler up to the hotel room, meeting Mat on the way. That thing weighed a ton! Once up there we relaxed before getting everyone together and heading out to the bars.
It was cold. The temperature was about as low as it was going to get this winter and we all felt the pain. We walked down to the Bellevue and met with a packed house of metalheads keeping warm inside. Several rounds later, the trip to the venue began.
Dave, Brenda, Lisa, Katherine, her friend and I all headed to the front as Arch Enemy went on. Both nights had the same set list barring one song. The 2nd night had Heart of Darkness instead of Instict to my recollection.
This was essentially the same set as when we saw them with Slayer in 2003. Sharlee's bass was too far back to be heard, but the band ripped and for the few brief moments of moshing we were able to get very close.
Iron Maiden took the stage shortly after and their setlist was as expected. The order may not be perfect here:
more to come!!!