Hell Fire -- San Francisco, CA -- June 22nd, 2013
My day began with a full noon to 9 PM tracking session at Trakworx Studio. My boss, Justin Weis, and I recorded this old man funk cover/wedding band called West Bay Rhythm. These guys were in their 60s/70s, but they were the most badass old men I have ever met. The bassist looked like a grandpa, but he was telling us a story about how he punched some rude young man at a golf course just a week earlier. Basically I want to be him when I grow up. Those guys were insanely tight musicians though, and knocked out a full 9 songs- bass, drums, guitar and some vocals all in like 8 hours. It was pretty amazing actually. When we finished up, I went straight to Thee Parkside for this show from the best young band in the bay right now. Hell Fire are like the lost link between NWOBHM and thrash.
I began the night by immediately running into and catching up with friends I hadn't seen in like ten months. It was really nice to see so many people after so long. I also took the opportunity to engorge myself in Thee Parkside's famous tater tots. First up was Midnight Chaser, who are like a cross between 70s hard rock and NWOBHM. They're fricken awesome, and amazingly nice guys too. They have an album on Heavy Artillery/Earache, 'Rough And Tough', but they have a pretty different lineup now. The guys still are seriously awesome though, and the set was badass.
1. Swords for Hire
3. White Denim
4. Too Wild to Tame
5. Lions Choice
7. Cry Wolf (Savage cover)
8. Mother Mary (UFO cover)
Next was My Victim. The band has technically been around since the late 80s, but now they just mainly do random gigs here and there. Their guitarist Will Storkson is the guy who engineered 'The Mouths of Madness' by Orchid, and he's a hell of cool dude too. My Victim was more groove metal, which isn't really my thing, but the crowd really liked them a lot and the performance was pretty energetic for a bunch of guys in their 40s.
2. Gods of Perpetual Destruction
3. My Misery
4. Days Gone
5. Bitter Pill
7. The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath cover)
8. Dance with the Devil
10. Into Eternity
Last was Hell Fire. It was the bassist Herman's 25th birthday, so the entire show was like a big birthday celebration for him. The band was on fire just like the last time I saw them nearly a year ago, but they were even better than before. Their guitarist Jon is one of the fastest guitarists I've ever seen in the 120 some odd shows I've been to, and Herman, the guitarist Tony and the singer Alex all bleed charisma. Like I said earlier, these guys are like the lost link between NWOBHM and thrash. They remind the older crowd of the really early bay area shows, so they have a really strong following of 40-something metalheads and a ton of the old bay area dudes like Gary Holt, Mark Osegueda and Aesop Dekker have their backs. Will from My Victim brought out a cake shaped like a pair of boobs for him to munch/motorboat which was hilarious. The Neon Knights cover was cool, even though Alex flubbed a few lines but Hell Fire totally killed on Disposable Heroes. Their drummer Mikey was on fire for this one, and Tony and Jon played a new dueling solo. Tony played parts similar to Kirk's while Jon injected his own crazy shredding. These guys are all fantastic players, and some of the nicest and coolest dudes you could ever meet. I can't wait to hear their debut album that they've been recording.
1. Fatal Desires
2. Sirens of the Hunter
3. Lightning Axes
4. Neon Knights (Black Sabbath cover)
5. Escape Purgatory
6. Night Terror
7. Metal Masses
8. Islands of Hell
9. Disposable Heroes (Metallica cover)
After the show was over, Tony and Herman were kind enough to invite me to an afterparty that they were throwing with all of our friends. Even though I had to drive to LA just a couple hours later, I really wanted to spend as much time with everyone as I could since I only get to see them a few times a year. So I went, a couple of the Midnight Chaser guys swung by, and great times were had all around, even if I wasn't able to drink a drop. So after kicking it for a bit (and planning plans and scheming schemes... ;) ), I said my hilariously lengthy goodbyes to everyone, drove home and went to bed. 90 minutes later I woke up to drive to LA with my dad and now I'm back here, resuming my wretched electrical engineering existence.
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