Yeah, this is out of format and messy. Fuck you. Read it anway. It will make me happy.
Originally posted on October 31st, 2004 at WWW.METALSETSLISTS.COM
& THE IMBB.
3 Concerts in 3 Days -- Dio (Anaheim), Megadeth (San Francisco), Dio (San Francisco)
What? Three concerts in three days? Try four concerts in six:
Megadeth -- Reno, NV -- October 23rd, 2004 (Reviewed Here)
Dio -- Anaheim, CA -- Wednesday, October 27th, 2004
Megadeth -- San Francisco -- Thursday, October 28th, 2004
Dio -- San Francisco -- Friday, October 29th, 2004
Attire (Dio -- 10/27 & MD -- 10/28): L/S Piece of Mind, LAD Hoodie, Combat Goggles
Attire (Dio -- 10/29): Limited Edition Dio Halloween Shirt, Combat Goggles
Dio Eddies: 8.5
Anthrax Eddies: 7
Megadeth (SF only) Eddies: 8.5
Exodus Eddies: 8
Mark these words: you often get from a concert what you bring to it.
I never recovered from our unscheduled Reno Megadeth adventure before embarking on three days of metal this very special birthday week. Real life and work quickly put my metal plans in jeopardy. I was hardly in a metal state of mind enough to listen to metal in the car, much less to go to concerts.
Dio was playing in Anaheim and that required air travel so I could return to work the next morning. My non-metal state of mind only worsened at the airport when I was awarded extra security attention by my airline Ė fuck you, very much. Short of being read my rights and getting cuffed, it was little different than getting arrested. I was frisked by hand to the point that they even examined the metal button on my Leviís. Everything in my backpack was fingered; the backpack itself, tested for traces of explosives. Even my books were opened and flipped through. And mind you, I was dressed as a typical Phil unit in casual Silicon Valley attire; I didnít look Metal. Iím sure all the passengers felt so much safer that the 80+ YEAR OLD GUY WITH A PACEMAKER (also tagged) and I had the attention of our airline and/or TSA. Itís so fucking ironic that Iíve been listening to Megadethís THE SYSTEM HAS FAILED.
Motorhead Jeff picked me up down south. Despite the stormy weather and LA rush hour traffic, things improved only in that neither of us was needlessly stopped by a government agency. We arrived at Downtown Disney and its House of Blues about an hour early; rather than wait in line with the peeps, we went for food at the nearby faux Mexican restaurant to consume an equally tasty cardboard faux dinner. Afterwards, we entered an overcrowded HoB and decided to just chill out in the back instead of fighting it all.
Fireball Ministry started on time and did their thing. Despite my frame of mind, they did ok but not well enough to adjust my attitude a la Edguy recently. An honorable mention goes out to their exotic and very animated chick bass player. The crowd accepted them well enough. I bought one of their albums off iTunes and will be giving them a second chance.
Anthrax was next up. State of Euphoria was among my first metal albums in 1987 and remains a favorite to this day. I picked up Among The Living earlier this year, but it never garnered my favor as Euphoria did. My main (and quite insulting) concern: who the hell is this John Bush guy? I'm not living in the past based on a one album.
Anthrax came roaring on stage in front of floor-mounted purple logo banners stage right and left that were just a tad bigger than Fireballís. Anthrax only had the little extra room afforded to them by the absence of Fireballís gear, yet delivered a performance that belonged on an arena stage. John Bush formally replaced Joey in my mind to the point I consider Joey as I do Paul DíAnnio. The Anthrax set list:
(Blues Brothers Intro)
Caught In The Mosh (need confirmation)
Keep It In The Family
What Doesn't Die
Only (need confirmation)
The crowd definitely responded to Anthrax, but let me digress about them for a moment. First, the HoB oversold the place; it was difficult to move about anywhere on the floor Ė even in the back with the old folks. And the crowd reeked; I mean literally it smelled like shit. I can tolerate the stench of the pit, but some people need to learn to wipe their damn asses so as to not leave a path of gagging, contorted faces behind them. Then I couldnít believe the number of fat fucks who had absolutely no consideration as they bulldozed through the floor and constantly into me; some of these people need a reminder their size does not exempt them from manners Ė even common Metal manners. An hour of these people knocking me around did nothing for my mood.
Back to the Anthrax: the sound guy had the low end cranked way up. I ate my annual Taco Bell the night before and the sound upset an already tender stomach. I thought for sure that Anthrax would cause the runs before the end of the night. No such luck.
My biggest criticism of Anthrax (now speaking directly to the band): stop with the dinky pentagram black shirt uniforms. You guys arenít evil or satanic and everyone knows it. Your shirts are the most laughable demonstration of posing Iíve seen all year and that includes some things I witnessed at Ozzfest. You donít look cool. You look fucking stupid.
I was ready to call it a night before Dio even hit the stage. Keep in mind that at this point San Francisco Dio was not even on my radar. I initially had plans with Bouville for Lamb of God on Friday, but canceled with intentions to return to LA for a birthday weekend with Motorhead Jeff and family (probably involving Megadeth in Hollywod but definitely Fright Fest at Magic Mountain). This alone should tell you exactly how fed up I was and because of it, I am limiting my comments on Dioís Anaheim performance.
The stage backdrop was the Master of the Moon monster (of album cover fame) that truly came to life when the black lights hit it. Dio uses the same lights and fog that so many others do but others do not have Dioís choreography. The fog and the number of people left the air very heavy; I thought of the scene in The Doors (the movie) when the smoke rises to the balconies filled with cheering, raving fans going ape-shit for their hero on stage. I was also very impressed with how much Dio shared the stage with his band, as evidenced by the number of solos (one for every instrument) with Dio nowhere to be seen. With Dioís stature, the fact that he shares the stage as he does tells me something about the man. The set list:
One More For The Road
Sign Of The Southern Cross
Stand Up And Shout
Drum Solo / 1812 Overture
Donít Talk To Strangers
Killing The Dragon
Man On The Silver Mountain (with guitar solo)
Long Live Rock ĎN Roll (with closing Silver Mountain reprise)
Rock ĎN Roll Children
Gates Of Babylon
Heaven and Hell (with bass solo)
Last In Line
Rainbow In The Dark
We returned to MJís by 1:30 AM. After very little sleep, I was off to the airport for a 6:00 AM flight back to Silicon Valley, a normal work day, and my next concert with Megadeth in San Francisco, including a meet and greet with the man himself, Dave Mustaine. Let me express a huge, public thank you to Mrs. Motorhead Jeff who drove me to the airport 40 minutes away in the god awful early morning hours; she is one of the coolest wives that one of your best friends could have.
Iíll spare you the details of the day but let me assure you that real life continued to rear its ugly head and did nothing to improve my mindset. I rounded up Bouville at 5:00 PM and we raced to the Warfield for our second Megadeth concert of the week plus my meet and greet with Dave Mustaine. Even though Iím not the type of guy that gets star struck, I was excited.
Originally, I won a pass for Reno but didnít receive notice in time to make use of it. I emailed MegaDave, the webmaster of the Megadeth forum with a request to get into San Franciscoís and he very graciously let me attend. Beyond this kind of courtesy, MegaDave regularly posts the set lists from the tour and is very accessible to forum members. I hope Megaman (Dave Mustaine himself) appreciates what he has in MegaDaveÖ MegaDave, you fucking rock.
While fetching my vip pass, I met Ian67 from the Megadeth forum. It was fun chatting with him in line; heís a cool dude. Bouville started talking to a very metal-looking dude wearing a jean vest with a full backside X-Factor graphic. This guy also happened to be a fan of Blaze and Edguy. This guy obviously has his shit together.
Exodus opened for Megadeth in San Francisco. Chuck Billy of Testament fame did most of the vocal work because of an injury to their touring vocalist, Steev Esquivel. Exodus really got the crowd worked up; it was like THEY were headlining. While the music was awesome, the pit was horrible. Bulls were just trying to hurt everyone else; even the ring was launching cheap backside shots. Blindsided in the worst hit Iíve taken all year, some asswipe sent me tumbling across the floor of pit with my arms-elbows-up protecting my head during the roll. Worse yet, Iíve never seen a crowd so slow to help up a fallen solider. You people were fucked.
The crush for Megadeth formed almost immediately after Exodus left the stage. The pit was worse before Megadeth even started than the front rail rail I hung on during a Metallica concert at full force. It ceases to be cool when you have to tell those behind you to stop humping your leg. When the intro Black Sabbath came over the PA, the crush further intensified and I had a hard time breathing. When Dave appeared, the pit just lost it; security was useless. I considered this a life-threatening situation and attempted an escape. Normally, getting out of a pit is easy, as you trade your better position out for an exit path. Even this didnít work. In fact, the center crowd of the pit collapsed to the floor before my eyes, a mass of people helplessly falling on top of one another. In the past, security at the Warfield has managed the number of people in the lower pit. With their anything-goes attitude, I couldnít even find the stairs out. Eventually, I fought my way out (and I do mean fought). It would not have taken much for someone to get killed that night. So for the second night in a row, I was having just a fucking GREAT time thanks to the crowd. At least this one did not smell like shit, so I guess thatís an improvement.
Dave added a new opener to the set list, ďSet The World AfireĒ; the rest of the set list was unchanged. And I do mean added, we got 19 songs instead of the 18 played at the previous shows on the tour. WAY TO GO, DAVE! The set list:
Set The World Afire
Skin Of My Teeth
Wake Up Dead
In My Darkest Hour
Something I'm Not
Train of Consequences
Die Dead Enough
Kick The Chair
A Tout Le Monde
Tornado Of Souls
The highlight of the night was the meet and greet after the concert. Immediately after Holy Wars, I bee-lined it for the door that led to the basement/backstage area of the Warfield and was first in line for the meet and greet. Iím guessing about 40 fans had passes. After 15 minutes or so, we were allowed downstairs. The tour manager told us to line up against the wall and that Dave would be down in a few minutes.
While we were waiting, I asked the TM whether it was true that Megadeth would be doing Ozzfest or touring with Maiden this summer. He responded something like ďThose are the rumors. I can not confirm or deny them because Iíll incriminate myself but yes.Ē He then walked off before I get clarification.
After some more waiting, Dave walked in so casually that Iím not sure how many people realized Elvis was in the building. He walked up to me and we shook hands. Dave was not what I imagined a rock star to be like; he was just a normal dude. Iím sure he was tired but he seemed like a quiet guy. He wore canvas shoes, jeans, and a dark colored shirt. If you saw him anywhere else, you would not think twice about him.
Then, I proceeded to speak like a bumbling idiot. Guys, you know those times when you canít speak in front of a beautiful woman, despite the fact youíve practiced the conversation a thousand times? Thatís what happened. I tried telling Dave about www.metalsetlists.com
, but it just didnít come out right. Bouville coat-checked the printout of our thread, and we didnít meet in timepost-concert; it probably would have helped to have it. Sorry, guys.
While Dave was signing my Peace Sells and Rust In Peace remaster covers, I asked if Megadeth was going to tour with Maiden. Dave said that Bruce Dickinson approached him with the idea but wasn't sure if Bruce was just being polite. I then asked about Megadeth/Maiden in America and Dave said it would be Europe only.
As many of you know, combat goggles are my signature at all metal concerts; I never go without them. He looked at the pair hanging around my neck and asked what they were for. I told him I started wearing them after a rough night moshing and that they helped with the blinding dummy lights bands flashed on the crowd. He said something like ďgood idea.Ē As Dave began to move to the next guy, I had him sign a little black book in which I write set lists for www.metalsetlists.com
. (If you ever see me at a concert, Iíll show it to you; I also keep my VIP pass right next to his signature.) I had maybe a minute to speak with him. Before Dave came down, the TM said they had to be in LA by 9 AM, so I have no doubt Dave was under time pressure. And that was that.
The meet and greet was only Dave and I have to admit I was hoping to meet the rest of the band. One of my friends on the Iron Maiden board (Unke) is a huge Iced Earth fan and I had hoped to obtain some kind of nugget from James for her. After watching the Drovers, I had hoped to pay them some compliments. These guys are doing so well in my book that I hope Dave keeps the lineup intact for whatever the future holds. My real only lamentation is the thought that Megadeth might be no more after this tour, since with this tour, Megadeth made it into my A list of favorite bands.
Again, thanks to Megadave for arranging San Francisco for me. The Megadeth forum is good board; go register there and support them. The fan club is good for what you get too. Buy the remasters Ė and that completes my whoring for Megeadeth.
I made it home from San Francisco about 3 AM. To make it to Motorhead Jeffís on time, I would have had to leave by 8 or 9 AM. I was beat to hell and there was no way that I could drive six hours to fetch him, another three in LA rush hour to Hollywood, do another concert, and drive another 90 minutes back to MJís ranch. I slept in a bit and ultimately decided to call it a metal-week midday. My experiences the last two nights had left a bad taste in my mouth; it seemed like a better plan to go to work and get on with real life again.
However, about 4 PM, I made a decision. Dio was in San FranciscoÖ. Iím listening to Master Of The Moon in the car anywaysÖ.why not travel 30 minutes and hear the man sing it? I could just stand in the back and listen to the music without getting worked up; normally, concerts are go-crazy-insane-let-it-all-outevents.
After a very peaceful drive (including the easiest time Iíve ever had for parking in San Francisco), I waddled into the venue in time for about half of the Anthrax set. The crowd in Anaheim was a lot bigger and put forth a lot more energy for Anthrax. I used their set to handle concert business, like buying the special limited edition Halloween Dio shirt, which I wore on top of my white one.
After all the real-life interference and metal unpleasantries, I was finally ready on my own terms to enjoy a metal concert delivered by a living legend. The lights dimmed, the fog machines started, the band came out one-by-one playing One More For the Road, and then the man himself appeared. As the manufactured concert haze filtered over the audience, the pot smokers lit and sent six or seven massive clouds up into the hall contributing in their own way to the show.
The venue seemed to be a converted ballroom complete with stage, white ornate ceilings and hard wood floors. The hard wood was a great conduit for the low end, so much so that during some songs it felt as the floor danced to the bass and drums. I was nowhere the second hand pot smoke, but I swear the floor was moving at times to the music and it was fucking great. The stage lights intensified matters, even brighter than normal as they reflected off the white ceiling and walls. I noticed many effects that I missed in Anaheim. It just made for an extremely memorable concert, even those the set list was exactly the same as in Anaheim. During the Last in Line, my voice cracked hard enough for an immediate coarse, soar throat. You know youíre having a good concert when you lose your voice during one of your favorite songs.
The crowd was very mixed in age; there is no question the younger folks knew who Dio was and they demonstrated their respect at every opportunity. Iím only witnessed one assclown who tried to start a mosh pit during the encores and he was rewarded with nasty, nasty glares from the crowd.
And that was that. I listened to Master of Moons twice on the two hour drive home from the city, already thinking how I would shape the reviews or even how to reward Eddies given my own frame of mind and the factors I brought to the concerts.
Iron Maiden is the standard by which I judge metal on a scale of 1 to 10 Eddies, 10 Eddies being ANY Maiden concert. Iím giving both Dio and Megadeth 8.5 overall Eddies as an overall reflection of each concert Iíve seen this week. Neither Megadeth or Dio put out an overall concert event experience that I would compare with 9 Eddie bands like Judas Priest or Metallica. Neither pulled off the absolute rarity that Edguy pulled in Hollywood in September; there was something special about that night. Whatís strange about my Megadath rating is that I like now Megadethís music better than Metallicaís after spending time. Daveís melodies and rhythms musically appeal to me more than Metallicaís. I feel something very similar about Dioís music. Maybe my system has failed; I may have to break down my Eddies into music preference and concert experience from now on.
Exodus receives 8 Eddies. I purchased their albums before the San Francisco Dio concert. Enough said.
Anthrax receives 7 Eddies. They put forth a good effort and Iíll pick up their offering in November. Iím penalizing them for their stupid, insincere shirts. Anthrax, you are a fucking mighty band and youíre better this. Weíll meet again someday and youíll get a chance at higher Eddies.