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Old 08-26-2008, 08:48 PM
ImmortalEmperor ImmortalEmperor is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Seattle
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Raven -- Los Angeles, CA -- August 23rd, 2008

NWOBHM legends Raven made it out to the west coast for the first time in forever this past weekend. They played at a small Sunset Blvd. club called Safari Sams on a bill that also featured Hatchet, Merciless Death, Crom, Vindicator, and LA veterans Hirax. I didn't make it until Hirax hit the stage so I don't have any information on what the other bands played.

Not much of a turnout - I'd say considerably less than 300 on a Saturday night with a six band bill for a $15 admission. Don't you just love LA??? Odds are the Faster Pussycat/LA Guns show at the Key Club the next night drew a whole lot better. Fuck it - this was a show for the old school fans and those who made it down were glad they did.

I've never seen Hirax - they are one of those bands that just kind of fell through the cracks with me. They are definitely on my radar now - a great set with a lot of energy and passion. Here's a partial setlist (they played five or six others that I didn't know the name of - fans of the band will probably have a good idea of the missing tracks since they all got a great response):

On stage: 2235
Off stage: 2330

Lucifer
New Age of Terror
Chaos and Brutality
Hostile Territory
Broken Neck
El Diablo Negro
Walk with Death
The Plague
Bombs of Death
---------------
Assassins of War


Raven was next and they were the reason why I made the pilgrimage from the northwest. I lived in SoCal for years and though I'm no fan of Hollywood you just can't deny that it gets all of the shows. Just in the past two years alone I've seen Venom, Emperor, and Immortal on the strip. But I digress...

Raven played a great set focused mostly on their classic early albums. The only other time I've seen Raven was opening for Priest on the Turbo Tour in 1986 and that was at the height of the failed Atlantic Records experiment. It was nice to finally see what I felt to be a proper Raven set:

On stage: 0010
Off stage: 0125

Take Control
Live at the Inferno
All for One
Breaking You Down (new song)
?
Rock Until You Drop
Guitar Solo
Speed of the Reflex
Mind Over Metal
The Rocker (Thin Lizzy cover)
?
Crash Bang Wallop!
On and On
-----------------
Bass Solo -->
Break the Chain -->
Rockin' in the Free World -->
Summertime Blues -->
Break the Chain

I talked with John Gallagher for a little bit after the show. He said that their new album is done and that they are just trying to get a deal for distribution. A shame that such a classic band has to struggle to get a record deal - if they make it to your area (and in the States that is a real rarity) you owe it to yourself to go out and see them. Highly recommended...
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