After eating at Mel's we, my dad, my friend Alex, and I, arrived at the Regency at about 6ish, maybe a little after the hour. There was already a little bit of a line in front of the venue, about 20 people or so. In celebration of Michael LePond's birthday, there was host from a radio station or something asking people Michael LePond trivia and giving out prizes to those who answered the questions correctly. After she asked some people who one of his five favorite bands are and giving them a prize, she couldn't return to the email that had the questions on her phone, so she decided to just give out the stuff for free. She threw a few posters and I caught one. Along with that, I got a Symphony X key chain and sticker signed by LePond. The poster two sideds, one which has the cover for Paradise Lost and functions as a 2009 calendar and the other is a show poster for a show they played in Taipei. I'll hang up the side with Taipei, because a 2009 calendar serves no purpose and would look silly. I guess they just needed to get rid of some shit. So at 7PM they let us in the venue. Unfortunately for me, the Iced Earth VIP people were let in earlier and they were occupying the rail, so I had to settle with 2nd row. I chatted it up with some fellow metalheads to pass the time, and before we knew it it was 8 and Warbringer was starting their set.
Warbringer are a band I'm sure most of you are familar with by now. They seem to be the leader of this thrash metal revival movement that's going about, and while they may be a little repetitive on disk, they're actually quite fun live. All the guys are obviously going full force, having the time of their lives on the stage. The front man has a pretty good thrash metal voice and was quite entertaining to watch. The band proved to be a good live band and had a pretty good set. They actually got some pits going, which I wasn't expecting at a Symphony X show. Fans of the band will appreciate that their set has material off of all their full-lengths. If I see Warbringer on another bill with good bands, I'll definitely look forward to their set.
Shoot to Kill
Living in a Whirlwind
While Iced Earth were setting up, I noticed my dad was using his Spanish to converse with some people in the crowd. Turns out there were some dudes there from Honduras at the show, father and son. The son was in California to study music. I used my Spanish to the best of my ability to talk to him and he showed me an awesome Honduran heavy metal hand-shake, that combined the invisible orange and the horns. Then Iced Earth came on.
Iced Earth were awesome and got the biggest crowd response. Unfortunately that wasn't completely positive. During Angels Holocaust, some huge asshole barged through the crowd and threw a guy who had rail off and claimed the spot as his own. He did while dragging his friend along with him, so they took up hella space. But soon after the display of douchebagery, some security told 'em to back off, and so they left. Justice was served, but it made Angels Holocaust unenjoyable because I was mad. But it was pretty chill after that. Throughout the performance, the crowd was a little on the rowdy side, and there was a pretty constant push/shove going on. But despite some assholes in the crowd, Iced Earth did work. They blazed through songs from a fair amoutn of their discography, but of course focused on Dystopia. Stu Block was a champ. He sounded awesome the whole time and his high notes are just awesome. I tore up my throat trying to sing along to Damien and Dark City, and I'm feeling it pretty bad today. Dante's Inferno was also cool, but I'm not too familiar with the song, so it kind dragged. And during that song, again, two huge assholes barged through the crowd. But they went far past me, so it didn't effect me all that much. I think the high-light of the set was the closing track, Iced Earth. The orginial is cool, but the vocal are less than good, but Stu Block turned it into something awesome. Overall, great set that was full of energy. I'd definitely see these guys.
Slave To The Dark
When The Night Falls
Days of Rage
Watching Over Me
Not much went on between Iced Earth and Symphony X, besides some people leaving and other taking their rail before I could. Oh well.
Symphony X was just as incredible as they were the first time I saw them, but this time I was more familiar with their set. The beginning of Iconoclast melted my brain
. I could watch Romeo play for days. He's so fucking good. Allan also sounded awesome and interacted with crowd well. There were two particular fans right in front of that they interacted with a lot because they were batshit insane fanboys. One of them in particular probably had on orgasm every time Romeo took a solo or did anything cool. His reaction to every time Romeo did anything was priceless. So, they went about their set, playing through most of Iconoclast and a couple tracks from Divine Wings and The Odyssey. Before they started the encore, they pointed out it was LePond's birthday, and all of the crowd sang him a happy birthday. Then they played 3 songs off of Paradise Lost. I was hoping they'd actually do something special, like play another song, in celebration of LePond's birthday like their facebook statuses implyed, but I guess they constitute singing Happy Birthday as special. Either way, awesome set.
End of Innocence
Bastards of the Machine
When All is Lost
Children of a Faceless God
Of Sins and Shadows
Eve of Seduction
Set the World on Fire
Over all, great way to start off the new year. Getting free swag was also cool.
Iced Earth: 9/10
Symphony X: 9/10