It was an exciting time to be a Heavy Metal fan and a supporter of the absolutely legendary Judas Priest for you see not only has the band released an incendiary album with “Firepower”; but they’ve also landed on the Billboard Top 200 Charts which is pretty damned cool in this day and age. “Firepower” is the bands 18th album, and trust me it’s a molten one and worthy of addition to your music library. In honor of the release, the folks at Sony Square NYC have set up a small gallery of archival photos and some stage costumes along with other trinkets that you don’t generally get to see up close and personal. I did a walk-through video and photographic narrative of the gallery about a week ago and if you didn’t see that post just click HERE to be brought to that story, and then you can return to the topic at hand.
With the band on tour for the new album, it was decided that Judas Priest members would come to Sony Square NYC for an album signing. You had to purchase the album on CD, LP or cassette in order to get one of the wristbands but once you did you were golden to come in and say hello to the guys and get your shiny new album signed. I wasn’t going to miss being one of the media flies on the wall for such an appearance so over to the SSNYC space I went and after securing the credentials was told that around 5:45PM the band would be making a grand entrance. Who would show up for this I had to wonder but before I could think anything more about it I realized that I was right near the albums producer Andy Sneap. By now most of the Priest fans of the world know that Andy has stepped into Glenn Tipton’s shoes for touring purposes after the musician had to stop touring for health reasons. Sneap is also a member of the band Hell and has about 100 albums to his credit in terms of producing. Not too shabby right.
Some scurrying of security staff started to commence and then the sirens were heard and up rolled one of the powerful firetrucks of our city’s incredible New York Fire Department. When they went right to the corner I thought that they were responding to a call, but when the mighty machine started to back up I knew that they were only answering the call of Heavy Metal this afternoon as the member of Judas Priest began to exit the vehicle. Drummer Scott Travis came out first and he was followed by guitarist Richie Faulkner. A moment or three passed by and a small group started walking toward us. It was bassist Ian Hill, The Metal God himself Rob Halford and wait, could I be seeing things? Was that Glenn Tipton walking with Rob?!? Yes my friends Glenn Tipton was here as well and that was an awesome sight to behold. The cheers of those in attendance who were close enough to see were resounding.
Once inside, the media folks were able to gather in a small corral while the band members got ready for the signing. Over the speakers they were playing parts of “Redeemer Of Souls”, the live album “Battle Cry” and of course the brand new “Firepower” and eventually the guys all came out. I snapped what I could but they didn’t have a lot of proper light on them which was strange since usually these are very well lit events and I did what I could. A healthy group of contest winners went up to the band first and while it seemed as though they were signing other things that people brought along with them, there were NO personal photos allowed with the band. It’s not a popular decision in the fans eyes but in the interest of time one has to deal with it so the whole crowd can be processed and get their album signed. Between groups I even had the chance to pass through and say hello and thank them for all the music they have given us. It was great to be a part of this and to see Glenn at the appearance. With the band performing tomorrow at the Prudential Center one has to wonder if that show will be one of the appearances that he has eluded to in statements on the official Priest channels. One can only hope. I will be at the show tomorrow as well and have learned that there are still tickets available so if you consider yourself a Heavy Metal fan at all you want to be rallying for the Priest when they come a calling. Until next time.
PHOTOS COMING LATER
Official Website: http://www.judaspriest.com
It was only a few days ago that I had gotten my hands on the Official Press Release about the upcoming Broadway musical experience known as “Rocktopia” and since the worlds attention span is so fleeting nowadays HERE is that notice in case you missed it for some reason. This past Tuesday I had the honor and pleasure of watching a few numbers from the upcoming show at the legendary SIR Studios. Check out my brief about the experience and get excited for “Rocktopia”.
For me, a Broadway show is one of those experiences that cannot easily be explained. I think that they are wonderous and while I don’t get to as many as I would like to based on the occasional difficult ticket or the price tag on a good seat, when I do go it’s something that I find myself talking about for weeks on end. I’ve leaned on the musical more than anything dramatic and have added “Grease” (during its original run and redo), “Miss Saigon”, “Pirates Of Penzance”, “Sweeney Todd”, “Little Shop Of Horrors”, “Wicked” and “Rent”. Hmm, maybe I should start doing reviews of this stuff on PiercingKen.com but I digress. My appreciation for the theatre and all of the talented people that make things happen made the invite to the press preview for “Rocktopia” at SIR Studios a very awesome thing. Here’s my thoughts on the proceedings.
Continue reading “Rocktopia” Press Preview @ SIR Studios (1/16/2018)
In two days, the Finnish music sensation known as HIM will take to the stage of the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC for the very last time. This show marks the end of their North American tour and then its back to Europe and eventually Finland where they will close the book on the band with a final show on New Year’s Eve. In honor of the historic tour, photographer Ville Juurikkala has come to New York City and is showcasing a number of band photographs that he has taken over the years at the awesome Morrison Hotel Gallery. I’ve noted before that Juurikkala has pointed the lens at other great Finnish artists like Michael Monroe, The 69 Eyes, Amorphis and even Nightwish. This show is all about His Infernal Majesty however (and no, they don’t call themselves that anymore in case you wondered). I hit the gallery a little early to get a few minutes with Ville so I could share the scoop with those of you who would never be able to be there for yourself. Here’s Ville in front of two works that I liked a lot.
Continue reading On Point For “HIM Photographs” by Ville Juurikkala @ Morrison Hotel Gallery
Artist: Tony MacAlpine
Venue: DROM Club (New York, NY)
Opener: John Ferrara, Felix Martin
Label: Sun Dog Records
Any fan of Metal guitar is probably familiar with Tony MacAlpine, a pioneering 80s musician, who along with Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman and a few others redefined what was possible to do with the guitar as an instrument and influenced countless other musicians. Tony MacAlpine’s first 2 albums are widely considered guitar classics, especially by fans of the Neoclassical Metal style. MacAlpine has since branched out into more eclectic musical directions such as Jazz Fusion and progressive metal, both under his own band name and as part of groups like Planet X, Portnoy/Sherinian/MacAlpine/Sheehan, and CAB. He also toured with Steve Vai band as second guitarist/keyboardist. A few years ago, MacAlpine embarked on a rare solo US tour, playing the seminal Maximum Security record in its entirety. The tour was a success and was followed by another a year later. Both times the New York City dates were held at Iridium Jazz Club. This year the tour moved downtown, to the cavernous DROM space which has been hosting more Rock gigs lately, picking up the slack for the closed Webster Hall presumably. DROM is a nice venue with upscale ambiance, good acoustics, and, unlike The Iridium, no mandatory food/drink minimum.
John Ferrara, of progressive metal band Consider the Source, was the local opener for this date. To say that Ferrara merely plays bass guitar would be a massive understatement. Through use of various effects, loops, and innovative techniques, Ferrara weaved some really interesting melodies that were complex but still very listenable. It was easily the most musical use of electric bass I’ve ever heard. It was just him and a drummer but they generated enough sound to make you think of a much bigger ensemble.
Continue reading Tony MacAlpine @ DROM (9/22/2017)
Contributor Steven Stolper was on point enjoying the findings at the annual ProgPower USA Festival that takes place in Atlanta, Georgia at the Center Stage Atlanta theater and as already noted in one of the earlier chapters, PiercingMetal has NEVER been to the event despite the occasional interest. Fortunately, Agent Stolper was sending a final transmission to the Metal High Command from the field about this mission. Here now are his transcribed views bout the fourth and final day of ProgPowerUSA XVIII.
ProgPowerUSA XVIII Day 4: 3 days of nonstop music and parties take a toll on the body and the mind, so difficult choices had to be made and some sets were skipped. Pain and Amaranthe namely. All of the Day 4 bands except the opener were from Sweden, a testament to the country’s great contribution to the genre and popular music in general.
Seven Spires (USA):
Australia’s Teramaze was originally scheduled to perform in the opening timeslot, but unfortunately had to cancel a few days before due to health issues. That was upsetting because Teramaze was one of the bands I was looking forward to the most. Their latest album, Her Halo, was a really tasty slab of melodic prog metal. Boston’s SevenSpires answered the call and rushed to Georgia to bring their brand of metal to the masses. Seven Spires play aggressively melodic euro power metal with a female singer named Adrienne Cowan, who does both clean and extreme vocals equally well. Their video single, Cabaret of Dreams, sounded true to its name live, like a metallized groovy cabaret number. Other songs were more traditional, with many pounding harsh voiced numbers. The band had a very energetic stage presence and did a good job whipping the somewhat sleepy audience back into fighting shape.
Continue reading ProgPower USA XVIII Day Four Musings (9/9/2017)