Artist: Ghost Venue: Barclays Center Opener: n/a Date: 12/15/2018 Label: Loma Vista Recordings
There is a spectre haunting the world, the spectre of Ghost. Having gone from playing theaters only a year ago to dominating the same sold-out arenas as Iron Maiden, Ghost is a phenomena. From an outsider’s non-metal perspective, Ghost is “basically a satanic Alice Cooper mixed with KISS and a little bit of Marilyn Manson, right?” Although a decent attempt to brand Ghost with a single visual label, this endeavor is ill-fated as it forgoes the group’s depth, and even insults Ghost’s core ideology, and musical wizardry.
So if Ghost isn’t just a satanic Alice-KISS-Manson mashup, what are they and how is what they do any different from the others? Easy. Ghost, as explained by frontman Tobias Forge, is a Mass, a celebration if you will. An evil satanic Mass celebrating the Lord of the Underworld, you ask? Nay. The Ghost spectacle is a celebration of life, knowledge, exploration, and of course, heavy riffs, big drums, and a bass line that will “wobble your ass,” as Cardinal Copia might say. Still not following how a bunch of Swedes (or so we think) dressed up as ghouls commanded by the antithesis of religious piety is actually a loving, caring, and genius gift to the fate of humankind? Fair enough. Without going into further examination of their lyrical content, as I faithfully believe you can research the true meaning behind most songs by a click of a mouse, let’s highlight Ghost’s 2018 tour: A Pale Tour Named Death.
Despite his rough exterior and angry bad boy attitude, Glenn Danzig put smiles on hundreds of faces at the Wellmont this past September. It goes without saying, but Danzig’s following gave the local hero a warm Jersey welcome as they anxiously stood wrapped around the block totaling enough metal studs and apparel to conquer a small city.
Touring in support of his newest release, “Black Laden Crown,” Glenn no doubt kept to his notorious high standards regarding opening acts. Another superstar tour paraded young(er) guns: Mutoid Man and Corrosion of Conformity. There was not a dull moment as both bands did their job by exciting the crowd and maxing out the enthusiasm.
Danzig made it to the venue just in time for his set, which he killed. Starting on the right foot with “SkinCarver,” the audience was captivated from the first growl and continued to display their moshing zeal right into the classic, “Twist of Cain”. “How the Gods Kill,” “Dirty Black Summer,” and “Last Ride” were all highlights of the show. There was no stopping the vehement shock of an innocent bystander each time a wild mosher piled into them. But with that being said, is there such a thing as an innocent Danzig fan? Doubtful. Rightfully so, the show went on just as expected, loud, energetic, and violent. Continue reading Danzig @ The Wellmont Theatre (9/9/2017)→
Artist: Ace Frehley Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Date: 9/16/2017 Label: e1 Entertainment
The man is electric and his electricity is contagious. Despite the nearby Megadeth and Scorpions show taking place just down the street at Madison Square Garden, Ace Frehley had the entirety of New York under his thumb right here at the Times Square staple B.B. King Blues Club. After all, this is his city. With a line of painted faces and a mix of KISS and solo Ace shirts forming outside at 3pm while the doors only open at 615pm, you could only expect that the Space Ace drew an international crowd of the most loyal fans fully ready to rock and roll all night. Sure enough, it was hard to even move in the club (unless, of course, the legend threw a guitar pick into the crowd, because everyone and their mother jumped and pushed for that square inch of magical plastic).
The Spaceman came in hot from Jendell between the hours of 8pm and 9pm and, without missing a beat, turned out a beautiful recreation of “Parasite,” a classic KISS fan favorite off of Hotter than Hell. The energy only intensified from then on out. His Space Invader hit, “Toys” was up next. Afterwards, the rock icon paused to appreciate 11 years of sobriety, but pointed out the fact that we were all still expected to drink just as long as we didn’t crash our cars on the way home, as he knows all too well how that feels. The night continued with Ace’s very own, “Rip It Out” off of his self-titled album, Ace Frehley followed by a version of Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald”. Each member of the Ace Fehley band had their night behind the mic, but first in rotation was Mr. Scot Coogan on drums who took lead on another KISS cover, “Love Gun”. After Ace sent a shout out to his former bandmate, Paul Stanley, Coogan performed doing the song a great justice and, no doubt, the crowd went wild for every reinvention of KISS. Ace grabbed back the lead with yet another KISS masterpiece, “Rocket Ride” and then took the energy right into his Anomaly release, “Sister”. Unlike most traditional rock bands (well, I guess KISS does it too), Ace gave way to a bass solo by Mr. Chris Wyse who proclaimed the integrity and significance of the bass guitar in rock music. Full of energy, Wyse took the lead on ANOTHER KISS favorite, “Strange Ways” again off of their 1974 release, Hotter than Hell. Continue reading Ace Frehley @ B.B. King Blues Club (9/16/2017)→
Artist: Metal Church in Germany Venue: Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany Opener: n/a Date: 6/12/2017 Label: Rat Pak Records
Three subways, a regional train from Hessen to Bavaria, one taxi, and ½ mile of walking, and I finally made it to Aschaffenburg, Bavaria. An intimidating trip to take alone as a stranger in a strange land, but well worth the trek.
Backwoods Germany is a strange place to see the very American Thrash legends Metal Church, but it was probably one of the most packed shows. Another group with the energy of fully functional teenagers. Mike Howe is back on lead vocals and has the same range that made his early albums with Metal Church classics. The other change in lineups since the last album/tour cycle didn’t slow the guys down as Stet Howland killed on drums and will, hopefully, be a permanent addition. Those only now following the bands activity should know that Howeland replaced Jeff Plate (Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) a few short months ago.
“Fake Healer” was an easy choice to get the crowd going and despite the remote location, this was a fair size audience for Church to hold Metal services. I was honestly shocked at how many enthusiastic fans came out to see them. At the end note of every song, the audience was screaming for “Metal Church” until the band relented and played their next hit. Seismic activity could probably be read as far away as London. Continue reading Metal Church @ Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany (6/12/2017)→
The Kat was continuing her Metal prowl across Germany and tossing back some views on truly great artists and sharing the skinny with us back home at the Metal Command HQ in NYC. As these came in I also made notes on where I will need to go should I ever get there and now we hear a quick summary of her Scorpions experience.
Written By: Katherine Wilson (copyright 2017) for PiercingMetal.com
After ditching me to see the historic Deep Purple, my dad thought we was going to enjoy a night of rest at home sans concert. Wrong. I’ve only seen Scorpions as a clueless and young kid with a lack of familiarity as to who the people with funny accents were talking with my father, so I was going to attend a show I would remember.
Germany has produced its fair share of hard rock and heavy metal, but no act has had the stay that the Scorpions continue to enjoy 50 years on! Every single member of this legendary outfit was running around the festival stage as if they were 18 again. I met 2 pre-teens who had never been to a concert before and all they could say was, “When is the next show?”. It was great to share this amazing experience with them. Continue reading Scorpions @ Hessentagsarena; Rüsselsheim, Germany (6/11/2017)→