Loudness @ B.B. King Blues Club (3/26/2006)

Logo - Loudness

Artist: Loudness
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Bronx Casket Company
Date: 3/26/2006

Loudness would return to New York City for their 25th Anniversary tour and as expected one of the stops on the trip would be B.B. King Blues Club. The past two years have seen this venue in particular rise to the occasion and offer the die hard music fan a healthy dose of Metal music. Everything from Black Metal to Death to Progressive and now the greats from the past have crossed this stage. Loudness while reunited in 2002, have been out of the public eye at least as far as the U.S. is concerned for almost 20 years. Tonight however those who remember them fondly and have enjoyed some of their songs would be able to relive some of this bands magic. Opening the show would be The Bronx Casket Company and this is an interesting band all around because the dark and gothic musings they perform is not really a perfect match for classic Hard Rock/Metal. The BCC fits right along side that of Type-O-Negative and Beseech with their sound and its main players themselves who might surprise you. The core members are Jack Frost (guitarist of Seven Witches) and D.D. Verni (bassist of the legendary Overkill).

Supporting their recent Candlelight Records release of “Hellectric”, the band would perform minus the talents of Mike Hideous who left a short number of months ago. Instead of replacing him, D.D. has opted to sing and he does not do a bad job even though his vocal register is not a real match for the way the material had been presented on the record. The band is tight and seemed to have a nice show of support for this show which is always good to experience. The difference in this group’s style as opposed to their main bands makes them something interesting to go to see and the venue was perfect for them tonight. Among the favorite songs that I have of the group were both “Little Dead Girl” and “Sherimoon”. If you lean to the Gothic/Dark edge of Metal, then please give these guys a listen for it might surprise you.

Loudness: To the best of my knowledge I had not seen Loudness since way back in 1988 and it was when they were opening for Triumph and Mountain. Prior to that it was a show at Madison Square Garden as openers for Motley Crue and these big arena shows were par for the course in Metal back then. The chance to expose your music to a big crowd was always a plus. Back then the album being supported was “Thunder In The East” and it was regularly heard on stations that supported Hard Rock. The band had some catchy stuff and I was surprised with the limited exposure they had in the States after these initial appearances but the tides of Music roll back and forth quite drastically sometimes. Having the original line up of Minoru Nihara (vocals), Masayoshi Yamashita (bass), Munetaka Higuchi (drums) and the one and only Akira Takasaki (guitar) would be a big go back in time treat for me and my buddies who were in attendance to say the least. Given this would be one of the first appearances in so long I admit that I expected a lot more of the material to be focused on what this market knew. The popular first English albums and the last one sung in Japanese, which all the up and coming guitar mavens seemed to own. Despite this theory the band would only play about five older tunes yet the crowd in most cases did not seem to mind.

They were very energetic and all over the stage, with Akira being pretty much the most active one. His playing has not slowed down and fans of Ronnie LeTekro might like him a lot if they needed a comparison drawn. He is very technical, yet also a very clean player and he does things that often defy description. While I enjoyed the band I pretty much felt that both Akira and drummer Higuchi were the show stealers for the night. He is a true pounder on the skins and against Takasaki’s relentless guitar wizardry you were going to enjoy yourself. I had heard conflicting reports on Minoru not shining as much on the tour but in New York he seemed fine. In all honesty not many of these guys can hit the notes they once have but overall he was a pretty entertaining front man. What did surprise me was the overall volume of the band that night, you don’t normally find this in one of the traditional acts as much as the Power Metal groups, but tonight Loudness would live up to their name.

I have to say that I enjoyed myself quite a bit because not only was the music powerful and heavy but I was with good friends who were sharing good memories. Thanks everyone.

Bronx Casket Company Set List:
1. Who Lives Forever
2. I Am God Here
3. Sewing The Dead
4. Bleed With Me
5. The Other Me
6. Black Valentine
7. Vampire War
8. Sherimoon

Loudness Set List:
1. Exultation
2. Lunatic
3. Crazy Night
4. Crazy Doctor
5. In The Mirror
6. The Winds Of Victory
7. Crazy Samurai
8. Cross
9. The Pandemonium
10. S.D.I
11. The Battleship Musashi
12. Rock Shock
13. Let It Go
14. Like Hell

Official Web site: http://www.takasaki.net/Loudness
Official Web site: www.bronxcasketcompany.com

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