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Billy Idol @ Hammerstein Ballroom (9/15/2010)

Logo - Billy Idol

Artist: Billy Idol
Venue: Hammerstein Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 9/15/2010
Label: Virgin Music

I had a such a blast the last time that Billy Idol came through town and when he announced that he would be coming back to the Hammerstein Ballroom again I knew I wanted to be there but alas could not based on the band Kamelot and their long awaited return to NYC and US regional touring. Sadly, the reports started coming in with only weeks before the tour that their lead singer Khan was ill and would not make the tour. Initially a replacement would be in the band but it would not be long before the entire tour was cancelled. With the free night now at hand I quickly arranged the means to be a part of the show being held by the legendary New Wave Punker.

At the last show Billy was supporting the release of a very solid Greatest Hits package that also featured a DVD of his classic videos. There was no new album to speak of but he did do a concert DVD entitled “Live Super Overdrive” and I had reviewed it on the site when it came out. It was a good one, but chopped up in terms of content proving that it was not the best representation of such a man in concert. If you must have this piece then buy it but be sure to get yourself tickets to a show while he is still doing it because he rocks. As soon as he hit the stage after what seemed to be no opening band, Billy was on the move and delivering his seminal hit from Generation X with “Ready, Steady, Go” which was a total surprise this early in the evening. The surprises kept coming as “Dancing With Myself” followed this one and I am sure left a lot of the fully packed house in shock since this is generally the second to last tune for the musician. Hey there is nothing wrong with getting the party started early and keeping the audience moving from the very beginning. No one was dancing with themselves in this venue at all and that was only a sign of better things to come.
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“Live Santa Monica ‘72” by David Bowie

Artist: David Bowie
Title: “Live Santa Monica ‘72”
Label: Virgin Music
Release Date: 7/22/2008
Genre: Rock
Rating: 5/5

Recorded at the Santa Monica auditorium in 1972, David Bowie’s “Live Santa Monica ‘72” is a special release for a number of different reasons and the first one is that the recording finds the singer doing it during his first US tour ever. It’s also important to note that the he had only recently introduced the world to his enigmatic alter ego Ziggy Stardust, and as result a number of the tracks would come from his “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars” album. This would also be his first radio broadcast and it aired live as it happened – believe it or not, before this CD was released, the only way that fans could enjoy the songs from this show was on a very well circulated bootleg. Since this was the case I am saying with certain levels of zeal “it’s about time”. Music fans all know full well the talents that David Bowie possesses and that his work over the decades has been nothing short of prolific. One can listen to his earliest compositions and still find that they stand strong against anything that is released today. His alter ego of Ziggy Stardust was a different matter altogether and a work of genius in its own right, as during this time he actually stopped being David Bowie and morphed into the space travelling musician called Ziggy.
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“Untitled” by Korn

Artist: Korn
Title: “Untitled”
Label: Virgin Records
Release Date: 7/31/2007
Genre: Nu-Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Korn is never hesitant to push their own established sound into new areas and showed us this with the album “See You On The Other Side” which offered up tracks like “Twisted Transistor” and their most recent MTV Unplugged adventure which showed the group able to strip down to bare essentials as well as offer “mash-ups” to their fans. Their latest release comes to us untitled with Jonathan Davis citing that it allows the fans to call it whatever they wanted to but many are simply calling it “Korn” or “Untitled” – for the purpose of review we shall stick with the latter. “Untitled” once again finds Korn adventuring deeper into layers of available sound and bringing a very Atmospheric and Dark Metal vibe to the front for their new album. There are moments of heaviness that will appeal to their most staunch supporters but they also manage to slow it down to extreme subtlety on occasion as well. The album would be the second that was recorded without Brian “Head” Welch who has since left the band after finding religion and it’s now the first without drummer David Silveria who had gone on hiatus before the group went into the studio. Drums are instead courtesy of monster player Terry Bozzio, Brooks Wackerman and also Jonathan Davis. Together, the three offer up many different flairs of percussive instrumentation. “Starting Over” begins the album and seems almost an announcement on the band’s continuing to go forward despite the changes they have found in recent years.
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Korn @ South Street Seaport (7/31/2007)

Korn was celebrating the release of their new CD by doing a free show down at NYC’s South Street Seaport and this event went over like gangbusters. To see our views and images from the hot set that evening just click the logo to be brought to our article on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
Logo - Korn

Artist: Korn
Venue: Pier 17, South Street Seaport (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 7/31/2007
Label: Virgin Records

In my opinion, one of the greatest things about living in New York City is the fact that it’s generally loaded with surprises – this is especially true if you are a music fan. For those who follow the band Korn, the summer was going to get a whole lot hotter on July 31st because this was the day that their newest studio album would go on sale. The band announced that in celebration of the new release that a free concert would be performed on New York’s South Street Seaport, Pier 17. The event was co-sponsored by J&R Music World and K-Rock (a returning to power area Rock music radio station). The festivities would actually begin at J&R Music World early that morning where fans were lined up around the block to be among the first to purchase the new release. The amazing response was not only band loyalty but also based on the fact that if you were one of the first 500 who bought the album, that you would get a wristband which allowed you to get the CD signed by the band who would be returning to the store after their free show. I had to pass by the store on my way to the day job and was pleased to see how many people were ready to snare a copy of the release and I admit also being a little moved by those who recognized me from concerts I have covered in the past. It made the morning coffee just a little better.
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“MTV Unplugged” by Korn

Artist: Korn
Title: “Unplugged”
Label: Virgin Records
Release Date: 3/6/2007
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

If you have listened to Korn in the past then you know full well the level of angst-ridden Nu Metal that they are capable of. Now captured in the ever-popular unplugged format that MTV launched we find the band changing things up a little bit as they present an entirely different sound to their established tunes. I admit that I was unsure how this would actually work because Korn music is on the aggressive and angry side for the most part. However with the unplugged versions we find singer Jonathan Davis keeping himself a little more sedate and calmer than many of his fans ever would expect him. His pitch does raise up as needed for the choruses of songs like “Falling Away From Me” and “Freak On A Leash” of course but primarily he keeps his vocals very understated. As far as concerts like this go there are some surprises to be found for the listener and the first such instance comes in the presence of Amy Lee, lead singer of Evanescence, who helps out with “FOAL”. I don’t know how she became involved in this performance and wondered if it was primarily because of her popularity with her main band as opposed to any other reason. She does add some nice high notes to the track just the same. Can an Evanescence Unplugged be far behind I am left wondering. The next surprise is their cover of the Radiohead classic “Creep” which Davis dedicates to all the kids and adults who had ever been picked on in life. They do a good job of it but I always prefer the original to any other presentation when it comes to this song as no one seems to capture it as good as Radiohead did.
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