Posts Tagged ‘Dirty Dog Bar’

coc24

“One of my favorite traditions is that my sisters and I, we all wear the same pajamas. I’ve even still got some from when I was 6. Also, I’ll always remember cooking together in the kitchen and that no matter how busy our schedules are, we are all together for Christmas.”~ Bailee Madison

I think that I got supremely lucky to have the opportunity to have two out of ten bands in my pocket performing all on the same stage.

But I did have to wait several hours in between the two performances.

Although during my wait I was able to get me some merchandise. The count has already begun. Some free, some paid for. But that’s for another post after this craziness is all over.

The excitement level went through the roof as I was about to see CASKET OF CASSANDRA on stage again. To be able to watch them play and then kind of look over the crowd for their reaction is always fun.

I would find that this was no usual performance from them. Band members were jumping on stage and doing their sound check …. in their pajamas.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over??

Some of them had super hero themes, others did not. But it was all bedtime sleepwear. coc2

The only thing that I could think about was that it was similar to Slipknot with their track suits. But each member of CASKET OF CASSANDRA had their own thing going on. Individuality doth rocketh!!

The thing with CASKET OF CASSANDRA is that there’s this strange, personal attraction to the band’s music that both entertains and scares the shit out of me. And there is no even balance between the two. Either I am totally floored with impression or I wanna run out of the building and go to my happy place.

How they do that, I will probably never know!!

CASKET OF CASSANDRA is constantly evolving, constantly growing, and continues to be impressive.

It is always great to be sitting right up against the stage when they are playing. To be able to hear Amanda Maddera’s vocals as it pours from her mouth even before it reaches the microphone is a cool experience. To be that close to…. well … uncertain death (so to speak) can give quite the thrill. Or scare.

Amanda Maddera

Amanda Maddera

But I am not mocking them in the least. All of them are supremely talented. Its just that the band as whole with their music, lyrics, and stage presence can be quite intimidating.

To this day, Maddera is blowing minds that she has the vocal capability to perform as she does. I heard so many people afterwards totally tripping out about her vocal talents and abilities. I kept thinking to myself “Welcome to the world of the Casket.”

Considering that most of the members came from California and implanted themselves for their career in Texas says a lot about their passion and dedication for their specific craft.

However on this day, it was like watching a brand new band.

The pajamas, the music, the stage presence, the ending… was all new to me.

inches away

inches away

At the very end of their set, they played my favorite song, “Solitaria.”

I also love “Bury You” and “The Kraken’s Reign” so I had three options of favorite songs that they could have played. They played my most favorite of theirs.

And I kept thinking as Maddera got closer and closer and closer, coming off the stage and standing on these very unstable bar tables and just inches from me. I knew something was going to happen. I just hoped that she wasn’t going to crash in the process.

I abandoned my digital camera and attempted in vain to stabilize the tables that Maddera was standing upon.

Then it suddenly dawned on me about what she was about to do.

Maddera shouted to the crowd without her monster vocal tone and then went into a crucifixion pose.  She stepped to her right and one step away from being directly in front of me. And then she dropped while finishing off the song.

An official (or unofficial, whichever) CASKET OF CASSANDRA stage dive. Something I had never personally experience from them. It was pretty bad ass though.

So I don’t know when I will be seeing them again. I hope its soon. I don’t know if they will abandon the pajamas. But I think it worked with great entertainment value. So kudos to CASKET OF CASSANDRA.

Check them out!!

metalmonsters

“To fans in a festival setting it’s like a picnic. You want to have a good time with your friends in that crowd. And in the background you hear the band play, ‘Oh, that’s my favorite song!’ everyone is there to enjoy the afternoon and that’s about it.”~ Tom Araya

Oh my… it is that time of year again for SXSW Festival.

More than a week of “celebrities” and musicians of all kinds showcasing their new album or new film or whatever they need to do in order to get their infamy.

Hell, even Grumpy Cat was back this year!! Last year, I got to sit next to the cat and pet it while idiot photo journalists went wild with their cameras once the feline let out a meow. They acted as if they never saw or heard a cat make a noise. But I digress. That was last year. fc2

But before the so-called “official” part of the festival devoted to the music, there’s been an influx of people and bands that have been playing all along Historic Sixth Street for free. No wristbands, no cover. Just an ID to show you are or are not 21+ and you’re in.

Let’s jump into this now. Metal Monsters of Texas. This full day of music featured ten heavy metal bands from Texas. Not all of them were from Austin. But all of them from the state of Texas.

Naturally, I got myself down there because of two reasons: FEAR CONTROL & CASKET OF CASSANDRA. The two biggest bands that made the largest impression on me from SXSW Festival of LAST year. And I’ve been following them ever since.

FEAR CONTROL went on stage first and it worked to the venue’s advantage that their music was heard outside and it drew people inside. I hadn’t seen FEAR CONTROL play since the big birthday weekend I celebrated last January.

The band is currently working out a schedule for them to be in the studio to record. So far as I know, they have finished two tracks. And now they are playing them live on stage. fc1

And they are both awesome!!!

FEAR CONTROL actually never disappoints when performing live on stage. The newer material that they are playing now is catchy in a sense that it grabs you and throws you against the wall a few times before slamming you back down on the ground and into the pit. I think the band is getting harder, heavier, and producing a lot more of an edgy sound. And it is actually thrilling. It definitely sets a tone and a mood. And I think that is what I like about music that I listen to.

Certain bands set certain moods. FEAR CONTROL sets a mood to keep the night alive and well. It is nearly a party atmosphere.

The most surprising was the return of “Off With His Head” to the setlist. With the band jumping into a new recording session, they obviously are going to leave their older stuff behind. But they brought it back and I hadn’t heard it in so long that I don’t remember the last time. They all know its my favorite song of theirs.

Then my new friend, Lisa was standing behind me. She knows too. So as I was enjoying the crap out of it, she was patting me and rubbing my head and just making sure that I knew she was there and she knew. Such friends I have with this band.

FEAR CONTROL plays The Heart of Texas Fest (which is where I found them last year) on Wednesday, the so-called “official day” of music opening to SXSW Festival. You can find it on 7th & Neches Streets. And its free. Come by, say hello, and enjoy some balls-to-the-wall heavy metal music.

And this is the first of MANY blog posts of SXSW Festival 2015 that is soon to be come here. Hang on!!!

scale“Music can change the world because it can change people.”~ Bono

As I sit here counting pennies for two upcoming shows in 2015 that I wish to attend, I found myself thinking back on the year about what all I have seen, done, and accomplished as far as the music world is concerned. Both as a fan and the first time ever jumping seriously into its industry. I had become the SUPER UBER FAN of many bands this year.

After years of brutal nagging and moaning from family and other colleagues about how I needed to get out of the house and away from the computer and do something with my life, once I was introduced to the band Casket of Cassandra on the 1st of January and I got to see them perform in February, I started to embark on a musical journey that would both get me out of the house and have me doing something that I liked which ultimately led to having my sorrows and worries slip away if only for a few hours at a time.

More than 30 times this year did I see live music. And that did include a number of new bands that I discovered during 2014 SXSW Music Festival.

And I did make ONE surprise trip to Houston in January to be there at a baby shower for Dr. & Mrs. Froth, in which was a very big success to be a surprise. However I am not counting it as there was no show, no band playing, no concert. I sure surprised the hell out of them though.

After Casket of Cassandra came along Beautiful Disturbance and  Wellborn Road in early March. Just days before 2014 SXSW Music Festival began. I would see Beautiful Disturbance again two more times during SXSW, but it would come to pass that Beautiful Disturbance would dissolve and be re-born as “Queen of Kings” and swiftly after that they packed up everything and moved on out to Los Angeles. But because of Beautiful Disturbance and SXSW, I would be introduced to other bands that I ended up liking a whole lot. Such is the cases of Resisting Vegas and very heavy octane and in your freaking face band of Fear Control. Of which I would see Fear Control a grand total of NINE times throughout 2014.

Then Poc Nation would lead to me discovering Nancy Silva Project. I would see Nancy Silva Project three times this year, four if you count the time I went out in the rain and NSP decided not to play but I got to hang out with Nancy Silva for much of the night. You tell me. Does it count as a fourth time???

Poc Nation I would see only once during SXSW. Beautiful Disturbance three times this year before they left for California.

Other bands that I would see only once that caught attention were Black Feratu and Jesus Wears Armani. These bands I saw while waiting for Beautiful Disturbance to hit the stage. These bands would be the band on stage before Beautiful Disturbance. I would also be turned on to a go-go dance troup called Hell Katz as a few of their members were there. I would see Hell Katz dancing in April and then again in October.

So as you can see how this was working. And I have a lot of people/bands to be thankful for, for without them, I wouldn’t know the others.

As the months passed, I started going to the Dirty Dog Bar a lot more frequently. Many of the bands that I got to know at SXSW were playing there in the months after.

Hell Katz led to the fascination of Jitterbug Vipers, particularly their drummer. I would attempt to go see them play again in August, but would be thwarted with buildings that were not wheelchair accessible and without a second option to get me in, resulting in me hanging my head and going back home.

I would also run into Downfall 2012, that I would see twice. March and July. My apartment manager’s current band S.L.U.R.R. I would enjoy twice as well during the same summer.

Also in August was VITERA opening for Metalachi.

Resisting Vegas I would catch one more time before the end of the year. But only after the band drama flared up after Maranda Vegas was no longer a part of the band. And the connections I would have would be torn in two until there was nothing at all.

Nancy Silva Project would lead me to One-Eyed Doll and an overnight stay with the band until almost 8:00 AM the following morning when I finally arrived home.

September would be the last time I would see Casket of Cassandra for the year. Seeing them a total of four times.

After the autumn, things began to slow down. And my wallet was seemingly looking like it was on a diet. But I would catch SIX MINUTE CENTURY in October, for the third time this year.

And then the most memorable moment of my outings in 2014 when at last after more than a decade of communicating via the Internet, I met Red Vamp in the flesh while at a CD release party for the band, Iris. It took place in mid-November.

December I saw Wellborn Road for the second time and one last effort to see Fear Control.

So then it breaks down like this:

Fear Control – 9 times.
Casket of Cassandra- 4 times.
Nancy Silva Project- 3 or 4 times.
Beautiful Disturbance- 3 times.
SIX MINUTE CENTURY- 3 times.
Hell Katz- 3 times.
Downfall 2012- 2 times.
S.L.U.R.R.- 2 times.
Resisting Vegas- 2 times.
Vicious Cycle- 2 times.
Masqued-1 time.
Echo Temple- 1 time.
Jesus Wears Armani- 1 time.
Black Feratu- 1 time.
Poc Nation- 1 time.
Iris- 1 time.
Jitterbug Vipers- 1 time.

Those are the names of bands that I cared about enough to see play live in 2014 as much as possible.

I also participated in the Gathered In Darkness project with Dr. Froth and Robert Lowe. The first time ever I was in a recording studio and I know that some of my parts will be on the record for sure as my lines were of importance to the story. That is IF I am not replaced by someone else. But I don’t think that will happen.

I’ve also ventured into a new territory for the first time in my life… joining a band.

Since Independence Day of this year, I’ve been in and out of so many different cover bands and only two original bands this year. I found out the hard way that its easy to get replaced and fired from these kinds of projects. But currently I am slipping quietly out of one, and still in the other. We’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you informed. And for those surprised by this wondering what I do. I sing. I’m a bass/baritone voice range. It works.

So for those of you who were complaining about how I never get off of the Internet…. you have no idea!! If need be, go back and read everything over again. I invite you to click on everything that is linked. Most of them to my previous blog posts and a few band websites. But if you don’t, that is okay too.

Its been a busy year as we approach Christmas Eve & Day. I am sure that if you look back in December posts of this blog that you will find amusing and informative posts about Christmases past in my life. You’re more than welcome to hunt them down and read them.

If something spectacular arrives during this Christmas holiday period, I’ll be back to inform you.

But for now, that was quite a bit of reflection. I don’t regret a thing from my experiences written in this blog post.

6dec

“To me, rock music was never meant to be safe. I think there needs to be an element of intrigue, mystery, subversiveness. Your parents should hate it.”~ Trent Reznor

A little change of pace but with the same good music all wrapped up into one charity event that in the end would put smiles on many unfortunate children.

Yep. Its time for Toys For Tots. And what better time than to do it on Saint Nicholas Day….. which is celebrated predominately in Europe and awareness spread throughout Wisconsin.

But as always there is a method to the madness.

Wellborn Road was coming to town and I had not seen them play since March. I could have had a baby by now since the last time I saw them at the Red Eyed Fly, just days before the insanity of the 2014 SXSW Music Festival. And nearly a month since I last had been to Dirty Dog Bar.

But to bring a new toy and get indoors is an awesome act of charity.

When I had reached Sixth Street, I ran over to a different shop to grab batteries for my camera as I did not want to be left stranded taking a ton of photographs and then not being able to finish the night because of dead batteries.

I noticed on the wall some really kick ass “toys” for sale. I picked up a Dr. Who figure and flipped the package over and then swiftly put it away.

Then I found a Godzilla figure and did the same thing. These figures were running almost $30 a piece!!!

My childhood… ruined by inflation and time!

I am sure that some child would absolutely love these toys. But damn. My wallet would have something to say about it in protest.

So I zipped over to the Dirty Dog and turned in the toy that I had purchased into the collection boxes that were set up. I was horrified to find in the mix of action figures, stuffed animals, and Lego boxes, was a sex toy.

I could not believe it.

This is TOYS FOR TOTS. Not TOYS FOR TARTS!!

Who the hell put that in there?

Wait on second thought, I don’t want to know. Oh well. Moving on!!

Then I was swiftly greeted by members of Wellborn Road. I took advantage of the opportunity and took some photographs with the guys. But always missing the drummer. Why is it always the drummer?? Nonetheless, the guys were there. I was there. And it was time to get it going.

First up was just music for one song. I went to the stage area to figure out what was going on. Suddenly I looked up and I saw two strippers dressed as either reindeer or Santa Claus just squirming all over the stage. You would have thought they were earthworms high on crack.

My question is: Who hired the strippers?

Next was INCH OF DARK.

I’ll admit. The first two band I had never heard of. The last two bands I have. But I sat there watching and listening and thought that the lead singer and guitarist looked similar to someone but I just could not put my finger on it. But the most I sat there and listened, the better and better and better it got. So I was impressed. Only today did I find out that they were a local band. Bonus points for me.

Their bass guitarist screaming at the top of his lungs at the crowd to keep them going. He didn’t even need a microphone. I thought that was really impressive as well. To outdo a microphone!

Then was TEN FOOT BEAST.

I do not know what the situation or story is behind this band, but it ended up being just two people. A drummer and a guitarist. No vocals whatsoever. Due to conversations I participated in, I didn’t take a lot of time to listen to them unfortunately.

Wellborn Road was next, and I felt a jolt of adrenaline just shoot through my body. I knew that they were going to play my favorite song of all-time “The Mirror” and it was early in the set. How funny though to watch them write up four copies of a set list just moments before getting on stage. That’s rock and roll for you!!! 0phr1

Kicking things off with “New Found Life” from their latest album PAIN HATE REDEMPTION, there were a few people that really started to get warmed up.

There’s always something about Wellborn Road crowds that just make them cut loose.

One fan was front and center and was everywhere. He was moving to the music, headbanging, swinging on things, and overall enjoying himself. All the while attempting to hang on to a beer.

During the middle of the set, he got so into it that another man came up to him and walked him to the side up against the wall and gave him a cup of water.

Lead singer Scott Emanis probably covered every last inch of that stage either walking, marching, or jumping all over it. His stage jumping is definitely a sight worth paying for! I tried so hard to get photographs of him in mid-jump that he was in the air. But my efforts sadly were in vain. Maybe one of these days in the future. Maybe.

6dec2

Tyler Tracy

A tribute was done in honor of Dimebag Darrell. A medley of Pantera songs were performed and that probably had to be one of the coolest things I had ever personally been an eyewitness to. Very humbling too!

A few moments later was the icing on the cake for the night. At least for me. Tyler Tracy switched guitars and pulled out his custom made American flag guitar. Watching him play that was a big thrill. Considering I had been harassing him on social media to bring it with him the next time that he was in town.

Damned near broke my camera taking so many photographs of him with that guitar. Trying to get as many close up shots and shots from the floor which now I am calling TOE CAM.

Tyler Tracy is a remarkable musician. A fire fighter by trade. And an all-around, all-star bad ass. This is the guy you want in your pocket for sure!!

My first memory of him was that he stuck his guitar behind his head and then played a rocking version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” at the House of Blues in Houston, Texas. And even before that rocking out at Acadia Bar & Grill during R.N.I. Fest some years ago. So I have seen them in Houston, I have seen them in Austin. Hot damn!!!

But to be sincere, the entire band is very down to earth and very humble and proud of their growing audience and fans that they nickname the “Brew Crew.” They know that without them, they wouldn’t be who they are today.

Then Tyler totally took it to another level and allowed me to take a photograph with his American flag guitar. I damned near shit myself when he asked if I wanted to do so.

So yeah, that totally happened. The photograph- not the shit. I am however forever thankful for that opportunity.

And through all of that Scott Emanis was actually ill with a cold. But he got all those screams out and I did ask various members of the crowd if they could tell if he was sick, and they all but one said “No.”

Even Critical Assembly who played after Wellborn Road threw some respect out there stating that they destroyed the place.

I honestly hope that I get to see Wellborn Road play again and again and again and again. As much as I can. Whether I am here or there or wherever. Being the #1 fan in this area and a member of the Brew Crew, I have that flag flying at all times.

0.1FC

“Well, my brother says Hello. So, hooray for speech therapy.”~ Emo Philips

I made it out to Dirty Dog Bar tonight and back in one piece. And even though we are experiencing what seems to be our first freeze of the winter months, which honestly doesn’t happen until the first week of December, I made it out and came back and I was more than happy to have done so.

Another show. But one last hurrah for FEAR CONTROL at least for 2014. And I battled whether or not I was going to go to begin with but lead singer Kash Sarkaria talked me into it, mentioning that it would probably be the last time FEAR CONTROL played live in Austin for the year.

Most recently, my adventures saw me going to the last live performance of CASKET OF CASSANDRA, it made sense to go to FEAR CONTROL. Plus hey, I love FEAR CONTROL!

I think that going back, that I have gone to see FEAR CONTROL play live the most out of any other musical acts in the state of Texas in the year of 2014. I’ll have to go back again and just count, but I know its more than just a couple.

The weather however was very much threatening to be a serious factor which dictated just how late I would be able to stay downtown before having to come home. And yet it came to be that the headlining band, 36 CrazyFists, is actually from Alaska. So if they were going to be out, then certainly Texans could come out to the show.

So I rolled out into the streets to get to the bus stop, not really knowing just how long I would be dealing with the elements first hand. I did dress in layers and was quite warm. I even took a shot of whiskey for good measure, and everyone who reads this knows I don’t really “drink” so… that was that.

To my personal dismay, the southbound bus stop was engulfed in construction. I had to go north just to get turned around and go south so I could head downtown. It took me an extra fifteen and about three miles extra before getting put in the right direction.

My biggest concern was the descending, colder temperatures as I spent the evening with music that I can appreciate and enjoy. Thankfully there was no precipitation expected.

I rolled on inside at the Dirty Dog Bar and had been kicking back for about fifteen before I actually and literally got kicked OUT.

It was 6:15 PM. Doors were posted to be 6:00 PM. And I’m being told I had to go back outside. Back into the cold. Back out into the impending darkness. What the hell, people?!??!?!?

I saw then on the doors that they had printed a time of 6:30 PM for the doors to be open and the show starting promptly at 7:00 PM.

I’m getting really sick and tired of these times getting screwed around. I’m tired of sitting outside- for no good reason- when door times are posted at a certain hour. I do not know who’s fault that is… but if I ever find out, LOOK OUT!!

So then FEAR CONTROL hit the stage as the second scheduled act.

FEAR CONTROL has new material, new songs. And through the sharing of privately marked YouTube videos, I was able to get a taste of the new stuff when others were not able to. I was excited. Their new song, “Masks” rocks to the center of your core. I was thrilled and pumped up to hear it live. 0.1FC4

But I had to get inside first. That didn’t happen until about ten minutes before seven. Absolutely stupid and retarded.. I swear!!!

FEAR CONTROL took over on stage and kicked it into overdrive. I mean, it was expected to happen but you never really know just how far Sarkaria is going to take things.

Guitarist Frankie Rodriguez allowed himself into consumption with the metal gods as he wailed on his instrument.

The band just compliments one another to bring forth the entertainment in heavy metal music as one has never seen before. They do so well with one another on stage.

“Masks” was played live early on. Its in the beginning stage of becoming one of those tunes that sticks with you to the end of time. Much like “Off With His Head” has done with me. I really cannot wait for their second appearance inside the recording studio to hear what these new songs are to be like. Its one thing being played live, its another when its recorded.

One thing that I have come to know about and admire about FEAR CONTROL is that they play with the same level of energy and passion no matter what the size of their audience is. It could be a packed venue or a filled up parking lot or it could be about fifteen people inside the same building and they still come at you hard and strong. 0.1FC3

But going back, “Masks” was an absolute treat for me personally. I cannot wait to hear it more and more and more.

FEAR CONTROL is one of these bands that I stumbled across.

Ever since then, I’ve been stuck and surrendered to their invoking metal powers.

I found myself just lost and not really caring much about the cold and bitter outside world that was just a few feet behind me through the double doors which led to Historic Sixth Street.

Needless to say that I have never been disappointed with FEAR CONTROL. Even when they got snipped at to cut things short and they played a shorter version of “Off With His Head” at the end of their set a few months ago, it still was entertaining and fun for me that I just melted away from the world just for a little while.

What was rather amusing was the impromptu game of “Let’s Fuck With The Time Keeper” as they were told that they had time left for one more song and they fully intended on playing “Off With His Head” but would it be the shortened version or the full on seven minute epic version?

The band blazed through and Kash Sarkaria kept his eyes peeled and what happened can only be described as the “speed metal version” of “Off With His Head” which was performed from beginning to end in its entirety but instead of taking a little more than seven minutes, it took just under five.

The brotherhood of FEAR CONTROL off the stage is through the roof and phenomenal. I dare say: off the chain. It honestly hasn’t taken very long since I first saw them play live at SXSW 2014 to the point where I’ve had the opportunity to know the members of the band personally. It is awesome, awesome stuff. 0.1FC2

“Masks” and “Off With His Head” are going to probably end up being those two great songs that can identify the band as their journey continues. My younger brother and I still believe that they have the sounds of Death Angel and both my brother and I still believe that FEAR CONTROL needs to contact Death Angel to get together and do some work together whether that is a tour or whatever.

If you like Death Angel, you’ll like FEAR CONTROL, hands down. No second guessing.

But as I had feared, the outside weather and temperatures were dropping like it was hot. Er, cold.

So I left, almost ditching their merch girl Sam as I was hanging out with her after the set. I’m not sure if that will prove to be a mistake and if so, if it will be fatal. One moment I am there, the next moment I am out the door without saying much at all in the ways of a farewell. Sam was looking quite fetching!!! That could have spelled DANGER for those who can’t handle it!

Thankfully my journey across downtown led me to the bus stop and I didn’t really have to wait long at all before I boarded the bus heading back up north and got home before 10:00 PM. Nice!

Just a couple of days shy of the very intense event of my highest honor of meeting fetish model, Red Vamp, as she will be in town. I did write about it briefly in a previous blog post. I’m trying not to flood this blog with my nervousness and excitement about it before it even happens.

So chalk up another show for me and FEAR CONTROL. I cannot wait to see what they will bring to the table in 2015!!!!!

 

0.62_n“The last act is bloody, however pleasant all the rest of the play is: a little earth is thrown at last upon our head, and that is the end forever.”~Blaise Pascal

When I heard that CASKET OF CASSANDRA was doing a show, I knew that I wanted to go.

When I heard further that this would be the final show for CASKET OF CASSANDRA for 2014, I knew that I HAD to go.

There was no debate to it. Get there or get gone. Granted that I totally suck and left after they played, but sometimes you just cannot stay out all night and you do what you can. I’m just glad that I went out and SKIPPED band practice.

Again under the threat of rain, I very happily ran outside early in the evening and arrived far too soon. Without any notice, the first band dropped out and so everything was pushed ahead one hour. And that included what time the doors opened.

I went to a place called Casino el Camino to get a bite to eat. I promise you this much for sure. Not even under the threat of death would you EVER get me to go back in there and order food from them again. NEVER.

But I wasn’t out of my dwelling because of food, I was out because of music.

Music that I had not seen in a while. Probably since Independence Day.

If doors were pushed aside one hour to open at 7:00, the people at the Dirty Dog Bar have been doing a piss poor job at time management.

This is the second time that I have gone to the Dirty Dog Bar and the second time to find their doors locked and closed when it posted notices were stating otherwise. They need to wake the hell up. And yes, if you cannot tell already: I am getting pissed off about it.

With the first band dropping out and everything pushed ahead one hour, CASKET OF CASSANDRA would start the early evening off.

I jumped right up front dead center. Its like my second home at the venue. And I never get bothered by anyone. I could speculate why but there’s no time for that right now.

0.507359_n

Riles Olacsi (left) and Amanda Maddera (front and right)

I kept hearing from my talks with all of the band members individually that the set was going to be a heavier set list and what not. I kind of assumed that they would not play my favorite song. And to be honest, I would not be surprised if they just stopped playing it because they have this new album out “Day Four” and they’re going to focus on the newer material. (I had learned my lessons about expectation with “Zero Hour” from SIX MINUTE CENTURY.) However, there was to be other tunes performed that I enjoy just as much. So with that information, I was PUMPED UP to see this show!!

I will admit that I spoke to their guitarist, Riley, and told him that “Day Four” was the scariest album I had ever heard.

I don’t know if he read the blog post about it when I first got it, but now he was getting feedback in verbal form. And it was exactly the feedback that he was craving deep down inside. All of that put aside, I was ready to hang on for the wild ride. But I simply would have no clue as to what was truly lying before me.

There simply was no telling at all. The band knew the set list, but nobody knew what the results were going to be. The band wasn’t even sure if the crowds were going to enjoy it.

Sure enough, this set was insane and Amanda Maddera looked as if she had gone insane faster than a tear drop falling off the cheek of the lonely. The contorted facial expressions that Maddera let off were totally intrusive and I sat back thinking “Wow!”

I really began to think (or at least ponder) whether or not Maddera snapped into insanity or if she is just that good of a performer. Riley too, was quite the shocker when he was all over the stage. Stomping, marching, kicking everywhere he went. And it just didn’t seem to stop.

There were times where I, myself was so into the music that I could have cared what the scores of people behind me thought. And I think that is kind something important for me to remember when I go out to venues and clubs and bars. I don’t drink, so I’m not there to do that… but I will go there to listen to music by people that I know and bands that I love. Besides if you spend too much time at a show worried about what people behind you are thinking, you’ll destroy your self confidence to pieces. 0.74877_n

I’m getting off subject. Hang on here.

The more and more the set went on, the actual scarier it became. Amanda would often come front and center on stage and be directly standing in front of me while on stage. And of course, I panicked again… not knowing what she would want me to do as far as audience participation. Put a fist in the air? Raise the horns? Scream and shout? I just don’t know. To each their own, they say. And its so true. I just have not figured out what Maddera insists on during their shows.

Suddenly the swarm of chaos came over the entire band. Everyone was doing their own thing, but it was completely in disharmonious harmony. They didn’t all do the same things on stage but it all fit.

And they ALL began to look like they had lost their minds. It was a sight to behold. I couldn’t make my camera’s flash go off quick enough because as I am trying to capture one person’s facial expression, I lost another one by the time I finished with the first one and would have to wait to see something else come up.

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Quinton Rivera bass (left) Isaac Holliday guitar(right)

However, CASKET OF CASSANDRA did not disappoint. By the middle of the set, all members looked possessed by the spirits of heavy metal music.

Ladies and gentlemen: This………… is what I enjoy when it comes to metal bands. This “appearance” of fear, domination, and total and complete insanity just puts all kinds of charges through me. And it works that way every damned time.

Patiently I had been waiting for those songs that I had heard prior to them starting the show.

“Day Four” which is also the name of their new album has some nasty-creepy elements to it. Honestly it scares me to pieces. I NEVER listen to that album after dark. NEVER. And they played it LIVE!!!

Finally towards the end, the best had been saved for the last! Well, at least in my opinion.

“The Kraken’s Reign” and “Nail To The Head” rounded up the set.

THE KRAKEN ARISES
IT FEEDS ON YOUR SEASICK SORROW
AND WITH ITS AWESOME MIGHT
YOU MIGHT AS WELL BE 20,000 LEAGUES BELOW

Yeah, you gotta love that. Even if you don’t like heavy metal and it sounds like a lot of syllables that don’t belong. That imagery of fear and looming death is just a killer thought to have go on in your head. Especially once you had been believing that the entire band had gone insane. Including drummer, Chris Campagna who was sweatier than the whole band combined times twenty. He works so damned hard at his job. Its admirable.0.4516_n

Someone remind him (or me) he owes me a broke drum stick from the show. I called dibs.

Then “Nail To The Eye” which I’ve not heard since July. It never gets played live the same way twice. NEVER.

GLASS BONES
PAPER SKIN
FRAGILE AS FUCK
FACED WITH STICKS AND STONES
YOU’RE SHIT OUT OF LUCK 

Again. Classic lyrics. Would love to know who wrote the words to these last two songs. Just for giggles and common knowledge.

CASKET OF CASSANDRA has never honestly been a band to disappoint. As much as I stay positive when reviewing or discussing other shows that I have been to, I usually stay away from the negatives because who wants to read a bunch of negative crap?

With CASKET OF CASSANDRA, I’ve not once found any negative experiences.

Bands will often talk to me after their set and talk about their errors and mistakes that they made when they were playing. I don’t get that from COC. Honestly, I wished that other bands would stop doing that because hardly anyone notices those mistakes. Unless they are all assholes.

COC though just takes you by the face, scratches it off, and feeds it back to you with every spoonful that is a musical note that they play. Every chord, every note is another spoonful of your own face. coc2

Amanda Maddera however did catch me way off guard to the point where I just sat there helpless. She had crawled down onto the floor of stage and slithered over the monitor with microphone in hand. Her hair was over her face and her brutal monster vocals were screeching everywhere. It was to the point that I honestly could hear the screams even without the microphone dead set in her face.

But her slowly moving over the top of the monitor freaked me right out to the point of literal terror. She looked like the thing from “The Ring” that crawled out of the television set. Only this time there was no television set and she was heading straight for me.

I had no idea what to do. Should I attempt to catch her? Should I grab a hold of her so that she didn’t just fall face first onto the floor? And for the love of all things good and happy — why the hell was she giving off the appearance of horror?

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If I had taken a photograph of it, you ALL would know what I am talking about. But I was too much in this state of fear and uncertainty to think straight and clear to know to take a photo.

Again, it has to be great performances by Amanda Maddera. And by the entire band actually. When they finished and said good night… they came off the stage and were all smiles. A bit winded and exhausted, but smiling pretty big. One has to wonder how they could go from excitement to pure evil and back to contentment again.

It is sad to hear that this will be all that they will do on stage for sometime. They will have some other dates that will be out of town. But nothing locally. And yes that stinks but this time of year apparently is difficult to gather everyone together.

I still am looking forward to the next time they will play here locally. One never knows and something might come up where they could believe that they could play. They aren’t going anywhere. And if they never make it locally as they have been thinking, they will come back stronger than ever in 2015.

This my second show in four days. It seemed pretty hollow and empty after being at a One-Eyed Doll show which crammed the entire venue last Saturday. But again I don’t need to be worried about who is there and who is not there. And I will be back again for #3 this coming Saturday for FEAR CONTROL.

This means three shows in seven days. All various bands. And I’m rocking out to each and every one of them!!!! So if you need me, you know where I will be.

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“I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.”~Paulo Coelho

Part II – One-Eyed Doll.

The first difficult lesson that I learned was never to move from your spot if you got a good place in front of the stage, if you are at a One-Eyed Doll show.

Being a local band, there’s plenty of people who were there for One-Eyed Doll specifically.  I’d like to think upwards towards 90% of the crowd was there for them.

And I had never seen Dirty Dog Bar that packed with people. I probably said that in the last post. I was the only person there wearing a NANCY SILVA PROJECT t-shirt. And I wore it with total pride, against the oceans of One-Eyed Doll shirts.

But this was my first time for One-Eyed Doll. And I have been watching videos on YouTube for the past two months or so just trying to familiarize myself with the band.

The only real connection I was able to make was listening to two songs called “You’re A Vampire” and “Committed.”

When the show started, I was so far deep in the back after trying to find Nancy Silva to hang out that when I attempted to reach the stage that nobody would move so I got pushed over to the side of the stage closer to the restrooms, watching the show from behind. Watching Kimberly Freeman’s back the entire time, unless she marched over towards the side of the stage before going back up front.

I missed the silly introductions and realized that the first song that they were going to perform was “Committed” and right from the start I found myself in a spot where I would know this first song, but nothing more… unless she performed “Vampire” and she did not. So everything else was new.

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One-Eyed Doll. Photograph by M. Eagle (I was sitting directly behind and to the right of the guitar stand with limited visibility.)

I just didn’t know what to think about this entire show. Filled with silly props, silly banter, silly lyrics, and silly stage presence. But it worked. It turns out that Kimberly Freeman and Junior are actually incredibly talented musicians who makes silly turn into gold.

I kept wondering if she was the female rock and roll version of Weird Al Yankovic. I just couldn’t take a lot of the lyrical content seriously and come to find out, you aren’t supposed to.

During “Committed” she kept up with her high kicks. I had previously asked on her official Facebook page how many kicks she predicted to do during the entire tour. I received the answer of “One Million.” I’m tellin’ ya though, with as many kicks as she did during that first song, I am pretty sure she came close to hitting that mark.

There was quite a bit of audience participation, including allowing members of the crowd to join her on stage.

From my searches on YouTube, I noticed that there was a lot of gross stuff too. Spitting and screaming the demeaning of others by humiliation. Even one video a few years ago where she had one man on stage with her and she just up and slapped him then spit on him.

Freakin’ gross! Can you say “assault” charges?

Who in the world puts up with that? Who in the world thinks that’s great entertainment?? The members of the One-Eyed Doll nation. Although sufficed to say that there was no spitting. No slapping. But plenty of audience members on stage to dance and dress up in silly costumes. There was also plenty of audience participation to scream out phrases like “Yee-haw!” during songs such as “Be My Friend.”

One audience member was brought onto the stage and it was announced that it was his birthday weekend. Come to find out that it was the same person who gave me the VIP pass earlier as a gift. So he got to hang out during a song or two. The One-Eyed Doll nation is a very close and supportive group, whether they are from Texas or from Tasmania or Toledo. 0.one-eyed-doll

Poor Kimberly was met by one member of one of the earlier bands that was on stage before her. He was so drunk that he just made his way up the stairs and stood right next to her. Her sound technician played a dual role as he pulled the slobbering guy off the stage and away from Kimberly. All she had to do was stand there and keep her distance. And I wondered that with all the audience invitations of joining her how many times people who were drunk would misunderstand her and just show up as this guy did? How many times has that happened?

Towards the end of her 90 minute set, she sang “My Little Bus” which I am still conflicted by, lyrically. But musically its catchy as hell. I knew that one, but that was it as far as familiarity was concerned.

I still had a bouquet of roses that I had planned to give to Kimberly but I did not know how I was going to do that. I could throw them at her feet on stage but she could have used them as a stage prop and then in the end they would be destroyed. Or someone else might have taken credit, and that’s never good.

At the end of the show, Kimberly encouraged her fans to follow her to the back of the venue near her merchandise table, which was LOADED with goodies. I just was too damned poor to buy even a $3 sticker. But then again, the sticker is THREE dollars. But having the crowds follow her reminded me of the Pied Piper.

It just stinks that a majority of the items that are cool and can be used to wave the flag were $20 or more. And it sucked because I didn’t have any money for that.

Kimberly Freeman and Junior stood by their merchandise table and was available for photos, autographs, and simple conversation. But there were splintered lines coming towards Kimberly from at least six different directions. It just never seemed to move because you couldn’t tell where people were coming in from. 0.0aDecker

Me with my camera which was beginning to run out of batteries and I just was not into any position to stop and search for the extra batteries that I had brought with me. If I had done that I would be distracted from the lines and lose my place whenever it decided to move.

Plus when people were done with meeting Kimberly they did an about face back into the crowd which I thought was stupid. I felt as if they should have made a path to go around the outside of the crowds who were waiting to talk to Kimberly rather than go back into the same crowds by going back the way you came.

People were expecting ME to move out of THEIR way- and that just wasn’t going to happen. Your dumb ass should’ve gone around the outside and now you are wedging me and my wheelchair between you, the merchandise table and a stripper pole which is located in the middle of the floor out of nowhere. This is not my problem nor my fault. You should have gone around.

Then I got closer and closer to where I could actually see Kimberly Freeman sitting there.

She had a very unique way of deciding who she would see next. Nevermind the rule of “next in line” especially since there were about six different lines coming in from different directions.

Kimberly would stare blankly ahead and stick her index finger into the air and whomever touched their index finger with hers, was next.

It was like some twisted, light-hearted game of E.T. Phone-Home. Minus the part where her fingertip was supposed to light up.

Me and my roses on my lap, playing around with my camera and realizing that the life of the batteries were extremely low was not a game. I had a surprise in store for the person ahead of me in the line that we both were in. They were short and I have long arms so I was going to reach around and touch fingers with Kimberly and take my turn. Besides, I was losing precious time wanting to do another one hundred and two things before leaving the venue and getting ready for the VIP party.

But my plan would not work. Instead, Kimberly saw me crushed against the side of the table with people looming over me from all sides, basically trapping me where I sat.

Kimberly looked and saw me and then I heard “I am going to come to you.” She got off her chair and moved to my side and hugged me. Even after being on stage for an hour and a half, moving around under those hot stage lights, her scent was still a bit intoxicating.

I gave her the roses and for the rest of the night was in shock and disbelief that someone gave her roses. Constantly asking if they truly were for her. Not even Kimberly Freeman would remember the old traditions.

Then I picked up my camera but nothing would happen. The batteries were just dead by the next time I turned it on. So I had to accept the substitute of someone taking their cell phone and taking a photograph of Kimberly and I together and then having that person text it to me, in which I had to text it to someone else who would e-mail to me so that I would be able to post it to the Internet.

I remember very clearly and vividly that Kimberly was so touched by the flowers that tears formed into the corners of her eyes, but the tears did not fall.

She touched my hand and thanked me. I then turned and lifted her hand to my lips and kissed her hand with reverence, chivalry, gallantness, affection, and respect. I was informed later by someone else that it won her over.

I mentioned to her that I would be attending the VIP party and told her that someone that I did not know was my hero for giving me his other VIP pass for nothing, otherwise I just wouldn’t have been able to afford. Kimberly stunned me with her answer of “We would have hooked you up so that you could come.”

Wow………..

More affection, more hugs, and more kind words and then I was finished. I shouted behind me that everyone needed to move the hell out of my way or suffer being ran over. Everyone parted like the Red Sea and I just kicked it backwards into high gear. I connected with my ride with the family from Richmond and then shortly after that the bar closed and the person on the PA system who was announcing the closure of the bar was being a colossal dickhead about it.

I said good night to Rai and he vowed once more to come by my place some time soon. And again I was not deterred and encouraged him to bring it. Just make sure that Nancy Silva was with him when he did stop by. I am hopeful that he had at least a little bit of seriousness within him. I said farewell and bolted for the doors, hoping to find Nancy Silva to say good night and farewell to her. Even though that I did not want to. I wished I could have kept her here in town forever.

I ran outside and found Nancy Silva just standing on the sidewalk having conversations with others. I sat nearby but didn’t interrupt. Then she said she was leaving to go back to San Antonio. We embraced, I kissed her on the cheek gave her my affections verbally and then BEGGED her to come back sooner than six months.

Then it was onward toward the hotel of my colleagues so that we could get into their vehicle to head to the VIP after party.

We were stopped by two girls who were drunk out of the skull, kissing on Robert. The first girl just pecking his lips but the second girl attempted to start a making out session with Robert but that was all stopped by Robert’s wife thankfully.

People on Sixth Street after 2:00 AM– annoying as hell.

We pilled in and set the GPS system up and took off for the house where the party was being held.

Next Post: One-Eyed Doll VIP After Show Acoustic Party.