Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Small Hiatus

I haven't really had the desire to write anything lately. Been busy with work and trying to deal with some other things going on in my life and it's left me somewhat drained. That and there are some things I really miss right now and I'm just trying to get by as best I can for the time being, which means that if I did write anything it'd be mopey, lame-o crap anyways so it's probably better for all that I just push away the keyboard for a little bit.

So, I'll be back to write sometime. I'm just taking a little time away.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Down


It’s not often that a band comes to town without an opening act, but that’s what Down did when they came to play First Avenue here in Minneapolis. With the venue completely packed with fans of all ages and sizes, before Down came on, we were all treated to a video montage of rock performances of some of the classic rock greats, such as Cream, AC/DC, and Black Sabbath.

After this quite lengthy montage (it was on for over an hour), the band finally came on stage to immense amounts of cheering. They busted right into playing, eschewing any pre-playing bantering. From that moment on, everyone was treated to almost two hours of stoner metal, and there definitely would have been more had there not been a curfew that needed to be enforced for all of the young ones that came out to the show.

Having been to a fair share of metal and metalcore shows lately, it’s seemed like so many bands are only concerned with how many breakdowns they can fit in or how “heavy” they can sound that they forgot about writing solid riffs and good songs. Down reacquainted me with the notion of heaviness in the classic sense of the word. They didn’t fill their set with breakdowns (in fact there were none) or resort to screaming as loud as they could, instead they played some of the sludgiest, heaviest riffs written in the past couple of decades. Not since the great Sabbath has a band been able to capture that classic rock vibe in a modern setting.

Phil Anselmo is a hell of a frontman, commanding in presence and getting the crowd into it. And he didn’t get people into their performance using the usual clich├ęd tactics most frontmen use, such as making people clap or asking for applause or telling people to get up. What he did was sing his heart out, talk a little with the crowd between songs, and sing his heart out some more. He’s always had pipes, but it seems like they were made for this type of music as his gritty, loud singing fit the band’s vibe perfectly.

Throughout their set, they managed to mix together a fair number of songs from all of their albums, focusing a little more time on songs from their debut and their latest, giving II a little less focus, but still covering the better songs from that album.

There was a phenomenal reaction to the songs from Over the Under with one of the biggest crowd reactions coming in the form of cheers for “Beneath the Tides”. It was also great to see the crowd get into things when they slowed everything down to play “Jail” near the end of their set before breaking into the crowd pleasing “Bury Me in Smoke”. Talk about a tremendous way to end a set. Everything about that song feels and sounds loud. Listening to it on CD is nothing compared to hearing it blasting at you in a live environment.

It’s really rare to see a band that seems to love to death what they are doing and who do what they do extremely well. Down is that rarity. Take the time to see them if you have the chance. It’s more than worth any price of admission.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dragon-freakin-Force



Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know they're a cheesy band, but watching the two Dragonforce guitarists shred it up is always fun. Jared emailed me this video and it definitely needed to be shared.

Oh yeah, and before I forget, this is the final song in Guitar Hero III and it totally dominated me... on medium. Man, I suck.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lonely Halloween

Having Halloween in the middle of the week just isn't as fun as when it comes on a weekend. No one really wants to go do anything on Halloween when it comes on a Wednesday. I finished with a long day of work and knew I had a long day of work the next day so the last thing I really wanted to do was find somewhere to go out to and "celebrate" the holiday. If it was a Friday or Saturday, sure, I would have tried to do something interesting, but it was a freakin' Wednesday, probably the lamest day of the week. So I stayed home to hand out candy to kids...

...only not a single kid showed up. I live on a pretty main road and am only about 6 blocks from two different schools, so I figured I'd have at least a few little rugrats show up. I even know some of the people living on my block have kids, so at the least I thought they'd stop by. Instead, nothing. I had my porch light on, was upstairs watching TV in the main floor living room, and waited from 5:30 until 8:30 for any trick-or-treaters to come by. No one did, though.

It's a little sad that my whole night was spent looking forward to giving little kids I don't know candy that their parents probably don't want them to have in the first place, but I always remember Halloween being a fun day, so I wanted to pass some of that fun back on to the little ones in my neighborhood.

I talked with my parents to see if they got any kids out on the farm and they also didn't have a soul stop by. My mom mentioned that a lot of the schools, churches, and other kids groups in their area had Halloween activities that they did instead of trick-or-treating. That's cool, I guess, since kids aren't running around town but... dammit, I wanted to give away some of the candy I had building up in the house! Since I couldn't push it off on to kids, now I'm stuck with it and Lord knows I have no will power when it comes to candy. I might as well get prepared to put on a few more pounds. *Sigh*