A raunchy creation propagated from the Sunset Strip’s infamous ’80s metal scene, L.A. Guns is an old-salt act with nearly 30 years of rock action under its studded belt. Aesthetically, the group is part glam and part punk—black hair, aviators, tattoos and motorcycle jackets laden with skull and pistol imagery have long lent an air of playful toughness. Aurally, the group is quintessential hair metal—rock and roll songs that deal with girls and hell-raising punctuated by killer shredding.
The Tesla show sold out last-minute at the Hard Rock on Saturday night. I was sulking alone with my Stoli & Tonic at the smoke-filled Center Bar when a middle-aged, long-haired rocker dressed in camo and white sneakers tried to scalp me a ticket. He wanted $50 but I talked him down to $20, and I was in!
There were no expectations: Just another band I had never seen live that I needed to cross off my list. Little did I know I was in for an ass-kicking surprise.
Tesla was lumped in with glam metal bands despite its lack of spandex, hair spray or makeup. Like many talented bands of the era, they went down with the rock ship as it collided with a glacier known as grunge in 1991. After a brief hiatus, the band was resurrected in the early oughts, and is proudly on tour in celebration of 25 years together.
With four out of five original members, Tesla sounded tight, looked amazing and had a vibrant stage presence. Say what you will about metal, but a live metal show will always deliver if there’s a solid drummer, lightning-fast guitarists, a vocalist with a vast range, and a sound engineer that can bring out the best in the music.
Tesla’s older, harder songs were surprisingly face-melting, while the newer stuff was refreshing—
When Darkness Falls is an all-Native metal band from Acoma Pueblo. Tonight, the six-piece that first came together in 2004 will be releasing its second album, BloodStone, on Mysteria Records. The all-ages party happens in Downtown Albuquerque at El Rey Theater (620 Central SW) at 7:30 p.m.. Special guests Winterlock, Ethnic De Generation, Bear: The Nightmare and Torture Victim open the show. Admission is $10.
See that thing on the left center of this flyer that looks like a fuzzy squiggle? It says “Impaled Offering,” which is the gory name of a metal band playing with Torture Victim, Echoes of Fallen and Loknar at the Launchpad on Monday, April 11, beginning at 8 p.m. ($4 for those 21-and-over). Why some bands choose to create illegible typefaces confuses me more than algebra. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Man, I’m going to take a rash of shit for this one, I can just feel it. But it’s not every day that one gets the opportunity to have a phone chat with the most famous metal midget on the face of the Earth, so I grabbed it. What can I say?
Albuquerque metal four-piece Frostbite will not be getting a lump of coal this year. Tonight the band hosts its Fourth Annual charitable musical affair known as the Frostbite Food Drive. This event is now taking place at the Moonlight Lounge, located at 120 Central SW at the corner of Second Street, NOT at the Launchpad, as previously scheduled. Still rocking for a worthy cause along with Frostbite are Shattered on Stone, Green Street Elite, Just Lazarus and Futilitarian. The food drive benefits the Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico, which has been helping struggling families for more than 30 years as the state's largest hunger relief organization. Bring nonperishable food items to the show or drop them off at any Planet Fitness gym and feel like St. Nic himself. This show begins at 9 p.m. and admission is $5.
GDP and Pistol bring hip-hop from New Jersey; Obelisk will contribute Santa Fe heavy metal; Albuquerque’s Stabbed in Back provide the punk rock. This eclectic evening of music happens on Thursday, Nov. 18, at REVLIS (712 Central SE) beginning at 7 p.m. A fiver gets you in. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Three stellar heavy metal bands hailing from the late ’80s and ’90s proved they are three stellar heavy metal bands in 2010. Thursday, Aug. 26, at Tingley Coliseum proved to be a night of more than just memory-lane metal in the best possible way.
Testament took the stage with full force, delivering an awesome—albeit too short for this viewer’s tastes—set of straightforward, no-frills metal. Fans were right there chanting lyrics and appeasing Chuck Billy’s requests to divide and conquer during a game of “mosh more than that side.” Much to security’s dismay, the crowd was quite ambitious—yet good to one another. These boys deserve a spotlight on an upcoming tour for sure.
Megadeth was in awesome form, and that’s kudos coming from a lukewarm fan of their recorded material. Deciding to drop their volume a bit was a golden choice, as all lyrics were distinguishable and poignant, their message courtesy of Dave Mustaine. The band played a host of old and new material, including such crowd favorites as "Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying" and the radio hit "Symphony of Destruction." Many wardrobe and guitar changes later, and the audience seemed won over by these mega metal men.
That is until Slayer took center stage. There was no mistaking this was what this crowd came hungry for. The complete brutality of Slayer’s metal onslaught with it's punk overtones rattled this rodeo-and-cow arena to its very foundation. Tingley Coliseum still has the ability to host top-notch, big-name shows as much as the The Pavilion.
A wealth of songs came from albums Seasons in the Abyss and Reign in Blood. Guitarist Kerry King and company delivered one explosive, guitar-screaming song after another. Working the crowd into a frenzy was the name of the game, and played well it was. By the time "Angel of Death" rang out, Albuquerque was all ears and pit-loving leg stomps. This night was owned by Slayer, and members gave it their all right up until the house lights came up.
All three bands were a welcome reminder that in this age of downloads, backing tracks and glittery over-production, kick ass bands still keep kids and elders alike coming back for more.
Demons and miscellaneous beasts battle 16th-century knights in a (ultimately victorious) struggle to proclaim noise/conceptual/prog-metal performances by The Body, Sandia Man and Iceolus. The show happens at Andre’s Underground (3503 Central NE) on Sunday, Aug. 15, at 8 p.m. Five dollars purchases entry to the all-ages show. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
I was feeling superior because I was a plus one on “the list” to see a punk rock show Sunday night.
I traveled from Valencia County with a colleague, Jeana, who is more of a metal fan but who has recently branched out into the punk rock. She had interviewed the drummer and the record company gave her a photo pass to go snaps some shots.
Jeana hurt her ankle and I was having one of those “can’t go outside; something unimaginably horrible will happen to me” days, so both of us had to psyche ourselves up all day. It was a big deal that we managed to scrape ourselves together and brave the flooded highways.
By the way, Jeana has a grandkid. I have been to one other punk show with her and it upped the punkrockicity of the entire affair, going with a grandmother. You can’t buy a metal grandma at Hot Topic. (This is where I apologize for making reference to a woman’s age. Sorry, Jeana; it was necessary.)
One can only imagine our infinite chagrin when we found out we weren’t, in fact, on “the list.” $15 was out of the price range for two broke reporters. Curses.
Rather than rage at the doorman, ala “Knocked Up,” we retreated to a local, corporate donut shop for bad espresso and worse pastry.
As we plotted our next move, Jeana told me she just interviewed an up and coming metal band and hit them with the “What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you on the road?” question.
She said the band was traveling down the highway in, I believe Wisconsin, when they passed a Wal-Mart. In the parking lot were three buses from the VHI show, Rock of Love” Fans of Brett Michaels, the band decided to knock on the door and say hi. They were, of course, rudely rebuffed by a security guard.
Rather than take it lying down, they returned to their tour van, retrieved a stack of fliers, and taped over all the windows on the bus. Revenge.
Jeana told me she couldn’t figure out a way to work this into the story. I told her this was an extremely metal moment, nay, a punk moment. It had to go in. She said she would work on it.
Though I never got to go to the show, this was pretty awesome—sitting in a bad donut shop in the rain, talking about Bret Michaels and rock writing in general. A truly punk rock moment. Or at least a literary one.
Since 1983, Stryper has shone the light of Jesus on a style of music typically associated with the dark, debauched side of life. The glam metal band relaxed its outrageous black-and-yellow striped look in the early ’90s, then disbanded in ’92 when the genre went the way of the flying dragon-beast-thing ridden by a big-breasted cartoon woman. The hair metal revival of the early part of this decade spurred the band to reunite in 2003, and Stryper’s been performing/preaching since. At times the band was accused of blasphemy and devil worshiping—not true, folks. Last week I spoke with lead guitarist Oz Fox, and, whoa, this band loves the Lord.
It comes from the land of ice and snow, where the chief exports are IKEA and meatballs. Swedish five-piece Enforcer is proud to sport tight leather pants and play speed metal in the style of Iron Maiden. Hear the hammer drop at The Compound (3206 San Mateo NE) on Monday, Sept. 7, with Cauldron (from Canada, eh?) Torture Victim, Dread and Vetalas. 6:30 p.m. All-ages, $8. (Laura Marrich)
Miguel Briones (acoustic pop singer-songwriter from Texas) gets an Albuquerque metal welcome from I Remember You, Mechanism Of Eve, Scarless and HATEengine. 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2, at Bleeding Eardrum Rehearsal Studio (9201 Indian School NE). $8, all-ages. (Laura Marrich)