Live Show Review

Live Review: Spirit In The Room and Elephant Rifle at Gold Diggers

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There are certain bands that I’ve written about that have left a truly lasting impression on me. Spirit In The Room is definitely one of those bands. Ever since I heard them a couple years ago, I knew that there was something special about this band. There is a real element of passion, excitement, artistry and danger that comes with each song and then when you mix in the live show, it all comes together to make for something spectacular.

It had been a minute since I had seen Spirit In The Room live but, that didn’t matter. The moment they took the stage, it was like I was seeing them for the first time again. The way the show started drew the audience into a trance and truly captivated those in attendance. It was all a calm before the storm like scenario because, the moment you were truly lost in it, BANG, all hell broke loose with a ferocious scream and a pummeling thunder of bass, drums and guitars. Dennis R. Sanders along with his live band Darren Howard (Bass, Synth, and Vocals), Kevin Bombay (Guitar), Brian Skipworth (Guitar), and Philip Bailey (Drums) are not messing around when it comes to performing and playing these songs live. I would even say, they are the best band in Los Angeles. Each and every song performed this evening was executed with precision but also with a take no prisoners approach. Songs like “But It Do,” “Sunset Nightmare,” “The Future Is Immediate,” “Monetary Prayer,” and Now That You’re Dead” were some of my favorites played this evening. As the show ended, I immediately wanted more but, that just means I’ll have to go see them again and again just to get my fix. What a great performance and band Spirit In The Room is. GO SEE THIS BAND LIVE!!!!

Also playing this evening was Elephant Rifle. I wasn’t familiar with them but, I was immediately intrigued when they started playing. These guys have a really cool, psychedelic approach to their Black Sabbath riffs along with some really engaging shoegaze elements and a good helping of noisy punk to make something that is enticing and provocative. Like Spirit In The Room live, Elephant Rifle too has a take no prisoners approach to their live show, making their set full of unexpected moments and sweaty shirtless hugs. I will definitely be checking out more from Elephant Rifle.

 

This show was just what was needed for starting 2020. The venue was intimate enough to make this even more special and both bands really delivered the goods. There were a few moments while watching and soaking it all in that my friend and I were about to start a circle pit from all the energy emitting off the stage. As I mentioned above, Spirit In The Room is THE BEST LIVE BAND IN LOS ANGELES. I truly believe that. Go see them for yourself and you’ll know why I say that.

 
Spirit In The Room:

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Elephant Rifle:

 

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Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy

Live Review: Slayer, Primus, Ministry, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals at The Forum

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This past weekend were the “Final” Slayer shows. It was very appropriate that they close it out in Los Angeles, seeing as though they are from the great LA area. What was originally going to be one show, turned to two after the first night sold out immediately. Then they announced the lineup of the show. Slayer would be joined by one of the most diverse lineups they’ve played in years. Primus was direct support along with Ministry and Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals performing nothing but Pantera songs.

 

The night began with a ferocious set by Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals. Their short but sweet set was the highlight of the night (other than Slayer of course). For 30 minutes, they really delivered the goods as they ran through their Pantera set. Starting with “Mouth For War” was a great idea as it really got the crowd pumped. “Becoming,” “I’m Broken,” and “Strength Beyond Strength” were absolutely killer as well. During “Fucking Hostile” Anthrax’s Charlie Benante joined the band on the drums and that one just about crushed the pit. “This Love” was a great choice to play as well, with actor Jason Momoa running out on stage with his kids to sing along. Closing out their set was “A New Level” and they really knocked it out of the park with this one. Phil was absolutely on and sounded terrific. The guys in The Illegals really did a stellar job with these songs. Having Phil and The Illegals open up this show was the perfect choice.

 

Ministry was up next and they were pretty solid. Though they played the same exact set as the did the night before. It had been a minute since I last saw Ministry live and with an entirely different lineup. One of the best parts of seeing Ministry this go round was that on bass they have Paul D’Amor, who you might recognize as the original bassist for Tool. Watching him onstage going all out was pretty great. The band’s set was all classic songs like “Stigmata,” “Just One Fix,” “Thieves,” The Missing” and “Jesus Built My Hotrod,” so that made this pretty cool. It was just lacking something that I can’t quite put the right words to.

Primus was right before Slayer. It was definitely an interesting choice. Throughout their set, you could sense that something was a bit off. The crowd was losing interest and the energy was sort of being sucked out of the room the longer they played. I even fell asleep for a good 10-15 minutes during their set. Primus are a good band and great musicians. I can also see why they were asked to be a part of this tour due to the long history they have with the guys in Slayer but, they really really zapped the room almost out of the show.

Thankfully it wasn’t long until Slayer took the stage and the place went ape shit. A short video preceded the band coming on stage. The video featured fans thanking the band for all the years of music and blah blah blah… FUCKING SLAYER!!! Then, the lights came down and the visuals started and bang, right into “South Of Heaven.” For the next almost 2 hours, Slayer ripped through songs like “Repentless,” Postmortem,” “War Ensemble,” “Stain of Mind” Disciple,” “Seasons In The Abyss,” “Hell Awaits,” “Dead Skin Mask” and “Chemical Warfare.” Gary Holt was absolutely ripping it up on his leads and seemed to be having one hell of a great time playing. Tom Araya seemed to be very contemplative as his sang and played. Throughout the set, he couldn’t help but smile as he took it all in. Paul Bostaph was straight up killing it on the drums. And Kerry King was very locked into his playing but, even he seemed to be enjoying the moment a bit too. Ending their set with the trifecta of “Raining Blood,” “Mandatory Suicide” and “Angel Of Death” was pretty awesome

 

It was a very somber yet exciting night. If this is truly Slayer’s last show, they went out with quite a bang. For a band that’s been at it this hard for over 30 plus years, it’s never easy but, when you have a fan base as dedicated and die hard as Slayer fans are, it makes it all worth while. Sure I would have liked to hear a few other songs other than some of what they picked to play but, that’s ok, I got the favorites I wanted. I’ve seen Slayer many times over the years and this was one hell of a show. The Forum was a great place to see them close it out. Thank you Slayer for all the years of heavy tunes and inspiration! You will be missed

 

Slayer Set List:

01) South Of Heaven
02) Repentless
03) Postmortem
04) World Painted Blood
05) Hate Worldwide
06) War Ensemble
07) Stain Of Mind
08) Disciple
09) When The Stillness Comes
10) Born Of Fire
11) Payback
12) Seasons In The Abyss
13) Jesus Saves
14) Chemical Warfare
15) Hell Awaits
16) Dead Skin Mask
17) Show No Mercy
18) Raining Blood
19) Mandatory Suicide
20 ) Angel Of Death

Primus Set List:
01) Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers
02) Too Many Puppies
03) Sgt. Baker
04) The Seven
05) Cygnus X-1
06) Southbound Pachyderm
07) Mr. Krinkle
08) Welcome To This World
09) Professor Nutbutter’s House Of Treats
10) My Name Is Mud
11) Jerry Was A Race Car Driver

 

Ministry Set List:

01) The Missing
02) Deity
03) Stigmata
04) Supernaut (Black Sabbath Cover)
05) Just One Fix
06) N.W.O.
07) Thieves
08) Jesus Built My Hotrod

Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals Set List:
01) Mouth For War
02) Becoming
03) I’m Broken
04) Goddamn Electric
05) Strength Beyond Strength
06) Fucking Hostile (with Charlie Benante)
07) This Love
08) A New Level

Live Review: Cold at The Viper Room

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It’s always an interesting time going to see a band live that you haven’t seen in many years. There are so many thoughts that race through your mind, what are they going to play, how are they going to sound, what will these new members bring to the table, etc. Last night at The Viper Room, I got to see Cold live for the first time in well over a decade and it was full of nostalgia, good moments, as well as some interesting things.

As the curtain opened up and the lights and fog were cued, The members of Cold appeared through and began ripping through “Everyone’s A Devil” (side note, this song should have been included on the bands new album The Things We Can’t Stop). From there, songs like “Remedy,” “Give,” new song “Without You,” “No One (which is one of my all time favorite Cold songs),” “The Break,” and “Suffocate (another favorite of mine)” were played. At this point the crowd started to get louder and louder, singing along and at times singing louder than Scooter Ward. Other highlights from the night included my all time favorite Cold song “Confession” from 13 Ways To Bleed On Stage as well as “End Of The World,” “Happens All The Time,” and “Just Got Wicked.” Two other new songs “Shine” and their cover of Snow Patrol’s “Run” were played and sounded even better live, especially “Shine.” The set list covered a nice cross section of their albums and showed that they still got it!

This show was very intimate and a great way to welcome Cold back to the stage after an almost decade hiatus from playing live. There is one thing that seemed a bit off and that was the tone and sound of some of the songs. Granted I’m used to hearing the songs a certain way after all these years so, I do have a little bias. Having new members will definitely change things up and at certain moments, yes, there were times that it didn’t sound exactly right but, that’s what made this a very unique performance. The band was extremely tight though and you can tell they had finally hit their stride on that level. I have a feeling that with more and more shows and playing these songs, they will get those tones and sounds aligned and sound even better. That’s not to say, that the new members don’t play well, they do, it’s just going to take some getting used to. Playing at The Viper Room was a great choice as well. This room really brought the fans closer to the band and you could feel the unity among them all in attendance as they sang their hearts out. Here’s to Cold’s return and many more shows and albums from here on out!

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Cold Set List:

01) Everyone’s A Devil
02) Remedy
03) Give
04) Without You
05) No One
06) The Break
07) Suffocate
08) It’s All Good
09) When Angels Fly Away
10) Happens All The Time
11) Ocean
12) Confession
13) End Of The World
14) God’s Song
15) Shine
16) Stupid Girl
17) Run (Snow Patrol Cover)
18) Just Got Wicked
19) Feel It In Your Heart

 

 

Review and Photos (I was too busy watching to take many pictures) By: Brian Lacy

Live Review: Birds In Row at Bootleg Theater

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When I first heard Birds In Row’s new album, We Already Lost The World, I knew I had to go see them live. There is this electric energy about this record and a sense of urgency to it that really was compelling. It’s like that book you’re reading and can’t put down. So, the moment I saw they announced a Los Angeles date, I was going to have to be there.

Around 9:15 on a cool May evening, the crowd moved in closer to the stage, the three members of Birds In Row took the stage and then an ferocious explosion occurred. For the next 50 minutes, the intensity that radiated from the stage to the audience was astounding. Blasting through their album We Already Lost The World with songs like, “We Count So We Don’t Have To Listen,” “We vs Us,” “15-38,” “I Don’t Dance,” “Love Is Political,” “Remember Us Better Than We Are,” as well as “O’Dear,” and  “You Me & The Violence,” showed that the punk spirit they inhabit is alive and well. These songs are more than just songs, they are anthems. This wasn’t just a show, it was an exercising of anger and frustration and a coming together of like minded people. Members B (guitar/vocals), Q (bass/vocals), and T (drums) are beyond tight and together as a band. They played off each others energy and absolutely crushed. As I mentioned above, the sense of urgency that they play with comes through in their performance. The songs live have a different vibe and really come to life.

 
Birds In Row are the type of band that take a chance and create something that is full of vigor and vision. The bands sound definitely blurs the lines of punk and hardcore but has a helping of melody to balance the aggression. They are definitely one of those bands that when they come through your town, you should run and go see. This performance last night is in the top 3 of the shows I’ve been to this year. I can’t wait for them to come back.

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Birds In Row- We Already Lost The World:

Live Review: Ho99o9

I’m sure you’ve all had this thought before. You hear an album and it really impresses you and then you start to wonder how they are live. Will they be able to pull this off live? Will it live up to the feeling you got when you first heard the album? Well, let me tell you, if you’re like me and you listened to Ho99o9 and thought those things, you will absolutely 100% not be disappointed when you see them live. As I watched the crowd explode into a frenzy and the band utterly decimate the small venue, I knew from the first minute in, that Ho99o9 are without a doubt, the real deal.

 

At a little after 10pm, the lights went down and projections appeared on the brick wall behind the stage, then 3 figures appeared on stage. From that point, it was a burst of chaos and excitement. Eaddy and TheOGM owned that stage from the get go along with drummer Brandon Pertzborn. The amount of energy radiating off that stage was reminiscent of my time going to see punk and hardcore shows in small/tight venues. Over the course of an hour, Ho99o9 blazed through songs from their debut album United States of Horror as well as their Cyber Cop EP. Songs like “War Is Hell,” “Street Power,” “Money Machine,” “Face Tatt,” “Knuckle Up,” “United States of Horror,” and “Mega City Nine” were commanding and performed with a take no prisoners approach. Their unique blend of hip-hop, industrial and punk rock is pummeling and vigorous while at the same time full of piss and gasoline.

 

I’ve seen a lot of shows in my life (and I mean A LOT), and this was one of those shows that will be replaying in my head for days, weeks and months to come. Ho99o9 are taking over and you should prepare accordingly. If they are on the bill and playing early, do yourself a favor and get there to see them. They will also be the band that steals the show from whoever they are playing with. I can’t wait to see what they do next and where they go musically. As I said above, Ho99o9 are the real deal and they should be on your radar.

 

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy

(I was too into the show to really take many pictures)

 

Live Review: Daughters, Cult Leader & Hide at The Regent Theater

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Awestruck is a word that comes to mind when describing what I witnessed the other night after seeing Daughters live. The plethora of adjectives to describe the sheer amount of awe is astounding. From the start of the show with Hide, to Cult Leader and then Daughters, there was magic in the room this evening, thats for sure. Every band on the bill brought something interesting and explosive to this evening. I’m still trying to piece together the right words to explain this amazing show.

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Hide was the first group to take the stage. The industrial goth group really knew how to set a tone for what was to come. Their short set was one of those that got you up and paying attention. The beats ruminating from the stage and the performance from singer Heather Gabel was quite stunning as she thrashed around to the music. The dramatic lights and strobes made the beats pulsate from the ground up. They definintely had the crowd building into a frenzy as they played.

 

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Next up was the mighty Cult Leader. I’ve now had the pleasure of seeing them four times now and they have fast become one of my favorite bands to see live. Also I’d like to mention that this is the second time I’ve seen them at the Regent and there is something about this stage and the band that are meant to be. Riding high off their most recent album, A Patient Man, Cult Leader tore the audience up with their blend of heaviness and poetry in motion. There is something about this band that is truly hypnotic. Every time I see them I get more and more into it as the set goes on. The use of just a red light as they play along with the driving force of the music and vocals is the perfect encompassing of controlled chaos. Their set included songs “I Am Healed,” “Great I Am,” and “Sorrow” as well as epic numbers like “To Achyls” and “The Broken Right Hand Of God.” It was a perfect set list for anyone that’s a fan of the band or if this was your introduction. I also have to note that even this performance was the best I’ve seen of theirs. I was at a show of theirs a couple months back that I thought was the best but, this one just blew me away even more. What a way to set the stage for what was to come next.

 

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Daughters took the stage to a roaring ovation and then unleashed a fury that I have been wanting to see for years. I have been a fan of the band for some time but, never got to see them live until now and it was worth waiting for and in no way did they disappoint. Their set contained a slew of songs from their new album (and first in 8 years) You Won’t Get What You Want, as well as others from Hell Songs, and their self titled album. Watching them on stage you wouldn’t ever think that they haven’t been a band for the past 8 years. Seeing them tear through songs like “The Reason They Hate Me,” “Satan In The Wait” “Our Queen (One Is Many, We Are One),” “Long Road No Turns,” “Less Sex,” “The Hit,” “Recorded Inside A Pyramid,” and “Ocean Song” was beyond words. The crowd was engaged from the very first note. While surveying the audience there wasn’t a still body in my line of sight. Getting to be right in the middle of the chaos and experiencing danger being restored in rock music was a joy to be around. Daughters are more than just a “heavy” band, they are artistic and poetic, thus providing a package of true substance. Having them back is a real treat. I truly hope they continue on and keep delivering inspired music and words.

 

Daughters Set List:

01) The Reason They Hate Me
02) The Lords Song
03) Satan In The Wait
04) The Dead Singer
05) Recorded Inside A Pyramid
06) Our Queens (One Is Many, Many Are One)
07) Long Road, No Turns
08) Daughters Spelled Wrong
09) Less Sex
10) The Hit
11) The Virgin
12) Guest House
13) Daughter
14) Ocean Song

Cult Leader Set List:
01) I Am Healed
02) Curse Of Satisfaction
03) Isolation In The Land Of Milk & Honey
04) To Achlys
05) Great I Am
06) Sympathetic
07) The Broken Right Hand Of God

More Cult Leader Shots:

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More Daughters Shots:
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Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy
(Side Note: I didn’t take many pictures because I was too into the show.)

Live Review: Onesidezero and Slant at Whisky A Go Go

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It’s always fun when bands you grew up with return to play the venues you once saw them at. Over the many, many years of going to concerts, there is still something fun about heading out to the Sunset Strip and seeing a show. Sure there’s a bit of a nostalgia factor and all the history that is there but, there is something else about seeing bands you really dig at places like the Whisky, Viper Room and Roxy. The other evening, I got to see Onesidezero rock the Whisky stage for the first time in a very long time and it definitely brought back many great memories of seeing them there so many times before.

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During this evening there were two additional bands that I saw that left a mark on my mind. The first band that intrigued me was Hyvmine. This four piece band reminded me of a proggy version of Sevendust with Meshuggah breakdowns. They were quite a good live band. Their set was full of great riffs and vocals that were soulful and melodic. I wasn’t familiar with the band before this evening and I’m most certainly interested to see where they go with their style of rock. Definitely give them a listen.

 

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The direct support for Onesidezero this evening was the band Slant. This band I’ve heard of and checked out before and was quite interested to check them out. Over the course of the last year or so, they have been building quite the fan base and leaving their mark on the scene. Slant’s set was quite rockin. They have a very cool alternative rock side to them with the right amount of “heavy” to accompany them. Something else that stood out about Slant is their positive outlook in their words. It’s not something you notice right off the bat but, as you listen you really start to hear it. They know how to put on a show and their excitement for playing live shows. I will say though, they really need to not play their cover of U2’s “With or Without You.” Perhaps it’s just me (and I’m pretty sick of bands playing covers) but, it just didn’t do anything for me and it was generic at best but, minus that song, they had quite a good set.

 

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Onesidezero took the stage later than scheduled but, those that were there to see them, like myself, made sure to stay. Since Oneside returned to the stage at the end of 2018, it’s been quite a welcome return. Looking around at the crowd as they played, I saw many familiar faces from over the years and it was quite cool to reconnect with a bunch of older fans like myself. Oneside’s set consisted of gems like “New World Order,” “A Point In Time,” “Instead Laugh,” “Eight,” “Carry Your Gun” and he very awesome “Sleep.” Also played was the soon to be released “Chasing the Sun,” as song that has been around for a bit in the bands history but never got the proper treatment and their new song “Eleven” which is one hell of a good song.

 

Having a band like Onesidezero back is genuinely a welcome return. They have always had great songs, and are still making great tunes. Plus it doesn’t hurt that they are nice guys too. The whole evening was a great night for rock music and rock music in Los Angeles. Bringing together bands like Slant and Hyvmine to accompany Onesidezero was the right choice. All three of these bands are definitely worth the time to check out and see live. You won’t be disappointed that you did! Also on a side note, the whisky seems to have updated their lights and sound equipment, making for a very enjoyable listening and visual experience!

 

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy