Def Leppard @ Jacksonville Veteran’s Arena

Wow!  I don’t think I can recall a show that hit me more in the feels than this one.  This is my go to band for all the songs that I know and love.  This band proves you don’t necessarily need flames, spinning drum sets, or over the top light effects because when music is as good as theirs you just don’t need it.

So Doll normally gets dragged along to concerts that I want to go to since most of her concerts happen in other towns to groups you can’t understand but are permanently hypnotizing.  She likes Def Leppard like I “like” the Red Hot Chili Peppers but she really dug the show.

So I really don’t need to fully describe this show since everything went so smoothly (for once) so I’ll get down to what I loved about it the most: Rick Allen!  Are you a Def fan?  Then you know about Rick Allen.  He’s kinda the guy that got the band soberish.  For those of you who don’t know, in the mid 80’s Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car accident.  He is the drummer for Def and had to learn to play using synthesizers and foot pedals.  In the 80’s it was almost a sin for a “metal” band to use electric drums and synth instruments.  Rick was one of the few whom no one would make fun of for that.  He is a spectacular drummer and musician and I watched the video of his comeback after the accident.  His band mates called him ‘The Thunder God’ and I couldn’t agree more.  He did a solo drum set and I was floored and more happy than you could know!

My other happy moments came at the beginning of every song.  Joe Elliot still sounds just as good as he did 30 years ago and every performance was done with ease and pride.  With that I have nothing abnormal for you guys to know about, which is weird for any concert Doll and I attend, I will just leave this post saying that even if you didn’t like then much before go see a show!  This was a bucket list concert!

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Eric Clapton @ Veterans Memorial Arena

DSC02704Simply put : AMAZING!  This was a concert I had been waiting 20 years for!  Ever since I was 10 and the Unplugged album came out!  I loved it!  It is so hard to describe in words how fantastic of a show this was for me.  So as with most of the concert blogs I do I shall deconstruct the essentials from the evening to give you the good, the bad, and the absolutely horrifying truth about the future the lies before all of us when we reach the age where time is not so kind and fortune only smiles on the select few.  This was my evening with Eric!

I would like to start by saying that this was a nice change from what I’m used to.  I’m accustomed to gauge wearing, tattooed encrusted, goth mesh clad freaks who salute the devil horns and ‘manscara’ (look it up, it rhymes with emo) at venues that make a bathroom at a Mexican bus station look sanitary.  This was a lot…a lot of middle aged hippies and their unwilling teenage designateds in cardigans and loafers.  The age gap is more than obvious!  So well mannered, so docile, so tame in comparison.  It was, to say the least, a relaxing evening…and then there was me screaming at the drunk groupie bitches in front of to get the hell down.  Oh!  But let me explain first!

This concert was actually a Christmas present that I gave my father who is a huge Clapton fan.  I got side stage seats just so my dad could enjoy it.  You see, my dad is retired military, Vietnam, Storm, Iraq…stuff like that, and he is still living with that mentality.  When we go out to dinner he has to sit facing the door just in case Charlie comes a-strolling along to finally get him.  So I sat him at the end of the row so he could make a break for it when those pesky Vietcong sniper laser (yes, this is the world I grew up in) target him between the eyes.

So the concert begins…all is calm and relatively inactive. The Wallflowers play a set which was nice to hear from then again.  Then Clapton comes on stage! He picks up his guitar and the man next to me starts hooting like an owl!  Most of the videos I got, by the way, have all these sounds in there kind of like a nature documentary.  So he plays his famous “Father’s Eyes” and his awesome blues riffs changing guitars at least every song…at least!  Then the acoustic guitar and a chair come out…and all hell breaks loose!

He starts in on “Tears and Heaven” and the woman in front of my felt the power of Christ compel her!  She felt the Holy Spirit and rose like a pentecostal priest with the demon taking over!  About that time is when my skills and talents from all the hard core metal concerts I’ve gone to kick into overdrive and I was about to liberate a glass beer bottle from its form against the side of her head!  Sadly, my father is a relatively nice man so we just had the woman’s keeper (aka he husband) calm her down.

Luckily, there was an enormous jumbo-tron screen right above us to we could see the front of the concert (side stage…remember) and that was when I got to see his fingers.  I never noticed this before (and this sparked another blog for later) but Clapton has beautiful fingers!  I mean, for a guitarist, just really lovely, beautiful fingers!  And he was fantastic live!  You know how you always think that a live performance won’t be as good (even though with Clapton you know his stuff is awesome!) but then you’re amazed when it was?  He was mesmerizing!

He then performed “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight” then went back to the blues.  After an incredibly long set that introduced his band he performed the song everyone was waiting for…”Cocaine” and there then came back the evangelical ascension of the drunk woman in front!   Since the first possession of musical ecstasy she was a ‘tay in the wind’ (Nell reference) moving her arms back in forth feeling the music (I really was expecting this woman to have flowers in her hair and smell of patchouli) but as soon as “Cocaine” started she turned into a full blown hurricane of religious fervor!  I couldn’t blame her since the music was awesome…I just wanted to trip her down the stairs!

So, excluding the major display of biblical passion in front of me, I would totally see him a hundred times again!  He had a no bullshit way of performing.  Just him, his talented band, and lots of guitars.  No smoke, no pyrotechnics, no image movie playing in the background, no half naked dancers, and no crazy show antics.  Just music and a damn good performance!  He proves that he can hold his fan base and attract new comers as well.  I hope like hell he stays around for years since, just like Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Richie Valens, when he goes it will be the day the music will truly die.  So see him if you get the chance and just listen.  There is a reason Jimi Hendrix looked up to him!  No devil horns required.

2013 Rockville Lineup Band Playlist Day 1

If anyone in Freakville was wondering Welcome to Rockville 2013 in going to be a two day event on April 27 & 28 at Met Park.  But before you go, I have made a simple compilation of videos for the bands performing (the ones who had videos anyway).  On top of all the major bands performing there will also be smaller…local bands who shall win their way in a little later, something they did for the last two (which no one will know about or really care about). Since there are going to be a lot of bands and even more crazy ass band aids with misplaced tattoos and body rolls, this should be a great show!  So brush up on your rock lineup!  I’m particularly looking forward to Young Guns and Pop Evil!  I saw Halestorm and Three Days Grace at least two times before but I’m still really excited about this lineup!

Alice in Chains

Limp Bizkit

Stone Sour

Three Days Grace

Papa Roach

Bullet For My Valentine

Halestorm

Asking Alexandria

All That Remains

In This Moment

Escape the Fate

Pop Evil

Otherwise

Young Guns

Gemini Syndrome

Burn Season @ The New Brewsters Megaplex

Hey everyone!  It’s been awhile since I posted about a concert but fear not…the wait will not be a disappointment!  I would love to regale you all with not only one of the longest nights of my mortal and young life but also to tell you of one of the best concerts I’ve been to the last few months.  I want to elaborate on the human atrocities I was witnessed to in a six hour period at one of the most awkward rock venues I have ever been in.  But most importantly, I want to tell you all how important it is for you all to hear this band!  Sadly there is no visual evidence of these events but that’s alright…I think I can paint a pretty picture.

To start…this is Freakville!  My hometown of Jacksonville is home to over a million steel sucking, skull tattooed, scantly clad semi attractive people who love to get their freak out at the rock bars and concert halls of this underrated vagabond city.  So when you go to a concert of any rock quality at any venue you must not only expect it but prepare yourself for the shear laughable horror that presents itself in the form of fish nets and bulbous protruding flesh.  Allow me to deconstruct the evening but first a very brief history of the concert venue that is Brewsters Pit.

Ah Brewster’s.  What a wonderful shank producing cesspool you were once.  A small place stuck in a dilapidated strip mall with a chair outside that was once used as a weapon against a Neo-Nazi and his friends.  You sold out son!  You bought out the once posh hip hop club Plush, along with the other stages Leopard Lounge and Club Rain and settled your twisted rotten roots under the foundation of such an establishment!   It was odd to walk inside listening to metal music, loud and gruntled, with a gentle wall of rain caressing my ears between sets with purple velvet couches on which nestled the disease ridden metal heads sporting their Pantera shirts and crusted dreds.  Classy.

Burn Season - Burn SeasonSo now the fun!  I went with my good friends Lisa and Leola since they were old fans of Burn Season and I was still green.  I had heard them before but I was not proficient…I’m still not but I do love their stuff!  The deal with this band is they’re sort of like those elusive gold unicorns…from what I understand they only play as Burn Season once a year, mostly around Christmas time (I told you…it’s been a while since I posted) so you only get one shot to see them.  Lisa is the one of us who goes to concerts like I have my picture taken…all the time!  She knows everyone when we go to concerts but besides that we mainly hung out laughing hysterically during our people watching.  For those who don’t know, people watching is seriously 35% of why I go to concerts!

We arrived when the posters told us to…and it was such a lie!  A damnable lie!  They claimed Burn Season would be on at 8pm…oh hell no!  It was closer to midnight!  So we had to wait for over 5 hours in a smoke-filled hall with about 200 of Freakville’s finest!  I swear on this…there was a women there who looked like she was 5 years old!  5 dammit!  And she was dressed like a hooker…a bustier, hooker heels, with pink hair smoking and drinking!  This was one of the most disturbing things any of us had seen yet!  And she was sweet on Leola!  ::shiver::  She spent the rest of the night hiding behind doors and fat people to avoid the oddly placed midget.  The rest of my night was spent gleefully tormenting her about this.

The other bands that were there (one every 25 minutes!) weren’t horrible but I’m glad I don’t have to listen to them again…not bad though just…crazy.  There was one band with their own street crew and a battle flag.  I think I even saw one present a baby (yes, a real one!) to the lead singer.  Happily it was the fans who were crazy not the bands!  After a few hours of it I was weary…oh so weary.  And angry for not bringing my camera!

Fast-forward 5 1/2 hours to the Burn Season concert!  Though the crowd wasn’t big, it was enthusiastic!  We stayed to the side to let the mosh pit fight like Battle Royale.  Now also by this time another Brewsters concert was letting out, Asking Alexandria, and so those groupies found their way into Burn Season!  Scene kids meshing with metal bangers…a beautiful symphony of chaos ensued!  I began wondering if most of those guys were Marines seeing how they took down a man with a thumb to the throat!  But the band was undeterred and played a great show.  I don’t really think the venue was made for rock music but they still killed it!  I think I can find a video of my favorite song from the show…let me see.

Yep, I’m awesome!  Again, great band!  I certainly won’t forget the first time I saw them live!  Can’t wait till the next show!  Next time they can hopefully advertise better than “Hey..we have a concert.” on like four posters taped with chewing gum outside the Kitten Club and pole exercise classroom!

Welcome To Rockville 2012

And so the epic continues!  If you read in Welcome to Rockville 2011 then you know what happened last year!  Now…we have a whole new can of worms to open and throw out into a crowd of spastic cheerleaders during one of their midnight runs to Burger King as they engorge themselves on quarter-pounders (it’s only one small dream of ours…not a big one, just a dream).  Last year we weren’t prepared so in order to help anyone who wants to go, we have prepared a list of provisions we deem necessary to survive a full day on the grassy knoll that is Rockville.

  1. Bring a towel or blanket to sit upon.  Important since you actually get to see what was on the ground before you sat on it.
  2. Moist towelettes and hand sanitizer.  This is not only important for the portables and bathroom areas, but for the aftermath of the water hose in the main pit area!
  3. Water.  Lots and lots of it!  You can refill in the fountains or the tap.  It’s a cheaper way to go.
  4. Sunscreen.  You can never have enough of it!
  5. A good camera!  You most likely won’t get close enough to the stage for good pics so make sure it has a great zoom and focus!

Basically, just bring what you would bring to the beach but a beach that requires brass knuckles and a debasing of the human language.

So here the three of us were again.  This time, we were early and ready to rock!  I am glad we were early and I’ll tell you why later.  Becca had thought of everything this year so we ended up spending the day it comfort!  We started slow and in the shade.  We also decided to stay away from liquor this year since that was our downfall last year.  We had a lineup with us and chose strategically what we all wanted to see and when we need to get sneaky.  Soulswitch was up but we decided to lay out in the middle of the knoll and listen.  That is where a good camera comes in handy!  We just relaxed and listened to the music until the bands we wanted to see came up.  First up…Lacuna Coil.  An Italian band with a few radio plays but we love those obscure bands!

After this was the one I came back to finally see…Halestorm!  We waited until POD was playing and then made our move to the main stage.  This turned out to be far more problematic then one would actually think!  I noticed the ground was wet and tried to come up with a logical solution amongst the illogical, booze soaked, bikini blubber that surrounded me.  I am talking flesh all around me and none of it was appealing!  And when your guards down…that’s when that son of a bitch with a water hose aims right for you!  Who the fuck came up with that!  I’m not having it!  Sure it cooled you down for like a minute, but then when the mold and sweat and nast and, and,and….it was horrible!  I smelled things during that cramped menagerie of festering tattooed flesh that would have made a smelly cheese connoisseur cringe!

So Halestorm finally came out after I had to listen to one of the worst sounding performances by POD ever!  How sad!  I like POD just not in concert!  So here was Lzzy Hale and the rest of Halestorm being absolutely awesome as hell when out of nowhere there was a person on top of Leola’s head!  A body surfing hopeful jumped up somwhere behind us and managed to get all the way to us before we noticed!  And people, if you crowd surf…don’t do so if you’re over 150 lbs. please!  Angry and annoyed at this, I had to hide my camera from the onslaught of both body surfer and evil bitch ass bastard with water hose!  This made every picture rare!  The people in front of us were nice enough to warn us of incoming surfers and since Becca is so much taller than us (we look like the cell phone bar commercial with the bars)she caught it before us!  And just one time, she got unlucky as a man twisted in mid air as she held her hand to stop him from falling on her and it broke her finger…literally!!  She then got smashed and pummeled until she cried “When!”

So as we were getting cleaned up I noticed a large crowd outside the gate.  Apparently, this 10,000 person venue oversold by almost 2,000 tickets!  We realized then that Met Park was beyond capacity!  This is turn meant we were fucked!  We quickly got back to our pad and waited for the last show we wanted to see that day Shinedown!  Even though Korn and Evanesence were the big tickets…we could really care less honestly.  We’re good.  I had a good enough camera to get some good pics but other than that it was Shinedown,  But before that happened, more wondrous goth/emo/hippie craziness went down in front of main stage 2!

Five Finger Death Punch, a good band if you’re into metal, had to get in front of their crazy, drunk, and violent fan base and tell them to calm down.  A metal band had to tell their fans to stop being so damn violent or they wouldn’t go on!  We couldn’t see again due to the new second tower in front of main stage 2 but that must have been insanely bad for the band to have to quite down the audience!

When we got up for Shinedown, we knew it was our last one.  We took our positions in the middle but further back so we wouldn’t get the crowd surfers again.  Becca had gotten pretty banged up from the first time so we didn’t want anymore of that!  The carnage on the ground was incredible!  I was wondering why the garbage cans were empty…everyone was just using the ground!  By this time everyone and your grandmother were wasted and frisky!  There was no stopping some of them.  One toothless wonder behind Leola was doing something to piss her off with her hair or some shit like that…either way it was odd!

Shinedown took the stage!  Yes, they are as good as people say they are!  Amazing!  It was great!  Good energy, the people were bearable…but one thing was still haunting us and it came up right behind Becca and knocked her down.  How in the hell crowd surfers were starting as far back as we were is still amazing to us!  Let’s just say we got the hell beat out of us…but not before we took pieces of the surfers away with us!  I think I saw Leola bunch some guy straight in the groin and I know I took some flesh with me.  Ah, concerts.  It’s a way to get to know people I tell you!

Once Shinedown was done we knew we wanted to leave before Korn came on so we hauled ass to the gate, waved a quick bye to Leesa at Merch, and found a quick way to change in the parking lot after a nice long, grimy day at Rockville!  Hope we gave you a nice show boys!

Welcome To Rockville 2011

Since this post was supposed to be done before we hit the second Welcome to Rockville we’re kind of a day late and a dollar short so to speak.  Nothing could really compare to the first experience of this massive 20 band music festival in our hometown of Jacksonville…except maybe the second which will be posted soon after this one.  But first, for educational purposes, I shall now give all you readers out there a small rundown of one of the grimiest, nastiest, emo infested, goth trudging, flesh smorgasbords that we encountered (up to that date) at one of the worst run music concerts I have ever in my life witnessed with my own two eyes, felt with my own two scorned fingers, and smelt with my own poor nose.

This is Welcome to Rockville – Year 1!

For starters, music fests are not really a purple sparkling unicorn in Jacksonville.  No, no, they happen often actually.  We have two rock stations fighting for supremacy and the winner of the biggest music festival is normally the larger station. That would be logic!  To make local bands feel included, they have a battle of the bands and those take up the first stage set aside near the main entrance.  That’s what I said…the first stage!  I sadly cannot tell you any details of this stage since it was mostly surrounded by leather clad skin heads head banging and mosh pitting their way to glory…and the Baptist hospital.  Surrounding that stage were local vendors selling hats, shirts, leather bondage straps, purple sun screen, body piercings, and liquid latex (we’re not called Freakville for nothing!).  But it was what was up and over the hill…the only hill in Florida…that was what everyone came for!

Time for the main event!  Gates opened at 11 AM and we were there just in time…to miss Halestorm.  I know!  It sucks!  But I was with two rocking friends…one you all know, Leola and the other was a new acquaintance who was totally amazing, Becca!  During the course of this concert I would be thankful for both of them!  More on that later when the heat and shadeless misery kicks in!  So after we made our way through the first stage we hiked up the hill to the main…grassy knoll?  There on said grassy knoll was what looked like a new aged, punkified, vampire draped, tattoo wonderland that reminded me a bit of what Woodstock might have looked like the first day.

And, lo…there they were.  The two main stages!  That’s right!  Two!  Double the awesome!  Double the bass!  Double the chaos!  Yet sadly…double the stupidity!  You see, though they were both main stages, one was a secondary main stage for only a little lesser known acts.  To tell you honestly, I was there for one of those lesser acts!  That one would have been My Darkest Days which didn’t go on stage until 4:25 PM and the day was still young!  So what did our smart asses do to waste time?  Drank!  Silly, foolish us!

You see, here in Florida it starts getting hot in March and there was no shade anywhere in the grassy knoll that it was inevitable.  The combination of liquor and heat would be our undoing.  we started to unravel quickly then and then there was another pressing matter.  My low blood pressure.  And it hit around Theory of a Dead Man.  Standing with Becca behind me and TOADM (just realized the anagram is hilarious!) singing an unreleased “The Bitch Came Back”…it happened.  I almost dropped like a rock in the middle of a punk filled crowd jumping to the metal.  Leola and Becca quickly got me on the ground behind the massive control tower thirty foot from the stage (no shitting!  I have another complaint to make!) and supplied me with $6 water.  This is a good reason I am thankful!

So after that downfall we hung out in the little bit of shade and listened (since that fucking tower blocked the stage!) to Seether.  Since I had already seen Seether during Nickleback I wasn’t heartbroken to get up front…but damn was it funny to listen too!  You see, the lead singer of Seether had dated Amy Lee, the lead singer of Evanesence, wrote a hit song together and then violently broke it off.  When asked to sing this particular song (“Broken”) which was a song about their love…he did fantastically!  I mean, he is so talented that he can improvise on a dime with colorful metaphors a lovely bouquet of vulgarity that I’m sure everyone appreciated.  I think the live version has more soul with tequila, heat, and seething hatred involved!  I mean, it’s hard to follow the line “I hate you , you stupid fucking whore!  Crawl and die!”  with rhyme, yet it was harmonized extremely well!  The rest of Seether was a garble of slurred lyrics, bad sound management, and constant memory issues with lyrics.  But it made for great dramatic emphasis on the impromptu guitar solos!

And in our opinion (all three of us) Lzzy Hale sounds 100% better!

And then it came down (finally) to My Darkest Days!  Since Becca and Leola were satisfied people watching…the atrocious, flab-fest that drunkenly pirouetted around us constantly, I went solo to Main Stage 2 and watched my boys rock house!   Little did I know of the horror that was going on just 50 feet behind me!  As I was busy rocking, getting a contact high from the vortex of narcotics swirling about me, Leola and Becca were having their own grim moment that would forever be burned into their poor souls.

A, shall we say, inebriated woman who was using her boyfriend as a dancing pole decided that it was a perfect time to start removing clothing.  The woman was not young, not thin, and not really encouraged to do this random act of nudity but it was too late.  Amongst the pleas and the groveling by other spectators to have her clothes stay on…it was not enough to convince her!  The carnage unfolded one floppy boob at a time until her “personal” striptease was done.  Maybe in her mind she and her man were alone, maybe she thought they were safe at home, maybe the gallon of beer and liquor she drank made her feel like Superwoman…either way the damage was done!  The only thing I am glad for is I didn’t have to witness it because I would have definitely taken a picture for bribery!

And if you think we were hungry after this event…you would be correct!  What better way to forget pain and suffering caused by some fat, naked chick then to eat your worries away?  So, at these events there is always a main act.  The last act. And this year was Godsmack!  The only problem was…it was over for us.  We were spent, we were crispy… we were finished.  Fin.  We managed to put together a damage report later and noticed that the price of two cokes at the concert costs the same as a CD which we bought from a friend who works MERCH, Leesa!  And with that, we went elsewhere to eat.  Chili’s actually!  You now why?  Two for One all day bitches!!