Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Evening with Nevermore

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You'll probably have to forgive me but this post might actually turn out to be the longest I've written. This night turned out to be the wierdest and ultimately the coolest nights I think I've ever had at a show. There were the bands, the impromptu interviews,the conversations with legendary singers,piece of shit cameras....and fetish fairs. Yes you read that right. So if you're a Nevermore fan or if what I've said here has peaked your interest, then continue after the jump to get the full story. Otherwise you might want to do something else productive with your day.

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So the evening began like any other by driving into San Francisco to Slims to see Nevermore headline a concert. This was highly anticipated because as a fairly new fan this was going to be my first show. Accompanying me was Martin from Malastrana who is a huge fan of Nevermore. I think it's pretty safe to say that this band is like his Beatles or Led Zeppelin. So we were both pretty excited for this show to say the least. Once we got in the area though the excitement turned into a what the fuck moment of a pretty epic scale.

You see as a lifelong resident of Northern California I'm fully aware of the reputation San Francisco has for let's just say alternative lifestyles. Having been in the city a pretty fair number of times I've seen some pretty freaky people. Well they were all out in force that evening. All the bars a block over had lines of people and other pedestrians were walking en masse dressed or not dressed in all forms of fetish garb. Here let me show you an artist rendering of what I'm talking about.

Credit to South Park
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There were hundreds of people dressed like this and quite a few women that might as well have not bothered with clothes on the lower half because the tits were flying free otherwise. Apparently this is not a common occurence on weekends it seems but actually the 5th Annual Folsom Street Fair had been going on and there were a ton of after parties. Here is the official site if you're into that stuff. This is very NSFW and kid inappropiate btw.I'd have some real pictures of some of this stuff but my new work phone is just as shitty with the camera as my old. Or so I thought, more on that later.

Before I get into the actual show itself here is some backstory on the lineup. Originally it was supposed to be Mutiny Within, Hatesphere, Warbringer, and Nevermore. Mutiny Within had to cancel because their drummer quit a week before the tour. So the question was going to be was it going to be just three bands or would there be a replacement. It turns out as I got in the club and saw the merch tables that Blackguard who seem to perpetually always be in the area was the replacement band. Any long time readers should be familiar with that name as Draeden has done an article or two on them.

So the first band to come up was Hatesphere. I apologize in advance to how shitty this pic is . It was to be the second to last picture I got that evening.
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They're a band from Denmark that mix hardcore vocals with thrash riffs. They put on an entertaining set mixed with good crowd interaction. Apparently Slim's is the first club to allow the drinking of beer onstage so they were stoked about that and as was to be the running theme for the night they were hilarious about the events outside. Overall their set was pretty good for an opener and the music was pretty tight for what it was. Very riff oriented.

So after their set was done we stepped outside to have a smoke. And this is why going to clubs to see bands is so much better then going to arena shows.

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Yes, that way too dark and grainy picture is of me with Warrel Dane.He was walking up to the tour bus while were out there and we greeted him and shook his hand. The lady on the left is Christine Rhoades who did guest vocals on "Dreaming Neon Black".Here is that particular track which is actually my favorite off of my favorite cd.



Let me say how awesome it was for Warrel to stop and talk to us and take pictures for a few minutes. I asked him how the tour was so far and he stated that this was night three and so far the tour has been awesome. I mentioned the crazy events outside and he laughed and said it was wild and that he had a ton of video of it. Martin asked him about some songs that might be on the set and he told us that the set was going to be shortened up by a song or two due to things out of their control. Which translates to San Fran's silly curfew and noise ordinance laws that force things to shut down at midnight. Fuck you San Francisco. So we said our goodbyes and thanks and stood there blown away by what just happened.

We then went back in because Blackguard had just come up on stage. This picture was taken with Martin's phone as mine decided to completely lock up where I couldn't do a damn thing. Any more pics from here on out are courtesy of Martin.

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This band is from Quebec, Canada and they did point out to the crowd of why they were there and not Mutiny Within. What a crazy thing to happen where the tour you're supposed to be on with Kamelot cancels and then another tour has a cancellation to where you can jump on. Good for these guys(and gal)as they did put on a good show. I do like the folk infused thrash music though I'm not a fan of the vocals. It was fun though listening to a story from frontman, Paul Zinay, during some techical difficulty time about a disgusting scene he had witnessed at the fair.

After their set I saw one of the members at their merch table so I decided to go over and say a few words. See, originally Draeden was going to do an interview with them before the Kamelot gig. Well for obvious reasons that was not going to happen so I actually squeaked in an impromptu mini interview right there and I'll dedicate a separate post to that. The person I talked to was the lead guitarist, Kim Gosselin, and he was very gracious in speaking with me.

Next up we had Warbringer. I don't have a usable pic of them so here is a video taken at Slim's from last year. It's so close to being the same thing it'll have to do.



Warbringer's set was an unrelenting series of brutal thrash songs. Lead vocalist,John Kevill,plays up the thrash front man as much as the great ones in the 80's did with over the top introductions to each song. And the pit was the most active of any bands that night. Warbringer is a band that needs to be heard live because their studio work doesn't do the music justice.

So now it's time for the main event. Nevermore took the stage and we were right up front.

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Here is the setlist.

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Let me get the bad things with the show out of the way first. Warrel, if you ever read this, I apologize for any jinxes we might have caused in talking with you earlier because like my phone this set had more technical difficulties then I've ever seen. Jim Sheppard's bass equipment was the primary problem with bad cords, not being able to hear it out of the amp, and cutting out. Many times the set was delayed to fix a problem and I know Warrel was trying to put up a humorous front but the aggravation was evident as the night wore on.So much so that at one point Jim left the stage after a song and the crowd had to do an intervention to get him to come back out.Not to mention Warrel having to go in the back and talk to him or yell at him or something.
The other problems were Jeff Loomis guitar was very low in the mix and it was hard to hear his parts which is a detriment because he is one of the most skilled metal guitarist on the planet.And Warrel's vocals were being taxed all night because it occurred to me later that he may have had a cold or something because outside he sounded a bit out of it but as the set neared it's end he was touching his throat and grabbing drinks of water among making the audience sing alot of the choruses.

Now to the good things. The set itself was a good mix of songs from multiple albums. 7 Tongues of God was omitted otherwise the only album not represented was the self titled debut. What was really cool was the inclusion of Taste Revenge from Warrel and Jim's previous band Sanctuary. When the equipment behaved the sound was great and Warrel is a good front man with a lot of conversation in between songs and at times almost like a stand up comic dealing with hecklers.I think the highlight of this set was both myself and Martin scoring one of these things.

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Mine was a complete shock because as I was putting my hand up to make a fist the pick smacked into my palm and like a nerd ninja I snagged it in midair.

So overall it was a very interesting and great night even with the problems during Nevermore's set and one not easily forgotten. I hope this novel was at least entertaining and if anyone happens to catch this tour later let me know how it went.

For now go these fine Myspace sites and check out the bands covered and if you like what you hear, by all means buy their stuff.

Hatesphere

Blackguard

Warbringer

Nevermore

*Update* You can tell I'm not paid anything to do this. I'm a complete jackass for neglecting to mention Van Williams was awesome behind the drums through this whole thing. At one point the crowd asked for a drium solo during some of the downtime and he did a funny version of one for a couple of minutes though sadly, no drum solo.
I'm also an idiot for not mentioning touring guitarist,Attila Voros, who appeared on Warrel's solo project Praises to the War Machine. He did a great job in both playing rythmn and was a great sport in the shred duel with Jeff Loomis. So there ya go, Hopefully this atones for my previous brain fart.

5 comments:

Draeden Wren said...

Great review of the show.. I wished I could have gone. Blackguard fucking rules.. :)

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but Attila Voros didn't appear in Warrel Dane's solo album, "Praise the War Machine".
I think it was Peter Wichers and Matt Wicklund who played as guitarist. I hope that I could help.

Allen said...

Attila Voros came on as Warrel's Touring Guitarist as well as Local Seattle favorite Johnny Smokes.

Allen said...

Mat Wicklund now plays full time in God Forbid (and tears it up!)

Rob Liz said...

Thanks guys. Yeah I must have misread the announcement from Nevermore back in May where they actually said he performed with Warrel's solo project not on it. Thanks for the clarification.