Saturday, April 01, 2017

Trendy Metal

Disclaimer: Sapota is writing this in mostly angry state of mind mostly because there was something, which irritated him about the whole state of affair in festivals and metal in general. So this is more of an opinion and less of a factual post. Probably what is being said here is more of a window to how sapota perceives changes in metal today and is not willing to change his outlook as a grumpy old man. 

Metal, as it is, is more than a music genre, it is a whole culture and as cliche as it sound it is one of the most distinctive feature of metal as music genre when compared to other music forms. That is not to say that there are not enough passionate fans in other genre, but metal goes a step beyond just passion and metalheads live the genre and that makes their opinion stronger and more polarised. The popularity of metal has been pretty much in the same league as it was at any point, it peaks and it goes through its downs.There is always some commercialisation involved which surges its popularity by some new big band or new genre and it then comes back to a state of stability atleast in terms of retaining metal fans. There has been many trends in Metal including hair metal, arena metal, nu metal, whole *-core scene and now a lot of corporate created bands made in boardrooms by people in suits. What is most irksome is that some of these commercially created bands get more spotlight and consequently more popularity than bands slaving themselves up for decades staying true to their music and fans. One of the primary example of this phenomenon is baby metal, I have seen baby metal live, it is one of the well packaged gimmick in metal at this time and it is widely popular in metal festivals around the globe. Musically speaking the band plays nothing new, the lyrics are absolute garbage and entire setup is dishonest by tricking audience into believing that this is where the metal is heading or this is what is being inherited from the legacy of metal. Musicians themselves are not bad, infact they are all very fine at what they do,it is difficult to say if there is a lot of creative process which these musicians are part of it especially the girls who are the lead presence on the stage. They are performing as headlining act after many of other more veteran bands which have worked their arses to reach to this point in their musical careers. It is extremely infuriating to see pioneers of their respective genres third or fourth in line ups of major festival or gig line up compared to these bands which still have their milk teeth in their mouth.
On one occasion, Napalm death performed before Children of bodom! To put it in perspective Napalm death has been in existence before the inception of subgenre which CoB is playing and not to mention they have been among the 4-5 bands which are responsible for creation of death metal. We can get into semantics of how grindcore is not deathmetal, but we all know if there is one genre closest to death metal, it is grindcore which stands right next to it like an old tree with its roots deeply entangled with each other. There were rabid fangirls screaming about how cute Alexi is and it was less about music and more about the whole aesthetic of the band. I don't think CoB are bad band per se, in fact some of their music is excellent, but compared to other major Death Metal gaints, they are still teenagers.
Similar to this I saw Amon Amarth headlining after Carcass. It was one of the most unbelievable thing for me. Similar to Napalm death they are fathers of grindcore and step father of Death metal. Amon Amarth themselves are fantastic band, they have a great theme and some pretty amazing show. They also suffer from same phenomenon as CoB but instead of cuteboi fans, they have more viking fanboys. The manly mans who have large beard and have cow horns for drinking beer in middle of a live song. They have put out some great records and now they are now who's who of the whole Scandinavian death metal scene. But again, it has less to do with their music and more to do with the whole trendy imagery thing going on for them. Carcass on the other hand are pretty serious musician, Necrotism is one of the greatest record that has ever come out in metal history, there are very few which come even remotely close to what that record has achieved. Sadly it is not as popular a record as it should be, the mastercraft of death metal/grindcore, a genre reshaping master piece. Something the likes of which Amon amarth has not produced yet. I am not going to talk about heartwork here because that would just be unfair and the point I was making about the musical craftsmanship of Carcass as band has already been proven by Necrotism.
The third band which really riled me up when they were announced as headliners over thrash metal legends Kreator is Ghost. I have seen Ghost twice, they are not a bad band. They have all the bells and whistles in place for them to become a good band and I can respect their whole persona and music but they are mostly riding the waves of hype created by media and to some degree commercial aspect of band's appeal. To look at it, the band is less than a decade old, it is mostly about the get up and atmosphere, which has been done to the death by likes of King Diamond. I am not a big fan of King Diamond, but I can respect it for its originality and standing the test of time. Then their second important aspect is all this talk about horror as concept for lyrics!  gimme a break! Rob Zombie has done it and done it pretty well, there are more bands doing horror as theme than entire catalogue of Ghost and doing it much better. Musically speaking even on their best day, Ghost are strictly a mediocre band, chanting heil satan in chorus doesn't speak to me greatly about the quality of composition. Now comparing it to the likes of Kreator? The band that has existed for three decades, a band which has help shape thrash metal and one of the major influence in Death Metal themes. The band that has lived so long that it has seen atleast three major trends of metal emerge and die a horrible death. Their performance are so electric and full of life compared to Ghost where nuns throwing condoms at the crowd is the best they can come up with? I mean  I understand the Irony and humour in it, but come on, these guys are not a more deserving headliners compared to Kreator.
Anyway, this also defeats the whole point of my own argument that Metal was never a popularity contest, it has always survived in basements and garages and crappy tape records and in third wold countries and small rockzines. It will survive, but places where metalheads gather and see the performance, the bands which are older and have more contribution to the music should get more preference over bands which are just trendy and popular. I mean I see the hypocrisy of metalheads always moaning about Metallica being a sell out and disliking them for their massive popularity but then on the same hand hyping bands like Baby metal and Ghost to prominence over bands which have endured the wrath of time and stayed true to the craft. Probably any of this doesn't matter in grand scheme of things, these trendy bands will be forgotten but the true masters will continue to live on and remembered and honoured.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Dee Dee Dee: Tenacious D at download festival 2012

Day 2 Band 3

Well, the onslaught of Steel Panther left everyone speechless. While most of the crowd remained pretty much same, there was some amount of shuffling. Some people told me previously that Tenacious D's new album is superb. To be frank I didn't check the album at all because of too much running around before the festival for me. Anyway I am here and waiting for the most rock and roll dude in the Hollywood. You have to give it to Jack Black for being the actor who knows his rock n roll better than the most people. We have already seen him do two kick arse movies on rock and roll. School of rock is easily in my list of the top 10 movies of all times. The movie pumps me up as much a real concert would to rock until every part of my body is sore.
The stage was changed with the poster of a Fenix, which is essentially a pun on penis and phoenix, the bird. As you can see from the picture below their is hardly any subtlety in the artwork, but I am big fan of such artwork. They are touring for their new album which is called "Rise of the Fenix". So they performed about 5-6 songs from their new album starting with  the opening track "Rize of Fenix". Jack Black appears with a white cloak, strumming with acoustic guitars. The crowd starts clapping and there is a rise of a penis shaped bird with balls and wings made up of fire. The sound is very much like classic sound of Tenacious D, Jack Black written all over the music. While they perform this song there were boobs flashing somewhere, Steel Panther left us with a huge hangover and everyone is reaping the fruit of their glorious labour. 

JB and kyle changed to plain Tshirts and full length pants, which was unusual for them, where is the fucking shorts guys? They performed Low hanging fruit as second song.
Before playing next song senorita, JB took out his phone and said,"this is the most incredible crowd I have ever seen, KG say cheese to crowd, I'll text the picture to you." Oh well I am still waiting for my text. The song has lot of strumming and jamming while a huge portion of lyrics are in spanish.
This performance was quickly followed by the Dethstarr, which in JB's words is for planet earth. But the song implies that we will be rocking on deathstar, and we need to build that fucking ship.There was someone dressed as squid on stage for some reason? I don't even know what that was about, I have no idea how that is even related to this song.
A roadie comes on stage to wipe JB's face and giving him a shoulder rub and then JB tells the roadie to get out of there. This one goes out to all the roadies for every band. So now we are seeing a lot of theatrics from JB which we have witnessed in his movies, he is taking the powerstand while finishing this song(The Roadie) with high pitch scream and making that angry funny face.
They performed another slow paced classic rock song Throw down after the roadie. The song followed with a short drum solo, which was nice to see from someone other than Dave Grohl. Dave Grohl was not touring with them this time sadly.
 At this moment the sun comes out in Sky and JB says, "Gorgeous sun for the Gorgeous crowd". Loud applause at this point.
At this very point they performed another sexy song, Kielbasa. Fuck yeah!!!! oh yeah!!!! The dropping rhythm and those guitars were superb. Currently one of my favourite songs.

As if this was not enough, it followed with
 A long ass fuckin' time ago,
In a town called Kickapoo,
There lived a humble family
Religious through and through.
But yay there was a black sheep
And he knew just what to do.

Holy shit, the song with DIO(*RIP \m/).
JD goes the brisk walk when he performs his part and KG sings as his dad. JB sings for Dio's part. The song ends with a long ass vibrato  Rock. Rah-ha-ha-ha-hock. Raye-yayayayaye-yock a lot of strumming by KG. The band takes a bow, what a fucking performance!

So JD asks the crowd next about what is the hardest from of Rock, everyone knows it is the Metal(for all you genre Nazis, shut up!). And he asked how many of you like Metal here? Oh well!!! enough to make the whole place echo with the word Metal. He said it is a great honour to perform at the same stage as Metallica, which would play later on the stage. Playing all the cards right, JB. So they performed "The metal" next, which is different from most of Tenacious D songs, with lot of electronic guitar with heavy riffs and fast drumming.
JB: "Dude, KG looks like something is happening to our guitarist. Oh god he looks possessed". Oh My Gawd, we know what time it is? This is time for some Beelzeboss and his final showdown. JB and KG goes, "FUUCCCKKKK!!!!" and the devil goes "Yes, you are fucked and my cock you will suck!". The song I was waiting for most, fucking amazing guitars, the brief drum solo and all the glorious singing. I wish I could re-live the song again today. I seriously need to see Tenacious D soon again. I love this freaking band.
Next they jumped to hilariously titled ironic song "fuck her gently", a great melodious song apparently romantic but holy shit the lyrics.  A lot of high pitch screams from JB on this particular one, I really like that style of singing, reminds me of the metal god, Robert Halford.
JB says me and my brother KG here came with this song when meeting the devil. Next song was "the Tribute", almost everyone in the audience was singing along word by word. 
We looked at each other and said "OKAY"
 And we played the first thing that came to our heads,
Just so happened to be,
The Best Song in the World, it was The Best Song in the World."

 The song is roller coaster ride with brilliant chorus and going low with all the commentary and high with all the high pitch singing. Somewhere down the road JD goes "oh ahh rak pak gi gig gig gi gi". There are some good riffs and drumming but it is mostly singing and strumming which makes this song shine.
The hands were raised in the air clapping with the song. Someone somewhere showed more boobs(oh thank you Steel panther again).

The next song begins somewhere along JB talking, this one was called Double team. Seriously good composition with lot of complex riffs. JB introduces the greatest bass player of all times John Spiker(ok, that line is getting old) and the bass dude does some seriously wicked Bass solo.

So JB now starts talking again he says, " I must say I thoroughly enjoy rocking you, the closest the man can come to rocking is making love. Today we have made love to your ears and hopefully you will have multiple eargasms. I am satisfied and I love this entire nation." Now the Fenix bows down and there are papers coming out of the Fenix which is basically orgasming at this point.  They finish with a lot of bowing and waving from JB and KG. Gosh, I am in sudden urge of seeing Tenacious Dee again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Find of the festival: Municipal waste live at bloodstock 2013

I have never in my life seen a moshpit starting before the band is even on the stage. That my friend is power of thrash and this outfit is one of the quintessential thrash metal band, which will just ram more and more thrash in your face as long as you keep chanting "Municipal waste is gonna fuck you up!". The chant was audible along the mosh pit, it was the war cry of the gig, a welcome prelude for their grand entrance. I was told that this is a pretty kick arse band and I should definitely check them out. As of now I really fully understand this band very well, but back then I had no clue who they were, what were they up to and what their music was like.
But as I would like to point out this band is my find of this festival and a very good find. I can listen to them for good amount of time. Initially their songs sounded same to me, which is pretty much true for any specialised genre at the beginning, but you need a lot of listening to find the distinction and appreciate the effort they have put in various songs. Municipal waste are comparatively newer to thrash scene and have a whole fresh take at the genre. Their songs are short and fast. In an interview I heard the lead singer saying it is hard to sing for longer duration and he don't really know his unholiness Sire Thomas Araya of Slayer does it.

Another noteworthy item is their poster and their album art is, as it looks like some kind of mutated waste containment unit or something. Pretty much all their albums are about either partying or thrashing or mutation of some kind, which is pretty kick arse theme for a band.
So I didn't know most of their song at that time and since they performed one song after another it was hard to tell which song was being played at the very moment. The performance was very tight, I was standing with my neck down and headbanging through out the whole performance, there was no fucking break.
They performed actually a lot of song for their slot time, which was in middle of the freaking day. This is list of all songs they performed thanks to
  1. (inc Bass solo)
  2. Born to Party

    Pretty much after every song there was a chant of "Municipal waste is gonna fuck you up". Atleast there were people who knew these guys and understood their songs. I don't remember at this point if they talked to public or what did they say. For the most part of the gig my eyes were on the crowd or just head banging. I had no idea what antics band was upto, but from most of what I can recall there was nothing much but pure thrash coming from stage and simple high octane performance.
    I think somewhere in the end they performed the song "the art of partying" that is when the shit got really hyper. It is the song which have lyrics of "gonna fuck you up". This is one fucking skull crushing song and with face melting performance. The party was fucking at this zenith at this song. I have heard of crowd surfing and moshing wheel chair users. but I saw this myself in this gig. The dude was being pushed by the crowd and raise during one of the song. Totally respect worthy site, I love you all the crazy bloodstock metal head motherfuckers.
    I think another song they talked about was president Obama, which was a hilarious song title but interesting nevertheless.
    That was one of the maddest gig I have ever seen, the whole gig was one large thrash party. Anyway the last song they performed was Born to party, which is another great song form the album of the same title, it can be said that this is the best song to describe the band in one song. Fast, energetic, relentless and overall amazing.  I was too fucking tired by the end of the gig, so I got myself a wurst. I have since then, heard these guys quite a bit and they are now a permanent addition to my thrash list.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Metaruuu: Baby Metal live at sonisphere

Ohk well, this was the most anticipated band for me and quite a lot of people to be frank. Everyone was excited to see a Japanese band, which has model of a J-pop girl band and music from a Metal band. In a lot of way this sounds like something, which could totally be wrong with the whole thing to begin with. This is corporate created metal, which is just contradictory to the whole concept of rock n roll, but it might not be first band with such strong corporate backing. I mean, ofcourse ,the bands first earn name for themselves and then become a corporate entity or as they lovingly call them "sell-outs". But I don't know many Metal bands, which have been produced by label companies or other corporate entities. What makes it more interesting is that it has come out of Japan, which has produced some very good Metal bands in the past and lot of garbage corporate non metal music groups.

Anyway, the band started its performance with a good starting intro using Starwar style text and describing "how the gods of metal(Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth) wants to pass their torch to newer generation and that newer generation manifests itself as Baby Metal. They should go to Europe because all the road to rock leads to Europe". Well that was some tight marketing and packaging gimmick and I totally bought it. Everyone cheered and applauded when the band came on the stage, with musicians(drummer, guitarist and bassist) dressed in some kind of white Japanese clothes and the performers(singers and dancers) were dressed in small red and black frocks(or whatever the hell it was).

The band was not particularly bad, guitarist and drummer were tight and riffs were good. Later when these three girls started singing and dancing it was all a downhill ride for me. Not that they are bad singers, but it just doesn't fit the whole metal/brutal scene and seems like a terrible cocktail.  Meanwhile I initiated a new trend with some of my Scottish and Welsh buddies  of shouting "Metaruuu" at random times. To make shit more hilarious and ironic, they were moshing to the songs.
They performed following songs(courtesy

At some point during performance they performed this chocolate song and all I can hear is "CHOCO-- CHOCO Letau!! chocoletau!!!!", which is my interpretation of their pronunciation. Another peculiar thing about the whole dance routine was they were making devils horns all wrong, it looked like they were making a shadow puppet sign for a deer. These girls took a break after 2-3 songs and then the musicians performed drum and guitar solos, which was a relief from the whole singing and dancing routine. They were fairly impressive lot. Later these girls came back and performed some other song which sounded like a record stuck in a tape recorder "ta ta ta ta ta.........", seriously that is all I could hear. The bunch was three girls I think two of them younger between 12-14 and older main singer was 14-16. I have heard somewhere when they get too old in J-pop world, the band continues with younger lot and older ones are fired. Seems like same fate might await these chicks in 2-3 years time.

The last gimmick they pulled out was requesting a WALL of DEATH using the same animated large screen display. I don't thing these girls could pull a request for a brutal Wall of Death directly since let's face it they are too KAWAII for that shit! Anywho, crowd was taking a piss, so there was a fucking WALL OF DEATH!!! who knew that would happen.
They ended happily after seeing the crowd response, not sure if they understood what was really going on. But I am happy that these kids were not treated badly as they could have in their first ever gig outside their home country, Metal crowd can be very difficult to please. The crowd dispersed with shits and giggles and there were few who were genuinely impressed and liked the whole thing. Each to their own.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Gojira live at sonisphere 2104

This was my third Gojira gig and I am sorry that I have not written the reviews for the last two YET. I have been too lazy and uninspired to write, but may be today I will complete a few. Firstly, let me make a giant claim that Gojira is the greatest thing that ever came out of France. That is indeed a big thing to say since France has given world with many great things and have centuries of glorious history but that has boiled down to Gojira being the final French fruit of labour. Gojira combines the greatness of individual free thinking of French with technical creativity of a heavy metal band combined with deep lyrics and complex musical composition. Gojira is a perfect band, I am not sure why they are not as big as they deserve to be, may be they are too chilled out to go out and sell themselves, but in coming times they are going to become one of the most important heavy metal band of all times. The kind of band, which will inspire upcoming generation of musicians and headline massive festivals.
Anyway on Sunday morning I was hanging out with my bloodstock buddies before heading to Gojira, but I ditched them since I was super eager to see Gojira from the front lines. To make the matter worse I basically ditched some cuties just to line up first for the Gojira. We reached on time, however the arena was not prepared, there were still barriers around and it took them about 15 minutes from the scheduled time to clear the barriers and let the crowd in. To add to the silliness, we ran to the arena as if it was a train leaving the platform, it was great fun. I was shouting "SPARTANS!!!! ATTACK!!!" while running.
So we waited for another 15 minutes before all equipment were set and sound test was being carried out, we were chatting with security folks and asking if they are going to cut down the time, but they said no, but the whole day schedules would be delayed by 20 minutes now.

The band appeared on the stage with Joe Duplantier waving his hands. They didn't say anything they just started with their first song from new Album "L'Enfant Sauvage" the song was called "Explosia". This is the first song of the morning for me, the double bass from twin bass drums were just exploding in my face while Joe running around the stage. I had opportunity to see Joe from 2 meters or so, but I couldn't capture him with the camera because he was running around and not staying in one place. This man is a master vocalist in league with Randy Blythe and Mikeal Akerfedlt. Well given this is Gojira, it goes without saying every blast beat follows a massive mosh pit and windmill headbanging. For me starting this day with such massive metal boner was just icing on the cake. The second song was also from the same album it was called "The Axe", I couldn't tell the name of the song but it is pretty distinct song and you know the riffs and drumming is damn amazing. After finishing the song, Joe came to the mic and asked if everyone is doing well, he is so mild mannered and well spoken that you would never take him for a vocalist of Brutal death metal band, (well not really, most of them are gentlemanly) but this guy has a whole different air of sophistication. He said they are not going to waste any time talking and started "backbone" from  "From Mars to Sirius". The song is pretty fantastic song, I haven't heard it many times to be frank, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying and headbanging to the fullest. He said, this next song is dedicated to the Death Metal fans, I knew what was coming next, THE HEAVIEST FUCKING MATTER OF THE UNIVERSE, one of the greatest song written in 2000s. The mosh grows larger, my windmill goes faster and each double bass and lead makes it all much better. Every hand in the air raising horns to the brutality that was ensuing. Lead guitarist of Gojira was hanging out mostly at the back of the stage playing, however the bassist was in front most of the time. He has those side burns which are so fucking amazing, I wish I can grow it like him, I have tried it in the past but not to great success.  To make matter a bit more sinister, Joe announced another beauty "Flying Whales". The crowd went absolute mental with this song being played. This is a crowd favourite in England. To be frank I don't know lyrics of the most Gojira songs by heart, but this is one song which most people were singing along. I must admit at this point Gojiras drummer is an absolute beast, the dude keeps the speed and tempo to the maximum. Though he is one of the most under rated drummer of current generation, I can easily compare him with likes of Chris Adler, who is easily the best drummer in this generation of Heavy Metal drummers.
And this is not even all, the next song was "L'Enfant Sauvage", this was getting better with each song. Absolutely phenomenal performance. Crowd was roaring with joy. Those sophisticated riffs were just pleasure to the ears and the drum thumps were thrilling the whole body. The last two songs they did were from the album "The way of all Flesh", which is my favourite album. They performed "Toxic Garbage Island" next, which is always the next song in my playlist after my favourite Gojira song, so I am pretty used to this one. The last song they did was "Vacuity", another highly energy filled performance. I enjoyed every bit of the performance.  Joe was talking about getting another album soon and coming back to us again. I cannot fucking wait to see them again. The greatest start for a morning I can think of. Well there is more to come for this sunday if I get down to writing more.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


It has been a long time since I have written anything tl;dr. I will soon muster enough courage to come up with some utter nonsense and talk about it in length. Though in the end it will just add more futility to the effort itself. I might even get bored in the middle and start talking about something completely important and the triviality might not even last for that long. It might actually be more useful piece of crap ever written by me thus contradicting the very purpose of carrying out the whole exercise. But who knows,it was indeed the purpose of text to pretend to be pointless and masquerade itself as gibberish, while speaking about intelligent things with audacity and voraciousness. But it might not be inline with the general ineptitude of being able to do something for a long continuous period of time. The distractions offered while creating such long monologues are far too tempting and it is particularly hard to carry on without being pulled into something else, which requires lot less effort and much less attention. This instant gratification providing medium is thus more important than the one which requires me to keep talking about pointlessness and relish the delicious fruits of labour of thousands of years of hard work done by humanity. These hedonistic ways are true essence of the civilization and they should be accepted and devoured without having reservation about their unsavouriness. While I might just keep piling more random shit over previous intangible shit, it might not be a total waste of effort and time. In the end it might turen out to be a true ploy to attract the relevant audience towards this topic and not worry about the consequences or direction of where this might lead. The worth of all this is just mere pastime or an epilogue to a glorious babble to follow. The action speaks louder than words? or do they? Actions don't speak, they don't have sound or words. They are mute, it is meaningless banter like this, which is loud and is more audible than other, perhaps more important things. So, as it can be seen here that the text continues to be elusive and does not talk about anything of any value to any living soul. The pretext remains totally unknown and the conclusion is abrupt. The ever flowing stream of entropy continues to dominate the very fibre of this discussion. But there is hardly any discussion here, it is all a discourse of trifling significance without any meaning or goal and it continues to do so relentlessly. It renders no results, it achieves nothing and it makes no change to anything. But, here it is written on the whims, for it is but a journey of mundane bullshit.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

This is Nirvana live @ Intrepid Fox London

Sapota took out his ten year old Kurt Kobain Tshirt just to wear for this occasion. This was nothing like ceremonial or anything but old fashioned nostalgia.

 For some reason Sapota thought the gig started at 7:00 pm and rushed to the venue, but on arrival it was clear the gig was not until 9:00 pm or later. Anyway, found some like minded chit-chatters talking about old school Grunge and Sapota flaunting his Old Nirvana Poster.

Anyway these guys started somewhere after 9:00, they looked like dudes in their 20s, and the dude on vocals for some reason had similar hair(blonde) like Kurt, but I am not sure if that was his real hair colour.
Anyway, they kicked off the gig with Aneurysm and followed with a whole lot of song ,but Sapota can remember following song and in no particular order. They performed Smells like teen spirit,Penny royal Tea, Heart Shaped box, Come as you are, Rape me, All apologies,Polly, Lounge Act, Drain you, The man who sold the world, Where did you sleep last night and lot of other songs.
They were overall very tight, in fact tighter than Nirvana itself(No, you did not just say that?). But then we know grunge has limited appreciation for technical accuracy so it is all immaterial. The vocal dude was playing leads and he was pretty good at it. They changed bass player and drummer for one song each but Sapota cannot recall which song. Sapota sang along most of the song he could, but to his surprise sapota was unable to recall lyrics or was at times unable to recognize even the aforementioned song from the intros. In between when they were playing some of the lesser known songs, Sapota was wondering if they are gonna do any of the above, but it is not surprising that without popular numbers you cannot woo the crowd. Overall it was a good old nostalgic fun. There was some dude who was headbanging as if it was a heavy metal gig. As much as Sapota appreciates a good headbanging, he was surprised at the choice of the music for this young enthusiast. But Sapota told the chick standing next to him that he would like to have whatever the handbanger dude was having and the chick chuckled, Sapota is such a womaniser!!!!!
Sapota was easily pleased with the song Where did you sleep last night and Rape me, it was done so well. They finished with Lithium, never realized that this song was such a powerhouse for a live performance with rapid drumming and fast guitar picking. The fun continued after the gig, the place was crowded. Sapota went to Maoz to get falafel at that very ungodly hour but Sapota is not ashamed of this conduct.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Lamb of God totally killed it @ Brixton Academy

Ok, This time I was about to miss this gig thinking that I have seen LOG twice already and I know the drill so very well that it won't hurt. I will be fine without seeing them and boy, I was so wrong when I thought I have seen the best of LOG. When I arrived at the venue the line was really really long, probably the longest I have seen for any gig. I have changed my telecom service provider from O2, so I cannot use special jump the queue and join the priority queue either. Anyway after seeing a lot of people passing by us, when I finally arrived at the venue this band called as Huntress was performing.  I saw it from a distance before moving into the zone, I was not impressed at all. Though I have heard good things about the band, so we moved closer to the stage, but I was still not all that impressed. When you are in the crowd the vibe catches on and you start enjoying a bit more, it is all contagious. Well to be fair the singer of huntress is pretty damn good, she can pull very high notes. Most metal lead ladies have impressive vocal ranges, but it is easy for ladies to pull soprano ranges and this one in particular did that shrilling sound with a lot of vibrato when she screamed about witches!!! She carried on singing in very high pitch for a long duration, it was damn cool. Technicalities asides, I still cannot get myself to like it; I mean I do not like big players like Angela Gassow or Cristina Scabia and I absolutely hate bands like Nightwish and Delain. I donno why I cannot find female vocalist as kick as Janis Joplin, Debby harry or Joan Baez in Metal scene. They just don't stand out any more. 
Anyway huntress were alright for their kind of gig, they did couple of songs before they did a song called as ¨I want to fuck to.... death" which is written by Lemmy himself and the singer described it as "how fucking romantic!" With loud screams and a lot of thanks you and flying kisses the huntresses finished off. The next on stage were Polish death metallers Decapitated. For voice check the vocalist shouted ¨123Slayerrrr" and I was like did he just..... And then for sound check they played Pantera's walk. Entire auditorium was singing ¨Can you see I am easily bothered by persistence." My god! I knew this is going to get fucking brutal. Ok now a note on nuisances caused by scene teenagers. While I am up for some quality moshing, I am also a believer of  moshing with proper moshing etiquettes like mosh with people who are moshing and don't shove and push everyone around who is just enjoying the show. But this show as full of teenagers whose primary goal in life is moshing after getting hammered, I believe some of them have not even tasted alcohol before in their lives, but hey this is the time to just annoy everyone and act like a dumbfuck. Decapitated performed an electrifying show, they are very technical in nature and absolute tight. I can tell by the music that this band is some very serious shit, the double bass and bass lines were fucking brilliant. One thing which was uncommon was a lot of pre recorded musical interludes, where they disappear from stage and appear with a lead and drum solo few times during the while performance. The lead singer has really really long braids, such that they were hanging lower than his knees. With consistent headbanging you know they are a useful weapon in death metal gig.
Anyway, at this point I was standing in the second row and in the middle of the stage. I knew it was a bad idea in general but I thought I would be fine with some pressure and crushing but second time in a row, I couldn't have been more wrong.
After a lot of chanting "Lamb of God!!! Lamb of God!!! Lamb of God!!!" the stage was darkened and Chris Adler was first to arrive and followed by guitarists and then Randy, who happened to have a beard for some reason. Never seen Randy with a beard. Anyway they kicked off with Desolation and the crowd went absolute mental. I was kicked, shoved, pushed, trampled all at the same time. I somehow thought God, I am going to faint with this much pressure. I had no chance to headbang or do anything I was just being thrown from one spot to another. With next song Ghost walking the crowd became a bit better but as soon as that double bass, leads and scream kicked in, the same thing happened again. I decided to go with the crowd and move away from the centre, but there was no fucking escape. I had no control whatsoever over my movements or my position, everything was on mercy of the crowd. This is first time I have seen how brutal the LOG gig can get, I mean I escaped this pressure in Download and bloodstock, which have much more crowd. But here I was surrounded by half naked teenagers everywhere, whose primary business today was to cause turmoil in the gig. I was running out of breathe and sweating like a dog. Anyway after the song finished Randy introduced the guitarist Paul waggnor from ¨Between the buried and me¨. He said Morton couldn't be here because of a family emergency and for Lamb of God we always maintain Family first and band later. People cheered as it always works in this part of the world. He asked, So how many of you have to work tomorrow? some people raised their hands and some shouted. Well, you know how does it feel to go to work everyday, it is like "taking a walk in hell". So the next song they performed was Walk with me in hell. For me it was quite close to being in hell, since I was still in midst of moshing insanity, which was not stopping even after two songs. Next song was hourglass, which started as soon this one finished without much delay. This time I was a bit outside the pit, I was close to the stage but still in first three rows. Randy started talking about how much he loves England and talks about how England is first country which recognized Lamb of God outside America and everyone of you is fucking Mental. The next song started with those damn Drums, which were shooting blast beats and double bass like an Apache helicopter gunning down with bullets and missiles. This song is called Set to fail, it is set for constant non stop headbanging with insane speed. This was first time in my life when someone's hair were hitting me when the dude was doing the windmill and now I knew how does it feels to be on receiving end. I was still nowhere in position to headbang properly, but I have let myself let freely float in the crowd and move my head and body in rhythm of crowd, it was like I was part of this gigantic cruel wave assimilating metalheads like pacman eating dots, it was majestic. I don't have to balance myself, I don't have to position myself, I don't have to worry about getting hit or fallen, it was all automatic. It was so wonderful that I felt I can live in this euphoria for a long time.
For some reason the whole band went inside and there was no light and it felt that this was bit too early for an encore, but everyone starts shouting Lamb of God!!! Lamb of God!!!. Randy comes back with "Now you have got something to die for". The crowd was a bit less violent now, I can headbang with the right rhythm and pace. The moshpit was still very active but a bit smaller. This time crowd was creating a wall, close to me, I wanted to be a bit away from it. As soon as the drums go wild, people starts running towards each other, just hitting and pushing and all kinds of adrenaline driven craziness. Randy asked the crowd again, how is everyone doing? and crowd howled. Randy was like you guys are so fucking awesome, we love you, this next one is called "undertow". I was utterly tired at this point, I enjoyed the great riffs and screams and insane drumming heavily. It was all a great treat to enjoy in this overcharged sweaty environment.
Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward. Whoever cannot take care of themselves without that law is both. For a wounded man shall say to his assailant, 'If I live, I will kill you. If I die, You are forgiven.' Such is the rule of honour. With almost everyone repeating the word, the song kicked off. It was thrilling to hear this brilliant song live again. The song progresses slowly and goes into state of consistent frenzy and then drops down and continue its pace to dive again into bursts of euphoric drumming and singing which can only be justified with headache causing fast headbanging. To make matter more sinister, the next song they performed was called "Ruin". Motherfucking roller coaster of a poem written with drumming so genius that  it will make the Devil himself ask the question, "who the fuck is this Drumming Devil?" Ladies and gentlemen that is Chris Adler for you. Despite him being so scrawny looking, the power packed by this piece will blow you like a grenade thrown right onto your face. I was perspiring like a marathon runner after completing the entire race, with my heavy jacket and this kind of entropy it was hot as hell inside the hall. They performed another song called as In your words following the Ruin without any break. I rested for the most part of this song, it is your usual LOG song, nothing special about it but nevertheless a good song. They all gathered around and start throwing sticks and plectrums and starting thanking and shit. I was like woah, they have not performed a hell lot of signature songs, what the fuck is happening?
Lights went out and some kids were starting to slip away, one of the biggest problems with extreme metal moshpit crowd is that they exhaust all their energy and enthusiasm by the time best of the lot is still not not over. I was waiting here and even the chants were not as energetic as you would expect for encore. Anyway they returned back after a bit of time. Randy started talking again about how awesome the England is and then he talked about the band huntress, which is from LA and touring with them and said they have the only good looking member in the whole group. Then he talked about Decapitated, who are from poland and one of the best and most respected act in the whole death metal Genre. After a bit of talking Randy asked how many people want him to shut the fuck up, LOL! The next song they performed was "Vigil", one of my favourite songs, after seeing them three times before, this is first time I have seen them perform Vigil. Oh the starting line of "Our Father thy will be done" and then the second line "We have denied this life its worth" and the drum and guitar that follows with every chorus. This was sex served on a toasted crumpet. Totally Loved that song, every second of it. Randy's intense singing and simple riffs and complex leads makes it my absolute favourite. The song followed another classic "Laid to rest". All songs were performed with absolute brilliance. Randy now stops and starts talking to the crowd. First he asks how many of you are from London? and how many of you are outside the London? How many of you are England? Then he points at John Campbell and asks him if he is from England. John was like NOO!!! Then he says it doesn't matter where you guys are from, but you guys are bunch of Rednecks!!! This when all the hell break loose. Entire crowd goes into the berserker frenzy, with first drum beats the heads starts rolling like a propeller the push the shove and the trampling is all back. HOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS A MOTHERFUCKING INVITATION!!!!! THE ONLY ONE YOU WILL EVER GET!!!!!!!! HOOOOO!!!!!!!. With each beat blasts the moshpit gets crazier and crazier. One of the best experiences I ever had in a rock concert. Inspite of this feeling of getting exhausted and passing out, I was still performing with all my reserve energy. This songs makes you believe in the devil and how has he blessed Chris Adler with skills that makes most drummers fade in comparison. The wall of death was closing in as the song ended and I was somewhere at the periphery of this unstoppable brutality. At the end of the song, someone dressed as panda was crowd surfing. The bassist was pointing Randy towards Panda, who kept missing the panda, but they were laughing like crazy about the whole panda thing. I thought that must be it, but the next song was Black label. This was getting totally unholy. The brutality was not not stopping, it was just getting stronger and stronger. It was just ridiculous how good this gig was getting by every fucking song. But I knew this would be last. The headbanging continued inspite of the fact that I couldn't feel my neck and my throat was hoarse, I didn't had any fluid in last few hours and I was drenched in sweat. I stood there in order to get either a plectrum or something when they finished. It was like a breather after the dust has settle after a monstrous battle. As I was leaving the place, I was thanking the devil as he has shown me the right path to actually come for this concert inspite of the fact that it seemed a bit too much to watch LOG for the third time, but it was best 19.50 £ ever spent.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Mammaries of Heavy Metal: Steel Panther at download festival

Day 2
Band 2
Warning: Very very Not suitable for Work

Well, Liny was telling me that this band is pretty good and she saw them some times back and they do put on an amazing show. I was under the impression they are one of those 70s glam rock/hair metal band,s which do make up and sing in high pitch voice. I was not sure what I was up for since the band's poster looked like this.
 So these guys started with a short intro piece called as "In the future" followed immediately by their first song "Supersonix sex machine" and they start rocking like real good. I was looking at their attire with my disapproval: shredded shirts, pink/red glasses, arms full of tattoo, leather pants, multi coloured hair and lot of blingy accessories, they looked pretty camp. But it was about the time when my scepticism changed into giant smile when someone flashed the first pair of breast for this performance. The lead singer immediately pointed towards the woman who was gracious enough to entertain the entire crowd with such candid display of those gorgeous mammaries. I was starting to like the sound of the band as both the lead vocalist and lead guitarist were singing.
As soon as the song finished lead guitarist took the mic, for a minute I thought he was the lead vocal. But it so happens that his supporting vocals are bit more prominent compared to others.
So, he started  :"What's up donington, how many people have seen us live before?"
Crowd roared a bit.
"there is an airplane right there"
"say fuck you to airplane"
Crowd: "fuck you airplane"
Lead guitarist: "they can't hear you but who fucking cares!"
"let me  introduce the lead fucking vocalist Micheal Starr , he is like David lee Roth because David lee Roth has pretty small penis"
Micheal: (*whatttt*)
Guitarist: the dude rocks 24*7 and he fucks girls motherfucking half his age, and last week he was fucking a 30 year old girl.
Micheal: "fuck you!!!"
Guitarist: Make some noise for Micheal Starr(*drum rolls*)
Micheal: It feels as good to play here as fucking a girl after doing cocaine from her pussy. This is great day because it is a grand opening of this girl's pussy.
Guitarist: Dude, I saw Metallica going there there before, so wear a condom.
Micheal: Why wear condom you cannot get herpes twice?
Micheal: ladies and gentleman on lead guitars Stachel, who is faster than Edward Van Halen.
Satchel: (*Nods with a NO*)
Micheal: better looking than Ben stiller.
Satchel: THAT IS TRUE(with drum rolls)
Micheal: Skinnier than Yngwie Malmsteen!
Satchel: Everyone is skinnier than Malmsteen.
Micheal: Retarded than  Tom Cruise!
Satchel: REALLY?(disapproving pout)
Micheal: Put your hand up for Satchel.
Satchel: This is fucking awesome, biggest fucking crowd we have ever played for. Make some noise for that chick over there who is about to show here boobies, you dirty whore, later I am going to put my penis in your vagina. I am not going to wear condoms because I cannot get anyone pregnant since I went through menopause. 
Micheal: and on bass guitar this gay looking dude, ladies and gentleman the foxiest bass player in the world Lexxi Foxxx.
Lexxi: (*waving to crowd*) THANK YOU!!!
Lexxi: I want to thank the guy who invented razor so that ladies can shave their Vagina.
Satchel: if your hands are not up for shaved vaginas we cannot help you.
Lexxi: yeah, when we go down there we don't want to wrestle with ZZ top there. And how many people like to go to the Zoo
Micheal: dude, you have one track mind!!!
Lexxi: and the best drummer in our band Mr STIXXXX!!!
Stix plays a little drum solo, which was not bad I would say.
Next, they played one of the non popular song called as "Tomorrow night". The song was not too bad, it was only interspersed with liberal display of mammaries. As soon as the song finished they started talking about hookers and which are the best hookers in the world. As I noticed there were few people who were wearing Japanese straw hats in the crowd, which was theme for the next song, which goes like this:

Asian hooker Hot little motherfucker Asian hooker You're a dirty little cocksucker..............
Micheal(*in the middle of the song*): Make some noise for Satchel on the leads.
which was followed by a really good solo performed by Satchel, who was also licking the guitar in between!!!
Micheal: Make some noise donnington.
Song finished with quick riffs by Satchel. Out of all weird things I have seen at download festival there were teletubbies in the fucking crowd!!! Micheal: Ladies please up on the shoulders, please show some fucking boobies.
And bam there were two girls making out on top of two dude's shoulders.
Micheal: We have seen a lot of boobies,how many of you want to see some more? Cameraman please capture the boobness as it unfolded.
Satchel: Guys if you want to have sex, be safe! 'cause in England the minimum age is 13 years old, no younger than that.
Satchel: Show you tits you whore! (*surprised* ) Woah, that worked! I never thought that would work . Everyone loves Asian hooker, but nobody loves them more than a little guy called as Tiger woods.
With a particularly interesting guitar leads the song they performed was "Just like Tiger Woods".Boob flashing continued with some display of inflatable dolls and dildos. There was one particular lady who was bare chested throughout the whole damn performance and she had Scottish flag painted on her face. Kudos to Scotland for having such candid ladies. Song finished with a great double bass and lot of wah wah pedals.
Michael: Now we are going to do this next song about the relationship we had for two weeks. Satchel come over here. Satchel: dude, I just got my hip replaced this week, don't want to walk down all the way over there because it fucking hurts like hell
Michael: This song is called "Community property".
I would give you the stars in the sky But they're too far away If you were a hooker, you'd know I'd be happy to pay. If suddenly you were a guy I'd be suddenly gay 'Cause my heart belongs to you My love is pure and true My heart belongs to you

And the crowd sing:
But my cock is community property!!!

This was so Brilliantly done, that I almost clapped(no clapping at heavy metal concerts, only Devil horns!). And then there was a chick who has "community property" written over her titties, that was just icing on the cake. The song finished with atleast 10 pairs of male and female boobs being displayed on the Gaint screen.
The next song they performed was "Eyes of a Panther".
Satchel: Dude, who likes to party? Because I like party all day.
Michael: Dude, and I like to fuck all night.
Michael: Everybody fuck each other. And the next song begun this one was called "fuck all night and party all day" and in middle of song Michael shouted "boobies" and 5 more pairs were flashed. One particular chick was being reluctant and she got thumbs down from Michael. 
Michael: Everyone say fuck fuck fuck yeah!
The song finished with everyone shouting fuck fuck fuck, LOL.
Michael: Camerman take the camera right there to those great pair of boobies. Make some noise for those amazing pair of boobies.
Satchel: Everyone thank her dad for letting her sit on his shoulders. Thanks dad, Later I am going to fuck her face.
Michael: Everyone thank you for you coming to the show, we started here in 2009 and we wrote a song about a little back stage experience we had.
Satchel: We lined up 29 girls and fucked 16 of them in a row and took a nap between 17 and 18. We wrote a song about that. Check it out.
Satchel starts with a Great fucking riff.
Michael: Everybody fucking jump JUMP JUMP.
Well, I was ofcourse jumping, it was a great tune, how could you resist it?
The song they performed was "17 girls in a row" with great bass guitar by Lexxi. And in the middle of the song Michael made a shocker hand sign(two in the pink....).
As soon as the song finished Satchel started talking again.
Satchel: dude I have a great news I went to the doctor for aids test and he said everything looks positive, but that is not the great news. We have a special guest here tonight with us, Corey fucking Feldman from Slipknots.
Michea(*disapproving*): Not Corey Feldman , Corey Taylor you fucking asshole. how many people want Corey to beat shit out of Satchel.
Satchel: I didn't recognize him without his mask.
Corey comes out and joins them on stag. I was surprised to see a totally normal looking dude with Motley Crue T shirt and a regular cap. He started this new song called as "Death to all but metal",
 Fuck the Goo Goo Dolls, they can suck my balls 
Everybody shout, "Heavy metal's back!"
Fuck Mariah Carey, death to Sheryl Crowe  They can kiss each other on the camel toe

Fucking brilliant song. That is all what heavy metal fans ever wanted to say. I have to admit as much as I dislike slipknots, Corey is an amazing vocalist. I was laughing my ass off during entire song marvelling at the lyrics Michael: Make some noise for Corey Taylor.
Did everyone had a good time with steel panther?. 
Thank you very much everybody.  He reintroduces all the band members, they get together and bow to the crowd. I was awestruck by this stellar performance, the band is definition of having a good time at rock n roll concert. Not to mention the amount of wonderful display of female bosoms all over the place. I did count upto first 30, then I gave after I realized that there were atleast 50 more pairs flashed later.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Trivium at Download festival: A review

Day 2: Band 1: Trivium

On the second day of Download when we reached the main arena this band called as "Black Veil Brides" was playing at the main stage. The band members were wearing very odd outfits. The lead singer was wearing some kind of sleeves, but no shirt and these sleeves were shiny and black. Then there was paint on his lower torso which seemed like it is coming out of his butts? Then other member were wearing something made up of black feathers. Musically I have no idea what they were singing or what were their genre. I was generally amused by their theatrics, but the crowd was booing them and flipping birds at them. At this point, the lead singer thought it was a good idea to engage with crowd. So he started saying stuff like, "you motherfuckers think you are so cool?", "you guys give hard time to our fans"  and "we are here for our fans, and you all can go fuck yourself(or something like that)". I shook my head in disapproval because it was a terrible idea to insult a crowd composed of drunk metalheads.People kept booing them throughout their entire performance and then these guys left with a lot of swearing at the crowd. Entire thing was super hilarious. To be frank, these guys were pretty shit and their attitude was even worse. They should have stick with their performance and left without saying shit to the audience. Anywho, the next band in Line was Trivium. I don't listen to Trivium much, I have heard few of their songs and I liked one or two. I got introduced to trivium through the sound track "like flies to the light" from the movie smokin' aces. The song has very typical growling with beats and shredding guitar which sounds pretty badass until the singing goes into the clean mode, which ruins it completely for me.
Anyway, the performance started pretty normally with their intro song called as  "Capsizing the Sea" and they were displaying album art which looked some kind of explosion on the screen . The guitarist came on stage doing his antics and singer jumping around. The first proper song they performed was "In waves", which I have never heard before, but it was pretty well done. The next song they performed was "Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr" which is one of their popular numbers. The guitar solo is pretty good on the song however it changes track between growls and clean vocal which in live performance do not sound that bad. The vocalist was pretty cool dude, he talked about how the band was first recognized here in the download and he loves the British crowd. To be frank he was right, the crowd in download was pretty responsive and enthusiastic about them and Trivium is a decent band so they were getting decent crowd response.They performed next two songs one after the other called as "Rain" and "Black". I was a bit excited about black, there was bit of chorus which lead singer asked everyone to join in. There was a lot of energy in the performance. Next these guys asked everyone to form a huge mosh pit and if anyone falls pick them up. Well, that was new since it is pretty much understood but mentioning it is not such a bad thing after all. They performed "the Deceived" next which was again an unknown song to me followed by "Dusk dismantled".  It was all very groovy and good stuff, I was enjoying the music in general. Next they started talking again about this next song and they wanted everyone to go nuts for the song. "The gunshot to the head of trepidation" is their constant fixture at most gigs and a pretty good song. Some of the lyrics are sung by the lead guitarist who is tall guy who wears wide parallel trousers compared to tights by rest of the band. The leads were pretty sick on this song, the song was followed by small drum solo. I was not all that impressed by drums because of their generic sound but they were still pretty tight.  They finished with a whole lot of rapid drums and guitar typical of signature songs. The last song they performed was  "Throes of Perdition", which was again a pretty tight song but I was totally clueless about it. They finished with "Leaving this world behind", which is mostly a closing number played in background. Overall I liked their performance,they were fun band to watch, I hope to see them again sometimes.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Camping at Download

Download festival 2012 part 1
I was already a bit late for booking any hotels for the download festival, so I had no choice but to get a camping ticket and consequently get the whole camping gear. I am as clueless as it can be about pretty much most stuff but camping is a whole different territory for me. So, I started searching for information. My first spot was Download forums, where someone pointed me to camp loner. After joining their facebook group and digging some posts I knew that I am up for some serious research and consequently shopping.
First thing you need to get for camping is a tent. Finding a tent can be tedious. I started searching for the criteria to select a tent. Here is a list:
Occupancy : Always have a bigger tent than the number of people occupying the tent, for example for a single person a double tent is better because you need to put you stuff inside the tent.
Weather: Since this is England and it pisses like there is no tomorrow almost all the time, so double sheet tents are ideal. You also need to ensure that tent can withstand high winds, but that is mostly dependent on how many ropes and pegs you use for tying the tent to the ground.
Ventilation and warmth: The tent should be able to let you breathe and at the same time, given you are in europe it should not let too much cold air to get in. This basically helps you to sleep without covering your head. Mosquito nets on the tent entrance can be pretty sweet addition.Anything and everything else beyond this can be customized to different requirements.
 So after going through a lot of shops and visiting a lot of website, I finally selected Gelert Eiger 2.
Next thing on the list to get for the camping is a sleeping bag, generally you would like to buy something to keep you warm without spending too much money so I quickly selected Lichfield Trekker. Additionally this bag can also cover your head(if you want that!).
Third thing on this list is Mat, now I was torn between buying something inflatable or a flat mat, I was also worried if I would need something which is waterproof. This has lot to do with the fact that ground is(may be) totally uneven and your preference for cushioning for the bed. Back in India I have no issues with sleeping on ground with little cushioning, but due to super cushioned beds in England, my back is now used to cushioned beds. However, I still just brought a simple NATO olive mat, mostly because it was cheap and my room mate(who is an ex soldier) said I would be a sissy if I get an air mate.
Now you need few more things like waterproof jacket(s)  and Wellington boots(or gumboots), I spent about 20 £ on each. Although it later turned out wellies were totally worth it and I lost the jacket during Black sabbath performance without even using it once. I also brought carabiner hooks, water bottle, thick (or trekking) socks for wellies, quick drying non odorous towel, Torches or flashlights, batteries, waterproofing spray, car battery charger, few ropes(in case I have to tie my tent tighter, don't get any funny ideas here), foldable stool(which was a total waste) and some other miscellaneous items and toiletries. 
I started hoarding food, mostly a lot of haldiram(Indian food brand) snacks, fruits, chocolates etc. After arrival of my tent, I tried opening and tying it up so that I know how to tie it up and how big it is. It is important to give a trial to your tent before the actual usage. I also tried putting my mat and bag inside the tent in order to check the space. The tent was designed in such a way that until unless the place is completely flooded(or about 10 cms of water) there is no way water can get inside the tent.
I booked national coach to the Donington castle along with the locker at the download site. I reached Victoria coach station about 9:30 am and waited with the other metal fans for our bus. Unfortunately this was the quietest bunch of metalheads I have ever seen.  All of them  were sitting silent throughout the journey or whispering among themselves. At arrival near the Donington castle the traffic was getting stagnant and we spent a hell lot of time just on the road near to the bus parking lot. I forgot to mention that even while the bands were starting to play at the festival on 8th, people had already left for the festival on 6th for camping and other activities in the village. While I (un?)officially joined the camp Loner, I was in the group of last arrivals at the camp loner. I had exchanged my number with couple of people including the most interesting of the lot Miss Liny, who was coming all the way from the Amsterdam. I was getting updates from these people about the camp setup and their whereabouts, while I was stuck in the traffic. As soon as I arrived near to the entrance of the festival village, I changed my shoes to the wellies because it seemed my shoes wouldn't survive that kind of mud. At the entrance they  provided us with the wrist band after usual frisking and ticket verification. This wrist band has to be tied at all times. Immediately I entered the so called festival village and started to have a look around; the village had all sorts of things including food and merchandise shops to information kiosks to Swings and comedy club. However to reach anywhere you have to wade your way through atleast half a foot of mud. I started traversing my way around to find out the "yellow camping area", which everyone else was camping at. Liny called me to inform that she has already reached and waiting for me. As usual I wandered a bit before finally finding my way to the yellow camp. Apparently there were two yellow camps, just next to each other, It took me a while to figure out that she was at very end of the camp. Finally I met her and my first guess was, "Is she Sri-Lankan?", it later turned out she is Tamil.
Anyway, we set up our tents, while I misplaced my tenting hooks underneath my tent(later to be discovered at the night). The camps were way more organized than what I expected. There were overhead flags and banners to provide direction and sense of Landmarks. Each of these camps had their own information booth, security and snacks/coffee booths.  But it was hard to find out your own tent among the swarms of tents everywhere because pretty much every kind of possible tent was there. Inspite of me trying to memorize the pattern, I almost always have difficulty in reaching the right spot without getting pass it atleast once. The best and worst part of our camping location was proximity to the toilets. I wont say these were the worst toilets I have ever been to, but you cannot expect much in such situation. There were no issues with water availability in the area. Some toilets even had toilet rolls and hand sanitizers!!!
Liny told me she is doing her second masters(Whaaa???) and she is on tight schedule for just one day to see Metallica. I have to say she is bit more nuts than I am. I missed big four because of my not so tight schedule at uni last year and here she is running to another country in middle of some important assignment. From now on, she became my partner in crime. I tried texting and finding others but with no luck, some of them have already gone to the performance area, while others were still setting tents.
After doing a bit more inspection of the area and securing my music player in the lockers, we headed to the performance area. I desperately wanted to see machine head again, but to my dismay they had already performed by the time we reached. There were multiple stages including Ronnie James Dio stage, Marshall stage( the main stage) and few other small stages. The area was swarmed with people, there were multiples of tens of thousands people there. These stages were absolutely freaking monstrous, nothing of the type I have ever seen live. Multiple display screens everywhere, huge arrays of sound speakers, lot of the promotional booths and camps and barricades placed at multiple stages. One of the interesting thing I forgot to mention here is that distance between the arena and the camp was almost 4-5 kilometres. We were travelling this distance with few inches of mud everyday couple of times, not to mention our boots used to get stuck in the mud every now and then. However there was a small patch of concrete road between village and arena, walking on that concrete road was more irritating after walking on soft mud for hours. On one side of this road there was some sort of Donnington exhibition hall, seems like that area is used for more than just rock festivals. When we reached the main stage, Chase and status were performing on main stage and Nightwish were performing on other stage. To be frank neither me nor Liny has tiny bit of interest in watching any of them. So we kept looking around and got ourselves some food. There was all kinds of food available at village including vegan food(lolwat?). Next Prodigy performed on main stage and the Slash on other stage. I watched the prodigy for a bit, but here is the thing as much as they sounded good on their recorded songs, they sound pretty shit live. I didn't even bother to worry going towards the slash. Anyway, I won't be reviewing any of band performances in this post, this post is dedicated to 3 days of fun and exhaustion at the camping site.
We kept wandering around the performance area to check other small stages and look for more food(In my defence, I was very hungry). Near one of the stages there was this really really elevated ride, which basically makes you feel zero gravity(not technically, but almost like it) and there were chicks(or dudes?) screaming on these rides. Now coming to people(or as I call them rock devotees), there were all sorts of people in crowd right from the children to middle aged to all kinds of ethnicity. One of the most diverse crowd of people I have ever seen in my life. While I was standing near the locker, I met this guy who travelled all the way from the Brasil and I was awestruck by this tenacity. I mean if I don't repay the favour by travelling back to the Rock in Rio, I would be damned. There were dudes dressed in skirts(yeah right) and dudes with full punk pink mohawks and chicks dressed as pikachu. I don't even understand what were the purpose of some of these dresses in a rock festival, but pretty much every bizarre( or otherwise not so bizarre) attire was there, I mean I felt like I am the most normally attired person on the earth in such a colourful crowd. After making all these obeservations we returned back to our camps travelling all the way in the mud. The worst section of the mud was sludgy one near the common areas like the lockers. It took us 20 minutes to get across few feet at this location. Liny was getting stuck more often and had to be pulled out every once in a while, LOL. While we were on the road back to our tents, there was this guy standing in the middle of the road dressed with cartons and shouting "I am optimus prime, give me free hugs", LOL. And then  from nowhere another dude starting hugging him shouting, "Optimus, I am your father", LOL. Then we also came across few chicks, who were rolling in the mud and laughing. I can only theorize that they were high as kite. Well this ain't her but this should give you an idea.
Meanwhile at Download 2012

We were dead tired when we reached back to our tents. We chatted for few minutes before retiring. I cannot believe I managed to get few hours of sleep and woke up only when the temperature inside the tent started rising in the morning. After deciding which all bands we are going to watch, I headed to find other camp-loners in the yellow camp, after a lot of texts and misdirections(for atleast 40 minutes) I was able to meet Ryan, who was trying to contact me since yesterday. Soon after meeting him, I also met Shawn. Shawn took us to the site where rest of the yellow camp loners were camping. I spent some time exchanging pleasantries with the rest of the group. These guys had no plans of going to arena any time soon, but Liny wanted to get her seat booked in the front row. So I headed back to our site along with Shawn, who was camping close to our tents. After having our breakfast Liny and I waded our way through shit tonnes of mud to get to the arena. Thankfully it was not raining, however it was overcast and the mud has become a bit more solid thus resulting in much more effort to make our way through. The arena was not all that crowded when we reached, so we made our way towards the front rows easily. Infact Liny was standing in the very first row near the barricades and kept standing there all the time. I on the hand kept wandering around a lot to get food and drinks. On these multiple screens around the arena they were either showing previous performances or interviews or you can send a text message to be displayed on the board. Text messages were very funny ranging from quotes from the movie "300" to invitation for sex, marriage proposals, jokes, lost and found. The most common shout during entire download festival was "Spartans, what is your profession" and chants of "huu huu huu" followed all over. Download has it's own internal jokes as well, number 836 was being called upon all the time and as I came to knew he was a security crew member and he basically showed devil horns in previous year's festival. Later after finishing of our day at Arena we made a little detour towards official Merchandising shops. Apparently there were atleast 3 shops, I wanted to get something besides a Tshirt, but I ended up buying a Black Sabbath Tshirt and Linny bought a Download Tshirt. Due to all this standing and walking all day long, I was having trouble walking back due to blisters in my feet, but we somehow managed to get back. I guess I slept immediately after coming back to the tent. Next day Liny has to pack her pack bags in the morning and leave. Unfortunately for her she couldn't see Black Sabbath. After her departure, I headed to place where other yellow campers were hanging out. We sat there for a couple of minutes chilling. Later at about mid noon we moved to the arena where a lot of awesome bands were suppose to perform today. We grabbed drinks and food and sat down a bit far from the area and the crowd. I met another guy who was working for RAF. I talked to him about selection procedure for RAF officers, which seems a bit relaxed compared to IAF selection procedure. But as he pointed out that India can afford having wider selection criteria due to the sheer numbers. Anyway, while we were sitting enjoying the sun, there was a group of hot girls snorting white powder. While the girl in white skirt was pretty cute, I thought it was a really bad idea approaching a pretty stoned girl.
As soon as the Anthrax hit the stage, I moved towards the centre of the arena, while others kept sitting there and enjoying the weather. After the end of all the performance on that day i.e. after Black Sabbath finished, I texted these guys and we met back at the yellow camp. I bought some Indian snacks for the Clint, who seems to enjoy hot/spicy stuff. I also brought my music player  and attached it to a mini speaker. We kept chatting and sitting there at the last night of the festival, while these guys were drinking JagerMeister(or some cocktail thereof). Weather was fantastic at this hour and Ryan was making plans for the next visit while pink floyd was being played in the background. I was returning back to my tent after saying my goodbyes and I saw some drunk(or high) chick climbing on the flag pole and security guys were trying to bring her down. The response of the security guard to this situation was absolutely hilarious, he said "As much as I like to see girls getting up on the pole, sweetheart come down, this is really dangerous." Some kids in a big group were shouting in unison, "Spartans, What is your profession" followed with the  shouts of "aahoo" and rallying around the yellow camp. When I returned back to my tent, I realized that the headquarters of this Spartan army was right next to my tent. Apparently these kids called themselves as "Party boy Spartans" and wanted to invade other countries. At times they were also talking about pissing on other tents, which made me a little worried(I don't want to carry a pissed tent back home). There is nothing more dangerous than the piss drunk teenagers at a rock festival. Although they were funny especially everyone was talking with same odd accent and talking about dining in hell and for whatever reason they were obsessed with obtaining bread for their quest. Anyhow, I managed to get some sleep in my tent for the last night in the Download festival. I I woke up at time, packed all my stuff with relative ease and walked my way towards the Bus stand. The first thing I did before boarding on the bus was changing from the wellies to proper boot. My feet thanked me a tonne for this act of mercy on their soul(s). The journey back home was very quite, this time it was purely due to the exhaustion instead of lack of enthusiasm. With so much gear, I was getting a lot of curious looks everywhere in underground and overground. I was too tired to be bothered with anything but thinking about my bed. I slept for hours as soon I returned to my bed. I can certainly say this is one of the greatest experiences I ever had in my life. I will write band performance reviews soon(I know I have not been upto it lately).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Metal God seen live

Since I didn't book the ticket online, I didn't even know that I would make it inside. But, where there is will there is a way and as soon as I reached Hammersmith few blokes were selling tickets in black. I enquired the cost which started with 100£ and on some bargaining came down to 50£. I was surprised with such steep haggling especially in the UK, but I didn't bother buying even at this price. I bought GA ticket for 45£(original cost being £43.5), but I was worried if this ticket is actually authentic? When I reached the gates, the bar code reader took quite long to validate the ticket, which was making me a bit nervous. But Wohoo!!! I was inside! I went inside the auditorium, which is an indoor one much like O2 arena in Brixton. There were not a lot of people inside when I reached, so I managed to get as close as 2-3 feets from the main stage. The band performing at the time was "Kobra and Lotus ", to be frank I have never heard about the band. The lady singer was singing with high pitch screams , bit too loud and shrilling for my taste(or may be it was the sound system?). Anyway, I was very hungry, so I went out searching for food. While having my sandwich I noticed that crowd was bit older and more alternatively dressed compared to the most gigs I have been to. There were people in 40s, people with a lot of tattoos and people with lot of metal jewellery and leather clothing. But I was not surprised this is what Judas are associated with anyway.

As I returned back this band finished its performance, and the stage was being reorganized for the next band. The next band to perform was the Saxon, this band is contemporary of  the Judas and these guys had preformed together for quite some time. The band was being cheered well and surprisingly by a much younger crowd. The band was pretty tight and performed about 10 songs, sadly I haven't heard any of them before. The band offered choice to crowd between two songs, but it was hard to make out what crowd actually chose. Saxon also made an announcement that they will be at the Download, there were few hands in air when they mentioned the Download. So, It's apparent that I am not the only dude obsessed with metal mayhem. Saxon finished with a great cheering from the crowd.

And now the stage was covered with epitaph curtain, while the band crew was setting up the stage. The crowd started screaming and some dude started the chants "Priest!!! Priest!!!", which didn't lasted as long as you would expect.  The feel around the place was very electrified with metal crowd getting closer to the stage and entire floor was getting crowded. The lights went off and they started playing "War pigs", crowd started singing along the war pigs. Inspite of being fully aware of  the gig rituals, It was stil very exciting and I was  anticipating some surprise. The bright halo at the Devils fork on Epitaph screen was getting prominent while the curtain was removed to reveal the entire crew. My eyes stopped right at Rob, who was wearing sunglasses and a long jacket with so much metal attached to it that it would even make the most brootal scandanavian band feel like a little girl. Rob was singing far from the crowd and facing sidewise to the stage, which is little unusual for most front men. The new guitarist Richie Faulkner was right in front trying few guitar antiques. I was trying to find the Guitar lord Glenn Tipton, who at that moment was modestly playing on right hand side. The background screen was showing British Steel while they were playing "Rapid fire" as the opening number. The song ended with Rob's signature high pitch scream. The second song "Metal god" followed immediately. It took me a while to recognize the song and I started singing along.  With every scream the sound goes louder when the chorus goes "Meeeetaaaaaallllllll god!!!".
Now Rob start talking about Judas priest style heavy metal, the crowd screams "fuck yeah!!!". Rob was now wearing a denim jacket for the next song which crowd sang along with him for the most time" and we are heading out to highway and I got nothing else to lose". While faulkner was soloing, Rob  stood next to him sticking his tongue out, lol. The background screen changed to "Angel of retribution" and faulkner started a great lead while Glenn Tipton stood in his typical metal rocking style. The screen this time went animated with a lot of lightening while crowd chorusing for "judas rising". The next song they played was from album sin after sin called as "Starbreaker", which I have never heard before. Rob's dress changed pretty much with mood of song and this time he was wearing shiny long coat and boots with cowboy spurs. The trio of rob, richie and glenn stood right at the front edge of stage while Ian hill was pretty static in his right hand corner.
The classic infamous double lead kicks off the next song "victims of change" from album "Sad wings of destiny".  In the middle of the song Lord Tipton performs a  face melting solo. The song lasted over 11 minutes and drummer Scott Travis was doing his stick in the air thing while beating snare brutally. And crowd was going "ho ho hoooooooo" with the chorus I raised both my hands in the air showing devil horns, I was completely spellbound. The song ended with signature screams and each beat followed a dry ice bursts from the stage.
The next screen change was for Rocka Rolla, the first and my fav Priest album. I was very excited thinking they will play either of the first two songs, but instead they played "Never Satisfied". It's a very classic metal track and I was not expecting it to sound heavy. Rob Halford starts talking about this song which they try to do it differently every time meanwhile the stage was set for an acoustic or unplugged song. Richie Faulkner started with the acoustic guitar without percussion and Tipton providing some basic rhythm. Later Travis played only the high hats and tom tom while rotating the drum sticks with fingers and throwing them up in air. They were playing cover of Joan Baez's Diamonds and Rust. Later a full lead guitars and heavy metal drumming kicks in, the transition was amazingly smooth. I tried to sing along with the rob, but it's hard keeping up with master. The next introduction was from the album "Nostradamus" called as dawn of creation followed by the actual song "prophecy", for the most part I can only hear the word "nostradamus!!!",  I was staring at the 3-D spherical Nostradamus display most of the times. At the end of the song, Rob was dressed in full Silver color cloak holding the Judas' devil's tuning fork and sparklers were set off from this trident. It was Spectacular!!! 
Now stage have two Judas Priest's devil fork on each side, the song was sounding astonishingly familiar but I couldn't recall the lyrics at the moment. Felt like killing myself for being so unprepared for the concert. Richie Faulkner directed the crowd to put hands in the air, while Rob Halford was going on with a voice over. The ambience for the song was red lighting with focus on forks with yellow halo. I realized by now the song is called Night crawler from Painkiller.  I must admit metal crowd is pretty amazing, there was this older(compared to me) couple standing next to me. This dude picked up the Nepalese girl up on his shoulder because being short she was struggling to see anything on the stage. Such generosity and spirit makes metalheads pretty fucking cool. Although turbo is not a great song, but lets face it, it's an easy song to remember and crowd loves it. The dude standing behind me was not pleased by it, but I sang my heart out with the song.
Rob now talks about classic heavy metal and it's origin in UK, to which there was a big "woooo"  from the audience, he then kicks off next song beyond the realms of death. The song starts with slow tempo and picks up with a lots of fast riffs and beats, with quite a lot of variation in tempo. Rob  was sweating  heavily, so he stood near to those dry ice vents, lol. The song ended with all three guitarists doing judas style headbanging stand, just fucking unreal. I have completely lost my mind in this great series of freaking amazing songs. The next song was something I always dreamt of watching live. The amazing opening riff by Glenn Tipton and following lead by Richie Faulkner was just directly hitting the center for madness in my brain. I was singing and headbanding like crazy with every riff and every beat. Sworn to avenge, condemn to hell, tempt not the blade.. fear the sentinel.............. Rob halford, ladies and gentleman is greatest heavy metal vocalist of all times, period. There are very few who can sing like him, though he is not his prime, but for the most part he is still godly good. I was too busy headbanging and showing devil horns as a mark of my gratitude, I didn't bother to look at the stage.The next song they played was from album "Ram it down", the song is called "blood red sky", I was resting my neck after the mayhem from the previous song. This song is comparatively milder even the vocals are in lower octaves. The great vocal prowess of Rob halford is very noticable in this song, he continues to amaze even at this frequency. Faulkner on the other hand kept crowd engaged with his guitar antics. The song ended with a lot of fire coming from vents on stage, This was my first show with any pyrotechnics and being quite close to stage, I can feel the actual heat. The stage now turned  to green and Rob starts talking about the Judas performing in 37 countries and for over million fans and he thanked Priest's amazing heavy metal fans calling them the life support of band. The next song was cover of Macwood Fleet's Green manalishi. The crowd was screaming along "oooooo ooooooo ... " with halford as he asked everybody to sing.
The display screen changed back to British steel, Halford started talking about the great heavy metal journey of NWOBHM bands like Maiden and Motorhead. With each name there was increasing uproar in the crowd. Rob then walks with a badass-style thumping the micstand on the stage. And the next thing you know is... shouts of "Breaking the law" and repitition of "breaking the law" for many times. As soon as the guitars riffs and drums kick in the crowd goes nuts, entire fucking song is sung by the crowd, not a single word by Rob Halford. This is one of the most amazing heavy metal anthems and this was a great moment to witness it live with the home crowd. BUT BUT, this was not it, Judas were on the killing spree, the Drum solo by Scott Travis was easy to recognize by it's pattern and I knew what is coming next. Scott travis is an insanely talented drummer who is not so widely known. For a minute I thought he was a new drummer, since he looks quite young. 4 minutes of amazing drum solo which would soon convert into one of the greatest song ever written in the history of heavy metal. Oh the great opening riff which I have heard countless times and insane drumming followed by Rob Halford's high pitched vocals... Faster than a bullet, terrifying scream.... This is the pain killer..... I was banging my head violently, while there was a mini most pit somewhere on my right.  Again, I was too busy headbanging, so I didn't bother to look up except for that skull blasting Glenn Tipton solo, which is pretty much faster than the bullet(pun intended).  What a great rush for every milisecond that my brain can resolve in each and every note. This was turning out to be most awesome set list I could imagine.
Entire band left the stage besides the drummer, who asked everyone to chant "Judas Priest", this was the first encore to the show. The band resumed with next song "Electric eye" with Hellion intro. The screen displayed an animated eye looking at the crowd while crowd sang in unison. The song finished with Travis going berserk with drums and Richie Raising his guitar in air. Fuck Fuck Fuck!!! Rob halford comes back with his bike on stage engine roaring...vroom vroom vroom, which could mean just one thing. Glenn Tipton plays 1 minute engine firing leads followed by the distortions from wah-wah padels. This day couldn't get any better. Rob Halfords starts singing Hell bent... hell bent for Leather with a leather stick in hand and fully clad in leather clothes. And again, there was a small mosh pit forming just next to me, I was quite stuck to avoid the most pit but luckily the mosh pit didn't quite reached near me. I was exhausted to the point that I have to stop to breathe while singing along, but it was such a great thrill. Richie faulkner was playing guitar with teeth and hitting the guitar on wooden steps, while Glenn touched his guitar to the ground and started jumping with it, ha ha! As the song finished Glenn came forward and raised guitar towards the crowd and I Bowed with double devil horns towards him as part of my respect to my favourite guitarist. I thought may be this is the end of the show, but crowd was not moving at all. Rob returned back with his classic biker hat still on and started singing "hey  hey" while audience sang with him. He continued this 2 minute long audience vocal warm up, What a great showman!!! and what a great command over the crowd. The next song they played was "you have got another thing coming" from "screaming for venegence". The song halted at about 3 minutes and turned into  richie faulkner's 4 minute epic solo. I must admit he is fitting into gaint shoes of KK downing very well and that too in his own style. Rob returned with union jack wrapped around shoulder while singing ... you got another thing coming... in baritone ranges, while audience echoing the line.  
While this was the first time Ian Hill came forward throwing guitar picks and Scott Travis giving drum sticks to a fellow from audience. Other members left the stage, but for the last encore Scott Travis went upto the drumset and started talking in his american accent about the DVD for this concert. The crowd started clapping with drum beats. The troupe returned back with another classic from British steel. This time the background changed to Judas priest united and Rob Halford was wearing denim jacket with Metal God written on it, how fucking appropriate!!! The crowd sang most of the song.... living after midnight rocking to the dawn.... then I am gone..... I sang as much as can since by this time I was exhausted to the limit. As the song finished band gathered together and Rob halford came with his badass walking stick with a motherfucking skull. The band bowed toward the crowd. I was clapping with both my hands in the air.  Entire auditorium was chanting "Priest" "Priest" "Priest". Rob halford stayed for a while along with the chants and made a saluting gesture towards the crowd. I had no idea weather this is the real end or not. But as soon as the auditorium lights were on and another non Judas' song started playing on speakers, I started walking with the crowd. I sms'ed one other Judas' devotee that this is the best fucking heavy metal concert I have ever attended. I was so tired and hungry, but the sound was still resonating in my head. Probably this will not die any soon as I am heading next to Download festival. \m/