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Archive for the ‘BB&T Pavillion’ Category

[ATTENDED: June 29, 2018] Phish

I was very excited to see Phish again this summer.  I bought tickets for all three shows at the BB&T Pavillion.

But then my week had turned very busy with shows and other commitments.  When I heard Cate Le Bon was playing at Boot & Saddle on the Friday night, I decided to sell Friday’s ticket.  I mean, let’s be honest, BB&T is a pain in the ass to get to (and parking is insane and expensive).   (I wound up not even going to Cate Le Bon either, boo).   I also decided to sell Sunday’s ticket because Saturday was a long night and I had had enough of the late nights for a time.

But for the Saturday show I had originally bought two tickets so that S. could go to her first Phish show.  I was bummed that they were lawn seats, although I think she felt this added to the experience because she got to see all of the people dancing and milling about.  We were supposed to meet my friend Armando, which would have made the whole night really fun, but he had car trouble and wound up not making it.  (boo).

So it was just S. and I.  Traffic sucked, parking sucked and the weather was questionable.   We arrived literally as “Mike’s Song” started.  So we found a somewhat unused spot on the lawn and settled in.  Phish fans are very friendly but for some reason the group around us wasn’t very inclusive.  In what has to be a first, no one offered either of us a joint the whole night!  They must have thought we were narcs. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 24, 2019] Slayer

I have been a fan of Slayer since their debut album, Show No Mercy.  I was a major metal head in high school, always searching for heavier and heavier music.  Metallica was great but then came Slayer.   I more or less stopped listening to them after college.  Although in 2001 (with the release of God Hates Us All on 9/11) I reintroduced myself to their newer stuff.  And since then I have been checking out each release.

Their final album, Repentless, came in 2015 and they have been touring it ever since.  This is–and I assume it’s true–their Farewell tour.

They’ve had a remarkably stable line-up over nearly 40 years.  Drummer Dave Lombardo left and then came back and then left again.  I would have loved to see Slayer with Lombardo, but I was able to see him (and actually see him) when he played with Dead Cross (I was five feet from the stage).  I would never have actually seen him with Slayer (so much stuff on stage.  I never saw Paul Bostaph behind the kit).

The only other line up change came when guitarist Jeff Hanneman died.  That was pretty major, since Hanneman co-wrote so many of the songs.  But Exodus guitarist Gary Holt filled in and has been in his place for six years (he recorded Repentless).  Holt has a different playing style (his solos are more structured), but he comes from the same heavy, dense guitar background and fits in just fine.

I had actually been intimated about going to a Slayer show, especially as an adult.  I have seen my fair share of metal shows, but I assumed the Slayer audience would be a step more intense.  Just waiting online was intimidating with every other person shouting “SLAYER!” at the top of his lungs.

I finally decided to see them in 2017 at The Electric Factory, but when I called on the night of the show to secure my ticket it had literally just sold out.  So I figured I’d never see them live.

Then they announced this farewell tour.  It was going to be at an arena (which would be less insane than a club, in terms of fan behavior) and I was able to get decent seats.  [This show was better than that one for setlist, and I have to assume pyro as well]. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 24, 2019] Lamb of God

I had an idea of what Cannibal Corpse and Amon Amarth were all about before this show, but Lamb of God proved to be elusive to me.  Not that it was hard to figure out they played heavy music. but i didn’t know if they had an “angle.”

I had read that they were in the mold of Slayer and the song or two that I listened to before the show bore that out.

I had no idea they were going to be quite so intense of that singer Randy Blythe would have so much freaking energy.

By this time in the night, the crowd was pretty full.  The pit was writhing and the lights were in full use.  Lamb of God came out with a bang and a lot of red and blue lights (the hardest to photograph).

I was in front of lead guitarist Mark Morton, who was fun to watch.  And I really enjoyed seeing bassist John Campbell and his long grey beard (he never got close enough for a clear picture).  Rhythm guitarist Willie Adler did come over to our side once or twice, but he was hard to get a picture of.  And of course, excellent drummer Chris Adler was behind the kit most of the time and therefore invisible. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 24, 2019] Amon Amarth

I was aware of Amon Amarth but really didn’t know anything about them.  I had no idea that they were Vikings from Sweden!  Or that their name came from J.R.R. Tolkien (but I should have guessed that).

I had left the seats after Cannibal Corpse and when I came back, there was a ship on the stage!  And the backdrop had been replaced by this giant warrior dude.

I had listened to Amon Amarth a few days before the show, so I had an idea of what they were about–heavy riffs and lots of chanting.  Lead singer Johan Hegg was something of a growler, but the lyrics were pretty audible.  They were quite different from Cannibal Corpse.

First out was drummer Jocke Wallgren (they’ve had a lot of drummers since they formed in 1992).  Then the rest of the band followed.

Finally singer Johan Hegg came out with a horn on his belt and a swagger in his walk. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 24, 2019] Cannibal Corpse

Cannibal Corpse formed in 1988 in Florida.

At the time they were probably the most notoriously revolting band around–taking the violent images in metal songs to a far extreme.  Although perhaps most amusingly, without scanning the lyric sheet I don’t know how anyone could tell what the words are.

Cannibal Corpse are pretty legendary.  They have been banned in many countries. I have never specifically wanted to see them, but I always thought it would be interesting.  In fact, when they announced a show at White Eagle Hall at the end of last year, I briefly considered going.  But I’m glad I didn’t because a little Cannibal Corpse goes a long way (They played 18 songs at White Eagle Hall (!)).

Cannibal Corpse is pretty much a wall of noise.  Although I must admit just how well they were projected, because despite them being superbly loud, I could hear each guitar, the intense drums and the vocals (if not the words) pretty distinctly–even if they are a series of growsl)

The biggest surprise for me was that their songs were quite long.  I associate super fast death metal with short bursts of aggression.  Napalm Death for instance has songs that are about a minute long.  But most Cannibal Corpse songs run to four minutes or more.  That’s some lengthy intensity, especially for the speed of the drums and the massive intensity of Corpsegrinder’s headbanging.

One of the funnest things to say about Cannibal Corpse is that they are in Ace Ventura Pet Detective (1994).  Soon after that (but apparently unrelated), lead singer Chris Barnes left and was replaced by current singer George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher.  There hasn’t been very much change in the lineup for the thirty or so years they’ve been playing.  Although in December 2018, lead guitarist Pat O’Brien was arrested for assault and battery and Morbid Angel guitarist Erik Rutan would fill in.

It’s amusing seeing a band like Cannibal Corpse in the bright sun–I couldn’t imagine sitting in the lawn for them.  But it was early evening and very bright out (which meant good photos!).

But they obviously weren’t bothered by it because they came out on stage and created a noise that made me put earplugs in and not take them out all night.

I didn’t know any of their songs (although I had heard of “Hammer Smashed Face”), I didn’t even know they had FOURTEEN albums out!  So, to pick six songs for this tour must have been a challenge.

They played one song from their most recent album–2017’s Red Before Black (the least offensive or violent seeming title in their discography).  They skipped the previous album and then played one each from the two before that.

Corpsegrinder is known for his headbanging (in which he whips his head around in a circle rather than the old-school back and forth motion).  He told the audience that he would challenge anyone to a headbanging contest.  “You will lose.  And that’s okay.”

I was delighted by how deadpan amusing he was.

Even introducing the song “I Cum Blood,” he said, “this is a song about shooting blood from your cock….  it’s sounds fun… until it happens to you.”

That song as well as “Hammer Smashed Face” comes from their 1992 album, Tomb of the Mutilated.  They had two albums out before that.

Honestly, I couldn’t really tell any of the songs apart, but there were definitely sections to the songs.  These were mostly distinguishable by drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz’s amazing playing (he’s been with the band since the beginning, as has Alex Webster on bass).  Although his playing choices are somewhat limited in this style of music his energy never flagged during his double bass pounding or straight up snare slamming.

I’m glad their set was only about 30 minutes.  It was plenty.  And honestly they didn’t do anything outrageous, like I thought they might.  Maybe if they headline?  Or maybe they’re not Gwar, they just play fast and loud and do a lot of headbanging.

SETLIST

  1. Evisceration Plague
  2. Scourge of Iron
  3. Red Before Black ®
  4. I Cum Blood
  5. Stripped, Raped and Strangled ß
  6. Hammer Smashed Face

 

™ = Tomb of the Mutilated (1992)
ß = The Bleeding (1994)
€ = Evisceration Plague (2009)
⊗ = Torture (2012)
® = Red Before Black (2017)

 

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[ATTENDED: August 8, 2018] Phish

I have never seen a band two nights in a row in the same place before (I have seen Tori Amos three times in four days but that was at different locations).  I knew that Phish always mixed up their sets so that two nights in the same place never contained the same songs.  This was a great way to hear even more different stuff.

Tonight’s show was very different for me though.  My daughter was in the 4H Fair play before the show (she was a wicked stepsister in Cinderella).  I certainly wanted to see that.  It was super fun, although pro-tip…she needs to exaggerate her on-stage behavior more.

I was afraid I’d be late for the show (4H traffic is shocking!), but traffic was light and I made it to Camden in okay  time.  I had to park over a mile away (and still pay $30).  It was a 15-minute brisk walk to the stadium during which time I was feeling kind of down about the whole event.  There were lots of drunk people and scalpers and hawkers and ugly sights abounded.  Plus it was hot and I was in a hurry and then I got to the gates and the line was huge.

I also knew that I was much later than the night before so I wouldn’t get a choice spot at the railing like the night before.

I bought a corn dog (yum) and walked up to the lawn.  I decided to purposely pick a different part of the lawn tonight (Page’s side).  And just as I climbed the stairs I saw Armando, my friend from the night before.  I was hoping to see him and was kicking myself for not coordinating with him.  But I love the serendipity of running into him like that.  He was talking to a woman who turned out to be his mom!  She lives closer to the venue than he does so he was staying with her for the night and he invited her along. She had been to many concerts with him (how cool is that) but had never seen Phish so she was excited for something new.  She was great to hang with.

He had a spot along the railing again and got ready for Night #2. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 7, 2018] Phish

Having enjoyed two Phish shows at Madison Square Garden, and really seeing what it’s like to go to multiple shows by the same band when they mix up the setlists so much, I was pretty psyched to hear that Phish were coming back to NJ for two shows on a short summer tour.

After the immense spectacle of the Baker’s Dozen, in which they repeated no over thirteen shows (thereby messing up every statistic-driven fan who likes to recount the last time a song was played, this tour was shaping up to be a more traditional fan favorites (or not) package.  This was actually perfect for me because as I start keeping tracks of the songs I need to see live, I realize that I need a lot of the staples to fill out my chart. (more…)

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