Archive for the Gig Review Category

Review: W.A.S.P. – Live @ The Academy (Sept. 16th, 2015)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , on September 19, 2015 by Tickets There
Photo by: Eva Gunnarsson

Photo by: Eva Gunnarsson

12019764_10153663554323200_1636175679424654029_nW.A.S.P. are a band that has never abandoned Ireland. Since their very first album, Blackie Lawless and co. have always made sure to include Ireland on their European tours and this is something Irish people are very grateful for. Of course they’re not the only band to include us, but while many of their Contemporaries have vanished from our shores over the past five years, W.A.S.P. have remained consistent in their tours. Of course, it’s not just their appearances here that have been consistent. Each performance is a display of their un-compromising professionalism and talent. Songs from over three decades are still performed with passion and energy while Blackie’s voice only seems to grow in strength. Tonight they’re back in the Academy to play us a few of those old favourites and hopefully a sample from their forthcoming album, Golgotha and Wild Childs of all ages have come to welcome back our old pals.

(Sorry about that Wild Childs line. I truly am. – Ed.)

The Treatment open tonight’s show and manage to get a good buzz going. While they’ve drifted more towards a magazine cover friendly looking since their first album and changed a few members around, the band still sound tight and the tunes are only getting better. Despite a few sound and performance ‘malfunctions’, the group have the craic and so do the fans. Also, ‘Shake the Mountain‘ is a savage song and anyone who finishes their set with it gets our vote.

12027689_10153663554478200_11137618468878649_nBy the time the houselights drop for W.A.S.P.’s opener, the Academy crowd has swelled and the pit area has been conquered by dozens of battle vest clad kids ready to do damage. With the intro over, the band make their entrances and Blackie moves in to take centre stage. His tall build and ferocious voice are imposing as he snarls his way through ‘On Your Knees’ and ‘Inside the Electric Circus’ before a blistering performance of ‘The Real Me’. W.A.S.P. have officially arrived and they are on fire. Blackie surveys the crowd and band alike, watching the musician’s performances like a hack and appearing more than pleased with each of their displays, proudly bringing life to the songs he has created and curated for so many years.

12036869_10153663554428200_6747728262245098416_nIn another display that you’re not just dealing with a band going through the motions, Blackie (for the second show in a row) entertains the crowd with a story from one of their Irish shows in the 90’s about an exploding code piece. Despite a few flinches from the men in the crowd, all ends well and the band play the first single from Golgotha, ‘Last Runaway’. The crowd laps it up and give their seal of approval for the new material which carries over to ‘Crazy‘ from 2009’s Babylon album. But even that is trumpeted by Douglas Blair’s incendiary guitar solo on another Golgotha song, ‘Miss You’.

11041548_10153663554208200_5340849801710778393_n‘Hellion’, ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’ and ‘Arena of Pleasure’ carry the set on as Golgotha’s title track brings the main portion of this night to a close. Although it’s well known that Blackie is a born again Christian, few in the crowd were prepared for Golgotha’s “Jesus I need you now” chorus and it obviously impacts everyone in attendance. Despite a bit of head scratching, there’s no denying the song is a powerful ballad from the same family as ‘Heaven’s Hung In Black’. With that, Blackie bids good night and the band depart.

As chants for “fuck like a beast” and “Blackie” fill the room, the sound of chainsaws rev from the PA and the pit kicks off before we even see a band member back on stage. W.A.S.P. return fired up and bring the house down with ‘Chainsaw Charlie’ before again bidding us goodnight and vanishing. No W.A.S.P. show is complete without ‘LO.V.E. Machine’  so the crowd stays firm and again the band return. Teasing us with the opening notes of ‘Wild Child’, Blackie beams a cheeky smile before the band arrive back to accompany through their classic hit before ending the night on the one, the only L.O.V.E. Machine. Normally this song is performed with a crowd providing backing vocals, but this crowd are so worked up the Academy floor descends into pit chaos the likes of which you’d expect more at one of Nirvana’s early shows.

12042672_10153663554333200_6288302906635125771_nW.A.S.P. returned, they championed and they put on yet another show that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Blackie may have a few more years on him since he sang “I’ll never get old” but you wouldn’t know it to hear him or see him move and Irish fans are ready to welcome him and guys back each and every time they can come over.

Review: AC/DC – Live @ Aviva Stadium (Jul 1st, 2015)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2015 by Tickets There
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Credit: Pierre Petitpas

IMG_3250Kanye West thinks he is, The Who suggest they are and the Rolling Stones act like they are – but when it comes down to it there’s probably no bigger rock band in the world than AC/DC. For four decades the Aussies (don’t get picky about nationality) have been churning out some of hard rock’s finest arena anthems and giving folks from all musical backgrounds a single banner to rally behind, drink to and of course – rock the f**k out with. There’s hardly a wedding, nightclub, biker bar, brothel or nursery in the country that doesn’t have a bit of the DC in stock and their on-going popularity is proven with each sell out tour they announce. Despite the sad loss of Malcom Young from the band last year and the more amusing / starling departure of drummer Phil Rudd a few months later, the DC keep on rolling and tonight they’re in Dublin to play, what MCD are calling – “the biggest gig of 2015“. Can they pull off a show as big as the hype around it?…….. of course, it’s AC/DC!

Ballsbridge is rammed with thousands of fans from every corner of the country and the mood is electric. Inside the area, the massive custom stage falls perfectly in line with the design of Aviva as the East and West stands collapse into the devil horned dome. With a lovely warm evening, well stocked bars and such a great atmosphere all in full swing – it’s finally time to enjoy some iconic rock ‘n’ roll.

IMG_3258AC/DC explode, rather than arrive on stage – shredding into their new album’s title track, ‘Rock or Bust’. From the go they sound incredible and look like a band in their element. They rocket through fan favourites such as ‘Shoot to Thrill’, ‘Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be’ and the iconic ‘Back in Black’ with the polished yet raunchy blues swagger that made them famous in the first place. Brian Johnson chats to the crowd, thanking everyone for their applause and expressing delight to be back in Ireland while Angus silently stalks the audience in his trademark uniform – flashing devil horns and his incredible guitar skill at every opportunity.

IMG_3254Newer songs like ‘Play Ball’, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Train’ and ‘Baptism by Fire’ blend seamlessly into a set chocked with classics and receive far more than polite applause, but of course the real excitement comes out on more familiar numbers. ‘Dirty Deeds..’, ‘Thunderstruck’, ‘Hells Bell’s and ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ are crowning glories in the band’s set as they, incredibly enough, still build towards their biggest hits.

Screenshot (81)Dedicating ‘Have A Drink on Me’ to Ireland, Brian leads the band through ‘T.N.T’., ‘Whole Lotta Rose’, accompanied by a massive inflatable – all singing, all dancing Rosie behind the band before wrapping up their set with a mammoth performance of ‘Let There Be Rock’ – complete with an almost 15 minute long solo from the wholly worshiped guitar God; Angus Young. With that, the band regroup momentarily to say goodbye and depart to a standing ovation and rapturous applause.

IMG_3252After a few minutes wait, the stage lights up with pyros as Angus’ guitar fills the PA before the band arrive on to begin their encore with ‘Highway to Hell’, one of rock’s most beloved badass anthems. Angus and fans don the trademark devil horns and the area lights up with thousands of little red lights before the night finishes with raised cannons and explosions as the epic ‘For Those About to Rock’ thunders through the cheers.

No dirty deeds – just high voltage rock ‘n’ roll. Tonight AC/DC put on one of the best shows you could ever hope to see and if they return for a bigger gig next year, there’ll be no shortage of us to welcome them back.

Review: Behemoth – Live @ The Academy (Dec 11th, 2014)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2014 by Tickets There

IMG_0781A cancelled gig is always a bummer which can leave a bad taste in the mouth for years to come. That’s why Behemoth fans in Ireland must tip their hats to all the folks at DME and Behemoth themselves for saving the latter’s long awaited return to Irish shores this week. Awful weather conditions meant ferry cancelations this morning which left Decapitated, Grand Magus and Winterfylleth unable to reach Dublin for tonight’s show. Fortunately, with the help of a little luck and fiscal support – DME were able to get Behemoth to Dublin and fill in the support bill with locals Malthusian and Aeternum Vale. A Christmas miracle, you might say? (smug laugh).

IMG_0768The reduction in support didn’t seem to stop anyone coming tonight. The Academy is rammed from wall to wall and right from the start Behemoth ensure no-one, no matter who they originally came to see, is walking out of this venue tonight disappointed. Right from the start they have our bones trembling from their unrelenting force and stripped back, but no less imposing theatrics. There are bands out there who understand the nature of what live shows should be and go above and beyond to put on the most impressive performance and tonight that’s exactly what the Academy is treated to.

Of course, Behemoth don’t just rely on theatrics to get us going as they deliver an incredible set built from their latest album, The Satanist, as well as classics from their extensive back catalogue. ‘Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel’ opens the show and even spurs the crowd to sing it back, a rare feat for a band playing a song from a new album after twenty years on the road. ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’ swiftly follows and speeds up the pace as they hammer out incredible songs including ‘Conquer All’, ‘The Satanist’, ‘Christians to the Lions’ and many more before ‘Chant for Eschaton 2000′ closes their main set.

IMG_0774After an exhaustive set, Behemoth dim the lights and return in full black metal attire to deliver one final brooding song – the colossal closing number from The Satanist, ‘O Father O Satan O Sun’. An epic performance and easily one of our highlights of 2014. Hopefully it won’t be another ten years before we see them back in the emerald isle.

Saxon play Dublin next Friday

Posted in Gig Review, Music, News with tags , , on November 28, 2014 by Tickets There

Saxon band photoIreland hasn’t got a history of paying for the proivaleg of watching Saxons do their thing, but in this case you have Tickets There’s official seal of approval to go forth and even get a t-short. In one weelk the legendary English metal warriors SAXON will be in town performing for their legion at The Academy or current home of all things majorly metal.

The legends are coming to Dublin as part of their WARRIORS OF THE ROAD – 35TH ANNIVERSARY WORLD TOUR which will see them play 38 dates in Europe alone. Tickets are still on sale (but may not be for much longer) priced €26 inclusive of booking fee. Enjoy!

Review: Snowblind & Theories Divide – Live @ The Lycan Sessions (Whelans, Nov. 6th 2014)

Posted in Gig Listing, Gig Review, Metal Club Night, Music, News with tags , , , on November 17, 2014 by Tickets There

10686920_475404685931686_8719873132712742308_nIs there anything better than a new night devoted to metal in the capital? Me thinks not. It wasn’t all that long ago that Dublin had two haunts for heavy metal. The downstairs bar in Brux (if you were looking for ridiculously egotistic metal snobs who all at one point or another had managed to ingest pool cues up their rear ends) or the classic Fibber MaGee’s, who in fairness had their moments of hesitation when it came to metal (smell of foam has officially left the building though).

Now things are different. Despite the closure of Fibbers II and the turncoat Pint, we still have Gypsy Rose, Fibbers, Brux, Club Carnage, Club Hell, Club Poison and more to keep us entertained. However – if there’s one thing the city needs is more regular nights with live bands and that’s what Whelan’s are hoping to cater for with their new monthly night, The Lycan Sessions.

IMG_0358Snowblind and Theories Divide are the first acts up to launch metal latest newest night and you’d be hard pressed to come up with better. Theories Divide are first up (at some massively unholy hour when the world wants to sleep but metal heads awake) and you just know they ooze presence. Having seen them a few times it’s obvious that they’re not going to disappear anytime soon (unless they break up for some random reason of course) and you’ll only hear more about them in the coming years.

IMG_0361Snowblind next and God! What can you say about Snowblind that falls short of naked, biased, all out love? Snowblind are just incredible. It’s rare to find a jam metal band in Dublin these days, especially one that can work a room but they do it at the drop of a hat. They’re easily one of the most talented bands in the city, perhaps the country and they gel together so well you could be forgiven for thinking they never leave the stage. Despite the talent and tightness, they still make their show seem like an easy going, on the spot jam. They kick about song ideas, glide through their numbers with casual ease and find subtle opportunities to display each of their own respective talents. Incredible as always and what a start for Whelan’s first metal night. Roll on the next session!

Review: Snowblind & Axial Symmetry – Live @ Fibber MaGees (July 1st, 2014)

Posted in Gig Review, Music, News with tags , , , , , , , on July 3, 2014 by Tickets There

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Axial Symmetry live @ Fibbers

Right, normally I wouldn’t be reviewing after shows because they involve a lot of drinking, spending quality time in smoking areas with people covered in sweat, booze and lord knows what else – plus the usual  general merriment and chaos. When you add the fact that this is a SLAYER after show – you can multiply all of the above by a hundred. Fortunately Tickets There is semi-sensible in our old age and we manage to hold things together quite well and show up when Axial Symmetry take the stage.

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Matt O’ Brien of Axial Symmetry

Axial Symmetry are a new one for us, but you can instantly see they’re out to impress. Singer Gavin Doyle commands the stage in a manner that demonstrates an obvious nod to some well know road trained heroes. He works the crowd well, hides his own excitement at the number of people in attendance and gets on the with the business of rocking out. In fact., he’s so good it takes about two or three songs for people to start realizing there’s no-one behind the drum kit for tonight’s show. Yes – Axial Symmetry don’t currently have a drummer in place apparently, but they succeed in performing a great show (despite the bass player’s headphones things – lose them pal, you’re not in Linkin Park). They’re young, they’re not quite there yet – but they’re definitely going in the right direction. We’ll be keeping an eye out for them on future bills.

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The mighty SNOWBLIND!

With the venue nicely warmed up and pints flowing – it’s time for the almighty mothers of funk, groove, stoner, heavy – all of the above and more METAL – Snowblind. If you’ve seen Snowblind, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “man – these guys are fucking insane! Why isn’t everyone in the world here to see them?”. Well Tickets There thinks the exact same thing every time we see them on stage. Despite having a bigger crowd than the last time we caught them at Carnage, they still play to a half empty room. This doesn’t phase the lads though as they plough through a savage set of covers and originals.  This is a band with extremely talented people, great songs and they have a shed loads of craic on stage. Go see them, go see them now!

By the end, memories of Slayer had almost become just that as Snowblind and Axial Symmetry nudged in and stole some of the thunder. Thanks to EHT for having us!

Review: SLAYER – Live @ The Academy, Dublin (July 1st, 2014)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2014 by Tickets There

If you’re an Irish metal fan, you can be forgiven for thinking SLAYER are the only metal band in the entire world these days. After all, the group has performed here six times in the last year and there’s still tonight’s sold out Academy show to go. While other major metal bands appear to have shrugged off Ireland on their outings over the past few years – SLAYER have been coming back again and again to assault the holy hell out of us and up mid-week drink sales by 12.7% for the entire year. That’s impressive when you consider we live in Ireland.

IMG_9505Tonight’s crowd know the deal. People hang back around Fibbers, Gypsy Rose and the bars around Abbey Street. There’s no rush – no support so nothing to do but relax and avoid the possible elevator pong music that was forced upon us last year. By ten to nine however – the bars have deserted, the Academy is rammed and the familiar opening hiss of ‘Hell Awaits’ from Decade.. comes sneering over the PA.

IMG_9557No sooner or Slayer on that it seems they’re half way into their set. ‘The Antichrist’, ‘Necrophiliac’ and ‘Mandatory Suicide’ just explode out at furious (my favourite Slayer word) speed and power. Tom gleams at the audience, nodding his approval and waits for the roars to calm down before thanking us for showing up and kicking off ‘War Ensemble’ followed by ‘Disciple‘, ‘Post-mortem’ and ‘Hate Worldwide’.

The set is incredible – almost like it’s been handpicked by fans and Slayer sound as fast, filthy and furious as ever before. ‘At Dawn They Sleep’, ‘Die By the Sword’ and ‘Spirit in Black’ pave the way for new tune, ‘Implode‘, to fight it’s corner for a regular space on Slayer’s set. As the end starts to creep nearer, Slayer start whipping out fan favourites and Tom leaves the choruses to the crowd as we begin to drown out the PA. ‘Seasons In The Abyss’ and ‘Dead Skin Mask’ follow before the band finish their main set with ‘Raining Blood’ and  ‘Black Magic’.

As with last year, the giant Hanneman banner drops and Slayer return to finish the night with ‘South of Heaven’ and ‘Angel of Death’. Slayer may have lost Jeff, the legend behind many of their most loved songs. They may also have fallen out with Dave – their founding member, drumming legend! But Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph fill those spots nicely tonight, as with last year and Tom and Kerry are still bad ass motherfuckers. Slayer are proving with every show that nothing can stop them and hopefully we’ll hear some more music from the current line-up in the near future. Failing that, we’ll probably see them again next year in the Academy – hopefully!

Review: Hellfest 2014 June 20th – 22nd (Clisson, France)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2014 by Tickets There

Bq-gbMUIUAEU5NlHellfest 2014 may be over, but the ninth instalment of Europe’s fastest growing heavy metal festival won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Over the course of the weekend, more than 150,000 fans descended on the small town of Clisson in France to witness what can only be described as the greatest line-up any festival has ever managed to gather in a single year. From headliners to openers – every orifice of the metal world resonated with excitementand and there was no shortage of crowds for any band throughout the weekend.

IMG_9433On top of the incredible line-up, Hellfest organizers really enhanced the festival grounds for this year’s event. The market moved from the arena to the metal corner and developed into an actual miniature town in the form of Hellcity – with paved streets, actual footpaths, street lights and a massive number of new stalls and space. As well as that, greater seating areas were added allowing those of us with ‘walking difficulties’ more chances to relax when needed. The arena itself also got upgraded with a massive Ferris wheel added, paved paths, far more variety for food and more bars than you could shake a stick at. All in all an incredible set-up for just four days of festivities and a good sign of how quickly Hellfest is growing.

It wasn’t all glamorous however as Irish fans struggled in the extreme sun, dust and high temperatures to keep cool in black t-shirts, battlevests and corpse paint. But we survived and now it’s time to look back at just some of the highlights on and off the stage from Hellfest 2014.

Compact site means little walking between stages,

Compact site means little walking between stages,

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Hellfest 2014 Begins

DAY 01 – FRIDAY: There had been rumours that the scorching sun experienced on Thursday was due to continue for the entire weekend. On Friday morning festival goers found out that not only was the sun still here, it was actually hotter. Baking heat scorches the festival site with little opportunity to hide. Tents turn into saunas while main stages become roasting pits with thousands of black-clad metal maniacs enduring the punishing conditions to catch glimpses of the earlier bands.. and endure it they do.

Friday boasts one of the most popular line-ups of the whole weekend with Rob Zombie, Sepultura, Slayer, Death, Electric Wizard and Iron Maiden all on the bill. Powerman 5000 kick things in off epic style with a child chorus sing along that gets the crowd in a jolly mood before they crash in with their punishing electro-metal style. Irish rockers Therapy? provide a sharp contrast with catchy upbeat tunes that get the crowd hopping. All the major singles are included for a pretty decent set (except ‘Diane’).

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Rob Zombie @ Hellfest 2014

Rob Zombie is one of the major draws for the day and he doesn’t disappoint. Although he plays without his full stage show, Rob and co. deliver an incredibly strong set packed with classics such as ‘Dracula’, ‘Superbeast’, ‘House of 1,000 Corpses’ and ‘Living Dead Girl’ before also throwing in some White Zombie classics and a cover of Diamond Head’s ‘Am I Evil’. He finishes up with White Zombie’s ‘Thunder Kiss ’65’ and blows the crowd away. An epic start and only a few bands in!

Terrible blurry photo taken b y myself. Sorry......

Iron Maiden @ Hellfest 2014 – Terrible blurry photo taken by myself. Sorry……

Sepultura keep things going as the heat starts to die off with a solid set of classics, but the real excitement was reserved for the legendary Iron Maiden who’s stage set-up captivates some fans’ attentions during the Brazilian’s set. By nine o’clock, the entire crowd has gathered in the arena for one of metal’s most beloved bands and they punish the hell out of us. Brining their ‘Made In England’ tour to France, Maiden deliver two solid hours of incredibleness. Wall to wall classic songs, a mouth watering stage show and their sound is just jaw dropping, Maiden may be getting older, but they can deliver a live show above almost all others.

‘Moonchild’, ‘Can I Play With Maddness’, ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’, ‘The Trooper’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Seventh Son..’ – it’s like a dream watching them. I should be clever and wordy here – but I can’t. Maiden are everything I’d ever hoped for and it only took twenty years, four shows and France to get it. Job done – happy in life now. Leaving the stage after an encore filled with ‘Aces High’, ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and ‘Sanctuary‘ – it’s almost hard to believe there was more to come.

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Slayer @ Hellfest 2014

Maiden, Therapy?, Death Angel, Powerman 5000, Rob Zombie and Sepultura. Not too shabby for one day – but add the next act onto that and you have heaven….or hell.

SLAYER are not a band to fuck around with and when they hit Mainstage 2 for their late night slot the crowd is there on time. Opening with ‘Hell Awaits’, Slayer perform a compact, but juicy set that both fulfils and delights attendees and leaves us gasping for more. ‘Antichrist’, ‘Mandatory Suicide’, ‘War Ensemble’, ‘Disciple’ – on and on they come and each one delivered with bone crushing force. Even their new tune, ‘Implode‘ sounds as strong as their older material. An excellent end to the day and time to relax with Sabaton and look forward to two more days.

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Hellcity at night – just part of Hellfest’s Metal Corner

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The Temple Stage after Gorgoroth

DAY 02 – SATURDAY: More heat, more music, more diversity. After a fairly solid lashing of proper heavy metal on Friday, Saturday is a mix of intensely heavy music and older classic rock. Well, any day you see Carcass, Deep Purple, Tsjuder and Aerosmith in the one place is always going to be a little strange. Add a previous night of drinking, no sleep and hotter than hell temperatures – you’ve got yourself the perfect cocktail of highly diverse chaos and incredible music.

Skid Row, Buckcherry and the excellent Lez Zeppelin are all fantastic bands to kick off the day – each one draws massive crowds (a shocking factor for me given the temptatures, but then again non-Irish people seem to cope quite well). Extreme followed with a lovely relaxing set of classics that filled the whole arena and set a nice, calming mood for the day. Gorguts and Tsjuder really changed the vibes with the latter crushing the Temple stage with fierce, violent black metal. God I missed Hellfest these last twelve months.

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Entrance to The Kingdom of Museadet

Over at the Valley stage, Clutch are delivering their brand of stoner funk metal with a packed crowd and savage sound. Clutch wouldn’t be my own cup of tea, but there’s no denying they have an incredible live sound and know how to handle their crowd. With Neil Fallon’s announcement that the band are heading back to the studio to record a new album soon, fans go insane and lap up a little taste of their new material before they finish with ‘Electric Worry’, ‘One Eye Dollar’ and ‘The Wolf Man Kindly Requests..’.

Over at MS1, Soulfy brace the heat to crush Sepultura’s performance from the previous day. Max Cavalera’s outfit may not be the most exciting metal band in history, but they’re solid and a couple of Sepultura covers help keep the momentum going. A quick visit to Brutal Truth ups the ante as they crush the altar but for this writer, the time had finally come to see one of heavy metal’s founding stones – the legendary Deep Purple.

Having never seen Deep Purple before, it was hard to know what to expect. They’re getting on in age terms but judging by their show they still have it. Seeing this kind of musicianship concentrated in one space is scarce and the obvious enjoyment from the band and the older crowd brings a sense of order and relaxation to Hellfest as the light starts to fade and night takes over the site. ‘Into The Fire’, ‘Strange Kind of Woman’, ‘Lazy’ and ‘Space Trukin’ are all delivered with restrained perfection. Of course the major cheers came for their biggest hit, ‘Smoke on the Water’ which woke the crowd up and left a great energy for the remainder of their set. As they finish, this writer bites his lower lip for missing Monster Magnet in the Valley, but Purple did not disappoint.

Aerosmith lighting up MS1 - My headliner pic curse continues.

Aerosmith lighting up MS1 – My headliner pic curse continues.

Then it was time for Saturday’s major draw – the mighty Aerosmith and their jaw dropping balls out two hour hard rock spectacle. Starting with a massive video introduction, the famous smith logo shot to the screen before Stephen Tyler grabs the crowds attention with a whistle as the band kick into ‘Back Into The Saddle’. They sound great, they look great and they blow Hellfest wide open with hit after hit after hit. There’s no holding back as they reach back and pull out all the stops from their career. ‘Eat The Rich’ (personal favourite), ‘Love in an Elevator’, ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Livin’ on the Edge’ all fall out like it’s nothing and you could be forgiven for thinking their entire set is one long encore – designed to beat fans into submission. The set finishes with further dazzling displays of the bands tightness and incredibly strong back catalogue of singles before Stephen returns to the stage solo to play ‘Dream On’ in the middle of the crowd before the final track – ‘Sweet Emotion’ brings the show to a triumphant end. Incredible, absolutely incredible and there’s still more to go.

Carcass @ Hellfest 2014

In between the feel good rock ‘n’ roll of Aerosmith, a helping of Gorgoroth is needed. Only knowing them by reputation as an incredible live band means they have the task of convincing a potential new fan on an Aerosmith buzz to like them… and they do. They have a packed crowd and play a brilliant few tunes. It means missing a few Smith classics, but worth every minute. With both shows over, it’s time to devote myself to Carcass who own the Temple stage and force a lot of fans to wake up and ignore the fact that we were now going almost 36 hours without sleep. “Are you awake? Are you drunk? I’m fucking drunk” announces Jeff Walker to the crowd before offering us the chance to see Avenge Sevenfold instead. Err, no thanks man – grand here. Carcass play one of the most intense sets of the festival and ensured there will be no sleeping tonight either – back to the camp site for more Carcass and beers!

The arena at night - filled with light and fire

The arena at night – filled with light and fire

VIP

The entertainment in VIP was not dissapointing

DAY 03 – SUNDAY: The final day comes and with it some rain in the early, early morning for those who …forgot to sleep. When the sun returns temperatures soar, meaning it’s time to put serious faces on and get in early because Crowbar except nothing but your uninterrupted attention.

Kirk Windstein has made headlines recently after kicking a fan in the face for attempting to stage dive at one of their shows. Whether you agree with bands allowing stage diving or not, it’s hard to hold it against the man as they plough through twenty five years of sludge metal. Ten albums later and Crowbar are savagely strong – even in this blazing sun. ‘Planets Collide’ is of course reserved for last but what a way to spend an hour on a sunny Sunday morning.

Fire displays at night. Well what did you expect? Taking pictures of hot people is weird with an iPhone and I don't condone it

Fire displays at night. Well what did you expect? Taking pictures of hot people is weird with a phone and I don’t condone it

Before going too much into the bands on Sunday, it has to be acknowledged at this point that Hellfest has to be home to some of earth’s most beautiful people. Add baking heat and those people get up close and personal with naked and that is a difficult thing to deal with when your girlfriend is hundreds of miles away. The heat, the tiredness, the lack of ….sustenance – the stakes rise.

Powerwolf have to be enjoyed from the comfort and shade of Museadet’s Kingdom. They sound great, but the shade won this round. Things manage to get back on track for the amazing Annihilator who up the temperature with their set – annihilating (pun intended) the crowds with a bruising set in the fiery heats of hell…fest. Having never seen them before – Annihilator quickly become one of the festival’s major highlights.

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Behemoth @ Hellfest 2014

Next up is another band I’ll be familiarizing myself with more and more over the coming months before their headline show in Dublin this December. Poland’s Behemoth are certainly full-f**king-on! With a show that rivals any band of the whole festival, they make mince meat of the crowd that gathers for their main stage 2 performance. Fire, full costumes and more fire hold up the theatrics end of an amazing hour of black metal. Thus far Behemoth have conquered all other black metal performances of the weekend and it’s comforting to know they’re just warming up the stage for Emperor who’ll be out in an hour.

After Behemoth’s performance, Soundgarden take the main stage and I don’t know whether it’s the fact that they’re not black metal or that the Misfits are on in the Warzone – but they seem very flat and dull. Chris Cornell’s voice is still incredibly strong but the music just seems extremely uninteresting and lifeless. Rather than hang around, it must instead be time to see a little punk this weekend.

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Jerry Only and Dez Cadena with The Misfits @ Hellfest 2014

The Misfits are now a Tickets There regular at Hellfest. Last year we were treated to a special Misfits set from DANZIG featuring Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein and this year Jerry Only’s version of the band pops up. Amusing, fun and sing along brilliance. A massive array of songs all culminating in the classic ‘Die, Die, Die My Darling’. Absolutely epic performance and far more than you might expect.

Unfortunately Hellfest offered so much I should take the time to list the bands that couldn’t be seen without missing full sets from any bands this weekend. Apologies to Death DTA, Enslaved, Electric Wizard, Phil Anselmo, Nile, Monster Magnet, Dark Angel, Soilwork, Flogging Molly and Paradise Lost – I would have loved to see you but choices must be made and it’s important to stick by those choices.

As the night draws to a close, it’s time to settle in with the reason a lot of this year’s hard-core fans came to Hellfest 2014 – the much revered EMPEROR.

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Emperor @ Hellfest 2014

Emperor are at Hellfest celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their debut album, In the Nightside Eclipse and they’re playing it in full. Kicking off with ‘Into the Infinity of Thoughts’, the band play every song meticulously – right through to ‘Inno a Satana‘ with Ihsahn stopping to speak with the crowd between each song. A little cooling down from fire hoses doesn’t hurt the mood either – thank God!

For a band that hasn’t worked together much over the past few years – they appear unstoppable tonight. Also their stage show provides a subtle backdrop to the intensely dark and frightening sound. No corpse paint or satanic / pagan props needed – job done. They finish up with the classics ‘Ancient Queen’ and ‘Wrath of Tyrant’ and scare the living sh*t out of the older fans gathered for Black Sabbath’s headlining performance on the neighbouring stage next.

Black Sabbath – I can hardly believe they’re written down as the next band on the list. This weekend has produced some of the greatest live experiences from some of heavy metal’s greatest names and BLACK F**KING SABBATH are coming on now. It’s 11pm – way past their bed time these days but as the opening notes of ‘War Pigs’ ring out it’s very obvious that Sabbath mean business.

Black Sabbath @ Hellfest 2014 - wouldn't be a headliner without a terrible photo

Black Sabbath @ Hellfest 2014 – wouldn’t be a headliner without a terrible photo

Sabbath play a short set but ram it with classics and stand out tracks from last year’s 13 album. ‘Into The Void’, ‘Snowblind’, ‘Age of Reason’, ‘Black Sabbath’ and ‘N.I.B’. all bombard their way through the nigh time air as they rival Maiden for the sher mass of people in attendance to see them. Ozzy interacts with the crowd, joking and getting us off our “arses” for ‘Fairies Wear Boots’, ‘Rat Salad’, ‘Iron Man’, ‘God Is Dead?‘ before Heavy Metal’s godfathers finish their main set with ‘Children of the Grave’. They’re only off the stage a minute before Ozzy’s voice booms over the PA, encouraging fans to chant for more. Ozzy, we don’t need your help. We want lots more!

The size of the crowd gathered as far back as the main entrance to catch a glimpse of Sabbath

The size of the crowd gathered as far back as the main entrance to catch a glimpse of Sabbath

Sabbath return and tease the crowd with the intro of ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ before launching into ‘Paranoid‘. Both would have been acceptable – but what a finish and what a band. Sabbath are a live force to be reckoned with.

Taking a break during Sabbath was never a goal I wanted to accomplish in life, but there was no missing 1349 a second time. Legging it to The Temple, the Norwegian black metal heavyweights could be found with an incredibly sizeable crowd (given who was playing two stages over).

1349 @ Hellfest 2014

1349 @ Hellfest 2014

After so many great black metal performances over the weekend, it’s hard to pick a winner – but 1349 are high up there and they manage all this after midnight on the fourth day of Hellfest (well, third with gigs) while Sabbath are playing a little down the way. Excellent show from an increasingly promising band. They’re also studio bound soon so expect to hear more over the coming months.

Sabbath and 1349 lead the way for the night’s final acts – Opeth and Tubonegro both manage to pack their stages despite the hour and the exhaustion felt by all. For this writer, Turbonegro have to be mostly enjoyed on the slow walk back to the campsite – much to my regret as they sounded incredible.

Another Hellfest comes to an end. An incredible weekend of music, fun, theatrics, surprises, beautiful people (excluding yours truly – I was sweaty), sun, food, drinking, partying, laughs and some of the greatest heavy metal names known to man. Hellfest assaulted the senses and left little of us to bring home. It’ll take some doing to recover but all eyes are already on 2015 and Hellfest’s tenth anniversary. Could they make it bigger? All will be revealed in time. Till then – thank you to all the staff, crew, bands and crowd for the craic. Yis were all fecking mighty!

TIME FOR TROLLY WARS!

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Bloodstock M2TM Irish Final – Preview

Posted in General Tickets There Blog, Gig Review, Music, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2014 by Tickets There

10313485_311876778964689_6635778539738576005_nBloodstock-Festival-2014-Poster-With-Sophie-Stage-HeadlinersThe gloves are off, the bets are down and metal is coming to town. After several months, 10 heats, six second rounds and two semi finals – the battle is entering it’s final stages. Bloodstock M2TM Ireland is going to have a 2014 champion to send forth to the English lands, so they may lay waste to the world’s filth and be crowned legends for life. In short – it’s on!

Tomorrow night at Fibber MaGees, six of Ireland’s best and brightest underground bands will assault spectators, fans, friends and family in their hopes to play the Big B, alongside Megadeth, Down, Emperor and many more. Each of the bands has earned their right to go and now it falls on their followers and stage skills to push them through the final hurdle. We thought it might be fun to have a quick look at the six contenders and in absolutely no way show any bias Tickets There (*Cough PSYKOSIS) might have in the result.

IMG_8754AeSect: AeSect are, without a doubt, one of the best live bands in Ireland at the moment. They (some of them anyway) hail from close by my own homeland – the mighty…..mighty strange Longford and they have entertained me – none of you – many times with their solid, aggressive performances and heavier than sin tunes. You can’t flaw them, you can only love them. If you haven’t heard them you need to click THIS LINK now. Tis Friday after all, what else would you be doing other than learning about sexy sweet ass metal from Longford? (and Wicklow and Dublin).

Alpheidae: These guys, and I hate to say it, but these guys are not my cup of tea. They don’t seem to have anything to do with metal and instead come across like Coldplay meets Evanescence. I blame ten years of terrible pop indie and nu-metal for this latest attempt of the commercial skater world to water my beloved genre down. THEN AGAIN… they have a lot of fans, so I’m obviously in the minority which undermines my own opinion in the greater scheme of things and they’re very, very tight on stage. They’re not amateurs who can’t play – instead they’re extremely well rehearsed and have a lot going on. Time will tell on the staying power of this new form of metal but I’ll bet they gear up a lot more interest than I ever will. Look, I’ve already written more about them that I did AeSect! No doubt – a major contender for the top spot tomorrow.

525425_10151602106708200_118071200_nDead Label!: Another of the countries hottest bands and possibly one of the most interesting and successful of 2013. Can they repeat it in 2014? Hell yes they can! Anyone who saw their major live return with Gama Bomb a couple of months back couldn’t have been anything less than in awe of their new material. Heavy, crunchy… did I mention heavy? Sounding better than ever – well worth getting in for. Your life can only be poorer for missing them. Check out the video below- another band to get the taste buds going…metal taste buds for metal people (you can drop my Pulitzer in the post).

Killface: Now you’re talking. DUBLIN DEATH METAL at it’s best. Would you believe in all my years running this blog, I’ve only been lucky enough to catch these guys twice and both times they blew the roof of the place (the Pint has of course since reinstalled it’s roof, but mostly uninstalled it’s metal 😦 ). Killface are a cracking band with a lot of energy, good tunes and power to bring to the fold. I unfortunately don’t see them picking up the grand prize – but with Warpath’s success last year – at least we know death metal bands are major contenders for the title. I won’t mind eating my words on this one either way.

IMG_8777Psykosis: Ok, so why bother trying to lie? Pyskosis are Tickets There’s favourite metal band these days. They top an exceptionally long list and just bring it. They bring it so hard it’s difficult to believe they’re still underground. They have an album coming out this summer which makes me so excited I want to wet my pants and call my granny. Psykosis, Psykosis, Psykosis. They’ll play it loud and do us proud and I can guarantee my terrible writing is in no way reflective of how they play. Prove it you yell? well watch the video and check them our for yourselves. Soon you’ll be drowning in a sea of blood….sorry, what was the sea made from again? oh yeah…. BEER!

Theories Divide: A band I’ve heard, but never seen. I can’t speak for their live performances but I can tell their tracks are worth a spin. One of the those bands I’m still waiting to grab …so I’ve haven’t been grabbed yet and it’s no fault of theirs – all me. More listens will bring more love, it puts the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again.

So, there it is in a nutshell. Basically every band is brilliant and loved. They’re all competing and for the tiny, tiny, tiny price of €5 (€10 after 9pm) you could be there to witness each of on them at the top of their game. Doors open at 7,30 and Fibbers will have some tasty beverages waiting for you of course 🙂 Tickets There would like to wish ALL six bands the best of luck. May the mightiest metal monsters win!.

 

 

WACKEN METAL BATTLE IRELAND 2014 FINAL Announced

Posted in Gig Review, Music, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2014 by Tickets There

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Summertime is fast approaching and that means festival seasons is almost upon us. That also means it’s time to find an Irish band on par with Coldwar, Warpath and Overoth and send them over to Waken Open Air to represent Ireland in the Wacken Metal Battle!

The final six bands were announced this morning after Megalomania Production (in partnership with Carnage Metalclub) decided to forego the usual semi-final rounds. Going for the competition are Alpheidae, Animator, Killface, Shardborne, Theories Divide and Zhora.

It all goes down in Fibber MaGees on June 7th. Entry is just €5 and you can follow all the latest updates on their Facebook Event Page.

 

EHT Announces Second UNLEASHED FESTIVAL

Posted in Festival News, Gig Review, Music, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2014 by Tickets There

10152466_10203010651101160_1445761242_nEHT have announced details for the second UNLEASHED FESTIVAL which is due to take place in Fibber MaGee’s this September. 28 bands have been announced so far with more to come. Once again the festival will take place over three days, with the third day being opened up for under age fans (no vodka, whiskey, tequila cocktails for you though – Ha!….my live hurts).

Sinocence, Malevolence and Sworn Against are topping the bills with some undeniably massive names from our local scene popping up over the three days, including Killface, Animator, Vile Regression, AeSect, Hollow Truth and many, many more. No details have been released on weekend tickets, but entry to the Friday and Saturday shows will cost a mere €8 each. Full line’s and dates can be viewed below. We’ll update you as more bands are announced and you can also follow updates from EHT on the Facebook Event page.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 12 SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 13 SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 14 (ALL AGES SHOW)
SINOCENCE MALEVOLENCE SWORN AMONGST
KILLFACE FRUSTRATION VILE REGRESSION
AESECT FREEBASE AWAKEN DOMINION
ANIMATOR GACYS THREADS UPROOT CHAOS
ATOMINATED NIBIRU ALL THE KINGS ASHES
CROSS FIRE BY ANY MEANS AGGRO CULTURE
VISCOUS ENIGMA HOLLOW TRUTH HADEAN
MORE BANDS TBA MILESTONES CALL TO ARMS
STRONGHOLD DISPLACED
DEFYED WITH GRACE AND CHARM
STRANGE DAZE
DOORS : 7:00PM DOORS : 6:00PM DOORS : 1:00PM
ENTRY : €8 ENTRY : €8 ENTRY : €

ONSLAUGHT Announce Dublin and Belfast Shows

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2014 by Tickets There

1926929_607312112670858_767121971_nDublin Metal Events have confirmed ONSLAUGHT are coming to Dublin. The Thrash pioneers are touring last years VI album and will hit Dublin’s Voodoo Lounge on July 13th, followed by a show in Belfast’s Limelight the following night.

With them on tour will be ARTILLERY and HATRIOT. Tickets are priced €20 and can be purchased from tickets.ie and ticketmaster. Check out the event page for a special Facebook sales link that won’t charge fees 🙂

Facebook Event Page

OVERKILL Still set to play Dublin

Posted in Gig Review, Music, News with tags , , , on January 15, 2014 by Tickets There

OKSome of you may have heard that Overkill have delayed the release of their forthcoming album and several of their March tour dates. Well fear not beloved Overkill fans from Eire, they haven’t abandoned us yet. D.M.E. confirmed this morning that their date at the Academy on March 15th will still go ahead as planned. unfortunately, Skeletonwitch are now unable to play the shows and a replacement will be announced soon. Xentrix will appear as billed.

Read the full D.M.E. statement below and on the Overkill event page.

‘Some of you may have seen the news that Overkill have cancelled their Euro tour in March. Fear not though….the UK/Ire leg stays in place and they will still hit The Academy along with Xentrix on Sat. March 15th. It does, however, mean that Skeletonwitch will no longer be on the dates. A replacement will be announced soon.’

Photos: BLACK SABBATH – Live @ The Odyssey Arena (12th December, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , on January 10, 2014 by Tickets There

578689_10152108273158200_2075649842_nLooking back on 2013 as we begin the new year, I cannot move Tickets There on without recognising one of the true highlights of live music I’ve ever been fortunate to witness. On the 12th day of winter – International day of heavy metal, December 12th 2013 – BLACK SABBATH finally brought their reunion tour to Irish shores.

Sabbath proved themselves as a powerful live force and their performance was beyond reproach. They blew out classic after classic with songs from last year’s 13 blending in seamlessly, almost like they have always been there. An excellent night enjoyed by everyone.

Photos: DEATH DTA – Live @ The Academy (27th November, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , on January 10, 2014 by Tickets There

1509171_10152170129413200_1088135262_nTaking your sweet time is one of the simple pleasures to enjoy when you own your own blog. On that note, enjoy some snaps from DEATH DTA’s show at the Academy last year. Incredible performance that I regret not reviewing.

Review: The Unleashed Festival DAY 01 – Live @ Fibber MaGees (16th August, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2013 by Tickets There

1175712_10151835602288200_447479861_nWhat is Ireland seriously lacking? That’s right, a proper metal festival – and some other stuff Tickets There doesn’t deal with. Unlike continental Europe and the U.K., Ireland lacks a serious metal festival despite obvious popularity for the genre. Perhaps M*D and @iken (I disguised their names ;)) are too flooded with Hip Hop/Hipster D4 elitists who lack the skills to see that almost every single metal show they host sells out, unlike many of their other ill-advised follies. So it falls to metal fans themselves to start things up and tonight, EHT have made a massive step in the right direction.

The Unleashed Festival is the first of what will hopefully become a much bigger annual festival. Three days boasting some of the best home-grown talent on offer. One day of the purest thrash from the meanest streets, one day of extreme metal and one day for the under-agers who need metal too. In essence, three days of metal that caters for everyone’s taste. Unfortunately this old fogey only managed the first night, but what a night.

960004_10151835604628200_548538767_nAnimator are first up for me tonight. It’s a special show for these guys as they officially launch their debut album, Blacklisted (review coming this week). Anyone that’s heard the record knows it’s bursting with instant classics and on stage, Animator have the chops to belt them out in perfect form. ‘In God We Trust’ steals their short set and sets the perfect tone for the night.

993996_10151835604098200_773772792_nExzeltic are up next and it’s special show for them tonight as well. Long-time guitarist, Connor Eustace has sadly parted ways with the band and has been replaced by Jamie Power. Despite this being the first major show for the new line-up, they pull it off with flying colours. Jamie steps up to the plate and delivers both new and older material with amazing technique.  ‘Breaker of Nations’ and ‘Agents of Chaos‘ truly stand out and with new material now appearing, you can expect to see more of Exzeltic over the next year. Connor’s presence will be missed, but the lads prove tonight they’re not going anywhere but forward.

1095107_10151519528321396_1610632817_nThe cavalcade of who’s who in the world of Irish trash metal continues with Edenfire.  The lads from Edenfire have been building steadily over the last couple of years, landing prominent support slots (including an opening slot with Exodus earlier this week) and raising their profile with every show. Live, they’re tight, focused and each one of them knows what they’re doing, a quality that is essential for thrash metal to work. Tonight is no different as they plough through a mix of tracks from their debut EP as well as other favourites. Edenfire are in the process of writing their debut album these days and it’s one well worth looking out for.

As the night rolls on, the large crowd swells, the pints turn to shorts and the terrifying, yet exciting sign of Buckfast begins. That perfect cocktail of merriness and early stages of ridiculous drunkenness serves as the warm welcome for the next band, Psykosis.

539698_10151835603683200_92292527_nTaking the stage to a packed house, Psykosis produce a hail of riffs, aggression and fun for the gasping, sweaty crowd. Along with Exzeltic, Psykosis are also playing tonight with a slightly adjusted line-up as Rats from Dichotomy fills in for Tony Corcoran on guitar. Fans fear not – it’s just temporary, but man; Rats can certainly  play. It’s incredible just how good these guys are. They blend everything that’s great about thrash metal and deliver it with youthful passion and fun. No sooner are the band on than the pit begins. Slowly at first before encapsulating the entire standing area. I’d love to give you the set they played but amongst the haze of Jameson and active pit participation, all I remember is bashing, ‘Toxic Fugitive’ and the best craic of the night. What a band and what a night. There’s only one thing left to do, enjoy tonight’s headliners GAMA BOMB.

gAMAbOMBGama Bomb have long reigned supreme as the heroes of the Irish thrash scene. They have international acclaim, a massive arsenal of material from their four albums including this year’s incredible output, The Terror Tapes. On stage the band are on fire. They tear through their set with unrelenting power to a packed house. Build-up of quality throughout the night has been jaw dropping, but Gama Bomb display those additional years of experience and bring the night home in awe-inspiring glory. Moshing, stagediving, celling climbing and madness are this writers final memories before the madness spills into Club Carnage downstairs. A long awaited, but very welcome return to Dublin for Gama Bomb and hopefully they’ll return before the ringing notes of ‘Terror Tapes’ and ‘Hammer Slammer’ fade out from my ear drums.

Well done EHT Promotions, what a triumph of a night! All the bands outdid themselves and showed the how strong the Irish metal scene is. With debut albums pending for most of tonight’s line-up, you can expect a very exciting few years on the horizon!

Review: EXODUS – Live @ The Button Factory, Dublin (Aug 12th, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music on August 14, 2013 by Tickets There

 

560822_10151828959533200_1667321752_n..”I don’t want you here, I fucking rule this place..”

Rob Dukes to Security, Dublin 2013.

After  three year absence, Exodus are finally back in town. The legendary thrash metallers have been punishing the European festival circuit over the last few weeks and they’re nicely warmed up to give Dublin one of its few international metal nights of 2013. The only question on people’s minds as we enter the venue – will Gary Holt be here?

Sadly, Exodus take to the stage minus their most famous member. Gary is doubling as Jeff Hanneman’s stand in guitarist for Slayer; who are also on tour at the moment. Since Slayer are playing in Belfast tomorrow night, hopes were high Gary would perform both shows but it’s his Exodus stand in, Kragen Lum from Heathen, on stage with the band. That aside, there’s no signs of weakness as Rob Dukes leads his band with immense physical presence and vocal brutality.

1009840_10151828959133200_336802208_nEarly on in the show, tensions rise between Dukes, security and the crowd as the bouncers down front begin dragging as many would be crowd surfers as they can out of the pit. Noticing this, Rob stops to speak with security and informs them crowd surfing is an essential part to any Exodus live show. After speaking with DME to resolve the matter, the band carry on with ‘Children of a Worthless God’. Rob’s attempt at calming security down doesn’t seem to resolve much and throughout the set he gets verbally more annoyed by their actions and snaps at them to calm down and leave fans alone who are trying to have a good time.

Throughout all the commotion (of which there was little on the surface), Exodus plough through a fist full of thrash metal hits with more extremity than most bands can accomplish. While the majority of their set comes from their most famous recordings, 1985’s Bonded By Blood and 1988’s Fabulous Disaster, there is a healthy inclusion of tracks from their past three studio recordings which often compare and trounce their earlier known classics. ‘Blacklist’, ‘Scar Spangled Banner’ from 2004’s Tempo of the Damned are killer inclusions and that’s before the epic, ‘War Is My Shepherd’ which in this reviewers opinion is the greatest metal song of the 21st century. Likewise, four tracks from the Exhibit albums (‘The Ballad of Leonard and Charles’, ‘Beyond The Pale’, ‘Children..’ and ‘Iconoclasm’) continue to show Exodus’s natural knack for song writing hasn’t withered over the years.

Rob Dukes - Standing triumphant after kicking security away from the stage.

Rob Dukes – Standing triumphant after kicking security away from the stage.

As we come to the final songs of the night, Rob again openly engages with security as they get more extreme in their mission to stop crowd surfing. The music stops and Rob orders security out of the pit. At this point, things turn temporarily nasty as security back talk the singer and risk the wrath of ravenous fans at the front. Yours truly holds on for dear life at the barrier,  unable to move or get the camera out to film the tension as security guards speak with fans and the band, trying to work out what to do under the chants of ‘Security out’, ‘fuck off’ and ‘get out’. Eventually, security leave and the roar from fans lifts the roof of the venue. EXODUS win and it is time to party. Finally fans are allowed go properly nuts, with Rob helping crowd surfers up on stage for their dives. I last mere minutes at the front before collapsing back under about three people and it is savage craic. The pit, which had been in full on stampeded mode all night goes into extremities,  but the fans maintain that classic metal gig etiquette of stopping the second anyone falls to allow others to pick them up again. There isn’t a spirit in the house un-lifted by the sher win of it all. It is everything a metal gig used to be and could be. A show you normally only hear about, rather than get to witness in person these days and the best parts happened to the tune of ‘The Toxic Waltz’ and ‘Strike of the Beast’ – not a bad way to go out and quite possibly one of the best metal gigs ever to hit Dublin. 

1185952_10151828959338200_1525886034_nOn a personal note, I managed to lose my phone during one of the last tunes. After searching once the band had left the stage there was no sign until someone in the crowd said a lad had found a phone and brought it to bar. Short story short – they had it. I want to say a massive thank you to whoever handed it in. I was originally upset I hadn’t gotten video of Rob’s speech up the front while he kicked security out, but delighted to get the phone back with – the footage of it being knocked out of my hand. All below for your fun. I’ve heard since others lost their phones during the gig and all got them back. To anyone who says a bad word about metallers – tonight you had a gathering of some of the best, most genuine, honest people in the country. Band and fans alike did the metal world proud. Now, off to ice my chest, shoulder and elbow before the Unleashed Festival this weekend!

Report: Hellfest 2013 June 21st – 23rd (Clisson, France)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2013 by Tickets There

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20130619-194215.jpgWell, the hangovers have worn off, the body has stopped aching and the cure has been had. Hellfest 2013 is over and despite it only being two days since Tickets There’s triumphant return, it seems like a hell of a lot longer since I (yes I, too late for the split personality bullsh*t) was passed out on the street outside the terminal building in Nantes. Four nights and three days of heavy metal (and drink) fuelled mayhem in Clisson and already 2014 beckons. Before that though, we need to look back on some of this year’s highlights as witnessed between boozing sessions in the metal corner.

Friday was a packed day with Saxon, Testament, Twisted Sister,  Hellyeah, Helloween, Six Feet Under, Whitesnake and headliners Def Leppard all putting on excellent shows. Despite my thrill at seeing Saxon for the first time, my surprise at how amazing Helloween are and my sheer love for David Coverdale and co, the night was ruled by two bands – Twisted Sister and Def Leppard.

993592_10151728838263200_1860147127_nDee Snider and co put on a show that can only be described as perfect entertainment. In between jokes about the multiple DS wigs floating amongst the attendees and mass sing-alongs – the band rocked out hit after hit of cock rock excellence. The only thing that topped them was the highly anticipated performance from main stage closers an’ Sheffield’s finest, Def Leppard.

Leppard’s slot at the festival was special for two reasons. Number 1, Leppard were performing their Hysteria album in full for the first time ever in Europe. Second, guitarist Vivian Campbell was making his debut after announcing earlier this month that he has been receiving treatment for Cancer. In an unprecedented move, Leppard took the stage playing the tail end of The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, before lashing into their own set. Hellfesters from all genres were there to greet them and see one of the biggest bands in Rock. They kicked off with fan favourites, hits and rarely played cuts from their earlier albums including ‘Wasted’, ‘Good Morning Freedom’, ‘Foolin’, ‘Bringing On The Heartbreak’ without the usual acoustic intro, ‘Action’, ‘Lets Get Rocked’ and the iconic duelling guitar solo ‘Switch 625’. The band were on fire and the opening tunes served as the perfect intro for the most perfectly overly produced album of all time.

1011921_10151728838128200_81723133_nLittle can be said about Hysteria that hasn’t been written it before, but after 21 years of being a devoted Leppard fan I can honestly say the live show was one of the greatest moments of my gig going life. ‘Armageddon it’, ‘Gods of War’, ‘Don’t Shoot Shot Gun’, ‘Excitable’, ‘Love and Affection’ were all outstanding, but the king of their set was the incredible ‘Run Riot’, a song I have never heard live and one that has been a long standing champion on my favourite DL songs of all time list. After a brief interlude, the band returned and finished the night with the awesome ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Photograph‘. A phenomenal set from a band that just cannot be held back. Review? Nah – this is a fan’s tale.

By Saturday, things were starting to get a little hairy. Less acts were seen, more booze was had and the general festivities were getting bigger and bigger. ZZ Top, My Dying Bride, Red Fang, Down and KoRn were all witnessed and all (yes, Korn included) put on top performances. ZZ Top especially stood out with their southern blues rock n roll charm. Only one band could dethrone them, along with most bands playing this festival; the almighty KISS.

994165_10151728838718200_2021883397_nKISS are no strangers to Hellfest and previously headlined in 2010. As the familiar ‘Alright Clisson’ intro blared out over the PA, screams, arms and pints shot up and the band launched their Monster tour with ‘Psycho Circus’, the lead single from their 1998 comeback album of the same name. Greeting the crowd, Paul Stanley mocked that the band wouldn’t be growling – hellfest or no hellfest, because that’s ‘just not [their] style’. Knowing this was the final night of the band’s European summer tour, all the stops were expected to be pulled out and KISS didn’t disappoint. They delivered a hard paced set packed with their hits, tricks and sher awesomeness. ‘Shout It Out Loud’ had the crowd united in singing while ‘I Love It Loud’ bellowed through the audience with unmistakable force.

New single, ‘Hell or Hallelujah’, was enjoyed by all; including those who didn’t’ know it before ‘War Machine’ from 2009’s Sonic Boom and the classic ‘Deuce‘ bombarded their way in. After this it was time for Tommy and Eric to shine as Tommy took over the mic for the classic ‘Shock Me’ with Eric following with ‘Outta This World’. Gene took over again on ‘God of Thunder’ (not sang from the top of the lighting rig for sone reason) before ‘Lick It Up’, ‘Love Gun’ and ‘Rock and Roll All Night’ finished things off in classic over the top, fireworks fashion. As with any KISS show, there was so much happening it became hard to keep track off but with every song came the flying over the crowd, lifts, risers, smoke, explosions, fire breathing, confetti..etc, etc. it never gets old, it just gets better.

1010240_10151728837963200_636363376_nThe band returned for an encore consisting of ‘Detroit Rock City’ and ‘Black Diamond’, much to the crowds approval. KISS came, KISS saw, KISS destroyed Hellfest. Like Def Leppard on Friday, no matter what type of metal you were there to see – KISS blew you away. If they didn’t, you’re a sad sap who needs to leave your bedroom more often. Day 02 over – another resounding success.

Finally Day 3 came along and it felt just right. The sun was shining, the ‘Metal Corner’ was quiet – a good day for whiskey and rock ‘n’ roll; and what better way to start things off than Down playing a special set instead of the previously announced Clutch?. After that the likes of Lordi, Ghost (who suck live just as much as they did on their last album), Hypocrisy and Cradle of Filth, Danzig and Napalm Death fill out an evening of heavy, light and strange metal…well, light is a little misleading.

BNoiF2uCYAAlJ9PSunday was a day of surprises for TT. First of all, Danzig wasn’t just playing Danzig. On closer inspection of the t-shirt it turned out they were playing a surprise Misfits set with Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein joining them. Realizing this moments before they were due to take the stage was better than most birthday/Christmas presents can ever be. Danzig, Doyle and the guys sounded great and the pogo/mosh filled rendition of ‘Die, Die, Die My Darling’ was one of the true gems of Hellfest 2013.

Cradle of Filth provided the second surprise. Having not seen them since they played the Temple bar Music Centre way back in 2001, I wasn’t expecting the group to have seasoned too well. I was wrong as Dani Filth’s voice shredded through the Temple PA as crisp and powerful as ever. Indeed the entire band sounded amazing and even with the oddly out of place ‘Anywho’ comment from Dani, the band put on one of the best shows I managed to catch. The pentagram lighting rig above the stage only added to the atmosphere.

1013077_10151728838653200_334766648_nFinally, Napalm Death – a band I have read about, heard about and known for nearly 15 years, but strangely one I have never, ever tried to listen to expect for forced spins of ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’. What a show and what have I been doing all these years? They were incredible! One of the strongest, most bare fisted brutal acts of the entire weekend. I managed to get up good and close (my first and only attempt over the whole festival) and they were beyond reproach. Definitely the band I will be checking out more in the coming weeks and one I will never forgive myself for ignoring. Napalm Death – thank you!

I’m avoiding calling this a review because I just didn’t make the effort to see enough, record enough or stay sober enough for my opinion to carry any weight. However, that’s just how I wanted it. Hellfest blew me away and made me a life time attendee all in the one weekend. With it getting bigger and badder than ever every year – you can count me in as Johnny come lately but I ain’t never leaving. Bring on 2014, long live Hellfest and thank you to everyone who made it the best heavy metal experience of my life.

REPORT: Slayer – Live @ The Academy, Dublin (June 11th, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , on June 13, 2013 by Tickets There

IMG_5078Going to see Slayer two nights in a row – one of the best decisions this writer has ever made. For the second night in a row, SLAYER raised the roof off Dublin’s Academy with what seemed like even more power and ferocity than Monday’s show (quite a feat considering the incredible performance they put on last night). There was even more banter from Tom Araya with him even (tongue in cheek) asking the crowd if there were ‘any requests?’, before he politely listened and remembered ‘we don’t do that’.

IMG_5072The set-list also saw a few changes with ‘Hallowed Point, At Dawn They Sleep, Stain of Mind, The Antichrist, Payback’ and ‘Hell Awaits’ all being dropped and replaced by ’Spirit In Blood, Die By The Sword, Postmortem, Altar of Sacrifice, Jesus Saves’ and ‘Ghosts of War’ which gave the night a fresh feeling, rather than just rehashing the same show as the night before.

Rather than go through a detailed review (again), heres what ye all want. Photos, set lists and videos – enjoy J.

Monday June 10th Videos

Tuesday June 11th Videos

SLAYER
Live @ Dublin’s Academy Set-lists
Monday, June 10th 2013 Tuesday, June 11th 2013
World Painted   Blood World Painted Blood
Hallowed Point Spirit in Black
War Ensemble War Ensemble
Hate Worldwide Hate Worldwide
At Dawn They   Sleep Die by the Sword
Stain of Mind Bloodline
Disciple Disciple
Bloodline Postmortem
Mandatory   Suicide Altar of Sacrifice
Chemical   Warfare Jesus Saves
Seasons in the   Abyss Mandatory Suicide
Dead Skin Mask Chemical Warfare
The Antichrist Ghosts of War
Payback Seasons in the Abyss
Hell Awaits Dead Skin Mask
Raining Blood Raining Blood
Encore: Encore:
South of   Heaven South of Heaven
Angel of Death Angel of Death

Review: SLAYER – Live @ The Academy, Dublin (June 10th, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2013 by Tickets There

IMG_5016It’s amazing how much has changed in the Slayer camp  since this show was announced. Back in March, we were all happy and safe knowing Tom Araya, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Dave Lombardo were all happy and.., well happy as in Jeff was in his second year of absenteeism from the band and Dave had just sat out an Australian tour due to a financial dispute with Tom and Kerry. But, when you read Wikipedia, all four members were listed as ‘Current Line-up’. Since March, it all seemed to go a little pear-shaped.

First we had the news that Jeff Hanneman, the legend behind some of Slayer’s best known and beloved songs, had passed away unexpectedly. Jeff’s death sent shockwaves around the metal world with fans and musicians alike expressing their shock and sadness. To make things worse, the Westboro Bastard Church wasted no time sending out their hate literature. Fred Phelps (future favourite dildo in the Devil’s collection) and his hatemongers even made the laughable suggestion that they would picket his memorial. A massacre that was thankfully (er…thankfully?) avoided when they failed to show for the late May service at the Hollywood Palladium. Then things got a little more depressing.

Dave Lombardo (founding member and drumming machine) was unceremoniously kicked out, with the announcement that former Slayer sticks man, Paul Bostaph, would re-joining the band permanently. Things didn’t look the healthiest in the Slayer camp. Death, disagreements and half the line-up – not exactly a recipe for success….unless you’re SLAYER!

IMG_5039For tonight’s long awaited return to Dublin, Slayer have not arranged support (or even a decent few tunes for the PA while we wait – unless you like awful f**king elevator reggae or whatever the hell that is), but then again – SLAYER need no support. With the band running more than 30 minutes late, you’d expect things to start getting a little tense but everyone tonight is happy to wait. With the air thick with chants of SLAYER, SLAYER – the lights go off and the band are on. Gary, Tom, Paul and Kerry take position and launch into ‘World Painted Blood’. Tom’s smile beams across the room as he takes in the packed venue, even taking the time to remark on the intimacy of the show as the band stampede (I love using that word) through an incredible set packed with favourites, new and old. ‘Hallowed Point’, ‘WAR ENSEMBLE’ and ‘Hate Worldwide’ carry on the thrashing, fuelling a pit that threatens to encompass the whole standing area.

IMG_5028The band look and sound great with Gary and Paul doing their parts to perfection. Tom speaks to the crowd on a few occasions but nothing is really said about Jeff’s passing. Instead, the band are here to show SLAYER is alive and well and they are tearing the Academy a new one tonight. ‘Stain of Mind’, ‘Disciple’, ‘Mandatory Suicide’, and ‘Chemical Warfare’ – one after another the songs just keep pounding out, hitting the crowd like bricks. Although the sound could be described as quiet for a Slayer gig, the bands ferocious presence still dominates the stage …and the beating continues. ‘Seasons in The Abyss’, ‘Dead Skin Mask’, ‘ANTICHRIST’ are all on show – delivered with more intensity and presence than the band’s last trek to Dublin in 2006. ‘Hell Awaits’ and ‘Raining Blood’ bring a tremendous set to its close, the massive pit to its peak and the crowd’s fears for Slayer’s future – to bed!

IMG_5062As the band break, the giant Slayer banner which was displayed all night disappears and a giant HANNEMAN banner in Heineken style lettering appears. In tribute to Jeff, the band return for an encore of ‘South of Heaven’ and ‘Angel of Death’, two of Hanneman’s best known pieces before calling it a night. With a smile, Tom thanks the crowd and says he’ll see us tomorrow. Damn right Tom, see you then and thank you sir!