Archive for the Tickets There Likes: Category

Tickets There Likes: Whitesnake – Good to be Bad

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2010 by Tickets There


In 2008, Tickets There had the most horrible test of endurance we’d ever faced. Because of our combined love for Def Leppard and KISS, we put ourselves in a position that involved watching eighties hair metal love gods, Whitesnake, five times within the space of two weeks. Does it get any worse?

The first encounter came in Holland. Whitesnake took the stage and we moved within range to get a peak of what was to come over the next few days. Honestly, wasn’t that bad. Is This Love and Here I Go Again put a smile on our faces and hell, some of the unfamiliar songs were even catchy. Alright, could have been worse but four more times?

A week later TT was in Birmingham and so were the Snake. The Holland experience was a festival so there were escapes available but this was an indoor show, so there was no avoiding them. They came on stage, all white shirts, leather, big hair, full of energy and, well, kind of rocked the place. We recognized alot of the set from Holland and tracks like Still of Night, Bad Boys and Ain’t No Love were beginning to drill their way into TT’s mind.

After two more shows in Manchester and Sheffield we were hooked and by the time the last gig in Newcastle came round, we were firm fans. Whitesnake had not only pacified us, they’d turned us into fully fledged devotees and we’ve loved them ever since. When last year’s Def Leppard Dublin show was announced, we nearly wet ourselves with excitement, but when we realized Whitesnake were playing aswell, there was no nearly about it.

Good to be Bad had just been released a few months before the 2008 tour and the band didn’t shy away from playing almost half of it in their shows. Why would they,  it’s a bloody classic! Live highlights such as Best years, Can You Hear The Wind Blow, Good to be Bad and Lay Down Your Love sound as strong on record as they did when Mr. Coverdale, and co were  in the same room blasting them out. Hard, blues arena rock at its best. Best Years was the show opener for most of the gigs so hearing it again is a welcoming dose of nostalgia and happy memories for TT. Can You Hear the Wind Blow’s unmistakable opening riff and Still of the Night-esqu chorus will grab you by the balls but fear not, Whitesnake wouldn’t want to castrate you….. before the albums finished at least.

Lay Down Your Love is one of the best live songs you’ll hear in an arena. The bands classic Ain’t No Love In The Heart of the City will have to make room for this little slice of power rock. The bluesy guitars, the riffs, the infectious, unforgiving chorus will all thrust themselves upon you with force.

As for the tracks they didn’t put in the set list, there’s no shortage of material to love. Call On Me (Not that one) and Got What You Need are swaggering, balls out rock classics. All For Love is a guitar driven anthem and it’s just laced with Whitesnake’s classic pop perfection. All I Want All I Need is a hark back to the Is This Love Sound while Summer Rain and Till the End of Time are soft, melodic acoustic numbers. Till The End of Time in particular is a stand out.  Last but not least, A Fool In Love is bluegrass hard arena rock. Built on a tasty blues riff, this one should be played at every show the band do in the future. Coverdale’s voice and Doug Aldrich’s guitars are just so captivating, you’re willing to believe anything they want to sell ya and you won’t be disappointed.

Maybe Leppard owned the world of arena rock in 2008 but honestly, Good to be Bad is the real winner. Leppard’s Songs From The Sparkle Lounge was a massive improvement after the Lepp’s let poppy, no joy song writing destroy several of their previous albums but GTBB just skyrocketed Whitesnake back into the hearts of their fans and, as Tickets There can attest to, brought them in some new ones aswell. If you haven’t heard it, we can only say you won’t be disappointed if you pop over to ITunes now and grab it.

Tickets There Likes: The Doors – The Doors

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2009 by Tickets There

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I always hated The Doors. Generally when I hate a band it means I’ve given them their time and tried several times to enjoy them because I hate it when I’m wrong so I like to really give things my all before passing such an extreme judgment. Believe it or not I do have three or four Radiohead albums because I was told after I’d listen to each one that such a one was better and you know what, they weren’t. I also have two Coldplay albums because I wanted to believe the hype and turned out I was right from the beginning about them too. The Doors however are a different story. I hadn’t ever given them a chance and the main song I knew, Light My Fire, was a little boring for my tastes. Then one faithful summer they found me.

I was staying at a friend’s house for a few weeks during the summer of 04 (all those years ago J) and he played the Doors constantly. After a few days of this and then a screening of the movie to help persuade me, I finally gave in. I wouldn’t say I turned total fanatic but just enough to make me buy every album over the following year and give each ones a good grilling. Honestly I never really picked a flat out favorite and only for the sake of this review have I picked their 67 self titled debut, The Doors.

If you don’t like the Doors yet, then opening song Break on Through will go along way in convincing you of their greatness. I’m not going to say it’s a full on, stampeding chaotic master piece because that just doesn’t do it justice…but it is all those things. It’s so full of energy and quiet / loud changes with underlining D word themes a go go. In sharp contrast, Soul Kitchen is everything the tin promises. A relaxed, stripped back verse of simple guitar and piano melodies with Jims voices croaking in the background before everything collapses together for a foot stomping chorus. At times it sounds like Johns drumming is too fast for Robby’s guitars and Ray’s keyboards but oddly enough, it all works perfectly.   The Crystal Ship slips even further into the albums melon collie state. Jim’s deep voice booms over the music, haunting every change and note the band play. It’s no secret that a lot of the love people have for the Doors also relies heavily on the myths, stories and a general love for Morrison himself. He’s one of music’s true icons, appealing to people in all walks of life…except those who just don’t like him off course.

Twentieth Century Fox wouldn’t be one of my favorite tracks. It’s very plain compared to the albums first three songs and falls a little on its face amidst a mess of guitars and organ melodies. Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar), a cover of a Bertolt Brecht’s song (I’ve never heard of him either, don’t worry ;), is without a doubt one of the funniest songs they’ve ever recorded and could easily be used a sea chantey in the next Pirates or, if you’re like me, you have walked home many times from the pub singing this at full volume. Light My Fire follows and ya know…it’s good. Personally I think seven minutes was a bit much and the guys don’t really pull it off but many, many others would strenuously disagree so it depends from fan to fan. Back Door Man (written by Willie Dixon) on the other hand is one of the best songs they’ve ever recorded. Since it’s another cover, I won’t praise it too much in words or it may overshadow the other tracks I’ve written about….but god it’s a savage song.

I Looked At You sounds like something The Beatles could easily have come up with but still manages to retain some of the Doors quality. Not incredibly great but simple, fun pop. After all, many people forget the Doors did start of as a more a pop group than the bluesy poets they turned into. End of the Night is more of a definitive Doors piece. Broken melodies, slow changes, hits of spiraling melodies…etc. Again it’s not amazing but there’s more Doors atmosphere here than many of the songs. The best way you can describe a truly Doors-esque song is broken music and Jims lyrics. The sort of atmospheric, incoherent yet hauntingly good music they play in seedy L.A. bars at 4:00 in the morning. Take It As it Comes is one of the better tracks at the end of the album. The lyrics are bogged down in Jims over thinking and the music flows extremely well. Ray’s keyboards belt away behind Johns crashing drums and Jims iconic vocals.

I lied, I lied about End of the Night. It is not a definitive Doors classic. Not compared to the albums final track, The End. While its style is pretty general for the Doors, it is nowhere near as far reaching, over blown and mind bendingly good as The End. The lyrics represent a peak Morrison always strived for with his music. The band comes together more here than anywhere else on the record, despite the hap hazard sound. The entire group seems to spiral off in their own little tangents, all at the same time yet they seem to pull together like waves and re-group momentarily before drifting apart again. Jims voice is once again the glue holding everything together and the song loses all sense of time and structure. The music repeats and repeats but never gets stale. Jims vocals become more and more prominent at the song moves along culminating in his screams referencing the Oedipus  complex.

If you give the Doors time, it’s very hard to hate them. If you like Rock n roll, folk, pop or blues, the Doors have something for you and it’s good. Jim may be long gone, or just hiding somewhere but his music and the band’s music is still very much alive and ready for any curious new generations that are willing to open their mind and experience what music drove a generation to throw up their arms and say ‘No’ when it counted.

Tickets There Likes: Metallica – …And Justice for All

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , on September 2, 2009 by Tickets There

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Ya know Metallica get a very bad rap these days. It’s as plain as day that they haven’t done themselves many favors over the last few years but people seem to be forgetting they have a stronger back catalogue than most metal acts out there. Very few thrash/heavy or hard rock bands can boast so many highly regarded albums as Metallica and they’re highly impressive and widely diverse selections of song writing make them the bonafide legends they are. Forget the St. Anger disaster and forget the Napster issue and the Some Kind of a Monster fiasco. These are long over with and the Bay Area Thrashers have returned to what they do best.

I remember first hearing Metallica in the early nineties and not being hugely amazed. Then again I was a Def Lepp / GNR kid and the styles didn’t really crossover in my eyes. It was until the late nineties that one of the lads from school started pushing me to listen to them. I remember seeing a picture of Kirk Hammett. wearing Calvin Klein undero’s and thinking ‘wow, how metal is that…puke!’. It looked like Metallica had totally sold out and this didn’t give me any inspiration to check out their stuff. Now I know there’s nothing worse in this world that an uppity metal fan. Every time you talk to one of those Bruxelles chaps they’d nearly put you off the genre entirely. They’re so up their own holes it’s almost sad and they sit there and argue on and on about mundane, unimportant crap about bands who make a living dressing up in makeup and screaming about death. Not sure if you noticed folks, but it’s meant to be a bit of fun, not f**king politics ya tossers. Anyway, enough ranting about those Metalireland.com chaps, they have to pass their sad existence somehow.

So eventually I took a copy of Master of Puppets from yer man and after a few days adjusting I came to love that album and like most of the TT Likes articles, listened to it repeatedly for many, many weeks. Ride the Lightening, Metallica (The Black Album) and Kill Em All only spurred on my excitement for the bands material and overnight, became staunch classics in my books. However it wasn’t until the mighty …And Justice for All came into my possession that I found their best work. I’d been put of getting this one by many people who wouldn’t shut up about the Bass being low and the quality generally lacking compared to the other early albums. I strongly disagree folks, and I think I’m in the majority.

Opening up with the mighty Blackened, Justice is an hour’s worth of melodic / blistering riffage, doomsday lyrics and drums all backed by Hetfields more matured, powerful vocals.  I don’t care how elitist you are, there’s no denying Metallica did it better than anyone else at the top of their game. Tracks like Eye of the Beholder, The Shortest Straw, The Frayed Ends of Sanity and Dyers Eye give the album it’s unyielding power  while better know classics like the title track, One and Harvester of Sorrow give the whole record it’s unstoppable force that band have failed to recreate since, despite a pretty good effort on Death Magnetic. Justice for All’s sound is so dark and inaccessible compared to all of their other work before and after and the band can be seen to vent their frustrations, pain and anger over Cliff Burtons death. It’s true the bass isn’t exactly the stand out instrument here and this is very obviously an attempt to avoid having to admit Cliff had to be replaced. As a final tribute to their friend, Justice has a nine minute instrumental entitled To Live is to Die which the band composed using riffs written by Burton before his death.

Whatever people say about Metallica now is irrelevant. Bunch of stuck up, metal pussy’s who’ve forgotten the whole genre is about taking it easy, have a few beers and a laugh. Not procrastinating and philosophizing about who’s more metal than thou! And let’s all be honest, metal fans are mostly made up of…..should I say it?, maybe not…but you know damn well the kind of people that I mean and don’t deny it! Why the hell these folks feel the need to close turn Metal into a Pink Floyd convention is beyond me. Relax folks!

Tickets There Likes: Def Leppard – Hysteria

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Tickets There

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OK, ok I have to stop putting this one of and get it out of the way finally. You all knew this was coming and I can’t count how many drafts I’ve written in an attempt to get it done. Def Leppard’s mightiest of mighty accomplishments, the golden goose, the Holy Grail of their collection and one of the highest selling records of all time, Hysteria! It was the second album I ever owned and heard in full and was introduced to me just a few weeks after Adrenalize and made me a solid Leppard fan for life. Like my live review of Springsteen, I find it very difficult to write something about this record that thousands of others haven’t said before.

Let’s start by stating it’s very rare to find an album with so few album tracks like this. Almost every single song is a single or classic with almost no exceptions. On Hysteria, the bands efforts to write perfect pop rock and heavy ballads finally paid off without a hitch. Despite Rick Allen losing his arm, Steve’s continued problems with alcohol and the bands problems in their home country, producers and initial demo’s, Hysteria proved to be a feat very few critics, fans and interested parties thought they could pull off, especially considering the new levels of quality Pyromania set for them. Even 22 years on from its release the quality of the songs and production is infallible. This is the album that artists like Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Skid Row, Europe, Aerosmith and all the other 80’s Hard rock heavyweights wished they could come up with. Although Hard Rock took a different turn when Guns N Roses released Appetite for Destruction, Leppards Hysteria was the peak of the previous sounds perfection.

No song was written or produced on this with anything less than a grand, world changing effort. While some of the song’s lyrics may sound slightly cheesy in hindsight such as Women and Pour Some Sugar on Me, only a total knob end could flaw their energy and perfection. Pop rock rears its head on several of the albums singles  and continue the job Photograph and Foolin’ had started previously. Animal, PSSOM, Armageddon it, Love and Affection and Women set a high bar for any band to reach and deck out the album with its foundations. The easily accessible, fist raising, mass sing along anthems that sealed the deal for Leppard and made them the biggest band on the plant for a couple of years. While more intimate numbers such as Love Bites and Hysteria ensured Leppard secured hordes of young females as lifelong fans.

Not to be overlooked, the guys still got the edge from the likes of Don’t Shoot Shotgun, Gods of War (Leppards one and only foray into the political world), Rocket, the heavier than heavy Run Riot (at least by Leppards standards) and the awesome Excitable. These provided the final master stroke to provide this album with everything it needed to entertain millions of fans around the work for the next two decades. Then again, no matter how serious the songs are, no matter how heavy or light the sound is and no matter what their theme, every song on Hysteria is a catchy rock classic that deserves respect from every rock fan. This is how pop rock is done folks, you won’t find any other album to equal Hysteria’s arsenal.

Nah Sayers will always be nay Sayers and the unfortunate rise of grunge music and its trend setting ideals about fashion, politics, depression, bullying meant bands like Leppard and their back catalogues were severely undermined all throughout the 90’s and early millennium. Fortunately the world is starting its traditional two decade revitalization and The Mighty Lepp are reaping the benefits. A few years ago the band were playing small theatres and state fairs but currently, they’re back in 10,000 + arenas reminding fans why they are a band that should never be forgotten. The years may have been cruel to their legacy but Joe Elliot, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil and Viv are a major force to be reckoned with. They have proven they can take anything and everything the music and personal world can lash on them and still emerge unscathed and ready for the next challenge. From the moment Joe Elliot wrote the band’s name on Sheffield’s town hall’s notice board in the late seventies, the band were destined to become legends and Hysteria is the pinnacle of that legacy.

Here’s a picture of the UK 12″ Vinyl sigles from Hysteria all together.

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Tickets There Likes: Weezer – Weezer (The Blue Album)

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Tickets There

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When I was younger I was a big fan of Blur and Oasis but it wasn’t until I heard Weezer’sBlue Album’ that I actually became a fan of Indie music. Although my interest has become less and less evident over the last few years, Weezer opened the door to many great acts. I had heard Hash Pipe and Buddy Holly (same as the rest of the English speaking world), but had never listened to one of their albums until I started first year of college and it was passed over from Bob’s (my roommate) magical tube (sounds bad don’t it) of music. He had this plastic case with roughly a hundred burnt CD’s and no matter how many times you went through it, something new always popped up.

He recommended Weezer while he was in the grips of their buzz and I started with their debut. The damn thing was so good I couldn’t stop listening to it for around two/three months. The time it took me to walk to college from home was the exact length of the album (with a few minutes loitering to finish Only In Dreams off). I can’t say anything astonishing about it other than it’s just a great record. All the songs are catchy, fresh and heavy in their own way. Unlike the weird eco-conscious geek culture that’s taken over music at the moment, Weezer did geek rock well.

Rather than sing about the problems in the world, they kept it simple. I’m pretty sure Rivers would have trouble writing about anything other than Love but so what, he does love brilliantly and makes it more realistic. Tracks like The World Has Turned, Undone, Say it Ain’t So and Only In Dreams are classics, pure and simple. No-One Else, Surfwax America and In the Garage are the cream of the bands album tracks while My name is Jonas and Holiday are just damn good fun, don’t read into them.

I should take special time to mention that Say it Ain’t So and Only In My Dreams are two of the bands and the genre’s greatest assets. The Harmonies, melodies, riffs and full on force of those two songs is incredible especially in comparison to the other songs on the record. Rather than churn out standard ballads on an album of heavier material, the band mix the loud guitars, tension and melody so well it makes the songs stand out a mile without decreasing the albums overall quality

I never took as fondly to Pinkerton (although I do love it) and I after a couple of goes I gave up on Green and Maladroit and never bothered with the last two. After Buddy Holly being as close to pop perfection an indie band with loud guitars can get, Beverly Hills just seemed to piss all over their legacy, but who am I to judge? When I release one song in the same league as any of their stuff I can gripe, but until that day I’ll keep it shut.

Tickets There Likes: Iron Maiden – Powerslave

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Tickets There

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I tried writing this review last night and have about three paragraphs done at home but I can’t stand the idea of that Radiohead chaps face at the top of my blog so I’m rushing through this one to replace his fecking hideously boring presence with the mighty Maiden’s Powerslave cover. I hope all of my readers are Iron Maiden fans because people, this is the real stuff right here. Forget the Kings of Leon, Killers and all that other rubbish, if you want to have fun, Maiden are the men (or AC/DC, but what ever).

I suppose being a TT Likes and all, I’d better bore you all with the usual speal of how I discovered the band. It was back in nineteen hundred and ninety three (1993). Roughly a year after the Leppard, Guns N Roses and Meatloaf phase had settled in. I saw a copy of their A Real Live One tape in the new release section of Sligo’s Record Room. I was completely taken with the cover and had to get it. In those days I didn’t buy many record because I had no money and not a lot of access to stores that sold them. I remember loving their sound as soon as I heard it and everything went from there. It’s not a very exciting story and I couldn’t be bothered trying to invent wacky stories and lies to keep yis entertained. I did managed to meet Dave Murray a few years ago but that’s not very exciting either, we were both hammered and nearly went for a drink in his hotel until I realized myself and my girlfriend would be stranded in town if we didn’t catch the night link and I had no other money for taxi’s. Thinking back that was a very, very stupid thing to do but it’s in the past.

I didn’t manage to get my hands of Powerslave until 98 when I picked a copy up in Athlone shopping center. They easily had the best Maiden section any shop can boast outside of Dublin (or at least they did in those days), and it’s remained my favorite Maiden album ever since. First of all you have Aces High , then 2 Minutes to Midnight which basically means it’s the greatest maiden album of all time two songs in. Then you have Losfer Words, a nice metal instrumental before Flash of the Blade which is a grand wee number similar to their earlier material. The Duellists is a savage typical Maiden number with a savage wee chorus as is Back in the Village (except this is probably my least favorite number ion the record) but the best is yet to come. The albums title track is one of the bands finest moments. One of the best riffs the band has ever written and some of their most surreal lyrics. It’s just such a grand and mighty anthem that adds that classic Maiden danger that makes their legacy as strong as it is. The album winds up with the incredible, riff filled Rime of the Ancient Mariner. A lengthy wee track but filled with surprises, changes, harmonies, melodies and everything else Maiden could squeeze in. Seeing this one live is real treat.

Well that’s it, short and sweet but I don’t like to repeat the exact same praises and such in every single review. Also, the album only has eight songs and as I’ve said before, this isn’t exactly an album review series, more of a ‘why I like this’ series 😀

TICKETS THERE LIKES: AEROSMITH – AEROSMITH

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by Tickets There

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I’ve always been a part-time fan of the Smith. When I was younger I heard Walk This Way, Dude Looks Like a Lady and all those other hits everyone in the world heard many years ago. Their appearance in Wayne’s World II strengthened their image in my head (much like Alice Coopers in the first). However things took a turn for the worst when they released I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing before I ever got a chance to adopt them as a real favourite in the music books. This lack of Tyler, Perry and the boys continued until I decided to pick up a copy of their Devils Best of a couple of years ago. Listening to Love In an Elevator, Livin’ On The Edge, Sweet Emotion, Falling in Love and all the other hits was a nice little retro visit and the door was opened up again to truly appreciate Americas greatest hard rock band.

The first step of this revitalization was clear, start from the beginning so I picked up a copy of their self-titled debut album and it didn’t take long to get hooked in. Stephen Tyler’s voice was so simple in 1973. He had none of the cliché trademark he emphasise these days and the band’s sound was much more low-key. They could have been compared to the likes of AC/DC rather than Guns N Roses. There is also a distinct lack of ballads that bogged their later eighties, nineties and current career with one exception, Dream On. A powerful ballad styled song with a style all of its own, which stands out miles from the other tracks on this record.

Opening with the stripped back, riff filled Make It. Aerosmith dishes out one classic after another that puts many of their later work into a cold, dark shade. Somebody, One Way Street, Write Me and Movin’ Out provide the back bone of this album while a cover of Rufus ThomasWalkin’ the Dog, Mama Kin and Dream On make it the classic it is. Mama Kin’s opening riff, blues rock piano melody and swagger is pure rock n roll and without a doubt the bands first definitive hard rock track.

If you’ve only ever heard the greatest hits and you want to find out more about Aerosmith, check this album out. Toys in the Attic and Pump can WAIT, trust me.