Ok. So Wednesday nights concert featuring Firewind, Arsis, White Wizzard and Nightrage was an evening of highs and lows. All in all the show, the whole show, was amazing but there were some issues I have to mention.
First off, a recap. I had purchased my ticket AND the Meet & Greet ticket quite a long time ago do truth be told, I wasn’t as jazzed up the day of the show as I could have been. Having bought the ticket so long ago kinda slowly weened the excitement out of it.
So, after months of waiting and finally arriving at the venue (Slims in SF) at 4:45 (and I quote: “be there no later than 5:15 for meet and greet) I wad bound and determined to have a most excellent time. Unfortunately, like most things in life, things don’t always go as expected.
Instead of the scheduled quarter after five meeting time, we (all 4 of us) were ushered in to meet Firewind around seven. During the hours of waiting I happened to run into someone I haven’t talked to in almost twenty years which was cool and got a parking ticket, which was not cool.
We were handed a kick-ass 3D poster and tour laminate (minus the lanyard; they were out) and got our stuff signed and took pics. The guys were all super chill and really pleasant to be around. Absent on the tour (and possibly permanently from the band was new drummer Michael Ehré. I heard that someone from the band said he was out of the band and had some very un-nice things to say about him, but since I didn’t hear that firsthand I won’t go any farther than that.
In Michael’s place for the tour is NightRage drummer Johan Nunez who at the tender age of 23 didn’t appear up to the task; looking more like he belonged on a farm in Oaklahoma or something. I was wrong, however, on my assessment of him, he fucking killed the drums for both his set AND Firewind. I was highly impressed cause that dude had major skills!
After the meet and greet we were told we would have to go back outside and wait. I was a little worried that we would have to get in the back of the line but there was literally like 10 people waiting outside. Also, to make a quick note; Antony Hämäläinen, vocalist for NightRage came out quite a bit to smoke before the show.. I have to say, the dude is super-fucking nice.. He would come out and chat people up, very personable, really great personality.. I hadn’t expected that.
Once we got in (again) I found the Firewind Merch table was sparsely covered. They had the latest cd Days of Defiance, one Firewind shirt, one hoody and a Gus G shirt. That’s it. The Arsis and White Wizzard table had a lot more to offer. Gus had said earlier that it was the end of the tour and they’ve sold a lot of shit so pickings were slim.
All in all I would say there were slightly less than 100 people there total, and that would include staff and security as well. I somewhat expected that because I overheard a crew member mention that they had only sold 60 pre-sale tickets. Though we were few in numbers every band put out the energy and interaction worthy of a stadium performance. The majority of the crowd gave back the same and I have a jacked up neck and fucked up voice to prove it.
I was and still am pretty unfamiliar with the opening bands, having heard some stuff from White Wizzard before – Arsis and Nightrage were new to me. I was impressed with both. White Wizzard on the other hand fucking blew me away. I had heard earlier from Mr Liz that their lead singer quit and they had a hired gun for vocals. Still, they were fucking amazing. I can’t say enough of how incredibly talented these musicians are and that their choice of Michael Gremio to sing lead was perfect. They even did Starchild which excited me greatly.
Gus and crew were as amazing as I expected. They did quite a few songs, spanning their discography and a new song (though i can’t remember the name). All five (and I’m including Johan, because he rawked) guys ruled the stage and each and every performance was epic… For me, personally, I was VERY excited when Apollo was getting the crowd worked up, calling for us to shout out “Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, HEY!” at the top of our lungs and as he got to the middle of the stage, where yours truly stood, he jabbed the Microphone in my face and I got about 7 or 8 “Hey!’s” in. EPIC!!!!!
I do hope that the size of the crowd doesn’t discourage them from coming back.. After all, it WAS a Wednesday night, and there were a couple other metal shows in the area (I heard Yngwie was around)…. I really hope they come back and try to sell the show better… Having “featuring Gus G – Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist).. that’s just retarded.. and it’s also on my ticket… Highly annoying.
Here;s a couple more pics I took.. The bands had asked for a no flash photography, and I respected that, so all my pics were taken without flash, so it’s REALLY hit or miss with them.. Got a couple really good ones though..
On a personal note I’d like to send a little message to Miss R.L. from the San Francisco parking division: I assume it’s Miss because I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to marry your bitch ass. I’d like to thank you for the parking ticket and for telling me I was rude for putting a quarter in with you standing there. Fuck you. Fuck you and the cart you rode in on. Fuck you with something hard and sand-papery. That is all.