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Floppie's Blag

Entertainment, technology, and the occasional shenanigans

Rockstar Mayhem poster

Rockstar Mayhem poster

…was incredible. I scored two tickets, and gave the second one to my dad – who also had a great time. He’s been trying to see Disturbed with me for like a year and a half now, so I was glad to take him. We got there a bit on the early side; the main stage bands weren’t playing yet, so we wandered around for a while, grabbed a few things off the “free stuff” table, each picked up a T-shirt, etc. Then, when the doors finally opened to the main stage, we went in and grabbed our seats – eighth row, dead center. Fucking awesome.

Brent Hinds of Mastodon

Brent Hinds of Mastodon

The first guys up were Mastodon. When I say first, I mean first on the main stage – we didn’t really bother going around and watching anybody on the other stages, although what we could hear from a distance sounded pretty good. Anyway, Mastodon. They were pretty good – I’ve listened to some of their recorded stuff, and while it’s not really my box of candy, they are definitely a group of skilled musicians, and I have to respect that. The drummer was really good – incredibly fast feet. The guitarists were very good; and, while the lyrics weren’t really comprehensible, they tell a story – each album is basically an epic journey of some sort.

Dragonforce Rockstar Mayhem wallpaper

DragonForce Rockstar Mayhem wallpaper

Then, up came DragonForce. I’d heard varying things about them – but all evidence leads to the idea that they’re basically a joke band; they like heavy music, and they decided to make a band just for kicks, and they ended up hitting it big. They’re a six-piece outfit; two guitarists (both lead, mind you), the drummer, the bassist, the keyboardist, and the lead singer. They came out toting a goofy sense of humor, incredibly fast instrumentals (upstaged Mastodon, for sure), a funny intro, and a very busy stage presence. They keyboardist, for example, didn’t really do a lot of playing – rather, he did a lot of jumping around and putting on a ridiculous visual show; such as rocking the keyboard from side to side. They were definitely good, and I’d say see them at least once just so you get a chance to witness the spectacle.

Disturbed at the Rockstar Mayhem festival

John Moyer and Dan Donegan of Disturbed

Enter Disturbed – the main reason we were there. There was an hour break after DragonForce, so the crowd was getting a bit restless – then the lights went down and Disturbed’s signature haunting pre-song melody started playing. A guy dressed as a sanitarium orderly wheels something out on a hand truck – and we quickly realize that it’s frontman David Draiman, in a muzzle and straightjacket. The orderly unties him and runs – David pulls off the muzzle and throws it aside, then Dan and John start wailing into Perfect Insanity as they and Mike come out onto the stage.

Disturbed put on an absolutely incredible show – my dad was completely wowed. Not that I expected them to be bad; this was the fourth time I’ve seen them and I swear they get better with every show. They put a bit more variation on Down With the Sickness (the last song of the set, naturally, since it’s their biggest hit) with each show – between pausing with the lights down right before the intro gets heavy, going snare only toward the end of the song, etc. The effect is pretty cool. Anyway, as always, kudos to the guys at Disturbed on a great show – I look forward to seeing them again ;)

Slipknot stock photo

Slipknot stock photo

Finally, time for Slipknot. Their first tour in roughly two and a half years – since Corey Taylor and Jim Root released Come What(ever) May with Stone Sour. Quite a few people left after Disturbed, which was a bit disappointing for me – must have been a bit more disappointing for Slipknot. However, the people who left missed out. They put on one hell of a show – between all the fire, the masks, the incredibly heavy music…the list goes on.

Corey Taylor of Slipknot

Corey Taylor of Slipknot

For those who don’t know them very well, here’s a bit of background for Slipknot. There are nine of them. They all wear masks (see the stock photo above), never showing their faces on stage. Their drummer, Joey Jordison, is the centerpiece of the band – sitting parallel to Corey Taylor’s vocals rather than underneath as rhythm. They also have two other percussionists – Chris Fehn and Shawn Crahan – who each have a set of gigantic toms and (yes, this really is true) empty beer kegs. They also have two guitarists, James Root and Mick Thomson. Then, finally, they have Paul Gray on bass; Craig Jones on samples; and Sid Wilson on turntables.

Corey Taylor and Mick Thomson

Corey Taylor and Mick Thomson

Now, on with the show. After playing a few incredibly heavy songs, including The Blister Exists (the same song they opened with on their 9.0: Live tour), we hear from Corey a bit. As it turns out, Sid Wilson had to be brought out in a wheelchair because he jumped off the stack of speakers behind the band on the first show of the tour and broke both his feet – he showed the crowd the boots. In addition, Joey (their incredible drummer) was playing with one broken ankle – he had to be helped up the steps to his kit. Slipknot has a history of on-stage injuries, including a couple times where band members lit themselves on fire before being told by authorities that, if they did that again, they would be incarcerated for attempted suicide.

We left a couple songs before the end – they were just starting to play People = Shit when we got out of the amphitheater – because it was late and my dad wanted to bail before the major parts of the crowd to avoid traffic. I would’ve loved to stay for the whole thing though – that really was an amazing show.

Rockstar Mayhem wallpaper

Rockstar Mayhem wallpaper

Anyway, that’s about the size of it. If the lineup for next year’s Rockstar Mayhem festival is as sweet as this year’s was, I’ll be going again. Fuck Ozzfest – this blew it away. Especially since Sharon’s blowing Ozzfest all to hell with her hardcore cockhattery.

Indestructible

Posted by Floppie on 2008-06-03
Posted in MusicReviews  | Tagged With: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Disturbed - IndestructibleWell, June 3 is now here – and I, like many other die-hard Disturbed fans, ran out and got the new CD, Indestructible, first thing. Two tracks were already released – Perfect Insanity as a free download on March 6, and Inside the Fire as the first single on March 25. I remember saying to myself when Inside the Fire was released, that if the rest of the CD was that good I’d be very happy. And they delivered.

When they first released Perfect Insanity, I didn’t really have high hopes (at least for that song). It was a song they originally did in ’98 – before they were signed and released The Sickness (’99). The recording quality was awful, I think it was live, recorded using a handheld tape recorder or something. The song wasn’t even any good. However, the remake is fucking awesome. If I had to pick a favorite track from the CD, this would be near the top of the list.

When they released Inside the Fire, however, my expectations were more elevated. Partially because Perfect Insanity was so good, and partially because it wasn’t a remake of an originally-shitty song.Disturbed - Indestructible (limited edition) I was not disappointed. The most popular criticism I hear about Disturbed is David’s lyrics – his voice is incredible, the instrumentalists are all great, but the lyrics are always criticized. Well, that’s about to change. Inside the Fire is a song inspired by a girl David used to date, who committed suicide – and with powerful inspiration comes powerful lyrics. There’s nothing about the song that I dislike.

I went and saw Disturbed at the House of Blues in Atlantic City a few weeks ago (thanks again to the guys at Decibel Magazine) – and unfortunately they couldn’t play any unreleased music due to legal restrictions, presumably from the record label. They did play both Perfect Insanity and Inside the Fire, which were great, but it was a bit disappointing to not hear anything else from the new CD. However, the wait was worth it. The CD is definitely a win of epic proportions.

About the other music on the album – the first track is the title track, Indestructible. The entire track list is as follows:Disturbed - Indestructible (DVD)

  1. Indestructible
  2. Inside the Fire
  3. Deceiver
  4. The Night
  5. Perfect Insanity
  6. Haunted
  7. Enough
  8. The Curse
  9. Torn
  10. Criminal (previously unreleased B-side from Ten Thousand Fists)
  11. Divide
  12. Fa├žade
  13. Run (bonus track on the limited edition CD)

The iTunes “Deluxe Edition” of the CD also has live recordings of Down with the Sickness, Just Stop, Stricken, and Stupify from the Riviera (in Vegas?) as the 13th-16th tracks. Finally, the list of B-sides includes Midlife Crisis (a Faith No More cover, originally a B-side of The Sickness), Parasite, and (as above) Run. I intend to get my hands on the B-sides.

If you like Disturbed, get the CD. Buy it if you’re into paying for music, download it if you’re not. It takes the raw caustic power of The Sickness, the more progressive strength from Ten Thousand Fists, and even a little something I can’t put my finger on from Believe, and jams it all together – the result is nothing short of awesome.

Also, just a little note – the lyrics are available care of Lyricwiki.

Disturbed and Art of Dying

Posted by Floppie on 2008-05-15
Posted in IRLMusicReviews  | Tagged With: , , , , , | 1 Comment

On Monday (May 12), me and Kristen went and saw Disturbed at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. Let me just say, the show was great. If you’ve never seen a show at the House of Blues, I recommend it – that place is cool as shit, a great venue for a concert of any kind. We had awsome seats, fourth row from the bottom on the balcony. Thanks to the guys at Decibel Magazine for hooking us up.

Art of Dying opened, and they were great – their CD is on my playlist now. They covered Them Bones by Alice in Chains, and it was actually very good. We even met the singer, Johnny, who was pretty cool. He was shaking hands and signing boobs while the other members were signing copies of their CD.

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When Disturbed came on, naturally the crowd exploded. I fucked up my right shoulder with all the fist pounding throughout the night. Unfortunately, due to legal restrictions with their record label, the only new songs they played were Perfect Insanity and Inside the Fire – because the CD isn’t released yet – but their other music’s pretty damn good anyway.

The ride home took half as much gas as the ride there…I guess that’s the difference between 90 and 75. I couldn’t believe I had my voice back by the time I got home that night. I guess I owe that to Melissa Cross’s Zen of Screaming videos ;)

Unfortunately, it seems nobody managed to sneak in a camera and get a good video of the concert, aside from a horribly low-quality 31 second thing I found on Youtube that I’m not even going to link to. So, I’ll have to just settle for the Inside the Fire video above.