Both bands, Danko Jones as well as Audrey Horne, are coming back to The Netherlands on a regular base; this year playing two shows in 'tulip country'; one in Tilburg on Saturday night followed by this gig in Amsterdam a day later.
Bergen-based hardrockers Audrey Horne got the task to warm up the crowd and the ones of you who had the chance to see the Norwegian quintet during an earlier show know, that these guys will succeed - and the did. The band focused again on the "Youngblood' album from 2013 and the ones of you who have seen the guys at last years Dynamo Metalfest are very familiar with the tunes, unfortunately this time without the smasher "There Goes the Lady". However, fans of the quintet could get over it since the guys added with "California" a brand new track to their setlist. If this track is representing the new material, Audrey Horne is strengthening the classic rock vibe with new songs that seem to sound awesome.
And what could finish a show from the Bergen-quintet better than jumping off the stage on the floor, performing "Straight Into the Grave" surrounded by fans that were partly surprised and mainly highly enthusiastic. It's only rock'n'roll and I like it, that's what an Audrey Horne show is about.
Audrey Horne was and is a pretty cool band; musicians who love the stage and like to play live. It was a great, and also challenging decision of Danko Jones to take the guys with him on tour. Good band, good songs, good attitude - horns up.
Danko Jones left the winterly Toronto, embarking on a tour through Europe. The Amsterdam show marked the middle of the tour of Danko Jones and his two partner in crime - John Calabrese and Rich Knox.
Concerts of the Canadian guitarist are energy boosts and the Melkweg show was no exception. "I Gotta Rock" was the first out of 21 songs that turned the venue into a madhouse. It was a very clear statement about what this evening is about - rock'n'roll, power and no compromise.
The three-piece band pushed the pedal to the metal, from the first note to the last tone played that night. As always, Danko Jones and his band where fully motivated and with each tune that was blown into the hungry rock'n'roll crowd, the temperature rose at Melkweg. Talking about the fans; the trio has a pretty wide fanbase - from younger kids up to older fans who already appreciated the 70's rock days. This show was party of different generations, all fascinated by rock.
As mentioned earlier, the set featured 21 songs and the choice of tracks was no reason for complaint. The band focused on the last two records, "Wild Cat" and "Fire Music", but there was also enough old stuff, like "Lovercall" from the 2002 debut, that helped to turn the venue into a temple of rock'n'roll. Even though Danko Jones has many songs in his repertoire he also added a cover version to this show. The Clash have been honored that night with a heavy version of "I'm So Bored With the U.S.A..
That Danko Jones is, next to being a passionate guitar player and good singer, a great entertainer too is what he showed partly between the songs. This man loves his fans and talking to them is more than an obligation; it's a pleasure for the Canadian rocker. So he 'sold' a slightly adjusted verse of "The Twisting Knife" as a goodie for the fans, he appreciated that fans came to listen to his songs even though there are billion of songs existing and he showed his appreciation for everybody who came to a show on a Sunday night, without even thinking about Monday. And as he stated somewhere during the show: "I'm enjoying myself immensely", something that was more than obvious.
Danko Jones stands for pure adrenaline that gets even an extra boost the moment he enters the stage; at least this is what can feel as being part of such an event. He uses music and his songs as an outlet, electrifying the fans with every single song. This Sunday night in March was a hot one with bands and fans heading for the same aim - loud music, fun and party.
Setlist Danko Jones:
Setlist Audrey Horne:
Location: Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Three weeks prior to Delain's co-headliner North America tour with Hammerfall the Dutch six-piece band embarked on a small Dutch club tour. Having played already three sows with two more to come, Delain also stopped in Amstelveen's P60, a nice venue in close proximity to Amsterdam.
Next to the main act the venue also hosted Aeverium from Germany who got the role of being the opening act. I'm deeply ashamed to admit that I missed the guys from Viersen so far. The more I was curious about the songs and their show. Aerverium didn't bring that much new to the table. Two singers, Aeva Maureel with a more classic voice and Marcel Roemer adding the rock timbre, isn't something that's totally new. However, the songs of the Aeverium sounded quite good and I actually ask myself why the band is sometimes described as 'gothic metal'. Aeverium plays well-done melodic metal that takes it's energy from a solid working rhythm section, heavy guitar riffs and the two singers as the icing on the cake.
The quintet was well-received by Delain fans. The energy in the room grew with each song played, peaking in a more than warm applause at the end of the 30 minutes set. Next to known material the band also played with "Time" the title track from the upcoming album and also premiered the first single from the album live on stage. Aeverium's show was entertaining and time was flying towards what most of the fans came for: Delain - the main act.
After a 40 minutes break, that felt a bit too long, Delain entered the stage. The band started a show that could have had the header of 'Friday night, party night' with the band igniting a firework of rock. High motivation of band and fans, high level of energy in the room and great symphonic metal songs have led to an enthusiastic vibe in the almost 'sold out' venue.
The six-piece band from Zwolle started with a triple from the latest studio album "Moonbathers". "Hands of Gold", the super catchy "Suckerpunch" and "The Glory and the Scum" got fans' adrenalin flowing. "Army of Dolls", from the "The Human Condition" release, increased fans enthusiasm and the longer the band played the more the concert turned into a party on a Friday night; even supported by a confetti shooter towards the end of the set. Three more songs from "Moonbathers" has made it on the setlist, which was for the rest a well balanced and well-chosen mix of old and new stuff.
What needs to be mentioned as well was the fantastic sound the show benefited from. Powerful, balanced and well adjusted describes it in the best way; adding 1-2 levels of heaviness to each of the tunes, compared to the album versions.
Delain rocked the house that night and I guess, if you would have asked the fans, this show could have continued forever. Anyhow, after 90 minutes the last tone faded away and the outro marked the end of the a great show done by a band that underlined their position in the the Premier League of melodic metal.
Location: P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Date: March 17th, 2017
Following the departure of singer Seann Nicols from Quiet Riot, both Frontiers Music Srl and band leader Frankie Banali have made the joint decision to delay the release of the new Quiet Riot album, “Road Rage” until later this summer.
Both the band and label feel that in order to truly represent Quiet Riot’s lineup, new lead singer James Durbin should be the vocalist on “Road Rage.” In order to execute that plan and promote the album accordingly, and with the full support of the label, the band will go back into the studio and record the album with Durbin on vocals to ensure that they deliver the album that Quiet Riot fans have been patiently waiting for and truly deserve.
Regarding the critically important decision to re-record with new Quiet Riot vocalist James Durbin, Banali said, “After careful consideration, with the support of Frontiers and understanding the appeals from Quiet Riot fans to have our vocalist James Durbin represented on the new Quiet Riot release, we have made the decision to move forward and have James replace all the vocals on “Road Rage” with new lyrics and melodies for a summer 2017 release. Stay tuned!”
While the new Quiet Riot album will be slightly delayed as a result of the re-recording process, the Quiet Riot faithful can rest assured that the resulting album will be well worth the brief wait.
QUIET RIOT Live:
One of the shooting stars in 2017 are Dutch newcomers Dool. Now, ‘newcomer’ might not even be the right word, since all involved musicians have a more than solid background in rock and metal. However, the band itself is fairly new with a debut called “Here Now, There Then” that was released a few weeks ago.
In order to promote the album, Dool started a first leg of touring activities, mainly built on some shows in Holland. The Amsterdam concert, which was originally planned to take place in the OT301, moved to the Paradiso a few days prior to the show. The gig was supposed to start at 22:00 with ‘doors’ at 21:30. The Paradiso is a venue in the middle of Amsterdam with various rooms and when I arrived, the stage was still occupied by the band that had their show earlier that night. Since these guys finished pretty much on time it was an interesting mix of people that met, considering the fact that the earlier band wasn’t about metal at all. Unusual and fun.
Since the whole stage had to be build-down and build-up for Dool, I was wondering if the quintet could start as planned at 22:00. But after a very coordinated work of stagehands and a quick soundcheck of the band in front of the audience it was around 22:15 when the band began their journey through the entire debut.
I have listened to “Here Now, There Then” a few times and I really like each of the songs (see review). However, seeing Ryanne van Dorst and ‘the boys’ live on stage as a far more intense experience. Already the presence of three guitars allows Dool a density that is enormous. And having with Micha Haring (d) and Job van de Zande (b) a rhythm section that provides a more than proper sound foundation each of the tunes was a real treat for fans of darkened rock music, classic rock and heavy metal. And last but not least it’s Ryanne van Dorst herself, being with her stage presence a real ‘frontwoman’.
Actually it was a pity that Dool has released just one longplayer up to date. Based on that, the show took around an hour and I think that most of the fans could have easily continued for half an hour (or more). The five-piece from Rotterdam underlined with the Amsterdam show why they, and their debut, have got so much attention and positive feedback. Dool combines dark psychedelic elements with a warm and organic sound, that’s evolved to an intensive rock experience during their shows. I was very much impressed of the band and their show and hopefully we will hear more from this rising star in the near future. Two thumbs up.
Location: Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Date: March 9th, 2017
It was almost 20 years ago that I had the chance to see Helmet for the first time. I still can remember the show in Nuremberg, Germany which was a part of the “Aftertaste”-tour. Having “Aftertaste” released a few months earlier and having with “Betty” and “Meantime” two great longplayers in their repertoire, Page Hamilton and his guys ignited a firework that was enormous. It also showed one thing to me – Helmet have great songs on their longplayers but seeing them live is a far more intense experience. That was in 1997 and in the meantime we are twenty years further in time.
After a six years period Helmet released their anticipated new longplayer “Dead to the World” and the band embarked on a tour through Europe, promoting the new album with quite some shows. One stop was in Haarlem one a grey Monday night and it was Local H from Chicago who acted as the opening act.
I haven’t heard from the guys before and therefor my level of curiosity was pretty high. It sounded like the guys are more rooted in grunge, at least that was what you could read beforehand. In the end I think that the description isn’t far away from reality. Considering that we are talking less about Soundgarden- or Pearl Jam-style grunge. These guys have more of the anarchic energy that Nirvana had as well.
It was quarter to nine when two guys entered the stage while the light in the room was still turned on. The duo was Local H, consisting out of Scott Lucas (all except drums) and Ryan Harding (d). Both aren’t rookies. Local H is existing already since 1998 which means that they can build on a more than solid foundation. What came next, after just stepping on stage, was a 40 minutes show that was a positive surprise. It was amazing to see, and to hear, the kind of power the guys released. This gig gave everybody a real boost on a Monday night. Local H are for the first time in Europe and obviously they enjoy it – at least when it comes to performance in Haarlem. Local H is definitely a band to keep in mind.
Curtain closed, 40 minutes passed by, curtain was drawn and Helmet entered the stage. Actually it was the second time that night since ¾ of the band (except Hamilton) joined already Local H for two songs. The quartet started furious into the evening. A Helmet show is an impressive experience. The first thing is the density of their sound. Hamilton and his three companions create a wall of sound that is standing out from most of the other bands. Each note and each riff is a well thought-through brick in this wall that hits the listener right into the face. Next to that it’s Hamilton’s passion and capabilities on the sixstring guitar that makes a show to a special moment. The kind of sounds he gets out of his guitar is jaw-dropping. He seems to become one with the instrument while being on stage and you wonder how the guy can do the vocal part in parallel.
The setlist featured many of the new songs. “Life or Death”, Bad News” and “Red Scare” are good tunes that even grow in a live setup. The aggressiveness that I missed a bit on the new album is back and makes Helmet to the expected power pack. However, I think that many fans were waiting for the earlier classics and they have been played – of course. The closing triple was the moment of this show when the venue turned into a real madhouse. “Wilma’s Rainbow”, “Just Another Victim” (from the great “Judgement Night soundtrack) and “In the Meantime” demanded and deserved the last drop of energy of fans before a satisfied crowd started their way home.
Helmet on stage is an experience that you shouldn’t miss. This is where it happens and whatever is ‘preserved’ on their records gives you just a glimpse of an idea. This was confirmed again in the Patronaat that night. Looking forward to the next 20 years with Helmet.
Location: Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands
Date: March 6th, 2017
(*/10) What to say about another Asia live album? If I counted right, Asia has published more live records than studio albums and here comes another one which it's maybe more than just a live recording. It is an Asia release that is the first on after John Wetton lost his fight against cancer on January 31st . Therefor this record became all of a sudden more an homage than anything else.
Two years after having unveiled "Live in San Francisco" it's "Symfonia - Live in Bulgaria" that hits the record shops. It was a show performed in 2013 in the line-up Wetton, Downes, Palmer and Coulson and it includes fourteen songs, reflecting all the classics of the band. As the album title implies, Asia added a symphonic touch to the show that was part of the Sounds of the Ages festival. Joined by The Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra for half of the songs, the setlist includes progressive rock pearls like "Sole Survivor", "Don't Cry", "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and of course THE Asia hit "Heat of the Moment". It's the last mentioned ones with the orchestral arrangement that stand for the added value of this longplayer. It gives well known Asia classic a new touch and feel.
"Symfonia - Live in Bulgaria" is an album that will be loved by collectors and as mentioned in the beginning, it got another meaning than just capturing of a concert. This album became suddenly a soulful goodbye to an icon in rock music.
*Performed with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Frontiers Music
Release Date EU: February 24th, 2017
Helloween's 'Pumkins United' shows will be one of THE metal highlights in 2017 and quite some dates are confirmed already. Click HERE to check if they're coming to your town...
Here are the dates;
"Wild Cat" is the title of Danko Jones newest longplayer and it's more than just an album title and a banner for the upcoming tour. Danko Jones will unchain the 'wild cat' while touring though Europe in spring 2017. HERE are the dates.
Special guest for most shows on this tour are Norwegian Audrey Horne which makes this package to a very powerful one that you shouldn't miss.