Concert Roundup Page
A quick run-down of some cool shows I attended over the last few months including Beyond Fear
Stratovarius
Reaper's Ball
Anthrax
Ripper Owens
Witnessing the Ripper rip it up at Star Central with his new band, Beyond Fear, revealed the expected and the unexpected. Playing songs from their as yet unreleased album they sounded ripping - expected. Sadly, for some of us, he played no Judas Priest or Iced Earth - unexpected. However, he did perform a kickass rendition of "War Pigs" with "Neon Knights" nested in the middle - also unexpected. I was also surprised to find out bassist, Dennis Hayes, is the same bassist who played with Ripper in Winterís Bane.
Ripper bassist Dennis Hayes

Not even a week after Ripper was Finlandís symphonic Stratovarius at the Quest in Minneapolis. Surprisingly, the show was held in the small room, and even more surprising was the lack of attendance. After Into Eternity blasted their way through their set, a home video of sorts, featuring Hammerfall, played while the finish ones finished setting up and then the band kicked off with a track from the new album going on to soar through a mix of old and new material including: Father Time, Against the World, Coming Home, Land of Snow and Ice and ending with Black Diamond after two oncores. They even taught us how to count in Finnish. Who says you canít get an education at a metal show? Lance King was even there promoting Nightmare records.

On Saturday, October 29th, another fantastic Swordlord Production took place - the first ever Reaperís Ball.. I arrived just as Skullview was taking the stage. They were the reason I made it a point to attend and they didnít let me down. Previously I banged my head to their skullbashing fury at the Classic Metal Fest; however, this was the first time I witnessed them with new singer Eric Flowers. Next up was Impaler whose gut-ripping set was perfect for Halloween. Then, coming out wearing masks, Prong, impressed one and all with their high-energy performance. Here's to the hallowed time of year. \m/

Anthrax, I grew up loving their riffs, witty lyrics and the overall personality of the band. In the mid to late 80ís it seemed everyoneís favorite thrash band was Metallica; however, mine was Anthrax. And personally, I think they have always kicked Metallicaís ass; so it was a dream come true to see the classic line-up.
Both Danny and Scott were bulked up, surprising when you considering most rockers let themselves go as they get older. Do I need to make a list? Didnít think so. The bottom line is Anthrax were phenomenal despite Scott's gear shorting out due to a spray of water from some dumbass who possibly thought the stage was H2O deficient. Scott ended up abandoning his wireless after a few songs with technical difficulties and even found time to yell "YOU IDIOT" at the fiend responsible. Later on he asked us to keep our fluids to ourselves.
The moshpit was totally old-school - a counterclockwise cyclone.
Regarding the setlist, I can't complain; all my favorites were played. Hell, they even assaulted us with ďSkeletons in the Closet,Ē a song they havenít played in 17 years. To top it off they even were selling new versions of a lot of their old shirts.
There is a lot more to be said of this historic show and tour, some of which I posted on the Anthrax forums. What else is there to say when reality finally corrects itself and the best reunion of all reunions takes place?

Have a NFL.

Back to Top

Below: Artwork for Stratovarius Infinite album by non other than famed Iron Maiden artist Derek Riggs.