Tag Archives: Metallica

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Three Nights of Acclaimed Guitar Duo Rodrigo y Gabriela

April 29th, 2014

When Rodrigo Sanchez (lead guitar) and Gabriela Quintero (rhythm guitar) met as teenagers in Mexico City, they discovered a mutual musical taste and formed the thrash-metal band Tierra Acida. When that ultimately didn’t pan out (they recorded music that was never released), the duo began to learn different guitar styles, taking a liking to fast, rhythmic acoustic guitars. Finding the Americas stifling, they set out for Europe, landing in Dublin, where Rodrigo y Gabriela honed their fast and lively acoustic sound (incorporating some Zeppelin and Metallica along the way) in pubs and on streets. Then one-time busker Damien Rice asked them to tour with him and things eventually took off. Ever since, Rodrigo y Gabriela (above, performing “Somnium” and “Torito”) have been mashing up rock, classical, Latin, world music and heavy metal into their own unique sound over the course of several acclaimed live albums and studio full-lengths. The most recent of which, 9 Dead Alive (stream it below), just came out today. The new tunes eschew some of the pair’s Latin influences in favor of straight-ahead (acoustic) rock. According to AllMusic, “There isn’t a dull moment in these 41 minutes.” And furthermore, “This album evidences an expanded creative reach for the pair, even as it reengages the sharp edges they displayed on earlier recordings.” Rodrigo y Gabriela celebrate the new release with three nights at the Beacon Theatre, Thursday, Friday (sold out) and Saturday.

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Les Racquet and Dangermuffin Live Up to Their Advanced Billing

January 17th, 2014

Les Racquet/Dangermuffin – Mercury Lounge – January 16, 2014


It can be hard to separate your personal journey from a concert. Last night’s late double bill at Mercury Lounge was a perfect example: A week ago someone in the Merc bathroom pointed to a Dangermuffin flier, saying, “They’re good,” when I realized that they were on the bill with Les Racquet, whom my brother had previously recommended to me, saying, “They’re good!” I took it as a sign. Dangermuffin, out of South Carolina, immediately brought to mind the kind of mixed-genre, loose fitting bands that proliferated the mid-’90s that today we call a jam band. It was folkie-Americana with a freer jazz strain running through it. “Homestead” was an early highlight, a well-structured composition that jittered through multiple sections before dropping down for a build-’em-up slide-guitar solo.

The sound had some interesting twists. Operating as a trio without a bass, frontman Dan Lotti had his electro-acoustic guitar mixed so that he simultaneously played the basslines and rhythm guitar while lead guitarist Mike Sivilli took the solos with hints of Jerry Garcia and Dickey Betts clearly shining through. It’s always good to have your suspicions confirmed, and Dangermuffin obliged with a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Franklin’s Tower” midway through their set, Sivilli playing a couple of slippery noodle solos without meandering or getting too ostentatious. The second half of the set built up steam on a range of bluegrass, blues, country, rock and reggae, often at the same time, and tightened up with sweet harmonies and danceable rhythms. Or as the man said: “They’re good.”

Brooklyn’s Les Racquet opened comfortably with guitarist Patrick Carroll setting up some little loops of sound before the whole band hopped into their tough-to-tackle repertoire. They opened with “Haiku,” which combined a soulful presence with some interesting twists and turns that were at once complicated and endearing. It didn’t take long for the trio—Carroll plus Kenny Murphy on the six-string Modulus bass, Daniel Malone on drums—to find their comfort zone. Songs like “Devil Girl” displayed their well-honed skill set: nice harmonies, delicious melodies and brainteaser changes that brought to mind Frank Zappa. It’s an ambitious repertoire, but they pretty much nailed it. “Daydreams” was a bass-heavy supergroovy rocker highlighting Murphy’s talents—you can’t carry that bass onstage and not take a meaty solo, and he did not disappoint.

Of course, it’s still good to have your suspicions confirmed, and Les Racquet obliged with a cover of Zappa’s “Peaches en Regalia,” Carroll perfectly leading the way through the prog classic. After a couple more draw-you-in songs, including “Obviously,” with Carroll singing about someone who is obviously “bat-shit crazy,” the band announced that Malone would sing a couple of numbers, resulting in a surprising but fantastic pairing of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and a loose rendering of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The set ended with a long triple-helix instrumental called “Bruce Lee,” which flexed every muscle in the Les Racquet body, and “Oh Yeah!” the kind of rocking sing-along that every band should have at their disposal to end a show. Or, just as my brother said, “They’re good!”  —A. Stein

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The Wildhearts Return, Come to Brooklyn

May 31st, 2013

It’s not often that a band is compared to both the Beatles and Metallica. But thanks to their heavy metal sound and melodic pop hooks, this has often been the case with the Wildhearts. The English group, now a quartet with Ginger (vocals and guitar), CJ (guitar and vocals), Ritch Battersby (drums) and “Random” John Poole (bass), originally formed in 1989. Making music has never been a problem for these guys: They released eight studio albums over the course of 16 years, the last of which being Chutzpah! (stream it below), and had several Top 20 singles. But, nevertheless, there were always problems along the way—band members getting replaced, fighting with record companies, drugs, depression and multiple hiatuses. The most recent one began in 2010 and lasted until this past December, when, newly regrouped, they played a sold-out show in London. It went so well that they did another four dates across the UK. And that went so well that the Wildhearts  (above, performing “I Wanna Go Where the People Go”) are coming our way to play Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night, doing their “greatest hits and finest moments” from their entire catalog. And as an additional bonus, the Ginger Wildheart Band play Mercury Lounge the next night.

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Catch This Heavy Metal Double Bill Tonight at Terminal 5

January 23rd, 2013

Alternative-metal band Stone Sour was founded more than 20 years ago in Des Moines, Iowa, by frontman Corey Taylor (who was eventually recruited by Slipknot to handle singing duties). And despite making several demos, the group went on hiatus five years later, in 1997. But it didn’t take, and Stone Sour—now Corey Taylor (vocals and piano), Johny Chow (bass), Roy Mayorga (drums), Josh Rand (guitar) and Jim Root (guitar)— reunited in 2002, finally releasing their debut self-titled album. Stone Sour (above, playing “Made of Scars”) have a new LP, their fifth, House of Gold & Bones, Part 2, due out this spring, and they’ve been compared to a cross between Alice in Chains and Metallica.

Initially, Papa Roach dabbled in punk rock and rap, but somewhere along the way, the Northern California group became immersed in hard rock. Last year, the four-piece— Jacoby Shaddix (vocals), Tobin Esperance (bass and vocals), Jerry Horton (guitar and vocals) and Tony Palermo (drums)—released their seventh album, The Connection (stream it below), which finds them deftly mixing their rap-rock roots with their newer metal ways. And even better, you can see a fantastic, heavy-duty double bill when Papa Roach (above, doing “Angels and Insects”) and Stone Sour play Terminal 5 tonight.