Category Archives: Concert Review

Huntress Leads A Festive Metal Assault

Forget about hiring a sad party clown like Chuggo and get yourself Huntress for you next birthday bash!
(L to R: Guitarist Eli Santana, bassist Eric Harris, and vocalist Jill Janus)

The night of October 26 was somewhat eventful and also capped off Ugh Metal’s busy month. The night before, the overlord and founder of LA based metal site Metal Assault, Andrew Bansal celebrated his birthday back in his city’s home base. Bansal was a bro and decided that a one-and-done shindig was simply not enough and decided to extend his birthday festivities into the Brick By Brick with Huntress. Talk about better to give than to receive, eh? So on that note, the night bolstered a great lineup that attracted any metalhead.

The night kicked off with a band that Ugh Metal has seen once before back in the summer, the metal upstart Meltdown. The Klown felt pretty stoked to see these paisas from Tijuana once again. Much like the last time, they delivered a solid opening for the night’s festivities. Even their warm-ups are awesome as hell, it even fooled The Klown into thinking the show was officially in full gear…again, till he caught.

Vocalist Ian Roa and bassist Daniel Cázares of Meltdown taking everyone above and beyond in Andrew Bansal’s birthday bash.

The Klown likes to assume that that’s a good way to market yourself in case you’re shy or if you have curious attendees wondering what the band is selling. The collective began strongly and immediately emphasized the spirit of the old school heavy metal that are synonymous with the likes of the legendary Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Accept.

One of the songs that the collective treated us in the beginning was “The Final Chapter.” The frontman/guitarist Ian “El Pelosauve” Roa tapped into his inner Niklas Isfeldt of Dream Evil for some grandiose high power metal vocals. Although this time Roa didn’t have to endure technical difficulties and do a quick stand up routine, he still did his job as a frontman. Roa hyped the present crowd, invited them to get near the stage for a closer look, and was thankful to the early birds. The appreciation fest would not end there.

Roa gave a quick shout out to the birthday man, himself. He called Bansal up and performed a modified version of “Las Mañanitas” as he walked towards the stage to give his thanks, greetings, and acknowledgement to all. The band continued the festivities with “Kill The Night” and featured some pretty bitchin’ guitar licks, and sweet drumming from Alfredo “El Peligroso” Acuña.

Ian Roa is just helping his buddy tune his guitar 😀

The night finished with “The Living Dead” where Roa really stood out, ran around like a madman on stage, and was very interactive with everyone. Hell, the Klown even got in on that action when Roa hijacked Acuña’s high hat and ran around with a drumstick to make sure that everyone, including yours truly, hit it before their time was up.

After Meltdown cooled off, Malison took the stage to resume this jamboree. Malison should be familiar with y’all if you keep up with Ugh Metal. Aside from the name being tossed around a couple times prior, this would mark their second appearance in Ugh Metal. The trio from Oceanside became a quartet for that night’s festivities.

Malison charging the night some more!
(L to R: Guitarist Mario Lovio, bassist/vocalist Steven Rondina and guest guitarist Danny Fang)

Unlike last time, however, the band took in the services of Nightshadow’s Danny Fang as an additional guitarist to add some extra twang into the mix. The locals kicked off their performance with “Seeker” which featured Mario Lovio and Fang’s guitar skills. The collective also premiered songs that were new to most attendees and shared classic songs with their loyal supporters.

From their batch of hits were “Death Crawlers” and “Nightmare: Pursuit” which do justice to the power metal genre, and have a bit of a signature twist from Malison. “Beyond The Sun” is still great to hear especially because it was upbeat, and highlighted Steven Rodina’s vocals and bass.

Go Steven Go!

Speaking of Rodina, he’d keep the crowd riled up and controlled through his charisma, jokes and humility. Much like Meltdown, he extended his gratitude and wished Bansal a happy birthday. The band closed out with their theme song “Malison” which featured Lovio’s multiple solos and tradeoffs with Fang. Malison, just like last time, stood and delivered strongly and left fans satisfied, and gained more followers that night.

As the locals vacated the stage, the all female quartet from across the pond took the stage. “What are you talking about Klown?” He is talking about JOANovARC, plebian! Just like the historical figure that they named themselves after, they came and conquered. It is worth noting that this was their first time in the U.S. and had a mini tour. The best part of that deal is that we, as in those who went AND the Klown, were fortunate to be present for it.

Bow down to JOANovARC!
(L to R: Rhythm guitarist/vocalist Laura Ozholl, vocalist/bassist Sam Walker, and lead guitarist/backing vocals Shelley Walker )

San Diego also happened to be the final stop of their tour. With all that to digest, the hard rock group began their siege and broke in the crowd with some songs from their 2016 debut LP (Ride Of Your Life) such as “This Way.” During this performance, Lead vocalist/bassist Sam Walker, and rhythm guitarist/vox Laura Ozholl released their voices to the masses.

It would be a disservice if the Klown didn’t talk about lead guitarist/backup-vox Shelley Walker. This woman was a spectacle because she wasn’t simply rocking out and dishing out guitar solos, the guitarist got the crowd moving by engaging them. In fact, some audience members that began to trickle in caught a glimpse of Shelley doing her thing and she would introduced the band to fans that were fashionably late. They also treated us to a feel good anthem called “Seeds Of Summer.” This was perfect because most times in San Diego we don’t even know when summer officially ends.

Shelley Walker of JOANovARC kicking ass and being outstandingly awesome!

The collective busted out a new song that night but, unfortunately, yours truly didn’t get the name of it. Still was catchy as hell though and featured all the stringed women singing together making their hard rock song into a harmonic and melodic one. The quartet dedicated “Girls Wanna Rock” to the other ladies that were present and also treated everyone to their catchy ode to the land of the rising sun with “Say Sayonara.”

JOANovARC were quite the display and even though they’re not “metal” enough for the elitists and staunch, they provided a nice change of pace you didn’t know you wanted. In fact, most peeps that saw these women present had a smile on their face like the drummer Debbie Wildish.

Deborah Wildish, badass drummer by night and Colgate poster child by day!

As mother England’s hidden gem cleared, the stage was being set for the hunt. A face that Ugh Metal and San Diego is familiar with, Eli Santana, stepped out alongside the other members of Huntress and began to shred away. As guitarist Blake Meahl and Santana shredded, the femme fatale known as Jill Janus came out and graced everyone with her presence before letting out some powerful alto-soprano vocals for the start of “Sorrow.”

Things picked up some more when Huntress dished out their first hits from their 2012 debut studio album “Spell Eater.” Janus even ditched her fancy jacket to show how serious she was about the enchanting us.

Jill Janus of Huntress is fierce! Werk it gurl!

The night got better when Janus took a breather and announced that they would be playing a new song from an upcoming album that they’ve been working on. On that note, the band performed the ironically titled “Oh I Know It’s Bad” which can be described as a throwback to the old hard rock sounds and compositions popularized by ZZ Top and Heart.

A bit after, Janus once again took a breather and introduced a song with an anecdote and the history behind it. For those who didn’t know or weren’t aware “I Want To Fuck You To Death” was written and gifted to Janus by our patron saint of metal, Lemmy Kilmister upon a meeting that they had years back. We all enjoyed the song so much that even the birthday man graced us all at the pit and joined in the festivities. Why not? It was his shindig, damn it!

Jill Janus of Huntress raised some hell and was summoning very epic birthday wishes of the metal kind!

Before performing the rest of the set, Janus and company took the time to thank everyone and gave Bansal some birthday wishes. For those who don’t keep up with Metal Assault, Janus and Bansal have a long standing friendship so the Grand Poobah of Metal Assault wasn’t just going to get a simple “happy birthday.”  No sir, Bansal was summoned to the stage, was serenaded a metal version of “Happy Birthday,” was given a shot of some good stuff as Janus stood in front of him to cheer and shimmy, and wished him a happy birthday before pecking him on the cheek.

Huntress give the man of the hour and Metal Assault overlord, Andrew Bansal, a happy birthday wish he won’t forget!
(L to R” Guitarist Eli Santana, vocalist Jill Janus, Metal Assault overlord/birthday boy Andrew Bansal, and bassist Eric Harris )

After the Maharaja of Metal Assault departed, Huntress took it back to their debut album again by performing “Children.” Huntress capped off their performance with their most recognizable hit from the same album, “Eight Of Swords” in which Janus mesmerized everyone with her siren like screams as well as her appearance. Much like some of the songs before this one, Janus would have her signature golden blonde hair flowing like a witch harnessing some power before unleashing it to hex someone.

She put a spell on us!

After the “Eight Of Swords” was performed, the Klown witnessed an ending he’s not accustomed to seeing. Janus ordered Santana, Meahl and bassist Eric Harris to drop to the floor and give her 20 push-ups! Janus added that it should be known that “Huntress is a tough mistress and needs to keep her men in shape.” Huntress’s skinman Tyler Meahl left his kit and stage and ignored Janus’s order which she simply quipped with “Uh-oh looks like someone needs a spanking!” We all laughed, as did she and thanked us once more before taking off altogether.

Huntress 4 eva! 
(L to R: Guitarist Eli Santana, vocalist Jill Janus, bassist Eric Harris and guitarist Blake Meahl)

Avatar Bring the Freak Show to San Diego

Avatar showed us how they do a freak show in Avatar Country!
(L to R: Bassist Henrik Sanderlin, drummer John Alfredsson, vocalist/ the Klown’s compadre Johannes Eckerström and guitarist Tim Öhrström)

The Ugh Metal hooligans wore their Sunday best and headed over to the carnival or should I say the freak show! For once, the divalicious duo known as Jenny Oh and the Klown were not the stars of this particular freak show but they were still giddy. Oh, you didn’t know about this spectacle? Why it was on Oct.22 at the Brick By Brick! Still not ringing a bell? Well let me enlighten you ladies and germs!

This circus was no ordinary circus and it became a reunion of a sort because it was a show in which the Klown’s former clown college buddy headlined. That’s right the Klown got to see his buddy’s budding project and his band’s name shine brightly on the marquee. You probably haven’t heard of them but they go by the name of Avatar 😉 But before the hooligans could be wowed by the eccentric quintet, their excitement was set on “Overdrive” by their local heavy metal heroes.

Jenny Oh: Man! It’s been a good year to be us! PSYCHE! It’s always great to be us especially when we get to see other First Impressions alumni in action. We were not the only gruesome twosome in da haus!

Chuggo the Klown: Minus the gruesome part, it was Tzimani. The Klown shall take his nose off for the brotherly duo. Why? Before you start prying the rhetorical question, they stepped up big time when they were called in. They surprised us all when vocalist/guitarist Eddie Vazquez announced that they were the only other band on the bill. It was their best time to shine. Kudos to you Vazquez brothers!

First Impressions alumni/hometown heroes Tzimani stepped up to the place and putour excitement on “Overdrive”
(L to R: Drummer Sebastian Vazquez and guitarist/frontman Eddie Vazquez)

J: Tzimani set up shop, and made that stage their biatch! Soon enough they began playing songs that were not included in their demo such as “Overdrive,” and dished out their hits “Final Hour” and “Get Me Out Of Here” which are available in their demo. These bros emitted a tremendous confidence and were still glowing from their recent inaugural American tour.

C: Right you are disgruntled one. “We Are The One” and “Endless Road” were among the new batch of songs that the Klown had the pleasure of hearing for the first time. The Klown was even surrounded by people who had never heard of this duo and talked about them right after.

“Get Me Out Of Here” said no one during Tzimani’s set!

J: Why would I be disgruntled especially after watching Tzimani?! While Eddie stirred our hearts and limbs with his vocals and riffs, drummer Sebastian Vazquez fed this vigorous set with more life causing everyone’s energy level to be on maximum “Overdrive”! *looks into non-existent camera and winks* You get it?!

Sebastian Vazquez of Tzimani charged us with tons of energy, we were more energetic than the San Onofre boobies!

(cont.): Anyway, Eddie and Sebastian turned the pit into a mini dance floor. That’s right everyone, not one metalhead was spared from the dancing bug when Tzimani was on that stage. Tzimani’s mind blowing and intoxicating performance may have ripped the fabric of time, and space, and ended too soon, but alas these gentlemen made way for your Swedish compadre’s band.

Eddie Vazquez of Tzimani giving us one last shout for their last hoorah.

C: Yeah, their performance was solid. Once again, it was great that those guys filled in when they were called up! But now the Klown must talk about a fellow clown, and the Klown’s former college roommate who happens to have a band now.

J: Good to see he kept the spirit of the circus alive by playing a lot of Swedish nursery rhymes, and old timey music IN SWEDISH! What more could we want?!

C: Well… for one a phone call. We could have pregamed before the show. The Klown and Johannes Eckerström could have had a proper reunion of the Lambda Omicron Lambda house! Two… well, the Klown can’t really think of another thing to ask for.

The Klown’s old college buddy, Johannes Eckerström and his unknown band called Avatar came to town. You heard of em?

J: Johannes is off to bigger and better things, he don’t wanna hang with you no more! After we all warmed ourselves up with these fun lil tunes, Avatar went in for the kill and started with “Hail The Apocalypse.” I was not expecting our favorite freaks to drop this hit so soon into the set. But no complaints here!

C: Up yours! Johannes and the Klown are good friends and were great frat brothers! L.O.L. fun as hell! Oh… the Klown now gets the frat motto. In these troubled times of political turmoil, Johannes offered us citizenship to Avatar Country for those worthy enough. Of course the Klown’s history will make him a first priority for Avatar Country. Luckily the requirement for this application was to join Johannes with their national anthem, “New Land.”

Our fashionable Avatar Country spirit guide.

J: SHUT UP AND TAKE MY ‘MERICANISM! I have a feeling that my citizenship will not be too  far beyond this new day and you bet I will be singing this “New Land” at the top of my lungs loudly and proudly while I start anew in Avatar Country! I shall pick a villa where “The Eagle Has Landed” and sing this popular hit too. But the ever so generous Avatar didn’t just belt out their current hits, they blasted us to the past, and unleashed more classics!

C: Either way Johannes knew the Klown well and sang one of his favorite songs, “Bloody Angel.” But the one thing that happened that totally emphasized the fun loving clown in the frat house was his love of dancing and insisted that everyone join him for the surf rock anthem “Tooth, Beak and Claw.” “Dance, San Diego, Dance!” he yelled out and man did he get what he wanted.

How could we say no to that face?

J: We were all part of a 60’s beach montage soon enough! But we were no match for Johannes in this dance contest. Avatar added a hint of darkness to this fun fest and took us out to the “Black Waltz” and also performed “Paint Me Red.” MORE CLASSICS PLS!

C: The Klown doesn’t want to admit this but Johannes honored the clownhood better than the Klown and the U.S. Prez. He donned Pagliachi’s famous garbs and made the Klown feel… feelings with “Fiddler’s Farewell.”

Johannes channelling his inner Pagliachi…no YOU are crying!

J: We were a glass case of emotions! That Pagliachi costume was MUAH! Perfection! With this outfit, Johannes managed to add a subtle touch of lightheartedness to this heartbreaking anthem. Not that he needed extra outfits, and bells and other fancy stuff to enhance his performance. Your compadre also added a lot of heart in to the “Snow Lies Red.” “I will remember you, San Diego.” He said when he finished performing this song. *Swoons* Isn’t he dreamy?

C: Of course, he would. One thing that should go without saying is when the band took a breather. The Klown’s brochacho acknowledged Ugh Metal’s city by stating that when the presales were taking place, the band was being persuaded to cancel because they had only sold 17 tickets prior to the day.

NO BOOING!

(cont.): Of course, some booed and Johannes simply halted the jeers by saying, “Why are you booing? You’re already here. There’s no point in booing when you’re already here!” He also poked fun at the fact that the show was on a Sunday night and how everyone else could be spending their time doing something else and said he would turn on some Netflix to watch Gilmore Girls.

J: I’m glad they persevered and in true San Diego fashion, the venue filled up on the day of. It is in our nature to procrastinate and to be indecisive 😉 This stop was their last headlining show till they shared the stage with In This Moment for their remaining dates. This deal was sweeter than cotton candy and tequila gummy bears combined! So with that said Avatar continued to make our blood boil with excitement with one of the most highly demanded song “For The Swarm.”

Bassist Henrik Sanderlin, vocalist/ the Klown’s compadre Johannes Eckerström, and guitarist Tim Öhrström rile up the swarm.

C: As much as the Klown has been emphasizing Johannes’s dedication to clowndom, the Klown has neglected the rest of the band who also had a huge input visually. Like the times Jonas Jarlsby kicked off some songs, did his solos or would either be face to face with Johannes, and how guitarist Tim Öhrström, bassist Henrik Sandelin and their eccentric skinsman John Alfredsson would also be playful.

J: Awww yeah! It takes a team to run a proper freak show and they did it so great especially when they all froze after finishing up a song and built the anticipation. Yes, there was plenty of giggling from our part as the quintet stood perfectly still like mannequins. Well poor Alfredsson had a mean hand cramp and discretely shook his hand as he stayed in character. Kudos to him! When these guys weren’t wowing us with their playful showmanship, they were having a lot of fun and poking fun at each other.

Ladies and gentlemen, our heroes have returned again!…Well actually they were SD virgins 😉

C: Well… it “Smells Like a Freak Show.” At least that’s what the fellow clown said before performing. The Klown became a little self-conscious regarding that because he swears he showered before going to the show. Good to know that Johannes still practices the teaching of Pennywise and busted out the red balloons. The Klown envies his piousness. The best part was when we got a little bit of the Blues that night.

The Klown is overjoyed to see his buddy Johannes Eckerström praise IT!

J: Stick ‘em up for “Black Water”! This was a showdown we were waiting for a long time son. Avatar’s show of oddities was to die for and was the hottest and most underrated show this year but their faithful legion showed up threefold that night despite of the pessimistic presale numbers.

C: It’s a great thing that that didn’t stop the band in general. In fact, we received the best news of the night. That news was that of Johannes announcing that they would be returning with more acts next time. He liked what he saw, we impressed him, and he said that we could all brag about the time we saw them before they did when they return because we’re Californians and love that hipster shit. He’s not half wrong.

This article is not all about Johannes, its about Avatar’s timeless friendship and the Klown’s delusional one.
(Guitarist Jonas Jarlsby, vocalist/the Klown’s “compadre” Johannes Eckerström and guitarist Tim Öhrström)

C (cont.):It was great seeing these guys and, as if it hasn’t been emphasized enough, this was one hell of a show. For those who pondered, you missed out on a great show. All we can do is cross our finger and look out to for the next time the freak show lands again. As for the Klown, he just wishes Johannes would have had the time to catch up a bit and is looking forwards to Avatar Country this January!

Fin

KMFDM Are Back For More

Lucia Cifarelli and Sasha Konietzko of KMFDM giving us more reasons to say “Hell Yeah”

We are still riding high on our Industrial craving and needless to say that KMFDM hit the spot. We slapped on our cyber goth masks in hopes of being cool and headed down to the San Diego House of Blues on Oct.20 for this affair. Yes KMFDM may have been the name shining brightly in the marquee but this night was filled with another legend and a big surprise!

Eager fans were waiting to throw their horns up in the air and give in to the neon lights of this bash but KMFDM threw a pleasant curve ball by having their merch man Andrew “Ocelot” Lindsley open the show with his rhymes. That’s right, expect the unexpected kids! Ocelot rapped under his crew Distorted Crown and with their booing and bitching, most attendees welcomed the performance after the “WTF” factor faded. It was a pleasant surprised and a nice change of pace.

Some audience members morphed in to insufferable children. Even during the brief booing (I’m looking at you, whining man child behind us), Lindsley carried on with his passionate performance like a true professional. Ocelot trolled the haters and asked the crowd “How many of you are pissed that you’re at a rap show?” he asked while he kept his amusement at bay.

Ocelot of Distorted Crown ignoring his haters and carrying on with the show like true G!

The rapper interwove powerful political messages and social issues we are facing today, and denounced white supremacy before kindly giving them a big “Fuck You” while raising his middle finger in the air, everyone else followed. Who knew middle fingers would be raised for a positive message? ‘Cause fuck those putos! Though Ocelot was not on the bill, it was a sobering and pleasant surprise. Loosen up people!

Once Ocelot was done stirring the pot, we got weird with OhGr. For those that are not familiar with this act let me just say that front man Kevin Ogilvie…WHOOPS! I mean Nivek Ogre, is an eccentric artist that sometimes keeps himself busy with his other little known industrial band called Skinny Puppy. Not sure if you’ve heard of it? You have?! Well we’re off to a good start then!

Ogre lets his hair down in OhGr and created a magnetic mystique about him along with his lively counterparts. This intrigue was cranked to the max with the otherworldly and contagious “maJik” not just because the song has a Lynchian vibe but also because Ogre became a mystery man. The frontman dawned a featureless mask as he performed the song before he stopped teasing our brown nosing happy asses and removed it. After the big reveal, Ogre stared out at the crowd with a seemingly stone face but anyone could see the mischief bubbling beneath the surface.

Nivek Ogre of OhGr showing his fans he’s #1

Ogre continued to give us more Lynchian trips with “Eyecandy” and even dedicated a song to the Ugh Metal fools. That’s right, Ohgr knows us and loves us so much, he sang one of many theme songs our theme song “Nitwitz.” GAHH! Okay maybe he didn’t actually dedicate it to us but if we had a soundtrack, you bet this song would be there. If our hellhounds had a personal soundtrack, they would have “Dog” in their soundtrack because we know that song would play when they are up to no good! And we HAD to have our dose of “Water” and “Devil.” YUMM!!

Ogre is a master of this artistic craft not just because of his impressive repertoire but because he knows how to reel in fans and casual viewers alike. Ogre pulls you in with his subtle interpretive dancing, his playful interactions, and his theatrical gestures. He even adopted a papier-mâché spider-stick thing a fan handed to him! No word when these two will be hitting the road to officially celebrate the papier-mâché’s addition. Anyway, for those that have not seen OhGr in action, you are missing out.

Ogre shows off their latest member!

We loosened up with OhGr and were limber enough to shake our bootys to KMFDM! The metaphorical neon carpet was rolled out for the legendary industrial band as the grandiose intro to “D.I.Y” filled the venue. The silhouettes of founder/vocalist Sascha Konietzko and vocalist Lucia Cifarelli were the shadowy beacons in the light. Together, they scanned the sea of eager fans while they stood with regality and authority. Konietzko and Cifarelli were ready to give us the long awaited sermon we’ve been aching for and commanded us to let our “Freak Flag” fly!

Did we want more KMFDM?! “Hell Yeah” we did! Did we get more?! “Hell Yeah!” And that song is exactly what we got which was just as empowering as it was in their latest record. Wut? You didn’t know they still pumped out music?! No prob, casual listeners here’s a shameless self promo and check out what we thought about it here. Because we are morbid mofos KMFDM dedicated “Glam, Glitz, Guts & Gore” while Cifarelli nursed our broken hearts with “Murder My Heart.”

Sascha Konietzko and Lucia Cifarelli of KMFDM encouraging us to let our “Freak Flags” fly!

It wouldn’t be a KMFDM show without their classics! And so they delivered “WWIII,” unloaded “Stray Bullet,” gave us “A Drug Against War,” and capped off the night strongly with “Hau Ruck.” Konietzko and Cifarelli’s switch offs were done so great. Konietzko sung every song with a contagious jurisdiction and when he wasn’t taking over vocals, he kept watch over his mixing board while combing the crowd with a cigarette in his mouth.

Cifarelli was a living magnet and could effortlessly catch anyone’s eye.  When the frontwoman wasn’t taking over with her melodic vocals and occasional growls, she was dancing and prowling and posing all over the stage. Lest we forget their touring guitarist Andee Blacksugar who was pouring all his riffy sugar on us! KMFDM are still loud and proud and are vibrant than ever. They are still an unstoppable industrial powerhouse, and will probably still be shouting their anthems even after WWIII happens and even after the Mecha-bigfoots take over.

Andee Blacksugar poured lots o’ sugar on us 😉

Gojira Returns and Delivers

Gojira made the Observatory explode!

For those who went to the sold out Metallica show back on August 6, you saw Gojira as the opener of that night and you welcomed them ridiculously well. The Klown and the rest of Ugh Metal didn’t go and thought that that would be the end of the French titans’ time in America’s Finest City. However, Pennywise and the metal gods smiled upon this fat Pagliachi’s misery and turned his frown upside down!

When Gojira announced their second leg, San Diego was named as one of their final stops of their tour. The Klown rejoiced some more when it was announced that the North Park Observatory would be the venue of choice and it would take place on October 19. Naturally, Ugh Metal was ecstatic for two reasons. Number one, it was in our neck of the woods and two, they brought Code Orange with them.

Code Orange? More like Code red ’cause they were on fire!!!

Unless you have been living under a rock, Code Orange changed to code white-hot ever since they released their breakthrough Forever this year which you can check out the review here. The Klown was surely excited when he found out that he was going to get a second chance on catching this group live since he couldn’t make the trip to Santa Ana earlier in the year. The band opened strongly and kept it “Real.”

The minute Joe Goldman’s strong bass strums combined with Jami Morgan’s double kicks and drumming, Eric Balderose and Reba Meyer’s powerful guitar twangs, had the trickling crowd moving faster towards the stage. The Klown had never seen Code Orange and was amazed to see that Morgan was the frontman.

Of course not all credit can go to the drumming frontman, the Klown would be doing a disservice to the sole power femme of the group. Meyer’s voice was infectious and had a lot of feeling to fit the theme of the song, which complimented Goldman’s erratic motions. Goldman bounced around the stage, interacted with his bandmates, and fueled the performance with more energy because who else will show you how to throw down!? Meyers shined even more when she took over for one of the most recognizable hits of the album “Bleeding in the Blur.”

Reba Meyer of Code Orange could soothe and detonate any bomb!

The collective slightly toned it  down with the performance of “Spy,” which had Morgan demanding a circle pit and also had Meyer and Goldman show off their physical performances making  them a spectacle throughout their entire set. This band was a treat to see and totally showed everyone  why they are the hottest commodity and closed their show-stealing set with the soothing “dream2.” The Klown can say this confidently, if you have the opportunity to see these guys do so they are worth your time and ears.

As the Code broke away from the stage, the proverbial torch would be passed on to the Floridian stoner/sludge quartet Torche. The band kicked off their set with the one of their mellowed out anthem “Minions.” They continued their melodious set by playing a slow version of their hit song “Loose Men.” The band went more on the stoner hard rock when they performed “Reverse Inverted” and had Jonathan Nuñez busting out some solos of his own.

Torche doesn’t need to ask to light our fire.

Not far behind from the spotlight, bassist Eric Hernandez showcased some skills of his own and even interacted with the fans by the rails and the rest of the members of the band. The quartet played other calming but hard songs such as “Charge of the Brown Recluse” and their bonus song from the deluxe edition of their 2015 release Restarter, “Harmonslaught.” The band ended their set with “Tarpit Carnivore” from their 2007 EP In Return.

Although Torche played a solid performance the Klown feels like they should have opened and use the fire in their name to spark the night. Don’t take the Klown’s words the wrong way! He enjoyed the set very much and saw why Torche has a strong following. However, by comparison to Code Orange’s adrenaline soaked opening, it left the Klown feeling a bit languid and not just because of all the crap he consumed earlier in the day.

Bassist Jonathan Nuñez  and guitarist/back up vocalist  Eric Hernandez of Torche added fuel to this fire.

After we brushed off the good stuff that Torche lit for us, the night reignited for one of the best things to ever come out of France aside from great champagne, baguettes and bitchin’ cheese. The name Gojira should immediately ring a bell to any and all metalheads. Once Mario Duplantier climbed into his kit and began to perform, the rest of the French quartet dove right in and began with “Only Pain.”

The Observatory’s crowd erupted a lot faster than this review’s publication. The crowd roared, they headbanged with their horns held up high, and had a pit going before the Klown even knew it. It is worth noting that that same day was frontman/rhythm guitarist Joe Duplantier’s birthday. Talk about better to give than to receive, is the Klown right or what?

Birthday boy Joe Duplantier demanding his cake!

The collective revisited the famous album with the whales which you could say that Shamu wasn’t the only to be called “The Heaviest Matter of the Universe” especially once he jumped into the pit like a Sea World performing orca. *wink* Of course, before the Klown knew it, lead guitarist Christian Andreu alongside the birthday man started the infamous opening riffs to the band’s recent mega-hit “Stranded” and “The Cell.”

One word of warning though for the Klown’s peeps that are prone to seizures and similar disorders, a handful of their performances had a lot of strobe light action. The Klown felt like the paparazzi had finally caught the Klown doing something appropriate. The Klown cares enough to say that, if the opportunity presents itself enjoy at your own risk.

The Klown felt like it was his birthday the moment Gojira played some of the Klown’s all-time favorite songs such as “Backbone” and “L’Enfant Sauvage.” Aside from a killer performance by the Duplantiers and Andreu, the bassist Jean-Michel Labadie made sure that he would stand out just as much by trading places with Andreu. The bassist interacted with both Duplantiers and the crowd near the guardrail.

Bassist Jean-Michel Labadie was a social butterfly around the stage before jumping off the platform while frontman/guitarist Joe Duplantier basked in his birthday wishes.

The band also applied air cannons for some added effects to their performance of the songs. The Klown was also surprised but ridiculously pleased to hear “Terra Inc.” and “Remembrance” which come from their 2003 The Link album. During the brief break that the stringed performers had, Mario went full force by doing a drum solo and showed us why he was deserving of multiple best drummer awards this year.

After Mario showed off his drumming prowess, the rest of the collective rejoined him on the stage, and continued with the soothing prog song “The Shooting Star,” and  “The Gift of Guilt.” Before the mighty Gojira cleared the stage they treated us to an encore in the form of “Toxic Garbage Island” and another of the Klown’s favorite’s, “Vacuity” from their 2008 release The Way of All Flesh. Now if Randy Blythe would have been there outta nowhere to do “Adoration For None,” it would have been the ultimate send off. The Klown is sure that he’s not alone in that sentiment.

Gojira delivering a mind blowing performance of epic proportions!

For those who didn’t get the chance to catch these gents the first time with Metallica, it was truly a redemption. The Klown has been a huge Gojira fan ever since he listened to their 2001 debut Terra Incognita and hoped to see them at least once in his hometown. For the locals who are like the Klown probably hoped for the same and got their wish that October night.

For those who have heard a couple of their hits, received a bit more exposure to some of their musical arsenal and in a grandiose fashion. The Klown still can’t help but still take his nose off and raise his glass to Code Orange for a stellar opening. With all that said, the Klown can only say merci beaucoup et jusqu’à la prochaine fois messieurs!

Praise The Lords Of Acids!

Lords Of Acid getting the sold out Sextreme Fest of 2017 started!
(L to R: Co-founder keyboardist Praga Khan, Back up vocalist Erica Dilanjian and vocalist DJ Mea Fisher)

October, Friday the 13th was one hell of a date for everyone especially, for Ugh Metal. First, an avalanche of awesome albums releases, and then after a long day at the fortress reviewing albums and fighting the evils of adulthood, the fools needed to unwind and headed to the Brick By Brick for a night of naughty debauchery.

The night hosted a scandalous engagement for libertines to express themselves and have some wholesome fun involving great music, good booze and awesome acts. The sold out latex clad show featured an all star card of Industrial acts and gave us an experience we’ll never forget.

Chuggo the Klown: Indeed, narrator person. That night was indeed unforgettable. That Friday night was some party and became completely exclusive when it was announced that it was a sold out affair. That show was as exclusive as the Klown and his keg. The night was so cray that we were still waiting in line to see the show. The Klown was pretty fortunate to catch the LA duo Night Club.

Night Club greeted the lucky few that made it towards the doors on time. BASK IN THEIR NEON GLORY!
(L to R: Mark Brooks and Emily Kavanaugh)

Jenny Oh: I wasn’t fortunate to see Night Club *wipes tears away*. I did hear Emily Kavanaugh’s heavenly and sensual voice seeping through the Brick’s walls as I waited to be let in. And that had to suffice me.

C: The Klown feels for your loss. In fact, the Klown barely made it to half of the performance of one of her singles, “Dear Enemy.” The mood shifted once she announced that En Esch would be next and announced that she would be closing with “Bad Girl” and thanked everyone who made it through the door on time.

Emily Kavanaugh of Night Club being a “Bad Girl”!

J: Why oh why?! *Sighs* Ooh well. I only saw Emily sing the very last verse of “Bad Girl” but was blessed by the brief sight of her striking a fierce pose. Oh wells, till next time Night Club! I may have missed out on this duo but my happy ass was so damn ready for En Esch! What better way to pregame for KMFDM’s Oct. 20th show? You just wait till I spew it out…if I spew it out amirite? The eccentric En Esch was ready to keep this party going and our blood flowin’.

The pervalicious twerk king En Esch getting us all worked up.

C: The Klown was really glad to see the prince of perversion take the stage. En Esch’s music is good but his performance and showmanship were fantastic. All hail! He proclaimed his love to us, Mexico and his love for the music.

J: En Esch’s love fest wasn’t the only thing making us feel all sorts of warm, fuzzy tingles. If it wasn’t his piercing all seeing eyes, it was his twerk abilities towards the ultra sexy dance anthem “Do Me (Leather Strip Remix).” Erica Dilanjian’s vocals added extra intensity and tension and woooooooo! I got the vapors!

It was a full moon that night.

C: Right you are, sis. The original twerk king put on quite a performance and Dilanjian and the rest of the crew. The drummer even joined in on the fun by interacting alongside even if he wasn’t in the spotlight.

J: If there were any people weirded out by this night or this article already, then do as En Esch and Dilanjian said and sang, “Live And Let Live.” I approve of this message! The live performance of this song was extra contagious. It was so fun seeing the chemistry and playful interactions between these two. Perhaps someday we too shall become En Esch’s sidekicks!

En Esch and his partner in crime Erica Dilanjian singing the sexy dance anthem “Do Me (Leather Strip Remix)”

C: En Esch gave us a treat in the form of KMFDM classics and some perversions which the Klown absolutely approved. The awesome thing about that was that he did this a week prior to the actual KMFDM show. Stay tuned for that one! But the other awesome part was that En Esch would surprise us with his repertoire and kept it lively. Even though En Esch managed to keep us animated and perverted, Christian Death managed to add some class to those feelings.

J: Aww yes, these goth rock legends dimmed the lights and recited their dark baritone poetry. *Swoon* But before Valor Kand could take us away to the other side with his hymns, he slinked out of the stage dressed in an elegant armor with his fiddle in hand.

Valor Kand of Christian Death may not have his trusty fiddle in hand but he has red roses, an awesome guitar and a voice that’s to die for!

C: Yeah the Klown didn’t know what to expect. All he knows is that some dude came out in some elegant armor with a bitchin’ helmet. Valor Kand… not only does it sounds like an awesome name but it sounds like an unknown badass knight or character from a fantasy tale. That dude even used his fiddle stick as a conductor’s wand to get us to cheer like an orchestra and showed us what “We Have Become.”

J: Yes, that’s what I just said you drunk fool. But one thing you did not say is how Kand was not the only one enchanting the stage, no! Bassist/vocalist Maitri was casting a special spell on us not just because she looked like a glammed up Venetian pirate vixen but also because of her passionate bass strumming and her swaying. She looked like a divine musical specter! Maitri showed off her haunting vocals in “Penitence Forevermore” and took the lead with a classic.

Maitri of Christian Death was a divine musical specter.

C: Ah yes, elegance incarnate. The Klown was trying to build up to it. Not the Klown’s fault that Kand spent more time onstage at the beginning. But that matters not because we went from festive to tranquil. It was a great performance to remind us all that the reason we go to shows is to be attentive of the performer’s talents. Maitri had an incredible voice and did it with feeling.

J: Kand treated the sold out venue by mentioning that the following song was the most requested song. The vocalist also addressed how they got almost on every tour and so they gave in and gave Maitri a cue and unleashed the famous bass and guitar intro for “Romeo’s Distress.” She added a tinge of anguish, deviance, and sensuality to this song making this track a little more memorable with her rendition. It gave us a taste of le petite mort!

Christian Death courting the masses.

C: Yes… indeed it was like looking at a modern day opera but surrounded with all kinds of folks… and a horse. Maitri and Kand made us feel feelings that night, such as heartbreak, anguish and lust that we didn’t even know we had.

J: Horses? I don’t know what you’re on right now, but I approve. Christian Death is still producing and thriving and are pleasing their faithful legions. Valor Kand is still oh so fascinating after all these years.

C:  Yes, indeed. After the Death dearly departed, the Klown laid eyes on one of the hottest industrial group out there and *clears throat* one of the hottest girls in the band. Even though the Klown didn’t see Joe Letz he did see… Nancy was her name, right?

Who’s dat gurrrl?!

J: That’s right. We got to see the sexy little minx in the Combichrist clan called Neutered Nancy. This lovely lady was ready to take us to pound town and get us all wet with her moist drums. She surely knows how to get us all worked up, she filled in nicely for Joe Letz ;). Combichrist made the set hotter with “Today I Woke Up To The Rain of Blood” which built the anticipation with them strobe lights!

C: Andy LaPlegua incited the sold out crowd and showed why they are at the top of their game. However, our response showed LaPlegua that we were a crowd that he “Can’t Control.” It rendered him speechless. Y’know you been put over when the crowd you’re entertaining have left you speechless.

Andy LaPlegua “Can’t Control” us!

J: Well that’s what they get for neglecting us for about a decade! Hey man not exaggerating, LaPlegua acknowledged it himself ya know! The reception they received was a lot more shocking than any “Electrohead” and the constant screaming left our throats feeling like we had a “Throat Full Glass.”  After ten years, San Diegan fans were thirsty for more Combichrist and even though we were all crammed like sardines. The sweaty human masses danced and jumped for every song the live trio dished out.

C: Speaking of thirst Nancy knew how to quench it. Literally, she poured some wawa on the drums and made it rain through the drum beats. Even guitarist Eric 13 joined in on this fun and showed that he wasn’t far from the action himself. Not only was he rocking out with his guitar but he even showed off his vocals to back up Andy.

Don’t you dare stop Eric 13 and Joe Letz..Umm I mean Neutered Nancy!

J: Aww yeah! And you know what, Nancy was so naughty she kept knocking down her drums so that her roadie could pick ‘em up. She was keeping him on his toes man! Most importantly, this pasty vixen entrusted me to hold her drum set while she banged on them hard. It was magical man! Yes, Neutered Nancy may have been the star but LaPlegua and Eric13 also kicked major ass. LaPlegua was a great showman and a great hype man. Lest we forget the big gathering for “Maggots at the Party” where most members of the touring bands joined them onstage!

Neutered Nancy enlisting Jenny Oh as his drum holder.

C: Yeah, the crowd also lost it when they performed “Get Your Body Beat.” The Klown was later told that Nancy was not who she was. Some of you may be thinking “What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?” in which the Klown shall respond in kind, the Klown has no shame whatsoever. It was great seeing this trio tear the Brick down and set us up for the Lords. The Lords Of Acid to be exact!

J: PRAISE THE LORDS! It was time! After getting worked up for these industrial legends, it was time to get down and dirrrrrteh! So much magick and tension was in the sweaty air and Dj Mea Fisher strutted out along with co-founder/keyboardist Praga Khan, the super stylish keyboardist Roland Turner and the rest of the crew! We also got to see Erica Dilanjian again!

Lords of Acid started their sexy sermon of the night.
(L to R: Stylish keyboardist Roland Turner, vocalist/Chuggo’s 2nd future ex wife DJ Mea Fisher, and MVP back up vocalist Erica Dilanjian)

C: Yes, let’s not forget the other ball of prolific energy, the bassist DieTrich Thrall. Who was on par and at Fisher’s mobility and energy level. They gave us a college experience by taking us to “Voodoo U.” They told us that we can “Do What You Wanna Do” and that they were looking for “Young Boys.” Of course, girls are welcomed!

J: Ya know, I didn’t intend to go to my college reunion but here it was and with Lords of Acid! And ladies were more than welcomed at this show, we were so welcomed and excited an eager lady fan threw her thong at DJ Mea after she requested a sexy little gift from the crowd. DJ Mea was so touched and excited about her first naughty gift by a fan, she invited the lucky lady up on stage, shared a smooch and a hug. So much love man!

DJ Mea rewarded her fan for giving her her 1st sexy gift and then showed off her trophy.

C: The Klown was in love. Just wish his fucking intern wouldn’t have stolen his potential thunder. She was a potential second ex wife, damn it! The Klown wouldn’t have minded if he was whacked by a mic stand. He’s totally into that!

J: BAHAHAHA! Aww yes! That moment! *wipes tears away* That moment was awesome especially your stupid runny face. That was the whack that was heard around the Brick and you know what, I have to agree with DJ Mea, your pathetic intern did take that mic whack like a “Mr. Machoman.” Though I must admit I too was a little jelly of your intern especially after he got showered with hugs from DJ Mea and Erica, AND a free beer from Roland…I WANNA GET WHACKED TOO!

The Klown’s useless intern, Santi, getting showered with attention from DJ Mea and Erica Dilanjian after accidentally getting whacked with a mic stand. The Klown swears his intern stole his thunder and was very upset with him…yes the Klown cried and Jenny Oh was jelly too.

C: Biter! The Klown just said not long ago that he was totally into it! And it wasn’t just that. The Klown’s intern even got attention from the people and the ladies around him… bastard! *wipes tears and runny face from cheeks* That son’bitch even got “Scrood Bi U” briefly dedicated to him! Roland Turner took the words right out of the Klown’s mouth when he openly and rhetorically asked if Fisher was the hottest lead women ever.

J: Lucky bastard! DJ Mea may have been the belle of the Sextreme ball but can we also talk about Praga Khan’s acrobatic skills?! Mah Gurrrsch! He put yogis to shame especially when he repeatedly draped his left leg over his keyboard as he grinned, played, and sang to the masses! He knew how to get to us especially when he sang the timeless classic “Rough Sex/Take Control.” Also Roland’s hair and style was to die for! So much swag!

Co founder/keyboardist Praga Khan showing off his acrobatic skills while DJ Mea cheers him on.

C:  Yes, the Klown was jelly. He was quite the spectacle when Fisher, Dilanjian or Thrall weren’t moving around to hype us! The only thing that was missing from Praga Khan, Fisher and Turner was joining Combichrist for “Maggots at the Party.” The Klown knows that Fisher stayed extra limber when she asked for our state’s green stuff.

J: Luckily it’s legal and because it was a party, fans shared the wealth with her. After the adorable but feisty frontwoman had some of our green treasure on three separate occasions, it didn’t affect her showmanship… ya prudes! So chill out! She was a ball of energy and kudos to her for saying fuck it and getting extra comfortable and ditching her platform boots in the beginning of the set. A girl’s gotta be comfortable ya know! In fact, everyone was so comfortable and in party mode, Fisher invited all the lovely ladies in the venue to join her onstage and dance with her to the naughty anthem “Pussy.”

DJ Mea and her legion of ladies sing the fun lil anthem “Pussy”

C: The song Fisher dedicated to her cat? Apparently she doesn’t like to hide it too much and wanted to see other cats. That night was awesome it was such a shame that, as that saying goes, all good things must come to an end. In our case, a “curfew” was the reason the show was over a little too soon. The Klown had no idea that he was a kid again… thank Pennywise for making him feel young again but not for ending the show abruptly.

J: BOO! Curfews are stupid! The venue groaned, booed and protested in sadness because we were not gonna see the Lords perform their final two sexy and iconic sermons of the night “I Sit On Acid” and “The Most Wonderful Girl.” *Sigh* The set suddenly ended right after “Scrood Bi U,”  but alas, we eventually found solace by inhaling our state plant, chugging down a few brewskies, and basking in the now final moments of this amazing show. Might Lords of Acid be the best we’ve had so far? 😉 Me no know! But what I do know is that I can’t wait to see these guys swing by again to show us a really good time.

Roland Turner showing off his swag while slapping that keyboard and Erica Dilanjian shows off bassist DieTrich Thrall

C: Let’s just say the Klown and the rest of the fans weren’t the only ones who were pissed. First, the Klown’s intern raining on the Klown’s parade by sabotaging a possible courtship with the Acid Queen that he sure he had clinched, then your fucking intern’s cat! Next, a curfew that the Klown didn’t know we had! The Klown feels you Roland. He truly does.

J: I can live with my lousy intern’s cat stealing people’s attention but that night, after having a whole song dedicated to her by our Acid Queen..that cat crossed the line! The twist?! I don’t have a cat…Oh! Nevermind, I understand what “Pussy” is about…Anyway, I coulda sworn that the bleached part of Roland’s chic do turned red! And so did ours! Before it faded to blue and then to a vibrant purple because purple is beautiful and satisfying. WHAT A NIGHT! Fans at least had the opportunity to mingle with members of LOA, Combichrist and Maitri of Christian Death making that night extra special and epic to make up for it. Don’t forget about us Lords of Acid! You dun left us Acid whipped!

They dun left us Acid whipped!

C: Overall the night was still great despite of everything. The heat of the night was a catalyst for everything that took place. We laughed, danced and felt… things. It may have been a crazy night but that was to be expected since it was Friday the 13. The Klown hopes they swing by again maybe have their new album out by then, and the Klown hopes to have a second chance at courting Fisher!

J: And don’t forget the people in bondage outfits! Especially the horse play couple! What a Friday the 13th. Here’s to you Mea! *Puffs Pirouette*

All hails THE Acid Queen DJ Mea!

Exodus and Obituary Migrate Metalheads to North Park

Exodus parted the seas and the pit!
(L to R: Guitarist Kragen Lum, vocalist Steve Souza, guitarist Lee Altus, and bassist Jack Gibson )

To quote the marketing team of Ugh Metal, on “Sinday” Oct. 8, the creator of the Ugh Metal creators decided to drop off the Klown and the rest of the “crew” at the North Park Observatory, even though the Klown and his krew live in North Park. Two things happened prior, the first thing was that we were running late and didn’t wanna literally run to the Observatory. Two, we didn’t want to miss the opener that was kicking off this show of biblical proportions, and because the Klown is out of shape, like hell he was going to have some smeared clown-scara on his leading man face.  Once inside, the Klown knew he was in for a treat.

The night opened with Dust Bolt. If you haven’t heard of Dust Bolt the Klown would highly recommend that you check them out. The quartet is amongst a current generation that represents a new wave of Teutonic thrash metal. The sounds that these gents produced were powerful and energetic. Imagine Kreator’s Miland “Mille” Patrozza’s vocals with Jurgen “Ventor” Reil’s thunderous and fast drumming combined with Sodom and Destruction with Tankard’s fun attitude.

Dust Bolt blows us away in their American tour debut!
(L to R: Guitarist Flo Dehn, drummer Nico Rayman, vocalist/guitarist Lenny Breuss, and bassist
Benedikt Münze)

Not only were we excited about seeing Dust Bolt but they too were excited. Early in the night, frontman/guitarist Lenny Breuss did what any frontman would and hyped the crowd which he would then excitedly confess to us all that not only were they happy to be in San Diego, and touring with two legends, but it was also their first time touring the United States. Breuss thanked Obituary for bringing them abroad.

It was never a dull moment with Lenny Breuss!

This act of gratitude and giddiness showed sufficiently when bassist/vox Benedikt Münze would chime in and rocked his bass like no one’s business along with guitarist Flo Dehn when he would take over for a couple of solos. Some examples of those actions happened when they performed songs from their 2014 Awake The Riot album such as “Soul Erazor,” and “Agent Thrash,” and from their last album Mass Confusion, “Mind The Gap.”

The coolest part of that performance was the band’s energy and the music was as infectious as Breuss’s charisma. The vocalist dropped from the stage and approach clamoring fans that were front and center on the rail to perform his guitar’s twang while the shirtless drummer, Nico Remann, backed him up on stage with his booming double kicks. Did the Klown mention that Dust Bolt were the openers?

Flo Dehn and Lenny Breuss of Dust Bolt are shaking the Observatory to its core!

As much as the Klown wanted to keep seeing what other jolts of energy they could dish ou they unfortunately had to vacate. The electricity  they  left behind would be picked up and cause the following act to take that power. This is exactly what Power Trip did! The Klown has heard this band serendipitously before but never thought he would see these Dallas Cowboys in his neck of the woods. Power Trip brought forth some thrash with some lone star grit similar to that of Pantera. The night kicked off with “Soul Sacrifice” from their recent album Nightmare Logic.

Power Trip jump startd the crowd.
(L to R: Drummer Chris Ulsh , vocalist Riley Gale, bassist Chris Whetzel and guitarist Nick Stewart)

The moment frontman Riley Gale’s vocals met with Chris Ulsh’s  drumming and the guitar twang of Blake Ibanez, fans threw their metal horns in the air and raised them high for these Longhorns. The band really got a strong response when they picked up the pace with the “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe).” The pit grew with intensity along with our craving for beer and brisket because that’s what Texans eat, right?

These Mavericks brought forth some more noise and had the rowdy San Diegan crowd make a pit the size of their home state. Power Trip left the rampant crowd in a frenzy as they nailed their Sunday special in the form of “Crucifixion.” They went for the kill with “Firing Squad” and closed out the massacre with “Manifest Decimation.”

You don’t mess with Texas and Power Trip!
(L to r: Guitarist Blake Ibanez, drummer Chris Ulsh, vocalist Riley Gale,  bassist Chris Whetzel and guitarist Nick Stewart)

Our fictional and rhetorical death was followed up appropriately by one of the daddies of death metal, Obituary. This would mark the second time this Floridian quintet graces our page as live performers this year. In fact, the Klown and his sibling talked about them when Ugh Metal took a trip up to Santa Ana’s Observatory for the Decibel Magazine Tour which featured the mighty Kreator. Check that out when you can.

Anyway, this time it’s the Klown’s turn. That night, unlike the last time they performed, was a little different. The night featured a more… relaxed and interactive Obituary. Then again, this time, their set wasn’t as limited as it was last time. The quintet started their set with their infamous opener “Redneck Stomp.” Once Kenny Andrews began the opening riffs to the stomp, the North Park crowd began to cheer and lost their shit because they knew the show was already in full swing.

Obituary is life!
(L to R: Guitarist Trevor Peres, drummer Donald Tardy, vocalist John Tardy, bassist Terry Butler and guitarist Kenny Andrews)

The instrumental classic would then be followed by “Sentence Day” from their latest self-titled album. By that point,  John Tardy would chime in with his incomparable harsh vocals that some people don’t believe it to be death metal. The stoic frontman had his usual never fails to remind us that he is a veteran of the mosh pit and headbanging and his actions follow suit.

When Tardy wasn’t headbanging, he sang with his harsh vocals adding more character to the already classic death metal sound. Not one to be far behind is his brother Donald Tardy, who blasts his drums the way thrash drummers do. But the real treat by far was Trevor Peres, who decided to challenge the chugging throne of the Klown! During the brief breaks, Peres would start to drink, the crowd would chant “chug” and he proceeded to do so. Donald would not only find amusement with the reaction but would cheer him on as well with bassist Terry Butler joining in and applauding with approval.

Twas our ‘Sentence Day’ with Obituary.

This awesomeness would translate so well that by the time “Visions In My Head” ended, the band began to experience technical difficulties. Not even the darkness with orange backlights was enough to slow these gents down or kill the mood. Peres would liven up the mood and played some playful “Merrily We Roll Along” guitar riffs. For those that don’t know, that’s the Looney Tunes’ theme song. Of course, Andrews would join in briefly with some of his own.

When the power was back up, the quintet continued with “A Lesson In Violence” as if nothing had happened. If a clergy were present at the show, he would have agreed with the destination the Floridian band was going to send us to  which was “Straight To Hell.” Of course,

Trevor Peres and John Tardy of Obituary watch us slowly rot!

we were “Dying” to hear more Obituary and if possible we wanted to hear them  “‘Til Death.” Most importantly, as much as we didn’t want the moment to end, the band closed out their entire set with their prolific single from their debut album Slowly We Rot with the song of the same name.

As soon as Obituary migrated off of the stage, one of California’s Bay Area thrash titans would take the stage. If the world were a perfect place, the Big 4 of Thrash would actually be 5. The fifth member in that fold would be Exodus. The moment would also mark the first time Ugh Metal has seen the full, current, Exodus line-up separately. Although some were bummed out that Gary Holt wasn’t present, Ugh Metal had the pleasure of seeing Holt at last year’s SD Comic Con. Check that kick ass collab when you can.

Steve Souza still parting the sweaty sea!

The night began with “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles,”  with the drummer Tom Hunting gracing the crowd with an open-armed strongman pose right before taking his place behind the kit during the beginning. He would soon be joined by guitarists Kragen Lum and Lee Altus, and  bassist Jack Gibson. Ever the showman, frontman Steve Souza would make his appearance last, hyped the crowd and blasted the mic with his prolific and powerful vocals.

Exodus riled up the crowd further when they followed up with their newest classics “Blood In, Blood Out” and “Body Harvest” from their 2010 Exhibit B: The Human Condition

Lee Altus, Steve Souza and Jack Gibson of Exodus totally look like they’re not having fun :p

album. Souza would then announce that from there on they were going to play blasts from the past and superseded with “A Lesson In Violence.” The Klown saw the lesson have its effect when the pit grew and became more aggressive than a swarm of yellow jackets defending their hive. Of course, Souza showed all in attendance why Exodus deserves to be on a legendary throne and why they should be taken seriously at all times.

One example was when Souza, drenched in sweat, refused to stay in one spot. Souza did not stay in one place and hyped and interacted with fans along with Lum, Altus, and Gibson. Souza and Hunting’s presence were felt even when they were far from the spotlight . Not only did Hunting provoke the crowd through his drumming prowess but also with his strong, embracive poses such as throwing his arms up signaling for more energy.

Before they did they asked us to dance in the “Toxic Waltz”

Souza would then express his gratitude to the crowd that showed up and emphasized the fact that it was a Sunday night. The frontman voiced his love for San Diego and said that Exodus always had a great time and received a superb reception from the diverse San Diego crowd. The rest of the band would join in, expressively through applauses and cheer gestures to go along with Souza’s word and continued with more classics before calling it a night.

The night got more insane once Souza announced, through an anecdote, that we were “Bonded by Blood.” The night saw a

Kragen Lum and Steve Souza enticing us to fuck shit up!

bigger circle pit when “The Toxic Waltz” started as well as a loud roaring chorus line that sang along with Souza. The night closed with one of their first hits, “Strike of the Beast.” Souza thanked fans once more and bowed out with the band which lingered on a bit further to bow out repeatedly.

Before the Klown signs off, he would like to acknowledge and thank Lee Altus for being an awesome guitarist and a true gentleman to the Klown’s despondent sibling. Altus made sure that the setlist that was snatched from her hand by some geezer would be returned to her hands.

Soulfly Blows Away With Nailbomb

Soulfly gives an explosive performance of Nailbomb’s “Pointblank” album.
(L to R: Backup vocalist/mixer Igor Cavalera, frontman guitarist Max Cavalera, drummer Zyon Cavalera, and lead guitarist Marc Rizzo)

It is now the J-Ohster’s turn to write about the great Max Cavalera, who has now graced our site for the third occasion this year! Whoa, that’s a whole lotta Max! But that’s cool ‘cause you can never see this legend in action too many times because each time feels like the first time doesn’t it? On Oct.6, half of San Diego were getting all the “Strange Love” they could get from Depeche Mode in Chula Vista, while the other half were ready for Soulfly to blow the Brick By Brick away with the rare and highly anticipated revival of Nailbomb. The best part about all of this? They were kicking off this epic tour here in our sandy city!

Wha? No! I’m not talking about the actual bomb. I’m talking about Cavalera’s short lived industrial venture with record producer Alex Newport in 1994. That’s right kids, Cavalera has always been adventurous and though most 90’s kids (the J-Oh’ster included) didn’t have the chance to grow up with this beaut till now and then some! Cavalera made this new reincarnation his very own by adding…mmm…the J-Ohster’s getting WAY ahead of herself! Before I the J-Ohster yammers on about Soulfly’s take on Nailbomb, I the J-Ohster must talk about the other kick ass acts!

Buzzing into our honey pot for the second time this year are local thrashers Beekeeper. Fresh off their first tour, the trio didn’t waste time and tore that mother apart with more momentum than a billion swarms! They played off of their debut Slaves to Nothing (which we couldn’t get enough of, see!) and that crowd was lovin’ it more than that McDonald’s Szechuan sauce.

Buzzing back to our honey pot is Beekeeper!
(L to R: Frontwoman/lead guitarist Ally Levine and bassist Adam Wollach)

Frontwoman/lead guitarist Ally Levine proclaimed her love for Cavalera and Sepultura and shared with the audience how honored they were. The trio was dripping with so much excitement during their set, and who wouldn’t be so damn chipper if they were on the same bill as their hero?! Aside from the glee the thrashers were emitting, these guys were bursting with confidence and had an undeniable presence. In fact, these thrashers could overthrow any Anthophila sovereign had they wanted to but they just wanna rock, not fight man.

Beekeeper’s Ally Levine wants the whole world to know how excited she is to bee there!..See what I did there?  😉

Watching Beekeeper that night felt like yours truly was watching them for the first time, and legitimately left me speechless. Each time these guys take the stage, they bring something new to the table and outdo themselves. How will they wow us next?! Time will tell and they are not slowing down.

After Beekeeper’s finished their brutal reign, Lody Kong induced some more nostalgia by playing the Goosebumps show theme song as their intro. Perhaps Lody Kong also has the same fascination over that show just like we do, either way we approve! After getting us comfortable, per se, the new generation of Cavalera brothers cut the umbilical cord and slammed us with their brand of metal.

Lody Kong gave us a brutal case of nostalgia before unleashing their brand of metal.
(L to R: Frontman/bassist Igor Cavalera, drummer Zyon Cavalera and guitarist Travis Stone)

The trio kept the ball goin’ so much that we swear that they broke the fabric of time and speed. This first Friday of October, Lody Kong shined brighter than the Harvest moon from the night before. We have had the pleasure of seeing Lody Kong before, as well, and much like the Beekeeper, it felt like yours truly was really seeing Lody Kong for the first time.

Vocalist/ bassist Igor Cavalera still had that grit and attitude while possessing a vibrant and playful vibe to him this time around. Drummer/brother Zyon not only paid homage to their first stop by sporting a shirt of our unofficial mascot, but he was also pounding that drum set faster than the energizer bunny on meth, and guitarist Travis Stone was an unstoppable force on his own. It was great to have first dibs on these guys and see them in action with a fresh and energized set.

When you see it…

After Lody Kong melted our faces off, we quickly gathered the remnants of our visage, pasted them together to receive the trio known as Noisem. Man they certainly deserve to have “Noise” in their moniker!  The Baltimore band didn’t let the line up change they underwent earlier this year affect the blistering steam they brought to the Brick that night. That’s right another testament to the “less is more” saying.

They put the “Noise” in Noisem!
(L to R: Bassist/vocalist Ben Anft, guitarist Sebastian Phillips and drummer Harley Phillips)

Original vocalist/ bassist Ben Anft along with drummer Harley Phillips and guitarist Sebastian Phillips brought THE noise and cranked the decibels to “1132” and then gave us “Desire and Disgust” which certainly fueled our desire for more. When Noisem wasn’t thrashing about and exerting more energy on the stage, Anft was making devilish expressions creating a magnetic hold. We were having such a great time with Noisem, it was a shocker to us when they announced their last song “Cascade of Scars,” yes time flew by too damn fast.

Ben Anft of Noisem and his devilish expressions.

Because Noisem had us bursting with an insane amount of adrenaline, Cannabis Corpse mellowed us out… for a second before dousing us with more death metal fuel.  Phillip “Landphil” Hall

Landphil and Ray Suhy of Cannabis Corpse are giving us a death metal high.

unearthed the classic “Individual Pot Pattern” and took us to the great beyond with “Immortal Pipes.” Landphil kept his dark shades throughout the whole set while he let those deep, thick growls loose, while guitarist Ray Suhy shredded like his life depended on it.

Cannabis Corpse was bitchin’ and all but the real star was Cannabis! That’s right fam (Am saying it right?), Cannabis itself made not one but two guest appearances in the show! The green little bugger joined fans in the pit and the second time, that dank little bastard made it on the stage and crowd surfed. Oh Cannabis! To think lawmakers didn’t want you to come out and join the party not that long ago.

Landphil is super cool.

After the party was over with our buddy Cannabis and its death metal band, it was now time to receive Soulfly’s take on Nailbomb’s Pointblank. I know I mentioned in the beginning that Max decided to do something a little different and really make this rendition. How J-Ohster how?! Because you remembered the new and super creative way yours truly refers to herself occasionally (my loser brother the Klown doesn’t deserve ALL the crazy traits and fun), I shall tell you.

Papa Cavalera and Igor Cavalera still slaying!

Cavalera made this cover extra special by having his son/Lody Kong frontman Igor take over back up vocals and the mixer. The J-Ohster would mention Max’s youngest son/ Lody Kong drummer Zyon but he’s already an active member of Soulfly, that’s right he’s a busy guy. Papa Cavalera knew we were hungry to hear him belt out songs from the short lived and underrated Nailbomb especially because this was the first night of the tour.

Max delivered the first shot of the night with “Wasting Away,” the intro heightened the anticipation and released this hardcore classic from its restraints. The pit was alive, and hungry, and grew into a bigger monster when Igor cued the iconic intro to “Vai Toma No Cú.” Igor’s vocals made this anthem more in your face and that’s the way we love it!

Max and Marc Rizzo nailin’ every riff!

Max shined brightly like always and his wish was our command but it was evident that Igor is on his way to surpass his old man. That’s right, even Max himself would look at his kin with a silent artistic admiration and awe. We witnessed Max pass down the torch in this new tour and we can’t wait to see more collaborations in this iconic family and hopefully more Nailbomb with them taking over *crosses fingers*. But alas, this performance will have to suffice for now and it was another unforgettable night with the Cavalera family.