This year I will turn 45 which is not so old yet not so young, the last rock concert I went to was Motley Crue and Alice Cooper November 2015, which is too longer for an old rocker like me! Especially when the likes of Slayer and the newly reformed (sort of) Guns N Roses have just left the withered shores of Italy.
I am counting the days since my last proper concert, I am watching concerts on you tube to see where my artists are at , if they are failing or trying to reach the old glory years, hell the last time I went to a full blown concert Lemmy was still alive.
So why have I gone all this time without a concert? Some artists are money grabbing bastards who expect the paying public to spend a shit load of money for the same old concert, how many times have a group gone on a farewell tour lately? So us idiots all spend money expecting it to be the last concert of these wrinkled idols yet five years down the line they come out of retirement, Motley Crue was on that tour, I doubt they will come out of retirement again. Some bands have lost key members of their team, AC/DC are a huge group but without Brian it is not AC/DC , Angus is the only AC/DC member left? Hey I love the songs but sung by someone else for twice the money is bullshit, there are plenty of AC/DC tribute bands around these days, I love Judas Priest but with the 80s line up, yes they are going strong but why? To pay the tax on their English countryside mansions?
Slayer is now only half a slayer, the drummer left the band again and Jeff is no longer with us, so why should I see their concert if it is only, literally, a half-hearted affair? I loved the concerts of the 1990s but at their age it is normal to lose some of the flare, some of the danger. Megadeth sort of left the metal scene somewhere between Rust In Peace and Countdown which is a long time ago, Metallica who once promised metal up your ass, shoved their own heads up their ass during the 1990s and are trying with all their might to become metal again, Korn who had a few good years went into a corn field and ended up bleating out some kind of house music before returning to the shores of metal not too long ago, and they also dragged Brain Welch out of the Jordan river.
I generally choose a concert with multiple artists to see, just like Motley Crue and Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, I try and get my money’s worth, a lot of artists don’t come down south to Rome, mainly of the lack of decent venues and the fans down here only like Vasco Rossi and Ligabue, Rob Zombie pulled out of a concert in Rome at the last minute because there was not enough fans, Megadeth had to pull out of the same concert and offered a refund, and basically nobody was left, Rob was actually in Rome and they blamed the cancellation on bad weather, there was one small puddle at the event! In Bologna Marilyn Manson played before Rob Zombie, and most people left the gig after he left the stage, it was a pathetic performance from this once Antichrist Superstar, it pissed me off more that people are still paying to see this clown after ten years of bullshit. Rob Zombie is not exactly writing the best music of his career lately but at least his shows are value for money.
I use to travel a lot to see Cradle of Filth, but from the time Sarah the female background singer left I have watched the decline of this band too, there is a certain element missing from the songs and the shows, it seems to have become too sterile , too clichéd the songs seem to have got more complicated and whizz by without leaving a mark, I look back at the songs from the Nympthemine as the last great album by the group, obviously it was nowhere near as good as Dusk and her Embrace or Cruelty and the Beast but it was still acceptable. If you take a look at their videos on you tube there are many comments that just say Dani Filths voice is the most annoying thing on this earth, but I think it is special, if used in the correct manner, it gives the songs a touch of soul, but if the music is not there to embrace it but just there to fill a hole then the song does not work.
I should be in the front row of every Iron Maiden concert, but after seeing them in 1992 at Donington Park I think I saw the band at their peak of their career, the albums leading up to the event No Prayer for the Dying and Fear of the Dark seem to be so dull now after all these years, songs from The Number Of the Beast or Powerslave though are still monumental even if there are even older! I bought Brave New World which was quiet jolly and Dance of Death I am still trying to figure out, I watched them lately 15 June 2003 with Cradle of Filth, Murderdolls and Lacuna Coil, 20 June 2007 in the Olympic stadium in Rome with Motorhead and Machinehead, I also watched them at the Sonisphere festival 25 June 2011 with Rob Zombie, Motorhead and Slipknot. If you have read careful I have always picked the concerts where I could see most of favourite bands together.
To travel to a normal arena concert you could use the trains and buses, but that will cost you a few bob or two, you can’t get home the same evening, so you need a hotel, so basically if you are taking your other half you can spend half a month’s wage on a concert! If you go to the festivals you might need to go by car and then you hope the heat of summer does not overheat your car, in the arenas most times you are standing on tarmac, no shelter the heat is 40 degrees and most of the amenities are basic, I am not being an old fart and complaining about this and that it is basic survival tips, if you spend a lot of money getting into a festival then they must give you a decent food and toilet service! So little festivals here in Italy had great service, I remember the Evolution Festival 2006 was marvelous, we had wrist bands to leave the football stadium (cough , cough) the town was overrun by us unwashed metalheads, the town was Toscolano Maderno which if you did not know was on the side of a lake called “lago di garda” , basically after a few rounds of the moshpit we left the arena and jumped in the lake, it was so hot you was basically dry before the next act, and if you was too lazy to jump in the lake then someone squirted you with a huge fire hose for fun, those were the days before everyone had a delicate mobile phone!
Maybe I am an old fart, remembering the good old days, the twice monthly concerts in Manchester, the Apollo, International 2, the Academy, the university and going to Jills Rock world, seeing bands like The Almighty, Fear Factory, Sepultura, The Wildhearts , Cannibal Corpse, Death, Obituary , those were the days my son, tickets cost nowt and it was real beer then, they only watered it down slightly back in the day, not like the warm piss they sell now, well that is another story!