Monte Pittman Performs At Whisky-A-Go-Go

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal

September 27th 2014, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: Primarily known as Madonna’s touring guitar player and former member of Prong, Metal Blade recording artist Monte Pittman has focussed more on his solo career in recent times, having released his third studio album called ‘The Power Of Three’ last January, produced by Flemming Rasmussen and certainly Pittman’s most metal release till date, signaling his return to heavy music as his next two albums are also written along a similar vein. He headlined the Whisky-A-Go-Go last April, appeared on stage as guest vocalist for Prong earlier this month, and returned to the same venue for a show last night, featuring bassist Max Whipple and drummer Scott Fuller (Abysmal Dawn) in his three-piece setup. This being a one-off event, the show’s lineup did not have any ‘touring’ support acts and comprised merely of Monte Pittman and a stack of local openers, making it a long Saturday evening at the Whisky. Continue reading

Hillbilly Herald Headlines Viper Room; Joined On Stage By Dennis Rodman

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal

September 27th 2014, The Viper Room, West Hollywood CA: Los Angeles-based rock ‘n roll group Hillbilly Herald were in the enviable position of opening for Slash in all three of his club shows at the Troubadour, Roxy and Whisky in West Hollywood earlier this week, and ending their “0.8 miles in 5 days” tour, they headlined the Viper Room last night. The last and only time I saw Hillbilly Herald was when they rocked the Cat Club with an insane performance during the 2010 edition of the Sunset Strip Music Festival, and for one reason or another, I kept missing all of their shows since then. Last night, I was finally able to rectify that and got a chance to witness what Hillbilly Herald are like in 2014. The Viper Room was packed to near capacity on a typically busy Saturday night, and following a couple of very decent opening acts, specially Blackpool Republic who played just before the headliner and put on a lively show, the audience was in readiness for a healthy dose of Hillbilly Herald. Continue reading

Saviours Play 10th Anniversary Show In Glendale

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal
[Videos by Arturo Gallegos]

September 26th 2014, Complex, Glendale CA: Oakland stoner/thrash band Saviours have been largely inactive in the recent past, but to celebrate their tenth anniversary they’ve come out of hibernation to play a few shows, and this run included a headline gig at Complex in Glendale along with local support from Damnatösque and Bastard. It has been three years, almost exactly to the day, since I last saw Saviours open for Weedeater at the Key Club on October 2nd 2011. Their latest record Death’s Procession had just come out at the time, they were on fire, and it was disappointing to see them disappear, but I was supremely stoked in equal measure to see them after all this time, for this show put together by local promoters Ovrcast Collective and the fine folks at Complex. Continue reading

Within Temptation & Amaranthe Perform At Club Nokia

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal

September 26th 2014, Club Nokia, Los Angeles CA: On the back of their successful sixth studio album ‘Hydra’ released earlier this year via Nuclear Blast Records, Dutch symphonic metal group Within Temptation are currently on a short 12-show North American tour of selected ‘major market’ cities with Swedish melodic metal band Amaranthe as sole support, starting off in San Francisco on September 25th and arriving in downtown Los Angeles for a gig at the state-of-the-art Club Nokia last night. Fans of both bands, both local and from out of town, traveling from surrounding cities and states this tour is not visiting this time, lined up early in the evening in anticipation of a great show. As for myself, it turned out to be a ‘metal’ concert experience entirely different from the norm. Continue reading

Amon Amarth, Sabaton & Skeletonwitch Begin North American Tour in Riverside

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal

September 25th 2014, Riverside Municipal Auditorium, Riverside CA: Following two successful North American tours since the 2013 Metal Blade Records release of their ninth studio album ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’, Swedish viking warriors Amon Amarth have returned to the continent for another extensive run, with fellow Swedish metal group Sabaton as main support act and Ohio blackened thrashers Skeletonwitch as openers once again. The tour began in grand style to a packed house at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium last night, with the gig drawing fans from nearby areas as well as all other parts of Southern California, this being the first visit to this venue for most in attendance. Continue reading

Skeletonwitch Returns To The Roxy With Mammoth Headline Set

By Andrew Bansal

September 23rd 2014, The Roxy, West Hollywood CA: It was the eventful and memorable night of February 11th 2010 when Athens OH blackened thrashers Skeletonwitch played a free headline show here at the Roxy courtesy of Scion A/V. At the time, they played a 16-song set comprising material from only two albums ‘Beyond The Permafrost’ and ‘Breathing The Fire’, and played to a packed house. Four-and-a-half years, two albums and several high-profile tours later, Skeletonwitch returned to the scene of the crime, attracting an equally sized turnout, only this time it was not a free show. On their current headline tour which leads into a support run with Amon Amarth, they have brought along support acts Ghoul and Black Anvil with them, and this Roxy show also included local opening act Doesn’t Matter. Thinking back to that 2010 show and the smaller headline/support gigs I’ve seen Skeletonwitch do over the past five years, it was great to see the number of people walking in through the door as soon as it opened at 7:30 PM, and the anticipation level was high.  Continue reading