Appetite For Domination: Guns N’ Roses Play Triumphant Homecoming Show At Dodger Stadium

Review by Andrew Bansal, Guns N’ Roses photos by Katarina Benzova

A94A2928

August 18th 2016, Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles CA: Welcoming the return of original members Slash and Duff McKagan, hard rock icons Guns N’ Roses have been going strong with their ‘Not In This Lifetime’ reunion tour in 2016, and having started out with an intimate secret show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood on April 1st, they brought it home to Los Angeles four months later for two nights at the Dodger Stadium. The Cult were chosen as the opening act for these shows, which have undoubtedly been among the most highly anticipated and eagerly awaited events in the Los Angeles concert calendar ever since they were announced. The first show was a sold-out affair and took place on Thursday August 18th. Fans grabbed any tickets they could afford as soon as they went on sale months ago, but even the most diehard Guns N’ Roses faithful perhaps would not have expected the kind of show they witnessed last night, and as for the haters, they were about to be proven very, very wrong. Continue reading

Conjuring The Masses: Belphegor, Origin & Shining Captivate The Whisky

By Jason Williams

belphegor-shining-2016-tour

August 18th 2016, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: With nearly 24 years of history and ten albums in the books including the latest Nuclear Blast release ‘Conjuring the Dead’ (2014), Austria’s blackened death metal progeny Belphegor embarked on a North American headline tour in August 2016, bringing forth a stellar and diverse touring packag featuring death metal veterans Origin, Sweden’s Shining making their first US appearance, along with Abigail Williams as opener. It’s fantastic to witness a quality eclectic metal tour brought to the States, and last Thursday at the Whisky-A-Go-Go turned out to be a wonderful evening for the extreme metal masses. Continue reading

Entertaining & Appalling: Battle For ‘Hair Nation’ Brings Together Best & Worst Of LA Hard Rock

Review by Andrew Bansal, photos by Ron Lyon

Hair Nation Battle of the Bands at the Whisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood, CA on Wednesday, August 16th, 2016. © 2016 Ron Lyon Photo

August 17th 2016, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: The ‘Hair Nation’ festival is set to take place at Irvine Meadows on September 17th 2016, and in addition to the bands and musicians that are already announced as part of the lineup, the festival will also feature two local bands to open the show on each stage, and the selection for these slots was made last Wednesday August 17th, via the battle-of-the-bands style event ‘Battle For Hair Nation’, held at the Whisky-A-Go-Go in West Hollywood. Hosted by Eddie Trunk, the battle was judged by Lita Ford, Tracii Guns, Brent Woods, Jay Ruston and Trunk himself, and the competition was for the top two slots, the winner getting to open the main stage at the main festival next month, and the runner-up starting the side stage. Seven bands took part, and this BOTB event ended up being entertaining for reasons both good and bad. Continue reading

Technical Metal Mayhem: Archspire Rips Long Beach To Shreds

By Jason Williams

archspire_lbc

August 17th 2016, DiPiazza’s, Long Beach CA: From increasing BPM, shredding neoclassical guitar techniques, intense pummeling blasting, and all doses of vocal attack, extreme metal has had its share of barriers broken. With Suffocation paving the way for brutal technical death metal back in 1989, bands all across the world engaged in becoming more jaw-dropping with skill, speed and intensity as the next. Archspire, however, hailing all the way from Vancouver, Canada, just might be at the top of the current class. Their hyper-intensified technical death metal leaves nothing short of destruction and exhausting chaos in their wake, and the chance to see them headline a show, after numerous times as a main support, was surely going to be a pleasure. Continue reading

Spellbound In Glendale: Helen Money Plays Second ‘Become Zero’ Residency Show At Complex

Review by Andrew Bansal, photos by Matt Nielson

helenmoney_0816_2

August 16th 2016, Complex, Glendale CA: Los Angeles-based doom cellist Alison Chesley performs under the moniker Helen Money, and has developed quite a fan-following amongst metal-loving masses over the past few years, earning an appreciable level of admiration through her spellbinding performances appearing as opening act for metal bands. Originally based out of Chicago but now a Los Angeles transplant, she released an album called ‘Arriving Angels’ via Profound Lore Records in 2013 and started playing shows in and around the LA/Orange County area. Back then, very few in the metal scene were aware of her existence, but she steadily built her own audience, and in August 2016, she is headlining her own residency at Complex in Glendale, along with a lineup of support acts she has curated herself. For this residency, titled ‘Become Zero’ after her next album slated for a September release via Thrill Jockey, Helen Money was booked by local underground conglomerate Midnite Collective for four Tuesdays at the venue this month. The second show took place on August 16th, featuring Black Mare and Clay Rendering as the openers, and presenting a new and sonically enhanced version of Helen Money as a live performer. Continue reading

The Thrash Communion: Eliminate, Hatchet & Locals Perform At The Regent

By Andrew Bansal

20160815_192102

August 15th 2016, The Regent, Los Angeles CA: The Los Angeles hard rock/heavy metal scene is a complex conundrum, in that there are plenty of bands but there is no actual scene, because of the clear divide between different sub-genres, and the fact that most musicians in bands only go to their own shows. But, a new conglomerate called The Black Communion has formed to make an effort to unify and highlight the LA scene, by organizing free/cheap metal shows at the Regent Theater in downtown LA on a Monday every month, showcasing the best local talent and at times the odd traveling band or two. The third edition of The Black Communion took place last Monday August 15th and was headlined by new thrash supergroup Eliminate, featuring former members of Dark Angel, Kreator, Whiplash, Destruction, Hirax and Subversion, along with San Francisco Bay Area thrashers Hatchet as main support, and local openers Kaustik, Tormenter, Brain Dead and Dowrr. The thrash kids came out for a fun time, and this show treated them with plenty of music dedicated to their favorite sub-genre. Continue reading