Updates........and a concert review?

It's Brandon here, how you been? Been a while! How bout I buy you a drink! lol.

First of all, a few quick updates. There are reports that Dave Chick survived his assasination attempt whilst leaving The Metal Shop Bunker after taping episode #25. We will address those reports when we have all the facts sorted out, as we don't want to comment on an ongoing investigation. lol!

Don Howatt from The Apostle Fractal has sent a segment about midi, we're unsure where that episode will fall in the scheme of things but I have it in que. I've also produced a segment that is waiting in the wings, Neil is tossing around ideas for one at the moment, I've got a mic review segment in production for the Rode NT-4, and we've got another rant episode (like #24) planned. So things are rolling again at The Metal Shop, and we truly appreciate all of you sticking with us through all the unneccessary down time. You rock.


So I got the chance to see "Them Crooked Vultures" last night, which was cool because it was my first ever concert where I got to view it from the VIP section (Thanks Rob!!!!!). I'll try not to bitch too much about my complaints with The Fillmore's VIP section, because since the other option was general admission, at least I got to get close to the stage without facing the pitfalls of standing in the middle of a crowd that large (Hey, I'm not 15 anymore ok! lol!). Besides, the tickets were a gift, so I have no right to bitch at all since I wouldn't have even been GOING if I hadn't recieved them.

Anyway, aside from the complaints I have about the VIP section at the Fillmore in Denver, the show was pretty good considering that I had never even HEARD of "Them Crooked Vultures" until about two weeks ago when I was offered the tickets. Once I learned who was in the band (I'm a HUGE Grohl fan), I couldn't pass it up! And that leads to the most dissapointing part of the entire evening for me. The VIP section at the Fillmore is off to the far left of the stage, right beside a huge stack of speakers, and you are viewing it from such an angle that you can only see who's in the front center and far right of the stage. Dave Grohl being in the back center, I couldn't see him the entire show! Occasionally, I'd see a cymbal moving, but that's about it! lol! I was really dissapointed, but at the same time.........the tickets were free!

Seeing John Paul Jones whip out every instrument imaginable was really fucking cool. I've NEVER heard a mandoline kick so much ass in a rock song! lol! Josh Homme was a cool presence, kind of like a stoner Elvis. And then there's the fourth member of the band, the guy they hired for the touring, a guy who I thought I recognized the entire time I was looking at him, until it finally dawned on me who it was. None other than Alain Johannes, former vocalist for Eleven! I've loved their song "Crash Today" ever since the early 90's, so seeing him in "Vultures" led to a very mild geek out.

Check out "Crash Today" from "Eleven"

Ok, so here's the skinny. The band was TIGHT! The band sounded HUGE and AMAZING. The band had a hell of an energy that I could only have hoped to reproduce live in my wildest dreams. If I had been able to see Grohl, it would've been one of the best shows I've been too (Powerman 5000 currently tops that list). But it did have it's drawbacks, and they weren't related to the band. THE SOUND AT THE FILLMORE SUCKED! It could've been the fact that I was already pissed at the bad placement of the VIP section at The Fillmore, or it could be that the stack of speakers was litterally 10 feet from me blasting many thousands of decibles as my ears. I'm not sure which, but I tell you that I noticed things (thanks to the fact that my ears are more in tune with things than they once were) that I don't think I'd have noticed a decade ago when I went to concerts more regularly. The speakers kept breaking up and distorting, and obviously not in a good way. There's the good analog saturation type of distorting, and then there's the squealchy digital clipping type of distortion. This was the latter. Some of the guitar effects used included pitch shifting going up an octave, and this did not help the clipping situation, but rather it made it 10 times worse! I have to wonder if I was sitting in the center of the venue behind the mixing console if I would've heard it as plainly as I did when standing right beside a 20 foot tall hanging enclosure of speakers, but the fact is that I heard it, and because I'm an audio engineer by trade, it partially ruined my enjoyment of the show.

From my vantage point of 10 feet from the PA speakers, the mix got really muddy at times and the band just sounded like noise played to a drum beat with a vocal harmony over it. I couldn't make out what was being played at times, and THAT added to my frustration. Another problem I had was that the vocal could've been much clearer in the mix, as it was hard to understand what he was singing. Again, I think my perspective of it all was skewed due to my placement by the speakers, but I got what I got.

On the other hand, there were some really sweet sound system moments involving the low end. I could swear that Grohl had some sort of super-deep bass trigger hooked up somewhere on his kit (but can't verify that BECAUSE I COULDN'T SEE HIM .....calming down.....), because during this one really driving rhythmic mid-tempo song there would be this inaudible low end sub-bass rumble that would just shake the floor. I've never felt anything like that at a concert, it was sooooooo fucking deep! INSTANT GRIN! It added so much dimension to the song they were playing, which I can't identify because I'm really not familiar with their songs yet (though I will be getting the album as soon as I can, they were really fucking good last night).

The show as a whole was just a straight up rock show. No fancy effects, no tricks, just plug in and rock out for the good people of Denver. It was refreshing, and especially for a band of this superstar stature, I hope to see this more often. Sure, putting on a "show" with special effects and stunts can be cool (guy on fire in Cunning Stunts), but sometimes you just need to let the music do the talking and that's exactly what these guys did.

Before the show, I was looking into the band, and I noticed that they have their own Youtube Channel. There's a vid on there of Grohl called "Fresh Pots". Evidently this guy is more of a coffee nut than I am. I wonder if he drinks Dave Mustaine's own blend of coffee? lol!

THAT ONE is gong in the youtube channel! Dude, seeing his drumming in this vid just makes me even MORE pissed that I couldnt' fucking see him at the show. Grohl is one of my own personal rock icons (Nirvana, Foo, Probot, love them all), so this was a big deal show for me just because Grohl was there. What a let down!

I might comment on this during the show, we'll see. I'm not sure when Neil and I can get together again, I have to check with him. But we'll try to bang out another episode for you soon. Thanks again for sticking with us. We'll see you on the RSS!

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