This show had been on my radar for months but I could not get a solid commitment from anyone to join me. I am not beyond going by myself but have seen Chevelle many times. Just as I accepted the fact that I probably was not going to go to the now sold out show a coworker came up to me about noon on this day and asked me if I wanted two tickets to the show. I asked how much she wanted and her response was that she wanted nothing; she just wanted the tickets to go to a good home. Free is a hard price to turn down so I immediately text Bob and gave him the first right of refusal. Refuse he did not. After a Mike Hess Grapefruit Solis in the car and failed attempt at smoking the remains of what was left from the Ministry show we made our way to the upstairs bar at the House of Blues just as the last opening band was leaving the stage. When you have been to as many concerts as we have you become very good at estimating what time the band you actually want to see will be going on. We gravitated to the same spot I had stood last time and everything was going great until somebody nearby farted. Seriously. The most putrid odor threatened my enjoyment of the show again and again. Outside of the stinky butt bandit this was one of the best times I have ever seen Chevelle. It had been about three years since the last time I saw them, which also happened to be at this very venue. This tour was to support their eighth album The North Corridor that was released in July of 2016. I very much enjoyed the tasty “Door to Door Cannibals” for the first time live. Apparently this was one of the last shows of the tour so they were nice and warmed up. They favored the album Wonder What’s Next from the start by opening with “Family System,” then played “Closure” mid-set and closed with “The Red,” “Send The Pain Below,” “Comfortable Liar” and “Forfeit” as their encore.
Below video clip I stole from YouTube = Awesome audio, Shit video of “An Island”
So yes I just saw Ministry less than 2 months before this at Blackest of the Black but this is Ministry we’re talking about here. I was ready to happily break my streak of never seeing them play at the same venue more than once but held off on buying a ticket until the last minute because as per usual I could not find anyone that wanted to go…even though it was on a Friday! I was clued in on a cool pre-show party for $50 where you could go listen to the entire new album AmeriKKKant (as of yet no official release date other than “Fall”) with the band. It was tempting but I decided against it because I figured that I would not really get to talk to them even IF the band actually showed up since everyone would be clamoring to chat them up. Back to the problem at hand: someone to go with. Lucky for me my friend Larry just moved back into town, loves going to concerts and agreed to go but he wanted me to buy his ticket and pay me back…which would be okay except he left me with an extra ticket to sell once before, has two children and shit happens. Ultimately I ended up finding two tickets on StubHub for $6 each ($10 with all service fees) so I just bought two and rationed that even if he did flake I would have only paid $20 for my ticket. Shortly after this purchase he did flake. I promptly replaced Larry with Tom after offering him a ticket at no cost. After meeting up with Tom at a brewery across the street from House of Blues I learned that Tom did not even know who Ministry was but agreed to go on my recommendation alone. Nice!
We went in just in time to see the last two songs of the opening band Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror) which was one of the few opening bands I have ever seen that made me wish we would have seen their whole set. I did not know what the fuck I was watching. It sounded like there were live guitars but it was just two MC’s and a drummer. At least we caught two of their songs.
Ministry killed it again and we secured a spot with a perfect vantage point to enjoy it. Rather than tell you about something you cannot truly appreciate unless you were there I will say thank you to the asshole that filmed the entire show and post the link to let you watch for yourself. I am still reeling from their choice to close with “Filth Pig.” Tom told me this was the “heaviest” concert he has ever been to. It is definitely not a show he or I will forget anytime soon.
SETLIST: Punch In The Face, Rio Grande Blood, Senor Peligro, Lies, Lies, Lies, Antifa, Waiting, Worthless, Bad Blood, N.W.O., Just One Fix, Thieves, So What, Psalm 69, Filth Pig
I went to see Hellyeah 2 nights in a row? Not so fast. Remember how Bob had to end up bailing on Local H due to a family vacation? Well this concert was also affected and he was the only one slated to go with me. He wanted to see Hellyeah so bad that he bought us tickets and accommodations for the Riverside show since he was scheduled to get back Saturday afternoon. I tried selling the San Diego tickets for basement pricing but got no bites. I felt guilty for letting the tickets go to waste but I had nobody to go with me and am not that huge of a Hellyeah fan.
I had seen Hellyeah on the second stage of the Uproar Festival back in 2010 mostly because I love Pantera and Mudvayne so I had to see what Vinnie Paul and Chad Gray were up to. This was my first concert in Riverside and the venue itself was pretty cool. There were 3 opening bands but me and Bob decided to drink ourselves into oblivion instead. After a 6 pack each of some potent IPA we headed off into what seemed like the downtown area. It was a good turnout, especially after the experience I had earlier in the week. Hellyeah was touring for the new album Unden!able that ironically was released on June 3rd (day of the San Diego show). All I can really say is Hellyeah was much improved over the last time I had seen them. They were tight as a band and seemed to be firing on all cylinders. There were only a handful of songs I recognized as a casual fan but as a fan of heavy metal in general I appreciated their performance.
So this show had been on my radar largely because Orgy was opening up for Filter. I had only seen Orgy once (see Big Stink 4 8/8/99) and just missed them play a headlining show at the end of January. I was on the fence for this show since it was on a “school night” but decided against going once I learned that the only original member of Orgy was the singer Jay Gordon. I guess if you’re going to have only one original member the singer is the best person to have because the voice/emotion is not as easy to replicate as guitar tones. Ultimately I was just scared of tarnishing the memory of the first time I saw Orgy since it was so great. That is until I won 4 tickets on a lark from entering a contest from a Facebook ad. I never win anything so that was pretty cool. I got Tom and Bob on board but Tom flaked out at the last minute. I ended up selling one of the tickets for $10 to a guy that met us at the venue. There were 2 other bands (Death Valley High and Vampires Everywhere) but Orgy was already playing when we walked in. We got to see them play “Octagon,” “Fiction (Dreams in Digital),” “Suckerface,” “Stitches,” “Blue Monday” and a few new songs that did not sound bad. It was fantastic. Not as good as the first time I saw them but still fantastic (though apparently they could not afford to buy their own backdrop (see picture). For “Blue Monday” Jay walked around the floor and was going up to people having them sing verses of the song.
Filter headlined the show and were touring for their new album Crazy Eyes. I love Filter and saw them about 5 times prior to this but I have just not been able to get into any of the albums after The Amalgamat. Lucky for me roughly half the songs they played were from the first 3 albums including “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do,” “You Walk Away,” “Jurassitol,” “Take A Picture,” “Welcome to the Fold,” “American Cliche’,” “The Best Things,” and “Hey Man Nice Shot.” Richard Patrick had an entirely new touring band that seemed to click a little better than the last time I saw Filter open up for Chevelle and Bush. Rich bore a slight resemblance to Hitler partially because of the lighting, partially because of my beer consumption and mostly because of his haircut. If he decided to grow that stupid little mustache he could get cast for the role of Hitler no problem. My faith has been restored in seeing Filter live. Now I just need to get into albums 4-7…
I would be remiss if I did not share the story about the Uber we caught after the show. Guy picks us up I say how’s it going? He says alright but my transmission is shitty. I say “you know what’s good for a shitty transmission? Pantera.” He says I don’t have that but fuck yeah! Then he puts on Metallica’s And Justice for All album (my favorite Metallica album) at full volume and we proceed to rock the fuck out the entire drive home but halfway through the ride he reaches for his glovebox and says “You guys wanna smoke some weed?” Best. Uber. Ever.
A rare concert on a weekend night…in the summer. Ken lived in a Penthouse right beside Balboa Park facing the south towards downtown. It was very convenient for seeing a show not far away so me and Bob met up with Ken at his place and had a few on his rooftop deck before venturing out into the night. We got into the House of Blues right as Fuel was performing their last song. I was not that distraught because I think there is exactly one song of theirs that I like and I did see them open up for Aerosmith at the Gorge several years earlier. I don’t know what it is about Toadies that I like but I like it a lot. They consistently release great rock n roll albums and that is more than enough for me. I always forget how small the House of Blues is until I actually go there again. Toadies rocked through their set and then revealed the new song “In The Belly of the Whale” and news of an upcoming acoustic album of selections from their catalog. I also met the band afterwards at the T-shirt booth. I’m pretty sure I came off as a drunken creep but in the end I walked away with having seen the Toadies one more time, a kick-ass T-shirt and pictures to prove I was there being a drunken creep.
SETLIST: Rattler’s Revival, Backslider, Little Sin, I Am a Man of Stone, Happyface, Push the Hand, No Deliverance, Away, Sweetness, Possum Kingdom, In The Belly of the Whale, I Burn, I Come From the Water, Hell in High Water, Tyler, Paper Dress, Dollskin, Got a Heart, Jigsaw Girl, Stop It (Pylon cover), Summer of the Strange, Heel
Chevelle is a touring machine and now they were back in San Diego to promote their three-month-old album La Gargola. It had been almost two years since they redeemed themselves at Epicenter and reminded me why I love this band. It was awesome to see “Take Out the Gunman,” “An Island” and “”Hunter Eats Hunter” for the first time live but outside of that there is not much that sticks out in my memory of this show. Chevelle consistently delivers a no-frills rocking concert and that is just fine by me.
SETLIST: The Clincher, Grab Thy Hand, Send the Pain Below, Sleep Apnea, Take Out the Gunman, An Island, Closure, Forfeit, Vitamin R (Leading Us Along), Envy, Hunter Eats Hunter, Hats Off to the Bull, I Get It, The Red, Comfortable Liar, Face to the Floor