With the buzz of amplified chaos still ringing in my brain and ears, I thought this would be a great time to write my review of last nights Flotsam and Jetsam set. Opening for Hammerfall at the Worcester Palladium, the band had a big task ahead of them... and they not only delivered but made a huge fan of me.
My history with Flotsam and Jetsam was one more of curiosity. When they first arrived on the scene with the brilliant DOOMSDAY FOR THE DECEIVER in 1986, I thought they were a solid band who was a more aggressive and heavier Iron Maiden, but my hard rock/heavy metal musical tastes back then were more aligned with Iron Maiden, UFO, Dokken and Stryper so I never gave them a chance to have a lasting impact on me.
That was stupid!!!!!!
Since they were opening the show, the fans were witness to a nine song attack that never let you breathe! Opening with The Incantation and diving right into the thundering Monkey Wrench, Flotsam And Jetsam proved a few things to me; they are an amazing band live and play a style of music that is built for the live stage. Musically, they are not just a 'thrash' band; they are heavy, fast and loud but they also have a lot of personality and talent in their songs and playing. Sure their classic stuff like Hammerhead, Dreams Of Death and No Place For Disgrace completes with anything that Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax were doing at the time and still hold up today, their legacy is NOT in the past. Their last album FLOTSAM AND JETSAM from 2014 was the most solid and complete album of their career and a few songs thankfully made it into the set. One of the real treats in the set was the song, Iron Maiden! Lyrically the song is about the infamous torture device but musically is a nice tribute to a band that had a big influence on their sound. This song is so cool for me because I always thought Flotsam And Jetsam sounded like early Iron Maiden (the first album and KILLERS era) if Bruce Dickinson sang on them.
On stage Flotsam And Jetsam is as solid and professional as you can get. Vocalist Eric A.K. Knutson has got a powerful voice and a ton of charisma that brought the audience closer. Guitarists Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley traded off riffs and leads with precision and excitement and compliment each other very nicely. Bassist Michael Spencer was the unsung hero here, holding it all down as it exploded on both sides and behind him. Behind the drums was the 'new guy' Ken Mary who adds a lot of show and flair into the show.
In a future episode of Power Chords you will hear an interview I did with Ken Mary where we talk about House Of Lords, his style and what he was gonna do following the show!
Flotsam and Jetsam are amazing and won me over 20 seconds into the show!!! In the past two weeks I was able to witness live the majesty of Stryper, the spectacle of Ghost and now... the awesomeness of Flotsam And Jetsam.
The band will be on the road until late June! Four tour dates you can go to their site by clicking here
On November 9th, the band will release their latest album, THE END OF CHAOS of AFM Records.
The Incantation / Monkey Wrench
Dreams of Death
She Took an Axe
I Live You Die
No Place for Disgrace
Alice in Chains release new single “The One You know” (https://youtu.be/352RBWh6ViU)
Kix Releasing Fuse 30 Reblown
Doro New Album and Single Details
Gus G. Documentary for Fearless (https://youtu.be/Tu6Cmq9vWl4)
Kansas tour news
George Lynch and Corey Glover form Ultraphonix
Fates Warning: No Exit (1988)
Gus G.: Fearless (2018)
Comin’ Atcha Live:
Rockversation: Ron Young (Part 1 of 2)
Matt recently spoke with the founder and lead singer of Little Caesar about the band’s early years. You can find our more about the band and keep up with tour news at www.littlecaesar.net. Stay tuned for the second half of the interview in our next episode!
Bonus Track: TNT: Tears In My Eyes
From the new album XIII, which will be out June 8th on Frontiers Music Srl.
Thanks for listening! If you're subscribing on iTunes or Google play, please leave us a review, as it will help spread the word about the show! You can also hit us up on twitter at twitter.com/powerchordspod, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stryper have a lot to be excited about... a new album GOD DAMN EVIL, a new bass player and a brand new tour... bringing the music to the masses!!!!
Saturday night I had the pleasure of seeing Stryper up close; having fun on stage, enjoying each others company offstage and providing yet another amazing show and providing the faithful with a show for the ages!!!! The show was at the Mixx 360 in Malden, MA,, a club that brings in some great music, has excellent sound, features a very intimate stage area... but NO place to take pictures. But... that was my problem...
Hitting the stage, Stryper flew through a well balanced set that was heavy on their 'hits', heavy on their roots and mixed in some newer songs including four from GOD DAMN EVIL. Stryper may not have been aware on stage, but the new songs they played; the title track, Sorry, The Valley and my favorite new one, Can't Live Without Your Love went over so well with the crowd they are now part of their/our history. Many times, new songs bring a bit of curiosity that results in quiet... but not here!
Opening with the recent epic Yahweh, Michael Sweet took center stage, grabbed hold of the crowd and never let go. Always given credit for his voice and guitar playing, Michael is an incredible front man... talking to the crowd (not at them) and making everyone feel like a part of the show. His stage banter is situational, feeding off the audience and things he sees while performing. Guitarist Oz Fox is the same now as he has ever been; insanely talented and doing whatever he needs to do for the songs whether its providing solid rhythms or a blistering solo, he is as much the Stryper sound as anyone else. Behind the kit, Robert Sweet is one of the most underrated drummers of his era! He plays hard but with a sense of melody that carries the music to the next level. On record, Robert is solid but live... he is a presence!!! With everything going on you need someone who can not only hold it all together but make it a bit heavier, and that someone is bassist Perry Richardson. Playing only his seventh show with Stryper, Perry is not only an amazing bassist, but he is also an incredible singer, giving the songs that much needed vocal push!
As far as the set (see complete set list below) it was a solid as it can be. Sure, they didn't do about 100 songs I wanted to hear, but they only have so much time to play. For me the highlights were; All For One and Always There For You. The first is from their underrated AGAINST THE LAW album that sum up so much of what the band is all about. The second, from IN GOD WE TRUST is a song many fans have a love/hate relationship with because it was very commercial. I LOVE this song and when played live it becomes much heavier and so much cooler. Much like KISS' I Was Made For Loving You, the years have been kind to it and on stage it is given a whole new feeling and sound.
It was also so much fun seeing the guys after the show, giving them UFO books to read while on the road and seeing how relaxed the backstage area was. Smiles and laughter all over the place. This is why I got home at 4 AM the next day, but I do need a note from Michael, Rob, Oz and Perry for my wife, to explain where I was and why I was so late!
Stryper are just a few dates into their 2018 world tour and I implore you... go see them if you get the chance! They were and continue to be one of the best bands you will see live and always play play this way because they don't know any better!
Calling on You Free
More Than a Man
All for One
In God We Trust
Soldiers Under Command
God Damn Evil
Big Screen Lies
Can't Live Without Your Love
Always There For You
Loud 'N' Clear
To Hell With The Devil
This week I'm picking two completely new releases that each appeal to me in a different way! Give 'em a try!!!!!!!!
Gus G - FEARLESS (AFM Records)
Known for his years spent as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist, Gus G steps out with FEARLESS, an album that caught me completely off guard! When a guitarist makes an album, usually the songs tend to suffer a bit for the fretwork... but not here!!! The songs are tight, the playing is so perfect and overall, it is an incredible and very satisfying listen. You can hear the Ozzy influence on songs like Letting Go and even a bit of a KISS feel on Mr. Manson. The band Gus has assembled here; vocalist/bassist Dennis Ward and drummer Will Hunt play like they have been together forever and have a solid groove. As far as Gus' fretwork, he has impressed me quite a bit here playing beyond anything he has recorded before! A few of the shocks on the album; Thrill Of The Chase, an instrumental that makes me forget how much I don't normally like instrumentals, and Money For Nothing, a cover of the Dire Straits classic works..... and works well! My favorite on the album, Nothing To Say is just a heartfelt and beautiful song that demands a huge audience!!! FEARLESS is powerful and a complete album that will spend a lot of time in my car!
FEARLESS IS OUT NOW!!!!
Foreigner - WITH THE 21ST CENTURY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS (Trigger Productions)
Since their debut album hit the world in 1977, Foreigner have recorded some of the most beloved and greatest rock songs ever! Saying that I must admit here, I am not a fan AT ALL of their biggest selling album 4, but I love everything else! On this collection, Foreigner have taken their greatest hits; Hot Blooded, Double Vision and Cold As Ice and added choir and symphony with amazing results! You are hearing classic songs played in a brand new way and still making them sound as cool as they did all those years ago. Fourteen amazing songs including forgotten gems like Starrider, That Was Yesterday and When It Comes To Love all make this live recording come... ALIVE!!! Despite not having my favorite Foreigner song, Long Way From Home on it it still is an easy TOP 5 of 2018 for me!!!
WITH THE 21ST CENTURY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS IS OUT NOW!!!!
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.