System of a Down, Korn,
Faith No More, Helmet, Russian Circles
‘Rona may have killed the mood for a while, but rock and roll will never die! Way back in 2020, pre-Covid and still working at my last job before being laid off due to the pandemic, I had purchased two tickets. I hadn’t seen one of my favorite bands, Faith No More, in decades. The last time I saw Faith No More, they opened up for Metallica and Guns N’ Roses and somewhat stole the show…for me anyways. I was really looking forward to seeing them after so many years. I believe the concert was originally supposed to take place in May 2020. Headlining the bill is System of a Down and Korn. Additional bands opening the show are Russian Circles and Helmet (“Unsung.”)
No More, Faith No More
Like the rest of the world, I’m not tapped into things I normally would be. So, a few weeks away from the show, I see an advertisement with no mention of Faith No More. I find out that the band dropped out last year due to lead singer, Mike Patton, having mental issues.
“Sorry to report that due to mental health reasons, I cannot continue with the currently scheduled Faith No More and Mr. Bungle dates,” said lead singer Mike Patton. “I have issues that were exacerbated by the pandemic that are challenging me right now. I don’t feel I can give what I should at this point and I am not going to give anything less than 100 percent. I am sorry to our fans and hope to make it up to you soon.”
The Show Must Go On
Although FNM was the reason I got tickets, there were still great bands playing this show. I’m familiar with both System and Korn. I even know the one hit song by Helmet. In these times in lockdown, it is rare to get the chance to see live music. Early on in 2020, I watched a few concerts live online, but it’s not the same as seeing and hearing a show in person. There’s a whole experience of a concert that includes traveling, parking and walking. For this show I would have the company of my close friend, Sean Kinney.
Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles
The venue is fairly new, Downtown, next to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. I look on their website and check out the parking lots. I click on the nearby lots and find them sold out. So, I purchase a $40 reserved spot. That’s right. Forty dollars to park my car a few hours. I paid for these tickets so long ago that it’s not a big deal to secure a parking spot.
Saturday, February 5th, 2022
You park your car and walk to the stadium. You secure your mask. You show your vaccination from your Apple Wallet. Then you slide the QR barcode in the reader from the tickets on your Ticketmaster app.
“Everybody’s going to the party. Have a real good time.”– System of a Down
The Banc of California Stadium erupts as the Russian Circles start jamming. No one is singing. In between songs you can hear the cars racing next door at the LA Memorial Stadium for NASCAR. A large flame lit up at the top of the Memorial Stadium, adding to the experience. We learn later in the show that the band played without their lead singer. How cool is that? Apparently, the singer got the ‘Rona. The last cancellation was due to System of a Down singer, Serj Tankian, getting Covid.
Another band from the 90s, Helmet, rocked the stage with their explosive “Unsung.” Solid set!
Korn – Get Your Boogie On Ironically, the last big concert I saw had Jonathan Davis on the bill. It was at Ozzfest 2019 on New Years Eve and Davis was a solo act. I look forward to seeing both Korn and System, but not a serious fan. I downloaded some hit songs I liked. Because so much time passed waiting for this concert, I got into these bands a bit more. Put your ear plugs in. Bassist Reginald Arvizu is about to crank up this mother [BLEEP!] Korn’s set is fantastic! Davis enters the stage playing bag pipes on a song I had forgotten, “Shoots and Ladders.” And I love the off-shoot jamming and singing of Metallica’s “One” in the thick of it. Mosh pits that started early on were now growing in size throughout the floor.
System of a Down
But wait, there’s MORE METAL! My buddy and I sit in Section 213, an upper section around the side and middle. It’s been a long show and the seats are making our butts sore. So, when System or S.O.A.D. enters the stage, I’m relieved to stand up with all the fans so we old timers can stretch our weary legs. And we stand for the rest of the show. I don’t know or recognize the first handful of songs, but they all sound great. It definitely takes the experience to another level when you know the songs. There are songs I’m reintroduced to such as “Hypnotize” and “Lonely Day” as well as songs I didn’t know beforehand.
Feeling like I have no release
Why do we see bands play live? We want an experience. We want to see and hear our favorite bands. They inspire us. They give us something to bang our heads to. They help us hope and dream. We can dance and even enter a mosh pit if we feel like it. It makes us feel alive. Music takes us away from our troubles. It’s a release.
The Corona virus took away many of our chances to see our favorite bands live. It’s just not the same watching bands perform live online. You have to be there in person. You need to feel the vibe of the floor rocking and rolling under your feet. You need to be surrounded by other fans, yelling, screaming, rocking out, swaying their long locks, raising their fists, displaying their middle fingers and devil horns.
It’s also really cool to discover bands and be introduced to other music and songs.
Regarding Mike Patton, other members of Faith No More; Billy Gould, Roddy Bottum, Mike Bordin and Jon Hudson released a statement, “Coming on almost two years of pandemic and lack of work, it has been heart-breaking to give our crew the news. We consider our crew like family. And then, equally importantly, we are aware of what this means to our fans, who have been patiently supporting us – hoping, as we have, for a break in this frustrating situation. Many folks have taken isolation quite hard, and patiently waited as shows have been postponed time and time again. This will be tough for them.”
I hope Mike Patton recovers from whatever mental issues he’s having. The pandemic has been so overwhelming for so many people. Musicians have been hit very hard, not being able to tour, make money and are dealing with both outer and inner demons. Patton is dealing with the elements just like all of us. Maybe he’ll get inspired and write a whole new album from it. We’re all dealing with different issues. It’s best to take care of ourselves and improve our health so we can perform at our best. Take care, Mike.
We Care a Lot.
The following post was originally on my Hubpages site which I’m phasing out.
I’m heading to a party Saturday night, June 30th, 2007, held in a hotel room at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, CA. Upon my arrival I noticed lots of people decked out for more than just hanging out at the hotel. A large banner by the lobby carried that symbol we all associate with Prince. And yes, dearly beloved, Prince is in the house! The people hosting the party had no idea. Then two girls got a great idea. They went out to Hollywood Blvd. and purchased purple wristbands, a whole box. I have no idea. All I know is the wristbands WORKED! A whole bunch of us entered the club. As soon as the door swings open, standing on the stage and shaking his hips what seemed to be ten feet away, was the purple wonder himself, PRINCE! I’ve always wanted to see Prince and now I have. I thought I missed my opportunity. Man, seeing Prince in a small club…for free was well, ‘Delirious.’ He went through many hits including “Take Me With You.” He jammed out on “Let’s Go Crazy.” He even performed “Nothing Compares to You” which he wrote for Sinead O’Connor. Sheila E. was there banging on her bongos to “Glamorous Life.” It wasn’t a long set, but for walking in off the street it was quite amazing. You never know where an evening will take you. It’s raining Purple. Purple Rain. I’d like to thank the Universe. Long Live Prince!
Unfortunately I did not get to take any photos. Knowing Prince, I wasn’t about to post any photos off other websites here as he seems to have a beef about that. You’ve got to respect his wishes especially now that he’s gone.
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else
The after world
You can always see the sun, day or night
Rest in peace, Prince…in the After World.
All aboard! Former Stone Temple Pilots singer, Scott Weiland, stepped on stage, sporting aviator sunglasses, looking dapper in a sharp suit about 30 minutes late with his band, the Wildabouts. The 90-minute concert showcased mostly STP hits from albums, “Core” and “Purple.” After Weiland rambled about hearing Elvis whispering on stage, he shouted into his characteristic megaphone and launched into “Crackerman.” The 75 percent full crowd in their 30’s and 40’s stood up and cheered as Weiland performed “Wicked Garden.” Some fans enduring seats on the floor eventually snuck up to the stage.
The first half of the show was strong. Weiland worked his strange, wavy dance moves all over the stage and laid down to feel Doug Grean’s guitar solo. At the end of “Dead & Bloated,” Grean let fans run their fingers along the strings. Weiland connected with first row fans, fist bumping, slapping, shaking hands and tossing a pair of sunglasses into the crowd.
The second half of the show suffered due to their late arrival and Weiland’s weakening vocals. The Wildabouts seemed to tolerate Weiland’s antics, musings and ramblings. Some fans encouraged Weiland during some hiccups. Because of lost time, Weiland skipped some damn good STP classics; “Interstate Love Song” and “Sex Type Thing.” Weiland seems to too often reach a point when the train is leaving and he must be on it. A loud siren rang before the band’s encore. It was warning fans to lower expectations. Feeling uninspired, “Unglued” and Doors cover, “L.A. Woman” prolonged this train wreck. Weiland missed an opportunity to pay tribute to legendary Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek whom passed away earlier in the week. After all his strange babble, Weiland was first to exit the stage with nothing further to say. I guess he had a train to catch.
Some high points were “Creep,” Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song” and David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie” as Weiland took the liberty to climb a large stack of speakers to pull out an American flag from The Pearl’s wall. Weiland paraded his patriotism, flag in hand, marching and dancing around the stage. Love him or hate him, Scott Weiland is the quintessential, flawed rock star.
Vegas Seven Magazine article
Baby boomers and slightly younger fans crowded the House of Blues in Las Vegas, hooting and hollering with anticipation. “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s party time,” said the cute young, blond girl in the video that opened the show. At 10:20pm, those sharp dressed men, bassist Dusty Hill and guitarist Billy Gibbons, entered the stage with their classic long beards, cowboy hats, dark suits and cheap sunglasses. Ready to rock! Beardless Frank Beard, wearing a tee-shirt, pounded the drums. The trio powered through their entire 80 minute set promoting new album, La Futura, without any breaks. Gibbons wished the House of Blues a Happy 20th Birthday. “We’ve been doing this for 4 decades,” he added and the lively crowd cheered.
The show was a warm and fuzzy look back at ZZ Top’s great bluesy music and rockin’ hits over the years. Video clips, live shots of the band and other visuals enhanced the songs on-screen behind the band. Classic MTV videos played along-side “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and “Legs” while other songs had visuals such as pretty girls driving cars. Old movie clips of Vincent Price accompanied “Vincent Price Blues.”
At one point in the show, the band took a license plate from a fan. It read: ZZ TOPS. They passed it around on stage to sign. Gibbons then pretended to be an auctioneer, bidding. “Do I hear 25? 25?” The fan got their license plate back eventually.
Folks kicked up their heels to “Tube Snake Boogie.” There was a lot of 70’s and 80’s nostalgia in the air. I purchased that same famous ‘ZZ’ keychain I had and lost over 10 years ago. For their last few songs including “La Grange” and “Tush,” Gibbons and Hill switched out their guitars for those crazy white and fuzzy ones that spin. The only thing that would have completed the experience for me was if they actually spun those guitars live just once. Well, at least the guitars spun in the video clip. This was a solid performance and this is the perfect band for this venue. ZZ Top has legs.