First to hit the stage at this Cult headliner was Local Edmonton band Naked Beauty. They had just managed to put a single to bed at 8pm on the night of the show. They hit the stage at 8.30! Tee shirts are close to selling out! On stage they were raw. Drum and guitar is brash, technical, loud and lucid, clever, yet cool. These guys are still very young and still teething. Once the Wisdom teeth show through, these guys will be huge. It’s a given.
Gloryhound are a little older, but they too are fresh, energetic and animated. They really want it all. Making their first impression on the West on this tour with The Cult, these Halifax, NS, natives are eager to put themselves out there. They have a different sound, but it’s for certain real rock n roll. Even with a live show mishap and broken gear, they survive, adjust, adapt and get it right. Delivering a raunchy and raucous set, singer Evan Meisner appears confident and a little cocky. It gives him just the right amount of edge. Gloryhound will be welcomed back to Edmonton with open arms.
The Cult frontman Ian Astbury and his friend fluffy the sheep, didn’t seem able to engage their audience from the get go. With his unmistakable voice, the audience, made up mostly of middle aged fans from the heyday, were aware that Astbury was in the house, but the flamboyance and arrogance of the once beautiful singer had seemingly burned out. Wearing dark sunglasses throughout allowed Astbury to avoid eye contact with anyone. Astbury as a showman seemed to be no more; he stood almost central for the entire show and barely payed heed to his band mates or anyone else present.
Musically the band was sound. Billy Duffy looked as he had back in the bands heyday, but alas, the lack of chemistry looked to be making his job difficult. Bringing back the big hits and playing new music from Choice Of Weapon, the standard of production was spot on, but the audience was watching a bunch of guys that seemed as if they had been forcibly placed on stage and couldn’t wait for it to be over. Was this part of the show? No-one will really ever know!
Whatever your opinion on the live show, it cannot be taken away from the headliners that they have a library of great music. 2012’s Choice Of Weapon is a great listen and a smart purchase, but if you are expecting a live show reminiscent of your youth, a show with gothic grandeur and glam rock gods, forget it.
Article and The Cult photographs by Karen Graham Aug.-30-12
NO MOSHING ALLOWED!!
Seriously, NO MOSHING ALLOWED is not exactly what you would expect to see as you enter the arena for a Metallica show, but there it is, as clear as day on the door as you enter. Just before you get scanned in by a man old enough to be twins with Phil the Greek and felt up by a gal no older than Justin Biebers bird.
Amazingly with a prompt arrival of 6MST on Friday August 17th 2012 there is only a line-up of four or five people, beer is being brought out into the lobby and buying a t-shirt takes less than three minutes. So very different to the scenario at the Iron Maiden show just two weeks prior.
Edmonton’s very own Stryker is lucky enough to open for these Monsters of Rock and they sound tight, if not almost exactly like the previously mentioned British boys. They were lucky enough to be chosen by the 100.3 The Bear team to open and they will have that forever. That aside, whatever happens next for the local lads will probably be a huge let down!
On to the main feature; two blokes with pants so tight it brings the question, “where the fuck is their junk?” These two in all black, supported by an almost bald guy with a portly belly and moobs and a skater dude with hair down to his knees and hands like shovels.
Metallica have arrived. The Metallica loyal are just that, LOYAL!
Not a whisper of Napster, St Anger or Lou Reed and no-one really cares now what these four accomplished/un-accomplished musicians look like these days.
James Hetfield is a long time without his flowing blond locks. It makes no difference. His voice is stronger and better developed now than it ever was. He looks happy, fit and very well. His stage aggression boosts his performance perfectly.
The Rogaine appears to still be having an effect on Kirk Hammett’s perfect coif. A little grey announces his arrival into the land of the grown up. His nimble fingers gather momentum during each song and he delivers note perfection throughout the two hour set. He looks relaxed, smiles a lot, engages his audience professionally and shreds the shit out of his guitar.
Though drummer Lars Ulrich is not wearing slippers he looks like he probably should be. Of the four, middle age has not been especially kind to Lars. He is so at home on the stage, seated behind his formidable drum kit that he could probably cat nap between songs. Give the man a cup of tea, a pipe and a TV and he is set for life.
Rob Trujillo was the perfect replacement for Jason Newsted and although neither would have been on the stage was it not for the untimely death of Cliff Burton, Trujillo fits. His appearance may be a little off key with the other three, but it was meant to be. He is a master of puppets and of his bass too. A head banging hero.
The set and props are just as you would imagine. …massive. Throughout the show giant toilets, headstones, statues, coffins and guitar necks are hoisted, swung and erected. Pyro is well timed and brings added heat and noise to an already blazing, roaring hot arena.
Metallica fan Ashley Nicol of Calgary described the show as; “So fricken’ amazing, my mind was blown to bits by the copious amounts of metally goodness!” Nicol was not the only music fan to have made a long trip tonight; Headbangerwoman spoke to people from as far as the UK and Iqaluit!
Thirteen year old local kid Brennon Ockey tells Headbangerwoman, at one hundred miles an hour that; “Blowing up the statue was sick. I’m grateful to have seen them. I wouldn’t have sold my ticket for a thousand dollars!” He could have though…..this show was a sell out! Two nights in succession!
Of course, no one leaves a Metallica show without bells tolling in their ears.
These San Francisco boys are deafening, but they are in tune, in time and still on top.
Hearing loss is mandatory, if only for a day or so. Who needs to mosh anyway?
Article and Photos by Karen Graham 22 August 2012