ferrumaeternum: (concerning hobbits)
For some reason, school started on a Thursday (on my birthday, of course) and all of my professors gave us a week’s worth of homework to make up for it. Thursday is most UWM students’ last day of class, so everyone was rushing to get everything done by Tuesday over Labor Day Weekend, including myself. :/ This was not easy to do on the weekend after my birthday. I also had a ton of work to do last week, and I just have two things to do today before I’m finally caught up. Today is the first day where I’ve felt like I had enough time to sit down and breathe, so I’m going to try to catch up on updating my journal, too. I also decided that this semester I won’t be updating anything on Twitter or COLOURlovers to give myself more time for homework.

* On that note, with LiveJournal’s new features, please don’t link anything from my journal to Facebook or Twitter! I don't know why anyone would want to, but you never know. I know most of my journal is public, but I still don’t want certain people I know to have an easy time finding it. ;)

This semester marks the beginning of my senior year, and I can’t believe how quickly the time’s flown by! I’m taking First Semester Swedish, Advanced Art History: Early Medieval Art & Architecture in the West, Figure Painting, Intro to Ceramics, and Visual Journals. Swedish is pretty easy so far because so much of it is similar to German. My art history class is once again online and mainly focuses on medieval Scandinavia, Germany, France, and the British Isles. I was told that it’s been several years since a medieval art history class that doesn’t focus on Rome has been taught at UWM, so I definitely feel lucky to be a student here at this time. I was a little worried about Figure Painting and Ceramics, but everything is going well so far. Loosening up my drawing has definitely helped relax my painting style. This is the second painting class I’ve ever took, but working from live models and having limited time to paint the poses helps inspire me and forces me to rely on instinct when I’m painting. Visual Journals is also online, and I’m basically creating an art journal/diary with a theme and using it to solve weekly problems that the professor posts. The theme I chose was body modification. I originally wanted to create a grimoire, but I think death is a bit too broad of a topic to make a journal on for only a few months. If I enjoy the process of making this visual journal, maybe I’ll do another one with that theme in the future. I actually have to create a page today for it, since it was due Monday. I hadn’t received any feedback from my group or the teacher before then, so I didn’t know if I should have just went ahead and started on it. (Apparently, I should have.) I also spent that day doing two paintings that my painting teacher decided the next day wouldn’t even be looked at until Thursday. Just my luck, eh?

At least luck was on my side earlier this week when I found out I won the contest at The Rave. I am on the guest list to see Katatonia, Swallow the Sun, and Orphaned Land for free tomorrow! \m/
ferrumaeternum: (spinal tap)
After many months of hard work, Dybbuk played their first show on August 20th at Vnuk’s Lounge in Cudahy. Sam’s parents and brother were in town for his daughter’s 5th birthday, so they also came to the show. Matt drove all the way down from Watertown, so Sam ended up driving them with a car full of equipment to the venue. It was nice to finally meet their vocalist. Like most of Sam’s other friends, he was a lot of fun to hang out with, had a really positive attitude, and a good sense of humor. There wasn’t room for Elizabeth or Sam’s brother in Sam’s car, so I picked them up from their place before heading over to Vnuk’s. Things were really chaotic with everyone there and we all ended up being late. Luckily the band made it in time for their sound check! We would have arrived shortly after them, but the venue didn’t have a sign. :/ After driving up and down the main drag a few times, Sam’s brother called to get the address.


The show itself was really great. You never would have guessed that it was their first time onstage. Sam and Auggie seemed a little stiff and didn’t move around much, but they do a lot of technical guitar playing, so I think it will take a bit of practice before they develop a good stage presence while maintaining the quality of their playing. It was kind of funny that they were the opening band, yet Eric had the biggest drum kit out of all the bands. It was tucked away really far back on the stage so I didn’t get a lot of shots of him. I’m going to make an effort to get some at their next gig in October. I was glad to see that John got brave toward the end of the set and came up to the front. One of the last songs had a fantastic bass lead, so it was great timing. Matt has played in an ‘80s cover band before, so he was a complete natural onstage. I wish he had more time to write some lyrics for their songs because it seemed like he was only doing vocals half the time. His growl sounds as good as his clean vocals and did a great job communicating with the crowd between songs. There were only about 20 people there, but as their set went on, the applause got louder, which is definitely a good thing. A couple of the old-school death metal guys complained because Matt didn’t use only growled vocals, but that’s their loss for being so close-minded. The band has been working on a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Only the Good Die Young” and I hope to hear it next month! They only had half an hour to play this time, and who knows how much time they’ll get at the next show.

The first four photos are before the show started. Elizabeth, Sam’s brother, and I arrived during the sound check. Then Sam’s parents showed up, and his dad was buying everyone tropical drinks. XD Speaking of drinks, the reason the guys have x’s on their hands is so they could get free drinks. However, there was a catch they didn’t know about where 40 people (not including the bands) had to show up for them to be free. There weren’t 40 people at the bar because it had been storming all afternoon and evening. Sam and Auggie ended up getting some for free, but the rest of the band didn’t.

+ 22 photos )

We only stuck around to see Face of Ruin after Dybbuk. Their vocalist recently left the band, so it was an instrumental death metal set. Beth said the band playing after them sucked and no one wanted to wait to see the headliner, so we went back to her house.

After the band got all their equipment unloaded after the show, Sam and his brother, Elizabeth, Matt, and I went to get dinner and celebrate at Ma Fischer’s on the east side. Sam paid for everyone’s meal, so I’m glad I just decided to get water and $2’s worth of French toast because I didn’t have much money left. I didn’t get into the show for free because I wasn’t married to anyone in the band. :/ I probably could have got in free if everyone didn’t wait until the last minute to take showers because we originally planned on driving to the venue at the same time. That way I would have been able to enter through the back with the band. Oh well.

Dybbuk is currently trying to get the opening slot before Blackguard at the Kamelot show later in September and I’m crossing my fingers they’ll get it. It would be nice to get in for free and hang out backstage. I have a bad feeling that boring Urn band from Chicago will end up playing, though. Sam and I are also working on getting some t-shirts screen printed with their logo on it.

I can’t wait to go to this new medieval bar/restaurant called The Stone Sword on the south side this Friday to celebrate my birthday and Elizabeth’s! I’ll be 22 tomorrow and she’ll be 26 on Saturday. :D
ferrumaeternum: (hallowed be thy name)
There’s still much I need to post about that’s happened in the past few weeks, but DYBBUK’S MYSPACE LAYOUT IS DONE! :D

I’m not sure if Sam has figured out the HTML that will align the links properly in Internet Explorer yet, but it looks fine in Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome, so feel free to check it out if you’re using one of those! I don’t know if the header will look weird while he’s working on the links, but he’s an IT engineer, so I trust him. It looks okay in Opera, though the sections on the left overlap the ones on the right a little bit. There’s nothing that can really be done about that as far as I know, but at least it’s not too bad. I also wish I could find a code that actually gets rid of that annoying Google search bar, but I’ve had no luck after trying for days. Otherwise, I’m really happy with how it turned out, considering it's my first MySpace layout.



MYSPACE.COM/DYBBUKUS

Before I started designing the layout, Sam requested that he would like it to be inspired by Katatonia’s MySpace, which explains some of my design decisions. Of course, there will be new layouts in the future as the band evolves. I’ve already agreed to create some promotional graphics for the page once their EP is released this fall. Sam and Matt both like minimal design, so I tried to keep it that way by leaving out a background image. (Matt has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, but doesn’t know web design, which is why I ended up making their layout.) As long as the page is just as much aesthetically pleasing as it is easy to navigate, it’s a success. Everyone in the band likes it, so that’s all that really matters. Additional comments and criticism are still welcome, as usual. There’s always room to improve as an artist.

I created the illustration of a dybbuk with my Wacom Intuos4 tablet in PhotoShop CS3. The drawing is based off a card my sister has from Magic: The Gathering and the stylization of the figure was inspired by Japanese woodcut prints. I also wanted it to have a looser, painterly feeling to balance out the overly smooth and clean design. I took all the photos on the left side of the page (except for the one of Matt) at their show a couple weeks ago. I’ll be posting next about the show, along with a bunch of pictures I took.
ferrumaeternum: (sif the harvester)
I almost don’t know how to compose an entry that doesn’t have anything to do with art I’ve made, my tattoo progress, or a concert I’ve just been to. D: This needs to change, and it will, starting now.

So, this has been popping up on various LOTR-related sites over the past week and is just too cute not to share.


There are sheep living in abandoned hobbit holes! Well, probably not right now as the set is under construction, but come on, how adorable is that!?

It’s a good thing I didn’t sign up for any yoga classes because I’ve been so busy working on Dybbuk’s MySpace layout that I really wouldn’t have had time for them. Their first show is already this Friday at Vnuk’s Lounge, so I’ve been hurrying to make sure it will be ready before then. MySpace’s coding is incredibly frustrating to work with, and I recently learned that the layout I designed will be obsolete in the near (or hopefully not so near) future. Most band profiles use the Version 1 layout, and I’ve read that it’s just a matter of time before MySpace forces everyone to switch over to Version 2, where nothing is aligned or centered in a way that makes sense or is visually appealing for the artist pages. Just look at Amon Amarth’s new layout on Version 2. What an ugly mess! The main problem now is that there are very little HTML or CSS resources out now for this version, but I’m hoping once it does switch over, tutorials for the coding will follow shortly after or else there’s going to be some really messed-up looking band layouts for a while. Unfortunately, with MySpace you can’t just use a nice, organized CSS stylesheet like you can with LiveJournal customizations. I’ve just got it all sorted out so that it works in Safari and Firefox, but I still need to check it using Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Opera. It looks great on my MacBook Pro and my sister’s Asus laptop, but I’m also going to check it on the ancient PC my parents use just to make sure. I also have to finish the illustration for the header image today, and then it’ll be finished.

I just want Dybbuk to have the layout before the show in case they want me to make any changes. I think their MySpace page will get a spike in visitors after they see them perform live and hopefully want to know more about the band. Here’s the link to their MySpace if you want to check out a couple samples of their music. (I’ll also repost a link once they have the new layout up so you guys can check that out as well if you’re interested.) They’ve been in the studio recording their first EP this summer, which will be out in fall. I know it’s my friends’ band and all, but there aren’t many good bands from Milwaukee, so I have a lot of faith in them to improve the scene. Dybbuk started out playing progressive technical death metal, but found this power metal singer from up north, which I think makes for an interesting combination. Since I’m taking photos for the band at the show, I get to be let in as part of the band and get free drinks all night! It should definitely be a good time, even if all the other bands sound like a bunch of chaotic death metal noise. I’m a little disappointed I’ll be missing the Young Dubliners at Irish Fest that night, since I’ll have to go tomorrow instead and they’re not playing then. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be there, though, so I’m sure it will still be fun. I’m also finally old enough to try some of their mead, so I’m crossing my fingers they still have it there! ;) I refuse to go over the weekend because $15 for a ticket and another $15 for parking is ridiculous. At least admission is free on Thursday with a donation of school supplies!

While I’m on the topic of metal, you’ve got to check out this animated video for Ensiferum’s "One More Magic Potion" if you haven’t seen it already. This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and I just love all the imagery from the Norse myths and the Kalevala.

'One More Magic Potion' Animated Tribute from Celine Lester on Vimeo.

ferrumaeternum: (stewed screwed and tattooed)
Number of hours for this session: 2.5
Total number of hours tattooed so far: 51

More gray shading was added and the peacock’s tail was finished! A lot of art nouveau style peacocks’ tails stop a bit short with the eye feathers, so the addition of the t-feathers on the end actually makes it anatomically correct, though I expect a lot of people who see this photo are going to think it looks weird. At least I won’t have to worry about many people seeing it in person other than my tattoo artist and myself. :p I’m really digging the vertical lines he added that contrast with all the horizontal and diagonal ones and help camouflage my buttcrack. It’s hard to see exactly how big the end of the tail is, but it took a good two hours to do and swelled up to the size of an orange for a few days. It was strange that it did that because that area didn’t hurt much at all. I actually ended up spending six hours at the shop that evening because most of the work was drawn on freehand with a watercolor pencil, but I had a great time.

While I was there, Lane got me into the German funeral doom metal band Ahab, which I really liked because when I was in high school I had to play a piece of music that was 10 movements long and also inspired by Moby Dick. I had no idea their guitarists were in Midnattsol, either! After talking about doom metal, I saw that he had Agalloch on his iPod, but he said he never got around to listening to them, so I had him listen to Ashes Against the Grain in its entirety and he loved it! :D He doesn’t have The Mantle, and I’ll try to burn it for him before my next appointment, but my DVD/CD drive on my laptop is starting to go. :/ I also found out he likes Månegarm (or “this band that sounds like they’re playing in a fucking beer hall,” as he put it) but doesn’t have any of their music, so I’ll definitely be bringing that too if I can. We need all the folk metal fans we can get around here ‘cause there are hardly any! Anyway, getting back to the tattoo…

The gray shading on my left hip below the cherry blossom still has to be done, and Lane had also talked about extending the shading around the lantern and brightening up parts of the peacock’s tail feathers. There’s going to be some gray spots in that part of the background to help tie it in with the upper part of the piece.

On Thursday I’ll be going in for possibly my last session on my backpiece, but things usually take longer than Lane anticipates, so we’ll just have to see if he finishes then or not! At any rate, it’s almost finished, and after four years a few months, I’m pretty excited for it to be complete.

Two NSFW photos: the full piece and a detail shot )
ferrumaeternum: (ghoulina - sylvia ji)
The Soilwork show on Friday was amazing! Wisconsin just recently passed a statewide smoking ban, so it was nice to be able to breathe and not have to worry about my eyes watering or feeling light-headed or smelling horrible after the show. The only downside was that it was incredibly hot - even worse than at Hypocrisy. After the show, Sam said the only concert he’d been to that was hotter than this one was in the desert in 120-degree heat.

The Crinn
This band was mostly straight-up hardcore with some metalcore and technical and progressive elements. Before I saw them, I read that their album can also be interpreted as one whole song, and after seeing them I have to agree. You couldn’t tell one song from the next and the band rarely stopped for applause. I’m also not impressed with bands that use weird time signatures. They make a big deal about it because all of them are self-taught musicians, which I find a bit annoying. Once you get the feel for a strange time signature such as 5/7, it’s not much different than playing a song in 4/4, whether you’re classically trained or not. Though I’m not a fan of hardcore, this band was at least tolerable to listen to and their music had a few interesting aspects to it.

Swashbuckle
I could see this band every week and never tire of them - that’s how much fun I always have watching these guys. They were playing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” while warming up, and some idiot behind me yelled, “Minus 100 metal points for that!” Seriously, fuck you ‘cause Pat Benatar is awesome. Once again, no coconut tree or parrot costume guy, but they came onstage dancing to what sounded like an electronic remix of Alestorm’s “Set Sail and Conquer”. Another funny thing that happened was some guy back at the bar yelled that he wanted some women and Admiral Nobeard said that a metal show is not the place to pick up women ‘cause the ones that are there look just like the men. XD Swashbuckle even dedicated a song to beer, cheese, and bratwurst in honor of Milwaukee!

About halfway through their set, I felt someone tap my arm, and I looked back to see Sam and Elizabeth! I hadn’t heard anything from them about the show, so I assumed they weren’t going, but they decided to come at the last minute. I’m glad they came so I had some people to hang out with, since Dominic wouldn’t be there. I was also feeling too shy to go up and talk to the guys from Mutiny Within when they were hanging out near the buses and vans before the show.

Mutiny Within
These guys were fucking amazing! I had just checked out their video and a couple other songs on YouTube a couple hours before I left to go to the show and I was completely blown away. Beth has been a big fan of theirs and kept telling me to check them out. I just wish I had done so sooner so I could have properly sang along when they asked the audience to at the show. I’ll definitely be ready when they return in a couple months, though! I love Chris’s clean vocals just as much as his growl and both sound flawless live. He’s also a great showman, constantly running around the stage with his cordless mic. The whole band sounded really tight, too! I’m really impressed with them, especially for being so young and a new band. I can’t stop listening to their record. Here’s their video for the single “Awake”:


Augury
As I mentioned in an earlier entry, Dominic ‘Forest’ Lapointe, their bassist, decided to leave the band after their tour with Vader. The band is definitely not the same without him! Their new bassist isn’t as good, and you could hardly hear him. Dominic made sure to really crank it up when he played, as it is an important element to their music and truly put the technical in technical death metal. The rest of the band sounded good, but it was disappointing after the last time I heard them when they were great.

On a side note, Dominic isn’t talking to me anymore, and I’m kind of disappointed about it. He probably realized that I’m not interested in him romantically and stopped pursuing me. Ugh, why do guys always just totally ignore you and never talk to you again after you’ve turned them down? Why can’t they get over it, look for someone else, and still be friends, especially if there are common interests between both parties? It seems like the only men women can really be friends with have to be either already married or in a relationship or gay. Oh well.

Death Angel
The 80’s Bay Area thrash legends did not disappoint! They put on one of the most energetic performances I’ve ever seen, which inspired the crowd, despite the heat. Some smaller pits had broken out during Mutiny Within and Augury’s sets, but they didn’t come close to the massive circle pit during Death Angel. There were constantly 20-30 people in it, and after they were done playing, the floor was covered in puddles of sweat. Their frontman’s ferocious yell and guitarists’ abilities really stood out. It’s also always a treat to see someone playing a Les Paul in a metal band, where the skinny, light guitars are usually preferred.

After I got back from the bathroom after Death Angel’s performance, who of all people do I see at the bar with Sam and Beth? Chris from Mutiny Within! I’d told them earlier that I thought the only cute guy there was him, after Beth and I had a bunch of annoying gross old guys hit on us. Later during Soilwork, one even touched my tattoo like he was trying to read Braille off it. Because of this, Sam made a special effort to introduce me to him, and we actually hit it off pretty well! I had no idea he and one of their guitarists were actually from the UK. He said he liked my haircut because it made me look like a movie star from the 1940’s, which was probably the best compliment I’ve ever received! :D I try to style my hair and make-up from that era, and I guess I succeeded. Then he started singing some Vera Lynn song to me and I was smitten. Seriously, a guy who’s single, a fantastic formally trained metal vocalist, a vegetarian, a few years older than me, AND also likes mid-Century vintage stuff? Why can’t he live around here!? :( This is not good that I only keep falling for guys from bands and no local guys ‘cause at this rate, I’ll be single forever…unless I move somewhere else or by some stroke of luck attract someone who isn’t from here. FML. Anyway, Sam was going to buy him a drink, but I had two free drink tickets I hadn’t used yet, so I bought him one. (Sam insisted on buying me two waters and saving my drink tickets, bless him!) Even though I said it was too hot to drink, he said he’d get a beer if I got a beer, so I caved to peer pressure and got a Heineken. I literally got a slap on the wrist from Chris for stealthily sneaking a drink from a straw so I wouldn’t mess up my lipstick but I got caught. It’s not like it was a particularly good beer anyway, and if they actually had a decent beer selection there, you can be sure I wouldn’t have used a straw. He ended up chucking the straw over the bar, so that was the end of it.

Brandon from Mutiny Within came over after a while, and Chris asked if we’d met his guitarist yet, and I had to tell everyone that I’d hit him with the women’s bathroom door as I was coming out. I’d already apologized profusely to him after it happened, but having to tell everyone made it even more embarrassing. This is probably worse than when I walked in on Blackguard’s soundcheck last year ‘cause I ended up embarrassing the poor guy as well. (I also got walked in on in the bathroom even though I could’ve swore the door was latched, but it was just another chick, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.) In my defense, I have to wonder what the hell he was doing right outside the door because their merch table was a good four feet away from it. Anyway, I had a really great time chatting and drinking with them and Elizabeth and Sam. I’ll be looking forward to their return in October and November with Nevermore and Epica.


I have no idea why he’s making that shifty eyes/raised and lowered eyebrows face in the photo, but he did the same in Sam and Beth’s photos as well. I think I’ve finally been bested when it comes to the “Elrond eyebrow”! XD Also, don’t mind my flushed, sweaty self here!

Soilwork
I’ve never been more than a casual fan of these guys, and their live performance further reinforced my opinion. They’re a good band, but nothing really stood out about their performance. Some people left right after Death Angel, and while I think it was a bit rude, I can also now understand why. They also didn’t play any songs I know, but I was pretty tipsy by then, so it was nice to just lean back on the bar and listen. I was too hot and tired to care at that point.

These are the only two photos I took that turned out due to the damn strobe light. I was too chicken to try to take any before Soilwork’s set (and coincidentally before the alcohol started to kick in). Luckily the venue’s photographer got some decent shots of Soilwork, Death Angel, and Augury.

After the show, I went back over to Mutiny Within’s booth and picked up their self-titled album for only $5! Brandon said if I opened it he’d sign it, and he also got the rest of the band to sign it! :D

+ 3 photos )

Sam and Beth were so kind to offer me a ride home, so we quickly stopped at an East Side coffee shop and were on our way. I felt bad because the concert got out really late and it’s a 45-minute drive to my house when there’s no traffic. They also had to drive straight into a huge thunderstorm and back home in it, too. I have some toys and books for their daughter next time I see them, so hopefully that will make up for it.
ferrumaeternum: (wooden pints - katie cook)
Unless a really amazing, must-see band is playing, of course. ;) Otherwise, this was by far the worst time I’ve had at any event or festival. When I got down there two Thursdays ago at 7:00 PM, I passed a guy on the sidewalk who was already wasted and leaning over a trash. All the parking spaces were filled up, which was ridiculous because they have multiple parking lots, but not unheard of. The worst part was that they blocked off a ton of roads and lanes that are usually open, so I ended up with nowhere else to go but a $20 lot a few blocks away from the grounds. Not a huge deal, since my ticket was free. As I got closer and closer to the gate, I noticed a lot more people there than usual. The lines went all the way into the street.

Once I finally got in, I decided to do some shopping first. All but a few vendors were selling nothing but junk that drunks and stoners would buy. Glass and guitar pick jewelry, hemp and tie-dyed everything, and the most disgusting of all was an outdoor tattoo station set up by Starship because getting a tattoo while drunk and in extreme heat and humidity outdoors is a great idea. :/ Luckily all the way at the edge of the grounds was a tent with Arabic and Asian vendors. I got a really nice moonstone and sterling silver ring for under $20 and a hand-painted papyrus with Ramesses receiving a blessing from Anubis and offering jars to Hathor. It looks like these and the gold/bronze parts are actually metallic. (Not sure which Ramesses it is, but I’m assuming it’s Ramesses II and I’ll double-check the cartouches to see if I’m right. Just as long it’s not Akhenaton, I really don’t care which pharaoh it is. :p) It was $60, but the guy who worked there knew the Egyptology professor at UWM, so he gave me a 50% discount! :D Elizabeth and I are hoping to go to Arab World Fest next month because her husband is half Arabic. Since Egyptian International Art will also be there, I’m planning on getting a couple of smaller painted papyruses of Anubis, Isis, Hathor, or Ma’at. So begins my Egyptian art collection…

For some reason, I thought Joan Jett was going to be at one of the stages on the opposite end of the festival grounds, but when I got down there, I found out they were performing at the stage right next to where I was just shopping. This would have been fine if the whole place wasn’t such a fucking zoo. Everyone was inching forward in a giant mass, and I was surrounded by slow-moving ghetto people, poseur punk rockers who came to see The Offspring, bros and their sun-baked hos, and tons of drunk white trash.

When I finally got back down there, I still had an hour before the show started, and there was hardly anywhere to sit. After the bad ‘80s cover band ended, most of the people decided to stay. There were several seats in the fourth row, but as I stepped over the bleachers, this overweight middle-aged guy told me they were taken but that he wasn’t. :/ Ugh, this never would have happened at a metal show because saving seats is totally lame and not metal. I can see saving one seat for someone, but a spot big enough for six people to sit? Not cool. Even worse was that three morbidly obese people later came over and took up all the room, of course, with a foot of breathing space between them. Some braver folks sat down after me and ignored the Seat Nazi, but he threatened to call security and they left. I ended up near the end of the sixth row, which wouldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t have a huge screen in the way and the people in front of me weren’t wearing those stupid sparkly red, white, and blue jester and Uncle Sam hats. They ruined all my photos because the flash focused on their hideous headgear instead of the lighted stage. :( This drunk older woman who had been dancing on the bleachers to the opening band was still standing on them before Joan Jett came on, and a security guard asked her to get down. When she refused, he called for backup and five other security guards hauled her off. Since there were people standing in front of her, she lost her spot and threw a hissy fit. Several more fights broke out over people standing in front of those who were up on the bleachers. During the show, some drunk guy jumped up on the shoulders of one of the massive women in front of me and angered her husband, which led to a screaming match between the two. Another guy a few people down from me who looked just like Willie Nelson started the rest of the arguments with people blocking his view and kept threatening to get security. Everyone involved in these fights were anywhere from 40 to 60-some years old. Teenagers fighting amongst themselves are one thing, but these drunk white trash need to act their age and lay off the beer.

At least the concert itself was really good. I hadn’t seen Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for about five years, and then they played a much shorter set, though I was able to get much closer to the stage. This time around, they played a good mix of material from the Blackhearts as well as The Runaways, including all the hits. "Bad Reputation", "Cherry Bomb", "I Love Rock and Roll", "Crimson and Clover", "I Hate Myself for Loving You", "Do You Wanna Touch Me", "A.C.D.C.", they pretty much had it all covered. They ended their set with a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People”, which I really enjoyed. However, I did not enjoy the drunk cougar next to me that was constantly hitting me with her hip and camera that was on her arm as she retardedly danced. Keep it classy for your pre-teen daughter, why don’t you? :/ The trashy hair metal guy on my other side who kept hitting on me wasn’t much better either.

It was also a nightmare trying to leave the festival because the concert ended at the same time that the grounds closed for the night and everyone was trying to exit at once. People were leaning out of their cars to vomit on the street as they were driving home. I’m sorry, but that’s absolutely ridiculous and a reminder as to why I do not drink heavily. Hopefully German Fest won’t be nearly as bad next week!
ferrumaeternum: (rose of the devil's garden)
Ugh…not again! I really shouldn’t have spent the first week off school sitting out on the porch with my cat and not doing much of anything else ‘cause now I’m really behind with updating. This jewelry/metals class was a lot more work than what I expected, but more on that later. It’s been about a month, so finally, here’s the post on the Hypocrisy show. Luckily I already had most of this typed up the day after the show, since Samer and Elizabeth couldn’t make it and wanted to know what happened.

The weather for the show was awful. It was 90°F and it was so humid that it was difficult to breathe. Sam and Beth didn’t come because they don’t have air conditioning, so Beth’s grandmother would have got sick if she babysat for their four-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find anyone else to babysit for them. The anti-humidity hairspray and several straightening hair products did nothing, so in just an hour after leaving the house, my hair was just short of a complete afro. I was stuck wearing a t-shirt, since my tattoo work was still healing, which only made it worse. When I arrived at the venue, I learned that the show would be in the tiny bar area. Then I found out it wasn’t air conditioned after they let us in 45 minutes late. There were some ceiling fans above the merch area, but there was no relief near the stage. Most of all, I felt bad for the musicians. It was torture enough just standing in the thick, stagnant air, but they had to actually move around.

Swashbuckle was just as great as last time, though I was mildly disappointed they didn’t have the inflatable coconut tree or the guy in the parrot costume running around. Despite the heat, they still were wearing their full pirate costumes and had great dialogue with the crowd. To quote Admiral Nobeard, “It’s hotter than a wench’s tit inside a tin bra.” He also basically called Paul from Blackguard a whoremonger onstage, but that’s another story… Anyway, I like their new drummer a lot better than their last one. Last time I saw them, that drummer wasn’t even dressed as a pirate! This one not only looked the part, but he was a total powerhouse.

Blackguard After that barb from “Captain Noballs”, I knew Paul was going to fire back with some of his own. ;) He clearly came out on top when he told us to, “Give it up for Alestorm!” and the whole crowd cheered. It was great being in the front row for this band because their synchronized windmill headbanging worked like fans, although I kept getting whipped in the face with hair. XD They played “The Sword”, “In Time”, “This Round’s on Me”, “Farewell”, and “Allegiance”. During “In Time”, Paul pointed me out from the stage. I’m still amazed that he remembers me after I’ve only hung out with him a couple of times.

Speaking of which, the Blackguard fanboys weren’t at the show, so I went straight to their merch table after their set in hopes of getting to chat a little more than last time. Kim was the only one there, so I waited in the back for a while. Then I noticed he was yelling, “Hey, you! Come over here!” at me. :/ He said that it looked like I didn’t know what I wanted to buy, so I asked him if he had any girls shirts. He didn’t, so he tried to get me to buy a thong or booty shorts, since I already had their album and a poster. After I declined, he kept trying to talk me into it or trying to get me to buy other things until I said I’d think about it and walked away. I understand that they’re trying to make money and promote their band, but pushing merchandise on fans isn’t the way to do it. I tried to make small talk with him about the tour and how the band was doing, but all he cared about was making a few bucks. After I told Beth about it, she said that he tried to get her to buy more shirts after she got one at their last show, so it sounds like he does this to everyone.

Hate was alright, but not very memorable. They sounded like straight-up death metal, but looked like a black metal band. Their outfits and facepaint were interesting and their music was listenable, but I wasn’t really into them. They were also the only band that didn’t have a pit during their set.

Scar Symmetry put on a great performance despite some assholes in the crowd booing them and yelling, “Faggots!”. :( There were only about three rows of people at the front of the stage that were even into them, which was kind of discouraging, so I made sure to give them some extra applause. Considering the other bands on the tour, I understand that the crowd might not be into a band that uses clean vocals, but that doesn’t mean you should be rude and boo them. The heat and small stage hindered how much they could move around, but they sounded so solid that it didn’t really matter. They also treated the crowd with a lot of kindness and respect, which I hoped the audience could show them in return, especially since they came here from another country. It’s one thing to be rude to other Americans, but I feel that if there’s people visiting from elsewhere, you should treat them as guests.

After this, I was starting to get a bit down, but Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” came over the PA system and I was almost knocked over from the force of Paul’s hug. He said he was taking a break from catching up on computer work and came out just to say hi to me, which I thought was really sweet. We only got to talk for about ten minutes, but at least I found out that all the bands on this tour expected it to suck in terms of audience turnout and reception, so I was a little relieved about that. I wish there’d been more time to chat, since none of the people who were swarming him last time were around. But Blackguard’s coming back in September and November, so there will always be time later. Still, it was really humbling that he took time out of his schedule to say hi ‘cause I know he meets a ton of other fans (and some fairly memorable skanks, I’m sure) on the tour and still remembers me.

Hypocrisy really turned this night around for me. They played for well over an hour and covered a huge range of material from The Final Chapter to their latest, A Taste of Extreme Divinity. The stage was kept dark for the most part with a lot of strobe light and neon green, red and blue coming from the back that created the ambiance of an extraterrestrial ship landing. The recorded bits that played between songs also helped set the eerie mood. Everyone went crazy when they played “Eraser”, and it was nice to hear that everyone knew the beginning of the chorus when Peter handed us the mic. Peter dedicated “Fire in the Sky” to the bassist from Slipknot who just passed away, which I thought was really nice, even though I don’t like Slipknot’s music. Everything, including Peter’s vocals, sounded fantastic up until the end. I still really want to see Pain sometime because I have to admit that I like them a little bit more than Hypocrisy, but I got my Peter Tägtgren fix…for now.

Paul said he’d see me after the show, but after I waited around for five minutes, I left. I have a hunch that even if I waited longer, he was probably still on the computer. :p

I can stop bitching about The Rave for now ‘cause they took some pictures and posted videos of each band on the website! :D
ferrumaeternum: (hail to the hammer)
I know this is really late, but I just cannot avoid writing about seeing two of my favorite bands of all time. ;) I had most of this written weeks ago, but it took me forever to finish it, since I’ve been in a mad rush to get all my projects done before the end of the semester!

First of all, I cannot begin to express how furious I am with the Department of Homeland Security for not letting Survivors Zero come over here to the U.S. and play on this tour. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t give them a visa. Since they had to be dropped off the tour at the last minute, it completely screwed up the timing, and naturally they were replaced with musically unrelated, crappy opening bands. I skipped an important lecture in my design class, rushed down to the venue thinking I had missed the doors by half an hour only to find out that they weren’t even letting people in for another half hour and Swallow the Sun wasn’t going to be on until 8:00. It would’ve been nice if The Rave would have updated the time on their website. :/ The only people waiting outside were the clique from Norse Mythology (who still immaturely ignored me) and this guy with his mom who I’d previously met through the guy I know from high school. Luckily I was able to talk with him a bit while we were waiting. After they let us in and I bought a Finntroll shirt, Beth and Sam showed up with their friend Nolon who I’d met at their BBQ. I’ve come to the conclusion that those people from my Norse Mythology class will never want to hang out with me because I don’t wear the metal uniform of a band t-shirt, black pants, and boots every day, and that’s fine by me because I’m through with having close-minded friends.

I would also like to mention that I decided to wear earplugs to this show after not being able to hear after the Overkill show for more than two days. I’ve already got a slight permanent ringing in my ears, and I don’t want it to get any worse. For all future small venue/bar shows, I’m definitely wearing them. You can actually hear the band a lot better with them in, since it gets rid of the echoing of The Rave’s poor acoustics and the distortion from the high decibel levels. Even though I was up front by the speakers, I was able to hear just fine after the show.

Across the Sun )

Urn )

Swallow the Sun )

Moonsorrow )

Finntroll )

Unfortunately, there aren’t any pictures from this show. I honestly don’t know how The Rave can have a no-camera policy when there isn’t even someone from their staff there taking pictures of the show. :/
ferrumaeternum: (hallowed be thy name)
A couple weeks ago, I saw Overkill, Vader, God Dethroned, Warbringer, Evile, and Woe of Tyrants at The Rave. Since I’ve already reviewed half of these bands, I’ll try to keep this post fairly short and sweet. This was my first show in the basement, so I had no idea what to expect. It turns out that it’s very similar to the bar, but much larger, and the stage is higher up and has an annoying gate in front of it. It certainly didn’t stop the stagedivers during Warbringer, though! ;) Unfortunately, security was checking bags, so I didn’t want to risk taking any photos. I should really try to get photo passes for shows, but John from Warbringer was in front of me at the box office trying to get one for his friend, and they wouldn’t even let him have one. I should probably start an actual music review website with more professional reviews, so maybe I’ll have a good enough excuse to obtain one.

I hate to start this out on a bad note, but I wasn’t feeling Woe of Tyrants at all, and neither was the rest of the crowd. “Thrashcore” would probably be the term to best describe their sound, and I pray this is not the start of a new “core” trend. The band itself wasn’t too bad, except for some stupid crabcore moves, but I couldn’t stand their ultra-scene frontman. He had good stage presence and seemed like a nice guy, but I’m not about to show any mercy for all this shitty hardcore-fused pseudo-metal that keeps getting thrown in with actual metal bands. It needs to stop. I don’t listen to hardcore, metalcore, deathcore, or any other “core” that might be out there, so I’m can’t really comment any further on this band.

I saw Evile last month with Kreator, and they were just as entertaining and funny this time around. I actually liked their set list better this time because they played a more diverse variety of songs. The band was hanging out by the merch tables again after their set, but Elizabeth, Sam, and John had just arrived toward the end of Evile’s performance, so I decided to hang out with them instead. :p

Next was the band I specifically came to see: Warbringer! I can’t get enough of these guys! John, their vocalist, came out wearing a cheesehead that didn’t stay on for long as the band launched into “Living in a Whirlwind”. They played most of the other crowd favorites including: “Severed Reality”, “Prey for Death”, “Total War”, and finished their set with “Combat Shock”.

I’m not really a big fan of God Dethroned, and I’m still not after seeing them live. They’re pretty boring, but they had kind of a classic blackened death metal sound that was at least listenable. They also played for a really long time, and I have no idea why. I don’t even remember much from the second half of their set because while they were onstage, some middle-aged white trash guy who looks like a clone of Kid Rock decided to drunkenly fall over in front of me and burned my hand with his lit cigarette on his way down. The pain was so bad that it knocked the wind out of me and made my eyes water instantly. I’ve burned my arm on a 400-degree oven before, but this felt so much different and hurt much worse. At first I thought he had a knife and stabbed me, so I shoved him off of me immediately. My friends were freaking out because they thought I was going to catch on fire from all the embers from the cigarette that fell on me, but luckily I was wearing leather from head to toe, so I was okay. My hand didn’t fare so well, and it’s still healing as I type this. I had a pea-sized blister between my index and middle finger on my writing hand and couldn’t draw for a couple days, but the swelling went away fairly quickly and it scabbed over. I have a bad feeling it’s going to leave a scar, but that’s life. I just hope that guy didn’t drive home that night because he was really messed up. He also had the nerve to come back by me after the incident with a few more beers in hand. Ugh! He probably didn’t even realize what happened. Shortly after that, I saw some younger guys helping one of their friends out of the crowd who looked like he was having a hallucination. I really don’t understand people who abuse drugs, let alone use them in public. I’ll just be glad when the smoking ban goes into effect in July and I won’t have to worry about getting burned again at a show. Not smelling like death after the show and having watery eyes and a sore throat will be nice as well.

Vader was up next, and it felt like it took forever for them to set up. Once they finally started playing, it seemed like they only played a few songs in about fifteen minutes and then walked offstage. Everyone was chanting for them to come back out, but the lights went up and the crew started setting up for Overkill. This was the same day the Polish president and other Polish government officials were killed in the Russian plane crash, so I thought maybe they were upset about the whole ordeal. I was told at the Finntroll show last week Thursday from another fan that they had to cut their set short due to technical/equipment problems and that the band went up to the ballroom to watch HIM. Whatever the reason, I was really disappointed that they didn’t play much, since they were one of the main reasons my friends and I were at the show.

Overkill was phenomenal! They played for at least two hours, and didn’t show any signs of slowing down toward the end. They actually riled up the crowd more, closing their set with “Fuck You” after a great call and response chant back and forth with the crowd and advising us not to eat any of the emo kids after the show because they’ll give you diarrhea. XD Those poor HIM fans were completely terrorized by all the trasher dudes before and after the show! Anyway, Overkill’s light show was also absolutely brilliant! It included plenty of their signature bright yellow-green and some cool lightning effects. The strobe light had some great effects on the crowd, where most of the people in attendance were going nuts in the circle pit. Despite the annoying people in the crowd (especially all the bald, goateed middle-aged men who kept hitting on me), it was a great thrash metal show and a fun time hanging out with friends. Warbringer wasn’t so lucky because some asshole stole John Laux’s backpack that had pretty much everything he needed on tour in it.

Speaking of assholes, Terrence was there, but he avoided us because he’s mad I never got back to him about those Diamanda Galas albums and he defriended me on Facebook. I just hope I’m not on his hitlist or anything because Samer swears that he’s the kind of guy to go on a killing spree. All I can really do is try to stay out of his way and hopefully he’ll get past the whole thing because he was the one who approached me in the first place. I wasn’t so lucky in avoiding that guy from high school, but once my friends showed up, he left me alone. He wasn’t as annoying as last time before the show because he was with a bigger group of friends, and some of those guys had more in common with me, so I mainly talked to them.

After the show, Sam and Beth offered to drive John and I home so we all could go out to eat at one of their favorite cafes, even though it’s two hours round trip to my house from Milwaukee. Sam even paid for all our food! Each of us ended up with a delicious falafel pita and Turkish tea from Mona’s Turkish Shawerma House on the east side. It was the first time I’ve been there, but it definitely won’t be the last! The food is very tasty and also very cheap.

Photos of Overkill and God Dethroned are here. (I know…no Vader. :/ WTF?) Since my tattoo will be finished soon, I’m going to start saving up for that digital 35mm I’ve been talking about getting for years, and then I’ll see about getting a photo pass.

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