"Concert Reviews"

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Roy Wilkins, St. Paul, MN
August 22, 1999

This was an eventful day of extreme metal music. There were 11 bands. A few there were: Dope, Stained, Slipknot, Machine Head, Coal Chamber, Sevendust, Powerman 5000, Static-X and Fear Factory.

Slipknot was one of the bands that really stuck out for the day. Slipknot, who was just touring on the second stage with Ozzfest, is a group of nine guys from Des Moines, Iowa. They represent extreme heavy metal. Just think -- nine guys all playing an instrument, dressed in coveralls and masks designed by each member to represent an extension of their personalities. They are a must-see.

Coal Chamber was there supporting their new album out on September 7, called Chamber Music. This album is going to rock. This group has really grown with their music. I donít think one person was standing still during their performance. They sounded great, and they look extremely conformable on stage. Their new album will be a hit.

Stained also put on a great performance. Their album Dysfunction has two great songs getting a lot of air play around here. They will be around for a while.

All in all, the day was great. All these bands are worth checking out. Not one band was disappointing at all.

- Diane Anderson

NOTE: Due to space constraints, the following reviews were not included in the print edition of Geoff Wilbur's Renegade Newsletter. These reviews are only available here in the online edition.

Drain S.T.H., Dope, and Fist
The Crowbar, State College, PA
September 15, 1999

Originally, Static-X was going to headline this show, but the band had to reschedule the show due to filming with NFL Films. According to the band, they were not scheduled to preform at this venue. However, the bands that were present put on a great and enjoyable show.

First one on this all metal bill was the locally-based band Fist from Gettysburg, PA, who played material from their self-released sophomore CD Big Fat Nasty along with covers from Tool and Korn. The crowd moved and really got into the band due to their great stage presence. The band was impressive and improved since the last time they played The Crowbar while opening up for Jimmy's Chicken Shack in February. If you have a chance, check out this band, for they are impressive live and deliver a butt kicking show.

Second up was New York City's Dope, which highlighted tunes from their Flip/Epic debut release Felons and Debaucheries. Dope plays a high-energy industrial fusion-based metallic hard edge rock with hip-hop influences. The raw power that the band presents live is a must to see, and people must witness this band live to get the total feeling of the band's material. Even though the release of the album was still six days away, there were actually fans of the band shouting to hear tunes from the album including "Spine For You" and their cover of the NWA classic "F*ck Tha Police." Here is a complete list of all the tunes which Dope played during that night:
            Intro./Sh*t Life
            Pig Society
            Spine For You
            Everything Sucks
            Wake Up
            Debonair (the band's first single)
            F*ck Tha Police
            (After this song there was some major mic problems so the band chatted with the crowd)

The band played 8 out of 12 tunes from their release that really rocked. Great and memorable set from this band who should be famous in a short time. Watch for this band to make it big.

After Dope's set ended, I was lucky to be invited on their tour bus to chat with the guys. This took longer than I wanted, so I missed most of Drain S.T.H.'s set but did get to hear the band's last four songs. These girls from Sweden really cooked up the stage and proved that beautiful and sexy woman can play power metal with the best of them. The sound of these woman can be best described as what Motorhead might have sounded like if they were The Runaways. They sounded better than the four times in the past I saw this band live. Also, the crowd this time was much smaller due to Lenny Kravitz playing the Bryce Jordan Center on the same night, and on the way to this show we saw Lenny in his limo. After the show, Drain S.T.H. greeted the fans around their tour bus which stayed around late. Especially, thanks to Martina for chatting with me and all my friends until around 1:30 AM in the center of State College right on the main street, College Ave., for it is rare that any band would talk to fans there. Overall an enjoyable show, and thanks for the autographs Drain S.T.H.

- Al Slavicsky

Huge Midgets
The Foxburg Inn, Saint Benedict, PA
February 18, 1999

Huge Midgets are an acoustic outfit consisting of Bob Gray and Angelo Pompa playing acoustic guitars. Rather impressive, for the band played a wide range of music from Fastball to Pink Floyd to Stone Temple Pilots to The Rolling Stones to The Grateful Dead. Most people think that the unplugged movement of a couple years ago is fading, but these musicians proved that there are some good musicians trying to save the art form and stop people thinking that it was just a musical trend. Acoustic bands such as Huge Midgets prove that acoustic music has never died in the pubs and bars across America.

- Al Slavicsky

The Stresstones
The Foxburg Inn, Saint Benedict, PA
February 19, 1999

The day after Huge Midgets played The Foxburg Inn, its members Angelo Pompa and Bob "Stumpy" Gray returned -- in an electric mood this time. Angelo Pompa converted to drums and vocals, Bob Gray did electric bass and vocals, and Pompa was on guitars and vocals. The material was widespread, ranging from ZZ Top's "Tush" to CCR's "Travelin' Man" to Alice in Chain's "Would?" and more classic rock. The sound was top notch and the sound man for the night was legendary around 7-foot AWA/WWF wrestling legend Gentleman Jim, who aided the band's sound and intense light show. The Stresstones also played some original tunes from their forthcoming CD, which had a hard rock/metallic flair to them. In retrospect, The Stresstones did a good show, but the need some polish to go to the next level.

- Al Slavicsky

The Foxburg Inn, Saint Benedict, PA
February 20, 1999

Honeybomb is a four-piece outfit from the central Pennsylvania area consisting of Betsy Lansberry on vocals, guitarist John Charney, drummer Dominick Persuso, and bassist Eric Bi. Tonight, the band played some impressive covers, including a high-energy rock and roll version of the classic Blondie disco-era song "Heart of Glass," a soulful rendition of Fiona Apple's "Criminal," and a version of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" with Betsy's vocals melting the crowd. The group is currently working on arranging some originals, which they hope to record in the future. Very impressive... watch for this band to blossom.

- Al Slavicsky

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