Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Old men swaying back and forth: Chiko's Ozzy and KISS concert review

I've dreaded writing this... Well, half of this.

Okay okay, Loz is right... Ozzy was disappointing. But not because of the music. Yeah, the setlist was hit & miss, and his voice faltered a few times. But I honestly think that we could have lived with that... Had he played for another hour or so.

It just felt like we got a second hand treatment. After reading about how awesome his tour of the states with Slash (spelled with an SH at the end) was going, and then getting what we could call half a show here, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. On top of that, paying full price and getting no opening band left the audience with an hour and a half performance at best.

I mean seriously... We were treated like such a second class show that we weren't even mentioned on the back of the official tour shirts.

I also agree with Loz that Gus G is still rather stiff. I like his style, but he still seems like an outsider to the group. But I do believe that it's only a matter of time before that gets fixed, give it until his second album with Ozz, and he should be fine. Need proof? Zakk's first album with Ozz was No Rest for the Wicked (meh), which was followed by No More Tears (wow). Get it?

Not much I can say about the rest of the band. They're good. We did find the drum solo rather tedious after ten minutes or so (I wish I was kidding).

Aside from all that, the sense of disappointment when the lights came back on was almost suffocating. I can simply say that the best thing I took from that concert was being able to say that I've seen Ozzy live. Yay me.

Now, on the other hand...

Two weeks later we had KISS, a band known for their live show. There's no way they'd disappoint us. And they didn't

They call themselves "The Hottest Band on Earth"... and with all the pyro they throw around I'll believe them. Just thinking that they stand that close to so much fire every night makes me feel bad for those old bastards. But damn, can they put on a show.

The show was spectacular, the audience was totally immersed in the experience. KISS isn't exactly the most musically proficient band, but they don't need to be. They're fun to watch and they put on a true spectacle.

Again, Puerto Rico wasn't on the shirts. But in this case, because the show was so great, it didn't hurt as much.

The one thing I might gripe about is the fact that they missed some songs. They could have cut out something from the new album and played God Gave Rock & Roll to You or God of Thunder... But that's just me nitpicking.

Note to self: Buy guitars with reflective backs that shoot fire. It's a great idea.

A little late... Loz's Review of Ozzy Osbourne's Concert

After so many years of abandonment, "The Prince of Darkness" was finally coming back to the island. I had never been able to see Ozzy in his solo act or during his Black Sabbath days, so I was excited. And the excitement was evident from the crowd as it gathered for the "pre-game". Everyone had come to the same conclusion even before the night of music and mayhem had begun... it was going to be a night to remember. We got there a little bit on the late side, (*shakes fist at Fefi*) and as we were standing in line, a guy with a megaphone announced that there would be no opening act. That should have been a sign of things to come, but we were still on a high. Chiko argued with me that no opening band meant no Adam Zoom (another story for another day), and while I tend to agree, an opening band would help to raise the anticipation for what was to come even more. So, after buying our Ozzy 'Scream Tour' shirts ('True Fuckin' Metal'), we went to our seats.

Then the opening video began to play. The video was pretty funny, putting Ozzy as different characters of pop culture happenings like 'Jersey Shore', 'Avatar', a Lady Gaga music video, etc. The problem was that the sound was pretty bad and thus we couldn't really understand most of what Ozzy says. It was pretty funny to see Ozzy as Edward from 'Twilight'. Before the show started outright though, I have to mention that the production values on this show were pretty much nil. Two crappy screens and the barest stage I have seen in a while. After seeing Iron Maiden and Metallica, this was incredibly disappointing.

The set-list in my eyes was a pretty mixed bag. While there were some Ozzy classics like 'Bark at the Moon', 'Shot in the Dark', 'Suicide Solution' and 'Crazy Train' and some Black Sabbath musts like 'Paranoid', 'Iron Man' and 'War Pigs'. There were some awesome songs that were completely left out and could have probably substituted some stuff like 'Faeries Wear Boots' and 'I Don't Know'. Songs like 'Mama, I'm Coming Home', 'Perry Mason', 'Miracle Man' etc. were conspicuous by their absence.

Now, credit where credit is due. Ozzy (or Sharon) has an amazing eye for talented musicians. "Blasko" Nicholson (bass) and Tommy Clufetos (drums) were pretty damned good and you could tell that they are in tune with one listen. They used to play together with Rob Zombie. Adam Wakeman (keyboards, rhythm guitar) also deserves a mention. But one of the men that people were looking forward to seeing live is the Greek ace Gus G. The guy can play fast. There is no doubt about it, but at times it seems like he is too robotic. Definitely still prefer Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde and Jake E. Lee over Gus G.

The biggest problem with the show was probably its length. It was way too short. It was so short that a friend of mine bought a burger and some fries and he had to eat them on the way out. I think it was lame how it ended and I think that our money was stolen. Chiko and I kept thinking that there was something wrong with Ozzy because his voice faltered quite a few times.

Now unto the score for the concert. I can't possibly give this concert a high score. While it was exciting to see Ozzy, but its like a friend of ours said... "Ozzy gave us musical blue balls".

4 out of 10.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light: Preview

Ok, I will openly admit... I'm a Grohl fanboy. Basically anything the man touches I automatically love. I do believe he is the greatest all around rock musician of our time (FYI, the greatest all around musician is without a doubt Prince, but that's a subject for another post). Wasting Light comes out in less than a month, and after waiting for over three years for this new Foo album, it's not surprising that I'm a little bit pumped.

Being as fan friendly as Foo Fighters are, they've given us more than enough previews of what's coming; going as far as giving us step by step updates on the recording of the album all the way from Dave Grohl's garage on twitter.

But around a month ago we got some sound to go with the hype... A surprisingly heavy song titled White Limo popped up on YouTube, along with an awesome video featuring Lemmy... yes, that Lemmy.

To be honest, I didn't love the song. I totally love the video, but the song seems pushed to me. I can appreciate the heavier sound. But Dave's vocals by the end of it seem monotone. I mean, if you go all out then there's no big "Oomph" moment when the song needs it. He usually saves those awesome screams for when the song calls for it (see: All My Life, Breakout).

I watched it like fifteen times... and it did grow on me. But a week later they put up a rough audio version of the first single, Rope... And it not only renewed my love for the band... But it instantly became one of my favorite Foo songs...

The riff is upbeat and catchy from the get-go. Every instrument feels proficient throughout the song. And the chorus has been infinitely looped in my head.

We're still a couple days away from album release... And I can already say, this won't be an album I just burn from a friend.

Expect a full review as soon as I listen to it four or five times...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Movie Review: I Am Number Four

Well, I will get the most important thing out of the way first. I have nothing good to say about this movie. In fact, I disagree with this movie and all like it on a base level. Call me pretentious, but I seriously dislike these Hollywood blockbuster types. That is not to say I don't enjoy all "mainstream" movies that come out, but for the love of all that is holy, at least attempt to have some semblance of a good script! This movie cannot decide between being a coming-of-age story or a fast paced action flick and in the end falls terribly short of either one, making the end product seem rushed. The main plot involves the titular 'Number Four' and his gradual awakening to his powers while being pursued by your cookie-cutter bad guys who want to end his life for reasons that while reasonably explained, are made moot seconds by the very same explanation. Long story short, the bad guys want to kill him because they are a race of genocidal warriors and he is one of the surviving members of a race they had wiped out years back. The problem with this is, if they already destroyed his home planet, why not just take out the whole Earth and get it over with? They had 16-17 years before his powers surfaced and thus was able to take them on, why not end all life on Earth and move along? But, that is just one of the many problems with this movie.
Another issue I have with it is it's predictability. Anyone who enjoys going to movies often will have no problem guessing what happens next in this movie. It's like a roller coaster, it moves fast, it has pretty stuff to keep you distracted every now and again, but it's very linear and you know where it's all gonna end. And while we're on the topic of moving fast, might as well talk about the character development. Since I would like to avoid spoiling any 'big' plot developments, all I will say is that the film handles the death of central figures very sloppily. They come out of the blue and fail to tug at your heartstrings entirely because the film failed to help you establish an emotional connection to that/those character(s). Hell, some characters you are shown the whole movie in tiny snippets, with no real display of their personality, and then bust in as if they've been there the whole time. Also, the special effects aren't all that good.
Now, to finish on a slightly positive note, the action scenes were pretty fast paced and broke the monotony now and then; plus, for all the moot points in their motives, the villains were fun to watch on scene, and the boy's guardian's(Timothy Olyphant) facial expressions in some scenes were priceless. And lastly, it made me sad that such a good set of songs were used on such a subpar movie. In fact, if there was only one good thing about all of this, it was the soundtrack. I would gladly justify my $5.75 as being paid to listen to The Black Keys, The xx, Jimmy Eat World, and other Great/Good/Nice artists with movie theater speakers, because honestly, this movie left a sour taste in my mouth.
And so, I close my review with these words: I Am Number Four is a very predictable film with some mildly entertaining fight scenes and some rather good and/or lulzy acting, despite the terrible script. Being as neutral as I can, I'd give it a 6/10, but personally, I say 4/10, because the few lulzy scenes/facial expressions/other don't really justify bumping up it's score.
P.S. : Fuck you, Michael Bay, just, fuck you.
P.P.S. :Seriously, eat shit and die.