Metallica – Save Mart Center – Fresno CA: December 9th 2018

Another Epic Metallica show last night at the Save Mart Center on the campus of Fresno State University in beautiful downtown Fresno California.

Toni and I flew down from Seattle early Saturday morning and had a very relaxing time flaking out in the hotel in a town boarding Fresno called Clovis. We didn’t do much other than flake at the hotel and go out to eat up until showtime.

We did have VIP (Whiplash Experience) which we had done the last time we saw Metallica in Seattle, and would definitely recommend. You are able to get into a pre-function prior to the show where they serve some pretty good hors d’oeuvres. They also give some pretty decent merch such as a show specific concert poster and t-shirt. A great way to pre-function prior to the show.

Metallica came on pretty late (around 8:30-8:45) which gave way too much time for the pre-show with Jim Breuer who was funny for the first hour, but after two hours just got annoying. I came to see some metal after all, not a comedy show. The only thing the guy said that was worth while was when he warned “older” people not to participate in the mosh…if only the old guy who got knocked down and had to be carried out would have listed. This wasn’t the only incident that happened around us either…a guy down our row had to be physically removed from the arena due to his belligerency and some doped up loser assaulted a female security person, knocking her to the ground for not letting him do things he wasn’t;t supposed to…I just can’t understand why people just can’t come to a show to enjoy the music. Why they must be such a-holes.

When they did finally come out, they came out as powerful as ever, opening with Hardwired and Atlas, Rise!. They jammed out a great set coving their whole history from their latest album to their old stuff such as Hit the Lights. My favorites of the night were Fuel, Seek and Destroy, Sad But True and Ride the Lightning.

Metallica will always be a must see show, and I will continue to put up with the dorks in the crowd to hear and see them perform.

Blink 182 – Pearl Concert Theater – Las Vegas NV : November 10th 2018

Great show down n Vegas. Blink 182 always put on a great show and tonight was no different. I flew in from Seattle on a fairly late flight (as I was coming in from Shanghai and couldn’t;t get anything sooner), so I landed around 7:30 in the evening and had to rush to the hotel. Fortunately the venue was in the Palms Hotel which meant all I had to do was come downstairs. As I was later than hoped, I missed the all of the VIP early entry and buffet, but that was OK as I made it to the show before it started around 9:00.

The setlist was awesome for this residency at the Palms. They opened up with Feeling This, followed by What’s My Name Again. They played some older tunes such as Mutt, All The Small Things and Dumpweed, and also some of the music from their newest album such as Kings of the Weekend and Los Angeles.

I hope these guys keep playing and making music for many years to come.

Phil Collins – MGM Grand – Las Vegas NV : October 27th 2018

Definitely worth the wait to see Phil Collins. I have loved his work since the early days of Genesis and have wanted to see him in concert for a long time. Tonights show at the Garden Arena at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was absolutely awesome. Phil Collins’ voice was incredible and he sounded exactly like I remember form all those albums.

He play a great set of songs ranging from of course his Genesis material like Throwing It All Away and Follow You Follow Me. He opened with an interesting choice, that I didn’t think was that popular however it was one of my favorite songs when it came out…Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now), then went in to some great solo music Another Day in Paradise and I Missed Again. Of course one of the crowd favorites was In the Air Tonight which was very powerful with his very talented 17 year old son Nic slamming it on the drums. My favorite song of the night was one in which Nic played piano and Phil sang You Know What I Mean…very nice, mellow song for father and son to perform together.

It was a quick trip down to Vegas for the day, but very much worth it, and another great artist that I was finally able to see live in concert.

Bullet For My Valentine – The Wiltern – LA : October 12th 2018

A great one day trip down to L.A. to one of our favorite venues for one of our favorite bands. Bullet was awesome as ever, sounding great in this historic theater.

Deep Purple/ Judas Priest – Sacramento CA : September 30th 2018

Another heavy metal icon band that I hadn’t seen before. Deep Purple put on a great show although the crowd had significantly decreased in size after Judas Priest left the stage. I am not sure why people decided to leave before the headline band came on, but I suppose most of them must have been Judas Priest fans…although to be a Judas Priest fan and not appreciate the music and 50 year history of Deep Purple is beyond me, but it did leave a lot of elbow room with empty seats around me.

I did the meet and greet with Deep Purple and I have to say that this was one of the most disorganized VIP experiences I have ever done. All I got was an email saying pick-up the tickets and more information at the ticket counter when I arrive. When I went to ticket counter, they had no idea about any VIP experience so I decided to do what I usually do when I can’t get good instructions, I waited to see what other folks did. Unfortunately this VIP group was very small and I wasn’t able to observe any further direction. After waiting for about an hour and asking a number of different venue staff, I was told to go inside and meet the VIP host, which of course was nowhere to be found… I was able to find other VIP guests and collectively we found out where and when to meet. Once we got organized, it was very nice meeting the members of Deep Purple, having them talk with us, sign our badges and take photos with us.

Judas Priest came on around 8:30pm I think and played for about an hour to an hour and a half. They played a lot of music off of their newest album and then saved all of their classics to a massive set at the end of their show. Rob Halford still sings and screams as he used to and the band (minus K.K. Downing and Guess Tipton) rocked as usual. Every time I have seen these guys, I am always blown away by their power and performance, last night was no exception. I enjoyed the classics like Living After Midnight, Hell Bent for Leather, You Got Another Think Comin’ and Breaking the Law, but it seemed the crowd favorite was PainKiller.

Deep Purple didn’t come on until around 9:30, but also put on a great show. This was the first time I had seen them and it started off great with them opening with my favorite sang, Highway Star. I really enjoyed the keyboard solo by Don Airey…such an amazing sound. I think one of my favorite songs of the night Lazy and Space Trucking’ although Knocking at Your Backdoor and Perfect Strangers were also awesome and then of course their all time classic Smoke on The Water was pretty incredible.

All in all, a good show…not great, but worth the trip down from Seattle.

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