Saturday, April 24, 2010


Tonight was HIM with We Are The Fallen, Dommin, and Drive A. I had initially reserved tickets to HIM because a friend of mine was a fan, but due to last minute events, could not attend. I had never been a fan of HIM, but I thought I should give them a go and check out the show. With little ambition and still beat from Coachella, I was terribly late to HIM.

I was quite surprised when I walked in to such a quiet House of Blues. Covered in low blue light, Ville Valo was alone onstage, singing melodically, captivating his fans and holding the audience perfectly still. The set, backdrop, and lights were low and mild, nothing flashy or loud; definitely not what I expected. HIM played one more song before going out with a bang, covering Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. It was rockin’ and the crowd loved it. As the house lights came on, I exclaimed, “I want more of that!”

Although I didn’t give HIM a fair shake, or enough to write a proper review, I will say I was shocked and awed by Rebel Yell. I will give HIM props for showing their roots and respect for Idol by doing such a wicked cover. They are talented musicians, with their own fan base, and although HIM is not my style, I will give them a thumbs up.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fear Factory

Ah yes, good ol’ Fear Factory. I had been waiting for a face melting metal show to come through the House of Blues, especially after the cancelation of Hammerfall. Fear Factory with special guest Winds of Plague, Dirge Within, and Periphery certainly fit the bill. Unfortunately, again the metal gods were not on my side...

Pre-show we had a few drinks at the usual bar and made it to Mandalay Bay about 8 o’clock. My mind was set on Fear Factory and had forgotten that Muse was also playing at the Mandalay Events Center. It was also a UFC fight night, so getting anywhere in Vegas, let alone Mandalay Bay, would be a challenge. We spent the next 45 minutes, crawling all the way up and back out of the parking garage. Feeling totally defeated, I gave up, parked at the Tropicana Convention Center, walked to Mandalay Bay, and muddled through the sea of Muse fans. By 9:15, I had made it to Fear Factory.

Fear Factory was loud, pit was spinning, heads were banging, and hair was swinging non-stop. Angry metal energy filled the room, backed by shredding guitars and double-bass you could feel rattle your ribs. I was feeling it instantly, head banging and screaming all my frustration out. I fortunate enough to catch some great Fear Factory songs, both old and new: Fear Campaign, Martyr, Christploitation, Demanufacture, Self Bias Resistor, closing with Replica.

This summer, the reformed Fear Factory is on tour promoting their new album, Arkaea. Although I never closely followed Fear Factory, it had been ten years since I last saw them live, and I thought they were better than ever. I will give the album a listen and look forward to a future tour. This time, metal gods, please clear my path to the show.