Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Big 4 in Theatres

The premise is not a new one. The kiddie bands and even Duran Duran and Green Day have done it. A one off event: Play a live concert in a movie theatre. Big Screen. Surround Sound. Dolby. It's not as if we headbangers haven't done something similar. On the small screen of course. A nice long weekend. Plenty of food and drink. Someone's TV - the bigger the better. And many many DVDs. Bootleg live shows or Concert DVD's or Rock in Rio. How many countless times have we watched A Year and a Half and Live Shit and Classic Albums or Symphony and Metallica or any number of bootlegs from New York shows. It's a ready made chapter meeting.

But this was different. This was special! All the musings about who would WE want to put on a festival and sit around and watch or if we're lucky, go and see live?





So it is written, so it shall be done. Last nights show (June 22) in Sophia Bulgaria was a wet dream come true for many metal heads. If you didn't make the trek to beautiful Sophia to party it up with the Harvester of Sophia crowd, you could toddle off to your local movie megaplex, grab some pop corn, and sit in a large comfy chair and watch some of the most blistering performances ever.

I saw the Big 4 at Desert Ridge AMC in Phoenix Arizona. It started promptly at 1930 hours PST. At the time, the theatre was about 1/2 full. Not bad. We were worried we'd be the only two people there. It hadn't been promoted much outside of Metclub channels. We "ran" to the "barricade" as it would be unseemly for us NOT to be front and center for a Metallica show. LOL The "barricade" in this case being a rail along the front row of seats separating the seats from the "pit" in front of the screen. It was a lively crowd with many strains of "SLAYER" ringing out at irregular intervals. They opened with several web cam shots of The stadium in Sophia filling up and people milling about.

This was inter-cut with mini interviews of Dave, Lars, and Scott. At some points, Dave looked like he was shaking. Don't know if that was camera shake or suppressed rage. Discussing getting all four bands together on the same bill and playing dates together he remarked "The only thing that's missing is cake right there in the middle of the stage." Lars likened "... the vibe is like ... little kids in a toy store." An understatement on both their parts. The fact that they were in the same room at the same time and Dave wasn't being a passive aggressive whingy bitch was cause for celebration. Even if Scott Ian was in between them, mediating and soothing as it seemed.

Lars said he didn't think the Euro shows would be the last time the Big 4 play together. From his lips to the gods ears.

At 1945 hours Anthrax hit the big screen with "Caught in a Mosh". The audience in my theatre sang along. They followed up with classics such as "Got the Time" and "I am the Law". Joey Belladonna sang "Heaven and Hell" inside "Indians". A phenomenal tribute to Ronnie James Dio - as Heaven and Hell were supposed to be on some of the Sonisphere dates. His voice sounded much stronger singing the song tonite than it did at Dio's funeral. Understandable. Belladonna hit it out of the ball park and it was easily the strongest vocals for him of the night. 45 minutes later they were off the screen to be replaced by Megadeth.

Megadeth had a solid 45 minutes of screen time too. They played in the pissing rain. Although the band was tight as fuck - totally nailing it, Dave's voice was quite atrocious. I'm sure he missed a good 80% of the notes. It sounded as if he was singing from his throat, totally forcing it. But it's easy to be an armchair lead singer. I was sitting in a plush red faux velvet over sized chair with my feet up, a bottle of iced green tea at my side, blackberry at the ready - texting and facebooking mates in San Jose, Jersey, Scotland and even Sofia where some of my mates had braved the cold rain and wind to end up front and center on the barricade and taking face time in my theatre! I think they were having a more fun time. Megadeth blistered thru "Holy Wars", "Skin O' My Teeth", "In My Darkest Hour" (which I sang quite loudly and as off key as Dave), "Hook in Mouth" with it's dated PMRC message. Most of the people in the theatre and I'm sure in Sophia weren't alive for Tipper's assault on metal music. I found it hilariously ironic that Tipper Gore and the PMRC is long gone and DAVE and MEGADETH are still going strong! They went on to crush "Symphony of Destruction" (with audience sing along) and a very loud and raucous "Peace Sells".

I guess I got lucky. The crowd in Phoenix appreciated all the bands thus far. They sang along to the songs they liked and whooped and hollared. I did get a text that a mosh/circle pit broke out.... in a JERSEY theatre! of course! And another text from the opposite end of the country saying the crowd was pretty lame and downright rude towards Megadeth's awesome guitar power. But that melted away at 2116 hours PST.......

OK - this needs to be LOUDER!!! it's FOKKING SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!! They opened with "World Painted Blood" then crushed thru "War Ensemble". OMG.... "Angel of Death" was sick!!! F.O.K.K.I.N.G.S.L.A.Y.E.R. The theatre roared!!! If you've had the misfortune to miss some years worth of Slayer shows you have done yourself a disservice. Get thee quick to a record shoppe and buyeth the SLAYER!!!!!!! The last song played was "Reign in Blood". Need I say more?? Yesh??


At this point I'm sure you are waiting eagerly for Louis to take the stage. . . erm, I mean Metallica (same thing really). LOL But as Heaven and Hell were supposed to play the Sonisphere dates, the producer of this fine epic in conjunction with the bands inserted a very nice tribute to the voice of metal, RONNIE JAMES DIO. Lars gushed about meeting Dio in Copenhagen when he was a 10 or 11 year old kid. Scott Ian said... " I feel better about myself as a hum being after talking to Ronnie James Dio."

2210 hours PST
The beginning of the most important hour and 24 minutes of your life........

Yesh, they played it!!! And Metallica blasted onto full screen with "Creeping Death"! It was amazing. Almost but not quite totally unlike being there! All the memories of 48 past Metallica shows. The anticipation of the four horsemen hitting the stage. The build up! The explosion! METALLICA !!!!!! They careened into "Bells" with reckless abandon taking all of us with them. They teased us with the pre intro to "Fuel", but it was cut out :( "Fade" and "Cyanide" were kept in the movie. But it jumped to "ONE". Not bad. Pyro cues memorized and could be appreciated on the big screen. For the first time in since I left my 30s in the rear view mirror the flash pots didn't hurt my eyes. LOL The theatre erupted for "Master" but "Blackened" fell to languish on the cutting room floor. A rousing sing along ensued for "Enter Sandman" that was spliced to what everyone wanted to see, but didn't dare hope for !

As we all know Metallica shows end thus: cover song, old song, Seek. That is the way. The cover song had a nice surprise. "Am I Evil" by the Big 4! Amazing and Astounding it was! Mustaine, Hetfield, Ulrich all playing on the same stage. together. sober. smiling.... oh, yeh, you read that right! SMILING!!!!!!! Dave.Smiled. and HUGGED Lars and James. Yes, Hugged! on film. We have proof! A happy hugging Dave!!!! They were joined onstage by Frankie, Rob C, Charlie and Dave Lombardo, Scott, Ellefson, Shawn and Belladonna.

And of course, the night ended with a very loud but ball-less "Seek".
June 22, 2010 was an ace night out at the movies. If anyone could hand pick a date night or a date movie - this one was it! It is being replayed in theatres on June 24, so if you've missed it, go see it! Or better yet - catch these bands on tour!! As Slayer and Megadeth have American tour dates this year.

Monday, June 21, 2010

BOOM Big Issues:

BOOM Big Issues:

This is such a well written article by Sean Flynn. It's truly moving and brought tears to my eyes. Never forget, men: fathers, sons, brothers, husbands - died on that blazing oil rig in the Gulf. The birds are sad, and yes people are losing their livelihoods. But in reality, they are "able" to work - it won't be easy to move or retrain or find another "job". But they are "able". For many - who are dead - they aren't "able" to do anything. As they are dead.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Special Benefit Screening and Panel Discussion

Special Benefit Screening & Panel Discussion @ IFC THIS TUE, 6/22, 8 pm!!

Dear Friends,

We cordially invite you to the upcoming CRUDE benefit screening and panel discussion, co-sponsored by the IDA and WGA, happening this Tuesday, June 22nd at 8p at IFC Center (6th Ave. & W. 3rd St.) in NYC.

A 45-minute panel discussion featuring Joe, his lead attorney Maura Wogan, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, WGAe President Michael Winship, and others will follow the screening, focusing on the rights and roles of documentary filmmakers as independent journalists in today's global media landscape.

If you have already seen CRUDE, you may purchase tickets to just attend the post-screening panel discussion (please arrive at the theater by 9:30 to ensure your entry into the auditorium).

Here's the link to the event:

To purchase tickets:

Please pass this info on to NYC friends and family you think may be interested.

We thank you once more for your incredible support!

Hope to see you at IFC.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CRUDE benefit screening NYC June 22!!!

This is a really important cause. Joe is an excellent film maker. The proof of that is Chevron suing him. They must be quite frightened by what he has to say. Please go to the screening. Buy the movie. See for yourself. If you "enjoyed" My Brother's Keeper, Paradise Lost, Iconoclasts, Some Kind of Monster, or Ten Days That Unexpectedly Changed America please support the producer that brought you these thought provoking films.

Special CRUDE Benefit Screening in NYC Next Tue, 6/22!

2 Weeks Left to Donate to First Amendment Fund! WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Dear Friends,

As many of your may have seen in the press, Chevron recently served a subpoena on the CRUDE filmmakers in order to obtain nearly 600 hours of raw footage accumulated during the making of this film. In May, a US District Court ruled for Chevron and ordered CRUDE's director, Joe Berlinger, to produce the footage. In an effort to protect the footage, his sources, and his process, Berlinger immediately appealed. On June 8th, Berlinger's legal team won a stay of the District Court's order. As a result, the District Court's May 20th order directing Berlinger to produce the footage will be suspended during the pendency of the appeal. A full hearing before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will take place in July.

As our legal bills continue to soar through the duration of this appeal, and our initial goal was only a small fraction of our total cost, we truly NEED YOUR HELP NOW. The LAST DAY to donate to the fund is WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30th.

To further support our fund, next Tuesday, June 22nd at 8 pm at the IFC Center, a very special CRUDE screening, co-sponsored by the IDA and WGA, will feature a panel discussion with Joe Berlinger, his lead attorney Maura Wogan of Frankfurt Kurnit, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, and WGA, East President Michael Winship among others. The panel will discuss our case and how it affects the roles and rights of documentarians and other independent journalists in today's global community. Please click here to purchase tickets. We hope you will join us for what will surely be a thought-provoking evening exploring the future of the foundation of documentary filmmaking.

For a compilation of recent articles on the case, please visit THE CRUDE BLOG.


June 22nd
8 pm
IFC Center
323 Sixth Avenue (@ W. 3rd Street)



CRUDE FIRST AMENDMENT FUND (ends June 30th, 2010)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Madison Street Veterans Association

Friday - June 4, 2010
Phoenix, Arizona

Madison Street Veterans Association is a "Veterans helping Veterans" facility that assists homeless veterans in the Phoenix area. It provides a place to escape the heat, a cup of coffee, computer access, help with obtaining military paperwork, bus passes, and camaraderie. On June 4, 2010 they opened a new 50-bed transitional housing facility. The facility boasts a large kitchen, laundry area, and spacious day room. Everything in the new housing area was donated.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Congressman Harry Mitchell, Maricopa County Manager David Smith and Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley attended the dedication ceremony.

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