Tag Archives: renaissance

PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Concerts and Events

Now that I’ve lined out all the music that blew me away during the 2009 year, its time to lend my focus on the Concerts and Events that we attended. In looking back on it, I would have to say that 2009 was probably the biggest year that I ever had as a music writer and photographer based on not only how many cool concerts there were, but how many I was able to find myself taking part in for your eventual entertainment as readers of the site. I think that I caught something like 95 shows which is a new record for me and probably one that will be very difficult to beat but of course I have been saying this for three years. Below are some of the events that I felt were the most exciting of them all.

The Best Concerts of 2009:

“Paganfest USA – 2”: This time around the tour would feature Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Primordial, Blackguard and Swashbuckle and really be an impressive one. What made it exciting for me was the chance to see Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow and Primordial for the most part because none of these bands had ever done a proper tour in the USA. I found Blackguard to be a nice surprise as well.

Judas Priest & Whitesnake (Epic Records/SPV Records): Judas Priest would celebrate their 30th Anniversary of the “British Steel” albums while the Snake would be celebrating two incredible releases of their own. The show featured a solid set from both bands and was a gig that many would talk about for months. According to reports, Priest recorded one of the shows and plans for the video/audio to be released with a special edition of “British Steel”. Whitesnake in turn also released deluxe editions of both “Slide It In” and “Slip Of The Tongue” this year.

Marduk @ The Gramercy Theatre (Candlelight Records): After having missed the Blackenedfest a few months earlier, Marduk was on US Soil to crush the Metal legions. This was an intense show that delivered on all counts and impressed all those fans who had wanted to see them a few months earlier.

Saxon @ B.B. King Blues Club (SPV Records): Saxon had not done a proper US tour in some years and this NYC show would be one of two appearances and be done for a sold out room. The mood and the Metal were intense this evening and proved to many that the Old School glory of traditional Metal had not and will never subside.

Paul McCartney @ Citi Field: I was lucky to catch one of the three performances by Sir Paul McCartney who did a night of wonderful tunes. Lots of Beatles and lots of Wings, which is all classic stuff and still relevant to all fans of good ole Rock & Roll. A DVD/CD would be released of this historic visit.

The 69 Eyes @ Gramercy Theatre (The End Records): The Helsinki Vampires were “Back In Blood” supporting a new album that really delivered the goods and reminded their fans why they remain so special to them. It also featured the talents of Dommin and The Becoming. A very dark night in NYC to say the least.

Mayhem @ The Fillmore NY (Season Of Mist Records): This was called the Blackened Metal Fest and while it depressed some that Marduk was off the tour, the True Mayhem delivered a frightening and powerful set of Black Metal that focused on the bands influential years.

KISS @ Madison Square Garden (KISS Records): Love them or hate them, NYC and Madison Square Garden are nothing less than home for KISS and their show always pulls out all the stops. The rousing good time celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the “Alive” CD and found much of the set focused on that live classic. A lot of other different and more unexpected numbers were in place this time around which made it a great experience. I could have done without Buckcherry as they bored me with their set.
Continue reading PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2009: The Concerts and Events

Renaissance @ Concert Hall for the NY Society of Ethical Culture (10/9/2009)

Logo - Renaissance

Artist: Renaissance
Venue: Concert Hall for the New York Society of Ethical Culture (New York, NY)
Opener: Jann Klose
Date: 10/9/2009
Label: Independent Artist

Celebrating the bands 40th anniversary, Annie Haslam, & Michael Dunford from the classic lineup of Renaissance would embark on a tour to bring their much loved Progressive Art Rock music to the masses. They would be joined by four other talented musicians and hit nine different venues along the East Coast to the delight of many. The show in New York City would be held at The Concert Hall, and feature singer/songwriter Jann Klose as their sole opening act. I’ve long appreciated the music of Renaissance and sadly was never able to catch them when they were at their zenith, so the chance to enjoy them in an intimate venue setting that was also new to me was one of those no-brainer decisions to make. I arrived early enough to see Jann whom I had heard about a number of times as well but never saw and doing so allowed me to better scope out this venue and mentally compare it to some of the others that I have seen concerts in. It was sure to be an evening of wonderful memories based on the sold out crowd and anticipation of hearing the music of Renaissance live after so many years.
Continue reading Renaissance @ Concert Hall for the NY Society of Ethical Culture (10/9/2009)

“Song Of Scheherazade” by Renaissance

Artist: Renaissance
Title: “Song Of Scheherazade”
Label: MVD Video
Release Date: 6-16-2009
Genre: Progressive/Art Rock
Rating: 4/5

The music of Renaissance will always hold a special place in my heart as a fan of music and that’s because I remember their albums as stuff that my Mother used to play for me from her own record collection when I was younger. It was this along with some of her other vinyl platters that really helped me formulate my interest music as a whole. There was something unique about the band and something very classy and warm in its overall charm. For those who might have never enjoyed this wonderful band, they are a blend of Classical meets Progressive along with Folk and Rock elements and are often considered to be one of the finest bands of this type in Progressive Music history. This makes sense based on the number of wonderful compositions that the band had offered up to the world on albums such as “Ashes Are Burning”, “Turn Of The Cards” and “Scheherazade and Other Stories”. While the group formed in 1969 and had released a number of albums previous to the ones referenced, it was the lineup from around 1973 up until 1979 that is considered the bands signature and most beloved roster and this was largely because of the bands second singer, Annie Haslam. Annie’s voice was my own introduction to the band and probably one of the highest points in what they were doing for me, and this made the release of this DVD something wonderful. Despite having released about fourteen albums over the course of their career, there was never an official DVD release of any kind which makes this footage a welcome thing to their fans. The home viewer gets to enjoy not one but two different shows from two distinct points in the bands history. The first is from a show in 1976 where they were playing the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ while the other is circa 1979 and done at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ.
Continue reading “Song Of Scheherazade” by Renaissance

“Renaissance” by Ethereality

Artist: Ethereality
Title: “Renaissance”
Label: Independent/Unsigned
Release Date: 11/27/2007
Genre: Melodic Power Metal
Rating: Good/Very Good

Straight out of New Jersey comes Ethereality, a band of young musicians who show that all of those Power and Melodic Metal bands who visited us from Europe over the years have clearly planted seeds that are growing into interesting bands here in the States. “Renaissance” is the bands four song EP and it presents their wares rather well, and based on the professional production and presentation it can hardly be labeled as a “demo”. Fronted by Rick Leben (vocals and lead guitar), the guys all show an appreciation of the Progressive side as well as they often indulge into long musical forays on the presented tunes. Leben himself is in possession of an excellent high vocal register that called to my mind the talented Tony Harnell (formerly of TNT). His guitar playing is also spot on and works well for the songs they included but I did have one minor critique about that and it’s in the overall length of most of these tracks. With the exception of “Tabula Rasa”, a smooth almost acoustic driven track with glass breaking screams, every song passes the seven minute mark. While this might be suitable for a band like Dream Theater or Symphony X it is hardly necessary for a group that is looking to first win you over and have you remember them do it. For instance, “I Cant Dream (With My Brother )” is a fine tune that is very energetic from beginning to end but could have lost almost two minutes of its closing movement and been your quick introduction to the way this band does things. Instead, it continues on and you are left saying “hmmm, why is this part still going”. I would have left the choice of lengthy number be their epic closer of “Renaissance” because be aware when all of your songs are long, every one becomes your epic and hence makes you rather predictable as a band.
Continue reading “Renaissance” by Ethereality