Music, My Stories

Life Is OK

My ADSL went down on Thursday night.

The internet today is like the lights in the house. When we click on that switch we expect the lights to work. And we have the same expectations with the Internet. And when it doesn’t work we don’t like it. My wife and kids were going to lynch me, like it was my fault that it was down. I called my ISP and I was told that the ADSL channels are being upgraded and that service will resume by 5pm, Monday, 24 November.

“How can you go to a concert, when the Internet is down?” was thrown at me on Friday afternoon as I was preparing to leave to go and watch Trivium and In Flames in concert at the UNSW Roundhouse.

I told them that there is nothing I can do about it. Upgrades are upgrades and they need to happen as I departed to go to the show.

A very sunburnt “In Flames” appeared on stage (guess they must have underestimated the Australian sun) and opened up their set with “The Quiet Place” from “Soundtrack to Your Escape” released in 2004. There was nothing quiet with that opener. We then got treated to a super tight grooving set from the Swedesters. It was also good to see that every album from 2000’s “Clayman” was represented in their sixteen song set.

Then came Trivium.

The first 7 songs, “Strife”, “Black”, “Throes Of Perdition”, “Through Blood And Dirt And Bone”, “Brave This Storm”, “Watch The World Burn” and “Down From The Sky” set the knock out punches, however “Like Light To The Flies” and “Villainy Thrives” really let the set down in intensity. In my view they have way better songs that could have replaced these two songs.

Then it just got weirder. “Into The Mouth Of Hell” was played so fast, that the person standing next to me came up with the quote of the night “it’s like mash potato, no definition whatsoever”.

“Dying In Your Arms” was another song that didn’t belong in the set list while they finished strong with “Built To Fall”.

The encore was “Anthem (We Are Fire)” and “In Waves”. Both songs are favourites of mine and I was saddened when Trivium kicked off these songs on Turbo and they sounded really messy.

Like Mash Potato, there was no definition in the riffs.

After the gig I spoke about the set list with others and we all came to the conclusion that it was a safe set. There was no “Shogun”, no “Shattering The Skies Above”, no “Vengeance Falls” and no “Pulling Harder” or “A Gunshot To The Head”.

We all saw it as a trade-off to accommodate a new drummer and Matt’s throat problems. Kudos to Corey for doing a stellar job on the growling vocals for each song. He dead set killed it. And while the new Trivium drummer Mat Madiro is very competent, he should take a leaf out from the experienced Daniel Svensson from “In Flames” about keeping a tight time and groove.

The trip home took in two beef yeeros’s from “The Souvlaki Bar” at Brighton Le-Sands. For the uninitiated think of real beef (not processed meat like the normal Doner Kebabs), fried a bit extra on the hot plate after it was cut from the roasting roller. They also put the pita bread on the hot plate to soften and when it is all put together with shredded cheese, lettuce, tzatziki, tomatoes and red onion it is just delicious.

And suddenly it was Saturday, and the harassment from my family about the internet started again.

“How can you be playing your guitar when the Internet is down?” was thrown at me over a hundred times over the weekend. Even when I explained to them that there is nothing I can do until the upgrade is fixed. A lynch mob was forming in my household.

Swimming for my almost three-year old came and went, then Summer Soccer for the elder two kids came and went.

And the internet was still down.

We packed a truck full of rubbish  and the internet was still down.

I called my ISP again and was told the same story.

I played the guitar for over 2 hours and when I checked, the internet was still down.

I had a shower, walked past my study room and the red flashing ADSL light was now GREEN.

The internet was back up.

Happy family equals happy life. And the weekend finished with my kids helping me blow out the candles on my birthday cake.

Life is okay again that the internet is back up.

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Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Protest The Hero at The Manning Bar

I got back from Eastern Europe last Thursday morning and by Friday night I was at the Manning Bar in Sydney Uni watching Protest The Hero. The ticket for the night was $45 Australian plus booking fee of about $6. Compared to some of the prices I have paid for tickets, this was a good deal.

Clarity

A perfect way to kick off the show with the opener from “Volition”. Guitarist Luke Hoskin was shredding while co-guitarist Tim Millar was rock solid. Also impressive was Mike Ieradi on drums who comes from another favourite band of mine called “The Kindred” or otherwise known as “Today I Caught the Plague”. Touring bassist and producer Cam McLellan was also very comfortable on the bass guitar.

“Affluence permitting a mutual annihilation”

I love that lyric. Money and power permits people to rewrite history to suit their point of view. What do you think the corporations that got rich from buying the copyright of the creators are doing right now.

Bone Marrow

From 2008’s “Fortress” album. Rody Walker rocked. In between songs he gave us some stories and laughter. He was comfortable on stage and well seasoned. It was like a rock comedy.

“And there he sat like a stone
With promises broke like a bone”

Power and wealth corrupts the soul. How many times have our leaders or our employers promised us something and then broken that promise all in the name of keeping the numbers on their bank accounts ticking forward.

Underbite

Anyone seen the fantastic puppet clip for this song? Another song from the “Volition” album.

“So is everyone having a good time tonight?
Good, I’m glad (I couldn’t actually care less)”

Some of our musical heroes came to this level. They couldn’t care less. It was all take and no give back.

“Now you comprehend our complex relationship—consumer/consumed.
You’re just some stupid kid and I’m a megalomaniac”

Sounds like Gene Simmons to me right there.

Hair-Trigger

From the excellent “Scurrilous” album released in 2011.

“I wrote a Goddamn love song to praise everything I hate”

There are some funny lyrics in the catalog of Protest The Hero. Rody Walker doesn’t mind having some fun and he doesn’t take himself too seriously. This is what music and the live show are meant to be. FUN.

Bloodmeat

Also from 2008’s “Fortress” album.

Mist

If Gene Simmons believes that rock is dead then he should have been at this show. Although the venue is a small one, it still didn’t stop the floor from erupting. By now we had a few more stories from Rody and an audience member did a back flip on stage that everyone thought was going to end bad. “Mist” is by far the most catchiest and hectic song in the Protest The Hero catalog. Especially the whole outro sing-a-long section.

“You’re as deep as the grave, and you’re marching to the heartbeat of the land”

Bury The Hatchet

They went back to the full length debut, 2005’s “Kezia” album.

“Well place your justice in my palm
And then I’ll make a fist
And punch your grimaced face”

How many times have you said, “that’s not fair” or “they can’t do that” in your life? I bet a lot. And people still get away with shit. These lyrics sum up my feelings about people who get away with crimes both civil and criminal just because they had the capacity to pay for justice to be tweaked and argued from a certain point of view.

The Dissentience

Another song from 2008’s “Fortress” album.

C’est La Vie

From the “Scurrilous” album released in 2011.

“Stepped off a building to find concrete evidence,
Concrete evidence that he’d ever make an impact
Fiction splattered into fact
And his fiction splattered into another sidewalk painting on display”

Again the comical overtones about stepping off a building and splattering your brains and blood all over the sidewalk.

Sex Tapes

Also from the “Scurrilous” album released in 2011

All the editors are hard, all the journalists are wet
All the boys are jerking off in private on the internet

The world needed Rody Walker to tell it like it is.

Everyone’s naked!
Somewhere out there in-ter-net
Somewhere out there in-ter-net

So true on that. Forget about piracy on the web. Nudity and sex still rules the search engines.

Reflected, directed, by one simple fact
Be careful what you’re looking at because it might be looking back

With all of the Celebrity Cloud hacks that happened, private photos now have over a million other eyes looking right back at them.

Get if off, get it off online
Get it off get if off get it off online

Again some of the most funniest shit i have heard. Getting off, online. What a classic.

Plato’s Tripartite

Oh how the system fails you completely
when monstrous children get treated so sweetly.
The violence is praised, the decision cemented
(they seem like nice kids)
Crimes go committed, but never lamented
(that doesn’t change what they did)

When PTH go all serious to get a message of injustice across they do it pretty good.

No one is innocent if they go free

How good is that lyric! Just because a guilty person was set free it does not mean that they are innocent.

Blindfolds Aside

From 2005’s “Kezia” album.

We woke up as men but tonight we’ll sleep as killers
Five soldiers forever sedated with the, “No one’s responsible”
psychological drama of our social justice dribble, dribble, dribble

Again they deal with the injustices of life. In this case people have to carry out the duties of their job. The lyric line of “a sin that paid his debts”.

Sequoia Throne

The closer for the show came from 2008’s “Fortress” album.

They’re not the ones who cause us harm – we are!

And in the end that is how the funny and intellectual show ended. We are the ones responsible for our lot in life.

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