Sunday, February 22, 2009

Seven Seraphim

Wednesday night was a great success. We had a great turnout and filled the Key Club. After our show the attendance thinned through the night. Not great for the bands after us, but a sense of accomplishment that we brought our own crowd to the show.

For those that don't know the Key Club was called Gazarri's back in the 70s and 80s. Many of the hard rock acts from that period got their start at this club including Van Halen, Motley Crue and the club was prominently featured in a movie that documented the 80s metal scence called The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II. So with all of that said this was a big deal for me to play at this particular venue. Lots of history for my favorite type of music and some of the best shows I've seen since moving out to LA have been at this club including Great White, W.A.S.P., The Wildhearts and Bob Schneider.

I got to the club shortly before 5pm and had plenty of time to do load in. Around 5:30 they had mic'd up most of my drums and we were able to do a full band sound check running through the first half of Anastasia.

We had an hour and a half until show time so I met up with Jacki and Darian and we went over the Rainbow and met up with friends from my work. To an outsider it was an odd collection of people from rockers, to IT people, to some of the old guard from IBM and polished consultants from Deloitte. I know the Key Club was wondering who invaded their club once we went on, considering the atypical audience crowd.

Going into the show I was worried about the lack of rehearsal with our new bassist, but it all worked out. Only a couple of minor flubs here and there which no one seemed to notice. After the show I heard nothing but good things about the performance, and I even got props from some of the Key Club staff as I was loading out my gear.

After making the rounds and saying hi to friends from work and friends from the past it was time to move on. I wasn't able to check out the headliners Powerman 5000 since they were going on so late, so instead a group of us made it to a Karaoke bar down the street that had a live backing band dubbed "Corey"-oke, since the band members are all named Corey. We closed at the night there.

I work with quite a few musicians and they were teasing me about my after show glow which lasted well into Thursday. This was a great night and a show I'll never forget.

Seven Seraphim
February 18, 2009
Key Club
Los Angeles, CA

Lady Jade
Song Blaque
Dance In The Red
The Discordant
The Hand That Feeds

Debut performance of Seven Seraphim.
Guitar - Andrew Szucs
Vocals - Sam Terceman
Drums - David Howard
Bass - Rufus Philpot (Guest Bassist)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seven Seraphim Tonight!

Tonight my band, Seven Seraphim, plays our debut concert at the Key Club on Sunset in Hollywood at 7:30pm. We are the first band of the night and will be opening for Powerman 5000.

Hope to see everyone at the show!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Styx at HOB

After getting back to LA late on Tuesday night, canceled flights, rerouting, bad weather, etc... it was back to the normal routine.

I got through the first day back in the office and I took an immediate diversion to see Styx at the House Of Blues with Brian, a friend from work. We spent a little too much time at his place before hand and missed the first few songs of Styx's set but were able to see nearly an hour and a half of their 2 hour set.

Styx has the distinction of being my first concert when I was 10 years old. Through the years I haven't followed Styx closely but I have managed to see them a few times, the last time being in Atlanta with Jacki and my other band mates from The Superlatives.

All I can really say about last night's show is Tommy Shaw is the man. I could not believe how strong his voice sounded after all of these years. He was signing songs that were recorded some 30+ years ago and he sounds better on them now than on the original recordings.

Fooling Yourself, Renegade and Come Sail Away were the definite highlights, with a cover of The Beatles I Am The Walrus being a pleasant surprise.

And after the show I was even able to get a Styx guitar pick.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Tributes to Shawn

Written by one of my good friends back in Austin. Kai and I worked together, played in bands together, and spent a lot of time working along side Shawn and enjoying life together.

Paul and I have worked together for the last couple of years and I've enjoyed getting to know him out in Los Angeles. We worked on projects with Shawn in and outside of work and enjoyed many a poker night resurrected from the old poker nights in Austin.

Thanks to everyone who has been writing and sharing both publicly and privately.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Shawn C. Dodd

Tonight I received news you are never prepared for. One of my long time best friends from Austin committed suicide Wednesday night. This is my third time to be exposed to suicide, a concept I'll never understand, and the first time from a friend this close to me. It saddens me to think how dark a place he must have been in.

Shawn was my first office mate in my first job out of college at pcOrder and we became very close when I lived in Austin. He even took over the room I was renting when Jacki and I got married. After pcOrder I had Shawn come and work with me at two other jobs and had the great pleasure of relocating him to Los Angeles for a few years to work for me at Helio. He was one of the smartest people I've ever known and I enjoyed each and every day I worked with him. I used to tell him he is my resident smart guy, and just having him around made me feel smarter.

Unfortunately we had a bit of a falling out towards the end of his time in LA, but in the last few weeks we had begun to exchange emails again and it seemed like I was talking to my friend again of many years.

Shawn was also a dear friend of Jacki's, taking her out in Austin when I would travel for business and looking out for her when I wasn't around. He came to our wedding and shared many memories with Jacki and I including dinners, concerts, and even vacations.

Last night Jacki invited me out to a dinner with her and one of her friends at one of our favorite spots, El Cholo. It was nice because one of my last great memories of Shawn in Los Angeles was he and I celebrating at El Cholo after giving a successful business pitch. This past December he sent me a congratulations note because the business pitch we gave became a reality nearly 18 months later.

We loved Shawn and will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

KEEL Reunion

Last night I saw KEEL's first reunion concert at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. This past summer I was able to see Ron Keel's K2 band perform at Rocklahoma and they played a Keel heavy set so I knew a bit of what to expect.

Tonight at the Knitting Factory was a Club Vodka event. Three stages, bands going round the clock and scantily clad dancing girls in the main room for the headlining acts. For KEEL's set they were wearing KEEL shirts. The club was packed and from where I was sitting in the balcony it was solid people from the stage to the back of the floor. A great turnout for this show.

I wasn't in the mood for hearing new music tonight but I was able to catch 4 local bands, some good, some not so good. One band that did catch my attention was Ritual Habits. Good classic metal with a chick bass player that held her own, although she looked like she might still be in high school.

The DJ began to announce some of the VIP's in the audience including members of Black N' Blue, KISS, Cinderella, Quiet Riot and others. Right before KEEL went on Tommy Thayer stood right behind me and watched the entire KEEL set about 10 feet from where I was in the balcony.

Jamie St. James from Black N' Blue introduced KEEL and the debut concert of the reunion started.

January 31, 2009
Knitting Factory
Hollywood, CA

Intro Music From - The Final Frontier
Reason To Rock
Rock And Roll Outlaw
Evil, Wicked, Mean And Nasty
United Nations Intro ->
Somebodys waiting
Speed Demon
Because The Night
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Medley: Electric Love -> Cherry Lane -> Let's Spend The Night Together
Raised On Rock
I Said The Wrong Thing To The Right Girl
Tears Of Fire
The Right To Rock

Joined by Jamie St. James (Vocals), Fred Coury (Drums), and Chuck Wright (Bass)
The Boys Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy)

Guests leave and KEEL band members rejoin with Ron's K2 guitarist and a KEEL crew guy
We're An American Band (Grand Funk Railroad)

Ron sounded great on vocals but the set was troubled with some sound problems and you could barely hear Bryan Jay's lead guitar. KEEL is heavy on the double solos so missing half of the harmonies was a minor disappointment. Near the end of the set Bryan's guitar was finally loud enough to be heard.

I must admit the set list was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting a heavier set focused on material from Lay Down The Law and The Right To Rock. Instead the set covered their entire career with tracks from every album including the surprising set opener Reason To Rock off of their 6th album Back In Action released in the mid 90's.

Highlights of course included the hits The Right To Rock, they even brought out the kid from the video although he is no longer a kid, and Tears Of Fire. Other highlights included Raised On Rock featuring Dwain Miller on the Michael Des Barres vocals, and of course my all time favorite KEEL song Rock And Roll Outlaw.

They just announced a set on the mainstage at Rocklahoma this year so I'm hoping for a slightly heavier set with some more songs off of Lay Down The Law and The Final Frontier. The band looked and sounded great but you can tell it may take just a few shows before they are comfortable in front of an audience again. The band gave us our money's worth playing a setlist you couldn't predict and closing out the show with special guests at around 2:15am.

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