Ram's Head Live
Ok, so initially, I had no intentions of reviewing this show, this was simply a night from working Rock N Roll Experience for me, I was out to have a little fun, I didn't have a photo pass this particular night, although I always bring my trusty camera "just incase" something happens...I mean, you never know when you might have a cool moment & you wanna capture it...I'll admit it, I'm one of those people who usually carries my camera around because I am afraid I'll miss a killer moment...this particular evening was one that I was chomping at the bit over & I'll tell you why:
I'll state this one last time before I begin this review...I was NOT working this particular night, I was NOT given free passes from the band or their label, it was simply a night of fun for me, so I have nothing to gain from reporting this story & I have the proof to back it all up too, this was supposed to be a night off for me!
The doors opened at 6 PM for this show, but there were people waiting in like since 3 PM to get a good spot to see this concert....the show was originally booked a few weeks prior, but it was cancelled when Matt, Avenged Sevenfold's singer, had some severe vocal issues & I understand that..it happens to bands that play alot & tour extensively, so the band re-scheduled the show in Baltimore & made it a 2 night extravaganza....night one was on 12/9/08 & when we got there it was packed, it was a sold out show, but the thing is, usually, an hour or so after doors, the first band will usually go on..there were 3 bands on this bill..a local opener, Burn Halo which features some guys from 18 Visions, & A7X....well, the show didn't start till way after 8 PM....the crowd was getting upset by this long delay & there were chants of "Bull Shit, Bull Shit" many times, then the local opener came on...they were so/so, then after a rather long delay, Burn Halo took the stage & finished up after 10 PM....my guestimate is that A7X will be on within 30 minutes or so....about 45 minutes pass & the crowd begins to get even more restless & there's condoms being inflated & passed around like beach balls to amuse the restless crowd.
By this point, it's like 10:45 or so, Synyster Gates comes on out & talks to the crowd & tells them they are sorry for the delay, they apologize for the cancellation last time around, but Matt is in the hospital with a serious "issue" & that as soon as he gets to the venue the show will star & he gave the time of 11:30 PM as the time they expected to start....ok, so flash forward to 11:40, which is almost an hour past Syn's speech...the house lights drop, the band takes the stage, & the entire band is dressed to rock, but Matt looks like he just got off the bus, kinda sloppy, & then a few songs into the set Matt explains what happened...he literally just got back from the hospital after his "medical problem" & when he takes off his flannel shirt (very Seattle grunge I might add!) if you look closely at his left arm, he still had the hospital paper ID bracelet he was given while in the hospital! He didn't even stop to take it off, it was on his arm all night & if you look at the pics I took from last night, you can clearly see it in every picture!
Probably the coolest thing I saw Matt do was at the end of the night, when there were several little girls near the bands bus & Matt & the entire band went directly to the bus, met no fans, took no pictures & signed no autographs...BUT, Matt scoped out a particular girl & took the Hospital ID bracelet off his wrist, autographed it & had one of his roadie's walk it over to the girl & I heard the guy say, "Go on the internet & tell them about this!" I thought that was mildly amusing, & the band played a kick ass set, BUT, the news I got after the show was what bothered me....let me give you Matt's onstage explanation, in his own words...I hit audio mode on my camera & this was Matt's explanation of what happened & why the show started so late:
Matt: "So....you guys all know what Walter Reed Hospital is, right? Walter Reed is for all the people that are fighting in our armed forces go & they get fixed up after they've been blown up or they've been hurt in wa, so we went to go visit them today, me & Johnny Christ, & on the way there I turned to Johnny Christ to say something & my face got stuck that way (laughs), so this is a true story....my face got stuck & my face felt paralyzed, so I forgot about it & I went & visited the troops, came back & the same shit happened again, but this time I got stuck there for like 10 seconds & so I went to the emergency room & they took 4 & 1/2 hours to give me an MRI & to tell me that they don't know what the f**k's the matter with me, I have some kinda paralysis going on in my face, but they did say, whatever you do, don't go play tonight, that's the last thing you should do, but this is the craziest crowd that's ever f**king walked through this building, so you guys are very, very ready, & after mid-September, there is no f**king way I'm not gonna come out here & sing tonight! So I did a warm up, haven't done shit, I came straight from the f**king hospital, straight on the stage to play for you guys & I just wanna let you guys know that I'm not pulling some AXL Rose bullshit, this is about us wanting to be here with you guys & thank you guys for sticking with us, we f**king really appreciate it. But, I will say, if my face gets stuck, don't worry about it, it lasts for like 10 seconds then I'll be fine, (then he mumbles something that I couldn't understand), if I die, atleast I'll die in Baltimore with my friends, right?" Then the band went into "Beast & The Harlotte"
Ok, so the band played a nice juicy set that featured all the hits, & the band was really tight sounding...it looked like they had gone through some stress due to the circumstances of the day, & then I got word of the "real" matter after the show from a close friend of the band....what REALLY happened was, Matt did coke the night before..apparently he did too much & he lost all feeling in his face, so basically, he couldn't control his drug use & was taken to John's Hopkin's for treatment...there was a strong possibility that the show could have been cancelled too since Matt was having that "issue" so I'm gonna issue a quick personal statement here...drug us does NOT make you more creative, it robs a creative being of their creativity....what the f**k?!? Trust me, if that show was cancelled again last night, the crowd was already getting ugly & restless...that very well could have been a riot...doing hard drugs before a show shows no respect for your fans....ok, Matt got up onstage & performed directly after his "issues" from too much coke the night before, BIG F**KING DEAL!!! Your job is to get up on that stage & give the best performance you can, not party like a rock n roll cliche'....Matt said he didn't care if he died on that stage as long as he died amongst his friends in Baltimore....dude, rock n roll will live on forever, if you keep abusing drugs like that, you won't last long...I looked at the sea of young kids in that crowd who idolized & salivate over EVERY movement the band made on stage, & the hard drug use is selling your fans short...it's not just screwing you up, it's screwing your fans over! The performance was good, but considering what happened this particular night, I hope you a lesson was learned! The next time it might not work out in your favor Mr. Matt & I'm saying that as a fan, someone who appreciates the band....get it together for the sake of your fans, if not for yourself, your family & your band...please!