Mar 15, 2014

Lamb of God, Lou Reed, The Who

By Bob Suehs

LAMB OF GOD

”As The Palaces Burn” Documentary

On March 14, 2014 the Ottobar in Baltimore, Maryland hosted the Lamb of God premier of their new documentary “As The Palaces Burn” which chronicles the bands most recent world tour. Unbeknownst to the band while filming this documentary they would captured the trial & subsequent legal issues Randy Blythe faced from the incident 2 years prior in the Czech Republic and that IS the focal point of this film.

The movie starts off with a dreadlocked Blythe walking through the woods of VA explaining that music saved his life because if he wasn’t a singer he’d “Probably be in Jail!”. That quote comes back to bite Blythe in the ass ironically because he is jailed for 30+ days during the filming of this movie BUT the happy ending to the film is when Blythe is exonerated of all charges.

The band did not want the film to be solely about the band and therefore they chose random fans who explain what their everyday existence is like & how Lamb of God’s music has affected them. Personally I would rather have seen the documentary be more about the band than the fans because we all live “normal” lives and when I watch a documentary on a band I want to see footage of the band more so than their fans.

When the band gears up to start their tour there’s a comical moment when drummer Chris jokes that he’s got the most un-metal car ever...a Prius! The band lays it on the line, they show their homes, their families, they admit that they do alright but are far from being rich and Randy sums it up perfectly when he explains that being in Lamb of God is like a dream and that he’s constantly waiting for someone to take it all away because he can’t believe he gets to travel the world screaming on a stage for a living.

The film gets very serious when the trial starts because Randy was facing 10 years in prison if convicted. What most people don’t realize is, the footage of the concert which was shown all over the internet which was initially believed to show the kid who died stage diving and being thrown off stage by Blythe was not actually footage of the fatal stage toss nor the victim. A fan filmed the first 30 minutes of the Czech Republic concert BUT the fan being thrown off the stage was not the kid who died and sadly there was no footage of the actual supposed incident where Blythe threw the kid off stage. Blythe had to prove his innocence to a foreign jury and the language barrier was actually ironic because when you’re in court like that the legal ramblings most lawyers speak might as well be a foreign language.

I give Blythe credit because he knew to clean up for court, he cut his dreads off and came to court looking like an adult. We all know the end result and it was bittersuite to see the bands first shows after the trial which were at Slipknot-Fest in Iowa.

Random interviews with Corey Taylor & Slash are mixed in the movie and after the movie ends there is a 30 minute video interview with the band which was conducted by Eddie Trunk. The most interesting thing Trunk asked the band was “Will you return to the Czech Republic?” to which Blythe replied “No!”. Blythe explained that the band felt like they’d done enough damage to the Czech Republic and that out of respect for their fallen fan & his family they would never return UNLESS the kids family asked them to come back for a charity event.

Interesting side note, when the Eddie Trunk interview started the bulk of the crowd left the club and it went from 75+ people to just around 10 of us watching the Trunk band interview.

THE QUEEN ANNES

”Something Quick: 1980 - 1985”

This reissue is oddly interesting because IF this band came out today they would probably sell more than they did back in the 80’s and I’d bet good $$ they would wind up with a major label deal & make a big name for themselves overseas.

Musically the band is very indie with commercial appeal...that coupled with lo-fi glory explain the bands glorious pre-grunge sound. The band members wrote some rather detailed liner notes and one story about how they opened up for a band called “Myth” in Seattle made me laugh because “Myth” would later change their name to Queensryche!

Like I stated earlier, the music on this disc was recorded on the 80’s on a budget and it doesn’t sound polished by any means BUT it does sound very modern & I truly believe this band would be very marketable if they came out in 2014.

THE WHO

”Sensation - The Story of Tommy” DVD

Billed as the first ever “rock opera” Tommy forged a mold by which bands like Queensryche & King Diamond would later follow. “Tommy” was a conceptual piece which told a story of a lost teen and The Who pulled off this conceptual record quite well because each song was written in a way where you could listen to the entire record to “get” the story OR you could play a single track & still enjoy the “single” as opposed to playing the entire story/record.

This dvd lays out the entire story while giving random details about the art, the concept and where the band members heads were while creating this rock opera.

This release features extra footage and the bonus “Beat Club” clips show the band in their prime. It’s interesting for me to watch this because I only knew The Who as older men because I was born long after the bands prime. Watching this disc you realize what a force the band was and it’s sad to see the older interview with Entwistle because he was an integral part of the band during the “Tommy” era.

LOU REED

”Transformer & Live @ Montreux 2000” Blu Ray

I remember as a kid I saw the “Transformer” record cover and I had no idea what Lou Reed was about, I simply recall that odd record cover which was iconic and David Bowie-ish.

The “Transformer” record was produced by Bowie & Mick Ronson....in that era it was alleged that Bowie, Reed, Warhol, & Iggy Pop were all bi and enjoyed each others company although in their later years each of them would deny those claims.

What I like about this series is that they break down every song off the “Transformer” record and they explain various things that range from the theme of the song to the recording process. Throughout this documentary you see Reed playing various songs unplugged as well which makes this the ultimate explanation to the entire record!

Part #2 of this disc features a 2000 performance by Reed and his band. It’s interesting to see how Lou aged from the “Transformer” era to the “Ecstasy” era while saw his music a tad more polished and less garage sounding.

I do find it odd that he didn’t perform “Walk on the Wild Side” which is essentially his biggest solo hit BUT that’s how Lou was, he wasn’t about the “hit”, he was about heart & feeling.

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