Summer ended weeks ago, the kids have been back in school even longer, and very soon the holiday season will be in full swing. Yes, 2010 is wrapping up, but as usual in Columbus, there are still plenty of hard rock and heavy metal shows coming to town before we ring in 2011. And rest assured, plenty of great bands from seemingly every niche of the heavy metal genre, from hard rock to thrash, from death metal to black metal, from classic rock to metalcore, will make a stop in Columbus sometime in the next seventy-some days.
Saving Abel, or Nickelback Part 2 as they should be called, are playing the Alrosa Villa on October 19. For a band whose debut album went gold and whose recently released sophomore album entered the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at #24, it’s a bit perplexing as to why they’re playing such a small venue.
Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd, will be performing ‘The Wall’ in its entirety at the Schottenstein Center on October 22. This is a huge show, one of the biggest of 2010, and if it’s not already sold out, it will be by the day of the show. Pink Floyd fans do not want to miss this. Who knows if Waters and David Gilmour will ever be able to tolerate each other long enough to mount a full-fledged Pink Floyd tour, so until that ever happens, this is the next best thing.
Gwar, those lovable aliens who were exiled to earth millions of years ago, will be performing at the Newport Music Hall on October 27, just in time for Halloween. If you have never been to a Gwar show, it is an experience unlike any other. The band, dressed up in humongous rubber costumes to look like monsters, perform all sort of atrocities on stage, from killing people dressed up as well-known public figures (such as the President of the United States, the pope, Michael Jackson, etc.) and spraying fake blood and other body fluids all over the audience to fighting dinosaurs and cyborgs on stage. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Gwar in concert.
Long-running punk-metal icons Suicidal Tendencies will make a stop at the Alrosa Villa on October 28. Vocalist Mike Muir is the only original member of the band left, but guitarist Mike Clark has been in the band since 1987. I have not seen ST since 1997, so I might show up for this.
The following week, on November 3, rap-metal legends Hed PE will perform at the Alrosa Villa.
Two days later, November 5, the Alrosa will be demonically visited by Possessed, who are widely credited as being the very first death metal band. It’s just too bad that only one original member, Jeff Becerra, is still in the band. Here’s an interesting tidbit of trivia most people probably don’t know: Primus guitarist Larry Lalonde was an original member of Possessed. Marduk is among the opening bands on this bill.
On that same night, at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, local hard rock legends The Godz will perform. Despite touring with the likes of Kiss, Judas Priest, Kansas and Cheap Trick in the 1970s, The Godz never made it big themselves, but they will always be hometown heroes to us. Fellow Ohioans American Dog opens.
The concert with the most bang for your buck in November will definitely be the Black Label Berzerkus, coming to the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion on November 10. Zakk Wylde’s band Black Label Society is headlining, touring in support of their brilliant new album ‘Order of the Black,’ (read my review here) with legends Clutch, as well as the very popular Children of Bodom, opening. This is going to be the show to see in November, and most likely one of the very best of 2010, period. I will see you there!
Everyone’s favorite metalcore band All That Remains will play the Newport on November 12, in support of their new album, ‘For We Are Many,’ which was just released this past Tuesday.
If there’s one band whose shows are even wilder and more R-rated than Gwar’s, it is the Genitorturers, who are coming to the Alrosa Villa on November 13. In addition to their industrial-metal music, the band is really into S&M, so expect fans of both scenes to be at this show. I’ve never seen this band in concert, but I have heard that people from the audience are bound on the stage, spanked, whipped, and even pierced! Trivia: Morbid Angel bassist/vocalist David Vincent is the bassist for this band and also married to Gen, the vocalist.
Powerman 5000 will perform at the Newport Music Hall on November 16. Trivia: front man Spider One is Rob Zombie’s younger brother.
That same night, a much more extreme show will be at Skully’s: long-running legendary death metal icons Cannibal Corpse will perform, with support from Dying Fetus, Vital Remains and Devourment. This will be the second time this year that Cannibal Corpse has played Columbus. It’s hard to believe that Cannibal Corpse’s first album, ‘Eaten Back to Life,’ was released 20 years ago this past August.
The next night, November 17, even longer-running legends Overkill will invade the Newport, touring in support of their fantastic new album (and one of the best albums released in 2010, period), ‘Ironbound.’ Having been to many Overkill shows over the years, I can personally vouch that they are definitely worth seeing. The recently reunited thrash band Forbidden is opening too, as is the up and coming Evile. I hope to see you there!
Over at Skully’s on the same night, Montreal-based hard rock heavyweight Priestess performs. I wish them well but I think most metalheads will be at the Overkill show at the Newport.
It seems November is the month for legends to roll through. I already mentioned Possessed, Cannibal Corpse and Overkill; on November 18, hardcore punk/thrash crossover gods D.R.I. (for those not in the know, the initials stand for Dirty Rotten Imbeciles) will mosh it up at the Newport Music Hall. I predict some insane mosh pits at this show.
Skeletonwitch, from Athens – yes, Athens!! – have been making quite a name for themselves in metal circles, both here in the U.S. and abroad, will be playing Ruby Tuesday on November 19. Ruby Tuesday is really small… it’s a campus bar. But I guarantee you that the next time they are in town they’ll be playing a bigger venue. I believe these guys are destined for greatness.
Burn off all the turkey and stuffing and pie you ate the night before when another Ohio band, Chimaira, performs at the Alrosa Villa on Friday, November 26. Cleveland may be a national laughingstock when it comes to their economy, their sports teams, their crime rates, their winters, their… well, almost everything, but no one can deny that their music scene ranks amongst the best in the country. So many great bands have emerged from the “Mistake by the Lake” in the last 20 years… Nine Inch Nails, Mushroomhead, Gilby Clarke, Marilyn Manson (well, he’s from Akron), and now Chimaira. This is almost a hometown gig for these guys, plus it’s a holiday weekend, so expect some big mosh pits.
Arguably the world’s biggest black metal band right now, Dimmu Borgir, will bring their Darkness Reborn Tour 2010 to the Newport on December 9. Put on your spiked leather gauntlets, inverted crosses and corpse paint and check out why they’re so popular. I saw them at Ozzfest a few years ago and loved their set… and they even played in the daylight!
Sludge metal icons Crowbar play the Ravari Room on December 10.
Finally, on December 28, Trans-Siberian Orchestra makes their annual holiday stop at Nationwide Arena. TSO ain’t metal, you say? I guess you don’t know that TSO is really the classic metal band Savatage, dressed up in tinsel and mistletoe. And besides some of the primary members of Savatage, TSO also features in its ranks current and former members of Megadeth, Testament, Alice Cooper and Metal Church. Finally, their shows rawk. They use more pyro than Kiss, more lasers than Metallica, and likely have the biggest stage around. It is a full-scale production that will knock your socks off. I saw them three years ago, and it was probably the biggest, most elaborate show I’ve ever seen in my life. If you are a hardcore Scrooge, then you should know that only the first half of the show involves Christmas. The second half features their non-holiday songs (they have two albums that have nothing to do with Christmas) and covers. Myself, I’m just glad to see Savatage doing so well, even if they’re not technically Savatage anymore.