heavy metal

SGs Grim Reaper: Two Show Reviews - 6 months Apart

Steve Grimmets Grim Reaper April 2016

All hell let loose in the Gateway City on Monday night. Yes, Grim Reaper (or Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper, however you refer to them nowadays) was in town, and I was very excited to catch them upon hearing them announce a date here. I had heard so many great things about their recent live shows and how well vocalist Steve Grimmett's voice had held up. During the opening acts, I was mostly hanging out with friends and making some new ones. The first band, Wrecklamation, was comprised of what looked like a bunch of high school freshman. Their first song was a cool straight-up thrash song, but then after that they started showing more metal core influences and such, particularly in the vocals. By the time they had the last few songs, I had completely stopped paying attention. Then the second band, Damnation Army, bored me right from the start. The third opening band, Sozorox, was better, comprised of much older guys with a more melodic sound and a few occasional hints of modern influences. They seemed to act like the crowd was more into them than they really were though. At any rate, let's cut to the chase…
Having only one original member in the line-up can always raise skepticism amongst old-school fans, but the whole band was on fire that night. The live sound was very nice and clear without even being too loud. The new members proved to be a talented and energetic group of musicians, Steve chose wisely. The new guitarist Ritchie was especially great. What impressed me the most was the showmanship and skill he continued to express even after breaking a guitar string in the middle of a song. He still played a great solo and finished the song very nicely as if nothing happened. If I hadn't been watching him I wouldn't have even realized he was doing that while missing his third or fourth string. The most memorable song introductions they had were when Steve Grimmett asked the audience what they thought of the current popular presidential candidates. Bernie seemed to get a more enthusiastic response than the other two, but Steve assured us that in England, "Our politicians are just as bad as yours”, which appropriately led into "Fear No Evil". He also introduced a Dio cover by stating that this had been a sad year as far as losing musical legends, but Ronnie James Dio's death was the one that hurt him the most and that he thought he was the greatest metal singer of all-time. Grimmest introduced "Lust For Freedom" by explaining that it was originally written for a movie but never made it into the movie, but he never said what the name of the movie was. The crowd of 50 people or so showed a lot more enthusiasm for the Reaper than for all of the opening acts combined, but I found that they were singing along the most with "Night of the Vampire" and of course the band's unforgettable closing anthem. The set list:
Rock You to Hell
Night of the Vampire
Lust For Freedom
Wrath of the Ripper (I lit up when they played this one!!)
Fear No Evil
Matter of Time
Dead on Arrival?
Rock Me 'Til I Die
Let the Thunder Roar
All Hell Let Loose
Wasted Love
Don't Talk to Strangers (Dio cover)
See You in Hell (the other highlight of the night for me, and for the rest of the crowd I'm sure)
If you saw them on this tour already, then you surely had as much fun as I did, but if they haven't hit your spot yet, be sure to catch them!! This has been my favorite concert I've seen so far this year, but the best is yet to come, so stay tuned!

November 7, 2016

Who would have guessed that Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper would be treating their American fans to another trek of the States just six months after their last U.S. tour? They must have had amazing feedback and pleas for another tour, as any Reaper fan worldwide would want. Grimmett explained that the band was back so quickly to promote their new album, “Walking in the Shadows”, and two new musicians were brought into the fold. Both bassist Martin Trail and guitarist Steve Stine won over the crowd with the dexterity and enthusiasm they shared with the rest of the band. Drummer Paul White was perhaps the most lively musician of the cast, with an unyielding level of energy and skill that left me in awe. White’s drums had a very crisp, naturally heavy sound as well. In addition to being a great singer and a very approachable person, legendary Steve Grimmett also demonstrated himself as a great narrator. He explained how “Reach Out” was inspired by the back surgery he underwent, how “Suck It and See” was inspired by the loss of his cherry at the tender age of 12, and dedicated “Fear No Evil” to everyone that purchased their second album. When Steve asked how many of us bought the second album, he asked someone in the audience, “You’re not going to f**king own up to it, are you?” When he announced that, “This next song is also about me”, somebody in the audience shouted, “Yes!!” Since this gig took place the night before Election Day, Steve also asked the audience, “What are you guys doing tomorrow?” Like last time, Steve offered his sympathy to the attendees based on their options for presidential candidates, but also assured us that “we’re being f**ked just as badly as you guys.” Last time, this political comment appropriately led into the song “Fear No Evil”, but instead of tying it into a song, Steve suggested, “F**k it, let’s just get on with it”. The set had fewer songs from the first two albums than last time to make way for the last two, despite the fact that Trail and White did not want to play “Waysted Love”.
Grimmett’s finest vocal performance was on the Dio cover, “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, and it was that song and their obvious classic anthem that had the crowd singing along with their every word. This performance was a testament to the commonly held belief that in many cases the frontman and his voice are the most irreplaceable components of a band. Sure, it was odd to see them with new members so soon, and many fans hope to catch the occasional special guest appearance by original guitarist Nick Bowcott. However, as long as Steve wisely selects musicians with the same talent and passion for traditional metal that he richly carries with him throughout the band’s career, that will give them the subsistence they need to continue to put on excellent shows. Steve has even stated himself, “The Show Must Go On.” The set list:
Wings of Angels
Rock You To Hell
Night of the Vampire
Lust For Freedom
Walking in the Shadows
Call Me in the Morning
Fear No Evil
Reach Out
Rock Me ’Til I Die
Wrath of the Ripper
Suck It and See
Waysted Love
Don’t Talk to Strangers (Dio cover)
See You in Hell

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Tags:  Grim ReaperSteve Grimmets Grim ReaperSt. Louis  

    December 20, 2016

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