Ever since TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA embarked on their first tour — a modest seven-show run of theaters in the Northeast and Midwest — in 1999, the group's lineup has featured four members of SAVATAGE, the pioneering metal group from which TSO spawned: bassist Johnny Lee Middleton, drummer Jeff Plate and guitarists Al Pitrelli and Chris Caffery. Two decades and hundreds of sold-out arena shows later, all four musicians still tour with the band each winter, albeit as members of different touring troupes — Pitrelli and Middleton are the longtime anchors of "TSO West," while Plate and Caffery are stalwarts of "TSO East." In 2015, vocalist Zachary Stevens — who fronted SAVATAGE from 1993 to 1999 and performed with the group that year during their one-off reunion show at Germany's Wacken Open Air festival – began touring with TSO East as well. This year's TSO tour, which kicked off on November 14, sees the group nod prominently to its SAVATAGE origins. In addition to performing the instrumental "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)" — a song originally recorded by SAVATAGE for their 1995 rock opera "Dead Winter Dead" — TSO has also added SAVATAGE's "Chance" to its concert setlists. Fan-filmed footage of both TSO troupes performing the song live can be seen below. "Chance" originally appeared on SAVATAGE's 1994 album "Handful Of Rain", the group's first album after the death of guitarist Criss Oliva (brother of SAVATAGE co-founder and original vocalist Jon Oliva). It marked the band's first usage of counterpoint vocals, which they later utilized on songs such as "One Child", "Morphine Child" and "The Hourglass" (and which would also become a trademark of TSO albums). The song's lyrics — written by the group's late producer, Paul O'Neill — were inspired by the life of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania during World War II who defied government orders by signing exit visas for thousands of Jewish refugees who otherwise would have been sent to concentration camps. In a 2007 interview with Sea Of Tranquillity, Jon Oliva acknowledged the impact of the song. "I think 'Chance' is a great, great song," he said, "and I think it was the start of what TSO would eventually be doing, so that was our first dabble in symphonic, orchestrated rock." TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA's 20th-anniversary tour continues through December 30. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgdL9NO-lsc&w=638&h=359] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDXXsqtaE7A&w=638&h=359]
According to TMZ, AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry is back home, six days after he was hospitalized following an appearance with Billy Joel. Sources close to Joe tell the site that Perry was released from the hospital Thursday and is now resting. Only minutes after guesting with Joel on stage on Saturday night (November 10) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Perry experienced shortness of breath and was treated by paramedics. The legendary rocker, who's now 68, was taken out of the Garden on a stretcher after paramedics worked on him in his dressing room, reportedly inserting a tracheal tube down his throat at one point. According to TMZ, doctors ran a series of tests and determined that Perry was suffering from a combination of allergies and fatigue. Joe, who has reportedly had breathing issues his whole life, tweeted on Tueday that he was "doing well" and thanked fans "for all the love and support." As most fans will remember, back in July 2016, Perry collapsed during a HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES gig at Brooklyn, New York's Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk. Alice Cooper, who fronts the all-star covers band, recalled to CBS News at the time that he was unaware that Perry was perhaps not geared up for such a rigorous schedule. "I didn't realize AEROSMITH only did two shows a week. Honestly, I just figured everybody was like me. I do five shows a week, and very physical shows. We were on our eighth show in 10 days. It was pretty brutal. I think [Joe] was dehydrated and basically exhausted. I talked to him before the show and he said, 'I don't think I've eaten anything in three days.' I went, 'Well, that's not smart.'" Cooper went on to squash the rumors that Perry had collapsed due to a coronary, explaining: "It wasn't his heart, though, and it wasn't anything vital, because four or five days later, he was on stage with us and I'd never seen him look so good." Perry is scheduled to kick off a solo tour on November 30 in support of his most recent solo album, "Sweetzerland Manifesto".
German industrial metallers RAMMSTEIN are putting the finishing touches on their long-awaited new album for an early 2019 release. The follow-up to 2009's "Liebe Ist Für Alle Da" will be mixed at a Los Angeles studio beginning in mid-December with Rich Costey, an American producer who has previously worked with MUSE, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and FRANZ FERDINAND, among others. RAMMSTEIN guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe spoke about the band's upcoming disc while promoting "A Million Degrees", the upcoming third effort from his EMIGRATE side project. Saying that he was "very proud" of the new RAMMSTEIN album, Kruspe told France's United Rock Nations that the record was "almost finished," with only "last touch-ups, like small things here and there," remaining to be done. Asked about the musical direction of the new RAMMSTEIN music, Kruspe said: "To me, the process of doing this record was something that I'm very happy with, because we've managed to gain a certain kind of respect back that we have lost in the past. It also kind of reminded me, the way that we are the moment, as the beginning from RAMMSTEIN. So, music-wise, I think it's richer when it comes to harmonies and melodies. That was also something that I was trying to do, because in the past, every time you talked about RAMMSTEIN, it's all about this big burden about the show and the fire. Nobody really talks about the music, which is, to me, as a [music] writer, kind of a slap in your face. It was also important to me that we kind of step up, music-wise, in a way. It's almost like RAMMSTEIN 3D, I would describe it." Kruspe said that there are no plans for EMIGRATE to tour in support of "A Million Degrees", explaining that "I really don't have the time for that. I'm going to Los Angeles in the middle of December to mix the RAMMSTEIN record," he said. "After that, we [RAMMSTEIN] are in the middle of tour preparation, and then we're gonna be on tour for the next three years. So first of all, there's no time, but even if there were time at the moment, I like the balance that I have with the EMIGRATE project and RAMMSTEIN." RAMMSTEIN recently announced a batch of summer 2019 European tour dates. The run of stadium and arena shows will kick off on May 27 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany and end of August 23 in Vienna, Austria. In 2016 and 2017, RAMMSTEIN played a number of concerts where the band opened each show with a brand new song, presently only known as "Ramm 4". The track contained lyrics that seemed to be a combination of various titles of previous RAMMSTEIN songs. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/530856015" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]
METALLICA played a rare acoustic show on November 3 at the Masonic in San Francisco. The evening, dubbed the "All Within My Hands Foundation Helping Hands Concert And Auction", celebrated the first full year of METALLICA's All Within My Hands non-profit foundation, which was launched in 2017 to help creating sustainable communities by tackling the issues of hunger and workforce education and encouraging volunteerism. In addition to acoustic versions of some of METALLICA's classic songs, the band performed covers of DEEP PURPLE's "When A Blind Man Cries", NAZARETH's "Please Don't Judas Me", BLUE ÖYSTER CULT's "Veteran Of The Psychic Wars" and Bob Seger's "Turn The Page". Bandmembers James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich were joined by a quartet of backing musicians who provided additional percussion, keyboards, strings and vocal harmony. Profesionally filmed video footage of METALLICA performing the song "All Within My Hands" at "All Within My Hands Foundation Helping Hands Concert And Auction" can be seen below. Additional musicians in the clip are Avi Vinocur on mandolin and background vocals, David Phillips on pedal-steel, Henry Salvia on keyboards, and Cody Rhodes on percussion. Says METALLICA: "The event raised $1.3 million which will be used to work with our partners at Feeding America and the American Association of Community Colleges as All Within My Hands continues to tackle the issues of hunger and workforce education and work to create sustainable communities." The setlist for METALLICA's performance was as follows: 01. Disposable Heroes 02. When A Blind Man Cries (DEEP PURPLE cover) 03. The Unforgiven 04. Please Don't Judas Me (NAZARETH cover) 05. Turn The Page (Bob Seger cover) 06. Bleeding Me 07. Veteran Of The Psychic Wars (BLUE ÖYSTER CULT cover) 08. Nothing Else Matters 09. All Within My Hands 10. Enter Sandman 11. The Four Horsemen 12. Hardwired Along with unplugged performances from METALLICA and CAGE THE ELEPHANT, the night offered attendees an opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind auction items. In its first six months of operation, the Foundation donated more than $750,000 to local food banks around the world — a practice the band and the Foundation have continued on METALLICA's current North American tour. They've donated $10,000 to local food banks in every city and met dedicated people who focus their daily lives on helping others. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmhOIsM4jQE&w=638&h=359]
PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS, the project led by the former PANTERA and current DOWN/SUPERJOINT frontman, will perform a set consisting entirely of PANTERA songs during its concert tonight (Friday, November 16) at The Viper Room in West Hollywood, California. Anselmo broke the news of ILLEGALS' plan to play nothing but PANTERA classics in Los Angeles during the band's show last night (Thursday, November 15) at Brick By Brick in San Diego, California. The singer told the crowd (see video below): "Let me ask you a question. Who's filming? Who's gonna upload to YouTube later? Tell me the truth. You're gonna do it? Who's gonna upload to YouTube? You? Tomorrow night, full PANTERA set from beginning to end. That's right. Spread the word, Los Angeles." Earlier today, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS wrote on Facebook: "We are in Hollywood, California tonight. Start to finish. Full PANTERA set!!! Come see it at The Viper room tonight! Gonna be historically epic on many levels! We'll see ya there." Guitarist Mike De Leon added: "THE ILLEGALS are in Hollywood, California!! FULL PANTERA Set START TO FINISH tonight! It's gonna be epic as fuck!! Will stream it live!" All of PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS performances on the current U.S. tour have seen the band play a mini-set of PANTERA songs, including such fan favorites as "Walk", "Mouth For War", "A New Level", "I'm Broken", "Becoming", "This Love", "Hellbound" and "Domination / Hollow". THE ILLEGALS' latest trek kicked off in Austin, Texas on November 1, exactly four months after a video message from Anselmo was played at the public memorial for PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. It was the first time the singer had publicly commented on his former bandmate's death. The event, which was held at Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas, included emotional tributes from a number of Abbott's fellow musicians, some of whom appeared in person while others sent short video speeches expressing their affection for the fallen PANTERA and HELLYEAH drummer. Anselmo's tribute was a few seconds long and saw him speaking in his trademark deep voice. "Vince, always have love in my heart for you, man," he said. "Rest in peace." Vinnie Paul and his brother "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts. Up until his death, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo. Vinnie and Anselmo's relationship got more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag's death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag's killer. Vinnie passed away on June 22 at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 54. The PANTERA and HELLYEAH drummer was buried on June 30 next to his brother and their mother, Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Texas. PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' sophomore album, "Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue", was released in January via Anselmo's Housecore Records in the U.S. and Season Of Mist in other parts of the world. The disc is the follow-up to PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS' debut, "Walk Through Exits Only", which came out in 2013 to mostly positive reviews. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTzZKFEvvPM&w=638&h=359] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iygWVGqCx9I&w=638&h=359] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBQEKbhEqdo&w=638&h=359]