It wasn't even officially winter, yet we've already seen an eight inch snowstorm and single digit temperatures and the forecast for the week wasn't much better. I missed out on the Children of Bodom / Trivium / Amon Amarth show cause it was sold out and I couldn't get access, but the following night was a much better show anyway and I sure wasn't missing out on that. My best friend and assistant photographer, Donna, had ordered up tix for the Roadrunner Records, one night only, 25th Anniversity show, at the most awesome Nokia Theater in Times Square, so the temp was finally soon to rise. 35 Roadrunner stars, doing 24 Roadrunner songs. Shiiiaaat Yeah!!! The lineup was amazing. I wasn't overly thrilled about the Roadrunner United cd, but all these rock'n'rollers under one roof? Yeah, this rock'n'roller too! The forecast was for more snow, turning to rain. Great, but I figured, if it was going to turn to rain, it would have to be warmer than the 15 degrees that it was at the start of this evening. Or I should say, this journey. I rarely drive in to NYC, but drive to Metuchen and park on a side street outside the mile radius of the station, to avoid having to pay for all night parking, which means about a fifteen minute walk to the train station. It hadn't quite warmed enough for rain, so the walk was in an Arctic mix of snow. And wind. And ice. Yeah. Sucked. Donna was already sick too, but we trudged our way and made it to the station and of course the train was delayed for about ten hours, so it seemed. Actually ten minutes, but........well, we froze our freakin' butts off. Finally the train and warmth came and we were rollin' on the rails, under the Hudson to NYC. Sweet NYC. Oh, how I love Times Square. The train ride is about an hour, so we warmed a bit, but the walk to the Nokia Theater was just as frigid, but you'd never know it, cause Times Square was hustling and bustling with as many New Yorkers as if it was an eighty degree summer nite. The weather inside the Nokia Theater was just warm and toasty. We made our way up front and yeah...it was warm and toasty. There was a big movie screen in front of the stage, Jamey Jasta, the emcee, came out and incited the crowd and the ball was rolling.
The house band was Dino Cazares on guitar, Andreas Kisser on guitar, Adam Duce and Paul Gray sharing the bass duties and Joey Jordison on drums. The first All Stars were Evan Seinfeld and Billy from Bio Hazard and when the screen went up they kicked into "Punishment" which started the show in rousing fashion. It was awesome to see Evan and Billy together again, because being from Jersey, I was always a big Bio Hazard fan and spent many good times and sweat in the pit with those guys. Got the crowd jumpin' from the start. Jamey Jasta came out next and I still don't know why he was even there, having nothing to do with Roadrunner, and kept the hardcore going with "Set It Off", a Madball song. It was so awesome to see both Dino and Andreas again. Then Keith Caputo appeared with them and they kicked ass with "River Runs Red" by Life Of Agony. Man, that was the shiiiiaaattt!!!! This show was the shiiiiiaaatt!!!!!I looked at Donna and she was grinning ear to ear. There were about a hundred photographers in the photographer pit, but they let us take pics from the crowd too. That was awesome. One of the most evil men of Metal, Glen Benton came on stage next and did "The End Complete" from Obituary. Paul Gray was playing bass, and although unrecognizable without the pig mask,(Slipknot) I could tell by his left handed style and persona that it was him. This was pretty amazing. Then the screen came back down. A King Diamond video tribute. F**k yeah! The King!! They showed a short bio with some interviews and old videos of the King and it was awesome. Then, the screen went up. Jeff Waters from Annihilator replaced Dino, Adam Duce from Machine Head replaced Gray and James Murphy joined Andreas on guitar. Ripper Owens took the mic and kicked in to "Curse Of The Pharoahs" by Merciful Fate. Who better than Tim to do King Diamond. Friggin' awesome. Tim kept the mic and Ray Mayorga replaced Joey on drums and they wailed into "Abigail", another King classic. Ripper was ripping out the screams, man. Sh*t yeah. Jeff Waters on guitar ripped into the next song which was "Alison Hell" by his own Annihilator, while Tim Owens still ripped on vocals. That guy can let it out!!!
Whew!!!This was something. Big fun in NYC. Glen Benton in full costume came on next for a brutal version of "Dead By Dawn" by Deicide and the place exploded. Kids started flyin' around overhead and a huge circle started spinning in the pit. The screen would come down occasionally and they would show videos of all the Roadrunner bands with narratives about their history and stuff. They did video tributes to Sepultura, Type O Negative, Slipknot in which they showed some cool archive footage from many years ago.
It was certainly worth the Arctic journey to get here. And getting better and better.
After the videos, Trivium came out and did their own "Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr" with a guy who is the true meaning of the word 'Metal', Rob Flynn from Machine Head on vocals. I freakin' love Rob!! F**k Yeah!
Jesse Leach then appeared with his old buddies and blew the roof off with "My Last Serenade" and Howard also appeared and joined in. Damn good to see Jesse. He's freakin' brutal!!!I saw Killswitch twice before Howard and Adam joined and they were way more brutal back then. Nadja Peulen from Coal Chamber took the bass and graced the stage with her beauty and Dino with his (hehe, hasn't lost a pound)and a strange figure named Ville Valo from Finland's H.I.M. took the mic and did a bit quirky version of "Black #1" by Type O. Strange guy that Ville. Matt Heafy stayed on the mic as Dino and Andreas pounded out "Replica" by Fear Factory which really started to heat up the pit. Then Jamey Jasta took stage and sang "Pure Hatred" from Chimaira. Yeah. This was unbelievable!!! I was flyin around snappin' pics and havin' a blast!! But, it was far from over.
Next were some songs from the Roadrunner United cd. "Tired and Lonely" with Keith on vocals and Acey Slade joining on guitar. Corey Taylor played guitar with Keith on vocals for the Stone Sour ballad "Bother", which was amazing. More Roadrunner United songs followed. "The Rich Man" with Corey and Rob Flynn dueting on vocals and "The Dagger" with Howard Jones of Killswitch and Rob Flynn singing. Logan Mader of Machine Head fame joined the arsenal for "The End" on guitar, which ended the RR United songs. Are you ready for the big finish? What was already a truly amazing extravaganza would kick in to it's highest gear of all and end the evening in unforgettable fashion.
First, Logan stayed out with Dino and were joined by Brian Fair of Shadows Fall for Soulfly's "Eye For An Eye" which brought chaos to the Nokia Theater. Yeah!! Freakin' Chaos!!CHAOS FREAKIN' A.D.!!!!!!!Rob Flynn exploded on vocals for "Refuse/Resist" with Scott Ian joining Andreas and Dino on guitar and blew the place apart!! Then "Surfacing" by Slipknot!!!!!The pit was a swirling mass of arms and legs!! Logan Mader then came back for a roof rattling "Davidian" by Machine Head!! Shiaaat. Everybody started coming out and Corey took the mic and did "Sic", the sick ass Slipknot song and kids were flyin' everywhere!! A surfin' safari!! Jamey Jasta came out to announce an encore that we would never forget as the screen went down and the crowd chanted and stomped for more. The screen went up and everybody was out there and they blasted into the most amazing version of "Roots Bloody Roots" that you could ever imagine. I was jumping like a madman along with Donna and two thousand other people and it was the SHHIIIIAAAATTT!!!!!!!!!!
The show started promptly at ten o'clock and ended around one. A three hour marathon of metal by some of it's biggest stars that left me with chills from head to toe after it's awesome finish. We walked out into the pouring rain in Times Square, getting soaked and not giving a sh*t, made our way back to Penn Station and collapsed on the floor to await the last train. The ride home was amazing.