The fifth and final installment of the 2011 concert scene in South Texas and beyond recap focuses on mid-October through the end of the year.
The highlight had to be legendary British metallers Judas Priest choosing San Antonio’s AT&T Center as the U.S. kickoff to their Epitaph tour. The 40-year triumvirate of singer Rob Halford, guitarist Glenn Tipton and bassist Ian Hill, along with 21-year Priest drummer Scott Travis, welcomed guitarist Richie Faulkner to the fold over the summer.
Faulkner made his U.S. touring debut with Priest in the Alamo City at the Oct. 12 show that included Black Label Society and Thin Lizzy as opening acts. Guitarist K.K. Downing shockingly retired from Judas Priest moments before the tour was announced, but Faulkner stepped in as if he’d been with the band for 40 years (or at least all of his 31 years) as well, and the band played at least one song off each of its albums with Halford on vocals — a catalogue that dates back to 1974.
Other stellar shows included Staind with Theory of a Deadman, Pop Evil and San Antonio’s The Heroine, and Bush headlining with Chevelle and Filter seven days later. Both concerts were at Sunken Garden Theater.
Motley Crue singer Vince Neil brought his solo band — which includes Slaughter bassist Dana Strum — to the Alamodome to headline the fourth annual San Antonio Rock N’ Roll Marathon and 1/2 Marathon for a set that began at 11 a.m.
And who could forget Anthrax, Testament and Death Angel tearing up the new Emo’s East in Austin? Figuratively tearing it up, that is, but on the threshold of literally speaking. Testament even helped Death Angel guitarist Rob Cavestany celebrate his birthday (see video at the concert review below).
Death Angel helped begin 2011 in a huge way by playing the inaugural 70000 Tons of Metal cruise in late January, then visiting the White Rabbit on Feb. 15. The SAMME was at both shows (see Parts 1-4 below).
Fittingly, 2012 will begin the same way. The SAMME will once again cover 70000 Tons (this time in the Cayman Islands) on a voyage that will feature 40-plus bands that were not on the first trek.
Couple that with impending tour dates to be announced next week for Van Halen, as well as SAMME concert coverage of Anvil and the reunited McAuley/Schenker Group in February and March, respectively, and 2012 figures to start off with a headbang once again in San Antonio — and beyond.
Stay tuned for some surprises during 2012 as well — the end of the world notwithstanding.
Happy New Year to all. And thanks for reading.
- INTERVIEWS: Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna and Frank Bello with Charlie Benante (video), Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil, Blotted Science guitarist and San Antonian Ron Jarzombek, The Devil Wears Prada guitarist/vocalist Jeremy DePoyster, As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis
- REVIEWS: Judas Priest/Black Label Society/Thin Lizzy, Staind/Theory of a Deadman/Pop Evil/The Heroine, Bush/Chevelle/Filter, Anthrax/Testament/Death Angel, Vince Neil
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