A Trip Down Concert Avenue

ace of spades

Recently I attended the Mastodon concert at Ace Of Spades here in Sacramento. Numerous times I hear people complain about the sound quality at Ace Of Spades, or even at The Boardwalk and Harlows. I admit I do not have an hear for music, but to me I think all venues have the same sound. I am more concerned with the layout and organization of a concert hall. Ace Of Spades or the Boardwalk to me are quite fun to go to since the stage is so close that you can get pretty close to the artists.

I have been going to concerts as long as I have been going to movie theaters. I actually grew up in the East Bay area so I had the privilege of experiencing amazing concerts and venues. Slim’s, Great American Music Hall, Bill Graham Civic, and The Shoreline Amphitheater which I have attended specifically too many times to count. During all these performances did I pay attention to the sound coming through the speakers but rather the entire atmosphere. The smell of drugs, sweat, dirt, and alcohol even the noise feels like it has a smell to it. The lights or lasers that flicker through the night or the bodies pressed against you swaying through the night become a cosmic blur. And you keep feeling that adrenaline long after the concert ends, with the buzz of that music humming through your ears.

Mastodon had the same feeling. They are not one of my top favorite bands and usually not the kind of music I listen to, but still a great band to see live. This high paced rock/metal band always gets the crowd moshing to no end. I don’t mind mosh pits, as long as I am not stuck in the middle. I like to be right by the edge just to get that intense feeling, but at the same time not attacked by sweaty men who could accidentally punch my ribcage.

Ace of Spades is a great venue as well. Since I have moved to Sacramento, I have seen multiple bands here. It’s crazy to have so many bars inside but logically seeing how many people can get packed in there. I’ve never had a bad experience other than paying an arm and a leg for drinks, but is not really a surprise for over charging at concerts.

I think going to see bands live can be a beautiful experience. Yes you may have to sacrifice your wallet but standing in historical venues and getting to experience the sights and sounds is something that money cannot buy as cliche as that sounds. Everyone should attend at least one live event and I hope to continue enjoying these artists for as long as I can.


DJ Jaws is a DJ at KSSU

Amazing Metal You’re Not Hearing – 6.30.12

Greetings all,

As you may or may not know, things are a bit slower around KSSU during the summer, and while I have taken the hot part of the year off, there are still plenty of awesome metal records dropping in stores near you.

Shall we go over a few in the first installment of AMYNH? (Pronounced “Amy-neh.”)

in this first post I will be covering some great albums that you may have missed by artists from the far off lands of Australia, Norway, France, Sweden, Canada, and Miami!

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Interview – Fredrik Åkesson of Opeth

Fredrik Åkesson is the lead guitarist for the progressive death metal band Opeth. He is also known for his guitar work in numerous projects that include Arch Enemy, Tailsman, Krux, and Tiamat.

Åkesson is currently on tour with Opeth promoting the band’s latest album Heritage (which I was a fan of).

Here is a phone conversation we had in which we discussed the current tour with Mastodon, Mikael’s recent injury, the dark lyrical content of the band he had when he was nine, his favorite beers, and more. He even divulged the band’s post-festival season tour plans, although he is unsure if he was supposed to or not.

Listen to the full interview with clips from Åkesson’s work after the jump…

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Music Review: Mastodon – Record Store Day

Mastodon is one of those bands that people are slowly beginning to turn against, for whatever reason. The most common reason I have found for the rationale is that they are not as heavy as they used to be. To some extent, I suppose this is true. The Hunter is not a soft album, but with their deviation from the norm of heavy music, they have expanded their sound tremendously — which is more of a nod to the “progressive” part of their “progressive metal” label.

The band has a knack for keeping fans guessing, and on April 21, 2012, the fifth annual Independent Record Store Day, Mastodon released not one, but two RSD-exclusive 7 inches. Both of these contain rather strange pairings that feature the band covering another artist as the B-side.

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Ovacord’s Top 25 Albums of 2011

Greetings all!

Your friendly neighborhood Loud Rock Director for KSSU here bringing you the list of my favorite albums of 2011.

See the full list here…

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Music Review: Mastodon – “The Hunter”


I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with Mastodon. I remember checking out “Leviathan” after a couple of my friends told me it was the greatest CD they had ever heard. I also remember reading a review for “Blood Mountain” in Rolling Stone where they were touted as the “next Metallica.” I remember liking both of those CDs, but never really understanding what all the hype was about. Maybe it’s because I also remember nearly falling asleep at one of their concerts where they were opening for Lamb of God and Slayer. EVERY song sounded like a ridiculous five-minute solo. However, it was their last album, “Crack the Skye,” where I can safely say that I jumped on-board the Mastodon bandwagon. [Read more…]

New this week to KSSU Loud Rock – 9.26.2011

Do I even need to talk about this album? New Mastodon! I’ll rave a little more since I kind of have to… It is Crack the Skye for fans of Blood Mountain and vice versa. Hell, there are even nuggets of Leviathan thrown in. It has all the melody of Skye but the songs are shorter and there are more of them. The heviness that may have been missed on the last album is back on tracks like “Blasteroid” and “Spectrelight.” Those unfamiliar with the band somehow should start here and work backwards and long time fans should enjoy most of this gem. [Read more…]