20080419 - Sabbat concert at Jaxx - 155-5502 - close-up of autographed vinyl albumAs usual, shows at Jaxx provide an unusual level of intimacy, and Carolyn & I are virtually guaranteed to be within a literal arms’ reach of our favorite artists! 11 songs were played; 5 of them from the Dreamweaver album (that I just posted a massive review of). Unfortunately for us, we missed most of the 1st song. Jaxx is a great club due to the acts they book (and 15-minute proximity to our house), but they have very poor information management. Earlier calls said they would come on 11:30-12, so we decided to play it safe and arrive around 10:50. We somehow got the 2nd-closest parking space, and they started playing when our car pulled in. So that sucked. They also said we can’t bring cameras, but for the first time ever we decided the camera has depreciated in value such that it is okay to leave it in an unattended car in Virginia. Good move, because when I asked at the door, they said everything was allowed. The band itself was taking video too. Tons of cameras lined the place.

We basically had only 1 person in between us and the stage, and were mostly directly in front of Gizz Butt, the only non-original member of the band, having replaced Frasier Craske. But we were also about 3 feet away from singer Martin Walkyier. (Hey Eve – he performed a handfasting the week before!) I really wish, however, that we could have crowded over to the right of the stage, where Andy Sneap (usually a record producer) was playing. Andy Sneap is the mastermind riff-writer & guitar-player behind the music of Sabbat. Martin Walkyier joked that there’s no way they would ever write another album, because it’s simply not possible for them write songs like they did 20 years ago. Andy Sneap (I think) joked that he used all his riffs up in their 2 albums, which is quite appropriate: Dreamweaver has the most riffs-per-song of practically any thrash metal out there.

During the show, Martin Walkyier did not seem satisfied with the audience’s enthusiasm level. He was pressuring us to scream and raise our fists up during just about every musical interlude. I think it is true that American metal fans, at least in Springfield, VA, are a lot more docile than European metal fans. He was nonetheless very enthusiastic, and quite happy to be playing for us, and ready to party — They said they hadn’t had a party in a week, which was unheard of for them, and so they were going to go back and drink some beers and chat with the fans. (And Jaxx pooped on everybody’s party by only serving alcohol to the band members. I guess they only want to be open during those periods of time that they make the most possible money — i.e. during the actual show.)

Some of has had waited 18 years for the show. I was wearing my Sabbat shirt that I bought in 9th or 10th grade, c.1989-1990. I was the only one. Andy Sneap later remarked that it was a bootleg, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. I thought that I ordered it directly from the Noise Records catalog (i.e. their record company) using an order form from a cassette inlay card. I sure as hell didn’t get it online — back then it was BBSes only. The back of the shirt simply had the band members’ names, so I would think that he would be impressed that I’d been wearing his name for 18 years, instead of declaring it a bootleg. :)

[UPDATE] And although I was the only one with an 18-year-old Sabbat shirt that I saw, there was nonetheless one guy who had an issue of Power Metal Magazine — the exact same issue that I had. I think I finally gave a few to Shehab around 2000, but they probably ended up in the trash. He had Sabbat autograph the picture of them in the magazine — the same one I had ripped out and put on the wall of my bedroom in my parents’ house (along with other stuff. Friends: Imagine my kitchen cabinets, but covering an entire room, and mostly being metal-oriented.) So I made sure to photograph the autograph, and the cover (feat. King Diamond) of the Power Metal magazine as well.

AUTOGRAPHS! So yes: The band members came out, autographed everything for everybody, and talked to everybody. Even to point where the swarm died down, and it became a bit more casual. Band members just sitting at the bar, talking to whoever was around. Eventually they left — Martin wanted white wine. But they hung around for a good 30-45 minutes.

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Martin Walkyier & Us

I even had some one-on-one talk with Martin Walkyier, and got to break the news to him that New Line Cinema had at least at one point been interested in making The Way Of Wyrd (which the Dreamweaver album is based on) into a movie. Martin seemed very excited by the prospect, declaring that he would absolutely love to even have a wee part, like a hobbit in the background. Carolyn later (over the next 20 hours) erupted into laughter at several points, because of the way I told him this: “Hey, you know The Way Of Wyrd?”, I say to Martin. “Yeah?” I mean, it’s a pretty stupid question to ask someone who you know wrote an entire album based on the book. But to me I just had to make sure he knew what I was talking about, before saying, “New Line Cinema was interested in making it into a movie!” I suppose I could have blurted it all out in one sentence, but I had to make sure I had his attention before delivering the “punchline”. Martin Walkyier also said that he really liked it here in Virginia, and liked this area better than Los Angeles. Before they left, I managed to get a picture with Andy Sneap as well:

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Andy Sneap & I

SCHWAG: Carolyn got a shirt with the Dreamweaver cover (the one that caused me to buy the album c.1989 with no knowledge of what it was, other than being a Noise Records album). It was the last medium. She was kind enough to give it to me, and buy the newer shirt style for herself. So now I have an old and new shirt, she has a new shirt, and we have an autographed original pressing of the Dreamweaver cd ($54 on Ebay):

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Sabbat Schwag – old, new, and autographed

No drumstick, however, because it bounced off Carolyn‘s head. You see, I had to run back to the car to get the vinyl record (which I would note dare to take into a mosh pit setting). The security guy basically said re-entry is not typically allowed, but I told him why, and he said “make it quick”, so I feigned running, even though we were the very first car. (Ironically, his girlfriend had just left, so my rushing, and her choice to walk beside our car, caused me to run quickly towards her in a dimly-lit parking lot… She probably would have thought she was being attacked if her boyfriend was not right there.) So anyway, asking for the keys to leave and do all this caused Carolyn to turn her head and miss the drumstick. Damn! But at least we have an autographed NoMeansNo drumstick, and a non-autographed Chemlab drumstick.

The setlist for this concert is posted HERE.

A full set of pictures will eventually be posted HERE.

To see every concert I’ve ever been to, go to my List Of All Concerts page.

Here are some videos from the concert [added 7/25/2008]:

Band member introductions:

Die hard fans for 20 years:

Dreamweaver album is now re-released on Sanctuary records:

Martin hates racism, and expected to see a bunch of Homer Simpsons when he came to America:

Martin talks about not having had a party all week (unheard of for them), and his disdain for Christianity:

Introduction for the song The Clerical Conspiracy:

song excerpt – probably “The Church Bizarre”:

Mood: accomplished