Photos courtesy of Hot Spots of San Antonio (my batteries died - thanks, guys!)
So, Thursday July 5th I headed out to Sneakers Kristal to check out Electric Ocean and Eden Burning. Naturally I was late, so I missed the opening band...Bailey Drive or something like that (someone correct me on this). I hear they're a new band and good, so sorry I missed them. Also, there was originally supposed to be a Judas Priest tribute band called Sad Wings of Destiny playing, but they had to cancel. I was bummed about this because I love Judas Priest and was looking forward to hearing some (plus they're named after my favorite Priest album), but...some other time I guess.
I got there just in time for Eden Burning to start. Now, I've been aware of who Phil Salazar (singer/guitarist) is for quite a while, but I don't think I've ever seen him with a band, although he did look familiar to me. So did the lead guitarist Johnny Rod, but I'm really thinking he used to hang out at Wizards when I worked there...but I could be wrong (I often am). Anyway, point being that I did have an inkling of what to expect: semi-old-school hard rockin' and that's pretty much what I got.
Now, sometimes I seem to have my own definition of what a term means, so I'll clarify. To me, "old school" means hard but melodic with cool guitar solos and shit. These guys were like that, with a little punk thrown into the mix. They also have good stage presence. There wasn't a huge crowd there, but these guys treated us like we were a huge crowd nonetheless. I hate it when a band underperforms because the crowd is small. I understand it, but I don't like it. I think if I pay to see a band, I deserve the best they can give. And that's what I got from Eden Burning. Good job.
During Eden Burning, I ran into Suzi from Suzi's Rock Page and the guys from HotSpots and a friend of Electric Ocean, whom I previously met at Tiffany's, and damn I can't remember his name but he always reminds me of Joe Walsh, lol. It was nice to see everyone out and nice to not have to hang out all alone for once!
Anyway, next up was Electric Ocean. Now Ben (singer/guitarist) was nice enough to show up for our Virgo Bash back in September and also partied with Kel and me at a Killing Floor show at Tiffany's (with his wonderful sweet wife). What always impresses me about Ben is he always seems happy and enthusiastic and likes to think big. Lots of fun.
So I wasn't surprised to find that Electric Ocean live perfectly reflects Ben's personality. Big and enthusiastic. Huge light show. The music is a wall of sound. Not overwhelming, but big. Rockin' but very melodic. Ben was having a lot of trouble with the sound. He couldn't hear himself in the monitors and his voice wasn't coming out very loud in the mix, so I can't really comment on the vocals much since I couldn't hear them very well. I liked their drummer because he knows how to beat the crap out of his drums. I like that hard-hitting drumming. Good stuff. And the lead guitarist (Ben's step-dad, keeping it in the family is always cool), billed on their MySpace page as "Nelson Broyal- Lead Guitar/ Slasher!" is a damn good guitarist. I couldn't really hear him for the first song or two, but then they fixed that and I was like, "Damn!" - very impressive.
When the show was over, I scored some swag...CD's from both bands and an Electric Ocean tee. Finally met Phil Salazar. The night ended with me, Suzi, Phil and Ben, a bunch of old Sneakers-heads, sitting around reminiscing about the days of Sneakers. The walls - that big ass clown from Dangerous Toys, Peter Criss later changed to Tommy Lee with the drum set sticking out of the wall. The music - heavy stuff that you could actually dance to - Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie, Megadeth "Symphony of Destruction," Pantera "Walk," etc. Good stuff, good times!