December 5, 2006
Army of Anyone w/ The Steepwater Band
Metro – Chicago IL
Some of you that have read my show reviews before, know that I can’t write a short review to save my life. So here goes nothing 😉
Pre-AOA History: I have been a fan of STP since the beginning and I’ve been a radio single fan of Filter. Iive seen STP three times (’96, ’00, ’02) but never Filter.
AOA history: I believe it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving my friend Wit emailed me telling me he had seen Army of Anyone on Conan and asked if I knew who they were. I did not. He was quite surprised and said, “Some muzik freak you are.” I told him I was only as good as my sources. haha After he told me who was involved I remembered reading a long while ago that the DeLeo brothers were starting a band but then I never heard anything else about it.
Well he commented that he thought I’d really like this band and he is usually spot-on with those kinds of statements. Not long after said email, I was on the Black Crowes message board in one of the non-Crowes related sections and what did I see? A thread on Army of Anyone. I jumped in and started reading. What jumped out at me? A concert date: December 5th at The Metro. WHAT?! WHEW! I hadn’t missed the show.
I then typed in the band name into a browser and was lucky to find that actually WAS their website! I did some searching on the site, listened to the three songs (and really liked what I was hearing) and then I found the message board. I signed up and found a Chicago thread. I was surprised to see a familiar screen name: ZOODISHBU.
Another back story: My friend Kim and I went to see The Panic Channel in May 2006 (yes, track 13 was recorded in Chicago!! Pretty cool, huh?). After the show, while waiting to see if the bass player would emerge, my friend and I started talking to this girl, lady, chic (what would you like to be called D? hehe). She told us she had driven three hours for the show, etc. She and I have kept in touch ever since then.
Based on thread communication, D thought about going to the Chicago show. But since she had already bought tics for Nashville and Indy it just wasn’t in the cards. No worries D, next time!!
So, I knew hubby probably wouldn’t want to go and I asked a couple other friends but no one was interested. That is when I decided, screw it, I’ll go alone. A few days before the show I found out someone I had met at the Milwaukee Alice in Chains show would also be there. The day of the show I found out some folks from the Crowes board would be there. Great, lots of potential meetings.
I left work early and headed for The Metro. It was 26 degrees out. ooo, boy, gotta love Winter in Chicago. It could have been worse, way worse. By the time I got to the venue, it took me almost 30 minutes to find a place to park that didn’t have a 9pm meter with a two hour limit. (doors were at 6pm) By the time I got in line, I think there were maybe 10 of us total. Only 20 minutes to wait and I was dressed somewhat warmly. 6pm came and they opened the doors. Thankfully there were NO delays. Once inside, I had no trouble claiming a left to center rail spot. (I wasn’t in the mood to deal with potential crazies on Dean’s side.)
One hour to wait for the first opening band. I spoke with a couple next to me who were there for the first opening band. They had been in line since 3:30pm and were trying to thaw out. That’s some dedication right there.
Time passed and I noticed a lady behind me that looked kind of familiar. Eventually she asked if I was Teresa and I asked if she was Sandy . We were both right! The person on the Crowes board told her where I would be. We had met once before in 2004 at a Rich Robinson show. We passed the rest of the time talking.
Escape from Earth started at 7pm and played for about 30 minutes. Their music was alright but I was just not all that into them. I’m guessing it was because I really wanted to see Steepwater and of course AOA.
I believe Steepwater took the stage around 7:45pm or so and played until 8:15-8:20pm. They were awesome, as usual. When their set was over I couldn’t believe it. It seemed SO SHORT compared to the first opening band.
So now the wait for AOA. Sandy ran out to feed the meter and I waited. I thought I heard someone yell my name but I thought, “That can’t be right.” Sandy came back and out of the blue, I happened to turn to my left and I saw Ben, the guy I had met at the Milwaukee AIC show! How funny. We said hello and he told me he was in the balcony. I asked if he had yelled my name and he said YES! haha Too funny.
At approx 8:40 the lights went down and Army of Anyone took the stage. They played until the curfew cutoff at 10pm.
Here’s my song by song review:
*Generation – I like this song on the CD but it sounded even better live.
*It Doesn’t Seem to Matter – I really LOVE this song. Again, sounded even better live.
*Father Figure – I FREAKIN’ LOVE this song on the CD so I was SUPER excited when I recognized the opening notes!!! Again, another great song live.
*Non Stop – I don’t remember them playing this at all but obviously they did. I must have been mesmerized with the band’s performance.
*Vasoline – I had read they were playing this song and when I heard those first few opening notes I called a friend. They played this song so well and Richard really pulled off the vocals. After the song was over, Dean made the comment to Richard that he sang that really well and then Robert commented to Dean that he played that really well. HEHE
*Take A Picture – Like I mentioned before, I am only a radio single fan of Filter but I recognized this one right away. Up to this point I could not stop watching Richard sing. I don’t know what it was but I was drawn to him for some reason. He is for sure an intense singer.
*A Better Place (acoustic) – Another song on the album I LOVE. Robert said something about this being the first song they wrote together. The part I can’t remember was I think he said it was originally written as an acoustic song but it didn’t make it onto the album that way. I don’t know, something like that. Robert played acoustic guitar, Richard played bass and Dean played electric. I’m pretty sure Ray played bongos. If it wasn’t this song, then it was during Used To Know Her. (I didn’t write these details down so I’m doing the best I can here! haha) I believe this was also the first song where Dean started to have technical problems.
*Used to Know Her (instrumental) – Richard left the stage and Dean commented that they had been trying something new and introduced the song. Oh man, I LOVED it!!! What I didn’t realize though was that it eventually carried over into a Zeppelin cover. I know, I’m a bad Zeppelin fan!
*Rain Song (instrumental) – The last half of the continuous instrumental was just amazing. Talk about a nice, calm, peaceful vibe on the stage during these two songs.
*Big Bang Baby – Again, another song I had read they were playing. I had forgotten how much I liked this song. Awesome groove.
*Welcome to the Fold – I was not familiar with this song at all but I had to guess it was a Filter song. I was surprised how aggressive of a song it was. I believe Richard told everyone before he started singing that this would be the time to mosh, if we did that sort of thing.
*Leave It – Another song on the album I REALLY love. Totally rockin’!!
*Piece of Pie – Robert introduced the song and mentioned it was the first song they ever wrote together. I can’t quite remember if he said PoP was the first song they ever played live in general or played live in Chicago because he referenced 1992 as if it was a year they had played here. I believe it was after this song, or maybe the next Filter song, Richard made the comment, “Now THIS is a rock crowd.” I think earlier in the set he had commented about the lack of crowd excitement or something, not sure. I know I was rockin’ out down front.
*Hey Man, Nice Shot – Of course, who doesn’t know this song? It sounded awesome.
*Encore: – The band left the stage and it didn’t take long before the crowd started chanting “A O A!” “A O A!” Not even 5 minutes went by and they came back out.
*Disappear – These last two songs were just AWESOME! Very high energy.
*Goodbye – LOVE, LOVE this song!! I do wonder who it was written about though. It was a great song to end the night.
OK, now for some comments on the guys. (I told you, no short reviews from me!)
Great front man. He seemed to favor his monitor since he kept crouching/leaning against it when he sang for most of the night. He also crouched in between monitors all across the stage. Every once in a while he would reach out and touch the hands of people on the rail. During one song he was right in front of me with his hand out as he was singing. I thought, what the heck, and I put my hand out, palm up. His hand was palm down. He barely touched hands with me, almost as if teasing. hehe During quite a few songs he would jump up and down, totally getting into the vibe of the song. I mentioned this before and I’ll say it again, he is a VERY intense singer. During one song, he thrusted his pelvis into the back/side of Dean’s leg. Dean laughed.
At some point Richard also introduced the band. He commented that they were a new band from L.A. and they were not used to the cold. Someone in the crowd yelled out, “It’s not that cold!” Technically, it does get MUCH colder here!
He also mentioned something about NIN but I missed part of it. Thanks to the AOA board member for clarifying for me: “Richard said he was in Chicago at the Metro in 1986 with a little band named Nine Inch Nails, then played there again in 1996 with Filter, and now it’s 2006 and he’s back again.”
Robert also commented that it was good to be back in Chicago.
While singing a song, Richard reached out his hand to the girl next to me. She thought he wanted to touch her hand. He was actually going for the disposable camera in her hand. While still singing, he took a picture of her and her boyfriend.
Robert really moved around. He also squatted down quite a bit between the monitors all across the front of the stage. At one time he was doing this strut/foot shuffle across the back of the stage. He totally had a 70’s vibe going on by the way he was dressed. Trucker hat, big glasses, his clothes and he even had a red hand in the shape of a peace sign on his amp.
The man has some AWESOME guitars!! He had not one, but TWO different double-neck guitars (I noticed both were used for new songs) along with at least 2-3 other guitars. He also had cool jeans with stars up each side of his pant legs. Even though there is a no smoking rule in Chicago, obviously this did not apply to him. He too was jumping, and quite high I might add, but I never could catch him with my camera since the monitors were in my way. Because of his pedals and such, he never came closer than barely mid-stage. Most of the time when he was close, he had a tendency to turn to his left when he would solo. So I saw a lot of his back/side during those times!
He also seemed to be having some technical issues a couple times during the night. I saw him push and then kick his rig (or whatever it’s called) a couple times. When I saw AIC back in May 2006 at the Metro, Jerry was having similar issues. Coincidence?
Have you seen this man’s kit?! HOLY COW! He was beating the crap out of them all night too. Well, except for when he was playing the bongos. He looked like he was having a BALL up there! He was constantly smiling and rockin’ out! Talk about totally being into his playing.
After the last song, Robert and Dean and I believe Richard touched hands with people in the crowd and a few picks were thrown out. Ray tossed some sticks into the crowd but one was just a little bit too far past my head. I did try to jump for it though. Eventually the band all gathered at the front of the stage and took a bow. I remember Robert giving the peace sign as he walked off stage. Show was now over, time to go home.
After the show I talked with Sandy for a bit and talked with the drummer from Steepwater. I also bought the AOA button pack from the merch table. While standing there I recognized someone from the AOA board. I tapped her arm and asked if she was from the AOA board. She said yes and that she was SourKat. I told her I recognized her from her big picture with Dean in her signature line. She also told me the lady next to her was Mars. Very cool.
I eventually went outside (the bus was parked in front of the venue), and by luck or chance or what have you, Ray just so happened to be right there. I immediately recognized him and said, “Hi”. When I asked if he would sign my CD, since I had bought it at a store (they were selling signed copies at the merch table) he said sure but asked if we could go back inside so he wouldn’t get pneumonia. Once inside I shook his hand and told him the usual, “loved the album, awesome show, etc”. When I gave him my black sharpie to sign the CD he said he had a silver one. Good deal! I asked for a picture (thanks to the Metro security guy who took the picture for me) and he was more than happy. As I was saying thanks and goodbye HE shook my hand and said thanks.
I went back outside and talked some more with Sandy. I spotted someone wearing the set list on their chest and asked to take a picture 😀
Eventually Dean came out of the venue. Someone asked for his signature and he said he’d be right back, he needed a cigarette. A few minutes later he was back. I shook his hand and told him the same things I told Ray. He signed my CD and I had Sandy take a picture. Very nice guy.
I stood outside for a little while longer talking with Sandy and some other guy. Just when I was about ready to give up (it was almost 11pm and the guy I was talking to said Richard was out right after the show was over) Richard came out of the venue! WOOHOO! Richard was really nice and was talking with everyone around him. When it was my turn I said the same things about the CD and the show, had him sign my CD (he too had a silver sharpie) and took a picture.
Sandy said goodbye (thanks again for taking the pics!!) and I waited a few more minutes to see if Robert would appear. The venue eventually kicked everyone off the sidewalk so they could load equipment so I left.
Oh well, three out of four band members ain’t bad 😀
Once back in the car, headed for home, I was replaying the M&G over in my head when I had a panic-y feeling. OH NO! Ok, at one point when I was meeting Richard, since Sandy had my camera, I heard her say his name to try and get his attention. Well, all I heard was “Patrick”. The panic part? Combine that with some nervousness and I believe I called him Patrick instead of Richard when I was talking to him! *slaps self in head* Aww man. Oh well, what can you do, right?
So, there you have it, my long ass review of the Chicago AOA show.
Until next time (and I hope it’s not too long)….