Jon Oliva’s Pain, Chris Caffery’s Faces and more at Rex Theater (2005)

Rex Theater (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

Jon Oliva’s Pain, Chris Caffery’s Faces, Beyond Fear
[This live report is a kind contribution by: Metal Pete] I promised to elaborate a […]
By Metal Pete
September 14, 2005

[This live report is a kind contribution by: Metal Pete]

I promised to elaborate a bit on a review of the Metal Insurgence tour stop in Pittsburgh. This should provide some detail for so many people that haven't got to see the tour yet. The Rex Theater is east of the Station Square district. All kind of cool t-shirt places (Slacker), eateries, Starbucks (hahaha), guitar shops, book stores, clothing shops. I had time to eat a genuine NY Reuben sandwich, a big dill pickle, and a Dicken's Energy Cider (Dicken's Cider…sounds like…you get it). Energy drink loaded with caffeine like Red Bull or Monster. I walked into the Rex about 7:50 pm. There was Igor & his merch, 4 paying customers (plus me) and band members miling around. This looked to be potentially disastrous crowd-wise. So, they delayed the start of the show about 45 min to allow people to get there. Gradually, there were enough people to at least justify firing up the gear.

I did get to chat with band members from all 3 bands. I got Jon Oliva to sign my Jon Oliva's Pain CD, I got to talk to Chris Caffery for a bit about "in ear" monitors, I talked to Ira Black about Vicious Rumors, talked to Paul LaPlaca about how tight his playing was. I made a faux pas: I asked Jeff Plate to sign my Pain CD. I felt like a goober for a moment. Usually, I am a tad bit sharper than this (a Sava-nerd if you will). Everyone seems to be playing on everyone's stuff (Circle II Circle guys with Jon Oliva, Jon Oliva & Chris Caffery on "Iraq Attack", Dave Z & Chris Caffery on certain things, Plate on certain other things). I failed my on the spot test as to what I had on me to sign. To Jeff, my apologies. I knew that you didn't play on "Tage Mahal". It was a long day of work & driving. It was the Dicken's Cider messing with me. My "Faces" and "Warped" CDs were in my car. Next time.
Beyond Fear went on first (featuring Ripper Owens of Iced Earth_ex-Judas Priest & Dennis Hayes of Seven Witches_Winter's Bane). Their band was very tight. Setlist included:
01 And You Will Die
02. Save Me
03. The Faith
04. Scream Machine
05. Your Time Has Come
06. The Human Race
07. Play My Game08. Black Sabbath Medley (featuring "War Pigs" & "Neon Knights")
08. Words of Wisdom
09. Telling Lies

Lots of world class vocals. Band sounded like a Metal combination with elements from bands like Pantera, Disturbed, Black Sabbath, Lizzy Borden and Judas Priest. It works.
Next up, Chris Caffery's Faces. This is my third show of his in 4.5 months. When opportunity knocks, I open the door! His band was very tight again. The band chemistry seems to be gelling. I liked the tone from the different guitars Chris used. The Les Paul sounded sweet on the tunes he used it on. Chris seems to be singing very consistently now. He attributed this to "in ear" monitors making it much easier to hear his voice over the roar of a metal band. His setlist:

01. Alas (intro)
02. Faces
03. Election Day
04. Edge of Darkness
05. Peace Be With You
06. W.A.R.P.E.D.
07. State Of The Head
08. The Mold
09. Abandoned
10. Pisses Me off
I missed "Fade Into The X" from the C-town show (which features excellent ensemble & solo vocals). That said, I did dig hearing "Election Day" ("vote, vote, vote, vote, vote" still going through my head). I had the vantage point of standing in front of Paul. It made me appreciate how talented the seemingly auxiliary position of 3rd chair guitar_keyboards is in Caff's band - Paul is so tight of a player. He makes performing music look effortless. I got to catch Nick's mic stand that got knocked over in a burst of enthusiasm (reminded me of "Wayne's World II"Chris Farley…). I helped two cute girls put it back to its place.
Finally, the brilliant Jon Oliva and his band take the stage to conclude the Metal Insurgence show. He is a living, breathing legend. There is no mention of Jon losing his range as he continues on into the next stages of his career. He still nails his vocals with magical charisma teetering between court jester (Curly of the Stooges) and a maniac. His band captured the essence of Savatage covers and forged their own statement on the new solo material: the two musics meshed perfectly. Setlist:
01. New York City Don't Mean Nothing
02. Jesus Saves
03. All The Time
04. Gutter Ballet
05. Hounds
06. The Dark
07. People Say – Gimme Some Hell
08. Believe
09. Sirens
10. Power Of The Night
11. Hall Of The Mountain King
There were a few songs on the setlist that were chopped because of the late start. I really enjoyed "Walk Alone" from the Cleveland HOB show. It was a very dramatic tune live. "City Beneath The Surface" was great in Cleveland, too. That said, "Power Of The Night" was reason enough to drive 75 miles to see this show for the 2nd time in 6 days. Raise your fist indeed!!!!
I made it home safely by 2 thanks to Dicken's Cider and Heavy Metal. I hope to hear good adventures from our friends at Jaxx tonight.

crossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram