Friday, November 5, 2010

Destiny's End - Live in San Francisco, May 15, 1999

Falcon's Fortress entry no. 2 is here! In this one we're going to focus on a Destiny's End live crowd recording from San Francisco, California, May 15, 1999.

From May to June 1999 Destiny's End toured the U.S. with fellow stalwarts Iced Earth and Nevermore. There was a true metal famine going on. Most people were still in the grips of the dreaded word "nu." Nevermore left halfway through, as they had tour commitments overseas, while we soldiered on and played longer sets directly before IE. Though it was my first full-scale U.S. trek, it was not my first touring experience. Destiny's End previously played some regional jaunts around Texas in '98 and early '99. Among other things, we did a couple of haphazardly thrown together dates supporting Metal Blade labelmates Mercyful Fate in San Antonio and Houston and two other headlining Texan trips. Being that singer James Rivera was a Texan, we spent more time playing shows there than SoCal. Still, I must let it be known that there were four guys working their asses off as a team in L.A. I can assure you that Dan DeLucie (guitar), Brian Craig (drums), Nardo Andi (bass) and I were no mere sidemen.

Say no more. "Destiny's End Rulz!!"
When the "Rebirth of Metal" tour landed in California, we'd already been on the road for over a week, so we were picking up steam and far from rusty. Dan DeLucie and I had to play for a crowd who'd be seeing some of the best metal lead players of all-time. My jaw was on the floor every night watching Tim Calvert and Jeff Loomis shred in Nevermore and Jon Schaffer's tight rhythm playing and young but able Larry Tarnowski's leads. I especially loved Tim Calvert's work in Forbidden, and was blown away by Nevermore when they opened for Death on the Symbolic tour. Both Loomis and Calvert were really friendly toward us, which was definitely a relief. We had nothing to worry about from the other bands, but getting screwed out of playing the Hollywood gig on our own three-band package tour by a shonky promoter gave us a real pissed-off edge to play better. The Hollywood show was the only one DE would sit out, aside from a cancelled gig in Kansas due to a torrential storm and tornado warning. On May 14th we played the Shack in Anaheim in "the OC," which isn't quite the same vibe as the infamous Whisky. Still, we had a blast playing for plenty of close friends and fans at the Shack. A devoted DE nut even went as far as to deface the men's toilet tank with "Destiny's End Rulez!" grafitti. I even snapped a photo for evidence, mellow-yellow 'n' all!

We drove all night and arrived in the Bay Area on the morning of the 15th. No motel room, no showers, just a bunch of sweaty musicians hungry to play for another hall full of metalheads. Pulling up outside Club Cocodrie after prowling the town and gulping down some greasy fast food, tour manager Beau King flagged us down. He flogged a few rolls of quarters our way and told us to go kill some time across the road at the seedy, sleazy Palladium. Trying not to stick to the floor, Dan, Nardo, Brian and I waltzed inside to watch a few minutes of cavorting nude chickies. Probably could've used a good shower, but I didn't complain.

I was stoked that we'd be joined that night with support from (The Lord Weird) Slough Feg, led by the inimitable Mike Scalzi. It was a reunion of old friends also, as my pal Rob Preston (Doomed Planet Records) was then living in the Bay Area. Rob had come down to L.A. to witness DE's album release gig the previous September with Flotsam & Jetsam and Prototype. As Scalzi and company hitched their signature tiki torches to the stage, Rob introduced me to his friend Jeff who wanted to tape the gig on a portable DAT machine with a big shotgun mic. I put Jeff on the list and made sure there was no hassle about the recording gear.

With that out of the way, I have to admit I was both daunted and thrilled by the fact that we'd be playing for a batch of consummate Bay Area pros like bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Death, Control Denied, Testament, etc.) and guitarist James Murphy (Death, Obituary, Testament, etc.) Well, okay, Steve D. and I had known each other for a few years, but he'd never seen me play my axe before. To this day, I think Steve's a little ticked over the pic of us together at the gig. He thought he looked too lit--and I seem to have posted it all over the bloody place!? Bro, it was all done in good fun and with mucho respect! Any reservations I had were quickly doused by the microbrewery ales Rob and I downed at a tiny pub across the street. The slight buzz loosened me up, and we took to the stage for 35 minutes of metal fury. Here it is, preserved for the metal community to hear as though it was captured yesterday! Thanks to Rob and Jeff for preserving this slice of heavy metal history.

I recall Tales from the Pit videotaping the gig for their public access show, but I never did get a copy of the footage. If you're reading this and have the episode, please be sure to get in touch and hook me up!

Now for the nitty-gritty. The audio of this gig is one full chunk and has not been split into separate tracks. Feel free to chop it up on your own if you like, but I've preserved it as a continuous recording with absolutely no editing whatsoever. You'll notice we were already playing a new tune, "Transition," which would wind up as the title track of our second album. We also changed our setlist around many times on the road, sometimes including my two-part tune "Idle City/The Fortress Unvanquishable," which appeared in many other bootlegs from the Rebirth of Metal tour.

Destiny's End - Live at Club Cocodrie, San Francisco, California, USA - May 15, 1999
1. "Unsolved World"
2. "Breathe Deep the Dark"
3. "Under Destruction's Thumb"
4. "Transition"
5. "Rebirth"
6. Judas Priest medley - "Beyond the Realms of Death / Living After Midnight"

Right click on the title link above, "save-as" and enjoy!!


No comments: