Friday, July 28, 2017

The Atomic Punks

The Cradle Rocks In Rosemont

The Atomic Punk
July is a month without mercy for cover bands in this fair city. There is no such thing as a casual spectator when that first note screams off the amplifiers into the ears of hundreds of adoring Van Halen fans. Indeed. I have many battle scars on my soul covering live events, and now The Atomic Punks have added more feel-good music to the history books. I have been keenly aware of this Van Halen tribute band for quite some time and jumped on the opportunity to take advantage of this free outdoor festival in Rosemont, Illinois on this chilly summer evening.

As for The Atomic Punks, they have been jamming old school Van Halen  hits since 1994 from the "Diamond Dave" era with songs such as "You Really Got Me" and "Bottoms Up" just to name a few.  Members include: Brian Geller (Vocals) Lance Turner (Lead Guitarist) Joe Lester (Bass) and drummer, Scott Patterson had folks dancing in the streets to feverish beats to all the Van Halen classics. This had been a spectacular moment, so far with pure rock-n-roll energy.

My dear friend and associate producer for Sounds of the Underground, Eddie Bak was my ride to the show. It seem as if all the cool kids came to this party, and I mean everyone I know was there that night.  John Dobbs (Paradoxx)  Danny Romaine (One Way Street) and Mike Gaynor (High Alert) were the all at the show enjoying the good life.  Mike and I dipped out of the crowd to smoke-up, but that was not a good idea with all these bratty kids running around being nosy. So, we went back to the front of the stage and I wanted to take some pictures for this article.  "Can you hold my beer Mike?" I asked politely. Gaynor nodded with agreement and in less than a minute, that bum ran off with my half full cup of cold beer. At first, I wanted to chain whip Gaynor for being a beer thief. However, Mike was cool smoking up with me, and who can blame him with those long-ass lines waiting for cold suds.

Mike Gaynor & Dee Milenkovic
I saw Michelle Paul and asked if she had seen Gaynor running around with my beer. "No, I did not see him she said with a warm smile. "Good seeing you again, I said. I must hunt this dog down and more importantly, I need to find Eddie Bak, that's my ride home." I gave Michelle a quick hug good bye and capture this beer bandit.  With no luck, I was forced to wait in a long line at Bub City's beer tent and that's when I saw Stan Bozek in the line next to me.  He was about twenty people ahead of me and I asked if he can grab me two beers. ?Sure, anything you need Evil Genius," Bozek said. I handed him my loot and I was happy once again hitting the ground running. .

I did not see Eddie until the second half of The Atomic Punk set as they  played "Hot For Teacher." and we needed to get more beer. The beer lines where bogus as well as being ridiculous and waiting  a half hour to get a drink around here was Un-American in my eyes.   Ah. The memories of "Little Dreamer" is all I can recall for our third round of drinks.  Oh, I almost forgot about that Guy Fieri wanna be running around starving for attention. I remember this fool from the last TNT Chicago  show I finished last month and I am beginning  to think that this dude lives under a rock around here. What a fucking joke!  "He's a poser," said Dee Milenkovic as we both pointed and laughed his stupid hair and him wearing those doltish sunglasses at night time.

Stan Bozek & The Evil Genius
Enclosing, this was more than a great show. This was about seeing old friends and listing to some killer tunes outside. Myself, I am an old school Van Haeln fan and I never did like Sammy Hagar for personal reasons during my brief encounter at World Music Theater in Tinley Park. But you'll have to find a copy of my book to get the full scoop on that story. You may ask yourself  where have at the good times gone?  Well, The Too Much Fun Club has a choke hold on these adventures, and if you're lucky I might see you there and enjoy an adult beverage watching the fireworks. Until Then, Cheers from Pelletier...Salute!!



Friday, June 16, 2017

Maiden Chicago Pre-Party Show

80 Miles for Maiden.

Lead Singer:Bill Swanson & Lead guitarist Al Contras
Photo by: Devon Buhmann 
This has been an extremely busy week for Heavy Metal Thunder. First there was Vader at Reggie's in Chicago on Wednesday and on Thursday I was going to cover Ghost and Iron Maiden at Tinley Park, Illinois. For six long months I worked on getting press credentials and at the last minute was informed by their publicist that there was limited press coverage for this event. The Too Much Fun Club had been closed by Live Nation, a greedy booking agent with a net worth of 4.184 Billion dollars with a B! Greed is good in America if you're in the 1% while the rest of us work like Powerslaves for three, eight hour shifts just to see a show. If you do the math, that adds up to one 24 hour work day that this company steals, and I am sure these guys reek with fraud and bad karma. But even worse than that, small press has been denied freedom of speech and you'll see no news reports unless it's that brainless Bruno Mars or that ding-bat bitch, Katy Perry. I am sure after Live Nation reads this review, a lawsuit will come in the mail. No worries, I'll just bring a turnip to court and tell the judge he'll get more out of this rooted vegetable then he will out of my broke ass. I have no money, no car and I have no cell phone. I have been reduced to a fourth class civilian and all they will get from me is some jail time.The music business has become an ugly place and soon I'll be out of this circus of fools for good. 

Maiden Chicago
Photo by: The Evil Genius

Racing with the hot wind in my face with a dry temperature of 90 degrees down Route 43 on my 10 speed mountain bike,the time had come to see some old friends from Maiden Chicago. They where throwing a pre party show at the Side Street Tavern located just minutes away from the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater and I was not about to miss out on this feeding frenzy of Iron Maiden.  After blazing down Harlem Avenue for about 40 miles I found the place and order a Trooper Beer and a pitcher of ice cold water.  "Ah yes, give me Maiden or give me death," I said to myself and then the pre-show began. 

Classics such as Prowler and Phantom of the Opera were performed by: Bill Swanson (lead vocals)  Mike Z & Al Contreras (lead guitars) Gary Ingram (bass) and Dan Driskill (drums) and the crowd was running free on this hot summer afternoon. Other songs such as Sun & Steel and Sea of Madness were all preformed with accuracy and precision. What really impressed me the most was how well Contreras chopped out the guitar solo in The Trooper, and as we all know Adrian Smith is one hard act to follow. Nice Job Al. Keep up the good work!! I was very impressed. Some other guy from Wisconsin sang a tune, while Swanson wet his pipes with some cold water to close the show.  

The Evil Genius & Mike Z.

So, if you're feeling down, depressed and lonely and cannot see Iron Maiden, take my honest word for the fact that Maiden Chicago is the best act in town, Maiden fans. Not many folks can say they took an 80 mile flip-flop trip on a bicycle just to see a cover band and live to tell the story. Everyone there jumped on the party bus but me, and there was a long ride back to Chicago. But in the long run, the trip was worth every mile and that's how much I love Maiden Chicago! Until then, UP THE IRONS!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hammer Down with the 2017 Freightliner Sprinter

2017 Frightliner Sprinter

As we all know, trucks are the lifeblood in this great nation of ours. Since the turn of the new millennia, the Chicago Auto Show has featured smaller non-commercial vehicles for personal use. This year is a little different as Freightliner made its first appearance in the city that works, with the all new 2017 Sprinter on display. Performance, fuel efficiency and safety are all thunder-clapped into one solid transport unit as professional drivers take to the open road.

This standard 2.1 liter engine is the most advanced technology found in any commercial van. Equipped with a 4-Cylinder Turbo diesel engine and 7-speed transmission allows a driver to save up to 18% on fuel costs. Furthermore, the optional 4x4 drivetrain is great and will keep you moving in just about any adverse driving conditions. From an engineering standpoint, placing a 4-Cylinder turbo diesel inside a work truck was unheard of until now.  "You get more power with a turbo piston ring, explains Alex Rivera, a leader in the automotive industry for twenty five years. He adds to say, "This is big power in a small package, giving the consumer the performance they need at price they can afford. Having this type of fuel economy, makes the Freightliner Sprinter a class all its own."

Equally important, are the five chassis options including the cargo and passenger Sprinter from Freightliner. First, what a great name for a work horse like the Sprinter WORKER Cargo van. With a 3,500 lbs payload and 486.5 cubic square feet, make this vehicle perfect for LTL runs or major city deliveries without that large 53-foot wagon on the back of your truck. Working hard means staying on the road, and drivers can do that with a 20,000-mile service interval.

In the same fashion, we focus our attention to the Sprinter WORKER Passenger van. This 12 passenger van is perfect for picking up new recruits at the bus station, or taking drivers for their DOT physicals. Your daily trips will be more secure knowing that you have advance safety features such as Crosswind Assist (sensing dangerous winds at 50 mph) and Load-Adaptive Electronic Stability Program. This would make a good investment for just about any motor carrier that is looking to protect their bottom line.  

 So, if you are in the market for big power with fuel efficiency, then the Freightliner might be a wise choice. While oil markets soar, these diesel engines have a higher compression ratio, making this vehicle cost effective. On average, most Sprinters have 22 mpg with a 5000 lbs towing capacity and several outstanding interior configurations makes the Freightliner Sprinter Smart, Stylish and Reliable for non-CDL holders that would like to run with Big Dogs in the transportation industry. Until then, have fun and drive safe.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Silence Movie Review

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son. -Colossians 1:13 

In this Martin Scorsese motion picture titled: "Silence," two Jesuit priests played by Adam Driver (Father Francisco Garupe) and Andrew Garfield (Father Rodrigues) travel from Portugal to Japan on a very dangerous mission. The price for glory, sharing hope and enduring suffering has prideful conquest as the two priests are in search of Father Cristovao Ferreira played by Liam Neeson. This Seventeenth century backdrop  that was filmed on location in Taipei, Taiwan will take you back in time and have the movie goer question their own fate and the higher powers that may exist.

The will of God's work is not easy as the two priests discover a small village that welcome the Christian scripture. However, the Emperor of Japan is  not so welcoming with God's word and villagers are forced into hiding their love for god, or face brutal torture methods before facing execution. Some Japanese Christian followers are burned alive, while others drown in a sea of death as some they are forced to  pray in Silence. King James Bible states that hope and courage are the tools for survival in this evil world and without these treasures hard travels will be bestowed upon the non believers. "For I know the thoughts that I thinks toward you," saith the Lord thoughts of peace. and not of evil to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11 With that said, the pain and suffering continue as the quest becomes a daunting task.

There is not much face time for Neeson in this motion picture and his trials and testimonies bear witness for those whom undergo the Emperor's interrogation methods. Furthermore, Scorsese is a master at capturing time with vibrant images, fantastic costume designs and majestic landscapes throughout the entire film. The running time for "Silence" is approximately 160 minutes of pure sorrow and will have you at the edge of your seat in nearly every scene. If you love God as much I do, this motion picture will touch your heart and challenge one's own destiny during that final transition into the afterlife. Beware my brothers & sisters, because we have been sent as sheep into this world among the howling wolves of wrath, and the Lord is our only protection against a greater malignancy of self-loathing.