Happy New Year’s Eve 2020

I don’t have to tell you about 2020 – you were there, too. Usually, at the end of the year, I spend December choosing some photos to repost for good vibes and great memories, but this year I didn’t take a single photograph of a live show. Yeah. So, I am going to post a few photos from 2019 that did not see that light of day then, just for fun. I am keeping the cameras warm for 2021 because hope springs eternal.

There was a lot of excellent music released this year. We published 188 reviews in 2020, a lot more than we thought we would. There are so many “Best of 2020” lists out there that I decided not to do one for FFMB. Instead, I am throwing up a couple of covers from albums we didn’t review this year that were really good – just couldn’t get to everything. We’ll try to do better in 2021.

Thanks to everybody involved with Flying Fiddlesticks Music Blog and the Shardik Media Cabal. Deep gratitude and thanks to all the bands, record labels, venues, publicists, and promoters keeping music alive for all of us.

We’re still here and we are carrying on in 2021. See you out there.

All live performance photos by Wayne Edwards.


Heavy Montreal



Happy New Year’s Eve 2020

2019 in Review, Final Gallery, Days 26-31

Marilyn Manson at Aftershock
Marilyn Manson and Brandon Pertzborn at Aftershock
Marilyn Manson at Aftershock
Paul Wiley and Marilyn Manson at Aftershock
Juan Alderete and Marilyn Manson at Aftershock
Health at Aftershock
Adam Jones and Tool at Aftershock
Maynard Jones Keenan and Tool at Aftershock
Danny Carey and Tool at Aftershock
Randy Blythe and Lamb of God at Aftershock
Willie Adler and Lamb of God at Aftershock
Mark Morton and Lamb of God at Aftershock
John Campbell and Lamb of God at Aftershock
Art Cruz, Randy Blythe, and Lamb of God at Aftershock
Amythyst Kiah at Bourbon and Beyond
Beast In Black at Heavy Montreal
Brkn Love at Aftershock
Cannibal Corpse at Higher Ground (Burlington, VT)
Ho99o9 at Aftershock
Pussy Riot at Sonic Temple
Geezer Butler and Deadland Ritual at Aftershock

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

2019 in Review, Final Gallery, Days 26-31

2019 In Review Gallery, Days 21-25

Day 25 — Rob Zombie at Aftershock
Day 25 — Rob Zombie at Aftershock
Day 25 — Rob Zombie at Aftershock
Day 25 — Chad Taylor and Live at Bourbon & Beyond
Day 24 — Gojira at Aftershock
Day 24 — Gojira at Aftershock
Day 24 — Evan Konrad
Day 23 — The Hu at Aftershock
Day 23 — The Hu at Aftershock
Day 23 — Flux Capacitor at Nectar’s in Burlington, Vermont
Day 22 — Knocked Loose at Aftershock
Day 21 — Harm’s Way at Heavy Montreal

All Photos by Wayne Edwards.

2019 In Review Gallery, Days 21-25

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 16-20

Day 20 — Staind at Aftershock
Day 19 — ZZ Top at Bourbon & Beyond
Day 18 — Dead Posey at Aftershock
Day 17 (matinee) — Skalmold at Heavy Montreal
Day 17 — Corrosion of Conformity at Heavy Montreal
Day 16 — Highly Suspect at Aftershock

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

2019 In Review, Gallery Days 16-20

Deadland Ritual at Aftershock 2019

Deadland Ritual at Aftershock 2019

Heavy rock fans gather every October in Sacramento at Discovery Park for a late season festival that, for many fans, marks the end of the festival year. This year’s lineup had the usual big draws like Tool, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson, and interesting bands you don’t see all the time like The Hu and Babymetal. For me though, the band I most wanted to see was Deadland Ritual.

Franky Perez

Deadland Ritual has been flying under the radar for the year or two it has been in existence and is known primarily for its bass player, the heavy metal icon Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath. The band’s singer is Franky Perez (Apocalyptica), Steve Stevens (long time Billy Idol collaborator) is on guitar, and the drummer is Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver). They do not play live very often, especially in the US, and so it was a significant event when they showed up in Sacramento for the Aftershock festival. The band played on the third stage at Aftershock, which was set up in the far corner of Discovery Park. There was less room around the third stage (naturally) than the two main stages, and when the crowd filed in they ended up tightly packed together. Nobody seemed to mind the crush and, judging by the chatter, most people seemed to be there to see Geezer.

Steve Stevens
Matt Sorum

Their live set was a barrage of familiarity and innovation. It started off with a Black Sabbath cover, “Symptom of the Universe.” That was a smart move, picking a song to draw the fans in, and it really worked because the crowd fell immediately in line singing and nodding along. They move on to alternate between Deadland Ritual tunes and covers of Black Sabbath songs, with the occasional Billy Idol (“Rebel Yell”) or Velvet Revolver (“Slither”) title included as well. There are only two officially released Deadland Ritual songs, “Down In Flames” and “Broken and Bruised,” which they played, and they also included a couple of new songs I had never heard before.

Steve Stevens put on a blistering performance and was perfectly at home with the classic Black Sabbath material. I had never seen Franky Perez live before and I was blown over by his voice and stage presence – he injected a high level of energy into the performance. His sound is ideal for this kind of music as it both powerful and melodic. Geezer Butler and Matt Sorum were comfortable and methodical, very much being themselves and letting the music flow in heavy metal perfection.

Geezer Butler

Deadland Ritual performed at a few dates in Europe this summer and at Aftershock, but that was about it. According to their website, the do not have any upcoming dates scheduled, but they do plan to be out on some dates next year. If you see them pop up anywhere near you, jump on the chance to see them because there is no telling when they might be back.

Deadland Ritual
Deadland Ritual at Aftershock 2019