Ben Richardson

Big and getting Gigantour

Fanning In Flames, drinking in Children of Bodom in anticipation of the metal throwdown
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In a few days, a legion of heavy metal maniacs will throng the Event Center at San Jose State University for the third annual Gigantour. Created by Megadeth frontperson Dave Mustaine, the package consists of bands he has handpicked for their ability to deliver high-energy live sets to arena-size crowds. Read more »

Metal Mania: See you in the darkness

Metal for ravenous headbangers: Floating Goat, Black Cobra, and more
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While Oakland's metal elders continue to thrash despite the odds, a new generation of bands is poised to augment the Bay's already fearsome reputation. San Francisco's Animosity was founded in a summer school classroom, where 14-year-old Leo Miller found the accomplices he needed to start gigging with his local hardcore heroes. Read more »

Metal Mania: The return of the kings

Bay Area thrash is on the comeback as Exodus and Testament rouse new fans with new recordings
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It's a Sunday night in late February, and the facade of Slim's is shrouded by the shadow of a monstrous black tour bus. Inside, middle-aged bikers rub shoulders with teenagers in skin-tight jeans and garish print hoodies. At the bar, tattooed hipsters vie for position against glowering heshers and balding suburban fathers in polo shirts. As New Orleans black metal band Goatwhore kicks into a crescendo, the masses teem, pumping their fists and offering devil-horn salutes. Read more »

Silver Griffin

Rockit Room, Sept. 22
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LOCAL LIVE Silver Griffin is composed of three extremely competent musicians, the kind who turn toward one another and half-smile after the execution of a particularly tricky harmony or a successful groove. The band traffics in a muscular, half-danceable brand of indie rock that's notable mostly for the meticulous slickness of its composition — airtight, but not quite suffocating.

The trio took the stage Sept. 22 at the Rockit Room, breezing through a note-perfect set of songs alternately slinky and strutting. Read more »