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By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 @ 11:19 AM

Live In The Vault At The Greasy Luck Brewpub September 30th, 2018

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When this concert date for STEVE GRIMMETT'S GRIM REAPER was first announced, the opening act for the tour was supposed to be LEATHER LEONE. For reasons both shrouded in mystery and passing understanding, Leone's band was off the tour before it even began. So what was going to be an event where I got to see two bands that I've spent nearly 30 years worshipping turned into just one band. While EXTREMELY disappointed that I lost out on my chance to see LEATHER LEONE in concert for the first time, I wasn't going to let that ruin my sense of musical joy at getting to see Steve Grimmett rocking out to all the best of the GRIM REAPER material.

Local band ON YOUR DEATHBED opened up the show . Self-described as "metalcore with groove", the band hits you hard, fast and repeatedly with an unrelenting thunderous attack. The five piece unit is fueled by the kinetic fury of vocalist Bob Mendell. (Full disclosure, I'm friends with him on Facebook.) While the music isn't generally in my preferred wheelhouse, you've got to admire their commitment to their craft. I'd never seen the band live before so I was rather surprised to find that I enjoyed the set overall.

Set List

  • "Living Sacrifice"
  • "Blood On Our Hands"
  • "Can't Take Away"
  • "This Is The Time"
  • "We Give"
  • "Bleed 4 Me"
  • "Pushing On"
  • "On Your Deathbed"

CONCERT FUN FACT - ON YOUR DEATHBED is working on an album that is tentatively due out in early 2019.

When I first arrived at the concert, the merchandise table was being set up. I had hoped to get a copy of the GRIM REAPER See You In Hell album which was being offered for sale. Sadly, the guy setting up the table told me they'd sold out of the discs the night before. I suppose that it shouldn't have surprised me given that this year is the 35th anniversary of the disc. But I was hoping to get a copy of the release given that my only copy is a cassette that doesn't even work anymore. I ended up more disappointed in myself to realize that I didn't recognize guitarist Ian Nash as the guy helping to set up the table in the first place.

As GRIM REAPER took the stage, the sparse but appreciative crowd rained down cheers on the stage. They opened up the set with "Wings of Angels" from their Walking In The Shadows CD and from start to finish, the band was pretty much on fire for the entire set.

Playfully flipping each other off throughout the set, there seemed to be a good vibe between Grimmett and the rest of the band. They sounded great too. Early in the set, Grimmett related to the audience that he'd gotten a new prosthetic leg before leaving for the tour. He showed it off and the thigh portion of the leg had been professionally painted up with a great looking skull. He also said that the leg wasn't quite fitting completely comfortable so if it looked like he was drunk as he moved about on stage, he wasn't. That brought a chuckle from some of the crowd. However, after the band had run through the song "Liar", Grimmett did ask for a stool for him to sit down on.

The loss of his leg might be hampering his ability to move around on stage, but his voice was still powerful, roaring out one power driven melodic vocal performance after another.

I know that there's a strong love for the band's first two albums, but for me the third GRIM REAPER album Rock You To Hell has always been my favorite. So when the band did a trio of songs from that album including the anthemic title track, I was right there with the rest of the crowd with fists pumping away during the chorus.

Now just because I prefer Rock You To Hell the most, doesn't mean I don't like the first two albums. So "Dead On Arrival", "Fear No Evil" and "The Show Must Go On" helped make the 18 song set list that much more special.

One particular high point of the set was hearing "Suck It And See". It's from the Rock You To Hell CD and as Grimmett introduced the song, it is about when he lost his virginity to an older woman. Being a dirty minded 16 year old at the time the album was originally released, this song was just awesome to me. And I remember my mother's horrified reaction the first time she heard it when I had the album playing on my stereo.

That song led directly into "Rock Me 'Till I Die", another fantastic anthem and according to Grimmett's introduction, it is a favorite song of guitarist Ian Nash. Nash was fantastic on guitar all night long and given that he co-wrote all the songs with Grimmett on the Walking In The Shadows album, is a perfect foil/compatriot for the singer.

Towards the end of the set, the band paid tribute to Ronnie James Dio with a cover of "Don't Talk To Strangers" with Grimmett saying that Dio is the finest rock vocalist ever. The audience readily agreed with that sentiment.

The night closed out with "See You In Hell" and the crowd had to be completely satisifed with the show they'd witnessed. STEVE GRIMMETT'S GRIM REAPER had them in their grip from the get-go. They hit all the high points of the GRIM REAPER song catalogue and dug out a number of rarely played songs as well. It was a fully immersive entertaining night for all involved.

Set List

  • "Wings Of Angels"
  • "Rock You To Hell"
  • "Night Of The Vampire"
  • "Lust For Freedom"
  • "Dead On Arrival"
  • "Liar"
  • "Wrath Of The Ripper"
  • "All Hell Let Loose"
  • "Now Or Never"
  • "Walking In The Shadows"
  • "Fear No Evil"
  • "Call Me In The Morning"
  • "Suck It And See"
  • "Rock Me 'Till I Die"
  • "The Show Must Go On"
  • "Don't Talk To Strangers" (DIO cover)
  • "Waysted Love"
  • "See You In Hell"
CONCERT FUN FACT: After a brief cooling off period, the band came back out for a meet and greet. I got to briefly meet the band and my copy of Walking In The Shadows is now signed by both Steve Grimmett and Ian Nash.

In a bit of twisted irony, one of the verses of "Rock You To Hell" is "Did you always do what momma said / brush your teeth and go to bed/cause that way never worked for me." After getting home from the show and having to get up early for work, that's actually what I did. I must be getting old...


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