Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Prime Shots: Megadeth

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Photography, Prime Shots by Jacob Zinn on February 21, 2012

ISO 1600 | f/2.8 | 1/2000 | 50mm Jacob Zinn
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine riffs through the band’s opening song, “Trust”, at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre Monday night on the B.C. stop of their 2012 Gigantour with Motörhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil.
Review: Megadeth and Motörhead bang heads in Abbotsford


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Stuff Your Dad Likes: Slam Dunk Contests

Posted in Basketball, Sports, Stuff Your Dad Likes by Jacob Zinn on February 20, 2012
Jacob Zinn can’t give you fatherly advice, but he can give you the awkward and explicit sex talk.

In 1984, the National Basketball Association started their official annual slam dunk contest. It changed the sport of basketball – and the sale of Nike shoes – forever.

For 28 years, the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest has brought the boomshakalaka to the NBA All-Star Weekend, with this year’s being held at Orlando, Florida’s Amway Center. Paul George, Derrick Williams, Iman Shumpert and Chase Budinger will be taking to the hoop Saturday night with bragging rights on the line.

Ever since the slam dunk contest’s inception, your dad has watched the likes of Dr. J and Wilt Chamberlain get nothing but net, dunking that orange Spalding basketball and hearing that satisfying swoosh. My dad’s personal favourite was the five-foot seven-inch underdog winner of the 1986 competition, Spud Webb. (That guy had mad hops!)

Even at six-feet two-inches tall, my dad couldn’t dunk. For him, the saying “white men can’t jump” was true, despite the 1992 buddy comedy of the same name about a streetball hustling Woody Harrelson.

That’s why he likes the slam dunk competition – the whole thing is a highlight reel of grandstanding and showboating, some of the best parts of basketball. Watching dunk after dunk by professional ballers is exhilarating, even for people who don’t watch basketball year-round.

When you first learned about Michael Jordan through Space Jam, your dad had already seen him win the slam dunk contest. Twice.

The contest has a long history of windmills, between-the-legs, 360s and free-throw line dunks, and the young guys nowadays are progressing the contest even further.

Kobe Bryant became the youngest slam dunk champion at 18 in his rookie season in 1997, and following a two-year hiatus of the competition, Vince Carter won the 2000 competition with a perfect score of 100 while showcasing the Honey Dip, hanging from the rim with his arm in the basket.

Dwight Howard’s Superman dunk, Gerald Green’s birthday cake slam, and last year’s winner, Blake Griffin’s alley-oop dunk over a car have continued to impress your dad, even if they aren’t the same players from back then.

Your dad’s nostalgia is with the feeling of excitement of the contest, not with seeing the greats of his time try for another glory dunk.

No 60-year-old retired pro should risk breaking a hip on a layup. Leave the innovation to the kids.


Tour Alert: Iron Maiden North American Tour Dates

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Tour Alert by Jacob Zinn on February 18, 2012

JUN
21
Charlotte, NC
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
JUN
23
Atlanta, GA
Aarons Amphitheatre
JUN
26
Boston, MA
Comcast Center
JUN
27
Wantagh, NY
Jones Beach
JUN
29
Philadelphia, PI
Susquehanna Bank Center
JUN
30
Washington, DC
Jiffy Lube Live
JUL
02
Newark, NJ
Prudential Center
JUL
05
Chicago, IL
First Midwest Bank
JUL
08
Quebec, QC
Colisee Pepsi Arena
JUL
11
Montreal, QC
Bell Center
JUL
13
Toronto, ON
Molson Amphitheatre
JUL
14
Sarnia, ON
Bayfest
JUL
16
Buffalo, NY
Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
JUL
18
Detroit, MI
DTE Music Theatre
JUL
19
Indianapolis, IN
Klipsch Music Centre
JUL
24
Winnipeg, MB
MTS Center
JUL
26
Calgary, AB
Scotiabank Saddledome
JUL
27
Edmonton, AB
Rexall Place
JUL
29
Vancouver, BC
Pacific Coliseum
JUL
30
Auburn, WA
White River Amphitheatre
AUG
01
Salt Lake City, UT
USANA Amphitheatre
AUG
03
San Francisco, CA
Shoreline Amphitheatre
AUG
06
Phoenix, AZ
Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
AUG
09
Irvine, CA
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
AUG
12
Albuquerque, NM
Hard Rock Pavilion
AUG
13
Denver, CO
Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
AUG
15
San Antonio, TX
AT&T Center
AUG
17
Dallas, TX
Gexa Energy Pavilion
AUG
18
Houston, TX
The Woodlands

Earlier this week, British metal greats Iron Maiden announced the North American dates of their Maiden England World Tour.

This 29-stop trek (with more dates to be announced) will mimic the live concert VHS Maiden England, shot in November 1988 when the band was touring on the album Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. The set list will likely include most or all of the following Maiden classics:

  • Moonchild
  • The Evil That Men Do
  • The Prisoner
  • Still Life
  • Die With Your Boots On
  • Infinite Dreams
  • Killers
  • Can I Play With Madness?
  • Heaven Can Wait
  • Wasted Years
  • The Clairvoyant
  • Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
  • The Number Of The Beast
  • Hallowed Be Thy Name
  • Iron Maiden

Lead singer Bruce Dickinson commented in the press release, “Our intention is to play about two thirds of the original track list of Maiden England, including some songs we have not played live in a very, very long time.”

Shock rocker Alice Cooper will open for Maiden on all shows up to July 21, at which time he will separately tours Europe. After July 21, Maiden will be accompanied by Coheed and Cambria.

Tickets for most shows go on sale March 2 and 3. When possible, the band will sell paperless tickets to counter scalping efforts.


Prime Shots: Iced Earth

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Photography, Prime Shots by Jacob Zinn on February 15, 2012

ISO 1250 | f/2.8 | 1/500 | 35mm Jacob Zinn
Stu Block, the new frontman of Iced Earth, pushes his vocal chords during the heavy metal band’s set at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver on Valentine’s Day. The group is currently on a co-headlining tour with progressive metal pioneers Symphony X.
Review: Symphony X and Iced Earth share stage in Vancouver


Stuff Your Dad Likes: English Humour

Posted in Stuff Your Dad Likes by Jacob Zinn on February 13, 2012
Jacob Zinn can’t give you fatherly advice, but he can fall asleep during your dance recital.

I never really got into English humour. Aside from Rowan Atkinson’s signature character Mr. Bean, I admittedly didn’t find the satire particularly gut-busting. There were only so many times I could laugh at someone with an exaggerated accent or a man in a dress.

My dad, however, grew up on the stuff, and he made sure I grew up on it too. You probably got your sense of humour from your dad, and he got his from the British.

The truth is, the Brits were historically funny people. Dating back to the silent film era, Charlie Chaplin’s bumbling vagrant known as The Tramp captivated American audiences and taught the world slapstick in films like The Gold Rush and City Lights.

But unless your dad is 80 years old, you’re probably more familiar with The Benny Hill Show, with its increasingly ridiculous uptempo pursuits, or Fawlty Towers, highlighting the futile efforts of John Cleese’s character to “raise the tone” of hotel.

The holy grail of British comedies is, well, The Holy Grail. Monty Python’s critically acclaimed 1974 sophomore film is widely considered one of the funniest films of all time. Even for someone like myself who can’t fully appreciate humour, there’s something to laugh at between the vicious bunny rabbit, the so-called town witch, the bridge of death and the knights who say “Ni!”

The comedy group returned to the box office with more sarcasm and wit in 1979’s Life of Brian and 1983’s The Meaning of Life.

Nowadays, British humour seems more Americanized, with such successes as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz garnering North American audiences, and with the HBO-developed American version of Da Ali G Show.

But your dad didn’t grow up with Sacha Baron Cohen’s character acting. Traditional British humour doesn’t rely on racist, anti-Semetic or homophobic jokes to get a laugh.

The BBC still regularly airs current British sitcoms like Little Britain, but even that can’t compare to the nostalgic hilarity of the dead parrot sketch.

“And now, frontal nudity.”


Stuff Your Dad Likes: Power Ballads

Posted in Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Music, Stuff Your Dad Likes by Jacob Zinn on February 7, 2012
Jacob Zinn can’t give you fatherly advice, but he can eat your girlfriend’s Valentine’s Day candy.

You know it’s coming up soon. That one day per year when you’re either in love and affectionate or you’re lonely and miserable: Valentine’s Day.

With February the 14th approaching, couples young and old are giving each other flowers, planning romantic evenings and buying lubricant by the bottle. While you might be courting someone with chocolate and roses, your dad may’ve courted your mom with power ballads.

Extreme’s “More Than Words”. Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home”. Cinderella’s “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”. The sole purpose of these songs was to get into women’s pants. Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” may be the sappiest, most cliché power ballad of the era, but it opened a lot of… opportunities.

There’s a good chance you might have been conceived to one of these songs.

However, odds are your dad had better taste in power ballads than the hair metal ones. Aerosmith’s “What It Takes” or “Angel” might’ve been rotating on his record player.

Or maybe he was more upfront with sexually explicit and implicit songs like Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” or AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”. Perhaps he traded Warrant’s “Heaven” for a slice of that sweet “Cherry Pie”. (Oh yeah!)

Either way, power ballads got him laid. He may not like power ballads, but the down-tempo, three-chord, lyricized high school love notes were saturated with just enough passion to bring star-crossed lovers together. And if your parents got married in the late ‘80s, you can bet someone requested “I’ll Be There for You” by Bon Jovi at their wedding.

Now that power ballads are often only played as joke songs at weddings and karaoke nights, they’re no longer the genre of choice for bedding mates.

But your dad doesn’t know that. If he digs out his crate of vinyl records from the basement, it might be to set the tone of the evening.

Whether or not you have a date on Valentine’s Day, I highly suggest that you make plans to go out and stay out past curfew until you’re certain both of your parents are asleep. You’ll thank me later.


Tour Alert: Mastodon, Opeth & Ghost North American Dates

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Tour Alert by Jacob Zinn on February 4, 2012

APR
04
Portland, ME
State Theater
APR
05
Boston, MA
Orpheum Theater
APR
06
Montreal, QC
Metropolis
APR
07
Toronto, ON
Sony Centre
APR
09
Philadelphia, PA
Electric Factory
APR
10
Wallingford, CT
The Dome
APR
11
New York, NY
Roseland Ballroom
APR
13
Chicago, IL
Riviera Theatre
APR
14
Grand Rapids, MI
The Intersection
APR
15
Pittsburgh, PA
Stage AE
APR
16
Knoxville, TN
TN Theater
APR
18
Oklahoma City, OK
Diamond Ballroom
APR
19
Dallas, TX
Palladium Ballroom
APR
20
San Antonio, TX
Back Stage Live
APR
21
Corpus Christi, TX
Concrete Street
APR
23
Denver, CO
Fillmore Auditorium
APR
25
Las Vegas, NV
House of Blues
APR
26
Los Angeles, CA
Gibson Amphitheatre
APR
27
Oakland, CA
Fox Theatre
APR
28
Reno, NV
Grand Sierra Resort
APR
30
Seattle, WA
The Paramount
MAY
01
Vancouver, BC
Orpheum Theatre
MAY
03
Edmonton, AB
Edmonton Events Center
MAY
04
Calgary, AB
MacEwan Hall
MAY
05
Saskatoon, SK
The Odeon
MAY
06
Winnipeg, MB
Burton Cummings Theatre
MAY
09
Washington, DC
The Fillmore
MAY
10
Charlotte, NC
The Fillmore
MAY
11
Myrtle Beach, SC
House of Blues
MAY
12
Atlanta, GA
Masquerade Music Park

Last week, Atlanta sludge metal outfit Mastodon announced their North American co-headlining tour with progressive rock five-piece Opeth.

The two groups – supported by Swedish melodic heavy metal band Ghost – will trade off performing last on the 30 double-billed shows throughout the Heritage Hunter Tour, which starts April 4 in Portland, ME and wraps up in Mastodon’s hometown on May 12. Out of the seven Canadian stops, they are only set to close the Calgary show.

Their critically acclaimed fifth studio album, The Hunter, debuted at #10 on the Billboard 200 charts last September and was named Album of the Year by Metal Hammer and Classic Rock Magazine. As of December, it had sold 75,133 copies in the U.S.

Mastodon’s setlist will likely include new hits such as “Black Tongue”, “Dry Bone Valley” and the Grammy-nominated single “Curl of the Burl”.

Tickets for all shows are on sale. Mastodon is scheduled to close the following 14 dates:

  • April 4 – Portland, ME
  • April 9 – Philadelphia, PA
  • April 10 – Wallingford, CT
  • April 11 – New York, NY
  • April 13 – Chicago, IL
  • April 14 – Grand Rapids, MI
  • April 15 – Pittsburgh, PA
  • April 18 – Oklahoma City, OK
  • April 25 – Las Vegas, NV
  • April 28 – Reno, NV
  • May 4 – Calgary, AB
  • May 10 – Charlotte, NC
  • May 11 – Myrtle Beach, SC
  • May 12 – Atlanta, GA

Prime Shots: In Flames

Posted in Heavy Metal, Photography, Prime Shots by Jacob Zinn on February 1, 2012

ISO 1600 | f/2.8 | 1/40 | 24mm Jacob Zinn
Anders Fridén, lead singer of melodic death metal group In Flames, reaches out to hardcore fans in the front row Monday night during the first of the band’s two shows at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. The Swedish band is credited with pioneering the heavy metal subgenre.
Review: In Flames set the Commodore on fire


Tour Alert: Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival 2012

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Tour Alert by Jacob Zinn on January 27, 2012

JUN
30
San Bernardino, CA
San Manuel Amphitheater
JUL
01
San Francisco, CA
Shoreline Amphitheater
JUL
03
Seattle, WA
White River Amphitheater
JUL
04
Boise, ID
Idaho Center Amphitheater
JUL
06
Phoenix, AZ
Ashley Furniture Home Store Pavilion
JUL
07
Albuquerque, NM
Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque Presents The Pavilion
JUL
08
Denver, CO
Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
JUL
10
Dallas, TX
Gexa Energy Pavilion
JUL
11
Houston, TX
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
JUL
13
Tampa, FL
1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre
JUL
14
Atlanta, GA
Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
JUL
15
Indianapolis, IN
Klipsch Music Center
JUL
18
Oklahoma City, OK
Zoo Amphitheatre
JUL
20
St. Louis, MO
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
JUL
21
Chicago, IL
First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
JUL
22
Detroit, MI
DTE Energy Music Theatre
JUL
24
Cincinnati, OH
Riverbend Music Center
JUL
25
Cleveland, OH
Blossom Music Center
JUL
27
Philadelphia, PA
Susquehanna Bank Center
JUL
28
Pittsburgh, PA
First Niagara Pavilion
JUL
29
Washington, DC
Jiffy Lube Live
JUL
31
Saratoga Springs, NY
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
AUG
01
Buffalo, NY
Darien Lake PAC
AUG
03
Boston, MA
Comcast Center
AUG
04
Scranton, PA
Toyota Pavilion
AUG
05
Hartford, CT
The Comcast Theatre

On Wednesday, Rockstar Energy Drink announced the line-up for their fifth-annual heavy metal trek, the Mayhem Festival.

The 26-date U.S. tour will be headlined by Slipknot with lead singer Corey Taylor returning from his solo offshoot to front the band.

Half of the Big 4 of thrash metal, Slayer and Anthrax, are also on the bill, making for a solid metal set.

Supporting acts Asking Alexandria, The Devil Wears Prada and As I Lay Dying will alternate between performing on the main stage and the Jägermeister stage.

Slipknot and Slayer will share the main stage with one rotating band as well as a special guest to be announced March 5, rumoured to be long-time holdouts Motörhead.

Considering the Gigantour, which features Megadeth, Motörhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil wraps up two days prior, there’s a strong possibility that Lemmy and the gang will be playing Mayhem.

Anthrax will head the Jägermeister stage with the remaining two rotating band slots, followed by Whitechapel, High On Fire and a local band.

Mayhem kicks off at the end of June at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA and wraps up on Aug. 5 at Hartford, CT’s Comcast Theatre. Tickets for some of the shows go on sale April 6.


Tour Alert: Bruce Springsteen announces US tour dates

Posted in Classic Rock, Music, Tour Alert by Jacob Zinn on January 24, 2012

MAR
18
Atlanta, GA
Philips Arena
MAR
19
Greensboro, NC
Greensboro Coliseum
MAR
23
Tampa, FL
Tampa Bay Times Forum
MAR
26
Boston, MA
TD Garden
MAR
28
Philadelphia, PA
Wells Fargo Center
MAR
29
Philadelphia, PA
Wells Fargo Center
APR
01
Washington, DC
Verizon Center
APR
03
East Rutherford, NJ
Izod Center
APR
04
East Rutherford, NJ
Izod Center
APR
06
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden
APR
09
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden
APR
12
Detroit, MI
The Palace of Auburn Hills
APR
13
Buffalo, NY
First Niagara Center
APR
16
Albany, NY
Times Union Center
APR
17
Cleveland, OH
Quicken Loans Arena
APR
24
San Jose, CA
HP Pavilion
APR
26
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
APR
29
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
MAY
02
Newark, NJ
Prudential Center

In March, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street will start a 19-date U.S. tour in support of the Boss’ upcoming 17th studio album, Wrecking Ball.

The album – which showcases the bottled ferocity of the first single, “We Take Care of Our Own” – features guest musicians such as Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and folk singer Willie Nile. It also reportedly contains the last ever saxophone recordings from the late Clarence Clemons, the longtime E Street bandmate and very close friend of the Boss.

Three days prior to the kick-off date, Springsteen will appear at SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin, TX as the keynote speaker.

Following these mostly east coast dates, the band will perform a summer-long concert series in Europe, but are expected to return to North America for more shows afterward.

Tickets go on sale as early as Jan. 27 and as late as Feb. 4, though tickets for the New Orleans Jazz Festival are currently available.


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