This was a fun show.
For the uninitiated, I need to provide a bit of background to the metal scene in San Antonio. For many years from the late 70s until the early 90s, there was a really awesome metal/hard rock radio station in San Antonio called 99.5 KISS. Their program director and main DJ personality was a guy named Joe Anthony, who was affectionately known as The Godfather. The Godfather and his other DJ cohorts were given a great amount of freedom to push bands and songs in which they really believed. Anthony was a great champion of small metal bands and his promotion of these band led many of them to become institutions in the city of San Antonio. Talk to old school metalheads from San Antonio and you’ll hear stories about bands such as Moxy, Legs Diamond, Budgie, Riot, Saxon and tonight’s headliner, Killer Dwarfs. Friends of mine used to joke that a copy of Moxy and Legs Diamond’s debut albums and Riot’s Fire Down Under were placed into the crib of every newborn child in San Antonio. These bands probably have a greater percentage of their fan bases located in San Antonio than anywhere else in the world solely because of the constant support Joe Anthony provided. To this day, even though Joe Anthony passed away in 1992 and 99.5 KISS is no longer the metal station it was, when these bands play San Antonio it is a cause for celebration amongst the metalheads that remember the old days. The idea of the classic 99.5 KISS just makes me nostalgic about having a radio station that allows its DJs to have the creative freedom to play songs that aren’t a part of some master, corporate-approved playlist. In my opinion, this is a big reason music in general is just so homogenized and sanitized. My winning-the-lottery dream is to buy a radio station and set up my friends that have an extensive passion and knowledge about a particular genre of music to craft and host their own radio show with no restrictions on what they play.
Anyhoo, on to the show. As I said, this was just fun. Killer Dwarfs’ heyday was the mid 80s to early 90s. They were a little band out of Toronto that came out of the hair metal tradition and played a NWOBHM influenced metal. In the early days of MTV, they actually got some fairly decent airplay with goofy videos for Keep the Spirit Alive, Stand Tall and We Stand Alone. Even though the band hasn’t put out in new material in a good long while, they sounded absolutely great and broke out all of their well-known songs. You could tell that they really love the city of San Antonio and got a charge from the energy coming from the crowd. Sadly, singer Russ Dwarf didn’t break out his trademark tricycle for a spin around the stage. It appears as though the tricycle is now on display at the Hard Rock in Toronto.
Here are some clips to give you a taste of the show.
Union of Pride
Keep the Spirit Alive