Dangerous Toys – ‘XX’ (20th Year Anniversary Concert Celebration)
Jason McMaster – vocals
Scott Delhover – guitars
Paul Lidel – guitar/back-up vocals
Mike Watson – bass/back-up vocals
Mark Gery – drums
A Look in the Toy Box:
Dangerous Toys was formed in October 1987. Jason McMaster, singer for Watchtower, was invited by Tim Trembley to join his band, Onyxx, as singer. Onyxx included Scott Dalhover (guitar), Mark Geary (drums) and Mike Watson (bass).
In 1988, now calling themselves Dangerous Toys, the band were signed to Columbia Records. Soon afterwards Tim Trembley left the band, and they were without a second guitarist. On their eponymous debut album, produced by Max Norman (Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne) Scott Dalhover played all the guitar tracks. Shortly before its release, guitarist Danny Aaron joined. Though he did not play on the album, he appears on the back cover.
In 1991, their second album, Hellacious Acres, was released. It was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, who had produced albums for several major rock artists (The Cars, Queen, Journey). Acres featured the singles "Sticks And Stones" and "Line 'Em Up." Unfortunately, neither song charted as a hit, the album sold poorly, and the 1991 summer tour with Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, and Motörhead folded after 10 weeks as the summer's biggest flop. Soon after, the band was dropped from CBS.
In 1992, Danny Aaron left the band, and was replaced by Kevin Fowler. Fowler never played on a Dangerous Toys album, but he did tour with the band - performing in over 200 live shows during 1993. In January, 1994, Paul Lidel of Dirty Looks., a hard rock band from San Francisco, replaced Fowler.
The third Dangerous Toys album, Pissed (DMZ/Dos/Antones [USA], Bullet Proof [Europe]. 1994), was full of pent up anger, bile, and venom. The band's lyrics and attitude became harsher, and the music had a darker tone, with song titles like "Loser" and "Hard Luck Champion."
In 1994, just after they finished recording the Pissed album, bassist Mike Watson was replaced by Michael Hannon from Salty Dog (Geffen). Hannon toured with the band, performing in over 200 shows during 1994 and 1995.
After touring, Hannon left, so Jason McMaster played bass in addition to doing lead vocals. The band considered changing their name, but stuck with Dangerous Toys, even poking fun at their name on the title of their fourth (and final) studio album to date; The R-tist 4-merly Known as Dangerous Toys (DMZ/Dos/Antones. 1995). The humor backfired: fan reaction was not favorable, and the album barely sold.
In 1999 Dangerous Toys released a live album, Vitamins and Crash Helmets Tour-Live Greatest Hits (Deadline/Cleopatra). After that, band activity slowed.
Singer Jason McMaster performs in various Austin-based rock-bands, including Sad Wings, Capricorn USA, and Broken Teeth a band formed in 1999, with Toys guitarist Paul Lidel. Lidel left Broken Teeth in 2006, and now writes and performs with Adrenaline Factor. Lidel is also a music instructor who trains future would be guitar-rock stars. Drummer Mark Geary and bassist Mike Watson record and perform in an Austin-based heavy metal band called Proof Of Life.
Though not a full-time ongoing band, Dangerous Toys still regroup and perform at least one live show every year.
In 2001, they played a few shows in their hometown of Austin, Texas and in Tokyo, Japan, rejoined by their original bassist, Mike Watson. They reunited for another set of live shows in Austin and Tokyo during February, 2003, Austin in May, 2005, and at Bat Fest (an annual Austin event) with Rhino Bucket in September, 2006. Portions of the 2006 show were recorded, and initially intended for release as XX, a 20 year career retrospective CD/DVD. The XX project was postponed indefinitely in mid 2007.
In 2007, Dangerous Toys recorded a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's hit song Simple Man for An All Star Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd, (Deadline/Cleopatra). Also in 2007, they performed an unannounced short set at the end of a show featuring the member’s current bands (Adrenaline Factor, Proof of Life and Broken Teeth).
In 2008 they performed a handful of shows. Most notable was a 20th Anniversary show in Austin, TX, on November 8th, with all original band members.
‘XX 20th Year Anniversary Concert Celebration’ Review:
The concert was filmed in stereo on June 6, 2005 at the Red Eyed Fly in Austin Texas. Though the DVD is titled ‘XX’ the anniversary concert in reality was their eighteen year anniversary not the twentieth. Guess the clown couldn’t wait two years. None the less Dangerous Toys are one of the few bands that are %100 deserving of a live DVD. As I mentioned earlier the concert was filmed in stereo which doesn’t bother me and it probably won’t bother most if not all Dangerous Toys fans. Of the Dangerous Toys releases the guys pick a very well rounded set list that includes songs from their entire catalog including all of their hits. Of the songs I was familiar with the band was dead on so I am sure they are on all of them. If you are a fan of Dangerous Toys them this DVD will be a must have!!!