Metal Allegiance makes a stop in Las Vegas with support from Weapons of Anew and Superfix for a night of heavy metal jams.
Supergroup is a term that is thrown around too often but Metal Allegiance, with members of Mastodon, Testament, Megadeth and more, is surely that. Stopping for night three of a four-night tour in Las Vegas, the crowd is in for a night of great music and amazing performers. Weapons of Anew starts the night with some classic sounding heavy metal. A relatively new band fronted by Ray West gets the crowd going. West mixes the performance and the interaction with the crowd well and even throws some CDs to the appreciative fans. They do a great job opening the night.
Up next is Superfix. This band’s members also have an impressive pedigree in heavy metal. Frontman Kalen Chase is best known for his vocal work with Korn. His haunting vocal style blended with Jonathan Davis’ was prominent on the See You on the Other Side and the Unplugged albums. They are joined tonight by Logan Mader of Machine Head, Soulfly and Medication. The vocal is what you would expect from Chase. It is melodic and dark at times and filled with emotion. This really connects with the audience. The music is heavy and fast, Mader along with Eli Rubin deliver the heavy riffs and Damian Rainaud (bass) and Grey Collister (drums) blend perfectly to create the overall sound. Formed in 2009 many in the crowd don’t seem familiar with this band, but they definitely will not forget them after tonight.It is now time for Metal Allegiance. You never know for certain who is going to join this band, but the core group tonight on this tour are impressive. Chuck Billy, Dave Ellefson, Mike Portnoy, Alex Skolnick, Troy Sanders, John Bush and Mark Menghi. They open with “Pledge of Allegiance.” This long original showcases each member of the band all at the same time without seeming chaotic. A difficult task but one that is pulled off with ease. John Bush delivers the vocal and the crowd is excited right from the start. They move into “Can’t Kill the Devil” and “Leper Messiah.” It is at this point we get the first appearance of Chuck Billy. Billy is clearly enjoying this performance and the crowd is yelling for him. Musically, it is hard to know who to watch as they are all a focus. Ellefson is one of the best-known bassists and there is no denying Portnoy’s playing ability which is clear from the number of groups he performs with and the caliber of musicians he works with. Menghi and Skolnick are equally as mesmerizing to watch. It is hard to believe with this many quality musicians no one is overshadowed but they aren’t.
Up next is the first appearance of vocalist Troy Sanders. Mastodon is not a band that everyone is familiar with but they are well known in the progressive metal scene for their technical abilities and their intellectual music. Sanders is a unique performer in the lineup and it is refreshing. When he shares the vocal later on with Bill on the Megadeth cover of “Peace Sells,” he really shines. His unique performance adds a different vibe to the night and hopefully leads some of the audience to check out his band as it surely does for the other performers.
The set continues with songs like “Bonded by Blood,” “Liars and Thieves” “Bound By Silence” and “Roots Bloody Roots.” When the show was introduced by the local DJ, he said to watch for some surprises tonight. That was delivered by Mader and Lauren Hart of Kamelot joining the performance at the end of the night and the crowd loves every minute of it. That is the thing about a Metal Allegiance show, no one ever knows who the surprises might be.
There are too many songs to count and too many amazing performances of classic metal songs and Metal Allegiance originals. Four nights doesn’t seem like enough for this tour, but for those who get a chance to see this show, they are lucky. Amazing top-level musicians playing the best of the genre and clearly enjoying it leads to an exciting night for heavy metal music fans.METAL ALLEGIANCE
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