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The Metal Alliance Tour at the Commodore Ballroom – review

March 31, 2013

WHAT A NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Although I paced myself  I am quite amazed I was able to wake up and do my entertainment report this morning.  If this tour were outside in the summer it would be the perfect base for a festival.  Anthrax, + Exodus + High on Fire + Municipal Waste + Holy Grail = all killer, no filler.  Truthfully, I normally like skipping a group so I can rest my old bones – with a lineup like this I had no choice but to enjoy every moment.  Let’s cover this band by band..

I can’t believe that I was sent Holy Grail’s ‘s first EP in 2006.  Now touring their sophomore LP I have to stop calling them a new band…   WIth their strong 80’s influence I am very impressed that they have been able to avoid being a novelty act.  It was great to see how much the crowd respected these guys.   Ride The Void is a great record, definitely worth buying.  James Luna’s vocals are solid and strong, and the dueling guitar harmonies are played perfectly.  These guys are not going away.

Municipal Waste were awesome as always.  I normally go see them because of their obvious Anthrax-ish groove, so I was kind of worried it would be too much to see them the same night as Anthrax.  It wasn’t.  They came, they saw, they destroyed.

Unfortunately I missed High on Fire the last time they came to town, so this was my first time seeing them in a venue instead of on a festival stage.  I truthfully can’t properly describe what I experienced but I do know that I loved it.

Every band was great, but when Exodus hit the stage they took the music to a different level. We all know they are awesome, I put on their records all the time, but you can still forget how amazing they are until you see Gary Holt play.  If I was introducing him to my grandmother, I would introduce Gary as a”professional heavy metaller”.  Anyone can wail a bunch of sick solos, but he’s the full package.  Incredible rhythm playing, great leads and he’s written some of the most memorable riffs in the history of thrash.  The guy is a legend and he surrounds himself with veteran musicians.   Exodus rules.

This was my second time seeing Anthrax since September.  It’s also my second time seeing them without Charlie Benante.  I prefered this show… The Anthrax groove was back, and fill in in guitarist Jon Donais did a solid job.  He played the parts perfectly and didn’t showboat – stayed to the side and let us watch Frankie, Joey and Scott.

Joey really seemed to like the Vancouver habit of lighting up indoors.  I think he also really enjoyed the barrage of herbs tossed on the stage… at one point a lit spliff was passed up and he quickly disappeared behind the drum riser.  You don’t see this in other cities anymore, and it could be the reason Vancouver was the only Canadian date of the tour.  The positives of this habit are obvious:  a very chill, happy metal crowd and the ability to enjoy concerts like we used to.  However the negative is that since there is so much smoke, many people also sneak cigarettes.  After a few years of non smoking clubs I’m really not used to the heavy smoke smell, and I’m feeling a really rough chest this morning.  I’m gonna have to bring the ol’ striped jersey out of retirement to be my “I don’t care if it stinks of smoke” concert shirt.

I’m tired of bands playing complete albums – it’s kind of annoying to know the entire setlist before the show starts, however Anthrax added a twist on the tour.  They played all of Among the Living last night, but played it as record sides.   They came onstage, played “Side a”, changed it up a bit with some other songs, then played “side b” (One World was the greatest thing ever)  and finished with some greatest hits (including I’m the Man!!!!).  I love Anthrax because they love the same music that I do.  Before they hit the stage the DJ played side one of KISS ALIVE II, during “In The End’ beautiful paintings of Dio and Dimebag Darrell covered the speakers, Joey’s voice shone when they covered AC/DC and when the show ended, Rainbow’s “Long Live Rock N Roll” came over the speakers.  Joey even stayed on stage a bit to sing along.  He is one of the great metal singers, true to the line of Halford and Dio.


I didn’t bother taking pictures last night but wanted to add some media to this blog – I thought you may like this picture.




From → metal, reviews

  1. Tony permalink

    forget metal alliance, april 15 at foufs in Montreal I witnessed a great show by diamond head. Underrated, unknown band that deserves more credit than they been given!

    • So glad you got to see them! Their set at Heavy MTL was the best moment of the fest – they will be playing Vancouver October the 8th with Raven!

  2. Tony permalink

    here is a list of upcoming shows in MTL (that interest me)

    1. may 13 – crue
    2. june 2 – Queensryche ( the fake one w/Tate)
    3. July 15 – A I C (first time headlining for me)
    4. July 29 – KISS
    5. sept. 25 Helloween (first time live for me)

    noticeably absent is Heavy MTL 2013 which doesn’t interest me this year!

    • KISS have partnered with PBR the world’s biggest rodeo – I have turned in my KISS army membership and am strongly suggesting a boycott of this tour. I will not be giving them another cent.

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