NAMM2015 After months of preparation, the day we were all waiting for finally arrived! Metal Allegiance was ready to rock their first live performance since the inaugural show on Motorhead’s Motorboat back in September– but this time around felt much, much different. Just like any other band, the Allegiance needed time to rehearse their favorite songs spanning from decades of heavy metal music.
Upon our arrival for soundcheck at the House of Blues in Anaheim, we immediately were blown away by the on-stage set up which included 3 custom Metal Allegiance drum kits for Mike Portnoy, Charlie Benante, and John Tempesta. The elite guitarists (Alex Skolnick, Gary Holt, Scott Ian, Andreas Kisser and Chris Broderick) cranked their signature Jackson and ESP guitars through a 3 full stack set up from EVH, Marshall and Orange amps while Rex Brown, Frank Bello and David Ellefson thumped their low end through a thunderous bass rig . The rotating cast of vocalists including Chuck Billy, Mark Osegueda, and Troy Sanders worked on remembering lyrics by plugging in their earphones and memorizing the old school way – on paper!
A complete soundcheck of the 20+ songs took hours to complete, and you could tell by the end that the guys were more than ready to deliver a performance that not only captured their talents, but their love for heavy metal music.
Shortly after 6PM we took a look outside and caught some dedicated fans already lining up to secure their spots at the venue. You could get a sense right away that they had no idea what they were in for tonight, and honestly – neither did we! When doors finally opened around 8PM, the rabid metal fans marched into the venue and enjoyed a few cold ones in preparation of an incredible night of music.
Scott Ian opened up the show with his hilarious, yet honest Speaking Words set that included a bit of pointers to metal fans and some great interaction with the lively crowd. You know that any time fans have the chance to yell “SLAYER!!!” that it’s going to be a good night…
Prior to the Metal Allegiance performance, host Jose Mangin from Liquid Metal on Sirius XM got the crowd even more amped up and ready. In a heartwarming turn of events, Jose asked if there were any kids in the audience …moments later Allegiance founder Mark Menghi presented the child with a Jackson Custom Metal Allegiance guitar on stage to a room full of applause and smiles for the young metalhead in training.
A few minutes after that amazing moment, the Metal Allegiance took to the stage in front of a packed house of eager Metalheads. The show started off with a bang, as Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante and Troy Sanders busted out a few S.O.D covers including March of the SOD and Freddy Krueger. The set continued to go back in time, and the cast of characters was ever-rotating as they churned through classic metal tracks like Accept’s “Balls to the Wall”, Judas Priest’s “Victim of Changes”, Ozzy Osbourne’s “Diary of a Madman”, and Black Sabbath’s brutal track “Into the Void”.
As the set continued on, things began to take shape in blocks of covers, as bands like Rainbow, Sepultura, and Iron Maiden were shown the love. A few of those highlights included amazing versions of “Stargazer”, “Refuse/Resist”, and “Revelations”. Soon after the blocks of madness, the raucous crowd was treated to a block of Music Zoo founder Tommy Colletti’s favorite hard rock band – the legendary Van Halen. Ellefson and Bello handled backing vocals for Troy Sanders while Alex Skolnick proceeded to steal the show with his mindblowing version of “Eruption” – of which we will be posting a video of in the very near future!
As the show approached the 2 hour mark, you could tell the band was ready to close out the show in style with 2 of the best anthems in rock and roll music – “Cold Gin” and “I Love it Loud” from the 70’s shock rock legends KISS. The entire lineup of metal all-stars jumped on stage and ran through these 2 songs as if the party would never end, with Troy Sanders leading the crowd through the sing-a-long choruses with his youthful energy and incredible stage presence (silly string included). Much to the appreciation of the crowd, the Allegiance closed out the show with yet another stellar 70’s hard rock cover – AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”.
This show was by far the greatest event that The Music Zoo has been a part of, and we were thankful to be part of such a special night to kick off NAMM 2015! See below for some amazing live shots captured by The Music Zoo!
Missed the live stream? Stay tuned to The Music Zoo blog, as we will soon be posting the historic performance in its entirety!