JANUARY 25th 2018

Review/Photos by: Char Tupper

Warm, summer-like breeze tonight, nice change of pace compared to back home where it is raining and not quite as relaxing as California night air. Today was the first day of the NAMM Convention 2018, but not only that, tonight was about to rock at the House of Blues at the Anaheim Garden walk, it was time for Metal Allegiance. The concert also had opening bands, and those acts included Forgotten Legion, Edge of Paradise, Superfix, and Wednesday 13.  Sadly, the first band I couldn’t catch due to being at the convention and doors being a bit early for me to get there on time. That being said, I was able to catch the rest of the event.

Edge of Paradise was the first performance I caught tonight and let me give you a brief description of this band. This American hard rock band formed in California in 2011, and the band is quickly rising with success. In my opinion however, I feel this act, from listening to some of their songs online, and looking at them visually, I feel like I have “seen this band before” in countless other highly successful symphonic bands. That feeling doesn’t wander too far when watching and listening to their performance, the musicians put on a great show, energetic to some extent, and great lighting to capture images of their set. Although, I do truly feel that listening to the vocals, they were heavily layered to give her voice a bit more depth, but usually that’s when your guitarist or bassist step in to add that effect, but instead they used effects in back tracks or her microphone, which I personally am not a fan of. I like the raw sound of live, songs don’t have to sound exact in my opinion. Hopefully this band as the years go on, might take a bit of a change in direction to make themselves stand out above the rest, the potential is there.

Time for another California alternative rock band, this time by the name of Superfix. Fronted by Kalen Chase, a former touring member of KoRn, brings us this super-charged project forming back in 2009. Known for their catchy riffs and lyrics you can’t help but sing along with, the band put on a good performance this evening. I will be honest though, not much stood out for me in the sense of “unique” or “one of a kind” sound or energy for performance. It is a shame to say, since I almost never have this when I see bands put on a show, but this is one of those times where I felt like the band was almost “cookie cutter” and didn’t make a huge effort to stand out from the rest.

Tonight, might be a Thursday, but time for a little Wednesday 13 to hit the stage and rock the House of Blues. Forming back in 2004 after Joseph Poole aka, Wednesday 13, went on hiatus from his other project, Murderdolls.  Now, give or take, I enjoy a few songs from Wednesday 13, not a die-hard fan, but these guys performance wise, put on an excellent show full of energy and charisma unlike any other on the bill this evening. Black and white makeup, bright lights, my camera and I were quite happy with the results, which artistically I am always happy to leave with wicked shots I know, I will upload and be proud to work on. From the musical stand point, the band didn’t miss a beat, unfortunately the audience felt like maybe 20 people were there in support of them, which was a shame because they truly gave 110% that night (even if it was for only the 20 die-hards out there).  I truly enjoyed their performance, even more then when I saw them back in my hometown a few months back.

Now, for the piece de resistance, Metal Allegiance, the super group that formed back in 2014 with members from Testament, Megadeth, and Dream Theater. Since then, the group has expanded to guest appearances from bands like Overkill, Arch Enemy, Mastodon, Alice Cooper, and countless others, the list goes on, and every guest musician adds and builds character to the epic tribute band. The performance by everyone tonight was exceptional, the covers give every artist a chance to showcase their talents amongst a range of fans all excited to see a glimpse of everyone outside their usual bands. Watching a vocalist like Bobby “Blitz”, known for his style in Overkill, belting out classics like “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”, or watching Nita Strauss rip us all a new one performing the riffs and solos from tracks like “Prowler” and “Number of the Beast.” I truly love watching the musicians play outside their comfort zone from their usual thrash metal band like Slayer or Death Angel and performing a song that is the complete opposite like Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden, it makes me feel unified, that no matter what era of metal you grew up in, that we are all one giant family, that love each and every generation of the genre. It makes me appreciate all walks of rock and metal, that much more.

The show overall was an excellent performance by all, some I may not have enjoyed on a personal level, but a majority of the people who attended, genuinely had fun and also had a great time listening to a wide array of music. Music shall continue to rise from all walks of earth, the power, the symphony, the thrash, even the classic heavy metal rocks the earth here and forever in our hearts.