GIG REVIEW: METAL ALLEGIANCE & NEXT TO NONE Live at The Machine Shop in Flint, MI
The Machine Shop in Flint was filled with fans ready to take the oath of metal forever and pledge with Metal Allegiance. While the weather was blustery and cold outside, the Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan was heating up with anticipation of a heavy metal celebration. Chains Over Razors from Chicago got the show started with a hefty dose of hard rock tinted with the brilliance of metal. Their set consisted of groove laden hard-hitting music from their debut album ‘Crown The Villian’ which reminded me of Volbeat and Hellyeah. Chains Over Razors gave a solid performance to get the evening off to a hell of a start.
Next up was Next To None. This young band is made up of Max Portnoy (drums), Thomas Cuce (vocals/keyboards), Ryland Holland (guitar), and Kris Rank (bass). They did not lack for enthusiasm as they belted out a vigorous dose of metal. Bouncing off the stage, jumping off the keyboard stand, and spinning hair, the guys in Next To None made their music a physical reality. Their set included songs from their debut ‘A Light in the Dark’ along with a couple of choice covers of Slipknot’s “Before I Forget” and Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer”.
The Machine Shop was packed as the intro of “Hellion” brought Metal Allegiance to the stage in blazing metal fury. Mark Osegueda channelled the vengeance of Rob Halford as he ripped into “Electric Eye” by Judas Priest. The triumphant sounds of Iron Maiden’s “Ides of March” bled into a fantastic cover of “Wrathchild” featuring Chuck Billy on vocals. Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Alex Skolnick cast their own formidable shadows upon this classic tune with their amazing fretwork. You could see the joy of music burning from inside each of these wonderful musicians.
Keeping the band humming at the speed of sound were drummer Mike Portnoy and bassist Mark Menghi. These guys are the heart and soul of Metal Allegiance. Not only are they stellar musicians, they exude the love of the music they play. One look at their expressions as they played was proof positive of hearts surging with metal forever. Mark Osegueda told the crowd that Metal Allegiance is more than a band of friends who love music and pay homage to metal. It is everyone who attended the show at the Machine Shop and all the fans around the world who resonate with the power of heavy metal. In addition to killer covers of their favorite metal classics, Metal Allegiance crafted some super metal of their own and played “Can’t Kill The Devil”, “Dying Song”, and “Pledge of Allegiance” which received the warm embrace of cheers from the audience.
This ultimate tribute to metal was captured spectacularly with covers of “Into The Void” by the godfathers of metal, Black Sabbath and a eulogy to the late Lemmy Kilmister with covers of “Killed By Death” and “Iron Fist”. The guys in Metal Allegiance even threw in some praise for the revolutionary guitar work of Eddie Van Halen with their version of “Running with the Devil” and a stratospheric rendition of “Eruption” with Alex Skolnick providing the guitar pyrotechnics. This evening of metal rage ended on the balls out blues-rock majesty of “Whole Lotta Rosie” where Bumblefoot jumped off stage and played a scorching solo while making his way through the fans that were gathered up front.
The band exited stage right for a quick break and re-emerged for an encore of Bay Area thrash with “Seek and Destroy” by Metallica. As they had for most of the night, the crowd joined Chuck and Mark in blasting out the chorus at maximal ferocity. Metal Allegiance thanked everyone for attending and then met up with fans near the bar to share a beverage and take photos. This was a fantastic ending to a sweat soaked evening celebrating metal music and the bonds it creates in all of us.
Ides of March
Can’t Kill The Devil (Metal Allegiance original)
Fast as a Shark
Balls to the Wall
Heaven & Hell
Dying Song (Metal Allegiance original)
Pledge of Allegiance (Metal Allegiance original)
Into the Void
Killed by Death
Running with the Devil
Whole Lotta Rosie
Seek and Destroy