Monsters of Metal The Glass House pomona, ca

Saturday April 21, 2018

MAentGlobal had a couple options this evening… We took a chance on something different and you know what...? Glad we did… Covering “cover bands” or in this case “tribute bands,” may not be the norm, but since they were based off of some of our favorites we took a chance. To be honest, not really all that much different than covering Ultimate Jam Night (UJN) at the Whisky A Go Go on Tuesday nights. The Glass House holds some wonderfully heavy memories for MAentGlobal so this was really a no brainer. These are my write-ups; they are OP-ED pieces and fully my opinion, so take what I say with that in mind. I’ve always considered cover bands and tribute bands differently. A tribute band, in my opinion, is a band that takes covering a particular band or genre of music to the next level. Not just playing the music, but also looking the part, playing the part, taking the audience to an imaginary place. So I was disappointed in the evening at that level. However, if I closed my eyes and ignored that, it was a metal evening! I will not call out the lack of next level showmanship; I will focus on the musicianship

I bring up UJN because Bob Halford of Diamonds and Rust had lent his amazing vocal talents to the 80’s Hair Metal night just a week or so before. He not only dresses the part, he sings the part and honestly looks a bit like the Metal god front man himself of the mighty Judas Priest. Regrettably I did not take a shot of the set list, but I was not alone singing the words to every song they chose. The all age’s attendees proved that Judas Priest is ageless, cross generational and totally deserving of being inducted into the Hall of Fame, seriously denied AGAIN. The band attacked and faithfully reproduced the songs we all grew up loving

Next up was Motorbreath with a blistering six-song set (the songs are a bit longer after all). Remember to close your eyes and listen and just bang thy head… The singer and his EET… Esp Destroyer recreated Jamz vocal stylings of his later years. Albeit the songs covered were of the 80’s glory days of the thrash metal pioneers. I suppose that is what most bands do; perhaps it is easier, I don’t know… I am not a singer. Their dual six-string duo attacked each song as if their very life’s depended on it… It was a treat seeing these songs played from only four feet away, makes you appreciate the song writing of, if I really need to say it… Metallica

The third act was the most faithful of the 4 of the 5 bands that I listened too. I found it odd to play tribute to a band that does not have the catalogue the other bands do, but in the short time Ghost has been around they have built a massive following. Ghost A.D., went all in. Also, let it be known, they handled a bit of on stage adversity like seasoned pro’s… RESPECT. I am not the biggest follower of the band, so I only know a few of their songs and of course they did not play one of them… Figures. They only played five songs, including the latest single RATS, which I immediately played them all on the drive home. Low and behold I had heard them, just not a bunch of times and I can say that this band nailed them.

For me the last band I saw was the reason I was there… Maiden USA. Seeing Iron Maiden more times than any other major band, I was going to be the most critical, riiiight! That went out the door as soon as the first moments of Aces High began. I want back to eighteen years old and just enjoyed some of the greatest metal ever to be written. This tribute band played only the “human air raid,” songs of Bruce Dickinson and one synth guitar era song of Adrian Smith. Straight rock n’ roll… Mimicking Bruce is a tall order and the singer; Chris did a bang up job while being himself. The musicians in the band all held their own especially… wait for it… PUNK band musicians… I wonder if they ever saw themselves pulling double duty as Dave Murray and Steve Harris tribute artists… Rounding up the line up was the Adrian Smith guitarist… “Nice, vest bro!” and, surprisingly enough the second female Nicko McBrain out on the tribute circuit, “excellent backing vocals!”

For me after a busy week of music, I bailed after talking to a couple of the Ghost A.D., Maiden USA, and Diamonds and Rust members. To be fair to the final band… You guys looked the part so well that it was only fitting that I left… For the four times I have been to a MM show, I have never seen or cared to hear or see more than one song. The crowd however was eating you guys up as you ran back n forth setting up on stage. I can only presume you kicked their MM t-shirt wearing collective backsides and gave them a set they won’t soon forget.

🤘🤘🤘🤘 for the song listening experience (which is what really matters), however the absolute best I can give the “tribute” aspect of the show is 🤘🤘🤘, visually the show was underwhelming. The song choices were great, when I closed my eye’s I was reliving the past, happily. When I opened my eyes I became overly critical, unfortunately. I would see these bands again, if only to watch the musicianship and memories of my youth.

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