The Metal Allegiance is a special show where musicians from different bands all gathered to pay tribute to fallen musicians from the last couple of decades. Some of the musicians included in this group include: Chuck Billy (Testament), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), WWE Superstar Chris Jericho (Fozzy), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/Avenged Sevenfold), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer), and Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs). On August 2016, Metal Allegiance released an EP titled Fallen Heroes and included three cover songs. Metal Allegiance announced a show at the Grove of Anaheim and it was all put together by Mark Menghi (plays the red bass). For this special show, the opening acts were chosen to be Martyrd, Gus G (Firewind/Ozzy Osbourne), and ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman. Even early on, the venue was packed with metal fanatics just waiting to see what surprises awaited them. The show was even live-streamed via metal publication site, Loudwire.
Marty Friedman made his mark on the metal world as the former guitarist for thrash metal legends Megadeth from 1990 until his departure in 2000. He has released 12 studio solo albums including his newest Inferno album in 2014. In 2015, after living in Japan for many years, Friedman made his very long-awaited return to the USA with a solo tour. Now in 2017, he looks to continue to tour the USA after a successful run the first time. Friedman came out with his band to an already packed venue and they received a very welcoming applause and cheers. Friedman’s band is unique in that it’s strictly instrumental with no vocals. Friedman lets his guitar work do all the talking which is more than enough to keep the audience entertained. Bassist Kiyoshi would slap the bass guitar with great technique and an almost funk-like sound. The drummer was absolute madman as he pounded away at every opportunity making faces and having lots of fun on stage. Friedman played a variety of songs from his huge catalog of music. His setlist included songs from his solo albums such as Elixir, Devil Take Tomorrow, and Forbidden City. He also played a special snippet from Megadeth’s Tornado of Souls which of course drove metalheads wild to hear the solo performed by the original guitarist. With a short set, Friedman played as much as he could, yet left the crowd in awe with his amazing guitar skills.
Metal Allegiance started with a quick intro about the project before the first batch of musicians came out and started the show with Pledge of Allegiance. Phil Demmel from Machine Head stayed on guitar duty the whole night while joined by other rotating guitarists. Can’t Kill the Devil was next and let Chuck Billy handle the vocals while joined by his Testament bandmate, Alex Skolnick. For the rest of the show, it was time to bring out the covers of songs that the musicians had worked so hard on just for this show. The first cover was Suffrage City by David Bowie. Mark Osegueda made note that they wouldn’t be covering just metal songs so it was a nice twist to hear non-metal songs being performed. One very special guest for the show was Ray Burton and he’s the father of the late original bassist for Metallica. He was getting ready to celebrate his 91st birthday in a couple of weeks and so the band brought out two cakes for him and the audience sang Happy Birthday to him. To celebrate the life of the late and great Randy Rhoades, Chris Jericho came out to sing vocals for the cover of Ozzy Osbourne‘s I Don’t Know. Other covers included in this crazy night were War Ensemble (Slayer), 5 Minutes Alone (Pantera), Stone Cold Crazy (Queen), and Bonded By Blood (Exodus). Metal Allegiance founder Mark Menghi came out to talk about how Cliff Burton from Metallica is the reason why he started playing bass and on this night, Ray Burton allowed Menghi to use Cliff’s personal black bass guitar while he and the rest of the band performed a cover of Metallica‘s Disposable Heroes. Megadeth bassist David Ellefson spoke to the crowd talking about how he still remembers original Megadeth drummer Gar Samuelson and how he still feels sad about receiving the phone call on May 2016 that another former Megadeth bandmate of his Nick Menza had passed away after suffering heart failure. To celebrate both of their lives, Ellefson, along with the rest of Metal Allegiance, played the intro to Rust In Peace…Polaris and then jumped into Megadeth‘s most famous song, Peace Sells. Other musicians that joined Metal Allegiance were Mike Inez of Alice In Chains performing We Die Young and Mikkey Dee of Motorhead performing Iron Fist. Deep Purple‘s Space Truckin’ made for the near end of the show celebrating the life of Jon Lord. The show was getting ready to come to an end and of course you can’t forget about one of the greatest voices in metal, Ronnie James Dio. Dio drummer Vinny Appice came out to join Metal Allegiance for a cover of Dio‘s We Rock because that’s what the band was doing. Rocking their hearts out. To bring the show to a close, Metallica‘s Seek and Destroy would serve as the show’s finisher and for this occasion, every musician involved, even the opening bands, came out to jam for this song and seeing all the talent playing together was truly a moment that could only be felt by those that were there or were watching live. The show was set to end at 12:15 a.m., yet the party kept going until the venue’s curfew at 1.a.m. That’s when you know the show was good.