Chris Loomis

Metal Masters 5 @ House of Blues Anaheim – 01/22/2014

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Metal Masters 5 @ House of Blues Anaheim - 01/22/2014The Samson/Hartke sponsored Metal Masters show made a stop in Anaheim at The House of Blues on the eve of the 2014 NAMM Convention for its fifth SOLD OUT show of this type. Metal Masters 5 promised to be the biggest one yet as the list of participants to rotate through the set and jam classic heavy metal tunes was the biggest and baddest to date. The participants included:

Scott Ian – Anthrax | Charlie Benante – Anthrax | Frank Bello – Anthrax | David Ellefson – Megadeth | Chris Broderick – Megadeth | Kerry King – Slayer | Gary Holt – Slayer/Exodus | Chuck Billy – Testament | Mike Portnoy – Winery Dogs | Billy Sheehan – Winery Dogs | Philip Anselmo – Down/Pantera | Rex Brown – Kill Devil Hill/Pantera

Special Guest:  Steve Vai

The night started with Altitudes & Attitude, the new band that includes David Ellefson and Frank Bello with Frank singing and playing guitar. Also joining Bello and Ellefson on stage were Chris Broderick on guitar and Mike Portnoy on drums. After two songs they were joined onstage by Scott Ian and they quintet jammed out Cheap Trick’s ‘Auf Wiedersehen’. From here there was a non-stop rotation of metal all-stars hitting the stage to rip out classic tracks from their own bands as well as classics from Iron Maiden, Kiss, Slayer, Pantera and S.O.D. (Stormtroopers of Death).

The early highlight of the show had Billy Sheehan on bass and vocals, Mike Portnoy on drums and were joined by special guest Steve Vai as they  jammed out a killer version of David Le Roth’s ‘Shyboy’ for which both Sheehan and Vai played on the original back in 1986. Vai absolutely shredded as only Steve Vai can and seeing Vai and Sheehan finger tap their respective instruments in unison was something to be seen.

There was nothing but feelings of admiration and respect on stage – no egos, no showboating, you could tell how much these musicians enjoyed playing together and the fans in attendance were sure getting a once in a lifetime performance. Samson/Hartke gave away a few guitars signed by all the performers during the show and signed drumheads, picks and drumsticks were constantly being hurled into the crowd.

The trio from Anthrax Benante, Ian and Bello launched into the stomping ‘March of the S.O.D.’ and at this point is when things got really heavy as none other than Phil Anselmo walked out onstage and started headbanging. At this point the level of intensity both onstage and in the crowd went up off the charts. Anselmo proceeded to sing ‘SGT. D & the S.O.D’ and ‘Freddy Krueger’ from S.O.D.’s album Speak English or Die. As if that wasn’t enough insanity . . . Rex Brown joined his former Pantera bandmate along with Charlie Benante and Chris Broderick for two Pantera classics ‘Strength Beyond Strength’ and ‘I’m Broken’. WOW – one-half of Pantera onstage together!!!

The rest of the night was a rotating door of musicians playing Slayer and Pantera classics. Testament vocalist Chuck Billy joined in on the fun as well collaborating on an epic version of Slayer’s ‘Mandatory Suicide’ along with Anselmo. Kerry King and Gary Holy held down the guitar spots for the remainder of the night nailing all the Slayer and Pantera riffs. The security in front of the stage was kept busy with all the flying crowd surfers as the small floor area at The House of Blues was a contestant circle pit the entire night.

This classic night of heavy metal music came to an end as all the participating musicians came together onstage and played a once –in-a-lifetime jam of Pantera’s ‘F@#king Hostile’.  After witnessing this event, it will be difficult to top this lineup but we will have to wait and see what Samson/Hartke can come up with for Metal masters 6 . . .





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