On Saturday night Metal Allegiance members Alex Skolnick (Testament), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Mark Menghi (Gutter Poet), and Mark Oseguda (Death Angel) gathered at the world famous Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, California to not only put on a show for fans, but also pay tribute to Ian Fraser Kilmister (Lemmy).
Shortly after being diagnosed with cancer Motörhead bassist, singer, and songwriter Lemmy passed away at the age of 70. The band posted the following on their Facebook after his passing:
There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made its way down the street, with his family.
As fans packed the Whisky for the sold out Metal Allegiance show The Mendenhall Experiment entertained fans with a mix up of clean screaming vocals . Lead singer Mario Valadez took a minute during the bands set to explain guitarist Brandon Mendenhall’s back story. Mendenhall who suffers from cerebral palsy taught himself to play guitar at age 19. Valadez explained that music does indeed have the ability to save lives and that Mendenhall was living proof.
Following The Mendenhall Experiment came Still Not Dead from Riverside, California. Ram who does lead vocals for the band mentioned, “why are these zombies on the stage?” a couple times letting fans know that his group is not your average hard rock band. Members of S.N.D play with interesting stage effects, such as spitting blood and cuts on their arms which caught many fans eyes. The band played a great set and are worth catching, as long as you don’t have any edible body parts.
Upcoming female rockers Doll Skin took the crowd by surprise on Saturday night. Sydney Dolezal, Alex Snowden, Nicole Rich, and Meghan Herring took the stage by storm and commanded the crowd’s attention with their punk rock attitude and unique style. Each member of Doll Skin brought intense talent and showed the crowd why they had caught the ear of Ellefson – who after hearing them later became the bands manager and producer.
Cage was the final act before Metal Allegiance and they dominated the stage. With a heavy metal style Cage’s lead singer Sean Peck brought vocals to the set that reminded me of King Diamond with a mix of Rob Halford’s high notes. The rest of Cage played hard and fast as they consistently interacted with the masses throughout their set. The audience was really drawn into I Am The King from the bands 2007 album Hell Destroyer among many other power metal style songs. If you like Judas Priest, do not miss Cage. This band will blow you away.
Metal Allegiance came out to a roar from the crowd who waited a couple hours to see this all-star lineup and the celebrity guests that would come out to the Whisky’s stage. Opening Judas Priest’s Electric Eye , the show was off to a strong start as the entire audience sung along with lead singer Mark Oseguda. M.A. played songs from not only Judas Priest but Metallica, Accept, Black Sabbath, Sepultura, Van Halen, AC/DC, as well as their own music from their debut album released last year (Sep. 2015). As musically influenced as Metal Allegiance was by these bands, M.A. made sure not to forget the one and only Motörhead. The boys played Killed By Death, We Are The Road Crew, and Ace Of Spades as well as a few others. During the set drummer Mike Portnoy said, “Metal Allegiance isn’t just the guys on this stage, it goes beyond the stage and into the crowd. All of us collectively are Metal Allegiance. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to play music.” Shortly after this Mikkey Dee who played drums for Motörhead till Lemmy’s death came down to ask for a 15 second moment of silence for his fallen band member. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the Whisky A Go Go become so quiet in my life. It was an amazing moment to remember a great artist, may Lemmy rest in power.
The party continued as the band played a string of Motörhead songs and finished off their set with Seek and Destroy from Metallica’s album Kill ‘Em All.
Metal Allegiance’s guest list consisted of Troy Sanders (Mastadon), Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), John Tempesta (The Cult), Mike Tempesta (Powerman 5000), and Mikkey Dee (Motörhead).
*The guests played during certain songs of Metal Allegiance set. Please refer to the set list below posted by Portnoy.*