NAMM 2018: Metal Allegiance at the House of Blues – Anaheim, California – January 25, 2018

Photo credit: Tammy Greene

Every January as we start a new year there is a buzz in the air, as media, merchants, artists, and fans start talking NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, drawing close to 100,000 people in the music industry from all over the world.

During this annual event, there are several concerts throughout Anaheim. On Thursday, January 25th at the House of Blues Anaheim we pledge our allegiance to Metal Allegiance a highly-sought after show by the fans and media, (no doubt my first choice) in which us photographers were split up into small groups each having three songs to photograph.

Before I get into the main event, the show was opened by some of our own local talents. From Los Angeles California, Forgotten Legion, Edge of Paradise and SuperfixFrom Hollywood, California direct support Wednesday 13.

Mark Menghi comments “SoCal should prepare for a full thrash assault. We’ve assembled a band that includes some of the Bay area’s finest mixed in with the East Coast thrash attack while adding a sprinkle of L.A. and a dose of Brazil. This show is going to be a no-frills, no-bullshit throw down. With all that’s going on in the world, down to our personal lives, a statement needs to be made and thrash is in all of our hearts, so no better place to do it than with our friends in Southern California.”

And this is exactly what went down at the House of Blues Anaheim as the “Core 4” of Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance) on bass, Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) on bass, Alex Skolnick (Testament) on guitar and Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo/Winery Dogs/Dream Theater) on drums who kicked tail all night, hit the stage with special guest Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) guitar, sharing vocal duties were Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Chuck Billy (Testament), Bobby Blitz (Overkill), John Bush (Armored Saint), Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) along with shredder Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer) and Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper).

This show marked several firsts for Metal Allegiance, over the last couple years since their inception, the “Core 4” who are already well-established artists have come into their own, not only releasing one album but Metal Allegiance II will be coming out over the summer. Giving the fans a taste of what’s to come, playing live for the first time were two songs from their upcoming album, Mother Sin and Bound by Silence, by the fans reaction, it was a great choice.

A highlight for me before my time in the photo pit was Accepts’ Fast as A Shark. This song has an amazing legacy, it was considered Speed Metal the beginning of what is now Thrash Metal. Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer), Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) and Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo/Winery Dogs/Dream Theater), tore it up. I loved it!!

As I stated earlier, the media was split up into groups, I was in group 4, starting off was a special appearance by radio talk show host Eddie Trunk introducing the next song, from his favorite band as he displayed the logo on his sweatshirt.

UFO‘sLights Out with artists John Bush (Armored Saints), Chuck Billy (Testament), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo/Winery Dogs/Dream Theater).

Playing a Testament song for the first time, Into the Pit with artists Chuck Billy (Testament), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance), Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo/Winery Dogs/Dream Theater).

Sepultura Refuse/Resist with artists Chuck Billy (Testament), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer), Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo/Winery Dogs/Dream Theater).

One of the many highlights for me playing for the first time live and together a Metal Allegiance Original Scars featuring Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) and Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo/Winery Dogs/Dream Theater).

I re-entered the photo pit for a fitting tribute in my eyes, to Metal and all our Fallen Heroes, Allegiance definition is Loyalty or Commitment.

Metal Allegiance Original Pledge of Allegiance with the “Core 4” plus 2, artists Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo/Winery Dogs/Dream Theater).

Ending this phenomenal show with Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast as everyone enters the stage, the smiles, laughter, and respect for one another and the fans is touching to see.

Metal Allegiance has become a tradition NAMM week, it’s a show not to miss. A priority on my list.

Coming out next, my interview with the founder of Metal Allegiance Mike Menghi and Mike Portnoy about an upcoming tour and their second release Metal Allegiance II.

Hit the Lights – Metallica Cover
Can’t Kill the Devil – MA Original
Mandatory Suicide – Slayer Cover
Fast as A Shark – Accept Cover
Grinder – Judas Priest Cover
Elimination – Overkill Cover
Mother of Sin – New MA song
Room for One More – Anthrax Cover
Bound by Silence – New MA song
Lights Out – UFO Cover
Into the Pit – Testament Cover
Refuse/Resist – Sepultura Cover
Scars – MA Original
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – Black Sabbath Cover
Bonded by Blood – Exodus Cover
Prowler – Iron Maiden Cover
Metal Militia – Metallica Cover
Pledge of Allegiance – MA Original

Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden Cover

All photos by Tammy Greene
©2018.  Please DO NOT copy or use without permission.


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