At the end of their opening set, Venom Inc’s Tony Dolan yelled to the crowd that “tonight was a metal allegiance show” while he motioned his hands about the venue in a collective fashion, gesticulating the bond metal music has between its musicians and its fan-base. There can be no better sentence to encapsulate tonight’s performance.

Venom Inc hit the stage at just before 9pm. Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn, Tony “The Demolition Man” Dolan, and Jeramie Kling managed to whip the crowd into a frenzy as they worked their way through Venom classics intermixed with material from their stellar Avé album, truly one of the hidden gems from last year’s metal releases. Mantas, looking amazing, is quite literally back from the dead after a May 2018 heart attack steered him to double bypass surgery in Lisbon. The band was firing on all pistons tonight and left this writer yearning for more as they cleared the stage.

It would only take 30 minutes for “more”, as David Ellefson (Megadeth), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) and Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance mastermind) stormed the stage with Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) and blasted into “Pledge of Allegiance,” one of the tastier tracks off of the 2015 debut Metal Allegiance albums. Performing 20 songs over two hours, special guests at the gig also included Seputlura’s Andreas Kisser, Accept’s Mark Tornillo, Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz, Overkill’s Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad, and Armored Saint’s John Bush.

Time to stop what you’re doing and respect the “Pledge Of Allegiance” video.

Technically a record-release show for the Metal Allegiance sophomore album Volume II – Power Drunk Majesty, What this evening wound up being was a two-hour love-in celebrating metal with some of the best amongst the genre’s performers. Dropping numerous original tracks, the band also performed covers of “Life In The Fast Lane” (Eagles), “Electric Funeral” (Black Sabbath), “Stand Up And Shout” (DIO), “Room For One More” (Anthrax), “Hit The Lights” (Metallica), “Aces High” (Iron Maiden), “Restless And Wild” (Accept), “Elimination” (Overkill) and “Rapid Fire” (Judas Priest).

Band members walked on and off stage for most of this evening, with a minimum of five musicians on stage at all times. There isn’t a single track I could pick as a highlight tonight – as the full two-hour set was a metal fan’s wet dream. Don’t believe me? Look at the setlist below. Bobby Blitz singing “Rapid Fire” was epic. Mark Tornillo doing “Restless and Wild” was equally epic. John Bush and Mark Osegueda doing “Room for One More?” Also epic. Mark Osegueda and Alissa White-Gluz doing “Scars” together live? More epic. Bobby Blitz doing “Electric Funeral” live? So epic.

This concert was a gift of metal. If you missed it, take solace in the newly released Volume II – Power Drunk Majesty – a sophomore album that doubles down on the 2015 self-titled debut in every way possible.

Metal Allegiance’s Setlist:

01. Pledge of Allegiance (Mark Osegueda)
02. Can’t Kill the Devil (Mark Osegueda)
03. Rapid Fire (Judas Priest cover) (Bobby Blitz)
04. Mother of Sin (Bobby Blitz)
05. Restless and Wild (Accept cover) (Mark Tornillo) (Live Debut)
06. Terminal Illusion (Mark Tornillo) (Live Debut)
07. The Accuser (Trevor Strnad) (Live Debut)
08. Bound By Silence (Trevor Strnad, John Bush)
09. Room for One More (Anthrax cover) (John Bush, Mark Osegueda)
10. Dying Song (John Bush, Mark Osegueda)
11. Scars (Mark Osegueda, Alissa White-Gluz)
12. Life In the Fast Lane (Eagles cover) (Alissa White-Gluz) (Live Debut)
13. Elimination (Overkill cover) (Bobby Blitz)
14. Electric Funeral (Black Sabbath cover) (Bobby Blitz) (Live Debut)
15. Stand Up and Shout (Dio cover) (Mark Tornillo) (Live Debut)
16. Impulse Control (Mark Osegueda) (Live Debut)
17. Power Drunk Majesty (Part I) (Mark Osegueda) (Live Debut)
18. Power Drunk Majesty (Part II) (Alissa White-Gluz) (Live Debut)
19. Churchill’s Speech / Aces High (Iron Maiden cover) (John Bush, Alissa White-Gluz) (Live Debut)
20. Hit the Lights (Metallica cover) (everyone on stage)

I like mojitos, loud music, and David Lynch.