Metal Church Live in Pittsburgh, PA Review
So for those of you keeping score at home, I love Metal Church. Classic Church, modern Church, I love it all. (See my review for Generation Nothing for a further history on this, as Im sure you give a shit). With that being said, I had never had the opportunity to see any incarnation of the band as the last time they graced my beloved city of Pittsburgh was 1986, and I was probably on parental restriction for something and wasn’t able to see them. Sadly, I would never hear David Wayne’s screams in a live setting.
On this early March evening, Pittsburgh was presented with a great night of homegrown metal, a young nationally touring band and an absofuckinloutely brutal performance by metal church. When I accepted my spot on the guest list, I had absolutely no idea that I was attending a 6 hour metal fest. The three local bands: Fatality Rising, The Xander Demos Band and Vermithrax all put on strong, energizing sets. I caught the end of Fatality Rising, but enjoyed what I heard. The Xander Demos Band rose to the occasion with an amazing level of musicianship that is unrivaled in this reviewer’s opinion. Vermithrax followed and put on a heavy presentation of San Francisco style thrash. Next up was Martyrd. I didn’t know anything about them, and really still dont. Their website, www.martyrd.com had no bio that I could find, but you can download a new single for free. They performed a good thrashy set, resembling a modern day Death Angel, but to be frank (or Mitch) these old bones were jonesing for some Metal Church at this point.
During the break before Kurdt and crew hit the stage, it was announced that the band would be performing the first two songs of their set twice for a future video presentation. Well ok, this just got even better. Lights, camera action… Metal Church came out and hit us with a Ton of Bricks and Start the Fire, not once, but twice. The mix from where I was on the balcony, was way heavy on the guitar, at times drowning Ronny’s voice out, but it got better as the night went on. The enthusiastic crowd was treated to a trip through the Metal Church catalog including Fake Healer, A Light in The Dark, and The Human Factor.
Once the band hit the final three songs of the set before the encore, things got kicked up a few more notches. A level of professionalism and an ass kicking that any young band should observe and learn from, took place. Watch The Children Pray, Beyond The Black and Metal Church showed why this band’s music is relevant 30 years later and wow was it something to see. No Flash Pots, No lasers, just a vocalist with an absolutely amazing range, a ridiculously tight band, and three of the most well written metal songs ever, back to back to back. I truly was moved by this experience and still have chills here, the morning after thinking about it. Those fans around me were all into it and I actually had a dude come up to me and say thanks for rocking out with me. It sounds cheesy, but it was that kind of night. Great, great music. The band closed with a two song encore of The Human Factor and Highway Star.
In a classy move, the band hung out with their fans after the show. No special VIP package needed. Just a band giving back to their fans who have stuck around for 30 years, and for the new fans they gained. Truly classy veteran metal at it’s finest, this is a show worthy of a road trip if they hit a city anywhere close to your state.
Metal Church Set list:
Ton of Bricks
Start the Fire
Ton of Bricks
Start the Fire
A Light in the Dark
Gods of Wrath
Watch the Children Pray
Beyond the Black
The Human Factor
4.5 horns out of 5