September 9, 2015
Marty Friedman Set List: Intro, Hyper Doom, Amagi Goe, Street Demon, Holy Wars Riff (Megadeth excerpt), Elixir / Tsume riff, Stigmata Addiction, Devil Take Tomorrow, Tibet/Angel, Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder cover), Ashes to Ashes, Forbidden City, Tornado of Souls solo (Megadeth cover), Ripped/Jordan Solo, Inferno, Undertow, Dragon Mistress (audience member played guitar), Thunder March/Barbie Bandits Medley, ENCORE: Kaeritakunatta Yo
Opening night of the Marty Friedman 2015 US tour was an interesting event. Marty arrived 3 days prior to the show to rehearse at Orion Studios in Maryland and Marty told me that the guitars he used on this night were only 3 days old to him because all of the guitars were brand new!
There was a local opener who kicked the night off and they were ok. I won’t lie, I missed a chunk of their set while interviewing Exmortus.
Exmortus started the show as far as I’m concerned and during their sound check the band tossed out riffs from Metallica & Jake E. Lee era Ozzy which sounded amazing and fit the mood of the room quite well. Exmortus are a proper mix of old school metal and thrash with a twin guitar attack that kills!
There was no barricade to divide the crowd from the stage so getting super close pics was a challenge but I did manage to capture the moment quite well.
My only complaint about Exmortus was the overall live sound mix which was muddy in parts....the guitar solos were nice and loud though so It wasn’t all bad.
Marty Friedman took the stage and what I noticed right off the bat was his 5 inch platform boots which reminded me of KISS! Marty’s overall attire was an interesting mismatch of hobo-chic meets grunge. Marty wore a cut up flannel shirt, black skinny jeans, and a sheer scarf which was wrapped around his waste; the scarf was so long that it looked like Marty was wearing a dress.
Marty’s backing band were truly awesome to watch! The rhythm section was spot on and musically speaking they held the band together!
Marty’s rhythm guitarist shocked me when he was allowed several solo’s during the set and he turned out to be an absolute shredder who’s style and skills were up to par with Marty’s!
Set wise the bulk of the show was totally instrumental with the exception of “Higher Ground” which was performed by the entire band sans Marty. For the Stevie Wonder cover Marty’s bassist sang. The solos from “Tornado of Souls” and “Holy Wars” were performed randomly in the set and towards the end of the night Marty invited a random fan onstage to jam with the band. I was surprised that the random fan knew how to play & kept up well with Mr. Friedman!
I can’t stress enough that Marty’s backing band were simply amazing and if you are a fan of hard rock guitar playing this is a must see show!
When the show ended Marty thanked the crowd and walked off stage. Marty’s mic stand was filled with guitar picks and a rabid fan jumped onstage and grabbed every single guitar pick and tossed them to the crowd; I was shocked security didn’t stop the stage crasher!
This show was a triumphant return to the US concert stage for Marty Friedman and company; catch Marty & co. now because they don’t tour the US too often!
An extra special thanks goes out to Kelly for all of her help on this night! :)