Feb 24, 2019

Marty Friedman / Immortal Guardian - Ottobar

Category: Live Reviews



Baltimore, Maryland


 Marty Friedman Set List:  L.A. High Ball, Hyper Doom, Amagi Goe, Street Demon, MC, Elixir/No Tsume riff, Devil Take Tomorrow, MC, For A Friend, Ninja, Jordan Solo (Bohemian Rhapsody), Bad DNA, Kiyoshi Solo (Michael Jackson Medley)/Askes/Forbidden/Tornado, White Worm, Self Pollution, Dragon Mistress, Charge Solo, Thunder March/Barbie Bandits, ENCORE: Kaeritakunatta

 Texas based progressive metal masters Immortal Guardian were direct support for former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman when he performed at the Ottobar in downtown Baltimore on a chilly Sunday evening.

 The venue was close to sold out and it was clear that the majority of the crowd were guitar geeks waiting for some intense shredding.

 Immortal Guardian are an interesting band because their lead guitarist performs most of his solos on guitar and keyboard at the same time.  Gabriel Guardian has a keyboard painted on his guitar neck and it makes perfect sense once you witness him playing dual solos.  “Cemetary Gates” by Pantera was performed by Mr. Guardian and it was the highlight of their set if I’m being honest because most people in that room had never seen that song performed that way.

 Carlos Zema is a powerhouse vocalist and his presence is both fierce and quirky; his love for the audience is impossible to miss and causes him to smile constantly.  Carlos has an impressive voice which adds to the bands melodic sound.

 The rhythm section in Immortal Guardian are impressive.  Thad (bass) grooves constantly while drummer Cody Gilliand is an impressive powerhouse beat-master! 

 Witnessing Immortal Guardian perform is like watching a metal version of YES; musically they are perfectionists yet they headbang and thrash around.  The best way to describe Immortal Guardian’s live show is that they deliver a jaw dropping performance with impeccable timing.

 The man, the myth, the mini shredder with the big platforms, Mr. Marty Friedman was the main attraction and his set was a nearly 2 hour shred fest that featured a 4 piece band.  Marty and company performed a set of mostly all original material and his only “Megadeth” moments were a partial cover of “Tornado of Souls” and the Sitar sounding piece from “Holy Wars”.  

 Marty is a KISS fan and his fandom was obvious when you saw his Paul Stanley styled platforms, Purple faux cracked mirror guitar, and band laminates which mimicked the “KISS Army” logo.

 The most touching moment of the night was when Marty dedicated the song “For a Friend” to Jason Becker.  Following that Friedman performed Cachophony’s “Ninja” which was followed by a cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.  If you are familiar with the story of Jason Becker you will understand why this part of the set was a tear jerker.  Becker was a close friend/band mate of Friedman’s and his career was cut short when he developed ALS which caused him to lose his ability to perform, walk, and speak.  He now communicates with his eyes via a system developed by his father.  Jordan sang part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and when he got to the part that says, “I Don’t Want To Die” it was clear that they had put this portion of the show together as an absolute tribute to Becker who has suffered yet still persevered in life.

 This show was the last night of the tour and what better way for Marty to end this leg of the tour than in his old home town surrounded by friends, family, and fans alike.

Author: Bob Suehs