I had the privilege of traveling to Los Angeles this past Thursday (May 27th) to see one of the greatest American Metal bands play at The House of Blues on the Sunset Strip on Friday, May 28th. Armored Saint played their one and only show for the entire year in the USA that night. There was no way I was going to miss this. Especially after the guys have put out an incredible slab of classic Metal in the form of the new record called “La Raza”. A new throw-back band called ‘Holy Grail’ opened the show and I was not really impressed. There are lots of younger kids doing the retro-Metal thing these days and while its cool that they are paying homage to the genre, it is often done with a very high cheese factor. They did do a couple of pretty cool cover’s of an ‘Accept’ song and a ‘Trouble’ song.
‘Armored Saint’ burst on to the stage and opened with “Loose Cannon” (the first song off the new record). The boys were firing on all cylinders and delivered an impeccable performance. They went right into “Can U Deliver” and the place went wild. This band is responsible for some of the greatest and most memorable riffs of all time. They touched on every record from their long and rich history. For “La Raza” and “Tribal Dance” they had a percussionist join the band onstage to add some awesome ethnic drumming to the mix. John Bush was on fire and sounded incredible. He hit all the notes and you could tell he was having a really good time. John dedicated “Reign of Fire” to as he put it – “the greatest heavy metal singer of all time…Ronnie James Dio”. In the middle of the song they played a little of “Long Live Rock ‘n Roll”. Phil and Joey have such great stage presence and it was awesome to watch them prowl the stage. The venue was packed and it was a very diverse, enthusiastic, and friendly crowd. I saw at least three pre-teens there with their parents and that really made me smile and reminded me of one of my best buds – Mr. Chris Smith. The show was fantastic and I would definitely travel again to see the mighty Saint in concert.