It takes something pretty epic, to entice people to leave the comfort of their home on a week night in Sydney. When I hear the name Ross the Boss, I struggle to conjure another word that adequately suits.
With the recent release of their album “By Blood Sworn” which was produced by Dean Rispler, who played with Friedman in The Dictators NYC. Co-founder of the iconic metal band Manowar, Ross “The Boss” Friedman, brought his arson of talented accomplices with him, to the Bald Faced Stag in Leichhardt, Sydney, to play a full classic Manowar set.
I’ll be honest, I was a sceptic. There’s no way anyone could reach those high notes that we all associate with Manowar and hold them for any length of time during a live performance. Not without faltering, or without the help of some technical voice enhancing equipment.. or passing out. Wow, after a blistering one and a half hour set, was I proven wrong.
The venue slowly filled, the excitement was obvious and such a feel good aura was floating throughout the room. The merch was plentiful and a great display hung perfectly behind the merch desk, giving everyone a great view of the availability and price. How good is a well organised merch stand!
Hailing from Melbourne, Horizons Edge kicked the night off, with a set full of melodic power metal. Their sound was big and their performance was energetic. I couldn’t help but feel I was committing a sin, watching Kat (vox). Donned in pure white hot pants and vest, that were adorned with shiny gold bling, she appeared so ethereal.
Her voice, although loud, seemed quite angelic and evoking. I really enjoyed the power riffs throughout the set.
Night Legion, a super-band in their own right, were up next. Affiliations with Dungeon, Death Dealer, Darker Half, Empires of Eden and Blasted to Static, it was no surprise the enormity of their sound and performance. These guys were true professionals, and absolutely faultless. Even Ross “The Boss” Friedman came out to watch them play.
It was that moment I chose to grab a sneaky pic with the man himself. With a quick snap and a kiss on both cheeks, my night was made. I could’ve gone home a happy girl, alas, I had a show to review.
After a brief change over, I stood amongst the 300 odd warriors, that had gathered to witness this show of epic proportions.
With the bellowing sounds from Marc Lopes, “Blood of The Kings” was the beginning to what has become one of my favourite nights of Metal.
To say I was overwhelmed, would be an understatement. I was driven to stare flabbergasted, as Marc sliced through the crowd, with his razor sharp vocals. I had to pick my jaw up a few times. How can any man hold a note so perfectly, for that length of time? This man is a bloody wizard or something.
Then I was drawn between him and Friedman, with his lightning fast fingers on the guitar, he makes it look so easy.
“The Oath” “Blood of my Enemies” “Hatred”, we were privileged to many greats.
Mike Lepond slowed the pace, as he made some chord changes on his bass, ready for “Bridge of Death”, only for the pace to pick back up with “Sign of the Hammer”.
Marc stood on the barrier and beckoned for the crowd to chant “fight fight fighting the world“. Friedman let out a seeming grin of approval as he worked the stage with his magic fingers, Mike slapping his bass and Steve Bolognese pounding the drums perfectly. Marc continued to coax the crowd from the barrier. He grabbed his phone and started filming the audience, working them into a frenzy. Fists were being thrown in the air, showing the crowds approval and co-operation.
Marc confirmed “That’s more like it. Now you guys are warmed up for the next couple“. He then went on to tell us they had a bit of a competition going on to see who could sing the next song the loudest. So far the Netherlands and Italy are winning. “You aint gonna let them win, are ya”? before announcing “Battle Hymns“.
Once again the crowd of warriors sang in unison. Marc grabbed his phone again, and running from side to side of the barrier announced “That’s fucking beautiful, give yourself a hand”. Marc continued to tell us when he was feeling like shit, he used to go home and listen to the next song and everything would be ok. “This is Hail Hail Hail and Kill, with Special Guest “Stu Marshall” (Night Legion).”
Stu and Friedman were band mates in Death Dealer.
Fists continued to pump the air, as the crowd chanted “Hail Hail Hail and Kill“, with a spectacular ending, indicating it was the end of their set.
A brief chat with the band and Marc announced as much as they’d love to play all night, they had to save some energy for their other shows. The room full of warriors wasn’t having that, as they protested and yelled out for more.
Of course they were going to get their way, “Metal Daze” saw the show come to an end, leaving everyone in their own glorious Metal filled daze.
Thanks to Dinner For Wolves for making this night possible.
Review Contributed by Trudy Johnson