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LIVE: METAL CHURCH – March 16, 2014, Concord, CA @ Vinnie’s Bar

| 22 March 2014 | Reply


Venue: Vinnie’s Bar

City: Concord, CA

Date: March 16, 2014

Review by and Photographs: Robert Kitay


I hadn’t seen Metal Church since the Operation Rock and Roll Tour with Judas Priest, Alice Cooper and Motorhead back in 1991. I don’t remember very much about that Metal Church performance 23 years ago, but it really doesn’t matter because that lineup in 1991 was a completely different that the lineup I saw this week. Yes, that’s right – not a single member of the 1991 lineup is currently in the band. Jump forward 23 years. Founding guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof is touring with a great group of musicians including vocalist Ronnie Munroe, Steve Unger on bass, Jeff Plate on drums, and Rick Van Zandt on guitar. That concert 23 years ago might not have made a lasting impression on me, but the concert this week certainly did. Simply put, this was a fantastic show that exceeded my expectations. The band was extremely tight and formed a wall of metal that could only be rivaled by the likes of Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. The sound was absolutely huge. Everything was crisp and in most cases sounded as good, if not better than the albums. Ronnie Munroe, who I saw solo at Rocklahoma in 2008, has the perfect voice for this band. His range is every bit as good as David Wayne’s vocals back in the day, and Ronnie’s voice really does justice to the older material. Ronnie Munroe is a great frontman as well, just perfect for this band. I felt like his voice gave new life to these songs. The band also seemed to be in a great mood, often smiling and seemingly enjoying what was the last show of the tour. The setlist relied heavily on the first couple albums. I can’t really complain about the setlist, but I’m a little surprised that they didn’t do more songs off “Generation Nothing.” The highlight for me was the powerful “Gods of Wrath” with one of metals’ best all time screams and the crowd singing along. Other highlights included a scorching version of “Fake Healer” and “Watch the Children Pray.”  Unfortunately, this tour is over, but I certainly hope it’s not another 23 years before I get to see them again.



Setlist: Ton of Bricks – Start the Fire – Generation Nothing – The Dark – A Light in the Dark – Fake Healer – Badlands – Gods of Wrath – Dead City – Mirror of Lies – Watch the Children Pray – Beyond the Black – Metal Church – Highway Star

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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