Adrenaline Mob invades New Haven, CT
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On Tuesday, March 12, Adrenaline Mob kicked off the first leg of their first headlining US Tour at the legendary venue Toad’s Place in the heart of New Haven, CT. What a way to kick it! The first night of the tour coincided with the release date of the band’s latest offering, “Covertá,” a collection of cover songs from some of rock and metal giants such as Badlands, Dio, The Doors, Van Halen, Heart, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath.
Personally, I had been looking forward to seeing them perform live for months. I absolutely didn’t want to miss this show, even though I was still recuperating from a minor leg surgery two weeks prior. We got there just as the first opening band started their set, but because of a minor miscommunication issue, we weren’t allowed in immediately. After it was quickly solved by the band’s amazing Tour Manager (Thank you! How was the pizza?), we got to see the rest of the show. The night started off with local Connecticut bands Mile Marker Zero and Vengeance. Nothing More, which is the official support act of the tour, followed suit. It is such a great thing to watch and witness how these young talent grow as musicians and performers.
Lights out, and the intro music was queued. Halfway through, all four members (vocalist Russell Allen, guitarist Mike Orlando, bassist John Moyer and drummer Mike Portnoy) walked out onstage. After greeting the audience for a few moments, the band officially began their headlining US Tour with “Psychosane,” followed by “Feelin’ Me” and “Down To The Floor.”
Let me tell you, each one of these guys are masters of their craft, and collectively form one of the best bands in recent times. If you are into metal music and do not know who these individuals are by now, you must be either 11 years old or not from this planet. Russell Allen’s vocal range is unbelievable. His stage presence kept the audience engaged at all times. Mike Orlando is a monster in the guitar. His unique style and speed blew everyone away, especially with his short-but-sweet guitar solo during the encore. On the bass department, John Moyer held more than his own all night with his charisma and his performing style. He can play the bass, and he can play it extremely well. And Mike Portnoy on drums was, well, Mike Portnoy. As usual, he was in total dominion of his drum set. I was more used to seeing him play all those long and complex songs when he was with DT, but it sure was refreshing to see him play more “normal” tunes. He’s a master, no matter what song he plays, and a real crowd pleaser, as well. As a band, they had good synergy between each other. They had a lot of fun onstage, and that feeling came through to us, the audience.
One of the high points in the show (at least for me) was the performance of “High Wire” by a band called Badlands, which is featured in “Covertá.” I’m a huge Badlands fan, and I thought I would never see or hear this extraordinary body of work being performed live, ever. Since the passing in 1993 of their lead singer, Ray Gillen, co-founder and guitarist extraordinaire Jake E. Lee fell off the metal radar, recording just a handful of solo albums and making a few guest appearances here and there (Jake: if you’re reading this, hurry back!!). Russell Allen and Mike Orlando were spot-on with their vocal and guitar parts, respectively. Goosebumps erupted from my arms as soon as I heard that initial fretboard slide and guitar riff. Those of us who knew the lyrics were soon singing along with Russell.
The night went on with more great original songs and a few covers, most notably “Stand Up And Shout” by Dio, which was spectacular. Russell’s vocals reminded me so much of the late Dio, and he really did this song justice, remaining true to the song, but giving it his unique touch.
We left Toad’s Place wanting more from the Mob. Good thing we had “Covertá” to keep us company on our drive back home. If you are planning to see them live on this tour, get ready to be blown away with a fantastic night full of great music. This is one of the best bands you will see live in 2013. And if you haven’t decided yet, I totally recommend you get your tickets right now. Or, I might just send the Mob after you…
Oh, and by the way, if you are watching a show at Toad’s Place or visiting the New Haven area, I recommend you get a pizza slice next door at Yorkside Pizza. You can thank me later…
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