MARTY FRIEDMAN / TRAUMA
Scout Bar in Houston, Texas
March 10, 2023
By Colonel Angus
Brian Allen, TRAUMA
This show was supposed to be headlined by the mighty QUEENSRYCHE but five minutes before they were to hit the stage, Todd La Torre lost his voice and was unable to perform. I know I speak for all RYCHE fans when I say “Get well soon Todd”. But the evening was not a total loss as Marty Friedman and TRAUMA put on blistering sets.
Kris Gustafson, TRAUMA
The concert started with heavy metal legends TRAUMA. I’m sure most people know the name because Cliff Burton (RIP) was a member but about a decade ago, founding drummer Kris Gustofson put out a new version of the band and they have been releasing new music ever since. Since they were only given a modest amount of stage time, the band focused on their latest disk “Awakening” from 2022. They basically performed half of that album with “Death of the Angel” being particularly brutal live. Other tracks “Meat”, album opener “Walk Away”, and “End of Everything” also came off better live than on record. These guys were made for the stage and the material translates better in a live setting with the band and audience feeding off each other. “From Here to Hell” was the only track performed from “As the World Dies” and the lone tune from their back catalogue. I have to also give special mention to vocalist Brian Allen who not only fits in nicely with the band and material but also did a great job engaging with the audience. All in all, a great set from TRAUMA and I look forward to catching them on a possible headlining tour at some point.
Michael Spencer, TRAUMA
Steve Robello, TRAUMA
Next up is a man that needs no introduction, MARTY FRIEDMAN. Any thrash fan should be well acquainted with is work in MEGADETH but FRIEDMAN has been carving out a solo career for many more years with a plethora of releases to prove boot. Now I will admit that I have not followed every release but what I did purchase was very musical and not just an all out shred-fest. I’m not a guitarist so while I can appreciate the guitar playing, I need songs to wrap my ears around and FRIEDMAN does just that; similarly to Joe Satriani. Even though he has released quite a few records since 2006 (with 3 “Tokyo Jukebox” albums in that time frame), half of his set were songs from “Loudspeaker”. In fact, he opened the show with “Stigmata Addiction” and “Devil Take Tomorrow” from that very disk.
Even though QUEENSRYCHE was the headliner, there were many in the crowd who were there for FRIEDMAN as well. He received a mighty Texas welcome from the crown and he had us mesmerized throughout his set. Other tracks performed were “Paradise Express” and “Dragon Mistress” with a guitarist named Gabe from the audience joining the band on stage for the latter. They also pulled out a couple of Japanese cover songs with “Kaze ga Fuiteiru” being especially great. For obvious reasons, the guitar solo from “Tornado of Souls” (MEGADETH tune from the awesome “Rust in Peace”) got the biggest ovation. Joining FRIEDMAN was an all Japanese band of accomplished players. I apologize in advance for any misspellings; Wakazaemon was on bass, Naoki Morioka on guitar, and wild man Chargeeeeee (yep-that’s how it is spelled) on drums were the perfect group to back-up FRIEDMAN’s guitar virtuosity. Chargeeeeee was so animated and bashed away on his poor kit that he was a show all on his own.
As I mentioned earlier, QUEENSRYCHE had to cancel (hopefully reschedule) but both opening acts put on a great show. If you are catching this tour in a town near you, I would highly recommend you get there early enough to see BOTH bands as each one puts on a top notch show. In fact, both were so good that I hope they come back to play headlining sets so I can catch them again. This is definitely a tour package not to miss.
Brian and Joe, TRAUMA