Solo artist Marty Friedman made a stop in his hometown and brought two very good bands with him. Friedman, who many of you should know from his Megadeth days, lives in Japan now but is originally from Laurel, a town just 15 miles south of Baltimore, so many friends and relatives were in attendance for this crowded show.
The Fine Constant, a technical progressive band from Wisconsin started the show off for a quick set and and were quite impressive on first listen. Led by guitarist Sarah Longfield, this instrumental band showed me they are going places and I look forward to hearing them again in the near future.
Scale the Summit were up next and although I had heard this band’s music before, I had never seen them live and was more than blown away. Playing mainly selections from their new album In A World Of Fear, lead guitarist Chris Letchford was meticulous. “The Warden” led things off and was followed by “Royal Orphan,” “Neon Tombs,” and “Witch House.” The nine song set wasn’t nearly enough for me and I do hope this band comes through here again.
Friedman is extraordinary on the guitar if you have never seen him live. He took the stage almost immediately after Scale the Summit’s set was finished and his performance was just blistering. Labeled the Wall of Sound tour, it just so happens to also be the name of his new album which came out in the beginning of the month on Prosthetic Records. I actually hadn’t seen Friedman perform since 1997 on Megadeth’s Cryptic Writings Tour so this was special for me. “Hyper Doom,” off of his 2014’s Inferno, led off the evening and Friedman was magical on guitar. Once considered one the fastest guitarists out there, Freidman, now 54 (but you wouldn’t know it by looking at him), has become an incredible guitarist no one can imitate. “Devil Take Tomorrow” from 2007’s Loudspeaker, was mesmerizing to watch. The intricacies of his guitar playing was just mind boggling to experience live. New songs “Whiteworm” and “Self Pollution” were just as good. A Japanese song titled “Kaeritakunattayo” ended the night and Friedman more than proved himself as a instrumentalist well worth seeing live. Catch him if you can before he jets back over to his new home in Japan.