First up were local metal titans Warmachine. They took the stage to a pretty packed Mod Club and gave an exciting set full of very hooky, melodic and heavy tunes, which ended up stuck in my head for days. What's cool is that bassist Alberto Campuzano was also bass player in Annihilator for a few years. With impressive musicianship and exciting tunes, Warmachine is made for the big stage. Usually the second opening band gets the slightly longer set, but it was switched around this time between Warmachine and Exmortus, as Warmachine played about 10 songs. The surprising element about their set was their choice of a closing song, which happened to be a cover of Megadeth's "Tornado Of Souls", as a way of showing how honoured they were opening up for Marty Friedman. I mean, who wouldn't be honoured to be opening for Marty, right?
Finally after a slight delay, came the moment we've all been waiting for for 15 years. Marty Friedman took the stage to a wild roar from the crowd. The audience filled the club with "Marty" chants throughout the night reminding him how much they missed him. He began the set with "Hyper Doom" riling up the fans into a frenzy. He managed to throw in some surprises into the songs throughout the night, like for example, he incorporated his famous acoustic solo from Megadeth's "Holy Wars" in the song "Street Demon". In addition to the skills of Marty, he has assembled a very impressive backing band. At the middle point, Marty stepped to the side of the stage and gave his band a chance to entertain us. Bassist Kiyoshi showcased her impressive funk skills which was followed by a snippet of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground". This was the only part of the set that included vocals, as the entire set consisted of instrumental songs. Even though there were no vocals, a mic was brought out on a few occasions so Marty could interact with the crowd.
MARTY FRIEDMAN - North American tour
Journalist and Photographer: Alex Stojanovic
Published: October 10, 2015
@ The Mod Club
Toronto, ON, Canada
September 16, 2015
The fall season is usually when so many shows and tours hit Toronto. Wednesday, September 16 was a really special night, especially for us die-hard Megadeth and Cacophony fans, and especially guitar players. The legendary axeman Marty Friedman did his first North American tour as a solo artist, and this was also his first North American tour since leaving Megadeth back in 2000. He came to the Mod Club and he put on a memorable show where he played material from his entire career. As we all know, Marty has lived in Japan the last 12 years and has released several solo albums in Japan over the years, but his latest album Inferno (2014) was his first worldwide release on Prosthetic Records, which he is currently touring in support of. Let's get down to the festivities.
Next band were California shredders Exmortus. This was my second time seeing them after seeing them at the same venue last year with Destruction and Krisiun for the first time. Before they started playing, they were teasing the crowd with small snippets of covers like Iron Maiden's "Run To The Hills" and Kiss' "Love Gun" and "Detroit Rock City", then began their set with the instrumental "Moonlight Sonata Act 3", followed by "Slave To The Sword". They kept their set short, which consisted of only five songs. Other songs that were performed included "Immoratality Made Flesh", a new song "For The Horde" and "Metal Is King", which they ended the set with. However, they renamed the latter song "Marty Is King" as a thank you to Marty Friedman for bringing them on tour with him. During the song, they also executed their famous guitar swap trick in the solo section.