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ConcertsHalloween 25th Anniversary Show: The Ritz, Warren MI, October 31st, 2008

Posted on Friday, December 05 2008 @ 07:24:07 CST by Pete Pardo
Heavy Metal

It was a show to remember. Not only was it Halloween night, it was Halloween's night. The band that started out 25 years ago, gathered together to give the fans a real treat for this special occasion. These warriors of heavy metal have withstood the test of time and this time, along with a European crowd that was watching on the internet; Brian, George, Rob and Don showed us all the reason that we are all fans in the first place. In Support were: Chaos Theory, 2 Days Out, In His Image and Myndcrym. Sea of Tranquility's Scott Ward was on hand and brings his full show review.

As is their style, they shared the stage with some of the best up and coming bands in the area. They are quick to support the acts that are willing to make the effort and have the talent to do well.

The first two bands of the evening, Myndcrym and In His Image, were plagued by microphone problems. While both tried their best, it is really hard to give much of a review of them without the benefit of their lead singers. I will try and get more on this pair as from what I heard they both deserve a fair shot.

2 Days Out
The problems seemed to melt away when local rockers 2 Days Out took the stage. With a swagger reserved for bands that know they can deliver, these guys refused to let the crowd rest! With their brand of fiery rock and roll the band really brought the crowd to its feet. Playing most of the material from their debut disc, this band proved that they are going to be one Detroit act that will be traveling far beyond the Michigan borders soon. With Chuck Runyon on lead vocals and guitar, the band has a frontman and songwriter that will make them a household name someday. He has what it takes to make them a real force in the world of rock and roll. Todd Shanahan is one helluva drummer. He is as forceful as anyone and not only keeps the band on track; he will remind you that percussion is much more than just keeping the beat! Dan Rose on bass is a real showman and has a great stage presence. He and his steady rhythms helped make this set a really treat. Their secret weapon though is the newcomer, James Conway. On lead guitar he is a great musician and one of the truly gifted people to pick up the instrument. Together, this band was very impressive. So much so that I have reviewed their debut CD!! You will find the link at the bottom of the page. They are really worth checking out.

Chaos Theory
The next band to pay tribute to the metal masters Halloween is one of, no THE hottest band in Detroit, Chaos Theory. Starting at the heart of the band is the pulsating madman behind the drums. The call him Prick and he is the guy that might have the hardest job on stage with this band. With their constantly pounding style, this guy has a workout every night that might be the equivalent of a two hour gym session! These guys know how to rock and he is as hard working as any drummer I have seen. On bass, is the wicked playing of the guy named Reddog. Trying to keep up with the constant metal mayhem that this band creates takes a guy who loves what he is doing and there is no doubt that Reddog is in his element when on stage. He is the key element in the pulsating sound that makes Chaos Theory the great band they are. On rhythm guitar is the dynamo named Fucko. He has a sense of what the music is and should be. With a style and flair that is so well suited for there music, Fucko is the guy who puts the metal in their sound. Then there is the lead guitarist Scott. This band is as hard edged as they come and Scott is the reason. He simply refuses to let the band ease up at any point and the destructive power of his guitar is enough to blow you clean away! A band like this needs a singer who can provide the necessary voice to the metal chaos behind him. Johnny Rock is the guy who puts this band over the top. With a voice that can suck you in, he lulls you into a comfort zone and then bashes you straight between the eyes with a scream that comes from places unknown in the world that we know! This guys range, style, presence and powerful lungs is going to be singing on the national stage with his band in the not to distant future. He is the new voice of metal in Detroit, no doubt about it and we will not be able to keep these guys under wraps much longer. If there was ever a band to set the stage for the 25th anniversary show of the metal masters Halloween, Chaos Theory was the perfect pick. By the time they were through with their set, the crowd was on fire and ready for some more! These guys are the real deal. They deserve to be headliners themselves but in this case they were the band that lit the fuse for the explosion that was about to happen!

The night belonged to the four guys; Brian, George, Don and Rob. Say those names together in Detroit and its like saying John, Paul, George and Ringo. Everyone knows who you are talking about. At least those with metal in their veins! For 25 years this band has been a rock solid Detroit cornerstone. It has taken a while but they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. You will see them headline the Swordbrothers Festival in Germany next year. But for this special occasion, they gave to the people who have stood by them the longest, the people of Detroit. Along with the multitude viewing via an internet live feed to Europe. The band known as "The Heavy Metal Horror Show" brought their full repertoire of stage props, special guest and even a few surprises to the crowd. With the flair that we have come to expect from these guys, they proved to us while after so many years they are still going strong. Newcomer to the band Don Guerrier, lead guitarist told me that he was proud to be able to celebrate this event with his favorite band and was a little nervous since original guitarist Rick Craig was watching via the internet. If that was the case, it didn't show. Don is one of the real classy guitar players both on and off the stage. Maybe a little bit of a nut, but you have to be to hang with this group! Rob Brug, drummer, tells me that although he has not been there for the whole duration, he was overwhelmed to be a part of such a happening. Then there are the two warriors who founded the band, Brian Thomas and George Neal. This pair is the epitome of heavy metal. As George told me, "As long as there is a breath of air in me, I will not stop and I know Brian feels the same way!" When they took the stage, it was such a feeling to see generations there watching history in the making. Mothers and daughters, even whole families were there to help celebrate the band that had become a big part of their lives. We even sat with Don's mother who was there for this spectacular.

The band did not disappoint the fans. Drawing on material from their whole career, Halloween gave a performance that was nothing short of brilliant. Even when some problems happened with the microphone, they showed their class and experience by letting Don and George entertain the audience with some terrific instrumental work until the problem got fixed. The band ran through there material with all the eerie trappings and stage effects that one could ever want. They even previewed a couple new songs off their upcoming release, Territories. Not only did you have a sense of history, they also gave the audience a brief look into the future and that future will definitely include more metal from Halloween! One of the most compelling moments of the night was when Brian called his daughter up on stage. One of the ghouls in full costume was roaming around and when he got her up there, this ghoul seemed to attack her! Then he took off his mask and it was her fiancé with a ring! He proposed to her right on stage! It was at that moment that I realized just how much this band has meant to so many generations of metal heads! It was almost like a page had been turned in the history of the band. Now we are looking forward to what the next chapter will be! I was very proud to be a part of this event. It is one of the most electric moments that I have had in my rock and roll life. I have seen and been near many a band but to sit there and watch a bit of rock and roll history was something that I will never forget. I personally want to thank all these guys for the memories that they have provided so far and for what looks like much more great metal moments to come!

Scott Ward

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