Symphony X, Powerglove, & Blackguard - San Francisco - May 8th, 2011

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Mag 17 2011, 20:23

Artist: Symphony X
Supporting: Blackguard, Powerglove
Date: May 8th, 2011
Location: San Francisco
Venue: The Regency Grand Ballroom
Tour: North American Tour 2011

Remarks:
We ventured once again to the Regency Grand Ballroom to witness yet another metal filled night, this time headlined by prog legends Symphony X. The evening started by self proclaimed "epic metalers," Blackguard. These 5 guys from Montreal were absolutely full of energy. With driving riffs and well coordinated headbanging and hair-twirling, they were quite amusing to watch. The vocals however were not quite what I expected of them. They tended to be more screaming/shrieking as opposed to more clean vocals I'd expect from an "epic metal" song. But as they progressed through their setlist and started venturing into their newer material, I can see where they got that term from. Songs began to have a backtracked symphony that actually meshed well with their more forceful and aggressive riffs. The drumming was definitely top notch as well, slamming out complicated beats and making great use of all the cymbals. We were also surprised to find out that the drummer was female, which is awesome because it's not that often you get to see that in the metal world.

Powerglove was up next, and boy did they have a rough day. Their van broke down in Portland, OR the night before and they were barely able to rent an SUV and make it down for the show (Portland, OR to San Francisco, CA is a 10-11 hour drive). They were literally walking in to the venue after VIP ticket holders were let in. Even worse, they had to leave all their equipment with the van and the tour manager, save for their costumes, and Chris' guitar. Everything else had to be borrowed from Blackguard. But despite all that, they showed that you can't stop The Metal, and played a kickass set. So much energy, silly antics, and metalization of our childhood; all staples of a Powerglove show!

Powerglove's Setlist:
X-Men (Before they got started, Chris started a little mini guitar solo, using Terra's Theme as the melody. Then they segued right into X-Men)
Storm Eagle (Chris took to the mic, and instead of doing his usual rant about the Storm Eagle stage from Mega Man X, he relayed their not-so-epic journey just to get to the concert and how much he hates their van. So instead of asking the crowd to chant the regular "Fuck that bird!" during the song, they asked us to change it to "Fuck that van!")

Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man (Cue the inflatable hammers and bats! A guy next to us was having a blast with his little foam hammer, playfully hitting everyone around him, including me on the head a few times.)
Red Wings Over Baron (It was a great treat for us that they decided to play their rarely performed Final Fantasy IV epic. As a long time FF fan, it was very exciting!)

Omnishred (We're Gonna Need a Bigger Sword)
Tetris (Themes B and C)
Gotta Catch 'Em All (Here, the band reminds us that they were fortunate enough to record some tracks with none other then the great Tony Kakko. According to them, not only is he a great singer, but apparently in his free time, Tony flies around shooting zombies with lasers coming from his steel ass. I don't think they were kidding. Anyways, Pokémon!)
Mario Minor

It wasn't too long until Symphony X stormed the stage. There's no doubt that Michael Romeo knows his way around a guitar, and he made it very clear by flaunting it with every complex solo. We had a nice chuckle when we realized the keyboardist, Michael Pinnella, looked like a cross between Jens Johansson from Stratovarius and Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth. Russell Allen sounded pretty good, despite not feeling too well; having to sit out the meet and greet in order to get enough rest for the show.

Symphony X's Setlist:
Of Sins And Shadows
Domination
Serpent's Kiss
End of Innocence
Paradise Lost
Smoke And Mirrors
Eve Of Seduction
Dehumanized
Set The World On Fire (The Lie of Lies)

Encore
The Odyssey

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