Marty Friedman With His Super Group From Japan (Canberra) (Canberra, ACT)

14 December 2019 at The Basement

After a sweltering week in the nation’s capital, Canberra had no intentions of cooling down as the crowd at The Basement was pumped and primed for an epic night of music and mayhem. Hitting the stage first were Canberra’s archetypal progressive metal veterans, Taliesin. This energetic band had the crowd on their feet as they opened with their song, Superstition. For the next half an hour they continued to pump out their classic tunes in a powerful performance. Their vocal harmonies and solid guitar riffs were outstanding. They had the crowd buzzing with adrenalin and had set the bar high. The expectant crowd was in for an incredible evening of live music entertainment.

The excitement continued as another Canberra local, Mattersphere hit the stage. Their passionate emotive songs are heavy and powerful and their hard rock onslaught of heavy drums, guitars with pounding riffs and solid shreds coupled with clean and powerful vocals reverberated through the night as they treated the crowd to a number of well-known songs as well as some new to the now pumping audience. After tonight I will be rushing out to buy their new single, Fade Away. Their on-stage energy was engaging as they revved up the crowd and had them testing the limits of the barricades as they joined in singing “Rock and Roll”.

As their killer set came to an end, the crowd roared as they knew what was to come. Now it was Melbourne’s hardcore Australian metal warriors, Trigger. Touring nationally with rock royalty Marty Friedman, they threatened to blow the roof off the venue and proved why they are among the best melodic metal bands in the business. Their music has thrashy elements, a hook-driven approach, and catchy solos. Oxygen became a scarce commodity as they thrashed out some of their older songs. However, they breached new peaks with their new EP Dimensions to be released later this week.

After a short break, and just enough time for everyone to refill their drinks and catch their breath, the crowd’s energy once again went into over-drive as the man of the moment, Marty Friedman, and his ‘Super Band’ hit the stage. Revellers were pressed hard at the barricades as everyone fought to get prime position and an unprecedented glimpse of the man on the moment. With sold-out tours across the country our expectations were high, and we were not disappointed. We knew that soon we were to witness, up close and personal, the genius that is Mr Marty Friedman. With a career spanning over thirty years, and famous for such musical wizardry as Rust in Peace, he and his ‘Super Band’ gave his Australian fans an up close and personal experience that none will forget.

Marty powered through sets that included many of his classic songs from his solo career such as White Worm from his album Wall of Sound and Elixir from Loudspeaker. The master of guitar shredding impressed the crowd with jaw-dropping riffs and intense solos. If things weren’t hot enough, the guitar virtuoso threw in some cheeky solo sections from his Megadeth years such as Tornado of Souls from Rust in Peace and Skin O’ My Teeth from Countdown to Extinction. Before long the head-banging soon turned into moshing.

Marty’s backing band was by no means overshadowed. They were seriously incredible and definitely live up to the name ‘Super Band’. Drummer, Johan Nunez was explosive, and he showed a lot of energy on drums. Guitarist, Jordan Ziff could definitely hold his own alongside Marty, but the stand-out for me was definitely Japanese bass player, Kiyoshi Manii. She put on such a show with high energy, head-banging and bass playing abilities that I was surprised that such a huge performance could come out of such a tiny frame!

The crowd may have been louder than the band at times, and with the chanting of ‘Marty, Marty, Marty’ echoing throughout the venue, it truly was a fantastic night.

Line-up: Marty Friedman, Trigger, Mattersphere, Taliesin

Reviewer: Megan King
Photocredits: Megan G. King Photography