11th December 2019
Crowbar Sydney, Australia.
Friedman’s Super Band crushes its first Australian show
Pic Credit with thanks - JAB Photography and Metal-Roos
Marty Friedman is no stranger to Australia having toured here with Megadeth during his decade in that band. This time round, Friedman came under his own name with his hand picked ‘Super Band’, delivering tracks that span some 30 years and 15 solo albums.
A packed Crowbar in Sydney’s inner west saw three very worthy local supports - Temtris, Black Carbon and Trigger - kick things off. Friedman and band then proceeded to tear the room apart for the next 90 minutes.
Friedman’s instrumentals can shift from brutal riffage to hyper power pop to soaring ballads in a heartbeat as evidenced on 2018’s killer live album One Bad M.F. To witness this live in a fairly intimate venue was exhilarating.
As promised on the Guitar Speak Podcast, Friedman readily shared the spotlight with his bandmates Kiyoshi, Naoki Mowriowka on guitar and Jo Nunez on drums. Kiyoshi almost stole the show with her hyperkinetic stage presence and extended solo feature. Ever the smiling assassin, Morioka effortlessly shifted from razor sharp rhythm parts to unison and harmony lines with Friedman; the pair paying close attention to bends and vibrato within their their synchronized passages. Nunez relentlessly pounded the kit all night.
Make no mistake, this is not a subservient backing band setting up nice tracks for Friedman to wail over - this is a four piece absolutely throwing down at every turn. The front of house mix was loud - though easily tamed with a pair of ear filters - and excellently mixed to allow each musician to shine.
That said, Friedman and his innate sense of burning expression was the focal point of the show. Wringing a tone from a pair of his Jackson signature guitars that was somehow both screaming and articulate, Friedman demonstrated why he is still regarded as one of the most ferocious and emotive guitarists in the world.
Friedman and band consistently worked the room who were more than happy to return some positive vibes to the stage. Crowd favorite tunes included For a Friend, a thumping Thunder March, Megadeth era solos from Tornado of Souls (and a hint of Holy Wars) and Angel.
If only I caught the flying MF pick that bounced off my chest it would have been the perfect night of instrumental rock.
Matt Wakeling - Guitar Speak Podcast