Livestream From The Whisky A Go Go, Hollywood, USA, October 10, 2020

ARMORED SAINT (Livestream From The Whisky A Go Go, Hollywood, USA, October 10, 2020)

2020 finds us in highly strange territory as the world’s worst pandemic in over 100 years has turned convention on its head, disrupting the music industry in a way that none of us could have imagined in our worst nightmares this time last year.

As tours have been cancelled, clubs and venues closed, our fix of live music has taken a dive. Over the months there have been drive-in shows, socially distanced shows on special platforms as seen in Newcastle in the UK and live streams and downloads to bring some element of live music into our lives. Of course, nothing will replace the experience of being in a hot, sweaty club with the band feeding off the energy of the crowd but it’s certainly better than sitting at home bemoaning the lack of live music.

Seeing a gig at the legendary Hollywood club, the Whisky A Go Go, has been a rite of passage for many a Rock fan through the years. To those of us living far away, such an experience could only ever be watched from afar through envious eyes. Now, making the best of a bad situation, Armored Saint have brought the chance for a Saturday night at The Whisky to everybody across the globe for one night only with a live stream to mark the release of their barnstorming new album, Punching The Sky and as the one and only date on their 2020 World Tour.

Following the drone of an Indian flute, Gonzo Sandoval’s cavalcade of drums heralded the entrance of “Never You Fret”, new album closer but what an absolute barnstormer of a show opener. A thunderous riff, a pounding, relentless beat along with Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan’s dueling guitars and John Bush’s huge voice combined to make this one tour de force and for those yet to hear the new album, the perfect taster of what lies just around the corner.

Without pausing for breath “Pay Dirt” from Revelation provided the suitable sucker punch to keep the opening momentum blazing. Armored Saint were literally on fire, with an impressive, well balanced sound that was clear yet powerful with Joey Vera’s thunderous bass suitably prominent in the mix.

Gonzo’s terrific tribal drumming and the grinding riff of “Mess” followed next before the vintage cuts flowed. In an exclusive interview before the show Joey Vera had promised a mix of old, new, classics and deep cuts and staying true to their word “For The Sake Of Heaviness” from 1985’s Delirious Nomad and “On The Way” from their very first EP, the brooding Raising Fear’s “Isolation” and “Left Hook From Right Field” from their “come-back” album La Raza left no stone unturned.

New songs “Missile To Gun”, “Standing On The Shoulders of Giants” and “End Of Attention Span” all showed a band at the absolute top of their game. Almost 40 years on from their debut EP, time has not blunted the blade of The Saint.

“Reign Of Fire” and “Can U Deliver” wrapped up a commanding, hard hitting and hugely impressive performance by one of Metal’s most legendary names and if this is Armored Saint just getting warmed up and without an audience, just imagine what it’ll be like once they hit the stage properly once Covid 19 is banished to the history books.

A short Q&A rounded the evening off with some tales of life on the road and looking back on almost 4 decades of Armored Saint. Great stuff.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.