The 2018 edition of the Metal Alliance Tour which began on Halloween came to a close on November 30th in Easton, Pennsylvania at One Center Square.
For reasons to be explained later, I was unable to see any of the local openers and much of Gozu’s set.
For that reason, let’s resume with The Great American Ghost which brought intensity to the stage and brought their energetic stage show to a crowd that was, admittedly, still filling in.
Georgia’s Black Tusk was next up and by this point, the room was filling up. Their rough and tumble brand of rock, most recently heard on their album ‘TCBT’ brought a different vibe to the show, highlighting the lineup’s variety. Being a fan for some time, I knew a lot of the music but didn’t particularly have a clear picture of the band, especially in light of lineup changes. Seeing all four of the band members contributing vocals was very cool and showed a wrinkle that many of their contemporaries can’t boast.
Next was The Casualties, a very distinct punk act that dates all the way back to the 90s. Their newest album ‘Written In Blood’ is certainly up to their usual high standard but I wasn’t aware that they had acquired a new frontman, David Rodriguez. He contributed a ton of energy and, to be perfectly honest, they might have stolen the whole show. The crowd was clearly pumped to see them, judging by the Casualties patches and punk attire in the crowd and the fact that the pit exploded during their set. The set ended with Rodriguez somehow getting up to the second story of the venue and jumping down into the crowd where the audience (thankfully) caught him.
Finally, things got heavy and dark with the mighty Goatwhore headlining the show. The set could be best described as unrelenting. There were selections from newest album ‘Vengeful Ascension’ plus older favorites. The songs varied from fast and pummeling to occasionally heavy and doomy. This created the needed ebbs and flows for a dynamic set. The rhythm section was tight but everything was led by the tasty riffs of Sammy Duet and the rasps and energetic stage presence of Ben Falgoust. It was to be said, Falgoust spent a huge percentage of the set right up in the crowd’s face, slapping high-fives and fist bumps, really keeping the front row (at least) engaged.
As many would, presumably, hope, they ended the set with “FBS’. There was no need for an encore as I think I can speak for many others, we were all spent.
Before the evening began, I was able to sit down with Ben to talk about all things Goatwhore. It was also one of the relatively rare times I get to talk to someone on the last night of the tour and be able to get a true view of the tour with it being in hindsight. We got into how to survive being the road demons that they are, the fact that this tour came on the heels of the previous tour being canceled, hot sauce, Queen and so much more.
Much respect to Ben for being such a cool guy to talk to and for the band existing and thriving for the last 20 years.