HOLY GRAIL - Young Knights Slay On Club Tour: Live In Philly!

March 2, 2016, 2 years ago

Mark Gromen

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Just a few years back, Holy Grail toured relentlessly, on their own and grabbing separate opening slots alongside North American runs by Blind Guardian, Dragonforce and Anthrax. Supporting their excellent new disc, Times Of Pride And Peril (on Prosthetic) they're back on the road, playing here, there and everywhere, which included a stop in the minuscule Kung Fu Panda (home of the $2 beer "Shelf Of Shame": Genesee. Rolling Rock, Tecate, Hamms, etc). Actually, in Philly, where you need to purchase a six pack (or more), from a state sanctioned distributor (or head to a bar), those single can prices are an even bigger deal!  

Amongst the bearded, neck tattooed and gauge-lobe hipsters packed into the corner bar, Holy Grail stuck out. Leather & studs wristbands, from wrist to elbow (on both arms), James Paul Luna looks like a metal singer, straight from Central Casting. Once the drums are in place, they plug in and play, within five minutes. No checks, just go! Charging out of the gate, the band tries to maneuver around the cramped stage. The set is a mix of old and new, with no less than four newbies being aired. “Crystal King”, which opens the current disc, is up second tonight, followed by “Crosswinds”. A red lit “Ride The Void” begins a bit slower than its predecessors, but also features a neo-classical flourish, courtesy of Alex Lee. Twin guitar harmonies join the pink/purple tinged “No More Heroes”. Blue lights just about exhaust the limits of the "light show", for “Sudden Death”, with an impromptu pit breaking out, in a room that can't hold 50 standing patrons! Towards the end of the evening, Luna joins the mosh, jumping off the stage and bumping into obliging members of the crowd. 

Despite the limitations of space and makeshift, trapezoid promontory, Luna tries his best to connect (figuratively and literally) with those in the audience. "Those Who Will Remain” kicks into a groove, then a sudden burst of green backlight, the band remains dark captives of the stage, with no place to go. It ends with sustained yelp from the singer. Like the fabled Philly son dueling Apollo Creed, when not headbanging, Luna fires a barrage of rapid fire punches into the air. As the also performed “Fight To Kill” states, "The night grabs hold of you." The band is current touring with Black Tusk and then will be direct support for Devil Driver throughout mid-May. Traditional metalheads, old and new need to sip from the prized vintage that Holy Grail creates. Drink up!

Check out Mark’s review of Holy Grail’s latest release at this location.

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