It was The Metal. Ah yes, a good ol', throwback-to-the-80's-style heavy metal band. Minus the hairspray and spandex, mind you, this night was about the sound. And Toys for Tots. There were quite a few Marines in their dress uniforms. They collected toys and donations, then watched the shows.
BTW, some random guy handed me a free ticket! Thanks, random guy!
I missed the local opening band, Maleveller, simply couldn't get downtown soon enough. The first act I saw was American Sharks, they were a blast. They're a 3 piece act from Austin, TX and I bet they go places, at least in the metal community - you'll never hear them on the radio. The vocalist was a funny, talkative guy and the crowd loved him. Fun, rocking band.
Next up was Gypsy Hawk, hailing from Pasadena. They were pros and played a good set. Nothing special. The thing that stood out most? Their drummer had an Animal stuffed toy strapped to his kit. He closely resembled the toy.
The Sword straight-up rocked the joint. These guys were no-nonsense, they came to play. I got sucked/shoved into the pit up front and managed to hang for about 30 minutes. But it got old and I couldn't take pics, obviously. I eventually moved back and got a soda. The pit was fun though, I'll have to admit, wouldn't want to spend a whole show down there. But I do prefer to be up close, it's a more immersive experience. A red line is telling me that "immersive" is not a word. Well, it should be.