Wouldn’t it be awesome to have seen bands like Metallica, Ozzy or Megadeth when they were first starting out? Can you imagine seeing them in a venue, where they are hanging out at the merch table, you get to meet them, buy one of their first tour shirts and get a photo with them?
That’s why you go to the local shows. There are some amazing talented people out there!
On our radar right now are a few young bands, like OTTTO and Bastardane (check out our coverage on those two playing together at Jose Mangin’s Metal Taco Party in June). At that party, we met members of Tornadic, who invited us to their upcoming show at Riverside Municipal Auditorium. Tornadic is a thrash metal band from Southern California, consisting of Dylan Castiglione on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Emilio Berber on bass guitar and backup vocals, Drake Tyler on drums and Andres Vaca on lead guitar and backup vocals.
Their debut EP Awakening was released on 2/22/2222 (we love those repeating numbers!) and is heavily influenced by Metallica, Testament, Death Angel, Godsmack, Pantera, Iron Maiden and many more of my personal faves. At the show, the band played original songs off their Awakening EP and also covered a few Lamb of God and Slayer songs. We even got an impressive drum solo by Drake Tyler! Tornadic has the stage presence, the energy, the passion and the drive for success. After their set, they had a long line of fans waiting to get a photo with them. Missed the show? Well, they’re currently not on tour, but keep your eye on these guys for next time!
We weren’t sure who else was playing, but we heard they were tribute bands.
I haven’t had great experience seeing tribute bands… I admit that I had a shitty attitude, ready to head straight for the door. Since we drove all the way up from San Diego, we decided we’d stay for a song or two of this band called Just Like Priest. I am a huge fan of Judas Priest and there’s no way any tribute band can even come close — no way. Then, Just Like Priest took the stage and my jaw hit the floor. I was teleported back to the 80s to a Judas Priest show. I was actually giddy like my 18-year-old self seeing JP for the first time. They are legit ‘Just like Priest’, with costume changes, a mini Harley-Davidson (for “Hell Bent for Leather”), replica guitars, the vocals… everything about them is just WOW! Frank Casciato as Rob Halford, Kevin Pittsey as Glen Tipton, Brian Olsen as K.K. Downing, Mike E. Stone as Ian Hill and Gare Howe on drums — I will go see these guys anytime! They went through “Breaking the Law”, “Victim of Changes” and closed their set out with “Painkiller”. I will definitely go see them again!
Damage Inc. is southern California’s tribute to Metallica; Chris Knight on rhythm guitar and lead vocals is as close as you can get to a look-alike James Hetfield. Fun fact, Damage Inc. was hand-chosen by Metallica to perform at Metallica’s 40th Anniversary San Francisco Weekend Takeover in 2021 — they are that good! Damage Inc. kicked it off old-school with “The Four Horsemen”. Of course, they played “Damage Inc.” — one of my favorite Metallica songs. Damage Inc. is playing a few shows each month across the country in California, Arizona, Kentucky and Georgia. Go check them out!
Thank you, Tornadic, for the invite to the show!
Photography by Heather Vandemark