The line for many metal fans these days is that no one can take up the mantle from the classic bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, or Metallica. When those bands retire or quit, there’s not going to be anyone left to follow in their footsteps. Clearly, those people haven’t seen a show like the one that Beast in Black, Striker, and Seven Kingdoms put on last night in Anaheim, California. The Dark Connection Tour 2022 features three of the best up-and-coming bands in all of metal. Normally you go to see a show, and the opening bands are treated more like a means to an end. Not on this tour.

Doors opened at the House of Blues Anaheim’s Parish and Striker took the stage around 7:30 PM PT. From there all the way towards around 11:40 PM PT, it was a scene of traditional heavy metal, power metal, and even some thrash thrown in for good measure.

Striker Goes All Out To Get The Crowd Pumped

Each of the bands put on a hell of a show with Striker playing a tight seven-song setlist that included their brand-new singles “Deathwish” and “Strange Love” mixed in with songs from throughout their catalog.

If you haven’t heard of Striker or seen them play, they’re part of the movement/genre known as the New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal. It’s not a strict label, because they have thrash metal, melodic metal, and other influences, but they’re firmly at the front of the pack of this genre. If you like your metal a bit tight and fast-paced, Striker is for you. Whether it’s vocalist Dan Cleary‘s one-in-a-million voice or the twin dueling guitars from Tim Brown or new member John Simon Fallon, this is like Thin Lizzy had a baby with Iron Maiden.

The highlights of the show were “Phoenix Lights”, which is always a killer when Striker plays, “Heart Of Lies”, “Deathwish”, and the outro of “Raining Blood”. Hopefully, Striker can come back to the Los Angeles area and get a headlining set out of the way. They have quite the back catalog of albums that they can pick from. Striker should have a new album out sometime in 2022, so be on the lookout for that.

Get tour dates, merch, and more at Striker’s official website.

Seven Kingdoms Surprises With Metal And Cheeseburger Dressings

I had never listened to any of Seven Kingdoms’ music before last night. Holy hell, they were fantastic. Taking a look at their stage show, besides the giant cheeseburgers on the drum kit and on vocalist Sabrina Valentine‘s feet, the band doesn’t have a bass player. They have a new album titled Zenith that came out this year, which highlighted their set with three songs: “Chasing The Mirage”, “Diamond Handed”, and “Universal Terrestrial”. They weren’t missing that bass player with guitarists Camden Cruz and Kevin Byrd shredding away on heavy tracks. Valentine and drummer Keith Byrd were real highlights among a great nine-song set. Valentine’s voice showed a range and power not seen in many vocalists these days.

Don’t let the cheeseburgers throw you off, this band kicks some serious ass. Their energy and control of the crowd from such a young band speaks to their live powers. They capped off their set with a cover of “Boys Of Summer” and a rousing performance of “Chasing the Mirage”. If anyone in the room wasn’t a fan of Seven Kingdoms before the show, they are now. This was a special performance and I can say that I’m a huge fan now.

Check out their official website for tour dates, merch, and news right here!

Beast In Black Put On A Metal Show For The Ages

Beast In Black is going to be one of the biggest metal bands in the world in the coming years. Their success is inevitable. Whether it’s because their music is fantastic, or their stage performance is electric. They have the “it” factor that bands like Ghost, Greta Van Fleet, and Trivium have used to rise up the ranks of the rock and metal pantheon. They might have only played in front of a smaller crowd here at the Parish in Anaheim, but the way they mesmerized the crowd and then whipped them into a fervor with the songs they played across their fifteen-song headlining set, it’s easy to see that they’re going to be something special.

This Dark Connection Tour 2022 saw them play songs from across their catalog of albums but mostly focused on their brand-new album, Dark Connection. Usually, when a band takes a new album out on tour, they play the highlighted singles and that’s it; not for Beast In Black. They played six tracks from the new album including “Bella Donna”, “Blade Runner”, “Hardcore”, “Highway to Mars”, “Moonlight Rendezvous”, and “One Night In Tokyo”. The electronic, power, video game-inspired metal was a crowd pleaser with the entire room singing along with the chorus of “Highway To Mars” and “One Night In Tokyo”.

The entire room shook with the fury of heavy metal and bodies bouncing up and down when the band went into the home stretch of their set. Songs like “Sweet True Lies”, “Die By The Blade”, “Blind and Frozen”, and the set closer “End of the World” sent the crowd home happy.

Get merch, tour dates, and news about Beast In Black from their official site.

An Evening Of Music That Fans Will Never Forget

It’s insane considering that lead singer Yannis Papadopoulos had COVID-19 at the start of the tour and came out with an excellent vocal performance during the show. Beast In Black’s guitarists and backup vocals Anton Kabanen and Kasperi Heikkinen shredded and gave power backing up the vocals of Papadopoulos. Máté Molnár on bass gave the entire room the feeling of his bass with drummer Atte Palokangas behind the kit slamming away on the drums.

For a band this young to command an audience in the way they did, it was hugely impressive. Even my friend, who I dragged to the concert, who despises power metal, gave Beast In Black some props for their performance. All three bands were absolutely magnificent and should hopefully be onto big things in the heavy metal field.

If you live in any of the cities left on the Dark Connection Tour 2022, go and see them. If not, you can see all three bands on tour throughout 2022.

For more on metal, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.

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