The Madness of Many Tour

Last night I was at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale for The Madness of Many Tour featuring 3 kickass bands.

As soon as I saw Animals as Leaders was coming to Fort Lauderdale I immediately decided I was going. No hesitations.

I had never been to an instrumental show besides the Yngwie Malmsteen show I went to a few years back. This would be my second ever instrumental show. Yngwie Malmsteen’s show wasn’t even totally instrumental since he has vocals on a lot of his songs. That show was great and I had a great time.

Animals as Leaders was also a great show. Alluvial opened up for them. Veil of Maya tore it up right after and then Animals as Leaders played extremely tight, while we stood in a very tight, packed floor surrounded by moshers as well as those who were there just for the music.

Actually 2 of the guys I went with got into the pit and me and another buddy stayed behind. I’ve had my share of moshing and do not mosh whatsoever these days.

All in all it was a great show.

The Arrival

Me and a buddy decided to go last week and we got 2 more guys to go with us. I picked one up here in Miami close to the Palmetto and we headed up on our hour long trek to the Culture Room. It was on Sunday May 21st, so there was no traffic. Straight cruise all the way up.

I had no idea who was opening up so I looked up the 2nd band, Veil of Maya and heard some pretty good vocals and riffs so I was up for checking out the band. I saw the Alluvial name, opening up the show, but didn’t bother to check the band as I never really check out the opening band.

I totally fucked up on this one.

I got to the venue about 730. Band had started but I still didn’t know what I was missing and didn’t expect the longest line I’ve ever stood in (me personally) at the Culture Room.

It was backed up down to the street almost and if you’ve ever been there that’s a pretty long line. Anyways we had time to wait for one of the guys who went to go get some food.

The whole time we were thinking that the tickets at the door would be cheaper since on their website it stated that they were $25. When we get there though, they say its $30. So I said to the guy, “On the website it says $25, why is it $30.” He responds in his semi-trying-to-be-authoritative-tone, “25 in advance, 30 at the door.”

So I responded to this jibberish with, “but how do I buy them in advance if the link on the website takes me to ticketmaster?” He had nothing to say after that. I just remembered after writing this that I owe my bud a couple bucks.

That little scene totally didn’t make any sense to me but whatever 5 bucks aint no thing, just thought that was weird.


I pay the guy and we go in….

As soon as I go in, I hear this guitar solo, clean, and executed in a heavenly fashion. A good old shred solo pierced my ears and heart and I went to see who it was that was playing.

To my surprise it was Wes Hauch.

I couldn’t believe my eyes for a second. I said, “Holy shit I follow this guy on Instagram, this guy is a beast!!!”

I immediately verified on line and it was him. Also playing next to him was Keith Merrow.


Keith Merrow?

Holy shit!

Two badasses in one band. I was so pissed that I didn’t get to the venue with enough time to catch the whole set. We caught the last 2 songs they played.

I was flabbergasted. Fucking 3 piece band killing it on stage. A drummer and 2 heavy ass guitars. Amazing. They sounded killer.

No bass player on stage but they didn’t need one.

This did 2 things for me immediately. It made me think of the possibilities nowadays about playing live in my own instrumental band, and how I could go about it.

It also gave me hope, plus a whole lot of chills.

I snapped some pics of Wes and posted on Instagram you can see the pics there.

Later on after their set I was waiting for the perfect time to catch up with Wes and Keith and actually got a couple pics with the entire band. Super cool of them to take a pic with me. (also posted on Instagram)

The second thing it did was inspire me to go home and write some new riffs and leads. 

My favorite song on the album is “Gabrielle.”

Check the band out at …


Keith Merrow

Check out the drummer on this podcast. Jeeves.


Veil of Maya

Lately, I barely listen to metal with vocals except for a few bands I really love. I listen nowadays to instrumental neoclassical shred. Guys like Joe Stump and George Bellas as well as classical music with composers from Mozart and Chopin, to Mahler, Schubert, Stravinksy, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Schumann among others.

Okay that was a lot of composers. There are more, but there are also more shredders I listen to as well. Occasionally I’ll put on some heavy metal with vocals like Testament for one.


Let me just say that Veil of Maya put on an impressive show. They were tight, had the floor jumping up and down and we were all bobbing our heads as these gritty, growl-like screams hit the airwaves.

The guitar player on the left was my favorite. He had a 7 string Ibanez with one pickup and one knob and a whammy bar.

His hands were all over that thing and he was killing it with his energy. I haven’t seen energy like that since I was in my teens.

This guy was totally into it.

I was definitely inspired by this guy to go home and shred on my guitar. 

They put on a killer set. Check them out…

Record Label


Animals As Leaders

Before the show I went and got myself a tank.

I didn’t want them to run out since its a pretty cool tank and looks great on me as you can see. 😉

Man did they play tight. They put on the tightest show. Songs 1, 2 and 3 all stopped on the dime. They were right on the money. Tight as fuck.

They were also a 3 piece on stage.

It was great to see Tosin Abasi up close and personal with his sick looking guitars. I was definitely impressed by his playing. Their set was inspirational and won them a few new fans. 2 of the 4 guys had never really heard them in depth before and came out of the show as new fans.

The Madness of Many Tour DATES


If they are coming to your town, check them out, you won’t be disappointed. Riffs, solos and good old hard core, heavy metal drumming by all 3 drummers.


Alright, til next time…

I gotta do some shredding myself!!