Concert Review: MASS / Arlington, MA
Reviewed by: Roger Scales
Falling from Grace
The Right Side
Falling from Grace
The Right Side
All the Years Gone
Voices Medley—Voices in the Night, Turn It All Around, Reach for the Sky
More Than A Friend
Through the Rain
Ashes to Ashes
Heaven and Hell
Till We Meet Again
All that I Needed
Do You Love Me?
Sea of Black
MASS has been riding the wave of solid review after solid review of their latest cd Sea of Black. They have been a fixture of the Boston music scene for close to 30 years. While other bands from Massachusetts may have had greater chart success and sold more records MASS deserves credit for never forgetting their dedicated fan base known affectionately as the “MASS Believers” and where they came from. That’s why it came as no surprise when the decision was made to have the official cd release party locally and what better venue than the Regent Theater in Arlington MA. The question would be can MASS still deliver the goods, still pack a punch in the face of hard rock fans who came from all over New England to celebrate yet another chapter in MASS history?? My face is a Sea of Black (and blue) because they beat me up senseless and after 94 years of shows left the Regent Theater shaking at its foundation!!!
They opened the show with back to back Sea of Black cuts “Falling From Grace” and “The Right Side” which set the tone for the evening. Yes, they played Sea of Black in its entirety making sure of one thing: MASS is not sitting on its laurels but moving forward with the strength of their new material. This show was no trip down memory lane but a realization of what MASS is celebrating with Sea of Black. To me it’s much overdue credit for their vast body of work. These guys have been writing great songs and playing gigs for years, now it seems the rest of the world will finally be able to stand up and take notice. Hats off to Dunbar Productions for making sure that this gig got the documentation it deserved as a DVD of the show will be made available in the fall.
Great “Voices in the Night” (1988) medley in the middle of the set where the crowd got treated to “Voices in the Night” “Turn it All Around” and “Reach for the Sky”. Singer Louis D’Augusta never sounded stronger all night long. Back to Sea of Black again with “More Than A Friend” a song that was written for and dedicated to Kyle Sweet, the wife of Stryper frontman Michael Sweet who passed away in 2009. Then up to my personal favorite off of Sea of Black – “Through the Rain”. I’ve been hearing the song for years in clubs but it never sounded better than on the Regent stage with bass player Mike Palumbo adding his signature groove throughout.
The crowd did get treated to a metal delight when during the song “Ashes to Ashes” MASS ripped into “Heaven and Hell” as a dedication to the late Ronnie James Dio. Guitarist Gene D’Itria was shredding heavily on his Gibson Bullseye and did Tony Iommi mighty proud!! His guitars really get quite a work out in one night’s work, I hope you’re treating them well Gene!! We also witnessed a terrific Joey “Vee” Vadala signature drum solo which showed why he is and will forever be the power behind MASS.
Some older songs rounded out the set including classics such as “Looking Good”, “Do You Love Me?” and “Over You” which really had the Regent rocking. This was one of many classic MASS gigs but the first in which everyone will be able to enjoy very soon so be on the look for the DVD in the fall!! All hail MASS!!!