I was really excited to catch former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman's first solo show in America in basically forever a few weeks back and at the end of the show I was just blown away. Marty's talents have been talked about ad nauseam here, the dude shreds, no doubt about it. What was most impressive about the show was the dude's backing band.
The band's drummer Chargeeee is straight out of an 80s Sunset Strip movie, and delivers some drummer tricks that would make Tommy Lee blush. Guitarist Jordan Ziff held more than his own with Marty while showing a lot of energy on stage. But the real star for me was Japanese bassist Kiyoshi Manii. Looking at Kiyoshi before she started playing, you would assume she is this timid young Japanese girl in a bright red dress, but when the music started, she probably exuded more energy on stage than all three other members combined. Her energy was absolutely infectious. She was running around, slapping her bass, putting her hand to her ear Hulkamania-style to elicit a reaction from the crowd. Oh, and her bass chops were incredible.
The highlight of the show, for me personally, was when Marty took a back seat and let Kiyoshi rock a bass solo. This is the best video I could find of it, but it was even better live:
When she started singing "Higher Ground" she cemented her status as one of my favorite performers. I look forward to hearing more from her. Her official Youtube page has some clips of her solo band. Also, check out her official site.
Keep rockin', Kiyoshi!
Marty Friedman's new solo album, Inferno, is out now on Prosthetic Records.