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Prong/Protest at LVCS, Las Vegas
April 23, 2016

Local boys, Protest, brought me along to witness their show which was in support of the mega hard core, heavy metal band Prong. Prong has been ruining lives and offering a rude awakening for over 30 years with their style of metal. Without them, we would not have the groove and aggression that groups like Demon Hunter and Pantera are known for. Don’t believe me? Go as far back as 1988’s “Force Fed” and 1990’s “Beg to Differ”.

Protest began the show with fuel and fire. Jeff Turner (who also fronts My Own Nation) took the lead guitar slot, Sean McWrath (My Own Nation) on rhythm guitar duties, Mr. Dan fired the cannons, Paul Hughs got down, dirty, and funky on the bass, and Larry Freire spewed the piss and vinegar. All the above was a whirlwind of thrash sounds and blood curdling yells of fury. The surprise for me was Jeff Turner. I’ve seen his band, My Own Nation, quite a few times, and have only known him to be a soulful heavy metal crooner. To see him shred Jackson to pieces was a real treat to see. I had no idea he was so versed in the art of the six string. The songs that were new to me were burned into my brain like with a fiery cattle prod. Larry’s vocal performance was like John Bush (Armored Saint) when he used to sing for Anthrax. The rest of the band gave the thrashers a run for their money, and all the energy was poured out on stage. Protest and My Own Nation are equally great bands, but if you want someone to shove - Protest is your antagonist.

Prong took the stage, and the anxious crowd crushed in closer. When founder/ lead vocals/lead guitarist, Tommy Victor, shouts the title of the first song it set off a frenzy between him, belligerent bassist, Jason Christopher, and extreme drummer, Art Cruz. The force and New York attitude pushed from the top of the stage out to the concert goers was like slamming into a concrete wall. I stood in awe of these metal monsters as they played songs from my youth, and a few numbers from the new release, X - No Absolutes. About an hour into the show I was getting a little worried that they might not play the song Beg to Differ. No sooner had I thought that, when Tommy bellowed out the title track to my (and Ken’s) favorite record. As the opening riffs were being slaughtered like a sacrifice, the crowd moved to the vicious groove the only way they knew how.

“I felt like a heavy metal junkie!”

Every song lasted a lifetime as I soaked in all the hard core metal my body would let me take. When it felt like I might OD, a second wind kicked in. I felt like a heavy metal junkie! The higher the music took me, the more I wanted to feel it coursing through my veins. But like all highs there’s a time to come down, but not before Prong let loose with “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”. I thought the show, and my metal induced high had ended, but they left for only a moment returning with a four song encore! This was the best night I’ve had at the LVCS since the night Doro Pesch played. The sound engineer was on top of his game, and Protest laid the perfect foundation for the evening.

A very special thanks to Jeff, Larry, Sean, Paul, and Mr. Dan for allowing me to join them for this epic night of powerful heavy metal.

Tim Duran, HMS

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