This show totally sneaked up on me, I had no idea that former Soulfly guitarist and current guitarist for ILL NINO, Marc Rizzos was doing a solo show at the Backstage, Bar & Billiards in downtown Las Vegas. Apparently no one else saw info on this show either, as the turnout was small, and they all missed a hell of a show. OpenersI.R.A.T.E and A Balance of Power along with Mark Rizzo along with openers I.R.A.T.E and A Balance of Power put on one of the better shows of the summer at BB&B.
I.R.A.T.E reminded me of my early days covering shows in small clubs in downtown Las Vegas, where many nights we would get bands and I had no idea who they were before I got there, but their performance and enthusiasm left a big impression on me. Balance of Power is a longtime metal band based out of Salt Lake City, and I loved this band and the energy they brought to the stage. Even though the crowd was small they had the everyone involved in their show and kept the energy high. This was old school metal and I loved every bit of what this band brought.
I was puzzled as they cleared the stage from the opener bands, there was nothing left but a single amp and some cords. No drum kit, no amps for a bass or another guitar, it looked like the show was over and they were going to shut down. When they plugged Marc Rizzos’ solo show they really meant solo - when the show started it was just Marc set up to the far left of the stage, but even with the sparse stage set and the smaller number of fans 20 fans there, when Marc took to the stage he played like he was headlining an arena, and gave those of us there a show to remember. With 18 years with Soulfly and currently in ILL Nino, you would've thought that was what we were going to hear,
but Marc blew us away with his guitar prowess and played selections from artists Jimi Hendrix to Slayer , andmuch of his own material, showing he is not only a great metal guitarist but an overall genre accomplished guitar player. The show was 99% instrumental, and immediately you could hear the influence of guitarists such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani and Marc's love of fusion guitar style shown through.
After the show, we spoke briefly to Marc, and he told us since this was a metal show his set was more towards metal, and not of the jazz fusion style he would have liked to have played more of. He comes off as a super nice and humble guy, who is a very underrated guitar player and is much more than what his past has given us, and a big thanks to Marc Rizzo for giving us a memorable performance and to Backstage, Bar & Billiards for hosting shows like this to showcase solo talent.
Marc Rizzos Photos : Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
A BALANCE OF POWER photos : Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
I.R.A.T.E. photos : Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos