May 6, 2016

Prong - Metro Gallery

By Bob Suehs

PRONG / KRYPTID

May 6, 2016

Metro Gallery

Baltimore, Maryland

 PRONG Set List:  Ultimate Authority, Unconditional, Eternal Heat, Lost and Found, Beg To Differ, Rude Awakening, Turnover, Sense of Ease, Cut and Dry, Broken Peace, Another Worldly Device, Whose Fist, Snap Your Fingers, ENCORE: For Dear Life

 Tommy Victor’s band Prong were a major influence to Dimebag and Pantera; the groove metal which Prong created back in the day helped to shape an entire generation of bands.  Tommy’s guitar riffs were featured on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball for years and he’s recorded with Rob Zombie, Danzig, Ministry, and numerous others.  Tommy’s musical legacy, his “baby” will always be his band Prong.

 Doors were originally scheduled to open at 6 PM but day of show they decided to bump it back to 7 PM which was actually a god-send because downtown Baltimore was an absolute mess due to ridiculous amounts of road work and non stop rain.

 Maryland rockers Kryptid were direct support and their sound is a mix of thrash metal and nu-metal.  Kryptid sounded good and their crowd enjoyed their set.

 Prong took the stage under the cover of darkness while “Earache My Eye” by Cheech and Chong played as their intro.  

 Tommy and company took the stage like a bolt of lightning with “Ultimate Authority” and that led into “Unconditional” which made the crowd headbang hard!

 Tommy hasn’t aged at all and in fact he looks healthier today than he did back in the day.  Tommy’s facial expressions and playful interaction with the crowd are what make Prong shows so special; Mr. Victor clearly enjoys his job and treats his fans like they are his family.

 The current rhythm section of Prong is hands down the best this band has ever had.  Bassist Jason Christopher is a powerhouse player and his resume includes stints with Sebastian Bach and Stone Sour as well as being Corey Taylor’s sidekick in Mr. Taylor’s solo show.  

 Drummer Art Cruz is a monster behind the drum kit and his beats are just as impressive as his showmanship.  The overall groove and rhythm in Prong is stronger these days due to the addition of Cruz and Christopher!

 “X (No Absolutes)” is the current Prong release and it’s impressive that the band has begun releasing new music on a year to year basis considering most bands stopped outputting music like that after the collapse of the record industry.

 At the Prong Merch table you could pick up a cd or t-shirt for $10 which is almost unheard of from any established, touring, national act.

 “Beg To Differ”, “Rude Awakening”, “Broken Peace”, and “Lost and Found” were older gems tossed into the set that brought the crowd back in time while “Cut and Dry” and “Turnover” displayed the bands current state of aggression.

 Tone wise Tommy’s guitar sounded thick, chunky, and current; Victor’s guitar tone has always been impressive and this incarnation of the band is a 3 piece with NO sampling or added elements to their live show.  EVERYTHING you hear Prong play is created 100% live on stage and the 3 members of Prong clearly enjoy making music with each other because you can see them all interacting with each other, smiling, and cracking jokes.

 “Snap Your Fingers” closed out the first set and the one song encore was “For Dear Life”.  The onstage set list had “Revenge” and “Power of the Damager” listed as the show closers but Art told me after the show that they decided to cut the last 2 songs in order to save Tommy’s voice because Prong have played 15 or 16 shows in a row and that takes a toll on Mr. Victor’s voice.

 The theme to “Love Boat” was Prong’s “Outtro”.

 Overall this show was one of the best I’ve seen in 2016 thus far because the band sounded great, they clearly gave it their all, the fans devoured the music, and Prong were having a blast onstage doing what they do best!