Iron Mike


Cliff Burton & David Ellefson new basses revealed at NAMM 2013

With a little help from my famous metal bassist friend David Ellefson (Megadeth), we headed over to the Aria Guitar section at NAMM to see the revealing of the Aria Pro II Cliff Burton Signature Bass. We didn't have much time since both of us had to get back upstairs to the Samson booth for David's autograph signing, but we had enough time to record a quick video and also get some photos of the bass and with Cliff's dad Ray. Cliff Burton was Metallica's bassist for their first three groundbreaking albums, Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master of Puppets. Cliff died on September 26, 1986 in a tour bus accident (watch story here) but his legacy and style of playing bass live on even to this day. His famous bass solos featuring a Morley Wah pedal (along with a Big Muff Distortion) were inspirational to millions of Metallica and metal fans around the world (see solo video with original Aria bass).

Check out this video I recorded with David Ellefson introducing the new Aria Pro II Cliff Burton Signature Bass replica for the first time (view exclusive video here) at NAMM '13!
For the official bass press release with spec info please click here!

Now let's have Megadeth's bass man David Ellefson talk about his new Jackson Signature Kellybird coming out soon!
Check out the two videos below. This bass is so cool looking! I was lucky enough to have shot David live last year with his prototype.
Keep up-to-date on the latest Jackson guitar/bass news and this Ellefson Signature model release at:

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Folk metal hits Seattle Sunday with Evuleitie/Wintersun

Seattle, don't forget this Sunday Swiss New Wave of Folk Metal pioneers Eluveitie play El Corazon! This KISW Metal Shop sponsored show is gonna be epic! Also on the bill is Finland's Wintersun, an extreme progressive metal band with a new amazing album titled "Time I" (hear full album) and German Viking metallers VARG

What's exciting about Eluveitie on this tour is they are playing their new concept CD "Helvetios" (hear full album) in it's entirety each night! Never thought a metal band with flutes, violins, hurdy-gurdies, mandola, mandolin, whistles and bagpipes could be so awesome! Add some hot chicks oozing with talent in the band and you have a dual combination of male/female diversity for the big time! "Helvetios" is one of my favorite album releases of the year. Between Chrigel Glanzmann's razor rasp and Anna Murphy's angelic vocals, there's something for every metal fan with Eluveitie! Eluveitie also released a second record this year with The Early Years, a collection of re-rerecorded and re-mastered early material. 

Meet both bands at a pre-show in-store signing at Silver Platters in Northgate (Sunday, December 2nd 3 - 4 PM Silver Platters 9560 1st. Ave. NE Seattle, WA. 98115 (206) 524-3472

Time to get your Celtic mosh on! ;) Buy tickets online now for the show..nearly sold out as most of tour is already! See ya there! Iron Mike

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Rockstar Mayhem Festival Aftermath 7/3/12

Rockstar Mayhem Festival - White River Ampitheater - Auburn, WA 7/3/2012
Bloggers: "Iron" Mike & Stephanie Savoia - Festival website:

Ok with our fourth straight year covering the festival we know we could sit here all day long going through everything that happened but we don't wanna overbore ya with our yearly fairy tale of awesomeness so we'll keep it short (somewhat) in a quick cell phone pictorial overview.  Might be a little Anthrax heavy blog but hey they are my favs for a reason ;)

Yeah you see it right, we started off the day on the good foot picking up Anthrax buddy Scott "NOT" Ian at the airport and headed to the show venue. Stephanie sat in the back of the Jeep shaking her head with a smile realizing this is really happening and what a day it's gonna be!

As we arrived at the venue the skies just started pouring rain. We parked next to the Anthrax tour bus and hopped on a golf cart to go get our passes for the show. Wet seats, fast driver and we held on for dear life trying not to fall off even laughing. Somehow I got a shot off on the cell phone.

Me & Stef had these handy Rockstar Mayhem VIP wrist bands (thank you Scott) which got us everywhere we wanted to go and meet up with many friends backstage, so in appreciation I gave the Anthrax glow star the salute! 

The most sought-after photo pass of them all. Only 3 issued by the band and there was like 25-30 photographers there. I'm sure someone wanted to kill me for it...HA!! Wait till ya see ya see all my Slipknot pics though, some classics!

Look closely we got photo bombed by Mr. International himself Neil Lim Sang! Don't ask me how he did it. That little opening between me & Duff and he did it!

Got goose bumps being up there, it was that impressive hearing the roar back to Anthrax at the end of their non-stop energized set! If ya didn't get enough of Anthrax or missed them they are back to Seattle 9/19 with Testament & Death Angel at the Showbox Market! Tickets on sale now!

I've been hit by a flying Hello Kitty doll (X-Japan), little rubber lighted ducks (AIC) etc. in the photo pits but this...I can handle ;)

(snickering) Stephanie braved the downpour from under the Rockstar drink tent to go get some pics of  (as she said) "he's hot" Tim of As I Lay go girl! (I stayed dry with Anthrax ha!)

Upon A Burning Body killed it! The song "Texas Blood Money" and the quick intro intertwined lyrics of "Deep in the Heart of Texas" was brilliant! Just loved these guys classy look and conviction live!

Stephanie finally got to meet the metalhead jokester Craig Gass...ha! 

Cool moment backstage as Shawn (Clown) presents Dean Karr with his new photo book that's out now! 
Check it out!

Fun times in the Slayer dressing room with the one and only Kerry King of Slayer. Check out Metal Shop's interview with Kerry HERE!

This was the tent to be at all day! Rockstar drinks free all-day long! Meet your favorite bands for autographs and grab some Rockstar on the way out. Everything was there for the asking! Let's give Rockstar Energy Drinks some HUGE props for sponsoring this great yearly tour and for getting me through the day! Join them on Facebook and visit their Website! Remember also 9/22 the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival hits White River with Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Papa Roach, Adelitas Way + P.O.D., Fozzy, In This Moment etc.

Not very often you have this many photographers known within the rock community all in the same place from different states or countries at the same time. Combined (at least) 110+ years of experience in the music photography photo pits! Definitely one of my favorite shots of friends in a long time and boy did we have some fun this day. Those Rockstar cups, yeah they contained some secret Nitro jacked-up Rockstar fluid that had me buzzing the rest of the night...thanks Zetterstrom! 

Motorhead - Stephanie pointed out how nice it was for a change to shoot the band in light! Everytime we've shot Motorhead it's usually dark and with Lemmy & Phil usually wearing hats ya get the dark face shadow effect. Not today! Highlight of the show was when Duff McKagan jumped onstage and played "Killed By Death" with the band. See Daniel Zetterstrom's great photo of Lemmy & Duff in the moment below. Also check out the video on YouTube!

Slayer was at the top of their game! The upside down crosses made of Marshall amps was visually crazy with the flames that shot out them. It was entertaining watch full rows of seated fans headbanging in unison during "Angel of Death" Never a dull moment musically and watching the fans at a Slayer show!

This night and tour was all about the return of Slipknot! With the 2010 death of bassist Paul Grey many thought they'd never come back. Time has healed enough that they are back but most noticeably there is no bassist onstage during the show. They figure you can't replace #2 onstage right now so the band hired a touring bassist that won't be seen onstage but behind drummer Joey Jordison.  Another noticeable figure missing onstage this night was guitarist Jim Root. Just as the tour started the band announced he had a appendix burst and has to stay home for health reasons. Interesting cause in 2009 that was the exact same excuse used when the band had to cancel KISW's Pain in the Grass show hours before the show because drummer Joey Jordison had the same issue supposedly. Does this band ever have an off night live? Doubt it, the energy and insanity on and offstage with the crowd is nuts! The band will release Antennas to Hell, a "best of" collection documenting its inimitable career, July 24 on Roadrunner Records.

Already looking forward to next year! For our complete photo coverage of Festival please visit these pages and check out the MANY more cool exclusive shots: - KISW Facebook - Iron Mike Savoia Facebook Gallery - Stephanie Savoia Facebook Gallery

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Metal Day on KISW today!

For some of us, we'd love it if it was Metal Day everyday on KISW but we'll take what we can get and a full day of metal is what you'll get! Turn on the radio or listen online at!

Here's some Metal concert clips I've filmed in the past year for ya to crank too! ;) Remember Metal Shop with Kevin & Ian every Saturday night 11pm-2am on KISW!

Horn's Up!
Iron Mike - KISW Blog - Facebook

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Schenker & Anvil this Weekend Megadeth Motorhead Volbeat & Lacuna Coil Tuesday

Looking to rock out this weekend?? Seattle area folks have 2 days to choose from the Michael Schenker Group as they hit Tacoma Saturday and Seattle Sunday night! A founding member of the Scorpions and lead guitar player for UFO in the 70s, Schenker has been recording under the MSG monikor since 1979! A guitar hero and ledgend around the world, this Temple of Rock CD world tour is gonna be an amazing setlist of classic UFO & Scorpions tracks along side his solo stuff! Even more amazing is Robin McCauley is on vocals! More MSG information visit:

2/18 MSG Live at The Backstage in Tacoma! Opening acts: Mechanism, Dread Effect & Villians of Yesterday!
2/19 MSG Live at Studio 7 in Seattle! Opening acts: Stonebender, Custom and Thrilliant!

The Canadian legends Anvil also play Tacoma at the Backstage Sunday night with openers Underneath The Waves, Degree of Disorder, Tatarus & A Lesson in Chaos!

In what proves to be one of the best hard rock/metal lineups for 2012 Megadeth's Gigantour hits the Kent ShoWare Center this Tuesday 2/21. Featuring headiners Megadeth with Motorhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil opening. Go to for complete band information and ticket purchasing. PLEASE NOTE EARLY START: LACUNA COIL HIT THE STAGE AT 6:30PM

See ya there! Iron Mike

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GHOST play Seattle Monday

One of the most talked about rock bands of 2011 worldwide was Sweden's GHOST! James Hetfield & Duff McKagan have even praised the band and their 70s meets 80s styled devilish classic rock! One listen to their debut album Opus Eponymous and you'll hear why this beautiful combination of satanic rock mixed with pop sensibility is so catchy. Classic Mercyful Fate was instantly a big thought in my head with this band but what separates them from the rest is the melodic straight-forwarded tone of singer Papa Emeritus. Seen onstage as the Satanic Pope, Papa delivers just a one tone vocal style that some how works from song to song. The band is filled out with nameless Ghouls. No one truely knows who these guys are. Check them out at the El Corazon Monday Jan 30th as they play their first Seattle show ever! Expect me with the likes of Lenny (Zero Down), Jolene (KISW) etc. in the front row of service rocking with Ghost! Don't be afraid it's only Rock-N-Roll ;)  Check out their twisted version of The Beatles "Here Comes The Sun" below!

PS: Had to share this funny photo of Ghost playing against Trivium in Foosball on their recent UK tour! Thanks to fellow Belgium photo buddy Tim Tronckoe for this classic shot!


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Judas Priest/BLS/Thin Lizzy/Lady Starlight show review/pics

Bid as a Judas Priest farewell tour, anyone seeing this show knows there's no way in hell this band should stop. Blasting through a 21 song set of Priest classics that floored me with "Rapid Fire" & "Metal Gods" as the opening two songs, this show blew the doors off their last visit in 2008. I was a little skeptical knowing part of the twin guitar attack (K.K. Downing) retired from the band but the new guy Richie Faulkner not only looked similar to K.K. but killed it! What a player and showman! Still shocking how incredible Rob Halford's voice is at 60 years old! When he sang the old Joan Baez classic "Diamonds & Rust" and electrified everyone with "Electric Eye" the true golden voice of the metal god shined! Even though it's billed as farewell tour, it sounds like that's from the big tours so don't count out Priest yet! Check out Priest new greatest hits CD called "The Chosen Few" all handpicked by peers like Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera’s Vinnie Paul, Slayer’s Kerry King, Korn’s Jonathan Davis and more who have felt the influence of frontman Rob Halford & Co. during their nearly 40-year career!

Opening right before Judas Priest hit the stage was Black Label Society. Fronted by ex-Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde. Each time I see these guys live they get better and better. BLS raced through a 12 song set that included Crazy Horse (see new exclusive Minecraft Machinima Music Video), Suicide Messiah, Overlord, Stillborn and lets not forget the EPIC 10-15min Zakk guitar solo in there. The BLS Berserkers left the Wamu Theater one happy bunch and gave the classic rock/metal crowd something to think about playing in between Judas Priest & Thin Lizzy. Should be noted too that Back on Black Records has reissued the first six albums from Black Label Society on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl, packaged in deluxe gatefold sleeves. The first 1,000 copies of each title is being made available on limited-edition colored vinyl.

What had me the most excited for the night were the Irish classic rockers Thin Lizzy starting the whole show off. I never had the opportunity to see the band play live with Phil Lynott before he passed away in 1986 at 36 years old. The band has had many incarnations since then but this lineup was pretty impressive. Headed by founding member and drummer Brian Downey with long time band members Scott Gorham & Darren Wharton, the band was filled out by rock veterans Marco Mendoza, Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson. Ricky Warwick handled Phil Lynott's singing amazingly. I remember during the "Cowboy Song" closing my eyes and listening and it was awesome! Phil was definitly there in spirit. Of the 10 song set they played I was a little upset they didn't include anything off their "Thunder & Lightning" CD...probably their best and hardest release ever. I won't complain too much, I saw Thin Lizzy in 2011, who would've thought! The boys were definitly back in town!

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Rammstein Burning Down the House!

The Tacoma Dome was the place to be last night to watch the Rammstein concert spectacle! It's been over 10 years since their last American tour. The German machine known as Rammstein came back in full force with an amazing light show, more fire than ever, bombs, fireworks, foam etc. Ya walked out of the Tacoma Dome a little more well done than ya arrived, maybe a little deafer (if ya didn't wear ear plugs), little wetter (from the heat and foam) and visually overloaded! Monday morning I'm guessing 15k+ people are going to work a little shell-shocked from the show last night so to all the bosses out there this morning, if ya see some slagging-confused-sunburned looking "Du-Hast" repeating employees, maybe just put your hand on their shoulder and say "It's ok, I know you've been Rammstein'd" ;) For now here's some shots off my pocket camera since I didn't shoot the show in the pit this time around but WATCH this 19min video I did to blow your mind! Two full songs and highlights of other songs with FIRE FIRE FIRE!!

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