If metal is dead, that's big news to the people who rocked to the Saxon at The Edge in Palo Alto, CA. As metal is being slowly brought back into the mainstream, it is being led by a "British invasion" as Saxon vocalist Biff Byford put it during the show. Saxon ranks high among the bands that have produced some of the best heavy metal in the 1990s.
The opening band, Soul Motor, was okay. Like Saxon, they played melodic heavy metal. While it's hard to assess them from a live show, I'd say they had their moments but I think they should work on their songs more.
Saxon was tight, particularly impressive was the guitar work by Paul Quinn and Doug Scarrat. Byford's vocals were right on target. The band opened with Gothic dreams and followed it up with Unleash the Beast from their latest release of the same name. A lot of the stuff they played were classic Saxon tunes, but the band was also bold enough to play quite a few songs from their newest album, including Cut out the Disease (a song that reminds me of Soon Forgotten by Deep Purple) The Thin Red Line and Circle of Light.
This was the first time I had been to a show at The Edge, and it's quite a decent venue, especially given its setting in Palo Alto. The acoustics and decent and it's a a reasonably cozy setting.
We arrived early in time to see them perform a video shoot, and Byford's vocals during that shoot illustrated how powerful they can be. (he never let himself go that far during the actual show). I recommend checking out Saxon if they come near you; it's music that's melodic and intensive and the live show is really energetic.