TVD Live Shots: Yngwie Malmsteen, Sunlord, and Paralandra at the House of Blues, 5/5

Yngwie Malmsteen is arguably one of the most incredible guitarists on the planet today. Inspired by classic composers such as Paganini and Bach, this virtuoso from Stockholm, Sweden has taken the world by storm since going solo in 1984 and has never looked back.

A touring madman, Malmsteen is back at it again in 2019, blazing trails across the US in support of his latest album, Blue Lightning. Over the past 20 years, I have seen Yngwie perform on countless occasions, and each time I am blown away by the sheer magic that pours out in every performance. His distinct sound is like no other guitarist on the scene today—fusing classical music with rock into a melodic masterpiece that transcends time and space.

On May 5th, Yngwie Malmsteen marched back into Southern California (one of 5 local shows) for a night of mind-blowing guitar gymnastics at Orange County’s premier concert venue, the Anaheim House of Blues. Different from most Malmsteen performances, there would be two opening acts prior the Maestro taking center stage.

First up was Missouri quartet, Paralandra. I honestly wasn’t expecting much going into this set and was literally blown out of the photo pit by Cassandra Carson and her incredible vocals. Her on stage persona reminded me a lot of Lzzy Hale with some unique vocal twists that took their set up a notch. Next up was a killer metal trio out New York City called Sunlord. I have never heard of the band before, but really enjoyed their time on stage. Alfonso Ferrazza seemed to channel Lemmy throughout the set, and I will definitely be digging into this band going forward.

After a brief intermission, house lights dimmed into a red and yellow haze and the stage areas began to fill with a think dense fog. One could faintly hear the classic Dio standard “Holy Diver” in the background and the crowd began to chant “Yngwie, Yngwie, Yngwie…” Malmsteen finally took the stage a few moments later silhouetted against a massive wall of Marshall amps. Fender at the ready, Yngwie launched into his incredible setlist with 1988’s “Rising Force.” He seemed to have that Strat dialed in on Sunday night as its tone was sheer perfection. Next up was “World on Fire,” off the 2010 release Relentless. This one is a fan favorite and released an energy cyclone down in the pit area.

For the next hour and a half, this virtuoso ripped through 20+ tracks that spanned the majority of his incredible discography. Throughout the show, Malmsteen demonstrated his amazing guitar prowess on classical pieces such as “Badinerie” (a Johann Sebastian Bach piece) as well as Paganini’s “Violin Concerto #4 – Adagio.” In addition, Yngwie scorched the House of Blues stage with a blazing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Orange County crowd went absolutely nuts as Yngwie paid tribute to our national anthem in signature form along with his trademark salute when the song came to an end. Truly amazing and a highlight for many in attendance Sunday evening.

And if you thought it could not get any better, Yngwie wrapped up his monster set with a ridiculous encore including classics “Black Star” (my favorite of the evening) and “I’ll See the Light Tonight.” These standards capped off an amazing evening of guitar genius and one that I won’t soon forget.



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