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Metal Mardi Gras '87 , The first Christian metal festival


Published on december 17th, 2019 | by Anthony Martinez

Metal Mardi Gras was the first Christian metal festival, held in 1987 at Dominguez State University  in Long Beach. A total of 12 bands of heavy and thrash metal performed in this festival, some of them became referents until our days, others simply disappeared shortly after of their concert at the Metal Mardi Gras. 

This event was organized by Sanctuary International and Pastor Bob Beeman. 

The official video published in VHS and recently in DVD, has a duration of 1 hour with 29 minutes of this concert that presents the only archives on video of bands like Crossforce, Thunder Calling, Hero and Soldier, these groups did not last long after this festival.

Subsequently, one of the best moments of the festival is the appearance of Vengeance, soon to be called Vengeance Rising. But after the storm comes the calm, yes, after an intense sound of Vengeance, Malachia arrives with a rather melodic sound, the singer Ken Pike would come down from the stage to interact with the audience, although the audience was somewhat exeptic.

The night was coming, and Eternal Ryte was the band that made the transition from light to darkness, but they shone with their powerful music and metallic costumes. 

It's time to enjoy Neon Cross, for me, one of the best performances of the festival. The festival shudders with Bloodgood's powerful song Crucify to end with the ballad The Messiah. 

Now, it's time to see a powerful band with layers, armor, long hair and heavy metal, no, it's not Kiss, it's Guardian's early days, which at the time were Gardian, these are the only video records of the days where Paul Glenn Cawley was the singer and Rick Hart the drummer.

Barren Cross would be the band in charge of finishing the concert, this is perhaps the best proof that Barren Cross needed a second guitarist besides Ray Parris, it feels a big void when Ray Parris did his guitar solos.

The video ends with a message from Pastor Bob Beeman, leader of Sanctuary.

A curious fact is that in the official video does not appear the group Deliverance, which also performed during the day at the festival, thankfully someone brought their own camera and was able to film these guys.

1 - Crossforce - Out Father
2 - Crossforce - Rockin' Til The Final Day
3 - Thunder Calling - Trust in Him/Not Illusion
4 - Hero - Stand Firm on the Rock
5 - Hero - Glenn Rogers Solo
6 - Hero - On Burns the fire
7 - Soldier - Somebody New
8 - Soldier - King of the City
9 - Vengeance - Mulligan's Stew
10 - Vengeance - Beheaded
11 - Vengeance - Roger Martinez Preaching
12 - Vengeance - Salvation
13 - Malachia - Sightless Eyes
14 - Malachia - In Christ We Rock
15 - Eternal Ryte - On the Line
16 - Eternal Ryte - Stand Up
17 - Neon Cross - Run Into The Light
18 - Neon Cross - Son of God
19 - Bloodgood - Crucify
20 - Bloodgood - The Messiah
21 - Guardian - Tony Palacios Solo
22 - Guardian - World Without Love
23 - Guardian - Rock In Victory
24 - Barren Cross - He Loves You
25 - Barren Cross - Just a Touch

Amateur filming of Deliverance's performance

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