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Updated: Feb 6, 2023

In my blog “Musicians We’ve Already Lost in 2022”, I mentioned about some of the artists/bands I regret not seeing before they had a key member pass away, and how I felt it critical to catch as much Live Music as possible.

On March 16, 2022 I was fortunate to see another band that I had never seen while I was shooting the ART OF SHOCK show. That band is Sacred Reich. An outfit out of Arizona from the mid-80s, they were leaders of the 2nd wave of thrash metal.

In their song “I Don’t Know”, from their 1990 release “The American Way”, bassist and lead singer Phil Rind belts out “I won’t fit into your classifications, I won’t be tied by restricting labels”, but I’d be remiss to not label him here. He must be the nicest guy in Metal Music.

Phil Rind, Sacred Reich, Live Music, Live Music Photography, Concert, Concert Photography, Heavy Metal, The Opera House
Sacred Reich Frontman Phil Rind

While I have not met and chatted with many bands… well, pretty much never… I have been to many concerts in my time. You get a feeling for the demeanor of the performers, and I have never witnessed someone as genuinely appreciative, and kind as the Sacred Reich frontman.


· Phil Rind – Lead Vocals and Bass Guitar

· Wiley Arnett – Lead Guitar

· Dave McClain – Drums

· Joey Radziwill – Rhythm Guitar

Appearing just prior to the headliner, Sacred Reich opened their set with “Divide & Conquer” from their most recent LP “Awakening”. This set the tone for a hard hitting setlist of songs that any fan would want to hear live.

After their opening track, Phil made certain to applaud the packed Opera House. With a smile as wide as the desert from his home state, he clapped at the crowd. A clear indication of his gratitude as a musician to be back on stage and performing live.

Lead guitarist Wiley Arnett was a photographer’s dream as he did exactly what you would expect a rock star to do. He “devil horned” at the crowd, he snarled, and he simply delivered the goods as a guitarist.

Wiley Arnett, Sacred Reich, Live Music, Live Music Photography, Concert, Concert Photography, Heavy Metal, The Opera House
Wiley Arnett

A seemingly very young Joey Radziwill (Wiley’s counterpart on the opposite side of the stage) banged his head through the whole set and drummer Dave McClain (ex of metal band Machine Head) coolly beat the skins through the fast and heavy set.


There is a stigma for metal fans and musicians. It is a completely misunderstood genre of music with many stereotypes, but listen to Sacred Reich frontman Phil Rind, and he’ll bring you to a place you never thought imaginable, from a man of his ilk.

In Toronto on March 16, 2022 he frequently spoke to the crowd. He made it clear that “Music doesn’t discriminate”. He spoke of his gratitude for being back on the road after 2 years of Covid lockdowns. He told a story about how his first ever tour was a 4 date affair in 3 Northern US cities, and YEP, Toronto! He is clearly fond.

Phil also shared some unfortunate news about his health and how his asthma prevents him from giving more than he wishes he could. On this evening, however, I would have never guessed he was struggling up on stage. Unfortunately, Phil ended up in a hospital in Philadelphia a few days after the Toronto show due to his asthma. The band had to cancel a few dates. I hope he is recovering well.


2 years prior (to the day) on March 16, 2020, Sacred Reich founder Jason Rainey died from a heart attack at the age of 53. On this evening, Phil made the fans aware of the unfortunate anniversary. He spoke of his preference to celebrate birthdays, not deaths, but it was pertinent to dedicate the next song to Jason… “Who’s to Blame”.


Divide & Conquer

The American Way

Manifest Reality


Who's to Blame



Death Squad

Surf Nicaragua


Although Sacred Reich on this tour is supporting metal heavyweights Sepultura, they are easily able to headline a tour of their own. Either way, I’ll need to make sure I’m available to go to the next one. If you don’t get a good feeling from listening to the nicest guy in metal, then perhaps you need to listen more closely. Phil Rind..... an A-Class citizen!

Sacred Reich, Live Music, Live Music Photography, Concert, Concert Photography, Heavy Metal, The Opera House
Sacred Reich

Who is the most genuine performer you have seen? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts. While you're there, don't forget to "like" and "share" to your social media pages.

Check out the rest of the images from this concert here:

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