Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman has announced his first tour of North America since 2003 — a 21-date headlining run that will kick off September 9. The trek marks the latest leg of Friedman's ongoing world tour in support of "Inferno", his solo album that so far has seen him complete a record-breaking tour across South America; perform extensively in Europe with acts such as Gus G. (FIREWIND, OZZY OSBOURNE), ARCH ENEMY and KREATOR; and play multiple high-profile gigs in his current home country of Japan, including a set at the country's largest heavy metal festival, Loud Park.
Friedman commented on his imminent return to his home continent: "On the rare occasion that I stop and think I about it, I realize I've done an insane thing: I left a successful international band to concentrate my efforts on the domestic music scene of a country thousands of miles from my home. Different culture, different language, different planet. Since I went to Japan, so many Americans have supported me, and while many doubted I would ever play live in my homeland again, now it's happening. Choosing the setlist and doing prep for this tour has been a blast. Words can not describe how excited I am about finally touring North America!"
The upcoming North American leg of the "Inferno" tour will start in Friedman's former hometown of Baltimore and wrap up on the West Coast on October 3. Support will be provided by the Los Angeles-based extreme shred outfit EXMORTUS. General admission and VIP packages will go on sale this Friday (July 10) at 10 a.m. local time.
The dates are as follows:
Sep. 09 - Baltimore, MD - Soundstage
Sep. 10 – New York, NY - Gramercy Theatre
Sep. 11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar
Sep. 12 - Philadelphia, PA - Northstar Bar
Sep. 13 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
Sep. 15 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
Sep. 16 - Toronto, ON - Virgin Mobile Mod Club
Sep. 17 - Detroit, MI - Token Lounge
Sep. 18 - Chicago, IL - Reggie's Rock Club
Sep. 19 - St. Louis, MO - Fubar
Sep. 20 - Kansas City, MO - Riot Room
Sep. 22 - Denver, CO - Marquis
Sep. 23 - Salt Lake City, UT - Liquid Joes
Sep. 25 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
Sep. 26 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw
Sep. 27 - Portland, OR - Aladdin
Sep. 29 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
Sep. 30 - Hollywood, CA - Whisky-a-Go-Go
Oct. 01 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
Oct. 02 - Las Vegas, NV - Backstage Bar
Oct. 03 - Ramona, CA - Mainstage
"Inferno" sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 186 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on May 26, 2014 via Prosthetic Records (except in Japan, where the album was made available through Universal Music). The CD was the 52-year-old musician's first collection of material recorded for the U.S. market since 2003's "Music For Speeding". Among the guest collaborators that appear on the effort are CHILDREN OF BODOM's Alexi Laiho, REVOCATION's Dave Davidson, acoustic flamenco-metal hybridists RODRIGO Y GABRIELA and Friedman's pre-MEGADETH bandmate in CACOPHONY, Jason Becker.
Speaking to Guitar World magazine, Friedman said: Each of the guests on this record took a song from scratch — they would write it and then I would arrange it and add my parts to it. That way we were both invested in it and it's a little bit of a deeper experience."
Friedman described the new album as the most "Marty" record has has done in years. "I figured if I was going to come back to America, I was going to come back big and give people something they want out of me," he told the magazine. "And I know that what they want is not some avant-garde thing. What they want is just the most intense writing and playing I can do."