New York fans celebrated Metal Blade Records' 35th birthday during a tour stop at Irving Plaza near the heart of Union Square. Metal Blade Records began in 1982 and featured a little band called Metallica on its first release, the Metal Massacre compilation. Jump ahead to 2017 and the label is home to a large number of talented bands, including the ones who are being showcased on this current 35th anniversary tour.

Fans packed in for an early show as Necromancing the Stone from Pittsburgh, kicked off the festivities. Don’t let the beard of frontman “Big” John Williams fool you, he has a mighty voice with depth and crispness and sings each note with power and charm. Towards the end of their impressive set, Allegaeon vocalist Riley McShane delivered guest vocals on a song before taking the stage with his own band.

Next up were  Allegaeon, and although McShane kind of looks like your local bicycle shop owner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, his heavy vocal range was nothing short of commanding. Not to mention his ability to keep his glasses on while sweaty and headbanging was pretty remarkable in itself. The band as a whole delivered neck snapping riffs during their very notable set.

As the night went on the intensity continued even more when Cattle Decapitation hit the stage. Seeing this band live could be summed up into three words: sweat, saliva and snot. Vocalist Travis Ryan spewed guttural lyrics onstage with force and there is a no f---s given attitude from the band that allows fans to let loose, crowdsurf and headbang … hard. Ryan wiped wads of spit on himself and even threw it out into the crowd for fans to enjoy.

Goatwhore are part of the Metal Blade 35th Anniversary tour but unfortunately for NYC fans, they are skipping some cities. They will be back on tour with Amon Amarth.

Whitechapel headlined the anniversary show with an obliterating performance. The humidity level and damp air in Irving Plaza got a lot worse as the band unleashed “The Saw Is the Law” and “Faces” to begin their set. The room spun when “I, Dementia” kicked in and fans sang “Take me away / Take me away / I just want out from this self-imprisoned / Self-made Hell!”

Whitechapel’s debut full length album, The Somatic Defilement, has its own anniversary; it’s been a decade since the record came out. The breakdown in “Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation” was one of the most solid parts of the set and fans seemed to get especially unruly during another old favorite ,“Vicer Exciser.”

The set ended with "Section 8" and "Possibilities of an Impossible Existence" but the crowd wanted more. “You want one more song?” frontman Phil Bozeman asked fans and they sure got it with “This Is Exile” as an encore. When the Metal Blade 35th Anniversary Tour comes to town be prepared to be drenched in sweat (and saliva) by the end of the night.

Check out our photo gallery above of all the bands who performed in New York City. Go here for remaining dates on the Metal Blade 35th anniversary tour.

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