Last night (Jan. 28), Brazilian-American heavy metallers Soulfly played a concert in Albuquerque, N.M. as part of their extensive Totem tour. Before their set kicked off, however, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller presented the band with a key to the city and introduced them!

Prior to the show, the band posted a photo to Instagram regarding the achievement, with this caption: “ALBUQUERQUE TONIGHT! MAYOR JUST GAVE US THE KEY 2 THE CITY.” Earlier today (Jan. 29), they followed up with an even more endearing – if also contradictory – photo of themselves with Keller, commenting, “He didn’t actually give us the 🔑 but we can confirm he was in the pit during the show😤 Legendary @mayorkeller.”

You can see both Instagram posts below:

In addition – and as you can see in the clip below – Keller greeted the crowd from the stage before asking, “Are we ready to arise again? We are gathered here for the summoning of our inner strength because metal is our ritual!” Following some deafening cheers from the audience, he continued: “Tonight, our souls fly free! Scream for me, Albuquerque!”

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller Introduces Soulfly (Jan. 28, 2023)

Of course, Keller has a long history of supporting not just Soulfly but metal in general. Back in October 2022, for instance, he wore a long-sleeve Soulfly shirt to the voting booth (for the 2022 midterm election). He’s also hung out with them on their tour bus, as well as sported a Machine Head hoodie while voting in 2022.

Oh, and he donned a Pantera Christmas sweater while singing a bill in 2018.

In fact, Loudwire spoke with Keller in 2018 about the connection between his love of metal and his political mindset. He explained that metal has “played a significant role in terms of a couple of things," adding:

One, just the notion of challenging the system, I think, is fundamentally metal and also fundamental to the reason why I’m even in public service, in politics. I’ve always tended to be a little bit of a maverick and not someone who fits in a particular political arena. Bands that are somewhat more political than others, like Sepultura or even System of a Down, has taught me to be my own person and not take the status quo as acceptable.

When people have a conversation and realize that you’re actually a real metal fan, they really think it’s cool. But I do think some of them, they Google me, they do a little spot check to see if there’s something that they don’t like. But with a lot of them, I’ve been to several of their shows before. So, it’s easy to be like, “Oh man, I saw you guys two years ago, what a great set,” and that kind of thing. Then they know you’re legitimate. So, I think once they realize that you’re an authentic dude, it’s cool. So, they just wanna screen for that first.

As for Soulfly, their Totem tour – which features support from Bodybox, Drift, Half Heard Voices and/or Skinflint – will continue through the start of April. You can purchase tickets here.

Congrats to Max Cavalera and the rest of the group!

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