Posts Tagged ‘testament’
Happy Birthday, Dave! By 1999, I’d seen Slayer only once, the Seasons In The Abyss Tour. But it wasn’t until he was touring with Testament on The Gathering Tour in 1999 that I got to meet him. My buddy Chris E. and I went up to Jaxx in Springfield, VA and got in free thanks to his connection with Steve DiGiorgio. We arrived early and got to meet Dave and his son outside the bus. I had Dave sign a few CDs and had him sign The Book. When he signed my River’s Edge soundtrack CD, he said, “We were on this?” It made me laugh. I then opened the book to the photo of Slayer and handed it to him. He lowered it down to his son and said, “Which one’s daddy?” He son looked for a second and pointed out Dave. That was pretty cool. It was a great meeting with one of metal’s most powerful and influential drummers.
I’ll be 43 in a few weeks and it doesn’t seem like Dave would only be 48. I guess as a kid when you’re listening to Reign in Blood, you think that the bands you love are so much older.
Not too long ago it was announced that Testament, Overkill, Flotsam and Jetsam, and 4arm were coming to Emo’s. What a lineup! I bought a ticket as soon as they went on sale.
Let’s just get right into this. You’ve seen me talk about The Book several times and my outer metal nerd was in full effect yesterday. I left work and went straight to the venue to do some hanging around trying to catch up with Bobby and DD from Overkill and the Flotsam guys.
There was a guy and his son hanging out as well who had made a nice huge canvas screen print of a current Overkill photo with their logo on it. When those guys rolled up, they signed it cheerfully. I had Bobby and DD sign the book and got the usual question of, “What the hell is this?” Right after Overkill headed to their hotel, Gene Hoglan came out of the venue and I spoke with him for a little bit. Ten years ago I gave him a ride from his Strapping Young Lad show to go see Nuclear Assault at another venue. We laughed about shoving his huge frame into my little Saturn wagon.
A few minutes later I saw a friend of mine who works at the venue and he went ahead and walked me in with him before they started letting people in. Testament was doing their paid meet and greet on the patio and I was standing at the merch booth when Eric AK from Flotsam walked up. I shook his hand, talked to him about my F&J history of seeing them in Virginia. He remembered both venues saying something to the effect of, “The Peppermint Beach Club? Cool place on the beach? Loved playing there. But the Boathouse was a dump.” Mustaine said the same thing about the Boathouse when I met him in ’06. I loved that place (RIP), but whatever. Mike Gilbert came up as we were snapping a picture and photo-bombed it. I then had both guys sign the book and again a “WTH?” reaction. Eric said, “Come find us after the show, we’ll get Kelly and Ed to check this book out.” Sweet!
The doors open up and a small crowd shuffles in. Australia’s 4arm was the opener at 645PM. I had just listened to a few of their songs earlier and while not overly impressed, I didn’t think it was awful…other than their name. They had a 30 minute set of standard thrash and were solid. I heard a little Slayer meets Bay Area Thrash in their sound. They were solid enough, but nothing groundbreaking.
Up next came Flotsam and Jetsam. They sounded great and to be honest were the band I was most excited about seeing. The last time was 1992 opening for Mercyful Fate. They were only given 35 minutes for a set and just came on and killed it. They sounded great in general, minus some sound issues from Ed Carlson’s amp…snap crackle and pop were all in attendance. Haha. They played Hammerhead and Escape from Within and 3 others. They were super solid, though. Kelly’s drumming was still as spot on as it was 20 years ago. I stood about 3 people from the barricade with a huge smile on my face the whole time they were on. Just great. Eric’s vocals started a little rough in the first song, but by song #2, he was in full AK mode sounding great and powerful. I’m ready to see them again ASAP and hopefully with a longer set. Eric told me after the show that they’d definitely add Der Fuhrer and She Took An Axe when they tour on their own. I almost squealed like a little girl.
Overkill was up next and to be honest I wasn’t enthused about it. I absolutely love Feel the Fire and Taking Over and a few tracks each from Under the Influence and Years of Decay, but without Rat Skates’ insane drumming and Bobby Gustafson’s uniquely styled riffs, they lost a lot. That this man’s opinion. Overkill hit the stage and I got what I expected, a cross section of their long career. They did Rotten to the Core and Wrecking Crew and while I love those songs, they just didn’t feel right last night. Way too fast and a tad sloppy. Almost like ‘let’s just get through these as fast as we can’. I’m such a curmudgeon. They also played Elimination and Fuck You, but I only heard them from outside the venue and my friend Carlos who was getting ready to interview Flotsam called me to their bus to get Ed and Kelly to sign the book. Score! I’d missed Overkill the last 2 times they were here and I had heard that they were both good shows and that they had even played Deny the Cross(!!!). But not last night. Oh well.
Last night was my 7th time seeing Testament since ’87 on The Legacy Tour opening for Anthrax. They’ve never put on a bad show in my opinion and tonight they were on it. I think Chuck Billy’s voice sounded better than it has in years. He used his cleaner voice more than the rough voice he’s done a lot live in recent years. The setlist was a good mix of old and new with all of the usual suspects except for one, and to me it’s a major one…Disciples of the Watch was not played. To me, that is the defining Testament song. I can’t have everything, right? But overall the band was great. The new album is good and a lot better than Formation of Damnation. Gene Hoglan was on the kit again for this tour and the guy is so incredibly awesome that it hurts my soul a little. He’s so fluid in his playing that it makes it look like he’s not even trying. Skolnick’s playing was spot on as always but I always get the feeling that he’d rather be doing his solo jazz thing these days.
Overall it was a great night for $20! I bought a shirt from both Flotsam and Testament, Overkill didn’t have a design that I liked. Saw lots of friends and made some new ones. Flotsam said they’ll be doing a US tour after their new album, Ugly Noise, comes out in April. I hope they can make some Texas dates. Great to see Austin continuing to get some quality metal tours.
I didn’t get any shots of Overkill or Testament as I was playing the “old man” and hung out near the back of the venue.
Written by The Metal Files
February 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm
It’s really amazing what music can stir up in a person. You know how it is. You hear a song on the radio/iPod/etc that just shoots you back in time. Last night’s show at the new Emo’s East did just that. It was a high school flashback for sure.
I first saw Anthrax and Testament together in 1987 at the now defunct Boathouse in Norfolk, VA. To this day that hails as one of the greatest shows I have ever seen. Anthrax was on their Among the Living Tour and Testament was promoting their debut album, The Legacy. Just an awesome show.
Death Angel opened the show and I’ll readily admit that I am not a fan. Not for lack of trying, mind you. About every 10 years I’ll listen to their first 3 albums to see if they sound any different to me and they never do. I just couldn’t get into them minus a few songs like Mistress of Pain and Room With A View. My friends here kept saying that I had to see them live and it would change my mind. Well, it didn’t. I went in open-minded (no, really, I swear I did!). They just didn’t do it for me. Sure, they were solid but their brand of thrash just doesn’t settle with me. Rob Cavestany is a fine guitarist, though. He was shredding it up last night. I did get to meet Mark Osegueda at my favorite bar a while later after the show. Fun guy for sure. Super nice. Shots!
I’ve lamented for years that Testament is the greatest live band ever. They never disappoint and last night they surely didn’t. They had Gene Hoglan behind the kit and as always he was perfect with ever hit, every beat. The guy is the greatest metal drummer alive and certainly the most versatile in my opinion. I was hoping to catch up with him and say hi but it wasn’t in the cards, unfortunately. Testament’s set was really strong. They played a good mix of their back catalogue. Chuck was in fine form. Skolnick, while playing great, seemed a light bit bored, like he was going through the motions. I know he is really into his jazz trio these days and maybe playing the metal is taking a back seat, but again, he shredded it perfectly. The whole band was on it, as always.
Anthrax…I’ve been a fan since I first bought a used copy of Spreading the Disease on cassette for $3.99 at Unicorn Records in 1986. They were a band that I had read about but not heard yet and Spreading is still my favorite album of theirs to this day. Thanks to the Internet, setlists of previous shows get posted instantly and I was able to see what they had been playing on this tour recently. Great list! The main part of their set had been consistent for most of their shows with the closer changing up a little. Only and Medusa had been played recently and I was really hoping to not hear Only and hear Medusa. You see, they didn’t play Medusa when they were in San Antonio within the last year and I was a little disappointed. Last night, instead of Medusa, they gave us Be All, End All. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Seriously? Man, I really wanted to hear that one badly. But alas, no dice. I will admit that I left when they started their encore. The went into N.F.L. and I was out. My feet were killing me. Anthrax kills me, though. With a band whose Belladonna era has some really great material, they continue to throw in Antisocial and Got The Time in their set. I would’ve been happy with Belly of the Beast from Persistence of Time and something else a little more obscure like Raise Hell (yeah right, I know I’m dreaming) or even A.I.R.
There were a few times during Anthrax’s set that I really felt like it was 1987 all over again. It was a great feeling, albeit a strange one. Stirred up all kinds of stuff. So glad I got to see this show and so glad I got to see most of my favorite Austin folks there. It was quite refreshing.
I need more shows like this. NEED!
Death Angel setlist:
I Chose the Sky
Claws In So Deep
Seemingly Endless Time
Thrown to the Wolves
The New Order
The Persecuted Won’t Forget
Over the Wall
Souls of Black
Into the Pit
More Than Meets the Eye
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days in Darkness
Disciples of the Watch
Earth on Hell
Fight ‘Em Till You Can’t
Caught in a Mosh
The Devil You Know
In the End
Got the Time
(Joe Jackson cover)
Be All, End All
Metal Thrashing Mad
I Am The Law
Anthrax/Testament/Death Angel coming to Emo’s East October 29, 2011
I first saw these 2 bands together in 1987 at the legendary Boathouse in Norfolk, VA. It still hails as one of the best shows I have ever seen. Testament opened the show and were on The Legacy Tour while Anthrax was supporting Among the Living. I remember the crowd being so tight and jam packed that it felt like you could life your feet off of the ground and you’d be held up. A lot of movement back and forth as well. It was pretty crazy and both bands were pretty awesome. Both bands were great.
I’ve seen Testament several times and not once have they ever disappointed. I think they are the most consistent live band ever. Let me think about it a moment…how many times I’ve seen Testament: 87, 88, 91, 2000, 2008, 2010…There has to be another in the 90s and I think one more time in the last 5 years. Anthrax I’ve seen a few times as well: 87, 88, 91, 2005, 2010. They were good every time I’ve seen them as well.
I’m no Death Angel fan but everyone says seeing them live is pretty sweet. They are a band that I have tried to like over the years and have even owned their stuff multiple times in hopes of enjoying it. Minus a couple of tracks (Mistress of Pain and Room with a View), they just don’t do it for me.
See you there!
Since today is the International Day of Slayer, I thought I’d post this Slayer memory.
February 17, 1991, 10 days prior to my 21st birthday. Slayer and Testament invaded The Boathouse in Norfolk, VA. Slayer was promoting Seasons In The Abyss and testament was on The Souls of Black Tour. I had seen testament at least once before and they were awesome. To this day they are one of the best bands I have ever seen and I try to catch them every chance I get. I had never seen Slayer before this night and I wasn’t much of a fan of the Seasons album but liked everything before it. I remember going to buy my ticket and complaining that it was $15. Hell, I was only making about $6.50/hr or so at the time.
It was an awesome show though. Both bands delivered. Testament was phenomenal and Slayer was probably more intense than any band I had ever seen. There were mosh pits everywhere during Slayer. Like a fool I decided to get into one at the back of the venue. I may have gone around the circle once or twice when I fell over some dude who hit the floor in front of me. My face lands square on his back and I thought I broke my nose. Luckily there was no blood but my nose has been slightly off center ever since. Damn that hurt.
On the wall in various parts of the venue were printouts as seen below with the band’s photocopied autographs. I snagged one immediately when we walked in. After the show the staff was trying to clear the parking lot and a few of use were trying to ditch them and see if we could meet some of Slayer. I was able to get about 30 seconds with Kerry King who walked out with a towel around his neck. I asked him to sign the back of this piece of paper and he asked what I thought of the show. I told him I thought it was great. He signed it, shook my hand, thanked me and got on the bus after a few other folks got to talk with him for a moment. Total class act that night. Jeff Hanneman came out and had a group of guards around him. No one got close so we bailed.
It was a pretty cool night and overall an awesome show. I got to meet Lombardo several years later and will talk about that meeting some other time.