Thursday, April 30, 2015

Testament / Exodus @ Fillmore Silver Spring 4/28/2015

I went to see Testament and Exodus at the Fillmore in Silver Spring ($30). There were a number of people I know there-Ariel, Ilem, James, Dwayne, Raul, Annie, Nathan and Alie, Sean, Yaniv, Ruby, Teresa L, Metal Chris, Dale, Dorothy, Kris, Miss SketchyLindsey, Zach,  Matt Rice, and maybe someone else. A special note: this show was filmed and streamed live on Yahoo! (can see it on YouTube here).

Thrash legends

The place wasn't sold out (the top floor was closed), but the floor was pretty crowded- several hundred (400+?) people at least. A good turnout for a Tuesday show, definitely. I didn't get there in time to see Shattered Sun, but I heard they were not great. Note that this band is managed by Chuck Billy- perhaps why they are on this tour...

Wristbands, CDs, and Vaporizers oh my!
Buy Merch with us, Exodus

Merchandise wise, there was a lot- t-shirts were $25, but there were also workshirts and basketball jerseys. Pin- $5, bottle opener ($10), Patches ($5 each), There were also some CDs, Gene Hoglan's DVD ($30) or Drumstick, wristbands, a ball cap, socks ($10), and the Chief Vaporizor ($80) too. Alex guitar pick ($2), Eric pick ($5), CDs ($15 each), and a signed Alex side project ($20).  Exodus had shirts, hockey Jersey, shorts (!), polo,wristband ($10), beer coozie ($5), patch ($5), bottle opener, pin, and guitar picks (2 for $5).  I didn't get anything, but the merch booth was pretty crowded in between sets and after the show.

Merch in, Merch out

Exodus was already playing by the time I got there (thanks, traffic). I recognized immediately that they sounded way better here than at Empire, late last year. I will say that the energy and synergy with the crowd made this performance about twice as good as that performance. And I may even go out on a limb and say I enjoyed Exodus's performance better than Testament's- despite me enjoying Testament more than Exodus as a band overall. Steve "Zetro" Souza is still with them, and they played a couple songs off of their latest "Blood In Blood Out." Their set was pretty much the same as last time (tho shorter). The crowd was a flurry of arms and bodies, as the moshing was pretty non stop. The breeze from the circle pits was nice. My favourite, again, was "Blacklist." Gary  Holt was replaced with Kragen Lum of Heathen for some dates on this tour I think (due to Slayer responsibilities).

Testament took the stage a little after 9:30, and was loud as crap. I thought their sound was pretty great, but the powerful Gene Hoglan drums and effects on Chuck Billy's vocals seemed to make them a bit muddy. Other than that- amazing sound. The crowd was, of course, metal thrashing mad, and seemed a bit more rowdy than during Exodus. We got a set chock full of old songs from their first 3 albums, as promised. This was a bit different from last time in 2013, where we had more of a variety of songs. We got all of  The Legacy (out of order), 7 from The New Order, and the title track of Practice What You Preach. Pretty cool to hear all of them! I enjoyed the changeup- maybe next time they'll have more new stuff? Who knows.

Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson's guitars were pretty on point. Gene's drums were louder than hell, and Steve DiGiorgio was on bass. Chuck Billy's powerful voice was made a bit more intense with the intense echo on his lightsaber microphone. Their set was pretty cool with those skull Baphomet things with light up eyes and smoke. Call me simple, but that sort of additional elements of the show make it feel more grandiose (for me, a good thing). During another song, Chuck Billy alluded to the riots and incidents going on in Baltimore (which canceled many events, including Kamelot, and closed many businesses) and mentioned something along the lines of that people are OK (well down in Silver Spring anyways).

Nice lighting for that Baphoment/Pentagram 

During "Raging Waters," some idiot threw a water bottle ("Raging Water Bottles"), presumably at Chuck Billy, but it landed on the stage, without much incident. There was the same wheelchair bound fan who usually frequents some of the heavier shows in the pit, and after a very visible crowdsurfing, was invited up on the stage for one song. And then kind of wheeled off after that. Still pretty cool for him.

The crowd

I think some people were hopeful that Exodus and Testament would do the song "BTK" from Exodus's newest album, which features Chuck Billy. Also of note: Steve Souza used to be in Testament before Chuck Billy replaced him. How awesome would it be to hear him do one of The Legacy songs? Also that didn't happen. Another nugget is that Kirk Hammett (also an ex- member of Exodus) of Metallica guested on the album version of Exodus's "Salt the Wound." Testament guitarist Eric Peterson used to be married to Kirk Hammett's ex-wife! whew.

Curse of the Legions of the Damned Camera

Overall, a pretty fun night of perhaps too much thrash (some would argue that there is no such thing). This would turn out to be quite a difference from the next day's show (Sixx A.M.) at the same venue! The energy of the highly appreciative fans and the quality of the bands really just built on each other for a pretty fun night out!

Next show: Sixx A.M./Apocalyptica !

Exodus ( ?8:15- 9:07)

  • Black 13 
  • Blood In, Blood Out 
  • Iconoclasm  (I came in here)
  • Children of a Worthless God 
  • A Lesson in Violence 
  • Salt the Wound 
  • The Last Act of Defiance 
  • Blacklist 
  • Bonded by Blood 
  • War Is My Shepherd 
  • The Toxic Waltz 
  • Strike of the Beast 

Testament (9:40- 11:05)

  • Over The Wall 
  • The Haunting 
  • Burnt Offerings 
  • Raging Waters 
  • The Preacher 
  • Do or Die 
  • First Strike Is Deadly 
  • A Day of Reckoning 
  • Apocalyptic City 
  • Eerie Inhabitants 
  • The New Order 
  • Trial By Fire 
  • Into the Pit 
  • Alone in the Dark 
  • C.O.T.L.O.D. 

  • Practice What You Preach 
  • Disciples of the Watch