Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Evening with Testament


I can't think of too many better ways to spend a Friday night then going to see one of your favorite bands in concert. In this case Testament was playing the Fillmore on Friday night in San Francisco and overall it was alot of fun. Here's some interesting notes and such from that night.

1. Laaz Rockit was the unbilled first band up and it was a cool surprise. I remember those guys from the early to mid 80's as I believe one of the members was local to my hometown. I forgot they had reformed after breaking up in the early 90's. Anyways they looked their age but they were thrashing it up on stage and having fun. Here is a vid from their heyday brief as it was.

2. This was my first ever show at the Fillmore. It has only been recently that I've been hitting the smaller clubs to see the bands I like. During my heavy concert going in the 80's and 90's it was mainly arenas. There's definitely a different vibe being in close quarters.

3. For the first time ever I came away with a souvenir from the band. A guitar pick with Alex Skolnick's name and the band logo on it.

Ok on to the show itself. Let me first say that the Fillmore is a great place to go catch a concert. Parking is not that bad as there is alot of garages in the area. The hallways outside of the stage and floor are narrow but the floor itself is pretty spacious. And the sound is pretty good overall. It's loud but you can pick out every aspect of the band.

The bill itself had Lazarus A.D. officially opening then Unearth and Testament closing it out. Lazarus put on a great show. This band has put together some killer thrash tunes on their debut cd Onslaught and had some great energy up there. I actually look forward to the vocalist improving his vocal skills on future releases as there is definite room for improvement but the attitude is there.Here is the video off the debut album.

Then Unearth played their set and I give them an A for heaviness but otherwise I wasn't digging these guys too much. Not as much energy as Lazarus and frankly their songs all sounded the same and left me bored. Even when they tried to hit some groove riffs it was just lacking something for me. I was actually more entertained by my buddy Malastrana's friend actually going into the pit and tensing up for a couple of passes around then hitting the floor. The other thing that struck me at what an absolute clown the mohawk guitarist was being up there. Showmanship is constantly spitting your drink out of your mouth, spitting in the air and catching it in your hand to rub in your hair, and spitting in the air to catch it back in your mouth? Oh well they're somebodies cup of tea so to be fair here is a vid of them.

Testament then came out and it was a pretty good show. There were some sound problems throughout their set with Chuck Billy's mic but it was a solid set. Almost every track was the thrashiest track over the course of their career. There was a poll on Testament's myspace page to let fans vote on which set they should play at each stop. The choices were New Order + greatest hits,Practise what you preach plus greatest hits, or a compilation of songs including tracks from the latest album. With this being the 1st time I've ever seen them live I voted C and thankfully that is what won out. Here is the set list.

The Persecuted Won’t Forget
Practice What You Preach
Into the Pit
Dog Faced Gods
Raging Waters
More Than Meets The Eye
True Believer
The Legacy
Over the Wall
The New Order
Souls of Black
First Strike Is Deadly
Disciples of the Watch
Three Days in Darkness
The Formation of Damnation

Now here is one of the disappointing parts besides mic problems. I don't think the guys played this full set. I don't recall Demonic, Dog Faced Gods, or True Believer being played. Which is to bad because those are some of my favorite tracks post Skolnick in the 90's. But overall it a good show. Here is a vid for More then Meets the Eye off Formation of Damnation. If you haven't picked the cd yet do so. I ranked it as one of the best of last year. At this stage in the game Testament is the best thrash band of the old guard in my opinion. Check them out.

1 comment:

Martin said...

This show was badass. One of the best I've ever been to. TestAmenT played well. The fans were rabid. The best part: Chuck Billy parted the seas (literally waved his hand and the pit split in two) in the middle of the encore, yelled "Go!" and the two sides went at each other in medieval battle-fashion. It was awesome to see.