Testament/Exodus/Death Angel - Ventura, CA - 10/12/22
Bay Area thrash bands Testament, Exodus and Death Angel announced the second leg of their tour called The Bay Area Strikes Back. Now, it was finally time for the tour to get underway and what a package with some of the best metal bands of all time. The stop on this tour was on the coast at the Majestic Ventura Theater in Ventura, California. The majority of fans had been impatiently waiting for this show and were more than ready to thrash it up. A long line had already formed outside way before doors opened.
The first band up was Death Angel. They came out and started their show with the intro to their instrumental track, The Ultra-Violence. Right after, they started with their first song which was Mistress of Pain. Right away, the floor came alive with mosh pits and not too long after, crowd surfers started making an appearance. With only a short set, Death Angel made the best of it by perfect many of their classics including Voracious Souls, The Moth and Humanicide. Guitarists Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar were on fire the whole time and their performance was matched by their energetic singer, Mark Osegueda. The show came to an end with Thrown to the Wolves. Death Angel was extremely grateful for the audience in attendance and everyone else who has supported them after all these years.
The next band was Exodus. The lights went out and the crowd cheered as the members of Exodus came out and started their show with The Beatings Continue (Until Morale Improves), a song from their newest album Persona Non Grata that was released in 2021. Once again, the floor came alive with mosh pits and crowd surfers. Exodus plays some seriously fast music and it's partially thanks to guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus. Exodus also brought out the big hits and tore through the audience with hits like A Lesson In Violence, Bonded By Blood and The Toxic Waltz. After another short set, Exodus had to call it a night too. The ending song was Strike of the Beast. It was during this song that singer Steve "Zetro" Souza demanded a wall of death during the song which the audience happily delivered. Exodus wrapped up their set and called it a night making way for the headlining band of the tour.
Testament was last on the tour and boy did they bring it. The lights went out and the audience erupted into a roar. The first member to come out was their newest member on the drums, the legendary Dave Lombardo formerly of thrash metal legends, Slayer. Lombardo had previously played with Testament and this was his second tour playing with them since 1999. The rest of the band followed and started their show with Rise Up off their album Dark Roots of the Earth which was released in 2012. Mosh pits continued and even more crowd surfers were present. The floor was not the place to be if you don't like being shoved in every direction. Guitarist Alex Skolnick is known as one of the greatest guitarists of all time as well as one of the fastest guitarists of all time. Testament bulldozed through the audience as they played thrash classics like Practice What You Preach, The New Order and Over the Wall. Singer Chuck Billy took a quick break to tell the audience that the next song is one of his favorite songs to play live and how they never play live without it. Fans already know the song and it was Into the Pit as it drives the mosh pits absolutely wild. Sadly, it was the last song of the night. Testament said their goodbyes, then left the stage. No doubt this tour is one of the best metal shows of the year. Fans were covered in sweat and beer from this wild night, but had nothing but smiles further proving that metal brings everyone together.
Photos and review by Misael Ruiz