THE BAY STRIKES BACK – that is the name of the tour organized together by three classic thrash metal bands from Bay Area – Testament, Exodus and Death Angel. It was not a surprise that the show organized at Copenhagen’s Amager Bio was sold out weeks before the date and the venue was practically bursting at the seams before the show started – even though it was in fact an early start. Copenhagen got lucky to be the first stop on this tour and as a metalhead I could not waste such opportunity.
Death Angel was the first one this day. They stepped on stage in nearly complete darkness and broke the silence with the first notes of ‘Humanicide’. Fans were slowly getting warmed up as well as the band. After three songs first crowd surfers started to pop up on the top of the crowd. Stewards got busy so did the crowd headbanging in front of the crowd. Death Angel closed their set after around 30 minutes with ‘Thrown to the Wolves’. Now it was time to change the equipment on stage and get ready to the next act.
To be honest – for many fans gathered in the venue this was the most anticipated moment and the biggest question of the night – will Gary Holt play tonight? He have been substituted by Kragen Lum during his last few appearances in Denmark so when the tech guy showed up on stage setting Gary’s guitar fans of both Exodus and Slayer got really excited and stared on stage with a grim on their faces.
The band stepped on stage also smiling to shortly start the show – Zetro Souza screamed out first lines of ‘Body Harvest’. The band didn’t have a good start – at the end of first track vocals were starting to fade, then we almost completely lost the sound of Holt’s guitar but after short tech’s intervention all was fixed just in time before the band hit the crowd with ‘Blood In, Blood Out’.
Now when everything was under control and the audience was hot the show started for good – both in the audience and on stage. Zetro was doing his standard thing becoming a conductor for the crowd helping him out with the chorus, guitarists were squeezing amazing notes from their guitars and all this was topped with a super heavy drumming by Tom Hunting. The show was amazing with ‘Blacklist’ and ‘Bonded by Blood’ included, and if anyone doubts – yes, Gary was wearing ‘Kill The Kardashians’ tshirt and ‘No Lives Matter’ band. Unfortunatly none of this was available on the merch stand.
Testament as a headliner of this tour entered stage as the last band to complete the metal armageddon started by first two bands.
Band started their set with ‘Eerie Inhabitants’ – calm intro which was shortly replaced by a wall of guitar sound provided by Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson broke into the ears of metal fans standing in front of the stage.
Stage itself was illuminated with intense colours (something I have noticed during previous Testament shows) which plays nicely with this heavy music. Chuck Billy – bands vocalist – was as entertained as the fans and the smile was present on his face for most of the show, also during his air-guitar solos performed on his microphone holder.
The set was constructed around new songs from upcoming album – we have had a chance to hear 3 or 4 new songs. Of course band have not forgotten about classics including ‘Into the Pit’, which of course was celebrated with a huge moshpit in the middle of the stage. The only disadvantage was a bit poor sound at the start of the show, but I guess that was caused by the fact that it was the first show on this run.
After almost 4 hours of music I was leaving the venue with a smile on my face – just like Chuck Billy. Till the next time Bay Area metalheads.