Monday, January 29, 2007

Testament - The Independant, 1/27/07, SF, CA

The Independant was sold out (~500 or so) for the return of several local metal acts. The show was opened by The Ruffians who have apparently been around the bay area since '83 and sounds like they haven't learned a thing since. Yawn! stale cheese. The evenm more senior Vicious Rumours were next up with killer killer killer dueling leads and harmonies. New singer James Rivera (ex Helstar) was freakin incredible. There weren't any fake ironic metal bullshit falsetto screams here. This dude is the real thing in the grande Halford/Dickinson style. wow. nice surprise.

Testament were up next with their guitar genius and yet another drumming power house in tow. It was Nick Barker's night to shine as this was his first gig with the bay area thrash legends. The crowd reaction was a little luke warm to his announcement, but likely due to the older school crowd's ignorance of this dudes track record and abilities. Let's face it the drums were never the highlight of a Testament record, but Barker was expectedly solid and added slight Barker-isms to old Testament tunes. Just enough to keep the beat driving ahead and never stomp all over the tunes. The drumming highlight had to be DNR though with Nick doing his best Lombardo impersonation. The tempo was a up a little bit from the album version and just smoked. wow! He was sporting a Rush 2112 shirt, which must've been some Yin/Yang kinda statement. Skolnick was note perfect as usual. He whips out classic lead lines like they were microwaved butter. Completely effortless yet sooo accurate. Burnt Offerings was called out last minute by Chuck. It was obviously rehearsed but possibly not with Alex. He gave the nod though and of course killed some of the best lead playing from the debut album. Wicked set. No complaints. The crowd was kinda tame and only really whipped up a pit during....what else..."Into The Pit".

The Preacher
The New Order
The Haunting
Electric Crown
Trial By Fire
DNR (fucken firestorm!!!)
3 Days in Darkness
True Beleiver
Practice What You Preach
The Legacy
Into the Pit
Over the Wall
Alone in the Dark
Disciples of the Watch
Burnt Offerings
(dedicated to Zetro "he wrote this one" who was side stage)

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