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Photos/Review: The Bay Strikes The Heart of Times Square w/ Testament, Exodus, and Death Angel

Posted by on October 14, 2022

 

 

On September 24th, bay area thrash legends Testament, Exodus, and Death Angel’s second leg of the Bay Strikes back tour attacked Times Square’s Palladium. When I was in high school during the late 80s into the early 90s, this was a tour I would have wished for, and now fast forward thirty-five years later, fifteen-year-old me is living a reality. Granted, I did see all three of these bands back then numerous times, but never all on the same tour. 

It was a night of friendly violent fun as loyal thrashers donning their battle vest lined the halls and, like myself, hit the merch tables for goodies while waiting for the show’s start. 

Death Angel started the night with their classic “The Ultra-Violence” as the roars began to erupt from the packed hall. Death Angel continued to bleed right into another classic off their seminal freshman album from the 1987 classic ‘The Ultra-Violence’ “Mistress of Pain.” As fans continued to pile into the hall and began warming up in the circle pit, Death Angel would rip through their eight-song set, having a blast performing in front of their New York City fans, as frontman Mark Osegueda let the crowd know just how much they love playing in New York City. Since the last time Death Angel played in this same venue when it was under different ownership as the PlayStation Theater, and had their opening spot bumped by Life of Agony on a one-off show when they went on at 5 pm to a half empty crowd do to the early set time and piss pour management that left fans on ridiculous lines waiting to get in as doors opened only a half hour before show time, it was definitely great to have them go on in front of a packed crowd here in the big apple. 

 

Death Angel

Setlist:
TheUltra-Violence/MistressofPain
Voracious Souls
Seemingly Endless Times
TheDreamCallsforBlood
CasterofShame
The Moth
Humanicide
Thrown to the Wolves

 

After not playing in New York City since 2017 and with Gary Holt since 2013 due to his contract with Slayer, fans were thirsty for some Exodus. When Exodus made their way onto the stage, the hall was well-packed wall to wall with an intensity level redlining. Exodus opened up by kicking the crowd right in the teeth with “The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves) from their 2021 LP ‘Persona Non-Grata.’ Following up with “A Lesson in Violence,” fans lost their shit. That’s when things got real! The pit erupted into an all-out frenzy, with bodies crashing into one another and flying over the barriers and people being dropped on their heads. It was pure chaos. On a side note, one should always have experienced security staff working at shows, especially metal shows. That way, your patrons won’t get dropped on their heads when crowd surfing over the barriers or making their onto the stage while the band is playing, and let’s not forget about attitude. Music is all about community. We are out to have a good time. DON’T BE A DICKHEAD. Drop the attitude!!!! Anyway, back to the positivity. Exodus laid out a brutal set with classics that included “Piranha,” “Bonded by Blood,” and their hit dance track “The Toxic Waltz” while entertaining fans with a little bit of “Raining Blood.” Closing out an insane set, the gods of bay area thrash themselves would end things that night, and I quote in the words of Zetro himself, “You know, New York, there’s only one fuckin way we’re gonna end this shit here tonight, are you mother f**kers ready? Are you ready? Then I wanna see this place go insane one more time. This one here is “Strike of the Mother F**ckin Beast.” And that’s exactly what happened. The place went insane; fans lost their minds, and shirts and even a few shoes were lost. Also, Gary and Lisa Holt had a very Happy Anniversary that night. It was great to have shared the pit with Lisa Holt while shooting. 

 

Exodus

Setlist:
The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)
A lesson in Violence
Blood In, Blood Out
The Years of Death and Dying
Deathamphetamine
Blacklist
Piranha
Prescribing Horror
Bonded by Blood
The Toxic Walt
Strike of the Beast

 

First off, I just want to say how great it was a seeing Testament live in New York City, granted I’ve seen Testament a lot over the years in various cities, hell, just a few months ago out on Long Island. Still, it’s not New York City, and Testament hasn’t played in the city in almost ten freakin’ years. After Exodus completely blew the doors off the Palladium, it would be tough for many bands to follow up. Still, if anyone could pull it off, it would undoubtedly be the legendary Testament themselves. The headliners, as always, brought the energy to the stage as fog filled the stage. They started their set with a little something from 2012 called “Rise Up,” Testament would go right into a little classic title track known as “The New Order.” The fans matched energy and intensity were still on their highest level with a giant pit of sweaty thrashers, crowd surfing, and tons and tons of head-banging. Testament’s killer set included both old and new with some notable tracks like “Practice What You Preach,” Night of the Witch,” “Electric Crown,” “First Strike is Deadly,” and my all-time favorite Testament track, “Over the Wall.” Chuck Billy would introduce by letting those who have been living under a rock since the late 80s or the millennial fans know that this was the first video they ever got to make in their lives. Keeping it old school, Testament would end the night with the classic “Into the Pit.” On a side note, here’s a little fun fact for all you fans out there that may not be aware, but Testament was originally called Legacy, and Steve Zetro Souza of Exodus was their original frontman. As always, Testament put on a flawless performance. Every time I see Testament, it always brings me back to the first time I got to see them live on the Practice What You Preach tour back in 1990 at The New Ritz here in New York City, and just how it was then it is now, flawless. 

 

Testament

Setlist:
Rise Up
The New Order
The Pale King
ChildrenoftheNextLevel
Practice What You Preach
WWIII
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
Native Blood
NightoftheWitch
Electric Crown
The Formation of Damnation
First Strike is Deadly
Over the Wall
Into the Pit

 

 

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