The Bay Strikes Back with unbridled fury at Piere’s Entertainment Center in Fort Wayne with thrash titans Death Angel, Exodus, and Testament.
The San Francisco Bay area is legendary for bringing to the world some of the greatest metal music ever made. The list of iconic bands from this region is long, yet few can deny that some of the very best thrash bands are Testament, Exodus, and Death Angel. The Bay Strikes Back Tour brings these masters of thrash together. Finally, after a pandemic and over two and a half years, the second leg of The Bay Strikes Back Tour makes its way to Piere’s in Fort Wayne.
You would never guess it was a Monday given the long line of metalheads waiting for the doors. As first-time attendees at Piere’s we can say it was an excellent experience. The security and staff at the venue were awesome. With a stage setup offering fans access to both the front and sides of the stage, it is perfect for a metal show. You can thrash it up in the pit and then take a break side stage without missing a beat.
First strike on this thrash extravaganza belongs to Death Angel. Like a pack of ravenous wolves, Death Angel tears into their set with “The Ultra-Violence,” “Mistress of Pain,” and “Voracious Souls” from their blistering debut album. Mark headbangs as Rob rips into the solo on “The Dream Calls for Blood.” Will beats his drum kit without mercy on “Caster of Shame.” Ted and Damien combine forces with devastating power on “Humanicide,” the title track to Death Angel’s latest masterpiece. You can see and feel the brilliant energy of this band in every song. Mark is quick to thank the fans for their sustaining energy and undying loyalty. Thanks to them, Death Angel is stronger than ever.The next pummeling blow is delivered by thrash metal founding fathers, Exodus. The bay thrash scene started with Exodus and lives through them today. They stormed out with “The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)” from their new album Persona Non Grata. This tune is classic Exodus balls out thrash and the fans quickly get busy in the pit. A few souls start to surf when Exodus goes old school with “A Lesson in Violence” from their epic Bonded In Blood album. It’s great to see the band feeding off the intensity of the crowd. Zetro grimaces, smiles, and rages with the crowd. He shouts out thanks to all the fans joining them on this night of metal mayhem. Gary and Lee tear up their fretboards with pyrotechnic solos on “The Years of Death and Dying.” Jack and Tom reign hammering blows as Exodus unleashes a feeding frenzy with “Piranha.” Tom raises his shirt to the crowd showing the scar from his battle with cancer. Thankfully, Tom appears stronger than ever. At the tail end of their final song “Strike of the Beast,” Exodus brings the next generation of thrashers on stage to play guitar. Hopefully, we’ll see these kids soon tearing it up in their own metal bands. The lights dim as “Four Horsemen” by Metallica jams from the PA. The crowd sings along as we all prepare for the arrival of Testament. Cheers from the crowd rise as the instrumental “Catacombs” from the band’s latest record Titans of Creation plays. Drum legend Dave Lombardo climbs up to his kit as the rest of Testament takes the stage and they join forces for “Rise Up.” Chuck points to the crowd as he shouts the chorus. Steve and Dave drive the tempo like a freight train on “The New Order” and keep the pace blistering on “Pale King.”
Chuck notices a couple of the young kids in the front row and thanks their parents for bringing up the next generation of metal fans before the band blasts into “Practice What You Preach.” You can see the joy on Alex’s face as his fingers blaze during the solo. Chuck calls out Dave on drums and tells the story of working on The Gathering album with him. The first tune they created together was “D.N.R.” which Testament then plays for us. This tune sounds fantastic live as you can feel the power of Dave’s drums and the speed of Eric’s guitar.
In honor and recognition of the upcoming Indigenous Peoples Day on October 10th, Chuck dedicates “Native Blood.” Eric gets called up for vocal duties to add black metal screams to “Night of the Witch.” The tail end of Testament’s set is one old-school classic after another with “Into The Pit” and their encore “Alone in the Dark.” Testament is on top of their game. Witnessing the thrash-tastic energy of The Bay Strikes Back Tour brings a big smile and much gratitude from this old metalhead.TESTAMENT
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