October 1, 2022 – London Music Hall, London, Ontario
The Bay Area Strikes Back. There is no more fitting title to describe the earth-shaking audio assault recently experienced in London, Ontario, Canada, delivered by the west coast triumvirate of Death Angel, Exodus, and the mighty Testament!
It was clear from the onset that the intention of this evening was to provide a platform for both bands and fans to release three years of pent-up, manic, show-starved energy. As the fans poured in, the room filled with a swath of electricity.
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The chants for the evening’s opener, Death Angel, bellowed like thunder throughout the packed-to-capacity venue. With the lights dimmed, the band exploded onto the stage with the one-two punch of The Ultra-Violence / Mistress of Pain. The crowd literally went berserk. Frontman, Mark Osegueda, was clearly blown-away by the love flowing from the pit to the stage. Feeding off this energy, Osegueda and the guys tore through a collection of songs from each era.
It wasn’t long before the house lights dimmed again, this time to the sounds of Queen’s We Will Rock You. With the throngs of sweat-soaked fans pumping their fists in unison, Exodus exploded onto the stage with The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves).
In my opinion, Exodus stole the night. Frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza expertly wrapped the entirety of the crowd around his baby finger. I’ve been lucky enough to catch Exodus numerous times over the last thirty years, going all the way back to their Fabulous Disaster tour, and this is by far the most electrified, insane performance of the bunch. To say the fans lost their collective shit would be an understatement. Highlights from the performance were Blacklist, Bonded By Blood and The Toxic Waltz.
With the house lights dimmed again, the sounds of Metallica’s The Four Horsemen filled the venue. With the fans suitably pumped on Hetfield and crew, the mighty Testament started their set with Rise Up from 2012’s Dark Roots Of Earth. This was immediately followed by fan-favorite, The New Order.
At this point, the crowd was worked into a total frenzy. Seeing this, frontman, Chuck Billy, took a moment to clarify that tonight was by far the best reception of the tour yet. The band then launched into several tracks comprising of both early bangers, taking things right back to both The Legacy and Practice What You Preach.
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A highlight of the night was when Billy introduced guest skins-man, Dave Lombardo. The crowd erupted into a five minute ovation, which literally brought tears to the eyes of Lombardo. A touching tribute to a legend.
For those on the west coast that have yet to experience bay area thrash live, now is your chance! The tour is set to hit cities spanning from Vancouver all the way down to San Jose over the next week.