Testament - In the best shape possible
“What an opener”, a guy screamed on the top of his lungs when hearing the first notes of Testament’s the track that kickstarted their legendary Legacy. After going Over the Wall the set went straight Into the Pit, cruising into an Apocalyptic City. Poor guy. He probably lost his voice within the first 10 minutes. It was almost like the Bay Area five were shouting back at the guy, something like “you ain’t heard nothing yet.” And well, he hadn’t. Number four on the set list? Practice What You Preach. Holy shit.
The reason the dude was shouting so loud wasn’t just because he had brain damage from a ‘twenty beers a night’ lifestyle. Or the fact that he was incredibly happy to see Testament perform, in a memorable line up, by the way. The primary reason had to do with the venue. You see, in the Dynamo club in Eindhoven, the music is played really loud. Loud enough to make your ears bleed with earplugs and all. That’s because the Dynamo is metal.
It’s a unique place. It’s smelly, it’s too small, it’s too crowded and it’s deceptively sticky. Ordering a beer will take you about half the show you came to see, and there’s always this sweaty fat-ass riding his meaty body against your arm.
But you know what? It’s a pretty fucking cool place. The place where a large portion of Dutch metal scene has it’s roots. The place where beer will cost ya a reasonal price. But most importantly, even with the rebuilding of the venue, it’s still that one place where loads of bands broke through that have now influenced more genres than there are mp3’s on your laptop. One of those bands is Testament. It’s an important place to the band. And Chuck Billy and his men were ready to let the crowd know that night.
And how. Well, let’s assume that Testament has sounded this good for the entire tour, but suggesting this was just a treat they’d reserved for Dynamo might sound quite cooler. So there. And fuck, Alex Skolnick and Paul Bostaph? Welcome back too! Bostaph being the literally invisible man here, and there was no drum riser on stage, all one could observe was a cymbal or two moving every now and then. But his presence was more than notable. Like a machine. And since the 2005 Dynamo Open Air (the last ever edition that depressingly ended in a cold, rainy mudfest that was one of the first shows where he reunited with the group) mister Skolnick’s presence has become quite ‘normal’, but this guy is amazing. Well, it’s Skolnick. You know. It’s admirable how he stays in the background all the time, first both physically and musically stepping into the forefront when flying into his first big solo during Apocalyptic City.
Oh shit, this is once again turning out to be way too long of a review. So more briefly then. As indicated at the beginning of this article: it turned out to be a setlist full of classics. Of course, Souls of Black was included. And The Preacher. Low. Scattered throughout the set were newbies like More Than Meets the Eye (a new classic in their catalogue for sure) and Henchman Ride. But the guy that lost his voice nearly had a heart attack when the band came back for an encore: a double bill ‘o songs from the Gathering. D.N.R., are there any letters in metal that are better to shout? (Well, maybe N.F.L., but that’s beside the point), and Three Days of Darkness in an extra spicy version.
And once again, a review strands with the famous disappointed words that are “had to catch the last train home.” But the fact of the matter is clear: Testament is in the best shape possible. Another memorable Testament concert, and a definite must see when the Bay Area thrashers play in your country in the remainder of the tour.
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