The Arizona stop on The Dark Roots of Thrash tour marked my 4th time seeing Testament, and definitely won’t be my last. But what else can you expect from Testament, other than the best? Upon entering the venue, it felt good to be amongst a horde of fans in Testament shirts. Say what you will about wearing a band’s shirt to see the band, but in this case, it shows more dedication if you already have a shirt that you can’t buy at Walmart or any generic outlet store. But for all the poor souls that don’t already own a shirt, you have to love it when a band has so much beautiful merchandise that you want to just chuck your wallet at the merch person’s head and take one of everything. Fortunately for me, I successfully made it out without blowing a year’s paycheck (now if only I did that the last few times I saw Testament…).
Not going to lie, I had no idea who 4Arm was. I even thought the flyer said “Harm”. They could’ve been some local Blood on the Dance Floor cover band and I would never have known. Some tours have those bands on it that are completely irrelevant to the general style of music of the other bands, so you can be caught off guard with a band you don’t know. This band however, fit the tour to a T. As their set went on, the crowd slowly got much more into the music, and began to headbang and mosh.
It felt good to not be the only person unfamiliar with the band, but when they were off the stage, you could tell everyone was pleased to have seen them. But of course when Overkill came on, no one could think of anything but. After all, they’re OVERKILL. Bobby’s voice was just as strong as it was when I was listening to their album from 1988 during the car ride to the venue. The whole band, adorning their green lights (should’ve expected that), kept the show lively and the crowd loud. The room was full of hair and crowd surfers before they left the stage, as it should be. I have to admit, I was a bit taken aback they didn’t play Hello From the Gutter, but then again, they don’t have the full set time that they truly deserved.
As Overkill removed their drums and Testament raised their stage banner, so did the anticipation. The band everyone had come to see, one of the greatest bands in Thrash Metal, was about to grace the stage. Don’t get me wrong, the show wouldn’t have been the same without Overkill, but Testament was what everyone came for. The crowd pushed forwards as their intro music played, and the screaming commenced at the first sight of the band. Everyone seemed to truly love their new album, and sung along just as loud as they did for The Preacher and D.N.R.! With new albums you expect everyone to be less familiar or pull out the overused line “I only like their old stuff”, but the crowd was actually the wildest for those songs. For their setlist the band reached deep into their discography, and made sure to play fan favorites while still supporting their 2 latest albums. To no one’s surprise, Into the Pit turned the crowd into a frenzy, but our excitement probably couldn’t match that of the fans onstage who were invited to do backup vocals on the chorus.
As Testament left the stage after an average set length, the crowd began chanting for them, but to no avail. I had no idea they could leave without playing Souls of Black, but I guess they’ll just have to hire me to write their setlist (well, then again, they’re probably wouldn’t be happy if I tried to convince them to play their entire discography from start to finish). All in all, I, and everyone else, left the venue a happily grinning bastard.
Here are some of the pictures we took at the show.
Setlist Marquee Theater. Tempe, AZ (02/01/13)
More Than Meet The Eye
True American Hate
Eyes Of Wrath
Into The Pit
Dark Roots Of Earth
Practice What You Preach
Riding The Snake
Formation Of Damnation