Well, I was more than a little excited for this. I have
never been able to see Testament at their own headlining show, only as openers
or at festivals. Much like Down the week before, it was finally time I got to
see them headlining. The show tonight is part of a 20 night music festival that
covers all genres and today is the day of Metal. There are about 3000 people. I
am there with a good friend of mine who is my only reason for being able to go,
because travel arrangements in this period in Italy are a nightmare. Thank you,
Marita. She is usually at these things as a
photographer but once in a while she leaves that aside and goes as what we
always have been - fans.
This time Testament have the
recent addition of Steve Di Giorgio on bass. As I said with Gene being the best
drummer I have ever seen with Testament, I now say the same of Steve on Bass,
again with no disrespect to any former members.
Opening up with ‘RISE UP’ and everyone shouting ‘WAR!’
on queue is a fantastic start. Testaments set for this tour has comprised a
well thought out blend of modern material and well established and well loved classics. The thing is,
Testament sounds just as good now as it did then. From ‘Native Blood’ and ‘More
Than Meets The Eye’ to ‘New Order’ and ‘Over The Wall’
and everything in between – it was a roaring set from start to finish. I
thought about trying to literally go over the wall. That’s what I love about bands
like this. A man in his mid 30s
feeling the urge to try and jump over the rails? I don’t get that
feeling with other thrash metal bands. I don’t get that with most bands full
stop. The guys I am standing with are friends of Marita's
and my age too, and every bit as in to it as I am. I mean, we’re all there for
Testament, but our 30 something bodies are temporarily under control by some
other force when we’re there and we’re all behaving like a kid with ADHD on a
There were some rumblings about sound issues, but the
only issue from where I was standing was occasional difficulty hearing Eric,
but that was to be expected since I was right next to Alex's
monitor. I will concede that maybe it was a little reverb heavy. To be honest
even though the solos were great the best thing about that was Chuck getting
his luminous red microphone pole and doing air guitar.
They hammer out the riffs for almost 2 hours and right
at the end (I can’t remember if it was Disciples Of The
Watch) Chuck divides the crowd and asks them to beat the shit out each other.
There is a problem with saying this kind of thing to an Italian crowd, because
they do it.
‘Alone in the Dark’ almost
deafens me, and I can’t see anything either because someone has his camera up
filming the entire thing. Seriously, why to people who are not there as film
crew or photographers waste a gig looking through a camera? I shift slightly,
it improves my view.
Whatever sound issues may have been experienced, from
where I was it was great. Maybe Chuck was having some sound issues as well, as
he mistakenly shouted out “Mr Eric Peterson” to the crowd right before a rip
roaring solo…..by Alex Skolnick. He laughed and then apologized.
Missed catching the plectrum by a mere whisker but I
wasn’t going to stamp on someone's hand. Maybe if I am
able to go I’ll get another chance on the Motorhead
Cruise next month...