Exodus - They came out to Dead Can Dance blaring on the PA and I wonder how few people in the crowd recognized that. Then the five-piece metal band kicked it in in a thrash metal style made popular out west where they are from and in New York. The music was simple and assertive with predictable traded leads. In fact, I found myself watching the other guitarist before his lead began trying to guess the moment and the moves. What truly marred this average set was the singer being the cliched asshole that pushes me over the edge. This piece of shit stalks the stage and uses every moment between songs to whine about how everyone was just standing around and not moshing and killing each other (his words). He successfully got some of the sheep to fall in line, but continued whining the whole set. Maybe it was because it was 7:15pm on a Monday night. I would like to think it because they sucked, but they weren't that bad, just cliched enough to make many people want to stand around. He then organized the small pit to go to different sides and run at each and kill each other, and take it out on the people standing on the sidelines. Well, asshole, I would like to see that happen and have someone throw my back out for good. I am standing in this uncomfortable club with severe spinal issues and that would just make my night. Maybe spending the rest of my life in a wheel chair working on lawsuits against your sorry ass, the club and everybody's insurance company would be so much more fun than seeing bands and doing this blog. I don't know, but I do know that the audience just laughed you off and I had no fear of the small mosh pit. He concluded the show by promoting their new album. Well, as The Rock used to say, take that CD, turn it sideways, and...
Testament - Another five piece band playing you know what tonight. The first song immediately shows a vast improvement over the opener with some inventive guitar interplay that did not seem to follow the usual formulas. There was plenty of formula during the whole set, of course, but there is nothing wrong with that if you are strong and fast as these guys are. The singer and band smiled much of the night and had a good time with the set as did the audience. Good effective metal, well delivered.
Megadeth - Dave Mustaine and long time bassist, David Ellefson hit the stage with their two latest members and immediately crank out their signature brand of thrash metal. They are one of the giants of that field and of all metal, although I kind of have them a notch below you-know-who amongst a few others. Still, I always respected the playing and some of the punk crossover work Mustaine did. The good thing is that he has cleaned up his personal act, gotten over his nerve damage and still can deliver the goods. His stage patter was minimal but showed his prickly, yet humorous style making fun of some screwball holding up a t-shirt. Nothing wrong with an attitude, if you are smart or funny about it. He commented about the irony of playing "Darkest Hour" (I believe) for 20 years written about this city in this city. I mosied back wondering if I should stay for the encores, when some young guy in front of me was staggering badly and then passed out in a heap with a thud on the cool concrete. Security pulled him aside from whatever he was overdosing on and I thought I would call it a night. Megadeth was worth it, all in all, I would have to say. Let's leave it at that.
Story for the Night: Some time ago, a friend of mine in KC went to see "Anvil! the Story of Anvil" and saw four or five metal looking guys in the audience and asked them if they were going to see the Metal festival later that was happening next door. They said "well, yeah, we're Testament".