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Testament / Exodus: 19th April, 2015 - The Paramount, Huntington, NY

Let's face some facts. I used to go to a ton of shows. I no longer do. Done. Sad, but true.

So, my trip to NY coincided with Testament and Exodus playing a tiny, quaint theater in Huntington? Sign me up! Before the show, Mat, Kath and I met up with the final third of SMJ for a reunion after a near 10 year absence. It was cool. In some ways I saw how all three of us were so entirely different. Then, after chatter about albums, tours and the like, you realize how things haven't changed a bit. I suppose that's what every old person says.

SMJ 2015!

Fast forward to the show. Get in, nice seats, Mat's a cripple essentially nowadays so he sat for the entire show. I remained in our seats for Exodus but moved down for Testament. A few tasty beverages set the standard for the evening and both bands sounded killer.

  1. Black 13
  2. Blood In, Blood Out
  3. Iconoclasm
  4. Children of a Worthless God
  5. A Lesson in Violence
  6. Salt the Wound
  7. The Last Act of Defiance
  8. Blacklist
  9. Bonded by Blood
  10. War Is My Shepherd
  11. The Toxic Waltz
  12. Strike of the Beast

While nothing from Force, Impact or Shovel, twelve songs covering 9 albums is pretty solid. Highlights were Last Act, Children and Shepherd. While I'd seen the band twice before (Once in 2004 almost 11 years to the day prior and another time in '97 with Baloff), my mature ears appreciated this a whole lot more. What I carried out of the show is how goddamn fast they play. Barring a few breakdowns, Hunting is just a beast of sheer brutality. I always preferred drummers with double bass, but damn, he just didn't stop! Moments like Blacklist were appreciated amidst the non-stop brutality. I don't care how old these guys are, they still slay and while there was little I hadn't really heard before this night, they impressed much like they have for over three decades.

The mighty Testament was the first band I'd ever seen live. Valentine's Day in 1991, they opened up for Slayer and 24 years later they pulled out the old-school. Kath and I agree, we'd love to have seen them play more modern stuff (OK, fine, just give me 5 from The Gathering and I'd be set!) but this was classic Testament but with 2015 production. Think First Strike Is Deadly...but 14 years later. Damnit, I'm old. The downside to this set is that much like Exodus, I'd seen almost all of it before. Do Or Die and C.O.T.L.O.D. were highlights of the new stuff. I sincerely hate Practice, Souls and The Ritual so more or less skipping all that is great with me. The classic finale was there, replete with awesomeness. And while I'm almost 40, overweight and have short hair (not balding, at least!), with four kids and a job a thousand miles away from my home in New York, some things haven't changed. Bay area thrash is one of them. Tonight kicked ass, much as it did in the '00s, '90s and before.

  1. Over the Wall
  2. The Haunting
  3. Burnt Offerings
  4. Raging Waters
  5. The Preacher
  6. Do or Die
  7. First Strike Is Deadly
  8. A Day of Reckoning
  9. Apocalyptic City
  10. Eerie Inhabitants
  11. The New Order
  12. Trial by Fire
  13. Into the Pit
  14. Alone in the Dark
  15. C.O.T.L.O.D.
  16. Practice What You Preach
  17. Disciples of the Watch

Brit Floyd: 17th April, 2015 - Cross Insurance Center - Bangor, ME

I ought to write something here. For now a general setlist:

Ralph / Mark / Chris / Moi

Set I

  1. Speak To Me
  2. Breathe
  3. On The Run
  4. Time
  5. Breathe (Reprise)
  6. The Great Gig in the Sky
  7. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
  8. See Emily Play
  9. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
  10. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)
  11. Keep Talking
  12. On The Turning Away
  13. Sheep
Set II
  1. One of These Days
  2. Louder Than Words
  3. Money
  4. Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun
  5. Have A Cigar
  6. Wish You Were Here
  7. The Final Cut
  8. Comfortably Numb
  1. The Show Must Go On
  2. In The Flesh
  3. Run Like Hell
  4. Waiting For The Worms
  5. Stop
  6. The Trial
  7. Outside The Wall