Skipped class for the first time in my grad school career to go to this show and I'm very glad I did. I got to The Fillmore about an hour before doors opened and got a spot on the rail between the center of the stage and Eric's mic, right where I wanted. The opener, 4 Arm, was decent but I'll never listen to them again. They seemed like pretty good players and nice guys but it wasn't anything ground breaking. They played for a half hour and did about 7 songs. Next up was Flotsam & Jetsam. I knew their name but had never listened to them before. Again, they were decent. They said they hadn't toured in 15 years or so. They played for about half an hour I believe.
Overkill followed, I've never been into them but I was interested in seeing what the hype was about. Their stage setup was really cool with the metal grate in front of the drum riser and the smoke machine. They got a pretty good response and they were energetic. I enjoyed seeing them as an opening band but I wouldn't go to a headlining show or anything, cool to have seen them though. They play some weird looking instruments.
Something that was strange was that Bobby kept running offstage between verses for most of the songs and his mic was turned down incredibly low, a lot of the time I could hardly hear him. Others said the same thing after the set. His antics during the final song were interesting to say the least, the reaction from the security guards was awesome.
Come and Get It
Rotten to the Core
Bring Me the Night
Next up was the reason I was there. My 5th time seeing Testament. Although they are not my favorite band ever based on their studio albums (I love their stuff but the fucking terrible production on almost all their early records make them hard to listen to super frequently), I love their live show and they are always intense, technical, energetic, and fun. Their stage setup is cool with risers around the drums for the guys to walk on. Before they came on I was afraid they might have Overkill's sound problem, which would have been strange because The Fillmore usually has great sound.
Once Rise Up started it was clear that that would not be the case. The sound was phenomenal, extremely heavy but extremely clear and balanced. I could hear Chuck really well and the drums sounded massive. That might have been some of the best live drum sound I've ever heard. The guys ripped it up as usual. Every member is brilliant at their instrument and each one moves around, and smiles, and interacts really well with the audience. I made eye contact and got smiles from Chuck, Eric, and Greg a few times. I loved the Dark Roots material, I wish they would have played even more of it. Riding the Snake was a really cool cut and so was Trial by Fire. The hits are always good but Burnt Offerings and The Haunting were especially cool. I wish their albums sounded as good production wise as they do live.
The crowd was into it and I'd say it was about 75% full. Chuck said multiple times how much he enjoyed playing at the Silver Spring Fillmore and that he hopes it's a frequent stop for them in the future. He also said they were trying to put together a tour for the summer and to be on the lookout for that. His intro to Native Blood about what the song means for him was really cool. At the end of the show I got a Chuck pick and an Alex pick and then I found another Chuck pick on the ground after they had left the stage. I waited around for a few minutes and a roadie gave me a leftover Eric pick from the mic stand. My previous 4 times seeing them I had only ever gotten 1 Alex pick so I made out quite well.
There was only one lame thing about this show. Fucking crowdsurfers. Everything was totally fine all through Overkill and halfway through Testament. Some pitting but whatever, that's fine as long as it's contained to the people that are choosing to be part. But during Riding the Snake and Eyes of Wrath, the two deepest cuts of the whole set, the shitheads got riled up. It got bad, some of the worst surfing I've ever had to deal with. It overwhelmed security at some points and a few surfers (quite deservedly!) hit the cement fucking hard. Crowd surfing is the stupidest thing you can do at a show. You're putting yourself at risk, you're putting everyone you force yourself over at risk, and you're putting security at risk. The guy next to me got his arm fucked up when a surfer went over him and landed on his arm that was on the barrier. His forearm was out over the barrier and the surfer landed on it and bent it over the barrier. It appeared to be swelling quickly. Fuck that shit.
Sorry for the rant but that's a major pet peeve of mine. Beyond that, the show ruled. I took a pic of the merch stand. They were sold out of everything but XL though. If anyone is going to one of the remaining shows and could pick me up the Dark Roots album cover shirt with dates in medium as seen on the left in the photo I'll papypal you the cost of the shirt and shipping. I would really appreciate it. If no one takes me up on my offer out of kindness I may offer you a few dollars extra if you could do me the favor.
I haven't bought a shirt since September because they've always been sold out.
More Than Meets the Eye
True American Hate
Dark Roots of Earth
Into the Pit
Practice What You Preach
Riding the Snake
Eyes of Wrath
Trial By Fire
The New Order
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days of Darkness
The Formation of Damnation