Testament Gets Thrashy in Calgary, AB
Band Photo: Testament (?)
There was a lot of buzz around Alberta before Testament unleashed their blistering brand of thrash at the MacEwan Hall Ballroom May 6.
And after their all too short 30-minute set at Monsters of Rock last summer, there were a lot of fans across Alberta awaiting the band's return, this time as headliner.
“After seeing them with absolutely horrible sound & a short set at Monsters Of Rock, it'll be cool to see them with decent sound & a full set,” enthused one Calgary fan before the show.
“I hoped I'd see Testament at least once in my lifetime,” added another, who didn't get the chance to catch the Bay-area metallers at July's festival.
It's safe to say these guys, and the rest in attendance, were anything but disappointed, for return they did.
As the crowd chanted, “Tes-ta-ment, Tes-ta-ment,” a low rumbling could be heard through the Ballroom speakers and the song “(The Boys Are) Back In Town,” care of a recording by Irish rockers Thin Lizzy, erupted through the airwaves. Indeed, the boys were back, and ready to slay.
One by one, the “boys” found their places on the stage, each met by thunderous catcalls and applause, and horns-a-plenty.
Now, 20+ years of highly influential thrashy goodness undoubtedly allows for a large catalog to choose from. That might be why, on May 1, the California quintet posted a poll on their official MySpace page, inviting audiences to vote for the set list they wanted to hear in their city.
Users on the Alberta Metal forums spent the next five days sharing their votes and trying to guess which set would ultimately win out. Come May 6, none of the set lists were followed; instead, Testament played some from each and made everyone happy.
“True Believer” and “D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)” from 1999's “The Gathering” sent the crowd into moshing frenzies, as did “First Strike is Deadly” from 1987's “The Legacy.” The also kicked out Into The Pit, “Dog Faced Gods,” “Demonic Refusal,” and much more from their hard-hitting discography.
Wisconsin's Lazarus A.D. opened with a 30-minute set, performing songs from their self-produced debut “The Onslaught,” which was released March 3, 2009.
Unearth was charismatic, as usual. Starting with one of the guitarists noodling out a highly distorted solo version of "The Bird Dance" from backstage, to the interesting choice of blaring the first couple verses of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" right before they came on stage, this is one band who never fails to surprise or entertain.
Although they didn't have the full breadth of the stage with which to exercise their exuberant stage antics, guitarist Buz McGrath did his best to make use of the space he did have, climbing up on his monitor, jumping off of it, performing atop his cab. Okay, so that`s pretty subtle for a band of Unearth`s reputation for activity, but still more enthusiastic than most.
The Massachusetts-based hardcore act played for 45 minutes, including tunes from their latest album, `The March,`as well as a few songs from their earlier works.
Fan-filmed footage of Testament performing in Calgary, AB can be viewed below.
Reviewer-shot photos will be available in the gallery soon.
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