The Bay Strikes Back Tour
Testament / Exodus / Death Angel
The Majestic Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA
Wednesday, October 12th, 2022
The second leg of The Bay Strikes Tour with Thrash Titans, Testament, Exodus and Death Angel made its way to Ventura, CA. This was the 4th to last date of the tour and the beautiful Majestic Ventura Theater got a little hot and VERY Heavy on this night.
It’s fully established who the “Big 4” of Thrash Metal are, but if we were to extend that list out, I’m sure that this lineup would fill in the top 7 (Although I may (WILL!) have to make that a top 8 with Overkill certainly being part of the conversation).
Mark Osegueda – lead vocals
Rob Cavestany – lead guitar, backing vocals
Ted Aguilar – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Will Carroll – drums
Damien Sisson – bass
First up were Death Angel and what a screamer of an opening set! Straight out of the gates you’re hit with 3 belters from their 1987 debut album, “The Ultra-Violence/Mistress Of Pain” and “Voracious Souls“.
Mark Osegueda had some killer piercing, on-point screams, headbanged the whole time and some great leaps around and off the stage including these gems.
Rob and Ted blitzed through “Seemingly Endless Time“, “The Dream Calls For Blood“, “Caster Of Shame“, “The Moth” and finished off their set with “Humanicide” from the 2019 album of the same name and “Thrown to the Wolves” from 2004’s “The Art Of Dying“.
Killer way to kick off the evening that had the beginnings of some pits starting to form. The band shredded through what was a shorter than hoped for set but it’s never a bad day when you get to see Death Angel play.
Steve “Zetro” Souza – lead vocals
Gary Holt – guitars, backing vocals
Tom Hunting – drums
Jack Gibson – bass, backing vocals
Lee Altus – guitars
A longer set from Exodus was kicked off with a tape of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” that saw the band take the stage and announce that “The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)“. Ironically Morale went through the roof and yet the Metal beating continued.
Steve kind of reminds me of Ozzy as he walks around the stage in a kind of forward stumble, but Ozzy ain’t hitting these notes! Another band still firing on all cylinders. And it was nice to see Gary Holt shredding along with his (almost signature) “Kill The Kardashians” shirt on.
Exodus, another band touting a recent release, 2021’s “Persona Non Grata” played a mix of new and old songs, but ultimately provide the metalheads with what they wanted which was a heavy dose of songs from their amazing debut, “Bonded By Blood“, including the title track, “A Lesson In Violence“, Piranha” and set closer, “Strike Of The Beast“. And of course no Exodus show would be complete without “The Toxic Waltz“.
The bookend of Queen’s “We Are The Champions” helped escort the guys offstage to another raucous round of applause and horns.
Chuck Billy – lead vocals
Eric Peterson – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Alex Skolnick – lead guitar, backing vocals
Steve Di Giorgio – bass
Dave Lombardo – drums
First to the stage from Testament through a sea of red smoke was legendary, former Slayer, drummer, Dave Lombardo who soaked up the local cheers as a few years back Lombardo made Ventura, CA his home. After, Alex, Steve and Eric took the stage, the imposing figure of Chuck Billy took center as the band ripped into “Rise Up” from 2012’s “Dark Roots Of Earth“. The Ventura crowd did just that as another pit started to circle around the center of the floor.
Testament are one of my favorite thrash acts and have continued to release a slew of incredible albums. Most were represented tonight in some form. In an all killer no filler set, the highlights for me where “Rise Up“, “D.N.R.“, newer song, “Children Of The Next Level“, “Electric Crown” and set closer “Into The Pit“.
Chuck Billy has evolved as a vocalist from a more clean style, to on the later albums, a more guttural roar and he weaves back and forth between the old songs seamlessly.
It felt like Messrs Skolnick and Peterson amped up the speed for these songs as they traded licks and solos while Steve Di Giorgio and Lombardo laid down one hell of a heavy ass low end that pounded the foundations of the Ventura Theater.
I’m glad Testament and the others are showing no signs of slowing down. This package of bands proves that when it comes to Thrash.. It really is all about The Bay.
Here’s to the Bay Strikes Back III!