The Bay Strikes Back Tour hits Kansas City

Testament at the Truman in Kansas City. Photo by Josh Chaikin

“We’re Death Angel. We’re from the San Francisco bay area, and we play heavy metal!” were the words that echoed through The Truman, as DEATH ANGEL finished up their set, but it could easily have been said by any of the bands on the tour. Trash metal icons DEATH ANGEL, EXODUS, and TESTAMENT packed The Truman on Tuesday night, for a night of music. And was the crowd ready.

“Today is Tuesday, right? We couldn’t tell by your energy.” DEATH ANGEL frontman Mark Osegueda exclaimed. And the energy would only continue to grow, with all the moshing, and crowd surfing one would expect from the show.

As the set drew to a close, Mark got sentimental for a moment, addressing the crowd “Look at us all gathered together, supporting fucking thrash metal. Celebrating life! We’ve got one more song” – he was cut off by boos from the crowd wanting more, “Hey, it is what it is.” before leaving us Thrown to the Wolves.

Next up were EXODUS. Things were kicked off with The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves) from their newest album Persona Non Grata, which got the crowd going very quickly (no beatings needed). Ever present was the reminder from vocalist Steve Souza, “We are all in this together. If anyone in the pit gets woozy, make sure they get out safely.”

Thankfully, no injuries were reported, and the madcap mayhem continued. It was clear the band was having as much fun as the audience, even teasing the intro to Raining Blood before plowing into The Toxic Waltz.

Finally, we were ready for TESTAMENT. While bands like SLAYER, METALLICA, ANTHRAX, and MEGADETH get credit as being pioneers of thrash metal (collectively being called “The Big Four”), there is no disputing the fact that TESTAMENT pioneered things as well (even sometimes being part of “The Big Six”).

They kept the energy going, kicking things into high gear with Rise Up as their opener. The energy rode high through the night, as TESTAMENT plowed through hit, after hit, feeding the crowd’s desire for more, and more thrash.

Seeing either one of these three bands on their own would be a great show; to see them all together on the same bill, it’s enough to make any metalhead scream (gutturally, through the throat, of course). The Bay Strikes Back tour is surely not to be missed.

Words and Photos by Josh Chaikin

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