TESTAMENT / UNEARTH / LAZARUS A.D.
Saturday, June 6th, 2009
Kansas, City, MO USA
***Live Review & All Photos By Sara E. Robbins
The weekend of June 6 and 7, 2009 saw the return of the American Waste festival to Kansas City, Missouri. The centerpiece for this event was Saturday night’s headlining trio of Lazarus A.D., Unearth and Testament.
The crowd at the Beaumont Club was enthusiastic for all three bands. Due to the lack of a listed schedule and no announcements between bands, Lazarus A.D. went on earlier than expected and overlapped with Kansas City-based band, Troglodyte. As the remaining crowd trickled in, the band played their hearts out. It would have been nice to have a gap between the closing of the outside stage and the beginning of the main shows for the night, though.
The sound was intense, and it was easy to see why Lazarus A.D. was picked to tour with Testament. The balance was excellent and the twin guitar attack was fierce.
Unearth took the stage to a full crowd, pumped up and ready to get thrashed. Vocalist Trevor Phipps got right down to business, headbanging and tearing up the stage, while Ken Susi hammed it up, complete with water throwing, snot juggling and various antics throughout the gig, not exactly to the pleasure of the gig photographers, but he looked like he was having a good time. Buz and Ken traded solos as bassist Jon ‘Slo’ Maggard and drummer Derek Kerswill held down the low end and rocked out, several times reminding everyone who the main act was, paying tribute to Testament.
The crowd was very enthusiastic and it was easy to see that Unearth is definitely a Kansas City favorite.
As the set wound to a close, the very enthusiastic audience got to witness Ken and Buz turning the set into their own personal jungle gym, Ken jumping on everything that wasn’t nailed down, and Buz hanging from the rafters of the stage.
Between Unearth and Testament there was a brief interlude complete with the best set of warm up music I’ve heard at a show in a long time, which gave everyone a chance to breathe. As “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” was winding down, the chanting in the audience turned to “Testament! Testament!” and as soon as the smoke began to fill the stage, everyone knew it was time.
Every song was met with cheering; it seemed to crescendo as the show went on, highlights including “More Than Meets the Eye”, “Burnt Offerings” and “DNR”. Really, the entire set could have been considered a highlight. Chuck Billy’s calm presence reigned over the night as Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson traded riffs on their respective sides of the stage.
Everyone seemed happy with the setlist (I’m not sure if anyone even knew there was a vote up on MySpace), and as the show thundered on, there was the occasional crowd surfer being handed over the barriers. The security of the Beaumont Club did a great job of handling the swarm of airborne bodies, and to my knowledge there were no injuries.
** Special thanks to Brian Rocha at Adrenaline PR for making the photo pass and tickets possible.
** Special thanks to the Beaumont Club in Kansas City for having awesome security and some of the most polite stage front security guys ever.