Testament and Exodus, Dark Roots of Thrash 2 Tour, Trocadero Theater, Philadelphia, PA, April 30, 2015

Spread the metal:

Testament / Exodus

The Dark Roots of Thrash 2 Tour

The Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA
April 30, 2015

Review by InfamousButcher, Photos by SheWolf

Testament 2

Every thrash metal band has a classic album or two that everyone considers their best. Of course, there’s always a few deep tracks that don’t get played live often or at all. What would you say if I told you that a Bay Area thrash legend was going to tour playing material exclusively off their first 3 albums, two of which are considered their all-time best? You’d cream yourself right? Well get that box of Kleenex now because Testament announced they are playing a set composed exclusively of songs from their 1987 debut THE LEGACY, its follow up THE NEW ORDER, and select songs from their third album PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH! Want more? How about another Bay Area killing machine, Exodus, with Zetro back at the helm, promoting their awesome 2014 album BLOOD IN, BLOOD Out? Get me a ticket to this shit! Let’s go down to the Troc and go over the fucking wall!


Tonight’s thrash smash up is at the Trocadero in Philadelphia’s Chinatown section. It’s my favorite venue in the city. Best place in town for a metal show; it’s like an old friend to me. Over 100 years old, the former playhouse, movie theater, and burlesque joint holds about 1500 people. Downstairs is standing room only with plenty of pit, upstairs the balcony has seats. Stage is high and there is a barrier and photo pit, so good for the photographers, bad for the stage divers. Sound quality is good and tonight they turned the fucking fans on, so it wasn’t hot as hell in there. The venue filled up nicely during Exodus and was close to capacity.




Exodus came on at 7:50, blasting us with 2 new songs, “Black 13” and “Blood In, Blood Out”. Steve “Zetro” Souza is back in the fold after 10 years, and the man has fucking boundless energy! Screaming his head off and commanding the stage, Zetro has made Exodus a thrash force to be reckoned with again. Right away I noticed Gary Holt was missing. Given his commitments to Slayer, Gary had to miss a few dates of at the end of the Dark Roots of Thrash 2 Tour, and unfortunately Philadelphia was one of them. In his place was Heathen guitarist Kragen Lum, who did a good job but the vibe just wasn’t the same without the masterful Holt and his axe. That said, Exodus played a great mixed set of old classics and newer material, even some Rob Dukes tunes from THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION: EXHIBIT A. Tom Hunting is a great drummer and he hammered us relentlessly through the hour long set. Guitarist Lee Altus cranked out killer riffs and scorching solos, and Jack Gibson held the bass line solidly. Highlights of the set included my favorite from BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT, “Salt the Wound”, “The Toxic Waltz” (good pit action of course!), “Bonded By Blood”, and the savage closer “Strike of the Beast”. Before kicking off “Bonded by Blood”, Zetro commented that their debut album is now 30 years old and there have been many lifelong Exodus fans bringing their kids to shows, passing on great thrash metal which will never die. Crowd response was good and Zetro commented that Philadelphia has always been a good metal town, and I wear that badge of honor on my fucking sleeve!













Testament took the stage at 9:30, and immediately went into the first 3 songs from THE LEGACY, searing renditions of “Over the Wall’, “The Haunting” and “Burnt Offerings”. Everything was damn near perfect. Powerful vocals from the Chief Chuck Billy, bludgeoning drums from the best in the business Gene Hoglan, sensational riffs and solos from Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, and thunderous bass from the incomparable Steve DiGiorgio. I’ve seen Testament 11 times and tonight they were at their very best, just on fucking fire! Pit was rabid already and things were just getting started. FUCK YEAH, IT’S ON NOW!


The band seemed loose and happy to be cranking out the classics for us. After rare track “Raging Waters” (THE TRIANGLE – THE DEVIL’S TRIANGLE!!!), Testament shifted gears to THE NEW ORDER with an intense version of “The Preacher” (THE CITY WILL CRUMBLE TO THE BAY!) and continued to mix things up for the rest of the night. That’s fine with me. Sometimes when bands play full albums they go start to finish (Megadeth), sometimes they mix up the order of the songs (Anthrax), and some douchebags (Metallica) play albums backwards trying to be cute.


My favorites of the set included “First Strike is Deadly” (amazing drumming by Gene!), “Trial By Fire” (touching intro by Alex before bursting into flames! THERE IS NO SENTENCE HIGHER!), “A Day of Reckoning” (Chuck’s best performance of the night! DAY BY DAY A DAY OF RECKONING!), “Apocalyptic City” (A HELLISH DEATH THEY’LL KNOW!), and “Eerie Inhabitants” (CRYOUT! WILL THEY SEE ANOTHER DAY?). Most of these songs I had never gotten live at a Testament show before, so I was fucking ecstatic!


Pit was rough throughout the set. “First Strike is Deadly” made me want to mash people, so in I went! Circle pit was good fun and there was a lot of general mayhem going on. There were a few cheap shots but no karate or people taking your knees out and no one fell on my head when I wasn’t looking. I dished out and took some hits but I am 43 not 23, so by “Alone in the Dark” I needed a breather. Ribs are gonna be bruised tomorrow but it’s all for metal!


The set was brilliant. 3 Songs were missing from THE NEW ORDER – Aerosmith cover “Nobody’s Fault”, instrumentals “Musical Death – A Dirge” and “Hypnosis”. All of THE LEGACY was played. Final songs were “Practice What You Preach” and a bulldozing “Disciples of the Watch” in which moshers gave everything they had left. Afterward we were exhausted metalheads happier than pigs in shit! Testament and Exodus are hitting Europe next, catch these thrash titans when they come to your town to burn it down! BURN! APOCALYPTIC CITY!!!




Practice What You Preach

Disciples of the Watch