A line a few hundred people deep snaked around Gas Monkey Live for more than two hours as eager fans patiently waited for doors to open. Finally, at 7:30 the doors opened and Convalescence could be heard playing as fans stood in line. Not entirely sure why doors didn’t open at 6:30pm as advertised, but gossip of a late sound check and “they said 10 more minutes” ran like wildfire. Consequently, the merch line was 100 people deep for most of the evening, but luckily it was easy enough to grab a beer.

Not unlike most attendees, I didn’t catch much of the Convalescence set. However, I was glad that the floor was nearly – at least by the end of their set. Around 9:00 Prong took the stage and played a high-energy set that quickly took everyone’s mind off of their multi-hour wait. Front man/guitarist Tommy Victor, a veteran of the hardcore punk/industrial/metal scene, admirably warmed up the crowd as his three-piece band hammered through songs from their last release X: No Absolutes and delighted the crowd with classics like “Unconditional,” “Beg to Differ,” and of course, “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck.” The band was razor sharp throughout their half-hour set, exhibiting the precision and power that have earned them a devoted following across their 30 year career.

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Prong @ Gas Monkey Live. Photo by J. Kevin Lynch.

Sepultura took the stage to chants of “Sep-ul-tura, Sep-ul-tura” and immediately kicked into a scorched earth set that included material from their critically acclaimed 2017 release Machine Messiah and more than a handful of classics. “Inner Self,” from 1989s Beneath the Remains and “Refuse/Resist” from 1993s Chaos A.D. were instant crowd pleasers, as was “Roots Bloody Roots” from their 1996s Roots LP.  Vocalist Derrick Green commanded the stage as vicious mosh pits churned beneath him. Among the many reasons to see the band live, drummer Eloy Casagrande has to be at the top of the list. He brings as much to the band as any drummer in their history, if not more. Of course, lead guitarist Andreas Kisser was flawless in his execution and remains one of the best guitarists in the game. The bands set was complimented by a near seizure-inducing light show, crowd-surfers, and full cups of beer flying through the air. For beers that cost $7.50-$9.75 each, that’s certainly proof that the band had the crowd in a frenzy.

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Sepultura @ Gas Monkey Live. Photo by J. Kevin Lynch

Following Sepultura’s set, a few folks went to hit the bathroom or get another drink, but most of the crowd stayed put as they eagerly awaited Bay Area thrash legends Testament to take the stage. Even before the house lights dropped, the crowd started chanting “Test-a-ment” and then went completely ape-shit when they opened with the title track to last years Brotherhood of the Snake. The first several songs of their set was a mix of tracks from the aforementioned Snake and 2012s Dark Roots of Earth. Vocalist Chuck Billy led the charge, often playing air guitar on his mic stand as he crisscrossed the stage and encouraged sing-a-longs. Guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick were spot-on with their leads and solos and the always reliable Gene Hoglan gracefully pummeled the back beat. The band may have 30 years under their belt, but they played with as much enthusiasm as they did when they were starting out. Mixing in classics from their late-80s/early-90s albums left the crowd breathless, whether they were in the pit or not. If you’re wondering how Testament has kept it together for some many years, the bands set and the crowds reaction is all you need to know. Each member of the band are fine musicians who know exactly how to rock a venue to its core.

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Testament @ Gas Monkey Live. Photo by J. Kevin Lynch

Only the second night of the tour, each band was in top form and played great sets. The crowd on hand was adoring and left for home with smiles plastered across their faces. If you’re a fan of any one of these bands, we recommend going and checking them all out. You won’t be disappointed.

– J. Kevin Lynch

TESTAMENT, SEPULTURA, PRONG TOUR DATES
04/06/17 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
04/07/17 Gas Monkey Live – Dallas, TX
04/08/17 Aztec Theater – San Antonio, TX
04/09/17 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
04/10/17 House Of Blues – New Orleans, LA
04/12/17 The Ritz Ybor – Tampa, FL
04/13/17 Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
04/14/17 House Of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL
04/15/17 Center Stage – Atlanta, GA
04/16/17 The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
04/19/17 The National – Richmond, VA
04/20/17 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
04/21/17 The Palladium – Worcester, MA (New England Metal & Harcore Festival)
04/22/17 The Paramount – Huntington, NY
04/23/17 Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
04/24/17 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore, MD
04/26/17 Metropolis – Montreal, QC
04/27/17 Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON
04/28/17 Majestic Theatre – Detroit, MI
04/29/17 Bogarts – Cincinnati, OH
04/30/17 Agora Theatre – Cleveland, OH
05/02/17 Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL
05/03/17 First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
05/04/17 The District – Sioux Falls, SD
05/06/17 Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
05/07/17 The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT
05/09/17 Roseland Theater – Portlant, OR
05/10/17 Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC
05/11/17 Showbox Market – Seattle, WA
05/12/17 The Revolution Concert House – Boise, ID
05/15/17 Orpheum Theater – Flagstaff, AZ
05/16/17 House Of Blues – San Diego, CA
05/17/17 Livewire – Scottsdale, AZ
05/18/17 House Of Blues – Anaheim, CA
05/19/17 Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
05/20/17 Brooklyn Bowl – Las Vegas, NV

 

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