Testament Shred In The Dark At Ozzfest Meets Knotfest REVIEW+PHOTOS: TESTAMENT @ OZZFEST MEETS KNOTFEST 11/5/17
San Bernardino, CA- When you the chance to see one of the most influential bands of a particular musical genre, you make it a point to see them perform live. No excuses.
If there was any scheduling conflict for me at Ozzfest Meets Knotfest, if was on the second day. Tasked with covering all of the main stage acts, I noticed that the first main stage act started 15 minutes BEFORE Testament’s scheduled starting time on “Second Stage A” (at least a 10 minute walk without shortcuts) across the festival grounds. For a brief moment, I almost opted out of lugging my gear across the venue … thank god I didn’t.
Thankfully, the credentials around my neck allowed me to cut through production routes, and miraculously I was able to squeeze myself into the crowded photography pit right before Chuck Billy and company took the stage to unleash their genre defining thrash metal sonics onto an adoring, head-banging crowd.
A relentless touring band, Chuck, guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, drummer Gene Hoglan, and bassist Steve Di Giorgio gave the audience more than a “Brotherhood of the Snake” (their most recent album release in 2016) featured set. They played 3 songs from “Brotherhood” (“Brotherhood of the Snake”, “The Pale King” and “Centuries of Suffering”), but the rest of their set was a dope selection of some of their most beloved songs. “Into The Pit”, “Over The Wall”, “Practice What You Preach”, “More than Meets The Eye”, “Electric Crown”… they gave their fans what they wanted and then some, and it I hadn’t been wearing all of my camera gear, I would have mixed it up with the masses in the pits.
It was my first time seeing Chuck perform live, and man … I love that dude’s energy. With his iconic semi-mic stand, he air guitared his way through every solo. When he wasn’t jamming along with either Eric or Alex, he was tossing out tour t-shirts to fans in the front row (he was even kind enough to toss me a t-shirt as well). In between songs, he demonstrated his good humor joking about how awesome the lighting production was (there really were no lights as the sun started to set).
But as the sun set, and their music filled the cold valley air, I could only think to myself how much of a dumbass I would have been if I decided to be lazy and not even attempt to walk across the festival grounds. When you have the chance to see Testament (one of the most influential bands in thrash metal) you make it a point to see them perform live.