Exodus @ Strummer’s, Fresno CA 11/04/15

I’m proud to say that I survived an Exodus show. This is classic Bay Area thrash. It’s grimey, dangerous and powerful. The music goes between brief doses of punky, musical rage as well as more epic, technically proficient pieces. And you can’t help but get into the chaos. Steve “Zetro” Souza said it best and I paraphrase, this is music to help let off some steam, to engage in a bit of violence. Souza is once again singing for the group, this tour in support of Blood In, Blood Out, is his first since leaving the band around 2004. Back is the classic impish shriek that’s a cross between Bon Scott and, well…some kind of satanic minion. It’s the perfect kind of vocals for such nether-worldly music. The group has played Fresno in the past and I kept hearing about how they put on an excellent show. What I couldn’t figure out is how a smaller club like Strummer’s can contain that kind of mayhem. Later I would find out that a full club can comfortably house the audience, while opening up to accommodate a pit. I don’t know how it happened, but a split down the venue occurred and the audience parted, erupting in a mosh pit. It was like watching a spinning blade, violently twirling around but no one got hurt. Props to the guys (and girl?) who could hang, but I’m definitely too old for that kind of crap.

The group brought it and then some. Most of these guys are nearing their 50’s and they can still kick ass. After “Blood In, Blood Out,” Steve mentioned that at his age he can’t drink and still do this night after night, and added “but I can still smoke a sh*t load of weed!” This is demanding music to perform. It’s aggressive, fast paced and complex, requiring a great amount of stamina and dexterity to perform. That’s probably why the set was shorter by most standards, around 15 songs in length and clocking in at around 90-100 minutes. That kind of brutality and precision can take a toll, and I’m betting that tendonitis is a regular pain for some of the guys up there on stage. So for this kind of music, 90 minutes or so is pretty damn good. Gary Holt is absent from this tour due to his commitments to Slayer. Kragen Lum is filling in for Holt on this tour and he’s been involved with the touring lineup since 2013. Lee Altus, Jack Gibson and Tom Hunting played effortlessly. The set was heavy with classic offerings from 1984’s Bonded by Blood as well as the new album, Blood In, Blood Out, which sounds like classic Exodus but with modern production. It’s a very good album, surprisingly good, especially for a non-‘fan’ like myself. Glad to catch these guys live and with Souza singing. I missed out on seeing them with Rob Dukes when they did a show with Megadeth and Testament. This gig definitely makes up for it but it would be cool to see Gary Holt performing again. I tried desperately to take some pics but a spot light kept screwing up shots 😦

  1. Exodus
  2. Black 13
  3. Blood In, Blood Out
  4. Impaler
  5. Deranged
  6. Children of a Worthless God
  7. Piranha
  8. Body Harvest
  9. A Lesson in Violence
  10. The Ballad of Leonard and Charles
  11. Beyond the Pale
  12. Blacklist
  13. Bonded by Blood
  14. The Toxic Waltz
  15. Strike of the Beast
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Posted on November 25, 2015, in Concerts: 2012 - Present, Exodus and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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