The Rave
Milwaukee, WI

The Bay Strikes Back tour stormed into Milwaukee, WI on a brisk, yet sunny Tuesday evening. The Rave is one of the gems of the Badger State. The streets around the historic venue were littered with black and band shirts. The line behind the building strung itself all the way down the road and into the back parking lot. Once the doors opened the line moved extremely quickly through the winding hallways. With plenty of time before the first band starts the courtyard in front of the massive wooden doors that give The Rave, its gothic appearance. The patio area was bumping and filled with patrons purchasing drinks.

Meanwhile inside the merchandise lines ran down the back hallway under the balcony of the main room. Fans were given plenty of options for items to purchase. From vinyl to tour shirts to skate decks, it was all there. When the lights dimmed inside the main room the air buzzed with anticipation, it isn’t every day that thrash metal legends come to town. There was quite a bit of wonder about what they would perform. Testament released “Titans of Creation” during the pandemic. Obviously, they couldn’t hit the road in support of it until now. The backdrop was a massive image of their latest album cover. The back of the stage had all of the gear lined up, but in the middle stood a massively tall drum riser. The front of the stage contained 2 stands in front of each guitarist’s microphone stands. Also across the front were 4 smoke machines blasting up and filling the stage. Match this visual appearance with the slow ritualistic introduction music and the entire room bathed in red light and you would swear you were standing at the foot of an altar.

From the first string being strung lead guitarist, Alex Skolnick, shredded through each song with precision and an unmatched emotional flood of joy across his face. Often he stood on his perch and leaned over often to show the crowd his ability to pick and slash through his parts. Opposite of him his counterpart and founding member of Testament, Eric Peterson, let his head banging and jumping around do all of the talking. His guitar prowess was on full display. The man let loose.  Slaying his storied guitar riffs. The pair are as good as gold together. It is obvious these two feed off of each other’s energy. On the low-end bassist, Steve DiGiorgio pounded his way through the incredible showing. He riled up the crowd. Leaning the headstock of his custom fretless Ibanez towards the crowd often. Despite the aggressiveness of the song content, the man was all smiling while delivering bone-rattling notes. Perhaps the greatest performances of all were of the legendary drummer, Dave Lombardo. He was precise and snapped on his snare with ease. He rolled through his kit and pounded the skins while overlooking the entire room. The God Father of modern metal drumming put on a show. Finally, though, Chuck Billy, the man’s raspy vocals were clean and projected with power over the mesmerized audience. He moved with determination across the stage. Pointing out the fan’s heads banging and screaming their lyrics along the way as well. He engaged and unleashed vocal hell. 

Testament came to The Rave armed with a killer set list that covered a multitude of albums and ripped through them easily. These thrash legends created an atmosphere that those in the metal community can appreciate. No frills, straight brutality, and visually stunning. This is the way metal shows should be, straightforward and just a performance. A tip of the cap to the Testament. To say this was can’t miss would be an understatement.

1. Rise Up
2. The New Order
3. The Pale King
4. Children of The Next Level
5. Practice What You Preach
7. D.N.R.
8. Native Blood
9. Night of The Witch
10. Electric Crown
11. The Formation of Damnation
12. First Strike is Deadly
13. Into The Pit
14. Alone In The Dark

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