So, here I go again, flying more than 1,000 km to Rio de Janeiro to see the return of Testament to Brazil (after 18 years). At that show - in June 1989 - I had the privilege to saw them performing songs of the Practice What You Preach album for the first time. Now, the excitement was the same! The guys are back with an wonderful line-up (almost the original - Chuck Billy , Eric Peterson, Greg Christian, Alex Skolnick) and revived by drummer Nick Barker (Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Brujeria, Old Man's Child, Lock Up, Monolith) on the drums and Mr. Barker alone is an attraction. After the gig bassist Greg Christian told me that they are not longer in contact with original drummer Louie Clemente, but he isn't in the band because he has some sort of arm injuries. Nothing personal!
When I arrived at the neighborhood of the venue, with a pouring rain on the head I saw a few headbangers - I think one hundred persons - a fact that caused me some fear. The band will not play is this conditions, specially in Brazil, I thought its time to make a phone call to a friend in the Brazilian crew of the event. Well, he told me that the place is already packed (inside the venue) and of course Testament will play! So... better come in! So thank God - and my friend for the backstage pass.
The place is beautiful and the atmosphere was the best. Bangers of all ages reunited to celebrate their return. The opening acts were good... Warfx and Taurus. Nice performances by the 'cariocas' bands. Good to remind that Taurus was a known metal Brazilian band at the end of the 80's and they returned to do this gig. The old fellas - well, they have almost my age - did great! The sound quality was very good and makes me think about how Testament will sounds.... So, better get a good place to see the show. What about in the front of Alex Skolnick, my favorite guitar player??? Perfect!!!
11:30 PM... The banner with the Testament logo came down, lights were going down and the chords from Eerie Inhabitants (playback) freaked out the place. Well, just the intro from Eerie Inhabitants. Chuck Billy screams "Are you readyyyy????" and The Preacher took place to destroy the venue. Amazing sound, amazing performance!
The set list was very similar to the CD/DVD... Live In London. The Preacher, The New Order (woooww), The Haunting and the hit Electric Crown closes the first part of the show.
Chuck Billy is a very cool guy, always smiling and saying 'thank you' - and of course yelling his amazing thunderous screams. Black and death metallers, die with envy!!!
Sins Of Omission restarted the show. Nice to see Eric Peterson doing some solos - and he did great! At the other side of the stage (my side) Skolnick is having fun. It´s very easy for him to play all the solos. Perfect feeling, speed and performance. He is the guy!!! The next songs were DNR and Three Days In Darkness from the album The Gathering. The old band playing new songs. Just perfect, but I heard something about a chaotic DNR at the São Paulo gig, two days before the Rio gig. Seems like they can't finished this song (lack of rehearsals). Well, fortunately I was in Rio, not in São Paulo.
Nick Barker was amazing at the drums! He played Louie's parts - and yes, Lombardo's parts - tooking care to not ruin the original parts. Well, sometimes he made something different! Great!!!
Time for classics, if some of the others songs are not classics. Trial By Fire, Practice What You Preach, Souls Of Black and the great ballad The Legacy, sung by the crowd in the Brazilian style, I mean, everybody singing out loud!
The band was having a great time for sure and Greg told me at the backstage that every gig of the Brazilian tour was amazing. Seeing him and Eric on stage it's clear that they were having a great time.
Into The Pit and the totally classic Over The Wall were last songs. The place shook!!! But they returned to play Alone In The Dark, making everybody sung the chorus lots of times in a good rock and roll band style! Disciples Of The Watch finished the party.
One of the best gigs I ever saw, perfect in everything! The band seems like to getting better everyday! Cheers for them!!! I had a great time with them backstage after the show. Great guys, true headbangers, loving what they are doing! I hope Greg could do a nice show at Belo Horizonte (next gig), cause his hands were really hurting. Take it easy Greg, your bass is your friend!!!
Time to rest, cause Motörhead is in the other day and I will not miss them!!!
Someone told me that Testament played Burnt Offerings at São Paulo... One more song. But that's ok, I can't ask for more!!!!