Sound: Exodus. Equal with Metallica in terms of innovation of the thrash metal genre, and eclipsing them in pure metal-ness and loyalty to the thrash cause. Tragically, and unjustly though, they have not gotten their due and are still playing 500-person clubs, and that is the Hawthorne Theater, where I witnessed the greatness that is Exodus. The band was in top form, playing extremely well. Gary Holt used a Schecter Hellraiser, I couldn't tell what Lee Altus used. Rob Dukes was on top of his game too, spitting fire through his mic. The sound wasn't perfect, but that's probably because I was right in front of Gary and his amps, so they were a bit loud. // 8
Perfomance: The performance was amazing. They had a dark, forbidding stage presence and every member of the band was on top of their game, particularly Gary and Lee. Tom Hunting was great as well. When you consider the health problems he's had, its a wonder that he can even play at all, much less play the way he does. They played a rather short setlist, but that was probably for Tom's sake.
Here it is:
01. The Ballad Of Leonard And Charles. An amazing opener, first song on the new album Exhibit B: The Human Condition, thrashy and raging, about serial killers.
02. Beyond The Pale. Also off the new album. Not quite "the Ballad" but still a great song to hear.
03. Iconoclasm. Off The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A (the predecessor to Exhibit B) and a good song, but I might have been happier if they had exchanged it for something else off Exhibit B or a classic like A Lesson in Violence or Metal Command.
04. Children Of A Worthless God. I was never a huge fan of this one before the show, but since they played it, I have been listening to it nonstop. I love it now.
05. Fabulous Disaster. One word. Epic. One of my favorite Exodus songs ever and it was awesome that they played it.
06. Deathamphetamine. Like Children... , it was one that I'd never been too into before, but seeing them play it live made me love the song.
07. Blacklist. Awesome song off Tempo of the Damned. One of my favorite newer ones, and Rob did a pretty good replication of Souza's voice.
08. Pirahna. Classic song from Bonded by Blood, and still packs a punch today.
09. War Is My Shepherd. Cool, but not the best. Could have traded it out for something else.
10. The Toxic Waltz. A true Exodus classic and a mosh pit anthem.
11. Strike Of The Beast. Another of the classics off Bonded by Blood. The first Exodus song I ever heard so it was really special for me to hear them play it live. Rob started a war pit during the middle section of the song (for the uninitiated, a war pit is where the singer divides the crowd into two halves and has them charge each other.)
12. Good Riddance. The last song off Exhibit B and a great way to close out the set, a reminder to the fans that Exodus's new songs are just as heavy and thrashy as the old ones. // 9
Overall Impression: The show was at the Hawthorne Theater in Portland, Oregon, on August 16, 2010. The opening bands were Malevolent Creation and Holy Grail. Malevolent put on a good show but I've never been too into them, just kind of a casual fan. Holy Grail, on the other hand, is probably my favorite band to emerge within the past ten years. It was my third time seeing them and they played an amazing set, which included the songs off their Improper Burial EP and three off their upcoming debut full-length Crisis In Utopia. Also, there were two local bands there as well. One of them, Excruciator, were awesome, and they covered the song Mad Butcher by Destruction, which made me happy. The tickets to the show were only $16, and it was well worth it. I got a drumstick from Tom Hunting when he threw them out into the crowd, and since he's my favorite drummer ever, it meant a lot to me. Also, since I was right in the front, Rob Dukes singled me out as "old school" even though I'm only 15, probably because of my denim vest that I was wearing. I bought an Exodus back patch for said vest at the show, and I am honored to wear it and represent a great band that has not gotten their due and are still slugging it out and putting out amazing albums. If they come anywhere near you, go see them, they are a very good live band and will deliver a show that you will never forget. // 10