By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Friday, March 26, 2010

Following a sold out concert in Washington D.C., Megadeth brought their Rust In Peace 20th Anniversary Tour to Rams Head Live in Baltimore. As many of you already know by now, the band had to delay their set by almost an hour due to soundboard problems and then was cut off after four songs when a member of the crowd spilled a drink on the soundboard they had gotten to work. At the time the crowd was starting to get rowdy and the members of Megadeth were rushed into a van that sped away from the venue (likely to avoid any potential problems with drunk, unruly patrons). Because of this, I was not able to get a proper idea of Megadeth’s live performance and to try and base a review off of four/five songs would not be fair. However, we were able to get pictures of the band’ as well as watch the two openers, Testament and Exodus (Megadeth did a makeup performance the next day but we were unable to make it back to the venue to watch it). Below are my impressions of Exodus’ and Testament’s performances.

First up was Exodus, who was playing a variety of material from throughout their career. Their current singer, Rob Dukes, was added to the band in 2005 and has been received with a “love him or hate him” attitude by many long time fans. For this particular performance, it became clear that he was certainly better suited for some songs rather than others. The rest of the band is still very capable when it comes to playing their instruments and they had a good deal of energy, but I couldn’t help but feel that Dukes was really holding them back at times. He does have a lot of energy and tries to get the crowd into the set, but at times his vocals just don’t stack up to what people would expect. I still enjoyed some moments of their set and I’m sure there were plenty of fans who enjoyed it but at this point I wouldn’t recommend anyone go to a show with intention of just seeing Exodus as they may come away a bit disappointed.

On this particular tour, Testament was going back to their roots and performing their first album The Legacy in its entirety. One of the first things I noticed was that the band’s energy was through the roof and they were nearly twice as loud as Exodus. Considering that The Legacy was originally released in 1987, it sounds a bit different when Testament performs it live in 2010. It is almost like listening to an entirely new album, and I don’t mean this in a bad way at all as this makes the band just as exciting to see now as I can imagine they would have been back in the late 80’s. Chuck Billy sounds great and his vocals are spot on with how they sound on Testament’s newer albums, and long time fans will be happy to know that Billy and the rest of the band will be able to live up to their expectations. Whether you get to see them performing all of The Legacy or newer material, it will be definitely be worth it.

Photos by Chip Tamplin (Bands listed in Alphabetical Order):

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