The Bay Strikes Back tour slammed into San Diego on April 12, and its going to take a while to recover from this one. Testament, Exodus, and Death Angel brought their thrash metal to downtown San Diego with a sold out show at the House of Blues. Due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to photograph Death Angel but did manage to catch the last couple of songs from the back of the floor and they killed it. It has been a long time since I was at the San Diego House of Blues, and this was one hell of a show to be back inside for. Due to Covid 19, it did look as if this tour might never happen but thankfully it is, and tickets are going fast and shows, like San Diego, are selling out.
First up (for me) was Exodus, and when they took the stage, the venue was jammed packed and ready for some high energy thrash metal. Exodus did not disappoint. Their blistering eleven song setlist included three tracks of their current album Person Non Grata (“The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)”, “The Years of Death and Dying”, and “Prescribing Horror”) along with driving versions “Blood in Blood Out”, and “The Toxic Waltz” and “Strike of the Beast” to close out their set. I have always really enjoyed watching Gary Holt play and have been lucky enough to photograph him both with Slayer and Metal Allegiance in the past. Already looking forward to the next time.
Tom Hunting – Drums
Gary Holt – Guitar
Steve “Zetro” Souza – Vocals
Jack Gibson – Bass
Lee Altus – Guitar
The last time I photographed Testament was during the Slayer final tour, when Testament was on the bill along with Anthrax, Behemoth, Lamb of God and Slayer. During that show, Gary Holt was in Slayer, having replaced Jeff Hannerman after his passing. I have also had the pleasure coif photographing Testament members playing various Metal Allegiance shows over the years so I was really excited to be back in the pit (photo pit, not mosh pit) for these guys…. and they did not disappoint. Chuck Billy looked as if he was having the time of his life up on the stage. To me, when a musician is having a really good time on stage it really comes through in the performance and hopefully the photos.
The set included a good mix of tunes with three songs off the new album, Titans of Creation (“Children of the Next Level”, “WWIII”, and “Night off the Witch”) along with 13 older tunes including Over the Wall and Into the Pit. It was also great to hear Dave Lombardo back on drums, but it was impossible to actually photograph him back there.
Eric Peterson – Guitar
Chuck Billy – Vocals
Alex Skolnick – Guitar
Steve Di Giorgio – Bass
Dave Lombardo – Drums
Alan Hess is a photographer based in San Diego, where he lives with his wife and two rescued boxers.
Alan is currently the house photographer for a large concert and event venue in Southern California where he photographs everything from major musical acts to ice hockey. When he isn’t out taking photographs, he spends his time writing books and is an accomplished photography educator and trainer.
Alan’s images have been published in a variety of places including news papers, magazines, websites, promotional materials, album artwork, and press releases. His clients include The Associated Press, Fox Television, FX Network, USA Network, Hasbro, Framus Guitars, Gibson, The Dead, Picture Group, Photoshop User Magazine, Steel Pulse, Ziggy Marley, and many more.
He is the author of sixteen photography and technology books covering everything from night and low light photography to multiple shot techniques. His books are sold around the world and have been translated in other languages including: Chinese, French, Polish, Japanese, Thai, and Italian.