November 11, 2014
Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Grand Prairie, TX USA
Review by Mike DiQuinzio
Photos by Brian Ullrich
Thrash of the Titans
Few jobs are more thankless than opening for the Heaviest Band on the Planet, Slayer at Verizon Theatre, but Exodus are no amateurs. They were greeted with open arms by the early arrivals and delivered a swift set that left them begging for more.
Supporting their killer new disc Blood In, Blood Out, Exodus took the stage to the intro of album-opener "Black 13" before proceeding to show Dallas exactly what thrash metal is all about. Having set the adrenaline level at 11 right off the bat, there was no better song to follow than the pro-moshing PSA of a title track. "Blood In, Blood Out" lays out in no uncertain terms who the real kings of thrash metal are, headliners be damned (as if they weren't already). Encouraging the crowd to lose their friggin' minds, vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza screams "we expect nothing less than a full-scale riot" in his trademark sneer before exclaiming that "tonight we're gonna rage and make Paul Baloff proud!"
Highlighting 30 years in 30 minutes, Exodus reached all the way back to the album that started it all: Bonded by Blood. That album's title track and show-closer "Strike of the Beast" were greeted with an approving roar by the crowd of now-40somethings who actually knew what Souza was talking about when he reminisced about Joe's Garage. Further explaining their fondness of D/FW, Souza dedicated their set to the late, great Dimebag Darrell before commanding the crowd to put on their dancing shoes and do the "Toxic Waltz."
Easily the highlight of the set."The Toxic Waltz" is on the short list of awesome songs whose lyrics perfectly capture the joys of just being a metal fan. This "new dance craze that [swept] the nation" in 1988 has become the ultimate show of appreciation in heavy metal, and Exodus could not have looked more appreciative than they did at the close of their set. Ending as quickly as they began, Exodus left the stage to the roar of a crowd that was just dealt a true metal ass-kicking.
Blood In, Blood Out is out NOW on Nuclear Blast Records. Buy it.