If the year was 2021, Sunday’s heavy metal matinee on the streets of West Oakland would have been referred to as a ‘super spreader.’ But hey, it’s 2022, and COVID’s (hopefully) in the rearview mirror, so that means it was the perfect opportunity for Exodus to host a full-on rager with San Jose’s Exhumed and old-school skate thrash punk buddies The Boneless Ones.
Not too hot and a blazing sun made for the perfect backdrop for the fenced off block on Castro between 3rd and 4th Streets, which was conveniently located Line 51 Brewing Company, who were more than hoppy (ha) to step up with the beers and dogs for the 1000-strong crowd lined up early for the festivities. This would prove to be the perfect warmup and sendoff for Exodus’ “Battle of the Bay” tour with Testament and Death Angel.
Harkening to the early days of Bay Area thrash, this would prove to be a family affair … lots of kids and a who’s who of local music icons from bands like Death Angel, Machine Head, Charger, Rancid, Hatebreed, and Vio-lence. The bands seemed more than comfortable to mill around with the packed and rambunctious crowd that opened up the pit early and still managed to kick things up a notch when Exodus finally took the stage at around 4:15. Oh, and when Robb Flynn joined on vocals for “A Lesson in Violence,” the place went absolutely bonkers.
All of the bands delivered truly inspiring performances, feeding off the energy and good vibes radiating off the streets of Oakland. Even the unmarked OPD SUVs parked right outside couldn’t kill the vibe! The San Francisco Bay Area loves it’s metal, and hot damn if this event didn’t show exactly why that’s the case.
The Boneless Ones