Although he’s been bringing Prong to San Antonio for more than two decades, it was just last year that Tommy Victor conceded, "I can’t really say that we’ve had fantastic shows" here. Judging by the way he rocked out and carried himself on stage Saturday night at the Aztec Theatre — and the enthusiastic response — that appears to have finally changed.
Returning to the city of which he once shared his biggest memory was "the bad barbecue pit by the White Rabbit" (listen here), Victor and Prong unleashed plenty of heavy riffs among their nine-song set in support of headliners Testament and Sepultura. Although Prong is slated to release 11th studio album Zero Days on July 28, Victor was content to mix two of Prong’s heaviest tracks from last year’s X: No Absolutes record — "Ultimate Authority" and finale "Sense of Ease" — among the classics.
Prong had played The Korova in its first Alamo City visit since Victor’s earlier declaration, but this marked his band’s Aztec Theatre debut. More importantly, it was Prong’s first San Antonio performance in awhile that didn’t take place at a bar. That meant Prong could turn its music on to a larger audience and to fans of the two artists higher up on the bill.
With longtime bassist Jason Christopher continuing to tour with Ministry, Prong had a new face on the instrument accompanying Victor and drummer Art Cruz. Though Victor sings with his mic stand lined up stage right rather than in the middle, he spent plenty of time running across the platform while riffing away, all the while smiling like a kid at Christmas.
Opening with "Disbelief," a track found on Prong’s 2002 concert album 100% Live, Victor and Co.’s set was highlighted by three consecutive songs from 1994’s Cleansing CD: "Another Worldly Device," "Whose Fist is This Anyway" and arguably Prong’s most popular track "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck." Watch AXS’ footage of the latter segueing into the closer that was humorously labeled on the printed setlist as "Sense of Ears" in the video box below.
Victor, who doubles as the guitarist in Glenn Danzig’s band and spoke about that in the aforementioned interview, figures to keep coming back in search of that one "fantastic" Alamo City show. Even if it turns out that he finally found it Saturday night, it would be just fine to South Texans if he continues the hunt for several more albums and performances to come.
Setlist: "Disbelief," "Ultimate Authority," "Beg to Differ," "Unconditional," "Cut and Dry," "Another Worldly Device," "Whose Fist is This Anyway?," "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck," "Sense of Ease"
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