Nothing like getting a pop up on your computer screen to let you know that you have been confirmed for a show that could certainly go down in history as musically historically significant, just days before it was all to go down. A bit of insider info, when a headliner lays down the law, there is no getting around it, no matter how much a challenge it makes covering the show. MAentGlobal just wants to make a blanket THANK YOU to all involved that made this evening happen.
Oh… Did I fail to mention the significance of this particular show? Slaaaaaayyyyeeeer! Slayer’s final Southern California show, that is all. After a long and distinguished
twelve-studio album, multi Grammy Award winning career, Orange County’s very own are putting a sword into it… Making their last rounds around the world, a world that has made the various members of the band nearly house hold names, even outside the metal world.
The show took place at the “temporary” FivePoint Amphitheater, in Irvine, CA. For this guy, in my humble opinion, if the “temporary” somehow got forgotten and became permanent I would not be upset. As much as I have wonderful memories of the late Irvine Meadow’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, the intimacy of +/- 12 thousand heads is big enough for me.
The evening began with thrash metal icon’s Testament who blistered through 7 of their classic’s. Watching the three guitarist thrash their way through songs like Brotherhood of the Snake, Practice What You Preach, Into the Pit, and Over the Wall, was definitely a highlight of an even full of memorable moments… Oh wait, you mean Billy was “air guitaring it…” CRAP, I kid I kid!!! After not being able to physically see them performing on stage last year due to a Day Light Savings fiasco, this early start time was fine with me!!!
Next up was the blood spitting practitioners of darkness Behemoth, who seem to change up their grand entrance to the stage due to the worsening weather. Although, the weather mostly held up until Slayer, safety was a good call. Behemoth, who as recently as last year, shared the stage with the headliners have a fanatical following and for those who follow witnessed six songs of pure black metal power and showmanship. Ov Fire and the Void, Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer, and Chant for Eschaton 2000, were three songs that really stood out. Nergal and company knows how to perform and gave the crowd of lunatics metal fanatics something to take home, if not just the blood on their shirts, but metal at it’s heaviest.
Be All… End All… The mighty Anthrax took the stage as the lights began to finally really take effect as well as the inclement weather… The normally jump happy members brought it back JUST enough not to eat shite… Frontman Joey Belladonna, nearly found himself off one of the pit speakers, thankfully I did not have to report an injury from the stage. Opening with Caught in the Mosh got the thrash loving fanatics flowing, Dredd abiding citizens recited I Am the Law, Evil Twin, and Indians closed out the evening… Seeing my Evil Twin, finally perform after a number of failed attempts, was another highlight for this guy.
American badasses Lamb of God (LoG) are arguably America’s go to heavy metal music act, they acted as main support again for a second tour, within a calendar year. Not many bands get to claim that for any headliner, let alone the mighty Slayer. LoG came out void of sunlight and with the rain finally making itself an annoyance; that being said it was a free additional stage effect to go along with the now fully necessary light show. For all the love the crowd gave the previous three bands, the pure unbridled enthusiasm for LoG was second only to the headliners. LoG broke into the intro dialogue with Ometra, well not exactly interrupted, since it’s part of the song, then bashed it’s way into Ruin and then into 512. Somewhere along the set, the show took second stage “to an injury on the field,” and a necessary timeout was taken… Never heard what happened, but considering the evening, glad it seemed to be the only real issue. The band rolled through “The Wall of Death inducing” Walk With Me in Hell, Laid to Rest, and no surprise here, ended the night after an epic eight-song set, with Redneck.
So to all good things, there must come an end. After career spanning 37 years the night could have gone on and on, but the men of Slayer chose 19 of the most brutal from their thrash catalogue. Repentless, Blood Red, Disciple, Mandatory Suicide, Hate Worldwide, War Ensemble, Jihad, When the Stillness Comes, Postmortem, Black Magic, Payback, Seasons in the Abyss, Dittohead, Dead Skin Mask, Hell Awaits, South of Heaven, Raining Blood, Chemical Warfare, and Angel of Death, I present this question to you… What would you have added? Slayer has been accused of a variety of things along the line. Some have even questioned some of the decision-making along the way... The blind allegiance that some of their fans display are arguably the strongest in the business. The amount of swag I saw being sold prior to the show, explained why I, later heard, countless frustrated fans bitch about not getting a shirt, on only the second night of the The End is Near World Tour, they were already sold out... Of course that is really a good thing and easily fixed by the next show. The energy was strong... The music was loud... Slayer stuck a blade in it and they can be proud.
There was a time, many years ago, that I saw Slayer more times than any other band, yet did not appreciate the opportunity that I was afforded. I was blinded by the other music around me… To this, there are no regrets, but I truly appreciate that I witnessed this show and can appreciate Slayer now, more. Their place in metal music history is second to very very few… I love that I am old enough and that I was a part of birth of thrash… and the verbal battles between Metallica and Slayer fans. For tonight I put down that childish banter and banged thy head away to one of the finest…
A no doubt about it 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘 evening of memorable metal and a rousing bow out
to a "blastastic" career!
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