To call this line-up legendary is an understatement. Slayer is calling it quits, so they are bringing Obituary, Lamb Of God and Anthrax with them to say goodbye to their loyal fans. I had to see this once in a lifetime lineup, so we’re off to London! The SSE arena is sold out and you can feel the excitement even outside the venue. People are yelling ‘SLAYEEEEER’, the merchandise truck is selling like crazy and we see all kinds of people from all over the world. Since almost every metalhead has a Slayer shirt, the Wembley area gets filled with pentagrams and skulls.
The arena is getting crowded, and when everyone had their pre-concert drink at the bar it is time for Obituary (****) to kick off this night. The band starts to play and the sound was immediately just perfect. And after a few minutes headbanging to Redneck Stomp, John Tardy enters the stage and he blows everyone away with his recognizable vocals. With a good mix off old and new songs they manage to warm up the audience. A few intense mosh pits show that people are here to have fun! Obituary closes their set with one of their most brutal tunes Slowly we Rot. Maybe it’s weird that a band like Obituary, that’s been around for decades, opens up a concert night.. But this couldn’t be a better set to let the crowd know that this evening is going to be insanely intense and legendary!
Anthrax (***) was given the second spot this evening. These veterans still got it! The band puts out so much energy. Scott Ian is stomping all over the place and doesn’t miss one note. Joey Belladonna asks the crowd to sing along to classics like Indians and Madhouse and gets massive response. Too bad they played two covers in this short amount of stage time. Sure, Got the time (Joe Jackson cover) and Antisocial (Trust cover) are great songs, but they could’ve played more of their own material. Although it was pretty cool they ended with the breakdown from Pantera‘s Cowboys From Hell. That should keep those mosh pits going!
‘For those of you who do not know: we are Lamb Of God (****) from Richmond motherfucking Virginia’. These words always always give me the chills, because I love every word that comes out of Randy Blythe‘s throat. And so does the entire SSE arena, judging from the amount of response the band gets from the fans during their set. The stage is an impressive stairway from top to bottom. Starting with two older songs, Omerta and Ruin, the crowd immediately starts to headbang and mosh like maniacs. We also get a few singalongs from Lamb Of God. Songs like Walk With Me In Hell and 512 that will definitely get some throats sore the morning after. Not closing their set with Black Label, like they did for years, but with Redneck was an excellent choice. Those huge circlepits are the proof of that. Side note: Chris Adler was replaced (due to an injury) by Art Cruz as a drummer for this tour and he did an excellent job.. Because those are big shoes to fill. Lamb Of God proved they are worthy to open up for Slayer and even have the second to last spot on the evening. Great vibe, very energetic and just a strong live band.
At a ‘normal’ metal gig, this would be the time we all went home or to a bar to talk about the evening. But the best is yet to come! The almighty Slayer (****1/2) is about to show everybody how it’s done. The stage is an impressive collection of pentagrams and upside-down crosses. And literally fire everywhere during the entire show! The intro for Repentless rings through the pa-system and the whole atmosphere in the SSE arena changes! Everyone that has seated spots gets up and doesn’t sit down during the entire show. The band seems to be in top shape and you can tell that they are very excited to play. Since Slayer has so many songs everyone was curious about the setlist for this tour. I think they definitely went for the most heavy set they could think of! I personally liked the fact they played a lot of song from Seasons In The Abyss. But there’s something nice and heavy for everyone’s liking. Songs like War Ensemble, Chemical Warfare and Payback are just pure genius insanity! This performance is just beyond perfection and professionalism. Maybe one of the best times I’ve seen Slayer play, especially because of the enthusiasm of the band. Gary Holt is all over the place, Kerry King nails every crazy solo, Paul Bostaph is just a machine and Tom Araya is a top class frontman even without headbanging. Ending the set with their classics and a crazy amount of fire, this evening couldn’t be more perfect.
This Slayer farewell tour is a must-see! The lineup is amazing and the production is insane! A well-oiled machine with four huge names in metal. Just imagine being the guy that was in the seat next to me that slept through the whole thing from start to end.. I’d say better luck next time, but you’d have to hurry up because these are the last chances to see Slayer in all its glory!