On Friday, November 15th (the same day the PS4 dropped), Slayer performed in Chicago, and yours truly was there taking it all in. Just as they did the first time I saw them play with the Big 4 in the UK, Slayer kicked ass and took names. All night long, Kerry King and Gary Holt sent spine-tingling guitar riffs and solos down everyone’s spine… ahh, it’s like heaven, right?
One more thing, I know it’s like six months later, but I would like to give a moment of silence for Jeff Hanneman. We miss you, Brother! I know you’re up there performing in the super band with Cliff, Dime, Dio, and Randy. Now don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of Slayer fans aren’t happy with Gary Holt taking over for Jeff, but honestly he’s done quite a good job these past couple years. I have mad respect for him and the fact that he’s helping keep the Slayer torch lit.
For the show’s opener, Slayer went all the way back to the classic “Hell Awaits.” The thing that made this concert different from the others, was that Slayer was playing they’re classics from their first five albums: Show No Mercy, Hell Awaits, Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, and Seasons in the Abyss. No songs were played from the years after 1990’s Seasons in the Abyss, which I thought was awesome. Slayer was going back to their “thrash” roots for this one.
Reigning Thrash Gods
Tom Araya is one badass guy — not going to lie. There were times during the gig when he would just take a break for a minute to get ready to address the crowd. But he didn’t just start yacking away, he would stand there and just look at the audience triumphantly for several minutes at a time while everyone cheered and threw up the horns. It’s as if he stood there knowing Slayer has earned its due and has paved that way for the world of thrash metal.
Slayer went on to play such classics as “Mandatory Suicide,” “War Ensemble,” “Postmortem,” “Seasons in the Abyss,” “Raining Blood,” “South of Heaven,” and “Angel of Death.” After Slayer played “Raining Blood,” they dropped the Heineken banner that was customized in memory of Jeff Hanneman. It showed Hanneman’s name in place of “Heneiken,” and the banner also included the title “Angel of Death” on top and “Still Reigning” at the bottom.
I would like to mention that I was quite disappointed with the crowd’s involvement. Thousands of metalheads gathered in one place to be united as ONE to jam out to some Slayer. That means there should be pits everywhere and people headbanging and chanting, fists pumping in the air. C’mon guys and girls, next time I hope it’s a lot better than this.