Slayer Live in Seattle

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, December 27, 2004 @ 1:39 AM

Slayer Live at The Premier in

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REVIEW BY: Malcolm

December 10th, two days in the mourning process for many metal fans around the world, Seattle played host to most distinguished band in the metal world: Slayer. Being just a regular ticket holder, I of course entered the venue like everyone else, in a line that went all the way around the building, in the rainy haze of a non-typical warm Seattle evening. The place, Seattle’s “The Premier” club that hosts two full bars and a large capacity sized floor sectioned off for minors/pit fans up front and the legal aged and drinkers near the back.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized the advantage of sitting as close to the bar as possible when going to these shows. I’ve been to countless metal shows, Slayer being no exception. First time I saw Slayer was in the mid ‘80s and as time has progressed Slayer seems to have remained the immovable object that everyone still loves and admires no matter how many times they’ve seen them. The bar for me was a nice refuge from the new breed of bodies being hurled atop the crowd of swirling involuntarily chaos. It’s still quite a site to see how Slayer can work the crowds into such a frenzied state… I would have to refer to it as art because they have mastered such an ability to keep the crowds coming since 1983.

Backing up a little, Mastodon opened up the show with what I thought was a pretty uninspired set. They seem to crank out some good music on CDs, but live I thought better about hitting the bathroom and talking to some friends… so to be fair I didn’t give them much of a chance after the first two songs.

Then out came Killswitch Engage, the new anticipated band that have had steady rotation on the NU-Headbangers Ball show on MTV2. This is another band that seems to be going through some sort of identity crisis, as the vocals are either some hardcore form style, very formulaic and not very original, or monotonously melodic. They weren’t horrible or anything, but just not that promise of a future sort of band that headlining bands like Slayer should take on the road with them. But then, most of the line-ups for bands anymore aren’t about talent, it’s more about money and tattoo fashion and Slayer brings in the crowds and the crowds have the money that the new bands sponsors need.

Redemption came in the form of The Darkness of Christ, the pre-recorded mix that came over the P.A. as Slayer took the stage like the Allied Forces on D-Day, cranking out “Disciple” and then on into “War Ensemble!” They played a rather eclectic blend of favorites, some surprise oldies like “At Dawn They Sleep” and “Necrophiliac.” They seemed to be going through the expanse of their career song-wise as they covered just about every phase of their recording career. It was yet another great Slayer show, Tom Araya sounded strong as ever and Dave Lombardo pounded his double bass drum kit most likely making everyone in the crowd’s heart skip a beat or 400! The guitars of Jeff and Kerry were on fire and they just owned the crowd from the time they got on stage until the closing number, “Raining Blood!”

Unlike most bands Slayer is not one of those bands that does encores. They play their asses off from start to finish and when they’re done, they’re done and for the most part I’ll bet that Dave Lombardo is quite happy of that fact. As he needed an almost 10 year break from Slayer just to get his arms back to normal. But I think I speak for all Slayer fans when I say we’re very glad and honored that Dave is back in the fold on a permanent basis as Slayer's drummer.

On an interesting note, this had to be the strangest Slayer concert crowd I’ve ever been part of as were a lot of people hugging and crying, as I’m sure that the shock of Dimebag Darrell’s horrific murder 48 hours prior to the show was a major factor in the mood for the show. I, for one, wore a past Pantera concert shirt and received quite a bit of the love that was spreading among the crowd. It was like the entire crowd was in a state of shock and trying to recover through the fellowship of their metal family members. Sure there were still stage divers and the churning pit, but no one that I noticed left bloody or early. There was an endless sea of hands in the air holding out what Ronnie James Dio should have patented, the goat horns! Slayer was definitely the band that everyone came to see.

We raised a glass or 10 to Dimebag during the show as all the bands paid their respects to their fallen brother and the fans lit up in frenzy anytime something was said about Dimebag! When they asked for a moment of silence for Dime the crowd went nuts… I can only attribute that to what we metal heads actually think of silence… we love it turned up and louder than hell…


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