News of Slayer’s farewell tour hit many in the metal community hard, but in a year of farewell tours, it’s not surprising that this Huntington Park, CA band, created in 1981, would call it a day.
Joining Slayer on this final trek across North America were fellow thrash metal veterans Anthrax and Testament, current thrash flag-bearers Lamb of God, and British grindcore pioneers Napalm Death.
It would be easy to say that this lineup of veteran thrash legends is a cash grab nostalgia tour, but nothing could be further from the truth. All five bands are touring on current releases. Critics have proclaimed the latest Anthrax and Testament releases among the best of their respective careers. This was a lineup of bands still fresh, despite several decades of headbanging that left fans of each band wanting more.
New York-based Anthrax had an especially strong contingent of fans in attendance, as lead vocalist Joey Belladonna is a native of Oswego, a short drive from the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater. Anthrax, always the historians, opened and closed their set with a tribute to the recently deceased Pantera drummer, Vinnie Paul. The band opened with the riff from the Pantera classic, “Cowboys From Hell” and closed with the same, sending those in attendance into a headbanging frenzy. Anthrax, particularly bassist Frankie Bello, is one fun band to watch perform.
While most of the show was an exercise in headbanging for the largely 40-something crowd, Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe added some acrobatics to his band’s set, invariably leaping from the riser at the front of the stage.
Napalm Death performed a career-spanning set, including a slightly extended version of their song, “You Suffer.” This track, from Napalm Death’s debut album Scum, has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Shortest Recorded Song at 1.316 seconds long. Make some time to hear that below:
Slayer bid a fond farewell to a standing ovation following a raucous “Angel of Death” from the band’s classic Reign in Blood album. Their setlist was dotted with songs covering their entire career, including the opener, the title song from their latest album, Repentless.
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, Angel of Death
Lamb of God
Omerta, Ruin, Walk With Me in Hell, Now You’ve Got Something to Die For, 512, Engage the Fear Machine, Blacken the Cursed Sun, Laid to Rest, Redneck
Cowboys From Hell (Pantera cover) (Jam), Caught in a Mosh, Got the Time (Joe Jackson cover), Madhouse, Be All, End All, Evil Twin, Antisocial (Trust cover), Indians
Brotherhood of the Snake, Rise Up, Dog Faced Gods, The Preacher, Practice What You Preach, The New Order, Into the Pit, Over the Wall
Multinational Corporations, Instinct of Survival, When All Is Said and Done, Smash a Single Digit, Standardization, Suffer the Children, Silence Is Deafening, How the Years Condemn, Scum, You Suffer, Dead, Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover)