There’s no other way to say that name in a crowd of metalheads and not get that response. They are currently on the fifth leg of their farewell tour and there was no way I was gonna miss this concert. I last saw them in San Antonio mid last year and this Tuesday I traveled to Edinburg, which was about the same driving distance- 2 hours each way. Bert Ogden Arena is a new venue in South Texas which has never been the center of a metal show until tonight. And what better way than to get baptized in fire by the all mighty Slayer.
This time around I was lucky enough to get the meet and greet package, courtesy of my wife which l was so grateful for. Walking up to the venue, people were lined up 3 hours before door time dressed in battle vests displaying their favorite bands. As I waited in line to get my M&G package, you could hear stories of first hand accounts of seeing Slayer over the decades or of some instances of fans being first timers. As for the actual meet and greet- it almost passed like a blur. Meeting these metal legends was pretty epic. Tom even commented that he liked my tattoos on my arms, which left me exhilarated and giddy!
Opening up the pit first was the death metal legends Cannibal Corpse. Even tho I have seen them numerous times, their face melting riffage, break neck tempo and Corpsegrinders neck and vox leave me feeling adrenaline filled. The 30 minute set was a surprise, but they managed to pack in some boot stomping goodness by playing classics spanning their 30 plus year career such as: Evisceration Plague, I Cum Blood, and Hammer Smashed Face to name a few. Even with the early crowd, a sizable circle pit broke out letting those still coming inside know that they were in the right place.
CANNIBAL CORPSE Setlist: Evisceration Plague, Scourge of Iron, Red Before Black, I Cum Blood, Stipped Raped and Strangled, Hammer Smashed Face
Cannibal Corpse Online:
Up next was the Swedes Amon Amarth! I had never seen them before and I was truly excited to finally catch them live. And boy oh boy, they did not disappoint. With the stage set up like a viking ship ready to conquer the world, Amon Amarth showed that they aim to spread their music across with world. Having just released their newest album Berserker, there was no question from the crowds response that they too were ready to take over the country. Songs played included: The Pursuit of Vikings, First Kill, and Raise Your Horns. After having watched their set, I know that I will surely catch them next time around.
AMON AMARTH Setlist: The Pursuit of Vikings, Deceiver of the Gods, First Kill, Crack The Sky, As Loke Falls, Twilight of the Thunder God, Raise Your Horns, Raven’s Flight, Shield Wall, Guardians of Asgaard
Amon Amarth Online:
Next was a band that needs no introduction: Lamb of God! For decades LoG have established themselves at the forefront of metal music and lead the charge into the future maelstrom. They have been the main support each leg of Slayers final tour and rightly so. As LoG took the stage, the crowd went into a frenzy, screaming and shouting like rabid animals finally set free. Starting off with Omerta, circle pits erupted throughout the arena and head banging was all but mandatory. Frontman Randy is able to capture a crowd and bring them to the edge of delirium while the rest of the band sets the chaotic pace. Every time that I have seen LoG, I feel like I can never get enough. Other fan favorites included: Walk With Me in Hell & 512. Ending on the epic rager Redneck, I could see at least 3 different circle pits break out, fans yelling and singing in unison; leaving voices hoarse and necks strained.
LAMB OF GOD Setlist: 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
Lamb of God Online:
Finally with the curtains up and lights out, visions of four crosses appeared on the canvas, slowly turning upside down followed by the Slayer emblem rotate and bounce around as a warning to those in attendance. Hell was about to break loose! As the curtain dropped, black hearts stopped and the ritual began as the thrash titans took the stage. Flames erupted and a thunderous sound of aggression swept the crowd of over six thousand. Three decades have not slowed the titanic thrashers as witnessed by their speed and precision. Playing songs from their twelve albums at breakneck speeds without missing a step, Slayer is like mythical creature come to life whose only purpose was to play some of the most brutal and memorable music in metal history.
Circle pits shook the foundation of the arena and waves of fun filled rage enveloped the night. No one was left standing still as fans were possessed by notes and beats were permanently engraved in the concrete. Looking around the venue were a sea of young and old fans that have been following Slayer for decades. Each person making memories in their own way to take with them forever to later recall years from now, to state with a tone of awe and wonder that they saw Slayer on their last tour.
Knowing that this would be my last time seeing them play live was bitter sweet. My excitement permeated me to the bone, yet I was also sad that there might never be a full tour again. With this knowledge, I enjoyed the music to the fullest like my fellow metal heads and let it sink into my being; feeling each riff in my veins, pound of the drums in my chest, boom of the bass and sinister singing pierce my ears. As the night went on, I came to a conclusion that there will never be a band like Slayer ever again and yet there doesn’t have to be. One thing I take comfort in is knowing that I was lucky enough to have witnessed one of the greatest thrash band in the world: FUCKING SLAYER!
Evil Has no Boundaries
World Painted Blood
Born of Fire
Seasons In The Abyss
South of Heaven
Dead Skin Mask
Angel of Death