Pure Rock Patroller
Wednesday, December 19, 2001 @ 4:52 PM
Slayer Live At The Celebrity T
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My brother and I have been listening to Slayer for years upon years. I began with Metallica, graduated to bands like MOD and Anthrax, DRI and Suicidal Tendencies, but no band really made me sit back and allow the fury, anger, and energy that was pulsing from my Sony boom box raise goosebumps on every square inch of my body. Not until I heard Slayer. Now, granted I lived a normal, suburbanite childhood (meaning my parents were divorced, I was smoking dope in junior high, and we were living high on the upper middle-class hog) in "Normalville." I apparently, according to my mother, didn't have much to be angry about. I discovered after listening to Slayer, that THAT was what made me angry. We were conditioned to think that as long as we do well in school and pay our taxes that everything would "be ok" and we'd live happily ever after. Tom, Kerry, Jeff, Dave, and eventually Paul showed me that there were things wrong with society, things that I'd never see. Slayer was like a screeching Time magazine where you could read up on all the evil, sick shit that happens in the world.
Now he and I have seen Slayer a couple times. Once at the Clash of the Titans tour where they were like little, evil GI Joes on a stage far, far away. Again in the Buena Vista Theater in Tucson, where the first 10 rows of movie theater seats were removed and I was truly in fear for my life and that of my 14-year old brother. Now December 11th, also the second day of Hanukah (how evil is that, preventing all the good Jewish girls and boys in Phoenix from seeing them play) was the evening of their visit to Phoenix in support of what some call their loudest, angriest (although not the fastest) album yet. We drove to the Celebrity Theater, trying to keep the contents of our brown bags hidden and inconspicuous while driving to one of the more run-down sections of town. This is basically a "theater in the round" where most bands just have a back drop and play to about 180-200 degrees of audience. Not Slayer. They played to at least 270 degrees of fist-pounding, sweating, bleeding audience.
We missed the opener, which we thought was supposed to be AHC, but we heard from fans that some "fags with TWO keyboards" were just on stage, and that one of the openers had a hurt band member, so they couldn't play. I am still unsure of who I missed, because I know that AHC has something like 7 people in their band, and what I have heard of Chimaira, they sound like they might need to tour with at least one keyboard player. Regardless of who was who, we got there with enough time to suck down a Guinness or two before the ear-harassing deluge began.
The lights dim, and they cue up the scary little opening track from the CD, and when they walk on stage, hardly noticeable from their black clothing, black guitars, black floor covering, and black amplifier coverings. Missing, due I'm sure to the small stage, was any kind of set decoration or backdrop. Just four middle aged, sweaty, unshaven, long-haired (with one notable exception), agents of honest-to-goodness evil rocking the fuck out of the Celebrity Theater and that evenings patrons. Rocking harder than most bands with a third of their experience onstage. Even if you don't get close to the pit, you get beat up. You just get fucking wrecked, and you love EVERY minute of it. I have lots of "favorite" bands, Primus being at the top of the list, but only at Slayer concerts do I truly lose my voice. And I'm not just hoarse. My voice is gone for a good 24 hours.
One thing I noticed at this particular show is one thing that I had noticed was lacking from the previous shows I attended. Girls! I'm not talking about the scary psuedo-goth girls that are just flat-out NOT attractive. I am talking about girls with sexy piercings and ripped fishnet stockings and leather garments, girls wearing tight-fighting Slayer shirts from tours long past. Girls with bleeding doves tattooed in mirror images just above each breast, showing through their flimsy spaghetti strap top. This is a welcome addition to the sights and sounds of a Slayer concert.
So after a long set of our ears assaulted, our asses rocked and our heads banged, we leave the concert sore, hoarse and utterly invigorated. Still shouting "SLAYER" to passing cars to scare the kiddies, we walked to my car, only to find that my window was busted in, my dashboard ruined with what looked like a chainsaw, and all 93 disks in my CD collection (including the collectors edition of Decade of Aggression that came in that neat black case) had been stolen. A small price to pay...