Thursday, November 20, 2003 @ 3:57 PM
Slayer Live at the House of Bl
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REVIEW BY: MadMadMike
The chilly rain outside Downtown Disney’s House of Blues in Orlando probably made Minnie Mouse’s nipples hard. The dark gloom of the day was the perfect backdrop to the sea of black shirts, leather pants, skull tattoos and mascara that lined up to see thrash masters Slayer, with opening acts Arch Enemy and Hatebreed.
There was benefit to scoring tickets to the show the day they went on sale, as the first 50 ‘bangers who bought from TicketBastard were allowed into the sold-out 2500 seat hall 20 minutes before the anxious throng. My perch was dead center on the low balcony. Jagermeister is sponsoring this trek, so might as well support them with a couple of blasts of their mix, right? I still say the stuff tastes like Vicks Formula 44 and works like NyQuil.
This was an all-ages show, and all ages were there. The rattleheads were an impressive force; kids seeing Slayer for the first time standing next to veteran metalists old enough to be their dads.
A terrible local band played a mercifully short set that started at 6:30, and then the Jager Girls came out and tossed a dozen shirts to the crowd. The ones that were not caught outright were torn to shreds.
Sweden’s Arch Enemy, obviously influenced by Slayer and classic European heavy metal like UFO, display a dual lead attack by brothers Mike and Chris Amott. They blasted generous 4/4 beats and great solos (remember solos?) Musically, I could listen to them all day. But vocalist Angela Gossow’s ‘gurgling undertow’ vocals are a bit tough to take in quantity, both on record and live on stage. Her Death-meets-Carcass vocal style is been-there-done-that in the ‘90s, and a ‘singer’ would much better fit the style of this excellent music.
After another t-shirt toss and another Jagermeister shot (okay, 3), Hatebreed came onstage and set the crowd afire with their sick hardcore pow-bang that turned the people blender on to ‘grind’.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the ‘Breed has been on the road with Slayer, and frontman Jamey Jasta’s gratitude was constant. New joints from The Rise of Brutality (which is all of 32 sonic minutes long) follow the trail blazed by 2002’s Persevererance nicely. Hatebreed is the proper junk machine to roll out the blood stained red carpet for Slayer.
A final t-shirt toss brought out a tour spokesman with a guy who won a Slayer/ Jagermeister guitar case (without a guitar in it, strangely enough). The two shared a shot of Jager onstage, and the crowd started chanted “Drink it all, drink it all.” The spokesman tipped the Jager jug up and slammed the most of a fifth to the cheers of the masses. A heavy metal puke party backstage was predicted by many.
In 19 Eighty Something, I witnessed Slayer open for WASP in Salt Lake City during their ‘Reign In Blood’ tour. I’d had the record since its release and burned the songs into my skull for months leading up to the live show. Slayer mixed joints like “Hell Awaits” and “Die By The Sword” into several songs from Reign In Blood that night. My wish was that they would just play the songs from the best metal record of all time complete, from “Angel of Death” on through to “Raining Blood.” Every subsequent tour, the Slaytanic Wehrmacht wanted to hear any individual cut from the record in the Slayer live set.
Tonight it finally happened.
Opening with “Disciple” then moving to “War Ensemble,” I thought the same set list was going to come out again, and I could have avoided driving 250 miles from Miami and stayed home and watched the DVD.
Much of what you expect from a Slayer show did come out: “God Send Death,” “Chemical Warfare,” “Payback,” “Hell Awaits,” “South of Heaven,” “Stain of Mind,” “Dead Skin Mask,” “Mandatory Suicide.” Unexpected was “Necrophiliac,” “At Dawn They Sleep” and “Fight ‘Til Death.”
What a way to close a show. The entire Reign In Blood record played in all its furious power and venom from front to back by the original 4 guys who wrote it. This is, by far, the most important tour that Slayer has ever done. They prove that, even after 20 years, no one (NO one) does metal better, and they put it on display for 2 generations of fans to witness. Do not miss this tour, headbangers. Do you want to die?