Pure Rock Patroller
Friday, January 25, 2002 @ 1:46 PM
Slayer & Hatebreed Live At Toa
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In light of their most recent studio effort, God Hates Us All, Slayer took to the road promoting the God Hates The World Tour. Long story short: the drummer injures his elbow, and there's still half a tour to finish. What do they do? Acquire one of the best metal drummers of all time to finish up the tour, former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.
This show was sure to be a classic! Many a Slayer fan never thought they'd see a full reunion of the most intense Metal band of all time. With their history of extreme stage brutality, and being Dave Lombardo’s first show back with the band, the night would only know what lie ahead....
Metal/hardcore touring fixtures Hatebreed were the supporting act, and took the stage at a mere 9:00. The band hails from the very city of New Haven, and it would be an understatement to say the crowd was PUMPED to see their hometown heroes returning to Toads Place once again, only as a devilish appetizer for their favorite band, the legendary Slayer. There was a linked cage dividing the 21+ age group from the Under 21, which was rather ridiculous in the eyes of the fans, but it only helped to make them more angry. Hatebreed immediately ripped into a setlist that was sure to make and hardcore kids head bob. Guitarist Sean Martin, sporting a bald head and bombastic headbanging skills, was a dead ringer for Kerry King, which only added to the anticipation of the headlining act. Singer Jamey Jasta made sure the crowd knew the band was grateful for their "love and support" (typical of any hardcore veteran), stating how proud he was of the fans who stuck with the band through years of problems. The band played a few songs from their 3rd coming album, "Perseverance,” which will be released March 26th, also their first album in 4 years. This band has certainly made a name for themselves, and this show only made the hometown fans even more "hardcore.”
After a good 15 minutes of soundcheck and guitar tweaking, the mighty Slayer took the stage in original form. A place this small, housing a band like Slayer made for a one-of-a-kind vibe. The lights turned off, as the white spotlights and strobe lights welcomed the intro to "Disciple,” the first track off the Sept 11 release God Hates Us All. The intensity, anticipation, anger, and sheer desire for aggression of the audience was at its highest level when the first verse kicked in. After that it was smooth thrashing, moshing, climbing, and well....sailing into the rest of the set. Dave Lombardo was sounding amazing on the new songs as well as the old classics. The band conquered the crowd as Tom Araya (vocals, bass) screamed the intro to the second song "WAR ENSEMBLE!" After the third song it was only natural that this crowd of crazy maniacs tour the fence divider down, and the show had to be stopped for about ten minutes while the crew lifted half of the fence away. During which, Tom attempted to calm the crowd down in the sick way that he does, saying "All you guys up here near the fence, I want you to just back away.....come on, come on, back AWAY from the fence so the guys can get it out of here and give you some more room." The crowd chanted "Drop The Fence! Drop The Fence!,” at which point Dave inserted a drum beat, and the crowd were now the vocalists. Tom went on to proclaim "It's FUN to play safe!"
The rest of Slayers set consisted of a killer but stagnant collection of classics and newbies. At Dawn The Sleep was a highlight as the entire place chanted, "KILL! KILL! KILL!" for about a minute. I was standing directly next to the huge soundboard, on top of the gear boxes, thrashing my skull like it was going out of style (It did go out of style for a few years), seeming to be the only one around me doing so, instead of just bobbing my head to the beat. Stain Of Mind, Postmortem, Raining Blood, and Hell Awaits all were played in killer form, as they are fixtures of Slayers live setlist. Die By The Sword, Born Of Fire, Bloodline, and God Sent Death provided a decent mix of old and new tunes to thrash to. I managed to steal the setlist, in which Captor Of Sin was listed, but they skipped over it for some reason. Me and the guys next to me were pissed!
A very cool change, was when Tom backed away from the mic and SCREAMED the chorus to Dead Skin Mask as an eerie intro and crowd participation agent. The song had everybody singing, including the women who were just their because of their boyfriends. Halfway through Dead Skin, a couple of lovely ladies in tight pink dresses, and big blond hair jumped up on stage and began what appeared to be....( dun dun DUN!) ..Go-Go dancing at a Slayer concert. They were a pleasant site, but next time girls, save it for Motley Crue. Seasons In The Abyss continued the "same ole, same ole" setlist, immediately followed by one of the coolest intros I've heard, "This is a song that goes out to you know who! You know what they say....PAYBACKS A BITCH MOTHER FUCKER!" The band completely tore the venue up with their ripping version of the song Payback, a gargantuan "sore thumb" of God Hates Us All. It was about this time Tom stopped and said "What I'm really impressed with is how you guys always find a way to enjoy yourselves, that's what's important.”
As usual, they rounded out the show with the classics Mandatory Suicide, Chemical Warfare, South Of Heaven, and you guessed it....ANGEL OF DEATH!
Aside from the "been there, done that" setlist.....this show indeed lived up to the hype that was swarming the valley all month. Tom, Kerry, Jeff, and the amazing Dave Lombardo delivered a KILLER performance. This show is one for the books. An amazing reunion, at an amazing venue.