Slayer, August 27, 2018, SAP Arena, San Jose, CA

So Slayer is finally done. With the US at least. This show was their final US date (until they pull a Scorpions, Ozzy, Aerosmith, etc) with support from Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament, and Napalm Death. Behemoth was supposed to be the opener; I'm not sure why they changed it.

My wife and I got the meet and greet package; I've met Kerry King, Gary Holt, and Paul Bostaph several times. A good friend of mine used to date Bostaph (he makes great BBQ chicken and also has some ESP guitars). As we waited outside the venue, the JesusCrew™ assembled with their megaphone and large banners proclaiming us all sinners. Yeah, try to tell a Slayer crowd what do to. Most people ignored these clowns. One attendee was dressed in a Jesus robe and had a large JESUS LISTENS TO SLAYER sign. He kept posing in front of these guys while people took pictures of him. At one point, 2 guys on electric scooters started circling the main clown. It was Will Adler of Lamb of God. He shot a lot of selfies and took photos with the 2 people that recognized him. We were finally let in the venue early to line up to meet Slayer. The meet and greet was super quick. All the band members shook our hands and were very cordial. Tom Araya is that guy that looks you straight in the eyes. Paul Bostaph loved my Testament Return to Apocalyptic City shirt.

Onto the show!

I sat out Napalm Death. I'm just not a fan. So my wife and I grabbed some drinks (we found a bartender whose single shots were almost triples!). Most of the merchandise was all Slayer stuff. Not one Testament shirt. Some nice Anthrax shirts, but I kinda can't stand Baldini so I didn't buy one in protest.

Testament kicked ass. Skolnick played with more emotion and fire than I've seen him play with in a long time. Years ago after he left Testament, he rejoined them for the Chuck Schuldiner Thrash of the Titans show. He seemed to have forgotten what vibrato and feeling were. Last night he often took center stage with Eric Peterson for the guitar harmonies and played most of his classic solos note for note. Drummer Gene Hoglan...holyshitballs. His double bass was fire, yo. The audio mix wasn't the greatest and the SAP Arena typically has shitty sound. But every drumbeat was felt. I loved seeing them play Dog Faced Gods (even though Skolnick played his own solo instead of covering James Murphey's). They brought Das Metal and brought it strong.

Anthrax was next and started with Pantera's Cowboys from Hell. I don't like Pantera but it was a good intro to Caught in a Mosh. Anthrax's sound was clearer than Testaments and was more balanced. The guitars were definitely louder and clearer. Joey Beladonna sounded great. But in typical Anthrax fashion...Got the Time. Antisocial. Why waste time with these songs? Why not add Paranoid and Iron Man? A big surprise was Be All, End All. I love that song but not the record it's on. They played another Pantera bit (crap...can't forget which one). A solid performance.

I sat out most of Lamb of God because I'm not a fan. I caught the end of their set and as expected, the sound quality was better. Do the sound guys intentionally shit on the opening bands? My guess is yes. The band had a impressive stage set and backdrop and played with intensity. I can't fault them for anything and I was entertained by what I saw.

The last time I saw Slayer a few years ago, I left the show after 3 songs because the mix was awful. All drums and bass. It was possibly one of the worst sounding concerts I've been too. This time they sounded amazing. Tom's vocals were loud and clear and everything just sounded great. They had all kinds of hellish artwork backdrops. Constant flames. Smoke. They took us to hell. Payback and Hell Awaits were the highlights of their set. They're fuckin' Slayer!

All these bands aren't getting younger. Are any of them even under 50 anymore? They're all in good shape (for the most part) and they all worked as a band to give amazing performances.


  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 2,316
    Sounds like a great gig. This reminds me I really need to see Testament live. I love Skolnick's playing.
  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 9,599
    edited August 2018
    I might have gone just to see Testament. Lamb of God I like but don't know most of their material. Only owned a couple albums but I love Mark Morton's guitar playing. He is amazing. Anthrax I am a fan of the classic era and some of the John Bush era.....but they need a more commanding lead guitarist. Danny Spitz was perfect in that band. I hate Scott like Art I have trouble supporting them....Slayer I have never been a huge fan of. I like Gary Holt....and it might have been worth seeing just to say I have.

    Sounded like a kickass show Art....
    Post edited by Duojett71 on
  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,601
    Jon Donais in Anthrax is no slouch. He does the Spitz solos really well. All the bands Brought The Metal™. Such great performances and energy.
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