Slayer brought the final leg of their farewell tour to Columbus, Ohio’s Nationwide Arena which was stacked to the rafters with fanatics there to see Slayer one last time–or for some, the first time. Assuming this is their last live trek, they played a 20 song set of blistering classics, fan favorites and a few surprises to say goodbye. Columbus was on the road to the end of the month and the last two Slayer shows at The Forum in Los Angeles.
Support came from Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals, Ministry and Primus. The opening bands showed no signs of slowing down, filling the arena with hellacious noise, fire, dark imagery and under-worldly light. This is why you don’t just say Slayer, you scream SLAYER! It’s a daunting task for any band to play before them but Anselmo, Al Jourgensen, and Les Claypool pulled it off, even if Primus felt a little out of place.
Anselmo brought “A Vulgar Display of Pantera” honoring Vinnie Paul, Dime and the band’s history. This was probably the closest the young blood would get to seeing Pantera, unless the tribute tour happens with Rex Brown and Zakk Wylde. The song that started the vulgarity Mouth for War punched ears and faces like the first time heard on CD or cassette. Anselmo loudly encouraged pit participation, going Far Beyond Driven on Becoming/Throes of Rejection. The Steel was remembered with Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit with Anselmo dedicating it to the new blood that never got to see them back in the day. The crowd brought up hands going old school, clapping to the beginning of This Love. Strength Beyond Strength was dedicated to “all the f**kers in the pit.” Drums pounded starting Domination into the second half of Hollow. Anselmo said everybody grew up with the last song, as everybody screamed out, A New Level!
Ministry’s set began with Al Jourgensen telling the crowd “we’re gonna do some old songs tonight.” He probed the stage, still the shadowed showman, lurking through strobes and flashes providing an onslaught of screaming light. Still a dread-locked linchpin of the genre, he commanded the stage with a firm boot and loud mic often leaning forward, studying the crowd seeking reaction. Diving eight songs into the deep past The Land of Rape and Honey was revisited opening things up with The Missing, Deity and Stigmata. Sabbath was honored and remembered with 1000 Homo DJ’s on Supernaut. Jourgensen broke out the strings and the old-school Psalms for Just One Fix, N.W.O. and Jesus Built My Hotrod saluting the crowd on the glowing cross podium.
Primus brought the jams with 10+ tunes of career defining sound and animation across multi-screens. The Seas of Cheese set sail with Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers. It was both a cartoonish and psychedelic set with the three-man arena jam. While it could be said that one of these things is not like the others, Primus sported their sound entertaining a largely metal crowd. Too Many Puppies held a heavy groove starting a few selections from Frizzle Fry. They gave the crowd a different taste of prog with some Rush then broke out the Bastards bringing the interstellar, cosmic galactic universe to the stage carrying a very bass-heavy Pink Floyd vibe. Bassist/vocalist Les Claypool mentioned that guitarist Ler LaLonde had played some hockey, now he’s playing a hockey rink. He was also Possessed for all the metalheads there. They didn’t cover anything from Seven Churches but did play some story-time music on The Seven. They ended in ‘radio friendly’ fashion with My Name is Mud and Jerry was a Race Car Driver.
With album spanning artwork draped above, Slayer’s soundtrack to hell returned to Columbus assaulting with a well received live intrusion. The unrelenting, unrepentant chaos and brutality began Repentless.
Mandatory Suicide came early as flames shot out like military battery attacks. Crimson illumination showered the stage like a crime scene in motion on World Painted Blood. The Reign began with the body giving way to the next world in Post Mortem. Seasons changed as the roller coaster ride continued and the war machine rolled out the War Ensemble with Diabolus in Stain of Mind.
Without warning or intro the stillness came. Heat was unleashed on Born of Fire and Payback served from the abyss. The chapel doors creaked open spilling Chemical Warfare as flames flew high and guitars screamed out howls of condemned souls on Hell Awaits. The haunting sing along guitar opening began South of Heaven with Show No Mercy the old school oddity of the night. Guitars wrenched out prolonged notes with the most known pit ready drum beat in metal. Mr. Gein got some extra grave robbing time on Dead Skin Mask ending the night and Slayer’s reign in the Buckeye State with the infamous Angel of Death.
CLICK HERE to see more pics of SLAYER.
CLICK HERE to see more pics of PRIMUS.
CLICK HERE to see more pics of MINISTRY.
CLICK HERE to see more pics of PHILIP H. ANSELMO and The Illegals.