When an iconic metal band like Slayer decides they are playing only seven shows in the U.S. and one of them happens to be at your favorite intimate venue you don’t wait to decide whether you should get tickets, or you may be shut out. That was the case when Slayer played at The Pageant on Thursday.
The concert sold out in a blink of an eye back in January, and for those who hesitated, they were on the outside looking in. For those who were able to snatch up a ticket the experience was certainly worth the wait.
The lineup was laden with veteran metal acts as Exodus and Suicidal Tendencies opened the show with explosive sets themselves. It was a metalhead’s dream come true. Such was evidenced to Slayer vocalist/bassist Tom Araya as he observed how weird it was to come onstage and see everyone with grins on their faces.“This has got to be the happiest crowd I've sen yet."
How could the crowd not smile? After all Slayer had last performed in St. Louis after 2004 a total of 2 times. That had nothing to do with the unfortunate death of original guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013, it was simply that St. Louis was overlooked.
They were last in town for Mayhem Festival in 2012, but that had a shortened set, as is the norm for a festival. This time around they brought out an impressive ensemble of musical pieces.
Slayer (Araya, guitarist Kerry King, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt) entered with “Hell Awaits” “The Antichrist” and “Necrophiliac” to a raucous crowd that wasted no time in trying to crowd surf. Guitarist Kerry King struck his usual menacing pose as he shredded away at his axe with notes so fast one would half expect his guitar to start smoking from the friction.
With very little talking being done by the band the music stayed front and center, and didn’t leave time for anyone in the crowd to catch their breath. Steaming through the setlist that spanned their long thirty-plus year history the sound was tight and attacked the senses like a blitzkrieg.
With mosh pits reigning supreme on the floor the band struck through fan favorites such as “War Ensemble”, “Seasons in the Abyss” and “Angel of Death”. Their music seemed as energetic today as when many of the songs were originally released. Perhaps their timelessness is one reason why they are listed as influences of so many artists today.
The show certainly wasn’t for the faint of heart, but for those who went it seemed to be just the right medicine for any doldrums this past winter may have caused
Suicidal Tendencies performed an exhausting (just from watching them and trying to photograph them), yet exhilarating set. Lead vocalist Mike Muir, in particular, ran around the stage like a kid hyped up on five pounds of candy.
Captor of Sin
Altar of Sacrifice
At Dawn They Sleep
Die by the Sword
Seasons in the Abyss
Dead Skin Mask
South of Heaven
Angel of Death
Suicidal Tendencies Setlist:
You Can’t Bring Me Down
Trip at the Brain
War Inside My Head
Possessed to Skate
I Saw Your Mommy
Pledge Your Allegiance