After a bone rattling late night talk show appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last week, metal thrash giants Slayer still remain a forcible machine after three decades and continued their summer tour assault in front of rapid fans Wednesday night at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield Colorado.
Polish death metal band Behemoth opened the show with their blend of dark thrash metal combined with fantastic visual production. The stage setup had eagle decorations, fire symbols, and metal mic stands surrounded in snakes and emblems. Dressed in a ceremonial robe and face paint, Frontman Nergal took charge often raising his arms and putting his hand to his ear to pump up the crowd. The band played a lot of fan favorites including “Conquer All”, and set closer “Chant for Eschaton 2000”.
Backed onstage by a wall of LED screens, metal veterans Lamb of God continued the onslaught ripping through a short set of songs just as they have since their formation in the late 90’s. Frontman Randy Blythe is as energetic and as angry as ever and flies around stage often jumping in place or leaping off the drum riser. Always not shy about voicing his social opinions, Blythe mid set preached to the audience not to fall for the lies that mass media spreads for the sake of advertising dollars. This was a nice lead in to the song “Engage the Fear Machine” persuading the audience to “take action” and make a social difference in the world. After hitting on a few LOG set staples, the band closed out their portion of the night with “Walk With Me in Hell”, and “Redneck”.
The drama was heightened as upside down crosses and animated logos projected on a white curtain in front of the stage. As a song intro started, the white curtain fell and Slayer burst into Repentless, the opening track off of their latest album. Although Jeff Hanneman’s songwriting talents are gone, the shoes are filled graciously live by guitarist Gary Holt who brought a fiery energy to the songs. Vocalist Tom Araya may not able to headband anymore due to his neck health but both Holt and guitarist Kerry King traded solos like brothers that have been in a band together for thirty years. Slayer pulled songs from virtually every album in their catalog. As the set kept up the brutal pace, they would play four new songs from Relentless while leaving the last half to other favorites such as “Dead Skin Mask”, “Mandatory Suicide”, and “Born of Fire”. At the end fans would be treated to five songs from Seasons in the Abyss including the closing classic “Angel of Death”. Even in Hanneman’s passing, Slayer continues to push the machine forward and the fans are happy to join them on the ride.