June 15, 2018
As a concert photographer, I am typically well prepared for each show, arriving to the venue at the minimum of an hour early however, tonight I wasn’t prepared for the amount of people attending the show. You would think for as many people there were to be in attendance, they would have police directing traffic but they didn’t. Parking was a nightmare due to water-soaked areas so I spent 40 minutes just trying to park. Watching the clock tick away, by the time I was able to park and get into the Amp, I missed Testament.
I will readily admit, heavy metal isn’t my top choice for music but I was excited to be able to see these heavy hitters, especially Slayer for their final hoorah. As I walked up to the pit I was amazed at the sea of black (shirts) as far as the eye could see. This truly was a sold out show!
Up first (for me anyway) was Behemoth. A Polish extreme metal band and formed in 1991 with members NERGAL - Rhythm, Lead and Acoustic Guitars, Throat, New Aeon Propaganda and War Strategy, INFERNO - Drums of Annihilation and Artillery, ORION - Low End Frequencies and Fornication, SETH - Rhythm and Lead Guitars. Tonight’s setlist included Ov Fire & the Void, Demigod, Ora Pro Nubis Lucifer, Wolves of Siberia, Chant for Eschaton 2000 & O Father O Satan O Sun!
Next on the line up was Anthrax, an American heavy metal band from New York City formed in 1981 by Scott Ian & Dan Liker. With 37 years of experience behind them, the boys of Anthrax came out and got the crowd pumping. Even with a slight mic mishap for Joey Belladonna, the crowd did stop raging with fists and horns in the air to Caught in a Mosh, Got the Time (a Joe Jackson cover), Madhouse, I Am the Law, Evil Twin, Antisocial, Indians & Long Live Rock n’ Roll.
Lamb of God was next to hit the stage. They are an American heavy metal band from Richmond, Virginia. Formed in 1994 as Burn the Priest, the group consists of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler. Randy Blythe, was a commanding presence on the stage between his jumps and dreads thrashing. Their setlist included Omerta, Ruin, Walk With Me in Hell, Now You’ve Got Something to Die for, 512, Engage the Fear Machine, Blacken the Cursed Sun, Laid to Rest & Redneck.
Now for the Main Event – SLAYER! Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by vocalist and bassist Tom Araya and guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Current members are Vocals and Bass / Tom Araya, Guitars / Kerry King, Guitars / Gary Holt & Drums / Paul Bostaph.
On January 22 of this year, End of Days: Slayer announced their final World Tour to which true fans were saddened. One fan (Autistic Plane) wrote on Slayer’s site after the announcement: Through my youth...I had Slayer. In the teenage angst, I had Slayer. Through my tours in the Ghan (Afghanistan), and the Raq (Iraq), I had Slayer. Both of my sons...they had Slayer. From their birth, to their first concert, We had Slayer! I don't want to believe this, because, SLAYER is a part of my family. The maniac fans, destructive speed, and repentless aggression, all of this my family. I am beside myself right now.... I don’t want to believe it....FUCKIN SLAYER!!!! I will see you on tour.
For their final bow, the set list included Repentless, Blood Red, Disciple, Mandatory Suicide, Hate Worldwide, Ware Ensemble, Jihad, When the Stillness Comes, Postmortem, Black Magic, Payback, Season in the Abyss, Dittohead, Dead Skin Mask, Hell Awaits, South of Heaven, Raining Blood, Chemical Warfare & Angel of Death.
While I will admit, this was a tad too heavy for me personally I was still amazed at the passion, energy & excitement I saw from the Sea of Black which included those at the very front against the rails of the pit to the very back of the Amp. They offered up a perfect sendoff to a band they loved so much.
LAMB OF GOD: