Live Review

In much the same way that people who actually think American Beauty was a good movie with something to say about our country will never understand what an infinitely superior movie about America The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was, intellectuals have really blown it when it comes to Slayer. Does anyone really believe “One Tin Soldier” is a better song than “Mandatory Suicide”? Whaddaya think the soldiers in Baghdad are listening to in their tanks and things? I mean, get the shit out of your ears! It was a fuckin' giant anti-war concert, dude!

We arrived just in time to see some guy onstage who was introducing Lamb of God call us Californians a bunch of “spring-roll eating faggots,” whereas he apparently came from the East Coast, “where shit is real.” (What, Delaware?) He exhorted the women in the crowd to bare their breasts, and when the house lights were brought up in vain, as they neither illuminated areola mammae nor shadowed pleasure orb, the MC, or whatever he was, rebuked the men in the audience for not earning enough money to afford girlfriends with massive, fake tits. Okay, so it wasn't like a real enlightened Quaker-type anti-war concert! Of course not! It was SLAYER, DUDE!!! BRUTAL AS FUCK!!!

The band is touring behind Christ Illusion, its first album with Dave Lombardo since Seasons in the Abyss. Lombardo's drumming is so much a part of the band's sound that it's hard to imagine that they even tried to play without him, particularly as they sped through faster versions of “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death.” The only song the band played from the new album was its best, “Cult,” an anti-Christian rant not too far theologically from Crass's “Reality Asylum”—aside from that, it was all hits: “South of Heaven,” “War Ensemble,” “Dead Skin Mask,” “Hell Awaits.” Between songs, roadies toweled the sweat off Jeff Hanneman's and Kerry King's guitars as bassist and singer Tom Araya paced around. During songs, video montages of war atrocities and Slayer logos played on a screen between two huge inverted crosses made out of Marshall cabinets. If it sounds corny, it's because you weren't there.

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