California Thrash

By on December 9, 2014
GARY HOLT - SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

GARY HOLT – SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

 

Slayer with Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus –

November 21st 2014, Hard Rock Live, Orlando, Florida

Back in June I was spending a few days at the happiest place on earth with my family. My wife, my 14 year old son, my mom and my aunt and cousins who were visiting from New York, were all standing in line waiting to meet Mickey Mouse. I get a text from a friend that reads “Slayer, Suicidal & Exodus – Hard Rock 11/21”. My wife looks at me and asks “What’s going on?” I was so freaking excited that I forgot where I was and answered pretty loudly, “FUCKING SLAYER is coming!!” She, not being nearly as ecstatic about Slayer as I am, put her arms around me and whispered into my ear “Honey, I’m really happy that you will get to see Slayer for the umpteenth time, but could you please refrain from dropping another F bomb in front of all these kids? We are in Disney World you know.” Sorry kids, do NOT use foul language, do NOT use illegal drugs, stay in school and ALWAYS listen to Metal!

My friends and I arrived at the venue about an hour before show time and the first thing I noticed up on the marquee was that the show was sold out, proving that rock and metal are very much alive. I wish I had Gene Simmons’ phone number. I would have called him and told him to pound sand in his vagina. Back in September, Gene told Esquire Magazine in an interview conducted by his son Nick that Rock was dead. I have to disagree when a band like Slayer, who has never had a song played on mainstream radio, yet continues to pack the house night after night. Perhaps Mr. Simmons was referring to his own band dying?

After a quick trip to the merchandise booth, we headed to our seats. I find myself more and more looking at seats in the balcony opposed to general admission (no-seats) on the floor. I was never one to get in the mosh pit but now in my 40’s; I don’t want to be anywhere near it. Plus it’s nice to sit down and relax in-between bands.

STEVE "ZETRO" SOUZA - EXODUS (photo by WILL OGBURN)

STEVE “ZETRO” SOUZA – EXODUS (photo by WILL OGBURN)

Up first and right on time was San Francisco Bay Area thrashers Exodus, featuring the return of lead singer Steve “Zetro” Souza. Steve fronted the band from 1986 to 1992, and again from 2002 to 2004. He has returned and Exodus is out supporting their latest release Blood In Blood Out. They ripped through seven songs in thirty minutes including the title track off the new record and their classic “The Toxic Waltz.” Exodus’ only original member & lead guitarist, Gary Holt, is also the newest guitar player in Slayer, replacing Jeff Hanneman after he became ill and passed away in 2013. Needless to say, Gary is the hardest working rocker on this tour pulling double duty for both bands.

MICHAEL MORGAN - SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (photo by WILL OGBURN)

MICHAEL MORGAN – SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (photo by WILL OGBURN)

Next from Los Angeles, California was Suicidal Tendencies. Suicidal Tendencies has been around since 1981 and has had over thirty different members in and out of the band over the years. Drummers, guitar and bass players have come and gone but lead singer Mike Muir remains as its only permanent member. Suicidal Tendencies puts on a very high energy show. Muir doesn’t stop moving from beginning to end, running all over the stage and grooving to the beat like no one else. Mike is definitely getting his daily dose of cardio on tour. The band sounded great but for some reason we got a shortened set; only eight songs in just over thirty minutes. Two songs shorter than what they were doing up until this date on tour thus far. Suicidal Tendencies opened with their biggest known song “You Can’t Bring Me Down.” They also performed “War Inside My Head,” and “Pledge Your Allegiance,” to name a few.

MICHAEL MUIR - SUICIDAL TENDENCIES  (photo by WILL OGBURN)

MICHAEL MUIR – SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (photo by WILL OGBURN)

TOM ARAYA - SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

TOM ARAYA – SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

 

And now it’s time for the powerful and all mighty FUCKING SLAYER!! The stage was hidden by a white curtain hanging from the top and the floor was packed with sweaty bodies ready to mosh it up hard core in the pit. The lights went out except for a bright light on stage behind the curtain. The intro to “World Painted Blood,” kicks in. Lights begin flashing from behind the stage with pentagrams and the band’s logo etched on the curtain. Chants of SLAYER! SLAYER! SLAYER! Singer/bassist Tom Araya along with guitarists Kerry King and Gary Holt take the stage with their instruments. All you can see is their silhouettes from behind the curtain. The curtain drops and I was quickly reminded just how happy I was to be up in the balcony. The center of the floor looked like someone had just stepped on a huge ant hill. Four upside down crosses begin to lower down from the rafters. Two on each side of Slayer’s infamous pentagram logo that graced the very first album cover over 30 years ago.

I mentioned earlier about Gary Holt joining Slayer – this tour also features Slayer’s newest drummer, or returning drummer, depending on how you look at it. Paul Bostaph, who was in the band for almost 10 years, is now back, replacing the original man on the skins (Dave Lombardo) for the second time. Bostaph was the drummer for three albums dating between 1992-1996 and again from 1997-2001. Most fans will agree that Lombardo is the best and only drummer for slayer but Bostaph is a beast and fits in perfectly.

GARY HOLT - SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

GARY HOLT – SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

Araya, King, Holt and Bostaph gave this sold-out house exactly what they came for – an hour and a half of concert brutality. Twenty-one songs spanning over thirty years. I did find it odd that with Lombardo out and Bostaph back in, they only played one song from the three albums that Bostaph appeared on -“Disciple” off of 2001’s God Hates Us All. They also left out the one new song “Implode” that has gotten some solid air play on SirusXM’s Liquid Metal since the band performed it live at this year’s Golden God’s Awards in May. Overall the setlist (see below) was incredible. Araya is very soft spoken in-between a few songs. “You guys having a good time so far?” asked Araya, who then thanked the audience very much for coming. He also addressed the mosh pit and pointed out that there was some “Really fucked up shit going on down on the floor. But it’s all about brotherly love and being in harmony with each other.” “A Chaotic Harmony” laughed Araya.

Slayer closed the show with their trademark song “Angel of Death,” which has become a tribute to fallen guitarist and main songwriter, Jeff Hanneman. Jeff’s Heineken/Hanneman logo, which looks just like a Heineken beer cap, with Angel of Death at the top and Still Reigning at the bottom. Well played Slayer, well played…. RESPECT!

DEAN PLEASANTS - SUICIDAL TENDENCIES  (photo by WILL OGBURN)

DEAN PLEASANTS – SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (photo by WILL OGBURN)

Exodus – 1.Black 13 – 2.Blood In, Blood Out – 3.Blacklist – 4.A Lesson in Violence – 5.Bonded by Blood – 6.The Toxic Waltz – 7.Strike of the Beast

Suicidal Tendencies – 1.You Can’t Bring Me Down – 2.Freedumb – 3.War Inside My Head – 4.Subliminal – 5.Possesed to Skate – 6.I Saw Your Mommy – 7.Cyco Vision – 8.Pledge Your Allegiance

Slayer – 1.World Painted Blood – 2.Postmortem – 3.Hate Worldwide – 4.Die by the Sword – 5.Chemical Warfare – 6.War Ensemble – 7.Mandatory Suicide – 8.Necrophiliac – 9.Spill the Blood – 10.Hell Awaits – 11.At Dawn They Sleep – 12.Altar of Sacrifice – 13.Jesus Saves – 14.Disciple – 15.Seasons in the Abyss – 16.Snuff – 17.Dead Skin Mask – 18.Raining Blood – 19.Psychopathy Red – 20.South of Heaven – 21.Angel of Death

KERRY KING -  SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

KERRY KING – SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

 

TOM ARAYA -SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

TOM ARAYA -SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

STEVE "ZETRO" SOUZA - EXODUS (photo by WILL OGBURN)

STEVE “ZETRO” SOUZA – EXODUS (photo by WILL OGBURN)

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (photo by WILL OGBURN)

MICHAEL MUIR (LEFT) AND MICHAEL MORGAN – SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (photo by WILL OGBURN)

(photo by WILL OGBURN)

(photo by WILL OGBURN)

EXODUS (photo by WILL OGBURN)

EXODUS (photo by WILL OGBURN)

ERIC MOORE - SUICIDAL TENDENCIES - (photo by WILL OGBURN)

ERIC MOORE – SUICIDAL TENDENCIES – (photo by WILL OGBURN)

GARY HOLT with EXODUS (photo by WILL OGBURN)

GARY HOLT with EXODUS (photo by WILL OGBURN)

GARY HOLT - SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

GARY HOLT – SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

MICHAEL MORGAN - SUICIDAL TENDENCIES GARY HOLT - SLAYER (photo by WILL OGBURN)

MICHAEL MORGAN – SUICIDAL TENDENCIES  (photo by WILL OGBURN)

 

 

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