WORDS BY EVAN J THOMAS AND PHOTOS BY ROBERT A CHADWICK | Go Venue Magazine
Friday night was one of the most anticipated shows of the year in the Chicagoland area. The breaking news first came on January 22, 2018 that one of the biggest metal bands of all time would be embarking on their farewell tour in 2018. Nearly 40 years of thrashing to millions and millions of metal fans around the world and the faithful set about their way to Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in suburban Tinley Park, IL to see the legends for one last time.
A stacked head banging lineup was set as Testament kicked off the show to the capacity crowd. Metal giants Behemoth, Lamb Of God and fellow “Big Four” band Anthrax lathered the waiting crowd in anticipation of the kings of metal were to grace the stage. All four openers made the perfect ensemble for the Slayer swan song in Chicago.
After Lamb Of God completed their set the anticipation grew as the herd of bodies became anxious. A black curtain was set up to block the sight prior to Slayer taking the stage. Chants of “Slayer, Slayer, Slayer” permeated from the masses.
Then the lights went dark, the punishing opening guitar riff of “Repentless” engulfed the venue. The curtain dropped and the glorious stage was in sight looking like Slayer’s version of Hell. Singer Tom Araya, Kerry King, Paul Bostaph and Gary Holt then emerged to a thunderous welcome. All four members were at the top of their game, blistering through virtually every realm of their music catalogs they blazed through other staples like “Mandatory Suicide”, “Payback” and “Hell Awaits”.
Those who were present for Slayer’s final Chicago appearance witnessed a show for the ages and have stories to tell for years to come that they were there. As Araya said with a glowing smile to the horde, “Thank you very much for being here. This is awesome.” Yes it was.
Slayer Setlist – Friday, May 25, 2018
Repentless | Blood Red | Disciple | Mandatory Suicide | Hate Worldwide | War Ensemble | Jihad | When the Stillness Comes | Postmortem | Black Magic | Payback | Seasons in the Abyss | Dittohead | Dead Skin Mask | Hell Awaits | South of Heaven | Raining Blood | Chemical Warfare | Angel of Death