I’m huge fan of the Big 4 of thrash. Spending my formative years devouring anything that METALLICA, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer released in my my late teens and early twenties. When Slayer released Reign In Blood I didn’t think any thrash band could go any faster. When they followed up with South Of Heaven it was a complete 180° turn, replete with slowed down riffs, killer hooks and lightning guitar solos provided by Messrs. King and Hannenman. I have been a huge SLAYER fan ever since.
On an unusually cool August 1st, Providence Medical Center Amphitheatre was invaded by the heaviest tour of the summer, The REPENTLESS SUMMER TOUR 2017 featuring SLAYER, Lamb Of God and Behemoth. Familiar with the headliner, I was intrigued to hear both Behemoth and Lamb Of God.
Polish Black Metal stalwarts, Behemoth, opened the show with their heavy, heavy riffs. Their set was full of odes to Satan, face paint and fake blood. Their music is dark, foreboding and HEAVY. Everything their small but rabid fan base was intent on showing their fervor by singing at the top of their lungs.
Lamb Of God brought their raucous and blistering stage show, and the fierce fanbase ate it up. Randy Blythe and company have a tight grip on their fan base, and a rabid one at that. Their punishing set included their classics “Redneck” and “Ruin”.
Slayer played a set that was like time travel for hardcore fans of the band. Featuring classics such as “Angel Of Death”, “Raining Blood”, “Mandatory Suicide” and “Dead Skin Mask”. What was unexpected was the inclusion in their set of classics like “Hell Awaits”, Chemical Warfare” and “Hate Worldwide” off of their 2008 release, World Painted Blood.
After the death of Jeff Hanneman and the departure of legendary drummer Dave Lombardo many thought it spelled the end of the mighty SLAYER. But nothing keeps the Big 4 down, as shown by the new infusion of blood in Megadeth, the summer tour by METALLICA and the recent co-headlining tour with Anthrax and Killswitch Engage. Kerry King and Tom Araya are joined by legendary guitarist Gary Holt and Drummer Paul Bostaph, and the outcome is phenomenal. Repentless is a blistering album, and the concert tour is even better. For those in attendance it was a ritual to metal, old school thrash purveyed by the masters. The MIGHTY Slayer.
Slayer is and has always been the heaviest of the Big 4, and they have not let up since their debut Show No Mercy. The stage show stage was replete with an amazing pyro show, a backdrop featuring the artwork from Repentless and ear splitting music from Tom Araya, Kerry King, Gary Holt and Paul Bostsph. Slayer is one of those bands you love or hate, and on this cool night in August, in an outdoor venue there was nothing but love in the air. Black. Metal. Love.
– Mike Kennedy
Slayer Setlist – August 1, 2017
Delusions of Saviour [into] | Repentless | The Antichrist | Disciple | Postmortem | Hate Worldwide | War Ensemble | When the Stillness Comes | You Against You | Mandatory Suicide | Hallowed Point | Dead Skin Mask | Born of Fire | Cast the First Stone | Bloodline | Seasons in the Abyss | Hell Awaits | South of Heaven | Raining Blood | Chemical Warfare | Angel of Death
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All photos are © 2017 Robert Chadwick Photography.