When I heard that Slayer were venturing to Plymouth as part of their Repentless tour, I had to rush out and buy a ticket. When I then heard that they were bringing Anthrax with them as the main support it just made the deal even sweeter. Opening support came from Norwegian thrashers Kvelertak who got things underway in the most bizarre way. As the lights dimmed all fans could see was a pair of glowing eyes making their way onto the stage. As the band started playing, the venue’s lighting came up just enough to make out Kvelertak’s frontman who was walking around the stage with a stuffed owl on his head. With its wings stretched out, it looked ready to fly off and although the lighting wasn’t great it still left a lasting image.
As the first song came to an end Kvelertak frontman vanished from sight and returned seconds later without his stuffed pet to continue the band’s set. They impressed me even though they didn’t sing in English and the sound was slightly distorted but they had a sort of random look about them. It was nearly as if they had drafted people in from the crowd to fill in but this was mostly to do with what the band was wearing rather than the sound. They didn’t look like they belonged in a thrash band but the sound told me otherwise. My one disappointment was that with three guitarists battling for supremacy you couldn’t pick out the lead and the three just became a noise. Their thirty minute set flew by and they soon left the stage to make way for Anthrax.
As the stage was set for Anthrax, I was impressed with the layout and the stage signaled that we were going to be in for a real treat. As the band hit the stage and the spotlight hit the band we were off and from the very first note I was totally lost in the music.
Knowing most of the band’s back catalogue I enjoyed the mix they had put together for the show and as I looked around the venue it seemed as if everyone else was enjoying it as much as me.
They have a large selection of tracks to pick from but played mostly their main hits, which I think is always good, and they looked to be enjoying playing as much as I was enjoying watching.
There were no fancy gimmicks or pyrotechnics just good old rock ‘n’ roll from one of the big four thrash bands. As their set came to an end my only disappointment was that they couldn’t play for longer but let’s hope they headline here in the future.
A long break ensued whilst the stage was set for Slayer there was a large white curtain dropped down over the stage so the gathered couldn’t see what was going on. As the time for Slayer drew nearer the white curtain was lit up with the French flag in respect of the many who lost their lives in the Paris attacks the week before.
This received a big cheer from the fans around the venue and shows how supportive and respectful the metal community are. Minutes later as the arena lighting was lowered the white curtain became a backdrop as a set of crosses moved around it before turning upside down and turning red. After this the Slayer logo appeared for another minute or so before the music started.
With the start of the music the curtain dropped and was rapidly dragged away by the stage hands. We were now treated to our first glimpse of not only the band but the amazing stage setup behind them. It was set with the same artwork as their latest album but also had a set of crosses that moved up and down whilst the band played. From the off, the volume seemed a lot louder than it had been for the two previous bands and unfortunately most of the guitar got lost in the distortion but Slayer still put on a great show. With the legend that is Kerry King sporting his iconic chains and goatee beard he soloed like his life depended on it and although I could only pick out the main riffs I still stood in front of a metal god.
As I stood in the center of the pit I was stood before Tom Araya, a man whose vocals sounded great on the night and have blessed many an ear over the years. It’s hard to believe that such legends stood just a few feet in front of me and for the first three songs I had them all to myself. After this I joined the rest of the crowd and stood and enjoyed the show. As I mentioned before the sound was not great but the fact that one of the biggest names in thrash metal were playing in front of me made up for this. With all the distortion I struggled to recognise a lot of the songs but a couple were still recognisable even with the poor sound.
Songs that changed a whole generation of metal music such as “Reign In Blood” and “Seasons In The Abyss” stood out but for me the highlight of the set was “South Of Heaven.” The riffs were loud and clear for this and maybe helped in making it stand out but it was just awesome on the night. As their set drew to a close the band threw plectrums and drumsticks into the adoring crowd before making their way off stage. As the venues lights came back on and the packed crowd headed for the exits, I was left to think just how a great night could have been even better if the sound was mixed better but still, what a night.
See them on tour:
|Nov 30||O2 Academy Brixtonw/ Anthrax, Kvelertak||London, United Kingdom||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Dec 03||Hal 14||Helsingor, Denmark||RSVP||Share|
|Dec 04||Spektrum||Oslo, Norway||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Dec 05||Lisebergshallen||Goteborg, Sweden||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Dec 07||Hartwall Arena||Helsinki, Finland||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Dec 09||Stadium Live||Moscow, Russian Federation||Tickets||RSVP||Share|