Slayer – Live @ Eventfinda Stadium, Auckland 2019

Slayer – Live @ Eventfinda Stadium, Auckland 2019

I pity the poor fool who didn’t get the ‘memo’ to wear black at the Slayer concert. It didn’t matter, the sea of obligatory black tee cladded concert-goers looked quite the sight on Auckland’s North Shore.

WORDS BY WAL RIED

But here they were, the partisan faithful ready to party with their idols, 80’s Thrash Metal bands Slayer & guests Anthrax. They just happened to pop in from over the Ditch from their recent Download Festival appearances, also it was Slayer’s final swan song on their Final World Tour as they head to the ‘Metal’ graveyard to pursue other interests.

A short but poignant set from Anthrax was all that was needed to fire up the beefy crowd, plus they started on time (7.30pm seems a bit early for these Metal heads).

The double guitar assault of ex-band member Dan Spitz and Scott Ian gave the ‘crunch’ reminiscent of Anthrax’s heavy-as-stink sound. Drummer Charlie Benante was sublime, the double bass in full effect, his drumming on staple favourites Caught In A Mosh and Joe Jackson’s Got The Time sounded every good as the record player I use to play them on.

Timeless tracks that have stood the test of time. I’m guessing this is why the crowd was a little older, more mature (well most anyway) shall we say.

Questioning my chequered music past, I fondly remember the significant bearing the two bands had on my life. Ex Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz’s use of floating tremolo dives on guitar a source of inspiration.

ndians from their epic album Among The Living was for me the highlight of the night. It’s social injustice fuelled lyrics and ‘war dance’ Native American tribal rhythms were spot on. Singer Joey Belladonna’s vocals haven’t aged, actually even the rest of the band look well preserved and moved about on stage like guys half their age.

Guitarist and outspoken guitarist Scott Ian tried to rally the crowd into a war dance, a inner mosh circle, the staunch crowd were not having a bar of it, even after the band stopped playing to rark up the jostling crowd. The cost of self prescribed ear bleeding and macho fretboard masturbation was worth the price of admission alone. One could not attend without feeling the evocation of those decades when guys had better hair than girls, and Thrash Metal was the at the epicentre of modern youth culture.

However, The Titans Of Thrash Slayer were the band that people were there to see. Singer Tom Araya and long time guitarist Kerry King looked every much as imposing as their music videos as Repentless rang through the open hall, its noise reverberating like Boeing plane starting up in a hangar.

Hate Worldwide & Angel Of Death got the throes moshing as ex Exodus guitarist Gary Holt grimaced and pulled facials during the lead breaks, King’s tattooed head bobbing in time to Paul Bostaph’s powerhouse drumming. Fans were treated to an ending that included older tunes South Of Heaven and the classic Raining Blood.

I can’t imagine a world without Slayer, but then again, after four decades, their music and fans will always keep the memories the band has shared with the world alive. Long may they reign (no blood).

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