Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Concert Review: Slayer at the Pageant in St. Louis September 22, 2016 -photos and words by Danny Nichols

Slayer guitarist Kerry King
After a thirty five year career which has included twelve albums (four of them gold), achieving legend status among the thrash metal scene, being a principal influence for the death metal scene, inciting constant controversy and enduring the recent loss of two of their founding members (one through death and one through departure), Slayer still show no signs of slowing down.

Their rabid fanbase shows no sign of letting them. This bombastic celebration of all which is brutal rolled into a sold out Pageant Theater in St. Louis, Missouri.

Slayer delivered twenty relentless songs, with barely a moment for one to catch their breath.  The violence of their lyrics was matched, to some degree, by the spontaneous mosh pits which kept forming during their songs.  The band didn't waste too much time between songs, excepting when bassist/singer Tom Arraya paused to inform us the next song was going to be a love song, before hurling full steam into the decidedly unromantic "Dead Skin Mask".   The attack was fierce and fast, exactly as we wanted it.
Slayer bassist and vocalist Tom Araya
The most noticeable thing about Slayer's sonic onslaught was the volume of Tom Araya's bass guitar.  It rattled your bones and shook the rafters. Periodically, a strip of confetti left over from some previous show at the venue would shake loose and float down into the crowd.

The following week I was back at the Pageant for a show by Ghost and saw one final piece of confetti float down during their performance and wondered how it could have possibly survived the Slayer show.

The bass was arguably too loud, but the audience didn't seem to think so, as they screamed their approval before, during and after each song.  The loudest cheers were reserved for classic songs such as "Seasons in the Abyss", "Angel of Death", "South of Heaven", and that song which is probably the most mosh pit inducing in the history of music, "Raining Blood".
Slayer replaced a departed legend by adding another, guitarist Gary Holt
After the show I asked my friend what he thought.  He said the pummeling bass was sufficient to give him a back ache.  The sheer volume, lights and crowd made him dizzy.  By the end of the set he admitted it was all he could do to keep from passing out, and he feared the filthy floor.  In other words, he said "It was a great show!"

Drummer Paul Bostaph is evidence Slayer has no shortage of legends to call upon to fill their roster.
This seemed to be the consensus of all the denizens of the Pageant.  By the time we made it out of the log jammed parking lot and drove by the front of the venue forty five minutes had passed, yet still out front were a handfull of metal heads, periodically and randomly shouting "Fucking Slayer!!"  This is the sort maniacal devotion few bands outside of Slayer inspire and St. Louis was privileged to witness it first hand.  Long live heavy metal and long live Slayer!
Tom Araya
Gary Holt
Kerry King
Paul Bostaph
Gary Holt
Kerry King
Holt and King

No comments:

Post a Comment