Unholy Alliance Tour (SLAYER, et al.)

Discussion in 'Music' started by Don Giro, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    I caught the Unholy Alliance tour (SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD, MASTODON, CHILDREN OF BODOM, and THINE EYES BLEED), at "The Theater" at Continental Airlines Arena last Friday night. It was one of the most intense, memorable experiences of my old-ass life.

    First, hats off to the arena staff for the most comforting, caring, and professional attitude I have ever witnessed at a large scale show. There were signs that read "Crowd Surfing and Moshing Not Recommended" posted all over the place. My friend asked our ticket taker (a gent in his late fifties) if this was a "rule" which could result in expusion if broken, and the guy just laughed and said "Nahh, it's just a suggestion, but you know, it's like telling someone they can't drink and then taking him to a bar."

    The arena oval was split in half, and since we had general admission floor tickets, it gave the illusion of being at a large club show, which was very cool (as was the air conditioning).

    We missed Thine Eyes Bleed. Children of Bodom went on at 6:15PM, and were better than I hoped. I LOVE this band. Melodic thrash/speed metal dripping with keyboards. They're the best! They packed a LOT of songs into their 30-minute set, and since there were only about 200 people on the floor at the time, I was able to get the close to the stage without much risk of injury.

    Naturally, a small mosh pit opened up right in front of me. I've never been a "pit dude," but i've seen hundreds of "pits" over the years, but they're not the same as they were "back in the day." You used to see guys running around in a circle with their arms flailing away, while the more hardcore/skinhead guys would "mosh in place." Nowadays, these guys just run into each other at full speed, and it seems to me the ultimate goal is to hurt THEMSELVES as possible. Needless to say, there were a LOT of dudes being escorted to first aid that night.

    I realized during Mastodon's excellent set that, in all the years I've attended metal shows (and there have been HUNDREDS), this was the loudest show I have ever been to in my life. I think they used the volume as if they were in a FULL arena show. There were several times the bass made my hair blow, and it was definitely NOT from the a.c. (which kept the place cool all night). The sound was crystal clear, just WAY too loud!

    Lamb of God are probably the heirs to the Slayer throne. As my friend Adam said, this tour is like a "passing-the-torch" ritual, with L.O.G. primed to be the Next Big Thing. After witnessing their set, I couldn't agree more.

    Slayer have never disappointed me live, and this was definitely no exception. Opening with the one-two punch of "South of Heaven" and "Silent Scream," they blasted through a 75-minute set which ignored the Paul Bostaph years (except for "Disciple"), and included one new song "Cult," which you can hear on Slayer's web page. It's great live.

    The stage set mesmerized me: two 30-foot-high Marshall stacks (in the shape of upside-down crosses) flanked a white sheet "video screen," which flashed the Slayer logo in all its incarnations superimposed over scenes of war, violence, and othersuch hatred (Ed Gein and Josef Mengele make appearances).

    If you're a metalhead and this tour is coming to your area, I strongly suggest you go. Friday's show wasn't entirely sold out, so I'm sure tix are still available near you as well. Trust me. See this tour. And bring earplugs (that's the first time I've ever said it and meant it).
     
  2. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Hee hee! Kids today!!! [​IMG]
     
  3. Ryan L. Bisasky

    Ryan L. Bisasky Second Unit

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    damn , i whish this came to the baltimore/dc area. i have seen children of bodom live and they are incredible. mastodon is one of my favorite new bands. Oh well, ive got ozzfest to look forward to and ozzy's last date on the tour.
     
  4. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    The Chicago Tribune's review of Tuesday's concert is serious, yet hilarious; here are some excerpts:

    Slayer, nearing its 25th anniversary, still looks as menacing as it sounds. Screaming commands at the capacity audience, guitarist Jeff Hanneman resembled a shell-shocked soldier who'd just crawled out of a bunker. Kerry King, whose tribal art-tattooed head bobbed as he manhandled his guitar, induced solos that squealed in pain and riffs that wilted from disease.

    ...disturbing video footage, sinister graphics, blinding strobe lights and drifting smoke combined with dive-bombing melodies and double-barrel percussion to give the performance the feel that hell's gates had opened.

    Displaying animosity toward apathetic institutions and blind followers, Lamb of God swung a sonic wrecking ball of staccato riffs and stop-start tempos. The thrash quintet's metered approach occasionally became monotonous, but tunes such as "Redneck" and "Hourglass" possessed catch-phrase refrains that registered landslide effects.

    Mastodon stormed and heaved its way through an impressively taut set, simultaneously shifting course and carving out opportunities to come up for air. A four-headed beast whose members worked to feed the collective whole, the Atlanta quartet bellowed vocal bridges, exchanged interlaced leads and combined on swarming harmonies. The rhythmic slugfest "Blood and Thunder" fought to the death while the unreleased "Circle of the Cysquatch" dizzied with rotor-chopping motions, indicating the group's further expansion into uncharted albeit accessible territories.
     
  5. Rob_D

    Rob_D Agent

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    I saw Slayer live 10 times between 1986 and 2003 and they were incredible each and every time. I can't think of another metal band, except Black Sabbath or Judas Priest in their primes, who Slayer wouldn't blow off the stage.

    Their new album (Christ Illusion) is pretty good. Not nearly as good as their 80's classics but, probably their best since then. Dave Lombardo back behind the drum kit is a huge bonus!
     
  6. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    I've seen Slayer at least a dozen times since they first toured with "Haunting the Chapel," and it finally dawned on me only a few weeks ago that they headlined every one of those shows. Although I love a few other bands more than I love Slayer, I can't think of ANYONE who COULD go on stage after them. Once Slayer play "Angel of Death," they can't even top themselves...
     
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Actually, I saw Anthrax/ Slayer/ Megadeth/ Alice In Chains back in '91, and while it was a triple headliner, Anthrax got top billing. Probably because they were the locals -- this was in NYC. I think the three bands (aside from AiC, who actually got booed off the stage!) were rotating the order from date to date.

    I remember that there were far more Slayer t-shirts in the crowd than any others, and people were going nuts chanting for them. After Megadeth's set (they went first after AiC), a guy turned to me and said "if Slayer doesn't come on next, there's gonna be a riot!" I believed it. [​IMG]

    Megadeth had a lousy live sound (from what I hear, that's pretty standard for them), but Slayer and Anthrax (members of Public Enemy came on stage for Bring The Noise, which was just about the last rap-metal track that interested me) were awesome. AiC were good too, but it was definitely the wrong audience for them.

    Anyway, nice to see Dave Lombardo back in the fold. Doubt I'll be able to catch this though.
     
  8. Rob_D

    Rob_D Agent

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    Yup, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer rotated positions each night on that tour. There was no set headliner.

    Without actually admitting it, members of Anthrax and Megadeth have alluded to being topped, nightly, by Slayer.
     
  9. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    I didn't see the Clash of the Titans tour (Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, AIC), but Scott Ian told me years ago that halfway through the tour, all the bands decided to let Slayer close the rest of the shows, because the fans would be completely drained and unresponsive after Slayer's set.

    I used to work in the music biz back then, and it always amazed me that Megadeth's record sales eclipsed Slayer's, yet if the two bands were playing in side-by-side, equally-sized venues on the same night, the Slayer show would sell out, and Megadeth would not. It's speculation, of course, since I don't think that situation has ever occurred, but Slayer have always been a better live draw.
     
  10. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Why does that amaze you? Megadeth's music is way more accessible than Slayer's. Granted, Slayer is a better live band, but their music is much more of an acquired taste. I bet Slayer is a better live band than Hootie and the Blowfish, too, but that doesn't mean more people bought their albums or attended their shows. [​IMG]
     
  11. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    I think we're confusing each other here (I think [​IMG] ). I'm saying that Megadeth sold WAY more albums than Slayer, but Slayer have always been the bigger live draw. I imagine it all boils down to Slayer's live rep and a "coolness" factor.

    Hell, first time I saw Slayer (I want to say 1984, they had just released "Haunting the Chapel"), Megadeth opened the show (and they hadn't even started recording "Killing is My Business..." yet). There were 200 of us in attendance, tops. This was about a year before "mosh pits" hit the metal scene.
     
  12. Rob_D

    Rob_D Agent

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    I think we are all on the same page.

    Like Aaron said, Megadeth's albums are more accessible than Slayer's, in fact a few of them really can't be classified as 'thrash' or 'speed' metal. I also think the fact that Mustaine has never let go of the Metallica connection has had at least a slightly positive effect on Megadeth's album sales.

    All things considered, Slayer's albums do sell pretty well. I believe most of them are at or near Gold status. The reason they draw better is because pretty much every fan that buys a Slayer album goes to see them because a) Slayer fans tend to be extremely dedicated and b) they've been putting on phenominal live shows for 20+ years.



    In an old Rolling Stone article about the Clash Of The Titans tour it read: 'There is nothing in all of modern rock like the moment Slayer hits the stage...'
     
  13. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    I just picked up "Come Clarity" by In Flames, which is one of the few albums in this genre I have heard. I understand In Flames will be touring with Slayer, et al in the Unholy Alliance Over Europe Tour and wondered how this group compares for the fans of this music.

    Chris
     
  14. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Actually, I operate in a general state of confusion.

    EXCEPT when I write DVD reviews. Those are completely lucid! [​IMG]
     
  15. Don Giro

    Don Giro Supporting Actor

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    In Flames should do just fine. Sure, they have complex riffs and harmonies, but the bottom line is they're a very heavy band, and well-loved throughout Europe.

    I believe they're replacing Mastodon on the European tour, which is too bad, because Mastodon are a force to be reckoned with...
     

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