KMA2569 2018-05-29 Slayer (with Testament, Behemoth, Anthrax and Lamb Of God)

May 29, 2018 Budweiser Stage, Toronto, ON
Testament, Behemoth, Anthrax, Lamb Of God, Slayer

***

We have been in the presence of giants…

Brother Craig and I got to Taranna in good time. Slick through security, found our seats and got ready to rock. We were at the back of the bowl of seats, last row before the general admission grass at the back. No problem. Five headliner bands, four of them sharing a bill to give Slayer the send-off they deserve as they conduct their final tour. The entire day had a feeling of greatness, a momentous and historic occasion that was definitely once in a lifetime. We truly were witnesses to giants walking the Earth.

***

Some small notes before beginning…

It was $16.50 for a tallboy of Bud Light. Haha that’s expensive water, more like.

A kid at work wanted me to get him a Behemoth t-shirt, said probably $25 or so. All t-shirts were $50, for all bands across the board. Haha I think not.

Some 6’7″ motherfucker came and sat right in front of me, of course (every damn time!), so until the pot smoke wore him and his lady down to sitting more than standing, I had a great view of the back of his head.

Speaking of pot smoke, there was SO much of it. We didn’t need any ourselves, we got a bit high just being there.

Several times through the night there would be confusion over seating, people animatedly discussing their tickets and pointing determinedly at the plastic seats. How hard is it when it’s section 407, 407A, 407B…? Apparently difficult. Le sigh.

The washroom situation was appalling. Oh, they were clean enough, given the circumstances, but the line-ups for the men’s were ridiculous. Yes, this show was mainly a sausage fest… but there were ladies there too, and they were laughing as they waltzed right into their loo with no lines. Craig finally had to pee in the woods in between Lamb Of God and Slayer’s sets because the lines were just too damn long. Seriously, Budweiser Stage, you need more bathrooms for the amount of seating you offer in your venue!

***

NB: I took shite photies (and they truly are shite). My iPhone on full zoom struggled for clarity, especially after the sun went down. Still, better than nothing! You can click them to make them bigger…

***

Testament

What a set. Testament fuckin’ rocked. Alex Skolnick was on absolute fire, as was the whole band, honestly, and every song was pure gold. Their half hour set should have been an hour longer, at minimum. Tremendous band to open the gig, simpy great! Craig said he’d have Testament in the Big Four not Anthrax, especially because of their first three albums. Maybe it ought be the Big Five! Whatever the case, Testament was fucking fantastic. The Pale King was brilliant, and the crowd went nuts for Into The Pit, but they were all superb.

Testament Setlist: Rise Up / Practice What You Preach / The Pale King / Into the Pit / The New Order / Disciples of the Watch

NB: I had my camera on Square setting instead of just Photo, so all my shite photies of Testament came out in squares instead of regular shots. I corrected the issue halfway through Behemoth, sorry Testament!

***

Behemoth

There’s a kid at work who was jealous I was getting to see these guys play. After their set, I can guess why. Their sound was huge and heavy, and they played with an unrelenting intensity and skill. Their presence and massive tunes held the crowd enthralled throughout. To me their stage outfits made them look exactly like Uruk-hai from the Lord Of The Rings. Craig said he’d love to see Behemoth in a smaller, indoor venue, and he’s right, that’d be awesome. 

When it seemed they were leaving, Behemoth said “You people of Toronto hold a special place in our hearts. Thank you for coming out. We are Behemoth. We will return! Until then, stay strong. HAIL SATAN!” Haha wow. They then left, and returned for an encore as the crowd roared for more. They wore black devil masks with long horns on them for the last song. Cool for an opening act to do.

Behemoth Setlist: Ov Fire and the Void / Demigod / Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer / Wolves ov Siberia / Chant for Eschaton 2000 / O Father O Satan O Sun!

***

Anthrax

Anthrax hit the stage and worked the crowd like total professionals. Their songs were tight, punky metal and every single one was a goddamn great time. They even got us to sing O Canada at the end while they stood there and listened. I removed my cap, but was sad to see many of our fellow concert-goers did not.

Anthrax Setlist: Caught in a Mosh / Got the Time (Joe Jackson cover) / I Am the Law / Madhouse / Evil Twin / Antisocial (Trust cover) / Indians

***

Lamb Of God

I knew Lamb Of God was gonna be loud, and holy hell, I was right on that score! That band was so fucking intense, and the crowd went right crazy for every song. Security had to pull people back from the fence at the edge of the grass area because it was in danger of collapsing. The crowd singalong on Now You’ve Got Something To Die For was fun, they dedicated 512 to Slayer, and the combo punch of Laid To Rest and Redneck was positively punishing.

Lamb Of God Setlist: Omerta / Ruin / Walk With Me In Hell / Now You’ve Got Something to Die For / 512 / Engage the Fear Machine / Blacken the Cursed Sun / Laid to Rest / Redneck

***

Slayer

OMFG.

I have been to metal shows before, but I haven’t even been in the presence of such power before this. This set was absolutely crushing, and they went all out on the lighting, fireballs, and walls of more fire. Every so often the backdrop would change to reflect an era or album and every one was perfect.

They (seemingly) effortlessly controlled the chaos with a primal violence. There was a huge pit, as with all the bands, but it was definitely wilder for Lamb Of God than it was for Slayer. It seemed as though, even though there was all the usual chaos down front, there was a sense of occasion to it all, and people were trying to take it all in, burn it all into their memories as this is (supposedly) the last time we’ll get to see Slayer and so goodbye.

They had us in their mighty fist for the whole gig, but when they blasted into Angel Of Death as their final tune and the backdrop became a memorial to Jeff Hanneman, their sealed themselves into our hearts and minds forever. It was a great reveal, a beautifully done and perfectly-timed moment.

Tom spoke to the crowd a couple of times throughout, and at the end of the show, standing alone in the lights, he simply said Thank You, and “I’m gonna miss you guys.” We’re gonna miss you guys too.

Slayer Setlist: Delusions of Saviour (intro) / Repentless / Blood Red / Disciple / Mandatory Suicide / Hate Worldwide / War Ensemble / Jihad / When the Stillness Comes / Postmortem / Black Magic / Payback / Seasons in the Abyss / Dittohead / Dead Skin Mask / Hell Awaits / South of Heaven / Raining Blood / Chemical Warfare / Angel of Death

 

This is the show of the summer, folks. If this tour comes anywhere near your town, GO.

\m/  SLAYER!!!!!!  \m/

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Posted on May 30, 2018, in posts by aaron and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. Awesome Aaron, just awesome! I’m debating whether to get tickets for them in November.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like a great night was had by all. Did they rejig the bands around?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Damn that sounds good. I’ve seen Slayer several times over the years. Can’t believe this is going to be the last chance to see so soon after Sabbath. But better t go out on. Behemoth tour like this than diminishing return visits

    Like

    • Oh man it was stellar. What a crushing night. I hear you about the Sabbath. On the way out, Craig said “A Metallica farewell would SUCK.” I couldn’t disagree, and on the heels of Sabbath and Slayer it would be like all the gods were leaving Valhalla…

      Behemoth was a great set. On a smaller stage and not in full sunshine, I think they’d have a lot more oomph. And even at that, they had a lot of oomph!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t believe you had time to write this up! Well done sir…sounds like an amazing metal experience.

    Also, it was $16.50 for a tallboy of Bud Light? YIKES!

    Like

    • I wanted to get it out of my head before I started forgetting things, so I sat here late last night, pecking away at the keyboard. We got home before 4pm so it wasn’t too bad, but I was pretty bagged after the momentum and excitement of the show.

      Yeah, captive audience, and it was Budweiser Stage, so they could charge what they wanted. In a way I was glad it was so dear. If beer (and I stretch the definition of ‘beer’ when I include Bud Light to the definition) had been cheaper, people would have been drunker. Those prices were likely as much crowd control as they were gouging.

      Like

  5. Wow! Sounds like an amazing show. i bet your ears are still ringing!

    Like

  6. Amazing, man… I only know bits and pieces, but that wouldn’t matter a jot… this sounds incredible.

    Like

  7. What an amazing line-up there, mate.
    Milo.

    Like

  8. I’m not 6’7” but at 6’5”, I’ll be sure to sit in front of you’re if we’re ever at the same concert. Haha. Sounds like a worthwhile trip to Taranna. I’m sure there were some purchases there as well?

    Like

  9. Well I guess you could coin the phrase here “Metal on Metal!”
    Glad u had a blast…knew u would…
    How many of those Tall Boys you slam down the trap??
    I’m sure the wife and kids are glad u didn’t get dropped off in the driveway on crutches and wearing a neck brace!

    Like

    • It was a total blast, Deke. Oh brother, WHAT A SHOW! I didn’t have any beers, but Brother Craig had a few. Silly man haha. And last time I got dropped off in the driveway on crutches I’d broken my foot playing basketball. Fortunately we were well above the fray (which was substantial) for this gig. And I say fortunately because my lovely wife told me that if I ever broke my foot again she hoped my second wife would take very good care of me! Hahaha I do love her so.

      Like

  10. Somehow I missed this post.

    I was there too. Last minute deal. I had plans to meet but my phone died.

    It was a great time. I was at the 2nd last row of 401. Just in front of lawns as well.
    I agree about the bathrooms. Glad you had fun and didn’t melt from both the sun.and from the Slayer fire.

    Like

    • You were there!!! AWESOME!! Shame about your phone, though I don’t think we have each other’s cell numbers anyway. Haha when I first read that I thought it said you were in the 2nd last row of the 401… and I thought man, you didn’t even make it to the lakeshore!

      I did not melt, but if the lines had been any longer I might’ve floated away…

      If yours was a last minute deal, dod you get to see the full show? Or did you miss anybody by being late?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Last minute as in day of the show purchase. Didn’t think I could go, but did anyway. I saw all of the bands. Bought some vinyl from the Dine Alone Records booth. Great day.

        Like

        • Hooray! What a show, eh? My goodness. We had SO much fun!

          If you were in 401, you had pretty much the same view we did, just you were on the right in 401 and we were on the left in 407! Maddening to think we were in the same place and didn’t meet up! Gah! COMMUNITY!

          Like

  11. What a great show! I must get tickets to see this show in Cardiff in November.

    Like

  12. I’d be so mad if any dude that tall stands in front of me. (I’m 5’1, haha) Anyhow, crazy line-up! Lucky you. 🙂 Of the lot, I’ve only seen Lamb of God some years back; they are definitely one of the best live bands around.

    Like

    • Well, as I was telling jprobichaud, I’m 6’2″ and I still struggled with this guy in front of us. I am really conscious of the people behind me and have always tried to offer to let shorter people (like yourself) in front of me. That instinct goes way back to when one of my ex-girlfriends (who is also 5’1″) couldn’t see at events. It made me more aware of the struggle! Anyway, this instance was a bit trickier as at this venue these were bolted-in permanent seats, but even at that Brother Craig and I let a family in beside us so their kid could see (he stood on the seat as we were in the back row anyway). Over the course of a show people come and go and shift a bit and we had the space.

      It was indeed a great line-up. Simply stellar. Lamb Of God was so intense, frightening if you didn’t know what to expect. And to follow that with Slayer? Hahaha WOW!

      Like

  13. Put me in the jealous column!… although the bathroom situation and prices would have made me metal. $50?!?!? That’s a long show too. But still, would have been worth it. Anthrax belongs in the big four.

    Like

    • Truly the show f the summer to see! If it helps, they’ll be back in London on August 6, though for that one they’ve replaced Behemoth with Napalm Death. From where you guys are, it’s definitely still worth the drive!

      The bathroom situation was pretty bad. And it only got worse as the night went on because once the yobs got beers into them and broke the seal, the line-ups grew exponentially…

      Yeah, $50 for a t-shirt. Silliness. I found myself wondering if they were priced higher only for that show because everything (everything) that happens in Toronto is a world-class event, don’t you know… 😉

      It was definitely a long afternoon/evening, but I didn’t feel it at all until the next day. While it was happening, the whole show felt like maybe two hours, three tops. I was having too much fun!

      Yeah I’d leave Anthrax in the Big Four. That’s why I said Big Five!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Saw Jack White this past Saturday there and I can confirm the beer price stayed the same. The T-Shirts ranged from $35-$40. Still too rich for me but closer to what I expected. There were guys outside the venue selling shirts for $20 too.

        Like

        • How was the Jack White show? (As if I have to ask)…

          Those are some expensive beers, man. Ah well, captive audience. And if they keep prices the same all the time, people will just get used to paying it, especially ‘cos it’s a special night out, etc.

          Those t-shirts outside the venue always seem to me they were made at home and brought to the gig. Are they actually official merch? Haha I remember the dude at Maiden, yelling “one for $15, two for $30!” Haha what a DEAL!

          Like

          • It was great, of course. He got some fantastic musicians to back him up that put on really solid show.

            People were buying up those beers like they were $1.00 so I’m sure the masses have already adjusted. I don’t know if the outside Tees were official but I did see a lot of people wearing them so I don’t believe most cared, lol. They just wanted to look cool for the evening, I guess.

            Like

            • Fantastic, I really liked his new album. Toss in the last two and some Stripes songs and you were in for a great night! Yay!

              Well, I suppose (since it’s Toronto) every show there is a World Class Event, so expensive water/beer just makes sense! Haha silliness. T-shirts too. I figure $25 for a T is the cut-off point for me. After that I just say no. I remember seeing Tool in Hamilton in… 2008? Anyway, T-shirts were $40 then and I laughed and laughed and laughed… people were paying that much for a shirt that labelled them tools. It gave me great glee in its perfection. 🙂

              Like

    • For the record, I will not be attending the London show, as that day is our daughter’s 7th birthday. I’m not missing that for anybody!

      Like

  14. Worth the read just for your set up “sausage fest” kind of said it all. You painted some vivid images. HMO and you are trying to turn my head into the darkside and it’s starting to creak in that direction..

    Like

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