The American Carnage Tour stopped at the Hard Rock Live on Saturday to bring some old school metal mayhem. Nothing brings out the sweaty, beer-bellied long-hairs like Slayer and Megadeth and they were out in full force. The show was sold out and the inability to navigate anywhere within the Hard Rock proved it. The show started at 7 (lame) and the parking nightmare that is CityWalk was exacerbated by Halloween Horror Nights. The enormous line outside Hard Rock and the roaming bands HHN park goers got me in the venue at 7:40 only to see the last few Anthrax songs. Bummer!
Anthrax was fierce and the crowd was just as fired up for them as any of the others. The show was MC’d by Sirius Radio super-douche, Jose, from the Liquid Metal / Hard Attack channel.
Next up, Megadeth. I’m not the biggest Megadeth fan as most of their stuff is just too crisp and clean for the visceral approach I like to metal. Jason Ferguson of Notable Noise and real music critic summed it up for me in the lobby, “They’re dick metal.” They did close their set – after playing the entire Rust in Peace album with a killer jam of “Peace Sells.”
Next, Slayer. They did what they continually do now: DESTROY! They have honed their vicious attack of masterful drums, fierce, shredding, dual guitar attack, and Tom Araya’s apocalyptic howl to a pummeling assault of volume and prowess. Their power routinely overwhelms all they play with. Marilyn Manson / Slayer tour – two distinct audiences with some crossover (like myself) – Slayer, hands down, blew him off the stage and won some new fans. The Big 4 with Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallica being the big headliner was ruled by Slayer. Metallica phoned in a half-assed show while Slayer laid it the fuck down. Tonight was no exception.
They played a couple of newer songs first before playing their 1991 album, Seasons in the Abyss, in its entirety. The crushing ode to modern warfare, “War Ensemble” is the first song on the album.
Hearing all of Seasons reminded me how good some of the forgotten songs like “Blood Red,” “Expendable Youth” – despite its unfortunate lyrics about gang war (I like my Slayer songs about political strife, warfare, serial killers, and Satan best), and “Spirit in Black” really are.
The song voted: Most Likely for me to Air Drum to