Posted: 09/03/2010 in Metal, Music, Social, Thankfulness

On September 1, 2010, I was blessed with the opportunity to see legendary thrash metal band Slayer live for the first time in my life. Now all you metalheads may be asking “WHAT?! You’ve never seen Slayer live? You can’t call yourself a dedicated metalhead!” Well, let me explain:

I grew up in a Christian home, basically born on Saturday and in church on Sunday as the saying goes. I was never allowed to listen to secular music, which was known as “the devil’s music.” When I was a tween, I heard Stryper for the first time. This was right around the time I had inherited my grandfathers guitar when he passed and got interested in playing. There was something about the sound of a distorted guitar that really spoke to me, so that’s where my love of metal started. Hair metal is not quite “metal” in the real sense, but I digress. Using Stryper as a starting point, I was able to explore heavier Christian metal bands such as Whitecross (Rex Carroll is the shit!), Believer, Deliverance, Bride, Tourniquet, etc. I found that thrash metal was the style that I liked the best. In learning to play by reading guitar magazines, I found out about a whole new world of metal. Bands like Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, and Testament really caught my interest. I ended up sneaking around to listen to these bands and watch Headbanger’s Ball and it all went downhill from there. So if my mom ever reads this…sorry mom. You never knew I was such a rebellious kid, huh? Due to this situation, I never had the chance to see any of these bands live. Although I’m still pissed at my sister to this day for sneaking out to see Type O Negative and Queensryche when we were in high school and telling me after the fact. I could have at least taken them and been a chaperon, dammit!

There are plenty of years since then that I had opportunities to go see these bands live, but the ability to follow through hasn’t happened, for time or financial reasons or whatever. Yeah, I saw Testament at a small club here in town, and that was fuckin’ awesome, but seeing them in an arena was MUCH different. When the American Carnage Tour was announced with Slayer, Megadeth and Testament coming to the arena here, I thought this might be my chance to finally see the legends live. My friend Travis contacted me in March asking if I was going, and due to my job issues, I just told him that I was hoping to have a good job to be able to buy a ticket from someone around the time of the show if they were unable to make it. Little did I know that he had already bought a bunch of tickets, including one for me. I talked about this in Metta is Metal, about how metalheads stick together. Travis demonstrated the brotherhood of metal by buying me a ticket to this show so I could experience them live for my first time. Here’s a pic of us after the show. He has a metal face on, yet I have a really goofy smile because I was so stoked to have just experienced SLAYER!

I won’t go into a full-on review of the show, because this has already turned into a long post. But I wanted to share a little bit:

I walked in while Testament was playing and it was so awesome to see Alex Skolnick up on stage with them again. Last time I saw Testament, it was during his hiatus from the band doing his jazz thing. They played my favorite song “Into The Pit” and I went nuts.

Up next was Megadeth. I’ve never been a huge fan of the band, but I’ve liked them, and there are a bunch of songs I like, so it’s all good. That lead guitar player is no Marty Friedman, but it was awesome to see David Ellefson back in the band on bass.

When Slayer got onstage, I was really excited. I hadn’t looked online for any setlists of what they’ve been playing on the tour but I was hoping to hear my favorite songs, and I was not disappointed. Toward the end of the set I got to hear “South of Heaven,” “Raining Blood,” and they closed out the evening with “Angel of Death.”

And finally, here is a video of “Angel of Death.” Please excuse the slight shakiness, I was headbanging and singing along. And the sound sucks because it was taken with my phone.

I am very thankful to my friend for giving me this opportunity in which he demonstrated heavy metta! \m/

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