Slayer @ the Aragon Ballroom 11/15
I was lucky enough to see Slayer, Gojira, and 4arm at the Aragon Brawlroom on November 15th and I do mean lucky.
I had never heard of or seen 4Arm but I was impressed. Their from Melbourne, Australia and play straight up Thrash Metal. From the few hundred people already down on the floor, I noticed a lack of people yelling Slayer! and instead they were moshing or headbanging. The band was great and I'll definitely be listening to whatever I can get my hands on from them. Their latest offering from 2012 is Submission for Liberty. They are streaming a couple songs on their site today if you go to check them out. I think the days of everyone booing the openers off the stage for Slayer shows are over. Slayer has been choosing very solid openers for their shows over the last 5 years.
Preluding Slayer was Gojira from France. I've seen them a few times now. Once at the Logan Square Auditorium, which is basically smaller than a high school gym. They tore that place apart and their night at the Aragon was no different other than there were thousands going crazy vs a few hundred. Lead Vocalist/guitarist, Joe Duplantier, has really come into his own as the band lead. Not only has his stage prescence improved, so has his english. He routinely fired up the crowd, not that he needed to, for almost every song they played. I'm a big fan of these guys and think they might be able to soon sellout the Aragon on their own. The last show they played in Chicago was at the House of Blues and that place was packed/sold out. Fans were going crazy and some blow up whales were being tossed around the pit. Huge energy, excellent songs, fantastic musicianship all add up to big moshpits and mass headbanging. See these guys next time they come through!
The Heaviest Matter of the Universe
Toxic Garbage Island
SLAYER SLAYER SLAYER...The now completely packed Aragon was ready for Slayer. Some say it's not Slayer, due to Jeff Hanneman's passing and no Dave Lombardo (falling out with the band). It's true there is no replacing Jeff or Dave; however, Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph aren't slouches when it comes to metal. Of course, Gary is from thrash legends, Exodus, and Paul has been all over the metal map, most recently playing for Testament. Paul also had a decent run with Slayer from 1992 - 2002. The question is does it still sound and feel like Slayer? 100% hell yes! Tom Araya might not do the headbanging thing anymore, but his voice is unreal. He still belts out the melting screams you first heard on Show No Mercy. Kerry King is Kerry King. He always looks like he's pissed, and just goes out and shreds everyone's face off. The song selection on the night was an old school Slayer fan's wet dream. Nothing was played that came beyond Season in the Abyss. I'm still waiting for the next time they play anything off of Divine Intervention because I think the album is totally underrated. They started off with the intro and whole Hell Awaits song. The place exploded. Every song after was just bringing the level up another notch until the 2 big moshpits that were going, turned into 1 HUGE moshpit spanning the entire floor. An energy killer for me everytime is Dead Skin Mask, decent song and people love it but slow and mosh killer. Guys fighting, girls fighting, enormous circle pits, unbelievable setlist, and the newly revamped Slayer. They never let me down and will always be top 3. FUCKING SLAYER!
Captor of Sin
Altar of Sacrifice
At Dawn they Sleep
Die by the Sword
Spirit in Black
Seasons in the Abyss
Strike of the Beast (Exodus Cover)
Dead Skin Mask
South of Heaven
Angel of Death