For all the different reasons I had never seen Slayer live. Last time I wanted to check them out, in 2010, they cancelled last minute (literally). Never mind. So I drove over to Tilburg on a bright and sunny Thursday, to get stuck in a traffic jam for at least half an hour after some shitty people crashed. So when I arrived a bit late at the venue, parking space was getting scarce. And the first band was already playing when I finally was inside.
That band was the French Gojira who get quite some praise for their technical death metal. It is not that they play badly – they don’t, but some how, they never managed to grab my interest. Not an album, now I know not in a live setting either. Nevertheless they got nearly an hour playing time, which is quite a lot for a support slot. Then they finally left the stage.
After the change-over, the lights went out, the stage filled with smoke and the ominous intro from Hell Awaits sounded over the PA. Then the guitars and drums kicked in. Slayer went for a mostly classics set; note that most of these songs were written by the late Jeff Hanneman. The songs followed in quick succession; Tom spoke only a few times in between songs. I never realised though that War Ensemble was such a popular song, as that was _the_ moment the audience went crazy. Most of the set seemed to go on automatic pilot, with Gary being the most present on stage. Besides Tom missing a few lines from Die By The Sword, they played quite tight. Paul’s drumming was steady as a rock, they guitar and bass were just fine with Kerry throwing his plectrums in the audience once or twice per song. Lucky me found one too (crap quality btw, I don’t see how he actually wants to play with them, no wonder he keeps throwing them away). They pulled off a new song as well – Implode – which didn’t sound bad at all – actually quite aggressive. So maybe the forthcoming album is actually interesting – who knows.