Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Necrophiliac: Slayer, Gojira, 4arm @ The Joint at the Hard Rock Las Vegas, 10/25/13

October 28, 2013

If only all shows could be this easy.


Exit plane. Take cab to hotel. Thrown bags in room. Take cab to venue. Get handed a pass. Walk through the backstage door that says “Slayer Everything”. Go up to VIP balcony. Rock out. Get a tap on shoulder from a friend asking if I want to watch from the VIP suite of one of my favorite bands. Rock out more. Get handed a bunch of guitar picks.

Two days prior to the show, I didn’t even know Slayer were starting their tour in Las Vegas on a weekend I would already be there for Alice in Chains anyway. But I happily added it to my schedule.

IMG_5640As we walked into the venue, Australia’s 4arm were already on stage. It was cool to finally see them after becoming acquainted with the band on my journey through Oz a couple years ago. Their Machine Head-y sound was the perfect kick off to the show. From my perch, I could see the crowd shed their work week and become the headbangers they truly are.

IMG_5649Up next were Gojira, the cerebral French metalers whose albums have been on heavy rotation for me for years. I would not have thought them a logical opener for Slayer…but I was sure glad to see them. Their intricate sound captured the attention of the ever-growing crowd. Drummer Mario Duplantier impresses with his speed and force, and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie never stopped moving. I reflected on seeing them earlier this year, which felt like a lifetime ago. The sound here was much better. Highlight: “Backbone”.

IMG_5670At this point I’ve pretty much lost track of how many time I’ve seen Slayer, but one of the most important events of my year, sadly, was attending the Jeff Hanneman Memorial. That was a humbling experience. There’s not much more that I can write about Slayer, but this setlist was great, with songs like “Necrophiliac”, “Threshold”, and “Captor of Sin” making appearances on the setlist after a long hiatus. And, of course, there were my favorite live standards to lose my shit to, like “Mandatory Suicide”, “Disciple”, and “South of Heaven”. The production was pretty slim considering the giant sacrilegious spectacle of burning upside down crosses made from Marshall speakers during their last Mayhem Fest tour.

IMG_5675For the encore, “South of Heaven”->”Angel of Death”, the Hanneman “Still Reigning” logo became the backdrop, and the band played as classic footage of Hanneman graced the screens on either side of the stage. It gave me chills. Having just finished writing a memoir about my experience with my mother’s death, my stories from Slayer shows appear twice in the tale….needless to say, the band had a strong role in my musical salvation during a needy time for me. And perhaps it is a testament to say that, pressed up against that VIP suite’s rail, I gave the band my full attention regardless of the fact that another band that helped me a lot through those times was sitting behind me. At the end of the day, the music reigns supreme.

The VIP bathroom signage:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

Mad World: Tears for Fears, Garbage @ Kia Forum in Los Angeles, 6/4/22

“And I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad The dreams in which I’m dying Are…

June 12, 2022

She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult, Des Roc @ House of Blues Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay

“The sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive And the sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive, keeps me alive…

May 27, 2022

Rock You Like A Hurricane: Scorpions, Skid Row @ Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas

“It’s early morning, the sun comes out Last night was shaking and pretty loud My cat is purring, it scratches…

April 15, 2022

Turbo Lover: 50 Years of Heavy Metal with Judas Priest and Queensrÿche @ Zappos Theater, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Las Vegas, 3/13/22

“We hold each other closer, as we shift to overdrive And everything goes rushing by, with every nerve alive We…

March 22, 2022

Intruder: Gary Numan @ Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown 2/24/22

“I could talk about my world How you brought about ruin I could talk about your greed If you want…

March 5, 2022

One Night: Danzig Sings Elvis at the Grand Ballroom in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 10/31/21

“Always lived, very quiet lifeI ain’t never did no wrongNow I know that life without youHas been too lonely too…

November 6, 2021

Highway to Hell: GayC/DC @ Landers Brewery, May 22, 2021

“Livin’ easyLovin’ freeSeason ticket on a one way rideAskin’ nothin’Leave me beTakin’ everythin’ in my strideDon’t need reasonDon’t need rhymeAin’t…

July 11, 2021

Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit: Vulgar Display of Pantera w/ Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals @ The Fillmore New Orleans

One minute you’re writing a work email and the next you’re downing a Black Tooth Grin; this is the beauty…

April 18, 2021

Scorched Earth: Mountain Tamer @ Couchlock & Rock / Stoned & Dusted @ Joshua Tree, 3/6/21

Hi there again… here we are at livestream 4/5 of Couchlock and Rock! This was a chaotic week for me…

March 13, 2021

Premonitions: Spirit Mother @ Couchlock and Rock / Stone and Dusted @ Joshua Tree, 2/20/21

Well hello there! Another two weeks have passed since the last Couchlock and Rock, and here we are, deeper into…

February 25, 2021