Slayer Heats Up a Cool and Rainy Night at DTE
Thrash metal legends Slayer hit DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI on Sunday (May 19) for a stop on their Final World Tour. The three-year trek started in May of 2018 and is expected to finish in early 2020.
Relatively young for a farewell tour, the band is still at the top of its game and maybe that’s why they’re doing the long goodbye. So many bands have exited long after their musical chops or their health has started to deteriorate, but Slayer can still stand toe to toe with the best of them.
Tom Araya’s voice can still hit those high-pitched screams, and instrumentally the band hasn’t lost its edge, rather it sounds better than ever. If anything, the fans have changed more than the band. The fans who were there when the band broke out with their first studio album Show No Mercy in 1983 were in attendance, but it’s their kids now who are moshing, and mosh they did in a huge circle pit on the lawn in a steady downpour.
The wet fans on the lawn probably wish they could have gotten a little closer to the stage and dried off to the pyrotechnics which consisted of fire canons shooting in all directions and, at times, a wall of flames that shot up along both sides of the drum platform.
It remains to be seen if this really is the last hurrah or if it’s one of those never-ending farewells, but either way it’ll be one to remember. With punishing, unrelenting musical mastery, Slayer ruled the night. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much from their last album, 2015’s Repentless – and that gave way to a career spanning show that kicked into overdrive when they played metal crossovers Seasons In The Abyss and South Of Heaven. The era between 1986 and 1996 will always remain the bands most successful as a recording band, but die hards lose their mind when the band rips into early classics like Evil Has No Boundaries (which came early in the show) and Black Magic.
It was certainly fitting for the legendary Slayer to end its farewell concert at DTE with its Reign in Blood masterpiece Angel of Death.
The band’s support acts on this leg are Cannibal Corpse, Swedish death metal band Amon Amarth, and Lamb Of God, all of whom provided a worthy build up to the main event.
Cannibal Corpse have been cannibalizing corpses around the globe for more than 30 years, but you’d never know it by the speed, anger and insanity in their shows. I can only imagine how hard it was to choose only six songs from their14 studio albums. They only played the title track from their latest album, 2017’s Red Before Black.
Amon Amarth are the pinnacle of Viking bands. They are both mighty and they can kick some serious ass. Drummer Jocke Wallgren, who joined in 2016, is a perfect fit for these monsters. For a band that’s second on the list of four bands, they were able to play 10 songs tonight – a set worthy on its own.
I never really thought of Lamb of God as the type of band that would fit perfectly on a Slayer tour with these thrash legends, but I tend to vibrate more to the grove side of this band than the thrashier side. But when they’re on a tour like this, they can certainly thrash with the best of them. It’s that groove side of LoG that I love and I got my fair share of it, including the incredible closing song Redneck.
All photos by Dan Boshart, 27th Floor Photography
Lamb of God
DTE Energy Music Theatre
May 19, 2019
- Evil Has No Boundaries
- World Painted Blood
- Hate Worldwide
- War Ensemble
- Mandatory Suicide
- Chemical Warfare
- Born of Fire
- Seasons in the Abyss
- Hell Awaits
- South of Heaven
- Raining Blood
- Black Magic
- Dead Skin Mask
- Angel of Death