Slayer Rocks St.Augustine

Slayer

w/Behemoth, and Lamb of God

Friday, July 21, St. Augustine Amphitheater

St. Augustine, FL

 

Bats. There were bats.

Slayer (605) vgThere are a lot of things one could and should expect from a Slayer show.

Flames? Check.

Sweaty dude slam pit? Check.

Kick ass light show and blistering sound? Check, check, and check.

But bats managed to make themselves known tonight in the humid air of the country’s oldest city. Silhouetted against the bands light show, they did their part to add a distinct and eerie mood I can’t recall ever having seen before, anywhere.

The worlds premier thrash legends Florida show was everything you wanted and expected. They kicked it off hard with the title track from the most recent release, “Repentless.”

The stage for this summer’s go-around was truly memorable as well. Forgoing the usual double row of Marshall stacks across the back, the band opted for half stacks topped with pyro. Towers flanking the drum riser shot flames across the center stage also featured prominently in the show. To quote both Beavis and Butthead, “Fire’s Cool!” True then and now.

Visually and sonically, everything about the show was formidable. The band focused the set on more mid-tempo Slayer (599) vgnumbers, but they are nowhere near to slowing down. The set list spanned the bands entire catalog, including “South of Heaven,” “Hell Awaits,” and “Dead Skin Mask.” The punishing 90 minute set they delivered was intense and unforgiving. I’ve seen younger acts who couldn’t maintain the stamina to perform shorter sets. And this was a walk in the park for Slayer. A really creepy park inhabited by serial killers, demons, war criminals, and a some bats who decided to check things out for themselves. Having good taste, the bats, and everyone else, stayed for the whole thing.

Poland’s Behemoth started the show. Making the most of their abbreviated opening slot, Vocalist Nergal cut a formidable presence onstage. Transforming the stage into a sort of Great Hall complete with wrought iron crests and two headed eagles, they delivered an aggressive set of dark metal, helping to set the tone for the evening.

From Virginia, came Lamb of God, with a decidedly different look and tone, they were no less intense. Singer Randy Blythe prowled the stage. a lean skate rat whose board got busted, but was in no mood to go home. Lamb of God is blessed with a gifted rhythm section, and powerful duo of guitarists who create a memorable audioscape to inhabit. The stage was flanked with video screens, with ever changing images behind the band to strike a unique visual stance. Blythe kept the in between chatter to a minimum, but took the time to rail against corporate media machines when he introduced, “Engage the Fear Machine.” Live, Lamb of God are positively combustible.

 

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