After 37 years, legendary thrash metal band Slayer is calling it quits. But before they embark upon the shadow realm, they’ve graced fans with a world tour bringing along a set of heavy-hitting support to help send them off. That support being Testament, Behemoth, Anthrax, and Lamb of God (basically an updated Unholy Alliance Tour, but way better in my opinion).
Toronto’s Slayer Nation finally got their chance to say goodbye at Budweiser Stage on Tuesday night and man oh man did Slayer and the rest of the bands bring it! Each act had about a half hour to perform and all of them slayed in their own right. Testament was first up, which was pretty surprising given their legends in their own right, but they killed it (obviously!). Especially since it was still daylight and at 5 pm, they had a crazy energy to their set and Alex Skolnick was a maniac shredding every lick. Behemoth was next and shocked me at how vastly different they were from the first time I saw them in a tiny bar in Hamilton called Club Absinthe. They dominated the big stage and it was impressive how evil they could feel even when the sun was shining on them. Third on the bill was Anthrax (one of the big four along with Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica) and they took things to another level! Their energy was off the charts hyping the crowd up with their infectious metal and on-stage antics. They closed out their set with the Canadian national anthem and had just a few of us singing along with them.
Lamb of God was the last act to take the stage before Slayer and were a big highlight of the night. They played a stacked set with tracks off As the Palaces Burn (2013), Ashes of The Wake (2004), Sacrament (2006), and their most recent effort (Burn The Priest aside) VII: Sturm und Drang (2015). Without a doubt, LOG are one of my favourite metal bands of all time and they never disappoint. Randy Blythe was so on point with his vocals and Mark Morton dominated his guitar parts. Unfortunately, they had a short set but I’m hoping these guys come back soon and play some of those new Burn the Priest tracks. We need a Lamb of God headlining show STAT \m/!
Closing out the night was Slayer and boy was it a god damn show! Riff after Riff after Riff these guys gave it their all and didn’t stop for a second. They were on a mission to give us an epic final show and they murdered it. On top of that, it felt like every song had pyro and the setlist was on another level with tracks like “War Ensemble”, “Dead Skin Mask”, “Raining Blood”, and end their set with “Angel of Death” was the final nail in the coffin. It was mayhem in all the best ways possible.
I’m stoked that I got to be there to photograph the show. Check out all my photos from the night below and peep the setlist after the gallery.
When the Stillness Comes
Seasons in the Abyss
Dead Skin Mask
South of Heaven
Angel of Death
Words / Photography by: Steve St. Jean
**All photos © Beyond The Watch. Do not use or reproduce w/o permission**