The almighty Slayer took control of Broomfield’s 1stBank Center Wednesday night along with metal authorities, Lamb of God and Behemoth. Set on further ramping up the momentum of their North American 2017 Tour, each name on the ticket gave an all-consuming performance that set Colorado aflame. With hordes of diehard metalheads and fans filling the 6,500 capacity arena, Slayer’s 14th stop gloriously spun out of control; Making it one hell of merciless, yet incredibly fun, experience. Every where you looked tribute was being paid to these three unstoppable forces. Witness their unyielding performances, and check out our shots of another legendary Slayer tour in the making.
Behemoth were up first on the ticket, but they treated the time they had with their fans like a headline show. The stage was magnificently adorned with three elaborately crafted mic stands and a tapestry marked with the fire triangle raised high behind Inferno‘s fill-in Jon “The Charn” Rice (Job for a Cowboy). These touches not only further enhanced the personality, but also the nuance of their set. Nergal glided out onto stage like a dark shadow. His face highlighted softly by the glow of the two fiery torches he’s holding in each hand. A pure white light beams down onto the center of the stage and places a spotlight on him. He bends down with his arms still fully extended, and bows his hooded head down towards the foot of his mic stand. Everything is eerily calm, apart from the raging fans in the venue already chanting, “Behemoth,” but a storm was surely brewing.
The remaining members appeared, and bursts of frantic light, like lightning, attacked the arena. Thunder followed as the plunderous, “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” opened the set. Nergal is already hollering and gesturing out towards the crowd. Orion and Seth are at his side, both captivating in presence. Seeing them right before your very eyes is otherworldly to say the least as they furiously rip into your existence. Behemoth know how to make an entrance, but they also know how to keep the momentum going with tracks like, “Conquer All,” “Messe Noire,” “Alas, Lord Is Upon Me,” “Decade of Therion,” and “Ov Fire and the Void” following. Over the course of these songs, they not only interacted on many occasions with one another, like the time Nergal dropped to the ground to play alongside Seth, but they also made sure to reach out and let the crowd know that they recognized and appreciated them.
As “Chant for Eschaton 2000” ended the set, Behemoth left the stage to a sea of fans chanting for more. The fog dissipated as their time came to a close, but they left a powerful impression, as always, on us all.
Lamb of God
Following Behemoth, Lamb of God took the stage with a crazy amount of energy, furthering upping the moment of the night. They didn’t waste any time by getting started with “Laid to Rest,” off 2004’s Ashes Of The Wake. Randy Blythe was busy bursting around the stage, jumping from place to place, and not remaining in one place for too long. His energy is already infecting the entire arena. Visuals accompanied the songs on giant screens behind them, adding a striking addition to their set. Chris Adler, Willie Adler, and John Campbell are further bringing the intensity that has commonly defined Lamb of God’s shows; Each a master of their craft. Cheers of “Lamb of God!” followed with fans pushing their way to the front of the barrier, ferociously screaming and reaching out in respect of a band, who’s talent and ferocity have skyrocketed them to the forefront of the metal scene over the years.
A ferocious opener began their set, but they hit us again with “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For.” Randy, on multiple occasions got major air, jumping off the drum and front risers without hesitation. He flies high above us, and then sticks the landing. Before you know it, he’s suddenly back in front again roaring out over the crowd. Two tracks off VII: Sturm und Drang, “512” and “Engage the Fear Machine,” followed. The entire night, fans were singing along, but you could really hear them raising together as one during “512,” as they emoted out with Randy, “My hands are painted red, My future’s painted black, I can’t recognize myself, I’ve become someone else.” Lamb of God always give a completely engaging performance, and that has put them on a whole other level.
The rest of their setlist included hard-hitters like “Ruin,” “Descending,” “Blacken The Cursed Sun,” “Still Echoes,” and “Walk with Me In Hell”; All building up to that one final moment with Lamb of God. They closed out their set with “Redneck,” after giving a heightened performance that left us all wanting more. But luckily for us, Slayer was next.
Every time you go to a Slayer show, you know it’s going to be good. At this point, there’s no debate in that. It also helps that they know how to build a great ticket. Last year, they took Death Angel and Anthrax out on the Repentless World Tour with them. This year, they were set to impress again with Lamb of God and Behemoth; Two bands, who in they’re own right, could have their own headline tour. Though fans were lined up at the door to see all of these bands tear up the stage in succession, it was clear that everything was building up to one particular moment as fans dressed in Slayer merch from all across the ages anxiously awaited for the doors to open and screams of “Slayyyyeeerrrr!” began to rise down the rapidly growing line.
Slayer, much like their last run, know how to take that anticipation you already have, and amplify it tenfold. Following Lamb of God’s set, a pure white sheet covered the stage, shielding your eyes from what was to come. For the many, who’ve already seen Slayer live on a number of occasions, they knew what to expect. In this case though, knowing what to expect is almost more exciting than not. As the room nearly met its breaking point, bright red pentagrams and crosses began to spin along to Repentless‘ intro track, “Delusions of Saviour,” until they eventually found themselves upside down. Seconds after, the cover dropped to reveal Slayer thrashing to their opening track, “Repentless.” Already, the crowd was going crazy as they kicked things off with their most recent 2015 release.
Tom Araya roared out as he played his bass, which shook the Earth underneath our feet with its deep tremble. Kerry King and Gary Holt were ferociously riffing away at his side. Their guitar playing abilities would be celebrated over the course of the entire set. Paul Bostaph is risen in back on his drum set, which he absolutely annihilated as the setlist went on. His drumming, as always, pummels you as he hits each beat with full speed and force. Later on, bursts of fire would explode behind him, but he didn’t even break a sweat. Slayer, as a whole, are a great band, but when you see them live, its clear that each member is great as well; True professionals through and through. There’s a reason they’ve had such staying-power over the years with an unwavering, completely dedicated fanbase to boot. What better way to showcase that successful career than taking us back to their early days with their next track, “The Antichrist,” which sent things further spiraling out of control in the best way possible.
The remainder of their setlist featured many different records throughout their discography, like “Disciple” and “Bloodline” off God Hates Us All, “Hate Worldwide” off World Painted Blood, “Mandatory Suicide” and “South Of Heaven” off South of Heaven, and “Hell Awaits” off Hell Awaits. They played a number of tracks off Reign In Blood, such as “Postmortem,” “Raining Blood,” and their closer “Angel Of Death,” all of which are fan-favorites, but they also played a lot of songs off Seasons In The Abyss. Performed off that record were “War Ensemble,” “Dead Skin Mask,” “Born Of Fire,” “Seasons In The Abyss,” and “Hallowed Point.” Rounding out the setlist were more tracks off Repentless, “When the Stillness Comes,” “You Against You,” and “Cast the First Stone.” Slayer know how to make a setlist that will keep you hooked until the very end with a ton of songs that not only get the pit going, but the blood going too.
With a three-track explosive ending like “Raining Blood”, “Chemical Warfare, and “Angel of Death,” Slayer’s set seemingly had no intentions of slowing down, and neither did their crowd. Slayer remained merciless and relentless until the very end, sending off this celebration of metal with yet another impressive performance.
If you’ve been out to a date of Slayer’s North American 2017 Tour with Lamb of God and Behemoth, comment and let us know! If not, you can still catch them at one of the remaining dates here.
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