It wouldn’t be a stretch for me to say that Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax on the same bill could very well be the best concert package that Florida or the rest of the US for that matter will see in 2010. With three legendary bands that would all deserve Hall of Fame nods (if only the Rock ‘n Roll hall of fame weren’t such a biased crock of shit) reviving a twenty year old bill that many people fantasized seeing, a lot of us had our wishes come true on this tour. On Sunday night, all three bands lived up to the hype so much so that 23 hours later at the time of writing this, I still cannot hear out of my right ear.
Before I jump into the show I have to praise the bands for treating their fans right on this tour. After the tour was announced and tickets went on sale, Jagermeister jumped on board to sponsor the tour which always equates to lots of free shit and cool posters for the fans. With the band presale codes, certain venues had tickets that weren’t even nosebleeds going for between 6 and 10 dollars plus fees. Even being in the second row, I only paid about $53 per ticket after fees to see three iconic bands which is quite the rarity these days. Even shirts ranging from $35-40 was still in line with today’s going rate for any decent metal tour.
Anthrax took the stage about five minutes early at 6:55 and started the action with ‘Caught in a Mosh’. The early turnout for Anthrax was admittedly disappointing though with only about 1/3 of the crowd showing up on time. Maybe it was the shock of a metal show advertised for 7 actually starting on time or it was just a lot of stupid people who missed out on an excellent albeit too short set. Joey Belladonna and crew ran through ‘Madhouse’ and ‘Antisocial’ before stopping to apologize for not being down here in so long and assuring us that next time it won’t be so long. I know that I have waited a very long time to see them and the only disappointment that I found was that it wasn’t some sort of tri-headlining set where they could play as long as Megadeth and Slayer. By the time Joey donned the Indian headpiece for ‘Indians’ and darkness crept in, people were finally arriving and getting into the show. The set ended with ‘A.I.R.’, ‘Metal Thrashing Mad’ and ‘I Am The Law’ which just left me thirsting for more.
Megadeth opened their set with the entire Rust In Peace album just as they did when I saw them in Atlanta on their prior tour with Exodus and Testament in April. After having a touring cycle under their belts with rejoined bassist Dave Ellefson, the band seemed much tighter and intense this time around. The album was performed as flawlessly as it was twenty years ago and there was nobody in their seats for the entire set. The final five songs became an expo for Dave Mustaine to show off his new signature guitars including his double neck V on ‘Trust’. ‘Head Crusher’ was a neck breaker until our temporary reprieve for ‘A Tout Le Monde’. The night ended with ‘Symphony Of Destruction’ and ‘Peace Sells’ and it is safe to say that Megadeth as a whole perfected their set.
Slayer pulled out all of the stops and got back to their old ways of kicking ass and leaving behind a trail of wreckage. I was a little bit nervous and very eager to see them because I was left with a sour taste in my mouth in 2006 when I saw them and honestly avoided seeing them at the Mayhem tour a couple of years ago because of it. In 2006 Tom spent the set on his stool and the band as a whole was uninspired and shown up by the Unearth guys who opened. I have always loved Slayer and the majority of their music and was happy to say that they more than redeemed themselves. The show started with ‘World Painted Blood’ and ‘Hate Worldwide’. Both were met with the same intensity that made Slayer one of the heaviest, most feared bands in the world. The band then tore through the Seasons In The Abyss album with the ferocity that earned them their cult following many years ago. Tom Araya has regained his mobility after his back surgery that postponed the first American Carnage tour and Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman are still predictable machines on guitar. Dave Lombardo is still a beast on drums although very well hidden behind the kit but his presence can be felt. The encore started with ‘South Of Heaven’ and then led directly to ‘Raining Blood’. The night ended with ‘Aggressive Perfector’ and then Tom’s signature scream on ‘Angel of Death’. By the end of the set my ass was thoroughly kicked by all three bands and I was mostly deaf for a few hours. It was everything that a metal head could ask for in one show and I am still waiting for the ringing to go away in my right ear exactly one day later. If there is a God and he likes metal, he needs to reunite this lineup at least once more for a big four tour in 2011 or 2012.