It’s been 35 years since the formation of the baddest metal band of all time. Even if you’re not a huge Slayer fan there’s no denying their badassery. Now, the thrash innovators, legends and hero’s are embarking on what they’re calling their final tour. And it’s poised to be massive.
First off, it’s not just a Slayer tour. It’s a whole bill celebrating some of the best bands in metal including fellow big four street thugs Anthrax, thrash legends Testament, the excellent ‘Lamb of God’ and the heavy as all hell Behemoth. Culminating in a final set by Slayer.
There are reports that this tour is a huge surprise. Scott Ian of Anthrax stated that he didn’t even know it was going to be a farewell tour until the public announcement. And my question is ‘Is it really a farewell tour?’ If it is, great. Slayer has been around for 35 years and after losing Jeff Hanneman to an untreated spider bite the band felt totally different. They put out one album without him. And while the consensus was that it’s a good album, it also has the reputation of not having that true, classic Slayer energy. Don’t get me wrong. Holt came in a flew the flag and has done a great job.
But again, the question arises. Is this really the end for Slayer? I mean, the final tour announcement doesn’t feel Pardon my skepticism, but if they don’t sign some sort of contract I’m betting they’ll be back. Just look at Ozzy, KISS, Judas Priest and The Scorpions. Priest went out on their ‘Epitaph’ tour in 2012 and are about to drop their second new album since. Don’t get me wrong. I would actually prefer it if it wasn’t their actual final tour because I’ve always wanted to see Slayer and many of the venues that are local or in the general long drive range of my home are sold out. If they add shows I’m jumping on it and I suggest you do the same. Hearing ‘Raining Blood’ live just once is all I need.
From 1983’s ‘Show no Mercy’ to 2015’s ‘Repentless’, Slayer have carved out the niches of thrash. And then some. Out of all the thrash bands Slayer are the most pure. They very very rarely deviated from their original thrash sound. No matter the era, no matter the line-up. Actually it’s generally been the same they just have rotated drummers a little bit. Either way their sound has remained remarkably consistent. Even their 1994 groove oriented album ‘Divine Intervention’ is undeniably Slayer. There’s not a lot of groups out there who have stayed so true to themselves. And I think that’s what makes Slayer so popular. They know who they are, they don’t give a shit about current trends and they know they’re going to write great metal music that will reach a mass amount of people. There’s needs to be one final big four show BTW.
I’m honestly really sad to see them go. I really feel that, with what’s going on in this country and world, bands like Slayer are more important than ever. They release an energy that is imperative right now. Again though, don’t be surprised in a few years if they announce a new album a short tour. This may not be the end of Slayer. First tour dates below.
May 10 – San Diego, Calif. @ Valley View Casino Center
May 11 – Irvine, Calif. @ FivePoint Amphitheatre
May 13 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Papa Murphy’s Park at Cal Expo
May 16 – Vancouver, BC @ PNE Forum
May 17 – Penticton, BC @ South Okanagan Events Centre
May 19 – Calgary, AL @ Big Four
May 20 – Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Centre
May 22 – Winnipeg, MB @ Bell MTS Place
May 24 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ The Armory
May 25 – Chicago, Ill. @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
May 27 – Detroit, Mich. @ Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre @ Freedom Hill
May 29 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
May 30 – Montreal, PQ @ Place Bell
June 1 – Uncasville, Conn. @ Mohegan Sun
June 2 – Holmdel, N.J. @ PNC Banks Arts Center
June 4 – Reading, Pa. @ Santander Arena
June 6 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Riverbend Music Center
June 7 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Blossom Music Center
June 9 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ KeyBank Pavilion
June 10 – Bristow, Va. @ Jiffy Lube Live
June 12 – Virginia Beach, Va. @ VUHL Amphitheatre
June 14 – Charlotte, N.C. @ PNC Music Pavilion
June 15 – Orlando, Fla. @ Orlando Amphitheatre
June 17 – Houston, Texas @ Smart Financial Center
June 19 – Dallas, Texas @ The Bomb Factory
June 20 – Austin, Texas @ Austin 360 Amphitheatre
A little live Slayer to get the mood going.