November 30, 2013
@ Tsongas Center at UMASS Lowell
Was slammed hungover from the night before, lost my phone at a bar, thankfully someone was nice enough to turn it in. Anyway, Saturday was a much better day!! This was my 2nd time seeing a show at the Tsongas Center. Had seen Slipknot there in '09. I like this venue quite a bit. Decent beer selection, reasonable food prices, and very nice looking inside.
Setlist was the same, so no suprises there. My 9th Slayer live experience, and it was very cool to see Necrophiliac, and At Dawn They Sleep for the first time. Vids below.
Captor Of Sin
Altar Of Sacrifice
At Dawn They Sleep
Die By The Sword
Spirit In Black
Seasons In The Abyss
Strike Of The Beast
Dead Skin Mask
South Of Heaven
Angel Of Death
If you had "won" tickets through Mass Concerts' FB page, you were given the option of floor or seated tix. My friends and I chose seated tix, so I could film. Place was still pretty dead when 4ARM started. I had never heard of them before this tour and hadn't bothered to check them out. Man, I was pleasantly suprised. Those guys were great, not only stage show was, but their tunes were solid. Will definitely check out more of their discography. I had seen Gojira open for Metallica in 2009. I'm not the biggest fan of their studio albums, but they were outstanding live, as they were 4 years ago. They sounded a little more muddy than 4ARM, so while their sound wasn't great, their stage presence was outstanding, and the crowd dug them. I'm assuming their setlist was the same.
After about 35 minutes, Slayer came on. I loved on the Decade of Aggression live disc their opening of Hell Awaits right into The Anti-Christ, so it was friggin' awesome to see that live. Postmortem right into Altar of Sacrifice, right into Jesus Saves was fucking incredible. Awesome shit. As for their actual performance, it was damn good. As I said earlier, this was my 9th time seeing Slayer, and while I can't call a show without Jeff Hanneman the #1, I will say this show was in the top 3. It really was a great show. This is without a doubt the best I've ever heard Tom. Not sure what it was, but his voice flat out sucked from 2000-2002, then it's steadily improved since. I'm assuming maybe over use from constant touring. But whatever it is, he's still a fucking beast at 52 years old. His scream during Angel of Death was ear-piercing, and he shouted/screamed words/lines that he's spoken in the past, which was awesome to see. This was the most excited I've seen Tom at a show since his surgery. Much like the member here who reviewed the MTL show, it was obvious several times that Tom wanted to do his old classic headbanging, but had to stop himself. He actually started once, then abruptly stopped. As for sound quality, it was decent. I did notice Kerry's guitar was louder than Gary's (seemingly a common theme on this tour), but I was sitting on Kerry's side, that could have had something to do with it. I noticed the guy in the wheelchair crowd surfing, I thought that was pretty cool. And during South of Heaven or Angel of Death (can't remember which), someone picked up a trash can and fuckin' heaved it into the pit. LOL my buddies and I were laughing our asses off, was pretty funny. I'm usually embarrassed by how tame North American crowds are compared to European and South American crowds, but the floor action at this show was pretty intense. There were 2 pits going on at most times, and overall just a lot of movement.
At the end of the show, Tom mentioned it was the last show of the tour, thanked the crew, the openers and the fans, and pointed to the Hanneman banner and said, "we also want to thank an old friend." That was sad to see, but so nice to see at the same time. RIP Jeff.
I'm dismissing the claim of someone in the other thread about only 1,500 people. The turnout was still disappointing IMO, considering the fact that they gave away close to 1,000 tickets, but by the time Slayer came on, the floor was about 3/4 full, and the seated sections were fairly well populated. Based on Tsongas' listed capacity of 7,800 for concerts , and the sections behind/adjacent to the stage being closed off, I'm estimating there was probably 3,500 - 4,000 people there. I would appreciate noone starting arguments about this, it's simply an estimate. No need for anyone to get fudgy.
But overall, this was an outstanding show, and I dare to say the #2 show of the 9 times I've seen Slayer. If Slayer does call it quits after this, or if I'm never able to see them again, I can absolutely say, the old dudes went out with a bang. They were fucking awesome