|Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, and Exodus at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, 11/22/2014
||[Nov. 24th, 2014|03:31 pm]
Havard Havard Havard Havard-Havard von Havard
The main draw for me was Exodus. In fact, I went for the Exodus meet-and-greet package. With Souza back on vocals, I didn't want to miss it. Oh, and Slayer will be playing later? Attendance was mandatory.|
I made it to the Tabernacle about ten minutes before check-in time for the meet and greet. There were nine of us there, which was nice. Robin, the woman running the meet and greet and handling their merch, met us a little while later, and gave us the bad news... Gary Holt wouldn't be able to meet with us because of an injury flaring up, so he was saving his spoons for the show, gave us his apologies, a couple of picks, and if we would hand in our item to be signed, he'll sign it, and we could pick it up with our shirts at the merch booth. Even if he was feeling up to it, I wasn't planning on him being there... playing two sets every night sounds taxing. We were led inside and stood around the balcony of the basement for a few minutes before the the band arrived.
I have to say that Exodus seems like a warm, friendly bunch. Sure, everyone there paid for access to the band, but as I said... it's the warmth. It's the sort of thing that can't be faked. As could be expected of me, I wasn't really trying to make conversation or anything, so I went through the line for the autographs quickly... had the band sign their page for the Blood In Blood Out album insert. I highly recommend the album, by the way.
After the meet and greet, we head outside to the "VIP" line at the venue, it finally opens up, and we all gather around center stage. I run off to grab a beer, but before I could make it back, the horde begins to trickle in, so I had to suffer by standing in front of the speaker stack used as a stage extension. Oh boo hoo, poor me having to suffer with seeing every single non-drummer member of every single band within arm's reach.
Before I talk about the show, I would definitely like to mention the awesome guys working security for Argus. Friendly, but fierce when intercepting asshole crowd surfers. Can't say enough nice things about them.
Exodus is supporting their latest release, Blood In Blood Out, and opened with the album's opening track, Black 13. It really is the perfect opener, with an intro by Dan the Automator that warms the crowd and let's the band enter the stage to a frothing, cheering horde. I don't recall the specifics of the set list, but it was a great mix of old and new. They were much more energetic than the last time I saw them, which was at the Tabernacle back in 2010 supporting Megadeth's RIP20 tour. Back then, it seemed like Gary and Lee basically camped on top of their stacks, ignoring everything but their playing, occasionally switching sides, while Rob failed to whip up the crowd for more than a few moments. No, not this time... The enthusiasm from the meet and greet continued to the show... everyone is moving around the stage, connecting with the audience, really bringing the energy. Unfortunately, being the opening act, their set was way too short. Just as things were on a roll, Steve gave the always disappointing, "We have a couple more songs for you..."
A few minutes later, the crew is swapping out things for the next act. I would like to point out, that the tour crew seems to be a well-oiled machine, having everything changed over for Suicidal's set in what seemed like under 15 minutes. Granted, Suicidal has a minimal set... a few mic stands, the drums, and a backdrop, so that certainly helped.
I'm not at all familiar with Suicidal Tendencies... the flavor of the music isn't to my tastes. Mike Muir's energy is world-renowned, and was definitely there. Suicidal's fans tended to be younger than those of us that were there for Exodus and Slayer, and were all wearing their caps with upturned bills featuring the Suicidal logo. I can't really say whether or not I enjoyed the music, as I was distracted by all the kids crowd surfing, one of which crashed into my head, wrenching my neck, before the security guys could grab him. When I wasn't the one receiving a spinal injury, it was quite amusing to watch. At one particular point, two assholes were coming in back-to-back. While security grabbed one, the other guy tumbled under the stage and needed help to become unstuck. Fortunately, Suicidal's set ended before anyone near the barricade suffered a serious neck injury. Yes, that's my take on it. Screw you, I'm old. Get off my lawn.
Once again, the crew was quick making the change over for Slayer. They drop a large white curtain across the front as they work on most of the change over. A few minutes later, someone in the side balcony starts taking photos... Oh yes, it's on. The press photographers roll in. Then, a projector lights up the curtain. They opened with World Painted Blood. Every aspect of Slayer's show was incredible. The lighting was perfect, carefully tailored to fit the mood of each song. My side of the stage was inhabited by none other than Kerry Fuckin' King. It was an absolute treat to see those songs I've loved for so long emanate from a musician and his guitar that close to my face. It's one thing to listen to music, it's another to see it performed in front of your face. The show was a solid hour and a half of music. They closed out the night with their Jeff Hanneman tribute... playing South of Heaven. After that, Tom gave a quick, "Thank you, good night." That was it. The band tosses out picks and sticks, and set lists, and that's it.
Slayer fans are less pushy than Megadeth fans. If this were a Megadeth show, as the end of the night comes closer, selfish jerks whose only form of personal validation is catching Dave Mustaine's sweaty wristbands make the show miserable. At the RIP20 show, I went from standing within an arm's reach of one side aisle, all the way across the floor to the other side of the stage. At the Slayer show? I'm not really sure if I moved at all. I started the night at the hinge of one barricade, ended at the hinge of a barricade. The forward push wasn't even that bad, mainly when the pit whipped up a bit. Well, a couple of individuals, in particular the rather tiny woman that was there for the Exodus meet and greet, had to make an escape. Fortunately, the security guys were able to help. The only problem, if you can call it that, is that the bass drum was a bit too loud, to the point that it was creating a tremolo effect where I was standing. It was so intense, my hair was flying around, and it interrupted my breathing. I'm definitely glad I lost an hour returning to the house for the earplugs.