Asheville, NC – Slayer delivered a thunderous final show to the ExploreAsheville Arena, marking what they have deemed the last leg to their world domination Final Campaign Tour. With the band’s intention to play as many places as possible before hanging up their horns, their extensive farewell trek has proven that these thrash titans will reign supreme.
The sold-out crowd began packing the venue immediately upon doors opening, ready to devour the buffet style metal line-up being served this evening. Accompanying Slayer on this last run are funk metal, psychedelic purveyors Primus, the industrial metal outfit Ministry, and former Pantera frontman Philip H. Anselmo with his band, The Illegals.
The last leg of this nostalgic journey started with a blaze, as Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals came out of the gate swinging. The band took their set to pay tribute to Pantera, covering such rockers as “Mouth for War,” “Becoming” and “Walk.” Phil Anselmo (vocals), Stephen Taylor (guitar), Joey Gonzalez (drums), Mike DeLeon (lead guitar), and Derek Engemann (bass) took their all-too-brief, but beastly and brutal set to please the audience and release burning embers into the air.
Acting as a combustible source of fuel, Ministry went on to produce an electrical current that would surround the venue like a magnetic field. Al Jourgensen (vocals, guitar), Sin Quirin (guitar), John Bechdel (keyboard), Paul D’Amour(bass), Cesar Soto (guitar), and Derek Abrams (drums) continued to send a charge out into the crowd, as they supplied their dose of excitement with a set of eight songs that included “Deity,” “Stigmata” and “Thieves.”
Next up, the altered state of all things Primus. Bassist/vocalist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde, and drummer Tim Alexander were accompanied on stage by a massive screen that played out the band’s known-for visual theatrics. Primus took the crowd on a journey that felt a bit like a psychedelic time-out before the main event, delivering their unique tales and creative musicianship through songs that included “Too Many Puppies,” “Frizzle Fry,” “My Name Is Mud” and “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver.”
It was time. Fast, intense and aggressive – Thrash metal legends, Slayer, wasted no time as they blasted into the scorcher, “Repentless.” With the crowd now packed in tight, a bittersweet fog filled the air. Die-hard fans were ready to be all-in, while also knowing this was a farewell. Erupting like a hellfire volcano, mayhem ensued as Tom Araya (bass/vocals), Kerry King (guitar), Gary Holt (guitar), and Paul Bostaph (drums) ripped through their twenty-song set that included “Postmortem,” “Stain of Mind,” “Seasons in the Abyss,” “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death.”
Pioneers in their genre, Slayer will continue to reverberate long beyond its retirement. Influential albums, packed houses, endless controversy, and a multitude of fans, this is a band that will most certainly live on. Aside from their expansive career, there is an emotional phenomenon that exists in the connection between fans. A bond that will unquestionably continue to yield in the form of an instinctive, gut-deep bodily response….”F#&%IN’ SLAAAAAAYYYEERR!”