This is a band that fought for success. Their dominance was achieved through blood, sweat and tears. Slayer has earned the right to end their legacy on their own terms.

A proper farewell tour is always the correct send off for a prolific band. Slayer has been pummeling audiences since 1981. Their influences on the masses is undisputed. I’ve seen them play live many times during their heyday, from opening for W.A.S.P. (Reign in Blood) to headlining the Mayhem Festival (2015). Slayer has been nothing short of pivotal to the evolution of extremity. I had to see them play “Chemical Warfare” one last time.

TaxSlayer Center (1201 River Dr, Moline, IL 61265) is a nice arena but it’s a fucking trek. I was working in Indianapolis at the time and picked up longtime friend and The Metal Channel editor Roger Schultz for the event. The drive was longer than expected and we didn’t make it to the venue till after 7!

I was bummed I missed Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, I heard they did an all Pantera set but I managed to catch nearly all of Ministry’s show. Ministry is an industrial metal band from Chicago and they’ve been around as long as Slayer. Considered the originators of the industrial metal genre, front man/founder Al Jourgensen knows how to put on a show. The Black Sabbath cover of “Supernaut” was a welcomed surprise but “Just One Fix”, “Thieves” and of course “Jesus Built My Hotrod” really put this offering over the top.

Up next was Primus and to be honest I really didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised a funk metal band would be on this bill but the group took their inclusion in stride. A pleasant break-up of a what could have been a real flogging. I’m not at all familiar with Primus’s music so I used the time to grab a beer and stretch my legs. I got back just in time to see them play “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” one of the few songs I knew.

The final act of the evening was Slayer. What can be said about a band that has truly built their reputation through the underground? Slayer was rarely on the radio and the few music videos they made were hardly ever played on MTV. Yet this is a band that can sell out arenas. One of the few acts who fans worship fervently, even to this day.

Slayer’s stage show has developed over the years from upside down crosses and Marshall stacks to a flaming rendition of hell. The fire was out in full force. The TaxSlayer venue provided enough of a stage to make the offering seem endless. The set list was one for the ages and you could tell the band was pumped up for it. “Jesus Saves” and “Show No Mercy” were definite highlights.

As I made the trek back to Indianapolis I contemplated Slayer. This is a band that fought for success. Their dominance was achieved through blood, sweat and tears. Slayer has earned the right to end their legacy on their own terms. Time will tell if this is truly the last we will see of Slayer. If that is the case, this farewell tour had a more than satisfying end to it. \m/

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