Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
August 23rd, 2018
With Lamb Of God, Anthrax, Testament, and opening band, Napalm Death.
Slayer- The Final World Tour - Ridgefield, Washington
It was announced in early January of this year that Slayer was announcing their retirement after being together well over 35 years. This shocked the metal music community from all over the world. That word, retirement, was just a word that a lot of people didn’t want to believe. It was hard too stomach after so many had grown up listening to them for so long. So many fans would drive for hours to get a chance to see these titans, one of the Big Four of Thrash Metal play live for the very last time.
Opening this 2nd leg of the Final Word Tour were grindcore pioneers Napalm Death, who hail all the way from England, who replaced Poland’s black metal band Behemoth from the 1st leg of the tour. As soon as current touring bassist John Cooke, longtime drummer Danny Herrera, and 31 year veteran for the band, bassist, Shane Embury, took the stage, along with singer and songwriter for 29 years, Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway, the storm was just about to begin. As soon Barney screamed into the microphone for the beginning of the song, "Multinational Corporations," it was no holds barred, and it was on for the rest of the day!
For anyone that has never seen Napalm Death, or is familiar their music, they give 110% aggression while playing fast, extreme music, with each song only averaging a couple of minutes during their 12-song set. Even towards the end of their set they played their song, "You Suffer," which just happens to be in the Guinness World Records for being the shortest song in the world, clocking in at 1.316 seconds long. And if you looked at your cell phone or anywhere else for that matter, you definitely missed the song.
Other songs they played were "Suffer The Children," "How The Years Condemn," "Scum," and finishing off their set with a cover version of "Nazi Punks Fuck Off, " by the Dead Kennedys, a late 1970s punk rock band.
Next up was Testament, a thrash metal band from Berkley, California, whom a lot say they should be considered the 5th band to be a part of the Big Four. They showed everyone why they should be and didn’t let up. Napalm Death was like the appetizer for everyone, and now the crowd was hungry and ready for more and singer Chuck Billy gave them what they wanted, a taste of metal bashed up against their head.
Testament opened with "Brotherhood of the Snake" and finished their set with "Over The Wall," a song from their 1987 release The Legacy.
After Testament was New York City’s Anthrax, and they came out blazing with a cover version of Pantera’s "Cowboys From Hell," which lead into their own fan-favorite song called, "Caught In A Mosh."
From left to right, to front to back, everyone fed off their energy while they played songs like "Madhouse," "Be All, End All," and "Evil Twin," finishing things off with their song from their 1987 album Among The living, called "Indians," but changing things up with a little twist and ending the song with a "Cowboys From Hell" outro, and the crowd loved it. Thousands of fists raised into the air screaming for more.
By now the sun was beginning to set in Ridgefield, and the crowd was ready for Randy Blythe and the rest of Richmond, Virginia’s Lamb of God to take the stage and pummel the rest their eardrums into oblivion dust. You always have that inner feeling that the show is going to start soon, and your heart beats even faster, but you still don't exactly when, but then all of a sudden you hear these words coming from the monitors, 'Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward, whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both. For a wounded man will shall say to his assailant, if I live, I will kill you. If I die, you are forgiven. Such is the rule of honor,' you knew right then that it was time to put your head down with your shoulder up and run into the pit and there was no turning back because Lamb of God was going point blank to deliver the goods needed for the rest of the night until Slayer took the stage.
Lamb of God began their set with the song, "Omerta," and of course the mosh pits began to circle again into full force and did not slow down unless it was a break in between each song. Lamb of God never let the crowd rest playing songs like "Walk With Me In Hell," "Now You’ve Got Something To Die For," and "Blacken The Cursed Sun," until finishing things off with their popular song called, "Redneck," taken from their fifth album called, Sacrament. And if it weren't for Slayer and this being their Final World Tour, Lamb of God could have easily been the headliner for the evening. They gave it all to the crowd.
By now, everyone had had their appetizer of Napalm Death, and their main courses of some Testament and Lamb of God, sprinkled with a bunch of Anthrax, everyone was ready for Slayer. Everyone was prepared for 'fuuuuuccccking Slayer'!
Lamb of God finally exited the stage and it was now time for what everyone was waiting for, Slayer! Since the retirement announcement, it had been a very long eight months to wait and see them play live if you lived in the Pacific Northwest, mainly if you lived in Oregon or Washington. With the house lights turned on, a curtain that covered the whole front of the stage was raised, and the stagehands began to set things up for the almighty Slayer, whom only had to more shows left after this show to wrap up the 2nd leg of the Final World Tour in the United States. Everyone was ready to see Slayer’s reign one last time. The house lights went dark and the opening song "Delusions Of Savior" began to play, and the audience screamed so loud, residents in nearby Portland, Oregon, 23 miles away, probably could hear the chants for Slayer.
As the song continued, four crosses appeared in the darkness on the curtain, and as the song played they slowly began to turn upside down. As the crosses turned and eventually were all upside down at the same time, four pentagrams appeared as the crosses disappeared and began floating all over the curtain until they all became one and then turned into the Slayer logo with four swords making up the pentagram and then the curtain dropped and with explosions of bright lights flashing they broke into the song "Repentless". No one in the crowd was standing all the way from the pit in front of the stage, to all the way out to the lawn, probably 100 yards away.
The moment was here that thousands had been waiting for, even it was the inevitable end of one of one of 'The Big Four' was bowing out. No matter what, Slayer was going out on top and as soon as Paul Bostaph, Gary Holt, Kerry King, and Tom Araya walked out onto the stage they did just that. They were on top of the world and the crowd loved it.
Slayer played an assortment of songs from their 37 years of playing and recording together, playing classics like "Black Magic,"
"Mandatory Suicide," "Jihad," to their newest song from their 12th studio album Repentless, "When The Stillness Comes." Then after the song, "Chemical Warfare" the lights went dark, eventually turning back on only to reveal everything bathed in the color green as Gary Holt and Kerry King began to start the song "Angel Of Death," with Paul Bostaph’s hard blasting drum beats joining in. It wasn’t until Tom Araya walked up to the microphone and screamed that the background curtain dropped again to reveal the Heineken Beer inspired logo 'Angel Of Death/ Still Reigning' curtain, a tribute to Slayer’s original guitarist Jeff Hanneman that passed away in May of 2013. The intensity was already way into fourth gear, and now it was shifting into overdrive. Everyone knew this was it, the final song of the night, and everyone showed their love for this band that once started out driving around in Tom Araya’s El Camino car from show to show back in 1981, to eventually gaining seven Grammy nominations to winning two of them. No one ever wanted this night to end, and Slayer knew it too giving it more than ever before.
When the last note of "Angel Of Death" was played and the song came to an end, and the last burst of flames from the pyrotechnics diminished, the legacy of Slayer and all that they had done over the years finally came to an end that night in Ridgefield, Washington for their fans, and it was finally time to say their final goodbye, their final farewell.
Instruments were handed off to their techs, and then Paul, Gary, Kerry, and Tom began to walk the stage back and forth throwing out guitar picks and drumsticks to the eager crowd.
Tom Araya was the last one to leave the stage, and as he looked out towards the sea of screaming fans, he said his farewell goodbye and said he was going to miss everyone. During this whole time, the crowd never stopped screaming, and even screamed louder as he left the stage.
Even though this may end up being one of their final tours ever, no one will ever forget the reign they had on us all for over 30 years. Thank you, Gary Holt, Paul Bostaph, Dave Lombardo, Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King, and Tom Araya for all that each and everyone of you have done in Slayer’s career throughout the years.
Slayer will forever reign!