Tales from the pit
Back in July, on Friday the 13th in Tampa, FL, I went to Mayhem and saw some of the heaviest and most entertaining bands in the business. Now even though I was backstage for Anthrax and moshed with some former marines during Motorhead, Slayer's performance was the most unforgettable.
From the time between the end of Motorhead's performance and the beginning of Slayer's, the anticipation was killing me. Slayer would be playing right in front of me very soon, one of the greatest, if not THE, greatest thrash band of all time, and this would be the first time I would ever see them live. Then, "Darkness of Christ" started playing from the PA speakers and my heart started beating a mile a minute. It was about to happen. The chants of "FUCKING SLAYER" was being screamed all around. The curtain dropped, "Disciple" started, and the gates of hell opened in front of my eyes.
As the setlist continued, with classics like "Die by the Sword" and "Mandatory Suicide" and also newest hits like "Hate Worldwide" blasted in front of my eyes, I worked my way to the front, moshing and making friends within the Slayer-family along the way. I felt welcomed as I told some of our older Slayer brethren that this was my first Slayer concert. Leaning up against one another and headbanging the entire time, I was enjoying every second of it. I was so close to the front, I could see Tom and I know this sounds gay as fuck, but I swear to God he looked right at me right before they went into "Dead Skin Mask" and even though Jeff wasn't there, Gary Holt was the perfect replacement. This show was blowing me away, it was like something out of a dream.
By the end of it, I was having conversations with some of the guys around me and then, the unholy group came back out to give us an encore of "South of Heaven" and of course "Raining Blood". I almost was able to grab one of the picks that Kerry threw into the audience but at that point of the night, I was so tired and worn out, I couldn't fight for it.
This was one of the greatest shows I've ever seen and next time Slayer comes through Florida, I'll be one of the first mother fucker's in line for a ticket. Fucking Slayer.
Long Live Metal,