Phew, gasp, ugh, air, breath. Bloody hell man, they've turned the stupidly hot dial up to "I can't even breath without sweating" mark. Uh, it's hot. Hot. Hot. Entombed were playing as well, but as I wasn't here until the last 2 songs of their set, there's no review. And as good as they may have been, to be honest, I'm glad I wasn't there. The 2 hours or so for the changeover and duration of the Slayer set in that heat was more than enough. Did I say it was hot? Oh, I didn't. It was 'KIN hot.
So Slayer, yeah, WARM up gig for the Earl's Court thing. Not heat up to inferno gig. Warm up. Anyway, they come on, heads down, and it's War Ensemble. There's not much really can be said about them that hasn't been said before. People are in any available vantage point at the moment to get a view on what's happening on stage. The place is rammed. Shouts for "Slayer, Slayer" rang out at least 15 minutes before they hit the stage. There's a guy near me who between songs can only manage one thing, that's to shout "Slayer" in increasingly desperate tones at the top of his voice. Nah mate, wrong place. This is for the Spice Girls. Ah, kidding with ya. Hell Awaits, and it feels like Hell has opened a little portal into Rock City tonight whilst it waits, warming up the potential visitors. Bitter Piece is introduced as a new song, even though it's not, we get the delights of Captor Of Sin and Necrophiliac. Jeff Hanneman is shaking his hair looking like a metal man of yesteryear yet still totally contemporary. I use the comparison every time I know, but Kerry King looks like a pitbull strangling his guitar. Paul Bostaph probably looks like something, but he's hidden behind his drums, which are on a rise so high he's almost got his head through the roof. The lighting is simply yet eerily effective. Stain of Mind rears it's head, the heads continue to bang, even in this heat. There's a few relatively lengthy gaps between tracks, probably you'd guess to allow the band too cool down a little bit, and the crowd. A few bottles of water emptied on the heads surely can't be enough, not in this heat.
Dance with the dead in my dreams, listen to their hallowed screams. Dead Skin Mask leads into a showstopping end which puts pretty much all the contenders in their place. I mean, can you argue with a set closer list of that, followed by Raining Blood, Altar of Sacrifice, Jesus Saves, Mandatory Suicide, Chemical Warfare, and the encores of South Of Heaven and Angel of Death? They're all pretty old songs now really when you think of it, what's it, 12 years or something since Reign In Blood was released, yet still when those chords strike up, it sends chills, and the crowd into er, heaven. And it's almost like time stands still as you approach that moment during Angel of Death. The lights know it, the band knows it, the crowd knows it, and drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr dah dah dah dah dah dah, dahdahdahdah - hey, you try typing a drum break, it ain't easy. But it doesn't get much better than that. They're getting on a bit know I guess,, but they've still got it, they can still show the young whippersnappers a thing or two. Mind you, I wonder if Maiden will do the same thing to them tomorrow evening. Unfortunately I won't be there to know.