Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Commodore Ballroom (Capacity 990)
BC, Canada. Saturday Feb 16th

Review By D. Pope

The Commodore Ballroom is perhaps the finest place in Vancouver to see a live band.. especially if that band is Slayer! The band played 2 general admission sold out shows, the second show occuring on Sunday. The band had actually recorded their latest album God Hates Us All last year at Warehouse studios in Vancouver.

The band were tight, brutal, and fast as hell. The concert started with the Darkness of Christ album track and launched into Disciple. The remainder of the set list included in no particular order....Chemical Warfare, Die by the Sword, Captor of Sin, Hell Awaits, Angel of Death, Post Mortem, Reigning Blood, South of Heaven, Mandatory Suicide, War Ensemble, Born of Fire, Dead Skin Mask, Seasons in the Abyss, Stain of Mind, Disciple, Bloodline, Payback and a few others from the new album. The album Divine Intervention was curiously not represented tonight. During the show, Tom Araya thanked the audience for "taking the time to come out and have some fun". He then yelled "do you want to die?". The crowd roared "yeah" and the band played "Post Mortem".

The band appeared to be very into the show and seemed to get off on the crowd.

As per tradition Jeff Hanneman wore his shin guards and Kerry King wore his spiked arm band. Some things never change and thank satan! Tom Araya looked positively sick with his out of control mane fanning the crowd. One chick standing next to me said that Tom looked to be "in hard shape" considering his father's death last week from a heart attack. I thought that Tom just looked more deathly which was fine by me. It certainly did not affect his playing. "It's about the music-ya bitch" !

The fans were nuts and it was clear they were there to see their maker. I was even inspired to buy a t-shirt. There were some very sick shirt designs including a pic of Jesus with several nails in his skull. Another shirt design had the American Flag covered in blood with the caption "payback is a bitch". I have been to see several metal bands in recent years and no other band can sell t-shirts like Slayer. Even the chicks were wearing special baby-doll shirts made for the event.

I don't recall the last time I got punched in the head at a concert but that's just what happened "accidentally". I guess I'm too old for the mosh pit though I'm still young enough to enjoy picking dried blood out of my ears.

Dave Lombardo is god! Actually I wondering throughout the concert if it was in fact god behind the drums. The drummer had been inconspicuous behind the kit, wearing a ball cap and keeping his head low. The band made no mention of his presence and I spoke to several people in the audience who were not even aware of his temporary return. He did come up from the drums at the end of the show and it was then that I was able too see "Lord Lombardo". I guess Dave learned his lesson from the South of Heaven tour when Rick Rubin told him to alter his posture to be seen by the audience. This in effect drastically affected his chops resulting in pro-tools being used on much of the Abyss album. His playing was phenomenal tonight and live the band never sounded better. Please stop the auditions!

One of the most enjoyable concerts in recent memory (a combination of the bands performance, the venue and Smirnoff Ice). Despite the bands inability to sell out larger venues, the fans win in the end by having the opportunity to see a band as close as they dare to get.

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