Released: 2003, American
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Slayer’s live shows are insane. Having seen them live four times, the energy, aggression and passion that fans have for this band is unparalleled and WAR AT THE WARFIELD showcases every ugly angle of that. This DVD captures the band’s performance on December 7th, 2001 at San Francisco’s Warfield. Of particular interest is that this is one of the final shows with drummer Paul Bostaph before he jumped ship claiming a “chronic elbow injury” prevented him from continuing behind the kit.
I picked this DVD up for $15.99 CDN which is an absolute STEAL! You get an entire Slayer concert from the tour for 2001’s GOD HATES US ALL album, a 50 minute documentary called “Fans Rule”, a photo gallery and the uncensored music video for “Bloodline”. The concert itself is mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround so if you have a home theater setup, the music just wraps itself around you as if you are actually in the moshpit yourself. The music itself is nothing less than superb…just look at that tracklist!! Interspersed between some of the tracks are excerpts from the “Fans Rule” documentary. Pay particular attention between “War Ensemble” and “Stain of Mind” to the hippie who claims that Jim Carrey told him to sacrifice a dog and between “New Faith” and “Postmortem” where a female fan says she would kill herself and allow Slayer to have sex with her corpse. You can also choose to jump directly to your favorite track from a sub-menu.
The “Fans Rule” documentary is 50 minutes of people declaring in one way or another that Slayer “rules”. There are some normal looking people but the real reason to watch this is to see a guy who appears to be bordering on Down’s Syndrome, a pair of white trash guys with missing teeth, a ridiculously drunk guy who screams “SLAYER!!” any chance he gets and proceeds to bite a beer can in half! For some reason, there are a few fan testimonials that get backward-tracked to mask what they are actually saying, though after hearing what the necrophilia girl has to say, I can only imagine what had to be “bleeped”. Don’t miss the two fathers who brought their children to the show either! One of the fathers even went so far as to name his 9 year old son, “Sayer”, in honor of the band. Each band member chimes in with his thoughts on Slayer’s fans, the band’s longevity as well as other life affirming nuggets of wisdom. When Kerry King is asked how he would describe a Slayer performance, his one word answer is “chaos”. Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Primus’ Les Claypool also offer up their own thoughts on Slayer. You can also see Kerry King getting tattooed and a tongue-in-cheek discussion of a prototype for the Slayer doll. The documentary winds up with the Down’s Syndrome kid letting out a blood-curdling scream of “SSSSSLLLLLAYYYYERRRRRRRR!!!!” before looking as if he is going to pass out from the lack of oxygen. Now THIS is entertainment, folks!
The “Bloodline” video wasn’t anything special for me because Canada’s MuchMusic played it several times on its Loud program. Still, there were censors for other music channels who wouldn’t let this one slip past, so for all of you out there who live under the thumbs of idiots, this one’s for you.
Even at twice the price, WAR AT THE WARFIELD would still be an easy recommendation but it appears to be available everywhere for pretty cheap. I’ve seen Slayer live 4 times myself and this DVD does an excellent job of capturing the intensity felt among the dedicated masses.