Concert Review: Slayer, November 21, Kool Haus

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Though their musical style has stayed more or less the same , Slayer have switched up their lineup a bit over the years.  The band was founded way back in 1981 by Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, Tom Araya, and Dave Lombardo, who left the band in 1992. His replacement, Paul Bostaph, was himself replaced by Jon Dette, who was in turn replaced by Lombardo, who was recently ousted by the band again over some contract disputes.  On the guitar front, Hanneman was a longstanding member until he fell ill with flesh eating disease, sadly dying later of liver failure.  So it goes.  As of now, Araya and King are out on the road, joined again by Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt of Exodus fame. To have a band with only half of the original members may be questionable, but this is metal, a genre where bands switching members around is pretty much par for the course.  And if folks are still skeptical, it helps that the band’s current tour is an “old school” set made up of hits from the bands first few albums.  It helps a lot when you’re playing a set full of all the songs that the fans love.

Ultimately, once the band started playing, it didn’t matter much exactly who was in the band.  After all, this is still Slayer and Slayer fans are a dedicated breed.  Slayer, for their part, are obviously appreciative of this dedication, with Araya noting early in their set that he saw a lot of familiar faces in the crowd and later on, sticking up for a fan who was apparently about to be ejected from the venue by Security.  “Don’t send that guy outside!” he said.  “Sometimes you motherfuckers get carried away.  But that’s all part of the love.”  I’ve noted in the past that Slayer shows do seem like a bit of a love in and when you’re in the midst of a crowd joyously singing along with “Seasons In The Abyss,” it certainly seems that way.  It helps a bit that Araya, with his big grin and graying beard, could almost pass for an aging hippy dude if he weren’t singing about dead skin masks, war ensembles or angels of death.  Sure, he could sing about peace and happiness and double rainbows, but then that wouldn’t be terribly Slayer of him now, would it?

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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