Slayer, Gojira and more at Madison Square Garden (2013)

Madison Square Garden (New York City, USA)

Slayer, Gojira, 4arm
Before I write begin writing about the second biggest Metal event to take place in […]
By Dead Skin Matt
November 27, 2013

Before I write begin writing about the second biggest Metal event to take place in NYC since "The Big Four" at Yankee Stadium, let me first give respect to their opening act, GOJIRAGOJIRA are pretty good.  Ok, now that I got that out of the way.

Originally I was going to title this review "50% of SLAYER's triumphant return to MSG", but from the moment the show began, we all knew Jeff Hanneman was there.  It began as it did June 28th, 1991, and as it often has, with "Hell Awaits". A warning in the past of what anyone with floor seats had in their future. Live Metal shows have changed a lot since then. Those Metal maniacs that turned stadium floors into a violent display of youthful insanity are now dads with jobs, and they are still going to SLAYER concerts.  Some of them are even bringing their kids to the shows. And so what was once something on the level of extreme sports, has now become a family event. You can safely take your wife and kids to a SLAYER show and enjoy the view from the floor.  I am fine with this, and it seems SLAYER is too. SLAYER's live show doesn't need horrific violence to meet the Metal standard. SLAYER is the Metal standard.  SLAYER's music is heavy and it never needed any of the staple crutches that are now the boring norm in most new Metal bands. Tom Araya doesn't need to barf cookie monster garbage vocals.  Lombardo never needed to insert blast beat into every song. King and Hanneman wrote scary slower dirges like "Spill the Blood" and "Dead Skin Mask" as well as "War Ensemble". They didn't need to make every song as fast as possible, it just had to be as Metal as possible.

With the exception for the EXODUS cover, this was a set list for Jeff. Classic SLAYER.  The only thing missing was Dave Lombardo bashing the drums. I am not going to turn this into a bitching session about personnel changes, but Paul Bostaph was clearly having issues with the band's deep tracks. He wasn't horrible, but his pushing and pulling of the quick tempos "Necrophiliac" and "Jesus Saves" were noticeable. Perhaps Paul's old injured arm was bothering him, and if so they had one of Metal's best new drummer's milling about backstage. I had learned earlier (from his Facebook page) that Elliot Hoffman, the Drummer of CAR BOMB was the guest drum tech of GOJIRA's Mario Duplantier.


Gary Holt was fantastic as usual and has been since he began his tour of duty. To be honest "Strike at the Beast" was a little strange coming out of Tom Araya's pipes, but it was a cool "Thank you" to Holt. Tom didn't like what was going on between the security and the crowd surfers (what few there were), and around the halfway point of the show felt the need to give them a stern lecture. This ironically reminded me of the bootleg I heard of SLAYER's last MSG show where he was scolding the crowd for all the damage they were causing which eventually led to the original ban.

"Dead Skin Mask", "Raining Blood", "Black Magic", "South of Heaven", and then "Angel of Death".  Holy Shit! Can any band finish a show stronger?  No.  They are the one and only SLAYER, and Jeff Hanneman lives on in every live show for as long as Tom and Kerry feel like marching on. I Hope that is for a few more decades (of aggression), because the Heavy Metal world needs SLAYER more than ever. Infinity.  It's fucking SLAYER.


1. Hell Awaits
2. Antichrist
3. Necrophiliac
4. Mandatory Suicide
5. Captor of Sin
6. War Ensemble
7. Postmortem
8. Alter of Sacrifice
9. Jesus Saves
10. At Dawn They Sleep
11. Die By the Sword
12. Spirit In Black
13. Hollowed Point
14. Seasons of the Abyss
15. Strike of the Beast (Exodus cover)
16. Dead Skin Mask
17. Raining Blood
18. Black Magic
19. South of Heaven
20. Angel of Death

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