The current Slayer, Testament and Caracass tour includes stops in San Francisco, Las Vegas and… Bakersfield, California. In a puzzling scheduling move, they decided to skip Los Angeles on the first leg of the tour, so I made the trek to the Rabobank Arena on Friday, March 25, 2016.
I have been attending Slayer concerts since the 1980’s and every show is rowdy and the pits are nuts, but the show in Bakersfield let me down in a big way and I think Slayer was also let down by the fans reactions.
Don’t get me wrong, Slayer’s performance was awesome as usual. Their 90 minute set included: ‘South of Heaven’, ‘Repleteness’, ‘Mandatory Suicide’ and ‘Angel of Death’. They sounded excellent and were very loud, but for this show, the stage had no pyro and just one single backdrop that was a giant painting of the ‘Repentless’ album cover with glow in the dark paint.
Unfortunately though, the fans in this small town were just not into the show. In fact, it was so bad that between songs, you could almost hear a pin drop. There was a limited amount of cheering after each song and at one point, singer Tom Araya mentioned that it was a rough crowd and I’m not talking about the pit or the moshing… I’m talking about just being dead… almost like a comedian standing on stage wondering why isn’t anyone laughing.
During the show, someone threw what looked like a rag toward the stage. Araya looked kind of upset and appeared to wonder why anyone would throw anything. He made it a point to the fans that it was not cool to throw anything. From then on, it seemed like they just went through the motions and wanted to get off stage as quick as possible. There was no encore.
Even though I drove 4 hours round trip from Los Angeles to see this show, it was still a great performance by all the bands, but I wish they would have done a show closer to L.A. I dont think Slayer will be returning to Bakersfield anytime soon. -Ralph
Thrash metal legends Testament and Exodus have teamed up in 2015 for the “Dark Roots of Thrash Tour” that began April 1st in San Francisco. The second stop was a sold out show the following night at The House of Blues in Hollywood, California.
To my surprise, Exodus hit the stage right at 8pm. It’s so rare for a band to start on time, but Exodus did exactly that and of course, I wasn’t settled in yet and arrived to them Kicking ass on ‘Blood In, Blood Out.’ Their set included ‘Salt the Wound,’ ‘Bonded By Blood,’ ‘A Lesson In Violence’ and the classic ‘Toxic Waltz.’ I have seen Exodus play live at least 5 times and every time they get better and better.
Headliner Testament took the stage next and blasted out two albums in their entirety back to back, ‘The Legacy’ and ‘New Order.’ Lead singer Chuck Billy was all over the stage, headbanging and playing his microphone stand as a guitar. Alex Skolnick, Eric Peterson, Gene Hoglan and three-string bass player, Steve DiGiorgio where having a great time headbanging and getting the crowd fired up for the song ‘Into The Pit,’ where it seemed like HOB went nuclear!
Catch the “Dark Roots of Thrash” on tour this Spring and get your tickets before it sells out in your town. Here are a few more cell phone pixs. Enjoy -Ralph