|July 15th 2002||London||Astoria||UK|
This was to be my 18th Slayer gig and I was very much looking forward to seeing them again,I`d got the day off from work so I could spend the day in London shopping for videos and cd`s,and what a great day weatherwise it was. We had sunny blue sky and about 80 degrees,very hot for England even at this time of the year I can assure you-and to think it was like this when we went to see Slayer in California Feb 2002,it must be close to 100 degrees there now,no thanks!
There was a massive queue building up outside the Astoria,the gig had sold out and it was great to see all those loyal slayer disciples waiting for their much needed fiz of Slayer,the queue stretched up the road and onto the edges of Soho square-we didn`t bother queueing and we didn`t even bother seeing the support band. I forget the name of them all I know they are a UK band but we were there simply for SLAYER!!!So we went to the entrance at 8.15pm when the queue had died down and we could hear the support band more or less ending their set. There was the usual bunch of ticket touts seeking to buy or sell tickets for the show and we walked past them,I mean we got tix and we`re not flogging them I can tell you. The Astoria holds about 3300 standing,and has a downstairs/upstairs and I went up and my friend went to the front row downstairs,I need space so I can airdrum you see so I`m not copping out ok!I found a good central point with decent space and it was a 30 minute wait but they were playing some cool Motorhead tunes to keep us warmed up and looking down at the stage you could see 24 Marshall stacks 12 for Jeff and 12 for Kerry,serious stuff indeed! Daves kit was looking ready for action,there was no Slayer logo on his drums,just his preferred TAMA brand written on the foot drums. Then all of a sudden the lights dimmed and the crowd went crazy,shouting SLAYER-SLAYER!!!!!
They had the same backset onstage as when I saw them in San Francisco which has `GOD HATES US` written in glowing red upon a black backdrop,very atmospheric indeed,then we heard the `DARKNESS OF CHRIST` backing tape,this really got us all fired up,prepare to be nailed to the wall!!!!They ran straight into `GOD HATES US ALL`It is amazing to see how this band manage to stay so consistent and retain such intese standards,Jeff/Kerry and Dave are the same age as me which is 38 and Tom is now 41 years old and they show no sign of slowing down or copping out and neither do i. I`ll not bore you with an exact song for song run down but they played in no specific order `HELL AWAITS/ANGEL OF DEATH/WAR ENSEMBLE/SOUTH OF HEAVEN/MANDATORY SUICIDE /RIB/GOD SEND DEATH/BLOODLINE`. They played a 90 minute set including encores and I was left soaked in my own sweat from head to toe with my t-shirt and jeans wet and clinging but all the energy I used to thrash and airdrum was very much worth the effort,Slayer have this effect on me like no other band.
I made my way up to the bar which was just about to close and I managed to wangle some free water to help me replenish the lost fluids and then I met outside with my friend amongst the chaos of the fans exiting the venue and the mingling dodgy unnoficial t-shirt and poster merchants.We walked 50 meteres up the road to the kebab shop and haung about outside eating some food and taking in what we`d just seen,and that was SLAYER-the one and only band who have kept loyal to their roots and can still deliver the goods after 21 years in the business,I bow to you as a loyal disciple 666>:?666.