The Slayer/Megadeth American Carnage Tour tore through Time Warner Amphitheater last night, taking everybody in attendance a couple decades back in metal time. The tour was set to commemorate the 20th anniversaries of Megadeth’s fourth album, Rust in Peace, and Slayer’s Seasons in the Abyss. Noodling guitar solos were ripe for the pickin’.
Megadeth started up an hour-long set as the sun was setting, ripping through numbers from the metal classic with a theatrical set of outfit changes, double-neck guitars and double kick drums. The set featured singles like “Hangar 18” (boosted no doubt by a Guitar Hero II appearance), and Mustaine and crew had all the choreography of a well-rehearsed musical. Megadeth took it back to when popular metal had actual singing, before it was Dragonforce-ironic. Though the set featured tunes from Rust, the band came back for an encore highlighted by “Peace Sells” and all four band members joining hands on stage and bowing. Yeah, like a musical.
And that brought the show to Fuckin’ Slayer (yes, that’s the name), who came off exponentially more imposing than Megadeth. Slayer’s set, made up of tunes from Seasons, actually peaked in the encore, when the band pulled out the sure-fire chainsaws “Raining Blood,” “Aggressive Perfector,” and “Angel of Death.” There was no shortage of thrashing, shouts of “Fuckin’ Slayer!” and drifts carrying the essence of weed smoke. A few people were even willing to hurl their $8 beers through the air. And that’s the beauty of a classic metal show. It’s religious in devotion and tribal by nature. And it was really fuckin’ loud. — Nick Baker