Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Live Review: Slayer, Primus, Ministry, Phil Anselmo @ MSG 11/9/19

Slayer, Primus, Ministry, Phil Anselmo 
@ MSG, NYC 11/9/19

A huge goodbye party was thrown in NYC for the metal gods Slayer as they played the New York leg of their retirement tour with some amazing bands helping to send them off proper.

The show started early with Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals as the doors to the worlds most famous arena opened at 5 pm and Phil and crew were rocking out at 6 to a mostly full house. The band played all Pantera songs and surprisingly got the largest consistent pit of the night from any of the four bands. The crowd went ape shit during "Strength Beyond Strength" as Anselmo growled over the slower "This Love". The thundering drums for "Fucking Hostile" echoed around the huge arena before the screaming guitar of "Walk" ended the the set, but not before the band snuck in a bit of "Stairway to Heaven" and a group selfie. 

While the next two bands received more mixed reactions from the crowd their style shows the range of metal and it's off shoot genres. Ministry stole the show with their industrial whirring and slamming as Al Jourgensen and crew came out to a parody of "New York, NY" insulting Donald Trump. Ministry always works best under Republican presidents (Rio Grande Blood, Psalm 69)and Jourgenson seems fired up once again under Trump. The band relied on mostly older tunes, but things were brutal from the dentist drill guitars of "Stigmata" and the Thieves/Liars chants from "Thieves". The surprise of the night was the bands exploratory cover of Black Sabbath's "Supernaut" which jammed out and soared. The bands killer tunes from Psalm 69 also worked as "Just One Fix", "N.W.O" and set closing "Jesus Built My Hotrod" cooked with high intensity.     

Primus seemed to go in the other direction, over the last fifteen years they have been exploring their more jamband leanings and tonight was no different.  There were some sound issues early with Larry Lelonde's guitar too low in the mix, but the band Segued in and out of "Sgt Baker" during "Too Many Puppies" before the loud bass of Les Claypool took over during "Frizzle Fry". There were a few down moments in their set which drained it of energy, like "The Seven" and "Mr. Krinkle" but things ended strong with a powerful combo of "My Name is Mud" and "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver".

The thrash legends took the stage to much bigger fan fare as fire shot from their backdrop and Slayer dove deep into their metal catalog. Opening with "Repentless" the band played songs from all over their career even going all the way back to the title track of their first album Show No Mercy.  "World Painted Blood" was an early highlight as the the band never took their foot off the pedal, while the fans were more in watching the band and the flames then tear down the house, resulting in much smaller and less frequent pits/slam dancing. While the bands before them showed more range, Slayer were content to stay one note, thundering from the beginning which wore thin at times, but you don't see Slayer for variety.

Guitarist Kerry King had some issues with "War Ensemble" and "When The Stillness Comes" causing the band to abandon it, but old warhorses like "Seasons In the Abyss", "Chemical Warfare" and "Hell Awaits" were greeted with cheers. The bands biggest songs "Raining Blood" "Dead Skin Mask" and "Angel of Death" back ended the set to happy fans who got to witness the power and pumping of the band one last time on one of the biggest stages there is. 
Catch the tour, and peep some video below:

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