• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Slayer – Primus – Ministry – Phil Anselmo & The Illegals

MGM Grand Garden Arena – Wednesday November 27th, 2019

Not to brag, but I’ve seen Slayer six times in my life. I say that since I’ve met many people who have seen them well over a dozen times. Later this November may be the last time Las Vegas residents get to see the thrash metal legends. However, this time has to be the most diverse lineup I’ve seen them on. The last time we covered Slayer live was in 2013. If I can get tickets then this might be the only time I see Primus or Ministry. Not that I think they’re bad or anything.

Check out this killer fan-made playlist of all the bands on the bill!

However, the wife and I have seen and covered Phil Anselmo & The Illegals at Backstage Bar & Billiards. Phil has been touring with his band playing a half original and half Pantera set. While I’m sure the focus will be on the Pantera portion of the show, their original songs are effing killer. Not my favorite of Phil’s nearly a dozen projects, but well worth checking out.

As for Slayer, I saw them three times in Vegas before moving away. Once at Mayhem Festival at Tinley Park outside Chicago. That festival was killer seeing as every band, even ones I didn’t care for played exceptionally well. Each of the shows were before the unfortunate passing of guitarist Jeff Hanneman.

Since Hanneman’s passing, during ‘Angel of Death’ live, the guys have made a tradition of dropping their SLAYER backdrop to reveal a Hanneman dedicated backdrop in the Heineken graphic style.

Since then I’ve seen them the last two times they’ve come through Vegas with Gary Holt (Exodus) filling in Jeff’s boots. Both shows each had some of the best lineups for one such as me. All bands I had obsessed over all throughout high school. 

Having followed Slayer so long, I’m surprised that Tom Araya has stuck through all this time. In a rig rundown, Tom and his younger brother/bass tech, Juan “Johnny” Araya (Thine Eyes Bleed) showed the camera a special guitar strap that Tom used following neck surgery. It would keep the weight of his basses of his shoulder and neck and instead on his lower torso while he healed.

Tom Araya’s portion is aroun 14 minutes into this video.

Let’s not be sad to see the members of Slayer move onto the next part of their lives and careers. I can’t imagine what Tom goes through to put on the shows. Though I do imagine he’d like to spend time with his family. Dave Lombardo has other projects to keep his attention and has left the band a second time opening the throne to another Slayer alum, Paul Bostaph. Gary Holt has been juggling commitments to Slayer with his own band, Exodus. The only question remaining- What does Kerry King plan to do post-Slayer?

If you’re a fan of Slayer and never seen them live or haven’t in years it’s best you take a good long look in the mirror and ask yourself if you can afford to miss this one. I imagine the people in the areas surrounding the MGM Grand Garden Arena will hear the screams of “SLAYER!” and know fear. 

For more details and information on THE FINAL CAMPAIGN TOUR, head on over to Slayer’s official website, HERE!

Check out the top Slayer songs via Spotify below!

By Ethan Pretre

I'm a husband, guitarist, and writer born in Michigan but have lived all over. I consider my hometowns to be Las Vegas, NV and Berwick, LA. Fan of extreme metal. All time favorite bands include Acid Bath, Cradle of Filth, and Arch Enemy to name just a few.

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