Slayer at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville
These photos were taken on February, 22nd, 2016 at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, TN.
I can’t recall the last time Slayer played Nashville. All I know is if you’re a fan of heavy metal, when Slayer comes to town you have to make an effort to go see them. The venue was the historic War Memorial Auditorium. I’ve seen many shows at the War Memorial but I can’t remember seeing the place packed out to near capacity of 2,000 like it was for Slayer. Add the illuminated full moon skyline and you knew you were in for a great night of heavy, vicious and furious metal music.
I credit Carcass and Testament on their collective sets. Both bands showcased why their longevity in the metal world is respected. Both bands all be it short sets made the most of their time, working the crowd for what was to come. Slayer…Slayer was coming to slaughter you with pure supremacy.
I have to admit I was a little disappointed not to see a hand full of bible beating protesting activist out front condemning everyone to hell for enjoying heavy, fast metal music. Telling me to repent, yelling the gospel and announcing that this is the devils music or some kind of other nonsense. In retrospect it also makes me happy there was none of that. No protesting or agenda being portrayed.
Slayer would open their set with their newest material Repentless followed by classics like Postmortem, Born of Fire and God Send Death.
This was only the beginning in what was a 90 minute set consisting of over 20 songs. There is a quote that comes to mind regarding the War Memorial made by former president Woodrow Wilson in the early 1900’s before World War I.
“The day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured.”
It’s fitting that the song “War Ensemble” would sound the drums for a massacre that Slayer was bestowing on the crowd. Digging into their vast catalog of music Kerry King’s haunting guitar riff of “When The Stillness Comes” would ring throughout the Auditorium.
Tom Araya vocally and lyrically has always painted a unique picture and perspective. Hearing him live, dig deep with power and precision on tracks like “Die By The Sword” “Chemical Warfare” and “Payback” was impressive. Tom also spoke to the crowd about the history of the War Memorial and that it was at one time the Grand Ole Opry. It served as such from 1939-1943. He did get some boo’s, Tom stated,”I think it’s cool, you may not but I do” There’s History here”
Slayer on top of playing a host of older tracks did also break out a new single titled “You Against You” The video looks to be coming very soon.
Slayer would finish its complete domination by finishing off killing the crowd with intense timeless songs, South of Heaven, Raining Blood, and Angel Of Death.
The War Memorial court yard sculpture named "Youth" the heroic statue which stands in the center of the courtyard holding a Nike in his open left palm, symbolizing victory in the war.
I spoke with a few fans after the show curious of what they thought of Slayers performance. The theme was the same for the diehard slayer fans exiting into the court yard highlighted by the glow of the full moon. Quote: “I loved this show, I F**king loved it. They played all my old favorites. It was awesome”