Slayer – The Final World Tour
@ The PNC Arena – Raleigh, NC
November 3, 2019
It looked like Slayer and their opening bands, Phil Anselmo & The Illegals, Ministry and Primus, did not have a huge draw at the PNC Arena this Sunday night. The house looked about a third full with many seats available. It was definitely a hard core trash and death metal night for sure with two of the openers plus Slayer.
Photographers were allowed access to the pit, which is unusual at the PNC. It was stocked with security and pushed back at least 15 feet from the stage. We knew we had to watch our backs while taking pictures for the first three songs of each band because body surfing was expected.
After the first band, we were escorted to the hallway in the back of the PNC to stage for the next band, Ministry because PA&TE had a short set. Thats when we knew moshing was going on. Not your typical fun, friendly body slamming. People were throwing elbows and trampling bystanders. Broken noses and bloody faces were being helped to the restrooms for treatment by EMS personnel. There was blood on the floor in the hallway while personnel tried to get patrons to go around it.
Primus was the last and calmest opening band in the lineup with their funk metal and heavy bass rhythms. The calm before the storm?
Last up was the four time Grammy nominated and twice winner for Best Metal Performance. The headliner, Slayer. The first black kabuki dropped just to reveal a second transparent one. Teasing the audience with the fluorescent backdrop art as lasers projected crosses against the front as they slowly invert. Smoke filled the stage as Slayer logos flashed and spun on the front curtain as the background curtain dropped.
Coming out of the smoke were silhouettes of Tom Araya [lead vocals and bass], Kerry King [guitar] and Gary Holt [guitar] on stage [couldn’t really see Paul Bostaph back on the raised drum kit]. The second kabuki was stuck. You could see the roadie pulling on it, but it wouldn’t come down. Security helped out and down it came to music and pyro as we photographer are released, rushing into the pit. Missing the best fire picture because of the stuck curtain… But the crowd went wild and the band hit it hard with Repentless as their opener for the show.
The show was loud and heavy with lots of fire [and probably blood in the moshpit] with one controversial hit song after another. The show you would expect for the Grammy winner. If you missed it, you missed them forever because the tour is wrapping up the end of this month [final tour dates as follows].
•Kerry King – guitars (1981–present)
•Tom Araya – bass, vocals (1981–present)
•Paul Bostaph – drums (1992–1996, 1997–2001, 2013–present)
•Gary Holt – guitars (2013–present; touring member 2011–2013)