Slayer Slaughters the Sacred Shoe
Slayer with Unsane at The Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA, August 10, 1996
by: Drew Snow
I am not a huge Slayer fan, owning only two of their albums prior to the show, but since metal concerts are so rare in this area I decided it would definitely be worth it to make the hour or so trip to Philadelphia to see one of metal's most influential bands. The doors opened at 7pm, and I arrived around 7:30. Seeing as how the line was stretching for a few blocks down the street from the door, I was glad I'd bought my ticket before hand. The line wasn't for the box office though, it was because everyone (I mean everyone) had to be patted down and checked for knives, etc. [and camera/recording equipment especially -- Gino] before entering the place, which held around 1000 people.

Once I got inside I quickly met up with my friends from #metal on IRC one of whom introduced me to death metal a long time ago, and for that I owe him everything. There was already some kind of local band playing, but they weren't even worth listening to so I decided to go check out the T-shirts. They had three different ones, but one of them anyone could make at home with a bottle of gray spraypaint so I only got two; at $20 apiece these things were a little overpriced.

Next on stage was the official opening act, Unsane. Let me just say that these guys sucked. They were indistinguishable from any other band of their genre (that whole kind of metal/hardcore thing), and the crowd let them know it. Any time they stopped even for a second, the entire crowd would yell out "SLAYER!!" Unsane must've been expecting this and probably received this kind of warm reception before because after a while they kind of played along. Of course the vocalist for Unsane didn't help things either when before they started playing he yelled out, "Ok, before SLAAYYYEERRR!!! We are Unsane." Or something to that effect. Anyway, they ended their set after maybe 40 minutes and left the stage.

After about 20 more minutes, everyone finally got what they were waiting for. The lights slowly dimmed, and Slayer began playing South of Heaven. This was definitely the most exciting part of the show. By far the best part of the show was during this song when the entire crowd sang along with Tom, "Before you see the light.. YOU MUST DIE!!" They followed this up with War Ensemble, the second best performance of the night. Before the show I had heard that they played two different sets, you either got the hour and a half set full of old songs, or the 10 song set with a lot of new stuff. We must've lucked out because they played neither, they instead chose :21: songs, more old than new, and must've played for about and hour and 45 minutes. Here is the full set list (with a lot of help from Marc aka AtTheGate):

South of Heaven War Ensemble Abolish Government Hell Awaits Captor of Sin Gemini (punk song) Killing Fields Anti-Christ (punk song) Ditto Head I Hate You Richard Hung Himself Necrophiliac Dead Skin Mask Chemical Warfare Sex, Murder, Art Seasons in the Abyss Raining Blood Mandatory Suicide Angel of death

Neither of us having gotten Undisputed Attitude yet, we didn't know the names of a couple of the punk songs. Luckily they didn't play a whole lot of them.

Probably the only thing that marred this night was the event that happened about halfway through the set. Someone (accidentally I'm sure) hit Tom in the hand with a thrown shoe, which caused him to stop playing. When he resumed he said, "You guys are fucked up." That wasn't the end though; he seemed to take being hit with the shoe as a sign of disrespect because throughout the rest of the set he insulted the crowd and did various other things. Here's a couple: "I want to dedicate this next song to this place, it's called I HATE YOU." And: "Why don't you guys fucking shut up." Also: "Normally at this point in the show I have a few words of kindness, but not for you guys." I thought all of this was a little unnecessary. I mean it was probably just an accident, and even if it wasn't, there was no reason to take it out on the rest of the fans.

Overall, Slayer put on a great show. Never been to a Slayer show before, so I can't compare it to any other, but another friend who was there (hey Allison) said it was one of the best shows she'd ever been to, by ANYONE. They were full of intensity, didn't mess up at all, and basically kicked ass. I hope Tom Araya's final words were true: "Ok, we're going to go home, work on our new shit, and come back sometime next year, alright?" There are only a couple of dates left on this short tour, so if you have a chance, by all means go. Just be sure to arrive after Unsane is done.

(article submitted 12/8/1996)


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