Last Night: Slayer, Megadeth And Anthrax At Verizon

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Photos by Groovehouse
South of Heaven: Slayer's Tom Araya
Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax
Verizon Wireless Theater
September 26, 2010

With the end of this concert, Aftermath was sort of sad. Not only did it mark the end of a marathon music week in Houston and for Rocks Off, it also signaled that we had to stop listening to Slayer for countless hours a day at work to study up for the show. Not that we didn't listen to the band a lot before. Just ask our co-workers within ten yards of our headphones.

Now we have nothing much to look forward to. Sure, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is coming up in another couple of weeks and Fun Fun Fun Fest after that, but Slayer was something different altogether. Something heartier and more iconic than a bunch of rote festival bands and some indie-pop that we can't even shake our fist and scream along to.

To get to Slayer last night at though, we had to be lashed by the sounds of Anthrax and Megadeth, making a full three-course metal meal for all involved. The former is wholly underrated and the latter is regarded exactly as they should be.

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Metal Thrashing Mad: Anthrax
Without Anthrax, a good portion of crossover thrash and hardcore would not have existed during the mid-'80s, and for that the band should be headlining venues as big as Verizon, and not playing 40-minute sets.

Their quick eight-song slot saw them not only rolling out mid-period album cuts like "Caught In a Mosh" and "Indians," but also "Only" from the band's John Bush-fronted era. Fans outside remarked that it was in good form for newly-reinstated singer Joey Belladonna to help dish out the Sound of White Noise track with the band.

The band has been working on new material, but none was included in this set. Fan favorites "Metal Thrashing Mad" and the Judge Dredd ballad "I Am the Law" more than made up for any dearth of fresh material.

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Symphony of Destruction: Megadeth
Megadeth turned in pretty much the same show we saw six months ago to the day, if just a little out of order. Once again Dave Mustaine and his crew laid down 1990's Rust In Peace in its entirety before running headlong into the new "Head Crusher" from last year's shadowy Endgame LP. Classics like "Symphony of Destruction" and "Peace Sells" were flung out before the band took an extended bowing session in front of the crowd.

A massive white sheet (of all colors, right?) came down in front of the stage as Megadeth left. We could spy Slayer's equipment getting put in place through the sides, like peaking inside an armory, or at the very least, a fireworks show being staged. Two huge metal Slayer logos came down on either side of the band's stomping grounds.

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