words by BBG, photos by Samantha Marble
In 1991 there was The Clash of The Titans tour, a meeting of some of the biggest names in metal at the moment with Slayer, Megadeth, and Testament all on board for European and US legs featuring a rotating cast of Alice In Chains, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, and more. A lot of time and changes have come to pass since that tour; Slayer lost their founding drummer and then found him, Testament battled cancer and arrived victorious, and Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine has a NY Times best-selling book among many other things. But nineteen years later, these thrash metal giants are still kicking around and reformed for a string of summer/fall dates that included the Izod Center in NJ on August 12th (and includes Nassau Coliseum on October 8th, where the classic lineup of Anthrax replaces Testament as opener).
Testament opened the Meadowlands show to a progressively growing audience at 7PM. The band's 40 minute set featured output from their career, with a few nods to their latest From Formation to Damnation. Although I enjoyed their set somewhat, the sound was unintelligible; guitars were completely buried in the mix with only the highest leads bleeding through the mud. That said, Alex Skolnick still knows how to rip it, Chuck Billy plays a mean air guitar, and they definitely know how to incite a killer Wall of Death (check out the video below).
Normally a set by Megadeth wouldn't get my heart racing, but tonight was Rust in Peace in it's entirety so I was guaranteed some of my favorite Megadeth songs. The band, now with Dave Ellefson back in the fold, followed Testament by launching directly into the classic Rust In Peace opener "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due". Sporting the classic "biohazard" emblazoned drumkit from the "Hangar 18" video, the band continued through the LP in track order declaring declaring "That was Rust In Peace!" at the finish and retreating from stage momentarily for a quick costume change afterword. Megadeth then looped back to classics like "Peace Sells" and "Symphony of Destruction" before a reprise of "Holy Wars" to close out the set. Mustaine's voice was a bit buried in the mix from my perspective, a relief in some ways as when he did come through it was too high pitched and nasal for my liking.
Little has changed since the last time I saw Slayer. Jeff Hanneman is still sporting the baseball catcher's shin plates, rockin a Raiders jersey and has his Heineken-style (that reads Hanneman) guitar. Kerry King still looks like a cross between Junkyard Dog and a cast member of Road Warrior. Dave Lombardo is still one of the best drummers on the planet. But what had changed was Tom Araya, due to his recent back surgery: no more head on a swivel, doctor's orders. The thrashing Araya was missed, but that didn't affect the legend's searing set of Seasons In The Abyss (in order) followed by a short set of Slayer classics. Easily my favorite preformance from the night. Dave Lombardo is god.
Tons more pics, some video and the set lists are below...
Testament, More Than Meets The Eye, IZOD Center, August 12 2010
Testament Wall of Death! Live @ IZOD Center NJ 8/12/10
Megadeth, Holy Wars, IZOD Center, August 12 2010
Megadeth - Rust In Peace live 8/12/10 complete IZOD Center
Megadeth Peace Sells @ Izod Center East Rutherford - 8-12-2010
Slayer - War Ensamble (@ Izod Center Aug 12, 2010)
Slayer - South of Heaven live 8/12/10 IZOD Center, NJ
Slayer - Raining Blood , Izod center 2010
TESTAMENT SETLIST: 8/12/10
For The Glory Of
More Than Meets the Eye
Dog Faced Gods
The New Order
Trial By Fire
The Persecuted Won't Forget
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days in Darkness
The Formation Of Damnation
MEGADETH SETLIST: 8/12/10
Holy Wars... The Punishment Due
Take No Prisoners
Poison Was the Cure
Tornado of Souls
Rust in Peace... Polaris
A Tout Le Monde
Symphony Of Destruction
SLAYER SETLIST: 8/12/10
World Painted Blood
Seasons In The Abyss (in order)
South of Heaven
Angel of Death