TVD Live Shots: Slayer, Lamb of God, Behemoth at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 8/9

The biggest metal tour of the summer is steamrolling across America with the mighty Slayer as headliner along with support from Lamb of God and Polish Satanists, Behemoth. Despite hailing from Los Angeles, Slayer has always been treated by the San Francisco Bay Area as a hometown band. Since adding Exodus’ Gary Holt on guitar (after original guitarist Jeff Hanneman’s untimely passing in 2013) and with Paul Bastoph back on drums, it was not surprising that the San Francisco fans arrived early and ready to rage.

The sidewalk in front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium was eerily quiet accept for the usual scalpers, junkies, and street food vendors as openers Behemoth took the stage at the unholy hour of 7PM, but San Francisco knows what’s up with these guys and the auditorium floor was already packed for their brief but deliciously evil 30 minute set that found frontman Nergal and the band roaring from behind cobra-wound mic stands and delighting in the response. Without time for their usual theatrics, no doubt San Francisco hopes that they return soon for a proper headlining set.

With the crowd already in a frothy mood, Lamb of God took the stage to a roaring response and tore right into “Laid To Rest” which got the pit instantly churning. Frontman Randy Blythe was on fire, literally flying off his stage riser and whipping the crowd into a frenzy, inciting more and more to join the already frenzied mosh. The band stepped off the stage after 30 minutes only to return shortly thereafter amid a hail of “Lamb of God” chants from the crowd to finish what amounted to a generous 50+ minutes set.

With the crowd riding high on LoG’s performance, a giant curtain dropped across the front of the stage to hide the crew during the set change. When the intro music, “Delusions of Saviour,” starting rolling and pentagrams were projected onto the curtain, the auditorium erupted. Slayer’s 2015 release, Repentless, still has plenty of legs and as they ripped into the title track, the crowd surfers coming over the barricade kept security busy.

The small belches of fire that began to appear during “Disciple” turned unto full-on fire hazard by “Hate Worldwide” which found drummer Paul Bostaph flanked by walls of flames and the front rows feeling the heat. Holt headbanged furiously from the edge of the stage as Tom Araya roared, only occasionally stepping out from behind the mic stand to grin at the churning crowd. Clearly they were having a good time which made the hour and 40 minutes set fly by.

The people spilling out of the front doors once the chaos ended appeared to suffer from some combination of ecstasy and exhaustion. Yeah, this is the type of metal show that San Francisco lives for … heavy, hot, loud, and chaotic. Came back soon, Slayer.

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

Slayer

LAMB OF GOD

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

Lamb of God

BEHEMOTH

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

Behemoth

SLAYER SETLIST
Repentless
The Antichrist
Disciple
Postmortem
Hate Worldwide
War Ensemble
When the Stillness Comes
You Against You
Mandatory Suicide
Hallowed Point
Dead Skin Mask
Born of Fire
Cast the First Stone
Bloodline
Seasons in the Abyss
Hell Awaits
South of Heaven
Raining Blood
Chemical Warfare
Angel of Death

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