Review of Slayer at the Fillmore Silver Spring

On Tuesday, November 19th of 2013 I went to the Fillmore Silver Spring to see Slayer and Gojira. Although I arrived over 15 minutes before Gojira started, the will call line was so slow I didn’t get into the venue in time to photograph them from the photo pit (at most big shows photographers only get to shoot during the first three songs each band plays). I finally made it in and the venue was already uncomfortably packed. I’m not sure if the show was sold out but I’ve never seen the venue this packed before. There wasn’t really anywhere to stand without being shoulder to shoulder with people on the main floor so I headed upstairs to try my luck. Unfortunately if you’re not on the rail on the Fillmore’s second floor the sight lines are, well, pretty much nonexistent. The French band played a pretty similar set to the one they played at Rams Head Live in Baltimore back in February so I didn’t feel like I missed too much. Backbone is always heavy as hell but as much as I enjoy Gojira’s music, I was really here for Slayer.

The curtain came down in front of the main stage while Slayer set up and this is when things started getting better. I worked my way to the front of the stage. I noticed there were some very large boxes for shipping gear in the photo pit area which made it so the guard railing was pushed farther away from the stage than usual. This certainly made things on the ground level more crowded but at least for three songs I got to have some space up front and shoot the band. They actually ended up giving us an extra song to shoot (I think the stage hands just miscounted) and I’ve gotta say being between the wild crowd and intense band performing at a show like this is a bit surreal, like being in the eye of a hurricane. After my songs were up I assimilated back into the audience and got to enjoy the show as a regular fan.

Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been playing with Slayer since the late Jeff Hanneman left the band in early 2011 due to an infection from a spider bite. Original drummer Dave Lombardo was recently booted from the band as well, to be replaced by Paul Bostaph who had previously replaced Lombardo in Slayer from 1992 to 2001. Of course I was worried going in how these line up changes would affect Slayer’s live sound. Luckily I needn’t worry at all, the band was as tight as ever! In fact, the last time I saw all four original members of Slayer play together, in 2010 at 1st Mariner Arena, Jeff Hanneman was obviously drunk and his playing was pretty sloppy. The version of Slayer we got at the Fillmore was really tight once again. Everyone in the band was in sync, there was very little stage banter between songs as they only paused between songs four times. That all combined with the intensity of their “old school” set list (see it here), which featured no songs written after 1990, showed everyone that Slayer wasn’t slowing down at all. The set list was pretty similar to the one on the excellent live double album Decade Of Aggression though it did feature some different songs, such as an old favorite of mine, “At Dawn They Sleep.” As a nod to Gary Holt being in the band they played a Slayer-ized version of the Exodus classic “Strike Of The Beast” too! Any problems I had with the venue prior to their set were far from my mind as I thrashed in the pit during Raining Blood. This show was overcrowded, sweaty, intense and had almost non-stop shredding from these gods of heavy metal, just how a Slayer show is supposed to be. I really can’t wait until they come around again. If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind before, this night proved to all in attendance that in a live setting Slayer still fucking rules!

I only shot photos of Slayer at the show but I think some of them turned out pretty good. See the full set, including some images that I didn’t post below, by clicking here.

Kerry King of Slayer

Tom Araya of Slayer

Gary Holt of Slayer

Slayer at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Kerry King of Slayer

Tom Araya of Slayer

Slayer Fans

Gary Holt of Slayer

Slayer Set List

Death ticket give away

Death To All at the Fillmore Silver Spring

“…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

–Benjamin Franklin in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789

Today is April 15th, the dreaded day taxes are due and along with taxes comes the certainty of death. I’d like to make certain that one of you DCHeavyMetal.com readers gets the chance to experience Death when they come to the Fillmore Silver Spring on Friday, April 26th! This incarnation of the band will be playing songs from the first four Death albums, Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy, Spiritual Healing and Human.
To enter this contest leave a comment on this post telling me which Death song from any of those four albums you want to hear them play the most at this show. You can click their names to see their track listings if you need a refresher. At 5pm EST on Friday, April 19th I’ll pick a winner at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win a free pair of tickets to this show. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you when you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If the contest is over when you read this or you simply can’t wait to find out if you win the contest you can buy tickets from Live Nation for $28 here.

The Death To All Tour is a tribute to the the life and music of Chuck Schuldiner, lead guitarist and vocalist of the highly influential band Death. This version of the band is made up of former Death Human-era members Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert (both are members of Cynic) and Steve DiGiorgio (of Sadus and countless other bands). The vocals will be performed by Max Phelps of the Maryland based band Exist. There will probably be some surprise guests who come out for a song or two as well. They will be performing only material from the first four Death albums on this tour so this might be your last chance to ever hear some of those old classics from the early albums played live. In addition, part of the proceeds will be going to benefit Sweet Relief, which is a foundation that helps musicians that are struggling with health issues and their costs. The opening band is going to be Anciients, a new band from Vancouver who just put out their debut full length album, Heart Of Oak, this month. Now listen to some classic Death songs below, along with a new track from openers Anciients, as you decide which song you want to pick to enter the contest. Good luck and keep it heavy everyone!

Death – Zombie Ritual – 1987 from Scream Bloody Gore

Death – Pull The Plug – 1988 from Leprosy

Death – Suicide Machine – 1991 from Human

Anciients – Giants – 2013 from Heart Of Oak

Metal Alliance 3 ticket give away

Anthrax at Fillmore Silver Spring

The Metal Alliance Tour is back again and with Anthrax headlining this year it’s bigger than ever! The tour’s only area stop will be at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Sunday, April 14th, 2013 and we here at DCHeavyMetal.com want to make sure as many of the area’s metal heads can make it out as possible so we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the show to one of you lucky readers of the site. To enter just tell me which bands you’re most excited to see on this year’s Metal Alliance tour by leaving a comment on this post. Read the next paragraph for info on all the bands playing. On Friday, March 29th, 2013 at 5pm EST I’ll pick one lucky winner from all the valid entries at random (using Random.org) to win the pair of tickets. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you when you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If the contest is over when you read this or you simply can’t wait to find out if you win the contest you can buy tickets from Live Nation for $30 here.

Anthrax is headlining this year’s Metal Alliance Tour and to make it even better, they’ll be playing their classic album, Among The Living, in its entirety at every show on the tour. But don’t think the New York thrashers are the only band worth seeing at this show. Direct support will be provided by the legendary Exodus, one of the original bands from the ’80s thrash metal scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. Richmond party thrashers Municipal Waste will also be on this tour so be sure to have a beer in hand when they’re playing. The Massachusetts based melodic death metal band Shadows Fall will be playing only a few dates on this tour, including this one. Their lead guitarist, Jonathan Donais, has recently been added to Anthrax’s live line up so he’ll be playing twice each night. The opening band is Holy Grail from Pasadena, California. They play a blend of thrash and power metal that is almost as high energy as their live show. If you’re not familiar with Holy Grail then check out their newest album, Ride The Void, which is their best release yet, and be sure to get to the show in time to see them. Now watch the awesome videos below by each band playing the show and leave a comment telling me which of the bands you want to see most at this thrashing show!

Anthrax – Indians

Exodus – The Toxic Waltz

Municipal Waste – You’re Cut Off

Shadows Fall – The Unknown

Holy Grail – My Last Attack

Meshuggah ticket give away

Meshuggah at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Sweden’s technical metal masters Meshuggah are returning to the Fillmore Silver Spring for a second time this Saturday, February 16th, 2013. DCHeavyMetal.com has a pair of tickets to this show to give to one of you lucky readers. To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to come to this show. Maybe you saw them last year when they played the Fillmore and you want to see another killer Meshuggah show, or maybe you missed them last time or maybe you’re still waiting for your tax return from Uncle Sam and can use a night of free metal. On Friday, February 15th at 5pm EST I’ll pick one lucky winner from all valid entries at random (using Random.org) to win the pair of tickets. Please don’t enter if you cannot attend! The contest ends the day before the show so there isn’t time for me to contact additional winners if you win but can’t go. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you do win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If the contest is over when you read this or you simply can’t wait to find out if you win the contest you can buy tickets from Live Nation for $26 here.

Meshuggah is on the second leg of their Ophidian Trek tour supporting their newest album, Koloss. As expected the album is a beast and they’ll be playing songs from it as well as older classics throughout their set. They have also just released Pitch Black, a free two track EP from Scion A/V that you can stream and/or download here. They’ll even have copies of Pitch Black on vinyl available at the merch booth at this show at the Fillmore! Also playing this show will be Animals As Leaders, an instrumental progressive metal band featuring former DC native Tosin Abasi on guitar. Let me tell you the guy can play! He is quite possibly the best guitarist in metal right now. The opening act will be the LA based trippy progressive metal band Intronaut. Don’t expect any slack instrumentation from them either. In all this should be another great metal show at the Fillmore. Check out the videos below by each band playing and tell me the reason you want to go to this awesome show in the comments!

Testament ticket give away

Testament at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Old school Bay Area thrashers Testament are returning to the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 and DCHeavyMetal.com has a free pair of tickets to give to one of you lucky fans. To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite Testament song is and at 5pm EST on Friday, February 8th I’ll pick one lucky winner from all valid entries at random (using Random.org) to win the pair of tickets. If I don’t hear from the winner in 24 hours then I’ll randomly pick another person to get the tickets. Please don’t enter if you cannot attend. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If the contest is over when you read this or you simply can’t wait to find out if you win the contest you can buy tickets from Live Nation for $27.50 here.

Testament played the epic first metal show ever at the Fillmore Silver Spring back in November 2011 with Anthrax. Now they’re back to headline the area’s only stop on the Dark Roots Of Thrash Tour which features some classic thrash metal bands to keep your head banging all night long! In addition to Testament there will also be sets by New Jersey’s Overkill and Flotsam And Jetsam, a Phoenix, Arizona band you might remember as being Jason Newstead’s band before he joined Metallica in the late 80s. The night’s opening act will be the Australian thrash band 4ARM. You can check out a song by each of these bands on YouTube below as you decide which shredding Testament song you love the most!

Dethklok ticket give away

Dethklok at the Fillmore Silver Spring

If you’re a metal head and you’ve got a TV then you’ve probably seen Metalocalypse on the Cartoon Network‘s Adult Swim. The humorous show is about the fictitious metal band Dethklok which Brendon Small, the show’s creator and song writer, brings to life using animated back drops behind live musicians (including the legendary Gene Hoglan on drums!) playing the Dethklok tunes. Well Dethklok has just put out a new release, Dethalbum III, and so they’re hitting the road again. On Friday the 2nd of November 2012 they’ll be playing at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland and DCHeavyMetal.com wants to give you a free pair of tickets to this show! To enter just tell me who your favorite member of Dethklok is and why by leaving a comment on this post. Just to help remind you, the members are: Nathan Explosion, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Toki Wartooth, William Murderface and Pickles. On Friday, October 26th at 5pm EST one lucky winner will be picked at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win a pair of tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from you in 24 hours then I’ll pick another winner to get the tickets so be sure to use an email address you check regularly so you’ll be able to claim your prize. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. And if you cannot make it to the show please don’t enter because I want people who can actually attend to get the tickets! If you simply can’t wait to find out if you have won or not, or the contest is already over, you can buy tickets to the show for $35 from Live Nation here.

Dethklok is the headliner but don’t think they’re the only band worth seeing on this tour because there are some killer support acts as well. Direct support comes from Boston’s All That Remains. Their new album, A War You Cannot Win comes out on November 6th and I’m betting you’ll be able to hear some of those new songs live at this show before it is even released! Machine Head will also be playing and these Bay Area shredders will be sure to bring the heavy. Be sure to get there early to check out opening act The Black Dahlia Murder as this Michigan band plays some of the songs from their latest album, Ritual, live for the first time in this area. Still not convinced this show is going to kick ass? Then check out the music videos below, one by each band, and enter the contest while you’re getting your headbang on!

Down ticket give away

Southern metal super group Down will be playing the Fillmore Silver Spring on Sunday the 30th of September 2012 and DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a free pair of tickets to one of you lucky readers of the site. All you have to do to enter Down at the Fillmore Silver Springis leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me what song you’d like to hear Down play the most at the show. On Friday, September 28th at 5pm EST one lucky winner will be picked at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win a pair of tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from you in 24 hours then I’ll pick another winner to get the tickets so be sure to use an email address you check regularly (even on the weekend!) so you’ll be able to claim your prize. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. And if you cannot make it to the show please don’t enter because I want people who can actually attend to get the tickets! If you simply can’t wait to find out if you have won or not, or the contest is already over, you can buy tickets to the show for $28.50 from Live Nation here.

Down is a New Orleans based metal band that is often called a super group since it is made up of members of Corrosion Of Conformity, Eyehategod, Crowbar and Pantera. Unlike most bands to get the super group label Down actually kicks ass. They just released a new record titled The Purple EP and you can bet you’ll get hear some of those sweet new tunes live at this show as well as several of their classics. But let’s not forget the other bands who will be playing this show as well, most notably the doom metal legends Pentagram. They’re only playing two shows with Down on this tour but we’re lucky enough to get one of them in our area. Also playing will be the Texas based thrash metal band Warbeast. They’ll be shredding your face off in a good way to really get things going. The opening act will be the bluesy throwback band Mount Carmel from Ohio. Down doesn’t tour very often so you’d be crazy to miss this show. What better way is there to see it than for free? So listen to these tunes by the bands playing, enter the contest below and start getting psyched for a killer metal show!