AUG 3rd 2011

Review By: Metal Mom
Photos By: Char Tupper

Contenders tonight in this arena we have thrash ( Slayer, Exodus ), and in the other corner we have heavy metal ( Rob Zombie ). This took place at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, on a night that also held the fireworks. Considering the headlining bands, I was pretty surprised not to see many people waiting to get in, in fact it didn’t change that much by the time Slayer came on, oh sure there were a few more, but not nearly what I expected to see. Which that in itself was a real shock. I have been to many concerts in and around Vancouver, and no matter who is playing, there is always those who shout out SLAYER. 

To start with, just relaxing and finding my seat, I sat and watched people, listened to the music that would be leading up to the first band. Then looking down I can see 2 guys playing around, but I guess if you were on the floor it might have looked like fighting. But all of a sudden security guards came a running, both guys taken down on the floor, without any discussion , more security came, one fellow taken away , but the other guy had 6-8 security guys on him holding him down. They finally got a hold of him, one holding each arm, each leg, others holding his body, and they escorted him off the premises too, he was still fighting it though. Seemed senseless to me, no discussion, no warning, just out you go.

First up is the old school thrash band EXODUS, now in all fairness, I am not a thrash fan at all, oh yeah, I can listen to them, but I don’t have that kind of music in my collections, so I wasn’t too enthused to be reviewing this show. I was not down front like I usually am. You just know that if its thrash it means that the mosh pits are filled with big bruisers who swing and punch, so I stayed away. I have listened to Exodus , their latest cd, but I have to say I was so surprised to find myself enjoying them. Some of the songs played were “Ballad of Leonard and Charles”, “Bonded by Blood”, “The Toxic Waste”, “War is my Sheperd”. These guys have the energy, the movements to keep me watching, and their music, wasn’t messy like most, they had that hard driving pulse, and it all flowed together well, thanks to Rob, Gary, Lee, Tom and Jack. So personally I find that “live” EXODUS is way better. I will definitely be in the crowd next time they come to town.

Next, is who I came for , especially after seeing them last year at Mayhem Festival. But the show tonight by Rob Zombie topped the Mayhem 2010 show by far, I didn’t think that was possible. His entrance is out of the stomach of the glowing eyed mechanical robot with the song “Jesus Frankenstein“. Throughout the show there were different creatures on stage with Zombie. The songs he played , everyone knew the words, so all were singing, especially to “More Human than Human”, “SuperBeast” , “Scum of the Earth”, “Living Dead Girl”, “Dragula”, and so many more. The crowd responded so well to Zombie, during the song “Sick Bubblegum” he had big bubblegum balls kicked out to the crowds, and they loved it. That’s right, even Metal fans know how to have fun and enjoy a good show. He also had the crowd on the left side of the stage shout “Rock” and the right side shout “Mother Fu--ers” to see who shouted the loudest, we won on the right side. Last year at Mayhem Joey (Slipknot) blasted the drums, but this year its Ginger Fish who dominated the drum set and did it well, especially the drum solo. Piggy D and John 5 are always ones to amaze the crowds, phenomenal bass/guitar work from them both, and well we all know if Zombie wasn’t on vocals, it just wouldn’t be the same, he has such a distinct voice. Zombie had the whole crowd standing in their seats, no one could just sit while they played. In fact at one point Zombie even came off stage, and with a large bright light, walked around, came up into the crowds all around the venue. Not something a lot of bands are willing to do anymore. There was some confetti that was dropped on the crowds, there was fog blasted out at the fans, and each and every one of them loved it. But I think what brought the house down, was when all of Zombie came out in Canada looking flags, and played “Oh Canada” , yes you heard me, to my knowledge that has never been done before, so Zombie has done a first and we were lucky enough to witness this. And while playing the anthem, John 5 played it with his mouth, now what a feat that was. And the crowd went nuts, showing respect for Canada was what put them way over the top for this show. But I know that next time they are in town, or close by, there is no way I am sitting in a seat, I will be having floor. Rob Zombie puts on a fantastic theatrical performance, he knows and caters to what the fans/crowds want, and he does it to perfection. Have you ever noticed though, that while watching one of your favourite bands, the time goes by way too fast. It only felt like 10 minutes and it was over .

 Next up is of course SLAYER , and well we all know they have been around for awhile, since 1981 in fact, so for 30 years these guys have been showing no mercy. The crowds had their favourites, and you could tell by the moshing that was happening on the floor. For this tour Gary Holt (Exodus) was filling in for Jeff. So Gary was pulling double duty on this tour, and by no means was there any showing of being tired, he pulled his weight and performed so well, especially since this was the 3rd to last show. Kerry King was said to “bring your own body bag”, and I am sure that after watching them play, and watching the crowd, some felt like they were walking out in one. They played such songs as “World Painted Blood“, “Snuff“, “South of Heaven“, “Reigning Blood” and another favourite of the crowd was “Seasons in the Abyss“, but that wasn’t all, there were so many more. Just some of the wide range of songs played by this thrash band. I am sorry, and I know people will hate me for this, but I have seen SLAYER play many a time, and tonight (for me), got a little repetitive, don’t get me wrong, they played well, and it was a great set, but it was the same songs and same sound, and I think that others might have felt the same way, I say this because, as I stood outside the wall, I saw lots of people leaving, and some even said, it’s the same ol’ same ol’. But truthfully, I think it was hard to follow ZOMBIE, which such stage presence. If it had been the other way around in the line-up, I think more would have enjoyed.

So there you have it, if you were there or not, you have experienced “ HELL ON EARTH”