Slayer / Suicidal Tendencies / Exodus @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
If you were in the mood for something hard and heavy, this show at The Pageant was the place to be.  St. Louis was the lucky recipient of one of only seven shows this trio had scheduled back in January.   All three bands were anticipating playing with one another as Slayer guitarist Kerry King said it had been over twenty years since Slayer had played a show with Suicidal Tendencies.  Exodus was the first band to confront this sold out, SRO show.  As one could imagine with a show of this magnitude, it did not take long for the mosh pit festivities to begin.  Exodus has been thrashing it up since 1980 and was co-founded by Metallica guitarist, Kirk Hammett.  Through the many lineup changes, Exodus has continued to endure and is rocking harder than ever with this current lineup.  With barely time for fans to make it to the restroom and back, Suicidal Tendencies took their places on the stage.  Tendencies have also secured their spot in thrash metal history with a thirty-plus year career.  I can tell you I first saw this band in 1987 and they are aging like a fine wine.  Front man Mike Muir has not skipped a beat and remains the band’s constant throughout the many ups and downs the band has endured over the years.  Taking only a brief pause from his perpetual bobbing and weaving, Muir took a second to remind attendees to pick themselves back up when life knocks you down.

As ACDC plays over the house PA, a few blasts from the fog machines create a hellish-looking haze that will be Slayer's home for the next roughly hour and forty-five minutes.  The roar of the crowd was quickly drowned out by roar of the band’s opening number, “Hell Awaits”.  Immediately, I noticed how clean and crisp the sound is for a metal show.  Great separation of the guitars and the vocals of Tom Araya were very sharp!  All killer, no filler were the order of as Slayer glided effortlessly between fan favorites such as “War Ensemble” and “Postmortem”.  Glowing upside-down crosses on both sides of the Slayer logo were the only noticeable touches of flash above the otherwise sparse stage design.  Making up for the toned-down stage setup, Slayer’s light show was one of the better ones I have seen, as metal light shows go.  Another side benefit of this show was watching attendees as they took in the music.  Some just stood and bobbed their heads, while others went into full, thrash metal, hair-whipping mode.  The mosh pit was wide open and nonstop during the Slayer melodic assault.  Closing down the night, a huge banner flew proudly behind the stage, paying homage to the band's fallen guitarist and founding member, Jeff Hanneman.  The banner, done up in the style of a Heineken label, read “Hanneman Angel of Death Still Reigning 1964-2013”.  With the mention of Jeff Hanneman, I can tell you the band did not falter in his absence as Gary Holt, Exodus guitarist, pulled double-duty filling this huge void.  The power of the evening culminated with the closing numbers “South of Heaven” and “Angel of Death”.  Overall this show took a very special place in my heart in terms of sound quality, songs selection, and the ability of some old guys to show the youngsters how it’s done!  Photos of the show are below:

Suicidal Tendencies
 Contributed by Duane Clawson
Slayer / Suicidal Tendencies / Exodus @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO Slayer / Suicidal Tendencies / Exodus @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on June 04, 2014 Rating: 5
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