Slayer: painting Indianapolis blood and rescuing kittens

It was a cold day in Indianapolis when thrash legends Slayer were spending the afternoon in getting ready for their show at The Egyptian Room at Old National Centre. Many bands go out to eat, enjoy the sites, or just take it easy before a show.

Not Slayer, though. After finishing up a fine meal at the famous St. Elmo’s Steakhouse in downtown Indianapolis (one of guitarist Kerry King’s favorite places), Slayer did what only Slayer would do before a show- they rescued a kitten.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen- not only are they true thrash metal icons, but they- much like the rest of us- love them some kittens. Plus, nothing screams metal more than rescuing a kitten in trouble.

Soon after it was time for one of the last stops on their winter tour with fellow legends Exodus and Suicidal Tendencies and the packed crowd at The Egyptian Room was in for one of the most brutal nights they’d experienced since Lamb Of God came through with Hatebreed and In Flames in 2012.

The three bands have been on the road together for awhile now, including a show together in May at Rock on the Range in Ohio. Not to mention Exodus guitarist Gary Holt is pulling double duty with Slayer as well.

Exodus kicked off the show with a headline-worthy set. With Suicidal Tendencies advertised as the opener, it shouldn’t be a surprise Exodus is playing first. With Holt playing in Slayer and Exodus, it makes sense to not have the two bands play back to back.

With former frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza back at the helm after a long absence, longtime Exodus fans were in for a treat with his return to Indy. Currently supporting “Blood In Blood Out,” the band has new life in them and they showed it in Indianapolis.

Always one of the strongest live bands in all of metal, they completely owned the stage and set the bar high for Suicidal Tendencies.

Suicidal Tendencies took the stage and put on a show only Suicidal Tendencies can. Since reforming last year, they’ve been on a mission to reclaim their spot atop the metal ranks and they’re taking no prisoners on their way.

For those who were exposed to the band live for the first time saw firsthand the cyclone of destruction Suicidal Tendencies truly is on the stage.

Utilizing every inch of the stage, running all around, Suicidal Tendencies look like it’s the 80’s and 90’s all over again and haven’t lost a step in the slightest. In fact, they’ve gotten stronger, more cohesive and are an even bigger force to be reckoned with.

Capping off the night and with a lot to live up to after the two previous bands was the trash metal kitten savers themselves, Slayer and it should come as no surprise they stole the show. Then again, with support like Exodus and Suicidal Tendencies, it would take a band as powerful as Slayer to steal the show from them.

The trials Slayer has come through over the last few years have been well documented and, at one point many questioned whether the band would even continue on as a band but they’ve come through the fire and are as strong as ever.

Their setlist was one that would make any Slayer fan happy and head straight into the pit. With “World Painted Blood,” “Hell Awaits,” “Jesus Saves,” “Seasons in the Abyss,” “South of Heaven,” “Angel of Death” and, of course “Raining Blood” among the 21 songs that bludgeoned the membranes of the Indianapolis faithful.

Anyone who thinks Slayer has lost a beat, isn’t as good as they once were or should quit obviously hasn’t seen them live. If their current tour is any sign of what’s to come, then the end is nowhere near for Slayer. In fact, they’re just getting started…again.

-Reggie Edwards

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