Slayer / Hatebreed / Arch Enemy / Hemlock
Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KS
October 11, 2003
MegilothReview by: Megiloth

JagerMeister Tour - Slayer, Hatebreed, Arch Enemy, and HemlockBesides having to park about 4 blocks away behind Memorial Hall (gotta find the free spots…hehe), that walk up to the venue sucked. All uphill *wheeze wheeze gasp*. That’s when I got a good chuckle by seeing the local…ahem…heavy music…station van parked out in front of the place. Black van with the the 98.9 The Rock logo on it. What the fuck are they doing at this show? I wonder when the last was they ever played Slayer on that station. Probably never, since they too busy playing System of a Disturbed and Staind with Mudvayne Drowning Pool on Godsmack. The next funny item on the agenda was the security making my friend take off his necklace because it had spikes on it. You can see this devastating impaling device HERE. I’ve seen Slayer a few other times before, but a big factor in spending $30 a ticket was to see Arch Enemy. I really couldn’t pass that up and after everything is said and done, it was worth the price of admission. Until this show, I hadn’t really heard of Hatebreed, so I was kind of interested in seeing them. There you go. Three bands for $30. Actually, there were FOUR bands for a show starting at 7:00 PM, but at 6:45 there was already someone playing.

That band was Hemlock from Las Vegas. Typical hardcore groove metal. Not my personal favorite style, but they seemed to have a few fans up front doing the whole “C’mon, Jump…Jump…Jump” thing. I’m not hip on this stuff, so it’s really unfair of me to say, “It’s crap. If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!!” Lots of slamming on the downbeat riffs and the occasional speedy part. It’s probably too bad they were playing before the scheduled showtime because I think they would have acquired a few new fans, since this seems to be the style of the month.

Next up was Sweden’s Arch Enemy. Damn, what to say…besides incredible! The Amott brothers performed flawlessly, and the rhythm section of Sharlee D'Angelo and Daniel Erlandsson was full-on pounding, and Angela’s vocals were scathingly harsh. When Angela talked between songs, it was obvious that a few attendees didn’t know the band had a female on vocals, as I heard a few standard comments around me: “That’s a chick??” or “Holy shit!” As mentioned earlier, they only played a few songs like “Enemy Within”, “Dead Eyes See No Future”, “We Will Rise”, “Heart of Darkness”, and “Ravenous”. There may have been a couple more, but even though they probably played about 30 minutes, the time flew by quickly...because they are so amazing. Like the back of their shirts say: “PURE FUCKING METAL”.

I asked my friend what Hatebreed was like, and he said they were hardcore but a little heavier. I just thought to myself, “Oh yippee. More of this shit.” Much to my surprise, they were a little better than I expected. Not so much that I’m going to run out and pick up their CD, but they were tolerable. It was a decent enough set, and they definitely got the crowd going nuts. Good for them, because that means the crowd got a chance to warm up before the main event.

Finally Slayer hit the stage and proceeded to kick our asses. By hastily getting their new shit outta the way like “Disciple”, “God Send Death”, “Payback” and “Stain of Mind”, they ventured back into days of yore with material from “Seasons in the Abyss” and before. Dave Lombardo is back in the band, so this made me feel all giddy. “War Ensemble” was the second or third song, and the pit did turn into a fucking war. Gotta love that! Other songs included “Dead Skin Mask”, “Mandatory Suicide”, “Hell Awaits”, “At Dawn They Sleep” and “South of Heaven"...complete with spinning crosses being projected all around the place. Suddenly the backdrop changed to their Slayer EAGLE LOGO on giant crosses. They closed out the set with “Angel of Death” and things went dark. During the crowd chanting “SLAYER! SLAYER! SLAYER!”, one thing really stood out in my mind was the distinct lack of ANY songs off of THE speed metal masterpiece “Reign in Blood”. Except for the aforementioned “Angel of Death”, nothing. How could Slayer NOT play “Raining Blood”?!?! That’s THE quintessential Slayer song. Soon enough, the band came out and played the entire fucking Reign in Blood release. That was a beautiful thing, almost heavenly if you will. They took a quick break, came back out and closed with “Postmortem” and “Raining Blood”. I was hoping to hear “Dittohead” or “Chemical Warfare”, but that encore set completely made up for the loss.

Helluva show. Money well spent. As a plus, on the way out, strategically placed people were giving out a free Jagermeister Music CD (mostly full of awful shit) and accompanying magazine. That was pretty cool. Also on the way back to the car, people were handing out a little 3-song CD by a band from Omaha called Narcotic Self. Confucius say, “Never pass up the opportunity for free swag.”

Band Links Venue
Arch Enemy

Memorial Hall


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