So we were finally there, after two postponements due to Tom Araya’s bad back and then, ultimately, surgery to rectify his back. The show cancellations haven’t dampened the enthusiasm for, thrash metal veterans, Slayer’s return to these shores, in fact, they seem to have stoked the fires of the capacity crowd packed into Rock City, Nottingham.

Swedish metallers The Haunted opened the show with powerful forty five minute set that warmed the crowd up perfectly. Peter Dolving leading the proceedings, whipping the baying crowd into a frenzy! The Haunted were a very tight, dynamic unit and will be finding their way onto the ThisIsNotAScene stereo very, very soon!  The Haunted exited the stage and were replaced almost instantly by anticipation, excitement and several chants of “Slayer, Slayer, Slayer…”

At long, long last… The main event… The mighty SLAYERRRRRRR!!! I hadn’t seen Slayer live since Ozzfest at Donington back in 2002 and they were one of the highlights of that day.  The cancellation of the two previous shows had only increased my anticipation and excitement at seeing the legendary Slayer live again!

The stage was set, shrouded in a sea of dry ice, Dave Lombardo and his monstrous drum kit looming large on its platform, the silent assassin, Jeff Hanneman with more guitars than Les Paul, the bulldog, Dr. Evil Kerry King and, of course, the leader of the pack, bassist and vocalist Tom Araya.

They began the onslaught with “World Painted Blood”, to which, the ever increasing, crowd went ballistic! Without a pause they launched into “Hate Worldwide” followed by “Cult” and “Disciple”. Absolute classics “Expendable Youth” and “War Ensemble” soon followed, to my utter delight! Then a moment that sent shivers down my spine, and a tear in the corner of my eye… “Seasons In The Abyss”, the song that introduced me to Slayer back in the very early nineties! I have to admit I was then lost in the moment and was unsure of the next track but they blasted through “Mandatory Suicide” and “Chemical Warfare” before I was blown off my feet and sent flying into oblivion by “Raining Blood”, “South Of Heaven” and “Angel Of Death”…

This was a show that I will not forget in a very long time, my neck is stiff and sore from the endless head banging but that just goes to prove how good the show was! Last night also reaffirmed Rock City, Nottingham as one of my most favourite venues, I can’t wait to get back there for the next chapter…