Games Meet Metal: Hell On Earth: The Riff Concert Review

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Hell On Earth: The Riff Concert Review

Hey, haven't done one of these in awhile!

On the backing of a $10 lawn ticket, I ventured out into some major shitty weather to view two of my favorite live acts of all time. However, the show wasn't as bombastic as I was hoping.

Five songs.

That was it.

Exodus, one of the most legendary thrash bands ever, got five songs. Bonded by Blood, Toxic Waltz, and three others I didn't recognize. What a fucking jip! Yeah, I know, when you're the opening band expect to get your time cut to almost nothing, but for these guys it was just plain sad. Exodus opened for Megadeth and got  a full damn set! Oh well, maybe they just didn't want Gary Holt tired before filling in for Jeff Hanneman for Slayer's performance. Speaking of which...

Now here's the one I've been wanting to see. Slayer, who have had the same two guitarists since their inception, and who have never had fill-ins for their entire touring history, had to do just that after Jeff got  a super hickey from a spider that wracked the nerves in his right arm. Enter Gary Holt from Exodus, who's quite the axe-man himself and you have a band again. But there's a catch. Gary can nail the rhythm arts to any and all Slayer song in his sleep, but his leads just sound so different. It's that Gary has his own tone and style, and it really clashes with Kerry King's lead work which has favored Hanneman's playing for nearly three decades now.

Let me just say that Slayer put on a great performance as usual, it just didn't sound 100% like a Slayer show. Not that everyone behind me seemed to care. Behold the mosh pit that formed during Raining Blood.

Then there was one more act.....

Now, I've seen Rob a shitload of times. I've seen him do his most outlandish stage setups, and I've seen him strip it down to just the music. As you can tell by the photos, it was outlandish day today. One little problem with this set though: the man keeps reusing the same damn props and monsters on stage since he went solo back in the 90's. One example is the Creeper, a robotic murder machine from Hellbilly Deluxe, that now gets stage time during Living Dead Girl. Wrong song buddy. That's when you need zombie go-go girls. Even a lot of the videos he was using for the background were heavily reused from older trips. It was still a fun set, but overly bland.

Now, if you've never seen any of these bands, odds are you had a rocking good time. But for us veterans, things just weren't adding up all the way. 

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