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Slayer/Megadeth/ Testament: American Carnage

Date: 8/12/10
Venue: Izod Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Reviewed by: Rich Catino


Rescheduled from earlier this year, the first leg (second in Sept now includes Anthrax in place of Testament) of American Carnage played to a packed house (that is with half the arena curtained off) at the Izod Center. Testament were on fire not allowing some sound issues (guitars were dropping in and out often) to affect the performance. The setlist was changed up a bit from the usual 'Over the Wall', 'Practice What You Preach', or 'Into The Pit' which was a nice change. 'Dog Faced Gods' off "Low", 'D.N.R.' and '3 Days In Darkness' (I would rather hear 'Riding The Snake') from "The Gathering", and one of my all time favorites 'Trial By fire' were all welcomed additions. The band should be working on a new album soon for a release next year. *Note: sorry there are no Testament pictures, there was a holdup getting my credentials.

Megadeth continue celebrating the 20th anniversary of the album "Rust In Peace" by playing it in its entirety, also still promoting their latest album "Endgame". Frontman Dave Mustaine is joined by bassist Dave Ellefson (he recently returned to the band in 2010), Shawn Drover on drums, and really the star of the show Chris Broderick on guitar because this guy plays every riff, lead, and solo pretty much note for note as recorded. Brilliant! The stage design included a backdrop with the artwork from the album "Rust In Peace" and several smaller scrims to the left and right of the drum riser that looked like crates holding alien-life forms. My only issue is after performing the entire "Rust In Peace" album, when you only have limited time why play 'A Tout Le Monde' when there is much better and do a reprise of the ending to 'Holy Wars'.

Aside from supporting the new album "World Painted Blood", performing the title track and 'Hate Worldwide', Slayer are also playing their 1990 album "Seasons In The Abyss" from start to finish with a bare ones stage design that only included a wall of amps and two iron Slayer shields with the eagle. With Slayer's setlist being rather predictable most of the time, it was great to hear 'Expendable Youth', 'Hallowed Point', 'Skeletons Of Society' (which I think really needs to be in more often), 'Temptation', and 'Born Of Fire' since they are rarely (if ever) played.

Having recently recovered from back surgery, singer/bassist Tom Araya looked pretty relaxed at the mic not trying to put too much stress on the body and his voice was pretty strong. Dave Lombardo's skills behind the drums really sets the tempo for the songs since the riffing and delivery can become rather redundant, and speaking of...let's look at guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. I don't think either have ever been looked at as a great players but yes very fitting and creative (to an extent) for Slayer. Tonight I really paid attention to both and Kerry is clearly more skilled as he moves around the neck better, hitting the right notes, making better use of the whammy bar and tapping. Jeff on the other hand plays the same fast licks over and over again (sloppy at times), rarely ever getting out of the first 12 or so frets at the base of the neck.

Up next...would that be The Big Four (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax) shows in North America for 2011????


Testament setlist:
For The Glory Of...
More Than Meets The Eye
Dog Faced Gods
The New Order
Trial By Fire
The Persecuted Won't Forget
3 Days In Darkness
The Formation of Damnation


Megadeth setlist:
Holy Wars... The Punishment Due
Hangar 18
Take No Prisoners
Five Magics
Poison Was The Cure
Tornado of Souls
Dawn Patrol
Rust In Peace...Polaris
Head Crusher
A Tout Le Monde
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells
Holy Wars (short reprise)


Slayer setlist:
World Painted Blood
Hate Worldwide
War Ensemble
Blood Red
Spirit In Black
Expendable Youth
Dead Skin Mask
Hallowed Point
Skeletons of Society
Born of Fire
Seasons In The Abyss
South of Heaven
Raining Blood
Angel of Death

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