Everybody who’s seen Slayer live has a tale to tell. Some are like war stories: There’s the time fans ripped the seats out of New York City’s Felt Forum, lit them on fire and threw them at the stage. And the Denver concert where the audience got so manic that the promoter made the band stop everything for about 10 minutes so singer-bassist Tom Araya could tell the crowd to take a step back before they’d play again. And, of course, there’s the infamous Hollywood Palladium gig where some 200 Slayer fans weren’t allowed in, leading to a vicious riot that got them banned from the venue for 25 years.
You don’t even need to be watching the band to get the full Slayer experience, as Black Dahlia Murder frontman Trevor Strnad once told me: “When you go see Slayer, you go to the bathroom and you’re taking a piss and the guy next to you looks right at you and screams, ‘Slayer!’ in your face. And then 13 other people start screaming ‘Slayer!’ in the men’s bathroom. And that’s what it’s all about, dude.”