Spring Sizzles! w/ Slayer Final Tour, The Cult celebrates 30 years of Sonic Temple + Judas Priest & more

Great season of great legends!


Slayer - May 8th - Toyota Music Pavilion - Irving, TX

Commemorating kicking off the fifth leg of their final world tour, but also the sixth anniversary of legendary guitarist Jeff Hanneman’s death this week, the five-time Grammy-nominated, two-time Grammy-winning band unleashed its fury with around 20 songs, almost half of which included eyebrow-singeing pyrotechnics that could be felt even 10 rows behind the pit. 

From the opener “Repentless” and the haunting buildup of “World Painted Blood” to the twisting, burning, riff-laden “South of Heaven” and the mandatory “Seasons in the Abyss," Slayer plucked some of the best jams from their extensive catalog.

The audience was a mixed bag: The kids that grew up with Slayer on tape were content to headbang from their seats with their own kids beside them. No matter where you walk, you hear the obligatory scream: “Slaaaayyeeeerrr!”

While a solid set list & I'm a lifelong Slayer fan this is not a can't miss/must see affair - If you've seen Slayer before, even once, at any time in their career you've seen this show or better. Now if you've never seen Slayer, definitely check this out even though this is Slayer at their weakest. Nothing but respect for Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph but I subscribe to the notion that this is only half of what made this band so legendary.

A minimal stage set, and a few pyrotechnics are fine but what is most alarming about this tour is just how straight up BORING it is.
This would be not only a great opportunity & if they are sticking to their word the FINAL chance to do something really special here.
Put on a HUGE show, pull out some songs they've never played or haven't in forever, invite original drummer Dave Lombardo to jam on a song or two in some select cities when schedules allow, anything to make this stand apart.

Sadly it doesn't and feels as if they truly do not care - Even before this Final Tour thing, if you saw Slayer in the previous few years, even then it felt like a band going through the motions. That's exactly what this felt like, a SIXTH leg of a final tour, you could almost feel singer/bassist Tom Araya marking off another date on his calendar until he gets to go finally go home.

Finishing off their hour-and-a-half set with “Angel of Death” among hundreds of fans pumping fists, headbanging, and screaming, it goes without saying that if Slayer do retire, there will never be a replacement, and there will never be anyone like them ever again. 

Set list:

Evil Has No Boundaries
World Painted Blood
Hate Worldwide
War Ensemble
Mandatory Suicide
Chemical Warfare
Born of Fire
Seasons in the Abyss
Hell Awaits
South of Heaven
Raining Blood
Black Magic
Dead Skin Mask
Angel of Death


The Cult - 30th Anniversary of Sonic Temple - May 9th - House of Blues - Dallas, TX

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of its "Sonic Temple" album The Cult kicked off a special tour this week by playing the album in it's entiriety.
Some of these songs had not been performed since the album (their fourth) was originally released in 1989. 


A pivotal, game-changing album that brought together the alternative and hard rock audiences — will be reissued in a 30th-anniversary edition by Beggars Banquet Records.

I always make a point to see The Cult every tour even though that attention is only deserved residually. I actually saw the original Sonic Temple tour when they opened for Metallica that year and in 1994 they played one of the best shows I've ever seen still to this day.  That alone still gets me through the door every year but once I'm there I quickly remember the problem. Singer Ian Astbury has to be one of the most naturally irritating & just zero self-aware frontmen in history. I really don't know when that started but it was probably around 1996 when he put out his solo record and I saw him drunkenly stumble through a disastorus set in the parking lot of Trees that ended with him falling off the stage,

Since then The Cult stock has continued to lower, with again Astbury at the center of the problem. Openly criticizing band members on stage and the audience & talking non-stop about God-Knows-What between songs has just killed this band.

Still the chance to hear American Horse live proved to be irristible & thankfully this time Astbury was on better behavior but not enough. Also he can't really sing these songs anymore and you can't recognize half of them until the chorus hits. However, I wasn't alone as the was the most packed I've seen the building in a long time & certainly the biggest turn out in this city for this band since Sonic Temple was first released.


Sonic Temple set

Sun King 
New York City
Automatic Blues 
Sweet Soul Sister
American Horse 
Soul Asylum (performed for first time since 1989) 
Edie (Ciao Baby) 
Fire Woman 
American Gothic
The Phoenix 
She Sells Sanctuary 


Saints Are Down
Love Removal Machine 




Judas Priest - May 31st - The Bomb Factory - Dallas, TX


When your band is 50 years old, the easiest way to please a crowd is to just play a string of hits, decade by decade, inking the obvious checkboxes. The harder way is to roll out deeper cuts and knock it out of the park with your new songs — music that’s going to feel fresher to you than something you wrote in the early ’80s that you’ve sung thousands of times. 

This was the higher path Judas Priest chose for this new leg of their Firepower tour supporting their kickass LP of the same name released last year.

Not that Priest strayed from the golden catalogue - Legendary frontman, the Metal God himself Rob Halford, in various evolutionary stages of biker gear along with bassist Ian Hill, guitarist Richie Faulkner, the lanky Scott Travis on drums and touring guitarist Andy Sneap, proving his voice can still shatter eardrums as one of the most recognizable sounds in the history of heavy metal. 

Waving his mic around, draped in black, Halford stood in front of a Ptolemaic god rising from a field of flame during 2005’s thrashy Judas Rising, subbing in for Painkiller speed and energy-wise. 

After more of a brief pause than an encore break  the hit-hopers got their fix as Halford rode out on a fat Harley and sang 1978’s Hell Bent for Leather.

Total singalong time for 1980’s Breaking the Law, yeah they did, the finale being Living After Midnight, Halford appropriately singing, “I’m gone!” 



Heading Out to the Highway
The Sentinel
(Take These) Chains
Judas Rising
Out in the Cold
Traitors Gate
Halls of Valhalla
No Surrender
Victim of Changes
All Guns Blazing


Hell Bent for Leather
Breaking the Law
Living After Midnight


Photos -

Roy Turner
Jim Louvau 

Leave a comment

Add comment