SLAYER CONCERT!!!
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It happened!!!!

SLAYER

In a word, it was...OUTSTANDING!!!


I have been looking forward to this concert for a few months now and as the time got closer, I started becoming more and more excited.

I rarely ever mention my musical interests outside of Moi dix Mois and MALICE MIZER on this blog, but when I get to go to an exciting concert or event I can’t help but want to talk about it!!

In my last entry I said I wanted to make a connection to Moi dix Mois in this entry, but actually I think this time around I would rather focus on Slayer and some of the other artists I got to see the other day.
HOWEVER!! Thats not to say I won’t connect it to Moi dix Mois! As I’ve been thinking about how I want to craft this entry, that thought has still lingered in my mind. I think a fair trade-off would be if I made a separate entry to this one focusing more deeply on the connection between Slayer and Moi dix Mois. Okay?? Okay.

Aslo, I won’t go into as much detail as I do with my Moi dix Mois concert reflections since I get the feeling the bulk majority of readers here aren’t particularly Slayer fans. But for those who do like Slayer, please enjoy!!

LOUD PARK 17



It was a 12 hour day of metal bands that started from around 9:50 am!
Those who know me know I can't wake up in the morning to save my life, so actually I didn't arrive until later on in the afternoon. That was okay with me though because the bands I was most interested in seeing didn't start until later anyway.

The bands I was most looking forward to see were

Opeth
Emperor
Alice Cooper

and of course...
Slayer

It may not sound like much compared to the big schedule Loud Park had prepared, but since these bands are very well known, their performance time slots were much longer than the bands that played earlier in the day. I probably saw a good 6 hours worth of concerts!

So as I arrived to Saitama Super Arena, I was hoping to catch Opeth first, but I got there a little late. However, I was able to see them! But only a portion of the show...

Of course the music was good so I was happy to even see that much!!

One of my first impressions of the event overall was a bit of shock.
I didn't quite know what to expect of the people attending, but it really reminded me of the kind of crowd I hung out with in the US. Naturally most of the attendees were Japanese, but the entire event had this sort of Americanized, or should I say Westernized feel to it. I'm not simply talking about the concerts due to the bands being non-Japanese, I mean everything!! Thats certainly not an atmosphere I often get to experience living in Japan so it was a little overwhelming at first.

I even made a few remarks on twitter that I felt like I was back in high school.(≧∇≦) Really, it looked that way!!! (of course not everybody in my high school was gothic, but I was definitely part of the crowd that was)



The way I dressed was far more casual than when I go to Moi dix Mois concerts, but despite that I still felt like I was more dressed up than most people there! I guess it was the make up and accessories, but everyone seemed to just be wearing T-shirts of their favorite bands and pants. My full dress attire was a little more....



That.

Basically a slayer hoodie with a skirt, leggings, and platform boots, and spiked accessories. For me it was casual, but for other people I guess it was a little bit more dressed up than usual. I got a lot of stares at the venue. f(^◇^;)

One of the two major highlights of the night for me was Alice Cooper!!!



Of course I've known who he is for as long as I can remember and within recent years he starred in a movie I really loved -- Dark Shadows!!
However, I've never been to any of his concerts before so I had no idea what to expect.
In fact, its extremely rare that I get to see concerts by American or European musicians. In the US concert tickets are always extremely expensive so I've only seen big acts a handful of times, and within those times some were out of pure luck. Like Lady Gaga; I got free tickets to see her in the US once because a local radio station was handing out tickets in my area for people who found their radio truck fast enough. Fortunately I happened to be extremely close by and was the first person to spot them! Other times I saw bands like Korn, Deaftones, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for my Valentine, etc, but these were at tours that included VK bands as well.

Anyway, Alice Cooper put on more of a show than I ever expected!! He is a true performer in every sense of the word. Not only did he sing, but every song was like a show! He had so many props, costume changes, and styles with each performance it was impossible to take my eyes away from him! Of course I've heard lots of his songs before, but I think the whole performance caught me off guard.



One of his coolest images was going under a guillotine and being "beheaded" before he reappeared for yet another song. He really thinks of everything!!

For any Alice Cooper fans, heres the set list he played on Saturday.

1. Brutal Planet
2. No More Mr. Nice Guy
3. Under My Wheels
-Guitar Solo-
4. Poison
5. Halo of Flies
6. Feed My Frankenstein
7. Cold Ethyl
8. Only Women Bleed
9. Killer/I Love the Dead
10. I’m Eighteen
11. School’s Out / Another Brick in the Wall

Once you see the set list Slayer played, you'll feel like this looks extremely short! But I guess there were some major differences between Alice Cooper and Slayer. For instance, Slayer got a full hour and a half of play time since they were the headlining band, and Alice Cooper got about one hour. Also, Slayer's songs seem to be shorter than Alice Cooper's in general, and since he did put on full shows with his performances, the transition between songs sometimes took a while.

By the way, I took some video footage of both Alice Cooper and Slayer!! Here are two videos of Alice Cooper.




I apologize if the videos are sometimes shaky. I was zoomed in so far with my camera than any small movement looked big in the video. Also these videos are marked as "Unlisted" on youtube, so the only place you can see them is anywhere I post a link...like on this post!

Video #1 is the opening to the Alice Cooper concert with the song Brutal Planet and Video #2 is the finale with School's Out.

I think Alice Cooper became one of the biggest highlights of the entire night for me.



So now for Slayer!!!



The moment I had been waiting for!!!

The band that played before Slayer was Emperor. Since Emperor is also a very big band, tons of people were extremely excited to see them and the venue was completely packed.



Its probably hard to see in the picture, but people were everywhere!!
However, once Emperor ended and the TV screen in the middle flashed "Slayer" for the first time, immediately the crowd started cheering and you could instantly feel the enthusiasm in the air!

There was a big sheet placed in front of the stage, where the Slayer logo started flashing until the first song, Repentless started playing and suddenly the lighting on the curtain reminded me a bit of the World Painted Blood album cover.



Immediately the curtain fell and there was Tom Araya, Kerry King, Gary Holt, and Paul Bostaph right before our eyes!!! Sadly because of the area where my seat was, I couldn't see Paul except for on the center TV screen, but it was still easy enough to see the other three.

Without a breath they played one song after another. A lot of the music was from their newest album Repentless which is probably due to several reasons, but I loved it!!!
I wasn't so familiar with that album, but since I liked a lot of the newer songs I decided to download it on itunes afterwards. One of my instant favorites was "When the Stillness Comes".

In fact, heres my video of the Slayer concert!
Before posting it, I want to note that even though the video is a full 13 minutes long, I compiled several clips together. Not every clip is a full song; some are snippets, and some are MC portions. Everything is edited and labeled so its easy to understand.



Once again, sorry for the shaky quality. If you're patient, the videos do sort of smooth out over time, but as I said with the Alice Cooper videos, any small movement I made ended up looking much bigger due to the zoom.

Also, heres the set list from the concert:

1. Repentless
2. The Antichrist
3. Disciple
4. Postmortem
5. Hate Worldwide
6. War Ensemble
7. When the Stillness Comes
8. You Against You
9. Mandatory Suicide
10. Fight Till Death
11. Dead Skin Mask
12. Born of Fire
13. Cast the First Stone
14. Bloodline
15. Seasons in the Abyss
16. Hell Awaits
17. South of Heaven
18. Raining Blood
19. Chemical Warfare
20. Angel of Death

The last song, Angel of Death, was a huge surprise and the grand finale!!!!
I was really hoping for songs from Reign in Blood so Postmortem, Raining Blood, and Angel of Death were definitely 3 big songs I was hoping to hear! The fact that they played the very 3 that I wanted to see the most totally made my night! Angel of Death was such a wonderful, amazing ending! I'm really sad I didn't film it, but I was enjoying it way too much to want to sit there holding up a camera the entire time.

Once the song ended, Tom Araya talked a little to the crowd, which I thought I filmed but apparently it didn't save. He went out and thanked everybody for coming and listening to them play. The way he spoke was so kind and sincere, it really took me off guard. Actually, their entire stage presence was different than I had expected. I'm not quite sure if its because they were in Japan or if its how they normally act, but they seemed a lot more calm and collected than I thought they would be. Its certainly not a bad thing; in fact I was pleasantly surprised! I felt like their presence sort of quietly demands respect in a way you wouldn't normally see with a lot of bands. They play hard and their concerts are full of energy, but they carry themselves with such confidence and experience that theres no need to attempt to stir up excitement before or during the show because it happens organically. You can absolutely understand the passion that lives within them simply by watching them!

Not only that, as you can see from the video I posted above, they try to play with the crowd in small fun ways that stir up a big impact! A lot of younger metal bands tend to seem a lot more excitable, but as Tom said in the video "You are here because you love the music, and we like to play the music. Its a little love affair we share,” I think it sums up exactly the dynamic Slayer has with their audience.




The feeling was totally different from Japanese bands I usually go see. Of course I think its based on a matter of style, but to see such a unique interaction/performance felt really special. I can't help but respect Slayer for performing every song as if they anticipate it to be the best performance they've ever done within their long career of over 35 years! It must take a lot of dedication and love to maintain such energy but this must be what makes them great.

Theres a lot more I could say about that going deeper into their history and current mentality of the band, but I imagine after a while it may only start to sound like rambling.




For those who are interested, I also compiled a large number of pictures I took from the concert into an interactive gallery!!



MONOLOGUE†SANCTUARY LOUD PARK PHOTO GALLERY

There were so many pictures I was worried this entry could easily get overloaded, so I created an easy to use gallery!!

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The navigation is simple enough to smoothly browse through with your mouse or keyboard and has 2 kinds of menus if you want to quickly access certain photos. I tested it on Safari, Firefox, and Chrome and all seemed to work well without problem.

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It seemed to work on my iPhone browser too! I was able to swipe and press the arrows to navigate through each picture, so if you prefer to check the gallery by smartphone it works just as well!

The gallery includes a huge Slayer section as well as pictures of the venue, Opeth, Emperor, Alice Cooper, and a few personal photos of me. All the pictures you see on there were also taken by me, and I'm pretty happy with the quality of the concert pictures!!

The link is the same for both smart phone and computer versions, so by all means please check it out!!

http://www.mana-sama.net/LPgallery.html

Maybe one of these days I could make a similar gallery for my collection of Moi dix Mois and MALICE MIZER related photos and scans too!


Sadly the concert ended way too fast for my taste, but I really hope to see these bands again the next time they decide to come to Japan. I would love to compare the differences between their concerts in Japan and the US so maybe if I'm lucky they'll have a concert nearby some day when I visit my family in the future!

One can only hope!


Sarah