On the absolutely freezing night of Tuesday, November 12th, Slayer’s ‘The Final Campaign’ tour blazed through Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio.
I apologize, but this review is not going to be very detailed. I’m not sure if this was the venue’s rules or the rules of the tour, but after we photographed our 3 songs, we photographers were unable to watch the rest of the show. Not my favorite rule, but no big deal. I’m just happy to be able to do this at all.
First up were Philip Anselmo and the Illegals. They were advertised to perform “A Vulgar Display of Pantera.” Not sure if that’s what was delivered, but they started out there set full force and their guitar player had some fantastic hair whips. I admit to not wanting to photograph them because of Philip giving the Nazi salute and yelling “white power” at Dimebash back in 2016, but a fellow photographer talked me into doing it, saying that Philip had apologized for it and sounded sincere. RIP Dimebag.
Next up was Ministry, whom I was excited to be seeing for the first time. The first three songs were from the album ‘Land of Rape and Honey’ and I was pumped! The crowd at this point was starting to fill in and hand bang along to the beat. Singer Al Jourgensen is a sight to behold in person. I was a little bummed to not be able to see more of this set. The entire band was having so much fun on stage and their energy was infectious.
Third of the night was Primus, a band you either love or hate. This crowd went nuts when they came on stage and people even started crowd surfing almost immediately. On display on the large LED screens behind the band was snippets of Salad Fingers (a short-lived “creepy” web series from 2004) which I found amusing. While I admit I’m not a big fan of Primus, their actual talent is undeniable. Amazing guitar riffs, killer slap bass, and lyrics that range from thought-provoking to downright funny. Understandable why the crowd was so excited.
Finally, the band we all came for, Slayer! Just like Ministry, this was my first time seeing them live (and last time too, I guess). Their stage setup that featured a giant skull with swords and a variety of demons was gorgeous. The pyrotechnics that accompanied were a cool touch as well. I may have only seen three songs of their set, but those three songs were nothing short of magic. Nothing I can say will do them justice. There’s a reason they’ve been around for almost 40 years. I’m just grateful I got to witness a small part of it.