Slayer Plays Last Time In Western New York

Kerry King, Slayer guitarist, performs at Darien Lake. Photo by Chris Chapman

DARIEN CENTER — When they announced that this trip around was going to be the last, Slayer fans may have started looking for shows close to them. It was with good reason. On Aug. 3 it was the band’s final performance in western New York.

Taking the stage with precision at 9:20 p.m. at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, fronted by Tom Araya, Slayer played for about an hour. Bassist and vocalist, Araya, and guitarist, Kerry King, the two original members remaining were having fun on stage.

Araya’s voice was still as sharp as ever and King was shredding his way through each solo he played. The only thing that was a bit lacking was the pick slide on the string that so many Slayer songs seem to feature.

It wasn’t until the final note of the band’s last song, “Angel of Death,” played and the banner behind them memorialized the band’s guitarist, Jeff Hanneman, who passed away in 2013 of cancer. Some of the members left the stage while Araya walked from side to side of the stage, and after taking his center-stage microphone after surveying the crowd, he spoke.

“I want to thank each and every one of you,” he said. “You are why we are here, why we did this. I love all of you. I’m going to miss you guys. Bye.”

With that he walked off stage.

So much has been written and said about Slayer over their three-plus decades of being the torch bearers of the metal scene. Their performances speak for themselves. To be a witness to an audience singing song after song with the band as flames shot over the stage, and even at one point, the theme park fireworks bursting on the other side of the park as the band thrashed was simply amazing. What more can be said about this band?

Not only was it billed as the last time the legends in Slayer would be on stage, they were joined by Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament, and Napalm Death; all good bands.