Before the loyal Slayer horde was able to enter the gates at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana (just outside Indianapolis), Mother Nature decided she needed a sacrifice before the show could commence. The torrential rain and lightning she unleashed upon the gathered masses forced gates to be opened several hours late and the cancellation/sacrifice of the opening band of the evening, Cannibal Corpse.
Sated for the evening, Mother Nature cleared the sky for the invasion of the Vikings… Amon Amarth. It had been two years since our last opportunity to see one of our favorite Swedish bands in America, so it was with great delight to witness songs from their new album ‘Berserker’ come to life.
Lamb of God, Slayer’s direct support for every leg of their “Final World Tour”, dominated – as usual. Randy did seem to have a little extra spring in his bounding leaps. Maybe it was because he was able to get some extra rest due to the delay, or maybe he was just glad Mother Nature allowed them to perform.
And then came time for the reason we braved the wrath of Mother Nature – SLAYER!!!!!!!, but before we talk about our beloved metal icons, let me go back to the beginning of the day when Mother Nature was being a whore. As we rode out the storm inside a production trailer we had a view of the Slayer fans waiting to get into the venue. Instead of going back to their vehicles and sheltering themselves from the storm, the Slayer horde rode out the lightning and sheets of rain in front of the gates, for no other reason than to be the first to the pit when gates finally opened. It was like a scene from the “Lord of the Rings” and it was glorious! That’s fan dedication on full display. As for Slayer… I was humbled to be able to shoot them for the second time on their final world tour. I had memories of how I felt as I left the photo pit last year in Dallas, thinking that would be my last chance to see and shoot them, so I was grateful and humbled to have the opportunity again. Their set started with a stage curtain snafu, as both fell to the floor about 5 seconds apart. It didn’t visibly upset the band or the fans, but I was looking forward to seeing the Slayer pentagrams rotate across the curtains in anticipation of the band destroying the stage. No other noticeable hiccups interrupted the evening as they played all the classics both old and new, and once again I left the venue with the opinion that Slayer doesn’t have to quit. It’s because they don’t have to that I respect them even more.
Written by Wes “Rockwell” Anderson
Amon Amarth photos by Melissa “Mischievous Mel” Anderson
Lamb of God & Slayer photos by Wes “Rockwell” Anderson