Review: Jagermeister Music Tour, Nov. 29 2003
SLAYER - HATEBREED - ARCH ENEMY
November 29, 2003 @ the Universal Amphitheater
Words and photos by Mark A. WhitakerI knew this was going to be a great show. It reminded of the old '80s metal shows at which you could see three huge bands on one bill. I was eager to see and hear what Arch Enemy were like at a live show, as I had heard many great things about them.
I have always been a big fan of bands with female musicians. It amazes me how the role of women has changed in the music world. Today, women play an equal role in the music scene, with many bands even having a female singer. There aren't many metal bands with a female singer, but Arch Enemy pulls it off just fine with Angela Gossow. So I was excited for the show. Also, it was rumored that Slayer would be playing the entire REIGN IN BLOOD album.
I was supposed to have press credentials waiting for me, but when I got to the will-call booth, I was informed that I had to go to another line. I love waiting in lines. I went over to the next line and waited, and finally I received a ticket to get into the show—but no photo pass. I asked the guy at the second booth about it, and he informed that I had to go (back) to the first booth. More waiting—no problem. I talked to a guy at the original booth, and HE told me that there was no photo pass for me. Several other photographers were also having trouble getting theirs, so I figured I would wait and that it would get straightened out. By this time, the first band was already playing, and Arch Enemy would be taking the stage next. At this point I was starting to get frustrated, because nobody seemed to be trying to remedy the situation. I was told that I could leave my camera and just go watch the show. I knew that by the time I walked back to my car (which was parked in the parking garage at the other end of City Walk) I would miss Arch Enemy's set. Since nobody seemed to be able to provide any more help, I decided I would go ahead and drop off my camera bag in my car. Unfortunately, I was right: I did miss Arch Enemy. I was really annoyed and frustrated, as the whole reason I was there was to do a show review of Arch Enemy. At this point I almost left, but then I realized that it would be pointless to do so without at least watching Hatebreed and Slayer play. As I was going to the entrance, I recognized Mando from FEAR. We talked for a little bit, and when he heard what happened he offered to get me backstage (a friend of his had gotten him backstage passes for the show). That made things better. We made it backstage—though not without security confiscating my pen. That was stupid. Whatever. It turns out that going backstage was beneficial after all, because, with the help of two very nice employees (namely, Kristen and Lorena), I was FINALLY able to get a photo pass. With some moves that would have made James Bond proud, I got my camera and made it back in. I had missed Hatebreed, so I was disappointed, but I figure I'll catch them next time they play. (From what I have heard, they tour constantly.) I got my camera ready just in time to catch Slayer play the opening of WAR ENSEMBLE.
It was everything I expected: the lights all crazy, the stage covered with all kinds of blood and pentagrams, and Slayer kicking ass. I have always liked Kerry King's style of playing, and to see him up close and in person was awesome. I shot a few photos of him, then ran to the other side of the stage to shoot photos of Jeff Hanneman, who was also amazing, banging his head in time to the music, his guitar-shredding skills in full effect. The sound was really good, as even above the guitars and Dave Lombardo's pounding drums I could still hear Tom Araya's rage-filled vocals. After the third song, all but a few lucky photographers were given the boot and escorted to the aisles. Most chose to go hang out backstage and socialize and review their photos. I like Slayer, and nobody seemed to mind that I was standing in the aisle watching, so I stayed to watch the show and hear some of my favorite songs. Looking out across the sea of chairs, I could see rows and rows of Slayer fans pumped at seeing their favorite band live. In the end, it was a great show, and I left with a final message from Slayer: Hell awaits!