The throngs of metal-heads at Slayer's sold-out Fillmore appearance may have been more excited for the show than Slayer's own front man Tom Araya.
It was Slayer's first Denver stop since the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the well-publicized split with drummer Dave Lombardo, both in the last year. Fans were treated to the return of Paul Bostaph, who drummed for Slayer through the '90s. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt is pulling double duty on this tour, opening with his own band, then recharging during Suicidal Tendencies before he takes the stage again with Slayer.
Despite a set list drawing heavily from Slayer's first six albums -- a treat for longtime fans -- post-show discussion had more to do with Araya's attitude toward the crowd.
The band played half its set without interruption before Araya asked for crowd silence, a confusing request to make of 3,700 rabid drunk Slayer fans. With respects yet to be paid to Hanneman, many were quiet. Others apparently thought Araya was being facetious and cheered louder. Araya asked three times, each time met with the opposite results before he moved straight into the next song. It was the longest two minutes in the nineteen-song hour-and-a-half set.
After the set, Araya thanked fans and said they would "maybe" be back.
Slayer did unfurl a banner during the last few songs that paid tribute to the band's late guitarist, a parody of the Heineken logo that read "Angel of Death" across the top and "Hanneman" instead of the actual company logo. Otherwise, he was not mentioned.
Fans had mixed reaction in social media. "Besides Tom crying on stage about the audience not being silent, you could really tell that he didn't want to be on stage performing," remarked one attendee. "I'm thinking they may be done soon," said another.
Still others were unfazed by the apparent drama, posting their screams of "Slayer" complete with extra vowels in all caps throughout Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Random notes: Suicidal Tendencies vocalist Mike Muir dedicated the song "Possessed to Skate" to his brother Jim, who was inducted into the International Association of Skateboard Companies' Skateboarding Hall of Fame this year.