Archive for Hell Awaits

Hell Awaited

Posted in music with tags , , , on May 3, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Slayer – Country Club : September 7, 1985

This two-night stand at The Country Club in Reseda was a turning point for Slayer. They had just returned from Europe, and now the band no longer belonged to just the fans in L.A. It was time to see what happens after a band like Slayer played night after night to screaming European metal fans. Adding more fuel to the fire was the fact many of the most notorious gangs in Los Angeles came out to this show – not only to take part in the violence that comes with a Slayer show – but also to support Venice’s own D.R.I, who were added as main support that night (Abbatoir opened the show that evening). Excluding the South Of Heaven show at the Hollywood Palladium (which ended in overturned police cars and shootings in and outside of the venue), this Country Club gig was arguably the most brutal and dangerous show that Slayer ever played in Los Angeles (multiple stabbings and gang fights throughout the show).

It was hard as hell to shoot bands like Slayer because the pits were extremely violent and I always found myself jumping in the middle of these ferocious pits to get the shots I wanted. That was the only way to truly capture the feeling of a Slayer show.

Shot up front in the mayhem with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1 Program and an 80-300mm zoom lens.