Best Festival Set (2011)


When the titans of thrash collectively known as the Big 4—Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallica—announced that their second U.S. show would be at Yankee Stadium this fall, there was some concern. The new iteration of The House That Ruth Built, after all, was a bit shinier and classier than its predecessor; the Bronx grit was still there, but corporately sponsored clubs where liquor was sold and a Hard Rock Café, of all things, had sprung up, too. As it turned out, there was little reason to worry about the atmosphere. Pits popped up at a few points in the outfield's general-admission section, local heroes Anthrax reveled in their homecoming, and Metallica powered through a set that, mercifully, didn't involve a Lou Reed cameo. But the night, as so many nights of classic metal often do, belonged to Slayer, the sinister foursome that has been pumping out brutality and pummeling drumbeats for a good 30 years now. Their hour-long run-through of their bloodiest bits shook the stadium's rafters with its relentless beats and grinding-gears guitar solos. It was delivered in such a blistering, uncompromising way that it even made the person who'd been helpfully closed-captioning the action up to that point throw up the white flag of surrender.


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