Slayer’s final show: Watch thrash metal titans say goodbye to fans

Kerry King of Slayer performs during a stop of the band's final world tour at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Nov. 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

On Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, Slayer, the “long-reigning titans of thrash” played their final-ever show at The Forum in Los Angeles.

That’s right, after 38 years of undeniably dedicated service to their incomparably loyal fans, the Raining Blood headbangers have called it quits.

After ripping sets from Primus, Ministry, and Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals, the much-beloved thrash metal band played a hammering two-hour, 20-song set to a 17,500-strong, sold-out crowd at the iconic venue.

For their final performance, Slayer — Tom Araya (bass and vocals), Kerry King (guitar), Paul Bostaph (drums), and Gary Holt (guitar) — played their 1986 anthem, Angel of Death, before making an emotional 10-minute goodbye to their fans.

The Forum gig served as the last bout on the final leg (‘The Final Campaign’) of Slayer’s critically acclaimed ‘Farewell Tour,’ which began in May, 2018.

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Between then and now, the band played 147 shows across five continents, including 11 in Canada.

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After the pyro-heavy performance, each of the members embraced one other before taking the time to walk across the stage and acknowledge the crowd. They threw out guitar pics, drum sticks and setlists to fans as a thank you before taking a picture with their entire crew.

One by one, the band members left the stage as the crowd chanted, “Thank you, Slayer,” before Araya, 58, was left onstage alone.

“Thank you,” he said to the crowd.

“Thank you very much. I want to thank you for sharing your time with us.”

Tom Araya of Slayer performs onstage during the bands final show of the “Final Campaign” tour at The Forum on Nov. 30, 2019 in Inglewood, Calif. Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Before exiting the stage, Araya concluded: “Time is precious, so I want to thank you for sharing that time with us.”

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King, 55, even took off his signature chain belt and dropped it on the ground. Surprised fans could be heard saying, “Woah,” in response.

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Thousands of longtime supporters, close friends and musicians took to social media following “the final campaign” to share their memories of Slayer and their gratitude for their contributions to the music industry and the global metal community.

Among them was Kirk Hammett of Metallica, and Scott Ian of Anthrax — two of the many musicians who have shared the stage with Slayer as part of “The Big 4” thrash metal concerts over the years.

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It was a incredible journey,” tweeted one fan. “Thank you, Slayer.”

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Slayer was founded in 1981 by Araya, King, former drummer Dave Lombardo, and late guitarist, Jeff Hanneman, in Huntington Park, Calif.

The group began touring heavily before releasing their first album, Show No Mercy, in 1983.

Between 1985 and 2015, Slayer released an additional 11 studio albums, including the much-beloved Reign in Blood (1986), South of Heaven (1988), Seasons in the Abyss (1990), and their most recent, Repentless (2015).

Fans during the Slayer concert at the Papp Laszlo Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on June 11, 2019. Balazs Mohai/EPA

As of this writing, Slayer has sold more than five million records alone in the U.S.

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Though Slayer may have retired permanently, their music lives on in the hearts of many fans.

Slayer’s final setlist:

1. South of Heaven
2. Repentless
3. Postmortem
4. World Painted Blood
5. Hate Worldwide
6. War Ensemble
7. Stain of Mind
8. Disciple
9. When the Stillness Comes
10. Born of Fire
11. Payback
12. Seasons in the Abyss
13. Jesus Saves
14. Chemical Warfare
15. Hell Awaits
16. Dead Skin Mask
17. Show No Mercy
18. Raining Blood
19. Mandatory Suicide
20. Angel of Death
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