Pacific Coliseum – Vancouver

Slayer’s Farewell World tour rolled into Vancouver on Wednesday night to a sold-out crowd in excess of 17,000.

For more than three decades, Slayer’s onslaught has proven the band to be the supreme thrash-metal band on the planet, the band that other heavy acts are measured against and aspire to. Their membership in “The Big Four” – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax – the four bands that defined the thrash/metal genre – secures their place in music history.

The two-time Grammy-winners have accumulated an abundance of certified Gold Albums along with “Best…” awards from media outlets all over the world, including Kerrang!, SPIN, Metal Hammer, Revolver, and Esquire. 

The band has never faltered in unleashing its extreme and focused sonic assault, and has remained crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream.  Slayer’s founding member, guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed in 2013, and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been filling in for him since.  Paul Bostaph, who was Slayer’s drummer from ’94 – ’01, rejoined bassist/vocalist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King in 2013, and is back behind the kit to stay. 

In September 2015, Slayer released Repentless, the band’s 12th, and what would be their final studio album, the first without Hanneman and first with producer Terry Date, to widespread rave reviews and the highest chart debut of the band’s career.  The band also teamed up with director BJ McDonnell for three high-concept and brutal music videos for the album’s title track, then for “You Against You,” and the most recent, “Pride in Prejudice,” racking up a combined 25-million+ YouTube views. 

On January 22, 2018, Slayer announced its decision to do one last world tour to thank its fans for their decades-long support, and then move on.

Based on the outpouring of support at tonight’s show they will be sadly missed, and there are many, many fans who will be hoping for another “final” tour sometime in the future.

Check out more from the band at

Photos: Stewart Johnstone


queen elizabeth theatre

Having missed Nightwish’s previous visit to Vancouver, I was keenly looking forward to Saturday’s return at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.  The six piece from Finland have a reputation for theatrical performances, and this time around they would be treating their fans to a showcase of their work spanning their entire career.

For those not familiar, the band comprises founder members, Tuomas Holopainen (Keyboards) and Emppu Vuorinen (Guitar), with Marco Hietala (Bass), Kai Hahto (Drums), Troy Donockley(Wind), and fronted by the irrepressible Floor Jansen.  Having formed in 1996, the initially acoustic sounds was quickly changed into a darker, heavier sound with a distinctively orchestral backbone. This is something that has made them so recognizable worldwide.

Given their theatrical leanings, the band certainly know how to build the anticipation for the show. Doors to the auditorium finally opened 30 minutes before the show, allowing the crowd to flood in and take up seats or positions close to the stage. With 15 minutes to go the huge backing screen sprung into life, and the excitement mounted.

The show had an amusing start, with a request to the audience to suspend their current day obsession with cell phones, and travel back in time for a couple of hours to a time before they existed.  This was a nice touch, although largely ignored.

The show began with multi-instrumentalist Troy Donockley taking the stage for a beautiful intro before the rest of the band took the stage and launched into End of All Hope, which immediately had the crowd on their feet, this was a sound that has not been played for almost 15 years. This them of revisiting older, and less played tracks continued throughout the show, much to the delight of the audience.

Floor Jansen, who endeared herself to the audience by sharing that Vancouver is one of her favourite places, commanded the participation of the crowd easily, and lent her magnificent voice to such poetic numbers as Elan, Dead Boy’s Poem and The Carpenter, as well as belting out the heavier tracks such as the always popular I want My Tears Back. Marco Hietala joined her on vocals, adding his gruff, tuneful voice to the mix. The playfulness of Emppu, who was constantly engaging with the audience, the beautiful melodies provided by Troy on the Uilleann pipes, the solid back line of tour drummer Kia, and of course the masterful keys of Tuomas, the two-hour set came to a close all too soon.

The wonder Ghost Love Score, sandwiched by parts of the thought provoking epic Greatest Show on Earth, backed by some amazing visuals closed out the show. While the audience waited for maybe one more track the band came out, looking very pleased with the reaction of the crowd, and took their bows.

It was the end of a wonderful performance, and if Nightwish are heading on your direction you should snap up tickets now, as this is a show not to be missed.

More from Nightwish at

Check out our images from the show courtesy of Stewart Johnstone





German thrash metal superstars Kreator, brought their power sound to the Vogue Theatre, Vancouver on Wednesday night.  The band, which originally formed in 1982 showed no sign of slowing down anytime soon. They blazed through a set the contained hits from many of their 14 studio albums. Opening with more recent tracks such as Phantom Antichrist and Hail to the Hordes, they soon had the crowd in their hands, and kept them their right through the night, directing the moshing, and pitching one side of the crowd against to the other, there was no let up right through to the encores – Violent Revolution and Pleasure to Kill. Continue reading “Kreator – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver”




VOGUE THEATRE – vancouver

Over the years Swedish power metal band Sabaton have carved out niche for themselves, and have become famous for their songs of war and heroism.  After almost 20 years in the business, founding members Joakim Brodén (vocals) and Pär Sundström (bass) continue to bring their unique blend of storytelling and raw power to a legion of adoring fans.

The band rolled into Vancouver on Valentine’s Day, and did not disappoint. As soon as the opening bars of In the Army Now started up on the PA the audience was ready for action. It was clear from the start of the show when the band hit the stage for Ghost Division that tonight was going to be a whole lotta fun. Continue reading “Sabaton – Vogue Theatre Vancouver”





Thrash metal legends Testament blasted through Vancouver on Wednesday, playing a blistering set at the Commodore Ballroom.

The California based outfit that have supported acts such as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Anthrax, are headlining a tour promoting their newest album, Brotherhood of the Snake, the eleventh from the band.

Over thirty years the band have had several changes, but Chuck Billy on vocals, and Eric Peterson have been there for most of it.  The current line up is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, and shows no sign of slowing down. Continue reading “Testament – Commodore Ballroom, May 10th, 2017”





Brazilian favourites Sepultura brought their unique flavour of thrash/alternative metal to Vancouver on Wednesday, sharing the stage with Prong and Testament at the Commodore Ballroom.

Formed in 1984, the current line up consists of vocalist Derrick Green, guitarist Andreas Kisser, bassist Paulo Jr. and drummer Eloy Casagrande. Paulo Jr. has appeared on all fourteen albums form the band since joining in 1985, and Kisser has appears on all but one. Continue reading “Sepultura – Commodore Ballroom, May 10th, 2017”