View more photos in Timothy Norris' slideshow, "Slayer and Megadeth @ Long Beach Arena."
A tall skinny man in all black shouted, "FUCK YOU JESUS FREAK! SATAN SATAN!" as he stood in line to be frisked at the Long Beach Arena Monday evening, for the American Carnage Tour, a thrash metal epiphany type event, featuring Testament, Megadeth and Slayer.At this nearly sold out concert, two lone Born Again Christian protesters stood in the front of the entrance to the arena, holding up signs condemning each metal head in attendance to a fiery eternity in Hell.
Though the majority of fans in attendance simply ignored this unnamed duo, occasional discussions occurred, profanities were shouted and middle fingers and horns thrown up.
"Fuck these guys," one man in a Megadeth shirt was overheard saying as he passed, while another longhaired man walked by with his female friend and flipping off the two protesters.
"SLAYER!!! FUCKIN SLAYER!" some random drunken fan screamed.
This caused a chain reaction, as is customary at every Slayer show for a mob of more people to yell "SLAYER!" all at once. This lasted five minutes, and the preachers stood watching in disgust as families walked by with their kids, and a group of rowdy punkers smoked and drank beers in the corner near a parking lot, hiding their brews from the cops behind a trash can.
With their obnoxious signs, the protesters stood their ground, and any fans attempting to debate these militant Christians, were given angry rhetoric about how heavy metal music is from the Devil. This is all despite the fact that, as many pointed out, Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, and Dave Ellefson are both born again Christians, having found the Lord along with sobriety (both Mustaine and Ellefson are admitted former drug addicts and alcoholics).
"Nah just because they say they are Christians, doesn't mean they are," was one response that kept being repeated. "These assholes are IGNORANT!!" someone yelled down the way in the line, as everyone in the vicinity began laughing.
Inside the arena, no one cared about the Christians--tonight was dedicated to good old fashioned thrash, or speed metal if you will. Promptly at 7 p.m., San Francisco Bay area heroes Testament took the stage, and jammed out just over half an hour of pure thrash, with a groove that pretty much forced one to headbang, constantly.
Testament, which is composed of vocalist Chuck Billy, guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, bassist Greg Christian and drummer Paul Bostaph raged through songs off of their albums Practice What You Preach, Souls In Black and the most recent, The Formation of Damnation, as well as the 1988 classic The New Order, an urgent and explosive thrash record about a tyrannical World government set up to enslave and exterminate humanity.
Though there was half a floor smashing heads and raising a ruckus in the circle pit for these guys, the majority of the fans were in line to come in, buying beer or tailgating in the parking lot, which was a shame, because Testament were the band that just might have been where Metallica is today.
Megadeth, are still touring on their 20th anniversary of the seminal 1990 album, Rust in Peace.