1984 Footage of Slayer Rocking Flint’s Ukranian Hall Surfaces [VIDEO]
Way back in 1984, while Slayer was helping to pioneer a new genre of music called "thrash metal," they stopped by the Ukranian Hall in Flint, Michigan for a set.
Slayer has been around since before a lot of us had brains that could retain memories. Their sound helped to shape not just metal, but guitar-based music as a whole. Slayer t-shirts became the unofficial uniform of metalheads across America, and shouting their name a certain way became a kind of secret handshake among the initiated. Their status is now as legendary as it gets in the metal community, with droves of fans who consider speaking ill of the band akin to blasphemy.
When a band as entrenched in the fabric of music as Slayer, it's easy to forget that they were once a baby band, playing dive bars and small rental halls in the armpits of America. That time for Slayer, was the early 1980s.
The year was 1984, and Slayer had just released their debut album 'Show No Mercy' and a subsequent EP, but had never played a show outside of California. The band's popularity was finally "exploding," as guitarist Kerry King put it, but some members had yet to cut ties with normal lives. Singer and bassist Tom Araya was still working at a hospital, but understood the band needed to tour. "We knew that if we didn’t do it, we’d never do it," said Araya.
So in October of 1984, they embarked on their first tour, trucking their gear, small crew, and themselves, across the country in a Uhaul, and Araya's Camaro. Making only enough money for beer, food, and enough gas to get them to the next gig, they played a string of dates throughout Canada, the east coast, and, eventually, a brief jaunt through the midwest. That leg of the tour included a Tuesday night show at the Ukranian Hall, right here in Flint, Michigan on November 20th.
The venue is a small rental hall on Pasadena Ave on Flint's Northside, and holds maybe 200 people at capacity. But for one night in 1984, Slayer shredded people's f***ing faces off with a set of that burned through every song on their debut album and just-released EP 'Haunting the Chapel' for $5 a head. Setlist.fm says the tracklist for the night is as follows:
Note: The biggest Slayer aficionado I know says this list is definitely out of order
- Evil Has No Boundaries
- Captor of Sin
- Metal Storm/Face the Slayer
- The Final Command
- Black Magic
- Die by the Sword
- Aggressive Perfector
- The Antichrist
- Chemical Warfare
- Fight Till Death
- Haunting the Chapel
- Show No Mercy
Now, thanks to the internet and what appears to be a video transfer of a VHS stored under less than ideal conditions for 32+ years, we can see what transpired that night on the northside of Flint. YouTuber jim aash, who has quite the collection of old concert videos, recently uploaded his footage of the show to YouTube. What's even crazier than Slayer playing an all ages show at a small venue in Flint, is that the ever-popular Slayer chant was already a thing all the way back then. You can hear it yourself towards the end of the video.
Before you get too bummed out, the audio is atrocious on this, and the picture isn't much better. Also, we learned that the date of the show was 11/20/84, not 11/18/84 as listed in the title.
UPDATE: We found a better quality video of the show, seen immediately below. Original, lower-quality video is below that.