To label Dave Lombardo as one of the finest drummers in Metal and beyond, is probably selling him a little short.
As one of the founding members of Thrash Metal legends Slayer, Lombardo has led the way and defined the Thrash sound since the band’s debut album in 1983.
In the early 80’s when Slayer was born and bred and largely a cacophony of messy guitars and screaming vocals, it was Lombardo that reigned it all in, gave it a sense of purpose and percussive clarity whilst clearly steering the Slayer ship.
The Lombardo style came into its own with the band’s seminal masterpiece Reign In Blood which was released in 1986. With Rick Rubin at the helm producing Slayer and a masterful engineering job by Andy Wallace, the drums and drumming on this album again, lifted the bar and proved once and for all, Lombardo was, is – one of the greats.
Tonight’s event was long sold-out with the line of people outside Allans on Bourke Street stretching around the block. It made for an interesting sight as passer-byes where wondering just what in hell was going on.
Once inside Allans I don’t think anyone was privy as to just how special a night this was going to turn out to be.
Once the initial nerves and tension settled down we were off and running. Photographers were guided by the staff that we were not to encroach the drum-set, or use Flash, or move around too much. So we just picked a spot and tried our best to work from there without interrupting Dave or being a nuisance for the paying audience.
Lombardo kicked things off with a nice improvisational, somewhat tribal solo which was as electrifying as it was intense.
With a sold out and incredibly receptive audience, Dave took on a incredibly informative Q&A as we listened intently to his vast and musically diverse career.
Obviously, there is so much more to him than just Slayer even if many of the questions would feature said band numerous times.
Dave was impressive with his responses and considering the somewhat bad blood that was shed on his infamous exit from the band just before Soundwave in 2013, he never bad mouthed anyone associated with Slayer. He came across as proud of his career with the band and all that they accomplished together.
Sporadically throughout the evening, Lombardo showed us what he is capable of behind the kit and the Slayer medley he performed at the conclusion of the night was something both jaw dropping, something to behold and definitely worth the price of admission alone. My head is still reeling from the controlled, precise ferocity and menace of him attacking his drums with his improvised additional embellishments layered over some Slayer classics.
Truly, a sensational evening which was capped off with Lombardo in incredibly good spirits posing for photos and signing everything for all the fans.
Usually when I am on assignment, I never do the autograph thing. It’s unprofessional. I’m there to shoot the gig. That’s it. But for Dave Lombardo, I was going to make an exception. Along with me I had bought Reign In Blood and South Of Heaven original pressing vinyls. Waiting in line, it got to be 10:40pm when I realised the car park I was in, closes at 11pm! I had to pass on getting my stuff signed and head straight for the car park before it shut! UGH! Maybe next time…