During the ’80s, both bands were carving out their places in the heavy metal world. Pantera, initially starting with a glam metal approach, was undergoing a transformation towards a heavier, groove-oriented sound once Phil Anselmo took over on vocals.
Meanwhile, Slayer was solidifying its reputation with albums that would become thrash metal cornerstones. Despite their different trajectories, the two entities found common ground. Offstage, members of both bands often spoke highly of each other in interviews, emphasizing mutual admiration and friendship.
Their camaraderie in the 1980s laid the foundation for a relationship that would last through the following decades, even as heavy metal evolved and both bands faced a myriad of challenges.
One notable instance of their friendship was when Kerry joined Pantera onstage in 1989 at the now-legendary Joe’s Garage in Fort Worth, Texas.
King’s presence amplified the energy of the show, delivering a unique blend of Slayer’s fierce guitar work with Pantera’s growing groove-metal prowess. These collaborative moments on stage were not just performances; they were emblematic of the bond that was forming between these titans of metal.
And for what it’s worth, the video is an incredible time capsule snapshot of Pantera right before they officially began their ascent to the top of the heavy metal kingdom.
Based on the setlist provided, the concert featured tracks from the soon-to-be-released “Cowboys From Hell” album, covers from Judas Priest and not one, but TWO Slayer jams, among others:
- Over and Out
- Psycho Holiday
- We’ll Meet Again
- Raining Blood
- South of Heaven
- Power Metal
- Metal Gods (Judas Priest rendition)
- Death Trap
And oh yeah, it doesn’t hurt that Kerry King himself is actually playing guitar with the guys. The actual cover of ‘Raining Blood’ doesn’t kick in until around the 2:20 mark, but it’s worth hanging in for the pre-song banter about Andrew Dice Clay and more. And what’s more, there’s also insane footage (like an hour plus) of the behind-the-scenes rehearsals of Kerry bonding and practicing with the band. A truly special moment in metal music history. Enjoy!